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SWTOR 6.0 Lightning Sorcerer Complete Class Guide

Complete SWTOR 6.0 Lightning Sorcerer (Inquisitor) guide for PvE. Includes stats priorities, gearing and utilities tips, abilities priorities!

UP TO DATE FOR PATCH 6.3.1

INTRO

Welcome to my 6.0 guide for Lightning sorc! As of 6.1.1, Lightning was nerfed slightly, but it’s still a good ranged DPS spec to play in 6.0 and still generally performs better than Madness in real single target situations despite being the burst DPS spec, largely thanks to much greater contributions from Lightning Barrier, which don’t show up in dummy parses.

Madness does perform much better in AoE situations though since their Slow Mercy AOE tactical is far better than Lightning’s Elemental Convection, however Lightning is still one of the best burst specs out there for AoE thanks to its rotational AoE damage from Chain Lightning. Defensively, Lightning is also very strong, having some of the highest continuously active damage reduction and some defensive cooldowns that can increase it to 84% for 6 seconds. Sorc DPS in general also doesn’t have to deal with any sort of energy management like most other classes and has the best mobility out of any of the ranged DPS specs.

GEARING AND STATS PRIORITIES

DPS Mindset

How can I do as much damage as possible each GCD (global cooldown, 1.5 second duration before you can activate another ability) given the constraints of the fight? Which ability do I use right now that will provide me the most DPS? How can I maximize my uptime? If I’m not activating an ability right now, why not? Can I finish this cast before I need to move? What happens if I don’t have time to finish a cast before moving? Can the healers deal with it without too much stress? 

Gear Items

I’m not going to get into which specific versions of enhancements and such to use. The tiny stat variations from using something like an R-3 versus an R-4 aren’t worth the trouble and a single extra random crit, lag spike, or mid-fight sneeze will completely overshadow any difference in DPS you could possibly observe from an extra few points of power. Generally, the unlettered stuff is is pretty close to optimal if it isn’t outright followed by R and AR mods. If you want to be fully BiS, you can start swapping out some of the unlettered enhancements for R variants in order to not waste a single point when going past a threshold, though I wouldn’t waste too much time doing this if I were you.

  • Armorings/Hilt – Superior Versatile Armoring/Hilt 80 (should have 471 Mastery, 409 Endurance)
  • Mods – Superior Lethal Mod 80 unlettered, R-1, and R-2 are the best. As long as the sum of Mastery and Power is above 725 with Endurance being the lowest stat of the 3, you have a good mod that you should keep.
  • Enhancements – The best enhancements are the ones where Endurance is the lowest stat of the three and the sum of the other two (Power and Tertiary) is 744 or higher. The unlettered +285 Endurance, +313 Power, +431 tertiary stat are a great base and once you surpass your stat targets, you can start swapping them out for the R-variants that have more Power than tertiary stat.  The best word corresponding to BiS for each tertiary stat is:
    • Accuracy = Initiative
    • Alacrity = Nimble or Quick Savant (must include Quick, regular Savant is bad)
    • DPS Mods = Lethal
    • DPS Armoring/Hilt = Versatile
    • Critical = Adept
  • Implant/Ear – Sha’Tek brand MK-19
  • Relics – Sha’Tek brand MK-19
    • Level 75 content: Sha’Tek Relic of Focused Retribution and Sha’Tek Relic of Serendipitous Assault
    • Sub-level 75 content: Sha’Tek Relic of Primeval Fatesealer (it’s a clicky so put it on your bar) and Sha’Tek Relic of Devastating Vengeance
  • Stim – Advanced Kyrprax Proficient Stim
  • Medpac – Advanced Kyrprax Medpac
  • Adrenal
    • Level 75 content: Advanced Kyrprax Attack Adrenal (the critical adrenal is less consistent, but performs very similar, so if you don’t want to keep switching between the two, it’s fine to use the Advanced Kyrprax Critical Adrenal in level 75 content as well)
    • Sub-level 75 content: Advanced Kyrprax Critical Adrenal
  • Set Bonus – Gathering Storm 6-piece + 1 Amplified Champion piece since it has a combat-oriented Amplifier in the shell slot instead of a non-combat-oriented Amplifier. The headpiece is your best bet for the Amplified Champion piece since that makes it easier to switch out if you plan to do the Dreadful or Hateful Entity, though it doesn’t really matter that much. 
  • Amplifiers – +1% Force Sensitivity (only applies to armorings and hilts/barrels). All damage dealt by sorcs is Force damage, so this amplifier will increase the damage dealt by all of your abilities.
  • Crystals – Eviscerating. This is a little more important now than it’s been in the past because the War Hero and Hawkeye crystals don’t do anything in sub-75 content. 
  • Augments – As of 6.1.4, we now have a whopping 4 tiers of augments to deal with. Unlike past expansions, augments are now about how much you want to spend. Almost everyone should buy the blue 276 augments because they provide the greatest bang for the buck. If you have a ton of credits and are doing MM Dxun or Ranked PvP, you may consider going for the purple 286 augments instead, but they are completely unnecessary for anything less. 
    • Gold 300 augments (Superior [type] Augment 77 + Augmentation Kit 11). These are the brand new augments that were released in 6.1.4. They are overall best-in-slot and will provide a noticeable DPS increase, but they are even more ridiculously expensive than the purple 286 augments. You do not need them. All content in the game can be cleared without them, so you’re basically just buying jewelry. They are not worth the credits and in my personal opinion, BioWare should not have released them at all. 
    • Purple 286 augments (Advanced [type] Augment 74 + Augmentation Kit MK-11) are one step lower, however they are incredibly expensive, so I would only recommend getting them for your main and only if you have a bunch of extra credits burning a hole in your pocket. 
    • Blue 276 augments ([Type] Augment 73 + Augmentation Kit Mk-11) provide about 88% of the benefit for about 6% of the cost of the purple 286 augments. They do still require the MK-11 kits, but it’s really hard to justify using the 286 augments unless you or your group really needs that small stat increase to slightly boost your numbers. Since those MK-11 kits are still a bit expensive, I recommend only augmenting the final pieces of your gear, so 306 left side, MH/OH, and set bonus pieces. Almost everyone should get this tier of augments. 
    • Purple 228 augments (Advanced [type] Augment 45 + Augmentation Kit MK-10) from 5.0 are still valuable, more than even the old 236 or 240s! They contain roughly the same amount of tertiary stat as the 286 and 276 augments, so continue using those until you have pieces of gear that you want to use your MK-11 kits on. These old 228 augments are also all you’ll need for any of the gear you’ll be using for level 70 content because Power and Endurance are capped, so the 2 really don’t provide any noticeable benefit in non level 75 content.

Stat Priority

  1. Accuracy to 110 .00% – I reach this exactly with 3 accuracy enhancements/implants/ear + 1 augment + Advanced Kyrprax Proficient Stim, resulting in 1590 accuracy, equivalent to 110.00%. This is the most important stat to reach its threshold because attacks that miss deal 0 damage and no other stats matter if that happens. You need 110% accuracy and not just 100% because bosses have a 10% chance to dodge/resist player attacks and any percentage over 100% reduces this chance.  
  2. Alacrity to 11.38% – I reach this with 4 enhancements/implants/ear + 4 augments resulting in 2125 alacrity. This 4 enhancement/4 augment build only works if you have the purple 286 alacrity augments. If you don’t have the purple 286 alacrity augments, you’ll need to use a different mix of augments and enhancements/implants/ear. Lightning has different Alacrity requirements than every other DPS spec because they have the Focal Alacrity discipline passive, which provides 5% additional alacrity while in combat which allows us to get to the 1.3s GCD without having to spend nearly as much stat to get there.
  3. Critical gets the rest – I currently have 39.24% Critical chance from 2456 crit from 2 crystals, 3 enhancements/earpiece/implants and 9 augments. This stat is the lowest priority because it does not have a threshold associated with it like the other two tertiary stats.

Build Notes

  • There is an alternative build you can do specifically for level 70 content that allows you to have the 1.2s GCD while the Primeval Fatesealer relic is active. This allows you to get the full benefit of the relic. For level 70 content, you can make a separate build where you have 13.45% alacrity (out of combat) using 2652 alacrity rating. You don’t have to do this, but it will slightly increase your DPS in sub-75 content.
  • I recommend using 1 alacrity earpiece, 1 alacrity implant, and 1 critical implant, all with critical augments. This minimizes the number of pieces you need to switch out when you need to switch to Madness or get a 1.2s GCD while the Primeval Fatesealer relic is active in level 70 content. 
    • In order to switch to Madness, you just need to switch out the alacrity implant and ear for a critical version (both still have a critical augment). 
    • In order to switch to the Primeval Fatesealer relic build, switch out the critical implant for an alacrity implant that has an alacrity augment. This alacrity augment only needs to be 228 since you will not benefit from the extra power that a 276 or 286 augment provides in scaled content.
  • Some of you may have noticed that you only need 15.39% alacrity to reach the 1.3s GCD, yet I recommend 11.38% from gear + 5% from the Focal Alacrity discipline passive = 16.38% alacrity in combat. The reason I recommend an extra 1% alacrity over the amount needed for the 1.3s GCD is because of Polarity Shift. You need that extra 1% in order to reach the 36.38% alacrity threshold to gain the 1.1s GCD while Polarity Shift is active. If you found this explanation confusing, don’t worry about it, just go for 11.38% alacrity from your gear.

RELATED ► Complete SWTOR EndGame Gearing Guide for Level 75

Tactical Items

Stormwatch Stormwatch

  • Effect: Lightning Flash applies Stormwatch to its target for the next 10 seconds. Whenever the target takes damage from Affliction, Thundering Blast, and Crushing Darkness, a lightning bolt is called down upon the target dealing 1764 energy damage.
  • Recommendation:Use as your default tactical item and for single target situations, especially if you need sustained DPS or don’t plan on target swapping. You must be mindful of what you use Lightning Flash on by taking this tactical because it basically applies another DoT.

Elemental Convection Elemental Convection

  • Effect: Volt Rush Triggers Lightning Storm when activated (on a separate rate limit). Chain Lightning gives you Volt Flux, causing your Volt Rush to arc to multiple targets for the next 10 seconds.
  • Recommendation: If you need to AoE, this is the better tactical since you get an additional Chain Lightning and AoE from Volt Rush, however Volt Rush deals very little damage, so if you want to AoE, you’re better off switching to Madness and using the Slow Mercy tactical. This one is pretty great for trash and dailies though.

Ticking Force-Bomb Ticking Force-Bomb

  • Effect: Forked Darkness now has a greater chance to activate on Crushing Darkness and Crushing Darkness deals more damage each time it ticks.
  • Recommendation: This tactical item does not provide as much of a DPS increase as Stormwatch, however it isn’t a big drop, only about 1500-2000 DPS and offers some advantages. It’s easier to use since you don’t have to be considerate of what you use Lightning Flash on, so it makes it much easier to target swap with and the damage from the ability goes out in a smaller amount of time so it can be a better option on fights with a bunch of different targets. Definitely don’t use this as your default though.

An Explosive Return An Explosive Return

  • Effect: Returning to your Phase Walk marker causes a force explosion around you, dealing damage to any nearby enemies.
  • Recommendation: This tactical item is not worth it as it doesn’t deal enough damage. If it did like 100k or something and knocked enemies away, then it might be worth looking into, but it’s too unreliable if you want to teleport with it too and has too long of a cooldown to be worth it.

Endless Barrier Endless Barrier

  • Effect: Activating Unnatural Preservation removes Static Barrier’s Deionized effect from you.
  • Recommendation: Not nearly enough of a DPS increase with Lightning Barrier to only get an additional bubble every other time.

Eyrin’s Haste Eyrin’s Haste

  • Effect: Force Speed grants an additional Convection stack. 3 Convection stacks allows Thundering Blast to be activated instantly and consume all stacks. Lightning Bolt deals 10% more damage and Thundering Blast deals 20% more damage while Convection is active.
  • Recommendation: This tactical item is oriented towards PvP and burst situations since it makes every other use of Thundering Blast impossible to interrupt and deal extra damage. It is pretty annoying to use in raids though because the instant Chain Lightning proc will become desynchronized from Thundering Blast since half of them are instant. Like Ticking Force-Bomb, this tactical deals about 1500-2000 DPS less than you’ll get out of Stormwatch.

UTILITIES

SWTOR 6.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide - Utilities Default Selection Build

Skillful

ABILITYDESCRIPTION & RECOMMENDATION
Force Suffusion
Force Suffusion

Effect: Overload heals you and up to 7 affected allies for ~3900.

Recommendation: Never take this, you aren’t a healer, don’t waste your GCDs doing someone else’s job and even as a healer, it’s a terrible choice.

Sith Defiance
Sith Defiance

Effect: Increases damage reduction by 3%.

Recommendation: Always take this, it’s useful in every fight.

Tempest Mastery
Tempest Mastery

Effect: Increases the damage dealt by Force Storm by 25%.

Recommendation: Sometimes take this. If you plan to use Force Storm at all during the fight, you should take this.

Empty Body
Empty Body

Effect: Increases all healing received by 5%. Does not affect stolen life.

Recommendation: Always take this, it’s useful in every fight.

Dizzying Force
Dizzying Force

Effect: Reduces target’s accuracy by 20% after Whirlwind ends. Additionally, your Whirlwind affects up to 2 additional standard or weak enemies within 8m of the target.

Recommendation: Never take this. If you need to reduce the accuracy of something, other classes have far better ways of doing this.

Dark Speed
Dark Speed

Effect: Dark Heal increases the movement speed of the target by 50% for 6 seconds. This effect cannot occur more than once every 12 seconds.

Recommendation: Never take this. If someone needs to move and you need to waste a GCD to do it, you’re far better off pulling them.

Corrupted Flesh
Corrupted Flesh

Effect: Reduces the damage taken from all periodic effects by 15%.

Recommendation: Sometimes take this. If there is significant DoT damage, this is usually a good option.

Torturous Tactics
Torturous Tactics

Effect: Lowers the cooldown of Electrocute by 10 seconds. In addition, targets stunned by your electrocute deal 25% less damage when Electrocute wears off.

Recommendation: Take this on specific fights only. I can’t think of any fight where this would be required that exists now except for maybe Tyth if you’re handling Graces or Nahut if you’re handling turrets, but it definitely could be helpful if you’re required to stun something.

Masterful

ABILITYDESCRIPTION & RECOMMENDATION
Suppression
Suppression

Effect: Activating Cloud Mind grants Suppression, which increases damage reduction by 25% for 6 seconds.

Recommendation: Always take this. It’s one of your primary defensive cooldowns.

Dark Resilience
Dark Resilience

Effect: Reduces damage taken by the target of your Extrication by 25% for 6 seconds after your extricate them. Additionally increases the healing done by Unnatural Preservation by 30%.

Recommendation: Take this if you aren’t taking Lightning Barrier. The big benefit is the heal increase for Unnatural Preservation, though this is the least helpful point you take in this tier and should be the first one you give up if you take something else

Conspiring Force
Conspiring Force

Effect: Targets affected by your Affliction are slowed by 30% for its duration.

Recommendation: Never take this. You have better tools to slow enemies, like Chain Lightning and Force Slow.

Lightning Barrier
Lightning Barrier

Effect: Your Static Barrier crackles with electricity, shocking attackers for ~11,000 energy damage when it absorbs direct damage to you. This effect does not affect Static Barriers placed on allies and cannot occur more than once each second.

Recommendation: Almost always take this. Lightning Barrier deals quite a lot of damage and should only not be taken when you find that you aren’t able to get at least 1 tick out of it on each use or if it’s ticking on something you don’t want it to tick on. I’ll explain this in greater detail later on.

Surging Speed
Surging Speed

Effect: Reduces the cooldowns of Force Speed by 5 seconds, Force Slow by 3 seconds, and Force Barrier by 30 seconds. In addition, Force Speed lasts 0.5 seconds longer, Polarity Shift increases your movement speed by 100% while active, and the active cooldown of Force Speed is finished when Force Barrier ends.

Recommendation: Always take this. You need the cooldown reduction on Force Speed in order to maximize the benefit provided by your Gathering Storm set bonus and the other effects are nice too.

Backlash
Backlash

Effect: Static Barriers you place on yourself erupt in a flash of light when they end, blunding up to 8 nearby enemies for 3 seconds. This effect breaks from direct damage.

Recommendation: Take this on specific fights only. This is not generally useful in operations because most enemies have CC immunity. It can be helpful for Hull Cutter Droids on Izax.

Haunted Dreams
Haunted Dreams

Effect: If your Whirlwind breaks early from damage, the target is stunned for 2 seconds. In addition, Whirlwind activates instantly.

Recommendation: Take this on specific fights only. It is useful for the turrets on Nahut and Berserkers on Geonosian Queen.

Electric Bindings
Electric Bindings

Effect: Overload binds its targets in electricity, immobilizing them for 5 seconds. Direct damage dealt after 2 seconds ends the effect prematurely.

Recommendation: Take this on specific fights only. It is required for Styrak in NiM. This tends to be more for managing adds which is more often a tank mechanic, so you will see Assassin tanks take this utility more often.

Heroic

ABILITYDESCRIPTION & RECOMMENDATION
Emersion
Emersion

Effect: Force Speed grants Emersion, removing all movement-impairing effects and granting immunity to them for the duration.

Recommendation: Take this on specific fights only. It is required for Cartel Warlords in NiM to cleanse Horic’s grenade.

Shapeless Spirit
Shapeless Spirit

Effect: Reduces all damage taken while stunned by 30%. Additionally, reduces damage taken from area effects by 30%.

Recommendation: Always take this. Almost every fight in the game has some form of AoE damage and the vast majority of damage dealt by bosses is considered AoE.

Force Mobility
Force Mobility

Effect: Thundering Blast, Innervate, and Force Leech may be activated while moving.

Recommendation: Always take this. Thundering Blast is your highest damaging ability, it should not be delayed because you have to move.

Galvanizing Cleanse
Galvanizing Cleanse

Effect: Expunge grants Galvanizing Cleanse, making your next ability with an activation time activate instantly. The effect cannot occur more than once every 30 seconds and lasts up to 15 seconds.

Recommendation: Never take this. While it can provide a very small benefit on fights with forced downtime to give you an instant Chain Lightning, there are always better utilities to take.

Corrupted Barrier
Corrupted Barrier

Effect: Your Static Barrier, Force Barrier, and Enduring Bastion heal you for 1% of your total health every second for as long as they last. This healing scales up to 4% with the charges for Enduring Bastion.

Recommendation: Never take this.The healing is too small and ends when the bubble breaks. There are always better defensive utilities to take.

Unnatural Vigor
Unnatural Vigor

Effect: Unnatural Preservation increases your damage reduction by 15% for 6 seconds. Additionally, reduces the cooldown of Unnatural Preservation by 5 seconds.

Recommendation: Almost always take this. The only time you won’t take this is if you’ll be taking Shifting Silhouette instead.

Shifting Silhouette
Shifting Silhouette

Effect: Using Phase Walk to return to its marked location grants Shifting Silhouette, keeping you from being lept to or pulled and making you immune to pushback for the next to seconds. Additionally, the cooldown of Phase Walk is reduced by 15 seconds and all defenses are increased by 30% for the duration of Shifting Silhouette.

Recommendation: Occasionally take this. It’s a more effective defensive cooldown than Unnatural Vigor, but far more situational because it’s only more effective against ticking damage. Only take this if you can’t really benefit from Lightning Barrier.

Enfeebling Strike
Enfeebling Strike

Effect: Strike the target with your lightsaber, dealing ~8,400 weapon damage and immobilizing it for 3 seconds. When the immobilization effect ends, the target is slowed by 50% for 6 seconds.

Recommendation: Never take this. Saber Strike and this utility only exist so that the Sorcerer has some reason to have a lightsaber at all.

ABILITIES PRIORITIES AND ROTATIONS

Opener

  1. Chain Lightning Chain Lightning (pre-cast)
  2. Sha’Tek Relic of Primeval Fatesealer Relic (sub 75)
  3. Polarity Shift Polarity Shift
  4. Force Speed Force Speed
  5. Recklessness Recklessness
  6. Affliction Affliction
  7. Adrenal + Unlimited Power Unlimited Power
  8.  Thundering Blast Thundering Blast
  9. Lightning Flash Lightning Flash
  10. Crushing Darkness Crushing Darkness
  11. Chain Lightning Chain Lightning
  12. Shock Shock
  13. Priority List

This opener assumes that you are using the Stormwatch tactical and have the 6-piece Gathering Storm tactical; if you are using a different tactical, particularly Ticking Force-Bomb, pre-cast Crushing Darkness instead and just follow the priority list as this opener basically does. You can also pre-cast Crushing Darkness instead even with Stormwatch, the difference in DPS is very small.  I do want to point out a few notable components here:

  • Chain Lightning is used for the precast because the other two potential candidates (Thundering Blast and Crushing Darkness) should be saved until Affliction and Stormwatch are on the target respectively.
  • Chain Lightning is used before Shock after Crushing Darkness in this first instance because you will not have all 5 stacks of Focal Lightning (your 5% alacrity) yet, which you want sooner rather than later and you still have 3 GCDs before you have to use Shock so it isn’t a DPS loss to delay it 1 GCD.
  • Thundering Blast is used before Lightning Flash despite missing out on a Stormwatch tick because Force Speed is much more effective when used on Thundering Blast than Lightning Flash (20% of Thundering Blast’s damage is greater than 20% of Lightning Flash’s)
  • Alacrity cooldowns are used before Affliction is applied because this will increase the tick rate for as long as Affliction remains on that target, which can be the entire fight in many instances. Primeval Fatesealer is used before Polarity Shift because Polarity Shift is affected by Alacrity while Primeval Fatesealer is not. Recklessness and your Adrenal are also affected by Alacrity so those are used after your alacrity cooldowns.
  • Recklessness is used before Affliction because it puts the ability on cooldown sooner and Affliction will not consume a Recklessness charge because it isn’t direct damage. The Adrenal and Unlimited Power are saved until after Affliction is used because these sorts of cooldowns only affect damage that occurs during the buff, not the entirety of the DoTs. A great way to remember this is that damage increases apply once the health is actually reduced (or when you see the flytext for the damage value), not based on ability activation. 
  • The Primeval Fatesealer Relic is only used in sub-level 75 content, so just skip it in the opener if it isn’t equipped.
  • As of 6.1.1, it’s important to wait to use Force Speed until after you activate Polarity Shift in the opener, since Polarity Shift now always lasts 5 seconds longer with the Gathering Storm set bonus and Polarity Shift will initially be off-cooldown, so you want to wait to benefit from the 5 second cooldown reduction. To be clear, you’ll still end up using it before Thundering Blast.

PriorityList

  1. Affliction Affliction (if not on the target)
  2. Thundering Blast Thundering Blast
  3. Lightning Flash Lightning Flash
  4. Crushing Darkness Crushing Darkness
  5. Shock Shock if Crushing Darkness is on the target
  6. Static Barrier Lightning Barrier (if your bubble has expired and it’s appropriate)
  7. Chain Lightning Chain Lightning (w/ proc)
  8. Lightning Bolt Lightning Bolt

This ability priority ensures that your most damaging abilities are being used as frequently as possible, it’s very important that you practice this on a dummy at least until you can do the rotation without having to constantly look at your bar. Make sure you understand and remember this priority because you do not get to do all of your abilities on cooldown in Lightning, things will get delayed and that’s unavoidable. The only thing you really don’t want to delay is Thundering Blast. I will go into detail about each ability later on so that you can have a better understanding of how these abilities interact with each other and the discipline. 

If there is downtime during a fight, remember that you can precast things and often place your DoTs on shortly before the boss can actually take damage. You won’t get the full damage of your DoTs but you also won’t have to spend a GCD to apply them when the boss is vulnerable, so you will end up dealing more damage.

The key to being a great DPS is to be always DPSing. Using any damaging ability is better than just standing there not doing anything. Some DPS is better than zero DPS. Even if you mess up, keep doing the rotation! Unless there’s a mechanic that prevents you from dealing damage or forces you to stop DPSing, you should not stop DPSing. If a tank is telling you to stop DPS or hold off for a few seconds because they can’t keep aggro, don’t listen to them, they’re the one that doesn’t know the proper way to keep aggro. Tell them to git gud.

Damage Types

Almost all abilities in the game (both from players and NPCs) have damage types that explain how they will interact with enemy damage mitigation. Damage mitigation only applies if an attack has damage types so if it is untyped which is denoted by light blue flytext, you will not be able to mitigate the attack with anything. Understanding this is helpful because this information determines how much damage you’ll be dealing to other enemies and players. There are four dimensions of damage types that exist: 

  1. Force/Tech and Melee/Ranged – This is determined for the most part by where the attack is coming from. Melee and Ranged are the easiest to determine, the attack is generally melee if it is coming from a lightsaber swing and generally ranged if it is coming from a blaster. Weapon damage is synonymous with Ranged/Melee damage. Force attacks will be abilities done by Sith and Jedi that are generally not coming directly from a weapon while tech attacks are generally done by non force users that are not fired from a blaster. There are exceptions to all of these. The distinction between Force/Tech and Melee/Ranged is that Melee/Ranged attacks can be dodged via a player’s defense chance (Force/Tech can also be resisted but not through adding stats).
  2. Internal/Elemental and Energy/Kinetic – The major distinction is between the two is Energy/Kinetic is affected by armor while Internal/Elemental is not. Everything in the game has armor and this information is not factored into the tooltips so you have to look at how much the ability did to a specific target in Starparse or the flytext to get an accurate reading. Weapon damage is always Energy/Kinetic. Whether an attack is Energy/Kinetic or Internal/Elemental is for all intents and purposes arbitrary, the devs decided each attack should be a certain damage type for balance purposes. There is no real distinction between the Energy and Kinetic as well as Internal and Elemental, the two words are basically interchangeable from a numbers perspective and which word is used is determined by which is a more fitting descriptor. For example, fire damage is elemental while bleeding is internal but they both interact the same way with damage mitigation. 
  3. Periodic vs Direct – Periodic is if it’s a Damage over Time effect (DoT) and direct if it’s not a DoT. There are lots of exceptions to this rule, especially with what bosses give and it having a debuff does not make it a DoT.
  4. Single Target vs AoE – Does the attack hit multiple players? If yes, then it’s an AoE. If no, it’s single target. Bosses also have all sorts of weird typing with their attacks, some things that look like they should be AoE are actually considered single target attacks while others that look like single target might actually be AoE attacks. Luckily with #3 and #4, these are less important.

LEARN MORE ► SWTOR Guide to Damage Types and Damage Mitigation

Single Target Rotational Abilities, Attributes and Important Procs

Please have the game open while reading the remainder of this guide. I will not be writing out tooltip descriptions for abilities and I will only be writing out the components of discipline passives that directly relate to the ability and rotation. This forces you to read through what everything does so that you can understand what all of your passives and abilities do as well as locate these abilities in-game. Make sure you place all of these abilities on your bar in an order that makes sense to you.

AfflictionAffliction (Force/Internal/Periodic/Single Target/Instant)

This DoT is one of your hardest hitting abilities on its own and accounts for about 11% of your total damage output. It should be the first ability you use on any new target. When Affliction is on the target, Thundering Blast is an autocrit, so it is imperative that Affliction is active on anything you plan to hit with Thundering Blast. If there’s ever any downtime or if you ever have to switch to attack something else, make sure that Affliction is on the target before continuing on with your rotation as it can often fall off. Since Affliction is also one of your most damaging abilities, it’s beneficial to put on secondary targets (like if a fight has two or more bosses) that need to die even if you might not be focusing them, especially if they are within 8m of each other, this is called Multi-DoTing. Affliction has one proc that is relevant to your rotation: 

  • Charged Reaction – Affliction’s duration is refreshed by dealing direct damage with Chain Lightning and Crushing Darkness, so you only need to apply it once to most targets unless there is a significant amount of time where you do not use those abilities.  While multi-DoTing, you can leverage this to maintain Affliction on up to two targets indefinitely even if they are not near each other by alternating Chain Lightning and Crushing Darkness on each of them. So Target A’s Affliction first gets refreshed with Chain Lightning and Target B’s Affliction first gets refreshed with Crushing Darkness. Next time, Target A’s Affliction gets refreshed with Crushing Darkness and Target B’s gets refreshed with Chain Lightning and so on. This can be a bit tricky to do, so make sure you aren’t losing DPS by doing this and sometimes bosses need to be pushed evenly or have mechanics associated with their health level, so don’t do this if it will cause a mechanic to get messed up. If they are near each other, they can both get refreshed by Chain Lightning, so you don’t need to bother with this. You will also be taking GCDs away from whatever you’re supposed to be hitting, so don’t do this if it’s causing the sides/bosses to get messed up. Even if you can’t maintain Affliction using Chain Lightning and Crushing Darkness, it’s still a DPS increase to apply Affliction instead of using Lightning Bolt, provided they stay alive long enough for the full duration of the ability.

Thundering BlastThundering Blast (Force/Internal/Direct/Single Target/Casted)

This is easily the hardest hitting ability on the sorc and accounts for about 20% of your total damage output. It also automatically critically hits targets affected by Affliction, so you want to make sure it’s applied before using this ability. Thundering Blast has two procs that are relevant to your rotation:

  • Lightning Storm – Finishes the cooldown on Chain Lightning, makes your next use of the ability instant and consume 50% less force, can only occur once every 10 seconds. This ability can also proc off of Lightning Bolt and Force Storm, but the rate limit/internal cooldown on this proc aligns very well the 9 second cooldown on Thundering Blast, so it’s important to make sure that this procs off of Thundering Blast so that you can ensure you are getting the proc as often as possible and gain it in a predictable fashion. While it isn’t an exact match, the nature of the spec in terms of ability priority and damage distribution demand that this is the best way to ensure that you will get the Lightning Storm proc as consistently and frequently as possible.
  • Lightning Effusion – Direct Force Attacks grant 2 charges of Lightning Effusion when they critically hit, each charge reduces the Force consumed by your next Force attack by 75%. This proc is one of the primary reasons why you don’t have any energy management as a Lightning Sorc since you are almost guaranteed to have this proc for ⅔ of your attacks and will always get it from Thundering Blast since it’s an autocrit.
  • Reverberating Force – Increases the critical damage dealt by Thundering Blast, Lightning Flash, Chain Lightning, and Crushing Darkness by 15%. Before 6.1.1, this was only a 5% increase, but now that it’s 15% it’s much more relevant since it directly increases the damage dealt by Thundering Blast and now plays a more important role in determining which abilities Recklessness should be used on.

Chain LightningChain Lightning (Force/Energy/Direct/AoE/Casted)

This ability provides Lightning with some AoE damage that goes out rotationally and accounts for about 11.1% of your overall damage output. In single target situations, this ability should never be hard-casted and should only be used with the Lightning Storm proc, however if there are multiple targets, it should be hard-casted. Chain Lightning is one of your harder hitting abilities, but does not need to be used immediately on cooldown. The only limitation is that it needs to be used before your next Thundering Blast, though it often will be used directly after Thundering Blast. I have already explained all of the procs related to this ability that are relevant to your rotation, but there are a few situations that will determine when to use this ability specifically:

  • If the adds are not yet grouped up but will be before your next Thundering Blast, delay the ability until they are sufficiently grouped up.
  • If Lightning Flash is not available immediately before or after Thundering Blast, Chain Lightning Should consume your second charge of Recklessness.

Lightning BoltLightning Bolt (Force/Energy/Direct/Single Target/Casted)

While this ability accounts for approximately 19.8% of your overall damage output, almost equal to the amount provided by Thundering Blast, it only does so because you use the ability far more frequently; it takes 4-5 uses of Lightning Bolt to get the same damage as a single Thundering Blast. Lightning Bolt is your filler ability, so it is used when everything else is on cooldown. It’s really important to note that Lightning Bolt does not deal more damage than other less rotational abilities like an unprocc’d Shock or Force Lightning, so you won’t lose DPS if you replace it for another ability if the other ability has a more desirable trait. The way Lightning Bolt makes itself important is by having many important procs associated with it:

  • Convection – Force Speed grants 2 charges of Convection which make your next 2 Lightning Bolts activate instantly. Contrary to popular belief, this is not really much of a DPS increase. Because Lightning Bolt is still a 1.5 second cast (same as a GCD), you’re not actually doing your rotation any faster because you can’t use your next ability until the same amount of time has passed since the ability was activated. The only difference is that the damage goes out at the beginning of the 1.5 seconds when it’s instant instead of at the end when it’s casted. The only benefit this has is if a temporary damage increase, like from a relic or adrenal, falls off midway through the cast so the ability would not benefit from the damage increase when it was casted, but would if it were instant. Any other observable DPS increases would be due to the exploitation of bugs. This is not enough of a reason to use Force Speed on cooldown because you’ll miss out on far more DPS if you have to move and don’t do anything for a GCD or two, however thanks to the Gathering Storm set bonus, you end up having to use Force Speed on cooldown anyway. 
  • Subversion – Taking direct damage has a 25% chance to grant Subversion, which makes your next Lightning Bolt instant, can only occur once every 8 seconds. It’s very difficult to capitalize on this in PvE unless you’re taking damage very consistently, the only example I can think of is if you’re kiting Raptus. The big thing to note is that if this proc is active and you use Force Speed to gain Convection stacks, both Subversion and a charge of Convection will get consumed on the same Lightning Bolt unfortunately. 
  • Fulgurous Fortification – Lightning Bolt increases damage reduction by 5%, stacks up to 3 times (15% damage reduction total). It’s easy to let this damage reduction fall off because you can go a relatively long period of time without using Lightning Bolt due to its low priority. 
  • Charged Reaction – Lightning Bolt increases your force regeneration rate by 10%, stacks up to 3 times (30% total). This proc really doesn’t matter in the long run, the only time I ever pay attention to it is if I died and just got revived, though really if you just do your rotation, you will never run out of force. 
  • Forked Lightning – Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning, and Lightning Flash have a 25% chance to produce a second arc of lightning which deals 25% damage. This effect introduces a lot of RNG to the spec because it accounts for about 6% of your damage dealt and some of your other passives are dependent on Forking. Please note that Forked Lightning can consume the 20% damage increase proc from the 4-piece of your Gathering Storm set bonus, which is especially problematic when one of your Lightning Bolts fork right before you activate a Thundering Blast that you intend to use the 20% damage increase on.
  • Chaos Nexus – Forked Lightning has a 50% chance to produce a second arc of lightning instead of 25% during Polarity Shift. This is more significant than it has been in prior expansions since the overall uptime of Polarity Shift has increased significantly thanks to the Gathering Storm set bonus.
  • Conduction – Forked Lightning (and Forked Darkness) each reduce the cooldown of Polarity Shift by 1 second each time they trigger. This effect is very significant, over a parse that’s just a little less than 5 minutes, Forks triggered 116 times, resulting in 116 seconds of Polarity Shift’s cooldown getting reduced, almost enough for 2 additional uses of the ability! 

Lightning FlashLightning Flash (Force/Energy/Direct/Single Target/Instant)

This ability deals nearly the same damage as Chain Lightning, though thanks to its longer cooldown, it only accounts for about 7.3% of your total damage output. There are two procs that are relevant to your rotation:

  • Force Flash – This proc is built directly into the ability and reduces the activation time of your next Crushing Darkness by 0.5 seconds. If both Lightning Flash and Crushing Darkness are off cooldown at the same time, be sure to use Lightning Flash first so that you can take advantage of the reduced cast time on Crushing Darkness.
  • Stormwatch – This is the primary tactical item you will be using for Lightning. It accounts for about 9.9% of your total damage output (more than Lightning Flash itself!), making it more important to use Lightning Flash on cooldown than it may appear. In my testing, I haven’t noticed a difference between using Thundering Blast or Lightning Flash first if they come off cooldown at the same time, though I think it will come down to other factors as to which one is better at any given time. 

Crushing DarknessCrushing Darkness (Force/Kinetic/Direct and Periodic/Single Target/Casted)

This ability deals both Direct and Periodic damage with the initial hit being Direct and the DoT component being Periodic damage. This makes Crushing Darkness a very poor candidate for for use with Force Speed and Recklessness because only the weak, initial hit will benefit from these abilities or any others that only affect direct damage. However, it still deals a substantial amount of damage and accounts for about 8.4% of your total damage output (compared to the approximate 7% for each of Chain Lightning and Lightning Flash). It is imperative that this ability is not used unless you have the Force Flash proc from Lightning Flash active. A frequent situation can happen where Crushing Darkness will come off cooldown right before Lightning Flash so you’ll still have the proc, but it will fall off very early into the cast, which is fine, but be careful because if you’re slow (low APM) or don’t have enough alacrity, you might end up hard casting Crushing Darkness which is bad. While you’re learning, it’s best to play it safe and use Lightning Flash first. Crushing Darkness has one proc that is relevant to the rotation that I haven’t yet mentioned:

  • Convulsing Currents – Shock deals 35% more damage to targets affected by your Crushing Darkness and Crushing Darkness deals 10% more damage during Polarity Shift. This means that you have 4 GCDs following Crushing Darkness to use Shock on that target. Please note that you don’t get a buff on your bar and Shock won’t light up as a result, so it’s not quite a proc even though I refer to it as such throughout this guide. The second component of the effect won’t change how you use the ability since Crushing Darkness already has a pretty high priority.
  • Forked Darkness – Crushing Darkness places a debuff that makes the target take 5% more damage from Force attacks for 45 seconds. It also makes Crushing Darkness have a 25% chance to tick an additional time. This chance is not increased by Chaos Nexus, but does benefit from the effects of Conduction. These additional ticks will also proc Stormwatch.

ShockShock (Force/Energy/Direct/Single Target/Instant)

This ability accounts for the smallest amount of your overall damage output (besides forks) at only about 5.3%. The primary use of this ability is on targets affected by Crushing Darkness, and its 6 second cooldown guarantees that you can only use the ability once per use of Crushing Darkness unless you use Crushing Darkness and immediately increase your alacrity. While Crushing Darkness is on the target, it deals slightly less damage than Lightning Flash and Chain Lightning, but it doesn’t benefit from forks or Reverberating Force which increases the critical damage of some of your other abilities by 15%. Since Reverberating Force was buffed in 6.1.1, Shock should no longer be used with Recklessness or Force Speed. Without Crushing Darkness on the target, it deals nearly the same damage as Lightning Bolt (so does Force Lightning per GCD), so if it weren’t for all the procs given by Lightning Bolt, it really wouldn’t matter which you would use and in the short term, it isn’t really going to negatively affect your DPS if you use it a few times throughout the fight. Shock’s key benefit is that it’s an instant ability and there are a few other situations worth mentioning where it’s a valuable ability:

  • When you need to move and don’t have an instant Lightning Bolt at your disposal.
  • When something is about to die and you think there’s a high chance that the target will die before you finish a cast on Lightning Bolt.
  • When you mess up the Lightning Storm (Chain Lightning) proc and want to make sure you don’t use any abilities that will proc it until you do Thundering Blast again. Force Lightning is also very helpful in this situation, so it’s actually advantageous that Shock (and Force Lightning) do not grant all the other procs that Lightning Bolt does.

Static BarrierStatic Barrier with the Lightning Barrier utility point (Force/Energy/Direct/Single Target/Instant)

Before I explain any further, I want to say that contrary to what some people believe, Lightning Barrier isn’t bugged. There are a few fights in the game where DoTs end up being coded as dealing direct damage instead of periodic so Lightning Barrier ends up getting a ton of ticks in quick succession. It’s unclear whether these damage types are deliberately incorrect since there are many other examples of abilities not matching their damage types such as Tyrans’ Shock being a melee attack and Titan 6’s grenade changing damage types from HM to NiM. You should definitely use it as often as you can.

Lightning Barrier represents a significant amount of your total damage output; over the course of entire fights, it can easily account for 5%-7% of your total damage output, which is a ton considering the ability has an effective 20 second cooldown, longer than any other rotational ability, so damage per use is very high. Static Barrier is also an instant ability that does not require an enemy target on activation, meaning it’s a great move to use while on the move and can be used to great effect if there’s downtime where you can’t hit anything. Each tick of Lightning Barrier deals nearly the exact same amount as a Lightning Bolt/Shock/Force Lightning, so as long as you manage to take damage that causes Lightning Barrier to tick once every 30 seconds (the maximum duration of the bubble), you will break even on DPS when Static Barrier is used in place of a Lightning Bolt while mitigating a significant amount of damage at the same time. If you manage to get multiple ticks out of a single use of the ability, your damage output increases dramatically because you’re now dealing the damage of multiple Lightning Bolts while only spending one GCD (the same as Lightning Bolt) to deal that damage. There is also a way to increase the number of ticks that you get out of a single use of Static Barrier: increasing your damage reduction. Damage reduction applies to incoming damage before it is dealt to the bubble, the bubble acts like invisible extra health during damage calculation. Therefore, damage reduction can greatly increase the amount of ticks that can be sent out before the bubble runs out of health and as a Lightning sorc, you can get up to 84% damage reduction with all of your abilities and passives active, so you can get multiple hits out of even very large ticks of damage and I’ll be outlining all the sources of damage reduction below:

  • Fulgurous Fortification discipline passive – Up to 15% from stacks from using Lightning Bolt
  • Convection discipline passive – While you have the deionized debuff from using Static Barrier, you gain 10% damage reduction
  • Suppression utility – You gain 25% damage reduction for 6 seconds after using Cloud Mind
  • Unnatural Vigor utility – You can 15% damage reduction for 6 seconds after using Unnatural Preservation
  • Sith Defiance utility – 3% damage reduction passively
  • Other sources – Armor and Buffs also give you damage reduction against certain damage types
  • Corrupted Flesh utility – 15% against periodic damage. Lightning Barrier only works against direct damage, so if you’re getting hit by periodic damage while trying to utilize Lightning Barrier on another attack, this utility point can help you minimize the damage your bubble takes against attacks that don’t trigger Lightning Barrier. The best example of a fight where this utility is valuable is Tyrans. His regular AoE damage pulses are what trigger your Lightning Barrier, but if you get hit by his Affliction, your Static Barrier will be consumed very quickly, so this will help you salvage that bubble by mitigating some of the damage. In that fight specifically, you want to save your defensive cooldowns for when you just bubbled yourself and get hit with Affliction. Your goal is to have your bubble survive long enough that you get at least one tick out of Lightning Barrier. The Corrupted Flesh utility will not help you if Lightning Barrier is triggering primarily off of a DoT, like Nefra’s scream or Stormcaller’s Double Destruction since those attacks are considered direct damage, not periodic.
  • If an attack is dodged/parried/deflected/resisted thanks to defense chance, you will not trigger Lightning Barrier, and I’ll explain this in greater detail when I talk about Phase Walk and the Shifting Silhouette utility. 

When using this ability, its standard place in the priority is right above Chain Lightning and Lightning Bolt, however this can change depending on how many ticks you expect from one bubble. The more ticks that go out, the higher priority it has. Make sure that you wait until your bubble has completely expired or fallen off before reapplying it, otherwise you’re leaving DPS on the table. It’s important to note that you’ll always deal the same amount of damage per tick no matter how much health the bubble has left, it isn’t a reflect where the damage sent out is proportional to the damage received, so if you have just 1 health left on the bubble when you take damage, Lightning Barrier will still send out a tick that deals the same amount as a Lightning Bolt. You should also know that if you get bubbled by another sorc, you will not be given Lightning Barrier and you have to make sure that your current bubble is completely removed before applying your own as soon as the deionized debuff wears off. If you overwrite it by using your own bubble while you still have someone else’s it’ll still give you your bubble, but it won’t give you Lightning Barrier, so you have to right click the bubble in your buff bar to remove it before applying your own.

Most of the fights in this game will cause Lightning Barrier to tick, however there are a few different ways that it can get used. Some bosses will tick Lightning Barrier throughout the entire fight (or most of it) and in those fights, you should focus on having your Lightning Barrier up all the time. In other fights, there will be certain attacks that bosses will do that make Lightning Barrier tick a ton in a very short time. In those instances, it’s important that you have a fresh bubble and your damage reduction cooldowns ready for right before the damage goes out so that you can maximize the number of ticks.  I won’t list all of the places you can use Lightning Barrier here since there are a lot of them. Instead, I will tell you how to find them. When fighting a new boss or one where you aren’t sure, pay close attention to your health bar and debuffs. The best sources are ticking damage, usually from DoTs (like Nefra’s DoT) or channeled abilities (like Styrak’s Force Lightning) as well as frequent small hits of AoE (like Tyrans and Raptus have throughout their fights), and even persistent circles that deal relatively low contact damage (like Spit from the Kell Dragon). You can tell when it ticks because you will see a little burst of light go from your bubble to whatever caused the damage, this is super important to determine because if it’s not constant throughout the fight, you need to be prepared to use a bubble right before the damage goes out and Cloud Mind and Unnatural Vigor immediately before or as close to the first tick as possible unless you also need the damage reduction active for a final big hit at the end (like Hierad’s Lightning Field). In these short burst of ticks, activating Lightning Barrier on time becomes your highest priority ability, even beyond Thundering Blast and Lightning Flash because a single use of the ability can easily deal more damage than either of those abilities. If you’re in one of these situations, it’s more important to make sure that you have Force Barrier available to you or know that your healers can handle any other damage you’ll take because you will not have any other defensives after doing this, though it’s usually not a problem. You should also make sure it’s going towards a target you actually want to hit (I really don’t think it’s worth taking if it’s mostly going towards little adds that will get killed with AoE and aren’t worth focusing down) and be sure to check in StarParse after a fight to see how much damage it’s dealing, if you’re getting very little (less than 1 tick per bubble) or no damage from the ability, take that utility off and use Dark Resilience for that fight, though make sure you’ve checked it thoroughly; for example, Zorn & Toth in EC only tick during the phases where the spikes (red circles) are coming out of the ground.  In one of the more recent updates, they made it so you can see how much damage you’re absorbing with your bubble and how much health your bubble has, making it much easier to tell exactly how many ticks of Lightning Barrier you’re getting out of individual attacks and how many ticks you have remaining before your barrier dies, which helps you to minimize the damage you take if you’re standing in a circle you’re not supposed to be standing in.

AoE Damage

The formula for determining how much damage an AoE ability does per GCD such that it can be compared to single target abilities is: (Damage Dealt/Number of GCDs) x Number of Enemies. An AoE ability’s place in the priority is as high as it can be until it reaches a single target ability that deals more damage than the AoE will deal to all enemies in the GCD. AoE damage is considered fluff if the adds do not need to die or if you are otherwise shirking your main responsibilities to deal more damage to adds. The best example of this for sorcs is placing your Force Storm on just a couple of the Ugnaughts that are away from Grob’thok. It’s pretty easy to tell what is and isn’t fluff, don’t be greedy and don’t hurt your group’s chances of beating the boss. 

Force StormForce Storm (Force/Energy/Direct/AoE/Channeled)

If you plan to use Force Storm at all during a boss fight, you should take the Tempest Mastery utility. This ability’s damage per GCD surpasses the following abilities after the following number of targets are hit with one use of the ability and assumes you are taking the Tempest Mastery utility:

  • Lightning Bolt: 2 targets
  • Lightning Flash, Crushing Darkness, Shock w/ Proc: 3 targets
  • Thundering Blast: 6 targets
  • Chain Lightning: Never, because Chain Lightning deals roughly the same damage but only has a 2.5 second cast time instead of a 3 second channel

Chain LightningChain Lighting (Force/Energy/Direct/AoE/Casted)

This ability is already used rotationally and should be used on cooldown, including being hard-casted if there are multiple targets. When it is being hard-casted, the instant proc should be used as soon as you get it since the ability’s cooldown is now the relevant limiting factor in how frequently it can be used, not the rate limit on the Lightning Storm proc. It has higher priority when hard-casted if the following number of targets are hit with one use of the ability:

  • Lightning Bolt, Lightning Flash, Crushing Darkness, Shock w/ Proc: 2 targets
  • Thundering Blast: 5 targets

AfflictionAffliction (Force/Internal/Periodic/Single Target/Instant)

Thanks to the Charged Reaction proc, you can place Affliction on lots of enemies if they are within 8m of each other and keep Affliction up on all of them indefinitely because Chain Lightning will refresh their durations. Make sure that the adds you’re using it on will stay alive for a while, at least the full duration of the base DoT. Start by applying it to whichever enemies have the highest HP and work your way down. Continue to use Chain Lightning and get the Lightning Storm proc as frequently as possible, so use this in place of Force Storms. 

Defensive Cooldowns and Mobility

Lightning is very good at mitigating short bursts of damage, as I mentioned in a previous section, they can get up to 84% damage reduction for 6 seconds, however they don’t fare quite as well over longer periods of time because they don’t really have any long lasting cooldowns like many other classes have with things like Saber Ward, Deflection, and Energy Shield, however Lightning’s high damage reduction helps to make up for this a bit, especially with the nerfs to the amount of damage reduction that armor provides so Lightning has some of the highest constant damage reduction against all damage types. Even before 6.0, they were better at handling internal/elemental damage reduction than just about all the other classes because their damage reduction applies to all damage types while armor only works on energy/kinetic damage. I also want to remind you that you need to locate and read what these abilities do so that you can place them in your bar. 

Cloud MindCloud Mind w/ Suppression utility 

This is your bread and butter defensive cooldown, providing you with good damage reduction for a short period of time and over the long term, you’ll end up having higher uptime than you would with something like Energy Shield because of the shorter cooldown. It’s important to note that this is unfortunately on your threat drop ability, so if you manage to get aggro on something while Lightning Barrier is up, you might not get many more ticks on that enemy once you use this ability, which is fine since Lightning Barrier ticks on adds is not the best use of the utility. For threat drop purposes, it’s a bit harder for tanks to keep aggro now, so make sure you use this to reduce your threat at the beginning of the fight. Right after Lightning Flash or the second Chain Lightning in your opener are good times to use it and if you are having an issue continually, request that someone guard you and tell your tanks that they need to learn how to generate threat better because they should be able to keep aggro. 

Unnatural PreservationUnnatural Preservation and the Unnatural Vigor utility

This ability is not off-healing. Do not consider it as off-healing. Consider it a defensive cooldown just like any other that just so happens to work by providing you with a lot of HP. The traditional wisdom with sorc survivability is that they can take big hits and survive because they will almost always be at higher HP than all other classes such that if someone else uses another defensive cooldown with lower health, they won’t lose as much health overall but since the sorc was at higher health before they took the hit thanks to proactive use of Unnatural Preservation, they’ll be dropped to the same health level as the other class. However, Unnatural Vigor has complicated this somewhat because it grants 15% damage reduction for 6 seconds after use, so now you often have to weigh the damage reduction against the healing if you’re at full health (is it better to take the full hit and heal afterwards or will the damage reduction end up being more valuable?). A good rule of thumb is to use Unnatural Preservation on cooldown provided you can take full (or almost full) benefit of the heal and save it for the damage reduction if you’re going to take a dedicated hit or plan to pair the damage reduction with Cloud Mind to get a ton of ticks out of Lightning Barrier. 

Force BarrierForce Barrier and Enduring Bastion

This ability works by giving you +20,000% defense chance, so if an attack cannot be dodged/deflected/parried/resisted, Force Barrier will not work. In most fights, this ability doesn’t get used and is more of an emergency button unless it’s getting used to cheese something deliberately like Doom from Ciphas or Ion Cutter from Master. Because you aren’t dealing any damage while channeling this ability, it is absolutely critical that you do not channel it for longer than you need to. Unless you’re buying time for DoT ticks and such, there’s not too much of a point to channeling for longer than 6 seconds anyway, which is when you get the fourth and final stack of Enduring Bastion which absorbs a massive amount of damage (though usually not massive enough if you need the 4 stacks). It is off the GCD and functions as a CC break, and I do use it if I need to CC break frequently, like I do on Monolith when getting a color. I also like to use the ability and immediately break the channel to get the single stack of Enduring Bastion which helps a little bit in burn phases where everyone is taking constant damage. This ability also takes Force Speed off cooldown when it ends, if you take the Surging Speed utility (which you have to now thanks to the Gathering Storm set bonus), however this is not a good use of the ability in combat and it’s much better to save it for emergencies. The deciding factor for beating a boss is far more likely to be surviving long enough with Force Barrier over the full channel than getting an extra Force Speed or two throughout the fight and if you get killed when Force Barrier is on cooldown because you used it as a DPS increase instead, you’re gonna lose a whole lot more DPS by being dead. 

Static BarrierStatic Barrier

You should think of this ability as no different than any of your other healing abilities like Resurgence and Dark Heal because it costs a GCD to use, so you will lose DPS if you use this ability and either don’t have the Lightning Barrier utility or don’t get a tick from Lightning Barrier in the next 30 seconds even if you do take that utility. This ability should only be used if you think you or someone else will die if you don’t use it, and when I say die, I mean it, I do not mean take a giant hit, I mean die. If your healers can heal you back up and you don’t have the Lightning Barrier utility, don’t use it unless there is downtime where you can’t do any DPS. 

Medpac

Don’t save it for a rainy day because today is that rainy day! Unless you get hit by a one-shot mechanic (which you shouldn’t), you should never let yourself die while your Medpac is still available and you certainly should never try to use one of your heals before using your Medpac (and I hope you know that Unnatural Preservation is not included in this). If everyone’s health is getting low or there’s a heal check in the current phase, do not hesitate to use your Medpac if you can take full benefit of the health provided or need to be above a certain health level to survive an imminent mechanic. If you think Medpacs are too expensive, it’s time to get Biochem on one of your alts or even better, your raiding toon so that you can make your own or get reusables. 

ExpungeExpunge

This is the cleanse for the sorcs. Generally the healers are responsible for dealing with most of the cleanses, though there are a few instances where the DPS should help, like on Dread Council with Tyrans’ Death Mark. Before you use this on yourself, make sure that you don’t get Lightning Barrier ticks off of it and try to avoid using this as your cleanse, a lot of the cleanses that DPS are responsible for can be removed with an ability that is off the GCD like the CC break or the Emersion utility. 

Phase WalkPhase Walk

Due to the Gathering Storm set bonus requiring us to use Force Speed on cooldown, our mobility is reduced significantly and it becomes more important to rely on Phase Walk for movement. This ability can be activated off the GCD even though it has a cast, the only reason it has one at all is to prevent you from placing it in the air or while you’re moving. It can also be activated in the middle of channels (including Force Barrier), not casts though, without interrupting the cast so long as you stay in range of whatever you’re hitting. It can also be used while CC’d, sometimes even when you can’t break out of the CC, the button will be grayed out, but it will still teleport you. If you try to teleport while in the air, sometimes it doesn’t work, sometimes there is a whole lot of lag before it teleports you so be mindful of that. When thinking about different spots to place Phase Walk, ask yourself: is there a specific location I know I will want to return to at some point later in the fight? Is that position going to be generally safe to return to? 

I also want to talk about the Shifting Silhouette utility you can take. It provides 30% defense for 10 seconds after returning to your marked point, normally Defense Chance only applies to Melee/Ranged attacks, however this utility also increases your chance to resist Force/Tech attacks, so you won’t take any damage if you successfully dodge/deflect/parry/resist an attack but the effect won’t help you at all if you do take the hit. In PvE, this is much stronger mitigation than what you can get out of Unnatural Vigor, however it’s unreliable. This makes it a bad choice for mitigating large hits where you need the reliability of damage reduction, but on frequent smaller hits, it’s not functionally different from 30% damage reduction. There is another snag as well, attacks mitigated with defense do not proc Lightning Barrier because it doesn’t count as you taking damage and unfortunately, Lightning Barrier works best against the same kinds of attacks as Shifting Silhouette mitigates, meaning that the only valuable time to use it is if you do not want to deal damage back to whatever you are mitigating. There are still instances where this utility point is taken, but it shouldn’t be taken if the fight can make great use out of Lightning Barrier so the two points should not be taken at the same time.

Force SpeedForce Speed

This ability is easily the best ability for movement in the game because it allows you to keep DPSing while moving an incredible distance very quickly. Unfortunately, now we don’t really get to use it for movement since we need it for the Gathering Storm set bonus, though if you come across a situation where you will likely die if you don’t use it, save it for that situation but try to rely on Phase Walk as much as possible if those situations can be predicted and make sure to use Force Speed during downtime to keep reducing the cooldown on Polarity Shift.

Offensive Cooldowns

All offensive cooldowns should be used as frequently as possible under the conditions stated here or if it needs to be saved for a DPS check/burst window, but don’t start delaying it for that until you see that you have to. 

Polarity ShiftPolarity Shift

In 6.0, thanks yet again to the Gathering Storm set bonus, this ability will have a very high uptime both thanks to the cooldown reduction and 20 second duration. In fact, it will have approximately a 33% uptime where your Alacrity will be increased such that you will have a 1.1 second GCD and deal 20% more damage with all of your attacks. As of 6.1.1, the duration increase of Polarity Shift has been reduced from 10 seconds to 5 seconds and no longer requires Force Speed to have been used recently in order to receive this duration increase. Going forward, this means that Force Speed should be used after Polarity Shift instead of before in order to benefit from the cooldown reduction. Make sure you have this ability off cooldown for any DPS checks, but still make sure that you are using it as often as possible, so don’t save it for so long that it could have come off cooldown in time for the DPS check. 

RecklessnessRecklessness

This ability should almost always be used during Polarity Shift and if you’re activating them at the same time, make sure you activate Polarity Shift first. It’s okay to delay it for a significant period of time because the alacrity from Polarity Shift will counteract the delay so your next Recklessness will end up happening at roughly the same time regardless. I usually base this decision on how much time is left on Polarity Shift’s cooldown if it isn’t active. If the cooldown is above 30-40 seconds, I will try to use Recklessness immediately because it means that Polarity Shift likely just ended, so you’ll have a situation where Recklessness will skip the next Polarity Shift but become available by the time for the following one. The benefit of using Recklessness during Polarity Shift is that you get to benefit from the 20% damage increase that is active thanks to the (yep, you guessed it) Gathering Storm set bonus, so those abilities’ damage increase will be compounded. You almost always want to make sure that you use one of the charges of Recklessness on Thundering Blast, while it is an autocrit, it will still benefit as a supercrit, where the excess critical chance is converted into critical multiplier. This only affects abilities that autocrit, not just when an ability’s crit chance surpasses 100%. The other charge should either be on Chain Lightning or Lightning Flash depending on what’s available. If you use Chain Lightning as one of the abilities for Recklessness, it must always be used on the second charge if there are multiple enemies that will get hit because it will consume a charge for each enemy hit. Please note that once you activate Recklessness, it’s more important that the correct abilities are benefiting from the increased critical chance, so it’s okay to ignore the priority list for a moment. Generally, this means that you’ll have to delay Crushing Darkness by a GCD so that you can use the second charge on Chain Lightning. It can also be used on Force Storm if you need some beefed up AoE damage and that will only ever consume a single charge even if it hits more than one enemy. It should never be used on Crushing Darkness because it will only affect the initial hit because that’s the only part that is direct damage and Lightning Bolt is too weak. If you mess it up, you’re better off using one of the charges on Force Lightning than Lightning Bolt because Force Lightning does the same damage per GCD as Lightning Bolt, so you’re better off getting effectively 2 of them to autocrit instead of 1. As I mentioned before, Shock is no longer a good choice to use Recklessness on because it doesn’t benefit from the Reverberating Force discipline passive. It’s also worth noting that right now, we can’t actually surpass 40% crit chance with how much Alacrity we need, so there’s a very small chance that abilities that aren’t Thundering Blast won’t crit, though it won’t consume the charge either, so just be prepared.

Force SpeedForce Speed

This ability increases the damage dealt by your next direct Force attack by 20% thanks to the Gathering Storm Set bonus, it also reduces the cooldown of Polarity Shift by 5 seconds, so you need to use this on cooldown in order to maximize the cooldown reduction. Since this cooldown reduction is smaller as of 6.1.1, it’s now better to save this damage increase proc exclusively for Thundering Blast, instead of trying to use it on cooldown on something like Chain Lightning or Lightning Flash, though it’s not the end of the world if you use it on one of those abilities instead. Since this buff can get consumed on Forked Lightning, if you know that you’ll be using an ability that will Fork prior to using Thundering Blast and you are confident in your high APM, try using Force Speed immediately after using Thundering Blast instead of before in these instances in order to ensure that the buff gets consumed on Thundering Blast. 

Adrenal

Make sure this item is always used during Polarity Shift, even if you have to delay it a while. It is highly unlikely that a fight will last long enough where this delay will be enough to where it will result in missing out on a use of the Adrenal and most of the delay will end up being counteracted by the Alacrity increase from Polarity Shift anyway. It’s important you do this because you will get more abilities off during the Adrenal window thanks to your higher APM thanks to the alacrity and the damage increase will compound with the stat increase from the adrenal. Remember, you should use the Advanced Kyrprax Attack Adrenal in level 75 content and Advanced Kyrprax Critical Adrenal in non-level 75 content.

Sha’Tek Relic of Primeval FatesealerSha’Tek Relic of Primeval Fatesealer

This relic is unfortunately the only viable alternative for use in sub-level 75 content alongside the Sha’Tek Relic of Devastating Vengeance because the standard Focused Retribution and Serendipitous Assault relics are useless because Mastery and Power are capped. It should be used on cooldown because it is not affected by Alacrity like Recklessness and the Adrenal are. It should also be saved for burst phases and DPS checks if they exist in a given fight.

Raid Utility

Unlimited PowerUnlimited Power

Unlike the relics and adrenals, Unlimited Power does increase your stats even if you’re in sub-75 content. Your raid buff should be used on cooldown just like any other offensive cooldown unless it needs to be used for a burst phase or DPS check, normally the raid lead will make the call on when these should be used. This is not a personal buff for you, it’s something that buffs the whole team. It also only has a 40m range, so be mindful on larger maps that it might not catch everyone and position yourself accordingly so that it catches as many people as possible. Use this on trash mobs if you want to troll your team.

ReanimationReanimation

This is a battle rez. Often, if somebody dies, the healers have a lot on their plate and you should attempt to use this as soon as you see the text appear on your screen. Make sure you’re standing in a safe location and if multiple people are dead, check with the raid lead if you aren’t sure who to revive. Use this to revive someone who died on a trash mob if you want to troll your team.

ExtricationExtrication

This is the famed sorc pull! While it is primarily used for trolling to great effect, especially when paired with Phase Walk to jump off ledges while pulling an unsuspecting victim to their doom while you teleport back safely, it does still have some utility in combat. If you are 100% certain that someone will die if you don’t pull them, do it; if you are 99% certain they will die, probably don’t pull them. You will get yelled at if you mess up. You should have a very good idea of where this ability is on your bar because if you have to waste time finding it, you’ll probably end up sending a corpse soaring through the air instead of saving someone’s life and at that point, you’re better off just removing it from your bar. Try to minimally disrupt the other person’s rotation since it will interrupt their cast and communicate with them beforehand if there’s time.

Off-Healing

If you ever have to do this, something has clearly gone wrong with the attempt, or someone is not pulling their weight and you should complain to the raid lead and make a big scene about having to off-heal. This game is designed around each role being able to fully perform all of its duties without the need for another off-role’s help. You should not ever off-heal yourself unless you literally think you will die if you do not receive healing right now and the pull is salvageable. You should also not waste your time healing another player with Resurgence or Dark Heal, just bubble them and go back to DPSing because the other heals do not do very much and waste time. If there is downtime though where you can’t do anything else at all, it’s okay to heal yourself with these abilities, but really make sure there’s nothing you can do at all that would increase your damage output first. Besides it being not your job, a lot of bosses have fairly tight enrage timers, so if you’re having to waste your precious GCDs helping out another role because they can’t deal with what they are fully capable of dealing with, you’re gonna end up wiping to an enraged boss later anyway.

Crowd Control and Other Notable Abilities

There are only a handful of instances in operations where CC is required, so I will briefly go over what the sorc has at their disposal.

OverloadOverload

This is your conal knockback. The only fight it’s important for right now is Styrak in NiM where you have to knock back the Chained Manifestations. Also, please do not ruin everybody else’s day by using this ability for its AoE damage. 

ElectrocuteElectrocute

This is your hard stun. Most stuns have a range of either 4m or 10m depending on whether it’s a melee or ranged spec, however Lightning’s stun has a range of 15m because Lightning has a 5m range increase on almost all of its offensive abilities. 

JoltJolt

This is your interrupt. Unfortunately, it only has a 30m range. At 18 seconds, its cooldown is longer than what most melee specs have, but isn’t the longest for ranged specs. That honor goes to the Mercenary, which has a 24 second cooldown on their interrupt (and it was the only class that didn’t have one at launch). If you really want to be a clicker, I highly recommend you at least keybind this ability or you will have trouble with some of the shorter casts that need to be interrupted. 

WhirlwindWhirlwind

This is your mez, a CC ability that breaks on damage. Usually if you’re using this in-combat, you will want to use it very soon after the enemy spawns, though usually healers are assigned this responsibility when possible. 

Force SlowForce Slow

This is your slow. Its force cost is extremely cheap and its damage is decent. If you find yourself running for long periods of time (normally if you’re kiting something), this is a great alternative to Shock if that’s on cooldown and you don’t have any other DPS abilities available that can be activated while moving. It even deals more damage than Volt Rush does on first use. 

Unbreakable WillUnbreakable Will

This is your CC break. Use it when you get CC’d. 

Volt RushVolt Rush

This is your last resort as an ability that you can use while moving if everything else is unavailable. It doesn’t even surpass Lightning Bolt in damage output until the third use and even then it only barely does. That said, once in a while I do need to use it since I am less likely to be able to use Lightning Bolt while moving now since I don’t have Force Speed available on-demand. 

Force LightningForce Lightning

As I mentioned earlier, this ability deals the same damage per GCD as Shock, Lightning Bolt, and a Lightning Barrier tick, so the full channel will deal the same damage as two casts of those other abilities. However, that doesn’t mean it should be part of the normal rotation. As strange as it is, you should not use Force Lightning rotationally in the Lightning spec. However, it does have a few benefits that make it worthwhile to use on occasion:

  • 2 GCDs of damage for one use of the ability. This means it’s better to use Recklessness and Force Speed on this ability rather than Lightning Bolt since the effects will apply to the entire channel. It’s still not enough to make it better than using these cooldowns on a more appropriate ability, but it does help you recover if you mess up.
  • It’s a channeled ability instead of being casted, so the damage goes out in 4 ticks over 3 seconds instead of 1 tick at the end of 1.5 seconds, so if something is only a GCD or two away from death, this is a more valuable use of your time than casting a Lightning Bolt and hoping it lands before the enemy dies. 
  • It’s very helpful in resetting the Lightning Storm proc to Thundering Blast if they get desynchronized. Generally what will happen is you end up delaying Thundering Blast by a GCD because none of the cooldowns line up properly in Lightning thanks to the inconsistent Alacrity and cooldown durations that aren’t multiples of each other. In any case, Lightning Storm ends up proccing off of a Lightning Bolt right before you cast Thundering Blast. The key to fixing this is not using any Lightning Bolts or anything else that procs Lightning Storm until you use Thundering Blast again. Force Lightning and Shock are two abilities you can replace your Lightning Bolts with when trying to fix this. 
  • It slows the target by 50% for the duration of the channel (Lightning Bolt only slows by 30%).

CONCLUSIONS

Acknowledgements and Special Thanks

I want to thank Zab, Zanwell, and Cortell for your invaluable feedback on this guide, you’ve all been (and continue to be) fantastic competition in StarParse and inspire me to do better.  I also want to give special thanks to everyone who is or has ever been a member of Time Turners, I’ve had an amazing time over the years and can’t wait to see what’s in store for the years to come. 

About the Author

Endonae has mained a Sith Sorcerer continuously since release. He began nightmare raiding in 4.0 and is an avid decorator. He also leads a raid team that has been around since late 1.0 and currently resides in <Lightning Masters> on Satele Shan. It has slowly worked its way up from getting lost in the lava caves on the way to Gharj in EV SM to completing timed runs in nightmare. 

Headshot

From Vulkk

I would like to thank Endonae for reaching out with an offer to deliver this extensive Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide for SWTOR Update 6.0+.

Endonae also provided most if not all of the ability icons. Some I have taken from Jedipedia’s database and TorCommunity’s database.

If you are skilled with a Class and Discipline that has not yet been covered with a guide on VULKK (check the list here), and you want to provide one for the SWTOR Community, contact me via email or wherever you see Vulkk present.

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Sours: https://vulkk.com/2019/12/01/swtor-6-0-lightning-sorcerer-pve-guide-by-endonae/

[Top 10] SWTOR Best Builds for PvE DPS

    Now that you’ve chosen a class and playstyle that works best for you in Star Wars: The Old Republic, the next big thing to worry about is how to build that to its fullest potential. Many different classes and specs have different utilities and Tacticals to choose from these days. At the end of the day, it’s best to choose what works for you – maybe one Tactical or utility is considered the best, but it might not be your best. Try different things out and experiment! That’s really the only way to figure out what suits your playstyle. 

    A big thing about the way DPS are built in SWTOR is the gear. Gear that drops from crates, Flashpoints or raids typically has armorings, enhancements, and mods already in it, but it’s up to the player to minimize and maximize the stats on that gear for optimal performance. As a general rule, all DPS classes and specs follow the same footprint for stat allocation at the highest level. There’s a few exceptions across certain specs (some require a touch more alacrity to feel smooth, while others might not), but for the most part, they all want to hit these thresholds when gearing up:

  • 1590 accuracy (110% is a must): this threshold ensures that you won’t be missing on attacks, so it’s crucial to have this percentage of accuracy. You won’t be doing your optimal damage if you’re missing!
  • 1213 alacrity (7.12%): this stat mostly depends on your preferred playstyle. I’ve seen some people take it up to 1895. Both are viable, so I would say to pick whichever threshold works best for your playstyle.
  • 3300 crit (42.00%): this is an important stat for a DPS. The larger your critical rating, the harder your abilities will hit. Remember however, that there are diminishing returns if you go too far over 3500, which will cause your outgoing numbers to be decreased in their values.
  • The rest of your stats like Power, Endurance and Mastery should all naturally be taken care of as you take care of these other stat thresholds. Each mod and enhancement has tertiary stats, which include these, so as long as you’re hitting the above three markers, you should be fine in every stat department!

There’s a little wiggle room with these numbers, but these are just the general places to aim for when you’re gearing up. Each of these classes and specs should be using a Proficient Stim as well, which has critical and accuracy rating on it. This helps with allocating points into both of those stats, as it’s basically a “free” bit of points. All DPS specs should also use Eviscerating Crystals in their mainhand and offhand items, as these provide another free +41 to your Critical rating with each crystal. 

    Gear isn’t the only thing that goes into a build, however. When we talk about building a class or spec, we’re actually talking about several different factors that go into the whole picture. On the one hand, you have the gear, which is for sure important if you’re doing end-game content. Alongside that gear, is also a choice of set bonus, amplifiers and your Tactical (which doesn’t exactly count as a piece of gear, but it is equipped on your character, so that’s how I’ll classify it here). On the other hand, you have your utility points, of which there are 24 in total that must be split across three different tiers. 

Let’s also do a quick rundown of some terms we’ll be talking about below:

  • Set bonus: When gearing up, you will have access to different armor sets that will have certain effects attached to them. In SWTOR’s case, there will be piece thresholds, where “x effect will take place” when 2 pieces are worn, 4 pieces are worn, and 6 pieces are worn. Having a full set bonus (6 pieces equipped) is usually the most advantageous choice, but you can always experiment with these to see what suits you best. The bonus itself is usually tailored to the class, advanced class or the specific spec, and will provide a benefit to some ability within your kit. It’s important to have a set bonus, because they can provide amazing buffs to your abilities that can help you perform better during an encounter, or even give a current ability another purpose. 
  • Tactical: These are relatively new items that were introduced with 6.0! These are an extra slot in your character sheet that is currently unable to be augmented like your base gear. A Tactical is only usable at level 75, and can wildly change how your class is played. Somewhat like a set bonus, this single item can change how abilities interact, or buff certain others. They’re also tailored to your class or spec, though there are a few which are considered General Tacticals that can be used by any class (these however, are not ideal picks, since the ones that deal directly with your class or spec provide a much larger benefit).
  • Amplifiers: These are also new with 6.0, and allow you to further optimize how your class and spec perform by providing your gear with essentially an extra bonus stat. Amplifiers are attached to armorings and mods (the items that go into your gear to give it the proper stats), but can be separately re-rolled within changing anything else about the specific modification or armoring they are attached to. This is nice, because it gives you a chance to get the amplifiers that would benefit your spec the most. 

10. Sorcerer - Madness

    Mirror Class: Sage - Balance

“The Dark Side is a pathway to many abilities, some considered to be… unnatural.”: Leech the life from your opponents with the devastating power of the Madness Sorcerer.

    A unique spec in the fact that it heals itself through some of its damaging abilities, the Madness Sorcerer for sure embodies the idea of an unnatural Dark Sider! While quite a bit squishier than its other DPS spec – Lightning – Madness is still a viable choice. It will easily outperform in the right conditions (lots and lots of adds), but when it comes to single-target combat, it tends to fall a bit behind. Regardless, it’s still a fun spec to play, with satisfying DoT spreads. It’s easy to feel like a true Sorcerer when playing Madness.

  • This spec excels in AoE utility, as most of its abilities are tailored toward controlling large amounts of adds with its DoTs and spreader. All Sorcerers also provide a raid buff as part of their kit, which makes them an excellent choice for raiding.
  • As mentioned above, Madness is unique in the fact that it is able to heal itself through a few of its damaging abilities, taking life from its target and redistributing it into the player. This is great for its survivability, as it gives you a bit of passive healing throughout entire fights.
  • Gathering Storm is the best set bonus to take, not just for Madness but for Lightning as well. At 6 pieces, this set bonus reduces the cooldown of your Polarity Shift (your alacrity buff) when you use Force Speed, and makes Polarity Shift last for a few more seconds. With only 4 pieces of this set, Force Speed also allows your next Force attack to hit harder, which also doubles while your Polarity Shift is currently activated. It’s strong no matter how you look at it.
  • The Tempest of Rho and Slow Mercy Tacticals are your best choices for a Madness Sorcerer, depending on which situation you find yourself in. If you’re dealing more so with single-target situations, the first might suit you better, while the second is much better for AoE situations. Both of these Tacticals basically just allow your DoTs to do more damage due to another ability’s effect. Your DoTs ticking more often or harder, or on more enemies, is never a bad thing!
  • Amplifiers: Madness Sorcerers should be taking Force Sensitivity amplifiers, as all of your abilities are based in Force-type damage. 
  • Further details regarding utility selection and ability descriptions: https://vulkk.com/2020/01/11/swtor-6-0-madness-sorcerer-pve-guide-by-endonae/ 

9. Marauder - Carnage

    Mirror Class: Sentinel - Combat

Blades out: Dish out dizzying damage with the burst-based Carnage Marauder’s lightsabers.

    With two lightsaber blades in each hand, the Marauder is usually quick to charge into battle. In the hands of a proficient player, Carnage can perform extremely well, but because it relies so heavily on excellent timing and a deeper understanding of how the spec works, it’s a bit harder to learn compared to the other Marauder specs. This doesn’t mean it’s a bad choice for an average player however, as even then, it performs on-level with Annihilation. 

  • Carnage is amazing when it comes to burst damage, and your build should reflect this. While being lethal is a priority, Marauders also have access to one of the four raid buffs available in SWTOR, as well as access to a useful raid-wide ability called Predation (which can act as a group-cleanse and speed buff).
  • Descent of the Fearless is a solid choice for your set bonus, because it provides you with a damage increase once you use a charge of Furious Power. With the full 6-piece set, it also gives you a chance to build up a charge of Furious Power, which again increases your potential damage output. More damage is never a bad thing to have.
  • Fanged God Form is a great choice for a Carnage Marauder when it comes to Tacticals. This Tactical changes your rotation somewhat and increases your overall DPS output by buffing your critical chance by 10% and reduces the cost of your Massacre. 
  • Amplifiers: For a Carnage Marauder, you should be taking Weapon Expertise amplifiers, which increase the damage dealt by your weapon attacks. Most of your damaging abilities rely on your lightsabers themselves, so buffing their effectiveness is very useful.
  • Further details regarding utility selection and ability descriptions: https://mmobits.com/2020/01/07/carnage-marauder-pve-guide-by-dantiko/

8. Mercenary - Arsenal

    Mirror Class: Commando - Gunnery

“Watch those wrist rockets!”: Like the spec name suggests, you’ll come into any fight armed to the teeth with the best tech money can buy.

    If you’ve ever wanted to experience the Bounty Hunter lifestyle, Mercenary is a good pick for you! With twin pistols, the Mercenary can provide decent AoE coverage while also dishing out excellent single-target damage, all while highly mobile. Super survivable, the Arsenal Mercenary has an easy-to-learn rotation that is forgiving to even the newest player.

  • The Arsenal Mercenary is perfect for firing on the move and providing not only single-target utility but AoE utility as well. Though your AoE potential is for sure not as impressive as a Sorcerer or a Sniper’s, you can still control groups of enemies with ease all on your own.
  • As a Mercenary, you are able to easily target-swap without losing too much damage output, making this class and spec a great choice for raids or even just casual play. Mercenaries also have access to another of the four raid buffs, which gives any group an edge.
  • Apex Predator is the best set bonus to take, providing you can acquire it (it only drops from the newest Operation – The Nature of Progress – currently, and can’t be bought from the vendor). If you can’t get this set bonus, Concentrated Fire is another excellent choice. You won’t suffer if you can’t get your hands on Apex Predator, so when in doubt, choose Concentrated Fire.
  • Primed Ignition is the best single-target Tactical to take, as it causes your Priming Shot (a main ability used in the Arsenal rotation) to burn the target, which in turn causes your next moves in the rotation to tick that existing damage. If you’re looking for a more AoE based Tactical however, I would go with Thermonuclear Fusion, as it buffs outgoing AoE damage and causes your Heatseeker Missiles to become an AoE when used correctly. 
  • Amplifiers: Armor Penetration is pretty useful as a DPS buff and should be your top choice when picking amplifiers. However, you can also pick Weapon Expertise or Periodic Intensity if those work better with your specific playstyle.
  • Further details regarding utility selection and ability descriptions: https://sites.google.com/view/merlyn-swtor/imperial/bounty-hunter/mercenary/arsenal-mercenary 

7. Sorcerer - Lightning

    Mirror Class: Sage - Telekinetics

“Unlimited Power!”: Channel your inner Palpatine as lightning arcs from your fingertips!

    Lightning is a Sith’s best friend. Equipped with a brilliant array of flashy lightning abilities, the Lightning Sorcerer is a light-show all their own. Many people who play Lightning will deviate a bit from the regular stat thresholds on DPS gear, and will opt to take a bit more alacrity (2125, or around 11%), to get the fullest uptime on their casted abilities. This is a spec specific choice based on playstyle. 

  • Lightning has amazing AoE potential, able to dizzy a group of enemies with a plethora of showy lightning abilities. Stun weaker enemies with your lightning field AoE, or stagger them with Chain Lightning, all while keeping up the pressure with single-target abilities. Though unable to DoT spread, Lightning is still a formidable spec that can easily top the numbers charts in PvE content.
  • Gathering Storm set bonus is the best for a Lightning Sorcerer, and… all DPS Sorcerers, for that matter, as you’ve likely seen above. There just isn’t a set that is better than this one for a DPS Sorcerer. You can definitely play around with the others to see if they suit you better, but for best in slot, Gathering Storm is a must.
  • The go-to Tactical for a Lightning Sorcerer is definitely Stormwatch. This amazing Tactical causes your Lightning Flash (one of your heavy hitters) to apply Stormwatch to the intended target, which in turn causes that target to take extra damage from both of your DoTs and your hardest hitting ability, Thundering Blast. It’s just a straight-up DPS increase that you get for doing pretty much nothing special, so it’s a must-have.
  • Amplifiers: Like Madness, a Lightning Sorcerer’s damage comes from its abilities, which are all Force-based attacks. So to increase your DPS, you’ll want to take Force Sensitivity amplifiers here, as well.
  • Further details regarding utility selection and ability descriptions: https://vulkk.com/2019/12/01/swtor-6-0-lightning-sorcerer-pve-guide-by-endonae/ 

6. Juggernaut - Vengeance

    Mirror Class: Guardian - Vigilance 

“Careful not to choke on your aspirations…”: The Juggernaut is a ruthless combatant, primed to take on any foe without even breaking a sweat.

    If you’ve ever wanted to feel like you have the raw, intimidating power of Darth Vader himself, the Juggernaut is the class for you. Complete with Vader’s signature Choke move, the Juggernaut is amazingly powerful in any situation, with excellent survivability and superb damage potential.

  • The Vengeance Juggernaut has amazing potential in PvE. Easily able to shrug off incoming damage, it is perfect for acting as a DPS with a Taunt (DwT) for sticky situations.
  • Vengeance is great for bursting down large groups with its Vengeful Slam and DoT spreads, while also providing excellent single-target utility. The Juggernaut is also able to bring a sunder to the group with the right utility point, which is invaluable for a raid setting.
  • Descent of the Fearless is the best set bonus for Vengeance, and really, can’t be beat for any Warrior advanced class (as seen with the Carnage Marauder).
  • Hemophilic Slash is by far the best Tactical for Vengeance. It doubles the damage of Force Scream and Impale (one of your main DoTs), which means more damage overall. 
  • Amplifiers: Juggernauts have a plethora of amplifiers that can work out for them. The best to take would have to be Weapon Expertise, just like the Marauder, though as a DoT spec, Periodic Intensity might help you with your damage output as well. Amplifiers are really up to player taste, so test them out and see what works best for you.
  • Further details regarding utility selection and ability descriptions: https://vulkk.com/2019/11/25/swtor-6-0-vengeance-juggernaut-guide-by-anatessia/ 

5. Sniper - Virulence 

    Mirror Class: Gunslinger - Dirty Fighting

Death from afar: Sit back and rain down the pain from the safety of your Cover Shield as a Virulence Sniper.

    As the Sniper’s dedicated DoT spec, the Virulence Sniper excels at laying down heavy fire as its poison cascades on the enemy. Like Madness, many people who play Virulence will tell you that more alacrity is better for this particular spec. More alacrity means your DoTs tick faster on the target. It’s recommended to take around 3200 alacrity for Virulence, which will drastically decrease the amount you can put into your critical chance, but with Virulence’s unique kit, it actually works a bit better for them to have a lower critical chance and a higher alacrity. In the end, it’s up to what feels good to you. If you feel like you aren’t hitting hard enough, you can go with the general DPS build – both work. 

  • Virulence is excellent for single-target damage on bosses, with high up-time on your DoT usage. While not as proficient as Engineering or Marksmanship when dealing with adds, it still has a lot of tricks up its sleeve to deal out large amounts of AoE damage.
  • With the right utility point, Snipers gain passive healing from their cover-shield, which provides them with better survivability. They also bring a huge shield AoE with them to any group setting, which allows their entire group to become protected while under it, absorbing a small amount of incoming damage.
  • Established Foothold set is the best to pick, because it allows you to use your Entrench much more frequently by reducing its cooldown. For a class that performs its best when it is stationary, being able to use Entrench to basically stop anything from smacking you out of cover is a must-have. At 6 pieces, this set allows Entrench to also increase your damage reduction, which as we’re well aware by now, is a smart decision. 
  • Exploited Weaknesses is a must-have Tactical for single-target situations. It buffs the damage of your Weakening Blast and lets your Lethal Shot apply another DoT, so it’s another case of a Tactical providing a plain and simple increase to your overall DPS. In the case of AoE, Airborne Agents is a good selection, but is situational to the need of the scenario. All it does is basically make your AoE more powerful. 
  • Amplifiers: Periodic Intensity is the best amplifier choice for a Virulence Sniper, as all their abilities are centered around applying DoTs. Tech Wizardry is also viable, but for this particular spec, a buff to your DoTs can’t be beat. 
  • Further details regarding utility selection and ability descriptions: https://vulkk.com/2020/01/05/swtor-6-0-virulence-sniper-pve-guide/

4. Operative - Lethality

    Mirror Class: Scoundrel - Ruffian

Poison gets the job done: Bring about a swift end to unsuspecting foes with a cascade of poison. 

    Somewhat similar to the Virulence Sniper, the Lethality Operative also deals its damage via poison. Quite unlike Virulence however, is its melee nature. Rather than casting from the backlines, a Lethality Operative will be right in the thick of things, slicing and stabbing away with its poisoned blades. While usually overlooked when placed side-by-side with Concealment, the other DPS spec Operative offers, Lethality can hold its own fairly well, with better self-healing and DoT spread. 

  • Lethality’s claim to fame is their instant-cast self-heal after a successful Exfiltrate, which lets their Kolto Infusion be used while on the move. Because of this, their survivability is amazing, and their DPS is nothing to scoff at, either.
  • Operatives as a whole bring the fourth and final raid buff to the group. In addition, they can provide access to Infiltrate, which allows them to smuggle their group members into any area through an AoE stealth field. 
  • Tactician is the best set bonus to take. With 4 pieces, this set bonus allows your Sever Tendon and Toxic Scan to be reset when you use Tactical Overdrive, while also increasing your overall critical chance when you gain a Tactical Advantage. With a 6-piece set, you gain an extra stack of Tactical Advantage. Since those stacks are required to utilize many of your abilities, having more of them is always a good thing.
  • Synox Shots is by far the best Tactical to use for PvE. Your Toxic Blast will do up to 75% more damage, and restores some Energy (your class resource) when it critically hits. This is another case of a Tactical providing a DPS increase. 
  • Amplifiers: Like Virulence, Lethality is going to benefit from using Periodic Intensity amplifiers. However, Tech Wizardry is also a solid choice, and makes it easier to use the same gear if you decide to swap to a Concealment Operative at any point, which means less work and less credits spent. If you absolutely love Lethality though or aren’t worried about trying out Concealment, Periodic Intensity is your best bet. 
  • Further details regarding utility selection and ability descriptions: https://vulkk.com/2019/12/03/swtor-6-0-lethality-operative-guide/

3. Operative - Concealment

    Mirror Class: Scoundrel - Scrapper

A dangerous game of hide-and-seek: Get in and get out before your opponent even knows what hit them with the Concealment Operative.

    Have a blast positioning yourself behind enemies to hit them with a sneaky backstab, and laugh while doing it. The morbidly amused Concealment Operative is a master of stealth and ambushes, with off-heals for excellent survivability, tactical rolls for amazing mitigation and an efficient rotation that can stagger any opponent.

  • Concealment works best when it is used as a single-target spec, though there are some Tacticals out there that can boost your AoE potential. It’s highly mobile with both its Exfiltrate and Holotraverse abilities, and can dish out huge burst damage with ease.
  • Like Lethality, Concealment also has access to the fourth raid buff and Infiltrate!
  • Tactician is once more the best option for this class and specific spec. You really can’t go wrong with having access to an extra Tactical Advantage.
  • Acid Lash is a strong Tactical, causing Acid Blade damage to become triggered when you use Lacerate, while also doing 60% more damage. Again, a simple DPS increase. Acid Blade would normally only happen by Backstabbing, and due to its cooldown and the duration of the DoT itself, it typically meant that the uptime on Acid Blade would only be about half of the time. With this Tactical, you can pretty much have nearly 100% uptime, since Laceration is one of your spammable moves as a Concealment Operative. That’s a huge DPS increase. 
  • Amplifiers: Tech Wizardry is the best choice for Concealment when it comes to amplifiers. All of your damage is tech-based, which means that your abilities will be slightly buffed by using Tech Wizardry.
  • Further details regarding utility selection and ability descriptions: https://sites.google.com/view/merlyn-swtor/imperial/imperial-agent/operative/concealment-operative 

2. Sith Assassin - Deception

    Mirror Class: Jedi Shadow - Infiltration

“I am one with the Force, the Force is with me.”: The Force is your ally as a Deception Assassin, with you every step of the way as you move elegantly throughout the field of battle.

    An insanely fun class to play, the Deception Assassin is a highly mobile burst spec that delights in taking down its foes with a surprise stealth attack. Elegant and easy-to-learn, the Deception Assassin performs well in almost any situation, whether it be PvE or PvP. 

  • Perhaps the best single-target spec, the Deception Assassin excels in controlling targets with highly adaptable movesets and extreme mobility. Though you may be chasing enemies around more often as a melee class, you won’t notice it as a Deception Assassin – you’re faster than them all!
  • Death Knell is the best set bonus to take for the Deception Assassin. With 4 pieces, the cooldown of your Recklessness will become reduced. When you use a stack of Recklessness, your next Maul or Assassinate will critically hit. At 6 pieces, your Recklessness will increase your melee damage per stack when consumed. This is extremely powerful for a spec that uses Recklessness pretty much on cooldown as part of its rotation, and is a huge DPS increase. 
  • The Awakened Flame is the best Tactical for single-target damage. It allows your Ball Lightning to apply a DoT to your target, with a near 100% uptime, making it very powerful in almost any situation. May Cause Injury helps with AoE utility, as it turns your Discharge into an AoE after Severing Slash is activated (akin to how a Darkness Assassin’s Discharge behaves), but since Deception excels with single-target damage, it’s recommended to take Awakened Flame first and foremost. 
  • Amplifiers: Armor Penetration amplifiers work the best for Deception, and pairs very well with The Awakened Flame Tactical. 
  • Further details regarding utility selection and ability descriptions: https://vulkk.com/2019/11/22/swtor-6-0-deception-assassin-guide-by-zak/ 

1. Powertech - Pyrotech

    Mirror Class: Vanguard - Plasmatech

Flames cleanse all!: Heat up the battlefield with explosive displays of fiery death.

    The Pyrotech Powertech (PT), is solidly in the meta as of 6.0. Numberswise, it is currently the best performing DPS, with some great group utility that can benefit nearly any fight. While it doesn’t have the best survivability compared to the other classes, and is a little lacking on defensives, it’s easy to make up for this shortcoming with the damage it pumps out.

  • As mentioned, this spec is topping in damage output currently, allowing for some huge numbers during almost every encounter and ensuring that all your enemies fall quickly and efficiently. However, PTs in general also bring some excellent group utility to a raid, namely Sonic Rebounders (which is probably the first thing you hear when someone mentions PTs), which allow for excellent cheeses for many raid encounters. 
  • Meteor Brawler is an excellent choice for the Pyrotect PT. With 6 pieces of this set up to seven different rotational moves can give you stacks of Firefall if used while Explosive Fuel is active. When Explosive Fuel finishes, you’ll deal damage to eight enemies, which scales accordingly with the amount of stacks you have. Because it hits so many enemies and can stack up to seven times, it can quickly become your hardest hitting ability. It doesn’t end here, though. Meteor Brawler also gives you a damage buff after you use your Flaming Fist on a target, which is again, a baseline DPS increase. Furthermore, once your Explosive Fuel finishes, the rest of your abilities produce 75% less Heat (your class resource) for a small window, meaning you can pump out damage without worrying about your Heat generation. Remember, like the Mercenary, the PT’s class resource works backwards when compared to the other class’ resources. So, you want your yellow bar to be empty, rather than full. 
  • The Superheated Fuel Tactical buffs every ability in your rotation (besides one or two) when your Explosive Fuel is active. You guessed it, it’s a DPS increase!
  • Amplifiers: Tech Wizardry amplifiers are the best choice for the Pyrotech PT, since the PT deals tech-based damage. The good news is, if you don’t like Pyrotech and would rather try the Advanced Prototype spec for PT, both specs benefit from using Tech Wizardry, so it’s also a versatile choice!
  • Further details regarding utility selection and ability descriptions: https://vulkk.com/2020/01/04/swtor-6-0-pyrotech-powertech-pve-guide/ 

    There’s obviously a lot of nitty gritty details about what excels the best for each class and spec, and it certainly takes a long time to fully grasp the in’s and out’s of their unique kits. It’s not really something you can learn completely in a night. The best you can do is read, experiment and see what works for you as a player! As long as you’re having fun, then it’s working as intended.

You may also be interested in:

Sours: https://www.gamersdecide.com/articles/swtor-best-builds-pve-dps
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[Top 5] SWTOR Best DPS Class

The question that resounds in the mind of every new and old player alike: “What’s really the best class to play?”

Lots of veteran players, myself included, will tell you there is no “best” class – Star Wars: The Old Republic is about finding an advanced class that suits your playstyle and running with that. Whether you want to shock your opponents with a flurry of showy Force lightning, or stick to a good old reliable blaster, any class can be viable! However, numbers don’t lie, and if you’re looking for the cold hard facts about what really performs best within the game, you’ve come to the right spot. 

    Let’s start off with some of the basics: the advanced classes themselves. As an MMO, SWTOR offers the player eight different class stories that they can choose from, each with their own unique storyline and abilities. Four of these classes belong to the Empire, while the other four belong to the Republic: each side’s classes are mirrored in the other faction’s. So, if you’re playing, say, an Imperial Agent, you could easily create a Republic-aligned character and know how to play its mirror-class, the Smuggler. This simplifies the advanced classes, making it a little less overwhelming for new players just dipping their toes into the game. 

Here’s a quick list of every advanced DPS class in the game, complete with its mirrored counterpart and their more specific specializations:

  • Sith Assassin / Jedi Shadow
    • Deception / Infiltration
    • Hatred / Serenity
  • Sith Sorcerer / Jedi Sage
    • Lightning / Telekinetics
    • Madness / Balance
  • Sith Juggernaut / Jedi Guardian
    • Vengeance / Vigilance
    • Rage / Focus
  • Sith Marauder / Jedi Sentinel
    • Annihilation / Watchman
    • Carnage / Combat
    • Fury / Concentration
  • Operative  / Scoundrel
    • Concealment / Scrapper
    • Lethality / Ruffian
  • Sniper / Gunslinger
    • Marksmanship / Sharpshooter
    • Engineering / Saboteur
    • Virulence / Dirty Fighting
  • Mercenary / Commando
    • Arsenal / Gunnery
    • Innovative Ordnance / Assault Specialist
  • Powertech / Vanguard
    • Pyrotech / Plasmatech
    • Advanced Prototype (AP) / Tactics

Each of these advanced classes can easily get the job done, whatever it is, but there’s several among their number that tend to pump out larger parsed numbers in the hands of capable players. It’s hard to pinpoint the actual “best” within SWTOR – it’s one of the few games I’ve played where the classes actually feel quite well-balanced, so there isn’t a huge discrepancy in what each of them can achieve. There’s also a plethora of factors that go into deciding which class is “best”: how easily they can take care of themselves (survivability), how hard they can hit, how easy they are to master, how relevant that specific class and their subsequent specs’ movesets are within different kinds of content (raiding or casual play or Player-versus-Player). However, if we’re going to ask which is best, let’s focus on their overall damage. That’s what a DPS is supposed to do, afterall!

As a general rule of thumb, we know that melee classes will typically outperform ranged classes, with Damage over Time (DoT) specs generally parsing higher than burst classes, as insane as that sounds. This in part, is due to game design. Burst classes and ranged classes both have a much easier time swapping targets and pumping out DPS than a melee or DoT-oriented class, so to keep things balanced, the classes that have to work a bit harder for their output can usually blow those that don’t out of the water. This isn’t to say that a ranged class will never beat out a melee for top damage – above all, it usually depends on the person behind the character, and how well they know how to utilize that class’ unique kit. 

If we take a look at parsely.io, the go-to for parsing, recording and reviewing DPS, healing and tank outputs (also known as StarParse in the community), there’s plenty of statistics to review in the DPS leaderboards. With this in mind, let’s talk about five of these advanced classes and their best performing spec that are standing out in the current meta:

5. Mercenary / Commando (Top Parse: 28,203 damage per second)

Specialization: Arsenal / Gunnery

A job’s a job: Equipped with all the best tech, the Mercenary and Commando both jump into a fight, guns blazing.

    Previously the advanced class and spec to play before update 6.0, Arsenal’s DPS output has been rebalanced since its glory days of being the meta. Even so, it’s still a heavy hitting DPS spec, with reliable burst, an easy to learn rotation and outstanding survivability. 

  • Mercenary has one of the best defensive cooldowns within SWTOR: Responsive Safeguards, which reflects direct damage done to the player while healing them with each hit. Watch out for AOEs when using this ability, as they’re the only way to penetrate this powerful defensive.
  • Equipped with off-heals, this class can take care of itself when things get messy.
  • Highly mobile with few channeled abilities allows this class to easily kite while still dealing high amounts of damage.
  • Mercenaries and Commandos come with one raid buff (of which there are 4 in total), Supercharged Celerity. If you’re planning to take up raiding, having access to one of these is a bonus.
  • Generally good AOE and single-target damage output, which makes this spec and class highly adaptable.

4. Sniper / Gunslinger (Top Parse: 28,751 damage per second)

Specialization: Virulence / Dirty Fighting

Don’t come too close: Keeping your distance as a Sniper or Gunslinger means you have your eyes on the whole battlefield.

    A ranged DoT spec, Virulence Sniper is ever so satisfying to play once all your DoTs have been applied and begin to cascade on their target. Sniper is definitely one of the more challenging advanced classes to learn, taking into account positioning, movement restrictions and resource management, but given proper placement and awareness, can easily take down targets from far away without breaking a sweat.

  • Now with a new class-specific ability, snipers and gunslingers are able to place down a marker that will return them to that position when the ability is activated a second time. It works in the same way that Phase Walk does for Sorcerers and Sages, but comes with a new snazzy name: Hololocate. This is great for regaining a favorable position or getting yourself out of trouble.
  • Excellent AOE coverage across several abilities, making the sniper and gunslinger superb candidates for controlling large groups of enemies.
  • Though they don’t have a raid buff, this advanced class offers something called a Ballistic Shield, which reduces the damage done to all your friends standing under it – this is a great thing to have for some raid bosses or even in PvP.
  • Being a completely ranged class has its own challenges, though it makes it easier to keep a bird’s eye view of your surroundings. Many groups tend to prefer having a sniper along to hold a certain position while dishing out damage to many different targets without changing locations.
  • The only advanced class able to strategically crouch, the sniper can roll behind objects within the area or use their own portable cover-shield to fire from safety. A certain utility will also allow you to become healed periodically while in cover, which helps with survivability.
  • The second of Sniper and Gunslinger’s three DPS specs, Marksmanship / Sharpshooter also tops DPS leaderboards with 28,597 DPS.

3. Operative / Scoundrel (Top Parse: 31,071 damage per second)

Specialization: Concealment / Scrapper

Now you see me…: Masters of subterfuge and mischief, the Operative and Scoundrel both delight in catching their opponent off-guard.

    A favorite class of mine, Concealment is just plain fun. Complete with sinister laughter to go with your brutal stabbing animations, Concealment allows the player to strike from the shadows and rack up huge damage on its opponents with a quick, easy-to-learn rotation. As a bonus, Concealment has off-heals (which helps with survivability), stealth utility and a raid buff. 

  • Operatives and Scoundrels have plenty of group utility. A class-specific ability called Infiltrate allows the Operative to smuggle in their entire group with a stealth field past enemies!
  • As mentioned above, Operative and Scoundrel are another advanced class which has access to one of the four raid buffs, Tactical Superiority. While it’s not required to have a raid buff within a raid, it definitely helps to have all four if you can manage it.
  • All stealth classes in SWTOR have an ability that allows them to put a foe to sleep for a set amount of time from stealth. This can allow your non-stealther friends to pass by an enemy without engaging them in combat!
  • A well-played Concealment Operative can easily and efficiently burst down even the most adept healers in PvP, making them a versatile and deadly choice. Their vicious nature for sure carries over into PvE content, as well.
  • One of the more unique things about Concealment and Scrapper is its partial dependency on positioning when engaging with an enemy. Your heavy hitting ability, Backstab, is only able to be used from behind the target (and does extra damage if you use it from stealth!), meaning you’ll have to be a little more sneaky than the other classes.
  • Operative and Scoundrel are an all-around good choice, with the other DPS spec (Lethality / Ruffian) performing well in the leaderboards with around 28,505 DPS. 

2. Sith Assassin / Jedi Shadow (Top Parse: 31,825 damage per second)

Specialization: Deception / Infiltration

One with the Force: Equipped with a stylish double-bladed lightsaber, the Assassin and Shadow show off their abilities with a flurry of elegant movesets.

    Deception is my all time favorite class, and the one I first started off as in SWTOR. It’s easy to learn, feels amazing to use when you get the rotation down, and deals out chunks of damage that can stagger any raid boss. It’s beautiful to watch, fast-paced, and even provides you with an armor breaking ability, a thing any raid group is sure to like! Much like Concealment, Deception relies on attacking from stealth and dealing burst damage. 

  • Assassin and Shadows have access to one of the best abilities within SWTOR, Force Shroud. This particular ability is unmatched when dealing with certain raid mechanics, acting as a self-cleanse and allowing the player to resist tech and Force attacks by 200%! 
  • Though the Assassin doesn’t exactly excel in AoE utility, it’s outstanding as a single-target class.
  • Assassins and Shadows have access to a fun ability called Phantom Stride, which when it works correctly (you know exactly what I mean if you’ve ever played Assassin!) teleports you to your target, somewhat like the Juggernaut or Powertech’s leap, but with its own unique style. With the Reaper’s Rush utility, Phantom Stride also allows you to Assassinate your target on approach, while also resetting the cooldown on Phantom Stride when that enemy dies. This means you can zip around the battlefield, taking down enemies before they even know what hit them.
  • Deception and Infiltration are one of SWTOR’s priority specs – meaning that their rotation is based more so on procs than on a set-in-stone pattern. This makes this spec easier to pick up and adapt with, as you won’t lose too much DPS if you somehow fumble your rotation mid-fight.
  • Visually, Deception is perhaps the most beautiful spec. All the moves are very acrobatic, something you would expect of Darth Maul himself. 

1. Powertech / Vanguard (Top Parse: 33,737 damage per second)

Specialization: Pyrotech / Plasmatech

Handle with caution: Fire is this spec’s best friend, engulfing the field with explosives and flame sweeps to stagger even the toughest foe.

    Here, we have our aforementioned rule laid out exactly as described: melee DoT classes have the potential to outperform all others, and that’s just what Pyrotech is. With showy bursts of fire, Pyrotech manages to steal the leaderboards easily. In fact, both of Powertech’s specs are topping the leaderboards currently (with only about a 1k reduction in parse for the Advanced Prototype spec), making it a smart choice if you want to dish out the highest damage.

  • Though Powertech survivability is lackluster, if you want a spec that is in-your-face and a show-off, Pyrotech is perfect! Getting up close and personal with a jet-pack powered leap, the Pyrotech charges into a fight face-first, flames at the ready.
  •  Powertech is also capable of providing raid group support with an advanced class utility called Sonic Rebounders, which allows for some pretty fancy cheeses within a raid setting. 
  • Powertech and Vanguards are the only DPS class in SWTOR to have a “yank” ability, called Grapple. This move usually pairs itself with tanks (Powertech tanks have the same ability, while Assassin tanks have Force Pull), but the DPS Powertech is lucky enough to also have it! This is a good move for helping out your healer, as you can pull an enemy off of them and smack it in the face for good measure.
  • Pyrotech and Plasmatechs are excellent at dealing with large groups of enemies, as they can easily spread their DoTs between opponents to rack up huge numbers. Their single-target damage isn’t bad, either!
  • Powertechs (and Mercenaries, for that matter) are unique in the fact that their resource management is a little bit different than the rest of the classes. Instead of having a full yellow bar of either Energy or Force, they begin with an empty bar that fills up with Heat as they use abilities. Having too much Heat means you can’t use any more abilities, so it becomes a balancing act between Heat management and ability usage. 

There you have it, the best of the best! Remember: regardless of which class you decide to pick, it’s completely up to your personal preference on playstyle and utility! One class and spec might be the “best” in one area, but could easily be trumped by another class who outshines it in a different way. Since SWTOR is also an MMO that is still being updated by the developers, all classes are subject to be changed in the future, as well. What tops the charts today, might not tomorrow. All of these classes and specs are completely viable, even in raid settings – what really matters is the player behind them! 

You may also be interested in:

Sours: https://www.gamersdecide.com/articles/swtor-best-dps
SWTOR - 6.1.4 DECEPTION ASSASSIN SITH INQUISITOR BUILD GUIDE AND ROTATION PVE DPS

A complete SWTOR 6.0 Sith Juggernaut VENGEANCE Guide for PvE. Includes Stats, Priorities, Utilities Builds, Abilities and Rotations, and Tips

UPDATED FOR PATCH 6.3.1

Note from Vulkk: If you are returning to this guide and it looks totally different, that’s because this is a new version of the guide, actually. The original Vengeance PvE Guide was getting outdated and I was unable to reach the author, so Endonae stepped up to offer the community an up-to-date guide.

Introduction

Welcome to my 6.0 guide as for Vengeance Juggernaut! Thanks to its amazing versatility, Vengeance is a really great first spec to learn as well as being a fantastic choice if you are only willing or able to learn a single spec. In terms of sustained single-target DPS, it’s one of the strongest specs in the game and while the rotation does have some complexity, it isn’t ridiculously easy or hard. In general, the rotation is pretty well-thought out; there aren’t any weird or frustrating pieces that plague some other specs, everything just flows. Vengeance also offers exceptional AoE damage that is made even better by an incredible AoE tactical. 

The greatest weakness of Vengeance’s DPS is its burst damage, it is a DoT spec after all. The rotation itself is quite short and can easily fit into a burst window, but it doesn’t have much of a way to concentrate its damage like other specs can by using their offensive cooldowns and strong fillers, even compared to DoT specs. Vengeance also can’t pre-cast at all, so it will perform worse in those sorts of checks compared to DoT specs that can precast. This is a bit of a double-edged sword though since it will perform better than most DoT specs on fights where you can’t pre-cast since it doesn’t have any wasted GCDs and all of its rotational abilities are pretty strong.

Defensively, Vengeance is pretty average. It does have a lot of cooldowns, but you will need to use them liberally. Much like Snipers, Juggernauts get 60% AoE DR on demand rather than a passive 30%, so they have to pay more attention to their cooldowns or they risk getting killed by attacks that most other classes could survive. In addition, while their cooldowns look strong on paper, the lack of passive AoE DR means that their damage mitigation doesn’t always go as far as one might expect. Having heavy armor is also not nearly as much of an advantage as it once was since most specs with lighter armor now have strong alternative mitigation, like self healing or DR procs, to compensate for the lack of armor. Don’t get me wrong, Vengeance can still survive quite well, they just tend to be a bit squishier than most other specs when they don’t have a DCD up and require the player to be a bit more attentive about damage taken. 

Vengeance is also pretty average when it comes to group utility. Its greatest assets are its ability to off tank thanks to its taunt, provide the armor debuff, and interrupt frequently thanks to its short interrupt cooldown. Juggs are arguably the best off-tanks due to their plethora of cooldowns, provided they’re actually available, this allows them to hold the boss for a fairly long time while taking minimal damage. Their armor debuff is exceptionally powerful since it can be applied with multiple abilities including Vengeful Slam, which is an AoE ability, allowing you to apply the armor debuff to a whole group of enemies. This doesn’t increase the damage dealt by DoT spreads since nearly all DoTs in the game deal internal/elemental damage and therefore ignore armor, but it helps a ton with all of the direct damage AoE abilities since they mostly deal energy/kinetic damage. Unfortunately, Jugg did lose a bit of their group utility with 6.1.4; guarding someone causes you to deal 50% less damage if you aren’t in tank spec. 

Group Composition Tips

Since the damage dealt by Vengeance is split between several different damage types, it is a bit more dependent on having a good group composition than some other specs, so having multiple Vengeance Juggs in the same group could hurt your overall damage output. In order to deal maximum damage, Vengeance requires 3 other DPS debuffs:

DPS DebuffPresence of debuff increases DPS by approximately
Force3%
Internal/Elemental2.5%
AoE1.25%

Since both Sorcerer DPS specs and Hatred Assassins provide both the Force and AoE debuffs and also benefit from at least 1 of the debuffs provided by Vengeance, they are ideal classes/specs to bring alongside a Vengeance Jugg. Deception Assassin is also fine, it provides the Armor and Force Debuffs, Another great DPS class to bring is Operative since both specs provide the Internal/Elemental debuff (which Vengeance needs) as well as the Tech damage debuff, which will allow the final DPS can bring whatever they want. 

DPS Mindset

How can I do as much damage as possible each GCD (global cooldown, 1.5 second duration before you can activate another ability) given the constraints of the fight? Which ability do I use right now that will provide me the most DPS? How can I maximize my uptime? If I’m not activating an ability right now, why not? Can I finish this cast before I need to move? What happens if I don’t have time to finish a cast before moving? Can the healers deal with it without too much stress?

To learn more read the Guide on Damage Types in SWTOR.

Gearing and Stats Priorities

I’m not going to get into which specific versions of enhancements and such to use. The tiny stat variations from using something like an R-3 versus an R-4 aren’t worth the trouble and a single extra random crit, lag spike, or mid-fight sneeze will completely overshadow any difference in DPS you could possibly observe from an extra few points of power. Generally, the unlettered stuff is pretty close to optimal if it isn’t outright followed by R and AR mods. If you want to be fully BiS, you can start swapping out some of the unlettered enhancements for R variants in order to not waste a single point when going past a threshold, though I wouldn’t waste too much time doing this if I were you

  • Armorings/Hilt – Superior Versatile Armoring/Hilt 80 (should have 471 Mastery, 409 Endurance)
  • Mods –  Superior Lethal Mod 80R-2, R-3, and R-5 are the best, though you’ll get a lot more of the unlettered version, which is only ever slightly worse. As long as the sum of Mastery and Power is above 725 with Endurance being the lowest stat of the 3, you have a good mod that you should keep. 
  • Enhancements – The best enhancements are the ones where Endurance is the lowest stat of the three and the sum of the other two (Power and Tertiary) is 744 or higher. The unlettered +285 Endurance, +313 Power, +431 tertiary stat are a great base and once you surpass your stat targets, you can start swapping them out for the R-variants that have more Power than tertiary stat.  The best word corresponding to BiS for each tertiary stat is:
    • Accuracy = Initiative
    • Alacrity = Nimble or Quick Savant (must include Quick, regular Savant is bad)
    • DPS Mods = Lethal
    • DPS Armoring/Hilt = Versatile
    • Critical = Adept
  • Implant/Ear – Sha’Tek brand MK-19
  • Relics – Sha’Tek brand MK-19
    • Level 75 content: Sha’Tek Relic of Focused Retribution and Sha’Tek Relic of Serendipitous Assault
    • Sub-level 75 content: Sha’Tek Relic of Primeval Fatesealer (it’s a clicky so put it on your bar) and Sha’Tek Relic of Devastating Vengeance
  • Stim – Advanced Kyrprax Proficient Stim
  • Medpac – Advanced Kyrprax Medpac
  • Adrenal
    • Level 75 content: Advanced Kyrprax Attack Adrenal
    • Sub-level 75 content: Advanced Kyrprax Critical Adrenal
    • The critical adrenal is less consistent, but performs very similarly, so if you don’t want to keep switching between the two, it’s fine to use the Advanced Kyrprax Critical Adrenal in level 75 content as well. Consistency is a bit more important here though than it is for the relic since you’ll often be using the Adrenal for DPS checks where you really can’t afford to be unlucky. 
  • Amplifiers – +2.50% Armor Penetration (only applies to armorings and hilts/barrels). This amplifier is only slightly stronger than Force Sensitivity, so if you’re short on credits and happen to have a gold one of those lying around, it’s okay to use those as well. The gold tier +1.0% Force Sensitivity amplifier will provide a greater DPS increase than a purple +2.0% Armor Penetration amplifier. If you happen to be one of the four players in the whole game that plays the spec, Armor Penetration is also the strongest amplifier for the Rage spec. Armor Penetration is also the best choice all around if you will be sharing this gear set with your Marauder.
  • Crystals – Eviscerating. This is a little more important now than it’s been in the past because the War Hero and Hawkeye crystals don’t do anything in sub-75 content. 
  • Augments – As of 6.1.4, we now have a whopping 4 tiers of augments to deal with. Unlike past expansions, augments are now about how much you want to spend. Almost everyone should buy the blue 276 augments because they provide the greatest bang for the buck. If you have a ton of credits and are doing MM Dxun or Ranked PvP, you may consider going for the purple 286 augments instead, but they are completely unnecessary for anything less. 
    • Gold 300 augments (Superior [type] Augment 77 + Augmentation Kit 11). These are the brand new augments that were released in 6.1.4. They are overall best-in-slot and will provide a noticeable DPS increase, but they are even more ridiculously expensive than the purple 286 augments. You do not need them. All content in the game can be cleared without them, so you’re basically just buying jewelry. They are not worth the credits and in my personal opinion, BioWare should not have released them at all. 
    • Purple 286 augments (Advanced [type] Augment 74 + Augmentation Kit MK-11) are one step lower, however they are incredibly expensive, so I would only recommend getting them for your main and only if you have a bunch of extra credits burning a hole in your pocket. 
    • Blue 276 augments ([Type] Augment 73 + Augmentation Kit Mk-11) provide about 88% of the benefit for about 6% of the cost of the purple 286 augments. They do still require the MK-11 kits, but it’s really hard to justify using the 286 augments unless you or your group really needs that small stat increase to slightly boost your numbers. Since those MK-11 kits are still a bit expensive, I recommend only augmenting the final pieces of your gear, so 306 left side, MH/OH, and set bonus pieces. Almost everyone should get this tier of augments. 
    • Purple 228 augments (Advanced [type] Augment 45 + Augmentation Kit MK-10) from 5.0 are still valuable, more than even the old 236 or 240s! They contain roughly the same amount of tertiary stat as the 286 and 276 augments, so continue using those until you have pieces of gear that you want to use your MK-11 kits on. These old 228 augments are also all you’ll need for any of the gear you’ll be using for level 70 content because Power and Endurance are capped, so the 2 really don’t provide any noticeable benefit in non level 75 content. 

Stat Priority

  1. Accuracy to 110.00% – I reach this with 3 accuracy enhancements/implants/ear + 1 augment + Advanced Kyrprax Proficient Stim, resulting in 1589 accuracy, equivalent to 110.00%. This is the most important stat to reach its threshold because attacks that miss deal 0 damage and no other stats matter if that happens. You need 110% accuracy and not just 100% because bosses have a 10% chance to dodge/resist player attacks and any percentage over 100% reduces this chance. 
  2. Alacrity to 7.15% – I reach this with 2 enhancements and 4 augments, resulting in 1216 alacrity, equivalent to 7.16%. This threshold enables you to have a 1.4 second global cooldown (GCD). It’s better to have your Alacrity balanced across at least 2 enhancements since this makes it a bit easier if you are trying to optimize with the R-ehancements. This stat has the second priority because you do not get the full benefit of the stat unless you are at one of the thresholds, though it’s still less important than accuracy because your attacks still need to hit. 
  3. Critical gets the rest – I currently have 42.18% critical chance from 3201 crit from 2 crystals, 5 enhancements/earpiece/implants and 9 augments. This stat is the lowest priority because it does not have a threshold associated with it like the other two tertiary stats. Since you always want as much crit as you can get and you never need to optimize it down like you do with Accuracy and Alacrity, it is best to have your implants/ear be critical since they provide the same stat ratio as unlettered enhancements. 

Set Bonuses

Descent of the Fearless Descent of the Fearless
Effect
(2) +2% Mastery
(4) Whenever your gain or use a Furious Power ability charge while in combat, your damage dealt is increased by 10%
(6) Dealing damage has a 10% chance to build a Furious Power ability charge. Can only occur once every 5 seconds.
Recommendation
This set bonus provides the greatest DPS increase for all Sith Warrior DPS specs. Thanks to your bleed effects, you shouldn’t have any issues with maintaining the 10% damage boost all the time.

Tactical Items

Hemophilic Slash Hemophilic Slash
Effect
The initial hit of Ravage refreshes the duration of your Force Scream, Impale, and Shatter bleeds on that target and ticks their damage.
Recommendation
This is your default tactical item. It provides the greatest single-target DPS increase compared to the other Vengeance tacticals. It does tweak the rotation slightly from what it was prior to 6.0 since it makes Ravage important to use at specific times in your rotation, rather than just being a strong filler. This tactical can also enhance your AoE damage slightly since it often allows you to have all 3 of your DoTs on the target when you want to DoT spread without having to alter your rotation.
Cut To Piece Cut To Piece
Effect
When one of your bleeds crits, it reduces the active cooldown of Vengeful Slam by 1 second.
Recommendation
This is your AoE tactical item. It’s one of the stronger AoE tacticals out there, and has the added benefit of slightly increasing your single-target DPS as well, which is quite rare for an AoE tactical. This doesn’t mean you should use it in single-target situations though since it doesn’t match the single-target DPS increase of Hemophilic Slash and you won’t have a consistent rotation, so I only recommend using it when your regular AoE damage is insufficient or if you are able to hit at least 2 additional targets with Vengeful Slam throughout the majority of the fight. I will cover this tactical in a dedicated section later on.

Utilities

Skillful

UtilityDescriptionRecommendation
PaybackReduces the cooldown of Unleash by 30 seconds and causes Unleash to heal you for 10% of your max health when used.Take this on specific fights only. The healing effect is nice, but you shouldn’t ever take this utility for the healing aspect. 10% health every 90 seconds is never gonna prevent you from dying. Only take this if you noticed that you wanted to CC break but couldn’t because it had 30 seconds or less left on its cooldown, such that it would have been available to use at that moment specifically as a result of you taking the utility. 
WarmongerGetting attacked reduces the active cooldown of Force Charge by 1 second. Cannot occur more than once every 1.5 seconds.Sometimes take this. The effect isn’t super strong, but it’s less situational than most of your other options in this tier. I personally take it by default, but it’s okay to give it up. If you have a set of 3 other utilities in this tier that will be useful on a given fight, take those instead and then see if you end up in a situation where you would like to use Force Charge but it’s on cooldown. Make sure to take this utility if you’ll be utilizing the interrupt cooldown reset component of the Intimidating Presence utility.
OverwhelmRavage immobilizes the target for 3 seconds.Never take this. There is no use for a single-target root in PvE. 
Path CarverSweeping Slash deals 25% more damage.Take this on specific fights only. Sweeping Slash isn’t used nearly as much anymore thanks to the Cut To Pieces tactical, and the more valuable AoE becomes in a given fight, the more likely you are to want to take Cut To Pieces, meaning it’s less likely that you’ll have a spare GCD to use Sweeping Slash at all. Definitely take it if you find yourself using Sweeping Slash though.
Deadly ReprisalTaking non-periodic AoE damage generates 2 Rage. Cannot occur more than once per second.Always take this. It enables you to use Vicious Slash (and Hew when sub-30%) instead of your free fillers without having to worry about making sure you have enough Rage. You can also use this effect to get away with delaying Sundering Assault, though you do risk messing up your rotation if you choose to delay Sundering Assault. I will talk about this a bit more later on.
UnyieldingYou generate 4 rage when stunned, immobilized, put to sleep, or knocked around.Take this on specific fights only. This utility is similar to Deadly Reprisal in that it can allow you to delay using Sundering Assault, though the amount of Rage it generates is rather small and comes with the risk of you messing up your rotation. 
Pooled HatredWhenever your movement is impared, you gain a 10% damage bonus to your next ability that consumes Rage. Can stack up to 5 times and lasts 15 seconds.Take this on specific fights only. This utility provides free DPS without any extra effort on your part! Always take this whenever you can benefit from it, though there aren’t a whole lot of fights where it does anything. Pay close attention to fights with adds because a lot of the time they will have a slow that they apply. 
Sonic WallThreatening Scream grants Sonic Wall to all allies (excluding you) within 15m. Sonic Wall absorbs about 7k damage and lasts up to 10 seconds. Sometimes take this. The effect is okay, it helps to cushion the blow a little bit for your healers, but it’s unlikely to ever actually prevent someone from dying. Affected players effectively gain an extra 2.5% HP for 10 seconds, and if you manage to get the whole raid group, it’s roughly equivalent to a healer critting on one of their abilities. Definitely give it up if you need to take any of the other situational utilities in this tier, but it’s nice to have it as a default utility since it will always do something at least.  

Masterful

UtilityDescriptionRecommendation
Crushing FistVengeful Slam applies the Armor debuff to enemies it damages.Almost always take this. In purely single-target situations, it isn’t all that helpful since you already provide the Armor debuff semi-rotationally with 2 other abilities, though this utility allows you to apply it with an ability you will be using on cooldown, which minimizes the chances of it ever falling off. The true benefit of this utility comes in AoE situations since Jugg DPS and Marksman Sniper are the only specs that are able to apply the Armor debuff via an AoE ability. There really isn’t anything else in this tier that’s worth taking over this utility. 
StrangulateReduces the cooldown of Force Choke by 15 seconds.Take this on specific fights only. More of the newer fights require adds to be stunned, so if you ever find yourself wanting to stun something but couldn’t because this ability was still on cooldown but wouldn’t have been if you had taken this utility, consider taking this utility.  
UnstoppableForce Charge grants Unstoppable, granting immunity to movement-impairing effects and effects that push or pull you around for 4 seconds.Take this on specific fights only. Basically, this utility gives you Hydraulic Overrides for 4 seconds after using your leap. If you’re getting knocked back a lot or predictably, this is a nice utility to take. If you can predict when you’re about to be knocked back, try to run out to 10m range and Force Charge in preemptively. The purpose of doing this is to  minimize DPS loss by controlling which GCD you give up so you don’t delay one of your more damaging abilities.
Unshackling RageActivating Enrage purges movement-impairing effects and increases your movement speed by 50% for 6 seconds.Always take this. Vengeance does have some abilities that are usable outside of melee range, but you definitely want to maximize the amount of time you spend in melee range, and this utility helps you do that.
Seething HatredWhen you exit combat, the active cooldowns of Force Charge, Enrage, and Saber Throw are reset.Never take this. I guess it’s not bad for trash, dailies, story, etc. where you’re frequently entering and exiting combat, but for boss fights this should absolutely never be taken because it doesn’t help you at all in boss fights whatsoever. 
Hardened DefenseActivating Threatening Scream grants Hardened Defense, which reduces AoE damage taken by 60% for 15 seconds. Always take this. Rather than having passive 30% AoE DR like almost all other specs, they get this instead. The vast majority of damage you will be taking in raids is considered to be AoE damage, even if the attack doesn’t strictly look like an AoE attack. This is easily one of your strongest defensive cooldowns. I’ll cover this utility in greater detail later on.
Through PowerEnraged Defense increases your movement speed by 50% and grants immunity to movement impairing effects while active.Never take this. Since Enraged Defense can only be activated when your health is below 70%, it’s too unreliable to be used as a movement speed boost. I guess if you come across a fight where you are consistently at low health and need to move it isn’t bad, but I think most of the time you wouldn’t want to run away from whatever’s attacking you while the DCD is active.
Consuming RageEndure Pain removes all cleansable effects when active.Take this on specific fights only. This utility is your self-cleanse. If a fight requires that you cleanse yourself, be sure to take this utility. Please note that just because a fight has something that’s cleansable doesn’t necessarily mean you should take and use this utility. After all, you do have to basically waste a DCD in order to cleanse yourself and a lot of the time the cleanses are supposed to be healer mechanics. There’s no point in cleansing a DoT that deals very little damage if you’re gonna end up taking a lot more damage from some other attack because you didn’t have Endure Pain available. 

Heroic

UtilityDescriptionRecommendation
War BringerForce Charge enables your next Hew to be used against a target with any percentage of health. Lasts up to 15 seconds.Never take this. Hew already has a proc associated with it that allows it to be used at any health level and if you get the Hew proc at the same time as War Bringer, both will be consumed on the same use of Hew. Since Hew doesn’t proc all that often, it is possible to avoid this negative synergy if you really know what you’re doing, but there are always more valuable utilities to take in this tier anyway.
Through PassionReduces the cooldown of Enraged Defense by 30 seconds.Sometimes take this. Enraged Defense is a ridiculously powerful cooldown, and this utility allows you to use it more often. That said, it isn’t always useful. If there isn’t a lot of damage going out where you aren’t able to use the ability on cooldown, there isn’t much of a point to taking this utility. If you aren’t using Enraged Defense on cooldown and need to take something else, it’s okay to give this up, though if you are using this ability mostly on cooldown, you should give up a different utility instead. 
Through VictoryMad Dash can be used while immobilized, purges movement-impairing effects when activated, and deals 50% more damage. Additionally, the cooldown of Mad Dash is reduced by 10 seconds.Sometimes take this. If you’re ever able to deal damage with Mad Dash during a fight, need to use it on cooldown, or want to use it while immobilized, you should take this utility. Please note that the damage increase to Mad Dash from this utility is not enough to make it able to be used rotationally. It’s just an added benefit if you happen to be using Mad Dash for some other reason.
Piercing ChillDealing damage with Chilling Scream applies Piercing Chill, which deals about 5500 elemental damage over 8 seconds. Additionally, Chilling Scream grants Chilling Speed, which increases your movement speed by 35% for 8 seconds.Take this on specific fights only. Compared to Sweeping Slash + Bloodbath + Path Carver, this DoT deals slightly less damage, but covers a larger area and is cheaper to use. Please note that most of your discipline passives only affect bleed DoTs, not periodic damage in general, so this utility doesn’t synergize with Vengeance in particular. The 35% movement speed boost is also nice, but it isn’t ever worth wasting a GCD on if you are able to hit the boss with something else, though you might consider taking this utility for the speed boost if you frequently find yourself out of range of the boss without Enrage available. I’ll cover this utility in greater detail later on.
Thrown GauntletReduces the cooldowns of Force Push and Intimidating Roar by 15 seconds. Additionally, Saber Throw roots the target for 3 seconds.Almost never take this. If you’re taking Extending Roar and happen to have a spare utility point available, this will make it so you never have to use Vicious Slash while still being able to use Force Push on cooldown over Saber Throw. The DPS increase is extremely small though and will be completely overshadowed by an extra crit or mid-fight sneeze. 
Extending RoarIncreases the range of Force Scream to 30m, but Force Scream deals reduced damage beyond 10m. Additionally, Force Push deals 20% more damage and grants Extending Roar, allowing your next Force Scream to deal full damage regardless of the distance from the target.Almost always take this. It gives you another option to use beyond 10m range while minimizing the disruption to your rotation. More importantly, the damage increase on Force Push allows it to be used semi-rotationally as an ability that deals more damage than Vicious Slash. The damage increase is rather small though, so if you really need something else, you’re almost certainly better off taking that instead.
Intimidating PresenceForce Charge finishes the cooldown on Disruption. In addition, Saber Reflect lasts 2 seconds longer.Almost always take this. Intimidating Presence directly increases your DPS by making Saber Reflect last longer. However, not all fights have something that you will consistently be able to reflect, in which case this utility is useless unless you happen to get aggro of the boss. Depending on how often you get aggro of the boss, you might want to take Thrown Gauntlet or something else instead in fights that don’t have a specific thing to reflect. This utility is also essential if you are assigned to solo interrupt something, especially if that mechanic normally requires two players.
ReckoningIntercede grants Reckoning, increasing the damage dealt by your next melee attack by 20%. Lasts 10 seconds. Additionally, the cooldown of Intercede is reduced by 5 seconds and reduces the target’s threat and damage taken by an additional 10%. Take this on specific fights only. Generally you want to avoid using Intercede since it’s typically a DPS loss, though if you find yourself using Intercede during a fight, you might want to consider taking this utility if you’re able to benefit from the 20% damage increase. Please do not use Intercede just because you are taking this utility. The damage boost does not compensate for giving up a full GCD, it’s weaker than even using a charge of Furious Power. Honestly I’m not sure why they didn’t change this utility to just grant you a charge of Furious Power instead. 

Default Utilities Build

Vengeance Default Utilites

Abilities, Priorities and Rotations

Single-Target Rotational Abilities, Attributes, and Important Procs

Please have the game open while reading the remainder of this guide. I will not be writing out tooltip descriptions for abilities and I will only be writing out the components of discipline passives that directly relate to the ability and rotation. This forces you to read through what everything does so that you can understand what all of your passives and abilities do as well as locate these abilities in-game. Make sure you place all of these abilities on your bar in an order that makes sense to you. 

Shien FormShien Form (Discipline Passive)

I want to start this section by going over Shien Form, which is a discipline passive. It used to be an actual ability way back in the day, but the devs decided to do away with stances in order to streamline things. For the sake of nostalgia, I kind of miss it, but at the same time, I get why the devs decided to just make all stances passive. Every single spec always had an optimal stance for DPS purposes and they were always active, so the only thing they really did was make it so people playing those specs sometimes did way less damage than they were designed to do if they were using the wrong stance or didn’t have one active. Yes Jugg, Assassin, and PT could use them to switch to their tank stances for defensive purposes, but that only made things harder to balance. 

In any case, I am choosing to begin this section with this passive because of the general effect it has on the rotation. Shien Form Increases all damage dealt by 6% and movement speed by 15%. All attacks that consume rage will refund 1 rage when used. The first part is pretty straightforward. Every melee spec with the exception of Rage has access to a 15% movement speed boost if they want it, though Vengeance is the only one that always has access to it rather than getting it through a utility point. 

The damage boosting effect is rather straightforward. For those of you that are interested in lightsaber form lore, I would like to point out that Shien Form is depicted in this game as being objectively better than Juyo Form (used by Annihilation Marauders). Shien Form provides several buffs including an always active 6% damage dealt increase, meanwhile base Juyo Form only gives a up to a 4% damage dealt increase that has to be built up with multiple melee strikes and the buff falls off after 30 seconds. Now it does get a bit better later on damage-wise by increasing the crit chance of your bleed effects by 1% per stack of Juyo Form thanks to the passive called Juyo Mastery, but even that only effectively increases damage dealt by an additional 3%. It takes a completely unrelated discipline passive to bring the number of stacks of Juyo from 4 to 6, but then we’d have to weigh that against Shien’s 15% movement speed boost and Rage refund mechanic. Overall, I just really don’t think it works out in Juyo’s favor here, but I digress.

The Rage refund mechanic is what is actually impactful to the rotation. Basically, it somewhat obfuscates the true Rage costs of abilities and really puts the focus on just making sure you have enough Rage right now to activate your next ability and somewhat inhibits you from thinking about where you’ll be down the line. This is further complicated by the fact that different abilities have vastly different Rage costs. Some abilities actually generate Rage rather than consume it while others require that you have almost half your bar filled with Rage in order to activate them. All of this causes you to focus on being in the moment and making split-second decisions rather than looking ahead. I guess that fits with the whole concept of vengeance though as well as Anakin’s reckless behavior. He was a Shien master after all. 

ImpaleImpale (Melee/Energy/Direct/Single-Target/Instant)

This ability is pretty straightforward, it deals a high amount of damage upfront and applies a short, weak DoT and overall accounts for about 22% of your total damage output. Since Impale deals so much damage, it is important to use it on cooldown. Its damage output also makes it the best ability to use with Furious Power, though I’ll cover that in greater detail later on. Impale costs 4 Rage to activate, meaning you only spend 3 to use it. You’ll almost always have enough Rage to activate it, though if you aren’t using Sundering Assault on cooldown, you may not have enough Rage to activate subsequent abilities. Impale has 1 discipline passive associated with it that is relevant to your rotation:

  • Eviscerate – Impale causes the target to bleed for about 9.5k internal damage over 6 seconds. Dealing damage with Impale applies the Melee damage DPS debuff. The vast majority of the damage dealt by Impale comes from the initial hit, not the DoT, though it is important to know that Impale is one of your abilities that applies a DoT. The melee DPS debuff is only relevant if you have an Assassin in the group since Marauders also provide the Melee debuff and Assassins are the only other DPS spec that deals any rotational melee damage.

Force ScreamForce Scream (Force/Kinetic/Direct/Single-Target/Instant)

This ability is similar to Impale, though it isn’t quite as strong. Even though it has the same cooldown, it accounts for about 20% of your total damage output, ever so slightly less than Impale’s 22%. It may feel like Force Scream costs more Rage than Impale, but they do both cost 4 Rage (and refund 1 with Shien Form). Due to Force Scream’s place in the rotation after Impale, you will most often find yourself needing to activate Enrage before this ability, though this will only happen if you use Hew without its proc or delay using Sundering Assault. Force Scream has 1 proc and 1 discipline passive associated with it that are relevant to your rotation:

  • Draining Scream – Force Scream causes the target to bleed for about 9.1k internal damage over 6 seconds. This DoT is effectively identical to Impale’s Eviscerate DoT. 
  • Savagery – Shater, Impale, Hew, and Vengeful Slam increase the critical chance of your next Force Scream by 50%. Stacks up to 2 times, lasts 15 seconds. If you are doing your rotation properly, your next Force Scream will always be an autocrit. Since Impale and Vengeful Slam are used on cooldown and have the same cooldown duration as Force Scream, it’s almost impossible to mess this up. The autocrit is very important to the ability dealing a good amount of damage though, since an autocrit of Force Scream only deals more damage than a regular hit of Impale. 

Vengeful SlamVengeful Slam (Force/Energy/Direct/AoE/Instant)

This ability is a fair bit weaker than Force Scream and Impale in single-target situations. Despite having the same cooldown as those abilities, it accounts for about only about 12.5% of your total damage output in single-target situations and for this reason, some people consider it to be more of a filler, but I don’t think it’s good to think of it that way since it does still need to be used on cooldown. This ability is also responsible for Vengeance’s capacity to deal AoE damage rotationally as well as provide the armor debuff in an AoE fashion thanks to the Crushing Fist utility. I would also like to point out that this ability deals Force damage, not melee damage, so it cannot be buffed by Furious Power. Vengeful Slam has 2 discipline passives associated with it that are relevant to your rotation:

  • Bloodbath – Vengeful Slam spreads your bleed effects to all targets it damages, if at least one of the targets is already affected by your bleeds. This passive makes Vengeful Slam your DoT spread ability. 
  • Ruin – The cooldown of Vengeful Slam (and Smash) is reduced by 6 seconds and no longer consumes Rage. This passive is a bit weird since its effects apply to an ability that you don’t yet have when you initially unlock it. Smash initially costs Rage and Vengeful Slam replaces Smash, so Vengeful Slam counts as an ability that consumes rage for the purposes of things like Shien Form, so it still refunds 1 Rage whenever it is activated. Since it’s free, it effectively generates 1 Rage whenever it’s used. If you are using Sundering Assault and Saber Throw on cooldown, this will sometimes result in that 1 Rage getting wasted, but it’s okay to ignore that. The ability is cheap and damaging enough that it’s worth using on cooldown regardless of whether you can actually benefit from the Rage generation. The cooldown reduction is already baked into the ability as well, the only thing you really need to know is that this passive makes it so that Vengeful Slam has the same cooldown duration as Force Scream and Impale. 

ShatterShatter (Force/Internal/Direct and Periodic/Single-Target/Instant)

This is your most damaging ability. While it has a 30% longer cooldown than Impale, it still accounts for about 22% of your total damage output. Shatter has an initial direct damage hit that deals about as much damage as your stronger semi-rotational filler abilities like Saber Throw, Vicious Slash, and Force Push followed up by a 12 second DoT that can deal almost as much damage with a single tick as your other bleed DoTs do over their entire durations. Shatter has 2 discipline passives associated with it that are relevant to your rotation:

  • Rampage – Shatter finishes the active cooldown on Ravage and generates 3 Rage. Both components of this discipline passive are crucial to your rotation:
    • The cooldown reset on Ravage means that you don’t have to use Ravage on cooldown but rather only make sure that it gets used before you next have Shatter available. It also effectively reduces Ravage’s cooldown which is longer than Shatter’s normally. Since Ravage deals so much damage with the Hemophilic Slash, you should continue to use Shatter to reset its cooldown even if it will clip Shatter’s DoT. 
    • The 3 Rage refund is on top of the 1 Rage refund from Shien Form. Since Shatter costs 5 Rage, you need to have 5 Rage to activate the ability but it will only effectively cost 1 Rage to actually use.
  • Bloodmaster – You deal 5% more bleed damage with your bleed effects for each different bleed effect present on the target (up to 15% total). The wording of this effect is a little vague in the game as to whether or not it applies to all bleed damage where it would function more like an invisible buff on you as opposed to an invisible debuff on specific targets.  It’s difficult to test as the effective change is rather small, but as far as I can tell, it seems to increase the damage taken by each enemy on an individual basis depending on how many bleed effects they have specifically. In single-target situations, this effect doesn’t really matter a whole lot since you have so many other incentives to use your abilities that apply bleeds on cooldown already and you already want to use Ravage with Hemophilic Slash when as many bleed effects are active as well since that is a flat damage increase based on the number of ticks. Basically this passive just adds a damage increase in an interesting way.

HewHew (Melee/Energy/Direct/Single-Target/Instant)

This ability is super strong, it deals almost as much damage as Impale’s direct damage, though since you aren’t able to use it as often, it only accounts for about 7% of your total damage output. Hew has a 30m range, which is super nice and along with Saber Throw and Force Charge, it means you’ll basically always have something you can do when you’re not in melee range. Since it deals so much direct melee damage, you should Furious Power on this ability. Normally, Hew can only be used if the target has less than 30% HP, though it has a proc that allows it to be used at any health level:

  • Destroyer – Dealing damage with Ravage or one of your bleed effects has a 30% chance to trigger Destroyer, which finishes the cooldown on Hew and makes your next Hew consume no Rage and usable on a target with any health level. Cannot occur more than once every 20 seconds. This effect is basically random, though because of Hemophilic Slash, it has a much better chance to trigger during Ravage than anywhere else in the rotation. Since the rate limit is long and the chance of it proccing is relatively low, you shouldn’t ever rely on being able to use Hew at any given time, just use one of your semi-rotational fillers if you have nothing for the next GCD if you can’t use Hew. The 20 second rate limit is nice though, it gives you a lot of room as to when you actually have to use Hew. You basically just have to use it before the Destroyer proc falls off, so it has pretty low priority, really it should just only be used instead of one of your semi-rotational fillers. In addition, since Hew normally costs Rage and Destroyer makes it free, Shien Form will cause Hew to generate 1 Rage when used, just like Vengeful Slam. Finally, the Destroyer proc is the reason that Vengeance can’t use the War Bringer utility since a single use of Hew will consume both Destroyer and War Bringer. Would be nice if they made it so that the War Bringer utility just gave you a second charge of Destroyer instead.

When you get below 30%, Hew becomes usable without the proc. It has an 8.9s cooldown, costs 3 Rage (and then refunds 1 because of Shien Form). It’s still just as strong damage-wise without the proc, the big difference is the Rage cost. Don’t use it sub-30 without the proc unless you have Enrage available or have a ton of extra Rage through your utilities since you’d normally be using an ability that doesn’t cost any Rage instead. You don’t want to run into a situation where you don’t have enough rage for a future ability, and you definitely will run into that situation, usually when you try to use Force Scream or Shatter. You don’t have too many opportunities to use it without the proc though since you still need to use Ravage for Hemophilic Slash. If you’re using Cut to Pieces, Hew does more damage than Ravage, so use Hew before (and instead of) using Ravage, provided you can afford the Rage. Hew doesn’t have any other discipline passives associated with it that are relevant to your rotation.

Sundering Assault (Imperial)Sundering Assault (Melee/Energy/Direct/Single-Target/Instant)

This is the weakest of your rotational abilities, accounting for only about 4.5% of your total damage output, though it almost always needs to be used on cooldown since it is the main way that you generate Rage. Since it deals so little damage, there is an incentive for you to not use it on cooldown if you don’t need the Rage, though you will not have enough Rage to do your rotation if you delay it when you shouldn’t. The only time you can delay it at all is when you have excess Rage as a result of your utilities. The core rotation, with Vicious Slash being used as the exclusive filler when Hew isn’t available, requires Sundering Assault to be used on cooldown as well as occasionally using Enrage, so you will always be able to fully benefit from Sundering Assault’s Rage generation. 

Once you add in the Deadly Reprisal and Unyielding utilities, use Force Push as an occasional filler with the Extending Roar utility, and use Saber Throw and Force Charge as needed, suddenly you have a fair bit of excess Rage which can allow you to temporarily delay using Sundering Assault in favor of Vicious Slash. Now, Vicious Slash doesn’t do a whole lot of damage, so the DPS increase from doing this is quite small and fairly difficult to notice. A few extra crits or a mid-fight sneeze can easily overshadow it. The rotation also becomes more complex since it forces you to pay attention to your Rage and make a more conscious decision about which ability to use, meaning you won’t be able to pay at much attention to the fight. As a result of all this, I would only recommend delaying Sundering Assault at all in the most significant of DPS checks, and you won’t find any of those outside of a few NiM bosses unless someone else in your group is not pulling their weight.

This ability also applies the Armor debuff, so in fights where you aren’t able to hit multiple targets with Vengeful Slam, there is no need to take the Crushing Fist utility. The Armor debuff (along with all other raid utility debuffs) lasts 45 seconds, so there is no chance of the debuff falling off since Sundering Assault’s cooldown is much less than that. Sundering Assault has 2 advanced class passives that are relevant to your rotation:

  • Raging Assault – Reduces the cooldown of Sundering Assault by 3 seconds and increases the Rage it generates by 2. This passive should be removed from the game and its effects should be rolled into the base ability. All this passive does is create confusion because it makes the text that appears in the ability tooltip inaccurate. Just so we’re clear, Sundering Assault generates 7 Rage. 
  • Endless Rage – You generate 1 Rage whenever you are attacked. Cannot occur more than once every 6 seconds. This advanced class passive isn’t strictly related to Sundering Assault, but I figured I’d mention it here. Basically this paired with Deadly Reprisal makes it so you really don’t have to worry about Rage when doing your single-target rotation. You can use Vicious Slash and Hew unprocced as needed. 

RavageRavage (Melee/Energy/Direct/Single-Target/Instant)

Most of us miss the old 3 second channel animation for Ravage, but at least for Vengeance, the fact that it’s only a GCD makes the rotation a lot simpler. If they were ever to bring the 3 second channel back for Ravage, I think there’s a good chance the devs would give Vengeance some sort of discipline passive that would make Ravage the instant ability it is now in order to maintain the elegant rotation they created. Thanks to the Hemophilic Slash tactical, Ravage plays a more important role in Vengeance’s rotation rather than being the strong filler that it was in previous expansions and still is when using the Cut to Pieces tactical.

Ravage’s damage directly accounts for about 8% of your total damage output, though with Hemophilic Slash, that number is a fair bit higher. When you have Hemophilic Slash equipped, you’ll only ever be using the ability when at least two of your bleeds are on the target, resulting in the damage dealt per GCD being stronger than Force Scream. When it’s able to refresh all 3 bleeds, the damage dealt is similar to Impale’s direct damage and Hew. Now it is important to note that Furious Power charges should not be used on Ravage because Furious Power only increases your melee damage dealt, so it won’t affect your DoTs. There will be times where you can’t avoid having Furious Power affect Ravage, like if you happen to generate multiple charges at roughly the same time, and in those cases, don’t worry. The key thing is to just not activate Furious Power on Ravage. When Hemophilic slash is not being used, Ravage is still a strong filler, so make sure to use it before you’d use Force Push, Vicious Slash, or Saber Throw (provided you’re in melee range), though it doesn’t have priority over any of your other rotational abilities. 

Since dealing direct damage with Shatter resets the cooldown on Ravage, and Shatter is used on cooldown, and Shatter has a cooldown that is shorter than Ravage’s regular cooldown, you only have to make sure to use Ravage before the next time you use Shatter. This gives you the freedom to use it at ideal points in the rotation, rather than use it on cooldown. This doesn’t matter a whole lot when you’re using Cut to Pieces, but it does make a difference when it comes to the Hemophilic Slash tactical. 

The damage contributed by Hemophilic Slash is roughly equivalent regardless of which DoT you refresh. Since Shatter has to be used on cooldown and its cooldown is equal to its duration, refreshing it doesn’t really do anything, therefore the only benefit is the extra tick you get. Meanwhile, the individual additional ticks from the Force Scream and Impale bleeds don’t matter as much because they are so small, but the duration refresh is more significant since those DoTs don’t have 100% uptime, though you still won’t double the damage since Impale’s DoT will get clipped by needing to activate Impale again and Force Scream will only deal damage will sometimes only tick once or twice before getting refreshed. 

Your ideal points in the rotation are immediately before and after Vengeful Slam. Before Vengeful Slam is the only time in the single-target rotation when you’ll have all 3 bleed effects on the target. After Vengeful Slam, you’ll only ever have 2 of your bleeds, though if you don’t use it by this point, you won’t always have an opportunity to use it before you have to reapply Shatter. Be mindful when you switch targets though, Ravage is only ideal to use in those locations if you have 2-3 bleeds on the target. You still should use Ravage before your next Shatter, so sometimes you need to use it even when the DoTs aren’t up, but definitely try to avoid using Ravage when you don’t have at least 2 DoTs on the target.

You will also have 2 bleeds on the target immediately after Impale, though this location is worse than after Vengeful Slam for two reasons. First, you’ll be refreshing Impale’s bleed effect immediately after applying it, as opposed to an extra GCD after like you would if you used Ravage after Vengeful Slam to refresh Force Scream’s DoT, basically you don’t get as many DoT ticks by doing it there. Second, you may miss out on using Ravage to refresh all 3 DoTs if you aren’t paying attention, which would be the case if Shatter was used immediately after the previous Vengeful Slam. This also makes you more likely to mess up a raid mechanic because you had to pay closer attention to your rotation. By saving Ravage for before or after Vengeful Slam, you force yourself to check only when it’s ideal to activate Ravage and if you weren’t able to use it then for whatever reason, you don’t have to deliberate about whether or not to use it after Vengeful Slam because the answer will always be yes.

From my testing, I have not found a noticeable DPS increase to just always save Ravage for use before Vengeful Slam when you’ll have all 3 DoTs on the target. The reason is that the vast majority of the DPS increase comes from the extra tick of Shatter and significant duration extension on a single one of the other two DoTs because you don’t gain very much DPS from refreshing a DoT that was just applied and 10% vs 15% damage increase from Bloodmaster is pretty insignificant as well. You also have to use Vicious Slash as a filler more often and the rotation in general becomes much harder since you have to delay Sundering Assault and use Enrage. It just isn’t worth it. Ravage does not have any additional passives or procs associated with it that I haven’t already mentioned.

Other Semi-Rotational Abilities

All of the abilities in this section should only be used if you are unable to use one of your rotational abilities. This will happen naturally in your rotation on occasion or if you are outside of melee range and Hew is unavailable.

Saber Throw JuggSaber Throw (Melee/Energy/Direct/Single-Target/Instant)

This ability deals almost as much damage as Vicious Slash and Force Push (with Extending Roar) with the added benefits that it has 30m range, provides the Armor debuff thanks to the Sundering Throw discipline passive, and grants 3 Rage. Overall, it is the best and most versatile of your semi-rotational filler abilities, though since it is the only one with 30m range and deals ever so slightly less damage, I prefer to use it only if Force Push is on cooldown if I’m within melee range of my target so I generally have it available when I am out of melee range. 

I want to draw attention to how fantastic it is that this is a non-rotational 30m range ability that provides the Armor debuff. In fights with multiple bosses, this enables you to easily maintain the Armor debuff on a second target, or even on two targets if you use it on cooldown and just alternate which boss you use it on. The armor debuff has a 45 second duration though, so if you only need to maintain it on 1 other enemy, just use Saber Throw by default on that other enemy whenever the gap in your rotation comes up. If you are the only player in your group that provides the Armor debuff, you should always use Saber Throw in this fashion. 

The 3 Rage this ability generates isn’t required for the main rotation, though due to how Rage consumption works for Vengeance, the 3 Rage is able to basically hide in your Rage meter to cover the Rage cost of a single non-rotational ability, like an AoE ability or Vicious Slash. From what I can tell, there isn’t enough room in the Rage meter to be able to hold more than 3 spare Rage though, so if you can’t save up more Rage by using Saber Throw multiple times and not spending extra Rage or also save the 3 Rage generated by Force Charge.

Remember that you only get these benefits by actually using the ability, so be sure to actually use Saber Throw if you can benefit from it. If there aren’t any other bosses or you don’t exit melee range over the entire fight, try to use it over Vicious Slash as much as you can.

Force Push ImperialForce Push (Force/Kinetic/Direct/Single-Target/Instant)

This ability doesn’t cost any Rage to use (it doesn’t trigger Shien Form though) and if you take Extending Roar, it deals more damage than any of your other semi-rotational filler abilities. The fact that it doesn’t cost Rage makes it so you don’t really have to use Enrage to generate Rage and can save it for the movement speed boost from the Unshackling Rage utility. Since it’s considered a Force attack, it also won’t consume any stacks of Furious Power, should you happen to generate multiple at the same time.

Please note that if you aren’t using Extending Roar, don’t use Force Push at all for DPS because it won’t deal enough damage. Be mindful that it is a knockback as well, so if something doesn’t have knockback immunity, you’re gonna send it to another planet, not that it will be too much of a problem for you since you can just leap to it immediately because Force Push resets the cooldown on Force Charge.

Please note that in actual fights (as opposed to practicing on the dummy), the fact that this ability is free is less significant since you’ll gain extra Rage for use on Vicious Slash and unprocced Hew. Force Push with Extending Roar is still a DPS increase over Vicious Slash, it just isn’t as valuable in case you need something else.

Extending Roar also makes it so that Force Scream is usable beyond 10m, though it does deal significantly reduced damage unless you use Force Push to provide a short proc that makes Force Scream do full damage. I find this to be quite difficult to do in Vengeance because you will almost always have to delay something that deals more damage in order to get the Extending Roar proc and you don’t have a huge window to use it anyway because Force Scream is used so frequently. If the stars align, that’s great, but I think it’s generally just better to use Force Push for the damage increase.

RetaliationRetaliation (Melee/Energy/Direct/Single-Target/Instant)

I have a confession. I actually lied to you when I said that Force Push with the Extending Roar utility was your most damaging semi-rotational ability. It’s actually Retaliation, by a small amount. The reason I said this is because Retaliation isn’t usually available to you as a DPS. It only triggers if you miss an attack (which won’t happen since you have 110% accuracy) or if you manage to completely dodge an attack, which usually only happens when Saber Ward is active or if some other accuracy reducing or defense chance increasing effect is active like Diversion or Predation. Remember that Retaliation is still weak, its damage output isn’t competitive with your actual rotational abilities, only use it if you happen to be able to use it when the gap in your rotation appears, where you would use a different semi-rotational ability instead. Never use it just because it’s available. Honestly, it’s also fine to just take this ability off your bar.

vicious slashVicious Slash (Melee/Energy/Direct/Single-Target/Instant)

This ability is the worst of your semi-rotational fillers. It deals ever so slightly more damage than Saber Throw and ever so slightly less damage than Force Push with the Extending Roar utility, but the reason it is the worst is because it costs 3 Rage (2 after the Shien Form refund). The big advantage of this ability though is that it doesn’t have a cooldown, so you’ll always be able to use it if nothing else is available. There’s nothing wrong with using Vicious Slash as your semi-rotational filler ability per se, it’s just not quite as good as your other options. 

AoE Abilities

The formula for determining how much damage an AoE ability does per GCD such that it can be compared to single-target abilities is: (Damage Dealt/Number of GCDs) x Number of Enemies. An AoE ability’s place in the priority is as high as it can be until it reaches a single-target ability that deals more damage than the AoE will deal to all enemies in the GCD. AoE damage is considered fluff if the adds do not need to die ASAP or if you are otherwise shirking your main responsibilities to deal more damage to adds. It’s pretty easy to tell what is and isn’t fluff, don’t be greedy and don’t hurt your group’s chances of beating the boss. 

Vengeful SlamVengeful Slam (Force/Energy/Direct/AoE/Instant)

This is your DoT spread and most powerful AoE ability. It also applies the armor debuff if you’re taking the Crushing Fist utility, which you definitely should be in every single fight with AoE. This ability needs to be used on cooldown in AoE situations. 

Sweeping SlashSweeping Slash (Melee/Energy/Direct/AoE/Instant)

This is your somewhat spammable AoE. It doesn’t have a cooldown, but it’s hard to spam for a long time thanks to its Rage cost. It also only works as a forward-facing cleave so you have to watch your positioning. Sweeping Slash should only be used after you’ve DoT spread. Thanks to the Cut to Pieces tactical, you probably won’t end up using this ability too much anymore. Sweeping Slash has 1 discipline passive associated with it:

  • Bloodbath – Sweeping Slash deals 25% more damage to bleeding targets. This is why you need to make sure the enemies are bleeding from your DoTs before using Sweeping Slash, though the DoT spread is more powerful than Sweeping Slash, so even without this passive, you’d still want to use your DoT spread before using Sweeping Slash.

Mad DashMad Dash and the Through Victory Utility (Melee/Energy/Direct/AoE/Instant)

The Through Victory utility increases Mad Dash’s damage dealt to be higher than Sweeping Slash’s, though even without the utility, it costs no Rage and still deals decent damage, so if you’re out of Rage and still need to AoE, feel free to use Mad Dash. You will have to give some other utility up in the Heroic tier if you want to take Through Victory in AoE situations though and you might not want to do this. If you find yourself able to use Mad Dash and are able to deal damage with it as a result of using it for a specific purpose, be sure to take Through Victory over Extending Roar.

Chilling ScreamChilling Scream and the Piercing Chill Utility (Force/Elemental/Direct and Periodic/AoE/Instant) 

With the Piercing Chill utility, Chilling Scream applies a DoT. This DoT deals slightly less damage than Sweeping Slash with Path Carver + Bloodbath, though it is cheaper to use and covers a larger, circular area as opposed to a cone. If you’re able to affect a single additional target with Piercing Chill over Sweeping Slash, Chilling Scream will deal more damage, so if you can’t manage to hit every enemy in the vicinity with Sweeping Slash, throw in Chilling Scream. You can’t spam Chilling Scream though since it is a DoT, just reapply it as soon as it falls off.  Remember, Piercing Chill only deals more damage than Sweeping Slash with Path Carver + Bloodbath if you’re able to hit more targets with Chilling Scream than you would with Sweeping Slash. You shouldn’t use Chilling Scream at all if you can hit everything with Sweeping Slash. 

Piercing ChillPiercing Chill vs Path CarverPath Carver

I can’t think of a situation where you’d be forced to choose between taking Path Carver or Piercing Chill, but if you do have to choose, take Path Carver if you’re using Sweeping Slash at least twice per use of Chilling Scream, otherwise take Piercing Chill. I think most of the time if you’re able to frequently spam Sweeping Slash, you would want to take the Cut to Pieces tactical which means you won’t really be able to use Sweeping Slash that much anyway.

Offensive Cooldowns

All offensive cooldowns should be used as frequently as possible under the conditions stated here or if it needs to be saved for a DPS check/burst window, but don’t start delaying it for that until you see that you have to. 

Furious PowerFurious Power

This is the new ability Sith Warriors got with 6.0. It helps to give Vengeance (and Juggs in general) a bit more burst since they didn’t really have much in the way of offensive cooldown abilities prior to 6.0. While the tooltip says it boosts the damage dealt by your next direct single-target melee attack, it does not boost the damage of or consume a charge of Furious Power on Sundering Assault or regular Assault. I assume this is a quality of life thing since those are weak abilities that no spec wants buff.  In order to get the absolute maximum in sustained DPS out of this cooldown, you should use Furious Power immediately before using your strongest melee abilities, which are Impale and Hew for Vengeance. 

The only other abilities that will consume a charge are Ravage, Vicious Slash, Saber Throw, and Retaliation. It isn’t the end of the world if you accidentally consume a charge on one of those abilities, but try to avoid it when possible. It’s much easier to avoid if you use Furious Power Charges as you gain them, but the DPS difference is miniscule if you want to save them up and just pop Furious Power whenever it hits 4 charges, though make sure you are using the ability as soon as it hits 4 charges or you will begin to lose DPS. In fights that require burst, make sure you have all 4 charges available for the burst DPS check, though wait until you’re relatively close to the burst check to refrain from activating it. You need about 30 seconds to get 4 charges. It can and will probably happen in less time than that, but given that 2-3 of the charges will trigger based on RNG, I think it’s better to be safe than sorry.

EnrageEnrage

This ability isn’t an offensive cooldown in the traditional sense. Really, it’s just there to facilitate you being able to always use your most damaging abilities, so you never have to resort to using something like Assault. If you ever find yourself unable to use an ability, usually Force Scream, because you don’t have enough Rage, just use Enrage immediately. This will typically only come up when your target is sub-30% and you are able to use unprocced Hew or if you’re doing AoE. The vast majority of the time, it is safe to use this ability for the movement speed boost provided by the Unshackling Rage utility. 

Adrenal

The Adrenal is a really simple cooldown. There isn’t really anything to say about it. Just like everything else, make sure to have it available for DPS checks and otherwise use it on cooldown. Try to use it immediately after using Sundering Assault in order to make it so you’ll only have to use Sundering Assault once while the Adrenal is active. Remember, you should use the Advanced Kyrprax Attack Adrenal in level 75 content and Advanced Kyrprax Critical Adrenal in non-level 75 content.

Sha’Tek Relic of Primeval FatesealerSha’Tek Relic of Primeval Fatesealer

This relic is unfortunately the only viable alternative for use in sub-level 75 content alongside the Sha’Tek Relic of Devastating Vengeance because the standard Focused Retribution and Serendipitous Assault relics are useless because Mastery and Power are capped. It should be used on cooldown because it is not affected by Alacrity like some of your other offensive cooldowns are. It should also be saved for burst phases and DPS checks if they exist in a given fight. While this relic is not on the GCD, it helps if you try to activate it as soon as a GCD ends in order to minimize weirdness with ability cooldowns not lining up properly.

Defensive Cooldowns and Mobility

Threatening ScreamThreatening Scream and the Hardened Defense Utility

Threatening Scream is your threat drop as a DPS and with the mandatory Hardened Defense utility, it becomes arguably your best defensive cooldown, providing 60% AoE DR for 15 seconds. In group content, the vast majority of damage dealt is considered AoE damage, even if the attacks themselves don’t look like AoEs. 

If you’re coming from another class that has the standard 30% AoE DR, the amount of mitigation you get from just activating Threatening Scream is similar to what happens when you activate a regular DCD that provides something like 20-25% DR for one of those classes against an AoE attack of some sort. In other words, Hardened Defense is effectively providing defensive power of 30% AoE DR and throwing another cooldown on top of that. Remember this when you’re debating if you need to use a second cooldown while Threatening Scream is active because odds are you don’t need to make yourself nearly unkillable. Threatening Scream is normally enough on its own.

Now this strong DCD is a bit of a double-edged sword. Juggs lack the traditional 30% AoE DR, so they are quite a bit squishier when Threatening Scream isn’t active. Some hits have a greater potential of being lethal to a Jugg while most other classes that could get away with not popping a DCD at all. In addition, even if Threatening Scream is used on cooldown, you’re only gonna average out to having about 20% AoE DR, though you do gain quite a bit of control in exchange. Who needs AoE DR when there’s not much damage going out? Wouldn’t you rather have it be more concentrated when things actually hurt?

Endure PainEndure Pain

Thanks to the Deafening Defense discipline passive, Endure Pain provides 15% DR while it is active in addition to giving the bonus health. Be sure you call out to your healers when you activate this ability by saying something like “I have fake health” so they know your health is temporary. 

If a bit of extra mitigation is needed, Endure Pain is usually a good first choice since it works against everything and has a pretty short cooldown, unless some other DCD is specifically better suited to the damage you’ll be taking. With DCDs in general, it’s important to make sure you’re mapping the strongest hits to the most effective cooldowns against that damage, though in times where you’ll be taking more sustained damage, it’s important to use things in the order that maximizes the number of uses you get out of your DCDs. For example, if a burn phase lasts 1 minute and 15 seconds, you’d want to use Endure Pain first since it would allow you to get 2 uses out of the single burn phase whereas if you waited, the second use would only come off cooldown as the burn phase ends. 

Endure Pain also functions as your-self cleanse with the Consuming Rage utility. I normally don’t take Consuming Rage unless there is something that a DPS is expected to cleanse, though that isn’t too common. Most of the time, cleanses are healer mechanics. The reason is that you basically have to waste one of your precious DCDs in order to use something as a cleanse. Sometimes the act of removing a DoT altogether would provide greater mitigation than the extra health and DR from Endure Pain would mitigate, but other times you’d be better off saving Endure Pain for a more significant source of damage. Just because something is a DoT doesn’t mean it hits hard or is worth a cleanse. My general rule is to not take the utility or use it if I wouldn’t spend one of my own GCDs to cleanse it if I were on something like a Sorc or Merc.

Saber Ward (Imperial)Saber Ward

This DCD is useful against any attack, though it mitigates damage differently depending on the attack type and it’s far more powerful against melee/ranged damage than force/tech. Against melee/ranged damage, it gives you defense chance, which is the chance to completely avoid taking the damage. Against frequent ticks of damage, the 50% defense chance increase is not statistically different than giving you 50% DR instead. Thanks to the Blade Turning advanced class passive, for the first 2 seconds of Saber Ward, you actually have 100% defense chance against melee/ranged damage, meaning you are completely immune to melee/range damage for 2 seconds. As a DPS, you don’t take a whole lot of melee/ranged damage in raids unless an add is hitting you, though Saber Ward is one of your best cooldowns against adds. 

Saber Ward also provides 25% damage absorption against force/tech attacks, though for a couple of reasons, it is a bit weaker than other DCDs that provide 25% mitigation you might be familiar with. First, you don’t have passive 30% AoE DR as a Jugg. Second, Saber Ward provides damage absorption rather than damage reduction, so the 25% isn’t added to whatever your current DR is, resulting in less mitigation overall. I would recommend using something else against force/tech damage unless this is the only thing you have left. It’s better than nothing, but against big hits you’ll probably need to pair it with something else.

Enraged DefenseEnraged Defense

This ability provides a ridiculous amount of healing, though depending on how good your healers are and how healing intensive the fight is, you might have a hard time activating this since it can only be used when you are below 70% HP. In fights where there isn’t a whole lot of damage going out, I like to use this ability as soon as I see it light up. Otherwise, it’s best used against ticking damage since the healing goes out each time you take damage. Enraged Defense will basically make it so you can’t get killed by anything but massive single hits or an insane amount of adds. 

This ability still works okay against singular hits as well, but you have to be careful not to waste it. A lot of the time your health will be pretty high if you’re about to take a big hit, so you may only be able to activate Enraged Defense after taking the damage, which means you’d activate it when you potentially won’t be taking any further damage before the DCD expires. In general, this utility is best used in situations where you’d use Saber Ward. If you find yourself in a fight where you’re using Enraged Defense on cooldown, you might want to consider taking the Through Passion utility.

Saber Reflect (Imperial)Saber Reflect

Since this ability provides complete immunity to the damage types it works on, Saber Reflect should never be paired with anything else because those other DCDs won’t do anything to increase your survivability if this one works. There aren’t too many instances where Saber Reflect mitigates anything though since it only works on single-target damage and as I’ve mentioned several times, the vast majority of damage dealt is single-target. It still works pretty often as a cheese though and sometimes things that look like AoEs are actually considered single-target. 

This ability can also be used offensively by reflecting things that you could otherwise easily avoid. Definitely experiment with it and use it offensively when you can, though make sure it’s available if there’s something you need to cheese. You can fall back on Mad Dash though if you accidentally mess up and use Saber Reflect on something else.

If you can benefit from an extra 2 seconds of Saber Reflect, be sure to take the Intimidating Presence utility, though that utility point can often be spent somewhere else, so if you can only reflect things that have a duration of 3 seconds or less, there isn’t much of a point to taking Intimidating Presence. 

Medpac

Don’t save it for a rainy day because today is that rainy day! Unless you get hit by a one-shot mechanic (which you shouldn’t), you should never let yourself die while your Medpac is still available. If everyone’s health is getting low or there’s a heal check in the current phase, do not hesitate to use your Medpac if you can take full benefit of the health provided or need to be above a certain health level to survive an imminent mechanic. If you think Medpacs are too expensive, it’s time to get Biochem on one of your alts or even better, your raiding toon so that you can make your own or get reusables. 

Mad DashMad Dash

This ability is both a defensive cooldown and movement ability. As a defensive cooldown, it’s your cheese ability. It gives you 100% defense/resist chance for the duration of the dash, meaning you’re completely immune to taking damage during your dash, provided that it’s damage that is mitigatable, so it won’t work against things like 0 damage kills and typeless damage. Since the mitigation is so short, it can be fairly difficult to time, so you may need to practice it a little bit and don’t be afraid to completely stop DPSing for a moment if there’s something that will kill you if you don’t do the cheese correctly. 

As a movement ability, Mad Dash does help you cover a fair bit of distance, but it does cost a GCD to use, so it is best used when you’re out of range of the boss so you couldn’t deal damage anyway or after your other movement abilities have been used. It’s not the end of the world to use this ability for movement though, especially if you’re taking the Through Victory utility to increase its damage. Bottom line: try to hit something with Mad Dash if you can or use it when you’re out of range of everything.

I also want to add that if you’re using this ability against one of the Energy Spheres from Brontes, or some similar mechanic where something detonates on contact with you, make sure that you hit the orb at the end of the animation, rather than the beginning or middle. If you don’t do this, the mitigation might not work because of position lag. The server may not update your position until the end of the animation after the mitigation has ended.

Force ChargeForce Charge (Melee/Energy/Direct/Single-Target/Instant)

This is one of your gap closer abilities. It generates 3 Rage and deals very little damage. Since the 3 Rage doesn’t really do anything for Vengeance, it can be better DPS-wise if you can get to melee range with Enrage (for speed boost) + Hew (30m ability) + Force Scream (10m ability), though that won’t always be possible. Force Charge can often be used while you are still flying through the air from a knockback, definitely do that if you’re able to. If you are switching targets or haven’t hit anything in a while, you might want to consider using Sundering Assault as your first ability even if a normally higher priority ability is available so you don’t have to worry about Rage at all. It also ensures that the armor debuff is on the target. It’s usually a DPS loss to do this, but it essentially guarantees that there won’t be any hiccups with the rest of the rotation.

Force Charge also interrupts the cast of whatever target you leap to, though it doesn’t apply a 4 second lockout like your actual interrupt ability does, so it’s more for just buying you a couple of seconds for your or someone else’s interrupt to come off cooldown than a more proper solution to a mechanic. This does come up fairly often though if your group is leveraging your short interrupt cooldown though, so it’s important to be aware that you can do this. Force Charge has 1 proc associated with it that I would like to mention:

  • Brawn – Force Charge grants Brawn, providing immunity to interrupts, stuns, knockdowns, and incapacitating effects for 4 seconds. In addition, damage reduction is increased by 20% for the duration of Brawn. The immunities provided by Brawn won’t come up very often in PvE; most of the time you’ll need to take the Unstoppable utility for knockback immunity in order to actually cheese mechanics, though you should be fully immune to all CC with both Brawn and Unstoppable. I also want to add that you should treat the 20% DR for 4 seconds as a nice bonus. You should not run out to 10m and leap in specifically to get the DR unless you think you will literally die without that specific mitigation because your other cooldowns are unavailable or insufficient. It is your healers’ jobs to spend their GCDs to mitigate damage for you. Unless something has gone horribly wrong with the pull, you should never have to spend your GCDs solely to protect yourself as a DPS.

IntercedeIntercede and the Reckoning Utility

You should really only think of this ability as a movement tool to use exclusively when you’re more than 30m away from your target. The threat and damage reduction it provides are nice, but because this ability costs a GCD to use, it’s not really functionally different from an off-heal, which you should not use in PvE. Healers and tanks are fully capable of doing their jobs without your help. Their job is to spend GCDs to mitigate damage while yours is to spend GCDs to deal damage. If you can salvage a pull, I guess it’s worthwhile to use for non-movement purposes, but if you feel you have to use this on a regular basis, someone isn’t pulling their weight and you should make that known to the raid lead. 

There are some fights where you can make frequent use out of Reckoning, and in some of those you are able to hit the boss within 10 seconds. In those fights, if you have a spare utility, you might consider taking Reckoning instead of some other utility. Remember that it’s only a 20% damage boost though, so you should never use Intercede just to gain the proc. 

EnrageEnrage and the Unshackling Rage Utility

With the rotation I recommend, Enrage should almost always be available for you to use as a movement ability with the Unshackling Rage utility, which increases your movement speed by 50% for 6 seconds. This is super valuable to have because it’s the only way you can get significant mobility without giving up a GCD. If it isn’t too much of a hassle, I prefer to use Enrage for movement before trying to use any of the other mobilities so you don’t lose as much DPS. It isn’t a huge DPS increase though, so if you’re feeling lazy, you should be fine to just use Force Charge instead.

Crowd Control and Other Abilities

Force ChokeForce Choke

This is your hard stun, meaning it does not break on damage. In PvE, this will generally only be used for specific mechanics since most things you’d care about stunning are immune, though the more recent operations do have lots of opportunities to stun things. In general, be sure to pay attention when something is stunnable because that often means you’re intended to stun it. 

Force Choke generates 3 Rage over the duration of the stun and deals the same amount of damage as Assault, meaning it’s technically a better ability to use if you need Rage and have nothing else to use, though you need a bit of foresight to take advantage of since it takes 4 seconds to actually get that Rage. 

DisruptionDisruption

This is your interrupt. As a Sith Warrior, you have the shortest cooldown on your interrupt in the game at 12 seconds, though a few other melee classes can match it. This short cooldown does mean you are capable of handling an interrupt mechanic entirely on your own or with less help than is normally required. This means you may be tasked with If you really want to be a clicker, I highly recommend you at least keybind this ability or you will have trouble with some of the shorter casts that need to be interrupted. 

Intimidating RoarIntimidating Roar

This is your mez, a CC ability that breaks on damage. It’s exceedingly rare that you’ll be able to use this ability in boss fights. If an add needs to be CC’d for an extended period of time, it will almost always be done by a Sorc or Merc that has a minute long mez. Furthermore, many enemies are immune to mezzes but are still vulnerable to hard stuns. The only time you’ll probably get use out of this is as an additional quick interrupt like Force Charge. 

TauntTaunt

This ability forces a target to attack you for 6 seconds and puts you at the top of the threat table. Only use this if a tank or raid lead specifically tells you to use it or if the boss is running rampant because one or both of the tanks are dead. Make sure that you have a DCD ready or there isn’t too much of a point to Taunting as you’ll probably get killed pretty quickly. If you’re going to use Threatening Scream, make sure you activate it right before you Taunt so you don’t accidentally lose aggro after 6 seconds. 

If one tank dies in a fight with a tank swap mechanic, a common strategy is to have a DPS Taunt and hold aggro only for enough time to get the stacks or get hit by the attack that forces the tanks to actually swap and then have the actual tank take the boss back immediately after. This isn’t always possible, but it’s important to be aware of. 

GuardGuard

Take this ability off your bar. As of 6.1.4, Guarding another player causes you to deal 50% less damage. This was meant to balance out the skank tanks in PvP, but had the negative side-effect of eliminating a piece of raid utility for Assassins, Juggs, and PTs. I really wish they made it so you only dealt 50% less damage to players so DPS could still apply it in PvE. 

UnleashUnleash

This is your CC break. Use it when you get CC’d. If you find yourself using this ability frequently during a fight, you might consider taking the Payback utility. Remember, the cooldown reduction component of the utility is only useful if it specifically enables you to CC break when you otherwise wouldn’t be able to. For example, Payback’s 30 second cooldown reduction isn’t useful at all if you’re getting stunned consistently every 85 seconds since you’re still only able to use your CC break every other stun even with the utility.

assaultAssault

This ability generates 2 Rage deals very little damage and doesn’t have a cooldown. You should never have to use this in Vengeance. If you’re out of Rage and don’t have Enrage or Sundering Assault available, you have really messed up your rotation and need to spend more time practicing on the dummy.

Single-Target Opener and Rotation

Opener

  1. Force Charge Force Charge or Saber Throw Jugg Saber Throw (skip if possible)
  2. Sha’Tek Relic of Primeval Fatesealer Primeval Fatesealer Relic (if applicable)
  3. Enrage Enrage
  4. Sundering Assault (Imperial) Sundering Assault
  5. Furious Power Furious Power + Adrenal
  6. Impale Impale
  7. Shatter Shatter
  8. Force Scream Force Scream
  9. Ravage Ravage
  10. Vengeful Slam Vengeful Slam
  11. Hew Hew
  12. Rotation

The opener is basically just the rotation with your offensive cooldowns thrown in, though I do want to point out a couple things:

  • The purpose of using Force Charge is to get you into melee range immediately. The Rage generated by Force Charge is useless since Sundering Assault + Enrage gives you 13 Rage, though technically you can forego using Enrage initially if you do enter combat with Force Charge, though you will have to use Saber Throw as your first filler ability or you won’t have enough Rage for the following Force Scream. I don’t know why you wouldn’t just use Enrage though. Force Charge should only be used if you’re feeling lazy or are otherwise not able to get close enough to the boss since it is a DPS loss to use. 
  • Running in with Saber Throw is still a DPS loss compared to just starting with Sundering Assault, but you won’t lose as much DPS as if you used Force Charge. If you can get within 15-18m of the boss without aggroing it, you can get to 4m by the time the GCD ends provided you’re using the speed boost from Enrage. 
  • Never use both Force Charge and Saber Throw in the opener, that’s just a pointless DPS loss, only ever use one or the other.
  • I have kind of spread out the offensive cooldowns over multiple GCDs so you aren’t having to activate a bunch of abilities all at once, though the timing is sometimes important:
    • The Primeval Fatesealer Relic should be used before any of your other cooldowns so that their cooldowns are reduced. Remember only use this relic if you’re in sub-level 75 content.
    • Enrage just needs to be used after the relic. I like to use it earlier because there’s no reason to wait and it’s necessary if you’re opening with Saber Throw.
    • Furious Power just needs to be used after Force Charge/Saber Throw since Force Charge consumes a charge of Furious Power.
    • Wait to use the Adrenal until after Sundering Assault so you aren’t wasting a GCD on a weak ability.

Rotation

Vengeance’s rotation is kind of a hybrid between a priority list and a static rotation. There are 3 abilities that all have the same cooldown duration: Impale, Force Scream, and Vengeful Slam In order to use all of those abilities and all of your other high damage abilities on cooldown you have to alternate using one of those 3 abilities and another ability from a priority list.

  1. Impale Impale
  2. Slot 1
  3. Force Scream Force Scream
  4. Slot 2
  5. Vengeful Slam Vengeful Slam
  6. Slot 3
  7. Repeat

Main Priority

  1. Shatter Shatter
  2. Sundering Assault (Imperial) Sundering Assault
  3. Ravage Ravage (only if in Slot 2 or 3)
  4. Hew Hew
  5. Semi-Rotational Abilities Priority

Semi-Rotational Abilities Priority

  1. Hew Hew (unprocced)
  2. Retaliation Retaliation (if available)
  3. Saber Throw Jugg Saber Throw (if you have room for the spare Rage)
  4. Force Push Imperial Force Push (if using Extending Roar)
  5. Saber Throw Jugg Saber Throw (if you don’t need to save it)
  6. vicious slash Vicious Slash

Here are some notes about the rotation and some common situations that come up:

  • Situation: Ravage and Sundering Assault are both available in Slot 2. This should only happen if you have downtime or if you delay Ravage longer than I recommend by choosing to not use it in Slot 3 and try to save it for the next Slot 2 after using Shatter in the previous Slot 2.
  • Situation: Ravage is available in Slot 1 after using Shatter in the previous Slot 3. You should use Hew if it is available or use a semi-rotational ability in Slot 1 instead and delay Ravage to Slot 2.
  • Situation: Shatter is used in Slot 2. Ravage should be used in Slot 3. 
  • Situation: There is a gap in the rotation where none of your fully rotational abilities are available. This happens periodically, just use a semi-rotational ability from the priority. This gap will not show up if you periodically use semi-rotational abilities as needed, like if you need to use Force Charge to get back in range or maintain the Armor debuff on other targets with Saber Throw. 
  • Have a backup plan for if Retaliation’s proc falls off right before you’re about to use it. Remember, it’s completely okay to just omit it entirely and never use it just because you see it glowing. I know that glowing button is very tantalizing, but you must resist the urge to press it!
  • You have to use your judgment with which semi-rotational ability you use:
    • If you can benefit from the spare Rage and don’t need an extra 30m range ability, I like to use Saber Throw over Force Push.
    • If you always use Saber Throw over Force Push if both are available, you won’t ever have to use Vicious Slash, though if you always use Force Push over Saber Throw, you will occasionally have to use Vicious Slash unless you take the Thrown Gauntlet utility.   
    • If you use Vicious Slash or unprocced Hew, make sure you have Enrage available since you will probably need the Rage soon after.
  • Impale, Force Scream, Vengeful Slam, Shatter, and Sundering Assault should be coming off cooldown just in time for you to use them, if this is consistently not happening, you need to increase your APM. 
  • If there is a bit of downtime or you make a mistake and accidentally use 2 priority slot abilities in a row or two of Impale/Force Scream/Vengeful Slam rather than alternating, just keep going with the alternating pattern that you normally do. The cooldowns will correct themselves momentarily, though you will sometimes see two of Impale/Force Scream/Vengeful Slam available at the same time, so just use whichever one is supposed to be next. 
  • Try to pre-cast Sundering Assault if there’s downtime. The primary purpose of the ability is to generate Rage, not deal damage.
  • Hew and Semi-Rotational abilities tend to get used in Priority Slot 1.
  • Ravage should really only ever be used in Slot 2 or 3.
  • Shatter and Sundering Assault will occupy all 3 slots evenly. Each time they come off cooldown, they will be used 1 Slot later than they were the last time they were activated. For example, if you use Shatter in Slot 1, the next time you use it will be in Slot 2

Priority (simplified)

  1. Shatter Shatter
  2. Sundering Assault (Imperial) Sundering Assault
  3. Ravage Ravage 
  4. Hew Hew
  5. Force Push Imperial Force Push (only if using Extending Roar)
  6. Saber Throw Jugg Saber Throw
  7. vicious slash Vicious Slash

The DPS loss is fairly minimal from following this priority over the slightly more complicated one. Occasionally Ravage will get used in Slot 1, it’s not the end of the world. If you’re struggling with doing DPS and following mechanics or just starting out learning the spec, you should maybe try this first until you feel comfortable enough with the rotation that you can start delaying Ravage to Slot 2 or 3. This rotation will also give you more opportunities to use unprocced Hew when the enemy is sub-30%. Remember that you probably need to have Enrage available when you use it without the proc.

AoE Rotations and Priority

If you only plan on DoT spreading and not using any other AoE, which should be more than enough for most situations, you don’t have to alter your rotation at all. You should still be using Hemophilic Slash in this situation, so try to make sure you have Ravage available for Slot 2 specifically though so you can spread all 3 DoTs with Vengeful Slam. In this specific instance, I think it’s okay to delay Ravage if it was procced by Shatter in Slot 2 so you’ll have it available for the next Slot 2, rather than use it in the current Slot 3.

When you don’t have time for a full DoT spread

  1. Shatter Shatter
  2. Vengeful Slam Vengeful Slam
  3. Sweeping Slash Sweeping Slash

Use this when adds die fairly quickly and it’s difficult to get all 3 DoTs on before spreading. Shatter is by far your strongest DoT and Bloodmaster only requires that you have a bleed DoT on the target in order to boost the damage of Sweeping Slash. Your goal with this rotation is to get the vast majority of your damage out. This priority will typically only be used when there isn’t a higher-health target to spread from. 

Burst AoE

  1. Sundering Assault (Imperial) Sundering Assault
  2. Impale Impale
  3. Shatter Shatter
  4. Force Scream Force Scream
  5. Vengeful Slam Vengeful Slam
  6. Chilling Scream Chilling Scream (with Piercing Chill)
  7. Sweeping Slash Sweeping Slash
  8. Sweeping Slash Sweeping Slash
  9. Sundering Assault (Imperial) Sundering Assault
  10. Impale Impale
  11. Shatter Shatter
  12. Force Scream Force Scream
  13. Vengeful Slam Vengeful Slam
  14. Chilling Scream Chilling Scream (with Piercing Chill)
  15. You’re out of Rage, the end!

Here are some notes about this rotation:

  • This rotation is unsustainable. Your ability cooldowns become desynchronized and it costs a lot of Rage. Using Enrage is required in order to do this at all. 
  • Provided you’re starting combat with this rotation or otherwise start with 0 Rage, wait until after using Impale to use Enrage so you can fully benefit from the extra Rage. If you start this rotation with some Rage, just wait to use Enrage until you can fully benefit from the 6 Rage. 
  • Piercing Chill is required for this rotation since you won’t have enough Rage to use Sweeping Slash 2 more times. 
  • You can add in Saber Throw at the very end to let you do 1 more Sweeping Slash after, but hopefully whatever needed to be killed is now dead before that happens.

Cut to Pieces Tactical

The Cut to Pieces tactical makes it so that the cooldown of Vengeful Slam is reduced by 1 second whenever one of your burn DoTs critically hits. In my opinion, this tactical should typically only be used when you are able to consistently hit at least 2 additional targets throughout the majority of the fight. When there is only a single additional target, Cut to Pieces performs nearly as well as Hemophilic Slash in terms of single-target DPS, though generally DPS on the primary target is more important, so you should only use it in these sorts of situations if your groups is having trouble meeting an AoE DPS check, which typically happens if the other DPS in your group don’t offer much rotational AoE. Since Cut to Pieces doesn’t cost nearly as much single-target DPS in order to use compared to other AoE tacticals, if your team only needs a couple of people to use AoE tacticals, definitely start with having your Vengeance players switch to Cut to Pieces before having other specs switch to their AoE tacticals. 

AoE

In multi-target situations, which is what you should be experiencing for the vast majority of the time that you use Cut to Pieces, you have to use this priority system:

  1. Shatter Shatter (only if the DoT has completely fallen off)
  2. Impale Impale (if an enemy you need to focus is present)
  3. Vengeful Slam Vengeful Slam
  4. Impale Impale
  5. Force Scream Force Scream
  6. Sundering Assault (Imperial) Sundering Assault (if you can benefit from the Rage)
  7. Hew Hew
  8. Ravage Ravage
  9. Chilling Scream Chilling Scream (if you are taking the Piercing Chill utility)
  10. Sweeping Slash Sweeping Slash

Depending on the number of targets, you will find yourself using Vengeful Slam quite frequently. You will generally have more opportunities to use your abilities that apply DoTs when those DoTs fall off because it means that Vengeful Slam’s cooldown won’t be reduced quite as much, though this is less noticable the more targets there are. Since Vengeful Slam will have a much shorter cooldown than Shatter and Shatter’s initial direct damage hit is rather weak, it is possible and necessary to bounce that DoT in between multiple targets so you never have to physically reapply Shatter. You bounce Shatter by initially applying it to one target, then spreading it to another target, and then once it has fallen off of the original target, you spread it back to said original target from the second target. Bouncing Shatter in this way is required in order for Cut to Pieces to match Hemophilic Slash in terms of primary target sustained damage output. 

Impale’s place in the priority is largely dependent on the type of situation you’re in. If the situation has you fighting a higher health enemy or one that you otherwise need to focus down, like if a boss or champion add is present, Impale should probably take priority over Vengeful Slam. In more AoE-centric situations, Vengeful Slam should take priority. This distinction is basically the same as discerning what is and isn’t fluff damage. If the secondary adds don’t need to die quickly, Impale should take priority over Vengeful Slam.

Single-Target

When only a single target is present, the actual rotation you use with this tactical doesn’t seem to matter all that much, though you shouldn’t have too many instances where a pure single-target rotation is relevant when using Cut to Pieces. In purely single-target phases, you are welcome to pretend this tactical isn’t equipped at all and just use the same single-target rotation you use with Hemophilic Slash and you’ll do about the same amount of DPS as you would if you try to take advantage of Cut to Pieces by using Vengeful Slam more frequently. This is the priority system I recommend when using Cut to Pieces in single-target phases:

  1. Shatter Shatter
  2. ImpaleImpale
  3. Vengeful Slam Vengeful Slam
  4. Force Scream Force Scream
  5. Sundering Assault (Imperial) Sundering Assault (if you can benefit from the Rage)
  6. Hew Hew
  7. Ravage Ravage
  8. Saber Throw Jugg Saber Throw (if you don’t need to save it)
  9. Force Push Imperial Force Push (only with Extending Roar)
  10. vicious slash Vicious Slash

In pure single-target situations, I have found that delaying Vengeful Slam until after Force Scream will result in ever so slightly higher single-target DPS numbers, but again, that shouldn’t come up very often on fights where Cut to Pieces is used, so for the most part, I think it’s better to just stick with a priority system that more closely resembles what you’ll be doing when you can hit multiple targets. 

There is an argument to be made for using the same rotation you would use if you had Hemophilic Slash in pure single-target phases of the fight over the priority system I listed above. You will lose a few hundred DPS, but your rotation will be far more consistent. Whereas with the priority system, you will have more variability in your rotation since the cooldown reduction from Cut to Pieces is based on DoT crits. It’s also just easier to do the normal Hemophilic rotation so you will be able to more easily focus on raid mechanics, though you will need to get comfortable with the Cut to Pieces priority and it’s difficult to practice outside of raids. You’ll be fine so long as you’re trying to do your most powerful abilities roughly on cooldown. Remember, if you find yourself able to use this rotation for a sizeable portion of the fight, you should reconsider if it’s a good idea to take Cut to Pieces in the first place since there’s a good chance that there isn’t enough AoE in the fight if you’re able to mostly use the single-target rotation. 

I also want to mention that it is beneficial to slightly tweak the Hemophilic Slash rotation when using Cut to Pieces. You should always use Hew if it’s procced over Ravage and feel free to use Ravage in Slot 1 in between Impale and Force Scream. This allows you to take advantage of Ravage’s 30% chance to proc Destroyer, which will enable you to use Hew more often rather than your less-damaging semi-rotational abilities.

Conclusion

Acknowledgements and Special Thanks

I want to thank Kat for initially teaching me how to play Vengeance as well as Trae and Healthbars for reviewing this guide. I also want to thank my raid team, Time Turners. I’ve had an amazing time over the years and can’t wait to see what’s in store for the years to come.

About the Author

Endonae began nightmare raiding in 4.0 and is an avid decorator. He also leads a raid team that has been around since late 1.0 and currently resides in on Satele Shan. It has slowly worked its way up from getting lost in the lava caves on the way to Gharj in EV SM to completing timed runs in nightmare. If you have a question, feel free to message me on Discord, my name is Endonae#3332.

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Build swtor dps

Best PVE Dps 6.1?

Elvarania's Avatar


Elvarania
05.19.2020 , 08:33 PM
Quote: Originally Posted by OM-ARView Post
http://parsely.io/parser/stats
For scaled content look at 3.25 million, for 75 content look at 6.5 million.

This should give you a baseline on how X class should perform but remember the type of the fight makes a huge difference in Swtor ( St, Aoe, Can you take damage?, melee fight, ranged fight, static fight, mobile fight, fights that are drawn out, fights that require burst...etc )

I personally play Powertech and so far it has not disappointed on the meters.
Sorry, am I missing something here? Watchman Sentinel is parsing at 23k DPS?
I play Watchman in HM ops with full 286 augmented gear and ~3.3k crit, and I am parsing 13k on single target bosses and dummies. Conc is parsing slightly lower. 23k seems absurdly high, or am I misreading something? Our Plasmatech Vanguard (the one who gets the Guard) is also parsing around 13k too.
"We will do what is ordered, and at every command we will be ready!"
-Roman military maxim, Dura-Europos Papyri
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