Tholian Iktomi

Build Overview and Focus

I've long been known for flying my Tarantula and Web Cannon (at least in my fleet). The Web Cannon is one of my favorite consoles, and getting a "good one" off is very satisfying and ships are held and shredded. With the recent release of the T6 Iktomi (oh, 2019... that was a while ago then), I had a new platform to fire the Web Cannon at even higher effectiveness. While nowhere near as tanky as the Tarantula, it has a huge damage output due to the exotic nature of the Web Cannon. This ship is focused on Exotics through use of Universal Consoles (Clickies!). This was long before traits such as Universal Designs came on the scene, but Unconventional Systems is key to this build's damage output. In a lot of higher-end content, the Web Cannon is simply too slow anymore, but when the opportunity arises on maps like Hive Elite or Counterpoint Elite, firing the Web Cannon is too good to pass up. 


This ship is named after a magic wielder I came up with in a story I wrote a long time ago. 

Meta Analysis

Budget Analysis

Each category is sorted by priority of contribution. Something that applies to generally more builds will be rated higher than archetype or build specific contributions. Warning: This is not a cheap build.

Elite Captain Training Token

T6 C-Store Ships

Legendary Ships

Event Items/Ships

Lockbox Gear & Duty Officers

Lobi Gear (at 200 lobi each)

Lobi Ships

Lockbox Ships

R&D Promotional Ships

Change History

Build Breakdown

Exotic Damage has always been a pretty strong force in STO, and with additions of Temporal Operative and Spore-Infused Anomalies, exotic damage really took center stage. When focusing on exotics, your weapons power for energy weapons becomes unnecessary. Also only having 3/3 weapon slots makes it hard to push for Energy output. However, there are a couple of sources of Exotic damage from Torpedoes, so those are put to good use on the front of the ship. With the addition of the Tholian Webspinner, holds also became beneficial to builds by bestowing Bonus Damage (currently bugged). As such, the rear projectiles both have holds. 

Theme is what really holds this build together, and makes choices when there is a coin flip. Tholian mines, Web Cannon, and Webspinner are not going anywhere even if outclassed because of theme. 

Finally, its a small science ship so there's a lot more maneuverability than I am used to. No power-sliding here. 


Skill Unlocks


This skill tree is used for many different builds as this is my main character on my account. This means that it could be optimized for just one or two builds, but servicing all main archetypes requires a few concessions in the "Advanced" skills in order to pick up some basic skills elsewhere. I'll go through each node and why I chose the amount I did, though sometimes it's simply "I ran out of points".

For Hull/Shield Restoration/Capacity, I like to pick up one point of each, however shields have really fallen out of favor. 50 points in each skill is quite a lot, and heals are needed on every build. With the current state of the game, shields are pretty meaningless. I do pick up the Regen later on, but of the base skills I don't feel they are necessary. If you really want some extra shields, pick up the Valdore and use it's console for some really large shield heals. 

For energy/projectile weapon training, there's no real reason to skimp on these points. All of my builds use torpedoes and/or mines, and several use many energy weapons as well. Having all 6 points is like having the Cat1 from another 1 2/3 Advanced Consoles for every weapon type.

EPS is another quintessential energy weapon damage skill. This combined with emergency power to weapons helps mitigate losses from firing energy weapons. Since several builds sport many energy weapons, this really helps those. This also helps recover from Full Impulse and Auxiliary to Battery much faster. This makes it a very useful utility skill for every build. Both points means I get 5 power every 0.5s rather than 5 power every 1s, essentially double the effect.

Full Impulse Shunt is a waste of a point in my opinion. While this keeps more power in systems while at full impulse, strategic flying can remove the need for this. Short bursts of full impulse doesn't allow for much power to be drained, and in cases where long distances need to be traveled, coming out of Full Impulse a second or two early can mitigate these issues (especially on such large ships as I fly, they power slide regardless!) If you run Miracle Worker Primary as many tanks do, this instantly restores power after coming out of Full Impulse making this point absolutely unneeded. 

Impulse Expertise is just about essential. None of my ships turn well and don't have a lot of power left for engines after putting it in Aux or Weapons. This helps me keep up with everyone who uses those Competitive engines, or actually turn around before the queue finishes. I could argue for an extra point to take all 3 here, but ended up needing the point elsewhere. The last point is only 4% anyways, so I am not missing much. 

Control Expertise (CtrlX) and Drain Expertise (DrainX) are skill points many leave off. I always spend one in each, not only for their offensive utility, but also the defensive benefits against controls and drains. In the case of my Tholian fleet, all three use the Web Cannon and Webspinner, which hold for a specific duration. That duration is increased by CtrlX, so I can't really get enough. Also, being hit by Gravity well or Tractor Beam reduces some damage resistance is fantastic for all 3 builds. Drain Infection is an odd choice, but as a DoT, it really serves as a trigger for other abilities when it hits.

Targeting Expertise is an iffy one for me. Parses show I never miss, but they don't show how much extra gets turned into criticals. I feel like the first two points can be justified, but the last point is a pretty small contribution. I may even drop the third point in the future, but we'll see how the resulting accuracy shakes out. Defensive Maneuvering is also tough because of how much actually moving factors into the equation. For now, I feel like I can justify two points, especially since this is harder to come by than Damage Resistance Rating.

Hull Plating is what I would spend the extra Defensive Maneuvering point in, but this isn't all damage resistance, but pretty close. Some of the more exotic sources such as Fire and Radiation aren't present. Also, all this is only 15 actual damage resistance. All 3 skill points in the Hull Plating is equivalent to the damage resistance of Repair Crews.

Damage Control is awful, it's 1/5 as effective in combat. That means one point is 10% regen, whereas 2 1/2 points in the Hull Regeneration endeavor is that amount.

Shield Regeneration is special for some special reason and is extra effective. I always put in at least one point here.

Shield Hardness is something that mitigates damage while your shields are up. However, I tend to go for more Hull than Shield defenses. My tank (totally different character) often will have absolutely no shields in deep combat and relies on Regeneration and large capacity. Reverse Shield Polarity is still really strong, but Shield Hardness doesn't really boost that.

Weapon Amplification and Specialization are must-haves on just about every build anymore. Anything using Torpedoes or Energy weapons will benefit from these skill points. Since I was around for the Imperial Rift Set event, I also run that on my exotic builds which converts my Weapon Amplification into Criticals for my exotic powers. Now, in reality the Weapon Specialization is pretty weak (0.6% CrtH for the last point). I may drop this point someday.

Subsystem tuning (and power in general) is a tricky subject. As an Engineer, I get access to EPS Power Transfer, which adds 30 max and current power to each subsystem. Each ship also comes with power bonuses, and I am using Emergency Power abilities as well. I ended up choosing Warp Core Potential to add a flat 3 to each subsystem for a total of 12 (largest single +power per skill point). I also chose offensive because of the 4.8 power for engines trying to speed my ships up, and the 4.8 helps for my energy builds as well. This is a total of 9.6 power for the point. Improved Warp Core potential adds a total of 8 (2 per system), and adding to a specific system only adds 3.2 power, so significantly diminishing returns. I also like a lot of Auxiliary power for my exotic powers and the Web Cannon & Webspinner which scale strongly with Aux.

Exotic Particle Generator is fantastic because of Particle Manipulator. That means each point here contributes to all my exotic powers in flat damage and criticals. Since almost all builds have at least some exotic powers, these points are well spent. Even Advanced only giving 15 EPG means an extra 7.5% Cat1, 3% CrtH, and 1.5% CrtD, which is as strong as some Starship Traits (namely the CrtH). Exotic Particle Amplifiers also scale off of EPG, and slotting up to four of these on a build makes hitting 500 EPG all the more important.

Long Range Targeting Sensors is always maxed out on energy builds for me because it is the only source that reduces damage falloff with distance. There's no other way to get this, which makes it pretty hard to pass up.

Hull/Shield Pen for weapons is a tough one, especially since some of my biggest damage dealers ignore shields, and these skills translate to such a low amount of actual value, and they are only for weapons. Even if I was extremely focused on weapon damage, these would be near the end of the list for pickups because the value is so low. A single point is 1/2 a [Pen] mod, and all 3 is a single [Pen] mod. On the builds that need it, they have a huge amount of debuff already (5-10x per power), so these points are pretty weak.

Readiness is absolutely wasted because of the methods I use to hit global cooldown. On my exotic builds, I get there with Improved Photonic Officer, which buffs exotics and has 100% Photonic Officer uptime for cooldowns. On my Jorogumo and Tarantula, I use Aux to Batt plus some technicians for cooldowns. I benefit from Cold Hearted as a result. In both cases, I have fantastic cooldowns tied to other primary benefits. Where I don't use either of those methods, Boimler's exists and fills in all the gaps routinely.

Shield Mastery is always terrible. Ignoring a random hit once every 20 seconds is terrible, and none of the other downstream points help either.

Coordination is really solid for me solo, but also as part of a team. 2 of my builds use hangar pets, and all have summon clickies (Delta Reinforcements, etc.). As part of a team, I can't expect anyone to send the buff my way if I don't send it to them (Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, Matthew 7:12).

As far as unlocks go, there's usually either a pretty minor choice or only one relevant option. I don't push skill points anywhere just to hit unlocks. Battery Expertise can't be replaced.


Starship Weapons

Starship Equipment


Equipment is key here, and you'll notice I don't have everything to Epic. That's simply a cost-benefit, and I will get there someday. The majority of the damage and skill benefit comes from upgrading mark. Adding Rarity on Deflector, Secondary Deflector, Impulse, Warp, and Shields adds only the additional modifier(s), which in general are a small contribution to the build. 

A lot of this gear is the same as what you would see on the Exotic Basics page, but I'll go through it anyways just in case. 

Fore Weapons

For weapons, I chose torpedoes in the front, and overall bonuses in the rear. This lets me really set my Weapon power to a lower setting since I don't need it to boost damage from my one energy weapon. The Particle Emitting Plasma (PEP) torp and Gravimetric (Gravy) torp are both top tier EPG weapons as they have at least some part of their overall damage that scales with EPG. The clouds from the PEP and the rifts from the Gravy do a lot of damage in a small AoE, and scale with EPG which I have a ton of. The Delphic torpedo is the third torp, and as such the least-firing. It is slotted for the debuff (since I use it on my support as well) and has a solid -DRR based on firing modes. Note that these are feeding into the Exotic theme of the build, and are not there for the Projectile kinetic damage they afford. 

Rear Weapons

In the rear, there are a few options that would work above and beyond what I have chosen. The Altamid omni is there for the proc, which happens every time it lands a critical hit: -15 plasma and kinetic DRR. While not as often occurring as the Advanced Inhibiting omni, it should still be pretty often. Its also a little stronger (-15 vs -10) to two of my stronger damage sources. I also get +1% CrtH to everything from slotting the Altamid. If on a budget, Advanced Inhibiting will work just fine. 

The Black Ops mines replace the Nukara Mines I used to use. While on theme, the Nukara Mines don't really add anything to the build. The Black Ops mines work with Resonating Payload Modification, which I already had slotted, and add many extra stacks. This really amps up the -Kinetic DRR. On a budget, you could slot another Advanced Inhibiting here (such as the turret alongside the beam). 

The Dark Matter torpedo is in the rear! This has a major drawback of rarely firing, but it will be strong if/when it does. I mainly go for the set bonus from the Lorca console. If I didn't have the Lorca console slotted, the Dark Matter torpedo would absolutely not be worth slotting. 

Drivetrain (Deflectors/Engines/Core/Shields)

You could go Solanae Deflector for more EPG, but the extra CrtH/CrtD here outweighs the slight EPG increase. 53.1 is the max Solanae EPG, which translates to 10.62% CrtH and 5.31% CrtD, whereas the Colony has 15% CrtD and 4% CrtH to everything, Exotic or not. It also has a Mod of EPG for a nice 10 or so. I also have close to 400 EPG already, so the CrtH portion of the Solanae is really 0, and the colony CrtH doesn't care about the Particle Manipulator cap. Now, with Exotic Particle Amplifiers (Advanced Console), 500 EPG is beneficial, but the extra 40 EPG on the amplifiers is not as beneficial as the extra CrtD and CrtH, especially since I only have the one Amplifier. The Cat2 for non-BOff powers goes from 11.6% to 12.9%, which is not very impactful. If I had several Amplifiers, it might be more beneficial, but since I only have the one, it is not. 

Deteriorating Secondary Deflector (DSD) is the only option, as the Inhibiting and Resonating do far less damage. There are a couple options for Mods, and those are just preference. I've had this one since before the Colony one was an option, and I am not sure the value is there for me to switch and upgrade for a single mod. Each of the mods only affords about 10 to the selected skill, so don't chase mods here first. However, the damage from the DSD does scale with Mark of the DSD, so this is a high priority to get to at least Mark XV even if other gear doesn't get there right away.

The Engines and Warp Core go together for the 2pc set from the Revolutionary set. This was an event reward for me, and if you didn't get it, don't worry. The Temporal Reputation set that also fills these same slots is also a solid option, just not as strong. The 2pc set turns all of your Weapon Amplification skill into (essentially) Exotic Amplification, so I get about 50% CrtD to exotics from this 2pc set. 

The shields are more of a free slot. I chose to go with the Regenerative Crystal shields, which are free and freely distribute shields like Tactical Team would. You could slot the Revolutionary Shields here for the 3pc, or the Tilly Shields to increase shield damage. If you had the Temporal set, then the Temporal Shield would allow you to slot a different engine or core as needed. 


Exotic Particle Flood is the most powerful consumable battery, which are easily crafted from the Science R&D school. I have the advanced ones because I generate a lot of Loops from running Elite queues. Kobyashi Maru is a nice to have since I ran the event, but totally not worth getting from Mudd's. Deuterium is also consumable but easily crafted and is an Evasive Maneuvers in a can, just in case my real Evasive Maneuvers is on cooldown. Past this, other options are pretty trivial and depend on what you have available. You can't go wrong with Auxiliary Batteries if you are on a budget. 

Starship Consoles


I love the Web Cannon. I like the Webspinner as well, but it is far less effective than the Web Cannon. Regardless, there are probably better choices than the Web Cannon, but for this build, this is the anchor on which I designed the rest of the build. With the proper sequence of activations, I have gotten over 100k DPS in one shot of the Web Cannon. For reference, that is over 13,000,000 cumulative damage.


With the Web Cannon as the target, I chose things that would enhance it as well as the rest of the build. For starters, here are a few top contenders that aren't on this build. 

Cutting Tractor Beam is often touted as a great boon to Universal Console builds, and there was a time that was true. It used to have several consoles that would quickly hit all 10 stacks, such as DPRM and Delphic Tear. Now, in general, one clicky gets one stack, and as you'll see, I have shied away from a ton of clickies on my build. This means that in general, I can't get anywhere near max stacks from this console, and the clicky itself is unimpressive. 

Speaking of DPRM, I used to have it slotted as well. I certainly didn't throw it away, but decided it wasn't the best use of a console slot. The clicky is Cat2 damage, but the passive was useless on my exotic build. This also lowers the overall cost of entry to this build (which is already quite high). There are enough other consoles with better passives and good if not better active powers that I decided it was time to drop this from my build. 

The Webspinner also used to be on this build, and it is very much on-theme for what I am going for with the build. However, the "on hold" portion of the passive of the Webspinner doesn't work for exotics, and the damage output of the Webspinner has been patched to a much lower and less effective level. I'd love to be able to slot it, but it's simply not very good. 

Passive Consoles

Before we get into the clicky consoles I did slot, I want to talk about the passive consoles I used. You'll notice I chose to not fill up the science console slots with science consoles, and there's no real reason I didn't take up all 6 slots (5 sci + 1 uni) with science consoles. The passives might be a bit stronger, but I lose out on the active powers. I may yet tune this further in the future to a higher number of science consoles and fewer clickies, but for now, I have the balance I am looking for. 

I dedicated 4 console slots to science consoles. Using math we've already done elsewhere, the first two consoles are Exotic Particle Focusers, which end up building more Cat2 exotic than Amplifiers in the same slots would. However, we quickly get diminishing returns slotting further focusers. I do also have an Exotic Particle Exciter [EPG] which nets nearly 80 EPG from one console slot. This is pretty rare, and if I didn't have it, I would slot two Amplifiers. If you have fewer of the Universal consoles that I have chosen, further slots can be filled with Amplifiers as well. As such, I have 2 Focusers, 1 Amplifier, and 1 Exciter [EPG]. 

There's two other passive consoles I chose, these being in the Tactical slots. The Fek'ihri Torment Engine (Toaster) has some great passives for Fire/Radiation/Plasma/Physical damage, as well as DoTs. This means that the Web Cannon actually benefits from both halves of the Toaster for nearly 80% Cat1 damage. This also benefits several other clickies and powers, such as the Secondary Deflector so is a great free choice for Science builds. 

The other Tactical console I have slotted is the Lorca's Custom Fire Controls. This gives us CrtH for everything, as well as the CrtD from the 2pc with the torpedo from earlier. The shield penetration certainly helps the torpedoes, but isn't a huge part of my damage output. I could see this as take it or leave it, but it was an easy slot since I already have it for other builds. 

Active "Clicky" Consoles

With the Web Cannon, 4 Science Consoles, and 2 Tactical consoles filled, we have 5 console slots left. I could pick up another slot if I had a T6X2 available, but those are harder to come by than the T6X I've done on so many builds. Delphic Tear is at the top of my list, both due to the clicky power and the strong passive. Similarly, the Genesis Seed and Dragonsblood Flame Reactor both have strong passives and actives. While they don't directly boost the Web Cannon, they do boost other portions of the build and do strong damage on their own. Temporal Vortex Probe and Neutronic Eddies are not as strong of a clicky, but do have solid passives and are free if you have them. If you didn't do the events for them, they are pretty expensive pickups that can be pretty well outclassed. 

Set Bonuses

Bridge Officers


Since my focus is on the clicky powers and exotic damage, the Bridge Officer selections need to support that. Spore-Infused Anomalies (starship trait) keys off Anomalies and science powers, so when possible these were maximized. I also add several control powers to increase the uptime of Clicky consoles. 

Tractor Beam is a "mule" power, useless on its own, but when combined with Unconventional Systems, it helps reduce cooldown on all of my clicky consoles. Tyken's rift is also here for the Secondary Deflector, and is used in the off cycle with Gravity well. It is stronger damage but no pull, and also an anomaly for Spore Infused Anomalies. 


Personal Traits

Starship Traits

Reputation Traits

Active Reputation

Duty Officers


Ship Stats