Energy Weapon Damage Types (A Primer)
#1
Some people in chat recently have been asking about what the 'best' damage type is or which ones have the best procs, so I decided to do a post on what the various options are and what you can do with them. Consider this a work in progress for now and I'll fill in the details as I go. There's a lot more information on each type on STOWiki if you are interested. I am mainly focusing on space effects as I don't really do much ground combat but if others are interested in that I can fill it in. If you want details on defenses against these types check out this page here. I also recommend reading the r/STO builds wiki located here if you have specific math questions on how different things stack, or what the best theorycrafting choices are, as many other nerds have already asked these questions and done the math to find the optimal answers. The TL;DR version is that between all the various energy types (not counting weapon mods), the overall variance in damage is around 3-4% at most. It's a lot more important to get good modifiers on your weapons for optimal damage, and "good mods" vary depending on your captain's career choice, skill build, and overall goal in the game. You'll be just fine if you use what you like for canon purposes or RP purposes, so don't let that hinder your choice.

 
Phasers
For Feddies, these will likely be the first things you see and are your top-tier option in the Fleet Starbase stores, although the KDF folks get a vastly superior option in terms of DPS. However, lots of people like phasers for canon-true builds and they do get some decent mods as well. 
 
Space Proc: 2.5% chance to disable one enemy subsystem for 5s
Ground Proc: 5% chance to stun target (hold)
 
Alternate types: 
  • Phased Biomatter (Changed proc: 2.5% chance to do bonus damage in a small radius around target, split amongst primary target and up to 4 other targets; also has a different visual effect; when hitting a single target the proc damage will only hit the primary target which can scale to very high damage when using MkXII+)
  • Andorian Phasers - different visual but the same base proc, only available if you own any of the various Andorian ships
  • Advanced Fleet Phasers (same proc as base phasers but more damage and mods, only from Fleet Starbase)
  • Elite Fleet Regenerative Phasers (2.5% chance to heal a small amount of shields on attack in addition to regular proc)
  • Bio-Molecular Phasers (2.5% chance to cause Bio-Molecular Intubation which slows target and causes shield-ignoring radiation damage in addition to regular proc)
  • Andorian Phasers (from the C-Store Andorian Escorts, same as regular phasers with a different visual)
  • Retrofit Phasers (from the C-Store Constitution Cruiser or by starting 23c Temporal Recruits during the special event running in summer of 2016, same as regular phasers but different visual)
  • Agony Phasers - Mirror Lockbox - comes in Omni beam variety as well, keeps regular phaser proc and adds a phaser-based DOT which stacks up to 10 times. The Omni beam is useful but unlike some other Omni beams, since it is not part of a set you can still only equip one per ship.
  • Kelvin Timeline Phasers (Kelvin Lock Box or Exchange only) - adds a chance to knock back enemies as well as hold targets for 3s, along with a visual change making the beams look like rapid-fire cannons instead
  • Quantum Phase Beam Array (only in a beam array, one per ship - available from "Future Proof" storyline mission "Sunrise") - siphons shields from enemies along with the standard phaser proc; if you're using phasers you should almost certainly be using this beam and possibly its set console also as it is a universal console but provides nearly a tac console-level boost to Phaser damage
  • Pulse Phasers (Undiscovered Lock Box) - 2.5% chance to apply Phaser Transfer to the target, which gives -10 damage resist to the target and +10 damage resist to yourself. 
  • Trilithium-Enhanced Phaser ("Beyond the Nexus" mission reward in the New Frontiers arc) - Chance to gain 10% firing cycle haste for all energy weapons for 15s, comes in an omni beam or a turret variant
  • Prolonged Engagement - this is available from the Kobayashi Maru event run a few times per year. The beam/cannon gains damage as it fires and is very strong in longer combat, and the console adds to your power levels and provides a strong power boost as a clicky power. Definitely worth running at least the weapon in a phaser-focused build.
  • Sensor/Emitter/Integrity-Linked Phasers (Discovery lockbox) - Rather than a debuff on an enemy with a proc chance, these weapons provide a minor stat boost with no requirement for a proc. Because procs are now per weapon cycle instead of per hit of the beam, procs in general are weaker since Season 13, so these bonuses are nice to have. As the sensor-linked variant adds to your defense and crit severity, those seem to be the most popular, while the other two add to your shield hardness/regen or hull armor/regen respectively. The bonus from multiple copies of the same type do stack making these strong if you run a full set.
  • Phasic Harmonic Weapons - Swarm lockbox, chance to deal kinetic damage on proc.
  • Resilience/Focusing/Targeting-Linked Phasers (Emperor's lockbox) - like the Discovery box variants earlier, these also boost a stat directly. They boost hull resistance/engineering readiness, shield resistance/science readiness, or weapon accuracy/tactical readiness respectively.
 
Until the Undiscovered box, the best option here was probably for damage mods on Phased Biomatter or Agony Phasers, as the bonus damage makes them a decent choice. However, Pulse Phasers made phasers competitive with disruptors as the best procs. They are quite expensive on the exchange for good mods, but even non-meta "best" mods are useful. Unfortunately, the regular proc on phasers is widely regarded as underpowered and generally not used very much once you reach endgame content unless you're using a Fed-specific C-store ship with a phaser-related console power or unique weapon (Galaxy-X, Defiant, Patrol Escort, Vesta, Chimera, etc.). The Elite Regenerative proc is extremely underpowered right now, and the rest are just not that useful. Bio-Molecular can be decent in a radiation-focused build but this is pretty niche. You can also mix and match types if you want, as they're all boosted by the same consoles that mention phaser damage types. Quantum Phase is also highly recommended, as the entire set is great and the beam itself has a really solid proc. Sensor-Linked is probably the best overall if you're chasing the DPS charts with a 'canon' phaser build. As of Season 14.5 and the Victory is Life launch, because of the number of sets and consoles which boost Phaser damage, they've become highly competitive in the meta which is not something I ever thought I would be writing. 
 
Space sets which boost phaser damage: 
  • Counter-Command Ordnance (Undine Reputation Space Set) - the 2 piece set bonus from this gives a 7.5% boost to both phaser and disruptor damage, which is calculated AFTER other damage bonuses and doesn't experience the same diminishing returns as phaser-related tac consoles do. This is a very good set bonus, especially because the set contains a turret in either weapon variety and the 2-piece bonus also increased the likelihood of the intubation debuff by 2% (4.5% total) and there's a tac console which boosts phaser, disruptor, photon torpedoes, AND the intubation radiation damage significantly and is FREE from a storyline mission ("Surface Tension"). Given the comparatively low cost and ease of acquisition, you should make the effort to get ahold of this set. 
  • Quantum Phase Catalysts - the beam from this set is a great phaser weapon by itself, but the universal console Quantum Phase Converter adds to Drain Expertise as well as 26.3% Phaser Damage at Mk XV making it a must-run on phaser builds if you can fit it. The full 3 piece of this set also grants you a clicky power that is pretty strong, it's like a phaser lance but it stays on target for 10s and also drains power from the target and gives it to you. Since this set is free from story missions it is even better.
  • Synergistic Retrofitting - 2pc set boosts phasers, disruptors, and plasma by 33%. This set is pricy since it's only available on the exchange or via the Lobi store since you need the T6 NX-class refit for one of the consoles if you want the entire set. Much cheaper to acquire if you are KDF or KDF-allied Rom/Jem'Hadar since you can buy the console packs on the exchange. The Dynamic Power Redistributor console is the one to get for sure, the other one you want to get for the 2pc bonus is up to your needs. DPR has such a massive damage boost attached that it is almost a must-have if you're chasing endgame glory numbers. 
  • Trilithium-laced Weaponry ("Beyond the Nexus" mission reward in the New Frontiers arc) - Along with the fact this set comes with an omni beam making it a must-use for phaser beam boats since it allows a 2nd non-set omni to be equipped, the 2pc set bonus grants 5% haste to all energy weapons. That bonus is nice but it requires running either a torpedo or an engineering console for it, so it may not be worth it depending on your build.
  • Allied Dogfighters - the universally-slotted D.O.M.I.N.O console from the Bajoran Interceptor boosts phaser damage by 15% and has a great clicky power, and the 4pc set bonus has an additional clicky power that boosts phaser/plasma/disruptor damage by an additional 24% that decays 3%/sec over time.
 
Factoids about phasers:
  • Most Borg NPCs have an innate resistance to the shutdown proc, making this pretty useless in the Borg ESTF Tetrad (ISE/CSE/KSE/HSE).
  • The shutdown proc can disable multiple systems on the same ship at once if you get lucky.
  • According to the Reddit FAQ the proc can disable the same already-disabled subsystem which would recharge the proc timer up to 5s again. 


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#2
Disruptors

While the Feds can worry about disabling things, everyone in the KDF knows killing their targets is far less messy and requires no paperwork. Accordingly, the disruptor proc lowers enemy resistances and is probably one of the best procs in the game overall. 
 
Space Proc: 2.5% chance to reduce enemy damage resistances by 10% for 15s (shows up as Disruptor Breach in the list of debuffs on your ship)
Ground Proc: same
 
Alternate types: 
  • Plasma-Disruptor Hybrid (only available in beam arrays from storyline missions "Past Imperfect" for Feds, "Second Star to the Right, Straight On 'til Morning" for KDF, or "Smash and Grab" for Romulans; has both plasma DOT proc and disruptor damage resist debuff proc; these are basically a free version of Romulan Plasma but using a Disruptor energy damage type, and you can re-run the story mission multiple times to get a whole ship full of them)
  • Advanced Fleet Disruptors (same proc as base disruptors but more damage and mods, only from Fleet Starbase)
  • Elite Fleet Disruptors (normal proc plus causes shields to take 25% more damage)
  • Bio-Molecular Disruptors (2.5% chance to cause Bio-Molecular Intubation which slows target and causes shield-ignoring radiation damage in addition to regular proc)
  • Polarized Disruptors (Lock Box or Exchange only - Temporal Lock Box; grants polaron power drain proc along with disruptor proc)
  • Nanite Disruptors (Lock Box or Exchange only - Tal Shiar Lock Box; grants a chance to increase the target's shield bleedthrough by 2% for 5s along with disruptor proc
  • Spiral Wave Disruptors (Only purchasable if you own a Cardassian Galor Lock Box ship; combines phaser and disruptor proc; always come with AccX2 DmgX2 as mods; usable on other ships as long as you meet the criteria to acquire them)
  • Elachi Disruptors (Lock Box or Exchange only - Elachi lock Box; grants 2.5% chance to have all weapons ignore 100% of target's shields and 50% of target's damage resistance for 5s, during which the proc cannot re-fire)
  • Resonant Disruptors (Mission set from "Blood of the Ancients" Iconian War storyline) - grants 2.5% chance to cause Resonant Disruption Wave in a 2km radius on target, causing physical damage with 100% shield damage and increasing damage to shields by 15% for 8 seconds if you have 2 of the set pieces equipped, in addition to regular disruptor proc
  • Coalition Disruptors - Year of Hell Lockbox or any of the Krenim-variant ships - decrease target's resistance ONLY to disruptors by 20 for 30s - very good if the whole team is running these as the proc stacks up to 5x 
  • Withering Disruptors - Terran reputation system; adds radiation damage stacks which do a DOT based on the number of stacks
  • Terran Task Force Disruptors (Rep project only, comes in a DHC or a beam array) - does a scaling damage increase based on target's remaining hull, up to 200% damage at 25% hull or less. This is quite literally the best weapon in the game even if you don't run damage boosting consoles for it, and many of the top DPS records have been set with this beam equipped. Highly recommended to get this weapon even if you don't use disruptors as its damage boost scales independently of other boosts in the game for weapons. 
  • Nausicaan Disruptor Beam Array (one per ship, only from the "Echoes of Light" storyline mission) - standard disruptor proc along with a power drain similar to Plasmonic Leech, although it is non-stacking.
  • Krieger Wave Disruptors - Privateer lockbox. 2.5% chance to add +25 Drain Expertise and Control Expertise for 10s
  • Saboteur's Disruptors - Lobi store, same proc as Krieger Wave except +30 instead of +25. Also has a stacking effect per firing cycle where at 10 stacks you gain 10 power to all subsystems for 10s. 
  • Sensor/Emitter/Integrity-Linked Disruptors (Discovery lockbox) - Rather than a debuff on an enemy with a proc chance, these weapons provide a minor stat boost with no requirement for a proc. Because procs are now per weapon cycle instead of per hit of the beam, procs in general are weaker since Season 13, so these bonuses are nice to have. As the sensor-linked variant adds to your defense and crit severity, those seem to be the most popular, while the other two add to your shield hardness/regen or hull armor/regen respectively. The bonus from multiple copies of the same type do stack making these strong if you run a full set. These outperform pretty much everything with a full set with the exception of the next type...
  • Spiral Wave Disruptors - Available with Cardassian ships or in the Dilithium store once you have a Cardassian character unlock. Spiral Waves used to have both a phaser and disruptor proc, but now as of Victory is Life seem to get a bonus damage proc as well making them very strong especially since you can type-match with the Terran Task Force weapon.
  • House Martok Disruptor - Available from the "Brushfire" mission in "New Frontiers" storyline. Gives you a 2nd omni-directional energy weapon for disruptors with the same normal proc of -10 damage resistance to enemies. 
  • Resilience/Focusing/Targeting-Linked Disruptors (Emperor's lockbox) - like the Discovery box variants earlier, these also boost a stat directly. They boost hull resistance/engineering readiness, shield resistance/science readiness, or weapon accuracy/tactical readiness respectively.
 
Not only are disruptor damage types incredibly useful in both PVE and PVP, the wide variety of extra procs available makes them the most versatile damage type in my view. While this idea may have been laughable a few years ago, you can now legitimately make an evil rainbow boat by using different disruptor types since they all run on the same damage consoles. The underlying damage resistance debuff proc is quite simply amazing in protracted combat, and all the other procs you can get are just a bonus. Much like Attack Pattern Beta, their innate resistance debuff benefits your whole team as well as any pets you may have. Elachi Disruptors can even ignore shields which on an escort with DHCs can be absolutely devastating in the hands of a properly-equipped Tac officer; it is not uncommon to see targets pop instantly after a cloaked alpha strike. Disruptors also get to claim the best weapon in the game in the form of the Terran Task Force beam array/DHC weapon. Due to the scaling damage boost these items get as the target becomes weaker, they are insanely strong. Teams running a full set of Coalition Disruptors along with the Terran beams can do massive amounts of damage and weaken their targets significantly. 
 
Space sets which boost disruptor damage (possible to run both on one ship): 
  • Counter-Command Ordnance (Undine Reputation Space Set) - the 2 piece set bonus from this gives a 7.5% boost to both phaser and disruptor damage, which is calculated AFTER other damage bonuses and doesn't experience the same diminishing returns as disruptor-related tac consoles do. This is a very good set bonus, especially because the set contains a turret in either weapon variety and the 2-piece bonus also increased the likelihood of the intubation debuff by 2% (4.5% total) and there's a tac console which boosts phaser, disruptor, photon torpedoes, AND the intubation radiation damage significantly and is FREE from a storyline mission ("Surface Tension"). Given the comparatively low cost and ease of acquisition, you should make the effort to get ahold of this set.
  • Elachi Silent Enemy (Lobi Store Space Set) - the 2 piece bonus from this gives 7.6% damage boost to disruptors along with +15.2 points to Starship Shield Systems. Additionally, the console Bio-Neural Infusion Circuits in this set grants +17.2 to Starship Structural Integrity and Subspace Decompiler while increasing your crit severity by 15.2%, making the set a solid utility loadout.
  • Preserver Resonant Technologies (Mission set from "Blood of the Ancients" Iconian War storyline) - the 2 piece bonus from this gives bonus weapon power and shield penetration for the Resonant proc, but the Harmonic Resonance Relay console grants a 20% Disruptor and Transphasic damage boost along with 5% armor penetration, which lowers enemy damage resistances. Similar to the CounterCommand set this can be stacked since the Harmonic Resonance Relay is a tactical console, and may be worth slotting instead of a Fleet Spire console depending on your build.
  • Nausicaan Entoiled Technologies - from the "Echoes of Light" storyline mission. 3pc grants +6% disruptor damage and +50 Armor Penetration, and the console also boosts Drain Expertise, Power Transfer Rate, and Disruptor damage. Highly recommended if you use Disruptors.
  • Also see the Allied Dogfighters set or the Synergistic Retrofitting set under the Phasers post above for cross-factional sets that may be useful on certain builds.
 
Factoids about disruptors:
  • Additional procs from the same player will cause the Disruptor Breach to reset up to its max of 15s
  • Procs from other players who are using disruptors will stack up to 5 times on one target, making them highly lethal in a team setting


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#3
Polaron

Want to drain a lot of power from enemies and be extremely annoying? Polaron is the damage type for you! 
 
Space Proc: 2.5% chance to reduce ALL enemy power levels by 25 (scales with your DrainX skill, at 99 DrainX this drains about 40 and with Fleet Embassy consoles with the DrainX bonus you can get this up to almost 50)
Ground Proc: 5% chance of weapons malfunction for 5 seconds. Some of the Jem’Hadar special ground weapons can temporarily add bonus effects if you use a Nanoenergy Cell while using the weapon.
 
Alternate types: 
  • Dominion Polaron (available in beam arrays only from storyline mission “Boldly They Rode”, has normal polaron proc plus a 2.5% chance to cause a tetryon shield drain proc; come with an innate 2% crit chance and Dmg mod; can be upgraded in the new system)
  • Phased Polaron (Lock Box or Exchange only – Dominion Lock Box; have both polaron and phaser procs; can be upgraded in the new system)
  • Protonic Polaron (Dyson Reputation system: free random drops when you complete daily or hourly missions, also purchasable with dilithium; come with regular polaron proc as well as 25% chance for shield-ignoring proton damage proc when you crit, which is doubled against Voth NPCs; can be upgraded in the new system)
  • Vaadwaur Polaron (Lockbox only - Delta lockbox, reduces shield hardness causing increased damage bleedthrough on shields) - this is a great choice on kinetic-based combo builds as the shield weakness allows torpedoes to do more damage when the shields are up.
  • Thoron-infused Polaron (Delta Reputation system: placates the target and adds a radiation DOT along with lowered crit chance and severity). There's also a set DHC or beam array available from the Rep gear grind. 
  • Chronometric Polaron - Mission "Time and Tide" in the "Future Proof" storyline, proc causes bonus 15% shield penetration to the user. Part of a set, there are 4 possible weapon types in two combos needed for the 4pc bonus: DHC/turret or beam array/omni beam array. Set bonus doesn't grant polaron boost unfortunately.
  • Piezo-polaron (Lukari space reputation, also available in an advanced Dual Cannon or Beam Array form) - chance to heal over time to yourself and nearby allies
  • Inhibiting Polaron (Gamma reputation) - chance to disable engines/root ground enemies on hit. Also comes in an advanced version from the reputation project at T5 that does more damage against slowed enemies. 
 
I am a big fan of polaron in general, as power drain is personally very annoying and has a chance to completely shut down systems if you drain enough power. The power drain has a significant indirect benefit to your DPS, as draining enemy shield power lowers their shield damage resistance and regen ability, while draining engine power lowers their speed and defense, and lowering their aux will decrease the effectiveness of most healing abilities. However, this drain can be countered with DrainX as well, which many people put points into for PVE (stops a number of shield and power drain abilities) and PVP (nullify the effects of opponents’ Plasmonic Leech consoles among others). The Protonic Polaron are particularly good since they do shield penetrating damage on crit, which if you have a high crit chance can be a great bonus damage that does not have a specific armor console to defend against it as of right now. Dominion Polaron is also quite good due to the shield drain and the power drain working synergistically to bleed shields dry.
 
Space sets which boost polaron damage: 
  • Jem’Hadar Space Set: The 2pc set bonus grants a passive 8.1% boost to polaron damage in the basic variant (MkXI I believe is the lowest you can get); once you upgrade to MkXII it jumps to 13.1% and presumably higher now with MkXIII although I haven’t checked it. The deflector piece from this set also provides a significant boost to DrainX, thereby increasing the power drain ability. Additionally, the 3pc set bonus grants a passive “Victory is Life” bonus which allows you a 1% chance to strip one buff from a target while using polaron weaponry. However, the 3pc passive set bonus is only applicable if you are flying one of the following ships:  Jem'Hadar Attack Ship (T5 or T6), Jem'Hadar Heavy Escort Carrier (T5 or T6), Jem'Hadar Dreadnought Carrier (T5 or T6) and Cardassian Galor/Keldon. AFAIK, this can be stacked with a special Cardassian Energy Weapons Officer doff (Halor Kurlam for Fed/Rom-Fed or Elan Pa’dar for KDF/Rom-KDF) which also grants a 1% chance to remove 3 random buffs from a target (has a 15s cooldown before it can re-proc). As you can imagine this is supremely effective on Dominion ship builds.
  • Task Force Ordinances (Gamma reputation set): Console adds 25% polaron and projectile weapon damage, and the 2pc set bonus also adds 10% to each again. 
 
Factoids about polaron:
  • Unlike other procs, the polaron power drain does not have a set time for the debuff. Rather, the target’s power transfer rate will influence how quickly the power returns.
  • The proc can hit multiple times on a single target and does not seem to have a cooldown window; thus it is possible to drain 50 or more power if you get a few lucky proc hits in a row.
  • Against certain types of builds which run intentionally low power levels (escorts and Aux, torp boats and Wep, etc.) it is possible to essentially disable a target for short periods due to the power drain.
  • Procs from other players who are using polaron can stack AFAIK.


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#4
Tetryon

Tetryon is a lot like polaron except it only works on enemy shield facings, leeching away bonus damage with every hit. It can be very powerful in team settings, for torp builds, or in most PVE settings, although in my experience is probably not as good as it should be in PVP since most people run high Power Insulators.
 
Space Proc: 2.5% chance to reduce enemy shield facings (scales with your DrainX skill and weapon rank; ex: I have 220 DrainX and MkXII weapons, they drain about 800 shields per proc)
Ground Proc: 5% chance of same proc
 
Alternate types: 
  • Phased Tetryon (Lock Box or Exchange only – Tholian Lock Box; causes both tetryon and phaser proc)
  • Polarized Tetryon Resonating Tetryon (only available in beam arrays from storyline mission “The New Link” which is repeatable; can be upgraded; 10% 5% chance to drain shields vs the normal 2.5% chance) These were renamed to Resonating Tetryon and the proc was nerfed in effectiveness via patch on Feb 26 2015, not sure yet if the old ones will be converted or not
  • Destabilizing Tetryon (Lock Box or Exchange only – Hirogen Lock Box; causes the tetryon damage to shields as a stacking DOT effect over 15s)
  • Refracting Tetryon (Available from Nukara Reputation Store; has normal tetryon proc plus 2.5% chance to do additional tetryon damage to the next nearest enemy ship within 3km)
  • Piercing Tetryon (only available in turrets, DBBs, or dual cannons from storyline mission “Installation 18”; have normal tetryon proc plus 2.5% chance for 50% of the attack’s damage to ignore shields)
  • Antichroniton-infused Tetryon - only available from the mission "Butterfly" in "The Iconian War" storyline, only comes in an Omni type. As with the Obelisk AP omni beam, this can actually be equipped together with a crafted Omni Tetryon beam making it quite strong for escort-style beam boats using DBBs. The proc has a chance to cause a burst of extra Tetryon damage to the target.
  • Diffusive Tetryon - Tzenkethi lockbox, 2.5% chance causes target to lose 10% shield resistance and you to gain 10% shield resistance. There is also an Advanced Diffusive variant available from the Lobi store in a DHC or DBB form that does the same proc but also adds a chance to do radiation DOT. Only worth buying that one if you are min-maxing tetryon bonuses.
Tetryon sounds great on paper but in practice is unfortunately pretty weak. Most enemies in PVE either don’t have shields (most ESTFs) or can be killed so quick that draining shields isn’t really useful. In PVP DrainX resists this drain and the resistance is far more effective than the bonus from DrainX on the drain itself, per points spent. This makes tetryon one of those types that isn’t seen very often except on kit builds which are specifically constructed around drains. That being said, if you’re able to run high DrainX, can use one or both of the sets below on your build, or can use the Omega Force 2pc set (or all three) then you can make a superlative shield leeching build that will make almost anyone cry. You just have to give up everything else on your build to do it. Of the options available, I think that for protracted fights Destabilized Tetryon is best because of the stacking DOT, while for overall usage Phased Tetryon is best. If you want to grind an entire set of Piercing/Resonating that could probably be viable now under the new upgrade system as well. Refracting is probably the weakest since it only takes effect on groups of enemies. With the prevalence of newer space sets with deflectors having good DrainX bonuses, like the Terran set, it is possible to cobble together a build capable of 400-500 DrainX fairly easily. 
 
Space sets which boost tetryon damage: 
  • Nukara Appropriated Munitions Set: The 2pc set bonus adds 7.6% tetryon damage and 15.2 to DrainX. The set pieces can be upgraded but I am not sure if the bonus improves as I have not upgraded mine yet. The set also comes with a great tetryon DBB and a console which buffs beam accuracy so is a good one to consider if you’re using tetryons, especially with DBBs.
  • Hirogen Apex Predator Set: Again, 2pc set bonus adds 7.6% tetryon damage and 15.2 DrainX. You can have both sets equipped at once if it suits your build, although since one set comes with a cannon and mines and the other set comes with a DBB and mines, they don’t fit together well. The consoles and one weapon from each is probably best; I prefer the Nukara mines. 
  • Krenim Temporal Manipulation: 2pc set bonus (Antichroniton Focusing Emitters) adds 13.3% Tetryon damage. The set comes with a good universal console, the Temporal Disentanglement Console, which along with the omni beam is probably the 2pc I would recommend running with to get the boost.
  • Incontrovertible Defenses: 3pc set bonus grants +30% tetryon damage. Additionally, the warp core's battery will restore offline shields and when doing so will grant +25% additional tetryon damage for 15s.
  • Tzenkethi Resolve: 3pc set bonus grants 25% bonus tetryon damage. Also has an energy-based tetryon projectile weapon and the 3pc set would grant 15% shield resistance and 25% projectile damage as well, so if you run all tetryon with the torp this is a good option although it would cost 600 Lobi to buy it. The console grants an additional 15% boost to tetryon damage. 
Factoids about tetryon:
  • While tetryon will not affect a shield facing which is gone, hitting that ship facing still has a chance to cause the proc to affect the other facings since it hits all 4 facings at the same time.
  • If the shields are down completely the proc does nothing.
  • This proc is separate from the Omega Force 2pc set proc Tetryon Glider and functions differently. Tetryon weapon proc causes damage to shields, while Tetryon Glider is actually a “negative heal” so does not affect enemies the same. Running both is extremely effective at removing shields though. 
  • Boosting tetryon damage also boosts the damage of the 3pc set power from the Nukara Strikeforce Technologies Set, Unstable Tetryon Lattice. It will also boost the Nukara T5 reputation power, Refracting Tetryon Assault.
If you want a good writeup on a nice fairly cheap tetryon drain build with Season 11.5 gear, a Reddit user has done a solid build guide here: https://www.reddit.com/r/stobuilds/comme...yon_redux/


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#5
Antiproton

Antiproton is unique in that its bonus is purely passive, adding +20 to your critical severity. Thus, for players with high critical chance, AP is probably going to be the best DPS possible on paper. In practice a good phaser/disruptor build can out-parse it due to the prevalence of better damage-boosting consoles and set bonuses. AP also looks pretty sweet, being a red beam with a dark border.
 
Space Proc: +20 to crit severity
Ground Proc: same
 
Alternate types: 
  • Voth Antiproton (Lock Box or Exchange only – Voth Lock Box; replaces crit severity boost with 2.5% chance to reduce enemy damage output by 9.1% for 10s)
  • Fluidic Antiproton (Lock Box or Exchange only – Undine Lock Box; 2.5% chance to knock back enemies and cause shield-penetrating kinetic damage)
  • Chroniton (Only available from Lobi store in a DBB as part of Temporal Warfare Set; comes with 40% crit sev and 2.5% chance to significantly slow target flight speed and turn rate, like chroniton torpedoes – only one is equippable per ship)
  • Radiant Antiproton (Iconian reputation) - adds a proc to grant temporary health on hit, also a set DHC/beam array that can be ground out via the Iconian reputation which has a special firing mode granting faster firing speed to your weapon. The ARAP beam array is one of the best items in the game due to the firing speed boost.
  • Herald Antiproton (Iconian Lock Box or exchange only) - chance to boost energy damage by 7% for 20s.
  • Temporal Defense Chroniton Antiproton (Temporal Defense rep store) - chance to increase flight speed and shield hardness. There is also an Advanced beam version as part of a space set from this reputation.
  • Delphic Antiproton (Sphere Builder lockbox) - proc adds a chance to increase both crit chance and severity by 10% for 5s, and although it does not stack additional procs will refresh its duration. Available in single, dual, or omni beams, and single, dual, dual heavy, or wide-angle cannons from the box. The omni and wide angle mods are exceedingly uncommon. 
  • Delphic Applications (Lobi store set rolled out with the Sphere Builder lockbox) - only comes in a DBB which has a chance to apply the standard Delphic Antiproton proc and also grants a counter on each shot which, when 10 counters are reached, will grant a free Beam Overload I firing mode for this weapon. If you have all three pieces of the set equipped (torp and console along with the beam) then the same counters also grant a free Torpedo High Yield I to the torp. Although it is expensive the torp is one of the best items for exotic/torp builds and the console is decent for that as well. 
     
AP is best when paired with Vulnerability Locators from the Fleet Spire, in order to boost your crit chances, along with other crit-boosting gear such as Assimilated Console, Bio-Neural Infusion Circuits, Tachyokinetic Converter (part of the above-mentioned Temporal Warfare Set), or Zero-Point Conduit (or all of the above). Since the proc is passive and always takes effect, each crit will get a good boost to damage above the normal crit amount. AP is also the only energy weapon damage type right now that can directly debuff a target’s damage output, which can be a nice team benefit but is largely useless otherwise. Fluidic can be either really annoying or a lifesaver depending on your event (ESTFs for the former, and No Win Scenario the latter), but it is usually undesired and now that NWS is no longer available, there's not much use for these. It's likely that the Delphic Antiprotons will occupy at least one slot on DPS-chaser builds due to the proc granting such a significant crit chance/severity boost.
 
Space sets which boost AP damage: 
  • Ancient Obelisk Technology Set – 2pc set bonus grants 10% boost to AP damage. Since the set is freely available by running Sphere of Influence and comes with an Omni-Directional AP beam which makes a great rear weapon on an AP build, this is a no-brainer. The core is OK at best but is required on anything except an Obelisk or Advanced Obelisk to get the 2pc bonus.
Factoids about AP:
  • If you use DHCs, they have an innate crit severity bonus of 10%, meaning the AP DHCs have a 30% bonus. You can make really lethal escort builds with this.
  • AP is currently the only damage type where the weapons get not only a different color but new visual effects: Voth beams have a diagonal pattern embedded inside; Fluidic beams look like waveforms; and Chroniton has a rainbow effect with a unique hit splash.


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#6
Plasma

Plasma weapons leave a DOT, burning your enemies over time. They do less base damage but over time the proc adds a significant amount of damage which can only be cleansed with Hazard Emitters. It is the default damage type for Romulans when you begin a new Republic character.
 
Space Proc: 2.5% chance to add a plasma burn to the target for 15s
Ground Proc: 5% chance for same proc
 
Alternate types: 
  • Romulan Plasma (Romulan Reputation store; causes plasma DOT along with disruptor proc of -10 damage resistance)
  • Caustic Plasma (only available from storyline mission “Last Stand,” proc is the same but the DOT is doubled while duration is halved)
  • Corrosive Plasma (Lock Box or Exchange only, Delta Lock Box - adds the normal plasma proc along with a 2.5% chance to add a scaling damage resist debuff removing 1 incremental damage resistance point per second, up to -20 dmg resist at 20s when the debuff expires, not sure if stackable or not yet, 5% chance for same effect on ground)
  • Chronoplasma (Lock Box or Exchange only - Na'kuhl Lock Box) - adds the plasma DOT along with a chance to slow enemies
  • Isolytic Plasma (Son'a Lockbox) - 2.5% chance to pull enemies towards the target and deal bonus plasma damage. Also comes in an Advanced variant from the Lobi store in either a cannon or DBB form which does bonus armor penetration on crits.
  • Ferenginar Plasma (DS9 Lockbox) - 2.5% chance to lower the target's damage output by 20% for 10 seconds, can stack up to 4 times. At 4 stacks the target is also disabled for 5s (the disable has a 30s internal cooldown).
Of the subtypes for energy-based plasma, RomPlas wins the day hands down due to the disruptor proc. Corrosive is also good for longer engagements due to the scaling damage reduction. For PVE, there are few NPCs which clear the effects or have resistances, so this literally melts through waves of enemies without issue. Plasma damage can also be done by Fleet Embassy science consoles which offer a percentage chance to proc a plasma AOE explosion on energy weapons fire per console; on the proper setup this can be incredibly deadly but these consoles are essentially useless post-nerf around season 13. 
 
Space sets which boost plasma damage: 
  • Romulan Singularity Harness – 2pc set bonus does 7.6% plasma damage boost; includes the Experimental Romulan Plasma Beam which uses 0 weapon power when firing along with the Zero-Point Conduit which raises crit and all subsystem power, both universally powerful items. If you slot all three pieces you gain the ability to fire a special Beam Overload with your Experimental Romulan Plasma Beam which adds Romulan Plasma Hull Melt to the target, adding -10 damage resist and a high-damage plasma burn proc that is separate from the other plasma DOT stacks.
  • Enhanced Plasma Infusion - Romulan captains only, ship-specific set (Ar'kif/Jhu'ael variants); 2pc adds plasma damage and a large bonus to Starship Energy Weapon Specialist
  • Council Defense Pact - Lobi store only, 2pc adds 15% plasma damage. The torp is an energy-based plasma torp so it benefits from +Plasma damage energy consoles, not torpedo consoles. 
  • Contractual Agreement - Lobi store only, 2pc adds 30% plasma projectile damage only. Only recommended if you have Lobi to spare and are running a plasma torp build, probably on a Romulan via the Malem to take advantage of all the Romulan-only plasma torpedo boosts.
  • Sensor Modifications Set - Lobi store only, 2pc does 25% plasma damage boost and a tricobalt projectile damage boost. 3pc adds an armor penetration and critical damage boost as well.
  • Na'kuhl Plasma Technologies - 3 consoles from rare lockbox drops on the Tadaari Raider, Acheros Battlecruiser, and the Lobi store Daemosh science vessel. 2pc adds 15% plasma energy and projectile damage. The console from the Tadaari also adds 15% plasma damage and has a clicky power with heavy plasma damage in an AOE cone in front of the ship, and adds a stacking DOT debuff against further use of the console. 
  • Bajor Defense Set - 2pc adds 20% plasma/phaser/disruptor energy damage, so it is good for every "default" energy type for Fed, KDF, and Romulan characters. 3 of the pieces are available from the mission "Scylla and Charybdis" while the core/singularity were from the 8th Anniversary Event, so if you missed that it is only in the Phoenix box now. Not a bad set on its own merits and definitely good if you are using plasma.
  • Also see the Allied Dogfighters set or the Synergistic Retrofitting set under the Phasers post above for cross-factional sets that may be useful on certain builds.
Factoids about plasma:
The two flavors of energy weapon DOT (regular and Corrosive DOT) stacks up to 5 times with themselves, and are separate from the stacks for plasma torpedoes, Omega torpedoes, Romulan torpedoes, and the Experimental Beam Overload. Thus, it is possible (although very unlikely) for one target to have up to 6*5 stacks of plasma DOT at once from different sources. As of Season 14.5 Plasma is the only type to not have a set-based Omni-directional beam to combine with a crafted omni beam so you can run 2 omni beams of the same type at once.


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#7
Reserved for proton


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#8
This should be a sticky, IMHO...Way at the top. Thank you, OP!
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#9
Bumping this post.


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#10
This is awesome. Thank you!

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