Small Gang Tier List—Part 4: Battleships


Welcome to part four of the ship tier list series: Battleships. You can read Part 3 here. This is a look at the EVE small gang PvP metagame in different areas of space for battleships.  A lot 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.

Sidenote: All these ships need some small buffs to their sensor stats and I wrote a bit about it here.

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 in which it doesn’t belong.

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, still are perfectly flyable though.

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

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

Tech 1 Battleships

Borderline OP: Dominix
Tier 1: Typhoon, Hyperion, Armageddon
Tier 2: Raven, Megathron, Tempest, Apocalypse
Tier 3: Maelstrom, Rokh, Abaddon

Faction Battleships

Tier 1: Megathron Navy Issue, Dominix Navy Issue
Tier 2: Typhoon Fleet Issue, Apocalypse Navy Issue
Tier 3: Raven Navy Issue, Tempest Fleet Issue, Armageddon Navy Issue, Scorpion Navy Issue

Pirate Battleships

Borderline OP: Machariel
Tier 1: Vindicator, Rattlesnake, Barghest
Tier 2: Nightmare, Bhaalgorn, Nestor


Tech 1 Battleships

Battleships are not the most common roaming ship for small gang but they do provide a lot of utility and power on grid compared to battlecruisers. I think that the warp speed rig change has made these even more useful and I don’t think they are in such a bad spot as people seem to feel.

Dominix (Borderline OP) The slot layout on the Dominix is insane. It can run anything from structure tank to active shield tank. Most of your DPS is in your drones, leaving the high slots open for potential utility such as heavy energy neutralizers or maybe even remote repairs. It is very capable of dealing with small ships while at the same time being strong against bigger ships.

Typhoon (Tier 1): The application bonus is what makes this ship because it can actually apply cruise missile damage to smaller targets. It has all the things that a battleship needs to be useful in today’s metagame, speed, heavy neut and long range.

Hyperion (Tier 1): The strongest brawling T1 battleship. It has high DPS from blasters and a insane armor tank due to the hull bonus.

Armageddon (Tier 1): Once again a drone ship that is really strong. Unlike the Dominix, it doesn’t have the tracking or range bonus on drones. Instead you get a range bonus to heavy energy neutralizers, giving it the ability to neut at 37.8 km range at all V skills. It isn’t as flexible with fits as the Dominix, but you should still watch out for an Armageddon, especially if your ship is dependant on cap.

Raven (Tier 2): This ship is better than a Drake in every single way. It has a lot of mid slots for utility and EWAR to help you apply damage.

Megathron (Tier 2): Does loads of damage and has great tracking with blasters. The tank is also really strong with its eight low slots.

Tempest (Tier 2): The Tempest used to be one of the strongest T1 battleships, capable of projecting damage far away and actually being fast. Other ships have caught up these days and it is not as fast anymore. With that said, it is still a solid ship with two utility highs making it a really dangerous fight against.

Apocalypse (Tier 2): The range and tracking bonuses are what makes this ship shine. Mostly fit somewhat similar to an Omen Navy Issue for smaller gangs, it has a light tank using the range with Scorch to mitigate damage. This ship desperately needs someone providing anti-tackle support in fleets though.

Maelstrom (Tier 3): This ship has a sick tank and it does decent DPS. The problem here is that it is really slow, barely able to break 1k m/s with a micro warp drive. You also lack utility high slots and have some hard fitting problems with your CPU.

Rokh (Tier 3): I don’t really know what the plan is here. For smaller gangs it doesn’t really work. You lack a damage bonus on the ship and the range bonus you get for hybrid weapons is not enough to help blasters reach any competitive range. It is also not really fast enough to be able to utilize a railgun setup.

Abaddon (Tier 3): Huge bricks that will get kited around and killed. One of the slowest battleships and it will have problems getting in range. It also lacks the utility high slots to deal with people kiting you at long point range.


Faction Battleships

In general I feel this entire ship class is horrible. They have the same price more or less as a pirate battleship, but lack the strength that those ships have. I have chosen to rate these assuming pirate battleships are not a thing because otherwise they are all in tier 3-trash tier.

With that said there are a couple that stick out as good ships.

Megathron Navy Issue (Tier 1): This ship gains the utility high slot that the Tech 1 Megathron so desperately needed. It is also faster and has more tank. You can run both fun structure tanked setups with insane tank or actually somewhat kite with blasters and null dealing huge damage to cruisers.

Dominix Navy Issue (Tier 1): This ship trades the tracking and range bonus for a blaster damage bonus. I am not sure I like this at all since it makes it weaker in handling light tackle then the Dominix. The damage potential is extreme here though, and the tank is also nothing to laugh at. It keeps the flexible slot layout that the Dominix also has. Giving you loads of utility and potential for different types of tank.

Typhoon Fleet Issue (Tier 2): This ship has a strange split weapon types that should be ignored. Pick a weapon type and stick to it giving you two utility high slots for neuts/smartbombs. I think the Typhoon is better than this ship in most ways because of the application bonus instead of dual utility high slots.

Apocalypse Navy Issue (Tier 2): It has good damage and projection but some small problems with the number of mid slots. This is where we get close to pirate battleships really just being better ships for a similar price.

Raven Navy Issue (Tier 3): Unlike the Typhoon Fleet Issue this ship is slow and lacks utility high slots. It also lacks a direct damage bonus and only gets an application bonus. The range bonus is next to useless due to the short lock range.

Tempest Fleet Issue (Tier 3): Where the Tempest is more commonly shield tanked I think this ship works better as an armor tanking ship due to its number of low slots. I don’t think the range on it is nearly enough for what you need however.

Armageddon Navy Issue (Tier 3): This ship runs into fitting problems and has a low number of mid slots. Especially after fitting a capacitor booster that all Amarr battleships need. The ship is also very slow. I think that it should be buffed in speed and be more similar to the Omen Navy Issue but bigger.

Scorpion Navy Issue (Tier 3): Insane bait tank is pretty much the only thing this ship is able to do in EVE. Having eight mid slots and a shield resistance bonus. It can end up close to Marauder levels of tank, but even that doesn’t help when it’s slow and can’t really hold anything down to apply damage to it.


Pirate Battleships

This is one of the strongest ship classes in EVE’s current metagame. Pirate battleships offer a lot of power on grid and they all have special bonuses making them stand out.

Machariel (Borderline OP): This ship has the speed and range that battleships really need. It’s basically a battleship that handles like a cruiser. The warp speed bonus that all the Angel ships have is most noticeable here on a slow battleship, making it less of a pain to roam around with.

Vindicator (Tier 1): This ship is the strongest sub cap brawler in my opinion. If you get within the 90% web range you are not getting out unless you kill the Vindicator. It puts out insane damage and has a super strong tank. The 90% webs means that it can track frigates and cruisers with ease.

Rattlesnake (Tier 1): Capable of putting out huge amounts of DPS with just a few drones. While it isn’t as OP as its lower class cousins – the Worm and Gila – it is still a ship you should be afraid of. It is a strong brawling ship that is able to deal with smaller ships and dish out a lot of damage at long ranges with drones and missiles. But beware of EWAR effects or people simply targeting your drones.

Barghest (Tier 1): A fast ship suited well for roaming, like the Machariel. It has the same point range bonuses as the other Mordus Legion ships and is able to deal a lot of damage with missiles at longer ranges. The Barghest used to have some CPU problems when fitting warp speed rigs, but luckily those penalties are no longer a thing. Rapid Heavy Missiles on a Barghest does to a cruiser what a Rapid Light Missile Orthrus does to a frigate.

Nightmare (Tier 2): This ship is really fast running just an afterburner. It has dual utility high slots with good capacitor and long range. The damage is also no laughing matter for that range. In general, a strong ship that is fun and a bit special to fly with the afterburner speed bonus, making it hard to hold down with tackle.

Bhaalgorn (Tier 2): This pirate battleship is more of a utility ship like the Nestor. It provides long range webs and heavy neuting capabilities. The DPS it puts out is kind of limited with no damage bonus. But not all battleships need to fill the DPS role perfectly and sometimes more utility is what you need.

Nestor (Tier 2): This ship is extremely niche but it does that niche very well. It is a strong logistics ship for places where bringing a carrier is not viable. The price tag is hefty but it is sometimes actually worth it. The Nestor does have a full heavy drone bay with a 10% per level drone damage bonus for offensive capabilities, but I feel this is relatively weak for a pirate battleship. The Nestor also provides refitting capabilities to your fleet. Don’t underestimate this ship just because it is only able to fill a very small role.

Final Words

I know this list lacks black ops battleships and marauders. The reason for not including black ops is because I don’t really feel they are PvP ships. Blops can’t really win a straight up fight and they shouldn’t because it’s not their intended use. They are ships used to gank people who don’t want to fight. Perfect ships for PvE with killmails, but not for any real fighting. I am very excited to see what CCP has planned for the black ops rebalance.

As for marauders I don’t really know what to say about them. They are insane brawlers capable of tanking entire gangs. I feel like the Vargur and Golem are the strongest followed by Kronos and Paladin. Mostly because the first two are more resistant to energy warfare with capless guns and tank. They are ships that can’t really be fought 1v1 and for small gangs they are isolated and held until cap charges run out or someone burns a cyno and drops a Moros on them. They are not bad ships though, and are very capable of busting shitty gate camps.

I am more hesitant to put any ship in the trash tier for battleships. Some low tier 3 ships might belong there, but I feel like all battleships can at least provide something while on field with their high DPS and utility.

Tags: battleships, 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.