A.R.W. Harpe

Legendary Scimitar Intel Dreadnought Warbird

Build Overview and Focus

Last Updated December 2023

This build was conceptualized after the Intelligence Specialization overhaul in the spring of 2022 combined with the introduction of the Vanguard Specialists trait allowing much higher uptime on Surgical Strikes, but due to its high cost in Lobi gear, took the better part of the year to assemble and upgrade. This build leverages Surgical Strikes, which was freshly buffed to be a very strong contender for energy weapon powers, second only to Cannon: Scatter Volley in terms of raw power at maximum rank. You can see a full comparison of various modes done by Jayiie here. It is very much worth noting that Surgical Strikes rank I is not very efficient for the seat, meaning that only full-Intelligence ships (with Commander Intelligence) are viable for this sort of build.

One of the chief advantages of Surgical Strikes in its new state is the relative ease of hitting 100% Critical Chance. The other is its ability to combine the most powerful weapons between cannons, beams, and dual beam banks. The most obvious application of this principle is to use Phasers or Disruptors, combining powerful weapons like the Terran Reputation Beams/Cannons alongside the Dual Heavy Beam Bank from the Discovery Reputation...so of course I am not going to do that. Jay covers that extensively in his Legendary Kelvin Connie and Hydra builds. 

Instead, I'm using Plasma and yes there are synergies. Strap in, this one is spicy.

Platform Selection

If you're using Surgical Strikes, you NEED full Intel (Commander), full stop. Then, since it's still an energy build it's better to have five fore weapons and 5+ tactical or engineering consoles before T6. It'd also be nice to have things like a cloak and a hangar. The Legendary Scimitar fits all of those, has very flexible bridge officer seating, AND comes with the nice ability to run Concentrate Firepower III, which is disproportionately effect at amplifying even a single torpedo. Also, it has the ability to run one of the best standalone hangar pets in the game, Elite Romulan Drone Ships, which don't need fancy carrier-buffing traits to do more damage than the average player's sum-total DPS. It didn't hurt that I already had the ship for torpedo and support builds. Built properly, the Legendary Scimitar is a predator. 


The harpe (pronounced Harp-ee) was a legendary sword that incorporated elements of the curve-bladed sickle as well. A weapon of this type was used by the hero Perseus, provided to him by his divine father Zeus, to slay the monster Medusa as well as the monstrous Typhon. The A.R.W. Harpe exists as a sharp blade for the Khitomer Alliance, with incredible single-target firepower through a variety of weapons. 

Meta Analysis

Budget Analysis

Using the EZRA rubric, this build would cost 577 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.

This is definitely not one of my cheaper builds and leverages the fact that I already had the Legendary Scimitar and earned Lobi from the 2022 Event Campaign. There are some cheaper options, but the Lobi gear is what takes this build to the highest levels.

Change History

Build Focus

This build leans hard into energy DPS. There are plenty of other secondary build emphases that led to choices for survivability or to benefit the torpedo or to add speed, but it's primarily an energy DPS ship. The plasma focus lends itself to some themed considerations.


Skill Unlocks


This ship is a energy weapons + 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.

While Engineering captains can't output the raw DPS of a Tactical Captain, their abilities lend themselves quite well to energy DPS, and you're not really a glass cannon when you have doubled Miraculous Repairs. Since I'm also tanking on this toon, it makes it rather easy mode. Tacticals have more DPS, Engineers survive longer, and I'm not building for glass cannon supported run meta. 


Starship Weapons


There's lots to discuss here. This one is spicy.

Plasma: There are three specific interactions that drove my choice of Plasma over Phaser, which is perhaps the more obvious choice given the number of set weapons that double-dip on beam/cannon flavor for Phasers. 

No Lorca's Ambition 2-piece: This one was a surprise even to me, as there's no other reputation set that has been so ubiquitous. I've been placing the Lorca's Ambition 2-piece on pretty much every DPS build for the past three years. However, the strength of that set draws significantly from the console's CrtH boost, which with Surgical Strikes ends up being wasted. That said, replacing the Custom Fire Controls with another Exploiter was not a DPS gain by itself. However, after some experiments with Call Emergency Artillery I left me unimpressed, I slotted Concentrate Firepower instead and everything fell into place. I was already using the Heavy Bio-Molecular Plasma Turret from the 8472 reputation, so adding the Enhanced Bio-Molecular Torpedo meant that another Exploiter + 7.5% bonus plasma damage from the Counter Command 2-piece was on the table and THAT combination of another Exploiter, a stronger torpedo, and the Counter Command 2-piece was stronger than the Lorca's Ambition console + torpedo. 

No Romulan Beam Array: I originally had this slotted, but mathematically Quad Cannons were significantly stronger and I wasn't suffering from power issues. Quad Cannons are also pretty easy to acquire at just 120K dilithium (upgrading, of course, is a different matter).

Starship Equipment


Drive Train: The popular meta would involve maybe a fleet core or more than likely a second piece of Stamets-Tilly (typically the core) for the regen.

Starship Consoles

Set Bonuses


If you want to see what a Surgical Strikes build looks like with Phasers, go check out Jay's Legendary Kelvin Timeline Connie.

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:

Budget Tweaks:


Vaulting Ambition was barely better than Promise of Ferocity or ICS by about 1% final DPS, assuming a 15% uptime on Vaulting Ambition. If I needed to cut cost to stay below budget, it'd be an easy change to make.

Reputation Traits

Active Reputation

Duty Officers

Meta-Focused Tweaks:

Budget Tweaks:

 If low budget



This ship uses Photonic Officer with the 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 (10 over a 15 second rotation), there's an 92% chance or higher of at least 1 activation of the trait during a rotation.


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 don't map ALL of my abilities. Everything else is activated manually, including heals. I use dedicated heal keybinds on other ships, but I decided to simplify it for this ship. The below image is what abilities I leave on visible trays:


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. If I am soloing a side, target the smaller generators before the transformer.  Once 2-3 of the generators and cube are down, target the transformer with Focused Frenzy. I rotate to face inward toward the gate. When the transformer is low health, fly past the ball of spheres with Evasive Maneuvers again (reset due to Emergency Power to Engines) and head to the right side. Rinse and repeat, then Evasive Maneuvers again to fly between the Tactical Cube and Gateway.. Make sure to flank the Gateway Tactical Cube. Frenzy  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 runs, my weapons were parsing at 100% with roughly 40% flank percentage. 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. 

Parse Breakdown

Numbers from record ISE: 

Weapon crit rate was 100% CrtH for all weapons under Surgical Strikes. Flanking percentage was also very high, around 60-75%. The team composition for this run was 1 tank, 3 supports, and this ship.


To properly port this ship, the best matches will be ships with 5/3 weapons with full Commander Intel. At the C-store level, that could include the Cardassian Detapa Intel Escort, as well as the Ghemor Intel Flight Deck Carrier, which would have to drop the Concentrate Firepower for another ensign universal or intel power. My suggestion would be Intelligence Team or Transfer Shield Strength for survivability, or else a debuff like Let It Go. This same adaptation could also be applied to the Bozeman Intel Frigate, though you could take the LtCmdr Science and use Gravity Well instead. Moving into the Lobi tier, the Son'a Intel Battlecruiser could use the same adaptation (do NOT slot Concentrate Firepower II!), while at the Lockbox level the Na'Qjej Intel Battlecruiser picks up another Tactical slot, which I'd probably downgrade Torpedo Spread to rank I and drop Distributed Targeting to take either Science seating with Destabilizing Resonance Beam and Structural Analysis for the debuffs. The Vengeance is harder to adapt; if you were so convinced to do so, drop Engineering Team and roll with the LtCmdr Universal as science, picking up Science Team or Structural Analysis and Gravity Well. 

There are also a number of other Legendary ships that can closely replicate this setup. The Legendary Galaxy can run this exact same boff layout, as can the Legendary T'Liss. The Legendary Kelvin Connie can do almost the same, but trades Concentrate Firepower for Let It Go.