Last Updated: 21-May-2016

Raven time!



The Raven has been a large part of MWO for most of its life, and it’s gone through several evolutions along the way. While it may no longer be the invincible brawler from the days of old, it still finds its home at various ranges, depending on the variant, and the flexibility of the chassis has only grown as a result. It has not gotten hurt much in a long time, but general shifts in the meta have seen its niche become smaller and smaller, leaving it as something of an afterthought.

The top three Ravens are quite close in terms of viability. First up is the RVN-2X, which is a powerful choice for mid-range engagements with high mounts and sufficient quirks. Next up is the RVN-4X, which trades in most of its useful hardpoints for jumpjets. And the third variant, which remains a go-to, is the RVN-3L, whose ECM and higher engine cap make up for the lacking hardpoints and quirks. After these three, we have the Huginn – it isn’t that much worse, but it is distinctly weaker than the first three.


Chassis-Wide Information


  • Most variants have received heavy quirks – not quite as heavy as they used to be, but still very good.
  • High mounted arms make it hands-down the best light at for safe hill-humping.
  • One of the few chassis with an ECM variant, which is particularly valuable on a light mech.



  • Sub-par hitboxes, including super-tall chicken legs, a massive side profile, and just generally a larger target than most light mechs.
  • Only the Huginn has a high max engine and jumpjets, and that is the weakest variant. The others suffer from at least one of these issues, with the RVN-2X suffering from both.
  • Limited hardpoints (4 energy at most) make boating smaller weapon systems more or less impossible, heavily limiting your builds.


Generic Tips

  • In a poking Raven, you can avoid return fire with relative ease – just make sure that the enemy isn’t looking at your poking spot when you peek out and you can get free damage in. This means that you may have to re-position, but it’s definitely worth it. Even if you do suspect that the enemy is watching your general area, you can just move around a bit between hill-humps and generally be alright.
  • When brawling, you have to be very careful to not get shot, which means that your best targets will be ones that are currently occupied by your team, or ones which you can out-turn (such as a Dire Wolf). Also make sure that their teammates cannot shoot at you either.
  • On movement-impaired builds (engine lower than ~280), you will have to be extra careful to not get caught out by either enemy lights (the Raven is almost universally terrible at facing other light mechs) or by light hunters such as Streak Crows. It will be terribly difficult to get away, and unless the enemy comes pre-damaged or unskilled, it is very unlikely that you will win.




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!



The RVN-2X comes with the most hardpoints, and its quirks help it make good use of them. It gets 15% quirks to energy cooldown, laser duration, and missile cooldown, with a 10+5% quirk to Large Laser heat gen. It also has about 25% extra structure across the board, 12 extra armor on each arm, and a bonus 10% to turn rate.

Unfortunately, there are only a couple of builds that are any good on the variant at all, so I’ll stick to those.

This build uses the variant’s exceptional laser quirks to maximize mid-range burst and DPS. Your two high-mounted Large Lasers have a relatively low duration and cooldown, with the low-mounted Medium Lasers serving as bonus firepower whenever the range is close enough to use them. Your speed won’t impress, but it should be plenty fast for mid-range pokey play, and it’s a pretty solid build overall.

Your time spent in this mech should basically consist of 2 things: shooting and repositioning. If you feel that you have downtime – such as heat issues, range issues, or people camping your position and waiting for you to poke – your first reaction should be to move. There is almost always a better place that you could be, and if not, then think harder. Hill peaking at about 600 meters or more is great for this reason; repositioning in that situation is often easier, less risky (you can stay behind cover), and you even get to take advantage of your super-high arm mounts!

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Sensor Range

Weapon Modules: Large Laser Range, Medium Laser Range

Consumables: Cool Shot, Air Strike

This build doubles down on the Large Laser, giving up a fair bit of speed to do so. The 15 KPH you lose is a bit too important for me to make it a primary build, but it’s a legitimate option. And you can also run it with an XL225 for an extra heatsink.

Weapon Modules: Large Laser Range, Large Laser Cooldown




This variant’s big selling point is having both jumpjets and high energy mounts, but the quirks are pretty spectacular too. Offensively, it has 10% energy range, 30% laser duration, 15% missile cooldown, and 10% missile velocity. It also gets 6 extra structure in the CT, 8 in the side torsos and legs, and 12 in the arms. And on top of all that, it gets 25% accel/decel, 20% torso twist speed, 15% turn rate, and an extra 18° of torso twisting.

As with the RVN-2X, there aren’t many builds worth even mentioning, but at least there’s a few fun gimmicky ones to get excited about at the end.

This is easily the most relevant build, though its relevance has been fading fast since the introduction of super-powerful brawling lights. The 30% duration gives your ER Larges a shorter duration than a Medium Laser, and the jumpjets help you reposition enough to stay in the fight. This is without a doubt the most useful variant for competitive play, as it is situationally a good choice, but normally it is just weak.

This plays very similarly to the traditional RVN-3L Laser Sniper, in that it focuses on staying at extreme range while sloughing armor off your target. You still do pretty much full damage at a kilometer away from your target, meaning that you can trade favorably with most mechs, and if you go a bit further out only the longest-range enemy mechs will be able to scratch you. Still, you’re best off chilling at around 800 meters and using terrain to cover 95% of your mech, only peeking your right arm and cockpit over cover. Re-position whenever needed and you should do fine, though the incredibly low DPS of the build means that you won’t rack up record numbers in any but the longest games.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: ER Large Range, ER Large Cooldown

Consumables: Cool Shot, Artillery Strike

It may not be quite as special as the ER Large build (at least that one has a unique niche where it shines), but this build is far superior in your average PUG round. Your DPS and alpha are both still very limited, but the crazy low duration and crazy high mounts let you poke repeatedly at mid-range to make you a much larger threat.

Weapon Modules: Large Pulse Range, Large Pulse Cooldown


This is less relevant than the ER Large build, and less reliable than the Large Pulse version, but it remains a solid option if you are interested in trying it. The combination of high mounts and jumpjets makes you an excellent poptart, but the lack of PPC velocity quirks holds you back a fair bit. This build lets you play with the same hill-humpy style as the others, but helps minimize exposure times with its jump-sniping capability. For more info on playing this style, check out the PPFLD guide.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: PPC Cooldown, PPC Range

Consumables: Cool Shot, Artillery Strike


This can be a fun gimmick, but I don’t recommend running it as a primary build option, unless you really don’t want to shell out for double heat sinks. The big fat 20 comes at the cost of ammo, heatsinks, and speed, and really isn’t worth the trade-off. That being said, it’s a blast to clown around in if you have no illusions of silly things like survival or effectiveness.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: AC/20 Cooldown, AC/20 Range

Consumables: Cool Shot, Artillery Strike

You have even less ammo here, but at least you don’t need heatsinks!

Weapon Modules: Gauss Cooldown, Gauss Range



This was the original good variant, and remains solid (if not standard) to this day. It is the least quirked variant, with the only energy quirk being 5% laser duration, going with its 10% missile cooldown, range, and velocity, extra 100m to NARC range, and extra 15s to NARC duration. It does also get 8 extra structure per leg, but that’s it.

Build 1:

The ultimate in extreme range harassment and reconnaissance, the ERaven mounts an impressive electronic package which allows it to remain hidden from enemy sensors while steadily outputting damage. This is the main build you’ll see run on the RVN-3L, and for good reason. The ECM hides you from enemy sensors and prevents a great deal of return fire, while the range of the ERLLs, which only start to fall off past 700 meters, helps avoid even more damage.

The role of the ERaven is very similar to the aforementioned laser sniper RVN-4X, with a few key differences. You definitely miss out on the quirks and jumpjets, but the ECM and extra speed bestowed upon the RVN-3L allow it a larger degree of freedom, letting it poke from more aggressive locations and position more rapidly.

Mech Modules: Seismic Sensor, Advanced Zoom

Weapon Modules: ERLL Range, ERLL Cooldown

Consumables: Cool Shot 9×9, AirStrike


Build 2:

This is the classic RVN-3L from closed beta, with just minor updates to keep it optimized. Though it doesn’t even approach the dominance of years past, it still isn’t terrible, and is certainly one of the better short-range options that you have in the chassis.

All that being said, you don’t want to get into any fights with anything bigger than you. This build is acceptable for harassing the backs of enemy bigs and executing hit-and-run tactics, but hardly optimal. You’re best off shutting down enemy lights with your Streaks and (slightly) duration-reduced lasers. And if need be, you can supply your teammates with ECM cover, or attempt to use it to shut down an enemy LRM boat.

Mech Module: Seismic Sensor, Sensor Range

Weapon Modules: Medium Laser Range, Medium Laser Cooldown

Consumables: Cool Shot, Artillery Strike

While the Scraven may excel at taking down light mechs, the Giant Slayer finds itself most at easy ripping apart their heavier counterparts. Legs and backs are your bread and butter, and it’s time to get dat starch. Yeah idk where I was going with that.

Mech Modules: Seismic Sensor, Target Info Gathering

Weapon Modules: Medium Laser Range, SRM4 Cooldown



This is the Raven’s hero mech (obviously), whose hardpoints ensure it a life of despondency. Its quirks are still quite good, with 20+5% SRM4 Cooldown (a 20% generic component), 15% missile heat gen, 20% missile range, and 10% velocity, but with only 2 hardpoints, that’s just not enough. It does get the best defensive quirks of the bunch, though, with 10 structure for the CT, 12 for the side torsos and legs, and 16 on the arms.

It’s not nearly as good as the pre-nerf build was, but it gives the variant its maximum firepower, and it needs every little bit of that. If it feels wimpy, that’s because it is. This has to be played carefully yet aggressively. Carefully in that you can’t afford to take unnecessary shots due to, say, being caught in the open. Aggressively in that if you don’t eventually close you’re useless. Ideally you want to be hitting enemy mechs in their back or side when they’re engaged with your team, and using your jumpjets to maneuver around or away from them when they inevitably respond. Bonus points if you manage to turn around multiple enemies. Just try not to extend to the point where your escape routes are completely cut off.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: SRM6 Cooldown, SRM6 Range

Consumables: Artillery Strike, UAV

You lose a bit of power from the downgrade to 4s, but the extra quirks and Machine Guns can make it worthwhile. This is even more of a missile-spammer, so have fun staring at your target all game.

Weapon Modules: SRM4 Cooldown, SRM4 Range


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.

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 would keep all variants as they all have something special, but it’s up to you!


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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