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SWTOR Dirty Fighting and Scrapper Scoundrel DPS Class Guide

A guide to SWTOR Dirty Fighting and Scrapper Scoundrel DPS for PvE. Written and edited by Invinc and Vindrik of Harbinger. Updated for patch 2.7

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Overview

Scoundrel dps is the best hybrid ranged / melee dps in the game, and although it doesn’t have a charge to leap to targets, it does get a gap closer in the form of a reusable roll. However, since you have far more useful abilities to use at long distance to spend a GCD, it’s more often used as an escape than to close gaps. Scoundrels also have the worst dps defensive cooldowns in the game, however this is augmented by their excellent support off-healing capabilities, as well as the ability to stealth rez, battle rez, and their high burst means that they are capable of doing just about anything they need to. Neither spec is particularly easy to play, and as with hybrid Vanguards, have some of the hardest resource management for a dps class, though this is counterbalanced by their high potential for damage output. Dps Scoundrels have access to 2 viable specs for raiding:

  1. Dirty Fighting is the most common, and overall highest dps spec. It is dependant on ensuring that your dots are consistently up, as the vast majority of your abilities either complement, or are complemented by, the bleeds that you apply
  2. Scrapper is almost never played as a raiding spec, primarily due to its incredibly difficult resource management compared to Dirty Fighting. Although its dps can be just as good, it is significantly harder to manage, and is more focused around small bursts of damage with generally less reliably consistent dps

Offensive Cooldowns:

  1. Pugnacity: Grants 1 stack of Upper Hand and an Alacrity boost for a short while.

Note: Pugnacity also gains additional benefits according to which dps spec you choose.

  • Dirty Fighting: Significantly reduced cooldown, and instantly restores 10 Energy
  • Scrapper: Restores 20% of your maximum health over Pugnacity’s duration

Defensive Cooldowns:

  1. Defense Screen: Short CD that absorbs a moderate amount of incoming damage
  2. Dodge: 100% melee and ranged Defense for a few seconds, also purges all removable negative effects
  3. Pugnacity (Scrapper): 20% damage reduction for the duration of Pugnacity.
  4. Slippery Devil (Scrapper): Increase your chance to dodge an attack by 50% after using Exfilrate and reduce AoE damage taken by 30%

Tricks of the Trade:

  1. Kolto Pack and Underworld Medicine: Single target heals, Kolto Pack is faster, heals for less up front with a ticking hot component and consumes an Upper Hand, while Underworld Medicine is slower and heals for more up front.
  2. Stealth: You become difficult to detect and gain access to some stealth-only abilities
  3. Disappearing Act: Removes you from combat and places you into stealth
  4. Heartrigger Patch: Battle rez
  5. Stealth Rez: Disappearing Act and a manual rez while out of combat
  6. Scamper: Roll forward a short distance. While rolling, your chance to avoid melee and ranged attacks is increased by 30%. Upon use, grants a charge that allows a second Scamper to be used. If this charge is consumed, Scamper is put on a 10 second CD

Dirty Fighting

Dirty Fighting (4/6/36): http://www.torhead.com/skill-calc#701zcZG0zZGMoRrMRRRshR.3

swtor-dirty-fighting-scoundrel-dps-class-guide-build

Note: The point in Exploratory Surgery in the Sawbones tree can also be used as a second point in Dirty Trickster (3 / 6 / 37), or as a point in Brawler’s Grit or Sneaky in the Scrapper tree (3 / 7 / 36). The placement of this point is up to personal preference and play style.

1.1 Rates (1-10):


  • Single Target Dps: 7.5
  • AoE Damage: 7
  • Group Utility: 9
  • Rotation Difficulty: 7
  • RNG Dependant: No
  • Burst: 8
  • Sub 30% Talent or Ability Buffs: Yes

1.2 Gearing & Stats Priority:


  • **Must Have** Accuracy: 110% Tech & 100% ranged (1% from companion + 3% from talent = 6% from Gear)
  • 0 Alacrity
  • 68-74% Surge
  • 120-280 Critical Rating
  • All other secondary stats in Power
  • **Must Have** Augments: cunning (Skill)
  • Relics: Serendipitous Assault & Focused Retribution
  • Alternate Relic: Boundless Ages
  • Set Bonus:4 piece Enforcer’s PvE
  • Alternate set bonus: 2 piece Enforcer’s PvE + 2 piece level 50 Enforcer’s PvE (requires testing)

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 120 Critical rating and 280 Critical rating is minimal, and having a little bit will benefit your overall dps, 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:


  • Shoot First is your ideal opener; it hits harder than any other ability you have and generates a Upper Hand, but is only usable while stealthed. It is only affected by one talent:
    1. Element of Surprise: Increases critical strike chance by 16%
  • Vital Shot is one of the two dots to keep up on the target at all times. It buffs Wounding Shots and deals heavy damage throughout its duration, but it doesn’t tick upon use, so you should avoid reapplying it early, and apply it as soon after the previous effect ends as possible. It is affected by a variety of talents:
    1. Mortal Wound: Has a 25% chance to tick twice
    2. Open Wound: Increases duration by 3 seconds
    3. Black Market Equipment: Increases critical strike chance by 12%
    4. Fighting Spirit: Dot critical hits regenerate 2 Energy
    5. Cold Blooded: Increases damage done by 15% to targets under 30% HP
    6. Nice Try: When the effect ends it is replaced by a weaker version, which deals 15% of the total damage over 9 seconds
    7. Browbeater: Increases damage dealt by 18%
  • Shrap Bomb is the second of your two dots, which also buffs Wounding Shots. It ticks upon use, so reapplying the dot early is not a dps loss. As such, reapplying it while it is still active is not always a bad option. It is affected by a variety of talents:
    1. Fighting Spirit: Dot critical hits regenerate 2 Energy
    2. Cold Blooded: Increases damage done by 15% to targets under 30% HP
    3. Nice Try: When the effect ends it is replaced by a weaker version, which deals 15% of the total damage over 9 seconds
  • Hemorrhaging Blast is designed to buff the damage dealt by your bleed effects, especially your Wounding Shots. Every time you use Hemorrhaging Blast, you should try to burn as many of its charges as possible with Wounding Shots to maximize its utility. As it is free of cost, it is very useful to use after heavy cost abilities such as XS Freighter Flyby or when low on energy. Delaying its use by a few seconds to maximise its damage output is feasible, but not by more than one or two GCDs.
  • Wounding Shots is your most important ability, and you should be focusing around maximising your Wounding Shots damage. Exploiting Hemorrhaging Blast charges using Wounding Shots is a must, and spending all your Upper Hands on it during this period is a dps increase as long as you can regain another UH soon after. Timing it so that you don’t have dot ticks during this UH downtime helps to squeeze out as much damage as possible, and mastering this style of Wounding Shots usage is key. It is affected by a variety of talents:
    1. Cheap Shots: Increases damage by 6%
    2. Fighting Spirit: Critical hits from the secondary effect regenerates 2 Energy
    3. Rough and Tumble: Reduces cost by 6
    4. Cold Blooded: Increases secondary bleed damage done by 15% to targets under 30% HP
    5. Unfair Advantage: Blaster Whip has 60% chance to grant Unfair Advantage, causing your next Wounding Shots to refund its Upper Hand and cost no Energy. Can only occur once every 10 seconds
  • Blaster Whip is your most important filler ability, as it’s the one you use most and your primary source of Upper Hand. It should be used every time it’s available unless you already have 2 stacks of Upper Hand or are delaying its use for Wounding Shots bursts. It is affected by a variety of talents:
    1. Holdout Defense: Grants you 50% increased movement speed for 2 seconds
    2. Scrappy: Increases damage done by 4%
  • Back Blast is your high Energy filler for when Blaster Whip is on CD, your dots are applied and you only have 1 Upper Hand. It has a low cost and high damage, but you should use it carefully above 70 Energy, so as not to starve yourself of Energy when coming up on a Wounding Shots burst. It is affected by two talents:
    1. Element of Surprise: Increases critical strike chance by 16%
    2. Scrappy: Increases damage dealt by 4%
  • XS Freighter Flyby has recently been altered and lost a great deal of its power. It is a good filler with a low Energy cost that should be better than Flurry of Bolts, however fitting it into the rotation is usually an overall dps loss. Its main utility comes from being used as part of your opener and when multiple mobs are together, and are guaranteed to take all 3 hits. Using it on weak adds that will only get hit once or twice generally isn’t worth the effort.

1.5 Ability Nomenclature and Rotation Priority:


  1. Shoot First: SF
  2. Vital Shot: VS
  3. Shrap Bomb: SB
  4. Hemorrhaging Blast: HB
  5. Wounding Shots: WS
  6. Blaster Whip: BW
  7. Back Blast: BB
  8. XS Freighter Flyby: XS
  9. Flurry of Bolts

Offensive Cooldowns:

  1. Pugnacity
  2. Cool Head: CH

1.6 Opening rotation:


Opener Without Stealth

Pre-Cast XS + SB + VS + BW / Pugnacity + HB + Adrenal / Relic / WS (proc) + WS + WS + Disappearing Act / SF + BW + WS (proc) + WS

swtor-dirty-fighting-scoundrel-dps-guide-opening-rotation

Opener With Stealth

Pre-Cast XS + Stealth / SF + SB + VS + HB + Pugnacity/ Adrenal / Relic / WS + WS + BW + WS (proc) + Disappearing Act / SF + WS

swtor-dirty-fighting-scoundrel-dps-guide-opening-rotation-2

1.7 Rotation Strategy:


A Dirty Fighting Scoundrel’s strength comes from instant Wounding Shots and the use of Blaster Whip and Hemorrhaging Blast to WS as often as possible for as much damage as possible. Keeping 1 Upper Hand available at all times is a must, with some exceptions; Immediately after using Hemorrhaging Blast, if you have 3 available Wounding Shots (2 UH + proc) it’s recommended to use all 3 straight away to drain as many charges of the Hemorrhaging Blast debuff as possible. Keeping your dots active for the entire fight is a must, and using the debuff applied by Hemorrhaging Blast to buff WS is a priority, as WS will gain a substantially greater benefit from consuming these debuff charges than your regular dot ticks will, even if it means losing the 2% increased damage from maintaining an Upper Hand for a few seconds. Due to recent changes, XS Freighter Flyby has lost a lot of its utility. It should now only be used during your opener and for multiple targets, and should no longer have a place in your regular rotation. The brief period before it deals damage makes it ideal to use for transition switches, so it is still worth using in these situations. Back Blast is your primary filler ability if you have the Energy to spend and are waiting on Blaster Whip to come off cooldown.

15- 30 second rotation (10-18 GCDs, no opener). Full dot re-application, open with 1 UH, multiple cases

1. BB + SB + BW + VS + HB + WS (proc) + WS + WS + BW + Flurry of Bolts + BB

swtor-dirty-fighting-scoundrel-dps-guide-rotation

2. SB + VS + BW + WS + Flurry of Bolts + BB + BW + SB + HB + WS (proc) + WS + WS

swtor-dirty-fighting-scoundrel-dps-guide-rotation-2

1.8 AoE Rotation Priority:


  1. XS Freighter Flyby (Only if 3-5+ mobs, guaranteed full duration)
  2. Shrap Bomb
  3. Thermal Grenade
  4. Blaster Volley

1.9 Sample Parse Analysis


swtor-dirty-fighting-scoundrel-dps-class-guide-sample-parse

  • The first section of your dps has Wounding Shots now doing more damage than ever without the damage from XS Freighter Flyby, and the rotation now has significantly bigger gaps. This makes the rotation far less efficient, and have lower dps than prior to patch 2.6. Wounding Shots should deal more than 35% of your overall damage.
  • The second portion has both your dots and Blaster Whip. The longer duration for Vital Shot only really messes up the timing in your rotation so you might end up eating more Hemorrhaging Blast charges than you should, and longer gaps in the rotation leaves more room to reapply Shrap Bomb early instead of using Flurry of Bolts when at high Energy. Blaster Whip should have steady damage due to its consistent use.
  • The third section has the rest of your fillers. Back Blast has much more use in the rotation than previously thanks to the longer gaps, and depending on your set bonus can deal a significant portion of damage. Flurry of Bolts is unfortunately rather frequently used due to the unwieldy rotation, and is your only real option to stabilise yourself in the gaps between using your other abilities. Shoot First, Hemorrhaging Blast and XS Freighter Flyby damage are mostly inconsequential, though XS Freighter Flyby should increase in fights with significant add phases.

1.10 Tips And Tricks:


  • Cool Head, just like other rapid resource gain abilities like Recharge Cells, can be a little confusing as to how it functions due to the ability text. A 50 Energy gain plus a GCD’s worth of recovery means you are essentially gaining 55 – 60 Energy. Considering the fact that anywhere between 65 – 85 is the ‘comfort’ zone for dps, this means Cool Head should always be used at around 25-35 Energy to exploit its full potential.
  • Cool Head 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, Inspiration, and your other offensive cooldowns, it helps you get back to a balanced Energy state after taking the most advantage possible from the damage boost. In other words, use as much Energy as you can during the opening burn phases and use Cool Head as early as feasible. As with other offensive cooldowns, you should be doing the same every time it’s available, which as a Dirty Fighting Scoundrel will be much more often than as any other spec.
  • Upper Hand grants you a 2% damage bonus to all abilities that should be kept as often as possible, with the exception of exploiting the Hemorrhaging Blast debuff charges to maximise your Wounding Shots damage.
  • Disappearing Act and Shoot First is important part of your opening rotation, as the burst damage you do is practically on par with Combat Sentinels and other high-burst classes. In addition, using Disappearing Act will reset your threat and most likely prevent you from pulling aggro for the rest of the fight. For the remainder of the encounter, Shoot First is useful and will boost your dps, however it is highly recommended that you save your Disappearing Act cooldown in case you need it to battle rez someone.
  • Using Scamper to avoid mechanics or for fast on-demand movement will proc Scurry, which will grant you a free and instant Kolto Pack. While you have this proc available, take note of anyone who may need some extra healing and use it to help out your healers, as it only costs you a GCD but could save a group member’s life
  • Speccing into Exploratory Surgery gives you a great boost as an off-healer whenever you might be needed, since it will decrease the casting time of your Underworld Medicine, and may also grant you an Upper Hand, which can then be used on a Kolto Pack for further help, or to continue dpsing for your next Wounding Shots.
  • Remember that activating Pugnacity will give you an immediate 10 Energy on use, so it’s not just a UH and Alacrity buff, but can also be used to quickly regenerate some Energy when needed.

Scrapper

Scrapper(3/36/7):http://www.torhead.com/skill-calc#7010cZGrdbdbkrGhRZG0oz.3

swtor-scrapper-scoundrel-dps-class-guide-build

Note: The point in Mortal Wound  in the Dirty Fighting tree can also be used as a second point in Open Wound. The decision should be made based on personal preference.

2.1 Rates (1-10):


  • Single Target Dps: 9.5
  • AoE Damage: 5
  • Group Utility: 9
  • Rotation Difficulty: 9.5
  • RNG Dependant: No
  • Burst: 10
  • Sub 30% Talent or Ability Buffs: No

2.2 Gearing & Stats Priority:


  • **Must Have** Accuracy: 110% Tech & 100% ranged (1% from companion + 3% from talent = 6% from Gear)
  • 0 Alacrity
  • 68-74% Surge
  • 0-180 Critical Rating
  • All other secondary stats in Power
  • **Must Have** Augments: cunning (Skill)
  • Relics: Serendipitous Assault & Focused Retribution
  • Alternate Relic: Boundless Ages
  • Set Bonus: 2 piece Enforcer’s PvE & 2 piece level 50 Enforcer’s PvE
  • Alternate Set Bonus: 4 piece Enforcer’s PvE

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 0 Critical rating and 180 Critical rating is minimal, and having a little bit won’t harm your overall dps, 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, even PvP and old level 50 armorings, with the set bonus is still a better option than higher item level armorings without it

2.4 Ability Explanation:


  • Flechette Round is the most important part of the Scrapper rotation and often the reason why the rotation is so difficult. It applies a permanent buff until use, but has a relatively high Energy cost. Buffing your next Back Blast or Shoot First, it applies a brief dot, and a longer-lasting armor penetration buff. Flechette Round should generally not be used immediately before a Back Blast or Shoot First to maximise your Energy management. When you are above 75 Energy and have nothing else major to use (1 UH, no Blaster Whip, Flying Fists procced, dot applied) is an ideal time to use Flechette Round + Flurry of Bolts to regenerate some Energy. It is affected by two talents:
    1. Browbeater: Increases damage dealt by 9%
    2. Underdog: Increases critical strike damage by 30%
  • Shoot First is your ideal opener, as it hits harder than any other ability you have and generates a Upper Hand, but is only available while stealthed, as well as being one of the only two abilities that proc your Flechette Round. It is affected by a variety of talents:
    1. Element of Surprise: Increases critical strike chance by 16%
    2. Underdog: Increases critical strike damage by 30%
    3. Rolling Punches: Increases Ranged and Tech Critical chance by 6% for 15 seconds
  • Vital Shot is your only dot to permanently maintain. It helps you trigger Round Two and deals decent damage throughout its duration. It doesn’t tick upon use, so you should always avoid reapplying it too early, but should aim to apply it as soon after the previous dot expires as possible. It is affected by a variety of talents:
    1. Mortal Wound: Has a 25% chance to tick twice
    2. Open Wound: Increases duration by 3 seconds.
    3. Browbeater: Increases damage by 18%
    4. Round Two: Flying Fists refunds a Upper Hand if it hits a bleeding target
  • Blaster Whip is your most important filler ability, as it’s the one you use most and your primary source of Upper Hand. It is only affected by one talent:
    1. Scrappy: Increases damage done by 5%
  • Back Blast is the most important ability for this spec, and should always be used on CD and in combination with Flechette Round. It deals very high dmg, is free of cost, grants armor reduction, a dot, and an Alacrity buff, giving it an enormous amount of utility. It is affected by a variety of talents:
    1. Element of Surprise: Increases critical strike chance by 16%
    2. Scrappy: Increases damage done by 5%
    3. Flanking: Reduces cost by 10 Energy
    4. Sawed Off: Increases damage dealt by 5%
    5. Underdog: Increases critical strike damage by 30%
    6. Rolling Punches: Increases Ranged and Tech Critical chance by 6% for 15 seconds
  • Sucker Punch is your Upper Hand sink in this spec. It’s not as powerful as Wounding Shots, but it still deals a large amount of damage. It is unfortunately partially dependant on RNG, as the amount of Flying Fists that you proc will basically determine the amount of dps you will deal, due to both its own damage and the Energy that it causes you to regenerate. Using it while at 2 UH and always maintaining 1 is a must in order to maximise your overall dps. it is affected by a variety of talents:
    1. Round Two: Flying Fists refunds a Upper Hand if it hits a bleeding target
    2. Flying Fists: Sucker Punch has 70% chance to deal bonus damage to the target
    3. Turn the Tables: Increases the damage of Flying Fists and Sucker Punch by 6%, and causes Flying Fists to regenerate 8 Energy.
    4. Underdog: Increases critical strike damage by 30%
  • XS Freighter Flyby has lost a lot of its power, and is generally only useful for some openers, for AoE and transitions. Shoot First is significantly more important than XS Freighter Flyby, so always make sure that if you are using XS Freighter Flyby in your opener that you can definitely stealth immediately after and won’t lose dps. It can be used as a weak filler instead of Flurry of Bolts, but the risk associated with trying to fit it into your rotation doesn’t outweigh the minor damage increase it may provide.
  • Quick Shot is one of your few fillers when you have nothing else to use. Being usable at 10 meters, it is generally your best option while moving or during any other special mechanics that may alter your regular rotation. It is only affected by one talent:
    1. Scrappy: Increases damage by 4%
  • Sabotage Charge is your final filler ability. It is more expensive than Quick Shot, so even if it does more damage, it is often difficult to put into the Scrapper rotation without harming your Energy regeneration. A common mistake is for people to use Sabotage Charge while at around 80 Energy, while Blaster Whip is about to come off CD. Situations such as this often lead to poor Energy management and an over abundance of Flurry of Bolts.

2.5 Ability Nomenclature and Rotation Priority:


  1. Flechette Round: FR
  2. Shoot First: SF
  3. Vital Shot: VS
  4. Blaster Whip: BW
  5. Back Blast: BB
  6. Sucker Punch: SP
  7. XS Freighter Flyby: XS
  8. Quick Shot (while moving)
  9. Sabotage Charge: SB
  10. Flurry of Bolts

Offensive Cooldowns:

  1. Pugnacity: Pug
  2. Cool Head: CH

2.6 Opening Rotation:


Note: Make sure you pre-cast your Flechette Round before starting the fight, as it’s a permanent buff.

Pre-cast FR & XS + Sneak + Stealth + Adrenal / Relic / SF + BB + VS + BW + SP + SP + DA / FR / SF + SP + Pug / SP + BW + SP + FR / BB + SP + BW + SP + VS / CH

swtor-scrapper-operative-dps-guide-opening-rotation

2.7 Rotation Strategy:


Scrapper spec is a significantly more powerful and easier to play spec than it once was, due to the removal of its reliance on RNG. Flechette Round doesn’t respect the GCD, but is rather expensive, and should be used as a filler ability with either a Sucker Punch proc or Flurry of Bolts to control your Energy output. Back Blast and Blaster Whip should be used on CD at all times, and Sucker Punch helps to maintain high Energy. Quick Shot and Sabotage Charge are useful occasionally in the rotation when you get particularly lucky and have Energy to spend and nothing else to spend it on. Besides that, XS Freighter Flyby is a personal preference based on your set bonuses and skill with Energy management, as it can be rather difficult to fit it in without entirely messing up your rotation for a few seconds.

15-30 second rotation (10-18 GCDs, no opener). Open with 1 TA:

VS + Flurry of Bolts + FR / BW + SP + BB + Flurry of Bolts / FR + BW + SP + SP + Flurry of Bolts + BW + SP + BB + VS + BW / FR + SP + SP + Flurry of Bolts

swtor-scrapper-operative-dps-guide-rotation

2.8 AoE Rotation Priority:


  1. XS Freighter Flyby (only if 3-5+ targets for full duration)
  2. Thermal Grenade
  3. Blaster Volley
  4. Single Target Rotation

2.9 Sample Parse Analysis


swtor-scrapper-scoundrel-dps-class-guide-sample-parse

  • The first section is from your Sucker Punch, with its increased Energy regeneration and lower RNG, as well as the removal of XS Freighter Flyby, this should be your highest damaging ability by far. Usually higher damage is better, as long as it is not dealing over 40% of your damage, since this generally means your rotation is missing something.
  • The second portion of your dps goes to Blaster Whip, both of your bleeds and Back Blast. The damage of all these abilities should be relatively stable due to their consistent use throughout your rotation, and only ever significantly alter according to excessive crit rates.
  • The last section contains the remainder of your fillers. Flying Fists is bound to Sucker Punch, so their damage is tied. Flurry of Bolts is your Energy filler, so generally fewer uses lead to higher overall damage, and Shoot First and XS Freighter Flyby should remain consistent, except when there are significant AoE portions in the fight

2.10 Tips and Tricks:


  • Cool Head, just like other rapid resource gain abilities like Recharge Cells, can be a little confusing as to how it functions due to the ability text. A 50 Energy gain plus a GCD’s worth of recovery means you are essentially gaining 55 – 60 Energy. Considering the fact that anywhere between 65 – 85 is the ‘comfort’ zone for dps, this means Cool Head should always be used at around 25-35 Energy to exploit its full potential.
  • Cool Head 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, Inspiration, and your other offensive cooldowns, it helps you get back to a balanced Energy state after taking the most advantage possible from the damage boost. In other words, use as much Energy as you can during the opening burn phases and use Cool Head as early as feasible. As with other offensive cooldowns, you should be doing the same every time it’s available, which as a Dirty Fighting Scoundrel will be much more often than as any other spec.
  • Upper Hand grants you a 2% damage bonus to all abilities that should be kept as often as possible, with the exception of exploiting the Hemorrhaging Blast debuff charges to maximise your Wounding Shots damage.
  • Disappearing Act and Shoot First is important part of your opening rotation, as the burst damage you do is practically on par with Combat Sentinels and other high-burst classes. In addition, using Disappearing Act will reset your threat and most likely prevent you from pulling aggro for the rest of the fight. For the remainder of the encounter, Shoot First is useful and will boost your dps, however it is highly recommended that you save your Disappearing Act cooldown in case you need it to battle rez someone.
  • Flechette Round doesn’t respect the GCD, but is a rather expensive ability, so it should rarely be used immediately before a Shoot First or Back Blast, as Back Blast itself is already used to regain Energy due to being free. Flechette Round should be used in the rotation when you have a high amount of Energy, and therefore have some to spare for Flechette Round without interrupting your rotation, or mixed with a Flurry of Bolts.
  • Using Sneak before going into stealth or during a fight will give you a free movement speed buff that you should use to your advantage in order to close gaps quickly or to reposition yourself at a moment’s notice. Using it just before going into stealth is especially helpful, as you will gain the speed boost, and as soon as you exit stealth the cooldown on Sneak will be reset.

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.

  • AoE Threat Drop (E.g. Cloud Mind | Chaff Flare | Diversion): Unlike targeted threat drops, using these abilities will lower your threat on all enemies and not only your current target. 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.

By Dulfy

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

35 replies on “SWTOR Dirty Fighting and Scrapper Scoundrel DPS Class Guide”

Wow thank you so much, this is awesome! My main is a scoundrel and its really nice to have an updated very in-depth guide!

I don’t understand. The DF section of the guide states over and over that Hemorrhaging Blast increases the damage done by Wounding Shots. But… what? That doesn’t make any sense. HB says it increases the damage done by your bleed effects. Wounding Shots doesn’t say anything about being a bleed effect, only that its damage is increased by the presence of your bleed effects on the target. I wouldn’t expect HB to buff WS any more than I’d expect it to buff Quick Shot. There is nothing in the tooltip for either skill that suggests this relationship exists, unless I’m misinterpreting what WS means when it says the target ‘hemorrhages for internal damage’… Where did this information come from?

Because HB makes all your bleeds tick on top of the WS hit. This is a massive dps burst that can rip agro from the tank if you dump all your UH into it and proc/BW as well. The mark of a good scoundrel player is that they can manage their threat so that they can burst like this without ripping agro.

look at your logs (operative mirror incoming), Weakening blast gives 10 charges that increase the dmg dealt by “poisons” in this case “bleed”, now you have 2 bleed/poison from Dart/bomb and scoundrel mirror, the thing is, cull / wounding shot is divided in 3 sections, initial dmg which is white ranged dmg, +1 poison/bleed tech dmg (higher than ranged) coming from 1 of your dot, and another one coming from your other dot as the ability says it does more dmg when buffed with Poisons/Bleeds, this two extra yellow ticks are considered poison / bleed effect therefor gain the bonus effect from weakening blast / hemorraging blast, and considering this is WAY higher than your usual other DoT, it is a must to gain advantage of this for dps increase.

Don’t know if I agree with the copy&paste comment regarding the PvP set bonus being better than higher level armorings without them… Scoundrel set bonuses are… Bad.

hows that? set bonus for both side mirrors are the same, Orbital strike / FLyby is the pvp set bonus, and it is a dps improvement until they nerf it, or we get way more main stat from the armorings to make for the dmg difference.

Yep, of course the mirrors are the same. There are 3 PvP sets. The flyby bonus is on the fieldtech set. I didn’t think of that as a scoundrel PvP set as the four piece bonus did not apply. I’m still surprised that the 3 second duration is a Dps increase over the main stat difference. How much main stat do you need to make up for the DMG difference?

there was a post somewhere in the forums about that, but it is not anything close, i think it was over 100 each or something, i am laying to u if i give you actual number, but as far as i am aware we have not yet reached the cunning tier lvl to outperform the extra flyby tick, also flyby is great for burst so it is really useful, so at least for now you can be sure until they nerf our flyby/Os that they will they already said so, that it is good for now, i would recomend you get back up armoring anyways for when they nerf.

How much effect does the up coming changes in patch 2.6 have on the DPS difference between Scrapper and Dirty Fighting Skilltree for PvE. Since the only buff the Scrapper skilltree. Could the authors maybe give a suggestion?! Ty for replys.

concealment will be a new tree, completely new tree idk how the dmg buff, but will be probably easier to play, i would say with experience with bioware this buff will get you tied or above leth, considering the nerf on Orbital strike coming too, this is a relief in Concealment spec actually where using it is really tricky for new players, and lethality highly depend on it, so i would guess well played conceal will stand chance vs leth soon :D.

Thanks a lot for all the guides.

I find your threat management section to be very interesting.

Could you please confirm the different threat drop per AC:
Inquisitor
Sorcerer: Cloud mind -> Single target, although the tooltip says “Wipe your enemies’ thoughts”
Assassin: Force Cloak -> Removal from Combat

Warrior
Maraudeur: Force Camouflage -> “It wasn’t me”
Juggernaut: Enraged defense -> AoE + Single target or Double Single target or double AoE ?

Bounty Hunter
Powertech, Mercenary: Chaff Flare -> AoE

Imperial Agent
Sniper, Operative: Countermeasures -> AoE or Single target?
Operative: Cloaking screen -> Removal from Combat

Reading your guide, I understand that using Cloaking screen is enough to avoid pulling aggro, and you never use Countermeasures as Operative DPS, is that it ?

cloud mind has to have somoene targeted, and is single target in that purpose, however i have not given test on a full group, the point of it was to say taht you need to single target something to use somehow, when i go over sorc guide ill take a look and that and let you know :).
ssin yeah
mara yeah
jug AoE
BH AoE
countermeasure mmmm, ill have to check that, never used it lol like you said in your last cloaking screen > threat drop, so ive never used it on my op at all, and rarely notice on my sniper tbh :S.

I changed my set bonus to the 2 pieces of Field tech pvp’s armor at Dirty Fighting Scoundrel. The tooltip of XS Freighter Flyby says close to same damage over 12 sec, like over 9 sec. (8236 damage over 9 sec with 72 armorings, 8198 damage over 12 sec with 65 pvp armorings). I’m affraid the setbonus of pvp 2 pieces armoring do not increase the dmg.

thats tooltip bug, it does, it ticks for the same dmg, just 3 more second it is really easy to find out :)… howeever they nerfing it 2.6 so this will need changes.

I went back to look at my logs (pre v2.5), and found that shrap bomb (corrosive grenade) ticks a dot as soon as it hits AND right before it fades (at the 21 second mark). I assume this mechanic hasn’t changed since then. If not, here is my question…Won’t you clip that lost dot if you activate a new shrap bomb early? Isn’t that a net dps loss?

You would never activate another vital shot (corrosive dart) before its sixth tick at the 18 second mark (mostly because it takes three seconds for the first dot to tick after it is activated). Eventhough shrap bomb applies the first dot immediately upon activation, i don’t understand how clipping its 8th dot isn’t a dps loss. You may not be “losing” the last dot because it is immediately being reapplied, but you are losing a gcd to fire off a harder hitting ability like quick shot (overload shot).

Hey Dulfy. Love the work you put into this website. Quick question: How is it that Lethality is a 7 in single target dps and Dirty Fighting is a 9.5? Thanks in advance.

Hey Dulfy. Love the site. Im just curious how Lethality is a 7.5 single target damage while Dirty Fighting is a 9.5. Maybe I am missing something there. Thanks in advance.

I don’t understand why you don’t have any points in K.O. It is probably the most essential talent in the Scrapper tree.

Just a quick question regarding the 2 set bonus for Scrapper spec… LvL 50 enforcer set bonus is rakata gear right?.. how are you supposed to get that now days? rakata don’t drop anymore correct? id like to try that out actually . ty

some issues with the scrapper section (not updated for 2.7, auto flying fist, not 70%) also opening with shoot first > backblast wastes flechette round ticks… the opening i use: (precast flyby)>(fr)shoot first>blaster whip>sucker punch>sucker punch>(fr) backblast>sucker punch>(pugnacity) sucker punch>vital shot>blaster whip >sucker punch>sucker punch>(fr)backblast>blaster whip>sucker punch>disappearing act>(fr)shoot first>(cool head)sucker punch>blaster whip>sucker punch>sucker punch. After that, you have a static rotation of (fr)backblast>blaster whip>sucker punch>flurry of bolts>vital shot>blaster whip>sucker punch>sucker punch>(fr)backblast>blaster whip>sucker punch>flurry of bolts>flurry of bolts>blaster whip>sucker punch>sucker punch.

with this rotation, you get maximum sustained dps. (most backblast and sucker punch uses while using flurry of bolts as minimally as possible.) also, this rotation is 100% static as pugnacity and shoot first(with cool head) always fall into the same place they do the opener.

On the 1.5 million dummy as proof of concept:

http://www.torparse.com/a//1/0/Damage+Dealt

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