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Mass Effect 3 Build: Melee Infiltrator

Tags: #character build  #Melee  #Mass Effect 3  #Mass Effect Build  #Vazgen ME Build  #Melee Infiltrator  #Tactical Cloak  #Infiltrator 
  • Member
    April 27, 2016

    This build is a result of my love for the Infiltrator class and Tactical Cloak in particular, as well as RedCaesar97's enlightening video of nearly killing a Brute in one hit. I finished the entire game firing my gun only twice to destroy latches. Speed, finesse, agility and power - this build has it all! Without further ado, I present to you...

    Melee Infiltrator

    Jane Shepard learned the basics of the melee combat on the streets of Earth and further honed her skills during Alliance military training, including a special course at Interplanetary Combatives Academy where she received her N7 rank. However, her fierce temper and impatience hindered her progress, not allowing her to achieve the true mastery of hand-to-hand combat in the age of modern technologies. Only after working and conversing with Thane had she learned to control her rage and keep her mind cool during even the fiercest battles. Six months of meditation and exercises helped to cement her resolve in carving her way through the Reaper forces in a way of the ancients.


    Tactical assessment of the battlefield, speed and agility are the name of the game here. Stay in one place long enough and enemies converge on your position making it difficult to execute melee takedowns. You should be constantly on the move, flanking and distracting enemies, separating them and taking them out one by one. This is what you need to become a Melee Infiltrator

    Tactical Cloak allows for a free movement around the battlefield, getting behind enemy lines and execute separate enemies with powerful melee strikes. With bonus power evolution you can combine your heavy melee attack with Sabotage to create a boss-killer move that can almost kill a Brute in one hit!

    Sticky Grenades are reserved for the toughest enemies like Geth Primes and Banshees. They can detonate tech power combos, make good use of that. You can set them up yourself, by using Sabotage and following it up with a Sticky Grenade. The result is a highly damaging explosion that also damages the shields and health of nearby enemies. Note that grenades don't break your cloak and they do even more damage if used from cloak!

    Sabotage - the glue that keeps first two skills together. Tech Vulnerablity is your focus here. Not only it boosts Infiltrator's heavy melee attack, but it also boosts the Backfire effect of the skill itself. It is boosted to the point that nearly takes down Marauder's Shields, serving as a substitute for Overload.

    Operational Mastery focuses on power damage. The Damage & Duration evolution at rank 6 gives quite a lot of freedom with Tactical Cloak since you can cover more distance without breaking it.

    Fitness. You may ask, why Shield Recharge and not Melee Spree? The answer is simple, on Insanity, 95% of a time you only manage one strike before becoming a target. Attack an enemy without cloak while there are other enemies around and you can prepare for a reload. Shield Recharge, on the other hand, combined with Intel bonus from Geth Server, Fortification, class powers of Kaidan and Javik, makes your shields to recharge almost instantly, minimizing the time spent behind cover.

    Fortification provides quite useful boost that makes the difference between having your shields destroyed or not. Purging the armor allows for a 100% boost for melee attacks for a high-risk, high-reward move. I didn't use it often but when I did, it was helpful. Shield Recharge is the main reason for this bonus power.


    Instead of bragging about how this build plays (which I already did quite a lot, it seems) I'll just show it to you. Here is the start of the playlist that covers the complete playthrough of vanilla game

    The toughest missions were 1) Saving Admiral Koris and 2) Priority: Earth. First, because you are left only with one squadmate to distract enemies and second - because there are a lot of enemies and it's easy to miss some Cannibal or Marauder who'll then proceed to gun you down, especially in the last section.


    Javik and Kaidan are an ideal team for this character. Not only both their class powers improve shield recharge but they also work well together. Kaidan detonates Javik's biotic combos and tech combos you set up with Sabotage. Javik's Lift Grenades can clear entire clusters of enemies and Kaidan's Reave will give him more survivability.

    Tali and EDI work great against geth and Cerberus allowing for a plethora of tech bursts and hacked turrets. Tali's Sabotage can turn Atlases and Geth Primes into sitting ducks while you melee them without repercussions. EDI has the most damaging tech powers and is very helpful when dealing with Atlases.

    I'm ashamed to admit but I didn't use Garrus much in this playthrough. EDI filled his place quite well.

    James was used a version of a Combat Drone. Specced for Fortification, Frag Grenades and durability in Arms Master tree, he became a sore in enemy eye, never going down no matter what. Still, with no powers to combine with Shepard's, he was left on the ship most of the time. 

    Liara is the least recommended squadmate for this character. She can act as a nerfed version of Kaidan but her low health forces you to constantly deal with reviving her which screws up with your battle tactics. Still, she went to more missions than Vega, simply because of synergy with Javik.

    Ashley was not alive in this playthrough so I can't really comment on her usefulness. Her Marksman power is bugged, Concussive Shot is not very useful and there are better ammo types than Disruptor (for example, James's Incendiary). 

    Weapons and Armor

    Despite never shooting enemies with your gun, it is used quite a lot to beat enemies to death. I used M-3 Predator pistol with a Melee Stunner mod which gives +25% melee damage at rank V. It also works well in cutscenes, where Shepard is forced to equip the Predator, regardless of whether it's present in the current loadout or not.

    For armor I used full Ariake Technologies set along with Death Mask, resulting in +50% melee damage.

    Closing Remarks

    I want to thank RedCaesar97 from Bioware forums for his constant support and his video that served as an inspiration for this build. Check out his channel, he has a lot of awesome stuff!

    The credit for the opening picture belongs to ptivinc on DeviantArt. 

  • Member
    April 28, 2016

    That first picture always gets me, awesome!