4.0 Class Guides 4.0 Powertech 4.0 PvE SWTOR

SWTOR 4.0 Advanced Prototype Powertech PvE Guide by Kwerty

SWTOR 4.0 Advanced Prototypes Powertech PvE Guide by Kwerty


Introduction to Advanced Prototype

Boasting some ridiculous burst, mobility, and range (for a melee spec), Advanced Prototype is an excellent choice for a Powertech to spec into, despite recent nerfs.

On top of that, it also comes with some very good defensive capabilities for PvE. Boasting 30% damage reduction from AoE sources, heavy armor, 30% damage reduction while stunned, and more, AP is more than capable for off-tanking multiple times in a fight


Single Target Damage: 5/10

While it may have suffered from a major nerf with the loss of most of its bonus critical damage, AP Powertechs still aren’t the ‘worst’ spec out there. Though when you add in bonus damage from Reflective Armor and Pyro Shield (Utilities that rely on taking damage) and consider the benefits of high mobility, AP is more than capable of keeping up with the top specs like Marauders and Mercenaries.

AoE Damage: 6/10

AP’s AoE damage isn’t as good as its single target damage, relying mostly on the very large number of filler CDs available to it and the ridiculous amount of AoEs available to a powertech. Be warned though, that a large portion of your heat management comes from using Rail Shot on a bleeding target, so without proper management that 7/10 can quickly become a 4/10.

Burst Damage: 10/10

Even though the critical damage bonus was almost completely removed, AP Powertech’s still boast the best burst damage in the game, thanks to the supercrit mechanic for energy burst, the delay on Thermal Detonator, and the off-the-global-cooldown mechanic behind Shoulder Cannon. This, combined with your high mobility, is the #1 thing you are bringing with you into a raid.

Raid Utility: 8/10

With the large number of DCDs and access to a taunt, AP has the ability to off-tank in a number of fights. Not only that, but it can utilize a sonic rebounder every 45 seconds to negate a huge hit on at least 1 raid member, taking pressure of the healers. You also provide the armor + tech debuffs for the DPS in your raid, which are some of the best debuffs to currently have.

Survivability: 9/10

  • Heavy Armor? Check
  • AoE damage reduction? Check
  • Damage reduction while stunned? Check
  • Stupidly high mobility? Check
  • Extra defensive cooldowns provided by the tree? Check

Basically, if it weren’t for the stance locking on the rail shot reset + energy burst, AP PTs could be one of the best tanks in the game. And its a DPS discipline.

Character Setup

Stance and basic gear overview

As a DPS, one of the biggest things that inflences your output is how you set up your character beforehand. As such, you should ensure you have the following:

  1. Make sure your character is using High Energy Gas Cylinder. This will increases your Kinetic/Energy damage by 3%, and enable your procs.
  2. Get your accuracy to 100%. This requires slightly more than 680 rating
  3. Make sure you are using a set bonus. The higher the rating the better, but you definately need the 6-piece combat tech’s set bonus due to the huge increase in potential it provides. Worst case scenario, grab a set bonus from the PvP vendor (rating 204), as the bonus can fill remaining slots from the 216/220/224 gear.
  4. Avoid using enhancement from MK-4 gear (Common/Glowing/Radiant data crystals gear). THESE ARE A TRAP. The extra health is not worth the loss in power. 198 enhancements that are properly itemized are better than the enhancements from the rating 220 gear for radiant data crystals
  5. With all that in mind, use Critical, Alacrity and Accuracy Augments. These are better than Mastery or Power augments.
  6. As for relics? Get yourself a Serendipitous assault relic, and a Focused retribution relic. The crafted rating 186 stuff is actually better than the stuff from the Radiant Data Crystals vendor, so go looking for those if you can’t get a better one. You can try for a Devastating Vengeance, though as it doesn’t have as big a boost as the SA/FR, it is slightly worse and requires a significantly different gearing strategy I haven’t really looked in to.
  7. Finally, you want to have approximately 2 alacrity to every 3 Crit Rating you have. Doing so will give you approximately the amount of Crit and Alacrity that you want

More detailed Gearing

Normally, i’d have some graphs here to explain how to properly gear and how the crit/alacrity curve. However, as i’ve been procrastinating like crazy to get this out, those graphs are coming Soon™. So, have some numbers.

These numbers were generated by Bant over on the SWTOR forums, and he uses a similar method to what I did with previous iterations of the guide.

Note that these numbers assume all the gear is obtained through Tokens (not data crystals!), which means its actual best-in-slot gear, as opposed to the traps offered by data crystal gear.

Also note there is a fair bit of leeway in these numbers, being able to go around 200 points in either direction for Crit/Alacrity before a noticable change happens to DPS.

216 gear:

  • 2639 Power
  • 1183 Critical (1xE, 13xA, 2xC)
  • 760 Alacrity (5xE)
  • 681 Accuracy (4xE, 1xA)

220 gear:

  • 2779 Power
  • 1202 Critical (7xE, 2xC)
  • 817 Alacrity (1xE, 9xA)
  • 685 Accuracy (2xE, 5xA)

224 gear:

  • 2931 Power
  • 1243 Critical (3xE, 9xA, 2xC)
  • 840 Alacrity (5xE)
  • 701 Accuracy (2xE, 5xA)



  • Pneumatic Boots – Increases movement speed by 15%
  • Gyroscopic Allignment Jets – Whenever you are stunned, imobilized, knocked down or incapacitated, you vent 10 heat
  • Reflective Armor – Whenever close and personal activates within 10m of the individual who activated it, you deal minor elemental damage as recoil
  • Supressive Tools – Magnetic Blast and Flame Sweep slow all enemies they hit by 30%
  • Bracer Propellant – Increases the range of Magnetic Blast by 2m and the radius of flame sweep by 1m
  • Engulfing Flames – Flame Sweep does 25% more damage
  • Iron Will – Reduces the CD of Hydraulic Overrides by 10 seconds and the CD of determination by 30 seconds
  • Neural Delay – Neural Dart slows the target for the duration of the taunt.


  • No Escape – Stealth Scan has its CD reduced by 5 seconds. In addition, Grapple will root the target it pulls for 3 seconds, and Stealth Scan roots anyone it reveals for 3 seconds.
  • Pyro Shield – Deals recoil damage to enemies while Energy Shield is active.
  • Torque Boosters – Increases the duration of Hydraulic Overrides by 4 seconds.
  • Accelerated Reel – Grapples cooldown is reduced by 15 seconds.
  • Sonic Rebounder – Sonic Missile puts a shield on nearby allies, causing them to reflect the next direct attack fired at them. Does not effect yourself.
  • Prototype Electro Surge – Reduces the cooldown on Electro Dart by 10 seconds.
  • Hitman – Reduces the cooldown on Quell by 2 seconds.
  • Explored Area – Using Stealth Scan will cause allies in the area to gain a 50% speed boost. Does not affect yourself, and persists for 6 seconds on leaving the area.


  • Shield Cannon – Each time you fire shoulder cannon, you are healed for 3% of your health.
  • Enhanced Paralytics – Electro Dart and Carbonize’s stun effects last 1 second longer.
  • Automated Suit – Adrenaline Rush will purge hard-stun effects from players.
  • Liquid Cooling – Thermal Sensor Override will vent 10 heat over 5 seconds, and drop a minor amount of threat.
  • Fuel Additives – Explosive Fuel will reduce damage taken by 5% when not in Ion Gas Cylinder, and increase damage by 5% when you are.
  • Overdrive – Hydraulic Overrides provides an additional 45% move speed bonus while active (75% total)
  • Efficient Suit – Grapple and Shoulder cannon now have 20m range, and Electro Dart and Carbonize no longer generate heat.
  • Jet Speed – Jet Charge grants jet speed, which increases your move speed by 30% for 4 seconds. This duration is refreshed if you get hit while it is active.

Now most of these utilities are massive traps, but it is recommended that you take:


  • Bracer Propellant- You would be surprised at how much extra movement you get from 2m. Its not the 5m it used to be, but it is still one of the best utilities here
  • Iron Will – The reduced cooldown on Hydraulics is great for negating certain knockback mechanics, and also running around in non-mount zones of the operation.


  • Engulfing Flames – Is there a million adds and no AoEs going out? Take this!
  • Reflective Armor – Is there any AoE going out at all? Take this!

Every other talent is either a trap (e.g. Pneumatic Boots, which isn’t as good as Iron Will because you rarely need a constant speed boost, and the reduced CD on the temporary one is better), or a PvP focused talent.


  • Sonic Rebounder- This is your #1 raid mechanic benefit. It is able to negate a huge amount of big hits, and not taking it is letting your team down. Take it!


  • Torque Boosters – The increased duration on Hydraulics is nice to have, so there is pretty much no downside to taking it.
  • Pyro Shield – there is a LOT of raid damage in the operations now. This enables you to take Pyro Shield with piece of mind, knowing you are going to get huge benefits out of it. And with Jet Charge reducing the need for Hydraulics as a mobility tool, there is no better time to take Pyro Shield.

Other talents are definately traps. Hitman, for example, doesn’t reduce the amount of people you need to keep a target interrupted, and pretty much everything else is entirely for PvP.


  • Overdrive – Yeah I know we don’t have the 40% uptime on hold the line we used to, and we’re even not recommending Torque Boosters much anymore. The point is though, this is still a ridiculous boost to the extra speed provided by Hydraulic Overrides. The burst of speed it provides is exactly what you need for dodging specific mechanics, without going overboard, and it is, in my opinion, a must have with only 1 exception: If you never have to move, ever, then dont take it (e.g. Nefra with an RDPS pulling the droids away)


  • Liquid Cooling – The top priority for choice, this gives you an extra magnetic blast every 90 seconds or so. Never a bad idea to get more heat to play around with.
  • Shield Cannon – The less priority choice, take it when you need the extra healing because your healers are struggling. Not a top priority though.

Now while other talents may not be a trap or PvP focused (well, there are a couple), the other uses are on a per-fight basis, such as Enhanced Paralytics for Revanite Commanders, but you can’t really go wrong with the choices recommended above.


Discipline Talents

The AP discipline has the following talents gained by level up:

prototypemissilesilos Level 12 – Prototype Missile Silos
Your Explosive Dart has a 6 second shorter cooldown, deals 50% more damage, and refreshes your retractable blade bleed. In addition, Death from Above deals 10% more damage and has a 15 second shorter cooldown.
serratedblades Level 16 – Serrated Blades
Rocket Punch now provides the sundered debuff (-20% armor), and retractable blade’s bleed is 15% stronger.
protyperail Level 20 – Prototype Rail
Rail Shot ignores 30% of the targets armor, and if it hits a bleeding target it will vent 5 heat and refresh the duration of the bleed. It also lets you rail shot any target while in High Energy Cell.
stabilizedarmor Level 24 – Stabilized Armor
You take 30% less damage while stunned and from AoE sources.
powerbracer Level 28 – Power Bracer
Rocket Punch, Rail Shot, Magnetic Blast, Flame Sweep, Retractable Blade, Thermal Detonator and Energy Burst deal 5% more damage
prototypeparticleaccelerator Level 32 – Prototype Particle Accelerator
While in High Energy Cell, Rail Shot’s cooldown is reset by Explosive Dart, Rocket Punch, Magnetic Blast and Flame Sweep, and is also made free. This can only happen every 6 seconds.
bloodtracker Level 36 – Blood Tracker
You deal 3% more damage to bleeding targets
sonicdefense Level 40 – Sonic Defense
Activating Sonic MIssile increases your defense chance by 30% for 6 seconds.
infraredsensors Level 44 – Infrared Sensors
Increases your melee/ranged defense chance by 3% and your stealth detection level by 3
prototypeweaponsystems Level 48 – Prototype Weapon Systems
You deal 10% more damage with critical hits on Rocket Punch, Rail Shot, Magnetic Blast, Retractable Blade, Thermal Detonator and Energy Burst. In addition, Thermal Detonator makes the target susceptible (+5% damage taken from tech attacks).
energyrebounder  Level 52 – Energy Redoubt
Taking damage has multiple effects:1. Reduces the current cooldown on Energy Shield. Can only happen every 3 seconds.2. A 20% chance to grant an absorb shield that absorbs a low amount of damage and lasts 6 seconds. Can only happen every 10 seconds.
criticalventilation Level 56 – Critical Ventilation
Increases your critical chance by 2%, and reduces the cooldown on Vent Heat and Thermal Sensor Override by 30 seconds. In addition, Recharge and Reload builds Energy Lodes while High Energy Gas Cylinder is active
powerloaders Level 60 – Power Loaders
Increases the damage dealt by Shoulder Cannon by 15% and immediatly loads 3 additional missiles. Additionally, this increases the critical chance of Rocket Punch and Thermal Detonator by 5%
energyburn Level 64 – Energy Burn
Energy Burst will now leave a 3 second Damage over Time effect that does minor damage. The effect can stack up to 4 times, and each energy lode unleashed generates 1 stack.

Powertech Talents

closeandpersonal Level 10 – Close and Personal
Being hit by an AoE will vent 2 heat and heal you for 2.5% of your maximum health
puncture Level 30 – Puncture
Increases the damage of Rocket Punch by 10%, and Rail Shot will ignore 60% of the targets armor.
prototypecylinders Level 38 – Prototype Cylinders
Improves your stance you are sitting in. For High Energy Gas Cylinder, it increases the kinetic and energy damage you deal by a further 2%


Rotational Abilities

railshot RAIL SHOT [RS] Bounty Hunter – Level 6Deals a large amount of weapon damage to the target. Normally requires a target that is incapacitated or suffering periodic damage, though AP gets the ability to use it on any target from level 20 onwards. 10m range
rocketpunch ROCKET PUNCH [RP] Bounty Hunter – Level 2Deals heavy tech damage to the target, requires melee range. 9 second CD and 15 heat cost.
magneticblast MAGNETIC BLAST [MB] Powertech|Advanced Prototype – Level 26Deals moderate tech damage to the target. 10m range, and 15 heat cost.
thermaldetonator THERMAL DETONATOR [TD] Powertech|Advanced Prototype – Level 42Deals high tech damage after a short delay to the target. 30m range, and 15 heat cost.
energyburst ENERGY BURST [EB] Powertech|Advanced Prototype – Level 58Every time you use rail shot, you gain an energy lode. Using Energy Burst will deal damage based off how many lodes you have. At 4 stacks, Energy Burst does incredibly high damage.

10m range, and 20 heat cost

rapidshots RAPID SHOTS [RpS] Bounty Hunter – Level 1Deals low weapon damage to the target.

30m range

retractableblade RETRACTABLE BLADE [RB] Powertech|Advanced Prototype – Level 10This puts your bleed on the target, giving 3% more damage, and constantly ticking away. It gets refreshed by your rail shot or explosive dart, but lasts 18 seconds without being refreshed.

Melee Range, 15 heat cost.

Rotational AoEs

flamesweep FLAME SWEEP [FS] Powertech – Level 12Deals low elemental damage in an area around the powertech.5m range, 15 heat.
explosivedart EXPLOSIVE DART [ED ]Bounty Hunter – Level 5After a short delay, deals a moderate amount of damage in an AoE around the initial target.30m range, 9 second Cooldown, 15 heat.
flamethrower FLAMETHROWER [FT] Bounty Hunter – Level 3Deals high elemental damage in a cone up to 10m in front of you over a 3 second period.Generates 28 heat over its duration.18 Second Cooldown
deathfromabove DEATH FROM ABOVE [DFA] Bounty Hunter – Level 8Deals High kinetic damage in an area. Generates 30 heat over the duration30m range, 30 second cooldown

Situational Abilities

jetcharge JET CHARGE Powertech – Level 22Charges to the target, closing the gap and dealing low kinetic damage. Can’t be used on a target in cover.10-30m range, 15 second cooldown
electrodart ELECTRO DART Bounty Hunter – Level 12Stuns the target for 4 seconds, and deals minor damage.5 heat, 10m range, 60 second CD
carbonize CARBONIZE Powertech – Level 50Stuns up to 8 targets within 8 meters of the powertech for 2.5 seconds, dealing minor damage5 heat, 45 second CD.

Offensive Cooldowns

shouldercannon SHOULDER CANNON Powertech – Level 61Loads 4 missiles immediately and another 3 over 20 seconds. Each missile can be fired without interfering with the global cooldown, dealing low kinetic damage. When the last missile is used, it goes on a 90 second cooldown.10m range
explosivefuel EXPLOSIVE FUEL Powertech – Level 51Increases your critical hit chance by 25% for the next 15 seconds. 120 second cooldown.
ADVANCED ANODYNE ATTACK ADRENAL Consumable – BiochemIncreases your power rating by 750 for 15 seconds. 180 second cooldownRecommended over the crit adrenal because old habits die hard, and I have way too many of these to know what to do with them.

Other Abilities

neuraldart NEURAL DART Powertech – Level 14Taunts the target, putting you at the top of its aggro table and making it attack you for 6 seconds. 15 second cooldown, 30m range
sonicmissile SONIC MISSILE Powertech – Level 20While in Ion Gas Cylinder, will taunt all enemies in an area around the target. Otherwise, reduces the users threat on all enemies by 25%. 45 second cooldown, 30m range.
grapple GRAPPLE
Pulls the target enemy in to melee range. Can’t be used on a target in cover. 45 second cooldown, 10-30m range.
quell QUELL
Interrupts the targets current action, putting it on cooldown for 4 seconds.
energyshield ENERGY SHIELD Bounty Hunter – Level 14Increases your damage reduction by 25% for 15 seconds. 120 second cooldown.
koltooverload KOLTO OVERLOAD Bounty Hunter – Level 32Activate to gain a health monitor for 60 seconds. If your health drops below 40% while the health monitor is active, you heal for 7.5% of your max health every second for 8 seconds (though never above 40%). Once the health monitor is removed (through either timing out or activating), Kolto Overload goes on cooldown for 180 seconds.
determination DETERMINATION Bounty Hunter – Level 9Instantly breaks every crowd control effect on you. 120 second cooldown.
hydraulicoverrides HYDRAULIC OVERRIDES Bounty Hunter – Level 26Increases your move speed by 30% (does not stack with sprint) for 6 seconds, and makes you immune to physics. 45 second cooldown.



The following opener is your best bet for maximum damage, as well as perfect cooldown synergy. Try to always keep to it.

Note: Jet Charge isn’t used because you can usually Hydraulics -> TD -> run in, and get there by the time you use Retractable Blade.

[FS before pull to pre-proc] -> [Jet Charge if necessary] -> TD –> RB -> RS -> RP -> MB –> [Offensive Cooldowns] EB -> RS -> MB -> RS –> RP -> TD -> MB -> RS –> Rotation


While this does waste a single energy lode, the alternative is to miss out on either:

  • Susceptible with your stupidly powerful auto-crit energy burst
  • Sundered with your stupidly powerful auto-crit energy burst
  • The auto-crit + 2% damage boost for your stupidly powerful auto-crit energy burst
  • The 2% damage boost from your 2-piece set bonus to combo with an adrenal + battle focus.

As an added bonus, delaying the OCDs to Energy Burst gives the tanks a bit of time to build up aggro, as well as a key point for when the big burst hits (~10 seconds into the pull). And by following this opener to the letter, your RP and TD are synched up perfectly to never interfere with each other or with the Prototype Particle Accelerator Proc.

Prototype Particle Accelerator Proc

This is the key to the whole rotation. You will get this every 6 seconds when doing the rotation correctly, and it will result in you getting every 4th GCD replaced with a hard-hitting attack, that is not only free, but will prevent you from having to ever use Retractable Blade again, and gives you extra resources. The easiest way to see you’re screwing up the rotation is when this is not activated every 6 seconds.

The basics of ensuring PPA always happens is to think of the rotation as 3 seperate 4GCD blocks, ending with PPA. Most of that is quite fluid, with a lot of options to go into it, but the 3 blocks will always have these basics:


[FILLER] -> [FILLER] -> [FILLER] -> Rocket Punch

Block 2:

[FILLER] -> [FILLER] -> [FILLER] -> Magnetic Blast

Block 3:

[FILLER] -> Rocket Punch -> [FILLER] -> Magnetic Blast

Always go from Block 1 to Block 2 to Block 3. By doing so, you always have PPA used, and Rocket Punch is always available.

Advanced Notes About the Rotation

So, how do the fillers work? Every time you reach a filler, you should look at this priority list:

  1. Thermal Detonator
  2. 4-stack Energy Burst
  3. Rail Shot
  4. Magnetic Blast or Rapid Shots

The first 3 are easy. Use them whenever the situation is available. Its the 4th point that can kill you.

Magnetic Blast and Rapid Shots are a judgment call for if you’ll have the heat to use them. Since there are approximately 30 different cases for when to use rapid shots or magnetic blast, it would take too long to go through all of them. To begin with, try starting without using Magnetic Blast as a filler, only using it as you get more used to the rotation, as to not waste resources and end up in a ditch. In fact, getting into a resource ditch is the last thing you ever want to do, because outside of Vent Heat, you’ve got pretty much no way to recover from it – and that has a 90 second cooldown.

But what about Vent Heat/Thermal Sensor Override?

Well, if you followed the opener I provided, keep using Magnetic Blast over Rapid Shots as a filler until right around the time you use the next Thermal Detonator. Then, use Vent Heat then, and once again continue to use Mag Blast over Rapid Shots for about 18 more seconds, and then Thermal Sensor Override. Doing so should get you an almost perfect amount of heat used, with only minor levels of wastage as time goes on.

After that, once the rotation hits a point of:

Thermal Detonator -> Rail Shot -> Rapid Shots -> Rocket Punch ->…

You’ve come full circle with the 90 second rotation (Energy Burst sadly doesn’t fit into this), and you can once again throw caution to the wind and spam Magnetic Blast again. Before that though, take a note of how many seconds are left on the CD of vent heat – this is important to remember for later in this fight.

Then its as simple as using your resource cooldowns immediately when they come up, and stopping for rapid shots once they’re all gone again. And when vent heat has its cooldown at the same amount as it was when you started spamming Magnetic Blast, that is the time to revert to Mag Blast spamming once again.

AoE Rotation

So what if there are multiple enemies? That’s where your overubundance of AoEs come in.

The only thing to remember from the ST rotation is that you have to proc PPA every 4th GCD. What you use for it doesn’t matter. But the more stuff you can hit with your AoEs, the better.

In terms of power:

Death from Above > Flamethrower > Explosive Dart > Flame Sweep

Of those 4, Death from Above and Flamethrower are harder to hit, as they are channeled attacks in specific areas, whereas Explosive Dart and Flame Sweep are much more consistant, being instant abilities that don’t require you to put excessive effort into aiming. The instant abilities can also be used to proc PPA, which means that the rotation is able to mostly translate into AoE abilities.

A typical AoE rotation might look something like this:

DFA -> Explosive Dart -> Rail Shot ->Flamethrower -> Flame Sweep -> Rail Shot ->

Putting that block into your standard rotation while adds are up is usually enough to kill all of them, and allow you to return to your single target rotation. This isn’t always the case though, and you may require more time to spam AoEs like Explosive Dart or Flame Sweep while the adds are still alive.

If the fight does have extensive uptime for AoE, it is recommended that you swap to Pyrotech.

Final Notes

With that huge amount of information out there, you now have everything you need to become a top-tier AP Powertech.

While I understand there are a few things still missing from this guide (Graphs showing Crit vs Alacrity, a video with a demonstration of the rotation, an example parse, some images to utilize for an easier understanding of stuff), this is the first draft of quite a few.

You can still find a video of the rotation here (, though note the video is from the 3.X cycle of the game, so you wont see the debuff for Energy Burn show up on the enemy, or the stupidly high critical hits that energy burst can achieve.

Finally, I’d like to thank everyone for my patience in getting version 1 of this guide out. Keep your eyes peeled for the upcoming updates to it over the coming weeks, as well as the Tactics translation.

About the Author

I’m Kwerty, the guy who wrote the 2.6+ Assault Vanguard/Tactics guides that used to be found on, as well as the 3.X Vanguard and Powertech guides here on

I’ve been an avid Star Wars fan for years, and have been playing this game for around 3 years, coming in at the time of NiM SnV/TFB, and moving on to progression raiding in late 2.7

I’d like to thank everyone in my raid team (currently raiding Imp Side on the Harbinger) in Dei ex Machina for all the loot, and putting up with my constant purchases of Combat Medic’s gear because the names are similar, and all the time I’ve stood in fire to get more damage out.

Enjoy the guide!

137 replies on “SWTOR 4.0 Advanced Prototype Powertech PvE Guide by Kwerty”

Actually, in patch notes before 4.0 BioWare stated that AP is working absolutely as intended. Yes, it’s a legit IMBA. AP doesn’t suffer any changes at all in 4.0 except a small useless DoT after Energy Burst.

Enjoy! :3

The playstyle is working as intended I assume, but the damage numbers and coefficients are way too high. Too much burst, too much sustained dmg for a “burst” spec, and basically impossible to escape in pvp also. Mental 😮

I dont know how the IO merc works right now, but for arsenal, rage and lightning you can easily use the 3.0 guides. Nothing really changed there with rotations or priority lists. And you don’t need dulfy guides to know how to gear, because gearing section is already done by Bant

I’m not ok with your opening.
I pre-cast 4 stack energy burst
I open with thermal detonator, retractable blade, energy burst (with 4 stack precast) rail shot (without proc) filler (magnetic blast cause you are not heat) and rail shot (with rpoc)
With this opening you put 1 energy burst with 4 stack) and you take 2 stack (energy burst) in 9 sec with this you benefit bonus-2 and bonus-4 fot your next energy blast

I was thinking the same a while back, but the downside here is that you fire that first EB without the armor debuff from RP, and without the 2% damage bonus and auto-crit from MB and the set bonus.
Stacking all those bonusses together with EF and an Adrenal is a bigger damage gain than firing the next EB one rotation earlier, so it’s worth “wasting” a stack here.

Agree here, imo the best opening is : TD -> RB -> ( expl fuel ) -> EB -> RS ( without proc ) -> RPuch -> RS -> … … MB -> and another EB with 100% crit. . With this opening i can keep around 10k DPS for 300-400k overall DMG. Yes im overheated then, but you still got Vent heat.

Just had a look at the top-10 AP parses on parsely. 7 of them used Kwerty’s exact opener, 2 used small variations on it that still used RS before EB, and one of them (the nr 3. ranked) used your rotation.

I think that mostly shows that the dps difference between the two variants is very small, and the Kwerty-version is at least more popular. I think the argument of firing all the boosts at the same time so they augment each other is better than splitting them over two different EBs, but I don’t think you can really go wrong with either opener.

I’ve got a question about Sonic Rebounder. Which allies does it actually affect? Those near me, or those near my current target? And what’s the radius on it? Because it doesn’t show up in my own log I find it hard to gauge if I’m using the ability effectively at the moment.

Its those within taunt radius of your target. I believe its 15m, and from the centre of the target, so with some larger bosses you have to actually be in them to benefit

A worst case scenario, for example, is the machine core on Revan, where the radius of the hole in the ground is bigger than the radius of Sonic Rebounder.

Do you know if the target has to be an enemy, or could I target myself or an ally as the center point for it in order to hit more enemies? Would require some quick target switching but for some hard-hitting boss hits it might be worth it.

Ok, that’s good to know. I guess that also means that activating sonic missile as an aggro drop without an enemy target just wastes the rebounder. Not that that happens a lot, but it’s nice to be aware of it. Oh, and thanks for writing this guide by the way, the 3.0 version pretty much taught me to play PT over the last few weeks.

One other question about Pneumatic Boots. I was under the impression that the 15% boost stacked with the boost from Hydraulic Overrides, making it somewhat useful, if not exactly awesome. That made the choice between Iron Will and Pneumatic Boots a choice between moving fast more often, or moving even faster less often.
If they don’t stack Pneumatic Boots is indeed as useless as they say. Do you have any definitive info one way or the other?

Yep, speed boosts don’t stack. Its always whichever bonus is the biggest, so if you take Pneumatic Boots, you’ll have 115% without hold the line, and 130% (untalented)/175% (overdrive) with it.

Would like to share my exp with alacrity. I tested a lot of combinations with ALA/Crit.

Actually im using a bit more than 600 ALA. Cuz when i put 800/1000/1200 alacrity to my gear, my rotation just broked up. Rail shot didnt proc at the right time etc etc.

Now my parse looks like : 500k dummy – 7k – 7500 dps and 1m dummy – around 7k dps. ( got full 220 gear and 1 implant 224.

So here is my question, what numbers can you do with your alacrity theory ?


I haven’t parsed on the 1 mill since you can kill it in under 3 minutes consistently, but I’ll go kill the 500k/1 mill dummies (no adrenals) to give you some numbers for my current gear (~1200 crit, ~780 alacrity)

Hi , thanks for this guide !
Have a question … : how can i reach 2k6 ish of power ? On my character panel , it only show 1k9 or 2k ( even with a 220 hilt or canon )
I guess i miss something …

As said in the basic gear overview, you want to be using the token gear. This means that your enhancements are Adept, Initiative, or Quick Savant, and your mods don’t have an A in the name. Otherwise, you lose a fairly substantial amount of power

Hi and thanks for this amazing guide. You made a comment about enhancements 198 BIS been better thant 220 comms enhancements. does this also applies for mods? is the 198 unlettered BIS still better that 43A 220 despite the big gain on mastery (+63) and loss of little amount of power (-17). thanks and congrats on the guide.

Hi, thank you for the spectacular guide. I’m looking at trying Pyro also, but had a quick look at the official forums and people are basically saying that they are the worst dps discipline, and also dead weight in pvp. Was hoping to try it, but not if that is the case. Could you please share some opinions on the matter?

For your opener, you could stack 3 Energy Lodes, then get the 4th on your HiB and have a 4-cell Energy Burst. I’m not sure if you said that or not, but didn’t see it in the opener.

Maybe the author didn’t explicitly say it, but before combat as a AP PT you should always have shoulder cannon preloaded and have 4 stacks of energy lode ready to go. So you would never only stack 3 bc while technically you *could*, it isn’t a thing to do. The author acknowledges that “this does waste a single energy lode” on the first RS, but it is worth it as he explains right after

Soooo….my idea is bad why exactly? You get exactly the same DPS. And you get your second Cell Burst faster, whenever that is.

Possibly, in a general sense. However, the given opener, stacking only 3 lodes gives the exact same opener, with the exact same damage, without wasting the energy lode and still getting all the buffs/debuffs.

It’s true that starting with 3 stacks will give the same result, but since starting with 4 doesn’t incur any extra cost you’re still wasting an energy lode, you just do it during prep instead of during the opener.

Great guide as always. I loved your 3.0 one. Did you miss out using Explosive Fuel before Energy Burst and Shoulder Cannon Spam from the opener deliberately?

What happened there is Dulfy was kind enough to draw up the pictures for me (as I was planning on doing that this weekend), though because I simply said “Offensive Cooldowns” she obviously didn’t interpret that as [Adrenal, Shoulder Cannon, Battle Focus].

Don’t we use RocketPunch every 9 seconds (which is its cooldown or stated in your guide;can’t remember right now) or do I miss something?
Its just used in block one, then there are 11gcd (16.5 secs) between. I thouht it would do more damage than Magnetic Blast and create less heat, so why don’t use it at different position?
But thank you a lot. Your guides are simply the besteht.
Sorry if my english is not perfect:D

I dont understand how ppl are getting this big crit on Energy Burst, I have 220 full geared with full set bonus PT (stats same as Kwerty wrote in his guide), and mine parses show me ussually big crit on Energy Burst about 18-20k, but not 25 and more. APM usually 47-49

Try comboing it with Energy Burst, an adrenal, and hope that your relics are up. When that happens is when the beautiful 25k+ crits start to happen

Thanks for reply 🙂
I usually use explosive fuel right before energy burst with all 7 rockets of shoulder cannon. but seems nothing like 25k,I’ll try with adrenals, though I have feeling that 3rd PT set bonus is kinda broken, because before getting last set bonus I had same numbers of EB crit.


Thank you very much for including both the stat numbers for gearing as well as your suggested pieces. One thing I have noticed from the 4.0 guides has been that the authors have only suggested number of pieces and not always included a suggestion as to what the stat should be. As someone for whom having the stat number makes more intuitive sense than simply stating the number of pieces of this or that stat, thank you again.

Hey there, thank you for the guide,
d’you know the exact interaction of Battle Focus/Explosive Fuel and Assault Plastique/Thermal Detonator? Is BF/EF applied during activation of AP/TD, during impact of the missile or on actual detonation? Or is it a strict ‘applied as long as the buff is up, gone when it wears off’ thing?

Depending on how it works you could squeeze in two AP/TDs during the BF/EF window in a later part of the rotation but I’m trying to figure out when I need use the OCD exactly for max effect. 🙂

So Pyrotech isn’t viable at all? Mostly I do pvp, tried both trees and I had more fun with Pyro (though I felt very healer dependent), but I don’t want to be dead weight for my pvp partner (madness Sorc).

I wouldn’t dare take it into PvP, though in PvE there are a couple of fights I use pyro on (Dash’roode, Olok, Writhing Horror, Draxus and Corruptor Zero off the top of my head)

No Shoulder Cannon in opening rotation? Esp since it can be pre-loaded and the missiles are off the GCD. Makes it stupid easy to weave into rotation without missing a beat, adding even more burst/sustained. Unless things have been changed in 4.0?

What happened is Dulfy made the pictures for me, so they didn’t include the important [Offensive Cooldowns] block (which was mentioned in the text version of the rotation). Basically, as soon as the 2-piece activates, that’s when you blow all your OCDs (AKA right before the energy burst), with shoulder cannon included. Unless you need them for a specific mechanic (e.g. Raptus Challenge)

Should you not pre-cast recharge and reload for Energy Burst right off the get go? I’m guessing the reason it wasn’t included was because of Thermal Detonator debuff? Is it ever useful to use that particular part of the talent in an encounter?

That isn’t exactly what ‘pre-cast’ means (it means you RC, then cast an ability just before tank pulls). But yes, you should R&R before a pull, and EB is always used with 4 stacks.

Are you in the correct cylinder/cell? Cause not being in High Energy Gas Cylinder/High Energy Cell is the only reason rail shot shouldn’t proc on every 4th attack.

Yep. Though the benefits of a second TD under explosive fuel have to compete with the benefits of combining explosive fuel with every other bonus (e.g. +2% damage from set bonus)

And BioWare in their usual style stomp us with their NerfBat. I guess having 20% less surge on basically every relevant ability will take a large chunk of DPS.

You still want to stack crit since crit multiplier (old surge) is tied into the Critical stat now. In 4.0, the new Critical soft cap is 40% (70% multiplier) without buffs, so any DPS class should still be shooting for atleast 35% crit, 110% accuracy and the rest into Mastery or Power. Mastery augs yield bigger DPS gains than Power augs, atleast in the recent parses for 4.0

Thats to be expected as Pyro (Aside from a few gimps to the class in 3.0) was the sustained spec and AP was the burst spec, same as Leathality/Concealment Operatives, Virulence/Marksman Snipers, Vengance/Rage Juggs so on and so forth. Honestly the only time I find Pyro to be worth spec’ing into, are Operations and some HM Flashpoints. The rest of the game; Leveling, Heroics, Dailies, Tactical Flashpoints and PvP etc, find AP to be far more beneficial thanks to the insane bursts and shorter duration fights.

@TheHarbingersKwerty:disqus with the huge nerf to AP/Tactics are you going to write a Pyrotech/Plasmatech guide as it now has higher sustained?

While I do enjoy getting close & taking down my opponent in the face when playing Power Tech, I feel somehow more relishing unleashing a full level volley of missiles & gun fire as Mercenary. Still I might go at it again as the Advance Prototype or Pyro Tech, still if it comes down to it I will take up Shield Tech as the tank! :D, My thanks for this post!

I know what you mean. I swore by Arsenal Mercs for the longest time, then after 3 fail attempts at trying to stomach leveling a PT, I finally stuck to it and haven’t looked back. It’s an absolute snoozefest till 32, then it just takes off. Once you hit 61 and get Shoulder Cannon and get good at double tap weaving it into your rotations, the fast paced, ALL insta-casts, faceroll, constant bursts and high crits get stupid addicting. I just finished leveling my 2nd Arsenal Merc to 65 literally 2 hours ago at time of writing this and whole time I was like “gah this is boring compared to my AP PT, I swore by this class??”. Cast/channel times took some used to going back to and fights took noticeable longer for sure. In the end, it’s all about what you like, just wanted to weigh in on my experiences.

I appreciate your honesty, while I do love the damage ration for Arsenal, it sometimes has some major draw backs, while PT can do damage fast & quick it has a lot fast Heat build up & unless your the Tank & Heat Blast it tends to be problematic at times, Advanced Prototype Power Tech gets good damage over time as well as direct damage while the Pyro Tech is more area of effects, as for Merc, Improved Ordinance has been nerf-t to the absolute worst, still Arsenal does have high lvl. direct damage which I like, similar I went a Commando on my RT as a gunnery, while I’m building up my wallets size in order to get a full account working, after which I’m getting a Sith Warrior & mowing down any one who gets in my way.

Honestly I’ve never encountered a real heat issue with AP PT’s(HM Flashpoints/Operations, PVP or Heroic/Dailies). Only in the first 30 or so levels, before you get some of your key rotation procs. other than that I can’t even remember ever needing to use Vent Heat.

@TheHarbingersKwerty:disqus Any chance we’ll see a shield tech guide soon as well? I just came back to the game after 3 years, and wanting to tank. But the lack of guides for shield tech for 4.0 is.. well.. Lacking 🙂

Well since I normally don’t tank Eddi, there’s almost no chance of that (at least in this content cycle). However, Dulfy has gotten another guy (sonnette) to make a guide for Shield Specialist vanguards, found here:

As vanguards are the mirror of powertechs, the information is pretty much entirely accurate. Well, the abilities are named differently, but other than that…

Some basic translations (excluding the utilities):

Storm = Jet Charge
Stockstrike = Rocket Punch
High Impact Bolt = Rail Shot
Energy Blast = Heat Blast
Ion Storm = Firestorm
Ion Pulse = Flame Burst
Hammer Shots = Rapid Shots

Explosive Surge = Flame Sweep
Mortar Volley = Death from Above

Reactive Shield = Energy Shield
Battle Focus = Explosive Fuel
Riot Gas = Oil Slick
Adrenaline Rush = Kolto Overload

It was sent off to dulfy the same day as this one. However, as she’s got a lot of guides to still format/put up as well as news, its understandable that its delayed (also the version originally sent off to her is probably out of date now as it still has the original notes on it)

Will the Bleed damage from retractable blade be increased by Prototype Weapon Systems if the DOT is applied before the target is susceptible? I wasn’t sure since the opener doesn’t state if you need to wait for TD to go off before applying the bleed. If it does state it, I apologize, I didn’t see it the few times I’ve read over it. Thanks!

I’m not sure if the boosts are evaluated per-tick or locked in when the dot is cast, but even if it locks in, it will reset every time rail shot refreshes the dot, so at most it only matters for one or two ticks.

Simply drop the energy burst. Well that, shoulder cannon, and explosive fuel, as you won’t have any of that at level 50.

You’ll end up with a bit more energy to use that way, so you can use more Magnetic Blasts, but then again you won’t have any heroic utilities or the 30 second CD reduction on your resource cooldowns, so it probably evens out.

I wish I enjoyed this spec more in PVE. The combination of ranged and melee feels so clunky to me, I can’t get a good rhythm for it. I prefer tanking, but I thought this would make for an enjoyable alt… not as enjoyable as I had hoped!

Would some one tell how they feel personally about this advance class specialization & its game play, fun or not?

Actually it’s quite fun, I had my doubts too but I’ve been having fun with it, basically the Powertech’s weapon is his/her suit and all the cool gadgets that come with it to obliterate your enemies. You’re a walking weapon literally.

My thanks I will be staying with Power Tech for now on I think, while I love the Mercenary’s long distance damage out put it seems to have gone down a lot.

Under aoe section, you mentioned sticky grenades to use. I don’t have that anywhere in either bounty hunter or powertech abilities. I think they did away with this ability. What are you recommending to use in its place?

Dammit I could have sworn I got all the sticky grenades out of there!

Sticky grenade is the name of a trooper ability. The Bounty Hunter equivalent is Explosive Dart.

I’ll go fix that up right now.

I jump between it depending on the fight, and what the raid composition is at the time.

For example, if no one is providing the armor debuff, I’d go AP because the benefits to the entire raid from having an armor debuff will outdo the benefits of going pyro. Similarly, unless there’s a large number of adds to kill, I’d run AP over Pyro if a susceptible (elemental damage) debuff isn’t around.

My primary concern is if I can learn only AP (PT is my alt) and still provide good DPS on all(up to HM) bosses. Is AP enough or should I find myself learning pyro/switching alt

It depends entirely on if you want to do Nightmare content, and if so, are you willing to craft nightmare fury crystals.

AP Powertechs are strong enough for most Nightmare fights in order to pass the DPS check (and are preferred in quite a few due to increased survivability/mobility), and for what’s left there’s the +20% DPS from the crystal.

And in hard mode, the only fights where you might have a hard time would be Revan and Master Blaster, both of which AP is still decent at (Revan there’s a lot of AoE going out in the DPS checks – e.g. core phase – to up your damage, and standing under master blaster – if your healers let you – causes a significant DPS increase as his trample damage counts as AoE)

So if you have only the time to learn AP, then it is definitely good enough for everything relevant. However, I wouldn’t write pyro off because of the advantages it can bring in quite a few fights – especially when AoE is needed (Dash’roode, Bestia, etc…)

Just started playing recently and want to know how to craft the 198 enhancements you referenced above – How do I get the schematics?

Alas, the 198 enhancements were token-only enhancements available from gear back before Knights of the Fallen Empire was released – the best schematics off a vendor right now are for rating 186 enhancements (reverse engineer the 178 enhancements).

However, if you do a bunch of flashpoints or operations, the gear from that (MK-2s) will come with best-in-slot enhancements that can be reverse engineered for the schematic of the same stats. Just be warned, those enhancements are expensive to make. Simply put them on your cybertech toon, and Reverse Engineer it, and you’ll have a 60% (I think its 60%) chance of getting a best in slot enhancement of rating 216/220.

So I remove the enhancement from the my-2 gear and give it to my cyber tech to RE? Can I get the enhancements from my alts and give them to my cyber tech?

Yep. Just put them in legacy bind gear, and the enhancements can be moved around between toons. If you don’t have any legacy bind gear, go do a couple of heroics and turn the lockboxes in and they should have some legacy bind gear.

I have been doing the weekly heroics and turning them in to my contacts. Is the gear I get from those turns the legacy gear? Sorry for all the noob questions.

I don’t have the gear to get up a parse, and see if the opener is that good.. but my napkin maths shows ED delayed damage can be stronger than a MB if you activates your before the explosion.

My own opener, mostly driven by PvP habits is :
TD > ED > RB + EF > RP + SC spam > RS > MB > EB > RS > MB > RP > TD > Start second GCD of block two

I don,t know if it actually yields higher opening burst, But I think it does.

Well I don’t know what kind of gear you’re using, but with my 224 rating gear, Explosive Dart is doing ~3k damage, whereas Mag Blast is ~4k damage. As such, I wouldn’t agree on using ED in the single target rotation (unless the target is >12m away or currently invincible but won’t be invincible in <3 seconds)

Kwerty: Are the blades in Revan considered elites? I never have had a chance to stop and stare at them to know. I’m sure you know where I’m headed with this question…

Well there’s nothing that PTs have that can only be used on elites and worse, however those blades don’t have boss immunity, so yes they can be slowed, stunned, rooted, and pulled (if that’s where you’re headed)

That is where I’m headed. Missle blast and ED’s knockback only impact weak and standard, and it looks like the blades are strong/elites since they laughed off my attempts to move them. But, the idea that they can be stunned/pulled is helpful on the third floor Trail tank’s job.

I am new to Vanguard/Powertech classes, I’ve always hated them tbh but never tried them outside of tank specs till recently. Now I find this Discipline in both classes to be rather fun. I was just wondering about this part with the opener though “While this does waste a single energy lode,”

Am I wrong in assuming that this should never be the case as you can easily build up 4 stacks of Energy Load via any health regen (kinda like sent building stacks of zen before a fight except that it is built into the discipline path itself rather then utilities.) Level 56 Passive Critical Ventilation.

So should there ever really be any reason you don’t have a 4 stacks EL in your opener?

The reason it ‘wastes’ a lode is because it waits until after the first rail shot to get fired. This means you miss out on the damage from a single stack of energy burst over the entire fight.

While this may seem like a 100% damage loss that you can’t recover from, you have to remember that Losing a quarter of an energy burst is not as bad as:

1. Losing a whole rail shot
2. Not having the armor + tech debuffs around from an earlier point in the fight
3. Losing the bleed damage and its +3% bonus to all your damage
4. desynching all your offensive cooldowns from your set bonus

As such, the energy lode is ‘wasted’ early on, in exchange for much better damage in the long run.

Ahh ok I get you now, you waste 1 stack building towards your 4 stacks. I assumed you meant using the 1 stack built by the first rail shot in the opening was the waste since it wasn’t 4 stacks. My mistake, thanks for clarifying

What are the advantages of bringing an AP PT over a merc? How are their damage in comparison? Why would one bring one ac than the other?

First off there’s the susceptible debuff – a large portion of both merc specs uses tech damage, so if you were to go without a PT you’d have to either resort to an operative or miss out on a decent portion of your damage.

So, what if you do have the susceptible debuff?

AP has the ability to never have to stand still ever. This is insane for a huge number of fights out there. With a merc, you have to choose either no target swapping ever (AKA IO), or tons of standing around having to cast Tracer Missile.

On top of that, whenever you get hit while casting tracer missile, it slows down the cast a little. This means that with all the outgoing damage in raids, the merc is losing damage potential.

But at the same time, taking damage is actually improving your damage output – mostly because of reflective armor and the fact that almost all raid-wide damage is counted as AoEs (even some DoTs), but partially from Electro Shield if you took that as well.

Of course, mercs still have their advantages. If you don’t have any snipers, a merc will provide the ranged damage debuff (which helps out your rail shot), as well as access to the alacrity raid buff (if you don’t have a merc healer). Mercs also have 30m range, which allows them to avoid some mechanics due to not having to be near the boss, such as the fire on Torque.

Overall, the choice between merc and PT comes down to 1 question. Do you want to use a melee toon, or a ranged one.

The easy way I found to keep my heat steady without sacrificing DPS was to make the Magnetic Blast vs Rapid Shot decision cutoff at 20 heat. Under 20, MB, over 20, RS. This means I’m always getting max heat regen because I never get over 45 heat even when I use all my other heat generating abilities and I’m never sitting at zero heat because I was wasting DPS with weak abilities.

“E” is usually short for anything giving tertiary stats. So that’s 7 enhancements, 2 implants, and 1 earpiece. Since all of them give the same amount of alacrity/crit/accuracy, they’re pretty much interchangeable.

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