Mass Effect 2 Teammate Combat Profile: Miranda Lawson
Posted on Wednesday, February 9 2011 @ 08:43:18 PST
Name: Miranda Lawson
Becomes available to player: Freedom's Progress
Weapon of Choice:
SMG: The SMG is a sweet weapon. Not the most accurate tool available, but with its high rate of fire and large weapon clip, there's plenty of room for error. This is a good thing. Especially for Miranda. Because while she may BRAG to Shepard that she can cap a mech's cranium at 100 yards, Miranda's really not much of a gunfighter. She's not completely worthless, of course, but if you're depending on HER trigger finger for effective fire support, expect to be spending some Q.T. with the post-death load screen.
Miss Lawson's no Annie Oakley, and that's why I highly recommend switching Miranda to her trusty SMG at the beginning of most every mission. It's her best close-range defensive option, and she can use it quite effectively to defend her position while she waits for you to call down her biotic and tech powers (because that's why you brought her, anyway).
Kasumi's DLC makes the SMG an even more attractive option right from the start of the game, because you can go grab the peerless Kassa Locust within an hour or so of starting a new character. I highly recommend doing this, as the Locust is easily 1000 times better than your starting SMG. It's faster, deadlier, and more accurate; and considering how many of your squadmates use the SMG, the sooner you can add it to your arsenal, the better.
Once you acquire the Tempest on Tali's recruitment mission, your SMG choice gets a little more difficult. The Tempest, like the Locust, is fully automatic; and while it's considerably less accurate, it's a freaking volcano up close. This trade-off makes the two SMGs about even, so have Miranda equip whichever one you prefer.
My suggestion: For most missions, the Locust's accuracy makes it generally more effective. However, if you think you're about to face husks, bugs, varren, or other similar charging enemies, let Miranda take the Tempest. The bigger clip helps.
Heavy Pistol: Only have Miranda use the heavy pistol when it's obvious that the limited stopping power of an SMG just won't cut it. Against multiple regenerative krogan, YMIR mechs, and bosses, the SMG's spray can seem to bounce like rice off a turtle's back. I recommend relying primarily on Miranda's biotic and tech powers in these situations, but having her switch to the heavy pistol doesn't hurt, either.
For Miranda and all other pistol-packing squad members, I strongly recommend the Phalanx heavy pistol (if you've got it). It's like a mini sniper rifle. If you don't have that DLC, the Hand Cannon is the next best option. Either pistol is a significant upgrade over the initial one, and since your teammates don't have to worry about ammo consumption, you might as well give them the heaviest pistols they can carry.
Warp: Miranda has arguably the most versatile power set of any team member, and her biotic Warp is the featured dish. And boy, can she dish it out.
Warp? What is it good for? Absolutely everything.
Got a husk infestation? Warp those fools.
Charging krogan crushing your mellow? Have Miranda slap him with a Warp.
Asari Vanguard giving you the blues? Hit her with some sweet Warp music.
Quite simply, if it isn't shielded, Warp will work. That's all you need to know. Warp is Miranda's best power, and it should be maxed out as soon as you can spare the points. Heavy Warp does more straight damage, so if you think you'll be having trouble with bosses, pick that one. Otherwise, pick Unstable Warp, as it makes for some devastating biotic power combos.
Overload: As if Warp weren't enough, Miranda also gets Overload. In essence, this means that there isn't a single enemy in the ENTIRE GAME that can't be affected by one of Miranda's powers. Overload is the yang to Warp's yin, and should be used in the instance that Warp is somehow ineffective.
Is Overload worth spending the extra points to upgrade fully? It's your call, really. I typically only upgrade Miranda's Overload to level three, but I've fully upgraded it before, and the two power evolution choices ARE quite nice. Heavy Overload is self-explanatory- higher damage, but Area Overload is the real gem here; as it allows Miranda to drop the shields of an entire squad. If YOUR Shepard doesn't have a viable option against shields, fully upgrading this power for Miranda might be worth a look.
Cerberus Officer: If you're going to max out another one of Miranda's powers, this should be it. Sure, it's not really a power, but the bonuses to squad weapon damage that Miranda receives at the higher levels of this "power" make the points well worth it. I highly recommend selecting Cerberus Leader when you get there, because it allows for the highest squad weapon damage possible.
Slam: Everyone seems to LOOOOVE biotic Slam. I do not. Yeah, it looks cool, but Miranda's other two powers are so much better that Slam seems like a bit of an afterthought. Just like Pull and Throw, you have to drop an enemy's other defenses before Slam will do ANYTHING. At that point, why waste time with theatrics when you can just finish the poor sap? Slam is a strictly situational power, and I don't value it very highly.
If you insist on letting Miranda use it, I guess you could put a few extra points into Slam, but I strongly discourage maxing it out fully. There are much better options.
Organic-killing: Miranda is great against organics. Organic enemies can be seen using all three types of personal defense options: Armor, Shields, and Barriers. Miranda has an answer for each. Use Warp and Overload accordingly.
Miranda's only weakness against organic foes is that she lacks a true knockdown power for a good portion of the game. She's great against enemy defenses, but not so great in a point-blank slugfest. This means that charging varren, husks, and krogan can sometimes close too quickly and take her down. Once Miranda gets Slam, it helps a little bit, but it's still something to worry about. If you're faced with any of the aforementioned enemies, place Miranda WAY in back and defend her while she uses her powers to thin the crowd.
Synthetic-killing: Miranda has Overload. Against synthetics, that's really all you need to know. Synthetic enemies have shields. Overload is the scissors to a shield's paper. Overload wreaks EVEN greater havoc on unshielded synthetics.
Robots sometimes like to use Armor, as well, but that's no problem for Miranda either, since she's got this other little power called Warp. Warp's great for armor. Perhaps you've heard of it.
Giant-killing: Miranda is great against both synthetics and organics, but it's against the heavy hitters that Miranda REALLY shines. Since both of her primary powers excel at taking large chunks out of enemy defenses, they're perfectly suited for taking out bosses in short order. Essentially, if you can keep Miranda out the boss' crosshairs, she's fully capable of killing it by herself.
Overall Usefulness: Miranda's probably the best all-around teammate in Mass Effect 2. She's terrific against organics, just as effective against organics, and is the single MOST helpful option against the game's many boss-caliber foes.
Miranda's only weakness is that she's somewhat helpless at close range. If she's surrounded by husks, cornered by a krogan, or caught by a Geth Destroyer, Miranda WILL die. The remedy: don't let the enemies get close (duh!). Put her in the best cover you can find. Let her take out enemy defenses while you and the other squadmate draw the brunt of their fire. Once Miranda has turned their lifebars to that beautiful red color, finish the fools off.
Last time, I said Jacob was an All-rounder and compared him to ketchup. Well, Miranda is an All-rounder, as well, but she's better. So I guess that makes her "better ketchup." Miranda's great against everything- provided you can keep her standing.