Everyone has the impression that Commandos are absolutely useless in PvP, which is true for the most part… however, it doesn't have to be as bad as it is. I've been a Master Commando for many many months, and despite our defects I've found it's possible for us to put up a fight in the competative end of PvP.
Chapter 1: Template
Many people have TKM/MC or MPistol/MC, which are no brainers because of the LP and the Unarmed branch, but both of those templates lack maxed ranged and melee defenses. Melee/ranged defenses are a Master Commando's best friend in PvP, so this guide will be written for the template: Master Commando - Fencer 4040 - Pistoleer 0043. I'm not saying this is the only PvP template for a Master Commando, but I've had great success with it. With two Aakuan rings, this template will have +126 ranged defense and +133 melee defense. Other notables are +80 vs. Dizzy, +55 vs. Knockdown, and +85 Dodge.
I don’t recommend mastering Rifle or Fencer or Swordsman to compliment Master Commando, because I guarantee you won’t touch your Commando abilities in PvP if you do.
400 - Hel/Str/Con/Act/Sta/Qui
1100/800/1100 - Min/Foc/Wil
You should have buffs everywhere you go, anyway.
Chapter 2: Equipment
Like every other profession in PvP, to be successful you will have to attain the highest quality equipment that you can.
A good suit of armor can extend your lifespan greatly. It's easy to find a 40% stun - mid 60% base suit of composite these days, so buy a few suits and keep the eff sliced suits for PvP. Also, PSGs will protect you from the Stun Batons and Jawa Rifles, so try to get plenty of eff sliced PSGs.
I highly recommend making a macro or giving yourself easy access to your food. No matter what template you have, food will increase your rate of success tenfold. First, with mind being all the rage, stock up on the best Brandy and Vagnerian Canape.
Next, find the best Synthsteak, since this stuff is as good as armor. On the same lines as Synthsteak, I carry some Exo-Protein Wafers which are only 5 filling incase I need some extra protection after my Synthsteak runs out.
Commandos already have low accuracy, and for this template, both Fencer and Pistols also lack accuracy. For this, find the best Citros Snow Cake and accuracy should no longer be a big problem.
Also, just incase, keep a Muon or a Neutron Pixie at hand, depending on which bars are falling the fastest (you'll most likely use the muon), but try not to use them if you really don't need it since downers leave you very vulnerable.
I know there are a lot of other foods that offer useful buffs, so find what fits you best.
For your flamethrowers, speed is key in PvP. In PvE it’s nice to have the big flames with a 1000+ dmg flamethrower, but the speed is normally high 4.'s. Do what it takes to find a flamethrower with faster than 3.5 spd and always be on the lookout for faster.
As for a pistol, with armor and ranged mitigation, you will want to find a pistol with a high minimum damage and maybe AP1. I use a LP because it is unique to commandos, but a Geo or DX2 is probably better. Also, find some +33% min dmg power-ups.
Since this template lacks accuracy and speed for Fencer, you won’t be depending on Fencer to be dealing much damage. Instead of looking for damage, look for as fast of a sword as you can get (1h curved sword, maybe) and use the +16% speed power-ups. Having a fast sword will allow for more chances to dizzy2/lunge your target.
Chapter 3: Before and After Combat
Buffs to all nine stats are needed to compete in PvP. I see mind buffs frequently ignored because they are more of a hassle to attain, but they are crucial if you want to stay alive.
In preparation for battle, I will eat one Brandy and a Synthsteak during the buffing process. Since the Synthsteak will last a full hour, the earlier you eat it the sooner your stomach will be empty again. The same goes for the Brandy. For example, if your Brandy is 50fill and 44min duration, your stomach will be empty with about 22 minutes left on the Brandy, allowing you to have triple Brandy for 22 minutes.
Using the template listed, I like to carry my sword before battle since my first attacks will be with a sword (dizzy/lunge). The instant before engaging I use CoB, eat a Snow Cake, Canape, and my second/third Brandy. Don’t forget to reequip PSGs after every load.
Squad Based Combat Priorities
Fully buffed and armored with maxed defenses, you'll be quite the PvP tank. The next task is to select your target. With the low accuracy of this template, going after brawler professions isn’t the best idea. Most often I will chase after the opposition's doctors and combat medics. They have the lowest overall defenses and should be vulnerable to dizzy/lunge. Once I deliver a successful lunge, I will switch to my flamethrower and S fire T whatever A flame C specials K I have for the rest of the battle.
Always keep an eye on your HAM and the rate at which your bars are falling; use your spice accordingly. With this template, and with pretty much anything other than Doctor, your greatest vulnerability will be mind DOTs. Be aware of where your group's Doctor is and do what it takes to get his/her attention as soon as you get poisoned or catch fire, etc. If you can’t get healed or your doctor is dead, don't feel bad about retreating. Switch to a sword, use CoB, and burst run out of the combat zone. You will be no good to the group if any of your bars are at 0 from poison, anyway.
1 on 1 Combat
Since Commandos lack the DPS that other professions have, I try to steer clear of 1v1 fights and dueling. If you get into a 1v1 fight, be sure to use Intimidate1 and CoB. If you're fighting any of the brawler professions, I wouldn't try using dizzy/lunge because of their defenses. Instead, S go T straight A to C your K flamespecials. If they use any strong DOTs, I suggest running away or finding help. You will have a very small chance of winning if your opponent is a Doctor or a CM since they can still spam Stand and heal themselves.
No matter what template you have, you can learn something from every PvP battle you engage in. Pay attention to your opponents' tactics and take advantage of the strengths and weaknesses of the other combat professions.
Most of this will apply to the template I have listed because I have found the most PvP success using it. I haven’t tried every Master Commando template possible, but for the current game I feel this template will offer the most protection if you want to hold your flamethrower and go overt. I can only form an opinion based on what I’ve seen on my server, but I feel the majority of commandos aren't doing everything they can to give themselves the best odds in a PvP battle. It isn't nearly as easy to PvP as a Master Commando as it is to PvP as a Master Rifleman or Master Fencer, but many of the things listed are applicable to every profession that wishes to PvP.
If you already succeed in PvP as a Master Commando, ignore everything I've said. Please share your ideas.
Colonel Skin Rudenko of Naritus
Imperial Military Police
White Cell Squadron