A Custom Class dedicated to the Melee Tactic is commonly known as a Knife Class or Melee Class. The melee tactic involves using a CQC class using Rushing techniques that mainly works on killing people by quickly overwhelming and stabbing lone players or groups of enemies. These originated in Call of Duty 4 with the additions of the perks system that included perks like UAV Jammer (for being stealthy without losing knife power) and Extreme Conditioning (for extended periods of running).
In Call of Duty: World at War, this tactic was less often used, due to the small range of melee attacks, and the loud noise players created when missing a knife attack. The Bayonet attachment was, however, an alternative to knifing, and inspired players to make a Banzai Charger style class with a rifle and bayonet.
Modern Warfare 2 introduced several perks which immensely aided in the melee class, specifically the perks Marathon, Lightweight and especially Commando. An alternative to knifing, the Riot Shield was added as another melee attack, as well as the Tactical Knife attachment for Handguns.
Call of Duty 4 and World at War
Knife classes are based around stealth, speed, and survival. A typical knifing class consists of the following:
- Primary Weapon: A silenced SMG for maximum mobility and stealth in situations where knifing is unreasonable.
- Sidearm: A silenced (in Call of Duty 4) handgun, all are appropriate except for the Desert Eagle or .357 Magnum.
- Special Grenade: Stun grenades, signal flares or Tabun Gas grenades are used for assault situations, however smoke grenades can be used to escape and flank the enemy from behind.
- Perk 1: C4 x2/Satchel Charge x2 and Special Grenades x3 are both commonly used, C4 being appropriate for close range fights and special grenades preferred for medium to longer ranges. Bomb Squad is good to choose easy target and to survive.
- Perk 2: UAV Jammer/Camouflage is the generally chosen perk but Juggernaut is also a favored choice.
- Perk 3: Extreme Conitioning is almost universally used for long sprints, as knifing players generally must keep moving. Sometimes Dead Silence is used for stealth purposes.
Modern Warfare 2
A Knife Class will normally have the following:
- Primary Weapon: Silenced SMG or Silenced Sniper Rifle for highest possible maneuverability, and to keep off the radar for fairly ranged kills.
- Secondary Weapon: A handgun with Tactical Knife. It is most common to see the .44 Magnum with Tactical Knife, due to the First Recon default class containing a .44 Magnum, but it is often used due to it's power if the player is caught.
- Equipment: Normally a Throwing Knife, often replaced with Tactical Insertion or a semtex to bomb out buildings the player passes by.
- 1st Perk: Most commonly Marathon for extra sprint.
- 2nd Perk: Generally Lightweight but often replaced with Cold Blooded.
- 3rd Perk: Commando for easier knife kills and ability to kill in the air, but is often replaced with Ninja.
- Deathstreak: Painkiller
A Riot Shield Class commonly utilizes the following perks and weapons/equipment.
- Primary Weapon: Riot Shield
- Secondary Weapon: A handgun with the Tactical Knife attached is common, however some players use Machine Pistol, or rarely Stingers, as an anti-air support role, especially if using Cold-Blooded, and also if only using the Shield for kills.
- Equipment: Throwing Knives are extremely common - they are the quickest equipment available to use if caught in a bad situation. Claymores can be used to protect a flank, or even if faced head-on with many enemies. The Blast Shield is also used, but rarely. C4 is common, as riot shield users can attract players' attention and lure them into the C4.
- 1st Perk: Most commonly Marathon for the sprint, as the Riot Shield slows the user down considerably. Scavenger is used sometimes to replenish equipment, mainly C4s and Claymores.
- 2nd Perk: Generally Lightweight due to the lack of speed. Cold-blooded is also used commonly as there is no perk with a damage boost to the Riot Shield. Danger Close is sometimes utilized to aid C4s or Claymores.
- 3rd Perk: Commando is extremely common; Ninja less so unless players wish to remain stealthy. Scrambler is somewhat useful to lure enemies.
- Deathstreak: Painkiller
Advantages and Disadvantages
- The player can overwhelm small groups almost instantly.
- On maps like Highrise with the new spawning system, spawn kills can be easily achieved, when the enemy team is forced to spawn in the same general area. (See Video).
- These players can easily kill players using Riot Shields due to heavily superior damage and maneuverability.
- Knives are guaranteed one hit kills, even on people with Painkiller or Juggernaut.
- The player has the speed advantage.
- The Riot Shield is a one-hit kill in Hardcore; camping in Search and Destroy protected by walls, can be used to defend objectives easily.
- It's easy to overwhelm an enemy when playing in small or tight maps, such as Rust or Skidrow. It's hard for an enemy to aim at you due to speed.
- When using the knife, enemies can hear the slash and can figure out what is going on, meaning one missed slash can be fatal.
- Like camping, enemies may become frustrated, team up, and go out of their way to kill the player.
- This class is considerably ineffective on large maps like Wasteland due to the inability to find players quickly.
- If seen too far from the intended target, you are likely to be killed.
- The class is almost ineffective outside of close range.
- Knife-only classes are close to useless in Hardcore due to the likelihood of almost all weapons downing the player in one hit at close range, negating the effect of Commando as the main use in Core is to lunge so fast that due to lag, bullets will not kill.
- If an enemy player is using a Shotgun, the Melee range is always inside the kill range of a shotgun, regardless if you're using Commando, meaning if an enemy is using a shotgun, you will have a hard time getting kills.
- When "rushing" and "flanking" with this fast class, sometimes there is a tendency to sprint more than necessary, resulting in getting killed very quickly, especially if sprinting in the open. However, this is normally expected, as these types of players will have more mobility and thus will look to engage and take down targets much quicker.
- Most players usually use more longer-ranged setup, such as Assault rifle or LMG. That makes knife-class mostly just annoying, because of the long-ranged setups.
- Melee-class is extremely hard to play with on wide maps, such as Derail. Snipers will have an easy time killing you because you don't have anything to do but run.
- If the slash is missed, you will be vulnerable for about a quarter of a second. This gives your opponent just enough time to kill you with their knife.
Tips & Trivia
- The player should use an SMG or Sniper Rifle for extra maneuverability, as a Sniper Rifle will provide a Ghillie Suit, provided the player has enough sniper kills, but the SMG will prevail more in CQC, especially with weapons like the UMP45 or MP5K. In contrast, the player should avoid LMGs and Riot Shields due to the heavy movement speed restrictions imposed when using these weapons.
- It is suggested the player flanks from behind, as going in from the front will almost definitely result in the player's death.
- Stun grenades can be useful to slow an enemy down, thus making it easier to flank them.
- The player should be experienced with normal knifing before making a class like this.
- Players will usually use Lightweight or Cold Blooded. It is up to preference as to which one they choose; although Lightweight increases movement speed, most players will spend most of their time sprinting anyway, so some will choose to use Cold Blooded to keep themselves hidden from UAVs.
- Avoid using Scrambler, as it gives the player's location away.
- Using the Default, rather than Tactical button setting (for consoles) is advised, as even with the tactical knife, players using default settings may knife faster than a player using the Tactical setup.
- If the player seeks to obtain the Tactical Knife on a Handgun other than the .44 Magnum, it is advised to play on a Hardcore mode, as it provides easier, often one shot kills.
- Like Grenade Launchers and RPGs, Knifing Classes are largely hated by the general community. Players using this tactic are commonly known as a Knife Monkey, Hyper Knifer, Noob Knifer, Ninja, Shinobi or Witch.
- Sometimes in the Museum Level, you will use a twice stab without a delay. This is actually a game error which leads many players to believe that there is a way to continue using this although there is an extremely small chance of it happening.
- If you are going in from the front you should try to walk sideways and forward at the same time (diagonal) and close in to your enemy, this often works and the enemy will spray a whole array of bullets just next to you.
- The knifing animation for Akimbo USP .45s is actually shorter than that of the Tactical Knife. This allows the knifer to simultaneously double the damage output of their secondary weapon and increase their knifing speed, but sacrifices the ability to ADS.
- The best guns to counterattack are Shotguns, since you can kill the enemy without him killing you.
- Many players look down upon people using this tactic, as unless health is set to double, or the game mode is Old School, the knife always one-hit-kills, and with Commando drastically increasing the knifing range, it is fairly easy to use this tactic.
- The best way to stop knifers is to stay at a distance and fire a high damage weapon. As long as you aim at them, accuracy will not matter and they will be too busy running to return fire.
- Some knifers will equip Lightweight with Marathon. If a UAV is up and you see a blip that drastically moves, it is likely a knifer with Marathon and Lightweight.
- Claymores are also good at eliminating knifers, however, it is a MUST that you place them in a good position, or else they will sprint right past the claymore and kill the most likely camping enemy. Consider placing them 2-3 feet further back than you usually would place a claymore if you know an enemy player is knifing, as they will be too busy sprinting at you to be able to avoid the claymore.
- Some figure to still use a Tactical Knife class like this, but to use Cold-Blooded, Ninja, and Scavenger/Bling to lessen the actual "noob" of the class. This way the Tactical Knife attachment could be used as it was meant to be used.
- Because many people using this class use Commando as their 3rd tier perk they do not have that slot free for Ninja or it's pro version. In this way, knifers can be detected with Heartbeat Sensors and, because they are likely to be sprinting, their thumping footsteps. Enemy footsteps can be more easily heard while using SitRep Pro, which makes enemy footsteps four times louder.