Playing pansy-ass glass cannon characters like Drell Adepts or Quarian Spec Ops fighters isn’t for everyone. Even if you enjoy stealthy, careful play, it’s nice to take a break every now and then.
And if you’re going to go agressive, what better way to do it than by bashing your way through the frontlines headfirst, covered in the blood/motor oil of your enemies?
Take a more hands-on approach to saving the galaxy withthe Krogan Sentinel. Do it for Tuchanka.
Basic overview/race traits
As you probably know from Mass Effect’s single player story, Krogan are raised from birth to be battle-hardened soldiers. Essentially the space version of snapping turtles, they’re heroes in a half shell, and they’re mean. Krogan carapaces provide ample protection and massively damaging melee, at the price of mobility.
- Tanking: With the potential for more than double the health and shield amounts of some other species, Krogan are tough sons of turtles. While this doesn’t make them invincible by any means, it does give you a lot of wiggle room when taking hits. You can stay out of cover longer, or live long enough under fire to revive teammates and complete objectives.
- Melee rage: The Krogan passive ability, Rage, gives you a huge boost in melee damage and life (in the form of damage reduction) when scoring consecutive melee kills. Krogan headbutting and charging are already rewarding in and of itself, but they can effectively make you a walking, screaming tank if executed in a series.
- No barrel rolls: Unfortunately, Krogan can’t perform evasive rolls due to their heft and weight. Sure, you can take lots of damage when you need to, but not being able to dodge a Banshee’s deadly grasp on reaction can lead to unfortunate outcomes. You’ll have to plan ahead to avoid getting put in positions like this.
While a Krogan Sentinel isn’t particularly agile, he can achieve upwards of 2,500 HP and 70% damage reduction, granting over 8,000 effective combined health and shields. Once rage mode is activated, it’s possibly to melee Marauders, Banshees, and Geth Pyros in one or two hits, instantly eliminating opponents that are dominating your teammates. Turtles haven’t been this fun since the 90s!
Tech Armor greatly enhances your defense and provides an optional attack at the expense of slowing your other skills’ cooldowns. You can spec this ability to basically halve all damage you take, further boosting the Krogan Sentinel’s already impressive life bar. If you get caught in a sticky situation, Tech Armor can be detonated for an area explosion, though doing so is usually a measure of last resort.
There really isn’t a strategy for using Tech Armor. In general, you’ll activate it at the beginning of the game and leave it on the entire match. Even if you’re downed, you’ll be revived with Tech Armor active, so it is truly a set it and forget it skill.
The fact that Tech Armor slows all recharge rates by 60% is largely moot for the Krogan Sentinel. His Lift Grenades don’t have any cooldown, and Incinerate is terrible on the character and will usually be avoided. For all intents and purposes, there is no downside to leaving Tech Armor on constantly.
Recommended evolutions: protection (4), melee damage (5), protection (6)
Since you’ll primarily be relying on Tech Armor for defense while you’re bashing in enemy skulls, the level 4 and level 6 protection boosts are mandatory. While you could take power damage at level five, Lift Grenades are generally used for crowd control, not brute force. Opt for melee insanity instead.
Lift Grenade flings unprotected enemies into the air, giving you and your team a bunch of clay pigeons to shoot down. Like all grenade abilities, it has no cooldown so it suffers no penalty from Tech Armor. Its damage is fairly low compared to most other ordinances of its nature, so don’t expect it to take down a Geth Prime anytime soon.
Since Lift Grenades don’t work on foes with shields, barriers, or armor, they’re really only good for causing chaos in a crowd before charging in head-first. They will rarely score kills for you outright, but good placement can shut down half an enemy group while you take out the rest. Lift Grenades will also instantly disable Guardians, ripping them from their shields and flinging them into the heavens.
Remember that grenades must be refilled at ammunition crates or by using a Thermal Clip Pack. Since you’ll be using primarily weapons (as opposed to powers) as a Krogan Sentinel, you should be topping off your supply of clips on a regular basis anyway. In other words, if you forget to restock on grenades, you’re probably out of bullets, too. All the more reason to melee a clear path to the next crate, right?
Recommended evolutions: radius (4), capacity (5), either (6)
Because Lift Grenade does fairly poor damage, I wouldn’t advise boosting it considerably. You’re better off taking a wide-ranging effect at level four and getting more uses at five. The last evolution is a toss-up (ha!) between a powerful Slam effect and more radius (with damage as an aside). If you find you frequently miss your target, take radius. Otherwise, Slam is a good way to finish affected targets.
Incinerate fires a ball of flame at your target, melting flesh and armor. And while it’s certainly a good skill in its own right, Incinerate simply doesn’t shine on a Krogan Sentinel.
For starters, most enemies with armor aren’t too difficult to take out with melee or heavy guns. Sure, a Geth Pyro can be dangerous, but with Rage activated, it is easily disposed in two punches to the face or a sniper shot to its fuel tank.
And if you’re going to be carrying around powerful weaponry, you simply won’t have a chance to use Incinerate. A big rifle and a shotgun will weigh you down quickly. Coupled with the 60% recharge drawback of Tech Armor, your Incinerate will only be available every 10 seconds or so!
For this reason, you should put zero points into Incinerate. With powerful melee, gigantic guns, and Lift Grenade to flush adversaries out of cover, it’s not necessary. Your points are needed for your primary skills and passive bonuses much more dearly.
Recommended evolutions: N/A
If you still decide against all reason to use Incinerate on your Krogan Sentinel, the evolutions don’t really matter. They all have situational uses, so you’ll have to decide between burst damage to armor, DOT, and crowd control.
Krogan Berserker and Rage
Your Krogan Sentinel’s passives boost his offensive and defensive capabilities, including bonuses to his class-specific Rage mode. Since you won’t be using active powers other than Lift Grenade, you should maximize weapon damage at every evolution of Krogan Berserker.
For Rage ability branches, it’s preferable to have a mix of defensive and offensive upgrades. Taking health & shields at level four will probably be worth more than a 30-60% melee boost. At level five, however, you’re offered a 75% melee boost for 30 seconds every time you score a heavy melee kill. This is on top of your Rage bonuses! Since this will be extremely frequent, it will have a much larger impact on your efficacy than a 15% shield recharge.
Finally, take Pure Rage over Fitness Expert. Sure, an extra 25% defensive boost (+5% damage reduction) is great, but being able to trigger Rage more easily (from three kills down to two) will pay off more in the long run. it will be exceedingly easy to enter Rage, giving you the 35% bonus damage reduction more frequently. Without Pure Rage, you aren’t likely to trigger this bonus too often on Silver or Gold matches
With this setup and a melee damage mod on your weapon, you’ll be able to deal thousands of damage during your headbutting sprees. Betcha don’t miss Incinerate much any more.
Krogan Berserker recommended evolutions: weapon damage (4), headshot damage (5), weapon damage (6)
Rage recommended evolutions: health/shield (4), melee boost (5), melee damage/trigger kills (6)
Aside from some minor evolution variations, there’s really only one effective way to build a Krogan Sentinel, as far as I’m concerned. It can be summed up in two words:
For Tuchanka! (heavy hitting build)
Heavy guns. Heavy shields. Heavy melee. Heavy fuckin’ metal. If this sounds like the way you always wanted to play a Krogan, you’re in luck. With this build you’ll be nearly maximizing melee damage and making it easy to trigger Rage mode.
Since none of your abilities rely on cooldowns, you can carry two extremely weighty, damaging weapons at no penalty. At long range you can sustain fire out of cover for extended periods (thanks to high shields and damage reduction). At mid range you’ll have the HP to dash straight at enemies and nail them with 1000+ point melee attacks. The first time you take down a Brute with nothing but your skull, you’ll laugh. By the hundredth time it happens, you’ll consider it child’s play.
Build allocation: Tech Armor (6), Lift Grenade (6), Krogan Berserker (6), Rage (6), Incinerate (0)
Weapons and equipment
Since you don’t have to worry about cooldowns, stock up on the biggest, baddest weapons you have. No pistols. No SMGs. Choose a solid assault rifle, then pick a sniper rifle or shotgun. I’d recommend staying away from a sniper/shotgun combo, since it doesn’t give you a solid way of dealing with shields.
Whether you want to use longer-range weapons while you close the gap, or just rush in with a shotgun for CQC carnage, that’s up to you. Just remember to pick up ammo and grenades frequently, and don’t be afraid to use your Thermal Clip Packs if necessary. Or, you know, just smash everything with your fists. That’s also perfectly acceptable.
When loading up on single-use equipment, start with adrenaline-boosting movement upgrades. Your ability to get into close range quickly (and escape if you get overwhelmed) will be vital to activating Rage and getting out with your life.
Since Krogan are highly gear-dependent, skipping weapons upgrades is not an option. Choose a weapon rail that matches your loadout, then stock up on Disruptor Ammo, Incendiary Ammo, or Warp Ammo.
Disruptor Ammo shuts down shields and synthetics, Incendiary will melt Brutes and Ravagers, and Warp Ammo will help handle Phantoms. If you’re going into the mission blind, any will do.
While you’ll need to play more cautiously on Gold, the Krogan Sentinel playstyle is pretty much as follows: shoot stuff to weaken it, melee two foes for Rage, rampage through the rest of the game. Once you’ve gotten Rage activated, you’ll be able to take mini-boss monsters on toe-to-toe, plus you’ll find it easier to capture objectives, revive allies, and make extraction.
If all else fails, you happen to have two of the most powerful guns in the galaxy strapped to your back. Try pointing the dangerous ends towards the enemy. The results might surprise you.