Welcome to Jester's Trek.
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, June 20, 2012

Fit of the Week: Roaming Rapier

The dice came up "Minmatar PvP" this week and while I was trying to decide what to use and while looking through past FOTWs, I realized I've never done a Rapier FOTW.  That's a major oversight, particularly given how much I fly Rapiers myself, so let's rectify that right now.

[Rapier, Roaming Rapier]
Damage Control II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Overdrive Injector System II

Experimental 10MN MicroWarpdrive I
Warp Disruptor II
Federation Navy Stasis Webifier
Federation Navy Stasis Webifier
Large Shield Extender II
Large Shield Extender II

Covert Ops Cloaking Device II
Medium Energy Neutralizer II
Cynosural Field Generator I
Sisters Expanded Probe Launcher, Sisters Combat Scanner Probe I

Medium Core Defense Field Extender I
Medium Core Defense Field Extender I

Hornet EC-300 x5
Warrior II x3

Cloaky Recons in roaming gangs are best used in utility roles.  Since their DPS is so sub-par, there's often not all that much point to fitting more than a single token gun on them.  And I often fit no guns at all on my roaming cloaky Recons.  There are all sorts of interesting utility highs that can be used instead as long as your FC understands that you're not there for DPS, you're there for the webs.

The webs are the heart of a good Rapier and since you're fast, agile, and cloaky, you should go ahead and use the best webs that you can.  In a Rapier, faction webs actually make your ship less likely to die since the great range bonus on the Rapier means that you can operate at much longer (and therefore, harder to kill) ranges.  Fed Navy webs give you an unbonused web range of 56km at Recon V.  A Claymore pushes that out to 74, and a Loki to the insane range of 85km... and all of those numbers are before overheating.  Have a Loki along and overheat one web and that web operates at a range of almost 108km!

If you don't go for faction webs, ironically you're going to be much less safe since you're going to have to fly a lot closer to the enemy fleet in order to be effective.  A good Recon pilot operates at the edge of the battle.  Recons are so squishy that any Rapier that gets at all close is going to find itself the opposing fleet's primary pretty quick.  So... yeah.  Spring for the faction webs if you can at all afford it.

Everything else gets fitted around the webs.  Double LSE, double CDFE will supplement the Rapier's thin tank.  If you're not expected to ever tackle close, replace the point with an Adaptive Invul instead which has the same fitting requirements.  MicroWarpdrive, double nano, plus an Overdrive Injector complete the escape and evasion nature of the Rapier and pushes your Rapier to speeds of between 2100 and 2700m/s before heat, depending on what type of links you have along.  That combined with your long-range webs will allow you to easily outrun pretty much anything that tries to tackle you.

If you're going to be gate-camping instead of roaming, a Signal Amplifier II or two in the lows will do wonders for your lock speed.  Still, a better solution is to have one of your fleet-mates provide you with a Remote Sensor Booster link or two instead.  Ships crashing back to gate are a big issue for gate-camps, and the Rapier's webs can keep that attempted gate-crash from being successful if you can get locked on quickly enough.

Hornet ECs provide your final GTFO option, and a trio of Warrior IIs give you something to assist to the fleet's interceptors.  That will both allow you to participate in more kill reports and give friendly inties just a bit more oomph.  Alternately, in a skirmish fleet, assist your drones to your fleet's anti-tacklers, notably any Vagabonds you have along.  You can safely operate at between 50-80km or more from the fleet's targets.  Meanwhile, your anti-tackle will probably be at 30-40km so that assist will keep your drones in your control range while at the same time making the anti-tackler's job easier.

That brings me to the high slots.  After the Covert Ops cloak, what do you fit?  I've provided some typical examples.  Virtually all of my cloaky recons fit an Expanded Probe Launcher.  They're extremely useful for driving people off their safe-spots.  Even if you're the worst prober in the world, putting a few Sisters Combat Scanner Probes on people's directional scanner will often make them panic and do something dumb.  And if you're a decent prober, you might even add to the kill tally this way.(1)

I like a Medium Neut for an additional GTFO option.  Occasionally, you'll have the bad luck of an inty or a frigate or two managing to warp directly to you.  The Medium Neut allows you to deal with this problem decisively.  And if I don't have to carry a cyno or covert cyno, I fit a pair of Medium Neuts.  Still, some FCs will want you to fit a cyno for a variety of reasons, from capital escalation to direct scouting of the fleet with your Recon followed by a Titan bridge...

All in all, Rapiers are fun, fast, agile, and versatile.  They provide a fleet-critical role, require skill to pilot, and flown well directly add to the fleet's kill tally.  What's not to love?

(1) This, incidentally, is why my Rapier has a point.  ;-)

All Fits of the Week are intended as general guidelines only.  You may not have the skills needed for this exact fit.  If you do not, feel free to adjust the fit to suit to meet your skills, including using meta 3 guns and "best named" defenses and e-war.  Ships can also be adjusted to use faction or dead-space modules depending on the budget of the pilot flying it.  Each FOTW is intended as a general guide to introduce you to concepts that will help you fit and to fly that particular type of ship more aggressively and well.


  1. How about a post with a compact index of old FOTW's with links to the relevant posts? even better would be an index of updated versions, sorted by use category.

  2. Jester, I often have cap problems when flying Rapiers and Huginns. My cap skills are really good, if not perfect. What can I do about this? I've recently tried leaving my invul off if I'm not under heavy fire.

    1. The answer's the same for all Recons: manage your cap carefully and trust your cap's maximum recharge at 33%. Just recognize that you're not going to have a lot of cap during the fight. If the fight ends and you have 1 cap left, you win. ;-)

    2. Jester's Rapier is perfect fit.

      Get rid of that invul field and run with 2 large shield extenders instead. Rapier has reasonable base resist so just use the bigger buffer and save yourself cap hungry invul field.

      Some people help themselves with an extra capacitor power relay in low-slot and adjust nanofibers and overdrive injectors for it.

  3. Does this represent a move away from your previous contention that [url=http://jestertrek.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/recon-tanking.html]force recons should be armor tanked[/url]?

    Also, how do you deal with drones in this fit?

    1. You deal with drones by not being in drone range yourself. Some guys do a medium smart bomb instead of a medium neut, but I'm against that. If you have drones on you, you're flying this ship wrong.

      And no, I still think the default state of the Rapier is "armor tank." I have an armor tank Rapier fit that I personally like even better than this one, but it's not a good roaming ship, it's a hot-dropping ship. Roaming is within the reach of more EVE players though, so I went with that one.

  4. I love my Rapier... mine comes with 3 650mm's and a PDU, couple of gyro's, swap out for Fs-9's...

    I generally run in a gang of 8-15 where every man's DPS counts... However if I am going on an Alliance or Blue OP where DPS is less crucial then your fit is pretty much my fit of choice.

    And the only thing I love more than my Rapier is my 5 point Cov Ops dropping Arazu, nothing ruins the arrogance of a 0.0 Deep Space Transporter's day more than an Arazu decloaking and putting 5 points on him before having half a dozen bombers bridge in to rip him a new one.... The rage in local is fantastic!

    Over all, IMHO Covert Warfare is the most interesting side of a combat fleet.

  5. One note about the probe launcher: if you ever fly this fit into wormhole space, you'll want to carry a flight or two of Sisters Core Scanner Probes as well, especially if you have mediocre scanning skills. With only the bonuses (bonii?) from your launcher and probes (as opposed to having a hull bonus and possibly rigs too), you may have trouble nailing some of the weaker WH sigs (such as the 2.2 band M267 WH that is typically found as a static connection from C5 to C3 space) down with combats; besides, core probes are useful in order to find sigs without spooking K-spacers.


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