The New Incursus and Merlin > The New Rifter?

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!

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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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