5.0 Class Guides SWTOR

SWTOR 5.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion

SWTOR 5.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide written by Sion.


Intro to Lightning Sorcerer

The Lightning Sorcerer is a ranged burst dps class that offers some of the best utility for a dps class in the game.  This class is easy to play but hard to master, especially if you want to take on the hardest content in the game.


Single Target Damage: 1/10

With 5.0, Lightning has been nerfed pretty hard. We are currently dead last among the dps specs. We will still be viable for HM, but as far as NiM goes, I find it unlikely that we will be able to do the damage unless the rest of the specs are so far above the dps checks that our low damage is still enough

AoE Damage: 5/10

Although our AoE is not as good as it used to be, Lightning Sorcs still have some really great AoE damage.  With Chain Lightning and Force Storm, we have incredible burst AoE, and with very little resource management we can spam Force Storm for a long time without having to worry about running out of Force.

Burst Damage: 6/10

Like everything else, our burst has suffered due to the 5.0 changes. The one upside is that you can use Recklessness on Thundering Blast and see some actual benefit. We still do decent burst, and we can control it with Polarity Shift and Recklessness. The major upside is that our burst is simply more frequent than most classes.

Raid Utility: 9/10

Sorcs bring excellent raid utility with them into any group.  We bring with us a copious amount of abilities including our pull (though used almost exclusively for trolling raid members it does have its niche uses), battle rez, cleanse, raid buff, force and AoEdebuffs, self and off heals, bubble, and the ability to completely mitigate some mechanics via our Force Bubble.

Survivability: 8/10

Even the Sorcs have Light Armor, we are not as squishy as one would think.  We have a bubble that lasts for 30s that is refreshable every 15s, a passive that allows us to have 9% additional damage reduction, and we have another shield that gives us invulnerability for 8s.  Additionally we have utilities that make our bubbles stronger and our threat dump and large self heal grant damage reduction as well. All of this combined with our ability to heal ourselves in a pinch, allows us to survive well in fights.


The following numbers are taken from Bant’s Optimal Stats thread on the SWTOR Forums.  In case there is any confusion E=Enhancement (these include implants and earpiece), A=Augment, and C=Crystal. As a DPS we want the Focused Retribution and Serendipitous Assault Relics.

Eternal Commander MK-3, Tier 1: Artifact (230 ilvl): 7405+-216 DPS @ 49.5 APM

  • 5901 Mastery (Stim)
  • 3183 Power
  • 1543 Critical (7xE, 1xA, 2xC)
  • 1056 Alacrity (11xA)
  • 735 Accuracy (3xE, 2xA)

Eternal Commander MK-13, Tier 2: Artifact (234 ilvl): 7611+-225 DPS @ 49.5 APM

  • 6128 Mastery (Stim)
  • 3181 Power
  • 1614 Critical (6xE, 3xA, 2xC)
  • 1056 Alacrity (11xA)
  • 760 Accuracy (4xE)

Eternal Commander MK-15, Tier 2: Legendary (236 ilvl):8092+-246 DPS @ 50.1 APM

  • 6317 Mastery (2xA)
  • 3424 Power
  • 1691 Critical (7xE, 2xC)
  • 1256 Alacrity (1xE, 11xA)
  • 736 Accuracy (2xE, 1xA, Stim)

Iokath MK-3, Tier 3: Artifact (240 ilvl): 8352+-258 DPS @ 50.3 APM

  • 6385 Mastery (1xA, 1xC)
  • 3506 Power
  • 1746 Critical (4xE, 7xA, 1xC)
  • 1313 Alacrity (5xE, 3xA)
  • 733 Accuracy (1xE, 3xA, Stim)

Iokath MK-5, Tier 3: Legendary (242 ilvl): 8692+-273 DPS @ 50.4 APM

  • 6637 Mastery (1xA, 1xC)
  • 3694 Power
  • 1792 Critical (4xE, 7xA, 1xC)
  • 1363 Alacrity (5xE, 3xA)
  • 743 Accuracy (1xE, 3xA, Stim)

I would advocate for foregoing any mastery augments and using either crit or alacrity, and only using crit crystals. I suggest this for the sake of ease, and because I know that the difference will be negligible if not unnoticeable. I also would advocate for using an accuracy stim in all tiers and adjusting according. Bant has provided the various accuracy options for each gear tier to help with this.

Set Bonus

With 5.0 the old Dread Master set bonus is not BiS at max gear tier. Anything lower than that, and you can probably still get away with it. I would recommend switching it out for the full Ultimate Exarch set bonus once you get 240s.



clip_image002 Force Suffusion Overload heals you and up to 7 affected allies for X-X. Not really worth taking as a dps.
clip_image004 Sith Defiance Increases damage reduction by 3%. Always take this. With Light Armor any free damage reduction is welcome.
clip_image006 Tempest Mastery Increases the damage dealt by Force Storm by 25%. Boss fight with adds? Take this utility. Works great with Storm Brewing passive.
clip_image008 Empty Body Increases all healing received by 5%. Does not affect stolen life. I often take this for the same reason as Sith Defiance.
clip_image010 Dizzying Force Reduces target’s accuracy by 20% for 8 seconds after Whirlwind ends. Additionally, your Whirlwind affects up to 2 additional standard or weak enemies within 8 meters of the target. PvP/leveling utility. Not worth taking.
clip_image012 Dark Speed Dark Heal increases the movement speed of the target by 50% for 6 seconds. This effect cannot occur more than once every 12 seconds. This is more of a healer utility, and situational at that. It won’t do much for dps specs.


clip_image014 Suppression Activating Cloud Mind grants Suppression, which increases damage reduction by 25% for 6 seconds. Very useful for mitigating large hits. I use this on most fights as an extra defensive CD.
clip_image016 Corrupted Flesh Reduces the damage taken from all periodic effects by 15%. Take this on fights with non-cleansable dots.
clip_image018 Dark Resilience Reduces the damage taken by the target of your Extrication by 25% for 6 seconds. Additionally increases the healing done  by Unnatural Preservation by 30%. Useful because of the increased healing to Unnatural Preservation. I take this on most fights to alleviate some of the healing on myself.
clip_image020 Conspiring Force Targets affected by your Affliction are slowed by 30% for its duration. PvP Utility.
clip_image022 Lightning Barrier Your Static Barrier crackles with electricity, shocking attackers for X damage when it absorbs direct damage to you. This effect cannot occur more than once each second. PvP utility. May have some use in fights with heavy AoE damage, but will most likely not be worth taking.
clip_image024 Torturous Tactics Lowers the cooldown of electrocute by 10 seconds. In addition, targets stunned by your Elecrocute deal 25% less damage for 10 seconds when Electrocute wears off. Extremely situational. This is mainly a PvP ability, but it is useful in mitigating damage from energy spheres in Brontes HM/NiM.


clip_image026 Emersion Force Speed grants Emersion, removing all movement impairing effects and granting immunity to them for the duration. Good for fights where you need to break out of slows. Can be helpful in Underlurker or Reaches phase in Brontes.
clip_image028 Shapeless Spirit Reduces all damage taken while stunned by 30%. Additionally, reduces all damage taken from area effects by 30%. An absolute must take on every fight. 30% AoE and Stun damage reduction. What more could you want?
clip_image030 Surging Speed Reduces the cooldown of Force Speed by 5 seconds, Force Slow by 3 seconds, and Force Barrier by 30 seconds. In addition, Force Speed lasts 0.5 seconds longer, Polarity Shift increases your movement speed by 100% while active, the active cooldown of Force Speed is finished when Force Barrier ends. Even in high mobility fights this is not worth taking. Too little benefit to use a utility point.
clip_image032 Backlash Static Barriers you place on yourself erupt in a flash of light when they end, blinding up to 8 nearby enemies for 3 seconds. This effect breaks from direct damage. PvP utility.
clip_image034 Haunted Dreams If your Whirlwind breaks early from damage, the target is stunned for 2 seconds. In addition, Whirlwind activates instantly. Could be situational, but really not worth taking over other utilities.
clip_image036 Electric Bindings Overload binds its targets in electricity, immobilizing them for 5 seconds. Direct damage dealt after 2 seconds ends the effect prematurely. Mostly a PvP utility. It does come in handy for NiMStyrak though.


clip_image038 Force Mobility Thundering Blast, Innervate, and Force Leach may be activated while moving. This should be taken on every fight. Increased mobility is always a good thing.
clip_image040 Galvanizing Cleanse Expunge grants Galvanizing Cleanse, making your next ability an activation time activate instantly. The effect cannot occur more than once every 30 seconds and lasts 15 seconds. This is just a bad utility. I cannot think of a single fight I would use this, even as a healer, let alone as a dps.
clip_image042 Corrupted Barrier Your Static Barrier, Force Barrier, and Enduring Bastion heal you for 1% of your total health every second for as long as they last.  This healing scales up to 4% with the charges of Enduring Bastion. With the nerf to this utility, there is no real reason to take this anymore.
clip_image044 Unnatural Vigor Unnatural Preservation increases your damage reduction by 15% for 6 seconds. Additionally, reduces the cooldown of Unnatural Preservation by 5 seconds. This is a good one to take. This provides another small damage reduction cooldown, and lets you get more of your amazing self heal with a reduced cooldown.
clip_image046 Shifting Silhouette Using Phase Walk to return to its marked location grants Shifting Silhouette, keeping you from being lept to or pulled and making you immune to interrupts and ability activation pushback for the next 10 seconds. Additionally, the cooldown of Phase Walk is reduced by 15 seconds and all defenses are increased by 30% for the duration of Shifting Silhouette. With the removal of the AoE damage reduction from this utility it is much less attractive. The reduced cooldown is nice but not necessary in PvE. The increase to defense is nice, and it may prove to be a useful defensive cooldown.
clip_image048 Enfeebling Lash Strike the target with your lightsaber, dealing X-X weapon damage and immobilizing it for 3 seconds. When the immobilization effect ends, the target is slowed by 50% for 3 seconds.

Replaces Saber Strike.

Cooldown: 15s

Range: 4m

PvP utility. This is completely useless in PvE

Passives and Abilities

Lightning Discipline Passives

clip_image002[5] Lightning Storm – Lightning Strike, Lightning Bolt, Thundering Blast, and Force Storm grant Lightning Storm when activated. Lightning Storm immediately finishes the cooldown on Chain Lightning and makes your next Chain Lightning activate instantly and consume 50% less Force. Cannot occur more than once every 10 seconds.
clip_image004[5] Storm Brewing – Increases the critical chance of Force Storm by 15% and its critical damage bonus by 30%.
clip_image006 Lightning Effusion – Direct Force attacks grant Lightning Effusion when they critically hit, reducing the Force consumed by your next two non-channeled Force attacks by 75%.
clip_image008 Subversion – Reduces the pushback suffered while activating Chain Lightning, Lightning Strike, Crushing Darkness, Thundering Blast, and Lightning Bolt by 75%. Additionally, you have a 25% when taking direct damage to gain Subversion, which causes your next Lightning Strike or Lightning Bolt to activate instantly.  This effect cannot occur more than once every 8 seconds and lasts up to 15 seconds.
clip_image010 Forked Darkness – Crushing Darkness has a 25% chance to tick twice and makes its targets vulnerable for 45 seconds. Vulnerable targets tak 5% more damage from Force attacks. In addition, when you activate Thundering Blast, there is a 25% chance the ability will produce a second blast that strikes the same target for 25% damage.
clip_image012 Lightning Swarm – Increases the maximum range of your Force attacks by 5 meters. Additionally, Chain Lightning immobilizes all affected targets for 0.5 seconds and slows all affected targets by 50% for 6 seconds.
clip_image014[5] Convection – Force Speed gives 2 stacks of Convection, which allows Lightning Strike and Lightning Bolt to be activated instantly.
clip_image016 Forked Lightning – Lightning Strike, Chain Lightning, Lightning Flash, and Lightning Bolt have a 25% chance to produce a second arc of lightning that strikes the same targets for 25% damage. Additionally, Chain Lightning overwhelms its targets for 45 seconds. Overwhelmed targets take an additional 10% damage from area attacks.
clip_image017 Focal Lightning – Damage dealt by Chain Lightning and Lightning Flash has a 100% chance and damage dealt by Lightning Strike and Lightning Bolt has a 50% chance to grant Focal Lightning, which increases alacrity by 1%. Stacks up to 5 times. Lasts 15 seconds.
clip_image019 Chaos Nexus – Forked Lightning is twice as likely to trigger while Polarity Shift is active. Additionally, increases the duration of Polarity Shift by 5 seconds and reduces its cooldown by 15 seconds.
clip_image021 Reverberating Force – Increases the critical damage dealt by Chain Lightning, Crushing Darkness, Thundering Blast, and Lightning Flash by 10%.
clip_image023 Conduction – Each Forked Lightning and Forked Darkness reduces the active cooldown of Polarity Shift by 1 second. In addition, being interrupted grants unshakable for 4 seconds. This can only occur once every 15 seconds.
clip_image025 Charged Reaction – Direct damage dealt by your Crushing Darkness and Chain Lightning abilities refreshes the duration of your Affliction on affected targets. In addition, Lightning Bolt increases your Force regeneration by 10% for 10 seconds. Stacks up to 3 times.
clip_image027 Fulgurous Fortification – Lightning Bolt increases your damage 3% for 10 seconds. Stacks up to 3 times.
clip_image029 Convulsing Currents – Shock deals 20% more damage to targets affected by your Crushing Darkness

Rotational Abilities

clip_image002[7] Crushing Darkness [CD]– Summons a dark cloud of energy to crush the target, instantly dealing X-X kinetic damage and an additional X kinetic damage over 6 seconds.

Range: 35m, Activation: 2s, Force: 36, Cooldown: 15s

clip_image004 Affliction [Aff]– Casts a powerful Force affliction that deals X internal damage over 18 seconds.

Range: 35m, Force: 32

clip_image006[5] Thundering Blast [TB]– Sends a thundering blastwave at a single target that deals X-X internal damage. Thundering Blast automatically critically hits targets affected by your Affliction.

Range: 35m, Activation: 1.5s, Force: 45, Cooldown: 9s

clip_image008[5] Lightning Flash [LF]– Blasts the target with a quick flash of lightning, which deals X-X damage and grants Force Flash, which reduces the activation time of your next Crushing Darkness by 0.5 seconds. This effect lasts up to 12 seconds.

Range: 35m, Force: 45, Cooldown: 15s

clip_image010[5] Chain Lightning [CL]– Delivers an arc of lightning that deals X-X damage to up to 8 targets within 8 meters of the primary target.

Range: 35m, Activation: 2.5s, Force: 45, Cooldown: 6s

clip_image012[5] Lightning Bolt [LB]– Hurls a bolt of lightning at the target, dealing X-X energy damage and slowing the target by 30% for 3 seconds.    Replaces Lightning Strike.

Range: 35m, Activation: 1.5s, Force: 30

clip_image014[7] Shock [S]– Shocks the target for X-X energy damage. Standard and weak targets are additionally stunned for 3 seconds.

Range: 35m, Force: 36, Cooldown: 6s

Non-Rotational Abilities

clip_image002[9] Force Storm – Calls down a Force Storm over the target area, consuming 60 Force and dealing X energy damage to up to 8 targets within 8 meters over the duration of the channel. Standard and weak targets have a 33% chance to be stunned by the storm each second.

Range: 35m

clip_image004[7] Dark Heal – Heals a friendly target for X-X health.

Range: 30m, Activation: 1.5s, Force: 50

clip_image006[5] Resurgence – Immediately heals the target for X-X, plus an additional X over 9 seconds.

Range: 30m, Force: 27, Cooldown: 6s

clip_image008[5] Unnatural Preservation – Immediately restores X-X health to you. Cannot be used on others.

Cooldown: 30s

clip_image010[5] Expunge – Cleanse a friendly target of up to 2 negative mental or Force effects.

Range: 30m, Force: 12, Cooldown: 12s

clip_image012[5] Extrication – Lowers the target’s threat by a moderate amount and, if the target is a group member, pulls the target to your location.

Range: 30m, Force: 27, Cooldown: 1 minute

clip_image014 Force Speed [FS]– Increases movement speed by 150% for 2 seconds. Does not break stealth.

Cooldown: 30s

clip_image016[5] Phase Walk – Activating this ability marks your current location for 10 minutes. When this ability is activated again, if you are within 60 meters of the marked location, you instantly return to the marked location
clip_image018 Reanimation – Revives an incapacitated ally. This ability is usable while in combat. When used, all group members can neither use nor be the target of an in-combat revival for the next 5 minutes.

Range: 30m, Activation: 1.5s, Force: 27, Cooldown: 5 minutes

Offensive and Defensive Cooldowns

clip_image002 Polarity Shift [PS]– Your connection to the Force shifts, granting 20% alacrity and immunity to pushback and interrupts for 15 seconds.
clip_image004[9] Recklessness [Rck]– Grants 2 charges of Recklessness, which increases the Force critical chance of your direct attacks and heals by 60% and increases the ranges of Force Lightning and Depredating Volts to 30 meters.  Each time a direct Force ability critically hits or a channeled Force ability is activated, 1 charge is consumed. Lasts 20 seconds.

Cooldown: 1m 30s

clip_image006[7] Unlimited Power [UP]– Increases mastery, endurance, and presence for you and your Operation group members within 40 meters by 10% . Lasts 10 seconds

Force: 45, Cooldown: 5 minutes

clip_image008[7] Force Barrier – Projects a Force Barrier around you, granting immunity to all control, damage, and negative effects while channeled.  This ability does not respect the global cooldown and can be used while controlled.  While you are protected by Force Barrier charges will build up and grant you Enduring Bastion, a shield that absorbs an amount of damage based off the charges that are present when Force Barrier  ended. Enduring Bastion also grants immunity to interrupts.

Cooldown: 3 minutes

clip_image010[7] Static Barrier – Surrounds the target in a lightning shield that lasts 30 seconds and absorbs a high amount of damage.  The target becomes deionized and cannot benefit from Static Barrier again for 20 seconds.
clip_image012[7] Cloud Mind  – Wipes enemies’ thoughts, instantly lowering your threat by a moderate amount.

Additionally grants 25% damage reduction for 6 seconds. (with Suppression utility)

Cooldown: 45s

clip_image013 Advanced Polybiotic Attack Adrenal – Increases Power by 870 and decreases all healing done by 20%. Lasts 15 seconds.

Cooldown: 3 minutes



This opener applies regardless of whether you are using the Dread Master 4-piece and Ultimate Exarch 2-piece or the Ultimate Exarch 6-piece.

CD -> PS, Aff -> UP, Adrenal, Rck, TB -> CL -> LF -> LB -> LB -> LB -> TB -> CL -> LB -> CD -> LF -> S -> TB -> CL -> Priority System


There are two things I should note here. The first is that in the opener I use Polarity Shift before casting Affliction.  This is done because the increased alacrity increases the tick rate of the DoT. This carries over whenever Crushing Darkness and Chain Lightning refresh Affliction as well. This allows us to squeeze a little extra damage out of Affliction. With the increased tick rate, Affliction can now tick right before a refresh from Crushing Darkness and Chain Lightning, which will then cause it to tick again, thus gaining just a little bit more damage from Affliction.  The second is that the Shock after your 2nd crushing darkness may need to be used prior to the Lightning Flash depending on alacrity and when the DM set bonus procs if you are using it.

Priority System

The nice thing about Lightning Sorcerer is that it is a priority system. Because of this you don’t have to worry about where to pick up if you experience downtime due to boss mechanics. You simply use the ability with highest priority and work from there.

There are really only 6 abilities that factor into the priority system, but the caveat to that is Affliction must be on your target. That being said, the priority is as follows:

  1. Thundering Blast
  2. Crushing Darkness (with proc)
  3. Lightning Flash
  4. Shock (only while Crushing Darkness is on the target)
  5. Chain Lightning (with proc)
  6. Lightning Bolt

Thundering Blast must always be used on cooldown. It is an autocrit every 9 seconds (with no alacrity) and therefore must take priority over everything else. This leads us into Crushing Darkness, which should be used only with the Force Flash proc.  Lightning Flash is next due to its decent damage and because of the Force Flash proc. Although Chain Lightning hits rather hard, its proc’s 10s internal cooldown pushes it rather low on the priority provided the proc is not about to fall off, which it never should.  When everything else is on cooldown, Lightning Bolt is your primary filler. I say primary because of the new passive that makes Shock barely better than Lightning Bolt so long as Crushing Darkness is on the target.

AoE Rotation

There are a few ways of going about this depending on the priority of the group of adds that are being killed. However, regardless of the scenario you want to prioritize Chain Lightning and Force Storm. If they will die pretty quickly this is all you want to do. If there is a higher health add in among lower health ones, then you can throw in Affliction and Thundering Blast and then continue with Chain Lightning and Force Storm. You should not be using Lightning Flash, Lightning Bolt, or Crushing Darkness though.

Some Notes on Offensive Cooldowns

Polarity Shift is by far your best offensive cooldown.  I always try to use this right before a Thundering Blast. However, I will uses it earlier if a Lightning Flash will benefit from its use sooner than a Thundering Blast would. The reason is a combination of your Chaos Nexus and Forked Lightning Passives. You want to make sure you can fit as many of your hardest hitting abilities into a Polarity Shift block so don’t just use it on cooldown, but never delay it longer than one Thundering Blast cycle.  While talking about Polarity Shift, it is also worth talking about ability usage during the time that it is active. Traditionally, it has been considered important to prioritize Lightning Bolt over Crushing Darkness during Polarity Shift because Chaos Nexus doubles Lightning Bolt’s chance to proc. I have found, however, that it is still not worth delaying Crushing Darkness.  If you look at how much damage is done by each ability, Lightning Bolt would be better, when it procs, as far as instant damage goes. However, when you consider how much additional damage Crushing Darkness does with its DoT, that is still for only a 1 gcd cast, CD comes out ahead in damage even if it doesn’t proc once and Lightning Bolt does. This is under the assumption that they are critting more or less equally. Because of this, and what I have seen in my own parses, I find it more beneficial to never use Lightning Bolt over Crushing Darkness.

Next we come to Recklessness.  I try to use Recklessness when under the effects of Polarity Shift as often as I can, partially because of the reduced cooldown the increased alacrity brings me, but also because with the increased chance to proc on abilities we are making an almost guaranteed crit. As far as ability usage goes, always Thundering Blast and Chain Lightning. Thankfully Recklessness properly buffs Thundering Blast so it should always be used in conjunction with it. The third stack should be used on Lightning Flash if possible, then Shock if it is buffed, and finally Lightning Bolt if the former two are not possible. Using Recklessness is always a little bit of weighing your options with what you will have available. Delaying it for a short time is okay, if you will get your hardest hitting abilities to align, but like all your offensives, too long of a delay will make you lose dps. Each situation is different and it just comes down to knowing the fights and knowing your class in order to determine what to use and when.

Unlimited Power should not be used in the opener if you will need it later for a tight burn phase.  It is always important that you use your offensive cds appropriately for the maximum potential dps, instead of just when they are available. That being said, you don’t want to over delay these abilities either, and some discretion on the player’s part is necessary.

One final note for Force Speed is that there is no dps gain to use it on cooldown since you are simply making the damage of the Lightning Bolts come at the beginning of the gcd instead of the end. Where this does have use though is within proc windows, the most relevant being relic procs. When a casted Lightning Bolt would fall outside of the proc, but an instant wouldn’t, you would use Force Speed for the instant proc.

Sample Parse

Here is a link to a parse. Please note that this is still mostly 224 gear with the 186 4-piece. With this being old gear, the damage was not very different from 4.0, especially when the large damage nerfs to the spec are taken into account.

How to Analyze Your Parse

The most important part you should look at is if you are using Thundering Blast, Crushing Darkness, and Lightning Flash on cooldown.  The way to check this is to look at the ability usage section and then look at the Avg Time. At the very minimum this should be the same as your abilities cooldown, heavily varying by alacrity. As a note, Thundering Blast’s cooldown only starts once the cast finishes.  This means with no alacrity, the average usage of Thundering Blast

should be 10.5 seconds. While talking about Thundering Blast, the crit % should 100%. If it is not you have messed up somewhere.

As far as damage profile goes, Thundering Blast should be your highest damage because it is your hardest hitting ability, followed by Lightning Bolt, Affliction, Chain Lightning, Lightning Flash, Shock, Crushing Darkness (crushed) which is the DoT, and Crushing Darkness which is the initial hit per cast. What follows will be your Forked Lightning and Forked Darkness procs. Due to large amounts of rng, the amount of damage, and their occurrences, will vary heavily.

Visual illustration based on the above parse:


By Dulfy

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

76 replies on “SWTOR 5.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide by Sion”

If it could do HM then I think your 1/10 rating in unfair, sure it’s not the best but you don’t have to insult it, nonetheless this looks like a really solid guide. Good Job!

It’s a relative scale compared with other classes. As is, the worst rated dps class should be rated as a 1. Obviously, not every guide writer employs the same scale. But, at least you’re getting the cold, hard truth about the class from Sion.

Every spec can do HM. NiM is the only place where specs really matter. The 1/10 is there because it is currently the worst spec, and by a fairly large margin at that. It may seem unfair, but it’s the reality compared to every other spec. I wish it were not the case, as I love Lightning, but I just can’t ignore where it is right now.

I think 10% stronger static barrier utility was removed and now only corruption spec have it as passive.

You are referring to the survivability section I presume. If so, you are correct. That’s a holdover from the 4.0 that I must have missed while updating the guide.

You can fit a Shock on the first Crushing Darkness, with like 1 sec left or so but you can, and it hits harder than a Lightning Bolt so no reason to not use it( other than if you cant pull the high APM)

Yes you are correct. The window is tight though, even with high alacrity. Under my initial testing, the Shock was hitting just outside of the CD so I put a LB there. This was still in mostly my 4.0 gear so my APM was sitting around 52ish. Once I got more gear and my APM was higher, somewhere around 54, I could sneak that Shock in. I forgot to change that on the second pass I gave the guide. The overall dps difference that comes from substituting 1 Shock for 1 LB is not going to be noticeable, but I do agree with though, get the Shock in if you can.

Should a class that gets a 1/10 for dps really be offhealing? “Hey guys, you suck at the deeps….so blast a few cooldowns on some longer cast time, less valuable heals.”

Better that low dps do ofhealing than a high dps..
Lightning sorc used to be able to pull insane (for a dps) heal numbers for nearly a minute in emergencies (I’ve had a few nim kills where a healer died with rev on CD, only reason we lived was sorc ofheal)
If it means you survive long enough to get a kill, it’s good to ofheal

Sorc are totaly useless in pve and pvp since 3.0 Ppl looks like surprised to see 1/10 dps.

Just remember coratani 3.0 16man when under bubble and the cd from dropping aggro u got OS by the mouse droid lmao. When u never could hit top parse and its more true now. Having a sorc in your raid is like doing 7man

This class is just fully useless, stop playing that. But gj for spending time on a guide, I hope to meet lots of sorc in ranked, I need free win hehe xd

Players always say things are useless if they don’t bring the big numbers, never understand that personally, but hey, i am not all that interested in being number 1, i don’t have that need to be the best…..just saying.

Probably because Utility is pointless in a game like TOR. TOR combat is almost completely DPS based Raids want to pump out fast damage to end the fight as fast as possible and all a “Utility” gimmick character does is just slow the raid down. tank, off tank, couple healers, and all the DPS you can gather. The Old Republic is not a complicated game because it is geared towards casual players.. therefore a Utility class is totally useless in this game.

I topped the dps charts in every nim group I joined as TK sage (in 4.0)
Sage/sorc was OP in the right hands, now not even the right hands can make it compete with ‘the big boys’

right, because the glitch gives 1k dps boost (ow wait it doesn’t, it’s closer to 200/300 dps)
I wonder, have you ever grouped up with a competent lightning sorc?
there were a lot of bad ones around, that indeed did useless dps, but that’s the player, not the class

Uhm, am I the only one left who plays pub side mainly? ‘Cuz all guides I see here are imp versions. Or maybe all the pub side ppl who write guides are on holiday; don’t know.

Anyway, this 1/10 won’t mean much to me because Lightning is probably THE most fun spec in the game and that’s what matters to me. I’ll check this later if/when I decide to level my Sorc to 70.

Thanks for the hard work author, and waiting here with fingers crossed for some pub side guides.

I hear you. Even though I love and appreciate the work these scribes put in for these guides. I wish they would make them bi-lingual pub/imp or do 2 versions 😉

I’m also a big fan of my TK sage and there are folks out there (one of them is in our guild) who can easily hold huge amounts of dps with it. Not me but I still love the animations.

Nice guide. I have a question though. You mention using Recklessness with Thundering Blast. With 4.0 that was a waste due to BW not being able for us to get our SuperCrit. Has that changed in 5.0? My understanding was that is hadn’t. Is this the case?

I believe I say this in the guide as well, but with 5.0 Recklessness does increase the damage done by Thundering Blast so it is is worth it to use now it there now.

How is the madness compared to lightning right now ? Im new with the sorcerer but a lotta people told me that madness is more single target dmg. Have you done any comparison between the specs ?

Guess they are still pulling up a decent dmg tho.

Saw some on flashpoints and in pvp. Im leveling one myself at the moment. But since its an mmorpg game nerfs and buffs happen everytime. Pretty sure they will try to balance it

No offense, but lvling, fps and pvp isn’t where you’ll notice much of the potential single target dps
In lvling everything dies to fast to notice, same in fp, in pvp they have dotspread to make their numbers look huge

Madness is 16th out of the 18 dps specs while Lightning is dead last at 18. So Madness is better, but it is still in a bad spot. The problem is not their position in the rankings as much as that the spread is huge. Madness should be much higher though. It should do similar to IO and Virulence, and yet they do about 700 more dps. Sorc dps is in a sad state right now

Does a bit more sustained than Lightning, anemic burst, and still has terrible energy managment going back to 3.0.

So i was doing S&V when a guildie said “I bet the new shock buff isnt worth using” so after than run a went to parse, 3 parses without shock and 4 with shock( cuz even numbers):

No shock:
7,953/49.4% crit/51.1 APM
7,828/46.9% crit/51.9 APM
7,598/45.3% crit/51.6 APM

with shock:
7,729/50.8% crit/50.8 APM
7,574/44.7% crit/51.2 APM
7,626/52.1% crit/51.5 APM
7,597/46.5% crit/51.4 APM

tho my top parse of 8,114 was with shock, it doesnt look like there is much dps increase if at all using shock, not sure which one to use tbh.

In talking with Bant, I believe the dps gain was somewhere around 38. It is incredibly small. The passive is crap and should be 40%-50% to make it really worth it. This is why I don’t stress it too much in the opener. This will also vary depending on whether LB is proccing/criting and Shock is criting. Ever since I saw this passive mined I have been pretty annoyed at the stupidity of it. I think you probably will see it even out more if you do more parses, like 100 or so of each (but who really wants to). It is marginally better in the right conditions in the long term, but I still think that it needs a buff, along with almost everything else in Lightning.

Shock has a slightly higher expected dmg than lightning bolt (if I’m using wrong name, forgive me for being Rep :p)
But the difference is really really tiny
Shock does give you a tiny extra bit of mobility though
Worth using? Yes
Noticeable increase in dps? No
1 lucky crit would make more difference

Remember to only use it over LB and only within a few seconds after CD? I’ve been trying shock and in thoroughly looking at the difference between shock and bolt (using it the right way) I only had an increase of about 94 DPS

Thinking about what to do with my lightning sorc for GC ranking…

Go full survivability for regular que PVP? They actually are nearer the top of the list for theoretical survivability. Lightning turtle? Not sure what the point would be though. People would still come at you as a weak link, still have light armor, and you don’t have enough tank tools to play that role. Mobility build then? I mean neither of those sound viable.

I guess there’s GSF to look into…

If you aren’t doing Ranked PvP then Sorc still performs well because most ppl don’t know how to focus, or just aren’t very good. Either Lightning or Madness works well. Ranked is different, I would just go corruption there.

The fastest way to level is spamming Fractured Uprising on Veteran, as the amount of CXP you get for the time is pretty much unbeatable if you have a good group. If you do that, hold onto the tokens and use them when your side is in victory state. GSF is good too, its just that the pops are slower.

Well I just don’t hate life enough to spam anything over and over while pooping in socks and what not so uprisings are out. For whatever method, I’d actually need to reasonably enough enjoy the game I’m playing as I play it.

I guess I’ll probably try survivability lightning turtle for regular PVP, and maybe GSF if I can get in to it.

One thing I’d note is for aoe rotation:
storm is bad unless there’s 3 or more targets
If single target dps on boss/main add is important you can use a slight alteration to the normal rotation (notable uses are all bosses with 2 bosses, eg Zorn &toth, or high HP adds, like withering horror)
This rotation gives marginally less single target dps, while doubling your aoe splash dmg
Hardcast CL, TB, procced CL, fillers (using your priority, until CL is of CD)
Make sure affliction is on both targets if it’s a high HP add; if you have 2 high HP targets spread out, put hardcast CL on 1, instant CL on the other; this is to keep affliction on both targets at all time, doubling your dmg from affliction
If there isn’t any other sorc/sin dps, it’s sometimes worth putting CD on your 2nd target to keep the force debuff on both targets (needs a refresh every 45sec)

In my opinion, proper execution of this alternate rotation is what sets master sorcs apart from good sorcs; knowing where to use what rotation, and when is what makes lightning spec one of the most interesting specs to me
In 4.0 I often messed up my priority slightly, but by using this effectively, I would still get top dps in NiM

What’s the reason you use TB>CL>LF in your opener instead of TB>LF>CL?
Especially if CL hits multiple targets, your last stack of recklessness would be wasted

The main reason is that the DM set bonus yields slightly higher dps until you get to 240s. It might be 242s, but I can’t exactly remember. So with only 2 Recklessness stacks, CL is a higher priority for it. Now if you are using the current 6-piece, then you can flip LF in front of CL.

ah, so your opener is made for 4p setbonus, I see; I’d mention in your guide you should flip them if you have 6p 🙂
good guide though, and nice to hear supercrit is fixed on TB

Why would you even include that in this guide? No one who needs to read this guide has a nightmare set bonus that was only available several years ago. That portion of the guide should be revised to only focus on the 6 piece set bonus

Idk if it’s just me but it feels like the cooldown of LF and CD work better together when casting CL before LF or anything else. Could just be me though.

Overall it’s a good guide. I made one myself a little more for those new to Lightning Sorcs.

The one thing I disagree with though is his pick for Heroic Utilities. There’s an argument to be made about Surging Speed. It is beneficial in both movement and dps but yes it is small. But if you aren’t the type to be standing in AoEs then Shapeless Spirit is pointless. I use Force Speed to both give me more LB procs and always be on the move never standing in AoEs. It can go both ways but it depends on the type of player you are. If you look at the Parsely Leaderboards the top parsers are using Force Speed more than others, possibly pointing to them using that Utility at least for Parses if not also in Raid. I know it’s not the same but if you aren’t standing in the red circles you should be fine. Also side note: Isn’t raid-wide damage different than AoE damage?

you said you made one yourself for those new to lightning sorcs…where is your guide for 5.0? I’d like to take a look at it. Thank you

Most if not all raid-wide damage is AoE damage. Having this utility is a must. Almost every boss has some type of AoE damage that is lessened by this. Just some examples: Brontes orbs and Supremacy, Ruugar droids, kb, and Cora poison grenade, Underlurker adds, and Sword Squadron (pretty much everything).There are a ton more examples. Most bosses have some mechanic that is unavoidable AoE damage.

My problem with Surging Speed is not that it isn’t a good utility, but it just isn’t as good as others that we can take that give us more defensive cooldowns or healing.

Yeah and what about single target burst? Often many boss fights have that WITh aoe also. Sage or Sorc single target sucks now but also burst is terrible. If fight mechanics involves a lot target switching well then its even worse.

I have tried some other classes after 5.0 and i can tell you now – i will bow to anyone who is going to use Master or even veteran mode opses as sorc/sage dps. I have played this spec as main since i started back in beta and this is now completely destroyed. This class and spec had its ups and downs but its clear that Bioware intended this class to be mostly as healer or support (they call it utility).

Yes you can bubble, throw some weak offheals or combat rez/pull someone out of danger. But thats about it. DPS is like hitting a terminator with a rubber bullet.

If next major update wont fix sage dps at least to a point to make it useful in endgame challenging opses (where timer actually matters) then its time for me to move on also.

I have all 8 different classes on both sides so i know very well how they play and perform but forced to play other classes is no way to gain trust.

I mean, I gave it a 1/10 for single target damage for a reason. Last tier this spec could pull the damage for NiM. I haven’t tried this tier because I don’t raid anymore. Sorc dps needs to be able to pull the damage that other specs of similar playstyle do. Therefore Madness should do comparable damage to IO and Virulence, and Lightning should do damage similar to Marksman and Arsenal. The dps spread is too large, and Sorc got shafted in both dps specs.

I think bot Madness and Lightning need damage buffs badly, but it is what it is. I think you could probably make Sorc dps work if you had high enough gear, but based on the severity of the gap I’m just not sure.

Been looking at the burst of all burst classes and looks like Lightning has the highest burst:

Concealment: 12 over 20k/ 5 over 30k/ 2 over 40k
Marskmanship: 23 over 20k/ 7 over 30k/ 0 over 40k
Arsenal: 19 over 20k/ 5 over 30k/ 0 over 40k
Carnage: 26 over 20k/ 3 over 30k/ 1 over 40k
Lightning: 22 over 20k/ 16 over 30k/ 4 over 40k/ 2 over 50k
AP: 21 over 20k/ 4 over/ 0 over 40k
Deception: 32 over 20k/ 0 over 30k/ 0 over 40k

I did some rounding on the numbers, some where very close to the target but due to once we get better gear it will go over i rounded the numbers.Tho not sure if having the highest burst really means anything because we have no sustained dps.

You have to explain the context of these numbers, both what they mean and where you are getting them from. When you say 12 over 20k, are you saying that 12 hits in a 1.5m parse are over 20k? I am just not sure what these numbers are supposed to mean because you gave no context or key to interpret

Sorry i forgot that part, yes these are numbers from a 1.5m parses, my point was that you said Lightning was 6/10 yet it has the highest burst out of all burst specs and the most constant, which the latter we know already, and what i meant about 12 over 20k would be the dps shown on a dps graph on parsely, like say in second 5 you did 30k, in some classes like Lightning it would be multiple attack so TB+CL+Aff+forkeds. Not sure if that explains it well im not very good at explaining :/

im new, and most of the numbers, and short terms for items and skill i have no idea of yet.
but what i am looking for after been on another guide on this site,
is what modifications to pick.
armor, hilt, mod, enhancements.
i know this most likely sounds as a noob question, but that is what i am, so any guidance would be greatly appreciated 😀

I have recently tried both sorc dps speccs and it seems to me Madness pulls ahead and isnt as bad as people seem to believe. Granted that with the dedication to make the specc “work” and pull good numbers you could be topping every parse with some other class speccs but if you like me enjoy sorc and specially madness you can make it work and not be a burden to your group.
I would say that single target DPS I would rank it 3/10 if not better, it shines where there are multiple mobs that last the whole fight and you can multidot and it has a lot of mobility not loosing alot of dps when you are required to move, something that some other speccs lack.
Considering all this, and if you agree with me that is, wouldn’t you be up to make a madness dps guide with this level of detail and quality?
That would be awesome!

Sorcs have been my favorite class ever since I started playing 5 years ago and I refuse to give up on them . I think they take little more practice than the flavors of 5.0 ( merc , sniper , etc ) but I’ve been running HM and giving others in my group a run for their money so to speak lol . My highest dummy parse without adrenal has been 8600 in lightning and about 8300 with madness . I like madness over lightning but I’ve pulled in her raid numbers with lightning . Force management is huge contributer

There are 2 utilities that you named somewhat useless but are big part of my rotation first Surging Speed and second Galvanizing Cleanse. Why? Simple I don’t use the Surging Speed for mobility but for the 5 sec cooldown and that I use for the Convection passive ability which gives me 2 instant cast for Lightning Bolt which also allow to instantly cast Chain Lightning. The Galvanizing Cleanse I usually mix up with Affliction>Expunge>Thundering Blast, Critical and Instant, in addition you remove some of the negative effects from you. Also you can use this rotation for DoT Affliction>Expunge>Crushing Darkness get those debuffs on the target for other rotations. Those 2 utilities speed up the burst and lowers the need for Alacrity also removes the activation time that lowers your DPS. If done and timed correctly it will remove all activation time.

Sorceress is not as garish as different classes, and she will doubtlessly wind up with an awful k/d, yet the utility she gives is genuinely priceless. She is an ideal instrument that empowers her group to really sparkle in fight. In the event that you are permitted to accomplish something more on the combat zone, and there’s a sorc aggroing the whole foe conflict group, at that point you know who you ought to thank for it. Good sorceress build is important if you want to be stronger in late game

Can I argue against going putting points in between 703-1300 alacrity? At 703 you’ll get an actual benefit and I believe it was 1300 (or something like that) for another benefit. Anything below 703 or in between 703-1300 is a waste because in essence you will still have the same CD times (with polarity and recklessness being an exception but it’s not much of one with all the passives for polarity shift and the set bonus in mind) and those points could be better spent on getting Crit as high as possible after getting 110% accuracy and 703 alacrity, or 1300 respectively. Otherwise this has definitely helped me out.

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