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Hey guys! So, with the Mauler due out in a week and a half, and the other Resistance 2 mechs coming after that in 2 week intervals (ew) I figured a theorycraft post was in order.

Disclaimer: I do not know what the quirks these mechs will have (if any), I do not know if and how the game and meta will change before the mechs are released, nor do I know if and how the mechs will change the meta. This is all my best guess...but unless the re-re-quirkening flips everything on its head, I don't anticipate being too far off.

Now then, time to get craaaaaaazy! Let's do some analysiiiiis!


  • 90 ton Inner Sphere mech.
  • 1-3 ballistic and 1-2 missile hardpoints in each torso, as well as 1-3 energy hardpoints in each arm
  • Max Engine: 325, no jumpjets.
  • Relatively low mounts for the most part - exceptions being the third ballistic hardpoint (as seen in an instagram video, subject to change and could have restrictions that prevent Gauss and AC/20 from being bumped up there by machine guns) and the missile hardpoints (big whoop).
  • Seemingly massive side torsos should make XL engines a no-no. Possible that ST size reduces drastically if no missiles are equipped, but will still probably be too risky.
What this adds up to, to me, is a big tanky IS brawler in the same vein as the Atlas. So I'm gonna make a few builds that go along with that, and maybe a couple that don't.

Back before quirks, Clans, and mech packs, people who were theorycrafting on future mechs went on semi-vague statements from PGI for intel on what was kosher. In those dark days, there were two sort of spoken in passing but not really solidly rule-type rules that discriminated against the Mauler being used as a chassis instead of mechs like the Banshee, Stalker, and Victor (every time when they would tease the next assault mech I would cross my fingers till they were sore...not actually, but close enough). The first is that there are only 2 timeline variants even now (only one of which is being used by PGI, along with the Daboku and two made-up variants). Used to be that PGI never released any mech unless it had at least 3 timeline variants, not counting Heroes. Since then (relatively recently, actually), they've begun inventing their own, which has everyone happy. The other inferred reason is that they didn't want any dual AC/20 assault mechs. This actually kind of made sense at the time - this was before Clans, back when mechs like the Jagermech and CPLT-K2 were all the rage for the AC/40 blast. But obviously it's not such a big deal nowadays - the King Crab showed up and nobody cried about broken dual AC/20 builds. Well, not that I heard.

Idk why I felt I had to add that. I should write a series on MWO's history. And then someone can make a funny abridged version. And then my life will be complete.


  • 4xLRM10A, 7.5 tons ammo, 2xLL, STD275 (54.5KPH), 14 DHS
  • 2xAC/20, 6 tons ammo, 4xSRM4, 4 tons ammo, STD295 (58.4KPH), 11 DHS

  • 2xGauss Rifle, 5 tons ammo, 2xCASE, ERPPC, 4xMG, .5 tons ammo, STD285 (56.5KPH), 12 DHS
  • 5xAC/5, 9.5 tons ammo, STD275 (54.5KPH), 11 DHS
  • 6xAC/5, 7 tons ammo, STD225 (44.6KPH), 10DHS (lol)

  • 4xUAC/5, 7.5 tons ammo, 2xML, STD285 (56.5KPH), 12 DHS
  • 4xLB10X, 7 tons ammo, STD270 (53.5KPH), 10 DHS lolol
  • 3xLB10x, 6 tons ammo, 2xSRM4A, 3 tons ammo, STD285 (56.4KPH), 11 DHS lolololol

  • 2xAC/20, 6 tons ammo, 3xMPL (all right arm), STD300 (59.4KPH), 14 DHS
  • 2xAC/10, 6 tons ammo, 6xML, STD310 (61.4KPH), 15 DHS
So yeah. Looking at the variants, it's obvious that the MAL-1R is the missile variant, the MAL-MX90 is the ballistic variant, the MAL-2P is the energy variant, and the MAL-1P is the all-rounder. But they've all got their own special thing going too. The -MX90 has the potential high mounts, the MAL-1P is the balanced variant but is still capable of unique builds...I mean. I think just based on the hardpoints that PGI did a good job of making a unique chassis with unique variants which should be actually balanced. Plus its the Mauler which has a uniquely sexy factor (and the art's great too). It's not a thing to buy if you wanna P2W but...it's interesting.

Black Knight

  • 75 ton Inner Sphere mech
  • 8-9 Energy Hardpoints
  • Max Engine: 360, 385 on one variant with 8xE hardpoints, no jumpjets
  • All hardpoints seem to be low apart from the one in the head, which (coupled with the practically useless slot-taking hand actuators) spells this mech's downfall
As with the Black Knight, almost exclusively low mounts probably mean that it is best suited to short range, unless it has the cooperation of its team. We shall see.

9xMPL, XL360 (85.5KPH), 22 DHS (no endo)

  • Possible on the BL-6B-KNT and BL-7-KNT only
  • Neither variant is inherently preferable
8xMPL, STD325 (77.2KPH), 21 DHS

  • Possible on all variants
  • Preferred on BL-7-KNT; allows you to strip LA armor for larger engine
2xLL, 5xML, STD330 (78.4KPH), 21 DHS

  • Possible on all variants
  • No variant in inherently preferable
5xLL, XL360 (85.5KPH), 19 DHS

  • Possible on all variants
  • Preferred on BL-7-KNT; allows you to do full torso mounted or spread weapons out to get a shield side
I'm less enthusiastic about the Black Knight than I am about the Mauler. It's like...a Grasshopper with a bit more guns and no jumpjets. And all the variants are basically the same in terms of hardpoints, with tiny changes. Seriously, they all have 1 hardpoint in the head and left arm and 2 in the left torso, right torso and right arm. One of the variants adds a hardpoint to the left arm, one adds a hardpoint to the right torso, one has a higher engine cap, and one has an extra ams hardpoint. That's all the diversity. So boring. I'm sure quirks will differentiate the variants (probably) buuuuut that always just results in one variant being better at all the useful stuff and the others being just acceptable with tiny niches.


  • 50 ton Inner Sphere mech
  • 5-6 Energy Hardpoints
  • Max Engine: 325, 350 on one variant with 5xE hardpoints, only 1 variant has jumpjets
  • According to the record sheet I have, one arm has a hand actuator and the other has a lower arm actuator. We'll see how PGI approaches this, but I'm gonna assume that's the case with all the variants for this prediction.
So yeah, again we're looking at almost exclusively low mounts, but this time it's on a medium so it's not quite as big of a deal, as mediums are generally better suited to poking thanks to their agility. Also...they're less likely to get shot cuz they're just a lower priority for the enemy team.


  • 5xMPL, STD285 (101.6KPH), 16 DHS
  • 2xLPL, 3xML, XL310 (110.5KPH), 14 DHS
  • Any build that can be run on the CRB-27 (that doesn't use 2 AMS lol) can be run on the other Crabs

  • 5xMPL, XL350 (124.7KPH), 16DHS

  • 3xLL, ML, XL325 (115.8KPH), 14 DHS
  • 3xLPL, ML, XL295 (105.1KPH), 13 DHS
  • 6xMPL, XL315 (112.3KPH), 17 DHS
  • LPL, 5xMPL, XL265 (94.4KPH), 17 DHS

  • 5xMPL, STD280 (99.8KPH), 2xJJ, 15 DHS
  • LPL, 4xMPL, XL315 (112.3KPH), 2xJJ, 14 DHS
Again, kind of disappointed by the similarity between the variants. They've all got 1 energy in the head, LA, and RA, with 2 in the CT, the only break in this being on the CRB-27B which has 1 in the CT and 2 in each arm. This time, the variation comes in the CRB-27SL having the JJs and the CRB-20 having the higher engine cap (and can't forget about the CRB-27's double AMS hardpoints!) At least there's more variation than the Black Knight had.


  • 35 ton Inner Sphere mech
  • 5-6 Energy Hardpoints
  • Max Engine: 295, 315 on one variant with 5xE hardpoints, no jumpjets
  • Torso energy hardpoints appear to be super clustered...that and its asymmetry are the only really interesting thing about it as far as I can tell.

  • 6xMPL, XL265 (134.9KPH), 12 DHS
  • 6xML, XL285 (145.1), 16 DHS

  • 5xML, XL315 (160.4KPH), 14 DHS

  • 5xMPL, XL280 (142.6KPH), 14 DHS (both arms stripped)

  • 3xLL, XL265 (134.9KPH), 10 DHS (can run this on any of them, but this variant has no good options)
Can't say anything for certain without quirks but...it's a flightless Firestarter. The only two things that are sort of interesting are the 6xML build you can do on the WLF-2 and WLF-1A that are unique in not needing any left arm armor, and the 5xMPL build on the WLF-1A that doesn't need either arm. But in both cases, you're just saving at most a ton and giving up jumpjets and arm gesticulation to do so. It's gonna need good quirks to compete. Bonus points to PGI for apparently making the early bird variant the weakest of the bunch though - not sarcasm, since those things go into the gift store when the normal variants are released for C-Bills it reduces any P2W potential.

So yeah

All in all, I'd say the pack is a bit boring from a utilitarian perspective without knowing what the quirks are , but exciting if you (like me) are a fan of the Mauler and Black Knight. Assuming that all the quirks are of the sort we've been seeing lately (mainly durability focused with slight offensive bonuses, nothing crazy), I can see these mechs all being solidly balanced and fun mid-level mechs. Right now, I don't see any P2W stuff going on. Good on you pigi.

GMan129 is currently an officer of the Steel Jaguar competitive team, is the owner of and writer for MetaMechs, and recently begun writing at NGNG as well. He has been playing MechWarrior Online since the early days of closed beta, and has spent far too much time and money on this crap. If you're interested in supporting his self-destruction, consider contributing to his PayPal and Patreon accounts!

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