Destroyer Love

Destroyers and solo PvP. All (competent) PvPers believe that those two words do not belong in the same sentence. With the exception of the Thrasher, destroyers are horrible for solo PvP. Due to their lack of speed, tackle, and tank, they are unwieldy and very vulnerable to larger ships. And of the destroyers, the very worst is the Coercer, the miserable Amarrian destroyer with no speed, only one mid slot, and so little fitting capability that even a Rifter tanks better than it. Encounters with Coercers frequently go something like this:

“Curse, Hurricane, Phoon, Coercer …HOLY S%#T! COERCER?!”
*Dscan spammage, warp to belt*
“LOLZ he’s killing a rat 3km away. OMG ROFLMAO NUB.”
*Scram, F1-F8, sit back, relax, eat popcorn, pod, loot, warp out, laugh in local*

If you are a PvPer and you have never thought “haha this will be an easy fight” upon seeing a Coercer alone in a belt, you need to retake Ships That Suck at PvP 101.

So at first it would appear that this means the Coercer is useless. However, it actually makes enemy behavior quite predictable. In PvP, it is hard to determine exactly how an opponent will think. But with the Coercer, an enemy’s thought process is transparent and predictable. Pilots tend to be overconfident about engaging; even a timid carebear would not hesitate to attack a Coercer ratting alone in a belt. This foreknowledge of an opponent’s thoughts is a tremendous advantage.

Enter the Coercer of Powah, a solo PvP Coercer:

[Coercer, Coercer of Powah]
Damage Control II
Tracking Enhancer II
Heat Sink II
Heat Sink II

J5 Prototype Warp Disruptor I

Dual Light Pulse Laser II, Scorch S
Dual Light Pulse Laser II, Scorch S
Dual Light Pulse Laser II, Scorch S
Dual Light Pulse Laser II, Scorch S
Dual Light Pulse Laser II, Scorch S
Dual Light Pulse Laser II, Scorch S
Dual Light Pulse Laser II, Scorch S
Dual Light Pulse Laser II, Scorch S

[empty rig slot]
[empty rig slot]
[empty rig slot]

The concept is quite simple. The Coercer simply acts as a honeypot. Any T1 frigates that fall for the bait will be crushed, as the Coercer has ,000 EHP and 200+ DPS (with Multifrequency), it can easily crush any T1 frigate. Although it lacks tank, most pilots do not disengage until they are critically damaged (in structure or low armor). And while they burn away to get out of point range (24 km overheated), you can get excellent hits due to their lack of transversal.

Despite having very poor skills (Destroyers I, Small Pulse Laser Spec I, etc.), I have been quite successful. Several Rifters have died quickly. My most exciting fight was with a dual-propulsion Dramiel; I died while he was at 10% structure. The pilot told me afterwards that he had no damage control, so one more volley from me would have killed him. If I had trained my skills higher and used faction frequency crystals instead of cheap T1 crystals, I believe that he would have lost. Oh well.

Although inferior to the Thrasher, the Coercer is still quite fun to fly. My only problem is that it is very difficult to find solo PvPers in lowsec any more. Much of the time I simply warp out; no point in fighting a 10+ man blob.

  1. I love destroyers, I have to say. Obviously I fly the Thrasher but I have had some surprisingly unpleasant encounters with Coercers that know what they’re doing. Like you say, they’re excellent bait ships.

    The amount of DPS that you get with Destroyers 4 or 5 can be absolutely devastating.

    • Leo Solunar
    • February 9th, 2010

    I don’t know.. I think anyone talented enough can make a piece of art out of a coercer. In fact, I don’t even think the coercer is as bad as to require someone good enough to make it shine.

    I went against the zealot, and I was out-tracking it. I saw the coercer and I thought to myself “lol-coercer,” but then I insta-popped to a threat I think I could have neutralized had I not underestimated that silly destroyer.

    I’m sure you can make that destroyer shine :) It can pack a powerful punch enough to obliterate anything in its path.

  2. I love my coercer of doom! Not to say the Thrasher isn’t better, it is, hands down. Personally I prefer a 400mm plate for buffer – you’re slow anyways, embrace it. Should pwn any solo frigate or inty dumb enough to engage; many AFs too. Blaster cormy can be nasty, since with 4 mids it can fit full tackle and a shield buffer. The cat just sux due to lack of mids.

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