Last Updated: 5/31/21
Table of Contents
About the Class
Concealment is the Operative’s burst DPS discipline. It has amongst the simplest rotations in the game and through the use of Volatile Substance can deal very high burst damage, though its overall sustained DPS has historically been lower than most other melee burst DPS (Deception, Rage, Advanced Prototype, Carnage). In degree of difficulty, Concealment has a very easy priority system to learn and the primary degree of skill lies in maximizing generation/utilization of Tactical Advantages and managing energy levels. Outside of PVE, Concealment’s burst damage, Exfiltrate roll defensive, combat stealth, and periodic root make it arguably the best solo duelist PVP discipline in the game. For PVE content, Concealment can comfortably clear any SM or HM, but overall I would generally recommend Lethality as a discipline since its potential DPS is much higher and can output much more AoE damage as well.
Utility and Mobility
Lethality has solid mobility as all abilities are instant, has available utilities to boost movement speed, and roll and Holotraverse abilities. Operative also has a raid buff.
Role in Operations
Concealment is a burst DPS class so it handles target swapping well and should handle those assignments when possible. A potential shortcoming for Concealment is relatively poor AoE DPS however. As a stealth class, Concealment is a great candidate to provide a stealth rez and is even better than Lethality due to not having DoTs ticking on a target in most situations. Although Concealment has access to certain basic healing abilities, it is not an ideal off-heal discipline.
6.0 Impact on Discipline
The new expansion gave Concealment a really strong set bonus in the Tactician set (used for all class disciplines) that provides a high uptime on +15% critical chance, a third Tactical Advantage, and a +5% damage buff anytime the player has an Tactical Advantage. Combined with a good mix of tactical items to buff sustained DPS (Acid Lash), burst DPS (Volatile Strike), or AoE DPS (Explosive Cells), the discipline is in a much better position than in 5.X and finds itself in the upper tier of burst DPS disciplines.
As a melee class, Operatives have various defensive cooldowns and can buff those abilities through utilities and utilize off-healing abilities. I would still rate them as lower than off-tank DPS classes Juggernaut, Powertech and Assassin due to their better armor and/or broader list of strong defensives. Concealment’s survivability relates directly to the type of damage in the fight and the ability to mitigate it through well timed use of Exfiltrate - when that is possible for major mechanics, Concealment has exceptional survivability. In other situations, Concealment tends to have lower survivability than Lethality and is fairly low amongst melee DPS classes.
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.
You must take 3 to advanced to Masterful.
Chem Resistant Inlays: 5% damage reduction.
This utility is always a must take, as anything you can do to increase damage mitigation is incredibly helpful.
Nanotech Suit: 30% AoE damage reduction.
This utility is nearly always useful due to most PVE encounters having some AoE damage mechanics.
Infiltrator: 15% extra movement speed and +3 to stealth level.
Due to the low cooldown of Exfiltrate as a movement ability, I do not typically find this utility to be that helpful. However, its alternatives are even less useful as they consist of PVP utilities and a buff to a weak conal AoE attack.
You must take 6 between Heroic and Masterful.
Med Shield: Heals you for 5% of your maximum health when defense screen collapses.
You should be using Shield Probe regularly to mitigate damage, so over the course of an operations encounter this will cumulatively grant you a sizeable amount of healing. As such, this is a boost to survivability and should be taken.
Endorphin Rush: Adrenaline Probe immediately restores 15 additional energy.
This utility sounds great but depends greatly on player playstyle. The ability already restores 50 energy over 3 seconds, which is boosted to 65 by this utility. Also bear in mind that you will be using abilities (that may cost energy) as well as natural energy regeneration over those 2 GCDs. This utility is only a worthwhile choice if your use of Adrenaline Probe will not cap energy. That requires a more skilled energy management, as in most cases you need to be 20-30% energy levels to activate Adrenaline Probe without capping energy.
Advanced Cloaking: Reduces the cooldown of your combat stealth by 30s and using combat stealth will also increase your movement speed by 50% for 6s.
I view this utility as situational for Concealment and only should be considered when the player knows that it is likely that several stealth rezzes will be needed in a fight (i.e., in a progression situation or when in a group with newer players).
Evasive Screen: Using combat stealth grants 2 seconds of Evasion.
This can be useful to enable a second defensive/cleanse, and can be helpful when attempting a stealth rez given Evasion’s use as a purge of DoTs.
A maximum of 3 utilities
Evasive Imperative: Every time you get attacked, the active cooldown of Evasion is reduced by 3 seconds (can occur every 1.5 seconds).
Evasion is a great utility that makes you temporarily immune to certain types of damage and can be used as self cleanse. This should be taken nearly always.
Escape Plan: Reduces the cooldown of Escape by 30 seconds, Shield Probe by 5 seconds, and Infiltrate by 60 seconds.
The biggest benefit here in PVE is the Shield Probe cooldown reduction. When combined with the Med Shield Masterful utility, this benefit is even better.
Revitalizers: Stim Boost now also grants Revitalizers, reducing damage taken by 20% for its duration and restores 5% of maximum health every 3 seconds (cumulative heal of 25%).
This utility makes Stim Boost an amazing defensive cooldown and should be taken for any fights that have difficult heal checks, though for other fights it can be substituted for utilities below if they provide more utility.
Augmented Shields: Increases the amount of damage absorbed by Shield Probe by 30%.
If taking Escape Plan and Med Shield to boost Shield Probe, this utility makes a lot of sense. I take this utility over Revitalizers in fights where I know I am going to take steady moderate damage, as in those cases the overall mitigation from Shield Probe over a fight will outweigh Revitalizers’ buff to Stim Boost that can be used 1-2 times per fight.
Blow for Blow: Activating Evasion grants Back at Ya, reflecting 150% of single target force or tech damage during Evasion’s duration.
This utility is worth taking on fights that are not exceptionally heal intensive and that present opportunities to reflect damage without dying, or in progression situations if DPS is an issue. That said, Operatives are fairly squishy as a melee class so I usually recommend prioritizing survivability in most of my utility selections.
Circumvention: Reduces the cooldown of Holotraverse by 10 seconds and allows it to be used while Immobilized, and using Holotraverse now generates an Tactical Advantage.
This utility is great for generating Tactical Advantages for DPS disciplines as it enables more frequent use of your big hitting abilities.
Example Utility Build
Here is what I run for most encounters, though I frequently take other situational utilities for specific fights.
Collateral Strike - Laceration triggers Collateral Strike, dealing additional kinetic damage. Standard and weak targets are also stunned by Collateral Strike.
Collateral Strike is a helpful buff to Laceration and is primarily mentioned for purposes of Tactical Opportunity.
Tactical Opportunity - Collateral Strike immediately regrants Tactical Advantage when hitting a bleeding target. This effect cannot occur more than once every 10 seconds.
This passive enables a refund of an Tactical Advantage by using Laceration once every 10 seconds.
Culling - Increases the damage dealt by Laceration and Collateral Strike by 5%. Also, when Collateral Strike damages a target, you recover 2 energy.
Noting this passive for its energy regen effects. Laceration is highly energy efficient, as it costs 10 energy and refunds 2 for a net cost of 8 energy. Combined with energy regen rate of 6/s while above 60, it is possible to spam Laceration for quite some time without unduly hurting energy levels.
Ghost - Countermeasures increases your movement speed by 50% for 6 seconds.
This passive is noteworthy as it enables your aggro drop to be a movement cooldown. 50% extra speed for 6 seconds is usually just about enough to help re-position when Exfiltrate is on cooldown (or being saved as a defensive) and Holotraverse isn’t available or useful (e.g., Rain of Pain phase in Master & Blaster encounter in Ravagers operation).
Acid Blade - Loads your shotgun with flechettes, causing Backstab to deal additional internal bleed damage over 6 seconds and increase armor penetration by 30% for 15 seconds.
This passive makes Backstab a critical part of the rotation to keep the Acid Blade buff as often as possible. It should therefore be used on cooldown.
Prey on the Weak- Laceration deals 5% more damage to targets affected by your Acid Blade.
This passive further increases the importance of using Backstab at least every 15 seconds to maintain uptime of the Acid Blade buff on targets, as in addition to the 30% armor penetration buff this passive also grants 5% more damage to your most frequently used ability.
Shadow Operative Elite - Increases your effective stealth level by 2. Also, when you activate Exfiltrate, you dodge or resist all incoming attacks for 1.5 seconds.
This passive is key for making Exfiltrate an amazing defensive ability. Timing the roll properly can be difficult but with skill it can be used to dodge ALL ATTACKS. For large one-hit mechanics this makes Concealment Operatives amazing at cheesing damage.
Calculated Frenzy - Backstab grants Calculated Frenzy, which increases ranged and tech critical chance by 5% for 15 seconds. Also, damage dealt by Veiled Strike causes the target to become Susceptible (+5% more tech damage) for 45 seconds.
This passive grants a useful Tech damage debuff and further buffs Backstab. In addition to the 30% armor penetration from Acid Blade and the 5% buff to Laceration damage, now we add a 5% ranged/tech critical chance buff.
Revealing Weakness - Damage dealt by Volatile Substance marks the target with Revealing Weakness, allowing your next Backstab against the target to be useable while face-to-face with the target and treated as though you attacked from stealth.
This passive makes it desirable to use Volatile Substance prior to each use of Backstab, as the negation of positional and stealth requirements will significantly increase its damage.
Gearing in 6.0
Gearing Stat Allocation
For Concealment Operative, I gear as follows:
Set Bonus: Tactician
Tactical: Acid Lash (Explosive Cells for very heavy AoE fights)
Amplifiers: Tech Wizardry
Mods: Unlettered Lethal Mods
Relics: Devastating Vengeance & Primeval Fatesealer (Serendipitous Assault & Focused Retribution for Dxun/PVP)
Adrenal: Critical (Attack for Dxun only)
For Concealment Operative, 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
Increased drop rate from conquest.
(2) +2% Mastery
(4) Tactical Overdrive additionally resets the cooldown Sever Tendon and Toxic Scan. Gaining an Tactical Advantage increases your Critical Chance by 10% for 10 seconds. Can only happen once every 18 seconds.
(6) Tactical Advantage gets an additional stack. Having an Tactical Advantage increases your damage and healing by 5%.
Analysis: A really great set bonus, Tactician provides a +10% Critical Chance and +5% damage buffs and an extra Tactical Advantage. Just awesome!
Impact on Rotation:
The discipline should already be using Veiled Strike as close to on cooldown as possible to maximize generation of Tactical Advantage, which based on its cooldown of 6 seconds should guarantee very high uptime of the 4-piece set bonus 10% critical chance increase.
Due to the third Tactical Advantage, the 6-piece set bonus should make it easier to use Veiled Strike on cooldown. Without this set bonus, it is possible in the rotation to need to delay Veiled Strike due to being capped on Tactical Advantage. It usually isn’t a big delay, but having more cushion to stack Tactical Advantage should be helpful in addition to the stat buffs.
When to Take: Always. Other Operative set bonuses are very limited in their application and Tactician provides a very reliable and strong high-uptime boost to critical and base damage.
Increased drop rate from flashpoints.
Laceration damage triggers Acid Blade damage and refreshes its duration. Acid Blade does 60% more damage.
Analysis: Acid Blade is normally triggered by Backstab to apply a DoT with a 6 second duration. Backstab has a 12s cooldown so the DoT normally has a 50% uptime assuming the ability is used on cooldown.
This tactical increases Acid Blade uptime to nearly 100% due to Laceration also triggering it. Laceration has no cooldown and except in rare cases should be used at least once every 6 seconds / 4 GCDs (pre-alacrity). In fact, this tactical increases its effective uptime above 100% due to Laceration also ticking damage from Acid Blade (i.e., in addition to periodic ticks, an extra tick will occur each time it is triggered) and additional ticks from regular usage of Backstab. On top of this, the damage dealt by this DoT is doubled.
This tactical makes Concealment a semi-DoT class via the full uptime and buffed damage of the Acid Blade DoT, made even morso via high uptime of Corrosive Dart by skilled players of the discipline. This additional ticking DoT damage provides a strong boost to the discipline’s sustained damage, which otherwise would tend to dip outside of burst windows provided by Backstab and Volatile Substance burst damage.
Impact on Rotation: No impact. Backstab should continue to be used on cooldown for its high damage and to maximize uptime of the 30% armor penetration buff (which is not extended via the Acid Lash tactical). Similarly, Laceration remains the discipline’s primary filler to consume Tactical Advantage, and regular usage of the priority should ensure it is being utilized often enough to maintain full or very nearly full uptime of the Acid Blade DoT.
When to Take: Most encounters. Volatile Strike should be utilized for fights with very tight burst DPS checks, or based on player preference as it provides a nice DPS boost if not as strong as Acid Lash. Explosive Cells should be utilized for fights where AoE DPS is important.
Increased drop rate from operations.
Veiled Strike automatically critically hits targets affected by your unexploded Volatile Substance and triggers it immediately. Dealing damage this way causes your next Backstab to critically hit.
Analysis: A key in balancing usage of this tactical to maximize DPS is avoiding/minimizing delay in using either Volatile Substance or Veiled Strike, as generally both should be used on cooldown to maximize damage and generation of Tactical Advantage.
Fortunately, Veiled Strike has a 6 second cooldown and Volatile Substance has an 18 second cooldown. Thus, the cooldowns line up such that they can be used on cooldown and every third Veiled Strike should be used within the 2 GCDs following Volatile Substance to benefit from the auto-crit and ensure the next Backstab is an auto-crit as well. Backstab has a 12 second cooldown, so proper usage of this tactical should make 2 out of every 3 usages an auto-crit.
The only aspect of this tactical that is a bit “wonky” is trying to maximize the low-GCD burst potential. An initial thought would be to go Volatile Substance + Veiled Strike + Backstab. This gets a TON of DPS into the second 2 GCDs of that 3 GCD rotation. The problem is that it wastes the 30% armor penetration and DoT applied by Backstab, which ideally you want to be applied to the Volatile Substance damage.
Aligning it the normal way through the opener below of Backstab + Volatile Substance + Veiled Strike properly applies the armor penetration buff but delays the auto-crit on Backstab until its next usage. This would seem to be the optimal rotation to maximize sustained DPS but is odd for a burst DPS tactical to be designed in such a way that reducing burst is the best decision.
Impact on Rotation: This tactical makes it very important to use Veiled Strike on cooldown even if it occasionally means capping an Tactical Advantage. The reason for this change is to ensure its cooldown always aligns with Volatile Substance. If both are used on cooldown, it should always be possible to use Volatile Substance + Veiled Strike to guarantee this tactical item’s effects are procced as often as possible.
Backstab remains a higher priority ability due to its greater damage and Acid Blade DoT and 30% armor penetration buff, but due to its synergy in cooldown it should never require delay in order to use Veiled Strike on cooldown. Each 4 GCD cycle should alternate between
FILLER 1 + FILLER 2 + Veiled Strike + FILLER 3 and
Backstab + FILLER 2 + Veiled Strike + FILLER 3,
with Volatile Substance taking the FILLER 2 spot every 3rd cycle.
When to Take: PVP or PVE encounters with multiple short duration DPS checks (e.g., Styrak Hard/Nightmare Mode). Acid Lash provides a stronger overall sustained DPS increase and should be taken in all other situations.
Increased drop rate from flashpoints.
When Volatile Substance triggers, it deals damage to all enemies around the primary target and spreads its effects.
Analysis: Volatile Substance is Concealment’s highest damage ability and also applies a 7% internal/elemental damage debuff. Making its every usage an AoE effect and spreading the debuff is the just about the most powerful AoE buff the discipline could receive. Unfortunately, it represents nearly all the discipline’s AoE capability outside Toxic Haze (a decent AoE DPS ability but not spammable) and Noxious Knives (a spammable conal DPS ability that deals very lackluster AoE damage).
Impact on Rotation: No change to rotation. Volatile Substance should continue to be used on cooldown, except that now it will have an AoE effect. On some occasions it may be optimal to delay either application or triggering of Volatile Substance for adds to group up to maximize the AoE burst damage.
When to Take: Fights with very heavy AoE damage requirements, especially if the group has minimal AoE DPS capability. That said, I would recommend avoiding it if the group has sufficient AoE DPS, as many other disciplines can far exceed Concealment even with this tactical. As such, I would prefer to take Acid Lash and focus on maximizing single target DPS as that tactical provides a better buff to the discipline’s strengths.
All of Concealment’s attacks deal tech-based damage (except for your basic attack which should almost never be used). The damage abilities deal a mix of kinetic/energy, internal and DoT damage. As such, Tech Wizardry (buffs tech-based damage) is by far the best amplifier build for this discipline.
Tech Wizardry is not quite the best for Lethality but only gives up a little bit of DPS boost in comparison to other options, so it also represents the best amplifier build for Operative DPS players who frequently re-spec from fight to fight.
Tactical Overdrive (instant, free, 3 minute cooldown) NEW IN 6.0 - Resets the cooldown of Stim Boost, Recuperative Nanotech, Volatile Substance, Lethal Strike, and Shield Probe and increases your Mastery by 20% for 15 seconds.
A new cooldown in 6.0, it provides both offensive and defensive boosts.
Backstab (10 energy, 12s cooldown) - Deals high kinetic damage to the target, only usable from behind the target. Deals more damage from stealth and also grants an Tactical Advantage.
Very strong ability that should be used on cooldown. Backstab also grants buffs to tech damage and armor penetration and overall damage of Laceration. Should be used on cooldown, even if doing so will cap an Tactical Advantage, to maintain full uptime of its buffs.
Volatile Substance (15 energy, 18s cooldown, range 10m) - After a 3s priming time, the target will take huge internal damage the next time it takes damage from a poison effect. Also applies the Assailable debuff (+7% internal/elemental damage).
Concealment’s biggest hitting ability albeit with a unique 2 GCD delay before it can be detonated. Use on CD.
Veiled Strike (15 energy, 6s cooldown) - Deals moderate kinetic damage and generates an Tactical Advantage.
Concealment’s primary means of generating Tactical Advantage, Veiled Strike can be used every 4 GCDs. It should generally be used as close to on cooldown as possible as long as the player is not already at 2 Tactical Advantages.
Laceration (10 energy, no cooldown) - Deals moderate damage and consumes an Tactical Advantage.
Concealment’s most frequently used ability (by far), this should be spammed whenever Backstab, Volatile Substance and Veiled Strike are on cooldown. Due to it only costing 10 energy (and a passive that refunds 2 each time it is used) and natural energy regen >60% of 6 per second, this ability only has a net GCD energy cost of 2, making by far the most energy efficient ability.
Corrosive Dart (15 energy, 18s duration, no cooldown, range 30m) - Deals moderate damage over the duration.
A DoT ability that can be used by skilled players for incrementally more DPS when energy permits and at 0 Tactical Advantages. Corrosive Dart can also be used during transition phases to trigger Volatile Substance if applied but not yet detonated.
Crippling Slice (free, 15s cooldown) - Free filler ability that deals low damage.
Crippling Slice deals more damage than Rifle Shot so should be prioritized whenever energy is too low.
Rifle Shot (free, no cooldown, range 30) - Free ranged filler.
The free filler has one big advantage over most other melee DPS (along with Powertechs) in that its free filler has a 30m range. Use this ability when at range or when energy drops below 60% (or even at 75% when several costly abilities are about to come off CD).
Noxious Knives (15 energy, no cooldown) - Deals low kinetic/internal damage to up to 8 targets within 5 meters.
Operative’s spammable AoE ability though it only deals damage in a frontal cone. Should be spammed in AoE situations.
Toxic Haze (15 energy, 15s cooldown) - Consumes 1 Tactical Advantage and deals AoE damage around the player.
Toxic Haze is a more expensive AoE ability that should be used on CD in AoE situations.
Fragmentation Grenade (20 energy, 6s cooldown, range 30m) - Ranged ability that deals AoE damage to the target and those nearby.
A more expense ranged filler option and should be used in AoE rotations.
Overload Shot (10 energy, no cooldown, range 30m) - Ranged attack that deals moderate damage.
A very low priority filler. Should only be used when you are forced to attack from range due to mechanics or gap closers being on cooldown.
Cooldowns & Other Abilities
Cloacking Screen (free, no cooldown) - Removes you from combat and enter stealth.
A combat stealth ability, it should be paired with Backstab to deal more damage and generate a Tactical Advantage. Depending on utility choice, it can also function as a self-cleanse.
Stim Boost (15 energy, 120s cooldown) - Grants 1 Tactical Advantage and increases alacrity 10% for 15s.
A key offensive cooldown that grants a Tactical Advantage and boosts alacrity. Should generally be used in the opener and then on-demand later on.
Holotraverse (free, 45s cooldown) - Instantly teleports you to the target and increases your movement speed by 75% for 3 seconds. Can be used for either friendly players or enemies.
The Operative's gap closer in addition to their roll, the ability is typically used to generate a Tactical Advantage via the Circumvention utility.
Adrenaline Probe (free, 120s cooldown) - You recover 50 energy over 3 seconds.
The main energy cooldown for the discipline. Due to its heavy energy regeneration, it is important to not waste any regeneration due to its lengthy cooldown.
Tactical Superiority (1 Upper Hand, 5 minute cooldown) - Exploits Tactical Advantage to increase critical chance by 10% for 10 seconds.
The class raid buff. It is expensive due to its Tactical Advantage requirement and thus I usually ask an Operative healer to trigger their raid buff if possible. That said, it is a clear group DPS increase so use it when necessary in ops.
Shield Probe (free, 30s cooldown) - Projects a defense field around yourself for 10 seconds, which absorbs low damage.
The discipline's low cooldown defensive ability that shields against all damage, use it aggressively to mitigate predictable damage. Just do not expect it to save you from a big hit if you are already low health.
Evasion (free, 60s cooldown) - Increases your chance to dodge melee and ranged attacks by 200% for 3 seconds.
Evasion is a tricky cooldown as it only applies to certain damage types and has a very short duration. I primarily find it useful as a self-cleanse/purge to avoid wasting a GCD on a cleanse ability (which is why the cleanse is not even listed in this guide). Use it for mitigating heavy damage when it is useful.
Exfiltrate (free, 8s cooldown) - Roll forward 12 meters. While rolling, your chance to dodge melee and ranged attacks is increased by 30%. Exfiltrate has 2 ability charges and recharges one charge every 8 seconds.
The great and unique strength of Concealment Operative is its roll. Having a low cooldown, the discipline has far higher uptime on an ability that can effectively cheese nearly all one-shot damage mechanics in the game due to the Shadow Operative passive ability. Master the timing of the "roll cheese" and your progression healers will greatly appreciate it.
Kolto Probe (10 energy, no cooldown) - Injects the target with slow-release medicine that heals a low amount over 18 seconds. Stacks up to 2 times.
Your HoTs deal a respectable amount of healing over time and with a utility can even provide a decent mitigation boost of up to +6% damage resistance. I use these semi-frequently during downtime or transitions to pre-apply HoTs to help out my healers a little bit.
Kolto Infusion (20 energy, 9s cooldown) - Exploits your Tactical Advantage to heal the target immediately for a low amount.
An expensive heal ability that requires and consumes a Tactical Advantage. I generally avoid using this ability at all as a result, and instead rely on my HoTs, mitigation abilities (especially roll for high damage burst hits) and my healers. That said, in some instances when healing gets really tough and the boss is shielded or something this can be useful to help out.
Basic Rotation Priority System
The Concealment Operative class has a defined priority rotation that should be followed as much as possible. The overall goals in order of priority are:
1. Backstab on CD - Backstab does great damage but is most important for its many buffs (+30% armor penetration and +5% damage to Laceration, +5% ranged/tech critical chance) that have a 15s cooldown and must maintain full uptime.
2. Volatile Substance on CD - Volatile Substance does enormous damage and should be used on CD.
3. Veiled Strike when @ 0-1 Tactical Advantages (0-2 with Tactician) - Veiled Strike is Concealment’s primary means to generate Tactical Advantages and should be used to maximize Tactical Advantage generation. 2 Tactical Advantages is the maximum (3 with Tactician) so delay Veiled Strike when @ 2 Tactical Advantages (3 with Tactician) to avoid wasting it.
4. Laceration when > 60% energy - Laceration is Concealment’s primary filler ability and should be used very often. Due to the Concealment tree, Laceration costs net 8 energy so each GCD use of Laceration will cost a net 2 energy (8 net ability cost - 6 natural regeneration while >60 energy). An exception to this rule is when Adrenaline Probe is available, in which case Laceration can be spammed along with #1-3 down to around 35% energy.
5. Corrosive Dart when energy permits - As the lone DoT option for Concealment, Corrosive Dart is nice to squeeze in on a GCD where you have 0 Tactical Advantages (and so Laceration is unavailable) but energy levels are in good shape. Care should be taken in its use so as to avoid wrecking your energy or having to delay higher priority abilities. It can be used for sure each time Adrenaline Probe is available.
6. Crippling Slice when < 75% energy and Adrenaline Probe not available - Crippling Slice is a free filler ability that does more damage than Rifle Shot so should be the first choice. The reason the threshold is 75% even though #4 indicates to use Laceration down to 60% is due to the very low cost of Laceration. It will take a lot of Laceration spam to go from 75% to sub-60% due to its very low cost. However, if Backstab > Volatile Substance > Veiled Strike are about to be used, using Crippling Slice to provide some extra regen can provide enough buffer to use these abilities without dropping below 60% and ruining energy regeneration.
7. Rifle Shot when <60% energy and Adrenaline Probe not available - Managing energy and staying above 60% (“in the green” as I think of it) is super important to Concealment due to how it impacts Laceration. As discussed above, Laceration has a net cost of 2 energy per GCD when >60% maximum energy regeneration. At the next tier, Laceration’s net cost doubles to 4 energy per GCD. This will rapidly destroy your energy so it is very important to spam Rifle Shot to stay about 60%.
(Key Note - Depending on the fight, Holotraverse and Stim Boost can be swapped in the opener. I find using Holotraverse as a gap closer right after the tank initiates combat is ideal, since between the tank’s attack, the semi-GCD delay of Holotraverse, and the 3 GCD delay before Concealment’s burst hits hard is ideal to avoid pulling aggro. For parsing, using Stim Boost earlier is likely optimal to get the alacrity buff more closely aligned with the adrenal and raid buff window.)
(X) = # of Tactical Advantages after that ability activation
Stealth - Being in stealth buffs your first Backstab to do significantly more damage and grant a Tactical Advantage
Backstab (1) - Deals damage and gets most of the key buffs active (+5% tech damage debuff, +30% armor penetration, +5% Laceration damage, +5% ranged/tech critical chance)
Stim Boost OFF GCD (2) - Used to get an extra Tactical Advantage so we can hit our raid buff without compromising the rotation, get the alacrity buff rolling early and using it before we reset its cooldown momentarily with Tactical Overdrive.
Volatile Substance (2) - Biggest hitting ability so next up once all buffs are active
Veiled Strike (3) - At this point we are not capped on Tactical Advantages so Veiled Strike is the priority
Adrenal OFF GCD (3) - Used here before Volatile Substance triggers and we start dealing heavy damage
Tactical Superiority OFF GCD (2) - Volatile Substance actually won’t deal damage for a couple of GCDs so popping the adrenal and raid buff after Volatile Substance is optimal
Tactical Overdrive (2) - Used for its buff and reset the cooldown on Volatile Substance.
Laceration (2) - Filler and proc Tactical Opportunity to regrant a Tactical Advantage
Laceration (1) - Filler
Volatile Substance (1) - Available again due to the use of Tactical Overdrive. Used here because we need to wait for the first Volatile Substance to trigger and deal damage.
Veiled Strike (2) - Use off CD not capped on Tactical Advantages
Backstab (1) - We are not using Disappearing Act for this Backstab due to the extra Tactical Advantages provided by Stim Boost, which otherwise would cause us to cap a Tactical Advantage with the next Veiled Strike.
Laceration (1) - Filler and proc Tactical Opportunity to regrant a Tactical Advantage
Veiled Strike (2) - Use off CD if not capped on Tactical Advantages
Volatile Substance (0) - Use on CD
Veiled Strike (1) - Use on CD
Laceration (1) - Filler and proc Tactical Opportunity to regrant a Tactical Advantage
Disappearing Act (1) - Used here to buff Backstab now that we can do so without capping a Tactical Advantage with Veiled Strike or having to delay Veiled Strike
Backstab (2) - Use on CD, buffed here via stealth to deal more damage and generate a Tactical Advantage
Volatile Substance (2) - Used on CD
Veiled Strike (3) - Use on CD
[End of opener, continue priority rotation as discussed above]
Summary - This opener may not be precisely ideal but should be pretty solid. The main oddities are the use of cooldowns like Stim Boost, Holotraverse, Disappearing Act and Tactical Overdrive. In order to maximize our opening burst, we end up using Stim Boost very early so that we get a second use from Tactical Overdrive resetting its cooldown (which we are primarily doing so that we get a second early use of Volatile Substance).
This combination gives us a ton of extra Tactical Advantages in the opener and forces us to delay Holotraverse past the first 25 ability activations and to delay Disappearing Act to skip a Backstab just to avoid capping on Tactical Advantages or delaying Veiled Strike. If we extended the rotation another 7-10 GCDs, we would use Holotraverse shortly before Backstab came off cooldown again, as that's the point where we would hit 0 Tactical Advantages and otherwise be unable to use Laceration.
It's also worth noting by the end of this opener rotation, you should start to get fairly low on energy. I usually end up using Adrenaline Probe a few more GCDs after this opener ends and then it becomes all about the priority list and managing energy.