Ah, the Loki. Since the rebalance it has been one of the most versatile ships in New Eden. It can fit for armour tank, shield tank, long range or short range, missiles or guns, armour or shield remote reps, an optional cloak and plenty of speed. To top this all off, it has a decent drone bay and a bloody good ewar option of long webs. Without knowing the meta it can be difficult to know exactly what people will do with this ship when it lands on grid, much like the Gnosis and friends.
Again, the subsystems and base stats:
Base Ship Bonuses
Minatar Strategic Cruiser bonuses (per skill level):
5% reduction in module damage from overheating
10% bonus to nanite repair paste repair speed
99% reduction in Scan Probe Launcher CPU requirements
Rigs may be removed from this ship without being destroyed
On ship destruction, the pilot will lose one random subsystem skill level
(Pick one of each from the following)
- Faster capacitor regen, neut resistance, and lots of powergrid.
- Longer targeting, better sensor strength, and faster locking.
- Web optimal range, web heating bonuses, and heat damage reduction.
- Shield and armour HP bonus, increased benefits of overheating hardeners.
- Better shield boosters and armour reps, better overheating of both.
- Can fit a cloak, smaller bonuses to reps, probe strength increase.
- Missile rate of fire, velocity, and explosion velocity bonuses.
- Projectile turret optimal, falloff, tracking and damage increases.
- Can fit command bursts and both remote shield/armour reps with overheating bonuses.
- Agility and base velocity bonuses.
- Afterburner velocity bonus, MWD sig radius penalty reduction.
- Warp velocity and acceleration bonuses, less cap need for warping, and immune to warp disruption bubbles.
So despite me saying that the Loki is super versatile, you can usually bet on it doing one of a few particular things when you see one inevitably uncloak. Often it’s a toss-up between long-range arty with long webs and high-damage HAMs with the web for application. There’s also the common hisec wardec instalocker for killboard padding T1 frigates and the high buffer fleet variants.
If you’ve read the other articles in this series then you know that I’m not about to just dump some fits from the killboard, though. Let’s take a deep dive together into what the Loki has under the hood and what it’s capable of. I’ll be limiting myself to not simply pasting in fleet fits or blingy meme machines. They’re easily theorycrafted and Zkill is full of them.
A better Huginn: Web Lokis
45km web range, tracking and range bonuses, and 5,000 alpha damage. Deleting frigates doesn’t get much better than that unless you prefer a RLML Orthrus. An incredibly simple way to do that is with shield buffer and artillery as you can see below. The choice of no-cloak and only two gyros is one made post-surgical strike to improve the range and tank. I’ve also dropped a polycarbon there to bring the align time below four seconds, making non-cloaky travel much safer since you warp like a frigate. One more high-slot choice would unironically be a regular Light Missile Launcher for 18 more DPS. It’s laughable, but that’s the same as you get from upgrading to faction gyros!
The equivalent cloaky version isn’t pasted below, but it can be built with some simple low slot and rig changes. It just depends which aspect of the ship you are going to drop. Will you reduce the tank, the speed, range, damage, or tracking? I would personally do it a bit like this, dropping speed and tracking to make it more of a gank boat as many cloakies often are. Seems like a perfect pairing with the cheap shield rail Proteus to me. Together you get a lot of DPS and a hell of a lot more control.
Another fun way to use a cloaky Loki would be to slap Heavy Assault Missiles on there and kite. It’s similar to the Tengu I’ve previously mentioned but with an “active buffer” tank and the web can be to aid application of Rage missiles for that chunky damage bonus. I should note that the shield extender is only present to make sure that you aren’t otherwise alpha’d through the rest of the paper-thin tank.
To fly this you also need to be aware of some uncommon missile range knowledge. Missiles will not always reach their full range due to how server ticks work. With the fit posted below as an example, it displays max range as 33.6km with Caldari Navy loaded. We can then calculate that the missiles will have a 58.7% chance to fly further to 35.4km and a 41.3% chance to reach only 31km. This information can be discovered by hovering over the range in Pyfa. That isn’t so bad with all-5 skills since it’s just within point range, but it’s worth checking your own to make sure that you don’t accidentally out-range yourself half the time. (This also explains the choice of flight time over missile velocity in the rig slot!)
Arty Blap Loki (Non cloaky)
[Loki, 2020 Arty Shield Webs] Reactor Control Unit II Gyrostabilizer II Gyrostabilizer II Tracking Enhancer II Nanofiber Internal Structure II Stasis Webifier II Warp Disruptor II Republic Fleet Large Shield Extender Republic Fleet Large Shield Extender 50MN Quad LiF Restrained Microwarpdrive Small Energy Neutralizer II 720mm Howitzer Artillery II 720mm Howitzer Artillery II 720mm Howitzer Artillery II 720mm Howitzer Artillery II 720mm Howitzer Artillery II Sisters Expanded Probe Launcher Medium Polycarbon Engine Housing II Medium Core Defense Field Extender II Medium Core Defense Field Extender II Loki Core - Immobility Drivers Loki Defensive - Augmented Durability Loki Offensive - Projectile Scoping Array Loki Propulsion - Intercalated Nanofibers Hobgoblin II x5
Cloaky HAM Kiting Loki
[Loki, 2020 XLASB Cloaky Hammer] Dark Blood Reactor Control Unit Ballistic Control System II Republic Fleet Ballistic Control System Pro-Nav Compact Missile Guidance Enhancer 50MN Quad LiF Restrained Microwarpdrive Caldari Navy Warp Disruptor Caldari Navy Stasis Webifier Caldari Navy Large Shield Extender X-Large Ancillary Shield Booster Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II Covert Ops Cloaking Device II Sisters Expanded Probe Launcher Auto Targeting System I Medium Ancillary Current Router II Medium Polycarbon Engine Housing I Medium Rocket Fuel Cache Partition II Loki Core - Immobility Drivers Loki Defensive - Covert Reconfiguration Loki Offensive - Launcher Efficiency Configuration Loki Propulsion - Intercalated Nanofibers Hobgoblin II x5 Hornet EC-300 x3
As much as I wanted to start here by writing about how good a particular brawling Loki is, I can’t. The Legion and Tengu can crush a Loki in their respective tanks if you fit them right. And that’s a good thing! There should be no reason why the jack of all trades ship can easily outperform a more specialised ship easily. Instead of insane tanks or useful ewar, the Loki gets something simpler, damage.
This isn’t the point where I pull out a 1.5b ISK / 1,000 DPS / 1,000 EHP/s Loki and tell you all to buy that. I can make those fits and they simply aren’t that good due to the low buffer and crazy pricetag for the required modules. Here’s a simple way to do it if you’re going to shoehorn an XL shield booster on without a care in the world. I’d honestly rather do something weird and funky instead like a dual shield boosted setup with or without an XLASB. (I actually really like that second one)
Other than that, it’s not impossible to run a simple dual rep armour tanked Loki in the same way as a Legion or Proteus might. The first fit below is my take on that and it feels ok as long as you remember that you have hardly any spare hull at all. Once the armour is gone, that’s it. It’s for that reason that it might be a better idea to run two plain reps rather than T2+ancil; you simply don’t want someone to punch through into your
structure pod. A cloaky variant is possible by dropping a low slot, make sure that you don’t drop any of that buffer.
To finish off my thoughts on brawlers I wanted to showcase one of the weirdest ones that came up during my theorycrafting. It’s cloaky, it uses autocannons, and it’s dual tanked. You don’t get much stranger than that on a T3C. In this case, it provides about a 750 EHP/s tank and 882 DPS providing that you stay near the top of your armour and the bottom of your shield. Not necessarily as optimal as some of the fits already discussed, but certainly a “fun” idea.
Dual Armour Rep Loki
[Loki, 2020 Dual Armour Rep] Medium Armor Repairer II Ballistic Control System II Ballistic Control System II Damage Control II Centus B-Type Explosive Armor Hardener Corpum B-Type Energized Kinetic Membrane Medium Ancillary Armor Repairer 50MN Quad LiF Restrained Microwarpdrive Medium Capacitor Booster II Warp Scrambler II Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II Small Energy Nosferatu II Small Energy Nosferatu II Medium Explosive Armor Reinforcer II Medium Kinetic Armor Reinforcer II Medium Thermal Armor Reinforcer II Loki Defensive - Adaptive Defense Node Loki Core - Augmented Nuclear Reactor Loki Offensive - Launcher Efficiency Configuration Loki Propulsion - Intercalated Nanofibers Hammerhead II x4 Standard Exile Booster Agency 'Hardshell' TB5 Dose II
Dual Tanked Cloaky Auto Loki
[Loki, 2020 Dual Tank PvP] Damage Control II Gyrostabilizer II Gyrostabilizer II Medium Ancillary Armor Repairer 10MN Afterburner II Warp Scrambler II Stasis Webifier II Dread Guristas Large Shield Booster Republic Fleet Large Cap Battery 425mm AutoCannon II 425mm AutoCannon II 425mm AutoCannon II 425mm AutoCannon II 425mm AutoCannon II Covert Ops Cloaking Device II Sisters Expanded Probe Launcher Small Energy Nosferatu II Medium Semiconductor Memory Cell II Medium Semiconductor Memory Cell II Medium Core Defense Operational Solidifier I Loki Core - Augmented Nuclear Reactor Loki Defensive - Covert Reconfiguration Loki Offensive - Projectile Scoping Array Loki Propulsion - Wake Limiter Hobgoblin II x5 Standard Blue Pill Booster Agency 'Hardshell' TB5 Dose II
Black Ops Lokis and PvE Lokis
To round out the article I obviously need to talk about the use of rep Lokis, hunting Lokis, and PvE Lokis. All of which are undoubtedly good uses of the ship and can conform to whichever tanking style is required.
The first of the two black ops Lokis below is the repping one. This performs in exactly the same way as the cloaky Tengu, but with a faster locking speed. Not much else to say other than that you should drop in and keep your buddies alive in a shield blops fleet. The armour version can be done easily, too, but I would sooner recommend a Legion for the nicer resist profile.
There’s also my Loki version of the nullified hunter Tengu that I’ve talked about before. It does all the same things and aims purely to get tackle on a carrier or blingy battleship as soon as possible. The rapid lights only exist to help remove Rattlesnake drones or shake off a pesky interceptor if you screw up somewhere. It’s designed to be cheap and disposable with only a 400m ISK price tag. If you’re like me and you don’t care about having to retrain SP after a T3C loss then doing something like this is a no-brainer. It’s better to throw yourself in and get the tackle even if it means you die. Being risk averse in a blingier fit hunter just upsets everyone in the blops fleet when they don’t get to fight.
To round things out, here’s my heavy missile, wait for it… dual tanked PvE Loki.
I know it’s insane, I know it breaks typical fitting rules, but it works. I wanted to include this here since it shows something really important once again about sig tanking. It doesn’t matter too much how much you can actually tank if you fly well and shoot the right targets. In the case of running C3 sites, you can get away with about a 400 DPS tank for much of the Anomaly content with a sig tanking cruiser.
This fit achieves that if you use both reps and offers something important in return; it provides cap stability, good application, and three Ballistic Control Systems. It outputs around 650 DPS to 59km with an additional 50 DPS to help dispose of webbing frigates once they get on top of you. I’ve tested it, it works, and it’s fun. Oh and you can heat nearly forever thanks to separate racks so don’t be afraid to use it.
Really what a dual tanked Loki is showing you is that nearly anything can tank sites. Take the stats you can see here and follow my guide in the abyssal article about how you optimise any ship to do a task and match the values until you have the same thing. You can even do that with the same fit and make it work in pure shield or pure armour. Rinse and repeat with every other ship in the game and you’ll have a Pyfa collection like mine.
Shield Blops Reps
[Loki, 2020 Blops Shield Logi] Damage Control II Dark Blood Power Diagnostic System Dark Blood Power Diagnostic System Federation Navy 10MN Afterburner Republic Fleet Large Shield Extender Large 'Sheriff' Shield Extender Large 'Sheriff' Shield Extender Multispectrum Shield Hardener II Republic Fleet Large Cap Battery Pithum B-Type Medium Remote Shield Booster Pithum B-Type Medium Remote Shield Booster Pithum B-Type Medium Remote Shield Booster Gistum A-Type Medium Remote Shield Booster Gistum A-Type Medium Remote Shield Booster Gistum A-Type Medium Remote Shield Booster Shield Command Burst II Covert Ops Cloaking Device II Medium Capacitor Control Circuit II Medium Capacitor Control Circuit II Medium Capacitor Control Circuit I Loki Core - Dissolution Sequencer Loki Defensive - Covert Reconfiguration Loki Offensive - Support Processor Loki Propulsion - Wake Limiter Standard Mindflood Booster
Nullified Hunter Loki
[Loki, Simple Blops Hunter] Damage Control II Inertial Stabilizers II Inertial Stabilizers II X-Large Ancillary Shield Booster Multispectrum Shield Hardener II Multispectrum Shield Hardener II Warp Scrambler II 50MN Quad LiF Restrained Microwarpdrive Sisters Expanded Probe Launcher Covert Ops Cloaking Device II Covert Cynosural Field Generator I Rapid Light Missile Launcher II Rapid Light Missile Launcher II Rapid Light Missile Launcher II Rapid Light Missile Launcher II [Empty High slot] Medium Hyperspatial Velocity Optimizer II Medium Hyperspatial Velocity Optimizer II Medium Low Friction Nozzle Joints II Loki Defensive - Covert Reconfiguration Loki Offensive - Launcher Efficiency Configuration Loki Propulsion - Interdiction Nullifier Loki Core - Immobility Drivers Hornet EC-300 x5 Hornet EC-300 x3 Eifyr and Co. 'Rogue' Evasive Maneuvering EM-701 Standard Blue Pill Booster Agency 'Hardshell' TB5 Dose II
C3 Dual Tank Loki
[Loki, 2020 Dual Tank PvE] Damage Control II Medium Armor Repairer II Ballistic Control System II Ballistic Control System II Ballistic Control System II Pithum C-Type Medium Shield Booster Thukker Large Cap Battery Multispectrum Shield Hardener II Stasis Webifier II 10MN Afterburner II Heavy Missile Launcher II Heavy Missile Launcher II Heavy Missile Launcher II Heavy Missile Launcher II Heavy Missile Launcher II 280mm Howitzer Artillery II 280mm Howitzer Artillery II Medium Auxiliary Nano Pump II Medium Warhead Rigor Catalyst I Medium Capacitor Control Circuit II Loki Defensive - Adaptive Defense Node Loki Core - Immobility Drivers Loki Propulsion - Intercalated Nanofibers Loki Offensive - Launcher Efficiency Configuration Hobgoblin II x5 Agency 'Hardshell' TB5 Dose II