THE SCRAPPER'S HANDBOOK:
A PVP GUIDE
-Updated Sorcery, Sniper, and Operative matchups
There have been many requests for a comprehensive guide to the PvP Scrapper. Most people, myself included, do not fully understand how to play this class. It is an extremely complicated specialization that must make extensive use of all its abilities, using them at the right time and in the right circumstances. This guide will help you learn the Scrapper class for PvP and help you master it. I don't know everything about this class, so feel free to add suggestions and correction as you see them. And for those who want to disparage our poor class: Take it somewhere else. I know that Shadows have it better than us, and I have known that since December 21 2011. This thread is for learning to play the class, not suggesting improvements for it.
This guide is the product of some conversation with other players, a lot of writing and time, and a lot of WZ wins, losses, deaths, and kills. It was started in December 2012 before being posted in February 2013,.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Introduction: Strengths and Weaknesses
- Skill Points
- Ability and Gameplay Overview
- Basic PvP ďRotationĒ Muscle Memory
- Class-Specific Matchups
- Warzone Tactics
The Scrapper used to exist in an almost strictly inferior position to Shadows. Players during the 1.4-1.6 era of the game will remember that our class had a lot of problems including mobility, sustained damage, survivability, and general utility. There was no easy ways to make a big impact on WZs with this class.
All of that changed with 2.0. The class still has a steep learning curve and a high skill cap, but when played right, you can now make a serious difference in WZs. Some of the things I once said of Scrapper are still true; we can put out hard-hitting numbers, but not with just mashing a few buttons. We can stay alive longer than any other class, but not without mastery of abilities and mobility. But I can't say that this class is underpowered anymore. We are still hard to play, but we now have a lot of rewards waiting for us at the end.
So what do we have if not any of that? We have the best darn burst in the game...if you know what are doing. And we have a shotgun. Still not sure if you should play a Scrapper in PvP? Here is a brutally honest list of some pros and cons of the class.
Devastating opening combo
Extreme burst potential (Backblast will reach around 70% crit with 100%+ surge)
Cheapest single target stun in the game
Highly mobile (Tendon Blast snare, talented Sneak, Dirty Escape, etc.)
Best escape in the game (Scamper!!)
Offhealing and self-healing capabilities
Objective oriented abilities (Freighter Flyby, Sleep Dart, Flashbang, etc.)
Versatile and adaptable
Awful defensive cooldowns
Heavily dependent upon WZ positioning
No ďpureĒ finishing ability
Loses best ability if caught while stealthed
Players who read the old version of this guide will notice that some weaknesses are gone. With the alacrity and talent changes, our resource management is now vastly improved. As long as you aren't too crazy with your abilities (and let's face it, the temptation is always to go nuts), you will almost always have the resources to deal with any PvP combat scenario. Also, our Huttball relevance has dramatically increased with the addition of Scamper. Overall, this class has really launched up in terms of power, and for those with the shotgun and smuggler skills, it is a very rewarding spec.
2. SKILL POINTS
Unlike a lot of other classes, you really need to fill out your entire skill tree to be effective in WZs. Flechette Round is just too darn good of an ability to pass up, and it makes the class stand out from other DPS specs. That said, there is another hybrid option that I will talk about, but after extensive playtesting, I generally find it inferior to the pure scrapper builds. This hybrid forgoes Flechette for Slow Release Medpac, giving a big boost in survivability, but at a cost of damage. We will talk about it, but it's not my favorite. Including this Hybrid SRM build, we are going to talk about 3 different ways to build your class.
Glass Cannon Spec: 3/36/7
- Maximizes burst potential
- Most efficient single target stun in the game
- Lowest survivability
- Limited value to team; you are basically pure damage with no defenses
- When Dirty Kick is on CD, you lose your biggest advantage
Even with 2.0, this is still my personal preference. This is an all-in damage build that sacrifices most of the survivability talents for those that improve damage output. Your ace in the hole on this tree is the excellent Dirty Escape talent in the Dirty Fighting spec. A 4s stun on a 30s CD is huge, especially because most targets will have a 2 minute CD on their escape. If you are making it your business to wreck a healer, speccing the stun gives you 1 extra stun to use that he wonít be able to trinket out of.
This spec is unusually gear dependent because of our awful survivability. Once you hit that magical expertise of around 2200 or so, you get your crit rate up to 35% buffed, and you have your surge exceeding 70-75%, this spec starts to really be scary. Until then, however, you are going to have a tough time going toe-to-toe with all those Conqueror Powertechs and Juggernauts roaming around the WZs.
Here are some notes on the talent choices.
- Flanking / Sawed Off: They aren't great talents (much worse than their old 1.1 versions), but they buff your second best ability. Moreover, because Backblast will be pushing a 70%+ crit rate, you want to get as much damage out of that move as possible.
- Shifty Eyed: The modern stealth "metagame" favors the player who can strike first. If you lose that opener, you are almost certainly going to lose the fight. This talent gives you a head start on other stealth classes. Even if you can't get in position for a Shoot First, you can still pop them with something to at least ensure the fight doesn't start badly. It's also a must-have when you are trying to attack a node with a stealther waiting in the weeds.
- Sneaky: Helps both survivability and damage in an indirect way. From a survivability perspective, Sneaky prevents early detection, and the worst possible thing that can happen to a Scrapper is getting caught out of stealth. For damage, Sneaky lets you close the distance to melee range during a fight (invaluable after Sniper/Sorc knockbacks).
- Browbeater: Some builds forgo this talent in favor of survivability. Their rationale is that Vital Shot is energy intensive and not part of most bursty rotations. I agree. These critics forgot, however, that Browbeater also buffs the awesome Flechette Round. In just a 10 second bout of combat, you are going to apply 2 FRs, and Browbeater gives you a huge 9% damage buff to both.
Balanced Spec: 10/36/0
- Brawler's Grit: It's not that this is a bad talent. Even just 4% Endurance can help you survive one more hit in a fight. Unfortunately, it just isn't as useful as Sneaky or Browbeater.
- Survivor's Scars: Another talent that I would love to fit in. It is especially awesome with Surprise Comeback. But again, other talents low in the tree are more important.
- Surprise Comeback: BW just can't seem to fix this god awful talent. It was better before 2.0 when damage values were lower. But now, it's a bigger joke than 1.6 Mercenaries. The healing is negligible even in long engagements, and the newly designed Kolto Pack has eliminated any need for a HOT in your talent. Also, at 2 skill points, Comeback just eats away valuable talents. Skip this terrible skill and convince BW to redesign it.
- Enhanced survivability
- Better sustained damage (longer UH stacks + Pugnacity)
- Useful offheals for team
- Loses access to 30s CD stun
- Slightly lower burst potential
There was a time when this more durable build was probably "better" than my preferred Glass Cannon version. Given the wide range of changes to both this spec and others, however, that has changed. For the most part, I think that any Scrapper should be speccing into Dirty Fighting for the 30s Kick, but if you are really hurting for survivability, then this is the spec for you. Sawbones talents make it very easy to duck around corners, toss down an Underworld Medicine/Kolto Pack on yourself, and keep in the fight. This build is particularly crazy with Scamper. You will basically never die. You also will almost always have Pugnacity up before you use Shoot First, a big boost to your sustained damage in those opening seconds.
- Exploratory Surgery: Underworld Medicine is a great heal, but speeding up its activation AND getting free Upper Hand stacks instantly gives you a lot of extra staying power on the battlefield. Before a WZ even starts, you can self-cast UM to grant UH and pop Pugnacity, all before you even start the fight.
- Healing Hand: Giant heal boost to everything, including Surprise Comeback. Longer duration on UH has great synergy with the free UH stacks granted by Exploratory Surgery as well.
- Smuggled Technology: A problem that most Scrappers encounter in offhealing is pushback. You duck behind a pillar to throw some heals down. Your opponent doesn't have their interrupt up and you think you can get off your Underworld Medicine. But three Slashes later, you still haven't cast the darn thing, and you are almost dead anyway. This talent solves that problem, effectively negating all pushback you would otherwise suffer.
Slow Release Medpac Hybrid: 11/35/0 or 19/27/0 or other variants
- Scar Tissues: I actually like this ability more than I like Brawler's Grit, but you just can't get it to fit into your tree. Because the class is very mobile, ducking behind walls and only catching occasional hits in some WZs, the flat DR is a nice touch. Sadly, the other talents are better.
- Anatomy Lessons: Great ability that really helps out your energy management, and lets you spam Vital Shot on more targets. But if you are dipping into the Sawbones tree, my view is that you should just go all in on extra survivability, not try to add in just a touch more damage.
- Vastly improved survivability
- Dual role as DPS and healer
- Improved sustained damage
- Increased defensive capabilities
- Hugely reduced burst damage
- Weakened opener
- Worse CC
There are a lot of ways you can mix Sawbones and Scrapper, and these three are by no means exhaustive. The core of all these builds consists of a) Slow Release Medpac for survivability and team utility and b) maximizing Sucker Punch and Upper Hand procs. SRM alone changes how you play the class. To maximize this talent, you need to be throwing it on allies whenever possible, while also keeping up your own DPS; you arenít actually a healer, so donít over commit to it. SRM makes your kiting abilities even better, and there will be few enemies who can kill you in a 1v1 (or even 1v2) so long as you make good use of CCs and heals.
Unfortunately, the loss of Flechette Round is enormous, not to mention the Shoot First knockdown and the bonus scattergun surge. This will really hurt your damage in WZs, and you will find that you just cannot kill certain targets without help. SRM makes up for this by making yourself largely unkillable in most 1v1 contexts, which helps from a defensive standpoint. But once you go on the offense, you will absolutely notice the lack of stopping power in your moves.
Because there are so many different variations on this build, I wonít go over the different talents in the trees. The three hybrid specs above (11/30/0, 17/24/0, and 22/19/0) are good starting points to give you some idea about how the class will look.
NOTE: My gear in 2.0 is nowhere close to finished, and I'm not even quite sure what the optimal balance between stats is yet.
Unlike a few of the top DPS classes (Rage Marauders/Jugs and Pyrotechs), you need to balance your stats across the board. You have no ďautomatic critical hitĒ talents, so you canít forego Critical Rating. You have no flat talented bonuses to damage, so you canít ignore power. You need to rely heavily on crits, so you canít forego surge. You are one of the squishiest classes in the game, so you canít ignore Endurance. And of course, you canít ignore Cunning because it is your main stat.
OUTDATED GEAR LOADOUT:
There was a point when Scoundrel PvP set bonuses were terrible and you had no choice but to use PvE mods with the +15% BB crit chance. 2.0 changed that both directly, by buffing our Medic set-bonus (bonus absorption on Shield Probe) and indirectly, by buffing classes that Evasion is good against. Today, you want to be using both the 2-piece Medic set bonus and the 2-piece Enforcer set bonus. Evasion was once not nearly as good, but with Snipers reigning over WZs everywhere, a longer duration Evasion becomes invaluable for keeping those fights favorable.
34% BUFFED CRITICAL CHANCE
- Elite War Hero Relic of Boundless Age
Even in 2.0, this is hands down the best Relic you can get. Outrageous amounts of Power give you a gigantic pump to your damage. These are also pretty cheap relative to other EWH pieces.
- As Wainamoinen emphasizes, your crit chance is going to be split between some cunning and some critical rating. He further highlights that the crit chance itself doesn't suffer from DR, but that your crit RATING does. For me, I get to my 34.5% crit chance with a combination of 2100 cunning and ~190 crit rating.
- 34% is a bit of an arbitrary number at first glance, but when combined with your talents, it represents a symbolic milestone. You already used skill points to gain a bonus 16% crit chance to Shoot First/Backblast, so 34% gets you to a 50% chance on both of those high damage abilities. You can still pump crit up a bit higher, but you need to be careful of your Power/Surge/Crit balance. I see a lot of Ops with a 38% critical chance but they are only rocking 700 bonus damage; they donít have the power to beef up their crit itself. To avoid outrageous stat stacking, BW designs mods so Crit and Power are never found on the same modification in our PvP gear, so to keep your crit high, you need to sacrifice raw damage.
- Anything with Accuracy is getting modded out of your gear. Replace it with the Crit/Surge/Power mods of your choice. The overwhelming majority of our DPS comes from Tech abilities, not ranged ones (Flurry of Bolts, Charged Burst, and Quick Shot). In regards to tech abilities, accuracy only lowers a targets resistance, and the only time that comes into play is against Sins/Shadows with Shroud/Resilience up. You should be Quick Shotting these guys anyway, so accuracy just doesnít figure in.
2.0 Alacrity is awesome for Scrappers. It improves both our resource regeneration (which is always a big limiting factor for our bursty play style) and our GCD time (which directly improves burst over time). Unfortunately, Alacrity shares the same gear slot as Surge. It also occupies the same slot as Crit, but we already know what an optimal crit rating is. Surge and Alacrity, however, are in direct competition for damage.
Using the equations for Surge and Alacrity returns, I calculated the optimal DPS balance between the two. This split was calculated assuming you have 10 gear slots to divide between Surge/Alacrity (Ear, 2 Implants, 7 Enhancements). Based on the DPS analysis, you want anywhere between 240 Alacrity (4 Alacrity pieces) and 360 Alacrity (6 Alacrity pieces). This would give you a Surge range of 70%-66%.
The differences between the discrete values in this range are small. Lower Alacrity (a 4/6 split in gear) would mean slightly higher burst for PvP but slightly worse sustained damage. Higher Alacrity (a 6/4 split) means the reverse. Don't go outside this range, i.e. a 3/7+ or 7/3+ division. Alacrity/Surge splits outside of this range have a much worse effect on DPS values, and you will notice it in gameplay. But as long as you stay within the 240-360 Alacrity range, you will be fine.
CUNNING, SURGE, AND POWER
- If PvP was just a big 1v1 duel, you could get away with having 24k HP and a boatload of cunning. In a straight up duel you are going to be bursting your opponent down before they can chisel too much at your HP, and that last 2k+ HP is less valuable than 300-400 extra damage.
But PvP is NOT a 1v1. Even as a Scrapper, a class designed for the single combatant street fight, you are always going to be in more melees than duels. Against decent teams, those with healers that you are trying to drop, you will often be marked and singled out by at least 1-2 DPS; after all, they have to protect their healers. Anyone who tells you that they can kill a geared healer with 2 geared guards on him while only sporting 16k-17k HP is lying to you. Sure, you can restealth and return at full HP, but any premade is going to come back and deal with you.
Objective-based game play also factors in here. There are lots of times, especially in pugs, where you will be the last man standing on a door or a node. Especially in Voidstar, you need to stay alive as long as possible until the defender shield drops and reinforcements come. Extra damage isnít going to help you kill 3 enemies, but extra HP will help you survive long enough for backup.
This is where more HP comes into play. The difference between 24K and 28K HP is 1-2 GCDs worth of damage. That can give you as much as 3-6 extra seconds to kite, heal yourself, get healed, finish a cooldown, etc.
Basically, HP makes up for our bad defensive cooldowns. We canít buff Shield Probe and we canít transform Evasion into Resilience. But we can give us raw survivability.
DATACRONS AND COMPANIONS
- PENDING Cunning
- CUNNING AUGMENTS
Because Cunning is so important for both Crit chance and damage, you want full Cunning augments in your gear. ALL GEAR should be augmented with the +22/+30 Augment.
- 70% Surge Bonus
This is the only stat you don't want to push to its returns, and that's because of its relationship with Alacrity. You will get better DPS by having around 70% Surge and 240 Alacrity than you would from having 78% Surge and 0 Alacrity. This is even true in a burst scenario, especially any that last longer than 10 seconds.
- PENDING Power
Power isnít quite as good as Cunning, but through your mods you will still be able to cram a bunch into your gear. The Power/Surge Enhancements alone will account for at least 300 or so power, with your relics and implants and earpiece giving another 300-400.
- This is more of a general note on PvP players than Scrappers, but because of our fragility and lower sustained damage outputs, it is particularly relevant to us. If you are level 50, you have NO EXCUSE to not have all the Cunning and Endurance datacrons. If you canít get the +10 datacron then no one will be too upset with you, but you really need to have all the rest.
- As to companions, when you max affection on your DPS companions you gain a +1% bonus to Surge and Crit Chance, two stats that are critical (hehe) to your success as a Scrapper. These little things seem unimportant, but over the course of hundreds of WZs you will benefit from these small boosts.
4. ABILITY/GAMEPLAY OVERVIEW
Most people reading this guide probably know the basics of Scrapper abilities, so I am not going to talk about how you should always have 1 stack of Upper Hand at all times, how you shouldnít use Blaster Whip if you already have 2 stacks of UH, how you shouldnít use Flashbang against a DOTted opponent, etc. Instead, I am going to highlight some important abilities and gameplay styles that will help take your Scrapping to the next level. Some of this will absolutely be review for a lot of you, but there should be something helpful in here for everyone.
HOW TO USE SCAMPER
With the advent of ROTHC, Scamper became not only our best ability, but one of the best abilities in the entire game. Scamper makes us the most mobile class in TOR, with improved survivability, gap closing, and the ability to threaten nodes at a moment's notice. But Scamper is also one of the most misused abilities in our arsenal, and using it badly will actually reduce your effectiveness in a WZ below what you could be doing without Scamper at all. One could write an entire article on how to properly use this ability, so I will just focus on the most important points here.
- GOOD: AIMING SCAMPER OFF LEDGES
TOR physics are rarely advantageous, but in the case of Scamper, they offer a huge benefit. If you fire a Scamper off a ledge, you will launch a lot further ahead than you would if you had just stayed on the ground. This lets you clear even larger distances with your ability, helping you to better secure objectives. Look for ledges around the center of Novare Coast in particular, as they will help you get to the side node in time.
- GOOD: SCAMPER RIGHT AFTER YOU POP DISAPPEARING ACT
Assuming you are using DA correctly (see below), Scamper lets you negate one of the biggest weaknesses of Stealth: AOE and Stealth Scan. The vast majority of decent players will drop either a Force Storm, Sweeping Blasters, Stealth Scan, or some other nasty AOE right after you use Act. Scamper lets you clear out of the area and avoid the AOE if you are quick. Even if your game lags a bit and you get caught on the edge of an AOE and break stealth, Scamper gives you that badly needed distance to get away.
- GOOD: STAGGER YOUR SCAMPER TO PRESSURE A SIDE NODE EARLY
Scamper gives us a new job in Civil War and Novare - Racing to the side node and going for the solo kill/cap. With Scamper and the speed boost, it is impossible for an opponent to capture the side node on Novare unless they are also using the roll. Even without the speed boost, Scamper alone is enough to get you to the Civil War side turret in time to stop a cap. Before Scamper, you could not race a Predation-powered Sin/Sorc to the Civil War node, and you couldn't race any Inquisitors to Novare's side cannon. Scamper changes that. When you Scamper, be sure to PAUSE IN BETWEEN SCAMPER ACTIVATIONS. You should let your energy recover by 10-15 before using the next Scamper, or you aren't going to have any energy left to win the fight on the side node. If you need to pop Cool Head to recover energy, you have wasted a valuable CD by being impatient with your rolls. You might need that CD to win the 1v1 at your side node (Especially against a Sin or a PT), so don't waste it on the journey.
- GOOD: SCAMPER TO CLOSE A GAP
With the improvement of Sorcs, Mercs, and Snipers in 2.0, gap closing has become increasingly important for close-range classes like the Scrapper. Mercs will slow you and kite you (if you get netted this step won't apply). Snipers will roll away and snare/slow you. Sorcs will snare, slow, run, and do everything possible to keep you away. Scamper evens those odds and keeps us competitive. As a general rule, you will only Scamper in two situations. The first is if you do not have a speed debuff applied to you. Scamper becomes a really bad Sprint if you have a slow on you, so it's not even worth it for the energy cost. If you have a Tech slow applied, you can Triage it off before using the ability. The second situation in which you will Scamper is if your Scamper evasion has not yet been used. Evasion will clear off a tech slow if it is on you, and it will mitigate your damage as you close a gap (especially important against Marksman Snipers).
- BAD: SPAMMING SCAMPER TO RUN AWAY
I see a LOT of Scrappers/Ops using Scamper as a poor man's Phase Walk (at least, using one of Walk's function: to escape). You should never be spamming Scamper to run away. You should never be spamming Scamper period (unless to stop a cap that you absolutely must stop), but most of all you don't want to spam it to flee. In order to get away from most conflicts such that you can't be followed, you need to use Scamper at least 3 times. This huge energy expenditure will leave you stranded and totally useless on the edge of the battle. In the majority of cases, it would be better to wait for the respawn than wait to exit combat (which, as we know, can take a ridiculously long time), heal back up with the PvP trauma debuff, and then return to the battlefield. Good players won't chase you; they will just let you wallow in shame on the periphery while they focus objectives. Bad players will chase you and probably kill you. It's a lose-lose either way.
- BAD: USING SCAMPER MULTIPLE TIMES IN A ROW
Unless you direly need to stop a node cap in progress, there is absolutely no reason for you to use Scamper 2+ times in a row. This ability is a huge energy hog if misused, and the best way to make yourself useless in a WZ is to have 0 energy when you reach the battlefield. In the overwhelming majority of cases, it is better to get to the battle a bit late with energy than it is to get there early with a 1 energy/second regeneration rate.
- BAD: USING SCAMPER TO CHASE OTHER OPS/SCOUNDRELS
As many of you have probably noticed, there exists tremendous competitive animosity between rival Scoundrels/Operatives. For a lot of reasons, whenever two of us meet on the battlefield, we become locked in bitter, prolonged, and existential combat for the remainder of a warzone. That may give us bragging rights at our desk chairs, but it doesn't do much to help the WZ. Scamper is the next generation of Scoundrel ego-battles. If one Op/Scoundrel senses he is losing the battle, he will Scamper away and probably /laugh at you as he flees. Do not get mad. Do not fly after him. Stay calm, remember your objectives, and congratulate yourself on removing the target from the fight. This is especially true when dealing with healers, who are likely benefiting from HOTs the entire time and can Emergency Medpac for free. If you chase a rolling healer, he will still be able to heal even with 0 energy. You, however, will be totally useless for the next 30 seconds. The only exception to this is if you know that by chasing a healer you can drive him away from the main fight. Then it is worth it. But in the case where your target isn't a total idiot, don't play in the Scamper War.
Kolto Pack and Underworld Medicine are potent weapons in the Warzone, even if you are not a dedicated healer. The ability to heal yourself is invaluable in pitched battle, especially against less-mobile classes like Snipers. The trick when healing is knowing a) how much you want to heal and b) which heal you want to use. In general, you rarely want to use more than 1 heal at a time. Chaining two heals together is a big use of energy, and you are not very useful once you fall below our max energy regeneration. The exception to this is if you need to hold a node for reinforcements. If you are attacking, however, then don't waste the time; respawning is a free heal! Picking your healing ability is a bit more nuanced. It entirely depends on which class you are facing and how you want to negotiate that fight. Against melee classes, you need to be using Kolto Pack because of the reduced cast time. Those .5 seconds can often be the difference between an interrupt and a resolved heal. Against ranged classes, you have more flexibility. In general, you want to make sure that the bonus healing and extra mobility is worth the loss of the UH stack. And of course, Diagnostic Scan is awesome when you are low on energy and just need to hang out and hold a node.
If you arenít using Sabotage Charge because it needs to be used from cover, you are missing out. This is our third hardest hitter after Shoot First and Backblast, and you can easily use it in combat. Just make sure you keybind cover/SC close together so you can rapidly use this ability in the middle of battle (mine is Shift+F for Cover and Shift+G for SC).
TENDON BLAST IS BROKEN
I would argue that this is our most versatile, useful, and even powerful ability at our disposal. When talented, the root gives us a HUGE range of tactical options that are otherwise closed to us. It helps us kill healers, prevent charges, stop Huttball carriers, peel off to heal, calm down enemy DPS, and a variety of other applications. Most importantly, it goes right through a full resolve bar, so you can use it even after you combo a kick/shoot first knockdown.
THE AWFUL, TERRIBLE QUICK SHOT
This is, without a doubt, our worst damage ability. It has terrible range, and at the range where you are doing QS, you might as well just punch or shotgun your target. It has bad damage in a bad damage/attack type (energy/range). It has low damage. It costs too much energy. And on top of all that, BW removed the awesome revolver sound from the move (pre 1.5, if I remember, it made an awesome gun sound when used). The only time you will ever use this move is against a Shrouded Sin, and even then, there are exceptions.
XS FREIGHTER FLYBY IS UNDERUSED
I see a lot of Scrappers who save this move for a rainy day. This move needs to be used whenever it is off of CD. Given its AOE and damage output, it is pound for pound the hardest hitting ability in the game. With three people standing in the fire, at 6k+ damage each, you are putting out a Smasher level of damage. And thatís without a single crit!! This is invaluable for defending nodes (drop it on a Civil War turret control or a Voidstar door), awesome for guarding Huttball paths, and critical in certain 1v1s against melee opponents. Unless you know you are saving the Flyby to defend a node, you need to use this at all times.
Mobility is one of those shady concepts in TOR. Running and jumping around confers no numeric advantage in a fight, and only makes you feel like a frenzied bunny rabit on PCP. But it turns out that being mobile is actually very useful, especially as a melee class that relies on positioning for our most important out of stealth ability (Backblast). Get used to running around and through your targets, taking their flank, disrupting their camera angle, and generally causing panic. You do NOT need to jump around to do this. Jumping actually reduces move speed and just makes you look stupid. But darting around like a hornet is an excellent tactic.
SNEAK FOR SPEED
As you run around a WZ, especially from a node to another node or in between fights, you need to be using Sneak for the 50% speed boost. Right after you Sneak, immediately spam your Stealth key. You will quickly enter and exit Stealth, resetting the Sneak CD. After your first 50% speed boost ends, rinse and repeat. This is the best way to move around the map and, if you are traveling long distances, actually makes you a faster responder than a Shadow/Sage.
Just don't forget to have Sneak ready for the stealth level increase when you arrive at your destination.
EVASION --> DISAPPEARING ACT COMBO
Never use DA without first cleansing DOTs. I bind Evasion right next to my DA (Ctrl+Z and Ctrl+X respectively) so I can consistently get out of a fight without risking my stealth being popped. If Evasion is down, use Triage instead. It wonít remove all DOTs, but it might remove the ones that are currently affecting you.
DO NOT USE DISAPPEARING ACT AS A CRUTCH
If you find yourself needing Disappearing Act to a) survive a fight or b) end a fight, then you are not playing your Scrapper correctly. You have more than enough damage to win a fight without this ability, and in many cases you have more than enough mobility to get out of one if needed. You need to be saving DA for one of a few situations.
- GOOD: KILLING A SOLO GUARD
If you can use DA to guarantee a solo guard on an otherwise undefended node, then absolutely go for it.
- GOOD: SURVIVING TO HOLD A NODE
If you are one of the last 2 defenders standing on a Voidstar door, your goal is not to go down fighting. Your goal is to disappear, hide in the corner, and disrupt the bomb planters until the respawn.
- GOOD: KILLING A HEALER
Sometimes you need DA to take down a particularly problematic healer. This happens when your target is guarded, protected by taunts, and/or being healed by yet another healer. DA can give you the last boost you need to take down your target. This is especially useful in respawn-based maps like Novare, where removing a healer from the picture can quickly tip the tides of battle and lead to a node capture.
- GOOD: KILLING A HUTTBALL CARRIER
An offensive DA to take down a HB carrier is perfectly acceptable. The knockdown barely fills resolve, you get a ton of damage, and you apply your FR DOT.
There are also a lot of bad ways to use DA. Unfortunately, I see these a lot more on both sides of the WZ than I do the good DA uses. Please avoid doing the following:
FLASHBANG OFFENSIVELY AND DEFENSIVELY
- BAD: EPEEN AND EGO KILLS
Just because someone is beating you in a fight does not mean you need to use your best CD to try and kill him. Is it really worth it? Would that CD be more useful in 45 seconds when you need to hold a node? Or kill the ball carrier? Or solo a side guard? This happens ALL THE TIME in Scrapper vs. Op fights. You donít get a prize for killing your rival. You donít get anything, except a lot of grayed out abilities that would be more useful at other times.
- BAD: ESCAPING A STUPID FIGHT
If you dive a healer and suddenly find yourself focused by his 3 premade buddies, perhaps you shouldnít dive that healer alone. Donít use DA to correct for stupid mistakes. Just donít make stupid mistakes period.
Flashbang (I think itís called ďFlash GrenadeĒ for Scrappers, but Flashbang sounds better and you still know what I mean) is the second best mezz in the game after Intimidating Roar. It has a big AOE, lasts 8 seconds, has a short CD, has no resource cost, affects a lot of targets, and has a good range. Unfortunately, I see most players using it purely for defensive reasons. For example, if you are suddenly attacked by 2-3 enemies, you can FB and run away while they sit their holding their migraines. Thatís a pretty common use of the move, but itís also a bit limiting.
Flashbang can also be used offensively. You should always use it to mezz out a healer if you are trying to kill his DPS protector. Or the other way around. Be creative with the ability. It has a relatively short CD so you should be using it almost all the time.
SLEEP DART AGAINST HEALERS AND TANKS
So you come across a node, either solo or with a partner, and find a healer sitting there guarded by a Tank. As in, the tank literally has Guard up on the healer. Who do you Sleep Dart? Before 2.0, you had to Dart the healer and work on the Tank, otherwise the redirected Guard damage would wake up the big guy. But nowadays, redirected damage from Guard won't cause a mezz to crack. That gives you the choice of who to dart and who to kill.
As a general rule, you almost always want to dart the TANK and then try and kill the HEALER. Realistically, you aren't going to kill either target in 8 seconds, especially if they have gear and any clue as to how to play. Both of them are going to take roughly the same amount of damage; the healer will heal through some of your burst and the tank will us CDs to mitigate it. But if you target the healer first, you will at least be at full health when the tank wakes up. That means you will at least have more resources (HP is a resource) to deal with both enemies. If you target the tank instead, the healer will just heal him to full once he wakes up.
Finally, if you only need a few more CDs to finish your target, don't hesitate to Flash Grenade the Tank once he wakes up. If he cracks CC, that's fine; he was going to crack it eventually, so you might as well waste it now. If not, you have an extra 8 seconds to finish the healer.
KEEP TRACK OF FLECHETTE ROUND
Flechette Round doesn't go away anymore once you load it. That means you should always have it loaded before every major engagement to maximize your energy expenditure. It also means that you need to keep better track of your FR so as not to use energy needlessly. I often see a fellow Scrapper load up his gun at the spawn, run out to the battlefield, and then load it again right before he opens on an enemy. That's a great way to hamstring your DPS by starting a fight with 75% of your normal energy.
5. BASIC PVP ďROTATIONĒ MUSCLE MEMORY
PvE players use rotations and priority systems to govern their use of abilities. We PvP players also draw on that language of ďrotationsĒ, but because of the uncertainties of PvP combat it tends to work out different. I like to call it muscle memory because this gets at the stress training that you actually undergo to prepare for a combat scenario, and the PvP Scrapper is definitely subject to this definition. As a Scrapper (indeed, as most PvP classes), you must prepare your keyboard muscle memory to respond to different scenarios as they arise in a WZ. A standard rotation or even a cooldown priority system does not get at those complexities.
With 2.0, the biggest change to the rotations is the loss of Pugnacity and the gaining of that Upper Hand stack that previously went to Pug. This gives us a huge DPS boost in battle because we have 1 more UH stack to work with. With Alacrity and proper CD management, you won't even notice the loss of energy regeneration unless you go too crazy targeting a healer.
STANDARD BURST OPENER
- Shoot First + Flechette Round
- Blaster Whip
- Dirty Kick
- Sabotage Charge
- Backblast + Flechette Round
- Sucker Punch
- Blaster Whip
- Sucker Punch
- Sucker Punch
This is as basic as it gets with a Scrapper. The combo maximizes the Flechette Round (FR) DOT while piling on as much burst damage as possible. You almost always want to try and stack Sabotage Charge (SC) on top of a Backblast (BB) + FR application, just so you can maximize your immediate burst damage. A lot of classes will pop their defensive CDs once they are low, so if you stack that damage up front you can knock someone down before their mitigations go up. This combo keeps Upper Hand (UH) maxed as you burn down your opponent.
As a note, you will NOT use this opening combo on healers, especially Op/Sawbones healers with Emergency Medpac. Similarly, you will deviate this combo if your opponent pops defensive CDs, escapes your Dirty Kick, tries to kite, runs away, etc. Why is that? You need your BB to be stacked with your SC, and you don't want to go all-in too early in the fight. But as a very basic guideline, this combo is your Scrapper PvP 101 plan
1v1 or 2v2 SIDE NODE COMBO
- Shoot First + Flechette Round
- Blaster Whip
- Dirty Kick
- Vital Shot
- Backblast + Flechette Round
- Sucker Punch
- Blaster Whip
- Sucker Punch
- Sucker Punch
- Disappearing Act
- Shoot First + Flechette Round
- Sabotage Charge
- Sucker Punch
When you are in a purely pug WZ, you will find solo defenders on side nodes, especially on maps like Civil War and Novare. Even against ranked teams or competent premades, you and a fellow stealther might pounce a node with two guards. In both these cases, time is of the essence, and you need to maximize your damage output over a 10-16 second long fight. If you wait too long, the rotation will happen and you will lose the cap window.
I add in Vital Shot because it is particularly useful against enemies with lots of armor and damage reduction. Internal damage is unmitigated, so the 20 energy is well spent in terms of raw DPS. This is especially true against our natural enemy, Pyrotechs. VS is also important because it keeps damage going even if you need to LOS and heal.
There are some opponents that you will never, ever apply a Vital Shot against. The first and most obvious are Sins. Decent Sins will immediately use Shroud once 2 DOTs appear on them, and that is a huge blowout for your damage. The second is an Operative. Evasion and Cleanse will remove your DOTs, and you donít want to waste the GCD or energy. The final one is a Mercenary, because Cure will remove exactly 2 (FR + VS DOT) negative tech effects. You can always deviate from this rule if the situation demands it (e.g. if a Sin uses Shroud too early to cleanse one DOT, you can then VS him after it wears off).
Finally, I work in Disappearing Act into the rotation because you want to maximize your burst. Reinforcements are coming, and if you need the extra Shoot First 4k crit to end the fight and take a node, you need to use your CD to do so.
SNIPER/MERCENARY KNOCKBACK COUNTER
- Sneak for move speed bonus
- Thermal Grenade
- If Leg Shotted, pop Evasion (AGAINST SNIPERS)
- If Leg Shotted and no Evasion, use Sabotage Charge (AGAINST SNIPERS)
- Flurry of Bolts
- Enter melee range
One of the saddest things in WZs is watching a rooted Scrapper just sit there like an idiot. Sorcerer knockback root is admittedly an uncleansable disaster, but against Snipers, sitting around is just unforgiveable. Because Snipers are a natural target for Scrappers, you need to commit this routine to memory. This also applies to Mercenaries with a slowing knockback, except you wonít need to worry about Leg Shot.
The instant you get knocked back, Triage away the root and start moving in. Immediately toss a Thermal Grenade and pop Sneal to increase speed by 50%. If you get Leg Shotted, pop Evasion (or if it is not up, throw down the SC). Do NOT waste energy on Quick Shot as you close the gap. Sniper cover will cause this high energy attack to miss and it is a waste of resources. Save your energy for when you close the gap.
This routine really underscores the importance of muscle memory. You canít waste a single second in cleansing that initial root. Every moment you spend closing the gap to your target is another moment where that Sniper is out-DPSing you. Wasting GCDs as you close the gap will put you too far behind in damage to finish the fight, especially if your target has all of its cooldowns ready to fire. On my keybinds, Triage is set to Shift-E and Thermal Grenade is set to E. I can quickly tap Shift-E and spam E as a I charge forward.
HEALER KILLING ROUTINE
- Shoot First + Flechette Round (1 UH) [Enter Sustained Damage phase]
- Blaster Whip (2 UH)
- Sucker Punch (1 UH)
- Backblast + Flechette Round
- Blaster Whip (2 UH)
- Sucker Punch (1-2 UH)
- Sucker Punch (0-1 UH)
- Blaster Whip (1-2 UH)
- Flurry of Bolts (1-2 UH)
- Sucker Punch (0-1 UH)
- Blaster Whip (1-2 UH)
- When target is at 30-40% HP, Dirty Kick (1-2 UH) [Enter OVERDRIVE BURST phase!]
- Sabotage Charge (1-2 UH)
- Backblast + Flechette Round (1-2 UH)
- Sucker Punch (0-2 UH)
- Blaster Whip (1-2 UH)
- Sucker Punch (0-1 UH)
- Sucker Punch (0 UH)
- Shoot First + Flechette Round
Killing a healer, ESPECIALLY an Operative healer, is a long and annoying process. A well-geared healer who knows what they are doing is extremely difficult to take down as a solo DPSer, and although you can do it, prepare for a serious struggle. Medpacs, WZ Adrenals (35% reduction), Guard, taunts, kiting, CC, CC breakers, and a ton of other abilities make this a combat nightmare. But with persistence, patience, and flexibility, it can be done.
(NOTE: The above rotation is just a guideline. You WILL need to deviate from it to Tendon Blast, to Flashbang an incoming enemy, to stop an objective cap, or even just to peel off and escape to start the process over. But it is a good sustained damage guideline)
In my experience, killing a healer is broken down into two phases. In the first phase, you maximize sustained damage like a consistent and boring PvEer. You never fall below 60 energy. You keep UH up at all times. You intersperse Flurry of Bolts where needed to keep your energy up. You do NOT go crazy and burn through all your energy in the first 6 seconds. The point is to gradually chip away at your targetís HP, bringing them down to around 30-40% HP.
The moment your target gets to around 30-40% HP, you are going to enter your OVERDRIVE BURST phase. This is where healers start to panic and focus exclusively on kiting and keeping themselves alive. It is also where Emergency Medpac starts to reapply Upper Hand, and your enemy Operative healer will never, ever die. If you havenít saved your stun, your target is never going to drop. If you have your stun saved, however, you can stack more damage than they can recover from. Make sure that Backblast and Sabotage Charge are both up, because you need to stack those two on top of eachother. A critted Backblast and an uncritted SC will add up to around 7k damage plus the FR DOT. That is very hard to heal through and will hopefully give you the momentum you need to burn down to the end.
Realistically, you are also going to need to kite enemies, snare your target, mezz attackers, and do all sorts of other things to keep your routine going. Thatís fine! Just stick to the script as much as possible and you will have a better-than-average chance of killing your target.
Again, muscle memory is huge here. Program yourself to keep a sustained damage routine going until you hit that magical 30-40% mark. Do not wantonly Backblast or waste energy because you are worried that you arenít hitting hard enough. Similarly, when you get down to the OVERDRIVE phase of the fight, get ready to Kick/SC/FR/BB in rapid succession.
There are probably dozens of other combos we can discuss, but these are the most important. All of them have exceptions and deviations, but they are good guidelines to start out your Scrapping. As will be discussed in the next section, different classes will demand different responses, and you need to be more aware of those class specifics than the basic rotations.