Build Title: Baby’s First Sniper
Class: Salarian Infiltrator
Map Difficulty Rating: This build has the potential for Platinum gameplay
Tactical Cloak: (4) Duration*, (5) Recharge Speed, (6) Sniper Damage
Proximity Mine: (4) Radius, (5) Damage Taken, (6) Damage
Energy Drain: (4) Damage**, (5) Drain, (6) Armor Boost**
Salarian Operative: (4) Weapon Damage, (5) Power Damage, (6) Weapon Damage
*Most Sniper Rifle Infiltrators should use Damage, but even without the extra 40%, your shots are still very powerful. I evolve Tactical Cloak for Duration because I like having security for the Device objectives.
**Energy Drain is interesting. If you play off-host more than on, take Radius at Rank 4 and Damage at Rank 6. If you play on-host more than off, use the given evolution. This is because Armor Boost does not work off-host.
There are a few different Sniper Rifles you can use for this build, each have their positives and negatives. I recommend the Javelin, M-98 Widow, the Black Widow, or my personal favourite, the Kishock Harpoon Gun. Put Extended Barrel and Spare Thermal Clip on the Sniper you use. The two Widow snipers have innate piercing and the Kishock doesn’t need it. I believe Javelin X gives you a -0%/+0% Recharge Speed. Kishock X yields +100% Recharge Speed and M-98 Widow X yields +40%. I assume Black Widow X will give something between +40% and +70%. M-98 Widow is one, powerful shot with slow reload. Black Widow is 3 not so powerful shots with a quicker reload. Kishock is one powerful shot with DoT and a quick reload. Hence favourite. Also, even though the Javelin is amazing, it’s not the best on a power-dependant infiltrator unless it is of a high level. Remember, the M-98 Widow X is actually better than the Javelin I.
Phasic Rounds. It practically negates shield gate which is the bane of all Snipers, and allows you to take the shields of a Prime down with incredible ease, two shots with the M-98 Widow X to be exact and nearly one shot with the Javelin III. Use a Sniper Rifle Rail Amp and either Cyclonic Modulator (Kishock, Black Widow, M-98 Widow) or Power Efficiency Module (Black Widow or M-98 Widow). For gear, I recommend the Operative Package. +12% Tech Power Damage and +12% Sniper Rifle Damage at V; it’s a nice addition having a supercharged Proximity Mine and a potent Energy Drain.
The Salarian Infiltrator, the best Sniper Infiltrator in the multiplayer scene in my personal opinion. It has your bread and butter Tactical Cloak, the debuffing Proximity Mine and shield-stripper, self-healer Energy Drain. It is not a hard class to play and has benefits against all factions. I’ll go over the powers, then the enemies and then the “issues” if you can call them that with the build.
Tactical Cloak is mostly standard for Sniper builds. Normally, all sniper builds should have Damage at Rank 4 but I prefer Duration just for the objectives and your damage is still stellar without the extra 40%. It’s totally your preference. There is no point in Melee Damage on Cloak, so go for Recharge. Rank 6 is tailored to sniper rifles, with a bonus of 25% damage. You could go for Bonus Power to fire off a Proximity Mine before the sniper shot but, you get 25% more damage from the Sniper Damage and only 20% debuff from the cloaked Proximity Mine. Proximity Mine is standard for most builds. Radius to increase that 20% Damage Taken’s effectiveness. Appplying that debuff on more enemies will help your whole squad. You don’t need the extra damage on Proximity Mine, but it is nice. You can opt to put 3 Ranks in Fitness instead, but you should never put less than 5 Ranks in Proximity Mine and you should always get Damage Taken. If you want to play using the Javelin however, go for Recharge Speed at Rank 6. I would only every recommend using the Javelin on a power-dependant class if it was at least a Javelin V. My Energy Drain evolution is tailored to playing on-host. You get a little extra damage on it to strip more shields, you always take the Drain at Rank 5 so it regenerates all of your shields and I take Armor Boost which gives me 40% Damage Reduction for 10 seconds. This last one only works if you play on-host so otherwise use the alternative evolution I listed above. The passive is evolved for maximum Weapon Damage with the Power Damage bonus, as you don’t necessarily need the extra 20% Headshot damage, it could be nice for bosses but you get more out of the extra damage on Energy Drain.
The Salarian Infiltrator doesn’t have a niche… Because it is amazing against each faction. Energy Drain drains the shields and barriers of your targets, Proximity Mine weakens bosses and kills weaker enemies out-right and a sniper shot while Cloaked deals massive damage. He faces little trouble against trooper-level enemies (Assault Troopers, Nemeses, Centurions, Combat Engineers, Geth Troopers, Geth Rocket Troopers, Geth Pyros, Geth Bombers, Cannibals, Husks, Marauders, Collector Troopers, Collector Captains and Abominations) as most can’t survive a cloaked sniper shot, and a prior Proximity Mine or Energy Drain should weaken them enough for a quick kill with your sniper (well… at least on Gold, as long as you have the amps, it should be the same on Platinum). Even if the enemy closes in on you, like a Geth Hunter for example. If you can see it coming, place a Proximity Mine behind you as a trap and then kill it while it’s staggered. Phantoms are a little more complicated. You’ll use Proximity Mine to pre-empt their Barrier use, which keeps them still for a few seconds. That’s enough time to pull out your sniper and give it a quick headshot which should kill it. If using the Kishock, it’s bleed effect will do this if the shot wasn’t enough itself. Dragoons will fall to the same technique, except they don’t stand still when you Proximity Mine them, you’ll most likely get a stagger out of it.
For Brutes, Ravagers and Scions, your sniper will work wonders. Especially when those enemies are under the influence of Proximity Mine. It should only take a few shots to kill them provided you aim for their weak-points (Brute’s Head or Underbelly, Scion’s Head or Tumors, Ravager’s Underbelly or Forehead…if you could call it that).
Bosses like Banshees, Altases, Geth Primes and Praetorians will fall in the same manner, using Proximity Mine to weaken them and Cloaked sniper headshots in-between (Atlas’s groin once armor is shot off or Canopy, Prime’s head, Banshee’s head, Praetorian’s jaw). Use Energy Drain only to regenerate your shields here, as the damage you and your team will deal to bosses affected by Proximity Mine will be huge. Good teamwork and synergy will make quick work of bosses.
The Salarian Infiltrator covers all the bases. He can do objectives, debuff enemies, one-shot-kill troopers and heal his own shields. His lack of defence shouldn’t really be an issue as long as you can Energy Drain when you need to. If playing as host, that Armor Boost upgrade will definitely benefit you. If you’re caught off-guard and on cooldown, you don’t have much survivability so if you don’t want to go down, pre-empt a Special Ops Pack or hope that you can use Energy Drain rather soon.
1.5 – This build is simple to use and simple to succeed with. The most difficult things about this character is getting it and the weapons. It is one of the many Rare character kits, but it was the last character I got before Retailation came out (I’ve got ‘em all). The Kishock and M-98 Widow are Rare and the Black Widow is oddly enough blacklisted. If you have difficulty sniping in this game, this is a great build to begin to learn. Be aware of your shields though, Energy Drain when they’re low if you can or get out of the way.