Builds TSW

Fist/Pistol endgame healing guide

Hey everyone, Fist/Pistol is a favourite weapon combinations for a lot of endgame healers due to the utility that pistol can bring. It is a healing build I have been running since I got fairly geared from all the NM dungeon runs. This guide will explore the fist/pistol combo in detail.


Why Fist/Pistol?

Fist is a well rounded healing weapon focusing on HoTs. It doesn’t have the damage mitigation of Blood Magic barriers or the AoE heal capacity of Assault Rifle but it can be made to work in a lot of situations. You do need a bit of gear, especially crit rating, for this to build to work. There are quite a few nice abilities in the fist/pistol combo but they are rather long in its cooldowns and you need to be able to keep people alive between the cooldowns.

Pistol brings the Deadly Aim buff, which give the entire group 40% crit chance for 8 seconds. This is a huge DPS boost, especially if you are healing in an optimized group where everyone is bringing something to the party: Deadly Aim, Breaching Shot, Short Fuse to name a few. The nice thing about Deadly Aim is that there is no buff lockout like Short Fuse, so you can have another DPS carrying Deadly Aim as well. On our nightmare runs, our DPS can spike to 3k DPS easily with all the group buffs and bosses just melt.

The other thing nice about Pistol is the cleansing options. Pistol has a lot of cleanses but the range and the number of players it can cleanse is rather limited. This is something to keep in mind and for more serious cleanse encounters like Machine Tyrant we typically have DPS using the shotgun elite Cleanup as it is far more reliable.


There is no set stone build that works for all fights. Unless you are aiming for the NM dungeon achievement that reward you for not changing builds, adjust to the fight is always a good idea.

The focus of the discussion below is mostly on pistol skills. The fist skills are discussed in the fist/blood healing guide instead.

Variation 1 – Standard healer build with passive cleanse.


  • Cauterize
  • Surgical Steel
  • Empathy
  • Firedup
  • Hair Trigger
  • Deadly Aim
  • Backup Drone


  • Healing Sparks
  • Shadow Medic (from AR line)
  • Empowerment (elite passive)
  • Making Amends
  • Mad Skills/Hot Iron/Brawler (Hammer passive)
  • Calling the Shots (reduces Deadly Aim to 60s CD)
  • Ready for more (your cleanse passive)

Mad skills is what I usually use as I am a sucker for crit. Mad Skills won’t activate on critical heals but will activate if you crit while shooting mobs with your Hair Trigger. Each stack give you 30 crit so if you get all 5 stacks (you can get to 5 stacks pretty quick ~700 crit rating) you will get 150 additional crit rating for a whole 8 seconds. Also, the stacks just don’t fall off at once , they fall off one by one so you can enjoy the benefit of added crit for a short duration if you need to focus on heals.


Since Hair Trigger builds resources for both Fist and Pistol, you will have a Surgical Steel ready if your tank suddenly take a large hit.

If you find yourself in situations where you don’t have the time to pew pew with Hair Trigger, then consider Hot Iron/Brawler. One give you a 50% extra direct heal every 7 direct heals and the other give you 15% more crit power.


Deadly Aim and Backup Drone are healing CDs. The really nice thing about DA is that it also benefits everyone else in the group. With DA buff running, your Empowerment will essentially proc nonstop if you have HoTs running. You can also couple DA with Fired Up for intensive group heals. Backup Drone has a super long cooldown (90s) but lasts for 15s. I typically activate it right before a phase where I know the tank will take heavy damage.

Variation 2  – Build with one more active cleanse.


  • Cauterize
  • Surgical Steel
  • Empathy
  • Firedup
  • Hair Trigger
  • Deadly Aim
  • Cleanse


  • Healing Sparks
  • Shadow Medic (from AR line)
  • Empowerment (elite passive)
  • Making Amends
  • Mad Skills/Hot Iron/Brawler
  • Calling the Shots (reduces Deadly Aim to 60s CD)
  • Ready for more (your cleanse passive)

Havn’t run into many encounters where I needed more than the passive cleanse from Hair Trigger + Ready for More but just in case, here is a build with one extra cleanse (you swap out Backup Drones for it). You have quite a few cleanse options. Here is the range of the cleanse on Ready for More, as you can see, you need to be quite close to other players to cleanse them.


Bond, Strong Bond – much like the Ready for More passive, other people need to be near you for this ability to cleanse them. It is on a 4 seconds cooldown so has a shorter CD than Ready for More and you have more control over it.


Cleansing Drone – This one is typically used to cleanse the tank/melee DPS as it is a drone summoned on the offensive target and cleanse players near the offensive target. This is handy for Polaris last boss for example where the tank takes Bleeding damage from getting penetrated by Ur-Draug.


Win Win – This one doesn’t require an offensive target nor any pistol resources. Only downside is the 45s CD and reported to not work on NM Polaris’s depth charge where bubbles appear in the water (for that, either use Cleanup or Sleight of Hand).


Variation 3 – Builds with more AoE heals.

You can either swap out Hair Trigger or Backup Drone (depending on tank damage). If you swap out Hair Trigger, make sure to take off Mad Skills as well and Ready for More. Put on either Vigour or Shelter.


  • Cauterize
  • Surgical Steel
  • Empathy
  • Firedup
  • Hair Trigger
  • Deadly Aim
  • Vigour/Shelter


  • Healing Sparks
  • Shadow Medic (from AR line)
  • Empowerment (elite passive)
  • Making Amends
  • Mad Skills/Hot Iron/Brawler
  • Calling the Shots (reduces Deadly Aim to 60s CD)
  • Ready for more (your cleanse passive)


The rotation is fairly simple. Spam Cauterize so you have HoTs running on the tank, then use Surgical Steel + Empathy if the tank is taking a big hit. If the tank is taking some serious beating and you don’t think you can recover from it with just Surgical Steel + Empathy, pop either 1) Deadly Aim 2) Backup Drone or 3) Fired Up.

If the tank isn’t taking too much damage, get close and use Hair Trigger on the boss (assuming you have the Mad Skills passive) for the crit rating buff. For little things like Bleeds from adds you can easily stand next to the tank and just shoot at things. The passive will cleanse it off him/her.


Crit Rating

As I mentioned before. this build uses high crit rating to proc Empowerment. How high of a crit rating should you aim for and when does diminishing returns kick in? Diminishing returns seem to start after you reach the ~20% crit chance mark and seems to get worse as you get into the 30% range.

Here are some data I collected. If you are comparing this with previous pre-1.1 data, here are some things to keep in mind 1) They fixed the World Domination buff, previously it was giving out 0.56% crit chance per PvP objective, now it correctly giving out 1% 2) They fixed the crit gadgets, previous it was giving something like 150, now it is giving out 506, as the description states.

The base crit chance without any PvP objective in control is 5.0. This data is obtained with 0 PvP objective in control but should not affect the calculations. Just change the y-intercept accordingly.

Crit rating Crit chance
0 5.0
223 9.8
324 11.9
429 14.0
548 16.4
750 20.1
962 23.5
981 23.8
1183 26.6
1213 27.0
1243 27.4
1273 27.7
1303 28.1
1333 28.4
1839 33.0

The equation for data up to 750 (20.1%) is 0.0206x + 5, where 5 is the base crit chance (with 0 PvP objective in control) and x is the crit rating.  Therefore it is safe to say that this is the equation for crit rating to crit chance conversion <= 750 crit rating  is 0.0206x + y where y = your base crit chance + # of PvP objectives and X is the crit rating. There does not appear to be any significant diminishing returns up to this point.

You can see that the data points after 750 do not follow this equation at all and trail off significantly towards the end. The equation predicts 1839 crit rating to convert into 42.88 but instead we get 33. That is roughly a 10% crit chance gap.


Look at it another way, the jump from 1333 to 1839 is roughly 500 crit rating. The equation predicts ~ 10-11% for this jump but instead we get a 33-28.4 = 4.6% jump. It is effectively halved.

I don’t have enough data to calculate the exact diminishing returns but roughly we can say that the crit rating to crit chance conversion after 30% or 1300-1400 crit rating  is halved.

I am still in favor of stack crit rating past 30% but it is also worthwhile to look into crit power at this point as you might get better returns there.

Upgrade Weapons or Talisman?

When you start running Nightmares, the question people often ask is if they should upgrade weapons or talisman. Both weapons and talisman costs 30 Bullions to purchase but weapons take 40 bullions to upgrade while talisman only takes 20 bullions. This means that you can upgrade a talisman twice for the same cost as upgrading a weapon once.

How much of a jump you will see when you upgrade the head and major talismans? (sorry no data for minor yet).

Heal rating

QL Head Major Diff. Head Diff. Major
10 559 505    
10.1 596 538 37 33
10.2 636 575 40 37
10.3 682 616 46 41
10.4 735 664 53 48

Upgrading your head talisman twice will make a jump of 77 heal rating while upgrading your major talisman twice will make a jump of 70 heal rating. As you can see, each time your upgrade it, the difference gets slightly bigger.

In contrast, lets look at weapons. I only have the data up to QL10.2

Weapon Power

QL Weapon Difference
10 398  
10.1 411 13
10.2 423 12
10.3 434 11
10.4 446 12

The difference with each tier seems to get smaller with each upgrade.

I don’t have any solid data on this and the calculation I done is based only on one spell. We do not know at this point if there is a diminishing return to heal rating and weapon power either and if every spell have a different coefficient based on weapon power/heal rating to determine how much they heal.

The numbers used are from the tooltip.

Heal rating Difference Empathy heal amount difference Fired Up (initial)
amount difference
Surgical steel (initial) amount difference
126 17 14 3
Weapon power difference Empathy heal amount difference Fired Up (initial)
amount difference
Surgical steel (initial) amount difference
64 98 80 15

1 point in Empathy = 7.41 Heal Rating

1 point in Empathy = 0.65 Weapon Power

7.41 / 0.65 = 11.35

1 point in Fired Up = 9 Heal Rating

1 point in Fired Up = 0.8 Weapon Power

9 / 0.8 =11.25

1 point in Surgical Steel = 42 Heal Rating

1 point in Surgical Steel = 4.26

42/ 4.26 = 9.8

Keep in mind that for smaller heals like Surgical Steel, the calculations are less accurate as the small numbers are more affected by rounding.

The data here would indicate that it is generally better to upgrade weapons first rather than your talisman. Again, keep in mind that this isn’t the best data and the results may be inaccurate.

By Dulfy

MMO guide writer and blogger. Currently playing and covering SWTOR, GW2, and TSW.

26 replies on “Fist/Pistol endgame healing guide”

I want to say 10.3 weapon was 434 weapon power, but I don’t have a 10.3 on me, I have the 10.4 if you require screenshot for proof.

I ran some numbers and I discovered Weapon Power appears to use some kind of multiplier with Healing Rating to create your Healing Power. This means the more Healing Rating you have the stronger Weapon Power becomes.

Here’s some brief numbers, using Ruby Curtain.

This is with 0 Healing Rating and using three different weapons, first number is Weapon Power, number in parentheses is the listed Healing Power and the final number is the amount healed by Ruby Curtain.

0 Healing Rating362 (147.4) – 83366 (148.2) – 83373 (149.6) – 84

This is using 288 Healing Rating (so your basic epic item).

288 Healing Rating (105.7 Healing Power) – 30.7362 (207.8) – 117366 (209.0) – 117373 (210.9) – 118

Now, using 346 Healing Rating, also since I noticed I had 75 Healing Power weaponless and without Healing Power, I thought I’d subtract 75 from my Healing Power (its off to the side). Interesting, diminishing return for the moment, you can see upgrading a minor Talisman offers a decent boost (that is 10.0 to 10.1).

346 Healing Rating (111.9 Healing Power) – 36.9362 (219.9) – 123366 (221.1) – 124373 (223.2) – 125

This is for using 692 Healing Rating, exactly double the 346.

692 Healing Rating (147.7 Healing Power) – 72.7362 (290.2) – 163366 (291.8) – 164373 (294.6) – 166

For funzies I attempted this with 783 Healing Rating.

783 Healing Rating (156.8 Healing Power) – 81.8362 (308.1) – 173366 (309.8) – 174373 (312.7) – 176

And now with all the Healing Rating I could muster.

2528 Healing Rating (290.3 Healing Power) – 215.3362 (570.5) – 321366 (573.6) – 323373 (579.1) – 326

It’s fairly easy to see there is some sort of multiplier with Weapon Power and also there’s some sort of diminishing return with Healing Rating. (Really wish I had a third piece of +346 Healing Rating item, to neatly make 1,038, also I am missing one slot in full Healing Rating gear to get the juicy 2,874 — that and I am using a measly 495 Healing Rating helm).

If I manage to get my hands on a 10.1 or 10.2 blood weapon I’ll come back here. I have a feeling Weapon Power gets much stronger with better gear. Though, it seems until you have more gear upgrading (major/head) Talisman is the best option. Or more specifically, it looks like Signets are your best option (and it’s actually for this reason I chose to buy a minor talisman as a custom, personally, but then again I am going for a very expensive epic Ablation, 2% healer one is probably super cheap).

One thing to note though, not only does Healing Rating change, but so does Glyph. I know for example using Physical Protection, on Helm a Nightwatch is 219, on Weapon is 202 and on Minor it’s 127. — Also you can upgrade Glyphs with your tokens, but as a healer I wouldn’t do that since you only have 1 main stat to focus and you’ll hit diminishing return with crit.

Plotting my data points, I think it’s fairly safe to say there’s definitely a diminishing return on healing rating. I also discovered the coefficient to healing power is fairly linear and easy to calculate (so for example, Ruby Curtain has 53% coefficient to Healing Power). (Here’s a graph with the data above, showing the DR, this is looking at Healing Rating contribution to Healing Power.)

What we really need to figure out is the calculation for Combat Power.

I’ve got basic formulas for some things. They might not be 100% accurate, but they look “clean” enough to be plausible. There is one thing I don’t know though, I don’t know the exact diminishing return on “Healing Power from Healing Rating”, but I’ve got these rough formulas.

a = Weapon Power
b = Healing Power from Healing Rating
c = Healing Power from Weapon Power
z = Healing Power

z = 2 (b)^.5 * (c)^.5

In other words, Total Healing Power is two times the square root of Healing Power contributed from Healing Rating and Weapon Power.

But we’re only given Weapon Power and Healing Rating, so to calculate the “Healing Power from Weapon Power” we use the formula:

c = (a * b) / 375

So adding this all together, where does it get us? Well, in part I am not sure because I don’t know the diminishing rate on “healing power from healing rate”, but what I do know is, in my 2528 healing rating gear, if I was to upgrade from a 10.3 weapon to a 10.4 weapon I would see a roughly an 8.6 healing power upgrade, which would increase Ruby Curtain 16 healing points or so.

On the other hand, if I grabbed 2x Major Talisman upgrade, assuming 10.3 to 10.4 that should be a 96 Healing Rating increase for the same Bullion cost. I am still uncertain at exactly what the contribution of 96 extra Healing Rating would be to “Healing Power from Healing Rating”, but using 8.7 additional healing rating = healing power as a rough estimate, I’d gain roughly 11 Healing Power from Healing Rating. (It should be less though, because there IS diminishing return and this number will change based on your current Healing Rating). Anyways, going through the calculation this would give me 636 Total Healing Power ~ or roughly a 22 point or so increase to the healing of Ruby Curtain.

My gut tells me Funcom probably balanced this really well and your first item upgrades should depend on your Healing Rating. If your Healing Rating is low, upgrade your Talisman, but at higher levels of Healing Rating you’ll suffer from diminishing returns — and also Weapon Power is definitely a multiplier.

On the other hand, once you do have a lot of Healing Rating upgrading your Weapon will eventually be best. But as another poster pointed out, your weapon is only for one hand, Talisman is for both hands.

I don’t have enough Healing Rating on me to extend my curve and see further diminishing return (again, I only get up to 2528, whereas I know a lot of Nightmare healers will be running 3100+).

Hope this helps!

If memory serves, Combat Power is what gives the bonus to the abilities, and it’s a simple formula: Attack power*0.1 + Weapon Power*0.4. The ability’s effect is ofcourse Base effect + X*Combat power. (seems to be 1 for most direct effects)
I’d assume it’s the same for healing abilities.
It’s quite easy to check, remove all gear, equip 2 different weapon (buy a starter weapon and use your normal) and see how much weapon affects a heal or attack, then add some armor piece and see what the bonus adds.

Remember though – a weapon only gets used for one school of healing abilities. A talisman’s boost will be active for both weapons.

i for one as a pistol dps dont mind using the cleanses…and so far have been one of the only people that readily says yeah sure ill run a cleanse. I have yet to try Pistol Love, as i dislike dropping DoD, but it also seems as a pretty reliable tank cleanse. Also, not sure how much help it provides, but I’ve actually used Greater Good(? i think thats what its called…the group heal increase i believe) in situations with alot of group damage and the healer seemed to be falling behind on earlier attempts

I looked at the numbers a slightly different way, but came to a similar conclusion. Cost benefit says that you can get 5 to 6 points in a major talisman for every one point in a weapon. (66/13=5 but it varies a bit by tier) I ran a matrix of my numbers using a couple of old neck talismans and green275/blue347 weapons to get results at my current level for gear improvements. (Progression in gear isn’t linear, but it’ll do for now.) I calculated the benefit for 1 point in HR and one point in WP for each of my most used actives and passives. Then I multiplied the talisman number by 5 to get a 1:1 comparison for cost purposes.

If I was really being a purist, I would multiply the weapon by the percentage of time I spend casting spells in that school.

Weapon wins out, kind of. Tbh, I’d buy a fist upgrade first, then head and major, then the other weapon.
I found that the numbers were closer to each other than I expected. For me, surgical steel (.16×5) is .8 vs 1.15 for 1 point in weapon upgrade. If I take into account that fist is half to 2/3rds of my heals, the talisman upgrade is actually better. .8 vs .77
Overall, the weapon numbers are consistently marginally to significantly higher, making one of your weapons a priority upgrade, but probably not both in my opinion.

I have a question regarding “Ready for More.”

Does it use any kind of smart targeting? It is limited to 3 targets, so will it “waste” a target on someone that does not have a detrimental?

Fistol Default (w brawler): VDM%-%6942617%-%6942615%-%6943027%-%6943042%-%6942465%-%6452081%-%6942501%-%6942834%-%6839466%-%6943034%-%6943030%-%6368910%-%6452082%-%6942489
Fistol Cleanse (w brawler): VDM%-%6942617%-%6942615%-%6943027%-%6943042%-%6942465%-%6452081%-%6942526%-%6942834%-%6839466%-%6943034%-%6943030%-%6368910%-%6452082%-%6942489
Fistol AoE (w brawler): VDM%-%6942617%-%6942615%-%6943027%-%6943042%-%6942465%-%6452081%-%6943036%-%6942834%-%6839466%-%6943034%-%6943030%-%6368910%-%6452082%-%6942489

Not sure whether to put this here or in the Blood/Fist but the ghetto version of getting cleanses is to get Ready For more and Bloodline from Blood. That way you can keep using blood / fist if you prefer that.

if it all goes off the wep for that “ability” then if fist is the only real heal abilities being used… you could have QL1 and still get same benefit.
All I can see using pistol for is to cleanse/boost my crit rating for empower.
My conclusion from all of this; main heal wep is greebly to upgrade first. Then talis. Pistol last:)

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