U.S.S. Aquila

Terran Eagle Pilot Raider

Build Overview and Focus

Last Updated March 2023

The release of the Eagle and its Covert Warhead Module console that reduces the torpedo global cooldown to 0.5 seconds on ships with Pilot Maneuvers sharply tilted the meta in favor of torpedo boats with Cmdr Pilot seating, of which the Eagle is one. It's also the only ship in the game that has Cmdr Pilot and LtCmdr Command for Concentrate Firepower III. This ship is an absolute DPS monster and is the first STOBETTER ship to break the 1M DPS threshold as well as the current record holder. 

With its Enhanced Battle Cloak, I could have chosen to build this in stealth style, utilizing mines and weapons that can be deployed from Cloak, but that really works better on a Romulan character to prolong the Ambush bonus. I went more conventional and used a single aft energy weapon, mostly ignoring the cloak as well as mines since I couldn't fit Dispersal Pattern Beta or more than 1 launcher easily.

Flavor/Theme Choices


Namesake

The term Aquila comes from the Latin for Eagle and was the sacred animal of Zeus/Jupiter, some times depicted as carrying his thunderbolts. It was also used to refer to the standard of a Roman legion. This ship, a speedy raider with terrifying power in its torpedo launchers, represents the king of birds and its mythological namesake as well. 

Meta Analysis

Budget Analysis

Using the EZRA rubric, this build would cost 720.60 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 Breakdown

This ship emphasizes projectile damage and is very fast with Pilot Maneuvers and Fly Her Apart III. It's not completely squishy and has a few thematic considerations


Skills

Skill Unlocks

Notes


Temporal Operative is useful for Entropic Rider and Atrophied Defenses as well as Phasic Artillery and Continuity. The passive EPG is nice as well for feeding Subspatial Warheads. Intel is an option and I use that on my Kinetic Scimitar, but I like the safety in Temporal as well as the lessened piloting need since flanking is not a consideration with Temporal. 

Build

Starship Weapons

Notes

Starship Equipment

Notes:

The Adapted M.A.C.O set is underrated by many torpedo drivers, but if you don't need/want the Competitive Engines, then it's a solid option. If the Competitive (Prevailing) engines are desired, then I would use the Tilly Shield (Discovery Legends reputation), possibly adding the warp core from that set as well. 

Starship Consoles

Set Bonuses

Notes: 

For beams or cannons, energy type and subtype doesn't matter all that much and an astounding number of keystrokes have been spent asking whether Phaser or Disruptor is better, should I fill up with Spiral Wave Disruptors or Sensor-Linked, etc. when difference between them until one starts hard-core chasing numbers is minimal. That is NOT the case with torpedoes, where I will say that conservatively there's about a dozen usable types of torpedoes for high-level play and the rest of them are basically trash. This is where the torps-are-weak crusaders have a point--the average torp is not strong, and 3 whole subtypes are basically not worth slotting (Transphasic, Chroniton, and Tricobalt). This is my personal list of strong/decent torpedoes. If it's not on this list, I personally wouldn't slot it (though I may have missed one)

Consoles: While it pains me to give up my healing console, 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. 

Alternate Torpedo types: 

My mixed torpedo build on the Scimitar is a closer-to-meta build that uses the Enhanced Bio-Molecular, Neutronic, Delphic and Dark Matter torpedoes. After running a handful of ISEs and HSEs on each build, I can't honestly say that the mixed torp build is better. They're within 20K of each other on ISE, ISA, and HSE, so there's no real argument about this non-meta setup being a loss. I think the quantum build is stronger in large part because it's easier to fly and on a more agile ship; the Xiphos simply has a lot more going on (singularity abilities, cloak, fewer heals) while being a less agile ship. Perhaps further testing and piloting will change my outlook, but for now I am saying the quantum boat is stronger. I could run this setup almost exactly on the Legendary Scimitar, but variety is the spice of life. 

You could also run this build as a Photon build using Gravimetric, Enhanced Bio-Molecular, Terran Task Force, and Adv. Piezo-Photon torpedoes and replacing the Quantum consoles with Photon but I think it's weaker.

Budget Tweaks:

Bridge Officers

Meta Notes

Traits

Personal Traits

Meta-Focused Tweaks:

If going full glass-cannon with unlimited budget

Budget Tweaks:

Try and keep the ones at the bottom, but the default traits are not very good for torpedoes at all. 

Starship Traits

Meta-Focused Tweaks:


Budget Tweaks:

 Try and keep the ones at the bottom. Torpers really  need Entwined Tactical Matrices to function


Notes:


Superior Area Denial is an excellent trait for ships using Fire-at-Will or Scatter Volley that also have a hangar. While it is extremely expensive, captains wishing to use this trait on multiple characters would benefit from saving up and acquiring it via the 12th Anniversary Bundle, which is how I did it. 

Reputation Traits

Active Reputation

Duty Officers

Meta-Focused Tweaks:


Budget Tweaks:

Miscellaneous

Cooldowns

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 15-20 second rotation), there's an  91% chance or higher of at least 1 activation of the trait during a rotation. 

Link to CDR Sheet for this build

Ship Stats

Keybinds 

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. Torpedo ships, especially fast ones with the Covert Warhead Module, are hard to fly. Make it easy on yourself.

Piloting

ISA Piloting Tips

I start off pre-buffing my spambar prior to countdown (in PUGs) or prior to launch call (premade). The first group I hit with Grav Well (GW), and a full rotation of torpedoes. On ISA, I don't bother using Concentrate Firepower here but I might use Tachyon Net Drones to offline the center cube's shields. 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 Hur'q Beacon here. I then lock onto the transformer with Concentrate Firepower, Relocate Mines, and Tractor Beam and destroy it; Tac ult and Swarmer Matrix active help a lot. I have enough damage that I can kill it through 1-2 generators still being alive. I basically ignore the cube at each transformer in favor of hitting the juicier unshielded targets. 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 single torp spread. I don't bother killing them all, as a single spread will get them low enough while I zip over to the other side. 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 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 Gravity Well should be available here. 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 300 CtrlX Grav Well will also suck in the remaining spheres for tons of damage. Concentrate Firepower and Tractor Beam on the gateway helps bring it down quickly, then it's rinse and repeat on the cube. Concentrate Firepower and Tractor Beam again on the Tac Cube with Relocate Mines and Tachyon Net Drones when it's 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 and Tachyon Net Drones should be used on the first Tac cube along with most Tactical captain powers since the initial encounter can make or break the run. Toss in any other console actives too, like Tricobalt Tear Generator or Swarmer Matrix. Jump across to the right side. I might slow down to fight the first group of Nanite Spheres a little more, but in a premade with at least one science build, just fire one spread and cross over to the right transformer. Tachyon Net Drones is usually up again for the Tactical Cube.

Parse Breakdown

Numbers from Record ISE



Portability

The Eagle is the only ship with full Pilot and LtCmdr Command and has 5 weapons. If you're willing to get your Concentrate Firepower from somewhere else and slot mines in the back, you might try the Undine Cheirax Warship