U.S.S. Dragonscale

Terran Lexington Dreadnought 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. I probably do way too much healing/regen to be practical and could drop some of it for more DPS, but again - 90%+ Atksin is very satisfying.

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.

Tanking is my favorite role in just about any game: D&D, WOW, and of course STO. The Flagship set has fantastic tanking abilities, and the Lexington is really an upgrade of the Endeavour. With a classy Federation design, and a very effective Heavy Tank setup, this is one of my favorite ships to fly from a role and performance perspective. A suitable replacement ship for this would sport higher tanking abilities as well as a typical Federation design.

The Dragonscale is a tough ship. Not as flamboyant as the Tarantula (look for that build soon), but a solid platform and fantastic at taking damage. Survivability is key as a dead tank can either team wipe or at least lose a couple team members.

Threat is mainly from damage in STO, however there are other tricks that work well, especially since I can be the lowest DPS on the team and still take most of the damage. As such, the best way to really "shoot at everything" is with energy damage.

This ship isn't fast, doesn't do exotics, and has one token torpedo (mule). As such, you can say the rest is in a support/themed role. When there was a choice, I went for extra CtrlX to be able to make Gravity Well strong enough to actually move ships.

Meta Analysis

While not aiming to break any DPS records, I have been able to achieve 277k DPS with this build. More importantly for tanks, I have had as high as 97% attacks in. That means 3% 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.


Dragon scales are known for being tough. In fantasy games, you can even get dragon scale armor, which is nimble, light, and very tough. Since this tank does well in the performance category, as well as being tough, I decided to go with Dragonscale. Dragons are also one of my favorite mythical creatures.

Meta Analysis

  • ISA:

  • ISE: 277k DPS, 97% Attacks in

  • HSE: 77% Attacks in

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 (7)

Legendary Ships - None

Event Items/Ships (1)

Lockbox Gear & Duty Officers (8)

  • Hull-Image Refractors Console

  • Temporal Anomaly Projector Console

  • Fragment of AI Tech Personal Trait

  • Fluidic Cocoon Personal Trait

  • Unconventional Systems Personal Trait

  • Self-Modulating Fire Personal Trait

  • Ba'ul Antiproton Weapons (Optional)

  • 12 of 47 Duty Officer (Optional)

Lobi Gear (3 x 200 lobi)

Lobi Ships - None

Lockbox Ships - None

R&D Promotional Ships - None

Change History

  • November 2022 - Initial Release

Build Breakdown

The Dragonscale is a tough ship. Not as flamboyant as the Tarantula (look for that build soon), but a solid platform and fantastic at taking damage. Survivability is key as a dead tank can either team wipe or at least lose a couple team members.

Threat is mainly from damage in STO, however there are other tricks that work well, especially since I can be the lowest DPS on the team and still take most of the damage. As such, the best way to really "shoot at everything" is with energy damage.

This ship isn't fast, doesn't do exotics, and has one token torpedo (mule). As such, you can say the rest is in a support/themed role. When there was a choice, I went for extra CtrlX to be able to make Gravity Well strong enough to actually move ships.


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, chief among them on this build being 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, simply because I spared no expense on these "vanilla" AP beams, which are hardly plain. They each have [Pen] modifiers and a mix of CrtD/Dmg modifiers.

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.

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.

Starship Equipment


A newer setup is to use Temporal Specialization and Fek-ihri Torment Engine in order to get a really large DoT on enemy ships to lock in some threat. It's been near the top of my recent parses.

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.

Finally, the Flagship 3pc really locks me into this ship. With so many great tanking passives, and two great clicky actives, its hard for me to want to drop any of this off. If I changed ships, I would need 3 more consoles to take their place.

Starship Consoles

Set Bonuses

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!


Personal Traits

Starship Traits

Reputation Traits

Active Reputation

Duty Officers


Ship Stats