Thursday, August 13, 2015

Last Stand - What to get

For more Raid info, see:
Kixeye Raid Briefing at:

Kixeye Prize List at:

The Wednesday Battle Pirates Crib show at:

Or just grab our slides at:

Just as a reminder, this is going to be the last article I publish on the Last Stand raid.  I have lots of personal goings on this weekend/next week & I will be unable to publish a "One Day In" article.

One thought on this Raid: Stock up on rockets. I'm thinking mostly a mix of long pinch for turrets & quick pinch for ships.  For the damage rockets (Daisy Cutter, Bunker Buster), they will only be useful if you've researched the XL versions.  But with the pinches, we will see how often those Reavers shield THEIR electronics.  If you don't have 25 rockets in your launch pad, you should be building more rockets.  Medium Quick Pinches build very fast and are still very useful against ships compared to their larger counterparts.

I've been able to do a couple Elites, and they look mostly like the previous Elite with a few tweaks:
- You can't go around the bottom to prep the two Reaver Scouts.
- The Hades on the right has moved further in so you can't prep it from the outside either.
- The Scouts on top are smarter - they won't get stuck on the center island when you trigger them.

(and I tried a Medium Quick pinch on the Hades as I approached the Hulk... it didn't stun for very long.)

For some overall layout info, you might want to look at last Month's raid tips:

This "what to get" article presents me with some interesting issues.

1. This is a hull raid, but not a weapon raid.  Your "best" choice of hull will strongly depend on what weapons you have available to put on it. You should also consider what you want your next fleet to do, as some hulls are better suited for base hitting, others for dredges, and others for Drac targets.  If you are a player who has been hurt by the recent change to the Forsaken Missions, then you should think about a fleet that can do the 85s (high evade, good speed / range / building damage, countermeasures).

2. The new prizes (particularly the Rhino hull and Harrier missile) have relative build times that are a lot shorter than previous items that aren't as capable.  Although they have come down a lot in points, it is difficult to recommend hulls like the Triton, Nuke Cruiser, and the DNX, just because of their long build time relative to their capability.  This may be a trend that continues, seeing as the Artemis also had a significantly shortened build time compared to the (not as good) V2-H, and even the D98-U launcher has a very short build time relative to its capability.

Issue #2 in particular will strongly influence my red/yellow/green recommendations, but overall, this may not be the best time to "stock up" on hulls, since you will probably see better values (for build time) coming over the next few months.

In the list here, you will be able to redeem as many prizes as you want with two exceptions: 

- Token purchases are limited to 15x 1 hour, 9x 12 hour, and 6x 24 hour.  You will be subject to the token limits, so you will often need to spend tokens (especially 12 & 24 hour) before you can buy more.

- Limited hulls are shown as:
Valkyrie Carrier (12.5M each Limit 4 Max 10):
This means that the for the Valkyrie, you must spend 12.5 million points for each limited hull blueprint you wish to build.  There is a limit of 4 prints that you can buy in this raid, and you cannot own more than 10 prints total for that hull.

My color coding for prizes is:
Green  Most players should want this prize.
Yellow  You may want to buy this prize if you have a plan for using it, but consider "green" prizes first.
Red  I'm not sure why this prize would be worth the points it costs.

Tier 5: 
Borbas' Goresaber (40M each Limit 1 Max 1): Although the basic stats on this hull aren't that much better than the regular Goresaber, and there is no field effect, the overload that stuns everything on the map will be a neat trick.  At 40 million points, you'll have to work for it, and there might be some limited hulls that I'd rather have if I didn't have them already (like Frostburn + Aegis). 

Rhino (12.5M): This missile hull is likely to be a rockstar, and might be the fastest way to get to a fleet that can beat high end Drac targets, even if you can't pick up the latest missile (but you should if you can).

Tier 4: 
Harrier Missile D52-R (7.5M): This missile with its long range, light weight, and high damage will be best on hulls with lots of weapon slots.   Rhino will be best, but Mastodons, V2-H, or Artemis will also be well suited to packing a load of these.

Crusader (10M): This hull has been king of the PvE targets for quite a while, although you'll really want to pair it with Arbalest for best effect.  Without Arbalests, some Bypass Chaingun 3 might be alright, but without those weapons you might want to look at other prizes.

Valkyrie Carrier (12.5M each Limit 4 Max 10):  This high speed carrier is probably the best choice if you are looking to build a fleet of carriers from scratch, but as a limited hull it will come at a high price to build a full fleet.  With speed 16, it will be easy to match with a mixed fleet of Artemis and Rhino.  
(Remember when most new ships had speed 11?  Is 16 the new 11?)

Goresaber (12.5M):  The best rocket hull out there, but it really isn't that great at PvE targets, and most good bases can stop most Goresaber fleets.  This might change with Borbas' but the flagship might be even more effective with other hulls to fill the fleet.

Hellhound (9M): Expensive to build and operate, but still quite effective for speeding through a base.

Harlock's Atlas Carrier (8M each Limit 10 Max 10): Best in base defense.  With only 3 specials this hull is a bit dated for work on the open seas.

Behemoth (10M): If you want this for defense, you'll be better off with a Omega Behemoth, or maybe just go for the Goliath and spend your points elsewhere.  If you have the D98-U launcher, you'd rather use an Enforcer anyway.

Novastorm (10M): Between the 150% repair modifier and the long flight time of mortars, this just can't be a high priority pickup.

Nash's Lightning Carrier (7M each Limit 10 Max 10): Couldn't really decide whether it was a UAV hull with a bit of ballistics, or a ballistic hull with a bit of UAV.  Obsoleted by the Valkyrie, also not a priority.  

Tier 3:
Juggernaut X (2.5M): Once retrofitted to R5, this hull can get its evade into the high 80s without working too hard.  Can be useful as a Tank/Spotter ship, or load it out with launchers or ballistics.

Viper (4M each Limit 10 Max 10): The king of sonar ships, this one is very useful for spotting against reapers in base defense, or can be kitted out for anti-sub duties in the open water (although I'd rather have an Artemis for that).

Enforcer (6.5M): If you've got D98-U launchers, this hull is the top of the line for base defense (right now). Kixeye has told us that the campaign coming next week will have a base defense hull as its top prize.

Nighthawk (4.5M): This is the top of the line sub - the previews for the new faction (coming next month?) show a sub-like ship.  It's tough to say whether that means you should get Nighthawks to counter them, or wait and see whether we will get new underwater prizes.

Shielded Electronics 3 (3M): This will be very useful for countering the stun from those pesky Borbas Goresabers.  I do find it difficult to justify use of the special slot for this, but many top-end players do, especially in base guards.

Speed System 3 (2M): This is a very useful all-around engine special.  Many players will have this already but if you don't, you should pick it up.

Mastodon (5.5M): This ship, and all of the ships in yellow in this tier, are pretty good at what they do - right now. They are the most vulnerable (in my opinion) to being made undesirable by quicker building alternatives.  If you have the best weapons to use on this hull (Harrier, Siege Z, Strike B), but nothing to put that weapon on, you might want to consider it if you really can't get the points for the Rhino.

Kodiak (5M): See what I said for the Mastodon... The Kodiak has better defenses & built-in retargeting, but you lose the remote targeting.

Interceptor V2-C (3.75M): This hull is really nice for launchers (especially if you got the D98-U but not the Fusion Cruiser), but I've just never made it my top priority.  I do also like it for countermeasures with its 15% Phalanx accuracy bonus.

Interceptor V2-H (3.25M): Another decent missile hull - obsoleted by the Artemis, but not everyone won enough of those to build a full fleet.

Hellstrike (4M): Some players can argue that the Hellstrike R10 is just about as good as the Goresaber, but with the 150% repair modifier, I'm not sure I'd want to invest my points & build time on Hellstrikes.

Cryo Launcher D104-S (2.5M): It's tough to recommend any launcher beyond the D98-U.  This one is a longer build, deals less DPS at shorter range, and will give you fewer shockwaves.

Tier 1 & 2:
Spectre (700k): This sub is only a one day hull build, and hasn't been seen in quite a while.  although Nighthawks and Reapers are more capable, these subs make great decoys, and I still use mine quite a bit for prepping (OK not bases anymore). A fleet of 4 (6xB torp, Magnus, Battery, 3xD2 V or S) can be built in just 3.5 weeks.

Light Cruiser X (28k): The only super-cheap prize this raid, LCX can make nice instant repair ships for newer players.

Atlas (900k), Triton (800k), Interdictor (500k), Nuclear Cruiser (900k), Dreadnaught X (500k), Juggernaut (150k):  All of these hulls used to be great and the points are low, but at 4-5 days to build each bare hull, it is tough to recommend the time/coin investment it would take to build out a fleet of them.

Transport System 3 (500k): Do you really need to build a cargo fleet?

Sector Store:
This month, the sector store has just limited hulls.  It is tough to recommend against any of these, as they all have unique capabilities.  I ordered them by my perceived priority, highest on top.

Aegis (25M each Limit 1 Max 5):  This is available surprisingly soon after being available in the FAT only.  The Aegis is fantastically useful with its field that extinguishes fire/ice patches and provides your ships a 40% buff to all defenses (even Concussive).

Frostburn Interceptor (15M each Limit 2 Max 2): This hull has been the standard flagship for base hits and anti-dredge fleets for quite a while.  The Aegis does give you more flexibility with the fact that it is not a flagship, but the Frostburn can pack more offensive power as well.

Grimshine's Wrath (30M each Limit 1 Max 4): The Grim Wrath has an overload effect that does damage and stuns, but it is often too short range to be useful.  I'm recommending this for its all around capabilities to serve as a missile flagship for Rhinos.  The 50% missile reload buff and triple shot on overload will really supercharge missile fleets.  Some players also like this ship on base defense as a "stopper", because if players don't stop to kill it they will come in range of the overload.

Grimshine's Berserker (8M each Limit 2 Max 2): Although this hull is really old, don't overlook it. The speed buff, defense buff, and triple salvo on overload are really useful for a wide range of fleets.

Highlander's Nuclear Cruiser (8M each Limit 2 Max 2): These days, the best use of the HLNC is to build it "empty" and use it just for the radioactive reload / defense effects.

Savage Kodiak (10M each Limit 2 Max 2): With the missile reload / defense improvement, this may be useful for missile fleets, and the price is fairly reasonable.

Omega Behemoth (20M each Limit 1 Max 2): Good on base defense, particularly with Arbalests.  The field for Ballistic Reload / Defense is good, but we don't usually see it in open water action due to its slow speed.

Unshackled Hellhound (20M each Limit 2 Max 5): Gives the same command field radioactive buff as the Highlander NC, but more expensive to build.  The longer range (100) Alpha Strike is also nice.  This is very useful as a flagship for a Hellhound fleet, but there are often better flagship choices for most other fleets.

Dante's Novastorm (20M each Limit 1 Max 5): This Novastorm flagship gives 50% tactical field resistance and 50% mortar reload to all ships in the fleet - this is generally useful as a flag to Mortar fleets only.

Skin Store: 
Atlas / Crusader / Goresaber skins (5M each):  Pretty much a vanity item, but some player do like to skin ships to differentiate different builds.

Token Store: 
Tokens: Get them if they are worth it to you, and you have the time to get the points.  With the higher limits, you can get up to 11 days 3 hours speed-up for 30.9 million points.

Good luck in the raid Pirates!