Designed specifically for anti-air defense to fill the gap left after the cult rejected optic camouflage technology, including the stealth tank. It has a large capacity anti-air missile battery (which can be upgraded to Tiberium core missiles) and a set of sophisticated sensors, allowing it to detect any cloaked vehicles or infantry. When massed in sufficient numbers, it is more than capable of taking on Scrin warships.
While the Mantis lacks the optic camouflage and the ability to attack ground-based targets that the stealth tank has, it is less expensive and requires far less technological knowledge to build.
Strangely, it was deployed by the Black Hand as a replacement from the stealth tank (having rejected stealth technology) despite it loathing "soulless" machines. The Mantis was upgraded to attack air and ground targets in the Fourth Tiberium War. Due to it having it's own artificial intelligence, mind control units are incredibly useless.
|Tiberium core missiles||Doubles damage output|
The Mantis is highly maneuverable, having a surprising firepower against enemy aircraft. However, its thin armour can make lone ones vulnerable aircraft that target them before they can fire back enough to do much damage. Therefore, when used in air defense, they may need to be deployed in groups, or with other units which are AA-capable. Their stealth detection ability gives them some extra advantages in ground battles, where they can double as a scout unit due to their high speed when necessary, though they are not cost-efficient for this role.
- Detects nearby stealthed units
- Upgradable with Tiberium Core Missiles, considerably increasing firepower
- Relatively fast and cheap; available at Tier 2
- Devastates air units when massed, including Scrin Motherships, Devastator Warships and Planetary Assault Carriers
- Can crush infantry
- Automated; impervious to Masterminds, Cultists and Prodigies.
- Light armour; easily destroyed
- No stealth capability
- Helpless against ground units (except crushing infantry)
- Only available to the Black Hand
- Consistently outdone by the Slingshot mobile AA
- Slow to fire; can not shoot down more than one aircraft before being destroyed
- Much slower than the GDI Slingshot; more susceptible to heavier vehicles and anti-vehicle ordnance
- Enemy counterparts (GDI Slingshot and Scrin Shard Walker) are far superior