5.0 Class Guides SWTOR

SWTOR 5.2 Gunnery Commando PvE Guide by Damian

SWTOR 5.2 Gunnery Commando PvE Guide by Damian.[toc]

Intro to 5.0 Gunnery Commando

With 5.0 commandos finally get some long needed improvements in the defence department. This careful tuning was done with the aid of a sledgehammer.

Anyone looking for hot tips on Gunnery Commando DPS can get a cutting edge guide with the patch number of 3.0 on it because Gunnery has not changed since then.

So what’s new?

Commandos and Troopers in general saw some thinning out of abilities on the toolbars.

  • Gone forever are: Stockstrike, Pulse Cannon and all Cells. Cells are now built into the specialisation tree you choose. The default Cell when you have no spec is an invisible Plasma Cell. It is now impossible to detect a Commandos spec by looking for the Cell buffs on their bar.
  • Also, Supercharged Cell is now 3 different abilities and the right one is granted to you with your specialisation tree. This apparently is to get rid of the gigantic combined triple description in the tooltip. No big deal but you now need to move that icon about when spec swapping because the ability does change between specs. Your default Supercharged Cell when you have no spec is the Assault version.
  • Much nostalgia for lost abilities but the bottom line is Stockstrike was 4m and Pulse Cannon was 10m cone, neither in any rotation or buffed by any talents. Many rants about garbage Commando talents involved the only root requiring Stockstrike.

Which leads on to significant changes to Combat Proficiencies.

  • Commandos for years had very fixed choices because the majority of options could be used to fertilise your garden.
  • The 5.0 overhaul means that all Commando talents do something in a meaningful way. Some are multiple old talents glued together.
  • Saying that, the unchanged talents of Cell Capacitor (extra resources), Shock Absorbers (permanent AOE reduction) and Forced March (Boltstorm on the move) are still very fashionable. What matters is that available points increases from 7 to 8 and you get real choices to customise your Combat Proficiencies for a particular fight or PVP action.
  • I mentioned a defensive sledgehammer being used earlier. There are two astonishing 5.0 talents you can choose which double the power of the (normally rubbish) Adrenaline Rush and grant up to a 75% heal after Reactive Shield ends if you survive the duration respectively.
  • A new ability is also on the toolbar. Echoing Deterrence is 6s of immunity to direct single target damage and bounces half the damage back to the attacker.
  • Developers have finally implemented survival changes for Commandos and have done so with real enthusiasm.

No obvious damage boosters were granted to Commandos in 5.0 so have a second look at the non obvious ones.

  • Echoing Deterrence bounces 50% of single target damage back to the attacker, examine your boss fights more closely, things you think are AOE attacks are not always scripted as AOE damage.
  • Electro Shield has been around for ages, take predictable damage and the attacker gets hit by your shield. This normally pushes up healing requirements if you literally stand in fire to do it but you can now talent to get your own healing from Adrenal Surge and/or Trauma Stabilisers to cover that health cost.
  • Reflexive Shield to reduce Reactive Shield CD was never a bad talent but you only had two points for the top tier in the old system. Forced March and Shock Absorbers were far more valuable. These choices no longer block each other and you have an extra talent point to get Electro Shield out more often.

That’s the essentials of the 5.0 changes. For information on playing Gunnery Commando and more details on Utilities and Abilities read on.

The Gunnery specialisation is excellent at single-target damage, target swapping and burst damage. AOE damage is good but not exceptional. The heavy armour, defensive abilities and light healing makes the class very tanky for a ranged DPS.

Gunnery has always been a strong raiding spec, it provides three buffs and debuffs for the group, passively takes reduced damage and delivers strong ranged damage through an easy rotation with no energy management drama. PVP performance has often been highly suspect over the years but the 5.0 defensive improvements have made it very competitive.

– Hotwired


  • 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


  • RNG crit can have a huge negative impact at any gear level
  • Mobility is somewhat limited by Grav Round casting


Accuracy is the most important stat for PvE DPS. If you have below 110% accuracy you have a chance to miss attacks of all types. The goal for this at level 70 is 737.

To reach this I suggest you use 1x Advanced Initiative Enhancement (can be found in Gloves or Boots), 3x Advanced Accuracy Augment 45 (96 accuracy) with an Advanced Polybiotic Proficient Stim (240 accuracy).

The next most important stats are your Critical and Alacrity ratings.

Critical rating affects both how often you deal critical damage and how much extra damage a “crit” will cause. For Gunnery Commandos a high critical rating would be over 50%. It is especially important for Commandos because they are the only class with a passive 30% critical damage boost in their DPS trees and a critical hit with your biggest hitting attack of a Demo Round is the massive difference between hitting 10k or hitting over 30k.

Your Alacrity rating decreases the Global Cooldown between ability uses, decreases ability cast times (Grav Round), ability channelling (Boltstorm) and all cooldowns. Your actions per minute or APM have potential to be higher when using higher Alacrity.

So, the stats you can modify as a PvE Gunnery Commando are accuracy rating, critical rating and alacrity rating. Once you have reached >736 accuracy points you should improve your alacrity and critical stats.

Regarding assault cannon and generator crystals, you should use one “Eviscerating” (+41 Critical Rating) and one “War Hero” (+41 Mastery). And no, you cannot change the colour of Med Shot

You would like to have:

  • 6 critical enhancements – Adept Earpiece, 1x Adept Implant, Main-hand weapon Enhancement, Chest Enhancement, Gloves Enhancement, Pants Enhancement.
  • 3 alacrity enhancements – 1x Quick Savant Implant, 1x Headpiece Enhancement, 1x Off-hand Enhancement.
  • 1 accuracy enhancement – 1x Boots Enhancement.
  • Augments: 2x Critical, 9x Alacrity, 3x Accuracy.
  • The set bonus name is: Eliminator.
  • Relics: Serendipitous Assault and Focused Retribution.

248 rating BiS (Best-in-Slot) gear should provide you:

  • 8921 Endurance | 6927 Mastery | 3964 Power
  • 1850 Critical | 1557 Alacrity | 759 Accuracy


Many descriptions have been simplified to avoid copy/pasting unnecessary information.

There is a basic for PvE below if you are lazy or not experienced enough.


Skillful: take the energy management and AoE buff to clear trash faster.

Masterful: if you don’t need a longer HTL you can take the 5% damage reduction and Electro Shield to make your Reactive Shield an offensive cooldown.

Heroic: you want AoE damage reduction, buffed Adrenaline Rush and Reflexive Shield to improve your defensive and offensive capabilities.

Legendary: Boltstorm on the move to increase mobility.

Why Adrenal Surge and not Trauma Stabilizers? Only direct damage will build stacks of Trauma Stabilizers, unless you are tanking a mob this won’t work.

Remember: Good players will swap their utilities to suit the fight.


clip_image002[7] Tenacious Defense – Reduces cooldown of pushback by 5s, Propulsion Round by 3 s and stun breaker for 30s.

COMMENTARY: Useful for PvP and situational for PvE (for example, shorter stun break for Torque) but usually you would take something better.

clip_image004[4] Concussive Force – Explosive Round (it was Stockstrike before 5.0) immobilizes target for 4s also makes your pushback effect stronger to it pushes 4 meters further away.

COMMENTARY: 30m range root and longer punt range on knockback is generally useful in PVP and situational in PvE (for example, saber pushing vs Revan or rooting Chained Manifestations vs Styrak in S&V).

clip_image006[4] Parallactic Combat Stims – You recharge 20 energy cells when stunned, immobilized, knocked down or otherwise incapacitated.

COMMENTARY: Not high priority for PvP due to lack of energy issues but you can use it for PvE as a situational utility if there is nothing better (for example, little add on DM Bestia immobilizes you or grenades on Master&Blaster can knock you down).

clip_image008[4] Cell Capacitor – Recharge Cells immediately recharges 15 additional cells and grants 10% alacrity bonus for 6s.

COMMENTARY: Situational for PvP (if you like to spam Grav Round, AOE or dot spread on CD) and mandatory for PvE for the bonus energy.

clip_image010[4] Chain Gunnery – Increase the damage dealt by Hail of Bolts by 25%.

COMMENTARY: Nowhere near lethal damage even when buffed so not that useful for PvP (unless group damage is your tactic) but very useful for PvE in fights where you can put it on 3 or more targets (for example, DM Bestia).

clip_image012[4] Sticky Mods – Charged Bolt/Grav Round reduce the movement of enemy target by 40% for 9s.

COMMENTARY: Mandatory for PvP for the long duration slow on targets and useless for PvE because it won’t work against bosses.


clip_image002[9] Advance the Line – Increase the duration of Hold the Line by 4s.

COMMENTARY: Generally useful if you have nothing better for a bit of extra mobility in both PVP and PVE.

clip_image004[6] Electro Shield – Your Electro Shield does X amount of damage to attackers up to once per second for the duration of Reactive Shield.

COMMENTARY: Useful for both PvP and PvE as a basic utility. High priority for PvE because it makes your Reactive Shield an offensive cooldown instead of defensive.

clip_image006[6] Suit FOE – Self cleanse reduces all periodic damage taken by 30% for 12s.

COMMENTARY: Debatably useful for a DPS, this is typically a healers talent and damage on yourself is better dealt with by the healers.

clip_image008[6] Charged Barrier – Charged Bolts/Grav Round and Medical Probe build a Charged Barrier that reduces damage taken by 1% next 15s, it stacks up to 5 times (i.e. 5% damage reduction with 5 stacks).

COMMENTARY: It’s 5% damage reduction, easy enough to keep up if you have no better choices but not a priority for anything.

clip_image010[6] Efficient Conversions – Removes the energy cost of pushback, CC, cleanse and stun abilities.

COMMENTARY: From my point of view it’s useless for both PvP and PvE.

clip_image012[6] Supercharged Reserves – Reduces the cooldown of cleanse and interrupt abilities. In addition, you can build up to 10 stacks of Supercharged while using Recharge and Reload (or any another out of combat health regen toy).

COMMENTARY: NEVER use it with the aim of building stacks! It’s almost useless for PvP and very situational for PvE on a healer spec (for example, tank cleanse on Cartel Warlords). The main time I like to use it is for dummy parsing because it doesn’t proc relics as you build stacks unlike Med Shot.


clip_image002[11] Reflexive Shield – When you take damage your cooldown of Reactive Shield is reduced by 3s (this effect cannot occur more than once in 1.5s).

COMMENTARY: Finally! With 5.0 Commandos can use it as a main utility to get more uses of Reactive Shield in a fight. This also means more uses of Electro Shield and Trauma Stabilizers for added damage and healing. Good for both PVP and PVE.

clip_image004[8] Overclock – Reduces the cooldown of CC and Tech Override by 15 seconds each.

COMMENTARY: A very niche utility, not high priority for PVP or PVE.

clip_image006[8] Reflexive Battery – Increase the damage dealt by your pushback ability for 30% and heals you and 7 allies in its range for X health. In addition, while you taking damage it reduces CD of pushback ability by 1s (cannot occur more than once in 1.5s).

COMMENTARY: Useless for DPS spec. You might use it for an extra healing on a healer spec in both PvP and PvE but there are more useful utilities.

clip_image008[8] Adrenal Surge – Adrenaline Rush heals you twice as fast up to 70% of your total health and increases the duration of Adrenaline Rush by 2 seconds.

COMMENTARY: Extra useful for PvP and situational in PvE (for example, DM Brontes burn phase). You would usually take AOE reduction instead of this in most fights.

clip_image010[8] Combat Shield – Reactive Shield now further decreases ability activation pushback by 30%, increases all healing received by 20% and makes you immune to interrupts.

COMMENTARY: Can be useful in PvP with Reflexive Shield + Trauma Stabilizers combo but do you need it? For PvE you would prefer something more useful.

clip_image012[8] Shock Absorbers – Reduces the damage taken from AOE effects by 30% and you take 30% less damage while stunned.

COMMENTARY: Key survival utility for PvP and mandatory for most PvE fights (for example, Lightning Field on Dread Guards or the stab of Vilus Garr). In 4.0 you had to choose between Reflexive Shield or AOE reduction but now you can combo it to increase DPS and decrease DTPS.


clip_image002[13] Forced March – Allows Full Auto, Boltstorm and Successive Treatment to be activated while moving.

COMMENTARY: One of the most useful utilities for both PvP and PvE. It makes you more mobile. But if you need more defense and don’t need the mobility you can choose something else.

clip_image004[10] One Man Army – Using Electro Net now grants 15% alacrity for 9 seconds. Additionally, Supercharged Cell reduces CD of Adrenaline Rush by 5 seconds.

COMMENTARY: Works in PvP but not very good for PvE as you need a target without ‘Boss Immunity’ (trash).

clip_image006[10] Smoke Screen – When you use Propulsion Round it protects you from being leapt to (charged) or pulled and makes you immune against interrupts and pushbacks for the next 4s. In addition, taking melee or Tech damage within 4s resets its cooldown. These effects cannot occur more than once in 40s.

COMMENTARY: Situational in PvP and useless in PvE.

clip_image008[10] Trauma Stabilizers – While your Reactive Shield is active, you generate a stack of Trauma Stabilizers (up to 15) each time you receive direct damage. When Reactive Shield expires, each stack heals you up for 5% of your maximum health.

COMMENTARY: One of new 5.0 utilities. A powerful PvP talent and situational in PvE (for example, if you get lost on Dash’Roode and cannot use the personal shield).

clip_image010[10] Supercharged Defense – Activating Supercharged Cell increases your defense chance by 15% and grants immunity to interrupts for 8s. In additional your Endurance and healing received are increased by 3% each.

COMMENTARY: Useful for cheap interrupt protection in PvP (for example, activating combat node on Odessen Warzone) and quite bad for PVE, it’s a bundle of weak buffs at a high cost compared to what else you could take.

clip_image012[10] Suppression Protocols – Stealth Scan Grants Suppression Protocols,increase the damage or healing dealt by your next non-channeled direct damage or healing ability by 20%. For each target, you revealed from stealth, you generate an additional charge of Suppression Protocols. This effect stacks up to 5 charges and lasts for 10 seconds.

COMMENTARY: Revealing stealth targets for a buffed attack? Revealing up to 5 at once? Using a Legendary point for it? A talent for dreamers.


Ability Descriptions

Offensive Abilities


  1. Reactive Shield – offensive cooldown with Electro Shield utility. Must be modified with Reflexive Shield utility for most uptime.
  2. Echoing Deterrence – new Commando ability which has 50% reflect. Note it doesn’t work against AOE damage. You can do numbers like these if you know when to use the reflect.
  3. Hammer Shot – basic filler.
  4. Explosive Round – expensive AOE filler vs trash. Can be modified with Concussive Force for a root.
  5. Electro Net – one of the highest damage abilities for a single GCD. Unique for PvP because it slows down and prevents all mobility abilities. For PvE it acts as a powerful DoT. Can provide an alacrity boost with One Man Army utility on targets without Boss Immunity buff.
  6. Charged Bolts – basic cast attack. Gunnery replaces this with Grav Round after level 10.
  7. Full Auto – basic channelled attack. Gunnery replaces this with Boltstorm at level 58. Both can be modified to channel on the move with the Forced March utility.
  8. High Impact Bolt – high damage attack.
  9. Supercharged Cell – damage booster and grants 10 energy. You can modify it to also be a DCD with the Supercharged Defense utility.

AoE Abilities


  1. Sticky Grenade – has a detonation time, does kinetic damage up to 8 enemies when it detonates.
  2. Plasma Grenade – does kinetic damage up to 8 targets in 8m radius also dealing additional periodic damage to affected targets within 6s.
  3. Mortar Volley –Commandos highest AOE damage ability which does kinetic damage within 5 meters of the target area over the duration.
  4. 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 the Chain Gunnery utility.

Defensive Cooldowns (DCDs)


  1. Diversion – reduces your threat and as Gunnery, it grants the Decoy defensive buff (discussed later)
  2. Cleanse – cleanses friendly target up to 2 tech or physical negative effects. Can be modified with Suit FOE utility.
  3. Reactive Shield – increase damage reduction by 25% for the next 12s. Can be modified with Electro Shield, Reflexive Shield, Combat Shield and Trauma Stabilizers.
  4. 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.
  5. Adrenaline Rush – heals you up to 35% of maximum health for 8s. Can be pre-cast which makes it trigger automatically once you go below 35% of your health. Can be buffed with Adrenaline Surge.
  6. Tenacity – your stun breaker.

Healing Abilities


  1. Med Shot – basic healing ability, as DPS you use it to build stacks of Supercharge for Supercharged Cell before a fight.
  2. Medical Probe – spammable cast healing ability. Charged Barrel boosts this together with High Impact Bolt but only a single ability can consume the buff. Can be modified with Charged Barrier utility.
  3. Bacta Infusion – Instant heal for about the same as Medical Probe. Useful for PvP self-heals. Try to use Medical Probe instead if you have time since this goes on a cooldown.



  1. Emergency Medical Probe – combat revive.
  2. Supercharged Celerity – Alacrity raid buff.
  3. Concussive Round – CC. Can be modified with Efficient Conversions and Overclock.
  4. Disabling Shot – interrupt. Can be modified with Supercharged Reserves.
  5. Propulsion Round – Commando’s backwards leap. Can be modified with Smoke Screen.
  6. Concussive Charge – pushback utility. Can be buffed with Concussive Force utility.
  7. Cryo Grenade – stun. Can be modified with Efficient Conversions.
  8. Tech Override – makes next 1 (or 2 with Overclock utility) cast abilities activate instantly.

Discipline Abilities

clip_image002[17] Boltstorm– your main rotational ability on Gunnery. Proc Curtain of Fire as often as possible to make Boltstorm available more frequently.
clip_image004[14] Grav Round – your main filler ability. It grants an armor debuff on a target for everyone in your raid group. Also, marked targets are vulnerable to high Impact Bolt and Demolition Round. Both the armor debuff and mark stays on the target for 45s but are refreshed by further Grav Rounds. Builds stacks of Supercharge. Costs 15 energy cells.
clip_image006[14] Demolition Round – highest single GCD damage ability on Gunnery. Use it ONLY if target is marked by Gravity Vortex for 25% more damage. Costs 15 energy cells.
clip_image008[14] High Impact Bolt – second highest single GCD damage ability on Gunnery if it is used with 5 stacks of Charged Barrel.
clip_image010[14] Vortex Bolt – does a huge hit if it crits. Allows your next Grav Round to be activated instantly only if Vortex Bolt hits the target, if it misses then that effect never happens. Costs 12 energy cells.
clip_image012[12] Supercharged Cell – recharges 10 energy cells and increase armor penetration by 10% for 8s. Abilities which build stacks: Hammer Shot, Grav Round, Med Shot and Medical Probe. Experienced players build stacks with Med Shot before combat.

Notable Passives

clip_image002[20] Armor-piercing Cell – before 5.0 you had to switch energy cells for each discipline but now they are all passive.
clip_image004[16] Charged Barrel–Grav Round grants Charged Barrel, increasing the damage dealt by the next High Impact Bolt by 6% or reducing the activation time and increasing the healing dealt by the next Medical Probe by 20%. Stacks up to 5 times (should be used only at 5 stacks).
clip_image006[16] Blazing Barrel – Increases the critical chance of Hail of Bolts by 15% and it’s critical damage bonus by 40%.
clip_image008[16] Cover Fire – Full Auto and Boltstorm slow the targets movement speed by 70% for 3 seconds with each hit. (Not big in PVE but you are constantly slowing players in PvP by using Full Auto/Boltstorm).
clip_image010[16] Gravity Surge – Grav Round now applies an additional stack of Charged Barrel and Charged Barrier, if applicable (Charged Barrier utility). You now reach the max 5 stacks in just 3 casts.
clip_image012[14] Ironsights – Vortex Bolt marks its target. Marked targets take 5% more damage from ranged attacks.
clip_image014 Decoy – Diversion grants 5 charges of Decoy. Each charge of Decoy intercepts and absorbs an incoming Force or tech attack. Each time you absorb a Force or tech attack in this manner, Decoy loses 1 charge. Lasts up to 10s (there is no damage limit so its a great DCD. For example, you can “eat” orbs on DM Brontes by using Diversion and going into it at any time but only once per 45s).
clip_image016 Curtain of Fire – Grav Round and Hail of Bolts finish the cooldown on Boltstorm and increase the damage dealt by the next Boltstorm by 10% ( can use Boltstorm every 8s).

Rotation and Parsing


Gunnery rotation has a priority system not a fixed rotation like Assault Specialist. But no worries, if you make a mistake you don’t need to spam Hammer Shot, you will just loose burst.

Opener is the same as in the 3.0 Fascinate and Marisi guide (remember it hasn’t changed since then) but for the core rotation I use another priority system.


Grav Round procs Curtain of Fire and resets the cooldown of Boltstorm every 8 seconds; 3x Grav Round gives 5 stacks of Charged Barrel for the High Impact Bolt buff and Vortex Bolt allows an instant cast Grav Round.

I prefer to use High Impact Bolt + Demolition Round because it provides the highest burst in both PvP and PvE. Also, Demolition Round is off cooldown almost every time you have 5 stacks of Charged Barrel ready so you don’t need to worry about lining them up.

Priority list:

  1. Proc “Curtain of Fire”
  2. Electro Net
  3. Vortex Bolt
  4. High Impact Bolt + Demolition Round
  5. Boltstorm
  6. Grav Round
  7. Hammer Shot

You should proc “Curtain of Fire” (by using Grav Round or Hail of Bolts) on cooldown then move to Vortex Bolt -> High Impact Bolt + Demolition Round -> Boltstorm -> Grav Round -> Boltstorm.

Sustained rotations are not optimal for Gunnery. The only major combos to stick to are using Grav Round before Demo Round for the 25% damage buff and using High Impact Bolt on 5 stacks of Charged Barrel for 30% more damage. Also High Impact Bolt is not usable without a debuffed target, you would usually use a Grav Round for this. In the long run you want to get used to being flexible with using and holding abilities for maximum benefit vs the fight but if you have problems starting off you can try this simple rotation:


Let me explain what you see above. Only two of the Grav Rounds unlock and buff Boltstorm. Grav Round #1 procs Curtain of Fire at the end of its GCD. Grav Round #2 is instant because of Vortex Bolt so it procs Curtain of Fire at the beginning of its GCD. High Impact Bolt is already buffed because of 5 Charged Barrel stacks from Grav Rounds #2, #3 and #1. Grav Round #4 is a filler so you can use Electro Net or Hammer Shot instead or can be skipped at all. Also, you can use Electro Net between Grav Round #1 and Vortex Bolt since the “Curtain of Fire” buff lasts 15 seconds. In addition, you will automatically use the 6-piece Eliminator set bonus every time when it procs (which makes Demolition Round critically hit).

Note that in real combat with target swapping you probably won’t be able to keep rotation above alive. Once you swap targets you need to apply the Armor Debuff from Grav Round and Ranged Attacks debuff from Vortex Bolt (if not on cooldown) then you can move to High Impact Bolt + Demolition Round and Boltstorm as available.

AoE Rotation

Keep in mind, Gunnery is primarily a single target spec so you need to choose between single target or bursts of AOE damage. It is not the best for long periods of AOE. Your strongest AOE attacks are Mortar Volley and Hail of Bolts. The last one you can spam without cooldown. Use Supercharged Cell when spamming Hail of Bolts to increase armor penetration and help a bit with energy management. Below is a basic example of burst AOE (for example, it would perfectly work on DM Calphayus for seed defending and crystals fluff phases) but don’t forget to take Cell Capacitor and Chain Gunnery utilities. You can also do light AOE with a Tech Override + Plasma Grenade if you have 2 targets near each other (for example, Dread Guards or Jarg&Sorno).


Maximizing DPS

The key of a good Gunnery player is cooldown knowledge. Your main target is to proc Curtain of Fire and use High Impact Bolt + Demolition Round on cooldown and not to use Hammer Shot. If it’s not a dummy fight which is a simulator of “perfect circumstances” you won’t have any energy issues on Gunnery. Just play smart, high DPS comes with experience.

A bit about Hammer Shot on Gunnery. You would prefer not to use this ability. I use it sparingly during sustained combat or to finish low health targets and avoid wasting energy.

Also, during operation boss fights where you need to kill adds (for example, DM Styrak) where targets die quickly you can waste time and DPS with the cast of Grav Round on a target which might die before the Grav Round even gets there. In such situations you should get used to using Tech Override.

Your resource management is not difficult but to get the most DPS you need to be using your energy heavily and rotating through your energy resources of Supercharged Cell, Reserve Powercell and Recharge Cells (with Cell Capacitor talent).

Once happy with how to manage cooldowns and resources your aim should be to increase your APM (actions/abilities per minute) so you’re not wasting time between abilities deciding what to use next.

Sample Parse & Video


Sample Parse:

Parse Video


Reflects with Echoing Deterrence in Operations

The information below does not cover every scenario as I haven’t had a chance to personally test every operation fight yet. Thanks to the author of this document.

IMPORTANT: Leave red circles before reflect runs out (Propulsion Round is good for this).

  • KP – Karagga the Unyielding: flaming oil on the ground;
  • EV – Eternal Council: Assassin’s channelled attack (Absorbs attacks but does no damage);
  • 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: you can stand in the electric cones for a few seconds and then Propulsion Round out;
  • S&V – Thrasher: stand in fire;
  • S&V – Operations Chief: heat beam from the add during Oasis City;
  • S&V – Warlords: you can reflect Vilus Garr’s stab while stunned;
  • TFB – Dread Guards: it absorbs Doom but does no damage (Decoy is better for this) but to do damage you can reflect 6s of Kel’sara’s beam by standing in melee range then Propulsion Round out;
  • TFB – Kephess the Undying: 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 doorway.
  • Rav – Quartermaster Bulo: stand in electric purple circles;
  • Rav – Torque: stand in fire to reflect Dangerous Fire Device. Note, you won’t kill it just with a single reflect.

Personal thoughts about Echoing Deterrence: The blocking of damage is great. The reflection of damage is extremely cheesy but it can be used with great effect against certain mechanics to boost your damage output.

General Advice

  • Use StarParse, it helps you to track yourself and your raid group
  • Use key binds for everything like a PRO
  • If you are dummy parsing use Supercharged Reserves (doesn’t proc relics) utility
  • If you want the most advantage you should get a proper MMO mouse.
  • Modify UI (User Interface) to suit yourself and make important information more visible.
  • Play smart

About the Author

am Damian from the Red Eclipse server however my original server was Tomb of Freedon Nadd, currently a member of <Not Good Enough>/<Friendly Fire>. You can catch me on TRE on Damiah (Commando), Damianh (Vanguard), Xaruvoy (Mercenary) and Damiany (Powertech). My enjin profile is here if you’d like to ask any question directly, check a few brainless game screenshots/videos or just add me as friend (moar friends!).

I have enjoyed playing Bounty Hunters/Troopers since 2013. I’ve been raiding on Commando since 3.x expansion but became more serious during the 4.x expansion and have cleared all content.

I am not the best Commando player but I hope this guide can help new and old players improve themselves. Feel free to ask questions or give suggestions but I may not be able to respond often.

Special thanks to my guildmate Hotwired for solving grammar issues in this guide and improving overall quality.

Finally I’d like to thank Fascinate and Marisi for inspiration. Also, I’d like to thank my guildmate Splashie for being better than me in most fights, he always shows me ways 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).

This guide might be modified. All rights are reserved

Don’t be a pleb!

By Dulfy

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

56 replies on “SWTOR 5.2 Gunnery Commando PvE Guide by Damian”

So in total I have spent 20-30 hours of own time, few hours of Dulfy time and around an hour of Hotwired time but people will be still calling any effort bad. Anyways, if feedback will be good there is a plan to publish Assault Specialist one with 3x different rotations. Thanks for reading this guide. Take care.

3 different rotations? simillar to 2-cull or 3-cull rotation on virulence? like an 1. easy – 2. hard but managable – 3. expert lvl??? htat would be so cool 🙂

Thanks for guide, I think I follow most of that stuff myself, though I never proc Curtain of Fire using the AOE ability. Any benefit to that?

Also, why is not Tech Override mentioned in the opening rotation? Do you keep keep it for later (situational)?

yeah, sometimes you need to swap between single target and AoE rotations (for example, on Tyth) so you use Heil von Boltz to proc Curtain of Fire.

also about Tech Override: its usable when you missed Curtain of Fire proc and would like to get it 1 GCD earlier i.e. if you need to proc Boltstorm and Vortex Bolt is already available you use Grav Round -> it procs Curtain of Fire -> then you can return to standard single target priority system and use Vortex Bolt -> High Impact Bolt + Demolition Round -> Boltstorm, etc.

Sometimes Impside, sometimes Repside, pvping a bit on my sniper too, but not for rewards cause FTP isn’t allowed, mostly just for funzies…and then I get yelled at for not being super geared, even though bolster, and beating out other dps. C’est le vie. Not a ton of time to play though, career mode is in overdrive, so one or two warzones to wind down a bit is all I sometimes get in a week.

I don’t think anyone has ever spoken to me in a PVP match, let alone yelled at me. How do people find the time to scrutinize other peoples’ performance that closely? I never waste a second looking at what other people are doing… I just assume they’re bumbling along at 50% or less of their ability.

Stockstrike was actually pretty good for burst situations, it did slightly more damage than a grav round.

Except the stuff and caps part, what needed to be improved on your 5.0 guide ? because so far, except if I missed something, there hasn’t been any change to the discipline since 5.0 right ?

You are right, no changes since 5.0. Seems like he finally learned the rotation of the hardest spec in the game, though.

Yea, Mrs.Chochlik. I always knew there is ONLY one rotation for each spec which does damage in this game 🙂

There is one proper rotation for gunnery commando. Grav round under every keybind.

Well, if someone is trying to share his/her knowledge/experience or teach someone it should be done well. Author should understand every line of his guide. Seems like there are different standards here. New people read those guides and so do I. Difference is new people have no experience so they will listen to you. What should we expect from new players if you are suggesting them to cheese the DPS with (unnecessary) reflect instead of focusing on their performance?

I did never say that someone should reflect and spam hammers shots. I am not fanboy of reflecting and always prioritize rotation. But with 5.2 reflected numbers were nerfed so it looks like Pyro Shield + Close&Personal on Powertech back in the day. And this guide is not about rotation only, it also explains to people class knowledge which isn’t less important.

If you think you can write a better guide, feel free to do it. This is a guide from someone who likes the game, and offers it for free to anyone who might be interested, and you come here to post hidden insults and offensive things.

Reflect is not uneccesary, It straight up increase your DPS if you do it right. I went up by more than 1000 DPS in certain boss fights, by using my reflective ability right.

I’m pretty sure that in regards to reflect, Choco is just worried (and here I agree) that with all the fights are doable without having to use the reflect options. However, with all guides having great informations about reflect, most players “subsidize” their DPS with reflect and not work on improving their own shortcomings.

Compare it to how many groups are now able to clear Master and Blaster following the removal of the Assassin/Shadow Deflection Reflect Exploit. I can almost promise you that the amount of groups able to clear that fight now is just a 10th of the amount of groups that cleared it prior to the fix. My thought, and I think Choco’s is that so many players becomes so compliant with the reflect that they don’t improve their own skill/mechanic execution.

That’s almost like saying that people should not use Adrenals, because then there’s the danger of getting complacent with their rotation and their movement otherwise.

I don’t understand why standing in fire to reflect damage to the boss is any different than any other mechanic which maximizes DPS. Improving skill and mechanic execution is totally separate from that. A good player will try to use damage reflect ON TOP of that. And why shouldn’t they?

Our tank is one of the best tanks to play this game, and he adds a solid 5k DPS on Styrak HM to the group. Should we tell him to cut it down to 4k and play worse so that the 4 DPS members of the op repeatedly wipe in order to get their DPS rotation numbers up? That makes zero sense. We play this game for fun, not to have our names on some idiotic parsing ranking list.

You play exactly they way that you want, just like me you pay for this game. If your 4 DPS are unable to meet the damage requirement on Styrak it’s smart to use your tank to boost the numbers, there is no shame in that. Just if that was our guild/raid, I think our players would look into what they are doing wrong in terms of rotation/ playstyle/ mechanic execution and not just reflect their way through it. It depends on gameplay style tho, I love operations and I don’t mind spending a hour or two wiping to ensure that I and my group can execute the mechanics correctly and meet the DPs requirements. Other people like other type of content and for them how they clear an operation or encounter is not important.

Why not have the 4 DPS trying to improve their output AND at the same time having the tank doing a shitload of damage? Cause that’s what we do.

We have wiped so many times in so many operations in order to get them done, that’s it’s not even funny anymore. But we will still do it when doing progression. Progression doesn’t mean playing by a handbook. It means figuring out every possible way that you can get a boss down as a group. Using reflect abilities is not a way around anything.

You don’t seem to understand basic thing. You confirmed it at least. First and foremost – Echoing Deterrence and Reactive Shield are DEFENSIVE cooldowns. No matter what you or Damian say, it’s defensive cooldown.

According to this, your comparision makes no sense. You compared offensive cooldown (adrenal) with defensive one (echoing deterrence).

“Improving skill and MECHANIC EXECUTION is totally separated from that”
Really? Let me use thrasher as an example. So. There’s a firebug (red circle with fire, reflectable), according to what you said, standing in fire is correct mechanic execution. Really?

Usually, when you go for reflect, you have to stand in stupid shit where normally you would be dead after few seconds. It’s not mechanic execution. Sorry.

Also, tanks are supposed to take damage, dpses are supposed to deal damage. That’s how it should be. Those are the assumptions. And it makes sense. I am not saying you cant support. Cos healers obviously should help with damage. I guess most of the healers are capable to heal even nim content, but progression healers will do something more for a grp and add some dps when possible. Most of the healers would probably blindly farm hps when there is nothing to heal. But still, I believe we should stick to our roles and they were introduced for a reason. And if tank do similar dmg to dps something definitely went wrong.

I am not asking you to understand it nor telling anyone to not use it. Just don’t involve me in your falsified reality, please.

At last, we have similar point of view when it comes to parsing on a dummy.

The fact that you play this game thinking that there is ONE way to play, ONE correct rotation, ONE role for the tanks, ONE role for the DPS, ONE way to do damage, is appalling to me.

Reactive Shield and Echoiing Deterence are NOT defensive cooldowns They are abilities that prevent damage and reflect damage, thus making them both defensive and offensive cooldowns.

If by standing in red circles and fire you can actually increase your dps, then it’s a god damn good example of skill, and not the opposite.

If you don’t want to maximize your dps, that’s your problem. Be worse. What do I care? Just don’t be rude to the person writing the guide to help others.

The simple fact that it reflects damage means, that it’s both defensive AND offensive
you can use it to mitigate damage, and deal damage (in fact, you don’t mitigate any damage that can’t be reflected)
learning the great multitude of uses for your reflect is just as important as knowing where/when to use your other cooldowns
any competent guide includes all aspects of a class, and not just the aspects that some people arbitrarily call the ‘proper way’

No. They’re not purely Def CD’s, since they do damage as well. A PURELY DEFENSIVE CD is something that prevents dmg and does NOT cause dmg on the enemy.

The difference between the good players and the really GREAT ones are the ones that go beyond the “normal” way of playing. If a tank can help with dps while fulfilling his role, more power to him. Same with healers. If they can keep the group alive AND help out with a little dps, just go for it. If dps can help group survivability by using a few abilities the same applies.

There was a discussion in the Sage healer thread where someone was in a guild that gears the second healer with Accuracy to help out with dps. Now: is that standard? Can it be done for everyone? Absolutely not. But it seems to be working for them, since they have cleared all Ops material.

These guides are a good place for discussing EVERY SINGLE WAY of doing the content. Nothing wrong with that. What IS wrong is saying your way of doing things is the correct one, and people that are indeed clearing the content are doing it wrong.

I did few mistakes in 5.0 version and had to fix it, also new tier of gear was released and I totally reworked gearing section.

Very good guide for the commando class. The only thing I really disagree with is the overclock talent. It’s nice to be able to snap off 2 insta-cast grav rounds that often give you enough charge to fire a max powered high impact bolt, or give you a 2nd chance to have Curtain of Fire proc. Adrenal Surge is neat; but if your healers are on top of things, and you’re dumping threat using Diversion, it’s a bit of a waste in my opinion. If you’re taking a lot of damage, go with adrenal surge. If you’re tanks, and healers are doing great and need that tiny bit of extra damage, I’d say take overclock.

I only using Overclock utility on Revan because of strifing during the Core phase. Didn’t find it useful for something else yet.

How can you have so little APM with so much alacrity?
I play with 13.7% alacrity and I am a 40.72 from APM …

Hello, tell me with the nerve complete and abused at the energy strokes of the spells, lowered their damage should have sufficed. I can not manage my energy anymore, would you find something ?

Lets take for example the cycle sample from single target rotation from above: you replace 3rd or 4th Grav Round with Hammer Shot and it should be fine.

What’s your thoughts on the change in class/spec’? If you’ve posted otherwise I’ll follow a link. Thanks!

Sorry, I didn’t see the message. I’ve been playing Arsenal/Gunnery because it was extra useful ranged spec for team – strong ranged burst, quick target swap, etc. But now it lost its burst and does silly numbers and sometimes forces you to use basic ability aka Hammer Shot. Nor Sharpshooter/Makksmanship, nor Telekitetics/Lightning use basic ability. The class balance team just wanted to nerf Gunnery/Arsenal to the ground so people stop playing it (previously is was 50% of all raiding Damage Dealers Arsenal, last week it was 21%). But I personally don’t play it anymore, I just said to my friends that the spec is thrash and I am not going to play it anymore. Thats my personal opinion.

There is a beautiful Assault guide posted by Marasi (who has a beautiful dog^^) and her guildie Fascinate. The spec wasn’t change since 4.0.

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