Alpha Zergling

Undine Kiwavi Bio-Cruiser

Build Overview and Focus

In many games that I have played, I've always enjoyed the tanking or support roles. I get a sense of pride knowing I am lifting my teammates to victory. It's also a way I feel I can serve my friends and teammates. It's not as bright and flashy as a 1M DPS build, but there is something satisfying about taking tons of damage and just shrugging it off. 

Originally, my main was in a Tarantula as a tank. Eventually, all those event characters I made to unlock the recruitment events were leveled out enough to have their own top-tier builds. My main still gets all the best toys, but I spare no expense (as I can afford it) on my primary alts. Jill is one of them, with a nice solid tank that is no fuss. In order to push my teammates to higher damage output, I sacrifice some of my own damage output to further support the team, while also keeping a tanking focus. Thus, a support tank fills both the tank and support role for the team. 

Tanks in STO need to do damage - there are essentially no direct taunts that force the targets to attack you over someone else. There are also a TON of targets in STO, so single-target abilities are not going to cut it. Additionally, if you can do a big initial burst of damage, it will help lock in your spot as threat leader. But you also need to survive that damage with resistances, healing, and raw hit points. 

The Kiwavi has a focus on Regen, and could certainly slot more Regen powers, but since Regen doesn't help you at full hull, further Regen isn't going to be that beneficial. I have over 360% Regen in combat, which means 3% of my hull heals every 0.5 seconds! Couple that with Protomatter consoles and other Tanking powers, and this is a solid tank that feels very Undine. I take advantage of the Command and Pilot powers for even more team buffs. 

Meta Analysis

While not aiming to break any DPS records, I have been able to achieve 235k DPS with this build. More importantly for tanks, I have had as high as 98.4% attacks in. That means 1.6% of the attacks on the map are going towards my teammates. Now, getting lower scores doesn't mean your tank is ineffective as it can depend on team composition as well as positioning. If a player is within 10km of a ship I am not within 10km of, they can take threat that I can't possibly get. If everyone is positioned well, then threat is no problem. 


Zerglings are little creatures that are known for being able to heal and swarm unsuspecting planets (in some far-reaching alternate universe)

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.

T6 C-Store Ships

Legendary Ships

Event Items/Ships

Lockbox Gear & Duty Officers

Lobi Gear (200 lobi each)

Lobi Ships 

Lockbox Ships - None

R&D Promotional Ships - None

Change History

Build Breakdown

The Alpha Zergling is a fast tank, and while not as tough as some other heavy tanks, it makes up for it with Regen and support capabilities. 


Skill Unlocks


Jill's focus as a character is a tank. That means that she needs damage, but also needs to have a lot of defenses. I tend to prefer passive defenses (such as resists and regeneration) over active (such as clickies and heals). As such, you'll see the skill tree reflect that.

Shield/Hull Restoration are just too good to pass up. +25% Hull/Shield healing are a solid addition to any heals, especially since most heals don't have some "baked in" Cat1 healing like weapons do for damage. Now, this build may not have a lot in the way of specific heals, but everyone has access to the Undine shield bubble and Brace for Impact, so at a minimum it enhances those. Rally Point Marker, a power I typically use, has both hull and shield healing and as such, benefits from both points. My Kiwavi uses the Protomatter Field Projector, and its regen is enhanced by both skills.

Advanced Hull Capacity is not a typical choice, but I have at least two items on both the Kiwavi and Endeavour that scale with max hull. The Tilly 3pc lightning zap Mycelial Lightning scales its damage up to 200k hull, and Tyler's Duality reputation trait scales its CrtH up to 200k hull. This makes 200k hull the target hull I am for. Now, the first point is 15% more hull, then the next is 10.5%, and the last is 4.5%. This means that last point gives 1/3 the bonus the first point does, but in context, that is still 2,835 (Kiwavi) or 2,885 (Endeavour) extra hull. This also contributes to regen effectiveness. Regen heals 3% of hull in a specific increment. So, 4.5% capacity means an extra ~85 hull healed every tick of regen. That may not seem like a lot, but with 300% regen or so, that's a tick every 0.6s! In the 10 seconds Aux to SIF takes to cool down, that last point of Hull Capacity has healed 1,500 hull. (I'm not selling you on this, am I?)

I pick up a point in shield capacity, but generally don't rely on shields to stay alive. Reverse Shield Polarity doesn't rely on capacity, but it's an easy point to spend for some extra capacity the rest of the time.

Weapon Training adds a lot to my primary damage source, which is weapons. Energy weapons are what do the most damage, but the token Torpedo packs a punch as well with the extra damage from Projectile Weapon Training. I choose Improved because I choose to use that extra point elsewhere.

Since energy weapons are a primary damage source, EPS really helps keep my extra power topped up as weapons drain power when firing. These two points double the speed I get power restored.

Impulse Energy shunt is completely wasted, Miracle Worker primary means power moves instantly after Full Impulse and the "benefit" from the shunt is wasted.

Impulse Expertise, however, is something I always max out anymore. I tend to fly large ships, and they need all the help they can get in the speed and turn department. Impulse Expertise helps both.

I always pick up at least one point in both Control Expertise (CtrlX) and Drain Expertise (DrainX) not because of the buffs, but because of the resistances they offer. I also picked up the second point in CtrlX because I run several control powers for Unconventional Systems, and I run Fragment of AI Tech, which turns CtrlX into damage for my weapons.

I don't find Drain Infection useful on this build as I have no drains to enable it. I do pick up Control Amplification because I run controls, and the extra exotic debuff helps out my teammates.

Accuracy/Defense is a tough one to gauge, especially because you never know exactly how accurate you are. 100% accuracy is optimal, but extra accuracy is just turned into a little CrtX (CrtH & CrtD is CrtX). If you are missing in your parses, add some accuracy. If you have 100% accuracy, maybe spend that point elsewhere? Unless you start missing again... Defense is similar, and more complex because of movement adding to Defense. I pick up improved in both because... it feels right. I don't have a definitive answer.

Hull Plating is passive defense, but not quite as good as "all" damage resistance. Being a tank, one point here is well spent, though spending the next two for Kinetic and Energy resists is harder to justify, especially in a world with Honored Dead and History Will Remember which are huge boons to tank survivability. I sometimes skip this point on damage builds because 15 actual resistance is pretty small compared to some powers (Aux to SIF) or traits (Repair Crews), and some have way more than that (Terran Engines, 100; Honored Dead 10x20)

Shield Regeneration is special in some way, but you should read Jayiie's work for details on that. I always pick up a point here because its so special.

Shield Hardness is a point I rarely pick up, but being a tank, it seemed like a good idea. Basic Skills offer often as much or more than Improved and Advanced combined, so a single point can go further spread out than focused.

Speaking of focusing, Criticals' are always a crowd pleaser. Since most of my damage output here is based on weapons, I took all 3 points in both skills. I would say if a point is to be skipped, 0.4% CrtH is not much return for a skill point. If I didn't already have Advanced Hull Capacity, I'd evaluate if the point in Hull Capacity would be worth more (via Tyler's Duality) than the point here.

As far as Power goes, I'll cover all 9 unlocks at once. Subsystem tuning (and power in general) is a tricky subject. Each ship 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 weapon output. 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. Beyond weapon power, I don't end up needing a lot of extra power because of batteries and Emergency Power abilities.

Exotic Particle Generator (EPG) is an odd point here, but I think it has good value for the point, netting 50 EPG to boost any abilities that use EPG (such as clicky consoles). I wouldn't fault anyone for not choosing the point in EPG on a build where exotic powers aren't a primary damage source.

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.

Hull/Shield Pen for weapons is a tough one because these skills translate to such a low amount of actual value, and they are only for weapons (not Kemocite or Mycelial Lightning, etc). Even though I am extremely focused on weapon damage, these are 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. My AP beams already have a [Pen] mod, but my Kiwavi doesn't have that, so it is helpful to pick up to at least Improved on both.

Readiness is absolutely wasted because of the methods I use to hit global cooldown. I primarily use Photonic Officer 1 (PO1), which manages cooldowns just fine 2/3rds of the time. Using Entwined Tactical Matricies (ETM) for Fire at Will/Torpedo Spread (FAW/TS) means I need to only take off 10 seconds of their 30 second initial cooldowns. Since I am running strategist and Threatening Stance on, I also get cooldowns from using heals when Photonic Officer is on cooldown. I'm also more likely to miss my FAW/TS timing due to not being able to fire a torpedo spread than missing cooldowns (more on that later).

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

Coordination is really solid for me solo, but also as part of a team. None of my builds use hangar pets, but both 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 theirs (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. 


Since I have a balanced skill tree, I end up without an Ultimate, which is fine by me. Most unlocks are pretty straightforward.

Engineering-5 (Engineering unlock for 5 points) is between Hangar health for my pets, or doubling the duration of most batteries. I don't see 10% extra health really ever being worth choosing, but every build can take advantage of Battery Expertise, and this is the only place you can get it!

Engineering-10 is between hull capacity and subsystem offline resistance. I don't have a great number for subsystem offline duration, even moreso how the skill reduces this. Subsystem Repair is a skill called out in the bridge officer trait Leadership, which I tend to slot for their regeneration so I end up with this skill as a byproduct. 10 Hull Capacity isn't that impressive, but on a cruiser, I'll take it. This is 3% more hull, which makes regeneration that much more effective. Neither pick is impressive, so there isn't a definitive right answer. 

Engineering-15 and Engineering-20 are just +2 to specific subsystem power, so they aren't worth dead points in Engineering to chase. The Engineering Ultimate is also unimpressive single target. 

Science-5 is entirely a preference between sector speed increase or transwarp cooldown reduction. I tend to favor transwarp cooldown as most locations can be transwarped to anymore, especially endgame places like fleet holdings. 

Science-10 is between shield capacity and starship stealth. Since I am not relying on stealth (just the opposite), shield capacity makes the most sense. 

Science-15 and Science-20 are some pretty minor resists or perception. Control Expertise and Drain Expertise provide these skills naturally. The Science Ultimate is not helpful in the current state of the game as it would reduce my effective CrtH. Therefore, none of these are worth taking extra points to unlock. 

Tactical-5 is absolutely essential for a tank. Choosing 100% extra threat for Threatening Stance makes a large difference, whereas 10% extra damage for hangar pets won't make that large of a difference. If you made the wrong choice here, please respec. 

Tactical-10 and Tactical-15 are somewhat preferential, but I find that the CrtH just slightly edges out the CrtD. 

Tactical-20 is a super small choice, but since this is a tank, the extra defense was my choice. Not worth a respec if you choose accuracy. 


Starship Weapons


An addition to the game in 2020 was been Ba'ul Antiproton Weapons. These trade the innate Critical Severity of Antiproton for a reflection which deals 5% of damage dealt to target to the closest target. This applies to every shot, and with the lobi 2pc this is further increased to 10% of total damage dealt to up to two additional targets after the initial. There are some effects which carry over on these reflections, such as Suppression Barrage Debuffs.

With the Lobi Ba'ul weapon and console set, Linked Sentry, the reflections can be upgraded to deal 10% of damage to target and bounce to two targets. It also grants the basic reflection to standard Antiproton weapons. Because of how tanking works, Ba'ul weapons have quickly become the go-to for tanking options. This isn't to say that other weapon types are inherently bad, but the inability to hit as many targets that Ba'ul weapons can leave them lacking for ability to draw as many targets. Notice, however, that I did not fit out all of my weapons as Ba'ul beams, as I already had several crafted AP beams from when [Pen] weapons were the best. They each have [Pen] modifiers and a mix of CrtD/Dmg modifiers. Since they aren't Ba'ul, they will end up only reflecting to one additional target instead of two, but there is quite a bit of cost to pick up more Ba'ul beams and fully upgrade them simply to hit another target. 

I've even experimented with weapons from the Nukara reputation. While these do have a chance of bouncing, and even the reputation set one always bounces, they are nowhere near as strong as Ba'ul AP. I could slot the AP Nukara DDB, but since I am always in a firing mode, I would need all 3 pieces for the bounce to even happen since the reflections only happen when under standard fire or with the full 3pc set for Fire at Will. I did some limited testing, and the reflections were once per firing cycle (which under FAW is 5 shots), and on the order of 100-200 damage. Compare that to a Ba'ul reflection's 500-1000 and refracting with nearly every shot as long as another target is nearby, making a Ba'ul refraction 25x as effective as a Nukara refraction. 

As a note to any prospective tank players, feel free to choose whatever type you want. Ba'ul is great at tanking but there are better DPS options than can create similar threat. Crafted AP is 'cheaper', piezoelectric from Lukari Reputation, Phasers or Disruptors of any kind, and so on. Refer to the Energy Basics for some top contenders in each energy flavor. 

Since we are basing our FAW uptime on the trait Entwined Tactical Matrices, we need to make sure we have a torpedo to clear the Torpedo Spread, otherwise we will have to wait out the full 30 second duration and gain nothing from ETM. In this case, I chose the Dark Matter torpedo for its DoT application (for Entropic Rider, more on that later) as well as the multiple triggers with Kemocite-Laced Weaponry

Starship Equipment


A newer setup is to use Temporal Specialization in order to get a DoT on enemy ships to lock in some threat. It's been near the top of my recent parses. The Temporal Specialization has Entropic Rider which is a 2.5% chance to create a DoT, and with as many Ba'ul Refractions and FAW bounces, of around 2,000 beam hits and 2,000 refraction hits, there were 500 Entropic rider ticks, which just helps lock in the damage. Not to mention, any of those targets that have a DoT of any kind will also have a -DRR applied from Atrophied Defenses. 

Also of note is the Tilly 3pc. The Mycelial Lightning is a great way to "lock in" your threat with a big burst of damage. Even a tickle from the Ba'ul beams and they get zapped with the 3pc. In theory, a Ba'ul refraction can be a tiny bit of damage, but has a chance to trigger the Entropic Rider and Mycelial Lightning. This really extends the coverage of the tank. Even without refractions, Torpedo Spread and Fire at Will both hit many targets in a short period of time, once again triggering these initial spikes of damage. Mycelial Lightning also gives us a little payoff for having a high hull capacity (up to 200k) as this scales the damage. 

Since we have the 3pc Tilly for the 3pc set, we really just need to pick what piece we don't want in the Tilly set. In fact, there's nothing wrong with going the full 4pc set and is a great budget option. For extra -DRR, I went with the Gamma deflector with reduces Kinetic DRR to targets hit with my torpedoes. 

Starship Consoles

Set Bonuses

Once we get into the final pieces of gear, the Consoles, we are filling out set bonuses and boosting our damage output. Tanks also need to pick up some survivability since they can take a lot of damage. Most times, sustained healing will do pretty well, but certainly at a more entry level having one or two emergency big heals can make a big difference. 

Tactical Consoles

While we could use Advanced consoles, I instead chose to use Colony consoles for their Regenerative properties. We don't need a ton of damage, we aren't heavy tanking. However, skipping out on all the Cat1 we can get from a few Tactical consoles might be too detrimental to the build. 

Engineering & Science (Universal) Consoles

Since this build is a support and a tank, none of the rest of the consoles are slotted for my own DPS. There's no major synergy here with the consoles, no set bonuses we are chasing. Any set of Support consoles would be great in the remaining slots. However, there are a couple of "essential" consoles that are worth slotting on a tank that we need to cover. 

Since we are going with Antiproton weapons, we need to make sure we slot the Linked Sentry console to attain the 2pc set and get all of our AP beams to bounce. If using some other flavor other than AP, you could certainly slot a solid damage type console, such as the Piezo-Electric Focuser for Polaron. 

We also need to make sure that healing is covered. The combination of Hull Image Refractors and Colony Protomatter consoles builds a lot of extra temporary hull. The Colony consoles are applying 5% of our max hull as healing every 2 seconds, and this can also stack so we are getting even more than that. If we are at max hull, Hull Image Refractors allows us to store this up so we can have it available as we take further damage. The extra 20% Cat1 helps any build, too. 

For the rest of the consoles, I recommend going over the support basics page and picking consoles that are in your budget. There is nothing special about the consoles I chose over other support consoles, and there are certainly better choices at other budget levels. 

Bridge Officers

Bridge Officer Power Selection is something that has the largest swing in any build. If you don't pick your BOff powers correctly (and drag them to tray), you won't do anything. Each one of these has been hand-picked to interact with every aspect of the build for maximum performance. You'll see no duplicates here, cooldowns are managed so that maximum uptime is achieved with one copy of each power. There's not room for more than one!

Just about all of these BOffs have Leadership, which helps slightly with Hull Regeneration. 

Commander Engineering/Command

The central focus of this tank build is Suppression Barrage III, and spreading it around with Fire at Will. Taking Suppression Barrage III means every target that my weapons hit gets their damage output cut in half. Since this is a support, we also take Concentrate Firepower III to be able to boost the damage output of anyone on the team with a torpedo. 

Emergency Power to Weapons and Engines are the last two slots, and could certainly be used at higher ranks depending on your priorities. For energy weapons and Emergency Weapon Cycle, EPTW is required at some level. The ECH DOff is also great for maneuverability and requires EPTE. As such, I wanted more damage than maneuverability so I put them in EPTW II and EPTE I, and displacing Concentrate Firepower III is not worth the higher rank of Emergency Power to Weapons or Engines. 

Lt. Commander Tactical (x2) and Pilot

The Kiwavi has some unusual seating, only having 4 seats and 3 of them being Lt. Commander. Pilot has some interesting powers we could use, such as Form Up, but the positioning of the tank is too critical to be teleporting around with Form Up. Fly Her Apart is a solid damage buff, but can't be shared to my allies and so is not really beneficial. I also tried Deploy Countermeasures, which spawns decoys, but the decoys are so incredibly fragile that they have no discernible impact. As such, I took the ensign Pilot Team for maneuverability and high uptime on Cold Hearted, the other Pilot powers just didn't have enough impact to outweigh the Tactical powers as options. 

Both Lt. Commander seats are filled with Tactical's best debuffs: Kemocite Laced Weaponry and Attack Pattern: Beta. At Lt. Commander, this is KLW3 and APB2, for a total of -55 DRR on every target hit by my Fire-at-Will. 

Next, I need to make sure I pick up Torpedo Spread as well as Fire at Will, which enable 100% uptime on Fire at Will through the use of Entwined Tactical Matrices. While they could both be at Lieutenant rank, only the damage output of Fire at Will increases with rank, not the number of targets or shots fired. Torpedo Spread gains one additional target per rank, so a higher rank means I am hitting more targets, so this makes sense to take at Lieutenant. Fire at Will makes sense at Ensign simply to leave the higher-rank seat open for another power. 

The last power may not make any sense at first glance since we have no cannons on the ship, and Cannon Rapid Fire doesn't trigger any traits. However, the Colony Protomatter consoles are triggered by energy mode powers, so we get twice as much effectiveness (maybe more as it allows stacking) by slotting a cannon power alongside our beam power. We choose not to use Scatter Volley in this case since that would give us an extra torpedo spread that would have to be cleared between usage of Fire at Will and Torpedo Spread, which ideally we are firing a torpedo within the 10 second window that we need, but may not be able to fire two torpedoes in that time. If we still have a Torpedo Spread from ETM+CSV to use, we can lose our Fire at Will while we wait for the torpedo spread to clear. As such, Cannon Rapid Fire is a better choice as it is a simple trigger for the Protomatter consoles. 

Lt. Commander Science

A Lt. Commander Science seat can be quite useful on a support. It allows us to bring one of several support science powers. Gravity Well is a go-to for its ability to group up enemies and make it easier for your team to hit them. However, some of our dedicated support ships bring Gravity Well III as well as a lot of CtrlX to have a full 12km pull. A Gravity Well I is hard capped at 8km range, and we also don't have a ton of CtrlX (~230 CtrlX), so we only end up with a 6km pull. 

We can also use Tractor Beam Repulsors + Graga Mal (Duty Officer) which makes it into a pull. While this is strong to move ships into position, it can only do 3 at a time within a 5km range. Again, the tank really needs to be concerned about positioning to take hits rather than moving out of range to reposition other ships, and you can also take Tethered Non-Baryonic Asteroid for the rare occasion a few targets need to be re-positioned. 

I chose to use Destabilizing Resonance Beam as it is a -DRR that can be applied in a small AoE. I don't have enough Universal Consoles to make taking Unconventional Systems and triggers worth build space. 

The Lieutenant seat is Photonic Officer I so that I have a reliable cooldown tool just in case Boimler's doesn't go off. The Ensign seat is Tractor Beam, which is a Control trigger for Regenerative Control Synergy. This is also available if there is room for Carrier Wave Shield Hacking, which I can swap in for That's a Big Ship if I need less survivability and more support. 


Personal Traits

Since tanking is one of my favorite styles of flying, this character is an Elite Captain and can take 10 personal traits. You'll see many of these traits are defensive focused, but there is a balance of damage output as well. We've already covered Boimler Effect as our cooldown trait. 

Repair Crews, Give Your All, Ablative Shell, Regenerative Control Synergy are all solid defensive traits, with two of them being free to obtain. Fluidic Cocoon, Self-Modulating Fire, Beam Training, Fleet Coordinator, and Fragment of AI Tech are all damage boosting traits, with Fragment of AI Tech also boosting CtrlX. Fluidic Cocoon works well on tanks since it is triggered by taking damage. Beam Training and Fleet Coordinator are both free and good damage output options. 

Crippling Fire is free, but does allow for slightly lower damage output from my enemies based on my critical strikes. 

Starship Traits

We've talked over many of these as we go through the build. The key traits here are Emergency Weapon Cycle (best in slot for energy damage) and Entwined Tactical Matrices (key to keeping FAW up and hitting every target). History Will Remember is one of only a few traits that increase threat based on taking damage, solely designed for tanking. Greater than the Sum and Cold-hearted are great support traits, benefiting the whole team. That's a Big Ship is very optional, but has easily 100% uptime on 30% extra hull hit points and 30 all damage resistance. 

Ignore the extra Cold-hearted in the image, STO is occasionally glitchy, and I don't have T6X2 on the Kiwavi.

Reputation Traits

Active Reputation

Duty Officers


Ship Stats