N7 Piranha shotgun with Extended Barrel mod and Shotgun Shredder Mod. This works for both Gold and Platinum, as my Piranha is level X. Alternatives would include any powerful and lightweight weapon. I optimize for close range only with this build.
Bronze/Silver/Gold: Structural Ergonomics V Gear mod. This is to counterbalance the weight of the Piranha, reducing cooldowns by 15%. Platinum: Structural Ergonomics V Gear mod, Cyclonic Modulator III Armor mod or Adrenaline Module III Armor mod, Warp Ammo IV Ammo mod, Shotgun Rail Amp III Weapon mod. This will be explained later.
Across all difficulty levels, the basic strategy with this character is to devastate enemies at close range. Activate Tech Armor, activate Annihilation Field, then run in close to enemies, hit them with Warp, parry with the Piranha, and repeat. This class is good for crowd control, and excels greatly in one-on-one close range combat. The Tech Armor is only to give the Biotic Annihilator an added 50% damage reduction bonus, essentially making your character twice as hard to kill. Because of this, the Tech Armor is really what makes Annihilation field usable, and is the basis of effectiveness with this character. I will have this on for the whole match, as the detonation of the Tech Armor is not very powerful, being ranked for damage reduction. The Tech Armor also slows power use, so rank six of the power can really go either way, I just prefer the added damage reduction over the alternative of increased power recharge time. To mitigate the added cooldown time of the Biotic Annihilator‘s powers, I always use the Structural Ergonomics V Gear mod. The Warp power does not need to be ranked too high, as it is only needed to detonate the biotic primer from Annihilation Field. I have Warp ranked to level 4 to get the 50% bonus to force and damage of biotic explosions. Annihilation Field is ranked to: have a larger radius, give the Biotic Annihilator added movement speed, have increased duration (90 seconds), drain the shields of enemies to replenish your own. Annihilation
Field’s increased movement speed will let you get enemies in and out of the Field’s enhanced radius quicker, for more biotic explosions, and plus, everyone likes to run faster. Having Tech Armor and Annihilation Field ranked this way adds to the durability of the Biotic Annihilator, making you much harder to kill due to damage reduction(Tech Armor) and quick shield regeneration(Annihilation Field). The increased radius also can set up more enemies for biotic explosions that are best detonated with a teammate with Shockwave. In general, the larger Field also makes priming BE easier. The equipment mods listed for Platinum difficulty are mainly to increase the effectiveness of the Piranha shotgun. The Shotgun Rail Amp III, and Warp Ammo IV make the Piranha much more powerful. Also, the added damage bonus from Warp Ammo will be in effect when firing on nearby enemies affected by the Annihilation Field. The Piranha is also used to fill the lengthened recharge speed of Warp after a Biotic Explosion. Step by step example: Lone Geth Pyro. With Tech Armor and Annihilation Field active, sprint over to the Pyro. Get close enough for Annihilation Field to take effect, and hit the Pyro with Warp. After the Biotic Explosion, move away so the Pyro is out of the Annihilation Field’s radius, and then move back in while bullying and stunning the Pyro with the Piranha until Warp recharges/magazine is empty. Finish off the Pyro with another Biotic Explosion or more Piranha shots. Only use melee to stun a single enemy when the Piranha needs to be reloaded. For a group of enemies, do the same thing as you would with a single enemy. The only difference would be to retreat when necessary to allow your shields to recharge. The Biotic Explosion will stun nearby enemies, making them all vulnerable to the Piranha, and depending on the amount of enemies in the group, you might not even need to move back and forth for the Annihilation Field to take effect, as you only lose the priming effect on the enemy detonated. This build is effective on all enemy types and all enemy characters, but is most effective against the Geth, as there is no risk of being sync-killed (except if you play on Platinum). Caution should be taken when playing Collector, because as a close range specialist, Praetorians and Possessed Abominations are dangerous and numerous. You could solo Gold with this build, but Platinum would be very difficult. The Biotic Annihilator is best used as the spearhead of a two man group, with your teammate covering you from nearby. This build is a driving force on Gold. The best support for the Biotic Annihilator would be a team of a Batarian Slasher, a Drell Vanguard or Adept, and character with throw or another Biotic Annihilator. If you can, avoid teammates with Tech Burst primer powers, as these can be a major troll on your flow, since tech powers take priority of detonation over biotic primers, causing you to waste Warp on a relatively weak Tech Burst instead of a powerful Biotic Explosion, potentially getting you killed. Seriously, Tech powers ccan get you killed! With the Biotic Annihilator, it is important to remember to be aggressive, but to be smart. DO NOT take on too many enemies or risk getting cornered or downed. Only experience can help you gauge the situation and the tactics needed with this character.
3.5 – It takes experience to effectively use the Biotic Annihilator effectively.
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.
Volus Training: Damage & Capacity (4), Power Damage (5)
Fitness: Melee Damage (4), Martial Artist (5), Power Synergy (6)
Primary: Acoylte with Melee Stunner and Ultralight Materials
Secondary: Light shotgun of your choice with Omni-Blade and Shredder Mods
The Kung-Fu Panda is built around Batarian Gauntlets.
Despite having both Biotic Charge and Shield Boost the volus needs a higher base shield, equipping a cyclonic modulator is necessary with how much our diminutive hero will be in the mix.
This little ball of fury is an amazing mook wrecking ball. Biotic Charge and immediately flow into heavy melee to crush the head of any foot soldier, phantoms and collector captains included. The Panda keeps himself protected during this long wind up falcon punch attack utilizing damage reduction from both the melee animation and the post biotic charge bonus for a total of 75% damage blocked. Pick a new target and charge again to refill shields and keep your melee spree going. Kung-Fu Panda is essentially a stunted, less durable Batarian Brawler with Shield Boost to support teammates. While fighting large enemies capable of sync killing your diminutive ass I recommend Biotic Charging them and backing off as you shoot. Don’t try punching a banshee. And remember you still have your cloak. It’s not a bad plan to light melee cloak and immediately fly across the map to punch a dude while cloaked as it tends to keep you that much safer from weapons fire while charging your heavy melee. Our Panda Hero is a grade A medic too.
3.5 – This tiny guy is effective and easy but you’re gonna need your teammates to take down the big bosses for you. And something has to be said about the perverse pleasure to be taken in flying about the battlefield as an little bitty ball of fat, judo chopping baddies in the nuts.
Map Difficulty Rating: This build has the potential for Platinum gameplay
Tactical Cloak: Duration (4), Melee Damage (5), Bonus Power (6)
Dark Channel: Damage (4)
Warp: Detonate (4), Expose (5), Pierce (6)
Asari Adept: Damage & Capacity (4)
Fitness: Melee Damage (4), Martial Artist (5), Power Synergy (6)
Primary: Reegar Carbine with Omni-Blade and Shredder Mod
Secondary: SMG with Ultalight Materials and other mod
Hurricane – Heat Sink, Collector SMG – Extended Mag, other SMG – your mod choice
This build is all about the Incendiary Ammo, even if all you have is level I, use that. Hydraulic Joints, Juggernaut Shield or Berserker Package are all solid choices. Don’t bother with a shotgun amp, the Reegar does plenty of damage for our purposes.
As the name implies, Three Trick Pony has three distinctly different ways to attack.
Trick #1: Cloak, close the distance to the target, Warp, Reegar. This attack gets you within the Reegar’s 10m range safely and allows Warp to nearly always hit. Warp will do several things for this attack plan; stagger the target, increase weapon damage by 15%, reduce armor effectiveness by half and along with the Shredder Mod negates armor reduction entirely. The best thing though is an exploit of Warp’s DOT mechanic. Warp’s DOT damage is registered by the game as incendiary ammo damage. This means shooting the target with incendiary ammo will stack the ammo damage to Warp’s DOT which turns into tens of thousands of damage done to the target over the next 5 seconds that the incendiary ammo does its DOT. And the more times the ammo damage is applied, the more extreme the damage becomes. Simply put, Warp + Incendiary Ammo allows the Reegar to melt armor in addition to health, shields and barriers. Your SMG sidearm is great for situations in which you want to keep your distance while still using the same Warp + Incendiary Ammo tactic.
Trick #2: When necessary the Pony can play it safe by cloaking and hitting a target with Dark Channel. The player can let the DOT do its thing or launch a Warp while still cloaked for a powerful BE. It’s a little counter intuitive but both the Huntress and N7 Shadow can do more damage reliably with Tactical Cloak duration + bonus power than with Tac Cloak damage. Taking duration also allows for better utility for objectives, reviving teammates and running to safety for shield recovery. A longer duration also allows for a heavier weapon load out since there is more time to attack cancel out of cloak and take the automatic 3 second cool down. Also of note, the Huntress’
Tactical Cloak damage bonus only applies to melee and power attacks, which relieves the mental pressure to fire your weapon while cloaked and makes taking cloak duration over damage less of a loss than it is on other classes.
Trick #3: The asari heavy melee when used correctly can utterly wreck crowds. First off, the good qualities; the asari heavy biotic blast is area of attack, does respectable damage to health and receives a 50% increase vs shields, barriers and armor. Now the bad qualities; slow to execute, won’t hit through walls and has a one second recovery period. Counter the first two problems by cloaking a good distance away from your targets and carefully choosing your point of attack. Counter the one second recovery time by making sure you’ve already got a heavy melee kill within the past 30 seconds before attacking a shielded foe, ensuring their death in one blow. You can also hit them with Dark Channel or Warp either on approach or just before the melee.
2 – Since the Three Trick Pony has so many different ways to attack she is adaptable to any situation or any enemy and is an awesome team player with her cloak built for utility. And having so many ways to attack just makes her a blast to play.