Powertech / Vanguard “Insta-Nuker with CC” 0/12/29 PVP Spec


The 0/12/29 spec for Bounty Hunter Powertech / Trooper Vanguard is a heavy DPS spec with good CC capability.

Here are links to the spec: Powertech | Vanguard

I did not take the 31-pt talent Thermal Detonator (Assault Plastique). TD (AP) is an excellent ability and hits for ~50% harder than the base Explosive Dart (Sticky Grenade). That being said, keep in mind the ability has a 15-sec cooldown and I decided to go with the interrupt talent instead.

As Powertech and Vanguard Advanced Classes are mirrors, I reference the corresponding Vanguard talents and abilities in parentheses below.

Spec Strengths

  1. Strong sustained and burst damage mechanics:
    • +6% total Tech Crit Chance
    • +6% Crit Chance for fire (Elemental) attacks. Keep in mind all of our fire attacks are Tech attacks, so this stacks with the previous bullet point
    • 60% armor penetration and 30% armor penetration for the talents for Rail Shot (High Impact Bolt)
    • The proc-reset talent for Rail Shot (High Impact Bolt)
    • +9% damage to burning targets for key abilities including Rail Shot (High Impact Bolt), Rocket Punch (Stockstrike), and Rapid Shots (Hammer Shot)
    • +30% Crit damage bonus for Rail Shot (High Impact Bolt), Incendiary Missile (Incendiary Round), and Combustible Gas Cylinder (Plasma Cell)
  2. Good CC capability:
    • Interrupt with a 6-sec cooldown instead of the base 8-sec default. This is very helpful for shutting down healers / casters
    • Ranged pull on a 35-sec cooldown instead of 45-sec. In Huttball I use the ranged pull to disrupt EFCs and to pull people into the acid and fire pits

Spec Weaknesses

Spec’ing is all about tradeoff decisions. As such, here are the things you give up with this spec:

  1. Limited mobility. This spec lacks Charge capability from the tanking tree and the passive movement buff and on-demand unstoppable sprint in the middle tree
  2. Guard capability, since this spec is most effective at DPS’ing when running Combustible Gas Cylinder (Plasma Cell)

Narrated PVP Footage

The following video contains gameplay footage of my Vanguard with this spec and includes real-time commentary from me and my team mates:

http://www.twitch.tv/taugrim/b/305733320

Our <Maven> premade consisted of:

  • Ris’ek 26 healing Sage: this is Justin Lowe, co-founder of darthhater.com and my co-host on GAMEBREAKER’s SWTOR The Republic show
  • Tamgros 38 Shadow: this is Matt, my co-host on GAMEBREAKER’s RIFT The Sanctum show
  • Talac 42 healing Sage, later replaced by Liral a lowbie healing Sage not from our guild, later replaced by Swartz 43 DPS Commando

We won 10 consecutive matches (including a lame 11v8 in Alderaan) as I completed my 50 warzone weeklies for the first time. Speaking of gear, in the video I started with 3 pieces of Champion gear, and during the stream I acquired another 2 pieces. So far I’m 5 for 11 on bags :)

If you are looking for more in-depth information on Powertech / Vanguard, check out my Guide on Powertech / Vanguard Mechanics and PVP.

Let me know your questions and feedback.

UPDATE (2012/01/19): based on exphryl’s (and others’) feedback I swapped out Degauss for the Infrared Sensors (Nightvision Scope), as the talented Stealth Scan ability provides far more value than the movement-breaking effect from Degauss.

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Posted in Livestream, PVP, SWTOR, Vanguard / Powertech, Video
27 comments on “Powertech / Vanguard “Insta-Nuker with CC” 0/12/29 PVP Spec
  1. Benny Soo says:

    What is the biggest damage output at the end of the games? Have you been able to hit 300k consistently with this build? I am on the Tank tree spec… I like self movement and mobility… see my Rift character Seventh with blinking tank rogue spec I did in our time together. I like running the huttball although you do not get much at all points etc for it… I scored 5 times and ended with zero badges at the end of a game…

    • taugrim says:

      Benny Soo :

      What is the biggest damage output at the end of the games? Have you been able to hit 300k consistently with this build?

      Damage output depends on match length and relative gear / levels.

      I have hit 300k damage, but I can’t say it’s been consistently.

      Keep in mind I just dinged 50 yesterday, so I have a lot of gearing up to do.

  2. Dregan says:

    Glad to see an update! I rolled a Powertech and just recently read your guide and ever since then have doubled my damage output and constantly come in 1st or 2nd (depending on how many geared 50s there are). I am only 23 but have no problem taking on some 50s 1v1. Just wanted to say that I appreciate all the info you share and I am looking forward to more.

    As far as PvP gear goes are you going for more aim heavy or endurance gear? it a mix of both? I went for the level 20 mix that is a little more even on both stats but I was curious if I would benefit from more aim.

    • taugrim says:

      Dregan :

      As far as PvP gear goes are you going for more aim heavy or endurance gear? it a mix of both? I went for the level 20 mix that is a little more even on both stats but I was curious if I would benefit from more aim.

      Mix of both at 50.

      Most players tend to undervalue HP in endgame PVP, but it does help with time-to-live.

  3. UnsungCesspool says:

    Although I agree that being unable to gaurd someone as a Pyrotech spec is a bit of a weakness in gameplay, It, however, does not stop a DPS Spec’d PT (AP or Pyro) from being effective in preventing incoming damage onto teammates.

    Neural Dart/Sonic Missle, a PT’s single target and AOE taunts, cause a 30% damage reduction on players not focusing you which in turn reflects as “ProtectIon” in the scoreboard at the end of the game. It is very easy to do 200k+ in damage, and still walk out of a Warzone with 50k in protection.

    For this fact, I find it would be a good point to add into the “Strengths” of the class/mirror.

    • taugrim says:

      UnsungCesspool :

      Although I agree that being unable to gaurd someone as a Pyrotech spec is a bit of a weakness in gameplay, It, however, does not stop a DPS Spec’d PT (AP or Pyro) from being effective in preventing incoming damage onto teammates.

      Understood.

      I didn’t list the taunt abilities as a strength as those are core class abilities not based on spec.

  4. NoGoal says:

    In weaknesses, you can add the resource management. Especially with the short CD on the interrupt, that’s 8 heat (1 ammo) every 6s on top of your, already heavy, resource usage.

    And you didn’t pick the -8 heat (1 ammo) when CC’ed (I assume it works on everything but snares, it has to be tested). I find that talent to be more useful than the 30s reduction on Vent Heat (Recharge Cells).

    For your ´cc theme´, I’d rather pick the -10s on your stun rather than 6% more damage on a medium damage ability.

    Last, the 31th talent is really good (not only it does more damage but it also has +30% crit damage from talents). That and the heat management make me skip the CD reduction on the interrupt.

    • taugrim says:

      NoGoal :

      In weaknesses, you can add the resource management. Especially with the short CD on the interrupt, that’s 8 heat (1 ammo) every 6s on top of your, already heavy, resource usage.

      And you didn’t pick the -8 heat (1 ammo) when CC’ed (I assume it works on everything but snares, it has to be tested). I find that talent to be more useful than the 30s reduction on Vent Heat (Recharge Cells).

      This spec takes the -30 sec cooldown redux talent for Vent Heat (Recharge Cells). That helps a lot.

      The think about the Gyroscopic Alignment Jets (Parallactic Combat Stims) is that for 3 of the 4 CC categories for that talent, you can’t use your abilities and are therefore venting heat (regening ammo) passively.

      So the benefit for GAJ (PCS) in my experience wasn’t as good as I had hoped.

      NoGoal :

      For your ´cc theme´, I’d rather pick the -10s on your stun rather than 6% more damage on a medium damage ability.

      Fair point.

      NoGoal :

      Last, the 31th talent is really good (not only it does more damage but it also has +30% crit damage from talents).

      It hits hard, no doubt.

      Spec’ing is all about tradeoffs. With this spec you gain better control over healers / casters compared to the better Explosive Dart (Sticky Grenade). Both are viable options.

  5. Sev says:

    I knew you’d turn around to Pyro/Assault Master Race and leave the inferiority of Tactics/AP behind. Good for you.

    • taugrim says:

      Sev :

      I knew you’d turn around to Pyro/Assault Master Race and leave the inferiority of Tactics/AP behind. Good for you.

      I haven’t left anything behind.

      I’m trying different specs over time, to compare the mechanics.

  6. Malice says:

    http://db.darthhater.com/skill_calc/bounty_hunter/powertech/#::fef11ef8ef12ef3e5f2e2fe6fe:

    That is the build I’m running currently. I find that Rapid Venting is useless outside of PvE, you will burn ALOT more heat in PvP with Gyroscopic Alightment Jets.

    I personally can’t pass up TD, as a rotation of TD > Incendiary Missle > Rail Shot > rocket punch or flameburst based on range, then rail shot again once up. it dumps a lot of heavy spike and with the timing delay on TD, my TD and Rail Shot go off at the same time for huge spike.

    While Advanced Tool is handy, I am curious to the logic of going up to get 3% more crit at the cost of 6% damage on your Rail Shot and 6% damage to ALL fire instead of just flame burst.

    Hitman I can see as valuable, but with ability delay currently in the game, I find that actually trying to interupt targets, especially since it is a melee ability and I like to hover at mid range as well, makes it difficult to get value out of it.

    Since you went up and got Hot Iron, I would think it might prove more valuable to put one of those points in retractable blade, since you want to be in melee to use Quell anyway, give you a nice follow up to your rocket punch. (just a thought)

    • taugrim says:

      Malice :

      That is the build I’m running currently. I find that Rapid Venting is useless outside of PvE, you will burn ALOT more heat in PvP with Gyroscopic Alightment Jets.

      I PVP’d with GAJ and with RV, and in my experience RV was the more reliable ability.

      As I wrote above, the issue with Gyroscopic Alignment Jets (Parallactic Combat Stims) is that for 3 of the 4 CC categories for that talent, you can’t use your abilities and are therefore venting heat (regening ammo) passively.

      Malice :

      While Advanced Tool is handy, I am curious to the logic of going up to get 3% more crit at the cost of 6% damage on your Rail Shot and 6% damage to ALL fire instead of just flame burst.

      Need 10 points to unlock 3rd tier.

      Malice :

      Hitman I can see as valuable, but with ability delay currently in the game, I find that actually trying to interupt targets, especially since it is a melee ability and I like to hover at mid range as well, makes it difficult to get value out of it.

      I’ve never had an issue interrupting targets on my PT or VG.

      Malice :

      Since you went up and got Hot Iron, I would think it might prove more valuable to put one of those points in retractable blade, since you want to be in melee to use Quell anyway, give you a nice follow up to your rocket punch. (just a thought)

      RB can’t proc the cooldown reset for RS.

  7. Ears says:

    When can you post the YouTube video, so I can view the videos on my iPhone!

    Adobe flash player is dead now!….

  8. […] Insta-Nuker with CC: 0/12/29 Powertech (Vanguard) – provides excellent sustained and burst damage mechanics with good CC capability. You can get the 31-pt talent in Pyrotech (Assault Specialist) as a replacement for Explosive Dart (Sticky Grenade), but you’ll have to sacrifice CC capability to do so. For more information and a narrated video on this spec, check out the blog article. […]

  9. Dregan says:

    1.1 has been a godsend, WZ’s are a lot more fun and challenging now and winning heavily relies on strategy. Kind of disappointed they raised the prices of the gear, but its not like its too hard to get commendations. I want to try out this new build but I love the AP tree too much so its hard to make a change. Still pulling in top damage/medals at level 25 and starting to get more defense now that I am grasping the taunt/guard concept more.

    How is the 50 bracket treating you? I hope its more challenging, since that is what makes pvping fun!

    Looking forward to a video or update when you have more time with the new bracket.

  10. Dirk Pitt says:

    In the stream , u are fighting at 44:08 with a Sith Saurcerer, Caterwaul, he/she was tanking 3/4 of u at the same time….

    I tough there was no tanking tree for the Sith Sorcerer/Jedi Sage, how he/she did manage that? Fully equipped with Battlemaster gear or what?

    • taugrim says:

      Dirk Pitt :

      In the stream , u are fighting at 44:08 with a Sith Saurcerer, Caterwaul, he/she was tanking 3/4 of u at the same time….

      I tough there was no tanking tree for the Sith Sorcerer/Jedi Sage, how he/she did manage that? Fully equipped with Battlemaster gear or what?

      I said that Sorc was tanking 4 of us, not that the Sorc was tank-spec’d.

      I just checked the video, Caterwaul has close to 16k HP, which means that character has good gear.

  11. NoGoal says:

    Malice :

    While Advanced Tool is handy, I am curious to the logic of going up to get 3% more crit at the cost of 6% damage on your Rail Shot and 6% damage to ALL fire instead of just flame burst.

    Watching your build, I’d remove 1 point from Intimidation to pick Prototype Cylinders. 3% chance to crit on tech attacks > +2% damage on fire attacks.

    Also, try to not overvalue talents. +6% damage on your hardest hitting ability sounds good but see it as +180 damage (6% of 3000) on 1 attack and it might not look that great after all. Without combat logs, it’s not easy to determine which DPS talents are the best to pick.

    Taugrim’s build is about Utility/reliable talents, DPS is secondary. That said, if you want utility, you should go middle tree. You don’t have to sacrifice anything there. Or go for Charge in shield tree for a 23/15/2 build. 3rd tree is the one which has to sacrifice the most for utility.

    The more I discover about this AC the more I like it. All 3 trees have I-want-this talents: Charge vs Utility vs RS (HIB) CD reset.

  12. Niner says:

    Hi Taugrim,

    I got a question, im a lvl30 Trooper Vanguard and i spend of my time PvP in WZ and doing class quests. Is this specs good in WZ on my current lvl, or should i use a different build and when i reach higher lvl only i will change to this build.

    • taugrim says:

      Niner :

      Hi Taugrim,

      I got a question, im a lvl30 Trooper Vanguard and i spend of my time PvP in WZ and doing class quests. Is this specs good in WZ on my current lvl, or should i use a different build and when i reach higher lvl only i will change to this build.

      If you are playing an Assault Spec, this is the 0/6/18 spec you should aim to get to by level 33:
      http://www.torhead.com/skill-calc#801ZMsZfhMbdh.1

      After that, you should probably stick with points in Assault Spec to 29 or 31, up to you, then dump the rest in the other tree(s).

  13. PoiSonPeZ says:

    I switched from an Advanced Prototype skillset to your suggested Pyrotech skill tree and while my DPS has increased, I have become alot more squishy when there are no healers nearby. Not sure if this is ideal for me.

    • taugrim says:

      PoiSonPeZ :

      I switched from an Advanced Prototype skillset to your suggested Pyrotech skill tree and while my DPS has increased, I have become alot more squishy when there are no healers nearby. Not sure if this is ideal for me.

      Understood.

      Each tree has its strengths and weaknesses.

      Pyrotech has the best DPS but not much in the way of survivability. Although situationally DPS will help you survive by killing faster.

  14. rrr says:

    what is the best pvp skill tree?
    i have a lot of problem in pvp after ding lv 50,
    most pve want powerteck to be a tank,
    but pvp is other condition,

  15. Leo says:

    Hi Taugrim, first I want to say I love your work! Thx for all! I’m a newby for MMO’s so I’ve learned a lot from you videos and guids. Since launch I’ve played a TC gun. spec. Now lvl 30. While playing (and learning) I discovered that the lack of movability of the TC isn’t that great. Learned (kite) strafing on opponents and that works for me, but I think this is not the right tactic for TC. So, decided to go for BH, PT instead. Which spec tree do you recommend if I want to DPS and be mobile?

    Thx!

    • taugrim says:

      Leo :

      decided to go for BH, PT instead. Which spec tree do you recommend if I want to DPS and be mobile?

      Most mobile is Advanced Prototype, but Pyrotech and Shield Tech both have a procable DoT-snare. Pyrotech’s is the most reliable as you can force-proc the snare with Flame Burst.

      So you have multiple options.

  16. Leo says:

    taugrim :

    Leo :
    decided to go for BH, PT instead. Which spec tree do you recommend if I want to DPS and be mobile?

    Most mobile is Advanced Prototype, but Pyrotech and Shield Tech both have a procable DoT-snare. Pyrotech’s is the most reliable as you can force-proc the snare with Flame Burst.
    So you have multiple options.

    Ok, that makes sence! thx. Think I first try the 1/22/18 spec

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