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The Seer Sage... And the Circle of Love!

25 replies
Seijin a
1208 posts
Admins
A Sage healer was my original main and first love in SWTOR.

The Seer Sage is a powerful healer that excels in group healing situations. Where this healing class is arguably weakest is in dedicated tank healing, though it possesses all the tools to do this well when called upon.

The Spec:


http://swtor.askmrrobot.com/skills/sage#113032221002122120221232-2000320-200

There really are no wasted points in this spec. With the change in 1.5 to add Force Mend, spending 2 points in Valiance is now a must. 2.0 hasn't really changed much with regards to how PvE skill point distribution. Force Warden and Amnesty are both very good new places to put points.

Gear and Stats:


With the reworking of the stat curves in 2.0, power is significantly preferable to crit. At present, it is all about stacking power... the more, the better. 0 Crit is best in most circumstances though the difference in fairly minor between 0 and ~2-300 crit.

Alacrity is more valuable that Surge, meaning that you will want to focus on getting your Alacrity to ~400 before adding Surge. In most cases, you want 7 pieces of gear with Alacrity and 3 pieces with Surge. If you barely use Force Armor, then it may be better to go with 6 Alacrity and 4 Surge and a very small amount of crit. As a healer, Accuracy is still completely useless for you.

BiS relics are Serendipitous Assault and Boundless Ages. Serendipitous Assault relics only drop from Operations Bosses. Until you get this as a drop, use an Ephemeral Mending relic.

Every piece of gear should be augmented with an Advanced Resolve Augment 28.

Rotation:

I am a strong believer in healing have no set rotation. Healing is all about situational awareness and making the best decisions on ability use at any given time to keep the group alive. So, instead of talking about a rotation, I'll spend some time discussing each of the Sage's abilities and how to utilize them most effectively.

As a a generalization, light healing sequences will mostly look like this:
Rejuvination -> Healing Trance -> Noble Sacrifice -> Force Armor/Force Wave /Salvation

Burst healing will generally look like:
Rejuvination -> Healing Trance -> Force Armor/Force Wave /Salvation -> Deliverance

The exact order that you go through these will depend on how much and what kind of damage is coming in. The general idea is that during light healing phases, you can and should try to use Noble Sacrifice once every 4ish abilities to keep your force up.

Abilities:

Benevolence
Remove this from your bar. Theoretically, it is a short cast, small heal that is supposed to be used to deal with fast incoming damage. In reality, the HPS is so low and so out of whack with its force cost that there is zero reason to use it... ever. Seriously!

Rejuvenation
This is the lynchpin of the Seer. Nearly, all your other healing abilities are tied to it in some way. As an actual heal, it adds a small HoT and 10% extra armor to whomever it is cast on. The armor effect makes it useful for keeping up on a tank, but the real reason you are using this ability is because of the Conveyance buff it applies, which will effect your next big heal (reduces cost of Deliverance or Salvation by 30% or increases crit chance of Healing Trance by 25%.)
I tend to use it most frequently directly upstream of a Healing Trance to ensure that I get a Resplendence Proc. Ideally you will keep this ability on CD.

Healing Trance

To me, this is the bread and butter heal of the Seer. It is a 3 second channel that ticks 4 times. Any tick that crits generates a Resplendence proc that will allow you to Noble Sacrifice without a force-regen penalty and/or reduce the cast-time of Salvation. Managing Resplendence procs and Noble Sacrifices is key to energy management.
While Healing Trance is incredibly force efficient, its HPS isn't amazing. In cases where you need big heals quickly, you will likely need to use Deliverance.

Deliverance

Deliverance is a long activation time, big heal. It is not terribly force-efficient, meaning that if you chain cast it, you will quickly find yourself without any force. However, if you need maximum HPS, chain casting Deliverance is pretty much your only option.
I tend to only use Deliverance when absolutely necessary, relying on Healing Trance to do as much of the heavy lifting as possible.

Salvation
This ability is why many consider Seer's to be the best group healers. It is a placed AoE that can heal up to 8 people standing in its AoE for significant damage over a relatively short duration. I tend to use it on CD and just try to place it for maximal effectiveness, usually on the tank / melee. It is only force efficient if it hits 3 or more targets, but sometimes the HoT makes it worth it on fewer numbers from an HPS perspective.

Standing in your own Salvation is a great way to recover HP lost from Noble Sacrifice!

New in 2.0 is the ability to reduce the cast time of Salvation with Resplendence procs. Resplendence now stacks up to 3 times, with each stack taking a second off the cast time of Salvation. This means that a Healing Trance can be used to create an instant cast Salvation. Due to some oddities with how Alacrity works, you actually get to use your next ability faster if you cast Salvation with 2 stacks of Resplendence rather than 3. Ideally, you only use 3 stack Salvations when moving and pull a stack via Noble Sacrifice for Force.

Noble Sacrifice

This is not a heal. In fact, it actually causes you to take damage. It is the energy regen mechanic of the Seer and a critical part of our reptoire. Ideally, it will be used on every Resplendence proc. That being said, it is always important to be situationally aware and make a determination about whether the GCD and damage associated with Noble Sacrifice is worth the force it returns.

Also, it should be noted that in extreme situations where maximum HPS is needed, chain casting Noble Sacrifice to bring you back from zero force may be optimal. This is especially true if you have Force Mend available and Force Barrier is off of CD. With a point in Amnesty, you can use Force Barrier to purge yourself of Force degeneration stacks.

Force Mend

Force Mend is a self-heal that was added in 1.5. It is meant to offset Noble Sacrifice use and is really useful to help you recover from Noble Sacrifice or in cases where everyone is taking damage (as you can hit your self heal and focus on the raid).

Restoration

This is your purge. There are many occasions in the game where simply removing a DoT is WAY, WAY more effective than trying to heal through the damage. Knowing and recognizing when to use this is all about understanding the abilities of a Boss in a fight.

Force Wave
Also new in 2.0 is the ability to turn your knockback into a heal. While this ability might seem underwhelming at first, it is super useful in situations where you need to stack for AoE healing or to heal a group on the move. This ability also costs no force! It is really an amazing ability when grouped.

Force Armor

AKA, "Bubble". This is one of the most powerful heals employed by the Seer. I left its discussion for the end because I think its use is quite nuanced. Instead of adding HP to a target, it prevents players from taking a set amount of damage, essentially giving any bubbled player 30s of temporary HP.

In a perfect world, Force Armor would be on every player at all times. In practice, trying to do this would quickly run you out of force and get everyone killed. So, when do you use Force Armor?


1) On everyone just before a pull. Getting bubbles out can really help to get everyone in position safely. Often you will be moving at the start of a fight to get into position and having everyone bubbled will let you get to be where you need to be without having to worry about stopping to heal someone. Just know that this will consume a good deal of force, so you may want to pre-cast bubbles, hit your out of combat recuperation ability and then Force Speed into place as soon as combat begins.

2) Stopping Spike Damage - Any time I see someone's health plummet, Force Armor is my go-to ability. It helps to stop the damage and gives you and the other healers time to respond. With the long cast time on Deliverance, the damage mitigation from Force Armor can often mean the difference between successfully saving someone versus watching them die 0.5 seconds before your Deliverance lands.

3) Heavy movement phases - Force Armor is an instant cast and can be cast while moving. The only other heal you have that does this is Rejuvenation and that isn't going to save anybody. If/when you need to move, bubble... bubble... bubble.

4) Just before boss transitions with raid-wide damage.
Posted Dec 28, 12 · OP · Last edited Jun 27, 13
Seijin a
1208 posts
Admins
Updated for 2.0
Posted May 6, 13 · OP
1015 posts
You forgot the most important part of effective healing with a Seer.
c7c7a69614fe906b.png
Posted May 7, 13 · Last edited May 7, 13
Seijin a
1208 posts
Admins
That is SOOOOO true mim
Posted May 7, 13 · OP
168 posts
Thanks for the update! Good write up.

It's actually the same build I landed on for Allanan, and seems like I've been basically doing the right thing with the abilities.
Posted May 7, 13
506 posts
Seijin wrote:
Force Wave
Also new in 2.0 is the ability to turn your knockback into a heal. While this ability might seem underwhelming at first, it is super useful in situations where you need to stack for AoE healing or to heal a group on the move. This ability also costs no force!

Is that something you have to spec into, or do all sages get that added to Force Wave?
c3051835eba25489.png
Posted May 7, 13
Seijin a
1208 posts
Admins
Its from points in the Seer tree
Posted May 7, 13 · OP
Seijin a
1208 posts
Admins
Updated guide with some better information from theorycrafting related to gearing, i.e. Alacrity stacking.

Added a typical light healing vs heavy healing ability usage section.

Also added some info about using Salv at 2 vs. 3 stacks.
Posted Jun 27, 13 · OP
168 posts
Interesting stuff. Thanks for the update. I'd been avoiding Alacrity.
Posted Jun 27, 13
Seijin a
1208 posts
Admins
Its is interesting and here is a more in-depth rationale into why Alacrity stacking is the way to go:

Force Armor can not crit. So crit and surge are completely useless with respect to this ability. Alacrity is beneficial, as you can spam more bubbles in a shorter period of time by reducing the GCD.

Noble Sacrifice is only helped by Alacrity -> GCD reduction.

Every other ability values all the stats with Healing Trance being the one ability that is most affected by crit due to the Resplendence proc mechanic.

Most of the time, you will be casting a lot of bubbles and noble sac'ing. If you rarely do these things then Surge is better.

The difference between 7/3 and 6/4 is really small though and somewhat splitting hairs.

Also, another fun tip/trick:

After Noble Sacrificing, you can Force Armor yourself and 11 seconds later be at full health due to Life Ward. This is a really great way of dealing with the HP loss from Noble Sacrifice when Force Mend is on CD.
Posted Jun 27, 13 · OP
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