U.S.S. Aldrin

Gagarin (Fleet Shepard) Miracle Worker Battlecruiser

Build Overview and Focus

Last Updated February 2024

Before the arrival of the Lexington, the Gagarin was one of the top-recommended C-store ship purchases. It is an excellent energy DPS platform and comes with an incredibly versatile trait, so the reasoning was obvious. One lesser appreciated strength of the Gagarin is its ability to run the Exceed Rated Limits energy weapon ability. While most people would likely stick with beams or cannons on it, I've chosen a different route and harnessing ERL to its maximum potential. 

Platform Selection 

In terms of selection, offensive energy weapon builds achieve maximum DPS when using fore-only weapons like Dual Heavy/Dual Cannons or Dual Beam Banks. Since I'm using a mix of cannons, dual beam banks, and beam arrays, having five fore weapons was important for the platform. Having the Miracle Worker specialization, which has two powerful abilities (Narrow Sensor Bands, Mixed Armaments Synergy) for energy builds was very helpful. Lastly, full-spec Miracle Worker ships get an additional console slot, which on energy builds goes to another tactical console. Not only that, but since I wanted to use Exceed Rated Limits, I really needed that Commander Miracle Worker to fully support the firing mode. The Gagarin meets all the above criteria, making it a natural choice for such a build. 

Flavor/Theme Choices


Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin was the second human to set foot on Earth’s moon. He was a noted pilot and out of the original Apollo 11 crew, had a combat record that included shooting down two enemy aircraft. In keeping with the naming conventions of the Gagarin-class and Fleet Shepard-class battlecruisers that follows Earth’s earliest space pioneers, the U.S.S. Aldrin honors his legacy as a vessel of both exploration, engineering, and defense.  

Meta Analysis

Budget Analysis

Using the EZRA rubric, this build would cost 568 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.

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

Change History

Build Breakdown

This is pretty unsurprising for an energy build, but it has increased allocation in theme since Exceed Rated Limits is pretty far off of the meta. There are some supportive concepts here as well as survivability and a single torpedo, but it's mostly about the energy DPS.


Skill Unlocks


This ship is a classic energy + 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. 


Starship Weapons


This ship is result of a previous exploration that Tilor and I did into the Exceed Rated Limits ability (ERL). For those of you unfamiliar with this ability, it dramatically increases the firing speed of all energy weapons and removes their power drain, but in turn there is a power drain to all systems and some minor hull damage over the duration. Before the introduction of the Vanguard Specialists trait, there was no way to extend ERL's duration, so I cycled it with Fire at Will (FAW) via the Entwined Tactical Matrices trait (ETM). I also used to employ [Over] beams which had a chance of a 6-second version of Beam Overload I that could have filled gaps between ERL and FAW. With the advent (and my acquisition of) Vanguard Specialists, I've now fully moved this build over to a mixed cannon-and-beam loadout that uses just Exceed Rated Limits. 

Some builds are just meant to be fun and if you can smash your enemies at the same time, all the better. This is one of those. My goal was to do something different, and that something was Exceed Rated Limits. With adding Vanguard Specialists, the DPS on this build has increased appreciably. Note that recent research has indicated that you should NOT use the Wide Angle Heavy Dual Beam Bank under Exceed Rated Limits or Reroute Reserves to Weapons since those hastes do not affect that weapon. Analysis in TRINITY indicates that it's not working keeping the dual heavy beam bank if it doesn't benefit from the haste, even for the 20% cat2 damage.

On the use of a Torpedo Launcher: Use of a torpedo launcher is attractive to me first and foremost from a flavor perspective. Most "hero" ships in Star Trek used both energy weapons and a torpedo. Previously I was using the Quantum Phase torpedo on this, but after learning that the dual beam bank from the Discovery Legends reputation does not benefit from ERL, I wanted to still keep the Lorca's Ambition 2-piece. Thus, I put the Dark Matter Torpedo back on to retain the two piece and also dropped the Quantum Phase Converter, though that's still a good budget option. 

On the Cutting Beam versus a Cannon: I use a Cannon turret in the aft to proc Mixed Armaments Synergy reliably and allow me to pilot nose-at-target at all times. Using a torpedo for MAS requires particularly careful timing and is unreliable. I am not huge fan of the Kinetic Cutting Beam as it does not proc MAS nor does it benefit from firing modes. 

Starship Equipment


I'm not using the meta drive train (i.e. Competitive Engines, Discovery 2-piece, Colony Deflector). The Bajor Warp Core serves to offset the power drain to all systems caused by Exceed Rated Limits. I round it out with the standard Colony Deflector; the Competitive Engines are not my favorite and are unneeded.

Starship Consoles

Set Bonuses


Alternate energy types: If you wanted to do this build with another energy flavor besides Phasers, replace the type-specific Tactical consoles and weapons as needed 

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) 

This is going to be rough without The Boimler Effect and you'd probably have to return to 2x A2B with 3 Technicians

Starship Traits

Meta-Focused Tweaks:

Budget Tweaks:

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


If you don't have Improved Critical Systems, there are alternatives.  At that point, I would choose between Piercing Projectiles or Promise of Ferocity.

Reputation Traits

Active Reputation

Duty Officers

Meta-Focused Tweaks:

These are pretty darn good outsider of pricy Liberated Borg duty officers

Budget Tweaks:

 If low budget

Both are cheap/free but provide far less benefit



This ship uses a half Auxiliary to Battery cooldown scheme with The Boimler Effect. The chart shows that I won't hit minimum cooldown without A2B triggering more often; Boimler should help with that. 

Link to CDR sheet for this build

Ship Stats


Keybinds are essential to how I fly this ship. Since my background is in RTS games and MOBAs, I'm very comfortable with using my left hand to both fly and activate keys but for simplicity's sake have reduced this to a single spambar. If I was more acclimated to a gaming mouse with lots of buttons, I could map activations to that as well.


I don't do much prebuffing on ISE aside from Kobayashi Maru. Use Strategic Maneuvering instead of Weapon System Efficiency on an Exceed Rated Limits ship. I hit [spacebar] as I fly in. Next, I hit Evasive Manevers and fly to the left side, keeping the firing mode cycling going. Target the transformer with Fire on My Mark and Focused Frenzy and take out the smaller structures as you fly in. As the generator is about to die, turn and engage the ball of Nanite Spheres, aiming to use Refracting Tetryon Cascade and Diversionary Tactics. I will often use a Reinforcements cooldown here as well if I could not activate Fleet Support earlier. Activate Evasive Maneuvers and fly to the right side, rinse and repeat with as with the left. I try to save my big active heals for this part. As it's dying, I turn back on the gateway and FIRE EVERYTHING!  Then finish off the tac cube and that should be it. Since I am using intelligence, I want to look for flanking angles on the big targets. These are indicated by a little arrow on the targeted enemy's health graphic. When the arrow points DOWN, you're flanking. 

Parse Breakdown

Numbers from record ISE

Weapon crits were in the mid- 90s; flank rate was around 60% averaged across weapons. Team composition for the run was three supports and a support tank alongside this ship in a 5-man run. 


Virtually any ship with Commander Miracle Worker and decent seating could pull it off. The C-store Da Vinci Miracle Worker Escort or the Operations variants of the Miracle Worker Cruisers/Warbirds are candidates, and of course the Terran Lexington would be a favorable platform, dropping Tactical Team to pick up Override Subsystem Safeties. The Ferengi Quark Marauder at the Lockbox tier is another option as is the California Miracle Worker Utility Cruiser, which otherwise has too much Miracle Worker seating, and out of the Legendary ships, the Sovereign are all choices though the latter would be better off sacrificing A2B for Photonic Officer.