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SWTOR 4.0 Saboteur Gunslinger PvE Guide by Thrax

SWTOR 4.0 Saboteur Gunslinger PvE Guide by Thrax.[toc]

Introduction

Hello I’m Thrax/Thraxara/Agent_Thrax and I’ve been playing SWTOR at a Nightmare progression level for about 2 years now as a Sniper. I have had the privilage of raiding with some of the best players to ever grace this game and hope my experience and expetise can help you become the the best you can! I’ve raided with such guilds as Drop It Like it’s Hoth, Phantøms, Ufrog, Reckoning, Titans and Zorz at a Nightmare level. As of 5/11/2015 I have cleared all 4.0 Content with Phantøm’s playing all Sniper specs and keeping up with those Broken PT’s and hopefully you will too after reading this. I sometimes stream our raids on twitch if anyone’s interested, Can expect dank tunes and Nightmare bosses www.twitch.tv/agent_thrax🙂

With the release of 4.0 Bioware have finally vastly improved and reworked the Saboteur Spec to make it, to be blunt viable. I know many people didn’t bother to learn it in 3.0 including myself because Marksman and 3 Cull Virulence were so strong it made the spec pointless and the boss encounters leaned away for the spec and more towards the others anyway. With the resurrection of the old operations in conjunction with the reworking of the spec it’s now viable and if played correctly optimal on most bosses. In this guide I will aim to give you short, efficient advice on how to play Saboteur Gunslinger. This guide will be oriented towards PvE.

Overall Rating

I will cover 4 areas: DPS, Survivability, Spec Viability in Raids and Rotation Difficulty. Scores are rated from 1-10 followed by a short explanation (1 being the worst & 10 being the best. For Rotation, 1 is the easiest and 10 is hardest).

DPS: 9/10

4.0 Saboteur is “Single Target AoE” damage which in it’s self is a weird term and makes actually playing it fun and enjoyable but still gives you a challenge to make you stop and think rather than going on auto pilot. At the moment Saboteur is the highest parsing spec on the Parsely (http://parsely.io/parser/leaderboard) Leaderboards and to be honest it should be because it’s a hard spec to play in an actual raiding environment with movement because Plasma Probe/Incendiary Grenade being a grounded ability it gives it depth.

Survivability: 10/10

To quote the 3.0 Virulence guide writen by Yolo/Snickerr “To live a Gunslinger must remain in cover. We have a wide variety of defensive cooldowns to work with such as Shield Probe, Evasion, Covered Escape, Entrench, & Diversion. Shield Probe is used to mitigate moderate damage while Evasion (while in cover) would mitigate massive spikes. One of my favorite things about this class is being able to use Covered Escape at the perfect second to mitigate a high damaging ability 100% (think NiM Dread Guards).” Thanks to 4.0 we have all this TIMES TWO!! Imperial Preparation/Bag of Tricks! Resets the active cooldown on Evasion/Dodge, Countermeasures/Surrender, Shield Probe/Defense Screen, Cover Pulse/Pulse Detonator, Entrench/Hunker Down, and Covered Escape/Hightail It. This ability has a base cooldown of 3 minutes and is off of the Global Cooldown. This makes Gunslingers basically gods, I’ll talk more about this down below.

Spec Viability in Raids: 7/10 – Class Viability as a whole though is 9/10.

Gunslingers have always had a reserved spot in most raid groups and with the revival of the “Old Content” this holds true once again with 4.0. The combination of high damage and utilities like Diversion, Covered Escape and especially Ballistic Shield, Gunslingers are the best ranged DPS to take in most raid encounters (Everyone else re rolled to AP PT anyway it seems #Kappa). Saboteur though relies unlike Marksmanship and Virulence on a somewhat static target which limits where this spec can be played but get creative! Throughout my raiding time I’ve played “less than optimal” specs. To give an example Marksman on Tyrans Nightmare 90% of people went Lethality but I chose Marksman because I could make it work and managed to do sick DPS with it after experimenting.

Rotation Difficulty: 6/10

The Saboteur rotation is not hard at all! It’s just implementation into certain fights which at times can get tricky and not destroying your energy in the process. I will explain this more at the rotation section down below.

4.0 Changes

Here is a list of all the Saboteur changes from the 4.0 update if you haven’t already read the patch notes.

  • New Passive Skill: Field Command/Conflagration! Increases the critical chance of your Area of Effect abilities by 15%. -This is a nice general damage buff.
  • Plasma Probe/Incendiary Grenade is now trained at level 42 (up from 41)
  • EMP Discharge/Sabotage is now trained level 58 (up from 57)
  • Energy Overrides/Seize the Moment is now trained at level 60 (up from 59)
  • Imperial Auto Loader/Jury-Rigged Mods is now trained at level 36 (down from 56)
  • Electrified Railgun/Blazing Speed is now trained at level 40 (up from 36)
  • Electrified Blast/Hot Shot is now trained at level 44 (up from 40)
  • Efficient Engineering/Dealer’s Discount is now trained at level 48 (up from 44)
  • Sector Ranger/Spacer is now trained at level 52 (up from 48)
  • Scatter Bombs is now trained at level 56 (up from 52)
  • Explosive Engineering/Independent Anarchy is now trained at level 24 (up from 16)
  • Cluster Bombs/Contingency Charges is now trained at level 16 (down from 20)
  • Imperial Methodology/Insurrection is now trained at level 20 (down from 24)

Abilities and Passives

Useful Passives

bravado Bravado: Increases maximum energy by 10.
steadyshots2 Steady Shots: Increases the damage dealt by Snipe, Lethal Shot, Series of Shots, and Penetrating Blasts by 5%.
holdposition2 Hold Position: While in cover, ranged defense is increased by 20%, you cannot be leaped to or pulled, and you are immune to interrupts and ability activation pushback. In addition, Dodge reduces the damage you take from Force and Tech attacks by 75% while in cover. Very good to note that to obtain the 75% reduction from Dodge you do need to be in cover.
crackshot Crackshot: Increases the range of Overload Shot, Flash Bang, and Distraction to 30 meters, and additionally increases the range of all rifle, probe, and dart attacks by 5 meters. In addition, Corrosive Dart marks its target for 45 seconds. Marked targets take 5% more damage from ranged weapon attacks. This passive makes the Sniper unique. You have 5 extra meter range compared to other classes (35 over 30). On top of all this, Corrosive Dart is now a huge ability for this class. It was important for it to be up at all times whenever possible, but now it is a raid utility providing 5% damage increase from ranged attacks.

Offensive Cooldowns

smuggler'sluck Smuggler’s Luck: Increased the critical hit chance of your next Ambush/Aimed Shot, Explosive Probe/Sabotage Charge, or Cull/Wounding Shots by 100%. Lasts 20 seconds. (Cooldown: 1 minute). The 6 piece set bonus gives you an extra charge of this making the 6 piece a must! This is one of the main offensives for your rotation and should be used on cooldown.
illegialmods Illegal Mods: Increases ranged and tech accuracy by 30% and armor penetration by 15% for 10 seconds. The 4 piece set bonus buffs this ability significantly. “Reduces the cooldown of Target Acquired/Illegal Mods by 15 seconds and activating either ability restores 15 Energy instantly”. Another great offensive cooldown. You can either use this as an energy cooldown or a DPS cooldown from my experience.
coolhead Cool Head: Summons a probe that helps you recover 50 energy over 3 seconds. A resource gain cooldown that lets you gradually gain back 50 energy over time. Very good cooldown in a couple of scenarios:A.) Rotation complications that cause energy problemsB.) Intensive AoE spammingC.) Burn phases in raid fights aka Going Ham

Offensive Cooldowns

defensescreen Defense Screen: Summons a probe that projects a shield around the Smuggler, absorbing a moderate amount of incoming damage for 10 seconds. Does not break stealth. (Cooldown: 30 seconds)This defensive cooldown is great for mitigating small to moderate incoming damage, regardless of any damage type. Only use this when you can predict damage, and be very efficient with it.
dodge Dodge: Increases your chance to dodge melee and ranged attacks by 200% for 3 seconds. Does not break stealth. (Cooldown: 1 minute)With Hold Position, Evasion gains the benefit of mitigating Force and tech attacks by 75%. Therefore, it is imperative that you use it only for massive incoming damage as well as staying in cover for maximum potential.
scramblingfield Scrambling Shield: Deploys a ballistic shield that spans 10 meters around you and reducing the damage taken by allies that remain inside by 20%. Lasts 20 seconds. (Cooldown: 3 minutes// 2 minutes 30 seconds if specced into Deployed Shields)Your raid wide cooldown for your operations group. A very situational, but powerful defensive. You would ideally save this for burn phases where damage gradually takes a toll on your group, and making healers’ lives easier.
hunkerdown Hunker Down: Entrenches you into cover, becoming immune to all controlling effects. Only grants protection while in cover. Lasts 23 seconds (With Portable Bunker) (Cooldown: 1 minute // 45 seconds if specced into Lay Low). Entrench is your jack-of-all-trades cooldown with a myriad of utilities to support it. Immune to crowd control, movement-impairing effects, and physics, this cooldown is one of the best defensives a Gunslinger can have. There are plenty of utilities to list from:a.) Heads Up: When Hunker Down ends or you leave cover while Hunker Down is active, you gain Heads Up, which increases your movement speed by 50% and grants immunity to movement impairing effects. Lasts 6 seconds.b.) Lay Low: Reduces the cooldown of Entrench by 15 seconds and Cover Pulse knocks targets back an additional 4 meters.c.) Holed Up: Reduces all area effect damage taken by 60% while Entrench is active.
surrender Surrender: Activates countermeasures, instantly lowering threat by a moderate amount. Your main threat dropping ability. You would want to use it immediately after you perform your MAX DPS Opening Rotation or if you somehow pull threat from your tanks. Use this 2-3 GCD’s into your Opener.

Crowd Control and Raid Utility

pulsedetonator Pulse Detonator: Detonates an emergency charge that knocks all nearby targets back several meters and immobilizes them for 5 seconds. Damage dealt after 2 seconds ends the effect prematurely. Only usable in cover. (Cooldown: 30 seconds). This is your main knockback and can be buffed in the Masterful Utility section with Pillbox Sniper.
dirtykick Dirty Kick: Deals X energy damage and stuns the target for 4 seconds. Your “hard” CC stun ability (“Hard” means a stun that persists through damage).
flashgrenade Flash Grenade: Detonates a flash bang that blinds the target for 8 seconds. Damage causes this effect to end prematurely. (Cooldown: 1 minute)Your other CC ability but breaks on damage aka a soft stun..
legshot2 Leg Shot: Fires a shot that deals X weapon damage and immobilizes the target for 5 seconds. Direct damage dealt after 2 seconds ends the effect prematurely. This can come in useful for keeping adds still.
hightailit Hightail It: Roll forward 18 meters, purging movement slowing effects and landing crouched behind cover. While rolling, your chance to dodge attacks is increased by 100%. Your “anti-mechanic ability” which allows you to be invulnerable in a short window of rolling about 1.5s. Examples of this are Rolling the Orbs on Brontes HM/Nightmare, The Lightning Storm on Dread Gaurds Nightmare, The Doom mechanic on Dread Gaurds Nightmare, Kephass’ leap on TFB Nightmare and many more mechanics we can fromage with this ability.
division Diversion: Reduces the accuracy by 45% and exposes from cover up to 8 targets within 8 meters for 8 seconds. Cannot be used on Operation bosses. Diversion has been buffed to become an AoE utility skill which is a nice change. In certain raid fights with adds, this is a valued cooldown you need to save to help both yourself and the raid.

Spec Specific Abilities

clip_image002 Sabotage Charge: Direct Damage dealing ability, and has a cooldown of 18 seconds. Costs 15 energy and deals kinetic damage. This is one of the few instant damage abilities in the spec and by far the hardest hitting one. Also Drops 4 cluster bombs on the target which explode and regen 5 energy per explosion. This should be used with Laze Target/Smugglers Luck to Have 2 uses to make Sabotage Charge/Explosive Probe auto crit.
clip_image004 Speed Shot: 3 second channeled ability, and has a cooldown of 9 seconds. Costs 20 energy (5 energy per tick) and deals ranged/energy damage. Each shot leaves a DoT which stacks up to 3 times and can be refreshed by Thermal Grenade/Fragmentation Grenade.
clip_image006 Incendiary Grenade: AoE DoT based ability. DoT lasts 9 seconds, costs 15 energy and deals elemental damage. In addition, this ability overwhelms the target for 45 seconds, increasing the targets’ damage taken by AoE abilities by 10%.
clip_image008 Shock Charge: Single Target DoT ability. Lasts 18 seconds, costs 10 energy, deals energy damage and can only be applied to one target.
clip_image010 Vital Shot: Single Target DoT ability. Lasts 18 seconds, deals internal damage, costs 15 energy and can be applied to multiple targets. In addition, this ability marks its targets for 45 seconds. Marked targets take 5% more damage from ranged attacks.
clip_image012 Sabotage: Single Target Direct damage ability, has a cooldown of 18 seconds. Costs 15 energy and deals energy damage. This ability can only be used on a target that is being affected by your Shock Charge/Interrogation Probe. Also, this ability makes your next Thermal Grenade/Fragmentation Grenade free.
clip_image014 Thermal Grenade: Direct Damage Dealing ability, has a cooldown of 6 seconds. Costs 15 energy, refunds 5, and deals kinetic damage. Only use this after you use Sabotage/EMP Discharge to make this ability free. This ability also refreshes the stacking DoT left by Series of Shots/Speed Shot (Electrified Railgun/Blazing Speed).
clip_image016 XS Freighter Flyby: AoE ability which strikes the area every 3 seconds, and has a cooldown of 30 seconds. Lasts 9 seconds, costs 20 energy, and deals elemental damage. It does a little bit more damage than its similar counter-part Incendiary Grenade/Plasma Probe, however it also costs a little more energy, so it’s used should be limited to mainly AoE heavy fights or as an energy burn.
clip_image018 Sweeping Gunfire: A channeled AoE ability. Costs 35 energy, and deals weapon damage. This ability since the 3.0 update is a key Gunslinger AoE ability. It is now a viable AoE ability, however only use it with an energy cooldown available since it burns energy quite hard in this spec.
clip_image020 Quickdraw: Direct Damage Execute Ability, which has a cooldown of 12 seconds. Costs 15 energy and deals weapon damage. This can only be used on targets under 30% HP. Only use this to replace Corrosive Dart/Vital Shot if the target still has the 5% raid buff on it.
clip_image022 Charged Burst: Casted Damage Dealing ability. Costs 15 energy and deals weapon damage. This also applies one stack of Electrified Railgun/Blazing Speed, but this should rarely ever be used. Vital Shot and Flyby are better fillers to use in place of it.
clip_image024 Hightail It ‘s Scatter Bombs: Costs no energy, and leaves a trail of 5 bombs along its path. Each bomb has a radius of 1-2 meters, and one is placed every 2-3 meters. This is no longer a viable dps ability and should only be used along side rifle shot as an energy filler.

Utility List

Utilities

I shall only highlight useful ones.

Skillful:

  • Ballistic Dampers: Entering cover grants 3 charges of Ballistic Dampers. Each charge absorbs 30% of the damage dealt by an incoming attack. This effect cannot occur more than once every 1.5 seconds. Ballistic Dampers can only be gained once every 6 seconds. This utility has the best use in PvE by adding another layer of defensives in Hold Position. You will have the most use of it in many fights, and some moderate use in PvP.
  • Snap Shot: Entering cover makes the next Snipe or Lethal Shot activate instantly. This effect cannot occur more than once every 6 seconds This utility is pretty situational. Every six seconds, you have the opportunity to gain an instant Snipe/Lethal Shot which is pretty great if you need to kill of an add or boss quicker in burn phases or If your relics proc and are running out instead of hardcasting and the damaging being at the end of the gcd it starts at the beginning but the gcd still remains the same time which is a common misconception because “it shoots quicker”.
  • Cool Under Pressure: While in cover, you heal for 1% of your total health every 3 seconds.Only use this if Bioware brake the relics again and make Damage and Healing proc different relics.
  • Efficient Ammo: Increases the damage dealt by Suppressive Fire by 25%.For any boss encounter with cleave potential aka additions targets, this is the utility to go for.
  • Pulse Screen: Cover Pulse/Pulse Detonator increases your chance to resist Force and tech attacks by 20% for 6 seconds.This is an extremely solid cooldown only down side is it’s RNG based but 6 seconds is long enough and if for some reason it’s not it can also be activated again via Imperial Preparation/Bag of Tricks making this ability even more amazing.

Masterful

  • Heads Up: When Entrench ends or you leave cover while Entrench in active, you gain Seek Cover, which increases your movement speed by 50% and grants immunity to movement impairing effects. Lasts 6 seconds.I’ve listed Seek Cover because it has the potential to be useful. For example if you don’t have a marauder or juggernaut tanks for the transition tentacle phase on Brontes Nightmare this ability is great to dodge the beams.
  • Hotwired Defenses: Increases the amount of damage absorbed by Shield Probe by 30%.I take this in conjunction with Lay Low 95% of the time because they are both a must for basically every boss encounter.
  • Lay Low: Reduces the cooldown of Entrench by 15 seconds and Cover Pulse knocks targets back an additional 4 meters.I take this in conjunction with Hotwired Defenses 95% of the time because they are both a must for basically every boss encounter.

Heroic

  • Holed Up: Reduces all area effect damage taken by 60% while Entrench is active.I mean not much more I can add to the description of that, It’s just an extremely solid defensive buff and is a must for basically all fights. This is one of the trademark Sniper utilities.
  • Riot Screen: Reduces all damage taken while in cover by 6% and reduces the cooldown of Ballistic Shield by 30 seconds.This a great defensive passive that allows our Utility to shine again. -30s on the cooldown of Ballistic Shield is great for certain strat’s involving raid damage mitigation.

Common Builds

There is 2 Common Builds you can use.

Build A.) This is generally for single target based encounters.

Build B.) This is for more AoE oriented encounters.

Gearing

With 4.0 Crit and Alacrity are extremely valuable stats and this is no different with this spec. If you are unfamiliar with the changes you can read them here http://dulfy.net/2014/02/10/swtor-mechanics-basics-understanding-critical-chance/

I’m currently using this gearing set up (224 Gear):

  • 5372 Mastery
  • 2931 Power
  • 1236 (2xAug) (2xCrystals) Critical
  • 869 (5xAug) Alacrity
  • 679 (7xAug & 1 Enhancement) Accuracy (99.95%)
  • 6/6 Field Tech’s Set Bonus (Now the only Gunslinger Set Bonus, only negative 4.0 Gunslinger change :s)

In my personal opinion 99.95% is more DPS but you can remove a Crit/Alacrity piece and add 1 more Accuracy enhancement and take out 2-3 Augments to be at 100% if you prefer it.

Rotation

The new rotation for Saboteur with 4.0 is a lot of fun and rewarding when executed correctly. The rotation is pretty simple and nothing too fancy, Just a set rotation and making sure you use the right priority on 2 gcd’s when energy or the situation calls for it. There is only really 2 parts to this rotation; The Opener and and the default rotation.

But there are a couple of things to keep in mind.

  • Incendiary Grenade, Sabotage Charge, Speed Shots, Sabotage and Flyby are used on cooldown.
  • You can only use Sabotage on targets that are being affected by Shock Charge.
  • Activating Sabotage makes your next Thermal Grenade free.

The Opener!

For maximum dps use this as an opener. Not much to say on this just follow this and you will be golden. I would agro/threat drop on Adrenal to give tanks a fighting chance 🙂

REP opener

“The Main Rotation”

Once you have completed the opener you now move on to this rotation that doesn’t change until <30% which at that point Quickdraw replaces Vital Shot only if the target still has the Marked Target debuff, marked targets take 5% more damage from ranged attacks Vital Shot applies the debuff for 45s. I would only roll on a target for a parse 99% of the time in actual Operations Basic Attack is more viable and A LOT more safe. I would use energy cooldowns such as Cool Head at 40-50/60-50, Illegal Mods on GCD 9 and10 aka the Flyby and Vital Shot gcd’s to try to squeeze more DPS if you are using the max DPS rotation or saving things for a burst DPS phase.

On picture/GCD 9 and 10 priority is from top to bottom.

Continuing from the Opener

Just the same rotation as above but you start on the 5th picture/gcd it’s super simple.

Higher DPS Rotation

At points in the rotation you will have high energy or if you are entering a burn phase on a boss encounter and need maximum DPS, I would 100% encourage you to replace basic attacks and roll with:

A.) XS Freighter > Vital Shot if they aren’t already on the target (debuff included)or on cooldown.

B.) Quickdraw > Vital Shot if the target has the “Marked Target” debuff.

Of course, you’re going to want to use your high energy abilities when you have illegal mods and Cool Head up, but be conservative when they are on CD as it can be very tricky to not burn through your energy, again try not to push too hard until energy cooldowns re available.

This looks more like:

On picture/GCD 9 and 10 priority is from top to bottom.

Parse Analysis

parse analysis

Here you can get a general idea of what your highest damaging abilities will be on a stationary target over 1.5million HP and decent crit. (Don’t have a Republic Version of this yet soon tm*)

Video Example of Rotation

A general parse not going for anything advanced just a simple rotation. Description of the video explains this more.

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKcQsAM2_90&w=448&h=252&hd=1]

Don’t have a Slinger at 65 sadly but it’s the same buttons 🙁

Playing Saboteur in a Raid Environment

As a general rule only play Saboteur on either; A.) A 65% Static target or B.) An AoE Intensive fight. This yields the greatest DPS. I would encourage you to experiment with what bosses this spec can be played on, with planning, knowledge and communication it can be a great spec to play on 70% of boss fights.

Use defensive cooldowns efficiently and effectively, Research certain fights/encounters and look for where damage is coming from and use your cooldowns accordingly.

Talk to the raid leader/tanks about when and where the boss/adds will be for maximum DPS it’s essential to always precast when ever you can and a greater under standing of the fight as a whole is always nice to have.

Don’t needlessly dps meter pad (Inflating your DPS by cleaving adds when you should be hitting boss…ect). I see people do this all the time and it annoys me because it mostly results in a wipe or them getting agro and dying. Don’t be that guy “pls m8, pls”.

Also don’t be afraid to save abilities such as Flyby for say a mechanic that releases adds in like 20s such as Draxxus or Grob’Thok as it will yield more dps and we all love DPS!

This is a general Slinger rule but use your Raid Shield as much as you can as it’s free damage reduction to EVERYONE. Obviously there is some phases where you need to save it for example final burn on Brontes Nightmare but on this fight you can use it to reduce damage on the raid (This helps the healers heal the tank more as he gets rekt) at the 100-50 Kephass phase.

Bosses You can safely play this spec on.

(Where this spec out performs the others)

  • EV HM; All.
  • KP HM; All.
  • EC NiM; Zorz and Toth and Firebrand and Stormcaller.
  • TFB NiM; Writhing Horror and Operator XI.
  • S&V NiM; Da’Rude Sandstorm, Titan-6, Thrasher, Ops Chief and Olok.
  • DF NiM; All apart from Brontes.
  • DP NiM; Bestia and Tyrans (if you play smart).
  • Rav HM ; Sparky, Bulo and Master and Blaster.
  • ToS HM; Red Kephass, Sword Squadron, Underlurker and Revan.

Here you can see me playing Engineering/Saboteur on Firebrand and Stormcaller Nightmare. Things you might notice about what I do;

Pre-cast Flyby as much as possible, always do this when you can more DPS!,

Modify the rotation slightly by using Flyby before Incendiary Grenade to have all the orbital ticks be able to hit the Tank before the “Defensive Systems” cast ends,

I use Charged Burst and other low prioirty abilities on the adds in the shield to save my high damaging abilities for the Tanks to help beat the DPS check. A good rule for all DPS is you might not be top on the meters like I was because I couldn’t execute my rotation on the adds but I save my damage for the ACTUAL target that needs to die. I would call it “eDPS”, Effective Damage Per Second”.

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEhTPYzge6Q&w=448&h=252&hd=1]

(For the record I still could of had higher DPS, there is always room for improvement!)

Closing Words

I would like to thank;

Dulfy for hosting my guide and being helpful in setting it up :),

Would like to thank all “my m9s and m10s” that I’ve had the pleasure to talk and to play with over the last 2 years via Twitch and Ingame Phantøms, Zorz, Severity, Death and Taxes,Hates You, Drop it Like It’s Hoth <3, RIP, NGE, and Failure,

Special Thanks to Yolo/Snickerr and Shulk who had some of the ability names and descriptions already written out.

Only thing I can really add more is:

1.) don’t stand in red

2.) press 1-2-3-4-5-6-7

3.) $£$ Profit $£$

If you have any questions I’ll try to answer them below but I’m quite busy, I’ll try my best <3

61 replies on “SWTOR 4.0 Saboteur Gunslinger PvE Guide by Thrax”

I noticed you had a part for bosses you can ‘safely play this spec’ but is there any fights where this spec outperforms both SS and DF?

I mean I’ve played Engi/Sabo on 90% of the “new nightmare” that i’ve listed. I played Marksman/Sharpshooter on Trasher, Tyrans and Zorn and Toth all the others were Engi/Sabo if i remember.

I guess I’ll go ahead and give my reasonings then, lol.
EV/KP basically any class and any spec, if geared properly, can clear these. Heck, I cleared those in min/maxed 192s as a all 3 roles. Those are easy.
Zorn/Toth and Tanks I guess, since you are only focusing one, shouldn’t be too bad.
NiM TFB I cleared in 60 and haven’t yet tried at 65, so not too sure how it still goes. Op IX stands in basically the same place, but lack of burst on the cores is not ideal.
Now we get to some of the ones I was very surprised on.
Dash’Roode is a lot of movement, negating a good chunk of Incendiary Grenade and also XS Freighter Massage (oops, meant Freigher Flyby). I guess you can keep the Shock Charge and Sabo Charge on him, but you also need to be stationary for Speed Shot, and that shield is really small and the sandstorm hurts.
Titan 6, I guess I can see it since there is long phases where he stands in the same spot, but you would have to reapply dots all over again instead of starting wailing on him like you would in SS.
Obviously assuming focusing boss on Thrasher, and she doesn’t move a whole lot (or shouldn’t, if your tanks are good).
Ops Chief doesn’t move either, but again, the lack of burst on those turrets can wreck your healers pretty quick, if tanks are ‘that’ slow to get aggro.
Olok moves around quite a bit also, goes back to the re-applying dots every time he reappears.
Nefra, okay, I see it, if your tanks are good.
Draxus, wow. Unless they nerfed NiM since I played it, you have to drop those adds FAST and hard bursts on Draxus himself are crucial or you get a one-way ticket to wipe city. With the long cooldown on Sabo Charge, this is one I’d stay away from. Also no DoT spread.
Grob, again. The entire fight in HM/NiM is getting him in the right place at the right time. Sure, you’ll get him for DoTs and maybe 5 seconds stuck for Pipe Smash, but that’s it. You also don’t really want to slow the adds since you need to run them over the fire multiple times before it disappears, especially in NiM. Again no DoT spread.
Zero, if you try and DoT all the adds, I see energy disappearing quite quickly. If they are moved at all, Incendiary Grenade can only hit a couple unless they get grouped up. Those adds need to drop fast and you should only get one use of Sabo Charge before they should all be dead.
Bestia/Tyrans I’ve cleared at 60, and absolutely hate those fights with a passion so I’d rather not relive those.
With Sparky you want the adds outside boss, so you can’t AoE whore them. Also you can DoT all adds, but energy might get tough.
Bulo, like Titan 6, same thing.
Master/Blaster is easy to see. Many Vanguards I know actually respec Plasmatech (gulp) to AoE them down. Can easily DoT both and get both with Incendiary Grenade and Freighter Hug.
Any class (and I literally mean any class) can clear Malaphar and hit at least 5.5k at 60.
Squadron, okay, except you might screw your rotation if you are not 100% on top because of the grapple and grenades. Also your timing should be on point with shields and shield runner.
Lurker, AoE whore adds, okay. Lack of burst can hurt, but they nerfed this fight hard back in like 3.2 or something, so shouldn’t be that bad.
I never was one of the select few to clear HM Revan, and I only tried it on Troopers. I don’t believe anyone on the Republic side on my server, at least, cleared him with a slinger in-group. So I can’t really say for that. In principle, it seems okay, though, but you might have problems if Incendiary Grenade won’t auto-target the core.

TL;DR: I wouldn’t take this into DF/DP NiM, and I wouldn’t bother respeccing in SnV/TFB NiM. Rav this is useless on Torque and ToS it’s useless on Commanders, but otherwise okay.

My biggest fear is people reading this, seeing your numbers, respeccing Sabo, and screwing up. You are awesome at Sabo, but it took a long time for this to happen. It’s not the easiest spec to pick up and master.

This comment really made me laugth. Sincerelly, you even sabo or you’re here for the sake of desagreeing?

“Dash’Roode is a lot of movement, negating a good chunk of Incendiary Grenade and also XS Freighter Massage” – yeah! and then: “I guess you can keep the Shock Charge and Sabo Charge on him” This. I wouldn’t read the wall of text but that made me keep going. SO much wrong shit wrote together deserves a nice look into for the giggles.

I’m not going to highlight every thing but I leave the audience with this:

“DoT all adds”

lol. I can’t even speak. It hurts.

yeah, dude just outlines the basic challenges of dps’ing every fight. sabo’s not easy, that’s why thrax implores us to ‘think ahead’ and ‘plan’ to max our dps. explanations like “you might energy cap” or “the boss moves” are not good enough reasons to exclude this spec, and the fact that Thrax is unreal at sabo shouldn’t discourage less skilled players from trying. fake it til you make it, eh?

Dash’Roode has lots of AoE and Cleave.

Draxxus has Insane cleave potential, On wave 4/5 (can’t remember which one but with Bulwurks on left right and bottom with the boss up) Instead of killing the Bulwurk 1s-2s faster in MM/SS you kill the bulkwurk but also have the other adds at 20%-30% which means once you swap onto the boss someone can clean them up easily and reduce raid damage significantly.
Zero has INSANE CLEAVE I did 9k DPS when we killed it in 216-220 gear.
Grob’thok again has nice cleave with the adds but it’s more risky since he’s moving.
Revan, Sabo is now the best spec to play on it since 90% of your abilities are instant casts meaning you can turn to the aberrations and spam strafe left and right to DPS as the explode and you don’t get knocked off.

It’s really not hard to play this in raids, It’s just knowing when and where to place your abilities meaning you actually have to spend time planning out how to get optimal DPS which also gives you better knowlage of the fight.

Yes. Like if Incendiary Grenade is on the boss and hitting adds at the same time it’s cleaving them both.

Not played gunslinger that much, i always tank. Noticed however your accuracy is not 110%, from everything i read, i thought you needed 110% minimum to avoid misses. Do you not notice any dps loss through misses not being at full 110% ?

In theory having less than 110% accuracy has higher dps. Thats counting the misses you should see. However if the gods of rng are against you it really can suck. Imagine if you get unlucky and miss a few sabcharges because of it.
In short. Going for less accuracy is risky but can payoff.

Great guide. One small typo: in the rotation section, you still have the icons for plasma probe instead of incendiary grenade.

a couple of suggestions (that you can discard if you want)

1. in the opener i find that a vital shot before the sab charge helps to
a) get the marked debuff up and
b) it actually does a decent amount of damage

2. thermal grenade does not actually have to be right after EMP. if you roll or use the free quick shots from the passive (both on a 20 s CD), you can actually use Roll/QS after EMP and thermal in the second block. If you alternate them it allows you to use QS for 2/3 fillers… this adds a bunch of micromanagement but it’s fun!

Beyond that: pretty amazing guide

1.) You could but you are in combat for 2 gcd’s more which doesn’t really max your DPS but it could help out the raid on a tight dps check so it could be applicable.

2.) No idea im tired 😡

3.) QD can crit up to 15k-ish so #RNJesusHelpMe

1. i was thinking 1 more gcd and clip one tick on the next one
2. lol
3. fair enough – if you get some lucky procs at the same time, you’re golden

I love that the intro to this guide is an exact copy of the engineering sniper guide that thrax just released here on dulfy a day or two before this… I understand why, and not complaining because its way more than what I have contributed, just a little jarring at first read. Good guide regardless and thanks for taking the time to do it.

Yup, just threw me off for a second, thought I clicked the wrong link at first :).. Either way, your work is very appreciated

Just an idea for clarity’s sake, no complaints about the actual guide itself. Something that helped me when learning the rotation was to group it by the structure around Speed Shot, so for the icons maybe group them by

SS IG SC Sab TG
SS IG XS/VS Roll/auto SbC

Anyway, just a thought. Thanks for the great guide! I’m glad sab is viable again, I had an amazing time playing it back in 2.x, and for most of 3.x I ended up being the armor debuff bitch :p so it’s nice to play something else again.

Fair enough, just a suggestion 🙂 Thanks for putting it together, I’ve been having a lot of fun! Was going at a 7.2k with like 5-10% left on the dummy…then I got excited and lost 200 cause I derped >.>

great guide, one thing though… You changed all the Sniper abilities in every rotation to Gunslinger ones except ‘Hightail It’ (which isn’t too bad cause they are just different colours) and the ‘Basic Attack’. I had to dust the cobwebs off my lvl 11 Sniper to find out WTF that picture meant.

Can someone make a dirty fighting gunslinger guide for 4.0??? It’s pretty hard since they nerfed the smuggler spec

1. Why would you spec Snap shot JUST to do charged burst once on opener. That’s very inconsistent, especially considering that Thermal Grenade on primary target not only out damages charged burst on sab spec, but has better utility due to 5 energy refund on successful hit PLUS reduced cooldown meaning it still is available after sabotage? You use snap shot meaning you won’t even attempt at any point to clip on-cast for a double hit on projectiles. Meaning this does absolutely nothing dynamic but just makes you feel fast when you do opener, which isn’t exactly optimal.
2. Your rotation cycle is a little flawed (in my opinion not being a d*ck)
The lack of thermal grenade on the second cycle means that your Blazing speed will expire as you do not have a method of re-applying forth stack between the previous speed shots into the next one.
There is no bridge here meaning you lose potentially 2 ticks of the dot at 4 stacks. Altho I would use it on the orbital > vital shot blocks (usually when orbital off cooldown as it is best priority ability in the list) you don’t even mention this or put it in priority which means you lose potential dps due to losing blazing speed stacks
Blazing speed at 4 stacks out damages shock charge’s damage per tick… but your rotation (again not being a dick) places you in a situation where you lose 4 stacks which is a respectable amount of dps imo. Your priority of maintaining blazing speed should be higher than re-applying vital shot or even shock charge.
if you have all 4 dots on the target (incend, vital, blazing and shock charge) your dps is monstrous. 😐

Just my opinion:
I like to do my opener like this
XS Freighter flyby > Incendiary > Sab Charge > Speed shots
This combo imo is best dps potential as your XS Flyby gets the 10% damage amp from the incendiary effect.
I also do not try to fit both Incendiary and Vital on the same rotation.
I use vital for singularity and incendiary for debuff and then use charged burst with vital debuff up and thermal grenade when aoe’ing
Parsing more than 3 dots hurts your rotation.
The choice would be either
Single target: Shock Charge > Blazing Speed > Vital Shot – And use charged burst over thermal grenade
Aoe or immobile boss fights: Blazing Speed > Shock Charge > Incendiary – And use Thermal over Charged burst

hope it helps

and this is for saboteur? what stats did u put in? because im not sure what to do for my gunslinger at all since 4.0 came out i have him almost geared up in 216 regular stuff / not the weaps or the implants and earpiece.

Yes this is for Sab spec.
With incendiary grenade you gain 10% increased damage with area of effect abilities (it affects your XS Freighter Flyby) so it gets a bit of a damage boost and you can get it off before the aoe hits.
As for stats, I like to balance out my alacrity and crit together.
If you do the “optimal stats build” found on swtor forums, for gunslinger which is around 900 alacrity, 1200 crit and 5200 mastery you get perfect stats, roughly 40% crit chance (which takes the aoe crit chance to 50% because of the talent on the spec) and 9% alacrity (to one decimal place)

hi, i want to ask you dyNASTY if your only using 4 abilities in your opener? and what and when does your main rotations starts? while i was reading, i don’t see your using sab charge in your single target rotation? so as the illegal mods and sabotage, and one thing more if you don’t choose snap shot in your spec, what is your 3rd spec then in skillful? hope you can enlighten me somehow, thank you.

Please refer to other guides this might be outdated as I uninstalled 1/2 months after the 4.0 update.
Cheers :)! Playing League now kill me pls :>

I did send Dulfy the other Republic guides not sure if they just didn’t go up or got lost :3

Hi Dulfy, thank you for sharing this guide as well as all your other good work. It helps a LOT!
Please note that you’ve named the “Defensive Cooldowns” section “Offensive Cooldowns” which confused me for a few seconds. Hope you find the time to correct it.

I would love to take this guide and correct a few of the sniper-centric quirks that are still around. Rifle Shot being mentioned instead of Flurry of Bolts in Hightail It’s description. Rifle Shot’s icon being used instead of Flurry of Bolts icon in the rotation’s fillers. Like Erilyn said, the Defensive cooldowns are marked as Offensives. Great guide, Thrax I’ve been able to reach upwards of 6450 dps with suboptimal gear on parses. And even the top parses hardly deviate from your rotation. (usually those that do cheese the parse with Hightail it and Snap shot, pushing a filler over for the free thermal grenade as well as taking advantage of hightail it’s bombs). I would, however, add Thermal grenade to the filler slots. On high dps phases, it is capable of being used to refresh blazing bolts as well as being higher damage than flurry of bolts. Great to combo with Vital shot on phases where XS is on c/d.

Is there any particular reason you don’t apply a Vital Shot / Marked directly at the start of the opener? I haven’t actually run the numbers, but wouldn’t that early marked debuff be worth the GCD?

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