SWTOR 5.0 Gunnery Commando PvE Guide by Damian
SWTOR 5.0 Gunnery Commando PvE Guide by Damian.
Intro to Gunnery Commando
I will use ‘simplified’ language sometimes, there is no sense to copy and paste original description text every time. I will explain utilities and abilities from Master (NiM) mode operations perspective and Veteran for the Ravagers and Temple of Sacrifice operations. I am playing all specs but this guide is made for Gunnery.
The Gunnery specialization is excellent at single-target and switching targets. It can do its full AoE damage potential without energy disaster. Commando’s heavy armor makes you more survivable, in additional you have Decoy on the aggro-drop which simplifies few combats.
With 5.0 Commando got minor changes. It got reflect ability called Echoing Deterrence and bunch of new utilities which I will explain for you below. Also, Energy Cells are now bound to specs.
Gunnery is currently considered as a strong raiding spec, while also being a powerful spec for PvP. Personally, I came to 5.0 to play Assault Specialist as it is the strongest single target spec but it wasn’t scaled to level 70 enough like in previous 4.0 patch so you can always stay on Gunnery and do high damage. But notice, it’s a single target spec and not the strongest one so you cannot be the highest damage dealer in the raid if there are multiple specs unless your groupmates are worse than you or you have a better gear. It’s definitely worth it to play Gunnery in 5.0 for both PvP and old PvE content
Single target is one of the highest (only below DoT specs). AoE damage is decent if you know your rotation. Group utility is one of the highest because Gunnery Commando is a basic unit of any raid group: raid buff, quick target swap, high survivability and armor debuff make it useful and welcome for any raid and any boss. Rotation isn’t hard, there is no tight energy management (if you aren’t Grav Round spam aggressor ofc). But it’s RNG dependent because Gunnery is a crit based spec, i.e. once your Demolition Round does 10k damage instead of 30k your burst is simply going down
- Single Target DPS: 7
- AoE Damage: 7
- Group Utility: 10
- Rotation Difficulty: 5
- RNG Dependent: YES
- Burst: 9
- Sub 30% Talents or Buffs (Execute): No
- High burst damage
- Quick target swap
- Decent AOE potential
- Low crit (RNG) can have a huge negative impact at any gear level
- Mobility is somewhat limited by Grav Round
The most important thing for PvE DPS in gear stats is accuracy. If you have below 110% of accuracy you have a chance to miss attacks. The new goal at level 70 is 737.
To reach it I would suggest you to use 2x Advanced Initiative Enhancement 51 (205 accuracy each, 410 in total), 1x Advanced Accuracy Augment 45 (96 accuracy) with Advanced Polybiotic Proficient Stim (240 accuracy). This set provides you 746 accuracy points in total. Or just use optimized sets from below.
The next important stats are Critical and Alacrity rating.
With removing ‘Surge rating’ by 4.0 update the size of your hits depends from critical rating. On “Star Parse” you can see it with percentages. For Commando Gunnery, high critical rating starts from 50%. The more critical rating you have the bigger are your chances improve a hit of Demolition Round from 10k to <30k.
What is alacrity rating for? The more alacrity you have the faster is your GCD (Global Cooldown), ability activation cast and ability channeling. The more alacrity you have the higher is your APM (actions per second). For example, let’s take Boltsorm, it does the same damage: with 0 alacrity, you do X damage during 3 seconds and with 1.2k alacrity points you will do the same amount of damage but during around 2.7 seconds.
So, stats you can modify as PvE Gunnery Commando are accuracy rating, critical rating and alacrity rating. Once you reached >736 accuracy points you should improve your alacrity and critical stats. Your target is to have critical points for 22-27% more than alacrity points (for example, 1600 critical rating and 1300 alacrity rating). When you reached ~1600 crit and ~1300 alacrity you can put 1-2 augments for Mastery. You don’t need to go in PvE for Power as you will be improving it by getting higher tier gear.
About assault cannon and generator crystals, you should use both “Eviscerating” +41 Critical Rating. And no, you cannot change color of the Med Shot 🙂
Set bonus name is: Eliminator.
If you want to read about more complicated gearing there is Bant’s document.
Gear legend: E = Enhancement or Implant or Earpiece; A = Augment; C = Crystal; Stim = Stim
Eternal Commander MK-3, Tier 1: Artifact (230 ilvl)
- 7950+-369 DPS @ 41.2 APM | 7372 Endurance | 5901 Mastery (Stim) | 3183 Power
- 1480 Critical (4xE, 6xA, 2xC) | 1119 Alacrity (3xE, 6xA) | 735 Accuracy (3xE, 2xA)
Eternal Commander MK-13, Tier 2: Artifact (234 ilvl)
- 8257+-390 DPS @ 41.3 APM | 7653 Endurance | 6128 Mastery (Stim) | 3337 Power
- 1518 Critical (6xE, 2xA, 2xC) | 1152 Alacrity (12xA) | 760 Accuracy (4xE)
Eternal Commander MK-15, Tier 2: Legendary (236 ilvl)
- 8703+-420 DPS @ 41.7 APM | 7962 Endurance | 6317 Mastery (2xA) | 3424 Power
- 1651 Critical (2xE, 10xA, 2xC) | 1296 Alacrity (6xE, 1xA) | 736 Accuracy (2xE, 1xA, Stim)
Iokath MK-3, Tier 3: Artifact (240 ilvl)
- 8987+-440 DPS @ 41.8 APM | 8106 Endurance | 6385 Mastery (1xA, 1xC) | 3506 Power
- 1689 Critical (7xE, 1xC) | 1370 Alacrity (2xE, 10xA) | 733 Accuracy (1xE, 3xA, Stim)
Iokath MK-5, Tier 3: Legendary (242 ilvl)
- 9359+-466 DPS @ 42 APM | 8439 Endurance | 6594 Mastery (1xA) | 3694 Power
- 1760 Critical (5xE, 4xA, 2xC) | 1436 Alacrity (4xE, 6xA) | 743 Accuracy (1xE, 3xA, Stim)
Remember: Good player always takes the best utilities for fights.
- Reactive Shield – offensive cooldown with Electro Shield utility. Must be modified with Reflexive Shield utility.
- Echoing Deterrence – new Commando ability which is basically 50% reflect. Notice, it doesn’t work against AOE damage. You can do numbers like these if you know how to use reflect.
- Hammer Shot – basic filler.
- Explosive Round – execute ability on Assault Specialist spec. Can be modified with Concussive Force.
- Electro Net – one of the highest damage abilities for a single GCD. It’s unique for PvP because itslows down, prevents leap, vanquish and phase walk. For PvE it’s like a DoT or alacrity booster with One Man Army utility.
- Charged Bolts – basic casting ability for Assault Specialist and Combat Medic specs. Can be modified for with Sticky Mods utility.
- Full Auto – basic channeling ability. Can be modifiedfor activation on the move with Force March utility.
- High Impact Bolt – high damage ability.
- Supercharged Cell – it increases your DPS, the way it increases depends from your current spec. You can modify it into DCD with Supercharged Defense utility.
- Sticky Grenade – has a detonation time, does kinetic damage up to 8 enemies when it detonates.
- Plasma Grenade – does kinetic damage up to 8 targets in 8m radius also dealing additional periodic damage to affected targets within 6s.
- Mortal Volley – highest AOE damage ability which does kinetic damage within 5 meters of the target area over the duration.
- Hail of Bolts – AOE damage ability which does kinetic damage within 5 meters of the target area over the duration. You can buff it with Chain Gunnery utility.
Defensive Cooldowns (DCDs)
- Diversion – reduces the threat, does different effects on Gunnery and Assault Specialist specs. On Gunnery, it grants Decoy or Degauss for Assault Specialist. More info below.
- Cleanse – cleanses friendly target up to 2 tech or physical negative effects. Can be modified with Suit FOR utility.
- Reactive Shield – increase damage reduction by 25% for the next 12s. Can be modified with Electro Shield, Reflexive Shield, Combat Shield and Trauma Stabilizers utilities.
- Hold the Line – grants 6s of immunity from all movement-impairing effects, knockdowns and physics and increase movement speed by 30%. The most useful ability for Revan. Can be modified with Advance the Line.
- Adrenaline Rush – heals you up to 35% of maximum health for 8s. Can be pre-casted which makes it triggered automatically once you go below 35% of your health. Can be buffed with adrenaline Surge Utility.
- Tenacity – your stun breaker.
- Med Shot – basic healing ability, as DPS use it to build stacks of Supercharged as pre-cast.
- Medical Probe – casting healing ability. Getting proced together with High Impact Bolt or Mag Bolt but only single ability can use a proc. Can be modified with Charged Barrier utility.
- Bacta Infusion – heals up immediately. Useful for PvP self-heals.
- Emergency Medical Probe – combat revive.
- Supercharged Celerity – raid buff.
- Concussive Round – CC. Can be modified with Efficient Conversions and Overclock.
- Disabling Shot – interrupt. Can be modified with Supercharged Reserves.
- Propulsion Round – Commando’s “Force Speed backpedal”. Can me modified with Smoke Screen utility.
- Concussive Charge – pushback utility. Can be buffed with Concussive Force utility.
- Cryo Grenade – stun. Can be modified with Efficient Conversions.
- Tech Override – makes next 1 (or 2 with Overclock utility) casting abilities activated instantly.
Rotations and Parsing
Gunnery rotation has a priority system not like a stable one on Assault Specialist. But no worries, if you did a mistake you don’t need to spam Hammer Shot, you will just loose burst.
Opener is the same as in 3.0 Fascinate and Marisi guide but for the core rotation I use another priority system.
Basically, single Grav Round crits and resets cooldown of Boltstorm every 8 seconds; 3x Grav Round crit High Impact Bolt/buff and make instant Medical Probe; Vortex Bolt makes instant Grav Round.
I personally prefer to use High Impact Bolt + Demolition Round because it provides the highest burst in both PvP and PvE. Also, Demolition Round is out of cooldown almost every time when you already have 5 stacks of Charged Barrel so you don’t need to pay attention for its cooldown.
- Boltstorm (proc’ed by Curtain of Fire every 8s)
- Electro Net
- Vortex Bolt
- High Impact Bolt + Demolition Round
- Grav Round
- Hammer Shot
Keep in mind, Gunnery is a single target spec so you need to choose between single target or multiple (3 or more) targets burst. Of course, is has AOE attacks but not the best to be honest. But there is a way to fluff via using Tech Override + Plasma grenade if you have 2 targets near each other (for example, Dread Guards or Jarg&Sorno). Your highest AOE attacks are Mortar Volley and Hail of Bolts. The last one you can spam on cooldown. Use Supercharged Cell when spamming Hail of Bolts, it will increase armor penetration and help a bit with energy management.There is a basic example of burst AOE rotation (for example, it would perfectly work on DM Calphayus on seed defending and crystals fluff phases) but don’t forget to take Cell Capacitor and Chain of Gunnery utilities.
On Gunnery, your DPS depends from APM (actions/abilities per minute) and crit %.
The key of a good Gunnery player is a cooldowns knowledge. You should already finish Grav Round cast once Boltstorm cooldown is ~4.9s. So, it gets proc’ed.Your main target is to use Boltstorm on cooldown and not to use Hammer Shot. If it’s not a dummy fight which is a simulator of a “perfect circumstances” you won’t have any energy issues on Gunnery. Basically, there are 2 ways of playing Grav Round on Gunnery: you spam it whenever you can or you waiting like 0.3s and proc’ing Boltstorm faster. Just play smart, it comes with experience.
A bit about Hammer Shot on Gunnery. You would prefer not to use this ability. I usually using it during sustain combat butit happens rarely or to finish low health target without cast. I prefer not to spam Grav Round and play smart so there are no energy issues to use it.
To do highest DPS you should keep your burst. While you casting Grav Round you doing no damage (if there is no E-net on target) so you loosing burst. That’s one of the reasons to use Tech Override ability (which can be modified with Overclock utility up to 2 stacks). But by using it on cooldown you risking to stay with no energy. There is no tight energy management on Gunnery but it’s possible to stay with 0 energy. You should use recharge abilities if there is a need. There is a combo of Supercharged Cell and Reserve Powercell, for example. Also, I would suggest you to take Cell Capacitor utility which buffs Recharge Cells.
Sample Parse & Video
I didn’t try to hunt high DPS combat log, dummy parsing is all about the luck. There is a sample. You can see character stats in the beginning.
Reflects for Operation
Information below is not a 100% as I didn’t have a chance personally try every operation yet. Thanks to author for this document:;
MPORTANT: Leave red circles before reflect runs out.
- KP – Karagga the Unyielding: flaming oil on the ground;
- EV – Eternal Council: Assassin’s channeled attack;
- EC – Zorn and Toth: Fearful (do damage during reflect), Baradium Poisoning (NiM/Master – pop reflect and use medpac once reflect ends);
- EC – Firebrand and Stormcaller: the electric cones, you can stand in few and then just use Propulsion Round;
- EC – Warlord Kephess: stand under the walker during reflect;
- S&V – Thrasher: stand in fire;
- S&V – Operations Chief: heat beam from the add during clearing Oasis City;
- S&V – Warlords:you can reflect Vilus Garr’s stab while stunned;
- TFB – Dread Guards: you can do no damage but absorb the Doom but to do damage you can reflect 6s of Kel’sara’s beam by standing in melee range then just use Propulsion Round;
- TFB – Kephess the Undying: you can stand in laser beam with reflect;
- DF – Corruptor Zero: pull adds in the beginning and pop reflect (Leeroy Jenkins approves);
- DP – DM Tyrans: flame in the door. There is my personal example.
- Rav – Quartermaster Bulo: stand in electric purple circles;
- Rav – Torque: stand if fire to reflect Dangerous Fire Device. Notice, you won’t kill it with a single reflect.
- Use StarParse, it helps you to track yourself
- Use key binds for everything to be like a PRO
- If you dummy parsing use Supercharged Reserves (doesn’t proc relics), One Man Army (works only on WZ dummy) and Overclock utilities
- If you want the highest advantage you’d like to have high performance and MMO mouse. Note, the better is your performance the better advantage you have
- Modify UI (User Interface) for yourself
- Play smart
I don’t PvP a lot on my Commando but sometimes I play it. With 5.0 Commandos became easier to survive.
There is an image of utilities I would recommend you for PvP.
Notice, if you getting pushed with Reactive Shield you can always click it off to get heals with Trauma Stabilizers utility immediately.
I cannot suggest you a lot but be mobile. Use your mobility, interrupts/stuns/pushes on CD, pop Hold the Line when needed and CC enemies with Concussive Round (with Tech Override to make it instant) when needed. Also, remember that brand new reflect doesn’t work against AOE damage and Reactive Shield doesn’t decrease damage by DoT’s on you.
About the Author
I am Damian from the Red Eclipse server however my original server is Tomb of Freedon Nadd, currently a member of <Not Good Enough>/<Friendly Fire> guild. You can catch me on TRE on Damiah (Commando), Damianh (Vanguard), Xaruvoy (Mercenary) and Damiany (Powertech) characters. My enjin profile is here if you’d like to ask any question directly, check few brainless game screenshots/videos or just add me as friend (moar friends!).
I enjoy playing Bounty Hunter/Trooper class since 2013th, raiding on Commando since 3.x expansion but directly was maining this class during 4.x expansion and cleared all the content.
Most of people know me by spending a lot of time with Operations Training Dummy, they didn’t know it’s a love. But to be serious I just wanted to know my rotation perfectly so was fighting it again and again because it’s an independent way to improve rotational knowledge at any time. Slacking in 5.0 because I don’t have enough time to grind new gear.
I am not the best Commando player but I am able to teach players who just began to play this class. I hope it will somehow help new and old players to improve themselves. Feel free to ask any question or suggest something but I won’t be able to check it often.
This guide might be modified. All rights are reserved 🙂
In the last I’d like to thank Hotwired, Fascinate and Marisi for inspiration. Also, I’d like to thank my guildmate Splashie for being better than me in most of fights, he always shows me the way to improve. Special thanks to my guildmates and friends who keep me interested in this game also to Dulfy for publishing this guide (she is also a nice person :P).
– Don’t be a pleb!