MechWarrior Online Dragon Chassis Guide

MechWarrior Online Dragon Chassis Guide by Orzorn

This guide details the general tactics, need to know information, and details about the Dragon chassis that is essential to proper battlefield performance.

Before I begin, keep these two facts in mind during the guide:
The Dragon is has a large, easy to hit center torso
The Dragon’s hardpoints reflect those of a generalist
Good logic tells us that the above two facts combine to tell us that the Dragon is a long range fire support mech.
It is important to note that the developers have confirmed that they ARE fixing the Dragon’s center torso hitbox. However, this does not mean it will no longer be a point of weakness. The Dragon having a large center torso is a staple negative feature of the chassis, expect that to continue.
Down to Business

Variants and Hardpoints

Before we discuss anything further, let’s cover the Dragon’s variants.
The 1N is the primary variant of the Dragon. It is equipped with an AC/5, two medium lasers, and an LRM 10. Its hardpoints are 2 Ballistic, 2 Missile, and 4 Energy.

The 1C is a longer ranged variant that replaces the AC/5 with an AC/2 and mounts additional armor. Its hardpoints are the same as the -1N.

The 5N is a variant that upgrades the mech using Star League technology. The AC/5 is replaced with a UAC/5, however, the left torso medium laser has been removed. Its hardpoints are 2 Ballistic, 2 Missile, and 2 Energy.

It is recommended that, until modules are released, the reader purchase the -1N. It isn’t all doom and gloom though. I have the -5N and manage just fine, however, your builds on the -5N will be much more ballistic oriented due to your reduced access to energy weaponry.
How to Train Build Your Dragon

Keeping our initial facts in mind, building the Dragon also requires an additional rule once again tying into the large center torso:
You must keep out of contact with the enemy forces, or risk being cored within seconds. The answer to this is, of course, speed. Anything under 70 km/h risks extended contact with most enemy forces.

So, keeping this rule in mind as well, remember to start with the engine FIRST. Decide how fast you really need to go to accomplish your goals. Are you going to be bringing up the rear with an AC/5, or are you going to be sniping at range with a Gauss Rifle or LRMs? Being in the back means needed less speed, while staying with allies means having a larger engine is key to surviving contact with the enemy. However, there are plenty of exceptions to this idea, such as a quick repositioning long ranged harasser.

After determining engine size, your role is generally decided for you. The slower the Dragon is, the further from the enemy you should keep yourself. However, what is open to interpretation is how you will accomplish your mission. The Dragon is a generalist design, so a large variety of weapons can be mounted to meet your needs. Regardless of your goals, it is important to keep this large distinction in mind: The Dragons arms are its greatest weapons asset. This is because your weak center torso often requires you to point it away from enemies while using the weapons in your arms. Keeping your stronger weapons in your arms also gives you greater flexibility in combat.
Mommy, Can I Play With the Big Dragon?

Why yes, you can. The Dragon is much more than the walking center torso people often make it out to be. Its flexibility allows it to be a combat nuisance at almost any range, while also being hard to catch. Take advantage of your speed and flexibility. The Dragons great range of arm movement, and the deadly weapons it can mount within them, is matched by no other mech currently (All other mechs with arms as flexible only mount energy weapons in them). You can make snap shots that most mechs will be envious of by using those flexible arms.

Being the good student that you are, you ask, but what about the huge center torso? Great question, and this is once again answered using the flexibility and power of the Dragon’s arms. Try to keep your torso twisted away from the enemy and your arms pointed towards them. This exposes your much less important side torsos (and entirely useless if you’re piloting the -5N). People often focus so hard on shooting your center torso that they will ignore all other parts to do so, including your extremely important arms.

Just to drive the point home, I would personally argue that the arms are the most important part of the Dragon. They are your bread and butter. Without them you are nothing but 2 energy hardpoints and 2 missile hardpoints that must be aimed using your extremely bulbous center torso. The arms allow you to counteract the bullseye on your chest. Using your arms isn’t just required while playing the Dragon; it’s a way of life.
Mini Mechlab

The Dragon’s wide variety of hardpoints allows it many different builds, but here’s two of my favorites.

1 Gauss Rifle w/ 3 tons of ammunition
2 Medium Pulse lasers
300 XL Engine
Max armor

This build allows the user to snipe for an extended period of time. Good leading and careful waiting for the perfect shot can allow the user to totally devastate mechs from a long distance. Any close range adversaries are hopefully avoided by the powerful 300 XL engine or destroyed by the combined efforts of the accurate and powerful medium pulse lasers and Gauss rifle.

1 LB-10X w/ 3 tons of ammunition
1 SRM 4 w/ 1 ton of ammunition
300 XL Engine
368/402 Armor

This build is one I cooked up recently. Its a strong sniper with proper aim and careful heat management. It acts a seriously scary close range beatstick if any enemies dare to close the distance, using the PPC to eat through armor and the SRM 4 and LB-10X to seek out weak spots and destroy criticals.
Thanks for reading

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