MEC Trooper (EU2012)

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A MEC Squad
MEC Trooper
Translation: "Warrior in the Machine"

The MEC Trooper is a new class of soldier that is introduced by the Enemy Within DLC. A MEC Trooper requires Meld and can be created from any of your existing soldiers (from any class, except Psionic) after building the Cybernetic Lab. It costs §10 and 10 Meld to transform a soldier into a MEC Trooper. The soldier will lose all of its existing abilities but see its HP increase and will have its own abilities tree, starting with Collateral Damage.

MECs are walking tanks that are usually used for either Fire Support or Close Combat. Tactically they're a mixture of the Heavy and Assault classes, being built for frontline roles. Since MECs can't use Cover like regular soldiers they're equipped with specialized armor to be deployed, in the form of the Mechanized Exoskeleton Cybersuit (MEC Suit). MECs can't carry regular items but the MEC Suit offers a choice of two different Tactical Subsystems at each tier level.

Primary Weapon: Minigun, Railgun and Particle Cannon.
Tactical Subsystems:
MEC-1 Warden: Kinetic Strike Module or Flamethrower, §25, 40 Meld
MEC-2 Sentinel: Grenade Launcher or Restorative Mist, §32, 60 Meld, 10 Engineers
MEC-3 Paladin: Proximity Mine Launcher or Electro Pulse, §106, 100 Meld, 25 Engineers

The MEC's Ability choices are mainly divided between Fire Support or Survivability stats/abilites on each tier, giving the player the choice of either going full defence, high damage or a trade of between both. MEC Troopers gain a total of +10 Aim points upon reaching Colonel rank, together with a total of +4 HP and +14 Will through promotions.

Abilities

As part of the conversion process, each soldier turned into MEC will gain a bonus ability based on its former class and will retain its previous rank, replacing its previous abilities with MEC ones:

  • MEC SHOCK ABSORBENT ARMOR.png - Assault: Shock-Absorbent Armor - Damage received from enemies within 4 tiles is reduced by 33%.
  • MEC BODY SHIELD.png - Heavy - Body Shield - The nearest visible enemy suffers -20 Aim and cannot critically hit this unit.
  • MEC PLATFORM STABILITY.png - Sniper: Platform Stability - Any shots taken without moving have +10 Aim and +10% critical chance.
  • MEC DISTORTION FIELD.png - Support: Distortion Field - Nearby allies in cover receive +10 Defense.
Rank Ability
RANK SQUADDIE.png
Squaddie
MEC COLLATERAL DAMAGE.png
Collateral Damage
Area of effect attack that destroys most cover and hits all eligible targets for 34% damage. This attack cannot cause critical hits.
RANK CORPORAL.png
Corporal
MEC ADVANCED FIRE CONTROL.png
Advanced Fire Control
Shots from Overwatch no longer suffer any Aim penalty.
MEC AUTOMATED THREAT ASSESSMENT.png
Automated Threat Assessment
Confers +15 Defense when in Overwatch. Cancelled when the MEC fires.
RANK SERGEANT.png
Sergeant
MEC VITAL POINT TARGETING.png
Vital-Point Targeting
Confers 2 bonus damage against targets that have been autopsied.
MEC DAMAGE CONTROL.png
Damage Control
When the MEC takes damage, all further damage will be reduced by 2 on the following 2 turns.
RANK LIEUTENANT.png
Lieutenant
MEC JET BOOT MODULE.png
Jet Boot Module
When activated, confers the ability to jump to normally inaccessible heights for the rest of the turn. Has an unlisted 1-turn cooldown.
MEC ONE FOR ALL.png
One For All
When activated, the MEC becomes a high cover element. Moving or using an arm-based weapon will return the MEC to standard posture.
RANK CAPTAIN.png
Captain
MEC REPAIR SERVOS.png
Repair Servos
Confers 2 health recovery at the start of each turn. A total of 6 health can be regenerated per battle.
MEC EXPANDED STORAGE.png
Expanded Storage
Allows additional uses of Restorative Mist, Grenade Launcher and Proximity Mine Launcher in each mission, and increases primary weapon base ammo by 50%.
RANK MAJOR.png
Major
MEC OVERDRIVE.png
Overdrive
Firing the MEC's primary weapon as the first action no longer ends the turn.
RANK COLONEL.png
Colonel
MEC ABSORTION FIELDS.png
Absortion Fields
Any hit that makes 33% more damage to the MEC's maximum health is reduced to that number.
MEC REACTIVE TARGETING SENSORS.png
Reactive Targeting Sensors
MEC gets a free shot back at the first enemy who attacks the MEC each turn, providing there's enough ammo do to so.

Tips & Trix

  • MEC Troopers can be created from any soldier above rookie rank, but they'll lose all abilities they previously had. For example, if player sacrifices a Sergeant-ranked soldier, he/she would get a Sergeant-ranked MEC, along with the ability to choose skills from the first three ranks.
  • A MEC Trooper who is converted will retain their stats from before conversion, meaning you may want to put off augmenting your (non-Heavy) soldiers until already high ranked, since the Support, Assault and Sniper classes have better stat progression than the MEC Trooper class.
    • Heavies are best augmented at Lieutenant rank to ensure additional stats, especially with Second Wave options enabled.
  • The Cybernetics Lab can augment 3 soldiers at a time and it costs §10 and 10 Meld units. The process takes 3 days and soldiers will lose all Gene Mods when augmented. The process is irreversible. Take note that wounded soldiers can also be augmented.
  • Any soldiers tested positive with Psionic ability are automatically excluded from MEC conversion, and MEC soldiers can not be tested whether or not they are gifted.
  • Any medals given will remain after conversion, and MEC soldiers can still be awarded medals (remember that a MEC can't go into cover, so giving it the defensive bonus while in cover is pointless).
  • If the damage suffered is in excess of the MEC Suit's HPs then the soldier will have to endure wound recovery time.
  • If the MEC Trooper is killed, the MEC Suit has to be repaired with small cost.
  • MECs are very expensive to purchase, costing up to 200 Meld to create a MEC and equip it with the most advanced MEC Suit.
  • MEC Suits came with the Minigun as its default Primary Weapon: more advanced primary weapons need to be manufactured in Engineering before being deployed.
  • They are immune to fire, strangulation, and poison but can still be psi attacked (and mind controlled) by Psionic units.
  • MEC Troopers can be healed with Medikits, Restorative Mist, Improved Arc Thrower and by captured Drones. Repairing with Arc Throwers is arguably more efficient, since if you don't stun any enemies, an Arc Thrower could be used to heal your MECs and save Medikits for your other soldiers. Deep Pockets will increase Arc Thrower usage to three, which could allow for seven healing uses between Field Medic and Medikits.
  • MECs can't use Cover (so they can't be flanked). To compensate that they have Hardened ability present on S.H.I.V.s and alien robotic units that gives increased protection against critical hits.
  • MECs can climb over half cover berms and up ledges, but are too heavy to use ladders and drainpipes to scale buildings, they can however use alien grav lifts.
  • MECs rely on the Foundry for several essential upgrades through different projects:
  • MEC Troopers get monotone, Robocop-esque voice.


Tactical Advice

Tactical Subsystems

MEC-1 (EU2012).png MEC-1 Warden MEC FLAMETHROWER.png Flamethrower vs Kinetic Strike Module MEC KINETIC STRIKE MODULE.png
  • These are both short range weapons and useful in similar situations, so the choice is mostly down to personal taste.
  • The Flamethrower is more effective against many weak units, while Kinetic Strike is more useful for taking down single tough units. If you don't intend to be close enough to use either most of the time, then take Kinetic Strike for the bonus mobility.
  • Both the Kinetic Strike and the Flamethrower do not work against airborne enemies.

Flamethrower

  • The Flamethrower's biggest perk is that it can strike multiple enemies, and with much more area of effect and greater damage than grenades, though it has a limited number of uses per mission.
  • The high damage output of 6 means that Sectoids, Floaters, Thin Men, and Outsiders will be killed with a discharge of the Flamethrower. Later, after developing the Elerium Jelly project, the damage from fire is increased to 9, allowing it to kill Mutons and Chryssalids, and severely damage other alien species or EXALT troops.
    • A bug that occurs is that the Foundry upgrade carries over to the next campaign played, raising the damage to 13.
  • Robotic enemies are immune to flamethrowers. This includes both other MEC Troopers and S.H.I.V.s.

Kinetic Strike Module

  • The Kinetic Strike Module (KSM) offers custom kill animations on Mechtoids, Berserkers, and Sectopods, and has unlimited uses.
  • Use caution when striking Sectopods: they're not knocked back and their death explosion will do 5 damage to the area nearby.
  • Anything else gets sent flying about 5 squares, often causing collateral damage to any structure it hits.
    • Vehicles explode instantly to flying bodies. On occasion, you might be able to take advantage of this to do combos.
    • Cyberdiscs will be knocked back and then explode. Be careful not to accidentally punch one at an ally.
  • Be careful not to destroy an ally's cover when striking an alien as the last act of your turn.
  • Unlike the Berserker and the Chryssalids, you cannot strike from a diagonal tile; you must be in one of the 4 adjacent tiles to your target. They must also be in the same elevation.
    • So, most in-flight enemies are out of range, unless there's usable ground, again, next to them and at the same elevation.
  • Besides increasing its damage output from 12 to 18, the Foundry's MEC Close Combat project allows the MEC to use the KSM as first action without ending the turn.
    • The Foundry bug will carry the upgrade over once to all subsequent campaigns, raising it to 27!
  • The KSM also gives the MEC Trooper 4 extra movement points, or an additional 3 tiles.
  • In free aim mode the KSM can be a way to punch through walls without the need to use valuable explosives.
MEC-2 (EU2012).png MEC-2 Sentinel MEC GRENADE LAUNCHER.png Grenade Launcher vs Restorative Mist MEC RESTORATIVE MIST.png
  • A choice of offense vs defense.
  • Both benefit from the MEC Trooper having the Extended Storage ability, giving each 1 more use, for a total of 3 grenades or 2 Mists.

Grenade Launcher

  • Note that MECs already have a cover destroying area effect attack in Collateral Damage, but Grenade Launcher has a longer range, wider area of effect, and doesn't use your ammo clip.
    • The grenades deal 4 damage but this can be upgraded to 5 through the Foundry's Alien Grenades project.
    • Grenades are fired in a ballistic arc, so can hit enemies behind terrain and on roofs that are out of direct line of sight.
  • The Grenade Launcher is a great combination with the Proximity Mine Launcher for a Fire Support MEC that engages enemies from distance.

Restorative Mist

  • Restorative Mist works on the user as well as any surrounding units within a circle.
    • The Mist heals up to 4 damage but this can be upgraded to 6 through the Foundry's Improved Medikit project.
  • Due to its limited use it is more efficient to apply Restorative Mist to heal several soldiers at once, rather than just the MEC Trooper carrying it. A single use of the Mist on the entire squad can heal up to 24 or more HPs.
MEC-3 (EU2012).png MEC-3 Paladin MEC PROXIMITY MINE.png Proximity Mine Launcher vs Electro Pulse MEC ELECTRO PULSE.png

Proximity Mine Launcher

  • Cause 8 damage each.
  • Proximity Mine Launcher is a more broadly applicable tactical weapon. Can be used on enemies that are out of sight, especially groups of inactive aliens that have been spotted by another soldier made invisible through Ghost Armor, Ghost Grenade or Mimetic Skin.
    • There was a game-crashing bug if an enemy sky dropped on to a Proximity Mine, which has been fixed.
  • The mines can be set off by other explosions, such as grenades or rockets allowing for nice damage combos.
  • If the MEC Trooper is MCed, the mines will also "switch sides" and only go off on XCOM soldiers and MC'ed aliens.

Electro Pulse

  • Causes 5 damage to non-robotic targets, 10 to robotic targets.
  • Electro Pulse would be most useful for a MEC that likes to get up close and personal. Robots, particularly Sectopods, can do tremendous damage if left up, so the ability to stun them is quite useful in the event you can't kill them on the turn you see them.
    • Sectopods that have prepped a Cluster Bomb will not be stopped from unleashing it if they are stunned with Electro Pulse.

Bonus Abilities

CLASS ASSAULT.png Assault MEC SHOCK ABSORBENT ARMOR.png Shock-Absorbent Armor
  • The Assault's Shock-Absorbent Armor works well with a close combat oriented MEC, and helps to protect against melee enemies.
CLASS HEAVY.png Heavy MEC BODY SHIELD.png Body Shield
  • The Heavy's Body Shield is the most generically useful defensive ability, giving the MEC good protection from a single unit, but it won't help much if you let your MEC get swarmed. It also won't help much against melee attacks, since they automatically hit.
CLASS SNIPER.png Sniper MEC PLATFORM STABILITY.png Platform Stability
  • The Sniper's Platform Stability is great for a fire support MEC, and becomes especially powerful once the MEC gains Overdrive and can use its first move action to fire.
CLASS SUPPORT.png Support MEC DISTORTION FIELD.png Distortion Field
  • The Support's Distortion Field is a strong defensive buff for nearby troopers, but doesn't help the MEC itself since it doesn't use cover.
  • Does not stack if a soldier is in two or more defensive fields of several MECs.

Abilities

RANK CORPORAL.png Corporal MEC ADVANCED FIRE CONTROL.png Advanced Fire Control vs Automated Threat Assessment MEC AUTOMATED THREAT ASSESSMENT.png

Advanced Fire Control

  • Advanced Fire Control is the most useful of both abilities, specially on a MEC Trooper with Reactive Targeting Sensors.

Automated Threat Assessment

  • Automated Threat Assessment is cancelled when the the MEC fires, which makes it dubiously useful.
RANK SERGEANT.png Sergeant MEC VITAL POINT TARGETING.png Vital Point Targeting vs Damage Control MEC DAMAGE CONTROL.png

Vital Point Targeting

  • Vital-Point Targeting also confers bonus against EXALT units.
  • This ability works either for Fire Support or Close Assault MECs.

Damage Control

  • Damage Control is also suited for Close Assault MECs that are on the midst of a prolonged engagement.
RANK LIEUTENANT.png Lieutenant MEC JET BOOT MODULE.png Jet Boot Module vs One For All MEC ONE FOR ALL.png
  • One For All and Jet Boots are free actions with unlimited uses, but can't be used after the MEC has spent both of its actions.

Jet Boot Module

  • MECs can't climb ladders or drainpipes, so if you want your MEC to be able to get on top of buildings Jet Boots is the only way.
  • Jet Boots are more suited for Close Assault MECs, who need a lot of mobility to survive. But they can also be used by Fire Support MECs to gain height advantage when firing their primary weapon at targets.

One For All

  • One For All can be used as "emergency cover". If a soldier is flanked by enemies and can't move (or you don't want to move), you can move your MEC to them and One For All to give them cover.
  • Restorative Mist, Grenade Launcher, Proximity Mines and Electro Pulse can be used while a MEC uses One For All and not end the ability.
  • If Reactive Targeting Sensors is taken, a MEC using One For All will deactivate One For All when fired upon, leaving any soldiers using the MEC for cover exposed.
RANK CAPTAIN.png Captain MEC REPAIR SERVOS.png Repair Servos vs Expanded Storage MEC EXPANDED STORAGE.png

Repair Servos

  • Repair Servos are the most likely choice for a Close Assault MEC since it will allow it to restore some HPs during a prolonged fight without having to pull back for healing.

Expanded Storage

  • A Fire Support or a MEC with Restorative Mist will likely want Expanded Storage, since with Improved Medikit that gives the same amount of healing as Repair Servos just on the MEC itself, though you may find some value in Repair Servos not needing to spend an action.
RANK MAJOR.png Major MEC OVERDRIVE.png Overdrive

Overdrive

  • Collateral Damage does not count for this ability, and will end the turn if used as the first action.
RANK COLONEL.png Colonel MEC ABSORTION FIELDS.png Absorption Fields vs Reactive Targeting Sensors MEC REACTIVE TARGETING SENSORS.png

Absorption Fields

  • Given that a Colonel-level MEC Trooper is probably piloting a Paladin MEC, they'll have 26 HP (29 with Shaped Armor), this means that only attacks that do more than 8-9 damage will be affected by Absorption Fields, which essentially means it'll only trigger against critical hits, which MECs rarely take anyways, or Sectopods, which do 10 Damage, so you're only saving 1 HP.
    • However, Paladins are very expensive, costing 200 Meld to build. If you have other MECs at Colonel, and not enough Paladins to go around, Absorption Fields might just be the thing to compensate for that loss of Health.

Reactive Targeting Sensors

  • Reactive Targeting Sensors will activate even if the MEC is not on Overwatch, which can be useful for Dashing or Meld scouting without having to save an action for Overwatch.
    • A MEC with this ability can effectively have two Overwatch shots. If an enemy moves before the MEC is attacked, the MEC will use its Overwatch first and Reactive Targeting Sensors second if the MEC is attacked afterwards.
  • Reactive Targeting Sensors will even activate against targets that failed to Mind Control the MEC Trooper; a pseudo-form of Neural Feedback.
  • Advanced Fire Control makes Reactive Targeting Sensors even more useful as a MEC can fire without aim penalty.

Summary

As a living mobile weapons platform, the MEC Trooper has a significant level of customization over the normal human soldier, and far more than the SHIV. Their main drawback is their cost in Meld, and this is what will most influence how high you can upgrade their suit, and restrict you from building multiple suits to try out all options.

On the side of overwhelming attack: the Kinetic Strike Module is the most consistently powerful weapon you can get (particularly with the upgrade glitch), and the Grenade Launcher and Proximity Mine allow for long-distance demolition. The Mines and Grenades (from your MEC or other soldiers), used in tandem, can be used to set off an improvisational 'cluster charge', where each Mine and the triggering AoE attack individually does damage to anything in the area (in fact, if an alien is unaware, or kind enough to stay still long enough, even the mighty Sectopod can be brought down in one massive fiery blast. Or instead of the Mines, the Electropulse offers a close-range AoE attack, that will stun robots, particularly said Sectopods, allowing other soldiers to whittle it down enough for your MEC to make the killing stroke. This build being in the thick of the action, a MEC suit driven by a former Heavy or Assault is probably ideal, with Fire Control and Reactive Targeting giving a powerful Overwatch, supplemented by Vital Point Targeting. Expanded storage means more explosions, and the Jet Boots means anything not flying is in range for getting punched in the face. Ultimately, this build is for smashing through enemy defenses, exposing them to your other soldiers: ideal for if blitzkriegs are more your play style.

For a more supporting role: The Flamethrower is a good directed AoE attack that can scatter enemies and give you a bit of breathing room for your other soldiers coming up from behind. A former Sniper can then give accurate covering fire, or a support for a local defense boost to allies, who can then be healed (along with themselves) by the Restorative Mist. With these being rather limited range, Mines would be good for reliable long-distance attacking. Or with the Electro Pulse, you'll need to remember to keep them on the front lines, particularly when Sectopods come a-knockin'. Threat Assessment and Damage Control may soften the hits they take, and this build does well with either Repair Servos, or Expanded Storage for more Mist. Absorption Fields are best used with Warden Tanking (and thus, may preclude Mist). With the Flamethrower for making organic enemies panic, and Electro Pulse for stunning the robotic ones, this build is good for corralling the aliens and preventing them from pinning you down.


Consider if you're early or late in a campaign:

  • The Launcher is effectively like a Heavy Captain's Grenadier with Frag Grenades. But later on, once you get the Tactical Rigging for your normal soldiers, you'll may also have a few captured Alien Grenades. So, your other soldiers can carry a slew of grenades themselves, equalling the mini-upgrade of the Alien Grenade Foundry Project, even with Expanded Storage (and a Grenadier, either the Heavy or the other classes through Training Roulette, will be a bit more damaging and with potentially higher capacity).
  • Healing duties are probably more suited to your Medic Scout early on, since MECs can't stabilize, and any hits taken early on will Critically Wound soldiers (if they even survive it at all). Later, when soldiers can shrug off a few hits, and the rest of your soldiers are waiting off the bulk of the damage with Adaptive Bone Marrow, then you may find the Mist to be more useful, when you got a break in the fighting, and can mass heal everyone's Armor HP, with Psi Soldiers giving Will boosts all around (or using TK to screen if you, Random Number Gods forbid, have to do so in the middle of a battle).

With Medals, it comes down to how often you'll be using their main gun: if you're usually up front, punching aliens and EXALT Agents into a fine slurry, or only using the main gun for the AoE attack, defensive medals are good to take up the inevitable plasma barrages going their way. If you're burning up their gun's smaller clip, attack-focused medals help in making those shots count, as having an empty gun with enemies still alive means either reloading out in the open like an idiot, or risking any possible overwatch shots in retreating, and again when coming back out.

Remember that MEC Troopers are not affected by Training Roulette-- but they are by Hidden Potential, with growth like that of an Assault. So, if you're usually using the main gun as stated above, convert a Colonel Sniper, while a Heavy convert should be done as a Squaddie, for the sake of the highest possible aim score.

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)