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.
Not building with a mine launcher or maximizing enhanced battle cloak
Energy weapon in the back
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.
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.
Elite Captain/T6X upgrade, all fleet unlocks
5 T6 C-store ships (Shran, Bozeman, Gagarin, Grissom, Appalachia, Lexington, Eagle, Cabot, or cross-faction equivalents)
1 Lockbox ship (Mirror Engle)
1 Lobi ship (Son'a Intel Battlecruiser)
1 Legendary ship (Legendary D'Deridex)
5 Lobi items (Delphic Distortion Torpedo, Altamid Omni, Temporal Disruption Device, Boimler Effect, Varuvian Explosives) - the latter 2 should be bought on the Exchange via EC rather than using Lobi
2 Lockbox consoles, 6 lockbox traits including Ceaseless Momentum, 3 non-standard doffs, 2 lockbox bridge officer abilities, 1 lockbox boff
Reputation + fleet gear; all Mk XV Epic
0 Promotional R&D ships
March 2023: Posted build
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
All weapon-centric builds benefit from the tactical ultimate, as weapon haste and bonus weapon damage from the Focused Frenzy active are appreciable when used on big targets. Applying the bonus to your team is also appreciated. I do not find the cooldown boost from Frenzied Reactions to be needed on a build with a good cooldown scheme.
Two points in Hull Restoration/Hull Capacity are low opportunity cost for relatively high survivability gains.
I always take a single point in Hull Plating, but other resistance skills and Damage Control are not worth it. Likewise, 2 points in Impulse Expertise is an appreciable boost to maneuverability. Warp Core Potential and especially Warp Core Efficiency help boost power to subsystems. Efficiency is particularly good at adding power to subsystems I am not allocating much power to.
I take a single point in EPS Power Transfer to recover power levels faster after drains or Full Impulse, but it's low impact on this build.
Single points in Shield Restoration/Shield Capacity are low opportunity cost for relatively high survivability gains. Since I need skill points elsewhere, only 1 here for those.
Since this character is using Gravity Well and Tractor Beam, having both points in ControlX boosts those as well as the Exotic Particle Generator skill adds value. Control Amplification further increases damage dealt by exotics like Isolytic Tears. DrainX helps amp Neutronic and/or Quantum Phase Torpedoes on builds which use them so I take both points on this character
The rest of the science skills are of little value on this build and are completely skippable.
Projectile Weapon Training, Hull Penetration, Shield Penetration, Weapon Specialization, and Weapon Amplification are all worthwhile skills to take 3 points in as they boost energy weapon damage directly. Since I do have some energy weapons that deal decent damage, 2 points in Energy Weapon Training is a good choice.
I like taking 2 points apiece in accuracy and defense. Defense is a small contribution to avoiding incoming damage but also helps reduce enemy crits when you're not moving and accuracy is just good all around, if not a stat that you'll need tons of.
Coordination Protocols, Defense Coordination and Offensive Coordination are good team boosts so I always take those. They also benefit hangar pets on builds that have those. Improved Tactical Readiness is essential for reducing tactical cooldowns along with the rest of the cooldown scheme.
There are two crucial unlocks: battery expertise (improves duration of consumable batteries) and threat control which either increases or decreases threat based on threatening stance.
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.
Only a Pilot ship with the Eagle's console can effectively fire five torpedoes. For my fifth torpedo, I chose the Temporal Disruption Device. I'd previously explored using it on a Scimitar but it rarely fired and underwhelmed. That was not the case here but required additional reload support from doffs to make it work. That said, it did significant damage and if you're going for a 5th torpedo on a Pilot-torp build, then make it a good one. Alternatives could have included the Terran Task Force Torpedo or Morphogenic Torpedo with its 3-piece. Still undecided on this, but a longer cooldown torp seems better since it won't fire that often.
I could have used a Mine Launcher in the back and the Eagle's Experimental Weapon which can be fired under Battle Cloak and built around cloak. That said, this character is not Romulan and speccing hard into Ambush/She's a Predator didn't seem worthwhile without the addition of more Subterfuge Bridge Officers and would have just added to the piloting workload of an already-difficult to fly ship.
The use of the Quantum Phase torpedo (which I'm normally a big fan of) was rejected due to the difficulty of making sure that torpedo is spread since I'm autofiring torps. I can't manually fire them fast enough to make it worthwhile on this ship.
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.
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)
Photons: Gravimetric (especially with Sci Builds!), Enhanced Bio-Molecular, Adv. Piezo Photon, Terran Task Force
Quantums: Neutronic, Quantum Phase, Delphic Distortion, Dark Matter, Advanced Radiant
Plasma: Particle Emission Plasma (especially with Sci Builds), Romulan Hyper-Plasma (Plasma torp builds only), Omega (Plasma torp builds only), Altamid (Plasma energy builds only), Nanopulse (Plasma torp builds only)
Energy: Morphogenic Polaron, Adv. Diffusive Tetryon (Tetryon builds only with set), Nausicaan Energy (Disruptor builds only with set), Agony Phaser (Phaser builds only)
Other: Temporal Disruption Device (weird Tricobalt/Chroniton hybrid that's somehow good)
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.
If Imperial Rift warp core is unavailable, use the Discovery one instead. Potentially take Discovery Shield and Romulan Engines instead
Multi-Directional Artillery Barrage -> Ordnance Accelerator
Delphic Torpedo -> Quantum Phase
Temporal Disruption Device / Altamid Omni -> slot the Morphogenic Torpedo and Omni, substitute a Tactical console for the Morphogenic 3-piece
Phased Space Membrane -> Deconstructive Resonance Emitter (should be cheap-ish)
Tricobalt Tear Generator -> Temporal Disentanglement Suite
Tachyon Net Drones -> Assimilated Module
This ship avoids using A2B so that it can take advantage of the Phased Space Membrane, whose duration expires when aux goes down.
The lack of Hazard Emitters is compensated for via the Warp Core Engineer duty officer.
Torpedo High Yield III has a lot more damage potential than Torpedo Spread III if you have Subspatial Warheads. If you don't have that trait, might be better to stick with Spread III, but note that the FAW for ETM will conflict with the FAW from TS and puts them on cooldown.
If going full glass-cannon with unlimited budget
Ablative Shell -> Terran Targeting Systems
Give Your All -> Adaptive Offense
Try and keep the ones at the bottom, but the default traits are not very good for torpedoes at all.
Drop Boimler Effect (Elite Captain)
Ablative Shell -> Redirected Armor Plating
Context Is For Kings -> Operative
Self-Modulating Fire -> Innocuous
Resonating Payload Modification -> Astrophysicist
A Good Day to Die -> Elusive
Intelligence Agent Attache -> Particle Manipulator (super strong on scitorp builds, pretty weak here)
These are pretty well close-to-meta traits at this price point. If your budget is unlimited, replace Strike From Shadows with Terran Goodbye at the high end.
Try and keep the ones at the bottom. Torpers really need Entwined Tactical Matrices to function
Drop Subspatial Warheads (T6X)
Rapid Emitting Armaments -> Sniper if available, Improved Command Frequency if not
Superior Area Denial -> Promise of Ferocity if available, Unconventional Tactics if not
Strike From Shadows -> Onboard Dilithium Recrystallizer
Ceaseless Momentum -> This one is very hard to give up, but if it's truly out of your budget, you don't have a lot of good options. Improved Critical Systems would be okay; so would Programmable Matter Enhancements.
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.
The Space Warfare Specialist and Warp Core Engineer help defensively mitigate the low amount of heals and lack of Hazard Emitters
Other options include Gravimetric Scientist for aftershock Gravity Wells or a Space Warfare Specialist vs Borg
Third reload PWO was very helpful when adding in a long cooldown torpedo like Temporal Disruption Device and firing every 0.5 seconds
Other options include Gravimetric Scientist for aftershock Gravity Wells or the Maintenance Engineer from the Phoenix Box that gives additional bonuses to batteries
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.
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.
[Spacebar] is my spambar. It has Tactical Fleet, Tactical Initiative, FAW, Go Down Fighting, Attack Pattern Alpha, Torpedo High Yield III, Emergency Power to Engines, Auxiliary to Structural, Cannon Scatter Volley, Kemocite-Laced Weaponry, and Photonic Officer.
I also bind "Fire all weapons" to right mouse.
Everything else is manually triggered, including the torpedoes. When they fire this fast, I turn 'em on autofire and let 'em rock. I leave the Kinetic Amplifiers off the keybinds so I can use the Large Aux Batteries and Phased Space Membrane at the right time.
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.
Numbers from Record ISE
Neutronic Torpedo: 190.8K
Enhanced Bio-Molecular Torpedo Launcher: 134.9K
Sympathetic Detonation: 118.3K - This is the Cabot trait. I don't see how people are not getting bigger numbers from this but apparently other high-parsing DPS players don't think it's good. I'm not sure how they're setting up their scenarios, but obviously I disagree.
Isolytic Tears: 113.7K
Heavy Plasma Torpedoes: 90.1K
Delphic Torpedo: 88.2K - this torp is better than this, but Neutronic and EBM were ahead of it in firing order
Dark Matter Torpedo: 44.6K - last in firing order
Temporal Disruption Device: 39.5K - doesn't fire as much as I'd like it to, so the long cooldown isn't that big of a fallback.
Concentrate Firepower: 81.3K
Varuvian Explosives: 46.2K - pretty good for a personal trait
Omega Kinetic Shearing: 38.3K
Graviton Implosion Projector: 23.6K
Entropic Rider: 18.4K
Anti-Time Entanglement Singularity: 10K
Destruction of Enemy Area Defenses: 9.4K - this is the console from the Eagle. Still learning how to use it effectively
Distributed Targeting: 8.6K
Altamid Beam: 11.7K
Tachyon Net Drones: 8.6K - this run was so fast I only got to use it once
Gravity Well: 6.8K
Hur'q Beacon: 3.5K
Multi-Directional Artillery Barrage: 3.4K
Tractor Beam: 2.5K
Refracting Tetryon Cascade: 1.4K
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.