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Arsenal Merc RWZ Utilities

mentalmackem's Avatar

08.05.2018 , 06:26 PM | #1

What Utilities do people run with for ranked pvp these days?
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Yavin 4 is a MOON

PhatMcMuffins's Avatar

08.07.2018 , 11:43 AM | #2
Tier 1: Vent heat when stunned, lower cd on vent heat, lower cd on cc break
tier 2: longer hydraulic overrides
tier 3: double power surge, heal after shield goes down (you could take the lower cd on shield when taking damage instead of double power surge)
tier 4: better kolto overload, supercharged gas buff (could take moving unload instead of supercharge gas buff)

This is what i like. I run it for heals or dps in arenas
<Occasional Crops>
Qarum - Alan Rails - Dazkkum - Fake Doors - Eight-six

Hoppinswtor's Avatar

08.12.2018 , 01:44 AM | #3
There's really no magic answer. Mercs have a lot of good utilities, to be honest, and you'll be switching them up based on (1) your playstyle, and (2) the type of matches you're encountering. It's also spec-dependent.

Tier 1: A surprisingly strong tier for damage farmers and for people who can kite.

Afterburners: 10/10. This utility is one of the best in the entire game and is almost mandatory; it turns Missile Blast into of the best roots in the game, and the extended knockback it provides to Jet Boost is so important for both kiting and peeling.

Jet Escape: 8/10. It has amazing synergy with Afterburners by reducing the cooldown on Jet Boost.
It also lowers the cooldown on both your CC Breaker and Rocket Out, which will aid you immensely when tunneled. All in all, a really good value for tier one.

Improved Vents: 7/10. Arsenal's heat management is a little tougher these days, making this ability quite useful in a pinch; the alacrity bonus to Vent Heat gives you a mini-Polarity Shift to help punch up your burst window. IO/Bodyguard are also very resource-intensive and can put this utility to great use. (Honestly, I feel this utility's potential is underused as a weak tier one utility; it should be buffed to a 20-heat venting/20 percent alac bonus, moved up a tier, and swapped with hydraulic CD reduction.)

Boresights: 6/10. This utility is not necessary for solos unless you're getting a ton of cleave-heavy matches. I only use it for number farming in regs (or pve) or if for some reason I'm running with a pressure comp in 4's; there are more important utilities to take.

Gyroscopic Alignment Jets: 5.5/10. It's actually pretty useful if you tend to get stunned a lot, mainly due to the heat refund. But mercs this patch are more likely to either get straight tunneled or mezed out, limiting the usefulness of this utility. It's superior to other utilities in the tier if (and only if) you're getting hit with random hardstuns and unfocused attention; in other words, it's only useful against bads.

Adhesive Supplements: 5/10. It's a mediocre utility because all three specs have a ton of passive snares. It's most useful as a healer because of the AoE nature of Kolto Residue and its snare.

Tier 2: The weakest tier of the four, and one of the weakest tiers in the entire game.

Pyro Shield: 9/10. Easily the best utility in the 2nd tier, mainly because of its synergy with the other Energy Shield utilities. When paired with Energy Rebounder, Pyro Shield can easily add close to 1000 dps to a merc that's being tunneled steadily. This is almost mandatory; you really should only be taking one utility in this tier, and the only reason I'd take Power Barrier over this is if I wanted to be extremely tanky.

Power Barrier: 6/10. 5 percent DR is reasonable, but you have to earn it by casting. It's not too useful for IO because Power Shot isn't used as frequently as Tracer Missile in PVP. You won't find much use out of this ability if you're kiting a bunch, but it's still better than most of the crap in this tier. Take it if you're playing Arsenal and want to be a little tankier. I usually just skip this utility and take three utilities in tier 1 + Pyro Shield.

Torque Boosters: 6/10. This used to be an amazing utility when Hydraulic Overrides was a 30-second cooldown; however, the lengthened cooldown on Hydraulics, combined with the inclusion of Rocket Out and other amazing DCDs, this utility is nowhere near as useful as it was in the old days. Only take it if you're facing a ton of melee and really want a small boost to your kiting.

Threat Sensors: 4/10. The 3 percent increase to melee and ranged defenses is worse than it sounds. It's bugged! You're not gonna go from a 5 percent to 8 percent dodge chance. You're gonna go from 5 to 5.15 percent. Yes, I tested it. Yes, it's complete trash. The dot damage reduction is the only good part of this utility, but it requires you to burn your cleanse and waste a GCD. As a healer, this ability is almost as lame as Galvanizing Cleanse; wasting your cleanse can be devastating if, for instance, your tank gets mezed during a hardswap, or your dps gets mezed as they are about to get a kill. As a DPS it's less of an issue, and it's actually quite good in duels against dot specs (or in matches against a ton of dot specs). However, most people play burst specs in solos, not dots. This utility would be far better in a dot-filled meta (e.g. late 2.0/3.0). In this meta? Naaaah. There are far too many better options except in all but the most particular of situations. (This utility would be better if fixed, but I digress.....)

Supercharge Reserves: 3/10. Bad. 3 seconds is not enough of a cooldown reduction on a 24-second interrupt. Your interrupt is on a long cooldown so you'd only get like one or two extra interrupts in a round. The reduction should be 8 seconds and there should be a perk to replace the auto-stacks (e.g. extend duration of supercharge by 2 seconds or something).

Heat Damping: 2/10. Bad. There should be another perk to this utility (e.g. Power Surge and Thermal Sensor override each vent 5 heat or something).
Hoppin, The Cutest Mercenary <Death Smile>
Hoppinator (Merc), Hoppin (Sorc), Hopposites (Mara),
Hoptimal (Sin), Hopalicious (Jugg), Hopperative (Operative), Hoptimize (PT)

Hoppinswtor's Avatar

08.12.2018 , 02:45 AM | #4
Tier 3: A ridiculously strong tier with some serious opportunity costs.

Energy Rebounder: 10/10. One of the best utilities in the game! It will ultimately reduce the cooldown of energy shield by more than half if you are being tunneled.There is not a single situation that will require you to forego this utility. So many great utilities are tied to Energy Shield that you want to make sure you're getting it back as often as possible. As a bonus, you'll passively absorb a bit of damage here and there - always a plus.

Trauma Regulators: 9.5/10. It's been nerfed by almost 50 percent, but it's still a must-have in most pvp situations because of its amazing synergy with another utility on this tier. A 40 percent heal every 45 seconds while being tunneled is nothing to laugh about. The only reason I took a half point off is because you can probably pass it up as a healer, especially since Supercharge Defense in the 4th tier is so useful for heals.

Trauma Regulators is basically Energy Rebounder's twin sister - as a DPS, you need to take both to get the maximum effect. The problem is that there are other great utilities in this tree, so we're gonna have to start making some sacrifices moving forward.

Stabilized Armor: 9/10. As IO and Bodyguard this is virtually mandatory (I'll explain later). As Arsenal you can make a case for another utility in the 4th tier. Stun damage reduction on a tanky ranged class is some serious icing on the cake. This is particularly useful if you are getting tunneled heavily - the problem is that stunlocking a merc upfront isn't necessarily the best strategy because there are far squishier classes. Still, if you're low on dcds and you find yourself in a bind, the stun damage reduction can save your ***. It might make players think twice before stunning you during a hardswap. Take this if you are being tunneled a lot or if you want to be as tanky as possible. As Arsenal, you can take something else if you're a great kiter and/or being left alone or mezed out, but note that your awareness and breaker management have to be on point if you're going to skip this one. Savvy opponents might start tunneling you if they don't see the Stabilized Armor buff on your bar when you're stunned.

Power Shield:
8.5/10. It's almost mandatory for Bodyguard spec due to the healing boost, interrupt immunity, and amazing synergy with the other Energy Shield utilities. It's skippable as Arsenal, to be honest: (1) there's a great utility in the 4th tier that should be taken, (2) you already get the Blowback passive in the Arsenal tree, and (3) you can proc Barrage with Sweeping Blasters if your Tracers get interrupted. IO has less interrupt protection, so you can make a slight case for taking this utility as IO if you feel you don't need Kolto Surge.

Power Overrides: 6/10. The cooldown reductions on your mez and power surge aren't too shabby; the two abilities should be paired together anyway, and getting out an extra mez before dying could salvage a round, but think about what you'd have to give up to take this. And getting a second instant every 40ish seconds isn't really that amazing, to be honest; rapid shots hit roughly half as hard as any cast in both Arsenal and IO, and your instant missile blast root hits fairly hard and makes a great filler while kiting. Plus, both specs already have procs that make their most important casts instant. You already get a single charge for Power Surge every 50ish seconds by default, which lines up perfectly with your mez already. The problem is that this utility, while fairly useful, is in a very congested tier and really should be one tier lower. In most situations, this utility just isn't worth the opportunity cost.

Jet Rebounder: 5/10. Not that amazing, especially in this tier. It should be moved to a lower tier. I'd mess around with it if it was added to the 2nd tier - having a knockback every 11 or 12 seconds sounds fun.

4th Tier: Lots of teases that aren't worth the cost.

Kolto Surge: 9/10. This is basically enraged defense for mercs. If players tunnel through this utility, will allow Kolto Overload to heal me for 150-190k over 10 seconds. Pop medpac afterward and you'll be at full health for probably the 3rd time in the round. That is, frankly, a tide turner if used properly (e.g. not overlapped with other dcds if it can be helped). Some people see this as a cheesy panic button due to the long duration of kolto overload's cooldown (3 minutes), and as Bodyguard spec I'd probably pass on it in favor of Power Shield or Stabilized Armor, but for dps it's one of the most broken utilities in the game from a "panic button" perspective. I took a point off because Kolto Overload does have a fairly long cooldown. Savvy players will switch off when they see this popped; if you notice that happening consistently, you may want to consider Supercharge Defense in this tier instead.

Thrill of the Hunt: 9/10. This is almost a must-have for Arsenal because it has the potential for nearly 30 percent uptime; blazing bolts is a 3-second cast every 8-9 seconds. I recommend it unless you're using a very tanky build and know how to play Arsenal like a turret. This is the utility you sacrifice if you want to take Stabilized Armor. It's really up to your playstyle; if you can kite really well, this utility will help your team out with extra damage while you're trying to stay alive or chasing a target behind LOS. Plus, blazing bolts snares your enemy: kite away while using this and you can re-establish range fairly quickly. As IO it's less necessary because unload has a fairly lengthy cooldown. As bodyguard it's pretty good, but there are 4 utilities worth taking in tier 3 as heal spec (and one in th)s tier) so this can be sacrificed.

Supercharged Defense: 9/10. This is a fantastic utility in a fairly crowded field. Extra defense chance + interrupt immunity with roughly 25 percent uptime? Healing and endurance buffs? Nothing to slouch at. The problem is what you'd have to give up in return. The only time I'd take it would be as Bodyguard spec, and I would probably sacrifice Trauma Regulators for it (the passive heal is least necessary as a healer). It's a tough call to make. As DPS, I feel Kolto Surge is superior in most solo situations due to its sheer power. And I'd probably take it over Thrill of the Hunt if I wasn't such a kiter. If you're in a lot of healer/tank matches, or doing group ranked, it might be worth taking this over Kolto Surge: you'll be easier to heal and harder to shut down.

Just remember that Blowback is a thing for arsenal, so extra interrupt immunity isn't quite the gamechanger for that spec - most of your blazing bolts will be uninterruptible, even if you're getting shut down, and you can proc your next blazing bolts with sweeping blasters if tracer is interrupted.

None of the other utilities in this tier are worth taking in pvp. You might wanna mess around with Smoke Screen in duels, but that's it. Tag and Bag is good for dps in pve, but in pvp it's useless as it will only lower your cooldown on kolto overload by 20-30 seconds max. You'll still only get a couple in a round. Battlefield Protocols should be moved to tier 2 and the initial stack should be a 30 percent damage increase instead of 20 percent. It would create an interesting situation where I might drop a stealth scan before an autocrit HSM for a juicy 40k hit. Oh well, a guy can dream.
Hoppin, The Cutest Mercenary <Death Smile>
Hoppinator (Merc), Hoppin (Sorc), Hopposites (Mara),
Hoptimal (Sin), Hopalicious (Jugg), Hopperative (Operative), Hoptimize (PT)