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I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Fit of the Week: Dual-prop Cynabal

[Cynabal, Dual-Prop]
Damage Control II
Tracking Enhancer II
Tracking Enhancer II
Gyrostabilizer II
Gyrostabilizer II

10MN MicroWarpdrive II
10MN Afterburner II
Warp Disruptor II
Large Shield Extender II
Large Shield Extender II

425mm AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP M
425mm AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP M
425mm AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP M
425mm AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP M
Medium Energy Neutralizer II

Medium Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
Medium Core Defence Field Extender I
Medium Polycarbon Engine Housing I

Warrior II x5
Hornet EC-300 x5

I don't fly my Cynabal very often, but when I do, it now looks like this.

The Cynabal was a tough ship for me to know when to call upon.  I love my various Vagabond fits and in the past, I've had a lot of luck with the Vaga as a "go to" ship in my hangar.  In short, if I didn't know what to undock in for a given PvP situation, I'd generally default to the Vagabond because it does so many things in PvP well: it's a DPS monster; it's fast and agile; it's an excellent heavy tackler; it's a decent bait ship; it's an outstanding support ship for behind-enemy-lines cloaky gangs; and finally, it's a very good scout.

On paper, the Cynabal hints that it might be "Vagabond, only better" and indeed, a lot of guys fly it in just this way.  I see a ton of solo Cynabals use this strategy, for instance.  I was excited to try this when I first bought a Cynabal and fit it with that in mind, basically as a Vaga with a tank.  And in this role, I actually found the ship kind of disappointing.  It's a ship that you tend to over-estimate, given how excellent the Dramiel and Machariel are.  You forget that at the end of the day, the Cynabal is really just a super-charged T1 cruiser.  It therefore sacrifices the Vaga's T2 resists, and is both slower than the Vaga and has a higher sig radius.  "Tank" is the right word to use, all right.

It's the right word for another reason as well: its grid suggests 425mm guns, but it receives a fall-off bonus, not a tracking bonus.  Those big guns therefore have to be used carefully to avoid tracking issues with an agile boat, and a Cynabal without a couple of TEs is an unhappy Cynabal.  It's tough to use in the traditional Vaga anti-tackler role for this reason.  Which is a shame, because the double-size drone bay seems custom-fit for this purpose.  So again, you can try to out-Vaga the Vagabond in this role, but when I tried using it this way, I again found it to be a little disappointing.

So after much experimenting, I decided to apply the ship's grid a little bit differently.  The Cynabal sacrifices speed and size to the Vaga, but is a great deal more agile.  And when I focused my Cynabal fit in that direction, I became a lot happier.  In short, instead of treating it as a super Vagabond able to effectively attack smaller targets, I started treating it as a super Dramiel, able to effectively attack larger targets.  Drams are dual-prop fit for escape and evasion in this situation, so I started dual-prop fitting my Cynabal with the net result that I feel it becomes a very effective counter to PvP battleships and short-range battle cruisers.

Fit this way, the Cynabal doesn't have much more tank than the Vagabond, really, but it can use its afterburner to set up a much more effective orbit at the edge of point range.  The fall-off bonus allows RF EMP/PP/Fusion ammo to hit at the edge of point range, so you're flying the Cynabal more or less the same way as you would a Vaga, with a defensive neut and a long point.  You're just flying it against different targets: big targets this time, instead of small ones.  Be careful to stay out of heavy neut range, in particular; you'll want to overheat your point frequently (or carry a faction one).  The Polycarbon rig allows the Cynabal to maintain this high-speed orbit, or to align and warp off in a little over three seconds... a good deal quicker than the Dram will be able to align and warp once the Dram nerf hits.  Alternately, Barrage ammo makes the Cynabal an effective anti-Recon platform.  It's certainly more effective against Curses and Falcons than the Vaga is!

I know I say this often, but I'm going to say it again: the fit is presented this way for neatness, but when you actually build this ship, mix up your mid-slots! In particular, I fit them: MWD-LSE-AB-LSE-point. Then rearrange things to your taste with your F-keys after you undock. You're going to be overheating your point and your MWD pretty frequently if you're using the ship correctly, and you want to try to isolate them from the other mids to reduce heat damage. It's a matter of taste, but you might find yourself overheating the AB more than the MWD. If so, swap them. Your least-overheated mid goes in the middle.

Since I started fitting and flying the Cynabal this way, I find that I pull it out of my hangar much less often, but I'm much happier with it when I do pull it out.  Carry a wide variety of ammo in your Cynabal.  In particular, RF Depleted Uranium is vital if you are faced with smaller targets.  In addition, I can't emphasize enough the importance of Drop boosters in this ship.  Synth will be fine for most fights as long as you use the ship properly, but it's a smart idea to carry one Standard or Improved Drop in cargo as well if you can.  You'll know the right time to use it.  It's also not a bad idea to carry a little X-Instinct as well.  Or if you are actually using your Quafe Zero, this is the ship that wants it.

Finally, keep a set of Valkryie drones handy.  If you know for a fact that you're going out to hit ships bigger than you, it's not a bad idea to go ahead and fit them for the extra DPS.  I suspect we're going to see a lot of tier3 BC kills in this boat come winter, for instance...

Fly against the heavies!


  1. Where are the mining lasers? Come on!

  2. Nice ship fit and explanation for it. I've used Battleclinic a lot in the past to learn about ship fittings, but 'clinic is littered with fits that are under-explained, rated incorrectly, and/or are based off of "on paper" numbers from EFT and not built for actual in game situations.

    And yes, there will be many Tier 3 Battlecruisers ending up on the wrong side of the kill boards when they come out- from testing them on SiSi, I can tell that more people will probably use them wrong than use them correctly in the first weeks.

  3. I disagree completely with your premise that the Cyna can't/shouldn't be flown like a vaga and or that it doesn't serve the same role, if not better. It has superior speed to a Vaga, the tracking of the 425's is only .00731 less than the 220's on the vaga, and to compensate for that you've got roughly 14 km more falloff to play with than the Vaga does.

    If you are using a neut on the Vaga for anything but defensive work you are doing something wrong in the first place, the Cyna is the exact same way. The cyna was made to use a long, faction point to utilize all that extra falloff.

    With all that extra speed under mwd you can really narrow the speed gap between fast tackle and you, keeping them in the power-range of your tracking and falloff of 40-25 KM from you, long enough to kill effectively.

    The Cyna's AB makes it a bit more forgiving in getting out of scram range or mitigating missile damage than the vagabond, and that's part of what makes the Cynabal so damn sexy. (well that and it looks like a slug).

    The drone bay lets you bring both of the Vaga's choices of drones to any fight, 5 x warrior II's or 5 x EC-300 drones, or 10 of each. Not a flight of slow mediums that do nothing to kill your only real threat, fast tackle.

    They Cyna is a ship that if you can't kill it, you can out run it. Not a up-engage brawler. It has less "real" DPS than a vagabond, more effective DPS in falloff though because it has so much longer falloff. Frigates are still easy kills.

  4. Why in the world did you use the word "orbit" with this ship (or even the Vagabond)?

  5. I eat vagabonds and cynabals for lunch.


    Om nom nom

  6. Additional comments:


    Faction fit that RF Warp Disruptor, like you said, but you will need the extra capacitor when fighting large targets, so you need faction/deadspace prop mods as well.

    The ship actually becomes cap stable running a deadspace afterburner, which is (simply put) amazing.

    The problem is that it absolutely melts to a properly Hurricane (Or a Loki). And when the Tornado comes out, it will melt against the Tornado too.

  7. Dannar, when you write that you eat Cynabals and Vaga's for meals, and then post km's where you are not soloing them... that kind of defeats you stating "you" eat them for meals....

  8. To say that you have to solo something in order to "Eat them For lunch" is misleading at best and a gross misunderstanding of how pvp works at worst.

    Take a look at that last kill. The Loki did all of the hard work.

    Show me three API verified 0.0 Solo CynaBond killmails (where the Cynabal/Vagabond was killed in solo combat, 0.0 space by a BC or smaller) in the last 30 days (no failfits) and I'll eat my words and send you 25M isk.

  9. @Logan - Agree completely. The Cynabal essentially does everything a Vaga does with extra drone bay space for a good split flight of ECMs and lights and either an AB, or, as another very strong choice, a cap booster.

    Jester I don't know why you start the post with 'don't fly the cynabal like a vaga!' and then go on to describe exactly how to fly the cynabal like a vaga.

  10. @Raelyf: you use the two ships in the same way, but optimally against different sorts of targets.

    @Logan: I'm not saying you CAN'T do those things. I'm saying the Cynabal is sub-optimal for doing those sorts of things. You say in your own comment that the Cynabal is "mitigating" or "forgiving" or "compensating", not words designed to inspire confidence that you're using the ship in the role which it is best at. ;-)

    I'll have more to say on this broader topic in a few days, most likely.

  11. One comment for here and another for your optimal thread.

    I was countering your "hard fact" idea's of your perceived and un-researched failures of the Cynabal in respect to the Vagabond with factual responses, using words like "compensate" to highlight the points I was making. In my comment I only once noted a deficiency (in tracking between the 425mm guns and 220mm guns) and used the word "compensating" in refer

    My use of the word "mitigating" was in reference to the Cyna's ability to mitigate missile damage while under AB power, is actually a good thing, and doesn't support your argument about the Cyna vs Vagabond. I never used the word "forgiving."

    In addition, let me illustrate a few more advantages of the Cyna over the Vagabond. With your fit, the Cyna has around 30.4k EHP, a similar dual t2 LSE, DCU(2 te, 2 gyro, 2 polycarb) fit for the Vaga has 29.0k EHP. Not so much of a difference there, okay how about speed and agility?

    Cyna - with one poly is just 100m/s under MWD slower than the Vagabond, but aligns only .4 sec slower than the Vaga while the Cynabal has it's MWD active than the Vaga does [i]without[/i] MWD. It's not even a contest to align in the Cyna vs the Vagabond, with the Cyna aligning more than a second faster than the Vagabond when neither ship is under MWD. This indicates far better agility in the Cynabal. This extra agility results in dividends controlling range and keeping point on targets, not to mention the ability to spin around on tackle and kill them in 2-3 volleys before they even realized they are in danger.

    Cyna has more cap than a Vagabond, allowing it to operate at MWD for ~30 seconds longer than the Vaga (that's going to allow the Cyna to run further, faster, making up for that 100m/s speed loss.

    More importantly, and overlooked in the discussion thus far, by us both, the Vagabond doesn't have a fifth mid slot for AB(or anything else), so it gets scrammed and it has no way to maintain speed that the Cyna doesn't but the Cyna has an AB, allowing it to keep up more speed than the Vagabond once tackled, giving it another tool to use (in addition to ECM drones, Warrior drones, Medium Neut and guns that track well) to reduce transversal to it's tackling frigate and nuke it with it's guns.

    The Cynabal is just as optimal, if not more so, in the role of heavy tackler as the Vagabond, as well as in the role of tackle eliminator as the Vagabond is. The role it is sub-optimal for is for brawling, it is still a nano ship, and one of the premier nano ships at that.

  12. what a load of crap, are you going to try armor tanking it next? i think youve missed the point, big time. if you cant see the difference between a vaga and a cynabal its time to fly something else.


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