A new raid cycle is upon us - the Reavers have returned with Drones, Scouts, Hulks, and a whole lot of Sub Cavitator fields. If you've paid any attention at all over the last month, you've seen that subs really are the only viable option for beating these targets. I was sort of intrigued by the idea of trying V2H or a similar ship with Concussive Reciprocators, but these Reavers deal out enough damage that I wouldn't want to rely on that.
The Raid Briefing is here: https://www.kixeye.com/forum/discussion/659299
The Raid Video is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ai6b7L8-P08
(it's more entertaining than usual by the way)
To take these targets on, you will need to use your subs, pick off the scouts when their cavitator field is down, then go for the Hulk(s). For targets without the hunter-killer mortars, patience is key. If you do it really well, the only damage you will take is from their death weapon. In early versions of these targets, you were able to avoid some damage from that explosion by turning & running before the target died. In what we've seen lately, the splash damage is the same no matter how far you are from the explosion, so it makes more sense to ignore the splash and just think about going for the next target quickly. Most of the damage is explosive from these explosions, so X defense is key. Some is plasma and just can't be resisted.
For the S target (only?) when the hunter-killer mortars are in play, you will really want to go after the mothership and hulks that fire the mortars ASAP. Then once you've rushed through that... then you can slow down & try to pick off the rest. We've also heard that the retargeting range of the hunter killer mortars has been reduced. Hopefully what we will see is that you will only need to face the mortar from one enemy at a time instead of all four.
If you have Hellwraiths with Fire Twisters, using one sub at a time is the general strategy to minimize the splash damage. However, if you have weaker subs and the Cavitator field comes back on before you can kill your target, you might want to use more subs and stack up so you can complete each target in reasonable time. In this case you'll want to stick with the lower level targets.
Let's look at the new prizes:
Fury Conqueror Hull
This Conqueror hull is in the same class as the other ones we've seen, but this time the rotating wheel of weapon love has landed on Scattergun.
It has a powerful overload that will buff your other ships, as well as briefly stunning nearby targets.
It has very high deflection against Penetrative, Explosive, and Radioactive Damage where it will basically ignore any weapons of that type. It has some built-in corrosive deflection too, but not enough that it will ignore corrosive weapons. Bloodlust will get this ship some additional Ballistic, Concussive, and Corrosive deflection, but this hull will really have to watch out for Blunderbuss and Miniguns.
When building these, consider that they have the 100% defense handicap we've seen recently on a lot of hulls, but they don't have any built-in turret defense. I recommend Siege Battery on any build of these for the Turret Defense. Resonance Capacitor could also get you some turret defense, but I don't think you can count on being in a field all the time with these hulls.
You also will want to look at your Evade stat. You start at -50%, which means that with an evade special and armor, you can get that into a decently positive range. Perhaps the only weapon you'd face where you care about evade is Javelins, but you might want to be able to delay Shockwaves too.
With a bare hull build time of a bit over 2 days, this hull can be built for a reasonable amount of shipyard time.
This new Scattergun has higher damage and better range than other light Scatterguns - it is definitely preferable to the Cobra and the D81-M for dealing damage. It also has a death weapon that will start making your battle look really pretty once ships start sinking. The actual amount of death weapon damage isn't too high.
One thing to remember on the old D81-M - it was Kixeye's experiment with making weapons have a uranium cost, and although it has shorter range and less damage than this new Scattergun, it does have a much shorter build time (about 3 hours vs. 10) and it adds combat speed.
This special adds multishot and corrosive damage. It is ideal for light scatterguns (like the new Conflagration), but Barrel System 3 still does better for your heavy scatterguns.
What to Get:
The prize list is not too massive, so I'll try to be comprehensive this time:
Fury: The conventional story on these sort of blitz hulls is that they don't have very long useful lifespans. I think the story might have changed a little bit, since most of the conqueror hulls are run like blitz fleets nowadays - you don't outrange the front line turrets anymore, remember? This hull has a nice overload when damaged, so when fitted with a launcher for spotting, it can be swapped in for Retributions or Revenges as spotters for Vendettas and be a nice addition to your toolchest.
Conflagration Scattergun: It's probably the best weapon to put on your Fury. Concussive repeaters also come to mind, but without the damage bonus, those weapons are probably best on Revenges.
Hydroxide Injector: Adding 46% to your DPS is a good thing, right? If you are using the Fury to spot, that might not matter too much though.
Hellwraith: If you don't have these yet, I HIGHLY recommend them. Of course, getting 15 million points this raid might be tough if you don't have these already. They will be the critical hull to get in this raid cycle, and we expect to see these types of Reaver targets somewhere for a long time after this raid cycle. If it is a question of "Fury or Hellwraith?" I'd strongly recommend Hellwraith.
Fire Twister Torpedo: These torpedoes deal lots of damage, but the excitement for these was damped a bit when we saw they are "dumbfire" instead of aimed. Coupled with Hellwraiths and Sealed Fire Charge, it really isn't much of a problem, but on other hulls you might not want to depend on these.
Sealed Fire Charge: These go nicely with the FTTs, giving splash and speed bonuses. Critical hits are great against targets with deflection.
Tiger Shark: I'm not scrapping mine just yet, but these subs are noticeably less effectivein this raid than Hellwraiths. If this is all you can get (for a much lower point total than the Hellwraith), it might be a nice step-up to build these, but I'm not sure they are worth the build time in comparison.
Heavy Cruiser: These just don't seem like they have a place in today's game.
Charon Torpedo: Cheap at 900,000 points, these are the best alternative to Fire Twisters
Scattergun D81-M: I'm not sure where you'd really use these. They were a cheap/light way to get some combat speed when they were introduced, but the nearly weightless/instant building Siege Cannons do that now.
Stealth Attack System IV: Again a good pickup for cheap, and usable in some combinations.
Barrel System 3: Best for "Heavy" weapon multishot of +6, you're more likely to want this special to be use with the Thermonuclear Launcher than the Heavy Scattergun.
Interception System: I liked this one in Tigers with my Styx torpedoes, or possibly on a ship with Antipode Launchers, but I'm not sure this is a must-have these days.
Railgun D-110: Not bad if you have a use for it, but the Arbalest is better in Mine and FM targets. This might be decent on the Gamma Behemoth if you are going that way - it has better speed than the Arbalest.
Gamma Behemoth Shards (limit 5): Since you only need 10 shards for the Gamma blueprint, this raid could get you halfway there. As a hull with significant buffs for ballistics and countermeasures, this hull has a place in many high-end guard fleets.
Proto Nemesis / Hellstar / Ghostcrawler / Man-O-War shards x5 (limit 20 shards): You already know whether or not you want to get these... just remember that you will need 250 shards to actually redeem the blueprint. I still consider the Ghostcrawler useful. Not so sure about the other ones.
Ship build tokens (limit 5 days 10 hours): Just make sure that you are getting a positive return on these before you redeem.
Fusion Charger: Not sure where you'd use this currently, but it sure is cheap.
Good luck in the raid pirates!