Medicine Operative: PvP Guide by Hottie (5.6)

Medicine Operative: PvP Guide by Hottie (5.6)


Glossary

Abbreviation/Term Definition
AoE area of effect
BiS best in slot: refers to optimal gear or item modifications
CC crowd control (e.g., stun)
hard stun a type of CC that doesn't break on damage taken (e.g., Debilitate)
mez a type of CC that breaks on damage taken (e.g., Flash Bang)
sap a type of mez that is only usable from stealth on targets out of combat (e.g., Sleep Dart)
CD cooldown
DCD defensive cooldown
DoT damage over time; can also refer to characters/disciplines that focus on dealing damage
HoT healing over time
DPS damage per second
HPS healing per second
DR diminishing returns: describes a property of some stats, (e.g., Critical Rating) whose rate of return is not constant; for example, as your Critical Rating increases, you gain less Critical Chance per point
GCD global cooldown: when activated, most of your abilities trigger a global (or universal) cooldown of 1.5 seconds, during which time no other abilities can be used; some abilities do not respect the global cooldown (referred to as being “off the GCD”); Alacrity reduces the GCD
LoS line of sight
proc when conditions are met to trigger a passive ability (e.g., generate a stack of Tactical Advantage)

Introduction

Medicine is a fairly mobile discipline, relying heavily on HoTs and small, instant heals. This playstyle is arguably the hardest to master of the three healing disciplines in PvP. Healing output hinges on your ability to maintain and efficiently refresh your HoTs while in the thick of battle.

Medicine has robust and flexible defenses. Key DCDs, Evasion and Shield Probe, are on short cooldowns and you have the means to reposition or escape danger with Exfiltrate and Holotraverse. Cloaking Screen, your combat stealth ability, enables you to retreat when things get hairy.

Medicine’s key strengths are its ability to keep heals ticking on allies, even while controlled, and its superior AoE healing. While Medicine lacks strong single-target burst healing, its unmatched HPS potential compensates for this.


Recent Changes to Operative/Medicine

Medicine has seen significant changes in recent patches. I cover the impact of game update 5.5 in detail in this article. In brief, Medicine has taken a hit to Tactical Advantage generation (its primary resource) and its overall healing output. This is particularly punishing in small engagements, where you are now more reliant on casting Kolto Injection to generate TAs.

As of game update 5.6, putting Exfiltrate on cooldown grants 4 seconds of interrupt immunity while in Medicine. While being forced to spend two GCDs and reposition yourself is not ideal, this change addresses a longstanding vulnerability—our inability to cast heal when being tunneled—and brings Medicine closer to parity with the other healing disciplines.

Operative

  • Kolto Infusion no longer applies a heal over time; instead, the initial heal now heals for 44.51% more.
  • Curative Agent now changes Kolto Infusion back to its heal over time version, and the rest of Curative Agent’s effects are unchanged.

Medicine

Medicine


Stat Priority and Gearing

Stat priority is as follows: Critical Rating > Alacrity Rating > Mastery > Power.

I recommend a split Crit/Alacrity build: this will yield the greatest healing output (HPS).

According to Bant’s calculations, Medicine benefits more (in terms of HPS) from Critical Rating and Alacrity than Mastery or Power well beyond current stat budgets. When gearing, it’s a matter of maintaining the right ratio of Critical Rating to Alacrity (discussed below).

Recommended Stat Distribution

Critical Rating: ~2000 (~44% Critical)
Alacrity Rating: ≥1860 (~15.50% Alacrity)

You need at least 1860 Alacrity Rating to reduce your GCD to 1.3 seconds, since it’s rounded up (see note). I recommend keeping your Alacrity Rating as close as possible to (but not below) this value: in terms of your GCD, every point above or below this threshold or “breakpoint” value is wasted.

The rest of your stat budget should go into Critical Rating.

Note: The best way to make up these numbers is to equip 6 × Quick Savant Enhancement 52 (note that the GEMINI MK-5 Quick Savant Device (earpiece) and GEMINI MK-5 Quick Savant Package (implant) carry that same amount of Alacrity, so count towards this number) and 5 × Superior Alacrity Augment 46. This will put you at 1876 Alacrity Rating (the closest you can get to 1860). The rest of your gear/item modifications should contain Critical Rating (except mods, which contain neither Critical Rating nor Alacrity). See the tables just below for more details.

Note: Please be aware that currently, Bolster increases your item rating to 242 (248 is the maximum item rating). You might not reach the recommended values outside a warzone but what matters is how your gear bolsters. You can check by using the Bolsterizer in the training areas on the Ziost Shadow (Imperial Fleet) and Gav Daragon (Republic Fleet), which will grant you the Bolster buff.

 Bolster: Your base stats and combat level have been increased.

Note: There is an important caveat about Alacrity and the global cooldown, which you can read about here. In short, Alacrity rounds the global cooldown up to the nearest tenth of a second. This means you should aim for certain Alacrity thresholds (corresponding to GCDs of 1.4s, 1.3s, etc.); exceeding them is an HPS loss.

Recommended Gear and Item Modifications

The following tables list the BiS item modifications and gear for Medicine as of game update 5.6. Your earpiece, augments, enhancements and implants can be swapped out to achieve the desired values of Alacrity and Critical Rating.

  Icon Name Stats
Augments Superior Alacrity Augment 46 +76 Endurance, +33 Power, +98 Alacrity Rating
Superior Critical Augment 46 +76 Endurance, +33 Power, +98 Critical Rating
Crystals Advanced [color] Eviscerating Crystal +41 Critical Rating
Enhancements Adept Enhancement 52 +146 Endurance, +162 Power, +231 Critical Rating
Quick Savant Enhancement 52 +146 Endurance, +162 Power, +231 Alacrity Rating
Mods Lethal Mod 52 +162 Endurance, +177 Power, +205 Mastery
  Icon Name Stats
Earpiece GEMINI MK-5 Adept Device +526 Endurance, +339 Power, +231 Critical Rating, +459 Mastery
GEMINI MK-5 Quick Savant Device +526 Endurance, +339 Power, +231 Alacrity Rating, +459 Mastery
Implants GEMINI MK-5 Adept Package +526 Endurance, +339 Power, +231 Critical Rating, +459 Mastery
GEMINI MK-5 Quick Savant Package +526 Endurance, +339 Power, +231 Alacrity Rating, +459 Mastery
Relics GEMINI MK-5 Relic of Devastating Vengeance 30% chance to grant 1221 Critical Rating for 6 seconds every 20 seconds
GEMINI MK-5 Relic of Focused Retribution 30% chance to grant 1221 Mastery for 6 seconds every 20 seconds

Note: The GEMINI MK-5 Relic of Serendipitous Assault is a close second to the relics listed above, yielding a slight HPS loss.

Note: On-use relics are inferior to the passive proc relics. Don’t use them.

Note: If you equip two relics of the same name, their procs will not stack.


Stat Analysis

Critical Rating

Critical Rating is one of the most important stats for healers (and damage dealers) because it improves your Critical Chance and Critical Multiplier. This means it not only increases your critical hit rate but the healing/damage bonus of critical hits too. Any stat which lets you double-dip like this is desirable.

There is no debate on the value of Critical Rating. Not opting for a high-crit build is a guaranteed HPS loss.

Alacrity

It’s important to understand what exactly Alacrity does, since it has several related effects:

  • it reduces the GCD (which is 1.5 seconds at 0% Alacrity),
  • reduces activation and channeling times,
  • reduces the cooldown of certain abilities,
  • reduces the internal cooldown of certain passive abilities,
  • increases the rate at which HoTs and DoTs tick and
  • increases the rate of resource generation (heat, energy, Force, etc.).

In short, Alacrity increases your potential abilities per minute (APM)—how quickly and how often you can use your skills.

Let’s use 10% Alacrity as an example. This will reduce the length of your GCD by 10% (rounded up to the nearest tenth of a second) and increase your energy regeneration by 10% to account for the fact that you will be spending energy 10% faster. Your casts and channels will also be 10% faster. The duration of your HoTs will be 10% shorter and, therefore, they will tick 10% faster. Finally, your healing abilities will have their cooldowns reduced by 10%. Alacrity significantly increases your potential HPS, much more so than Power or Mastery. In ideal circumstances, you can think of 1% Alacrity translating into an HPS gain of roughly 1%.

So how do you best leverage Alacrity? You need to avoid gaps between abilities to leverage the shorter GCD and you need to avoid letting your important heals sit off cooldown in order to take advantage of their shorter CDs. I’ll refer to doing these two things as maintaining “uptime.” Being stunned/interrupted often and the dynamic nature of PVP will prevent you from having perfect uptime but as a healer, you should be able to maintain fairly good uptime (it is much harder to maintain good uptime as a melee DPS, for example).  As such, I strongly recommend the split of Critical Rating and Alacrity described at the start of the gearing section.  If you are considering dropping some Alacrity, exchange it for Critical Rating because you will get less value from Mastery or Power.

Be aware that while Alacrity does have some diminishing returns, they are slight.  Alacrity continues to benefit you even at very high values.

Mastery

This is your primary stat. It provides a linear increase to your bonus healing, i.e., it is not subject to diminishing returns.  It also gives a small increase to your critical chance (but not your Critical Rating) that is subject to some diminishing returns. Note that its DR curve is separate to that of critical chance from Critical Rating.

Critical Rating will always output more healing than Mastery (Alacrity typically will as well). Therefore, I advise against running Mastery augments or crystals.

Power

Power provides a linear increase to your bonus healing, i.e., it is not subject to diminishing returns. Again, Critical Rating will always output more healing (Alacrity typically will as well). I advise against running any Power augments.


Datacrons and Companion Affection Bonuses

Datacrons


Datacrons are objects that can be found and collected on the many worlds of SWTOR. Each grants a small stat increase (Mastery or Endurance). In 4.0, all the class-specific stats were rolled into Mastery. This means that if you haven’t collected all the datacons that were worthless prior to 4.0, you are missing out on a significant stat boost (126 mastery and 35 endurance). The good news is that datacons are now legacy-wide. That is, collecting a datacron on one character unlocks it for your entire legacy. I highly recommend searching for them: there are many detailed guides and maps online.


Companion Affection Bonuses

Completing each companion’s story missions grants your character a small buff. These buffs are also legacy-wide, meaning you only have to finish companion storylines on one character to unlock these bonuses for all characters in your legacy.

Companion Bonus
Kaliyo +1% max HP
Vector +1% Critical Multiplier*
Doctor Lokin +1% healing received
Ensign Temple +1% Critical Chance*
Scorpio +1% Accuracy

*In 4.0, Critical Multiplier (previously called Surge) and Critical Chance were rolled into Critical Rating. The companion bonuses still treat these as separate stats.

Note/fun fact: All datacrons, companion bonuses and class buffs transfer across server and region (NA/EU). You no longer have to be afraid of losing your hard-earned bonuses when transferring from NA to EU or vice versa.


Utilities

Fig. 1: Utilities highlighted in blue are recommended. Alternative utilities (and suggested substitutions) are indicated by the red arrows.

Operative Utility Analysis

Skillful Tier


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Nanotech Suit: Reduces all area of effect damage taken by 30%.


RECOMMENDED. There are limited options in the Skillful tier but you can never go wrong with flat, passive damage reduction. While sources of AoE damage are less common, making Nanotech Suit more situational than Chem-resistant Inlays, 30% is nothing to sniff at. This can mitigate a lot of damage, especially when we’re caught off-guard in a hard stun and haven’t preemptively popped Shield Probe or Revitalizers.


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Chem-resistant Inlays: Increases damage reduction by 5%.


STRONGLY RECOMMENDED. I consider this a must-pick utility: Chem-resistant Inlays passively reduces incoming damage of all types. Again, this added survivability is vital for Operative healers, who are particularly vulnerable to hard stuns.


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Imperial Weaponry: Noxious Knives deals 25% more damage.


NOT RECOMMENDED. This is a DPS-specific utility and does not benefit healers.

Note: As healers, we should only be using Noxious Knives when trying to help find an enemy who is in stealth.


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Hit and Run: Attacking a target with Shiv grants Hit and Run, increasing your movement speed by 50% for 3 seconds.


NOT RECOMMENDED. This utility is redundant: while it’s useful for kiting one target, you already have the tools to do that and you should be able to heal through one target’s damage besides. It’s not helpful when under focus fire from multiple enemies, which is what endangers healers. There are better options.

Note: To reiterate, Operatives’ kit has all the tools you need to kite: Evasion enables us to cleanse roots/slows roughly every 20–30 seconds (the Evasive Imperative utility shortens the active cooldown of Evasion whenever you are attacked, on a 1.5-second rate limit), Sever Tendon slows a target so we can create distance, Exfiltrate lets us roll away twice from enemies every 10 seconds, and Holotraverse lets us teleport away. A utility point spent on more kiting is wasted.


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Infiltrator: Increases movement speed by 15% and effective stealth level by 3.


NOT RECOMMENDED. This utility is primarily intended for DPS Operatives with aggressive playstyles. The movement speed component of this utility is of limited value to us: we already have plenty of tools in our kit to kite and we should generally be in the backline, near cover. Neither is the stealth component of this utility particularly useful to healers.


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Slip Away: Reduces the cooldown of Debilitate by 15 seconds.


SITUATIONAL. This is a good utility when running solo as an Operative healer. The reduced cooldown on your hard stun can help you kite/create distance and stun enemies in order to get important cast heals off. Slip Away is best substituted for Med Shield (taking three (3) Skillful utilities and one (1) Masterful).

Keep in mind that this utility is wasted if you’re not using Debilitate more or less on cooldown. I’d also advise against taking Slip Away when playing with a coordinated group (particularly with a tank): if you have guard, support, and peels, the added survivability isn’t needed.

Advanced: With that said, I would recommend this utility for experienced Operatives, particularly when partnered with a DPS or tank. By “experienced”, I mean an Operative who can maintain excellent uptime even under focus fire; recognizes opportunities in their healing rotation to contribute DPS; can help control enemy healers and knows the right time to CC enemy DPS.

I take Slip Away when I’m duo queueing because it complements my aggressive healing style: I can leverage my understanding of how to control enemies and mitigate their burst. With hard stun cooldown reduction, you could easily duo when you’re outnumbered if you know when to heal, when to do damage and how to use your CCs effectively. Debilitate enables you to get important heals off by stunning a DPS who is constantly interrupting you. You can also use it to disrupt enemy healers and create windows of opportunity for you and your partner to burst down an enemy.

Masterful Tier


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Precision Instruments: Reduces the energy cost of Debilitate and Sever Tendon by 5 and makes Sever Tendon immobilize the target for 2 seconds.


NOT RECOMMENDED. This is a DPS-specific utility and useless to healers.


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Med Shield: Your Shield Probe heals you for 5% of your maximum health when it collapses.


RECOMMENDED. This utility used to be second-rate in 3.0–4.0 but it’s more useful now that Escape Plan is in the Heroic tier. Together, not only does Shield Probe heal you for 5% of your maximum health when it expires but its cooldown is cut by 5 seconds, enabling you to use it more often. This is a big boost to your survivability.


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Advanced Cloaking: Reduces the cooldown of Cloaking Screen by 30 seconds. In addition, activating Cloaking Screen increases movement speed by 50% for 6 seconds.


NOT RECOMMENDED. This utility isn’t worth taking because it doesn’t reduce the cooldown of your combat stealth enough to be useful. The short boost to your movement speed is also redundant—Exfiltrate is just as effective.

I’d generally advise against spending utility points on situational DCDs with long cooldowns. While you might get enormous value from Cloaking Screen in some games, in others, you’ll never use it. I would rather spend a point on something I get regular, consistent use out of (like Med Shield) than buff a last-resort cooldown that I will often not need.


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Endorphin Rush: Adrenaline Probe now immediately restores 15 additional energy.


NOT RECOMMENDED. This utility isn’t worth spending a point on: Adrenaline Probe already restores enough energy.


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Curbing Strategies: Overload Shot and Noxious Knives reduces the movement speed of the targets they damage by 40% for 6 seconds. In addition, when Flash Bang ends it leaves behind Flash Power that reduces the target’s Accuracy by 20% for 8 seconds.


NOT RECOMMENDED. The movement speed component of this utility is only useful for DPS. Overload Shot and Noxious Knives are also short range abilities with high energy costs. Further, we already have a 50% slow on Sever Tendon (which is on a short CD).

In 5.0, the Flash Powder utility, which reduced targets’ accuracy by 20% for 8 seconds after Flash Bang ended, was rolled into Curbing Strategies. Flash Powder was previously in the Skillful tier and a worthwhile pick to help mitigate cleave damage. As of 5.6, however, Curbing Strategies is a more DPS-focused utility.

Tip: For Flash Powder to be applied to a target, Flash Bang needs to end. It ends when it expires, is broken on damage, is cleansed or purged. It does not matter how long Flash Bang lasts, only that it is successfully applied (even for an instant). If a target is immune to Flash Bang, Flash Powder will not be applied.

Advanced: This all being said, if you are an experienced Operative healer who knows how to leverage this utility’s accuracy-reducing component, you can take it in place of Med Shield (or Nanotech Suit if Med Shield is not an option). Why, then, do I consider this utility “not recommended” rather than “situational”? It will hinder new or inexperienced players more than help. To get full value from this utility, you need to know which abilities to interrupt with Flash Bang, which targets are hampered most by Flash Powder (and when) and when to Flash Bang a group to mitigate pressure damage. This calls for a detailed knowledge of other disciplines and great situational awareness. Therefore, most players will get more value from other utilities.

Note: Mezzes like Flash Bang are high risk, high reward. When used as a means to peel for yourself or an ally, this utility guarantees some value from Flash Bang, even if it’s instantly broken.

Note: Think before you Flash Bang. Remember that Flash Bang is an AoE mez: mezzes build the most resolve in the game. Using Flash Bang mindlessly, without accounting for this, is a major strategic error: white-barred players have at least 10 seconds of free rein. Only in the right circumstances can Flash Bang/Flash Powder save you or an ally from death. To get maximum value from this utility, look for situations where applying the 20% accuracy debuff can help save allies. Start building this awareness.


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Fortified Kolto: While your Kolto Probe is active on yourself, your damage reduction is increased by 3% per stack [6% total with two (2) stacks].


STRONGLY RECOMMENDED. This is a must-pick utility. Again, passive damage reduction is invaluable to Operatives, who are extremely vulnerable when unable to break a hard stun.

Note: Maintaining two stacks of Kolto Probe on yourself should be a priority at all times (to get maximum value from this utility). Together, Chem-resistant Inlays and Fortified Kolto give 11% damage reduction from all sources, as long as you can keep your Kolto Probes refreshed.


Heroic Tier


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Cunning Competencies: Countermeasures will also purge all movement-impairing effects when activated. Additionally, when Sleep Dart wears off, the target is struck by Sedatives, reducing all damage dealt by 50% for the next 10 seconds.


NOT RECOMMENDED. This is primarily a dueling utility and of limited use to Operative healers. We already have a cleanse, Toxin Scan, and a purge, Evasion (which is typically on a 20–30 second cooldown with Evasive Imperative), so a root-break on Countermeasures is superfluous. Double hard stuns, not roots, are what kill healers and Cunning Competencies does nothing to address that weakness. In terms of survivability, it just doesn’t compare to other utilities in this tier.


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Imperial Tactics: Sever Tendon will now grant a Tactical Advantage.


NOT RECOMMENDED. Another DPS-specific utility. We generate TAs by healing and don’t need to spend a GCD on Sever Tendon.


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Evasive Screen: When activated, Cloaking Screen grants 2 seconds of Evasion.


NOT RECOMMENDED. For a Heroic-tier utility, Evasive Screen is underwhelming. It essentially grants you two seconds of Evasion (cleansing movement-impairing effects and DoTs and increasing your chance to dodge melee and ranged attacks by 200%) when you use your combat stealth. You can achieve the same effect simply by using Evasion immediately after Cloaking Screen. With Evasive Imperative, Evasion is typically on a 20–30 second cooldown.

Again, I caution against spending utility points on situational DCDs with long cooldowns. You will get more value from utilities which buff more versatile DCDs like Evasion and Shield Probe.


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Jarring Strike: When used from stealth, Backstab knocks down the target for 3 seconds. If the target is a player, they will be interrupted and immobilized for 3 seconds.


NOT RECOMMENDED. This is a DPS utility and does not benefit healers.


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Evasive Imperative: Every time you get attacked, the active cooldown of your Evasion is reduced by 3 seconds. This effect cannot occur more than once every 1.5 seconds.


STRONGLY RECOMMENDED. This is, hands down, one of the best utilities in the Heroic tier. If you are under constant fire, this reduces the active cooldown of Evasion from 1 minute to just shy of 20 seconds. Even if you are attacked once every 3 seconds, its CD is cut in half to 30 seconds. Evasion is a key DCD in your kit: when activated, it purges all DoTs/slows/roots/debuffs and increases your chance to evade white (melee and ranged) damage by 200% for its 3-second duration.

Note: This ability not only procs for single-target attacks but DoT ticks as well. If you are constantly the target of DoT damage, the CD of Evasion will be reliably reduced to nearly 20 seconds.


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Escape Plan: Reduces the cooldown of Escape by 30 seconds, Shield Probe by 5 seconds, and Infiltrate by 60 seconds.


RECOMMENDED. This is the second-best utility in the Heroic tier and a recommended pick. It decreases the CDs of Shield Probe and Escape (our CC breaker), two key DCDs. This utility also synergizes well with Med Shield in the Masterful tier. Operatives are most vulnerable when Escape is on cooldown since it’s our only means of breaking CCs—Escape Plan is a huge boost to our survivability.

Note that the reduction to Infiltrate’s cooldown is incidental.


Legendary Tier


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Mobile Strategies: Exfiltrate grants a charge of Mobile Assailer, reducing the energy cost of your next Overload Shot by 100%, allowing it to be used at 30m, and making it knock the target back. Each use of Overload Shot consumes a charge of Mobile Assailer and grants 10 energy.


NOT RECOMMENDED. This is a DPS-focused utility.


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Blow for Blow: Evasion grants a charge of Blow for Blow, reflecting 150% single target Tech or Force damage while Evasion is active for 3 seconds.


NOT RECOMMENDED. Only useful for DPS disciplines. This utility causes Evasion to reflect 150% reflect of all incoming, single-target yellow damage (tech and Force) for 3 seconds. However, as its name suggests, it does not mitigate any incoming damage. While it might be fun to reflect damage back, it is no deterrent to attackers, who will tunnel you regardless, whether through carelessness or thoughtfully, in order to secure a kill. As healers, we cannot afford to spend a point on a Legendary-tier utility that’s only good for fluff DPS when we have excellent alternatives that actually mitigate/absorb damage (Augmented Shields and Revitalizers) and increase our healing output (Curative Agent).


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Curative Agent: Countermeasures grants Curative Agent, causing your next Kolto Probe on a new target to immediately grant two stacks. Additionally, Countermeasures heals you for 1% of your maximum health every second for 10 seconds and Kolto Infusion now initially restores 𝑥 health and then additionally restores 𝑦 health over 9 seconds.


SITUATIONAL. In game update 5.5, Kolto Infusion and Curative Agent were reworked. Kolto Infusion no longer heals over time, instead delivering all its healing up front. Curative Agent restores its HoT; it delivers less upfront healing but heals for more overall.

Additionally, Countermeasures causes your next Kolto Probe cast on a new target to immediately apply two stacks, saving you a GCD every 45 seconds. Finally, Countermeasures heals you for 10% of your maximum HP over 10 seconds: a small but welcome bonus.

I recommend this utility for more for experienced healers who are able to use their Kolto Infusion on CD and utilize the extra double stack of Kolto Probe to save GCDs. In the right hands, Curative Agent yields a modest boost to your healing potential.

Tip: I use this ability in three different ways. Firstly, I almost always use it on cooldown if there is a lot of “pressure” damage (AoE damage on multiple targets).

Secondly, if I am already maintaining Kolto Probes on four (4) targets who are taking damage in combat, I save this ability in case the enemy team switches focus to someone who doesn’t have HoTs ticking. This saves you a GCD, enabling you to start burst healing the target that much sooner.

Lastly, it’s worth noting this ability’s DCD component. If I know I’m going to be focused or am being focused, I try to save this ability for an extra boost of self healing. Remember, when kiting or hard stunned, we don’t have many options to stabilize ourselves quickly. 10% HP over 10 seconds doesn’t seem that much but if you are constantly being hard stunned, every bit of passive healing is crucial.

Note: As of 5.6, the base value difference between Kolto Infusion with and without Curative Agent is 7% HPS.

Note: If you run Curative Agent, aim to use Countermeasures on CD to increase HoT uptime: I think this is a utility point wasted if you can’t leverage the additional Kolto Probes. Also realize that with the recent hit to Tactical Advantage generation (via the Medical Engineering passive), this is another means of maintaining a healthy TA count.

Note: When Countermeasures is activated, it grants Curative Agent, causing your next Kolto Probe on a new target to immediately grant two stacks. Note that this proc is not consumed if the target already has a Kolto Probe stack.

Note: Be aware that Ixale’s StarParse overlay doesn’t properly reflect the two stacks of Kolto Probe from Curative Agent. It will indicate only one stack until you refresh with another Kolto Probe. Doing so prematurely defeats the purpose of Curative Agent (saving a GCD) so keep this in mind. See below for a full StarParse setup guide.

Advanced: For solo ranked, this utility is a suboptimal pick since its revision in 5.5. Since the majority of your solo ranked matches will be 3 DPS/1 healer games, Kolto Infusion sans Curative Agent is arguably more useful. If you know there are tanks in solo queue (or you are playing team ranked), this utility makes more sense because your tank should be mitigating burst damage. In these cases, the improved sustained healing from Curative Agent wins out. The double Kolto Probe is also a nice bonus in team ranked if you are being CC’d or mezzed on CD.

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Revitalizers: Stim Boost now additionally grants Revitalizers, restoring 5% of total health every 3 seconds [totaling 25% of your HP] and reducing damage received by 20% for 15 seconds.


STRONGLY RECOMMENDED. This utility turns your Stim Boost into a DCD: the best DCD available to us. It’s a huge boost to our survivability and a must-pick utility.

Note: Yes, I know it sucks that this amazing DCD is tied to Stim Boost, forcing you to choose whether to use it to save yourself or burst heal a teammate. However, this should not deter you from taking it. It is our best way to mitigate incoming damage and another DCD to rotate alongside Evasion, Shield Probe, Warzone Medpacs and Warzone Adrenals. With this in your toolkit, you should always have a DCD available.


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Augmented Shields: Increase the amount of damage absorbed by Shield Probe by 30%.


RECOMMENDED. Augmented Shields is a worthwhile pick since it was moved into the Legendary tier. It will improve the effectiveness of your Shield Probe, which you should be using more or less on cooldown to mitigate burst.

Note: This utility synergizes well with Med Shield and Escape Plan.

Note: Keep in mind that Revitalizers is, hands down, better than Augmented Shields. Taking both is fine—in fact, I advise that most players do—but under no circumstances should you substitute Augmented Shields for Revitalizers.


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Circumvention: Reduces the cooldown of Holotraverse by 10 seconds and allows it to be used while immobilized. When activated, it purges movement-impairing effects and grants a Tactical Advantage.


NOT RECOMMENDED. Intended as an escape/gap closer, Holotraverse is a buggy, broken ability which rarely works as intended.

Obstacles and vertical movement tend to cause problems. As a rule, don’t teleport to targets unless you have an unbroken line of sight and don’t teleport to targets above you. Playing Holotraverse roulette can teleport you past your target, off the map or nowhere at all.

If Holotraverse weren’t so unreliable, Circumvention would be more compelling. As it stands, you already have a root break in Evasion, which should be on a short cooldown thanks to Evasive Imperative. Even with the nerf to Medical Engineering in 5.5, an extra Tactical Advantage up to every 35 seconds is trivial. There are better options in this tier.


Legendary Utilities Discussion

Augmented Shields vs Revitalizers: If you want to run a Legendary utility other than Augmented Shields or Revitalizers, I’d like to explain why I suggest substituting it for Augmented Shields rather than Revitalizers. Ask yourself what is more valuable in PvP: a Shield Probe that absorbs slightly more damage (it comes out to about 4% of your total health) or a Shield Probe that absorbs slightly less damage and an entirely new, powerful defensive cooldown?

You will commonly encounter situations where an improved Shield Probe is not enough to save you but Revitalizers could. In clutch moments, does a 30% increase to Shield Probe’s damage absorption outweigh 20% damage mitigation and 25% of your health back over 15 seconds? No. Revitalizers wins every time.

Augmented Shields vs Curative Agent: If you are new to Operative healing, I strongly advise taking Augmented Shields. It will improve your survivability without forcing you to alter your playstyle. If you are comfortable with the discipline, have good uptime and can use Kolto Infusion on cooldown, Curative Agent will improve your healing output. So you just have to decide: greater survivability or higher potential HPS?


Healing Overview

Operative healing revolves around instant heals, HoTs, and superior AoE heals to keep your team alive. The bulk of your healing comes from Kolto Probe, Surgical Probe, and Recuperative Nanotech, which are all instant-cast heals. Your healing also revolves around generating and spending charges of Tactical Advantage (procs that stack up to three (3) times). With these procs, which are gained by casting most of your heals successfully, you can cast other abilities such as Surgical Probe, which is a small, instant heal, and Kolto Infusion, which is your small, cast heal.

In my opinion, Operative healers do not have a strict rotation in PvP but rather a healing priority system. Interrupts and CC can significantly impact how you heal from one engagement to the next. PvP battles are constantly changing and, as a healer, you have to be fluid, because you will rarely get opportunities to stand still and cast a full rotation. Therein lie the merits of a priority-focused, rather than rotation-focused, mindset in PvP.

Healing Priority System

Note: Two (2) stacks of Kolto Probe on four (4) targets > Recuperative Nanotech > Kolto Infusion* > Kolto Injection or Kolto Wave.

Fig. 2: If you follow the healing priority system above and have good uptime, this graphic shows what proportion of your overall healing should come from each of your abilities (in a typical warzone).

Bonus: With the addition of the Curative Jolt passive ability in 5.0, your Kolto Infusion increases the critical chance of your next Surgical Probe by 100% (on an 18-second rate limit, or every other Kolto Infusion if used on cooldown). Keep this in mind when you need to burst heal a target.
Bonus: Remember that Stim Boost gives you a free, instant Kolto Injection or Kolto Infusion for a burst heal.

Note: In most battles, your overall healing distribution will be roughly: 40% Kolto Probe, 30% Recuperative Nanotech, and then your “fillers”, which account for roughly 15–20% (Kolto Infusion, Kolto Wave, and Kolto Injection). Remember also that you are using Surgical Probe to refresh your HoTs, which will account for around 10% of your healing as well.

In a strictly AoE fight, the healing distribution is shifted slightly: 35% Kolto Probes, 25% Recuperative Nanotech, 20% Kolto Wave, 15% Surgical Probe then your other fillers, <10% Kolto Infusion, Kolto Injection. You can see that the bulk of your healing doesn’t change: your single-target and AoE HoTs still account for a large portion of your overall HPS. That's why having good HoT uptime is imperative in reaching your highest HPS potential.

Key Abilities and Passives


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Tactical Advantage (passive): Resource gained by successfully casting healing abilities. Stacks three (3) times.


Gaining TAs:

  1. Successfully casting Kolto Injection.
  2. When you activate Stim Boost.
  3. Using Surgical Probe (10-second internal CD).
  4. After exiting stealth mode (via Cloaking Screen or Stealth), you gain two (2) TAs.
  5. You have a 10% chance to gain a TA with every tick of Kolto Probe, Recuperative Nanotech and Kolto Waves (6-second internal CD).

Abilities that Cost a TA:

  1. Surgical Probe: instant heal.
  2. Kolto Infusion: fast-cast heal on a 9-second CD.
  3. Tactical Superiority: raid buff that increases Critical Hit Chance by 10% for 10 seconds.

To generate enough TAs, you have to maintain Kolto Probes on four (4) targets and use Recuperative Nanotech on CD. This should always give you three (3) stacks to be used to cast Surgical Probe or Kolto Infusion.

With game update 5.5, Medicine’s TA regeneration (via Medical Engineering) was heavily nerfed. This nerf punishes players who cannot maintain good uptime with their HoTs and Recuperative Nanotech. If you are healing four or more players, the weaker TA regeneration is hardly noticeable. When you are forced to heal fewer than four players, the TA generation nerf is more punishing.

Since 5.5, Medicine Operatives need to pay attention to TA stacks and not spend them mindlessly. When you are TA starved, successfully casting Kolto Injection generates one stack.

Bonus: Whenever you use a healing ability that consumes a Tactical Advantage, all your healing is increased by 3% for 6 seconds (via the Tactical Medicine passive). This means every time you use Surgical Probe or Kolto Infusion, you receive a small healing bonus of 3% for 6 seconds after. This is super important if you want to maximize your HPS.

Tip: Under pressure and out of TAs? As of 5.6, putting Exfiltrate on cooldown (by rolling twice within 10 seconds) grants you Unshakable, making you uninterruptible for 4 seconds. Casting Kolto Injection twice during this window is an excellent way to generate TAs if you are resource starved.

Note: This is why you see Operative healers stacking HoTs and Recuperative Nanotech on allies in spawn. Not only will your allies enter combat with HoTs ticking but you will start with three (3) Tactical Advantage charges to spend.

Note/fun fact: If you have no stacks of Tactical Advantage, gaining at least one stack will cause your character to laugh.


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Curative Jolt: Kolto Infusion grants Curative Jolt, increasing the critical chance of your next Surgical Probe by 100%. This effect can only occur once every 18 seconds.


This gives you a guaranteed critical heal with your Surgical Probe after every other Kolto Infusion (if you use Kolto Infusion on cooldown). It’s also important to note that abilities that automatically critically hit convert critical hit chance above 100% into extra critical damage, in addition to the critical multiplier. Curative Jolt increases our burst potential slightly and is something you should be aware of every time you use Kolto Infusion.


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Tactical Superiority: Consumes a Tactical Advantage to Stack the Deck for you and your Operation group members within 40 meters, increasing critical chance by 10% for 10 seconds. Does not break stealth.


This ability works in 8-man warzones but not arenas. You will not be able to use it in regular warzone arenas, solo ranked, or group ranked. I try to use Tactical Superiority off cooldown.

Note: Good combos include:

  • Tactical Superiority → Recuperative Nanotech → Kolto Wave for AoE healing.  
  • Tactical Superiority → Kolto Infusion → Surgical Probe → Kolto Injection → Surgical Probe for single-target burst healing.
  • Tactical Superiority → Diagnostic Scan if you desperately need to recover energy. Diagnostic Scan generates 2 energy every time it critically heals a target.

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Adrenaline Probe: Recovers 50 energy over 3 seconds.


This is your emergency energy regeneration; use it sparingly as it’s on a 2-minute cooldown. It could be the longest two minutes of your life if you are energy starved.

Advanced: I want to remind experienced Operatives that, under certain conditions and provided Adrenaline Probe is available, it’s OK to dump all your energy. If the situation calls for urgent burst healing, even if your energy is under 50%, you can spam cast/channeled heals. Once your energy is depleted, use Adrenaline Probe → Diagnostic Scan (×2). This should get teammates out of execute range and enable you to resume healing at full energy.

You must ensure you can afford to spend a couple of GCDs on Diagnostic Scan afterwards: it’s reckless to continue burst healing right after using Adrenaline Probe. You need to manage your energy carefully while it’s on cooldown.


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Diagnostic Scan: 3-second, channeled healing ability that costs no energy and can be used while moving. When it critically heals, it restores 2 energy. The Surgical Surprise passive allows you to channel Diagnostic Scan on the move.


Your Patient Studies passive ability buffs your Diagnostic Scan to restore 2 energy per critical heal, making it your secondary means of energy regeneration. In 5.5, the critical chance bonus given to Diagnostic Scan by your Prognosis: Critical passive ability fell from 25% to 10%. While less effective than it was, Diagnostic Scan should be used to try to keep your energy above 60% (below this, your passive energy regeneration rate drops).

Fig. 3: Energy meter (yellow bar) is visible on the player frame. The four pips to the right of the energy bar indicate that energy is passively regenerating at its maximum rate.

Tip: If your energy is critically low, use Adrenaline Probe then Diagnostic Scan once: this should put you at full energy.

Tip: The HPS of Diagnostic Scan is trivial. It should only be used for energy regeneration. There are situations when you are kiting, have no TAs to cast Surgical Probe and can’t afford to cast heal: use it on the move to restore some HP. It really is a last resort heal.

Tip: Whenever you have an opportunity and can afford to spend a GCD, use Diagnostic Scan as filler between cast heals. Your goal is to keep your energy around 75%. Try not to let it fall below 50%: with the recent nerfs to Diagnostic Scan, you will have to spam it to recover your energy, reducing your HPS. If you are constantly getting CC’d/interrupted, one upside is that you are less likely to run into energy management problems and so will not need to use Diagnostic Scan as often.

Note: Your base energy regeneration rate of 6 per second significantly drops off below 60 energy. Be aware of this threshold so you can maintain a healthy energy regeneration rate. The more time you spend above 60 energy, the more energy you generate, and consequently the higher your potential HPS because you won’t have to spend GCDs frantically trying to stabilize your energy instead of healing.


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Stim Boost: Grants a Tactical Advantage and increases Alacrity by 10% for 15 seconds.


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Revitalizers: Stim Boost now additionally grants Revitalizers, restoring 5% of total health every 3 seconds and reducing damage received by 20% for the duration.

This is the only ability in our kit that can increase the rate at which we heal. Keep in mind what Alacrity does: it decreases your GCD, lowers the time between ticks of your HoTs, helps you cast/channel faster, and lowers the CD of your abilities. Use it in conjunction with Kolto Injection/Kolto Infusion/Surgical Probe to burst heal a single target or with Kolto Wave/Recuperative Nanotech to burst heal a group.

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Enduring Kolto: Next Kolto Infusion or Kolto Injection activates instantly.

The Enduring Kolto passive has two effects. Most importantly, when Stim Boost is activated, it triggers the Enduring Kolto buff, causing your next Kolto Infusion or Kolto Injection to be activated instantly (lasts 15 seconds).

Tip: How do I best use the Stim Boost proc (Enduring Kolto)?

  • Kolto Infusion buffed with Curative Agent: Less upfront healing but more overall HPS than Kolto Injection; can also proc Surgical Probe autocrit (via the Curative Jolt passive).
  • Default Kolto Infusion: Less upfront healing than Kolto Injection; can proc Surgical Probe autocrit.
  • Kolto Injection: Guaranteed critical heal if combined with Field Medic’s 2-piece set bonus (Field Medic’s Critical Bonus). Slightly more upfront healing than Kolto Infusion; generates a TA. However, noncrit heals are poor.

Preferably, you want to use Enduring Kolto in conjunction with Field Medic’s Critical Bonus (2-piece set bonus) for an instant, autocrit Kolto Injection. Before using it with Kolto Injection, quickly scan your buff bar for the autocrit proc.

If your Kolto Injection autocrit isn’t available, in terms of HPS, spending Enduring Kolto on Kolto Infusion (with Curative Agent) is the next best choice (if you know the target isn’t in immediate danger of dying). For burst healing, if your next Kolto Infusion (with or without Curative Agent) will proc an autocrit Surgical Probe, prioritize this next. This is because, whether or not Kolto Infusion critically heals, you are guaranteed an autocrit Surgical Probe in the next GCD—after autocrit Kolto Injection, this option is the least reliant on RNG.

If your target is in serious danger and you have neither an autocrit Kolto Injection nor an autocrit Surgical Probe following Kolto Infusion (via Curative Jolt), all you can do is cast Kolto Injection and hope for a critical heal.

Note: Revitalizers is a must-pick Legendary-tier utility. It turns your Stim Boost into a DCD which decreases incoming damage by 20% and heals you for 5% of your maximum HP every 3 seconds (15-second duration). This is a great utility but its downside is that sometimes you need to pop Stim Boost defensively, so it’s not always available when you need it to burst heal. It’s unfortunate that you’re reliant on one key DCD for such different situations but that’s doesn’t make Revitalizers any less essential. Just do the best you can.

Note: Remember that Enduring Kolto lasts 15 seconds: you don’t have to use your instant heal right away! Sometimes you need to activate Stim Boost for its damage reduction/self-healing or a situation changes rapidly (perhaps your intended target’s health has been restored); don’t be afraid to wait for another opportunity to use Enduring Kolto more effectively. Another example: in intense AoE fights, I sometimes use Stim Boost + Kolto Waves. I’ll wait to see whose health is lowest when the channel ends before using my instant.

Advanced: In team or solo ranked (if you’re in comms), make a habit of calling out when you use Stim Boost. If a teammate is in trouble, they’ll know an instant-cast (hopefully autocrit) heal is coming their way. If you’re being tunneled, your tank knows you’re benefiting from hefty damage mitigation (so the likelihood you will die immediately is low). If everyone on my team is low, I will ask who’s running out of DCDs and prioritize healing them. Making good callouts (e.g., when you are using CCs/big cooldowns) can help you and your team win games.

Healing Abilities


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Kolto Probe: Heals for 𝑥 over 21* seconds.


Note*: Alacrity increases the rate at which Kolto Probe ticks and decreases its overall duration.

This ability is the foundation of your healing. Maintaining two (2) stacks of HoTs on four (4) targets is your goal. I would not recommend trying to keep HoTs on your entire 8-man team in warzones. It’s virtually impossible and would leave you with no GCDs for any other healing ability throughout the game. Rotating HoTs on four (4) targets who are taking damage or burst helps you stabilize your group and allows you to cast/channel heal in between HoT refreshes. The success and skill of a Medicine Operative lies in how well they maintain their HoT uptime even while kiting, being CC’d, and cast healing. Remember that HoTs are your number one priority because they mitigate sustained DPS, which is the strength of this discipline.

I can’t stress enough how important it is not to let your HoTs drop. Re-stacking HoTs takes time and numerous GCDs (8 GCDs, to be exact), which you could better spend cast healing. It will also be a heavy HPS loss since almost half your healing in a warzone comes from your HoTs. The better you become at remembering to refresh your HoTs, the higher your HPS potential will become and consequently your ability to save players.

HoTs are not an afterthought. Kolto Probe should account for roughly 40% of your overall healing in warzones. That’s almost half your potential healing output! Not only will Kolto Probe stabilize the players who are taking damage, allowing you to cast heal, but it’s your primary means of generating charges of Tactical Advantage.

Kolto Probe generates Tactical Advantage charges and helps reduce the amount of energy you have to spend to keep teammates alive. If you consistently maintain good uptime with your HoTs, each tick has a 10% chance to generate a Tactical Advantage (on a 6-second rate limit). Having Tactical Advantage not only gives enables you to cast Kolto Infusion, which can be a life-saving heal, but also allows you to cast Surgical Probe, which also refreshes your HoTs.

Surgical Probe refreshes Kolto Probe double stacks, which helps Operative healers better manage their energy output. Refreshing with Kolto Probe costs 10 energy while Surgical Probe costs 5 energy and a Tactical Advantage charge (additionally healing for a modest amount). It’s more energy efficient to cast Surgical Probe when refreshing, especially when your target’s health is low. That is, you get more bang for your buck. Just be aware that you shouldn’t refresh strictly with only Surgical Probe because you will run out of TAs, which you also need to spend to cast Kolto Infusion. The takeaway is that the better your HoT management, the more TAs you generate and the better your HPS potential (because you can heal/refresh more Kolto Probes with Surgical Probe) and the lower your energy output.

Bonus: Surgical Probe refreshes your Kolto Probes (if stacked twice on a target). A good, economical rotation is to refresh two (2) targets’ stacks with Kolto Probe and two (2) with Surgical Probe. This will save some of your Tactical Advantage procs for emergencies as well as give those players who are refreshed by your instant a 5–10k heal.

Tip: Kolto Probe ticks sync with your Surgical Probe heals. In other words, when you use Surgical Probe on a target with your Kolto Probe(s) ticking, the target gets the Surgical Probe heal and Kolto Probe tick at the same time. This is the best instant-cast burst heal you have without cast healing. Remember this mechanic: it’s more powerful than you think.

Tip: If you can, try to refresh your HoTs at the last moment, just before they expire, so as not to clip their healing. You should try to effectively use all the time between HoT refreshes for cast healing/channeling and popping instants. This doesn’t mean, however, that it’s always wrong to refresh HoTs early. There are times when I know I am going to have to wait out a double hard stun or double mez: I prioritize refreshing my HoTs early so they are still working while I am CC’d. Always make sure you have your HoTs ticking if you are being CC chained. One of Medicine’s greatest strengths is its ability to keep healing while you are incapacitated. This all comes with experience, awareness and practice.

Tip: Who should you prioritize your HoTs on? For starters, yourself because you will most likely get heavy focus fire; possibly a tank, and two (2) other players taking damage. The Fortified Kolto utility is a must pick: it gives you 3% damage reduction for each stack of your Kolto Probe active on yourself. You should prioritize HoTs on yourself at all times.

Tip: Ixale’s StarParse lets you overlay a HoT tracker on your ops frame. It indicates the number of stacks of Kolto Probe on a target and when they will expire. I use this every time I am in a warzone. I strongly advise all Operative healers use this in PvP to maximize Kolto Probe uptime.


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Surgical Probe: Instant heal for 𝑥; requires and consumes a stack of Tactical Advantage.


This is your emergency heal and a means of refreshing Kolto Probe. It heals for around 5–10k. It’s good for spamming on a target at low health, if you don’t feel confident that you have enough time to get a cast heal off to save them. However, you will mostly be using this ability to refresh your HoTs. Surgical Probe should account for roughly 10% of your overall healing in a PvP match. Most of the time, it will be your third-highest heal (behind Kolto Probe and Recuperative Nanotech), unless you are in AoE cleave, spamming Kolto Waves.

Bonus: Curative Jolt is a passive (added in 5.0) which grants you an autocrit Surgical Probe when you successfully cast Kolto Infusion (on an 18-second rate limit). This gives you an modest burst heal every other Kolto Infusion (assuming you use Kolto Infusion on cooldown).

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Recuperative Nanotech: Heals the target and up to 3 allies within 10 meters for 𝑥 over 9 seconds.


This an instant AoE heal. Recuperative Nanotech should be always used on CD and is the second-best way to generate Tactical Advantage stacks. It should be placed on a target close to three (3) other players to yield the most HPS. This ability, used on CD, will account for roughly 20–30% of your overall healing in PvP.

Tip: Before entering combat, use Recuperative Nanotech to help proc TA stacks and to mitigate incoming initial burst.

Tip: Even in 1 vs 1 situations, you should use this ability on CD to generate Tactical Advantage.

Note/fun fact: Recuperative Nanotech is a “smart heal”, which means it prioritizes players with the lowest HP.


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Kolto Waves: Heals up to 8 allies that remain within 8 meters of the targeted area for 𝑥 over the channel duration.


This is your channeled AoE healing ability. It cannot be used while moving, so be mindful of your positioning. It is an amazing ability and crits often (sometimes up to 60% on my healing parses); never underestimate the strength of its AoE healing. That being said, its not without disadvantages: again, you have to stand still while channeling it so you are vulnerable to interrupts, stuns, pushback, etc. Also, its placement is fixed once you start channeling: you are relying on allies not leave its area of effect, which they often do. Even though its potential HPS is high, using it effectively in PvP can be a struggle. Kolto Waves typically accounts for 10–20% of your overall healing in a warzone: less if you are using it chiefly as a filler between cast heals, more in AoE-heavy matches.

Tip: It’s worthwhile to use this ability when you can catch three or more players in its area of effect. This requires you to preempt your allies’ movement and hope they don’t walk/get pushed/get pulled out of it—just do the best you can.

Tip: You can either place it manually (drag and drop) or double click the ability (or double tap its keybind) while targeting a player. While the second method is a little faster, it’s not always wise: you can often get more players within its AoE if you place it manually. Optimizing the placement will take practice.

Tip: As of 5.6, putting Exfiltrate on cooldown (by rolling twice within 10 seconds) grants you  Unshakable, making you uninterruptible for 4 seconds. You can get two (2) cast or channeled heals out in this window. If you need to really get heals off, double rolling while white-barred guarantees you two (2) cast heals: the enemy team can do nothing to stop you.

Note: If players leave Kolto Waves’ area of effect, cancel the channel (you can do this by just moving). Don’t continue to heal in hopes of your team walking back into it.

Note: Don't forget about Tactical Superiority, which increases your group’s critical hit chance by 10% for 10 seconds. If there is intense AoE battle, I use Tactical Superiority (and sometimes Stim Boost) in conjunction with Recuperative Nanotech and Kolto Waves for some bursty AoE healing. Remember that Tactical Superiority can only be activated in 8 vs 8 warzones, not in arenas.


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Kolto Infusion: Uses a Tactical Advantage to heal a target for 𝑥 then 𝑦 over 9 seconds.


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Curative Agent (utility): Countermeasures grants Curative Agent, causing your next Kolto Probe on a new target to immediately grant two stacks. Additionally, Countermeasures heals you for 1% of your maximum health every second for 10 seconds and Kolto Infusion now initially restores 𝑥 health and then additionally restores 𝑦 health over 9 seconds.

This is a single-target heal with a short, 1.5-second cast time and 9-second cooldown (at 0 Alacrity). It costs a Tactical Advantage proc. You should be using this ability on CD because of its low cast time and high HPS. If you take the Curative Agent utility, it heals on average for more than Kolto Injection. It also makes the target Resistant, giving them 3% elemental and internal damage resistance for 45 seconds (effective against Assassins/Shadows, Powertechs/Vanguards, Innovative Ordnance Mercenaries/Assault Specialist Commandos, and DPS Operatives/Scoundrels).

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Resistant: Internal and elemental damage reduction increased by 3%. Lasts 45 seconds.
Bonus: It is smart to use this ability like a “buff” to grant Resistant. Prioritize yourself and your tank (or other high-performing players) before combat. 3% damage resistance might not seem like much but over time, it’s worth it.
Bonus: Curative Jolt is a passive (added in 5.0) which grants you an autocrit Surgical Probe when you successfully cast Kolto Infusion (on an 18-second rate limit). This gives you an modest burst heal every other Kolto Infusion (assuming you use Kolto Infusion on cooldown).

Tip: As of 5.6, putting Exfiltrate on cooldown (by rolling twice within 10 seconds) grants you Unshakable, making you uninterruptible for 4 seconds. You can get two (2) cast or channeled heals out in this window. If you need to really get heals off, double rolling while white-barred guarantees you two (2) cast heals: the enemy team can do nothing to stop you.

Note: When taking Curative Agent, Kolto Infusion’s initial heal and HoT component combine to give more overall healing, on average, than Kolto Injection. It is also more consistent, reliable healing than Kolto Injection because each HoT tick has a chance to critically heal. That is, not only does it heal for more on average but it is less reliant on a single, lucky crit to be effective. The HPS and healing per energy of noncritical Kolto Injections is poor. Unless your target is in immediate danger of dying, Kolto Infusion is the better choice.


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Kolto Injection: Heals a friendly target for 𝑥.


Kolto Injection is your big cast heal, healing for roughly 8–25k (>30k with relic procs) with a 2.5-second cast time (at 0 Alacrity). Unlike Kolto Infusion, Kolto Injection has no cooldown and is spammable in single-target burst healing situations.

Bonus: The Field Medic’s 2-piece set bonus gives every healing ability a 15% chance to grant Field Medic’s Critical Bonus, which makes your next Kolto Injection critically heal (this can occur once every 30 seconds). This proc puts a purple icon on your buff bar. Be aware of this buff so you can save the autocrit for a player who really needs it. Use in combination with Stim Boost/Enduring Kolto to make your next Kolto Injection an instant autocrit.

Tip: The ability has a long cast time (about 1.8 seconds with a typical Alacrity value). In clutch situations, using Stim Boost, which grants +10% Alacrity for its duration, will shorten its cast time.

Tip: It’s important to use Kolto Injection preemptively, to learn to recognise burst before it happens. This is hard and takes practice but it really helps you save players. Start casting your single-target burst rotation when a player’s HP is ≤80% if you hear someone is about to, for example, get burst by a Commando or if you see a Carnage Marauder is setting up their burst combo. As your situational awareness improves, you will become a better healer. In the current state of the game, with TTK (time to kill) as it is, Medicine Operatives cannot outheal burst after the fact. You must play proactively, not reactively.

Tip: Burst healing isn’t Operatives’ strong suit. To mitigate this weakness, it is imperative that you have HoTs rolling on a target before cast healing. It helps make up for the long cast times:  they will be ticking while you are casting.

Tip: Try to use a Surgical Probe right after Kolto Injection. If it critically heals, it adds up to a great burst heal in conjunction with your with HoTs. If it all crits, that's 20k (Kolto Injection) + 10k (Surgical Probe) + 5k (Kolto Probe tick) ≥35k healing. Not only is it great burst healing but it’s more economical (in energy terms) than spamming Kolto Injection. By sneaking in a Surgical Probe, you can refresh your HoTs on the target (who benefits from a potential burst heal) and manage your energy output.

Tip: As of 5.6, putting Exfiltrate on cooldown (by rolling twice within 10 seconds) grants you Unshakable, making you uninterruptible for 4 seconds. You can get two (2) cast or channeled heals out in this window. If you need to really get heals off, double rolling while white-barred guarantees you two (2) cast heals: the enemy team can do nothing to stop you.

Advanced: In team and solo ranked (if you're in comms), communicate when your autocrit is up. Call out autocrit Kolto Injection casts so your teammates don’t pop CDs unnecessarily.

Conclusion

Excelling as an Operative healer is about being mobile and relying on your HoTs. Our strength comes from our small, instant heals and less from our cast/channeled abilities. Operatives aren’t supposed to be standing in the same place for most of the fight. Your healing style should be fluid and flexible and you should always be adjusting your position as the situation changes. Always try to keep your allies between you and the enemy.

As an Operative healer, you should never be in the frontline or in the middle of cleave/AoE damage (unless you have a tank). Always try to be healing a safe distance away. It’s imperative for you to always be near LoS (by a pillar, building, or tree). This will ensure you are able to evade ranged damage at all times. Work on your positioning, mobility, how to rotate through your DCDs correctly, and how to heal under pressure and you will be a successful Operative healer.


Strategies and Mechanics in PvP

Cleansing

 Toxin Scan

Cleanses a friendly target of up to 2 negative tech or physical effects.

Note: The Medicine passive, Tox Screen, causes Toxin Scan to additionally cleanse mental effects and heal the target for a small amount.

Toxin Scan can cleanse up to two (2) negative effects that are typed as either tech, physical, or mental (indicated in their tooltips). These effects include mezzes, hard stuns, roots, slows and other debuffs. Unfortunately, Toxin Scan doesn’t prioritize mezzes/hard stuns over roots, slows and debuffs. This means if you try to cleanse a player under the effects of, say, Flash Bang, you might cleanse a root or a slow instead. Be aware of this: it happens and it sucks.

Snipers and Operatives both have tech mezzes and Marauders, Juggernauts and Mercenaries have mental mezzes, all of which can be cleansed. Operatives and Assassins both have mental saps, which can be cleansed. Snipers, Operatives and Mercenaries all have physical/tech roots, which can be cleansed.

Cleansing priority:  mezzes > saps  > hard stuns > roots > slows.

Mezzes

Icon Ability Class or Discipline Notes
Intimidating Roar Juggernaut, Marauder Instant, 6-second AoE mez, centered on the caster.

Cleansing priority.
Awe Guardian, Sentinel
Low Slash Deception Assassin Instant, 4-second single-target mez with a range of 30 meters. Unique among mezzes in that it deals white damage (so can be dodged).

Can be cleansed.
Low Slash Infiltration Shadow
Flash Bang Operative, Sniper For Operatives/Scoundrels, this ability is an instant AoE mez lasting 8 seconds. It affects all enemies near the target. For Snipers/Gunslingers, this is an instant, 8-second, single-target mez.

Cleansing priority.
Flash Grenade Scoundrel, Gunslinger
Concussion Missile Mercenary Normally has a cast time but can be instant if a CD is used; 8-second, single-target mez.

Cleansing priority.
Concussive Round Commando
Whirlwind Sorcerer, Assassin Single-target, 8-second mez. Cast time is 2 seconds but Sorcerers/Sages and Assassins/Shadows have utilities that enable them to cast it instantly.

Note that while the icon is same as for Low Slash, unfortunately, because these are Force-type mezzes, they cannot be cleansed. Try not to get confused.
Force Lift Sage, Shadow
Backlash (“Bubble Stun”) Sorcerer Also known as “Bubble Stun”. This is a utility available to all Sorcerers and Sages. When Static Barrier or Force Armor collapses, the Sorcerer/Sage has a chance to mez all nearby enemies for 3 seconds.

Note that these are 3-second mezzes but the icon is same as for Awe. Unfortunately, because these are Force-type mezzes, they cannot be cleansed. Try not to get confused.
Kinetic Collapse (“Bubble Stun”) Sage
(Advanced) V1–V9 Seismic Grenade N/A Consumables crafted by Cybertechs. Seismic grenades knock down all targets within 6 meters of the targeted area for 4–5 seconds (effect duration depends on the item’s quality) and have a range of 15 meters. Affected targets are Bastioned, giving them immunity to Cybertech grenades for 3 minutes.

Can be cleansed.

Saps

Icon Ability Class or Discipline Notes
Sleep Dart Operative Instant, single-target sap lasting 8 seconds.

Cleansing priority.
Tranquilizer Scoundrel
Mind Trap Assassin Instant, single-target sap lasting 8 seconds.

Cleansing priority.
Mind Maze Shadow

I primarily focus on cleansing mezzes and saps. Mezzes and saps take players out of the fight for 6-8 seconds. They are easy to catch because their associated animations and sound cues are obvious; this is the easiest and most effective use of Toxin Scan.

Tip: If you are new to cleansing or want to improve, you can start by observing which classes use mezzes and learning their animations and sound cues. Knowing what to look for on your debuff bar and ops frame will also shorten your reaction time when cleansing. This will help you build awareness enough to cleanse mezzes reflexively. Remember, the faster you cleanse a mez, the more valuable your cleanse.

Fig. 4: Notice how 3 players are affected by a mez debuff (visible on the ops frame).

  Hard Stuns

Ideally, you’ll cleanse all hard stuns as soon as they land. However, this is difficult, requiring keen situational awareness and sharp reflexes. Hard stuns, while potentially dangerous, only last 4 seconds, while mezzes last 6–8 seconds. Unless you catch a hard stun right away, your cleanse is of little value. By the time you notice and have a GCD to spare, you might save a second at most. If you’re not confident in your reaction time or your ability to read the battlefield, your GCDs could be better spent healing the target.

Note that the icon above represents all hard stuns, regardless of type. Just because you can see the debuff icon, it doesn’t necessarily follow that you can cleanse it. You can only cleanse tech, mental and physical hard stuns, which make up fewer than half the hard stuns in the game.

Unlike mezzes, where you can rely almost solely on eyeballing the ops frame, you need to pay close attention to the fight to quickly and accurately cleanse hard stuns. The skill set required to do this accurately marks out top-flight healers.

You may find it useful to remember that you cannot cleanse Force users’ hard stuns (any class which holds a lightsaber) or abilities like Carbonize or Neural Surge, which are undefined. You need to pay attention to whose stuns are landing so as not to waste GCDs trying to cleanse hard stuns of the wrong type. Try to memorize the animations and audio cues associated with each hard stun.

Advanced: In solo/team ranked, if a player is stun-locked and in danger of dying, cleanse them if you can. Cleansing hard stuns is critical when a player has used their CC breaker poorly and has DCDs available that could help them survive.

  Roots

I also cleanse roots but they are of lower priority. I primarily cleanse roots on myself when I need to reposition. I will occasionally cleanse a rooted ally who is chasing a kill or needs to get back into the fight.
 
Note: This is the icon that represents all roots, regardless of type. Just because you can see the debuff icon, it doesn’t necessarily follow that you can cleanse it. You can only cleanse tech and physical roots. You cannot cleanse Force roots.

Note: Usually, you can see a telltale animation around your character’s feet when rooted. Don’t rely fully on root animations because they don’t always appear (most likely a bug). If you cannot move, your reaction should be to scan your debuff bar for the root icon.

Advanced: In solo/team ranked, if your tank is rooted out of Guard range, make it a priority to cleanse them so they can get back into the fight as soon as possible. Remember that you cannot cleanse Force roots such as Sorcerers/Assassins’ knockback root, something commonly taken in their utility trees.

  Slows

Most of the time, healing is more effective than cleansing a slow. When I do cleanse slows, it’s mostly to help players chase kills or when I have a GCD to spare because there is no need to heal.

Note: This is the icon that represents all slows, regardless of type. Just because you can see the debuff icon, it doesn’t necessarily follow that you can cleanse it. You can only cleanse tech and physical slows. You cannot cleanse Force slows.

  Hindered

It’s imperative that you keep an eye out for this effect. It’s the most dangerous debuff in the game.

When hindered, you are unable to activate or benefit from high-mobility actions (like Exfiltrate) or escapes (like Cloaking Screen). There are only two abilities in the game that can hinder you but they’re very powerful and prevalent in the current meta: Mercenaries and Commandos’ Electro Net and Carnage Marauders’ Gore/Combat Sentinels’ Lance. Electro Net’s effect lasts 9 seconds while Gore/Lance’s effect lasts 1.5 seconds.

You cannot cleanse or purge this effect: it can only be broken with Escape (or your class’s CC breaker).

Miscellaneous Debuffs

As well as mezzes, hard stuns, roots and slows, there are other debuffs that can be cleansed. However, these are never a priority and rarely worth spending a GCD to cleanse. Focus on cleansing the CCs listed above.

Tip: It helps if you can identify when to cleanse debuffs by eyeballing the ops frame. Open your Interface Editor, select Operations Frames, scroll to the bottom of the options list and enable Show Only Removable Debuffs. This setting hides debuffs you cannot cleanse. There are many debuffs in the game, such as DoTs, that cannot be cleansed—there is little to be gained from seeing these debuffs, which will only be a distraction.

Note: If a debuff is not typed (e.g., Flash Powder, which is neither a tech, physical, Force, nor mental debuff), it probably cannot be cleansed, only purged with an ability such as Evasion.

Note: Debuffs like Sedatives and Flash Powder are applied when Sleep Dart and Flash Bang (respectively) end or expire. That is, even if you cleanse Sleep Dart or Flash Bang, these debuffs are still applied. Note that Sedatives can be cleansed but Flash Powder, which is not typed, cannot. Whether this is by design or a bug/oversight, I’m not sure.

Note: Cleansing is something healers in warzones almost never do. If you want to separate yourself from average-to-good healers, get into the habit of cleansing. If you are interested in healing in solo or group ranked, it’s a skill you need. Start to recognize opportunities to cleanse allies and which abilities to prioritize. The application of this knowledge can win you otherwise unwinnable games. All experienced ranked healers know how and what to cleanse so start practicing.


Positioning

Positioning is critical for Medicine players, even more so than Corruption and Bodyguard healers. Being out of position or making mistakes as a Medicine Operative is much more punishing. I say this because Medicine Operatives do not have a “true” escape like Corruption’s Force Barrier, which makes them immune to all damage for its duration, or Bodyguard’s Responsive Safeguards, which absorbs 100% of incoming damage and reflects 50% back to the attacker for its duration. Both of these can also be used while CC’d. These two abilities are extremely powerful because no matter your situation or mistake, you can fall back on them, mitigating all incoming damage and at least buying time. Medicine, on the other hand, only has Cloaking Screen (combat stealth); unlike the other two healing classes, our escape has many drawbacks. Combat stealth cannot be used while CC’d, can be broken instantly and you can be killed while stealthed.

In other words, being caught out of position can get you killed: combat stealth isn’t a sure answer to this. Your goal, therefore, is to maintain perfect positioning throughout combat. With sound positioning, you will need to heal yourself less often so you can focus on healing allies. You will also create fewer opportunities for the enemy to catch you unawares, which will ultimately increase your survivability.

Key Points

1. Try to stay 20–30 meters away from the fight

Don’t stand on top of your team unless you have a tank (you need to stay in guard range) and/or you feel confident that any pressure or focus you might take will not kill you instantly. There is no reason to stand right next to your melee unless you can comfortably heal all incoming damage. If you don’t feel that you can, move back to a safe distance. Keeping your distance forces the enemy to use movement abilities/gap closers and go through your team to get to you. By doing this, they put themselves out of position (out of range of their healers and/or tanks) and can be picked off quickly by your team.

Tip: Getting mezzed on cooldown? Sometimes it’s best to run into cleave just to get some DoTs ticking on you and run out. This makes it harder for DPS and tanks to chain mez: their team’s DoTs will break them. You’ll be surprised how many players still attempt to mez you while you are DoT’d. In ranked warzones, you will be expected to know this strategy and react accordingly.

Advanced: Managing your distance is of particular importance in solo/group ranked: staying too close to your team puts you at risk of getting caught in AoE CCs like Awe or Flash Bang. At the same time, you want to stay within Guard range. Try to stay just within 15 meters of your tank whenever possible. You want to avoid situations where you and your tank could be mezzed simultaneously: this leaves your DPS incredibly vulnerable.

Fig. 5: Stacked boxes like these break line of sight.

2. Stay near some kind of LoS

I cannot stress enough how important this is. By standing near LoS, whenever a ranged player targets you, you can quickly make small movements to completely avoid all incoming ranged damage. This puts less pressure on you to heal yourself so you can always be healing other players. Keeping your distance from ranged attackers makes it hard for them to swap to you quickly if you’re low. If you are dying repeatedly to ranged DPS, you are out of position; there is no excuse for dying to ranged DPS.

Fig. 6: These stacked crates also provide cover.

Tip: On level ground, stacked boxes or nodes (pictured) break line of sight.

Fig. 7: The nodes on Alderaan Civil War also provide cover.

Tip: Getting interrupted by ranged DPS? LoS them. If you keep a pillar in between you and them, you force them to move to interrupt you—this is good. Keep shifting your position and make them work for it. You will end up getting more casts off by just making slight movement adjustments.

3. Have your back to your spawn

Having your back to spawn means that if players on your team die, they will be respawning behind you, moving towards you. If you are in trouble, you can also run backwards and be in a good position for reinforcements to peel for you. The worst positioning tactic is to have the enemy spawn to your back; unless you are constantly looking behind you, you are out of position and can easily be caught off-guard.

Note: A good survival strategy is to keep your team between you and the enemy at all times. If players are dying in front of you, move back.

4. Build awareness and move your camera

Good positioning relies on good situational awareness. If the enemy pushes forward, you move backwards and vice-versa. You should be constantly making slight movement adjustments, responding to the battle as it unfolds. Remember to keep moving your camera, surveying the battlefield whenever you have the chance. Keep track of new players running into combat or players engaging from behind. Don’t get caught out. Constantly look around and make adjustments based on everyone else’s positioning.

Tip: Whenever I am hard stunned, rooted, casting, etc., I make it a habit to flip my camera and see where all the enemies are. This is a great way to update yourself on the situation; be aware of your surroundings and what your team and the enemy is doing.

Note: Try not to stand where you can be knocked off ledges—this is particularly important in arenas. Try to always have a box or wall behind you so the enemy team cannot knock you downstairs. It also helps to know which classes have knockbacks; prepare yourself and position accordingly.

Note: If you are new to Medicine or want to improve your positioning, make a point to explore each warzone and find every potential LoS. Trust me: finding multiple points of cover to move between when under pressure will help you stay alive.

Advanced: If you are interested in solo and team ranked, get into the habit of discussing with your team, in spawn, where you’d like to take the fight. I pick areas where I have at least one LoS option and try to tell my team to avoid areas where they could be knocked back. Medicine struggles with burst healing; we need to stand still and cast. If we are constantly getting LoS’d or our team is getting knocked down, our HPS potential suffers. Communicate with your team and try to position yourselves where you are least likely to get knocked down and your team is breaking LoS as little as possible. Ideally, the team fight will take place on low ground and you can position yourself on inclines or high ground.

Kiting

Firstly, when DPS are attacking you and you start to kite, don’t panic—just relax. When it comes to single-target DPS, Medicine Operatives can outheal every DPS class. This means if you rotate your DCDs and cast heal on yourself, you will survive.

Secondly, when kiting, move with purpose. Get out of the habit of running around mindlessly. Always have this goal in mind: to find opportunities to cast heal on yourself or allies. My strategy is to kite around an LoS point (like a pillar or tree) or kite between LoS points. Little key movements which force melee DPS to move around a corner or go around a wall can create small windows for you to get cast heals off without having them interrupted or being CC’d.

Thirdly, when kiting, please remember to try to use all your GCDs. To keep yourself alive, you need to heal yourself. That is, if you are running around without using Surgical Probe, without continuing to HoT, without using roll, or without attempting to cast heal, you are doing it wrong.

To reiterate: Relax, move with purpose and use all your GCDs.

Tip: If an enemy you are kiting is stopping you from healing, you have options: try to hard stun or mez to give yourself a window to heal uninterrupted.

Tip: If you are struggling to heal against certain classes, duel them and be a parsing dummy. You will learn their rotation and the time between bursts. For example, Carnage Marauders have amazing single-target DPS and can seem scary. After dueling them, however, you will notice that they cannot maintain that burst indefinitely and need around 30 seconds to set up each burst window. You will always have windows in which to catch up. Learn these patterns and you need never be scared of single-target DPS in a warzone.

Tip: Being chased by melee and ranged? Your priority is to always stand near LoS to deal with ranged classes and force them to move to target you. If you constantly make the ranged move to get you, you are reducing their DPS. A few sidesteps on your end forces ranged player to run a considerable distance to reestablish line of sight. To deal with melee players at the same time, kite them around pillars or objects and try to cast heal. Try to hover between players and Holotraverse between LoS points.

Note: Effective kiting and sound positioning frustrate DPS. The more annoying you are, the more likely players will ignore you. Be the biggest pain on Earth by practicing good positioning, kiting and LoS’ing—make DPS who dare attack you regret their life choices.


Resolve

As much as people complain about SWTOR’s resolve mechanics, I feel the system is well designed, balanced and fair. Whenever you are CC’d, you gain resolve according to the type/duration of the CC. Having full resolve or being “white-barred”, as it’s commonly referred to, indicates that you are immune to CC for a short time (till the white bar expires). During this time, you can cast freely, kite and move without fear of being stunned again. Your resolve meter is located on the side of your character portrait. You can also enable an option to display your resolve bar on your character’s nameplate.

Fig. 8: Player frame showing resolve meter (blue-purple in color) three-quarters full.

Fig. 9: Player frame indicating full resolve (“white bar”).

Fig. 10: Resolve bar enabled on player nameplate; character is “white-barred”.

Note: Other CCs can coexist with a hard stun or mez. For instance, a hard stun or mez won’t overwrite slows applied to a target.

Note: You cannot be rooted while white-barred but you can be slowed. Slows do not build resolve.

Resolve Basics That Every Healer Should Know

I am now going to present all the common ways in a warzone that you can get into a white bar cycle. This is important information because if you will be able to predict when you will get white bar, you use your Escape (CC breaker) safely to ensure you can rescue yourself or an ally without being stunlocked.

2 mezzes (6–8 seconds each; 12–16 seconds total)  white bar

If forced to sit through two back-to-back Flash Bangs, for example, you are out of the fight for 16 seconds. Don’t panic: the longest CCs in this game are mezzes, which are broken by damage. Therefore, you are in no danger of dying but must keep an eye on your allies. You will have to choose when to use your breaker—for instance, if you a teammate is in danger of dying. Remember, if the enemy team notices you break before white bar, you could easily be mezzed again and unable to break. Think before you break. If you can wait it out, do so.

Advanced: If you are getting mezzed frequently, sometimes it’s best to stand in cleave to get some DoTs ticking on you then run out. There have been many cases in group ranked where I purposely stood in cleave damage with my team or ran in whenever an enemy team spread DoTs to reduce the chances of being mezzed out constantly. If you are taking DoT damage and the enemy team mezzes you, it will be broken as soon as the DoT ticks.

2 saps (8 seconds each; 16 seconds total) → white bar

Saps are a subcategory of mez that can only be used by a stealthed player on a target who is out of combat. Typically, players sap at the start of an engagement so their team can get an early DPS lead and take the enemy healer out of the fight.

Tip: If a stealther’s first play is to sap you, please don’t break it. Your allies can survive 8–16 seconds with their DCDs and should be in no danger of dying. Only inexperienced players break these saps, when their team is at its least vulnerable. If you get sapped once, the stealthed player is likely to be hovering nearby to sap again if you break. This is good: not only is he wasting his time waiting for you to break but he is not contributing to his team’s DPS. Use your breaker on white bar or wait out the second sap if your team is handling the situation.

Tip: If you anticipate being sapped, remain stealthed and open by auto-attacking the enemy team from a distance. This will immediately put you into combat, making it impossible for your opponents to sap you.

Sap + mez (8 + 6–8 seconds; 14–16 seconds total) → white bar

This combo is typically used when you entered combat after being sapped and the enemy team wants to take you back out of the fight. Don’t panic. Don’t break unless you need to. If your team can survive, save your breaker.

2 hard stuns (4 seconds each; 8 seconds total) → white bar

This is the most dangerous situation for an Operative to be in when under focus fire. If you know you might be double hard stunned, you need to be able to pop a DCD beforehand (if you have no guard). Otherwise, unless you can break, the enemy team has 8 seconds of unmitigated DPS. Breaking too early might just get you stunned again so be careful. It’s always better to break when you are white-barred (during the second hard stun) because you can run away safely. That said, if you have no choice but to break early, pop some DCDs and pray they don’t hard stun you while your breaker’s on cooldown.

Note that you don’t always have to break during white bar. If you are double hard stunned and, going into the second stun, feel like you can survive without breaking, don’t break. Always try to save your breaker for when you’ll need it most.

Mez + hard stun (10–12 seconds total) → white bar

New CCs can instantly overwrite existing CCs. For example, if you use Debilitate (4-second hard stun) on a target who was just Flash Banged (8-second mez), the mez will be broken and the target will be hard stunned for the full, 4-second duration. Clipping CCs in this way is usually detrimental. You could easily turn a 12-second mez + hard stun into just a 4-second stun. Overlapping stuns is always going to be less optimal.

Note: While CCs build resolve up front, not over time, when CCs overlap, calculating how much resolve is generated gets a little more complicated. A full explanation is beyond the scope of this guide (it’s more applicable to DPS players) but suffice to say that overlapping CCs is generally a bad idea.

Sap + hard stun (12 seconds total) → white bar

Knockback/pull/push + hard stun → white bar

Try not to break pushbacks, pulls or pushes. The game lets you break these but it does nothing–you’ll have only your breaker.

Mez + 1 knockback/pull/push = white bar

If someone chooses to pull and mez you, you can sit it out as long as your allies are not in immediate danger.


Using Your Breaker

 Escape: Purges all incapacitating and movement-impairing effects.
Note: The Escape Plan utility reduces its cooldown by 30 seconds.

Each class has a CC breaker (known as a “trinket” in other MMOs). Operatives’ CC breaker is called Escape, which is on a 2-minute cooldown.

Escape is arguably your most important DCD. Knowing when to break a stun is incredibly important for healers. Now that you know the basics of the resolve system, you can start thinking about using it optimally. Something that might be a force of habit is breaking the first stun—this is a big mistake. The only time you should break your first stun is when you or a teammate will otherwise die.

Why shouldn’t you break your first stun? Simple: good players will take note that Escape is on cooldown then stun lock and kill you. Stuns are what can kill healers; most of my deaths in warzones happen when I’m stunned and unable to break. Patient, thoughtful use of your breaker will increase your survivability. Situational awareness and knowledge of other classes/disciplines are also key: knowing whether you can survive incoming damage without stun breaking takes practice, trial and error.

A good healer will typically break when white-barred. During this brief window, they are immune to stuns. To reiterate: there is no point breaking a stun unless you will otherwise die or a teammate will die if you don't heal them.

When Escape is on cooldown, you are in a very dangerous predicament. This is when positioning is critical. In this situation, I maintain my distance from the fight (unless I have a tank) and try to avoid being in a position where multiple players could jump on me. Without a breaker, you can easily die within a double hard stun window.

Tip: When you are CC’d, the only thing lit up on your action bars will be Escape. This isn’t to say that you should use it. Consider carefully whether you need to; don’t break just because you can.

Tip: Please don’t break the first stun over one DPS. For example, if an Assassin opens on you from stealth, stuns you and starts their burst rotation, don't freak out and break the stun. Let them burst, break the second stun, stun them, heal up and roll away. If, instead, two Assassins were to open on you, they could probably kill you before the first stun expired. In this instance, quickly break and use your combat stealth then use Evasion to cleanse their DoTs (so you aren’t unstealthed and put back into combat).

Tip: Decide quickly whether to break a CC. To get the most value from your breaker, don’t hesitate and break, say, 6 seconds into an 8-second mez. If you are going to break, break straightaway. If you choose to wait it out, commit to your decision rather than wasting your breaker just before the CC expires.

Tip: Let’s talk about Mercenaries and Commandos’ Electro Net. This ability slows you by 50% for 9 seconds and causes you to take heavy, stacking DoT damage if you move. Every time you move, you gain another stack of this DoT (up to ten stacks). It also hinders you, preventing you from using high-mobility actions/escapes like Exfiltrate and Cloaking Screen. Don’t panic: by breaking the Electro Net, you will be able to use Exfiltrate and Cloaking Screen. However, it won’t purge the stacking DoT damage, which will continue to tick if you move (this DoT cannot be purged or cleansed). Sometimes it’s best to save Escape for Electro Net if you expect to be the target. Remember also that there is another option which is to not even break. If you feel safe you can just stand still so the DoTs don’t stack and wait out the net.

Note: When in trouble, your instinct might be to use Escape then Cloaking Screen. Consider whether you really need to spend these two important cooldowns at once. If you can break and pop another DCD like Stim Boost to survive, do so. You might need your combat stealth later.

Advanced: If you are interested in solo or group ranked, careful use of your breaker is imperative. Breaking incorrectly or putting yourself in positions where you have to break early are habits to undo before stepping into a ranked environment. You must expect players to keep tabs on when you break and capitalize on these opportunities to kill you.

The Guard Mechanic and Playing with a Tank

 Guard

While active, the guarded player takes 5% less damage and generates 25% less threat. In addition, so long as you remain within 15 meters of the guarded player, 50% of all incoming damage from enemy players is transferred back to you.

Note: Guard’s mechanics vary in PvE and PvP. In PvP, Guard does not confer 5% damage reduction (and threat generation is irrelevant) but it does confer 50% damage redirection.

What is Guard? It’s an ability/mechanic exclusive to classes with a tanking discipline (Juggernauts/Guardians, Powertechs/Vanguards, and Assassins/Shadows). Prior to 5.0, switching to a tank stance, e.g., Soresu Form, Ion Cell, etc., was necessary to use Guard. As of 5.0, these classes can use Guard regardless of their discipline/stance (stances are now passive abilities). When an ally guards you, your character is shielded by a blue bubble. When you take damage, you will see a stream of energy tethering you to your tank, indicating that damage is being exchanged.

Playing with a tank is very different to playing solo and is something a healer needs to know how to adjust to. While guarded and within 15 meters of your tank, 50% of incoming damage is redirected to your tank. In PvP, that is huge.

Guard Icons

Fig. 11: These icons populate your buff tray when a player has Guard on you.

Note: Even if the tank is all the way across the map, you will still see the guard animation on your character as well as the orange/green icon in your buff tray. However, bear in mind that damage is only redirected to your tank when they’re within 15 meters.

The orange/green icon in Fig. 2 indicates that you are being guarded by a player.

The blue, rightmost icon indicates that you are guarded but out of range of your tank. You will not benefit from Guard’s 50% damage redirection. When you see this icon, quickly locate your tank and reenter Guard range.

The tank’s job is to mitigate incoming burst damage with Guard, enabling the healer to more easily keep the team’s health up with sustain HPS.

The better your tank, the better your potential HPS. The tank can keep the damage in your group spread evenly with timely Guard swaps. This enables you, as the healer, to leverage your powerful HoTs and AoE heals and rely less on costly single-target burst healing.

Tip: Make sure to stay in Guard range, which is 15 meters. When guarded, keep tabs on your tank’s position and your buff tray. Remember: just because you see a pretty blue bubble around your character, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are benefiting from Guard’s damage redirection.

Tip: If there are multiple tanks in your group, keep track of who has Guard on you. If Tank A decides to run off to the other side of the map without swapping Guard, click it off your buff bar. Why? So Tank B can rotate their Guard on you. You can only be guarded by one player at a time.

Tip: Heal your tank. I can't stress this enough. Don't forget that 50% of the damage you take is being transferred to your tank via the Guard mechanic. They are taking your damage to help you survive. Please prioritize HoTs and single-target healing on them.

Tip: You’re not invincible just because you have a tank. Especially if you or your tank are being tunneled, you must still be mindful of positioning. Don’t stand out in the open and expect to heal through all the damage. If you and/or your tank are running out of DCDs, go to a pillar to LoS ranged damage or start to kite melee (being careful not to leave guard range). When I notice my tank is under heavy fire, I use DCDs (even if I’m not low on HP) to minimise the damage being transferred to them via Guard.

Tip: Learn about your tank’s defensive cooldowns and other abilities. I make a habit of asking my tanks to communicate when they are running out of DCDs so I can better prioritize my heals. If you do not have the luxury of being in voice chat with your tank, you really need to learn to pay attention to their abilities that benefit you as well. For example, Riot Gas/Oil Slick decreases the Accuracy of enemies within its area of effect by 15% and their movement speed by 70%. If you are getting attacked and your tank throws that on top of you, don't run out of it.


Fake Casting

Fake casting refers to purposely canceling a cast in hopes of baiting an enemy’s interrupt. By successfully baiting an interrupt, your cast is not put on CD, allowing you a window in which to cast freely, without fear of being interrupted by that enemy. You can cancel your cast in several ways: by sidestepping, moving forwards, moving backwards or pressing ESC.

Fig. 12: Canceling a cast to bait an interrupt.

Fake casting is complicated and is a high risk, high reward technique. It can be argued that just trying to get casts out no matter what is more beneficial than trying to bait interrupts, which is often true. However, I believe this is an important page in your playbook as a healer.

I fake cast in select cases when I really need to get a heal out and I see patterns in enemies’ behavior. Perhaps they are interrupting me on CD or a single DPS is tunneling me. It is very easy in these situations to predict when an interrupt will be thrown out.

How do you know when you successfully baited an interrupt? You have to learn the sound cues and animations associated with each class’s interrupt. This takes practice and class knowledge (dueling can benefit you here). Another crucial factor to be aware of is the enemy’s GCD. If you try to bait an interrupt when they are in the middle of an animation, they won’t have enough time to react with an interrupt attempt. You have to give them enough time to input the reaction then quickly cancel your cast. This will take practice and trial and error.

Tip: A situation where fake casting is particularly ineffective is in a moshpit. When you are being attacked by multiple targets, you’re better off trying to get as many casts out as possible rather than eyeballing when you can fake cast against multiple opponents. It would be nearly impossible to judge and a waste of effort.

Note: Interrupt cooldowns vary from class to class. Melee classes typically have a shorter CD (12 seconds) while ranged classes tend to have a longer CD (18+ seconds) on their interrupts. Bear this in mind. If someone is intent on interrupting you on CD, knowing when they’ll have it back up is important.

Note: If they do not have an interrupt available, players have other means to stop you from healing, e.g., pull, push, hard stun or mez. When you are planning to bait an interrupt, do so a couple seconds before you actually need to get a heal out. That way, if you fail and bait a CC instead, it won’t be as punishing. This is another situation where being proactive, rather than reactive, yields rewards. Being able to predict when you need to get healing out is crucial.

Note: If you are being tunneled by a melee and trying to fake cast, it helps to keep mental notes of everything they used against you to interrupt your casts (knockbacks, pulls, stuns, etc.). One of the best feelings is knowing when your enemy has nothing to stop you from casting freely.


Defensive Abilities

Let’s talk about some of the ways you can react if you are taking damage or being pressured.


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Shield Probe: Absorbs a moderate amount of damage over 10 seconds. Does not break stealth.


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Med Shield (utility): Your Shield Probe heals you for 5% of your maximum health when it collapses.
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Escape Plan (utility): Reduces the cooldown of Escape by 30 seconds, Shield Probe by 5 seconds and Infiltrate by 60 seconds.
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Augmented Shields (utility): Increases the amount of damage absorbed by Shield Probe by 30%.

Shield Probe has a low cooldown and is one of your main DCDs. As much as you might want to spam it, I advise against using it unless you feel like your HoTs aren’t taking care of the incoming damage. There is no need to pop Shield Probe if you are taking damage at or near full health, for example. At this point, your HoTs are most likely overhealing you—don’t waste Shield Probe here when you might need it seconds later.

I generally use Shield Probe to mitigate burst damage from abilities like Heatseeker Missiles or Thermal Detonator. In these examples, the burst is predictable and easily countered by one click of a button. Burst classes rely on getting you low quickly; by mitigating half their burst, your HoTs and smaller heals can take care of their filler.

Tip: Sometimes I pop Shield Probe to mitigate incoming damage so I can continue healing an ally rather than be forced to stop and cast heal on myself.

Tip: Sometimes, when I need to escape and Evasion is on cooldown, I use Cloaking Screen → Shield Probe. This lets me absorb DoTs or incoming projectile damage for a short time when I use combat stealth. This prevents me from being knocked out of stealth right away. Again, this is only if Evasion is on cooldown: if Evasion is available, use it.

Tip: When I’m grouped with a tank and struggling to keep us both alive, I use Shield Probe on CD. The less damage you take, the less damage your tank takes through Guard and the easier it is to heal you both.

Note: Shield Probe should be generally be used to mitigate burst damage rather than DoTs. DoTs should be mitigated by Evasion and/or your HoTs.

Note/fun fact: Shield Probe’s effectiveness is boosted by your Power relic proc, allowing it to absorb slightly more damage when activated.

Note/fun fact: Damage absorption registers as healing. For example, if your Shield Probe absorbs 10k damage, that registers as 10k healing in the end-of-match warzone statistics.


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Evasion: Increases the chance you dodge melee and ranged attacks by 200% for 3 seconds. Doesn’t break stealth.


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Evasive Imperative (utility): Every time you get attacked, the active cooldown of your Evasion is reduced by 3 seconds. This effect cannot occur more than once every 1.5 seconds.

One of the strongest abilities you possess—use it wisely. Evasion purge all DoTs, roots, slows, and most debuffs and causes you to dodge all incoming white damage (melee and ranged attacks) for 3 seconds.

I try to use Evasion before I use Shield Probe; cleansing DoTs first means Shield Probe can absorb more direct hits.

Tip: Used in combination with Cloaking Screen, Evasion lets you stealth out safely by cleansing all DoTs and other effects that might knock you out of stealth.

Tip: Don’t be afraid to use Evasion to break roots or purge other movement impairments. When I find myself out of position, I use Evasion then Exfiltrate or Holotraverse to reposition.

Tip: Prioritize purging/dodging the following abilities with Evasion:

Icon Ability Class or Discipline Notes
Crushing Darkness Sorcerer The sound effect associated with Crushing Darkness/Mind Crush is a loud, thumping heartbeat; when you hear this, purge it.
Mind Crush Sage
Ambush Marksmanship Sniper When a Sniper/Gunslinger is channeling this ability, you will see a red targeting animation that zones in on your character—really easy to spot. Not only will you dodge this ability but also their follow-up, Followthrough/Trickshot, which also deals ranged (white) damage.
Aimed Shot Sharpshooter Gunslinger
Cull Virulence Sniper This is the main burst in these disciplines. While Virulence/Dirty Fighting DoTs don’t tick for much individually, when a Sniper/Gunslinger uses Cull/Wounding Shots, it causes their target’s DoTs to tick again, adding up to massive burst damage. Evasion completely nullifies this white-damage ability and purges all their DoTs.

This ability can be identified by its distinct sound effect (five rapid, successive shots).
Wounding Shots Dirty Fighting Gunslinger
Corrosive Assault Lethality Operative Works similarly to Sniper’s Cull/Wounding Shots: the more DoTs you have ticking, the more damage Corrosive Assault/Brutal Shots does. Evasion will purge the DoTs and nullify this white-damage ability.

This ability can be identified by its distinct sound effect (five rapid, successive shots).
Brutal Shots Ruffian Scoundrel
Rail Shot Powertech, Mercenary Advanced Prototype Powertechs’ rotation typically goes: Thermal DetonatorRetractable BladeRocket PunchMagnetic BlastRail Shot. Their Rail Shot can be procced every 6 seconds by Magnetic Blast, Rocket Punch, Shatter Slug or Flame Sweep. It’s an instant-cast ability so be ready for it.

Mercenaries also have Rail Shot. Players will try to land Heatseeker Missiles (which has travel time) and Rail Shot in the same GCD for maximum burst. Hit Evasion while Heatseeker Missiles is in flight to counter this combo.
High Impact Bolt Vanguard, Commando
Berserk Carnage Marauder The Berserk/Zen window is a Carnage Marauder/Combat Sentinel’s biggest burst opportunity and goes as follows:

Berserk/Zen (+30% Alacrity for the next 6 abilities or 20s; requires and consumes 30 stacks of Fury/Centering) → Ferocity/Precision (next 3 abilities have +100% armor penetration) → Gore/Lance (white damage; autocrit; hinders target for 1.5s) → Devastating Blast/Clashing Blast (yellow damage; autocrit; cannot be dodged) → Vicious Throw/Dispatch (white damage).

If you use Evasion during this window, you can avoid a lot of damage.
Zen Combat Sentinel

Note: One of the few debuffs that Evasion does not purge is Electro Net.

Note: If you are stunned right as/after you use Evasion, white damage mitigation does not work. It’s unclear whether this is a bug or intentional. Just be aware of it—it sucks.


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Exfiltrate: Roll forward 12 meters. Activating the ability a second time within 10 seconds allows you to roll again, but puts the ability on cooldown for 10 seconds. While rolling, your chance to dodge melee and ranged attacks is increased by 30%. Does not break stealth. Cannot be used while immobilized (rooted) or hindered (by Electro Net or Gore, for instance).


This is another powerful and versatile ability. It lets you roll up to twice within 10 seconds, giving you a 30% chance to dodge incoming white damage each time. As of 5.6, putting Exfiltrate on CD grants 4-seconds of Unshakable which gives temporary interrupt immunity. If you are quick, you can get two successive cast heals off in this window.

Bonus: Never forget the 30% chance to dodge white damage. If you have nothing left and you can’t LoS, time your roll to dodge, say, an Ambush or Rail Shot. It’s RNG but 30% is better odds than 0%.

Tip: Trigger interrupt immunity while white-barred and you can neither be interrupted nor CC’d for 4 seconds; it will be impossible for enemies to stop you casting during this window.

Tip: Need interrupt immunity but don’t want to risk leaving Guard range? Set up next to a wall or other obstacle and double roll into it. You will roll in place and not move.

Tip: Stagger your rolls. It isn’t always wise to roll twice right away. When kiting, try to bait out abilities such as an Assassin’s Force Speed or a Marauder’s Force Leap with the first roll, then roll again to successfully create distance.

Tip: You can also move more than 10 meters (horizontally) by “getting air” and rolling off ledges, cliffsides, etc. If you are kiting or need to get from point A to B faster, this is very useful.

Tip: If I really need to get a cast heal off, I will sometimes Exfiltrate → Kolto Injection/Kolto Infusion/Kolto Waves. If they interrupt that, simply Exfiltrate → cast heal again.

Note: If you are slowed, you won
’t roll as far.


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Holotraverse: Supercharge your stealth generator, quickly moving you to a friendly or enemy target and increasing your movement speed by 75% for 3 seconds. Does not break stealth. Cannot be used against enemy targets in cover. Holotraverse cannot used while immobilized (rooted) or hindered (by Electro Net or Gore, for instance).


A versatile ability, Holotraverse enables you to get in range to heal or fall back to a safer position. It’s on a 45-second cooldown and is off the global cooldown. It works like a teleport or a leap to a friendly target within range. That is, if someone is up or downstairs, it will teleport you to their position: jumping/leaping up to a ledge is possible now! You can use this either in combination with Exfiltrate or use it defensively to create distance when your roll is down.

Picking a good target to teleport to during battle can be difficult because you’re relying on their good positioning as well as yours. Most players in warzones will find have terrible positioning; the better able you are to think under pressure, the better you will be at quickly identifying good candidates. Whenever I am being focused or taking any damage, I make a habit of quickly scanning my group. I am constantly planning who to teleport to if the damage is too great for my healing/DCDs. To use Holotraverse most effectively, always be thinking ahead.

Tip: Use Holotraverse to kite melee who are interrupting/CC’ing you, creating a window to cast heal.

Tip: I tend to use Holotraverse when AoE healing and enemies keep trying to separate me from my team. I just teleport back to the group, reposition and continue healing.

Tip: If the enemy team is trying to separate you from your tank, use Holotraverse to get back into Guard range.

Note: This ability is extremely buggy. It only works reliably if you and your target are on flat ground and you have a clear line of sight. Obstacles and vertical movement tend to cause problems. As a rule, don’t teleport to targets unless you have an unbroken line of sight and don’t teleport to targets above you. Playing Holotraverse roulette can teleport you past your target, off the map or nowhere at all.

Note: Be aware that when using Holotraverse, you will be teleported to the target player, facing their back. Be careful if you are, for example, on a bridge: it’s easy to get disorientated and accidentally walk off a ledge or move in a direction you don’t want to.


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Debilitate: Deals 𝑥 damage and stuns the target for 4 seconds.


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Slip Away (utility): Reduces the cooldown of Debilitate by 15 seconds.

This is your hard stun and it’s incredibly versatile. I use it defensively, offensively, and even to get cast heals off. An example of a good defensive use of Debilitate is stunning a target who is applying pressure, interrupting or CC’ing you. This creates a window in which to cast heal or get some distance. Offensively, use it to stun a freecasting healer or DPS or to help your DPS secure a kill.

Note: Snipers’ Entrench (Gunslingers’ Hunker Down) gives them immunity to all controlling effects while in cover. It lasts 20–23 seconds and is on a 45-second CD (with a utility). Additionally, Snipers/Gunslingers and Concealment Operatives/Scrapper Scoundrels are immune to all CC while rolling. Do not CC into Entrench or roll. Entrench is easy to see: it puts a large shield around the player, as opposed to their smaller cover shield, and is up almost half the time.

Advanced: If you are interested in solo or group ranked, you will be expected to CC the enemy healer or mitigate incoming damage with Debilitate. In a ranked environment, you need to do more than just heal: you need to play proactively and make use of your entire kit to help your team when appropriate. Start looking for opportunities to, for example, Holotraverse into range of a Mercenary to shut down their burst window with Debilitate, or hard stun a healer to help your team get a kill.

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Sever Tendon: Deals 𝑥 kinetic damage and slows the target’s movement speed by 50% for 12 seconds.


While on the face of it, this looks like a useful ability which can help you kite or hamper an enemy’s escape, all melee DPS have the tools to counter it (e.g., Force Leap, Evasion, Grapple, etc.). I personally use Sever Tendon more in duels than warzones, where I’d typically rather not waste a GCD on something so easily countered (when I could be healing instead). I tend to use this ability aggressively, to help my team secure a kill rather than defensively, to kite.


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Flash Bang: Detonates a flash bang that blinds the target for 8 seconds. Damage causes this effect to end prematurely.


This is your instant AoE mez. It is a powerful ability that can take a player(s) out of the fight for 8 seconds. I use Flash Bang to peel for myself or allies. It can also be used on the enemy healer(s) to help my team get kills. If you are in small skirmishes and struggling to heal a target under focus fire, use Flash Bang to create a window in which to cast heal. I’ve saved countless players from certain death with Flash Bang.

Tip: If an ally is in immediate danger, use Holotraverse → Flash Bang, teleporting to their location and mezzing their attackers. I’ve made a lot of clutch saves with this combo.

Note: Snipers’ Entrench (Gunslingers’ Hunker Down) gives them immunity to all controlling effects while in cover. It lasts 20–23 seconds and is on a 45-second CD (with a utility). Additionally, Snipers/Gunslingers and Concealment Operatives/Scrapper Scoundrels are immune to all CC while rolling. Do not CC into Entrench or roll. Entrench is easy to see: it puts a large shield around the player, as opposed to their smaller cover shield, and is up almost half the time.

Fig. 13: Sniper’s Entrench.

Note: Remember that Flash Bang can be broken by damage. Try not to waste your Flash Bang on targets who are being attacked or have DoTs.

Advanced: If you are interested in solo/group ranked, you will be expected to help CC. Finding windows to mez a healer while your team bursts a target can be the difference between getting a kill or not. If one of your teammates is out of cooldowns and struggling to stay alive, Flash Bang enemy DPS and use that window to stabilize your team.

Advanced: Curbing Strategies is a Masterful-tier utility that causes Flash Bang to reduce affected targets’ accuracy by 20% when it expires or is broken. I only recommend this utility for experienced healers.

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Stealth: Activates your stealth generator, increasing your stealth level by 15 and making you and your companion difficult to detect. Movement speed is reduced to 85% of normal while in stealth. Most hostile actions and taking cover will break stealth. Your companion will not react to enemies attacks while in stealth.


You can enter stealth whenever you are out of combat. When stealthed, you cannot be seen by the enemy team unless you are very close to them.

You can be broken out of stealth by any type of damage (typically AoE) or by Stealth Scan, a Bounty Hunter/Trooper ability. Good players will try to predict your location when you’re in stealth; they will have AoE abilities ready to try to decloak you and put you in combat.

Note: At the start of combat, there is no reason for you to be out in the open. I start off most matches in stealth so I am not the first target.

Note: While most healing and damaging abilities will break you out of stealth, there are abilities that won’t. Evasion, Shield Probe, Exfiltrate, Countermeasures, Holotraverse, Sleep Dart, Tactical Superiority and Infiltrate can all be used in stealth and will not decloak you.

Note: Stealth detection is based on the stealth level of the stealthed player and the stealth detection level of your opponent. There are various abilities which increase stealth level and stealth detection. For instance, while in cover, Snipers/Gunslingers have a passive ability that builds their stealth detection gradually, reaching up to 30 additional levels of stealth detection. It ends once they leave cover. If a Sniper has full stacks of Spotter, it will be hard to get close to them without being seen. Be careful.

Advanced: In team ranked matches, I typically start in stealth mode. This prevents the enemy team from opening on me. It also prevents me being sapped by enemy stealthers: if the other team has a stealth class such as an Assassin tank, I almost always remain stealthed till I get into combat. Assassin tanks typically start combat by sapping a healer or DPS. Preempt this by putting yourself in combat from stealth.

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Cloaking Screen: Overloads your stealth generator, immediately exiting combat and entering stealth mode. For 10 seconds, you become virtually undetectable.


This is your combat stealth and should be your last resort. It lets you exit combat and enter stealth mode. However, be aware that if you have DoTs ticking or if you are the target of incoming projectiles when you use Cloaking Screen, they will still damage/hit you, immediately knocking you out of stealth. This is why I suggest using Evasion right before you stealth: this purges DoTs and prevents your stealth being broken by damage, ensuring your escape.

To reiterate, combat stealth does not nullify abilities with travel time. If you combat stealth too late, you could still be hit by projectiles which were in flight before you stealthed out. They will still hit you in stealth, knocking you out of stealth as well as potentially killing you. These deaths can be avoided by proper positioning and ensuring you stealth out before dropping into execute range.

Bonus: On exiting stealth, you will instantly gain two (2) stacks of Tactical Advantage (via the Surprise Surgery passive ability). This can be incredibly useful, especially with the recent hit to TA generation in 5.5. For instance, if you get knocked out of stealth while trying to kite, you can spend these TAs on spamming Surgical Probe (if you are in a life or death situation). I’ve also used this mechanic to save allies in critical moments; if I think I can save them by spending two TAs on Surgical Probe and/or Kolto Infusion, I have used Cloaking Screen to do so. Just be aware that this is just for critical, life or death situations: don’t get in the habit of using your combat stealth for another healing opportunity. It’s still your last resort DCD.

Tip: Be aware that using your combat stealth puts you out of combat. That means it resets the cooldown of your Warzone Medpac, which can only be used once per combat cycle. Try to use your Warzone Medpac before being forced to use your combat stealth. This means you will be able to use it again after you stealth (if it’s not still on cooldown). Sometimes the best option is to stealth out so you can use your Warzone Medpac.

Note: While most healing and hostile abilities will break you out of stealth, there are abilities that won’t. These include Evasion, Shield Probe, Exfiltrate, Countermeasures, Holotraverse, Sleep Dart, Tactical Superiority and Infiltrate.

Advanced: This tip is for experienced Medicine Operatives. If you are being interrupted constantly or focus target modifier interrupted (even worse) and need to get a critical heal off, using Cloaking Screen will cause enemies to deselect you as their target and/or focus target. Use this opportunity to reposition or just reenter combat by cast healing an ally. It will also give you two (2) TAs to use as you please. Enemies will be forced to tab back to you and reenable focus target to interrupt/CC you.

Remember: this is a last resort strategy. Using combat stealth in this manner is extremely risky.


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Stim Boost*: Grants a Tactical Advantage and increases Alacrity by 10% for 15 seconds.


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Revitalizers (utility): Stim Boost now additionally grants Revitalizers, restoring 5% of total health every 3 seconds and reducing damage received by 20% for the duration.
Note*: Stim Boost is only a DCD if you spec into Revitalizers, a Legendary-tier utility.

As explained in the Utilities section of the guide, Revitalizers is a must. Ideally, you’ll pop Stim Boost only when you’ll get use from both its damage mitigation and instant cast components. While you might find yourself forced to use Stim Boost solely for the instant cast, you really don’t want to waste this powerful DCD—make sure it’s really worth using in these situations.

Tip: Anticipate being focused? Make sure you pop Stim Boost before you are double hard stunned. It can help you survive without Guard or Escape.


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Countermeasures*: Activates countermeasures, instantly lowering threat by a moderate amount. Cooldown: 45 seconds; off the GCD; does not break stealth.


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Curative Agent (utility): Countermeasures grants Curative Agent, causing your next Kolto Probe on a new target to immediately grant two stacks. Additionally, Countermeasures heals you for 1% of your maximum health every second for 10 seconds and Kolto Infusion now initially restores 𝑥 health and then additionally restores 𝑦 health over 9 seconds.
Note*: Countermeasures is only a DCD if you spec into Curative Agent, a Legendary-tier utility.

Keep in mind that Curative Agent also turns Countermeasures into a minor DCD. This can help relieve pressure, freeing you from solely focusing on healing yourself. 10% of your max HP over 10 seconds doesn’t seem much but every little bit helps. It also will be ticking alongside your Kolto Probes, Recuperative Nanotech and Kolto Infusion HoT. Separately, these are small heals but together, they add up and can save you, even when stun-locked.


Team Play and Peeling

It’s important to know what other classes can do to support you as a healer and to develop the situational awareness to take advantage of these abilities.

The following is not an exhaustive list but these abilities are particularly powerful (and, for the most part, hard to miss).


Juggernaut, Guardian, Assassin, Shadow, Powertech, Vanguard
Ability: Guard

Buff icon:
Out of range:

Fig. 14: Blue shield animation visible on a guarded target.

Guard redirects 50% of incoming damage to the caster as long as the guarded target remains within 15 meters. Take care to stay within Guard range to benefit from its massive damage reduction.

Note that DPS Juggernauts, Powertechs and Assassins can also use Guard, not just tanks. This is rarely a good idea. If you are guarded by a DPS, just try your best to heal them.

See Playing with a Tank and the Guard Mechanic (above) for a fuller explanation.


Shield Tech Powertech, Shield Specialist Vanguard
Ability:
Oil Slick, Riot Gas

Fig. 15: Powertech’s Oil Slick animation.

Fig. 16: Vanguard’s Riot Gas animation.

Oil Slick/Riot Gas is unique to the Powertech/Vanguard tanking disciplines (Shield Tech/Shield Specialist). It reduces the movement speed of all targets within its AoE by 70% and reduces their accuracy by 15%. It lasts 10 seconds and is really hard to miss: Oil Slick, as its name implies, is a giant pool of oil; Riot Gas releases a canister of red gas at its location. It’s particularly effective against melee attackers, who have a hard time escaping it. You can either stand in the AoE or just outside it, forcing melee to trudge through or take the long way round.

Note: It’s not always obvious whether Oil Slick/Riot Gas has been dropped by a friendly or enemy tank. This is where situational awareness (and good communication) comes in.


Powertech, Vanguard
Ability:
Carbonize, Neural Surge

Fig. 17: Powertech’s Carbonize animation.

Hearing your teammates Carbonize is a beautiful sound. Carbonize is unique in that it’s the only AoE hard stun in the game, affecting up to 8 enemies within 8 meters. It’s exclusive to Powertechs and cannot be cleansed. Vanguard’s mirror ability is called Neural Surge. Carbonize/Neural Surge lasts 2.5 seconds (3 seconds with the Enhanced Paralytics/Paralytic Augs utility). Again, Carbonize’s sound effect is unmistakable and it creates a window for you to get 1–2 casts off without interruption.


Darkness Assassin, Kinetic Combat Shadow
Ability:
Deflection, Deflection

Fig. 18: Assassin’s Deflection/Mounting Darkness animation.

Mounting Darkness/Pulsating Force is an Assassin/Shadow tank passive which turns their Deflection into an 8-meter AoE aura centered on themselves. Enemies within its radius deal 15% less Force and tech damage for 12 seconds (15 seconds with the Survivor 6-piece set bonus). This is another ability which is hard to miss.

Note: The Imperial and Republic versions of Deflection share the same animation, only differing by color: the Imperial version is purple while the Republic version is yellow.


Juggernaut, Guardian
Ability:
Intercede, Guardian Leap

Buff icon (Intercede):
Buff icon (Guardian Leap):

Fig. 19: Juggernaut’s Intercede animation.

Another ability with a distinct animation and sound effect. Intercede/Guardian Leap is a friendly leap exclusive to Juggernauts and Guardians. The player who is leapt to benefits from 20% damage reduction for 6 seconds. This is extremely powerful, especially in conjunction with Taunt and/or Guard.

Note: Intercede and Guardian Leap share the same animation, only differing by color: the Intercede is red while Guardian Leap is blue.


Sniper, Gunslinger
Ability:
Ballistic Shield, Scrambling Field

Buff icon:

Fig. 20: Sniper’s Ballistic Shield animation.

Ballistic Shield/Scrambling Field is exclusive to Snipers and Gunslingers. It deploys a large shield (with a 10-meter radius) which reduces damage taken by all allies within the shield by 20%. This is massive damage reduction: if you see it, get inside. Damage reduction (partywide damage reduction, no less) increases your net healing, giving you a window in which to stabilize your team.


Sniper, Gunslinger
Ability:
Diversion

Fig. 21: Sniper’s Diversion animation.

Diversion is another powerful Sniper/Gunslinger ability. It reduces the accuracy of all enemies in its area of effect by 45%. If you are in danger and an ally drops this on top of you, stay in it. It can save your life and help you successfully cast heal. Note that targets affected by Diversion can even miss their hard stuns and mezzes. In Marksmanship/Sharpshooter, Diversion is even nastier. Their Heavy Diversion/Percussive Diversion passive makes Diversion’s effect persist on targets for 3 seconds after they’ve left its area of effect.


Mercenary, Commando
Ability:
Electro Net, Electro Net

Fig. 22: Mercenary’s Electro Net animation.

Electro Net is a powerful CC that hinders a target for 9 seconds, disabling their high-mobility actions and escapes, slowing them by 50% and dealing heavy, stacking DoT damage if they move. Hinder can only be purged with a CC breaker and Electro Net’s stacking DoT cannot be cleansed or purged.

This ability is particularly punishing for enemy melee. If a friendly Mercenary or Commando uses Electro Net, their target is essentially of no threat to you for 9 seconds.

Note: The Imperial and Republic versions of Electro Net share the same animation, only differing by color: the Imperial version is yellow while the Republic version is blue.


Sniper: Cover Pulse
Gunslinger: Pulse Detonator
Mercenary: Jet Boost
Commando: Concussion Charge
Assassin, Sorcerer: Overload
Shadow, Sage: Force Wave

Make friends with your ranged DPS. Most of the time, you should be in the backline with them so familiarize yourself with their abilities. Snipers, Mercenaries, Assassins and Sorcerers (and their Republic counterparts) all have knockbacks. When I am in trouble, I purposely kite towards friendly Snipers and Mercenaries: they have powerful defensive cooldowns and their knockbacks buy me a few seconds to cast heal.

You will find that even inexperienced Mercenaries and Snipers will often knock back any melee in tow—maybe more out of fear for their lives than yours but if it gets results…


Advanced: Marauders’ Obfuscate (Sentinels’ Pacify) is probably the most broken, overpowered ability in the game right now. Obfuscate reduces the target’s accuracy by 90% for 6 seconds. This can drastically reduce an enemy’s damage output.

Its animation and sound cues are subtle: in the middle of a fight, it’s nigh impossible to tell when Obfuscate has been used without monitoring enemy debuff bars. If you are in solo/team ranked with a Marauder, try to keep tabs on who they Obfuscate and when (if possible, have them call it out).


Consumables


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Warzone Medpac: Use: Immediately restores 35% of maximum health. Only usable in Player versus Player environments. Only usable once per fight. (Cooldown: 1.5 minutes)


These can be purchased from PvP vendors (and are a reward for the PvP daily quests) for use in warzones and arenas. Consider this another powerful DCD in your kit and use it in your defensive rotation.

I use Warzone Medpacs as an emergency self heal. For example, if you anticipate incoming burst, use this to stay out of Execute range.

Tip: Note that exiting combat (either by wiping the opposing team, dying or using your combat stealth) allows you to use another Warzone Medpac. Its cooldown is tied to your combat state: you can use it once every 1.5 minutes per engagement.


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Warzone Adrenal: Use: Increases damage reduction by 15% for 15 seconds while fighting other players. Only usable in Player versus Player environments. (Cooldown: 3 minutes).


Grants 15% damage reduction for 15 seconds. Don’t underestimate its usefulness: any damage reduction can increase your net healing, helping you catch up if you’re falling behind.

Tip: If you anticipate incoming burst, a Warzone Adrenal and your Stim Boost add up to 35% damage reduction.

Tip: If your tank is low on health and you are transferring a lot of damage to them via Guard, use a Warzone Adrenal to ease the pressure.


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Advanced Polybiotic Versatile Stim: Use: Increases Mastery by 240 and Power by 99 for 480 minutes. Only one stimpack can be active at a time. This effect persists through defeat.


Even in warzones, you will expected to use stims. They give a substantial boost to your stats, roughly equivalent to a piece of gear. These can be crafted by Biochemists or bought on the GTN. Healers should only use high mastery/power stims; ignore the endurance/accuracy stims.

Note: Like buffs and other consumables, the timers on stims only tick down when you are online.


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V-9 Seismic Grenade: Disrupts the earth beneath all targets within 6 meters of the selected area, dealing 𝑥 kinetic damage and knocking them unconscious for 5 seconds. Damage causes this effect to end prematurely. (Cooldown: 180s). Damage dealt scales by level up to level 65.


Also referred to as “tryhards”. While not essential to success in warzones, if you’re competitive, grenades can be useful. These are consumables which can be crafted by Cybertechs or bought on the GTN.

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Bastioned: Being hit by a grenade grants Bastioned, giving immunity to the effects of all Cybertech grenades for 3 minutes. To clarify, Bastioned is a global debuff: if an enemy is hit by one of your ally’s grenades, they are also immune to your grenades till Bastioned expires.
Advanced: If you’re interested in solo/group ranked, I strongly recommend that you use grenades. Your opponents will use them and it’s another CC in your kit.

Conclusion

Try not to use all your defensives at once. You need to spread them out in combat and use them wisely. If you have a good defensive rotation, you will always have something available when you need it. Always be thinking of ways to use your defensives to maximize damage reduction. With practice, you will be able to use all your cooldowns effectively, even under heavy pressure.

Note: If you spec into Fortified Kolto (a Masterful-tier utility), you should have two (2) stacks of Kolto Probe rolling on yourself at all times. This utility gives you a flat 3% damage reduction per stack. 6% damage reduction (at two stacks) works out to be a lot of damage mitigated over the course of a match so take advantage of it.

My CD priority is as follows:

Shield ProbeEvasion → Warzone AdrenalStim Boost (with Revitalizers) → Warzone Medpac → [anything else that is back up] → Cloaking Screen → [repeat]

Don’t forget to use Holotraverse and Exfiltrate to kite melee and LoS ranged damage.

Always be mindful of your positioning: good positioning is your first and best defense.

Note that this priority system is a guideline only. You may need to adjust it based on what kind of damage you are taking. For example, if you are taking Sorcerer DoT damage, you would use Evasion before Shield Probe: there is no sense absorbing DoT damage when you can just cleanse it with Evasion.

Tip: If you anticipate taking incoming burst damage—maybe you see three players about to jump you and you don’t have Guard, for example—and Flash Bang is down, use your Stim Boost + Warzone Adrenal. That’s 35% damage reduction—you will most likely survive. It’s wise to use these abilities preemptively in case you get stun-locked and aren’t able to break.


Miscellaneous Abilities


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Coordination: Increases a friendly target’s critical hit chance by 5% for 60 minutes. If the target is a group member, all other group members are also affected.


This is Operative’s class-specific party buff. You should always make sure to buff yourself and allies before combat.

Note: Completing chapter 2 of any class storyline (Sith Warrior, Sith Inquisitor, Bounty Hunter, etc.) unlocks that class’s buff for all characters in your legacy. When you use Coordination, you (and your party) will also receive all the class buffs you’ve unlocked.


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Resuscitation Probe: Revives an incapacitated ally in combat.


This is your combat revive. It has a cast time of 1.5 seconds and a 5-minute cooldown. Please put it on your bar and use it. Most healers in warzones don’t know what this ability is, don’t use it, or don’t even have it on their bar. Don’t be that guy!

When you revive an ally, they will respawn at your location out of combat and with low health and no energy, Force, etc. As a Medicine Operative, it is hard to stabilize low-health players without restacking a lot of HoTs on them, which cost many GCDs. Don’t stand somewhere they can easily be put back into combat: they need a chance to heal up while you apply HoTs.

Note: Cannot be used in arenas.


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Distraction: Interrupts the target’s current action and prevents that ability from being used for 4 seconds.


Since Operatives are primarily a melee DPS class, we have the shortest range interrupt (at 10 meters), which is on an 18-second cooldown and off the GCD. I typically interrupt healers to help my DPS down a target. If you have an opportunity, use it—it’s a great habit to get into. You can also bind a focus target modifier key to interrupt without having to switch targets.

Advanced: If you want to help your team in a competitive match, make the enemy healer your focus target. Call out when they are vulnerable to CC, when their white bar is expiring and when they need to be interrupted. This can help your team rotate CCs and get kills in solo and team ranked.

Advanced: For experienced Operatives who are interested in solo and team ranked, be aware that players can macro focus target modifier + interrupt on their gaming mouse or keyboard. If they set you as their focus target and you are within range, they can interrupt you with one key or button, without physically tabbing to or selecting you. For this reason, interrupt macros are commonly used in solo and team ranked (even though it’s frowned upon). I am personally against their use but if you want to be competitive and play at the highest level, realize that your opponents will use them against you.

Advanced: If you are interested in solo/group ranked, you will be expected not only to heal but to help control the enemy healer with interrupts and CCs. Be aware that being within 10 meters of the enemy healer is hard and not necessarily advisable: they can interrupt you as well. My advice is to interrupt if you happen to be close or, when you have a window of opportunity, use movement abilities to close the gap, interrupt then reestablish range.

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Infiltrate: Cloaks all group members within 10 meters of you in a temporary stealth field that lasts 15 seconds. Cannot be used in combat. Only usable while in stealth mode.


I use this a lot in arenas to stealth my group into combat. It helps my team find an advantageous position and engage the enemy team on our terms, from stealth. I use it sometimes in regular warzones to stealth up to the node or sneak a couple players to an off-node for a surprise attack. Another example is helping the team cross the Voidstar bridge without being knocked off.
 


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Sleep Dart: Puts the target to sleep for 8 seconds. Breaks on damage. Can only be used on targets that aren’t in combat and only one target can be incapacitated at a time. Can only be used in stealth.


Sleep Dart is primarily a DPS Operative’s tool but it’s situationally useful as a healer. Sapping an enemy healer is a risky opening play in arenas but it can sometimes pay off. In warzones, Sleep Dart’s most obvious use is for capping objectives. Also, if you find yourself isolated, you can sap an enemy until backup arrives.

Tip: If your teammate is capping a node and you see an enemy approaching, enter stealth mode and sap them. If they break, sap them again.

Advanced: Sometimes, I’ll sap a healer or DPS at the start of a fight to give my team the numbers advantage. This is strictly situational, however, and rarely viable in team or solo ranked. It’s a risky strategy that might give you the upper hand—or might get you caught out and killed in the enemy backline.

Damaging Abilities

Your main priority as a healer in PvP is to heal. Focusing on damage will impact your healing output because DPS abilities have steep energy costs—and cost valuable GCDs. That said, for experienced Operative healers, it’s alright to DPS if you find windows where you can afford to. For example, if everyone is already healed up or enemy players are about to die.

My personal DPS rotation:

ShivBackstabOverload Shot (×3)

I use Shiv when I am swinging around an enemy to target their back. I then Backstab when I am behind them. After that, I spam Overload Shot however many times I need to. I try not to exceed three (3) unless I really am sure of securing a kill because it is a serious energy investment at that point. I may also throw a Fragmentation Grenade if the target decides to run.


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Corrosive Dart: Fires a dart at the target that deals 𝑥 internal damage over 18 seconds.


Mostly useless as a healer because it costs 15 energy and deals very little DPS. While you can use it to prevent a stealther from escaping (unless purged, it will knock them out of combat stealth as soon as it ticks), Noxious Knives works just as well. I don’t bother hotkeying this.


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Shiv: Attacks target for 𝑥 kinetic damage.


Close-range melee ability that deals moderate damage. Also builds a Tactical Advantage. After Backstab, this is your most damaging ability.
 


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Backstab: Ambushes enemy for 𝑥 kinetic damage. Only usable while behind target.


I use this in combination with Shiv. If both abilities critically hit, that’s around 20k damage. Don’t use it unless there is nothing to heal.


overload-shot.png

Overload Shot: Blasts a target for 𝑥 weapon (white) damage.


This is a spammable, close-range ability. It costs 15 energy so should be used sparingly. I typically use it to finish off a target if there is nothing to heal and I have already used Backstab and Shiv.


fragmentation.png

Fragmentation Grenade: Deals 𝑥 kinetic damage to the primary target and 𝑦 amount of kinetic damage to up to 7 enemies within 5 meters.


This is your main AoE attack. It’s best used to stop node caps or lobbed at fleeing enemies.


noxious-knives.png

Noxious Knives: Hurls envenomed knives in a 10-meter cone in front of you, damaging up to 8 targets for 𝑥 kinetic damage and 𝑦 internal poison damage.


Only useful for knocking Assassins and Operatives out of stealth for your team to take care of.


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Toxic Haze: Executes your Tactical Advantage to hurl a canister that fills the target area with poisonous gas, dealing 𝑥 internal damage to up to 8 enemy targets within a 8 meter over 6 seconds. The haze stuns standard and weak enemies for 6 seconds. Requires and consumes Tactical Advantage.


I rarely use this ability because of its TA cost. It can be used to reveal stealthers but you get the same results more cheaply by spamming Noxious Knives.

Note: Unlike DPS Operatives, Medicine Operatives can choose where to place its AoE.


Keybinding

I know this is a controversial topic in MMOs/PvP but I wouldn’t bring it up if I didn’t personally benefit from switching from clicking to keybinding. Based on my own experience, I advise that all Operative healers keybind—at least keybind all your healing abilities and DCDs. What sets Operative healers apart from one another in PvP are reflexes, reaction time, and HoT management. Keybinding benefits you in the following ways:

  1. Medicine Operatives run a high-Alacrity build for maximum HPS. Alacrity decreases the length of your GCD, which confers many benefits but gives you less time to decide on and take your next action. Keybinding shortens your reaction time compared to clicking, enabling you to more easily string GCDs together without delay.
  2. Enables you to kite and monitor your ops frame and activate your abilities, all at the same time.
  3. Saves you from having to “hunt and peck” your action bars and enables you to keep your mouse cursor on/near the ops frame so you can quickly switch targets, thus improving your situational awareness.
  4. When under pressure, you are less likely to misclick important abilities if they are keybound.
  5. There are no drawbacks to keybinding, only benefits. Once you’ve built the necessary muscle memory, keybinding will lead to a marked improvement in your HPS.

I am not trying to say you can’t play Medicine well without keybinding. However, Medicine is one of the disciplines that benefits most from keybinding. Keybinding enables you to play at the highest level with the least amount of effort. 

Tip: If you plan to keybind, you don’t need to start from scratch. Talk to friends who keybind or ask other Operatives how they keybind. Ask them to send you a screenshot of their UI to see how they arrange their abilities and what keys they use. When I started keybinding, I asked one of the best Operative healers I could find at the time to share his keybinds. After I looked at them, I set up binds that were a combination of what he used and other ones which made more sense to me. I suggest seeing what other players use and making adjustments to fit your playstyle and preferences.

Tip: Don’t forget about the Q, E, R, and T keys. These are some of the most accessible because they are close to WASD (default for movement). Q, E, R, and T are all easy to use while kiting. I bind them to my spammable healing abilities and my two spammable defensive cooldowns.

Tip: If you want to seriously commit to keybinding, I would recommend getting a Razer Naga, Logitech G600 or a similar mouse with bindable keys on its side (where your thumb rests). It’s hard to bind everything to your keyboard and thats where a good gaming mouse comes in. It will let you spread your binds across your keyboard and mouse. There is an adjustment period while you build the muscle memory but it’s ultimately well worth the effort.

Tip: If gaming mice like the Razer Naga don’t appeal to you, you have other options. Gaming keyboards with banks of bindable macro keys, like Corsair’s Raptor K50, are available. Another alternative is a keypad like Razer’s Orbweaver, or even a USB footpedal.

Note: There is going to be a short adjustment period when switching from clicking to keybinding. It varies from person to person but typically ranges from a day to a week (depending on how often/much you play). It took me 2–3 days of playing with keybinds to get to the peak of my performance as a clicker, as I started to mentally register which keys did what. The more you practice, the faster the new binds will become second nature. Today, I pop my DCDs and heals without even thinking about it; I don’t know how I managed without keybinding.


UI Optimization and Miscellaneous Settings

Having a good UI is really important, no matter what class (or even what game) you play. I advise that you always look for ways to improve or optimize your UI. A list of recommended settings follows. You can also look at other players’ UIs for inspiration and ideas: http://www.swtorui.com/addons.php.

Recommended UI Settings

  • Show cooldown text
  1. Go to Preferences
  2. in the Game tab, select User Interface
  3. under Cooldown Settings (scroll down), check the box next to Show Cooldown Text
  4. hit Apply then OK.

Fig. 23: Cooldown text on action bars.

Enabling this setting will overlay a countdown timer on your quickbar icons, indicating the active cooldown of abilities.

  • Adjust max camera distance
  1. Go to Preferences
  2. in the Game tab, select Controls
  3. under Camera, set the Max Camera Distance slider to 100%
  4. hit Apply then OK.

This is pretty self-explanatory. This setting lets you zoom out all the way for a better view of the terrain—a good player is one who can read the whole battle.

Tip: If you aren't comfortable with the camera distance even at 100%, you can increase it further by editing a UI file. Steps to do this can be found here: http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=205633.

Fig. 24: In this screenshot, the camera is zoomed out beyond 100%.

  • Ability Action Queue Window
  1. Go to Preferences
  2. in the Game tab, select Controls
  3. scroll down to Combat
  4. open the Ability Action Queue Window dropdown menu and select either 0.0 or 0.25.

By default, I believe this is set to 0.5. This means that up to 0.5 seconds before the next GCD, you can queue up an ability to use in that GCD. I prefer disabling this (setting it to 0.0). The advantage to this is that you are never locked into using an ability if you change your mind or the situation changes. While this means I have to activate abilities as each GCD comes up, my reaction time is good enough to avoid delays between GCDs

  • Highlight personal buffs and sort by duration
  1. Open Interface Editor
  2. click on Player Buff Tray
  3. check Highlight Effects
  4. open the Effect Highlight Max Duration dropdown menu and select 1 minute and below
  5. check Personal Effects
  6. under the Effect Sort Type dropdown box, select Apply Time
  7. click Save.

Enabling these options highlights your personal buffs, helping you keep track of your Kolto Probes.

Fig. 25: Player buff tray shown with personal buffs bordered in yellow.

  • Show HP/resource values on player/target frames
  1. Open Interface Editor
  2. click on Player Frame or Target Frame
  3. check the box next to Show Information Text
  4. click Save.

Enabling this option overlays the current HP/resource (energy, heat, rage, etc.) values on the player and target frames.

Fig. 26: Player frame with information text enabled, showing HP and energy values.

  • Highlight target’s buffs and sort by duration
  1. Open Interface Editor
  2. click on Target Frame
  3. increase Buff Scale as desired
  4. check Show Information Text
  5. under Highlight Options, check Highlight Buffs
  6. open the Buff Highlight Maximum Duration dropdown menu and select 1 minute and below
  7. under Sort Options, check Personal Buffs
  8. open the Buff Sort Type dropdown menu and select By Time Remaining
  9. uncheck Personal Debuffs.
  • Ops frames settings
  1. Open Interface Editor
  2. select Operations Frames
  3. change Debuff Scale to 0.5
  4. change Buff Scale to 0.6
  5. change Health Width to 144
  6. change Health Height to 32
  7. check Show Health Text
  8. check Show Only Removable Debuffs.

These values are suggestions: adjust to your liking. This will make it easier to see your party’s health and buffs/debuffs.

 Fig. 27: Ops frame with health bar height and width increased, health text enabled and debuff scale increased.

Fig. 27: Ops frame with health bar height and width increased, health text enabled and debuff scale increased.


Example UI Layout

 Fig. 28: My current user interface.

Fig. 28: My current user interface.

I went through many UI changes until settling on this one. This UI minimizes the amount of eye movement you need to do when healing. If you have to look at four (4) different areas to see your DCDs, healing abilities, ops frame and other important abilities, I would implore you to consider streamlining your UI. Trust me when I say this UI improves my reaction time and enables me to use my heals on CD.

You will notice my ops frame (which you will spend a lot of time staring at) is very close to my bars, which hold my most important healing abilities and big cooldowns. To use your heals effectively and on cooldown and to rotate your DCDs even while under pressure, you need to see their cooldowns at a glance. I also ended up flipping my character portrait and moving it closer to my bars and ops frame. With everything in the same area, you can take in more information at once and make better decisions more quickly.

Note: You will notice that I have smaller bars to the bottom right (very low opacity). Those are the hotkeys for my healing abilities and DCDs. I ended up duplicating them to another bar (which is closer to my ops frame) out of personal preference and to minimize distractions. I also have a bar with other, less important abilities below my ops frame. Everything is hotkeyed.


Acknowledgements

Firstly, I would like to thank “rambol” for being a amazing editor, helping me revise every section of this guide. Our discussions have given me insight and led to many of the updates and changes in this text. Thank you as well for giving me the opportunity to host my guide on your website, to help players find success in their PvP adventures.

I want to thank “doc” from STI. You are a good friend and one of the most talented and insightful players I know. You always give me amazing advice and I take your input seriously. Thank you for your patience and support and for giving your time so freely whenever I ask for advice on SWTOR PvP.
 
I want to thank my guild, STI (Sick Twisted Individuals), for theorycrafting, testing, and for your incredible support. You are some of the most talented players I know and I am blessed to have such good friends. Shoutouts to “Buurl”, “Puddlejumper”, “Currik” and “Knin”.

I also want to thank the team at Jedipedia. Your database was an invaluable reference when writing this guide.

Lastly, I want to thank “Niss”, an old friend. I don’t often see you anymore but you inspired and motivated me to follow in your footsteps and become a better Operative healer. It’s also because of you that I want to create wonderful guides for the community. Thank you.


About the Author

I’m known as “Hottie” on Satele Shan. I have now written four comprehensive guides to Operative healing in PvP. I am passionate about gaming, PvP, and Operative healing in particular. I have thousands of warzones under my belt, as well as hundreds of hours of team and solo ranked. I love to stream my gameplay (primarily Medicine PvP) and give tips to aspiring Medicine Operatives. I am also passionate about giving back to the community and run my own SWTOR charity events. With the help of my guildies, friends, and the SWTOR community, we have managed to raise thousands of dollars for several charities, including the American Cancer Society and the AFSP (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention).

You can contact me via this form, on Twitch or Twitter or leave a comment below.

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