U.S.S. Perihelion

Fleet Nova Pilot Scout Ship

Build Overview and Focus

Last Updated February 2024

With the release of the T6 Nova, I wanted to make an exotic build that would capitalize on the extreme mobility of Pilot ships as well as leverage the Synthetic Good Fortune trait. Ultimately that led to a build focused on PBAOEs that I had previously shunned/ignored in favor of better concepts. The fact is, they work out pretty well when you leverage them properly, but that did also result in a build that intentionally gets close to enemies, drops its shields, and chucks destructible torpedoes, which can be a dangerous combination. That's what Continuity is for, right? This build is great if you like to live (and fly) dangerously while still putting out a ton of damage. It also excels at flying Counterpoint Elite speed runs, where we can earn over 1000 marks during Marks weekend through relentless focus on the objectives. 

Platform Selection

In terms of ships capable of maximum exotic potential, on top of the standard entry-level requirements like a Commander Science seat and a secondary deflector, having flexible bridge officer layouts that don't force Engineering or Tactical seating are highly preferable to maximize science abilities. Scout ships, with their highly-flexible seating, are thus excellent platforms. I thus then chose to leverage the Equinox in particular for the pilot seating specifically for a highly-maneuverable dangerous ship that would have to get in, drop PBAOEs, and get out, as well as the Synthetic Good Fortune trait. 

Why an Engineer?

The short version is that I already had the build set up on an Engineer and the Iktomi and Ceaseless Momentum are expensive. Besides that, as a high-parsing Exotic build, it’s a strong counterargument to the idea that engineers can’t do DPS/can’t do sci builds effectively. (Note that effective is not the same as optimal; Tac Alien still wins that argument). At first it was kind of a happy accident, now it's here to prove a point: Engineers can still do silly-high DPS with Exotics. It's the same reason why I don't fly the Verne/Sui'Mor, which have a theoretically higher ceiling. 

The Engineer is the weakest for exotic builds by about 5-10% final DPS at this level of performance. Tactical captains using exotic builds benefit from Tactical Fleet, Fire On My Mark, and Attack Pattern Alpha, and Go Down Fighting. Science captains benefit from Scattering Field, Science Fleet, and Sensor Scan as well as the utility of Subnucleonic Beam. In contrast, the Engineer has only one useful offensive ability for an exotic build - EPS Power Transfer. Nadion Inversion and Intrusive Energy Redirection are largely wasted on an exotic build (although the latter procs Drain Infection). The Engineering captain’s other abilities are largely focused around durability. 

I have tried to make up for the lack of offensive captain powers by making it a glass cannon, with only two weak bridge officer heals, plus the captain powers and a couple of personal traits for healing/survivability. Thus, all of the console slots are devoted to offensive purposes. Given the results on this ship exceed any other build I've done, I don’t miss the Tac/Sci career powers. If someone wants to expand on this concept using a Tac, be my guest.

Flavor/Theme Choices


The perihelion is the point of a body's orbit where it is the closest to the sun, from "peri" (near) and "helios" (sun) in Greek. Flying close to the heat is how this ship is built, employing four different point-blank area of effect (PBAOE) bridge officer abilities, captain abilities, and a console active  to deliver significant damage through the power of exotics. Given that and multiple potential abilities that can self-damage, mastering this ship can definitely lead to flying too close to the sun! 

Meta Analysis

Budget Analysis

Using the EZRA rubric, this build would cost 814 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.

Change History

Build Focus

This ship has more thematic/flavor in it due to its focus on Pilot and PBAOE abilities but still emphasizes Exotic damage while making some concessions to other build factors like survivability and agility.


Skill Unlocks



Starship Weapons


This ship’s primary role is Exotic DPS using bridge officer powers, exotic torpedoes, and other non-weapon effects. The primary offensive statistics for this ship are the Exotic Particle Generators skill (EPG), Critical Chance (CrtH), Critical Severity (CrtD), and Auxiliary power (Aux), +Exotic, Damage Resistance Reduction (DRR), and +Bonus Exotic Damage. Secondary offensive statistics are Control Expertise (CtrlX) and +Projectile Damage as well as Weapon Amplification, since that skill boosts Exotic Critical Severity through use of the Imperial Rift 2-piece. 

For set bonuses, the Protonic Arsenal 2-piece brings excellent crit, so that’s a no-brainer to slot the Proton Weapon. Same with the Dark Matter Torpedo combined with its dual beam bank, which saves me a console slot. CrtH from the Synthetic Good Fortune starship trait makes up for missing the console. The Advanced Inhibiting Weapon has a guaranteed -10 damage resistance rating effect on any target slower than you--basically all the important ones. 

Starship Equipment


Drive Train: The Imperial Rift 2-piece is best-in-slot for exotic builds. The 4-piece is competitive, but not quite as good IMO unless you can guarantee a good use of the active. If it's not available, use the Temporal 2-piece instead. The Tholian Warp Core is likewise very powerful. If you're fond of the Prevailing (Competitive) Engines, drop the core for the Imperial Rift/Temporal one. 

Starship Consoles

Set Bonuses


Exotic Subflavors: In my opinion, there are 4 main flavors in the Exotic space right now. All of them are pretty similar overall and all can be combined to a certain extent, but there are subtle differences:

Alternate Exotic types: 

Please see my Dranuur for an anomaly and console-focused ship with Temporal or my Damar for a build that leans harder on TacSci with Intel, losing some console capability. Repeated testing has shown that the DSD/SIA focus is stronger but if you like Tac-Sci, both are very viable up to and above 700K DPS. Alternately, please see Tilor's Iktomi for an example of a very clicky-focused ship.

Meta-Focused Tweaks:

Budget Tweaks:

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:

These are very solid traits but Strike From Shadows could be easily swapped for something else with more punch.

Budget Tweaks:

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


I considered fitting Cold-hearted on here, but it will be a little slow to stack with only 2 energy weapons that fire in the fore arc. Also, there were plenty of other traits I wanted to fit. I am explicitly using traits and abilities to build up Synthetic Good Fortune so it was essential for this build.

Reputation Traits

Active Reputation

Duty Officers


Charged Particle Burst doff: This doff typically hits for 1-2K. That's about what I see with Aftershock Gravity Wells, so it's kind of a toss-up. I chose to use this doff for flavor reasons, but an Aftershock Gravity Well doff is fine too.

Meta-Focused Tweaks:

These are about as good as it gets. My appreciation goes out to both individuals who gifted me Liberated Borg doffs that I would not have had otherwise. 

Budget Tweaks:

 If low budget



This ship uses Improved Photonic Officer as its primary cooldown mechanism. There's a few seconds of bleedover for a few powers, but that's hardly a large concern. Don't need Boimler Effect or anything else. If Improved Photonic Officer is too expensive, consider picking up Torpedo Astrometric Synergy and the Chrono Capacitor Array trait, dropping Omega Kinetic Shearing and Particle Generator Amplifier


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:

I also bind "Fire all weapons" to right mouse.

Everything else is manually triggered. 



Pre-buff the spambar prior to countdown (in PUGs) or prior to launch call (premade). Hit the first group with basic Exotic combo, leading with Chronometric Inversion Field and staggering your cooldowns on anomalies every 2 seconds. On ISE, use EPS Power Transfer -> Genesis Seed, Plasma Storm, and big buffs here as well. Next, hit Evasive Maneuvers and fly to the left side, using any remaining big buffs. Target the generator with Tyken's Rift and whatever other exotic powers are available along with another torpedo spread and the rest of the consoles: Dark Matter Anomaly, Delphic Tear, Neutronic Eddy Generator, along with Relocate Mines. Save GW/SSV. As the generator is about to die, turn and engage the ball of Nanite Spheres with a second Grav Well on a longer run. On a shorter run, simply bypass the spheres and fly to the right side. Can use a Reinforcements cooldown here as well. In general, Delta > Nimbus.

In particular, the PBAOEs and Tractor Beam need to be used carefully for the appropriate distances:

Activate Evasive Maneuvers and Deuterium and fly to the right side, rinse and repeat with as with the left. Save big active heals for this part in iSA because PUG teams don't always fly over to right generator quickly. As it's dying, turn back on the gateway. Evasive Maneuvers might be available here as well to go even faster. Activate Quantum Singularity Manipulation and FIRE EVERYTHING! Close to 5 km and drop the Anti-time bubble and your third GW (second on a fast run) with the boost from Quantum Singularity Manipulation. Another Relocate Mines should be used here to pull in the mines. With any luck, the 400+ CtrlX Grav Well will also suck in the remaining spheres. All the universal console clickies should be available here as well. Finish off the tac cube and that should be it. On a slower run, I can often get a third round of big buffs and console actives on the gate or tac cube if I use them again on right transformer.


Don't prebuff too much. Drop your opening salvo with every long cooldown buff on one of the first Tac Cubes with the goal being to pull the spheres in as well. Use the 5 minute powers here. Stay close to your tank and be prepared to drop a Bio-Molecular Shield Generator to help them out if needed. Taking down the individual tac cubes farther back in the formation might take a little longer. Another trick to be careful of is to avoid triggering both DRB and Structural Analysis at the same time/target since the Deteriorating Secondary Deflector doesn't stack. The -DRR is good and does stack between them, but the DSD is so powerful that we want to spread that debuff out  further. Once the queen's guards are down move to the large dreadnoughts, focusing fire with your team. Console actives are likely coming back at this time so use as available. Chronometric Inversion Field is best saved in case one of the pickles activates Feedback Pulse; ditto with the queen though a premade team should have a science captain to cleanse it. Since your damage doesn't really fall off with distance, staying more than 6 km from the queen will prevent deaths to Aceton Field. Make sure you're using Relocate Mines on large, healthy targets as it's available as well as your fleet summons and batteries!

Parse Breakdown

Numbers from record ISE:

Of these items, Very Cold In Space, DRB, Photonic Shockwave, Tractor Beam, Rapid-Emitting Armaments, Dragonsblood Flame Reactor, the torpedoes, Vortex Probe, Delphic Tear, and apparently Spore-Infused Anomalies can flank. This run had another player with Concentrate Firepower III, which added appreciable damage to torpedoes and torpedo-based effects with the tradeoff of potentially killing myself with destructible torpedoes. The team composition for this run was this ship, 2 supports, and 1 support tank. 


There are plenty of ships that can run this setup - if you're willing to drop Fly Her Apart. Since the whole theme of this build is to use Pilot+Science with Synthetic Good Fortune and a large number of PBAOE effects, though, that greatly reduces its portability. If you wanted to drop Fly Her Apart, you'd need to pick up either another Control effect, of which there are few damaging options left in Science that don't conflict with Tractor Beam. The Mirror Crossfield could use downrank Fly Her Apart instead, but be aware that Temporal powers do not stack Synthetic Good Fortune. Keeping Fly Her Apart, the best options are either the Risian Weather Control Vessel or the Vulcan Experimental Scout Ship. The former ship will require you to drop a Science power, likely Subspace Vortex, for a tactical power, which I suppose goes to Kemocite or Attack Pattern Beta.