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[Guide] The Ultimate Cataphract Guide


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#1 Hex Pallett

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 03:03 PM

I made this mainly because someone just posted a very crappy CTF guide - I'm not gonna point it out for ya, but it's out there :rolleyes: Don't look for it.

So Cataphract is, until Jagermech comes out, probably the best ballistic platform among all announced IS 'Mechs. Four of the variants have a ballistic hardpoint in side torso (AC20 FK YEAH), three of which have them in arms and two of them have ballistics in BOTH arms. Not mentioning that most variants have energy hardpoints VERY high up on their side torsos, allowing you to install LLas/PPC over there and peekaboo from cover.

Also it is borderland impossible to headshot a CTF.

In short, Cataphracts is ideal for long-range direct-fire support, sniping AND brawling, whichever you prefer.

That doesn't mena Cataphracts are flawless. Their pancake torsos are quite handy for soaking LRMs, and the low ballistic positions means you'll have to expose yourself greatly in order to hit the target. Though pancakes are quite slim when looked from the sides, but still, try to stay close to cover, or teammates. And don't go alltheway when brawling. You can't beat an Atlas face to face.

Let's get down to the builds. Note that I don't have 2X and 3D, and those builds are purely theoretical. But I have elite on most other variants so my theories are practical, so don't judge me.

===========================================================================

CTF-1X: XL335, 20DHS, Endo, 2xLL, 1xERPPC, 2xML

Embrace the blasphemy! A Cataphract without any Autocannon. But hey, remember what I said about shoulder lasers? This is it. The two LLas are perfect for early-game cover-popping, plus the best all-range falcon punch in the left hand and the best CQB dagger in the right hand. And TWENTY DHS! A very smooth, agile and comfortable build, ideal for long-range fire support.

But, you may ask: it has an XL which means you'll die fast when your side torsos are shot. And my answer would be: you know what else dies fast? A slow chunk of steel.

And of course you could try the more conventional AC20 brawler: STD300, 15DHS, Endo, 1xAC20(3ton), 5xML. Not a slow build by any stretch of imagination, and not something to be ignored when this thing Alpha strikes.

===========================================================================

CTF-2X: STD300, 13DHS, Endo, 1xAC20(3ton), 2xSSRM2(1ton), 2xML, TAG

Same idea with the conventional 1X, slightly better for finishing off Lights. Also TAG may bring you bonus moneh!

Wait, what did you...no, no no NO. Don't you dare mentioning LRM on a Cataphract. Just don't. Don't. DON'T.

Oh, you mean a pair of SRM4. That's a good idea, but then you'll have to downgrade the engine to free up more weight. You'll be better off doing that on an Atlas.

===========================================================================

CTF-3D: XL340, 18DHS, Endo, 3xJJ, 4xLL

3D in itself is not a good variant, mostly because the stock XL engine and the JumpJet capability doesn't really judge the price. Which is why I skipped this variant in my Mechbay. But nonetheless, this is a fun build simply because an LL has a 4-second firing cycle, meaning that with some practice you can constantly chainfire the four LLas all the time, until you need to cool down. And with the 18 DHS of yours, you can keep firing for quite a while.

And you can jump around

===========================================================================

CTF-4X: XL255, 15DHS, Endo, 4xAC2(6ton), 2xMPL

My ABSOLUTE favorite ballistic 'Mech. Long-range direct fire support to the perfection. An AC2 has a 4 DPS, and by comparison an AC20 has 5 DPS, and AC5 is something around 2.8.

And you have four of this.

I've done so many ridiculous things with this build. Once I was facing another 4X boating quad AC5 who's pilot obviously thought he could argue with numbers. We just stood there and shot at each other. I won, because I sided with numbers. Oh, and I've cored quite a few Assaults who obviously believe their CT armor are good enough to tank the damage while charging me head on.

Unfortunately the engine is capped at 255, making it as slow as an Assault and quite vulnerable against brawlers and Light 'Mechs. Remember to position away from the frontline, but try not to stay too far from your comrades.

===========================================================================

Muromet: XL300, 10DHS(engine), Endo, 2xGauss(5ton), 2xML

The perfect sniper. Highly mobile considering the firepower, admirable range, beautiful burst damage and never overheats - unlike those PPCboat-trollcannon. If you're paranoid about Gauss exploding (in case you don't know, all ammo explode with the exception of Gauss rifle, which the weapon ITSELF explode. search "ammo explosion" for more info), simply take off a ton of ammo and install two CASEs, and you'll still land around 600 damage if you're a good shot. Speaking of Gauss explosion...LOL Gausspult LOLOLOL :D

Of course you can utilize the side torso ballistic hardpoint and boat triple-UAC5, but you know, UAC jams. I prefer striking deep and hard, instead of short and fast but having to stop halfway to...answer telephone, which totally breaks the mood.

(Gawd I'm awful at these jokes.)

Just in case, if you b*tch about how expensive a Hero 'Mech is, open your f[beep]ing eyes and look around at how much contents the devs are giving you for F[beep]ing FREE.

===========================================================================

And that pretty much covers most important things about Cataphracts. It's still one man's work so we'll be grateful if you're a constructive critic. Feel free to check our my most-viewed Hunchback guide and not-much-loved Awesome guide and this and that and pots and pans. I bid you good day, ladies.

Edited by Helmstif, 17 February 2013 - 08:24 PM.


#2 joedawg39s

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 08:56 PM

Good guide, heres my baby.

CTF-2X XL and Gauss Like a crazy person, hate on the XL all you want but, you can't deny a 60 point alpha you can fire all day and 86.6 kph with speed tweak. This isint a brawler so much as a heavy flanker (aka kill stealer). Once you get behind something you are going to take off its rear armor. I can core a hunchback in one alpha if I can catch him standing still and hit with all the srms. Once the rear armor is gone he's either going to have to turn to face you and show his back to your team or start evading and ruin his damage output while you finish him off.(Works great on LRM boats and solo assualt mechs)
You can still take decent damage just protect your torsos by twisting and use the speed to stay out of the open (urban areas are your friend).

credit where cedit is due

#3 Hex Pallett

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 01:21 AM

View Postjoedawg39s, on 17 February 2013 - 08:56 PM, said:

Good guide, heres my baby.

CTF-2X XL and Gauss Like a crazy person, hate on the XL all you want but, you can't deny a 60 point alpha you can fire all day and 86.6 kph with speed tweak. This isint a brawler so much as a heavy flanker (aka kill stealer). Once you get behind something you are going to take off its rear armor. I can core a hunchback in one alpha if I can catch him standing still and hit with all the srms. Once the rear armor is gone he's either going to have to turn to face you and show his back to your team or start evading and ruin his damage output while you finish him off.(Works great on LRM boats and solo assualt mechs)
You can still take decent damage just protect your torsos by twisting and use the speed to stay out of the open (urban areas are your friend).

credit where cedit is due


http://mwo.smurfy-ne...d6618af512045e8

Personally I would recommend to switch the 2xSRM6 to 2xArtemis SRM4 for MUCH tighter spread, unless you really feel like taking this thing to point-blank range, which yourself mentioned not the best idea..

I even have 3xASRM4 on my DDC instead of ASRM6.

Edited by Helmstif, 18 February 2013 - 01:23 AM.


#4 z3a1ot

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 04:42 AM

My personal favorite CTF-1X:

STD engine 270 (hate xl engines) 68 kph with speed tweak
Endo Steel and DHS upgrades

Weapons: 3*ML, 2*LL, 1*AC10

Most damage i dealt with this setup in a match was over 800, i usualy deal around 400 and more depending on a quality of my team. In my opinion this is good allrounder build.

#5 Lmxar

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 04:44 AM

I have a 1X, 4X, and an IM. I like the guide, but from what I have seen others do, the 3D can be even more effective than an IM as a gauss sniper if used well. The JJ really help with that. As to the jamming of the UAC5, if you chainfire them, you don't have to deal with jams, but you also get the added burst when something gets in your face. You also get more screen shake with an AC5 vs AC2. And my IM can move around 71-71 KPH, so when somebody targets the mech pouring dakka onto their team (it is going to happen...) it is easier to get to cover and re-position.

Don't get me wrong, I love the 4X, and have boated various AC configs. I agree that the 4X can be the most fun. My favorite build for lulz was the 2 UAC5, 2AC5, 2 ML build. I still remember an atlas with coming around the corner like 200m away from me and opening up when I was facing another direction, I came around and held the alpha button down... Got really lucky and didn't have any UAC jams for like 5 seconds, and the atlas turned around and tried to run away from a heavy with an XL engine.

If you ever get tired of boating AC2s on the 4X, selfish had a great build I enjoy. 2 AC10s, 2 ML, 1 SRM4, STD 255. He also had a good 2X build (2ML, 1LL, AC10, 2 SRM6, AMS, STD 280), though I have not bought the 2X to try it.

I did really like the guide though!

#6 spatulaodoom

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 07:46 AM

I've got the 4x, 2x, and 3d.
The 3d mounts a pair of Gauss rifles. I alternate between 4Mlas or 4 jumpjets. Because both rifles are on the right side you can edge around buildings and minimize exposure. Obviously it's got the low firing arm problem all Phracts do.

With the 4x I usually boat AC2's. Was amazing before the earthquake simulator nerf, then dropped down to meh, then back up to good with the flightspeed upgrade AC's got.

And with the 2x I alternate between 3ll's and an AC20 and a boat of Mlas, srm6's, and a UAC5. Both are brawler builds.

Right now I much prefer my gaussaphract. I've shelved the 4x and am working the 2x up to the last bit of xp for elite unlocks. Once I've got the elite unlocked I'll probably shelve the 2/4X. Being a free player currently I don't have as much cred to experiment with as I'd like (obviously).

#7 Squishh

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 11:14 AM

I prefer this shotgun style build just because I can swat away fast moving scout mechs with no effort at all. Also this build still can put down a nice alpha strike on heavies and above. I cant count how many times I have taken out a leg on a circling scout, and then trucked them with my next alpha.

2x build

STD 280 - 64.8 Kph
55 Firepower
Endosteel
15 DHS
416 standard armor points
LBX10 - 2 tons of ammo
SRM6x2 - 3 tons of ammo
3 Medium lasers (Keybound for both an alpha, and single chain fire sequence)
AMS - 1 ton of ammo

http://mwo.smurfy-ne...4ecad93aaea7029

I did try an AC20 variant of this chasis type. I did fine at opening up slower mechs. The SRM6's were not enough to leg-n-truck fast movers.

One really big con with this build is you have to get within medium or close ranges to be effective.

Edited by Squishh, 20 February 2013 - 12:23 PM.


#8 Lach Stock

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 12:05 AM

This probably isn't a build to suit most people, but I run a 340XL with 3LPLas and 2MPLas. You can 42 alpha with relatively high frequency and almost continually fire your 3LPLas. The 2MPLas allow you to keep laying down damage when you need to cool down a little bit.

#9 Hex Pallett

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 11:23 PM

I need to say that I regret not arming my 1X in a traditional manner. I gathered courage today and "downgraded" my 1X to 1xAC20 with three tons of ammo and five MLas.

Oh all the glory ensued.

Posted Image

Posted Image

Seriously. Get yourself an 1X.

#10 Op4blushift

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 01:02 AM

^ Some might argue that the 3D is slightly superior in that role because of JJs and their added maneuverability (although it is in exchange for that extra medium laser). Really though, I guess its a matter of personal taste and how important JJs are for you.

#11 Ewigan

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 01:30 AM

Well, i am having a hard time with my 3D.
At first i ran it like that:

http://mwo.smurfy-ne...bb6da32c1b7c6df

But this build is kinda squishy, AND the low hung arms make the PPCs in it kinda hard to use. Jumpsniping is fun AND challenging these days, but somehow... meh.

Anyway, i (theoretically) rebuild it to be a brawler:

http://mwo.smurfy-ne...4a27927e20d348b

#12 Will HellFire

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 01:41 AM

My current favorite build is 3D with 2 Medium Pulse in the arms, 2 Mediums in the torsos and AC20 with 35 shots. JJ of course! Jump and twist in close quarters to spread the damage. This Mech is a beast in close quarters, you need only take care of hiding behind an assault until the brawl starts.

#13 Darkspell

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 04:46 AM

Im playing this build: CTF-3D

CTF-3D
Stock XL Engine 280 (Upgrade to 300 maybe this week)
2 AC5 (5 tons Amunition)
4 Meduim Pulse Laser
2 Jump jets
16 DHS

Got a good brawler with a nice medium range punch, and the pulse lasers hurt like hell in close combat.
Got 3 very good games with about 900 dmg yesterday, average is about 400-600.

And there is the Loadout with the 300XL, i added FF Armor because i got 14 slots left. Added some armor to arms and legs.

CTF-3D 300 XL

Edited by Darkspell, 02 July 2013 - 05:12 AM.


#14 Hex Pallett

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 12:32 PM

View PostDarkspell, on 02 July 2013 - 04:46 AM, said:

Im playing this build: CTF-3D
CTF-3D
Stock XL Engine 280 (Upgrade to 300 maybe this week)
2 AC5 (5 tons Amunition)
4 Meduim Pulse Laser
2 Jump jets
16 DHS


I'm fairly sure you need no more than 12 DHS to stay cool if you have even the slightest sense of heat management. Therefore, why not UAC5s and more ammo?

Edited by Helmstif, 04 July 2013 - 12:32 PM.


#15 Victor Morson

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 01:06 PM

Anyone telling you to run a 3D without 2 PPCs and a Gauss is giving you bad advice.

Your customization options are pretty much "AMS or two backup lasers?"

#16 Cellinor

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Posted 11 October 2014 - 08:16 AM

I picked up the Ilya earlier in the year during one of the sales. She has been a beast for me with the 3 AC/5 build...absolutely wrecking more matches than not. So I decided it is time to complete the chassis. My 2nd will be the 3D. My question for all here is what my 3rd is going to be. It look like I am trying to decide between the 1X and 2X. Who works best?

#17 Elizander

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Posted 11 October 2014 - 08:49 AM

View PostCellinor, on 11 October 2014 - 08:16 AM, said:

I picked up the Ilya earlier in the year during one of the sales. She has been a beast for me with the 3 AC/5 build...absolutely wrecking more matches than not. So I decided it is time to complete the chassis. My 2nd will be the 3D. My question for all here is what my 3rd is going to be. It look like I am trying to decide between the 1X and 2X. Who works best?


The 4X can carry 2 UAC5s and 2 AC5s though it's a bit slow. It can dakka harder than the Ilya.





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