*Click* “Hello.” – by Matt
(In honor of the Click Hello trope on TVTropes.org)
Tactical Cloak: Damage (4), Recharge Speed (5), Bonus Power (6)
Cryo Blast: Radius OR Duration with Radius preferred personally (4), Cryo Explosion (5), Frozen Vulnerability (6)
Sticky Grenade: N/A
Alliance Training: Weapon Damage (4), Headshot Damage (5), Weapon Damage (6) (NOTE: Choosing Damage and Capacity (4) and Weapon Weight (6) can also be very viable, to allow you to use TC (and by extension Cyro Blast) more often, for its damage bonuses. Depending on your Claymore rank and playstyle, it’s up to you)
Fitness: Durability (4), Shield Recharge (5), Fitness Expert (6)
Suggested: M-300 Claymore, with Extended Barrel and Smart Choke attachments. Spare Ammo attachment is also a good choice if you don’t want to constantly scramble around for ammo. Note that this weapon, especially with Smart Choke attached, is actually quite accurate out to medium (and a little further, even) range. Getting headshots on med-long is common. Reload Animation Cancelling is highly recommended with this weapon, especially if you can cancel out the animation with productive actions, like cloaking or meleeing (or taking cover). Additionally, the Claymore has absolutely insane burst damage when used with the TC/CryoBlast/Headshot/
Alternates: Geth Plasma Shotgun (though be prepared to work your cloak around the charge mechanic, and ammo could also be a problem), Graal (note that currently, projectiles might not appear/work properly due to bugs/netcode issues), and possibly Wraith.
NOTE: A Shuriken X or Predator X should not add to your weight penalty at all, if I remember correctly. I may have misremembered the final power evolution for AT, so the weight reduction of 20% of all weapons renders the already low weight of those weapons to 0. Having either of those as a backup weapon is VERY helpful, either for finishing off nearly-dead enemies, or a backup weapon when you can’t reach ammo. Or when taking out Swarmers.
This is a surprisingly flexible build. There are a few roles it is particularly well suited for:
1) Assassination: Take out the “priority targets” by running right past the enemy, up to the target, hit it with Cryo Blast while cloaked, and follow it up with a point blank Claymore shot to the head. On Silver, this will kill all non-armored enemies in a single shot, including Phantoms. However, you don’t need to go point blank, either, for many enemies. Cloak, get to a good position, hit your target(s) with the Cryo Blast, and then fire that weapon from short-med at the head/neck, and get the kill.
2) Focusing Down High-Tier Enemies: This build is VERY good at taking down high-tier enemies, so long as one can avoid (or not have to deal with) other enemies simultaneously. Cloak, hit with Cryo Blast–which weakens their armor by 25%, and increases all damage done to them by 25% (!), hit with a Claymore headshot (or bodyshot if there aren’t any weakpoints). On Silver, even from medium range, I can use this tactic to kill a Brute in two shots (with only a Claymore 1, too). When your teammates help with you, boss-enemies go down FAST.
3) Medic: A common Infiltrator role, except that this build is well suited for close range combat to begin with (and is usually up close with the enemy anyway, and is thus usually close by), and the Cryo Blast (especially with Radius (4) can stagger multiple enemies to buy you time for reviving someone.
4) Objectives: You can disable/enable devices almost by yourself by cloaking, running to the objective undetected, and then cloaking again right next to the objective; you can complete it entirely before your cloak runs out. Additionally, you can combine #1 above with this to good effect.
5) Thin the Mob ranks: On Silver, at least, with a mere Claymore 1, I usually take out all Marauder-level enemies and below (including Geth Hunters, and possibly even Geth Pyros) in a single shot. When you get into a rhythm, you can oneshot all non-armored enemies, even from short/medium range. This helps to significantly thin the ranks of enemies over time, especially since you can often engage them on your own terms.
6) Power Efficiency: The reason I chose Bonus Power instead of Sniper Damage on TC-6 is because, aside from this being a shotgun infiltrator build, you can freely use cryo blast during your cloak, even multiple times, and then pick your target, line up your shot, and take action on your own terms. I later learned that, as the debuffing/weakening of enemies with Cryo blast only works after it hits the enemy, you can effectively use the combo every time you cloak, and you don’t have to worry about reducing the recharge time of Cryo Blast as its cooldown time is overridden by TC’s cooldown time.
The challenge is being aware of what your team needs most at any given time, and deciding how to do that most effectively. Thus, despite being a shotgun infiltrator build, you should NOT take unecessary risks unless the reward is quite high (and you think your teammates can bail you out/revive you, or you can revive yourself and get out of there). Remember, the Claymore with Smart Choke is just as effective at short range as it is at point blank, and it’s also quite effective at medium range.
So, make sure you always:
A) Keep aware of your surroundings and your team’s situation, and adapt accordingly.
B) No unnecessary risks.
C) Prioritize your targets.
D) Identify a way out of a situation/attack if things go wrong before attacking.
E) Don’t hesitate to retreat/hide if you start taking too much fire (or you’re about to) unless definitely necessary. You’re also a medic/objective runner.
4. Getting up close with the enemy is a must (but only sometimes), and using the Claymore makes every shot count. When you have to take on the boss enemies, this can be risky if something catches you off guard (like a Geth Hunter…), so you have to be very aware of the situation every time you engage at close range. Your aim has to be good, and your decision making has to also be quite good to really get the effectiveness out of this build. Remember: this build is far more about helping your team win than it is getting lots of kills.
Appearance: I suggest wearing visually distinct armor so that your teammates never confuse you with the enemy, especially since you’ll be randomly appearing near the enemy a lot, to them. Bright Pinks/Purples, Yellows/Oranges, Greens, etc.
Claymore 1 has 8 shots in reserve. Getting higher ranking Claymores is very helpful, not just because of the damage increases and weight reductions, but because the increase in the spare ammo–even with a spare ammo mod, every shot counts.
Thus, always be aware of your ammo count. You don’t want to find yourself out of ammo in the middle of a fight, or when you need to finish off a target. Ideally, you should be working your way towards additional ammo before you run out/get too low. That said, if an emergency, don’t hesitate to use the additional ammo consumable–it helps a LOT in a pinch.
-edits by Lucien Midnight