SWTOR Pyrotech and Advanced Prototype Powertech DPS Class Guide

A guide to SWTOR Powertech Pyrotech and Advanced Prototype DPS specs for PvE. Written and edited by Invinc and Vindrik of Harbinger

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Overview

The Powertech is one of the 3 classes that has access to a taunt and defensive cooldowns that allow them to offtank should the need arise, as well as being one of the two melee dps classes with heavy armor. Although Powertech dps don’t have a charge like its tank counterpart, they do have a few other abilities to make up for it, such as Grapple, Hydraulic Overrides and a few ranged abilities. The ranged single target and AoE taunts can be extremely useful in certain boss fights to prevent adds from attacking healers, as a back up for tanks in tough situations, or simply being the one to take some rather heavy damage on a mechanic instead of other, less heavily armored dps. Dps as a Powertech is currently a relatively hard class to play well compared to other melee dps, as it needs more practice and skill to perform to a similar standard, however in the hands of a skilled player is still capable of excelling. You have access to three viable raiding specs as a Powertech dps:

  1. Pyrotech used to deal the highest damage by a significant margin prior to Rise of the Hutt Cartel, however due to changes in abilities and the talent trees this is no longer the case. It remains a very simplistic spec to play.
  2. Advanced Prototype is now more viable than it had been previously. A harder spec to play than full Pyrotech, there was never really a reason to play it due to its lackluster dps, however currently its potential damage output is rather reasonable.
  3. A Hybrid Pyrotech / Advanced Prototype build is currently the most popular Powertech dps spec, as it has the highest potential dps, however it is also the most difficult spec to play due to the mixed management of abilities from both Pyrotech and Advanced Prototype trees.(This spec is no longer viable for 2.6 due to the changes and will not be covered here).

Offensive Cooldowns:

  1. Thermal Sensor Override: Your next ability costs no Heat
  2. Explosive Fuel: Increases your critical strike chance by 25% for a short while

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 short while.

Tricks of the Trade:

  1. Single target and AoE taunts
  2. Hydraulic Overrides: Increases movement speed and gives immunity to knockbacks, snares and physics effects for a few seconds
  3. Grapple: Pulls an enemy target to your location
  4. Carbonize: Brief AoE stun
  5. Shoulder Cannon: Loads 4-7 missiles over time (depending on your spec), which can be fired at your target. Firing these missiles does not respect the GCD and can be fired while stunned
  6. Stealth Scan: Reveal stealthed enemies in a small area
  7. Vent Heat: Instant Heat reduction.

Pyrotech

Pyrotech (4 / 6 / 36 ): http://swtor.askmrrobot.com/skills/powertech#130-1302-121230322101122203323

swtor-pyrotech-powertech-dps-class-guide-build

1.1 Rates (1-10):


  • Single Target Dps: 7
  • AoE Damage: 5
  • Group Utility: 6
  • Rotation Difficulty: 3
  • RNG Dependant: Yes
  • 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
  • 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 Tech’s
  • Combustible 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 200 Critical rating and 400 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:


  • Rail Shot is your hardest hitting and most important ability. It is at the top of your priority list because you should never waste a proc from Prototype Particle Accelerator (PPA), however using it immediately after the proc is not always necessary, since the PPA talent has a 6 second internal CD. This means that using it at any point within the next 3 GCDs after it procs won’t cause your procs to overlap, and can allow you to re-dot if necessary. PPA works slightly differently here than for Mercenary Pyrotechs, as Mercenaries have longer cast times, meaning that they have 4 abilities between Rail Shots. Powertechs, on the other hand, only use instant abilities, making it 5 abilities instead. Rail Shot is affected by a variety of talents:
    1. Superheated Rail: Ignores 30% of the target’s armor, vents 8 Heat if it hits a burning target, and refreshes your Cylinder’s dot.
    2. Prototype Particle Accelerator: Flame Burst has 45% chance and Rocket Punch has a 60% chance to refresh the CD of Rail Shot and make your next one free. Has a 6 second internal CD
    3. Rain of Fire: Increases damage dealt by 9%
    4. Firebug: Increases Critical damage dealt by 30%
    5. Puncture: Ignores 45% of the target’s armor
    6. Rail Loaders: Increases damage dealt by 3%
  • Shoulder Cannon is an interesting CD and mechanic that no other class uses. It has a relatively long CD, but allows you to fire several missiles off the GCD and while stunned. Loading these missiles before a fight starts and using them as part of your opening rotation helps to maximize your burst and capitalise on the effects of your Relics, Adrenals and Explosive Fuel.
  • Incendiary Missile is an important dot to maintain on your target as often as possible, as it will buff most of your abilities as well as dealing decent damage. Using it on multiple targets where both the fight and your Heat allows you to is an option to split your dps between multiple targets. It is affected by a variety of talents:
    1. Firebug: Increases Critical damage dealt by 30%
    2. Burnout: Increases damage dealt by 30% on targets under 30% HP
    3. Power Bracer: Increases damage dealt by 6%
    4. Prototype Burn Enhancers: Increase Critical chance by 6%
  • Thermal Detonator is an important part of your rotation, but it’s not the most important. It deals significant damage, but you should never delay a Rail Shot proc by using it. Delaying it by an extra GCD in order to proc PPA will give you a significant benefit over using Thermal Detonator immediately. It is affected by a variety of talents:
    1. Firebug: Increases Critical damage dealt by 30%
    2. Burnout: Increases damage dealt by 30% on targets under 30% HP
    3. Power Bracer: Increases damage dealt by 6%
    4. Prototype Burn Enhancers: Increases Critical chance by 6%
  • Rocket Punch is prioritised over Flame Burst for one major reason; it has a higher chance to proc PPA. Due to this, using Rocket Punch every second PPA window will maximise its utility, lowering your chances of having poor RNG from Flame Burst. It is affected by several talents:
    1. Rain of Fire: Increases damage dealt by 9%
    2. Prototype Particle Accelerator: Has a 60% chance to refresh the CD of Rail Shot and make your next one free. Has a 6 second internal CD
    3. Iron Fist: Increases damage dealt by 8%
    4. Power Bracer: Increases damage dealt by 6%
  • Flame Burst is your primary filler ability. It has no CD, deals high damage by combining with your Cylinder, and procs PPA. It should only take priority above other other abilities if you are trying to proc PPA, and otherwise should only ever be used as a filler ability. It is affected by several talents:
    1. Bursting Flame: Automatically triggers Combustible Gas Cylinder
    2. Prototype Particle Accelerator: Has a 45% chance to refresh the CD of Rail Shot and make your next one free. Has a 6 second internal CD
    3. Firebug: Increases Critical damage dealt by 30%
    4. Prototype Burn Enhancers: Increases Critical chance by 6%
  • Flame Thrower is an interesting ability, as it is not meant to be used as a Pyrotech, however its high damage and the recent fixes to the ability make it occasionally more viable to use instead of Flame Burst fillers. Using this ability is completely optional and should be up to the discretion of the player as to whether they can manage their rotation’s Heat and proc rates properly with its addition to the rotation.

1.5 Ability Nomenclature and Rotation Priority:


  1. Rail Shot: RS
  2. Shoulder Cannon: SC
  3. Incendiary Missile: IM
  4. Thermal Detonator: TD
  5. Rocket Punch: RP
  6. Flame Burst: FB
  7. Flame Thrower: FT
  8. Rapid Shots

Cooldowns:

  1. Thermal Sensor Override: TSO
  2. Explosive Fuel: EF
  3. Vent Heat: VH

1.6 Opening Rotation:


Without Flame Thrower:

Pre-load SC + TD + IM + Relic / Adrenal / EF / RS + RP / SC + RS / SC + FB + FB + FB + RS + Proceed to overheat + VH

swtor-pyrotech-powertech-dps-class-guide-opening-rotation

With Flame Thrower:

Pre-load SC + TD + IM + Relic / Adrenal / EF / RS + RP / SC + RS / SC + FT + FB + RS + Proceed to overheat + VH

swtor-pyrotech-powertech-dps-class-guide-opening-rotation-2

1.7 Rotation Strategy:


Pyrotech Powertech’s rotations follow a simple priority order, and as such the general rotation is not complicated at all. Rail Shot procs no more often than every 4 GCDs (6 seconds), so there will always be 3 abilities after a Rail Shot before the next proc, and Flame Burst has 100% of causing the Cylinder dot to proc. Rocket Punch has higher chance of triggering Rail Shot procs, so using it as the 4th GCD is always a good idea, and you should always be keeping Incendiary Missile up, while using Thermal Detonator on cooldown. You should use Shoulder Cannon every time its cooldown finishes, and fire it between GCDs. With the 2 piece set bonus, this timing window correlates well with the cooldown of Explosive Fuel, so you can activate Shoulder Cannon to begin stacking the missiles, but hold off on firing them until you activate Explosive Fuel to give them an increased crit chance.

15-20 second rotation (10-14 GCDs, no opener). Full ability rotation:

Without Flame Thrower:

Note:Thermal Detonator comes Off CD right after the PPA proc, delaying the use of rail shot.

RS + FB + IM + RP + RS + FB + FB + FB + TD + RS

swtor-pyrotech-powertech-dps-class-guide-rotation

Without Flame Thrower, Regular Rotation:
RS + FB + IM + RP + RS + TD + FB + FB + RS

swtor-pyrotech-powertech-dps-class-guide-rotation-3

With Flame Thrower:

RS + FB + IM + RP + RS + FT + FB + TD + RS

swtor-pyrotech-powertech-dps-class-guide-rotation-2

Video showing rotation on a dummy

1.8 AoE Ability Priority:


  1. Death From Above
  2. Flame Thrower
  3. Flame Sweep

1.9 Sample Parse Analysis:


With Flame Thrower:

swtor-pyrotech-powertech-dps-class-guide-sample-parse-flamethrower

Without Flame Thrower

swtor-pyrotech-powertech-dps-class-guide-sample-parse-without-flamethrower

  • Rail Shot being your most important ability, it should come as no surprise that it also deals the most damage, and as such maximizing your PPA procs will always be a dps increase, even if you don’t use Rail Shot immediately after the proc.
  • The second section of your dps is due to Flame Burst and either Combustible Gas Cylinder or Rocket Punch, depending on your play style. Considering that Flame Burst procs your Cylinder and is the main way that it is maintained throughout a fight, the two abilities have a great deal of synergy. Rocket Punch may take the third spot from the Cylinder dot if you are using it on CD. If you are using the Flame Thrower rotation, the choice of which abilities you replace with Flame Thrower (primarily Rocket Punch or Flame Burst) will alter which ability loses dps in order to increase that done by Flame Thrower, and subsequently alter the damage listings for your parse.
  • The third section of your dps is rather tightly grouped. If using the Flame Thrower rotation, Flame Thrower should be taking the fourth or fifth spot depending on your use of Rocket Punch. The remainder of the section is filled with your remaining dots and Thermal Detonator. The Incendiary Missile dot should be taking the next spot in your rotation due to its consistent uptime, while Thermal Detonator and its associated dot will follow. Since these abilities are dependant on one another, their relative damage will always be linked.
  • The final section of your damage comes from the initial damage from Incendiary Missile, Shoulder Cannon, and Rapid Shots.

1.10 Tips and Tricks:


  • Each Rail Shot proc should happen after 4 GCDs (6 seconds), and the proc rate is quite high. As such, keep in mind that your previous RS GCD counts towards this timer, so you should be using 4 abilities between each RS before the next proc. Because of this, always use either Flame Burst, or preferably Rocket Punch, as your fourth ability. (for example. Flame Burst (proc)(1 GCD) + Rail shot (2 GCD) + Flame burst (3 GCD) + Flame Burst (4 GCD) + Rocket Punch (Proc) (5th ability) )
  • Keep in mind that RS 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 RS 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 IM or TD. The short CD on TD fits more easily into the regular rotation and should be easy to manage the Heat it generates, but IM is often a cause of overheating if not used well, due to its irregular schedule. It’s recommended to use TSO on either of those abilities due to their high Heat output, but try to avoid using on any other ability, especially Flame Burst. What you might expect when using it on Flame Burst, for example, may be FB + TSO / FB, can instead become FB + TSO / RS, as the RS proc may cause you to immediately hit RS without thinking while TSO is activated, wasting a CD to make RS 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 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. Keep in mind that as a Pyrotech, you have a reduced cooldown on Vent Heat, and should be using it as often as possible to capitalise on this benefit.
  • Shoulder Cannon is a must use in any Powertech dps rotation. The ability doesn’t respect the GCD, so you can use your SC between each ability GCD to get a completely free dps boost.

Advanced Prototype

Advanced Prototype (8 / 36 / 2 ) http://swtor.askmrrobot.com/skills/powertech#300230-13231101212221202021322-20

swtor-advanced-prototype-powertech-dps-class-guide-build

2.1 Rates (1-10):


  • Single Target Dps: 5
  • AoE Damage: 9
  • Group Utility: 6
  • Rotation Difficulty: 3
  • RNG Dependant: No
  • Burst: 6
  • 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
  • 120-300 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 Tech’s
  • High Energy 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 120 Critical rating and 300 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

2.4 Ability Explanation:


  • Shoulder Cannon is an interesting CD and mechanic that no other class uses. It has a relatively long CD, but allows you to fire several missiles off the GCD and while stunned. Loading these missiles before a fight starts and using them as part of your opening rotation helps to maximize your burst and capitalise on the effects of your Relics, Adrenals and Explosive Fuel. Note that you cannot fire the missiles while channeling Flame Thrower. It is affected by one talent:
    1. Power Loaders: Increases damage dealt by 15% and instantly loads 3 additional rockets
  • Retractable Blade is your only dot in this spec. It buffs all of the damage you deal on top of its own substantial damage. It should be maintained on your target at all times in order to capitalise on the damage increase that it provides. It is affected by a variety of talents:
    1. Hot Iron: Increases damage dealt by 6%
    2. Serrated Blades: Increases damage dealt by 15%
    3. Blood Tracker: Increases damage dealt to bleeding targets by 3%
    4. Prototype Weapon Systems: Increases Critical damage dealt by 30%
  • Immolate is a high damage, low cost ability with a short CD and great utility, making it an excellent ability overall. Due to the buffs it provides for both Rocket Punch and Flame Thrower, it should be used on cooldown. It is affected by a variety of talents:
    1. 1. Prototype Burn Enhancers: Increases Critical chance by 6%
    2. 2. Flame Barrage: Makes your next Rocket Punch free
    3. 3. Prototype Flame Thrower: Grants a stack of Prototype Flame Thrower buff, making your next Flame Thrower deal 20% more damage and be immune to interrupts, stacking up to 3 times
    4. 4. Hyper Fuel: Increases damage dealt by 6%
    5. 5. Prototype Weapon Systems: Increases Critical damage dealt by 30%
  • Flame Thrower is your hardest hitting ability and the core of your rotation. It should be used as soon as its CD is available and you have 3 stacks of Prototype Flame Thrower. As Flame Sweep allows you to build these stacks, using it before a pull or during transitions where you can let your Heat dissipate naturally is a nice way to capitalise on the talent’s benefits and maximise your damage. Flame Thrower is affected by a variety of talents:
    1. Prototype Flame Thrower: Flame Sweep, Immolate and Flame Burst grant a stack of Prototype Flame Thrower, causing your next Flame Thrower to deal 20% more damage and be immune to interrupts. Stacks up to 3 times
    2. Hyper Fuel: Increases damage dealt by 4%
    3. Prototype Burn Enhancers: Increases Critical chance by 6%
    4. Advanced Tools: Reduces the CD by 3 seconds
  • Rail Shot in this spec doesn’t have as much damage or utility as its Pyrotech counterpart, however Rocket Punch causes your next Rail Shot to be a guaranteed crit. This makes it very efficient, and should be used as often as possible in combination with this proc, only being delayed by Flame Thrower or when its proc is not active. It is affected by several talents:
    1. Rail Loaders: Increases damage dealt by 6%
    2. Puncture: Ignores 45% of the target’s armor
    3. Charged Gauntlets: Rocket Punch makes your next Rail Shot a guaranteed Critical hit
  • Rocket Punch is an important part of your rotation, as the proc that causes it to be free allows you to naturally dissipate some Heat while using it, as well as buffing your next Rail Shot. Although it is ideal to always use Rocket Punch in combination with Flame Barrage, due to Rail Shot’s high damage output it is not recommended that you delay Rocket Punch significantly. Even without Rocket Punch being free, the Heat management for this spec is not overly difficult, and it should be at the player’s discretion as to whether they can afford to spend the Heat on Rocket Punch rather than delay. It is affected by a variety of talents:
    1. Iron Fist: Increases damage dealt by 8%
    2. Flame Barrage: Flame Burst has a 30% chance and Immolate has a 100% chance to make your next Rocket Punch free
    3. Charged Gauntlets: Makes your next Rail Shot a guaranteed Critical hit
    4. Prototype Weapon Systems: Increases Critical damage dealt by 30%
  • Flame Burst is your general filler ability. Although it deals less damage than in Pyrotech spec due to the lack of Combustible Gas Cylinder, it is still your best option to fill extra time between CDs, as well as having a chance to proc Flame Barrage and build Prototype Flame Thrower stacks. Each rotation between Flame Thrower cooldowns should have either 1 Immolate and 2 Flame Bursts or 3 Flame Bursts in order not to delay your Flame Thrower. It is affected by a variety of talents:
    1. Prototype Burn Enhancers: Increases Critical chance by 6%
    2. Flame Barrage: Has a 30% chance to make your next Rocket Punch free
    3. Prototype Flame Thrower: Grants a stack of Prototype Flame Thrower, making your next Flame Thrower deal 20% more damage and be immune to interrupts, stacking up to 3 times
    4. Hyper Fuel: Increases damage dealt by 4%
    5. Hot Iron: Increases damage dealt by 8%

2.5 Ability Nomenclature and Rotation Priority:


  1. Shoulder Cannon: SC
  2. Retractable Blade: RB
  3. Immolate: IO
  4. Flame Thrower: FT
  5. Rail Shot (proc): RS
  6. Rocket Punch (proc): RP
  7. Flame Burst: FB
  8. Rapid Shots

Cooldowns:

  1. Thermal Sensor Override: TSO
  2. Explosive Fuel: EF
  3. Vent Heat: VH

2.6 Opening Rotation:


Note: You can pre-stack 3 stacks of Prototype Flame Thrower by using Flame Sweep outside of combat prior to the pull

Pre-load SC & FT stacks + RB + Relic / Adrenal / EF / FT + IO / SC + RP / SC + RS / SC + FB / SC + FB / SC + FB / SC + Proceed to overheat + VH

swtor-advanced-prototype-powertech-dps-class-guide-opening-rotation

2.7 Rotation Strategy:


As an Advanced Prototype Powertech, your biggest power focus is on your buffed Flame Throwers and quick Heat dissipation thanks to several talents. Flame Thrower should be used at 3 stacks and on CD every time, Retractable Blade should have a 100% uptime on your target due to the damage increase it grants, and Immolate should be used on CD due to its high damage, low cost and procs. Rocket Punch should be used on CD due to how often you will have its proc up, and Rail Shot should always be used after a Rocket Punch for the automatic crit. The increased number of charges and damage for Shoulder Cannon also mean that you will need to manage it well to ensure you get the most benefit possible out of it. Thermal Sensor Override is good to use on Flame Thrower for Heat management when you have Vent Heat on CD, as it’s your highest cost ability and will also give you several ticks of regeneration before your next ability.

15 – 20 second rotation (10 – 14 GCDs, no opener). Full ability rotation:

RB + IO + RP + RS + FB + FB + FT + RP + RB + IO + FB + FB + RS

swtor-advanced-prototype-powertech-dps-class-guide-rotation

Video showing rotation on a dummy

2.8 AoE Ability Priority:


  1. Flame Thrower
  2. Death From Above
  3. Multi-Retractable Blade
  4. Flame Sweep

2.9 Sample Parse Analysis:


swtor-advanced-prototype-powertech-dps-class-guide-sample-parse

 

  • Your highest damaging ability should always be Flame Thrower for both single target and AoE fights. Its damage is great and the entire rotation cycles between buffing it and waiting for its to be available. Using it on CD and with 3 stacks is necessary for maximum dps.
  • The second section should be split between the majority of your abilities, and the damage dealt by some of them depends on the fight and your uptime on the boss. Flame Burst should be ahead of the other abilities by a significant margin for fights with little movement and high uptime on the boss, however fights with more movement and less uptime can reduce the difference in damage done between Flame Burst and your other abilities. Since Rail Shot is a guaranteed crit and should be being used on a regular schedule, its damage should be relatively consistent. Retractable Blade’s dot should be relative to the fight, however. Immolate and Rocket Punch are final two abilities in this section, and while Immolate should generally be higher than Rocket Punch, having a lucky run with crits can cause them to be very close.
  • The final portion of your dps goes to Shoulder Cannon, Rapid Shots and the initial damage from Retractable Blade. All of these abilities should have relatively stable damage outputs due to their regular use (consistent uptime for Retractable Blade, cooldown usage for Shoulder Cannon and proper Heat management for Rapid Shots).

2. 10 Tips and Tricks:


  • Thermal Sensor Override should be used on Flame Thrower, as it will give you much better Heat management, especially during the downtime between Vent Heat cooldowns.
  • Shoulder Cannon is a must use in any Powertech dps rotation. The ability doesn’t respect the GCD, so you can use your SC between each ability GCD to get a completely free dps boost.
  • 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 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.

  • BHelite

    Excellent!

  • Dikastis

    I’ve been playing AP since late beta, I’ve enjoyed it’s good dps, resource management, survivability, and straight forward rotation. I think your AP rotation is too convoluted. The standard rotation that I’ve been using since hitting 55 is the following:

    Rocket Punch – Flame Burst – Flame Burst – Immolate – Flame Thrower – Retractable Blade – Rail Shot – Unload

    Rocket Punch applies Charged Gauntlets for 15s, making Rail Shot a guaranteed Crit

    Immolate applies Flame Barrage for 15s, making the next Rocket Punch cost no heat

    Following my rotation, Rail Shot is used before Charged Gauntlets runs out, and Flame Barrage lasts until the next Rocket Punch.

    By adding in Unload, the highest my heat gets to is ~32, and Unload provides enough time for it to drop down before the next heat free Rocket Punch begins the rotation again.

    My opening rotation simply adds in Shoulder Cannon to the first 7 abilities.

    I invite people to test this rotation out to see the simplicity, but also the damage output. I can be reached in game at Dikastis on The Harbinger.

    • Carlos Eduardo Mata

      most sounds good as you say “easy” rotation, however adding an ability just because is efficient doesnt improve dps, in this case unload is out of all PT rotations most likely, it is “decent” and efficient but a dps lost most likely…. considering thats your opener, you are starting without FT, you are delaying Immolate (who is the most important CD ability beside FTH) FTH + RB + RS in most cases half the rotation would cause Overheat, it is better used with Free rocket punch or Immolate to vent some heat… and most of the time Ret blade has to be uesd before Flamethrower or the dot will run out half way during the Dot losing its talent buff.

      however if this is a “average rotation” and not opener, it is fine, beside unload, everything depends on the fight there is almost no spec that has a “generic” rotation, so basically this way could happen, the same way mine and quite other, however mine lines up with the opener i use so thats why i chose it :).

      • Dikastis

        I took some time to test different rotations, to find out how each performed. I tested on the Fleet Ops dummy, for 6 mins each rotation attempt, full buffs, no adrenal/stim, and no different openings, just the standard rotation. My parses were done in MOX, and I have the screen shots if requested.

        Rotation 1: RP – FB – FB – IM – FT – RB – RS – UN
        Duration: 361.21
        Total Damage: 873859
        DPS: 2419.3

        Rotation 2: RP – FB – FB – IM – FT – RB – RS
        Duration: 360.68
        Total Damage: 849563
        DPS: 2355.5

        Rotation 3: RB – IM – RP – RS – FB – FB – FT – Rapid Shot (used to sync up CDs)
        Duration: 360.92
        Total Damage: 875563
        DPS: 2425.9

        Rotation 4: RB – IM – RP – RS – FB – FB – FT – RP – RB – IM – FB – FB – RS – Rapid Shot – FT – Rapid Shot (the last three abilities were added to sync up CDs and create a repeatable rotation)
        Duration: 361.05
        Total Damage: 870473
        DPS: 2411

        Of the 4 rotations tested, the partial rotation presented above in the guide generated the highest DPS and overall damage. The rotation I currently use was 2nd for both DPS and damage. The expanded guide rotation was 3rd, but if someone wants to suggest different abilities to sync CDs and make the rotation repeatable, I’m willing to test again. Removing Unload from my rotation produced the worst results.

        All the rotations I tested kept heat levels manageable without requiring the use of Thermal Sensor Override or Vent Heat.

        After this testing, I will be switching to Rotation 3, but I was impressed with how my own rotation stood up in testing.

        • Xundiin

          If you add a 3rd FB in your rotation it will allow your CD’s to match up better. I use RP after immolate then after FT and then again right before FT, which resets it right back to where it was originally. So it looks like

          RB->IM->RP->RS->FB->FB->FB->FT->RP->RapidShot->RB->IM->
          RS->FB->FB->FB->RP->FT

    • Carlos Eduardo Mata

      for example, you are delaying rocket punch free 3 GCD there, in your rotation, beside the fact that FTH almsot never lines up together with 3 straight specially Immolate… would be RP + FB + FB + IM + RB + FTH + RP (free) + RS this way you have FTH + Free rocket punch venting heat…. a a more accurate way of this rotation would be: IM + RP (free) + RS + FB + FB + RB + FTH + RP (free) + Filler / FB + IM + RS

    • nucca

      unload should never be used. it is a worthless bh ability that only merc’s need. and if your not opening with a 3 stack flamethrower then you are not playing this spec even kind of well. if your not starting with a retractable blade then everything else you are losing the damage from the blood tracker skill in the tree that adds 3% more damage to bleeding targets. you should only use the 3 stack flamethrower when you use a retractable blade right before it. if you do that your rotation will be like this. RB, 3 stack FT, immolate, rocket punch, rail shot, flame burst, flame burst, 1 rapid shot and then RB and 3 stack again. obviously shoulder cannoning in between each of them after the first 3 stack FT. that will give u excellent heat management and keep the bleed up the entire time. there is no room in that rotation for unload and it doesnt do enough damage to even justify using it

      • Xundiin

        I agree with almost every thing you say, except I’ve tested FT at the beginning and at the end of the rotation, the amount of DPS difference isn’t there. It comes out exactly the same either way, as long as every thing else is done correctly.

  • Havik79

    Um, I think you made a mistake, my PT tank gets that kolto overload, you say pyro gets it, but yet proto does not?, I thought it was a BH ability for all specs.

    • Carlos Eduardo Mata

      kolto overload? all defensive CDs are in the “general overview” of the class not in each spec, so if that is what you are referring you confusing the overview with the first spec :)

      • Havik79

        2.1, is what I am talking about, it says no but it should say yes, the buff is tied to class not spec.
        “Sub 30% Talent or Ability Buffs: No.”

        • Quish’ian’adur

          this means the specc gains no dmg bonuses on bosses that fall below 30%health :)

          • Carlos Eduardo Mata

            ah yeah its for under 30% burn abilities, AKA pyro talent, Vicious Throw, Takedown for example.

  • Quish’ian’adur

    Hey Invinc.
    Great work as usual, but you made a mistake there in the pyro tree. Flame burst does not Trigger the combustible gas cylinder. This Talent was redesigned some time ago (i think 2.4). Now, your rocket Punch has a 100% Chance to trigger the Cylinder (If fully skilled) and the flame burst has a 60% Chance. Same goes for the vanguard.
    But great Guide, I’m gonna miss the hybrid, loved to Play it cause of it s intense ans complex Heatmanagement.

    • Carlos Eduardo Mata

      oh really? wow i totally missed that ill give it a try later today and test thanks!

      • Quish’ian’adur

        Yes its the bottom left talent of the Pyrotree.

  • Xundiin

    Your AP spec has wasted points in it. Taking reflective shield
    is a waste. The amount of damage it absorbs is crap and you need to be
    getting hit to lower the CD on your energy shield. You’d be better off
    putting those two points into reducing AOE damage and 1 point into your
    interupt CD.

    Also, you don’t stack crit as a AP powertech. It’s a huge DPS lost. I’m in mostly 78’s on my PT and every
    time I try and put some crit into the gear I drop over 100-200DPS. Not
    worth it, ALL power is what you need to go. A lot of abilities in AP
    have either auto crits or high crit chance on their own.

  • Hugo A Sanchez

    Did you update the pyro spec with the small buff we got?

    • Dubi

      I’d like to know as well.

  • Ryan

    I’ve seen it twice now on DPS specs on Dulfy in taunt and threat part…. Cloud Mind is no longer a single target threat drop!

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