3.0 Class Guides 3.0 Sage SWTOR

SWTOR 3.0 Balance Sage Guide by Milas

SWTOR 3.0 Balance Sage DPS Guide written by Milas of Harbinger.[toc]

Intro to Balance Sage

We got our time as king in the 2.8 patch. Bioware has since came out and said clipping was never intended and the 3.0 iteration of Balance is new and frustrating as it needs missing DPS to make it competitive with Telekinetics. With all this said its in a extremely good place PvP wise. The discipline plays nearly identical to how it played before the expansion it just has two new abilities and a lot less spamming of Telekinetic Throw.


  • Sustained DPS: 5 (Lowest parsing spec)
  • AoE Damage: 8 (Dots spreading to multiple targets)
  • Group Utility: 10 (Self healing, bubble, pull, class buff, raid heal)
  • Burst: 5
  • Rotation Difficulty: 5 (7-8 for getting most out of 2 piece window)
  • RNG dependence: No
  • Execute bonus: Dots increased by 15% under 30%


Skillful – Physic Suffusion + Pain Bearer + Tectonic Mastery + Jedi Resistance

  • Physic Suffusion – Free group heal use when group stacked and low on HP.
  • Tectonic Mastery – Not nearly as good in Balance but still good AoE damage.
  • Pain Bearer – Healers healing you more
  • Jedi Resistance – Free 3% DR as Force Quake isn’t apart of our single target rotation.

Masterful – Blockout + Valiance + Force Wake + Kinetic Collapse + Mind Ward

  • Blockout – Great DCD for reducing incoming damage you can’t avoid
  • Valiance – Increases your free off the GCD heal
  • Force Wake – Only real use is on Revanite Commanders KB root for all nearby enemies
  • Kinetic Collapse – Only real use on Revanite Commanders stuns nearby enemies when Force Armor erupts
  • Mind Ward – Decreases amount of periodic damage you take by 15%

Heroic – Life Ward + Force Haste + Force Mobility + Mental Defense

  • Life Ward – Free heal when you use Force Armor or Force Barrier. At 50k HP ticks for 1130 per second.
  • Force Haste – Decreases CD of Force Speed and Force Barrier by 5 and 30 thirty
  • Force Mobility – Use Force Serenity while moving (Main rotation ability)
  • Mental Defense – Used for fights like NM Brontes. Receive 30% less damage while stunned

New Stuff to Balance in 3.0

  • Presence of Mind – Damage increase down from 35% to 25% on four stack PoM with Disturbance, Mind Crush, Vanquish.
  • Sever Force – No longer has a CD
  • Abundant Justice – Spreads your Sever Force / Weaken Mind to targets you hit under SF / WM. Overwhelm: Increases area attacks by 10 seconds for 45 seconds.
  • Critical Kinesis – Force Serenity and Disturbance crit chance increased by 5%
  • Rippling Force – Disturbance no longer has a 60% chance to apply was moved to Force Serenity. Telekinetic Throw % still remains same.
  • Force Serenity – New ability that hits the target and heals for 50% of the damage dealt.
  • Mental Scarring – No longer grants surge bonus when dots crit. Now increases dot damage under 30% by 15%.
  • Focused Insight – Increases life stolen by Force in Balance & Force Serenity by 100%. Also causes SF/WM to steal life and heal you for 25% of life stolen.
  • Physic Projection – Decreases Telekinetic Throw channel by 33% but reduces damage from TkT by 25%.
  • Vanquish – New Ability replaces Mind Crush does same thing just more damage and applies Vulnerable: Increases damage by force attacks by 5% for 45 seconds.
  • Mind Eye’s – Force Serenity does 25% more damage to targets affected by your WM. Each tick of Force Suppression restores two force

New Passives & Abilities to pay attention to

  • Force Serenity – New ability that hits the target and heals for 50% of the damage dealt.
  • Vanquish – New Ability replaces Mind Crush does same thing just more damage and applies Vulnerable: Increases damage by force attacks by 5% for 45 seconds.
  • Physic Projection – Decreases Telekinetic Throw channel by 33% but reduces damage from TkT by 25%.
  • Mental Scarring – No longer grants surge bonus when dots crit. Now increases dot damage under 30% by 15%.
  • Rippling Force – Disturbance no longer has a 60% chance to apply was moved to Force Serenity. TkT % still remains same.
  • Abundant Justice – Spreads your WM / SF to targets you hit under WM / SF. Overwhelm: Increases area attacks by 10 seconds for 45 seconds.
  • Mind Eye’s – Force Serenity does 25% more damage to targets affected by your WM. Each tick of Force Suppression restores two force

These passives abilities make up what is the 3.0 Balance Sage . Some of them saw heavy nerfs others are new and give you additional damage. When playing keep these in the back of your mind when analyzing logs and damage output.

Gearing & Stat Priority

Accuracy (assuming you have 1% companion bonus. If you don’t, get it!) – Personally I think that anything above 109.64% Force accuracy is sufficient.

What I would personally recommend based on gear level:

  • 186 gear (Dread Master) – 7 Accuracy pieces (~109.57% Accuracy) (add one augment to go over cap)
  • 192 gear (Resurrected) – 6 Accuracy pieces + 1 Accuracy augment (~109.61% Accuracy) (add one more augment to go over cap)
  • 198 gear (Revanite) – 6 Accuracy pieces (~109.63% Accuracy) (add one augment to go over cap)

Crit – With the loss of our Surge talent in 3.0 there is little reason to run an abundance of crit. I’ve never fully test crit from 100-500 range, I prefer more static results, and like to run as little crit as possible. When Mikey had the #1 parse from 2.8 with 328 crit I had the #2 parse which was about 30dps behind his with 120 crit. I’d recommended little to no crit in the range of 80-140. When I get around to gearing my sorc I will test with zero crit and update from there.

Power – Stack this everywhere you can, I’d even if I wasn’t poor and didn’t have access to free Willpower augments would of tested with these.

Surge – As you get two free critical hits every minute and thirty you want to be close to 70% (333 is 68.24% )

Alacrity – All of my testing was done above the 300 alacrity mark as it speeds up your rotation, dot appliance and the amount of Disturbance you can use. Mikey’s parses use roughly the same amount.

Augments – I’m using Willpower augments as they grant nearly 2% free crit and I run little crit (120), so I treat it as a free stat gain over static ability damage gain. Will test this at a future date.

Relics – Serendipitous Assault and Focused Retribution.

Set Bonus – Run the new two piece and old four piece. The static alacrity gain you get from the old set bonus is great and the new six piece is rather mediocre in madness. In the parse comparison below you see Mikey using 22 Disturbance and I used 29 which isn’t better than a 5% alacrity gain.

* The old set bonus is bugged/broken on Republic side*

Abilities and Rotation

Main Abilities

  • Force in Balance
  • Weaken Mind
  • Sever Force
  • Vanquish
  • Force Serenity
  • Telekinetic Throw
  • Disturbance

Can be used on move if above on CD or can’t use

  • Force Wave
  • Project

Ideal Opener

* Force Empowerment used near 30% at first appliance of dots at or near 30%*

* Weaken Mind now hits on ability usage*

Hard cast Vanquish –> Offensive CDs (Mental Alacrity, Adrenal, Force Potency) –> Weaken Mind –> Sever Force –> Force in Balance –> Force Serenity –> Telekinetic Throw –> Disturbance –> Telekinetic Throw (Sit on Presence of Mind (x4) Vanquish off CD < 2 seconds) –> Telekinetic Throw (Clip as soon as Vanquish off CD)


Ability Priority

  1. Dots (Sever Force, Weaken Mind, Vanquish (When you have four PoM stacks)
  2. Force in Balance
  3. Telekinetic Throw (Only if not sitting on four PoM stacks)
  4. Force Serenity
  5. Disturbance

While I want to do a advanced rotation time wise (30-45 seconds into rotation) its nearly impossible to do as the alacrity gains and DoT timers don’t line up. Best cast for highest DPS is to plan out your next two-three GCD’s and see when/where you need to refresh dots, keep PoM stacks, and are free to use Disturbance

AoE Rotation

  1. Dots applied
  2. Force in Balance (spreads)
  3. Force Quake

Sample Parse & Video

Note: I am unable to get parses from my perspective on a sage as I don’t have one. If someone is willing to supply video I’ll add it to the guide


Here are four parses, two from Vierge and one each from Mikey and I. As you can see the vast majority of our damage still comes Force Lighting. Most of the parse read similar to one from 2.8, however the main difference are the number of Lighting Strikes with the change in clipping and the addition of Force Leech.

I couldn’t load Mikey’s/Vierge’s parse into star parse ( think because its not from my combat log folder) for better comparison on the sub 30% burn.


As you can see its a big gain in overall DPS.



Balance in Ops/FPs & You

Operation/Flashpoint Utility and Defensive Cooldowns (from Ktap)

  • Force Empowerment – Group/operation wide buff, increasing all main stats by 10% for 10 seconds. I recommend using it on your opener. This is assuming mechanics allow for it, your tanks can hold aggro, and you won’t need it for a burn phase within the next 5 minutes.
  • Force Speed – Use when necessary, whether it’s for the speed boost or for the instant Telekinetic Burst.
  • Cloud Mind – Aggro drop, use when necessary to reduce threat or to reduce damage taken with the Blockout Utility.
  • Restoration – Use to get rid of cleansable debuffs that should be cleansed. Can be used on other people in your group if necessary.
  • Force Stun – 4 second hard stun, can be useful in Flashpoints and against some trash in operations.
  • Forcequake – Can slow or even stun enemies caught in it, useful in Flashpoints and some trash in operations.
  • Revival – Use to revive necessary dead players in your group. You should be reviving teammates, not the healers (coordinate with other revive capable dps so you’re not all trying to revive someone at the same time). Revive wisely – if there’s 2 or more people dead, revive the more necessary teammate (normally tank or healer).
  • Rescue – Friendly pull, use when necessary to save somebody from mechanics (they are stuck in a corner, dying in fire/acid, they need to be where you are, etc). Can also be used to lower someone’s threat amount (shouldn’t be necessary).
  • Force Mend – A free, powerful, instant self heal that is off the gcd (global cooldown). There is no reason not to use this is you’re below 80% life and there’s no current downtime in the fight.
  • Rejuvenate – An instant heal and an over time heal in one. This is on the gcd so use sparingly during combat, but if there’s downtime, feel free to use this in combination with Benevolence to help the healers out.
  • Benevolence – An expensive casted heal. Should only be used during downtime or when absolutely necessary (healers are dead or extremely hard pressed).
  • Force Wave – The knockback is very situational, and mostly useless for ops, but the heal while using Psychic Suffusion is definitely a nice utility for some fights. Whether it’s during combat or during downtime, this can really help healers who are hard pressed. It’s capable of being an instant 3k+ heal (with crit) on everybody it hits (up to 8 people including you), which is insane for a dps. It is on the gcd as well, so only use when necessary (or during downtime).
  • Force of Will – Use when necessary to get rid of movement impairing effects or stuns that can be broken.
  • Noble Sacrifice – Should never be necessary, but if you’re extremely low on force, it can be used to get a quick boost to your force pool.
  • Force Barrier – Use when necessary to avoid damage, whether it’s a giant hit at full health, or if you’re going to die if you get hit again. If you’re confident enough to do the fight without needing Force Barrier for protection, it can be used to avoid mechanics and increase dps (example: ignoring a knockback and getting back to dpsing sooner). Can also be used to heal yourself using the Life Ward utility.
  • Force Armor – Use when necessary. For instance, if you get a giant grenade (or some similar unavoidable damage) on you and it’s about to blow up. Also, if there’s no Jedi Sage healer, or they’re otherwise occupied, I try and bubble people who are going to take similar unavoidable damage (only for big hitting things like grenades/bombs/etc, not something that’s going to not hit very hard). You can also bubble your tank(s) if they are dying and there’s no Jedi Sage healer in the group. Can also be used to heal yourself using the Life Ward utility.

We do not have issues with our force pool (under normal circumstances), so don’t be afraid to bubble everybody in your group if there’s sufficient downtime and your force pool permits. This is assuming that there is no Jedi Sage healer who uses more powerful Force Armors.

These utilities can make or break a fight, and it’s up to you to decide what to use and when to use them as the fight dictates. They are all situational. Good luck!

Videos of Madness Sorcs in Operations

Madness played in SM Ravagers & Temple of Sacrifice


Self and Off healing

Over a 1 million HP parse, Balance Sage are seeing about 780-820 in self healing which in a operation is a ton. We are nearly self sufficient in keeping ourselves healthy. With our built in healing we also have;

  • Force Mend – Off GCD generally use at or below 80%
  • Force Armor – Absorbs around 7-8k as a DPS and is a DCD on the GCD. With no Sage healer in the group bubble tanks when they get low, your healers will love you. This ability is one of my favorite abilities as a DPS Sage. Also the utility heals you for 2% based off of total HP. My HP is 51k and that is 1131 per tick.
  • Rejuvenation – Small heal with a HoT. Use on the move or when you can’t be stationary and someone needs some healing.
  • Benevolence – Medium heal use when healing is looking dim or you are out of range and there is down time.
  • Force Wave (utility required) – Raid heal for phases where raid is bunched. Amazing on HM Sword Squadron when pull in happens.
  • Life Ward (utility) – Receive healing on Force Armor and Force Barrier

Why I enjoy playing a DPS Sage so much is that it has so many things it can use to help healers and the raid. I’m generally raiding without a Sage healer and the bubbles are so helpful.

Spreading Dots

Abundant Justice – Spreads your WM / SF to targets you hit under WM / SF. Overwhelm: Increases area attacks by 10 seconds for 45 seconds.

This passive is godlike on encounters that have adds. I can only imagine the DPS gain in Phase two of NM Council if this was in the game prior to 3.0. No longer will you have to tab dot targets on top of each other you’ll just be required to use Force in Balance.

Of the new operations fights this will shine are

  • Sparky
  • Torque
  • Blaster & Master (If small droid tanked near big droid)
  • Coratanni (If Pearl tanked near, enrage buff is smaller than FiB radius)
  • Malaphar
  • Walkers (targeting droid)
  • Underlurker (DF can hit two adds + boss)
  • Revanite Commanders

Closing Thoughts

The Discipline is fine rotation and viability wise. The damage currently is not competitive enough to warrant its use over Lighting or Telekinetics. When Bioware does get around to addressing the damage concerns the discipline will be amazing in operations.

About the Author

I’m Milas, I’m the best, kidding no really I am the best. I’m the GM of <Zorz>, I like raiding and doing hard content. I was a sorcerer main until 3.0 when I swapped to tanking. I’ve been one of the few or the only sorc/sage that played Madness in progression content at a world pace level ( NM Styrak, and NM Brontes) before it was OP FOTM in 2.8. One day madness sorcs will rise again and you’ll see me in a kill video near you on it. Until then you can found me in the comment section below, @ or on twitter @jdotter707.

In closing I’d like to thank Dulfy for hosting my guide.

Special Shutout to Buff/Sarent (sorry) please view this link

Shout out to everyone in Zorz for putting up with me on a weekly basis.

By Dulfy

MMO guide writer and blogger. Currently playing and covering SWTOR, GW2, and TSW.

36 replies on “SWTOR 3.0 Balance Sage Guide by Milas”

Ever think of writing a guide on Concealment and Lethality Operative DPS’s? I play one. Or is the operative an advanced class only meant for healing?

any way to get a pic of this guys gear so to see how he has it set as its a pain trying to follow but i just cant see how hes getting off that 2nd disturbance before vanquesh

It may parse the lowest but it’s still my favorite spec in pve/pve this guide was great and help me fine tune my sage some

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Thank you very much for the guide! I do not understand how you can get the alacrity above 300 and a surge at 68% -70%, if 7 (6 at 192 and 198) pieces we give to accuracy? Does this mean, that we must use the augments to get surge and alacrity? If so, could you please tell how many and what types of agments you reccomend to use? For example X resolve (overkill) augments, Y alacrity augments and Z surge augm. It would be nice to know these X, Y and Z 🙂

Yes I’m currently using x3 Alacrity augments and x2 surge augments.

Of 14 augments I’m using six for non main stat ones. Breakdown is x1 accuracy / x3 alacrity / x2 surge.

As a sage I definetely dont have my Force Mend off GCD. Maybe its another BW repside bug and you sorcs have Unnatural Preservation off gcd, but i am rather sure i have gcd here on my sage.

A quick question: what level of gear do you have to have to actually get to 4k? Also can’t really see how to get 300 alacrity, doesn’t seem doable at 186/192s =( or maybe my math just sucks lol

well then. i guess that’s something to try out. see if it’ll get me the 300-400 dps that i’m missing lol. thanks =)

I have found this rotation to be much better DPS, and a faster kill on a 1,000,000 dummy.

Mental Alacrity > Telekinetic Throw(full cast) > Adrenal > Force Potency > Vanquish > Force In Balance > Sever Force > Weaken Mind> Telekinetic Throw(full cast) > Disturbance > Telekinetic Throw(full cast) > Force Serenity > Vanquish…..repeat

This rotation has no clipping. The Telekinetic Throw that comes after the Disturbance will proc a PoM, but Vanquish will not quite be off cool down. So I use that second to cast Force Serenity, and the Vanquish pops off cool down a split second before Force Serenity lands, and the PoM proc that was produced by the previous Telekinetic Throw is still available for the instant Vanquish.

I’ve been parsing and I am not clearing, most of the time, above 2k. And I think that it can be that it might be my gearing. I’m thinking it might be my enhancements, which are a good amount of accuracy, power, surge, etc. No alacrity at all. i still use, somewhat, the old rotation, as well as some of the new abilities. I open with force armor, force potency, tk throw, vanquish when it procs, weakened mind, sever force, mental alacrity, force in balance, tk throw to proc disturbance, tk throw to proc vanquish, and rinse and repeat. No clipping. I do throw in my adrenal when I can. I wonder if I am using the right one, or if I need to change my rotation, or what.

This spec seems to be incredibly buggy imo. The presence of mind stacks don’t work a good amount of the time.

I’ll cast TK throw entirely (no clipping), but only get 3 stacks. Most of the time it gives me the 4, but getting only 3 happens way too frequently. It makes it impossible for me to string together an efficient rotation. It’s like 40% of the time, I only get 3 stacks instead of 4.

Another bug, with presence of mind, is that sometimes vanquish doesn’t consume the stacks… allowing me to also use disturbance as well. (And this isn’t a ability delay bug because vanquish does go on CD when I use it.) This bug is rarer than the other one I mentioned. But it screws up my ability to rotate just as much.

Is that intended? Something I’m doing wrong? Or is it actually a bug?

probably you have low accuracy and in this way boss resist to your damage of TKT and you don’t build up 4 stack.

Parses and examples that are from a Sage point of view would be appreciated for those of us who are allergic to imp side and have a slow time converting the names. All these sorc parses are just annoying.

I found that when I changed my priority to the following I consistently gained a couple hundred more DPS.

1: force serenity
2: vanquish
3: FiB
5: Telekinetic throw (moves up to #1 if don’t have 4 stacks and Vanquish is coming off CD
6: Disturbance (I only use in opener and in burn phase due to force management)

In half 192/196 comm gear, no set bonus, lettered mods I am getting 3650-3750 DPS consistently on test dummy.

During test dummy parse, I use disturbance most of the time so long as it doesn’t delay anything else on priority. in boss fights I mostly ignore using it until burn phase, especially in fights with high target switching.

ok, not sure what I am doing wrong, but abundant justice doesn’t seem to spread the dots I applied. Is it range based? Obviously they have to all be hit by fib, but any other range restriction than that? Weird.

Figured it out. The “Host” can’t die because of FIB, if it does, than it won’t spread the DOT. So this would work very well with the host being strong or better.

in this case it means interrupting your TK trow and cast vanquish (Meaning dont do 2 full tk throws after each other)

You can use the combat logs from other people in starparse. I have done so myself with the parse of a sage healer and a shadow dps guildy.

Also it doesnt need to be in the combatlog folder.

I guess that you or he changed the name of the text file. Changing the name even slightly might break it. For reference, the log of my healer guildy is called ‘combat_2015-03-11_19_18_02_776200’ As long as you have an exact copy it should work.

Hope this helps a bit. Else you could aways ask Mikey for a screenshot 😉

Does the Gearing & Stat Priority for PvE Balance Sages apply to PvP Balance Sages?

109.64% Force Accuracy, little to no Crit in the range of 80-140, Surge be close to 70% (333 is 68.24%), Alacrity above 300, and stack Power everywhere you can.

There is nothing in the PvP forums past 2014 or in reference to the 3.0 update on what were supposed to min/max.

I know I am replying late but this might be useful in the future for someone else. Accuracy has little to no use in pvp. It is debatable, but I’d use only 2-3 pieces.

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