Ripard Teg recently addressed a reader comment asking which ship hulls he would choose if he could only keep five ships. I thought this was a really good question, and decided to steal it (Sorry, Ripard). I’ll even agree to his further restriction of only one T3 ship.
My top five list was pretty self-evident to me, and I came up with it in all of fifteen seconds. The ships I tend to fly will fit into a clear theme: they’re all capable of being flown solo.
- Rapier – This is the standout #1. The Rapier has been the first ship I think of for a couple years now. Fortunately, the nerf bat hasn’t come anywhere near this ship for a while. It’s my go-to ship for most functions, since it can cloak, gets 393 dps before overheating, has two webs, and can take out three AFs at once while still making it out of the fight alive. It’s a mean little boat.
- Jaguar – There’s nothing white like flying at the edge of scram range as your enemy helplessly shoots his guns to no effect. In a TD Jaguar, this is exactly what you get. I love my Jaguar, since it can easily swap from a damage mitigating ship (TD) to a range dictation ship (web) with a single module.
- Harpy – Sometimes, you just want to get in close and brawl. My dual ASB blarpy is for just that. It tanks an obscene amount, does quite nice damage up close or at further range with null, and really only fears edge-of-point light missile ships. I can’t really get behind drone boats for solo work, since the drones can easily be targeted and destroyed, so this little beast is my #2 AF.
- Vagabond – for heavier duty fights, in my mind the Vagabond reigns supreme. With a neut and 220 autocannons, nothing can get in close enough to slip under your guns, and you can still hit well out beyond point range. It’s fast, it’s durable, and it fights on the edge of a battle that speaks to longevity.
- Tengu – The best T3, hands down. If it was my only T3 ship, I’d probably keep it fit for PvE, but have all the subs for scanning, omni-tank, cloaky hunting, and nullified travel. Very versatile ship, all around. Damage potential is upwards of 600 with HMLs and even more with HAMs.
You’ll notice I don’t have any T1 ships. They may have gotten better, but for the way I fly, T2 resists are still the way to go. Probably the closest a T1 gets to my list is a dual-rep Incursus… but that’s meant to be a cheap throw-away ship for practicing fighting a variety of targets. Other than that… the resist holes are really hard, particularly when I fly autocannon ships enough to know they can hit hard against any resist hole.
Ripard mentioned the value of T1 for insurance payout, and that’s a valid point. But right now, I’m making plenty of isk from the occasional ratting alt session while I’m PvPing on another char, so that’s not really a problem. If you have them trained, the rewards for having Assault Frigates V, Heavy Assault Cruisers V, and Recon V really do pay off with these ships.
So, Rapier, Jaguar, Harpy, Vaga, and Tengu. I think I could last a good long while with just those five ships, certainly through an entire (now, archaic) 6-month expansion cycle. Whether the semi-annual “hangar shuffle” will change with the new 6-week expansion cycle is anyone’s guess now, of course. But I’m pretty confident I’ll be flying these ships for many, many more fights.