Magic Merlins

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Magic Merlins

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The Magic Merlin is a tried and tested favourite. The combination of a solid tank, good DPS, numerous mid-slots for tackle modules, and generous fitting space for low skilled pilots, means that the Magic Merlin fleet is now a staple of EVE University Low Sec fleets which often proves to be an EVE University FC's first step into fleet doctrines. It is simple, effective, and scales especially well with Logistics support, as well as other support options, therefore allowing an FC to slowly increase the complexity of a fleet as their competence improves.

Implementation

The Magic Merlin is a MWD, blaster fit, brawling frigate. Much the same as other brawling frigate doctrines, to use the Magic Merlin effectively the FC needs to be applying damage to the enemy as close as possible to make the maximum use of their blasters. This is achieved by using the MWD to close range before having the fleet orbit the primary target at 500m, at which point close range ammunition (Void for T2 blasters, faction antimatter for T1) can be graciously applied. Having four mid slots allows every Merlin in the fleet to fit both a scram and a web ensuring that anything that can be caught will quickly be held down for the rest of the fleet to pounce. For larger fleet fights, tackle can be spread across to the field due to the sheer amount in fleet to help the FC maintain the brawl for as long as needed. If there are enough fleet members, an additional consideration for the FC is to spread the number of scrams and webs between fleet members (similar to Golden Horde Punishers), allowing compact EWAR modules to be fit for additional fleet capability. This does, however, significantly reduce the cap life of fit as it will no longer be cap stable.

There is no need for a fleet anchor for the main DD, as often fights will happen at a range close enough to allow Merlins to simply click orbit 500m on the primary. Logi however may choose to have a Logi Commander to remove the burden of positioning away from new Logi pilots, freeing them to concentrate on the task of applying reps to the fleet. Logi should aim to maintain range roughly 10-15km from the brawl to avoid the danger of scrams and webs, while being able to apply their reps outside the range of most close range small weapons.

Magic Merlins have a great engagement profiles which again scales really well as the number of pilots increases. As a brawling fleet, they are great for roaming Faction Warfare Lowsec and taking fights in and around the FW Plexes due the warp mechanics in deadspace pockets. Key fights to avoid are anything sporting Rapid Light Missiles (Caracals, etc) and Assault Frigate gangs of similar sizes which often seem like a tempting target. Sniping, long range doctrines like Cormorants or Jackdaws should be avoided completely. The speed of the Merlin allows the fleet to catch most things and with a handful of logistic frigates in the fleet, they can comfortably engage under gate guns. When facing anything that is fit with a smart bomb (usually Battleships), the fleet should switch ammunition to Null and change their orbit out to 7.5km.

Fleet Composition and Fits

The three main components of a Magic Merlin fleet are DD, Logistics and Scouts.

Scouts are going to be the key content providers for the fleet, often operating several jumps ahead of the main fleet finding targets to gank. One scout is basically mandatary to operate a single jump ahead of the fleet, where they can get that all important initial tackle before the main fleet jumps into the system and spooks the current inhabitants. Additional scouts can either operate on the flanks, looking for targets of opportunity, or much further in front on the fleet looking for fleet fights or potential obstacles/hazards such as large/smartbombing gate gamps. This however is dependent on having both competent pilots in fleet, and enough fleet numbers to afford changing some DD into scouts. 2-3 scouts for a large fleet (20-25 Merlins) is an ideal number to aim for when possible.

Merlins are obviously the main, key component of the fleet. The more pilots that you have in Merlins, the more potential fights that you can take on. That fit itself is relatively straight forward with the basic components being tank, tackle and guns. Pilots looking to fly a Merlin should start in the newbro fit and as their skills increase, they should look to update the modules to the full mainline fit. The main priority is the upgrade the tank first, to increase basic survivability by providing a greater level of ehp. This obviously allows for more damage to be taken, but also gives more time for the fleets Logistics wing to switch targets and get those all-important reps to land in time. Finally, upgrading to T2 guns and a T2 Magnetic Field Stabilizer provides a great boost the ships damage output while also providing access to T2 ammunition.

FCs may also want to look at adding fits from the Brawling Assault Frigates as direct upgrades to the fits below which higher SP fleet members can use to add some additional combat capacity to this new player focused fleet

Magic Merlin

Magic Merlin Newbro
Merlin: Magic Merlin Newbro
EFT
[Merlin, Magic Merlin Newbro]
Anode Light Electron Particle Cannon I, Federation Navy Antimatter Charge S
Anode Light Electron Particle Cannon I, Federation Navy Antimatter Charge S
Anode Light Electron Particle Cannon I, Federation Navy Antimatter Charge S

Medium Azeotropic Restrained Shield Extender
5MN Y-T8 Compact Microwarpdrive
X5 Enduring Stasis Webifier
J5b Enduring Warp Scrambler

Micro Auxiliary Power Core I
IFFA Compact Damage Control
Vortex Compact Magnetic Field Stabilizer

Small EM Shield Reinforcer I
Small Thermal Shield Reinforcer I
Small Core Defense Field Extender I



Federation Navy Antimatter Charge S x601

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FITTING DIFFICULTY
EVE VERSION
LATEST
ALPHA CAN USE
YES
EFT
SKILLS
NOTES
RECOMMENDED SKILLS
NOTES
Magic Merlin
Merlin: Magic Merlin
EFT
[Merlin, Magic Merlin]
Light Ion Blaster II, Void S
Light Ion Blaster II, Void S
Light Ion Blaster II, Void S

5MN Y-T8 Compact Microwarpdrive
Medium Shield Extender II
X5 Enduring Stasis Webifier
J5b Enduring Warp Scrambler

Damage Control II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Micro Auxiliary Power Core I

Small EM Shield Reinforcer I
Small Thermal Shield Reinforcer I
Small Core Defense Field Extender I



Void S x401
Null S x400
Federation Navy Antimatter Charge S x600

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FITTING DIFFICULTY
EVE VERSION
LATEST
ALPHA CAN USE
NO
EFT
SKILLS
NOTES
RECOMMENDED SKILLS
NOTES

Logistic Support

Lastly, the fleet should aim to have a rough 4:1 split of DD to Logistics and a minimum of 3 logistic ships to provide enough reps to fight under gate guns. Most FCs prefer to bring an MWD fit logistics wing to keep up with the mainline doctrine. This variant easily outruns the mailine doctrine (3723 vs 2838 m/s cold) and speed tank around the field. However, it is very tight on power grid. Lower SP pilots can swap out the Overdrive Injector for a Power Diagnostic System.

Fast Merlin Support
Burst: Fast Merlin Support
EFT
[Burst, Fast Merlin Support]
Small S95a Scoped Remote Shield Booster
Small S95a Scoped Remote Shield Booster
Small S95a Scoped Remote Shield Booster

5MN Cold-Gas Enduring Microwarpdrive
Medium F-S9 Regolith Compact Shield Extender
Small Electrochemical Capacitor Booster I

Damage Control II
Type-D Restrained Overdrive Injector
Nanofiber Internal Structure II

Small EM Shield Reinforcer I
Small Thermal Shield Reinforcer I
Small Core Defense Field Extender I


Light Shield Maintenance Bot I x1

Navy Cap Booster 400 x15

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FITTING DIFFICULTY
EVE VERSION
LATEST
ALPHA CAN USE
NO
EFT
SKILLS
NOTES
RECOMMENDED SKILLS
NOTES

EWAR, while not hugely important to the basic function and implementation of the fleet, are always a force multiplier. For newer pilots, or alpha pilots who cannot fly the Merlin, support in the form of EWAR frigates is always welcome.