Advances in transient collisional x-ray lasers have been demonstrated over the last 5 years as a technique for achieving tabletop soft x-ray lasers using 2 - 10 J of laser pump energy. The high peak brightness of these sources operating in the high output saturation regime, in the range of 1024 - 1025 ph. mm-2 mrad-2 s-1 (0.1% BW) -1, is ideal for many applications requiring high photon fluence in a single short burst. However, the pump energy required for these x-ray lasers is still relatively high and limits the x-ray laser repetition rate to 1 shot every few minutes. Higher repetition rate collisional schemes have been reported and show some promise for high output in the future. We report a novel technique for enhancing the coupling efficiency of the laser pump into the gain medium that could lead to enhanced x-ray inversion with a factor of ten reduction in the drive energy. This has been applied to the collisional excitation scheme for Ni-like Mo at 18.9 nm and x-ray laser output has been demonstrated. Prelimanry results show lasing on a single shot of the optical laser operating at 10 Hz and with 70 mJ in the short pulse. Such a proposed source would have higher average brightness, ~1014 ph. mm-2 mrad-2 s-1 (0.1% BW) -1, than present bending magnet 3rd generation synchrotron sources operating at the same spectral range.© (2003) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.