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SWTOR 4.0 Virulence Sniper PvE Guide by Thrax

SWTOR 4.0 Virulence Sniper PVE Guide by Thrax.[toc]

Introduction to Virulence Sniper

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 privilege of raiding with some of the best players to ever grace this game and hope my experience and expertise can help you become the best you can! I’ve raided with such guilds as Drop It Like it’s Hoth, Phantøms, Reckoning, Ufrog and Zorz at a Nightmare level. As of 5/11/2015 I have cleared all 4.0 Content with <Phantøms> 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 🙂

With the release of 4.0 Virulence is to be honest overshadowed by the other 2 specs, which is a shame because this spec is fun but the revival of Engineering was the best overall move in my opinion after a solid 1 -2 tiers of the same rotation with Virulence it was a welcomed change. Don’t get me wrong this spec is still powerful on a few select fights! 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: 6.5/10

4.0 Virulence is a Multi Target Damage over Time (DoT) Spec that revolves around throwing 2 DoT’s at a target and then using Cull. In 4.0 it’s 95% the same rotation from 3.0, the only difference being you need to filler more because Snipers lost the old set bonus that reduced the cost of Takedown (It might actually still be worth but I don’t play enough atm to test this if someone can do this comment below or contact me I will confirm or deny this). Even though you won’t be playing this spec much it still does solid damage. *I’m only going to list the “3 Cull rotation” at the rotation section because there is not point listing a sub optimal rotation. If you want to for whatever reason view it you can check it out in the Dulfy 3.0 Guide written by Snickerr/Yolo*

Survivability: 10/10

To quote the 3.0 Virulence guide writen by Yolo/Snickerr “To live a Sniper 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 Snipers basically gods, I’ll talk more about this down below.

Spec Viability in Raids: 3/10 – Class Viability as a whole though is 9/10.

Snipers 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, Snipers are the best ranged DPS to take in most raid encounters (Everyone else re rolled to AP PT anyway it seems #Kappa). Virulence in 4.0 is HEAVILY overshadowed by Engineering and Marksmanship and is only played on maybe a total of 3-4 fights out of all of them.

Rotation Difficulty: 8.5/10

The 3 Cull Virulence rotation revolves around Culling 3 times before refreshing your DoT’s. This rotation relies heavily on Cull RNG (When DoT’s Crit during Cull you regen 2 energy back meaning you don’t need to filler and can Takedown and Lethal Shot more) and not messing up fillers or else your energy is basically destroyed. This spec is probably the hardest Sniper spec to play and to be honest for the output it gives and the fact Engineering/Marksmanship is better on 90% of encounters I would say it’s now the worst Sniper Spec out of the Three.

4.0 Changes

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

  • New Passive Skill: Caustic Substances! Corrosive Grenade gets a 10% chance to tick twice and Weakening Blast deals 5% more damage (both these % values are adjustable up or down to reach the discipline’s target DPS).
  • Weakening Blast is now trained at level 42 (up from 41).
  • Lethal Shot is now trained at level 58 (up from 57).
  • Corrosive Mine is now trained at level 60 (up from 59).

Abilities and Passives

Useful Passives

energytanks_thumb1_thumb Energy Tanks: Increases maximum energy by 10.
steadyshots_thumb1_thumb Steady Shots: Increases the damage dealt by Snipe, Lethal Shot, Series of Shots, and Penetrating Blasts by 5%.
holdposition_thumb1_thumb 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, Evasion 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 Evasion you do need to be in cover.
imperialtargeting_thumb1_thumb Imperial Targeting: 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

lazetarget_thumb1_thumb Laze Target: 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 set bonus a must! This is one of the main offensives for your rotation and should be used on cooldown.
targetacquired_thumb1_thumb Target Acquired: 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.
adrenalineprobe2_thumb1_thumb Adrenaline Probe: 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 problems B.) Intensive AoE spamming C.) Burn phases in raid fights aka Going Ham

Defensive Cooldowns

shieldprobe2_thumb1_thumb Shield Probe: Summons a probe that projects a shield around the Agent, 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 miniscule damage, and be very efficient with it.
evasion2_thumb1_thumb Evasion: 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.
ballisticshield_thumb1_thumb Ballistic 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.
entrench_thumb1_thumb Entrench: 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 Pillbox Sniper). 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 Sniper can have. There are plenty of utilities to list from:a.) Seek Cover: 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.b.) Pillbox Sniper: Reduces the cooldown of Entrench by 15 seconds and Cover Pulse knocks targets back an additional 4 meters.c.) Siege Bunker: Reduces all area effect damage taken by 60% while Entrench is active.
countermeasures_thumb1_thumb Countermeasures: 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. Really, don’t be a hero and expect to pull threat from tanks. Use it immediately.

Crowd Control and Raid Utilities

coverpulse_thumb1_thumb Cover Pulse: 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.
debiliate2_thumb1_thumb Debilitate: Deals X energy damage and stuns the target for 4 seconds. Your “hard” CC stun ability (“Hard” means a stun that persists through damage).
flashbang2_thumb1_thumb Flash Bang: 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..
legshot_thumb1_thumb 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.
coveredescape_thumb1_thumb Covered Escape: 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.
diversion_thumb1_thumb 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

image Corrosive Dart: Single Target DoT ability. Lasts 24 seconds, deals X 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. Corrosive Dart has a 15% chance to tick twice when it inflicts damage. When Corrosive Grenade and Corrosive Dart end they are replaced by a lingering version for 5 seconds that will only deal damage when Cull deals damage. This is the reason the 3 Cull rotation exists. Your 3rd Cull will be channelling while the lingering versions of the DoT’s are applied and still dealing the same amount of damage as normal DoT’s.
image Corrosive Grenade: Splash AoE DoT ability. Hurls a corrosive grenade that spews acid in a 5-meter radius on impact, dealing X internal damage over 24 seconds to up to 8 targets costs 10 energy and can be applied to multiple targets. One of the 2 main DoT’s in your rotation. I personally prioritize this ability after Corrosive Dart because applying a Corrosive Dart to a target first followed by a Corrosive Grenade spreads both DoT’s to enemies within 4 meters of the afflicted target. Corrosive Grenade gets a 10% chance to tick twice. When Corrosive Grenade and Corrosive Dart end they are replaced by a lingering version for 5 seconds that will only deal damage when Cull deals damage. This is the reason the 3 Cull rotation exists. Your 3rd Cull will be channelling while the lingering versions of the DoT’s are applied and still dealing the same amount of damage as normal DoT’s. Corrosive Grenade makes its targets assailable for 45 seconds. Assailable targets take 7% more damage from elemental and internal damage. This is one of our Raid debuffs we can apply on a target which will help all others hitting the same target that also are dealing elemental & internal damage.
image Cull: 2 second channelled ability. Fires a volley of bolts at the target, dealing X weapon damage and spending 6 energy each second. When you deal damage with Cull, each of your poison effects on the target also deal damage (Cooldown: 9 seconds). This ability defines Virulence Sniper. Our entire rotation and overall damage are based off this ability. You only want to use this when you have your 2 DoTs on the target as well as using it off cooldown to maximize your DPS. When Corrosive Grenade and Corrosive Dart end they are replaced by a lingering version for 5 seconds that will only deal damage when Cull deals damage. This is the reason the 3 Cull rotation exists. Your 3rd Cull will be channelling while the lingering versions of the DoT’s are applied and still dealing the same amount of damage as normal DoT’s. Damage dealt by Cull has an 80% chance to trigger Lethal Takedown, which finished the cooldown of Takedown and makes your next Takedown usable on a target with any health level. This is still RNG based and DOES have the possibility of failing to proc Takedown which makes me cri evry tiem when it happens
image Weakening Blast: Instant DoT Damage increase ability. Deals X weapon damage for the next 10 seconds causing the target to take X additional weapon damage whenever it takes damage from your Cull or a poison effect (Cooldown: 18 seconds). This has changed as you may be able to tell. Weakening Blast is best used off CD and if possible used before your next Cull. At the same time, you do not want to delay this or Cull to maximize DPS. With the Weakening Blast debuff applied to the target you want to get as many Lethal Shots as possible without destroying your energy, if a target dies with Weakening Blast, it finishes the cooldown of Weakening Blast
image Lethal Shot: Casted/Instant ability. Shoots a target for X weapon damage and X internal poison damage. This is the replacement for Snipe from old Lethality, but better. The main reason to prioritize Lethal Shot into Weakening Blast is because Weakening Blast buff’s the internal poison damage Lethal Shot does. Using Lethal Shot outside of Weakening Blast will do less damage, but if you have spare energy it will do a lot more than a Rifle Shot or Corrosive Mine.
image Series of Shots: 3 second channeled ability, and has a cooldown of 9 seconds. Costs 20 energy (5 energy per tick) and deals X ranged damage. This is used after Cull when Weakening Blast is not on the target.
image Takedown: Direct damage execute ability, which has a cooldown of 12 seconds. Costs 15 energy and deals weapon X damage. This can only be used once proc’d from Cull or targets under 30% HP. This is used over Lethal Shot if Weakening Blast is not on the target.
image Suppressive Fire: Channeled AoE ability. Costs 35 energy, and deals weapon damage. This ability since the 3.0 update is a key Sniper AoE ability. It is now a viable AoE ability and with the additional 25% damage increase from the Utility points this makes this ability insane on multiple targets.
image Covered Escape’s Corrosive Mine: Costs no energy, when you activate Covered Escape you detonate a Corrosive Mine that deals X internal damage to all nearby enemies over the duration. Targets that remain within are additionally slowed by 70% for the duration. Lasts 8 seconds. Does not affect sleeping or incapacitated targets. This is a filler that takes priority over Rifle Shot.

Utility List

I shall only highlight useful ones.


  • 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.
  • 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”.
  • Vital Regulators: 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.
  • Imperial Efficiency: 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.


  • Seek Cover: 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.
  • Augmented Shields: Increases the amount of damage absorbed by Shield Probe by 30%. I take this in conjunction with Pillbox Sniper 95% of the time because they are both a must for basically every boss encounter.
  • Pillbox Sniper: Reduces the cooldown of Entrench by 15 seconds and Cover Pulse knocks targets back an additional 4 meters. I take this in conjunction with Augmented Shields 95% of the time because they are both a must for basically every boss encounter.


  • Siege Bunker: 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.
  • Deployed Shields: 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 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.


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

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 Sniper Set Bonus, only negative 4.0 Sniper change )
  • Relics: Serendipitous Assault and Focused Retribution.

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 100.10%-ish if you prefer it.


Virulence in 4.0 is similar to its 3.0 rotation apart from you NEED to filler more because of the new 6 piece set bonus.

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

Corrosive Dart and Grenade, Cull and Weakening Blast should be used on cooldown, priority permitting of course.

After Cull there are 3 sets of rotations you will do (In this order);

  1. Cull > Lethal Shot > Lethal Shot > Filler > Takedown > Cull,
  2. Series of Shots > Takedown > Weakening Blast > Cull,
  3. Corrosive Dart > Corrosive Grenade > Filler > Weakening Blast > Cull. Repeat.

Filler Priority is as follows (Top being highest priority bottom being lowest):

  1. Lethal Shot (Target does Weakening Blast debuff)
  2. Takedown
  3. Lethal Shot (Target does not have Weakening Blast debuff)
  4. Roll/Covered Escape
  5. Rifle Shot/Basic Attack

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 🙂


“The Main Rotation”

After Cull there are 3 sets of rotations you will do (In this order);

  1. Cull > Lethal Shot > Lethal Shot > Filler > Takedown > Cull,
  2. Series of Shots > Takedown > Weakening Blast > Cull,
  3. Corrosive Dart > Corrosive Grenade > Filler > Weakening Blast > Cull. Repeat.

Filler Priority is from top to bottom (Top being highest priority bottom being lowest):

  1. Lethal Shot (Target does Weakening Blast debuff)
  2. Takedown
  3. Lethal Shot (Target does not have Weakening Blast debuff)
  4. Roll/Covered Escape
  5. Rifle Shot/Basic Attack

I would use energy cooldowns such as Adrenaline Probe 40-50/60-50, Target Acquired on the filler gcd’s to try to squeeze more DPS if you are using the max DPS rotation or saving things for a burst DPS phase. Don’t be afraid to Filler a few more if you mess up your energy.


As a last note, Weakening Blast will move about in the rotation ALWAYS use it before you Cull, For rotation 3 you won’t have it sometimes just Cull anyway because you don’t have 100% Cull up time sadly on Weakening Blast if they wanted to buff the spec this is one way to increase DPS for make the duration longer and the cooldown shorter. This looks like this.

1. Cull -> Lethal Shot -> Lethal Shot -> A -> B
2. Cull -> Series of Shots -> A -> B
3. Cull -> Corrosive Dart -> Corrosive Grenade -> A -> B

Where A and B depends on Weakening Blast cooldown.
If WB is off cooldown then
A = Takedown
B = weakening blast
If WB is on cooldown then
A = Lethal Shot / Covered Escape / Rifle Shot

B = Takedown

(Thanks to Mortini for mentioning this :p)

Multidot Rotation

DoT Spreading/Multidotting does great damage so use it as much as you can. You can use this rotation to keep 2 sets of DoT’s up at the same time, Great for fights such as Sword Squadron, Master and Blaster, Coritanni and Dread Council.


Parse Analysis


Here you can get a general idea of what your highest damaging abilities will be on a stationary target with 1.5million HP and decent good crit.

Video Example of Rotation

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

*Soon tm*

Playing Virulence in a Raiding Environment

Virulence in 4.0 should only be played on fights where Engineering and Marksmanship is not viable. This is only on a few fights but on these fights this spec is still strong.

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 whenever you can and a greater understanding 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”.

DoT Spreading/Multidotting does great damage so use it as much as you can!

This is a general Sniper 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; None.
  • TFB NiM; Dread Guards & Kephass
  • S&V NiM; None.
  • DF NiM; None.
  • DP NiM; Tyrans & Dread Council.
  • Rav HM ; Master & Blaster & Coratanni.
  • ToS HM; Revan.

Here you can see me playing Virulence on Dread Council Nightmare. Things you might notice about what I do;

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

Multidot on Multiple targets (I had a bad hangover and was still a bit rekt when we killed this so my rotation is actually cancer, Don’t do drugs kids),

Swap fast and efficiently; Good positioning and raid awareness,

Use defensive cooldowns wisely,

Save my offensive cooldowns for the phases that matter since I already know we are going to make it past the first phase so I save Laze Target, Target Acquired and Adrenal for Styrak/Brontes burn phase and final <15% to 0% end burn phase.

On the Styrak/Brontes burn phase you can hit both targets if you target Brontes with Corrosive Dart then Corrosive Grenade because Styrak’s Dragon has a tiny hitbox you can use Brontes instead to spread your DoT’s. Just make sure the tanks move Styrak/Dragon on top of her ASAP once she teleports.

Just remember to save raid shield and offensive cooldowns for final burn to maximize your potential damage dealing and damage reduction.


(My rotation in this video is extremely bad 1st phase because I wasn’t 100% sober xd)

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. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

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

Only thing I can really add more is:

1.) don’t stand in red

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

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

Note: I uninstalled as of 06/12/2015 so not up to date on changes.

71 replies on “SWTOR 4.0 Virulence Sniper PvE Guide by Thrax”

Well, if this spec is that over-shadowed by the other 2 specs, then this one is in need of a massive buff to make it viable, otherwise, what is the point in using it?

Because, when it comes to content, fun is never the important part to the elitist raiders, just their success rate, nothing more.

Do you always play virulence on revan? I cant see it outperforming marksman there, especially since if you get bad crits on the core you’re totally fucked.

in the main rotation part, are you supposed to go from row 1 to 2 to 3, and then back to 1? or is the idea to, idk, mix and match 1 and 2 until the dots are gone and then go into 3? the problem i’m running into is that after cull 3, when i go into rot 3, my wb is still on cd for a good 5+ seconds.

You want to try to 1>2>3 but if you can’t you need to mix and match. This means culling without weakening blast sometimes.

so would you use something as a fill-in for the wb gcd (on say, rotation 3) when it’s on cd and use it again next chance? ps. thank you so much! all of your guides have been brilliantly helpful :>

So essentially this spec is good for long single-target boss fights where you don’t move even though the boss might?
This is not a negative comment, I love playing DF, and I’m trying to use it on as many fights as possible.

This spec is only good for fights where you physically cant engineering like Dread Guards and Council Nightmare are the only two that really come to mind.

What about Warlords? You physically can’t engineering there. Zorn and Toth, you shouldn’t be able to engineering them because they are supposed to be apart.
Edit: referring to Cartel Warlords, SnV

Did I miss something or there is a mistake in 3rd rotation block? I think that Weakening Blast will be still on cooldown.

Main rotation should be more like:
1. Cull -> Lethal Shot -> Lethal Shot -> A -> B
2. Cull -> Series of Shots -> A -> B
3. Cull -> Corrosive Dart -> Corrosive Grenade -> A -> B

Where A and B depends on Weakening Blast cooldown.
If WB is off cooldown then
A = Takedown
B = Weakening Blast
If WB is on cooldown then
A = Lethal Shot / Covered Escape / Rifle Shot
B = Takedown

I have tried it a few more times on dummy and I have to agree with SupRun that it is hard to fit Takedown/Quickdraw before next Cull/Wounding Shots. So my main rotation now looks like this:

1. Cull -> Lethal Shot -> Lethal Shot -> Lethal Shot
2. Cull -> Series of Shots -> Takedown -> Weakening Blast
3. Cull -> Corrosive Dart -> Corrosive Grenade -> Lethal Shot
4. Cull -> Series of Shots -> Takedown -> Weakening Blast
5. Cull -> Lethal Shot -> Lethal Shot -> Lethal Shot
6. Cull -> Corrosive Dart -> Corrosive Grenade -> Takedown -> Weakening Blast

(I have just removed Takedown from rows 1, 3 and 5.)

Ok, so virulence vs engi. I know engi is better in DPS, but in terms of raiding i see virulence better than engi, cause engi is to stationary or me. Am i right?

Is that still the case with the 4.0.3 nerfs to both MM and Eng? Or would Virulence be viable for a lot more fights now?

For my ‘main rotation’ there’s no way I can get 3 Dirty Blasts AND Quickdraw if I always have Wounding Shots on CD. Using that would delay my Wounding Shots by at least 2 full seconds and possibly even eliminate a Wounding Shots completely (if the DoTs fall off, WS is useless)

So if lethal shot is better to use than takedown under WB, why wouldn’t you just use 3 lethal shots in a row ended with a filler, instead of 2LS, filler, takedown?
Also btw, I thought kwerty had pretty much nailed it down before, that a lethal shot should basically just replace takedown entirely under 30%, inside and outside of WB.

You might as well then do 2 lethal shots and a filler and then snap shot the last lethal shot, and they’ll all be within WB.

I’m just curious because the poison component on lethal shot gives back energy if it crits as well, and if it’s higher as a priority then it follows naturally that takedown should just be less used, but not many seems to actually do that though. You might need snapshot for something else than simply damage but in a perfect run we’re just looking at maximizing, movement will have become a non-issue.

I never understand the need to go with the BEST spec, why not just go with what you enjoy and stick with it, the only people that care about the whole min-max crap are the types that you wouldn’t want to group with in the first place, since they treat it like another job, which isn’t healthy.

I personally like DoT classes, you put the dots on, spread them if needed and just see the mobs die slowly, best image and feeling ever.

Appologies for the necro, but when I see a post that is this narrow minded I just have to jump in.

Some people enjoy the game in every way possible, these people are called casual players and only play the content in the game that is created specifically for casual players.

Other people, like me. Play the game to enjoy ALL the content, that means: the highest difficulty setting challenges. For TOR that would be nightmare mode ops, when you are doing NiM ops you need to have a full team of players that all know the game and its mechanics and their class&class mechanics INSIDE OUT. Paired with some form of voice communication for strategic purposes.

In the above situation that also means everyone needs to perform at their very best all the time, and using the “best man(read:class) for the job” here, can be extremely important.

Have you ever gone outside when you were just a kid, to a field with some of ur friends in the hot summer sun kicking/throwing a ball around with no rules or restrictions, just for fun?

Suddenly it starts raining and you go inside, turn on the tv, and your favorite sports team is playing your favorite sport on TV and they’re in a tournament going for the world cup?

Yeah, that’s the difference.

And before you say “it’s only a game”, what it is means nothing, if competition/competitive gameplay is possible people will participate.

Just to give a stupid example: There’s thousands and thousands of professional gamers out there who earn more money in 1 year than you have earned in your entire life so far.

Now get your narrow-minded head out of your sun-deprived orifice and make sure you land on both feet when you’re back in reality.

I don’t see anything wrong with playing what you like. You have made some valid points but when it comes to the “I have … made a total of (money) this month. How much have you made with your job?” Makes you sound like an absolute dickhead that needs to get his ego sorted.

Not to mention your second last paragraph which is the most hypocritical thing I’ve read, sayings he’s narrow minded when you can’t even see how much you are too, and “sun-deprived” lmfao if he’s spent half as much time playing this game as you have then you must be whiter than 2000’s Michael Jackson

Thrax isn’t this the imp version of dirty fighting? please do a dirty fighting guide as they nerfed sharpshooter af

It is. All specs were nerfed in some way which is ridiculous seeing how good Gunnery/Assault is performing without getting any nerfs. Looking at parses, Engineering/Saboteur seems to be the best spec for snipers at this point. I’ll never understand why Bioware is making 2 out of 3 DPS specs bad. Dirty Fighting got nerfed and now SS too. Last information was that he uninstalled the game. Looking at his Twitch seems like he plays CSGO currently. Seems like Gunslingers are slowly starting to get forgotten on Dulfy.

You dont NEED a dirth fighting guide cuz sll you need to do is transfer the abilities as to what the gunslinger abilities would be

Filler = a gapcloser/timekiller while waiting for your main rotation abilities to come off cooldown.


Skill A – 10 sec cd – 3 sec channel time
Skill B – 10 sec cd – 3 sec cast time
Skill C – 10 sec cd – 3 sec cast time
Filler – no cooldown – Global cooldown time(the same as 1 sec cast time)

Rotation: A>B>C>(3×3=9 meaning Skill A now has 1 second cooldown left)Filler>A>B>C>Filler

Etc, you get my drift

About gearing….
I might miss smth but smb tell me WHY
1) choosing so much augs as accu? Alacricity gives more rapid firing or Crit gives more damage.. and Accuracy is just for not missing…(maybe I’m liked but I am almost never missing (and its without augs at all…)
Please explain:)

2) About 679 (7xAug & 1 Enhancement) Accuracy and 1236 (2xAug) (2xCrystals) Critical

7 Augs + 1 Enh gives almost twice less stat than 2 Augs + 1 Crys..

*or others Enh comes with set (Field Tech) and just doesn’t mentioned?:)
*then what about choosing the second Enh in off-hand / mainhand and 7th armor item..(if not bracers/waist)?

3) and (i guess) frequently asked question – why not power (overkill) augs..?

I know about the answer: here are the ideal stats in guide, use your own way to achieve them, but you know… always easier and better to ask the masters for exact numbers which are considered as optimal/best 🙂

I don’t find the aug selection reliable at all. Most of my gear is 220’s and I find I have an overabundance of accuracy and fall way short on alacrity. Currently, I have
alacrity x8
crit x5
acc x1 (still have 697 = 110.14%) and I may remove this to bump my alac.
and i noticed i’m missing one aug slot. so, i’ll probably add alac on that.

Of course, this may change once I get higher-rated gear. Currently, my MH weapon is the only 224-rated piece.

1) Hitting=/=NOT missing, is the reason you want to stack accuracy till the optimal amount is reached.

2) I do not understand your question.

3) The biggest contributor to our dps is critting with some of our DoTs/abilities because critting gives you back energy. High enough critical strike chance is essential to prevent becoming energy starved.

I don’t understand the filler priority. Lethal Shot with (1) or without WB (3). That makes no sense to me. Am I missing something?

Filler=ability used to fill the cap between cooldown of your main rotation/most important abilities.

He’s saying LS is the best filler to be used when WB debuff is present on the target. If the above criteria isn’t met then your finisher will be the best/highest dmg dealing filler(though this only applies to 30%) the best filler would simply be LS.

Are these sniper guides still viable? I read the note that the writer uninstalled as of June of last year and there have been quite a few changes since then. So I’m wondering if things are still accurate or if there is an alternate guide that someone knows of. I’m mostly interested in the rotation as I can get the stats from Bant from the swtor forums.

I’m beginning to wonder about this as well. One glaring bit of misinformation is the author’s comment about how Virulence is the least desirable raid spec. I’ve been told by numerous guild members that it is now THE go-to spec for hm raids. MM especially performs poorly because the rotation limits your max dps. That’s why I switched to Vir.

Yeap, just respected my Slinger to Dirty Fighiting and Sniper to Virulence after a very frustrating 2 weeks of PVP on Sharp Shooter and MM. Rotation is actually quite simple, but energy management must be watched more carefully. And oh boy, it does make a huge difference. Dirty Fighting/Virulance is much more mobile and I am usually on top of chart as far as damage and kills go. I really liked SS and MM spec in 3.0, but it is on the bottom of the DPS list now and has no burst whatsoever. Sadly.

My energy mgmt really needs help on DF spec. At the TFB Dread Guards, I wasn’t paying attention and blew through the entire energy pool w/ cool head on CD. qq.

Currently is Virulence the go to spec for progression raids? I have been trying Engineering, but I found it harder to settle in, specially if there are a lot of target swapping or moving about avoiding circles.

All 3 specs have their place in progression raids. Engineering is best in single target fights with little to no boss movement, virulence is best for single target fights where the boss moves often, and MM is still really good for fights with lots of target swapping.

Virulence is currently the highest single target damage dealing specialization in the entire game (all classes/specs) on a patchwerk/target dummy fight.

Any quick way to translate this to dirty fighting? I don’t play much impside, would I have to just roll up a quick level 60 character and do it manually?

I’ve been working on just such a translation. Ran through guild-run TFB SM last night. Seemed to do alright. Wasn’t happy with the starparse numbers, but hey, it’s a new spec to me. However, one indicator that I did well is that our tanks usually reserve their Guard for someone who might pull aggro from them. I had a guard on me for the whole op without asking for it. I’ll look for a place to post the translation.

Thank you very much, when you get around to it let us know. There should be an easier way to translate mirror class abilities than doing it manually, but im just lazy

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 :>

un filler c’est un sort que t’utilise pour faire proc soit tes bonus de sets, soit pour gérer ton énergie (l’art du filler c’est de savoir lequel de tes fillers placer pour maximiser ton dps tout un maintenant ton énergie)

not sure what build to use since the option that I have are different for the ones here. (3 skills per row not 4) can anyone help?

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