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Scoundrel Healing 101

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes
Scoundrel Healing 101

bshenkd's Avatar


bshenkd
12.20.2011 , 08:14 PM | #1
My first attempt at a comprehensive SWTOR guide. Be easy on me

Constantly livestreaming level 50 PVP and PVE healing @ http://www.twitch.tv/aioribfz.

My current healing record: 1,000,995.


Videos

These videos were created when I was first learning the class and I could have definitely played it much better. For more recent scoundrel healing content, make sure to follow my stream on Twitch!

Voidstar #1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlKdLGWFWA4

Alderaan #2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFu6x6z4NDs

Final boss of Eternity Vault - SOA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqMnBW0Qnlo

Voidstar #2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYdho4QiPaY

Huttball #1 (8-man premade!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYDnNRO-CfE

Alderaan #2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9w2NPpxT4fk

Here are also some pictures that display the power of Sawbones healing:

http://i.imgur.com/EvSux.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/ZPuII.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/6duiE.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/hMKxj.jpg

Introduction

First and foremost, Smuggler Scoundrel healing is the most fun healing class I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing! It combines the stealthiness and the energy of a rogue with the healing reminiscent of a Holy Paladin. As long as you manage your energy and cooldowns well, you could be the most versatile healer in the game.

With the patch of 1.2, I believe we're going to be a highly sought after healing class. Before the patch, we were very solid healers able to punch out massive healing numbers in warzones, and in 1.2 we were buffed! Our Upper Hand stacks last longer, we can now have a stack of 3, and Kolto Cloud has been improved tremendously. Along with all of these new changes, our energy regeneration has also gone through the roof with the changes to Diagnostic Scan.

The “Upper Hand”

The Upper Hand gives a 2% damage increase while active and allows you to cast certain abilities. When 3 points are put into Healing Hand, the Upper Hand also increases your healing output by 6%. It can stack twice, but the % healing/damage increase does not stack. IE: 1 stack of UH gives you the same healing bonus as 2 stacks of UH. It’s crucial to keep at least one stack of Upper Hand up at all times to give you that 6% healing increase and, in case of emergencies, allow you to use a faster cast time/instant healing ability such as Kolto Pack or Emergency Medpac.

Abilties

Heals

Diagnostic Scan: Diagnostic Scan is the very first healing ability that you receive. It's a 3 second channeled ability that heals your target for minimal damage. After thoroughly looking through the talent tree, I can see it used as, not a healing ability, but a energy regeneration ability. With talents + stats, it's percentage to crit could be anywhere from 70-90% and with talents, each crit restores 2 energy.
After spending many days as a PVE and PVP healer at level 50, I have concluded that Diagnostic Scan is indeed a very good ability. In situations where Cool Head is down and you need to regen a lot of energy, it helps tremendously. It's also a great interrupt bait in PVP.

After 1.2, Diagnostic Scan is even more valuable! With the amount of alacrity that I currently have, my diagnostic scan channel time is 1.8 seconds. If each tick crits, I can receive an extra 6 energy over 1.8 seconds. Extremely solid ability in 1.2.
Underworld Medicine: This is your “bread and butter” healing ability. When 2 points are put into Exploratory Surgery, it causes your UWM to grant you the “Upper Hand”. With a hefty price of 25 energy per cast, spamming this ability should only happen if you need to do some burst healing and if Cool Head is off of cooldown.

Slow-release Medpac: SRMP is your first single-target Healing-Over-Time (HoT) spell that you receive in the game. It stacks twice for double the healing which is a good and bad thing. It’s bad in that it requires you to use it twice in order to get the full effect out of the ability, but it’s good because after you get two stacks of SRMP rolling, you only need to use the ability once more in order to refresh it.

Triage: Triage is your only dispell ability and it's on a 5-second cooldown. It's used to remove many harmful debuffs, such as DoTs and many mezzes (when talented). It's only a pretty decent instant cast heal (when talented) if you're on the run. Very useful and should be used religiously.

Kolto Pack: KP is the first Upper Hand exploitable healing ability that you receive. It has a 1.5 second cast time and a heal size that’s comparable to Underworld Medicine, but it slightly less. It costs 20 energy and can also eat away at your energy supply. I only use this ability when I'm being focused/interrupted. It makes good interrupt bait, but also heals for a fairly decent amount if it's not interrupted.

Emergency Medpac: This ability is pretty much an instant cast version of Kolto Pack. It does a slightly less amount of healing, but with no cast time and no energy cost. It consumes one stack of the Upper Hand.

Kolto Cloud: KC is the smuggler’s one and only AOE heal ability. It’s a HoT ability and only heals up to 4 members contained within the AOE. KC does not require nor consume a stack of the Upper Hand, but does have a 30 (26 when talented, 22 with the 2pc PVE set bonus) energy cost and has a 15 second cooldown. Although I advised using this pre-patch 1.2, it's even better after 1.2. It now does 10% more healing in half of the duration. Very solid AOE healing ability.

Cooldowns

Pugnacity: This ability consumes one stack of the Upper Hand and gives you an extra 3 energy every 3 seconds for 45 seconds. This is an ability you must have up 24/7.

Cool Head: On a 2 minute cooldown with no energy cost, Cool Head restores 50 energy over 3 seconds (66 energy if talented).

Defensives

Defense Screen: On a 45 second cooldown that costs no energy and can last up to 15 seconds. If you're being focused, it will only have an uptime for 2 or 3 seconds, so I advise against the "Med Screen" talent points in our talent tree.

Dodge: Dodge is the best defensive cooldown that a scoundrel healer has. When used, you are completely immune to all white damage and all negative effects are removed. Very useful for clearing dots before vanishing, or completely avoiding a full Ravage/Master Strike or Ambush/Aimed Shot. On a 1 min CD.

Warzone Adrenal: Purchased from the PVP vendor, this adrenal reduces damage taken by 15% for 15 seconds while in warzones. Extremely useful.

Surrender: Classic ability that lowers aggro while healing. Pop it when you start to direct attention to yourself in PVE.

Skills & Stat Priority

My current skill tree
http://www.torhead.com/skill-calc#701MffrzGoRzsZ0cZGb.2

The link listed above is my preferred talent tree. I put 3 points into No Holds Barred because our healing is considered tech, so increasing the tech critical chance is a must. Also as a scoundrel healer, I find myself CC’ing much more often than I did in other MMOs. Because of this, I put two points into Black Market Mods to give me access to Dirty Escape which reduces my cooldown on Dirty Kick by 15 seconds (also very good for kiting). After much thought, I also decided to take both points out of Med Screen and put them into Scar Tissue. the flat 4% damage reduction greatly outweighs the extra healing from Med Screen because Defensive Screen is only active for 2-3 seconds before it's used up and the buff is gone, making Med Screen pretty much useless.

As far as stat priority goes, here’s what I have come up with:
Cunning > Surge (to ~75%) > Crit (~35%) > Power > Alacrity

Strategy

Always try to keep your energy level above 60%. If your energy level is above that, you’ll gain the full amount of 5 energy per second (6 energy per second if Pugnacity is up). The less energy you have, the slower the energy regeneration is. The energy regen goes like this:
  • > 60%: 5 EPS
  • 60% > x > 20%: 3 EPS
  • < 20%: 2 EPS

If you ever find yourself around 20-30%, you might as well drop yourself all the way down to zero and pop Cool Head. You’ll get the most out of this very important cooldown this way. The same can be done if burst healing is needed.

A great way to prep for a fight is to put stacks of SRMP on most of your teammates (like how sages do with their bubbles) to help mitigate early fight damage and build Upper Hand stacks at spawn and during the beginning of the fight.

Single-target Healing

The way I start off my single target healing goes something like this:
  • Cast Underworld Medicine * 3 to get 3 stacks of the Upper Hand.
  • Cast Pugnacity (I now have 2 stacks of UH left)
  • Cast Slow-release Medpac * 2.
  • Cast Underworld Medicine once more (if SRMP hasn’t procced an Upper Hand by now, I now have 3 stacks of Upper Hand)
  • Switch between UW, KP, and EMP depending on the situation. Never let SRMP lose its two stacks. It’ll cost you an extra 15 energy.

Multi-target Healing
  • Once again, get three stacks of Upper Hand with UW and cast Pugnacity.
  • From there you can keep everyone topped off with SRMP HoTs. Note: You don’t have to give everyone two stacks. The only people that should be getting two stacks are the tanks and the people who are taking most of the aggro away from the tanks.
  • Use UW/KP/EMP if needed. Also, if everyone needs to be healed, let your group know to gather up so you can toss your Kolto Cloud.

Cover

Since I first wrote this article way back when, I've learned a lot about the class and I learn more and more every day. One of my favorite discoveries over the past few months was that scoundrels can also benefit greatly from cover, just like gunslingers can. Just because we don't have portable cover like Gunslingers doesn't mean we can't get in position right where we are! We don't get the added benefits of being in cover that way, but Knights and Warriors can no longer charge us! You don't have to be in natural cover for this to work, just keybind "Take Cover" in your preferences and press it whenever you're in the fight and you'll be surprised how little Knights and Warriors will try to switch to you! If you do happen to find some pretty nice natural cover that puts you in good position and allows you to LOS (Line of Sight) ranged DPS, get in it! At that point, you also get the added bonuses of being in cover (higher chance of dodging, etc). Don't be afraid to get up and move around though, we're the most mobile healer in the game for a reason! Cover is a really nice addition to the class and is becoming more and more crucial as you get into higher rated ranked warzones.

Conclusion

I'd like to personally thank all of you guys for contributing as much as you have to this guide and improving its quality! This is as much of a learning experience for me as it is for you, so if you have any suggestions on how I could improve my healing (along with everyone elses) - feel free to post your opinions! I'm sure everyone, including myself, would love to know how you approach this awesome healing class and how you make it your own.

- Aiori <3

Changelog

Code:
2/19/12: Updated guide & created Operative version
4/13/12: Updated for 1.2
1/7/13: Made some changes, additions, fixed talent tree link, corrected typos, added in "Cover" section, etc
Aiori on Prophecy of the Five - <Hostile Takeover>
Sawbones Scoundrel Healer
Read my guide on Sawbones healing
here!

Kukura's Avatar


Kukura
12.21.2011 , 05:58 AM | #2
Thanks B


/bump!

Let's try to get this stickied
If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.

Deadums's Avatar


Deadums
12.21.2011 , 06:13 AM | #3
I like the guide, good stuff. I have been playing the Imperial Agent, which is the same as this and have found that Diagnostic Scan is useful. From using it all the time I can really see my energy jump up in the three second channel. Considering its crit is upped by 24% by talents, and I have been trying to stack crit (granted I am only level 34) I think this can be a great set of talents end game. It can make sure that you are at max energy all the time, and in the event that you drop a lot and have popped all your CDs, it can definitely add some seriously needed energy regen.

Also I have found that Kolto Pack is kind of useless once you get Emergency Medpac. What do you think?

Maxvla's Avatar


Maxvla
12.21.2011 , 06:33 AM | #4
Except for pure burst, Kolto Pack (or Kolto Infusion) is largely ignored once you get Emergency Medpac (Surgical Probe).

Burst situation, large damage known to be incoming: Time Underworld Medicine to land as the hit is taken, follow with Kolto Pack, then Emergency Medpac. This trio of heals should do at least 50-70% of your tanks health in just over 3.5 seconds and keeps you in good energy range costing only 45 energy while regenerating 30 energy during the 5 seconds of cast/GCD.

Eventually with high end gear we may see Kolto Pack scale better, but the difference is small enough that Emergency Medpac may replace it entirely forever.

Maxvla's Avatar


Maxvla
12.21.2011 , 06:42 AM | #5
@OP

I agree with not putting 2 stacks of SRM on everyone right away, but it should be done if they start taking damage or as the first stack is about to fall. Once everyone is at 2 stacks you are essentially getting a free stack (only 4 casts instead of 8) across the entire group. There is enough energy and time to keep 4 casts of SRM and still put significant direct heals into the tank.

puddingpop's Avatar


puddingpop
12.21.2011 , 07:40 AM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by Deadums View Post
I like the guide, good stuff. I have been playing the Imperial Agent, which is the same as this and have found that Diagnostic Scan is useful. From using it all the time I can really see my energy jump up in the three second channel. Considering its crit is upped by 24% by talents...
Quote: Originally Posted by Deadums View Post
...It can make sure that you are at max energy all the time, and in the event that you drop a lot and have popped all your CDs, it can definitely add some seriously needed energy regen.

Also I have found that Kolto Pack is kind of useless once you get Emergency Medpac. What do you think?
This is 100% true.

Diagnostic Scan is an energy regen ability with no cool down and a small heal to boot. Weaving this into your healing will make keeping your energy over the 60 mark much easier.

bshenkd's Avatar


bshenkd
12.24.2011 , 11:13 AM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by Deadums View Post
I like the guide, good stuff. I have been playing the Imperial Agent, which is the same as this and have found that Diagnostic Scan is useful. From using it all the time I can really see my energy jump up in the three second channel. Considering its crit is upped by 24% by talents, and I have been trying to stack crit (granted I am only level 34) I think this can be a great set of talents end game. It can make sure that you are at max energy all the time, and in the event that you drop a lot and have popped all your CDs, it can definitely add some seriously needed energy regen.

Also I have found that Kolto Pack is kind of useless once you get Emergency Medpac. What do you think?
I agree to an extent. Emergency Medpac replaced Kolto Pack on my rotation, but I still use it when people need burst healing. The only time I use a UW/KP combo is when someone of high importance (ala the tank or ball carrier in Huttball) is being nuked and I have cool head popped, because UW/KP will murder your energy supply.

But yeah, for the most part Emergency Medpac does replace Kolto Pack in most situations.
Aiori on Prophecy of the Five - <Hostile Takeover>
Sawbones Scoundrel Healer
Read my guide on Sawbones healing
here!

Shroudveil's Avatar


Shroudveil
12.26.2011 , 07:32 PM | #8
i used to hate DS too, but now i am trying a full crit build and seeing ~2/3ticks crit gives great energy regen. i still only use it in normal rotations about 1/20-30sec, but it allows me to either burst heal more casually or even dps a bit while healing since it can be used as a good way to regain energy when you go below 60%.

when you are more than 60%it is not that great, adding about 1.3energy/sec regen (for me at least), but seeing that when you are below 60% or even worse below 20%that is almost 30-50% (depending on stage) more regen, while doing some bits of healing in the side.

as far as kolto pack, i find it amazingly useful for pvp where i need to save someone, in instances i use it sparignly too if i see the tank droping lower than 50% but higher than 30%

bshenkd's Avatar


bshenkd
12.28.2011 , 04:32 AM | #9
Just uploaded a video of my guild in a voidstar match. Hopefully this'll give you guys a feel of how I utilize my spec without the use of Diagnostic Scan.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlKdLGWFWA4
Aiori on Prophecy of the Five - <Hostile Takeover>
Sawbones Scoundrel Healer
Read my guide on Sawbones healing
here!

Deadums's Avatar


Deadums
12.28.2011 , 01:39 PM | #10
Quote: Originally Posted by bshenkd View Post
Just uploaded a video of my guild in a voidstar match. Hopefully this'll give you guys a feel of how I utilize my spec without the use of Diagnostic Scan.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlKdLGWFWA4

Yes, I would have to agree that in PvP diagnostic scan is not useful, but in a PvE raid environment, it is going to be awesome because of the regen mentioned above.