Perhaps the biggest weakness of the Mantis Cruiser (Type A, anyway) is its inability to deal effectively with AI ships. Before Advanced Edition, the general advice was to either improve your weaponry, or use an upgraded teleporter to board the enemy ship and save your boarders just before they suffocate.
Advanced Edition has added several new weapons and systems. Do any of these offer a viable alternative? I'm loathe to spend large amounts of scrap upgrading my weapons, and playing leapfrog with crew seems extremely risky.
One way of looking at it is that the Mantis A is designed for boarding, and has already "spent" scrap on that strategy. Spending further scrap on upgrading weapons to a level where they can take down AI ships seems extremely wasteful, because if you're going to use weapons that powerful, why play as Mantis in the first place?
Basically, I'm looking for a strategy that will allow me to forego upgrading the weakened weapons system if at all possible; otherwise, I'm hoping there's a 1-power weapon in AE that can perform a bit better than the hopeless loadout the ship starts with.