, 02:39 PM
6. CLASS-SPECIFIC MATCHUPS
Most experienced PvPers know that certain abilities and tactics are great against one opponent (Quick Shot against Sins) but totally useless against another (Quick Shot against anyone else). Similarly, some classes seem designed for no other reason than to make our lives miserable (Pyrotechs), while others look like they were designed as Scrapper food (DPS Sorcerers). In this section, I will give some idea about our matchups, and the tactics required in each matchup.
Opponents are ranked as easiest victims (greens
), average fights (blues
), or major threats (reds
). Again, some players might have a different experience than mine and might disagree with some classifications. This shouldnít become a ďWell if you did X I would just do YĒ hypothetical argument. Also, I am assuming equal gearing on opponents and roughly equal skill, and I will only use the Imperial terminology for enemy abilities. Finally, this assumes a more or less 1v1 scenario. If your target is guarded, being healed, protected by taunts, etc. then that adds a whole new level of complexity. As a good general rule, those circumstances will always bump up your targetís difficulty to the next tier.
You should never lose a fight with these guys if you open on them. Even after 2.0, they just donít have the survivability to eat a Shoot First followed by a Kick/SC/BB and then stick out a fight. Now, your target might run away like a coward, or pop a Bubble and sit around like an idiot, but he is never going to be able to fight you. For the Sorcerer, a ďwinĒ is surviving, kiting, and LOSing while you waste your time and take damage from other enemies. As long as you don't get too bogged down in that game, you will rack up a lot of Sorc kills.
- Know what to interrupt. Against a DPS Sorcerer, donít let him get off Thundering Blast. Against a healer, donít let him resolve a high crit chance Dark Heal or Revivification. Never let any Sorcerer Whirlwind you.
- CC BREAK?
Save your CC breaker for an insta-cast Whirlwind. If you know your opponent doesnít have it, you can just use it after the usual 4s stun.
- BUBBLE STUN
If your sorcerer doesnít have bubble stun, you should be killing him in no more than 10 seconds without fail. If you are not, you need to stop using your old WH gear. Bubble Stun makes things at least fair for the Sorcerer, so letís talk about some tactics for dealing with it.
If you crit on your first Shoot First, you are going to pop the bubble and get stunned. That will give the sorc another GCD after he stands up to rebubble. If this happens, you need to stun, Blaster Whip, back up, and throw a Thermal Grenade. That will break his second bubble while you are safely out of range.
If you DONíT crit on your first Shoot First, quickly backpedal and throw a Thermal Grenade. That should be enough to pop the stun while you are out of range. If he rebubbles right away, fire off your Kick, toss down Sabotage Charge, back up, and then fire off some an Quick Shot. The FR DOT + SC + Shot will be enough to pop the second bubble. Once the bubbles are gone, the Sorcerer is at your mercy.
- FORCE SPEED
Sorcerers say ďForce SpeedĒ. I say ďTendon BlastĒ. Tendon Blast is a hard counter to a DPS sorcerers Force Speed. You need to be quick with your trigger finger, but you can often get TB off before the target leaves the 10 meter range. If you get stunned first and then the sorcerer speeds away, thatís only a small speed bump. Toss a Thermal Grenade, activate Sneak for 50% speed, and use your interrupt to stop Crushing Darkness or Thundering Blast. Healer Sorcerers with Fadeout are trickier, because they bypass the Tendon Blast snare. Thankfully, any healer with Fadeout is also going to be pretty low in the DPS trees, so you wonít take too much damage as you re-close the gap.
- FORCE BARRIRE
Barrier was BWs attempt at making Sorcs less squishy. The only thing it did was make them more cowardly. Treat a Barrier the same way that most third-world dictators treat a United Nations ceasefire. Wait a few seconds, go attack someone else, and then come back and finish the job. Do not wail away at a Barrier. Every time you waste a CD of any kind (except Flurry of Bolts) on a Barrier sorc, BW nerfs a Scoundrel somewhere. It's a massive waste of time, resources, and energy. Go after another player and keep the opposing Sorc in your sight. The instant that Barrier breaks, go back after him with a vengeance.
- OVERLOAD + ELECTRIC BINDINGS
This is the only real threat that a Sorcerer has. The Electric Binding talent is a nasty 5 second snare that you canít do anything about. In the first 2 seconds, damage doesnít break the root. After that, the Sorcerer can freely LOS, heal, and set up for more damage. We literally have no ability to remove this root, so your best bet is to throw a Grenade and/or Sabotage Charge and then either heal up yourself or fire some Flurry of Bolts.
Poor mercenaries. Even after 2.0, the lowly Scrapper still murders you with near-impunity. I emphasize "near" impunity because there is one ability that the Merc will use to make your life miserable. If you get netted, this fight instantly goes up to a blue fight. But without Net, it's as easy now as it was before 2.0. Because our interrupt works at great range, we can stop Tracer Missile even after a knockback. With TM out of the rotation, Mercenaries just donít have a lot of stopping power. We have way better burst and a lot of abilities that just eat through Merc armor and defenses. Mercenary healers are also pretty easy to take down as long as you donít go too crazy and waste energy when Defensive Shield activates. (PRYOTECHS ARE EXCLUDED BECAUSE PYROTECHS ARE OUR WORST ENEMY)
- Against healers, donít let them resolve a Healing Scan. If you interrupt Rapid Scan but leave Healing Scan untouched, they can chain about 4 of Healing Scans together before you can act. Against Arsenals, obviously stop Tracer Missile.
- CC BREAK?
Electric Dart only. Mercs just donít have a lot of good CC. If you get Conc Missiled, it really isnít that bad because the only thing it buys a Merc is time to back up. You can reclose a gap pretty quickly with either DA or Sneak.
- ENERGY SHIELD
Once that shield goes up on a healer, you have two options. You can either a) try and chain stuns through the shield to prevent him from healing. This only works if you have Dirty Kick up, your targetís resolve is empty and you have a friend who can help you stun. You can also Flashbang through the shield as long as your target isnít DOTted. Your second option is b) go away and come back later. Your DPS is better spent elsewhere if you canít use stuns to lock out the healing.
- JET BOOST
See the Sniper Knockback Counter in the previous section.
If possible, donít just eat an Unload. LOS behind a pillar or wall, even just a corner, to end the ability. Save your interrupts for Tracer Missile.
- GETTING NETTED
If you get netted by a lone Merc, your objective is to LOS and heal. My favorite place to LOS a netting Merc is on the node itself on Civil War. Don't forget to throw a DOT on your target before you start the LOSing, just so you don't suffer too much DPS loss.
If, however, you get netted in the open, or if you get netted while being focused by multiple attackers, you are a goner. Don't waste your CDs, don't get too frustrated, and don't go into /say and start raging. Toss down as many DOTs as you can, get in any melee damage up close to any targets nearby, and accept your death. Of course, try and make a line to the nearest impediment to LOS your attacker, but don't stress too much about this. You are probably going to lose 2v1s anyway, net or no net, so this isn't too much of a boon for the Merc.
- HANDLING HYDRAULIC OVERRIDES
If you get flustered easily, Overrides are going to be a big pain for you. Scrappers need to stay close in order to maximize DPS, and Overrides both negate our Tendon Blast and boost the target's speed. They also cancel our knockback, so as a general rule, try not to use SF on an Overrided Bounty Hunter. There are two ways to deal with Overrides. The first is to pick your angles and try and lead your target and/or force him to backpedal and lose speed. The second way is to let him do his thing for 6 seconds and wait for Overrides to wear off. Throw a DOT on him, hide, heal up, and wait until the CD wears off. Do not try and chase him on foot if he is just strafing away from you at top-speed. You won't catch him and you will likely lose the DPS race at that range.
2.0 introduced an arsenal of change designed to give Snipers additional tools to help their terrible stealther matchup. Although these skills are useful for the Sniper, the matchup is still overwhelmingly in our favor if we have any idea how to play our class. This battle still revolves around Entrench, a Sniper CD with a 60s/45s timer. While Entrench is up, the Sniper is immune to Dirty Kick and the Shoot First knockdown. If Entrench is up and ready when you open, the Sniper becomes a worthy opponent. But if you can get off an opener, Entrench becomes much less problematic. The 2.0 Sniper has a lot more slows and some good repositioning skills, but all of that can be negated with smart positioning (back to a wall) and intelligent CD management (using Evasion/Cleanse/Scamper at the right times). As for that ridiculous stealth detection level, just don't be stupid. Approach from behind or at an angle.
- No interrupts for you!
- CC BREAK?
Against Lethality and Marksman, the absolute worst thing that can happen is eating a Flashbang. Crack this thing immediately. Flashbang lets the Sniper move back, drop down a Probe and/or DOTS, snare you, and then rip you apart as you gap close. This will definitely lose you the fight, as you will take too much damage on the reentry. Against Engineering, make sure that they don't have a DOT on you before you crack. If they do not, crack it. If they are keeping their DOTs up, then save Escape for the Debilitate.
- KITING AND HEALING
One of the reasons Sniper are so bad against Scrappers is that they often cannot stop a mid-battle heal. To contest the heal, they need to get up and move, which means leaving their Entrench, their Shield, or their Plasma. If you got off to a bad start and are falling behind in DPS (your SF/BB didnít crit, you accidentally used SF while they were Entrenched, your Dirty Kick is on CD, etc.), then just dart behind a wall, throw down one Underworld Medicine, and keep on fighting.
Entrench has a very obvious animation (floating armoring surrounding the Sniper), so you will always know when it is activated or up. While active, the Sniper will be immune to both the SF knockdown and Dirty Kick. If you see a Sniper with Entrench up, you will NEVER open on him with SF. Just wait for it to wear off or pick a new target. If your Sniper activates Entrench right away, you need to work around it. Just remove Dirty Kick from your standard attack routine and try and burst him down. If you start losing the burst war, duck behind a wall, throw down one heal, and immediately return to the fight.
- BALLISTIC SHIELD:
20% damage mitigation is a lot of damage mitigation, and you just donít need to be fighting through it. Thankfully, the moment a Sniper pops the giant bubble, he can no longer move from cover. Immediately pop Sneak (if it is up) and disengage. LOS behind a wall and heal, tossing a grenade and/or Vital Shot as you run away. If the Sniper waits for you to come out, you will be at full health and all your CDs will be up. If they follow, they lose the shield.
- COVER PULSE
See the Sniper Knockback Counter section earlier.
- USING EVASION/TRIAGE
Engineering and Lethality Snipers have a lot of tech effects they drop on you. At a certain point, you need to get rid of those to save yourself a lot of damage. Against Engineering, you need to remove Explosive Probe the instant that thing appears on you; Triage it away immediately. Against Lethality, you just need to keep track of your DOTs. If you have at least 2 on you, you need to get them off. Note that they WILL be replaced by a weaker version which you can Triage off immediately.
- GAP CLOSING
Snipers can now roll away and immediately enter Entrench. The Entrench is less of an issue here because you presumably already used your opener on them. The roll, however, is a big issue because it's a lot of distance to cover. The first thing to do when you need to close the gap is Triage away all tech CDs. Depending on the Sniper spec, Leg Shot may get replaced with a slow. At that point, you need to pop your Evasion. This will not only mitigate damage as you reclose the gap, but it will also remove the slow. When you are confident that all slows have been removed from you, fire off a Scamper to close that last distance. This has the added benefit of giving you Evasion to further minimize damage. This should get you back in the Snipers face without losing too much damage, health, or energy.
Your mirror match is almost entirely determined by two factors. First: If you open on your target, you are probably going to win. If your target opens on you, you are probably going to lose. Second: The Op/Scrapper who doesnít have his Escape up is probably going to die. If both of those factors are working against you (you get opened on and you have no Escape), you are dead. Try again later. If one of those factors is working against you but the other is in your favor, the fight might be a tossup. If they are both in your favor, the fight is yours. Moreso than any other fight, this one is determined by allies. If they get heals and you donít, you are dead. If they are guarded and you arenít, you are dead. If you are taunted and they arenít, you are dead. But thankfully, this works both ways (hence why this is a blue fight and not a red one).
If your target is a healer, then that changes the tactics of the fight, but not its difficulty. See above for a more detailed description of the moves you need to take down a healer.
- If your target is a healer, make sure it is Kolto Injection AIMED AT HIMSELF before you interrupt. You will know who his target is by the animation. If he draws a Kotlo Vial out of his pocket to shoot up into his thigh, you are interrupting. If you aims out his wrist, you are not. If you see them throwing down Orbital Strike, interrupt it right at the end of the cast after you get a full free GCD of attacks.
- CC BREAK?
NEVER EVER BREAK OUT OF THE HIDDEN STRIKE KNOCKDOWN. This is a huge mistake that I see all the time on both sides of WZs. The 1.5 second knockdown just isnít that bad, even if it does make you panic. You will always CC break the ensuing Debilitate that follows the knockdown. Your resolve will be full, theirs will be empty, and you might be able to recover lost damage.
If Debilitate does not fill up your resolve bar, however, you are not going to break it. If you Escape with full resolve, the enemy Op can toss down a flashbang, heal up to full, and restart the fight on his terms. It is especially important to save your Escape for Flashbangs thrown by a healer. In 8 seconds, a specd healer can go from 20% health back to 100%.
- STAY RATIONAL
Ops and Scrappers HATE each other. I don't know what it is about this AC, but whenever two of them meet, they spend most of the WZ trying to kill each other. It's some combination of ego, competitiveness, scarcity of the class, etc. But for whatever reasons, it can really impede your ability to play effectively. Donít ignore targets you should be going after (i.e. Healers!) because some other guy wants to hop in your pants. If the enemy Op is going to wait around for you to appear before striking, let him waste his time. Stay on your objective, ignore the enemy Op (unless he is all over your own healers), and keep it cool. Do not get irrational and reciprocate his fixation. This is especially important when it comes to Scamper. Do not think you are Sonic the Hedgehog with a Shotgun and just roll away from your Op while spamming /laugh. If you ever use 2+ Scampers in a row, you have instantly lost the fight just by virtue of spending 50 energy to get away from a fight you didn't need to win. Stay rational and stick to your objectives.
- TENDON BLAST
For some reason, when Ops/Scrapps fight, both sides feel an uncontrollable urge to leap and run around like spastic kindergartners on a field trip to Sea World. Itís related to that bit about ďStaying rationalĒ, but even rational Ops will fight each other as if they are single handedly performing an entire Olympics gymnastic routine. Tendon Blast calms YOU down and messes up their rhythm. From a more technical perspective, TB makes it a lot harder for them to position a Backstab, and makes it a lot easier for you to get your Bacbklast off. It gives you room to heal, room to poke at range, an escape option, and is overall critical in the fight.
- CLOAKING SCREEN
If your enemy pops Cloaking Screen, you DO NOT need to instantly pop Disappearing Act. If you were in a straight up 1v1 on a side node, you can just recloak manually because combat has ended. If you were in a team fight, however, you need to think about how much this fight matters to you. Do you really need to win? If you just want to beat your opponent to prove how awesome you are, then that probably means you should conserve Disappearing Act for when you are trying to seize a side node. In that case, throw down a Grenade on the closest target and hope it catches the enemy Op. Or use the otherwise god awful Blaster Volley to fire a sweeping arc of bolts and hopefully pop stealth.
Itís tempting to separate all of the different Sith Warrior specs into different categories, but all of them are of roughly equal difficulty. Jugg tanks donít hit hard but they are extremely hard to kill in a 1v1. Marauder Smashers hit hard, have decent survivability, but donít have any healing or cleansing. Carnage (Ataru Form) Marauders have a beastly 1v1 game, but are vulnerable to kiting and LOS. Jugg smashers are probably the nastiest of the bunch, with awesome survivability and huge hits, but the lack of true healing and DOT cleansing really brings this fight back into your arena. Because I am going over so many different specs in one section, I am going to break down my tips and tactics by specialization, not by ability.
- JUGGERNAUT TANKS
These guys just have a ton of defensive CDs , and while you will eventually kill them, it will probably not happen before reinforcements arrive. They just have too much survivability. I would just completely avoid them if possible. If they solo guard a side node, you arenít going to kill them before a friend arrives. If they are fighting at a big battle, they just arenít worth your damage.
If you absolutely have to fight them, here are some tips. Most players are ready to expect the raw mitigation of Invincibility and Saber Ward, but everyone always forgets about Endure Pain and Enraged Defenses. These virtual heals can really prolong a fight and make you work for a kill. Just be persistent but donít waste your energy. Always make sure you have Vital Shot ticking on your target. Instead of trying to keep the FR DOT up, it is actually more important to keep the FR Armor Pen buff on yourself, so prioritize that over the DOT.
Thereís nothing really to interrupt here, so if you see a stray Ravage just feel free to stop it. In terms of CC breakers, save it for Intimidating Roar. You canít afford your enemy to buy ANOTHER 8 seconds of time in the fight (Remember, reinforcements are on the way), especially if you have a DOT ticking on them and Enraged Defense is healing them for free. As for Evasion, use it only when you have 5 stacks of Armor Sunder on you.
- JUGGERNAUT/MARAUDER SMASHERS
Nasty opponents. You need to deal with all the Endure Pain/Enraged Defense/Saber Ward survivability, but now with the added threat of 6k Smashes. You might even have to still deal with Invincible, depending on the particular skill tree spec. Marauders donít have Enraged Defense or Endure Pain, but they do have the equally scary Cloak of Pain and Undying Rage. The only good news is that these guys are still stuck at melee range and still have no way of removing DOTs, and those are the vulnerabilities you need to exploit.
KEEP IT UP AT ALL TIMES. It bypasses armor, does a lot of damage, procs Sucker Pucnh/UH generation, and these guys canít remove it.
TENDON BLAST + HEALING:
The most important ability in this fight is Tendon Blast, although people often think it is more powerful than it really is. Smashers still have Saber Throw and Force Scream to use at range, not to mention Push to keep you away and close the gap again on their terms. A decent player will not skip a beat when he gets snared, quickly switching to ranged attacks as you try and DPS. Instead of trying to toe-to-toe the 80%+ critting Throw/Scream, you need to use your snare as a time to heal. As you are moving to an LOS point (a column, a corner, a wall, etc.) fire off Tendon Blast. By the time their next GCD comes up, you should already be out of LOS. Drop down 1-2 heals and keep fighting. During that time, your FR/VS DOT are doing some work, you are regaining health, and your CDs are coming back up.
TENDON BLAST VS. SHOCKWAVE:
The other time to use Tendon Blast is right when you see 4 stacks of Shockwave on your target. Fire Tendon Blast and sidestep away. Even good Smashers will get caught in the moment and fire off a Smash while they are snared. Even if they do not (itís unlikely) you still buy yourself valuable time for your DOTs to keep ticking.
The second most important ability in this fight is XS Freighter Flyby. Smashers really need to stay in melee range to be effective, whereas a Scrapper does have some passable ranged damage abilities. When the fight breaks out, you are going to slightly alter your opening combo. Instead of Kicking into SC and BB, you are going to Kick and follow it up with a Freighter Flyby right on your head. The first tick will hit them no matter what. You can then follow up with Tendon Blast to guarantee another tick hitting. After that, you are going to sit in your Freighter flames and force them to fight in the massive internal damage. If they back out of it, you will throw a Thermal Grenade after them, duck down to a crouch, and fire some Charged Burst. If they stay in the fire, they eat a massive 5k+ internal damage over the next 9 seconds. Itís like your very own smash!
INTERRUPTS AND THE REST:
Not a lot of solo applications, but if you see one of these guys choking an ally, interrupt it. That is how they tick up their Smash damage. For Escapes, you just want to be breaking out of Intimidating Roar. As for Evasion, I like to use it as they build their way to a big Smash; most of their filler abilities are melee, and they donít have any serious DOTs for you to cleanse.
- CARNAGE MARAUDERS
I have heard the Ataru Form warrior described as the ďQueenĒ of 1v1 combat after DPS Sins (If anyone can recall who said that, I will happily attribute it to them). These guys actually hit harder than Smashers, although their damage is spread out over many fast, armor penetrating, and extremely loud saber strikes. Despite not having Jugg defensive CDs, this opponent is surprisingly tanky with just Cloak of Pain and Undying Rage. The key to this fight is, as with other Sith Warrior fights, DOTS + Healing. But even more important than both of those abilities is Evasion.
The vast majority of Carnage attacks are melee, unlike with Smashers. Massacre, Gore, Vicious Slash, Battering Assault, etc. are all classified as ďMeleeĒ attacks as opposed to ďForceĒ (like Smash and Scream). This makes Evasion a bit like our own Force Shroud, at least in the Carnage matchup. It only lasts 3 seconds, or 4 with PvP Enforcer Gear if you went that route, but in those 3 seconds this ability is going to put in a lot of work for you.
You are going to save Evasion for when one thing happens: The Ataru Marauder pops Berserk. Berserk gives your opponent some impressive Rage management, but it also decreases the GCD of Vicious Slash by .5 seconds. That means you get to eat 3 of these in the time you would normally eat 2. Evasion mitigates all 3 of those hits, saving you 5k+ in damage right there. Combine that with Shield Probe (another 3k+ roughly), and you have a solid mitigation shield to use against the Marauder. Ideally, you want to pop Evasion when you also have a DOT on you, but if you see Berserk start, you need to get Evasive right away.
TENDON BLAST TO HEAL:
Carnage marauders actually have decent range capacity and gap closing. Force Scream hits like a truck, and their Throw is nothing to sneeze at. Donít mess around fighting beyond 10 meters against a Carnage guy because he is just going to fire off these techniques and then close the gap. Because your own best abilities are melee, you will lose that DPS exchange by just throwing some Flurrys of Bolts and Thermals. Instead, use the Snare opportunity to LOS and heal. That extra 2.5-4k HP can go a long way towards winning you the fight.
FLASHBANG > UNDYING RAGE:
It is easy to forget that Undying Rage prolongs a fight by 4 seconds. If the Ataru Marauder is not Berserked, thatís between 2-3 GCDs depending on lag, reaction time, fight timing, etc. If Berserk is up, as it very well might be, that gives 4-5 GCDs depending on those factors. I see a lot of guys get a Carnage spec down to that Undying Rage point only to lose in those last 4 attacks. Flashbang is our natural counter to this. It requires a bit of foresight (as in, donít Vital Shot later in the fight), but this ability completely counters Rage. Throw it down and just wait. If Flash isnít up, or if a DOT is still ticking, you can substitute a Tendon Blast and just run away while his Rage wears off.
There is a reason that Sins get the Ranked WZ nod over Ops on most teams. This class brings better sustained damage, survivability, and utility than we could ever dream of, while still rivaling our burst in almost every respect. Their abilities laugh at us on an almost one-to-one comparison. Blackout can be Speccd to give 25% damage reduction. Force Speed can be used from Stealth. Force Shroud, arguably the best tanking CD in the game, renders Evasion completely irrelevant. Sins in any spec will consistently have access to the same pool of CC as we do, with a hard stun at range, a mezz, and a snare. Although there are a variety of different sin specs (31/0/10 TankShock build, 0/13/28 Deception, etc.), all of them are equally difficult for us to kill. Unlike with the Sith Warrior ACs, your tactics are not going to change much against the different Sin variations.
Against Tanksins, you donít have anything important to interrupt; you canít waste it in the uninterruptible Lightning, and Whirlwind is probably speccd for instacast. Thatís actually fine, because against ANY Sin, whether tank or DPS, you almost always want to be interrupting one move: Crushing Darkness. In the Tanksin matchup, it is the only move you can interrupt. In the Madness fight, it is the move that is going to have the nastiest Deathmark synergy.
- CC BREAK?
Always Escape from Electrocute, the 4s ranged stun. During those 4 seconds you can eat a lot of damage, especially if you have DOTs ticking on you. The Sin will also heal during that time, either from DOTs or from Lightning.
Donít worry about Whirlwind. If the Sin had to Whirlwind you, you were probably winning anyway. Unlike a Sniper, the Sin has to stay close to be effective, so it isnít like the Whirlwind gives him a chance to reposition. Unlike an Operative, the Sin has no non-DOT heals, so he canít actually regenerate during those 8 seconds either. The same goes for Low Slash (if they have it). The 4s stun only works if you are undamaged. Spike is also not worth a break, because it only lasts 2 seconds.
- FORCE SHROUD
If it werenít for this ability, this matchup actually wouldnít be so hard. This ability was made to counter us. Literally all of our good abilities (Blaster Whip, Backblast, Sucker Punch, Dirty Kick, Tendon Blast, Thermal Grenade, Flechette Round, and Shoot First) are Tech. Only Flurry of Bolts, Quick Shot, and Charged Burst fall in the ďRangedĒ category and are going to penetrate the Shroud defenses. Against non Tanksins, this move represents 2-3 GCDs of immunity plus a DOT cleanse. Against those who have speccd it, it gives them 3-4 GCDs of immunity on top of the cleanse.
You need to do two things to counter Shroud. The first is to use ranged attacks, but NOT necessarily Quick Shot. You will ONLY use Quick Shot if your Sin target does not also have Dark Ward (the purple energy field) up around them. Dark Ward increases Shield Chance, and you donít want to waste energy firing into a 50%+ shield chance. If Dark Ward gets popped along with Shroud, you use Flurry of Bolts as you run away with Sneak. If there is no Dark Ward, feel free to use Quick Shot instead; as a good rule, you wonít use Shot against Tanks, but you will against DPS Sins.
The second thing to counter Shroud is saving DOTs. You will not Vital Shot a Sin who has not used Shroud. If you do and the Sin pops his CD, you are going to have wasted 20 energy for about 150 damage. Once Shroud wears off, however, you will definitely be throwing down that VS DOT.
- TENDON BLAST ONLY AGAINST TANKS
Tendon Blast is normally our fight equalizer, but it is really quite bad against Sins. Madness Sins pose a bigger problem because their DOTs tend to give pushback on your healing, making it difficult to even run away, LOS, and resolve a single heal before they come rushing back at you with Force Speed. If you need to heal against a Madness/Deception Sin, you are going to do so off of a Flashbang or a Dirty Kick, not a TB.
Against Tanksins, however, TB is a great opportunity to duck away and heal.
- EVASION > ASSASSINATE + DOTS
Evasion is hugely important in this matchup for two reasons. First, it grants immunity to Assassinate (also Maul). Sins will almost always drop this when you are at around 20% health, so the instant you hit 30% health, you are going to pop it. The Sin will either immediately fire it or wait 1 GCD. If you can avoid that damage, you are well-positioned to end the fight.
Against those Madness guys, you are going to use it when you have 2 DOTs on you (Crushing Darkness + Death Field). This will be a sizeable setback to your opponent, and you should be about 2 GCDs ahead on damage when you cleanse yourself.
You are going to die a lot against Pyrotechs. Whoever designed this spec, both in Mercenary and Powertech, had an existential hatred of Scrappers. Literally everything about Pyrotechs has been optimized to spectacularly, messily, and efficiently murder our kind. All of their important damage is Tech (internal an elemental), which melts right through Evasion and our meager armor. They have equal capabilities at range (Dart, Detonator, Unload, Railshot, Incendiary Missile) and at melee (Flame Burst, Rocket Punch). They have defensive CDs to rival a Marauder (Energy Shield + Kolto Overload), utility to rival a Sin (2 Taunts + Grapple), and CC that rivals even us (Carbonize at 45s CD and Dart at 60s CD). Their sustained damage is excellent, with great resource management and low-cost abilities. Their burst is terrifying, especially if you get to 30% HP (which you will). Oh, and they have Stealthscan (!!! WHY?!), which in the hands of a skilled Pyrotech is a 100% hard counter to Disappearing Act. Stealthscan alone just proves that the Pyrotech designer was a lifelong enemy of Scrappers everywhere, not to mention all of the other awful thing they can do to us.
Anyone who tells you that a Scrapper has a good matchup against Pyrotechs is lying. Or they just play against 5 year olds, and even then, they probably barely win. The majority of your WZ deaths will come from this class, and although I am not saying ďnerf PyrotechsĒ, you will probably want them nerfed if you ever encounter 2+ in a single WZ. Because this is our hands-down worst matchup, I am going to go into more detail to help you beat these monsters.
The only two abilities you even can interrupt are Unload and Death From Above. Donít bother interrupting DFA; just run away from the AOE. If you see Unload you might as well interrupt it, but that ability doesnít even hit very hard, so it wonít help much.
- CC BREAK?
Never, ever break a Carbonize. It doesnít last long enough to matter. Dart, however, is a disaster if you get hit with it. Break it if you can. Otherwise, be prepared to eat 4 seconds of 2 DOTs, plus 2 GCDs of massive burst.
- STAY CALM AND COLLECTED
Fighting a PT is mega frustrating. No matter what you do it will always seem like the PT is doing more damage and losing less HP. The trick is to stay calm and not go haywire with your abilities. I see panicked Operatives/Scrappers fire off 2 Vital Shots in a row, reapply Flechette Round 3 times over the course of a single BB CD, spam Quick Shot to cause more damage, etc. All of this is counterproductive and just helps you die. Stay calm. Accept that you will die a few times. Donít tunnel vision on a PT that is giving you trouble.
- EVASION = GOOD!
The first time you get two DOTs on you, you are going to pop Evasion. This ability doesnít respect the GCD and will cleanse off both the Incendiary Missile and the Cylinder DOT. The problem with this strategy is that it is just so darn easy for a PT to just reapply both DOTs. Flame Burst quickly reapplies its burn, and Missile has a super low CD. But because Evasion doesnít respect the GCD, you donít actually waste anything by cleansing the DOTs. You do force the PT to waste 16 heat reapplying IM, or you save yourself the IM damage if they choose to not reapply it. Either way, it is helpful. (NOTE: Evasion does NOT remove Detonator or Explosive Dart, nor does it prevent their damage).
- TRIAGE = BAD!
At first glance, Triage looks like a great ability in this matchup. You cleanse off 2 DOTs against a class that relies on 2 DOTs to do most of its serious damage. Unfortunately, unlike Evasion, Triage DOES respect the GCD. Remember how PTs can easily reapply their DOTs? It is never worth it to waste an entire GCD to get rid of a DOT that they are going to reapply as part of their normal attack routine. Donít waste your time. You wonít win a war of attrition against a decent PT, so your goal needs to be to cause as much damage as possible. Triage wastes time with no benefit. DO NOT USE IT.
- KEEP VITAL SHOT UP
Vital Shot gives internal damage that is unmitigated by PT armor. Powertechs canít remove it, and it does a lot of work for you at a low cost. Keep it up at all times.
- HEALS + TENDON BLAST > ENERGY SHIELD
Energy Shield is a very simple defensive CD (25% mitigation, 12s, 120s CD), but it is a nightmare in a 1v1 fight. That extra 25% reduction really cuts into your damage. You will often see PTs at 30-40% health pop Shield and kill a full HP Scrapper as they just drop down to 10-20% HP themselves. When this gets stacked with Kolto Overload, you are in real trouble.
The good news is that PTs are stuck with a melee range interrupt and only 1 CC that can be used at range. The other good news is that Energy Shield DOES respect the GCD. When the enemy PT pops Shield, you are going to use this moment of respite to TB, Sneak, and run away to heal. This is also a great time (indeed, the only time) to use Triage to cleanse off some DOTs. LOS away from the PT and pop one Underworld Medicine. The slowed PT will walk over to you. Throw down another heal and/or use Triage. By this time, Energy Shield will have only 6 or so seconds remaining on it, and you will have 4k more health than when you started. Keep kiting if possible while keeping VS ticking, throwing in a Thermal Grenade where needed, and switching to your melee abilities if you have no choice.
- DONíT WASTE BIG DAMAGE CDS INTO SHIELD
While Energy Shield is up, your plan is to survive and avoid toe-to-toeing the big bad Pyrotech. That means conserving your scary CDs (BB, SC, FR, SF) until AFTER shield is gone. Sure, you can damage the PT while Shield is humming, but your best bet is just to heal and survive during that intermission. Think of it this way: You can either deal 75% of your normal damage while taking full damage from the PT, or you can heal up to almost full while taking virtually no damage at all. After it wears off, you will have all your CDs ready to go to rip apart the guy with no added mitigation.
- JUKING STEALTH SCAN
Sometimes you absolutely need to use a midcombat Disappearing Act to survive or kill your target. If you are on a side node at Civil War/Novare, you might need it for the extra burst on your PT victim. If you are in a big fight, you might need to evade and survive long enough for a respawn to reinforce your position. Either way, Stealth Scan can really mess up your day. A good PT will drop it down right after you vanish, timing it so it is right on top of you.
How do they predict your movement? Right before you disappear they can still see your forward angle. Instead of popping Evasion --> Disappearing Act and just taking off in a straight line (which you shouldnít be doing anyway, but it is most important against PTs), you are going to quickly sidestep or even backpedal to trick the PT. This will get you out of the Stealth Scan and ready to unleash Shoot First.
7. WARZONE TACTICS
A lot of the advice above pertains to 1v1s or duels, or at least situations in which you are primarily focused on 1 target. But as we all know, Warzones are not about killing targets, but rather about winning and holding objectives. Scrappers might not have the best survivability or damage output, but we are actually quite good at winning WZs (even if our scoreboard stats don't necessarily show our contribution). In this section, I will talk about some of the tricks and tactics that will help you win specific WZs. I don't want to get too detailed about all of my tricks and tactics because I would not want our enemies to see where I am hiding and what I am doing. But it will still serve as a great starting point for you to win some WZs.
Like with class matchups, I have colorcoded the WZs to indicate whether they are strong ones for Scrappers (green
), ones that represent both challenges and advantages (blue
), and ones that suck (red like your face will be during Huttball
My favorite warzone. This one is probably the best one for Scrappers because the 1v1, 1v2, and 2v2 scenario is very common. Scrappers also make excellent node defenders on this map, with stealth, Dart, and most importantly, Freighter Flyby, an ability that singlehandedly holds a node for 9-12 seconds. Finally, the terrain is very friendly for kiting and LOSing, which lets us maximize our Tendon Blast and healing.
OFFENSE: THE SNOW BLITZ GAMBIT
After spawning I will immediately rush to Snow with Sneak on, using my Stealth/Sneak spamming to keep move speed high. You need to be fast because your opponent might have used Force Speed or Predation to reach the node quickly. But on the way, you need to see how many opponents are there.
IF YOU SEE 1 IMPERIAL, you are going to go for the 1v1 fight and node cap. This will probably a straight up 1v1, and that is where we shine. Remember, the node takes 8 seconds to cap. Ideally you want to open on your target with Shoot First, but if you can't stop the cap, you need to crack stealth with Flurry of Bolts and cause damage.
IF YOU SEE 2 IMPERIALS, you are going to turn around and run back mid. You don't want to try your luck in a 1v2, and if the Imps brought 2 to snow, your presence will be more helpful back at mid.
DEFENSE: SLEEP DART AND CALL "INC"
Sometimes you are guarding a node and you see 1-2 enemies that you know you can't beat. If it's one enemy, maybe you know he is a full EWH Pyrotech, and you are pretty sure he is going to kill you. Use Sneak to approach your target and Sleep Dart the one trying to cap the node. WAIT UNTIL HE IS AT 6 SECONDS OF THE CAP. You want to maximize reinforcement time. If he breaks the CC, immediately re-CC him and then use SF+FR to open on his friend. The reason we are immediately attacking is because we know his CC breaker is down. This gives us our best chance to take on his friend and cause damage before your team can come save you.
If it is only 1 target that you can't beat, Sleep Dart him once and call inc when he has capped the node to 6 seconds. If he cracks the Dart, let him try and recap the node as his resolve lowers. At 7 seconds of capping, the second time, open on him with SF+FR. Your knockdown won't fill up resolve (it has lowered a bit since the last dart) and you will have bought at least 8 seconds for your allies to come and help you.
OFFENSE: COUNTING ENEMIES AT MID
You should always be counting enemies, but it is especially important as a Scrapper because you have the ability to solo cap a side node. If you ever see 7 people mid, you are immediately going to break off to the side and contest the side node. Remember, we are excellent in a straight up 1v1 context, and it doesn't get any more isolated than a 1v1 on a side node on Alderaan. If you think your team can hold out mid, you can even go for the 3cap if you already have 2 nodes. I do this all the time and it wins our team a lot of WZs.
This is one of those areas where I don't want to give away too many secrets of our class (Sins/Shadows can use this advice too, as can our enemy Ops), but I will say that you need to position yourself well when defending a node. Against non-stealthers it doesn't matter where you stand. You will see them coming, you will move over a bit to let them waste an AOE, and then you will open on them when they start to cap.
But against stealthers, it's a lot scarier. Your attacker will stealth up to the node, pop Sneak/Blacout, and then have 6 seconds to scope out the area for you. If you are just sitting on top of the node like an idiot, you are going to get jumped. The trick is to position yourself somewhere that a stealther can't find you BUT you can still see the node AND respond to a cap in time. The stealther will wander around for a while, decide that no one is there, and then try and cap the node. That's when you can walk over and open on him.
I prefer Civil War to Voidstar by a hair, but this is still our second/tied-for-first best WZ (my win % on both is at 65 with a ton of games played). Having a decent Scrapper almost guarantees that you will take the first door and be able to strongly pressure the third door (second door is always the hardest). Moreover, as a defender, a decent Scrapper can hold that second door for the entire game, provided he has remotely competent allies. I have a few positioning tricks that I won't reveal hear so my enemies do not know where to find me, but let's just say that you can be a serious jerk on defense if you know what you are doing.
OFFENSE: FIRST DOOR 1v1 ON THE ďOFFĒ NODE
A decent Scrapper will win you the first door in a few ways. Letís go with the first scenario: a 1v1 on the ďoffĒ door (The door where your other 7 allies are not attacking).
Letís assume a straight 1v1 for now. We can get to the 2v2 later. Now, unless they left a darn Pyrotech on the door, you should be able to blitz through this guy before he calls for reinforcements. Even against one of the monstrous Pyrotech, if you canít get him the first time you can probably get him the second time when all his defensive CDs are down. But I am going to leave the fight itself to you. The real trick is the preparation for the fight.
First thing is first: Wait until the respawn to attack. Sit where you can see the Voidstar shield and wait for the respawn area energy screen to close and lock. Now it is time to go. You need to maximize your kill time and your bomb plant time; nothing is worse than killing a guy and getting your plant interrupted at 6 seconds.
Second: Scout for stealthed enemies. Itís easy to find a Tanksin because they tend to guard their partner. If the visible defender has guard on him, chances are that there is a Tanksin lurking around. Even if you donít see the guard, there still might be a DPS Operative/Sin skulking about. Pop Sneak and do a quick run around of the area while Sneak is up. You should be able to identify enemies.
Third: Go eat the Health Pack on the side. You donít need it because your goal is to kill your target as quickly as possible. Your victim, however, would love to CC you and run off to grab health. This prolongs the fight and makes it hard to kill your target and have enough time to plant the bomb.
Assuming you follow these 3 rules, you have decent gear/skill, and you are actually in a 1v1, you should have little difficulty in taking that first door. This class is BUILT for a duel, and it doesnít get any more duely than the first Voidstar door.
OFFENSE: FIRST DOOR 1v2/2v2 ON THE ďOFFĒ NODE
Now letís say we have 2 defenders on the door. If you can find a Shadow/Scrapper to come with you, you can go for the door. Adding variables is never good for time-sensitive objectives, but maybe you two are geared enough that it doesnít matter and you can blast through the guards.
But a far better bet is actually to bluff to the door (run towards it obviously before stealthing), and then peel off for the main fight. You will then have an 8v6 on that door and should be easily able to take it.
The point is to get the defenders to respect your attack. If they stop respecting the attack, come back and cause trouble. You have about 3 minutes to take that first door without falling behind schedule, and that door needs to be all you.
OFFENSE: THIRD DOOR
Repeat your first door tactics on the third door. Although there isnít a literal wall between the doors, the distance is such that you can still use those same tactics to win.
DEFENSE: EMERGENCY RESPONDER
Sneak and Stealth are an awesome combo for emergency responding to doors. The trick is to find one person on the other door on your minimap, see what his name is, and then keep track of his HP in the Ops Frames. If his HP starts to drop, turn to the minimap. If there are only 2 defenders there and your own door is looking okay, itís time to pop Sneak and run over. If you canít break away from the fight, this is a great time to use Disappearing Act to transition to the other door. This is just one example of a time where Disappearing Act is way better when used for objectives and not arbitrary kills.