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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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Fit of the Week: Rubicon Sabre

Wow, I haven't done a Sabre in forever! Let's revisit.

[Sabre, Small Gang]
Pseudoelectron Containment Field I
Nanofiber Internal Structure II

Limited 1MN Microwarpdrive I
Faint Epsilon Warp Scrambler I
Medium F-S9 Regolith Shield Induction
Medium F-S9 Regolith Shield Induction

125mm Gatling AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP S
125mm Gatling AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP S
125mm Gatling AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP S
125mm Gatling AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP S
125mm Gatling AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP S
125mm Gatling AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP S
Prototype Cloaking Device I
Interdiction Sphere Launcher I, Warp Disrupt Probe

Small Hyperspatial Velocity Optimizer I
Small Core Defense Field Extender I

Interdiction Sphere Launchers now feature a three-round magazine instead of a single launcher. The downside is that you can now only fit one of them. Even if you have a legacy interdictor with two launchers, the game won't let you undock in it.(1) Another change is that the launcher can be used as fast as it will cycle which means you can rapidly deploy all three bubbles before the launcher begins a 60-second reload timer. This has a dramatic effect on the way "dictors" have to be flown and used, but in terms of fitting, this is actually a very good thing. "Bubble launchers" take an enormous amount of CPU and before this change, "double bubble" and even "triple bubble" dictors were commonplace. The single launcher frees up all that CPU and allows you to do something actually useful with the rest of the ship besides try to tank.

What's above is a good compromise fitting suitable for small gang work. It does a lot of different things well: it has a decent tank, good speed, decent offensive capabilities, a utility cloak and utility mid slot. Let's address each in order.

Base tank on a Sabre fit this way is around 10k EHP. This is not as good as a tanky Flycatcher but is excellent compared to what a Sabre used to be capable of; it's just possible to survive under logistics reps depending on your adversaries thanks to the Sabre's speed and relatively small signature. Resists are around 50% which isn't great, but shield links will improve them. You can, if you wish, emphasize tank a bit more with a second CDFE rig but I prefer mobility. The nano increases the already quick Sabre to 2700m/s before heat, almost 3900m/s after. This is important when you want to reach a target and get it tackled and helps a great deal in avoiding enemy fire.

The second rig slot is devoted to a "warp speed rig." Reaching a tackle target quickly is important particularly in a small gang scenario and this dictor's 6.6AU/s warp speed will outrun all but the very fastest targets... and most of those are bubble immune anyway.

Previous Sabre fits had only token guns for getting on kill-mails but this one actually does pretty decent DPS: 180 before heat with a range of about 7-8km on fall-off. You're not going to want to directly engage a lot of targets but if you're going for a quick gank or after frigate-size targets, the ACs will do impressive damage. In a defensive scenario, the ACs will rapidly clear off all but the heaviest drones from you. Damage is tuneable and with Barrage you can open range to 12km and even do at least some damage with a good fast orbit at your bubble range.

I find a cloak invaluable for dictors: it just adds so many options. From sitting undetected on gates to hiding out during a bigger engagement that you can't survive to straight-on ambush, I can't think of a single situation where I regretted having a cloak along. And the Sabre's utility mid slot is also very useful! If you absolutely must, you can fit a meta Invul and increase your tank to near 13k. I myself find additional tackle options most useful. A scram will ensure that a target you tackle stays tackled, or sometimes I carry a meta web instead to keep tackled gank targets inside your bubble. This is not something you're going to want to do in a big engagement but for smaller scale stuff it's perfectly valid. If you fit the web, you can use the resulting CPU bonus to upgrade the DC to tech 2 or go with one T2 Medium Shield Extender.

The trick to single dictors in a small gang is to know when to use your bubbles and when to reload. If you've only got one -- which is typical for a small gang -- the gang is depending on you to keep targets close. As you land on a gate where a fight is likely to take place, get in close on the gate's structure, bubble up, and often go immediately through and bubble up the other side as well. Again, get as close to the gate as you can when you do this. Off-center bubbles invariably end up off-center to the advantage of the target you're trying to tackle. Hardly ever is the off-center bubble centered over a target. ;-)

I'm still getting the knack for reload timers myself, but long warps, holding periods while your scout is looking for targets, and periods when your fleet has an aggression timer for other reasons are good times. Try to keep your bubble launcher fully loaded as much as possible. Being able to bubble both sides of a gate and still have a contingency bubble to catch a distant or fleeing target is useful.

All in all, the Sabre remains an excellent ship and fun to fly! In my opinion, it's no longer the best dictor out there but it remains a valuable addition to any null-sec fleet.

Bubble up!

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) Though I'm told if you were flying one at the time of the patch or have one in a carrier or an SMA, those will still work.


  1. Why is everybody always useing a "Pseudoelectron Containment Field I" instead of an "Internal Force Field Arry"? Price?

    1. Price. If you can afford to lose them in a ship that's an obvious primary, feel free.

  2. Being someone who held off doctor training for way too long, I'm starting to skill Into it. In your opinion which ship IS the new king?

    1. For my money, right now, the Heretic. But it might just be the novelty of an armor dictor that can actually survive under fire.


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