Miradorn Theta-class heavy raider [T6] review

Posted by | May 8, 2017

Mercenaries, privateers. and those that enjoy some only-slightly-lawless activity have gotten a bit of a fist-bump with the addition of the Privateer lock box in Star Trek Online now that the box drops the Miradorn Theta-class Heavy Raider. This is a versatile raider-class ship with a heavy forward-facing weapon layout and a really, really big engine to keep it on the go.

Are you the type of captain who wants to nimbly dodge through space with barrel rolls and sudden bursts of acceleration or deceleration? Then keep reading, as the Theta-class also reintroduces the Tactical Maneuvers ability that, until now, could only be used with the Zen store Pilot ships.

The Theta-class also helps beef up the number of cross-faction raiders in Tier 6 available to Federation, Klingons and Romulans.

In this review, readers will discover how to get this ship, its vital stats and other information, advice on how to outfit it with the equipment available in STO and get some idea if it will work for you as a captain in the Milky Way Galaxy.

Acquisition

The Theta-class is a rare drop from the Privateer lock box (STO stats blog post) players can only acquire it by being really lucky or purchasing it from the Exchange with energy credits (or from another player who had one drop). At current rates, the Theta-class runs on average 330 million EC on the Exchange.

Looking at the current price of Master Keys, which run around 5 million EC currently, means that if someone were to buy keys from the Zen store (for around $1.25 each) it would take 66 keys. That translates to a total high price of $82.50 in the current market to buy this ship outright through a purchase of keys.

The above assumes that a captain did not take advantage of any sales to bring the dollar-prices of these items down.

As a lock box ship, the Theta-class is cross-faction, this means that all captains—Federation, Klingon and Romulan—can commission and fly this ship.

Aesthetics

The Miradorn Theta-class Heavy Raider comes with only one costume but it has its own special hull material in the ship costume editor.

Looking at the Theta-class, it has a little bit of the feel of a work-a-day mercenary ship, although it is a bit alien. Its design is somewhat spider-like, with four symmetrical protrusions extending forward from a polygonal central engineering section. The protruding digits are not straight, however, and crimp in a somewhat zig-zag fashion. The center of the ship also has an extended “nose” that gives it a little bit of a face up-front.

The entire ship is extremely flat, apparently designed to provide a minimal profile to any vessel it is attacking head-on. In more ordinary naval combat, this would make it more difficult to hit with conventional weaponry as it bears down.

The Theta-class did not come with its own special bridge, our reviewers discovered; instead, it uses a standard bridge.

Handling

As with most lock box and lobi ships, the Miradorn Theta-class Heavy Raider comes with an extremely customizable console and bridge officer layout. It is also a raider, which means that it benefits from Improved Raider Flanking delivering +33% damage from the rear arc of an enemy ship in PvE (+11% against players in PvP).

Amid the bridge officer seating, the Theta-class has a Commander Pilot-Tactical, allowing captains to slot Pilot skills. Also, it is a proper Pilot ship meaning that it is equipped with Tactical Maneuvers: double-tapping any direction key will cause the vessel to execute a “space dodge.” This rapidly repositions the ship and provides a brief immunity to damage.

A Lieutenant Universal-Intelligence slot is also available, but it’s extremely limited in what can be slotted there.

This ship also counts for an Escort Heavy Weapon slot and comes with its own special heavy weapon: Heavy Escort Dual Warhead Launchers. This heavy weapon fires two torpedo-like warheads at a target that impact in a brilliant fireball for a significant amount of kinetic damage and it fires somewhat rapidly.

The special console that comes with the Theta-class is the Miradorn Sensor Baffler. When activated, the Sensor Baffler fires a point-blank area of effect electromagnetic pulse that placates foes for 10 seconds and knocks engines offline for 10 seconds. Upon trigger, it also increases critical chance by 15%, critical severity by 33%, and raider flanking damage by 33% for 20 seconds. This console is a nice power to trigger when taking fire—to get away—or as a quick tap from behind to increase outgoing firepower.

With +15 to weapons power and +5 to engine power, the Theta-class appears to be pushing for a hit-and-run style—this especially coupled with the 5-fore 1-aft weapon layout.

The Tier 6 mastery trait that comes with the Theta-class is Advantageous Positioning: +20 armor penetration when flanking. This works directly with the raider role this ship appears to be designed for, quickly get behind the enemy and light them up.

Hull Strength: 30,000 at level 40, 34,500 at level 50 and 40,000 at level 60

Shield Modifier: 0.99

Fore Weapons: 5

Aft Weapons: 1

Device Slots: 2

Bridge Officer Stations: 1 Commander Tactical/Pilot, 1 Ensign Universal, 1 Lieutenant Universal/Intel, 2 Lieutenant Commander Universal

Console Modifications: 5 Tactical, 2 Engineering, 4 Science

Base Turn Rate: 20 degrees/second

Impulse Modifier: 0.22

Inertia: 75

+15 to Weapon Power, +5 to Engine Power

Tactical Maneuvers

Console – Universal – Miradorn Sensor Baffler

Can Load Dual Cannons

Improved Raider Flanking

+33% damage when attacking an NPC enemy’s rear arc

+11% damage when attacking a Player enemy’s rear arc

Starship Mastery Package (Raider)

Precise Weapon Systems (+Accuracy)

Tactical Maneuvering (+Defense)

Enhanced Weapon Systems (+All Damage)

Enhanced Weapon Banks (+Crit Severity)

Advantageous Positioning (Starship Trait)

As a raider, the Theta-class is an amazingly nimble ship with an extremely fast time on target—captains will really feel that turn of 20 with the addition of the pilot maneuvers. This is important because almost all of its guns are up front. This makes it perfect for a build that is heavy on the cannons and all of its buffs are substantially sided with it getting behind enemies to gain the benefit of its Raider Flanking.

When it comes to sustained conflict, however, the Theta-class doesn’t quite have the armor and shields to take much attention. However, that said, it is a little bit heavier on the armor than other escorts and raiders in a similar classification at 40,000 hull. This makes it tougher than the Ouroboros-class Temporal Raider or Na’kuhl Tadaari-class Raider, but not quite as durable as the Herald Baltim-class Heavy Raider.

As for defenses, the Theta-class also has a weaker engineering bay (2 Engineering consoles) with a focus on tactical (5 consoles) and science (4 consoles). The end result is that captains will likely need to keep that in mind when preparing for survivability—that is to say, this ship certainly takes the advice “a good offense is a good defense” to heart.

The weapon layout on the ship really drives home the vessel’s focus on moving quickly and hitting hard. The 5-fore and 1-aft weapons makes this ship particularly forward-facing, and with the capability of loading up on a lot of Tactical consoles and bridge officers means captains will most likely be flying fast and dishing out a lot of damage and then using escape skills to get away if anything with any punch survived the initial salvo.

Build Advice

A quick overview of the Miradorn Theta-class Heavy Raider makes it clear that this ship is designed to put people into a mood for hit-and-run tactics with a lot of cannon-fire and screaming. However, raiders also provide a huge amount of versatility because of a large number of universe bridge officer seating.

Foremost, it’s obvious that most players will want to run this as a cannon-build and probably load mostly dual heavy cannons up front and utilize Tactical bridge officer abilities that boost cannons. With the ship’s already extremely fast turn rate and extra power to engines, the Theta-class can unleash a lot of front-facing damage.

One thing most players might find slightly problematic is the Tactical-Pilot hybrid seat. Most players looking for a hit-and-run raider will not want to switch out precious Tactical abilities for many of the Pilot abilities, however, the other Universal bridge officer slots might help fill that in.

Also, it should be noted that this ship is capable of using Gravity Well, with the Lieutenant Commander Universal slots. This capability opens up a variety of control-based tactics for captains who want to pull together groups and then spray them down with high-level Cannon Scatter Volley. The deep science bay on this ship contains 4 slots for consoles, which means that discerning captains can use it to provide a boost to Control if they want a little edge there.

The 1-aft weapon also provides an interesting question about building this raider. The fact that the Theta-class comes with an Escort Heavy Weapon means that already it may not need to load a torpedo (for that kinetic damage boost) and oftentimes people use an aft-facing weapon slot for the 360-degree Borg cutting beam. A turret in that slot may feel like a waste, but depending on the captain’s interest in bridge officer beam abilities, it could be a good place for a 360-degree omnibeam.

The biggest drawback with the Heavy Escort Weapons, sadly, is that they are unaffected by bridge officer skills that modify torpedo attacks. This means that while the heavy weapon provides some extra kinetic punch—and some nice animations—it’s not a sufficient replacement for specialty torpedos in the role that they may serve.

Finally, the possibility of making the Theta-class into a beam-raider should not be dismissed. With 5-fore weapons, it could be equipped with two or three double beam banks mixed with standard beam banks for that strafe-broadside. With sufficient weapon power levels, this ship can output a significant amount of area of effect damage with Fire at Will.

Although, it should be noted this is where the Miradorn Sensor Baffles console would become extremely handy if a group of enemies survives that initial AoE salvo since it would give any captain the benefit of the better part of valor when getting away from the sudden attention.

The last part of this portion of the Theta-class review is dedicated to two different Star Trek Online players who have given their thoughts on how to build the Theta-class heavy raider for different play styles. We welcome Cynicman and Nelson Williams as guest build advisors.

Cynicman says:

“The Miradorn Theta-class Heavy Raider looks to be a good ship.  The suite of pilot maneuvers should make taking advantage of raider flanking easier as well as being incredibly fun to use.  The Theta’s boff seating following the raider trend of multiple universal seats added to the 5/1 weapon layout offer versatility in build choice.  Dual beam banks or dual heavy cannons are the likeliest candidates for the fore slots while a turret, omni beam, or kinetic cutting beam are probably best for the rear though it could make a decent torp boat.  As for boff abilities aux to batt (given the recent cooldown alterations) with appropriate abilities for your weapons (FAW, BO, CSV, CRF, etc.) and OSS in the hybrid intel seat are probably an ideal core to the build while allowing you to add a couple of other personal favorites.

“The mastery trait seems solid enough if you work at keeping in the flank.  The Miradorn Sensor Baffler console looks amazing giving passive critical chance and defense is decent.  The clicky is a pile of great boosts with a critical chance and severity buff, damage buff, placate, inflicting engine offline, and further increasing raider/intel flanking.  Given all that it provides the console is a no brainer in any build.  While it may have 4 sci consoles and a variable layout, the lack of a secondary deflector and the recent nerf to science ability damage trying to use the ship for science damage less attractive.  Given the lack of engineering console slots some of those sci slots are going to be for universals for set bonuses and the like.”

Nelson Williams says:

“From a roleplaying perspective, it’s an interesting ship. Given it’s used by a number of races, pirates, and mercenaries, the Miradorn is good for anyone playing a non-starfleet character. It’s a shame we can’t use the Hirogen rusty texture on it, though. Players looking for a pointy ship could find the Miradorn a good compromise between the Romulan Adapted Borg ships, which are seriously pointy, and Starfleet ships, which shun pointy entirely.

Build wise, you’re looking at a science-themed raider. That means either a lot of particle gen for Gravity Well and Subspace Vortex, or a strong drain/debuff build. The ship itself is made of paper, though, so defenses will probably come in the form of abilities that make you more or less invulnerable, like Reverse Shield Polarity, Rock and Roll, and Invincible or Continuity. DPS is a priority, and while its Heavy Weapon isn’t affected by consoles, it is affected by things what buff Kinetic damage. This makes torpedoes an option to consider, especially combined with a debuff setup.”

Conclusion

As a ship that drops from a recent lockbox and easily available on the Exchange, the Miradron Theta-class Heavy Raider adds an extremely versatile, hit-and-run raider ship to the line-up of cross-faction ships that is an extremely hard hitter. It also has a somewhat alien-looking hull configuration and an interesting 5-fore 1-aft weapon layout that will suit captains who prefer to be on the move at all times.

Raiders in Star Trek Online have generally fallen mostly to the Klingon faction with the Bird of Prey ships, but slowly cross-faction raiders have continued to become available.

Most significantly, this is one of the first ships to come out that uses the Tactical Maneuvers mechanic from the Pilot ships and is the only way to get access to that ability without spending Zen. This alone should make the Theta-class a worthy addition to the fleet of any captain who is interested in small, fast strike ships.

In the end, the Theta-class fills out the role of a raider extremely well by providing a well-rounded potential for builds as well as a layout that does not detract too much from any one part. It hits extremely hard and, with the right choices in bridge officer abilities, it can provide a certain amount of durability.


2 Comments so far
  1. Colin
    May 20, 2017 9:06 am

    The pilot maneuvers on this ship are currently broken due to a bug, they do not make you immune to damage for 2 seconds like they are supposed to. Tested using the pilot warbird from the zen store and the pilot maneuvers on it function as intended. I would be careful about swapping to this ship if you are counting on the immunity for survivability.

  2. Helvetica
    May 20, 2017 2:08 pm

    Well, that’s terrible. I’ve been using this ship almost daily now and I do use the pilot maneuvers when I can — although I have not noticed if it’s saving my bacon or not. It’s been very nice for giving me superior positioning when I need it or to get away from a potential warp core breach. If it’s bugged, I suppose I’ll just have to wait in Cryptic-time for it to get fixed.

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