Part one of six of our Armada Regionals deep dive!
First up is one of the splashiest builds of wave 7: the Raddus Bomb. It's also been referred to as the "Russian Nesting Dolls" build because of how Profundity drops off of a friendly ship and then has a Hammerhead drop off of Profundity. Notable users have been Carlo "Roquax," who won Canadian Nationals with it this year and JJ "Juggernaut," who made this year's Worlds cut with it and also won GENCON with it a couple months ago. It is the more popular of the two Raddus builds I've identified for deep dives, so you've likely seen some version of this floating around your local meta by this point.
MC75 Ordnance Cruiser
This will be the ship dropping in using Raddus. The critical component for the ship's loadout is the Profundity title. The timing for Profundity and Raddus are the same, which means the controlling player can put down Profundity at distance one of a friendly ship, and then put down a small ship at distance one of that. This allows the Raddus player to have a nasty one-two punch of a small ship followed by a Raddus-enabled MC75 double arc. Both ordnance slots should absolutely be used. One is certain to be External Racks. The other is likely to be APT, but ACMs are a valid choice in my eyes. The officer slot has a couple of choices as well. Lando is a great choice and probably the most common.The MC75 is looking to go head to head with something big, so Lando can significantly blunt a big shot. JJ also used a Strategic Adviser in the officer slot to good effect at GENCON. It took his activation count to seven, allowing him to drop the MC75 a bit further back and get a nasty last/first combination. ECM and Ordnance Experts should also be expected to round out the loadout.
Hammerhead Torpedo Frigate
This is the ship deployed via Profundity. External Racks are mandatory as the ship is not expected to live much past its first shot. Ordnance Experts are also to be expected to keep those black dice honest, but don't be surprised to see Cham Syndula in there as well. He can utter wreck a bit ship's day dropping in from hyperspace. That said, you have to use a squadron command since you won't have token and your rolls are completely at the whim of the dice gods. Regardless, this little bugger can hit like a truck. It's important to note that while the ship dropped via Raddus can't be the first to activate, the ship dropped via Profundity most certainly can. I've see one of these with a con fire command one shot Yavaris with a double arc. It was a very lucky shot, but it can happen. Points allowing, Garel's Honor is also a typical addition since this ship is not expected to last.
Fast, dodgy Raddus flagship
This can take a couple forms, likely either an MC30 or CR90. An Admonition flagship is about as durable as possible while also being a nasty piece of work at close range. Alternatively, Jaina's Light on a TRC90 can stay on the outskirts of the fight or stay just out of the fight and rapidly commit once the drop is down. The key part is to be able to either last against enemy squadrons or just stay the hell away from them. The worst possible thing that can happen to a Raddus list is to lose the blue fish's chariot before you put down the drop. It's a delicate balancing act at times. You don't want to keep a ship like Admonition out of the fight for long. It's a great brawler and it doesn't come cheap. At the same time, however, over-committing your flagship can force you to put down your drop in a sub-optimal position.
Like all Raddus builds, the strength is in the flexibility of the drop. He's total shock and awe. The Raddus player has essentially paid 26 points to win the deployment game. It's hard to plan against and takes a good amount of experience to counter. This version of Raddus, in particular, is a total battering ram. If you've got a large ship, this build is going to ram the MC75 and Hammerhead right down your throat and look to tear out the center of your fleet. Even ISDs are going to melt fast. After that, it's just mop up. The threat radius can catch you off guard, especially with the Hammerhead. Trust me, the Hammerhead can get into close range even if the closest enemy ship before the Profundity drop is outside long range.
The flagship, no matter what form it takes, is a major pressure point. As I said earlier, this can be a hard balancing act for the Raddus player. The death of the flagship before the Raddus drop is an utter catastrophe. It's hard to pull off, but it's not unheard of. More often, it's the threat to the flagship that causes impact. If you make the Raddus player worry for their flagship, the drop ship has to come down, even if he doesn't really want to. This can force the Raddus player to surrender their big positioning advantage. This version of Raddus also struggles against a fleet that lacks a major central piece. That's right, MSU actually has a use! Small ships can both slip away from the MC75 before it activates, also surrender far less value if they do happen to die. That also means more weapons to turn on the MC75. This is not an endurance build. If you can get past the initial drop, you have a good chance of winning the long game. Finally, this build very much wants first player. It doesn't work nearly as well as second player.