SWTOR Combat Medic Commando Healer Class Guide

A guide to SWTOR Combat Medic Commando Healing for PvE. Written and edited by Invinc and Vindrik of Harbinger. Updated for patch 2.6

Overview

The Combat Medic Commando is by far the hardest healing class to play, and the only one that has access to a little bit of everything, but doesn’t excel at anything. Having heavy armor and by far the best defensive CDs as a healer makes them really tough against heavy hitting mechanics, and if used right they have a great dps rotation, but it’s also far more complicated to deliver. Their healing doesn’t rely on anything specific like shields or hots, but instead is entirely based around giving passive bonuses to their allies, making them more of a support healer than the other two classes. They have both quick and heavy heals as well as some AoE healing capability, but their rotation is entirely based around building stacks in order to increase their healing efficiency. They have the worst resource management of all the healers by far, but due to the buffs they provide are also considered the best support. Because of this, they are far more useful in 16 man operations, as their detriments are not as obvious in a larger group, however a good Commando healer is still capable of excellent healing output in any situation.

Offensive Cooldowns:

  1. Reserve Powercell: Makes your next ability cost no Cells.
  2. Tech Override: Causes your next ability with a cast timer to activate instantly.

Defensive Cooldowns:

  1. Adrenaline Rush: 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. Reactive Shield: Significantly increase your base damage reduction for a short while.

Tricks of the Trade:

  1. Emergency Medical Probe: Battle rez
  2. Kolto Bomb: AoE healing within a small radius
  3. Concussion Charge: AoE knockback with a healing component
  4. Hold the Line: Increases movement speed and gives immunity to knockbacks, snares and physics effects for a few seconds
  5. Recharge Cells: Instant Cell regeneration

Combat Medic

Combat Medic(36/8/2): http://swtor.askmrrobot.com/skills/commando#13223112103001212022322-30302-20

swtor-combat-medic-commando-healer-class-guide-build

Note: This spec is highly variable based on your play style. If you don’t utilise the AoE healing component of Concussion Charge given by Kolto Wave, you can instead put these points into Med Zone or Treated Wound Dressings depending on the fight. The points from Weapon Calibrations in the Assault Specialist tree can also be repurposed into these talents or Efficient Conversions. Where you apply these talent points should be based on the fights you are encountering in conjunction with your preferred play style.

If you do plan on using Concussion Charge frequently for AoE heals, you may take a point from Special Munitions and put it into Efficient Conversions. This will make your Concussion Charge cost no cell. Also, given there are currently no mental effects in operations, the point in Psych Aid can be moved to Efficient Conversions. 

1.1 Rates (1-10):


  • Single Target Healing: 9
  • AoE Healing: 8
  • Group Utility: 10
  • Rotation Difficulty: 10
  • RNG Dependant: No
  • Burst Heals: 10
  • Dps Capability: 9
  • Signature Ability: Kolto Bomb

1.2 Gearing & Stats Priority:


Note: Thanks to the Potent Medicine talent’s 15% boost to your critical multiplier, there are two ways that Commando healers can gear themselves:

  • **Must Have** Accuracy: 101% Force – 91% melee (1% from companion + 0% from talent = 0% from Gear)
  • **Must Have** Above 5% Alacrity
  • 68-74% Surge (+15% more from Potent Medicine)
  • 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 Combat Medic’s PVE
  • Combat Support Cell

Or

  • **Must Have** Accuracy: 101% Force – 91% melee (1% from companion + 0% from talent = 0% from Gear)
  • **Must Have** All other secondary stats in Alacrity
  • 60-65% Surge (+15% more from Potent Medicine)
  • 0-100 Critical Rating
  • All other secondary stats in Power (Alacrity and Power goes hand in hand so you can stack both)
  • **Must Have** Augments: Aim (Reflex)
  • Relics: Serendipitous Assault & Focused Retribution
  • Alternate Relic: Boundless Ages
  • Set Bonus: 4 piece Combat Medic’s PVE
  • Combat Support Cell

1.3 Gearing Overview:


  • Accuracy as a healer is a wasted stat, as your heals themselves will never miss. As such, you should always be taking other stats instead, with no exceptions
  • Alacrity gives the greatest benefit to the healer role, and is generally taken once you reach the soft cap for Surge, once the benefit per point becomes less incentive for Surge and more appealing for Alacrity. This generally occurs around 73%, but doing some quick personal number crunching based on your play style should give you a better understanding
  • Taking a small amount of Critical rating as a healer is a good idea, as the benefit of Critical rating is decent for the first few hundred points of rating. However, stacking it is generally a bad idea, as the high diminishing returns leave Critical rating granting a smaller benefit than Power
  • 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 healing efficiency 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 Priority


  1. Supercharge Cells
  2. Trauma Probe
  3. Kolto Bomb
  4. Bacta Infusion
  5. Advanced Medical Probe
  6. Medical Probe
  7. Concussion Charge
  8. Hammer Shot
  9. Mortar Volley
  10. Electro Net
  11. High Impact Bolt
  12. Full Auto
  13. Charged Bolts

1.5 Healing Strategy:


Besides regular Cell management, Combat Medic Commandos also have an extra resource that’s tied into their Combat Support Cell, known as Supercharge. These charges can be gained by using Hammer Shot on a friendly target as a small heal or an enemy target for damage (3 charges), or from Medical Probe thanks to the Field Medicine talent (6 charges). All of a Commando’s healing abilities are rather expensive, with no real way to get consistent Cell generation, and they’re not hugely powerful. Because of this, playing a Commando healer is greatly reliant on skill to try and maximise on the healing that you can do without ruining your resource regeneration. The Probe Medic talent tree provides the Commando with the most powerful applied buffs in the game; with the Preventative Medicine and Armor Screen talents your Advanced Medical Probe gain a hot component as well as applying a +10% armor rating buff for your target, and Kolto Residue and Kolto Pods cause your Kolto Bomb to grant a +3% healing taken buff as well as dropping a small hot on the floor, which has no maximum player limit, as well as the inherent personal buffs of up to +5% Alacrity, +15% Healing Surge and up to +6% Critical chance. In addition to this, Trauma Probe provides 13 charges of healing upon damage taken, while having a reasonable cost and only taking a single GCD.

  • Supercharge Cells is the most important ability in your repertoire, and is activatable once you have 30 charges of Supercharged. While you stay maintain 30 charges you get a passive +3% to healing and damage dealt, however once used you will immediately generate 8 Cells and increase your healing and damage done by 5% for 10 seconds, and granting the following bonuses for the duration:
    1. Charged Bolts and Full Auto Cell cost reduced by 100%
    2. Advanced Medical Probe CD reduced by 100%
    3. Kolto Bomb additionally reduces all damage taken by 5% for 15 seconds
  • Supercharge Cells should be used as often as possible on a fight (unless you know a hard healing phase is coming up in the next 5-10s, then you may want to save it), as it gives you a huge benefit in buffing your abilities, as well as generating some Cells. Kolto Bomb is a must use during Supercharged, especially on tanks, but its benefit will be equally helpful on anyone who is taking damage. Advanced Medical Probe’s reduced CD is also very useful, as it is your cheaper heal, with a decent Hot and passive armor rating buff, in addition to reducing the cost of your next Medical Probe. Charged Bolts and Full Auto also function as excellent burn phase dps abilities for the duration of this buff.
  • Trauma Probe is one of the most useful healing abilities in the game, after 2.6 patch it became probably the best overall heal available. It can be deployed on everyone without limits. It has 9 charges that will proc by themselves to heal the target and has its heat reduced to 10 to become really easy to place on multiple targets such as both tanks and other group members.
  • Kolto Bomb is the most interesting healing ability and should be used regularly, not only because it’s a good instant group heal with a short CD, but also because of its healing buff, which provides a +3% healing taken buff for 15 seconds, giving you enough time to keep this buff up on the entire group at all times for most fights. If you have a group of 8-16 people stacked in the same place, it’s worth noting that Kolto Bomb will only heal 4, while the residue will provide a small hot as well as the +3% healing buff to all 16.
  • Bacta Infusion is a self-explanatory ability. It’s a free of cost, instant and powerful healing ability with a relatively short CD, and as such should be used as regularly as possible. Try not to waste it on easy phases in a fight however, as it’s an excellent instant heal whenever a large amount of damage is taken. In difficult fights or a particularly hard-hitting phase, it’s good to use on CD either to quickly top off a tank or another player.
  • Advanced Medical Probe is a fast healing ability which will do decent healing and provide a very useful HoT as well as buffing the target’s armor rating for the hot’s duration. The Field Triage talent also causes your next Medical Probe after an Advanced Medical Probe to cost 8 fewer Cells, so it’s ideal to follow an Advanced Medical Probe up directly with a Medical Probe. Due to the armor buff that it provides, it is ideal to try and maintain an Advanced Medical Probe up on the tanks as much as possible, though note that this buff does not stack with the same effect that is provided by a Sage’s Rejuvenate.
  • Medical Probe is your longer cast filler heal, as it has no cooldown and provides a substantial heal, but at a substantial cost. It costs less when following an Advanced Medical Probe, and also provides 6 stacks of Supercharge on use, which is a hugely beneficial effect to maximise your Supercharge uptime.
  • Concussion Charge is a less efficient copy of the Sage’s Force Wave, as it has longer CD, costs Cells if not specced into it, and its circular radius instead of frontal cone can make more difficult to use, however it is still a relatively decent unlimited target AoE heal, so although it’s not necessarily something you would always work into your regular rotation depending on your spec, it still has its uses, and it’s not a complete waste.
  • Hammer Shot is your only real resource management ability since it’s free, but it also doesn’t generate any Cells and only heals by a small amount. It does, however, give you stacks of Supercharged, which is incredibly useful, and as such makes Hammer Shot a great filler to use between heals to build stacks, or to dps enemies should that be more pressing. After patch 2.6 you can heal yourself with your Rapid Shots

1.6 DPS Strategy:


Commandos have an excellent skill set for dps, especially in tight burn phases that are conducive to using Supercharge Cells. Mortar Volley is a fantastic burst AoE ability that will regenerate most of its Cell cost throughout the channel, Electro Net’s minimal cost and high damage output make it an excellent ability to use on cooldown, and High Impact Bolt is an all around high damage ability, in addition to being able to use Full Auto and Charged Bolts free of cost while Supercharge Cells is active.

  • Mortar Volley is not as powerful as XS Freighter Flyby, but even so is a relatively low-cost, high damage AoE ability that is always beneficial for general raid dps, especially during burn phases or when there are multiple targets in close proximity.
  • Electro Net has a really long CD and can only be used a few times in a fight, but should be used as often as possible due to its low cost, instant cast and high damage output.
  • High Impact Bolt has a short CD and higher cost than Electro Net, but is also packs quite a punch. Especially for fast burst, High Impact Bolt is an excellent addition to your rotation.
  • Full Auto is an excellent ability to use for regular dps. It’s better than Charged Bolts in just about every manner, so while dpsing should be used on cooldown. While Supercharge Cells is active, using Full Auto on cooldown is a must to maximise damage at no Cell cost.
  • Charged Bolts is your designated dps filler ability, and should be used last in your priority list. It deals moderate damage, and in conjunction with Supercharge Cells will help to provide excellent burst damage against a boss. You should use Charged Bolts instead of Hammer Shot for as long as this effect is active, as it has no cost and you cannot continue building stacks of Supercharged until the Supercharge Cells effect wears off.

1.7 Tips and Tricks:


  • Recharge Cells, just like other rapid resource gain abilities like Cool Head, can be a little confusing as to how it functions due to the ability text. A 50 Cell regeneration plus a GCD’s worth of recovery means you are essentially regenerating 55-60 Cells. Considering the fact that anywhere between 100-85 Cells is the ‘comfort’ zone for healers, this means Recharge Cells should always be used at around 25-35 Cells to exploit its full potential. Keep in mind, however, that Combat Medics should be specced into a buffed Recharge Cells, so in this spec you basically want to have around 10 Cells and it will bring you back up to 80 without a problem.
  • Although Kolto Bomb itself will only heal up to 4 targets, the residue left behind will heal and buff all players without a limit, making it an excellent ability to use on large packs during 16 man operations to maximise on its potential.
  • Adrenaline Rush as a healer can be a much better cooldown than for a dps, as you can use it to keep yourself alive while prioritising healing others in order to buy yourself some extra time.
  • Remember that using Tech Override can give you an incredible burst of healing to top off a player, as you can cast a heal, immediately followed by Tech Override, another heal and Bacta Infusion, providing the most powerful short burst of healing in the game
  • Supercharge Cells will always refresh the CD of your Advanced Medical Probe, so never wait for it to come off cooldown to pop it in order to exploit its 100% CD reduction.
  • Try incorporate Hammer Shots into your healing rotation rather than waiting until your heat gets too high and spam Hammer Shots. By simply adding a Hammer Shot between each probe (excluding Bacta Infusion) your heat will remain manageable indefinitely, while increasing the rate at which Supercharged Cell is gained and increasing you attacks per minute (APM) (contributed by Kakuzzu of Death and Taxes)
  • Before you use Concussion Charge for AoE heals, make sure you have used Kolto Bomb on your raid in the last 15s as this will give you 3% bump on your healing.

1.8 UI Setup:


The default UI setup is fairly horrible so I always make sure to adjust the following to suit my playstyle. Use ESC to open your options menu and go through the Preferences and Interface Editor.

Preferences

  • Under Controls, make sure Enable Focus Target is checked. This allow you to use alt + f to keep a boss on a focus target so you can see its health and abilities that are casted out. Also make sure Camera Max Distance is turned up to 100% as this allow you to zoom out much further.
  • Under User Interface, pick Use Operations Frame as Group Frames. This will help you out in flashpoints as the default 4 player group interface is not very healer friendly.

swtor-corruption-sorcerer-healer-guide-ui-setup-2swtor-corruption-sorcerer-healer-guide-ui-setup

Interface Editor

  • Selecting the Operation Frame will allow you to adjust the width, height of the red bars and also display health information. You can also adjust the size of the buffs/debuffs icons to suit your needs.

swtor-corruption-sorcerer-healer-guide-ui-setup-3swtor-corruption-sorcerer-healer-guide-ui-setup-4

  • Click on Focus target, make sure Show Information is checked as this will display boss health % and other info. Also make sure Focus Target Castbar is enabled as this will allow you to see the boss abilities.

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1.9 Healing Parses


Healing as a role is not very well represented numerically, as it has nothing to do with how much overall healing you’re doing, but moreso that you’re healing the right people at the right time. As such, both hps and dps numbers for healers aren’t necessarily representative, as the two healers may have a system whereby one heals as much as possible, topping up everyone as the fight continues, while the other deals as much damage as possible, stopping to heal when people are taking large amounts of damage that the first healer can’t heal alone. Being at the top of the healing parses is actually something that can only be done by gaming the system, and having these enormous numbers actually means that you’re not being efficient, and were not benefiting the group to the best of your ability. Having high hps in a parse may mean:

  • Your healing partner is either a poor healer or is allowing you to heal while dpsing themselves.
  • The group is taking significantly more dmg than it should, so there is more health being lost that you can heal.
  • You are gaming the system, being less effective but parsing higher numbers (e.g. Sorcerer | Sage not shielding but AoE healing at every opportunity despite the fight not requiring it, Operative | Scoundrel rolling hots when completely unnecessary).
  • The group is collaborating with you to get higher numbers (e.g. Fight requires the group to be spread out, but instead stacks together to take significantly increased damage that is then AoE healed over time).

While dps can be judged at least partially based on their number parsing, as healers there is no numerical representation that properly demonstrates how effective you are being. As long as the group is surviving and you kill the boss, you have done your job, and the overall hps for the fight means absolutely nothing. The only real way to judge a healer’s efficiency and ability is through feeling, which sounds out of place, but if they aren’t healing when they’re needed to, or they’re healing the wrong people at the wrong time, you’ll be able to feel the difference when compared with someone who is on the ball and always doing exactly what is required.

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. 

  • venomlash

    Good guide. My main spec is Gunnery, and I’ll agree that the hardest thing to learn about Combat Medic is proper use of Trauma Probe. I still tend to reapply it when 1 or 2 stacks still remain, but until I start running NiM ops, I’m okay with that inefficiency.

    I’d elaborate on Reserve Powercell a bit. My usual use of it is to, when I’m starting to get low, burn it on a full-cost Medical Probe to get my full value out of it. Or, if I’ve got room to toss in some DPS, use it for a free Plasma Grenade.

  • Kenji

    I believe 2 points into First Responder is a little too excessive, as your kolto bomb and kolto pods will be able to proc it with crit, making the alacrity boost almost always present if kolto bomb is used on CD over the raid.
    Also, only speccing 1 point into Kolto Residue will still maximize its full effect because of kolto pod being able to proc and refresh it, that means 50% chance for 4 times being applied on raid members provided they stand inside the AoE heal.
    With these 2 points taken out while still being able to utilize them, I usually put those 2 points into 4% dmg reduction, since being combat medic is all about taking the least dmg out of all healers passive-wise.

    • atschai

      That, or the free concussive charge.

  • Nonni

    I would like to point put that Psych Aid skill provide bonus healing on any use of cleanse, so it does not really matter that current ops do not have any mental effects – it is still a useful skill to have for dot-heavy bosses.

  • Quide

    I’ve got a question concerning generally any build and their respective gear. I unerstand that the optimal gear is Dread Forged, but while I’m not still there what is better – full Oriconian (from ultimate comms) or oriconian + 4 underworld armorings with set bonus? Also the same question for arkanian bonus.

    • I generally find the set bonus on the low level armorings is worse the stat loss. It also depends on what your set bonus are. Usually the 2 set bonus is a must have but for some class/roles the 4 set bonus can be do without.

      • Quide

        I assume that that’s a auto-correct/typo, and you mean that low-level armoring with bonus is WORTH the stat loss?
        As for my characters, i’m currently running with 3 55s:
        – Sentinel (for the moment with full Oriconian – my feeling is that the set bonus isn’t that useful compared to the added strength that directly translates into DPS)
        – Shadow Tank and Commando Heal – here my doubts are bigger, i tend to the opinion that 72 armoring with set bonus is better than 78 without, but when it comes to 69 armorings, which are more available, I’m not so sure.
        So any opinion on that point is more than welcome.

        • Yes indeed a typo, it is meant to be worth, not worse hah.

        • Ellendra

          I know it’s a very late response here, but:
          Sentinel: 8% Master Strike damage is huge. Really, really huge. It is worth at least the stats going from Oriconian down to Arkanian armorings for the 2 piece bonus. 48 Strength loss is going to be more than made up for. The 4% boost to damage for 15 seconds after a Zen is a huge dps gain, and easily worth 96 Strength loss.
          Shadow Tank: While it’s hard to quantify the 2 piece set bonus, the 4 piece is much easier. I’ve done the math, and Arkanian set bonus armorings provide better damage reduction than Oriconian armorings, and provide the additional elemental/internal damage reduction that is so hard to get for other classes. I can also say with certainty that Rakata set bonus armorings are worth more than Verpine non-set bonus armorings. The Shadow tank set bonus is incredible.
          Commando Healer: The 2 piece increases your Supercharge Cells uptime from roughly maximum ~34% to 40%, for a total increase of ~6% healing done (assuming ~19.5 seconds to build up 30 stacks again (2 Kolto Bombs, 2 Advanced Medical Probes and a few regular Medical Probes)). That’s a fairly large amount, and probably worth 48 Aim from your gear. The 4 pieces is much harder to place a value on, but healing felt a lot easier when I had the level 50 set bonus pieces just because of my ability to drop better heals faster.

  • enderandrew

    I’ve seen a lot of people suggest that alacrity is a must for this class, but I’m curious if that is really the case. If I stack alacrity, I parse considerably lower.

    Most of the heals are insta-cast:
    Hammer Shot
    Kolto Bomb
    Kolto Wave
    Trauma Probe
    Bacta Infusion
    Advanced Medical Probe (with SSC)

    If I don’t stack Alacrity and instead go all Power/Surge, I find myself parsing quite a bit higher.

  • Meskel

    Tip: The damage reduction from Kolto Bomb is applied at the same time as kolto residue. While the bomb is in the air, use Supercharge Cells and you will get the damage reduction buff without having to use a GCD on Kolto Bomb during the supercharge. Also could be used in this manner to refresh the damage reduction buff towards the end of supercharge.

  • Robert Hindy

    Although this guide says that it is updated for 2.6, the skill tree provided is not the one in 2.6.

  • Shivago Joe

    You have as your accuracy 101 “Force” and 91 “melee” Commandos are Tech and ranged, right? Either that or I am really really confused hehe

  • Llanx

    wow never thought that commando heal was hard, never had used a commando and im kicking ass on PvE and PvP, i feel it more easier than sorc/sage or op/scoundrel heals also the AoE heal (kolto bomb) is the one that i use the most and takes me out of trouble pretty easy, but yeah must be only me :), nice guide btw 🙂

  • glawen

    after 2.7, commando healers kick ass!

  • RushJohnson

    FYI the talent tree above is out of date
    Here is what I am running speced into free concussion charge heal

    http://www.torhead.com/skill-calc#800rfMRRdcdzcGzZMccZb.3

  • Fuzzypaw

    where is the 3.0 info?

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