The New Incursus and Merlin > The New Rifter?

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The new Inferno expansion brought with it new Changes to Tech 1 Frigates that have quietly shaken up the old standard of Frigate Combat…

For years there was one Tech 1 Frigate that was just better than all the rest. Everyone knew it, and everyone loved it. That was the Rifter, the speed, size, firepower, and slot layout made it the most flexible and best of the bunch. Not by a huge margin but by enough.

That’s not to say the other races Frigates weren’t capable, just that the Rifter way more capable.

Inferno has changed that, and unlike past history, CCP didn’t Nerf the Rifter down so it was more comparable (Like they usually do ex: Dramiel). They boosted all the others up to it’s level. (and beyond)

If you look at the new changes, the Rifter received very little beyond a very slight boost to speed, agility, and hit points. It’s a better ship than it was, but just barely.

The Merlin and Incursus however now sport stats that almost rival Assault Ships!

As a Frigate specialist this change is SUPER EXCITING because these are dirt cheap ships.  Almost any player in EVE can afford to fly these and the stats now mean that your selection of “Possible Targets” has grown tremendously.

Before we go any further let’s look at the Rifter for comparison:

Click To Enlarge

This fit has won me ALOT of fights against a large variety of targets. The Speed and Agility are the primary advantage, but the balance of having some reasonable hit points, a small passive shield recharge, and moderate DPS output make it a very flexible ship.

The setup shown is with the new stats, and compared to the new Merlin and Incursus, it’s just not as good. The speed and agility are there still and it’s a good ship, but given the choice for more HP and more DPS from a Merlin or More Repair and WAY MORE DPS from a Incurus the choice is clear.

The Rifter is no longer King of the Tech 1 Frigates!

Now lets look at the new and improved Merlin:

Click To Enlarge

More than twice the EHP (Effective Hit Points), double the Defence, and still MORE DPS!

Note: I have the guns and Invul overheated to show the likely fighting stats. If you studied my material in the past you know my philosophy and advantage in most fights is to overload from the start. ESPECIALLY IN FRIGATES! Because Frigate fights are very fast.

Also notice how the speed and agility are not all that different from the Rifter above. Meaning the Rifters one remaining advantage isn’t a very big one.

With this ship I would feel very confident attacking many Assault Ships and Destroyers even. A very capable high and low sec PVP ship, but what about for null sec? Just add MWD.

Click To Enlarge

But then you lose your up close advantage in alot of cases due to the lack of an Afterburner, so it’s not the cure all solution. It depends a lot of what exactly your prey is and what tactics you will be using. I would use this MWD version to get in fast on targets unlikely to have a scram and/or to engage tacklers that I isolated from a blob.

With 11k EHP and almost 50 Defence this ship can easily take on most non-drone Cruisers and every other T1 Frigate in the game. It’s only possible match is the Incursus, however I’m not so sure about that either.

Now let’s look at the Incursus:

Click To Enlarge

Now this thing is a Solo Monster of a Tech 1 Frigate! With 250+ DPS output and a 67 hp/s tank this thing is MEAN! In fact for all of the people who have gotten the Frigate PVP Pro Guide and enjoyed the Can Flipping Guide, this is your new can flipping ship! (If you haven’t gotten the Frigate PVP Pro Guide yet you are really missing out, it’s the highest rated and best selling PVP Guide ever released for EVE Online)

The reason this ship is so good for Can Flipping and for Frigate 1vs1’s, and for taking down Cruisers, BC, and BS, and possibly some HACs and Recons, is because of the Huge DPS output and respectable tank.

For most PVP situations high DPS is big advantage, but for Solo it’s almost mandatory because most the time you’re fighting against the clock to kill your opponent before his buddies arrive. Beyond that High DPS capitalizes on other peoples mistakes because the fight happens at a faster rate and mistakes are far more costly. Turning the Rep or Hardeners on late, or failing to engage drones, or not overloading from the start are all mistakes that High DPS will exploit to your advantage.

The Defence here is not amazing but it is enough to tank low to medium skilled drones if you are quick about popping them. Making it very good for taking on larger ships, your Afterburner and small size will remove their turrets from the fight if you orbit in close at 500m (which you should be doing, unless you are popping drones, then swing to 3-6km).

An AWESOME ship that I plan on flying a lot in the coming days.

But what about the Punisher? It’s not amazing, but it does still do one thing well…

Click To Enlarge

Tons of HP means this works good as a bait ship or perhaps a very long 1vs1, however your slow speed means any smart opponent will simply fly away from you when he see’s how many HP you have. But a fun setup anyway, just don’t get Podded!

—————————————————————————————————

Here are all the fits in easy to import EFT format. Just copy them individually then open EFT and it will ask you to import:

[Rifter, Shield]
Damage Control II
Overdrive Injector System II
Gyrostabilizer II

1MN Afterburner II
Medium Shield Extender II
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I

150mm Light AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet Phased Plasma S
150mm Light AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet Phased Plasma S
150mm Light AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet Phased Plasma S
[empty high slot]

Small Projectile Burst Aerator I
Small Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
Small Core Defense Field Extender I

 

[Merlin, A bird copy 1]
Damage Control II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Micro Auxiliary Power Core I

1MN Afterburner II
Medium Shield Extender II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I

Light Ion Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
Light Ion Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
Light Ion Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S

Small Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
Small Core Defense Field Extender I
Small Core Defense Field Extender I

 

[Merlin, A bird MWD 2]
Pseudoelectron Containment Field I
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Micro Auxiliary Power Core II

Limited 1MN MicroWarpdrive I
Medium Shield Extender II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I

Light Ion Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
Light Ion Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
Light Ion Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S

Small Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
Small Core Defense Field Extender I
Small Core Defense Field Extender I

 

[Incursus, Standard]
Damage Control II
Small Armor Repairer II
Explosive Plating II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II

1MN Afterburner II
Small Capacitor Booster II, Cap Booster 200
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I

Light Neutron Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
Light Neutron Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
Light Neutron Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S

Small Hybrid Burst Aerator I
Small Hybrid Collision Accelerator I
[empty rig slot]

Hobgoblin II x1

 

[Punisher, Don’t Get Podded]
Damage Control II
400mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Adaptive Nano Plating II

1MN Afterburner II
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I

Dual Light Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency S
Dual Light Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency S
Dual Light Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency S
[empty high slot]

Small Trimark Armor Pump I
Small Trimark Armor Pump I
Small Trimark Armor Pump I

 


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This article has 15 comments

  1. Bear 06/13/2012, 8:45 pm:

    My guess on short changing the Rifter is certain PvPers did not like having it handed to them from something smaller than theirs.

    But, I always seem to get handed it when flying frigates unless I fight those npc pirates :)

  2. Slothrop 06/14/2012, 1:02 am:

    Love your Incursus setup for can flipping where you generally go against larger ships that noobs are more confident flying. For frigate-v-frigate with higher radial velocities, there’s potential for significantly more DPS with some small changes. What do you think about a dual-prop setup with the Incursus? Looks like it might just be possible with enough SP. If so, it seems ideal for nullsec PvP on a budget.

    • Abbadon21 06/16/2012, 1:12 pm:

      I just played with it a little in EFT and you’re right, the Incursus is now a GREAT substitute for the Dual Prop Taranis. The stats are very similar and for about 1/3 the price.

      The Best part is that people avoid fighting the Taranis, but I bet they will actively chase the Incursus and underestimate it, which leads to lots more fun fights and kills.

      Here’s the first fit I found that I like:

      [Incursus, Dual Prop]
      Damage Control II
      Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
      Overdrive Injector System II
      Overdrive Injector System II

      Limited 1MN MicroWarpdrive I
      Experimental 1MN Afterburner I
      J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I

      Light Neutron Blaster II, Null S
      Light Neutron Blaster II, Null S
      Light Neutron Blaster II, Null S

      Small Hybrid Burst Aerator I
      Small Hybrid Collision Accelerator I
      [empty rig slot]

      Hobgoblin II x1

      • Slothrop 06/18/2012, 12:42 pm:

        Thanks for sharing your favorite fit. I look forward to seeing some PvP videos in the future using some of your new setups (Incursus & Merlin). By the way, when you put together a fit in EFT, there are lots of different tradeoffs involved. Knowing which ones will bear the most fruit and which ones won’t takes lots of PvP experience which you have in spades. For example, your Incursus fit above has no tank beyond what is part of the ship. How does the extra 15% boost you get from the second overdrive injector offset the advantage of an otherwise similar active armor tanking layout like this:

        [Incursus, PvP Dual Prop]
        Overdrive Injector System II
        Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
        Small Armor Repairer II
        Internal Force Field Array I

        Limited 1MN MicroWarpdrive I
        Experimental 1MN Afterburner I
        Warp Scrambler II

        Light Neutron Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
        Light Neutron Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
        Light Neutron Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S

        Small Hybrid Collision Accelerator I
        Small Hybrid Metastasis Adjuster I
        Small Ancillary Current Router I

        Hobgoblin II x1

        • Abbadon21 06/18/2012, 4:44 pm:

          The primary function of the ship would be to catch and kill tackling interceptors, followed by the second and more risky role of killing combat interceptors.

          For tackling inty hunting the speed is needed to get the scram. Which is why I went with the extra OD.

          I do see why you want to fit that armor rep, I really did too. For fighting combat intys and large targets your setup will work a little better. The big problem is that Capacitor, in the middle of fight you will be lucky to get 3 or 4 cycles before going cap dead (heat from the start to make the most of those cycles). That’s win or lose against say a good combat inty, so it is a very good option and I agree with you.

          When I fly it though most of my targets will be relatively weak tacklers and then the occasional combat inty.So I would rather have the extra boost of speed.

          That extra speed against a Dual Prop Taranis will allow you to dictate range and kite him to get an easy win.

          • kusanagi 07/23/2012, 6:53 pm:

            How would you fight against a Crow with the Dual Prop Incursus?

          • Abbadon21 07/23/2012, 9:06 pm:

            Depends on the situation, but most likely I would run away from him and get him to chase me, then let him get to about 40km and turn hit approach and heat my MWD + Scram to make sure I get the scram on him. Then I would overload my guns from the start and get right up on top of him and melt him.

            So get scram and then heavy DPS from up close to drop him fast.

  3. kusanagi 07/24/2012, 3:27 am:

    How do you get him at 40km him being faster than the Incursus? Situation was, I warped in to a 2/10 complex, he jumped on me, orbiting at 20km and eating me with his rockets while warp disrupting.

    • Abbadon21 07/24/2012, 11:51 am:

      In that situation I would have either scanned before warping then warped in at 100km and forced him to run to me or if it was through one of those warp gates were you can’t warp at range, I would try to bounce him into scram range.

      Move away from him with MWD on then prime overload on your MWD and Scram, the moment the overload kicks in on the next MWD cycle hit Approach and run straight at him. Hopefully you will get within scram range, and once you get a scram you will most likely win.

      • kusanagi 07/24/2012, 5:14 pm:

        Nice, thanks a lot for the advice. Will try it next time.

  4. Roll Game 06/02/2013, 6:35 pm:

    id love to see a hookbill guide on here :P

  5. Joey 05/06/2014, 7:06 am:

    Hey Abbadon21,

    If I purchase the frigate pvp guide, in what format do the videos come? Will i be able to download and keep them? Thanks.

    • Abbadon21 05/07/2014, 4:24 pm:

      The videos are streamed via cloud distribution. So they are similar to Youtube videos.

  6. erik 06/06/2014, 2:47 am:

    Fit for incursus looks great on paper in terms of dps. But my experience in 1vs1 on close range fits without a web is that you just can’t apply it. Your opponent wall Scramkite you and you’re dead.
    In case of tackling bigger ships I agree that this can be fun, but I don’t have experience with that.

    • Abbadon21 06/09/2014, 3:37 pm:

      The game has changed quite a bit since this article. Up close brawler fits used to be the norm, but FW has led to the use of fits that scram within kite range being the norm.

      Range control has always been a very powerful tactics, especially with frigates.

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