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Skill ComparisonsEdit

Support Class skill tree is bipolar: it can be built as a medic specialist (left side) or as an Overwatch specialist (right side). 

Sprinter vs. Covering FireEdit

Sprinter is preferred for most cases: Sprinter offers extreme utility especially if interaction is time critical whereas the penalties to reactive fire combined with the Support's inferior weaponry makes Covering Fire's additional chances for reaction fire of mediocre value.

  • Sprinter allows 3 additional movement tiles.
    • Sprinter synergies well with the use of Arc Throwers and Medikits;
    • Sprinter is effective for strong positioning, flanking maneuvers, and supporting squad members. It is an essential promotion for objective(s) reliant on rapid movement:
    • Sprinter stacks with movement bonus from Skeleton Suit and Ghost Armor, providing unmatched mobility.
  • Covering Fire allows reaction shots to trigger on enemy attacks.
    • Covering Fire provides "bonus" reaction fire opportunity in a situation where the player is certain that they need to suppress an enemy, rather than attempting to deliberately set up a situation where reaction fire can occur.
    • Covering Fire synergies well with Rifle Suppression and Sentinel; it allows reactive fire against a suppressed target who fires and increasing the likelihood of two reactive shots per Overwatch exposed/flanked targets in an engagement.
      • Covering Fire still incurs the reaction fire Aim penalty present with Rifle Suppression or Overwatch.
    • Covering Fire frequently wastes shots and expends ammo at enemies in cover as Overwatch triggers cannot be controlled; it is generally safer to fall back and entering Overwatch as it is more likely to force an enemy to move up and be fired upon reactively while they are exposed and before they can fire.
      • Covering Fire is improved in XCOM: Enemy Within by allowing Supports on Overwatch to shoot their targets before they attack. This includes the single-target Overwatch granted against the target of Rifle Suppression. Thus, this allows Rifle Suppression to reduce the enemy's Aim, and if it still decides to shoot, it will trigger the Support's reaction fire, and if this kills the target, this prevents the enemy's shot.
      • Covering Fire should not replace "normal attack"; "preemptive tactics" are always superior to "reactive response".

Field Medic vs. Smoke and MirrorsEdit

Field Medic is preferred for most cases: given the strength of Squadsight Snipers at ending standoffs quickly, the tendency of Aliens and EXALT operatives to use grenades, rockets, psionic attacks and/or poison in the mid game, and the lethality of psionics late game, the niche for Smoke and Mirrors is quite small.

  • Field Medic allows Medikits to be used three times per mission.
    • Field Medic is one of the best overall upgrades for the Support class: three uses of the Medikit allows a liberal healing to keep the squad topped off between firefights, or three stabilizations, which can avert disaster if soldiers fall. It synergizes very well with a squad containing front-line troopers with the Secondary Heart gene mod, as it guarantees that these soldiers can be lose all their HP once per mission and without taking any permanent penalties whatsoever.
    • Field Medic's effectiveness is greatly increased through its synergy with the Sprinter and Savior abilities and the completion of the Medikit Foundry upgrade.
  • Smoke and Mirrors allows Smoke Grenade to be used three times per mission.
    • Smoke and Mirrors suits a "movement minimalism" grand strategy, where the squad maintains a carefully placed cohesive formation while engaging long range standoffs against one group of foes at a time.

Revive vs. Rifle SuppressionEdit

Rifle Suppression is preferred for most cases: Revive is a reactive skill that gets critically wounded soldiers back into the fight, while Rifle Suppression is a proactive skill that prevents allies from being critically wounded.

  • Revive Allows Medikits to revive critically wounded soldiers at 33% of max health, instead of just stabilizing them.
    • Revive has strong synergy with the Officer Training Don't Die On Me, or the Secondary Heart Gene Mod in XCOM: Enemy Within, due to the increased odds of soldiers falling critically wounded instead of being killed. With Secondary Heart, it virtually guarantees that those troopers can lose all their HP once per mission, yet continue fighting with no detriment to performance, thus making the player's squad very resilient to mistakes especially in Iron Man mode.
    • Revive is a potential lifesaver but is a skill that is never used on a good mission; on a bad mission, it can salvage a potential squad wipe and hopefully open a shot at victory.
  • Rifle Suppression fires a barrage that pins down a target, granting reactive fire against it and imposing a -30 Aim penalty.
    • Rifle Suppression is a frequently useful skill that reduces the effectiveness of a foe's weapon fire against squad members with moderate effectiveness.
    • Rifle Suppression is great for neutering Sectopods or Mechtoids, who can fire twice per turn; using two Rifle Suppression effects, should cause any shots against targets in cover to always miss.
    • Rifle Suppression, like Smoke Grenades, encourages enemies to choose alternative attacks such as grenades, rockets or psionics; none of which are affected by the suppressive Aim penalty, nor trigger the ability's reaction fire. Careful note should be taken of which enemies are suitable for suppression and which types should simply be killed.
    • Rifle Suppression's role can arguably be better fulfilled by Heavy Class soldiers they have a number of abilities that synergize well with Suppression.

Dense Smoke vs. Combat DrugsEdit

Dense Smoke is preferred for most cases: Dense Smoke enhances the core functionality of Smoke Grenades where as Combat Drugs offers some moderate additional utility.

  • Dense Smoke increasing Smoke Grenade's area of effect to 4 tile radius and Defense bonus to 40.
    • Dense Smoke's total bonus of 80 Defense on allies in full cover is almost impenetrable (even on Impossible difficulty).
      • This can be extremely effective when paired with Alloy S.H.I.V.s, MECs or indestructible cover.
    • Dense Smoke's increased area of effect aids in squad positioning and allows squad members to minimize the effects of AoE damage.
    • Dense Smoke's increased defensive bonus is more likely to cause foes to re-position, use a grenade, or use abilities that aren't reliant on Aim; triggering the use of a grenade is an undesired outcome, as it both delivers unavoidable damage and destroys cover, leaving soldiers exposed to enemy fire. Thus, just as with Rifle Suppression, take this into account when deciding when to use it, and how to position your troops beforehand; Dense Smoke's increased area of effect aids in this regard.
  • Combat Drugs grant Smoke Grenade a +20 Will and +10 critical chance for all units in the cloud.
    • Combat Drugs makes Smoke Grenade a "Swiss army knife" of utility options; increased Criticals on two HEAT Ammo shots or an In The Zone spree can reshape the battle.
    • Combat Drug's critical chance gain is marginal. The Will bonus tends to be ineffective protection against psionic encounters compared to conventional methods and rarely makes a significant difference, except with carefully planned circumstances (i.e. mass Mind Control attempts using multiple psionic XCOM soldiers to take control of multiple aliens in a single turn).
    • Combat Drugs also grants a +20 Aim bonus not listed in the talent's description. This Aim bonus greatly assist relatively inaccurate Heavies at critical moments and supports lower ranking troops in landing shots to gain promotions.
      • The Aim bonus has been removed in XCOM: Enemy Within, further reducing the ability's usefulness.

Savior vs. SentinelEdit

Savior is preferred in most cases: Savior grants a reliable increase to the core strength of the class, while Sentinel offers the potential for a double attack but suffers from the penalties of reactive fire.

  • Savior doubles Medikits' restoration value to 8 health per use.
    • Savior is a keystone skill for Field Medic, providing four heals for 8 hp (10 hp with the Foundry upgrade).
    • Savior progressively increases in utility as the player researches advanced armor and equipment that allow troops to survive significant hits and benefit from the substantial healing that this ability provides.
    • Savior allows a single well-prepared medic to significantly buffer a player's potential ability to recover from bad situations, turning many difficult missions into easy victories.
  • Sentinel allows two reaction shots during Overwatch.
    • Sentinel is the only way for a Support soldier to make two attacks per turn (thus roughly doubling a Support's damage output, the reaction fire Aim penalty notwithstanding), but is reliant on consistently getting two reaction fire chances per enemy turn. Pairing this ability with Covering Fire can maximize the opportunities for reaction shots. However take note that the other soldier classes all have more reliable and effective methods of making two or more attacks per turn, and arguably, a Support should be optimized toward maximizing their unique abilities instead.
    • Sentinel also suffers from Supports' endgame weapon loadout (limited to the various tech-variants of Rifles) being the weakest of all the classes. Other squad members deal significantly more damage with their specialized weaponry, more reliable methods to make multiple shots per turn, and substantial critical hit bonuses.

Builds and TacticsEdit

Main article: Squad Tactics (XCOM: Enemy Unknown)

Support Class builds suitable for all difficulties and DLCs:

Combat Medic SoldierEdit

Early-game "savior" build (1-2 months):

Skills
Sprinter, Field Medic, Revive, Dense Smoke, Savior
Equipment
Medikits, Arc Thrower, Laser Rifle, Skeleton Suit
Upgrades
Tactical Rigging, Improved Medikit, Improved Arc Thrower, Mimetic Skin, Lead By Example
Tactics

Four Savior Medikits and a Dense Smoke Grenade helps ensure the squad's mission success, increases efficiency of alien captures and meld recovery, and remains versatile for any situation. Even early game, the medic can still be trained and equipped so that it can be effective late game.

Field Engineer SoldierEdit

Mid-game "sentinel" build (3-4 months):

Skills
Covering Fire, Smoke and Mirrors, Rifle Suppression, Dense Smoke, Sentinel
Equipment
Arc Thrower, Ghost Grenades, Light Plasma Rifle, Ghost Armor
Upgrades
Tactical Rigging, Drone Capture, S.H.I.V. Repair, Mimetic Skin, Lead By Example
Tactics

Ideal for squads consisting of 1-3 Heavies / M.E.C.s for breaking cover, and 2-4 S.H.I.V.s for high-risk scouting and suppression. Three Dense Smoke protects the S.H.I.V.s as they absorb enemy fire. An Arc Thrower keeps the S.H.I.V.s and MECs propped up. Rifle Suppression deals with multiple tough enemies in a mission. Ghost Grenades, Sentinel and Covering Fire performs flawlessly against enemy flankers.

Covering fire alone is not much. But if you combine it with an Assault who has Lightning Reflexes, now that's a whole different story. It gives some real depth to the class system.  Support on overwatch at key points and then go in with assault revealing enemies it works wonders. There is nothing more satisfying than watching an enemy get revealed and then get auto-blown up without getting a chance to do anything.

Psi-Guardian SoldierEdit

Late-game "trainer" build (5+ months):

Skills
Sprinter, Smoke and Mirrors, Rifle Suppression, Combat Drugs, Savior
Equipment
Medikits, Flashbangs, Light Plasma Rifle, Psi Armor
Upgrades
Tactical Rigging, Mimetic Skin, Psi Inspiration, Mind Control, Lead By Example, Star of Terra
Tactics

Specifically designed for promoting Rookies and Squaddies during Scout crash site missions and Covert Operations against EXALT. Combat Drugs and Psi Inspiration counteracts Psi-attacks and panic-induced Intimidate. Two Savior Medikits, Flashbangs, and Suppression are vital against tougher targets, locking them down and letting Rookies engage in "live-fire target practice".

Equipment and UpgradesEdit

EquipmentEdit

Gene ModsEdit

Requires XCOM: Enemy Within expansion:

  • Hyper Reactive Pupils confers +10 Aim after missing a shot, making the second shot of Sentinel deadlier if the first misses.
  • Mimetic Skin greatly increases the viability of the Rifle Suppression and Alien captures. Throwing grenades does not break Mimetic Skin's cloak if enemies do not have line of sight.

Multiplayer Support ClassesEdit

The following is a detailed break-down of the Support Class stats and abilities in multiplayer mode

Class

Points

Health

Aim

Defense

Will

Abilities

Smokejumper 100 7 70 0 45 Smoke Grenade
Medic 750 9 82 0 65

Smoke Grenade - Sprinter - Field Medic - Revive - Dense Smoke

Tac Officer 1000 9 82 0 65 Smoke Grenade - Smoke and Mirrors - Covering Fire - Rifle Suppression - Combat Drugs
Imperator 2000 10 90 0 75

Smoke Grenade - Sprinter - Smoke and Mirrors - Rifle Suppression - Combat Drugs - Deep Pockets - Sentinel

Psi Guardian 2500 9 85 0 70

Smoke Grenade - Sprinter Field Medic - Revive - Dense Smoke - Deep Pockets Psionic: Mindfray - Psi Inspiration - Telekinetic Field

Note: Each soldier class has a base cost of 800 points, which would need to be added to the values above to determine the point value of a particular soldier. The above point and stat values reflect the default (0 point) equipment load-out.

Multiplayer TacticsEdit

Support Class soldiers are surprisingly effective in multiplayer. Their Medikits can save a unit and bring it back into battle or heal a soldier to flank an unsuspecting enemy once again.

General

  • Light Plasma Rifle and a scope grants 110 Aim on attack and 90 Aim in Overwatch.
  • Suppression stacks: reducing the target's Aim by 30% (each) and grants a free reaction shot at no penalty.

Imperators

Imperators are rare, deadly, and efficient with the correct loadout:
  • Sentinel Support can hit the same enemy in Overwatch twice. This occurs when the Support leaves cover then fires, ducks into cover and then when fully crouched-the animation is ready, if the enemy is still moving it will pop back up again and take a second shot, very lethal.
  • Chitin Plating and/or Mind Shield are effective counters to either Chryssalids or Sectoid Commanders. (Making it cost 4050 points).
  • Carapace Armor or Skeleton Suit boosts survivability cheaply.

Smoke Jumper

Smoke Jumper combined with a Sectoid Commander deals with any big threat strong enough to overwhelm the squad
  • Add 3 Sectoids, their 4 damage Plasma Pistols are excellent at strafe-fire, Mind Mergeing and suppression afar in a safe place. These Sectoids can reduce a target's Aim to 1%.

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