When a member of the lower 99% (I don’t say this negatively) of the game gets a good item, they move up in rank, closer to the 1%. They move up as far as their items, building skill and tactical skill will permit. They will then compete against a new group of equals. Because of this, the top 1% might be the only realistic place to judge the balance of anything, otherwise we’re just slowing or preventing any new competition from rising through the ranks.
Nerfing something for the sake of the lower ranks is oppression. There are some relatively new faces in the top 50. I’ll bet that when they got their first their first Mercy, Valiant or Magma (whether f2p or p2w) they preferred to move up the ranks rather than having things nerfed for their benefit.
Balancing things in the upper ranks is correct and pulls worthy (and lucky) players up. Looking at rankings 1-10, 11-25 and 26-50 (minimally), their mechs tell the whole story of who/what is overpowered and who/what is not.
Before EMP was nerfed, the top 30 players (I checked a few times a day) were about 30% Energy, 20-25% Heat and TONS of Phys. That reveals imbalance. The EMP and Heat Bomb nerfs changed the balance but incorrectly.
The 250th or 1000th player, I’d bet that when they’ve managed to gather all the parts needed for a top 50 build, they’re not going to be thrilled when upon arrival, they see that imbalance not will permit further advance unless they rebuild 1, 2 or 3 new mechs. I certainly wasn’t thrilled.