V.S.S. Solemn Penance

Sh'vhal Temporal Science Spearhead

Released: 2023-03

Build Overview and Focus

EPH and Tilor both have very successful torpedo builds at a wide range of budgets, and even some goofy ones. I however have none, until now. Kinetic builds are not my favorite way to play, though the damage potential on them cannot be overstated.

I did once make a foray into this area in attempt to learn the underlying mechanics and build space but I didn't enjoy it. However I lucked my way into a Sh'vhal. Being a big fan of the Suurok class this was a ship I really did want to fly (even if it is basically just a slightly improved Glenn).

After several dozen build iterations I eventually landed on attempting torpedo's again, and has done very well in that role. EPH joked that this ship is a monkey paw, where I will set new DPS records but I have to do it with torps. I've warmed up to the build type and will probably build with it some more once I get another platform I want to try torping on. This is after all the first ship I've gotten to break 1 mil DPS.

Build Purpose and Scope

Torp builds are not my forte. Hardly even in the same realm. I am an energy player. I like energy. I know the mechanics very well. Most of my builds are energy, and they shy away from torps as much as possible. However torpedoes have been the DPS stars for the last few years. Opinions and tastes can change and even through I still think Exotic and Energy are the best ways to build for general gameplay, when it comes to setting records Torps are the way to go.

As a platform, the Sh'vhal is a combination of things. Like I said on my Glenn post, it and the Glenn are the only two ships with a Commander Science (For the secondary deflector), a lt.C Command seat for Concentrate Firepower 3, and a temporal seat for Recrusive Shearing. While the Glenn uses these for support reasons, the build on the Sh'vhal utilizes these for damage. The closest ship without a secondary deflector would be the World Razer Temporal Ops Juggernaut, which is probably a better torpedo platform than the Sh'vhal (see EPHs BO build on the World Razer for something different with similar platform options).

Design Iteration

I don't normally talk much about the design scope and the lengthy process I have for build iteration, however when chatting with some newly returned to the game fleet mates they were very curious as to the process by which we three determine the role a ship fits into when publishing a build. While the number of exact changes I've made are numerous and lengthy, I will attempt to explain the process for the Sh'vhal.

As an Energy Ship

Originally I set up the Sh'vhal for DEWSci, leveraging the the seating for some Engineering bits, a CF3, tactical seating and a plethora of exotic bits but the ship itself just felt weird to fly. While it does allow for the use of Dual Cannons which the Glenn cannot, I ended up doing beams on it anyway in this config, settling in on trying for Beam Overload to take advantage of the CF3 and Recursive 3. However it felt rather forced and the relative bulk of the Sh'vhal at 7.5 turn didn't lend itself very well to this. Having to deal with low engine power to maintain high Aux and Weapon power wasn't doing the ship favours and often felt sluggish and slow and generally un-enjoyable to fly.

As an Exotic Ship

Porting over the Annorax build to the Sh'vhal was successful, but the forced tactical seating was a hard swing. The Annorax is a purpose built exotic platform and build and lends itself to that role very well. The Sh'vhal with the Lt.C Seat and Forced Tactical felt more at home with a higher emphasis on torpedo damage than the Annorax was.

Mixed Exotics and Torps

Starting off with the Annorax build, it carried along lots of the "mainline" exotic bits and bobs. Plasma Storm, Neutronic Eddies, and Genesis Seed all made an appearance providing power, exotic damage sources and exotic buffs. To go with the more exotic torps the Gravimetric and Plasma Particle Torpedoes made a showing as well. This genearlly rested at around the same degree of EPG the annorax has (~300), but as the build started to lean more into the torpedoes with Entwinted Tactical Matricies and Torpedo Tactical Consoles the benifits of trying to mainline the exotic powers eventually started to fade and it ended up doing neither damage 'well' (it was still good, in and around the 600k DPS mark). So I gave in to temptation and gutted the ships exotic damage consoles.

Settling on a mostly dedicated Torp Platform

During this transition I ended up keeping some things from the Annorax. The Genesis seed for example providing just a large damage source as well as buffing radiation damage by +28% and +28 EPG skill did get left in hopes of using these stats in conjunction with the Grav torp and Plasma Particle Torp. However this faded as the two torps were replaced with the Enhanced Bio-Molecular Photon Torpedo Launcher and the Delphic Distortion Torpedo. Eventually all that was left was the exotic platform it started with and a build driven to buff torp damage.

The Actual Best Build Change I made

Regardless of what gear I put on it, the biggest limitation of this build isn't the consoles or gear or abilities but my own skill as a pilot. I started this with almost no torpedo flying experience and certainly nothing like that of people who have been doing this for years, and I have no hopes of being seen as a good torpedo pilot. EPH and Tilor have gotten much better results for the cost I have in this ship.

Instead the biggest improvement along the way was getting better at understanding how torp builds work, mechanically. When to use powers, combining CF3, RS3, and Relocate mines to squeeze targets TTK into the duration of RS3. Managing the various powers; such as not overlapping CSV and FAW, since the torpedo spread granted by these via ETM don't stack and instead becomes absorbed into the previous buff. Using the Large Aux Battery with Phased Space Membrane to increase the duration. Entering Engagements with Photonic Officer already rolling for the exotic damage buff, and pre-buffing torp abilities to start engagements with TS and HY already primed.

These are things that make you better pilot, and are all part of the curve we speak of.

While at the higher end of the spectrum gear does help increase the ceiling of a build, it comes down to the individual pilot to make the most of that. This has been a challenge I really enjoyed; between the macro intense parts of learning how to manual fire torps (eventually settling on just autofire and hope for the best - I do plan to return to this one day) to just being aware that torps play different from energy. Like exotics, this build requires a more nuanced approach, with intentional power use rather than just spamming everything like we do on most energy builds. Being the constant learner when it comes to playing the game is the best way to improve, either in building or flying.


The Solemn Penance is often the term given to man as the expulsion from paradise. When starting this torpedo build I wasn't the biggest fan of the build but the platform screamed out for it, and is really my first foray into torpedo and kinetic builds as a whole.

Meta Analysis

Budget Analysis

Change History

Build Breakdown

Full on exotic build here, full points in exotics with the rest in projectile, hangers, survivability and agility as needed.


Skill Unlocks


Jayiie's Skill tree has been optimized to be used on as many build types as possible. As such there are some questions that naturally arise when talking about it. I will try to capture these discussions as succinctly as possible here.

Tactical ultimate and Exotic Builds

The tactical ultimate does basically nothing for the majority of the damage on this build. However this is a skill tree that is still designed to run things like the Inquiry and Verity, so I do still have this. A more optimized tree would look something s. The core skill selections are still there. There is an overlap on looking at torp skills when getting to the 25 Tac ult unlocks.

Hull Restoration vs Hull Capacity

This is very simple, while also not. Given the choice between a Improved Hull Capacity (+25.5%) and Hull restoration (+25%) against Advanced Hull capacity (+30%), I personally prefer to take the former, splitting the point difference. Since my character is an engineer, this 25% Hull restoration actually has some very useful applications through Miraculous repairs.

As well by taking some extra points into engineering, this has allowed me to take the 10th Engineering Unlock skill which adds +10 Hull Capacity, which is comparable to the +15 taken from the last point of Hull restoration. Due to how the skill works this is a +3.3% Max Hull vs 4.95% Max Hull buff respectively.

EPG vs Control Amplification, DrainX and CtrlX

This time around I've opted to put more points into CtrlX and EPG while taking Control Amplification, and instead dropping points from DrainX. If this wasn't on an engineering captain I wouldn't consider this a loss. However both Nadion Inversion and Intrusive Energy Redirection both scale with DrainX and are innate captain abilities, thus wanting for the skill.

Aux Power

Optimizing to hit 130 Aux power has been challenging. To do this I required Defensive Subsystem turning for the +4.8 Power to Aux. Combining this with the passive on most science ships as well as the Neutronic Eddies has allowed 130 to be hit passively. This has then allowed me to drop EPS Manifold Efficiency freeing up a 10th starship trait. On other builds this has the effect of allowing more aux power for more damage / better scaling on various powers.

Shield Regeneration

This is still a tank first skill tree. Shield regeneration is statically anomaly and adds a huge amount to shield regen in just the first point (more Information on shields can be found here). As such, I have taken the single point. with the most recent tree revision I've opted to spec out of DrainX and Drain Infection for that last point in EPG. Should you want to not take shield regeneration I would suggest the next DrainX point.


Starship Weapons


As of right now I'm not amazing at getting much out of the mines on this ship. I mostly just let them go and do their thing, feeding stacks of Feel the weight of our presence and relocating them to big targets to build up stacks of Resonating Payload Modification. It is worth mentioning both of these are currently broken. Feel is not intended to scale with mines but does anyway, and Resonating can break the 5 max stack limit with mines. This has been the case for years (basically since the traits were released). I don't enjoy taking advantage of these but considering they've been in the game for several years now I think its fair game to use them here.

The Delphic is also not performing as well as I had hoped and was lead to believe it would. I think the Grav torp and Plasma Particle Torp would both be better options here, especially considering that this is an ship that does lean into the exotic damage.

Another consideration has been to drop the Phaser Wide Angle Dual Beam bank to move the Dark Matter Quantum up front to fill in the rare gap I get between CF downtime and unlucky PWO triggers. To keep the Lorca's Ambition 2pc I would need to use the tactical console (since the beam cannot be slotted in the rear) which I plan to test in the future, but this layout has been sucessful for me so far.

Starship Equipment

The Imperial Rift set is very good here since the exotic lean, but if you don't have it it becomes very hard to source if you don't have it from the event. Instead I would suggest some other setups:

As always feel free to experiment here and find something that works for you.

Starship Consoles

Set Bonuses

Meta-Focused Tweaks:

Console wise there's not much improvement here. Possibly the previously discussed Locator into a tactical slot and potentially some more actives like the Tricobalt Tear Generator would be beneficial here. The Multi-Directional Artillery Barrage is also an option, but works better on builds that lean heavier into torps where I am leaning into both EPG and Torps.

Budget Tweaks:

As always, there's a large portion of replacement consoles available. Have a look here for some suggestions. The largest thing to keep in mind is that phaser lance is not uniquely available for kinetic builds. The Quantum Warhead Module builds charges and benefits from the projectile / torpedo buffs.

Bridge Officers


There might be some value in changing Gravity Well for Tykens rift for the purposes of having more secondary deflector procs. I thought this was a less than desirable change for general purpose play as Gravity Well helps group targets together to benefit from the AOE on torpedoes. Dropping GW also lowers the number of unconventional system triggers to 1 which means it's not going to pull its weight.


Personal Traits

Meta-Focused Tweaks:

Obviously building on an engineer was "my first mistake"...I just like the engineering playstyle (also EPS power transfer is really good). I have thought about using Intelligence Agent Attaché on this to get that power back faster, but it would have to displace something here. In the future if I solve the Aux power problem I mentioned in my skill tree I might be able to remove EPS Manifold Efficiency. Tactical Captains as always get A good day to die with science captains having Conservation of Energy. Additionally, since this is an engineer it might be interesting to use EPS Overload as the primary subsystem is aux power so this would also grant +20% CrtD.

Budget Tweaks:

Projectile Training is a good alternative for anything missing above.

Bug notes:

As it stands, Feel the Weight of Our Presence and Resonating Payload Modification both have broken interactions with mines. For the sake of transparency I will explain on them here.

FEEL THE WEIGHT OF OUR PRESENCE: Despite explicitly listing mines as not counting for the stacking -0.5, they do. This means that I can routinely apply anywhere from -20 to -25 to targets by myself in any engagement

RESONATING PAYLOAD MODIFICATION: I suspect largely due to how mines work that these are counting as separate entities to the player (also would explain FTWOOP) and therefore are applying stacks to targets independent of the stack counter of the player. This can cause it to exceed the 5 max stack per person limit very easy.

Starship Traits

Meta-Focused Tweaks:

With some of my saved (read hoarded) stuff finally selling I saw a small plethora of extra EC I could throw at some wish list items. I used some of that to build up my exotics but I also picked up some 'cheap' lobi items for torps. These being Subspacial Warheads from the Son'a Intel Battlecruiser. This trait alone did 125k DPS.

When looking into ISE record setting, the Cabot Command Light Escort trait Advanced Precision Guided Munitions has huge potential. For example on EPHs Eagle Sympathetic Detonation (the traits line name) contributed 100k DPS, which was on par with the contribution of Subspacial. The cabot trait however didn't do very well in content where the targets are heavily shielded.

Budget Tweaks:

Again, a bit of a dunce on this knowledge base. Some that I know off hand:

Reputation Traits

Active Reputation

Duty Officers

Meta-Focused Tweaks:

In an ideal world I would get myself an 31 of 47 Liberated Borg Duty officer for Exotic Damage increase and DOT damage.

Budget Tweaks:

Most of these are really easy to get. Sub in another Projectile weapon officer for cooldowns or whatever suits your fancy if you don't want the +CrtD one.


Ship Stats


I'm getting used to this whole only exotic builds, normally I dabble in DEWSci. This is a little bit of an uncomfortable build space for me so I figured I'd talk about some of the things I've had to learn.

Top Row - These are my BOff ability exotics, and some other various powers

Middle Row - These are where my Torp powers go, on manual use. This also has Photonic Officer, IPO, (aux) batteries and Phased Space 

Bottom Row - these are where I put my torps. I used to be doing manual firing and using the torp with the corresponding mode but this was macro intense. I moved back to autofire and it was higher performing. I would suspect making dedicated keybinds here for these would be better than attempting to do it all manually.

9th bar - this is my "Spam" bar, which consist of IPO, Phaser Lance, Mine Pattern, KLW, and EPtE

Parse Breakdown

ISE Record Damage Breakdown


Since this is a torp build, all you really need is a ship with Concentrate Firepower 3 access, which is a Lt.C Command seat or higher. However to really port this build you would also need something with a secondary deflector, which limits options. This leaves just a few options: