MEC Trooper (EU2012)
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. 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:
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.
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:
- - Assault: Shock-Absorbent Armor - Damage received from enemies within 4 tiles is reduced by 33%.
- - Heavy - Body Shield - The nearest visible enemy suffers -20 Aim and cannot critically hit this unit.
- - Sniper: Platform Stability - Any shots taken without moving have +10 Aim and +10% critical chance.
- - Support: Distortion Field - Nearby allies in cover receive +10 Defense.
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:
- Mobility: Advanced Servomotors - gives additional movement.
- Armor: Shaped Armor - gives 3 additional HPs.
- Flamethrower: Elerium Jelly - increases weapon's damage from 6 to 9.
- Kinetic Strike Module: MEC Close Combat - increases weapon's damage from 12 to 18 and using the Kinetic Strike as first action doesn't automatically end the MEC's turn.
- MEC Troopers get monotone, Robocop-esque voice.
|MEC-1 Warden||Flamethrower vs Kinetic Strike Module|
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 square; you must be in one of the 4 adjacent squares to your target.
- 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 and move afterwards.
|MEC-2 Sentinel||Grenade Launcher vs Restorative Mist|
- 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.
- 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 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 Paladin||Proximity Mine Launcher vs Electro Pulse|
Proximity Mine Launcher
- 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.
- 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.
- The Assault's Shock-Absorbent Armor works well with a close combat oriented MEC, and helps to protect against melee enemies.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
|Corporal||Advanced Fire Control vs Automated Threat Assessment|
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.
|Sergeant||Vital Point Targeting vs Damage Control|
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 is also suited for Close Assault MECs that are on the midst of a prolonged engagement.
|Lieutenant||Jet Boot Module vs One For All|
- 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.
|Captain||Repair Servos vs Expanded Storage|
- 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.
- 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.
- Collateral Damage does not count for this ability, and will end the turn if used as the first action.
|Colonel||Absorption Fields vs Reactive Targeting Sensors|
- 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.
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.
- 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.
|XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012): XCOM Units|
|Soldiers:||Assault • Heavy • Sniper • Support • Psionic • MEC Trooper (EW DLC)|
|S.H.I.Vs:||S.H.I.V.• Alloy S.H.I.V. • Hover S.H.I.V.|
|Attributes:||Classes • Class Builds • Abilities • Stats • Nicknames • Gene Mods (EW DLC) • Medals (EW DLC)|
|Loadout:||Weapons • Armor • Equipment • MEC Suit (EW DLC)|
|Barracks:||Officer Training School • Psi Lab • Memorial • Genetics Lab (EW DLC) • Cybernetics Lab (EW DLC)|
|Other:||Volunteer • Heroes • Zhang (Slingshot DLC) • Annette (EW DLC) • Covert Operative (EW DLC) • Training Roulette (EW DLC)|