Due to the high demand for science ship builds, here is a brief overview of what is currently in vogue. One fair warning: only read on and recreate one of the builds if you want to invest hundreds of millions of energy credits, piles of Lobi and thousands of Zen.
Science ships are able to dish out incredible amounts of damage to groups, especially in elite queues. Unlike cruisers or escorts their main sources of damage are:
- Bridge officer skills
- Clicky abilities from consoles
- Secondary deflector
The following builds are based exactly on this order.
A common mistake is to link the captain’s profession to the class of the ships when it comes to terms of maximum efficiency. This might work in other MMOs, but in STO it’s Tactical > rest. So if you want to create an EPG build from scratch, choose Tac for your character. I’d use an alien Romulan. 10 personal trait slots and 5 (cheap) bridge officers with the superior operative trait. Choose a Fed alien for the better-looking ship or a KDF alien if you want to save some hundred million ECs. Want to play a Sci captain? Why not. Eng? Better not, this class currently gets most out of direct energy builds.
We use 27 points in Tac, so you can choose all but 3 skill nodes. Since we’ll focus on torpedo weapons, your energy weapons are more or less for the set bonuses, traits, and procs. I’d skip the last point for them and add one to defensive Maneuvering which adds a little to your defense which might be useful if you stand still. If you think you need every bit of energy damage, get Advanced Weapon Training instead. The only other selection we make on the Lieutenant level is Advanced Hull Capacity. We need hull points for Tyler’s Duality.
The picks for the LtC level are pretty obvious. We need some points for Tac and all the nice Sci stuff we can get. Unlike builds with energy weapons, we don’t need EPS here. I like fast ships, so all in impulse speed. If you don’t need that, put 3 points in something you like (i.e. Long Range Targeting, Shield Resistance etc.)
On the Commander level, we take the Tac stuff and add a single point to Hull Plating. Our sole concession to damage resistance.
Captain skills are pretty simple, too. All Tac, maximum EPG for Sci and energy for our subsystems. Offensive subsystem tuning isn’t necessary, you may put it into Improved Warp Core Potential.
Admiral skills, no surprise here, all Tac and War Core Potential. Tactical captains don’t really need Advanced Tactical Readiness, put it into energy weapons.
Unlocks: all CrtH, Battery Expertise, Max Hull, Threat Control and full Focused Frenzy.
Temporal Operative as primary gets us +50 EPG, Continuity and a lot of useful other buffs. Strategist is the recommended secondary spec.
The best science ship you can get your hands on at the moment is the Verne Temporal Science Vessel. It offers the unique combination of a great bridge officer layout and one of the best universal consoles for EPG builds. Don’t stop spending ECs right there, also get the Aeon Timeship for the best-looking skin. For KDF it’s the Qul’poH, Romulans choose the Sui’Mor. Bad news, no Aeon skin for them.
If you don’t want to spend your money on an infinity price ship, take the Lukari Dranuur Scout Ship. It’s cheap, has raider flanking and a great BO setup. But sadly no backstep console.
Starship Mastery Traits
The traits are the reason why EPG ships perform so well in today’s metagame
- Spore-Infused Anomalies (SIA) turns all your anomalies into extremely powerful sources of AoE damage. It’s from a C-Store ship, so consider it cheap.
- Exotic Modulation buffs your exotic damage when using Temporal Operative abilities. Also C-Store.
- Entwined Tactical Matrices (ETW) helps your torpedos to chain fire spreads. C-Store. Enjoy.
- Assimilated Power-Conduits gets you exotic CrtH and CrtD by activating Emergency Power to Auxiliary. From a ‘cheap’ Lobi ship.
- Improved Photonic Officer (IPO) exotic bonus damage from Photonic Officer. Also Lobi.
For explanation: Three of those traits buff you exotic damage. That includes bridge officer abilities, stuff that consoles do and secondary effects/procs from your weapons and your secondary deflector. SIA is an almost broken ability if used correctly. IPO also helps your cooldown management.
Strike from Shadows is also quite popular for EPG builds.
Here we have all the nice ones we use on our energy builds plus some dedicated to EPG stuff.
- Particle Manipulator (most important, Level 15 Sci R&D)
- Fleet Coordinator (free)
- Inspirational Leader (exchange or Infinity Lockbox)
- Duelist’s Favor (exchange or Infinity Lockbox) – more interesting for cannon builds
- Into the Breach (exchange or Infinity Lockbox)
- Terran Targeting Systems (exchange or Infinity Lockbox)
- Adaptive Offense
- Unconventional Systems
- Context is for Kings (exchange or Infinity Lockbox)
- A Good Day to Die (Exchange or Infinity Lockbox) – Must-have for Tacs
- Conservation of Energy – Must-have for Scis
- EPS Overload (free) – Kinda must-have for Engs
- Photonic Reinforcement (exchange or Infinity Lockbox) – Good for Sci Captains
- Romulan Operative (free) – Only for Romulans
- Psychological Warfare – If you want to increase your Gravity Well’s crowd control effect, consider using this one
Pick 5 from this list
- Advanced Targeting Systems (Dyson T2) +16% CrtD on Rank I or +20% CrtD on Rank II
- Precision (Romulan T2) +4% CrtH (I) or +5% CrtH (II)
- Tyler’s Duality (Discovery T4) +CrtH depending on your hull capacity
- Auxiliary Power Configuration – Offense (Nukara T4) Bonus damage scaling with Aux power
- Particle Generator Amplifier (Iconian T2) 5% / 6,25% Bonus exotic damage
- Chrono Capacitor Array (Temporal T2) for better cooldowns
In general, we recommend DOFFs that increase your exotic damage and CrtH & CrtD
- 32 of 47
- 31 of 47
- 27 of 47
- Mizuab (Fed) / Ainsuri (KDF) stacks, so a second one won’t hurt
- Projectile Weapons Officer with a chance for CrtD when firing torpedos
- 46 of 47 for reducing CDs, fits perfectly into this build
- a very rare Gravimetric Scientist for aftershock Gravity Wells
- Gravimetric Photon Torpedo
Creates gravimetric rifts, the set adds 3% CrtH
- Particle Emission Plasma Torpedo Launcher
Creates Plasma clouds. Damage from Plasma Cloud can be increased with each point of EPG.
- Dark Matter Quantum Torpedo Launcher or Phaser / Disruptor Wide Angle Dual Heavy Beam Bank
The set Lorca’s Ambition set adds stacks of CrtD. Torp DoT with physical damage. DBB fires faster and therefore add those stacks faster
- Morphogenic Polaron Energy Weapon
- Morphogenic Polaron Energy Torpedo Launcher
Both are for the Morphogenic Armaments set
- Dyson Proton Weapon
Normally you won’t fire it at all, it’s just there for the set bonus (+22.9% Photon Projectile Weapon Damage, +3% Critical Chance)
Deflector / Engine / Warpcore / Shield
This setup is preferred for missions where you actually move around
- Elite Fleet Intervention Protomatter Deflector Array Mk XV [ColCrit] [CtrlX]x2 [EPG] [Sh/HullCap]
- Deteriorating Secondary Deflector Mk XV [CtrlX/EPG] [CtrlX]x2 [EPG] [SA +Dmg]
- Prevailing Bolstered Impulse Engines for all missions in which you actually fly around. Innervated is also a good choice as it helps with your tactical BO cooldowns.
Temporal Defence Initiative Combat Engines for HSE
- Temporal Defense Initiative Overcharged Warp Core
- Temporal Defense Initiative Regenerative Shield Array or
Tilly’s Review-Pending Modified Shield for HSE (more hull capacity, helps the team to do more shield damage)
- Dynamic Power Redistributor Module
The mainstay of all current DPS builds
- Auxiliary Ejector Assembly
+19% bonus exotic damage, cheap to get for KDF and Roms. Fed not so.
- Exotic Particle Field Exciter [EPG]
Craft it yourself or pay a lot of ECs on the exchange. 78.8 EPG, 26.2% maximum shield capacity.
- Enhanced Tippler Cylinder
Comes with the Verne. +15% bonus exotic damage. And it’s active ability heals and reduces your recharge rates by 25s. Even your consoles…
- Plasma Storm Module
+11.3 EPG, +22.5 Control. But an awesome active ability. ‘Just’ buy a Marquis Raider to get it.
- Multi-Target Tractor Arrays
Great damage console, this time it’s cheap for Feds & friends.
- Delphic Tear Generator
Cheap one. +20% bonus exotic damage, +5% CrtD plus a good damage ability
- Lorca’s Custom Fire Controls
A great console itself with powerful passive stats, we need it for the 2 part set bonus.
- Morphogenic Matrix Controller
The console itself is almost useless on this build, we need it just for the 3-part set bonus
- Constriction Anchor
+25.3% bonus exotic damage but lackluster active ability. You can’t have it all.
- Exotic Particle Focuser
39.4 EPG, 26.3 Control. 25% chance: +6% Exotic Damage Bonus for 30 sec (Stacks up to 5 times) when using any Exotic Damage ability. Great on paper, but the it activates on the final tick.
We use a lot of DoT abilities, so this console often triggers too late to be useful.
- Entangled Quantum Bombardment
Very strong EPG clicky.
- Cascading Subatomic Disruptions
Nice active ability, cheap for KDF. Fed needs the Mirror Escort Carrier from the Infinity Lock Box
- Isometric Charge
Great active ability but no passives. Cheap for all.
- Temporal Vortex Probe
Very decent active ability, useful but not that great passives.
- Cutting Tractor Beam
Adds bonus damage for your damage consoles. Has some bugs/glitches. Don’t use it.
- Kobayashi Maru Transponder for buffs
- Temporal Negotiator for cooldown reduction
- Deuterium Surplus for mobility
- Exotic Particle Flood for more damage
So, in the end, the ship should look like this. Remember that these are sample builds. You should adjust the setup for ISE / HSE or whatever mission you want to play.
First one is a Tac/Rom, second a Sci/Fed.
What applies to energy weapon builds works well with EPG builds, too.
Superior Operatives > Kentari > Jem’Hadar Vanguard > Hierarchy > Nausicaan > Krenim or Astrophysicist (i.e. Holo Spock and Weyoun)
So if you’re using the Alien Rom, it’s 5 Superior Operatives.
On a Fed it’s
- 1 Superior Operative for the Tac station, 2 Vanguards (Eng, Sci), 1 Hierarchy, 1 Kentari (Sci) or i.e.
- 1 Superior Operative for the Tac station, 1 Hierarchy, 1 Nausicaan Sci (Diplomacy T4 BO), either 1 Astrophysicist and 1 Kentari (Eng) or 1 Kentari (Sci) 1 Krenim (Eng)
For KDF it’s
- 1 Superior Operative for the Tac station, 2 Vanguards (Eng, Sci), 1 Hierarchy, 1 Kentari (Sci) or i.e.
- 1 Superior Operative for the Tac station, 1 Hierarchy, 2 Nausicaan Sci and 1 Kentari (Eng)
This is one way to set up the skills
We use just one engineering skill (Emergency Power to Auxiliary) for the Doff(s) and Assimilated Power Conduits. Fire at Will and Scatter Volley trigger ETW.
This means we can use 11 different science or temporal abilities for total destruction. Let’s see how it actually works. We can divide these skills into 4 categories: Anomalies, trigger for the secondary deflector, pure damage, and utility.
The only one that falls in the last category is Photonic Officer. We need it for buffing, cooldown management and to trigger SIA. Anomalies are skills that have a lasting AoE effect. Gravity Well is pretty obvious. As is Subspace Vortex, Chronometric Inversion Field and Timeline Collapse. Oddly enough Very Cold in Space is also an anomaly.
The secondary deflector ist triggered by Destabilizing Resonance Beam, Charged Particle Burst and Structural Analysis.
Delayed Overload Cascade is an awesome damage ability but has to be timed correctly. Only use it if you’re absolutely sure that it will destroy all those pesky targets. Otherwise, you’ll have Borg Spheres flying around everywhere.
You may also use Recursive Shearing which is a great single target damage ability, i.e. for the final Tac cube in ISE. Feel free to play around with the skills, Delayed Overload Cascade III is also definitely worth a try.
Playing with this build is pretty simple. Fly to a group of enemies and activate your abilities until they are gone:
- Stack up procs for the Morphogenic set by chaining CSV and FAW
- Activate EPtA to buff up and select the target with the most hit points
- Activate Chronometric Inversion Field and Timeline Collapse for your first two anomalies
- Use Plasma Storm (only if it’s worth using, i.e. at the start of ISE / HSE) and Gravity Well and Subspace Vortex. We now have 5 anomalies, SIA is triggered twice.
- Wait for more enemies get sucked into the Well and activate Very Cold In Space. 6 anomalies, triggered once more.
- Now it’s time for CPB, DRB, Structural Analysis and if it’s ok to use DOC.
- Add more fun by using your damage-dealing console abilities.
- Reduce CDs with Temporal Backstep and Temporal Negotiator.
Learn how many abilities are actually needed to kill a group of enemies. Don’t waste your active console abilities on NPCs with low HPs. Watch your cooldowns. Sometimes it’s a good idea to leave out one temporal ability at the start for 46 of 47’s ability. Time your Temporal Backstep wisely.
It’s not a bright idea to use an all-in-one bind for the space bar with these builds. At least not for your Sci abilities. But you may bind all those skills to one key that you want to run all the time, i.e. Photonic Officer, EPtA, FAW and CSV.
Personally I find it very convenient to have the skills sorted bound to keys.
I.e. you could map Timeline Collapse and Chronometric Inversion Field to one key, in this case, they are in row 2 and 3
/bind 2 “+trayexecbytraywithbackup 1 1 2 1 $$”
Or you create your own activation order and map those skills to keys 1, 2, 3, … this makes it easier to hit the right one instead of clicking frantically with your mouse.
STO Academy Link:
Here’s a similar build on STOAcademy EPG Verne
Join the veterans and experts on our Discord: Click me! Select EPG as your role and join the subchannel!
03/24/2020 – Hellspawny – Basics
03/25/2020 – Hellspawny – 1st Draft
03/26/2020 – Hellspawny – not finished but good enough to publish
03/30/2020 – Hellspawny – added some stuff suggested by AJ and Marcus/
04/16/2020 – Hellspawny – added Temporal Vortex Probe