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Scoundrel's Underworld Guide to PVP Healing

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes > Scoundrel / Operative
Scoundrel's Underworld Guide to PVP Healing

Omeleet's Avatar


Omeleet
02.11.2012 , 06:40 AM | #1
NOTICE: The OP is updated, additions/changes are italicized for easy reading.
3/17/2012 - Updated with theory craft for 1.2. Reevaluated the War Vet build for team play in 1.2.
3/7/2012 - Removed a portion about DoTing people to prevent caps for patch 1.1.5.
2/27/2012 - Added tip about in combat Tranquilizing in sedatives, Table of Contents, and second gearing strategy.
2/25/2012 - Expanded on positioning in the General Gameplay Tips.

Preface: I have done a lot healing in various mmos, I have found that Scoundrels/Ops have one of the strangest healing mechanics to date. Their toolkit is very limited but has hidden strengths provided you can manage them. I do not believe that the Scoundrel outclasses any other healer in pvp, but at times they can rival them if played correctly, provided your team gives you the necessary cover you need to operate unhindered. We have a very large ramp-up time, however our strength lies in our ability to keep people up endlessly should they fall to low amounts of health. Our weakness is triage. It is our job to never let people get that low in the first place. I will be outlining a number of specs that while similar looking have different end games in mind, their methodology will be laid out and I will give you optional talents to choose at your discretion, recommending those that have good synergy.

Table of Contents:
i. Stat Priority
ii. General Skill Priority
iii. Talent Trees
a. Raid Heals
b. War Vet
c. Pugilist
d. Max Single Target
e. Bleed
f. Flying Fists
iv. Tranq Dart
v. General Gameplay Tips


i. Stat Priority:

Single Healing: Cunning > Endurance > Power > ~300 Crit = ~150Surge > ~300 Alacrity > Accuracy
HoTs are still used in this playstyle as a safeguard, but this gear setup allows you to target low health players and bring them back from death more quickly, it does not sacrifice much in the way of healing done per cast, and gains a lot in healing done per cast time.
I do NOT advise downgrading your enhancements to stack crit/surge.

I have found the crit relic and the forced side Battlemaster items give you roughly the amount of crit and surge you need before it starts experiencing meaningful diminishing returns. Pop your relic for burst heals and stack Power for better heals. Take alacrity on when it is available but don't go out of your way to stack it. I get LoS'd by my own team mates that I am trying to heal all the time in WZ, sometimes shaving a few tenths of a second off the cast time can make or break the heal connecting. Power has the most consistent throughput for healing and as such it should be the stat most sought after for healing, particularly if you rely heavily on HoTing up your team.

All of the set bonuses are negligible now, just avoid Accuracy, and try to keep your Crit in the 300 range and your Surge in the 150 range. The mods for the healing gear are the best as they provide the most meaningful stat gains, Alacrity > Accuracy.

Multi HoT Healing: Cunning > Endurance > Power > ~400 Crit = ~200Surge > ~300 Alacrity > Accuracy
It may be beneficial as a support healer to downgrade to crit/surge mods and ignore alacrity if you are relying mostly on HoTs to heal, alacrity increases your burst single target healing, which can be useful for saving players. This is more for support healing. Ideally you will want another healer with you when you play like this and you will want to be moving with the biggest group in WZ. Most useful with the Raiding Heals spec.

Set bonuses: 2 Piece healer Rakata/Columi (Cheaper Kolto Cloud) and 2 Piece Field Medic (More Potent Kolto Cloud). Get mods from gloves/head on Champion gear, replace alacrity mods.



ii. General Skill Priority:

Keep Pugnacity up.

Try to keep one upperhand (UH) stack up, use only the 2nd stack except for pugnacity/dire heals. Try not to get a 3rd stack if possible, ideally you will be able to maintain 1 and only 1 at all times for emergency heals and the constant bonus to healing. In 1.2 you will be able to have 3 stacks of UH and and they will last 16 seconds.

Keep your HoT, Slow Release Medpac, or SRM for short, rolling on multiple targets, 3 is a good number, including yourself, 4 is manageable. Ideally you want to only apply one stack and refresh to 2 when less than a quarter of the duration is remaining, try not to wait until the last second or you get cc'd and it ruins your first line of defense for your heals. Don't over extend yourself or you will starve on energy. Try to ultimately be rolling two stack SRM on up to 4 players, 3 is a more reasonable number. Melee generally takes the most damage so stacking it on them is the most beneficial. Avoid stacking this on people below 30% health, it won't tick in time.

If there is a big pack of enemies and they drop an AoE on a big pack of allies that are nice and clumped up on each other, drop a kolto cloud. This is your second priority, 2 targets is a neutral cost for the heal compared to SRM (unless it drops you below 60 energy), 3 is good, 4 is awesome.

Triage (our cleanse), only if talented in Psych Meds. It's cheap, instant, heals a minimum of 1k if no heal reduction is applied, and removes negative effects that either 1) modify enemy damage 2) do massive damage over time. Very efficient heal. Keep this on cool down.

Underworld Medicine (UM), is the heal you will be spamming. It gives you upperhand which is what you use to do Emergency Medpac (EMP), Kolto Pack (KP), Pugnacity.

Diagnostic Scan if you have low energy and Jedi Knights/Sith Warriors/Powertechs/Vanguards/Scoundrels/Operatives pressuring you. If they interrupt this, no big, go back to using UM, if they don't, this is a good time to get your energy back if you are missing it. Highly recommended as a filler heal when talented post patch 1.2.

Emergency Medpac (EMP), use this if your target is below 30% health, or you have 2 charges of upperhand. This is best used directly after a UWM for extra healing. It costs no energy and is great on regen.

Kolto Pack (KP), use this on targets above 30% health if you have 2 stacks of upperhand, make sure you have A LOT of energy. Generally not a good heal to rely on, highly situational.

Flash Grenade people attacking others if they don't have a white bar above their head, useful to buy time. Keep in mind people can pop their freedom and break this. Watch out for DoTs on your target.

Dirty Kick same as above, you can do this if there are DoTs present.

AoE people to prevent caps. XS Freighter Flyby/Thermal Grenade/Shrap Bomb are all good choices.

Do damage to score kills, the best defense is a good offense sometimes.


iii. Talent Trees

a. Raid Heals Recommended post 1.2
http://www.torhead.com/skill-calc#701MffrzGoRzsZ0cZGb.1
Everyone has seen this spec before. It is worth noting that if there are no focus targets in a match this spec can pump out significant healing by rolling SRM/Kolto Cloud and using Diagnostic Scan for energy, throwing out UM/KP/EMP where necessary. This works best when you have someone guarding you.

Strengths:
It is optimal for both PVE and PVP healing.
You can use diagnostic scan to get tons of energy, or cool head; shouldn't happen often.
Kick is off cd more often and gives you a speed boost.


Weaknesses:
Kolto Cloud is an expensive heal, but with the changes in 1.2 more efficient and useful on clumped up allies.
Average survivability.

Miscellaneous Skipped Talents:
Med Screen is only good for one hit, as soon as it comes off the talent is useless.
Anatomy Lessons' benefit is minimal, you will hardly energy starve yourself with kick/tendon blast.
Scramble, I no longer recommend this talent. Especially post 1.2.
Sedatives, if you are good at moving in stealth and can Tranq people just before they get into combat/vanish combat tranq, this talent is amazing, it has no utility in raiding.
Post 1.2 Diagnostic Scan will be a much more potent heal, as will Kolto Cloud, making this the goto spec for healing. Honestly when 1.2 comes Diagnostic Scan is looking like a must have choice particularly for this spec.




b. War Vet
http://www.torhead.com/skill-calc#70...hkRzcZZGbkkM.1
This is for team play. This spec crits on heals more often, but has less stealth potential and less movement speed for kiting. It is not about being the hero but about being the support behind the curtain. ALL TALENTS THAT ARE NOT MAXED OUT ARE OPTIONAL. I highly recommend Diagnostic Scan talents and potentially Anatomy Lessons.

Note: Due to 1.1.5's removal of DoTs interrupting caps in WZ, this build has lost a lot of utility. The following builds can work but none of them are optimal at any role.

Post 1.2 this spec has decent pressure in bigger confrontations, especially against teams that stack tanks. Something to keep in mind.


Strengths:
All the healing power of the last spec, at the cost of some self preservation.
CC available for use more often, gives a nice sprint to clear distance for healing yourself.
Puts out decent pressure if enemies group up.
High energy regen.
Higher Crit rate than Pugilist. (getting nerfed to 3% vs. 6% in 1.2)

Weaknesses:
Your DoTs have a high energy cost, use them wisely.
Average survivability.

About Optional Talents:
Flash Powder can be useful, it only lasts 8 seconds though. It needs to be brought in line with Oil Slick/Smoke Canister but is acceptable for team play, though very iffy (it probably won't stop any damage at all). I highly recommend Mortal Wound over this.

Disregard this quote come 1.2, Diagnostic Scan and Anatomy Lessons will be far more useful:
Quote:
I also prefer Sedatives in the Sawbones tree. Keep Cool is redundant with Street Tough, it could be useful, I no longer recommend you take Scramble. Keep Cool can always be used in a fight, Sedatives cannot. If you plan on spamming vital shot, which is a very real possibility, I suggest you consider taking Anatomy Lessons as well.
Same heal rotation as outlined at the beginning sans Kolto Cloud.
Keep Pugnacity on cd AS LONG AS YOU ARE BELOW 90 (w/ 4 piece 95) ENERGY.
Keep Shrap Bomb on cd.
USE LINE OF SIGHT to your advantage.

Vital Shot spam will become viable in 1.2 for creating pressure in lulls during healing. This may be a great asset to killing tank dependent teams with no cleansers. Keep Shrap Bomb on cd when players are clumped together.

Learn your safe distance for stealth and utilize your Sneak cd effectively, without the talent "Sneaky" people can see you from MUCH further away while you are in stealth. As a support class it is good to follow others.

Move with the biggest group with WZ in this spec. It does not excel at 1v1, larger scale battles are better for it.


c. Pugilist
http://www.torhead.com/skill-calc#70...hkRzcZMsdkzz.1
My Pugilist spec, I have seen variants of this around the forums, after additional testing I have found this build to be the most well rounded. ALL TALENTS THAT ARE NOT MAXED OUT ARE OPTIONAL.

Strengths:
Doesn't really sacrifice healing power at all.
Superb 1v1 capabilities, and subsequently getting the assassin medal.
Damage dealing is relatively easy on your energy pool as Backblast is cheaper.
Can swap between dealing damage and healing in a pinch, not optimal for dealing damage obviously.
Highest survival of any spec w/ 12% additionally healing to self, and 2% regeneration. (this becomes negligible in 1.2 with the changes to Kolto Cloud)

Weaknesses:
Even though the damage dealing is relatively cheap, doing both healing and damage can get expensive and starve you, (don't spam sucker punch unless it will end a fight quickly).
The class has ramp-up time on healing so it is important you watch your allies and heal them before they start taking serious damage, do not get lost in dealing damage. This spec is going to be less formidable in 1.2, because your Backblast will be on a longer cd, and your Sucker Punches will ultimately be weaker.

Let me reiterate this point: YOU ARE BETTER AT HEALING, ONLY DAMAGE TO FINISH FIGHTS AFTER IT IS CLEAR YOU ARE GOING TO WIN AND HEALS ARE UNNEEDED.


Other than that play as you wish and have fun.

Talents that should not be gotten together EVER.
Scramble (Dodge increases movement speed by 20%)
Sneaky (Movement speed increased by 15%)
These don't stack.

Talents that complement each other:
Sedatives/Sneaky/Shifty-Eyed (This is great for going out and tranquing people, I can't tell you the number of times I have caught stealthies with their pants down stealthing about, not mandatory as your ability "Sneak" used at appropriate times increases stealth level by 15)
I recommend you fill out Diagnostic Scan come 1.2 because it is a free heal that can be used when interrupted and it will return a significant amount of energy.

Scrappy/Brawler's Grit (These talents go with anything, if you are confident in your ability to tranq and see yourself making use of it, take sedatives or the Diagnostic Scan talents (though 4 talents is a hefty price), don't take both cool head and Diag Scan though. Bear in mind you move slower without the stealth talents so Sedatives is a tricky choice here.)

1v1 with this spec:
Keep Pugnacity up, this is a free heal and energy.
Triage on cd.
Keep SRM fully stacked, refresh below 33% time remaining, especially if you feel a cc coming. If this falls off your kill time slows and it puts you at risk.
USE Line of Sight (LoS) to your advantage, some people call this pillar humping, this is the class that makes the best use of it.
EMP/KP when you are below 70% Health
Blaster Whip
Back Blast
Sucker Punch
Use CC's (to score kills/heal up)
UM if you have time (LoS allowing/Stunned/Disoriented)

People will hunt you down if you solo them. Take pride in it.


d. Max Single Target Post patch 1.2 I no longer support this spec because of the nerfs to the crit talent and the buffs to Kolto Cloud.
http://www.torhead.com/skill-calc#701MsfRkhkRzcZMIZG.1
This spec is primarily about healing. Just follow the healing order above sans kolto cloud, and use your vital shot/freighter flyby/thermal grenade to stop caps. It focuses on maximizing heals. Your damaging capabilities are low. The goal of this spec is to heal others, so pal around with other people. ALL TALENTS THAT ARE NOT MAXED OUT ARE OPTIONAL.

A variation to this spec that doesn't sacrifice as much self survival: http://www.torhead.com/skill-calc#70...RzcZMIb00zZb.1


e. Bleed
http://www.torhead.com/skill-calc#701MffMzhZZhrbkrMhd.1
f. Flying Fists
http://www.torhead.com/skill-calc#70...hZMIModkMZhM.1

Talent specs like these are neat, but ultimately novelties. They can provide mediocre to decent healing, and give good upperhand procs, which allow you to do a lot more of certain damage abilities.

Here is the problem, the first talent setup is an energy hog, it is very slow to apply the two dots in this fashion, and to top it off Wounding Shot hits for insignificant damage compared to its cost. Add in the SRM and you will never have energy to do anything. I really liked the idea but it is a failed experiment, maybe someone else can get it to work EXCEPTIONALLY, I could do decent 60k heals, 150k damage at 50, not really acceptable to me. Very clunky spec.

The second spec addresses this energy issue and removes the DoT prerequisites that make the focal point for the first talent setup "work" or whatever you wish to call it. I have not tried this spec, but I can see that it would have energy issues and deal sub-optimal damage without really bringing anything to the table. The SRM would drain you while you are spamming Sucker Punch, your primary damage method. It would definitely work better than the first spec for soloing, but again, I stress the word novelty, try it at your own peril.


iv. Tranq Dart:

Sedative white bars your opponent, when they break out of the cc it starts ticking down, this is kind of bad. One of two things will happen. They will pop freedom, or they will stay cc'd. If they stay cc'd, consider them effectively neutralized. If they pop freedom, guess what, when you need to stun them later with dirty kick to get a clench heal, they won't be able to freedom that. Not to mention they will hit you like a wet noodle for 10 seconds AFTER the cc ends (so they could be of minimal use for TWENTY SECONDS). Do not take this talent if you are bad at proactively tranquing people, avoid tranquing people in pvp without this talent, it just gives them a free resolve bar and doesn't punish them when they come out.

*Tip: Move to where you think your opponent will be, not where they are, when tranquing. Stragglers are the best targets for this as they have the least risk of getting into combat before you can tranq.

**Tip 2: If two opponents are engaging you alone, you can pop your Disappearing Act and Tranq one of them to lessen the pressure of them both, make sure you don't have them DoT'd when you do this. This only works on players out of combat so make sure an ally will not engage the enemies when you do this. Disappearing Act takes enemies out of combat if they aren't in combat with anyone else

**WARNING: SEDATIVES MAKES SOLOING ELITE QUESTS A CHORE BECAUSE IT AGGROS MOBS WHEN TRANQ BREAKS**


v. General Gameplay Tips:

Stand next to pillars/rocks/crates/debris or other large objects. If enemies switch to target you, break line of sight with them by running around the object. The idea here is to cut the angle on the enemy, you want sight of most/all your allies and to be out of sight of as many enemies as possible. If you die in a spot, pick another one when you return so the Marauder who focused you isn't just waiting to claim another kill. It is good to be mobile but too much mobility will weaken your ability to heal.

Cover can be used to deny enemy charges and knockbacks on you. Once you find a good place to set up camp you can opt to use cover, just keep in mind you may need to move to gain sight of an ally or get away from an enemy. Sabotage Charge also makes for EXCELLENT enemy pressure.


Dodge removes all negative effects from you; it is great to use before or (if you are lucky) after a vanish to clear your dots. It does not break stealth. If you spec into it, you run 20% faster, though this is moot, it is more important to use it to clear a snare or a root, the 20% is just icing on the cake.

The most important tip: You are a healer and a support class. You don't have to play all by yourself, your job is to keep people up. I can keep myself up against 2, maybe 3 if they are inexperienced, people for a decent amount of time. We aren't pvp heroes, we lack the utility the other classes have. Let other people soak the damage and do the heavy lifting in the groups, just heal them and toss out an occasional shrap bomb/freighter flyby/vital shot/thermal grenade when you want to stop door caps. Our vanish embodies this team oriented play, it is about shifting focus away from you, so you can keep healing others (all heals nullified when you vanish for several seconds)


Thanks for reading, post any suggestions or tips you might like to add and I will take them into consideration when revising the OP. Take care and happy smuggling.

kalexkhan's Avatar


kalexkhan
02.11.2012 , 08:38 AM | #2
Great guide. This should be stickied.

I currently roll with a pugilists style build and I love it.

The extra hot on pugnacity that scales with endurance makes me so difficult to kill, and your points about not getting lost in the dmg is spot on.

You really only use your back blasts and the odd sucker punch on targets that need the extra burst, otherwise you are fulfilling your roll as healer.

This build is all about healing on the run, and constantly improving your positioning.

Chestnut_Bowl's Avatar


Chestnut_Bowl
02.11.2012 , 10:35 AM | #3
How do these builds fare in PvE?

Ethias's Avatar


Ethias
02.11.2012 , 01:25 PM | #4
That hybrid DF build looks very interesting. The AoE dot and 10 energy return on Pug is nice. Hmmm.

Yvin's Avatar


Yvin
02.11.2012 , 01:35 PM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by kalexkhan View Post
Great guide. This should be stickied.
And so it shall be! Thanks for the wonderful community resource!

Omeleet's Avatar


Omeleet
02.11.2012 , 10:07 PM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by Chestnut_Bowl View Post
How do these builds fare in PvE?
The first build is optimal for pve.

War Vet, or the DoT Pugnacity Healing Hybrid does decently well in single target healing for raids. You sacrifice only your AoE heals, which other classes are better at doing I might add, for increased energy regeneration. You could make a claim that it is superior for tank healing/small group triage. Since pugnacity does not eat up a gcd, it likely could be the optimal tank healing spec right now, as it should let you fit in an extra UM every 40 seconds. (though you lose a free heal due to dropping upperhand on pugnacity more often, the gain would be marginal if existent at all) I would definitely drop Sedatives for Keep Cool though if you had interest in playing it this way.

The Pugilist build can hold its own in single target healing, but it brings nothing to the table for pve healing and has 6% lower chance to crit on heals.

Also on further inspection of the DoT/Healing spec, it is highly advisable you reserve vital shot for the most dire of situations or when you think you are going to die no matter what you do to prevent caps. You will starve yourself on energy spamming it. I average 7-10 medals a warzone with this spec now, and contribute a far greater deal to winning in Alderaan and Voidstar. I already boosted team morale and turned losses into victories by ninja capping nodes, the DoT hybrid allows you to hold your ninja cap nodes indefinitely.

AKIHA's Avatar


AKIHA
02.12.2012 , 03:26 AM | #7
Maybe this combination of tree could be a really interesting to those who wants to try pvp healing, i would give it a try to this build to see how it goes.

Good guide, congrats!
Trayus Academy PvP server
S. Scoundrel - KIZUNNA Main: J. Shadow - AKIHA J. Guardian - Kizunna
The ShadowElite Legacy

Omeleet's Avatar


Omeleet
02.15.2012 , 06:25 AM | #8
After a more thorough testing period I have found I like the Pugilist spec over the DoT/Heal one.

The OP has been updated to reflect some changes and discoveries/additions, everything updated has been italicized.

The pugilist spec allows you to heal more freely. Here is why:
Increased movement speed for kiting.
12% additional Heals on yourself.
2% of your health healed every 3 seconds.
Superior Stealth for detecting and AVOIDING enemy detection.
6% stamina.

Here is what you are trading it for:
4% Alacrity
6% Crit chance to most of your abilities.
A more powerful vital shot. (Moot)
20% accuracy debuff.
More energy, however, this spec costs a lot of it
Node Control via Shrap Bomb

With the second spec I have often scratched my head mid fight wondering, "how did I get to 40 energy so quickly?" Well the answer is pretty simple actually, Underworld Medicine, Shrap Bomb, and Vital Shot are all energy dumps. If you miss a beat with the DoT spec you will starve yourself on energy easily. I actually endorse Anatomy Lessons in the healing tree for this spec, the problem is freeing up points to spend on it.

Look at the differences this way:
You aren't a damage dealer.
Your class is fragile and lacks the utility of other classes.
As much as I like controlling nodes it goes largely unappreciated. Shrap Bomb is also a luxury, I can do the same with Vital Shot.

With the DoT spec I can pull 150k damage and still maintain 200-300k heals in a good match. Usually I hover around the 100k damage, 250k healing mark. I am actually trying to push myself closer to 50-75k damage, and 300k or greater healing. It is not a bad spec, but I feel the Pugilist spec is more forgiving and less stressful to play as a healer in general.

We don't have any of these utilities:
Knockback
Enemy Grip
Friendly Yank
On demand combat sprint
Charge
Gap Closers

We have to keep this in mind while playing, and avoid being the focus of enemies whenever possible.

Viliphied's Avatar


Viliphied
02.15.2012 , 03:46 PM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by Omeleet View Post
After a more thorough testing period I have found I like the Pugilist spec over the DoT/Heal one.
Why not drop the 3 points in the tier 3 talents in puglist (largely useless, if you use Sucker Punch, ur doin it wrong) and put them in dirty fighting to get the 6% crit?

Omeleet's Avatar


Omeleet
02.15.2012 , 03:58 PM | #10
Quote: Originally Posted by Viliphied View Post
Why not drop the 3 points in the tier 3 talents in puglist (largely useless, if you use Sucker Punch, ur doin it wrong) and put them in dirty fighting to get the 6% crit?
Surprise Comeback is a very good talent in the Scrapper tree. It provides a nice cushion that should always be active, making it harder to kill you when you get focused.

That leaves you with two points. I am more fond of ending fights if an opponent has no health remaining and my ally has full health. The extra crit is good no doubt, but I like being able to fire off Backblasts and end fights at no cost. I take Sucker Punch to clear a node faster so it is possible to cap it before reinforcements come. The best heals are the ones that never have to be cast.

You may personally be fond of having higher heal numbers, nothing wrong with that, and you are free to spend the points in the crit, this is a guide after all, but then the alacrity buff is probably more useful too at that point if you plan on dropping Surprise Comeback (Drop Shifty Eyed/Scrappy for it).

I should add that it is not advisable to go around Sucker Punching everything you see, it should only be used to clean up a fight faster when you clearly have the advantage and heals are largely unnecessary.

EDIT: I have appended a heal centered build to the OP.