Primary: Acolyte with Melee Stunner and Power Magnifier
Secondary: A shotgun with Omni-Blade and High Caliber Barrel
There’s a huge game play choice to be made here. Take Grenade Capacity or Shocktrooper for the ability to spam Cain Trip Mine on bosses. Use Geth Scanner to place Trip Mines more tactically on the fly. Hydraulic Joints or Juggernaut Shield allow you to one shot Dragoons using Armor-Piercing Arrows. Stronghold Package in conjunction with Shield Power cells can greatly increase survivability.
If a weapon enhancement is used, equip Strength Enhancers.
The Talon Merc has been greatly improved since being rebalanced. His heavy melee is now just as fast as his light melee, Killing Spree (5) is no longer a necessity for a melee build, AP Arrows now get 3 arrows per quiver, his grenade regeneration time has been cut by more than half and shooting his bow from left handed cover no longer has such serious hit detection issues. With all that being said, we simply must play him as a melee character since he’s just so unique.
Cain Trip Mine – It’s your crowd control and defensive ability. Instead of using it to destroy enemies coming straight at you I recommend using your limit of 3 mines to fortify a piece of terrain. Place the mines so their beams cross hallways, doorways, ramps, ladders and any other choke points that provide access to where you are. A single mine will kill ANY foot soldier, warn you of approaching enemies and give you the opportunity to replace the mine. Eventually you’ll be overrun. Simply fall back through the unexploded mines and head for another location you can fortify. Enemies will hit the rest of your mines as they pursue you, providing you with enough time to set up the next deathtrap. Another effective way to employ Trip Mines is to shoot them in the path of or at the feet of bosses. Wait for the 3 second arm time and BOOM or keep on shooting more than 3 mines. Deploying more than 3 mines at a time will cause your mines to start exploding one at a time, starting with the oldest.
Concussive Arrow – While it is great fun to launch enemies out of the map with a single shot, ultimately this ability is a gimmick. Armor-Piercing Arrows will kill infantry just the same while weakening armor and doing WAY more damage to bosses.
Armor-Piercing Arrows – Your bread and butter. Always refresh your stock of arrows at the beginning of a wave. Don’t forget that shooting an armored target lowers its damage reduction by 50%. With an Omni-Blade equipped, both melee damage and AP arrow damage is increased by 50%, allowing Hawkeye to one shot nearly any mook. But the heavy melee still takes a second to employ and at close range we need a way to buy that time. The Disciple will stagger anything but the biggest boss, fires quickly, has respectable damage, is the lightest shotgun and is decently accurate. Attaching the High Caliber Barrel increases the likelihood of the Disciple staggering its target. The Acolyte adds 25% melee damage, buffs power damage, is super light, trashes boss shielding and stuns infantry while stripping their protection, which sets them up for a one shot follow up from the AP arrow enhanced Omni-Bow. AP arrows’ one shortfall is they don’t penetrate cover making Guardians a bit of a pain. Counter this with either level 1 AP Rounds, level 1 Drill Rounds, cryo ammo and aim for the feet or lure the slow moving enemy into a trip mine.
Elite Mercenary – Hawkeye dishes out his damage mostly with his powers so focus on Power Damage. Maintaining a light weapons load and taking Power Regeneration (6) permits a very fast 17 second grenade recharge. That’s 1 AP arrow every 6 seconds. This makes his grenade supply nearly endless, without taking trips to ammo boxes. The biggest tactical edge this gives Hawkeye is his ability to strongpoint anywhere on any map. Freed of the need to tether himself to an ammo box or run wildly about the map bouncing from box to box, Hawkeye can focus on setting up and maintaining his defensive perimeter. This increases his survivability immensely.
Fitness – Omni-Bow Damage is a no brainer but be sure to skip Killing Spree. You’ll still one shot mooks with the Omni-bow and anything bigger is going to take 2 or 3 shots anyhow. Shield Recharge reduces the recharge time to almost 3 seconds which is the time it takes for the shield gate to reactivate. Other than trip mines, the shield gate mechanic is your biggest defense but it requires at least 1 point of shields to work so getting that gate back up sooner is far better than 25% additive damage that amounts to nothing.
3 – He’s very easy to use because there is no need to think about power combos. But he’s hard to use because he is pretty squishy. But then he stands up pretty well when he remains in cover and Trip Mines are used as a defense instead of an offense. Just know where some good strongpoint locations are on every map.
Equip the highest Melee Boost attachment you have to a light weight weapon. Ideal would be a Disciple X with Shotgun Omni-Blade and Shredder Mod.
In order of importance, go for Melee Damage, Power Damage, Grenade Count, Shield Strength
CAMP!!!! I’ll say it again in case you didn’t understand the first time. CAMP!!!!
Know where the spawns are and keep as much distance as possible between you and the enemy. Use trip mines or another player to cover your back. Watch the kill feed for your mines to tell when enemies are behind you. This character is incredibly fragile and can easily be dropped by EVERYTHING. The melee for this character is his Omni-Bow which you will spam. Think of the Omni-Bow as your primary weapon. Heavy Melee shoots 5 arrows in a quick burst, Light Melee shoots 5 arrows in a horizontal spread. The arrows home on enemies even cloaked ones and will stun most enemies. The further you are from the enemy the higher your accuracy will be. If enemies get too close, set trip mines and run away. The light melee can be used to quickly stun a close up enemy while you run or fire a heavy melee. An enemy within 2 meters is a death sentence unless you drop them instantly or run. A boss at a distance is best dealt with using Armor-Piercing Arrows (Cain Trip Mines if you’re a good shot), if close up lay mines and run away. You can be a bit more adventurous if you are good with dodge and cover mechanic’s but remember you can be dropped very easily by EVERYTHING. Shooting the bow from cover is no longer as buggy as it was, but it’s still more accurate to shoot out of it. When shooting the bow try to stay off sticky cover if it’s safe. If it helps you understand the strategy I’ve come up with an analogy. Think of yourself as an ant holding a .50 cal, loaded with homing bullets. You can kill everything but everything can kill you just as easily.
For Geth: Hunters and Pyros are the most dangerous as they can easily sneak up on you and have massive DPS. HM unless emergency then CTM or APA, either will drop them on gold. Keep as much distance as possible between you and the enemy.
Primes go down quick with Cain Trip Mines and Armor-Piercing Arrows doing massive damage to armor. The turret and drone can kill you pretty quick, I’ve noticed that even with other players around Primes will agro you, so have some cover you can hide behind.
For Reapers: Banshee’s are your biggest threat, the bow has a tendency to miss them unless your on the other side of the map, and Cain Trip Mines often don’t work because she doesn’t readily walk into them. Shoot Cain Trip Mines at her feet and keep your distance.
Ravagers aren’t a huge threat but Swarmers will kill you in a matter of seconds. Use Armor-Piercing Arrows unless a Cain Trip Mine is guaranteed to trip. Beware of the Swamers and the acid after you kill it. Brutes are not a huge threat use Armor-Piercing Arrows at a distance and Cain Trip Mines up close. Time your dodges and use cover and they cant touch you. Drop husks before they grab you, the time spent dealing with them up close will get you killed.
For Cerberus: Phantoms are you biggest concern hit them with Armor-Piercing Arrows and lure them into Cain Trip Mines. They can drop you with their pistol so beware. Atlases can be a problem with their guns but are easy targets for both Armor-Piercing Arrows and Cain Trip Mines. Get to cover when they agro to you and take pot shots with Armor-Piercing Arrows. Dragoons for obvious reasons are best dropped quick with an Armor-Piercing Arrows or two. Cain Trip Mines if they get close, they will blindly run right into them. Guardians are annoying try to get them with Cain Trip Mines. You could use your gun too. Turrets are best dealt with quickly using Armor-Piercing Arrows. Nemeses can be a problem, time your shots to hit them when they’re out of cover.
For Collectors: Praetorians are best killed with Armor-Piercing Arrows at a distance, you can hit them with a Cain Trip Mines on the ground to do good damage. Scions are easy, Armor-Piercing Arrows at a distance and it’s pretty easy to set up Cain Trip Mines in their path. Abominations are of slight concern Armor-Piercing Arrows the more powerful ones to drop them quickly.
For everything else I didn’t mention use heavy melee, or Armor-Piercing Arrows if they need to die faster. You can trick shot enemies you normally can’t hit by shooting from cover to get the arrows to curve around their cover. Works great for guardians and nemeses, can be difficult to do.
3.5 – To be good with this class you have to have good aim, know when to run, and how to run without getting shot in the back, I would suggest a few trial runs on bronze or silver to make you realize just how fragile this guy is.
Alliance Training: (4) Damage & Capacity, (5) Power Damage
Fitness: (4) Durability
I prefer the N7 Eagle but anything that keeps your recharge over 120% will work. On silver, having one gun will be fine, but on gold you might want to have a secondary SMG (Tempest or Hurricane) with “ultralight materials”. This build is better with a mod that allows you to shoot through cover (piercing mod is ideal).
On silver, you will only need a Gear bonus, like Omni-capacitors, Expert package, or Engineering kit. But on gold bring pistol or smg weapon amp, with incendiary (best) or drills rounds. Cyclonic modulators will help on gold.
On bronze and silver this build willl be able to run around the map taking out foes left and right. First use incinerate on a target, and it will also effect nearby enemies. Next afire off an overload on the same target, which will then set off a fire explosion. Fire explosions do major damage to both shields and armor. This combo takes out low level troops in one blast, the blast is also an AoE and can stagger. Shoot the remaining troops or keep firing off explosions. On gold you may need to use your gun alot more though, because some low level troops tend to survive the blasts with a bar or so of health. Use fire explosions and your gun to take out boss-types (atlases, dragoons, scions, etc.) Be sure to keep a combat drone out, it can deaal out a good amount of damge, and it can distract the enemies. Be careful with this guy, even though he can dish out the damage, he can’t take it, so USE cover!
3.5 – Takes some getting used to the lack of shields and health. Otherwise very easy to use and master. Praetorians and phantoms are to be feared for their barriers, but with the right ammo, you can do it. Banshees have barriers as well but if you can stay a good distance away, and fire off incinerate and overload when you can, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
The Reegar Carbine with Omni-Blade and High Velocity Barrel and the Black Widow with High Velocity Barrel and Thermal Scope.
Beserker Package, Shotgun Amp, Hydraulic Joints, whatever you fancy for a shotgun/melee build.
A lot of people hate the vorcha hunter engineer with its broken powers that don’t synergize and possess no real umph striking capability. All this makes for the perfect melee build candidate.
I’ll start by explaining the power and weapon choices. Bloodlust provides survivability and submission net is the utility/team synergy power. Ignoring incinerate leaves more time to throw out submission net. The Reegar gives the ability to drop shields, barriers and line troopers. The Black Widow (or any other heavy weapon) replaces incinerate with its ability to tear through armor.
The basic strategy is pretty simple. Step one is to turn on Bloodlust and get a kill with your long range weapon of choice. Step two is to switch to the Reegar and charge in to get a heavy melee kill, pushing both melee and weapon damage through the roof. Step three, go to town and wreck shop. Vorcha have amazing dodge abilities, use them often. Submission net is great to get your first kill or to immobilize Phantoms/Collector Captains/Nemeses/Possessed Collectors. Also, when dropped on a heavy enemy the electric pulses will trigger tech bursts on surrounding enemies. There’s no need for a fast recharge either because you don’t have Incinerate to share the cool down time with and besides which you’re gonna be bezerking everything in sight anyhow.
4 – Hard to master but surprisingly effective when you do. You’ll need decent weapons and weapon attachments too. Vorcha are crazy tough but not invincible, still requiring short moments here and there to recover. So remember to dodge, dip, duck, dive and dodge.
My favourite weapon on this class is the Particle Rifle with Piercing Mod and Extended Magazine. The Particle Rifle is excellent at triggering ammo powers so that’s why we use it. Other options include: N7 Hurricane with SMG Recoil Systems and High-Velocity Barrel; Cerberus Harrier with Extended Mazagine and Piercing Mod; M-11 Wraith with High-Velocity Barrel and Spare Thermal Clip; M-358 Talon with Pistol Heavy Barrel and Piercing Mod. You can also take the Acolyte with Pistol Heavy Barrel (or High Caliber Barrel if you don’t have it) and Ultralight Materials as a sidearm.
You’ll want Incendiary Rounds with this guy; using sustained weapon fire to prime and then detonating with Homing Grenade because that’ll be half of all your tech bursts. Use Cyclonic Modulators for armor bonus or Power Efficiency Module. You want to use Sabotage often, but it has the same base cooldown as Biotic Charge and its even longer if your weapon is low level or heavy. Use the respective weapon bonus for the weapon you’re using and use Grenade Capacity for the gear bonus.
The recent change to Sabotage has just made the Turian Saboteur all the more useable and likeable. He was pretty fun to begin with, his powers go well together but he’s a bit different to play as in regards to the other Armiger Legion Turians.
You want to skip Sentry Turret, this is because he is a bit more fragile than the other Turians, plus Sentry Turret isn’t an amazing power especially considering his other two powers are vastly superior. For Sabotage, you want Backfire. This is the gold of Sabotage, once an organic enemy is hit with Sabotage and tries to shoot, that’s when Backfire deals damage and primes the target for a Tech Burst. At Rank 5, Explosive Hack is incredibly handy for Geth, and Cerberus Turrets and Atlases. In saying that, if you don’t intend to play Geth or Cerberus with this class often then go for Recharge Speed so you can spam Sabotage for tech bursts. Tech Vulnerability is half the reason you spec into Sabotage (the other being Backfire), its 50% more tech damage to targets for 10 seconds. I believe that Homing Grenade will receive that damage bonus because it is a tech grenade. As for Homing Grenade, Radius allows Homing Grenade to stretch as wide as Sabotage. Fire Damage gives Homing Grenade a nice amount of DoT but does not set up Fire Explosions. And Armor Damage makes Homing Grenade amazing against bosses. You need to spec into Homing Grenade to get Tech Bursts out of Sabotage, as it is your only detonating power. For the passive, you want maximum Power Damage, followed by Damage and Stability at Rank 6 for improved weapon damage and control. Finally, Fitness is all shields.
The Turian Saboteur is better against Cerberus and Geth because Sabotage better against than Reapers and Collectors solely because of Sabotage. But no matter what enemy you are up against, you will need Sabotage! Between the minions and bosses, you’ll have to switch from Sabotage and Homing Grenade to gunfire and Homing Grenade. This is for the Tech Bursts and Fire Explosions. The strategy for the organic trooper enemies is to prime them with Sabotage. Because Backfire only affects organic enemies, they’ll hurt themselves a few seconds after Sabotage does its damage and that is what primes them. That’s when you launch the grenade. Geth can be mowed down with Sabotage and gunfire, with Homing Grenades for clusters of enemies and Pyros/Bombers. At mid-tier armored foes, you’re better to switch to gunfire and Homing Grenades. Sustained fire from the Particle Rifle with Incendiary Rounds III or IV should prime the target rather quickly, only to be followed up with Homing Grenade, causing massive damage because the targets are armored and doing additional damage for the Fire Explosion. Finally for our big bosses (Atlas, Prime, Banshee, Praetorian), Sabotage will hack Atlases and Primes which is a hilarious feat. And fast-fire Assault Rifles are some of the weapons against shields. Once the bosses have their shields down, abuse Fire Explosions with Incendiary ammo and Homing Grenades.
The Turian Saboteur has the least room for error in terms of every Turian in the game. The basic Sentinel has Tech Armor for enhanced Protection, the basic Soldier has Proximity Mine for staggering, and the Ghost and the Havoc have Stimulant Pack. Even after the nerf of it, it still applies a massive survivability bonus to the Turians, and not having that requires maxed shields and smarter play. He is very grenade dependant, as that is half of his damage output. He’s flawed, but wholly useable. He is the only engineer to have Sabotage which is an incredibly handy power and who doesn’t like Homing Grenade? The downside is that since the lowered the cooldown time of Sabotage, but weakening its damage in the process, it has made his Sabotage the weakest in terms of Backfire damage; but remember, we’re using it mostly for the Tech Bursts. Plus, this is all on a Turian, meaning you get the handy stability bonuses to help handle those weapons with shocking recoil.
3.5 – The Turian Saboteur is neat, has a great skill set, has Turian weapon stability and an awesome dodge. But the lack of Stimulant Pack makes him harder to use over the other two Retaliation Turian characters. Still powerful, you’ll base this one around power damage unlike the other two, but you’ll still benefit from the weapon handling. For those using the Particle Rifle, at lower levels it is quite heavy and you need to be very carefully to not run the clip dry, or you’ll suffer that tragic and deadly 3 second warm-up period. Practice makes perfect.