In this video, the Defiant is shown using a phaser seemingly emitting from its deflector dish. However, we know from "Starship Down" that it could only be used as a last-ditch attempt and could only be fired once. Why would they fire it against the Lakota where they had plenty of other weapons instead of using a last ditch weapon?

Bonus Question: Why is the Defiant seemingly always only using its pulse phasers and quantum torpedoes in huge fights, why can't they use the other phaser emitters as well to try to maximize damage to the opponent?

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    According to the Wiki, in addition to their more powerful phaser cannons, Defiant class ships have a standard phaser emitter located in a forward position - the article doesn't say exactly where, but based on this diagram it can't be far from the main deflector. That's probably the source of the phaser beam in question. I don't think we'd be able to see the difference. Dec 1, 2018 at 8:08

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The Defiant was a destroyer analog. They took the systems and component hardware of larger ships and placed it all in a compact frame. As for its deflector, it is designed for many functions including as a particle emissions device if need be. Starfleet ships have modified their deflector as a weapon before (in the TNG episode "Imaginary Friend" to destroy an asteroid. The Defiant's engineers modified the deflector to do the same in the DS9 episode "Starship Down" The Defiant has conventional phaser strips (DS9 episode: Paradise Lost), namely to defend its hind section, as its main phaser cannons are meant for straight on engagement.

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    Can you offer any evidence to back up your assertion that the phaser fire was coming from the deflector (since that was the main thrust of OP's original question).
    – Valorum
    Apr 20, 2020 at 7:46

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