U.S.S. Hiawatha

Fleet Hiawatha Command Carrier

Build Overview and Focus

Last Updated December 2023

Support builds in STO are not generally healers but rather buff/debuff ships designed to help teammates reach new DPS thresholds. Support builds by their very nature are not intended to be DPS machines in their own right and are typically geared for Elite content only; Advanced is too easy/fast for a support build to really shine. Supports and tanks have this in common; it's not that they can't function on Normal or Advanced, but they only truly serve a needed purpose on Elite.

 In combination with a tank (often with supportive aspects of the build), supports are often what allows the super high-end DPSers to achieve new heights, as once you get above 500K DPS, team composition really starts mattering, and having a good support will frequently make the difference between an average DPS parse and a record-breaking one. This particular ship is geared towards buffing allied projectile/kinetic and EPG builds as both types have a fair amount of common aspects that are influenced by the ally buffs and enemy debuffs that this ship brings to the table. 

Some would contend that support DPS needs to be much lower for a true high-end support. That statement is correct, but should be qualified. Since "DPS" stands for damage per second, the support build's own preferred DPS will depend on how strong are the DPS builds it's supporting. If you're supporting players less than 500K, then it's to their benefit to bring enough DPS to accelerate the parsed run. Bringing a 75K or 100K support build to a run filled with 150-300K players will not increase their DPS substantially, despite the buffs and debuffs offered because the map simply takes too long to complete. To that end, my support builds are designed to be:

Lastly, supports cannot salvage poor builds or poor piloting. Support builds make good builds and good pilots look great.  The record-breaking builds at the highest levels of the DPS League are made possible by having really strong support builds amplifying their performance further. Support is a selfless, team-centric build type that succeeds from carrying others to new heights, but they still have to put in the work to make a competent build and fly it well. Rejoice when your teammates achieve even greater success and celebrate having a part in it. This ship has assisted in several energy build records on this site and across our fleet/armada.

We measure supports in two other methods besides DPS: the maximum percentage of debuff (% DB), where the parse measures how much an enemy's resistance was reduced based on the initial hit, and the number of personal bests assisted with for allies (PBA).

Platform Selection

I wanted a ship with Cmdr Command to give allies Concentrate Firepower III and inspiration abilities. While this ship is geared towards supporting any type builds, most energy builds I fly alongside carry a single torpedo that would benefit, and of course kinetic and exotic builds desire this ability. This ship also has hangars for ally-buffing pets as well as enough science seating to support Gravity Well III. I wanted a healthy dose of tactical seating, preferably for Attack Pattern Beta. This ship fit all the requirements and was relatively affordable

Flavor/Theme Choices


Hiawatha was a legendary leader of Native American tribes who was able to unify the Iroquois people through diplomacy. While the historical Hiawatha is largely lost due to obscurity, his lasting impact in supporting the strength of the tribes and codifying an oral constitution lends itself well to a supportive ship that elevates those around it.

Meta Analysis

Budget Analysis

Using the EZRA rubric, this build would cost 638 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 is pretty broadly spread, but retains enough selfish DPS and independence to carry Advanced TFOs that I'd be hard-pressed to reduce energy weapon capability. If you want to do that, I discuss how in the Parse Breakdown section.


Skill Unlocks


Temporal Operative is useful for Entropic Rider and Atrophied Defenses as well as Phasic Artillery and Continuity. The passive EPG is nice as well. Intelligence primary allows the team-wide Intelligence Fleet active ability.


Starship Weapons


Torpedoes: Might as well start with the controversial one. "No torpedoes on nannies!!11" If we had a comments section, this would be likely the first one. Let's talk about why that's the conventional wisdom. The highest-end ISE runs want to feed a single DPS player (or their pets) all the Concentrate Firepower procs possible to maximize DPS from torpedoes, so nobody else will run torpedoes (or torpedo-armed hangar pets) in a truly-coordinated run. That's the prevailing wisdom. 

That said, if you would rather build a support without a torpedo so as to better donate Concentrate Firepower, unslot the torpedo and Entwined Tactical Matrices (use Withering Barrage instead with cannons),  or deal with the loss of uptime on FAW. If you'd like to have a torpedo but the Delphic is out of budget, consider the Resonant Transphasic or Nausicaan Energy torpedoes. Both are free.

Plasma/Phaser: I chose these flavors because I had them already. The weapons were from various versions of the Chronos and Inquiry builds. If you don't have access to Pulse Phasers or Altamid beams, standard Disruptors and the Advanced Inhibiting Omni are easy budget substitutes.

Starship Equipment


Drive Train: The Iconian 3-piece is basically a generic Very Rare Tactical Console for allied energy weapon players. 

Hangar Pets: I used 1 hangar Elite Malem Frigates since I could slot them and they have a large number of support abilities including Suppression Barrage, Scattering Field, Sensor Scan, and Viral Matrix. Elite Alliance Fighter Squadrons are my other hangar and they also cast buffs (Focused Assault III). I didn't slot 2 because their DPS is actually too high for my purposes; they do very well under Superior Area Denial and in fact too well for a supportive ship.

Starship Consoles

Set Bonuses


Alternate energy types:  See the weapons section. 

Meta-Focused Tweaks:

Budget Tweaks:

If low budget, 

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:

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

I don't think you can make this work without Entwined Tactical Matrices or Withering Barrage


Reputation Traits

Active Reputation

Duty Officers

Meta-Focused Tweaks:

Budget Tweaks:



This ship uses a single instance of Auxiliary to Battery as its primary cooldown mechanism. While it's about 1.5 seconds off on Tactical powers, for my purposes I call that good enough.


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.

Everything else is activated manually. I will activate the various debuff consoles, Distributed Targeting, and Concentrate Firepower manually on big targets. I launch fighters manually since the Elite Malem Frigates have long cooldowns on their support abilities and use them right away. 


ISA Piloting Tips

I start off pre-buffing my spambar just prior to countdown (in PUGs) but ensure that you don't hit EPtE until about 5 seconds before start. I The first group I hit with Grav Well (GW) and just basic abilities. On ISA, I don't bother using Concentrate Firepower or your debuff consoles here here. Next, I hit Evasive Maneuvers and fly to the left side, activating my big buffs and any debuff consoles active. 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 beams. I also usually activate my Delta Reinforcements beacon here to clean up Borg structures. I then lock onto the transformer with Concentrate Firepower and at least some of the debuff consoles; Tac ult here. 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 quick Gravity Well. I don't bother killing them all, the Gravity Well will keep them in place while we deal with right 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 third Gravity Well should be available here and drop any debuff consoles remaining. 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 325 CtrlX Grav Well will also suck in the remaining spheres for tons of damage. Concentrate Firepower on the gateway helps bring it down quickly, then it's rinse and repeat on the cube. Be ready to drop any defensive cooldowns like Protomatter or Bio-molecular Shield Generator if your team needs help. Concentrate Firepower and debuff consoles again on the Tac Cube when 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 should be used on the first Tac cube along with Focused Frenzy, the debuff consoles, Tachyon Net Drones, and most Tactical captain powers since the initial encounter can make or break the run. Since we're playing for the team, it's a balance  between firing on peripheral structures and ships to clean them up versus targeting the big structures for debuffs. I tend to target the big stuff like transformers first, dump consoles/debuff powers, and then switch to secondary smaller targets and trust that the AOE from Scatter Volley splashes on-hit debuffs on the transformer. Jump across to the right side; again fire a Gravity Well to pin them there and cross over to the right transformer. It's important to have your Gravity Well available for Gateway so don't fire it at right side. Ideally you chain that with DRB as well. Typical Frenzy targets are either Tac Cube or else Left Generator if the tac cube goes down too quickly and either Gateway or Tac Cube depending on speed of the run. Look to use your second Tachyon Net Drones on the Tactical Cube as well.

Parse Breakdown

Numbers are from ISE where we pushed an ally up to over 1000K on his Cannon build.

I tend to think that 200-230K is about right for a support.  This was a 4-man run with a single DPS player on a cannon build we were attempting to boost (and did so, helping him break one million DPS). However, while it would take some doing to meaningfully lower DPS, you could do it without changing the build to handle other maps on Elite. The biggest change would be to make sure you only take your weapons at Mk XII. I had some MK XVs on here since I already them, but some weapons (the Advanced Turret and Delphic Torpedo) are at Mk XII. Repeating that for the rest of the weapons would drop DPS closer to 170K


My criteria for this ship was to have a hangar and Cmdr Science to support Gravity Well III as well as Command seating to support Concentrate Firepower III. Full Command also brought inspiration abilities and that leaves us a very narrow pool of ships to choose from. The Fleet Hiawatha is the only ship that meets those criteria with 2 bays. If you wanted to sacrifice Gravity Well III, you could consider the Friendship Command Flight Deck Carrier, which does gain secondary intel seating for Ionic Turbulence. If you drop the hangars down to 1, the Dauntless II and Merian are both (expensive) options. Either ship could run this build with no issue.