SWTOR Vengeance Juggernaut DPS Guide by Rydarus
A guide to the SWTOR Juggernaut Vengeance DPS spec for PvE.
Vengeance Written and edited by Rydarus of The Ebon Hawk. Adapted from Rydarus’ Vigilance Guardian Compendium
- 1 Discipline Utilities:
- 1.1 VENGEANCE
- 1.2 Rage
- 1.3 About the Author
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 Marauders? 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, just like other tank classes. Juggs 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 single target DPS, and high AOE DPS, the Vengeance Jugg is a great choice.
Discipline Calculator: http://dulfy.net/2014/10/13/swtor-disciplines-calculator-swtor_miner/?link=dGEAAAE8AwABFwIGAAAAAAAA
Utilities are very debatable, and for the most part, with the discipline system, you can pick what you want!
Essential Utilities: Warmonger
Useful: Unyielding (If there are stuns), Pathcarver (If AOE rotation is necessary), Pooled Hatred (If there are slows)
Situational: Payback (Only if you need survivability AND you can expect to need it when you are stunned.)
Absolute Junk: Stagger, Overwhelm (Only for PVP)
Essential: Sonic Wall
Useful: Crushing Fist (AOE AND Target Swapping), Emboldening Scream (If group needs to move), Oppressor (Only with Emboldening Scream as well)
Situational: Deadly Reprisal (High AOE incoming, low movement, and no adds.)
Absolute Junk: Strangulate (PVP only), Seething Hatred
Useful: Through Passion (Great for predictable AOE and raid damage), Through Power (If movement is necessary)
Situational: Thrown Gauntlet (Movement Heavy Fights, ONLY WITH EMBOLDENING SCREAM), Intercessor (For maintaining uptime by Interceding to allies.)
VERY situational: Intimidating Presence (Draxus NiM? Maybe? Leap at a bulwark then interrupt add? Meh.)
Absolute Junk: Whiplash (PVP only)
- Single Target Dps: 8
- AoE Damage: 7 (DoT based)
- Group Utility: 6
- Rotation Difficulty: 7.5
- RNG Dependant: Somewhat on a few abilities.
- Burst: 6.5
- 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 – 110% special melee attack – 100% melee (1% from companion, 9% from Gear)
- **Must Have** 0 Alacrity (Gear levels do not warrant it yet, in a tier or two alacrity will be useful on select bosses)
- 63-68% Surge (1% from companion)
- 230-330 Critical Rating (1% from companion)
- All other secondary stats in Power
- **Must Have** Augments: Strength (Might) OR Power (Overkill), note that this is still in debate but personal results are higher in Strength Augments by a slight amount. Accuracy augments are debatable for dummy parsing since you can stack more surge, but not recommended for raiding.
- Relics: Serendipitous Assault & Focused Retribution
- Set Bonus: 2pc, 4pc, and 6pc Vindicator’s Set Bonus
- Shien Form
- Reaching the Accuracy cap should be your highest priority
- The dps bonus given by Alacrity rating is currently at the point that while it will do okay and sometimes is better than surge at our current gear tier of 192s, downtime in operations will ensure that the full benefit of alacrity may not be reached, so Surge rating will generally be better. Also, considering that your resource pool does not regenerate over time. That being said, generally 1 enhancement will not “kill you.”
- In Resurrected 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 SIGNIFICANTLY better option than higher item level armorings without it.
- For enhancements, make sure to get LOW ENDURANCE enhancements AND low endurance modifications (in 3.0 Commendations Mods are lettered Mods, IE Deft Mod 36A, AND enhancements are unoptimized. Optimal gear requires Initiative, Adept, Acute, or Battle Enhancement and UNLETTERED Deft and Potent Mods (IE Potent Mod 36A is BAD, Potent Mod 36 is GOOD! Potent Mod 36 is still better than Potent Mod 37A!).
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 4 Major Procs in Vengeance and 1 minor proc.
Abilities (NOTE THIS IS NOT A PRIORITY SYSTEM)
Rage Requirded: 3 Rage
Rage Cost: 2 Rage
Radius: Within 5 M
Type of AOE: Cleave
Rage Gain: 3 Rage
Cooldown: 15 seconds
Closes the gap between you and your target instantly, cannot be used if character is under cover. Grants Unstoppable.
It’s an adrenal. It gives stats. Buy them, use them on CD / when necessary.
Junk ability. Dump it.
The Rotation (Opener, Priority, etc):
Since 2.6 and the major Vengeance improvements, plus the changes made in 3.0, 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 general BiS (best in slot) RAID opener in Vengeance is:
(Some use Sundering Assault instead of Enrage, I disagree simply because it is not raid practical in the sense that the buff is generally insignificant, is part of your rotation anyway and therefore you are guaranteed use it later on, and also you cap out on Rage, and are using THREE low damage abilities in a row. It also means that if the Relics Proc on Saber Throw, only Impale gets the buff from your relics.)
You can always do this opener of you experience downtime, provided they are all off cooldown.
After this opener, you then flow into the main priority system.
AOE in Vengeance is fairly simplistic from a raiding standpoint, however I do want to illustrate one point about AOE DPS and this priority system: Big AOE numbers is NOT big boss numbers. The objective of raiding is not to kill random trash in a boss fight, it’s to kill the boss. If all you are doing in a raid is using Sweeping Slash and DoT spreading cause those 4 mobs pad your DPS numbers, and you are completely ignoring your single target rotation, you are not a true DPS. Your priority stands something like this in a situation with 3 or more targets
3: Force Scream
4: Vengeful Slam
5: Sweeping Slash
Depending on Resource you may only have time for 1 Sweeping Slash, as the cooldown on Vengeful Slam is a mere 6 seconds, leaving you few GCDs to reclaim your resource.
In a situation where you have 2 targets OR would like to keep the base rotation intact, the priority remains identical to the basic priority except Vengeful Slam is used over Force Scream and/or Vicious Throw and the occasional Sweeping Slash is employed.
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 Master Strikes/Ravages
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 Focus/Rage throughout the entire cycle. 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.
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
- 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? Such as taunting the boss when tank dies or intercede 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?
- 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.
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:
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:
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?
- Plasma Brand/Shatter every 12 seconds
- Overhead Slash/Impale and Blade Storm/Force Scream every 9 seconds
- Master Strike/Ravage every 12 seconds (fully achievable, check my personal parse, which is at 10.5)
- Dispatch/Vicious Throw every 19-20 seconds. (Keening/Destroyer procs and Dispatches must match.)
- 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:
- Optimized 180s with old augments from previous expansion: 3600-3700
- Optimized 186s with old augments from previous expansion: 3800-4000
- Optimized 186s New Augmented: 3900-4100
- Optimized and fully augmented 192s: 4300-4500
Sample Parse (Note: Gear used was optimized 180s with some 186 mods and some unoptimized 192 mods. 186 Purple Crafter Ruusan Relics)
(Note2: I have a higher parse available, but as dissecting each parse I put up, which is relatively frequent, for a parse analysis is fairly inefficient, I will always analyze a parse of my own every month, but keep a link or image of my ABSOLUTE MOST RECENT parse.)
Lasted 6 minutes, and 21 seconds, for a total of 381 seconds. Note that the values divided are rounded simply because SWTOR combat logging can be affected by lag.
- Master Strike/Ravage did 25.3% of the damage and was most of my damage. I used it 32 times and used it every 11.906 seconds, roundable to 12 seconds.
- Overhead Slash/Impale was used every 9.07 seconds, roundable to 9 seconds.
- Blade Storm/Force Scream was used every 9.29 seconds, roundable to 9 seconds.
- Plasma Brand/Shatter was used every 12.29 seconds, roundable to 12 seconds.
- Dispatch/Vicious Throw was used 17 times, and Keening was gained 17 times. I only used Dispatch every 22.4 seconds however, as Dispatch sometimes can be RNG dependent.
- Vigilant Thrust/Vengeful Slam was used a similar amount of times as Dispatch, as it should be, being only 1 away from the amount of Dispatches used.
- Sundering Strike/Sundering Assault was used every 15.24 seconds, reasonable, and roughly kept on cooldown within the constraints of the rotation.
Overall, the parse was fairly average for it’s gear, the crits were overall average and APM was average.
Highest Parse ATM: 4124
Rage (0 / 10 / 36 ) http://swtor.askmrrobot.com/skills/juggernaut#0-23203-123231211322011022223
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Shockwave: Increases Damage from Smash by 33.3 percent. Stacks 3 times. Procced by Force Crush or Enrage
1. Smash (with Shockwave)
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:
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
Here is a sample parse from Antonica of the Ebon Hawk. 3340 on the 1.5 million dummy.
- 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.