U.S.S. Penumbra - DEWSci

Fleet Nova Pilot Scout Ship 

Updated: 2023 - 12

Build Overview and Focus

Available in the agile classics bundle, this is the first science ship with pilot seating available to us in the C-store. Pilot bridge officer powers inherently has no innate benefit to science, but as a pilot primary specialized ship it gains access to movement tech that regular ships don't have. This opens up a build space not necessarily possible on standard escorts.

My original intent when looking at this ship when it came out was to ignore the science buttons the ships can come with and instead build it at a cannon scatter volley build ignoring the science aspects of the ship but taking advantage of the secondary deflector. You can see that version of the build here.

Build Purpose and Scope

DEWSci is a rather interesting build space; and in my opinion has lots of different categories available within it. However the most popular definition is blending exotic damage from science abilities and consoles with the rather traditional aspects of damage with Directed Energy Weapons.

Normally science (and by extension) exotics lend themselves to more focused on torpedo's due to the applications with aux power. DEWSci defies this and uses power hungry energy weapons which requires power management outside of the traditional scope. I tried to blend a balanced mix of DEW and Science and I think I've succeeded very well here with a near 50%/50% split on damage contribution between exotics and weapons. It sometimes will become more biased one way or the other, but usally no more than 60%/40%.

Phasers and Exotics

Over the last few years there's been an explosion of phaser leaning exotic powers available to us. While I use only a few of them, two that stand out is the Weaponized Helical Torsion and Approaching Agony. Both of these have phaser passives and actives which benefit from exotic damage increases.

A few others I don't use here but are worth noting are the Entangled Quantum Bombardment (phaser passive for Fed captains only), the Quantum Field Focus Controller, Deconstructive Resonance Emitter, and some sets like the Quantum Phaser Catalysts.

As such leaning into phasers is a natural choice for DEWSci builds but isn't strictly necessary. With the Hysperian Intel Battlecruiser launch including the Five Magicks starship trait and Dragonsblood Flame Reactor console the future of DEWSci is likely pointing in the direction of disruptors. However, I don't yet have any plans on doing a full type swap...maybe next upgrade weekend.

Pilot Powers

This ship historically used two pilot powers. With the rework and some fine tuning I've reduced that down to just a single power:

Fly Her Apart: This is a rather interesting ability. Made of two parts, the first is a self damage and speed buff for a duration as long as the power is active (up to 15s) then afterwards grants scaling bonus damage to all sources for the same duration the ability is active for, up to +60% for rank 2. This also has an interesting combination with the Boimler effect in that it has no minimum cooldown. With enough triggers this ability can be maintained at close to 66% uptime with enough cooldown triggers.


Penumbra marks the transition zone between the shadow of a body and the light source. Like a Penumbra, this build attempts to take advantage of both energy weapons and science, where the pilot seat makes great effect as a movement tool and a trigger for some various things.

Meta Analysis

Budget Analysis

Change History

Build Breakdown

I tried to make trades between Energy and Exotic that fueled each other on this build. Options like Cold Hearted offer some decent -DRR effects traditional science ships might lack, activated through pilot team for some extra maneuverability.

This allowed me to take the Revolutionary Engine as this ship is plenty fast enough with Pilot Team 2, as well as the warp core and shield for some extra damage. Overall I think there's a very good blend here between science and energy weapons.


Skill Unlocks


Ayjei's tree is aimed towards DEWSci and the builds that come along with it, support included. He takes only a few points into engineering for power management and then the rest into damage. Of all my currently posted characters his is the most offensively tuned for the greatest flexibility, at the cost of personal durability which usually needs to be solved through consoles or bridge officer powers or even traits.


Long ago I set out to craft a drain build...then some history happened and drains on targets in PvE broke and hasn't yet returned. I could very well respec but this is a part of the character's storied past I want to keep (also it is a very fun build to fly, even if its not super useful).


Starship Weapons


As mentioned, phaser isn't strictly necessary for DEWSci it just blends nicely together. Pick the flavor you want to use and go nuts. With the addition of Five Magicks and Dragonsblood flame reactor this would likely be a better build if you focused on distruptor instead of phaser. For now I'm staying with phaser

Starship Equipment


Should you lack the Imperial Rift set (either missed the event or don't want to buy it from mudd's—which is totally understandable for being $80 without a sale), there's a few options available to you. The Temporal Defense Initiative Starship Technologies 2pc with the shield and core is a valid choice for the DOT damage increase. A crafted [damp] engine would get +33 Drainx. The Gamma Reputation Engines would allow you to move at full impulse without draining Aux power and grant a small CtrlX buff. The Romulus Advanced Prototype Engines would grant some more weapon amplification. The Delta Alliance engines also grant a substantial passive to CtrlX.

Starship Consoles

Set Bonuses

Meta-Focused Tweaks:

A few consoles are missing from here that would really make this build flourish as a science ship. I just don't have access to them.

Budget Tweaks:

Weaponized Helical Torsion and the D.O.M.I.N.O. are going to be the two of the tree hard consoles to obtain here. As such Approaching Agony from a salvage console choice pack and the new Ionic Deflector Inversion make really good substitutions here. If Ionic Deflector is also a no-joy console then the Ordinance Accelerator would be fine, as would the Quantum Phase Convertor depending on which way you want to swing for damage.

Bridge Officers


Lack of healing is where most people would need help. I have Agent Nerul which is kindly referred to as a cheat code. To remedy for healing Id recommend dropping the structural analysis for an engineering seat and going with Emergency Power to Weapons 1, with the lt. seat being Emergency Power to Engines 1 and Auxiliary Power to Structural Integrity 1.

Meta-Focused Tweaks:

To improve this to conform more to the meta, the two pilot powers would probably drop for additional anomalies like Subspace Vortex and Tykens rift. I think the pilot powers are really fun to use however so I've kept them.


Personal Traits

Meta-Focused Tweaks:

6 Lockbox traits with a 200 lobi trait is pretty expensive, and that's why these traits follow the meta. For tactical captains a Good Day to Die is the best replacement for Conservation of Energy with nothing really paralleled for engineers save Enlighted.

Budget Tweaks:

For engineering captains the most obvious budget replacement would be EPS Manifold Efficiency and if you needed more durability Grace Under Fire. Cannon Training is also a decent slot on this build for the cannon damage. For budget players who want to save some EC, there's a traits that can increase durability.

If your after more damage instead:

Starship Traits

Meta-Focused Tweaks:

Universal Designs would fit on this but would need some more universal consoles for triggers and an Immolating Phaser Lance. Something like Time to Kill would also be good here. Exitus Acta Probat would also be decent but would need some boff station reworks to fir the powers.

Budget Tweaks:

Reputation Traits

Active Reputation

5th Slot here would ideally be the Tethered Non-Baryonic Asteroid to help clean up. This can be used in lieu of a gravity well on left and right in ISE. More Discussion on my tank build here.

Duty Officers

Meta-Focused Tweaks:

Thanks to EPH I was able to get ahold of what is probably the best Borg doff for this build in the form of 25 of 47, which works of pilot and tactical abilities for CrtH and accuracy. Not carrying any other specializations there's not much in the way of better doffs here. Some EWOs which grant CrtH or CrtD would also be good here.

Budget Tweaks:


Ship Stats

Keybinds and Piloting

Fly her Apart

Something interesting about Fly her Apart is that it doesn't drop you zero out impulse/throttle. Therefore you can use the power before engagements begin. For ISE I've found 13s timer countdown and for HSE 10s timer countdown to be the best times to use this. For combat to reapply the buff I'll go full impulse and pilot roll backwards, allowing the power to be activated. Then when coming back to the same position shutting throttle off, which doesn't end the channel on the power.


I don't use many keybinds but the one I use to rotate my weapon buffs.

Parse Breakdown


Under a very strict ruleset, only one other ship meets the requirements for this build on a 1:1 basis: the Vulcan Experimental Scout Vessel. This and the Nova are the only science ship with flanking and pilot power accessibility.

Opening up to science ships with pilot power access:

Opening up to other science ships in general is more difficult as it needs more changes to traits as well as BOff seating.

The list explodes from here, and it starts to fray a little from the core aspects of this build. For a more generalized DEWSci application I'd recommend reading EPHs Eternal DEWSci.