Formats: 1v1 - Team (Spoilers?)
Light Quads are a dominant presence in the metagame thanks to a variety of positive traits and few, easily-mitigated weaknesses. Light Quads, typically running 119 First-Gen Quad Legs, have great base mobility for good bulk, and an excellent array of viable frame setups provide solid bulk and compliment a great loading capacity to pack a wide array of offensive and defensive loadout options. Access to high Recoil Resistance and the Tetrapod's inherent floating ability allows Light Quads to hang out in the sky and rain death on their opponents without much fear for being stunned or staggered by all but the highest-impact weapons. This allows Light Quads to act as great weapons platforms for teams, most notably as a Sawa-oriented AC. Additionally, Light Quads are able to take on more offensive roles in which they run more DPS-centered loadouts and rely on their speed and bulk to see them through a fight. This is bolstered by the variety of Light Quad frames access to versatile defense spreads, letting them resist some of the scarier DPS options out there. Despite all of their positive traits, Light Quads do have some notable flaws. While Light Quads have a ton of frame options available to them, almost all Light Quads are weak to KE or TE, and can be overwhelmed by one or the other if their frame is specialized to cover one over the other defense. While this weakness is not a crippling one, lazily-floating Quads can easily be taken off-guard and taken down by Plasma Guns and sustained Pulse Gun attacks. Plasma Missiles can be extremely dangerous to Light Quads, although they can be buffed out by specialized frames. Low KE Light Quads must be especially careful around Autocannons, Rifles, and High Speed Missiles, as these will deplete their high AP very rapidly. Also, both of the Light Quad's most common loadouts can be easily taken advantage of by CIWS and a Shield of the proper type. However, backup weaponry can be utilized by the Quad to break shields and take down opponents that might dodge or resist its main attacking options. Finally, the most common Laser-Speed setups have little need for backup weaponry in a team setting, and can commonly be seen with two shields in its bays. While this comes at a cost to a Laser-Speed Light Quad's ability to break through CIWS and TE Shields, teammates can cover this weakness well, and two shields combined with a Light Quad's great bulkiness can make them incredibly hard to take down.
Build: Sawa Quad
[Insert Sawa Quad Weapon, Frame, and Internals Pics Here, I am lazy]
KRSW, K29, The 40-shot. This weapon is an excellent tool and is almost regularly seen as the main weapon of Sawa Quads everywhere. Two of these weapons, fired either one after the other or simultaneously, wreak havoc on low-TE builds and frequently stagger their targets, opening them up for the rest of the volley combo. Other Sawa-class weapons, such as the 12-Shot, or K39, and Karasawa (X00) are also great options depending on how front-loaded the Sawa Quad wants to be. High Speed Missiles in the shoulder are the other half of the Laser-Speed combo. While both the Sawas and the HSMs hit decently hard, firing both in tandem in a volley provides for one of the strongest all-range high-damage combos in the game. The combination of TE and KE damage output makes it difficult for builds to avoid taking major damage from a volley. Shields in the bays are a common option, extending the life of the build and providing protection from the front. A Rifle, CEMG, or third Sawa are also good options, depending on what the Quad wishes to accomplish, or whether in a Team setting or in 1v1.
Sawas and HSMs, the famed Laser-Speed combo, are troubling to attack into. Sticking to relatively long range engagements and zoning opponents with good mobility and the ability to float gives the Sawa Quad some protection from common non-laser TE weapons, such as Plasma Guns, Pulse Guns, and PMGs. A TE Shield further bumps up this resistance. The given Frame provides decent speed and balanced defenses, but can be altered to emphasize KE to block out the Laser-Speed combo, or TE, which can be done to a variety of degrees of specialization. If a TE specialization is chosen for the frame, A KE Shield is recommended to help with the obvious KE weakness. The internals emphasize ranged and floating combat, with the generator and booster providing for the constant charging of the Quad's lasers. High-output generators provide for quicker-responses and better mobility in a pinch, although High-capacity generators are interesting and effective options too, allowing for the Sawa Quad to hold a charge for longer and pursue a target with high boost. The choice of FCS comes to what the pilot is comfortable with using, although for some, longer-range FCSs are preferred to out-range other Sawa Quads. Recons are player-preference.
Sawa Quads have a very strong capacity to break through heavy and light builds alike. On a team, it deters builds from diving into the midst of its teammates, as most builds cannot afford to take a volley of Laser-Speed from its blind side. Being a Quad, it also deters and bounces most Battle Rifles, although Podenkas and Strekozas will punch through it nonetheless. Furthermore, Sawa Quads provide a good check to lighter ACs, namely LRJs, which take enormous damage from Laser-Speed volleys if they do not pack unusually high defenses. Light Quads offer remarkable versatility in the early stages of the game, poking at enemies with Sawas with near impunity, and with good bulk allowing it to trade for high damage with careless Snipers. Finally, Light Quads are incredible late-game if they can preserve their AP and ammo, easily shrugging off the attacks of remaining enemies and hitting back hard. Should a Sawa Quad be caught out or be weakened to the point where it can't do much, utilizing Bay Shields is a great way to keep contributing to the fight and get crucial damage off.
Any AC that can protect a Sawa Quad makes for a good teammate. Sawa Quads are great at wearing down other ACs, so teammates that can clean up a damaged team, such as a Murakumo or Sniper LRJ, pair well with it. Furthermore, Heavyweights make for good partners, who can sponge TE firepower aimed at the Quad. A Sawa Quad is also pretty great at cleaning up squads as well as breaking them down, so some squads field multiple Sawa Quads to capitalize on the high firepower that Laser-Speed brings to the table. Though not necessarily aggressive, a Sawa Quad can keep up with Large Missile Strekoza rushes and DSP Tank pushes, although being too aggressive can backfire. Other Sawa Quads and especially Laser Cannon Tanks can give Sawa Quads trouble, and DPS Tanks can bullrush straight through a Sawa Quad's volleys - so long as the Sawa Quad doesn't remain in the sky. Thus, ACs that can distract or deal with these opponents make for good teammates. Generally though, a Sawa Quad is pretty comfortable sitting behind the team backing it up from the skies.
Thinking of making other guides kinda like this. Anyone interested in contributing or critiquing the method? If I can condense this into a quick video guide, it might prove pretty handy for bringing people up to speed.
This is just like an example or whatever, not really a guide per say. Feel free to critique the content though, but I'm mostly looking for a format that might suit discussion of AC builds that encompasses all the good information that we might all want to tell people.