SWTOR 5.0 Shield Tech Powertech Guide written by Yam’unun.
Intro to Shield 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. With 5.0 PT tank has gone through some rough times having lost almost the rest of its ranged abilities and nerfs to Kolto and Oil Slick. While gaining nothing new while playing the same in 5.0 and compared to the strength of Assassin tanks right now, it is in the right hands more than capable of clearing the most difficult content in the game.
- Threat Generation: 9/10
- Mitigation: 7/10
- Damage: 6/10
Compared with 4.0, with 5.0 all classes are going through several changes that will affect how the classes play down to their core level.
With 5.0 all base classes will be removed from the game and characters starting from level 1 will have be choosing an Advanced Class and choosing a Spec at level 10. Utilities also have been reworked with not only change but an additional Legendary tier of utilities including new ones. Also all abilities for melee classes will be instant including PT with very few channeled abilities that can be used on the move.
PT Shield Tech Changes
Base Class abilities have been mostly reworked with the PT. Flamethrower has been replaced with Searing Wave which has been removed from the game. Death from Above has been replaced with the new Ordinance Onslaught and Explosive Dart with Shatter Slug. These two old abilities will be now exclusive to the Mercenary class.
Gearing and Stats
Listed Below are the Optimal Numbers as suggested by Bant’s Theory Crafting. This is his work and indebted for it (Source: Bant’s Thread on SWTOR Forum)
|Iokath MK-5, Tier 3: Legendary (242 ilvl)||73.42% Reduction | 7379 Endurance (2xC, Stim) | 6714 Mastery | 910 Power | 3793 Defense | 2201 Shield (7xE, 6xA) | 1413 Absorb (3xE, 8xA)|
|Iokath MK-3, Tier 3: Artifact (240 ilvl)||73.12% Reduction | 7067 Endurance (2xC, Stim) | 6451 Mastery | 910 Power 3605 Defense | 2138 Shield (8xE, 4xA) | 1370 Absorb (2xE, 10xA)|
|Eternal Commander MK-15, Tier 2: Legendary (236 ilvl)||72.84% Reduction | 6924 Endurance (2xC, Stim) | 6315 Mastery | 910 Power 3523 Defense | 2102 Shield (9xE, 2xA) | 1352 Absorb (1xE, 12xA)|
|Eternal Commander MK-13, Tier 2: Artifact (234 ilvl)||72.52% Reduction | 6634 Endurance (2xC, Stim) | 6065 Mastery | 910 Power 3337 Defense | 2100 Shield (10xE, 1xA) | 1248 Absorb (13xA)|
|Eternal Commander MK-3, Tier 1: Artifact (230 ilvl)||72.14% Reduction | 6382 Endurance (2xC, Stim) | 5830 Mastery | 910 Power 3183 Defense | 2015 Shield (9xE, 3xA) | 1237 Absorb (1xE, 11xA)|
Notes about numbers: Numbers are based on modeling and therefore have limitations. Use with a grain of salt. Gearing is based on maximizing mitigation but due to extreme amount of defense use of either Warding B mods or even Lethal B Mods is preferred.
Set Bonus: Supercommando
- 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 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).
That said here are some generally agreed upon ranges of stats people use
- Shield: 1800-2100
- Absorb: 1300-1600
- For PT Shield>Absorb>Defense
I leave out defense as the amount of defense is far over the limit needed.
Mitigation Build vs Higher HP Build
Higher HP build whereby mostly defense is traded for HP is gained through any combination of B Mods, Bulwark/Bastion enhancements or DPS relics because they have HP.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 BiS is only unlettered so you will have to go with less than BiS Mods and Enhancements for HP.
Credit to Jaymis for writing these out already thus saving my fingers and for the simple idea of making it a table. His 5.0 Pyro Guide can be found here . (Recommended Utilities are bolded.)
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.
Shield Tech Passives
General PT Passives and Misc
|Firestorm (FS): 10 meter conal attack and hardest hitting attack now an Instant. Double Damage with Flame Engine and causes targets to become Impaired reducing their F/T attack damage of enemy by 5%. 10m|
|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. 10m|
|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. 10m|
|Rocket Punch (RP): Builds Heat Screens and Shield Enhancers. One of your hardest hitting attack. Use on CD. 4m|
|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. 10m|
|Flame Burst (FB): Main filler and causes Enemies affected to be Weakened and do 5% less M/R Damage as well as Trauma. 10m or 12m if Utility is taken.|
|Rapid Shots: Secondary filler as it costs no energy. 30m|
|Shatter Slug: AOE does moderate damage. 10m.|
|Ordinance Onslaught: AOE does moderate damage. 10m|
|Flame Sweep (FS): Filler AOE and does moderate amount of damage. 4m.|
|Grapple: Pulls Enemy towards you if capable and/or generates a lot of threat. Utility allows it to deal damage if taken.|
|Jet Charge: Gap Closer and provides 2 free FP or FS.|
|Carbonize: AoE Hard Stun|
|Electro Dart: Single target hard stun|
|Oil Slick: Covers surrounding area in an oil slick and for 10 seconds (13 with 6 piece) enemies within oil slick are slowed 70% and M/R accuracy reduced by 15% and can act as a raid utility if you aren’t tanking or there is M/R Dmg going out to raid.|
|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..|
|Energy Shield: 15 seconds (19 with 6 piece) you take 25% less damage from incoming attacks.|
|Kolto Overload: When activated it goes on stand by for 1 minute. During that time when health dips below 35% it will heal you up to 35% and if above 40% heal for 2% of total health.|
|Hydraulic Overrides: Increases movement speed by 30% (45% with utility) and grants immunity to physics and movement impairment for 6 (10 with utility) seconds|
|Vent Heat: Reduces Heat by 50.|
|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 –>FBx2 or FS–>RP or FB–> HB or FB–> Taunt and FB–>RP/RS—>FS–> AOE Taunt->…… Priority
- HB (Heat Blast)
- SC (Shoulder Cannon) (off GCD)
- RP (Rocket Punch)
- RS (Rail Shot)
- FS (Firestorm) (with Flame Engine)
- 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
- 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.
- 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 as much as you see fit.
- 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
- 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
Final Notes & Acknowledgements
I like to thank everyone over my time playing SWTOR for helping me become a better player. I am thankful for my guild Origin in helping achieve where I am. Shoutouts to Roscoe, Var, Mal for being dank leaders. To the current main team, Jaydenz, Sabz, and Adorable. Special Thanks to Deatch who is always awesome. Shoutout to the people in Nemesis Striker, Paxxyon, and Jericho. Shoutout to former raid members/players including Derpynova and the the one and only Loak. Thanks to my Republic guild Fortitude and to Team Res Zan, Lor, Val, Semmi and Sov. Thank you Dulfy for hosting this guide. Thanks to past authors of the PT guide here which I read when learning how to play. Thanks to all readers as well.
About the Author
I am Yam.