The Warthog is a very solid weapon for the Engineer that really suits it’s role and effective fighting range when paired with turrets and the secondary weapon options. With Mini Shells, we really resolve the main drawback of the Warthog, it’s ammo economy. At the cost of damage, however, I believe this to a good tradeoff overall as it allows much more flexibility in overall gameplay throughout most caves. Since the Warthog main role now is to deal with Grunts, it is not really effective against Praetorians, we need to rely on our secondary weapon to deal with tough single target enemies. Once we work around this change, Mini Shells can be a very reliable overclock to use that negates all ammo economy issues we might encounter.
If you prefer a a build that relies more on overall damage, but needs more management on ammo economy, check out the Cycle Overload build linked below.
Warthog Auto 210
T1A – Superchanged Feed Mechanism (+1 Rate of Fire)
T2B – Loaded Shells (+2 Pellets per Shots)
T3B – Quickfire Ejector (-0.5 Reload Speed)
T4B – Bigger Pellets (+1 Damage per Pellet)
T5B – Miner Adjustments (Becomes Full Auto; +0.5 Rate of Fire)
Mini Shells (+78 Max Ammo, +6 Magazine Size, -50% Recoil, -2 Damage per Pellet, Unable to stun)
Mini Shells really allows this shotgun to be a true primary weapon, one of the main downsides of the Warthog is it’s ammo economy, which Mini Shells pretty much resolves entirely. This does come at a small damage cost that we can help mitigate with T2B to add more overall pellets. With Mini Shells, and overall perk choice, it really allows the Engineer to remain a constant factor in all engagements without needing to worry about ammo economy during each one. This will be your main weapon for grunts and hordes, but it is not great for Praetorians, we reserve our secondary weapon to help deal with them.
Deepcore 40mm PGL
T1B – Extra Ammo (+2 Max Ammo)
T2A – Expanded Ammo Bags (+2 Max Ammo)
T3C – High Velocity Grenades (+180% Velocity)
T4A – Homebrew Explosive (Randomize damage between 80% and 140%)
T5B – Spiky Grenade (+60 Direct Damage)
Hyper Propellant (+385 Direct Damage, +350% Velocity, -70% AoE Radius, -2 Max Ammo)
This is the exact loadout used for Dreadnoughts because of its extremely high single target damage, so it makes sense that we want to use it here to deal with Praetorians and Oppressors with one hit. It pairs really well with Mini Shells Warthog as a complimenting weapon that does not overlap on rolls. With a total of 10 ammo, there should be plenty to use against tough single targets without needing to worry about ammo too much. Use your Warthog and turret combo to deal with hordes of grunts throughout the caves.
T1A – Prolonged Power Generation (+1.5 Projectile Lifetime)
T2A – Expanded Ammo Bags (+6 Max Ammo)
T3A – Quick Deploy (-0.2 Plasma Expansion Delay)
T4B – Disruptive Frequency Tuning (+100% to Stun for 3 seconds)
T5B – Plasma Trail (Leave behind a plasma trail, deals damage for 4.6 seconds)
Return to Sender (Holding down the trigger activates a remote connection, release to cause the line to move back to the gun. -6 Max Ammo)
The Breach Cutter offers a slightly different solution to the Warthog ammo damage drawback. Breach can both be used to clear hordes of enemies effectively with Return to Sender and Plasma Trail, or to deal with Praetorians and Oppressors as it melts health bars. Compared to the Deepcore, we have much more ammo with the Breach Cutter allowing us to be more flexible for when we use it.
LMG Gun Platform
T1A – Gemini System (+1 Max Turret, +90 Carried Ammo)
T2B – Quick Deploy (-2 seconds to Construct)
T3B – Stun (+20% to Stun)
T4A – Defender System (+5 Damage, Increase )
Gemini System (T1A) allows more coverage, on more angles and does more total damage when combined. While the MKII turret offers more damage, if both Gemini turrets are shooting the same target, they do more damage overall. Being able to damage 2 separate targets or to cover 2 different angles is more valuable then 1 enhanced turret.
T1B – Expanded Ammo Bags (+8 Max Ammo)
T2A – Plastcrete MKII (Reduce Fall Damage)
T3B – Repellant Additive (Bugs avoid walking on platforms)
Main points here are the increase in ammo, and bugs avoiding the platforms (when possible). T2 only has one option so there is no choice to be done. Option to take more ammo instead of the bug repellant (T3B) since the bugs will walk on the platforms if they need to regardless of the repellant.
Owl Amor Rig
T1A – Improved Generator (-1 Second Shield Recharge Delay)
T2B – Healthy (+20 Max Health)
T3A – Hazmat System (+50% Poison Resistance)
T4C – Breathing Room (+3 Second Revive Invulnerability)
Armor is pretty flexible in perk choice, I enjoyed the following perk combination. It will always be more beneficial to take T2B (Healthy) for the increase in health, rather then shield, which only gives +5. Shield also regenerates, while health does not unless you gather red sugar or a re-supply pod. I also found T4C to be helpful especially on harder difficulties were you might be revived in the middle of a horde of enemies, the extra seconds in invulnerability will really help to get to a safe distance to re-group.
The Lure grenade offers great versatility with engineer builds. It’s main quality is distracting enemies, while it does have a small explosion at the end, it does not do a lot of damage. The Lure is really helpful on higher difficulties to help with repositioning, getting a revive, or to just cluster enemies together for an explosion.
The new Shredder Swarm grenade is also really strong but is more a damaging grenade, rather then a utility grenade. The grenade will spawn a group of shredders that rip through bugs with very decent damage. They won’t do very much against a Praetorian, but will definitely help out in a horde.
Thorns : One of the better perks for the Engineer, since we don’t have any great crowd control against swarmers and alike (unless your turrets are up or you want to spend precious secondary weapon ammo, this perk really helps up out. It is capable of killing small enemies instantly after they hit us. It helps the overall crowd control capabilities. Definitely worth grabbing.
Resupplier : Another great perk that I recommend across all classes. If resupplying 50% faster wasn’t good enough to have in a pinch, gaining 25% more health each time is just the cherry on top. One of the best passive perks to have in my opinion.
Elemental Insulation : An optional choice, but a relatively strong one depending on the cave biome you’re in. Take 30% less damage from all elemental sources. This includes; Fire/Frost/Electricity/Poison/Radiation/Heat and Cold.
Deep Pockets : Another optional choice, this is more a quality of life perk choice, it allows you to hold +15 more minerals of each type. This can be particularly helpful when gathering resources from hard to reach places, and in general limit the amount of trips needed to deposit them. This especially shines in any mission that does not have a Molly.
Iron Will : Once per mission, you can revive yourself for 12 seconds before going back down. This may not sound like a great perk at first, but it can be a game saver. While on it’s own, not very strong, you can revive allies who can then revive you in turn. Alternatively, even in a solo game, there is a way you can stay alive, effectively turning this into a permanent self revive option. If you gather health within the 12 seconds, you will stay alive. This can be from Red Sugar, Resupply pods, or other means (Vampire Passive Perk). This perk is pretty strong on any class to keep for emergency situations. Recommended saving it’s use until absolutely necessary.
Field Medic: 100% a group game perk, do not use if playing solo. This perk should definitely be equipped when playing in a group game. The ability to revive allies 30%, fear enemies after reviving an ally, on top of the activation option of instantly reviving an ally, this perk can save games on its own.
Dash : Gain a very short burst of speed that can be used every 25 seconds (at max rank). This burst of speed ignores any slow effects you may be suffering, which can be really helpful when stuck in goo or any other slowing effects. You can even Dash while holding heavy objects like Aquarqs. This is particularly strong on slower classes, like the Engineer, in order to keep up with the team, or to escape a tight situation quickly.
Beast Master : A generally fun, and useful support perk, I found it’s best use in solo games, but it is not restricted to this mode. This perk allows you to convert a “Grunt” level enemy to be a companion. This includes “Grunts”;”Slashers” and “Guards”. I found Guards to be the best ones to grab, from the available options. It has the most health, which means, will survive the longest while grabbing enemy attention. In a pinch, the Slasher is also very helpful as it has the most damage to kill enemies from the available options. In the end, this is up to personal choice. There is a 5 minute cooldown between uses, allowing you to repeatability use this perk.