SWTOR Telekinetics and Balance Sage DPS Class Guide

A guide to SWTOR Sage Telekinetics and Balance DPS specs for PvE. Written and edited by Invinc and Vindrik of Harbinger.

Guide is partially updated for Patch 2.7. Parse Analysis is from pre 2.7 and will be updated shortly.

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Overview

The Sage is the only light-armored ranged dps, and is also one of the 3 dps classes that can assist with off-healing. In addition, having the best off-heals and shields in the game, as well as great utility moves like Rescue, makes the Sage one of, if not the best support dps class available. Sage specs are generally considered to be relatively simple, however despite this they do have low base damage when compared to the heavier hitting classes such as Gunslingers and Sentinels. Being such a difficult class to play to an exceptional standard, few people are talented enough at playing this class to excel as much as some other classes, but in the hands of the right player, Sages can be exceptional for both dps and utility. Sage dps have access to two popular raiding specs:

  1. Telekinetics is the more popular of the two specs, and does the highest overall dps. It has some good alternative talent choices to use for some boss fights, as well as such good Force regeneration that you will essentially have an infinite resource pool for dpsing, and great support for off-healing.
  2. Balance has one of the simplest rotations in the game, yet has a rather limited resource pool to manage. This means you’ll be forced to use Noble Sacrifice for Force and therefore need some extra healing, which may or may not be a problem for your healers, depending on the group. This spec is also less effective as an off-healer compared to Telekinetics, and for most fights will generate less dps overall than its counterpart.

Offensive Cooldowns:

  1. Force Potency: Gives your Force attacks an extra 60% chance to critically hit, and consumes a charge when they do. Has 2 charges.
  2. Mental Alacrity: Increases your Alacrity, grants immunity to interrupts and prevents pushback.

Note: Mental Alacrity also gains additional benefits according to which dps spec you choose.

  • Balance: Increases your movement speed by 50% while active.
  • Telekinetics: Significantly reduced cooldown, increased duration and doubles chance of Telekinetic Momentum procs.

Defensive Cooldowns:

  1. Force Armor: Not technically a cooldown, however useful as defensive mechanic to shield yourself and friendly group members.
  2. Force Barrier: Channels a protective bubble that gives you immunity to all damage for a short while, however you cannot move or act while channeling. Grants a protective shield based on how long you were channeling Force Barrier after the effect ends which lasts for 5 seconds, and gives you immunity to interrupts while active.

Tricks of the Trade:

  1. Benevolence & Deliverance: Support heals, Benevolence is a fast, expensive and inefficient heal while Deliverance is cheaper, slower and heals for more
  2. Revival: Battle rez
  3. Force Mend: Instant self-heal
  4. Rescue: Pull a friendly target to your position and lowers their threat
  5. Noble Sacrifice: Instantly regenerate Force in exchange for HP. Applies a debuff that lowers your Force regeneration for a short time, and stacks up to 4 times
  6. Force Wave: Frontal AoE knockback
  7. Force Speed: Massive speed boost for a few seconds

Telekinesis

Telekinetics (3 / 36 / 7 ) http://swtor.askmrrobot.com/skills/sage#12-1322100320122122221322-2000203

swtor-telekinetics-sage-dps-class-guide-build

1.1 Rates (1-10):


  • Single Target Dps: 8
  • AoE Damage: 8
  • Group Utility: 10
  • Rotation Difficulty: 6
  • RNG Dependant: No
  • Burst: 8
  • Sub 30% Talent or Ability Buffs: No

1.2 Gearing & Stats Priority:


  • **Must Have** Accuracy: 110% Force & 100% ranged (1% from companion + 3% from talent = 6% required from gear)
  • 1-2 Alacrity pieces depending on Surge Rating.
  • 68-72% Surge
  • 0-120 Critical Rating
  • All other secondary stats in Power
  • **Must Have** Augments: Willpower (Resolve)
  • Relics: Serendipitous Assault & Focused Retribution
  • Alternate Relic: Boundless Ages
  • Set Bonus: 4 piece Force Master

1.3 Gearing Overview:


  • Reaching the Accuracy cap should be your highest priority
  • As one of the few classes that gains a relatively significant benefit from Alacrity, taking it once your Surge rating begins suffering from heavy diminishing returns is a good idea
  • The difference in overall dps between 0 Critical rating and 120 Critical rating is minimal, having a little bit won’t harm your overall dps, though stacking it is never a good idea due to high diminishing returns
  • Choice of relics should be made on a fight-to-fight basis. Serendipitous Assault and Focused Retribution will give you a greater overall damage increase, while Boundless Ages will allow you to focus your burst into a short window for fights with tight burn phases
  • Getting your set bonus as quickly as possible is highly recommended. It will increase your dps substantially enough that having lower item level armorings with the set bonus is still a better option than higher item level armorings without it

1.4 Ability Explanation:


  • Turbulence is by far your best ability, and should be used on CD. Having Weaken Mind active on the target gives this ability a 100% Critical chance, so ensuring that it’s up at all times is necessary, as it gives Turbulence excellent damage output and great burst potential. It is affected by a variety of talents:
    1. Concentration: Reduces ability pushback by 100%
    2. Clamoring Force: Increases damage dealt by 4%
    3. Tidal Force: Makes your next Telekinetic Wave instant and free of cost. Cannot occur more than every 10 seconds.
    4. Reverberation: Increases Critical strike damage by 50%
    5. Mental Momentum: Has a 30% chance to create a second blast which deals 30% damage
    6. Tremors: Mental Momentum procs increase your bonus Force damage by 2%, stacking up to 3 times, and reduce the active cooldown on Mental Alacrity by 1 second
  • Weaken Mind is your most important dot to keep track of, as it buffs Turbulence to a 100% Critical strike chance, as well as triggering Telekinetic Throw procs. It is suggested that you maintain it at all times, however some people prefer not to refresh it for a few GCDs to pair it up with Turbulence for an easier synergy between ability CDs. Doing so makes the rotation easier, however will lead to an overall loss in dps. It is affected by one talent
    1. Empowered Throw: Increases damage dealt by 6%
  • Mind Crush is a really important ability thanks to the Mental Momentum talent, however its high priority is only due to its cooldown time. Due to its long cast time you should generally avoid using it immediately before a Turbulence to avoid delay, but in general it should replace Disturbance whenever it’s available. The exception to this is during Mental Alacrity, where the increased proc chances for Telekinetic Momentum make Disturbance a more useful ability. It is affected by two talents:
    1. Clamoring Force: Increases damage dealt by 4%
    2. Mental Momentum: Has a 30% chance to tick twice
  • Telekinetic Throw is a very powerful ability, but using it regularly in this spec is a mistake. Telekinetic Throw should only be used when it procs, and although it shouldn’t delay the use of Turbulence or Mind Crush, you will always have time to use it before the buff expires. It is affected by several talents:
    1. Empowered Throw: Increases damage dealt by 6%
    2. Critical Kinesis: Increases Critical strike chance by 6%
    3. Psychic Projection: Damaging an enemy affected with Weaken Mind using Disturbance grants a charge of Psychic Projection, which causes your next Telekinetic Throw to channel and tick twice as fast
  • Telekinetic Wave is a heavy hitting ability, and with its proc is both free and instant. It has a long internal CD so there is no rush to use upon proc, and it should replace Disturbance in your rotation for its use, never delaying a Turbulence, Mind Crush or Weaken Mind. Holding it for a few seconds to capitalise on its heavy damage for a burst phase or for add spawns is viable, however you should make sure you use it before the proc refreshes to maximise dps. It is affected by a variety of talents:
    1. Concentration: Reduces ability pushback by 70%
    2. Clamoring Force: Increases damage dealt by 4%
    3. Tidal Force: Disturbance, Turbulence and Forcequake make your next Telekinetic Wave instant and free of cost. Cannot occur more than every 10 seconds.
    4. Telekinetic Momentum: Has a 30% chance to create a second strike at 30% damage
    5. Tremors: Telekinetic Momentum procs increase your bonus Force damage by 2%, stacking up to 3 times, and reduce the active cooldown on Mental Alacrity by 1 second
    6. Flowing Force: Telekinetic Momentum is twice as likely to proc while Mental Alacrity is active
    7. Reverberation: Increases Critical strike damage by 50%
  • Disturbance is your general filler, and is used while waiting for other abilities to proc or for CDs to end. It is also affected by a great deal of talents, but should never delay Turbulence, and only ever delay Mind Crush during Mental Alacrity. It is affected by a variety of talents:
    1. Concentration: Reduces ability pushback by 70% and each cast increases your Force regeneration rate by 10% for 10 seconds, up to 3 stacks.
    2. Clamoring Force: Increases damage dealt by 4%
    3. Tidal Force: Makes your next Telekinetic Wave instant and free of cost. Cannot occur more than every 10 seconds.
    4. Telekinetic Momentum: Has a 30% chance to create a second strike at 30% damage
    5. Tremors: Telekinetic Momentum procs increase your bonus Force damage by 2%, stacking up to 3 times, and reduce the active cooldown on Mental Alacrity by 1 second
    6. Reverberation: Increases Critical strike damage by 50%
    7. Critical Kinesis: Increases Critical strike chance by 6%
    8. Psychic Projection: Using Disturbance on a target affected by Weaken Mind grants a charge of Psychic Projection, causing your next Telekinetic Throw to channel and tick twice as fast
  • Project is your best non-proc instant ability and is used as a situational filler. It has a relatively high cost, but deals high burst damage and has a short CD. This makes it ideal for certain situations, such as for a tight burst or while moving, however it should never be used in your ideal single target rotation. It is affected by two talents:
    1. Upheaval: Has a 30% chance to create a second Project, dealing 50% damage
    2. Empowered Throw: Increases damage dealt by 6%

1.5 Ability Nomenclature and Rotation Priority:


  1. Turbulence: TB
  2. Weaken Mind: WM
  3. Mind Crush: MC
  4. Telekinetic Throw (proc): TT
  5. Telekinetic Wave (proc): TW
  6. Disturbance: DB
  7. Project (while moving)

Cooldowns:

  1. Force Potency: FP
  2. Mental Alacrity: MA

1.6 Opening Rotation:


Note: To use Force Potency most effectively as Telekinetics, you should use it with Telekinetic Throw and Telekinetic Wave procs,

Ideal opening situation, with initial Telekinetic Throw and Telekinetic Wave procs:

Pre-cast Relic / MC + WM + Adrenal / TB + DB + FP / TT (proc) + MA / TW (proc) + DB + DB +TB + DB + DB + DB + DB + DB + TB + TW (proc) + WM + TT (proc) + MC

swtor-telekinetics-sage-dps-guide-opening-rotation

1.7 Rotation Strategy:


A Telekinetics Sage’s main power is their buffed auto-crit Turbulence, in combination with quickly cast abilities and powerful procs. Your dots should have a 100% uptime on the boss, and Turbulence should always be used on cooldown but only if the target is affected by Weaken Mind (which it always should be). Although Disturbance is considered a filler ability, it is imperative to your rotation due to its procs. Telekinetic Throw should only be used with charges of Psychic Projection, and Telekinetic Wave should also be used whenever it procs, though only when everything else besides Disturbance is on CD.

15 second rotation (10 GCDs, no opener). Considering 2 possible cases:

No Mental Alacrity, regular rotation:

MC + WM + TB + TW (proc) + TT (proc) + DB + DB + DB + DB + TB + MC + DB + DB + DB + DB + WM + TB

swtor-telekinetics-sage-dps-guide-rotation

Regular rotation with Mental Alacrity:

TT (proc) + WM + TB + MC + MA / DB + DB + DB + DB + DB + TB + DB + DB + DB + TW (proc) + MC + WM + TB

swtor-telekinetics-sage-dps-guide-rotation-2

1.8 AoE Rotation Priority:


  1. Telekinetic Wave (proc)
  2. Forcequake
  3. Multidot (If fight allow miltiple dots on bosses): Weaken Mind is used mostly since it is the only spammable DoT.

1.9 Sample Parse Analysis: (Need to be updated for patch 2.7)


swtor-telekinetics-sage-dps-class-guide-sample-parse

  • Disturbance will deal the vast majority of your damage, considering it is spammed throughout the whole rotation with no CD limitation, as well as being buffed by several talents. Although you will naturally find that it will deal a large chunk of your dps, having it too high may indicate that you are using it when you shouldn’t be, delaying other, more powerful abilities.
  • Turbulence takes the second spot, thanks to its guaranteed chance to crit. A decent parse should always have 100% Critical rating for this ability, otherwise you have done the rotation wrong and have lost unnecessary dps. It is limited by its CD, so its percentage of overall damage dealt should remain relatively constant.
  • Telekinetic Wave has the third place for your damage done, due to its very high proc chance. Its damage should be relatively consistent as well, as poor RNG will only ever delay your procs by a few seconds at most, and it’s not integral to maintaining the rest of your rotation.
  • Telekinetic Throw should be in fourth place, as although it’s a very hard-hitting ability, it’s limited by the long internal CD of its proc. Ensuring that you utilise the proc is necessary, but as long as procs don’t expire, this ability’s damage should be consistent.
  • The last section of your dps comes from procs of Mental Momentum and Telekinetic Momentum, as well as Mind Crush and Weaken Mind. Weaken Mind’s damage should remain stable, as it should have permanent uptime on your target, as should Mind Crush due to its relatively high position in your priority. The Mental Momentum and Telekinetic Momentum procs should deal damage relative to the abilities that trigger them, but as they are RNG based there is no way to increase them, as long as you are doing your proper Mental Alacrity rotation.

1.10 Tips and Tricks:


  • Remember that Force Armor absorbs damage, and won’t heal you. A majority of players will usually take a big hit and then cast Force Armor. More often than not, since dps should not be taking that much damage, the bubble will not end up absorbing any damage at all. Force Armor should primarily be used to mitigate incoming predictable damage, such as from a fight mechanic, and Force Mend should always be your next choice if you failed at predicting the hit didn’t bubble yourself in time.
  • Rescue is a very helpful way to save people from deadly mechanics that they won’t otherwise be able to avoid, but remember that it will also lower the threat of the target. Because of this, if you are going to Rescue a tank you should always tell them to ensure that they can taunt the boss back afterwards to regain the threat that they will lose.
  • Mental Alacrity is a really interesting and useful CD for Telekinetics Sages. It gives an amazing dps buff, but you have to remember that in order to gain as much benefit from Mental Alacrity as possible, your rotation will alter slightly. This means that you should always be using it with a recently applied Weaken Mind, and after Turbulence or Mind Crush in order to capitalise on its benefits for Disturbance and Telekinetic Wave.
  • Telekinetics spec has essentially has an infinite resource pool due to the structure of the talents and the increased Force regeneration that they promote. It’s the spec that’s made to be one of the best support classes in the game, with Rescue, Force Armor and supporting off-heals to keep tanks up, and yet still has good enough dps to not be a burden while doing all of this. Trying to be the top dps with a Telekinetics Sage is possible, but you should always remember that if anyone in the raid is capable of helping out in dire straights, it’s you, and you shouldn’t sacrifice your ops group just to parse well.

Balance

Balance (3 / 7 / 36 ) http://swtor.askmrrobot.com/skills/sage#30-20320-1202232211201312230213

swtor-balance-sage-dps-class-guide-build

Note: You can take the two points from Clamoring Force in the Telekinetics tree and instead put them into Force Gift in the Seer tree for fights where you will not spend a lot of time freecasting (5 / 5 / 36). The point in Jedi Resistance can also be placed into Metaphysical Alacrity for similar movement-heavy fights, especially those where you may be kiting.

2.1 Rates (1-10):


  • Single Target Dps: 8
  • AoE Damage: 6
  • Group Utility: 8
  • Rotation Difficulty: 2
  • RNG Dependant: No
  • Burst: 6
  • Sub 30% Talent or Ability Buffs: No

2.2 Gearing & Stats priority:


  • **Must Have** Accuracy: 110% Force & 100% ranged (1% from companion + 3% from talent = 6% required from gear)
  • 0 Alacrity
  • 68-74% Surge
  • 120-300 Critical Rating
  • All other secondary stats in Power
  • **Must Have** Augments: Willpower (Resolve)
  • Relics: Serendipitous Assault & Focused Retribution
  • Alternate Relic: Boundless Ages
  • Set Bonus: 4 piece Force Master

2.3 Gearing Overview:


  • Reaching the Accuracy cap should be your highest priority
  • Unlike your Telekinetics counterparts, due to Balance being so heavily focused around dots and instant-cast abilities, the benefit gained from Alacrity rating is low enough that, even with the high amount of diminishing returns it will suffer, Surge rating will always be better
  • The difference in overall dps between 120 Critical rating and 300 Critical rating is minimal, but having a little will have a benefit on your overall dps, though stacking it is never a good idea due to high diminishing returns
  • Choice of relics should be made on a fight-to-fight basis. Serendipitous Assault and Focused Retribution will give you a greater overall damage increase, while Boundless Ages will allow you to focus your burst into a short window for fights with tight burn phases
  • Getting your set bonus as quickly as possible is highly recommended. It will increase your dps substantially enough that having lower item level armorings with the set bonus is still a better option than higher item level armorings without it

2.4 Ability Explanation:


  • Weaken Mind is one of your two primary dots which should be maintained at all times. It doesn’t tick on use, so it won’t immediately consume a Force Suppression charge, but will deal its first tick of damage after 3 seconds. It is affected by a variety of talents:
    1. Empowered Throw: Increases damage dealt by 6%
    2. Drain Thoughts: Increases damage dealt by 9%
    3. Focused Insight: Crits heals you for 1% max HP
    4. Psychic Absorption: Doubles the effectiveness of Focused Insight
    5. Mental Scarring: Increases Critical damage bonus by 30%
    6. Force Suppression: Each charge increases damage done by 20%
  • Sever Force is the second of your two dots which should be permanently maintained. It ticks on use, so will immediately consume a Force Suppression charge. It is affected by a variety of talents:
    1. Empowered Throw: Increases damage dealt by 6%
    2. Drain Thoughts: Increases damage dealt by 9%
    3. Focused Insight: Crits heals you for 1% max HP
    4. Psychic Absorption: Doubles the effectiveness of Focused Insight
    5. Mental Scarring: Increases Critical damage bonus by 30% and increase damage dealt by Telekinetic Throw by 25%
    6. Force Suppression: Each charge increases damage done by 20%
  • Force in Balance is your most important ability, as in addition to its own high damage output, it buffs the damage dealt by your dots. Using it on CD is required, and any delay will lead to a loss in dps. It is affected by several talents:
    1. Force Suppression: Places 15 charges of Force Suppression on affected targets, increasing damage done by dot abilities by 20%
    2. Mental Scarring: Increases Critical damage bonus by 30%
    3. Psychic Absorption: Doubles the effectiveness of the ability’s healing component
  • Mind Crush is a really important ability in the rotation, and with Presence of Mind procs will deal higher damage and be cast instantly. However, the dot ticks from this ability are the weakest of your three dots. As such, although you should not delay using this ability, finding a way to consume as few Force Suppression charges as possible using this ability and allowing the other dots to consume the majority will maximise your dps, as long as you are not delaying any abilities in doing so. It is affected by a variety of talents:
    1. Focused Insight: Crits heals you for 1% max HP
    2. Psychic Absorption: Doubles the effectiveness of Focused Insight
    3. Drain Thoughts: Increases damage dealt by the dot component by 9%
    4. Mental Scarring: Increases Critical damage bonus by 30%
    5. Presence of Mind: Telekinetic Throw builds a Presence of Mind charge every time it deals damage. At 3 charges, your next Disturbance of Mind Crush becomes instant and deals 35% more damage
    6. Mind Warp: Increases duration by 2 seconds
    7. Clamoring Force: Increases damage dealt by 4%
    8. Psychic Barrier: Reduces pushback by 75%
    9. Force Suppression: Each charge increases damage done by the dot component by 20%
  • Disturbance is an ability that requires careful consideration throughout the rotation. Using it with Presence of Mind procs while Mind Crush is on CD will always be a dps increase, even if doing so clips your Telekinetic Throw channel, however this also negatively impacts your Force management in an already Force-hungry spec. Choosing when to use Disturbance is important and should depend on the situation, but using it to maintain Telekinetic Focal Point is its most common use. It is affected by a variety of talents:
    1. Critical Kinesis: Increases Critical strike chance by 6%
    2. Presence of Mind: Telekinetic Throw builds a Presence of Mind charge every time it deals damage. At 3 charges, your next Disturbance of Mind Crush becomes instant and deals 35% more damage
    3. Telekinetic Focal Point: Increases Alacrity by 1% and reduces the cost of Disturbance by 15% per stack, stacking up to 4 times
    4. Rippling Force: Has a 60% chance to deal bonus damage and regenerate Force
    5. Clamoring Force: Increases damage dealt by 4%
  • Telekinetic Throw is your filler ability, and as such the one that you will be using the most. It triggers Presence of Mind, and allowing its full channel will always result in a net gain in Force. It is affected by a variety of talents:
    1. Critical Kinesis: Increases Critical strike chance by 6%
    2. Empowered Throw: Increases damage dealt by 6%
    3. Psychic Barrier: Reduces pushback by 75%, and each tick of Telekinetic Throw recovers 1% of your Force
    4. Telekinetic Balance: Removes the ability’s CD
    5. Presence of Mind: Telekinetic Throw builds a Presence of Mind charge every time it deals damage. At 3 charges, your next Disturbance of Mind Crush becomes instant and deals 35% more damage
    6. Rippling Force: Has a 20% chance to deal bonus damage and regenerate Force
    7. Telekinetic Focal Point: Has a 20% chance to grant a stack of Telekinetic Focal Point, increasing Alacrity by 1% and reducing the cost of Disturbance by 15% per stack, stacking up to 4 times
  • Project is your best non-proc instant ability and is used as a situational filler. It has a relatively high cost, but deals high burst damage and has a short CD. This makes it ideal for certain situations, such as for a tight burst or while moving, however it should never be used in your ideal single target rotation. It is only affected by one talent:
    1. Empowered Throw: Increases damage dealt by 6%

2.5 Ability Nomenclature and Rotation Priority:


  1. Weaken Mind: WM
  2. Sever Force: SF
  3. Force in Balance: FB
  4. Mind Crush (proc): MC
  5. Disturbance (proc): DB
  6. Telekinetic Throw: TT
  7. Project (while moving)

Cooldowns:

  1. Force Potency: FP
  2. Mental Alacrity: MA

2.6 Opening Rotation:


Note: Force Potency is one of the few cooldowns in the game that gives you charges to use over time instead of a passive bonus. This means that the cooldown of the ability will start running as soon as you activate it, so the trick for opener is to pop Force Potency before the pull happens (maybe during ready check) and by the time the fight starts, you will still have enough time to use both your stacks before they expire, and will have drained 10-15 seconds of the cooldown timer already.

Standard boss encounter opening rotation:

FP before pull / WM + Adrenal / Relic / FB + SF + MA / TT spam + MC / DB on Presence of Mind procs + FB + WM + SF + MC

swtor-balance-sage-dps-class-guide-opening-rotation

Opening rotation without pre-casting Force Potency:

Pre-Cast MC + WM + Adrenal / Relic / FP / FB + SF + MA / TT Spam + DB / MC on Presence of Mind Procs + FB + WM + SF + MC

swtor-balance-sage-dps-class-guide-opening-rotation-2

2.7 Rotation Strategy:


Balance Sages focus mainly on the use of Force in Balance to utilise charges of Force Suppression for your multiple dots. Telekinetic Throw is your primary filler ability, and thanks to some talents, it will always end with positive Force regeneration if the channel finishes. Presence of Mind procs allow you to use Mind Crush and Disturbance instantly, which is an important part of the rotation. Using Presence of Mind efficiently will increase your dps and give you substantially more burst dps. Due to the recent changes to Telekinetic Focal Point, it is also less of a drain on your Force, so maximising your use of Wrath is recommended when possible.

15 – 20 second rotation (10 – 12 GCDs, no opener). Considering 3 possible cases:

Force regeneration rotation, FB just came off CD:

FB + SF + TT + MC + WM + TT spam

swtor-balance-sage-dps-class-guide-rotation-1

Full burst rotation, FB just came off CD:

FB + SF + TT + MC + WM + TT + DB + TT + DB + TT + DB

swtor-balance-sage-dps-class-guide-rotation-2

Priority rotation, as FB is about to come off CD:

TT + WM + TT (until FB comes off CD, then interrupt) + FB + SF + MC + TT + DB + TT + DB

swtor-balance-sage-dps-class-guide-rotation-3

2.8 AoE Rotation Priority:


  1. Force in Balance
  2. Multi-dot, Weaken Mind is used mostly since it is the only spammable DoT
  3. Forcequake

2.9 Sample Parse Analysis: (Need to be updated for 2.7)


swtor-balance-sage-dps-class-guide-sample-parse

  • Telekinetic Throw will be your highest damage dealing ability, and its damage should be relatively consistent due to its lack of restrictions and being so commonly used. For shorter fights where Force regeneration is not as much of a priority, it may deal less damage while boosting the damage dealt by Disturbance.
  • The second section of your parse will contain the majority of your abilities, and account for a large chunk of your damage. It is well spread between Force in Balance and all of your dots. Mind Crush’ dot and Sever Force should be sharing the second and third spots, while Weaken Mind should be below them and close to Force in Balance, which when used on CD on a single target, should be dealing a consistent percentage of your damage dealt.
  • The final section of your damage is relative to the specific fight. Mind Crush’ initial damage should synergise with its dot component, while Disturbance will depend on how often you decide to capitalise on Presence of Mind procs, and Rippling Force will subsequently synergise with that decision. As long as you never run out of Force or have to Consume mid-rotation, higher damage dealt by Disturbance will generally mean higher overall dps, and lower damage dealt by Telekinetic Throw.

2.10 Tips and Tricks:


  • Force Suppression is the most important part of the Balance rotation, and it should be used properly, consuming all charges before re-applying. The 3 dots work differently from one another; Weaken Mind doesn’t tick on cast, and will tick every 3 seconds after cast for 18 seconds (6 ticks), Sever Force will tick on use, and also ticks every 3 seconds after cast (7 ticks), and Mind Crush does the lowest damage, but ticks every second for 8 seconds (8 ticks). As such, the theory to optimize damage would be that Weaken Mind and Sever Force should burn as many Force Suppression charges as possible to gain a larger damage buff, but they will not be able to use all 15 stacks, so Mind Crush will help drain the remaining stacks of Force Suppression while letting the other two dots consume the majority. The timing of these will require some personal testing on your part to grow comfortable in optimising your damage, but obviously the damage is much closer to even across all 3 dots when Mind Crush is cast on a Presence of Mind proc.
  • The reason you should open with Weaken Mind + Force in Balance + Sever Force is because of the previous explanation. By using Weaken Mind before Force in Balance, its first tick will be buffed by Force Suppression without wasting any time, and the Sever Force ticks will be almost simultaneous with the Weaken Mind ticks.This way, you’ve already begun consuming the Force Suppression charges with your more powerful dots before you cast Mind Crush.
  • Noble Sacrifice is a great way to get Force back during transition mechanics. Balance Sages should always use these transitions to their advantage, and get as much Force back as the healers can reasonably heal you through, regardless of the Noble Sacrifice debuff. The higher your Force is for the next phase of the fight, the better your burst dps and support can be.
  • During your rotation it’s always best to recover Force with just Telekinetic Throw and Mental Alacrity. Noble Sacrifice shouldn’t be added into the dps rotation mid fight, but only in transitions, as otherwise it’s using your GCD’s without any gain in dps. If used correctly, Mental Alacrity and Telekinetic Throw spam should regain roughly 10-15% of your total Force back, and Telekinetic Throw without using Presence of Mind procs should always keep your Force high enough to at least re-apply your dots on demand and use Force in Balance on CD.
  • Remember that Force Armor absorbs damage, and won’t heal you. A majority of players will usually take a big hit and then cast Force Armor. More often than not, since dps should not be taking that much damage, the bubble will not end up absorbing any damage at all. Force Armor should primarily be used to mitigate incoming predictable damage, such as from a fight mechanic, and Force Mend should always be your next choice if you failed at predicting the hit didn’t bubble yourself in time.
  • Rescue is a very helpful way to save people from deadly mechanics that they won’t otherwise be able to avoid, but remember that it will also lower the threat of the target. Because of this, if you are going to Rescue a tank you should always tell them to ensure that they can taunt the boss back afterwards to regain the threat that they will lose.

How Taunts and Threat Drops Function:


It is unfortunately common for decent dps to not have a proper grasp of how taunts and threat drops work, which leads to mistimed use of abilities and a far more difficult job for the tanks. Although tanks should be capable of holding threat against any dps regardless of their skill, in some fights where taunts need to be strategically held for other mechanics, the dps understanding the mechanics behind threat helps a great deal. There are 4 types of threat drops in the game, and knowing which you have access to and when to use them is key to a successful raiding career.

  • Single-Target Threat Drop (E.g. Cloud Mind): This type of threat drop specifically functions only for your threat against your current target. If you use your Cloud Mind on a target, your threat on all other enemies will remain the same. Each use will lower your threat by a percentage of your total.
  • AoE Threat Drop (E.g. Chaff Flare | Diversion): Unlike targeted threat drops, using these abilities will lower your threat on all enemies and not only your current target. Similarly to single-target threat drops, each use will lower your threat by a percentage of your total, but calculated individually based on each enemy’s threat meter.
  • “It Wasn’t Me” Threat Drop (Force Camouflage): Marauders | Sentinels don’t have access to a standard threat reduction ability. Instead, they have a more powerful threat drop that will essentially reset your threat, making it very difficult for you to steal aggro again. This mechanic, however, only works for enemies that have previously targeted you at some point of the fight. Because of this, using Force Camouflage as a conventional threat drop is not suggested, and it should instead be saved until you either pull aggro and require an immediate threat drop, or to utilise its damage reduction utility.
  • Removal From Combat (E.g. Force Cloak): This is the most powerful threat drop in the game, and is subsequently one of the reasons why classes with this kind of threat drop should never steal aggro, taking advantage of this ability’s strength as part of their opening rotation. Activating this type of ability will remove you from combat, resetting your current threat on all targets to 0.

All taunts function in the same way; any target affected by a taunt will cause the user’s threat level to become 10% higher than the target’s highest current threat, in addition to forcing them to attack the user for the next 6 seconds. It will always put the user of the taunt at the top of the threat meter, but gains significantly more power as threat levels improve due to the 10% extra threat generated. Although the target is forced to attack the taunter for the next 6 seconds, threat generation continues regularly, and should another person have the highest threat level when the debuff wears off, they will become the new target

Dps knowing when to drop threat is an important skill. Whenever a tank taunts, the taunt icon will appear as a debuff on the target (the icon is always the same, regardless of class), so you will always know when a taunt has been used. A well timed threat drop is not necessarily used immediately after your best CDs or at the end of your opening rotation. You should always wait to use your threat drop until after you see that the tank has taunted the boss, and not necessarily the first time that they do (remember that they often use 3 taunts in a row as part of their opening rotation), as this signifies that their threat gain has been maximised. If you use your aggro drop as soon as you pull aggro on the boss but before the tank can taunt, their taunt will therefore become less effective and you may put yourself, or another player, at risk of pulling aggro again immediately afterwards. Also keep in mind that the higher your own threat is when you use your threat drop, the more significant the amount of threat lost will be.

Combat removal abilities such as Force Cloak should of course be used according to their place in your opening rotation, and not when you pull aggro, for the same reason as above. For Marauders | Sentinels, while it is also not recommended that you use Force Camouflage once you steal aggro in your first rotation, you have a slightly different timing window. Your threat drop will only actually work if you are being targeted when you use it, so you should save it until such time as you are targeted a second time and the tank can no longer instantly taunt off of you. Doing so will still help to maximise the tank’s threat, and will also drop your threat significantly enough that you shouldn’t have to worry about pulling aggro for the remainder of the fight.

About the Authors


Invinc and Vindrik are both members of <Hatred> on Harbinger, an endgame progression guild with world 3rd clear of Nightmare S&V, World 2nd clear of Nightmare TFB, world 1st speed clear (under 2 hrs) of Nightmare S&V, and numerous server firsts at the 8m level.

Invinc is the guild leader of <Hatred> and mains an operative DPS but plays pretty much every and all classes for operations. He currently leads the parses on operative lethality DPS on multiple boss fights and dummy parses. Also known as Carlenux, Carlenix (sniper), Carlenx (Sorcerer), Pyrotec (Powertech)

Vindrik mains an operative healer and is the raid leader for group B in <Hatred> (World 5th speed clear of Nightmare S&V). He is the former raid leader of <Notorious Synergy> on Dalborra, one of the world top guilds pre-2.0 (World 4th).

While the information here are mostly written by these two players, numerous other Hatred raid members and guides were consulted. Questions, comments, concerns will be answered by Invinc, who goes by the name of Carlos Eduardo Mata in the comments section below.

  • Cornboyz

    Awesome guides! I noticed in “1.6 opening rotations” that you still have the sorcerers abilities throughout a few places. Might be the same as 2.6, but I dont play balance tree so I wouldnt be able to tell you.

    • http://dulfy.net/ Dulfy

      Oops, thanks for catching it :)

      • Cornboyz

        Another one.. “2.6 -> standard boss encounter” the disturbance picture is called lightning strike.

        • http://dulfy.net/ Dulfy

          Thanks, will change it :)

      • Qui-jin

        Hopping to see the rotations used on Jedi Knight sentinel combat. And as a fact i want to see the rotations difficulty :P

        • http://dulfy.net/ Dulfy

          PT/vanguard dps and knight/warrior dps are coming up next :)

  • http://muttiship.wordpress.com/ Mothership

    Is there an issue if i translate this dps guide in french for my swtorblog, with many links and references for this site ?
    If i find the courage, so many informations !

    • http://dulfy.net/ Dulfy

      Should be fine

  • Saromk

    How come that when i parse telekinetic vs balance in the same gear balance comes on top with a 220 dps lead… and you say here that telekinetic has 8 point single target dps compared to 5 in balance spec.

    PS: use your rotations…

    • Carlos Eduardo Mata

      lightning not only has more “opening rotation RNG” but has way harder rotation, reading a “guide” wont make you competent with the spec, it didnt make me competent with the spec at once even when i knew all these, i used to parse madness higher, until i spend quite a few hours with lightning, understanding the priorities, when/how the CDs line themselves and when to delay abilities, lightning has a fair advantage which is also visible in the charts and leaderboards :).

      the thing is that madness is the easiest spec to play, ever, Dots, DF, FL and interrupt every now and then, it doesnt even require practice to be decent, however lightning is the other way around, way harder and requires practice, so judging by your post you are probably performing madness spec at 80-100% perfect rotation while probably doing a 40-60% of a perfect rotation with lightning, which happens quite often considering the different difficulties.

      • Saromk

        thnx for the input… I’ll just practise some more then.

    • http://dulfy.net/ Dulfy

      By lighting carl means telekientics, by madness it is balance. He is more used to the empire terms.

  • Crash

    First of all thanks for this guide, I learned quite a few things from it, some things still unclear though, hence my post :)

    I’m using a TK sage, I have a mixture of 72/78 gear, 72 MH and no setbonus at all (my main is a gunslinger, so my sage doesn’t get much non-comm gear) and I can’t seem to parse over 3050, no matter what. The thing is, I don’t understand what I’m doing wrong. Sometimes after a parse I feel like I’ve done nothing wrong and when I check I see I did under 3k dps, sometimes I know I did things wrong and I’m still over 3k by a little bit. Is that normal?

    I checked the top parses on torparse, the damage distribution is the same as for what I have, the difference I noticed is in crits. Lots of them have around 40%, while I only have around 30% most of the time. Are they lucky and to parse high do I need to wait too for some lucky crits? The parse you present in your guide has VERY high crits on some abilites. I get the feeling though that I should be doing more dps even with unlucky crits.

    Before reading this guide my rotation consisted of keeping turbulence off CD, then keeping MC off CD and then filling with disturbance. When I got my TT or TW procced I used them in places where I’d normally used disturbance. I didn’t keep WM up all the time, I used the method you mentioned for an easier rotation (though I tried to keep up WM all the time in some parses, but I didn’t notice any difference in overall dps). Also I used MA on CD. For force potency I try to wait when I have both procs up, but sometimes I use it for a proc and a disturbance.

    Now what I learned from you guide is that I shouldn’t use MC while MA is active and that maybe I shouldn’t use MA on CD. What about that? How much delay in MA is acceptable? Should I always wait for a WM cycle start? Or should I use it on CD anyway, cause it’s not that big of a dps difference?

    Also what dps should my goal be in my current gear? I basically have comms gear with 72 and 75 enhancements, 72 MH and DF and obroan relics.

  • KeyboardNinja

    Quick correction: Keeping Weaken Mind up 100% is actually a DPS loss, not the other way around. By refreshing it early, you lose about 4 GCDs in a 5 minute parse. Those GCDs would almost always otherwise be filled with Disturbance, which is a substantially harder-hitting ability than the lost ticks of Weaken Mind. Additionally, crit chance is currently too low for the two extra chances to proc Telekinetic Throw to be worthwhile. Thus, the DPS optimal rotation in *current* gear refreshes Weaken Mind exactly 1 GCD before Turbulence each time. I can show math for this, but it’s pretty easy to test out. The DPS difference (on average) should be around 40-50 on a 1 million HP dummy in maxed gear.

    • Annine

      Do u mean to cast WM just before Turbulence? Or WM – Filler – Turbulence?

      Interesting point about uptime. Question for all:

      Is worth using a TT proc just about to expire during Mental Alacrity phase? Or it’s better letting it go off.

  • force_unleasher

    Hey, Dulfy!

    In your Sage Telekinetics guide you say that the single target DPS is ~8/10. Yet in the Sorcerer Lightning guide you say that the single target DPS is ~7/10. I don’t get it, are there any differences between the two mirrored classes? Thank you in advance!

    • http://dulfy.net/ Dulfy

      Likely a typo on one of them, I will fix it ty

      • force_unleasher

        Also noticed a lot of differences in the Sniper/Gunslinger guides. And I mean a lot. If you could take a second look at them all, that’d be great!! Again, thank you in advance and thank you for everything you’re doing.

  • Spárky

    I’m surprised you don’t have the hybrid sage I been using that since way before 2.0 2/16/28 (2 in Penetrating light) (3 upheaval 3 inner strength 2 clamoring force 2 telekinetic defense 2 psychic projection 2 telekinetic effusion 1 telekinetic wave 1 tidal force) (3 empowered throw 2 jedi defense 2 will of the jedi 3 drain thoughts 2 critical kinesis 1 FiB 3 psychic barrier 1 telekinetic balance 1 presence of mind 1 force suppression 2 rippling force 2 mind warp 3 mental scarring) its just like balance but you proc TW not gonna say its the best hybrid but I seen alot of fail hybrids sage/sorc to me this best for hybrid sage/sorc rolls face on trash and for boss damage its ok it can hold its own weight

  • MikeyOfShadowlands

    Going to need updating in 2.7

  • Costel Vaduva

    made a page into facebook, and link here, i would like to follow and appreciate your job from here. from faraway is maybe the best and complete tutorial “how to” from all i read about swtor

  • Costel Vaduva

    about jedi sage, depends, but i think telekinetic throw is very good option for 2nd ranged attacker, behind to one melee huge dps or dmg/hit attacker. the reason is simple, don’t have general cooldown, is covered by channeled skill ( into that 3 sec is includided also general cooldown), if fact shot continuously with TT, and mixed with decent critical attribute and some surge rating it give @ 130% at every 3 sec non-stop. not speaking about additional skill reduce speed target… disturbance have 2 sec to charge and 1.5 sec general cooldown, that mean 3.5 sec. TT must be mixed with any bleeding skill fro increase dps, weaken mind and any other bleeding long time, 18 sec, is very good, almost all fight is longer than 15 sec. i will test at lvl 50, i am dedicated ranged attacker, and i will tell you how much dps can do.

  • Илья Шиманов

    As i play my sage as dps for more than a year and have currently one of the highest parses on dummy (Evannor) can safely say that in 2.7 rotation is changed a bit (Turbulence will always proc Tidal Force if used on cooldown and obviously if Disturbance is used right after Turbulence it will proc Psychic Projection). Don’t know if you updated it already, in case not rotation now looks like: Mind Crush—> Weaken Mind —>Turbulence—>Disturbance—>Telekinetic Throw(off proc)—> Telekinetic Wave (off proc)—->spam Disturbance….Turbulence—>Disturbance—>Telekinetic Throw(off proc)—> Telekinetic Wave (off proc). Basically procs are now 100 % predictable and Turbulence’s cooldown+ cast time ideally fits in procs internal cooldown what gives them the highest possible count

  • Akumakazama

    You say Balance is less than its counterpart but by how much. With everything you have to watch out for with “procs” and movement in raids, how can Tele be so high for dps? When i try both, i find i dps more with a spec i know(mad) over the spec that’s “best dps”.

  • Fina

    After 2.8 do you still regard an “8” on single target DPs as valid? I fabricate an 3,6k dps on the puppet without being full 180, to me it seems the patch has made the sage op ;)

    greets Fina

  • Vuun

    Cloud Mind seems to affect more than one target. (I’ve just test it with Parsec.)

  • SupRun

    I’m super late to join the discussion, but for the TK build you have the 2 points in the alacrity skill (force gift) and 1 in the crit skill (penetrating light). I usually run with 3 points in penetrating light, but my crit rating is super low (under 100) and i’ve got quite a bit of alacrity (from gear) already, could anyone please provide some insight? thanks!

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