Gorski CarShareTweetYesterday, CCP Fozzie announced a new set of navy electronic warfare frigates. In this article, I will break down what these stats actually mean in practical application, and do some theorycrafting on the strengths and weaknesses of each ship and how they can be flown.These ships are all designed to have some sort of offensive capability, something most other EWAR ships lack. They will all provide similar DPS to combat frigates or navy frigates while still keeping EWAR bonuses. The downside of this is that the EWAR comes with a significant reduction in range that forces them to brawl if they want to use their support capabilities. I think all of these ships will excel at 1v1 fighting, but should be replaced with electronic attack frigates once you hit even the smallest of fleet sizes.
Crucifier Navy Issue
First off, the stats. The Crucifier Navy Issue has a 100% bonus to damage on two turrets, giving it four effective turrets. On top of this you get two drones with two more spare drones in your cargo bay. It will do around 180 DPS with close range ammo and 140 with short range ammo, barring damage mods. This is actually more than a Slicer but without the range bonus of course.
The next bonus is the standard 7.5% per level tracking disruptor effectiveness that the normal Crucifier also gets. This will increase the strength of your tracking disruptors by 60% (70% heated) optimal and falloff. The difference here between the Crucifier and the Navy variant is the massive negative bonus that the navy variant gets. Having a -85% range bonus will bring the range down to 10.8+5.4km. This means that you are pretty much forced to be in hard tackle range in order to use your EWAR capabilities. The cap reduction will be minimal for this ship and I don’t think it will matter much. The slot layout is 3/4/3 with two turrets. Having the four mids will allow this ship to do the standard scram, web and prop mod plus a tracking disruptor. I think that the fit most people will use for this ship will be a scram-kiting one with afterburner, using the low slots for a tiny bit more tank as the tracking disruptor will help mitigate most incoming damage. Another thing worth bringing up is the base speed of this ship. 340 m/s is the same base speed that the Incursus has, and while not Caldari slow it will still be pretty slow for Amarr. Overall, I think this ship is underrated on the forums and a TD setup that scram kites should auto win most 1v1s vs. non drone ships. The DPS it will bring is nothing to laugh at, even though it will have to be at a closer range.
Griffin Navy Issue
This ship shares the same 20% damage bonus as the Crucifier Navy Issue. It does lose one drone though, but gains an extra un-bonused rocket launcher instead. The damage it will deal is actually surprisingly high and most people will probably not expect it. Using close range ammo, you will be able to get up to around 190 DPS unheated. I think this ship will be really strong even if you ignore the dishonorable ECM bonus that, while super good, probably won’t be needed for the types of fights you will see this ship in most of the time. The ECM bonus that the Griffin Navy gets is at 20% strength per level. It is the same strength as a Kitsune and like the Crucifier Navy Issue, it gets a -85% km range penalty to keep these modules within hard tackle range. Interestingly, the optimal of the ECM will actually be quite a bit lower then scram range at 6.45+7.2km This means that, theoretically, you could scram kite this ship outside of the optimal range, similar to what you can do with energy neutralizing frigates right now. It will still be able to occasionally jam targets within falloff, however.Another tiny thing to note here is that the ECM strength bonus actually applies to ECM bursts as well, and that could provide some fun tactics. Sadly, the range nerf also does and the activation cost reduction does not.For the slot layout you have 3/5/2. The first thing that instantly stands out here is obviously the five mid slots. I have long said that mid slots and range control specifically is what wins frigate 1v1s, and this ship has that. A good current example is the Heron that also has five mid slots. By using a combination of webs and (non bonused) tracking disruptors you can guarantee an auto win vs. any non drone/missile ship. For example, this fight with a Heron versus a Jaguar (warning: smugness). I think that, while more support-oriented, Griffin Navys will be popular. There will also be a second version that brawl with either max tank or using un-bonused tracking disruptors to keep a target down.As for the speed of the ship, it’s nothing special really. It shares the same speed as the normal Griffin, compared to the Crucifier Navy Issue that loses 10m/s to the normal Crucifier.I think this ship will be decent. Most people might underestimate the actual damage that it does and it is really going to punch a lot of frigates down in a pure brawl. I also think that a lot of people overrate the ECM bonus on this ship and don’t realize just how big of a penalty the reduction in range will be.
Maulus Navy Issue
The Maulus Navy Issue is a bit more interesting than the previous two frigates. First off, it doesn’t get any bonuses to the Gallente primary EWAR, sensor dampeners. Instead, you get a 10% bonus to warp scrambler range. This means that with Gallente Frigate V trained you will get 13.5 km (16.2 km heated) range on a T2 Warp Scrambler. Then we have the drone bonus. It’s important to note here that this ship didn’t get an actual damage bonus to drones. It is just tracking and hitpoints. This means that this ship will get the same DPS as a Tristan. The EFT DPS is going to be at around 180 with close range ammo, but everyone who has used drones in PvP knows that they sometimes have a will of their own and won’t apply perfectly all the time.Then we have the role bonus. This is a unique bonus and the first ship we have seen with something like this. Having +1 strength on scramblers seems like a bonus that has few real uses, such as catching stabbed farmers in Factional Warfare. It could be used for gate camping with remote sensor boosters as well I guess. However, for normal PvP combat this bonus will be totally useless. Looking at the rest of the ship, you have a slot layout of 2/3/4, giving it an extra low over the Tristan. Something that I think could work really well for this ship is using it as kite platform, utilizing both a long point and a defensive scram. Similarly to a Garmur, the defensive scram will help defend against people getting too close as you are almost always guaranteed to get the scrambler on before they get within range. The speed comes in at 325 m/s – the exact same as the Tristan before the nerf. I think this ship will be really popular and work well as both a brawler and a kiter. It really should be named Tristan Navy Issue, but I understand that that wouldn’t be very consistent. I like the fact that it didn’t get a damage bonus as that would have put it over the top. The Scrambler bonus, while totally useless for normal PvP, is a nice bonus and a nice thing for a lot of people who want to hunt stabbed farmers.
Vigil Fleet Issue
The last of the new faction frigates is the Vigil Navy Issue. This is a missile platform, getting a 20% damage bonus to all damage types, with an extra 5% per level to explosive damage. This is similar to the Talwar that also gets an explosive damage bonus. I like how CCP have changed their mind on some of the damage locked missile ships by giving them a more general damage bonuses to all damage types with something extra for either kinetic or, as in this case, explosive. This means that you will get four and a half effective launchers shooting explosive and four shooting any other damage type. On top of these launchers you also get an extra un-bonused turret and three drones. Despite the lower damage of rockets compared to turrets, I think this ship will be a beast and output a lot of DPS. The 5% per level application bonus, while not the most useful, will still help a lot vs. a lot of targets, such as afterburning frigates and linked ships. Last is the 50% range bonus to stasis webifiers. This bonus will bring your stasis webifier up from 10 km (13 km heated) to 15 km (19.5 km heated). This is a great bonus that will either help in catching kiters or make you able to kite with no worries about your target catching you. The slot layout is 3/4/3, giving you plenty of mid slots for webs and tank. I suspect the Vigil Fleet Issue will be flown as either a light missile kiter or even as a rocket kiter. I feel it will be the strongest in a light missile configuration because of the guaranteed range control using your long range web. Further enhancing this ship as a kiter is the high base speed, clocking in at 400 m/s base. This is higher than all the other Navy EWAR frigates and even borders on interceptor speed. Don’t expect to run away from this ship. I think this will definitely be one of the strongest of the four, while not looking as scary as the others at first glance.
Overall, these frigates are very niche. Fozzie has done a great job making sure these are good ships on the solo and small gang scale of PvP while not replacing EAFs and keeping their own niche. I like how they all are capable of bringing decent amounts of damage while also sporting some support.One of the major problems these ships have is their engageability. Fighting EWAR can often be very frustrating and these ships will be no exception to that rule. The Crucifier and Griffin will keep you down with EWAR and the Vigil and Maulus will kite you with no hope of you ever catching them. I feel like there are very few ships in the game that can take a 1v1 versus these ships without being specialized and counter-fit. Similar to how the Sentinel is today.The Griffin and Crucifier feel superior in brawl situations and I think they will have a big impact in FW space where you can dictate the starting range of a engagement inside a plex. I wonder what plex sizes CCP decides these can go in. I am leaning towards these being too strong for novices, but then again, you have pirate frigs in those already.It will be interesting to see the price for them. I assume they will be available in the FW LP store at similar price points to the existing faction frigates. This will mean that the Vigil Fleet Issue will hit its baseline price very fast and might be way too cheap for the power provided.I hope CCP continues this trend of support frigates being able to do DPS with their new T2 frigate logi lineup, and I think that could create some awesome RR ships.
Tags: gorski, Navy EWAR frigates, theorycrafting
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.