SWTOR Vengeance and Rage Juggernaut DPS Class guide

A guide to SWTOR Juggernaut Vengeance and Rage DPS specs for PvE. Written and edited Rydarus of the Ebon Hawk. Updated for Patch 2.10. Adapted from Rydarus’ Vigilance Guardian Compedium on SWTOR.com and Focus/Rage Guardian/Juggernaut Guide from Dulfy.net

Introduction to the Juggernaut DPS

Tired of those idiots who think you can only tank for YOUR raid group? Don’t like wielding two lightsabers like one of those pesky sentinels? Do you actually want to kill things?! Fear not! I, Rydarus of the Ebon Hawk,  am here to show you how to turn your benevolent protective neighborhood Guardian or Juggernaut Tank into a vicious murdering killing machine! Ready to have some fun? GREAT! Let’s get started! The Juggernaut class shares some inherent skills with the Powertech, such as wearing heavy armor and having access to a few basic tanking abilities, but requires the Juggernaut to stance dance in order to Area of Effect, or AOE Taunt, much like a Assassin, making Powertech the only tank class capable of using an AoE Taunt as a DPS in DPS stance. That being said, Juggernaut have significant survivability advantages compared to other DPS specced tank classes, and the excellent defensive cooldowns work for different aspects of every fight, and Saber Reflect can be used to easily avoid some lethal hits, including examples such as Orbs in Brontes or explosions from Subteroths. With Force Charge, single target and AoE taunts, an AoE incapacitate, high DPS, Juggernauts are a great choice. Juggernauts have 2 viable DPS raiding specs.

  1. Vengeance is a Dot/Burst Hybrid spec with some situational singular GCD AOE. It centers on Ravage, the primary damaging ability of Vengeance, a ruthless set of dot applications driven by cooldowns, an automatic critical hit for light burst damage, and consistent RNG based procs, with useful utility talents for different situations. It also has a very high Damage Reduction, and makes it highly favorable for offtanking. Although the single target damage output of Vengeance is far higher than Rage, it is a substantially more difficult spec to play.
  2. Rage is currently capable of dealing decent single target dps, however generally speaking is not quite as high as Vengeance (on Single Targets). However, it deals enormous sustained AoE damage, and tends to be used in fights where there are multiple targets in the same vicinity. The rotation is also far more simplistic than Vengeance.

Offensive Cooldowns:

  1. Enrage: Immediately generates 6 Rage.

Note: While in Rage spec, Enrage also has a reduced cooldown, generates an additional 6 Rage over 6 seconds, and grants 3 stacks of Shockwave. Defensive Cooldowns:

  1. Endure Pain: Increase your maximum HP by 30% for a short while. The extra HP is lost when the effect wears off.
  2. Saber Ward: Increase user melee and ranged Defense chance by 50%, and reduce all Force and Tech damage taken by 25% for a short while. First two seconds have a 100% Defense Chance via the buff “Blade Turning”
  3. Saber Reflect: Reflects any targeted ranged, Force or Tech abilities back at the attacker for a few seconds. Effective on multiple different situations such as Subteroths or Brontes Orbs.
  4. Enraged Defense: Grants 10 charges which are consumed upon taking damage. Each charge heals you. Cannot be activated while above 70% HP. Lasts 10 seconds
  5. Intercede: Leap directly to a friendly target, lowering their threat and reducing their damage taken by 20% for a few seconds

Vengeance

Vengeance (4 / 36 / 6 ) http://www.torhead.com/skill-calc#101MMZcGMRMosRrfczZf00z.3 spec veng

Rating
  • Single Target Dps: 7.5
  • AoE Damage: 6.5
  • Group Utility: 5
  • Rotation Difficulty: 8
  • RNG Dependant: Somewhat on a few abilities
  • Burst: 7.5
  • Sub 30% Talent or Ability Buffs:No (Execute available before 30% and execute very marginal in increase of damage)
Gearing & Stats Priority:
  • **Must Have** Accuracy: 110% Force – 100% melee (1% from companion + 3% from talent = 6% from Gear)
  • **Must Have** 0 Alacrity
  • 68-74% Surge
  • 180-290 Critical Rating (1% from companion)
  • All other secondary stats in Power
  • **Must Have** Augments: Strength (Might)
  • Relics: Serendipitous Assault & Focused Retribution
  • Set Bonus: 2 piece Vindicator’s & 2 piece Weaponmaster’s
  • Shien Form
Gearing Overview:
  • Reaching the Accuracy cap should be your highest priority
  • The dps bonus given by Alacrity rating is low enough that, even with the high amount of diminishing returns it will suffer, Surge rating will always be better. Also, considering that your resource pool does not regenerate over time, that aspect of Alacrity is wasted.
  • In Underworld to Dread Forged Gear, the Power base is strong enough to allow higher, but not EXTREMELY high amounts of crit. Stacking an implant to a few mods of critical rating is reasonable.
  • Choice of relics should be Serendipitous Assault and Focused Retribution. 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. Take note that you will require 2 Vindicator set pieces and 2 Weaponmaster set pieces for your ideal set bonuses.
  • For enhancements, make sure to get LOW ENDURANCE enhancements. Your priority should be Initiative and Adept Enhancements, all other enhancements have too much endurance.
  • Augment with Might Augments.
What you need to know beforehand!

Before we begin to learn the rotation of the Vengeance rotation itself, you first have to commit to memory the various “Procs” that generate various outcomes and abilities in Vengeance. There are 3 Major Procs in Vengeance.

Major Procs

  1. Savagery: Grants 50 percent critical chance increase to Force ScreamSavagery can be gained throughImpale or Shatter, or Vicious Throw.
  2. Rampage: Impale and Shatter both grant 1 stack of Rampage. At two stacks, Rampage automatically resets the cooldown on Ravage!
  3. Destroyer: Periodic Damage Effects, or DoTs and Ravage both have a 30 percent chance to grant Destroyer. Destroyer allows Vicious Throw to be free and used at any health level! Only occurs once every 20 seconds.
  4. Unstoppable: Force Charge has a 100% chance to generate Unstoppable. Unstoppable makes the Juggernaut immune to all physics and interrupts including Knockbacks, Stuns, Mezzs, and all other forms of crowd control. While a popular PVP talent, it’s also amazing for PVE (allows the Juggernaut to cheese mechanics that otherwise are not cheeseable, like that AOE knockback in Kephess!)

Abilities (NOTE THIS IS NOT A PRIORITY SYSTEM)

  • ImpaleDoes high Melee Kinetic damage with a 6 second Force internal Damage over Time effect that does moderate damage. Generates one stack of Rampage and one stack of Savagery. Each tick of the Damage over Time effect has a 30 percent to generate Destroyer. 9 second cooldown. 0m-4m range. Impale uses 4 rage, but due to Shien Form, it refunds one, so you’re actually using 3 rage!
  • ShatterDoes high force internal damage on initial application with a 12 second internal Damage Over Time Effect that deals high Damage. Generates one stack of Rampage and one stack of Savagery. Each tick of the Damage over Time effect has a 30 percent to generate Destroyer. 0m-4m range. Shatter uses 5 rage, but due to shien form refunding 1, you’re actually only using 4 rage!
  • Force Scream: Does moderate Kinetic Force damage on initial application with an internal force damage over time effect of 6 seconds. Each tick of the Damage over Time effect has a 30 percent to generate Destroyer. 9 second cooldown. 10m-0m range. Force Scream uses 4 rage, but because of shien form, it actually uses 3 rage!
  • Ravage: Ravage is the cornerstone of the Vengeance Juggernaut. Two stacks of Rampage resets the cooldown on Ravage. The original cooldown of Ravage was 30 seconds, but with a perfect rotation, Ravage can be used once every 10.5 seconds. Ravage deals all it’s damage in Kinetic Melee Damage via 3 separate discrete ticks over 3 seconds, with the final tick being the strongest. Skillful Vengeance Juggernauts clip their Ravage at the roughly 2.7 mark. There will be an advanced section lower in the guide explaining this. 0m-4m range, but upon activation the target can run around the 10m range and still be hit by the channel.
  • Vicious Throw: is used both in the execute (sub 30% phase) and every 20 seconds after Destroyer is proc’ed. It deals high kinetic weapon damage and is reinforced by multiple talents, including a critical chance boost in the Focus Tree. 0m-10m Dispatch uses 3 focus, but Shien Form refunds 1 focus, and Destroyer proc refunds 3 focus, making the total an actual gain of one focus!
  • Smash: Smash is your primary AOE and secondary filler. It is reinforced by Ruin, and in Vengeance is used as a filler that generates one focus. Smash is free due to Ruin, but Shien Form refunds 1 Rage, making the total an actual gain of one Rage!
  • Force Push filler for usage when the Juggernaut does not need rage, but should not spend any.
  • Saber Throw Saber Throw generates 3 rage. It is a very effective filler, and applies an armor debuff in Vengeance.
  • Sundering Assault is used as a quick way to generate a lot of rage. It is used as a filler and before heavy Rage phases to prepare, as well as providing an armor reduction debuff. It is affected by a variety of talents:
  • Assault Terrible filler, use extremely sparingly. Generates 2 rage.
  • Vicious Slash Terrible filler, only used sparingly in boss fights, never use on dummy AT ALL. Vicious Throw replaces this attack in the execute phase. Uses 3 rage but refunds 1.
  • Force Charge Gap Closer. Grants Unstoppable. Grants 3 rage.
  • Enrage: Instant ability off the GCD. Generates 6 rage. Should be used only when Sundering Assault is on Cooldown and you NEED rage.
The Rotation (Opener, Priority, etc):

Openers

Since 2.6 and the major Vengeance improvements, the Vengeance rotation is far more set in stone. Vengeance has very little RNG besides crits, but most players have an inaccurate or simplified rotation. The BiS (best in slot) opener in Vengeance is: Vengeance Optimal Opener   After this opener, you then flow into the main priority system.

Priority System

  1. Shatter, Impale, and Force Scream all ABSOLUTELY on cooldown, no questions asked. You should be using Shatter every 12 seconds, Impale and Force Scream every 9 seconds. This means that occasionally Force Scream will be used with only 1 stack of SavageryThat is fine. The additional DoT uptime means the occasional missed autocrit is not noticeable in the grand scheme of things, plus even with one stack you still have a 70+ chance of critting! The very best Vengeance Juggernauts keep all 3 on CD. If you delay one by a GCD, what happens is the one that was delayed will collide with another, forcing you to delay one DOT again in order to realign the rotation. If you use all 3 abilities, you spend 8 Rage, therefore the magic number of Vengeance is 8. Make sure you have 8 focus every time you start a DoT cycle.
  2. Ravage is the second most important ability on the list if you are following the above priority system down to the very millisecond. If you can keep all 3 dots on cooldown with no delay, WHILE using Ravage every 10.5 seconds, and making sure to use Vicious Throw every time Destroyer is up, you have officially accomplished the main goal of the spec.
  3. Vicious Throw with Destroyer is very important. When getting the proc, you have 20 seconds to use it, so while you don’t need to activate it immediately, as there are other more important abilities, you need to make sure you don’t accidentally drop the buff.
  4. Sundering Assault is your highest priority filler. Use it on CD as long as you don’t cap out. In certain situations, Sundering Assault is the most important ability in your rotation, at least in priority. Consider this situation: Sundering Assault is off cooldown, and Ravage is off cooldown,and you have 4.5 seconds until you need to use Shatter. Following the priority system verbatim, would mean this ability que would occur:Ravage -> Sundering Assault ->  ShatterBut this isn’t optimal! Because you can reset the CD of Ravage anyway, you can actually push it back a little farther! Therefore, the actual optimal rotation prioritizes Sundering Assault in this particular pass of the rotation, because you can’t reset sundering assault, and it’s your primary focus builder! The actual optimal rotation would be: Sundering Assault -> Ravage ->  Shatter Same outcome, but the next time you do Sundering Assault, you get it 3 seconds earlier!
  5. Enrage should be used when you absolutely need focus and Sundering Assault is on CD or you don’t have another GCD to spare.
  6. Saber Throw is your ranged filler and one of your better focus generation abilities.
  7. Smash should be used to top off your resource, and it does moderate damage, plus the high force crit chance of Vengeance makes it an effective filler.
  8. Assault is a mediocre filler. Use sparingly.
  9. Force Push, mediocre filler but has a range, also useable as a knockback. Good when topped out on rage.
  10. Vicious Throw (Non Destroyer) and Vicious Slash These two are absolutely your last priority fillers on a dummy, as it damages the stability of your rotation. Using either of these will ruin your DoT application. The only time this is good to use is in heavy AOE phases that guarantee you receive 2 focus every 6 seconds (6 seconds is the CD on Dispatch.)

Rotation Strategy

The Vigilance / Vengeance Rotation lasts 12 seconds for a minor rotation, and every Major Rotation is 36 seconds assuming the rotation is carried out perfectly. Every major rotation, the DoT’s realign in a way similar to the opener for another pass at the rotation.

In every Vigilance/Vengeance minor rotation, you will perform:

1 Plasma Brand/Shatter

1.3 Overhead Slashes/Impales (The decimal is because the cooldown for Overhead Slash / Impale and Blade Storm ‘/ Force Scream is 75% of the CD of Plasma Brand / Shatter, every few Plasma Brands / Shatters there is an extra Overhead Slash / Impale and Blade Storm / Force Scream inside the cooldown of Plasma Brand.

1.3 Blade Storms/Force Screams

1.14 Master Strikes/Ravages (The Decimal is because you can use master strikes every 10.5 seconds, as such every so often you will have TWO Master Strikes inside a Plasma Brand cooldown.)

1-3 filler GCDs, 1 of them being Dispatch/Vicious Throw when it procs Due to the nature of Dispatch drifting in the rotation, SOMETIMES you will use it, sometimes you will not. The reason for the variable number of filler GCDs is due to the way Overhead Slash / Impale and Blade Storm / Force Scream drifting inside the CD of Plasma Brand

In addition, every 12 seconds of a Vigilance / Vengeance rotation requires 8 or more to a maximum of 12 focus. 8 is the magic Vigilance / Vengeance number. Usually, a Sundering Strike/Sundering Assault or Combat Focus/Enrage with a Force Sweep/Smash or Saber Throw will fulfill this purpose. Combat Focus/Enrage can also be used while using an ability (besides Master Strike/Ravage) so that a filler in the filler window can consume resource rather than burning it.

Clipping Ravage

Congratulations! If you are reading this section, I assume you are ready to advance into the final frontier of Vengeance skill: The Ravage Clip.Due to a function of latency on the part of Bioware, our main ability Ravage, while having a full 3 second channel, the final damaging tick comes out at around 2.7-2.8 seconds. This means, with enough skill, a good Vengeance juggernaut can shave off the last few fractions of a second, and attain a higher APM than normally possible.

The dangers are ripe however, as clipping at the wrong time robs you of dps and potentially 1 or more ticks of Ravage. Clipping Ravage requires an intuitive feel of the class. Very few are able to achieve the level of control and precision to the level of the highest parsers, such as Kishekzun, who are able to achieve a level of insane precision in order to clip master strike/ravage at the same point every time.
The trick to the clip is not to button mash when Ravaging. Normally, button mashing increases APM for single gcd abilities, due to shortening potential gaps between abilities, but due to the precision required in clipping Ravage, and due to the way the GCD system works, button mashing DELAYS the clip. The best way to perform a crisp clip is to tap the button precisely once to break the channel cleanly. You will then notice that you tend to have sometimes a WHOLE GCD in order to spend on different attacks!

Hitting a Boss (Tips and Tricks!

The most important factor of dps, is UPTIME, often determined by APM, or actions per minute. Just because a sentinel does better on a dummy doesn’t mean he or she does better than you on the boss. If the sentinel isn’t leaping back to boss he will do less dps than you, and vice versa

Ask yourself:

    When leaping to kill an add like the Jealous Male in TFB, how often do you Force Push and leap back to boss to keep your uptime seamless? (NOTE: Guardian Leap / Intercede is sometimes better since it’s 1 GCD and Force push + leap is 2 GCDs, just make sure to NEVER EVER EVER leap at a tank, Guardian Leap / Intercede can knock tank aggro BELOW ZERO)

  • When DPSING, do you often have points in time where you don’t know what to do?
  • Know your abilities and their ranges and cooldowns, and use these abilities to get around faster.
  • Do you know when to use Blade Storm/Force Scream at two stacks or forgo it and use 1 stack?
  • Do you know that a basic attack is better than no attack, DPS is always better than nothing
  • Do you know when to ignore your own DPS and use utility talents? (Taunt the boss when tank dies or guardian leap to a dps with threat or use stasis to stun an add? PS Refer to the first note about Guardian Leap / Intercede)
  • Do you know when AOE is better than Single Target? Don’t be a Rydarus, don’t stand in cleaves.
  • Use your aggro drop when you get threat(Challenging Call/Threatening Scream ONLY in Shien and Shii-Cho Stance in 2.7)
  • Use Focused Defense/Enraged Defense as your first defensive CD in these situations: Heavy AOE, Dots, etc. Think of it as a trauma probe, if you are taking damage in the next 30 seconds, this CD is the bomb.

AoE ability Priority

  1. Smash
  2. Sweeping Slash
  3. Single target rotation
How to analyze a parse?

For those who have problems with Vengeance and the hallmarks of a good parse, I have included a list of simplistic equations to determine how to know whether your Vengeance Rotation is good:

  • Convert the length of your parse into seconds (5 minutes is 300 seconds)
  • Be in the Damage dealt tab of torparse and be looking at “Damage Dealt Broken Down By Target”

Time Conversion equations

  • D= Duration of Parse
  • A=Abilities amount of times used
  • G=Gap Between Use

Equation for detection of abilities usage per second:

  • D/A=G

Example: Ability A was used 34 times in 300 seconds. Using D/A=G we end up with: 300/34=8.8235 second gap between ability activations.

Master Strike/Ravage/other 3 tick ability Specific equation:

  • D/(1/3*A)=G

In this case, if D=300 and A=99, the equation would be 300/ (1/3*99)=9.09 second gap between ability activations.

Effect gain method

  • Go into logview on torparse and type CTRL-F.
  • Then enter: (Player Name) gains (Effect Name)
  • Apply ability usage per second code: D/A=G

What to check for?

  1. Plasma Brand/Shatter every 12 seconds
  2. Overhead Slash/Impale and Blade Storm/Force Scream every 9 seconds
  3. Master Strike/Ravage every 10.5 seconds (fully achievable, check my personal parse, which is at 10.5)
  4. Dispatch/Vicious Throw every 19-20 seconds. (Keening/Destroyer procs and Dispatches must match.
  5. APM at 35-36

How to Practice

The former highest skill Vigilance/Vengeance Guardian, Westfall, claims to parse for the duration of the “Today Show.” This generally means he parses for a grand total of 20 minutes a day in one straight parse.

“In order to fully commit your rotation to memory for usage on a boss, you must first learn every single way to screw up your rotation” (Credit to Antonica/Daharel)

This means you go through with every parse you have regardless of mistakes to learn your rotation inside out. Vigilance is an easy to learn but hard to master spec, and the rotation SEEMS easy to pick up but has some of the most ruthless dot reapplication rotations in the entire game.

Sample Parse and Video:

Here is a Parse demonstrating the tips from above. http://www.torparse.com/a/734480/3/0/Overview

3841 on the 1.5 Million Training Dummy

swtor-vengenace-guardian-dps-parse

Here is a Sample Parse for Vigilance translated to Vengeance. The parse was 6 minutes and 30.098 seconds long. Translating it into seconds, that’s 390.098 seconds long. Observe the following:

  • Ravage was used once every 10.54 seconds (round to tenths cause torparse rounding) for a total of once every 10.5 seconds. When done correctly, Ravage should dominate about 30-32 percent of your damage. Any lower and you either have very bad critical hit rates OR are performing the rotation incorrectly.
  • Impale was used 42 times or once every 9.28 seconds. This is pretty much on CD besides a few tenths of a second due to latency.
  • Force Scream was used 42 times or once every 9.28 seconds. This is also pretty much on cooldown. A hallmark of a good Vengeance parse is around a 1-0 usage difference between Impale and Force Scream but keeping both on CD. ALSO note that the ability crit 100% of the time, so the parse sacrificed no damage for keeping the ability on CD. Note that because you are occasionally launching Force Scream with one stack, you might get a less than 100% critical rate on Force Scream, but don’t expect anything lower than 95. This is a worthwhile tradeoff for the majorly increased DoT uptime.
  • Shatter was used 33 times or once every 11.82 seconds. Account for rounding and that is 12 seconds. That is absolutely on CD and completely perfect.
  • The parse gained Destroyer 19 times, and used Vicious Throw 19 times. However the player LOST keening 18 times, therefore the player still had Destroyer when the dummy died.

Rage

Rage (0 / 10 / 36 ) http://swtor.askmrrobot.com/skills/juggernaut#0-23203-123231211322011022223 swtor-rage-juggernaut-dps-class-guide-build

Rates (1-10):
  • Single Target Dps: 4
  • AoE Damage: 10
  • Group Utility: 6
  • Rotation Difficulty: 4
  • RNG Dependant: No
  • Burst: 8
  • Sub 30% Talent or Ability Buffs: Yes
Gearing & Stats priority:
  • **Must Have** Accuracy: 110% Force – 100% melee (1% from companion + 3% from talent = 6% from Gear)
  • **Must Have** 0 Alacrity
  • 68-74% Surge
  • 180-290 Critical Rating
  • All other secondary stats in Power
  • **Must Have** Augments: Strength (Might)
  • Relics: Serendipitous Assault & Focused Retribution
  • Set Bonus: 2 piece Vindicator’s & 2 piece Weaponmaster’s
  • Shii-Cho Form
Gearing Overview
  • Reaching the Accuracy cap should be your highest priority
  • The dps bonus given by Alacrity rating is low enough that, even with the high amount of diminishing returns it will suffer, Surge rating will always be better. Also, considering that your resource pool does not regenerate over time, that aspect of Alacrity is wasted.
  • The difference in overall dps between 180 Critical rating and 290 Critical rating is minimal, however since your highest damaging ability is a guaranteed critical hit on AOE, any Critical rating you use will adversely affect your overall AOE DPS, but increase your Single Target Average DPS
  • Serendipitous Assault and Focused Retribution are your Best Relics.
  • 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
Ability Explanation
  • Smash is your hardest hitting ability in this spec, as it has significantly buffed damage as well as being a guaranteed crit. In addition, it gets a reduced CD from your ability use, is free, and your rotation cycles between reducing its CD and buffing it, so using as soon as it’s available and fully buffed is necessary for maximum dps.
  • Enrage  is one of your Smash buffing abilities, as well as your primary method of generating Rage. Thanks to some of your talents, its cooldown is also significantly reduced. As such, the rotation for buffing your Smash alternates between Force Crush and Enrage. Due to Enrage’s immense rage gain, spamming abilities to remain under 12 rage while reducing Smash’s CD is generally a good idea, and keep in mind that Enrage doesn’t have to be used immediately before Smash, as the buff it provides won’t expire before Smash comes off CD. If, for whatever reason, Force Crush and Enrage are both available in the same Smash window, never use them together, as it’s a waste of your Shockwave stacks and will lower your dps.
  • Force Crush is your second Smash buffing ability, but it also deals high damage itself, so using this ability during the Cascading Power window whenever possible is ideal. Its damage is spread over 3 seconds, so to properly capitalise on the Cascading Power buff, you have to use it immediately following Smash.
  • Force Scream is one of your filler abilities. As with several others, it reduces the active CDs of Enrage, Obliterate and Smash, however Force Scream additionally gains a buff from your Obliterate and Force Charge that makes it free. As such, using this as your primary damage filler is a must, and it’s also an ideal ability to use during your Cascading Power window.
  • Obliterate is a core part of your rotation due to the significant buff it gives Smash, as well as dealing high damage and leaping towards the target. Keep in mind that this charge has the potential to get you killed in certain situations due to AoE or movement mechanics, so ensuring you use it at the right time is imperative. Just like Force Crush and Enrage, using this ability correctly and in synergy should always result in an Obliterate between each Smash.
  • Vicious Throw is your sub 30% ability, and whenever this ability is available it should replace Vicious Slash. When available, it should also be your first priority to use during Cascading Power.
  • Ravage deals great damage, however it is of much less significance than for Vengeance. Using it during Cascading Power is ideal. The best uses for Ravage are during Cascading Power.Ravage will gain the most benefit from Cascading Power out of all of your abilities.
  • Vicious Slash is the most important filler in this spec, as it reduces the CD of your most important abilities, as well as dealing improved damage. Spamming this ability as much as you can when everything else is on CD is necessary to reduce the time until your next Smash, however it will always be low on your priority list, and partially replaced by Vicious Throw when it becomes available.
  • Sundering Assault is your Rage-building filler. It generates a large amount of Rage and should be used nearly on CD when it doesn’t interfere with other abilities.
  • Force Charge is your gap closer, and should be used to initiate fights. It has the same effect as Obliterate, buffing your next Smash and Force Scream. Whenever your cooldowns are all refreshed due to a transition phase, consider it as a fresh start to the fight, opening with Force Charge if feasible and delaying Obliterate for the second Smash window.
  • Saber Throw is a really optional ability, as it’s not required to perform your opener, but not having the extra Rage it generates can leave you slightly Rage starved during the first few rotations, forcing you to use either Assault or Sundering Assault during a Cascading Power window, which is less than ideal. Also consider that an empowered Smash happens very quickly in your rotation, creating a lot of aggro very early on. Having that extra GCD at the beginning can give your tanks some extra room to hold threat as well as giving you a benefit in the long run, maximising on your dps.
  • Assault is used as a filler to reduce the CD on your main abilities. Use sparingly.

What to Check for on your Quickbar (Procs)

  • Dominate: Makes your next Smash critical chance 100%. Procced by Force Charge and Obliterate
  • ShockwaveIncreases Damage from Smash by 33.3 percent. Stacks 3 times. Procced by Force Crush or Enrage
Rotation Priority

1. Smash (with Shockwave)

2. Enrage / Force Crush (Force Crush Always Under Cascading Power)

3. Force Scream (with Battle Cry): FS

4. Obliterate: Use between Smashes, but never delay a Smash with an Obliterate

5. Vicious Throw: Replace Vicious Slash with Vicious Throw when possible, be sure to save for Cascading Power as well.

6. Ravage: Place under Cascading Power

7. Vicious Slash: Main filler

8. Sundering Assault: Use on CD until Cascading Power, then use only as last resort.

9. Force Charge (gap closer)

10. Saber Throw (while moving or at a range): ST

11. Assault (Last Resort)

Cascading Power Ability Priority

How Cascading Power functions: Cascading Power is a buff triggered by your Smash and lasts 6 seconds. That’s 4 GCDs, but the last GCD often clips, and only Force Scream is good in the final GCD. The buff looks like Cascading Power

Your priority under cascading power is:

Cascading Power

Opening Rotation:

Rage Opener 1 and 2

Rotation Strategy:

The Goal of Rage is to keep Smash on cooldown, whilst using Obliterate to grant the Dominate buff, Enrage and Force Crush to generate Shockwave Stacks (alternating), in order to buff smash and use it again. After every smash, the 4 GCDs after are used to follow the on demand burst with more sustained burst in the form of the Cascading Power rotation.

Sample Parse Analysis

http://www.torparse.com/a/608372/1/0/Damage+Dealt

Here is a sample parse from Antonica of the Ebon Hawk. 3340 on the 1.5 million dummy.

swtor-focus-guardian-sample-parse

  • Blade Storm / Force Scream is used every 14.4 seconds, this is close to the 12 second CD but not quite.
  • Force Sweep / Smash should be used roughly 9-9.5 seconds, it varies due to the intervening various non cooldown proc abilities. The critical hit chance should always be 100, and the minimum and maximum hit range should not vary by more than 2k, so if your highest Smash/Sweep hit was 10000, it should be around 8000 at minimum. If it’s something like 5000, 6000, or 4000, it means your rotation was done incorrectly at some point.
  • Zealous Leap / Obliterate should be used the same frequency as your Force Sweep, or with 1 as a margin for error assuming you end the parse at a very specific point.
  • Slash/Vicious Slash should be a very high part of your damage.
  • Master Strike should be used nearly on CD (within 2-3 seconds). This parse here showed it at 31.8 seconds between uses. See heightened power priority.

About the Author

If you don’t know me ingame, my name is Rydarus. My main is a Vigilance Spec Jedi Guardian (Go Figure) on the RP server The Ebon Hawk (Don’t ask why I’m on an RP server I like KOTOR XD). I’m currently in the most awesomest guild ever, Aisthesis, and I like raiding and love Guardian DPS. I’ve played this spec since 1.4 and it was the first character I leveled. I was one of those knuckleheads addicted to autocrit dispatch and really liked the animations of a Guardian.

I wrote this guide to help myself by keeping track of what I learned while playing the spec and to help me when I took hiatuses from the game. I was inspired to write the guide on the forums when Mattmonkey, a Guardian theorycrafter, quit the game. With months of no updates to the guide I took matters into my own hands and took his guide and put my own spin on it. A few months of rampant forum PVP and parse experimentation and repeated “Holy jesus I’ve been doing this wrong the entire time” moments and we arrive at this guide! I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

  • Errtai

    The skill tree screenshots must be old, Vengeance tree doesn’t have Overwhelm at the 4th row. That has been added to the skill tree some time ago. Can we have an updated screenshot please? Thanks.

    • Devin Linker

      Though you are correct, it doesn’t change what skills are taken in the tree. Overwhelm has no place in the build.

      • Errtai

        That is absolutely true of course, but new players might get confused.

        • Carlos Eduardo Mata

          there is no Talent calculator updated :( same with assassins and few others so its been a bit complicated in that matter lol

          • Vader

            torhead is updated at least for sins they have harnessed protection increasing dmg reduction instead of healing

            • Carlos Eduardo Mata

              oh really? we will look at those then thx, when we wrote this none of the Skill Calcs were updated, this guide was mostly “done” almot 1 month ago, it just needed some quick fixes/ adds, same reason why we published the vengeance guide regardless of 2.6 guides, since i finished doing all the scenarios and math crap 2 days before the Dev post /facepalm

          • Vader

            it also has overwhelm at 4th row for jugg vengeance tree

  • Konoha the Wiper

    must say that as vigilance i would not rotate like that, but ill explaing when u upload the guardian one coz i prefer to right it up using their names

    • Carlos Eduardo Mata

      i dont blame you, i hate reading through Pub side stuff as i dont understand half of it and have to go up and see the mirrors lol since someone more close to pub side did the mirrors for us :)… but we will make sure to look at it though thanks

  • Saratje

    I’ve got to say that Force Push holds the additional benefit of knocking things off a ledge or platform so that they are out of your hair for a while. Useful when a few too many enemies start wearing you down. For me atleast it has made the difference where I knew I could outdamage and defeat players or a group of NPC’s as long as I’d get one of them out of the way with push.

    • Carlos Eduardo Mata

      most of this guides are focused to be boss fights rotations, boss immunity and unshakeable so what you say is right, however it wont push most bosses anywhere :D.

      • Guest

        Although it might be worth mentioning that Force Push has the potential benefit of resetting the cooldown on Force Charge, no matter if you actually push the enemy/boss or not. Now, i have no raiding experience (still, enjoying your guides) but my guess is that thiss could be of advantage in movement heavy phases. Also, if such a phase is predictably coming within the next moments, it might be a good idea to not use Force Push as a filler, due to its long cooldown (1 Minute i think)

        • Carlos Eduardo Mata

          that is correct, not a bad idea thanks

      • Pradeep Dewars

        There is also the utility function both in raids and in boss fights. Force Push can be used to position trash and adds that don’t have boss immunity (eg. for AoE etc). At the same time, it can also be used to move ads away from the raid if the healers are being overwhelmed or the party needs a gold or two shut down to beat enrage timers etc. For trash and ads without boss immunity, it’s a useful interrupt. Finally, as has already been suggested, it’s a very useful tool for mobility. In fights where I need to switch from the boss to adds or the boss jumps around a lot/has knockback attacks, etc, having that Force Push means I can get 2 Force Charges in a very short period of time. Not tried this on 55 content yet, but an example is Gharj, when the DPS is burning him down fast and he pounces before your force charge gets off CD, using a Force Push + Force Charge combination gets you back to the boss before anyone but the tanks and annihilation marauders/watchman sentinels.

  • Cécile

    Interesting choice of parse given the whiffed Smash in there. Just a quick aside, when I crunched numbers for the gear budget on a Focus Guardian/Rage Jugg at best in slot 78s, I found that the right number of crit rating was 63 points. Probably worth it to get one acute enhancement in your finished product for the 62 crit on it, but the impact is really small.

    • Carlos Eduardo Mata

      lol i didnt notice that, however i think we took that from leaderboards top Parses, so it is …. weird that it has a mistaken Smash… interesting.

      • Cécile

        Potentially could have been during a phase where the boss had a shield up to absorb 100% damage. Smash gets recorded as having done zero damage, and it may reconcile as not a crit? Otherwise, I’m just sort of surprised I suppose.

        • d’leh

          Could also be it was a Smash that was casted after the target had died already. Happens sometimes if it’s very close or you have terrible latency.

  • Magnus

    GLAD TO SEE. My Juggernaut Rotation is already perfect then. However I must ask about the Augments. Is the Might Augments really better than the Overkill ones? If so. I’d love to see it all detailed. Because for ever 5 strength we get 1 bonus damage. and for every 4.2 of power we get 1 bonus damage because Force users get a 6% bonus, not a 9% like other classes.

    • Torenes

      I think so because it also provides the crit bonus, so even though the extra 448 strength gives you 89.6 bonus damage instead of overkills 106.6 damage, you’re gaining a few percent in crit (# depends on your current amount of crit) so it balances/off-sets the extra damage. Maybe for Jugg it could be better to go 50/50 or something, but I’m personally staying full Strength because I like the crit bonus it provides.

  • Coslin

    This is an amazing write-up! Very, very well done!

  • Avaccus

    What mean “68-74% Surge”? The percent of what value?

    • TW

      Surge is called “Critical Multiplier” on your character info window.

  • Sindariel

    The Rage rotation is far from optimal and has many errors.

    1. The Vicious Throw in the opening rotation picture is wrong and should be a Vicious Slash.

    2. The positions of Force Scream in the opening rotation are impossible. The GCDs used between 2 Screams don’t match it’s cooldown.

    3. Force Crush should ALWAYS be used within the first 3 seconds after smash, to ensure it’s FULL duration gets buffed by Cascading Power. (I do Smash -> Force Crush -> Ravage -> Force Scream)

    4. Enrage should be used as an opener instead of Force Crush, because it can be cast several seconds before a pull and since it’s cooldown gets reduced by slashing attacks and it will be ready again by time, there’s absolutely no reason to NOT use it.

    Also worth to mention:

    – The 2 piece marauder set bonus is better in Rage spec than the 4 piece juggernaut bonus.

    – Ravage does it’s last tick of damage usually at 2.7s of it’s 3s channel and not at the end. So, clipping Ravage after it’s last tick is usually a DPS increase. Especially in Vengeance spec. (Though, this heavily depends on your latency)

  • pzdka

    are guides for sents/maras coming soon? :)

    • force_unleasher

      I’m waiting for those patiently since Dulfy posted the first guide. I love the style of the guides, the people who make them are awesome players and I would REALLY appreciate it if Dulfy posts the Sentinel/Marauder guides soon. I can’t wait any longer because my main is a Sentinel and I cannot understand why am I doing 3.3k with half Dread Forged gear…. I’d love to finally see what am I doing wrong because all of the other guides that I have read on the internet have told me exactly nothing. I’m hoping this one will be THE guide. :)

  • Konoha the Wiper

    when is the rep translation coming

  • GrandLordMenace

    There are plenty of nondulfy guides on the forums, some better and some just as good. For sentinels, Emperor_norton ‘s watchman guide and Keyboardninja’s Combat guide are literally great for learning the rotation etc etc etc and focus is just… focus

  • Macedonicus

    So 2.6 Vengeance is RNG dependent, but Annihilation isn’t? Wat.

  • jagermensch

    I like the style and organization of this update.

    • http://dulfy.net/ Dulfy

      Formatting will be fixed in the next few days. It is a mess right now heh

  • luke6329

    “Smash uses 3 Rage, but Shien Form refunds 1 Rage, and the Ruin talent refunds 3 Rage, making the total an actual gain of one Rage!” This is incorrect, Ruin REDUCES the force cost by 3 so it’s a free cast. This implies you need 3 rage to activate to ability initially.

    • Rydarus

      Fixed, just said it was free and refunded 1 rage instead, thanks for the suggest!

  • tracker

    These guides are outdated and all over the place. The class forums are a better place to learn your class

    • http://dulfy.net/ Dulfy

      It is not outdated, it is in the midst of being rewritten

      • loak

        needs to be re-written a good bit.. whoever is doing the current guide im reading for juggernaut is wasting alot of procs, and abilities that could be filled in other places for higher more consistent dps

  • guestopher

    this is a pretty terrible rotational guide.. full of wasted abilities and procs

  • DarthNevets

    I have yet to see a solid Rage Rotation. I just so happen to have figured it out. I can hit 3500 on the dummy when the crits roll my way. I have a guide being written as we speak. I was wondering if yall would like to see it posted here. Rygal Shadowlands

    • Rydarus

      I honestly do not see why a more indepth focus / rage guide is needed. The spec on a guardian / jugg is extremely derivative, and frankly, easy. The only part that actually takes any thought is the heightened power window, and that is… not even hard. Granted every spec has a skill cap, but the Rage skill cap is extremely low. No one ingame mains Jugg Rage, it’s generally considered an altspec used in certain high AOE fights. Right now, there’s no real reason to devote any major time to studying a spec that’s only used in a few bosses, especially if 95% of it’s DPS output can be attained through basic raid awareness of Smash placement, and coordination to make sure you don’t overwrite shockwave stacks.

      Regardless, good luck on your guide!

      Sentinel / Mara, there’s a different story.

  • Edmundo Weber

    Sentinel’s Focus build does Single Target damage 5. Is Juggs/Guardians really ahed in this?

    • Edmundo Weber

      edit: already corrected

      • Rydarus

        To be frank Sentinel’s single target DPS should be listed at 6.5 IMHO. There are focus sents doing 3870ish.

        There’s a mara with a guide on the ToR forums, he’s probably the highest parsing focus / rage sent / mara in the game and he runs a different build that has higher theoretical damage but similar average damage.

  • Saila

    Isnt rage dps pve spec useless since smash auto crit applies only to players? (Sorry if q is outdated – i came back to game after 1.5 year absence)

  • Rydarus

    No no you’re being confused :)

    In PVP the autocrit can only hit one target in PVE you can hit multiple. That’s what it means.

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