SWTOR 3.0 Shield Tech Powertech Tanking Guide written by Milas of Harbinger. Updated for patch 3.1.1[toc]
Intro to Shield Tech Tanking
Shield tech is one of the three tanking classes of SWTOR. It is hands down the most sturdy of the three classes and comes with so much passive mitigation. As a player there is little active mitigation you have to account for (heat blast + shield enhancers) and the rest of your mitigation comes from shielding incoming attacks. If you couldn’t tell from the name, shield is love and life. In this guide we’ll cover everything from gearing, to highest possible DPS, proper use of cooldowns, and the most important part, killing bosses.
Introduced in game update 3.0, utilities are advanced class specific and as I like to say took everything that was “overpowered” about hybrid builds and gave them to you for free. No longer will your raid be upset at you for not being in hybrid spec… you’ll get all the goodies and full mitigation. Powertechs landed on the upside of this change and if/when utilities get nerfed, PT’s will be one of the first ones touched.
- Pneumatic boots – Increases your passive MS by 15%
- Reflective Armor – When close and personal is triggered will deal “X” to attackers in 10 meters
- Bracer Propellant – Increases cast range of flame burst by 5 and radius of Flame Sweep by 2.
- Engulfing Flames – Increases Flame Sweep damage by 25%
- Iron Will – Decreases the cool down of determination by 30 seconds and hydraulics override by 5 seconds.
- Pyro Shield – Energy Shield will ignite and deal “x” damage per second to attackers nearby.
- Torque Boosters – Increases hydraulics override by four seconds
- Accelerated Reel – Decreases cool down of grapple by 15 seconds
- Sonic Rebounder – Give nearby allies a reflective shield that absorbs next incoming attack
- Prototype Electro Surge – Reduces cooldown of electro dart
- Shield Cannon – Shoulder cannon missiles heal you for 5% of total heath
- Enhanced Paralytics – Increases the stun duration of electro dart and carbonize by one second.
- Overdrive – Increases move speed by 45% while hydraulics override is active
As you can see, there are lots to choose from, so I’ll generally respec for most encounters in Ravagers/ToS. Below are the load outs I use per boss fight:
- Sparky – #2
- Bulo – #1
- Torque – #4
- Blaster – #2
- Coratanni – #2
- Malaphar – #4
- Sword Squadron – #2
- Underlurker – #1
- Commanders – #3
- Revan – #2
Scaled 1-3 for each tank class. #1 – best/easiest
- Single Target Threat: 2 ( #1 if using Shoulder cannon on pull)
- Single Target DPS: 1
- AoE Target Threat: 2
- AoE Target DPS: 1 (sustained can spam more sweep + Firestorm)
- Group Utility: 2 ( Oil + Sonic Rebounder)
- Rotation Difficulty: 3
- Defensive Cooldowns: 3
- Spikiness: 1
- Mobility: 1
Gearing and Stats Priority
The way that I and the other Zorz tanks gear is opposite the widely accepted “mean mitigation” theory crafting. We and this guide value HP values more over overall mitigation as we gear for progression content and pushing for world firsts. We don’t value DTPS as others do. Our goal is surviving encounters in as little gear as possible and accounting for spikes. DTPS isn’t what kills a tank. It’s mistakes, lack of healing, and taking huge spikes so we gear for larger HP pools.
If you would like more information on “mean” mitigation and proper mods/enhancements following that gearing method, visit this post ( KBN shout out)
Accuracy: 10% given from Tank Stance + 1% Companion buff = 101% Melee Accuracy
Tank Mitigation: Shield is king, you’ll stack this until you can stack no more. If and when you can take shield you take it over absorb and defense. The foundation of PT tanking is shielding attacks or getting IGC procs to get 3 heat screen to use heat blast. We also get the most out of passive mitigation, getting full mitigation uptime is as simple as using heat blast and ensuring you have three stacks of shield enhancers up ( rail shot + rocket punch.)
Stat priority: Shield > Absorb > Defense
- x3 Deflecting 38B mods
- x6 Weighted 38B mod
- x7 Sturdiness enhancement 38
- x2 Deciever Demolishers Mk-1 implant
- x1 Deciever Demolishers Mk-1 module
- x1 Revanite relic of Reactive Warding
- x1 Revanite relic of Fortunate Redoubt
As of 3/16/15 here are my in-game ratios with Advanced Anodyne Fortitude Stim:
- Defense Rating: 629
- Shield Rating: 1928
- Absorption Rating: 1123
My end game goal in min/maxed 198 gear is about:
- Shield: 1800-1900
- Absorb: 1200-1400
- Defense: 550-620
- HP : 57k
You’re also in luck. During HM content, the developers make it easy to gear the way I do. See this post.
Armorings: Commando, you dont need aim. You’re not a DPS.
Mods: B mods = best mods. You’re trading mitigation stat for endurance at a 1:1 rate. Again you don’t need aim
Enhancements: Immunity and Sturdiness are back and once I’ve reached my HP pool these will be BiS. Until I’m at the point Bulwark/Bastion enhancements are fine.
Trade off is + 26 endurance for + 29 main so not exactly 1:1. This will be your secondary stop for HP however as other conversions are much worse.
Implants/Ear piece is + 44/- 47 so Deceiver ultimate comm pieces are extremely good.
Quick gearing out of the gate
- Get implants/earpiece for 100 ultimate comms
- B mods 80/100 per
- Ruusan relics of Fortunate Redoubt (Defense Rating) and Reactive Warding (X amount of Absorb Shield).
- (2) Heal Blast increases DR by 2% for five seconds – Really vital basically 2% free DR.
- (4) Rocket punch reduces the CD of taunts by two seconds – Rather meh you don’t need taunts, maybe on 2 encounters does this set bonus gain value.
- (6) Increases the duration of oil slick & Energy shield by 3/4 seconds. (upgraded version of the old four piece prior to 3.0)
You should run the new six piece in general. But until you have the 6/7 pieces required, you should run 2 piece new, four piece old
- 14 Shield augments
Abilities and Rotation
PT tanking is rather boring when it comes to managing maximum mitigation its nearly as simple as doing your rotation and using Heat Blast at proper times. As long as you are using Heat Blast fairly often (I personally use it off CD unless I know a large attack is coming) and keeping three stacks of Shield enhancers up.
Abilities in your main rotation:
- Flame Burst
- Rocket Punch (Shield Enhancers)
- Rail Shot (get Shield Enhancers )
- Heat Blast (active Absorb % Increase)
- Rapid Shots
- Jet Charge
- Shoulder Cannon
Situational abilities (out of range or AOE):
- Explosive Dart
- Death From Above
- Missile Blast
Highest opener threat-wise:
- x4 pre-loaded Shoulder Cannons (off GCD) – As a PT Shoulder Cannons have a 5% heal in utility. 2827 x 4 = 11308. Smart and optimal play has you using these as a heal/DCD. I personally use them off CD.
- Jet Charge
- Rocket punch
- Rail Shot
- Taunt (off GCD)
- Firestorm proc or no proc (Flame engine proc)
- Rocket Punch if reset
- Flame Sweep/Flame Burst
- Heat Blast (Soon as you receive three heat screens)
- Heat Blast (Mitigation)
- Rocket Punch ( Reset City & Shield Enhancers )
- Rail Shot (Shield Enhancers)
Mid Fight Rotation:
- Firestorm off CD / Flame Engine proc
- Rocket Punch
- Rail Shot
- Heat Blast
If/when > 30-35 heat, do Rapid Shots and try to proc Flame Engine and use Heat Blast as soon as available.
Thermal Sensor Override & Vent Heat – Use your heat aggressively. It’s easy to push your heat to at least 70 and Vent Heat. You can also go into “heat drop phase” if that’s not available: Heat Blast & Flame Engine + TSO/Heat Blast, this should bring you back to nearly 0 heat.*
Highest Possible DPS Rotation
AoE Rotation and Ability Priorities
- Jet Charge
- Death From Above
- Flame Sweep
- AoE Taunt
If possible you want to start with Jet Charge to get Flame Surge ( free two Flame Sweeps), and leap in and start with Firestorm into DFA followed by Flame Sweep x2 into a AoE taunt. You’ll basically flame sweep until you need to vent heat / Flame Engine procs / adds die.
I’m of the belief of using cooldowns proactively is the best way to maximize the efficiency of them. I’ll often pop them when I know damage spikes are incoming to reduce damage. I feel that it’s next to pointless to pop a cooldown when you are in survival mode (<30%) because the chances of dying are much higher using a cool down in advance of extreme danger to reduce the incoming damage load.
To see how I use cool downs in encounters see the playlist
- Energy Shield – Increases damage reduction by 25% for 15 seconds.
- Explosive Fuel – Increases defense chance by 35% for 15 seconds
- Kolto Overload – If your HP % drops below 35% and heals you for 35% of your max health for 8 seconds.
- Exotech Absorb Adrenal – Increases armor rating by 1675 for 15 seconds
- Prototype Anodyne Medpac – 7192-7533 heal. HoT over 15 seconds 2750
- Sonic Rebounder (raid cooldown) – Reflects the next incoming attack for those that have the absorb shield.
- Oil Slick – Reduce enemy’s accuracy by 30% while inside the area
Tanking and You & How to Improve
Tanking is rather simplistic and often people are scared to tank when in my opinion it’s the easiest of the three roles. Tanking is perceived as difficult because if/when you mess up it’ll lead to a wipe and people think if you can’t hold threat/aggro you aren’t a good tank. The number one thing that I see new tanks doing is holding onto taunts as if they were money. Please taunt away in this game, especially with the new four piece bonus which basically allows you to taunt and multiply your threat off cooldown.
The next mistake I see tanks do is taunt without proper threat. Please do your highest threat abilities before taunting. Leading with a taunt will 9/10 lead to you losing threat to a adequate DPS within seconds.
Know the encounters like a book. The more you know about the incoming damage profiles and abilities you’ll be hit with, the more knowledge you can use. In particular you should know which cooldowns are most effective in each situation so you don’t waste them. This doesn’t exactly apply to Shield tech as we are limited on the “cheese” but for example knowing all the abilities you can Force Shroud or Saber Reflect is valuable information.
Reflective Armor – When close and personal is triggered will deal “X” to attackers in 10 meters
Working as intended
Working as intended
( HIGUYS shrouds stacks 10-20 and takes no damage)
It’s the small things you do while raiding that makes encounters easier and less of a struggle. The more knowledge you have as a tank, the easier you make it for your raid.
Stuff I suggest you start to think about/use
- Target of target
- Record yourself playing ( write down your mistakes) and analyze week to week to find improvements
- Don’t stress about DTPS it’s a stupid stat and the variance from pull to pull comes down to mitigation.
- If/when you die over the course of a raid night, determine why after raid, not during it.
Experience and preference triumphs anything you’ll read and or be told. I’m arrogant and stubborn I can tell you everything about encounters. That doesn’t mean I’m the best. You’re not a DPS where the highest number obtained makes your rotation correct on a dummy. Tanking is touch and feel and the more experience you gain the easier it becomes.
About the author
I’m Milas, I’m the best, kidding no really I am the best. I’m the GM of <Zorz>, I like raiding and doing hard content. I’ve been doing “progression” raiding since 1.2 and still enjoy every minute of it. I’ve always dabbled in tanking just never did it fully until I started raiding with <EDE> on the toon Faker. One day madness sorcs will rise again and you’ll see me in a kill video near you on it. Until then you can found me in the comment section below, @ http://zorzz.enjin.com/ or on twitter @jdotter707.
In closing I’d like to thank Dulfy for hosting my guide and the following people.
Shout out to Toggle, Thiol, Carl, Freaky, and Smugglin for teaching/molding me into the tank I am today.
Shout out to my healers Sorvali and Raulos can you please get good numbers?
Shout out to everyone in Zorz for putting up with me on a weekly basis.