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This article is about the powered exoskeleton. For the Covenant anti-air cannon nicknamed the "Mantis", see Type-27 Mantis.
H5G-Mantis Default.png
Production information


Materials Group[1]
Hannibal Weapon Systems

Product line:


Technical specifications


2.8 meters (9.3 ft)[1]


5.8 meters (19 ft)[1]


5.7 meters (18.6 ft)[1]


5.2 metric tons (5.1 LT; 5.7 ST)[1]

Maximum speed:

43.5 kilometers per hour (27.0 mph)-55.5 kilometers per hour (34.5 mph)[1]



1 operator[1]


Year introduced:


In service:


United Nations Space Command


"Like the Cyclops mech suit but bigger and better and badder."

The HRUNTING/YGGDRASIL Mark IX Armor Defense System,[2] commonly known as the Mantis, is a powered exoskeleton/armored fighting vehicle used by the UNSC Marine Corps, UNSC Army, Office of Naval Intelligence, and private security forces[1] after the Human-Covenant War.[4][5] It is derived, if tangentially, from the HRUNTING and YGGDRASIL teams' earlier Mark I Armor Defense System.[2]


Design details[edit]

Standing roughly twenty feet tall and weighing over five metric tons,[1] the Mantis is similar in appearance to the larger HRUNTING/YGGDRASIL Mark II (D) Geyrion, which itself was the evolution of another HRUNTING project. Its spindly legs and tiny "thorax" give the Mantis a passing resemblance to its namesake, as do its weaponized arms. Though it lacks the sheer firepower and durability of the M808 Scorpion, the Mantis is far more maneuverable, requires one crew member, and is equipped with regenerating energy shields.[5][6] The Mantis integrates many features seen in the MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor, such as the neural interface link, compact fusion power plant, and shield generator. The Mantis is capable of a maximum speed of 43.5–55.5 kilometers per hour (27–34.5 miles per hour).[1]


There are two primary versions of the Mantis' weapon loadouts, both of which have an anti-matériel machine gun on the right arm and a missile pod on the left. One variant has a larger-caliber cannon and surface-to-air missiles; the other version has an M655 20mm heavy machine gun and M5920 35mm surface-to-surface missiles.[5] The Mantis does not currently feature modular hardpoints that allow armament swapping, though both the UNSC Marine Corps and the Army have contracted Materials Group to produce a refit package to allow alternate loadouts.[1]


Similar to the HRUNTING Mark III (B) Cyclops, there are numerous variants of the Mantis that have proven useful for a whole host of varied functions.[7]

  • Corp Mantis: Up-armored model used by the Liang-Dortmund Corporation. Liang-Dortmund occasionally loan their Mantises to local security forces for riot duty and shows of force. Their ammunition is usually replaced with non-lethal alternatives.[8] The corporation also employs non-combat variants that are used in their colony reclamation efforts for terrain navigation to mining operations.[7]
  • Tundra Mantis: Variant designed for use in arctic environments and has more armor than the Corp variant.[8]
  • Woodland Mantis: Variant features a woodland camouflage and more armor than the Corp variant.[8]
  • Urban Mantis: Variant used by the UNSC Army and UNSC Marine Corps that features more armor than the Corp variant.[8]
  • ONI Mantis: Variant used by the Office of Naval Intelligence that features more armor than other variants, multi-environment homing missiles capable of locking on to ground infantry, and better heat sink shrouds for the heavy machine gun .[8]
  • Hannibal Mantis: Variant upgraded by Hannibal Weapon Systems that features a rapid-fire gauss cannon, experimental ion field missile warheads that releases several submunitions, and the ability to EMP other vehicles with a stomp attack. While it doesn't have as heavy armor as the ONI variant it does have a stronger energy shield, at the cost of recharge time.[9]
  • Isabel's Mantis: This variant is a modified version of the basic model for use of the UNSC Spirit of Fire's ground forces, with adjustments to reuse parts produced for the Cyclops and HRUNTING/YGGDRASIL Mark II (J) Colossus. It also lacks the neural interface control systems installed on the basic model, something that was a necessary concession due to the older manufacturing technology on the Spirit of Fire. This variant's default weapon is a chaingun, but it can be replaced with a gauss repeater, the missile capacity can also be upgraded. A shield requisition upgrade can be added to add shields to the Mantis. A target designator can also be added so the Mantis can "paint" a single target to coordinate attacks on using the local battle net, and if a group of Mantis walkers are together they will smart target their designators.[10]
  • Command Mantis: Upgraded variant armed with twin high energy lasers and fitted with an advanced energy shield. Nicknamed Theseus by Jerome-092, his personalized Command Mantis is a mobile command post and linebreaker unit that complements both his augmented physiology and leadership style. It incorporates one of the Spirit of Fire's command-and-control nexus relays, enhancing Jerome's situational awareness of the battlefield and serving as a backup for the UNSC battlenet should the ship be crippled or destroyed.[11]

Operational history[edit]

"Remind me to ask Isabel to add air conditioning."
— A Mantis pilot during the Banished occupation of Installation 00.[12]

The Mantis was created as a result of two parallel exoskeleton programs, HRUNTING and YGGDRASIL, the latter of which encompassed initiatives aimed at incorporating MJOLNIR technologies into UNSC combat vehicles. During the Battle of Meridian between 2548 and 2551, the first prototype of the Mantis engaged in an action known as the "Cherbourg Run" successfully engaging eighteen heavily guarded Type-27 Anti-Aircraft Cannons, which also bore the title of "Mantis". The success of the prototype in the "Cherbourg Run" is one of the theories behind the origin of the moniker of "Mantis".[13] However, the Mantis was only introduced into widespread service after the Covenant War ended.[1][Note 1]

A Mantis during the Battle of Requiem.

After the Human-Covenant War, in early 2553, one Mantis was delivered to Kilo-Five aboard their prowler UNSC Port Stanley.[14]

The Mantis continued to be in use only by select highly classified ONI units and UNSC Infinity,[2] which carried a number of Mantises by 2557. After Infinity was drawn inside the shield world Requiem, Spartan John-117 used a Mantis against Covenant remnant forces besieging the ship. With the Mantis, John cleared out Covenant forces on the ship's hull and jammers blocking the use of the ship's point-defenses. John continued to use the Mantis until he was ordered to reactive the ship's MAC defenses, driving off the Covenant attackers.[4] Several Mantises were used to defend Ivanoff Station.[15] Later that year, Infinity's Spartan-IVs used a version with scaled-down weapons in War Games training.[5]

During the Requiem Campaign, Fireteam Crimson was sent to rescue a squad of Marines trapped behind enemy lines. During the rescue attempt Crimson was met with overwhelming Covenant forces, Commander Sarah Palmer ordered mission handler Robert Dalton to deploy several Mantises to aid Crimson in holding off enemy forces.[16] Several Mantises were used in the defense of Magma Base.[17] During the attack on the Infinity, Lieutenant Murphy brought in a Mantis to support Fireteam Crimson in order to clear a landing zone.[18] Later, when on their way back to activate the Harvester, Crimson used a salvaged Mantis to fight their way out of the Warrens.[19] Two Mantises were later deployed during the Battle of Aktis IV to fend off Covenant troops.[20]

Two Mantises were used by Fireteam Osiris during the Battle of Nuusra on Sanghelios in order to save Arbiter Thel 'Vadam, they were deployed by a Phantom commanded by Shipmaster Mahkee 'Chava on the instructions of Sarah Palmer.[21] During the Battle of Genesis, Osiris used a Mantis in an effort to free Blue Team from Cortana.[22] In April 2559, during the Banished occupation of Installation 00, the crew of the UNSC Spirit of Fire used Mantises against the Banished that had originally been stationed at the Henry Lamb Research Outpost.[10][12]


Halo 4[edit]

The Mantis has two variants, both in canon and in gameplay. The more powerful model, featured in the campaign and Spartan Ops, is designed to provide the player an almost overwhelming advantage. To promote more balanced competitive play, the Mantis has less firepower in War Games and has anti-surface rather than anti-air missiles. The player may fire all five missiles by holding the left trigger, while tapping the trigger fires only one missile, similar to the Kopasa'mada-pattern plasma launcher in Halo: Reach. The player can stomp the ground with the Mantis' legs by pressing the melee button.[5] The Mantis is also capable of crouching to lower its profile. One major drawback about the Mantis is it has the longest recovery time from being EMP'd. The time spent standing perfectly still is a death sentence in the campaign on higher difficulty levels. The Mantis's energy shields also take a very long time to begin recharging, and even longer for it to reach full shields again.

Halo 5: Guardians[edit]

  • The Mantis in Halo 5: Guardians can no longer fire its missiles one at a time. Instead all five are fired continuously, similar to the M80B missile launcher. In campaign, they are also capable of locking onto multiple enemies at once, both infantry and vehicles. In multiplayer, the missiles can only lock onto aircraft, with the exception of ONI Mantis.
  • Its shields fully recharge in two seconds, where as in Halo 4 they took ten seconds to fully recharge.
  • In the campaign, if the player shoots an enemy with the machine gun, it will lock on to said enemy, allowing the player to shoot homing missiles at it, similar to the ONI Mantis.
    • It also features slightly more armor than the Warzone variant.
  • The vehicular HUD has been reduced to the autocannon's reticle, with no HUD indicators for the missile or shield status.
  • Until the Anvil's Legacy update, the Mantis could be boarded from the front.[23]
  • The Mantis now comes in multiple variants for use in multiplayer.

Halo Wars 2[edit]

In Halo Wars 2, the Mantis is a unique unit accessible to Avery Johnson and Jerome-092, and is also available in Operation: SPEARBREAKER. Johnson's Mantises replace Warthogs, while Jerome has a hero Mantis. During Operation: SPEARBREAKER, Sunray 1-1 is authorized to use Mantises given by Isabel.

Production notes[edit]

During the early concept phase, 343 Industries considered implementing the HRUNTING/YGGDRASIL Mark I powered exoskeleton from the Halo Legends short Prototype. Later concepts derived from this design featured a larger exoskeleton that would cover the wearer's MJOLNIR armor. Designing the Mantis required months of playtesting, much of which involved tweaking the speed of the "stomp" move. One of the biggest concerns was making it clear when a player is reloading the Mantis' weapons; originally, the Mantis held its arms forward as the weapons were reloaded. Due to playtesters' feedback, the animation was changed so that the mech lifts its arms when new ammunition is being fed.[5]

The rear of the Mantis's legs and the back of the metal plate directly under the "thorax" cockpit section sport what appear to be rocket nozzles. These were originally going to allow the Mantis to dodge similar to a Spartan with a M805X thruster pack.[24] Concept art (seen below) showed similar nozzles being attached to the vehicle's "shoulders".


List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ The "Entered Service" field on the Mantis's page on Halo Waypoint claims that the vehicle was introduced in 2403. Descriptions of the Mantis's development history on the very same page as well as the Halo 4 Essential Visual Guide contradict this, the former noting that the Mantis incorporates technologies originally developed for MJOLNIR and the latter stating that the first prototype of the vehicle was fielded late in the war. The "HRUNTING/YGGDRASIL Mark IX" designation also implies that the Mantis was developed on top of a technology lineage that did not exist until well into the 26th century, making it impossible for it to have been developed in 2403.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Halo Waypoint, Mantis (Retrieved on Dec 3, 2016) [archive]
  2. ^ a b c d e Halo Waypoint, Halo 4 Interactive Guide - Vehicles: Mantis (Retrieved on May 1, 2013) [local archive] [external archive]
  3. ^ Halo: The Thursday War, page 364
  4. ^ a b Official Xbox Magazine October 2012
  5. ^ a b c d e f The Halo Bulletin 10.17.12
  6. ^ Image showing energy shield flaring
  7. ^ a b Halo Waypoint: Canon Fodder - Greek Squad
  8. ^ a b c d e Halo 5: Guardians
  9. ^ Halo Waypoint: Canon Fodder - Close Quarters
  10. ^ a b Halo Wars 2: Phoenix Logs - Mantis
  11. ^ Halo Waypoint - Community Update: Know-Scope
  12. ^ a b Halo Wars 2
  13. ^ Halo 4: The Essential Visual Guide, page 111
  14. ^ Halo: The Thursday War, page 416
  15. ^ Halo 4, campaign level, Composer
  16. ^ Spartan Ops, S1E3 Catherine: Episode 3: Shootout In Valhalla
  17. ^ Spartan Ops, Episode 5, Chapter 4: "The Cauldron Base"
  18. ^ Spartan Ops, S1E7 Invasion: Chapter 1: Backup
  19. ^ Spartan Ops, S1E10 Exodus: Chapter 4: Out the Other
  20. ^ Halo: Escalation, Issue #15
  21. ^ Halo 5: Guardians, campaign level Swords of Sanghelios
  22. ^ Halo 5: Guardians, campaign level Guardians
  23. ^ Halo, Anvil's Legacy
  24. ^ Halo 4 Beta - Unused Mantis Animations