U.S.S. Benjamin Davis

Fleet Malachowski Multi-Mission Command Cruiser

Build Overview and Focus

Last Updated December 2022

Support builds in STO are not generally healers but rather buff/debuff ships designed to help teammates reach new DPS thresholds. Support builds by their very nature are not intended to be DPS machines in their own right and are typically geared for Elite content only; Advanced is too easy/fast for a support build to really shine. Supports and tanks have this in common; it's not that they can't function on Normal or Advanced, but they only truly serve a needed purpose on Elite.

 In combination with a tank (often with supportive aspects of the build), supports are often what allows the super high-end DPSers to achieve new heights, as once you get above 300K DPS, team composition really starts mattering, and having a good support will frequently make the difference between an average DPS parse and a record-breaking one. This particular ship is geared towards buffing allied projectile/kinetic and EPG builds as both types have a fair amount of common aspects that are influenced by the ally buffs and enemy debuffs that this ship brings to the table. 

Some would contend that support DPS needs to be much lower for a true high-end support. That statement is correct, but should be qualified. Since "DPS" stands for damage per second, the support build's own preferred DPS will depend on how strong are the DPS builds it's supporting. If you're supporting players less than 400K or 500K, then it's to their benefit to bring enough DPS to accelerate the parsed run. Bringing a 75K or 100K support build to a run filled with 150-300K players will not increase their DPS substantially, despite the buffs and debuffs offered because the map simply takes too long to complete. To that end, my support builds are designed to be:

Lastly, supports cannot salvage poor builds or poor piloting. Support builds make good builds and good pilots look great.  The record-breaking builds at the highest levels of the DPS League are made possible by having really strong support builds amplifying their performance further. Support is a selfless, team-centric build type that succeeds from carrying others to new heights, but they still have to put in the work to make a competent build and fly it well. Rejoice when your teammates achieve even greater success and celebrate having a part in it.

We measure supports in two other methods besides DPS: the maximum percentage of debuff (% DB), where the parse measures how much an enemy's resistance was reduced based on the initial hit, and the number of personal bests assisted with for allies (PBA).

Platform Selection

I wanted a full Command ship to give allies buffs with Inspiration abilities. I also sought a hangar for ally-buffing pets as well as enough science seating to support at least Gravity Well I. Having enough Engineering seating to also support 2x Emergency Power abilities (Weapons, Engines) as well as Auxiliary to Battery for Cold-hearted was critical as well. Lastly, I wanted a healthy dose of tactical seating. Out of those selection criteria, the Clarke/Malachowski fit the bill the best, and also provided a useful console for my torpedo builds on this same character while ALSO providing a supportive starship trait. Yay, synergy!


General Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. was the commander of the famed Tuskeegee Airmen of the 332nd Fighter Group, African-American pilots who broke racial barriers and excelled in combat during World War II. Flying red-tailed fighters on a variety of missions, they tallied an impressive combat record, particularly on bomber escort missions. Davis himself flew sixty-seven missions and continued to serve in the Air Force after the war with a long and distinguished career, which included helping to racially integrate the Air Force and flying jet fighters in the Korean War. The U.S.S. Benjamin Davis honors his legacy by providing a potent support for allied ships, particularly torpedo "bombers" while maintaining self-sufficiency and combat capability even against considerable odds, as well as paint scheme that matches the red-tailed fighters of the 332nd Fighter Group. 

Meta Analysis

Budget Analysis

If the cost looks daunting, don't worry! Lower-budget alternatives are provided below.

Change History

Build Focus

This build emphasizes supportive concepts, but also splashes into a variety of other spaces. It was hard for me to consider it having that much energy DPS but it is a pretty capable ship in its own right and I can't claim that a 287K DPS ship only has a small allocation in energy DPS.


Skill Unlocks


Temporal Operative is useful for Entropic Rider and Atrophied Defenses as well as Phasic Artillery and Continuity. The passive EPG is nice as well. Intelligence primary allows the team-wide Intelligence Fleet active ability.


Starship Weapons


Torpedoes: Might as well start with the controversial one. "No torpedoes on nannies!!11" If we had a comments section, this would be likely the first one. Let's talk about why that's the conventional wisdom. The highest-end ISE runs want to feed a single DPS player all the Concentrate Firepower procs possible to maximize DPS from torpedoes, so nobody else will run torpedoes (or hangar pets) in a truly-coordinated run. That's the prevailing wisdom. 

That said, if you would rather build a support without a torpedo so as to better donate Concentrate Firepower, unslot the torpedo, Resonating Payload Modification (use Into the Breach instead), Omega Kinetic Shearing (Magnified Firepower is probably the replacement), and Entwined Tactical Matrices (Improved Critical Systems, Unconventional Tactics, or Electrified Anomalies on the cheap, Superior Area Denial/Jubilant Cadence on the expensive),  and deal with the loss of uptime on Fire at Will. The torpedo spread could be replaced with a second copy of it to handle that problem.

Plasma: If I didn't have the Altamid Omni, Polaron or Phaser would be an easy replacement, with using both the Advanced Gamma Inhibiting Turret / Omni since they stack. Pulse Phasers serve a similar role as the Altamid beams and would also benefit more from the Deconstructive Resonance Emitter I'm using. If Phaser, adjust tactical consoles to the appropriate flavor.

Starship Equipment


Drive Train: The Gamma 4-piece is nothing special, but the 3-piece gives team-wide 10% Kinetic damage while retaining the Tilly Shield for its damage to shields. 

If you can't get Elite Alliance Fighter Squadrons, Elite Class C Shuttles unlocked via C-store ships like the Earhart or Buran work just fine, as do the Mirror Shuttles from the Lexington.

Starship Consoles

Set Bonuses


Alternate energy types:  See the weapons section. 

If only supporting kinetic/projectile builds: Go for something like Delphic Tear Generator (Stacking -DRR effect, Exchange) or Temporal Destabilization Matrix (25% increase to damage to shields, T4 fed ship and -25 Energy DRR) instead.

Consoles: The Tachyon Net Drones from the Bozeman are REALLY good and there's an argument to be made for slapping them onto pretty much any kind of build. Support, tank, energy, projectile, maybe even exotic. It's hard to pick apart the active in the parser but if you tally up all the pieces, it hits really hard and also takes enemy shields offline. 

Meta-Focused Tweaks:

Budget Tweaks:

If low budget, 

Bridge Officers

Meta Notes


Personal Traits

Meta-Focused Tweaks:

Budget Tweaks:

If low budget, (try and keep the ones at the bottom)

Starship Traits

Meta-Focused Tweaks:

Budget Tweaks:

If low budget, (try and keep the ones at the bottom)

I don't think you can make this work without  Entwined Tactical Matrices


Reputation Traits

Active Reputation

Duty Officers

Meta-Focused Tweaks:

Budget Tweaks:



This ship uses Auxiliary to Battery with 2 Technicians and Boimler Effect as its primary cooldown mechanism. As evidenced from the chart above, without Boimler Effect triggering, this build will not have most of its powers on global cooldown. Thankfully, with a high number of short rotation powers (7 over a 10-15 second rotation), there's an 92% chance or higher of at least 1 activation of the trait during a rotation when using all of the bridge officer powers initially. 


Ship Stats


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.

Everything else is activated manually. Frequently I will activate the various debuff consoles and exotics manually. 


ISA Piloting Tips

I start off pre-buffing my spambar prior to countdown (in PUGs) or prior to launch call (premade). There's a couple of differences based on whether or not you have an Exotic build on the run. If not, I hit the first group with Grav Well (GW) and most debuff consoles. I save the High Energy Communications Network since all pets likely aren't out yet. I might save Interphasic or Approaching Agony if everything is dying too quickly. If there is an Exotic build, then save your GW for left transformer. On ISA, I don't bother using Concentrate Firepower or your debuff consoles here here. Next, I hit Evasive Maneuvers and fly to the left side, activating my big buffs. I shoot the nearest generator on the way in and try to line up so the 2 far-side generators are hit by torpedo spreads and Fire at Will. I also usually activate my Delta Reinforcements beacon here. I then lock onto the transformer with Concentrate Firepower and the rest of the debuff consoles; Tac ult here. Then I turn onto the sphere/probe cloud. As the generator is about to die, I turn and engage the ball of Nanite Spheres with a quick Gravity Well on a slow run with an Exotic build and otherwise ignore them if it's a fast run or if there's no Exotic build. I don't bother fighting them, it's more important to I zip over to the other side. Activate Evasive Maneuvers and fly to the right side, rinse and repeat with as with the left. If no EPG build, don't use Gravity Well here. If you do have one, use your smaller Gravity Well here. I try to save my big active heals for this part because PUG teams don't always fly over to right generator quickly. As it's dying, I turn back on the gateway. Activate Quantum Singularity Manipulation and FIRE EVERYTHING! A second (or third) Gravity Well should be available here and drop any debuff consoles remaining. Of note, closing to 5 km and dropping the Anti-time bubble is quite good with the boost from Quantum Singularity Manipulation. With any luck, the 400 CtrlX Grav Well will also suck in the remaining spheres for tons of damage. Concentrate Firepower on the gateway helps bring it down quickly, then it's rinse and repeat on the cube. Be ready to drop any defensive cooldowns like Protomatter or Bio-molecular Shield Generator if your team needs help. Concentrate Firepower and debuff consoles again on the Tac Cube when available. If another reinforcements calldown is available, use it here.

ISE Piloting Tips

Essentially the same as ISA, with a couple of modifications. Concentrate Firepower should be used on the first Tac cube along with most Tactical captain powers since the initial encounter can make or break the run. Since we're playing for the team, it's a balance  between firing on peripheral structures and ships to clean them up versus targeting the big structures for debuffs. I tend to target the big stuff like transformers first, dump consoles/debuff powers, and then switch to secondary smaller targets and trust that the AOE from Scatter Volley splashes on-hit debuffs on the transformer. Toss in all console actives too to help debuff the team. Jump across to the right side; again fire a Gravity Well to pin them there and cross over to the right transformer. It's important to have your Gravity Well available for Gateway so don't fire it at right side. Ideally you chain that with DRB as well. Typical Frenzy targets are either Tac Cube or else Left Generator if the tac cube goes down too quickly and either Gateway or Tac Cube depending on speed of the run.  

Parse Breakdown

Numbers are from record ISE.

You might think that 287K is a little high for a support and you'd probably be correct for a truly high-end build. That said, I still supported an ally from 494K to 571K on that run, so if you're boosting players below 500K, the extra DPS speeding up the run can be helpful. Also, that run was pretty fluky in that usually I parse between 200 and 250K. However, to better support for a high-end DPS run, it's relatively easy to lower your DPS without changing the build to handle other maps on Elite.

Without touching the build aside from the power levels, we've dropped 35K to get to 250K, but if that's still too much selfish DPS, consider 1) not upgrading your weapons to Epic and 2) replacing the remaining tactical consoles with universal debuff-oriented consoles before really taking it apart.


My criteria for this ship was it was to be a full command ship (for Inspiration abilities) with a hangar and LtCmdr Science to support Gravity Well. While conventional wisdom for min-maxed support builds is that Gravity Well III is essential for maximum radius/pull, recent research has shown that at 332 CtrlX, the difference between a Gravity Well I and a Gravity Well III is 7.98 vs 10.64km. That's significant, but only truly matters if you're supporting projectile builds using small AOE torpedoes and Isolytic Tears.  The Fleet Hiawatha would be a substitute, but you will have to give up Emergency Power to Weapons or Let It Go in favor of another science ability instead and of course drop some weapons to pick up another bay of Elite Alliance Fighter Squadrons.

If you're okay with those relaxed criteria, here are some other options: the Geneva Science Command Battlecruiser or its cross-faction equivalents fit the bill but has more forced Engineering seating. You'd have to give up Distributed Targeting for a weaker ability like Endothermic Inhibitor Beam or Overwhelm Emitters. It also lacks Weapon System Efficiency, though that's less important if not supporting energy builds. The Legendary Verity Command Dreadnought Cruiser is a 1-to-1 match for this build. The Fleet Cardenas/Buran or cross-faction equivalents would run into the same problem as the Geneva but otherwise matches closely. On the more expensive end, the Dhailkhina Command Strike Wing Warbird trades a pair of weapons for an experimental weapon and moves the Attack Pattern Beta to III while A2B goes down to II. Lastly, the Voth Rampart could be used for this build with little change.