SWTOR 3.0 Combat Sentinel Guide by Vulkk

SWTOR 3.0 Combat Sentinel Guide by Vulkk of The Red Eclipse. Updated for patch 3.2.1 (changes are mostly utilities).

Intro to Combat Sentinel

Combat Discipline Path is the 2nd (middle) spec for Jedi Sentinel Class. It provides great Burst damage and is suitable for both experienced players and beginners. It offers good survivability and enough mobility.

What is Combat good for

It does not have too many main abilities included in the rotation and is perfect for leveling and EndGame. You get the most out of the spec in PvE EndGame boss encounters with multiple waves of adds/trash and/or short and tight burn phases. Combined with the right utilities (more on that later), it can be very deadly in a matter of seconds.

Who is Combat for

The Spec is best choice for beginners of all 3 available Sentinel Discipline paths. The simplicity and the new highlight system developed by Bioware in 3.0allows for new players to be efficient. The Combat’s AoE is strong enough to kill all weak trash mobs while focusing heavily on the stronger elite/champion/boss.If you are new to the class, Combat is most likely the best option to start with. If you want to strive for perfection, this Discipline has its perks and hidden tricks, like all others do.

If played to the best of its abilities, it is on par with the other 3 Discipline Paths for the Sentinel Class. Maybe a little behind in terms of raw DPS numbers (at the moment of writing this guide), but it makes up for that with Great Burst.

The biggest issue with it is that after the changes to Precision and Alacrity (more on these later), it now benefits a lot from low server latency. If you have bigger skill delay, you may miss out on DPS. Not much, but still needs to be said in advance.

Changes in Patch 3.0

With the Shadow of Revan Expansion the spec was dumbed down a bit. While for the better part of 2.X patchesit was considered one of the most complicated specs in the whole game, also the most RNG and gear dependent, shortly before 3.0 we learned from the Devs that it was actually all a mistake and miscalculation on their part. The original idea was Combat to be simple and straight forward. Well, now it is. As can be expected, if played well and smart (by experienced sentinel players), it will result in a much higher DPS output.

The biggest change we saw in 3.0 was in PRECISION (called Precision Slash before). It does not require a target any more, is still off the GCD, lasts only for 3s (down from 4.5s).

Ataru Form (now granted at lvl 10) has been altered again and it grants 3% alacrity now, lowering the GCD and all abilities CDs.

Cauterize is now only reserved for Watchman.

Blade Rush has been boosted, now it takes absolute priority over Slash. The ability is granted at lvl 26 (down from lvl45+in the old AC system)

Clashing Blast (replaces Blade Storm at lvl 57) has its Opportune Attack Crit proc almost always up and is close to impossible to miss, unless you deliberately want to for a specific reason.

Rating

  • Single Target Dps: 8
  • AoE Damage: 8
  • Rotation Difficulty: 5
  • Burst: 10
  • RNG Dependent: No
  • Server latency Dependent: Yes
  • Sub 30% Talent or Ability Buffs: Yes

Gearing

The main and strongest damage is coming from Clashing Blast (Blade Storm) and it is very easy to proc it for a 100% crit chance (Opportune Attack buff). My recommendations for gearing is as follows:

Most important stat is Accuracy. Needs to be 100% melee and 110% Force.

Alacrity is not priority in my current build for Ops, but depending on your server lag, you may want to include 2 enhancements with that stat in your build to help fit in an extra skill in the Precision window. The stat is more viable in Dummy parses compared to real boss fights due to the down times included in almost all of the encounters, but is still not good enough for Combat Sentinel Discipline.

Surge needs to be 67% minimum. With newer gear the stat will grow on its own. Compared to before 3.0, Surge is lower due to the extra Accuracy in our gear, both stats hold the same slot in enhancements, implants, ears.

Critical can be anywhere between 0 and ~200 (0 from gear was BiS before 3.0, and is still a good choice).I am happy with ~20-21% crit (0 from gear), but 23-24% is still good and there is no big difference in boss fights. It works also fine and does not require constant gear swap before each boss encounter (note: Watchman benefits from more Crit). For NiM content, things will be adjusted and different sets of gear will be a requirement.Theorycrafters have proved that due to the alterations and internal changes to stats for lvl 60 from lvl 55, Crit is a little closer now to Power in terms of benefits it grants. While it can still be considered weak for this spec in particular (because the strongest hitting ability is always buffed to crit 100%), Crit does look more appealing and that is why for HM I have left a wide window in gearing recommendations. If you strive for best result vs the ops dummy and best parse, you should lower the crit to 0 from gear or close to it and parse until you get that one “lucky” result.

After maxing out Accuracy and reaching the Crit rating you are most comfortable with, the rest you should spend on Power/Surge.

The debate about which one is better between PWR or STR Augments is still going after so many years. TheoryCrafters have proved recently that in 3.0 PWR takes the lead with a very small amount, but the difference is so insignificant, that it is absolutely not worth arguing over. Whichever you prefer, it is the right choice, for you.

Abilities and Utilities

Important Active Abilities

clashingblast Clashing Blast – strongest hitting ability, to be used only after Opportune Attack proc and preferably during Precision
twinarcs Precision – 3s duration, off the GCD, to be used on CD. Goes in combo with Master Strike, Clashing Blast, Dispatch, Blade Rush
masterstrike Master Strike – Should be used ONLY in Precision windows and with Zen active. Precision should not be delayed because of Master Strike. In Certain cases it is allowed to delay it upto 1 GCD.
relentlessadvance Blade Rush – main spammable and filler ability. It has been boosted to completely replace Slash in all rotations. Currently it is the 2nd most total damage ability in a standard (average) parse.
forcestrike Dispatch – hard hitting ability, usually available on targets below 30% HP, can be used on targets with any HP with the Hand of Justice buff every 20s (Passive, granted in the Discipline path at lvl 48)
conaldualsaberthrowsentinal Twin Sabre Throw – not to be used in Precision, it is a filler and resource building ability now.
jkmiralukansurvivor Zen – To be used on CD, ideally in combination with Precision and Master Strike. If timed correctly, every 2nd Master Strike can be under Precision (on Dummy). More details on Zen in Section 3 of the guide.
momentousblow Zealous Strike – The Main resource building ability. Should be used when you have less than 5 or 6 focus.
twilekvisionary Inspiration – best group buff in the whole game. To be used in a timely fashion and in conjunction with other team members’ buffs.

Utilities – Descriptions and Usefulness

With the recent changes in Game Update 3.2.1, a lot of the Utilities for the advanced class have been reworked – removed and replaced and/or adjusted.

A Quick recap of the Changes from Bioware’s Patch Notes:

  • New Masterful Utility: Ardor. Transcendence no longer requires or consumes Centering, but goes on cooldown for 30 seconds when activated.
  • Jedi Promulgator is now a Heroic Utility.
  • Removed the Defensive Forms Utility
  • New Skillful Utility: Stoic. Stoic increases your damage reduction by 2%, and you build 2 Centering when attacked. This Centering building effect cannot occur more than once every 1.5 seconds.
  • Defensive Roll now additionally increases internal and elemental damage reduction by 5%.
  • Force Fade now additionally increases your movement speed by 15%.
  • Removed the Force Aegis Utility.
  • Enduring now additionally increases the duration of Guarded by the Force by 2 seconds.

Here is the full list and my personal recommendations on the new combinations and where they are useful. The new setup allows for a lot more variations depending on what the player is doing and what is most beneficial to the group and encounter:

Skillful

  • Jedi Enforcer – Good and useful in all PvE encounters. Rebuke is both Defensive and Offensive buff, always nice to have.
  • Debilitation – Pure and great passive for PvP. Never needed in PvE.
  • Jedi Crusader – Great to be used in combination with Jedi Enforcer as they both buff the same ability. Not a 100% Must-Have, but close to it.
  • Adamant – Almost never needed in PvE, good buff for PvP where as MDPS sentinels are often victim to constant CC effects.
  • Stoic – The new passive to replace Defensive Forms. Great for both PvE and PvP, useful everywhere. A Must-Have.
  • Trailblazer – Very good for boosting AoE, situational, not a Must Have
  • Reining Reach – A New Utility to replace the total Junk called Stagger. Great use for PvP, useless in PvE.

Masterful

  • Incisor – Great for PvP, useless in PvE
  • Ardor – Another new Utility from 3.2.1. Fantastic for many PvE encounters as well as for PvP, a great group tool. Not a Must-Have, but depending on your group balance and skills, it can save many wipes.
  • Defensice Roll – An extra buff to this was added from the non-existent any more Defensive Forms. Nearly 100% needed and useful anywhere and everywhere. Very few situations where it is not needed in PvE. In Warzones it is a Must-Have Utility.
  • Watchguard – Good, but very VERY situational. Can be useful in both PvE and PvP
  • Pulse – I see no use of this passive in PvE, a very small usage in PvP, situational mostly.
  • Displacement – Good usage in PvP, no reason to pick it up in PvE at all.
  • Force Fade – More useful than before with the new 15% speed bonus attached to it after 3.2.1. Still situational and optional. Useful in such encounters like Master and Blaster, where quick and often movement is required. The extra Force Camouflage duration can be useful in both PvE and PvP as a defensive buff or to escape. 

Heroic

  • Fleetfooted – Great in PvP, very situational in PvE (useful in Underlurker from ToS, for example)
  • Expunging Camouflage – Very rarely useful in PvE, great for PvP (good combo with Fleetfooted for Underlurker)
  • Jedi Promulgator – Moved to Heroic from Masterful. Since it buffs the same ability (Rebuke), it can be used in a combination with Jedi Enforcer and Jedi Crusader.
  • Just Pursuit – Totally useless in PvE, good CC addition for PvP
  • Enduring – Totally Situational. Can be useful in Master and Blaster, depending on the sentinel’s role and group balance.
  • Zealous Ward – Great buff on the first sight, but the long CD on Saber Ward makes this Utility more situational and optional, not a Must-Have.
  • Contemplation – A great buff for PvP, a must have in Warzones. Very situational in PvE. With the alterations for 3.2.1, now there is a lot wider variety of choices for the player to make which Utilities are suitable for what encounter or task. Contemplation is not the Must-Have any more, because even if the 30 stacks of Centering are tempting to have in the beginning, remember, the Boss fights are 4 to 15 minutes long.

Important Passives

A lot of passives have been changed in 3.0. Here is a short list of some of the most important ones.

  • Force Health – Moved over to Combat from the old Focus tree. Transforms Twin Saber Throw into a filler ability and a resource builder.
  • Opportune Attack – In addition to boosting your next Clashing Blast (Blade Storm) it also grants the Sunder buff on the target, lasting 45s and reducing its armour rating by 20%.
  • Focused Slash – Adds a new buff to the target “Beat Down” – lasts for 45s and makes the target take +5% more damage from melee attacks.
  • Hand of Justice – No more RNG for Dispatch. This passive now grants hits from your Ataru form a free use of Dispatch on a target with any amount of HP once every 20s

Video

Openings & Skill Priorities

Standard Openers

Basic Opener that can be used almost anywhere:

Force Leap +Zen ->Zealous Strike + Valorous Call-> Blade Rush -> Adrenal+Precision+Master Strike -> Clashing Blast –> Blade Rushes as fillers ->Zealous Strike -> Twin Saber Throw -> Precision -> Dispatch -> Clashing Blast

swtor-3.0-combat-sentinel-opener

The fillers are usually 3x Blade Rush. Depending on the situation, you may include Inspiration with the adrenal in the start. If not, you can use Valorous Call’s 30 stacks as soon as the first one expires. Or save it for the 2nd Precision window and make it a sure success (more on that later). This depends on the type of encounter/opponent you are starting.

Because of the Ataru’s Alacrity bonus, the sentinel’s GCD is now 1.455s instead of 1.5s. Zealous Strike should be used before each Precision as it has the same CD, also with the new set bonus it increases damage outputby 2%for 15s every 30s.

If your server lag is high, you may not be able to fit in Clashing Blast before the end of Precision window (here Alacrity comes to play, but I do not recommend stacking it). It is safe to clip (interrupt) Master Strike 0.3s before its channel ends, but even then the risk of not fitting successfully another ability in Precision is big.After the first Precision, you will have a free Dispatch to use. The highlighting system introduced with 3.0 helps a lot by showing you when the skill is ready after the proc if you are not playing the class as a main or if you are just learning/mastering it.

Skill Priorities

There is no long and standard rotation for this spec.Everything is about those 3 seconds of Precision. The whole fight is separated into smaller phases, very similar to before 3.0, but with less abilities fitting in:

Precision Window -> Filler Abilities (or down time) -> Precision Window

swtor-3.0-combat-sentinel-fillers

Some of the most basic and popular combinations for single target DPS are:

Precision -> Dispatch -> Clashing Blast

swtor-3.0-combat-sentinel-fillers-2

(ONLY with Zen active!)Precision -> Master Strike -> Clashing Blast

swtor-3.0-combat-sentinel-fillers-3

(Situational) Precision –> Dispatch -> Blade Rush

swtor-3.0-combat-sentinel-fillers-4

(Situational) Precision -> Blade Rush -> Blade Rush

swtor-3.0-combat-sentinel-fillers-5

Note: The last one should not be used, unless for some reason all others are impossible. Clashing Blast should fit into as many Precisions, as possible. Best in all, but not always possible.

The AoE capabilities of the Discipline have been boosted compared to before 3.0. An example of “AoE-Precision” is:

Precision -> Force Sweep ->Cyclone Slash

swtor-3.0-combat-sentinel-fillers-6

The Cyclone Slash AoE effective range has been changes from frontal 180 deg. To 270 along with all other abilities in 3.0. Its damage is now also boosted by the passive Ataru Savvy, which is granted automatically at lvl 12 by the Discipline Path.

If timed correctly, you will have Zealous Strike available before each Precision, which will give you enough Focus for the incoming 3s window. It is preferable to always keep your Reseurce in the Filler phases at 4-6 Focus, but do not stack it over 6 using Strike. That would lower your DPS between Precisions and will make the 6 Focus coming from Zealous Strike (+2 from Twin Saber Throw, when available) go over the cap, which is also waste of DPS. Time the Blade Rushes correctly.

Due to the delay of damage applied to the target from Blade Rush, Twin SaberThrow and Dispatch (applied ~0.5-0.7s after it’s used), these 2 abilities may be used right BEFORE Precision and their damage will be buffed by it. Then inside Precision you can use whatever is available at this point of the fight. My advice is to not use this trick when you have Master Strike included in the Precision window. The reason: because you have to activate Precision right after Dispatch or Twin Saber Throw, you will lose precious time inside precision and there’s a risk the last hit (the strongest one) from Master Strike to fall off the Precision window and miss its buff. Clashing Blast gets priority, but I would like to remind you that it is to be used only when the buff Opportune Attack is present (proc for 100% crit chance on Clashing Blast).In the beginning I mentioned that the spec is heavily dependent on quick key-press reactions and server lag. It is very likely when you attempt these combinations with Dispatch and Twin Saber Throw before Precision, you will not be able to include the 2 standard abilities inside the 3s window. Mathematically it is possible, but in real gameplay, it is risky.

My theory to prove the possibility of this combo (not taking server lag into consideration) is based on the fact that from Ataru we have 3% alacrity, which makes the GCD 1.455s instead of 1.5s and then the standard timing:

0s (Twin Saber Throw + Precision) -> 1.5s (Dispatch)-> 3s (Clashing Blast)

Will become:

0s (Twin Saber Throw + Precision) -> 1.455s (Dispatch)-> 2.91s (Clashing Blast)

Just mentioning it here – 2.91 is now the standard channel for Master Strike, again, because of the Ataru’s 3% alacrity.

Combining this with the fact that we press TSW and Precision one after another, that gives us upto 0.5s more making the end of the Precision window around the 3.5s after the start of the counter. This is doable on the dummy, but against a boss in a real fight, it is close to impossible to perform. And if we take the server delay into the formula, the result is even worse.

Here is an example of this combo vs ops dummy:

swtor-3.0-combat-sentinel-fillers-7

Priorities for abilities inside Precision:

  1. Master Strike (only when Zen is active)
  2. Dispatch
  3. Clashing Blast
  4. Blade Rush

Video

Combat Logs

How to read logs and what to look for

Whether you parse vs Dummy or in real EndGame ops, the logs should always show Clashing Blast as top damaging ability and its crit needs to be 100% or very close to it. It’s not the end of the world if you use Clashing Blast without Opportune Attack, but these situations are VERY rare (never vs Dummy!)

Blade Rush is usually the 2nd Damaging ability, it is also the most used one, far ahead of all others).

Another measurement from the logs is the count of Dispatch and Hand of Justice. Depending on the type of log, Dispatch should always be more used than the number of Hand of Justice buffs. The same CD on Clashing Blast and Zealous Leap are also connected in regards to judging the combat log results. They do not need to be same in numbers, but the closer the better.

Random Parse vs ops boss

swtor-3.0-combat-sentinel-parseswtor-3.0-combat-sentinel-parse-2

Note: We see a small difference in percentages between the 2 graphs. This is because I used 3 different desktop clients and 2 website parsing tools during my testing.

Differences between Dummy Parse and Boss Encounter

While parsing Dummy, you need to properly time use of adrenals and strictly follow rotations mentioned above, while using Zen as soon as it reaches 30 stacks. APM on dummy needs to be 50or higher (without extra Alacrity in your gear). In real boss fights it can be as low as 35, it all depends on the encounter and there APM is the least important stat in the parser tool.

Random Parse vs Ops dummy

swtor-3.0-combat-sentinel-parse-3swtor-3.0-combat-sentinel-parse-4

Note: We see a small difference in percentages between the 2 graphs. This is because I used 3 different desktop clients and 2 website parsing tools during my testing.

Conclusions

Why Carnage over other specs

The spec is simple enough for everyone to play it and without going into too many details with its above mentioned secrets, it yields decent results. It’s not RNG dependent (anymore) and has very strong Burst. It is a bit too simple and a lot of its Shining has been removed by the Developers. We all are waiting for it to be fixed or buffed and soon.

About the Guide

This guide is based on my personal experience with Combat from the first days into 3.0. Most of the tests were done with the old Dread Master 186 NiM gear and the old set. Numbers are going to grow, but skill priorities will not change, unless Bioware changes the spec. The Early Access server lag and insane ability delay prevented me from properly testing it thoroughly. It is unwise to think my guide is perfect. Don’t believe the person who tells you they have nothing to learn any more. That is foolish. We all learn new things every day.

This is a guide, not a rule or a law. It is not meant to give you orders and tell you how to play. With it I want to give you directions and share my experience, while leaving enough room for each player’s individual style to shine.

About the Author

Vulkk is a Jedi Sentinel and a Progression Raider on The Red Eclipse server. A 30 years old Bulgarian, who has loved Star Wars since a small child. Vulkk has been playing SWTOR since beta. Constantly learning and improving, striving to be better than the day before. Working as an Architect in the real life (or “AFK mode”?).

Owner of:

  • Corwin

    Really nice guide, Thanks! My Sentinel got respecced to Watchman after stupid nerfs to ex-Focus but I might try Combat. Never really liked it, though. Again, very good guide. 🙂

  • Jerry

    Having watched his videos, I found myself reading this in his voice.

    • I hope that is said as a positive? 😀

  • Jektik

    YAY! You make the best guides for sents/maras! Im glad our favourite bulgarian shares these guides! 😀

  • Lithari

    Just so you know, you get Blade Rush at level 26, you get precision at level 41.

    • Yes, of course. I apologize for the typo.

  • J

    Fury Mara next please?

    • Seltonik

      Works exactly the same as the previously posted Rage Jugg guide, Just replace Retaliate with Vicious Slash or Vicious Throw if at sub 30 and replace Enrage with Berserk.

      • J

        Thanks! Does it seem that fury benefits juggs more than mara’s?

  • Darth_Ziltoid

    Thanks Victor.

  • Thagram

    Dont Forget 6 piece set bonus gives dispatch auto crit after ravage.

    • Yes, but once every minute is more like a joke rather than a serious set bonus. Just my opinion. If all fights in the game lasted 15-20+ minutes, then awesome, but… 🙂

      • TheHarbingersKwerty

        Hey, thats like a 33% of the time auto-crit on dispatch (pre execute). Thats not a joke of a set bonus.

        • If you look it from this side, it does seem nice. But Dispatch is a skill with a relatively long CD and on top of that the set bonus only applies once each minute. Now, for an average boss fight that lasts 4-6 minutes, how much of a DPS boost is that? And it’s the 6 parts set bonus, which is supposed to be the best of all, because you work hardest to get the full set.
          Don’t get me wrong, it’s better than nothing 😀

          • justaguy

            One extra crit per minute, roughly an extra 5k damage per minute, 5k/60 = 83 dps boost. That will be slightly devalued since technically, some of those dispatches would have crit naturally, and cannot be considered “extra”. But max theoretical gain is 83 dps (in the gear from your parse)

  • Unperson

    (Situational) Precision -> Clashing Blast -> Blade Rush

    Either that is wrong or the pic is wrong, the icon is for Dispatch. I’m guessing the pic is right because by (situational) it means that you need the Slaughter/HoJ proc up, yes?

    • Yes, you are correct.
      Actually, both combos can be considered situational, because for both you need a proc (even though Execute is pretty much always present).

  • Lodewijk Gonggrijp

    I was waiting for this. Thanks very much.

  • Unperson

    Nice guide, thanks! Though I disagree with difficulty being just 5, hehe. Making this work well is harder than Fury/Concentration because even if there are few abilities to juggle, you don’t really have a set rotation which means you need to be making decisions constantly, watch for procs, know when to delay Ravage/MS, etc. Hadn’t thought about taking advantage of the damage delay from TST/Dispatch/BR to have them fit into the PS window, that’s a nice trick.

    You posting the Anni/Watchman guide next? I can’t into anni :/

  • konjo

    U dont think puting alacrity on gear is good? Atm i got my sent around 6% alac with zen i can clip MS at 1.9 sec so i can put CB inside PS window,but need 2 do more testing with alac, atm dont have much time cuz of RL.

    • TheHarbingersKwerty

      Its cause 1% alacrity from 0% alacrity is a decent boost, but 1% alacrity from combats average 14% alacrity is not anywhere near as good

      AKA wait till revanite gear

  • Kurkina

    While this guide may seem detailed, I believe it misses the main point behind getting top damage out of the spec: getting MasterStrike in UNDER ZEN in every second Precision window. This idea makes the spec I believe the single most challenging one in the game, as one must balance focus management with building centering in a very specific time frame, so that Zen is available right before every second window without fail, leaving absolutely no room for error lest the cooldowns become out of alignment.

    In this post (http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?p=7892843#post7892843) I have detailed how to do that for at least the first 5 windows (3 Master Strikes).

    • Thank you for your input.

      I have mentioned in the guide that my point is not to show people how to farm the ops dummy for maximum results. There are hints and suggestions everywhere on that, but it’s not as important as performance in real boss encounters. My idea is to give as many and useful tips on how to properly play the class. I am far from the thought that I listed every single little detail.
      In a boss encounter if you can sit on a target and do rotations like you have suggested, it would be wiser to pick Watchman. It will yield better result in the end.

      This doesn’t mean I disagree with your post on the forums. It is, indeed, the right method to maximize DPS output vs the Ops Dummy.

      • Kurkina

        I appreciate the intention to focus on real ops-specific encounters. Indeed, I believe that with enough practice and precision (no pun intended), striving for the aforementioned MS+Zen-within-Precision is viable in real situations, not just on the practice dummy.

        Switching targets, even if it delays the rotation by several GCSs, should not throw off the concept of building centering for Zen before Precision with MasterStrike. One need simply to resist the temptation of using skills that come off of cooldown “early” and stick to the concept.

        This is indeed what Watchmen cannot do in real situations, as when their DoTs and stacks expire because of target switching and/or movement, their damage goes down the can.

    • Lithari

      That depends entirely on if the player playing the class cares about getting the absolutely highest damage numbers possible.

      • Kurkina

        Progressing through HM (and eventually NiM) is ALL about getting the highest damage possible to beat enrage timers and/or take down adds. A spec and/or player who cannot focus on this will not be a contributing member of a progress group.

  • Saerein

    Even though I know this mirrors carnage marauder I am still new to the skill names and dont understand which skill mirrors what if someone could explain how this guide works for Mara’s to me that would be great thanx

    • Unperson

      This will be translated imp side in a few days like the old guides were, I suppose, but…

      Stuff you need to know to make sense of this:

      Abilities
      -Precision = Gore
      -Blade Rush = Massacre
      -Dispatch = Vicious Throw
      -Master Strike = Ravage
      -Clashing Blast = Devastating Blast
      -Zen = Berserk
      -Zealous Strike = Battering Assault
      -Inspiration = Bloodlust
      -Force Sweep = Smash
      -Cyclone Slash = Sweeping Slash
      -Twin Saber Throw = Dual Saber Throw (duh)
      -Valorous Call = Frenzy

      Procs
      -Hand of Justice = Slaughter
      -Opportune Attack = Execute

      Utilities are easy to sort out with the skill calculator:
      -Jedi Enforcer = Cloak of Carnage
      -Jedi Crusader = Cloak of Rage
      -Defensive Forms = Same

      -Jedi Promulgator = Cloak of Annihilation
      -Defensive Roll = Same

      -Zealous Ward = Blood Ward
      -Contemplation = Brooding

      DCDs and stuff aren’t really relevant to the guide. Happy Marauding.

  • FMJ

    Thanks for the great guide Vulkk! Just an opinion if I may:

    ” shortly before 3.0 we learned from the Devs that it was actually all a mistake and miscalculation on their part. The original idea was Combat to be simple and straight forward. Well, now it is”
    I know the devs have said this, but unfortunately, I beg to differ. On paper , Combat might seem very simple but in practice, it’s very difficult to get right. Like what Kurkina has mentioned, the difficulty of this spec is managing focus and centering such that zen is available for Master Strike each and every time, especially in boss fights where one has to pay attention to rotations, CDs as well as mechanics. Also doesn’t help that the spec is now quite latency dependent. Personally, I’d give the rotation difficulty a 8-9.
    At times, I find myself having to delay precision just so that I can get enough zen for Master Strike. Do you find yourself in this situation too?

    • Thank you.
      My biggest problem these first weeks has been the lag and ability delay in ops. I manage to do things the way I want them on the dummy almost every time, but not always in ops.
      While I agree with the “every 2nd Zen+MS”, I still don’t think it is a good idea to follow that strategy in boss fights. If possible, that would be on a very small number of bosses where we wont lose DPS – Nefra, Sparky, Writhing Horror (basically the first bosses in the ops).
      In every other ops there are obstacles that will change or alter the ability priorities – adds, timers, AoE, downtime and many others.

    • Kurkina

      “At times, I find myself having to delay precision just so that I can get enough zen for Master Strike.”

      The alternative would be to not wait, use CB+Dispatch (or something else) within the Precision window twice in a row and thereby most likely misalign MasterStrike for the rest of the fight. If the MS+Zen concept is the key to getting the best damage out of Combat, then I think investing that one extra GCD to get it right is not a problem over the course of the fight, as opposed to miring ourselves in the mediocrity that ensues from having MS as a filler in between Precision windows.

    • TheHarbingersKwerty

      Something to note is that on a dummy, you are unable to build the perfect amount of centering for Precision on cooldown AND Zen for every second precision. You need to be taking a little raidwide damage or generating focus from Rebuke in order to have the centering for it.

      This is because in a perfect world, you would go:

      Zen > [Zealous Strike > Blade Rush > Precision + {Master Strike + Clashing Blast} > Blade Rush x2] >
      Zealous Strike > Dispatch > Precision + {Blade Rush + Clashing Blast} > TST > Blade Rush x2 > Blade Rush/Strike

      But that is 6 centering negative/2 focus positive, or 2 centering negative/2 focus negative (depending on cycle), meaning you need the extra centering from taking damage + Defensive Forms, as well as (possibly) the extra focus from Rebuke (with Jedi Crusader). And in a raid, its pretty easy to make sure you have those specific requirements to maintain a rotation like the one specified in this post, especially in the new raids, due to all the unavoidable outgoing damage. Of course, there are exceptions (e.g. Master Blaster, but going a burst spec on that fight is begging your entire raid to die again and again and again and again…)

      • Kurkina

        “Something to note is that on a dummy, you are unable to build the
        perfect amount of centering for Precision on cooldown AND Zen for every
        second precision.”

        While incoming damage building focus is definitely a plus in an ops situation, I have shown that it is indeed possible to maintain the focus/centering balance, at least through 5 precision windows (3x MasterStrikes) +/- a single global cooldown, more dependant on lag than anything else. Check my very detailed rotation in the Combat Sentinel 3.0 topic on the official forums.

  • Meelis S

    Looking that dummy parse crits Clashing blast and dispatch i dont understand how you hit over 14k? Cant even get 10k those skills scrit. What relics did you use? I have similar stats like 99.5% accuracy 68% surge and 23% crit.

    • FMJ

      If you get CB in a precision window, you should be consistently hitting > 10k.
      As for dispatch, my max was a 12k. It’s all about luck IMO.

    • In most of my recorded tests I use 0 crit from gear. Also, don’t look at the boss’s parse. Normal crits for my current gear on dummy are ~12k, sometimes 13k when procs from relic are present. In boss fights there are other factors such as phases, buffs/debuffs from bosses and other classes.

  • Dhum

    what relics to use?

    • TheHarbingersKwerty

      All DPS should be using a Serendipitous Assault relic and a Focused Retribution relic, unless its a fight where there are very specific burst windows (in which case you would use a Boundless Ages over a Serendipitous Assault)

      • Dhum

        thank you

  • Gavin

    Anyone have a potential explanation as to why even with 100% accuracy (100.08% Melee Accuracy to be precise) I still have around a 6-11% miss rate on my marauder? Tried Ops Dummy on my ship, on fleet, done Hardmode flashpoints, still all miss. Am I missing something?

    • Gavin

      The specific skills which always seem to be missing are massacre (My parse reads it as the 3rd and 4th tick missing, though the 3rd misses the most) and the second and third tick of Ravage (I’m not clipping it). I have good latency (around 25ms).

      • Guest

        Hi Gavin. It’s bcause the Operation Dummy does have the mitigation of an operation boss, therefore in order to never miss you need to reach 110% mele accuracy (760~ accuracy), because they have a 10% chance to evade your attacks.

        • Gavin

          I’ve got 766 accuracy, so it shouldn’t be missing then?

        • Aleks Malenke

          100% melee accuracy, not 110%. 110% is your force accuracy because operation bosses have a 10% resist against force and tech.

      • Don’t forget the off-hand’s chance to miss 🙂
        Most of the abilities strike with both lightsabers and the off-hand misses more often.

        • TheHarbingersKwerty

          well its gonna be 70% if you’re at 100% accuracy.

          Speaking of which, I think combat actually has a bit of RNG dependence on its damage, as it has a 70% chance of the offhand hit, and then every not-blade-rush-melee-attack has a 50% chance of an atayru hit.

          Though no rotational RNG, which is very nice.

          • Why would you think it should be 70%, mate? How did you calculate this result? My melee Acc is 100.01% at the moment and the off-hand/s tooltip is 67/77%.

            • TheHarbingersKwerty

              I actually haven’t checked my tooltip in ages, though pre 3.0 it was only a 30% penalty (and running at 100/110 meant offhand was 70/80) as far as I knew

              • Guest

                In the past it was ~66.67% and to my knowledge it never changed, for our class at least. It is pretty much the same now, maybe a little bit rounded up. 🙂

              • TheHarbingersKwerty

                Either way, the point still stands that you have quite a bit of RNG dependent damage in the spec

        • Gavin

          So no matter what we’re going to be missing on attacks that use the offhand?

          • That’s right, we are. Un-equip the off-hand and see what happens in a dummy test. Just for fun 🙂

  • Smow

    Hey Vulkk what was your average dps on the dummies and on that ops boss ? Thanks

    • 4.0-4.1k
      6.3k
      Don’t look into the numbers, they will mean nothing very soon for all of us. 🙂

      • Smow

        Oh ok! Thanks bro!

      • Seskahin

        What do you mean by that?

  • Ste Davies

    Vulk do you have a sin on tofn? known as vulk or vulkk maybe?

    • Nop, all 16 of mine are on TRE 🙂

  • Gavin

    Vulkk, would you reckon that the 186 setbonus gear on the old 2 piece (8% boost to Ravage) would be better than the current 6 piece (ravage makes your next Viscious throw a critical hit)? Trying to decide whether or not to scrap it.

    • I have no full set yet and cannot confirm, but the Devs claimed that the new setsare much better in terms of boosts. Maybe they can be right about one thing… at least once. 🙂

  • chazcon

    Vulkk – great info, Vanguard is my main and Sent is SO frustrating to try to learn – this helps but what about Rebuke? You list several utilities that synergize with rebuke but not mentioned in your rotations. QoL is more important to me than max DPS right now as I try to get this class into my head and fingers. Thx!

    • Lodaine

      Rebuke is a defensive cooldown. It should be used when appropriate, not as part of a rotation.

      • chazcon

        Ehh good guide but I was pulling my hair out, ended up with Concentration, much simpler to play and no focus worries. I’ll only play this Sent who is a crafting alt til I ding 56. Best to all you real Sents. Back to my Vanguard tank…

      • Kurkina

        Other than specific fights where you know there is a phase with a lot of raid damage (i.e. Lurkerlings), I believe Rebuke should be used on cooldown. Without it, it will be nearly impossible to generate enough focus to do what the Combat Sentinel needs to do, see my other posts.

  • 389

    hey dulfy,i was wondering if its possible to have a marauder carnage cover 🙂

  • Seskahin

    Vulkk – You mention at multiple places, that the numbers wont mean anything in less than a month. What do you mean by that?

    And Merry Christmas to you (and Dulfy too) Keep up the good work! You’re both doing great Things for the Community!

    Cheers

    • The gear I did my tests with is far from BiS and for those who may read this guide 4-5… 8 months from now, we may have a NiM set or something even better by then and all abilities will hit much higher. That was my point. 🙂

      • Seskahin

        Ah well, that makes sense

        But whats your Take on Sentinel in Operations atm, dps wise? I get kinda frustrated on the dummy, as I have a very hard time hitting High Numbers with Both Combat (3600dps) and Watchman (around 3900 dps) right now, where my Vanguard with slightly worse Gear pulls off 4k easily.
        On the other hand I tell myself, that Dummy is Dummy and not a real encounter, where Sentinels can shine (Combat with its Burst Windows seems great in lots of fights).

        I’m kinda torn up there.

        • I think you are thinking in the right direction, mate. For a long time now there has been certain gap in damage between classes vs dummy, but those same classes often struggle to pull even close DPS to their best Dummy parses vs real bosses. It’s not down to player skills only. Sometimes the boss encounters just don’t allow them to do the specific rotations they can easily pull on static target for 3-4 min.

          I still love my sentinel and am playing actively both Watchman and Combat (depending on boss and group balance). A little frustrated with lack of abilities in Combat and the stupid changes in Watchman, but if BW didn’t make dull mistakes, what would the Interne(r)D have to whine about? :)))

          • Seskahin

            Thanks mate, that means a lot 🙂 I love the class too but I want to do my best to not be a burden to my group some day.

            Will you write a Watchman Guide too? I somehow like the new watchman, yet I dislike it a lot. The old one just felt different in a good way.
            While I agree Combat lost alot of its abilities and difficulty, I totally like it as of now. It just feels fast and kickass and great. And while its easy and straightforward in Theory, bringing it to a Boss with the fast Actions we do, movement and reactions, needs a lot of experience, good keybindings and alot of skill to perform high. But thats why its great fun 🙂

  • Exodus

    It should be changed relatively soon. The developers, from what I can tell never intended precision (gore) to act as it does. All blogs and patch notes state it should be on a gcd, it should do damage, and it’s window should be 6 seconds.

    • K

      Except the blogs and patch notes where they went back on that decision.

    • They talked about that – it was intentionally changed shortly after the dev blogs were released. Based on player feedback. Precision is working as intended now. If they change it, it is because of rebalancing, not because what you saw. They just should have gone back to the stupid blogs and edited that part. 🙂

  • Clinton Lewis

    You mention in this guide…”Most important stat is Accuracy. Needs to be 100% melee and 110% Force.” 1. Where do I check these settings? and 2. I thought the main stat for a sentinel was Strength.

    • In the character screen bottom 3rd you have 2 windows. By default in the left one are the Melee stats .Accuracy is in the there. When you mouse-over it, you will see tooltips with details. Main stat for sentinel is still STR. Acc and Str are 2 different types of stats from 2 different pools.

    • StranniK_SPECTR

      So, without STR you will’not able to deal damage (’cause you don’t have any, lol), without ACC you will’not able to do damage (’cause you will miss around 10% of all of your strikes)

  • Hirano

    Hello! I’m new to this game.
    You said that this spec is great for beginners, but I want to play a sith warrior.
    So is Carnage(counterpart of combat, am I right?) also similar? great for beginners like me?
    Thanks 🙂

    • Carnage guide is coming, the writer had some holiday plans that delayed it

    • Carnage is the mirror to Combat for Sith Marauder. 🙂

  • Reverus

    Vulkk,

    Excellent guide and I really appreciate it especially as a sentinel beta. I may have missed it, but what are considered best in slot for mods and enhancements in 3.0? I was running Initiative and Adept enhancements and regular mods (I.e. Deft 34) prior to 3.0 but has that changed? I noticed the ops gear has regular mods, but the vendor gear has A now (odd since everything had regular mods in the past). Do I go with the A (less power, more main stat) or the regular (more power, less main stat). Thanks!

    • Hey, thank you for the nice words.
      Absolutely no on going for A-mods. 🙂 Any and all lettered mods are non BiS (for DPS at least), just like they were not BiS before 3.0. In the past the vendor gear had decent mods, but the enhancements have always been the bad ones. For optimal gearing, we only need tokens from raids, which contain the proper mods. How will you arrange the gear to fit your stats (implants, eat, augments, mods) is upto you and your current point in progression and gear swap. 🙂

  • Enna

    Great guide, thank you! I may be overlooking the info to answer my question but either way I’m still wondering: should you delay Dispatch and/or Clashing Blast for a Precision window? I’m still trying to find a rhythm and I wasn’t sure if delaying was good, although my suspicion is yes delay. Thanks in advance!

    • It depends on the skills’ CD and exact moment in fight. If the delay is no more than 2-3 GCDs, then you can delay it. There is no standard and 100% correct math on this, esp. when it comes to boss fights. If the proc comes right after a Precision window has passed, you should not need for the next one.

  • Sweet’scar

    Sentinel guide yet u talk about Execute. I just found out it’s a marauder ability. Thanks anyway.

    • Yes, I talked about that in the comments down below. It’s also wrongly typed in the tooltip for sentinels, the ability we have is Opportune Attack, but Immaculate Force still talks about Execute. Wherever I have mentioned Execute, is because of a bad habit from my marauder days. The error in the tooltip InGame, is Bioware’s 😀

  • Teryia

    Will there be a Watchman Sentinel guide soon?

  • Fina

    Hey Vulkk,

    Thanks for the guide 🙂

    I’m still testing myself and atm still use the old 2-p set for the 8% Bonus on MS. Do you happen to have tested this?

    best regards

    Fina

    • Hi, Fina.
      Mixing the old and new sets is fine until you get full 192 or 198 armorings. The new set is better than old one or mix.

      • Fina

        Funny, I just read your answer, as soon as i got the 198 armorings I came to the same conclusion^^

        Sry for the late reply not looking into this very often :=)

  • Ambrosia

    Will there be a concentration guide out any time soon?

    • Corwin

      Yeah, would also like to read concentration and watchman guide. Even after great guide by Vulkk, I still hate Combat…

  • Noomi

    Had hoped the guide would come from Vulkk, your videos on Youtube have helped me a lot 😀

  • Nitram27

    So when you say surge needs to be at 68%, are you talking about Critical Mutiplier, or you’re talking about the % next to surge stats under Critical Multiplier ? Cause that seems impossible to get to 68% lol. Thanks

    • It is the end result, the %, and not the raw numbers of the stat from gear 🙂

  • Kyovarde

    Hate to say, but Combat is surely not an 8. I’m getting better results as Concentration and MUCH better as Watchman.

    • It is my personal evaluation of the spec. Was a close call for me between 7 and 8, but it really does shine in some fights and deserves more than 7.
      Not measured in terms of raw DPS vs Dummy. I have noted that in the guide. Combat falls behind both Watchman and Concentration, as you said Sometimes even in boss encounters where it should shine in theory. However, it still has fantastic Burst and very powerful AoE to show off with.

      Just curious, what would you put on it? And how do you measure your score?

  • Arc

    Vulkk,

    Since there is not a great place to theory craft on the forums anymore I thought I would get your take. How are you liking combat for end game material and HM content? I have played combat for the most part through the course of the game I usually stay in the top 2 dps with a mild gap even now though I will say competing with a Shadow or sage in this Expac is a pain lol. I was wondering if you had noticed the power ceiling yet and if so if you had started moving toward adding a slight amount of crit to your gear. I hate the lack of complexity outside of squeezing the most out of your gcds but my concern is that at the moment with mostly BIS 198 Enhancements and mods my power is already over 2000 and I know that I am nearing or at the DR. As such my bottom line is where do you currently stand on the crit in gear concept?

    • Hey,
      My apologies for not answering earlier. I try to revisit the page every couple days or so.

      Combat is, unfortunately, a lot weaker today compared to before. Its big strength is still burst and awesome AoE, but the 2nd one is very limited in terms of boss mechanics and group setup/availability. I tend to play more Watchman in endgame and switch to Combat for specific bosses such as Underbugger and the Commanders.
      I still prefer 0 crit. With 198 it is useful to include 1 or maybe even 2 Alacrity Enhancements. For me alacrity tends to be a little before Crit. I have tried with all variations of Crit in all stages of my gearing and 0 still yields best results for me.

      Like you said, Combat is lacking the variety and is therefore a bit boring in longer fights (compared to before 2.9). It also falls behind Watchman and when DPS check is present, I most of the time switch to the DoT spec. Did it even in the Underbugger twice.

  • Buddha

    I still love combat and am pulling around 4-4.1 I’m 192’s. Yes WM is much better but I always tend to get off the rotation somewhere lol. What where you parsing in full 192 min/max

    • I have not done dummy parsince recently and the last time I did it, I was still wearing a lot of my old 186 DM mods with the old set bonus. My best back then (2.5 months from now) was ~4.2k if I can remember.

      I am not a big fan of farming the dummy. To me more important is how I fare vs the real boss fights, so I don’t spend much time on my ship. Doing it usually after some class change or major gear update. 🙂

  • Matt

    Hi Vulkk,

    What’s your opinion on Fury/Concentration for single target DPS and burst? If Carnage is an 8 SDPS and 10 on burst, what would you rate Fury for both? Thanks.

    • I wont be able to give you a detailed and well defended answer on that, mate.
      I do not like Fury/Concentration, therefore I did not spend much time perfecting it after 3.0. From personal experience, it does indeed fall behind the other 2 specs both in terms of Burst and AoE. It offers more mobility with the 2nd leap, so that is an advantage to some specific fights.

  • Christee

    Out of curiosity, have you noticed anything with regards to Zealous Ward not working properly? I’ve seen it mentioned on the forums that it doesn’t heal at all and I’ve honestly never noticed it myself, so I’m curious if there’s a better utility to pick there until it gets fixed or something.

  • Goddyr

    I am kind of confused on how the rotation works after the opener are you supposed to be hitting clashing blast on cooldown or delay it for the precision window? Is this also the same case with master strike like do you delay it and not use it and save it for the zen precision master strike window? Also, the thing with dispatch is that even though the proc comes up you dont immediately have to use it. In this case, do you also save dispatch for inside the precision window? The thing I am confused about is if you are supposed to use your abilities on cool down, or delay these abilities and save it for the precision window. Would this be a dps increase?

    • It is confusing, because I did not list a proper and full rotation for dummy training. In real boss encounters it is never possible to follow rotatioins and if you try, you will most likely fail, with very few exceptions of bosses where you should be playing Watchman anyway (for better performance and results).

      The priorities are like you said – all the 4 major abilities to be used as soon as they are off CD and inside Precision, however due to downtimes, boss mechanics, movement, lag even, it is to be determined quick in your mind and make a decision in the spot which one and how. That’s one of the (few remaining) fun things in Combat – you need to quickly choose which is your next best ability depending on the current situation.

      One thing I can tell you for sure – never ever use MS outside of Precision. You can use CB and Dispatch outside the window, but only if they proc and the next Precision is away (as in your procs just came up and your Precision window ended a couple seconds ago – a raw example).

      I hope this would be helpful to you.

  • skrim

    Could someone post some rotations for lesser levels? I’m level 32 and I can’t do most of the rotations. Thanks.

    • There are no rotations in lower levels, mate. Just priorities and they are similar to the end-game ones, depending on enemies and abilities available to you at your current level.

  • Close Shave

    I have a question regarding the opener. Why use twin saber throw at all? seems like a waste of dps, assuming a single target. I think that the only time it should be used in a single target fight is when you have 1 focus without Zen, and are filling in instead of Strike, maybe waiting for Zealous strike or to generate focus. Also, what about transcendence? Please explain.

    Great guide, helped me a lot!

    • rex7034

      TST grants 2 focus, and deals more dps than basic attack.

      • rex7034

        And Transcendence is more of a DCD than an attack, great for raids and mechanics, not so much for pure dps numbers.

  • Raven Kilgore

    I followed your info on Fury Marauder, and it helped blast me up to lvl 55. Now I am looking to do the same on the Republic side. Thanks. Your guides are well written and easy to follow. They also give out quality assistance that helps all the way up to the cap! Keep it up!

    I look forward to reading your guides on KoFE, once it goes live on Oct 19th!

    Like you, I too was a Beta-Tester for SWTOR… and I am still playing!

  • BakoBoomer

    I appreciate the fact that Vulkk included what works for PVE and PVP and what doesn’t work when it comes to the Utilities. Thanks!!!

  • gulducot

    Wow, great guide was very easy to follow! Out of all the classes this class always was a little confusing for me to play thanks for simplifying it Vulkk.

Back to Top