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.
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.
Primary: A lightweight and “accurate” shotgun with Blade Attachment and High-Velocity Barrel. The best is the Wraith but the Eviscerator and Disciple also work.
Secondary: Acolyte with Ultralight Materials and High Caliber Barrel
Use Shock Trooper gear if it gives you 2 grenade slots, otherwise use Grenade Capacity.
The Alliance Infiltration Unit is the consummate close quarters specialist. Tac Cloak is useful as it always is but provides extra shotgun damage instead of sniper damage. Snap Freeze sets up cryo explosions, staggers across a wide area, provides 10% vulnerability and weakens armor 25%. That last one is a big one especially coupled with High-Velocity Barrel. The damage of every shot against an armored target is reduced by 50 so for shotguns which spread their damage over 8 pellets, that’s 400 damage resisted per shot by armored targets. But with 25% weakening and 65% piercing, only 40 damage is shrugged off by armored targets. Repair Matrix almost feels like cheating. The increased movement speed paired with the acrobatic dodges (which reduce damage taken by 50%) means you simply don’t get hit. So when you get hit, Repair Matrix reduced damage taken by 40% and if you’re hit in the middle of a dodge then that’s 90% damage ignored. That measly 10% is quickly repaired by the 235 shield points regenerating per second. And should you go down for some reason, you get back up with full health and enough invulnerability time to activate another repair matrix, cloak, and side flip to safety. Activating Repair Matrix has no animation which means doing so is instantaneous so long as you aren’t staggered and being a grenade power, using it will not cause you to decloak.
The T-1000’s offense is an extremely fast rotation mixing cloak, Snap Freeze, heavy melee and shotgun blasts. The Wraith’s only shortfall is the time delay between shots. The Infiltration Unit’s heavy melee is both powerful and crazy fast. This speed allows heavy melee to be used to cancel the last second of Snap Freeze that does nothing but slow down the attack and to fill the space in between shots from the Wraith to maintain a continuous assault. Also, once an enemy is killed by heavy melee the T-1000 gains 25% weapon damage for 20 seconds which is equivalent to maxing out Unshackled AI for weapon damage. An assault run looks something like this; Cloak, close distance to enemy, Snap Freeze, cancel to Heavy Melee, Shotgun blast, Heavy Melee, Shotgun, cloak, side-flip, reload, repeat.
Most enemies die with or before the first shotgun blast and only Brutes or higher survive the second shotgun blast. This assault rotation is so fast that only the last shotgun attack doesn’t receive Tac Cloak’s damage bonus.
A few last words on Repair Matrix. With a duration of 12 seconds and Shock Trooper IV or V, the T-1000 has the potential for a full minute and a half of invulnerability. And with that said, Repair Matrix does not need to be active all the time. When facing down one or two enemies, leave it off unless your shields go down. And when attacking groups just form a plan, pick a target and then activate Repair Matrix. This kind of use minimizes trips to the ammo boxes which I make a policy to do whenever I only have 1 Matrix left. Repair Matrix will also stop the damage over time effects from banshees and scions. So in summary only use Repair Matrix before fighting groups, when shields are dropped or being drained and always have one on hand.
2 – Super effective, super fun and Repair Matrix keeps even inexperienced players in the game. Sync kills will still make you super dead, Repair Matrix won’t reactivate you.
Biotic Hammer: (4) Damage & Force, (5) Armor Damage, (6) Number of Charges
Electrical Hammer: (4) Shields & Barriers, (5) Chill, (6) Number of Charges*
Krogan Warlord: N/A
Warlord Rage: Durability** (4), Martial Artist (5), Fitness Expert** (6)
*Depending on your style you could switch this for the Radius and combo evolution. However, I prefer having the 4 charges this evolution provides so I can go to town on shielded enemies as needed.
**I prefer turning the warlord into a damage sponge. However, either the Durability or Fitness Expert can be exchanged for their alternate melee damage evolution, but not both. Remember, the Krogan Warlord can’t take cover or dodge, and he moves slowly if not sprinting.
The important thing here is to keep your cooldown bonus above 90% and chose the weapon class with your highest melee bonus mod. For Shotguns, I recommend the Geth Plasma Shotgun, Graal Spike Thrower or the N7 Crusader in that order. All of the Krogan Warlord’s abilities are based within melee range so it is a good idea to cover your bases and carry something for the medium to long range. If your Assault Rifle Omni-blade is higher than your shotgun blade attachment, the only ones that are too heavy are the Geth Spitfire and the N7 Typhoon, so choose your favorite.
The Juggernaut Shield is my personal favorite. Since this is a melee build Hydraulic Joints would work well too, but I like the slight addition to durability from Juggernaut Shields. You really don’t need much else, but the Strength Enhancer weapon equipment and disruptor or phasic rounds would work well.
Say hello to the Krogan Warlord. He is big, loud and the giant ball of destruction every Krogan should be. As previously stated, he is a damage sponge. With no gear his health and shields are at 1700 and 2125, second only to the Geth Juggernaut. However, with both Tech armor and Rage mode active, he gains an 80% damage reduction with a 200 health regeneration bonus. Built to take a beating and dish it out, the electrical hammer and biotic hammer abilities augment the Krogan’s melee capabilities and aren’t instant activation. The charges generated by these abilities are only used up when you execute a heavy melee or finish a three-hit melee combo. I prefer to have the Electrical Hammer charges active at most times since the heavy melee has more of an AoE than biotic hammer, it chills target that aren’t killed by the damage, and it has more charges than Biotic Hammer. However, Biotic Hammer is your power house move. The damage it deals is massive and shreds through armor with ease with this build. I can one-shot a phantom that has full health and barriers with a Heavy Melee. Rage mode activates fairly easily for the Krogan Warlord already, which is why I skipped the Pure Rage evolution of Warlord Rage for Fitness Expert.
Now that you know some of the positive attributes, let’s cover the weaknesses. The Krogan Warlord is even less maneuverable than other Krogan. He cannot use low cover, either as protection or vaulting it when it gets in his way. He has limited use of high cover. You cannot put your back to a corner and fire at enemies while having most of your body protected. You can still use high cover, but you need to position yourself manually. His walking speed is very slow, but he can still sprint, which is pretty much how you should move across the map at all times. Tech armor and rage may provide a massive damage resistance along with health regeneration to bolster his already high durability, but enemies with high DPS like Cerberus turrets and Geth Pyros can overcome this, especially if you have to deal with more than one. Finally, the biggest danger with this build is the fact that you should be spending most of your time in melee range. This is not a bad thing until you have to face the sync-killers (Brute, Banshee, Atlas, Phantom, Praetorian, and Scion). I didn’t even realize a Brute could sync-kill you until I played the Krogan Warlord. You only need to really worry about Phantoms if they sneak up on you or attack in packs since one Biotic Hammer Heavy melee can take them out with ease. The standard tactic I take is to flank a sync-kill enemy while they are preoccupied with another teammate (preferably a Geth Juggernaut) and just start using heavy melees. If the sync-killer agro’s you, start back pedaling and unloading your weapon of choice until their health is low enough and you can take them out in one heavy melee.
One of the first things you should do in a wave if you aren’t already in Rage mode is to find a trooper level enemy and Heavy melee it to death to get the martial artist boost to melee damage. Unless you want to waste a biotic hammer charge on this mook, your best bet is to weaken it with your gun first, then start in with a heavy melee when you are a couple of meters away. The Krogan Warlord’s heavy melee does have a limited lock-on feature that helps you close distance and make sure you hit the highlighted enemy, even if it moves. After smashing the first mook to death, find another one nearby to trigger Rage. From here on out, you should be able to kill most troopers with a single standard melee attack. Use Electrical Hammer charged heavy melees on shielded mooks to both keep your martial artist bonus going and chill the enemies in the surrounding area. Keeping Rage mode and the martial artist boost going should not be difficult once you get the ball rolling. Remember, only the third strike of a standard melee combo or a heavy melee will expend a charge. So, if you can, try to minimize the number of charges you use. You can cancel out of the charging animation into a heavy melee, but being caught in the middle of a group of enemies and suddenly having to recharge is annoying. You can use the blast from tech armor if you so choose, but your electrical hammer heavy melee attacks will do more damage over a wider radius without leaving you exposed.
2 – There are a few quirks of the Krogan Warlord build to get used to, and learning that sometimes it is better to back pedal and use your gun when facing sync-killers. But overall this build is fairly simple.
Personally, I prefer the appearance he comes standard with. No specialized paint-jobs, just a big, red, angry Krogan running around crushing things. What could be cooler than that?