Connor’s NX Cannon Build

(Screenshot by @peterconnorfirst)

Hello everyone,

we’re proud to publish the build from one of our channel members again. He is a very skilled Cannon Escort pilot, doing more than 180k DPS so far. The build is tested and used after the Season 13 launch and performs very well. For Questions about this build you should contact him ingame (@peterconnorfirst). Enjoy the build:

And now a statement from the creator of this build:


Hey folks, Peter here.

Cannon build escorts and beam boats share most of the gear, trait and ability choices we deem right because both use energy weapons. There are however some discrete differences.

Most noteworthy one is the boff ability Cannon: Scatter Volley which works best in PvE to distribute damage with cannons in the front and turrets in the aft weapon slots.

A “must have” starship trait here is Withering Barrage which can be acquired from Zen-Store ships for all factions. The trait has the unique attribute to prolong the duration of Cannon: Scatter Volley by 4 seconds. In case of global cooldown this means that one basically has the benefits of this boff ability running continuously forming a powerful combination with Supremacy. Another trait adjustment would be to exchange Beam Training and Beam Barrage with Cannon Training and perhaps Helmsman to gain more speed and maneuverability.

For front armaments I favor Dual Heavy Cannons after S13 since the proc of embassy consoles has been reduced to uselessness and we get additional and now working Crit D on those guns. For all energy types but Antiproton the crafting system also provides Wide Arc Dual Heavy Cannons with all-round mod selections and on which the inherent Arc mod does not consume space. We may slot only one of those but should do so. Having such a weapon is a great asset and I found on respective parses that their wider arc brings them often in the same DPS reach as even the Terran Task Force Dual Heavy Cannon, one of the hardest hitting weapons in game.

Those of us who played through the original No Win Scenario came to respect the benefits of some crowd control on cannon builds. The arc of those builds is highly constrained and no matter how good you pilot some help to simply force the critters to be where you want them to be will help. Therefor I always see to a Lt. Commander sci slot on my cannon builds to take along a Gravity Well. Some of the high end consoles we use anyway (Bioneural Infusion Circuits, Assimilated Module, Disruption Pulse Emitter, Tachyokinetic Converter and Weapon Sensor Enhancer) boost control expertise and work to our advantage here.

The playstyle with cannons is a bit different from broadsiding beams and can be described best as β€œpark and shoot” for PvE. Don’t fly by your foes! Players who have Dual Beam Banks will have an easier time to get used to it. “Parking” here means either standing still or to throttle slightly forward and backwards to increase your defense. The objective is to position your ship quickly near a target rich environment and to cover as many critters in your front arc, at least 3 or more would be the optimal amount of targets for Cannon: Scatter Volley. That way the source of hit points to burn will stay up when one target is destroyed and the volley can hit the next one without any time delay. Cannons suffer the same damage drop off as beams so staying close to the targets helps. Nevertheless the closer you are the fewer targets you can cover in that arc. Finding the right distance here takes some practice and since all matches are dynamic it will always depend on the respective situation. The moment an area is cleared take the next spot on map quickly and repeat.

Cannon builds are not only a fun alternative but, when done right, also a very effective way to approach general PvE. I think they can play a competitive role in the league and managed to shoot me into the highest DPS channels in game.

Thanks for reading and happy shooting all.

– Peter




54 comments to Connor’s NX Cannon Build

  • Neram  says:

    Thanks for this great build. The notes did not include DOff selections. Can you please let me know what you’re using. They referred to Marion and Emergency conn, and I’ll assume the rest are CritD, but I’d like to know for certain.

    • felisean  says:

      They are listed in the doff tab there πŸ˜‰

    • peterconnorfirst  says:

      Thanks Neram. πŸ™‚

  • Neram  says:

    Thanks. I had to reload the page. It was empty when I first looked. πŸ™‚

  • Hyunmoo Sirius  says:

    Well in recent build, a console Dynamic Power Redistributor Module seems to be must-have (although it was essential in pre-s13 period), However, I’m glad that I have Atlas. πŸ˜‰

    • peterconnorfirst  says:

      Yea I noticed as well that Feli began to integrate this console in all example builds the moment it was released. After nerf to leech and embassy console I think it’s one if not the best none tac console around. Especially as the clicky boosts not only energy weapons but all damage so even exotics.

      For me this is also pretty much a live savior in every run because with it I can just hammer all cannons into a gravity-welled flock of spheres without any regrets.

      Nice you have it too. πŸ™‚

  • whicky1978  says:

    Is Pen mod preferred on cannons compared to Rapid mod? this one’s a little bit more advanced than one Cpt Jonathan Archer had πŸ˜†πŸ€£πŸ˜

    • peterconnorfirst  says:

      To be honest I never really gave the [Rapid] mod a shot after reading that it would not interact well with boff abilities CSV and CRF.Now if that thing would just put haste or something on the guns it could be interesting to explore but if it interferes with the CD time in any way I’d rather give it a wide berth and stick to [PEN].

      Thanks to Withering Barrage CSV is already at 14/15 seconds and for CRF there would be a trait with similar functionality available from the JHSS as well.

      And yea, Captain Archer would have been happy to shoot stuff like a Defiant but if I remember correctly his weapons were at least called β€œcannons” too so I hope I did not move that far away from canon. πŸ˜€

      • whicky1978  says:

        yeah it’s really costly to upgrade and experiment. I might experiment some point with a rapid mod on small craft

  • whicky1978  says:

    I started STO with Cannons. I learned to use omnis to aim and focus my attacks. You have to lower the nose of the ship at the right angle.

  • weaselone  says:

    A T6 NX is a fairly significant Lobi investment and I don’t believe that there is any other escort that has quite the same Boff layout + 5/2 weapons layout + console slot setup. Can you provide any insight as to how you prioritize the features on an escort and what other escorts you think make for reasonably strong builds.

    Thanks in advance.

    • peterconnorfirst  says:

      For me personally the ability to slot a gravity well is #1 factor, #2 would be the layout 5/2>4/3 but also intel seats on which one could slot OSS3; #3 would be the basic stats as in turn rate and hull capacity.

      While at the moment the NX and especially the JHSS are my favorite escorts for general PvE there a close 3rd would be the Icarus pilot escort. If you like to give cannons a first shot or anything the Icarus would be a very powerful craft to do so. I flew it quite some time b4 I got my hand on the NX. I remember it to be bit more fragile one could compensate a bit with boffs but also a lot whole faster.

      In the end picking the NX for my main toon was also a matter of personal taste. I just saw that the ship would allow me to impellent my favorite play style in game and just loved the looks.

      You are right with pointing out that other ships have the potential to make as good (or even better?) cannon builds. While technically not an escort the T6 Breen warship will probably work well with cannons too. I used the predecessor to do NWS with the same build roots.

      I hope my answer helps a bit. πŸ™‚

    • whicky1978  says:

      Pilot ships make for good cannon builds too.

      • peterconnorfirst  says:

        Oh they are very much good at that with their super agility. πŸ™‚

        Only thing one need to be careful there is that they pop a bit more easily if they are forced into park and shoot playstyle; but one can compensate with boffs.

        • whicky1978  says:

          Yeah, raiders are good too but you do have to keep moving in these kinds of ships.

  • Cannoner  says:

    Hi there,

    I very much like your build, I just had a few general questions, if you don’t mind. πŸ™‚

    Firstly, have you considered replacing Fluidic Cocoon? This build does not appear to be a tank, so I’m wondering if you’re really getting the most out of FC in this build. Have you considered replacing FC with something more constant, such as Intense Focus? It would give you 6.0% Shield Pen at 4 stacks, which is quite helpful, IMO.

    Secondly, how is Gravity Well 1 working for you in this build? From what I understand, GW1 is currently broken in that it’s only applying its pull component to the Primary Target. Are you noticing any worthwhile AoE pull with GW1 at the moment?

    Lastly, I noticed this quote at the beginning of this post:

    “He is a very skilled Cannon Escort pilot, doing more than 180k DPS so far.”

    …and was impressed as I assumed this was a S13 record. I checked both SCM and CLR’s tables and noticed your records there are 129K, and 135K, respectively. Was your 180K+ run in S12? If so, I’m curious why it’s advertised at the opening paragraph of this post without clarifying it’s from before the Space balance pass. That being said, 129K and 135K are most impressive.

    Thanks again for your build, I know from experience how difficult cannons can be to use sometimes, and certainly appreciate another cannon pilot out there doing good work.

    Cheers. πŸ™‚

    • peterconnorfirst  says:

      Hey there.

      – I switch traits a lot atm; Intense Focus is somthing I use at times but in pug runs I often get more damage in than the rest of the team in sum. With cannon escorts I’m always close to targets and the idea behind cocoon was to trigger it over neaby explosions as well. Something that would help u even without aggro in good teams.

      – I noticed that the pull pf GW1 took a hit in current season. I found the pull still enough for the desired task to keep 3+ spheres in the front arc though. I try to balance grav gens just enough to get the initial spawn in ISA pinned (Cube + 4 spheres). Often I start that match with the rom tier 5 rep clickie to get a moderate boost for it. Works most of the time to get that straight if I get the first shot and others didn’t already spread the critters. For L/R spheres it’s not an issue and the pull still does its thing well enough for me. There is also Psychological Warfare I have ony my scis. Have not used it on my tacs yet; it is supposed to make the effect of the well better but using it would mean giving up a dmg trait.

      – My highest parse was in mid/late S12 with 187k or so as far as I can tell (2 embassy consoles used). In S13 135K should be my highest upload so far but get in the 120k reach often. All runs originate from L/R pugs. I only use CLR and not that other tool you mentioned so i can’t comment if anybody else parsed me with it.

      I hope my answer helps a bit and I’m also gald to see more peeps interestd in using cannons. πŸ™‚

  • Rykus83  says:

    Just a question i noticed you did Disruptors for your cannons is there a reason or just personal preference?

    • peterconnorfirst  says:

      Hey there and thanks for your question. πŸ™‚

      Well Disruptor is my preferred energy type because of the many weapon set (pieces) we have around to build upon and/or to augment it further (Terran Task Force Munitions DHC, Entoiled Technology, Silent Enemy and especially Synergistic Retrofitting).

      One very beneficial set for cannon players exclusively is the Counter Command Ordonnance set (turret + uni console) granting +7.5% Bonus Disruptor Energy Damage. The latter two would also be available for a Phaser build.

  • Rykus83  says:

    Oh and do you have a suggestion on a budget build for this as I’m a new player and i dont think I will be able to aquire all the gear you have listed.

    • peterconnorfirst  says:

      For a budget solution there is surely more than one way. Best would be to start somewhere and get the expensive parts later one which you could do with Disruptors:

      – Weapons with DMGx3 Crit D can be purchased in UR in fleet bases for example without any EC. If you have a bit of EC but don’t insist on coalitions or strict mods all combos with Crt D and DMG work just fine on regular disruptors too. There is no reason not to mix crafting and fleet weapons even.

      – If Iconian or other reputation Space sets are out of reach the Quantum Phase Applications Set is for free. Cryptic may have nerfed it but u still get a DPS increasing ability for free out of a story mission that way.

      – As for consoles, if you can’t get the expensive ones yet try to get Plasmonic Leech, Temporal Disentanglement Suite, Zero Point Energy Conduit and perhaps the Sustained Radiant Field. They should not cost much.

      Another general Idea on a budget would be to switch from Disrupors to Phasers since the respective weapons are often cheaper on the exchange. I use them on another 100k+ cannon build of mine. Phaser also have the Synergistic Retrofitting and Counter Command Ordonnance sets available. There are also two good Phaser sets for free from story missions. One is the Quantum Phase Catalysts Set the other is quiet new and called Trilithium-Laced Weaponry giving your build more firing haste.

      • felisean  says:

        And you might wanna have a look at our discount builds too πŸ™‚

  • whicky1978  says:

    I starter with Mk II gear and upgraded overr time. Some energy weapon types are cheaper as well. I looked for gear with CritDx2 and Pen. Its possible to get a 10K build without Lobi or c-store products by buying from the Reputation projects and fleet stores. When you hit level 60 use a free retrain token and set your skill tree to the one reccomended here. It just takes time to grind for the equipment.

  • ParanoidAndroid  says:

    What about those Traits.. what if we do not have the Zen Points or Energy Credits to get all those Traits? Btw. I already have Antiproton Cannons, what am I missing out on Set Bonuses?

    • peterconnorfirst  says:

      Only special AP gear I can think of would be polymorphic probe array. πŸ™‚

      Other than that all budget choices given here on the league page remain vaild for cannons too since both are energy weapons. My suggestion is to start there and simply buy the more expencive stuff as time goes by. Thats how I did it.

  • Rykus83  says:

    I’m going to be buying the fed Pilot Escort bundle when I hit 50th which escort do you suggest that would most fit your build?

    • peterconnorfirst  says:

      Hey there, you wont regret those ships.:)

      They are fun to fly and are quiet fast. Personaly I would go with the Icarus Pilot Escort. Thats the ship I used for quiet some time b4 getting the NX. Reason is the Lt. Commander Sci Boff slot to be able to use a gravity well. If that is not needed cuz you often have peeps in team doing wells for you the other two will rock as good of course.

  • Rykus83  says:

    for tac consoles im rocking PreFire chambers until i can get Epic Console-Tactical-Vulnerability Locator Mk XIV [+Dis] from my fleet. what would u suggest for the science and engineer consoles until i can work the Rep and get the ohter ones for there missions?

    • peterconnorfirst  says:

      Well if you know that you aim for Disruptor which is pretty cool the Nausicaan console from story mission is good and for free. πŸ™‚

      Otherwise I always do fine with the general recomended consoles on Feli’s S13 quick update: They were Bioneural Infusion Circuit (Lobi), Delphic Tear Generator (exchange/lockbox), Tachyokinetic Konverter (Lobi), Temporal Disentanglement Suite (Episode Reward), Zero Point Module (Romulan Reputation), Dynamic Power Redistributor Module (Atlas or Box from exchange + 2 pice for disruptor).

  • Rykus83  says:

    if i wanted to try and aquire the NX Escort Refit with out buying with crystals which is the best method for grind Energy Credits in you opinion?

    • Hyunmoo Sirius  says:

      I may vote for grind energy credits. You may can purchase it by grinding ec with master keys (current rate is 1 key : 4.5m ec).
      However acquiring lobi crystal is very costly (in worst-case scenario, 225 lockboxes have to be opened to get 900 in total for NX).

    • peterconnorfirst  says:

      Hey there. πŸ™‚

      Well I’m in game pretty long now and ended up with 10 toons. I doff and admirality all of them each day and tend to a lot of PvE in the league and my own fleet. Most of my in game capital comes through just that.

      What I can suggest is:

      – Manufacturing and selling items out of the R&D system. There is continuous demand.
      – Turn Dil into Zen and use that to purchase Keys when they are on sale; especially over the key ring bundle.
      – Spend RL money for zen and buy R&D boxes /lock boxes when they have a high demand (new lock boxes or when promo ships are added)

      The latter I only do when I fleet comfortable with the state of the game and I feel cryptic disserves it. All in all it’s a matter of patience. With 10 toons it takes me roughly a moth to actively play for a ship in the NX price range. Also thanks to Hyunmoo Sirius for his advice. When I want lobi opening those boxes or the promo packs works as well and often gives out other stuff peeps might purchase (for example booster).

  • whicky1978  says:

    Here are some good videos on how to grind for ec’s and dilithium. Its cheaper usually to buy with ec’s than playing with lockbox lottery. I like to sell master keys for ec’s. Salvaged tech is worth alot too in ec’s.

  • Rykus83  says:

    So I’ve gotten or I’m getting all the consoles listed except the Epic Console – Universal – Timeline Stabilizer, and Epic Console – Universal – Dynamic Power Redistributor Module( I don’t plan on trying to buy the FED ship Prototype Dreadnought for this console)(not yet at least) You suggest in the note for more durability to use A Protomatter Field Projector. hut I missed that 7 Year Anniversary Event so what console do you suggest to replace it for it defensive aspect? and which console replace for the timeline stabilizer, they would both have to be from Rep or can get from missions sense I do not have lobi crystals for some of the replacements in the note section.

    • felisean  says:

      Another console for survivability would be the regenerative integrity field (samsar console).
      for other console, depend a bit on what you already use and which weapons you’re using, but i think the best available are some lobi consoles at all πŸ˜‰

      • Weaselone  says:

        Zero-Point Energy Conduit if nothing else is available?

        • Hyunmoo Sirius  says:

          If you do not have enough power for Dynamic Power Redistributor Module (KDF/Rom) or Atlas-class (including the console what I just mentioned; FED), M6 Computer Console would be a good alternative; It can be acquired from T3 Perseus-class Temporal Escort (1000 Zen).

  • felisean  says:

    Yea but i think peter mentioned that one earlier too πŸ˜‰

    • Hyunmoo Sirius  says:

      Greetings, Since Merle@flocki3 is DPS record holder – 261,000 DPS – in S14 currently, how about his build posted? Also Merle is sci career character, it would be a great help to sci career or even engi.

      Anyway, my DPS record is still in boxed-area – 99.7k – (I lost a 106.3k record by unknown reason even I uploaded it when I did that.[I remember it was on oct 7, 2017 in KST]) lol

  • Rykus83  says:

    Would using the Terran Task force Withering Disruptors instead of the Coalition Disruptors change the output of this build?(I’ve only got like 60% of it followed as right now).

    • felisean  says:

      Good weapon mods (crtd/dmg+pen(if crafted)) are more important than the weapon type itself πŸ™‚

  • Rykus83  says:

    I’ve got a question on doffs what is a good group to set? I’d be buying from exchange mostly and getting from mission rewards.

    • felisean  says:

      i think peter mentioned them all in the build itself πŸ™‚

  • whicky1978  says:

    Just think how hard ISA would be if the borg adapted to the weapons. Maybe the devs could do an elite infectrf space with this πŸ˜‰. Then we would not all be able to have disruptors πŸ˜†.

  • Hyunmoo Sirius  says:

    I adapted your build to Crossfield-class Science Vanguard, and made 97.2k dps on an ISA run. Thank you for your build. The difference is, that I equipped 3 DHC and 1 Kentari Missile launcher. and using CSV2+TS3.

    • peterconnorfirst  says:

      Hey hey, I’m glad you found my build helpful and big GZ on your progress. πŸ™‚

      With stuff like Domino console granting an all dmg bonus and Delphic tear adding bonus exotic dmg I think one can put some serious addition to cannon DPS on the Crossfield if one uses a deteriorating secondary deflector. Resonance beam and charge particle burst trigger it well.

      • Hyunmoo Sirius  says:

        I currently use 2x Exotic Particle Focusers, but I have a plan to change these two to 1x Auxiliary Ejection Assembly and 1x Delphic Tear Generator. Also, I use 2pc DPRM+PDBW as well, because I found PDBW is better than Disruption Pulse Emitter.
        While I cannot utilize Cold-Hearted since Crossfield can’t use either A2B or Pilot boff skills, I may be able to use Harrying Maneuvers If I equip EPtE and Conn Hologram.
        *PDBW : Point Defense Bombardment Warhead

      • Hyunmoo Sirius  says:

        Correction Note: Crossfield may can use 1x A2B or If putting Lt.Cmdr. Universal to Eng, maybe 2x A2B, but A2B diminishes all sci boff abilites so A2B has adverse effect to Crossfield. That’s why I use the phrase ‘Crossfield can’t use A2B’, practically.

  • wineward  says:

    Noob question: how do you heal with no healing powers slotted? Are teammates expected to heal you, or do some of your consoles have healing clickies?

    • felisean  says:

      But he’s using hazard emitter as a heal. In addition dynamic power redistributor console has a strong heal (hull reg, sadly not part of the logfile) for 20 seconds. In addition, you could add agent nerul (doff from the delta big bundle), this one is a great defense doff (hull heal while apb is running).
      in case you have more problems dying try to use protomatter influx (lukari) and the scaling dyson rep resistance buff active hull hardening (both are rep traits)

  • barefootnative808  says:

    Just FYI, Checked Zen store for “Withering Barrage”. No Results Found.

  • Dan Perdue  says:

    Any updates to this build to make it more effective since it is now 2022? Def/Imp/Eng/Def Consoles and traits?

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