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Seer PVE Healing Guide (1.3)

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes > Sage / Sorcerer
Seer PVE Healing Guide (1.3)

Aurojiin's Avatar

07.08.2012 , 02:32 AM | #1
Note: This guide is largely a repost from Onagerís original Seer healing guide for 1.2, with some minor updates on the Conveyance bugfix in 1.3, Force Mend in 1.4, an expanded discussion of gearing, and a few of my opinions thrown in. At this point in time Onager is MIA, so Iíve taken the liberty of keeping his work up-to-date. The majority of credit for the content herein is owed to him; Iím simply trying to keep his work alive for the community.


Street Cred:

Guide starts here:
In the words of Onager: We are a dual-resource healer. Playing a Seer well revolves around understanding the relative efficacy and efficiency of your abilities, knowing the encounters, and realising that your health is a resource that you need to be flexible with.

The Build:


Since the addition of Force Mend in 1.4, Valiance is absolutely better than Pain Bearer, so I consider the PVE Seer build to be standardised.

Priority Flowchart for Seer Healing:

  1. Before the fight, Force Armor everyone and Meditate.
  2. Are you unfortunately in the interrupt rotation? If so, Mind Snap as necessary, reserving the right to make known your protests for having been reduced to doing so. Otherwise;
  3. Does the fight have a stacking cleansable debuff mechanic? If so, Restoration. Otherwise;
  4. Does tank have Force Imbalanced debuff? If no, Force Armor. Otherwise;
  5. Does tank have Force Shelter? If not, Rejuvenate. Otherwise;
  6. Do you have Resplendence? Within reason, Noble Sacrifice (if you have 20% health left and youíre in an unavoidable raid-wide damage phase, donít; but from here on out, Iíll leave the application of common sense to you). Is your force pool dipping (<75%)? Noble Sacrifice with or without Resplendence.
  7. AoE Damage of any kind affecting 2 or more players, OR have you used Noble Sacrifice twice? (Rejuvenate >) Salvation, placed where you can benefit from it as well. If you've freshly placed Rejuvenate on the tank and you need Conveyance, hit yourself, an offtank, or one of the melees who routinely take damage with it just for the proc.
  8. Someone need healing? Triage time!
    • Green (Minor): Tank? Wait for yellow. You or a DPS? You and they should stand in Salvation to heal/pewpew. Heroes before Herps.ô I strongly advise going wherever your Salvation needs to be and stand in it. If damage is somewhat continual, Rejuvenate.
    • Yellow (Moderate): (Force Armor > Rejuvenate >) Healing Trance. Alternatively, Force Mend if you're the target in question. Refer to no. 6 above for general Resplendence guidelines. Deliverance filler as necessary. Be conservative with your use of Force Armor, however; while reasonably efficient, you can burn through force at a disturbing rate, and they represent wasted healing if your target does not continue to take damage. If in doubt, save them for condition red.
    • Red (Severe): If the burst healing phase is predictable (e.g. Foreman Crusher), have Salvation down on the tank first. Pop an on-use relic if you have one. Force Armor before the relic if it's Crit/Surge or Alacrity, after if it's Power. Force Potency > Deliverance x2 (or x1 and Force Mend if your own health is low) > Rejuvenate > Healing Trance. Wait till you're back to Yellow to spend Resplendence, unless you're about to cast another Conveyed Healing Trance or Resplendence will fall off without being spent.
  9. Does the fight have some kind of hard-to-avoid AE mechanic or one where the boss targets people at random? Force Armor whenever Force Imbalanced falls off.

Force Management: Rather than reinventing the wheel, I will simply point you towards XtremJediís excellent Sage/Sorc PVE Force Regain thread. TL;DR? Then you probably didnít make it this far. Ignoring the inherent contradiction, however: Noble Sacrifice twice for each Salvation you stand in; virtually any other approach is usually inferior to idling. Some additional tips:
  • Triage section above applies to you, too, for damage not originating from Noble Sacrifice.
  • You're not alone. You don't have to bear the burden of your resource mechanic by yourself, especially if your other healer hero homey is doing fine on his resource or has a free heal to toss your direction, it significantly eases your usage of Noble Sacrifice.
  • Since 1.4, you now have Force Mend. While Salvation is still your primary health regen source, this ability offers an alternative for encounters where Salvation is not practical.
  • Noble Sacrifice is always a net gain in force, although triple and quad stacking of the Noble Sacrifice debuff puts you in a position where Noble Sacrifice itself becomes your regen and you better have some beefy healing income to compensate. This is more practical in 16-player content than it is in the rest, however, and great caution needs to be observed in its application. Certain encounters may offer excellent opportunities for this approach, such as stacking on the Pulsar Droids when fighting Warlord Kephess.

Some notes on Seer abilities: Whatever the specifics of your approach to Seer healing and resource management, there should always be one core element: the use of Rejuvenate on cooldown (on the tank for at least every second cast, in order to grant Force Shelter). Conveyance is vitally important, and you want to minimise the number of abilities cast without it, because all of your primary healing tools are greatly improved by it.

In terms of your main heals, Salvation is the strongest ability Seers have, for better or for worse. Use it and abuse it. It is HPF efficient for two targets, and becomes our strongest ability in terms of HPS done when applied to three targets or more. Prior to 1.3, a bug existed whereby Healing Trance would not consume Conveyance, allowing you to apply the benefit to two abilities; however, this has since been corrected. Therefore, (Rejuvenate >) Salvation is now your definitive priority. In practice you should probably be casting Salvation on cooldown more often than not (certainly in any situation where you can stand in it, since it is our best tool for healing the damage from Noble Sacrifice).

In the time between Salvation casts, Healing Trance is our bread-and-butter single-target heal. With or without Conveyance it is our best HPF ability, and exceeds the HPS of essentially everything bar Force Armor and Salvation on 3+ targets. Thus, after Salvation, (Rejuvenate >) Healing Trance is your next priority, and your go-to combination for anyone taking significant damage.

Deliverance is your primary filler. You are essentially limited by the 6.5s (with 2-piece PVE set bonus) cooldown of Healing Trance, so in between Conveyed Healing Trances/Salvations, use Deliverance if additional healing is required. Despite the quicker cast, do not bother with Benevolence; simply put, the ability is close to useless without Conveyance (it is effectively our worst skill by both output and efficiency), and Conveyance is better spent on Healing Trance. Essentially the only time you should use Benevolence is when a target is close to death, Force-imbalanced, and taking trickle damage that will kill it before Deliverance hits. An evaluation of how often this situation actually occurs I shall leave to the interested reader. As a final note, whenever you use Force Potency, your sole priority for spending the charges should be Deliverance. With one exception...

Force Mend. Everything I said earlier was a lie, in some respects: this is your (in fact, the) strongest single-target heal in terms of HPS, HPCT, and HPF. It blows everything else in the game out of the water. Unfortunately, its status as a self-heal only with a 30s cooldown is a bit of a killjoy. In practice, you have two primary ways to use it, and these depend on the nature of the fight. If you can manage your force regen by standing in your own Salvation, then save Force Mend as an emergency self-heal for when you've taken a large hit. If the fights mechanics are such that you have to cast a Salvation you can't stand in, or you can't get anyone else with it, then Force Mend should be your primary method for covering the damage from Noble Sacrifice. Wait until you've tapped enough to avoid excessive overhealing, and consider using Force Potency if it's available and someone else can use a guaranteed crit Deliverance.

The best usage of Force Armor is basically covered in the flowchart above; I will simply note that it is the only 'heal' that can be applied to a full-health target without overhealing, and the only heal that can be applied to a target with 1% health remaining yet end up overhealing. Use it accordingly. That being said, I would advocate its use more often than pre-1.3, since one cannot abuse the Conveyance bug to include Conveyed Deliverances regularly (in the absence of Conveyance, Force Armor is more efficient than Deliverance). Nevertheless, given the preceding cautions and the Force Imbalanced lockout debuff, exercise judgment.

Finally, remember that maximum healing is achieved based on HPCT (Healing Per Cast Time). While the healing done by a skill like Rejuvenate may seem relatively insignificant, when totalled and weighed against the instant (1.5 second) cast time, it actually does more healing than Healing Trance for each second spent casting (Healing Trance will, obviously, do much more healing in absolute terms). This is the justification for the recommended approach to predictable burst damage phases like Foreman Crusher: applying Rejuvenate and dropping Salvation under a target then launching into your single-target heals will provide much higher HPS than could otherwise be achieved.


Gearing: Most of your equipment at endgame that's designed for healers specifically (Including set gear) is going to have a lot of power/alacrity enhancements. In order to achieve (more) ideal gear, you will need to mix and match armourings, mods, and enhancements; at present, your primary source for these will be items from the Black Hole gear vendor.

In terms of set bonuses, the 2-piece should be considered compulsory (a reduction on the cooldown of our bread-and-butter ability is invaluable), while the 4-piece is optional. The extra 50 force points provides a small buffer, and also makes Noble Sacrifice regain slightly more force (since it returns a fixed percentage of your force pool), but if you manage your resources effectively you should have no issues without it. You can acquire the set bonuses two ways: by wearing tier 1 gear (Tionese/Columi/Rakata), or by using Campaign armourings (which have the set bonuses attached to them). It is important to note that two of the Campaign armourings are not BiS: namely, the head and chest ones, since they are both Force Wielder armourings (Endurance>Willpower) rather than Resolve (Willpower>Endurance). To achieve true BiS, while retaining cosmetic flexibility, you will need to use one tier 1 shell (presumably the head slot, since it can be hidden) and the armourings from the Black Hole Force-lord chest and headpiece.

Since 1.3, all fourteen pieces of gear can now be augmented. Always use Resolve augments. On a 1:1 basis, Willpower is your dominant stat, given that you will hit diminishing returns on Critical Rating, Surge, and Alacrity with your mods and enhancements. A common myth is that Power is better than Willpower due to the slightly higher bonus healing (0.17 vs 0.1554 after the Consular buff and Will of the Jedi in your spec tree). Willpower, however, contributes to critical chance, and it is here that the misconception arises: you may hear statements to the effect of ďwell, my crit chance is so high that diminishing returns means more crit is uselessĒ. In actuality, crit chance contribution from Willpower is on a separate curve from that of Critical Rating. Point for point, Willpower contributes much less to critical chance than Critical Rating, but also has an extremely low rate of diminishing returns, relatively speaking. Unless you can gear for 6,000 or more Willpower, the effect of the added critical chance will outweigh the impact of Power's higher bonus healing.

Aside from augments, gearing a Seer is a tug of war in two separate categories: Power vs Critical Rating, and Surge vs Alacrity. The Ďidealí amounts of each are not as clear cut for healers as they are for DPS Sages. It is important to understand that healing is not DPSing. Your goal is not to maximise your healing output, but rather to effectively meet the healing demands of an encounter, and the burden can vary dramatically at different stages. Surge will make your crits hit harder, while Alacrity lets you respond to spike damage slightly faster. Diminishing returns, of course, limits how much of either you want to stack. Simply put, if you find yourself taking a more rotational approach to healing with sustained casting, favour Alacrity over Surge; if you take a slower and more considered approach, then vice versa. I personally run equal Surge and Alacrity. YMMV.

For Power and Crit, there are two primary options (imho). Mathematically speaking, about 205 Critical Rating is optimal, with the rest stacked as Power. Personally, I choose to stack Critical Rating higher until I reach a total unbuffed critical chance of 35%; combined with Lucky Shots and Force Potency, I can guarantee immediate crits on Deliverance in emergencies, which I feel plays to the situational needs of healing.

For relics, two War Hero Relics of Boundless Ages are BiS. You may run a Campaign Relic of Boundless Ages for more burst flexibility (which plays to the argument for the situational needs of healing), although I am less in favour of them since the burst nerfing in 1.3. If you do not wish to PVP, however, the Campaign relic in conjunction with a Matrix Cube is probably your best option. Mending Relics are crappy, and I have nothing more to say about that

A parting note: never use lettered (i.e. 26A or 26B) mods. You give up too much of the secondary stat (Power or Critical Rating) for the Willpower you gain.

  • 4/23/12 Found a discrepancy in my Triage priority thanks to Aurojiin.
  • 4/24/12 Added notes/clarifications about the build (Aurojiin, Gruddy) and Consumption/Noble Sacrifice always being a net gain in force (Daellia). Added section on Campaign gear. Fixed some of my custom Englishin' on some *****.
  • 4/26/12 Finally caved on the Telekinetic Defense thing, including a low crit and a high crit build. Stopped being a moron about the wording on the Triage section, resulting in a significant amount of deep cleansing thereof.
  • 4/27/12 Dropped minimum number of damaged targets for Salvation/Revivification down to 2 instead of 3 due to finally getting around to working out the math on its HPF under Conveyance. (XtremJedi )
  • 4/29/12 Adding notes about Benevolence usage and overhealing. (schmidtyfi)
  • 7/7/12 Updated the guide from Onagerís last revision. (Aurojinn)
  • 7/11/12 Updated the Build section after feedback. (RickAdams, AngelFluttershy)

That's about it. Feel free to comment on and/or criticize my work, and if you point something out that can be blatantly improved upon, I will certainly be grateful.
Aisev -:- Seer Sage Si'ki -:- Darkness Assassin

Aurojiin's Avatar

07.08.2012 , 02:33 AM | #2
- Reserved -

XtremJedi's Avatar

07.08.2012 , 05:09 AM | #3
Good to see that somebody has stepped in and taken over from Onager.



Daellia's Avatar

07.08.2012 , 09:04 AM | #4
Quote: Originally Posted by XtremJedi View Post
That ^^
Even Angels must kill from time to time... ~Kaedis

chaosme's Avatar

07.09.2012 , 03:45 AM | #5
Regarding the choice of relics, I understand that from an output point of view, the warhero relics would give better HPS over the other contestants. I am currently still running with the campaign boundless relic and matrix cube and am undecided if I should spend the time PVPing to get the PVP relics given that I don't really enjoy that aspect of the game.

My guild is currently running 3/4 HM EC 16m and we are still sorting out our strat for Kephess, but I find that I don't really have any issues with healing even without popping the campaign boundless relic. In fact, I frequently forget about using the relic because of how infrequent I have to resort to it when things go bad

My question is, how important really is the extra power from the PVP relics when there isn't much issue with maintenance healing, and when you really need that extra oomph for burst healing for when things go bad, would the 315 power from the clicky relic be better? When I do remember to use the clicky relic, I usually pop it when the bosses are entering soft enrage or when things go wrong and lots of people take big hits from sticky grenades/AoEs and what nots (I find that things tend to go downhill quickly when you have more people crowded together eating AoE effects in 16m.)

dronepilot's Avatar

07.09.2012 , 03:59 AM | #6
think you need to fix that, (32/7/2) its not pointing to the right page.
Velseen / Valseena
Jedi Consular Level 50 - Shadow - Infiltrator - Jedi Sage
Tomb of Freedom Nadd

Aurojiin's Avatar

07.09.2012 , 05:39 AM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by dronepilot View Post
think you need to fix that, (32/7/2) its not pointing to the right page.
Thanks for pointing that out. I could have sworn I fixed it, but there you go.

Quote: Originally Posted by chaosme View Post
My question is, how important really is the extra power from the PVP relics when there isn't much issue with maintenance healing, and when you really need that extra oomph for burst healing for when things go bad, would the 315 power from the clicky relic be better? When I do remember to use the clicky relic, I usually pop it when the bosses are entering soft enrage or when things go wrong and lots of people take big hits from sticky grenades/AoEs and what nots (I find that things tend to go downhill quickly when you have more people crowded together eating AoE effects in 16m.)
You raise some good points, so let me see if I can offer a few thoughts.

First, the War Hero relic is definitively better than the Matrix Cube, so if you can stomach the PVPing it's an outright upgrade. That being said, you could wear a Rakata set from the vendor and heal everything in the game, so if you don't want to PVP there's no massively compelling reason to force yourself.

So yes, as it stands, irrespective of your second relic choice, you're not going to have any issues with maintenance healing. And when you do hit a phase when the healing demands spike, for 30 seconds the Campaign relic will effectively be much more useful than having the War Hero version. It's just a shame than 1.3 reduced the efficacy of the relic at filling this role; 405 Power for 20 seconds was that much nicer.

Still, my experience on Kephess is largely similar; I never used the Campaign relic nor my Rakata Adrenal after progression attempts. On that basis, the War Hero relic is the more attractive pick, because if you're not using the clickie you might as well take the passive boost and give yourself more headroom in general.

Sindorin's Avatar

07.09.2012 , 05:45 AM | #8
Good guide. Unfortunately, I've already given up hope on the Sage I had geared out. BW just nerfed it too badly. I don't feel like adapting. Good read though.

Masta-Blasta - Vanguard

Sindorin - Assassin

Aurojiin's Avatar

07.09.2012 , 05:52 AM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by Sindorin View Post
Good guide. Unfortunately, I've already given up hope on the Sage I had geared out. BW just nerfed it too badly. I don't feel like adapting. Good read though.
It's much more painful for those of us who played prior to 1.2 and enjoyed the godmode that was Sage/Sorc healing.

There's no question in my mind that the class needed nerfing (although in a perfect world the other healing classes would be been buffed and content made harder), but the stripping of our burst healing and the general reduction in choice and flexibility was very disappointing. Ultimately the class is less dynamic and engaging for the changes, imo.

Frankly, though, it's still definitively the best PVE healing class.

RickAdams's Avatar

07.09.2012 , 12:27 PM | #10
If you're not going to adapt you won't last long in any MMO. Changes will happen and they will happen constantly. Every time there's a patch people are crying about nerfs but nerfs are never so bad that you can't adapt. When 1.2 came around people said they nerfs were so bad that the class was unplayeable (this was before they changes even went live mind you). But look at the class now, people are still saying the class is the best healing class, even with the "unplayable" nerfs.

I also want to comment on the build above and not going 3/3 in penetrating light or taking this point from Pain Bearer. I take the point from Valiance. My feeling is that the damage from Noble Sacrifice is something you regulate and plan for. You know when you can safely do this and heal up the damage (usually standing in salvation). I don't usually have a problem healing to full after a NS. With Pain Bearer, this helps in emergencies when I'm all of a sudden in threat of dying. The extra healing is essential just to keep myself alive. I just feel that the extra 1% crit chance is worth more than saving some health loss from NS when you almost never have any issues healing this damage anyway.