Arbiter (Fleet Avenger) Battlecruiser
Build Overview and Focus
Last Updated December 2022
The Arbiter was my first T6 ship and such I built it to be a jack-of-all trade ship, suitable for running any mission or TFO in the game on higher difficulties. The build does significant damage while also being fairly survivable; I do not like building for just one map. At the time I was learning how to build ships, Fire at Will (FAW) was the strongest energy firing mode. While it has since been nerfed, it's still more than viable and has considerable utility on maps with swarming enemies like Azure Nebula Rescue or Swarm. I flew the Arbiter on my main character for several years before eventually upgrading it to an Inquiry-class battlecruiser with an Event campaign reward. However, I keep the build around for players looking for a survivable build with tremendous damage that contains no Lobi, Legendary, or Lockbox/Promo ship items. It's not a starter build, but it's a great one to grow into for a versatile ship.
With Commander Engineering and one of the better specialization seats for energy damage (Intelligence), as well as five fore weapons and a must-have starship trait for energy builds, the Arbiter is a great candidate for a ship to make a tough off-tank that still puts out plenty of damage while being maneuverable. While Intel's been a little overshadowed by Miracle Worker as a spec, #1 those ships didn't exist when I first started building and #2 all paths to high DPS for energy builds go through the Arbiter's trait, so if you're not buying lots of ships or already have a better platform, it's a great ship to start with due to the combination of damage potential, survivability, and relative agility. The console is good defensively in a pinch as well and so the ship provides a lot of account-wide value for captains wanting to leverage the trait or console across multiple builds or characters.
Increased survivability for soloing missions on Elite
Mostly orange phasers
1 [Over] beam and 1 Pulse Phaser
Varied bridge crew vs all Superior Romulan Operatives/Pirates
The U.S.S. Roosevelt's namesake, Theodore Roosevelt, was both a fighter and a statesman. He served as both Secretary of the Navy and President of the United States during the early 20th century, building up the navy to help ensure security. Prior to those positions, he personally led troops in battle. Roosevelt was also an advocate of peace, winning the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in arbitrating the end of the Russo-Japanese War. For his contributions to the navy, at least three ocean-going vessels have borne his name. This incarnation of the U.S.S. Roosevelt bears this quote from her eminently quotable namesake on its plaque: "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far."
This is the Big Stick.
ISA: 270K (PUG)
ISE: 427K (premade)
HSE: 385K (premade)
Using the EZRA rubric, this build would cost 369.30 USD to replicate. That is far more than what I spent on STO to make it. If the cost looks daunting, don't worry! Lower-budget alternatives are provided below.
Elite Captain/T6X upgrade, all fleet unlocks
6 T6 C-store ships (Arbiter, Gagarin, Shran, Thozyn, Endeavour, Ghemor or cross-faction equivalents)
1 Fleet ship (Fleet Arbiter)
1 Event console (DOMINO)
1 lockbox console, 1lockbox weapon, 7 lockbox traits, 4 non-standard doffs, 1 lockbox boff power
Reputation + fleet gear; all Mk XV Epic
0 lockbox, Promo R&D, Legendary, or Lobi ships
December 2022: Swapped Enhanced Shield Penetration to Magnified Firepower. Replaced Pulse Phaser Beam Array with Dual Beam Bank. Was at 270K ISA / 339K ISE / 249K HSE
October 2021: Migrated to Sites. Added Elite captain trait (Fragment of AI Tech) and Portability section.
This build combines energy DPS with survivability. There are some small contributions from projectiles and other supportive concepts as well, but those are tertiary.
All weapon-centric builds benefit from the tactical ultimate, as weapon haste and bonus weapon damage from the Focused Frenzy active are appreciable when used on big targets. Applying the bonus to your team is also appreciated. I do not find the cooldown boost from Frenzied Reactions to be needed on a build with a good cooldown scheme.
Since I use this skill tree for both tanks and offtanks, taking two points in Hull Restoration/Hull Capacity helps survivability. Increased Hull Capacity boosts Tyler's Duality as well
I always take a single point in Hull Plating, but other resistance skills and Damage Control are not worth it. Likewise, 2 points in Impulse Expertise is an appreciable boost to maneuverability. Warp Core Potential and especially Warp Core Efficiency help boost power to subsystems. Efficiency is particularly good at adding power to subsystems I am not allocating much power to.
Improved EPS Power Transfer is essential for recovering power while firing energy weapons.
Single points in Shield Restoration/Shield Capacity are low opportunity cost for relatively high survivability gains. Since I need skill points elsewhere, only 1 here for those.
A single point in Shield Regeneration has surprisingly large impact on shield regeneration based on recent research by Jay
Since this character uses Quantum Phase torpedoes on 2 builds, which scale off of Drain Expertise, I take both points in DrainX. A single point in Control Expertise powers the Fragment of AI Trait on builds that use it on this toon.
All energy builds should take maximum points in Long Range Targeting Sensors.
The rest of the science skills are of little value on this build and are completely skippable.
Energy Weapon Training, Hull Penetration, Shield Penetration, Weapon Specialization, and Weapon Amplification are all worthwhile skills to take 3 points in as they boost energy weapon damage directly. Since I do have a torpedo and it does decent damage, 2 points in Projectile Weapon Training is a good choice.
I like taking 2 points apiece in accuracy and defense. Defense is a small contribution to avoiding incoming damage but also helps reduce enemy crits when you're not moving and accuracy is just good all around, if not a stat that you'll need tons of.
Coordination Protocols, Defense Coordination and Offensive Coordination are good team boosts so I always take those. They also benefit hangar pets on builds that have those. Improved Tactical Readiness is essential for reducing tactical cooldowns along with the rest of the cooldown scheme.
There are two crucial unlocks: battery expertise (improves duration of consumable batteries) and threat control which either increases or decreases threat based on threatening stance.
This ship is a classic beams + 1 torpedo set up. It has absolutely zero investment into exotic damage, so I am not skilled at all into those.
Intel/Strategist is the best-in-slot choice for non-tank Energy builds. Intel provides substantial damage through flanking and Intel Fleet. Strategist likewise adds damage through Logistical Support, Maneuver Warfare, and Show of Force, as well as some damage reduction through Layered Defenses.
Torpedoes: One, I wanted a torpedo for immersion purposes. Two, the right torpedo, when used with Entwined Tactical Matrices and Supercharged Weapons, is NOT a DPS loss compared to beam arrays. I was already going to slot the Quantum Phase Converter console, so adding the torpedo for its two-piece is an excellent DPS boost. It outparses everything else. I could have slotted the Dark Matter torpedo, but I already had the Quantum Phase gilded and it doesn't quite do the same damage. Note that if you don't like the Disco DBB, but you are okay with the Dark Matter torpedo, I would use the DM torpedo in order to keep the 2-piece bonus.
Mixing in DBBs: Despite "don't mix weapons" being conventional wisdom for good reason, I've chosen to mix in the Wide-Angle DBB. For one, I wanted the two-piece bonus without the torpedo. For two, specifically on a FAW build with a torpedo and 2 Omnis, most of my weapons are hitting my forward arc anyway, with just one beam in the aft that can't fire forward. With 100% FAW uptime and at least 1 target in my side or rear arc, I'm firing that beam pretty much all the time anyway. Suffice to say, with this specific build (FAW) and decent piloting, I'm not really losing uptime on either my torp, my aft non-Omni beam, or my WADBB + Pulse Phaser DBB.
The Prolonged beam stacks up the longer it's in combat, so I want it firing early. It's gonna be de-synced pretty quickly anyway due to its own haste.
The torpedo needs to be early in the cycle to stack Super Charged Weapons / proc ETM. Plus its proc does shield damage, so hitting earlier in the cycle is better.
The WA DBB also has a stacking damage buff over time the longer it is in combat, hence being next
Pulse Phaser Beam is next by default
The Terran beam is last because it scales with the target's missing health and the target that I've already hit with the other weapons should be lower health. Maybe that logic is flawed, but that's why I ordered them I way I did.
Drive Train: In terms of DPS, I am losing nothing by not using the Nukara 2-piece, or the Competitive 2-piece + Fleet Core. . For DPS, the Competitive 2-piece set is ~0.6% CrtH and a couple of other relatively useless stats versus 30% Cat1 teamwide from the Ico-set, which using the Energy Calculator worked out to be about the same, even factoring in the Tilly shield's shield resist debuff with Comp/Core, or Fleet Core with Comp Engines/Comp Shield's chance for crit. In terms of DPS, it's less than a 1% difference. The team-wide boost of the Iconian set more than evens that out. Combined with the fact that I already had the Ico set gilded and I dislike the competitive engines, there was no reason to change the drive train. In terms of healing, the Roosevelt is pretty tanky for a DPS ship and it's pretty rare to die in any Advanced TFO that doesn't involve killing yourself (i.e. Feedback Pulse, Voth damage reflection) which the Disco 2-piece regen won't help with.The ship is designed to be self-sufficient. It's not a full tank (though I've built one on the same character using most of the same pieces), but that only really matters for Elite runs.
No Trilithium Set: The Gamma 2-piece set is slotted over the Trilithium 2-piece set. According to both the Energy Weapon Calculator and several ISA parses, the Gamma set ends up being superior once you adjust the haste for uptime. There are a few reasons for this. 1) The Trilithium-Omni cannot be re-engineered and with FAW, the forced [Acc] and [Ac/Dmg] mods essentially costs me 2 mods since FAW does not benefit from accuracy overflow. It also doesn't have the 2% bonus damage from T6 reputations that the Inhibiting beam does. 2) The 10% weapon haste is great but especially on a FAW build, does not proc often enough, whereas the -10 DRR from the Gamma beam is easily proc'd against big targets as long as you're not sitting completely still. Seriously, the haste proc has 2% uptime on a FAW build. 3) Even as Cat1-saturated as I am, 36.25% Cat1 is still quite good against an uptime-adjusted 6% haste.
Alternate energy types: Obviously all weapons would need to be replaced. Unless switching to Disruptor with the Wide Angle Heavy Dual Beam Bank, replace the Quantum Phase torpedo with Dark Matter Torpedo. If Disruptor, consider the Nausicaan Energy Torpedo. Quantum Phase Converter and Ordnance Accelerator (unless Polaron) are the two consoles to replace. Keep D.O.M.I.N.O. and replace the fleet consoles with the appropriate flavor.
If going full DPS with unlimited budget, you’re not using beams with Fire at Will or flying an Arbiter. That said, for higher damage at higher cost:
Assimilated Module -> Tachyokinetic Converter (retains ControlX for Fragment of AI Tech)
Hull Image Refractors and Quantum Phase Converter -> Dynamic Power Redistribution Module+Point Defense Bombardment Warhead or two of Weaponized Helical Torsion/Bioneural Infusion Circuits/Approaching Agony. Ablative Hazard Shielding can be subbed out for one of these others at the cost of survivability
Replace the Pulse Phaser and [Over] Phaser with Sensor-Linked Phasers or Advanced Phasers. If really going for a rich build, replace the Crafted Omni with a Sensor-Linked Omni
Drop the colony console for another locator
If low budget:
Drop a Locator (T6X upgrade)
Replace D.O.M.I.N.O. with Prior's World Elite Defense Satellite if available and if not, for things like Zero Point Energy Conduit, or a Bellum EPS Flow Regular/RCS Accelerator.
Drop Kobayashi Maru Transponder if unavailable (T6X upgrade and event); if available, drop the Hull Patches instead
Could replace Reverse Shield Polarity with Directed Energy Modulation if going full glass. This is my off-tank, though, so I don’t. Would also need to replace a doff.
If going full DPS, with unlimited budget
Give Your All -> Duelist’s Fervor
Inspirational Leader -> Terran Targeting Systems
Repair Crews -> Adaptive Offense or Point-Blank Shot
If low budget, (try and keep the ones at the bottom)
Drop Fragment of AI Tech (Elite Captain unlock)
Context Is For Kings -> Operative
Repair Crews -> Techie
Self-Modulating Fire -> Point-Blank Shot
A Good Day to Die -> Innocuous
Intelligence Agent Attache -> Beam Barrage
If going full DPS with unlimited budget
Strike From Shadows->Terran Goodbye
Promise of Ferocity ->Heart of Sol
If low budget, (try and keep the ones at the bottom)
Drop Promise of Ferocity (T6X upgrade)
Strike From Shadows -> Improved Command Frequency
Calm Before the Storm -> Unconventional Tactics
Entwined Tactical Matrices -> The Best Defense
Promise of Ferocity was better than Improved Critical Systems on this build but just barely so.
If going full DPS with unlimited budget,
Good luck getting one, but 27 of 47 gives you a chance for CrtH on use of Tac Powers and CrtD on use of Intel powers. Would replace the RSP doff if not using RSP
If low budget
Downgrade the Fabrication Engineer to Rare
Replace 22 of 47 with a Conn Officer for a little CrtH and to reduce Tactical Team cooldown
This ship manages cooldowns via Photonic Storm (Photonic Officer I, Calm Before the Storm and a little extra in readiness skills, plus 2 Krenims).
On an Arbiter, I don't really want to dedicate two of my engineering slots to A2B,nor do I wish to give up the universal seat for science to pick up Photonic Officer II . Nor do I want to double abilities or give up the bulk of my duty officer slots in a Drake/Dragon setup. This allows me to maintain high Aux power (for heals, the Temporal Disentanglement Suite, and general defense) while freeing up duty officers to enhance damage. It's also easy to fly--the only things I need to do are constantly cycle my Tactical and Engineering chains, which I should be doing anyway. I could use Attrition Warfare for engineering abilities, but that's less forgiving unless Threatening Stance is on all the time. Despite having more survivability, this build is not a tank; plus Strategist has a number of damage abilities that would be lost if Threatening Stance was used constantly.
The chosen option syncs my tactical chain up with FAW, and since I am using Entwined Tactical Matrices to keep Fire at Will up all the time, I am not as concerned with dropping Kemocite/Attack Pattern Beta/Torpedo Spread to minimum cooldowns, as syncing them with FAW III is sufficient. Note that I do not even need Calm Before the Storm to get the desired cooldown reduction, but when it is active, it will help lower those tactical powers. Even in the worst case scenario where PO starts its 10 second downtime and no Calm Before the Storm right as my tactical chain is fired, I still have plenty of cooldown reduction to support a 20 second tactical chain. Boimler Effect is not needed either. The graph above does not show the effects of Calm Before the Storm.
With as many abilities and synergizing concepts as this ship employs, an efficient control scheme is essential. There are many ways to set up such a ship, so I don't pretend to assume that my way is superior. It works for me, especially with my background in RTS and MOBA games, where pushing many different keys quickly is essential:
Tactical chain: (Spacebar) Fire At Will, Attack Pattern Beta, Kemocite-Laced Weaponry, Photonic Officer, Override Subsystem Safeties, Tactical Team, Auxiliary to Structural and Energy Amplifiers. This is a basic tactical ability combination with Go Down Fighting and Attack Pattern Alpha included. Activate this roughly every 20 seconds whenever Fire At Will is available.
Engineering chain: (3 key) Emergency Power to Engines, Emergency Power to Weapons, Tactical Team, Auxiliary to Structural. These abilities help boost power to the weapons and engines subsystems, as well as power Emergency Weapon Cycle. I activate these as much as possible. They are de-synced from the Tactical chain, so they are on separate keys. Vulnerability Assessment Sweep is here since its cooldown is low with Intelligence Agent Attache.
Torpedo combo: (1 key) Torpedo Spread II; Fire Torpedo. Manual keybind to activate torpedoes. I generally leave the torpedo auto-firing, but sometimes STO is slow to fire the torpedo even when it's off cooldown and the spread is armed. I fire this every 10 seconds after FAW 3 is triggered to get my FAW from Entwined Tactical Matrices.
Long cooldown buff combo (2 key) Override Subsystem Safeties, Energy Amplifier, D.O.M.I.N.O, Tactical Fleet, Intel Fleet, and Kobyashi Maru. Activate these abilities together to generate massive spike damage. In a standard left-to-right Infected: Conduit Advanced (ISA) run, I will activate these at the left generator, and then most of them are up again by the right Nanite-sphere/Gateway fight. Note that Tactical Initiative and the D.O.M.I.N.O active overlap each other but my cooldowns are already covered sufficiently.
Heals (4 key) Auxiliary to Structural III, Brace for Impact, Hazard Emitters I, and Hull Patch. I don't map ALL of my heals here, preferring to activate Ablative Hazard Shielding, Bio-Molecular Shield Generator, Sensor Interference Platform, Diversionary Tactics, and Reverse Shield Polarity manually.
I start with basic combos for the first 3 cubes. In an ISE run, I will use all of my longer cooldown buffs in the first fight, but not ISA. Trigger Evasive Maneuvers to fly over to the left transformer and fire off all major abilities while at 1/4 impulse or stopped within 2 km of the transformer. FAW should take care of most targets. Once 2-3 of the generators are down, target the transformer with Focused Frenzy and Fire On My Mark. I rotate to face inward toward the gate. When the transformer is low health, fly towards the ball of spheres and give them a torpedo spread and cycle or two of firing. Once they start thinning out, Evasive Maneuvers again (reset due to Emergency Power to Engines) and head to the right side. Rinse and repeat, then Evasive Maneuvers to fly between the Tactical Cube and Gateway. Some clever angling will keep the torpedo/DBB firing as well as the aft beams. Make sure to flank the Tactical Cube. Frenzy and Fire On My Mark should be available here again. Lastly, don't forget to summon your Delta Alliance Beacon/Nimbus Pirates/Beacon of Kahless, etc. In an average ISE run, I can get two off: one at left transformer and one at the end.
The importance of Crit and Flanking cannot be oversold. I saw significant increases in DPS from boosting Crit in doffs and traits. On my record runs, my weapons were parsing between 60-65% with roughly 30% flank percentage. There are players with better gear and piloting skills than I who've achieved much, much higher percentages, but I will say broadly that when in doubt, add crit. Since flanking includes extra crit chance/severity with Intel, you can't go wrong with flanking either! Look for the downward pointing arrow on your target.
Numbers from record ISE:
Quantum Phase Torpedo: 74.4K total including spread I, spread II, Quantum Phase Transfer and some High Yields from someone else's Concentrate Firepower
Phaser Crafted Omni and beam: 59.9K FAW/2.2K regular = 62.1K total
Wide Angle Dual Beam Bank: 58.6K FAW / 8.3K regular = 66.9K total
Pulse Phaser: 50.6K FAW / 5.2K regular = 55.8K total
Prolonged Beam: 38.6K FAW / 6K regular = 44.6K total
Terran Beam: 35.4K FAW / 6.6K regular = 42K total
Inhibiting Phaser Omni: 34.4K FAW / 5.6K regular = 40K
Concentrate Firepower III: 9.5K (borrowed from another player)
Distributed Targeting: 1.8K (borrowed from another player)
Anti-Time Entanglement Singularity: 1.2K
Delta Beacon: 2.4K
Refracting Tetryon Cascade: 0.9K
Weapon crits were around 70% on average; flank rate between 30 and 40% averaged across weapons
Plenty of ships share enough similarities (5/3 weapons with Intel, 5 Tactical, 4 Engineering, 2 science seats) that this build is fairly portable. The Elachi Qulash Frigate could run this build seamlessly as could the Jem'Hadar Light Battlecruiser or the Bozeman Intel Frigate. The Inquiry, Legendary D7, and Vaadwaur Juggernaut would do better to look at my own Inquiry build due to their Miracle Worker seating, but the Legendary Kelvin Constitution and Legendary Galaxy could easily run this setup. Four other expensive ships that are possibilities: the Na'Qjej Intel Battlecruiser, Mirror Constitution (take Attack Pattern Beta III over I), Na'kuhl Acheros, and Son'a Intel Battlecruiser.