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, December 12, 2012

Fit of the Week: Heavy Tackle Thorax

"New" cruiser month FOTWs continue!  I can recall 18 months ago during Alliance Tournament IX, one of the commentators laughing about shield-tanked Gallente ships.  Know what?  Nobody's going to be laughing at them any more:

[Thorax, Heavy Tackle]
Damage Control II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II

Experimental 10MN MicroWarpdrive I
Warp Scrambler II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Large Shield Extender II

Heavy Ion Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge M
Heavy Ion Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge M
Heavy Ion Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge M
Heavy Ion Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge M
Heavy Ion Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge M

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

Valkyrie II x5


First, the downside: the fitting margin on this ship is razor-thin.  If you don't have near-perfect fitting skills, you simply won't be able to make the CPU work.  Still, that's probably as it should be and there are lots of things you can do to manage that.  CPU implants are one option, but the simplest option is probably just to downshift the Large Shield Extender or Damage Control to the meta4 version.  Either one should close the gap if your skills aren't perfect.

And then you're left with a heavy tackle monster.

It's no secret that my favorite heavy tackle shield ship is the Vagabond.  The advantages of the Vaga in this role are three-fold: great DPS with great tracking against frigates, a tough tank with good EHP for a cruiser, and near best-in-class mobility.  A Vaga can orbit at the limit of overheated point range, hitting for 400 or so DPS and then skedaddle if the fight goes against it.  This Thorax, quite simply, puts the Vagabond out of business.  Sig radius?  Equal.  Speed?  Near equal.  Tank?  Better.  Mobility?  Equal or better.  Tracking?  Better.  DPS?  Way better.  The cost is a fraction of the Vaga and the double-size drone bay gives you versatility that the Vaga simply can't match.  The only thing you lose is the Vaga's neut... and that neut was defensive, anyway.

This ship is offensive, not defensive.  The tactics are quite different.  The Thorax has to commit to brawling range whereas the Vaga can run if a battle goes against it.  But you're in a freakin' Thorax!  If you die, buy 10 more of them and go back out.  But you're probably not gonna die, because if you tackle something, you're a T1 cruiser doing 600 DPS.  Yeah, I'm sorry to report that the Vaga is definitely out of business.  Sleep, dear Vagas, until you are needed again.

In the meantime, if I'm tackling, I'm doing it in something green and covered in blasters, just like the old days.  Squee!

Ahem.  Anyway, the fitting.  Tank is provided by the basic LSE/Invul/DC2/rigs arrangement.  I'm kind of going back and forth on the exact rigging.  I really want to fully nano-fit this thing, which means trading out one of the shield rigs for a Polycarbon Engine Housing.  But which one?  I'm currently undecided.  Laser cruisers got a big buff with Retribution -- more about them next week -- so you can't just ignore EM damage the way you might want to.  The EHP loss is about the same either way: from 24k to 22k, so if you want to go the Polycarb route, base the choice of which rig to lose on how often you see your opponents in Amarr cruisers and HACs.

Alternatively, if speed isn't that important to you, drop the Nanofiber, stick with the rigs as shown, and trade one Mag Stab and the Nanofiber for two Tracking Enhancers.  And then kill Interceptors even if they're orbiting you super tight.  It's almost unfair.

The intent here is for this Thorax to back up your own interceptor tackle, particularly on heavy targets, particularly on low-sec gates.  I like a scram for that, especially since the Thorax has to commit to battle anyway.  Your maximum DPS range is about 11km.  Still, if your FC insists on a point instead, fit one but remind him that you probably don't have the CPU to fit the T2 version.  If you go with the scram and have a good stock of them, fit the Faint Epsilon meta version instead of the T2 scram.  Same range, less cap use, better overheating qualities.  On a low-sec gate, a single medium remote shield repper (off a Scythe, say) will manage sentry gun damage.

DPS, as I mentioned, is blasters: 500 DPS worth of fast-tracking blasters.  In the pre-ECM nerf days you'd carry a set of light drones and a set of e-war drones.  Today, don't bother.  You can track frigates just fine and Valks will generally be able to hit them too unless the frig pilot is flying perfectly.  This is especially true if you go for the two TE version of this fit.  Carry a Synth Drop in cargo to enhance the performance still further.  Against bigger targets, the Valks add another 100 DPS.  Remember to overheat those blasters, particularly if you're heavily committed to a fight.

All in all, this ship is scary on pretty much every possible level.  If you're faced with a cruiser gang full of these things, fear them.  You'll mostly want to kill them in shield-tanked Oracles and the like but keep in mind that the Thorax is wicked fast: 2200m/s before heat before the Polycarb is fitted (if it is).  You're therefore not going to be able to skirmish them for very long before they're on top of you, killing at leisure.  Yeah, nobody's going to be laughing at shield-tanked Gallente ships any more.

Good hunting!


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. 

16 comments:

  1. Holy shit, did you actually squee?!

    I remember running around in a THorax when I first started in piracy years ago. This takes me back. Gonna buy a few. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I like it! However...doesn't the Thorax only have three mid lots, not four? Or am I reading things wrong? Would you drop the extender and keep the invuln?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It got a fourth, and the grid to use it, with Retribution.

      Delete
    2. Actually, even if you've only got AWU 4 and Shield Upgrades 4, you've got grid to spare. Still tight on CPU, but if you've got Electronics 5, you'll be able to squeak through. Room enough for a meta-4 long point, or if you want to go for the T2, switching one mag-stab for a TE will make it work.

      Oh, yeah. I may just roll one of these out some day soon (provided I don't get reamed, steamed, and dry-cleaned the way faction warfare is going)...

      Delete
  3. Actually, you dont need Shield Upgrades V as that skill helps with PG and not CPU (CPU being the bottleneck here).
    You can make this fit with Shield Upgrades IV and Adv. Weapon Upgrades IV so not THAT razor thin. Nice fit tough.

    As usuall, if CPU hurts, you could downgrade the Scram to a Faint Epsilon Warp Scrambler I (meta 4) with no performance hit, or swap the LSE II for a meta 4 (for an EHP drop), or turn a Magnetic Field Stab into a Tracking Enhancer (altough tracking is already good on the Thorax now, but if the MagStab doesnt fit, its better than nothing)

    ReplyDelete
  4. [Thorax, Thorax]
    Damage Control II
    Nanofiber Internal Structure II
    Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
    Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
    Tracking Enhancer II

    Large Shield Extender II
    Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
    Warp Scrambler II
    Experimental 10MN Microwarpdrive I

    Heavy Neutron Blaster II, Null M
    Heavy Neutron Blaster II, Null M
    Heavy Neutron Blaster II, Null M
    Heavy Neutron Blaster II, Null M
    Heavy Neutron Blaster II, Null M

    Medium Ancillary Current Router I
    Medium Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
    Medium Core Defense Field Extender I


    Hammerhead II x5

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You get:
      +712.5m optimal
      +3185m falloff

      At the cost of:
      -825 shields, 2041 EHP
      -.00104 tracking
      -26 DPS

      And also requires AWU 5 and Shield Upgrades 5.
      Its basically a side-grade. Considering you're going 2.2km/s, you should have no problem getting in range, which is the only advantage of the Neutron fit.

      Delete
  5. First the Rifter now the Vaga... Rest in peace Minmatar!

    ReplyDelete
  6. if the pilot in question is going to dead space it, i would like to suggest moving up on to diemost or vig hull

    ReplyDelete
  7. Got me excited about T1 cruisers again! Many thanks, Jester!
    Gonna pick up a few of these and run amok around low sec.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Or you could double the EHP, add 50% more dps, and fly a Deimos

    ReplyDelete
  9. There are any number problems with this. First you can't get 50% more damage out of a Deimos even with four mags and a t2 rig without fraction fitting it. Second it's a far slower ship, that can be corrected enough to make them comparable but only if you either shield tank it losing all the EHP advantage or get minimal damage mods losing your DPS advantage. The biggest problem however is the tracking. It's drastically lower and the only way to make it comparable is to fit a web, and that means no shield tanking.
    You can at that point go and get your 100% EHP boost, but you’re down to one mag stag plus a t2 damage rig, meaning your DPS is only 70 higher than the thorax anyway. At this point you’re also going around 700m/s slower than the thorax. You can alternatively lose your plate and trimark to be only 200m/s slower, at which point you have 200 less hp and the same 70 higher dps.
    May I suggest if you want a higher isk version of this ship you look at Cynabals? Yeah scram fitting them is kind of retarded but if that's what you’re looking for they pull the same or slightly higher damage as the thorax fit while going over 500m/s faster, having an extra 10k EHP, fit both a neut and web and align in 4.5 seconds. Vagabonds also work bin a similar fashion but it’s a less clear cut upgrade.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Why spend 300m on a fit Deimos when you could buy ten of these

    ReplyDelete
  11. Why not just use a faint epsilon scram instead? Saves up some precious cpu, can overheat longer + have a better cap life

    ReplyDelete
  12. Why CN antimatter? Void has more damage but less range. But surely when you fly these you pretty much just hit Approach?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Quick question: the 2 Core defense field extenders cost almost as much as the hull... is it worth switching to anti-therm & a dps rig, and going for another nanofiber in the lows?
    - upside: much lower overall cost (like -30-40% on the overall fit); lower sig (not much though, 3% less); higher speed (~7-8%)
    - downside: lower dps (only 3-4% down though), lower EHP (15% less)

    ReplyDelete