Welcome to my Mercenary/Commando Healing Guide for PvP!
~ FEEDBACK IS ALWAYS WELCOME! ~
Last UPDATED: 25th April 2017 – Updated Utility and Gearing Sections for 5.2.
Initial 5.0 Impressions: The rotation is pretty much the same. New, better defensive utilities and OMG Responsive Safeguards so we survive a lot longer than we used to when we space out and time our defensives correctly. This takes practice. Overall having a lot of fun in 5.0.
I will keep this guide updated as best I can.
Disclaimer: I definitely am not the best at my class in PvP. I have however been playing it for a very long time and find it a highly enjoyable spec. I’d like to think I at least know a little bit about playing the class.
Hopefully, this guide can help get you started with learning how the class works. There are other skill sets needed to excel at healing which I will highlight later. But first, I can help by highlighting the most useful abilities and utilities for Mercenary/Commando healers.
For reference: I always put the Mercenary ability first then the Commando equivalent.
Key Healing Abilities
- /: Basic heal, builds Supercharge charges.
- /: AOE heal.
- /: 4 target AOE heal.
- /: HoT, heals on damage taken.
- /: Instant heal, increases armor.
- /: With Proc from ES/BI is instant cast.
- /: Filler heal, also builds Supercharge charges.
- /: Increases healing done by 5% for 10 seconds. Build 10 charges, using Med Kolto Shot/Shot and Rapid Scan/Medical Probe, then activate it off cooldown.
Key Defensive Cooldowns
- /: Triggers at 35% health and heals you for 35% of your total health.
- /: Increases damage reduction by 25% for 12 seconds.
- /: Activates an advanced response system that absorbs all incoming direct single target damage for the next 6 seconds, reflecting 50% of the absorbed damage back at the attacker and healing you for 5% of your maximum health each time an attack is absorbed. Can be used while stunned.
Additional Key Abilities
- /: Get away ability
- /: Another get away /escape ability introduced in 4.0.
- /: Makes next ability (or 2) instant cast.
- /: Makes next ability cost free.
- /: An ‘oh shit’ button for venting heat/recharging cells (over 3 seconds).
- /: Your CC Breaker.
- /: Your cleanse. Can cleanse tech based CC’s (8 second stuns).
- /: 4 second stun.
- : A snare that reduces targets speed by 50% and does damage.
- /: Knocks back enemies away from you.
- /: AOE DPS ability with no cool-down to stop caps.
Stance: Stances are now tied to Disipline. So need to worry about it.
I’m basically using a defensive/mobile build at the moment. It means I don’t have any interrupt immunity but the defensives make up for that to an extent. I’ve listed a couple of additional utilities that are good that could be used instead if you prefer.
- Gyroscopic Alignment Jets/Paralletic Combat Stims: You Vent 10 Heat/Recharge 10 Energy Cells when stunned, immobalised, knocked down or otherwise incapacitated. You will get stunned quite frequently so it is worth taking advantage of this.
- Jet Escape/Tenacious Defense: Reduces the cooldown of Jet Boost/Concussion Charge by 5 seconds and Determination/Tenacity (CC Breaker) by 30 seconds. Reducing the cooldown of your CC breaker is always handy and the reduced cooldown of Jet Boost/Concussion Charge is a good bonus.
- (Additional useful) Improved Vents/Cell Capacitor: Vent Heat/Recharge cells now immediately vents/recharges an additional 15 heat/energy cells and grants 10 alacrity for 6 seconds. Pretty self explanatory but other two utilities above are more worth the points in my view.
- Heat Damping/Efficient Conversions: Eliminates the heat generated/energy cell cost of Jet Boost/Concussion Charge, Concussion Missile/Concussive Round, Cure/Field Aid and Electro Dart/Cryo Grenade.This utility obviously helps with heat management as you’ll likely use 3 out of 4 of these abilties fairly reguarly.
- Supercharge Reserves: Reduces the cooldown of Cure/Field Aid and Disabling Shot by 3 seconds each.You will find yourself probably using your Cleanse more then your Interrupt but having them both on a shorter cooldown is always handy.
- (Additional Useful) Power Barrier/Charged Barrier: Rapid Scan/Medical Probe and Power Shot/Charged Bolts generate a Power Barrier that increases damage reduction by 1% for 15 seconds. Stacks up to 5 times. Nice little defence bonus but I prefer the other Utilities above.
- (Additional Useful) Torque Boosters/Advance the Line: Increases the duration of Hyraulic Overrides/Hold the Line by 4 seconds. Not really worth it compared to the main two abilities above. More of a situational thing.
- Power Overrides/Overclock: Reduces to cooldown of Power Surge/Tech Override by 15 seconds. In addition Power Surge/Tech override grants a second charge, making your next two abilities with an activation time activate instantly. This gives you more mobility and gives you two abilities which would be prone to interrupts and makes it impossible for them to be interrupted.
- Koloto Surge/Adreneline Surge: Kolto Overload heals you twice as fast and heals you up to 70% of your maximum health. Additionally, the duration is increased by 2 seconds. This is one of our new key defensive utilities.
- (Additional useful) Power Shield/Combat Shield: Energy Shield/Reactive Shield now further decreases ability activation pushback and makes you immune to interrupts. This would pair well with the Trauma Regulators/Trauma Stabalisers Utility if you’re willing to sacrifice having two instant cast heals..
- Thrill of the Hunt/Forced March: Allows Unload/Full-Auto and Progressive Scan/Successive Treatment to be activated while moving. This is brilliant, more mobility is always a good thing.
- Trauma Regulators/Trauma Stabalisers: While Energy Shield is active, you gnerate a stack of Trauma Regulators each time you recieve direct damage. Stacks up to 15 times. When Energy Shield expires, each stack of Trauma Regulators heals you for 5% of your maximum health. This is our other new defensive ultility.
- (Additional Useful) Supercharged Defence: Increases defence chance by 15% and grants immunity to interrupts for 8 seconds. In addition, your healing recieved and endurance is increaced by 3%. I personally feel that as good as interrupt immunity is, I prefer to be able to move while casting Progressive Scan/Successive Treatment.
Rotations and Priorities
Before each Warzone/Arena starts, there are two things you should do.
- Build up your 10 stacks of (/, Rapid Shots/Hammer Shot & /) are main abilities which build up Supercharge.
- Put a / on everyone.
Emergency Scan/Bacta Infusion, Healing Scan/Advanced Medical Probe and Progressive Scan/Successive Treatment are your three main healing abilities which you should aim to use when they are off cooldown. You can use PS/ST before or after ES/BI – HS/AMP but you should always use ES/BI before HS/AMP. I use the filler abilities (Kolto Shot/Med Shot, Rapid Scan/Medical Probe & Kolto Missile/Kolot Bomb) in between the cooldowns of ES/BI, HS/AMP and PS/ST.
/: Use Kolto Shot/Med Shot (1 charge) and Rapid Scan/Medical Probe (2 charges) to build up 10 charges of Supercharge Gas/Supercharge Cell then activate it. Try to use it off cooldown. You should build up 10 stacks fairly quickly and regularly from using Kolto Shot/Med Shot frequently as fillers.
Rapid Scan/Medical Probe also builds up stacks of / which reduces the cost your your next Healing Scan/Advanced Medical Probe per stack (stacks up to 3 times). Having 3 stacks of Critical Efficiency/Field Triage will make your next Healing Scan/Advanced Medical Probe free.
As Rapid Scan/Medical Probe uses a fair bit of your Heat/Energy Cells use Kolto Shot/Med Shot in between to help keep your Heat/Energy management in check.
- Use Kolto Missile/Kolto Bomb on cool-down it’s an effective and underutilised AOE heal.
- Refresh Kolto Shell/Trauma Probe.
- Weave in Kolto Shot/Med Shot to build up your supercharge and pop it every time it’s off cooldown when in a fight or build it up and save when there’s breaks and save it for the next engagement. Just get into the habit of continuously hitting your Kolto Shot/Med Shot!
- Don’t use Rapid Scan/Medical Probe too much. It will drain your resources so use it along with a Kolto Shot/Med Shot or two. Both of these abilities, again are fillers.
The key to healing well is to be able to quickly switch targets and be able to predict who’s going to take the damage. Use your filler abilities when there isn’t much damage going out.
This section will have to be continually updated due to the nature of the galactic Command System. As of 5.2 248 Legendary Gear is the best you can get. But 240 Purple crafted, 242 legendary Gear and 246 purple drops from Command Crates will be just fine until you can get full 248’s.
Basics: Mastery and Power are the main stats you get. There is no longer Expertise stat. Important secondary stats are Critical Rating and Alacrity other secondary stats are useless for healers. You’re roughly aiming for 1900-2000 Alacrity and ~1900 Critical (I’m not 100% sure about exact numbers as of 5.2 but those numbers are what I’m aiming for currently atm, I need more alacrity).
My Current Gear – subject to change (BIS/what I’m aiming for is underlined)
Set Bonus: 6 Piece Combat Medic Set Gear
Barrels: Versatile 49 (242) x2 / 248 Legendary Barrel x2
Colour Crystals: Eviscerating (Critical) x2
Mods: Advanced Lethal Mod 49 (242) x9 / Lethal Mod (248) x9
Enhancements: Adept x5, Quick Savant x2 (242) / Adept x4 / Quick Savant x3 (248)
Augments: Advanced Critical Augment x4, Advanced Alacrity Augment x10 (228)
Relics: 248 Serendipitous Assualt, 242 Focused Retribution / Serendipitous Assault & Focused Retribution 248
Implants: 244 Adept x1, 248 Adept x1/ 248 Adept x1 & Quick Savant x1
Earpiece: 246 Quick Savant / 248 Quick Savant
Warzone Tips and Survival Strategies
- Positioning: Make sure you position yourself towards the back of the pack. Stand near something like a pillar that you can use to ‘line of sight’ incoming damage. Use the environment to your advantage.
- Kite: Learn to move around while healing (yes you can do that) regularly even if it is not necessary so that when you do have to run away or run around pillars (eg. Civil War Mid & Voidstar) you can keep healing.
- Find a Pocket Tank: If you can find one (good luck finding one who knows what they’re doing) you won’t know yourself! Trust me, it makes a difference to your survivability having a tank around to taunt incoming damage, peel, stun and annoy anyone trying to kill you.
- Precast Kolto Overload/Adrenaline Rush: So you don’t have to waste a cooldown activating it when you do need it. It will just trigger automatically when you get below 30% (or health.
- Learn to not use your CC Breaker you’ll find yourself white barred and stun locked pretty frequently. So save your CC breaker for only dire circumstances and only use it when you’re white barred except in exceptional circumstances.
- Space out your defensive cooldowns: Never ever use more than one defensive cooldown at a time. When you’re being focused by multiple people and losing health fast, use Responsive Safeguards/Echoing Deterrence. Do not use it if you’re below 10% health as the first 2 seconds of damage won’t be reflected back and you’ll likely die anyway. AOE damage is not reflected back so only use if being targeted by single target damage. Energy Shield/Reactive (if specced into Trauma Regulators/Trauma Stabilisers) is also good for burst damage if you can keep yourself above ~40% health until you get to 15 stacks. Once you hit 15 stacks you can click off the shield on your buff bar and get healed to full. Kolto Overload/Adrenaline Rush is a nice way to top up your health if you’re under pressure.
- Smart Healing: Accept that you’re not going to be able to keep everyone alive. This is the reality of healing. Don’t waste your time chasing after someone who is LOSing you or chasing a melee that is too far away from the node. Know your limitations. If someone is close to death don’t waste your resources trying to get them back up unless you know you can do it without compromising you Heat/Energy Cells or if it’s crucial for keeping the objective. This is where playing other classes comes in handy (more on that below) as you can know the type of damage going out and then know what you can and can’t heal through.
- Node Guarding: Yes, this will likely happen on the odd occasion. All you need to do is stand around 30 meters away from the objective and out of sight if possible. That way it makes it harder for stealther’s to sap cap you. Remember to call out as soon as you see someone coming. While you wait for reinforcements run around and stay alive for as long as possible while you wait for reinforcements.
Even as a healer you need to understand how resolve works, how it will affect you and how your stun, CC (crowd control/mezz) and knock back (all CC effects) will affect resolve. When you stun, CC, knockback your opponent it will fill up their white bar incrementally. Once their bar is full they are immune to stun’s, CC’s and knock backs for a short duration until their white bar gets reset to zero so to speak. The resolve bar appears under the character name.
How To Improve your PvP Game
Playing Other Classes: This is essential if you want to be a good player. Learning how to play other classes, especially in PVP, mean’s you’ll know what they do and in turn learn how to counter their abilities, know how they can counter you, know what to interrupt and know roughly how much damage you will/can take!
Situational Awareness: This is also a very crucial skill. Not just being aware of your surroundings, there’s more to it than that. You need to be able to play your class/role while also knowing how many of their team there is and how many of your team is at a particular location. You need to be asking yourself, where is my team? Where is the enemy team? Am I needed here or am I more needed elsewhere? Make a mental note of who is guarding a node so if you notice their health drop you can help quicker.
Practice! Practice! Practice! Being able to predict who is going to take how much damage and judging the rate someone is taking damage so you know which heals to use on them and who get healing priority takes time and practice.
UI and Keybindings
I use a Logitech G600 Mouse which means I have 24 key bindings at my disposal. So I set up my UI to mimic the layout of the keys on the mouse plus I use keybinds on my keyboard.
Set up your UI in a way you feel is comfortable for your play style. I have my defensive cooldowns, stun, interrupt, an AOE ability in the exact same spot on all my characters. I also use the E, Q and C keys as they are easy for me to reach. Also, have your Warzone medpacs and adrenals in easy reach.
Prioritise your important abilities to the easiest to press positions. You do not need every single possible ability you have for your class on your quickbars so be smart. You should not have to use every single quickbar slot on all 6 quickbars for any class. You’ll notice that I have only 5 quickbars and almost 2 of the slots are filled with fluff.
I’ll be doing a new video’s soon…
My PVP Experience
I have a Warlord Commando (96) and an Elite Warlord Mercenary (100). I’ve been playing Mercenary/Commando heals at max level since 1.x days. I have experience PvPing on almost every Advanced Class and Discipline. Some more than others. I’ve levelled most of my alts through PvP (or predominately PVP). Other classes, I have experience with include Carnage Marauder, Sage/Sorc DPS & Heals, Scoundrel/Operative Heals. I do not claim to be the best PvPer, PvP is a game mode I really enjoy and I’m always looking to improve and be a better PvPer.
The key to being a good player is knowing which abilities are useful to your spec, when to use the ones that are useful and how to best use all your abilities. As a healer this involves knowing when and who to heal, predicting incoming damage and knowing when to use your secondary abilities/utilities. Most of that comes with experience and practice.
Thank you for reading my guide! If you have any tips, suggestions or questions about my guide, let me know/ask!