SWTOR Sentinel DPS Class Guide

A guide to SWTOR Sentinel Watchman, Combat, Focus and Hybrid specs for PvE. Written and edited by Invinc and Vindrik of Harbinger.

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Overview

The Sentinel is one of the most commonly played classes; since launch it has always been one of the best dps classes, with access to the best group dps buff and the best group mobility buff in the game. Add this to incredibly good defensive cooldowns, a high potential for burst while still maintaining decent consistent damage, as well as relatively simple gameplay, and you can begin to understand why the Sentinel is such a popular choice. A mediocre Sentinel is often better than, or just as good as, decent players from other, more difficult classes (Shadows, Vanguards, Sages), however although the basics for the Sentinel are easy to grasp, the skill ceiling for those wanting to achieve excellency is still very high. Sentinel have 3 viable raiding specs, each with different advantages over the others:

  1. Watchman’s entire rotation depends on dots, Merciless buffs and Juyo Form stacks. It has a slower build up time than the other specs, but once it gets going deals excellent sustained damage over time. Generally speaking, Watchman is best for movement heavy fights with a high boss uptime.
  2. The Combat rotation cycles around Precision Slash windows, focusing on exploiting the 100% armor penetration that it grants to deal devastating burst damage with its hardest hitting abilities, and using decent fillers until the next Precision Slash becomes available. RNG is generally not a factor, but can occasionally play against you.
  3. Focus has the lowest overall single target dps of the 3 specs, however its AoE capabilities far exceed the others, utilising incredibly hard-hitting Force Sweeps, and brainless Focus management, its normally used more as a fun spec than a serious spec.
  4. The Hybrid Focus spec is the newest of the Sentinel’s options, using a combination of Focus and Watchman talents to focus on buffing Force Sweep and applying dots, making it both very reliable and powerful.

Offensive Cooldowns:

  1. Inspiration: Grants all ops members within 40 meters a 15% increase to all damage and healing done. Requires and consumes 30 stacks of Centering.
  2. Zen: Activates a unique bonus with 6 charges, based on your lightsaber form. Requires and consumes 30 stacks of Centering. With the 4 piece set bonus, also increases all damage done by 4% for 15 seconds.
  • Juyo Form: Your burning effects have a 100% chance to critically hit. Each critical hit from a burning consumes a charge.
  • Ataru Form: 30% increased Alacrity. Each charge is consumed on using an ability.
  • Shii-Cho Form: Each charge generates 2 Focus every 0.5 seconds (12 Focus over 3 seconds). Also immediately grants 3 stacks of Singularity.

Defensive Cooldowns:

  1. Transcendence: Grants all ops members within 40 meters a 50% increase to movement speed (80% if specced as Combat) and increases their melee and ranged defense by 10%. Requires and consumes 30 stacks of Centering.
  2. Rebuke: Reduce all damage taken by 20% and reciprocate a small amount of damage to the enemy when attacked. Lasts 6 seconds, but refreshes with each hit taken, up to a total length of 30 seconds.
  3. Saber Ward: Increase your melee and ranged Defense chance by 50%, and reduce all Force and Tech damage taken by 25%.
  4. Guarded by the Force: Reduces all damage taken by 99% for a few seconds. When the effect ends, you lose half your current HP.
  5. Force Camouflage: Reduces your threat, as well as reducing damage taken by 50% and increasing movement speed by 30%.
  • Watchman: Increased duration, movement speed bonus increased to 40%.
  • Combat: Breaks all movement impairing effects upon activation.

Tricks of the Trade:

  1. Awe: 6 second AoE incapacitate
  2. Valorous Call: Immediately gain 30 stacks of Centering
  3. Pacify: Reduce your target’s melee and ranged Accuracy by 90%
  4. Contemplation (Talent): Builds up to 30 Centering while using Introspection

Watchman

Watchman (36 / 8 / 2 ) http://swtor.askmrrobot.com/skills/sentinel#122132322102212203320-3230-2

swtor-watchman-sentinel-dps-class-guide-build

1.1 Rates (1-10):


  • Single Target Dps: 9
  • AoE Damage: 4
  • Group Utility: 9
  • Rotation Difficulty: 7
  • RNG Dependant: No
  • Burst: 6
  • Sub 30% Talent or Ability Buffs: Yes

1.2 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
  • 0-250 Critical Rating
  • All other secondary stats in Power
  • **Must Have** Augments: Strength (Might)
  • Relics: Serendipitous Assault & Focused Retribution
  • Alternate Relic: Boundless Ages
  • Set Bonus: 4 piece Weaponmaster’s
  • Juyo Form

1.3 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 0 Critical rating and 120 Critical rating is minimal, but having any in general will negatively affect your overall dps, so avoiding it wherever possible is suggested
  • 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:


  • Zen (Juyo Form) gives you 6 charges which cause your dots to have a 100% critical hit chance, and each crit additionally heals your group for 1% of their max HP.
  • Overload Saber is your most important ability, as it is the hardest hitting dot in your rotation, and constitutes a significant portion of your overall damage. The dot lasts for 6 seconds and stacks up to 3 times, and it’s activation doesn’t respect the GCD so it’s usually paired with Force Leap, as these abilities have an equal CD and synergise well together. Using as many Zen charges with 3 stacks of this dot active is a considerable dps increase, however it can be difficult to micromanage, and delaying the use of Cauterize during a Zen window is never recommended. It is a affected by a variety of talents:
    1. Juyo Mastery: Has a 3% increased critical hit chance per stack of Juyo Form (18% at max stacks)
    2. Merciless Zeal: Critical hits heal you for 1% of your max HP
    3. Searing Saber: Increases Critical damage dealt by 30%
    4. Weakening Wounds: Applying a bleed effect reduces the target’s damage dealt by 5%
    5. Plasma Blades: Increases damage dealt by 6% and has a 30% chance to generate 1 Focus each tick, with an internal CD of 1.5 seconds
    6. Burning Focus: Your direct damage critical hits on bleeding targets generate 1 Focus
    7. Valor: Increases the amount of Centering built by 2
  • Cauterize is your second most important dot, and using this ability on CD is a must, however you should not clip the dot when it procs. Keeping this dot up as much as possible is a dps increase, however as noted, when it procs you should wait until your previous Cauterize has expired before activating it again. It is affected by a variety of talents:
    1. Juyo Mastery: Has a 3% increased critical hit chance per stack of Juyo Form (18% at max stacks)
    2. Merciless Zeal: Critical hits from the dot heal you for 1% of your max HP
    3. Searing Saber: Increases Critical damage dealt by the dot component by 30%
    4. Repelling Blows: Increases the direct damage component by 30%
    5. Weakening Wounds: Applying a bleed effect reduces the target’s damage dealt by 5%
    6. Plasma Blades: Increases damage dealt by the dot component by 6% and has a 30% chance to generate 1 Focus each tick, with an internal CD of 1.5 seconds
    7. Burning Focus: Your direct damage critical hits on bleeding targets generate 1 Focus
    8. Dual Wield Mastery: Offhand lightsaber damage is increased by 36%
    9. Valor: Increases the amount of Centering built by 2
  • Merciless Slash is another very important ability in your rotation. It is the hardest hitting single ability you have, but also has a high cost, and early in the rotation has a relatively long CD. The Merciless buff will reduce this CD incrementally up to to 4 stacks, so there is a significant amount of setup time, but once you have all 4 stacks, being able to Merciless Slash faster will lead to higher damage, but larger Focus consumption. Keeping this buff up is absolutely necessary, even if that means hitting immune targets or random mobs during transitions, because having to rebuild your stacks will lower your damage output significantly. Merciless Slash also has a chance to refresh the CD of Cauterize, so these two abilities usually work very well together. It is most common to use Cauterize first to gain the full advantage of this talent, however Merciless Slash shouldn’t be delayed for this. It is affected by a variety of talents:
    1. Mind Sear: Has a 66% chance to refresh the CD of Cauterize, with a 6 second internal CD
    2. Valor: Increases the amount of Centering built by 2
    3. Focused Slash: Refunds 1 Focus when used
    4. Dual Wield Mastery: Offhand lightsaber damage is increased by 36%
    5. Inexhaustible Zeal: Merciless now stacks up to 4 times
  • Force Leap in Watchman spec is the only time that this ability will be used regularly. It has no minimum range and generates additional Focus, making it an excellent method of Focus generation to replace Strikes. It is affected by several talents:
    1. Blurred Speed: Reduces the CD by 3 seconds
    2. Close Quarters: Reduces minimum range by 10 meters
    3. Focused Leap: Generates 1 additional Focus
  • Dispatch is your sub 30% ability. When Focus and procs allow, you should be replacing Slash with Dispatch as often as possible. It is affected by two talents:
    1. Mind Sear: Has a 66% chance to refresh the CD of Cauterize, with a 6 second internal CD
    2. Valor: Increases the amount of Centering built by 2
    3. Focused Slash: Refunds 1 Focus when Used
  • Master Strike is another key part of your rotation, however it is not as important as it is in other specs. It still deals a high amount of damage, and it can be hard to fit into your rotation comfortably, but using it regularly is useful. It is normally used after Merciless Slash, when you have enough Focus that the next portion of your rotation won’t be delayed.
  • Twin Saber Throw is your preferred filler, as it deals significant damage without a Focus cost, making it the best option you have when Focus is not an issue. It is affected by one talent:
    1. Dual Wield Mastery: Offhand lightsaber damage is increased by 36%
  • Slash is the worst filler in your rotation and generally only has space to be used before you finish stacking Merciless. It has a chance of refreshing the CD of Cauterize, so it has some extra utility besides its mediocre damage, but it should still have a low priority. It can only be used when you have too much Focus and nothing to spend it on, but using Slash to drain Focus too quickly is a common mistake, as it can seriously delay your rotation. It is affected by several talents:
    1. Mind Sear: Has a 33% chance to refresh the CD of Cauterize, with a 6 second internal CD
    2. Dual Wield Mastery: Offhand lightsaber damage is increased by 36%
    3. Valor: Increases the amount of Centering built by 2
    4. Focused Slash: Refunds 1 Focus when Used
  • Zealous Strike is your main Focus builder. You should use it on CD to ensure that you always have enough Focus for your rotation, and so that you never have to delay your more powerful abilities due to an unnecessary lack of Focus.
  • Strike is your secondary Focus building ability, and is used relatively frequently to keep your Focus high.

1.5 Ability Nomenclature and Rotation Priority:


  1. Overload Saber: OS
  2. Cauterize: CT
  3. Merciless Slash: MLS
  4. Force Leap: Leap
  5. Dispatch: DP
  6. Master Strike: MS
  7. Twin Saber Throw: TST
  8. Slash: SL
  9. Zealous Strike: ZS
  10. Strike

Offensive Cooldowns:

  1. Inspiration
  2. Zen
  3. Valorous Call: VC

1.6 Opening Rotation:


Leap / OS + ZS + CT + MLS + MS + CT (proc) + TST + Leap / OS + SL + Strike + MLS + Once you get 30 Centering use Adrenal / Relic / Inspiration / VC + Zen

swtor-watchman-sentinel-dps-class-guide-opening-rotation

1.7 Rotation Strategy:


Watchman’s rotation focuses around applying dots and slowly building up your stacks of Juyo Form and Merciless. Merciless Slash’s CD starts off slow until you reach 4 stacks of Merciless, at which point the cooldown is significantly decreased, and should be used on cooldown. Slash is generally only used as a filler ability between 0-3 stacks of Merciless, as once you have such a short Merciless Slash CD, there is almost no room for any other fillers. Cauterize should be used on CD since its one of your most powerful abilities, and both Slash and Merciless Slash have a chance to reset its cooldown. You should only re-apply Cauterize once the previous Cauterize dot has finished. Twin Saber Throw is your best filler ability, and as such should be used as close to its cooldown as possible. Overload Saber doesn’t respect the GCD and has the same length CD as Force Leap (which can also be used while in melee range thanks to Close Quarters), so you should be using Force Leap on cooldown to generate Focus, and on that same GCD activating Overload Saber. Zealous Strike is your main Focus builder and should be used whenever it is available to maximise your Focus. Watchman has a tendency to go through spikes of heavy Focus usage due to the costs of Merciless Slash and Cauterize. As such, it is generally a good idea to try and keep your Focus as high as possible so that you don’t delay the use of these powerful abilities.

15-20 second rotation (10-14 GCDs, no opener). Full stacks of Merciless and Juyo Form:

MLS + CT + Leap + OS + ZS + MLS + MS + TST + MLS + Leap + OS / Strike + CT + MLS

swtor-watchman-sentinel-dps-class-guide-rotation

1.8 AoE Ability Priority:


  1. Twin Saber Throw
  2. Force Sweep
  3. Cyclone Slash
  4. Single target abilities

1.9 Sample Parse Analysis:


swtor-watchman-sentinel-dps-class-guide-sample-parse

  • The highest section of your damage dealt is shared between your two hardest hitting abilities; Overload Saber and Merciless Slash. Considering the numerous buffs that your dot effects have, the damage dealt by these abilities should generally be relatively close to one another, however Merciless Slash should be slightly ahead.
  • The second portion is accounted for by the dot component of Cauterize, and Master Strike. Although it seems as though Cauterize deals less damage than your biggest two abilities, when you factor in its initial damage, it is actually on par with both of them, and as such accounts for a significant portion of your damage. Master Strike, on the other hand, has nothing special about it besides its significant damage output, and using it as a filler should lead to it being in fourth place in a regular parse.
  • The third section is lead by Dispatch, as this ability becomes very important in the rotation once the target is below 30% HP, giving you a dps increase when used correctly. Having it deal too much damage, however, is generally a sign that you overused it and delayed your other abilities due to its Focus consumption. It should be followed by Cauterize’s direct damage, despite its slight dependence on RNG.
  • The final section contains your weaker filler abilities, such as Slash, Twin Saber Throw, Strike, Force Leap and Zealous Strike. Depending on your luck, Focus management, fight mechanics and other variables, the exact position of these abilities in a parse may vary. For example, fights with multiple adds can lead to a benefit for Twin Saber Throw. Although Slash will generally deal the most in this section, and Force Leap will generally deal the least, their precise damage is largely irrelevant. The most important note is that if your Slash or Strike damage is too high, this may be a sign of poor Focus management.

1.10 Tips and Tricks:


  • Jedi Knight resources work differently from all of the other classes, and it’s sometimes difficult to manage well and deal the best possible dps. The fact that you have extra Focus to spend when your important abilities are on CD doesn’t necessarily mean that you should be spending it all, or even any of it. If you have a total of 5 Focus and the next major section of your rotation requires 8, you are better off using a few GCDs immediately to generate the extra Focus that you need so that you can go directly into the next part of your rotation as soon as possible, rather than spending the Focus that you have and significantly delaying your higher priority abilities.
  • Both Guardians and Sentinels have the best overall defensive cooldowns in the game for any class, so make sure you are using them to their greatest extent to avoid damage, or when you are required to off-tank to mitigate as much damage as possible. This could give your ops the valuable time it needs to possibly rez a fallen group member and continue the fight as per usual.
  • Although Master Strike has a 3 second channel time, the damage that it deals does not actually require the full 3 seconds. One of the most important tricks for Knight dps is to take advantage of the fact that while the animation takes 3 seconds to complete, the final tick of damage (there are 3 hits total), happens around the 2.5-2.8 second mark. Once you see that third hit in the combat text, regardless of whether the animation is done or not, you should use your next ability. Doing this, and practicing exactly when to stop the channel based on your personal latency, is an excellent way to maximise your damage output.
  • You can use Riposte as a replacement filler in fights that have any mechanics that may trigger its usage, as it is useful to improve your burst dps due to being off the GCD.
  • Force Camouflage is an excellent threat drop, just like any vanish abilities from a stealth class, however this component of the ability only works if you are being targeted.
  • Once you know all your talents well enough and can reposition your hotkeys quickly, you can respec into Combat for the Contemplation talent, use Introspection to generate 30 stacks of Centering, then quickly respec back and reset your hotkeys to have a full stack of Centering for use at the beginning of a fight. This is particularly useful for difficult fights, or those with an important burn phase at the beginning of the pull.
  • Transcendence’s increased Defense chance, in addition to the movement speed buff, is an excellent tool to help increase your tank’s mitigation during moments of heavy melee and ranged burst damage.
  • You will not gain stacks of Centering while you have any charges of Zen active.
  • Guarded by the Force is an excellent tool to help avoid lethal damage. It is often used while at exceedingly low HP to try and survive for as long as possible, however if you are about to take lethal damage, even if you are only at half HP, you are better off using Guarded by the Force to mitigate as much damage as possible, even if it means that it will cost you a greater amount of HP at the end of the effect
  • Rebuke is not only your best overall damage reduction cooldown, but it also deals a moderate amount of damage to the enemy that hits you. As such, using it during phases where you will are consistently hit by the boss or by ticks of AoE damage will increase both its duration and your dps.

Combat

Combat (5 / 36 / 5 ) http://swtor.askmrrobot.com/skills/sentinel#320-1233022210221212023230-23

swtor-combat-sentinel-dps-class-guide-build

2.1 Rates (1-10):


  • Single Target Dps: 9
  • AoE Damage: 8
  • Group Utility: 8
  • ● Rotation Difficulty: 8
  • ● RNG Dependant: Yes
  • ● Burst: 10
  • ● Sub 30% Talent or Ability Buffs: Yes

2.2 Gearing & Stats Priority:


  • **Must Have** Accuracy: 110% Force & 100% melee (1% from companion + 3% from talent + 3% from Ataru Form = 3% from Gear)
  • **Must Have** 0 Alacrity
  • 68-74% Surge
  • **Must Have** 0-60 Critical Rating
  • All other secondary stats in Power
  • **Must Have** Augments: Strength (Might)
  • Relics: Serendipitous Assault & Focused Retribution
  • Alternate Relic: Boundless Ages
  • Set Bonus: 4 piece Weaponmaster’s
  • Ataru Form

2.3 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 0 Critical rating and 60 Critical rating is minimal, but having any in general will negatively affect your overall dps, so avoiding it wherever possible is suggested
  • 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:


  • Zen (Ataru Form) grants significantly increased Alacrity for 6 abilities (Precision Slash doesn’t use a charge). This ability isn’t very complicated; using it regularly is necessary, and using it during Precision Slash windows will increase your dps even more, as it allows you to fit another ability into the Precision Slash window. This allows you to get up to 4 abilities in a single Precision Slash, or 3 with a Master Strike.
  • Precision Slash is your most important ability, as your whole rotation revolves around Precision Slash windows. It has a relatively long CD, but your Ataru Form strikes have a chance of refreshing its cooldown every 20 seconds. This means you should always be mindful if intending to delay a Precision Slash, as it can cause the proc to overlap with the ability and reduce your overall damage. Precision Slash doesn’t respect the GCD and lasts 4.5 seconds (3 GCDs, or 4 with Zen), however due to this you can use Dispatch or Twin Saber Throw before activating Precision Slash, and due to their travel time will allow you to fit another ability into the Precision Slash. Getting the timing right on these abilities is an important part of maximising your dps, however a poor connection can make this exceedingly difficult. It is affected by one talent:
    1. Hand of Justice: Ataru Form strikes have a 45% chance to refresh the CD of Precision Slash. Can occur every 20 seconds.
  • Master Strike is a hugely important part of your rotation, however it shouldn’t be used on CD, instead saving it to combine with Precision Slash. You should never delay a Precision Slash for a Master Strike, and similarly you should never use Master Strike outside a Precision Slash window. It should always be the first ability used in a Precision Slash window when it is available.
  • Dispatch is a key ability thanks to the Hand of Justice talent, which makes it a regular part of your rotation, and it simply becomes more frequently used when your target falls below 30% HP. Using it before Precision Slash and timing its activation allows you to fit another ability into your Precision Slash window, which is an important trick to master in order to maximise your dps. Keep in mind that although it is free with Hand of Justice, regular uses still cost Focus. It is affected by several talents:
    1. Focused Slash: 100% chance to refund 1 Focus
    2. Hand of Justice: Ataru Form strikes have a 45% chance to refresh the CD of Dispatch, and make your next Dispatch free and usable on any target. Can occur every 20 seconds
    3. Valor: Increases Centering built by 2
  • Blade Storm is your most important filler during Precision Slash windows, and its CD is rather conducive to doing so. However, if you happen to have Blade Storm available and Precision Slash will remain on CD for more than 6 seconds (no Hand of Justice proc available), you can use it outside of Precision Slash windows at your own discretion, but keep in mind that you should be aiming to use Blade Storm in every possible Precision Slash window, buffed with your Opportune Attack proc. It is affected by a variety of talents:
    1. Opportune Attack: Ataru Form strikes have a 30% chance to make your next Blade Storm deal 10% more damage
    2. Combat Trance: Generates 1 Focus when Opportune Attack is consumed
    3. Immaculate Force: Opportune Attack makes Blade Storm a guaranteed critical hit
    4. Swift Blades: Reduce the CD by 3 seconds and Focus cost by 2
    5. Saber Storm: Increases Critical damage dealt by 30%
    6. Valor: Increases Centering built by 2
  • Twin Saber Throw is your free filler that is generally used to greatest effect during Precision Slash windows. As previously explained, when AoE is not important, Twin Saber Throw can be used before activating Precision Slash as an extra ability in your Precision Slash window, maximising not only its own damage but your overall dps as well. It is free of cost, and should be kept on CD regularly due to its high damage output.
    1. Dual Wield Mastery: Increases damage dealt with offhand attacks by 36%
  • Cauterize is a somewhat counterintuitive filler ability. It has a low cost and deals higher damage than Blade Rush as well as generating additional Centering, and if you spec into Merciless Zeal, it also heals you when the bleeds crit, giving your relics a chance to proc on a separate rate limit from your damaging abilities. Cauterize should replace a Blade Rush in your rotation between Precision Slashes, but you should always try to maintain the Blade Rush buff in order to maximise Opportune Attack procs and Ataru Form strikes.
  • Blade Rush is your general filler ability, and totally replaces Slash, since it does higher damage and has more utility, at an equal cost. Using Blade Rush between Precision Slashes is necessary, not only because you don’t have much else to use but also to increase the proc rates of Ataru Form strikes, and subsequently Opportune Attack. It has a very low priority during Precision Slash Windows, but should still take precedence over Zealous Strike, Strike or Cauterize. It is affected by a variety of talents:
    1. Focused Slash: 100% chance to refund 1 Focus
    2. Saber Storm: Increases Critical damage dealt by 30%
    3. Valor: Increases Centering built by 2
    4. Dual Wield Mastery: Increases damage dealt with offhand attacks by 36%
  • Zealous Strike is your main Focus builder, and using it regularly outside of Precision Slash windows is necessary to keep your Focus high, so that you can deal as much damage as possible during Precision Slash. It is affected by one talent:
    1. Righteous Zeal: Reduces the CD by 3 seconds
  • Strike is your secondary Focus builder, but is used very frequently in this spec. Because Precision Slash windows account for the vast majority of your dps, your main focus between these times is to ensure that you have enough Focus to do a full rotation during Precision Slash. Used in combination with Blade Rush and Zealous Strike, this is the core of your rotation between Precision Slash uses.

2.5 Ability Nomenclature and Rotation Priority:


  1. Precision Slash: PS
  2. Master Strike: MS
  3. Dispatch: DP
  4. Blade Storm (proc): BS
  5. Twin Saber Throw: TST
  6. Cauterize: CT
  7. Blade Rush: BR
  8. Zealous Strike: ZS
  9. Strike
  10. Force Leap (Close Gaps): Leap

Offensive Cooldowns:

  1. Inspiration
  2. Zen
  3. Valorous Call: VC

2.6 Opening Rotation:


Pre-build Centering stacks + Leap / Zen + ZS + VC / Inspiration / Adrenal / Relic + TST + PS / BR + MS + Strike + DP / PS (proc) + BR + BS + BR + ZS + CT

swtor-combat-sentinel-dps-class-guide-opening-rotation

2.7 Rotation Strategy:


Combat Sentinels are the perfect combination of one of the most powerful burst rotations followed by decent filler abilities, making it an excellent spec for both burst and sustained dps. Precision Slash should be used as close to on CD as possible, according to the abilities that you have available to use in conjunction with it. PS lasts for 4.5 seconds and doesn’t respect the GCD, so it essentially lasts for 3 abilities, or 4 if you have Zen activated. Master Strike should only ever be used during a PS window, and has top priority. Blade Storm should only be used in conjunction with its proc, and should be your next priority after Master Strike. Due to Hand of Justice procs, Dispatch is free and generates 1 Focus, and it will always proc with a Precision Slash, so unless the PS is a non-Zen Master Strike + Blade Storm, it should always be used during the PS window that it procs. Twin Saber Throw is your next filler during a PS window, as it’s free and does better damage than Blade Rush. Blade Rush is your general all-purpose filler ability, as it will trigger Ataru Form strikes and Blade Storm procs, as well as dealing decent damage. When Master Strike, Blade Storm, Dispatch and Twin Saber Throw are all on cooldown, Blade Rush is your final ability to use during a PS window. The final ability in your rotation is Cauterize, which you should only be using when Precision Slash isn’t active, as a filler ability instead of a Blade Rush.

15-20 second rotation (10-14 GCDs, no opener). Considering 2 possible cases:

Above 30% HP, full ability rotation, opening with 5 Focus and 30 stacks of Centering:

Zen / TST / PS + MS + BR + BS (proc) + ZS + Strike + CT + DP (proc) / PS + BR + BR + BS (proc)

swtor-combat-sentinel-dps-class-guide-rotation

Below 30% HP, full ability rotation, opening with 7 Focus and 30 stacks of Centering:

Zen / DP / PS + MS + BR + BS (Proc) + ZS + Strike + CT + DP (proc) / PS + BR + TST + BS (proc)

swtor-combat-sentinel-dps-class-guide-rotation-2

Precision Slash Windows Priority:

  • Dispatch (Used before PS)
  • TST (Used Before PS)
  • Cauterize (Used Before PS)
  • Blade Storm (With Execute)
  • Master Strike
  • Dispatch
  • TST
  • Blade Rush
  • Anything Else

Outside Precision Slash Window Priority:

  • Blade Rush (Keep the Buff up)
  • Blade Storm (if CD 6 seconds or more)
  • Zealous Strike
  • Strike
  • Cauterize (1-2 GCD Before PS)
  • Dispatch (used right Before PS)
  • TST (Used Right Before Gore)
  • Dispatch (under 30% Only replacing Blade Rush with buff up)

2.8 AoE Ability Priority:


  1. Precision Slash + Twin Saber Throw / Cyclone Slash spam
  2. Force Sweep
  3. Cyclone Slash

2.9 Sample Parse Analysis:


swtor-combat-sentinel-dps-class-guide-sample-parse

  • The first section is comprised of your two core abilities; Blade Storm and Blade Rush. if you manage to get 100% crit chance on Blade Storm it should always be in first place, however this is not always possible due to RNG. Regardless, these two should always top your parse.
  • The second portion contains Master Strike, Ataru Form procs and Dispatch. Master Strike damage is usually consistent due to its regularity, but depending on crit rates and the fight, it is possible for Master Strike to take second place in your parse instead of third. Ataru Form procs are relatively variable due to RNG, however its damage in a normal parse should be floating in this area even though the specifics are rather variable. Dispatch is also slightly variable due to its increase when multiple targets are under 30% HP throughout a fight.
  • The third and final section consists of your other general filler abilities. Usually, Twin Saber Throw would be on top of this list, followed by Strike, Precision Slash’s direct damage, Zealous Strike, and both of Cauterize’s damage components. The specifics for this section are not particularly important, and although increased damage on Twin Saber Throw generally indicates an overall dps increase, if any others exceed 6-7% of your overall damage, it should indicate that you are doing something wrong in your rotation.

2.10 Tips and Tricks


  • Jedi Knight resources work differently from all of the other classes, and it’s sometimes difficult to manage well and deal the best possible dps. The fact that you have extra Focus to spend when your important abilities are on CD doesn’t necessarily mean that you should be spending it all, or even any of it. If you have a total of 5 Focus and the next major section of your rotation requires 8, you are better off using a few GCDs immediately to generate the extra Focus that you need so that you can go directly into the next part of your rotation as soon as possible, rather than spending the Focus that you have and significantly delaying your higher priority abilities.
  • Both Guardians and Sentinels have the best overall defensive cooldowns in the game for any class, so make sure you are using them to their greatest extent to avoid damage, or when you are required to off-tank to mitigate as much damage as possible. This could give your ops the valuable time it needs to possibly rez a fallen group member and continue the fight as per usual.
  • Although Master Strike has a 3 second channel time, the damage that it deals does not actually require the full 3 seconds. One of the most important tricks for Knight dps is to take advantage of the fact that while the animation takes 3 seconds to complete, the final tick of damage (there are 3 hits total), happens around the 2.5-2.8 second mark. Once you see that third hit in the combat text, regardless of whether the animation is done or not, you should use your next ability. Doing this, and practicing exactly when to stop the channel based on your personal latency, is an excellent way to maximise your damage output.
  • You can use Riposte as a replacement filler in fights that have any mechanics that may trigger its usage, as it is useful to improve your burst dps due to being off the GCD.
  • Force Camouflage is an excellent threat drop, just like any vanish abilities from a stealth class, however this component of the ability only works if you are being targeted.
  • Transcendence’s increased Defense chance, in addition to the movement speed buff, is an excellent tool to help increase your tank’s mitigation during moments of heavy melee and ranged burst damage.
  • You will not gain stacks of Centering while you have any charges of Zen active.
  • Guarded by the Force is an excellent tool to help avoid lethal damage. It is often used while at exceedingly low HP to try and survive for as long as possible, however if you are about to take lethal damage, even if you are only at half HP, you are better off using Guarded by the Force to mitigate as much damage as possible, even if it means that it will cost you a greater amount of HP at the end of the effect
  • Rebuke is not only your best overall damage reduction cooldown, but it also deals a moderate amount of damage to the enemy that hits you. As such, using it during phases where you will are consistently hit by the boss or by ticks of AoE damage will increase both its duration and your dps.

Focus

Focus (5 / 5 / 36 ) http://swtor.askmrrobot.com/skills/sentinel#320-230-123231211322011022223

swtor-focus-sentinel-dps-class-guide-build

3.1 Rates (1-10):


  • Single Target Dps: 5
  • AoE Damage: 10
  • Group Utility: 8
  • ● Rotation Difficulty: 3
  • ● RNG Dependant: No
  • ● Burst: 9
  • ● Sub 30% Talent or Ability Buffs: Yes

3.2 Gearing & Stats Priority:


  • **Must Have** Accuracy: 110% Force – 100% melee (1% from companion + 3% from talent = 6% from Gear)
  • **Must Have** 0 Alacrity
  • 83-89% Surge
  • **Must Have** 0-60 Critical Rating
  • All other secondary stats in Power
  • **Must Have** Augments: Strength (Might)
  • Relics: Serendipitous Assault & Focused Retribution
  • Alternate Relic: Boundless Ages
  • Set Bonus: 4 piece Weaponmaster’s
  • Shii-Cho Form

3.3 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 0 Critical rating and 60 Critical rating is minimal, but having any in general will negatively affect your overall dps, so avoiding it at all costs is suggested
  • 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.

3.4 Ability Explanation:


  • Zen (Shii-cho Form) grants 6 Focus and 3 stacks of Singularity immediately, plus an additional 6 Focus over 3 seconds. It should be used regularly, and is a core part of your rotation. It is affected by one talent:
    1. Singularity: Grants 3 stacks of Singularity, increasing the damage dealt by and reducing the cost of your next Force Sweep by 33.3% per stack
  • Force Sweep 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 it as soon as it’s available and fully buffed is necessary for maximum dps. It is affected by several talents:
    1. Swelling Winds: Increases damage dealt by 20% and reduces CD by 3 seconds
    2. Heightened Power: Increases all damage dealt by 9% for 6 seconds
    3. Zephyrean Slash: Strike, Zealous Strike, Slash, Dispatch and Blade Storm reduce the active CD by a second
    4. Valor: Increases Centering built by 2
  • Force Exhaustion is your second Force Sweep buffing ability, but it also deals high damage itself, so using this ability during the Heightened Power window whenever possible is ideal. Its damage is spread over 3 seconds, dealing 3 ticks of equal damage followed by a larger instance after the final tick, so to properly capitalise on the Heightened Power buff, you have to use it immediately following Force Sweep. If you are unable to use it in that window, you should delay it until Heightened Power has expired, as an ability such as Blade Storm, Zealous Leap or Slash would gain significantly more benefit from this buff than a single tick of Force Exhaustion. It is affected by two talents:
    1. Singularity: Each instance of damage grants a stack of Singularity, increasing the damage dealt by and reducing the cost of your next Force Sweep by 33.3%. Stacks up to 3 times
    2. Gravity Defiance: Reduces cost by 1
    3. Valor: Increases Centering built by 2
  • Blade Storm is one of your filler abilities. As with several others, it reduces the active CDs of Enrage, Zealous Leap and Force Sweep, however Blade Storm additionally gains a buff from your Zealous Leap and Force Leap 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 Heightened Power window. It is affected by two talents:
    1. Zephyrean Slash: Reduces the active CDs of Zealous Leap and Force Sweep by 1 second
    2. Momentum: Zealous Leap and Force Leap make your next Blade Storm free
    3. Valor: Increases Centering built by 2
  • Zealous Leap is a core part of your rotation due to the significant buff it gives Force Sweep, 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 Exhaustion and Zen, using this ability correctly and in synergy should always result in an Zealous Leap between each Force Sweep. It is affected by a variety of talents:
    1. Swelling Winds: Reduces the CD by 3 seconds
    2. Saber Strength: Increases damage dealt by 6%
    3. Felling Blow: Causes your next Force Sweep to be a Critical hit
    4. Gravity Defiance: Reduces cost by 1
    5. Momentum: Makes your next Blade Storm free
    6. Agility Training: Can be used while immobilized
    7. Zephyrean Slash: Strike, Zealous Strike, Slash, Dispatch and Blade Storm reduce the active CD by a second
    8. Valor: Increases Centering built by 2
  • Dispatch is your sub 30% ability, and whenever this ability is available it should replace Slash. When available, it should also be your first priority to use during Heightened Power. It is affected by a variety of talents:
    1. Swift Slash: Increases Critical chance by 7.5%
    2. Zephyrean Slash: Reduces the active CDs of Zealous Leap and Force Sweep by 1 second
    3. Saber Strength: Increases damage dealt by 6%
    4. Focused Slash: Refunds 1 Focus on use
    5. Valor: Increases Centering built by 2
  • Master Strike deals great damage, however it is of much less significance than for other specs. Using it during Heightened Power is a ideal, but you should use it as a general filler. Keep in mind that it won’t reduce the CD of your other abilities, but it generally fits well into your filler sections. Considering it is free of cost, the best uses for Master Strike are either during Heightened Power, or during the Force Exhaustion portion of your rotation, as you will have the least amount of Focus at this time, but during the Zen portion will likely lead to you wasting a significant amount of Focus. If you happen to have Master Strike available during the Zen window, it is recommended you delay it until your next Heightened Power, however this is not an absolutely necessary decision. Master Strike will gain the most benefit from Heightened Power out of all of your abilities.
  • 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 Force Sweep, however it will always be low on your priority list, and partially replaced by Dispatch when it becomes available. It is affected by a variety of talents:
    1. Swift Slash: Increases Critical chance by 7.5%
    2. Zephyrean Slash: Reduces the active CDs of Zealous Leap and Force Sweep by 1 second
    3. Saber Strength: Increases damage dealt by 6%
    4. Force Lash: Deals additional Force damage
    5. Focused Slash: Refunds 1 Focus on use
    6. Valor: Increases Centering built by 2
  • Cauterize is a standard filler ability, however it has a very limited field of use. Overall, a Cauterize would do more damage than a Slash, however it has no extra utility. The best way to maximize your damage is using Cauterize as Force Sweep is less than 1.5 seconds from finishing its CD, as reducing its CD at this point is not useful. This also allows the Cauterize dot to gain the benefit of Heightened Power. It is affected by one talent:
    1. Valor: Increases Centering built by 2
  • Twin Saber Throw is your free filler ability. It generates 2 Focus in this spec, however it’s often not necessary except for certain boss mechanics or AoE phases. It deals more damage than Slash, so it’s best used during Heightened Power windows to maximize its dmg dealt, however it gives no CD reduction. It is affected by one talent:
    1. Force Health: Generates 2 Focus
  • Zealous Strike is your primary Focus generator, and fits into your regular rotation during your Force Exhaustion phase. It should allow you to maintain high enough Focus to never require Strikes, and you should avoid using it during Heightened Power. It is affected by one talent:
    1. Zephyrean Slash: Reduces the active CDs of Zealous Leap and Force Sweep by 1 second

3.5 Ability Nomenclature and Rotation Priority:


  1. Force Sweep (with Singularity): FS
  2. Force Exhaustion: FE
  3. Blade Storm: BS
  4. Zealous Leap: ZL
  5. Dispatch: DP
  6. Master Strike: MS
  7. Slash: SL
  8. Cauterize: CT
  9. Twin Saber Throw: TST
  10. Zealous Strike: ZS
  11. Strike
  12. Force Leap (gap closer): Leap

Offensive Cooldowns:

  1. Inspiration
  2. Zen
  3. Valorous Call: VC

3.6 Opening Rotation. Considering 2 possible cases:


Opening rotation with Inspiration:

Pre-cast VC / Leap + Inspiration / Adrenal / Relic / FE + BS + FS + ZS + ZL + SL + TST + SL + Strike + BS + ZL + Zen / FS + FE + SL + SL + SL + ZL + FS

swtor-focus-sentinel-dps-class-guide-opening-rotation

Opening rotation without Inspiration (recommended if there is another Sentinel to use it):

Pre-cast VC / Leap + Adrenal / Relic / FS + FE + MS + BS + ZL + CT + SL + FS + SL + SL + ZL + Zen / BS + SL + FS + FE + TST + SL + ZL

swtor-focus-sentinel-dps-class-guide-opening-rotation-2-2

3.7 Rotation Strategy:


As a Focus Sentinel, you should be focusing on buffing your Force Sweep to have a nice damage burst, with decent filler abilities between Force Sweeps. The whole rotation has 2 sections: Force Exhaustion + Zealous Leap + Force Sweep + Fillers, and Zen + Zealous Leap + Force Sweep + Fillers. Force Exhaustion should be used on cooldown (with the exception of the opening rotation) to get a buffed FS, while the next FS will be buffed by Zen. Zealous Leap should always be used before any FS to give it an automatic critical hit, and if the rotation is done well, the timer for Zealous Leap should always be up at the same point relative to your Force Sweep. This may mean that it’s directly before or directly after, depending on your rotation. Twin Saber Throw should be used as a filler ability to build Focus, as, it does more damage than Slash and generates the same amount of Focus due to your talents. Zealous Strike is the usual bulk Focus generator during the non-Zen portion of your rotation. Master Strike is a personal choice as a Focus Sentinel, as you should only use it immediately after a Force Sweep, however generally speaking it is more effective to be using other abilities instead, so Master Strike would normally only be used for a section of quick burst, perhaps during a few seconds of increased damage taken by the boss. Dispatch is used in conjunction with Slash in the rotation as a filler when the target is below 30%.

15-20 second rotation (10-14 GCDs, no opener). Considering 2 possible cases:

Above 30% HP, full ability rotation:

FS + BS + FE + ZL + SL + SL + FS + TST + BS + SL + ZL + Zen / SL + FS

swtor-focus-sentinel-dps-class-guide-rotation-1

Below 30% HP, full ability rotation:

FS + BS + FE + ZL + DP + SL + FS + TST + BS + DP + ZL + Zen / SL + FS

swtor-focus-sentinel-dps-class-guide-rotation-2

Heightened Power Ability Priority:

How Heightened Power functions: Heightened Power is a buff triggered by your Force Sweep, however the ability explanation can be a little confusing. The talent says that it lasts 6 seconds after using Force Sweep, which means it would last 4.5 seconds considering Force Sweep’s GCD, but this is false. It triggers when the Force Sweep actually deals damage at roughly the end of the GCD, giving you, in theory, up to 4 GCDs. Unfortunately, like Force Sweep, most of your abilities have delayed animations after you activate the ability before they actually deal their damage, so even if you use 4 abilities in the 4 GCD window, the last ability used will often hit a few milliseconds after you lose the Cascading Power buff. The only abilities that fit in this 4th GCD window is Blade Storm, but all the others; Strikes, Slash, Dispatch, the final tick of Master Strike, and Zealous Leap will be delayed too long to be affected by Cascading Power.

  1. Cauterize – CT (best used before Smash and not during the window itself)
  2. Master Strike – MS (only in the first 2 GCDs, Ravage counts as 2 GCDs when used)
  3. Force Exhaustion – FE (only in the first 2 GCDs)
  4. Dispatch – DP (1st – 3rd GCDs)
  5. Blade Storm – BS (best used at 4th GCD)
  6. Zealous Leap – ZL (1st – 3rd GCD)
  7. Twin Saber Throw – TST (1st – 3rd GCD)
  8. Slash – SL (1st – 3rd GCD)

Ideal Heightened Power Rotations (from best to worst):

Note: DP, SL, ZL, TST and BS are all interchangeable between the 1st, 2nd or 3rd GCD, while FE, SL, ZL, DP, TST and BS are interchangeable in the 1st or 2nd GCD. All the Heightened Power Rotation Starts with Cauterize + Force Sweep + Rotations below to fully Maximize its dmg output.

  1. FE + MS + BS
  2. DP + MS + FS
  3. ZL + MS + BS
  4. TST + MS + BS
  5. FE + MS
  6. VT + MS
  7. ZL + MS
  8. TST + MS
  9. MS + (filler) + BS
  10. MS + (Filler)
  11. FE + DP + ZL + BS
  12. FE + ZL + TST + BS
  13. FE + ZL + SL + BS
  14. FE + DP + SL + BS
  15. 15. ZL + TST + DP + BS
  16. 16. ZL + TST + SL + BS
  17. 17. ZL + DP + SL + BS
  18. 18. ZL + SL + SL + BS
  19. 19. ZL + DP + (filler) + BS
  20. 20. ZL + TST + (Fller) + BS
  21. 21. ZL + SL + (Filler) + BS

Note: Using a filler (Strike, Retaliation, zealous strike etc) duing the 3rd GCD when Blade Storm is available can be a good idea, considering that Force Scream will hit on the 4th GCD, but no other abilities will.

3.8 AoE Ability Priority:


  1. Single Target Rotation
  2. Cyclone Slash

3.9 Sample Parse Analysis:


swtor-focus-sentinel-dps-class-guide-sample-parse

Translation:

  1. Zerschlage Force Sweep
  2. Bösartiger Hieb Slash
  3. Auslöschen Zealous Leap
  4. Verwüstung Master Strike
  5. Machtschrei Blade Storm
  6. Zerschmettert (Macht) Force Exhaustion
  7. Bösartiger Wurf Dispatch
  8. Zweifacher Lichtschwertwurf Twin Saber Throw
  9. Wilder Ansturm Zealous Strike
  10. Machtpeitsche Force Lash
  11. Ansturm Strike
  12. Machtvorstoß Force Leap

Note: Although this parse was the best available due to this spec rarely being used for PvE testing, it does contain a few mistakes. For example, Cauterize isn’t used prior to Force Sweep, and Strike should not have been necessary.

  • The first section contains Force Sweep and Slash, which are obvious choices. Slash is your general filler, and Force Sweep is both regular and significantly buffed, meaning their high damage and frequency of use causes them to deal such a significant chunk of your overall damage.
  • The second portion contains the remainder of your fillers; Master Strike, Blade Storm, Force Exhaustion, Dispatch, and Zealous Leap. The damage split between these abilities should remain relatively stable across parses, and only really differ according to crit rates, especially during Heightened Power. Dispatch damage is the most variable, and depends highly on how long your targets are below 30% HP for.
  • The final section is comprised of the remainder of your abilities, whose damage are largely stable and inconsequential. Though this parse is missing Cauterize, its direct damage and dot are both part of this section, as are Twin Saber Throw, which should be at the top, Zealous Strike, and Force Lash damage from Slash.

3.10 Tips and Tricks:


  • Jedi Knight resources work differently from all of the other classes, and it’s sometimes difficult to manage well and deal the best possible dps. The fact that you have extra Focus to spend when your important abilities are on CD doesn’t necessarily mean that you should be spending it all, or even any of it. If you have a total of 5 Focus and the next major section of your rotation requires 8, you are better off using a few GCDs immediately to generate the extra Focus that you need so that you can go directly into the next part of your rotation as soon as possible, rather than spending the Focus that you have and significantly delaying your higher priority abilities.
  • Both Guardians and Sentinels have the best overall defensive cooldowns in the game for any class, so make sure you are using them to their greatest extent to avoid damage, or when you are required to off-tank to mitigate as much damage as possible. This could give your ops the valuable time it needs to possibly rez a fallen group member and continue the fight as per usual.
  • Although Master Strike has a 3 second channel time, the damage that it deals does not actually require the full 3 seconds. One of the most important tricks for Knight dps is to take advantage of the fact that while the animation takes 3 seconds to complete, the final tick of damage (there are 3 hits total), happens around the 2.5-2.8 second mark. Once you see that third hit in the combat text, regardless of whether the animation is done or not, you should use your next ability. Doing this, and practicing exactly when to stop the channel based on your personal latency, is an excellent way to maximise your damage output.
  • You can use Riposte as a replacement filler in fights that have any mechanics that may trigger its usage, as it is useful to improve your burst dps due to being off the GCD.
  • Force Camouflage is an excellent threat drop, just like any vanish abilities from a stealth class, however this component of the ability only works if you are being targeted.
  • Once you know all your talents well enough and can reposition your hotkeys quickly, you can respec into Combat for the Contemplation talent, use Introspection to generate 30 stacks of Centering, then quickly respec back and reset your hotkeys to have a full stack of Centering for use at the beginning of a fight. This is particularly useful for difficult fights, or those with an important burn phase at the beginning of the pull.
  • Transcendence’s increased Defense chance, in addition to the movement speed buff, is an excellent tool to help increase your tank’s mitigation during moments of heavy melee and ranged burst damage.
  • You will not gain stacks of Centering while you have any charges of Zen active.
  • Guarded by the Force is an excellent tool to help avoid lethal damage. It is often used while at exceedingly low HP to try and survive for as long as possible, however if you are about to take lethal damage, even if you are only at half HP, you are better off using Guarded by the Force to mitigate as much damage as possible, even if it means that it will cost you a greater amount of HP at the end of the effect
  • Rebuke is not only your best overall damage reduction cooldown, but it also deals a moderate amount of damage to the enemy that hits you. As such, using it during phases where you will are consistently hit by the boss or by ticks of AoE damage will increase both its duration and your dps.

Hybrid

Hybrid (11 / 2 / 33 ) http://swtor.askmrrobot.com/skills/sentinel#10210322-20-3231211322011022223

This hybrid spec, also known as Dotsweep, was invented by Charadith of Ebonhawk

swtor-hybrid-sentinel-dps-class-guide-build

4.1 Rates (1-10):


  • Single Target Dps: 9
  • AoE Damage: 10
  • Group Utility: 8
  • Rotation Difficulty: 6
  • RNG Dependant: No
  • Burst: 8
  • Sub 30% Talent or Ability Buffs: Yes

4.2 Gearing & Stats Priority:


  • **Must Have** Accuracy: 110% Force & 100% melee (1% from companion + 2% from talent = 7% from Gear)
  • **Must Have** 0 Alacrity
  • 66-70% Surge
  • **Must Have** 0-60 Critical Rating
  • All other secondary stats in Power
  • **Must Have** Augments: Strength (Might)
  • Relics: Serendipitous Assault & Focused Retribution
  • Alternate Relic: Boundless Ages
  • Set Bonus: 4 piece Weaponmaster’s
  • Shii-Cho Form

4.3 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 0 Critical rating and 60 Critical rating is minimal, but having any in general will negatively affect your overall dps, so avoiding it wherever possible is suggested.
  • 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.

4.4 Ability Explanation:


  • Zen (Shii-cho Form) grants 6 Focus and 3 stacks of Singularity immediately, plus an additional 6 Focus over 3 seconds. It should be used regularly, and is a core part of your rotation. It is affected by one talent:
    1. Singularity: Grants 3 stacks of Singularity, increasing the damage dealt by and reducing the cost of your next Force Sweep by 33.3% per stack
  • Force Sweep 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 it as soon as it’s available is necessary for maximum dps. It is worth noting that although only ever second Force Sweep will be buffed, you should still be using it on CD. It is affected by several talents:
    1. Swelling Winds: Increases damage done by 20% and reduces the CD by 3 seconds
    2. Heightened Power: Increases all damage dealt by 9% for 6 seconds
    3. Zephyrean Slash: Strike, Zealous Strike, Slash, Dispatch and Blade Storm reduce the active CD by a second
    4. Valor: Increases Centering built by 2
  • Overload Saber is your most important ability in this spec, and to maximize its damage it should be used slightly before a Force Sweep to gain full advantage of the Heightened Power buff. Similarly, utilising abilities such as Force Sweep and Blade Storm during the second stack application allow a few extra dot ticks before refreshing the dot for the third stack. Using it on CD is necessary.
    1. Valor: Increases Centering built by 2
    2. Merciless Zeal: Critical bleeds heal you for 1% of your max HP
  • Dispatch is your sub 30% ability, and whenever this ability is available it should replace Slash. When available, it should also be your first priority to use during Heightened Power. It is affected by a variety of talents:
    1. Swift Slash: Increases Critical chance by 7.5%
    2. Zephyrean Slash: Reduces the active CDs of Zealous Leap and Force Sweep by 1 second
    3. Saber Strength: Increases damage dealt by 6%
    4. Focused Slash: Refunds 1 Focus on use
    5. Valor: Increases Centering built by 2
  • Master Strike deals great damage, however it is of much less significance than for other specs. Using it during Heightened Power is a ideal, but you should use it as a general filler. Keep in mind that it won’t reduce the CD of your other abilities, but it generally fits well into your filler sections. Considering it is free of cost, the best uses for Master Strike are either during Heightened Power, or during the non-Zen portion of your rotation, as you will have the least amount of Focus at this time, but during the Zen portion will likely lead to you wasting a significant amount of Focus. If you happen to have Master Strike available during the Zen window, it is recommended you delay it until your next Heightened Power, however this is not an absolutely necessary decision. Master Strike will gain the most benefit from Heightened Power out of all of your abilities.
  • Zealous Leap is a core part of your rotation due to the significant buff it gives Force Sweep, 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 Exhaustion and Zen, using this ability correctly and in synergy should always result in an Zealous Leap between each Force Sweep. It is affected by a variety of talents:
    1. Swelling Winds: Reduces the CD by 3 seconds
    2. Saber Strength: Increases damage dealt by 6%
    3. Felling Blow: Causes your next Force Sweep to be a Critical hit
    4. Gravity Defiance: Reduces cost by 1
    5. Momentum: Makes your next Blade Storm free
    6. Agility Training: Can be used while immobilized
    7. Zephyrean Slash: Strike, Zealous Strike, Slash, Dispatch and Blade Storm reduce the active CD by a second
    8. Valor: Increases Centering built by 2
  • Cauterize is a standard filler ability, however it has a very limited field of use. Overall, a Cauterize would do more damage than a Slash, however it has no extra utility. The best way to maximize your damage is using Cauterize as Force Sweep is less than 1.5 seconds from finishing its CD, as reducing its CD at this point is not useful. This also allows the Cauterize dot to gain the benefit of Heightened Power. It is affected by two talents:
    1. Valor: Increases Centering built by 2
    2. Merciless Zeal: Critical bleeds heal you for 1% of your max HP
    3. Inflammation: Has a 50% chance to reduce target’s movement speed by 50%
  • Blade Storm is one of your filler abilities. As with several others, it reduces the active CDs of Enrage, Zealous Leap and Force Sweep, however Blade Storm additionally gains a buff from your Zealous Leap and Force Leap 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 Heightened Power window. It is affected by two talents:
    1. Zephyrean Slash: Reduces the active CDs of Zealous Leap and Force Sweep by 1 second
    2. Momentum: Zealous Leap and Force Leap make your next Blade Storm free
    3. Valor: Increases Centering built by 2
  • Twin Saber Throw is your free filler ability. It deals more damage than Slash, so it’s best used during Heightened Power windows to maximize its dmg dealt, however it gives no CD reduction.
  • 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 Force Sweep, however it will always be low on your priority list, and partially replaced by Dispatch when it becomes available. It is affected by a variety of talents:
    1. Swift Slash: Increases Critical chance by 7.5%
    2. Zephyrean Slash: Reduces the active CDs of Zealous Leap and Force Sweep by 1 second
    3. Saber Strength: Increases damage dealt by 6%
    4. Force Lash: Deals additional Force damage
    5. Focused Slash: Refunds 1 Focus on use
    6. Valor: Increases Centering built by 2
  • Zealous Strike is your primary Focus generator, and fits into your regular rotation comfortably. It should allow you to maintain high enough Focus to never require Strikes, and you should avoid using it during Heightened Power. It is affected by one talent:
    1. Zephyrean Slash: Reduces the active CDs of Zealous Leap and Force Sweep by 1 second

4.5 Ability Nomenclature and Rotation Priority:


  1. Force Sweep: FS
  2. Overload Saber: OS
  3. Dispatch: DP
  4. Master Strike: MS
  5. Zealous Leap: ZL
  6. Cauterize: CT
  7. Blade Storm: BS
  8. Twin Saber Throw: TST
  9. Slash
  10. Zealous Strike: ZS
  11. Strike
  12. Force Leap (Gap closer): Leap

Offensive Cooldowns:

  1. Inspiration
  2. Zen
  3. Valorous Call: VC

4.6 Opening Rotation:


Pre-stack Centering (with VC or respec) / Zen / OS + Leap + CT / Inspiration (if available) / Adrenal / Relic + FS + ZL + MS + BS + Slash + ZS / OS + FS + TST + ZL + Slash

swtor-hybrid-sentinel-dps-class-guide-opening-rotation

4.7 Rotation Strategy:


The hybrid Sentinel rotation strategy focuses on buffing your Overload Saber charges more powerful abilities with Heightened Power, giving you the benefit of having both activated abilities and dots benefiting from the damage boost. Unfortunately without Force Exhaustion only every other Force Sweep benefits from Singularity, however the automatic critical strike from Zealous Leap will still occur and it will still proc Heightened Power for your other abilities. Overload Saber should be used at every opportunity, but using it a few GCDs before a Force Sweep will give you the most benefit. Cauterize is the best ability to use immediately before a Force Sweep, and combining Cauterize and Overload Saber with your regular abilities will give you a huge boost from Heightened Power. Zealous Leap should be used between each Force Sweep, and Force Sweep should be used on CD to ensure that you are buffing your damage as much as possible. Twin Saber Throw, Blade Storm and Master Strike are your usual fillers during Heightened Power, each with a different priority during the buff, but obviously all best used while buffed. Slash is your best filler to use outside of the buff to reduce Force Sweep’s CD.

15-20 second rotation (10-14 GCDs, no opener). Considering 2 possible cases:

Above 30% HP, full ability rotation:

Cauterize + FS + ZL + Slash / OS + Slash + BS + ZS + FS + Slash / Zen + ZL + Slash / OS + Slash + CT + FS + TST + MS + BS

swtor-hybrid-sentinel-dps-class-guide-rotation-1

Under 30% HP, full ability rotation:

Cauterize + FS + ZL + DP / OS + Slash + BS + ZS + FS + DP / Zen + ZL + Slash / OS + Slash + CT + FS + DP + MS + BS + TST

swtor-hybrid-sentinel-dps-class-guide-rotation-2

Heightened Power Ability Priority:

How Heightened Power functions: Heightened Power is a buff triggered by your Force Sweep, however the ability explanation can be a little confusing. The talent says that it lasts 6 seconds after using Force Sweep, which means it would last 4.5 seconds considering Force Sweep’s GCD, but this is false. It triggers when the Force Sweep actually deals damage at roughly the end of the GCD, giving you, in theory, up to 4 GCDs. Unfortunately, like Force Sweep, most of your abilities have delayed animations after you activate the ability before they actually deal their damage, so even if you use 4 abilities in the 4 GCD window, the last ability used will often hit a few milliseconds after you lose the Heightened Power buff. The only abilities that fit in this 4th GCD window is Blade Storm, but all the others; Strikes, Slash, Dispatch, the final tick of Master Strike, and Zealous Leap will be delayed too long to be affected by Heightened Power.

  1. Overload Saber – OS (Best used before to have 3 stacks for the longest duration)
  2. Cauterize – CT (Best used immediately before Force Sweep and not during the window itself)
  3. Master Strike – MS (Only in the first 2 GCDs)
  4. Dispatch – DP (1st – 3rd GCDs)
  5. Blade Storm – BS (Best used at 4th GCD)
  6. Zealous Leap – ZL (1st – 3rd GCD)
  7. Twin Saber Throw – TST (1st – 3rd GCD)
  8. Slash – SL (1st – 3rd GCD)

Ideal Heightened Power Rotations (from best to worst):

Note: DP, Slash, ZL, TST and BS are all interchangeable between the 1st, 2nd or 3rd GCD, while Slash, ZL, DP, TST and BS are interchangeable in the 1st or 2nd GCD. All the Heightened Power rotations ideally start with Overload Saber already applied, Cauterize + Force Sweep + Rotations below, to fully maximize damage.

  1. DP + MS + BS
  2. ZL + MS + BS
  3. TST + MS + BS
  4. DP + MS
  5. ZL + MS
  6. TST + MS
  7. MS + (Filler) + BS
  8. MS + (Filler)
  9. ZL + TST + DP + BS
  10. ZL + TST + Slash + BS
  11. ZL + DP + Slash + BS
  12. ZL + Slash + Slash + BS
  13. ZL + DP + (Filler) + BS
  14. ZL + TST + (Filler) + BS
  15. ZL + Slash + (Filler) + BS

Note: Using a filler (Strike, Riposte, Zealous Strike etc) during the 3rd GCD when Blade Storm is available can be a good idea, considering that Blade Storm will hit on the 4th GCD, but no other abilities will.

4.8 AoE Ability Priority:


  1. Single target rotation
  2. Cyclone Slash

4.9 Sample Parse Analysis:


swtor-hybrid-sentinel-dps-class-guide-sample-parse

  • The first section has your 3 most important abilities. Force Sweep should take first place, followed by Overload Saber and Slash. There isn’t much to interpret here, as each of them should be used regularly, and the only thing that would cause their damage to differ wildly would be missed timings throughout the rotation, such as not timing Overload Saber to be up during Heightened Power or overusing Slash.
  • The second portion consists of Master Strike, Zealous Leap and Dispatch. Since Master Strike and Zealous Leap should both be used at regular intervals throughout your rotation, their damage should remain relatively steady. Dispatch is by far your most important and hardest hitting filler, and under 30% it should be used as often as possible, especially during Heightened Power. Obviously, the longer you have targets available with less than 30% HP, the more overall damage Dispatch will end up dealing.
  • The third section contains the remainder of your abilities, and their specific order isn’t overly important. Blade Storm usually does high damage, followed by the burning from Cauterize. Note that since Cauterize is very situational and should not be used on CD, higher Cauterize damage is not necessarily ideal, but maximising its uptime during Heightened Power is a benefit. Twin Saber Throw, Zealous Strike, Cauterize’s direct damage and Force Lash account for the remaining damage, which is largely inconsequential.

4.10 Tips and Tricks:


  • Jedi Knight resources work differently from all of the other classes, and it’s sometimes difficult to manage well and deal the best possible dps. The fact that you have extra Focus to spend when your important abilities are on CD doesn’t necessarily mean that you should be spending it all, or even any of it. If you have a total of 5 Focus and the next major section of your rotation requires 8, you are better off using a few GCDs immediately to generate the extra Focus that you need so that you can go directly into the next part of your rotation as soon as possible, rather than spending the Focus that you have and significantly delaying your higher priority abilities.
  • Both Guardians and Sentinels have the best overall defensive cooldowns in the game for any class, so make sure you are using them to their greatest extent to avoid damage, or when you are required to off-tank to mitigate as much damage as possible. This could give your ops the valuable time it needs to possibly rez a fallen group member and continue the fight as per usual.
  • Although Master Strike has a 3 second channel time, the damage that it deals does not actually require the full 3 seconds. One of the most important tricks for Knight dps is to take advantage of the fact that while the animation takes 3 seconds to complete, the final tick of damage (there are 3 hits total), happens around the 2.5-2.8 second mark. Once you see that third hit in the combat text, regardless of whether the animation is done or not, you should use your next ability. Doing this, and practicing exactly when to stop the channel based on your personal latency, is an excellent way to maximise your damage output.
  • You can use Riposte as a replacement filler in fights that have any mechanics that may trigger its usage, as it is useful to improve your burst dps due to being off the GCD.
  • Force Camouflage is an excellent threat drop, just like any vanish abilities from a stealth class, however this component of the ability only works if you are being targeted.
  • Once you know all your talents well enough and can reposition your hotkeys quickly, you can respec into Combat for the Contemplation talent, use Introspection to generate 30 stacks of Centering, then quickly respec back and reset your hotkeys to have a full stack of Centering for use at the beginning of a fight. This is particularly useful for difficult fights, or those with an important burn phase at the beginning of the pull.
  • Transcendence’s increased Defense chance, in addition to the movement speed buff, is an excellent tool to help increase your tank’s mitigation during moments of heavy melee and ranged burst damage.
  • You will not gain stacks of Centering while you have any charges of Zen active.
  • Guarded by the Force is an excellent tool to help avoid lethal damage. It is often used while at exceedingly low HP to try and survive for as long as possible, however if you are about to take lethal damage, even if you are only at half HP, you are better off using Guarded by the Force to mitigate as much damage as possible, even if it means that it will cost you a greater amount of HP at the end of the effect
  • Rebuke is not only your best overall damage reduction cooldown, but it also deals a moderate amount of damage to the enemy that hits you. As such, using it during phases where you will are consistently hit by the boss or by ticks of AoE damage will increase both its duration and your dps.

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 3 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.

  • AoE Threat Drop (E.g. Cloud Mind | Chaff Flare | Diversion): Unlike targeted threat drops, using these abilities will lower your threat on all enemies and not only your current target. 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.

  • Anas

    Great guide =D I noticed something weird though, Watchman is listed as ’8′ for single-target dps while annihilation over in the marauder guide is ’9′. Don’t think that was intentional, and I generally don’t pick around stuff, but I thought it’d save some confusion for others.

    • http://dulfy.net/ Dulfy

      Oops, ty for noticing it. Correcting it now :)

  • Sturob

    Great guide, as always! Minor point: the damage pie graph for Combat is in French, but the translations that follow are from German to English. Much as I love doing a zweifacher Lichtschwertwurf after a Machtvorstoß.

    • http://dulfy.net/ Dulfy

      Lol oops, apparently I used a focus guardian parse, should be fixed now

  • bigvlada dark one

    Excellent guide, it was so worth the wait. :) Seems that i have to use Cauterize more. Nice trick regarding the master strike,that half a second is a big help when trying to squeeze one more ability in the window.

  • Oragedenuit

    Great guide!
    Just a little question in the watchman tree… I have been putting my points in Watchguard (reduce cd of pacify and interrupt, mainly for interrupt’s cd), but i see you prefer putting these in Force Fade (for force camouflage). Can you tell me why? Personally, I feel like having a low cd on Force kick is better than on Force camo, but I’m not a top-end raider so I might be off the track :P

    • http://dulfy.net/ Dulfy

      You will find much more use for Force Camo than say an interrupt in operations, which is where this guide is aimed at. Force Camo is just too useful of a defensive CD/threat drop.

    • Nepthen

      I run with two Vanny tanks so I have points in both Force Fade and Watchguard, and don’t add them to Weakening Wounds since the tanks provide the damage debuff. To each his own. That being said… I hope BioWare adds some bosses that do require quick interrupts…

      The Force Fade talents allow me use Force Camo as a gap closer when saber throw and Leap are on CD.

  • ptd163

    Great guide. Too bad it highlights that an unnatural hybrid gives the best DPS. Also, why do you say Force Fade is better than Watchguard? Force Fade doesn’t decrease the CD of Force Camo, increase the damage reduction or increase of threat that is dumped. So how is it better?

    Don’t the corruptors have a 6 second cast on mass affliction?

    • Gantoris

      I’d love to know as well the reasoning. I agree that anything to reduce your threat is much more important than a 2 second interrupt reduction, but it doesn’t say it reduces extra threat.

      • Pradeep Dewars

        As Carlos said, the only fight where you need to trade Force Fade for Watchguard is for the corruptors. In a lot of other fights, however, you need to move around a lot or deal with knockbacks constantly. Force Fade converts Force Camo from a threat drop into a second gap closer. Given how sensitive your stacks can be, a high time on target is essential so the mobility given from Force Fade is worth more than having faster interrupts. That said, I prefer sticking to Watchguard for most content and only swapping out the points for ops bosses where mobility is essential.

    • Carlos Eduardo Mata

      same answer dulfy gave below, theres only 1 fight where interrupts are useful, and even there you dont need to do 2 per mob anyways, with a good group coordination (decent actually) you are fine, beside that fight, the for the other 9/10 bosses its pretty much useless talent.

      2 more seconds on camo = 2 more seconds of 50% dmg reduction, plus extra speed helps you specially in annihilation / watchman where force charge is used on the rotation, its quite usual that you might get distracted or need to adjust on a fight moving on a different target (which happens often in almost all fights) and the extra speed + duration helps you make up for that.

      Force camo is used once as threat drop, after that it is a DEFENSIVE CD and an utility CD, in fact watchman doesnt have an impressive dmg opener, so i am pretty sure if a tank can hold on carnage marauders / concealment operatives or even pre 2.6 snipers, holding on a watchman marauder is not much of a problem for a real tank, so in most cases and specially in this spec, Camo is more a defensive CD and a movement CD than an actual threat drop. considering Force Charge wont be up most of the time since its used on the rotation, you do need the back up speed buff to keep up on most fights. Where the interrupt well, i have yet to find an add in any raid that requires 2 interrupts, more of the time if you fail is because 2 dps interrupted the same one, which is just laziness for not coordinating who interrupts what, beside this, you NEVER use disruption and/r obfuscate (up to a point where u actually need the shorter Cd on both)

      • ptd163

        The corruptors in DF HM require two interrupts.

        • Carlos Eduardo Mata

          yup, the guy below pradeep dewars explains it perfect :).

  • Nepthen

    Hey Dulfy, nice guide as always. I noticed a reference to Annihilator in the Rotation strategy for Watchman. That should be Merciless instead. :)

    • http://dulfy.net/ Dulfy

      Thanks for the correction on Annihilator, I will let Carl know about the gcd thingie :)

      • Obijay

        Dulfy in the opening rotation you have posted for the watchman spec, by the time you get to the end of that opener you only have 28 stacks of centering you are missing an ability. I’ve ran through that opener 15 times now and every time I’ve come up short on stacks of centering. Any suggestions as to what to put where for the extra 2 stacks? My skill tree matches the skill tree you have posted.

  • Pradeep Dewars

    Great guide, guys. A bit of a nitpick, but I noticed that on your Annihilation Marauder gearing you’ve recommended crit of 0-250 but on the Watchman Sentinel you’ve reduced it 0-120.

  • John Maurer

    This is a great guide. Definitely makes me want to go back and roll a Sentinel.

  • Ult

    Nice write up! Can we get one like this for DPS Guardians as well? :-D

  • Ult

    Nicely done! Can you update the Guardian DPS guide with the 2.6 changes to the RNG factor of the Vigilance spec? Many thanks in advance!

    • http://dulfy.net/ Dulfy

      Ya, expect some updates later today :)

  • Marshall

    I’m very new to the game, so please excuse the newbie question. Why do you say that crit rating will negatively affect your overall dps? Wouldn’t crit rating do MORE damage?
    Thanks in advance for the explanation.

    • Beardedfox

      I would like more info on this as well – that is a confusing statement, esp since other Combat spec guides recommend building up Crit.

    • Vindrik

      The reasoning behind it is due to the fact that Critical rating would increase your damage by a smaller proportion than the same amount of Power. This ratio is different for each spec based on the types of abilities you’re using and the benefits you gain from your talents. As such, you should gear your crit rating according to the spec that you play, which is why we’ve endeavoured to give you guidelines for each spec.

  • OneKnight

    I have to disagree with the Overview stating that Sentinel is one of the easiest classes to play. Melee will always be harder to play than ranged because of the fact you HAVE to be within a 4m range to do a very high majority of your damage. Saying that Sage, Shadow and Vanguards are more difficult classes is very incorrect.
    Shadow DPS is not meant to be “in the thick of the fight” like Sentinel DPS is and that is the very reason Sentinels have good defensive cooldowns. Shadow DPS are meant to pick off targets and skirmish them instead of just leaping in and being in the thick of the fight.
    Sage DPS is very easy to play and all their damage can be done from 30m(35 with Telekinetic tree talent) range where they are not in the thick of the fight like the Sentinels are. Sages also have “HEAL2FULL” abilities and multiple ways of getting away and stunning those who try to keep them from getting away.
    Vanguard DPS is still not true “melee” range… they are more of a mid-ranged fighter closing in with their 2 4m ability: “Stockstrike” and “Riot Strike(Interrupt)” (3 4m abilities if in Tactics tree: “Gut”) to proc the effects for other abilities that are 10m range and greater… they are not meant to always be in 4m range… you are meant to move in, proc your effects, then move back out to within 10m or greater range then you Rinse/Repeat… its not meant to constantly be within 4m of someone like everyone likes to make it out to be…
    With that said, staying in 4m range is key to playing the Sentinel properly and with all the stuns, slows and ranged classes in this game, staying within 4m can be a problem sometimes… That’s also the reason any melee spec HAS to have good damage… cause they have to be able to deal good damage while they are on you because they cant deal any damage when they are not on you… if they didn’t have good damage while they are on you then there would be no reason to play anything but ranged.
    Part of the problem with Focus tree is the perception of players. They think that Sweep/Smash is OP because sentinels and guardians are the classes right on top of them.. they don’t see that those sentinels and guardians also have Gunslingers and Commandos and Sages in the background helping them nuke you also so it leads people to believe that the sentinel and guardian is doing all the damage when its simply just not true… Force Sweep in Focus tree on average parses only accounts for 30-40% of their total overall damage… It all comes down to the skill of the players obviously, but when people don’t play their class properly when another person is playing theirs properly it will always lead to QQ.

  • Siks6

    How is Slash the worst filler? I use it quite often actually. Shouldn’t be using TST especially if crowd control is at state. Let alone that build for Watchman isn’t entirely correct…. You need that six second cooldown for Force kick. Just putting two points into the Force Camo is just a PVP skill if you plan to PVP with that spec.

    • Vindrik

      There are very few fights that actually require you to have a 6 second CD on your interrupt. The increased movement speed and longevity of Force Camo is useful in far more fights than the reduced interrupt CD, both because you’re already using Force Leap on CD in your regular rotation, and for damage reduction in transitions.

  • Hexane

    Hey guys… really having a tough time with the hybrid spec. Would it be possible for some to provide some feedback on my rotation?

    Torparse (3200)
    http://www.torparse.com/a/594583/2/0/Overview

    Seems the average parses I get is between 3200-3300. But I can’t figure out what I am doing wrong that would help me get over that into the 3400+ on a consistent basis.

    Thank you, I sincerely appreciate it.

    • Vindrik

      I’ll let Carl chip in at some point as well, but the two biggest points that I noticed were using Cauterize more often prior to Force Sweep when you don’t need to use Slash to reduce its CD, and managing your Heightened Power windows a little better. For example, there was one section where I saw you use Zealous Strike and Cauterize both in a Heightened Power window, when you should be trying your best to be avoiding either at every opportunity. If it helps, we currently have a video for the Marauder doing the Hybrid rotation in the Mara class guides. I know you may not be as familiar with the abilities, but giving it a look might help.

      • Guest

        That is really helpful… yeah at one point I parsed a 3459 but since then I can’t figure out what I did to actually do it! I checked out that Maurauder video and the way he prioritizes is really insightful… even the way he set up his key-binds, etc. It would be really cool to see a Sentinel equivalent of that video, but I’ve been dissecting it enough to rearrange my own key-binds, etc. but I can see what you mean…that heightened power window is uber important and I have a feeling that my best parse had better management of that window. The sad thing is that I am BiS with gear, short one relic (I have the DF SA, and the PvP FR relics)… could it be that the expertise on the PvP relic could cause that much of a hit dps wise?

        • Hexane

          That is really helpful… yeah at one point I parsed a 3459 but since then I can’t figure out what I did to actually do it! I checked out that Marauder video and the way he prioritizes is really insightful… even the way he set up his key-binds, etc. It would be really cool to see a Sentinel equivalent of that video, but I’ve been dissecting it enough to rearrange my own key-binds, etc. I can see what you mean…that heightened power window is uber important and I have a feeling that my best parse had better management of that window. The sad thing is that I am BiS with gear, short one relic (I have the DF SA, and the PvP FR relics)… could it be that the expertise on the PvP relic could cause that much of a hit dps wise?

          Best parse:
          http://www.torparse.com/a/591009/26/0/Overview

        • Hexane

          Ugh sorry for the double post.

      • Hexane

        And btw… it’s a real privilege to be able to talk with you guys directly… we have a lot of respect for your accomplishments in Hatred. Cheers. (BTW, the post below is me, apparently had me logged in as Guest at the time).

        • Vindrik

          Haha, happy to be able to help!
          Currently, BiS relics are Kell Dragon SA and Dread Forged FR. That combination may be making a bigger difference than you think. The reasoning behind it is because the Dread Forged SA doesn’t double-proc with both heals and damage, so by taking the lower damage Kell Dragon version which does, you’re significantly increasing the amount of times that it procs. If you’re trying to min-max as much as possible, that’s currently the way to do it.

  • Marshall

    Could you please explain the following statement regarding skills a combat Sentinel should use: “Due to Hand of Justice procs, Dispatch is free and generates 1 Focus, and it will always proc with a Precision Slash, so unless the PS is a non-Zen Master Strike + Blade Storm, it should always be used during the PS window that it procs.”
    I’m still very much a noob and would like some clarification as to what you mean by this statement. Thanks.

  • danielo

    When you say accuracy 110%/100%, can accuracy be more than that? If not please post an example gear with the stats for hybrid. I’m having problem with enhancements giving me undesired stats according to the list, and I’m still on 72s

  • danielo

    Hello, I’m having trouble generating focus, I’m an hybrid sentinel, every rotation I try is impossible for me because I run out of focus, I have tried dulfy and many other rotations for hybrid, I even tried to simulate rotations from logs on torparse, I run out of focus every single time and end more than 4 points short. I’m starting to think something is wrong but I can’t find what, my skill tree is correct, I checked it against this guide image 10 or more times, any ideas on what else to check please?

  • Sho

    I’m noticing that your Combat spec is showing 2 points in Swelling Winds and yet your Carnage spec shows those 2 points in Hungering instead. Typo or is there a reason for the difference?

  • srackwood

    First, I have to say, this guide looks to be very good…however, I am totally lost after the first paragraph. My sentinel watchman is my second toon (coming from a Vanguard) and the only reason I am here is that I can’t figure out the Sentinel at all. You say it is easier than more difficult classes like the Vanguard. I don’t buy that for a second. The Vanguard is immensely simple (brainless rotations waiting for cooldowns of HIB and you’re 99% there). The Sentinel is juggling about 6 different things at once, 3 of which are guaranteed not to work when you need them. I am totally lost. When I am playing PvE, I find my sentinel sitting there doing nothing while I am mashing buttons that don’t work…and I can’t figure out why. In PvP I force leap, get stunned and die before the stun wears off. Can there be any more difficult or confusing class than this?

    Please point me in the direction of a first time player’s guide describing what you mean by dots, stacking, cooldowns (the global cooldown is a time delay after using a skill, but the defensive cooldowns you mention don’t make sense…using a skill as a cooldown?), etc… I never needed to know these things with my Vanguard and I am always in the middle of the road with 55 PvP warzones. I am DEAD LAST every time with my Sentinel.

    • John

      I’ll try to shed light on some of the stuff you mentioned. DOT is an abbreviation for damage over time. With a sentinel there are a few dots you can use but the major one is bleeds because these do a lot of damage with that spec. Stacking is getting certain buffs on yourself that increase your dps output. These are usually from using certain abilities. Defensive cool downs aren’t something you touch with vanguard because the damage mitigation and armor are better so you take less damage. With sentinel you’re defensive buffs decrease damage taken and I believe one of the does damage to your attacker when they attack you. Since you’re dpsing these are to be used as often as possible. I hope I helped you a little bit with this lol

  • http://www.raidordie.com Devilhanzou

    Great Guides, I am curious about your critical rating, in Watchmen build I used to run in the low 100s for rating, but right now only have around 70. It seems like running Zero though and just adding more Power is a DPS increase? Do u see much of a downside to this, I mean are heals but we have Zen, Juyo etc…so I dont know how much that matters. Being in a 16 man Progressions guild every bit helps so just curious if you really think optimally to just run with Zero?

    Devilhanzou
    Shadowed “Previously Carnage Gaming”

    • karlbadmanners

      I dropped all but a measly 32 crit(would have gone to 0 but needed the mod atm) off my gear

      and haven’t looked back since.

  • Dihatsou

    Watchman is pretty RNG dependent as well, hence all the discussion on the forums.

  • Anon

    Is this updated for 2.8?

    • Benfynyn

      Doesn’t look like it. Overload saber now requires Juyo form so hyrbid can’t use it anymore

  • ptd163

    For Combat it says that Master Strike should always be the first ability used in a PS window. Yet both the opener, and priority list disprove that.

    Do you see how that can be confusing?

    • Smallgun

      Imo they are of highest priority and it all depends on which one is on cooldown and about to be available in a few secs.
      Let’s consider the situation where ps&bs&ms are available at the same time. In this case, blade storm with its procs should be used before master strike since bs has a shorter cd, which in turn save 3 secs from casting ms. Since hands of justice can come in no time, properly placed bs in rotations mean higher chance to use the ps-bs combo.

    • venomlash

      The reason the opener uses Blade Rush before Master Strike during the Precision Slash window is this:
      You want to have the Blade Rush buff up so that your melee attacks benefit from the extra chance to proc Ataru Form strikes. But you don’t want to proc Ataru Form before that first Precision Slash for fear of proccing Hand of Justice and finishing the non-existent cooldown on Precision Slash, thus wasting the proc. So what you do in the opener is Precision Slash, Blade Rush, and THEN bring the hammer down with Master Strike.

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