SWTOR 5.0 Scoundrel Sawbones PvP Guide by Hottie and Doc

SWTOR 5.0 Scoundrel Sawbones PvP Guide written by Hottie and Doc.

Intro to Scoundrel Sawbones

Definitions:

  • LoS – Line of Sight
  • AoE – Area of Effect
  • HoT – Healing over Time ability
  • DoT – Damage over Time ability
  • HPS – Healing Per Second
  • DPS – Damage Per Second
  • CC – Crowd Control (Stun)
  • Hardstun – CC that doesn’t break on damage taken (Dirty Kick)
  • Mez – CC that breaks on damage taken (Flash Grenade)
  • CD – Cooldown
  • DCD – Defensive Cooldown
  • GCD – Global Cooldown (1.5 seconds)
  • DR – Diminishing Returns; how quickly the amount of value you get out of a stat drops
  • Proc – When conditions are met for a passive ability to activate on your buff bar (Upper Hand)

Advantages:

  • Fairly mobile
  • Sustained healing over time
  • Can self-cleanse DoTs/Roots/Slows
  • Best AoE healing in the game

Disadvantages:

  • HPS is strongly affected by how you manage HoTs
  • Weak single target burst healing
  • Only healing class without damage reduction while stunned
  • Only healing class without Interrupt immunity

5.0 PvP Patch Highlights

  • Expertise stat removed from gear and rolled into Warzone Buff.
  • Warhero crystals for weapons stat have been converted from Expertise to Mastery Stat.
  • All PvP vendor gear on fleet is now removed; you can no longer buy your PvP gear.
  • After reaching lv70 and are subscribed to the game, you are able to gain “Command Levels” (lv300 cap).
  • 4.0 PvP warzone currency now converted into credits; conversion cap was 2 million credits (40K WZ comms) per character.
  • Everytime you earn a command level you receive a command crate which has random item rewards (gear, cosmetic items, pets, crafting materials etc). Gear in crates is tailored to the spec (Sawbones, Ruffian, etc.) you are in when you open them.
  • Command crates gear tiers scale with command levels; t1 = level 1-89, t2 = level 90-179, t2 level 180-300

Note: If you like to spend some time in a DPS spec any crates you are granted can just be opened later after you have changed your spec back to Sawbones and you will get healing gear out of the crate.

Gearing in 5.0

The main thing you need to take from 5.0 is that you now have to level up to get gear. You no longer will be able to buy your PvP gear from a vendor. Gear is now only gained every time you open a command crate (rewarded when you level up). These crates have random items in them. If you do not like the items or they are not useful to you, you can disintegrate them into command experience to help get to the next level and next crate faster. Gearing is highly RNG but in a warzone bolster will help scale your gear so the main difficulty is managing the ratio of Crit and Alacrity.

When gearing keep in mind that because set bonuses are tied to armorings, there is more to what the best armoring in a slot is than just the rating of the armoring. Set bonus should always take priority over item rating. This means that if you have an old set bonus armoring, keep it until you get a better rated armoring THAT ALSO HAS THE SET BONUS. If you do not have an old set bonus, you can just worry about the item rating until you start pulling set bonus gear out of crates. When opening command crates you will receive gear pieces that will be greens, blues, or purples. For those who have modded gear, if any gear you receive does not have the ability to rip out the mods/enhancements, deintegrate it. The purple gear will contain your gear set bonus, this is important. THIS NEW SET BONUS STACKS WITH YOUR OLD PVP GEAR SET (208s); THEY ARE THE SAME. That means if you get lv70 purple gear in your command crate the set bonus will stack with your old one. This is not the case for green/blue armorings. DO NOT REPLACE YOUR OLD SET BONUS ARMORINGS BECAUSE YOU WILL LOSE YOUR SET BONUS. Just replace your mods and enhancements in your gear until you get the purple set bonus gear from your command crates. Remember that means if you get 3 glove blues in a row, don’t be afraid to claim them just to rip out the mods/enhancements to put them into your chest and legs.

When you first start replacing all your old gear don’t be worry so much about stats and min/maxing until you have at least you get all the new mods/enhancements in your gear of your current level tier. Bolster will help even things out for the most part. Once you feel comfortable that you have obtained enough of the gear for your command tier you can start min/maxing the mods/armorings. Remember once you hit lv90 then 180 you will begin to do the same thing for the next tier of gear.

AT THIS TIME WE DO NOT KNOW IF OR WHEN BOLSTER STARTS TO DOWNSCALE YOUR GEAR TIER IN PVP WARZONES. ADDITIONALLY, IT MAY BE SOME TIME BEFORE THE EXACT DETAILS OF BOLSTER ARE WELL UNDERSTOOD.

  • Note: Green mods/enhancement and gear bolster lower in warzones than purple 208 pvp gear. Trash your greens and wait for blue/purple mods/enhancements and gear.
  • Note: Because Expertise is removed from PvP gear as a stat it makes PvP gear and PvE gear the same. This means there nothing wrong with buying enhancements/mods/gear from players or crafting your own. Again just be aware of the stat priority and armoring gear set bonuses.
  • Note: T1 bolster testing I have done: http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=903890

Stats Priority in 5.0

Stat priority goes as followed: Crit > Alacrity over Mastery and Power

I highly recommend a split Crit/Alacrity build because it will give you the best HPS output potential.

According to Bant’s calculations, Critical Rating and Alacrity Rating benefit you more in regards to HPS for Operative/Scoundrels than Mastery or Power. Crit and Alacrity continue to be better than Mastery and Power well beyond the stat caps of current gear. Essentially, it is impossible to actually have too much of them — it’s just a matter of maintaining a reasonable ratio between the two, which is discussed below (slightly more Crit than Alacrity).

Ideal Armor Stats:

  • Critical Rating: ~45% (~1900 rating)
  • Alacrity: ~15% (~1800 rating)

With bolster you will find there is a lot of wiggle room when it comes to stacking your two (2) priority stats (Crit/Alacrity). After you reach this ideal stat cap continue to keep stacking into Crit/Alacrity (with a greater leaning on Crit).

Here’s how you hit these numbers:

  • Mainhand/Offhand color crystals: +41 CRIT
  • Augments: Advanced Alacrity Augment 45: 65+ Endurance 96+ Alacrity ; Advanced Critical Augments 45: 65+ Endurance 96+ Critical
  • Enhancements/Mods: Alacrity or Critical Rating, depending on what you get from crates and what you need to hit ideal stats.

Relics:

Picking optimal relics for healers for PvP is an easy choice. The two you should always pick from are the one which gives you a Mastery bonus and a Power bonus proc because these are the relics that will boost your HPS the most in combat. NEVER buy the Crit or healing relics, they are decidedly less valuable. Mastery and Power relics will work in warzones, other relics if you read their description, will not work in PvP. BiS are the Focused Retribution and Serendipitous Assault purple relics that you get in your current level tier. You will replace them once you get a better one (1-89, 90-189, 190-300).

Relic of Focused Retribution – Healing an ally or performing a damaging attack on an enemy both have a 30% chance of grant X of your Mastery Stat for 6 seconds. This effect can only occur once every 20 seconds.

Relic of Serendipitous Assault – Healing an ally or performing a damaging attack on an enemy both have a 30% chance of grant X Power for 6 seconds. This effect can only occur once every 20 seconds.

Note: If you get two of the same relic name, their procs will not stack in combat.

Stat Analysis:

Critical Rating: Since the changes in 4.0, Crit has become one of the most important stats for DPS and healers because Critical Chance and Critical Multiplier are rolled both into the Critical Rating stat. That means stacking Crit not only increases how often you land critical hits but also increases the healing/damage bonus you receive when you land a Crit. Any stat which lets you double dip is extremely beneficial when gearing.

There is literally no debate regarding the value of stacking Critical Rating in your build. If you choose to not run a high Crit build it is a guaranteed HPS loss.

Alacrity: Alacrity gives you a reduction in your GCD (your GCD is 1.5 seconds with 0 Alacrity Rating), reduction in activation time, and a reduction in channeling speed. In order to understand how gear to properly, it’s important to understand what exactly Alacrity does, since it has several effects. A high-level way to describe the impact of Alacrity would be that it increases how quickly and how often you can use your abilities based on your Alacrity percentage.

Let’s use 10% Alacrity as an example. This will reduce the length of your GCD by 10% and increase your energy regeneration by 10% to account for the fact that you will be spending energy 10% faster. Your casts and channels will also go 10% faster to keep them in line with the 10% shorter GCD on your instant abilities. And finally, your healing abilities have their cooldowns reduced by 10%. When utilized correctly, Alacrity significantly increases your HPS, much more so than Power or Mastery. In ideal circumstances, you can think of 1% Alacrity Rating translating into roughly 1% HPS gain when gearing.

So how do you utilize your Alacrity effectively? You need to avoid gaps in between abilities to leverage the shorter GCD and you need to avoid letting your important heals sit off cooldown in order to take advantage of the shorter CD Alacrity provides. I’ll refer to doing these 2 things as maintaining “uptime.” Being stunned often and the dynamic nature of PVP will prevent you from having perfect uptime but as a healer you should be able to maintain fairly good uptime (it is much harder to maintain good uptime as a melee DPS, for example). As such, I strongly recommend the split of Crit and Alacrity build described at the start of the gearing section. If you are considering dropping some exchange it for Critical Rating because Master or Power will give you less of an HPS increase.

Be aware that while Alacrity does have some diminishing returns, they are fairly slight. Alacrity continues to provide reasonable benefit even at very high values.

Mastery: This is your main class stat. Mastery provides a static increase to your bonus healing and a small increase to your Critical Chance (but not your Critical Rating). Crit will always output more healing than Mastery and Alacrity typically will as well. I strongly advise running no Mastery augments. The increase to bonus healing is not subject to diminishing returns but the increase to your critical chance from Mastery does have some diminishing returns.

Power: Power provides a static increase to your bonus healing but Crit will always output more healing and Alacrity typically will as well. I strongly advise running no Power augments. Power is not subject to diminishing returns.

Note: You will notice that the more you are CC/Mezed the more stacking Crit starts to creep up in effectiveness relative to Alacrity because of severe loss of uptime. That is why some healers choose to run lower Alacrity in team ranked because they expect to have poor uptime verse certain teams.

Datacrons:

Datacrons are objects that can be found and collected around the many worlds of SWTOR. When collected you will gain a small stat increase (Mastery or END). In 4.0 there was a major change where the developers converted all the class specific stats into one called Mastery. This means that if you haven’t collected all the Datacons that used to be another worthless stats pre. 4.0 you are missing out on a significant free stat increase. The good news is datacons are now legacy bound. If you collect some on one toon all toons on your account will have max bonus to Mastery or END. If you want to min/max I really highly recommend you go out and search for them, there are many guides with instructions out there which makes it simple. If you choose to not get any datacons you are missing out on a 150+ stat bonus.

Companion Affection Bonuses:

You will notice that when you max out a companion’s affection you will gain a small buff to your character. This is also legacy bound meaning you only have to max out one group of companions to gain all the small bonuses.

  • Corso Riggs: 1% Max HP
  • Akaavi Spar: 1% Critical Damage*
  • Guss Tuno: 2% Healing Received
  • Risha: 1% Critical Hit Chance*
  • Bowdaar: 1% Accuracy

The only companions you really have to worry about maxing their affection is Corso, Akaavi Spar, Guss Tuno, and Risha. If you are min/maxing I would recommend it.

Note/fun-fact: All datacons, companion bonuses and class buffs transfer across region (NA/EU). You now don’t have to be afraid of transferring a toon from NA to EU or vias versa and not having your bonuses you worked so hard to get.

Utilities

PvP Healing Utilities

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Skillful

4174448442_4238460197807863898_2391465486 SKILLFUL: Smuggled Get-up – Reduces all area of effect damage taken by 30%.

SKILLFUL: Scar Tissue – Increases damage reduction by 5%.

I grouped these two utilities together because they are the only ones in your utility tree that are a passive damage reduction. One of Scoundrel’s weaknesses is they are the only class without a stun damage reduction. This means when we are double hardstunned without a breaker, we are in an extremely vulnerable state because we have nothing in our kit that lets us mitigate damage. That is why these two passives are extremely important to take. They are our only passive damage reduction and help with our survivability.

4141548421_1277349252 SKILLFUL:Let Loose – Let Loose deals 25% more damage.

DO NOT TAKE. This is a specific DPS utility and has no benefit for healers. The only time we should be using Let Loose in combat as a healer is when we are trying to help our DPS find a stealther.

4248266477_2454428744 SKILLFUL:Holdout Defense – Attacking a target with Blaster Whip grants Holdout Defense, increasing your movement speed by 50% for 3 seconds.

DO NOT TAKE. Not a bad utility for escaping one target but if there are more than one enemy attacking you, it isn’t helpful. You can’t afford to take it anymore because the new skill tree design. There is better stuff to put your points in. I would say this is now more of a DPS utility to help stay in melee range then a kiting utility for healers.

Note: Scoundrels shouldn’t have issues kiting because of our kit: Dodge helps us get unrooted/slowed roughly every 20-30 seconds (Scramble utility greatly decreases the CD of your Dodge if you are constantly being attacked), Tendon Blast slows a target so we can create distance, Scamper lets us roll twice away from enemies, and Trick Move lets us teleport away. With all these abilities in our kit, it takes away the effectiveness of putting a utility point in ANOTHER kiting ability. We just don’t need it.

4132421714_1831132198-2 SKILLFUL: Sneaky – Increases movement speed by 15% and effective stealth level by 3.

DO NOT TAKE. This utility is only useful for DPS Scoundrels who are looking for an aggressive playstyle. For a healer it would be a waste to spec into this utility because we aren’t stealthing and re-stealthing often in combat.

2860058812_1289146270 SKILLFUL: Dirty Escape – Reduces the cooldown of Dirty Kick by 15 seconds.

This is a good utility when you want to run solo as a Scoundrel healer. The reduced cooldown on your hardstun can help you kite/create distance and stun a player to get important cast heals off. You can choose to replace Med Screen utility for this one (putting three (3) utilities in Skillful and one (1) in Masterful). Keep in mind, the only way to get the most out of this utility is if you are constantly using your hardstun. If you don’t like that playstyle, it isn’t worth putting a utility point into it. Also if you choose to play with a group of players particularly with a tank, I wouldn’t recommend this utility because you would only be using it for survivability and for emergency stunning to get a cast off. You wouldn’t need it if you have guard, support, and peels.

Note: With all of that being said I would recommend this utility for experienced Scoundrels, particulary duos with a DPS friend. When I say “experienced” I mean a Scoundrel who can maintain extremely good HoT and heal uptime while being focus fired, knows when you have opportunities in your healing rotation to sneak in some DPS on a target, while helping control healers and having a good understanding of all offensive classes to CC them at the right time. I personally spec into hardstun reduction when I’m duoing because it fits with my aggressive healing style and with my understanding of how to control as well as mitigate burst of different classes my team is fighting against. With hardstun reduction you could easily duo against 4 players if you know when to heal verse doing damage and how to effectively use your CCs properly. The hardstun helps you be able to get important heals off by stunning a dps who is constantly interrupting you, it also acts as another interrupt for healers as well as stopping their healing to create windows for you to help add little burst dps with your duo to help down an enemy.

Masterful

3578116381_3142393852 MASTERFUL: Anatomy Lessons – Reduces the energy cost of Dirty Kick and Tendon Blast by 5 and makes Tendon Blast immobilize the target for 2 second.

DO NOT TAKE. This is a DPS specific utility and useless to take as a healer

4218020749_26374994152 MASTERFUL: Med Screen – Your Defense Screen heals you for 5% of your maximum health when it collapses.

This utility used to be second rate in 3.0-4.0 but its usefulness has slightly been increased with the having Smuggled Defenses being more accessible in the utility tree. These two utilities together would allow you to get your Defense Screen 5 seconds faster as well as giving you a 5% heal for your maximum health more often. With the increased effectiveness of these two utilities used together, it will be worth taking for healers to increase their survivability

1708291493_26668796182 MASTERFUL: Flee the Scene – Reduces the cooldown of Disappearing Act by 30 seconds. In addition, activating Disappearing Act increases movement speed by 50% for 6 seconds.

DO NOT TAKE. This utility isn’t worth taking because it doesn’t lower the cooldown of your combat stealth enough to be useful. Also, the 50% increased movement speed addition is pointless because every time you stealth out you roll anyways which is just as effective. I personally don’t like putting utility points on a long defensive cooldown that are situational. Some games you will use it a lot while others you barely utilize it. I would rather spend a point on something I get often, consistent use out of (like Med Screen) than a small buff to a last-resort cooldown that I will often not need.

35351611_3761189848 MASTERFUL:Keep Cool –Keep Cool now immediately restores 15 additional energy.

DO NOT TAKE. This utility isn’t worth spending a point in. The default Keep Cool as an ability is good enough to do its job, there is no need to spend a valuable utility point to make it slightly better. If you use the healing priority system I outline in the healing section of the guide you shouldn’t be running out of energy often. The only times you should be running out of energy are when you are never being CCed/Interrupted or you are forced to cast healing Underworld Medicine repeatedly (shouldn’t happen often).

3544649224_19497005382 MASTERFUL: Curbing Strategies – Quick Shot and Lacerating Blast reduces the movement speed of the targets they damage by 40% for 6 seconds. In addition, when Flash Grenade ends it leaves behind Flash Power that reduces the target’s Accuracy by 20% for 8 seconds.

DO NOT TAKE. The first part of this utility is DPS specific and pointless for healers. Both DPS abilities it refers to use a lot of energy to cast in addition to requiring close proximity. We also already have a slow, Tendon Blast, which has a short CD and is a 50% movement speed reduction. The second half of this utility is part of a new 5.0 utility merge. “Flash Powder” in 4.0 used to be a utility in Skillful and was worth taking for healing Scoundrels as another way to mitigate group damage or cleave because of the Accuracy debuff. Now this new merge with another strictly DPS oriented utility makes taking this utility as a healer not optimal.

1520358450_3114066081 MASTERFUL: Supplemented Medpac – While your Slow-release Medpac is active on yourself, your damage reduction is increased by 3% per stack (6% total with two (2) stacks).

This is a great utility to take in the Scoundrel tree. Any passive damage reduction is extremely important for Scoundrels because like I said before, we are extremely weak when we are stunned without a break since we have no stun damage reduction. This is a must-have.

Heroic

3086533647_2627847448 HEROIC: Dirty Trickster -Surrender will also purge all movement-impairing effects when activated. Additionally, when Tranquilizer wears off, the target is struck by Sedatives, reducing all damage dealt by 50% for the next 10 seconds.

DO NOT TAKE. This utility is good for Concealment DPS but isn’t as useful for healers. It’s just not good enough to take and with the addition of Sedatives buff in 5.0 (which is a dueling specific utility before), it gives us literally no extra benefit for us healers. One of the main reasons I personally wouldn’t take it is because we can root break with Dodge extremely often which reduces the value of this utility. We also never really get into situations where a root is what kills us; double hardstun is what kills us the most often and this utility can’t help with that. I just personally wouldn’t recommend this from a survivability standpoint because it’s not good enough to take verse the other utilities in the Heroic tier.

3563016249_1093904117 HEROIC:Get the Bulge – Tendon Blast will now grant an Upper Hand.

DO NOT TAKE. This is a DPS Scoundrel utility and pointless for healers. We already can sustain a healthy amount of Upper Hand by just healing.

3817143745_1407496373 HEROIC:Skedaddle – When activated, Disappearing Act grants 2 seconds of Dodge.

DO NOT TAKE. This utility isn’t bad but isn’t worth putting a point in. The goal in this utility is to make it safer when you use your combat stealth by gaining 2 seconds of Dodge therefore, you evade damage and cleanse DoTs so you can safely get away. You can literally do the same thing by stealthing out and using your Dodge ability then rolling. This utility isn’t that great for being in a higher tier which makes it worthless to consider. Again, like I said before, I personally dislike putting points in abilities that are situational with long cooldowns, I would rather save my utility points for shorter CD abilities that I use often because it increases overall effectiveness of the utility point I put in.

1518249253_16779203282 HEROIC: K.O. – When used from stealth, Back Blast knocks down the target for 3 seconds. If the target is a player, they will be interrupted and immobilizing for 3 seconds.

DO NOT TAKE. This is a DPS utility and has no benefit for healers.

259554577_20780057152 HEROIC: Scramble – Every time you get attacked, the active cooldown of your Dodge is reduced by 3 seconds. This effect cannot occur more than once every 1.5 seconds.

This is one of the best utilities in the Heroic tree and should be a priority for Scoundrel healers. If you are constantly being attacked in PvP you can theoretically get your CD of Dodge reduced from 1 minute to just shy of 20 seconds. Even if you are attacked only once every 3 seconds the CD is cut in half to 30 seconds. Dodge is an extremely important ability in your kit because it lets you dodge all white damage for its duration and when activated cleanses all slows/dots/roots.

Note: This ability not only procs for single target attacks but also DoT ticks. If you are constantly being DoTed the CD of Dodge will reliably reduced to nearly 20 seconds. More DoT ticks means it will be easier to cleanse them off with Dodge.


Note: Just think about what this utility does with the new combination of Back At Ya, you will have a 3 second 150% single target reflect theoretically every 20 seconds. That is crazy!

3282220098_3057933906 HEROIC:Smuggled Defenses – Reduces the cooldown of Escape by 30 seconds, Defense Screen by 5 seconds, and Smuggle by 60 seconds.

This is the second best utility in the Heroic tree. It’s a must-have for Scoundrels because it gives us two things that are very beneficial for us: it decreases the CD of your Defense Screen and your breaker. This utility syncs well with Med Screen utility in the Masterful tree. Our weakest moments for a Scoundrel are when our breaker is on cooldown since we only have one true escape. A 30 second reduction on your breaker as well as a decreased CD on Defense Screen increases your survivability greatly. This utility is a must-have in 5.0.

Legendary

1862926949_1723298141 LEGENDARY: Slippery Shooter – Scamper grants a charge of Slippery Shooter, reducing the energy cost of your next Quick Shot by 100%, allowing it to be used at 30m, and making it knock the target back. Each use of Quick Shot consumes a charge ofSlippery Shooter and grants 10 energy.

DO NOT TAKE. This is a DPS focused utility and pointless to take for healers.

3872079943_3250679212 LEGENDARY: Back At Ya – Dodge grants a charge of Back At Ya, returning 150% single target Tech or Force damage while Dodge is active for 3 seconds.

SITUATIONAL.This is a new 5.0 utility which is extremely powerful. Since you spec into Scramble which reduces the cooldown on your Dodge, it makes this utility even more powerful. With this utility you will have a reflect for single target Force/Tech damage, sending it back at the attacker. This means that DPS have to be more careful continuing to tunnel you through your Dodge because it can be reflected back. If you have good awareness you could easily send a Backstab or Heat Seeker back at the enemy who cast it for 150% of it’s damage. This utility is great if you are being tunneled. It makes DPS think twice before attacking you. I have personally killed players with this utility (or they have killed themselves lol) and been in many situations where I have reflected over 40K+ damage back at my attackers.

Note: I personally feel like this is a great utility to take for solo ranked or group ranked because many of the games come down to who can get the most damage out as fast as possible. People will blindly tunnel through your reflect and/or you can easily catch tech/force abilities to reflect back. It might be enough damage for your team to get a kill as well as make them extremely unsure about whether or not tunneling you is truly the best strategy.

Note: Be aware that even though this returns 150% damage back at the attacker you still receive the initial damage.

Note: This utility in combination with the Scramble utility helps reduce the CD of Dodge every time you get attacked. That means you could theoretically have Back At Ya proc with Dodge every 20-30 seconds.

Note: Refer to the Dodge section to see when is the best time to use Dodge to reflect back an ability during a fight.

482451000_1251510562 LEGENDARY: Sly Surrender – Surrender grants Sly Surrender, causing your next Slow-release Medpac to immediately grant two stacks. Additionally, Surrender heals you for 1% of your maximum health every second for 10 seconds and Kolto Pack delivers its heal instantly, no longer healing the target over time.

DO NOT TAKE/SITUATIONAL. I personally would not recommend this utility for a PVP healer. The “buff” to Kolto Pack is easily nullified by interrupts, it actually reduces the overall healing output of the ability, and ultimately does extraordinarily little to alleviate the difficulty in getting our burst heals out. This utility is meant to help give us some breathing room when we need to burst heal but does very little to actually accomplish that because you still have to cast to get the burst out. The instant double stack of Slow-release Medpac is only moderately helpful as it only saves you a single GCD, assuming you actually need a double stack in the moment. And the 10% self heal over 10 seconds is very fluffy. To make matters worse, this utility suffers from the issue of providing multiple, not necessarily overlapping benefits. The 10% self heal might be nice in a moment but the double stack of your HoTs useless and vice versa. The bottom line is that Back At Ya and Surprise Comeback are almost always superior choices in the Legendary tier.

Tip: For advanced players, I would spec into this for group ranked if you are forced to face a mez comp. Specing this utility will be better running than two (2) DCDs if the enemy team is not actually attacking you. For solo ranked it’s iffy. If you know there are tanks in queue you can run with this utility but if you are forced to play 3 DPS matches, specing into two (2) DCDs in legendary would hands down be better just in case you are tunneled.

Note: Currently in 5.0 there is a bug(?): the double stack of probe is healing instantly for a huge heal. I do not believe this is intended.

1191990268_6497283972 LEGENDARY: Surprise Comeback – Pugnacity now additionally grants Surprise Comeback, restoring 5% of total health every 3 seconds (equals to 25% hp healed) and reducing damage received by 20% for 15 seconds.

This utility turns your Pugnacity into a DCD. I recommend putting a point into this to increase your survivability in combat.

179294669_33991271552 LEGENDARY: Hotwired Defenses – Increase the amount of damage absorbed by Defense Screen by 30%.

Since this utility was moved around it is now worth taking as a DCD improvement.This will improve the effectiveness of your shield that you are popping very often to absorb damage. Just keep in mind that Surprise Comeback is BETTER than this utility overall. Using them together is fine but do not remove Surprise Comeback to take this utility. It is NOT worth it.

3753037350_2309254844 LEGENDARY: Sleight of Foot – Reduces the cooldown of Trick Move by 10 seconds and Trick Move can be used while immobilized and purges movement-impairing effects when used. Additionally, Trick Move grants an Upper Hand.

DO NOT USE. Trick Move is a very buggy and broken ability which still only works 50% of the time as intended. Its design is supposed to let you create distance, kite, or travel to an ally to heal. Instead, because of bad coding, much of the time it doesn’t teleport you anywhere, teleports you past your location, and/or almost always doesn’t teleport you properly upstairs. With how this ability is not working as intended, putting a utility point into it in your legendary tree isn’t worth it. The only thing you would gain is another root break which, like I said before, isn’t really needed because of how fast Dodge gets off CD. Even with the new addition in 5.0 of it also gaining Upper Hand, it’s still not even close to being good enough to use.

Discussion

Hotwired Defenses vs. Surprise Comeback – If you want to run a legendary utility that is not either of these two I’d like to explain why I highly recommend dropping Defense Screen that absorbs slightly more damage (it comes out to about 4% of your total health) or a Defense Screen that absorbs slightly less damage AND an entirely new, powerful defensive cooldown? The PVP environment is very dynamic and situations where an improved Defense Screen is not enough to save you, while Surprise Comeback would save you, are very common. Does a 30% increase in Defense Screen outweigh 20% damage mitigation and 25% of your health back in clutch moments? No. It’s just not good enough to replace a powerful defensive cooldown utility like Surprise Comeback.

Healing Overview

Scoundrel healing revolves around instant heals, HoTs, and superior AoE heals to keep target(s) alive. The majority of your healing rotation will include: Slow-release Medpac, Emergency Medpac, and Kolto Cloud. These are all instant cast and instant heals. Your healing is also built around generating and spending procs that stack three (3) times called Upper Hand. With these procs, which are gained by casting most of your heals successfully, you can cast other abilities such as Emergency Medpac, which is another instant heal, and Kolto Pack, which is your small cast heal.

In my personal opinion, Scoundrel heals do not focus on rotations in PvP but have a healing priority. Interrupts and CC can have significant impacts on how you heal in current fights. PvP battles are constantly changing and you as a healer have to be fluid in your healing because you rarely will get opportunities to stand still and cast a full rotation. That’s why you should value having a priority focused versus a rotation focused mind set in PvP.

Your healing priority should be:

Two (2) stacks of Slow-release Medpac on four (4) targets -> Kolto Cloud -> Kolto Pack* -> Underworld Medicine or Kolto Wave

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Note: Remember with the addition of the new passive Bootlegged Remedy in 5.0 you will have an auto-crit boosted Emergency Medpac after casting Kolto Pack. Just keep that in the back of your head when you need a quick burst heal on a target who is dropping fast.

Note: Remember that Pugnacity gives us a free Underworld Medicine or Kolto Pack for a burst heal as needed.

Note: In most battles your overall healing distribution will be roughly: 40% Slow-release Medpac, 30% Kolto Cloud, and then your “fillers” which account for roughly 15% which includes Kolto Pack, Kolto Wave, and Underworld Medicine. Remember also that you are using Emergency Medpac to refresh your HoTs and it will account for around 10% healing as well.

In a strictly AoE fight the healing distribution is shifted slightly: 35% Slow-release Medpac, 25% Kolto Cloud, 20% Kolto Wave, 15% Emergency Medpac then your other fillers, <10% Kolto Pack, Underworld Medicine. You can see that still the bulk of your healing doesn’t change: your single target HoTs and AoE HoT still account for a large portion of your overall HPS. That’s why having good HoT uptime is so imperative when attempting to reach your highest HPS potential.

Important Abilities and Passives

4027783036_3146322609 Upper Hand (Passive) – Proc gained by successfully casting healing abilities. Stacks three (3) times.

You should never run out of stacks if you are maintaining HoTs on four (4) targets and using Kolto Cloud on CD. This alone should always give you three (3) stacks to be used to cast Emergency Medpac or Kolto Pack.

Note: When you use your combat stealth then unstealth or get unstealthed, you passively gain two (2) Upper Hand to use as you like.

Note: This is why you see Scoundrel healers before combat, stacking HoTs and Kolto Cloud on allies in spawn. Not only are your allies going to go into combat with HoTs ticking but it also allows you to enter combat with three (3) Upper Hand ready to go to use as you please.

Note: You have a passive called Tactical Bedside Manner that states once you consume an Upper Hand with a healing ability all your healing is increased by 3% for 6 seconds. This means every time you use Emergency Medpac or Kolto Pack you will receive a small healing bonus of 3% for 6 seconds after. This is super important if you want to Min/Max your HPS.

The good thing is, if you follow the healing priority as stated previously you will have 90%+ uptime with Tactical Bedside Manner.

Note/fun-fact: If you listen closely you will notice that every time your character laughs in combat, that is an indication you just gained an Upper Hand.

3552108719_3168426986 Bootlegged Remedy – Kolto Pack grants Bootlegged Remedy, increasing the critical chance of your next Emergency Medpac by 100%. This effect can only occur once every 18 seconds.

This is a new passive ability added in 5.0 that is unlocked at level 68. This will allow you to have a guaranteed critical hit with your Emergency Medpac after every other Kolto Pack (if you use the ability on cooldown because of its internal cooldown). Also be aware of what 100% Crit chance means. In 4.0 there was a change that stated if an ability is an automatic critical hit your crit chance will be added as extra bonus damage in addition to the usual critical multiplier. This passive ability gives us a slight increase to our burst potential and is something you should be aware of every time you use Kolto Pack.

442319028_196381842 Stack the Deck – Consumes an Upper Hand to Stack the Deck for you and your Operation group members within 40 meters, increasing critical chance by 10% for 10 seconds. Does not break stealth.

This ability works in 8 man warzones and not arenas. This means you will not be able to use it in regular warzone arenas, solo ranked, or group ranked. I try to use Stack the Deck off cooldown.

Note: Good combos include;

Stack the Deck -> Kolto Cloud -> Kolto Wave for AoE healing.

Stack the Deck -> Kolto Pack -> Emergency Medpac -> Underworld Medicine -> Emergency Medpac for single target burst healing.

Stack the Deck -> Diagnostic Scan if you are in a desperate situation and you need energy back. Diagnostic Scan in your passives gives energy back every time you crit heal on a target.

35351611_37611898482 Cool Head – Recovers 50 energy over 3 seconds.

This is your emergency energy regeneration; use it sparingly as it’s on a 2 minute cooldown. It could be the longest two minutes of your life if you are energy starved.

Tip: If you spend a utility point on Keep Cool, it will increase the energy restored by 15. I would recommend this if you are struggling with energy management.

2333529044_39111803412 Diagnostic Scan – Channeled healing ability that costs no energy on the move for small amount for 3 seconds. When it crits it restores 2 energy.

In your Scoundrel passives you will notice you have an ability called “Patient Studies” which buffs your Diagnostic Scan to restore 2 energy per Crit heal, making it your secondary energy regeneration. Since 3.0 you can do this on the move. This should be used to try to keep your energy above 60% to keep a healthy passive energy regeneration rate.

You will have to use this ability in the healing priority rotation I provided, every 1-2 cast heals or after a channel of Kolto Wave. I tend to use it anytime I have a window where I don’t need to single target burst heal or AoE cleave to save a player(s). Always be actively looking for opportunities to sneak it in especially when you know Cool Head is on CD. If you are constantly getting CC/Interrupted you will notice your energy doesn’t suffer as much and you will see yourself not using this ability that often.

Tip: If you are really low on energy and Cool Head is on CD there are only two options. Wait for energy to come back by spamming Diagnostic Scan or activate Pugnacity + Stack the Deck and spam Diagnostic scan. The Alacrity bonus will increase your channeling speed as well as your increased Critical Rate from Stack the Deck.

Tip: The HPS of Diagnostic Scan is pretty much worthless (it was an HPS decrease pre 3.3 then the healing was nerfed again) and should only be used for energy regen. There are situations when you are kiting and you have no procs for Emergency Medpac, left and you can’t afford a cast heal, use it on the move to restore some HP. That is the only situation you should use it as a heal, when you have NOTHING left.

Note: Your base energy regen of 6 per second significantly drops off below 60 energy. Be aware of this threshold so you can maintain a healthy energy regeneration rate. The more time you spend above 60 energy, the more energy you generate, and consequently the higher your potential HPS because you don’t have to spend the GCDs frantically trying to stabilize your energy when you should be healing.

1225427568_4053809506 Pugnacity – Grants an Upper Hand and increases Alacrity by 10% for 15 seconds.

This is the only ability in our kit that can increase the rate at which we heal. Keep in mind what an Alacrity bonus does: it decreases your GCD, lowers the time between ticks of your HoTs, helps you cast heal/channel faster, and lowers the CD of your abilities. Use this ability’s Alacrity increase in combination with cast healing to burst heal someone or burst heal a group of targets with Kolto Wave.

Tip: Keep in mind that new Eternal Commander purple gear has a two (2) piece bonus which gives you an proc making your next Underworld Medicine a critical hit.. It procs around every 30+ seconds. When combined with the Prolonged Prescription passive after popping Pugnacity, your next Underworld Medicine will be a big Crit and cast instantly.

Note: Since 4.0 when activating Pugnacity you will receive Prolonged Prescription which will let you cast your next Kolto Pack or Underworld Medicine instantly. I would recommend using it with Underworld Medicine. Always go for your biggest heal because you should be activating Pugnacity to burst heal someone in majority of situations. The only time I use Pugnacity instant cast on Kolto Pack is when the player I was going to burst heal has his HP back (if he popped CDs or got healed by another source). If there is no other low player to use the instant ability on before the proc runs out, use Kolto Pack on yourself or an ally you think will get bursted later. Since Kolto Pack has a small HoT/small damage reduct, in this particular situation it is more beneficial use the instant cast like this versus your big heal which would be less effective since the player’s HP is full.

Note: If you activate Pugnacity remember that you don’t have to use your instant heal right away! You have the 15 seconds duration to use your instant. Sometimes you need to activate your Pugnacity for its damage reduction or a situation changes like a target you wanted to use your instant on is healed up – don’t be afraid to wait to see if another healing opportunity comes up so you can use it more effectively. Another example is I sometimes activate Pugnacity to use it in combination with my Kolto Wave. I wait to see who is the lowest HP target is after my Kolto Wave before using my instant.

Note: If you spec into the utility Surprise Comeback this turns your Pugnacity into a DCD which decreases incoming damage by 20% and heals you for 5% of your maximum hp every 3 seconds. This is a great utility but the downside is you sometimes need to pop Pugnacity in situations to mitigate burst on yourself verse saving it to pop during situations you need to burst heal an ally and use your instant cast proc. It unfortunate that if you spec into this utility you have to use your only real CD in two very different situations. Just do the best you can.

Healing Abilities

1355940170_1251835164 Slow-release Medpac – Heals for X amount over 21* seconds.

This ability is the foundation of your healing. Maintaining two (2) stacks of HoTs on four (4) targets is your goal. I would not recommend trying to keep HoTs on your entire 8 man in warzones because it’s virtually impossible. It would leave you no room for any other healing ability throughout the game. Rotating HoTs on four (4) targets who are taking damage or burst helps you stabilize your group healing and also allows you to cast/channel heal in between HoT refreshes. The success and skill of a Scoundrel lies in how well they maintain their HoT uptime even while kiting, being CCed, and cast healing. Remember that HoTs are your number one priority in your healing because they mitigate sustained DPS over time which is the strength of this healing class.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to not let your HoTs drop. Re-stacking HoTs takes time and numerous of GCDs (8 GCDs to be exact) where you are better off cast healing or doing other things. It will also be a heavy HPS loss since almost half your healing in a warzone comes from your HoTs. The better you become at remembering to refresh your HoTs, the higher your HPS potential will become and consequently your ability to save players.

Slow-release Medpac accounts for roughly 40%+ of your overall within a warzone. Just think about what that means: that is almost half of all the healing you will do in a warzone. Not only will their healing stabilize the players who are being damaged allowing you to cast heal but serve other benefits as well.

Slow-release Medpac help you generate Upper Hands and help reduce the amount of energy you expel during fights. If you are consistent in maintaining good uptime with your HoTs, each heal tick on a player has a chance of gaining an Upper Hand. Upper Hand not only gives you the opportunity to cast Kolto Pack which can be a life saving heal but also allows you to cast Emergency Medpac which also refreshes your HoTs.

Since 4.0 with the addition of Emergency Medpac being able to refresh your HoTs it slightly changed the Scoundrel play style allowing them to control their energy output. Let’s explore why that is: There are only two ways you can refresh your double HoT stack which is using Slow-release Medpac or using one of your Upper Hand stacks to cast a Emergency Medpac. There are very specific differences between these two methods. Slow-release Medpac costs more energy to use (10 energy) while Emergency Medpac costs a UH + 5 energy and heals for a small amount in addition to the refresh. It’s more energy efficient to cast Emergency Medpac when refreshing especially when your target is low HP. There is more bang for your buck. Just be aware that you shouldn’t refresh strictly with only Emergency Medpac because you will run out of UP stacks and which you also need to spend casting Kolto Pack which is part of your healing priority rotation. So the main thing to take away from this is the better your HoT management, the better the UP gain, the better your HPS potential (because this would allow you to heal and refresh with Emergency) and the less stress you put on your energy output.

Tip: Your HoTs can be refreshed (if stacked twice on a target) by Emergency Medpac. A good refreshing rotation is two (2) refreshed by pressing Slow-release Medpac, while the other two (2) refreshed by Emergency Medpac. This will save some of your Upper Hand procs for emergencies as well as give those players who are refreshed by your instant a 5-10k heal as well as restacking their HoT. If I’m in a group taking heavy damage I refresh with Slow-release Medpac once and three (3) times with Emergency Medpac, focusing my three instant heals on the players taking the most damage.

Tip: If you can, try to refresh your HoTs at the last moment before they fall off because you won’t be clipping their healing. You should try to effectively use all the time in between refreshes for cast healing/channeling and popping instants. This doesn’t mean however it’s wrong to refresh HoTs early. There are times when I know I am going to go through a double hardstun or double Mez rotation so I make sure I prioritize refreshing my HoTs early so they will be healing while I am sitting in CC. Always make sure you have your HoTs healing if you are being CC chained because it is one of the strengths of Scoundrels to be able to keep heals up while stunned. This all comes with experience, awareness, and practice.

Tip: Who should you prioritize your HoTs on? For starters, yourself because you will most likely get heavy focus fire, possibly a tank, and two (2) other players taking damage. If you specced into Supplement Medpac which gives you damage reduction while self HoTed, you should prioritize HoTs yourself at all times.

Tip: StarParse has a function that lets you do a Ops Frame overlay to help track Slow-release Medpac. I tested this myself and it works great! I really suggest all Operative Healers to use this in PvP. It will let you know how many HoTs are stacked on each target in your frame as well as a timer indicating when they are about to drop.

StarParse Website: http://ixparse.com/

How to step up Starparse to display raid HoTs:

Step 1: Open the program.

Step 2: Click “PARSE” on the top right. It show green when you click it.

Step 3: Click “INTERFACE” then “SETTINGS” and set a hotkey for “lock hotkey”. This will let you lock or unlock the Raid HoT overlay on your ops frame. The default is Ctrl + Shift + Z.

Step 4: Click “INTERFACE” make sure “Raid Hots” and “Lock Overlay” are checked.

Step 5: Go into your game and use the hotkey you just set to show your overlay (should appear somewhere to the left side of your screen. Drag the overlay and resize it to fit your ops frame.

YOU ARE SET TO GO!

My Ops Frame when overlayed:

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IMPORTANT: To input the names correctly in order on the overlay you need to make sure that first the overlay has no names input into it. Unlock your overlay and clear the names out by clicking the white “x” button on the right side of the frame when hovering over the frame. Second, HoT everyone once in spawn before the match starts (healing a target will put them in your overlay), going from top left -> down the left side then top right and down the right side.You can unlock your overlay at any time to make sure the names line up with the names in your ops frame. If they don’t, don’t panic! Just drag, drop, or delete to fix the overlay errors.

Tip: Correcting overlay mistakes does take some time to make sure everything is perfect. Make sure you give yourself some time before every match to reset everything. Trust me, it’s worth it!

Note: If someone leaves your group after you’ve already set everyone in their proper place in the overlay, this will mess up your overlay. It’s a pain. Normally I just ignore it and if I have time I try to move the person and add the next one by healing and moving their name to the proper location.

Note: There are also times where the overlay is buggy and no matter what you do you cannot have get the players name to show up. This happens and you just have to deal with it because remember, this wasn’t designed for PvP where players are constantly leaving and joining your ops group.

3248110389_24490540302 Emergency Medpac – Instant heal for X amount, requires and spends an Upper Hand proc.

This is your emergency heal as well as a way of refreshing your Slow-release Medpac. It heals for around 5k-10. It’s a good spamming ability if someone is at 20% and you don’t feel confident that you can have enough time to get a cast heal off to save them. But you will mostly be using this ability as a HoTs refresher. This ability accounts for roughly 10% of your overall healing within a PvP match. Most of the time it will be your third highest heal, unless you are in AoE cleave spamming Kolto Wave.

Note: In 5.0 there is a new passive,Bootlegged Remedy, which grants you an auto Crit Emergency Medpac for the passive proc duration. This gives you an instant slight burst heal every other Kolto Pack (based on the passives internal cooldown of 18 seconds).

3428250870_32650838452 Kolto Cloud – Heals up to 4 allies within 10 meters for X over 9 seconds.

This an instant AoE heal. This should be always used on CD and is the second best way to generate Upper Hand procs. Should be placed on a target close to three (3) other players to get the best HPS benefit. This ability, used on CD, will account for roughly 20-30% of your overall healing within a PvP match.

Tip: Before entering combat with your group activating Kolto Cloud helps stack your procs as well as helps you heal the beginning burst of combat.

Tip: Even in 1v1 duels you should be using this ability on CD to maintain Upper Hand.

Note: In your skill tree you will notice Kolto Cloud gives a 3% healing increase to all sources for 45 seconds. Keep this in mind when you are casting this ability to get the best spread as possible in your groups because all those people it touches will get a 3% increase in healing.

Note/fun-fact: This ability is a “smart heal” which means it prioritizes players who are low HP over ones with more HP.

589382234_753632583 Kolto Wave – Heals up to 8 allies that remain within 8 meters of the targeted area for X health over the channel duration.

This is your channeled AoE healing ability. It cannot be used while moving so be aware of your positioning when using it. It is an amazing ability and Crits often (sometimes up to 60% on my healing parses). Never underestimate the strength of the AoE healing. That all being said the only disadvantage to this ability is that like I said before, you have to stand still and cast it in a desired location. In PvP it is sometimes hard to get proper placement positioning with your Kolto Wave because it is extremely easy for players to just walk out of it or for you to be pushed back, interrupted, or stunned during its channel. Even though Kolto Waves HPS potential is high using it effectively in PvP is an annoying struggle that we just have to deal with. This ability can account for >10%-20% of your overall healing in a warzone. This healing percentage highly depends on whether or not you are in large AoE fights or using it for a filler in between cast healing.

Tip: It’s worthwhile to be using this ability when you have 3+ players in the wave healing range. This might be hard because it requires you to place it somewhere and players to not walk out of it. Just do the best you can with the placement.

Tip: You can either place it manually (drag and drop) or double click the ability while targeting a player. Be careful of how you place this ability as it’s not always wise to double click because you could get more players if you drag and place it manually in some cases. Optimizing the placement will take practice.

Note: Since Kolto Wave is a placed AoE ability it is very easy to have players run out of it or be pushed out of your heal radius. If player(s) leave your AoE radius, cancel the channel (you can do this by just moving). Don’t continue to heal no one hoping the players are going to come back.

Note: Don’t forget about Stack the Deck, which increases your group’s Crit chance by 10% for 10 seconds. If there is intense AoE battle I time it with my Kolto Cloud, Kolto Waves, and even my Pugnacity for high HPS.

1287365923_3664228211 Kolto Pack – Uses an Upper Hand to heal a target for X and X over 9 seconds.

This is a low cast time single target heal which also places a HoT on your target. It costs an Upper Hand proc and also has a base cooldown of 9 seconds. You should be using this ability on CD because it has overall better single target HPS than Underworld Medicine, triggers the healing buff you get by spending an UH, and the HoT on the end can generate new UHs. It also gives the player Healing Hand (since 3.0) which gives a 45 second resistance to 3% elemental and internal damage (effective when fighting against Assassins/Shadow, Powertechs/Vanguard, Pyro Mercenaries/Commando, and Scoundrel DPS).

Tip: It is smart to use this ability like a “buff”. Buff yourself and your tank or other players before combat. 3% might not seem as much but over time it is worth it.

Tip: This is a good ability to bait interrupts with if you really need to get out a Underworld Medicine or a Kolto Wave. This means casting the ability for the sole reason of trying to get the enemy to waste their interrupt so you can cast something else freely right after.

Note: In 5.0 there is a new passive,Bootlegged Remedy, which grants you an auto Crit Emergency Medpac for the passive proc duration. This gives you an instant slight burst heal every other Kolto Pack (based on the passives internal cooldown of 18 seconds).

Note: Adding the initial heal and the HoT healing of this ability, the overall healing is greater than Underworld Medicine. It is also more reliable healing than your other big cast heal because it has more crit opportunities (because part of the healing is split into a HoT). So it not only heals for more on average, it is less reliant on a single lucky crit to be effective. The HPS and healing per energy of non-critical Underworld Medicines is very poor. Unless you are concerned about your target dying very soon, Kolto Pack is a better heal.

447867125_622702063 Underworld Medicine – Heals a friendly target for X amount.

This is your big cast heal which heals for around 8-25k~ with a 1.8 second cast time. Unlike Kolto Pack, Underworld Medicine does not have a cooldown and is spammable in single target burst healing situations.

Tip: The long cast time of this ability (about 1.8 seconds with a standard Alacrity value) makes combining it with the 10% Alacrity buff on Pugnacity an effective way to get the ability out much faster.

Tip: When healing single target burst with Underworld Medicine, it is best to try predict burst before it happens. I know this is hard and takes some getting used to but it really helps you save players. Start casting your single target burst rotation at 80% of the players health if you hear someone is about to, for example, get Commando bursted or a Carnage Marauder is setting up a burst combo. The more awareness you have in situations like this the better of a healer you will be because in the current state of the game if you start healing exactly when the burst is going or slightly after, there is no way a Scoundrel to out heal it.

Tip: Burst healing for a Scoundrel isn’t our strong point. To help with that it is really imperative that you have HoTs rolling a target before cast healing. It helps make up for the long cast time since it will be ticking while you are casting. By stacking your instants on a target this will help you put the most HPS on a target who is getting bursted.

Tip: Try to use a Emergency Medpac right after Underworld Medicine because if it Crits with HoTs it all adds up for a great burst heal. If it all crits that’s 20k (cast heal) +10k (instant heal) +5k (HoT heal)= 35k+ heal. Not only is it a good burst heal but it’s also a way of reducing the energy loss from spamming Underworld. By sneaking in a Emergency Medpac you can refresh your HoTs on a target, has a nice burst heal potential while also managing your energy output.

Note: When you get your Eternal Commander purple gear you will have a set bonus that gives you a proc (Field Medic’s Critical Bonus) making your next Underworld Medicine an automatic critical hit. This proc looks like a purple icon on your buffs bar. Be aware of this buff so you can save a Crit heal for a player who really needs it. Used in combination with the new Pugnacity passive it will make your next Underworld Medicine an instant Crit heal.

Healing Strategies

Burst Single Target Healing:

First I want to say that, again, I do not like giving a set rotation for PvP because situations change so much that you can’t rely on one rotation all the time. With that being said, I do like to put information on abilities and factors that you should be thinking about when you attempt the challenging task of single target burst healing a player.

Before engaging to burst heal, consider these factors first:

What class does the player play? (Squishy like Sorc or meaty like a Jug?) If you ask yourself this question you can roughly get an idea how the player will approach being tunneled and how large of a healing window you have before you will be overwhelmed.

Has the player used their DCDs? Which ones are left? Know how many DCDs they have and what they used or using. This takes awareness, class understanding (not only your own),and practice.

How fast are they being bursted? This will tell you if you have GCDs you can spend on filler abilities.

Are you being attacked? If you are being attacked or CCed this plays a large part into how you handle a burst healing situation.

What is your positioning? Make sure you aren’t out in the open when burst healing a target. With how weak the healing is in Scoundrel any interrupts can severely impact your ability to save a target.

KEEP ALL THIS IN MIND.

HoTs and Burst healing:

When you are attempting to single target burst heal HoTs are very important. Keep in mind how long our single target cast heals are. HoTs play a big part in easing the pain and maintaining HPS while cast healing. Start off with two (2) Slow-release Medpacs/Slow-release Medpacs on a target before they are being bursted in the most ideal situation. This is because you can start cast healing and sneak in Emergency Medpacs to maintain a high single target HPS without needing to find windows where you can waste a GCD or to reapply your HoTs.

What about Kolto Cloud? It would be ideal to already have this on the target before you start your burst rotation because it gives you a 3% healing buff as well as a small heal. If it isn’t on the target, you can try to sneak it in when you feel you can spend a GCD without the target getting melted. Sometimes you just can’t afford it; you will have to judge the situation as it happens.

The strength of having your HoTs up when you’re burst healing is that you will be gaining HPS over time but the benefit isn’t felt right away. That’s why, depending on how badly a player is being nuked, you might not be able to afford the GCDs to HoT the player because they may not be alive long enough to actually feel the impact of your HoTs. In this scenario, stabilize them first and then get your HoTs up for long term HPS output.

Remember when I told you to keep up two (2) HoTs on four (4) targets at all times? Well, in single target burst healing situations, if you really need to save a target, you might have to let your HoTs drop on everyone but the target you are healing. This is because you will probably not be able to waste GCDs on re-HoTing other targets. You need to spend the time cast healing, which sucks. Your HPS overall will suffer if you are forced to heal single target the whole game. Our class just isn’t designed to work like this but you will get into these situations regardless so learn to react accordingly.

What if I’m under pressure? If you are under pressure especially without a guard, it is extremely hard to burst heal your focus target properly. This is because you need to maintain HoTs on yourself, your target, and cast heal yourself and your target all while being potentially interrupted and CCed. If you’re under pressure you need to do all of the following: LoS any ranged damage you can, keep using Emergency Medpac on yourself and your target to refresh your HoTs, stun and/or Trick Move away from melee to get cast heals off, and rotate your DCDs to minimize the amount of time you need to spending healing yourself, allowing you to focus your attention on your teammate being bursted. With enough pressure and no guard in your warzone you won’t be able to successfully burst heal yourself and a target for a long time. Just do the best you can.

Things to utilize when burst healing one target:

  • Pugnacity: This is a 2 minute CD which lasts 15 seconds that increases your Alacrity by 10% and when activated grants you have an instant Underworld Medicine or Kolto Pack.
  • Field Medic’s Critical Bonus (gear set bonus buff): When proced, makes your next Underworld Medicine an automatic critical heal. Knowing that your next Underworld Medicine is a potential crit lets you plan ahead.
  • Bootlegged Remedy (Passive): This new passive grants you an autocrit Emergency Medpac after you cast Kolto Pack. This can occur every 18 seconds; after every two (2) Kolto Packs. Start practicing this combo.
  • Surrender (Utility)*: If you are speced into this utility within the Legendary tree your threat drop becomes a healing cooldown. When activated your next Slow-release Medpac grants two stacks with only one use and Kolto Pack loses the HoT portion of the heal in exchange for giving it a better frontal heal (think of it as a shorter CD Underworld Medicine). This could be a clutch heal in chaotic moments.

*Need to be speced into the utility Sly Surrender to make it function as a healing ability.

Healing conclusion:

Being a Scoundrel healer is about being a mobile healer. You aren’t supposed to be standing in the same place the majority of the fight. Your healing style should be mobile and flexible and you should always be adjusting positioning depending on how the fight is turning out. As a Scoundrel healer you should never be in the middle of cleave damage or AoE damage (unless you have a tank). Always try to be healing a safe distance away from the fights. It’s extremely important for you to always be in a position that you can LoS by a pillar, building, or tree. This will ensure you will always be able to LoS any range damage at all times. Work on your positioning, being mobile, rotating through your defensives correctly, healing under pressure and you will be a successful Scoundrel healer.

Other Abilities

Scoundrel Defensive Abilities

Let’s talk about some of the ways you can react if you are taking damage or being pressured.

3858926688_7310835932 Defense Screen – Absorbs a moderate amount of damage over 10 seconds. Does not break stealth.

This ability has a low cooldown and is one of your main DCDs. When you are taking any form of damage not hesitate to pop it.

Tip: Sometimes when I need to escape quickly and my Dodge isn’t up, I use the combo Disappearing Act -> Defense Screen. This lets me absorb whatever DoTs or projectile damage are coming toward me for a short time when I combat stealth. This helps to not be popped out of stealth right away. Again, this is only if I Dodge is on CD – otherwise use Dodge.

Note: Your shield should be used to mitigate burst damage versus dot damage. Dot damage should be mitigated by your Dodge and/or your HoTs.

Note/fun-fact: Your shield can get boosted by your relic procs (Master and/or Power) which makes it absorb for slightly more when you activate it.

Note/fun-fact: Any ability that absorbs damage in this game gets converted into healing. So for example if your Defense Screen absorbs 10K damage in combat that turns into 10K healing in the warzone statistics.

2179446386_4824110442 Dodge – Increases the chance you dodge melee and ranged attacks by 200% for 3 seconds. Doesn’t break stealth.

One of the most overpowered abilities you possess, use it wisely. When activated it cleanses all DoTs, roots, and slows and causes you to dodge all incoming white damage (melee and ranged attacks) for 3 seconds.

Tip: If used in combination with Disappearing Act it will let you stealth out safely by cleansing all DoTs and other effects that might pop you back out of stealth.

Tip: Don’t be afraid to use Dodge sometimes to break roots or any movement impairments on yourself. I mostly do it when I see myself out of position. I use Dodge so I can double Scamper to get into a safer position to heal.

Tip: Prioritize using your Dodge to cleanse or dodge:

Crushing Darkness/Mind Crush DoT – Sorcerers/Sages

Note: You know when this ability is on you by looking at your debuffs or just by listening. When it is casted you will notice a loud sound like a heart is beating; when you hear this cleanse it.

Ambush/Aim Shot – Snipers/Slingers

Note: You know when a Sniper/Slinger is channeling this ability on you have red square on your character. Really easy to notice and counter. Not only will you dodge this ability and reduce its incoming damage to 0 but also the follow-up Followthrough/Trickshot, which comes next in the Sniper/Slingers rotation because it is also ranged (white) damage.

Railshot/High Impact Bolt – Powertech/Vanguard

Note: Main PT rotation is similar to: Thermal Detonator -> Retractable Blade -> Rail Shot -> Magnetic Blast -> Rail Shot. Be ready for it because it is instant cast. This also removes the tech damage debuff applied by their Thermal Detonator.

Note: There is a bug(?) that if you use Dodge and are stunned right after white damage mitigation does not work. You will eat all of the damage. Just be aware of it…it sucks.

Tip: With the new reflect on Dodge utility there is an entirely new element to using the cool down effectively. Here’s a brief rundown on some of the best abilities to reflect.

● Heatseeker Missiles/Demolition Round – Mercenary/Commando

Note: Heatseeker Missiles/Demolition Round is one of the best abilities in the game to catch with your reflect. It often comes after their Blazing Bolts/Bolstorm channel due to its long channel time or their Tracer Missile/Grav Round filler. Additionally, this ability has a travel time so if you are observant and quick you can react to the animation of the ability in flight and pop your reflect.

Thermal Detonator/Assault Plastique – Powertech/Vanguard & Mercenary/Commando

Note: This ability will usually come from Powertechs/Vanguards but it is also part of the much less common Innovative Ordance/Assault Specialist specs of Mercenary/Commando. It is also one of the easiest abilities to reflect in the game, due to the fact that you can see it (on your debuff bar) and hear it ticking down until it detonates. Simply watch your debuff bar to know when it will go off and pop Dodge accordingly. I would recommend not waiting until the very last moment, however, as you may be hard stunned in an attempt to prevent the reflect.

Volatile Substance/Blood Boiler – Operative/Scoundrel

Note: This ability has a “settle in” time before it can be triggered by one of their DoTs to go off. So if you see this ability applied to you and one of their DoTs is active, you can expect it to actually go off in about 3 seconds, making it very easy to reflect their biggest hit.

Thundering Blast/Turbulence – Sorcerer/Sage

Note: This is the biggest hit in the Lightning and Telekinetics specs. It has a 1.5 second cast time, making it another easy, big reflect. Because it is a cast and can be canceled (and also may be followed up with an instant ability) I would recommend waiting until the cast has almost been completed (but not too close, leave yourself some room for error) if you want to reflect it, making your reflect much harder to react to.

Force Leech/Force Serenity – Sorcerer/Sage

Note: This is another 1.5 second cast that is therefore easily reflected. It is only a moderately big hit but reflecting it comes with the added bonus of preventing the self heal they get from it and cleansing the DoTs that are most likely sitting on you already from their opener. Again, reduce the time available for them to react to your reflect by letting the cast go a little bit before you pop Dodge.

3078240623_3467114655 Scamper – Roll forward 12 meters. Activating the ability a second time within 10 seconds allows you to roll again, but puts the ability on cooldown for 10 seconds. While rolling, your chance to dodge melee and ranged attacks is increased by 30%. Does not break stealth. Cannot be used while immobilized or hindered.

This is another very strong ability that Scoundrels have. It lets you roll two times while giving you a 30% damage to dodge incoming white damage.

Tip: Stagger your rolls. It isn’t always wise to roll twice right away. When kiting it’s best to bait abilities such as Force Speed from an Assassin or Leap from a Marauder with the first roll then roll again to successfully gain distance from melee.

Tip: Roll can also give you the ability to go farther if rolling off edges. If you are kiting or want to get to from point A to point B faster, try to roll off cliff sides or ledges.

Tip: If I really need to get a cast heal off I sometimes will use the combo, Roll -> Cast heal if they interrupt that, Roll -> Cast heal again.

Note: Never forget the 30% chance to dodge white damage. If you have nothing left and you can’t LoS time your roll to dodge an Ambush or a Railshot. It’s random if it works but sometimes worth trying.

3175570024_126023757 Trick Move – Supercharge your stealth generator, quickly moving you to a friendly or enemy target and increasing your movement speed by 75% for 3 seconds. Does not break stealth, cannot be used against enemy targets in cover, has a 45 second cooldown, and is off of the Global Cooldown.

Great kiting ability, helps you get into range to heal or fall back to reposition. It works like a teleport or a leap to a friendly target who is in range. So this means if someone is up or downstairs it will teleport you to their position. So this means jumping and leaping up to a ledge is possible now! You can use this either in combination with Scamper or use it defensively to create distance when your roll is down.

Picking a good target to teleport to during battle is extremely difficult. It depends on your positioning as well as theirs. Most of the players you will find have terrible positioning which makes it hard to decide on the spot to defensively teleport to. The better you get with thinking under pressure the better you will be at quickly identifying a good target to teleport to. A trick that I use now is whenever I am being focused or I’m taking any damage, I take a quick scan around my group. I am constantly planning who I will teleport if the damage is too much for my CDs to handle. Always try to be one step ahead with this ability, it will help you use it in the most effective way you can.

Tip: This ability is also good for getting away from a melee who is interrupting/stunning to get a cast heal off fast.

Tip: I tend to use this a lot if I’m AoE healing and enemies constantly push me back from the fight. I just teleport back into the group to continue healing.

Tip: If the enemy team is trying to separate you from your tank this is a good ability for you to teleport back in range of guard by using your tank as your teleporting target.

Note: This ability is extremely buggy. You will notice that it only really works if you and your target are on flat ground. It’s very easy to get caught on rocks or objects in between the player you are teleporting you and only go half away. It also sometimes doesn’t even teleport you. Be aware of this and hopefully it will be fixed soon (lol).

Note: Be aware that when you use this ability on a target to get to their location, it teleports you behind the player facing their back. Be careful if you are, for example, on a bridge because it could easily disorientate you if you continue to move forward. You might be walking off a cliff or in another direction that you didn’t want to go.

2860058812_12891462702 Dirty Kick: Deals X amount of damage and stuns the target for 4 seconds.

This is your hard stun. I use it defensively, offensively, and even to get cast heals off. It really depends on the situation you are in. A defensive situation is when you are taking a lot of incoming damage or are under a lot of CC or interrupt pressure. Use your hard stun to mitigate some of the damage by stunning a target and create the distance you need. In an offensive situation, I would use it to CC a healer or DPS that is free casting or help your DPS secure a kill. For the last scenario, sometimes you are in a situation where you really need to get a cast heal off yet a melee is doing everything he/she can to interrupt your casting. Sometimes it really helps to stun the melee and cast heal right away to ensure you will get the cast off successfully.

2459144878_333002337 Tendon Blast – Deals X kinetic damage and slows the target’s movement speed by 50% for 12 seconds.

This is your slow which will help you kite melee. I use this ability more in duels than warzones. It’s a great ability for kiting but I find I don’t use it as often in warzones because I don’t want to waste a GCD on just slowing a player. This is my personal preference. In my opinion, normally as a healer you will get peels or the melee won’t stay on you for a long period of time. If a melee is truly harassing a healer I would suggest slowing him on CD to discourage him until he switches targets.

4234257537_1208084081 Flash Grenade – Flash grenade that blinds the target for 8 seconds. Damage causes this effect to end prematurely.

This is your AoE Mez. This will help you reduce AoE damage if you throw it into a group of people. I also use this Mez for CCing healers and helping my team get kills.

Tip:I like using the combo Trick Move -> Flash Bang to quickly teleport to an allie’s location to save them from a group of DPS who are about to kill him/her. I have gotten a lot of clutch saves, don’t be afraid to try it.

1708291493_266687961822 Disappearing Act – Overloads your stealth generator, immediately exiting combat and entering stealth mode. For 10 seconds, you become virtually undetectable.

This ability is your combat stealth out and should be your last resort. It lets you stealth out in combat but be aware that if you have DoTs or projectiles shooting you when you combat stealth they will still hit you in stealth and may immediately pop you back out. This is where I suggest using Dodge right before you stealth, which ensures you will escape without your stealth being broken by damage.

Tip: Be aware that using combat stealth puts you out of combat. That means it resets the cooldown of Warzone Medpac which can only be used once per combat cycle. Try to use your Warzone Medpac before being forced to use your combat stealth. This means you will be allowed to use it again after you stealth (if it’s not still on CD). There are many situations where sometimes the best option is to stealth out so you can use your Warzone Medpac to save yourself from incoming damage. Always remember you have that option.

Tip: This tip is for advanced Scoundrels. If you are being interrupted constantly or focus target modifier interrupted (even worse) and a position where you really need to get a critical heal off, use your stealth out to remove focus on yourself, reposition or just pop back out doing a cast heal on an ally. By stealthing out, it makes the enemy(s) have to tab back to you to interrupt or CC you to stop your cast and also makes players who have you focus targeted for interrupts, have to reset their focus target modifier to be able to interrupt you on time.

Note: When you exit stealth you will automatically gain two (2) Upper Hands. This helps when you are kiting away and get knocked out of your stealth for you to continue to spam Emergency Medpac if you are in a life or death situation. With that being said I have also used this passive as a way of saving allies in critical moments. If I am in a position where I think I can save them by using the two (2) extra Upper Hand on two (2) Emergency Medpac or for casting another Kolto Pack, I have stealthed out to do it. Just be aware that this is just for critical life or death situations; don’t get in a habit of using your combat stealth for another healing opportunity. It’s still one of your best escapes for survival.

1225427568_40538095062 Pugnacity DCD* – Grants an Upper Hand and increases Alacrity by 10% for 15 seconds.

Utility Legendary – Surprise Comeback turns your Pugnacity into a DCD which decreases incoming damage by 20% for 15 seconds and restores 5% of your total health every 3 seconds. As stated in the utilities section of the guide, this is a must-have utility. Unfortunately this creates a situation where using it for the instant cast may waste the damage reduction on you. Ideally pop it in moments where you’ll get use out of both the damage reduction on yourself and the instant cast. Obviously sometimes you’ll want the instant cast but have little or no need for the damage reduction; just be careful that it’s really worth using the instant cast in these moments.

*Only a DCD if you spent a Utility point into the Legendary tier.

3086533647_26278474482 Surrender DCD* – This is your PvE threat drop.

By putting a point in the Dirty Trickster utility you can turn this ability into a DCD for a root break every 45 seconds.

*Only a DCD if you spent a Utility point skill tree.

Warzone Medpack and Warzone Adrenal – You will always have the option to use these in a warzone as well if you buy them from the PvP vendors. I use them as CDs and have them in my defensive rotation.

I use Warzone Medpack as one of my emergency heals. If someone is about to burst you, use your Medpack so you have enough HP in your pool to not die.

Warzone Adrenal grants 15% damage reduction for 15 seconds. Don’t underestimate this cooldown because any damage reduction option will help you catch up in healing yourself and others.

Tip: Try the combo Adrenal + Pugnacity DCD, it will increase your damage reduction to 35%. If you are about to die to incoming burst pop these together for a large damage reduction.

Tip: In a situation where your tank is low on HP and you are taking a lot of his guard damage use your Adrenal. I sometimes use my Warzone Adrenal to reduce 15% of my incoming damage since 50% the damage is transferring to my tank.

Cooldown Conclusion:

Try not to use all your defensives at once. You need to spread them out in combat and use them wisely. If you have a good rotation you will always have something back up when you need it. Always be thinking of ways to use your defensives to maximize the largest amount of damage reduction. With practice you will be able to use all your cooldowns effectively even under heavy pressure.

Tip: If you put a utility point into Masterful: Supplemented Medpac you should have two (2) HoTs rolling on yourself at all times. This utility gives you 3% damage reduction per HoT on yourself. Damage reduction is 6% if double stacked so TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT.

My CD rotation priority goes:

Defense Screen-> Dodge -> Pugnacity DCD* -> Adrenal -> Medpack -> [Anything else that is back up] -> Disappearing Act -> Repeat.

Don’t forget to also be using Trick Move and Scamper to kite melee and LoS ranged damage.

Remember that this rotation is generic and you may need to adjust it based on what kind of damage you are taking. For example, if you are taking Sorcerer DoT damage you would use Dodge before Defensive Screen because there is no need for you to absorb DoT damage when you can just cleanse it with Dodge.

Tip: If you know you are about to get attacked and take large amounts of damage, maybe you see 3 players about to jump you without having a guard for example, and you can’t Flash them, use your Pugnacity DCD + Adrenal. That will be a 35% damage decrease and you will most likely survive. It’s really smart to use these abilities prematurely in case you get stun-locked and aren’t able to break.

Misc Abilities

3086533647_26278474482 Surrender– This is your PvE threat drop. This ability is off the GCD. It becomes useful for PvP when you upgrade it through your utility tree.

Note: You can turn this ability into a DCD. By taking Dirty Trickster this ability will act as another root break every 45 seconds.

Note: You can turn this ability into a healing utility. By taking Sly Surrender this ability will let you HoT a target as a double stack saving one (1) GCD, heals you for 1% over 10 seconds, and grants the permanent ability of giving your Kolto Pack have a bigger frontal heal (without its HoT). Uptime is 10 seconds, with a 45 second cooldown.

1753776197_1019790094 Heartrigger Patch– Revives an incapacitated ally in combat.

This is your combat revive. Please put it on your bar and use it. The majority of healers in warzones don’t know what this ability is, don’t use it, or don’t even have it on their bar. Don’t be that guy!

2416085290_31689630582 Distraction – Interrupts the target’s current action and prevents that ability from being used for 4 seconds. This ability is off the GCD.

I typically use my interrupt on healers to help my DPS down a target. It has a small range which is 10 meters. If you have an opportunity, do it. It’s a great habit to get into. You can also macro this ability so you don’t have to switch targets to interrupt a healer using focus target.

Note: For experienced Scoundrels you can hook this ability up to a focus target modifier on your Naga or keyboard. After setting your target on a player you want to interrupt, anytime throughout the game, if you are in range, by clicking one button you could interrupt that player without physically tabbing to them and without switching your target. Focus target modifier gets used a lot in solo ranked and group ranked because it increases the speed at which you can react to a healer casting and interrupt them as fast as possible.

763750309_2724545945 Smuggle – Cloaks all group members within 10 meters of you in a temporary stealth field that lasts 15 seconds. Only able to be used in stealth.

I use this a lot in arenas to stealth my group into combat. It helps my team be the first to engage from stealth or get good positioning against an enemy team. I use it sometimes in regular warzones to stealth up to the node or sneak a couple players to an off-node for a surprise attack.

909692328_22125114102 Tranquilizer – Puts the target to sleep for 8 seconds. Breaks on damage. Can only be used on targets that aren’t in combat and only one target can be incapacitated at a time. Can only be used in stealth.

This is a good ability to go into combat with if you are alone or trying to Mez a healer going into combat for your DPS. The only other time I use this is if I go try to cap a node. This is a very situational ability as a healer and is more for DPS Scoundrels.

Damage Abilities

Be aware that your main priority in PvP as a PvP healer is to heal. It is not energy or HPS efficient to DPS and heal. If you are DPSing it will decrease your HPS output greatly because DPS abilities have heavy energy cost as well as have a GCD cost. That being said for experienced Scoundrel healers, it’s alright to DPS if you find windows where you can afford to do it, if for example, everyone is already healed up or the other enemy players are about to die.

My personal DPS rotation:

Blaster Whip > Back Blast > Quick Shot [x3*]

I use Blaster Whip when I am swinging around to target their back. Then Back Blast when I am at their back or in a position to use it behind them. After that spam Quick Shot however many times I need to. I try not to go above three (3) unless I really am sure I am going to kill the player because it is a serious energy investment at that point. I also tend to throw a grenade if the player decides to run if needed.

1177970035_3704725943 Vital Shot – Fires a dart at the target that deals X internal damage over 18 seconds.

DO NOT USE. Mostly useless as a healer because it costs 15 energy and takes a long time to deal all of the damage. I typically use it to put on a stealth class if my group is chasing for a kill to pop the enemy out of stealth.

4248266477_24544287442 Blaster Whip – Attacks target for X kinetic damage.

Close range melee ability that deals moderate damage. Also builds an Upper Hand. This is your best ability for helping to do damage aside from Backblast.

10854285_4205904588 Back Blast– Ambushes enemy for X kinetic damage. Only usable while behind target.

I used this in combo with Shiv for a for around 20k~ damage if they Crit. Don’t use it unless there is nothing to heal.

525114656_2087478861 Quick Shot – Blasts a target for X weapon damage.

This is your spammable close ranged damaging ability. Can’t be used multiple times in a row because it costs 15 energy. Normally I use it to finish off a target if there is nothing to heal and have already used Backblast and Blaster Whip.

1233562080_23119942032 Thermal Grenade – Deals X kinetic damage to the primary target and X amount of kinetic damage to up to 7 enemies within 5 meters.

This is your main AoE damage attack. Its best use is to stop node caps or a ranged attack for an enemy who is running away.

4130128280_61820429 Lacerating Blast – Fire serrated slugs from your scattergun in a 10-meter cone in front of you, damaging up to 8 targets for X kinetic damage and X internal bleed damage.

DO NOT USE. Most of the time I don’t touch this ability. Really the only use for this ability is that it can be spammed to knock Assassins/Shadows and Operatives/Scoundrels out of stealth for your team to take care of.

3479109355_4103719761 Bushwhack – Execute your Upper Hand to drop spinning blades at your feet which will do persistent AoE damage for 6 seconds. The Sawbones Discipline will be able to use this ability from up to 30 meters away.

I use this ability to stop node caps and to pop out stealthers if I can predict their location. Majority of the time I don’t use this ability.

Strategies

Cleansing

By using Triage you can cleanse all tech/physical/mental hardstuns, mezes, slows, and roots. Unfortunately the game doesn’t prioritize hardstuns/mezes over slows and roots. This means if you try to cleanse a Flash Grenade on a player, it might cleanse a root or a slow instead. Be aware of this, it happens and it sucks.

Most of the abilities you can cleanse come from Operatives/Scoundrels, Mercenaries/Commandos, Powertechs/Vanguards, and Snipers/Slingers. You can also cleanse Warrior AoE mezes.

Using your Stunbreak

Knowing when to break a stun is something that is incredibly important when playing a healing class. Something that might be a force of habit is to break the first time you are stunned but you have to try to never break your first stun. The only time you should break your first stun is if you are 100% certain you are about to die or when you want to save a friend.

Why shouldn’t you break your first stun? Simple: good players will remember you don’t have your breaker and then stun-lock and kill you. I would say 70% of the time I die is when I am being stunned and my breaker isn’t up. Stuns are what can kill healers, so be careful when you use your break. It will increase your survivability if you are patient with it. Awareness is also very important with stun breaking. Knowing who is attacking you and if you can survive the damage without stun breaking takes practice.

Normally a good healer will use break when they are completely white-barred. Meaning, they are immune to stuns for a short time and cannot be stun-locked. There is no point to break a stun unless, I will repeat, you are 100% about to die or to save someone who will die if you don’t heal them.

Tip: Please don’t break first stun over one DPS. For example, if a shadow popped out of stealth, stunned you and started a burst rotation, don’t freak out and break that stun. Let him burst you then break the second stun and stun him, heal up and roll away. If, for example, two shadows open on you, they could and will probably kill you before your stun breaks so, quickly break and stealth out, then use Dodge so you don’t break stealth. Even while stealthed DoTs can break your stealth and force you back into combat. By using Dodge it will cleanse any dots as well as help you get away without putting you back into combat.

Tip: Let’s talk about Mercenary/Commando’s Electro Nets. Once this ability is casted on you by an enemy player it will slow you and if you move you will take heavy stacking DoT damage. Every time you move you will gain more stacks of DoT damage. It also prevents you from using Scamper and Disappearing Act. Don’t panic, by stun breaking the Electro Net you will be able to use Scamper and Disappearing Act but remember that the stacking uncleansable DoT damage will still be ticking if you move. Sometimes it’s best to save your stunbreaks for Nets if you know you will be a target. Remember also that there is another option which is to not even break. If you feel safe you can just stand still so the DoTs don’t stack and wait out the net.

Positioning

When I see Scoundrels in warzones and want to quickly get a good idea of their skill level, I look at two things: HoT management and positioning.

Positioning is extremely important, but is overlooked by a lot of Scoundrel healers. Good positioning can be life or death as a healer and has to be in the back of your mind whenever you enter a warzone. This really is one of the characteristics that separates good and great healers and you won’t know that until you take it seriously. Position is also super important to specifically Scoundrels because one of our class biggest weaknesses is we have little to protect ourselves when we get hardstunned (other than to use our breaker). Unlike the other two healing classes we do not have stun damage reduction which makes us super weak when we are caught with our pants down because where we can’t mitigate the damage being laid into us by abilities such as Med Shield or Dodge. That means if you aren’t paying attention and end up being swallowed by their whole enemy team, you will surely die. These situations could be completely avoided by having positioning constantly on your mind.

The good healers have awareness as well as use their environment to their advantage. You should always be near something to line of sight (LoS) ranged (could be a box/object/tree/wall/pillar) and far enough back where you aren’t in the mess of enemies. This will also help with not being in range of their entire team for them to constantly range CC, push you, or interrupt you. This also keeps you away from the main damage of the enemy team which puts less stress on you so you can purely focus on healing your team. If you are in the middle of a field healing someone, you are out of position. Always be around a structure you can dance around and make a DPS’ life a living hell. Try to keep as far back from the action as you can while still in range of healing your targets. Anyone who over-extends to kill you is a target for your team to pick off easily in your back-line. If someone doesn’t peel for you, kite back and stun the DPS, then double roll back to heal.

In PvP I am constantly behind or around objects where I can quickly strafe to evade incoming burst. I am also constantly adjusting my positioning depending on the enemies positioning and movement; we can do this easily in Scoundrel because our healing is HoT/instant based. When you see the battle getting hairy there is no harm in tactical retreats; instead of dying as they all converge to your backline, just back up and reposition to continue healing.

Positioning slightly changes if you have a tank or are playing in a premade but regardless is still important in all the situations you will get yourself in, in PvP.

Guard Mechanic

What is Guard? Guard is an ability all SWTOR tanks have, so that translates to Juggernauts/Guardians, Powertechs/Vanguards, and Assassins/Shadows. In 5.0 these classes can now use guard regardless of their stance when they previously needed to be in the tank stance or form. When an ally uses this ability on your character the animation looks like a blue bubble. When you take damage you will see a stream of energy tethering you to your tank which exchanges damage.

What does Guard do?

Guard: While active, the guarded player takes 50% less damage and generates 25% less threat. In addition, so long as [your tank] remains within 15 meters of the guarded player, 50% of all incoming damage from enemy players is transferred back to [your tank].

Playing with a tank versus playing solo is something that a healer needs to know how to adjust to. While guarded and in range, you will receive 50% less damage taken. In PvP that is huge.

Guard Icons:

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Orange Icon: You are being guarded by a player.

Note: Even if the tank is all the way across the map you will still see the guard animation on yourself as well as the icon. This does not mean that if you get attacked the damage reduction is working (this is because your tank is out of range). So keep that in mind.

Blue Icon: You have guard but it’s out of range of your tank, and you will not get the 50% damage reduction. When you see this icon quickly notice where your tank is and make your way back into guard range.

Tanks are there to soften burst damage on specific targets with guard and the healers are there to heal off that damage.

The better the tank is in your group, the better your HPS potential. The tank can keep the damage in your group spread evenly with his guard protection which enables you, as the healer, to heal everyone up in a more efficient manner.

Tip: Make sure to stay in guard range which is 15 meters. Try to make it a habit if you are being guarded to look where your tank is and your icons. Remember, just because you see a pretty blue bubble around your character does not always mean you are getting any damage reduction.

Tip: If there are multiple tanks in your group keep track of who has Guard on you. If Tank A decides to run off to the other side of the map and still has their Guard on you, click it off your buff bar. Why? So Tank B can rotate their Guard on you. If you have a Guard on, regardless of where the tank is, another tank cannot put their Guard on you.

Tip: MAKE SURE YOU HEAL YOUR TANK. I can’t stress this enough. Don’t forget that 50% of the damage you are taking is being transferred to your tank via the Guard mechanic. He/she is taking your damage to help you survive. Please prioritize keeping HoTs and single target healing on them.

Tip: Just because you have a tank does not mean you are invincible. If you or your tank are being tunneled you should still be mindful of positioning. Don’t stand out of the open and expect to heal through all the damage. If you and/or your tank are running out of CDs go to a pillar to LoS ranged damage or start to kite slightly (be mindful of guard range). When I notice my tank is under heavy fire I make sure I use DCDs even though I might not be that low just to mitigate my damage being transferred to him as I heal him back up.

Tip: Start to understand and know your tanks defensive cooldowns as well as abilities. I make it a habit to tell my tanks to communicate if they are running out of defensives so I can rotate my healing more effectively. If you do not have the luxury of being in the voice chat with your tank you really need to learn to pay attention to their abilities that benefit you as well. For example, Riot Gas/Oil Slick decreases Accuracy of enemies within the AoE by 15% and movement speed by 70%. If you are getting attacked and your tank throws that on top of you.. don’t run out it. lol

Keybinding and Settings

Keybinding

I know this is a very controversial topic in MMOs/PvP but I wouldn’t bring it up if I didn’t personally benefit from switching from clicking to keybinding. In my personal opinion and from my own experience, I would suggest that all Scoundrels healers keybind; at least keybind all your healing and DCD abilities. What sets Scoundrel healers in PvP apart from one another is your reflexes, reaction time, and HoT managment. Keybinding is extremely helpful in ALL these departments because it increases your overall awareness and allows you to get those clutch HoT refreshes with 1 second left. I am a prime example of how keybinding improved awareness and had a serious positive impact on my overall HPS.

Another argument for keybinding is that it benefits healers the most because of “uptime”. I talked a lot about uptime in regards to Alacrity (in the stat analysis section under gearing) which goes hand-in-hand. Alacrity is one of the best stats for healers because it decreases your GCD and the times between your abilities. This means when trying to squeeze all the benefits out of Alacrity you need to use your abilities on CD and consistently string your GCDs together with no gaps between them. Keybinding helps you in this regard because you are able to be kiting and looking at your Ops frame while spamming your healing keybinds in a timely matter. It helps you to use your abilities on cooldown and maximize the uptime of your heals, making the most of your Alacrity.

All that being said I am not trying to say you can’t play this healing class without keybinding. But I am saying that this is one of the classes that benefits the most from keybinding. With my statements about the importance of uptime and the benefits of Alacrity, keybinding will leave you with less room for error in your rotations and is an easy way to get the highest potential HPS gain from Alacrity.

Tip: If you plan to keybind you don’t need to start from scratch. Talk to your friends who keybind or ask other Scoundrel how they keybind. Ask them to send you a screenshot to see how they layout their abilities and what keys they use. When I started keybinding I asked one of the best Scoundrel healers I could find at the ti me to see his keybindings. After I looked at them I setup binds that were a combination of what he used and other ones which made more sense to me. I suggest seeing what other layers use and revising those binds to fit your playstyle.

Tip: Don’t forget about Q, E, R, and T as keybind options. These are some of the most accessible ones because they are close to WASD (default for moving ingame). Q, E, R, and T are all easy to use while kiting and I personally set them as my spammable healing abilities and my two spammable defensive cooldowns.

Tip: If you seriously consider and commit to keybinding I would recommend getting a Naga/mouse that has keybindable keys on its side (where your thumb rests). It’s hard to keybind everything strictly to your keyboard and that’s where a good gaming mouse comes in. It will let you spread your binds from your keyboard to your mouse. There is a slight adjustment period when learning to use binds on a Naga but in the end it is well worth the effort.

Note: There is going to be a small adjustment period when switching from clicking to keybinding. This period ranges from person to person but is roughly about a day to a week (depends greatly on how often/much you play). It personally took me 2-3 days to get to the peak of my old healing ability and to start to mentally register what keys did what. The more you practice the faster the new binds the faster they will become second nature. Today I pop my DCDs and heals without even thinking about it; I don’t know how I lived without keybinding.

UI and Misc Settings

Having a good UI is really important no matter what class you play or even what game you play. I advise you to always look for ways to update and make your UI better. Here are my personal suggestions. There are also other player suggestions here : http://www.swtorui.com/addons.php

1) Camera Max Distance

Preferences -> Controls -> Scroll down to “Camera” -> Set to 100% -> Apply -> OK

This is pretty self-explanatory. This setting lets you zoom out all the way for a better view of the terrain. A good healer is one who can read the whole battle. You will not be able to do this unless you are able to zoom way out.

Tip: If you still aren’t comfortable with the camera distance even at 100% you can increase it by going into your UI file. Steps on how to do this: http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=205633

2) Show Cool down Text

Preferences -> User Interface -> Scroll down to “Cool down Settings” and click “Show Cooldown Text” -> Apply -> OK.

This will make it so every time you cast an ability, if it has a cooldown it will give you a countdown on his cooldown icon on your bar instead of just a blue animation. I have no idea why this isn’t default setting in the first place. Every healer should have this enabled. It will make timing cooldowns and healing abilities much easier.

3) Ability Action Queue Window

Preferences -> Controls -> Scroll down to “Combat”. You will see a droll box with options.

I believe default of this is .5. This means that 0.5 seconds before the next GCD is available you can queue up the ability you want to use for that GCD. I personally switched this to 0.0 because of my reaction time. This means there is no ability queue time and I manually have to use abilities whenever my GCD is up again. The advantage to running no queue time is that I am never locked into using an ability that I’ve changed my mind about using because I already queued it up for the next GCD and I have good enough reaction time to avoid gaps between my GCDs as a result of not having a queue time.

The only issue with no queue time is if there is server lag you might miss clicking your GCDs on time. Just be aware of this. Overall, this is a personal choice but I would recommend the lower the better in this setting.

4)Showing HP/Energy values on your Player/Target Frame

Interface Editor -> Click on your Player or Target Frame -> Scroll and check “Show Informational Text” -> Save

Another settings that I wish was default. This lets you see the exact percentage of your HP/Energy.

5) Highlighting Buffs/Duration/Effect Sort Type

Interface Editor -> Click your Player Buff Tray -> A/B/C/D -> Save

A) Scroll down check “Highlight Effects”

B) Under “Effect Highlight Max Duration” put 1 minute and below

C) Check “Personal Effects”

D) Under “Effect Sort Type” choice “Apply time”.

This makes it so your buffs are highlighted on your toon’s buff bar. If there is another Operative healer in your group, you can set your HoTs apart from another players HoTs because yours would have a golden highlight around the buff. All the other settings will help you reduce clutter and make your buffs easier to see.

6) Highlighting Buffs/Duration/Effect Sort Type for your Target frame

Interface Editor -> Click your Target Frame ->

A) Increase the buff size

B) Click “Show Informational Text”

C) Click Highlight Buffs

D) Under “Effect Highlight Max Duration” put 1 minute and below

E) Under “Sort Options” check “Personal Buffs”

F) “Buff Sort Type” click “By Time Remaining”

G) Uncheck Personal Debuffs

7) Ops frames settings

Interface Editor -> Click your Ops frame -> A/B/C/D/E/F

A) Decrease the size of debuffs (.5)

B) Increase buff size (.6)

C) Increase Health size (144)

D) Increase Health height (32)

E) Click “show Health Text”

F) Click “show Only Removable debuffs”

These sizes are just personal suggestions, take them as you will. This will make your Ops frame buffs and health easier to see.

8) Ops Frame/Buffs/Action Bar

Setting up a good UI for healing is tough. This is something you will really have to play around until you find a UI that fits all your needs. My advice is try to put the Ops Frame as close to your target’s frame as possible. This will make it easier for you to see their buffs (HoTs) so it will be easier to refresh. I also try to put the Ops Frame/Buffs of your Target and Action Bar close to together so in one view you can see your cooldowns, players taking damage, and if HoTs need to be refreshed on the target.

My current UI set up as an example:

clip_image002[10]

I went through many UI changes until I settled with this one. This UI is extremely beneficial for healers because it does one thing extremely successfully, it reduces the amount of eye movement you need to do when healing. If you have to look at four (4) different locations on your screen to see your DCDs, Healing abilities, Ops Frame and other important abilities, I would implore you to explore other healthier UI options. Trust me when I say this, this UI greatly increase my reaction time in using my heals on CD.

You will notice my Ops frame (what you will be staring at majority of the game) is very close to my bars which hold my most important healing ability CDs and DCDs. This is important to know what’s up to effectively use all your healings on CD and know what DCDs are up so you can rotate them under pressure. I also ended up flipping my character portrait to be closer to my CD bars and Ops frame. Everything is located in the same area which reduces the amount that I can make mistakes since the timers are close together.

Note: You will notice that I have smaller bars to the bottom right. Those are my hot keys to my healing abilities and DCDs. I ended up putting the abilities again on another bar (which is closer to my ops frame) as a personal preference and also to help me with distractions. I have a bar with other abilities which are less important located to the bottom of my ops frame. EVERYTHING IS HOTKEYED.

Acknowledgements

First and foremost I like to thank Doc for spending the countless hours spell checking, theorycrafting, testing, and revising every part of this guide. Thank you so much for the hard work you put into my guide, I couldn’t have gotten this far without your wonderful support.

I want to thank my guild STI (Sick Twisted Individuals) for your theorycrafting, testing, and bountiful support. I am blessed to have such good friends.

Last but not least, I want to thank Dulfy for giving me the opportunity to host my guide to get more viewership so it can help as many players as possible. Thank you!

About the Author

Many people know me as “Hottie” on Harbinger. I have written three guides (including this one) on Operative PvP healing. I am extremely passionate about gaming, PvP, and Operative healing. I have thousands of reg matches under my belt and hundreds of hours in group ranked and solo ranked. I love to stream on twitch my strictly Operative healing gameplay and give tips to Operatives who want to increase their HPS in warzones. I also am passionate about giving back to the community and running my own SWTOR charity events. With the help of my guildies, friends, and the SWTOR community, we have managed to raise over two thousand dollars for several charities such as American Cancer Society and AFSP (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention).

If you are interested in supporting me and learning to become a better healer, check me out at:

twitch.tv/kissingaiur

Co-author:

Most people call me Doc after my operative’s old character name. I’m pretty good at words and maths. I play every class on Harbinger – if you know any of my toons it would probably be my Assassin and Shadow, which are called Tanktunnelme. Being in a guild with Hottie doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for Operative healing but I make a point of keeping comfortable with the spec and it will always have a special place for me as the first spec I was really good at in PVP. I stream occasionally at twitch.tv/dr_dirtybird

  • SirRobinII

    whats the priority for interrupting scoundrel healer?

    • Scott Heisel

      In situations where you want to nerf their heals on a single person as much as possible Kolto Pack is ideal. Interrupting Underworld Medicine instead is not a big deal though and is still quite annoying for the healer – especially if you let them get most of the way through the cast first.

      In scenarios where their Kolto Waves are hitting at least 3, preferably 4 or more targets and you are looking to dent their overall HPS as much as possible you will want to get Kolto Waves.

  • ..

    TL;DR Just git good.

  • Andrew McCunn

    I just came back to TOR after several years away and haven’t touched the pvp yet. That said, I distinctly remember hating it when the game first launched due to all the knockbacks. It seemed like every five seconds I’d get flung out of cover to the other side of the arena. Has this changed at all?

    Also, I haven’t heard of any new maps or modes coming out lately. Is this still something Bioware is concerned with, or have they abandoned pvp altogether?

    • John Doe

      The PvP is alot of fun with alot less knockbacks 🙂

    • Scott Heisel

      There are still a lot of knockbacks in the game (cooldowns on some have changed though) but they are less annoying because you play FAR less huttball than you did on release of the game and most classes have a lot more ways to break roots, buff their speed, and generally gap close on people using knockbacks on them.

      Also, PVP in general is very, very different from how it was on release. I’d highly recommend that you just queue up for some games and see how you like it.

  • John Doe

    Cool guides

  • Ramzzess

    Dhem bois

  • Amarthiel .

    Note: Currently in 5.0 there is a bug(?): the double
    stack of probe is healing instantly for a huge heal. I do not believe
    this is intended.

    Not listening. Not listening. Lalalalalalalala. Im enjoying the new heal to full. Its not a bug. Lalalalalalala.

  • Elane

    Where did you get that information about maxed companions giving bonus?

    • Hottie

      That was something I didn’t revise since 3.0 (I should have reworded it). When I say “maxing” I mean doing all the companion missions and conversations. If you do that, you should get the bonuses.

      Apologize for the confusion!

  • Hottie

    5.1 Patch Update:

    -Curative Agent/Sly Surrender – Bug fixed.

    -“Clickly” relics can now be available in PvP.

    -Bolster now only effects item rating only below 232 (down from 250).
    Every gear piece above 232 should be scaled up in PvP depending what it says on the gear (not 100% confirmed; assumed).

    I will be updating/editing my two guides as soon as I work out these new changes.

    Cheers!

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