GALLENTE! GALLENTE! GALLENTE! The most popular ships of the weekend come as little surprise, with the Onerios being the most contested ship of the weekend, the Brutix Navy Issue being the most picked ship of the weekend, and drone comps making a big return to the AT. With the empires offering a far larger array of ships, especially sup capital, than any pirate faction it is no surprise either that they are the 4 most picked factions.
One surprise does perhaps come in how close behind them some pirate factions are. Serpentis and Gurista both fielded in strong numbers; the large Serpentis discounts and the return of drones accounting for this. Blood Raiders are the next most common, with nearly 75% of flagships being Bhaalgorns they account for 14 for the 25 fielded Blood Raiders ships. The Rabisu ATXIV prize ship accounts for 3 more, meaning only 8 of the 25 fielded ships are normal ships by common use of the words.
Something that has come as a surprise to at least myself given previous years is that no faction has gone entirely unrepresented even through the first weekend. This has occurred with niche picks for the Society of Conscious Thought, Sansha’s Nation and Angel Cartel. None of these have seen success yet however. By comparison the other lesser used factions all show reasonable win rates despite low use rates.
The returning drone meta, and especially the drone all-in variant we’ll look more into later, has lead to more SoE ships than in any previous AT yet. (This is simply an estimate, for now.) Their win rate also pushes into the high 60s, tying with the Blood Raiders at 66.7%. This feat is even more notable when you consider the Blood Raiders values are maintained by the use of AT prize ships and flagships that can be considered more powerful than standard ships.
Moving from racial class to role class we see some other trends emerging. But before that perhaps an explanation of terms. Self-Synergy in particular is a statistic that I know has thrown many people who’ve come across it. Throughout my stats I’ve used Synergy as a concise way to talk about how many of one thing are picked with another. This is related to the Abs.(Absolute) number of picks a ship or class has had. Simply put the Synergy value is the absolute number of picks over the number of composition they’ve been picked in. Meaningfully it gives you an average number of picks either for a given class, self-synergy, or alongside another filter.
Now, to return to these trends, first we have a few anchor stats. Logistics Cruisers have been hugely popular, picked in nearly 60% of all composition. The limit on the use of multiple cruisers is what we’ve seen fix the self-synergy of Logistics Cruisers at 1.0. Logistics Frigates have a similar interaction, the mechanics that make them viable allow them as a pair and so their self-synergy is fixed at 2.0. A pick rate of a smidge under 18% shows how much use they’ve seen this year. Their reliance on damage mitigation through speed and low sig combined with low rep range makes them a skill intensive choice for the teams that take them.
The increased prevalence of them is a knock on effect of the Logistics Cruiser points increase, 15 to 17, combined with this being only the second AT since the release of Tech 2 Logistics Frigates. More points gained by moving away from the Logistics Cruiser combined with more experienced pilots and theorycrafting means we are seeing the paired logistics frigates make head roads into ATXV. Their win rate sits at 43.5% however, far below the 58.7% of their cruiser counterparts.
Overall Logistics has remained a key part of this alliance tournament. Between its different incarnations logistics has featured in 111 of the 128 teams we’ve seen this weekend. The T2 cruiser variant being the most successful and chalking up nearly 70% of all the weekends wins and logistics overall finding 92% of the wins in the AT so far.
Returning to the pick rate and self-synergy graph, because I really like it, there is one last stand out statistic I’d like to talk about: the Self-Synergy of Navy Battlecruisers, coming in at 3.255 with 166 Navy BCs being seen across the weekend. The prevalence of these hulls is no surprise, emerging in the latter stages of ATXIV the BC Core has fast become an AT staple, with 41 of the weekends compositions being some variation on it.
The point increases we’ve seen in the last year has changed them, particularly in the Logistics Cruisers and Pirate Battleships, the oft used Bhaalgorn hit twice by a points increase and the loss of its sponsorship discount. The effect has been to provoke changes either by reducing and removing the top end or by swapping out the Navy BCs for T1 Combat or Attack counterparts.
This has also lead to the original quad BC core being expanded in a lot of compositions. The lack of application, control, and sustainability from the Bhaalgorn - T2 Logi Cruiser combo being replaced by more damage for trade potential. The extreme versions of this seen in a 6 Navy BC composition from L A Z E R H A W K S, twice successful (likely glad that they did not fit a Medium MJD to their HNIs(Harbinger Navy Issues)), and in HYDRA RELOADED’s 7 BC hull composition that they brought unsuccessfully against Templis CALSF on day one, #030.
Overall the trend has been that teams with more Navy BCs have been a little more successful than teams with less. 3.393 in winning matches compared to the overall 3.255, though this divide was much greater back in feeders where it was 3.150 to 2.763. The Navy BCs have the highest Self-Synergy of any class, nearly 60% higher than any other class.
Mentioned before is the set 2.0 self-synergy of the frig logi, true of all ships in the class as no one has ever yet dared to mix and match their fig logi pair. This 2.0 self-synergy is shared with 16 other ships, the vast majority of which are rare picks seen in 4 or less compositions. Two exceptions to this exist however, Sleipnirs and Ishtars, both of which have only ever been seen as pairs across a total of 16 and 30 matches respectively. The consistent use of them as pairs across so many compositions points to a lot of faith in the ships, at least within their specific roles.
Stepping back for a moment we can look at another top level statistic: ISK destroyed. As we all know this is the true metric of victory in EVE, at least whenever it’s in your favour. This is something Red Alliance would surely tell you as they went out in match #049, but not without taking out one of only 50 Rabisus in the progress. That single Rabisu killmail accounts for more than half the ISK lost in ATXV so far. Of course the unique and limited nature of the Rabisu, like any AT prize ship, means the actual prices will vary based on negotiations and impending extinction. The only other AT prize logistics is the Etana, starting at 50 originals, it is estimated that less than a quarter of those remain in circulation.
Of the remaining value more than 20% is in fallen flagships; the only ships allowed to break meta restrictions and fit anything up to officer mods, with values rapidly climbing into the 10s of Billions of ISK. The most optimized of these ships will field officer or top tier deadspace modules, the existence of these flagships being a considerable driver in the prices of certain officer modules due to their extreme scarcity and the way the AT is the only place they can actually earn back their considerable price tags.
The Flagships we’ve seen so far have been far from the top end of this however, with most barely breaking the 10B mark. For comparison The Tusker Co. last year won ATXIV while losing their flagship in the final stages and it was valued at nearly 90B. For sure the flagships values will only grow as we push towards the pointy end of ATXV. The 10B mark seems to have been a reasonable place for the early stage flagships, with the potential to make it back on the victory skins from a single victory, it’s a lesser gamble.
With 2 of the teams who’ve lost flagships already out and 4 more into the loser bracket the early loss of a flagship is not an auspicious sign, especially as we see it used in the Hail Mary composition of more prestigious teams.
All of this assumes a Bhaalgorn flagsheep however and though it’s a hugely popular choice it’s not the only one. The Armageddon is a strong choice, benefiting more from less of an ISK injection makes it an appealing alternative to the Bhaal for less serious contenders. We have already lost a Vindicator as well, the choice of an illegally fit flagship only being a valid choice for a team not wishing to claim any prizes. The remaining Vindicator will benefit from this years sponsorship discount and be able to bring oppressive webs and incredible damage.
Also remaining are the shield Flagships, a much rarer breed but serving the same true purpose, to take a strong comp and make it incredible. The Rattlesnakes, and SNIs(Scorpion Navy Issues) chosen can sport incredible tank and strong damage. The truly unique choice of a Scorpion flagship sadly left the tournament with Good at this Game in the first weekend, #057.
Looking forward we have even more Bhaalgorn dominance to look forward to, with 38 flagships remaining across 48 teams. With 24 teams being knocked out this coming weekend I expect even more of the remaining ones to be cleaned up and the ‘geddons thinned out. Simply the Flagship Bhaalgorns are still too good to turn down for many top teams, with a potential 68km heated web range plus damage and powerful long-range neuting the flag Bhaals remain a force to be reckoned with, even at 23 points instead of 19.
Okay, Apothne, we finally have that chart you asked for. Thought I don’t feel it would have worked on the stream. Though I may be being deliberately difficult, this might be better.
However the bans are a strong descriptor for the meta and what people fear from it. The fear having been diffused here by colour matching with Apothne’s shirt in order to prevent stress in the readers at home.
With all 4 T2 Logistics cruisers in the top 7 most banned ships we can see they are nearly the top of more people’s lists to avoid. The more independent Logistics Onerios and Scimitar topping the list and the Onerios takes the top of the pick ban list as well with a 73% pick/ban rate. The efficacy of these ships isn’t the only reason for their bans, though they pose their own threat they are used to proxy ban a wider array of ships.
Specifically a pair of Logistics bans, (Oneiros and Guardian or Scimitar and Basilisk) can be used to try and force a team into specifically a shield or armour composition. 27 instances of a team employing these double bans have occurred so far in ATXV; 12 shield, 15 armor. These bans can be used to attack multiple compositions at once, shutting down their key logistics and either invalidating or compromising the composition as a whole. They are especially effective against flagship compositions as the flagships evade bans so the supporting components need removing.
Despite the ban dodging nature of the flagships we still see a large number of Bhaalgorn bans, though a far lower proportion than we saw in the feeders; 17% compared to 49% of matches. The nonexistence of flagships in the feeders likely leading to that greater fear of the vanilla Bhaalgorn, in the AT true however we’ve seen only 1 vanilla Bhaalgorn compared to 18 flagship fieldings.
Picking up an increasing number of bans is the Rabisu, the rare and valuable 3rd armor logistics cruiser, feared for its unique potential. In the later stages of the AT a third ban will be unlocked and we will more than likely see triple logi bans turning up in place of the double logi bans we see now. On the shield side I doubt we will see the Etana pull any bans until the very late stages of ATXV due to its aforementioned scarcity but also the armor dominance we are seeing.
We also see key components of many compositions turning up; the BNI(Brutix Navy Issue), the Ishtar and other drone boats such as the Eos, Gila and VNI(Vexor Navy Issue). These are more targeted attempts to ban out specific metas such as the Drone All-Ins or the BC Cores. The Ishtar sees the most bans of a non-logi ship and likely draws them for its efficacy in both Armor and Shield Drone Set-Ups and in the Drone All-In.
Second to the Ishtar is the Blackbird which, despite a points increase from last year, has seen reasonable use with 11 matches, often as supplement to a BC Core. With a win rate sneaking up towards 55% it has seen its best success in Armor compositions with Logi and Bursts where its win rate pushes closer to 67%. Despite its prevalent bans it is only the second most successful ECM ship in ATXV so far, that accolade goes to the Rook with a 60% win rate, over only 5 matches however. With a 43% overall win rate and a slim 19% survival rate ECM ships are a definite risk until something proves their worth.
Speaking of stress we have some interesting guest graphs this week, brought to us by Lord Ithica Hawk(above) and CCP Logibro(below). These chart the heart rates of our host, analyst and commentator and of The Patron Saint of Logistics himself across the course of our first broadcast weekend. They show the impact of the stress of the AT coverage; Ithica’s resting heart rate of around 51 naturally is seen to have been doubled for the weekend. Though worth explaining is the spike to nothing of the Lord’s morning run; it is crucial to keep fit in order to be at the top of your internet spaceship game. Eagle eyed sciencers among you would also have noticed the transit like anomalies, this is where Lord Hawk took some time away from the frantic hustle and bustle of the Studio and commentators booth to engage in Adakul meditative practices, to great effect.
We can also classify Logibro here as a rotating star. Okay, he may not be a fussive stellar object but he is a star to us here at EVE_NT. Overall we see a similar trend to that Ithica exhibited, only with a later initial spike closer to the beginning of matches and bans.
One composition I’d like to have a closer look at is a Hail Mary composition we’ve seen 3 times now in the losers bracket. The combination of a flagship Bhaalgorn, a Rabisu, and at least a pair of Navy BCs. From here things vary, but typically add in another source of long range damage and fill out the support wing, often with bombers and even more links for command destroyers.
The ability to suppress normal logi, bring the Rabisu as an even more powerful ship than either natural armor logi, and combine it with long range instant tackle and a source of damage to follow up on this, is what gives this comp strength. The neuting power of the Bhaal and by nature neut resistance of the Rabisu aid in control.
The comps long range damage is in part a product of the Rabisu choice. More nuanced than previous AT ships the Rabisu has some trade offs for its unique benefits. One is the shorter rep range compared to the normal T2 logistics or even T1 logistics cruisers. A 200% compared to 300% range bonus to its reps means a team has to keep that much tighter to utilize them, meshing well with projected damage and the control umbrella of the Bhaalgorn. This limit is also mitigated by the raw speed of the Rabisu, far closer to the speed and mobility of the Scimitar than the Guardian which it shares slots and resists with and beyond the Oneiros.
Extremely expensive but also extremely effective, at least from what we’ve seen so far. Winning outright in an average of 6:17 while dropping only 40 points across its three fieldings, 37 of these being in the tumultuous Red Alliance vs WAFFLES. use, #049, in which the Rabisu was lost. An average Bhaal-Rabisu comp will consist of:
Typically these compositions have been bringing Command Destroyers as well, as much as I can say “typically” for a set up seen 3 times. But Command Destroyers are worth talking about nonetheless. Destroyers being one of two underloved classes in ATXV and the least loved of all. With only 4.61% of all picks Destroyers are a rare sight, featuring in only 30% of matches. In fact even when combined with Battleship picks, 9.13%, they barely scrape past Navy BCs alone: 13.74% to 13.19% of all ship picks.
The Destroyer pick has been predominantly overshadowed this year by the 20% points reduction on T1 Cruisers. With a Cruiser at 4 points and the Destroyer range running from T1 at 3 to the Tanky T2 and T3 options at 6 points they match up unfavourably. Instead the play we’ve seen from the Destroyers has been typically from their unique roles.
69.0% of all picks in the Destroyer class bring command bursts, a crucial component of a successful team. Picked in a little under 98% of all compositions but still pushing up to a 51.2% win rate, by winning every match up against a team without bursts, they can provide considerable boon to a team. With the move away from a hierarchical system of previous years the opportunity to field and universally benefit from more and more command bursts has come to pass. With this considered; the use of Command Destroyers as a links platform is a strong addition.
They have the ability to bring as many links as a vanilla BC for a little over half the cost; 6 to 11. Due to this they can be a strong way to round out the core utility of many top heavy compositions or to bring additional links to provide more bursts or redundancy for comps with existing links.
At the other end of the ship weight scale sit Battleships; left stranded in ATXV not by the cheapness of another class but by their own heavy weight. ATXV has brought with it across the board increases in the points costs of battleships over ATXIV. Particularly hitting Navy and Pirate faction hulls that come in at 21 and 23 points respectively.
The two most picked talk to this cost, with one being the Vindicator, taking a 3 point reduction due to sponsorship it’s priced below its counterparts. The Bhaalgorn is still the disgustingly powerful flagship that it has been since the inception of the class. Receiving benefit from every single upgrade that the flagship received, with improved damage and tank and exceptional control.
The Rattlesnake, behind them in popularity, is nonetheless appearing to be the shield battleship choice, bar the occasional Vindicator, with solid tank, great damage and the return of a drone meta it is set to stay, even with a sub par win rate of 46%.
This year’s points changes combined with the return of drones has lead to the inception of a new and interesting meta: The All-In Drone composition. We have only seen 8 so far, but only 3 losses. Forgoing the increasingly expensive Logistics Cruiser these teams go for huge amount of damage from drones and then don’t go in. They abuse the range independent damage potential of their drones to allow their team to starburst and kite at ranges pushing into triple digit kilometres.
We can see from this the priorities these teams take; simply maximising drones and tank. The Eos and Myrm choices provide links that help boost tank whilst ships like the VNI, Ishtar, and Stratios simply offer tank damaging platforms. The Hyena choice provides a relatively survivable choice for application support. The traditional long range web role we see in this AT can be eschewed for the even longer range bonused paints role, supporting damage from incredible ranges.
Typically these compositions share an armor tank, a trait enforced by the nature of the Gallente faction that we see providing the 5 most common picks in this meta, partially providing 3 more of the 13. We also see the introduction of ships like the Gila and Worm and to a degree Curse. Without the synergistic rewards Logistics offers for sharing a tanking method, teams are free to expand their ship options, splashing into shield as well as the typical armor tank.
With nearly 7 heavy drone boats in every composition the damage these teams can project is strong and relentless. Without the need to compromise positioning for range or application they can maintain the kiting schema indefinitely, giving the team the survivability it lacks on paper and allowing it to make meaningful trades.
This, perhaps slightly hard to read graph, is one of two I wish to end this blog on. It should not be read as a pie chart, in fact it is to be read as 3 tugs of war between Armor at the top, Shield bottom right and Hull bottom left. In this we see a fairly obvious bias towards Armor, achieving a 76.5% win rate into Shield and 100% into Hull. Meanwhile Shield also achieves a 100% win rate into Hull tanked teams suggesting this is less of a Rock-Paper-Scissors and more of a 1-2-3.
Here we see a far more even version of this, breaking down BC Core(Top Centre), Drone(Bottom Right), and Traditional(Bottom Left) comps. Traditional comps being those that rely on a High Application Battleship Damage core then support the team with Logi, Bursts, and a filled out support wing. This is infact an almost perfectly even version, with none of these three matchups being heavily biased. The only meaningful one being Drone into Traditional comps pushing up to 60% wins for the Drone comps.
Though the Tank Meta Breakdown shows a clear priority list for teams to follow, with Hull All-Ins not seeing much success in ATXV and Shield suffering in its match up with Armor, the Composition Breakdown is promising. Such an even balance between the three dominant metas can only make for more interesting matches and surprises as we go into the second weekend.