SWTOR Bounty Hunter Powertech / Trooper Vanguard 50 PVP Spec Guide


This video covers four PVP specs at level 50 for the Bounty Hunter Powertech and Trooper Vanguard advanced classes in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Vanguard and Powertech are mirrors so this video is applicable to players of both classes.

The video provides detailed commentary on the following specs:

  1. 26/13/2
  2. 21/2/18
  3. 1/22/18
  4. 4/6/31

For the links to the specs, please refer to the Specs section in my PVP Guide.

The video discusses the mechanics for Defense and Shield, which should be considered when spec’ing into the tanking tree. For more details, read my article on Understanding the Defense and Shield Mechanics for Tanks in PVP.

To see me PVP’ing live, check out my TwitchTV channel. My stream features real-time narration and commentary – and to the extent possible interaction with the Chat Room.

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Posted in Guide, PVP, SWTOR, Vanguard / Powertech, Video
29 comments on “SWTOR Bounty Hunter Powertech / Trooper Vanguard 50 PVP Spec Guide
  1. Hoon says:

    Hi Taugrim. For the two builds which are point heavy in the Shield tree, should I use my champ tokens on the defense oriented Champion gear or DPS?

    26/13/2
    21/2/18

    Thanks, these guides help a ton.

    • taugrim says:

      Hoon :

      Hi Taugrim. For the two builds which are point heavy in the Shield tree, should I use my champ tokens on the defense oriented Champion gear or DPS?

      26/13/2
      21/2/18

      Thanks, these guides help a ton.

      For 26/13/2, Supercommando or Tech.

      For 21/2/18, Supercommando or Eliminator.

    • Benny Soo says:

      I went Tech with 26/13/2 style build. I find I use Jet Charge -> Carbonize combo to save a huttball when he is close to capping… so that bonus .5 seconds to Carbonize may be handy… also the 15% crit to rocket punch is added juice!

  2. lyzergik says:

    Hi Taugrim , thx for the builds , but what’s your favorite build :-)

  3. Patrick says:

    Taugrim, I see that you do not include the 31 point tactics build you shared with us in one of your previous posts (I believe it was the harpoon/huttball video). Is there a reason you did not report on this build? Is it less viable at level 50?

    Thanks!

    • taugrim says:

      Patrick :

      Taugrim, I see that you do not include the 31 point tactics build you shared with us in one of your previous posts (I believe it was the harpoon/huttball video). Is there a reason you did not report on this build? Is it less viable at level 50?

      I originally had it in the video but the rendered video size was > 1 GB. So I removed that spec.

      Blip.TV currently has a 1 GB limit in place for GAMEBREAKER.

      • Patrick says:

        Do you find that the 1/22/18 build is a noticeable dps/mobility/cc boost over 8/31/2? I have yet to try the spec because I find it difficult to give up the passive speed boost provided by high energy cell for strafe kiting when hold the line is down. Is the rationale that fire pulse’s long cooldown is not as effective as plasma cell DOT damage + HIB reset proc?

        • taugrim says:

          Patrick :

          Do you find that the 1/22/18 build is a noticeable dps/mobility/cc boost over 8/31/2? I have yet to try the spec because I find it difficult to give up the passive speed boost provided by high energy cell for strafe kiting when hold the line is down. Is the rationale that fire pulse’s long cooldown is not as effective as plasma cell DOT damage + HIB reset proc?

          1/22/18 has less mobility than 8/31/2, but you gain the snare effect from Plasma Cell procs, which are easy to trigger with Ion Pulse.

          1/22/18 DPS is more RNG because of the Ionic Accelerator talent and you don’t have Surge talents, but the sustained ranged damage can be better due to Incendiary Round and Plasma Cell DoTs.

          8/31/2 is very much a high-mobility short-range build. 1/22/18 has snares and better ranged capability.

          Really which one you go with depends on your playstyle preference.

  4. Sleek says:

    As always. Top rate advice and ideas without the BS. Great work.

  5. […] cover 4 of the specs below in my narrated Spec Guide video, so check that out for more […]

  6. Lord Semaj says:

    Taugrim, concerning your 4/6/31 build… I know assault plastique and the mini execute help finish off targets, but I’d like to suggest my own PVP build: 8/6/27.

    Drop Burnout and Assault Plastique to put points into Steely Resolve. Having calculated the damage, Burnout does about the same as what Steely Resolve does, but the latter has the ability to make your High Impact Bolts hit harder. Bigger numbers are obviously easier to finish off targets with before they can get that critical heal and with the right RNG luck you can get back to back HIBs for a temporary mega burst. Combined with a PVP stim, this has slaughtered sorcerers before they can even react.

    Losing Assault Plastique hurts burst a bit too, but it’s not gone altogether. You still have the weaker yet AOE damage version of it: Sticky Grenade. Stick it back on your hotbar and you’ll barely miss Assault Plastique when the enemy is ganging together in Voidstar.

    Overall damage has improved considerably in PVP and the tradeoff? Bigger bursts and I lose a single target bomb for an AOE bomb that now hits slightly harder. Worth it!

    As if the spec wasn’t grand enough, it’s a viable PVE raiding dps spec.

    • taugrim says:

      Lord Semaj :

      Taugrim, concerning your 4/6/31 build… I know assault plastique and the mini execute help finish off targets, but I’d like to suggest my own PVP build: 8/6/27.

      Drop Burnout and Assault Plastique to put points into Steely Resolve. Having calculated the damage, Burnout does about the same as what Steely Resolve does, but the latter has the ability to make your High Impact Bolts hit harder. Bigger numbers are obviously easier to finish off targets with before they can get that critical heal and with the right RNG luck you can get back to back HIBs for a temporary mega burst. Combined with a PVP stim, this has slaughtered sorcerers before they can even react.

      Very interesting idea!

      Did your calculations take into account the bursty nature of PVP?

      Burnout provides 3% passive always-on Tech Crit Chance, in addition to the increased DoT damage when the target is at low health.

      • Lord Semaj says:

        Yes indeed! The increased dot damage normally amounted to an extra half tick’s worth so the primary damage gain is from the 3% tech crit, which assuming 90% surge rating is on par with Steely Resolve at the tier 2 level. As crits can only ever do double damage due to the surge cap, the bonus cannot exceed a 6% increase (on tech only).

        Assault’s most powerful weapon is HIB, which is actually a ranged attack. Boosting the crit rate of Ion Pulses and DoTs has less of an effect than directly amplifying their power through Steely Resolve’s aim bonus.

        Burnout/Assault Plastique remains the most potent burst when FINISHING a low health enemy, but I’ve found that straight burning them down in minimal time comes from having Steely Resolve and relying on the greater HIB crits for the big finish.

        • taugrim says:

          Lord Semaj :

          Yes indeed! The increased dot damage normally amounted to an extra half tick’s worth so the primary damage gain is from the 3% tech crit, which assuming 90% surge rating is on par with Steely Resolve at the tier 2 level. As crits can only ever do double damage due to the surge cap, the bonus cannot exceed a 6% increase (on tech only).

          I’m not following why you are mentioning Surge.

          Burnout gives 3% Tech Crit Chance, not 3% Tech Crit Damage Bonus (i.e. Surge).

          • Lord Semaj says:

            Because calculating the effectiveness of the added crit chance without including a value for Surge would be meaningless. More surge means the crit chance matters more and adds more damage overall, up to it’s preset hard cap of 100% (which combined with the 3% Tech crit chance caps the effective damage bonus to 6%). Less surge is less damage on the crits reducing Burnout’s effectiveness, and Steely Resolve is based around improving damage. As Surge is a factor in the conversion to compare the two skills effectively, I set it at a reasonably obtainable 90%.

            Burnout, with the higher crit chance, is affected more by surge rating while the bonus aim from Steely Resolve adds a little crit rating and a lot of extra base damage. With gear if surge is stacked, the benefit of the extra power from Steely Resolve exceeds the benefit of stacking more crit, while if power is stacked, the benefit of Burnout is diminished anyway. In either case, Steely Resolve remains the victor.

            • NoGoal says:

              I still don’t get why people think that the 31th talent in the shared tree isn’t that great. Not only it does more damage but it also gains 30% surge from talents.

              As for the +9% aim bonus. With a base of 2000 aim, that’s 180 extra aim resulting in +36 damage (20%). 180 aim is 1.4% crit chance [30*(1-(1-(0.01/0.3))^((180/50)/2.5))]. You need 4300+ AIM to get +3% crit chance from that talent. I doubt that’s an amount we’ll see soon.

              Unless my maths/formulae are wrong, I’m not seeing how the 9% aim is worth taking over 3% tech crit chance (+the small DoT damage and the loss of the 31th talent). Maybe for the ~1% crit chance on Rail Shot (HIB) – it’s not a tech attack afaik – but that’s it.

              • NoGoal says:

                Forgot about diminishing returns. Going from 2000 aim to 2180 (+9% from talent) is +0.83% (12.56% – 13.39%) crit chance.

                You’ll never get more than ~1% added crit chance (crit chance from aim caps at +30%) so the only scaling part is the added damage (+9%).

                • Lord Semaj says:

                  It’s not the crit chance you’re after but the flat damage. Since HIB is a ranged attack, not a tech attack, it does not benefit from the tech power bonus of generators and weapons. This makes the added damage from aim and power heavily affect ranged attacks more than it does normal attacks. However, this bonus damage still applies to tech attacks while the crit does not. Presuming 1% crit chance from the aim, you’re getting about 2% difference from burnout. However, the added damage from aim not only counts more on ranged attacks, but HIB is one of the attacks that benefits from the +30% crit damage. With decent surge, that small damage bonus adds a lot of strength to your primary attack.

                  When considering that Tech attacks are not spammed ad infinitum and there are a number of ranged attacks being thrown in that benefit from the damage increase (hammershot, HIBs), you see more of a return over time. It’s easier to notice if you stop theorycrafting and actually record your values on both sets like I did. The gains from Aim overall were well worth the respec and since we’re interested in PVP… burst damage is enhanced with larger crits on your primary attack, which in my opinion is much more important than more crits in general (woo 1600 damage Ion Pulses… rather hit the higher notes).

                  • NoGoal says:

                    Lord Semaj :

                    It’s easier to notice if you stop theorycrafting and actually record your values on both sets like I did. The gains from Aim overall were well worth the respec and since we’re interested in PVP…pinion is much more important than more crits in general

                    Ok, let me write this again. It’s not 3% crit against more damage from aim. It’s:
                    – 3% crit chance on all tech attacks (all but rail shot and rapid shots)
                    – 50% burst damage on a single attack (more if it crits) every 15s
                    – 30% damage on DoTs on targets under 30% HP

                    For:

                    – 36 damage (with base aim skill of 2000 which is way above the current obtainable amount atm)
                    – 0.8% chance to crit on rail shot and rapid shots

                    That’s the trade you are doing. For the record, the 31th talent alone does ~500 more damage than the normal one. Every 15s that’s a 33 damage increase already (and I don’t have 2000 aim). When it crits, I get surge + 30% damage. How’s that less burst?

                    So your damage increase on your alpha is around 200 damage (5-6 abilities, not counting crits). Again, the 31th talent alone is better.

                    I don’t know what ‘record your values’ refers too but it looks like you are doing wrong.

                    Lord Semaj :

                    burst damage is enhanced with larger crits on your primary attack, which in my opinion is much more important than more crits in general

                    They both are as important. It’s a relationship.

                    Listen, I’m all ears if you can prove me wrong. But I’ve not read anything from you that is based on solid evidence. Back it up and maybe we can discuss it more but, at this point, that seems to be a poor trade-off.

                    • Lord Semaj says:

                      The problem you’re having is that you’re incorrect about how you’re calculating the damage. Attacks have coefficients to them that multiplies the damage beyond what the flat value references. This is common in many MMOs and helps scale damage on stronger attacks and AOEs while keeping their relative power similar. Again, that’s why theorycrafting fails at this point and you’re best off running tests and calculating DPS by hand.

                      Also, I’m aware as stated in post #11 that the burst from Plastique/Burnout was stronger for finishing off enemies. What you may not be regarding in theorycrafting is the number of times each attack is used and how much they benefit from the damage increase. It does add up. Similarly, players in PVP rarely spend time in the <30% range without getting killed or healed back up, greatly diminishing the DoT effectiveness. I'm not debating this point further as I'm satisfied with the spec and was simply bringing it to attention. Whether you choose to try it yourself is up to you, but I'm not Taugrim, I don't run my own website, I don't make guides, and I don't care about educating new players, so you're on your own.

                    • NoGoal says:

                      Lord Semaj :

                      Attacks have coefficients

                      Did you actually check them?
                      – 31th talent has a 2.42 coeff, Explosive dart (Sticky grenade) is 1.61.
                      – Inc. Missile (Inc Round) is 0.55 on the initial hit and 0.293 on the DoT.
                      – Cylinder/Cell is 0.34
                      – Other skills are ~1 (rapid shots, flame burst) and ~2 (rocket punch, rail shot).

                      It’s, again, favouring the 31th talent..

                      At least you now realised that your setup has less burst.

  7. Shveik says:

    Hey , just a note on explosive surge (you talked about that on your last steam) the way im using it is when i i got a large group on me and i just know i am going to die sooner or later.

    Buff battlefocus + reduce powercell –> explode –> recharge ammo–> continue exloding untill death or cell depleted . You can realy wrack a group before going down (even better if you manage to buff surge relic + expertise ardenal)

  8. Robei Linsye says:

    Out of those specs, which spec is good for leveling?

  9. CaptnB says:

    I see you slightly change the Iron Fist from 25/14/2 to 26/13/2.

    This new build gets an extra point in Shield Cycler (for ammo recharge) and also Blaster Augs (8% extra damage on Ion Cell) while losing Power Armor completly (2% across the board).

    With the upcoming 1.1.5 patch, I read that DoT won’t interupt you when capping. Would you still keep this build or simply remove Gut for the extra Shield Cycler point (keeping Power Armor 2, dropping Blaster Augs)?

    • taugrim says:

      CaptnB :

      I see you slightly change the Iron Fist from 25/14/2 to 26/13/2.

      This new build gets an extra point in Shield Cycler (for ammo recharge) and also Blaster Augs (8% extra damage on Ion Cell) while losing Power Armor completly (2% across the board).

      With the upcoming 1.1.5 patch, I read that DoT won’t interupt you when capping. Would you still keep this build or simply remove Gut for the extra Shield Cycler point (keeping Power Armor 2, dropping Blaster Augs)?

      I think you mean that Iron Fist should change from 25/14/2 to 26/13/2, and yes, I agree that with 1.1.5, Retractable Blade (Gut) will be largely useless.

  10. Detour says:

    Hi Ed – I’m not a little bummed at the recent changes. Trying to adapt (way off my game without adrenals and relics – yay! for the dumbing down of PvP!) — I loved my Iron Fist build and will miss it a lot. I see you have a link to a new build — 31-10-0 but the link doesn’t reflect the numbers. Will be you be fixing this?

    • taugrim says:

      Detour :

      Hi Ed – I’m not a little bummed at the recent changes. Trying to adapt (way off my game without adrenals and relics – yay! for the dumbing down of PvP!) — I loved my Iron Fist build and will miss it a lot. I see you have a link to a new build — 31-10-0 but the link doesn’t reflect the numbers. Will be you be fixing this?

      The calculator on Torhead has the trees in the wrong order. I don’t want to fix the calculator links until they fix the calculator.

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