[Top 5] Mechwarrior 5 Best Brawler Mechs

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[Top 5] Mechwarrior 5 Best Brawler Mechs

Brawlers like the Orion excel at long to mid range combat.

To the game’s credit, Mechwarrior 5: Mercenaries has an abundance of battlemechs, along with their variants.  And with each new DLC, players get more ‘Mechs to pilot and customize.  Because of this, mercenary commanders like us have more options when assembling our team for a mission.  One thing is certain though, a lot of us players put at least one brawler ‘Mech in our squad to make things easier.

Newer players may be asking, “What exactly is a brawler ‘Mech and what does it actually do?”  If we’re to follow sarna.net’s definition, brawlers are ‘Mechs that have medium range, mid speed and have either some long range weapons or above average armor to compensate.  (That’s pretty much any ‘Mech if built right, if you ask me.)

These ‘Mechs are good for defense and assault missions mainly due to the weapons they carry and are also used to protect your squad’s juggernauts.  Additionally, brawlers can be used to hunt down enemy missile boats or snipers and can hold the line against advancing enemies (which is great for warzone missions.)  However, I don’t recommend using brawlers often for missions that require speed since running fast isn’t really their strong suit.  

To that end, I’ve come up with a list of what I think are the best brawlers in MW5.  


5. Gray Death SHD-GH

Equip an LBX AC/10 as soon as you can.  You won’t regret it.


  • Weight:  55 tons
  • Armor:  336/382
  • Structure:  191 Endosteel
  • Free Tonnage:  26.07 tons
  • Speed:  81 km/h XL
  • Standard Loadout:  2 Medium Lasers (Right Arm), 1 LRM 5 (Right Torso), 1 SRM 2 (Head), 1 AC/10 (Left Torso), 2 Medium Lasers (Left Arm)

Pulled from the burning wreckage & destruction of Carlyle’s Commandos in 3024, the Gray Death was the personal Shadow Hawk of Grayson Carlyle.  Through a series of stunning victories, Grayson and his newly formed Gray Death Legion had their revenge on Duke Ricol and the Draconis Combine, immortalizing him to the people of Trellwan.  


  • Varied weapon loadout makes the Gray Death a versatile machine capable of dealing with foes from any range.  
  • Decently armored for a medium ‘Mech which makes it a good early & mid game brawler.
  • Equipped with Double Heat Sinks that lets the Gray Death cool faster.  

Exchange the default Autocannon for something with more punch, like an LBX 10 or Ultra AC 10.  Put some high tier medium lasers as well.  With the speed this ‘Mech has, it is a great brawler/harasser unit early mid game.  With decent aim, players can take down enemies above its weight class.  Just remember to play it smart & use jump jets if you need to make a quick escape.

Unlike the SHD-5M, the Gray Death is available earlier, the year 3024, specifically.  Look for it in industrial hubs like you would other hero ‘Mechs.  Save before going to an industrial hub system with a skull icon.  Reload if it doesn’t show.


4. Grid Iron HBK-GI

Don’t underestimate a Gauss Rifle, especially if it’s tier 5.


  • Weight:  50 tons
  • Armor:  336/350
  • Structure:  175 Endosteel
  • Free Tonnage:  29.07 tons
  • Speed:  64.8 km/h XL
  • Standard Loadout:  1 Medium Pulse Laser (Right Arm), 1 Gauss Rifle (Right Torso), 1 Small Laser (Head), 1 SRM 6 (Left Torso), 1 Medium Pulse Laser (Left Arm)

Prior to becoming a mechwarrior, Jacoby Abioye was a starting quarterback for an American football league within the Magistracy of Canopus.  After the death of his grandmother, Jacoby enlisted with her former unit, the Second Canopian Fusiliers.  Never able to fully drop his love of the game, Jacoby renamed his inherited Hunchback Grid Iron.  Although he would never live up to be anything more than an average mechwarrior, Jacoby’s prior notoriety from his football career was leveraged by the Magistracy Armed Forces in various recruitment ads throughout the Magistracy.  


  • Works well as a sniper thanks to its shoulder mounted Gauss Rifle.
  • 2 Medium Pulse Lasers & an SRM launcher makes the Grid Iron able to brawl at close range.
  • 3 Double Heat Sinks vent excess heat so you can fire your lasers & SRM more often.  

Upgrade the Gauss rifle as soon as possible if you plan on using Grid Iron as a sniper.  Otherwise, switch the Gauss for an LBX Autocannon & upgrade your pulse lasers and SRM to take down enemies from close range quicker.  Other than that, play it cool, pick your targets & don’t be reckless.  The Grid Iron isn’t supposed to be played like an assault ‘Mech, nor is it fit to be in a juggernaut role.  

The Grid Iron can be bought early on,  3015 to be precise.    Check out industrial hubs with the skull icon.  As usual, the standard procedure is to save first, check the industrial hub, reload if no Grid Iron is found.  


3. Top Dog TDR-5S-T

Top Dog is what players call a zombie ‘Mech, which is a ‘Mech that can keep on fighting despite losing most of its limbs. 


  • Weight:  65 tons
  • Armor:  416/434
  • Structure:  217
  • Free Tonnage:  25.44 tons
  • Speed:  64.8 km/h
  • Standard Loadout:  1 Large Laser (Right Arm), 4 Medium Lasers (Right Torso), 4 Medium Lasers (Left Torso)

Mary Tallman grew up around ‘Mechs.  Her father was a house Tech with the 22nd Avalon Hussars. In her late teens, she built her own Locust from spare parts.  Being comfortable inside a ‘Mech had its downside, and she chafed under the classwork at NAIS, instead leaving and enlisting with the 22nd Avalon Hussars.  With time, 2 things became apparent; Mary was a competent officer and unlikely to see promotion past Company Commander.  After 3 years with the Robinson DMM, she was offered her own command of the Bremmon Draconis March Militia, and quickly turned that troublesome unit around.  An expert at atmospheric drops, it’s no surprise Mary’s ‘Mech is one designed for planetary assault & her constant tinkering means that her Thunderbolt is anything but standard.  


  • Very effective mid range brawler due to its 9 lasers.
  • Almost all of its weapons are located in the torso, meaning the Top Dog can continue fighting despite losing both arms & a leg.
  • Ideal for prolonged engagements since its laser weapons don't require ammo.    

In the hands of a skilled player, the Top Dog's lasers can take down almost any target.  The only issue I have with this ‘Mech is heat buildup.  I suggest outfitting the Top Dog with double heat sinks as soon as you get them if you intend to use this ‘Mech as one of your main damage dealers.  

The TDR-5S-T will spawn at random in industrial hubs with a skull icon from 3025 onwards.    Save, travel to the hub system & reload if RNG isn’t on your side.  


2. Yad al-Jauza ON1-YAJ

Not really a fan of those blunderbuss-like arms, but they can house large lasers so I'm not complaining.


  • Weight:  75 tons
  • Armor:  448/474
  • Structure:  237
  • Free Tonnage:  37.19 tons
  • Speed:  64.8 km/h XL
  • Standard Loadout:  1 Large Laser & 1 LRM 10 (Right Arm), 1 Large Laser & 2 LRM 10 (Left Torso), 1 Large Laser (Left Arm)

Driven to madness by a shapeless cult known as The Will of Kali, Aditi Whidbey had attracted outside attention through the merciless butchering of civilians.  Piloting a ‘mech she styled Yad al-Jauza, she claimed it fell from the sky & was granted to her to fulfill her destiny.  Seemingly excommunicated from the religion she gave her life to, she and the splinter sect she led intended to purge the Inner Sphere of heresy and sought to bring about as much death as possible.  


  • Great long range damage dealer with its default weapon loadout. 
  • Equipped with 5 Double Heat Sinks to help manage excess heat, ensuring the YAJ can deal damage consistently
  • Has great customization options since the YAJ is one of the only two Orion variants that have the most free tonnage.  

Yad al-Jauza is a capable brawler & sniper ‘Mech.  Players can poke targets from far away with the YAJ’s 3 large lasers.  It also has ample armor.  Personally, I swap the LRMs for SRMs for more damage, especially if players are using the YAJ as a brawler.  Besides, with 3 SRM launchers, you can hit harder compared to just having LRMs.  Also make sure to upgrade your weapons to the highest tier available to you for increased DPS.  

Once players reach Reputation 9, the Hazing the Weak questline becomes available.  After completing all 4 missions of the quest chain, players will get a damaged ON1-YAJ as a reward. 


1. Golden Boy KTO-GB

I pity the ‘Mech that receives a full SRM alpha strike to the face from this bad boy.


  • Weight:  55 tons
  • Armor:  368/382
  • Structure:  191
  • Free Tonnage:  28.57 tons
  • Speed:  64.8 km/h XL
  • Standard Loadout:  2 Medium Pulse Lasers (Right Arm), 1 Medium Pulse Laser & 2 SRM 6 (Left Arm), 1 SRM 6 (Right Torso), 2 SRM 4 (Center Torso)

The Kintaro was originally designed in 2578 as a frontline unit designed to deliver NARC missile beacons for allied forces.  With the loss of the last known NARC factory in 2792, the Kintaro simply became another missile platform, and eventually led to the production of the downgraded KTO-18 by the Federated Suns.  Whatever the variant, the KTO is still a tough frontline ‘Mech capable of delivering an impressive salvo for a ‘Mech of its size.  


  • With 5 SRM launchers, the GB can make short work of almost any enemy.    
  • Equipped with 6 Double Heat Sinks to help dissipate excess heat, ensuring the Golden Boy can consistently fire its SRMs
  • 3 Medium Pulse Lasers work well as back up weapons when your SRMs are in cooldown.

I know I’ve said that brawlers are categorized as mid range, mid speed & armed with long range weapons, but hear me out.  The Golden Boy can pretty much destroy any ‘Mech unlucky enough to take every hit from its SRM alpha strike, which makes it perfect for the brawler role if you don’t mind getting closer to your opponent.  

Pro tip: Try to shoot those SRMs only when enemies are moving towards you or away from you so that your missiles have more chances to hit.  Never fire your SRMs at enemies circling you.  You’ll waste your shots that way.

The Golden Boy can be found in industrial hubs very early in the game. (as early as 3015)  If you’re specifically hunting for it, save before going to various industrial hubs.  That way, you can reload your save if the Golden Boy doesn’t appear.  


The Wolfhound can technically be classified as a brawler by sarna.net’s definition but I usually prefer heavier ‘Mechs to fill my brawler roles.

Brawler battlemechs are the all-arounders of any ‘Mech squad.  I usually prefer having 2 of them along with a missile boat to make missions easy, especially if we have weight restrictions that deter us from fielding 2 or more assault ‘Mechs.  Additionally, don’t forget to level up the skills of your A.I. pilots.  Players will need all the help they can get once the difficulty starts to ramp up late game.  


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