4.0 Class Guides 4.0 PvE 4.0 Sentinel SWTOR

SWTOR 4.0 Combat Sentinel PvE Guide by Hayete

SWTOR 4.0 Combat Sentinel PvE Guide written by Hayete. (Updated for Patch 4.7.2)


Hi there all! My name is Hayete and i’m glad you’ve decided to give Combat spec a try! My intended objective for this guide is to help other people make the same discovery I did back in 2011. What discovery is that? That playing a Combat Sentinel is a ton of fun and an awesome challenge that’s what! My aim is to present information in such a way that whether you’re a veteran with the spec or a new comer looking to try something different this guide should be informative and complete enough to help you enjoy the spec and your time playing it in Knights of the Fallen Empire.

A little about me. I’m a 28 year old Electrical Engineering student, a decorated Combat Veteran, and an uber Star Wars nerd! Unlike most of my peers here I have never been a “World First/Server First” player. I’ve never been part of a guild structured towards that goal. Like many of you I log in to play the game, hang out with good friends, and challenge myself. I’ve been playing The Old Republic since Beta without interruption. Like most writing these guides I’ve cleared the hardest content out there, I’ve obtained the titles, and most recently at the end of 3.0 I managed to obtain the third highest DPS parse among all classes and specs worldwide, that was reported anyway. While those accomplishments are great and i’m proud of each of them it wasn’t always like that. I started as a newbie and latched on to good people who helped me along the way, players who were kind enough to mentor me and get me to the level of play that I’m at today. I’m here to be that mentor for each of you as well. This guide is but one part of that. As with all my guides I invite each of you to ask questions and open up constructive dialog’s with both myself and each other as that is the only way we learn, and learning is the only way we get better.

With that said there are several ways in which I make myself available to those who would like to reach out to ask questions, get help, etc. Obviously you can leave comments here and ask questions. Second, you can email me directly at Third, you can make your way over to and send me a message through multiple media’s. You can email me directly through the “Contact Me” page, message me on Twitter, comment through YouTube, etc. All of those media’s can be found at the website. Understand that if you message me through email, the site, or social media your message will go directly to my phone, meaning I see your message instantly in real time! With that said please allow at least 24 hours for a response. Take note that if you take the time to ask a question i’ll take the time to give you a thoughtful answer! Point is, i’m here to help. If you need any don’t be shy and let me know!



Achieving 110% Accuracy is a must. Reaching the 110% Accuracy cap will allow you to achieve a 100% chance of success on all outgoing damage which should be your first goal. Currently 109.97% is the closest you can get with the fewest number of gear pieces. Statistically 109.97% will be as effective as 110.00%. In 4.0 your Basic Attack Accuracy (Strike is your only ability this applies to) has been brought up to 100% baseline. You still need to gain 110% Accuracy (or as close to it as possible) to counter the 5% and 10% mitigation inherent to both higher ranked enemies and raid bosses.  For a more detailed breakdown of Accuracy ratings at the 216, 220, and 224 item level refer to the stat builds at the end of this section.

Critical Chance:

Of all the stat changes with the release of 4.0 Critical Chance is by far the stat that experienced the most attention. Throughout 3.0 Crit was more or less a negligible stat, either with it or without it you may experience a small DPS increase or decrease. This has changed significantly with the expansion. I want to take a moment to explain what has changed, passively, and then give you my explanation on how to respond to this change. I feel compelled to warn you however if you played the spec in 3.0 this will be a shock to the system, so bear with me.

In 3.0 Combat gained a passive ability at level 59 called Saber Storm this passive granted you an increased critical strike damage bonus on Blade Rush and Clashing Blast by 30%. With 4.0 this has been reduced from 30% to 15%. Furthermore, on October 2, 2015 a blog post was released detailing combat changes in 4.0. The following is a direct quote taken from this post; “To ensure that Critical Hit Chance is never a wasted stat, any abilities that automatically critically hit now convert any Critical Hit beyond 100% into additional critical damage.” What this means is when the chance to Critically hit a target is greater than 100% (keep in mind our auto crits gain us a 100% chance to crit by default) then the extra Critical Chance will multiply out against the Critical Multiplier by that amount and that total is then delivered as damage against your target. So what does this mean? In 3.0 you wanted essentially zero Crit, in 4.0 you want ALOT of Crit. Lets call this “Super Crit”. For a more detailed breakdown of exactly how much Crit to obtain at the 216, 220, and 224 item level refer to the stat builds at the end of this section.

Surge Rating:

This stat has been rolled into, and combined with, Critical Chance. You will no longer find any gear containing Surge by name.


Alacrity is a haste effect. It reduces the length of channeled abilities, increases the frequency of Damage over Time (DoT) effects, decreases cooldowns, etc. Mathematically speaking +1% Alacrity means you do everything 1% faster, which exactly equates to a 1% increase in performance. In 3.0 Alacrity proved it’s worth ten fold across almost every class and spec. At the moment it appears this has not changed for the spec. Combat still benefits from increased amounts of Alacrity in 4.0 when average DPS is analyzed across various builds. For a more detailed breakdown of exactly how much Alacrity to obtain at the 216, 220, and 224 item level refer to the stat builds at the end of this section.

Item Piece Stat Changes:

4.0 has done away with several choices as it relates to Armoring, Mod, and Enhancement gear pieces. All class main stats have been consolidated into one stat called Mastery. Strength, Willpower, Aim, and Cunning have been done away with. Mods have also been redesigned to reflect this change. Furthermore, with the removal of Surge as a stand alone stat you will no longer find any Enhancements containing Surge, these have been removed.

Armoring’s and Hilts:

All Armoring’s and Hilts should be Advanced Versatile Armoring/Hilt 42 – 44 depending on current item level gearing capabilities.


With 4.0 you no longer have two choices when it comes to Mods, you now have only one. Advanced Lethal Mod 42 – 44 depending on current item level gearing capabilities. This Mod affords Power and Mastery.


From 3.0 to 4.0 your Enhancements have not changed much with one exception. With the removal of Surge as a stand alone stat the developers have combined the Advanced Battle Enhancement (which afforded Crit and Power) and the Advanced Adept Enhancement (which afforded Surge and Power). It would seem they chose to combine these and keep the Advanced Adept Enhancement by name only. The Advanced Adept Enhancement now affords the player Crit and Power in 4.0. This means you have three Enhancements available to you while gearing. The Advanced Initiative Enhancement still affords Accuracy and Power and the Advanced Quick Savant Enhancement still affords Alacrity and Power.


Okay, so as with Critical Chance i’m about to flip what you’ve known throughout 3.0 on its head so hang on and enjoy the ride! Through various degrees of analysis using Mastery or Power Augments resulted in a DIRECT damage loss. This is completely backwards from gearing strategies in 3.0 and you probably feel right now like i’m trying to convince you that the Earth is flat. In ever analytical case it was seen that damage was gained by using only Tertiary stat Augments. Crit, Alacrity, and Accuracy Augments are these Tertiary stat Augments. This is a result of 4.0 changes to both stats pools and the changes made directly to the stats themselves. This is not meant to tell you not to apply Mastery or Power Augments only that the damage gain and loss between the two groups exists. With the introduction of the Proficient Stim in Patch 4.1 you WILL need to use Mastery and Power components to bring stat budgets up to optimal levels if you plan on making that your Stim of choice. This means gearing strategies will be dictated by your choice of Stim.


Relics in 4.0 have largely remained unchanged. You’ll want to acquire a Relic of Serendipitous Assault and Relic of Focus Retribution which will give you the best sustained DPS overall. You may choose to also acquire the Relic of Boundless Ages which is a user activated relic that more or less acts as a Power adrenal increasing Power by X for 30 seconds. If you are looking for directed burst in response to certain raid mechanics or damage challenges this relic may be useful otherwise the Serendipitous Assault and Focus Retribution relics should be run standard.


Adrenal: Advanced Polybiotic Attack Adrenal or Prototype Polybiotic Attack Adrenal (Cheaper/Easier to Craft)
Stim: Advanced Polybiotic Versatile Stim(Mastery/Power) or Advanced Polybiotic Proficient Stim (Accuracy/Crit)
Medpak: Advanced Polybiotic Medpac or Prototype Polybiotic Medpac (Cheaper/Easier to Craft)

Mastery Stim vs. Accuracy Stim

With the addition of the Accuracy/Crit Stim in Patch 4.1 you now have two choices when DPSing. The difference between the two under analysis is 1 DPS (except for the 216 item level) favoring the Accuracy/Crit stim. Keep in mind the analysis used was against a target with an arbitrarily large but finite amount of health. This is done to allow time averages to be valid because of the extreme time length. What this means is that since you’ll never DPS under these conditions, as enemies in the game do not have this level of health, the divide between the two Stims is very small. What does this mean for you? Well, this means you can use either Stim and still be effective and will pull the same DPS under either one. What this does offer you however is an alternate way of gearing depending on the stim you intend on using. Gearing strategies for both Stims will be discussed later in this section.

Weaponmaster’s Set Bonus:

6 Set Bonus

(Your 6-Set Bonus remains unchanged in 4.0)

Gearing Builds:

Below are builds constructed to capitalize on their own individual item level vs. stat distribution strengths. The following are split into two sections, Mastery Stim builds and Accuracy Stim builds. Treat these builds as “Beta” since further live dummy and raid damage analysis may shift these values over time with added information or rotational changes.

Gearing Distributions and Compositions:

With the stat changes in 4.0 our ability to gear has become very straightfoward and effortless. With the consolidation of Main stat into Mastery you no longer need to hunt around for the right piece of gear. You now only need to find a piece of gear with the right Tertiary stat. Across Enhancements, Implants, and Earpiece each affords the following rating + 152 | + 160 | + 168 these are the values for Item Level 216 | 220 | 224 respectively. Augments afford +73 Tertiary stat and Crystals still afford +41. With that said here are break downs of how you can reach the above builds with available gear at your desired Item Level. Gear legend: E = Enhancement or Implant or Earpiece; A = Augment; C = Crystal, Stim = Stim Type

– Mastery Stim Builds –

Item Level 216 (Story Mode):

6362 DPS @ 55.1 APM | 5871 Endurance | 4990 Mastery (Stim) | 2689 Power (1xC)
1250 Critical (6xE, 3xA, 1xC) | 730 Alacrity (10xA) | 681 Accuracy (4xE, 1xA)

Item Level 220 (Hard Mode):

6603 DPS @ 55.3 APM | 6127 Endurance | 5179 Mastery (Stim) | 2829 Power (1xC)
1290 Critical (5xE, 5xA, 1xC) | 772 Alacrity (3xE, 4xA) | 685 Accuracy (2xE, 5xA)

Item Level 224 (Nightmare Mode):

6856 DPS @ 55.5 APM | 6375 Endurance | 5393 Mastery (Stim) | 2940 Power
1346 Critical (7xE, 2xC) | 825 Alacrity (1xE, 9xA) | 701 Accuracy (2xE, 5xA)

– Accuracy Stim Builds –

Item Level 216 (Story Mode):

6341 DPS @ 54.9 APM | 5871 Endurance | 5067 Mastery (4xA) | 2640 Power (2xC)
1226 Critical (6xE, 2xA) | 681 Alacrity (4xE, 1xA) | 729 Accuracy (7xA, Stim)

Item Level 220 (Hard Mode):

6604 DPS @ 55.2 APM | 6127 Endurance | 5256 Mastery (4xA) | 2780 Power (2xC)
1280 Critical (6xE, 2xA) | 758 Alacrity (2xE, 6xA) | 684 Accuracy (2xE, 2xA, Stim)

Item Level 224 (Nightmare Mode):

6857 DPS @ 55.5 APM | 6375 Endurance | 5394 Mastery (3xA) | 2932 Power (2xC)
1354 Critical (7xE) | 825 Alacrity (1xE, 9xA) | 700 Accuracy (2xE, 2xA, Stim)

Utilities and Abilities

Standard Utility Build:

The standard build I’ve designed is exactly what it sounds like. This is a build that will provide you with quality of life enhancements as well as defensive and mobility bonuses which can benefit you in some form or another whether you’re doing daily’s or fighting Operation bosses. For a more in depth guide on my recommended Utility setups for each Operation boss encounter please head to the following guide (

Skillful: Trailblazer, Stoic, Adamant

► Trailblazer is an amazing utility that augments your ability to AoE by 25%. Due to the amount of content and Operation bosses that involve multiple targets this utility, in skilled hands, is invaluable when direct AoE damage is needed.
► Stoic is the second utility I run standard. This utility serves as a 2% flat damage reduction to all incoming damage. Furthermore, you gain 2 centering when attacked, proc’ing this passive utility every 1.5 seconds. Damage reduction and the ability to gain the usage of Zen faster than normal makes this utility a must have for all encounters.
► Adamant grants you Focus whenever you’re stunned, immobilized, put to sleep, or knocked around. Whether doing dailies, heroics, flashpoints, or operations odds are you’ll experience at least one of these effects. This can also be a great benefit if you’re a new player trying to find your footing as it helps aid in energy management.

Masterful: Ardor, Defensive Roll

► Defensive Roll is the third utility I run standard no matter the build. This utility affords you a flat 30% damage reduction to all AoE damage as well as increasing internal and elemental damage reduction by 5%. Since in almost every raid fight you’ll encounter either AoE, internal, or elemental damage this utility pays for itself ten fold and is an invaluable utility, thus why i run this one standard for all encounters.
► Ardor allows us to use Transcendence without the required 30 centering. Upon activation Transcendence is placed on a 30 second cooldown and thus can be used every 30 seconds. Due to the nature of Sentinel DPS this increases our mobility, defense, and our raid wide class utility as far as what we can bring to the table.

Heroic: Contemplation, Fleetfooted

► Contemplation is the fourth and final utility that I run standard. This utility has been specifically chosen to allow you to initiate a fight at your full potential i.e. with an available Zen. While it does reduce the cooldown on Awe by 15 seconds the only reason I’ve chosen this is to allow me to put as much DPS on the target from the moment the fight is initiated. While this can also be obtained by spec’ing into this utility, stacking, and then respec’ing utilities for another I choose not to do this since the hassle is not worth the return in my opinion. However know that you do have that option available to you considering your group affords you the time and opportunity to do so.
► Fleetfooted directly augments your Ardor utility by giving you an extra 30% movement speed increase to Transcendence. Additionally, it allows your Transcendence to break movement impairing effects for you’re entire team (or companion if playing solo). This benefits you by giving you extra mobility and crowd control breaking utility.

New Utilities Added with 4.0: Unwavering Resolve, Inspired Focus, Cut Loose

►Unwavering Resolve (Bottom right in Skillful) grants immunity to stun, sleep, lift, and incapacitating effects for 6 seconds when activated Saber Ward.
►Inspired Focus (Bottom right in Masterful) generates 12 Focus when Inspiration is activated.
►Cut Loose (Bottom right in Heroic) allows Blade Blitz to be used while immobilized and purges movement-impairing effects when activated.

Offensive Abilities:

Ataru FormAtaru Form – is your stance of choice for Combat. The stance increases Alacrity by 3% as well as giving every successful melee attack a 20% chance to deal a second strike for free.

PrecisionPrecision – is your most important ability, as your whole rotation revolves around Precision windows. Precision DOES NOT respect the GCD and lasts 3.0 seconds  (2 GCDs, or 3 GCDs coupled with Zen and clipping), due to this you CAN still use Dispatch or Twin Saber Throw before activating Precision, and due to their travel times will still allow you to fit another ability into Precision assuming you have increased Alacrity and/or a stable and reliable internet connection with little to no lag.

Blade DanceBlade Dance – is a hugely important part of your rotation, however it shouldn’t be used on CD, instead saving it to combine with Precision is a must. You should never delay a Precision for a Blade Dance, unless Blade Dance is one second or less from cooldown, and similarly you should never use Blade Dance outside a Precision window. It should always be the first ability used in a Precision window when it is available. New to 4.0 Blade Dance now applies Burning Slices. Burning Slices stacks a burn on the target (stacks up to 3 times). Each time Blade Dance deals damage it will add a new stack to the burn. Burning Slices deals damage when applied, each time a stack is added, and every 3 seconds for 9 seconds after Blade Dance finishes adding stacks.

Note: The 6-Set bonus will also give you an auto Crit on your next Dispatch after using Blade Dance. This buff lasts for 30 seconds and cannot be gained but once every 60 seconds.

Blade RushBlade Rush – is your general filler ability. Blade Rush replaces Slash once gained since it does higher damage and has more utility at an equal cost. Using Blade Rush between Precisions is necessary, not only because you don’t have much else to use but also to proc Ataru Form strikes, and subsequently Opportune Attack as well as Hand of Justice procs. It has a very low priority during Precision Windows, but should still take precedence over Zealous Strike and Strike. To allow for proper energy management you should avoid when at all possible spamming more than three Blade Rush’s in a row. Doing so will quickly deplete your Focus and leave you playing catch up. The buff from Blade Rush adds an additional 30% chance to trigger your Ataru form pumping up your overall chance to proc your Ataru Form from 20% to 50%.

Note: When under the effect of your Zen this ability will only cost 1 Focus

Clashing BlastClashing Blast – is your most important filler during Precision windows, and its Cooldown is rather conducive to doing so. However, if you happen to have Clashing Blast available and Precision is going to be on CD for awhile you can use it outside of Precision windows at your own discretion, but keep in mind that you should be aiming to use Clashing Blast in every possible Precision window, buffed by your Opportune Attack proc.

DispatchDispatch – is a key ability thanks to the Hand of Justice passive, which makes it a regular part of your rotation, and it simply becomes more frequently used when your target falls below 30% health. Using it before Precision and timing its activation allows you to fit another ability into your Precision window, which is an important trick to master in order to maximize your DPS. Keep in mind that although it is free with Hand of Justice, non proc’d regular uses still cost Focus.

Note: This will refund 1 Focus when used in conjunction with the Hand of Justice proc.

Twin Saber ThrowTwin Saber Throw – is your free filler that is generally used to greatest effect during Zen windows. When AoE is not important, Twin Saber Throw can be used before activating Precision as an extra ability in your Precision window, maximizing not only its own damage but your overall DPS as well. It is free of cost, grants 2 Focus, and should be used regularly to aid in proper energy management.

Note: The 6-Set bonus will also give you an auto Crit on your next Dispatch after using Twin Saber Throw. This buff lasts for 30 seconds and cannot be gained but once every 60 seconds.

Zealous StrikeZealous Strike – is your main Focus builder, and using it regularly outside of Precision windows is necessary to keep your Focus high so that you can deal as much damage as possible during Precision. Keep in mind that both Precision and Zealous Strike have the same CD. This means you should always aim to use Zealous Strike just before your Precision to give yourself enough Focus to get your attacks in the Precision window.

Note: The 2-Set bonus will also give you a +2% damage increase when activating Zealous Strike for 15 seconds every 30 seconds.

StrikeStrike – is your secondary Focus builder. Because Precision windows account for the vast majority of your DPS, your main focus between these times is to ensure that you have enough Focus to do a full rotation during Precision . Used in combination with Clashing Blast and Zealous Strike, this is the core of your rotation between Precision uses. As a general rule you should do your best not to spam this ability. Early Focus management will allow you to use this ability to augment your Focus instead of solely relying on spamming it to generate Focus.

ZenZen (Ataru Form) – grants significantly increased Alacrity for 6 abilities by granting you 6 charges. As abilities are used charges are spent (Precision doesn’t use a charge). This ability isn’t very complicated; using it regularly is necessary, and using it during Precision windows will increase your DPS even more, as it allows you to fit another ability into the Precision window.

Note: The 4-Set bonus will also give you a +3% damage increase when activating Zen for 10 seconds.

Important Passives:

Opportune AttackOpportune Attack – Damage dealt by Ataru Form grants Opportune Attack, which makes your next Blade Storm or Clashing Blast deal +5% damage and sunders the target for 45 seconds.

DispatchHand of Justice – Damage dealt by Ataru Form triggers Hand of Justice, which finishes the cooldown on Dispatch and makes your next Dispatch usable on a target at any health level without consuming any Focus. This effect cannot occur more than once every 20 seconds.

Immaculate ForceImmaculate Force – Opportune Attack now additionally increases the Critical Chance of Blade Storm and Clashing Blast by 100%.

Efficient StrikesEfficient Strikes – While Ataru Form is active, Zen reduces the Focus consumed by Blade Rush and Cyclone Slash by 1.

Defensive Abilities:

Saber WardSaber Ward – is an amazing ability and one shared by all Jedi Knight advanced classes (With some minor differences). Saber Ward in essence raises your Melee and Ranged defense chance by 50% and reduces Force and Tech damage by 25%. You can see this surge in defense if you go into the character tab and look under the ‘Defense’ tab while activating this defensive. With that said there are multiple ways to implement this cooldown. My preferred method is to activate it sub 50% and when I am the focus of whatever is doing damage to me. While this is all situational and does not fit into every scenario the same at least knowing what it does will give you a better sense of when to use it.

Note: Keep in mind you can use parsing programs such as StarParse to determine the ‘Type’ of damage you are being attacked with during raid encounters. By type I’m referring to Force, Tech, Internal, Kinetic, etc. This will give you a better understanding of when this defensive may be used at its full potential or when it will not work at all.

Force CamoForce Camouflage – can be an excellent threat drop but in my opinion is far better utilized as a defensive ability (Reducing all damage by 50%). This can be used to reduce incoming damage from a wide variety of Raid mechanics. Furthermore, Force Camouflage grants immunity to controlling effects for its full duration. While most classes use threat drops on cooldown you should consider yours a defensive ability.

Note: If you re-engage in combat the damage reduction and immunity to controlling effects will end prematurely.

RebukeRebuke – is not only your best overall damage reduction cooldown, but it also deals a moderate amount of damage to the enemy that hits you. As such, using it during phases where you will be consistently hit by the boss or by ticks of AoE damage will increase both its duration and your DPS by a slight amount.

Guarded By The ForceGuarded By The Force – is an excellent defensive to help avoid lethal damage. It is often used while at exceedingly low HP to try and survive for as long as possible, however if you are about to take lethal damage, even if you are only at half health, you are better off using Guarded by the Force to mitigate as much damage as possible. This ability should always be used as your last resort unless responding directly to an otherwise unsurvivable raid mechanic. This IS NOT an “Invincibility” granting ability as it only gives a 99% reduction to all damage.

Blade BlitzBlade Blitz – is your new ability gained at level 61. Blade Blitz causes you to rush forward 20 meters dealing damage and increases your defense chance by 100% (technically 105% since you already have a base line defense of 5%). Thus far all my testing has shown that while the defense increase is active you will take zero damage from enemies, bosses, and mechanics whose damage profiles are recognized as Melee, Ranged, Tech, and Force attacks making this a VERY powerful defensive against specific mechanics or attacks. Keep in mind however that the defense increase lasts for 1 second so time it well and use it wisely.

Note: The best way I’ve found to employ this ability is to ensure that you will end up, at a minimum, 10 meters away from your target. By doing this you enable the use of your Force Leap which you can then utilize immediately after Blade Blitz to get back to your target and continue doing damage with as little downtime as possible. This may not be suitable for every situation but remember to have a plan on where to go next so that you’re not stuck in the middle of nowhere having to run to get back into the fight.

PacifyPacify (Pseudo Defensive) – While Pacify is not a true defensive by design it can be employed to great effect on certain enemies to help mitigate damage. Pacify by design cannot be used on bosses themselves but can be used on certain adds. This reduces the targets Melee and Ranged Accuracy by 90% for 6 seconds which generally tends to stop incoming damage from the targeted source. So while this is not a true defensive it can be used to mitigate damage which is pretty much the idea behind defensive cooldowns.

Force StatisForce Stasis (Pseudo Defensive) – As with Pacify Force Statis is not typically thought of as a Defensive but can be utilized in various encounters in such a way that makes it as good as one. Force Stasis, when used, will incapacitate the selected target for 4 seconds, do damage, and grant 3 Focus over it’s duration. Like Pacify this cannot be utilized on bosses and additionally is ineffective against targets with the Unshakable buff. However, if you can use this to negate incoming damage or interrupt an ability that will do damage using Force Stasis can mitigate that potential incoming damage effectively making this a defensive.

AweAwe (Pseudo Defensive) – Similar to Force Stasis Awe will prevent all actions for up to 6 seconds on enemies affected by it. This ability will not work on bosses or targets with the Unshakable buff. Unlike Force Stasis this ability will end prematurely if the target takes damage. There are a few encounters where this ability can become an amazing asset if employed properly to negate potential damage not only to yourself but your raid group as well.

Force KickForce Kick (Pseudo Defensive) – Force Kick is your standard interrupt ability and can be used in certain situations to effectively negate damage that would be directed to either yourself or your raid group. This ability should be maintained in an accessible spot on your action bars as you will need this ability for several PvE encounters.

Raid/Personal Utilities:

InspirationInspiration – Inspiration is one of 4 class raid buffs that can be utilized in game. As a Sentinel you can employ Inspiration which will consume 30 stacks of centering and grant your group members (within 40 meters) +10% to all damage and healing done over 10 seconds. This is arguably the most powerful raid utility in the game. Inspiration has a cooldown of 5 minutes and cannot be double stacked or used again within 5 minutes of another activated Inspiration. This should be utilized either at your own discretion or that of your raid/group leader. I generally employ this buff at the start of combat to allow max damage output during the first 10 seconds of combat and/or after a boss has fallen to 30%, or less, health.

TransendenceTranscendence – Transcendence acts in the same capacity as Inspiration in that it consumes 30 stacks of centering and is applied to all group members within 40 meters. When used Transcendence grants +50% movement speed as well as a +10% Melee and Ranged defense bonus for 10 seconds. This is a very versatile ability and one you can use on almost every encounter to give either yourself or your group a one up on an encounter. Due to the nature of this ability and its inherent passive gains Transcendence can also be considered a Pseudo Defensive.

Note: If you choose the Ardor utility Transcendence no longer requires 30 stacks of centering to be activated and instead is able to be used instantly but will fall on a 30 second cooldown timer after activation.

Valorous CallValorous Call – Valorous Call allows you the opportunity to instantly gain a 30 stack of centering. Essentially this allows  you an extra Zen on demand. There are many ways you can utilize this cooldown to great effect. I personally use it at the start of fights, or sub 30%, to push out Inspiration. It can also be used for burst phases where you need to do your burst rotation but do not have a 30 stack on standby. Lastly, it can be used to straighten out your rotation if it derails during the course of a fight. Knowing where you should be in your rotation you can use Valorous call to immediately reset your rotation back to where it should be and continue doing damage at your greatest potential.

Understanding Combat Spec – How It Works

Combat Sentinels are the perfect combination of one of the most powerful burst rotations followed by decent filler abilities, making it an excellent spec for both burst and sustained DPS. Precision should be used as close to/on cooldown as possible, according to the abilities that you have available to use in conjunction with it. Precision lasts for 3 seconds and DOES NOT respect the global cooldown, so it essentially lasts for 2 abilities even if you have Zen activated assuming you have 3% base Alacrity (increased Alacrity will obviously change this to an extent).

Blade Dance should only ever be used during a Precision window, and has top priority. Clashing Blast should only be used in conjunction with its Opportune Attack proc, and should be your next priority after Blade Dance within the Precision window. Due to Hand of Justice Dispatch is free and generates 1 Focus. Assuming it procs with a Precision and the Precision is a non-Zen Blade Dance + Clashing Blast combo, it should always be used during the Precision window that it procs with if it will fit.

Twin Saber Throw is your free filler and generates 2 Focus. When possible you should do your best to limit Twin Saber Throws activation to when you are under the effect of your Zen. Blade Rush is your general all-purpose filler ability, as it will trigger Ataru Form strikes and Clashing Blast/Dispatch procs, as well as dealing some good damage. When Blade Dance, Clashing Blast, and Dispatch are all on cooldown, Blade Rush is your final ability to use during a Precision window (keep in mind this should NEVER need to happen). You must keep the Blade Rush buff up at all times (6 second buff).

Ok, now that you understand WHAT to do let me show you HOW to do it!


Standard Rotation

Single Target Priority:

First and foremost you need to understand that Combat spec is a list of priorities with a few cardinal rules to follow. To master the spec you will need to be able to take a snap shot of where you are at any given moment and evaluate your current position within that set priority list. There are of course energy management considerations but this largely takes care of itself if you really commit yourself to understanding everything here that follows.

  1. Blade Rush (ONLY to maintain proc)
  2. Precision
  3. Blade Dance (Only with Precision and Zen Active)
  4. Dispatch
  5. Clashing Blast (Only with Opportune Attack Proc)
  6. Blade Rush
  7. Twin Saber Throw (Free; Generates 2 Focus)
  8. Zealous Strike
  9. Strike

Note: Dispatch and Clashing Blast are both rated equally among Single Target Priority rankings. Depending on what you have available and the duration remaining on Hand of Justice this can push one above the other. Keep this in mind when working within the bounds of Single Target Priority.

Precision Window Single Target Priority:

So here we are at our second priority list. The Precision priority list is a list of considerations when using Precision in the Single Target Priority list. If you feel like this is a bad metaphor for Inception then you’ve absolutely got the idea! When going through your Single Target Priority you’ll come to that moment when you are about to use Precision and need to think about what to fit inside Precision’s 3 second window. This Priority list will help you to evaluate what to do when you reach that point.

  1. Dispatch ( If used before hitting Precision ; if timed right will hit after casting allowing a free ability inside the window)
  2. Twin Saber Throw (If used before hitting Precision ONLY; if timed right will hit after casting allowing a free ability inside the window)
  3. Blade Dance (Only if you can achieve the entire attack within the Precision window)
  4. Dispatch (Use cautiously with Precision because it can potentially be picked up outside the Precision window if used at the very end)
  5. Clashing Blast (With the Opportune Attack buff)
  6. Blade Rush
  7. Other abilities (i.e. Zealous Strike, Strike) This should never need to be viable during an encounter.

Note: Again here Dispatch and Clashing Blast are both rated equally and the same considerations should be taken ( same as with the Single Target Priority ranking).

Rotation Image:

Alright! So now you have your gearing strategy and you understand your abilities and priorities. Well lets go over how to put all of that together into a fluid rotation. The following image has been designed and developed to encompass everything you need to do to perfectly execute Combat spec. What I mean by this is that this image contains the entire spec rotation infinitely and can be executed infinitely. This is accomplished in three steps so let me go over those with you now.

Combat Spec Standard Rotation

Force Leap – Zen — Zealous Strike — Blade Rush — Precision — Adrenal – Blade Dance — Clashing Blast — Strike
Blade Rush — Blade Rush — Zealous Strike — Precision — Dispatch — Clashing Blast — Blade Rush — Blade Rush — Blade Rush — Dispatch
Zen — Twin Saber Throw — Zealous Strike — Blade Rush — Precision — Blade Dance — Clashing Blast — Strike — (Follow Priorities)


Combat Spec Opener Force Leap – Zen — Zealous Strike — Blade Rush — Precision — Adrenal – Blade Dance — Clashing Blast — Strike

As a Combat Sentinel you need to understand three rules as they relate to you being able to do damage. 1) You need to be close enough to do damage. 2) You need to have enough Focus to do your damage. 3) Follow your priorities.  The Opening rotation I’ve designed encompasses these three rules, so lets go over it in detail and i’ll explain how this is accomplished.

When you start a fight, be it boss fight or trash mob, you need to be close enough to do damage (rule 1) and you need Focus to do your damage (rule 2).

Force Leap is your first step in accomplishing these requirements, you put yourself within range of your target and you now have 3 Focus to do damage (Yay!). Zen (in Ataru Form) is where Combat Spec gains a lot of it’s burst capability. Speed up how quickly you do damage and you speed up how much damage you do over time (damage PER second). That is the first reason we’re using it here, the second is our 4-Set bonus. The 4-Set bonus grants you +3% damage for 10 seconds.

Zealous Strike follows after Zen for two reasons as well. 1) It grants you 6 Focus (rule 2). Coupled with the 3 Focus gained from Force Leap you are now at 9 out of 12 Focus and have successfully accomplished rule 2 and have set yourself up for some major burst! 2) Your 2-Set bonus proc will be gained here. This will grant you a +2% damage increase on everything you do for the next 15 seconds.

Ok so we’ve set you up to do damage so lets get to it! At this point it’s time to follow our Single Target Priority list. Starting with Blade Rush, we’re using this for two reasons. 1) You absolutely NEED to maintain the Blade Rush buff at all times. This buff takes you from a 1 in 5 chance of doing free damage (through Ataru Form procs) to a 1 in 2 chance of doing free damage every time you use a melee attack. 2) It does damage!

Ok so lets keep moving down the priority list. So… looks like we should use Precision next, BUT WAIT! Since we’re going to use Precision we need to establish what we’re going to do inside of the Precision window, time to take a look at our Precision Priority list. We’re going to forgo Dispatch and Twin Saber Throw here (i’ll explain why on the next section) so looks like Blade Dance is our go-to choice here, so lets do that! Now if you want to maximize your opening rotation this is the time to use your adrenal (you’ve got some major damage coming in a second so now is the most opportune time to get the most out of it!). As we start to end Blade Dance you’ll want to cancel it early ( at 0.3 seconds remaining, ideally, or less) as the last damaging component of Blade Dance occurs at this time. What this will allow you to do is hasten your next damaging ability and also allows you to squeeze it into the Precision window. Since we’re saving Dispatch (again i’ll explain why momentarily) lets use Clashing Blast and squeeze that into our Precision window.

Ok we’re a bit low on Focus so lets use Strike and spend our last Alacrity stack from our Zen to gain 2 Focus back quickly. Ok! Phew! That was crazy right? So, what now? Well lets go over it!


Combat Spec Build-Up

Blade Rush — Blade Rush — Zealous Strike — Precision — Dispatch — Clashing Blast — Blade Rush — Blade Rush — Blade Rush — Dispatch

Alright so now we’re moving into what I refer to as the “Build-Up”. This part of the rotation is basically sustained filler damage as we set up for our Burst again. Since at this point our Blade Rush buff is literally falling off as we conclude Strike we’ll want to reapply it as it has highest priority. We use Blade Rush a second time as a filler to fill the gap we need as we wait for Zealous Strike to come off cooldown.

Ok, so we’ll use Zealous Strike now since it has just come off cooldown to gain 6 Focus again (rule 2) in preparation for our next Precision. Ok so we arrive again at Precision, here is where I want to explain WHY we’ve held Dispatch. So your 6-Set bonus allows you an instant Crit on Dispatch once every 60 seconds and last for 30 seconds after using Blade Dance. The reason we held Dispatch was to capitalize on this proc. By holding Dispatch up to this point we can now fit it into the Precision window and get it’s Crit proc plus the extra damage it will do by being activated within the Precision window. Keep in mind the Priority List. Number 1 says “If used before hitting Precision, and if timed right, will hit after casting allowing a free ability inside the window”. Dispatch has a travel time and this travel time exists in real time on the server. What this means is that if you hit your Dispatch button and then very VERY quickly hit your Precision the game calculates this in reverse as Precision then Dispatch. This means that you can “sneak” Dispatch into your Precision window and still get your two abilities off inside of the Precision window, effectively getting three abilities to fit inside of what normally only fits two.

So, now that you understand that lets do that here. Ok so lets follow up after hitting Precision + Dispatch with Clashing Blast and Blade Rush. These two abilities will finish out our Precision window. Since we now have nothing of higher priority available lets use two Blade Rushes as filler damage. The second or third Blade Rush here will proc your Hand of Justice giving you the ability to use Dispatch again. Notice that at this moment you should have 24 or 28 stacks of centering (depending on latency and your attacks per minute [APM]). Activating Dispatch at this point will complete your 30 stack of centering and prepare you for our last section, Burst!


Combat Spec Burst

 Zen — Twin Saber Throw — Zealous Strike — Blade Rush — Precision — Blade Dance — Clashing Blast — Strike — (Follow Priorities)

Alright! So now we’ve come to the fun part, Burst! So i’m sure a few of you are thinking “Wow! Hayete this looks exactly like our opener except for that oddly placed Twin Saber Throw.” Well those of you who are thinking that are 100% correct. Hopefully this points out that your Opening rotation IS your Burst rotation. This will be very important to remember moving forward (i’ll explain why shortly) . So With the conclusion of Dispatch in the Build-Up portion of our rotation we have our Zen so we’re going to go ahead and use that. We wont get the 4-Set buff here but we will get the six Alacrity charges and the ramp up of damage output. The reason we are using Twin Saber Throw here is to aid in proper Focus management and help us get ready for our Burst rotation (rule 2).

Everything else that follows from this point we’re doing for the exact same reasons I detailed in the Opener. Ok, so now we come to Follow Priorities. Do you remember when i said at the very beginning of this section that the “image contains the entire spec rotation infinitely and can be executed infinitely”? Well I promise I wasn’t lying to you! The Follow Priorities thing here is not that. The reason I put Follow Priorities here is very often in live raid or while you’re out doing other content it can be very difficult at times to maintain this exact ability composition. You’re responding to mechanics, changing targets, gaining extra centering from Stoic (If you have chosen this utility, which you should!) all of this can cause your rotation and procs to be thrown off. In the event this happens, which it will, you need something to fall back on and that something is your Priorities list. Ok so now let me explain how to put this all together, that single image, and maintain it indefinitely.

To make this work there are three things you HAVE to know.

  1. Once you complete the image in its entirety (Force Leap through Follow Priorities) you will circle back around and start at the Build-Up section’s FIRST Blade Rush.
  2. Since we held the first Dispatch for so long to get the auto Crit from our 6-Set the Dispatch at the end of line 1 in the Build-Up section will never be available to you again until AFTER your target has dropped to 30% health or less at which time you no longer need Hand of Justice’s proc to use Dispatch and will then be able to utilize dispatch at the end of this row. What this means is until your target is at 30% health or less you will skip this ability and move on to Clashing Blast instead.
  3. After you complete the image in its entirety (Force Leap through Follow Priorities) and make your way back to the Burst section you will need to swap Blade Rush and Zealous Strike. The internal cooldowns on these two shift slightly once you rotate back around to them and it forces you to swap the two. So here you should be using — Twin Saber Throw – Blade Rush – Zealous Strike –. Everything else in the Burst section will happen as originally depicted.

And that’s it! That is how you can take that one image and it’s three sections and run Combat spec indefinitely while maintaining proper Focus management, priorities, procs, etc.

Clashing Blast Focused Rotation

The following rotation was designed and developed by G_mK (Dón-Quijote). The strength of this rotation lies in Clashing Blast and it’s auto crit. On average, when compared, this will grant you a damage increase of about 100 DPS when analyzed side by side on a dummy parse with that of the Standard Rotation. This rotation is very strong when used properly but can be quite difficult to employ and master for use in live raid. The rotation is very easily thrown off as the rotation is very dependent on several cooldowns being available in order all within a very short and specific time frame.

For these reasons I highly suggest that you master the Standard Rotation before proceeding with this rotation. Due to the fragile nature of the rotation you’ll need to use the Standard Rotation to realign the abilities needed by this Rotation if (or should i say when) the rotation gets thrown off. There are some Priority differences to take note of here with this rotation. Those differences have been annotated below.

Single Target Priority:

The two big differences to consider with this Rotation in the Single Priority list is that Clashing Blast is now prioritized over Dispatch at all times and Clashing Blast MUST be used on cooldown to capitalize on the rotations strengths.

  1. Blade Rush (ONLY to maintain proc)
  2. Precision
  3. Blade Dance (Only with Precision and Zen Active)
  4. Clashing Blast (on cooldown, this should occur coupled with Zen and after Blade Dance)
  5. Dispatch
  6. Blade Rush
  7. Twin Saber Throw (Free; Generates 2 Focus)
  8. Zealous Strike
  9. Strike

Precision Window Single Target Priority:

The Precision Window experiences a similar difference to that of the Single Target Priority in that Clashing Blast is of higher priority than Dispatch. Once the target falls below 30% health this will flip and you’ll want to use Proc’d and un proc’d Dispatch’s before Clashing Blast.

  1. Dispatch ( If used before hitting Precision ; if timed right will hit after casting allowing a free ability inside the window)
  2. Twin Saber Throw (If used before hitting Precision ONLY; if timed right will hit after casting allowing a free ability inside the window)
  3. Blade Dance (Only if you can achieve the entire attack within the Precision window)
  4. Clashing Blast (With the Opportune Attack buff)
  5. Dispatch (Use cautiously with Precision because it can potentially be picked up outside the Precision window if used at the very end)
  6. Blade Rush
  7. Other abilities (i.e. Zealous Strike, Strike) This should never need to be viable during an encounter.

Rotation Image:

Force Leap – Zen — Zealous Strike — Blade Rush — Valorous Call — Inspiration — Adrenal — Precision — Blade Dance — Clashing Blast — Strike — Blade Rush — Blade Rush — Zealous Strike — Dispatch — Precision — Clashing Blast — Blade Rush — Blade Rush — Blade Rush — Dispatch —  Strike — Zen — Clashing Blast — Zealous Strike — Blade Rush — Twin Saber Throw — Precision — Blade Dance — Clashing Blast — Strike — (Back To Build – Up)

How to Use:

This rotation runs pretty close to that of the Standard Rotation in that you will run through this image once following all depicted abilities from Force Leap to Strike. Once you get to Strike you’ll follow the image Back to ‘Build – Up’, you’ll then run through the image indefinitely.

Remember the Standard Rotation exception with Dispatch? This Rotation has it’s own Dispatch consideration. Due to the nature of this rotation the two Dispatch’s in the Build – Up section will “float” throughout the rotation as you go through it. Due to this fact you MUST stick to the Priority List by ensuring that you prioritize Clashing Blast over Dispatch otherwise the rotation will be thrown off.

This rotation also has live raid considerations. Due to the inherent nature of the rotation any excess centering built can throw the rotation off wildly. If the rotation gets thrown off by more than two global cooldowns then you’ll be unable to maintain the stable format of the rotation. If your rotation becomes skewed from it’s set pattern you will be forced to revert back to the Standard Rotation or your priorities until you are able to get the rotation realigned. This can be very difficult for those not well versed in the spec so use this rotation with caution.

Clipping Focused Rotation

The Clipping Rotation was designed and created based on work conducted by Beastfury. This rotation has comparable DPS to the Clashing Blast focused rotation while also being slightly better for AoE and is generally easier to pull off in operations. Basically you are going to abuse your Precision windows to their full extent by fitting in as many abilities into them as possible. There are a few specific considerations you should take into consideration before proceeding with this rotation. First, you need a fairly high Alacrity rating (> 730) in order to fit all needed abilities into the Precision window. The second is server lag. The higher the lag the more difficult it is to pull off this rotation. Players testing this rotation with latency values ranging from 20 to 300 ms have reported no issues with utilizing the rotation. However, that is considering a steady latency at a value within that range. If however you are experiencing latency spikes it may be best to forgo this rotation and as it’s operation as it requires a fair amount of precision to perform.

Single Target Priority:

This rotation deviates from the normal and accepted Priority list slightly in that you’ll hold Dispatch and Twin Saber Throw for specific windows of opportunity. This means a typical Priority list is hard to explicitly define. The rotation is designed around clipping so due to this fact you’ll notice several of your abilities are only used with Precision and, if done properly, no where else.

  1. Blade Rush (ONLY to maintain proc)
  2. Precision
  3. Blade Dance (Only with Precision and Zen Active)
  4. Clashing Blast (Only with Precision)
  5. Dispatch (Only with Precision)
  6. Blade Rush
  7. Twin Saber Throw (Only with Precision)
  8. Zealous Strike
  9. Strike

Precision Window Single Target Priority:

The Precision window is where this rotation lives. All of your hardest hitting abilities, if done properly, will end up inside of this window. Because of this you’ll want to follow this exactly otherwise this rotation will lose it’s usefulness as designed.

  1. Dispatch (Clipped into Precision)
  2. Twin Saber Throw (Clipped into Precision)
  3. Blade Dance (Only if you can achieve the entire attack within the Precision window)
  4. Clashing Blast (With the Opportune Attack buff)
  5. Blade Rush
  6. Other abilities (i.e. Zealous Strike, Strike) This should never need to be viable during an encounter.

Rotation Image:


Force Leap — Zen — Zealous Strike — Blade Rush — Valorous Call — Inspiration — Adrenal — Precision — Blade Dance — Clashing Blast — Blade Rush
Strike — Blade Rush — Zealous Strike — Dispatch — Precision — Clashing Blast — Blade Rush x3 — Strike — Blade Rush
Zen — Zealous Strike — Dispatch — Precision — Blade Dance — Clashing Blast — Blade Rush
Strike — Blade Rush — Zealous Strike — Twin Saber Throw — Precision — Clashing Blast — Blade Rush x4 — Strike — Blade Rush
Zen — Zealous Strike — Dispatch — Precision — Blade Rush — Clashing Blast — Blade Rush

How to Use:

This rotation’s opener follows the Standard and Clashing Blast Rotations exactly except for the Blade Rush at the end of it. This was deliberately done to help players maneuver through the three rotations. For a slightly higher DPS output you can clip Twin Saber Throw into Precision in the Opener. The idea for this rotation follows the same formula as the others, you’ll go through this image from Force Leap all the way through the Blade Rush in the Burst 2 portion of the image. Once you complete the image there are specific things you’ll need to know to keep the rotation going indefinitely. Due to the way the rotation was designed and developed your proc’d Dispatch will float further and further away from being clippable inside of Precision. To address this you’ll need to do the following. Follow the image in it’s entirety. Once you get to the end you’ll rotate back up to “Build-Up 2”. You’ll follow this through “Burst 2”. You’ll do this three times, Build-Up 2 > Burst 2 > Build-Up 2 > Burst 2 >Build Up 2 > Burst 2. At this point if you follow through again with this cycle you’ll lose your Dispatch proc before you’re able to use it. So to counter this you’ll rotate up to the “Build-Up” part of the rotation. You’ll move through that and into the “Burst” part. As soon as you come out of the “Burst” portion you’ve essentially reset the Dispatch proc offset. This means you’ll move back into “Build-Up 2” and “Burst 2” for three more cycles. This is how you run the rotation infinitely. Full Image > Build-Up 2/Burst 2 x3 > Build-Up/Burst > Build-Up2/Burst 2 x3 > Build-Up/Burst > etc.

30% HP Rotation (Execute)

A key point to make that covers all rotations is how things change once you reach 30% HP or less on your target, what is commonly referred to as “Execute”. When entering into this Execute phase your Dispatch will no longer be only available to you on Proc but you’ll gain the ability to use Dispatch on cooldown. This means that once you enter into Execute you’ll want to ensure that EVERY Dispatch is used inside of Precision. Most optimally this means clipping each use of Dispatch into the Precision window. However, for those just learning the spec or those having a hard time with clipping in general just ensure that Dispatch is used in each Precision window. Unfortunately there is no real set rotation that I can provide for you here on how to do this since each rotation will enter this Execute phase in fundamentally different areas. I have however added a video example of this execute phase in the video section of this guide.

AoE Rotation

AoE Rotation Priority:

  1. Zen
  2. Precision
  3. Cyclone Slash
  4. Twin Saber Throw (Generally for building Focus while helping to do damage; Try and use right before Precision)
  5. Dispatch (To help with Focus Management while helping to do damage)
  6. Zealous Strike (To build Focus)
  7. Strike

Rotation Image:

Combat Spec AoE Rotation V2

Force Leap – Zen – Zealous Strike — Twin Saber Throw – Precision – Cyclone Slash x 4 — Dispatch —  Follow Priorities

The AoE rotation is very simple and if you play these few abilities correctly you’ll come out with almost an infinite amount of Focus so resource management is quite easy during an intense AoE encounter. Utilize Twin Saber Throw for its AoE damage, however do not use it when above 10 Focus as it generates 2 Focus and you’ll waste it. Dispatch is a nice hard hitting ability and also generates 1 Focus when used under your Hand of Justice proc. It may not sound like much but it does help with the Focus Management during long AoE encounters. The majority of your damage is coming from Cyclone Slash as it auto procs your Ataru Form. Your goal here should be to do as many Cyclone Slashes, under Zen, inside the Precision window as possible. Due to this Combat Sentinel AoE is one of the strongest in the game if everything is within range and you’re capable of maintaining proper Focus Management. The highest DPS I was able to obtain following this simple rotation (and it’s priorities) was just over 32K  (R.I.P. you poor poor collection of adds before Quartermaster Bulo).

Parsing Analysis & Examples

The following Parse example was conducted with full Min/Max’d 224 Nightmare Mode Gear with all stats matching the above build for the 224 Item Level with Mastery Stim. An early version of the Clipping Rotation was used for this parse. If you would like to view this parse in it’s entirety you can find it here (

Standard Rotation Example:

Clashing Blast Rotation Example:

Clipping Rotation Example:

30% Execute Example:

Video Guide


How to be a Great DPS

I created this 15 minute video just prior to 4.0. If you’re looking for some tips on how to become a better DPS then take some time and watch my Top 10 on How to be a Great DPS.

Credit and Acknowledgements

I would like to thank Bant (Co-GM of Psy-Ops – The Harbinger Server) for all his help in theroycrafting specific points of interest (namely gearing stats) as they related to Combat Spec. I would also like to extend a big thank you to Ardarell_Solo (Taking the Jawas to Alderaan – T3-M4 Server) and Dón-Quijote (Ebon hawk Server) for their many conversations, back and forth ideas, and theorycrafting contributions. I would like to thank Daevia, Krae, NeoChicken, Oldeo, Qahnaar, Rexal, Slancest, and Isaac-bell of TAW (Shadowlands Server) for their selflessness in helping me get gear to do parse testing. Finally, i’d like to thank Republic Gentlemen (Jedi Covenant Server) for helping me to test and verify Operation specific information within this guide.

Guide Updates and Changes

    • 10/29/15 – Added link to Parsley for the shown example parse.
    • 11/3/15 – Updated item level DPS averages and adjusted Gearing Compositions to reflect new models.
    • 11/6/15 – Alternate Rotation added.
    • 11/14/15 – Edit made to correct 224 gearing build Alacrity Augment typo (7 Augments corrected to 6).
    • 11/25/15 – Recommended Hilt type added.
    • 11/26/15 – Video Guide added.
    • 12/8/15 – Changes made to reflect changes implemented in Patch 4.0.3
    • 12/8/15 – New Parse/Analysis added.
    • 1/23/16 – Standard Utilities updated. Utility Guide link added.
    • 2/6/16 – Updated Gearing section and Parse section with 224 min/max’d figures.
    • 2/11/16 – Added new sections ‘Consumables’, ‘Mastery Stim vs Accuracy Stim’, ‘Accuracy Stim Builds’
    • 4/1/16 – Added an updated explanation to ‘Augments’ section on Accuracy Stim gearing
    • 9/18/16 – Rotational section update, parsing and analysis updated, example rotations updated.

256 replies on “SWTOR 4.0 Combat Sentinel PvE Guide by Hayete”

Great job, I will read ALL of it when I get home from work (my main used to be a Combat Sentinel, still have him as my #2) but I have one question. Why is the desired number for Accuracy now 110% up from 100%? Doesn’t 100% ensure that you will get every single hit on the opponent and no misses anyway?

your basic attack is what was raised from 90-100%. every operation or flashpoint boss still has a 10% defence chance so with 110% accuracy you will not miss even with the defence chance of your target.


Dot is correct here. There is an inherent mitigation from bosses in the game as it relates to accuracy percentage. The only ability you have that benefits from 100% standard Accuracy is Strike, everything else is counted as a “Special Attack”. Special attack by default is 100% but you want to increase it to 110% to compensate for the inherent resistance check that PvE bosses have in the game.

Great, thank you. I think it made more sense pre-4.0 when Accuracy 100% meant that you will not miss the target and anything beyond that reduced the defense of the target, but anyway… It’s just a number. One last question. Does this rule apply to all dps toons? I assume I should keep my shadow at 110% accuracy then too?

“That playing a Combat Sentinel is a ton of fun and an awesome challenge that’s what!”

Actually I would argue that since it has changed so much since then (*MUCH* less RNG) Watchman is actually more challenging simply because it is dot-based.

Just a small nitpick XD guide seems good overall, though I haven’t read through a fair amount of it.

As far as I know Oofalong is still set to do the Watchman guide for Dulfy. He does have the hard copy so to speak done though. Go to and take a look at the front page or the “Watchman/Annihilation” tab to find it.

Hiya, really enjoyed your guide even tho I rarely play sentinel. I was just curious about the theorycrafting and recommended augmenting shift away from Master or Power. Is there a post somewhere we can see some of the numbers for comparison? Was curious to see just what kind of DPS difference is observed. Thanks 🙂

While I don’t generally play DPS, or Sents in general, I really appreciate how you have this guide written. I like the ones with a suggestion for rotations, and the whys of the rotations other players can tweak to their preferences. I just really, really, really like this guide, and look forward to seeing others like it, if there are any.

Thank you!

Sorry to be a noob, but how exactly do I read the armour stat tables? Could you please show an example full set (where to get, how much it can cost, etc.)? Haven’t played since 2012, so again sorry.

Yeah sure not a problem. So for example at the 216 item level you need the following composition to match my stat distribution for Crit.

Crit: +152 pieces x 4 | 8 Augments | 1 Crystals

Every Earpiece, Implant, and Enhancement at the 216 item level (Story Mode unassembled gear drops and MK-2 gear drops) will afford you 152 tertiary stat (Crit, Alacrity, Accuracy). The way to read this, using my example, is that you need 4 items that afford you 152 Crit (again Earpiece, Implant, and Enhancements are your choices here). You’ll need 8 Crit Augments (Advanced Critical Augment 40) and 1 Saber Crystal that has Crit (grants 41 Crit).

Since gearing in 4.0 has become really streamlined you can literally just grab any piece of gear that will have the desired Enhancement you need and you’ll be good to go. Earpiece and Implants are available in all 3 tertiary stats so you have all those options available to you as well.

Hope that helps!

Hello, thanks for a good guide, but I have 2 questions.
1) Opener. Have you tried to use Zen – Twin Saber throw (6-piece set bonus proc) – Precision – Clashing Blast – Dispatch (autocrit) – Blade Rush?
2) Zen usage. What’s a point of using Zen right before Blade Dance? I mean, you can easily execute BD and CB inside Precision window only with your Ataru form and gear alacrity bonuses, wouldn’t be better to save Zen buff for Precision – Clashing Blast – Dispatch – Blade Rush?

1) Yes i have. I’ve seen a lot of players do this on the Dummy, starting in melee range, and the reason i forgo this is because practically you wont start a fight like this in live raid. The other reason is that you fall behind on DPS output by 1 global cooldown compared to the standard rotation. Starting a fight with Twin Saber Throw is less beneficial than Force Leap as you need to be within that 4m range and you want to get there as soon as possible. Additionally, Force Leap will grant more Focus than Twin Saber Throw. For a fight with high mobility and target swapping the rotation you have would be great. Almost every boss in the game however will allot you enough time to stand there and get your rotation off so you really should use Blade Dance as it’ll do more damage within the same GCD span of abilities.

2. You want to get all your damage out as fast as you can and Blade Dance is a good portion of that damage for Combat. The damage output of Precision – Blade Dance – Clashing Blast – Strike will afford slightly more DPS output than Precision – Clashing Blast – Dispatch – Blade Rush which is why we use that. However, your proposal is PERFECT for high mobility fights or fights where you have to fall back on priorities in which case i would maybe shift Dispatch and use the Clipping trick with Precision and then go into the Precision window.

Thanks for answers.
1) Sorry, my fault I think you have misunderstood me. The full opener would be: Force leap – [Zen] – Zealous strike – Twin Saber Throw – [Blade Rush] – [Zen] – [Valorous Call] – [Adrenal] – [Inspiration] – Precision – Clashing Blast – Dispatch (with autocrit) – Blade Rush. Abilities in square brackets are optional. The main reason of existance of this rotation is unwillingness to lose Dispatch autocrit, which deals damage almost equal to Clashing blast with proc. Contra this opener are slightly longer buildup and potential losing of relics’ procs.
2) From my experiance I can tell, that you get Zen buff, dispatch with proc, and Blade dance ready to use every second Precision. In general, Combat’s rotation looks like [Zen] – Precision – Clashing Blast – Dispatch – Blade Rush – filler – [Zen] – Precision – Blade Dance – Clashing Blast. Basicly you have an option to trade between faster

grin Introspection -> Zen -> Valorous Call -> Transcendence -> Cauterize/Overload Saber -> Saber Throw -> Force Leap -> Zealous Strike ->
Saber Ward -> Rebuke -> Slash -> Strike -> Cauterize/Overload Saber -> Zen/Transcendence when up -> Merciless Slash -> Strike when out of
centering -> Blade Storm when the mob is just sligtly to far away -> Force Sweep -> Zen/Transcendence when up -> Saber Throw is ready again ->
Cauterize/Overload Saber -> Saber Throw -> Force Leap -> Zealous Strike ->

1. Ok i gotcha! That was my fault. It makes sense the idea behind your proposal. You said the main reason for this rotation was that you do not want to lose the Dispatch Auto Crit, keep in mind the standard rotation accounts for this in the opener as well. In the Standard rotation your Blade Dance is proc’ing the 6 Set Auto Crit and you’ll hold that Dispatch until the next Precision window. The timer on Hand of Justice (Proc’d at your first Blade Rush or Zealous Strike if you’re really lucky lol) and the 6 Set Proc is long enough that you’ll still have it available to use during the second Precision window. So i promise you that you won’t have to compromise your Auto Crit using my methods for the opener.

Note that if you do decide to run your rotation without the Blade Dance i would HIGHLY suggest using Dispatch before the Clashing Blast. Due to the inherent travel time associated with Dispatch it can POTENTIALLY be registered outside of the Precision window if you hit a lag spike or something of that nature. Maybe even try the ‘clipping’ method and squeeze three abilities into the Precision window instead of just two!

2. You’re absolutely correct in your understanding of the overall rotational flow behind Combat spec. Either way i’m glad you asked the questions and hopefully i gave you meaningful answers 🙂

Hey, im not actually sent/mara fan. But just would like to ask : Are you sure about avoiding mastery/power augments ? Doesnt make any sence to me for now ^^

i want a watchman guide. i already have the rotation down, but i want to be able to compare. i have always been playing watchman, cause it is better on single-target boss-fights if you play it well. That didnt change in 2.0 or 3.0 – though the burst-spec and dot-spec has gotten a lot closer to eachother in DPS-output in a fight of 5-10 minutes.

Watchman has always been more challenging, but therefore always had a little better dps output in the longer fights. i want to know, if that is still the case 🙂

in SoR expansion, Watchman was on a dps of 9 in a scale of 10, while Combat was on 8 on the same scale. pretty close too, compared to pre-2.0 where there was a much higher difference between the 2 specs.
But that is based on a Dummy-fight. there are many different reasons that speaks for being able to play both specs, and changing between them for each fight in a single OPS

Playing a melee in general peter is always challenging LOL but yes you’re correct Watchman is higher in 4.0 than Combat and ranked number 2 out of all DPS specs in the game right now as far as DPS output.

Oofalong has put out a google document guide with all his information, findings, rotation, etc. on 4.0 Watchman. There is a comment here somewhere where Kwerty linked the actual google document. Its also on right on the home page as well if you’re looking to check it out.

Thank you, it was very helpful.
I will probably test our your guide as well, as i said – i have always found it to be optimal to know how to play both, when doing the harder content and HM/NiM in general. For some bosses, burstspec is better, and others, dotspec.

Agreed. BUT with the Bolster you get in Story Modes now just go have fun in your Favorite ops and hold the gear till you get your 6 set, it’ll come quickly i promise!

Could someone please translate the exceptional guide to imp marauder (cause i’m a bit thick at translating the different abilities).
Top marks Hayete the is awesome work, genuinely made me excited to dust off my Mara again.

Thanks for the support man! The Carnage guide has already been submitted to Dulfy and she’s planning on having it up in the next 24 hours or so.

Without the amazing effort by yourself, Dulfy and the rest of the contributors who lets face it do it for the love of the game, the community would be an empty place.

Hey thanks for the great guide Hayete.
I was wondering if maybe you could put the carnage guide on yout website, since Dulfy may be too busy atm to be able to upload it before halloween. Would really appreaciate it 🙂

Great idea Kaleb! Since it has taken longer than originally planned i’ve gone ahead and implemented your suggestion. The Carnage Marauder guide is up on under the Combat/Carnage section and will direct you to a google doc containing the Carnage translated version of this guide.

If you guys have any questions, since that guide is not up here yet, please feel free to post your questions here or contact me through the various options available to you outlined in the Introduction portion of both guides.


Everything seems good but……….the Parsing Analysis and Rotation.#1 run Parsing Analysis on a dummy is one thing but against mobs is another( same with rotation) The training dummy won’t stun you , knock you back, or put damage on the ground that causes you to move. You may get 3 skills in and have to move (2-4 sec gap) this will cause your dps and rotation over whack. Not say Rotation is bad just not always cut and dry. As for Parsing Analysis program I always found it funny that the so called ppl that head it up get killed cause they are so worried about other dps #s. Like with rotation while fighting a boss with stuns, kick back and dots it’s never the same.
Only Rotation class I found works is the Tanks. They have to stand toe to toe and take the hits so no running about for them.

You’re absolutely correct! Your reasoning is why i start the guide section off explaining priority lists first and not jumping straight into rotation. With that said you’d be very surprised at how much of the rotation you can actually still manage to pull of in live raid, with time and practice of course 🙂

I’ve found that parsing on the dummy is the only known constant to measure numbers against, which makes it (IMO) the best option to know what you can reliably produce. Ops are just to random and potentially chaotic to produce reliable, consistent numbers. And as Hayete mentions its a (IMO) great way to get the rotation down.
“Real life” numbers (OPS) will typically be lower, but should approach dummy parses when one’s general raid awareness increases as well as familiarity with the operation being run.

we used to use Toborro’s Courtyard since you could stand to the side and time how much time you had fighting it. As for stuns just figure out how much time your interupts are on cool down and use that your standard deviation amount.

i dont understand your chit augments.. i was puting mastery in all of mine and my crits with 1700 to 1900 now i max criting for 1500-17k and i saw this post and use 2.5mil on augments yes i hit faster with the 10.something % alac and i have the same stars as you

I already loaded my Vengeance Juggernaut with Mastery, I don’t plan to change it. After reviewing the data compiled in Bant’s helpful forum post (, and seeing that the difference is only a hair over 1% DPS, I see no reason to dump all those augments. For all but the most absolutely perfect players, 1% is WELL within the margin for error of most combat encounters, Operation or not.

My guild did some parsing with just changing from power or mastery augments to crit augments and it made quite a bit of difference. One of my guild members damage per second increased by 700. Mine only went from 4300 to 4650, but hey, I will take it. I am not even done optimizing my gear and I want to make sure that I am making the most out of my 4.0 gear.

I’m retired from raiding, so I don’t need bleeding-edge DPS performance. 🙂 Although if it was a 20-30% difference, I would definitely switch.

Was this a parse to parse comparison or is this what you’re experiencing across all parsing attempts?

The Builds i have in the guide are average DPS calculated over a huge finite amount of parses. Those are of course to min/max at their respective item levels so you can push as much DPS out as possible. These are of course suggestions based off of mathematical analysis using variable equations and coefficients. If you feel overall that you’re getting less DPS with my method than your previous one then absolutely stick with yours. There are various factors that play into these optimized stats configurations that are hard to account for in mathematical analysis (latency/ping being one of them) which can skew the results experienced player to player.

thanks Hayete. i am pre beta marauder. and nim raider. and been raiding for over 16 years now from EQ. i was reading you guide, and gave it a go. and i have the same stats as the guide now. and i can see i am crit more like 15k+ stedy. vs before. and i also its a good way to do as u pointed out in the guide. for you have more crits on all aroung your hits and also more haste. so i am keep follow you guide. good work. 🙂

You still have “Master Strike” in your rotation instead of “Blade Dance”. Otherwise fantastic guide.

LOL I swear man no matter how many times I review my guides before posting them I always manage to miss something. Soon as I’m off work I’ll make the correction. Thanks for the catch!

I seem to have completely forgotten how to do combat.

Pre-4.0, I was doing 4k.
Post 4.0, I’m at 3.2k…..

I guess I’m really out of practice for sentinel.

Keep at it and if you hit a wall feel free to contact me and we’ll see what we can do to fix the problem. 🙂

TY. It may take a bit. First I have to get it to 65 and regear it. And that’s after the guardian and scoundrel and operative hit 65 😛

I was just musing because my operative’s DPS didn’t change at 60 😛 (still doing 4.1k in 192s min-maxed), so the harsh drop in sentinel DPS, obviously due to being out of practice, was surprising.

Very well-done write up! I’m a Guardian-man through-and-through, but I might actually have to give Sentinel a try, now!

I have a question about that strike at the end of the burst precision window. At this point I still have 2 (or 1, need to check) charges of Zen. Why not use 2 Blade Rushes first to consume those charges at reduced rage price, and only then use strike?

If the rotation I’ve built is adhered to then by the time you come to the Strike in the rotation you’ll have only 1 Alacrity stack remaining from Zen. Since it does such little damage and is in general a DPS loss when used (ever so slightly) I felt it was better to use the Alacrity charge towards getting it over and done with faster so that you can get back to doing better damage.

I misspoke here mate and just realized it. You would have 2 Alacrity stacks from Zen remaining in the Opener and then after the Opener when you cycle around back to your next Blade Dance THEN you would have only 1 stack available.

With that said i did try out your proposal and in my testing when i got done with the third Blade Dance you dead end at 28 stacks of centering and would have to throw in an extra strike to get enough Focus to get the last bit needed for your 30 Stack.

Just wanted to correct my mistake and let you know my testing results!

Since 4.0 dropped, I have gotten my first lvl appropriate set piece token. I remember reading somewhere that you can take out the mods and still have the bonus, but I don’t recall if the bonus is only with the shell, the mods, both, or maybe it has changed to neither. Is there some trick I need to be aware of with set bonus pieces?


The Set Bonus is tied directly to the Armoring of a piece of gear. You can remove Mods and Enhancements without affecting your Set Bonus. Additionally, if you’re only looking to acquire a Set Bonus and not looking to change your current piece of gear otherwise you can extract the Armoring with the Set Bonus on it and slot it into your current gear or any gear piece you desire and still maintain the Set Bonus. Hope that fully answers your question 🙂

First, thank you for the guide. I love playing Sentinel. Second, I may have missed it above or below in comments, but what Adrenals to you recommend?

Thanks for the support Grady. I use Power (Attack) Adrenals. Hands down i believe across the board all DPS classes utilize Power Adrenals.

I haven’t tested it yet, or being any kind of pro, just wanted to ask a simple question, but I’m pretty sure it will be wrong.
However, have You though of adding blade blitz to dash away from target, than use force leap to get back onto him quickly (and that gains focus, as opener does)?

Are you referencing using Blade Blitz during the rotation or at the beginning in the Opener? Let me know and then i’ll be in a better spot to answer your question 🙂

I was thinking that after burst, to build some focus, you could dash with blitz (WITH doing damage with this blitz) than immidietly force leap back into fight. I was thinking about using it to build focus back more quickly.

So after burst, blitz, force leap etc….

You could do that but you’d loose considerable DPS. Blade Blitz hits about as hard as Zealous Strike does and Force Leap does even less than that. If you were to use Blade Blitz then Force Leap after the Burst section in the rotation you’d have to forgo 2 global cooldowns before you could start with the Blade Rushes. With that said the Standard Rotation is designed specifically so that, if followed, you’ll always have the Focus needed to do what you need to do next.

Let me say that your idea for Blade Blitz then Force Leap is the ideal strategy when employing the ability as a defensive 🙂

Still think the bracket arrangement I mailed you a while ago is easier understandable than yours 😀 But anyways nice work, Hayete. Always enjoy reading your content. 😉


Thank you for your write up on the this guide. I have one suggestion though. Under the “Parsing Analysis & Example” section you have a picture of your Star Parse. I like seeing the Star Parse info however the “Overview” tab your using in the screen shot doesn’t really give us any info that we could actually compare to our own. What I suggest is using the “Damage Tab” and have the “Ability Box” checked. That way we as people coming to your guide can actually see the number of hits per ability and critical % to compare to your sample parse. It helps people break down their parses to see if they are actually in the proper range of attacks per ability to your guide and shows them how you actually got those dps numbers.

Kak that’s a very good idea! Unfortunately i do not have the parse still (have since cleared my logs) but i’ve added the parsley link. When i’m done min/max’ing at the 220 level i’ll redo the parse and upload those figures, when i do i’ll incorporate your suggestion. Until then hopefully this will help those interested in that level of detailed information.

If you take a look at your tooltip for each you’ll notice that Cyclone Slash deals slightly more damage than Force Sweep. That’s baseline damage. Cyclone Slash also has a 100% chance to proc your Ataru Form dealing extra damage. What this means is that Cyclone Slash will always do more damage than Force Sweep. Cyclone Slash also cost only 1 Focus under the effect of your Zen while Force Sweep will cost 3 Focus no matter what.

It was submitted to Dulfy at the same time this one was. I know she has a lot of guides being submitted to her right now so when she gets around to posting it I dont know but it’s on her desk so to speak lol

+1 to this. She has a lot on her plate right now and a lot of people don’t realize how much work it actually takes to sort through a multitude of guides being handed to you, make sure that they are up to standard, make sure they won’t break things on the rest of the site when implemented, etc.

Patience is a virtue 😛

Hayete, On your opener would Blade Rush prior to Zealous Strike not result in a higher chance for an Ataru proc on Zealous Strike and offset the 2% increase damage on Blade Rush by doing the opener as you propose? I think by doing DR 1 GCD sooner it’s Ataru buff still carries through your opener or am I missing something?

No you’re spot on with your thinking. The difference between my opener and your suggestion is a matter of “give and take”. I forgo the increased chance of proc’ing Ataru form on the Zealous Strike because after i use that Zealous Strike i’ll proc my 2 set and get +2% damage increase to all outgoing damage. I decided that since Blade Rush does more damage overall it would benefit greater from the +2% than Zealous Strike. Keep in mind though you are guaranteed to get +2% on all damage output after Zealous Strike, you’re not guaranteed to get the Ataru form proc of Zealous Strike even with the Blade Rush buff active. At any rate either method is more than viable, again it just depends on what you’re willing to “give and take” from the rotation. Hope that explanation makes sense!

Hello mate!
Dispatch ( If used before hitting Precision ; if timed right will hit after casting allowing a free ability inside the window)
Any chance how i can understand that my dispatch was under precision?

The only way you would notice this or recognize this is through a parsing program like StarParse or Parsec. Otherwise you could physically go into your combat log and see it there if you’re well versed in reading SWTOR combat logs :p

Check out this link ( This is from my 3.0 Combat Guide but it’ll explain your question with something you can see.

i hayete i need some advice, if i have lag/fps problems should i switch the alacracy augments to power augments or crit?im not in full 216 i have some 220 set and the old 198/2 192,220 main/offhand, and my best parse was 6170 and i ussualy do 6k. my apm in 3.0 without alacracy was near 50,and now my apm only goes to 51.i usualy was close to your and doonquijote 3.0 my parses were in the 4.7k/4.8 without the 204mainhand.( also i lost my 6 piece bonus), i have 4+2 i think they stack.

If you’re having Lag and FPS issues then it may indeed be beneficial to adjust your Alacrity stat pool. The only foreseeable issue is that in 3.0 if you had this problem you could drop Alacrity and push more power surge. With 4.0 Surge is now rolled into Crit so you really have nothing to replace it with. Are you seeing consistent and constant FPS/lag issues during gameplay? Also, have you tried offsetting your ability action que to compensate for the lag? I’m sure you’ve lowered the graphics down as well to help with the FPS issues, if not though check those settings as well.

It can be. Last night i posted a Google Doc on my website with the Marauder Translated version of this guide since Dulfy has a lot going on right now and has not had a chance to post the guide to her site as of yet. Just head over to and you’ll find it under the Combat/Carnage section.

You’ve got it slightly mixed up. It should be Opener — Build Up — Burst — Build Up — Burst — Build Up — Burst — etc.
Can u explain?
I press VT before gore and get hit under gore,then DB and then massacre. I activate massacre under gore window,but i get hit without gore window(u can see dark green marker which mean “under gore”).
So in my gore window 3 abilities or just 2?
Sorry for my bad,bad English 🙁

So whenever you activate Vicious Throw or Dual Saber Throw (only abilities you can do this with) before Gore this method is what i refer to as “clipping”. By default you’ll only ever have enough time within the Gore window to use 2 abilities. However, when clipping you’re tricking the game into thinking that the clipped ability happened inside the Gore window when in actuality it has not been activated inside the window. So you get the clipped ability plus the 2 standard ones for a total of 3 abilities inside the Gore window. Pretty cool huh? 😀 So that is what you’re seeing in your log.

There are a few (really really small amount lol) of uses for Leg Sweep in PvE. I have the ability keybound for that reason but if you do not it wont make or break you. A few things it can be used for…

Brontes HM/NiM – CCing orbs if the root utility has been chosen also in the final phase of NiM to apply a health regen reduction debuff to the boss during her healing window.

Styrak NiM – Apparitions during the boxed walk in mechanic. Again, can be used in conjunction with the root utility to stop them and buy you some time.

Solo Content – can be very useful for a variety of scenarios

Are you talking about Force Sweep or Leg Slash? I don’t have a Leg Sweep.

With both utilities only costing 3 force, is it ok to slip in a Force Sweep (1903-1996 kinetic dmg) with Cyclone Slash (1623-1898 weapon dmg) since Force Sweep does a bit more damage , though it does have a cool down, where Cyclone Slash does not?

I was under the assumption he was talking about Leg Slash (*face palm for saying Leg Sweep on my part lol)

I do have to disagree though on using Force Sweep. You see base weapon damage on the tool tip, this does not account for the 100% chance to proc Ataru form which gives you more damage.

Assuming the OP meant Force Sweep i would advice against using it as part of your AoE rotation as it’s only benefit is it’s 360 degree damaging component and not the actual damage itself.

I’m so confused, you said that the first dispatch will never be available until after the target is under 30%, once you complete burst and go back to build up. However, the first dispatch is nearly always available for me once I go back to build up. Any explanation?

I looked over my parse and realized that I was skipped a strike @ 17:42:08.334 in the burst cycle and then replaced that strike with two blade rushes! (That caused the first dispatch to proc) Haha my bad, other than that, i didn’t experience any other proc’d dispatches the first time. Guess I was skipping a strike in my other parses. Sorry to waste your time ^.^
Parse link:

I just wanted to say I got a lot out of the top 10 dps video. I have had good gear and an Idea of rotations but still haven’t been able to do anywhere near the dps of other raid members. after watching that I have some tips and its time to start working on it.

Update: I have geared most of my toons all 216 with set pieces and augmented them. I’m still not doing anywhere near the dps I should be. My sent is ahead of the rest in both watchen spec and combat spec I am averaging 4.5k per boss, while this is an improvement from the 2.5 – 3k I was doing I’m still not able to progress through HM ops to continue gearing. It’s not really the gear or the rotation I don’t think cause I’ve followed a few guides and know my rotation. Any advice??

I average about 5.7K+ on boss fights and 6.3k+ on dummy. The main importance for maximizing DPS a lot of times is knowing your mobility around a fight. I play a Combat Sentinel and our biggest downfall is really interrupts during fights, and all you can really do is learn to have faster recovery after them and proceeding through the rotation as if it never happened.
As a fellow Sentinel, I’ll say 4.5k DPS is not a bad place to be, and the only thing I can think of that you might need to improve is learning which abilities you shouldn’t be over-using, and which take priority within your rotation. Like Hayete said, a common problem we face if not done correctly is Focus management, and we rely too heavily on strike to regain focus in emergencies, this is often what leads to fast dips in DPS when trying to be consistent. Believe me, even I still sometimes over-use an ability, which results in a DPS loss.
as Combat spec, Blade Rush is our bread and butter that should only be used 2-3 times max consecutively to keep our proc window up. given blade rush/clashing blast/dispatch build our centering x4 each time used, its important to center your focus on continually building zen and instantly activating it. Since that’s our main source of retaining high numbers. Perhaps understanding the timing of proc’s might be something to learn more about as well. I myself am always learning new things, and I’ve run my Sentinel for 2+ years now. I try to always parse without using adrenals for more raw results, but if your not using adrenals in fights, definitely give those a try as well. Timing adrenals for maximum effect is also another way to retaining high DPS. I like to use an adrenal on a boss fight when I know I’ll have a good window of no interruption to use adrenal within a high damage combo, or simply use adrenals to recover your DPS if given a lot of downtime.
Lastly one thing I’ve learned is usually only using dispatch on hand of justice proc, as such blade rush + clashing blast all have a chance of procing that. One way I like to utilize another high hitting combo when zen and blade rush are on CD still building, is when my opportune attack + hand of justice are proc’d to use Precision + clashing Blast + Dispatch. Given enough alacrity, (mine 9.67% for example) and I’ve achieved numbers of both 18.1k and 18.2K consecutively after each other without a boss debuff and without zen active nor adrenal.

Great advice to the OP mate 🙂 I would suggest with your last combo there to use the clipping method to get a free Blade Rush inside the Precision window as well. You’re correct though and I’ve seen the same high numbers between the two abilities quite frequently.


Da’chosen’one did a really good job with his suggestions and explanations. My personal response to your question was going to be more in the way of an assumption. That assumption being experience moving your rotation around the different boss specific mechanics so since he covered that i’ll let you soak up what he said. Furthermore, make sure you really REALLY understand your priority list. That thing is HUGE when things dont go your way or you’re incapable of doing your rotation because of a mechanic. So keep practicing that and make sure to push your APM as high as you can during fights. Those two points to consider i’m sure are where you’re DPS issues lie.

I have a question about the number of fillers you must include in the “Follow priorities” at the end of the Burst section, because even following it strictly, after opener – build-up – burst, then back to build-up, I can’t seem to launch my first dispatch. I simply don’t have the Hand of Justice proc, so I guess I have to delay my return to build-up in order to insert an Ataru form after the 20 sec/14 gcd internal cd has worn off.

Hi there Falinesti,

I know the guide is long in it’s current format and so i’m assuming you just missed it while going through the guide but the answer to your question is at the very end of that section where i discuss the 3 things you need to know to pull off the rotation infinitely. Here is the excerpt from that part in the guide.

“2. Since we held the first Dispatch for so long to get the auto Crit from our 6-Set the Dispatch at the end of line 1 in the Build-Up section will never be available to you again until AFTER your target has dropped to 30% health or less at which time you no longer need Hand of Justice’s proc to use Dispatch and will then be able to utilize dispatch at the end of this row. What this means is until your target is at 30% health or less you will skip this ability and move on to Clashing Blast instead.”

I hope that fully answers your question. If you have any others just let me know! 🙂

I looked down through the comments and didn’t already see this asked so when it comes to Implants and Earpieces, I’ve heard Tanks like to stick with the vendor items over tokens. Should DPS do the same or shoot to replace 220 vendor ear/implants with 216 SM Tokens? The tertiary stat drops 8 points but overall DPS looks like it gains a bump from the increased Power. Thanks.

Hey Jerry,

You’ll absolutely want to obtain the unassembled token versions of the Implants and Earpieces as they afford higher power than the MK-2s and MK-4s. With that said the difference in stat pools will not be that dramatic to your overall DPS the important thing is to obtain your min/max’d stat goals for Accuracy, Crit, and Alacrity for your specific item level. Since MK-1, MK-2, and MK-4’s all afford the same tertiary stat amount all are viable. So using the Comm piece as a place holder until you’re able to grab an unassembled version is more than sufficient.

Wait, in the build up, how are you able to dispatch at the end? Whenever I follow the rot, I end up with no dispatch at the end.

Er, what I mean is dispatch is always grayed out. However, sometimes its not grayed out and I can use it. Am I skipping something or activating something too fast?


You’re probably skipping something if Dispatch is not available for you to use during the burst phase or you missed the note about what happens after you make your way through the rotation image and then come back around. Make sure you’re following my image exactly and make sure you read everything i’ve written there about the Standard Rotation. If you do the image and understand what i’ve explained you should have no issue pulling the rotation off as depicted.

“Crit: +152 pieces x 4 | 8 Augments | 1 Crystals
Accuracy: +152 pieces x 4 | 1 Augment
Alacrity: +152 pieces x 2 | 5 Augment”

Do you really mean 2 Crystals?

Hi Matthew,

The 216 Item level tier is meant to be 1 Crit Crystal and 1 Power Crystal. I know this is confusing but when the analysis was compiled at the 216 item level this specific distribution of stats was the highest average among all other possible combinations thus why i recommend it.

However! The difference between 2 Crit Crystals and 1 is negligible. In the theorycrafting world we have to assign “the best” way based on pure mathematics. In the real world (in the game) you’ll probably never notice the difference. SO! what i’m trying to say is if you already have 2 Crit Crystals (which you’ll need for the 220 and 224 item levels) you can just use those for the 216 item level and be absolutely fine.

Hope that helps clarify that whole thing. Probably gave you more of an explanation than you wanted LOL 😀

I would if i was in the know so to speak lol. I haven’t done PvP in over 2 years, since back when i was on PoT5 server. Probably not the best one to lead you guys in the PvP realm of things :p

Do you know anyone that does PvP as a Combat Sentinel that actually does well someone you would recommend learning from?

Hi! Great guide, I didnt master the rotation completely but I can see a lot of improvement already. But since Im pretty fresh, could you be more specific about gearing? I just recently hit lvl 65 and have no idea where to start. What armor should I get, where do I get it, do I need some comendations? I know there is a section in your guide abaout that, but its hard to comperhand for a newbie like me. Thanks a lot man!

Not a problem man 🙂

So the best place to start as soon as you hit level 65 is to head to the Commendation vendors on fleet and pick up some 208 gear with your Green Commendations. This will put you ahead of the curve so to speak to start participating in Story Mode Operations.

Your next objective should be to pick up as much 216 Item Level gear as you can, preferably from dropped Unassembled Token pieces and MK-2 gear, all of which drops off each boss in every current Operation. With these tokens you’ll want to use them to buy the Weaponsmaster gear set.

Once you have completed the 216 item level you would repeat the process in Hard Mode content for 220 item level pieces followed by Nightmare Mode content for 224 item level pieces.

As far as specific Armorings, Mods, and Enhancements to obtain that is all in the gearing section of the guide and should be straight forward enough to infer from.

Since i’ve had a lot of questions coming in about this topic i’ll do up an addition to the guide covering this and add it to the guide as soon as i’m able. Hope this answered your questions. Take Care!

Hi Jason

So first and foremost your Opportune Attack (and Hand of Justice) proc is displayed on your personal buff bar. These procs look exactly like the icons for those abilities. Furthermore you can go into the user interface and set those procs to display a gold border around the ability on your Action Bar when the proc is active.

As for your DPS in raid unfortunately there is not enough information to go on purely by looking at your end DPS for those fights. To better help you i would have to see logs of those fights so i can analyze it for more in-depth feedback.

In regards to your Precision / Blade Dance question you should never hold Precision for Blade Dance unless you can use Blade Dance in the next global cooldown or so, otherwise you should use Precision and follow your priority list.

Hey Trivium,

You’re right where you should be mate. I didn’t analyze your Ravage to see if you’re clipping it optimally but your rotation seems very solid. If you take a look at the gearing build at the 216 level you’ll see the following “6220 DPS @ 52.2 APM”. You’re at 6.2K and 52.4 APM so you’re right where average mathematical analysis says you should be with your current gear.

Not that you would be able to infer this from my parse but that was a “lucky” parse. At the release of 4.0 we had the 216 item level at around 6.6K and my average parse was high 6.2 to low 6.3K. Needless to say Bant and I had a brief conversation about this and found some things that needed to be adjusted in the analysis which, once corrected, brought the average down to 6.2K.

All in all you’re doing absolutely great mate, keep doing what you’re doing 🙂

Thanks for heads-ups Hayete, btw I am always clip Ravage at 0.3 or so. Also, I found that if you use Vicious Throw right before activating Gore (VC under Gore’s buff) it’s direct DPS GAIN. Dunno how is that, but after Opener section I managed to keep 6.6k DPS using this technique. Or maybe I was lucky 😛

It’s because you’re getting it inside the Gore window, what i call “clipping” i go over that methodology in both the guide and my video guide because under normal circumstances that is optimal 🙂

Great, just when I’m getting a hang of this, they nerf clashing blast (4.0.3.) … Hayete, any idea how the increased crit on Saber Storm (10% > 15%) may play out with this? Will the nerf affect the “priorities”? Cheers

I do not forsee anything changing however I wont know for sure until we get down to it and number crunch with the new coefficients.

With that said lets say you have a 12K Clashing Blast then with this change you’d see about a 840 damage difference after Tuesday on that single attack from just the straight Clashing Blast damage reduction. With them raising our “Chance” to critically hit by 5% with Clashing Blast some of this difference will be made up but not by a huge amount.

So based on that “off the top of my head” analysis i’m estimating it’ll be a DPS decrease for the spec of about 300 DPS overall but the Rotation, priorities, etc. should remain fixed. I’ll get with Bant here soon and see if he and I can work together to come up with some solid numbers after this change.

Hi Hayete,
First of all, congrats on this awesome guide. I literally enjoy Combat more than I did before, when I picked it up after that gruesome 3.2.1 watchman patch… Though I played combat before I actually feel like I understand the specs more now. And that feels awesome.
I dunno if you’ve been crunching some numbers on your side, but the alternate rotation (I like to call it the 3 clashing blast rotation ^^) seems to still be on top of the “basic” one, although slightly less than before; the basic rotation seems to benefit from the increased crit damage on blade rush. Still hitting 6k5 with the alternate….. Running PVP implants/relics though 😀
Also I was wondering, I’ve been giving a shot at dispatch > precision > clashing blast > blade rush in the precision window, in the build up section of the alternate rotation. You know, to milk more DPS from that precision window.
In that case I observed that we need to add one more GCD before the Zen phase, that I fill with a strike right after the twin saber throw. That way, you can go for clashing blast > blade rush > blade rush > precision > blade dance > clashing blast > strike during Zen.
Of course every now and then you won’t have enough concentration and will need to forego the first blade rush and go for a strike, for concentration issues. Let me know what you think of that.
I was also thinking, on the alternate rotation scheme, it could make things easier to show on which GCDs it is OK/safe to use the free dispatch on your scheme (second blade rush after Zen, second and third blade rush in the build up section) when it’s not synced with the precision window. It would probably be easier to understand.
Finally, you don’t talk about the exec phase on the alternate rotation. To get max DPS we theoretically would need to use dispatch when it’s up and when it’s free, that is twice per cycle, correct? But with the dispatch proc running around your cycle, it can get tough to anticipate… Any tips on how to deal with that?
Voilà, sorry for the gigamongous post, and hats off again to you and Don Quijote for your great work, keep it up guys.


I’m really glad to hear you’re enjoying the spec 🙂

The numbers i have on my guide for the gearing strategies are based off the Standard Rotation since it is the most stable platform. Right now i’m seeing the Alternate Rotation pushing ahead by about 100 DPS still which is really nice.

Funny you mention the different way you’re utilizing the Alternate Rotation cause Don and myself were LITERALLY just talking about that today :p

Honestly the reason i do not cover execute in the Alternate Rotation is because you have to have mastered the Standard Rotation to really pull it off and in my own mind i feel if you’ve mastered the Standard Rotation you’ll know exactly how to handle your execute phase in the Alternate Rotation. You’re right though you’ll want to use it as close to cooldown as possible and, atleast for me, this has never been an issue when following the points i’ve marked out in the guide. I definitely use it as often as possible within the Precision window as long as Clashing Blast is on Cooldown.

Hey All,

Our analysis of the 4.3.0 changes to Combat Spec are complete and here are the results.
– Overall DPS at each gearing level dropped by 30 DPS
– All prior gearing strategies and compositions remain unchanged

To summarize we lost 30 DPS from the changes and you can still gear the same way as you were. Enjoy!

Hi Hayate and co.

Nice Guide and a lot of information. Thx for that.
I have just a smal question for my understanding. Why do you use “so much” augments for alacrity on HC- and NM-Gear? Why not crit to enhace the dmg on clashing blast, etc.?


Hi Barukar,

The reason is that you want to strike a balance between Alacrity and Crit. With that the indepth explanation is that we crunched the mathematical formulas on all Crit all the way through all Alacrity and everything in between and the numbers i have on the guide were the highest composition (balance) possible. With that said I’m currently number 1 on parsley for Combat/Carnage Sentinels/Marauders so i promise they work! 😀

1- im starting to see where the nerf hammer will attck next time..does that 2nd rotation really work in operation hm/nim??i think u told somehere that u were trying to use that rotation to see how it work?
im in 4-224 rest 220 main/offhand 220 and i already have parses like 6900+(lucky ones) but parsing ~6700 and this is with the normal rotation that i use for OPs. stop parsing with the 2nd rotation! 😀 please….

2-Is it “ilegal” to use inspiredfocus?

3-Thanks a lot hayete since i start to follow ur and Don posts i became from being a 3000dps or less in most fight in hm3.0(and i think it was good) to be a +6k and being my current guild(that is prett good ,i think, 9/10hm in 3.0) top parser single target(even before latest nerfs to my guildfriends((poor gunslingers…).

4-Advice to everyone! read everything in the guide, and read all the guides u can about other class too(u will always learn something). i just got 100 more dps from seing the video from hayete and finally get those apms.

5-3.0 before hayete it as always -Buuu!!sentinels(combat) and a lot off whining After… they start to shut up

note: ive never played games before swtor (gta or something)

1. I can’t promise i’ll stop using the alternate rotation :p Besides it’s Don’s fault anyhow since he developed it and had an amazing parse on Parsely that i was intent on beating 😀

2. You can if you like. It definitely wont hurt anything. Since the rotation i’ve developed allots for proper Focus management you wont need the Focus but having extra never hurts!

3. I’m very happy to hear you’ve seen improvement following these methods 🙂

4. I tell people that all the time! LOL

5. It’s super easy to complain and be upset. I tend to say to hell with that and just enjoy the game and have fun. I don’t know about most players but I pay $15 a month to have a great time, not to complain 😉

6. Never on accident and always on purpose! Those who follow me on Twitch and watch our live runs know I HATE standing around waiting to pull trash mobs LOL 😀

Do you by any chance know of any good Concentration Sentinels that can help me with PvE gearing and PvP gearing as well?

I’m sorry Matthew for the late reply. Unfortunately i do not know of anyone other than Oofalong. I’m not sure if he’s still working on the guide for it but you can try making contact with him and seeing if he has any information for you. I know he was maintaining a guide on the spec during 3.0

Hi Hayete, first of all, awesome guide!!! I went from 4k to 6k just by reading this and adjusting my rotation. Really awesome.

Now, in dummies, I got it right, but I am falling behind in ops. Basically, once my rotation is break (due to mechanics), I am having a bit of trouble getting it back.
To point out the specific point, I have as indicator the activation of Zen as “ready to burst”, so when I got Zen after Dispatch, I am good to go. My problem, since rotation was break, a lot of times I can’t manage to get Zen back when I suppose to. Maybe I’m missing something, but can you point how to get back to rotation, assuming it was break at any point (we cannot anticipate in an op where it will break). What is triggering Zen activation?

Thanks in advance for any notes you can share

Hi Oscar,

Rotation in live raid is something that is very difficult to pull off exactly. Often times you’ll be unable to follow the rotation exactly how i have it laid out in the guide due to mechanics or damage taken. If you’ve chosen the Stoic utility you gain centering when you take damage. This can cause you to build Centering faster than normal and you’ll have Zen come up in a different spot than normal.

I’m having a bit of a difficult time understanding exactly what you’re asking but it sounds like that is your problem. Basically try and stick to the rotation until it breaks then once it breaks follow the priority list until you can get it back on track. Remember you can also use Valorous Call to get a Zen instantly. In doing so you can reset your rotation when you want.

To answer your last question about what is triggering Zen, you are the one who has to trigger it. Zen will not activate on it’s own. IF you meant to ask how do you get a Zen then the answer to that is through building centering which every ability you do, minus one or two, builds 4 stacks of centering up to a max of 30. Once you gain 30 stacks you can use Zen.

Hope that answers your questions. Take care mate!

Thanks for the reply! You manage to answer exactly what I was asking for 🙂
I use Valorous Call to get Zen as much as possible (long cd). The 30 centering was the one I was missing!! That was it, I will try to work around get max centering fast to get back on track.
Thanks again and keep the good work. Hope some time I am able to be close to your parsings xP

Hi Hayete thanks for your great guide. I just started to play SWTOR and I’m trying to understand the game. I would really appreciate it if you answer my questions:

My combat sentinel is level 18. What abilities should I use during leveling. When I fight with a single enemy I firstly use focus generating abilities then just spam Slash, Blade Dance feels like waste of time. Am I wrong? Should I use Blade Dance and Blade Storm instead of spamming Slash.

Also what should I do when fighting with group of enemies. Ataru Savvy makes Cyclone Slash stronger. Is there a situation that I should use Force Sweep over Cyclone Slash?

Most people on forums say that you shouldn’t worry about your rotation and abilities at this level but I don’t enjoy playing if I feel that I don’t use my abilities efficiently. If you answer my question considering the abilities that I will get while leveling up, it would be great.


Hi Khad,

So my overall answer to your question is this, use the rotation I have on the guide and (More Importantly) the priority list for single target with the abilities you have available. You can replace Blade Rush with Slash until you get it and you can use Blade Storm in place of Clashing Blast until you get it. If you get to a point in the priority list and do not have that ability, skip it. Also understanding the three rules for Sentinel DPS i have in the guide will also be something to master while leveling. Ok on to your questions specifically.

I would highly suggest you use Blade Dance in line with the teachings i have in the guide. Keep in mind that Blade Dance stuns weak enemies, this can be useful when facing multiple targets.

The only time i use or prioritize Force Sweep over Cyclone Slash while leveling is for it’s stun effect on weak enemies. You can hit a group of enemies and stun them for a few seconds while you start cyclone slashing. This can be a huge help but only works on standard enemies and will not work on silvers or gold targets.

Hopefully this answers your questions. Just do your best to apply all points made in the guide with the available abilities you have. Also, another piece of advice is to really understand your defensive cooldowns and use them as often as needed. They can really make or break you during a fight while leveling.

Hi Hayete and awesome job as usual 🙂

(Please forgive my english, french people are so bad for foreign languages ^^)
I practiced you alternate rotation for a few hours, with Clashing Blast on cooldown (synchonized with Zen), and i must admit it’s pretty efficient actually!
The problem now is that I’m messing around a little bit when going under 30% of the dummy. If I use dispatch (without proc) on cooldown, I break the rotation due to concentration or cd’s, and have to go back with the old rotation. And if I don’t use dispatch without proc and continue the rotation, it just not seems right to me ^^. At this point, with my what-the-fuck finish, parses are about 6k8-6k9…

So my question is : What about your use of Disptach under 30% now ?
Thanks 🙂

Well, actually I think i solved the issue by myself ^^
I look at your parse, and after a while the proc on dispatch occurs sooner, so you put it back in precision window (between Zens), so I did the same and my problem under 30% seems to be gone. Do not ask why ^^
I should be able to get to 7k very soon 🙂

Anyway, thank you for answering so fast, and keep on doing such a great job 🙂

Hey Hayete,
First of all – Nice guide, thanks for it!
Two quick questions:
1. Why has Twin Saber Throw it’s greatest effect during Zen? Wouldn’t this apply to every ability?
2. You can use Blade Rush right before Precision like Dispatch or Twin Saber Throw, so I run a little modification of your Rotation (Build Up).

Blade Rush — Zealous Strike — Blade Rush — Precision — Dispatch — Clashing Blast — Blade
Rush — Blade Rush — Blade Rush — Dispatch

So you should always get 3 abilities inside the Precision-window and if the timing is bad, “only” a Blade Rush would hit outside the Precision-window and not a Dispatch. Note: If Hand of Justice is about to expire, I certainly use Dispatch before Precision instead of Blade Rush.

Hi there Moray,

1. Twin Saber Throw is one of three Focus generating abilities all of which are low in damage output. The reason I say that is because you want your weaker attacks to be executed for as short a time as possible. Strike, Zealous Strike, and Twin Saber Throw all should be utilized with Zen (when able) to minimize the DPS decrease associated with using these abilities. Due to the nature of the spec Zealous Strike will have to be used outside of Zen. The other abilities can be used every time with Zen to achieve this ideal methodology and Twin Saber Throw can be clipped into Precision to make it a DPS gain instead of a DPS loss.

2. Do you perhaps have a video recording of you doing this? I’m unable to match the rotation as you have it laid out. At the time i get to using Zealous Strike it is still 1.1 seconds away from being off the global cooldown. Similarly the Blade Rush right after is 0.6 seconds away from being off the global cooldown for me when trying to apply this ‘Build-Up’ modification. Are you perhaps doing something different in the ‘Opener’ or is there a mistake in what is laid out here perhaps? If not i can make a video recording of this portion of the rotation for visual reference. Thanks for the feedback, let me know 🙂

Hey Hayete,
I’ll have a look at my Opener / Rotation / etc and possibly create a video, too.
But first I analyze it to find any mistakes ^^ – There may be some delays, but I’m not absolutely sure. I’ll let you know.

good guide but i might be noob i tryed to understand but i dont figure how to do rotation i read the guide 3 time i am a clicker i dont use buttons when i play but can try to explain a bit easyer ro me on how i do the right please Hayete

Hey mate,

Honestly I dont know a better way to explain it other than how i have. Do you know anyone on your server who is well versed with the spec who can explain it to you and help you go through the paces? That’s really the only other thing that could be done is to have someone show you step by step in game.

Martin, may I humbly suggest that you start using buttons?

On *any* build, without hotkeys and using the keyboard, clicking only will *always* be slower and net you lower DPS. Combat-spec specifically relies on skill and speed; the build is very fast with its ability activations and unless you click at super-human speeds, you won’t be able to get the most out of this build without keyboard buttons and hotkeys.

You’ll be CAPABLE of doing good damage. There are some things you have to know that about the rotation to make it work all the time and i go over that in the section. You need to understand your Single Target and Precision Priorities lists to do good damage.

I’m having some trouble understanding your question in the way you asked it. Again, this information is all explained in the Rotation section at the end of the Standard Rotation.

You’ll Start with the image and do everything that is shown there. Then you’ll go back to Build Up, then Burst, then Build Up, then Burst, etc.

There are some things you have to do to make it work though and those are, again, in the guide at the end of the Standard Rotation section. Please make sure you read that or it will not work as intended.

aah i see tank you i did the rotation and i crited yellow idint do tht before so it might be good 🙂 but this is my last question to you after force leap you cant use zen right after it wont allowing you to do sorry for trouble you and tank you

I go over how to do this in the Utility section of the guide. The Contemplation utility is responsible for allowing you to have Zen. I’ll let you go back to the guide and read about the specifics.

I benefitted well from this vlguide my sent/mara are boss in comat/carnage PVE. If only you could make a PvP one that would be great.

Since Precision doesn’t respect the GCD, when I do Dispatch/Twin Saber Throw > Precision in order to clip the former into the Precision window and follow up with a Blade Dance, I don’t think I am getting all 3 ticks inside the Precision window because I am activating Precision exactly after I use Dispatch/TST and have to wait for the GCD to activate BD.

Should I instead follow up a Dispatch/TST > Precision with a proc’d Clashing Blast Instead/

Basically, it seems like it seems like I am having trouble activating Precision in the middle of the GCD and not getting the full 3 second window. Should I wait for the GCD to end before hitting Precision?

If i’m understanding this properly you’re attempting the following

Dispatch/Twin Saber Throw (Clipping) > Precision > Blade Dance

and you’re saying you dont feel the three hits from Blade Dance are all making it into the Precision window? If this is correct then you’re doing it to slowly or you’re attempting this method without Zen which is required. If you have stacks from Zen you should be able to do the following all within the Precision window.

Dispatch/Twin Saber Throw (Clipping) > Precision > Blade Dance > Clashing Blast

Ok gotcha, so Zen is required to pull this off.

If Zen is not available, and Dispatch/TST, Clashing Blast, and Blade Dance are all available, how would you execute your precision window?


What am i am i missing here in the power section. All my stats and augs are close to this. Accuracy is 110.4%
Alacrity is 10.4%
ever other aug is crit. I am a mix of all 216 gear (glowing vendor and 3 pieces of 220) only 1 set piece 216 leg. my crit is 32%

6190 DPS @ 52.2 APM

4969 Mastery | 2680 (1xCrystal) Power | 1233 (8xAug) (1xCrystal) Critical | 669 (5xAug) Alacrity | 681 (1xAug) Accuracy

My power is only at 1900. How should i be at 2680??? am only parsing at 5400 tops on combat dummie with 1mil hp and armour debuff.


The power figure there is assuming you have ALL datacrons in the game collected, companion increases, and min/max’d gear for the specific tier you’re looking at. Vendor gear is never min/max’d gear. I would assume this is where the discrepancy lies with what you’re seeing here versus your own composition.

Ok, I was assuming that it was possible that not having all set pieces and all my gear except 1 piece being vendor bought was playing a role, but being almost 750 off on the power aspect seemed like a big discrepancy. Didn’t realize you can’t really min/max vendor gear. Though that’s what I have been doing. Ty very much for taking the time to reply.

Not a problem Sean, happy to help. If you follow the information on ‘Mods’ and ‘Enhancements’ in the gearing chapter of the guide you should have all the information you need to min/max i.e. what the names of the items are that are best in slot. Take care mate!

Ok. Nvm. Just talked with friend of mine. I’m new to game. And thought my min/maxing has been me just swaping augs around. He informed me that true min maxing is also get the right mods and enhancements in your gear.

So, if I’m reading this right, the stat priority is now Mastery->Accuracy (110%)->Critical->Alacrity, and don’t worry about Power so much?

I’m asking this as someone who’s still building up my Sentinel, if it matters…

Mostly this is correct. Mastery comes with everything so you dont really need to worry about this stat, it will just happen. Accuracy as close to 110% as possible. Crit and Alacrity should be split in an approximate 60%/40% distribution. Power will also be like Mastery and will just come through the gearing process. However if you are below level 65 all this information goes out the window. If you’re leveling at all just take the gear as it comes. This game is not like others where gearing stats matter while leveling.

Reading it all, i didnt find 1 information. How much can i delay clashing blast or dispatch to be able to use it inside precision which is coming from CD soon?

The internal cooldown on Hand of Justice, which procs your Dispatch, is 20 seconds and the proc lasts for 15 seconds. So you can technically hold it for as long as you have the proc. Remember however that there is lag and the GCD to consider so don’t wait till 14 seconds to try and activate it or you may miss the proc. This idea is the same for Clashing Blast although because Opportune Attack procs everytime you use Blade Rush you should always have this proc every 3 to 4 GCDs.

I have one question- In raiding situation- you have Precision coming off cd, you have buffed clashing blast and blade dance available, but youre ZEN is only on 24 stacks. What do you do? Do you delay precision so you can use zen blade dance+ clashing blast in precision, or you just use blade dance in precision and clashing blast out of the window?

It depends on the given situation and impending mechanics you’ll have to deal with from that point to the time Blade Dance would complete it’s damage. The overall answer would be to hold Precision and Clashing Blast until you obtained the last 6 stacks you need to activate Zen. This would take two abilities or one if you’re taking damage at that time and you have the Stoic utility. Back to my in-depth answer, if you know you’re about to have a heavy movement phase coming up around the time you would be using Blade Dance then it may be better to skip that and just use Precision and Clashing Blast. All of this is very situational and requires you to really understand PvE mechanics and how to move the spec around them. Lastly, if you refer back to the guide you’ll NEVER use Blade dance unless under Zen so that last question the answer is a firm no.

Thx for quick reply. I was just checking, thats what i would do. Your guide is great. I usually played watchman, or my favorite specs dotsmash or smasher-old focus (really dont like what they did in 3,0 with that spec), so was just picking your brain. Combat can be fun, i just tried your rotation on dummy with mix 216/220 gear best i could pull was 6,450 or smth like that, apm is usually around 53 which is a little under optimal. I tried it in operation and was awesome, still i cant pull numbers like my vanguard (although my vanguard is 224 geared and i played it a lot more in operations so im used to it, so i didnt expect to pull same numbers, even if sentinels are better now dummy wise). I just have one more question, so blade dance with no zen is a no go? example brontes nim, i have everthing of cd (including blade dance) but dont have zen, i jumped on brontes in 2nd phase, used zealous strike, blade rush to maintain proc (and it will proc my hand of justice)- precision- dispatch- clashing blast? So basiclly i was in position to go for opener rotaton but didnt have any stacks of zen so i skiped opener and went for build up? *This is all assuming i didnt have valorious call to jump back in with proper opener. Thx for your reply and sorry for long post.

Firstly this is an excellent guide and is very well laid out and informative and as helped me to a certain extent . But , like all other guides on this site it seems to be aimed at Level 60 and up !! . What I would like to see is some starter guides. Abilities change as you progress through the levels and perhaps a gearing and rotation guide to reflect this progression could be very useful to the beginner.

Hi Richard,

This is actually a question i get quite often. The problem with SWTOR is it is not structured as other MMO’s while going through the leveling process. The available gear you have while leveling will never get you close to any kind of optimized stat distribution. Furthermore, the difficulty of the leveling experience is constructed in a way that you’ll always be “over geared” for the content you’re currently progressing through.

The other issue is where the standard should be for change. Generally a leveling guide would take you through changes and rotation optimization as you acquire each new ability. With SWTOR the abilities and passives you need are primarily towards the second half of the leveling process. Once you enter that portion of the leveling process things can change quite rapidly to the point a leveling guide would have to be written every couple of levels to completely optimize the player during the leveling process within certain level brackets.

The advice I give when I receive this question is to apply what you can in the guide when you can apply it. I understand starting as a new player a lot of this will be foreign to you and may not make sense. However, later on once you hit max level and with time and experience you’ll look back on this and it will make complete sense. Basically, you’ll want to apply the Single Target Priority list through the entire leveling process. Any ability unavailable to you you’ll simply skip. You’ll use Blade Storm in place of Clashing Blast until you gain Clashing Blast towards the end of the leveling process. You’ll also use Slash until you acquire Blade Rush. Once you gain Precision start to apply the Precision Priority Window in the same regard. Use what you can as you gain the abilities. By doing this you’ll actually set yourself up practicing what you’ll be doing at max level and making it muscle memory as you go through the process.

Leveling as Combat is really about just using the Priority lists with available abilities. Gear however is much more simplified. Just take whatever comes and you’ll be more than geared to handle the content. I’ve tested this extensively to include changing gear every 20 to 25 levels (total gear changes about 2 or 3 from level 1 to 65). Remember though that Combat is all about speed so you NEED to be able to get your abilities off as quickly as you can. If you keybind this is the optimal time to start figuring that out and if you are a click player you’ll want to do your best to move over to keybinding as Sentinels suffer greatly from any delay in attacks, even small ones introduced by clicking. Lastly, understand ALL of your defensives as you get them. You’ll need these through the leveling process at certain points depending on how fast you’re flying through content.

I hope that at least helps you to a degree and somewhat gives you an explanation regarding your question. Take care man and good luck!

Did I calculate it right, that without any gear (empty slots and empty lightsaber shells) I should have around 50APM? I am asking cause I wanted to practise rotation before I start spending tokens on gear

So… No one is creating Guides for all talent trees?
I’m guess all stat gear doesn’t matter for concentration, compare with watchman?

Great guide, thanks for your hard work! 🙂
Got a silly/stupid question though: how bad is Combat/Carnage WITHOUT Precision/Gore? Obviously it’s subpar for raiding, but what of questing/dailies/gallivanting around? And if Precision/Gore is dropped, which other abilities dont make sense using?

Hi there! Sorry for the week later response. I seemed to have missed the notification for this comment.

Honestly you can do just about anything you want for dailies and heroics etc. since things tend to die so fast.

Without precision you can still do and use all your abilities you’ll just not benefit from the armor penetration meaning you’ll just hit a bit weaker than normal. Everything you know can be done regardless of precision availability you’ll just do unoptimized damage.

Are you ever going to make a guide about the Concentration Discipline? That’s the one I like to use because it has the most attacks.

Currently I have no plans in place to make a Concentration guide. More so because It is unusable in Progression settings. Combat and Watchman specs heavily outweigh it in terms of damage output and viability. Honestly, Concentration is used as a PvP spec and little more than something to play with and have fun with in Story Mode Operations. Other than those two arenas most players will not use it.

i have a more generalized question. Are you using a mouse with a bank of buttons, or are you using a specialized keyboard with the number keys laid out to be pressed with your left hand?

Hello Hayete,

I recently took up combat sentinel after a long stint with watchman and I am trying to follow your normal rotation. However I am having some issue with this –

“So here you should be using — Twin Saber Throw – Blade Rush – Zealous Strike –. Everything else in the Burst section will happen as originally depicted.”

In the first couple of passes, after zent+TST, I am using 1 blade rush followed by zealous strike. But at later point, cooldowns are being shifted so much that I have to use 2 blade rush (and at the rare worst case, 3 blade rush) before I am able to use zealous strike, precision, burst.

Here is a sample parse – (has some obvious mistakes at later points like accidentally using CB before BD but the skewing begins earlier in the rotation). You will see I needed to use 2 blade rush early on after zen TST before I could use zealous strike.

Could you point out what is skewing the cool downs so much.
Thanks so much.

Hey mate,

So the Third Zen is where you lost it. After the Third Zen you use Twin Saber Throw, two Blade Rushes, then Zealous Strike. You delayed Zealous Strike too long and threw off the energy management for the rotation. After you did this you never seemed to figure out how to bring the rotation back in alignment with where it’s suppose to be. So point being your issue was not following the rotation exactly. Regardless 6.8K at 55 APM is still very good. Just stick with the rotation and you should be fine. Take care mate.

Hey Hayete,
So I practiced more and decided to move on to the alternate rotation and to be honest, I found it more fluid and organic than the original rotation 😀 . I found that it is quite easy to maintain the rotation on a dummy and even in actual raids it is not that difficult to realign in case a mechanic pulls you off. As you predicted, the dps went up.
I stopped watching Zen though in raid (it is tempting to use it as soon as it is full), as I don’t want to screw up the Cooldown of CB by using it outside Zen window in the burst cycle. Now I am just mentally counting abilities after the build up section precision. 3 abilities, then TST, Zen, CB.
I compared my parse with yours and saw that you are actually using strike before zen/CB and using TST before PS. I will try that today and see if I can take it beyond 7K. I am missing 6 224 pieces though, including offhand, so I don’t expect to get near your numbers but I’ll try to come as close as possible.
Also your 83% dispatch crit over my 55% – I have drink my felix felicis potion before parsing. 😛
Take care and thanks for the guide.

Hello Hayate,

just a few (hopefully) quick questions.

I’ve been trying to use the dispatch trick (use dispatch and then quickly precision) and I am not sure if I should use it when I have blade dance ready (i.e. dispatch -> precision -> blade dance). Will the last tick of blade dance still be in the precision window?

And if I understand correctly, I should have zen ready for every burst window. Sometimes I don’t (most likely because I fill incorrectly). How to recover from that? Should I delay precision for a gcd or two? Use zen in build-up? Or wait all the way to the next burst window?

Thanks in advance.

You can absolutely use the Dispatch trick and (if you do it fast enough) you’ll be able to get the last tick of Blade Dance in. However no set rotation supports this so if you use this it will break any rotation you have going. With that said this happens during live raid quite often so it shouldn’t be an issue.

Are you asking this question based on live raid fighting or dummy parsing? If you’re on a dummy and do not have Zen available every burst window you’re doing something wrong. In live raid you cannot guarantee you’ll have it every burst window due to mechanics, damage, and target swapping. In that case if you can make it to Zen in two GCDs or less then wait, otherwise i suggest using it immediately.

Hayate, fellow vet but am still servingi been working on the combat sent for awhile since it was my first char i made when game launched but never took the time to master it, I am in in 224 full set piece armor, my stats are 5186 mastery 6278 END PWR 2873 Crit 1247 ALC 825 Acc 723.. but here is the link to one of my parses its bout a 5k. the best i have done is around 5.3-5.5k. was wondering if you could take a look and see what i might be doing wrong.

this rotation im using is a friend of mine his parse is

Thank you

David i’ve answered this via email for you so you should have my response in your inbox.

On your friends parse that is a rotation that was developed at the end of 3.0 and not a rotation that i advocate on my guide because it is VERY VERY difficult to pull of both on a dummy and in live raid unless your internet connection is very good and your mastery of the class is near perfect. If you go look at my current parse on Parsely you’ll see that is the rotation i use and also what i use in raid when able. Currently that is the best rotation in the game for Combat and will yield the highest overall DPS if you’re able to use it properly.

Advice for future posts mate, make them informative. If you’re referencing the top Combat/Carnage parses currently they are not rotational based but priority based. As far as a repeatable, cyclic, rotation then yes the one mentioned to the OP is still Optimal.

His parse does not become truly cyclic until 48 seconds into the parse at time stamp 10:37:23.825 so you are right and I was wrong with my first glance at it.

With that said though his opening rotation is purely dependent on the ‘Inspired Focus’ utility (Thirst for Rage for Marauders). Without that utility the Opener conducted breaks at the 7th Blade Rush (Massacre for Marauders).

Lastly, the executed rotation there is highly dependent on near perfect Latency and APM (generally 55.4 on the mathematical model) due to the ‘clipping’ technique used on every Precision (Gore) window. For all but the best players this ‘Rotation’ would not be doable.

Since i’ve been travelling for the last 3 days and just got back to my office i’ll look into this rotation with more depth and analysis tomorrow. However, those that know my play style and teaching methodology know I do not advocate rotations that are only viable on dummy parses or unobtainable for the majority of the community. I.e. why the second highest DPSing Combat/Carnage rotation is not mentioned in my guide. I leave it to the players knowledgeable on the class and with the skill to execute it to then attempt it and if needed i’m here to help with it. This one does look promising so i’ll test it out and provided my opinion on it in the near future. Right out the gate though i’d advocate for opening with Force Leap (Force Charge) and not Twin Saber Throw (Dual Saber Throw) as the former generates one more Focus (Rage) than the latter and is more representative of what would be done inside PvE content.

Septumis here, actually the rotation still works even without Thirst for Rage as shown here just gotta replace one of the Massacres in the opener for a basic attack, I also personally use Dual Saber Throw instead of force charge in my opener so I can get nasty Vicious Throw crits in my opener (around 23k), wouldn’t say this rotation is completely latency dependent either mainly just if you’re trying to pull of the rotation perfectly on the dummy which almost never happens in a real fight.

Right on brother. I actually found out last night that one of the guys in guild with me (Beastfury) created this rotation. I spoke with him about it while we were in raid last night for the Phalanx Squad Project and he forwarded me his excel spreedsheet on how the rotation is suppose to be implemented, or atleast how he originally had it ( I’m going to do some of my own testing with it to figure out a few things like dealing with the floating Dispatch (Vicious Throw) proc that slides throughout the rotation and a few other nit picky details with it. After that i’m going to work with Beastfury to do up a synopsis on the rotation and i’ll update the guides with it.

I personally disagree with this not being latency dependent though. I’ve met up with and done training with hundreds of Sentinels/Marauders over 3.0 and 4.0 and from my experience any time you’re clipping into Precision (Gore) which includes Blade Dance (Ravage) latency becomes an issue of consideration. Players in Europe playing on US servers and visa versa or even players playing West Coast who are East Coast and get the occasional lag spike can be detrimental in trying to pull off these types of optimal burst combinations.

Regardless though thanks for your input and congrats on your number 1 Combat/Carnage parse 🙂

I’ve been working with BeastFury to help refine his rotation to something that I could put into these guides. I was just refining that strategy and happened to get that lucky parse out of it.

I see you change dispatch for zen 😉 nice work i will study your work again then 😛

Now that i was practiceing to beat you and i was almost there you made that prse lol

Once again nice work mate.

Sorry this problably isnt the right place to talk about this..but once i was doing some 1.5m parse and i did that and was getting really good numbers at start but then i had a lot of lagg and leave it..and never tryed it again since. 🙂

Man I’ve just seen your parse! I lost my position and i should be mad at you, but it’s so amazing I just can’t 😉 Shame that parsely is cutting some numbers, because I believe on star parse you hit over 7500 ;). Once again incredible job and that parse is just CRAZY 😉

It was a completely lucky parse. I was parsing a few hours before that one and I was hitting 7.1 to high 7.2K on average. That one just happened to have everything go right i suppose.

Yea but this is all about 1 lucky parse out of hundreds ;). I’ve seen your crits on dispatch – 2 more hits than me and over 50k dmg more xD

I was wondering about your new parse, when you cast your dispatch just before your precision, do the damages of your dispatch fit inside your precision window ?
Also, is this new rotation you made viable in operations or is it only viable on dummy to try get more dps ?

I cover your first question in my guide regarding ‘clipping’. This method is also part of the priority list.

The rotation, like every other rotation, is usable both on a dummy and in PvE content. However, like all the other rotations at some point it will break and you’ll end up using your Priority list until you’re able to jump back in.

the clipping method, in the text verison below rotation image the build-up 2 has a a twin saber throw missing b4 precision

yes, im good at finding the smallest error..sry
good guide nonetheless

Alright I immediately looked up what to do and haven’t played in 3 years…this was my 1st toon that I started and it was my favorite with as far as I got in the game at the time…do u have any advice on how I should go about learning now?

About a month ago I did an episodic series covering the SWTOR Dark vs. Light event and during that I leveled a Combat Sentinel from start to level 65. I go over pretty much all of my tips, tricks, suggestions, rotations, gearing, etc. They’re two hour episodes and cover specific level ranges. You can find these on my Youtube channel. Those will be the best way to obtain the information you’re requesting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.