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Koozie's Powertech PvP Pyrotech Guide

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes > Vanguard / Powertech
Koozie's Powertech PvP Pyrotech Guide

Kooziejr's Avatar


Kooziejr
11.29.2013 , 10:34 AM | #1
Koozie's Pyrotech Guide for PvP (2.6 - principles are still applicable to 2.10)


This guide is no longer appropriate post 3.0

Common acronyms you need to be aware of:
Thermal Detonator = TD, Incendiary Missile = IM, Explosive Dart = ED, Advanced Prototype = AP, Damage over Time = DoT, AoE = Area of Effect, Powertech = PT, Combustible Gas Cylinder = CGC. Global Cooldown = GCD - This is the time between activate an ability and the next ability you can activate (approx. 1.5 seconds).

Pyrotech and Advanced Prototype are fundamentally different and thus employing the wrong strategy when playing PT DPS will lead to failure. Firstly, I would like to point out what is different defensively and offensively about each spec so you can keep it in mind when you are playing your favorite and the best advanced class. I will then outline the fundamentals you need to know to play this spec effectively.
First things first though. Here is my Pyrotech video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P44H9...=youtube_gdata) which is just as capable in every way as AP and perhaps more exhilarating at times!

Differences between Pyro and AP?

Advanced Prototype Defense

Passive:
Close and Personal (explained later)
Passive shield upon damage taken
30% AoE damage reduction
30% damage reduction when stunned

Active:
Energy Shield (available every 40-60 seconds).
Kolto Overload (available every 3 minutes)
10 Second Hydraulic override.

Pyro Defense

Passive:
Close and Personal (explained later)
15% DoT damage reduction

Active:
Chaff Flare (25% defense chance for 6 seconds to ANY damage every 45 seconds)
Energy Shield (available every 2 minutes)
Kolto Overload with 30% damage reduction for duration (available every 40-60 seconds)
6 Second Hydraulic Override

Simply put, you need to pay more attention to your defensive cooldowns in Pyrotech because of the active nature of the defense. However, AP is a more melee heavy class and is bound for more "splash" damage. Thus, as a Pyrotech you are able to mitigate a lot of damage by being 10 meters for the majority of the fight and because you have a spammable 10 meter 40% slow in Flame Burst.

AP Offense

A somewhat complicated rotation with average burst potential without offensive cooldowns being active. Has strong AoE damage and reliable single target damage.

Pyro Offense

An easy rotation with a high burst potential even without offensive cooldowns being active. 3 DoTs and timed explosion damage to make it seem like a player has been hit for 14k in one hit when timed properly. Has very strong single target damage but only one solid AoE attack on a 60 sec. cooldown.

Build and Gear

Cylinder - CGC
Build - Run the 4, 6, 36 build. (http://www.torhead.com/skill-calc#30...ZfhrrzRbffdz.3)
Gear - Get the 4 piece Eliminators set (NOT the combat tech set). My stats for my video were approximately: 210 Critical chance, 2910 aim, 0 accuracy (your accuracy should be at 94% from your build), 650+ surge, and 820 power, 2018 expertise (outside warzones). Make sure you use aim augments on all your gear!
Relics - Obroan relic of Serendipitous Assault (Power) and Obroan relic of Devastating Vengenance (Crit)

Another PT (Megapt) wrote an informative guide on how to properly min/max your gear (http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=695170). This includes using PvE weapons, implants, earpieces. I do not use PvE gear, stacking relics or matrix cubes on my toons.

Combustible Gas Cylinder and how to use it.


The cylinder used by Pyrotechs has a 34% chance to get triggered by white damage attacks. This includes Rapid shots, Unload, and Railshot. Therefore whenever you are at range you are able to trigger a DoT (approx. 1000 damage [3 x 335 ticks @ 35% crit chance if you are specced properly @ 105% surge] - that free DoT can hit for 2100 damage over 6 seconds!) by using your basic attack (Rapid Shots). When the DoT activates (which it almost definitely will if you use Rapid Shots twice you can then use your Railshot from 30 meters without going anywhere near the target. Also, Railshot refreshes your CGC when you use it. So you can do a solid 10k damage 30 meters from a target if needed or desired.
Rocket Punch has a 100% chance to trigger GCG and Flame Burst has a 60% chance - but more about these later.

Rotation


Opener: As you inevitably start 30m from an opponent open with Explosive Dart, as you move closer you can spam rapid shots with the intent of activating your CGC. If your cylinder activates before 10 meters then use Railshot.
Basic Rotation (This is my rotation): Thermal Detonator, Incendiary Missile, Railshot, Rocket Punch, Railshot (if procced), Flame Burst with very occasional Rapid Shots (to prevent overheating) until reproc of Railshot and repeat. Explosive Dart can be substituted into the rotation instead of Flame Burst on non tank/light armor targets especially if there are other people in the proximity to get the splash damage from it.***
My rationale for using Thermal Detonator first is because it is your highest damaging attack (5500 tooltip damage) AND it explodes the same time as you activate Railshot (3400 tooltip damage) This allows you to do significant burst damage to catch a healer off guard.
***Your basic rotation will change, particularly in 1 v 1s depending on what class you are fighting. You will learn a hard lesson very quickly against skilled opponents if you think you are going to blow them up in 4 global cooldowns (GCD's).

Versus Juggernauts/Guardians - They have an ability which reflects direct damage attacks (periodic damage and AoE damage is not reflected). Using Thermal Detonator on them before they have used reflect is asking for it to blow up in your face. Use your normal rotation without TD and Shoulder Cannons until after they use reflect. If you go balls to the wall as soon as you see them you will kill yourself. As soon as the Jugg/Guard hits reflect you can throw Explosive Dart and TD on them (It will blow up after reflect finishes).

Versus Assassins/Shadows - If you TD them before they use their immune to tech/force damage ability they will just activate it to negate the TD. Also this wipes all DoTs. So IM and TD are low priority at the start of the fight and probably a waste of a GCD. Try to activate your CGC and then move back to 10 meters and kite with Railshot and Flame Burst until they use their cooldown. When they use their immunity to tech/force damage cooldown you are still able to activate CGC with white damage attacks and Railshot them through their cooldown.

Versus Imperial Agents/Smugglers- They wipe all DoTs with evasion. Just be aware. I still DoT them up straight away and make them blow a cooldown. Also Snipers/Gunslingers can "roll" your TD. That is, they roll as it is about to explode to make them resist it. Best to stun them after using TD or using TD after they roll.

Versus Sorcs/Sages - Don't waste all your offensive cooldowns on these guys because they are squishy. Wait until they have used Force Barrier and then blow them up.

Of course, 50% of people who play this game are bad and 50% are good. Not every player is going to play the opposing class like a pro and you can forget a lot of what was just mentioned if you are casual - just wanted to let you know why you can't kill those good players sometimes!

How to do Maximum Burst


Incendiary Missile, Thermal Detonator, (use Explosive Fuel here and begin using shoulder cannons) Explosive Dart, Railshot, Rocket Punch, Railshot. All the damage will hit the target when you use your first Railshot and people can be dead by the second Railshot if you get some nice crits. Can totally destroy someone before a healer even know what has happened.

Flamethrower? Plain and simple. Unless you know what you are doing. DO NOT use this when you are playing Pyrotech. Waste of heat and GCDs (I almost always regret using this in Pyro even when I do it when 5 people are stacked up).

Kiting


Do not stand within 4 meters unless you are going to rocket punch. Flame Burst has a 40% slow attached to it and can be used to kite targets from 10 meters while utilizing Hydraulic Override. Pyro is one spec you NEVER backpedal with under any circumstance (WATCH MY VIDEO to see how I move and kite to minimize melee damage- you should never be stationary unless you get Electronetted, controlled or channeling Death from Above!
Grapple - If your taunts are on cooldown use grapple to pull an enemy away from a friendly being focused (see my AP guide for more tips on generic Powertech abilities: http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=679488).

Using your Cooldowns in Pyrotech - How to Cycle


In Pyro you "cycle" your cooldowns. All good players do this. Using Energy Shield, Adrenal, Chaff Flare, and Hydraulic Override all at once is beyond stupid if you are on a reasonable health!
Order priority for using defensive cooldowns - Try not to let these overlap unless you are in deep trouble and getting a lot of focus. Adrenal at the same time of Energy Shield is a NEVER in a group fight when you have an active healer.
First - Chaff Flare, Hydraulic Override and Carbonize (Low cooldowns)
Second - Energy Shield
Third -Adrenal
Fourth - Kolto Overload
Fifth - Medpac - Even though this is a 90 cooldown it should be used last if you have an active healer. In a 1 v 1 situation it does not matter when you use this. However if Kolto Overload activates DO NOT USE YOUR MEDPAC in 99.9% of cases.

Chaff Flare - This ability gives you 25% defense chance for 6 seconds. This means you can dodge any attack in the game (e.g., Smash/Force Sweep, Heat Seekers, Maul, Ambush etc). For example, if a sniper is casting Ambush at you and you activate Chaff Flare you will have approx 33% chance of dodging it (25 + 5 [base dodge] + 3 [negative accuracy]. This is your first line of defense because it has such a low cooldown (45 seconds). Try to wait the entire 6 seconds before using another cooldown.
Hydraulic Override - Also a first line of defense because of its low 30 second cooldown. You can kite melee DPS and reduce their damage considerably. This in conjunction with Flame Burst having a 40% slow should give you some breathing room for 6 seconds.
Energy Shield - Use sparingly because of such a long cooldown (120 seconds). If you activate this in Pyro then get in someone's face. Every time they damage you 700 damage is reflected back to them. If someone attacks you 10 times in 15 seconds that is 7k damage reflected back to them.
Kolto Overload - Use this whenever you get low. If you constantly get attacked it will refresh. If you have an adrenal/shield running with Kolto it is basically god mode although this is completely unnecessary because it already has 30% damage reduction over its duration. You don't need to retreat if one person is targeting you when Kolto is active. You can stand there and go toe to toe because you would have to be genuinely unlucky to get killed through Kolto Overload in Pyro spec. On a side note, I have never been killed through Kolto Overload while playing Pyro in ranked but have been killed numerous times through Kolto Overload in ranked while playing AP (albeit rare). This is an extremely strong cooldown for Pyrotechs which is often available for use because of the "Automated Defenses" talent.
Adrenal: 15% damage reduction is significant and this should be utilized! This is a last resort though because of the 180 second cooldown. Use your defensive abilities with lower cooldowns first and then work your way into your longer cooldown abilities as you need them. As mentioned. This is what ALL good players do. Cycle your cooldowns!

Offensives


Try to use explosive fuel and shoulder cannons together for maximal impact. If you are going to use explosive fuel you should get at least 3 Railshots in and potentially 4. DO NOT use Explosive Fuel if you are starting to overheat or have Railshot on cooldown. Use the rotation I outlined earlier and activate explosive fuel just before TD explodes. This will give you more GCDs to utilize your explosive fuel. Don't waste Explosive Fuel/Shoulder Cannons/TD on targets who can negate all your damage. This is what separates good Pyrotechs from bad ones!

Using your stuns in Pyro


Because Pyro is so called "Squishy" you have to be a little bit more tactful with your AoE stun. I use this stun defensively 75% of the time to interrupt casts/Ravage etc. It has a short cooldown for a stun (45 seconds) and should be used defensively before Electrodart. In a match you should try and have one stun off cooldown so you can stop things like a Carnage Marauder's Gore window/Ravage on you. This is called cycling your stuns and it is something I do particularly poorly :-P but hey we are all still learning!
DO NOT stun AP PT/Tactics Vanguard or Madness Sorc/Balance Sage when bursting them. Just gives them free 30% damage reduction and good players will eat the burst in the stun.

Pyrotech Heat Management:

As with any Bounty Hunter try not to go over 40 heat and make sure one of your DoTs is on a target before you Railshot. This allows your Railshot to vent 8 heat every 6 or so seconds. Pyro heat management is somewhat based on chance because you need to reset your Railshot to vent heat but you only have a 45% chance to reset it with flame burst and a 60% chance to reset it with rocket punch. Every time you rail shot your aim should be to Railshot again AS SOON AS POSSIBLE by using #1 Rocket Punch and #2 Flame Burst. Please note Railshot can only reset once every 6 seconds so using Rocket Punch straight after a reset is not smart. Further, because the heat management is based on chance you will not vent 6 heat and get a free Railshot every 6 seconds. And thus, you need to be liberal with your heat management. The saving grace of Pyro is that it seems it is somewhat "expected" that you overheat with a reduced cooldown on Thermal Sensor Override and Vent Heat by 30 seconds. Further, you can Spec into "Gyroscopic Alignment Jets" which vents 8 heat every time someone stuns, immobilizes, knocks you down, or incapacitates (e.g., jugg force push, creeping terror etc). This ability, along with proactive use of Thermal Sensor Override and emergency Vent Heat situations should allow you to cope with heat issues.
Use Thermal Sensor Override on high heat abilities such as Death from Above or Missile Blast (if you use it to stop caps), and Flamethrower or Flame Sweep to stop spam caps. However, you should only use this to stop you going over 40 heat. There is no need to use Thermal Sensor Override for Death from Above if you are sitting on next to zero heat - it is simply wasting it. NEVER EVER use Thermal Sensor Override before Railshot. This is because Prototype Particle Accelerator and Superheated Rail actually make Railshot free AND vent 8 heat (thus venting 24 heat in reality every time you Rail Shot). Thermal Sensor Override is consumed even if Prototype Particle Accelerator is active and in turn wastes it. Pyro heat management is dependent on discipline and your rotation and ability to pay attention to refreshing Railshot.

Burnout


If you are planning on focusing a target make sure your DoTs are on them. The burnout skills gives your dots an extra 30% damage on targets less than 30% health. Thus if you get a target low you want them to be eating an extra 30% damage from your DoT ticks.
Why don't you take volatile Igniter?
Because that is fluff damage (meaningless damage). It will just give you numbers on a scoreboard and overheat you. Waste of time.

Using your CC breaker in Pyro and Stealth Scan.


Be diligent with your use of "Determination" AKA as your "Crowd Control" (CC) Breaker. Pyro can easily be stun locked into death and you take the same damage in stuns as you do out of stuns (unlike AP). Save your CC breaker until you are getting focused when you are stunned and need to use cooldowns or you will die. Please do not ever use your CC breaker to break a root, slow etc. ONLY ON STUNS to protect yourself or 6/8 second mezzes (break on damage incapacitation) to kill a low opponent/stop a cap etc.
Stealth scan - A lot of people misuse this ability by using it in hope if they have seen a stealth within the last minute somewhere nearby. Save your stealth scan until someone vanishes and use it to detect them in a reasonable guess of where they went (please see my "How to fight healers and stealth tutorial" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Yjx0...2A&app=desktop). It is so rare that someone turns around and kills you after you catch them with stealth scan as opposed to them hitting you from stealth twice!

Close and Personal?

This is a Powertech ability that many people are not aware of. Every 3 seconds when you take AoE damage you vent 2 heat and heal for 2.5% of your health. Why am I telling you this? Because people panic when they see they just got smashed for 8K. Even though Pyro has no AoE damage protection it still heals upon damage taken. Let's say you have 3.2k health that means you will heal yourself for 800 every time you get smashed giving you an AoE reduction of approximately 10%. Don't panic too much against smash 1 v 1. You can probably win!

If my guides/tutorials/compilations have helped you and you want to say thanks please subscribe to my YouTube channel (Kooziejr) and I will make more videos as requested.

Koozie.
Koozie
/creampie

Megatfx's Avatar


Megatfx
11.29.2013 , 01:24 PM | #2
4/6/36 - Same build I use except I go 3/3 Steely Resolve. I have over 3000 aim so that's 90 extra aim that I get from the talent that works on all of my abilities.

Railshot crit will give you an extra total of 273 extra damage from a 7k crit, and like 90 extra damage on a 3000 hit. (7000 * 0.03 = 210 * 1.30 = 273).

Is that really better? 90 aim (dots, td, ed, all shots, fb, rp etc.) versus extra 230-270 damage on a crit or 70-90 damage on a hit on Railshot alone?

Maybe someone can enlighten me, is that really better than 3% aim?

Also on my PT gearing I run 3 crit pieces, my earpiece, and implants, that nets me a total of 29% tech crit on TD, Rocket Punch and Explosive dart (35% on fire abilities/dots), 22-23% on ranged, rapid shots, unload (47-48% on railshot).

PS: Good guide btw read the entire thing. AP gets the Close and Personal talent as well so they get the same benefit from AoE attacks.

Kooziejr's Avatar


Kooziejr
11.29.2013 , 06:14 PM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by Megatfx View Post
4/6/36 - Same build I use except I go 3/3 Steely Resolve. I have over 3000 aim so that's 90 extra aim that I get from the talent that works on all of my abilities.

Railshot crit will give you an extra total of 273 extra damage from a 7k crit, and like 90 extra damage on a 3000 hit. (7000 * 0.03 = 210 * 1.30 = 273).

Is that really better? 90 aim (dots, td, ed, all shots, fb, rp etc.) versus extra 230-270 damage on a crit or 70-90 damage on a hit on Railshot alone?

Maybe someone can enlighten me, is that really better than 3% aim?

Also on my PT gearing I run 3 crit pieces, my earpiece, and implants, that nets me a total of 29% tech crit on TD, Rocket Punch and Explosive dart (35% on fire abilities/dots), 22-23% on ranged, rapid shots, unload (47-48% on railshot).

PS: Good guide btw read the entire thing. AP gets the Close and Personal talent as well so they get the same benefit from AoE attacks.
Yup the close and personal talent is universal to all powertechs. It also gives them and extra 3 seconds on energy shield over Mercs :P

Yeah I asked myself the same question.is 3% on railshot truly better than extra aim for all abilities? We run the same amount of crit by the sounds of it and that gives you a railshot crit chance of close to 38% (set bonus included). I based my decision on the rationalization that it gives greater burst potential and it is the primary ability that will be used on average I would say once every 7.5 seconds. That comes to every 5 GCDs. So can the extra aim really give you more damage than that? I concluded no but would be interested what a maths freak can figure out :P
Koozie
/creampie

ChaoticDynamite's Avatar


ChaoticDynamite
11.29.2013 , 11:53 PM | #4
Just what I was looking for appreciate it Koozie.
If theres one thing SWTOR taught me about PvP is don't hope don't ever hope just start building up your tolerance level.

Megatfx's Avatar


Megatfx
11.30.2013 , 08:07 PM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by Kooziejr View Post
Yup the close and personal talent is universal to all powertechs. It also gives them and extra 3 seconds on energy shield over Mercs :P

Yeah I asked myself the same question.is 3% on railshot truly better than extra aim for all abilities? We run the same amount of crit by the sounds of it and that gives you a railshot crit chance of close to 38% (set bonus included). I based my decision on the rationalization that it gives greater burst potential and it is the primary ability that will be used on average I would say once every 7.5 seconds. That comes to every 5 GCDs. So can the extra aim really give you more damage than that? I concluded no but would be interested what a maths freak can figure out :P
Yes I'm waiting on the math freaks as well. I've always been at a tossup between the two, I just pick steely resolve because I like how it makes my bonus damage look and assumed it's better because it's all attacks. When I break it down and realize it's only 90 aim I ask myself how much more damage is 90 aim on each ability per hit. 5? 10? 15? 30? 35? 40 per crit? If so, do I really get enough hits in my rotation to balance the extra damage I get on railshot hits/crits? I'm far too lazy to do the finesse math and I don't do target dummies.

Either way the difference is probably so minimal it's like going strength or power augments for marauders.

Ottoattack's Avatar


Ottoattack
12.01.2013 , 01:24 AM | #6
With 2.5 on the door, the main stats relic is going to provide 625 main stats proc for 6 secs every 20 secs. I am curios for pyro what relics would be BiS. Main stats and power will defiantly be BiS for AP.

Kooziejr's Avatar


Kooziejr
12.01.2013 , 09:41 AM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by Ottoattack View Post
With 2.5 on the door, the main stats relic is going to provide 625 main stats proc for 6 secs every 20 secs. I am curios for pyro, I am curios which relics would be BiS. Main stats and power will defiantly be BiS for AP.
Interesting, I am undecided.
Koozie
/creampie

xYENOOMx's Avatar


xYENOOMx
12.01.2013 , 09:20 PM | #8
So I run 8/7/31. Sort of the old school don't use TD build.
Why is getting TD viable now when I can use those 6 points to make Flame Burst hit for 12% harder, all fire attacks do 6% more and increase AIM by 3% more.

Just for a PvE talent, making our self heal give us defensive bonus (however very miniscule) and TD.

I have tried both builds, I do more overall DMG with the 8/7/31.

Let Me Know

Ottoattack's Avatar


Ottoattack
12.01.2013 , 09:43 PM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by xYENOOMx View Post
So I run 8/7/31. Sort of the old school don't use TD build.
Why is getting TD viable now when I can use those 6 points to make Flame Burst hit for 12% harder, all fire attacks do 6% more and increase AIM by 3% more.

Just for a PvE talent, making our self heal give us defensive bonus (however very miniscule) and TD.

I have tried both builds, I do more overall DMG with the 8/7/31.

Let Me Know
There are many reasons why 8-7-31 is inferior in PvP. TD brings good burst to the table. The damage reduction and CD reduction on kolto overload are significantly important for pyro's survivability. The goal is not to score the highest damage possible, but to be able to focus and down the opposition. The additional fire damage and bonus damage to FB are additional sustained damage that does not help in achieving that goal. Also, unlike PvE, PvP has a lot of down time due to interruptions (CCs, knock backs, etc...). You want to get as much damage as possible in the attacks you land. Passing on a potential 7K attack would not make much sense.

From PvE prescriptive, the highest parsing spec is is 0-22-21.

Megatfx's Avatar


Megatfx
12.02.2013 , 03:40 AM | #10
Without a doubt mainstat + power relic post buff.