SWTOR 3.0 Carnage Marauder DPS Guide by Aria

SWTOR 3.0 Carnage Marauder DPS guide written by Aria of Harbinger.

Intro to Carnage Marauder

Carnage has received many changes in 3.0, with a major change being to Gore. Now, Gore has a 3 second window of 100% armor penetration on a target with a 12 second Cooldown. This gives a 25% uptime on Gore unlike previously in 2.x where we had a 33% uptime with a 10.5 second CD and 4.5 second Gore Window.


  • Single Target DPS: 8
  • AOE DPS: 3
  • Group Utility: 9
  • Burst: 10
  • Difficulty: 7
  • Execute Bonus: 6



  • Defensive Forms
  • Cloak of Carnage
  • Path Carver


  • Defensive Roll
  • Phantom
  • Subjugation


  • Brooding
  • Unbound
  • Expunging Camouflage

The 3 points in Skillful should always be taken regardless for PvE content as the other utilities are more PvP focused. The Masterful and Heroic utilities should be picked depending on what a certain boss encounter would benefit you as well as your raid team.

Gearing and Stats Priority

Accuracy – With the removal of all accuracy talents from all DPS specs, Carnage now requires the same amount of Accuracy Rating as every other DPS class. You need approximately 750 rating or more to get 100% Melee and 110% Force Accuracy.

Surge and Alacrity – Since Carnage now grants 3% alacrity from Ataru Form, with the current tiers of gear alacrity is not very useful for Carnage. Down the road with newer tiers of gear however, 1-2 pieces may be beneficial. For now, Surge should be prioritized for Carnage, and 300+ rating is recommended.

Critical Rating – Pre 3.0, critical rating was not very useful for carnage and minimal amounts were required (Approximately 100 or less rating). With the changes in 3.0, more critical rating is beneficial for Carnage. Due to the increased damage on Massacre and increased 30% critical damage bonus to it from Sever in the Discipline, Critical rating is much more beneficial.

186 Gear Rating: 200-280 Rating

192 Gear Rating: 250-330 Rating

198 Gear Rating: 280-380 Rating

Relics – The best choice for relics are the Serendipitous Assault and Focused Retribution, although Boundless Ages may be substituted for fights that require on demand burst.

Set bonus – I would recommend keeping the old 4 piece 180/186 setbonus until you can acquire the new 4 piece bonus. Belt and Bracer set bonus would ideally be the best to acquire first while keeping the old 4 piece to use a 2 + 4 combination until the rest can be replaced.

Mods and Enhancements: Unlettered Deft and Potent Mods are the best choice for gearing. In addition, using low Endurance enhancements such as Initiative and Acute for accuracy and Adept and Battle for Surge.

Abilities and Rotation

Things to Know

One thing to note about Carnage, is that there are only 2 main procs that you need to deal with, one is Slaughter, and the other is Execute.

  • Execute – the next Force Scream or Devastating Blast to automatically critically hit the target, while dealing 5% more damage and sundering the target.
  • Slaughter – Makes Vicious Throw usable at any health level and consumes no rage (in actuality it refunds 1 rage).

Key Abilities in Rotation

  • Devastating Blast
  • Massacre
  • Gore
  • Vicious Throw
  • Ravage
  • Dual Saber Throw
  • Assault
  • Force Charge

Basically, in between Gore Windows, you will basically spam Massacre and keep up enough rage to use for each upcoming Gore Window. Assault is used very minimally as a filler.

Opening Rotation with 30 stacks of Fury from Brooding ( [ ] indicate Gore Window duration):

Force Charge > Berserk + Battering Assault > Frenzy + Bloodthirst + Adrenal/Relic > Massacre > [Gore + Ravage (clipped) > Devastating Blast]> Massacre > Dual Saber Throw


Rotation Strategy

The rotation has become much easier than before, with much more use on Massacre since Carnage no longer can use Rupture, and consists of basically 3 different Gore Window Situations:

  • Berserked Ravage + Devastating Blast
  • Vicious Throw + Devastating Blast
  • Devastating Blast + Massacre

Gore is now on a 12 second CD, but when used under Berserk, the next Gore will be on a an 8.4 second CD so you still get 2 Gore Windows in a 20 second time frame, but only a total of 6 seconds vs 9 seconds from pre 3.0. One key difference is that you will only get the reduced Gore cooldown if you activate it while under Berserk. This applies to all abilities.

A Gore Window with the use of Berserk [Ravage + Devastating Blast] will consume 3 of the 6 charges from Berserk. This will set Gore, Ravage and Devastating Blast on a shorter CD than normal (33% shorter). With the following remaining Charges after the Gore Window has ended, follow up with:

Massacre > Battering Assault > Dual Saber Throw

This will give Battering Assault and Dual Saber Throw a shorter CD to use again before the next Gore Window, while keeping the buff up from Massacre.

The rest of the filler rotations in between Gore Windows consist of Massacre and Assault to keep up enough rage for each Gore Window.

Ideally, each Gore Window after the opener will alternate between a Berserked Ravage + Devastating Blast or a Vicious Throw + Devastating Blast. In the cases where your Slaughter Procs a Vicious Throw and your next Gore Window will not come off CD quick enough to use Vicious Throw before the proc expires, use Vicious Throw outside of Gore and the next Gore window will consist of a Devastating Blast + Massacre. Dual Saber Throw should never be used in the Gore Window to replace Vicious Throw or Massacre unless you are hitting 3+ Targets with it or it will be a DPS loss. Berserk should be used on CD and typically will be ready for use right before a Ravage + Devastating Blast Gore Window.

You want to use Massacre each time right before starting a Gore Window, so you have the Massacre buff up for the duration. Regardless, the Massacre buff should be up at all times for maximum DPS in the filler rotation between Gores.

AoE Rotation

As far as AOE rotations go, Carnage is not very good at AOE damage and only has 3 main AOE abilities:

  • Dual Saber Throw
  • Smash
  • Sweeping Slash

With the damage bonus from Sweeping Slash in the utility tree, this does quite a bit of damage and would be your best bet, best used with 4+ targets. Smash damage has been reduced significantly outside of the Fury Discipline and I would not recommend using it unless there are 4-5+ targets to really get the damage/rage cost out of it.

Defensive Cooldowns:

  • Cloak of Pain
  • Saber Ward
  • Undying Rage
  • Force Camouflage
  • Obfuscate

Raid Utility Skills

  • Bloodthirst
  • Predation

Sample Parse


This parse was done in BIS 186 gear with Dread Master 4 piece set bonus, old 28 augments, and a new Anodyne Stim. BloodThirst and Adrenals were NOT used. Standard 1mil HP dummy + 20% armor reduction were applied.

The APM should be around 50-51 (where the parse shows as just under 49) due to the lag on the Harbinger Server since 3.0 launch.

About the Author

I am Aria, a top tier progression raider on the Harbinger, and proud member of <YES> and <Concept>. My marauder, Furiyous, has been my main DPS progression toon since game launch (with my mirror Jedi Sentinel). I have cleared Dread Fortress and Dread Palace Nightmare and Timed Runs with both of my guilds in two different roles. While my main role has been a tank for past progression, my Marauder has always been my favorite class. Unlike many others, I have not given up on my Marauder post 3.0 and don’t have any intention to do so.

I would like to thank Noodles and Beastfury, two of my fellow raiders and good friends that helped me become the player I am today. I also like to thank my little brother Clickx from Louisiana, who helped to bail me out of jail.

  • Trill

    Most of it looks solid but one thing I would have added is an explanation of using vicious throw and hitting gore just before the saber hits the target order to get Vicious throw – Ravage – DB all in one gore window.

    • Aria

      I was originally going to add this in, but I didn’t because its really tight timing and some players might not be able to pull it off with high latency (especially with all the lag since 3.0). But I will add it in. Thanks Trill.

    • Kurkina

      Not possible. Even if you time it correctly, Vicious Throw activates the global cooldown and therefore you cannot press Gore+Ravage at the same time, because the GCD for starting Ravage is still ticking. This will then make it impossible to insert DB at the end of the windown.

      The trick is however possible with a simple skill like DB and Massacre. That said, I would discourage anyone in basing your rotations around this, as it will most likely not work with the lag, and your skills (especially vThrow) will then become mis-aligned for most of the fight.

      • Trill

        I went and did a bit of parsing last night and while it’s extremely difficult to do it is possible. I did it several times last night but it is only possible to do with berserk up and clipping ravage perfectly. The best time to do it is during the execution phase where you are able to use vicious throw with the auto crit proc from ravage in order to be able to get VT in on more than 1 window at a time.

        The massacre thing is something else I remembered after making the previous post. I feel that you should always base your rotation around trying to put a massacre in at the end of a VT – DB – Massacre window because you are able to squeeze it in just before gore runs out and the damage from massacre will still count as having the armor pen. The difference between this and the VT – Rav – DB window is you do not need to have Berserk up to do it which makes it much more reliable.

        These are hard things to do especially with the current lag on servers however if you are trying to get the most out of the spec they are essential to do in order to maximize DPS.

        @ Aria – I can see now why the VT – Rav – DB window would not be mentioned as it is hard to do and not worth doing til the execute phase because of the 6 piece set bonus so I wouldn’t worry about adding it unless you want to. However I feel like VT – DB – Massacre is important. Either way its good to see someone decided to do a guide for the spec.

  • Stanley White

    do you use power or strength augments? i know the difference is very small but just wondering what do you use? i didn’t see that in your gear section. if i missed it i’m sorry. another thing is i’m not seeing the “big” numbers from when i use Gore+VT proc. the most i saw was 11k but it was rare and it usually runs around 5-7k. is that normal? Gore+DB now i can hit up to 14k with that.

    • Dauntless

      There is nothing in there about the augments but you should be using Strength augments.

      • Stanley White

        Thank you for the information and i have been using strength augments myself. i know the difference between str and power is extremely small but just wanted to ask cause in Vulkk guide on the combat sentinel he was saying in his guide that pwr was better but yet it’s nothing to argu about. Thanks again for the info.

        • I believe there has been an Ootinicast podcast with KBN, among others, that made it quite clear that without the 6 or 9% str boost power is the way to go until highest gearsets. I’ll see if I can find the exact stream and edit with a link.

          Be warned though, I believe that particular podcast is several hours long. xD

          Edit (for link With KBN and Oofalong): http://ootinicast.com/2014/12/ootinicast-episode-181/

          • Stanley White

            just listened to the whole thing and around the 30 min mark is where they talk about the augment and pretty much for the warrior you was right that power is better and in the long run with higher tier, power will out do mainstat

            • Trill

              Strength is more consistent but power is for when you’re trying to get the highest possible parse. This is what has always been said. I’m currently using strength and might do testing with power eventually but am doing 44-4500+ in Carnage and 4750-4800 in Anni. Would those numbers be higher with power? Possibly, but until someone confirms power augments are better with actual parses instead of just what “should” be the case I’m sticking with strength.

          • Dauntless

            Marauders have never had the main stat boost and we have always gone with strength over power. The 1% gain in bonus damage is not worth the 7% of my overall crit that I would lose from dropping strength for power. Crit might not be worth stacking but it’s not good to have none of it either.

            • Yup, same here. I always went with Str and some crit. It just felt better for me, even if it didn’t help my parses. 🙂

            • Adeipho

              Hear Hear, I have always prioritized Str over Power and have always been at the top of my guilds parses. Guildie wanted to duel me to “prove” power was better than stacking strength.

            • TheHarbingersKwerty

              Technically, its 1.28% crit rating from 192s when augmenting for Strength over Power, and even less in 198s.

    • Aria

      I did forget to mention augments, but yes Strength augments are what I am using currently, and depending on the enhancements you have, I either use 13x Might Augments + 1 Accuracy Augment or all 14x Might Augments.

  • /Luge

    Again PvE. When is someone doing a guide on PvP?

    • Okamakiri

      1. Queue up for WZ
      2. Take a nap
      3. Wake up when WZ pops and enter
      4. Roll face across keyboard
      5. When WZ ends, go to step 1

      • Ok

        lol try to do it on rwz

        • Okamakiri

          Sorry, instructions don’t work with RWZ because nap turns into a coma.

          • Vodorlo

            ^ Made my day, lol.

          • Raansu

            I think you mean pve.

      • Extreme_One

        That’s Pve buddy

  • Honza Hladík

    aoe dmg 3?? you got to be kidding me? on the group of mobs before 2boss in rvgrs i maintain 15k DPS (yes 15k DPS) while using DST and sweeping slash (this one in berzerk window – so it cost less, and its faster..)… +25% dmg bonus from utilities.. btw sent/mara has the best aoe attack in the whole game – DST.. dealing about 5k+ on crit + hitting everything in 30m infront of you.. 30mobs? 150k overall hit no problem.

    btw tell me how one guide-writer ca say it has aoe dmg 8, and the other one sais it has only 3.

    • RandomGuy

      dst is limited to 8 enemy since 3.0
      but yea, sweeping slash is really powerfull.

      @ the author: sweeping slash is way better than smash, we have a 100% ataru proc when we use sweeping slash

      • Honza Hladík

        actually im not sure about that.. i checked it myself and nothing sais that it is limited to 8 enemies..

    • Aria

      I didn’t base the Discipline’s AoE damage potential based on trash packs. I based it on its actual use during majority of raid boss encounters, use while maintaining rotation, its damage to energy cost ratio, and the ability itself in comparison to other classes’ AoE abilities.

      Just about every DPS class can get 15k+ DPS on that trash pack spamming their AoE’s.

      • Honza Hladík

        anyway its not 3.. 3 is almost useless and carnage defnitely isn’t in aoe-ing

        • SomeMara

          I would have to agree on that as well it’s actually a very powerful aoe when used in gore and berserk window. For example on Revanite Commanders on HM using that regularly I can be pulling like 4.2-4.4 most of the entire fight.

      • TheHarbingersKwerty

        You gotta remember that Sweeping slash can 100% replace Massacre if its an AoE situation, and Massacre is definitely spammed in Carnage spec. Its AoE is probably closer to a 6/7 than a 3

  • AnotherHealer

    Thanks for posting these nice guides!
    Though I find it funny that dulfy is first and foremost a healer and still no sign of healers’ guides.
    Awaiting patiently…

    • Tefia

      The person who was going to write all three healer guides has been MIA on the forums (current means of communication).

  • perringo

    I followed this guide and I am a bit rusty with my mara but my parse was 3324. That is with 186 gear from the vendor, GTN enhancements so I haven’t got a load of endurance, ruusan relics etc. My APM was only 44.9 but I must have been about right with the rotation as the %s for damage dealt from each attack were the same as on the above parse. Any tips?

    • Honza Hladík

      full 186 power/stregth augments, purple stim, set bonus +8% on ravage and +4% every berserk is a lot..???

      and practice practice practice..

      BTW. already, i tried half alac/surge in 172?? gear from commend vendor, and it was really awesome in some way.. i think 2,3 pieces (as author sais) will be REALLY awesome!

    • Aria

      Your APM is real low which is where your DPS loss is. You are doing approximately 5-6 abilities less per minute than you should be. I would have to look at a combat log to give you a better idea but at this point all I can say is press more buttons.

      • A’shura

        Kind of a noob player here, so sorry in advance hehe, but is there a way of improving that apm? other than idk using a gaming mouse or something. Mine is really low too, not sure what to do about it.

        • Aria

          Carnage is really fast paced, ability lag/latency can play a bit part in how high your APM is. But APM (actions per minute) is basically a measure of how quickly you can do your rotation and how fast you react to use your abilities. If you are a clicker, I would try to use keybinds to see if that helps. A gaming mouse like a Naga can help but it will still come down to how quickly you press those buttons.

          • A’shura

            Ah cool, will try that then. Thanks!

          • Andranik

            I’d be interested in your key bindings / bar layout. I have a hard time finding a solid rhythm to the keypresses in 3.0 for marauder/sentinel

  • thor

    lol top tier raider.

    • KShrike

      Why lol?

      • It an inside joke 😛

    • Aria

      lolol thor. Lets just clear content together.

  • Ewok

    Not very good in AOE? Try landing 3x Sweeping Slash in your Gore on 8 targets while having the utility Path Carver. Best AOE burst in-game.

  • QQ’s a lot

    Are you ever going to post any operative/scoundrel guides, Dulfy? Or healer guides…? :'(

    • Operative/scoundrel guides are being worked on. As for healer guides, need to locate the writer who has been MIA

      • QQ’a a lot

        Awww. Well, thanks for your quick response.

      • Ap

        Thanks! I was wondering the same thing myself.

  • Extreme_One

    Funniest thing about Swtor patch 3.0 was the pre-release news that gore would last 4.5 seconds and we all know what happened when the patch came.
    Post patch 3.0 marauders are not needed. Just get a jugg instead.
    It is clear that BW wants the order of classes in ranked rating list to mirror the different classes popularity and number of characters in game.

    • Lithari

      Well, i prefer to bring along players that actually know what they are doing instead of players that jump ship the moment that their class isn’t number 1 anymore.

      • JT

        well, that’s all fine and good. but in several different instances in SWTOR the classes that were holding top spots got nerfed to the fucking ground….so much so that even with a great player behind the keyboard, the class would perform at an alarmingly mediocre level. it’s happened to every class but mercs/mandos now.

  • Extreme_One

    My question is which spec is best for ranked. Post your spec below please.
    I would say lottery rank(solo) – annihilation
    If you have a healer – carnage

    BTW, who the fuck would waste time stacking up smash 3 fucking times for 15%!!!!!!!! increase in dps :O
    Just retarded

  • Daniel Moreno

    So, yeah. The stat priority on this guide and the one for Combat Sentinel disagree when it comes to crit. Not saying which is better, because that’s beyond me, just pointing it out.

    • Oellness

      Are both ways good or is the sentinel was the Gold ohne?

      • Daniel Moreno

        Looking at both discipline trees there seems to be a typo on the Sentinel level 59 skill. It makes Blade Rush(Massacre) and Clashing Blast(Devastating Blast) crit only 10% harder than the same Marauder skill, which is 30%. I don’t have the aptitude to see if it’s just a typo, or actually a bug that affects the damage of the skills.

  • alexanderananiev

    when we going to have Sage Healer guide?

  • Bernio

    What changes do you recommended for PvP DPS Mara?

  • Kortan

    Any update on annhilation?

  • Siris

    I completely disagree. Ravage does nowhere near the damage as it used to. Ravage had both its damage and CD reduced. Only vengeance juggernauts get back the damage that was lost when it changed. it is better to ravage to get the 6 piece bonus for the crit on the VT. Then massacre to get the prov for both DB and VT, then use gore > DB > VT. I PVP so my DB usually hits for 14k and my VT 12K. During a gore window my 3rd tick of ravage only hits for about 7k. Carnage rotation has definitely changed. As I PVP I don’t know what PVE numbers would look like.

    • Gavin

      The thing is, the Slaughter rate proc limit is 20 seconds, so you can’t use VT in both gore windows.

      Ravage may do reduced damage, but a Beserked Ravage+ DB will do more damage than a DB+Massacre every time. Also add in the fact that your offhand is a 70% accuracy guaranteed, massacre will have a chance of missing on ALL of it’s four ticks (or 50% of it’s damage has potential to miss) versus ravages three out of six ticks it can miss on.

      PvP, maybe you’re right, but in any sustained fight requiring you to do a couple hundred k deeps:
      Beserked Ravage + DP and DB + VT/Massacre for gore windows > DB + VT and DB + Massacre

  • simurgh559

    Hey, Dulfy. The website interface doesn’t have the 3.0 Marauder guide.


    Hey mate, when you gonna do Annihilation?

  • TheGreatAndPowerfulOZ

    When are the other flavors of Mara coming out with a guide, specifically Annihilation?

    • Annihilation/fury coming soon

      • Popo

        Does this mean Watchman is coming soon as well?

        • Yes, the order is annihilation -> fury -> watchman -.> republic version of fury

          • Vodorlo

            Excellent, been looking forward to Anni

            Great work getting all these guides up so fast, Dulfy!

  • Mephisto

    Hey Dulfy: Here is a Fury Rotation I personally developed. http://youtu.be/xzXrsp_uzD0

  • Alison Salotti

    Under Gearing and Stats, what is your recommendation for augs needed for this spec pls?

    • Melini

      Power until Accuracy Enhancement requirements fall to around 4-5 then Main Stat as you begin to see more Surge in your gear and the value of Critical Chance rises. The only ACs that have exception to this at the moment is Guardian/Juggernaut, and Commando/Mercenary.

  • Kraytreborn

    Here’s an Annihilation rotation I’ve developed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdTymPhsnc8
    It was a 4509 parse. Open the video in YouTube for more details.

  • Spoon (CoU) @ pot5

    Heyyy, I like your guide, kudos to you for plugging on with a non FoTM class. I recently reached 60 on my mara (i usually play rdps), but when i tried to use this spec… well…. i pressed the buttons but the damage didn’t come out? is there anything you can can possibly suggest based on this distribution of activations? I realise it’s a long shot but I’d like to use this toon just to be cool youknowhowitis 😛 gear is unlettered 192 with 5 unlettered 198 encs

  • Esteban

    Very nice guide thank you 🙂

  • Warstalker

    You couldnt be more wrong Aria. With new crit bonuses for mara in 3.0 crit rating from str is useless and ALL AUGMENTS SHOULD BE IN POWER

  • Rikirus

    this might be a noob question but im recently coming back from a break and wanting to start/finish my marauder. but my question is what form/stance do we dps in ? im thinking it is the ataru form but ive read the guide twice and either i cant find it or i just dont see it.

    • blackfrost31

      it is ataru form

  • Stanley White

    just wondering what people are actually critting for with gore +DP? i’m only hitting for 13k but i feel it should be a lot higher then that. i ahve 72% surge right now so im thinking maybe it should be lower.

  • Oxchilt

    thank you I have not given up on my Mara and never will it is to be the best class to play even after the 2.0 nerffs .. I love my Oxy

  • Macleod

    No Fury or Concentration guides?

    • It is coming

      • Macleod

        No worries, just happened to notice since I was thinking about dusting off my marauder (for some odd reason) lol…So thought I’d ask since we’re a few months in to the 3.x series now.

  • Exiled

    Sorry for this question but which pieces from the basic vendor do I buy? I initially started buying the pieces and taking the modifications out and filling them into my corresponding gear but I soon realized I have a much higher critical rating than suggest in the guide. I have about more than double the suggested crit rating.

  • Goddyr

    Do you save Ravage for that berserk window and not use it on cooldown? I am kind of confused on how the rotation works after the opener are you supposed to be hitting devastating blast on cooldown or delay it for the gore window? Is this also the same case with ravage like do you delay it and not use it and save it for the berserk gore ravage window? Thanks

    • AdjeYo

      Devastating Blast should only be used during Gore windows, and preferably in all Gore windows, tough you might miss a few sometimes due to boss downtime or something. So no, don’t use Devastating Blast on cooldown.
      Ravage should only be used during a Gore window, with Berserk active! Do not use it on cooldown either.
      If you do not have Gore active and it is on cd keep your rage at around 4-6, then when you have 2 gcd until Gore, use Battering Assault and then Massacre, then use Gore and whatever abilities you want in your Gore window.

  • Mal’Ashur

    Not sure if anyone is responding to comments based on last post being 2 months ago, but I had a question regarding the 6 piece bonus and strategies to maximize the auto-crit vicious throw.

    I feel like I should still prioritize devastating blast, but perhaps on non-berzerked gore windows clip off ravage immediately just for the proc and dump vicious throw and devastating blast?

    Just got full 192 6 piece w/ several 198 peripherals, and I’m parsing what you did in 186. Kudos.

  • Nickolas McNamara

    Beginner question. Under the skillful section of the utilities, I do not see Defensive Forms. I found Cloak of Caranage and Path Carver….but not the third Utility point slot of Defensive Forms

    • Crimson2877

      Defensive Forms was split up in 3.2.1. Get Brazen. It contains the first part of Defensive Forms. The rest was divided between other utilities, but all of those are on the recommended list here. Just replace Defensive Forms with Brazen and follow the guide and you should be fine

  • Destiny

    Any new on getting a guide for 4.0 ?

  • Florre

    is there gonna be a up to date guide for marauder for 4.0?

    • Yes will be updated soon

      • Florre

        amazing!! thx for the ultra fast reply!

  • Brenno

    I didn’t think Defensive Forms

Back to Top