SWTOR 5.0 Marksmanship Sniper PvP Guide by Kitchen Sink

SWTOR 5.0 Marksmanship Sniper PvP Guide written by Kitchen Sink.

Intro to 5.0 Marksmanship Sniper

The sniper class has received incredible new buffs for both offensive and defensive play since 5.0’s release which I will get into with this guide. Now, first things first, Marksmanship is considerably easier than the other two sniper specs which makes it a good starting point for players who are new to the class. The rotation is fairly simple and working your offensive cooldowns right isn’t really a big challenge. This guide will be focusing on all aspects of how to play the class, which includes builds, defensive play, rotation etc.

Utilities

Utilities for Marksmanship Sniper PvP

Sniper utility build mm

Skillful

1849314209_1991484756 (1) 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 is a huge help for your defense, it has the same cooldown as Snap Shot which means that every time you re-enter cover to get an instant snipe you will gain increased defenses, a MUST have utility.
3105164610_473058525 (1) Snap Shot: Entering cover makes the next Snipe or Lethal Shot activate instantly. This effect cannot occur more than once every 6 seconds.

An absolute MUST for the Marksmanship spec, it is essential to achieving maximum dps, and as stated above, it has the same cooldown as ballistic dampers.
3482625395_3507575059 (1) Imperial Efficiency: Increases the damage dealt by Suppressive Fire by 25%.

This utility is purely for AoE spam purposes.

Masterful

3048784136_2671232944 (1) Seek Cover: When Entrench ends or you leave cover while Entrench is active, you gain Seek Cover, which increases your movement speed by 50% and grants immunity to movement impairing effects. Lasts 6 seconds.

A nice utility mostly helpful for dealing with other snipers. Using this will cause other snipers to be unable to slow or immobilize you within his/her Diversion if you are entrenched, this means that if they take the utility which slows targets affected by diversion they will essentially have wasted a utility point since it has no effect on you (I will dedicate an entire paragraph to Diversion later in the guide).
1626143083_2805137530 Reestablish Range: Countermeasures purges all movement impairing effects when activated and grants Reestablish Range, increasing your movement speed by 75% for 6 seconds. Additionally, the final shot of Series of Shots or Penetrating Blasts knocks back the target if they are within 10 meters.

This is extremely helpful when it comes to dealing with melee. The movement speed makes kiting a lot easier and the extra knockback makes a melee’s life a living hell.
2289162421_3635850666 (2) Evacuate: Reduces the cooldown of Maim and Flashbang by 15 seconds.

Heroic

2325093148_925227914 (1) Pillbox Sniper: Reduces the cooldown of Entrench by 15 seconds and Cover Pulse knocks targets back an additional 5 meters.

The reasoning behind investing a point in this utility is pretty self explanatory, you get even more time of stun immunity and your knockback gets buffed.

Legendary

265384158_3363115073 (1) Defensive Safeguards: When Ballistic Shield is activated you gain a charge of Defensive Safeguards for each enemy inside your Ballistic Shield, up to 4. This effect lasts 20 seconds (the full duration of Ballistic Shield) and each charge increases your damage reduction by 5%. In addition, while inside your Ballistic Shield, you heal for 3% of your maximum health every second and you are immune to being pulled or knocked back.

This is probably the most overpowered utility a Sniper has, it makes you almost unkillable while inside your Ballistic Shield. If you are fighting a melee, that player needs to be inside your Ballistic Shield to attack you which just increases your damage reduction even more. The heal you receive from taking this utility adds up to a 60% heal over the duration of 20 seconds which is incredible. This utility is an absolute MUST.
4014554438_885131366 Tactical Retreat: Covered Escape (your roll) heals you for 10% of your maximum health. Additionally, the duration of Evasion is increased by 2 seconds.

Again, this is a MUST HAVE utility. Covered Escape has a 20 second cooldown which which means that you get a 10% heal every 20 seconds, and you get an extra 2 seconds of immunity to melee and ranged damage with Evasion.

Gearing

IGNORE THIS SECTION FOR NOW SINCE THEY CHANGED BOLSTER

Before I start talking about gearing it is important you know that everything I state here is in a with bolster scenario. This means that when I say you need X amount of Critical Rating, I am saying that you need the given amount with bolster.

Critical Rating: Patch 4.0 removed Surge Rating from the game and merged Critical Chance and Critical Multiplier into one stat called Critical Rating. This means that stacking Critical Rating both increases your chance to land a crit and how much it will hit the target for. I recommend having about 45% Critical Chance.

Alacrity Rating: Alacrity is of extreme importance for Snipers. The ability to be able to press a button before your opponent is essential. For example, Ambush has a 1.5 second activation time if you have the buff given from using two Snipes, the GCD (Global Cooldown) is 1.5 seconds as well, Alacrity decreases the Global Cooldown which means that you have an X second window to roll the Ambush if you use Alacrity, that’s 20-30k damage you can mitigate. Alacrity can be the difference between life and death, it is an absolute MUST. Alacrity also helps your energy regen which is important when you are spamming AoE. I recommend having about 10% Alacrity.

Accuracy Rating: As a Sniper, tanks usually focus their taunts and other debuffs on you since they know how much Snipers can hit for. On top of that, tanks have a tendency to apply a debuff on you which reduces your Accuracy by 5%. To counter this, you need to have 105% Accuracy to make sure that you always hit your target no matter what the enemy tank has done to you. And most classes have a base of 5% defense chance so having 105% Accuracy is ideal, of course other classes like Sins/Shadows have more but I would not recommend getting even more Accuracy to counter that since you will start losing other stats you need. Imagine missing your autocrit Ambush because of having too little Accuracy in your gear, that is a huge chunk of your burst gone, and because of this, there is no question regarding the importance of having Accuracy in your gear as a Marksmanship Sniper.

Relics: Relic of Focused Retribution and Relic of Serendipitous Assault (Mastery buff and Power buff).

How you can achieve these stats: To get to the numbers you need I recommend buying/crafting your augments based on what you get in command crates. Most likely either a Critical enhancement or an Alacrity enhancement will be in the gear dropped from the crates; therefore I suggest that you mainly use Power augments in your gear, but if you are getting little to no Alacrity enhancements in drops then don’t be afraid to buy/craft Alacrity augments in order to compensate for what you are losing with your enhancements. The same thing applies to Critical Rating and Accuracy Rating. Mainhand/Offhand crystals should be +41 Critical Rating (Eviscerating Crystal).

Abilities and Rotation

Core Abilities

clip_image002[5] Ambush: 1.5 second cast time if buffed. Fires a high-powered shot that deals X weapon damage.This is your hardest hitting ability in the Marksmanship spec, using it right will result in insane burst. It crits for around 20-30k on a regular basis.
clip_image004 Penetrating Blasts: Fires 5 shots over the duration of 2 seconds that deal X weapon damage and sunder the target for 45 seconds. Sundered targets have their armor rating reduced by 20%. This is a critical ability for the Marksmanship spec, it applies constant pressure to your target as well as a key debuff. This should be used BEFORE Ambush for maximum damage.
clip_image006 Snipe: 1.5 second cast time. Shoots a target for X weapon damage. This should ALWAYS be used TWICE BEFORE casting Ambush. Using it twice reduces the activation time of Ambush by .5 seconds as well as other things I will get into later.
clip_image008 Followthrough: Fires a well-controlled follow-up shot at the target that deals X weapon damage. Only usable within the 5 seconds immediately following Ambush, 2x Snipe, Takedown, or a complete Penetrating Blasts. This ability should be be used almost every time you cast one of the abilities listed above, and should always have been used at least once before using Snipe because Followthrough decreases the energy cost of your next two Snipes by 5.NOTE: I said Followthrough is only usable after two Snipes which technically is incorrect.You can technically use only one Snipe but doing so would be a huge mistake. Snipe Grants Marksman’s Finesse, increasing the armor penetration and damage dealt by your next Followthrough by 10%. Stacks up to TWO times. Because of this passive, you must use two Snipes before Followthrough, using only one Snipe will result in less armor penetration and less damage.
clip_image010 Takedown: Attempts to take the target down with a single powerful shot that deals X weapon damage. Only usable on targets at or below 30% max health. This is your execute ability, it should used be AFTER Ambush hits a target below 30% hp for a 20% damage increase.NOTE: Ambush doesn’t necessarily have hit a target already below 30% hp. It just needs to hit a target so that it goes below 30% hp with the damage from Ambush in order to trigger the damage increase on Takedown.
clip_image012 Corrosive Dart: Fires a dart at the target that deals X internal poison damage over 18 seconds. Additionally, Corrosive Dart marks its target for 45 seconds. Marked targets take 5% increased damage from ranged weapon attacks. Be careful with overusing Corrosive Dart, it’s nice because of the debuff it applies but if you use it too often you will deplete your energy very fast. It’s up to you to be able to judge the situation and find out whether or not it’s worth using Corrosive Dart on your target.
clip_image014 Suppressive Fire: Sprays a wave of bolts over the target area, dealing X damage to up to 8 enemies over the duration of 4.5 seconds. This ability is your AoE spam ability, use this if you see a group containing 3 or more enemies.

Key passives

clip_image002[7] Zeroing Shots: Snipe zeroes in your sights, reducing the activation time of your next Ambush by 0.25 seconds. Stacks up to 2 times. This is why I stated earlier that you should always use Snipe twice before casting Ambush.
clip_image004[5] Heavy Diversion: Targets affected by your Diversion continue to be affected for 3 seconds after leaving the area of effect. This is insanely helpful when it comes to fighting other Snipers.
clip_image006[5] Recoil Control: Firing Snipe twice in a row, firing Takedown or Ambush once, or completing a cast of Penetrating Blasts finishes the cooldown on Followthrough. This passive essentially means that you can ignore the cooldown on Followthrough, it is usable after every ability stated above.
clip_image008[5] Muzzle Fluting: Followthrough decreases the energy cost of your next two Snipes by 5. Because of this passive, it is of high importance that you use Followthrough before casting two Snipes. If you fail to do this it will result in your energy depleting rapidly since Snipe has the highest energy cost of all the abilities you use in the Marksmanship spec.
clip_image010[5] Honed Shots: Snipe grants Honed Shots, increasing the critical hit chance and damage done by Snipe by 5% for 20 seconds. Stacks up to 3 times. Be sure to keep 3 stacks of this on you at all times.
clip_image012[5] Marksman’s Finesse: Snipe Grants Marksman’s Finesse, increasing the armor penetration and damage dealt by your next Followthrough by 10%. Stacks up to 2 times. I have already explained the importance of knowing what this passive does above in the Followthrough note and I don’t see any point in repeating it here.
clip_image014[5] Finish the Job: Dealing damage with Ambush to a target with less than 30% health grants Finish the Job, increasing the damage of your next Takedown by 20%. Again, I have already explained what needs explaining above in the Takedown column, and I don’t see any point in repeating it.
Hold Position.png Hold Position: While in cover, ranged defense is increased by 20%, you cannot be leapt 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 it is active. This is probably the most important passive a Sniper has, it explains why being in cover is extremely beneficial and it provides a buff for Evasion. While I strongly think that it is always better to roll force and tech heavy burst attacks you don’t always have it available, Evasion is the next best thing to use, of course considering you haven’t already put it on cooldown to stop melee or ranged burst. Remember that you only get the buffed Evasion if you are in cover.

Offensive Cooldowns

clip_image002[9] Laze Target: Increases the critical hit chance of your next Ambush, Explosive Probe, or Cull by 100%. Lasts 20 seconds. Should be used ON COOLDOWNNOTE: With the 6 piece set bonus Laze Target receives 2 stacks and its duration is doubled.
clip_image004[7] Target Acquired: Increases ranged and tech accuracy by 30% and armor penetration by 15% for 10 seconds. Use this ability with Ambush and Penetrating Blasts.NOTE: With the 4 piece set bonus this ability restores 15 energy and receives a cooldown reduction by 15 seconds.
clip_image006[7] Sniper Volley: Immediately finishes the cooldown of Penetrating Blasts, increases base energy regeneration rate by 2 per second, and increases alacrity by 10%. Lasts 15 seconds. This ability should be used either immediately after Penetrating Blasts so you can cast it again, or when you’re AoE spamming to decrease energy consumption.
clip_image008[7] Adrenaline Probe: Summons a droid that helps you recover 50 energy over 3 seconds. This is pretty self explanatory.

Rotation

Now, we all know that having a set rotation in PvP isn’t really possible because of how situational it is. So I will tell you what I do at the start of a match and hopefully you can work from there.

Laze Target + Corrosive Dart (while you are running at your target) > Cover + Penetrating Blasts > Sniper Volley > Penetrating Blasts > Followthrough > Snipe > Re-enter cover + Snipe > Followthrough > Target Acquired + Ambush > Takedown or Followthrough (depending on the health level of my target, they are usually below 30% at this point, if not already dead).

Things to take note of:

  • I pre-cast Laze Target, I recommend doing this to get it back off cooldown as fast as possible, and you needn’t worry about your stacks actually running out before you get to use them since Laze Target has such a long duration.
  • Cover is able to be used at the same time as you start casting Penetrating Blasts because cover does NOT have a GCD.
  • I re-enter cover in order to reset my stacks of Ballistic Dampers and to gain Snap Shot again, causing me to be able to use two Snipes in a row with insta-cast. You need to re-entering cover constantly to regain the offensive and defensive buffs provided by it.

Defensive Cooldowns

clip_image002[11] Ballistic Shield: Deploys a ballistic shield that spans 10 meters around you, reducing the damage taken by all allies that remain inside by 20%. Lasts 20 seconds. With Defensive Safeguards, which made it’s way to SWTOR with the release of 5.0, Ballistic Shield has now become an oh sh*t moment ability. It provides greater defense than Enraged Defense on Juggernauts which honestly is completely stupid. If you feel like your health is dropping fast then use Ballistic Shield to keep it under control.
clip_image004[9] Imperial Preparation: Immediately finishes the active cooldowns on Evasion, Countermeasures, Shield Probe, Cover Pulse, Entrench, and Covered Escape. Use this ability ONLY if you are certain that you are going to die and you have no DCDs available.
clip_image006[9] Evasion: Increases chance to dodge melee and ranged attacks by 200% for 3 seconds (5 seconds with correct utilities). This ability needs to be timed correctly if you want as much out of it as possible. This means that if you see a burst window coming up from your opponent which involves either melee or ranged attacks then use Evasion to stop the damage from hitting you. A good example of this is when you see a Sniper casting either Cull or Ambush, if you time Evasion correctly you will dodge ALL damage coming from those abilities which means that a good chunk of their burst is gone.
clip_image008[9] Entrench: Entrenches you into cover, becoming immune to all controlling effects. Only grants protection while in cover. Lasts 23 seconds. This ability should be used ON COOLDOWN UNLESS you are white barred.
clip_image010[7] Countermeasures: Instantly lowers threat by a moderate amount. Additionally, because of the utility, Countermeasures purges movement impairing effects and increases movement speed by 75% for 6 seconds. Of course in PvP we don’t really care about lowering our threat, so this ability is good if you need to kite, LoS a ranged class attacking you, or get out of an annoying AoE ability like Diversion.
clip_image012[7] Shield Probe: Summons a probe droid that projects a shield around the Agent, absorbing a moderate amount of incoming damage for 10 seconds. Use this on cooldown whenever someone is attacking you.
clip_image014[7] Covered Escape: Roll forward 18 meters, purging movement impairing effects and landing crouched behind cover. While rolling, your chance to dodge attacks is increased by 100%. Notice that this ability causes you to dodge ALL damage, it is perfect for stopping incoming tech or force burst, or even melee and ranged if Evasion is on cooldown. The idea of how to use Evasion correctly applies here too, try to anticipate incoming burst and roll to mitigate all the damage. Covered Escape is also helpful for countering melee, roll and root can be devastating for them.
clip_image016 Ballistic Dampers: 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. Re-enter cover as much as possible to keep Ballistic Dampers on you.NOTE: While I am fully aware that this is a utility, I do consider it a DCD because of how important it is to staying alive as a Sniper.

Crowd Control

clip_image002[13] Diversion: Reduces the accuracy by 45% and exposes from cover up to 8 enemies within 8 meters for 8 seconds. I will not be talking about this ability here since I am dedicating a whole paragraph to it later in the guide.
clip_image004[11] Flash Bang: Detonates a flash bang that blinds the target 8 seconds. Damage causes this effect to end prematurely. This is your mez (a stun that breaks on damage).
clip_image006[11] Maim: Deals X amount of damage and stuns the target for 4 seconds. This is your hard stun ability (a stun that does NOT break on damage).
clip_image008[11] Cover Pulse: Detonates an emergency charge that knocks all nearby targets back several meters and immobilizes them for 5 seconds. Damage dealt after two seconds ends the effect prematurely. This should be used if you need to get 1 or more melee away from you, or if you need to interrupt someone who’s casting. I mostly use it to interrupt healers and knock them away from the people they are healing or out of guard range.
clip_image010[9] Leg Shot: Fires a shot that deals X weapon damage and immobilizes the target for 5 seconds. Direct damage dealt after two seconds ends the effect prematurely. Use this after you roll away from a melee class attacking you, or use it as you are running away from a melee class, ONLY if you have a speed boost (Usually Countermeasures or Seek Cover).

Diversion

Diversion can be both helpful and a nuisance to snipers. I will cover both aspects of it here. Using Diversion properly is key when it comes to fighting other Snipers, it will most likely be the most annoying thing you experience when playing the Sniper class, but because of the utilities I have told you to use, hopefully Diversion won’t be as annoying as it has the potential to be. The best and worst thing about Diversion (depending on whether you’re on the giving or receiving end of it) is that it instantly puts you out of cover, and cover makes you IMMUNE to interrupts. This means that if Diversion is thrown at you, you CAN be interrupted and on top of that, your accuracy is reduced by 45% which is why you need to get away from it ASAP. I recommend that if there is a Sniper on the enemy team, always save one of your speed boosts for Diversion. If you have Entrench up (which you most likely will) and are using the correct utilities, you CANNOT be immobilized or slowed (because of Seek Cover) which means that you can get out of Diversion considerably faster than most. Another way to counter Diversion is rolling at the right time, if you know what the animation looks like you can usually roll before it lands on you. The animation looks like the character is using his/her LEFT arm to throw a grenade with green smoke coming out of it. Since Diversion has a short travel time you do have a small window of opportunity to roll resist it.

About the Author

Most people call me Sink, I play on The Red Eclipse where I am a member of Take a Seat (a pvp guild) and I play on The Harbinger where I am a member of The Scare Bears and Omega Knights. I’ve mained the Sniper class since 2.0 and have loved it ever since. All of my character names contain the word “Sink” within them so if you ever need to get in touch with me in-game you can just type Sink in the Who tab. I have played the game since launch and have had a few long breaks, most consisting of 6-12 months. With the release of the last chapter of KOTFE I started playing again and am having so much fun with the thrill of the hunt (command crates). Thank you for taking the time to read this guide, I do hope it was helpful!

  • Lait

    You realize that Snap Shot doesnt actually add any dps, unless by making the snipe instant it fits inside a relic proc? The only thing the utility does is make the dmg occur at the begining of the gcd instead of the end of the gcd. Snipe still takes up 1 gcd with or without it (not a dps increase.) You can argue it can be semi useful for burst, but thats it.

    • Rancoth

      It’s a pvp guide and believe me, many things can happen during 1 gcd window. Snap shot isn’t a pure dps increase but it matters a lot in pvp environment.

    • Sink

      I am fully aware that no matter what you will have to spend 1.5 seconds to use Snipe, the reason I said it was a dps increase is because people will have no way of anticipating the Snipe unless they know your rotation perfectly, this means that your Snipe will hit the target more often than if you don’t use Snap Shot, and if you don’t finish a Snipe cast you will not get all the buffs provided by it. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times people try to LoS you before you finish your Snipe cast. Because of Snap Shot they won’t have the opportunity to do that. Hopefully that cleares it up!
      -Sink

  • Glovenaynay

    meh…………………………………… jk good job sink!

    • Sink

      Thanks!

  • Tammt

    Are you aware that characters have defense chance? Might be worth mentioning under the Accuracy section

    • Sink

      You do know that different classes have different amounts of defense chance? Sins/Shadows have a base of 10%, and of course tanks will have way more than that. I didn’t see the point in including it since you are not going to gear towards countering it because it will result in a loss in other stats you need. Of course other classes have a base of 5%, but I didn’t include that since it’s just another reason to do what I’m saying. My point is you need 105%, I just talked about one aspect of why. There are other reasons but I wasn’t going to waste your time with it since I had already made my point.

      • Tammt

        Since this is a guide I’d argue that you should include the real reason to give people a deeper understanding of Accuracy in PvP.

        Since everyone has the inherent 5% defense chance, *that* is the primary reason to take Accuracy. Only after considering this should you look at class bonuses and tank debuffs. You bringing up those as a point only makes me wonder why you don’t go for 110% instead.

        • Sink

          Like I said, it felt unnecessary since I had already made my point, but I’ll add it because it seems that others disagree. And I said that getting more accuracy will cause you to lose other stats you need so I’m a little confused on how you interpreted that as “get 110% accuracy”

  • gog

    You know the game has gotten easy when even the kitchen sink can write a class guide…

    Sarcasm aside, nice guide 🙂

    • Sink

      I have moved beyond just washing dishes! And thanks 🙂

  • Newbie

    how you survive in an arena if you’re egtting focused? Entrech +shield? Sometimes is not enough.

    • Sink

      Arenas can be very situational since team comps are always different. If you are getting focused by ranged classes try to LoS them as much as possible but be careful not to LoS the support classes on your team since they won’t be able to help you if you do. When melee classes are focusing you I usually put up my Ballistic Shield with Entrench and I throw Diversion at myself so their accuracy gets reduced. This allows your health to go back up because your opponents will be missing a lot of their attacks. And remember to kite them, one of the worst things you can do is sit still while you are getting rekt

    • Alivan

      if i may add, you also have covered escape to roll away and also 5 seconds of evasion…then imperial preparation would refresh each of these for you so all in all you have an arsenal of methods to get away from the enemies who are trying to global you. Use them wisely one at a time at the right moment, not all of them at once. ofc entrench should be there, but when you feel the s hitting the fan, yes you put shield up and be sure to stay in it for as long as you can even if you need to roll.

  • Akruks

    Very arguable choising of utilities:
    1. Vital regulators give you more HPS then Tactical retreat, and there is other legendary utilityes much better.
    2. As you said, Ballistic shield is amazing defence ability with Defensive safeguards, and it is our priority to lower its cooldawn – just using Deployed shields.
    3. Imperial efficiency for PVP? Come on, marksman is single target DD, left suppressive fire for mobs.
    4. Control ability is overpower in PVP – all the time people cry that Operatives has 30s stun. Now devs offer for snipers Evacuate and you refuse it.

    • Sink

      1. Vital Regulators dooes not offer an increased duration on Evasion like Tactical Retreat. And it is more beneficial to have the burst healing from Tactical Retreat, Vital Regulators heals you for only 2% every 3 seconds which isn’t really going to help you if you are at low health and need to get back up. Tactical Retreat also offers you the choice of when to heal compared to Vital Regulators, and you are talking about a scenario where you are in all match which you very rarely are going to be, this isn’t PvE. You are gonna be kiting melee and many other things that require you to be out of cover.
      2. Deployed Shields was used in 4.0 for sure, but with the release of 5.0 it is not as useful as other Legendary utilities like Tactical Retreat.
      3. Did you even read the marksmanship skill tree? It buffs Suppresive Fire’s critical chance by 15% and critical damage by 30% so of course you will be using it. AoE spam gives much better numbers than single target so you might as well buff it.
      4. While I agree that a decreased cooldown on hardstun is nice, you shouldn’t really need it if you are playing the class right. Other utilities are much more beneficial.

      • Akruks

        I dont understand snipers who run out of cover. With Deployed shields it give +5% defence in cover all the time instead of +2s dodge form Tactical retreat. And if you have lower CD stun you dont have to kite out of cover. Stun + roll away always helps. I think we just have different playstile 🙂

        • Alivan

          so if you play ranked arenas do you just wait in cover for enemies to run hide heal up and come back for you? standing in cover 99% of the time is not very useful for the team. I agree with Sinks choice of utilities with except maybe choosing vital reg over supressive fire but again it depends on whether u are in ranked or regs respectively.

          • Akruks

            in ranked if my sniper out of cover+entrench he hardstuned for death in 3-4 GCDs. Always. And for running away enemies i have controls and roll.
            Again, we have different playstile, thats all.

        • Sink

          Yeah sorry but I really would not recommend staying in cover the entire match. Like Alivan said, it’s not very useful for the team, and it allows your opponents to just LoS you and heal up

  • Drago SWTOR

    You do know, that your Evasion also absorbs 75% (or something near 75) tech and force damage? Didn’t see it getting a notice in this guide.

    • Sink

      I could have sworn I included Hold Position in the Key Passives section. That’s my mistake sorry, will email Dulfy to get it updated ASAP

      • Drago SWTOR

        Totally, so important, especially if you play against smart opponents.

  • EZ Bored

    Thx, this is nice guide, was away from swtor for a year and was hoping to start a sniper for pvp. I mostly see eng.snipers in pvp, is marksman better for ranked?

    • Sink

      I would recommend Marksmanship for ranked because of its burst and the buff on Diversion, the other two specs aren’t going to be as effective in games that have tanks and healers. Engineering could be alright because it has more slows and roots and an extra stun but the burst window in Engineering is not at the same level as Marksmanship. For regs (warzones) all three specs are viable 🙂

      • EZ Bored

        ty 4 swift response, can’t w8 to arrive home and log in swtor 🙂

    • Alivan

      Also you guys might want to give virulence a chance, I find it in a good place in 5.0

  • SiliconScribe

    By chance were you PvPing last night (Dec 31st)? If it was you I think I had the chance to play along side you for while?

    Do you think this class will get nerf’d? I hear a lot of talk about it being overpowered.

    • Sink

      I was PvPing a little on Dec 31st 🙂 And I’m not sure if the class will get nerfed, the Ballistic Shield utility is overpowered but compared to mercs it’s nothing. If the devs aren’t nerfing mercs anytime soon I doubt they will nerf Snipers.

  • Fitz

    I swear Marksman was just snipe, snipe, follow through, repeat.

    • Sink

      Lol

  • Packs

    …daddy.

  • Tellic

    I main gunslinger and am experienced in ranked and a bunch of these utilities are very unoptimal for ranked pvp. With 5.0 the priority for gunslinger/sniper in solo ranked is focused around utility and survival. Thus taking utilities that allow you to maximize survivability while allowing you to put out consistant damage is vital. I will agree that marksmen/sharpshooter is the best class for solo ranked based on their superior utility when fighting against melee classes.

    IMO best utilities to take are:
    Skillful – ballistic dampers + snap shot
    – Ballistic dampers are a no brainer and critical to staying alive. Snap shot is very useful in ranked because gunslinger/snipers must continue to stay mobile and kite. Being forced to move out of cover repeatedly, having an instant proc on snipe/charged burst multiple times during an arena match keeps your overall damage and usefulness at a higher level.
    Masterful – heads up + reset engagement (seek cover + reestablish range)
    – Heads up is extremely useful for moving from cover to cover and not getting pulled or lept to by melee dps. It allows you regain max range on enemies and maintain safer distances to enhance survival and free time to dps. Reset engagement acts as a movement debuff purge+speedup for a similar effect. Also the 10m knockback is very challenging to deal with for melee dps.
    Heroic – holed up + compounding impact (siege bunker + series or snares)
    – Holed up is a no brainer (60% aoe dmg reduc duh!). Compounding impact is another great utility when dealing with both melee classes and focused targets that are trying to run. When combo’d with burst volley + leg shot + reset engagement + hightail it, you can effectively keep multiple melee toons from every getting close to you by reapplying slows through penetrating rounds and roots via leg shot.
    Legendary – shield reserve + bait and switch (defensive safeguards + tactical retreat)
    – Both of these utilities are a must in solo ranked pvp. The first heals you for 60% of max health over full duration+soft cc immunity and stacking damage reduction. Bait and switch is great as it increases dodge duration and can heal you for at least 20% health depending on how many times you can use it within an arena match. I’ve normally been able to get 3-4 off in one match (therefore 30-40% health).

    Overall, these utilities maximize your ability to kite and survive. Most importantly gunslingers/snipers in ss/marksmen should not be stingy with defensive cooldowns. Having a free reset via bag of tricks means you should not hesitate to use at the beginning if you are being focused and also know how to cycle different defensive cd’s appropriately. While not overpowered in terms of damage, gunslingers/snipers may be one of the most effective classes in solo ranked purely based off the ridiculous amount of utility they provide.

    • Sink

      So… over half of what you have written here is a restatement of what I said in the guide, apparently restating others makes you sound smart. I don’t understand why you would think Pillbox Sniper isn’t worth taking, it’s a no brainer. You’re basically saying that you don’t want to have as much cc immunity as possible, in ranked especially that would be a mistake. Series of Snares is an okay utility, but with the amounts of roots and stuns you already have it’s redundant, you would be better off with taking the slow on Diversion.

    • Sink

      More than half of what you have written here is a restatement of what I said in the guide, apparently restating others makes you sound smart. I don’t get why you wouldn’t take Pillbox Sniper, that’s basically saying you don’t want maximum cc immunity. Series of Snares is okay against someone who’s trying to kite you but with the amount of roots and stuns you have anyway it’s kind of redundant, you’re better off taking the slow on Diversion if you really do want an extra slow, it’s usually more helpful for the team. The AoE dmg reduction utility I strongly disagree with, if you really want to spend another utility point on survival go for Stroke of Genius (Cover Pulse increases chance to resist force and tech attacks by 20% for 6 seconds).

      • Tellic

        Clearly you haven’t played much solo ranked this season if you don’t think an 80% slow is effective against a meta that heavily favors shadows. Pillbox isnt as necessary because you automatically get it for a few seconds when using hightail it. So really it comes down to whether you want to trade an extra 5m knockback on pulse detonator assuming they are not immune or do you prefer a 60% aoe dmg reduction.

        Also a lot of what I said is different that you as well if you pay close attention. Simply because I restated what a utility does doesn’t make the same, if you look closer i I give clarification as to why it is more useful within the marksmen/ss playstyle.

        • Sink

          Clearly you didn’t read, I said Series of Snares is okay if you got people trying to kite you. If you think all I’ve said is wrong then feel free to write your own guide pal. But I can assure you that my utility choices are correct as a standard build, of course you can switch some things when you are q’ing ranked.

          • Alivan

            aoe damage in ranked… scary 😀

            • Sink

              Lol

  • Excellent guide. I have recently taken my Sniper out of retirement and this always was my favorite spec to play next to Lethality. I’m a bit rusty so I appreciate the depth.

    • Sink

      Thanks!

  • Kenji

    Loved it, saved all the screenshots for utilities that I could, will definitely use it all on my sniper/slinger

    • Sink

      Thanks! Glad I could help 🙂

  • Hey I am currently playing sniper/gunslinger in ranked and the one most annoying thing is dealing with mdps as I am focus of enemy team I simply just don’t know how to deal with them. tips on kiting pls.

  • Sheon

    I can’t find anywhere on my sniper the corrosive dart debuff you’re talking about: neither on the ability description nor in the path or utilities. Am I missing something here? Is it a gearing bonus set ? (I just came back on the game after 3 years so I’m not up to date on it)
    Thanks for the guide anyway 🙂

    • Sheon

      Ok, it comes from a Sniper passive, please forget that I asked 😛

  • S’renx

    Is Virulence or Engineering better for PvP?

  • someguy

    one question – I would like some advice.

    I have played pvp after 5.0 a lot as a sniper, both ranked and wz, but lately I have noticed that I get stunned, cc’d although I use entrench all the time in ranked.

    It particulary comes when dealing with melee opponents running around, they get away from sight with 1 ranged. You lose your sight for a good shot (laze + target aq + ambush) and you break entrench to take the enemy down. then there is a window for stun/cc.

    I know there are abilites – seek cover / countermeasures / stun breaker / escape etc.

    Maybe you can recommend a good combination for countering this controlling by using these abilites, I play MM, maybe it also helps for recommending?

    • someguy

      Break cover* not entrench, I said it wrong

    • Sink

      Yeah no matter what if your enemies LoS you then you have to break cover to get to them, which means you also have to break entrench thereby exposing you to stuns. The utilities I recommended help you keep this window of stun opportunity to a minimum. You can always just roll to get to them but of course you don’t always have it available. Unfortunately you can’t just sit in cover the whole time, it would be nice tho xD

  • Jetsream

    Why waste ur laze on snipe instead of ambush?

    • Sink

      Snipe doesnt trigger Laze Target. No stacks are used on Snipe, they are only consumed by Ambush.

  • Drool Bear

    Now that our gear is at lvl 248, does nothing change or does this guide need updating to reflect new numbers? Great guide btw. Thank you.

    • Sink

      I will try to get the gearing section updated asap.

  • Drool Bear

    I keep getting conflicting stories about Accuracy in WZ’s. Most seem to say we need 0 Accuracy in WZ’s where other say we do at about 105%. What is the final stance on whether or not we need Accuracy in WZ’s?

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