SWTOR Arsenal and Pyrotech Mercenary DPS Class guide

A guide to SWTOR Mercenary Arsenal and Pyrotech DPS specs for PvE. Written and edited by Invinc and Vindrik of Harbinger.

Guide is partially updated for Patch 2.7. Parse Analysis and video of rotations are from pre 2.7 and will be updated shortly.

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Overview

The Mercenary is the only ranged dps class that uses heavy armor, which greatly reduces their damage taken. This makes them a little bit more durable than most other classes, and they are a really easy class to play well. They are also one of the 3 dps classes that have access to healing abilities, as well as the only dps class that has access to a small AoE heal. Finally, the Mercenary can battle rez, which gives them extra utility in tight situations. As a Mercenary, you have access to two dps specs:

  1. Arsenal is the most common spec, but currently not the highest damage. It is a good team support spec due to the armor reduction applied by your regular rotation.
  2. Pyrotech is a spec that greatly depends on dot uptime and good resource management. It is capable of higher damage output

Offensive Cooldowns:

  1. Thermal Sensor Override: Makes your next ability cost no Heat. Pyrotech talents reduce the cooldown.
  2. Power Surge: Causes your next ability with a cast timer to activate instantly. Arsenal spec has 2 charges when Power Surge is activated.

Defensive Cooldowns:

  1. Kolto Overload: Gives you a buff for 1 minute, whereby if you fall under 35% HP, a fast-ticking self heal will trigger that will consistently heal you back up to a maximum of 35% HP for a few seconds.
  2. Energy Shield: Significantly increase your base damage reduction for a short while.

Tricks of the Trade:

  1. Onboard AED: Battle rez
  2. Kolto Missile: The only AoE heal available to a dps class
  3. Healing Scan & Rapid Scan: Heals available if needed
  4. Jet Boost: AoE knockback
  5. Hydraulic Overrides: Increases movement speed and gives immunity to knockbacks, snares and physics effects for a few seconds
  6. Vent Heat: Instant Heat regeneration

Arsenal

Arsenal (6:/36/4): http://swtor.askmrrobot.com/skills/mercenary#1000302-1320231112210210232322-13

swtor-arsenal-mercenary-dps-class-guide

Note: Decoy, Integrated Cardio Package and Med Tech talents are useful utility skills depending on the style of fight you are engaging, and whether your group requires increased survivability rather than greater dps. The point in System Calibrations can also be used as a second point in Critical Reaction.

1.1 Rates (1-10):


  • Single Target Dps: 6
  • AoE Damage: 7
  • Group Utility: 8
  • Rotation Difficulty: 3
  • RNG Dependant: No
  • Burst: 3
  • Sub 30% Talent or Ability Buffs: No

1.2 Gearing & Stats Priority:


  • *Must Have** Accuracy: 110% Tech & 100% ranged (1% from companion + 3% from talent = 6% required from gear)
  • **Must Have** 0 Alacrity
  • 68-74% Surge
  • 60-240 Critical Rating
  • All other secondary stats in Power
  • **Must Have** Augments: Aim (Reflex)
  • Relics: Serendipitous Assault & Focused Retribution
  • Alternate Relic: Boundless Ages
  • Set Bonus: 4 piece Eliminator’s
  • High Velocity Gas Cylinder

1.3 Gearing Overview:


  • Reaching the Accuracy cap should be your highest priority
  • The dps bonus given by Alacrity rating is low enough that, even with the high amount of diminishing returns it will suffer, Surge rating will always be better
  • The difference in overall dps between 0 Critical rating and 250 Critical rating is minimal, so having a little bit is not an issue, though stacking it is never a good idea due to high diminishing returns
  • Choice of relics should be made on a fight-to-fight basis. Serendipitous Assault and Focused Retribution will give you a greater overall damage increase, while Boundless Ages will allow you to focus your burst into a short window for fights with tight burn phases
  • Getting your set bonus as quickly as possible is highly recommended. It will increase your dps substantially enough that having lower item level armorings with the set bonus is still a better option than higher item level armorings without it

1.4 Ability Explanation:


  • Unload is your hardest hitting ability and most reliable source of dps. It is a channeled 3 second cast (reduced by Alacrity), that should be used as often as possible. Unload is affected by a variety of talents:
    1. Stabilizers: Reduces pushback by 100%
    2. Target Tracking: Increases critical damage dealt by 30%
    3. Riddle: Increase damage dealt by 33%
    4. Barrage: Tracer Missile and Power Shot finish the CD of Unload, and increase its damage by 25%. Cannot occur more than every 8 seconds
    5. Advanced Targeting: Increases armor penetration by 30%
  • Heatseeker Missiles is the final ability in your talent tree, with an average Heat cost, instant cast and heavy damage output, it should be used on CD whenever available. Its damage is increased by 25% if the target is affected by your Heat Signature from Tracer Missile, and should never be used without this debuff active. Heatseeker Missiles are affected by a variety of talents:
    1. Mandalorian Iron Warheads: Increases the damage dealt by 6%
    2. Target Tracking: Increases critical damage dealt by 30%
    3. Power Launcher: Increases damage dealt by 6%
  • Electro Net is an extremely cheap, high damage ability with a long CD. It is only usable a few times per fight, but should be used as often as possible. It is only affected by one talent:
    1. Power Launcher: Increases damage dealt by 6%
  • Rail Shot is your filler ability. You will often have plenty of room to use this ability since there aren’t many more abilities to use when most of them are on CD, however you should always try to use it only with 5 stacks of Tracer Lock. Rail Shot is affected by a variety of talents:
    1. Tracer Lock / Light ’Em Up: Each cast of Tracer Missile grants 2 stacks of Target Lock, increasing Rail Shot’s damage done by 6% per stack, up to a maximum of 5
    2. Power Launcher: Increases damage dealt by 6%
    3. Advanced Targeting: Rail Shot ignores 30% of the target’s armor.
  • Fusion Missile is a hard hitting ability, with both AoE and dot components, but it has a high cost and should generally only be used with Thermal Sensor Override, and if it is available Power Surge as well.
  • Tracer Missile is your all-around filler ability, as it provides the basis for your rotation. It grants an armor reduction debuff, procs Barrage for Unload, Tracer Lock for Rail Shot, and Heat Signature for Heatseeker Missiles. You should never be using Tracer Missile as a higher priority than any of these abilities. It is affected by the following talents:
    1. Mandalorian Iron Warheads: Increases the damage dealt by 6%
    2. Barrage: Finishes the CD of Unload and increases its damage by 25%. Cannot occur more than every 8 seconds
    3. Power Barrier: Reduces damage taken by 1% per stack, stacks up to 5 times
    4. Tracer Lock / Light ’Em Up: Each cast of Tracer Missile grants 2 stacks of Target Lock, increasing Rail Shot’s damage done by 6% per stack, up to a maximum of 5
    5. Stabilizers: Reduces pushback by 100%

1.5 Ability Nomenclature and Rotation Priority:


  1. Unload: UL
  2. Heatseeker Missiles: HS
  3. Electro Net: EN
  4. Rail Shot (5 stacks): RS
  5. Fusion Missile (With Thermal Sensor Override & Power Surge ): FM
  6. Tracer Missile: TM
  7. Rapid Shot

Cooldowns:

  1. Thermal Sensor Override: TSO
  2. Power Surge: PS
  3. Vent Heat: VH

1.6 Opening Rotation:


When opening your rotation, you really have two options depending if you’re feeling lucky or not. The first is starting with Unload + Tracer Missile + Unload (proc), even if the first Unload is not buffed, the damage is higher than other abilities and just like the Pyrotech opener, it’s a way to get as many Unloads as possible. There is the also a standard opener with just Tracer Missile + Unload.

1. Relic/Adrenal UL + TM + UL + HS + EN + PS / TSO / FM + TM + RS + UL(proc) + Proceed to overheat yourself with the rotation + VH

swtor-arsenal-mercenary-dps-opening-rotation-1

2. Relic/Adrenal TM + UL + HS + EN + PS / TSO / FM + TM + RS + UL (proc) + Proceed to overheat yourself with the rotation + VH

swtor-arsenal-mercenary-dps-opening-rotation-2

1.7 Rotation Strategy:


The whole idea of the Arsenal spec is to get as many Unload as possible due to its high damage output when buffed. Unload always gets priority over everything when it procs, Heatseeker and Electro Net should be used on cooldown as much as possible, and Rail Shot should only be used once it reaches 5 stacks and your more powerful abilities are on cooldown. Fusion Missile can be used during Thermal Sensor Override to maximise on the free of cost of what would otherwise be a very expensive, but powerful dot.

15 second rotation (10 GCDs, no opener)

UL + TM + UL + HS + TM  + EN + RS  + UL + TM

swtor-arsenal-mercenary-dps-rotation

Video of Rotation on Training Dummy (Need an update for patch 2.7)

1.8 AoE Rotation Priority:


  1. Death From Above
  2. Fusion Missile
  3. Explosive Dart
  4. Sweeping Blasters

1.9 Sample Parse Analysis: (Need an update for patch 2.7)


swtor-arsenal-mercenary-dps-class-guide-parse-breakdown

  • Unload will deal the most dps and overall damage, being your most important ability, and any top tier parse will always have Unload as the top ability
  • Tracer Missile should always be your second highest damage dealing ability. This isn’t thanks to its damage, but is instead thanks to how often it’s used throughout the rotation considering it doesn’t have a CD
  • Heatseeker Missiles is a heavy hitting ability but has a long CD, so it should be your third highest damaging ability
  • Rail Shot should be your fourth highest damaging ability, also due to its long intervals between use but high damage output per use

A total of roughly 60% of your damage done should be accounted for by Unload and Tracer Missile in a proper Arsenal rotation, while a further 25% should be due to Heatseeker Missiles and Rail Shot. The remaining 15% or so of your damage is spread between multiple abilities depending on your style, the fight, and how the rotation goes. Electro Net should be used on CD so its damage should be stable, while Fusion Missile is only used with Thermal Sensor Override, so just like Electro Net, its damage should be stable in most parse comparisons. The rest of the damage should be spread between Rapid Shots and Death From Above, if you use it.

Keep in mind that these numbers are all relative to each fight. These numbers are taken from a dummy parse on how an ideal boss fight would go. On heavy RNG specs things can change, as Unload can deal way more more or less dmg depending on this. Comparing ability percentages from top damage parses is a great way to know if you are doing your rotation efficiently, and knowing where each ability should be at is your first step to doing ideal dps for your gear, as these percentages are comparable between gear levels.

1.10 Tips And Tricks:


  • In theory, each Unload proc should happen roughly every 6 GCDs (9 seconds), however, with Alacrity buffs, you can bring this closer to its 8 second internal cooldown.
  • Vent Heat, just like other rapid resource gain abilities like Adrenaline Probe, can be a little confusing as to how it functions due to the ability text. A 50 Heat dissipation plus a GCD’s worth of recovery means you are essentially removing 55-60 Heat. Considering the fact that anywhere between 0-15 Heat is the ‘comfort’ zone for dps, this means Vent Heat should always be used at around 65-75 Heat to exploit its full potential. Keep in mind, however, that Arsenal should be specced into a buffed Vent Heat, so in this spec you basically want to have around 90 Heat and it will drop you down to under 20 without a problem.
  • Vent Heat is one of the most useful and under-used CD’s. Like any other cooldown, you should be using it as much as possible in a boss fight to maximise your damage output. Also considering the opening burst rotation with relics, adrenals, Bloodthirst, and your other offensive cooldowns, it helps you get back to balanced Heat after taking the most advantage possible from the damage boost. In other words, use as much Heat as you can during the opening burn phases and use Vent Heat as early as feasible. As with other offensive cooldowns, you should be doing the same every time it’s available.

Pyrotech

Pyrotech Full DPS (2/8/36):  http://swtor.askmrrobot.com/skills/mercenary#200-30302-101231322102122203323

swtor-pyrotech-mercenary-dps-class-guide-full-dps-build

Alternative no push back spec (0/10/36): http://swtor.askmrrobot.com/skills/mercenary#0-30322-101231322102122203323

swtor-pyrotech-mercenary-dps-class-guide-no-push-back-build

2.1 Rates (1-10):


  • Single Target Dps: 9
  • AoE Damage: 8
  • Group Utility: 5
  • Rotation Difficulty: 7
  • RNG Dependant: Yes, slightly
  • Burst: 7
  • Sub 30% Talent or Ability Buffs: Yes

2.2 Gearing & Stats Priority:


  • **Must Have** Accuracy: 110% Tech & 100% ranged (1% from companion + 3% from talent = 6% required from gear)
  • **Must Have** 0 Alacrity
  • 68-74% Surge
  • 200-400 Critical Rating
  • All other secondary stats in Power
  • **Must Have** Augments: Aim (Reflex)
  • Relics: Serendipitous assault & Focused Retribution
  • Alternate Relic: Boundless Ages
  • Set Bonus: 4 piece Eliminator’s
  • Combustible Gas Cylinder

2.3 Gearing Overview:


  • Reaching the Accuracy cap should be your highest priority
  • The dps bonus given by Alacrity rating is low enough that, even with the high amount of diminishing returns it will suffer, Surge rating will always be better
  • The difference in overall dps between 200 Critical rating and 400 Critical rating is minimal, so having a little bit is not an issue, though stacking it is never a good idea due to high diminishing returns
  • Choice of relics should be made on a fight-to-fight basis. Serendipitous Assault and Focused Retribution will give you a greater overall damage increase, while Boundless Ages will allow you to focus your burst into a short window for fights with tight burn phases
  • Getting your set bonus as quickly as possible is highly recommended. It will increase your dps substantially enough that having lower item level armorings with the set bonus is still a better option than higher item level armorings without it

2.4 Ability Explanation:


  • Rail Shot is your most important ability, as it is free of cost with its proc, vents Heat, hits particularly hard and can be used often due to a low cooldown. It is affected by a variety of talents:
    1. Advanced Targeting: Increases armor penetration by 30%
    2. Superheated Rail: Increases armor penetration by 30% and vents 8 Heat if it hits a burning target, refreshing the duration of the Cylinder dot if active
    3. Prototype Particle Accelerator: Power Shot has a 45% chance and Unload a 75% chance to finish the CD on Rail Shot, and make the next Rail Shot free of cost, with an internal cooldown of 6 seconds
    4. Rain of Fire: Increases damage dealt to burning targets by 9%
    5. Firebug: Increases critical damage dealt by 30%
    6. Power Barrels: Increase damage dealt by 6%
  • Thermal Detonator is the final ability in your talent tree, as well as one of the most useful. It has a 3 second delay after activation before it detonates, and afterwards hits for high initial Tech damage, and leaving a dot on the target. It should always be used on CD, and although the CD will be refreshed before the dot effect has expired, the 3 second delay will give the dot enough room to finish before being refreshed. Thermal Detonator is affected by a variety of talents:
    1. Firebug: Increases critical damage dealt by 30%
    2. Power Barrels: Increase damage dealt by 6%
    3. Burnout: Increases dot damage dealt by 30% to targets under 30% HP
  • Incendiary Missile is the most important dot in your rotation, as many of your talents are affected by “burning” targets, and Incendiary Missile and Thermal Detonator do that job for you. It has an average cost, but high damage and should be maintained as much as possible. Keep in mind that it deals initial damage as well as its dot component. It is affected by a few talents:
    1. Firebug: Increases critical damage dealt by 30%
    2. Burnout: Increases dot damage dealt by 30% to targets under 30% HP
  • Electro Net is an extremely cheap, high damage ability with a long CD. It is only usable a few times per fight, but should be used as often as possible.
  • Power Shot is your main filler ability, as it is affected by many talents as well as triggering the most important part of your rotation in Prototype Particle Accelerator. It should be used to proc Rail Shot and to fill in between CDs. It is affected by a variety of talents:
    1. Prototype Particle Accelerator: Has a 45% chance of refreshing your Rail Shot CD, and making your next Rail Shot free of cost.
    2. Rain of Fire: Increases damage dealt to burning targets by 9%
    3. Firebug: Increases critical damage dealt by 30%
    4. Power Barrels: Reduces cost by 3 Heat and increases damage dealt by 6%
    5. Mandalorian Iron Warheads: Increases damage dealt by 6%
    6. Stabilizers: Reduces pushback by 100%
  • Rapid Shot is your free filler. It does higher damage than other specs due to the dot applied by your Combustible Gas Cylinder.
  • Unload is an interesting ability for the spec, but is not as useful as you might think. Although it deals high damage, and when used at maximum Heat regeneration it will always end up venting more Heat than it costs, it will also always vent less than just using Rapid Shots. It is useful for burst sections between Rail Shots, but usually using Power Shot more would give you greater power than spamming Unload. It is affected by a variety of talents:
    1. Advanced Targeting: Increases armor penetration by 30%
    2. Prototype Particle Accelerator: Has a 75% chance of refreshing your Rail Shot CD, and making your next Rail Shot free of cost.
    3. Rain of Fire: Increases damage dealt to burning targets by 9%
    4. Power Barrels: Reduces cooldown by 3 seconds and increases damage dealt by 6%
    5. Stabilizers: Reduces pushback by 100%
  • Fusion Missile is a hard hitting ability, with both AoE and dot components, but it has a high cost and should generally only be used with Thermal Sensor Override, and if it is available Power Surge as well.

2.5 Ability Nomenclature and Rotation Priority:


  1. Rail Shot: RS
  2. Thermal Detonator: TD
  3. Incendiary Missile: IM
  4. Electro Net: EN
  5. Power Shot: PShot
  6. Rapid Shot
  7. Unload (Burst): UL
  8. Fusion Missile (Opening): FM

Cooldowns:

  1. Thermal Sensor Override: TSO
  2. Power Surge: PS
  3. Vent Heat: VH

2.6 Opening Rotation:


Starting the fight with Fusion Missile is really personal choice, but it’s recommended to always open a boss fight with a pre-cast ability during the pull in order to maximise your opening damage without sacrificing too much resource management. The reason you don’t use Power Shot for that is because you want to get as many Rail Shot  as possible, and since using Power Shot might trigger the Rail Shot proc, you may end up losing an extra Rail Shot cooldown for no reason.

Pre-cast FM + TD / Relic / Adrenal  + IM + RS + PS / PShot + RS + EN  + PShot + PShot + RS / VH + PShot

swtor-pyrotech-mercenary-dps-guide-opening-rotation

2.7 Rotation Strategy:


The strategy behind the Mercenary Pyrotech spec is to get as many Rail Shots as possible, as it’s your primary damaging ability. The proc rate is reasonably reliable, more so than others such as the Arsenal Mercenary spec. The difficulty of this spec comes from having to keep your dots up as well as keeping count of the internal timer for Rail Shot procs. Power Shot should always be used to proc Rail Shot, Unload is not recommended for regular use in this spec as it will delay the use of Rail Shot during the channel, and Power Shot has more talent-based damage boosts. Because of this, Unload is only used as filler at some points.

The activation time on Thermal Detonator makes up for the difference between its CD and duration, meaning you can use it on CD without overwriting the existing dot that will still be up once the ability has come off cooldown. Rapid Shots, unlike any other spec in the game for any class, actually gives a substantial damage boost if used at the right time, thanks to the Cylinder dot. Since Rail Shot will always trigger and refresh an existing Combustible Gas Cylinder effect, and just like any other ranged ability has a chance to trigger it Itself too, using Rapid Shots to apply the Cylinder dot will not always mean a loss in dps. The longer you can keep the Cylinder dot on the target, the better.

15 – 20 second rotation (10 – 14 GCDs, no opener). Considering 3 possible cases:

Freshly applied dots, recently used Rail Shot:

PShot + PShot + PShot + RS + UL + PShot + RS + PShot + TD + PShot + RS

swtor-pyrotech-mercenary-dps-guide-rotation-1

Incendiary missile running out, recently used Rail Shot:

PShot + PShot + PShot + RS + TSO / IM + PShot + PShot + RS + TD + Rapid Shots + PShot + RS

swtor-pyrotech-mercenary-dps-guide-rotation-2

Dots require reapplication, recently used Rail Shot:

PShot + TD + PShot + RS + IM + Rapid Shots + PShot + RS + EN + PShot + PShot + RS

swtor-pyrotech-mercenary-dps-guide-rotation-3

Video of Rotation on Training Dummy

2.8 AoE Rotation Priority:


  1. Death From Above
  2. Fusion Missile
  3. Explosive Dart
  4. Sweeping Blasters

2.9 Sample Parse Analysis:


swtor-pyrotech-mercenary-dps-class-guide-sample-parse

  • Power Shot is not your hardest hitting ability, neither it is the most important in your priority, but being the only ability without a CD means that it’s used a lot more often than any other ability. A well executed Pyrotech parse should have Power Shot on top of the list
  • Rail Shot is your biggest single hit, as well as the most important ability, however it is limited by its CD and the RNG of its proc. Your whole rotation hinges around this ability for its dps. Rail Shot should take the second spot for your damage dealt
  • The next section of your dps is spread between your dots, Thermal Detonator and Unload. Your dots should be doing above 8% of your damage, roughly 5% and roughly 4% respectively depending on the number of mobs and boss fight mechanics. Your abilities should always keep your Cylinder dot up in third place, while keeping your Incendiary Missile up on the target at all times should also give a similar result on different parses, but generally remain lower than your Cylinder. Thermal Detonator and its associated dot should be measured by the number of uses, as delaying it to ensure proper Heat management is not necessarily a dps loss. This is the same with Unload, as it will depend on procs from your Power Shot and your Heat management as to how often you use this ability.

Power Shot and Rail Shot, being the staples of your rotation, should be dealing the vast majority of your total damage done, usually above 50%. Remember that these are ranged abilities, not Tech, so most of your damage in this spec is coming from ranged attacks. Thermal Detonator and your many dots should be doing the second fragment of your damage dealt, doing roughly half as much as the Power Shot / Rail Shot combination. The remainder of your damage comes from Electro Net, since it is used on CD it should have a stable percentage of damage done across most of your parses, as well as Fusion Missile, which hinges on your use of Thermal Sensor Override, while Incendiary Missile and Rapid Shots will fill the last few percent.

Keep in mind that these numbers are all relative to each fight. These numbers are taken from a dummy parse on how an ideal boss fight would go. On heavy RNG specs things can change, altering how often you need to use certain abilities, meaning Power Shot can deal up to roughly 40% of your damage or as low as 25%, so these numbers are just an approximation of what you should be doing on a dummy parse for your rotation. Using the sample parse and comparing ability percentages and knowing where each ability should be at is your first step to doing ideal dps for your gear, as it is comparable between gear levels.

2.10 Tips And Tricks:


  • Each Rail Shot proc should happen after 4 GCDs (6 seconds), and they occur at a decent rate, so you have to keep a few things in mind; Rail Shot counts as 1 GCD so it’s Rail Shot + 3 abilities before your next possible Rail Shot. Power Shot should always be your 4th GCD in order to proc Rail Shot. If you want to keep the Cylinder dot up on the target, use Rapid Shots after the first ability following an Rail Shot, followed by a Power Shot, in order to maximise your dps, Rail Shot procs, and Heat management.
  • Keep in mind that Rail Shot will not only vent 8 Heat through the talent, but it’s also a GCD, so will vent another 5 Heat before you can use your next ability. As such, each Rail Shot proc vents around 13 Heat, so you need to keep track of that in order to maximise your Heat management by being high enough so as not to waste extra possible Heat venting, while not overheating unnecessarily.
  • Thermal Sensor Override is always good to use before an Incendiary Missile or Thermal Detonator. The short CD on Thermal Detonator fits more easily into the regular rotation and should be easy to manage the Heat it generates, but Incendiary Missile is often a cause of overheating if not used well, due to its irregular schedule. It’s recommended to use Thermal Sensor Override on either of those abilities due to their high Heat output, but try to avoid using on any other ability, especially Power Shot. In addition, what you expect when using it on Power Shot, for example, may be Power Shot + Thermal Sensor Override / Power Shot, can instead become Power Shot + Thermal Sensor Override / Rail Shot, as the Rail Shot proc may cause you to immediately hit Rail Shot without thinking while Thermal Sensor Override is activated, wasting a CD to make Rail Shot free when it already is.
  • Vent Heat, just like other rapid resource gain abilities like Adrenaline Probe, can be a little confusing as to how it functions due to the ability text. A 50 Heat dissipation plus a GCD’s worth of recovery means you are essentially removing 55-60 Heat. Considering the fact that anywhere between 0-15 Heat is the ‘comfort’ zone for dps, this means Vent Heat should always be used at around 65-75 Heat to exploit its full potential.
  • Vent Heat is one of the most useful and under-used CD’s. Like any other cooldown, you should be using it as much as possible in a boss fight to maximise your damage output. Also considering the opening burst rotation with relics, adrenals, Bloodthirst, and your other offensive cooldowns, it helps you get back to balanced Heat after taking the most advantage possible from the damage boost. In other words, use as much Heat as you can during the opening burn phases and use Vent Heat as early as feasible. As with other offensive cooldowns, you should be doing the same every time it’s available.

How Taunts and Threat Drops Function:


It is unfortunately common for decent dps to not have a proper grasp of how taunts and threat drops work, which leads to mistimed use of abilities and a far more difficult job for the tanks. Although tanks should be capable of holding threat against any dps regardless of their skill, in some fights where taunts need to be strategically held for other mechanics, the dps understanding the mechanics behind threat helps a great deal. There are 4 types of threat drops in the game, and knowing which you have access to and when to use them is key to a successful raiding career.

  • Single-Target Threat Drop (E.g. Cloud Mind): This type of threat drop specifically functions only for your threat against your current target. If you use your Cloud Mind on a target, your threat on all other enemies will remain the same. Each use will lower your threat by a percentage of your total.
  • AoE Threat Drop (E.g. Chaff Flare | Diversion): Unlike targeted threat drops, using these abilities will lower your threat on all enemies and not only your current target. Similarly to single-target threat drops, each use will lower your threat by a percentage of your total, but calculated individually based on each enemy’s threat meter.
  • “It Wasn’t Me” Threat Drop (Force Camouflage): Marauders | Sentinels don’t have access to a standard threat reduction ability. Instead, they have a more powerful threat drop that will essentially reset your threat, making it very difficult for you to steal aggro again. This mechanic, however, only works for enemies that have previously targeted you at some point of the fight. Because of this, using Force Camouflage as a conventional threat drop is not suggested, and it should instead be saved until you either pull aggro and require an immediate threat drop, or to utilise its damage reduction utility.
  • Removal From Combat (E.g. Force Cloak): This is the most powerful threat drop in the game, and is subsequently one of the reasons why classes with this kind of threat drop should never steal aggro, taking advantage of this ability’s strength as part of their opening rotation. Activating this type of ability will remove you from combat, resetting your current threat on all targets to 0.

All taunts function in the same way; any target affected by a taunt will cause the user’s threat level to become 10% higher than the target’s highest current threat, in addition to forcing them to attack the user for the next 6 seconds. It will always put the user of the taunt at the top of the threat meter, but gains significantly more power as threat levels improve due to the 10% extra threat generated. Although the target is forced to attack the taunter for the next 6 seconds, threat generation continues regularly, and should another person have the highest threat level when the debuff wears off, they will become the new target

Dps knowing when to drop threat is an important skill. Whenever a tank taunts, the taunt icon will appear as a debuff on the target (the icon is always the same, regardless of class), so you will always know when a taunt has been used. A well timed threat drop is not necessarily used immediately after your best CDs or at the end of your opening rotation. You should always wait to use your threat drop until after you see that the tank has taunted the boss, and not necessarily the first time that they do (remember that they often use 3 taunts in a row as part of their opening rotation), as this signifies that their threat gain has been maximised. If you use your aggro drop as soon as you pull aggro on the boss but before the tank can taunt, their taunt will therefore become less effective and you may put yourself, or another player, at risk of pulling aggro again immediately afterwards. Also keep in mind that the higher your own threat is when you use your threat drop, the more significant the amount of threat lost will be.

Combat removal abilities such as Force Cloak should of course be used according to their place in your opening rotation, and not when you pull aggro, for the same reason as above. For Marauders | Sentinels, while it is also not recommended that you use Force Camouflage once you steal aggro in your first rotation, you have a slightly different timing window. Your threat drop will only actually work if you are being targeted when you use it, so you should save it until such time as you are targeted a second time and the tank can no longer instantly taunt off of you. Doing so will still help to maximise the tank’s threat, and will also drop your threat significantly enough that you shouldn’t have to worry about pulling aggro for the remainder of the fight.

About the Authors


Invinc and Vindrik are both members of <Hatred> on Harbinger, an endgame progression guild with world 3rd clear of Nightmare S&V, World 2nd clear of Nightmare TFB, world 1st speed clear (under 2 hrs) of Nightmare S&V, and numerous server firsts at the 8m level.

Invinc is the guild leader of <Hatred> and mains an operative DPS but plays pretty much every and all classes for operations. He currently leads the parses on operative lethality DPS on multiple boss fights and dummy parses. Also known as Carlenux, Carlenix (sniper), Carlenx (Sorcerer), Pyrotec (Powertech)

Vindrik mains an operative healer and is the raid leader for group B in <Hatred> (World 5th speed clear of Nightmare S&V). He is the former raid leader of <Notorious Synergy> on Dalborra, one of the world top guilds pre-2.0 (World 4th).

While the information here are mostly written by these two players, numerous other Hatred raid members and guides were consulted. Questions, comments, concerns will be answered by Invinc, who goes by the name of Carlos Eduardo Mata in the comments section below. 

  • Josef Tauser

    What is RNG ? Random Number Generation ? And I love alacrity on an Arsenal Merc; you can beat anything other than an AP Powertech in a PvP duel and you’re virtually unstoppable in warzones and arenas. I stacked Power and Alacrity and I’m hit capped at exactly 12,500 during matches.

    • http://dulfy.net/ Dulfy

      RNG stands for Random Number Generator. It is commonly used to denote randomness, chance etc. Anyways, not sure how you are able to see this but it is a prototype and not done yet haha.

      • BaronFel101

        You might want to look into that, as I’ve also had no problem seeing it. I didn’t realize it was a prototype until I read this comment.

        That being said, I think that this is a really great addition to the site. I’m a pretty casual player, so I don’t focus on getting my rotations perfect, but I love the amount of explanation that goes into the rotations. It really helps me understand why certain abilities should be used before others, and sometimes pick up on combos I wouldn’t have noticed otherwise.

        TL,DR; Looks great, I hope that you expand this to cover other classes eventually.

        • http://dulfy.net/ Dulfy

          Yup! The guides for all classes and specs are all there, I just need to format them properly onto the website before I can officially release them. There are a couple of other things we need to add like more info on abilities, AoE rotation, and some parses.

          • Leefty

            It is an absolutely brilliant idea to add this section to the site. Having multiple in-depth class guides gathered up in one location is something missing right now from the community.

            My main is a Pyro Merc so you can understand my excitement. I am also very eager to see the rest of the class guides, especially the Sorc healer :P

      • freshtendrills

        Will you be doing a BH guide Dulf?

        • http://dulfy.net/ Dulfy

          BH guide? If you mean Bounty Hunter is a class not an advanced class so not sure what you referring to?

          • freshtendrills

            I meant BG (bodyguard) sorry..

            • freshtendrills

              Do you still think Sorc is far superior at raid healing than BG? I used to do some story mode raid healing with BG, but sorc was usually better back when I played.

              • http://dulfy.net/ Dulfy

                I still think Sorcs wins out with AoE heals. The revivification and free aoe overload heal with a super short cd are very hard to beat. Static barrier can mitigate alot of AoE damage as well.

            • http://dulfy.net/ Dulfy
    • Carlos Eduardo Mata

      RNG is random number generation yeah, consider it luck, or chance, and the guide is just for PvE casual and end game, there is nothing here related for pvp sorry :(… with this guide if followed exactly as it said any player should be able to perform good enough to raid in any hm or nim group with some practice and eventually become better over the time with their own personal tricks.

      • Phira

        Mercenary is one of my alt, not my main, so thank you both, you and dulfy, because this will help me a lot :D
        As always, nice work!
        Bests

  • Cai’us

    Any of the sequences that have only 1 PShot every 4 GCDs is very very unreliable. The Pyro spec is a little bit broken right now. There is a guaranteed chance to proc PPA after one PShot is used. Any of the sequences where there is more than 1 PShot is valid. Check here for more info. It’s another solid guide. http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=699502

    • Carlos Eduardo Mata

      the guides are usually done assuming everything would go perfect, doing many parses, pyrotech spec is one of the less RNG based from all the RNG based specs, power shot 45% would trigger rail shot almost everytime, while Tracer missile 45% feels like it never procs Unload, its all RNG, but you cant have or explain every possible situation, overwhelming a reader with 15 cases of PS + PS +PS + RS + IM + TD + PS + RS + …. then go case by case, even if it is a great work, no one would read it, not even i read those post in the forums and i know perfectly how to play and what they are talking about… for anyone thats maybe trying to beat the best dps in the world, thats helpful, but for anyone that just wants to be “good enough to play nightmare” or eventually “improve” instead of “studying”, going with a simple rotation is better… basically theres a priority list, if you dont get 100% procs like the rotation says, you need to adjust and use something else right after, people need to learn this by playing, maybe watching video and comparing, and other videos, but unfortunately you cant explain in 1 guide every possible situation on a fight and even if u tried, no one will remember a single thing they read in 20 lines of abbreviations when doing a raid :( lol.

      • Cai’us

        The guide I linked has 1 rotation in it. That’s it. It’s much simpler than the one here and it removes almost all RNG. It revolves around
        TD>PS>PS>RS then
        IM>PS>PS>RS then
        UL>PS>RS repeat
        There’s a variant for the opener and for when cooldowns are up, but I found it much simpler than what is posted here. Not to mention, the top parsers are using this (ever heard of pizza’da’hutt?)

        • Carlos Eduardo Mata

          ive heard of pizza, as well as marisi, as well as many other mercs, there is a guide by pizza, one for pyro merc thats decent, another one by a commando thats good but has some mistakes, unfortunately dummy parsing means nothing, dummy parsing = the guy that finds the way to exploit his dps the most to do more dmg in a perfect situation, has more time to try for a high RNG and / or edit parses (which has been the case in previous Pt and merc parses), pizza is one of the best, and marisi too, but that doesnt meant they are the best, they might be, but you dont know, almost nobody do dummy parsing and put it in the leaderboard, for example my whole raid group constantly beat Torparse numbers easily in raids, our pyro merc destroy all Rankings in torparse, our mara should have top 1-3 in every fight, they just dont upload it, like most of the good Raiders for HM probably have the same situation, and thats boss fights, for Dummy is even worst.

          Let me put it this way, there is 1 Suckafish in the whole leaderboard, 1 Hatred, like probably 1-2 from any other Top 5 Guild (8 man), couple of Severity gaming, rest are random people that do great parses but none are in one of the best guilds, so my question is, do u think every single player from the best guilds try dummy parsing? do u really think any of the players from those guilds wouldnt be able to tie/beat majority of those parses, or those guilds are carried by 1 great dps and all the good players are in not so progressed guilds?, you have to keep in mind that almost none of the good players bother parsing there, is usually the same group of people that we have fun with that.

          Bottom line, Pizza guide is fine, is great in fact, but i disagree with some stuff, “I disagree” and “I” wrote this guide, for a different alternative, whoever uses this and works, fine, whoever uses pizza fine, whoever uses Kartner Missile Blast for Dots and works, fine, its good to have options, 1 person will never have all the right answers, and 1 guide will never be good for everyone.. their parses are great, but so is their gear and endless hours of trying RNG to do those, and i bet their rotation is awesome, but it doesnt work for me, and ” i ” dont like reading those guides because i get lost halfway thru the “cases” so does majority of the average players, so this is an alternative for whoever wants it, if you dont like it, use his guide, if you do, try this one out :), either way unless you have “Your Own” point of view or perspective, dont Critic using an argument from “someone else guide”, if you are not them you also have 4K parses with their stuff and have your own point of view is welcome otherwise they have their guide there and i am not criticizing it, neither they are criticizing ours :) thats what guides are for, if you are one of them just say it and we appreciate the tips :).

          • Cai’us

            Noted. I see where you’re coming from, I just thought it was interesting that you said you don’t like reading rotations for many different cases with long sequences of 10 GCDs yet that’s what you’ve put in this guide. I also made that comment because I’ve rarely gotten a PPA proc from using PS only once in a 4 GCD window. It 100% procs from using it a second time, which makes your sample sequences that include only 1 PS per 4 GCD window unrealistic in a parse or a real boss fight. If you’re saying these are idealized, that’s fine but it’s something that should be noted, I think. From reading what you’ve written in the rotation strategy section, I didn’t get the impression that it was a priority more than a rotation.

            On another note, why don’t these top guild players upload parses? Is it wanting the community at large work hard themselves and figure things out on their own? Do they parse at all? Surely they must, since practice makes perfect. But if parses aren’t good enough for them and don’t mimic real boss fights, why parse? Not trying to be insulting, just thinking out loud and wondering if and why there’s a whole wealth of knowledge that isn’t available for the larger community.

            This guide has been very fun to read and is compiled much more nicely than many other guides I’ve seen. Very in-depth and I appreciate the time that you’ve spent putting it together.

            • Carlos

              I read rotations from other guides but i am the 0.01% kind of geek that does for no reason, and probably one of the fews that study those guides and parses, so yeah more in depth not always mean will be more useful for everyone :s… On the other hand, ppa happens rly often, on a well done rotation, the 5% done from unload is usually at least 3% done from ppa proc AKA missed proc on power shot, which is probably like 20% not procing, the rest i proc almost every time, i know jts 45% but it is really consistent to be honest, after a lot of practice this rotation even if dependant on rng will become a real steady rotation different from other rng specs like concealment or vengeance, thats why it is cappable of such high numbers.

              On the parses thing, i am talking from experience in my guild, i am a lover of parsing, ive been all my life, any char i have bis is usually in the top 5 on leaderboards, because i practice a lot with them all, but thats me, i am the only one in my guild that does that… The argument on dummy parses leaderboard is that it is not real, those parses are often not something u do in 2 attempts, al the top one parses tak 20-30 attempts usually way more..and a 3900 parse often means 90% of the char parses is 3750 and had luck with rng and crit, so usually its not worth wasting your time doing 30 5 minute parses just to an epeen competition (thats what they said) just to get lucky, dont get lag, have higher crit, a more accurate leadeboard would be people postin 10 straight parses and the average numbers for example, but is too much work.. The same goes for boss fights, often luck take place, and normally hm paraes are something people dont pay attention, usually there s more real competition in nightmare when fights arr really challenging and people play at high lvls, anywyas this is just up to prefference, all the dos in my group that beat me in a lot of fights dont like uploading boss fights because they dont care to compete on that, and usually i am above top 10 in some fights, and they beat me in some fights, they just dont upload it, i dont understand either. Wrote this on the phone so might have some mistakes.

          • odawgg

            Although I agree that best dummy parse does not necessarily mean best player of their spec, I would have to disagree with “dummy parsing means nothing” I think you’re exaggerating a bit there sir ;)
            Unless you’re one of those 26 fingered Chinese child prodigies (this is a joke, please don’t be offended readers) the dummy is a necessity to master the art of your spec. The shear number of times you parse just to program muscle memory is enough to get a nice crit rng parse here and there. furthermore if you’re like me, you don’t just take a parse for what the final number says, you actually back-calculate out the crit rng and get the raw data to find out if there’s something to learn from it or if it was just pure luck. Even a 10 parse average can’t compare one player to another honestly.
            And it’s true not everyone posts their parses, but tbh that doesn’t really matter, if a player isn’t contributing to the community then as far as the player base is concerned they don’t exist :) They only exist to their guild. But I disagree with assuming that the best dps players from each spec would come from the top guilds if they took the time to parse. The top guilds are a combination of dps, heals, tanking, and just general cohesiveness with strong leadership. Some of the dps tend to gravitate to where the progression competition is, but definitely not all.

            • Carlos Eduardo Mata

              aaaw i just posted the long post on the other side lolol, oh i agree what i mean is dummy is important everyone does, now performing perfect on a dummy is a league on its own like i said, ive seen people that can beat me in raids but cant parse 3500 in dummy becaues they just dont like wasting their timer 5 straight minutes for 2 hours or know how to perfectly wait CDs and rotation to specifically perform great in dummy :D.

              and i didnt mean to best players come from best guildes, i guess i explained that wrong i mean, the majority of best players are there, and most dont parse (we know that) and there are very good players as well spread in not so competitive guilds, thing is some dont like parsing either and the one that dose usually have “gear” problems to compete with us (specially when nightmare drops) so its kind of an unfair competition? maybe i could call it that way.

              i agree with the parse, for exampel that 3800 w/e parse with kitty i did, was 1. out of 10 that day, the otehr 9 were 3600-3750 messing up or RNG or crit, so one high parse doesnt exactly means THAT much either, totally agree with you :).

              anyways ill add that opener, and do more research and hopefully add more detailed info on every stuff to make it more complete :D whenever i finished the last two warrior guides.

            • T’green

              >> not everyone posts their parses, if a player isn’t contributing to the community then as far as the player base is concerned they don’t exist <

  • Leefty

    Some comments on the opening rotation.

    I always open with my 3 DoTs (DT, IM, EN) so that I will have them ticking on the target as soon as possible. Also, why do you use relic/adrenal before DT? You are just wasting 3” of relic/adrenal uptime until the DT starts doing damage.

    As regards IM, one more benefit of using it earlier during the opener is that it will boost the damage of the other abilities (especially Rail Shot).

    Lastly, if I were to use FM in the opening rotation (which is not a bad idea) I would only use it in combination with TSO in order to negate the heat cost and avoid using Vent Heat in such an early stage.

    TL;DR:
    (TSO+FM >) DT > IM > Relic+Adrenal+EN > RS > PowerSurge+PS > RS

    • Carlos Eduardo Mata

      the graph there and the opener is a bit confusing you are right on the TD thing, it is supossed to be “on the same GCD” not before it,, the idea is to precast Fusion missile, + TD + adrenal + Rail shot… the idea of the IM that would boost abilities is right, then again it is “burning”, fusion missile/TD/cylinder/IM all does the same effect, by the time you rail shot it will have fusion missile effect on it AKA burning, which is the same… as u can see in the video the opener is correct there on the use of adrenal and stuff… as far as fusion missile with TSO its not necessary true, what is the problem of using Vent heat so quick? in fact is good, vent heat is a CD, u have to use it as much as possible, just like any other CD, delaying a CD to be “situational” is the first mistake of a dps rotation in any class… the idea of TSO is useful on Fusion after the first Vent heat, now using vent heat too fast is never a bad thing…. using TSO on an opener with FM is wrong, its going from 0 to 0, its a complete waste, using it after might or might not be a dps improve depending on the player… this is a guide for everyone, and a spec that is really hard to control heat, so somehow it has to be good enough to do above average numbers as well as easy enough for average player to understand, thats the tip on TSO with IM or TD, majority of the average players wont be able to sustain the heat without doing that.

  • ParagonAX

    LOL @ Arsenal rating of Burst = 3. Arsenal has probably the highest burst damage of any class in swtor, along with Carnage and Lightning.

    • Carlos Eduardo Mata

      unfortunately you are confusing, burst with RNG dependant, the fact that the whole dps of arsenal is based on unload proc + Hseeker missile, in this case a big burst that would increase your dps by 250 right away, doesnt mean it has high burst… it just RNG needed on a mediocre spec, where an operative or a carnage mara can destroy an add in nightmare styrak without CD in 5-7 Seconds, a merc would take 10 sec, even more if no procs or abilities on CD… Burst doesnt mean “my dps is terrible at 2800 and suddendly goes to 3200 with my burst” it means how can the class adapt to burst situations / opener, and unfortunately, arsenal is really low on the chart for that, for both opener (you rarely, rarely see an arsenal merc stealing aggro, even without a guard right from the opener), or burst phases, often get easily overheated, rely on CD and procs, a burst 10 second phase with Hseeker on CD or no unload proc, is one, if not the worst burst possible.

      • Shawn Brenchley

        While I do agree that a good burst from arsenal does rely on having nothing on cool down. I disagree with the fact that that will rarely pull threat on an opening to a boss fight. I can and do a lot of the time on my merc. Now you could just the the other dps is shit, but they ain’t. I would say having one shot tht hits for 13k in the first few seconds of a fight is a good way to pull threat. Just my personal experience.

        P.s loving the guides, keep them coming

      • odawgg

        Arsenal has high burst period, regardless of RNG, even if everything is on cool down TM spam hits hard on its own compared to other dps specs, a hefty crit boost from set bonus. If anything is off CD burst is awesome

        • Carlos Eduardo Mata

          hitting hard and having a rotation that relies on “burst” to otherwise buff a weak dps rotation is not what we mean with burst, of course u get big burst from unload and HS, but if the rotation was good enough to not drop to 2900 until RNG to go back to 3200 that wouldnt happen, just like vengeance it is RNG dependent that can be considered Burst dependent.

          but if u have a 30K hp add, and you any under circumstances (with all Cd, without CD anything) usually the merc would be slower than most classes to kill, as TM + HS + UL is fine, also depending on RNG the rest should be relative slow compared to Gore mara window for example or Snipers rotation. also in longer “burst PhaseS” like styrak nim big manifestation, you pretty much have the opener which is decently good, then u need high RNG to be good, and even if u have luck, there is really few room for “burst” in the rotation as none of your other abilities (not used in rotation) has any “burst Improvement”.

          for example: boss has 5k hp left, u last one alive, u have exactly 1 sec (not 1 gcd) to kill it, HS and unload or “rotation” abilities on CD (from rotation), you would probably die before killing him, TM “might” kill it if u have power shot, but that might be on CD too, while other classes for example: marauder / Pt / jug = melee = no casting time / all instant.
          Agent= explosive probe = dead
          Inquisitor = Shock probably dead.

          so the lack of any instant ability to make up for real burst outside rotation (missile blast is really weak and expensive even with missile salvo) totally destroy the burst capability of the arsenal making it really dependent to stick to the “rotation” burst :).

          well at least, in my opinion when judging burst vs burst on specs :S.

          • odawgg

            I guess when I think of burst I think of about a 10-20s window and in that time frame I feel all crits being equal, arsenal can hit as hard or harder than any spec in the game…especially the opener I rarely see any specs hit the charts as strong as my arsenal in beginning of fights. Albeit it’s quite a short term burst and drops fast when you have to start managing heat…really it’s neither here nor there though, arsenal has fallen behind quite a bit. The RNG is just horrendously annoying and instead of “yes” for RNG dependant, you should make it a rating and put a “10” :)

            Edit: on a side note for the burst topic, if you really want you can be super bursty, save all cds for when you know you’re going to need it, but your overall dps for the encounter will suffer. So in that respect, it’s difficult to be bursty other than the beginning of the fight and when Vent heat is coming off cd. Cuz it’s gonna take a LONG time to bring your heat down from a burn phase if you don’t have VH available

            • Carlos Eduardo Mata

              yeah that make sense, i guess a 3 is a bit too drastic, i never thought of it that way, maybe a 5-6 would be a more accurate rating for that section :).

  • Ervid

    How many critical chance in % for arsenal and pyro?

    • Leefty

      I would say no more than 200 Crit for 78-level gear, lower (even 0) for lower levels of gear. Especially for Arsenal which is already too volatile (due to RNG) too much Crit will make it a constant dice toss.

    • Carlos Eduardo Mata

      usually 31% tech 33% ranged in dummy spec, or close to that

  • Wafflecone

    Having issues following a guide written by a clicker >_>

    • Carlos Eduardo Mata

      lol happy to see that from hundreds of comments only this one for clicker and couple on youtube :P

    • Cyberhwk

      People doing guides often click since it is far easier for someone to follow what abilities they are casting than if they’re just pressing keys. Doubt he’s a clicker.

  • Popelka

    Question – what is “Volatile Warhead” talent in pyro spec good for, when you don’t use Missile Blast anywhere in your rotation? Just a necessary filler?

    • Carlos Eduardo Mata

      a better than nothing filler, a “omfg pain” button for instant burst or to finish off an add faster than a power shot, the extra dot will help.

      • Hache-Moncour

        I pretty much never use Missile blast anyway, and prefer to put the points in Degauss to mitigate damage from adds and the like.

        • Carlos Eduardo Mata

          if the fight lets you use it yeah, however missile blast has its utilities in some fights, most people understimate the dmg from the cylinder, sometimes for a quick add or burst missile blasr (cylinder) + RS > IM + RS regardless of the extra heat, really situational, but depends on the fight.

  • Ruki

    In 2.10 the last sentence on the first paragraph about Vent Heat says, “Keep in mind, however, that Pyrotech should be specced into a buffed Vent Heat, so in this spec you basically want to have around 90 Heat and it will drop you down to under 20 without a problem.” That line should probably be removed, since Pyrotech won’t have that Vent Heat buff; the provided skill tree corroborates this.

    • http://dulfy.net/ Dulfy

      Thanks, corrected. It was a copy/paste errror from arsenal hah

  • Oscar Enrique Miranda

    wonderful man! i was asking myself how much crit i needed…. im going after my Accuracy Comp! =)

  • Marisi

    I guess it’s nice that you used my parse as your sample parse analysis but getting a similar distribution with what you outline in your rotation scenarios is a completely unrealistic result.

    You wrote that the strategy behind the merc pyro spec is to get as many rail shots as possible, which is 100% true, but what you suggest here really does not allow for this; trimming your parse to the same duration as mine shows I used rail shot 4 more times than you, which is somewhere between 18 – 24 seconds more downtime on your part.

    This can be explained by a few things. Firstly, taking any points into System Calibrations is not advisable as the extra alacrity can make your 4th GCD land just before the internal PPA lockout expires which means you have to waste another GCD. Of course, this doesn’t always happen but it happened enough in my experience to make putting even 1 point into it more trouble than it’s worth.

    Secondly, and more importantly, are your rotation scenarios. As someone else said below, having 1 power shot every 4 GCDs is very unreliable and you should not be relying on a 45% chance in constraining PPA procs to one every 6 seconds. Case in point, your example video – rapid shot, incendiary missile, power shot, then you go to click rail shot only for it not to proc. And then shortly after, rapid shot, incendiary missile, thermal detonator. 3 GCDs in a row all of which have a combined 0% chance of proccing PPA. Not sure what to make of that one.

    Like I’ve done before with other people, I’m going to disagree with you now on that TD should be used on CD. If you’re going for as many PPA procs as optimally possible (i.e. one every 6 seconds) and trying to use TD on CD you will run into heat problems.

    Finally, you wrote that ‘A well executed Pyrotech parse should have Power Shot dealing over 35% of your damage.’ but your parse only has a little over 29% of its damage coming from power shot
    So are you saying that your parse was not well executed? Because I am.

    • Carlos Eduardo Mata

      the scenario has to be done with unrealistic results, because we are not going to write a guide with 100 liens writing every single scenario, because up to experience, nobody reads them, people should be smart enough to understand that the rotations are done expecting perfect RNG, otherwise it would be impossible to finish up a guide.

      the alacrity thing, i have not run into that trouble, but u have had more experience than me on that so that is a nice feedback from you, ill give it more tries and see if it happens and havnt noticed.

      as far as TD i agree with you, ive had much more practice lately with the spec and will be making some edits on the guide.

      the video is also being recorded again as just like you i noticed the mistakes like you pointed that out :).

      and as far as parse i used reference from you and pizza for the numbers, thats why i didnt use my parse, because my parse is not perfect, if it was perfect it would be top 1 (beside the gear of course), so the fact that my parse has 29% pw shot vs your above 35% as well as probably more rapid shots and less rail shots, demonstrate how my parse is not a well executed parse compared to yours :), thats why i dont use my parse as reference, you were the one that examined my parse i never used to reference because it is not a well executed parse.
      Maybe if i happen to get a 4k parse when i get more gear with different abliity % distribution from a different rotation, more or less unload or something, i will edit the dmg done % reference, but so far using the ones that are on top of the leaderboard :)

      thanks for the tips btw, its good to have the good people giving feedback to improve the guide since that is the point of the guide :).

    • Carlos Eduardo Mata

      as far as parse analysis, i know u are right on “analyzing someone else parse might not give the same result with a different rotation”, but after all it ijust a guideline so people can understand how to compare a parse, basically just by judging our parses i could say, u power shot more, rapid shot less and rail shot more, i have to adjust that… anyone that compare your parse with himself if they have similar numbers than mine should get the same result… maybe someone getting 40% power shot but 15% rail shot would have to analyze how hes probably wasting rail shot procs on power shot therefor reducing his dps.

  • Lagboot

    I am sorry but your rotation for Arsenal is off. In order to get 5 stacks from Tracer Missile you need to get off “3” tracer missile, not 2 as you show in your rotation. Yes a 4 stack is sub par to get off a Rail shot, but not ideal if you want to maximize your dps. Also I have found that the old school rotation for Arsenal is a better heat management and dps rotation still.
    Electro net–Unload–PSurg–(2 instant TM’s)Tracer-Tracer-Tracer =5 stacks (unload in-between if barrage procs)–Heatseeker–Railshot–TMO–Fusion Missile.
    Thus you never go over 30 heat, always have either unload or tracer off cooldown and get instant burst with PSurg on tracer missiles rather than wasting it on one Fusion Missile. Since Heatseeker and Railshot are only 1 second off from each other on cooldown, it is better to use them together rather than split in the rotation. Using your rotation, timing once the rotation is thrown off by movement will be sub par. I would also like to note that by utilizing Power Surge with tracer missiles you can fire them on the run thus allowing for movement in a boss fight while still keeping your rotation sound. This is what works for me.

    Edit: I also use Explosive dart with TSO on single targets (rather than FM) since it is an instant cast, IT can also be inserted into the rotation more often than FM but adds to heat management issues if you are not carefull. I only use FM on AoE targets.

    For AOE massave damage I would suggest EXP dart—TSO—FM—DFA—Spam Sweeping Blasters till heat is maxxed then hit VHeat. I have hit well over 8 to 10k dps with this.

    • Leefty

      From my experience the idea behind 2 TMs is this:
      – if RS is off CD and you have 4 Tracer Locks it is not worth (and it *lowers* your DPS) wasting a GCD to cast another TM to get the 5th Tracer Lock
      – in any case, that will not happen very often since you will be spamming TM and RS has a nice 15” cooldown

      As regards the heat issue, as odawgg would say, if you never overheat then you are doing something wrong. Most likely you have low APM, meaning that you are casting less abilities than you should per minute. Or you are over-using Rapid Shots. In either case that means lower DPS. Every time that Vent Heat is (or about to come) off CD you *should* push your rotation in order to overheat and then drop to manageable levels with VH. If VH is not available you should never go beyond 40 heat for more than a few moments.

      IMO, you overvalue the usefulness of Power Surge. What it actually does is that it allows you to instant-cast abilities with a cast time. The only real benefit is that you can be on the move while you do that, while without Power Surge you would have to stand still in orde to use those abilities. However, it does not help at all with burst, since the DPS output of the ability will be the same. For example, if you cast 2 TMs *with* Power Surge it will still take 2 GCDs for them to complete and register their damage. The exact same thing will happen if you cast them *without* Power Surge. The only difference is that you can be on the move when you cast them and that their damage will be registered at the beginning of the GCD instead of the end.

      Lastly, I had the same misconception that FM is only for AoE damage and it is not worth using it on single targets. But several people have proven me wrong. FM does great initial damage and leaves a nasty DoT on your target. It certainly worths using it *every time* TSO is off CD.

      • Niwa

        I don’t get it. DPS is damage per SECOND. How can it be the same damage in the same time to cast 2 abilities instantly or 2 using casting time. Is it beacuse the time it takes to cast PS + TM + TM = TM +TM time?

        • Leefty

          In reality, there are *no* instant abilities, the use of every ability is bound by the GCD. This means that even if an ability is characterized (in its tooltip) as “instant” it will still take one GCD to complete.

          Note-1: GCD is maximum 1.5”, if you have no Alacrity, or less, if you have some Alacrity. Alacrity reduces *both* the cast time of your abilities *and* your GCD.

          Note-2: I lied before, there *are* abilities that are trully instant. These are characterized as “off the GCD”. Power Surge is an eaxmple. Such abilities can be used simultaneously with others (i.e. press their quickbar buttons at the same time).

          So, since, as you mentioned, “DPS” is damage per second:
          Power Surge + TM + TM => 2 GCDs (3” w/o Alacrity)
          TM + TM => 2 GCDs (3” w/o Alacrity)

          So, same total time, same total damage (Power Surge does not do damage), same DPS. The only real differences (which can be *very* important in certain situations) have to do with the 1st TM which has no cast time. As a result:
          – the damage registers immediately and not at the end of the cast (end of the GCD)
          – you can use the ability while you are on the move
          – you cannot be interrupted or suffer pushback

  • odawgg

    it would be really nice if these rotation/priority systems could be backed up with posted parses…because until you can visually show the results and how these results are better than the top parses that players have taken the time to post and contribute to the community with, it’s just taking your word it is optimal. it’s strange to use the top parse (Marisi) as an example but then not model the guide after the same rotation…to me anyway. I see quite a few pieces of information that I disagree with in these guides, but my take on both the specs is already posted in the SWTOR forums so no reason to regurgitate them. Format is great though, definitely a lot of time spent to put it together, for the beginner there’s nice info of all the abilities and talents. I would say that this guide is a good source for a fresh 55 that needs some direction, but would need some work to get the most out of the specs.

    • Kryp

      you tell them like it is odawgg

    • Carlos Eduardo Mata

      i totally miss this post before, unfortunately i have tried your opener over and over and over and over and over, and it just doesnt work for me, beside doing the same dmg at start, my vent heat when (i need it) is off, i mean my parse from my merc is in leaderboards not as high as yours, but just judge the AMR profile i have at least 150 less dps in relics and gear itself… i am by no means saying i know more than you marisi or zakiro (merc from my guild) in this stuff, as i probably dont, however ive found this rotation to suit me very well to a lvl where i find it more suitable for my dps which is by no means subpar, pretty sure if i had the gear you guys have i could make up to 3950+ just with the same parse, not sure if i could get as high as you two, doubt it would need some practice, but is not completely “fictional” the parse.

      also the same point i said to Board, and you posted yourself, i read your guide (arsenal) and that pyro guide from that other guy u two added stuff, if i wanted to copy your guides i would just ask dulfy to do a compendium with the links, maybe just like me there is people that cant perform your “optimal” rotation with that opener and i offer them an alternative that by no means is terribly “subpar” (in my opinion is not subpar at all since other doesnt work out for me >.<), so having an alternative is fine… my point is beside the fact that i agree on you both where the top two being the "top" in the leaderboard doesnt mean you are completely right (maybe yes maybe no) netiher u are the best (same for me on operative) since there are way too many factors, specially good players that dont bother parsing, as dummy parsing is a league on its own, its not easy requires practice, so prob like u on merc and i on OP there are 5-8-10 more players that can do/does the same or better than us :P, so just like i dont consider my operative opener the "perfect best opener" neither i consider anyone elses perfect :). so like i said maybe any of those many good players have a different opener or use mine and might outperform us :) so thats why i add my alternative and compare to the top parse (i will add your opener soon enough too, as well as start working on detailed scenarios for the rotation, i just ahve to finish the other guides as this have been one hell of a hard job :P, so dont worry your swill be there) so people have a choice that suits them, i am lets say 95% sure if i had the gear u guys have on your merc, my almost 3800 parse would have probably been a 3950 or better maybe 4k, i mean, i am far away behind u two or zakiro as being good in a raid with a merc, but i am one of those like you, that is extremely good in dummy parsing :P. this doesnt mean i play the class bad, i mean i cant be better in every class than everyone since i am not like i said there are probably 5-10 + idk, exceptional players that beat me in most classes like u 3 here, however not the rest probably :D

      TL : DR ill add your rotation / opener soon, add scenarios, work on more detailed info, i dont believe neither yours or mine (in any guide including my op which could be considered arguably the best in that class) is "perfect" that suits everyone, since not everyone has the gear we have to compete with us and the great majority of the good raiders (for example in my guild i am the only one lol out from probably 8-10 competent people that parse higher than me, even with operative) dont bother parsing dummy either, so there might be one or few that beat us and we dont know :D, so should always go with "our optimal" rotation and not "perfect rotation" IMO!..

      thanks btw if u have any detailed tip to add here let me know, any expertise is welcome in this guides as this is by no means competition or such thing against other guides, we just want to make a guide as good as possible for every kind of player :D

      • odawgg

        I am pretty big on leaving the opener up to the user, whatever gets them going is good for me :) The more important section IMO is the body of the rotation…not sure if you noticed but my arsenal guide on the forums has actually been redesigned to include what I do for Pyro. One of the reasons I made it was so I don’t have to re-write it ever again on forum threads! lol. So anyway if you haven’t revisited it recently there might be some new stuff there.
        And for the record I never claimed nor do I think I’m the best :) I just try to contribute to the community equally to what I’ve taken from it. Ask anyone who’s raided with me, I’m the derpiest mofo you’ll find in a world contending raid group :) my numbers are there though I just get lazy and herbs don’t help hehe

        • Carlos Eduardo Mata

          why dont you try TSO + FM in the opener then if u dont like the heat, it would end up being exactly the same rotation that you do, with a precasted opener, reduced TSO CD (if it counts) and 1 extra GCD probably PShot in the adrenal window, ive been trying that as well.

          yeah i agree, lolol well i think its mercs job to be like that just like our merc in our raid group /facepalm lolol.

          well most people that pug with us or play with me would say i am a retard that doesnt say a word because i dont speak english (some of the idiots in our server try to make fun of it lol) but like u said, it works for me, super fast typing and my 5 words per fight seems to be good enough leadership :P lol.

          and yeah i saw the guide with the different structure, at least saw the one on boarder idk if its updated, one thing i noticed when reading it for myself, is that it is a bit confusing the “from top to bottom more / less energy” structure, you should on the RS TD Rshot PS… another one for RS Rshot TD PS considering at least for me, half the time i am i need 1 filler before either IM or TD (sometimes delayed for heat) not sure if that happens to you too, also would be nice to have a structure with: PS (proc) IM RS (delay) Rshot / PS PS (proc) so people understand Rail shot proc > rail shot use (not sure if its added or not, dont remember, and i cant see the forum post now)… i will make sure to add all that after i finish so we can improve the guides together, once i finish warriors guide that has been by far the hardest -.- lol, stupid rage generation and RNG on jugs sucks >.<.

          • odawgg

            The two middle fillers are always interchangeable based on heat, if B’oarders compilation doesn’t state that it should, I’ll check when I get the time…

            As far as TSO off the bat, that will again create VH to be used much sooner than my liking… Better than FM by itself, but still sooner, the reason I use what I use for opener is because I don’t have to use VH for like the first 45s or so which then means I don’t have to use UL or rapid shots until like a minute in… both UL and rapid shots are dps losses, more so (for me anyway) than the 1s gained (TD doesn’t trigger combat for . 5s after activation if I’m not mistaken) by using FM to start the fight. Therefore the longer I can wait to use those abilities out ofnecessity the betterr. I also like how I can get all the DoT ticks from EN and FM included in the adrenal duration with the opener. I’m still experimenting, the only ability I can justify precasting to my liking is Power Shot at this point

            • Carlos Eduardo Mata

              i kind of started thinking your Pshot opener, and it totally make sense now if u want to avoid FM, considering your opener goes with TD + EN + IM (4.5) anything after procs a Rail shot… so instead of doing this + rail shot cost + Ps + PPA… you can do PShot (proc or not proc) + TD + EN + IM + Adrenal + PPA/Rail shot + Pshot + PPA without delaying actually gaining advantage of the extra cast and if PPA procs it is actually exactly the same heat spent with one or the other rotation, smart.

      • odawgg

        oh and also, although I’m not a fan of using FM to open up because I feel it pushes me into VH too soon, hence having to start using UL and Rapid Shots too early, I have take your idea and started testing starting with Power Shot, couple things that are nice about this is it has a chance to proc PPA of course so the first RS can be free, it also has a chance to start the CGC DoT earlier…of course there’s RNG factor for both of these points, but I’m kinda liking it

  • Kryp

    Don’t get me wrong here but I’m going to agree with odawgg here! All these guides are great beginner level guides, most of what’s in these guides is common knowledge to the more experienced group of players. We really don’t have a single grand collection of guides like this on any one website so thank you for that.

  • Hache-Moncour

    Another thing for the pyro tips and tricks:
    If the Powershot in your rotation fails to proc a railshot, follow up with Unload instead of another Powershot. Since Unload procs at the start of the cast instead of the end, the next proc will be 3 seconds after the unload finishes, instead of 6 seconds after the Powershot.

  • Hache-Moncour

    One thing I wonder about in the opening rotation. You use PS with PShot in the opening rotation, I assume to make the railshot proc sooner, so the next one can be sooner too. But you then proceed to use four more abilities (RS, EN, Pshos, Pshot), putting 7.5 sec between the procs after all.

    I haven’t tried yet, but on paper it would make more sense to have something like:

    Pre-cast FM + TD / Relic / Adrenal + IM + RS + PS / PShot + RS + PShot + PShot + RS / VH + EN + PShot

    Delays your EN by a few seconds, but pulls your RS one GCD to the front. You can try for:

    Pre-cast FM + TD / Relic / Adrenal + IM + RS + PS / PShot + RS + EN + PShot + RS / VH + PShot + PShot

    But you’d risk the RS not proccing on the one PShot. Curious to hear your thoughts on this.

    • odawgg

      RS,EN,PS,PS is 6s between procs, your examples are only 4.5s…The proc happens the instant before RS so multiply 4GCDs *1.5s = 6s

      • Hache-Moncour

        It’s 6 seconds between procs though, not 6 secs between railshots.
        If you use PS the Pshot is instant, so the proc happens at the start of the GCD. So you have
        PS / Pshot [instant proc] – [gcd] – RS [gcd] – EN [gcd] – Pshot casting time – [second proc]

        That’s three GCDs and a PShot cast between the procs at exactly 6 seconds, should work with perfect timing, alacrity might mess it up.

        Also, if this doesn’t work, why bother with PS at all? Might as well keep it for when you need to move during combat.

        • odawgg

          ah i gotcha, i misread..I agree with waiting to use PS for on the move, I think he was going for more of a dummy application when movement doesn’t matter, and yeah if he’s gonna use PS with power shot, no reason to add in another ability on the following combo.

          I like to use it after the first proc’d rail shot with TSO+FM to front load the damage and get more, if not all, the DoT damage in with the adrenal.

          I also like to use it if I ever use UL to proc PPA, cuz the next Power shot might not trigger PPA, so I’ll follow that missed proc with PS+Power Shot to maintain 6s proc, but only on a dummy or if I know I’ll never need to use it for movement.

  • bob

    Why put any points in critical reaction or system calibrations? The stat priority has 0 alacrity so a % increase on 0 will give nothing

    • Leefty

      The percentage increase is not multiplied but added to the base Alacrity (which is 0). So if you get a 4% increase in Alacrity it means that the channel time of your abilities and your GCD will be reduced by 4%. For example, Unload will get down from 3” to 2.88” (3 * 96%).

  • T’green

    - FM in combination with VH and always with TSO

    – EN should be the very first thing you do after applying the other DoTs. Use it on cooldown and use it shortly after you pop your adrenal so every second EN will be boosted without having to delay either ability

    – Vent Heat in your opener makes it unavailable for using with multidotting and similar techniques to exploit adds or multiple boss targets (which are part of many fights)

    – Vent Heat in your opener locks you out from using it during phases where damage is a lot more important that right at the start (eg. Raptus or Calphayus)

    – PS is not a straight up damage augmentation, all it does is making you cast on the move for 1.5 seconds

    – Unload actually shouldn’t be used if PPA is on cooldown, on the other hand it is the first skill to consider when PPA is available

    – For Arsenal being able to be aware of when you’re additional heat regeneration will occur is a necessity in order to overheat correctly and not to go below 0 heat

    – Getting to 0 heat and then getting a tick of regeneration (with any spec) is about as bad as just standing there doing nothing at all … do not ever go below 0 – if you know there will be a considerable damage pause, overheat before so you’ll be at very low heat once you can continue to deal damage … all pauses that you have right now are foreseeable

    – Energy Shield for Pyrotech can be used for damage in addition to it’s defensive purpose … just make sure you save it on fights where you get a lot of direct hits in a narrow window of time (eg. Brontes, dealing with Tyrans at council P3)

    – Knowing when you are about to be hit by a knockback and using Hydraulic Overrides accordingly can be a substantial DPS increase (prime example would be DF 3rd boss)

    – DfA is excellent with two targets already and there are applications where it’s also great with only one if you can afford the heat (eg. adds that won’t live longer than 4 seconds – Brontes comes to mind here)

    – Flame Thrower is another great AoE option, you have enough instant casts to get into position in time and some adds even stack up right next to you all by themselves (eg. Corrupter Zero)

    – Cleansing yourself hurts Mercs more than Sorcs and Snipers, since you lose resources, mitigating tens of thousands of damage with just one GCD is still worth it for the raid as a whole

    – Consider clipping Unload for RS procs when forced to move around constantly (eg. kiting Raptus, any helter skelter condition)

    – Effective DPS … it’s really a thing! Prime examples would be things like not AoEing adds that are going to die all by themselves within the next few seconds anyway (DF 3rd boss) among other things … redundant damage or playing in a way that augments your own DPS while not allowing for a maximum raid DPS is not efficient, these rules are especially important to consider with content that is actually difficult

    Just brainstorming here about what could’ve been in your guide – some of the points above are highly conditional, but some really should’ve been covered (mainly VH, EN, TSO and most of all ‘0 heat = – DPS’).

    Even though the guides aren’t perfect, they are still excellent.

    Had a conversation the other day about class guides, since the ones that were written by my guild for 2.0 on some german fanpage were recently replaced by what a friend rightfully commented as “diarrhea in written form”. I just told him that writing more guides just became obsolete anyway since Dulfy recently started to cover all classes.

    So while you might want to consider some of the input in the comments, I’d still say your guide is very accessible and covers a lot of things about the Merc.

    ps: I really have to disagree with your evaluation in the ratings chapter – not just the Merc ones, but all classes especially in comparison to each other some ratings seem unrealistic.

    • T’green

      I forgot … taking Volatile Warhead over Suit FOE is really bad. It’s not important for a lot of fights and most certainly not for dummy parses but there are DoTs that can’t be dispelled and choosing a talent that does absolutely nothing for you over one that works as a situational defnsive cooldown relly isn’t what you should be doing.

  • Vaer

    Your guide says that you can get an Aim stat bonus from your companion’s story completion. I see in my legacy that I get 1 for Agent and 1 for BH. Which companion’s grant this? I just wanted to know so I don’t waste time on maxxing out the wrong comp. Thanks!

    • http://dulfy.net/ Dulfy

      No aim stat bonus, just accuracy, which is granted by maxxing out Skadge I think.

  • Vorak

    Is that a typo under gearing or do you really need to have zero alacrity?

    • Leefty

      Nope, no typo, the only Alacrity a DD Merc needs is from his skill trees. You should not have any Alacrity on your gear.

  • Hugo A Sanchez

    A burst rotation I do is FM> IM> Net>TD> Explosive dart> V-6 pyro> RS>unload
    watch those explosives+ rail shot + Dots go. lol

    • Leefty

      Well, Pyro does not have burst, lol. Yeah, OK, you *can* do some kind of burst if you pop your adrenal and your clicky relic, but it does not come even close to what Arsenal can achieve.

      Pyro is all about DoTs and, more specifically, burning (elemental) DoTs.

      Check out the “Rain of Fire” (+3% damage to burning targets for RS, PS and Unload) and “Burnout” (+10% damage of periodic elemental effects for <30% HP targets) Pyro-tree talents. Note the words "burning" and "elemental".

      Explosive Dart deals kinetic damage and is not a DoT. Therefore, it is a DPS loss to use it in any kind of priority list or rotation or opener. If you are on the move and everything is on CD and your IM is already on the target you are better off using Missile Blast for a guaranteed refresh of your CGC (due to talent "Volatile Warhead": 100% chance for Missile Blast to trigger your Combustible Gas Cylinder).

      On the other hand, the V-6 Pyro Grenade is a great idea!!! It deals elemental damage and it is a DoT. I just want to check whether it is considered as a burning effect (which sounds logical but you never know, the tooltip does not state it explicitly). Also it seems that it does not cost any heat, which is awesome!!! In any case, it seems like a very nice addition to our DoT arsenal.

      As regards the rotation I guess the V-6 can be used early during the opener, certainly before IM. From there on, it can be used the same way that FM and EN are, only more sparsely (since it has a longer CD).

      • Hugo A Sanchez

        I use explosive dart as a sort of surprise attack not as a dot. Like around 27K or more with with Thermal going off, burn tech (v-6) and net dots inflicting damage at the same time. By the 2nd turn you do an additional 6K, or a lot more if you crit., with rail shot and explosive going of at once. after that its standard rotation. lol
        But I do agree with you on what you said. Actually I decided to start of my rotation with missile blast.

        • Leefty

          The phrase “surprise attack” made me smile so widely, in a very-very positive way. It reminded me that I take this staff all too seriously …

          Anyways, back to serious, no matter how easy-to-use Explosive Dart seems, it still takes one GCD in your rotation. This might be one GCD too many, especially when dealing with strict enrage timers. The same applies for Missile Blast which is to be used only in specific situations.

          Don’t forget that your main goal is to proc and use Rail Shot as much as possible. ED does not help with that.

          • Hugo A Sanchez

            We are clashing because you are talking pve and i am talking pvp. Hahahah. I agree though i have a bad habit of using ED in Ops wasting a full cooldown.

  • Snail

    On Arsenal:
    I’ve done this in the past but begin to question: Do I really want to waste Power Surge in a normal roation? TM and FM both cast with ~1.4 sec. in the normal spec. But GCD is about the same length. If I haven’t missed something it would bring a benefit in a static situation, would it?
    Atm I’m rather keeping it for situation where I need to do damage during movement – e.g. Brontes in the mutliple satic adds during the lightning cast.

    • Leefty

      Power Surge is useful in the following situations:

      1. When you want the damage to register immediately and not at the end of the cast (end of the GCD).

      Examples are on Nefra when trying to grab aggro on the explosive droid, on Operator IX when trying to aggro (and kill) your orb ASAP, on Draxxus when trying to aggro a Dismantler, etc.

      2. When you need to use the ability while you are on the move (like Brontes, as you already mentioned)

      3. When you take damage and/or suffer interrupts and you need to get your cast through. Most characteristic example is Grob’thok during Pipe Smash. In this specific case you can also use Hydraulic Overrides to avoid the interrupts.

      As regards the cast time of TM and FM, it is **exactly** 1.5”, **exactly** the same as the GCD.
      But from your talents (at least as proposed here) you get +2% Alacrity. As a result **both** the cast time of TM/FM **and** the GCD drop down to 1.44”. In any case, since Alacrity reduces also the GCD, TM/FM will always last for one GCD.

      • Vader

        Also if you need some quick heals use power surge rapid scan

  • Krieger

    On your ratings for Single Target DPS, what metrics did you use to come up with those numbers?

  • Ordo

    Arsenal still not updated for 2.7. Nothing in rotation or opening rotation works like that anymore (And I dont mean the video as this is stated on the top).
    Barrage proc is 100% but increased internal cd (8 sec). Beside unload itself, you need 3 fillers before casting the proccing tracer missile. Fillers being HSM, RS, EN, but you are soon being casting up to 3 tracers if the rest is on cd. opening rotation and barrage proc timing can be advanced a GCD by using Power Surge. That is available quite often with it CD beeing reduced in Arsenal down to 45sec.
    Really have to count to three to manage your proccs precisely :D

  • Green Mann

    Why are Main-Stat Augments suggested over Power Augments? I was under the impression that once you reached a reasonable amount of Main-Stat that stacking Power became the way to go?? Sadly of my 5 crafters, none are capable of making the Reflex Augments, my next best option clearly being Power(seeing as I meet all of the stat requirements above) which I can produce with relative ease, should I just go ahead an utilize them for now and swap in the Aim augs when I am able to attain them?

    • Hache-Moncour

      Main stat is better than power point-for-point for mercs. One point of power gives 0.23 bonus damage. One point of mainstat gives 0.2 bonus damage, but with a 9% bonus in the skill tree and a 5% bonus from buffs, you effectively get 0.228 bonus damage, making both equivalent for bonus damage. And of course power just gives bonus damage, while main stat bumps crit as well.

      Power augments really aren’t that interesting if you have a 9% class bonus. I wouldn’t burn Thermal Regulators on them, but go straight for Reflex augments.

  • Hache-Moncour

    Under ‘Defensive Cooldowns’ in the overview you might add Chaff Flare (Pyro only), as this will give +25% defense for 6 seconds with the Degauss skill, which helps a lot in surviving an accidental aggro pull. Also, the skill tree should really have full points in this (and lose the alacrity).

  • RJ

    Why even spend points in Volatile Warhead when Missile Blast isn’t even considered a part of the Pyrotech rotation? The 4 point heat reduction is not enough to warrant consideration and Rapid Shots can proc CGC easily enough. I would think those talent 2 points might be better spent in Infrared Sensors and at least get something out of them.

    • Sciclex

      The specs that are both posted have full points in both of the abilities you mentioned.

      While I can see your point as it seems to be a very minimally used talent, for a full DPS build in the rare opportunities you use Missile Barrage it will increase your damage output slightly, while Infrared Sensors will not.

      Although now that I’m looking at it, another possible place for the Infrared Sensors points would be in Jet Rebounder, because that would add to your DPS output in certain situations, where as stated Infrared Sensors does not in any situation.

      • Sciclex

        Edit: Only 1 point in Infrared Sensors should be relocated to Jet Rebounder, while also moving the point in Degauss to Jet Rebounder would be a more reliable build. It increases you situational DPS when you need to use the knockback, as well as providing a static damage reduction instead of a movement-impair breaker that is only usable in current tier OPs when kiting the Larvae in Bestia.

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