Last Updated: 5-Mar-2016

Welcome to the Quickdraw Master Guide! So much has changed, and a once-decent mech has become quite powerful. Let’s take a closer look.



The Quickdraw was the second 60-tonner introduced to the game, and while some of us had high hopes that it would instantly become an amazing brawler, those hopes were dashed when we actually got to…play it… Since then, though, it has come into viability, usable in both long- and short-range brackets.

Each variant has its own specialty, to a point, and most of them are actually really powerful. The most recent quirks (and meta changes) boosted the QKD-5K and QKD-4G to being two of the best mechs in the game, easily the best IS heavies, with the QKD-4G performing exceptionally at medium range and the QKD-5K being more suited for long and extreme range. The QKD-4H also got some substantial buffs, with its crazy laser duration making it pretty good at ERLL boating and its missile cooldown quirks letting it do great in a brawl. Lastly, the IV-Four is actually not bad now; it’s not all that good, but the quirks are crazy enough to make up for the disadvantages that the mech comes with.


Chassis-Wide Information


  • Amazing quirks. The 3 non-hero variants all have all 4 laser quirks, and the values are even on the high side. This makes the limited tonnage of the mech less of an issue, as the weapons are so much more effective.
  • Large maximum engine. This lets you get around easily, which is incredibly valuable whether you’re running a short-range build (to close) or a long-range build (to kite).
  • Relatively XL-Safe. While the side torsos are often taken out before the CT, its arms are decent at shielding and its legs and center torso are juicy enough targets that the damage will usually get pretty balanced around your profile.
  • Plenty of hardpoints. At this tonnage, missiles and energy weapons are most efficient, and that’s what it has. And it has a fair amount of both, opening options for a number of different builds.
  • Good hardpoint placement. The energy hardpoints are rather high in the torsos, and the arm hardpoints aren’t nearly as low as those of most mechs with a lower arm actuator.
  • Jumpjets. Just…jumpjets.



  • This mech can be fragile. It has marginally more armor than a 55-tonner, but it is far larger than that armor lets you get away with and there’s nothing special about its hitboxes. The structure quirks do add an extra 14 points of structure to each side torso on the non-hero variants (and the IV-Four gets more) which definitely helps, but it doesn’t make it harder to hit.
  • 60 tons can be a bit awkward in class-based situations, and honestly it doesn’t get you much more than a Blackjack.
  • Most builds can’t be run reasonably with a STD engine (sure it fits, but you give up too much) so that’s a risk that you almost always run.
  • While it is solid and fun, it doesn’t fit any roles particularly well beyond just being an overall strong mech.


Generic Tips

  • Use your arm shields to full potential. Most builds will leave at least one of your arms empty, so take advantage of the extra 10 armor points the quirks gave you by shielding whenever you’re shot at. If you’ve got an XL, switch which side you shield with after the arm goes – it’s worth losing your other arm if it means keeping armor on your side torsos for just a moment longer.
  • Spend as little time exposed as you can. Your job is not to tank, but to strike and fade away (this goes for whatever range you’re at).
  • This is one of the mechs with abusive jets. It’s kinda shitty, but it’s in the game so you might as well do the bunny-hopping to throw off enemy shots. Just tap your jets for barely long enough to activate the animation whenever you don’t need to be shooting, jumping, or cooling down. Throws off some shots, and spreads others.



If you’re not familiar with my Inner Sphere Master Guides, each pretty much follows the same formula. Each variant gets its own section; within that section I try to include at least two main builds, each with a few variations on the core principle (if applicable).

Each build has one paragraph about the build itself – going over anything I feel is relevant to understanding it such as quirks, tonnage issues, how it fits the meta, my general feeling about it…just whatever. And then there’s a paragraph about using the build, going over tactics, tips, and whatever I feel is relevant to that, including links to L2P guides, on occasion.

I may miss a build that you like, or my builds may differ slightly from what you find works best for you because our philosophies may differ – I strongly encourage that you experiment for yourself to see what works best for you.

The modules are listed in order of which one is most important and the consumables I’ve listed are the ones that are generally the best, but while leveling the mech you may want to swap the less important consumable out for a UAV. That is, if you can afford to use consumables at all (they aren’t necessary, just nice, and if you’re low on C-Bills they’re not necessarily worth it).

On with it!



This is the most energy boaty of the Quickdraw energy boats, and it comes with 10% to energy heat gen and 5% to cooldown. This supplements the structure quirks shared by all the C-Bill Quickdraws (10 to each arm and 14 to each side torso and leg), and on top of all that it has 25% to acceleration and torso twist speed, and 10% to deceleration and turn rate.

Build 1:

Your sort-of-high torso mounts help make this a great build, though it comes with the inherent weakness of having to deal with ghost heat. This particular configuration is my favorite because it lets you use 3 lasers for both hill-humping and corner-peeking, while still keeping all 4 available for all other situations. I also like to swap out the torso weapons and modules for the ER variety, if you want extra range (without sacrificing a whole lot).

Play it like you would a normal laser vomit mech. Your mounts are higher than those of most mechs, which is great news, but you still have to be careful to not stay out in the open for too long when you’re just poking. Try to get the timing down of firing as you crest a ridge and then being back behind the ridge just as your laser duration ends (or the same concept for side-peeking too). Stay in the mid-back of your team, always looking for a better position to shoot from, and you’ll do well. For more on playing Laser Vomit builds like this, check out the L2P Guide.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: Large Laser Range, Large Laser Cooldown

Consumables: Cool Shot, Air Strike

This build sacrifices a bit of the specialization of the previous one for improved hill-humping and a more rounded concept. There’s not much of a difference between the two, to be honest, so play whichever you feel more comfortable in.


Build 2:

This build takes more of a traditional medium-range role than the Large Laser version, sacrificing a lot of range for a fair bit of extra damage, lower beam durations, and a lack of ghost heat. This build can be done on either side of the mech depending on your preference, which helps out the versatility as well. I’ve personally found this to be a really nice build, a higher-damage alternative to the more popular QKD-4G build.

You can pick between a Large Pulse asymm style when trading conservatively, at long range, or running hot, and fully exposing for the extra 10 damage from your Medium Lasers when you can afford it. For most of the game, this does mean you should be alpha-striking rather than playing it safe, but having the option is nice. You can shield effectively with the right arm (that’s quite a bit of armor to help), and just try to protect the side torsos at all costs. For more on playing Laser Vomit builds like this, check out the L2P Guide.

Mech Modules: Seismic Sensor, Radar Deprivation

Weapon Modules: Large Pulse Range, Medium Laser Range

Consumables: Cool Shot, Air Strike



The QKD-4G lacks a couple of the QKD-5K’s energy hardpoints, and has had its energy range quirk removed, but is still surprisingly good. We’re looking at 20% energy cooldown, 5% energy heat gen, and 15% missile cooldown (though the Champion has 30 cough cough). This goes along with the same durability quirks and some special maneuverability ones – 60% to accel/decel, 25% to turn rate, and 10% to torso twist speed. One of the lesser-known great things about the QKD-4G is that it has 10° extra range of motion on its torso twist, and 5° extra arm yaw and torso & arm pitch, which all are pretty useful.

This build has lost its insane range boost, but has become more DPS-oriented, almost like a laser dakka mech. It uses crazy maneuverability, great DPS, and a frankly easy playstyle to take full advantage of great quirks and weapons. Normally, I would say that 3 Large Pulse lasers is a bit light for a heavy (even a 60-tonner), but it kind of works on this one thanks to the cooldown quirk. I find myself comparing this mech to the BJ-3 a lot: they run the same build and they’re even similarly durable (the QKD has a bit more HP sure, but way worse hitboxes). The BJ-3 is too good for its tonnage, but the QKD-4G ends up being a more valuable mech without taking tonnage into account, thanks to the extra heatsinks and better offensive quirks.

When playing, the basics are pretty basic. Corner-peek with your right side, shield with your left, focus your damage as much as possible…yep. This build goes 96 KPH with 400m optimal weapons, so you can really get away with some crazy “flanks”. Stick to rotating to the right if your team is capable, or just corner-peek aggressively if your team can’t handle that. And for what it’s worth, you can sort of rotate without your team, just as long as you don’t overextend and stick to getting odd angles on the bad guys. You can oftentimes get away with 2-for-1 trades if you time it right – as long as they’re not staring at you, 2 full beam duration shots from this mech will finish in under 3.5 seconds; much sooner than a lot of enemy mechs can refire their own weapons. This plays a lot like typical Laser Vomit most of the time, so you can check out that guide.

Mech Modules: Seismic Sensor, Radar Deprivation

Weapon Modules: Large Pulse Range, Large Pulse Cooldown

Consumables: Cool Shot, Air Strike



This is the missile variant, which gets some pretty sweet quirks overall. For energy weapons, it gets 10% to cooldown, heat gen, range and laser duration. But for missiles, it also gets 5% cooldown, 10% heat gen, and 15% velocity. It has the same durability quirks as the others, and pretty decent mobility with 40% accel/decel, 20% turn rate, and 35% torso twist speed.

The quirks are on point for this type of build. Most brawlers focus on SRMs with some energy weapons as backup, but this strikes a pretty even balance between the two – of course, you want to use the SRMs instead of the lasers if heat’s an issue, but otherwise you try to get as much use as possible out of all your weapons. Your alpha damage is fantastic, the SRM4A convergence and low duration of the MPLs make pinpoint damage a breeze, and you’re durable enough to out-brawl most of the competition.

This ends up playing as a really nice skirmish-style mech, which can switch between full engagement and running away at the drop of a hat. When engaged, I recommend blasting out a few alphas until your heat starts to get up there, and then stick to SRMs while you cycle out of the front line (don’t just back up into teammates though, obviously). A lot of the time, you can full engage on a target if either your team’s fully engaged or your target is a bit isolated, but even if that’s not the case you can throw down your missiles as a sort of short-range poke. Play it by ear, and practice will help you with this.

Mech Modules: Seismic Sensor, Radar Deprivation

Weapon Modules: SRM4 Cooldown, MPL Range

Consumables: Cool Shot, Artillery Strike

This is the same exact concept, but with meds and SRM6s instead of pulse and 4s, which means your damage is less precise, but there’s more of it and the meds let you poke a little bit further. And you can mix the weapons the other way too, but that’s up to you.

Weapon Modules: SRM6 Cooldown, Medium Laser Range

And this is a STD engine version. It sacrifices the firepower, cooling, and speed, but it does gain a bit of durability and is worth considering. Roll damage as much as possible, and keep that CT alive at all costs.

Weapon Modules: SRM6 Cooldown, Medium Laser Range


Honorable Mentions

Your primary weapons may be LRMs, but you run cool enough and have enough pews for them to not have to be the only weapons you use…yaknow? All in all, this does turn out pretty similarly to the HBK-4J, but without Artemis, with jumpjets, and some extra heatsinks I think I don’t know whatever. Keep firing your LRMs for as long as you have heat, but don’t be afraid to get angles for shooting your lasers too. Once you get truly hurt and lose the ability to poke, THAT’S when you retreat back into the safe arms of your loving team and hide. Alright? Cool.

Mech Modules: Target Decay, Radar Deprivation

Weapon Modules: LRM10 Cooldown, Medium Laser Range

Consumables: Cool Shot, Air Strike


Sure, your main job is poking with Large Lasers, but if anyone tries to jump you (or if you get antsy), you’ve got some serious firepower for that.

Mech Modules: Target Decay, Radar Deprivation

Weapon Modules: Large Laser Range, Large Laser Cooldown

Consumables: Cool Shot, Air Strike


It’s amazingly fast and doesn’t have much firepower at all (seriously, most mediums are stronger), but you can do it. Should you? No. But you can.

Mech Modules: Target Decay, Radar Deprivation

Weapon Modules: ERLL Cooldown, ERLL Range

Consumables: Cool Shot, Air Strike

Alright, that’s better. The reason I’m mentioning it here at all is that the slightly (veerrryy slightly) improved duration quirk means that thee is an advantage to running ER Large on the QKD-4H over the QKD-5K, even if I don’t think it’s worth it.



The IV-Four received a veritable barrage of quirks to make up for its general shittiness, and it’s not actually bad anymore. I wouldn’t say it’s great either, but it’s not bad. It’s got 30% ballistic cooldown (cray), 25% ballistic velocity, 10% energy cooldown and range, 20% missile cooldown, and 10% missile velocity. So, it’s all good offensively. Defensively, it also has an extra 25% armor (roughly) across all components, putting its numerical durability on par with an unquirked 80-tonner. And it’s got insane agility quirks, with 65% extra accel/decel, 50% turn rate, 45% torso twist speed, and 25 extra degrees of torso twist. Complete craziness all-around. Is it enough? Ehhh…sort of.

Build 1:

On seeing the quirks, this was my first thought. And it’s actually pretty cool. You fire 2 AC/10s about every 1.3 seconds, which…well yeah, it’s pretty cool. That’s a lot of damage roughly equivalent to 3 AC/20s, you can pick where it goes, and it’s pretty friggin durable for a heavy mech, let alone for its tonnage. The problem is, the low mounts and the low alpha mean that you really can’t trade too well, and in a brawl it just doesn’t have the damage that you get out of SRMs. So you end up having to play in kind of an awkward style that doesn’t work terribly well in the current meta. On the bright side, there’s lots of ammo, and if you find yourself not running out ever, you can drop some for some CT lasers or a larger engine.

This is pretty much the definition of a skirmisher. It has the range to be engaged at around 500 meters without a problem, sure, and the projectile speed isn’t even such a huge deal (nearly 1200 after quirks, faster than an unquirked AC/5) but it will not usually be able to play freely enough. So you end up slapping around the bad guys at around the same range as most LPL builds, though with much less damage. I recommend sticking near your team for the most part, as your speed and playstyle don’t allow for the crazy flanks that you get out of stuff like the QKD-4G and QKD-5K.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: AC/10 Cooldown, AC/10 Range

Consumables: Cool Shot, Air Strike

This is a slightly better version of the Anansi – a totally eclectic mix of weapons that, if you hold the trigger down, can do some insane damage. It’s not particularly impressive, but the ridiculous quirks that this mech gets to every weapon makes it interesting enough.

Weapon Modules: AC/5 Cooldown, SRM4 Cooldown


Pilot Skills

I’ve figured that this is the best skill order for pretty much any mech, and so I’m just going to customize it for mechs that have to emphasize unusual pilot skills. In case you’re wondering, this mech doesn’t have to emphasize unusual pilot skills…

Basics: Cool Run – Heat Containment – Hard Brake – Kinetic Burst – Twist Speed – Twist X – Anchor Turn – Arm Reflex

Elites: Speed Tweak – Fast Fire – Quick Ignition – Pinpoint

Then just master it. I’d say they’re all worth mastering, though if you only find yourself to enjoy one or two of them don’t stress about the other(s) if you don’t think you’re going to play it.


And that’s that. I hope you enjoy your mech, let me know if you have any questions, and as always glhf

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