One of my favorite things to do when playing any new game is to try and make work some weird, gimmicky build I’ve cooked up in my head. For Star Wars: Battlefront II, this has manifested in my quest to make melee work on a Trooper class.
My curiosity with melee in SWBF2 began in beta, when I noticed a number of boost cards, such as Brawler and Stealth, offering bonuses for melee damage and melee kills. Without the full set of cards available, I wanted to find out if putting together a melee build was even really a thing in this game. As it turns out, it is possible and quite hilarious to pull off.
Keep in mind, I probably wouldn’t run this in Galactic Assault, but it can certainly work on Strike, and particularly in TDM, where running into enemies in close quarters is more common. Here’s how it works:
Melee on a Specialist? You’re probably thinking, “Mike, you’re insane. Specialists only have 100 HP!” And you’d be right, but it’ll make more sense soon.
Stealth is key to any melee build. The card is primarily used for its bonus of keeping you off the radar when firing your weapon, but it also comes with a massive +melee bonus that most will find useless outside of this build. I don’t suggest trying to pull this build off until you can acquire this card at Rare rarity (240 parts if building from scratch) for the +100 damage. You don’t need this card at Epic, as the extra 25 damage doesn’t change anything. Two hits will take out any Trooper class (Heavy has the most HP at 200).
This is another card which would probably never see much use outside of this build. Personal Shield is a great defensive cooldown, but it doesn’t let you fire your weapon. However, you can fire your weapon while the shield is on. Personal Shield is a toggle (like the Heavy’s Combat Shield) only it protects you from all angles. At base rank, the shield will add +160HP to your paper thin Specialist, turning her from the most fragile Trooper class in the game, to having 60 more HP than a Heavy. The shield goes all the way up to 240 HP at Epic rarity, giving you a total of 340 HP while you have it on.
This card is what gels the whole build together. Brawler gives you health on melee kill, which is super useful as you’ll be running into the thick of things, but what really makes this card crazy is the fact that it refreshes your cooldowns on melee kills as well. This proc lets you pop your Personal Shield back on after every kill, refresh Infiltration (only if its currently on cooldown). This card is fine at base rank, but like the Personal Shield, it only gets more awesome as you upgrade it.
Once you’ve got the full hand of cards set up, the strategy is fairly straightforward, though there is some clunkiness to be aware of. Aside from the Personal Shield, what really allows melee to work on a Specialist is the Infiltration ability. This ability has been nerfed into the ground since beta, making it useless for its primary purpose, since the EE-4 it equips you with is now terrible. However, the ability still reveals enemies on the minimap while keeping you hidden on the enemy minimap, and it’s this function that lets you run around and ambush people to pull off some hilarious killstreaks. I’ve taken out anywhere from five to seven players in a single go using Infiltration to flank a group.
The clunkiness of the build is due to the restrictions on Personal Shield. You can’t fire your gun, which doesn’t matter, but you also can’t activate other abilities. This means you’ll want to be sure you activate Infiltration before you toggle on Personal Shield, otherwise you’ll need to toggle it off and incur the full recharge (unless you manage to pull a kill off with only your base 100 HP to get the reset).
That’s it! If you’re like me and enjoy pulling off some shenanigans with a cheesy build, you’ll probably get a ton of laughs out of this one, particularly on TDM.
Got any build tips of your own? Share ‘em with us in the comments below!