4.0 Class Guides 4.0 Powertech 4.0 PvE SWTOR

SWTOR Shield Tech Powertech 4.0 PvE Guide by Yam’unun

SWTOR Powertech Shield Tech Tanking Guide by Yam’unun.


Intro to Shield Tech Power Tech

“Launching into the fray with a jetpack-propelled attack and able to withstand powerful offenses, the Powertech trained in the Shield Tech specification takes the brunt of the assault while employing a wide range of tech-based attacks to scorch and trip up even the most formidable adversaries.”

The Shield Tech Discipline of the Powertech AC is one of the 3 tank Disciplines in Swtor. While lacking the amount of cooldowns of a Juggernaut and the cheese of an Assassin, PT makes up for it through powerful mitigation passives, mobility and the only tank to be able to sustain damage at a range when need be. This solid tank is more than capable of clearing any content at the highest level.

Gearing and Stats

I’m going to be upfront and tell you I am not a theorycrafter or number cruncher (Maths are hard XD). While there is some common ground on gearing (use tank gear not dps one) there is a bit a of leeway on gearing and stats as I will outline below along with what has personally worked for me.

What You Need

  • Set Bonus: 224 Supercommando Armorings
  • Barrel: 224 Resistive Barrel
  • Mods: Warding Mods (Defense)
  • Enhancements: Either Shield or Absorb for your Stat Budget
  • Earpiece and Implants: Same as Enhancements (Shield or Absorb)
  • Stim: Fortitude Stim
  • Cylinder: Ion Gas Cylinder

Set Bonus

Set Bonus: Supercommando (224)

  • 2 Piece: 2% Damage Reduction when Heat Blast is activated
  • 4 Piece: Activating Rocket Punch Reduces CD of Taunt and AoE taunt by 2 seconds
  • 6 Piece:Increases Duration of Oil Slick by 3 Seconds and Energy Shield by 4 Seconds

Stats and Gearing Methods

Now the above list was intentionally vague as due to the changes in 4.0 with how tanks gear there is argument over what is best. Now I will not say their is only one way and if not you will never clear anything as you might expect from a guide 😛 as long as you gear have proper item level, no fight will really come down to how min maxed you did your tank. Unless you forgot to budget a stat entirely or forgot to put your gear on (Hey it happens :D).

That said here are some generally agreed upon ranges of stats people use

Shield: 1500-1800

Absorb: 900-1200

For PT Shield>Absorb>Defense

I leave out defense as the amount of defense from mods is far over the limit needed. Now come for my favorite topic (Kappa).

Mitigation Build vs Higher HP Build

For those unaware but not to dig to deep, Pure Mitigation is just using all tank stuff from the token vendor unlettered. Higher HP build whereby mostly defense is traded for HP is gained through any combination of B Mods, Vendor or Mk-2 tank enhancements, vendor or mk-2 (non crafted) tank implants and earpieces and either Mk-26 tank relics or DPS relics because they have HP. I have read arguments on either side and in the end personally believe neither will make or break a tank as both types have been used for clearing NiM in 4.0.

That said I personally lean towards more HP for my builds to counter spikes since it’s mostly trading defense for HP and many spike attacks aren’t countered by defense. Unfortunately BW has decided that 224 gear is only unlettered so you will have to go with 220 Mods and Enhancements for HP. So for those who want to see how I gear:

  • Enhancements: Advanced Bastion 43 Enhancement x4, Advanced Bulwark 43 Enhancement x3 (220)
  • Mods: Advanced Warding Mod 43B x9 (220)
  • Earpiece: Exarch Bastion Mk-2 (220)
  • Implants: Exarch Bulwark Mk-2 x2 (220)
  • Relics: Ultimate Exarch Reactive Warding and Shield Amplification (224)
  • Augments: Advanced Shield Augment 40 x 11, Advanced Absorb Augment 40 x 3
  • Shield: 1691
  • Absorb: 1019
  • Defense: 2162
  • HP: 81842


Outlined below are the utilities I find useful in a raid environment.


  • Pneumatic Boots: Increases movement speed by 15% (Speed is always good)
  • Reflective Armor: When Close and Personal is activated it deals x amount damage to enemies within 10m. (Free Damage, more damage equal boss dies faster :D)
  • Iron Will: Decreases CD of Hydraulic Overrides by 10 seconds and Determination by 30 Seconds (CC Breaker).
  • Bracer Propellant: Increases Flame Burst by 2 meters and Flame Sweep radius by 1 meter.


  • Sonic Rebounder: Allies within range of AoE taunt are granted one reflect of direct damage back to the enemy. (Ability to prevent damage and dish it out, yes please :D)
  • Torque boosters: Increases Duration of Hydraulic Overrides by 4 Seconds.
  • Pyro Shield: Causes x amount of direct damage back to the enemy when Energy Shield is active.


  • Shield Cannon: SC Missile Heals for 3% of Health per missile (Nerfed recently from 5% but still better than most of the other utilities save in specific circumstances)
  • Overdrive: Increases speed of Hydraulic Overrides the line by 45% (More Speed :D)

Passives and Abilities

Listed below are a general outline of a PT Tank’s abilities and passives.


The strengths of PT tanking lies in its passives abilities and heavy armor along with its ability to dish out damage from range. With this in mind PT tanking is all about keeping up your passives which luckily is quite easy to do if you use your abilities right.


With Ion Gas Cylinder your Armor, Shield, Absorb, Damage Reduction and Accuracy (you have full accuracy while in tank stance) are increased while your damage is decreased. When using it has a chance to deal extra energy damage when you use an attack

The core element of PT tanking is maintaining its passive stacks of Heat Screen and Shield Enhancers. When you reach 3 Stacks of Heat Screens Heat Blast will become available to use significantly increases your absorption by 25%. Building stacks of Heat Screens which increase your Absorb revolve around shielding an attack and proc’ing your Ion Gas Cylinder through attacks particularly Rail Shot and Rocket punch. These last two abilities are used to build your Shield Enhancers which increase your Shield.


Offensive Abilities

1770756576_4113363806 Firestorm (FS): 10 meter conal attack and hardest hitting attack. 1.5 second channel with Flame Engine and causes targets to become Impaired reducing their F/T attack damage of enemy by 5%
1640405593_362863619 Rail Shot (RS): Ignores 60% of armor and with Ion Cylinder can cause damage to multiple targets. Builds Heat Screens and Shield Enhancers. Use on CD
3136911752_1251401797 Shoulder Cannon (SC): Loads 4 missiles to be used off GCD 1 every 1.5 seconds and goes on CD for 1.5 minutes. With heal utility can provide a now small heal but should not be delayed as very useful in building threat and doing damage.
rocketpunch Rocket Punch (RP): Builds Heat Screens and Shield Enhancers. One of your hardest hitting attack. Use on CD.
heatblast Heat Blast (HB): Uses Heat Screens to boast absorb by 25% for 6 seconds. Should be used on CD unless saving for a major hit.
flameburst2 Flame Burst (FB): Main filler and causes Enemies affected to be Weakened and do 5% less M/R Damage as well as Trauma.
rapidshots3 Rapid Shots: Secondary filler as it costs no energy
explosivedart Explosive Dart (ED): AOE does moderate damage
dfa Death From Above (DFA) AOE does heavy damage
flamesweep2 Flame Sweep (FS): Filler AOE and does moderate amount of damage
grapple Grapple: Pulls Enemy towards you if capable and/or generates a lot of threat.
jetcharge2 Jet Charge: Gap Closer and provides 2 free FP or FS.
carbonize Carbonize: AoE Hard Stun
electrodart Electro Dart: Single target hard stun


oilslick Oil Slick: Covers surrounding area in an oil slick and for 15 seconds (18 with 6 piece) enemies within oil slick are slowed 70% and M/R accuracy reduced by 30% and can act as a raid utility if you aren’t tanking or there is M/R Dmg going out to raid.
explosivefuel Explosive Fuel: Increases Crit Chance and more importantly gives you 35% defense chance for duration. With Oil Slick and built in defense this can give you a very powerful cooldown..
energyshield Energy Shield: 15 seconds (19 with 6 piece) you take 25% less damage from incoming attacks.
koltooverload Kolto Overload: When activated it goes on stand by for 1 minute. During that time when health dips below 40% it will heal you up to 35% and if above 40% heal for 2% of total health.
hydraulicoverride Hydraulic Overrides: Increases movement speed by 30% (45% with utility) and grants immunity to physics and movement impairment for 6 (10 with utility) seconds.
ventheat2 Vent Heat: Reduces Heat by 50.
tso2 Thermal Sensory Overrides: Makes next attack cost no heat.

Rotations and Priorities

A Standard “Opener” (Will Vary):

Preload SC–>Grapple–>Jet Charge–>RP and SC Spam–>RS–>FS or HB –>FB or FS–>RP or FB–> HB or FB–> Taunt and FB–>RP/RS—>FS–> AOE Taunt->…… Priority


1) HB (Heat Blast)

2) SC (Shoulder Cannon) (off GCD)

3) RP (Rocket Punch)

4) RS (Rail Shot)

5) FS (Firestorm) (with Flame Engine)

6) FB (Flame Burst)

A few notes about PT tanking rotation. First Grapple had its threat greatly increased making it near equivalent to the Assassin force pull. 15k threat of the bat is pretty nice. With Jet Charge you get the free 2 Flame bursts. Right away you want to build your Heat Screens and Shield Enhancers. Now depending in a real fight if you have gotten a third screen or not use Heat blast. If not use Firestorm to put the F/T debuff on the target and deal serious damage. During this time you want to use your shoulder cannon since it’s off the GCD and adds to your threat generation and skills.

If the boss does no or little M/R dmg during at least the first two minutes you can use Explosive fuel as an Offensive cooldown instead. Since raid buffs go out at the beginning you can grab a metric poop ton of threat. After first HB use your taunt then FB to get that M/R debuff up then just go from their. Procs are mostly dependent on shielding attacks so see it as priority not static. And here and there rapid shot for heat management as it can build fast even with Thermal Sensors and Vent Heat.

Advice on Tanking in General

Tanking is one of the three trinity types found in Swtor and when it comes to defining clear goals and what constitutes good or even great tanking is harder to quantify than DPS or Heals. That said there are some core keys to being a great tank in Swtor able to tank any boss. I’ll outline them below

1. Global Rule aka No one is perfect- You will make mistakes and you must own up to them. This is key for any role but particularly for tanks. No matter how good you are you will make mistakes because no one is perfect. The key is to learn from them and admit them while at the same time focus on how to do better rather than you made a mistake.

2. Generate all the threats- Keeping threat is highest priority and use both taunts. This is primary goal of tanking as the boss is hitting you instead of a DPS or Heals. Unless a boss has an aggro drop mechanic or you aren’t currently tanking boss use your taunts on CD. Saving them means you’re letting threat go to waste and with Set bonus your taunts will be back up in no time

3. Go Ham on the boss: Every extra dps counts on the boss; the more you do the less DPS have to burn. Particularly true in NiM, tank DPS can help shave off a good number. Tanks can push over 2k in most set piece fights. Whether it’s doing over 400k+ on the Revan Core, shaving a few % off of Brontes, or preventing a third surging chain on Dread Guards, tank DPS does help. Which leads me to last rule

4. Never waste a GCD: Doing nothing is the worst thing you can do: Whether throwing in taunts for extra threat, spamming rapid shots when far away, or carbonizing some adds, every GCD can be filled with something. Unless Styrak is giving you the ole Choke’aroo Kappa. :3

Final Notes & Acknowledgements

I like to thank everyone over the time playing in helping me. Thank you to <Origin> for putting up with my tanking on Impside and all the dank times. Special mention to Create, Var, Mal for being dank guild leaders. Jericho and Styrker for being best tank buddies as well as the rest of the team: Loak, Pat, Narsh, and Adorable as well as Deatch. Thanks for hosting this guide and thanks to all readers. If you have any questions/rants/memes or just want to flame me can leave me a comment here, ingame or at my email: and try to get back to you. In cases of doubt, just remember to translocate your healers on CD and say weird crap when your raid leader is streaming and always make Dank Memes. :3

About the Author

I am Yam from Jedi Covenant since my first Powertech is name Yam’unun after hitting the on the character creation screen. I have mained a Powertech tank since 3.0 and getting to know all the ins and outs raiding with several guilds on especially <Origin> which most recently I have raided with over a year clearing all 8m NiM content in 4.0 post Sniper/PT nerfs and 10/10 Rav/ToS HM. I also main the other 2 tank classes and have pub mirrors as well. I like this game, raiding and dank memes. You can watch me live at my Twitch YamSwtor and also can usually find me tanking on Roscoe2311 stream as well. ^^

50 replies on “SWTOR Shield Tech Powertech 4.0 PvE Guide by Yam’unun”

I wouldn’t but Firestorm so high in the priority list. Of course it’s very important to never let flame engine drop off without using Firestorm, however flame engine has a 15 seconds internal CD and resets Firestorm’s CD. I’d say Rocket Punch, Railshot and Heat Blast all take priority, unless flame engine is about to fall off.

You are correct and what was originally put before a brain fart or formatting issue on my end. 🙂

With the waiver that the choice of tank relics is fairly inconsequential: The best theorycrafting PT tank relic apart from RW is SC…if it is used close to cooldown. Shield Amp is a fire-and-forget relic, so I understand it’s appeal. It’s also a close second and in some fights performs better. Yet, since PT tanks relatively lack def cooldowns, adding SC sometimes helps with spike damage…which is the true danger in Nim content.

Of course, if stacking endurance, then the MK-26 220 tank relics contain endurance. All of them. The proc loss from 224 to MK-26 220 tank relics is minimal, although you lose some shield…but you gain a ton of endurance.

Finally, for three bosses (Brontes, TFB, Underlurker) the BIS relics for PT’s are RW and Ephemeral Mending. Weird but true.

That’s probably for a big part due to the fact that all tank gear is defense heavy now, cutting in your shield/absorb budget. In 3.0 you could stack shield, get mostly absorb and a little defense. That’s just no longer possible, given absorb and shield compete on enhancements now.

And the increased cooldown on hydraulics hurt the cheese.

Just did testing on the dummy with Star Parse: Taunts, both the AOE and single target, do NOT give any threat.

There’s no reason to spam them on CD because they don’t give you any additional threat. Worse if you do spam them, you will not have them up if you need them. Taunts are useful for catching up to the threat of a DPS or healer who’s pulled off of you. Taunts are good for taking over aggro from the other tank. They shouldn’t be part of your basic rotation.

Hmmm…who to take more seriously? The person who wrote a well thought-out guide who gives good reasons for using taunts on CD and specifically mentions scenarios to not use them on CD? Or the person with a username that immediately exposes them as an immature jackass? Decisions, decisions…

Taunts by themselves don’t generate threat and hence why you didn’t see a threat increase, throw some moves on the dummy then taunt it too see it work. How taunting works if I remember the exact mechanism since its been a while in PvE is that a taunt makes a target attack you for 6 seconds and raises your threat to the highest level and increases it by 130% at long range and 110% if your within melee range. Others can explain it more in depth but this is tanking 101. Taunting as part of your rotation is great for most fights as saving them does nothing and with the set bonus taunts are always up. Unless a boss has aggro drop mechanics but then it’s about timing and you can taunt throughout while having one up on the drop if it calls for it. If your always taunting and getting your attacks in as well on a standard fight you won’t need to save them when you lose threat as you won’t. Unless your Jugg is being a pleb and trying to get that reflect numbers in Kappa.

Old Example of power of taunts on bosses.

Stop making fun of my jugg:)

Good job being way more polite than I would have been to someone who doesn’t understand how treat works in this game and tried to ridicule you though. Well done Sir:)

“Taunts are useful for catching up to the threat of a DPS or healer who’s pulled off of you”. That cannot happen if you build your threat correctly (by using taunts in rotation). If tanked correctly there is no way for dps to “outthreat” you. Using taunts gives 10-30% (depending on situation) threat boost and builds your aggro very fast. As an example, while tanking Bulo with both tanks taunting on CD you can leave a fight after a minute and go make yourself a cup of coffee because your threat is already higher than Boss total HP. I don’t remember correctly and never tried to max it but while taunting for a whole fight you can make like 100k TPS or even more while the best DPS will do like 7k.

Taunts immediately place you on top of the aggro table at the moment of the taunt. You hold aggro for six seconds from the taunt. If you are not at the top of the aggro table after the taunt window expires, then you lose aggro.

Tank parsing on a dummy is fairly inconsequential. You can’t even replicate a proper rotation because you aren’t getting hit. Parsing a dummy for aggro is absolutely worthless. The only kind of tool you should measure your aggro on is Starparse logs from actual operation boss fights.

Also, most tanks employ a double/triple taunt rotation for openers, assuming the fight requires it. Tanks are in the most danger from aggro loss in the opening moments of a fight…so the double/triple rotation guarantees aggro for at least 20 seconds. After that, you apply taunts as needed, which is usually a lot. Obviously, there are fights where you save taunts for mechanics and switches, but this is an exception. The author is correct in stating that the general rule is that taunts should be spammed. As you progress, you’ll learn how to carefully apply them in context for each fight. Until then? It’s far better to have aggro and not need it than need it and not have it.

Yep…I mainly wear the SC to troll my co-tank Bant who thinks they are worthless…which provides me with an added bonus. Plus, I like the shiny yellow shield it gives you. So…my reasons are far less than utilitarian.

My main tank has been a Powertech since 2.0. Can I ask why you are pushing Firestorm so down the list of priorities? It does a truck load of damage and therefore generates a lot of threat,

However, if you delay Firestorm too long you run the risk of losing that proc if it resets before you have had chance to use it.

What’s more, you should hold off using Heat Blast if you know that a big hit is coming. The amount of times using Heat Blast at the right moment has saved my bacon.

There are only two on-GCD abilities higher on the prio list (Rocket Punch and Railshot), so you’ll delay your Firestorm by a maximum of three seconds before it’s the top priority. So if you follow the priority order, the Firestorm proc will never fall off before you use it.

I do think railshot should be prioritized before rocket punch during rotation, because like the Firestorm proc, the proc that resets rocket punch is based on an internal timer, so there is no need to fire it immediately. Railshot cooldown, on the other hand, doesn’t start running until you use it.

It’s really just a abritary preference since you want both on CD and in the heat of battle will most likely do both. The delay between either or is so small that it’s personal preference. Ranking one ahead of the other is more for to give a simple answer while putting the details below. The real reason I rank it ever so slightly ahead is I like the dank sound of rocket punch and its 3 while RL is bound to 4 :P. But go with what ya feel like in that. Although my priority system is the Stealth Scan and Translocate on CD Kappa :3

You don’t want the rocket punch reset to kick in when rocket punch isn’t on CD, which I prefer using rocket punch as highest priority.

How could the reset ever kick in while RP isn’t on cooldown? That could only happen if you spent 5 GCDs on higher priority abilities, and there aren’t 5 abilities higher on the list.

Simple, it has a 7.5 seconds internal cooldown. Say it resets the cooldown, you use it immediately. So now there’s a 7.5 seconds ICD on the reset and a 9 seconds CD on RP. If the reset does not proc in the last 1.5 seconds of RP’s CD, and Railshot comes off CD the same GCD as RP, the reset could proc during that GCD.

If done correctly Flame Engine will always be executed using the priority system laid out in the guide.

Hi Yam’Unin,

Very good guide, I will adapt a little bit my Vanguard tank 😉

“Earpiece: Exarch Bastion Mk-2 (220)
Implants: Exarch Bulwark Mk-2 x2 (220)”

I prefer the Mark 26 from crafting for my earpiece and my implants, is that a mistake ?


I don’t have the state for those on hand but if it’s the highest rated ones on hand you have and it works for ya, go for it.

I don’t really see the point in tauting on CD. Sure you wil get more threath, however you’ll easily be able to outthreath any dps anyways. The only time you realisticly might run into threath issues is on the opener or after threath drop mechanics. And sure you should taunts to spike your threaths. But wether you do 15k tps or 150k tps is pretty meaningless.

So my understanding from a gearing perspective is.

Armouring – Tokens
Mods – B lettered
Enhancements – ?? bit of confusion – you seem to priortise the ones from mk-2, with higher shield/absorb and defence.

Is this correct? the 220 vendor enhancements have higher endurance

I use Mk-2 Enhancements/Implants as I like maximizing my Shield Absorb while trading off some defense for HP. Mk-4 trade some off some of the shield and absorb as well unlike Mk-2 which has the same values for these stats as on the Token Enhancements.

As for correct, it’s only correct in how I gear my tanks and not how you should gear yours. If you feel like more HP suits you for some reason than use vendor. And on the opposite of you prefer full mitigation use token pieces. The differences are marginal at best between and won’t really influence a fight. If anything from my guide about gearing can be learned is that you will use the cheapest and quickest available method to gear. (I also have far more Mk-2 pieces and Crystals are nice for DMCs money :3

+Yam’uum I feel as though this guide needs some updating regarding NIM tanking stat priority. Many of the best PT tanks are using DPS relics for the ridiculously high endurance payoff. There is also debate in the progression community regarding augments.

There is still objection regarding Mk-2 or Mk-4 ear/implants. Those differences are minor. Clearly MK-1 are not worth the endurance trade.

I would appreciate any feedback you have regarding NIM tanking stat numbers. Is it a case of hitting a Shield Rating/Absorb target, and then investing in pure Endurance?

My understanding is that there a consensus amongst the top PT tanks that Defense is relatively pointless, well in the sense that a PT should almost always trade defense for Shield/Absorb, and also endurance.

Advantage to running DPS relics: 5-6k HP addition, not too mention the extra DPS (threat) which can be very helpful in NIM.

The augment debate I feel relates more to the other class tanks. I am keeping Shield/Absorb augments.

This is a great guide, but needs a bit more detail for progression tanking.

Hello, I’m going to give answers you (and I feel several others) may not like. From reading your question and from others you are looking for a firm answer on how a tank (in this case PT) should be geared. Its a fair question as teams seeking to clear content are always looking for an edge. But before I answer that I will answer the more specific questions you are asking.

1) DPS Relics vs Tank Relics:
With DPS relics you gain 3720 HP more or less with 224 DPS relics. with HP pools reaching 80k+ and damage profile it isn’t ridiculous amount but the same time its still HP. You would lose the ~80 Shield depending on relic level vs tank relics as well as the tank procs which also isn’t that much either. If you wanted an opinion with the view of every option available, the Mark-26 Exarch conquest relics have best of both worlds with HP and Tank stats.

2: Mk-2 vs Mk-4 Implants: As you pointed out the difference is trivial although I prefer the Mk-2 because I like the little extra shield or absorb it gives but its really trivial.

3. Tank Stat numbers: I listed them in the guide but I’m in the process of adding more to clarification since I have been busy. The goal is to get as much shield possible since we get a big boost to our absorb from Heat Blast. However we want amount of absorb to be added until the amount is not as beneficial than trading off shield. I prefer ~1000 absorb as that is my happy medium although others may find adding a little more or less what they like. As for HP it should really only really come from trading off with Defense or a small amount of shield/absorb . Hence B-Mods, Mk-2/Mk-4 Enhancements/Implants/Earpieces and optionally relics (Plus the trivial amount is worth to save your radiant crystals for DMC for dank creds). Don’t augment for Fortitude augs.

4. I believe its well known by majority even most casual raiders at this point that Defense is pointless to augment so I took it as a given and pointed out its pointless in my gear but I can add a line about that I guess. And yes you are correct, you have enough defense no need to add anymore and you can lose some for other stats.*
(*I was going to make a joke about top 10 PT tanks and NiM but then stopped since 6-10 have never done NiM (Harr harr population jokes :3 )

5. Its 3700 with DPS relics. And extra dps is irrelevant for threat. They put a taunt button on the bar for a reason.And in any case added DPS is not that much of a difference. If your struggling on DPS, thats a DPS issue. Tank DPS helps but playing a strat around it is foolish endeavor.

6) Shield and Absorb should be your augments.

As stated earlier, I have been busy and meant to add some more stuff. (I would make a joke about Progression in Swtor but realized it was few years old and already recycled and upscaled to level 65 with this expansion 😛 . )

But to answer the main question, beyond a few things, min-maxing isn’t go to do that much for a tank as would be expected. To me I prefer use the most convenient available and not worry as much about stats and gear as long as they meet some minimum threshold and with gear level more important if anything. But If you do want some sort of answer I will say that trade Defense for HP.

Thanks, and I will add some non gear and stats stuff about tanking NiM content as a PT Soon TM Kappa.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.