MindTrip on 12/21/2016
I recently acquired the Avenger 5 in ST handle and will be comparing it with a popular blade that I am most familiar with, the Nittaku Violin. Upon first observing the Avenger, I noticed how well made it is. This is a high quality blade. Even the wings were beveled at the factory, not something you get from Nittaku or Butterfly blades. Let's carry on...
Service and service return- Due to the stiffer top ply, I was expecting some issue popping the ball up on light contact near the net. Actually, it was not an issue at all. Touch shots and pushes were effortless, short and low. My flicks improved by having much more pace. During service, I felt no change from other 5-ply blades I have used in the past. (Violin, Grubba All+) Except my no spin serve deep down the line was more effective.
Hitting- The Avenger is not as flexible as the aforementioned 5-ply blades. This was apparent while hitting and counter hitting. Contacting the ball gave a crisp feeling. No dwell/flex. The crispness gave good feedback, allowing me to place the ball exactly where I wanted on the table. Along with the crispness, there is also a higher arc and more pace. This blade is very linear.
Looping- This is my primary shot. There was not as much dwell as the Violin or Grubba give, but my shots still loaded with spin and kicked off the table. The arc didn't dip down as hard as the other 5-ply, but like all the other shots so far, there was more pace on the ball and my opponents still had issue. Counterlooping was awesome. There was some flex in the blade on these high pace shots, but again, not as much dwell as I am used it. I'd compare the dwell to something like you'd get with the Viscaria. -Not a lot, but enough to get the job done.
Smashing- I caught myself a few times moving in when my opponent went for an opening loop and smashing it away at it's highest point. The crispness gave me so much confidence in doing shots like this. It's such a good feeling to have.