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Powertech: Tanking and You

Escaflownae's Avatar

01.10.2012 , 12:24 PM | #1
*Updated 08/19/2013*
This guide is designed to be a new players guide to tanking and the vanguard class. It is a work in progress and will be updated regularly. Please be constructive and provide helpful tips for new players.

Who are you and where did you come from?

You are called a tank. Your the baddest, meanest, and highest profile target in your group. Well that's what the enemy needs to think. To be honest everyone in the group plays an important role and your role is meat shield. You will take
the damage being done by the enemy so that means you will need to be upfront in the thick of the fights taking hold of the mobs. Don't be afraid to try new things and ask for advice from other experienced party members (they might have
tanks alts).

A good relationship with your healer is a must for higher end content like heroics and ops. Remember that you are the leader of the group and should be the one that attacks first and plans out difficult fights. You will be the most taxed
out of the group because you will need to watch and know everything. This includes:
  • Patrolling mobs
  • Over dps'ing party members
  • Boss fight mechanics
  • Enemy cast bars
  • Healer force and ammo level
  • Who all the enemies are attacking (it should only be you or an off tank)
  • The quickest path to the next boss encounter
  • Any and all side quests and bonus areas ( this comes with time and it's something to be away of but not to critical so early on into the game)

So this shows you will be taxed but that means more fun for you. One thing I have to stress the most is don't give up. Just because you died or someone in your party died and they complained to you doesn't mean your a bad tank. It means you need to try something different than what you just did. Tanking is a thankless job, most of the time no one will tell you "great tanking job". In fact if your doing a great job all you'll hear is "good healing". But that's ok because
if we are doing our jobs right then no one in the party will know it besides the healer... maybe. Stick to it and you'll be a great tank. You must start out somewhere and the majority of the amazing tanks out there in mmo's all sucked at
one time.


What is threat?

Threat is what is commonly known as the aggression that you have towards a target. The more
aggression you have the more "hold" you have on that target.

Everyone generates threat: DPS, Heals, and Tanks. The amount and the way you generate it is

Threat is automatically created on everyone in the group as soon as the fighting starts. The
threat generated for example is only 1point of threat for everyone in the group. This means that everyone is a target to the mobs yet no one at this point (before skills are used) is higher than anyone else.

However the first person that attacked the group has a higher generated number. For example that number is 10 points of threat. This is to allow the tank time to get through a rotation before other party members have a chance to pull off.

How do I get more threat?

You can get more threat by attacking the target, taunting the target off another people, or by healing.

Can I ever have too much threat?

Yes and No! There is a point when having too much threat can hurt you and let me explain
this. If you are damaging the target to a point when you generate to much threat that no
one can pull off you thatís a good thing. But if you are generating it to the point that you
are neglecting your defensive stats then then you need to change your stats around to add
more defense and less on the threat building side.

The other side of that coin is that you want to be able to do enough burst threat to a
target that you don't have to worry about melee pulling off you. Melee and ranged dps and
heals are different when you look at how they generate threat.

Ok so letís talk about threat and how it works.

How does Threat work?


Range plays a critical factor in how the threat is generated and calculated. The following
numbers are for example and will not be a 100% reflective in game number. Just take the
example as a rule of thumb in calculating your threat generation.

Range percentage

Melee dps - Need to only pull 110% of the tanks threat to pull target

Range dps - Need to only pull 125% of the tanks threat to pull target

Healer - Need to only pull 125% of the tanks threat to pull target


Tank has full aggro on the boss and he has two dps (melee and ranged) and a healer. That
melee dps must do 110% more threat than the tank in order to pull the boss's attention.
This is because of his range to the boss, since he is closer than the healer and the ranged
dps he needs to pull less threat to make the boss attack him.

Now the healer and the ranged dps need to pull 125% more threat than the tank in order to
pull the boss off the tank and on to them. This is because the boss has further to go so
the aggression change must be significantly higher.

Role Generation

Your role generates threat at different levels based on talents and skill types.

Remember that as soon as the fight starts EVERYONE in the group gets the same base threat
to all targets of about 1 point of threat.

A tank letís say will generate for example 300 points of threat for every 1000 damage to a
target from his attacks.

A dps will generate 150 points of threat for every 1000 damage to a target.

Tank Threat

This threat generates at a higher number than the rest of the classes because you can't dps the same as a dps and you can't heal the same as a healer so naturally you are a meat bag and as such will generate threat better than the rest.

Unlike dps threat your skills naturally do a higher number of aoe threat generation. This is to give you a slighter advantage in holding aoe mobs off of dps.

Dps Threat

This threat generates only off what you attack. If you aoe a group of targets then you
generate threat to all of them equally. Yet if you attack a single target expect to
generate threat to just that one target. An example of this is seen in a stealth class.

Example of dps threat

Letís say youíre a sith assassin and you want to CC a target and then kill the weak target in
a 2 mob group. So you do that you CC the gold and then kill the weak target. Now if you
generated anything more than the default aggression by attacking the group then you would
not be able to simple hit stealth and move on. You'd have to pop your expensive stealth.

A healer will generate 200 points of threat for every 1000 health healed.

When you look at those examples you can start to image how fast dps and healers can creep
up on your threat. This is exactly why a highly geared dps can quickly pull off a lower
geared tank. It's not that the tank it's good it's just the tank can't possibly out threat
the amount of damage the dps is pulling. The caveat to this is that the healer can be as
highly gears as they want and the amount of threat can actually be the same if not lower.

Healer Threat

Heals are an interesting creature because they react the similar to threat generation as
any other skill but are used differently. Because healing is a player targeted ability it
generates the same amount of threat to ALL TARGETS you have aggro'd.

When a skill is cast threat is generated to the person casting that skill. Yet heals arenít
always casted like dps. A dps will be attacking constantly until the target is dead. A
healer will be playing solitaire or just standing there until he needs to be healing targets
So you remember that every 1000 points healed causes threat and when you activate a skill
you cause threat as well. This can creep up on you if you just lightly holding a mob.

Example of healer threat

So letís give you an example that makes since. Letís say you just pulled a group of five
targets. You have singles out the biggest and badest and decide to just aoe the smaller
mobs until they die. Thatís great and it works out a lot. But letís say your taking way to
much damage from the smaller mobs and that healer now has to start healing you from 30% of
your health to full.

150k health pool @ 30% = 45000 meaning the healer has to heal you for 105k

That in our example equals 21,000 threat just from the healing and then add in about
another 10k because of all the constant skills the healer has to click to heal you. So all
in all thatís 31,000 threat to that healer to all aggressed targets.

All that means is that healer now has almost certainly pulled one or two of those smaller
mobs off you because you weren't focusing your primary tanking towards them. This is why
some mobs get "pulled" off you to the healer in the group. Neat huh!


Primary stats are underlined, secondary stats are italics.

Aim - This is a primary stat for being a trooper. The majority of your damage and threat will be decided off of this primary stat. This stat is key to generating more threat (along with ion cells and talent
modifiers) than your dps and healers.

Endurance - This is a primary stat next key stat besides aim. When looking for armor you might want to look for a higher number here than aim if you want to stack that health. As tanks we want to stack the health so that means when commandos want that reflex mod that gives them more aim than endurance we want the commando mods that give more endurance than aim so we can stay alive faster. So far I've seen the endurance equal about 10 health per one point of endurance yet I have been told that it's on a level modifier so that might change with level *not confirmed*.

Added note to endurance is that endurance is a great stat to stack yet don't take it over mitigation because it's always better to avoid damage or mitigate damage than to be-able to get hit more often for higher amounts.

Defense Rating - This is a secondary stat, your "dodge" and "parry" stat it will be the stat that determines how much you actually avoid and not so much about how much the damage is reduced. Here I'm thinking we will want to have a good mix of defense and absorption but I'm thinking that there will be a set number to hit for defense before it's useless to our tanking needs.

Absorption - This is a secondary stat determines how much damage we take from successful hits that have gotten past our defense rating. A rough example is if we get hit for 2000 and our absorption negates 1200 then we will only get hit for 800. Now this is tied closely to shield chance which we will get into in a second. But this stat is more of a proc rate tied to shield chance so when it does proc you can see it will absorb what the stat says. This is a good one to have on your gear but personally I'd like to go for more shield chance than shield absorption.

Shield Chance - This is a secondary stat that determines how much you will actually absorb your attacks. Your shield works off of a proc rate that is determined by talents and shield generator so by having this stat higher you get a higher chance of reducing some incoming damage. I'd stack this and defense rating the most out of the secondary stats.

How Should I Gear?

Crafting Profession Bonuses

Armormech - Armormech has alot of really great pieces for you to craft while leveling up. They provide you with several blue tanking schematics right from the vendor yet the majority of them you will have to learn by your own re-engineering.At 50 this crafting profession leads little to gain in the terms of raiding gear however they provide you with Rakata pieces that seem to help some if you are needing that last bit on the belt and bracers however you can just buy some from another armormech on the GTN. Additonal with the new expansion we gained the ability to craft augments. These can be good sellers and will help pay for those nasty OPs repair bills.

BioChem - Bio has arguibly the best tanking crafts in the game due to the nature of the profession. This profession allows you to create stims and health packs that are 100% needed for every tank out there. Yet at the end they allow you to craft epic level health packs that are reusable and thus save on having to constantly craft your own health packs. If you are looking into tanking definitively give this profession a look over. Not only will you be able to craft health packs the adrenals you will be needing as well. These are short term buffs that bolster your stats and give you that slight edge that you need. When starting OPS you will need decent gear, however if you are on the edge of decent gear and mediocre gear.. adrenals can slightly augment that gap.

Armstech - Now armstech gives several benefits yet I'm not to sure if they are warranted in the tanking field however I'll mention it at least. This is probable the least popular for tanking as this is really making and modding your weapon. Your weapon yes it's a critical part to tanking, it's not the breaking point for holding or mitigation as long as your upgrading it every so often through quests or by commendations to mod the item.

Armstech allows you to create several barrel mods that increase the effectiveness of the weapon through extending the stats and level. As said before that's about it. you can make guns and upgrade them not much of a good reason beyond that. Since the expansion armstech can make augments to weapons. Still this doesn't mean all to much to us but it's a good place to look when you need to scrounge out that last bit HP.

Cybertech - Cybertech is one of those professions where really you can't go wrong with. Yes, bio and armormech actually have epic pieces and are naturally a first choice for some, I recommend thinking about cybertech before making that choice. Cybertechs can make your mods, these mods can upgrade your armor rating in modifiable gear so you can take lets say the lvl 40 pvp armor and mod them all the way past 50 blue to 55 purple with cybertech and come out in a very good position for raiding. This is also one of those professions that even a poor crafter can make lots of money in.

What kind of tank am I?

As a vanguard tank there are some considerations to look at when trying to find the right kind of gear for you. There is effective mitigation and mitigation style tanks both a very different.

Effective Mitigation - Effective Mitigation is creating a large health pool to allow the tank to get hit really hard and often putting more of the strain on the healers yet reducing the chances that the tank will get "one-shotted" from a boss or mob.

Mitigation - Mitigation tanking is gearing the tank with more emphasis on avoiding or reducing damage tanking than creating a very large health pool. Now some people get scared to run with these kind of
tanks because they see the smaller health pool and thus think the tank is under-geared when it's by far the case.

Scenario 1 - For example an effective tank would have lets say 20,000 health while a mitigation tank would have 15,000 health. Both tanks get attacked with a skill that does 3,000 points of damage per hit and the effective tank gets hit 6 times meaning a total of 18,000 points of damage but the tank is still alive. Now that mitigation tank only gets hit for 2 of those hits equaling 6,000 meaning that he still has 9,000 health left ready to go.

Scenario 2 - Both tanks get hit for 16,000 points of damage and we have the original health pools of 15k and 20k. The 15k health pool tank gets one-shotted and thus dies out right while the 20k tank gets hit for the 16k and still has 4k left to continue the fight. Some bosses have attacks that can't be resisted and thus must be tanked so a good balance between both styles is preferable at times.

Basically it's what ever kind of tank your interested in.

Definitions / Tactics

Taunt - A taunt is a skill that is used to place you first on the agro table. If you think of agro as a list of names where the first person on the list gets priority and the second person on the list is watched then you will understand that a taunt is a skill use to place the person using that skill in the first position of the table.

AOE - This is Area of Effect. In other words any skill that has "splash damage" or makes you have to target an area on the ground is considered aoe. Also, anything that damages more than one target is considered aoe.

Mobs - Mobs is a gamer term for enemies and critters that attack the group plain and simple.

AOE mobs - This is an enemy that is relatively weak by themselves in large numbers that swarm group members. The correct way to handle these types of mobs is to have everyone collapse on the tank while doing aoe damage skills and having the tank aoe tank the mobs.

One-Shotted - I hate to put this in here but at some point in time you might get one-shotted so it's ok to know there is a term for it. This is when a mob or boss hits you one time and you go splat. The technical term is you took more points of damage in that one hit than your health pool. This is a "gear check" and lets you know that you need to increase your health pool to complete that fight.

Gear Check - There are several gear checks in the game and not all of them are for tanks. There are some bosses that gear check the tanks by having a large hit that must be taken that unavoidable which checks the tanks. Then there are bosses that must die in a very short amount of time or the fight gets progressively worse or impossible to complete that checks the gear of the dps. Then finally there are fights that challenge the healers that constantly damage everyone in the party making it hard for the healers to toggle through and heal the party and then the tank that's taking extra damage. Technical term for gear check is: a challenging instance that takes the roles in the party and provides difficulties that must be over come that can't be in starter or low level gear.

Turn the Boss - The majority of boss mechanics now have cleaves. This means that the boss will hit anyone in front of hit in a cone pattern for a certain amount of damage. To prevent the other group members from
taking unnecessary damage turn the mobs to face away from the group thus eliminating the chance of this from happening. On top of that you get a bonus, if anyone pulls more threat and the boss focuses on them you will know quickly because he will turn to face them giving you a chance to taunt before damage can be done to that party member.

Taunt swapping - This is a tactic used when an off tank is not able to maintain certain levels of agro because they are not able to out dps the dps and not able to regen resources or maintain high levels of threat on a mob because of not being hit or focused. This happens for off tanks because alot of threat is generated when we are hit or attempted to be hit. The off tank doesn't get that focus and struggles at times for the second position. If a strong dps pulls over the tank then in some boss fights that dps will be damage that the off tank was supposed to mitigate for. This tactic is used like this: the Off tank(OT) tells the Main tank(MT) that he is lossing threat. The MT will wait for a taunt to refresh and signal the OT to taunt. That OT will slam out with either one high threat skill or a fast rotation and allow the MT to taunt it back and maintain first position. If done right this is a fast 4-5 second switch and the rest of the group never notices it besides the healers. Please make sure your healers are away of what Taunt swapping is before you try this is a raid because they will need to know who is about to possibly get hit very hard.

Isolation Focus - This hasn't been around that long and is kind of a rare tactic but since there are more classes that can do it i'll add it. Isolation focus is used when there are several non-crowd controllable mobs in the group your about to fight. This is used mainly with two pulls but can be done with one. The group is instructed to focus down the first mob that is pulled to the far back where it is away from it's other mobs and can't heal them. First, a tank pulls the focus mob out of the group and then when the mob hits the tank the other mobs will run to him. After that mob gets pulled to the tank, another tank or dps pulls that mob again further away from the tank allowing the raid group to focus down that target quickly without it interfering with other mobs. This can be done easily if your main pulling tank has a healer on it to allow time for the raid group to finish off that first mob.

VANGUARDS AND POWERTECHS ARE NOT LONG RANGE TANKS - The majority of our skills are set around 10-15 meters and yes we can hold agro on some mobs at further ranges (than other classes) it's not a good idea.The real bonus to the range tanking is being able to use it as a buffer or utility for various encounters. You don't want to tank a boss from 25 meters away you want to stand up on his grill and stock him in the face until he apologizes for disrespecting you.

Tank Swapping - NOT to be confused with taunt swapping. This is a tactic that is used primarily when in raids/operations that involves multiple tanks. Normally when there is a heavy hitting boss that boss typically does some kind of armor or stat diminishing debuff that at a certain point makes tanking him impossible. At the point where is just to much to take for one tank that tank will switch targets with the off tank and remain on another target until that debuff is gone. It is imperative that the Off Tank and the Main Tank switch at the same time or the positioning and placement of the boss might be interfered and thus cause organizational hazards for the rest of the raid group.

Fish in a barrel - This is a tactic I termed when you have a decent spread of targets in an area and you are going to aoe tank them with little to no cc. If you are going to cc the cc must be done quickly and out of the storm pack. First, you will need to focus target on a strong or weak mob and that will be your harpoon grenade target. Then you will Storm on into more clustered group normally a ranged unit and then grenade the focus target and
pull him into you. This is a decent way to round up some stranglers and get some good aggro on your initial pull. Once you practice this a bit you will use it regularly to round up loose aoe mobs.

LOS / Line of Sight pulling - This is where you as the tank start combat by shooting the mobs and running behind a world object that breaks the mob's line of sight to you. This then causes the ranged units to try
and regain LOS(line of sight) by running around the corner and most of the time clumping up into nice groups allowing you to explosive surge and aoe tank them while your team unloads massive dps on the area.

Mortar pulling - Simply put this is a great way to start off a mob group by hitting it with mortar volley. This is a hard hitting move that gives alot of threat. The main issue with this is if you are wanting to keep the groups nice and compact then that volley will not knock down strong targets and if they are melee will run out of the aoe impact area and you'll have round them back up.

Set to Focus - This can be done several ways yet I'm still having issues with the in game function for now so I'll brief on that. The game allows you to focus a target that makes his bar appear as a second bar
from the current target selected. This is great when trying to hit all the mobs in a group with a specific rotation and you want to tab target through them until you get back to where you started. Also, this is great for when tanking ops and you have an off tank tanking another mob that you will need to taunt back. This can be used for several methods.


Just a few low level skills you need to know about when trying to tank on a vanguard or a powertech. Hope it helps.

StockStrike \ Rocket Punch - This is the most important tanking skill we have besides taunt. This is the "bread and butter" skill that generates a consistently high amount of threat and when talented can deal amazing amounts of damage. This skill should be on cooldown all the time when tanking. Plus it's also great to just smack a few mobs with your gun when bullets just aren't enough.

Ion Pulse \ Flame Burst - This is another one of those bread and butter skills. You will find this in all rotations from the lower level dungeons to the upper ops encounters. This skill (when talented) will apply a debuff to the target that lowers their damage done by up to 5% for 10 seconds. This debuff is great for tanking as it allows you to reduce your damage taken and hit the target for a good deal of elemental damage which when talented can and will hit like a truck.

Riot Strike \ Quell - this is not a damage move or a threat move... Please please understand spamming it will do nothing. It will not interrupt an instant cast spell even if you hit it at the right time. This is however a great interrupt skill.

Mortar Volley \ Death From Above - is an amazing skill but not the best for aoe threat when tanking unless using it as an opener from range. Remember you are stuck on your cast timer when activating this skill. If you are hitting multiple melee mobs that are Strong and up, they will continue to run to your group. Make sure you jump right into your rotation after using this to pick up any loose mobs.

Sticky Grenade \ Explosive Dart - This is your second best aoe threat move and needs to be used in conjunction with Explosive Surge\Flame Sweep.

Battle Focus \ Explosive Fuel - This skill is used to increase your crit chance for a short duration and is pretty key on maximizing your own dps for a particular fight. A higher crit also means more threat so if
you are getting low on a boss fight it's ok to pop this skill and hit your big threat abilities.

Pulse Cannon \ Flame Thrower - My previous review of this skill was less than par. After further testing and review this skill is actually pretty good. This is your frontal cone aoe skill and its a very interesting because unlike every other skill this one "burns" through all targets up to a certain range. Meaning that anything in that frontal cone will be hit. This is strong skill to use with cleaver positioning and needs to be practiced to make sure you get the most benefit out of it.

High Impact Bolt / Rail Shot - This is another very good skill and should be used right after you throw a sticky grenade. It will help hold that mob. With the talents to bypass armor this skill becomes a very strong high hitting skill that generates a good bit of threat so I'd keep it handy.

Harpoon \ Grapple - Don't forget that harpoon literally states that it "generates a high level of threat". This is a good move to use even when the target is already attacking you (but not in melee range about 10
-15 meters out) to continue to build threat. This skill plays in many tactics that will be talked about later.

Guard - Oh I love this skill. So lets say you have a power aoe hungry dps that doesn't listen and likes to dps the hell out of mobs with you are ready or not. Well, you kick that dps from group if you were me but
whatever lets say you continue on with him. Use this skill on that dps and now he hits as hard as he was but does a lot less threat and a bonus! they take 5% less damage and 50% of the damage done goes directly to you(only in pvp) also this skill reduces the threat generation of the people it's applied to. So if your dps are behaving please remember your healers and slap this on them.

Storm \ Jet Charge - I absolutly love this skill. If you want to get up in a fight and grab agro before the dps knows *** is going on this is it. I'd say throw a sticky on a ranged target storm another and pull the sticky'd one into the group and explosive surge \ flame sweep. That should be more than enough to hold the pack so you can go through your first cycle.

Explosive Surge \ Flame Sweep - This is your best aoe threat move and is used for aoe disbusment of your stockstrike debuff. This skill also once talented can refresh your stockstrike skill, it is instant and no longer channeled which helps with movement and damage mitigation during tanking.

Recharge Cells \ Vent Heat - This is the only skill that will save you from a pinch if you happen to mess your rotation up. Keep this somewhere on your bar and treat it well. Personally I try not to use if because I never know when another group will be pulled by a dps not paying attention so I like to have my options open just in case I need to skill spam to grab mobs.

Sonic Round \ Sonic Missile - Remember that this skill is a great tool for holding alot of aoe mobs when you have dps hungry commandos trying to pull off you. This however is only a taunt and really doesn't help
much at all if you already have the agro. See the taunt note.

Smoke Bomb \ Oil Slick - This is a great skill I have seen many people pass up. People read it as it's a chance to lower stats on a boss or target and they skip it. However this is technically as good as another energy shield. This read it " lowers the chance to hit for ranged and melee attacks by 30%". That means that it effectively increases your chance to evade those attacks as long as the targets where in the aoe. This can mean the
difference in alot of fights with aoe or with single targets. I use it all the time, trust me you'll like this skill. On top of just that your targets are slowed by 70%.. meaning that you have a chance to notice if someone pulled agro before they get hit.

Cyro Grenade \ Electro Dart - This can be a good skill or a complete waste of time and resources if the target is immune. If the mob doesn't get froze then you have just wasted ammo and the skill has literally done nothing to help you at all. Yet if the mob gets frozen then you have succesfully reduced the incoming damage to you by a very large number for a short time. Great skill.

Adrenaline Rush \ Kolto Overload - Awesome skill is awesome. This has been changed alot yet it's still highly usefull. This skill heals you when you get down to 30% and below. However lets look at what else it
does. Once you hit the skill for 60 seconds it will trigger a heal up to 30% for 8 seconds. That means you need to use this skill when you anticipate an "oh ****" moment in a boss fight or aoe pull. If you think you might be getting
below 30% fast and a healer is not able to get to you pop with skill and you'll be able to mitigate some damage.

Energy Blast \ Heat Blast - Now this skill has some rough edges to work around so let me explain. This skill is your shield tree's highest point and that is typically a great place to put good skills. However some
people will argue with me on this I'm not to sure Energy Blast is all that worth it. As of right now I've tested that the threat modifies on EB aren't higher than that of Ion Pulse. So really when you get this skill the major purpose of
it is to have something to use instead of Ion Pulse during your rotation to increase your ammo count. Now the rotations listed below figure that in and would be good rotations for this skill. However you might be able to skip this one if
you are good at managing your ammo unless you want another instant cast skill.


Shield/Smoke Bomb: This build is a nice all round good tanking build with high shield defenses. Your main goal here is picking up smoke bomb which is great for lower level instances yet has diminishing returns on hardmode and ops encounters.

Shield/Augmented Cells: This build is almost exactly like the last but more well rounded for threat gen with higher end content. The added bonus from the ion cells gives more damage to targets down range and thus rises you threat gen making you a more robust tank.

Rotations \ Priority List

*note* These are priority lists not rotations. Meaning if you have active cooldowns you should choose these skills over others.


SS - Stockstrike
SC - Shoulder Cannon
HIB - High Impact Bolt
EB - Energy Blast
PC - Pulse Cannon
SG - Sticky Grenade
IP - Ion Pulse
HS - Hammer Shot
MV - Mortar Volley
ES - Explosive Surge


RP - Rocket Punch
SC - Shoulder Cannon
RS - Rail Shot
HB - Heat Blast
FT - Flame Thorwer
ED - Explosive Dart
FB - Flame Burst
RpS - Rapid Shots
FS - Flame Sweep
DFA - Death from Above

These rotations are complete, yet are designed to be guides and to be flexible. Your not going to get hurt if you deviate from the base of the rotation. But deviate to much you will end up out of ammo unless you throw a few HS or RpS into the mix. If this happens hit your cell recharge or vent heat and continue on with your rotation. Remember the 2min cooldown on recharge\vent though so it will get you out of a pinch but you can't spam it.

Guidlines to Rotations

- Energy Blast \ Heat Blast is not on global cooldown and can be used at the start of the fight. I perfer to use it at the start only when I want to burst something down. It's your call.

- Shouldar Cannon is also not on the global cooldown and I tend to use this only for higher healthed mobs and bosses or when I know I'm going to be stun locked.

- Maximize your resource! Don't get locked into having to spam HS \ RpS and make sure you use a rotation that keeps you around 30-35% of your resource usage.

- Stockstrike \ Rocket Punch needs to be used everytime you can use it.

- Bind High Impact Bolt \ Rail Shot to a key that is easy to quickly push and make sure you use it everytime.

Vanguard Rotations

Single Target Rotation
Storm> SS> HS> HIB> HS> IP> HS> SS> HS> SG> HS> EB> HS> Repeat

Powertech Rotations

Single Target Rotation
Jet Charge> RP> RpS> RS> RpS> HB> RpS> RP> RpS> ED> RpS> HB> RpS> Repeat

Basically what we are doing here is hitting our hardest hitting moves after our situational moves and throwing hammer shot \ rapid shot in between as a filler. By throwing hammer shot \ rapid shot in as a filler you will be doing damage and creating threat while not using ammo so your ammo will actually go up (or heat down) keeping you at a nice 4x recharge rate.

So with hammer shot removed from the rotation it would look like this.
Storm> SS> HIB> IP> SS> SG> EB> then repeat back to SS

Multiple Target Rotation (4+)
Target one mob and set that to focus. This will let us know when we are back to start.

Vanguard Rotations

MV> Storm(if at distance)> ES> ES> HS> SG> HIBPC> HS>
*you can throw in three ES if you want here if you talent for it*

Powertech Rotations

DFA> Jet Charge(if at distance)> FS> FS> RpS> ED> RSFT> RpS>
*you can throw in three FS if you want here if you talent for it*

This is your simple multiple target rotation yet to make it more efficient you need to focus on tab targeting / switching targets. My main suggestion when attacking aoe mobs like this is when ever you use hammer shot tab target to a
different mob. This will make sure you are getting even threat placement. To be honest you can throw in a stockstrike on a newly targeted mob if need be. Also, remember you have sonic round that will taunt five targets so keep that handy.

Multiple Target Rotation (3-)
Target your highest health mob and set that as focus.

Vanguard Rotations

Storm> SG> HS> ES> HS> SS> HS> IP> HS> EB> Repeat

Powertech Rotations

Jet Charge> ED> RpS> FS> RpS> RP> RpS> FB> RpS> HB> Repeat

Your going to want to target that highest health mob and do the majority of the fighting on him. Your going to be using your splash damage to take control of the other mobs. Now if your dps are instructed to only attack the main mob and
use aoe this a great rotation. You are more than welcome to tab target and stockstrike \ rocket punch the other mobs but make sure it doesn't mess up your rotation. Focus on your main target and after a few rotations of this you can
switch to another target and run your single target rotation on it if need be.

Priority List Guide

Another good way of looking at the rotation is via a priority list. This list gives you a general understanding of how you can use your skills and in what order you want to fire them off based on dps and threat percentages.

Vanguard Rotations

Single Target (Thanks to Darguth for providing this.)
A.) If Ammo >= 10
  • Stockstrike
  • High-Impact Bolt
  • Shouldar Cannon
  • Ion Pulse.
  • Sticky Grenade

B.) Else Ammo <= 9
  • Energy Blast
  • Hammer Shot

Powertech Rotations

Single Target
A.) If Heat <= 1
  • Rocket Punch
  • Rail Shot
  • Shouldar Cannon
  • Flame Burst
  • Explosive Dart

B.) Else Heat >= 2
  • Heat Blast
  • Rapid Shot

This also does not factor in GCDs needed to trigger defensive abilities as-necessary while tanking. Usually I prefer to replace a weaved Hammer Shot \ Rapid Shot with such abilities if at all possible.
Courage is not the absence of fear, but the strength to do what is right in the face of it.

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Escaflownae's Avatar

01.10.2012 , 12:26 PM | #2
*saving for later posts*
Courage is not the absence of fear, but the strength to do what is right in the face of it.

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Gertbeefrobe's Avatar

01.10.2012 , 12:40 PM | #3
Can't use harpoon in melee range. 10-30 meters is required. Also, you completely missed Stockstrike, our bread and butter. Blitz doesn't work on anything above Strong.
Fight smarter not harder.

Escaflownae's Avatar

01.10.2012 , 12:55 PM | #4
*fixed* I'm working on a tactics section that will expand on harpoon and stockstrike and grenades.
Courage is not the absence of fear, but the strength to do what is right in the face of it.

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Escaflownae's Avatar

01.10.2012 , 01:35 PM | #5
Updated with stats .. still working on smoothing it out a bit but this should be some decent info for new players.
Courage is not the absence of fear, but the strength to do what is right in the face of it.

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Aresmar's Avatar

01.11.2012 , 03:38 AM | #6
Nice starter guide

juanni's Avatar

01.11.2012 , 05:07 AM | #7
I think you should definitely include Ion Pulse. It hits reasonably well and also debuffs the target with Static Field (4% damage reduction for 15 seconds).

Also, it only costs 2 ammo so it's quite an efficient hitter for when your SS, HIB and SG are on cooldown.

Edit: Also, Pulse Cannon hits like a truck and should definitely be considered, even though it is a channeled ability.

MagikalPankake's Avatar

01.11.2012 , 07:51 AM | #8
Excellent guide. One thing though...your talent specs at the end, the links are broken. Otherwise, a very well written guide.

Escaflownae's Avatar

01.11.2012 , 09:29 AM | #9
Updated the guide with Rotations and new info check it out.
Courage is not the absence of fear, but the strength to do what is right in the face of it.

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Cartho's Avatar

01.11.2012 , 11:23 AM | #10
One thing to note is that Pulse Cannon, despite being a channeled ability, does not suffer from Pushback - it is a very powerful move when you need good AoE threat on alot of well clustered enemies - the damage per ammo ratio from Pulse Cannon is FAR higher than that of Explosive Surge which, despite being good for spreading around your Static field (reduces dmg done) debuff on mobs, costs ALOT of ammo (3 per use) for mediocre damage.
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