“My teeth are swords, my claws spears, the shock of my tail a thunderbolt, my wings a hurricane, and my breath death!”
— J.R.R Tolkien, The Hobbit.
The Dragoons were a form of light cavalry in the 17th and 18th Century Europe. How did they get their name? From the unique handgun they carried of course; the Dragon.
We might have skipped quite a few centuries into the WR Universe, so we don’t have regiments charging on horseback but we do have Shocktrain Bulgasaris and Orkan Spectres scouring the field and scorching the earth. Who do you call to deliver you from this evil?
Why, call the cavalry, of course. The Dragoon is here, mounted on the suitably named steed, the Carnage.
Boasting a max range of 600m, the Dragon delivers impressive, very impressive damage through its blue plasma bolts. Mounting a pair on Carnage means it can be deployed pretty fast and wherever the action needs to be.
A very pertinent comparison would be its other 600m cousin, the Zeus. Whereas the Zeus damages the opponent in an instant and then goes into a 6s reload, the Dragoon is all about sustained, and massive damage for the first 4 charges and one additional bolt every 3s. While the Zeus is ideal for taking out your enemy, the Dragoon does that in addition to the psychological pressure of being hit constantly from 600m.
Another less appreciated factor of Dragoon is that it doesn’t need a lock-on before hit. In those 3s the Zeus needs for a lock on, a Haechi, Kumiho or a Strider can close that gap and take you out. But not so with the Dragoon. The Dragoon also acts like a conventional plasma weapon, notching damage in any part of the bot as long as it has no physical shield. This is a vast improvement to Zeus that only hit the centre of the bot and as a result could be blocked easy by hiding half the bot’s body.
Meanwhile, like the trusty calvary, the Carnage can take its position very quickly. A well placed Dragoon Carnage can act as area deterrent on large maps and shut down entire lanes of the map. The reach of 600m means you can access the most of the map unless it’s Yamantau. In fact, the impressive damage lets you soften up a shielded bot for your brawler compatriots... if it’s not already dead by then.
While pretty much all bots are Dragoon lunch, it excels at quelling the Korean bots. With a quick recharge, the Kumiho is just roadkill, the Haechi dead and a Bulgasari... well, there’s this neat little trick about using rush to bob between 600-501m. The Shocktrain Bulgasari can’t respond well to sudden changes in direction while it’s engaging its shield. The Shocktrain has a lock-on period like Zeus so, you have a window before it can fire it after having to recalibrate its shield. The extra 100m range does provide a very generous leeway.
The main problems that trouble a Dragoon Carnage are the weaknesses of the robot. Trebuchets and Gekkos are dangerous, especially if levelled up. Another rather dangerous weapon for it is the Tempest and Molots. It can whittle down the ancile pretty quick and with extra 200m range, will make quick work of your Dragoon Carnage. Zeus and Scourge bypass the Ancile — they will kill you pretty quick if caught out in open. Also, most importantly, when the range advantage is lost, this set-up is underwhelming at a sub-350m range, so avoid brawling like the plague.
Remember, like Zeus, it has limited usability is close maps like Dead City. However, if you can find a perching position, again, you can shut down lanes and force enemies to go through certain routes that your teammates can blockade.
I, for one, am glad to have a K-bot killer on my hands. Dragoon has got me hyped like very few recent releases have done, and eventually I hope there’ll be more of them on the battlefield.