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Fit Kitchen: Interdictors

CCP have updated interdictors, finally! I may be a few weeks late to the party as is tradition, but they were all (but one) updated with the Howling Interdictors patch just before Halloween. Alongside this, the combat interceptors were updated with a new bonus to double their microwarpdrive and afterburner overheat strength. This is an excellent move in my opinion and it gives combat ‘ceptors a great niche which should offset their lack of bubble immunity. You can read all about those in my previous article, the fits still work just fine.

There is another huge change, though! There are now web bubbles being introduced which will drop the speed of ships they hit. This provides interdictors such as the Sabre with a newly defined role of improving the application of their friendly fleet by web bubbling (wubbling?) the enemy fleet. Let’s look at the stats anyway:


Sabre

Minmatar Destroyer bonuses (per skill level):
5% bonus to Small Projectile Turret damage
10% bonus to Small Projectile Turret tracking speed

Interdictors bonuses (per skill level):
10% bonus to Small Projectile Turret falloff
10% reduction in Microwarpdrive signature radius penalty

Flycatcher

Caldari Destroyer bonuses (per skill level):
10% bonus to Light Missile and Rocket kinetic damage
10% bonus to Light Missile and Rocket max velocity

Interdictors bonuses (per skill level):
10% bonus to shield hitpoints
10% reduction in Microwarpdrive signature radius penalty

Eris

Gallente Destroyer bonuses (per skill level):
5% bonus to Small Hybrid Turret rate of fire
10% bonus to Small Hybrid Turret tracking speed

Interdictors bonuses (per skill level):
15% reduction in Armor Plate mass penalty
10% reduction in Microwarpdrive signature radius penalty

Heretic

Amarr Destroyer bonuses (per skill level):
10% bonus to armor hitpoints
5% bonus to Light Missile launcher and Rocket launcher rate of fire

Interdictors bonuses (per skill level):
4% bonus to all armor resistances
10% reduction in Microwarpdrive signature radius penalty

So what has happened here is that the Eris, Heretic, and Flycatcher have been rebalanced entirely to make them much more competitive. In fact, this changes bubblers entirely. No longer is a bubbler just a Sabre that zooms by and (probably) dies. It’s not only possible, but very reasonable now to put together a supremely tanky interdictor, an ultra fast aligning one, or even a flashy 10MN variant.


Sabre – The Gold Standard

I’ve already mentioned that the Sabre has reigned supreme for many years as the best option by far. It was also the one interdictor not to be rebalanced at all. For that reason there isn’t much point in me reinventing the wheel. We can instead use it as our benchmark. As the ship with which to compare all examples and determine if they’ll succeed as bubbler.

To start with here’s a pretty standard fit. There is a very common variant which swaps out a nano for Damage Control and likely doesn’t have a probe launcher. For utility and maximum “get a damn bubble on target right now”, though, this does the job really well. Stats and analysis of what we’re looking for are below the fit.

Standard Fast Sabre

[Sabre, Standard Sabre]

Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II

5MN Quad LiF Restrained Microwarpdrive
Medium Shield Extender II
Medium Shield Extender II
Warp Scrambler II

Interdiction Sphere Launcher I
125mm Gatling AutoCannon II
125mm Gatling AutoCannon II
Core Probe Launcher I
125mm Gatling AutoCannon II
125mm Gatling AutoCannon II
Prototype Cloaking Device I
125mm Gatling AutoCannon II

Small Hyperspatial Velocity Optimizer II
Small Hyperspatial Velocity Optimizer II


Barrage S x2000
Hail S x2000
Surgical Warp Disrupt Probe x9
Warp Disrupt Probe x21
Nanite Repair Paste x50
Republic Fleet Fusion S x1200
Republic Fleet Phased Plasma S x1000
Core Scanner Probe I x8

Plug it into Pyfa yourself if you want to play with the numbers, but when considering this and the Damage Control version we’re looking at stats a bit like what you see below. And yes, the DPS can be important. You never know when your interdictor is going to need to solo a bomber, remove some drones, or kill the scout you caught. I do also like having that probe launcher on there as an ultimate backup solution when stuck in a wormhole or camped into a null pocket.

Tank:8.5-10.5k EHP / Balanced resists
Align:4-second warp (<4s)
Warp Speed:8.37 AU/s
On-grid Speed:2.75-3 km/s
DPS:~200 DPS within 6-7km
Utility:Cloak, Bubble Launcher, Scram, Probes*
Price:70-90m ISK
*As mentioned, probes are optional but can come in clutch

The most important attributes, in my opinion, are going to depend on what you’re trying to do. As the first tackle ship on grid it’s going to be all about that align time and warp speed. Every second counts since you’re on dscan from when you click that warp button. From there, you need to consider if the warp-in will land you away from the target or if you will be directly on them and can bubble immediately. That’s going to determine the importance of velocity.

Total DPS output from there is somewhat of a secondary concern, but utility absolutely is not. You need the scram in a PvP situation even if you already have the bubble. That’s because “they microjumped away” isn’t a good excuse when you decided not to fit one for some reason. That’s not to say that there aren’t situations where the mid slot would be better placed as a Burst Jammer or shield tank module. You’ve just got to understand what a scram is for and if turning off an MWD or MJD is important to your fleet.


Eris – The Rising Star

Long seen as a joke of a ship, the Eris has been improved significantly across the board. Just look at those stat changes on the right. Big chunks of extra fitting, a smaller sig, more speed, and fun new mass bonuses. Now some people might be a bit confused about what those mass changes actually mean so I’ll explain it here.

Putting mass on a ship is always going to drop the velocity and increase the align time. This makes fitting big fat plates onto zoomy nano ships generally undesirable. Assuming all skills to 5 (including Armour Layering) and setting Interdictors to 0, we can examine how much impact the new Eris bonus has on fitting a T2 400mm Plate and 5MN Restrained MWD. Remember that a higher align and lower velocity is bad.

StatInterdictors 0 (no mass bonus)Interdictors 5 (full, new bonus)
Align:0.98s increase0.25s increase
Velocity:393m/s loss111m/s loss

The upshot of this is that putting a plate on an Eris, at least with good skills, now has very little effect on the performance. This makes it the “fast armour” interdictor, a role which previously didn’t really exist. You could make a Heretic do it, but it wouldn’t really be able to catch anything and it didn’t get a massive tank to compensate. That what inspired the Eris fit below.

I’ve gone for a specific plate and Inertial Stabiliser combination that brings the align time to 2.98s. A full second faster than the Sabre due to rounding up! In the world of hunting for bubblers, that can be huge. Those extra few ticks may be all that you need to hammer the bubble launcher button as you slide out of warp and still catch some krabs. One thing to note is the skill issue, though. This does need Armour Layering 5 and Interdictors 5. If you’re buying such a fit for the corp or just handing out then you’ve got two good options instead assuming Evasive Manoeuvering 5:

  • Drop the istab and explosive coating for double nanofiber. This will let pretty much anyone fly it with a 3s align at the cost of an explosive hole and reduced tank overall.
  • Upgrade the istab to T2 and fit the 5.5m ISK implant EM-702. This will make it work for anyone with Armour Layering 3 & Interdictors 4. It comes at the cost of a larger sig and implant reliance.

Really I love this ship now. If you’ve got the skills then it performs well as an armour Sabre replacement. Better, in-fact. Just make sure that you set up the align time to beat the 3-second mark to avoid rounding up into a 4 second warp time.

I’ve tried running a number of other styles of fit (other than the fast plated one) and none of them really perform quite as well. There was a fun attempt at making a Hecate-style Eris, but it’s not like you’ve got much to work with within these new bonuses. I had thought that you could design a fit which uses the web bubbles as a style of “long web”, but due to the warmup time you’ve got to be burning at over 3,333 m/s to escape before it gets you too. That isn’t difficult to reach, but it puts an awkward limit in place and forces you to gimp the fit in favour of speed and little else. If I can pull together anything else interesting then I’ll add it to this article in the future.

3s Align Eris

[Eris, 2020 Fast Align Bubbler]

Damage Control II
Coreli A-Type Explosive Coating
400mm Crystalline Carbonide Restrained Plates
Inertial Stabilizers II

5MN Quad LiF Restrained Microwarpdrive
Warp Scrambler II

Interdiction Sphere Launcher I
Prototype Cloaking Device I
Core Probe Launcher I
Modal Light Neutron Particle Accelerator I
Modal Light Neutron Particle Accelerator I
Modal Light Neutron Particle Accelerator I
Modal Light Neutron Particle Accelerator I
Modal Light Neutron Particle Accelerator I

Small Hyperspatial Velocity Optimizer II
Small Hyperspatial Velocity Optimizer II


Eifyr and Co. 'Rogue' Evasive Maneuvering EM-702


Federation Navy Antimatter Charge S x1600
Stasis Webification Probe x15
Surgical Warp Disrupt Probe x9
Warp Disrupt Probe x21
Nanite Repair Paste x50
Core Scanner Probe I x8
Type-D Restrained Inertial Stabilizers x1
Implant in cargo for those with interdictors 4 and Armour Layering 3


Heretic – The Tanky Armor One

And now for the other armour interdictor (no armour Sabres aren’t a thing, stop trying). The Heretic with its new bonuses I feel really solidifies it into a defined role and I think I like that. Trying to make a Heretic perform the job of an Eris or a Sabre just ends up falling a bit flat. Instead, what we get is a really beefy interdictor that can actually stay on grid. It’s better, still, if you use remote rep armour fleets as I do.

Other than the newfound tank bonus, the other big thing that the Heretic has going for it is that it has three mid slots. You might at first think that’s only good for a scram+web setup alongside the MWD, but you can do so much more. Two great options for that mid slot are a Burst Jammer or a dual prop setup with an AB, both of which will boost your own survivability. You could even make a 10MN ECM Burst version for fun and profit.

What I came up with at first then was a 5MN + 1MN Heretic with a 20.8k EHP tank, 5s warp, and rigs used for tank instead of Hyperspatials or align time. I’ve done this because of what I said a few paragraphs earlier; these new interdictor changes provide very defined roles. the Heretic is the tanky armour one and it does that so damn well. I’d be happy bringing a fit like this on an alt and not having to worry too much about it melting when I look away at my main.

We can shoehorn it into the fast bubbler role if we really need to though. It does about as well as a slow version of the Sabre so that’s fine. It just feels weird for the only tank to be a single plate! Stats for this are an easy 4-second align, 10.8k EHP, balanced armour resists, and a nice fast warp. We also have a nice little bonus of a T2 ‘Improved’ cloak rather than the T1.

Dual Prop Tanky Heretic

[Heretic, 2020 Dual Prop Heretic]

Reactive Armor Hardener
Federation Navy 400mm Steel Plates
Multispectrum Energized Membrane II

5MN Y-T8 Compact Microwarpdrive
Faint Epsilon Scoped Warp Scrambler
1MN Afterburner II

Interdiction Sphere Launcher I
Prototype Cloaking Device I
'Arbalest' Rocket Launcher I
'Arbalest' Rocket Launcher I
'Arbalest' Rocket Launcher I
'Arbalest' Rocket Launcher I
'Arbalest' Rocket Launcher I
'Arbalest' Rocket Launcher I

Small Trimark Armor Pump II
Small Thermal Armor Reinforcer II


Stasis Webification Probe x15
Surgical Warp Disrupt Probe x9
Warp Disrupt Probe x21
Nanite Repair Paste x50
Caldari Navy Nova Rocket x1200

Fast Nano Heretic

[Heretic, 2020 Fast Align]

Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II
400mm Steel Plates II

5MN Quad LiF Restrained Microwarpdrive
Warp Scrambler II
1MN Afterburner II

Interdiction Sphere Launcher I
Improved Cloaking Device II
Core Probe Launcher I
'Arbalest' Rocket Launcher I
'Arbalest' Rocket Launcher I
'Arbalest' Rocket Launcher I
'Arbalest' Rocket Launcher I
'Arbalest' Rocket Launcher I

Small Hyperspatial Velocity Optimizer II
Small Hyperspatial Velocity Optimizer II


Stasis Webification Probe x15
Surgical Warp Disrupt Probe x9
Warp Disrupt Probe x21
Nanite Repair Paste x50
Caldari Navy Nova Rocket x1200
Core Scanner Probe I x8


Flycatcher – Sizeable Shields

Matching the theme of the Heretic, the Flycatcher has moved more in direction of being a really tanky bastard. In fact, with how good shield tanks are on small ships you can achieve 30k+ EHP with the right fit. You can take that to over 100k EHP with Nirvanas, links, and a pulsar, but we’ve heard that story before with the Stork.

My favourite way to run a Flycatcher is actually just like a Sabre. You can achieve 14.3k EHP, a 4-second warp, 2.6km/s, and lovely Hyperspatials with a relatively budget fit. It’s a bit tight at 100% PG, but you can always make adjustments depending on the audience that you’re buying it for. Drop the shield extenders to Restrained or Compact (or T2 -> Republic Fleet) to make it easier on those without Shield Upgrades 5. It’s simple, but it works.

A tanky fleet version isn’t really worth linking separately in my opinion since it’s a very simple refit from what I’m showing you below. You just need to swap to Core Defence Field Extender rigs and a Damage Control in the low slot. Done. This may also require using 2x RF Medium Shield Extenders for fitting purposes due to the extra 1 powergrid taken up by a Damage Control instead of a nano. Doing this increases warp time by a second and puts it very much into the same category as the aforementioned Heretic.

To round things out, I had a go at designing a kiting rocket Flycatcher for killing other small stuff with ease. The only thing I have to say about this one is that it’s quite a personal choice to run a fit like this. I went with a Power Diagnostic System in the single low to improve the cap, boost shield a bit, and provide just enough fitting space. You could also use a nanofibre for speed which means fixing the powergrid with either a rig or a more drastic change to the high slots. You’d have to give it a go and see if this interdictor is for you and if it needs changes to work.

Overall I’m very happy with the changes that CCP have made to interdictors. They’ve been a long time coming and I’m glad that it gave me an opportunity to take a new look at a class of ships that have so long been overlooked as just bubblers. As one final treat for anyone who made it to the end, you can take any slow-align interdictor and web-bubble it into warp in 3 seconds if you click warp and spam the bubble. This will not give you a weapons timer so you can still jump gates. The tradeoff is that you don’t land with warp disruption bubbles available 😀

Background for the header image courtesy of the lovely Greybill.

Standard Sabre-Like

[Flycatcher, 2020 Standard Flycatcher]

Nanofiber Internal Structure II

5MN Quad LiF Restrained Microwarpdrive
Medium Shield Extender II
Republic Fleet Medium Shield Extender
EM Shield Amplifier II
Warp Scrambler II

Rocket Launcher II
Rocket Launcher II
Rocket Launcher II
Rocket Launcher II
Rocket Launcher II
Interdiction Sphere Launcher I
Prototype Cloaking Device I
Core Probe Launcher I /OFFLINE

Small Hyperspatial Velocity Optimizer II
Small Hyperspatial Velocity Optimizer II


Scourge Javelin Rocket x1500
Scourge Rage Rocket x1500
Stasis Webification Probe x15
Surgical Warp Disrupt Probe x9
Warp Disrupt Probe x21
Nanite Repair Paste x50
Caldari Navy Scourge Rocket x750
Core Scanner Probe I x8

Rocket Kiter Flycatcher

[Flycatcher, 2020 Rocket Kiter]

Power Diagnostic System II

Republic Fleet Medium Shield Extender
Republic Fleet Medium Shield Extender
Initiated Compact Warp Disruptor
Stasis Webifier II
5MN Quad LiF Restrained Microwarpdrive

Rocket Launcher II
Rocket Launcher II
Rocket Launcher II
Rocket Launcher II
Rocket Launcher II
Rocket Launcher II
Rocket Launcher II
Interdiction Sphere Launcher I

Small Hydraulic Bay Thrusters II
Small Hydraulic Bay Thrusters II


Scourge Javelin Rocket x1500
Scourge Rage Rocket x1500
Stasis Webification Probe x15
Surgical Warp Disrupt Probe x9
Warp Disrupt Probe x21
Nanite Repair Paste x50
Caldari Navy Scourge Rocket x2000

Published inEVE OnlineTheorycrafting

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