I play Bryn’le a Powertech Bounty Hunter on the server Prophecy of the Five-US, I am 41 at the time of this posting and have run every flashpoint up to this level. I have tanked each one, and with a few different healers. I was a DK tank previously in WoW, and I really enjoy tanking in every game I play. I decided to take it upon myself to create the starting point with what I hope will be the center for discussion on Powertech tanking. I do not pretend to know everything, but I do know what has worked for me from experience in flashpoints. I intend to update the thread as I discover new information or if someone else discovers something that I missed.
I do not claim to be the best tank, and I am sure someone else out there will be able to correct me in many different areas. I just had the desire to create a single location to provide the basis of a guide to tanking and a discussion location. I am open to any discussion focused toward improving the guide. This guide is focused toward Flashpoint and Operation play, as to such it will have no focus on companions.
Thanks for the invaluable input from the following:
Finangus and Billybumbler and Grintogg
Powertechs are heavily armored tanks that wield a single blaster pistol, what they lack in obvious weaponry they make up for in hidden gadgets and advanced shields. Despite the common misconception we are NOT a Ranged Tank, most of our abilities are melee range or short range. We don’t carry glow sticks because we play with real fire. O and our backpacks have jets.
Obviously a tank bounty hunter will be a Powertech Advanced class.
My 50 build:
This is a PVE tank build, a few points can be changed to make it a stronger PVP build.
Threat build (thanks to Finangus).
This build gives up Oil Slick and Advanced tools in favor of making Rail Shot a more powerful threat ability.
Ion Gas Cylinder – In WoW terms this is your tank stance. This increases your threat 50%, Armor Contribution by 60%, Decreases all damage taken by 5%, and increases shield activation chance by 15%. This Cylinder will be active at all times for tanking.
Guard – This ability is a single target buff that protects a target by causing the target to take 5% less damage and generate 25% less threat, in addition 50% of incoming damage is redirected to you. I generally place this on a high threat melee or the healer. Melee if they are persistently pulling agro and healer if I got a controlled group and there is lots of adds and aoe.
Neural Dart/Sonic Missile – These are your taunts (single/aoe respectively). Neural Dart has a 15 second cooldown while Sonic Missile has a 45 second cooldown. If possible save Sonic Missile for add phases.
Flame Burst- Single target nuke with synergy among some skills.
Flame Sweep - Aoe nuke with synergy among some skills.
Rocket Punch - Single target nuke with synergy among some skills.
Rail Shot - Single Target High Damage Nuke only usable on incapacitated targets or targets with with a periodic damage effect on them.
Unload - Heat efficient channeled nuke.
Heat Burst - Single target nuke that disappates heat instead of causing it, has a 15 second cooldown.
Jet Charge – Strong initiator and gap closer. Interrupts and stuns target on a 15 second cooldown.
Grapple – High threat ability that pulls the target towards you. 45 second cooldown (35 with tier 2 Advanced Prototype talent Advanced Tools).
Oil Slick – This is one of your tank survival abilities. It has a 1 minute cooldown and an 18 second duration, and during this time it causes all enemies in it to have their melee/ranged accuracy reduced by 20%. I use this ability right after I get the boss (and adds if applicable) situated at the beginning of the fight and then reuse it any time there are a lot of adds needing to be tanked at the same time.
Energy Shield – Very simple cooldown that provides 25% damage reduction for 12 seconds on a 2 minute cooldown.
Kolto Overload – A mediocre selfheal. 15% max health over 10 seconds on a 2 minute cooldown. It won’t save your life but it could help the healer in heavy damage phases.
Vent Heat – reduces heat level by 50 over 3 seconds on a 2 minute cooldown. On trash I use any time I come close to maxed heat, but on bosses I often wait til there is a time I need to run survival abilities or build snap threat.
Thermal Sensor Override - Your next ability generates no heat. 15 second duration with a 2 minute cooldown.
SYNERGY AMONGST SKILLS
In the Shield Tech tree several abilities interact with flame burst, flame sweep and rocket punch.
Tier 1 skill Combust causes Flame burst/Flame Sweep to reduce affected target(s) damage by 4% for 15 seconds.
Tier 4 skill Flame Shield increases the critical chance of flame sweep and rocket punch by 30% and shield an attack has a 50% chance to reset the cooldown on rocket punch.
This synergy is part of our key threat building “rotation”. Flame burst and Rocket punch are high threat single target abilities while flame sweep is an aoe threat ability.
I will generally start a pull by firing an Explosive Dart at a weak/standard enemy hoping to tie them up briefly and then Jet Charge the strongest enemy. I save Grapple for any enemy that refuses to get into position or if my healer or range somehow get agro. Use Heat Blast on cooldown as it does decent damage and discharges 8 heat. Do not spam your abilities, because the Bounty Hunter class is all about heat management and using the right abilities at the right time. I attempt to stay around heat dissipation levels 3-4 if at all possible (the fastest dissipation rates). This is so I can save Vent Heat for critical times. If you have no need to use any of the above abilities use Rapid Shots for damage with no cost.
Start with explosive dart on Weak/Standard target (though don’t forget about them).
Jet Charge primary kill target.
Apply Flame Burst or Flame Sweep (if multiple mobs) Combust debuff.
Rocket Punch (to apply Ion Gas Cylinder debuff)
Heat Blast if past 40% heat.
Unload if you can finish the channel.
Rapid Shots when you have nothing else to do or are waiting to lose some heat.
Priority Breakdown (thanks again to Finangus and Grintogg)
Rocket Punch > Rail Shot > Flame Burst* > Explosive Dart** > Unload > Heat Blast > Rapid Shots***
* if Combustion has or is about to fall off Flame Burst is priority.
** Higher priority if a stun is expected soon to provide threat while stunned.
*** Moves up the priority chain when at higher heat levels.
For mob packs that are primarily Weak/Standard mobs use Death From Above/Flame Sweep/Flamethrower.
Heat Dissipation Breakdown (thanks Grintogg):
0-20 Heat: 5HpS
20-40 Heat: 4HpS
40-60 Heat: 3HpS
60-80 Heat: 2.5HpS
80-100 Heat: 2HpS
****This entire section came courtesy of Finangus.****
Managing heat can be tricky, and it's not uncommon to see PTs heat-locking themselves. At first, I was had this happen alot, but now I feel that I've figured out how to manage heat efficiently. These are the general rules I force myself to follow:
1) Try to keep heat below 40%.
2) Save Heat Blast so that when you do go over 40%, you can use it to quickly get below it again. The earliest you should use it is at 30% heat. Any earlier is a waste.
3) If heat is > 25%, use Rapid Shots. Your cheapest attack generates 16 heat, so using one above 25% will push you over 40%. The only exception is for Flame Burst debuff.
4) Avoid interrupting Unload, if possible. Unload is one of your most Heat efficient abilities, in that it only costs 16 heat and allows you to lose heat while it is channeled. Interrupting it is a waste of a global and heat.
5) Only use AoE abilities (Flame Sweep, DFA, Flamethrower) on AoE packs. They all cost 25 heat, so use them wisely.
6) Only use Vent Heat when your heat is > 60%.
Endurance > Aim
But all our gear has those stats on it so they will come inevitably.
Shield Rating > Defense Rating = Absorption
Shield Rating increases our chance to shield (shield reduces damage taken, chance to reduce heat, and reset Rocket Punch).
Defense Rating provides a chance to avoid incoming attacks.
Absorption determines how much damage is reduced by our shield.
To my knowledge a crit cannot be shielded therefore that is why defense (total avoidance of the hit) is valueable.
Most dps will not be one shot by a mob or boss, so if it comes down to healer or dps, save the healer first.
Don’t initiate with a taunt. In pugs, most dps will go full force at the beginning and you will need the taunt to save them.
Our survival cds are relatively weak, but they can help.
Mark targets. Discuss a kill target and cc target mark at the beginning. Most people will attempt to follow your targets.
Use keybindings wisely. We have a lot of abilities and they all have a use, keep the important ones like taunts and survival cds close.
Watch your heat, if you are maxed heat you will be unable to perform any major actions.
Interrupt anything you can. Reduces your damage taken most of the time.
Threat is not so bad, use guard wisely on a dps IN RANGE or if the situation calls for the guard to be on the healer ask them to come in range (30m). Guarding a Range or Healer outside of 30m causes the Guard buff to go into "idle" mode with no damage or threat sharing. If you follow the above posters rotation single target threat will not be an issue.
Stuns will happen alot. You will have to rely on periodic damage effects such as Ion Gas Cylinder are going to be your only threat effects when you are stunned. (thanks Billybumbler for the last 2)
While we are NOT a range tank we do have some range abilities. If a boss is using some sort of melee range aoe run out and use unload/rapid shots/explosive dart to keep aggro and reduce incoming damage.
To do list:
Further stat theorycrafting.
Thanks for reading this brief guide. Feel free to leave any comments or criticisms in response. I will do my best to update and address as necessary.