Advanced Prototype Powertech

Last Updated: 5/31/21

Table of Contents


About the Class

AP Powertech is a strong melee burst DPS class. AP has arguably the highest burst in the game due to its ability to front-load damage via Energy Burst and off-GCD Shoulder Cannon missiles. AP also functions as a semi-ranged class due to the 10m range of many of its abilities. Combined with all of its abilities being instant and unmatched mobility with Hydraulic Overrides, a gap closer and a pull ability, as well as cheese potential via Sonic Rebounder, AP is a strong addition to any raid team.

Role in Operations

AP is a melee burst DPS class but with a unique semi-ranged capability. As such, AP can be very useful in many target swapping encounters. However, care should be taken for target swapping in AOE situations due to the need to re-apply Retractable Blade. AP will do best dealing with adds that involve burst phases, such as the Anomalies in phase 2 of the Terror From Beyond HM/NiM encounter. AP also has several defensive capabilities and heavy armor, so can function as an off-tank in emergency situations so long as there are no major damage spikes.

Utility and Mobility

Powertechs have strong utility for a DPS class. They can guard and taunt, they have an 4 second hard stun (Electro Dart), a 2.5 second AoE stun (Carbonize), can pull certain targets for positioning, can use Sonic Rebounder for a group reflect of various heavy hitting mechanics, and can apply an armor and tech damage debuff to targets.

Regarding mobility, Powertechs are unmatched amongst all classes. All of their abilities are instant and can be used on the move, many have a 10m range (or with a seldom-used utility can be boosted to 30m), they have a gap closer and a pull ability, and Hydraulic Overrides that can grant a huge speed boost with up to 10s of duration and only a 35s cooldown (with all utilities taken to buff Hydraulic Overrides).


As a class with a tank specialization, Powertechs have strong survivability. Possessing heavy armor, a strong defensive cooldown in Energy Rebounder, 30% AOE/Stun damage reduction, Powertechs are capable of stepping in to off-tank when a tank dies until they can be rezzed.

6.0 Impact on Discipline

After spending most of the 5.X patch cycle in a very strong position on the DPS charts, AP started 6.0 much weaker than most expected. Between the weaker position and the very strong synergy provided to Pyrotech by the Meteor Brawler set bonus and Superheated Fuel tactical, relatively few folks ran AP early on in 6.0.

Thankfully, the developers corrected course and provided some buffs to the discipline and changes to the Powerlode tactical that bring it in line from a DPS perspective. The discipline still seems slightly out of line with developer expectations - they seem to think Veteran Ranger should be the ideal set bonus and the early consensus in 6.1 is that Meteor Brawler is still the way to go - but the discipline is back to being a burst DPS powerhouse. Between Powerlode crits and Firefall burst, the discipline can crank out the huge burst damage better than anyone.


I usually take some combination of the following Utilities, though the optimal combination can change from fight to fight. As of 6.0, the tiers have been reorganized.

Skillfull Tier

You must take 3 to advanced to Masterful.

Gyrosopic Alignment Jets - You vent 20 heat when stunned, immobilized, knocked down or otherwise incapacitated. Also, when incapacitated, your next Tech ability deals 10% damage or healing. This effect lasts for 15 seconds.

A highly useful utility for any fights with lots of physics-based mechanics, as it boosts energy regeneration and damage.

Reflective Armor - When Close and Personal is triggered, it will also deal elemental damage to the attacker if the attacker is within 10 meters.

Close and Personal is a passive ability that can be triggered from area attacks. Normally it will regenerate some energy and provide minimal healing. In any fights with lots of AoE damage this utility is worth taking. It is especially powerful in the Underlurker encounter due to the nearly constant AoE damage.

Iron Will - Reduces the cooldown of Determination by 30 seconds and the cooldown of Hydraulic Overrides by 10 seconds.

I usually take this utility in any situation where Hydraulic Overrides will be useful.

Engulfing Flames - Increases Flame Sweep damage by 25%.

Very situational, I only take this utility in fights where I know add control is important and I only need 2 of the 3 utilities above.

Bracer Propellant - Increases the range of Flame Burst and Magnetic Blast by 2 meters and the radius of Flame Sweep by 1 meter.

I almost never take but mention for high movement fights the additional range could be useful if no other utilities in this tier are needed.

Masterful Tier

You must take 6 between Heroic and Masterful.

Sonic Rebounder - Sonic Missile protects all friendly targets in its area of impact, excluding you, granting Sonic Rebounder, which reflects the next direct, single target attack back at the attacker.

The best and only mandatory utility for Powertechs, this can provide a huge survivability boost (and in some cases even a notable DPS increase) through timely use of your AOE taunt / threat drop. Always take. See below for further discussion around potential uses of Rebounder.

Pyro Shield - When activated, your Energy Shield charges with electricity, zapping attackers for elemental damage when they deal direct damage to you. This effect cannot occur more than once per second.

A helpful DPS boost especially for tanks as they are usually taking direct damage, I usually take unless I need a utility below.

Hitman - Reduces the cooldown of Quell by 2 seconds. Also, damage taken while stunned is reduced by 30% for Shield Tech, and damage taken from area effects is reduced by 30% for Pyrotech and Advanced Prototype.

A mandatory utility for DPS and a highly useful if situational utility for tanks. I always take as a DPS player and take as a tank for any encounter with notable stuns (e.g., Coratanni/Ruugar in Ravagers to reduce damage from Pearl’s stun attack).

Pneumatic Boots - Increases movement speed by 15%.

Can be useful on high movement fights. That said, I find between Grapple, Jet Charge and Hydraulic Overrides that is sufficient movement capability. Given that I frequently take utilities buffing Hydraulic Overrides, this utility seems redundant in most encounters.

Heroic Tier

A maximum of 3 utilities

Combustion Chamber - Power Yield increases damage done by an additional 2% when attacked while Ion Gas Cylinder is being utilized and refreshes its duration when attacked while Ion Gas Cylinder is not being utilized. Power Yield cannot last longer than 30 seconds.

A helpful utility to all Powertech players, as Power Yield functions as both an offensive and defensive cooldown. For tanks, Power Yield provides a slight DPS increase during its duration. For DPS, Power Yield’s duration is extended. I recommend taking this new utility in all situations.

Overdrive - Hydraulic Overrides increases movement speed by an additional 45% while active.

I find this utility to be a much more useful choice than Torque Boosters’ extra 4 seconds of duration and nearly always take it. For fights where Hydraulic Overrides is frequently useful, taking both as well as Iron Will provide a huge buff to Hydraulic Overrides.

Liquid Cooling - When Thermal Sensor Override is activated, it vents 10 heat over the next 5 seconds and immediately increases threat towards all current enemies by a small amount if Ion Gas Cylinder is active, or reduces threat towards all current enemies if Ion Gas is not active.

Extra energy regeneration is always useful. The additional increase to threat for tanks or threat drop for DPS is also useful. I usually take this utility, though I may sometimes opt for an extra lower tier utility for situational fights.

Torque Boosters - Increases the duration of Hydraulic Overrides by 4 seconds.

I frequently take this utility if I don’t feel the need for an extra point to take a situational utility in a lower tier. The majority of movement phases in SWOTR are relatively short, so often the extra 4 seconds isn’t super useful. There are some exceptions, most notably the Rain of Pain phase in the Master/Blaster encounter in the Ravagers operation. That said, a further buff to your best movement ability is always nice so I find I frequently take it.

Pressure Overrides - Explosive Fuel grants Pressure Overrides while active, increasing the range of Flame Burst, Magnetic Blast, Shatter Slug, Deadly Onslaught, Heat Blast, Energy Burst, Immolate and Scorch by 20 meters.

Very situational for fights where using abilities at range is desirable. Could be useful on fights like Master/Blaster, though in general the opportunity cost of other potential choices makes it sub-optimal.

Example Utility Build

Here is what I run for most encounters, though I frequently take other situational utilities for specific fights.

Key Passives

Serrated Blades - Increases the damage dealt by Retractable Blade’s bleed effect by 15% and causes targets damaged by your Rocket Punch to become Sundered, reducing their armor by 20% for 45 seconds.

This passive is notable for enabling AP to apply an armor debuff. This should happen rotationally so does not impact the rotation but should be applied as early as possible within the opener.

Prototype Rail - Rail Shot may be fired at targets that are not incapacitated or suffering from periodic damage. Also, Rail Shot ignores 30% of the target’s armor, vents 5 heat if it hits a bleeding target, and refreshes the duration of your Retractable Blade’s bleed effect, if present.

This passive and Prototype Particle Accelerator are the foundation of AP energy management. Using Rail Shot as often as possible is key due to its 5 heat venting. This passive also buffs Rail Shot’s armor penetration (effectively 50% when combined with the Sundered debuff applied by Rocket Punch) and makes it useable on anyone.

Prototype Particle Accelerator - Rocket Punch, Magnetic Blast, Shatter Slug, and Flame Sweep finish the cooldown on Rail Shot and make the next Rail Shot generate no heat. This effect cannot occur more than once every 6 seconds.

This passive is the most important to AP rotation. Due to Rail Shot being free when procced, venting 5 heat due to Prototype Rail passive, plus passive energy regeneration, proccing Prototype Particle Accelerator every 6 seconds becomes the most important goal of the rotation.

Prototype Weapon Systems - Increases the critical strike damage bonus of Rocket Punch, Rail Shot, Magnetic Blast, Retractable Blade, Thermal Detonator, and Energy Burst by 10%. Also, when Thermal Detonator damages a target, the target will become Susceptible, increasing the damage it takes from tech attacks by 5% for 45 seconds.

This passive provides a helpful damage boost but is notable primarily for applying a second target debuff. Due to this buff and its high inherent damage, Thermal Detonator should be used very early in the opener. As Thermal Detonator should be used very nearly on cooldown in the rotation, the debuff should maintain full uptime.

Energy Rebounder - When you take damage, the active cooldown of Energy Shield is reduced by 3 seconds. This effect cannot occur more than once every 1.5 seconds. Also, when taking damage, you have a 20% chance to emit an Energy Redoubt, which absorbs a low amount of damage lasts 6 seconds. This effect cannot occur more than once every 10 seconds.

This passive provides a helpful reduction in cooldown on Energy Shield. Given that it is Powertech’s primary defensive cooldown, this is a very needed passive benefit that can lower Energy Shield’s cooldown from 2 minutes to as low as 40 seconds if taking continuous damage (i.e., meaning that with a 15% duration of Energy Shield, it’s uptime can range from 12.5% up to 37.5% of the fight).

Power Loaders - Increases the damage dealt by Shoulder Cannon by 15%, and also loads 3 additional missiles. Also, this increases the critical hit chance of Rocket Punch and Thermal Detonator by 5%.

This passive gives AP additional uses of Shoulder Cannon. The additional 3 missiles load immediately but it is still important to wait before pulling a boss for all 7 missiles to be loaded so that they can all be fired during the opener.

Critical Ventilation - Increases ranged and tech critical chance by 2% and reduces the cooldowns of Vent Heat and Thermal Sensor Override by 30 seconds. Also, your energy regeneration ability builds Energy Lodes.

This passive is notable for allowing building Energy Lodes through your energy regen ability out of combat. This should be used to ensure every boss encounter is started with 4 Energy Lodes so Energy Burst is ready for use early in the opener.

Gearing in 6.0

Gearing Stat Allocation

Please see my Gearing Guide for a detailed overview of gearing in 6.x in SWTOR. Please also see my Alacrity Guide for a much more in-depth look at alacrity.

For AP Powertech, I gear as follows:

  • Set Bonus: Meteor Brawler

  • Tactical: Powerlode (Flame Detonation only for very heavy AoE fights)

  • Amplifiers: Tech Wizardry

  • Mods: Unlettered Lethal Mods

  • Relics: Devastating Vengeance & Primeval Fatesealer (Serendipitous Assault & Focused Retribution for Dxun/PVP)

  • Stim: Proficient

  • Adrenal: Critical (Attack for Dxun only)

For AP Powertech, I allocate my tertiary stats as follows:

  • Accuracy: 1,585 - 1,630 (anything outside this approximate range and I usually try to re-optimize by swapping around enhancements and augments)

  • Alacrity: around 1,400 (at least 1,895 if the Zeal guild perk applies)

  • Critical: all remaining tertiary points go into Critical

  • Shield: None

  • Absorb: None

Set Bonus

Meteor Brawler

Increased drop rate from operations.

(2) +2% Endurance

(4) Flaming Fist and Rocket Punch's Heat cost is reduced by 4. Heat Blast, Flaming Fist and Magnetic Blast increase damage dealt by 10% for 15 seconds, this effect cannot occur more than once every 30 seconds.

(6) Activating Explosive Fuel gives you Firefall for the duration of Explosive Fuel. During this time, dealing damage with Searing Wave, Flame Burst, Magnetic Blast, Rocket Punch or Flaming Fist builds up to 7 stacks of Firefall. When Explosive Fuel ends, it detonates dealing elemental damage to all enemies around that scale with Firefall stacks. After it explodes, your heat-using abilities generate 50% less Heat for 20 seconds.


Meteor Brawler is an amazing set bonus for DPS between the 4-piece energy cost reduction and +10% damage buff that should have very high uptime and the 6-piece Firefall damage and follow-on energy cost reduction.

Even though this set appears to have been developed primarily with Pyrotech in mind, it still provides great utility to AP. Rocket Punch is already a key element in the AP rotation, so the energy cost reduction there is a noticeable benefit especially given that pre-6.0 set bonuses usually factored in an energy cost reduction already. Additionally, the 6-piece set bonus energy cost reduction following Firefall helps AP just as much as Pyrotech.

Impact on Rotation:

Make sure to use Explosive Fuel as an offensive cooldown aggressively and make sure you build 7 stacks of Firefall to maximize its burst damage and then be aggressive with energy to take full advantage of the 4-piece and 6-piece energy cost reductions.

When to Take:

I greatly prefer this set bonus to the Veteran Ranger set. It seems to me to be ideal for sustained DPS over the periodic “bonus missiles” provided by Veteran Ranger, and the consistent and burst energy cost reductions make AP more fun and easier to play without energy management difficulties. Absent further changes to buff Veteran Ranger from an energy management perspective, I anticipate keeping Meteor Brawler as my set bonus for both Powertech DPS disciplines.

Veteran Ranger

Increased drop rate from Dxun Nature of Progress operation. Not available from Tech Frag vendor.

(2) +2% Mastery

(4) Dealing damage with Shoulder Cannon grants Salvo, increasing Shoulder Cannon damage by 3% for 5 seconds. This effect can stack up to 5 times. While Shoulder Cannon loads missiles you vent Heat per second.

(6) Each Shoulder Cannon rocket has a 75% chance to trigger an additional rocket. When Shoulder Cannon is put on cooldown, it applies Autocannon to you for 60 seconds, firing a rocket at your current target whenever you deal damage. This additional rocket can fire once every 10 seconds.


The developers have stated they intended the Veteran Ranger set bonus to be the preferred set bonus for AP. In my analysis it continues to fall short of AP primarily due to the weak benefits of the 4-piece set bonus.

The 4-piece set bonus provides some steady energy regeneration once every 1.5 minutes as you load Should Cannon missiles. This is nice but tricky to fully utilize since often Shoulder Cannon should be used to align with Explosive Fuel and/or Power Yield burst windows instead of for energy regeneration purposes. The secondary benefit making Searing Wave apply a debuff is just silly because (1) Searing Wave is not a rotational AP ability and is very energy-costly making it clunky within the rotation; and (2) the 5s duration is only enough to fit at most 4 missiles into the vulnerable window anyway, which makes very little sense to not provide a window to fully utilize all missiles.

In comparison to Meteor Brawler, the 4-piece simply pales in comparison. Meteor Brawler provides essentially a near-permanent 10% damage increase and a much better permanent cost reduction of 4 heat to Rocket Punch. This 4-piece set bonus is soooo good and Veteran Ranger is just not that great.

The 6-piece set bonus is nice to provide periodic extra damage. Every 1.5 minutes you should be able to fire 7 missiles normally and up to 6 extra missiles from the 6-piece prior to the RNG chance for extra rockets. So that’s 13 missiles total with a chance to get another 3-5 missiles most of the time. Very respectable.

However, again it pales in comparison to Meteor Brawler. The Meteor Brawler provides an Firefall massive burst damage ability every 2 minutes and then 20s of 50% energy cost reduction. Firefall is likely already enough extra bonus damage to outweigh all the Veteran Ranger missiles but even if not then the extra spam of higher damage abilities made possible by the energy cost reduction tips the scales.

So in the final analysis, Veteran Ranger is neat but Meteor Brawler provides better and more usable energy management options, a better overall 10% damage buff and more controllable and targeted burst damage via Firefall.

Impact on Rotation:

The only change would be to consider using Searing Wave prior to beginning Shoulder Cannon spam, though it’s unclear whether that is enough of a DPS increase to justify its cost and place in the rotation. Otherwise, the set bonus emphasis on additional missiles makes it even more important to align Shoulder Cannon spam with Explosive Fuel and Power Yield offensive cooldowns to maximize the additional damage.

When to Take:

I recommend Meteor Brawler over Veteran Ranger in all instances.

Tactical Items


Increased drop rate from operations.

Increases Energy Burst critical chance by 100%. Power Yield instantly builds 4 Energy Lodes and getting critically hit while under Power Yield builds an Energy Lode.


Even if it is may not be optimal in a sustained damage context, Powerlode is really fun when paired with the Meteor Brawler set bonus. Consider that you can hit Explosive Fuel (+25% critical chance for 15s) then trigger a 4-stack Energy Burst and have a cumulative +125% critical chance, which is more like 170% critical chance when considering base critical chance from stats. Oh and if Power Yield is off cooldown you can hit two 4-stack Energy Burst hits in a row… That is some CRAZY super crit damage, and even more if you use Power Yield to get some extra damage and/or have the +10% damage buff from the Meteor Brawler 4-piece set bonus running. Oh, and don’t forget Firefall triggering at the end of Explosive Fuel and hitting another huge spike of burst damage.

The above is essentially all that needs to be said for Powerlode, as it gives AP a huge spike of burst damage that is accompanied periodically by another huge spike in Firefall. It may not be the best tactical for sustained damage, but for any fights where burst DPS is a factor this one is great because it concentrates that damage increase in a very controllable way.

Impact on Rotation:

Try to time your use of Power Yield right after triggering Energy Burst. This will enable a second consecutive use without wasting any stacks of Energy Lode. If possible, try to time as many uses of Power Yield during Explosive Fuel as possible to further maximize the incremental damage increase.

When to Take:

I usually take Powerlode to maximize my burst damage windows. On fights that have no burn windows or downtime, I will sometimes swap to Energized Blade. That said, I usually stay with Powerlode because it is just a lot more fun.

Energized Blade

Increased drop rate from flashpoints.

Gaining an Energy Lode stack increases Gut's damage by 25% for 10 seconds. Stacks up to 4 times.


Energized Blade seems clearly intended by the developers to be the “sustained DPS” tactical versus Flame Detonation (the “AoE tactical”) and Powerlode (the “burst tactical”).

The main issue with Energized Blade for me is that Gut is not that strong a DoT and the discipline does not have a feature the enables the DoT to tick at an accelerated rate for any reason. Its purpose in the discipline is to facilitate energy management by making Rail Shot recover energy when procced by Prototype Particle Accelerator.

So how much of a buff should this provide to Gut? The Energized Blade buff lasts 10 seconds and gains 1 stack every time we build an Energy Lode, which we can do every 6 seconds via Rail Shot. As such, we should be able to rapidly build up to the maximum 4 stacks of Energized Blade and should be able to keep the 100% buff thereafter assuming no downtime longer than 10 seconds.

Theorycrafting shows that Gut should deal around 10% of overall damage prior to considering tactical item buffs, so this tactical should provide an extra 10% of damage and buff Gut to dealing around 18% of total damage. This makes it a strong buff to sustained damage.

Is it better than Powerlode? I do not think that it is due to the synergy between Explosive Fuel providing +25% critical chance and Meteor Brawler's Firefall damage providing a very powerful burst window. AP is fundamentally a burst DPS discipline so Powerlode plays better to its strengths.

Impact on Rotation:

Play normally in sustained damage situations and make sure to use Rail Shot in the rotation optimally to build Energy Lode stacks.

When to Take:

I recommend Powerlode over Energized Blade in all situations, though Energized Blade is still a solid tactical option for fights with high uptime on targets.

Flame Detonation

Increased drop rate from flashpoints.

Dealing damage with Searing Wave or Flame Sweep to a target affected by a pre-exploded Thermal Detonator causes it to explode, creating a large explosion and dealing damage to all nearby enemies.


AP has a major weakness normally when it comes to dealing sustained AoE damage. Deadly Onslaught and Searing Wave are nice AoE abilities but with a long cooldown, leaving the discipline left with only Flame Sweep. Even worse, the discipline’s energy management falls apart without continuing to use Rail Shot when procced, leaving the discipline unable to even spam AoE damage to the same extent as many other classes.

Thermal Detonator is a strong single target damage ability, so making it an effective AoE ability is a huge help. Between that and the other cooldown-based AoE abilities and some spam of Flame Sweep, AP should be able to at least hold its own on the few fights where high AoE damage is a must.

With all that said, if you run both disciplines I would generally tend to swap to Pyrotech for heavy AoE fights.

Impact on Rotation:

In an AoE situation you should be using Flame Sweep as your filler ability anyway. Just use Thermal Detonator on cooldown (as you would in a single target rotation priority) and then make sure to use Flame Sweep right after to spread its damage.

When to Take:

Any fights with heavy AoE damage requirements. AP deals fairly weak sustained AoE damage so requires this tactical to even deal decent sustained AoE damage. Taking the Meteor Brawler set bonus also helps provide some solid burst AoE damage via Firefall.


Tech Wizardry

Tech Wizardry is an easy choice since the Powertech disciplines deal primarily Tech damage and so get the largest DPS increase and the only increase that is consistent across both AP and Pyrotech.

Key Abilities

Power Yield (60s cooldown, instant) NEW IN 6.0 - Applies a stack of Power Yield to you, increasing your armor by 40% and your damage done by 2% for 10 seconds. Whenever you take damage, an additional stack of Power Yield is applied, up to 5 times.

Power Yield is a new cooldown ability in 6.0. It provides both an offensive and defensive boost and excels during phases where the player is taking damage.

Retractable Blade (15 heat, no cooldown, range 4m) - Stabs the target with a knuckle-plate vibroblade, dealing kinetic damage and causing the target to bleed for internal damage over 18 seconds.

Powertech’s only DoT ability, it is refreshed by Rail Shot due to the Prototype Rail passive ability. As such, it should only need to be applied when first engaging the target and will be refreshed automatically via the rotation.

Thermal Detonator (15 heat, 15s cooldown, range 30m) - Throws an explosive that sticks to the target and detonates after 4 seconds, exploding for kinetic damage.

A high damage filler ability, AP players should strive to use this ability on cooldown. Note that Thermal Detonator does NOT proc Rail Shot via the Prototype Particle Accelerator passive ability, so it should be deferred to either Rocket Punch or Magnetic Blast if doing so will proc Rail Shot.

Rocket Punch (15 heat / 11 heat with set bonus, 9s cooldown, range 4m) - Strikes the target, dealing kinetic damage.

AP only melee ability (other than the initial application of the Retractable Blade DoT), Rocket Punch is a high damage filler ability and procs Rail Shot via the Prototype Particle Accelerator passive ability. This should be used very nearly on cooldown.

Rail Shot (15 heat, 15s cooldown, range 10m) - Fires a very powerful round at the target, dealing weapon damage.

Rail Shot is the key to the AP rotation via various passives making it able to be procced every 6 seconds and making it free, venting 5 heat, granting an Energy Lode, and dealing extra armor penetration. Rail Shot should be procced every 6 seconds / 4 GCDs and should be used in the 3 GCDs afterwards prior to being procced again.

Magnetic Blast (15 heat, no cooldown, range 10m) - Fires a concentrated surge of energy at an enemy target, dealing energy damage.

Magnetic Blast is the Powertech spammable filler dealing moderate damage. Magnetic Blast procs Rail Shot via Prototype Particle Accelerator and should be used to do so whenever Rocket Punch is on cooldown. Skillful play of AP requires careful use of Magnetic Blast to avoid compromising energy levels.

Shoulder Cannon (1.5 minute cooldown, range 10m) - Deploys a shoulder cannon that gradually loads 4 missiles over time. AP gets a bonus 3 initial missiles so receives 7 in total once all missiles are loaded. Once loaded, the shoulder cannon can be triggered again to fire against an enemy target within 10 meters, launching 1 missile that deals kinetic damage. A missile can be launched up to once per 1.5 seconds. Loading and launching the shoulder cannon does not respect the global cooldown and can be done while controlled. Once all missiles have been loaded, depleting all missiles puts the shoulder cannon on cooldown for 1.5 minutes.

Shoulder Cannon is a big reason that AP has such amazing burst damage capability. Shoulder Cannon should be pre-loaded before each fight and used during the opener. As much as possible, it should be used at the same time as the Explosive Fuel offensive cooldown to maximize its damage.

Energy Burst (20 heat, no cooldown, range 10m) - Unleashes your High Energy Gas Cylinder’s stored energy to decimate the target, dealing energy damage. This damage increases based on your current number of Energy Lodes. Energy Lodes build when Rail Shot is used, and up to 4 charges may be stored at once.

AP highest damage ability, Energy Burst should only be used with 4 charges (it will glow when 4 charges are present). Due to its higher cost, it should generally be paired with Thermal Sensor Override to maximize energy levels. It is important to use it at 4 charges but without delaying a proc of Rail Shot and avoiding capping (i.e., using Rail Shot when already having 4 Energy Lode charges will waste an Energy Lode and lead to a DPS loss due to less frequent Energy Bursts).

Rapid Shots (no cooldown, range 30m) - Basic attack.

Your free ranged filler. Use it whenever you are at range and without a gap closer or occasionally for energy management purposes.

Flame Sweep (15 heat, no cooldown) - Emits an Flame Sweep, dealing elemental damage to up to 8 enemies within 5 meters.

AP AOE filler ability, Flame Sweep also procs Rail Shot. In an AOE rotation, Flame Sweep is should be used in place of Magnetic Blast.

Deadly Onslaught (channeled over 3s, 30 heat, 15s cooldown, range 10m) - Calls down artillery strikes while unleashing plasma blasts that deal kinetic and elemental damage to up to 8 enemies in the targeted area while generating 30 heat over the duration.

A useful AOE offensive ability. Should be paired with Thermal Sensor Override whenever possible.

Shatter Slug (15 heat, 9s cooldown, range 10m) - FIres a high impact shell that instantly explodes on contact with the target, spraying the area with searing bits of slag that deal kinetic damage to up to 8 enemies within 8 meters of the initial target.

A useful AOE filler, though depending on utility choices Flame Sweep may still be preferable.

Jet Charge (15s cooldown, range 10-30m) - Leaps to a distant target, dealing kinetic damage, interrupting the current action and immobilizing the target for 2 seconds.

Powertech’s gap closer that deals low damage and can interrupt certain abilities. The immobilizing effect is not relevant in PVE content.

Cooldowns & Other Abilities

Grapple (45s cooldown, range 10-30m) - Pulls target to your location and generates high threat.

Hydraulic Overrides - Grants 6 seconds of immunity from movement-impairing effects, knockdowns and physics and increases movement speed by 30%. 45s cooldown.

Sonic Missile (45s cooldown, range 30m) - Fires a Sonic Missile that taunts your target and all nearby enemies, forcing them to attack you for 6 seconds, if Ion Gas Cylinder is active. If Ion Gas Cylinder is not active, threat towards all current enemies is immediately reduced.

Explosive Fuel (2 minute cooldown) - Increases ranged and tech critical chance by 25% for 15 seconds.

Thermal Sensor Override (1:30 minute cooldown) - Your next ability generates no heat. Effect lasts 15 seconds.

Vent Heat (1:30 minute cooldown) - Vents 50 heat over 3 seconds.

Energy Shield - Increases damage reduction by 25% for 12 seconds. 2:00 cooldown.

Kolto Overload - Applies a Health Monitor that lasts 60 seconds, which triggers Kolto Overload when your health is reduced to 35% or less. If your health is already 35% or less, it triggers immediately. Once triggered, it goes on cooldown for 3 minutes and rapidly heals you up to 35% of your max health for 10 seconds but will not exceed 35% of your max health.



The AP rotation revolves around proccing Rail Shot via the Prototype Particle Accelerator passive ability, which can be done every 6 seconds / 4 GCDs. The proc makes Rail Shot free, and will vent 5 heat if Retractable Blade is active on the target (which it should always be active). This is the key aspect of the AP rotation given that the specialization has no free damaging abilities other than the basic Rapid Shots. As such, any player who fails to proc Rail Shot every 4 GCDs will do dramatically less DPS, either due to having to use Rapid Shots much more often or by wrecking their energy (typically both).

Beyond the overall goals to (1) maintain Retractable Blade on the target (which is automatically refreshed by the rotation, so only has to be applied once); and (2) proc Rail Shot every 4 GCDs, the rest of the rotation is all about tweaking and optimizing damage output. Make sure to use Energy Burst at 4 stacks prior to the next use of Rail Shot. Try to always use Thermal Detonator and Rocket Punch on cooldown. Try to ensure that Explosive Fuel burst windows are aligned with the availability of Energy Burst and Shoulder Cannon to maximize its benefit.

6.0 NOTE: This opener and rotation assumes the player is using the Powerlode tactical. If not using this tactical, the opener and priority will be slightly different as Energy Burst cannot be used consecutively via Power Yield within a Explosive Fuel window.


























  1. (Pre-fight) - Use energy regen ability to load 4 Energy Lodes

  2. (Pre-fight) - Load Shoulder Cannon missiles

  3. Thermal Detonator - Since we usually have to run in or Jet Charge in, I lead with this attack since it takes a few seconds to deal damage. As much as possible, I try to get close enough before pulling that I can skip a gap closer GCD per #5 as it allows more DPS in my opener by not delaying everything 1 GCD.

  4. Jet Charge - Use a gap closer if you are unable to run in during the GCD that you apply Thermal Detonator.

  5. Retractable Blade - First order of business is applying our DoT that forms the foundation of the rotation by enabling net-positive energy use of Rail Shot.

  6. Adrenal OFF GCD - We are about to start dealing crazy damage and ideally we trigger our adrenal before Thermal Detonator explodes so its damage is also buffed.

  7. Explosive Fuel OFF GCD - Unloading cooldowns for our burst window

  8. Begin Spamming Shoulder Cannon OFF GCD - Always a priority to spam your missiles during a Explosive Fuel window. Most of these missiles will also benefit from Power Yield's damage buff as well.

  9. Energy Burst - The beginning of our burst window opens with a big hitter.

  10. Power Yield OFF GCD - Offensive cooldown and gives us 4 free Energy Lodes via the Powerlode tactical.

  11. Thermal Sensor Override OFF GCD - I always try to use for the second Energy Burst, though using it for the first one is fine also. I delay it mostly due to the many off GCD cooldowns being hit at once, so this smooths it out a bit better for us non-keybinders. If you don't use this energy cooldown early then you will crash your energy. This is usually enough for me to avoid going to far negative on energy so that once Firefall triggers I can work my way out of it via the ability cost reduction from Meteor Brawler.

  12. Energy Burst - A second Energy Burst so quickly is crazy strong burst with the Explosive Fuel tactical.

  13. Sonic Missile OFF GCD - A good time to hit a threat drop after the 1-2-3 of Thermal Detonator and two Energy Bursts. It is very easy to pull aggro on AP at this point (and again when Firefall triggers in a few more GCDs).

  14. Rail Shot - This should be your only non-free use.

  15. Rocket Punch (procs Rail Shot)

  16. Rail Shot (procced, free) - Need to use every 4 GCDs no matter what.

  17. Magnetic Blast - Filler when nothing better is on cooldown

  18. Magnetic Blast - Filler when nothing better is on cooldown

  19. Magnetic Blast (procs Rail Shot) - Must proc every 4 GCDs

  20. Rail Shot (procced, free) - Need to use every 4 GCDs no matter what.

  21. Rocket Punch - Prioritized over Thermal Detonator in order to get its damage inside the Explosive Fuel Window. (Note that Firefall will typically trigger during this GCD and deal some more very high burst AoE damage.)

  22. Thermal Detonator - This came off cooldown about the same time as Rocket Punch in the previous GCD. Normally I would prioritize it first, but in this case using Rocket Punch first gets all its damage inside the Explosive Fuel window while Thermal Detonator will tick after the offensive cooldown expires either way. If Firefall triggers before this GCD (it should trigger about the same time or just before depending on APM/alacrity), then I benefit more from the reduced energy cost by delaying it as well.

  23. Magnetic Blast (procs Rail Shot) - Must proc every 4 GCDs

  24. Rail Shot (procced, free, 4 Energy Lodes) - Need to use every 4 GCDs no matter what.

  25. Energy Burst - The last big burst of our burst window.

(continue priority rotation - we should still have cost reduction on fillers from Meteor Brawler for a few more GCDs so we can continue to prioritize Magnetic Blast over a basic attack and should continue to do so until we are forced to hit Vent Heat then go back to the normal priority rotation and be very careful with our energy.)

Single Target Priority Rotation


Every 4 GCDs, Rocket Punch > Magnetic Blast

The most important goal of our rotation is to proc Rail Shot via the Prototype Particle Accelerator passive ability. This passive can trigger every 6 seconds before alacrity, which means that net of alacrity it can always be triggered every 4 GCDs. Maximizing the proc rate for Rail Shot helps with energy regeneration, increases damage, and enables more frequent use of Energy Burst.


Within 3 GCDs following a proc, use Rail Shot while glowing to generate an Energy Lode, do high single target damage, and regen energy.

Rail Shot can be delayed 1-2 GCDs in order to use Rocket Punch, Thermal Detonator, or Energy Burst. That said, it cannot be delayed any more than GCD 3 following its proc, as doing so will lead to either delaying the next proc 1 GCD or wasting a use of Rail Shot.


When you have 4 Energy Lodes, use Energy Burst BEFORE next use of Rail Shot (use Thermal Sensor Override if possible).

Anytime Energy Burst is available with 4 stacks, it should be used before Rail Shot. This is because Rail Shot will build another stack, or it would normally as since we are maxed at this point in the rotation the stack would be wasted. Bear in mind that you can PROC Rail Shot without any issues, which should mean you have at least 4 GCDs and as many as 5 GCDs after Energy Burst starts glowing to use it.


Use Thermal Detonator and Rocket Punch on cooldown.

These two abilities are a DPS increase over Magnetic Blast or your basic attack, and they are not locked in their usage unlike Rail Shot. Thus, the closer to their cooldown you use them, the more frequently they will be available and the higher DPS you should achieve.


Align use of Explosive Fuel and Shoulder Cannon for a burst window when Energy Burst (and adrenal if possible) is usable.

Anytime Energy Burst is available with 4 stacks, it should be used before Rail Shot. This is because Rail Shot will build another stack, or it would normally as since we are maxed at this point in the rotation the stack would be wasted. Bear in mind that you can PROC Rail Shot without any issues, which should mean you have at least 4 GCDs and as many as 5 GCDs after Energy Burst starts glowing to use it.


(If Vent Heat is NOT available)

When below 20 heat, use Magnetic Blast as a filler. When above 20 heat, use Rapid Shots.

The easiest mistake to make for AP is to over-use Magnetic Blast. If you rise above 40 heat, it can be difficult to recover unless you can immediately hit a procced Rail Shot or have an energy cooldown available.


(If Vent Heat IS available)

Use Magnetic Blast as a filler until 70-80 heat, then use Vent Heat and use priority above.

Vent Heat will vent 50 heat over 3 seconds. Thus, if you use around 80 heat, you will regenerate to 30 heat via the ability. That should enable one use of an attack other than your basic attack and a basic attack or use of a procced Rail Shot (which will regenerate energy as well). My strategy is usually to try and use around 80 heat if I have Rail Shot available or can use a GCD to use a basic attack, otherwise I try to go no lower than 70 heat.

Rotation Analysis - 1, 2, 3, 4

The AP rotation block is the shortest of all disciplines at 4 GCDs (most are 6-12). It is also among the simplest with only 4 regular abilities (Rocket Punch, Thermal Detonator, Rail Shot, Magnetic Blast) along with your basic attack and 2 semi-frequent abilities (Energy Burst and Shoulder Cannon).

As such, the key to decision making can seem complex per the discussion below, but it really comes down to internalizing the priority system above. The rotation is designed to make you monitor several things at once, such as (1) your energy level (deciding whether to use a basic attack or not); (2) whether the next GCD will proc Rail Shot; and (3) thinking several GCDs ahead to balance #1-2 along with optimizing usage of offensive cooldowns.

The analysis below is intended to look at each GCD within that 4-GCD mini-rotation. The beginning and end will be very fixed and easy while the 2nd-3rd spots will float a lot depending on available abilities, energy levels. The key to success will be thinking several GCDs ahead to minimize delay of powerful fillers while still proccing Rail Shot every 4 GCDs without messing up your energy.


Rocket Punch > Magnetic Blast

(to proc Rail Shot)

Our mini-rotation begins with proccing Rail Shot via the Prototype Particle Accelerator passive. For single target damage, we can only do that via Rocket Punch or Magnetic Blast. Rocket Punch is strictly better in all aspects so should always take priority.


Filler Priority (highest to lowest):

  1. Rapid Shots (If > 40 heat and no energy CD available)

  2. Thermal Detonator

  3. Rocket Punch

  4. Energy Burst (ONLY at 4 stacks and glowing)

  5. Rail Shot (should be procced and glowing)

  6. Magnetic Blast

Although the use of Energy Burst and Rail Shot are higher overall priority to the rotation, their use can be delayed a GCD if Thermal Detonator or Rocket Punch are off CD. This is because the generation of Energy Lodes and proc of Rail Shot is fixed for every 4 GCDs, so this prioritization should enable more frequent use of high damage fillers in Thermal Detonator and Rocket Punch.


Filler Priority (highest to lowest):

  1. Energy Burst (ONLY at 4 stacks and glowing)

  2. Rapid Shots (If > 40 heat and no energy CD available)

  3. Thermal Detonator

  4. Rocket Punch

  5. Rail Shot (should be procced and glowing)

  6. Magnetic Blast

The overall ability priority is the same except that Energy Burst becomes top priority if (1) it has 4 Energy Lodes; and (2) Rail Shot has not yet been used in this rotation. If these are true, Energy Burst must be used here so Rail Shot can be used in the next GCD, otherwise 1 Energy Lode would be wasted and would lead to lower DPS through less frequent use of Energy Burst.


Filler Priority (highest to lowest):

  1. Rail Shot (should be procced and glowing)

  2. Rapid Shots (If > 40 heat and no energy CD available)

  3. Thermal Detonator

  4. Rocket Punch

  5. Magnetic Blast

If Rail Shot has not been used yet, it takes absolute priority in this GCD to avoid delaying another Rail Shot proc and to avoid wasting Rail Shot. Energy Burst is not on the priority list, as if it had 4 Energy Lodes prior to this GCD it should have been used by now.


Rocket Punch > Magnetic Blast

(to proc Rail Shot)

We return to the beginning of the 4 GCD mini-rotation again and continue...

Tips & Tricks

The biggest trick to AP is thinking “1-2-3-4” for your rotation and making sure you (1) use Rail Shot in GCDs 1-3 and then (2) use Rocket Punch or Magnetic Blast in GCD 4. Skilled players do this without thinking. For early players, it really does help to think in this fashion. Proccing Rail Shot on CD will boost your energy regen and overall DPS.

The second biggest key to AP is deciding when you can use Magnetic Blast and when to use Rapid Shots. Skilled use requires thinking a few GCDs ahead. For example, if you know that Thermal Detonator and Energy Burst will be off cooldown in the next several GCDs and neither Thermal Sensor Override nor Vent Heat are available, I would err on the side of Rapid Shots to make sure using my high damage abilities doesn’t wreck my energy. It’s impossible to get this perfect, but for newer players always go with Rapid Shots unless you are near maximum energy, and as you play the spec you will get more comfortable with this decision.

Another nuance to AP is deciding when to use Rail Shot in each mini-rotation. If everything is on cooldown except Magnetic Blast and your heat is above 15%, use Rail Shot always. If the same is true but heat is below 15%, I would use Magnetic Blast than Rail Shot on the next GCD (assuming doing so would not delay the proc of Rail Shot).

Defensive Cooldowns




  1. Energy Shield (all damage) - Reduces all damage taken by 25% for 15 seconds. Energy Shield is a good multi-purpose defensive but is not well suited to mitigating high burst damage, which really is Powertech's only weakness as compared to Juggernauts and Assassins who can cheese many Force/Tech attacks via Saber Reflect and Force Shroud, respectively. Care should be taken when to utilize this defensive. Recommended use is not necessarily to mitigate single burst damage abilities. Try to time your defensive to include a big hitting attack but also any high damage phases before or after depending on boss mechanics. Using it to mitigate one attack after which there is substantial down time is a huge waste of a Powertech's precious defensives.

  2. Kolto Overload (all damage) - When health goes below 35% it will provide a continuous heal for 8s, or if above 40% health will heal for 2% per second. This isn’t a defensive ability precisely but functions similarly by helping you recover from damage. Not useful against big spike damage, it is extremely useful against steady damage during a burn phase. Some examples include Draxus’ or add attacks, the tank challenge in Raptus, or burn phase in Dread Council.

  3. Sonic Missile (raid utility) - Not helpful to the Powertech tank directly, Sonic Missile is extremely useful to help mitigate raid wide damage or potential one-shot attacks to non-tanks via the Sonic Rebounder utility. See the section at the end for some examples of potential effective use of Sonic Rebounder.

Tips to using Sonic Rebounder

  • KP Jorn & Sarg - Unload

  • KP Karraga - fire puddles

  • EC Zorn & Toth - all circles

  • EC Tanks - Double Destruction, Lightning Pylons, Adds

  • EC Vorgath - turrets

  • EC Kephess - Add damage inside reflect bubble (reflects to Warrior), Walker (stand under it while it is immune after popping reflect)

  • TFB Dread Guard - Doom

  • TFB Kephess - red laser

  • TFB Terror - slam, Scream

  • S&V Thrasher - firebug AOE

  • S&V Operations Chief - terminate

  • S&V Warlords - Sunder

  • S&V Styrak - add’s channeled lightning attack, orange debuff during lightning AOE

  • DF Draxus - Subteroth explosion, Draxus non-cleave attacks, Guardian thundering blast, Guardian cleave

  • DF Grob’thok - raidwide Roar

  • DF Corruptor Zero - chest laser, missile Barrage, ranged add attack’s

  • DF Brontes - orbs (note you can taunt someone else’s orb then use reflect to pop without damage)

  • DP Tyrans - fire at the door (not inferno), though be very careful doing this

  • DP Raptus - force execution

  • DP Council - burn phase AOE

  • Ravagers Sparky - brutal punch, add jump

  • Ravagers Bull - scatter blaster, mass barrage, ore carts, add attacks

  • Ravagers Torque - turrets, fire device, shoots lasers, knockback from panel destruction

  • Ravagers Master/Blaster - rain of pain

  • Ravagers Cora/Ruugar - most boss attacks

  • ToS Malaphar - spear throw

  • ToS Commanders - Kurse smash

  • ToS Revan - heave, Saber overcharge, HK mines, Core’s AOE

  • Toborro - purple circle

  • Monolith - slam, first tick of Curse