Class Builds (EU2012)

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Each class has been designed with two main ability builds, Alpha (left side) and Beta (right side). Each build is a combination of abilities designed to fulfill a specific tactical role. Although experienced players will design soldiers according to their own preferences, this article will focus on the basic builds available to each class, and how the different abilities on each one can synergize together.

Assault

Assault Alpha

Rank Ability Assault Alpha
RANK SQUADDIE.png
Squaddie
ASSAULT RUNGUN.png
Run & Gun
Allows firing or Overwatch after Dashing on the turn Run & Gun is activated. 2 turn cooldown.
AssaultA (EU2012).png
RANK CORPORAL.png
Corporal
ASSAULT TACTICALSENSE.png
Tactical Sense
Confers +5 Defense per enemy in sight (max +20).
RANK SERGEANT.png
Sergeant
ASSAULT LIGHTNINGREFLEXES.png
Lightning Reflexes
Forces the first reaction shot against this unit each turn to miss.
RANK LIEUTENANT.png
Lieutenant
ASSAULT FLUSH.png
Flush
Fire a shot that causes enemies to run out of cover. The shot is easy to hit with, but does reduced damage.
RANK CAPTAIN.png
Captain
ASSAULT CLOSECOMBAT.png
Close Combat Specialist
Confers a reaction shot against any enemy who closes to within 4 tiles. Does not require Overwatch.
RANK MAJOR.png
Major
ASSAULT EXTRACONDITIONING.png
Extra Conditioning
Confers bonus health based on which type of armor is equipped. Heavier armor increases the bonus.
RANK COLONEL.png
Colonel
ASSAULT RESILLIENCE.png
Resilience
Confers immunity to critical hits.
  • The Assault Alpha build is designed for evasion and survival, allowing it to act as the squad's scout or outflank an alien, while retaining a considerable attack ability.
  • Run & Gun give it the ability to easily finish off already wounded hostiles or/and set Overwatch over outflanked enemies.
  • The two first abilities, Tactical Sense and Lightning Reflexes greatly increase the soldier's defense while Resillience allows him/her to soak hits, turning the Assault Alpha into the toughest XCOM unit to kill.
  • Lightning Reflexes can be used to prevent an enemy on Overwatch from hitting any other squad mate, by moving the Assault Alpha first before the other units.
  • Flush gives the Alpha the option to force an enemy to vacate a position. One possible combination of moves is to set other units on Overwatch before using Flush, giving them shots at the alien as it moves to another position. Flush is also the only medium range fire option the Assault Alpha has, unless he/she brings an Assault Rifle instead of the Shotgun.
  • Close Combat Specialist is additional insurance against melee units or for close encounters on built-in areas.
  • Its main drawback is the lack of options at medium and long range. And their sense of invulnerability can get them into big, deadly trouble.

Assault Beta

Rank Ability Assault Beta
RANK SQUADDIE.png
Squaddie
ASSAULT RUNGUN.png
Run & Gun
Allows firing or Overwatch after Dashing on the turn Run & Gun is activated. 2 turn cooldown.
AssaultB (EU2012).png
RANK CORPORAL.png
Corporal
ASSAULT AGGRESSION.png
Aggression
Confers +10% critical chance per enemy in sight (max +30%).
RANK SERGEANT.png
Sergeant
ASSAULT CLOSEPERSONAL.png
Close & Personal
Confers +30% critical chance against adjacent targets. The bonus declines with distance from the target.
RANK LIEUTENANT.png
Lieutenant
ASSAULT RAPIDFIRE.png
Rapid Fire
Take two shots against a single target in quick succession. Each shot carries a -15 penalty to Aim.
RANK CAPTAIN.png
Captain
ASSAULT BRINGTHEMON.png
Bring 'Em On
Adds 1 damage on critical hits for each enemy the squad can see (up to 5).
RANK MAJOR.png
Major
ASSAULT EXTRACONDITIONING.png
Extra Conditioning
Confers bonus health based on which type of armor is equipped. Heavier armor increases the bonus.
RANK COLONEL.png
Colonel
ASSAULT KILLERINSTINCT.png
Killer Instinct
Activating Run & Gun now also grants +50% critical damage for the rest of the turn.
  • XCOM's equivalent of the Berserker, without the melee attack. The Beta build is able of charging and killing nearly any alien unit that comes within close range or it can act as a rifleman, depending on weapon choice (Shotgun/Assault Rifle).
  • Aggression, Close & Personal plus the Shotgun's own critical chance bonus turn most shots into critical hits. Rapid Fire gives it two shots and Bring 'Em On and Killer Instinct can add even more critical damage to each one.
  • For engagements at medium range the Assault Beta can use its Rapid Fire ability for increased odds. The drawback is the ammo depletion that continued use of Rapid Fire will bring.
  • The Shotgun is the preferred weapon to take full advantage of Run & Gun and Killer Instinct. However, all of Assault Beta's abilities also apply to Assault Rifles, so Aggression, Rapid Fire and Bring 'Em On can turn the Assault into a deadly Rifleman.
  • It's main disadvantage is the lack of additional defense/armor other than that provided by Extra Conditioning, armors or Chitin Plating, when compared to the Alpha build.

Alternate Builds

  • Aggression + Lightning Reflexes + Rapid Fire + Bring 'Em On + Resillience is called the Commando build on multiplayer.
  • Rapid Fire can be more useful, in most cases, than Flush.
  • Close Combat Specialist is very useful on both builds, specially when dealing with melee units such as Chryssalids and Berserkers.

Heavy

Heavy Alpha

Rank Ability Heavy Alpha
RANK SQUADDIE.png
Squaddie
HEAVY FIREROCKET.png
Fire Rocket
Fire a rocket using an equipped launcher. This ability can not be used after moving, nor more than once per mission.
HeavyA (EU2012).png
RANK CORPORAL.png
Corporal
HEAVY BULLETSWARM.png
Bullet Swarm
Firing the primary weapon as the first action no longer ends the turn.
RANK SERGEANT.png
Sergeant
HEAVY SHREDDER.png
Shredder Rocket
Fire a rocket that causes all enemies hit to take +33% damage from all sources for the next 4 turns. The rocket's blast is weaker than a standard rocket's.
RANK LIEUTENANT.png
Lieutenant
HEAVY HEAT AMMO.png
HEAT Ammo
+100% to damage against robotic enemies.
RANK CAPTAIN.png
Captain
HEAVY GRENADIER.png
Grenadier
Allows to carry 2 grenades in a single inventory slot.
RANK MAJOR.png
Major
HEAVY WILLTOSURVIVE.png
Will to Survive
Reduces all normal damage taken by 2 if in cover and not flanked.
RANK COLONEL.png
Colonel
HEAVY ROCKETEER.png
Rocketeer
Allows 1 additional standard rocket to be fired per battle.
  • While 3 rockets and 2 grenades can be spent quickly during missions, the additional firepower of a Heavy Alpha can turn a battle around and deal with all sorts of unexpected trouble.
  • LIterally, any situation can be dealt with the proper use of explosives: close, medium and long range, either to kill aliens or blast away their cover.
  • Bullet Swarm allows for double shots or to fire and move, giving the Alpha more options during a firefight and can be deadly at close range.
  • HEAT Ammo is vital against robotic aliens such as Drones, Cyberdiscs or Sectopods
  • Their drawback is the Heavy's usual low Aim stat, which limits the effectiveness of their weapons at medium and long range.

Heavy Beta

Rank Ability Heavy Beta
RANK SQUADDIE.png
Squaddie
HEAVY FIREROCKET.png
Fire Rocket
Fire a rocket using an equipped launcher. This ability can not be used after moving, nor more than once per mission.
HeavyB (EU2012).png
RANK CORPORAL.png
Corporal
HEAVY HOLO.png
Holo-Targeting
Shooting at or suppressing enemies also confers a +10 Aim to any allies' attacks on those enemies.
RANK SERGEANT.png
Sergeant
HEAVY SUPPRESSION.png
Suppression
Can fire a special shot that grants reaction fire at a single target. The target also suffers a -30 Aim penalty.
RANK LIEUTENANT.png
Lieutenant
HEAVY RAPIDREACTION.png
Rapid Reaction
Confers a second reaction shot, if on Overwatch and the first reaction shot is a hit.
RANK CAPTAIN.png
Captain
HEAVY DANGERZONE.png
Danger Zone
Increases hit area of rockets and suppression by 2 tiles.
RANK MAJOR.png
Major
HEAVY WILLTOSURVIVE.png
Will to Survive
Reduces all normal damage taken by 2 if in cover and not flanked.
RANK COLONEL.png
Colonel
HEAVY MAYHEM.png
Mayhem
Confers additional damage based on weapon tech level to Suppression and all area-effect abilities.
  • Heavy Betas are team players. Their role is to tag an enemy unit to increase the aim of other squad members firing at it (Holo-Targeting), suppress their shots (Suppression), keep an eye for enemy movement (Rapid Reaction), suppress more than one alien (Danger Zone) and deal damage to enemies under suppression (Mayhem).
  • Mayhem can be used as a 100% effective killing blow to an already weakened alien with 1/2 HP left.
  • Despite being limited to one Rocket, both Danger Zone and Mayhem upgrade both the rocket's damage radius and power. The Heavy Beta may also first suppress a target to prevent it from reacting until it's ready to fire the rocket shot at the alien.
  • The disadvantage is the Heavy's usual low Aim stat, which makes Rapid Reaction less useful at long range Overwatch shots. At close range however, the low Aim is less relevant.

Alternate Builds

  • Grenadier + Mayhem gives an additional punch to grenades.
  • Shredder Rocket + Danger Zone + Rocketeer gives 3 rockets with extra blast range.
  • For maximum Machinegun firepower: Bullet Swarm + Suppression + Rapid Reaction + Danger Zone + Mayhem.
  • HEAT Ammo is very helpful to deal with unpleasant surprises such as Cyberdiscs and Sectopods.

Sniper

Sniper Alpha

Rank Ability Sniper Alpha
RANK SQUADDIE.png
Squaddie
SNIPER HEADSHOT.png
Headshot
Fire a shot with +30% critical chance and extra damage on critical hits based on the tech level of the sniper rifle. 2 turn cooldown.
SniperA (EU2012).png
RANK CORPORAL.png
Corporal
SNIPER SNAPSHOT.png
Snap Shot
Removes the sniper rifle's restriction on firing and Overwatch after moving. Any shots taken suffer a -20 Aim penalty.
RANK SERGEANT.png
Sergeant
SNIPER GUNSLINGER.png
Gunslinger
Confers 2 bonus damage with pistols.
RANK LIEUTENANT.png
Lieutenant
SNIPER DISABLINGSHOT.png
Disabling Shot
Allows the Sniper to fire a shot that causes the target's main weapon to malfunction. The target may use Reload to fix the weapon. The shot cannot inflict a critical hit. 2 turn cooldown. -10 Aim penalty
RANK CAPTAIN.png
Captain
SNIPER EXECUTIONER.png
Executioner
+10% Aim against targets with less than 50% Health.
RANK MAJOR.png
Major
SNIPER LOWPROFILE.png
Low Profile
Makes partial cover count as full.
RANK COLONEL.png
Colonel
SNIPER ITZ.png
In The Zone
Killing a flanked or uncovered target with the sniper rifle does not cost an action.
  • Sniper Alphas are mobile marksmen, designed to be experts with either the Sniper Rifle or the Pistol.
  • Snap Shot has a major Aim drawback but it can be compensated by equipment or stat progression. Disabling Shot gives the Alpha an additional options to use against the aliens, specially for capturing them. Executioner turns it into a killer (and partially reduces the Snap Shot Aim penalty) and In The Zone can allows it to kill a dozen enemies on a single turn.
  • Gunslinger can be used together with Executioner but it can be used with In The Zone only once.
  • Their drawbacks are: the lack of protection/HPs when compared to other classes, which makes them challenging to use in frontline roles; their lack of firepower at close range, despite the added damage to pistols from Gunslinger.

Sniper Beta

Rank Ability Sniper Beta
RANK SQUADDIE.png
Squaddie
SNIPER HEADSHOT.png
Headshot
Fire a shot with +30% critical chance and extra damage on critical hits based on the tech level of the sniper rifle. 2 turn cooldown.
SniperB (EU2012).png
RANK CORPORAL.png
Corporal
SNIPER SQUADSIGHT.png
Squadsight
Allows firing at targets in any ally's sight radius.
RANK SERGEANT.png
Sergeant
SNIPER DGG.png
Damn Good Ground
+10 Aim and +10 Defense against enemies at lower elevation in addition to the usual elevation bonuses.
RANK LIEUTENANT.png
Lieutenant
SNIPER BATTLESCANNER.png
Battle Scanner
Scanning device, when thrown creates a new source of vision for 2 turns. Can only be used 2 times per battle.
RANK CAPTAIN.png
Captain
SNIPER OPPORTUNIST.png
Opportunist
Eliminates the Aim penalty on reaction shots, and allows reaction shots to cause critical hits.
RANK MAJOR.png
Major
SNIPER LOWPROFILE.png
Low Profile
Makes partial cover count as full.
RANK COLONEL.png
Colonel
SNIPER DOUBLETAP.png
Double Tap
Allows both actions to be used for Standard Shot, Headshot, or Disable Shot, provided no moves were made. 1 turn cooldown.
  • Sniper Betas are true snipers, designed to stay afar from well chosen positions and drop down targets at very long ranges.
  • Squad Sight gives them the ability to fire at any place with a clear line of sight while Opportunist turns them into deadly sentries and Double Tap doubles their damage output.
  • Battle Scanner can be used to recon distant areas, specially at mission start and inside UFOs, turning the Sniper Beta into the squad's eyes.
  • Their main drawbacks are lack of protection and inadequate firepower at close range.

Alternate Builds

  • Gunslinger makes the Sniper more useful while clearing UFOs and other close range situations.
  • Battle Scanner can be also used better by Snipers with Snap Shot, due to their mobile role.
  • Double Tap can't be used combined with Snap Shot but In The Zone can be used with Squad Sight.
  • Opportunist and Executioner can be switched together, depending on personal taste.
  • Damn Good Ground is useful to both builds but it depends on the map or advanced armors (Skeleton Suit, Ghost Armor or Archangel Armor) to be effective.

Support

Support Alpha

Rank Ability Support Alpha
RANK SQUADDIE.png
Squaddie
SUPPORT SMOKEGRENADE.png
Smoke Grenade
Deploy a smoke grenade once per mission. The smoke confers +20 defense to all units, not just allies, and lasts during the enemy turn.
SupportA (EU2012).png
RANK CORPORAL.png
Corporal
SUPPORT SPRINTER.png
Sprinter
Allows the support to move 3 additional tiles.
RANK SERGEANT.png
Sergeant
SUPPORT FIELDMEDIC.png
Field Medic
Allows medikits to be used 3 times per battle instead of once.
RANK LIEUTENANT.png
Lieutenant
SUPPORT REVIVE.png
Revive
Allows Medikits to revive critically wounded Soldiers at 33% of maximum health instead of just stabilizing them.
RANK CAPTAIN.png
Captain
SUPPORT DENSESMOKE.png
Dense Smoke
Smoke Grenades have increased area of effect and further increase units' Defense by 20.
RANK MAJOR.png
Major
SUPPORT DEEPPOCKETS.png
Deep Pockets
Confers an additional item slot in inventory.
RANK COLONEL.png
Colonel
SUPPORT SAVIOR.png
Savior
Medikits restore 4 more health per use.
  • The Alpha Support's primary role is as a medic, through use of the Medikit but it can also be used as a scout, due to the Sprinter ability.
  • Alphas can be used as support units, healing and providing smoke cover or pumping up squad mates with Combat Drugs.
  • They can also be used quite effectively as scouts, but they have less protection than other classes.

Support Beta

Rank Ability Support Beta
RANK SQUADDIE.png
Squaddie
SUPPORT SMOKEGRENADE.png
Smoke Grenade
Deploy a smoke grenade once per mission. The smoke confers +20 defense to all units, not just allies, and lasts during the enemy turn.
SupportB (EU2012).png
RANK CORPORAL.png
Corporal
SUPPORT COVERINGFIRE.png
Covering Fire
Allows reaction shot to trigger on enemy attacks, not just movement.
RANK SERGEANT.png
Sergeant
SUPPORT SMOKEMIRRORS.png
Smoke and Mirrors
Allows 1 additional use of Smoke Grenade each mission.
RANK LIEUTENANT.png
Lieutenant
SUPPORT RIFLESUPPRESSION.png
Rifle Suppression
Fires a barrage that pins down a target, granting reaction fire against it and imposing a 30 penalty to aim.
RANK CAPTAIN.png
Captain
SUPPORT COMBATDRUGS.png
Combat Drugs
Smoke Grenades now contain powerful stimulants that grant +20 Will and +10% Critical Chance for all units in the cloud. (Also grants +20 Aim Bonus)
RANK MAJOR.png
Major
SUPPORT DEEPPOCKETS.png
Deep Pockets
Confers an additional item slot in inventory.
RANK COLONEL.png
Colonel
SUPPORT SENTINEL.png
Sentinel
Allows two reaction shots during Overwatch, instead of only one.
  • The Support Beta has a similar role to the Heavy Beta - it can support the squad either on the offensive or the defensive.
  • Smoke and Mirrors and Combat Drugs give it the ability to pump up twice a squad's stats inside the smoke cloud for two rounds.
  • Covering Fire, Suppression and Sentinel give it more Overwatch options/shots while also allowing it to suppress an enemy.
  • Its drawbacks include a lack of firepower against high level aliens plus Supports are one of the weakest human units and not built for trading shots with Muton Elites or Sectopods.

Alternate Builds

  • Switching between Sprinter and Covering Fire on either build, between speed or Overwatch upgrade.
  • Dense Smoke and Combat Drugs can be switched between both builds.
  • Sprinter + Smoke and Mirrors + Rifle Suppression + Dense Smoke + Sentinel can be used to make a scout, with increased mobility and able to suppress and pin down any hostiles it encounters or drop a Smoke Grenade to protect itself and/or the rest of the squad.

See Also

EU2012 Badge XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012): XCOM Units
Soldiers:CLASS ASSAULT.png AssaultCLASS HEAVY.png HeavyCLASS SNIPER.png SniperCLASS SUPPORT.png SupportCLASS PSIONIC.png PsionicCLASS MECH.png MEC Trooper (EW DLC)
S.H.I.Vs:S.H.I.V.Alloy S.H.I.V.Hover S.H.I.V.
Attributes:ClassesClass BuildsAbilitiesStatsNicknamesGene Mods (EW DLC)Medals (EW DLC)
Loadout:WeaponsArmorEquipmentMEC Suit (EW DLC)
Barracks:Officer Training SchoolPsi LabMemorialGenetics Lab (EW DLC)Cybernetics Lab (EW DLC)
Other: VolunteerHeroesZhang (Slingshot DLC)Annette (EW DLC)Covert Operative (EW DLC)Training Roulette (EW DLC)