SWTOR 5.0 Medicine Operative PvE Guide by Mac

SWTOR 5.0 Medicine Operative PvE Guide by Mac.



There are two main things want to briefly mention before going into the actual guide. Firstly, I’ve written this guide with the intent of giving players the toolkit to play effectively but more importantly understand the class well enough to make their own decisions and adapt playstyle in response to future changes thus it may be presented differently to other guides. Secondly; for the sake of faster explanation there are a number of abbreviations used in the guide; a legend is provided here.

  • TA: Tactical Advantage
  • HPS: Healing Per Second
  • EHPS: Effective Healing Per Second
  • DPS: Damage per second/Damage
  • AoE: Area of Effect
  • Rez: Revive
  • GCD: Global Cooldown
  • HoT: Heal over Time
  • DoT: Damage over Time

Intro to 5.0 Medicine Operative

Medicine operatives are currently in a very strong position. They are a heavily HoT based healer which boasts the strongest AoE healing potential in the game. They also provide extremely high single target sustained healing and very powerful premediated burst. Operatives are quite mobile and have a toolkit to make maintaining uptime very easy. Finally, operative healers bring the powerful utility of a stealth revive to a raid group. Whilst the spec has many appeals there are also (as with any spec) a number of drawbacks. A 4m requirement for a lot of your healer DPS can make healer dps difficult, however having a short cooldown 150% damage reflect can boost operatives to having the highest healer dps capabilities. The Medicine spec relies on frequent moderate power GCDs to maintain its healing rather than one or two extremely powerful abilities (roaming mend and healing scan are such examples from the other healing specs) thus uptime loss typically hurts Medicine more than the other healing specs. Medicine also has a difficult time healing unanticipated spikes. Whilst many players say that operatives are the worst burst healers; this statement is not entirely true. If damage spikes can be predicted then operatives hsave a strong arsenal to prepare for it and burst appropriately. If you however, are not prepared then your burst will be extremely weak and your raid member may be prone to dying. I believe that this is one of the strongest (if not the best) healing specs to bring to a raid but it is also one of the least correctly played. This is why I’ve chosen to write this guide.

General Intro to Healing

I must stress these following points as they highlight a big issue amongst healers in this game. You are a member of a raid group, you are not just an individual in a vacuum. The only way to kill a boss is to bring its hp to zero. And the only way to achieve that is via dealing damage to it. A healer’s goal is to increase raid damage output by allowing the raid to live. Healing output in star wars the old republic is not very balanced with damage taken in raids. If two healers are playing their classes at their maximum capacity; together you will likely heal for 150% or more of what is required. Now there’s nothing wrong with some overhealing; we can’t heal for perfect values given the limited ability types available. However, a major flaw in many healers is that they only heal and provide no other benefit to the raid. Healer DPS can be the difference between a wipe and a kill, a healer getting an interrupt can be the difference between the raid taking an extra 100k damage or not. Now you may as what the point of stressing optimal stats, rotations, priorities etc is when it is relatively easy to achieve the raw output required. The answer is the following methodology; the better you know the spec the better you can select which GCDs to heal raid members with, the better you select your GCDs, the fewer GCDs needed to achieve the required healing output, the fewer GCDs needed to heal, the more GCDs you create to DPS with and thus the more you enable your group to kill a boss.


I believe the rating system in many guides currently published is flawed as there is no standardisation and it is rather personal opinions of the author. Thus I’ve chosen to do ratings out of 3 to show where the spec stands in relation to the other healing specs to create some sense of comparison.

Sustained healing: 3/3

Raw single target output is extremely high due to the high healing per gcd of abilities such as kolto probe, recuperative nanotech, kolto infusion and surgical probes to refresh probes. A lot of operative abilities are small but frequent ticking abilities and thus it is very easy to control total output in single target sustained situations and avoid overhealing. I believe it is the highest output single target healer but given the design of current operations, any healer spec can excel at sustained single target healing comfortably.

Burst healing: 2/3 if expected, 1/3 if unexpected

Firstly I’ll draw a distinction between ‘expected’ and ‘unexpected.’ When saying expected I mean burst caused by unavoidable fight mechanics and abilities. Monster slams in phase 1 of bestia is an expected burst and you can pre cast HoTs on your tank as a result. Your tank being shoulder thrown by a monster in the same fight into a yellow puddle is unexpected and you may not have HoTs ticking in anticipation. A strong healer can be applying HoTs in anticipation of unexpected burst however this is usually done at the expense of healer DPS GCDs and thus there is a tradeoff.

AoE healing: 3/3

Hands down the strongest spec for AoE healing. Medicine contains 2 of the strongest AoE healing GCDs in the game (Kolto waves and recuperative nanotech) and it contains one of the strongest spammable fillers (kolto probe) to use between AoE healing GCDs.

Healer DPS: 2/3 for total output, 1/3 in some raid encounters, 3/3 if safe reflecting is possible

As stated, medicine has the 2nd highest raw output damage. The melee requirement for many of our abilities (backstab, shiv and overload shot) and even the positional requirement for toxic haze can make it difficult to apply healer DPS heavily in a raid compared to sorcerers and mercenaries. 5.0 gave operatives the strongest reflect in the game with the shortest cooldown which if a fight allows can push operative to having the strongest healer dps potential.

Survivability: 1/3

There’s nothing really wrong with operative healer survivability, however it is the worst out of all 3 healer specs. Many players think that sorcerers have worse survivability but the damage reduction benefits from unnatural preservation and cloud mind push them ahead of operatives when used correctly.

Raid utility: 3/3 <

While all of the previous ratings probably make up aspects ‘raid utility’ I’ve given a 3 here due to stealth rez being a massive factor that is unique to operative healers. Due to the relative low popularity and prevalence of operative DPS in raid compositions, the raid buff provided by operative healers can become quite valuable, however this is a similar case for sorcerer healers as well.


These numbers are taken from Bant’s theorycrafted model and are typically a reliable build. The more detailed source can be found here; http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=847112

230 rating gear

  • 7167 Endurance
  • 5901 Mastery
  • 3183 Power
  • 1583 Critical rating
  • 1555 Alacrity
  • 0 Accuracy

236 rating gear

  • 7741 Endurance
  • 6367 Mastery
  • 3523 Power
  • 1872 Critical rating
  • 1664 Alacrity
  • 0 Accuracy

242 rating gear

  • 8205 Endurance
  • 6745 Mastery
  • 3793 Power
  • 1949 Critical rating
  • 1747 Alacrity
  • 0 Accuracy

As a disclaimer; these are theorycrafted stat distributions; they assume a perfect APM and a perfect rotation. Furthermore, these stats were calculated to optimize healing done in a scenario where 3 targets were taking equal constant damage. This is a typically unusual scenario in raiding and thus take these values with a grain of salt. They are not gospel. They may be a good starting point for you.

Due to the galactic command system of gearing you may not have access to the exact drops to fully optimize your gearing. In the general case there are some points to stick to which may help your gearing decisions.

  • Prioritise the use of unlettered mods. Never use B mods. A mods may be used if they are of a higher item rating (they will result in a very minor healing output loss but give substantial endurance which may help for progression)
  • Always use the low endurance variants of enhancements; the ease of acquiring BiS enhancements means you really shouldn’t run anything else.
  • Don’t stress too much about where you’re getting certain stats from. If you find you have heaps of crit enhancements, that’s fine. Use the best enhancements/implants/earpiece you have available and balance out your stats with augments.
  • Relics for maximum output are focused retribution and serendipitous assault. If you have to pick one of these prioritize focused retribution as its proc ICD is benefitted by alacrity whereas the proc on serendipitous assault is not.
  • Boundless ages may be a beneficial relic, it requires more skill in determining its usage but the nature of healing in this game can bring great benefit out of it. Raw output checks are relatively easy and burst healing is often the cause of wipes. Boundless ages may help alleviate this issue due to the availability of an additional cooldown.
  • Versatile stims should be used to maximise healing output
  • You have a choice between two adrenals. First there is the triage adrenals which will increase techpower and thus increase raw healing output. These adrenals are the best increase in healing output however, they reduce all damage you deal by 20% for the duration. Unless it is a very high stress situation, you are unlikely to be using only healing abilities for 11 GCDs straight, thus this reduction in damage dealt is an impact. The alternative is alacrity adrenals, these can be nice for burst healing as they’ll speed up your GCD and allow you to get some (albeit weaker) heals out quicker, furthermore there is no impact on your damage dealt. Both are acceptable options, however be aware of the distinctions between them.
  • If you have set bonus armorings, please keep them. Even armorings from previous expansions are beneficial over having no set bonus at all. The small loss in mastery is more than made up for by the set bonus.

Personally I believe that due to the relative ease of meeting raw healing number requirements, gearing should be something players experiment with to find their personal preference. In this process you will typically consider 3 or 4 stats; crit, alacrity, mastery, and accuracy.

Having more crit will cause less variation in critical rates which can make your burst healing more reliable. In addition it will increase all critical healing and damage done thus increasing burst potential as well. Lots of people say crit is a RNG stat. This is not entirely true. All healing output is dependant on a certain crit rate since relying purely on non-crit ticks is just impractical since your output would be too low., likewise as is DPS output (your dummy parses will always vary more due to the luck of crit rates than any gear changes). Higher crit results in a more reliable crit percentage and in a way reduces the RNG of your output.

Having more alacrity can also make burst healing more reliable as you will be able to react a fraction faster. However, a key note about alacrity is that it is a heavily skill based stat. Many players suffer from suboptimal APM. The purpose of alacrity is to increase your APM ceiling. If a player is not able to hit the APM ceiling in their current stat allocation, additional alacrity will provide almost no benefit. To summarise, alacrity will only do anything if you as a player are able to increase your APM accordingly. If you feel your APM is low, I would recommend stacking more crit and mastery while you work on improving your APM, at which point you should begin experimenting with alacrity. Furthermore, as will be explained later in this guide, kolto probe management is essential to having quick and effective burst healing. If you feel your probe management is poor, having additional alacrity may compensate somewhat.

So far the ideologies of critical and alacrity have been explained. Mastery is a weaker stat than critical and alacrity in terms of healing output. However, mastery is a stat which is not dependent on perfect APM (like alacrity) and is not dependent on any form of RNG (like critical rating), thus using a little is quite a safe option as it will buff all your healing all the time. I would not recommend more than 3 or 4 augments of mastery and I would suggest less if you are comfortable with higher alacrity values.

Finally, we come to accuracy. This is a rather controversial area but I’m explaining it regardless since it is a relevant aspect particularly in nightmare raiding. In nightmare raiding typically, DPS checks require much more uptime per player than the uptime required to meet healing checks. That is; a healer can cover all the healing required in fewer GCDs than the number of GCDs needed for a DPS to cover the damage required. Therefore, healers can use a lot of GCDs to help with DPS (Remember, you are part of a whole raid team, not just an individual player). This is where accuracy can come into play. A healer can choose to drop some mastery/alacrity/critical and run 110% accuracy in order to increase the effectiveness of their DPS GCDs. Please note: this is not recommended for newer healers, this is not recommended for groups which are mechanically weaker and thus take additional damage. This is only an option for extremely strong healers who want to help their raid team out in additional ways. You must make these judgements honestly about yourself (there is nothing worse than an arrogant player trying to play the way someone else does when it is not applicable to their situation).

This should give you an idea of how to decide your own preferred stats as well as giving you a possible framework (Bant’s model) to begin with.

Utilities, Passives and Abilities



clip_image002 Nanotech Suit

Reduces all area of effect damage taken by 30%

This is a rather vital utility. A lot of the damage taken in operation environments are AOE.
clip_image004 Chem-resistant Inlays

Increases damage reduction by 5%

Flat out damage reduction against all sources is always good. Also vital.
clip_image006 Imperial Weaponry

Noxious Knives deals 25% more damage

Noxious Knives is pitiful as an ability and you shouldn’t really be using it anyway. I’d avoid this utility.
clip_image008 Hit and Run

Striking a target with Shiv or Veiled Strike grants Hit and Run, increasing your movement speed by 50% for 3 seconds

Not really beneficial as you have more than enough mobility to deal with mechanics. Plus being forced to stop healing to use a 4m DPS ability for mobility is unreliable.
clip_image010 Slip Away

Reduces the cooldown of Debilitate by 15 seconds

Very few targets in operations encounters can be stunned and hence this isn’t really worth it.
clip_image012 Infiltrator

Increases movement speed by 15% and effective stealth level by 3

This isn’t needed but for some players, it can be a nice little boost to mobility. This is worth at least considering. If you want to take this drop Escape Plan from the General Utility build or drop Med Shield from the Reflect utility build.


clip_image014 Curbing Strategies

Overload shot and Noxious knives reduce the movement speed of targets they damage by 40% for 6 seconds. In addition, when Flash bang ends it leaves behind flash powder that reduces target’s accuracy by 20% for 8 seconds

Not really useful in operations as slows don’t work on anything significant and likewise there are too few potential targets for flashbang.
clip_image016 Precision Instruments

Reduces the energy cost of Debilitate and Sever Tendon by 5 and makes Sever Tendon immobilize the target for 2 seconds.

Again, debilitate and sever tendon are abilities you almost never use and hence this isn’t worth taking.
clip_image018 Advanced Cloaking

Reduces the cooldown of Cloaking Screen by 30 seconds and activating Cloaking Screen increases movement speed by 50% for 6 seconds.

There are a number of uses for Cloaking Screen (which will be explained further on) and a cooldown reduction for it can be very beneficial. I’d recommend this.
clip_image020 Med Shield

Your Shield Probe heals you for 5% of your maximum health when it collapses.

Nice buff to shield probe. Can be situational since it requires you to be below max hp when shield probe collapses. Strongest raw upgrade to shield probe out of available utilities.
clip_image022 Endorphin Rush

Adrenaline Probe now immediately restores 15 additional energy.

Really nice buff to Adrenaline Probe. It allows you to push your energy a bit harder and increase healing output for high stress situations.
clip_image024 Fortified Kolto

While your Kolto Probe is active on yourself, your damage reduction is increased by 3% per stack.

Some good DR is given here but it requires you to keep probes on yourself which can just be a waste of GCDs. Other utilities are more worthwhile.


clip_image026 Imperial Tactics

Sever Tendon will now grant a Tactical Advantage

Medicine has plenty of TAs and you shouldn’t really use Sever Tendon so this isn’t worth it.
clip_image028 Evasive Screen

When activated, Cloaking Screen grants 2 seconds of Evasion

Can turn Cloaking Screen into an additional self cleanse or a defensive. However, this isn’t super necessary and I feel it’s a waste of Cloaking Screen’s usage. Note that the evasion granted will not trigger Blow for Blow.
clip_image030 Evasive Imperative

Every time you get attacked, the active cooldown of your Evasion is reduced by 3 seconds. This effect cannot occur more than once every 1.5 seconds.

Extremely good for any fight where you’d use evasion (both defensively or offensively via Blow for Blow). Can make evasion’s cooldown as low as 21s if taking constant damage.
clip_image032 Cunning Competencies

Countermeasures purges all movement- impairing effects when activated. Additionally, when sleep dart wears off, the target is struck by sedatives, reducing all damage dealt by 50% for the next 10 seconds.

Not really useful in operations, there are some rare scenarios in which it could do something but this utility is overshadowed by others.
clip_image034 Escape Plan

Reduces the cooldown of Escape by 30 seconds, Shield Probe by 5 seconds and Infiltrate by 60 seconds.

Nice buff for shield probe. Med shield is stronger as far as raw survivability is concerned however a more frequent shield probe can stabilise incoming damage more easily. In the given utility builds, Med Shield can be dropped for Escape Plan; this is up to player preference.
clip_image036 Jarring Strike

When used from stealth, Backstab and Lethal Strike interrupt and knock down the target for 3 seconds. Player targets are immobilized for 3 seconds, rather than being knocked down.

No significant use in operations. Not recommended.


clip_image038 Circumvention

Reduces the cooldown of Holotraverse by 10 seconds and allows it to be used while immobilized. When activated it purges movement impairing effects and grants a Tactical Advantage.

I don’t think any fight really warrants Holotraverse enough such that a CD reduction is needed. Furthermore, your TA generation is more than sufficient and you don’t really need more.
clip_image040 Mobile Strategies

Exfiltrate grants a charge of Mobile Strategies, reducing the energy cost of your next Overload by 100%, increasing its maximum range by 20 metres, and making it knock the target back. Each use of overload shot consumes a charge of Mobile Strategies and grants 10 energy.

This is a pretty bad utility. It forces you to use 2 GCDs to do a knockback and a very short distance knockback at that. Not recommended.
clip_image042 Revitalizers

Stim Boost now additionally grants Revitalizers, restoring 5% of total health every 3 seconds and reducing damage received received by 20% for the duration.

This is very nice as a defensive CD. It’s kind of awkward using an offensive ability as a defensive. However, many significant heal checks (Cartel warlords p1, brontes burn, 2nd styrak kell dragon) involve you taking damage as well. I’d recommend this most fights.
clip_image044 Curative Agent

Countermeasures grants Curative Agent, causing the next Kolto Probe to immediately grant two stacks. Additionally, Countermeasures heals you for 1% of your maximum health every second for 10 seconds and Kolto Infusion now initially heals for x, but no longer restores health over time.

There’s a number of aspects to this utility. The curative agent buff is nice as probe management is vital to your healing and it frees up a GCD by allowing you to apply both stacks with 1 GCD, leading to increases in either healing or dps output. The 2nd aspect allows Kolto Infusion to be burstier, however the raw healing done by the ability is nerfed (approximately a 10% loss). This isn’t great but the free GCD from the probe application more than makes up for it. Finally as this is a utility used in typically stressful situations, the HoT placed on yourself is a free significant heal to reduce pressure. I strongly recommend this.
clip_image046 Augmented Shields

Increases the amount of damage absorbed by Shield Probe by 30%

This is a very nice utility. Unfortunately it suffers from being in the legendary tier and there are better utilities to be taken.
clip_image048 Blow for Blow

Activating Evasion grants Blow for Blow, returning 150% of all direct single target tech and Force damage taken back to the attacker while evasion is active.

Firstly; know that this reflect does not absorb damage. You can only reflect in scenarios where the damage received is not significantly dangerous. This is a very powerful utility to boost healer DPS and can help meet some enrages. I’d recommend this for every fight in which you can safely use it.

Recommended Utility Builds

General build Reflect Build
image image

Key Passives

The following are some important passives from the Medicine tree which I would like to highlight. These are the passives which guide you how to play and should be kept in mind as you learn the spec.

clip_image002[4] Incisive Action

Reduces the activation time of Kolto Injection by 0.5 seconds and allows it to grant Tactical Advantage when activated.

The key thing here that you need to consider when playing is the TA grant from Kolto Injection. Whilst there are a couple other TA sources, this is your most reliable as it is not dependant on any proc ICDs.
clip_image004[4] Medical Engineering

Each tick of Kolto Waves, Kolto Probe, Kolto Infusion, and Recuperative Nanotech has a 30% chance to Grant Tactical Advantage. This effect cannot occur more than once every 6 seconds.

You’ll typically have 100% uptime of abilities which can trigger this proc and thus you’ll probably be proccing it close to its ICD. This is another key source of TAs and you should try to familiarise yourself with it so that you can spend your TAs and avoid overcapping.
clip_image006[4] Patient Studies

Increases the speed at which Diagnostic Scan channels by 30%. In addition, critical Diagnostic Scan heals restore 2 energy.

This is suprisingly bursty energy regen. As an operative, particularly in surprise burst scenarios, you can find yourself sinking a lot of energy and thus this utility can help you recover quickly when your raid members are stabilized.
clip_image008[4] Surgical Precision

Increases the Healing dealt by Surgical Probe by 5% and increases the max stack limit of Tactical Advantage by 1. In addition Surgical Probe immediately regrants Tactical Advantage once every 10 seconds.

Firstly, the additional stack of TA is quite important. Having a potential 3 TA stacks helps operatives avoid going over the cap for TAs and thus fewer TAs are wasted. This also allows for more spammable Surgical Probes for Kolto Probe refreshes. The 2nd aspect of this passive creates another source of TA generation. This source in particular is quite nice as it will never cause you to go over your cap as it will only generate a TA upon spending one.
clip_image010[4] Accomplished Doctor

Increases the critical healing bonus of Kolto Injection, Kolto Infusion, and Surgical Probe by 20%. In addition, healing a target with Surgical Probe will refresh the duration of your Kolto Probe on that target, if the target has two stacks of Kolto Probe

This is an extremely important passive to be mindful of. Kolto Probe is the backbone of your healing and the most effective way of maintaining it is via refreshing with Surgical Probe. Furthermore, since a two stack Kolto Probe is being refreshed, a healing tick of the probe will be forced upon the refresh. This occurs outside the typical 3 second tick interval and thus gives you some extra burst (the combination of the surgical probe tick and the two stack kolto probe tick).
clip_image012[4] Tactical Medicine

Executing a Tactical Advantage with a healing ability increases all healing done by 3% for 6 seconds. In addition, the range of Toxic Haze is increased by 30 meters.

You should be endeavoring to steadily use TAs in order to maintain this buff. 100% uptime should be quite easy to maintain due to the sheer number of TAs spent while healing (particularly through Surgical Probes to refresh Kolto Probe).
clip_image014[4] Enduring Kolto

Increases the duration of Kolto Probe by 3 seconds. Additionally, Stim Boost grants Enduring Kolto when activated, allowing your next Kolto Injection or Kolto Infusion to be activated instantly.

The playstyle altering aspect of this utility is the second part; the instant proc. This proc allows you to use Stim Boost for additional mobility or, more commonly, for additional burst healing. Note that the Enduring Kolto proc can be consumed by either Kolto Injection or Kolto Infusion. Kolto Infusion already has a cast time of 1 GCD and thus making it instant will not increase healing output, rather it will frontload the output of the ability. Kolto Injection however has a cast time much longer than 1 GCD (2s baseline) and thus using Enduring Kolto will not only front load the healing done by Kolto Injection but also lead to a total healing output increase.


The following are key abilities and brief explanations for Medicine as well as many baseline operative abilities which you will typically be required to use in fights. The explanations in this list should form the basis of understanding the spec and allow you to create ability priorities. This will include healing abilities, offensive cooldowns, defensive cooldowns, and DPS abilities.

clip_image002[6] Kolto Injection

Heals a friendly target for x.

2.0s cast time

20 energy cost

No cooldown

This is a fairly large upfront heal, however it is on the lower end of the abilities available in regards to total healing output. It is very good for precasting as a heal in anticipation of burst. As a response to burst it isn’t spectacular due to the long cast time. This is also a key source of TA generation. This ability is extremely strong with the 2 piece set bonus proc, outside that it’s sort of a filler when you have all your HoTs rolling and nothing else to do really yet still need to heal.
clip_image004[6] Recuperative Nanotech

Heals the target and up to 3 allies within 10 meters over 9 seconds.


15 energy cost

12 second cooldown (Down from 15 due to 6 piece Field Medic’s set bonus)


This is a very powerful HoT in both single target and AoE healing situations. This is stronger and cheaper than Kolto Injection and potential source of proccing Medical Engineering for TAs. Since the healing done is quite high and takes 9 seconds, this is a strong ability to precast for burst so that it is already ticking when a target takes spike damage.
clip_image006[6] Surgical Probe

Executes your Tactical Advantage to summon a probe that instantly heals the target. Requires and consumes Tactical Advantage


5 energy cost

1 Tactical Advantage cost

This is a very weak heal however, it is energy positive and your main sink for TAs. It is also vital to the uptime of your Kolto Probes. Refreshing them with Surgical Probe is the most effective way to maintain them. Despite being rather weak, this ability is one of your most frequently used.
clip_image008[6] Kolto Waves

Heals up to 8 allies that remain within 8 meters of the target area over 3 seconds.

3 second channel

4 ticks over duration

28 energy cost

This is a massive AoE heal and can be used quite frequently for phases in which the whole raid is taking constant damage. If this ability will be effective on 3 or more targets you should typically look to use it. It can be useful on 2 targets however, other healing abilities may be more beneficial.
clip_image010[6] Kolto Infusion

Executes your Tactical Advantage to immediately heal the target for x and heal the target for y over 9 seconds. Requires and consumes Tactical Advantage.

1.5s cast time

18 energy cost (Down from 20 due to 4 piece Field Medic’s set bonus)

This is a very powerful ability and has a faster cast time than kolto injection, making is a high priority for burst healing. Furthermore it procs your Surgical Probe auto-crit which can amplify burst substantially. If you’re taking the Curative Agent utility the raw single target healing output of this ability falls behind that of Recuperative Nanotech but the burst will naturally increase, whilst benefitting from the other aspects of the utility too.
clip_image012[6] Kolto Probe

Summons a droid which heals a friendly target for x up to 21 seconds. Stacks up to 2 times.


21 second duration

10 energy cost

This is the backbone of your healing output. It is the strongest healing per GCD ability you have in your arsenal by far and it is extremely cheap to apply and maintain (via Surgical Probe). Proper management of this ability will result in massive healing output and a lot of spike avoidance. Try always maintain it at 2 stacks on targets who take frequent damage and always try refresh the duration with Surgical Probe rather than using Kolto Probe.
clip_image014[6] Diagnostic Scan

Heals a friendly target for x over 2.1 seconds.

2.1 second channel

0 energy cost

This is a very weak healing ability but it is our primary source of energy return when needed. Due to passives in the tree, this ability will restore energy whenever it crits and it has a high tick rate and critical chance, making it effective energy regeneration. Only use this for energy management, this is a very ineffective heal.
clip_image016[4] Toxic Scan

Cleanses the target for up to 2 negative tech or physical effects. Also cleanses negative mental effects and heals for x due to Tox Screen.


10 energy cost

This is your cleanse. Fairly self explanatory; it is used to remove debuffs/dots. You’ll be using this for several fight mechanics and you should familiarise yourself with it and with the effects in fights that can and cannot be cleansed.
clip_image018[4] Resuscitation Probe

Summons a droid that revives an incapacitated ally. This ability is usable while in combat. When used, all group members can neither use nor be the target of an in-combat revive for the next 5 minutes.

1.5 second cast

0 energy cost

300 second cooldown

This is your primary way of reviving raid members who have died. You’ll only be able to use this once every five minutes so you need to consider whether the target of this ability is worth its use. Stealth reviving (explained later on) is a more frequent and potential source of reviving teammates which can factor into deciding whether Resuscitation Probe is needed or not.
clip_image020[4] Countermeasures

Activates Countermeasures instantly lowering threat by a moderate amount. In addition this is benefitted by the effects of Curative Agent (explained previously).



45 second cooldown

Firstly this acts as your threat drop. As a healer, your threat generation is not a huge threat compared to DPS unless some significant add control is required in the fight. In these cases you should try to consider the timing of Countermeasures. Never pop it immediately; rather wait until you have accumulated some threat and the tank has used their taunts.

Now assuming you are taking Curative Agent; this is a very handy ability to help with your healing output. It is an off-GCD self heal and will allow the placement of two Kolto Probe stacks in a single GCD. Use this ability before Kolto Probe applications or if you mismanage the reapplication of Kolto Probes. This can be very helpful in situations with lots of raid-wide damage where many targets need Kolto Probe and you yourself can maximise the benefit of the personal HoT.

clip_image022[4] Adrenaline Probe

Summons a droid that helps you recover 50 energy over 3 seconds. Restores an additional 15 energy due to Endorphin Rush.



120 second cooldown

This is your biggest ability for energy return. This can be used when you mismanage energy to begin with. However, as players become more experienced I would recommend planning the usage of this ability to increase burst healing or sustained output. Pushing your energy on purpose by using stronger abilities and restoring it to normal with this ability is an effective means of increasing output in stressful points.
clip_image024[4] Cloaking Screen

Overloads your stealth generator, immediately exiting combat and entering stealth mode. For 10 seconds you become virtually undetectable.



120 second cooldown (90 with advanced cloaking)

This is an important ability which many players do not fully utilize. There are five primary uses for this.

By stealthing out of combat you drop all threat you have generated and thus it is an extremely reliable and effective threat drop.

If you choose to spec into Evasive Screen this can be used as an off GCD self cleanse (this isn’t necessary as evasion itself provides a frequent enough self cleanse).

Whenever you exit stealth you will generate two stacks of TA. Thus this ability can be used in stressful healing situations in which you are not generating enough TAs. A typical example would be something like 2nd Kell Dragon on Styrak. You will have many targets with Kolto Probe and may not be creating enough TAs to keep them refreshed and active.

This ability can be used to increase healer DPS output by buffing your backstab to do more damage and generate a TA.

The final and possibly most vital use, is to stealth revive dead teammates. This ability allows you to exit combat and thus utilise your out of combat revive.

clip_image026[4] Stim Boost

Inject yourself with a specially engineered Imperial stim, Immediately gaining Tactical Advantage and boosting Alacrity by 10% for 15 seconds. Does not break stealth.



120 second cooldown

This is a nice ability for both burst and sustained healing. The Enduring Kolto passive will cause this ability to make your next Kolto Infusion or Kolto Injection instant allowing for some even more burst with these abilities. The 10% alacrity can help with getting a cast off that slightly bit faster and allow you to squeeze an extra GCD into a block of healing abilities. Also the 10% alacrity can be useful in decreasing the cooldown of long cooldown abilities. While I wouldn’t normally recommend pairing your stronger cooldowns and you should rather stagger them, sometimes you may need to use multiple cooldowns at the same time. In this case it’s advisable to use Stim Boost to utilize its alacrity to reduce the cooldown of other abilities. Finally, note that this ability does not break stealth; thus it can be used before attempting a stealth revive to reduce the revive cast time and improve chances of it being successful.
clip_image028[4] Tactical Superiority

Executes your Tactical Advantage to grant Tactical Superiority to you and your operation members within 40 meters, increasing critical chance by 10% for 10 seconds. Does not break stealth.



300 second cooldown

This is your raid buff. Typically you’ll use this in combination with other raid buffs to maximise its benefit. This will usually be used to benefit DPS in the group. For some fights however, its usage can be planned around more stressful healing times to benefit healers as well as DPS.
clip_image030[4] Corrosive Dart

Fires a dart at the target that deals internal poison damage over 18 seconds.


30m range

15 energy cost

This will be your most used DPS ability in a typical fight and the more healer stressful fights. It’s your strongest ability to deal damage with but being a DOT, you are limited in its use. Try to keep good uptime of this on your target.
clip_image032[4] Backstab

Ambushes an enemy for kinetic damage. Only usable while behind the target. If used from stealth, Backstab deals additional damage and grants Tactical Advantage.


4m range

12 second cooldown

15 energy cost

This is one of your highest DPS abilities and is quite good to use frequently if helping with DPS. The 4m requirement can make it difficult to keep the same level of usage as other abilities on some fights.
clip_image034[4] Shiv

Stabs a target for kinetic damage. Grants Tactical Advantage.


4m range

6 second cooldown

15 energy cost

Essentially just a weaker version of backstab with no positional requirement. It does grant TA however, if you’re really in need of TAs then you’d likely be healing and acquiring them via Kolto Injection anyway. Due to its low cooldown and decent damage, this ability is used quite frequently when dealing healer DPS.
clip_image036[4] Overload Shot

Blasts the target for weapon damage.


10m range

15 energy cost

Lower damage than shiv but still high enough to warrant over other abilities. The 10m range can make this easier to incorporate into raids however you should be prioritising dart, backstab and shiv over this. This ability is only really used when dedicating a lot of consecutive GCDs to healer DPS.
clip_image038[4] Fragmentation Grenade

Deals kinetic damage to the target and kinetic damage to up to 7 standard or weak targets within 5 meters of the primary target. If the primary target is a standard or weak enemy, it is knocked to the ground.


30m range

6 second cooldown

20 energy cost

This is a fairly weak single target ability. It does have the benefit of being 30m but the energy cost and low damage mean that you should look to just try get into melee range rather than use this ability. It is decent for AoE circumstances with 3 or more targets.
clip_image040[4] Toxic Haze

Executes your Tactical Advantage to drop a canister that fills the vicinity with poisonous gas, dealing internal damage to up to 8 enemy targets within 8 meters over 6 seconds.The haze stuns standard or weak enemies for 6.1 seconds. Requires and consumes Tactical Advantage.


30m range

15 second cooldown

15 energy cost

1 Tactical Advantage cost

This is quite a nice DPS ability, it deals similar single target damage to Backstab making it one of your strongest abilities. It is also an AoE and thus has the potential for very high healer damage when multiple targets are present. The only significant downside is that it requires your target to remain within a reticle for 6 seconds and thus when heavy movement is present you may need to hold off on the usage of this ability.
clip_image042[4] Noxious Knives

Hurl envenomed knives in a 10-meter cone in front of you, damaging up to 8 targets for kinetic damage and internal poison damage.

This is a pretty terrible ability, never use it for single target. For AoE you’ll need many targets for it to be beneficial and even then the conal targeting of this ability is so awful that it tends to not hit half the targets you expected it to.
clip_image044[4] Rifle Shot

Shoots your rifle at the target, dealing weapon damage.


30m range

0 energy cost

Very low damage ability but it is necessary to keep your energy above 60 to maximise energy regeneration while doing DPS. Try to be proactive with its use to avoid dropping below 60 energy rather than just using it when you’ve already made mistakes with energy.
clip_image046[4] Distraction

Interrupts the target’s current action and prevents that ability from being used for 4 seconds.


10m range


This is your interrupt and may be necessary in the execution of a number of mechanics. The chance of success for this ability is dependant on accuracy and being a healer you typically won’t have max accuracy (unless running the accuracy build mentioned in the gearing section). Thus try to interrupt early so that if a resist does occur, your group can react.
clip_image048[4] Evasion

Increase your chance to dodge melee and ranged attacks by 200% for 3 seconds. Does not break stealth.



60 second cooldown

This is a very powerful defensive that can be used quite frequently if in the right utilities. However, this only works on melee/ranged damage thus familiarise yourself with damage types in encounters so you know when you’ll get the most benefit out of its usage. Furthermore, if warranted this can be used an offensive via the Blow for Blow utility. As mentioned the reflect granted does not absorb damage and care must be taken when reflecting.
clip_image050 Shield Probe

Summons a probe droid that projects a shield around the agent, absorbing a moderate amount of incoming damage for 10 seconds. Does not break stealth.



30 second cooldown

This is a rather nice defensive to reduce overall damage and mitigate some heavy spikes. The actual absorb value is dependant on bonus healing thus it will actually be slightly stronger if activated under relic procs although this is quite minor and you shouldn’t necessarily plan its use around relics. This ability works on almost all damage within the game and its low cooldown means you can reliably have it for damage spikes. Use this frequently but only when you know you’ll take damage. Delay its usage if damage is trivial as it is more important for surviving a big hit rather than lowering overall DTPS.

Healing & DPSing

As a healer there is not set healing rotation exactly. Your healing will be dictated by the damage going out. I cannot stress enough the importance of developing an in depth understanding on damage profiles in fights. It will help you in predicting damage spikes and knowing when you can use a slower and more cost effective heal rather than needing to quickly burst up a target. Particularly as an operative, you will find proactive healing skills to be extremely vital rather than relying purely on reactive healing skills. Medicine has extremely powerful HoTs (kolto probe and recuperative nanotech) and thus maximizing their usage is the key to effectively healing. The balancing act however is that a HoT takes time and thus it may not always be able to deliver enough healing fast enough to keep a target alive following a large damage spike. In these scenarios you will have to forego HoTs in favor of burstier heals (kolto injection and kolto infusion) to stabilize before you begin reapply HoTs. These burstier heals are weaker than full duration HoTs and when heavily used will begin to create energy issues which will further decrease your healing output. Note that your energy regeneration is at its highest when above 60 energy and therefore you should aim to remain higher than 60 energy unless you are pushing energy for burst healing and plan to recover through the use of Adrenaline Probe or Diagnostic Scan. This is precisely why proactive healing skills are vital.

A player well versed in damage profiles of fights can apply HoTs before a damage spike and use burstier heals in immediate response to damage spikes, having already applied the HoTs you are not in a place where you’re forced to delay strong heals and you can comfortably burst heal a target to keep them alive. Furthermore, having the HoTs ticking already during a burst healing window will further enhance the burst healing you do. Now from this information, it may seem like kolto injection and infusion aren’t worthwhile heals and having to use them is bad. This is not quite true. Raw healing output alone will never keep a raid alive, burst healing is always necessary in response to big spikes. However, having high raw healing through strong HoT management can help mitigate some spikes in encounters and thus reduce the number of burst healing windows necessary and therefore decrease the number of times in a fight that a raid member is prone to dying. Thus we can extract some points which begin to formulate a healing priority to follow. Maximise the usage of kolto probe and recuperative nanotech. Try to have these abilities ticking in anticipation of burst. However, if you weren’t adequately prepared, forego their usage in response to burst and instead prioritize burstier heals to stabilize before resuming a more HoT based priority.

Now the reason I’ve chosen to explain this the way I have is that I want to provide the skills to be able to determine your own priorities down the track. Classes change, abilities get buffed or nerfed, and even new abilities get added. It is this thought process that I follow when learning a class; how strong is a heal, how highly can I prioritize it, when is is not safe to use said heal, what should I use instead? Very few players extensively test and learn things and thus bad habits can be very easily picked up in healing. For example; how many players can tell you the relative expected efficacy of a full duration 2 stack Kolto Probe HoT compared to a kolto injection? Fun fact: It’s almost three times as much healing.

So we can see that our healing ability usage is dependant on the conditions present. Thus I’m presenting my healing priorities for several different scenarios.

General single target healing

This is your typical healing. The major goal in mind here is to be as effective with your ability usage so that targets can be kept as high as possible and you are adequately prepared for damage spikes. This is also the time you can consider adding in healer DPS to help your raid.

Your highest priority will be the application and maintenance of 2 stacks of Kolto Probe. Never refresh your Kolto Probes with another Kolto Probe; it’s just not cost effective or healing effective. Rather, use Surgical Probes to refresh your Kolto Probes. This is good for a number of reasons; Surgical Probe is higher healing than a Kolto Probe tick, Surgical Probe is cheaper than Kolto Probe, and Surgical Probe will force a kolto probe tick outside its normal rate (Kolto Probe ticks every 3 seconds, however surgical probe can cause a tick within 1 GCD which is 1.5s). This forced kolto probe tick can make surgical probe somewhat bursty as it is forcing a HoT tick at the exact same time surgical probe is doing its own healing. Following this is Recuperative nanotech; this is just your next highest output ability and as a benefit it can apply to up to 4 targets which can further enhance its output. Its usage is fairly simple in this scenario, you’re basically using it close to its cooldown and will only delay it if you know a damage spike is coming up in which case you’ll use it right before the spike so you can have it ticking already. Kolto Infusion, being your next highest output ability, is next in the priority followed by Kolto Injection. These 2 abilities are fairly large up front heals so they may not always be used at this point in the priority if your target is fairly healthy (overhealing has no merit whatsoever) and you may rather delay them in favor of lower priority cheaper abilities. These lower priority abilities are surgical probe as a filler (note surgical probe is extremely high priority when needed to keep your kolto probe going but outside that purpose its priority drops quite low) and diagnostic scan (when healing needed is very low diagnostic scan can be a good way to top up your energy letting you sink a lot of energy into a more stressful phase coming up). This priority can even be followed when a target spikes to low HP provided they aren’t taking any more dangerous levels of damage which may kill them (Typically this may be something like a DPS who has just taken some mechanical unavoidable damage eg. The grenade on Titan 6). Thus the general single target healing priority can be summarized in the following list.

  1. 2 stack Kolto Probe application
  2. Maintenance of Kolto Probes via Surgical Probe
  3. Recuperative Nanotech
  4. Kolto Infusion
  5. Kolto Injection
  6. Surgical Probe
  7. Diagnostic Scan

Single target burst healing priorities

As explained prior, fight understanding to predict damage spikes is highly important for your burst healing (operatives are a very proactive healer rather than reactive). This will outline your ideal approach to burst healing. Your goal is to maximise the amount of healing which occurs during a short timespan. All healing abilities take some span of time to activate. We are looking for the abilities which will be able to do healing outside their time of activation so that we can squeeze more healing output into any particular window of time. Thus there are three pre-casted heals we look for; 2 stacks of Kolto Probe applied to the target, Recuperative Nanotech applied to the target, a Kolto Injection cast already begun which will finish immediately after the spike damage is taken (You may ask why we use Kolto Injection rather than Kolto Infusion here since Infusion is a stronger heal. This is because infusion is only a higher HPS ability due to the longer cast time of Injection and since we are precasting we are eliminating most of the cast time factor here which indeed pushes injection ahead in a burst window). Following this precast you will look to use the strongest up front abilities you have available. This will typically follow the order of Kolto Infusion followed by Kolto Injections until the target is stable enough to resume the general single target healing priority. If the burst precast was mostly achieved this will not require many Kolto Injections typically. Thus the general single target burst healing priority can be summarized in the following list.

  1. (Precast) 2 stacks of Kolto Probe
  2. (Precast) Recuperative Nanotech
  3. (Precast) Kolto Injection
  4. Kolto Infusion
  5. Kolto Injection
  6. Surgical Probe
  7. Diagnostic Scan

Unexpected single target burst healing priority

This is essentially your ‘oh shit’ or worst case scenario priority when a target takes a large damage spike which you were not adequately prepared for. This when your proactive healing skills have become a non-factor and everything is reactive. This will usually occur when avoidable damage isn’t avoided or you mismanage your energy or HoTs. This will be a scenario where you should pop stim boost and your healing adrenal (be it triage or alacrity adrenals). I know that in some fights it is ideal to save these cooldowns for a particular high stress healing phase but I have always believed it is better to be over cautious about keeping someone alive than it is to take risks and lose a raid member in the process. You likely won’t have HoTs ticking and will not have had any precasts. In this case your job is to top up the player as much as you can despite having a weaker arsenal of abilities set up. Your highest priority will be Kolto Infusion if it is available; this is a 1 GCD cast time and your highest single target burst heal. This will be followed by a stim boost (if available) kolto injection (as mentioned previously, kolto injection is the best heal to use your instant granted by stim boost on as it has a cast time greater than 1 GCD). At this point it is a matter of how much more life-threatening damage the target is taking. If they are still in immediate danger your next priority will be Surgical Probe purely because it is an instant ability, if they are in danger but don’t need a heal ASAP you should rather use Kolto Injection again (this is a more effective heal than Surgical Probe if the target is able to survive the duration of your cast time). Once stabilized it will typically be a good time to reapply Kolto Probes and resume your general single target priority. This is typically a good time to make use of Curative Agent to apply both Kolto Probe stacks as your recovery from these sort of scenarios can take some time and freeing up a GCD is very valuable. Thus your unexpected single target burst healing priority can be summarized in the following list.

  1. Kolto Infusion
  2. (Stim Boost) Kolto Injection
  3. Surgical Probe OR Kolto Injection
  4. Kolto Injection

AoE Healing Priorities

Now the AoE healing priority isn’t as simple as just using your AoE heals as that would mean you’re sitting there doing nothing, waiting for abilities to come off CD. Rather it is heavily about maximizing the efficacy of your GCDs between your powerful AoE heals. Naturally in heavy AoE phases you will want to prioritize your strongest AoE heal first; kolto waves. This is followed by Recuperative nanotech. Now from here we essentially revert to the general single target healing priority while waiting for AoE abilities to become available. The key difference is that because we are spreading healing between many targets, we do not need to go as far down in the single target priority and we can almost always make use of a highly effective, cheap and spammable single target ability as our main filler; that being Kolto Probe. In most AoE healing phases you can essentially cover your healers and DPS with your AoE heals and some filler Kolto Probes alone. Your tanks will typically warrant you delving deeper into the single target priority though and you may use Kolto Infusion or Kolto Injection on them. The key is to maintain your AoE healing well enough so that your DPS and Healers are never becoming overwhelmed with damage and you can focus single target fillers on tanks. Most healers will often panic and single target heal too much for peace of mind and the delaying of AoE healing abilities will cause them to fall behind several GCDs down the track. This also means you must be aware of when your AoE healing abilities are coming off cooldown and ensure you’ll have adequate energy to use them without impacting your healing for the next few GCDs. Therefore diagnostic scan can be prevalent in some stressful AoE phases to ensure the usage of your strongest abilities on cooldown. The big thing to remember when following an AoE healing priority is to reset your priority list each time you perform a target swap and begin healing a different raid member. The AoE healing priority can be summarized in the following list.

  1. Kolto Waves
  2. Recuperative Nanotech
  3. Kolto Probe
  4. Kolto Probe reapplication via Surgical Probe
  5. Kolto Infusion
  6. Kolto Injection
  7. Surgical Probe
  8. Diagnostic Scan

This covers the healing priorities you will typically encounter. The big key is knowing when to swap between the different priorities to meet the changing damage profiles of fights and this will come with practise as well as some level of self critique. You must be willing to look at what you’ve done and be open to the idea that you can improve. Particularly with a role such as healing where mistakes aren’t as blatant, I believe players should be critical. If you want to be a strong healer; don’t settle for good enough.

Stealth Rezzing

This is an invaluable utility which operative healers bring to raids. It is as simple as utilizing your cloaking screen to exit combat and using your out of combat revive to resurrect a dead ally. Your cast time for your revive is relatively long however and during this window you must ensure that you are not pulled back into combat. Thus there are a number of considerations and conditions to be met before going for a stealth rez. These are not in any particular priority.

  1. Ensure you have no HoTs ticking. These will pull you back into combat. Either wait for them to expire or ask your raid members to right click off their HoTs.
  2. Ensure your team knows you are going for a stealth rez. This helps your co-healer know that they may need to burst a bit more during this window and helps your DPS know to avoid placing any mechanics which may pull you into combat on the fallen body. This is also good warning to stop your co-healer using healing abilities which may pull you into combat (eg. Roaming Mend).
  3. Find the body. This may seem obvious but many players forget this and waste a lot of time actually finding and reaching the body.
  4. Ensure you won’t take any damage during the stealth rez cast. Obviously damage will pull you back in combat.
  5. Ensure no adds or additional targets will spawn during the stealth rez window. The spawning of a new target will pull you into combat.

If you meet these conditions you should be able to stealth rez. To successfully do this in many fights, it requires a strong understanding of the actual rotation of a boss. So if you plan to do these a lot start paying close attention to when you take damage and the interval between damage ticks. As an extra measure, you can activate stim boost before beginning your revive cast to further reduce the cast time due to the extra alacrity gained.

Healer DPS

As mentioned healer DPS is a significant way in which healers can further benefit their raid team and knowing the best way to achieve that is something I would highly recommend to aspiring healers. Healer DPS is fairly simple; stick to the same principles of healing, prioritize the usage of strong abilities on cooldown and make sure your energy remains above 60. Now a major issue with DPS as an operative healer is range. Many of your abilities have a 4m or 10m range requirement. This isn’t a huge deal as playing within melee range is not overly difficult especially since you have many high priority mobile GCDs (kolto probe, recuperative nanotech, surgical probe, corrosive dart, toxic haze) get you within range and back out. However, I will still provide a strictly 30m DPS priority in addition to the ideal DPS priority. Thus the ideal DPS priority is as follows.

Medicine DPS priority

  1. Corrosive Dart
  2. Cloaking Screen + Backstab
  3. Backstab
  4. Toxic Haze
  5. Shiv
  6. Overload Shot
  7. Rifle Shot

I must stress; be careful with the usage of Toxic Haze. It consumes a TA which isn’t a huge issue but be aware of which healing abilities you plan to use following a Toxic Haze. Also Toxic Haze suffers from similar issues to Plasma Probe in Engineering Sniper; it warrants a target to remain within a ground placed reticle for a certain duration to actually deal all of its damage. Thus despite its high priority, be prepared to delay its use if a boss is moving. I also typically won’t use Cloaking Screen + Backstab as it is usually safer to save Cloaking Screen for other uses, however it is a great option for DPS in some phases.

The 30m DPS priority is quite basic; it removes the close range requirement abilities. However, we do add in Fragmentation Grenade. This ability is weaker than Overload Shot and costs more energy, hence its absence in the ideal priority however due to its 30m range it gets a place in our 30m priority. The 30m DPS priority is as follows;

  1. Corrosive Dart
  2. Toxic Haze
  3. Fragmentation Grenade
  4. Rifle Shot

The following is a short parse to display the ideal priority

This was done with accuracy capped gear so that miss RNG would not impact the result too heavily. The rotation and additional log information can be seen here:clip_image002


For those of you who are major healer DPS enthusiasts here’s also a 2.5mil Medicine DPS parse!



Finally; we come to reflecting as an operative healer. For those who don’t know; reflecting is as simple as taking any form of reflectable damage and using evasion (specced into Blow for Blow) to deal massive reflect damage to the target. I’m not a massive fan of this as I feel it wastes a defensive cooldown and it puts you in danger since the reflect does not absorb any damage. However, reflecting is a massive way to help your raids overall DPS. There are certain forms of unavoidable damage which can be reflected; these reflects are great. However a majority of reflects are done with avoidable damage and thus pose a risk to operatives.

This is a compilation of abilities which can be reflected in current fight encounters https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1k3Gt4dRWFn1Yt1SyMapRwM_880LThpHuJUJG0Udaxgk/edit#gid=1590949572

Credit goes to Mwissie of the swtor.com forums. I believe this compilation is a work in progress so it may not be entirely definitive but it is still very extensive. If you wish to explore reflecting, I’d recommend using this resource and you can begin testing for yourself which reflects are worthwhile. I personally don’t want to list what I reflect and what I don’t as some of these are very risky and dependant on varying degrees of execution and healing output and I think testing for yourself is a great way to learn.

Misc Tips

The following are a few things that I don’t feel need a lengthy and detailed explanation but are good things to be mindful of as a healer in general.

  • UI. Explore your User Interface and customize it to your hearts content. Don’t just take some players’ UI and be content with that, there is no be all and end all in MMO UIs. They are a very personal thing. But still be open to criticism regarding UIs. They are a major part of the execution of your play and tweaking with it to get it just right for you will help in the long run. Explore every option!
  • Starparse. This is an amazing program to help you see how you’re performing, analyze your play, and it even provides features which may improve your performance. Starparse can display your healing output, DPS output, damage taken, the sources of that damage, as well as give you customizable timers to track certain procs, cooldowns and fight mechanics. Starparse even features an overlay which helps track your Kolto Probe durations for your raid members. Credit goes to Ixale for creating it and it is available from http://ixparse.com/ should you wish to download it.
  • HPS vs EHPS. So HPS is the raw amount of healing you are doing. EHPS is the amount of that healing which is actually healing damage taken. Your effective heal % is a ratio of your EHPS to HPS; the lower that percentage the more you are overhealing and thus wasting GCDs. A certain amount of overhealing is natural; the limited ability pool means we can’t always heal for perfect values and some overhealing is good just as sign of a cautious and safe healer. However, try to maximize this percentage so that you aren’t wasting GCDs on overhealing when those GCDs could be going into tasks like healer DPS.
  • Healing numbers as a whole. Don’t get too hung up on pure healing numbers. They are important to an extent but a healer who pulls 12k ehps and still lets a tank die is worse than a healer doing 7k ehps who heals the right targets at the right time. You are not a DPS; your task is to keep people alive and the time-to-kill of a raid member is much lower than that of a boss, thus all the healing you did prior means nothing if you mess up for 10 seconds and let a player die.
  • Learn as much as you can. Knowledge of tanking a fight will improve you as a healer. Knowledge of how to DPS a fight will improve you as a healer. I cannot stress enough how important it is to be a team member rather than an individual. The better you know your group and what challenges your group has to overcome, the better the player you will be.

Concluding Comments

I typically go by the name Mac. I’ve full cleared all top tier PvE content for the last three expansions of this game as multiple roles. In the current expansion (5.0 until now) I have cleared all nightmare bosses and timed runs as both a healer and a DPS. I currently raid with <It’s Lit>, Group 4/Emerald of <Failure>, and <Four of Five> all of whom reside on the Harbinger server Imperial faction. My main operative’s name is Lurker’cheevo if you wish to look me up on Parsely and see my actual healing parses/ability usages for nightmare fights. I don’t have streams for you to watch unfortunately (RIP Australian Internet). I hope you, regardless of current skill level, have found this guide useful. I will endeavour to do my best to reply to questions and comments. Remember, never settle for good enough and always try to improve yourself. Even I learnt some new things in the process of writing this.

Hopefully we’ll see many strong operative healers in the next tier of content! 🙂

  • Robert René Dibello

    Nice Guide

  • Roscoe

    Great guide Mac, thanks for you work!

  • Leont Stepanov

    Great guide!

  • Nyyah

    Great guide, indeed.

    I’m aware that your DPS section is purely for single target DPS, but I think it’s still worth mentioning, that Toxic Haze should be the top priority as soon as it can hit 2 targets, which is applicable in many fights, and will deal more damage than Corrosive Dart at this point.

    I’d also mention that Corrosive Dart should only be used over Backstab if it remains for ~12 seconds (5 ticks) on the target, or ~9 seconds (4 ticks) in the case of Shiv/Overload Shot. (Not considering any crits)

    • Mac

      Everything you’ve stated is just basic DPS mechanics; increasing priority of AoE abilities when there are multiple targets, lowering priority of DoTS when target HP is low. If I was to go into info such as this for every case, it would be unnecessarily lengthy. Rather, I chose detail more class/role specific information.

      • Nyyah

        Yes, it’s indeed basics, and your guide covers a lot of basics that help
        understanding the class/spec a lot, which is why I thought it was worth
        mentioning those two things as a lot of players lack the
        understanding. That’s all.

  • FreakyD

    1/10 Meme content….. not good enough Mac

  • Whitedragon
    • Paulo Gomes

      Well… This section of Dulfy is for people that actually DO care for classes and how they are played. These guys that do the Class Guides go through a ton of work to share their views on how you can take the most out of an Adv Class. AND are probably doing it pro bono…

      In the future please take that in mind before posting one of your memes. This one borders on a lack of respect for people that still care about the game and it’s classes. People that GENUINELY want to push the game forward.

      Not a bad meme, but COMPLETELY out of context.

  • Epowerbiggs

    Thank you very much for taking the time to write this guide. I mostly run operative DPS, but am trying to learn to heal more effectively as well (I heal easier HM stuff now). Primarily what I don’t understand or agree with as much are two of your utility choices. Could you expand a little more on why you would take Med Shield and it’s 5% heal (which is about 6K worth) in your general build, versus always taking Evasive Imperative and the shorter Evasion cooldown? I do appreciate the synergy of the two shield skills in your general build.

    The second is the choice of Curative Agent in general, and over Revitalizers. As a DPS, Curative Agent is great and I always take it, but I feel like I would favor another HoT from Kolto Infusion to play up the HoT aspect of Operative versus other healers. Is this a more situational choice, or dependent on your co-healer? Revitalizers restores more of your health and has absorb, but can be used less frequently. I really struggle to evaluate the tradeoff. Thoughts?

    • Mac

      So basically; there aren’t really enough fights right now where you take significant melee/ranged damage and thus evasion becomes kind of sub-par as a defensive and reducing its cooldown isn’t that useful. Of course in melee/ranged heavy fights, taking Evasive Imperative would be great. Just for simplicity sake I didn’t want to list fight specific builds too much but it is definitely a utility to consider. The main reason I suggest Med shield is that it works all the time and isn’t dependent on the damage type taken and so it is applicable to all fights.

      The choice of Curative Agent is mostly explained in the guide but to reiterate I’ll go through the utility aspects again.
      The HoT removal: This is a positive as operatives have strong HoTs already and having a burstier, more up front heal is nice.
      The HPS decrease: So the HoT removal and buff to upfront healing isn’t an even tradeoff, overall Kolto Infusion total healing is nerfed by approximately 9% by taking this utility.
      The self HoT: So lets compare this to the self HoT from Revitalisers. Curative agent will self heal you for 10% of your hp every use, it has a 45s cd. Revitalisers will self heal you for 25% of your hp every use, it has a 120s cd. Curative agent will actually do more self healing than revitalisers if both abilities are used as often as possible. Furthermore; stim boost is often an ability used in response to a raid member taking a big damage spike (the instant cast and extra alacrity allowing your response time to be way faster) and thus usually you won’t even likely need the self healing. It is much harder to control the usage of stim boost to get every benefit out of revitalisers.

      All this being said though; the biggest benefit of curative agent is the free GCD it gives you. By being able to apply 2 kolto probe stacks in 1 GCD, you essentially free up a GCD in your healing (since kolto probe is such a high priority heal due to to its massive output and cost effectiveness, this meshes nicely with your priority). Consider this free GCD as extra healing from the utility too. You’ve basically been given an extra kolto injection, surgical probe, or diagnostic scan (depending on what the situation requires). The healing from this extra GCD doesn’t have to go into you (like the self heals from revitalisers) and thus is much better since you have a lot more control over it. Plus the actual benefit from the extra healing done is amazing. So those are the main reasons for my choice in Curative Agent over Revitalisers if forced to pick between them.

    • Mac

      To put it simply.
      You don’t actually take heaps of melee/ranged damage as a healer and evasion isn’t that good. So taking evasive imperative to reduce its cooldown is very fight dependant. Of course take it in fights with high melee/ranged damage profiles but for the general build I chose med shield over it since med shield will be applicable regardless of damage type.

      I favor curative agent over revitalizers for a few reasons. The self heal from curative is actually higher assuming both abilities are used on cooldown. Losing the HoT from infusion and making it do more upfront is nice for burst but overall it’s approximately a 9% nerf to the ability since not the entire output of the HoT is transferred. The biggest benefit of curative agent though, as mentioned is the free GCD since you can apply 2 probe stacks in 1 GCD. This new freed up GCD can be used on any ability of your choosing and on any target. This is a great degree of freedom since it’s not forced upon you as a self heal but also this is a strong healing output increase since you’re squeezing extra heal abilities into smaller timeframes.

      This is a very brief explanation, I actually wrote a much more lengthy reply but the site automatically detected it as spam due to its length and deleted it, but I hope it helps!

      • Epowerbiggs

        That is helpful, thanks. Looks like I’m stuck in DPS mentality for some of these issues, so it is good know. I did get an email notification of the spam post, so I did see your math on revitalizers vs. curative agent. I appreciate the effort!

        “The self HoT: So lets compare this to the self HoT from Revitalisers. Curative agent will self heal you for 10% of your hp every use, it has a 45s cd. Revitalisers will self heal you for 25% of your hp every use, it has a 120s cd. Curative agent will actually do more self healing than revitalisers if both abilities are used as often as possible. Furthermore; stim boost is often an ability used in response to a raid member taking a big damage spike (the instant cast and extra alacrity allowing your response time to be way faster) and thus usually you won’t even likely need the self healing. It is much harder to control the usage of stim boost to get every benefit out of revitalisers.”

  • I mostly PVP heal now because, fuck replaying multiple year old operations YET AGAIN. But with the new “boss” coming soon, I plan to do a few raids this week to get back into the flow. This is a great guide and I appreciate your efforts. It’s written for people with experience up through advanced healers, so if you are a new healer this guide might be difficult. But you can still utilize his tips and gearing guidance as a baseline to start out. For healing, practice makes perfect. So get out there and start running story mode raids a few times and then come back to this guide to take your skills to the next level 🙂

    • Mac

      You’re mostly spot on! I didn’t want to make a guide purely for a player new to the class/spec, nor did I want to make one purely for veterans of the spec. The intention was to provide different sort of tiers of information (for example, a fresh player could start with the theorycrafted gear builds, a couple of the healing priorities and the general utility build and work their way into more advanced play from there) so that newer players can try stuff and come back to it to learn further as they become more proficient and eventually have the understanding to not need a guide at all 🙂

      • Definitely appreciate it, you did a great job!

  • Nesrago

    2nd XD

  • JasonRyder

    Thank you for posting this. Also, I would like to see a Concealment Operative DPS guide.

  • Yam’unun

    An excellent guide, cheers and thanks Mac.

  • Narwhalolololololololololol

    No mention of srs’grophet. Neg rep…..

Back to Top