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[Updated March 22nd] Common Mechs In Run Hot Or Die (Competitive League Mech Designs)


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#1 Protection

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 03:59 PM

There has been some request for us to update our common mechs of competitive play list with the more updated models and mech designs in use in the Run Hot or Die league.

Couple of quick disclaimers, and then we can jump right into it.

1) These designs are not always perfectly accurate. Players adjust armour to different areas, occasionally use slightly smaller or larger engines, and have varying opinions on things like Artemis IV and AMS. Most designs are very very similar to these, but there are almost adjustments that players make for their playstyle and preference.

2) These are generally serious competitive designs, for organized 8 man teams in the Run Hot or Die league. While your 2 ER Large Laser Spider might have some good PUG games, almost no one would ever dare take it to a league game (at least not seriously). These builds are highly optimized and very specialized. They are not always the most fun design, but they are effective.

3) This list should be fairly comprehensive, but is not all inclusive. There are always strange, sometimes experimental new designs testing the waters, and it is impossible to account for every single mech ever run. These are simply some of the most commonly encountered designs and variants.
  • UPDATED FOR MARCH 22/13 (all changed will be indented with a bullet point)
Light Mechs



Raven 3L

Standard Version: http://mwo.smurfy-ne...a2a0ef2176da7db

Alternate Version: http://mwo.smurfy-ne...b5329a201891f58

The Raven is the dominate light mech. The above Standard Version accounts for the vast majority of light mech players in Run Hot or Die. ECM can control an engagement, and Streaks are the ideal weapon for downing rival light mechs and even mediums. Non-streak version are less common, but also used, as they pack a little more punch in brawls and against larger targets.
  • The recent hitbox fix and missile nerf have knocked the Raven down a peg, but it still looks like it sits atop the light mech throne for now. Jenners are much closer to the top again, however.


Commando 2D


http://mwo.smurfy-ne...14b5b08c917b992

The 2D Commando is very uncommon, as it will die to most opponents in a single shot, but it can help greatly in any fight with a large number of light mechs. The relentless Streak barrages can add up quickly, and no other light can boast as many missile launchers as the Commando 2D.


Jenner D and F

Jenner F: http://mwo.smurfy-ne...2162066878d60c2

Jenner D: http://mwo.smurfy-ne...2c68f9785762737

The glory days of the Jenner are long over, tragically, as the poor mech suffers greatly when challenging Streak armed and ECM equipped rival light mechs. But despite being less common, the Jenner is still making appearances, and having some good games thanks to some brave and skilled pilots.


Medium Mechs

Cicada 3M When you absolutely need one more light mech but only have spaces open in the medium weight class, it is time to call in a Cicada. It generally functions much like a light mech, rather than a medium. The speed can be useful, but it is far easier to hit than a light mech and doesn't have the armour or firepower of rival medium chassis.
  • Replaced the older, inferior Cicada designs with the faster counterparts


Centurions


CN9-A: http://mwo.smurfy-ne...dab374d3a0242da

CN9-D: http://mwo.smurfy-ne...ba34932c78dff19

The Centurion has surpassed the Hunchback as the principle medium brawler. The high speeds of the Centurion and the powerful SRM salvos have made this mech the fast strike bomber of Mechwarrior. Very high burst damage with good survivability, a pack of Centurions are threat to any mech,
  • It is too early to be certain, but the missile nerf may have made the CN9-A much less appealing, as the mech relied on the high burst damage from missiles to be effective. Also added the AL Centurion - it is usually considered an inferior version of the 4SP Hunchback, but a few eccentric players (mostly in the Euro league) have really taken to the AL.

Hunchbacks


Standard 4SP Zombie: http://mwo.smurfy-ne...39588175fc0d392
The reknowned brawler has been reduced to a #2 position among the medium mech hierarchy, but still remains one of the best designs in the game. While it doesn't have the speed or the missiles of the Centurion, it has great hitboxes and the best zombie potential of any designs in the game. Still an excellent medium mech.


Other Hunchbacks are quite rare these days -- 4Ps are still sighted from time to time, but 4Js and 4Gs are all but extinct, and tragically the 4H Gaussback has been the biggest victim of the Gauss nerf and is no longer a serious option.
  • I added the 4H Gaussback and 4P Diamondback as requested. They were both used, by us, to some effect in RHoD, but I would still consider the designs to be unusual and experimental. The 4H is really a shadow of its former glory, and the Diamondback was great for pinpoint damage, but relied on having proper support from other mediums.
  • Also added AC/20 Hunchback (can be 4G or 4H) because the missile nerf has made this a serious consideration for the medium position again.


Trebuchet 5J and 7M


2PPCs: http://mwo.smurfy-ne...15c3225f811eea0

3PPCs: http://mwo.smurfy-ne...e95fd29376c594f

4PPCs: http://mwo.smurfy-ne...878055c3428329e

Arguably still in the experimental phase, the Trebuchet disappointed as both a missile platform and as a brawler, but teams have found a good use for them as a junior poptart sniper. Now able to bring along medium mechs to assist the 3D Cataphracts as they poptart snipe, the jumping PPC Trebuchet might find use on the fields.
  • It's not out of the question, but Poptart Trebuchets seem to have been a failed idea for the most part. Trebuchets don't seem to do anything well, and having all the weaponry in the large and vulnerable arms means that it gets broken off very quickly.


Heavy Mechs



Catapult A1

Splatcat: http://mwo.smurfy-ne...65cf3d30716dd4c

Streakcat: http://mwo.smurfy-ne...c4fe6d5f7da32f9

The A1 Splatcat (or SixCat or SurmCat) is one of the deadliest mechs on the field and usually the #1 priority target for an organized group. Its point blank damage is crippling if not lethal from just a single salvo, and good armour and speed make it a hassle to bring down. The Streakcat is quite rare since ECM, but if ECM isn't present or under control it can still thrive and tear apart targets.
  • With the Missile Nerf, A1 SplatCats are not at all looking like the monsters that they once were. They can still hurt, but not nearly as much as they used to.


Catapult K2


KC-20: http://mwo.smurfy-ne...55c2861d582f298

Gausscat: http://mwo.smurfy-ne...3b5882e78ae6612

LasCat: http://mwo.smurfy-ne...f75321eb6e92265

PepsiCat: http://mwo.smurfy-ne...75553f7f3ca107e

The AC/20 Catapult (KC/20, Boomcat) remains a premier brawler, but is very vulnerable with low speed and stripped armour. The Gausscat (Gaussapult) is approaching retirement, as it has been replaced by Cataphracts for the sniping role, and doesn't have the reliable endurance for brawls since the Gauss nerf. LasCats and PepsiCats are emerging, becoming a more common sight as well, giving teams new options.


Jagermech
  • The side torsos are incredibly vulnerable with such wide hitboxes and makes Jagermechs an extremely risky addition. However, the XL engine and arm mounts allow the Jagermech to do something that the rival K2 Catapult cannot do - move quickly with AC/20s. Can replace the small lasers with mediums or with a 300XL engine.



Catapult C1
  • Added this interesting design used by Paragon - a new option that worked better than expected in a difficult situation - the large pulse lasers are effective at inflicting rapid pinpoint damage. Also added the original design onwhich it was based (the Combat Cat was generally an excellent mech for PUG games, but not specialized enough for organized play)

Cataphract 3D ELP Style Poptart: http://mwo.smurfy-ne...8fa9a0d61e242bd

Gaussaphract: http://mwo.smurfy-ne...30dda68a012b791 The 3D Cataphract is arguably the go-to heavy mech, being one of the best snipers while retaining decent value in the brawl. Jump jets are proving to be very useful in a variety of situations, and the designs offer a lot of room for personal customization. Still, Cataphracts struggle against medium swarms and benefit from proper support.
  • Updated with additional common varieties of Poptart and optimized the Kaos Poptart. As Kriestov said, "3D's are pretty much the be all end all right now, when it comes to competitive play." Kaos's design is the recomended choice - it is good on heat, fast, and efficient. The ELP design is focused more on durability and support, the Snow Raven design on damage and bypasses the heat problems, and the Karian Empire/Quad PPC design is about weapon uniformity and convergence.


Ilya Muromets

Gauss Ilya: http://mwo.smurfy-ne...055dfe5425e97f2

Ultraphract: http://mwo.smurfy-ne...ddb49624da8081f

The Ilya Muromets is currently the only hero mech you are likely to encounter in league play, but it poses almost as much threat as a 3D Cataphract. The 3 UAC/5 design is one of the best DPSers in the game and with a little luck on jamming, can tear through an assault mech in seconds (but can also utterly fail by jamming often and early).


Assault Mechs

Stalker 3F and 5M

3F PepsiStalker: http://mwo.smurfy-ne...238c90bd9778cec

3F BrawlStalker: http://mwo.smurfy-ne...48270af6dd6103a

5M BrawlStalker: http://mwo.smurfy-ne...eebbb89c0c412b0 Stalkers are not widely preferred over Atlai, but they do see some use, especially in drops with large numbers of assault mechs already. The 6 PPC Stalker can tear open any mech in a shot or two, while Brawer Stalkers have devastating close range alpha strikes (the 3F has much better torso twist, but the 5M has one additional missile hardpoint).
  • Added the 6 Large Laser Stalker, although 5 Large Laser and 4 Large Laser designs have also been used. Stalkers are also unquestionably one of the biggest benefactors of the new coolant flush.



Atlas RS

Steel Jaguar Exterminatlas: http://mwo.smurfy-ne...2121100ac9f4003

Wolf's Spider's Sniper Atlas: http://mwo.smurfy-ne...8337901da53b109 Only a few teams have any love for non-DDC Atlas builds, but Steel Jaguar have been long time advocates of long range direct fire build on their assault mechs, and their RS Atlas is a solid example of that mentality. It is powerful enough to go toe to toe with any other Atlas, and able to deal good damage at long range. (Also called: Exterminatlus, Laslas, Laser-Atlas). The 4PPC design was originally used often by Wolf's Spiders, but hasn't been often sighted since the Stalker was released.
  • With SRMs being nerfed and coolant flush added to the game, all of these designs are very appealing. SJR Atlas is still going strong, and Wolf's Spiders have still used their 4xPPC design to good measure.


Atlas DDC LLas + Gauss: http://mwo.smurfy-ne...4ad50de6c2aeeaf

LLas + 2 UAC/5: http://mwo.smurfy-ne...3d835b6008ae5e8

PPC + Gauss: http://mwo.smurfy-ne...dd3993d011241fc
There are a lot of options with the DDC Atlas, and it would be hard to try and cover everything, but this covers many of the options open to players. The missile hardpoints are generally used for SRM6s, SRM4s (they fire faster than SRM6s), or not at all. The Energy Hardpoints can usually fit Large Lasers or PPCs, but Medium Lasers work well enough for brawler builds. The Ballistic side torso is the difficult choice - being open for Gauss, AC/20, or 2 UAC/5, each with advantages and drawbacks.
  • Optimized the Kaos Atlas as requested, and added Pook's Brawler Atlas to the roster. Also added Syncline's slightly unorthodox Paragon DDC Brawler Atlas.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------




I hope this guide is helpful to players.

If any RHoD teams feel I have missed an important design, or mis-attributed a design, please speak up, and I will do what I can to correct the error.

Edited by Protection, 22 March 2013 - 05:07 PM.


#2 Garfuncle

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 04:35 PM

Those Cent build's are either God-awful, or SRMs need to be looked at by Devs for making lasers obsolete.

#3 Golfin Man

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 04:39 PM

This was extremely helpful. Helps me reaffirm some things I've come across myself but I have heard conflicting information. For example, I've heard putting ECM in your legs is better, but I've always had it in my CT. I was unsure of the risk concerning ammo in the arms, but apparently it is acceptable (with a pilot skilled enough to deal with it). Finally, I have enjoyed upgrading my engines to 325 and 350 in certain builds, increased mobility in an Atlas is something I believe is under appreciated in every day play.

#4 Royalewithcheese

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 06:00 PM

This is relevant to my interests. Do you know what boards people discuss comp builds on?

#5 Protection

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 06:17 PM

View PostRoyalewithcheese, on 25 February 2013 - 06:00 PM, said:

This is relevant to my interests. Do you know what boards people discuss comp builds on?


There's a little talk on the RHoD website, but generally these conversations are internal among teams/Corps and small groups of players.

A lot of people want to keep their designs to themselves. While not exactly secret , they are at least tucked away where potential opponents wont properly predict what they might be running.

The surest way to find these discussions would be to join a competitive team (or a semi-competitive team) with a forum - most have places to share and discuss builds. Otherwise, teamspeak would probably be the best bet - you can usually talk to some pretty experienced guys on the public NA Teamspeak.

Again, part of these designs is focused on the fact that you are running with 7 other experienced players that you have some synergy with. Some of these designs can struggle or fail in solo drops, but hold up well with proper support, teamwork and coordination.

#6 Krazy Kat

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 06:31 PM

Great post. And thanks for using Smurfy's.

#7 Royalewithcheese

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 06:48 PM

Thanks! I guess it makes sense that a lot of these are internal haha.

#8 Xiphias

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 07:05 PM

View PostGarfuncle, on 25 February 2013 - 04:35 PM, said:

Those Cent build's are either God-awful, or SRMs need to be looked at by Devs for making lasers obsolete.

Those Cent builds are very good when used in a support brawler role. The D is for when you need more speed, where the A gives you more firepower. The D is fast enough to run with light mechs and give support while the A has a lot more survivability in a brawl. Let the heavies engage, use speed to get behind the enemy heavies, unleash 45 damage from SRM launchers at point blank into the back of an atlas.

You can easily pull 500+ damage in a match with either Cent and I've seen A's do over 1000+.

#9 Golfin Man

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 07:16 PM

One question I would have is now that Alpine is out some of these builds, particularly the kc/20 and the sixcat, seem to be too limited in range to still be viable. That being said I would imagine strategies would be run in order to get them within their effective ranges, but will RHOD teams modify some of the purely close range builds in order to suit the size of Alpine?

#10 Arcadian Xero

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 07:24 PM

That brawler Atlas is awful. Just... awful.

#11 Royalewithcheese

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 08:24 PM

View PostArcadian Xero, on 25 February 2013 - 07:24 PM, said:

That brawler Atlas is awful.  Just...  awful.


The Kaos one? The previous version of my Atlas was basically the same thing and it was very effective. The 350 gives you the mobility you need to effectively engage targets and some nice 2.0 DHS slots, and the AC/20 and SRM6 rip stuff apart. The medium lasers are basically there for versatility. The survivability is also really nice - this mech can get either half blown off and still hit hard enough to take stuff down. You're basically the apex predator of mechs larger than lights - the only thing that is as good as fighting your fight as you are is another brawler Atlas ;)

Edited by Royalewithcheese, 25 February 2013 - 08:40 PM.


#12 Protection

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 09:13 PM

View PostArcadian Xero, on 25 February 2013 - 07:24 PM, said:

That brawler Atlas is awful. Just... awful.


Yeah, I'm not insulting you Arcadian, but the undefeated Kaos team would probably disagree.

What're you guys running at Atlas these days?

#13 NRP

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 09:45 PM

I like the 3F Pepsi stalker build. It's better than my old 3F build, so I cold stole it.

#14 Protection

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 12:00 AM

View PostNRP, on 25 February 2013 - 09:45 PM, said:

I like the 3F Pepsi stalker build. It's better than my old 3F build, so I cold stole it.


In fairness, we stole it from Steel Jaguar.

#15 p00k

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 12:05 AM

don't forget the 4ppc+gauss RS, as a companion to the poptart
http://mechromancer....1,0,1,0,0,0,0,0

also don't forget the 4ppc version of the poptart
http://mechromancer....1,0,1,0,0,0,0,0

and while i like the srm cent-a's more, in lighter matches i've seen streak cent's used to quickly gain light mech superiority
http://mechromancer....1,1,1,0,0,0,0,0

just theorycrafting, you could also build a similar trebuchet, which can jump but can't zombie as well. i think treb builds are still a work in progress right now though
http://mechromancer....1,1,1,0,0,0,0,0

also, mlas/srm6/uac5 fatlas, runs cool enough to brawl almost indefinitely
http://mechromancer....0,0,1,0,0,0,0,0

Edited by p00k, 26 February 2013 - 12:15 AM.


#16 Ewigan

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 12:10 AM

I have no clue about competitive play and everything, but one thing seems weird: No LRM-boats at all?

#17 p00k

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 12:22 AM

View PostEwigan, on 26 February 2013 - 12:10 AM, said:

I have no clue about competitive play and everything, but one thing seems weird: No LRM-boats at all?

while i've seen 8mans occasionally take ridiculous amounts of lrm's for the hell of it, they're pretty unreliable weapons when your enemies know where to find rocks and boulders and buildings. even atlases you have plenty of time to peek, shoot, then duck back behind cover. plus, with poptarts now you can core most lrm boats with impunity

plus, an lrmboat isn't going to be more useful than a poptart or splatcat in the heavy class, nor will it out-tank an atlas in assault class. you're relegating one mech who at best will do comparable damage to other builds, at worst do far less damage, and is not at the front lines to trade armor with your other big guys.

now, as more larger maps come out...maybe. even in big open maps though i can't see lrm boats being more useful than a direct fire sniper

#18 Protection

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 12:51 AM

View PostEwigan, on 26 February 2013 - 12:10 AM, said:

I have no clue about competitive play and everything, but one thing seems weird: No LRM-boats at all?


LRMs are very heavy and a very serious commitment on a team. They turn into a massive liability in the brawls, they take up a lot of weight and a hardpoint that could have otherwise gone for powerful SRMs, and on the relatively small maps (mostly) there a lot of times where they never have an opportunity to fire.

Further, good teams are fairly experienced at dodging and avoiding LRMs, so much so that they rarely ever hit. Most maps, even Alpine, offer decent positions to cover from LRMs, and avenues to close distance without eating too many hits. Then ECM makes the whole situation even less appealing.

It's not to say that it can't be done, but it's gotten to the point where very few teams would ever consider it worth the risk.

The C1 Catapult with 2 LRM 15s isn't a bad design. It can really hurt to waste an Assault mech in the backfield with LRMs, despite that Stalkers are sort of built for it. You can always do a Hunchie or Trebuchet or Cent with LRMs, but then you are depriving your team a powerful brawler. It's tough to fit LRMs in.

#19 Tyzh

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 02:05 AM

View PostProtection, on 25 February 2013 - 03:59 PM, said:

Cicada 3M

Second Version: http://mwo.smurfy-ne...a0573932cd4d322


What?! The Tyzhcada is a trade secret! Secret you fool!

#20 Training Instructor

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 03:10 AM

Hah, I've been using the 4xPPC K2 for awhile, especially while I was mastering the variant before they improved PPCs. Always enjoyed it more than the gauss cat. Mine is slightly slower, with a 280xl, but has one additional heat sink.

Also, it's not called the pepsicat, as that makes zero sense.

Call it the lightning cat, the Thorcat, the Odincat, etc, as it rains lightning bolts down on its enemies.

Edited by Training Instructor, 26 February 2013 - 08:21 AM.






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