Battlecruiser Tier List


This is part three of the ship tier list, you can read part one here, and part two here. In this part I take a look at battlecruisers from a small gang perspective. Many of the ships here are very similar in power and while one might be at a lower tier it can still get kills versus ships in higher levels. Fitting and piloting skills can shift ships to a higher or lower tier depending on how good you are.

So let’s start by explaining my rating system for this.

OP: This ship is really strong and not only completely outclasses ships in the same group or role, but is also meta-defining and oppressive to ships in other roles which it doesn’t belong in.

Borderline OP: This ship is really strong although not in a completely oppressive way.

Tier 1: These ships are great; they are competitive and have plenty of options against other ships in the same grouping

Tier 2: These ships are good.

Tier 3: These ships are struggling a bit and could use a small push in the right direction, but still are perfectly flyable.

Trash Tier: These ships are bad and usually unflyable. Most of the problems come from bad slot design or being completely outclassed by a much better ship which performs an almost identical role.

The ships to the left are stronger than the ones on the right.

Tech 1 Battlecruisers

Tier 1: Oracle, Myrmidon
Tier 2: Cyclone, Gnosis, Tornado, Prophecy, Talos
Tier 3: Hurricane, Harbinger, Brutix, Ferox, Naga
Trash Tier: Drake

Navy Battlecruisers

Tier 2: Brutix Navy Issue, Harbinger Navy Issue
Tier 3: Hurricane Fleet Issue
Trash Tier: Drake Navy Issue

Command Ships

Borderline OP: Sleipnir
Tier 1: Eos, Claymore, Absolution
Tier 2: Damnation, Astarte, Vulture
Tier 3: Nighthawk

Brutix Serpentis Edition Front

Tech 1 Battlecruisers

In the current metagame of EVE, these ships are rarely seen, perhaps the warp speed change will improve that state of affairs.

Oracle (Tier 1): It is not as fast or good at anti-support as the pirate cruisers but it will still deal a ton of damage at good ranges. After the change to hyperspatial rigs this will be a good ship to roam with. Using a single warp speed rig lets it keep up with combat cruisers.

Myrmidon (Tier 1): The Myrmidon is very versatile and there still are a lot of legitimate fits for it. It has good damage projection and tracking with drones, making it very flexible.

Cyclone (Tier 2): A surprisingly mobile battlecruiser that is actually a decent PvP ship. It has a very respectable active tank with good bonuses.

Gnosis (Tier 2): The agility, flexible layout and bonuses make this ship unpredictable, much like a Hookbill. Can also fit a beastly tank while keeping all those utility mid slots for sensor boosters if sitting on a gate is your calling in life.

Tornado (Tier 2): The Tornado is the fastest attack battlecruiser and probably has the best slot layout for one. It loses to the Oracle for direct damage in gangs but has selectable damage types and artillery fits are still decent.

Prophecy (Tier 2): While not as versatile as the Myrmidon, the Prophecy is pretty powerful and can deal with frigates well, while also having the power to outbrawl a pirate cruiser or HAC. It has a nice amount of utility options in the highs. Often underestimated or thought to be bait.

Talos (Tier 2): The TE nerf left it too vulnerable. With ships like the Gila and Orthrus around, it just can’t stick around like it used to, while the Oracle and Tornado have much more reliable damage and operate at safer ranges. It is still able to bring the pain and can shred cruisers if you have some tackle on them.

Hurricane (Tier 3): Medium autocannons just aren’t reliable enough for solo or small gangs. The ‘Cane lost quite a bit of speed and it has fallen behind the curve. The TE nerf really hurt it’s ability to deal damage at point range. It can be weak to being kited at range unlike the Myrmidon, Gnosis and Prophecy which can deal a lot better with long range frigate tacklers.

Harbinger (Tier 3): The Harbinger is a ‘Cane that deals more consistent damage and has better projection. It is a bit slower and uses capacitor though, which leaves it in the same bracket as the Hurricane.

Brutix (Tier 3): The Brutix is a respectable armor brawler, but the Myrmidon just does this better with more versatility and options. The slight speed advantage isn’t enough to offset the Myrmidons’ utility and better ability to deal with all sizes of ships.

Ferox (Tier 3): If this ship had a damage bonus instead of an optimal bonus like the Moa It would actually be pretty good. Unfortunately, the optimal bonus does nothing for blasters, and it’s too slow to really take much advantage of the railgun optimal.

Naga (Tier 3): The slowest attack BC, and also has the worst tracking with railguns compared to AC/Pulse on the Oracle/Tornado respectively. It was previously a pretty good super long range rail platform, but fast probing and super fast frigates made this tactic less viable.

Drake (Trash tier): An outclassed ship that’s paying for its sins of being the most flown battlecruiser in 2011. The Raven does everything this ship does but better, the Gila is literally this ship but with more DPS (with damage type selection) that actually applies to frigates while being faster. It’s way too slow, kinetic locked, and not having a bonus to RLML forces it to use either HAMs, which it just doesn’t have the speed for, or HMLs, which as far as I am concerned are not in the game at all.


Navy Battlecruisers

This class is sub par considering the price, you rarely see them in space.

Brutix Navy Issue (Tier 2): This ship was revitalized when CCP introduced hull tanking rigs. It can get a large amount of EHP while retaining considerable DPS, and not having the speed penalty of plates. The tracking bonus helps a lot too. It is actually a ship that works for PvP.

Harbinger Navy Issue (Tier 2): An Amarr ship with five mids. I think this would be Tier 1 material if it had an optimal bonus instead of tracking and a bit more speed, able to do shield max gank laser fits with speed, or have a decent amount of utility in the mids like MWD/MJD/disruptor/web/injector.

Hurricane Navy Issue (Tier 3): CCP made this into the prenerf ‘Cane, it doesn’t even feel like a faction BC aside from the better hitpoints. It faces the same issues the ‘Cane does in that medium autocannons are bad and that it is a slow ship in the current metagame.

Drake Navy Issue (Trash Tier): This ship is just so bad that I would actually rather fly almost every Tech 1 Battlecruiser over it. It has less raw DPS than the Drake with kinetic, which is already low compared to cruiser-sized options like the Orthrus, Cerberus and Tengu (not to mention the Gila, which still shits all over this). It’s slow; the velocity bonus doesn’t synergize well as a HAM brawler because the Drake isn’t fast enough to HAM kite like the Cerberus, Orthrus, Tengu etc. The loss of resistance bonus also hurts it as a brawler. Long range  fits just suck compared to a RHML Raven, which is still faster than this ship. The application bonus feels out of place, this is basically what a Drake would be with a missile velocity bonus and a 5% rate of fire bonus instead of a kinetic bonus.


Command ships

This ship class is actually pretty good compared to their T1 variants. After the warp speed changes these will be even more viable.

Sleipnir (Borderline OP): One of the most used command ships. This ship has a great set of bonuses giving it a lot of DPS and tank. I think it has climbed up to borderline ranking after the warp speed got bumped up to 3 au/s.

Eos (Tier 1): A tankier Myrmidon with heavy drone speed and tracking bonuses, building on an already good hull. It is a bit slow though, but at this class speed is not something we are going to get.

Claymore (Tier 1): Just like the Sleipnir but with heavy assault missiles. It doesn’t have quite as much damage potential as the Sleipnir, but a sixth mid adds more possibilities for tank/application.

Absolution (Tier 1): This ship suffers quite a bit from only having three mid slots and using a ton of cap. It limits some fits quite a bit. It is however super tanky and does a respectable amount of DPS. It also scales insanely well with links and Slaves. I feel like it lacks a projection bonus. With that said, it is absolutely not a bad ship and is really popular in lowsec as an armor brawling ship. They do need logistics support though, and it is not uncommon to see a gang of these accompanied by equal numbers of Guardians.

Damnation (Tier 2): This ship has surprisingly good damage with heavy assault missile launchers and five medium drones. It has a huge tank but I just don’t think that makes up for the lack of versatility that the Eos offers, or the Speed that the Claymore and Sleipnir boast, but it’s a solid ship regardless.

Astarte (Tier 2): The Astarte doesn’t cut it for the same reason its Tech 1 version doesn’t. The Myrmidon/Eos hulls just brawl better while having more versatility or utility. Rail Astartes can be pretty good though.

Vulture (Tier 2): Double range bonus, good resistances; big fat Tengus that get utility highs and micro jump drives. PL did vulture fleets for awhile and they’re pretty good in numbers. It suffers from low speed and relatively low DPS, however.

Nighthawk (Tier 3): It suffers for the same reason that the Drake suffers. Although HAMs actually apply on this ship, it barely moves above 1 km/s with a microwarp drive. It can do some respectable damage with a strong tank though.

Final Thoughts

These ships are definitely not as common or popular in EVE as cruisers. Most of the Tech 1 battlecruisers suffer from problems where they are next to useless on grid. I think the warp speed change helped the command ships the most since those are actually good ships compared to their Tech 1 variants. I wonder what the point is with faction battlecruisers since their price overlaps with ships that are far better.

The warp speed change to battlecruisers was a good step, now they just need a decent role bonus. Realistically, no-one really uses them as a link platform. Doing something similar to destroyers where they get a projection or application bonus would fit well.

Attack battlecruisers are actually decent, especially now that they can sacrifice a rig for a warp speed rig without losing a ton of CPU. They somewhat have the speed and definitely the projection needed for a ship in this day and age.

Tags: battlecruisers, gorski

About the author

Gorski Car

Gorski Car was a CSM 9 member whose theorycrafting and knowledge of mechanics has had a key role in helping CCP adjust how we play EVE. He is an avid small gang PvPer with a background in lowsec, but flies in all areas of space, depending on his fancy.