Complete SWTOR Assault Specialist 6.0 Commando Guide (Damage, PvE only), suitable for both beginner players and more advanced and experienced veterans, who seek to improve their performance! Written for VULKK.com by Endonae (Satele Shan server)

UP TO DATE FOR PATCH 6.1.4

Table of contents

Introduction


Welcome to my 6.0 guide as for Assault Specialist! The most notable thing about AS is its ridiculously strict and unforgiving Energy Cell management. You really can’t deviate from or mess up the rotation much at all or you will run out of Energy Cells and your DPS will drop like a rock. AS helps to compensate for this by making other aspects of the game a little bit easier.

AS Mandos have vastly superior mobility compared to the other ranged DoT specs so that you don’t wreck your rotation just because you have to move and if needed, you can do your full rotation while moving, though you will take a small hit to your DPS. Target swapping is incredibly easy for AS as well since you don’t have any preliminary abilities to apply and you just keep chugging along in your rotation.

AS is also incredibly consistent in terms of performance. Since the entire rotation is only 15 seconds, AS is often a strong contender for almost all burst DPS checks in the game, and if the burst check is shorter, you can just do half of the rotation. If you’re looking for a spec where you only have to learn a single rotation and that’s it, AS is the spec for you.

Defensively, AS offers strong damage mitigation that lasts for quite a while, though it isn’t quite as good as mitigating spike damage due to their more situational cheese ability. Assault Specialist is a pretty average when it comes to group utility. It provides the internal/elemental debuff, battle rez, and an easy to use DoT spread for AoE. You may notice that I didn’t mention the raid buff, and I’ll talk more about that later, but in short, it usually doesn’t do anything and can actually be harmful.

DPS Mindset

How can I do as much damage as possible each GCD (global cooldown, 1.5 second duration before you can activate another ability) given the constraints of the fight? Which ability do I use right now that will provide me the most DPS? How can I maximize my uptime? If I’m not activating an ability right now, why not? Can I finish this cast before I need to move? What happens if I don’t have time to finish a cast before moving? Can the healers deal with it without too much stress?  

Check out the SWTOR Damage Types and Damage Mitigation guide by Endonae.

Regardng Damage over Time Abilities (DoTs)

DoTs are not special abilities that let you deal damage when you can’t target the boss with new attacks. Throwing your DoTs on right before you become unable to attack the boss does not result in a DPS increase over an ability that deals the same amount of damage immediately because you’re still spending a GCD to cast the DoT. I think it’s most helpful to conceptualize DoTs compared to direct damage abilities (regular non-DoT/non-Periodic abilities) by imagining them as dealing all of their damage hitting at the end of their duration instead of being spread evenly throughout, or at least that’s when you’ll get the amount of damage listed on the packaging. Prior to that point, you’ll be getting less damage out of each GCD equal to the damage dealt per tick times the number of ticks that were left. This is why clipping your DoTs (reapplying them before they’ve expired) is generally considered a bad thing. When you clip your DoTs, you make the last GCD where you applied your DoTs retroactively deal less damage. 

In general, DoTs are worse than abilities that deal the same amount of damage immediately because the boss could become immune or enraged or something by the time all of that damage will hit. For this reason, DoTs tend to deal a bit more damage than direct damage abilities and tend to deal Internal/Elemental damage more often so they ignore armor. DoT specs have traditionally been capable of dealing more DPS than burst specs and usually have some sort of sub-30% HP execute window where DoT damage is increased. This helps to compensate for those targets dying before the DoT has finished ticking, though on targets that die quickly, this damage bonus isn’t enough to make it worth reapplying DoTs and makes it no different from clipping your DoTs. The sub-30% damage increase becomes more than just an equalizing effect on bosses since they usually last multiple DoT applications (and often several minutes) below 30% health, allowing enough time for DPS to actually increase. If DoTs have just fallen off of your target and you know it will die before the DoT completes all of its ticks, you should not reapply them to that target and either use one of your direct damage abilities (usually filler) or apply your DoTs to another target. Unless an enemy needs to die ASAP, it’s usually okay to switch targets preemptively since the vast majority of your damage contribution will be over in this situation. If you do decide to switch targets before the enemy dies, make sure you verify that the enemy actually died soon after you switched, sometimes the rest of your group might have the same idea and you’re left with an add wandering around with 1% HP left.

Gearing and Stats Priorities


Gear Items

I’m not going to get into which specific versions of enhancements and such to use. The tiny stat variations from using something like an R-3 versus an R-4 aren’t worth the trouble and a single extra random crit, lag spike, or mid-fight sneeze will completely overshadow any difference in DPS you could possibly observe from an extra few points of power. Generally, the unlettered stuff is pretty close to optimal if it isn’t outright followed by R and AR mods. If you want to be fully BiS, you can start swapping out some of the unlettered enhancements for R variants in order to not waste a single point when going past a threshold, though I wouldn’t waste too much time doing this if I were you.

  • Armorings/Hilt – Superior Versatile Armoring/Hilt 80 (should have 471 Mastery, 409 Endurance)
  • Mods –  Superior Lethal Mod 80R-2, R-3, and R-5 are the best, though you’ll get a lot more of the unlettered version, which is only ever slightly worse. As long as the sum of Mastery and Power is above 725 with Endurance being the lowest stat of the 3, you have a good mod that you should keep. 
  • Enhancements – The best enhancements are the ones where Endurance is the lowest stat of the three and the sum of the other two (Power and Tertiary) is 744 or higher. The unlettered +285 Endurance, +313 Power, +431 tertiary stat are a great base and once you surpass your stat targets, you can start swapping them out for the R-variants that have more Power than tertiary stat.  The best word corresponding to BiS for each tertiary stat is:
    • Accuracy = Initiative
    • Alacrity = Nimble or Quick Savant (must include Quick, regular Savant is bad)
    • DPS Mods = Lethal
    • DPS Armoring/Hilt = Versatile
    • Critical = Adept
  • Implant/Ear – Sha’Tek brand MK-19
  • Relics – Sha’Tek brand MK-19
    • Level 75 content: Sha’Tek Relic of Focused Retribution and Sha’Tek Relic of Devastating Vengeance
    • Sub-level 75 content: Sha’Tek Relic of Primeval Fatesealer (it’s a clicky so put it on your bar) and Sha’Tek Relic of Devastating Vengeance
    • Since Commando has the Target Lock passive, which increases their critical damage dealt by 10%, I have found that the Devastating Vengeance relic tends to perform better in level 75 content than the Sha’Tek Relic of Serendipitous Assault. It isn’t a huge difference though, and it will make your damage output a bit more inconsistent since attacks either crit or they don’t while Power works for all attacks. If you would prefer greater consistency, the Sha’Tek Relic of Serendipitous Assault is a great option as well for level 75 content, though I think you’ll see slightly higher numbers with Devastating Vengeance.
  • Stim – Advanced Kyrprax Proficient Stim
  • Medpac – Advanced Kyrprax Medpac
  • Adrenal
    • Level 75 content: Advanced Kyrprax Attack Adrenal
    • Sub-level 75 content: Advanced Kyrprax Critical Adrenal
    • The critical adrenal is less consistent, but performs very similarly, so if you don’t want to keep switching between the two, it’s fine to use the Advanced Kyrprax Critical Adrenal in level 75 content as well. Consistency is a bit more important here though than it is for the relic since you’ll often be using the Adrenal for DPS checks where you really can’t afford to be unlucky. 
  • Amplifiers – +2.20% Periodic Intensity (only applies to armorings and hilts/barrels). This amplifier will provide the greatest increase to your DPS. Since Gunnery requires a completely different set bonus, you don’t have to worry about finding the best amplifier for both specs. 
  • Crystals – Eviscerating. This is a little more important now than it’s been in the past because the War Hero and Hawkeye crystals don’t do anything in sub-75 content. 
  • Augments – As of 6.1.4, we now have a whopping 4 tiers of augments to deal with. Unlike past expansions, augments are now about how much you want to spend. Almost everyone should buy the blue 276 augments because they provide the greatest bang for the buck. If you have a ton of credits and are doing MM Dxun or Ranked PvP, you may consider going for the purple 286 augments instead, but they are completely unnecessary for anything less. 
    • Gold 300 augments (Superior [type] Augment 77 + Augmentation Kit 11). These are the brand new augments that were released in 6.1.4. They are overall best-in-slot and will provide a noticeable DPS increase, but they are even more ridiculously expensive than the purple 286 augments. You do not need them. All content in the game can be cleared without them, so you’re basically just buying jewelry. They are not worth the credits and in my personal opinion, BioWare should not have released them at all. 
    • Purple 286 augments (Advanced [type] Augment 74 + Augmentation Kit MK-11) are one step lower, however they are incredibly expensive, so I would only recommend getting them for your main and only if you have a bunch of extra credits burning a hole in your pocket. 
    • Blue 276 augments ([Type] Augment 73 + Augmentation Kit Mk-11) provide about 88% of the benefit for about 6% of the cost of the purple 286 augments. They do still require the MK-11 kits, but it’s really hard to justify using the 286 augments unless you or your group really needs that small stat increase to slightly boost your numbers. Since those MK-11 kits are still a bit expensive, I recommend only augmenting the final pieces of your gear, so 306 left side, MH/OH, and set bonus pieces. Almost everyone should get this tier of augments. 
    • Purple 228 augments (Advanced [type] Augment 45 + Augmentation Kit MK-10) from 5.0 are still valuable, more than even the old 236 or 240s! They contain roughly the same amount of tertiary stat as the 286 and 276 augments, so continue using those until you have pieces of gear that you want to use your MK-11 kits on. These old 228 augments are also all you’ll need for any of the gear you’ll be using for level 70 content because Power and Endurance are capped, so the 2 really don’t provide any noticeable benefit in non level 75 content.

Stat Priority

  1. Accuracy to 110.00% – I reach this with 3 accuracy enhancements/implants/ear + 1 augment + Advanced Kyrprax Proficient Stim, resulting in 1652 accuracy, equivalent to 110.29%. This is the most important stat to reach its threshold because attacks that miss deal 0 damage and no other stats matter if that happens. You need 110% accuracy and not just 100% because bosses have a 10% chance to dodge/resist player attacks and any percentage over 100% reduces this chance. Because my accuracy is on my implants/ear, I am unable to optimize it to get closer to 110.00%. 
  2. Alacrity to 7.15% – I reach this with 3 enhancements, resulting in 1276 alacrity, equivalent to 7.47%. This threshold enables you to have a 1.4 second global cooldown (GCD). This stat has the second priority because you do not get the full benefit of the stat unless you are at one of the thresholds, though it’s still less important than accuracy because your attacks still need to hit. If you plan to switch between AS and Gunnery, I recommend that you get a second set of blaster pistols along with 1 other left-side piece of gear for the augment since that will be the cheapest way to make sure your stats are as optimized as possible. Put alacrity enhancements and augments in the set for Gunnery and crit in the AS set.
  3. Critical gets the rest – I currently have 41.88% critical chance from 3109 crit from 2 crystals, 4 enhancements/earpiece/implants and 13 augments. This stat is the lowest priority because it does not have a threshold associated with it like the other two tertiary stats. Since you always want as much crit as you can get and you never need to optimize it down like you do with Accuracy and Alacrity, it is best to have your implants/ear be critical since they provide the same stat ratio as unlettered enhancements.

Set Bonuses

Concentrated FireConcentrated Fire Concentrated Fire
Effect
(2) +2% Mastery
(4) Damaging an enemy or healing an ally has a 10% chance to generate a stack of Supercharge. Cannot occur more than once every 5 seconds.
(6) Activating Supercharged Cell makes your next Rail Shot, Mag Bolt, or Bacta Infusion automatically critically hit or heal.
Recommendation
This is the only set you should use for AS. You can pick it up off the tech fragment vendor. This set is the best for AS because it synergizes very well with your default tactical item and makes it easier to maintain the Incisive Critical proc that increases your critical chance by 10% for 10 seconds whenever you gain a stack of Supercharge. It also helps you recharge more Energy Cells by giving you Supercharged Cell more often, and Energy Cells are in very short supply for AS.

Tactical Items

Energized ChargesEnergized Charges Energized Charges
Effect
The duration of Assault Specialist’s Supercharged Cell and Supercharged Burn are doubled and their effectiveness is improved.
Recommendation
This is your default tactical item. It provides the greatest single-target DPS increase compared to the other AS tacticals and synergizes very well with the Concentrated Fire set bonus since it allows you to get Supercharged Cell more often, so you’ll end up having about 70% uptime on it. Supercharged Burn becomes incredibly strong with this tactical as well, becoming one your most damaging abilities.
Continuous FireContinuous Fire Continuous Fire
Effect
Hail of Bolts and Mortar Volley refresh and tick your Incendiary Round burn and Serrated Bolt bleed. This effect can only occur once every 2.5 seconds.
Recommendation
This is your AoE tactical item. It makes it so that each full channel of your AoE abilities will tick both of your DoTs twice. You should only use this tactical over Energized Charges if your DoT spread damage without this tactical is insufficient and you find yourself using Hail of Bolts and Mortar Volley frequently throughout the fight, though please remember that single target DPS checks generally take priority. Continuous Fire doesn’t provide quite as much of an AoE damage increase as some of the other AoE damage tacticals out there that other specs have access to, but it does come with a rather rare trait. Unlike most other AoE tacticals, Continuous Fire does help to noticeably increase single target DPS, though not as much as Energized Charges. In order to do this, you do need to use a different rotation that replaces Charged Bolts and your DoT applications with Hail of Bolts and Mortar Volley. I will cover this tactical in far greater detail in its own section later on.

Utilities


Skillful

Tenacious Defense

  • Description: Reduces the cooldown of Concussion Charge by 5 seconds, Propulsion Round by 3 seconds, and Tenacity by 30 seconds.
  • Recommendation: Take this on specific fights only. This utility should only be taken if you consistently find yourself wanting to use one of the abilities but it was still on cooldown and you would have been able to use it at that time if you had taken this utility.

Concussive Force

  • Description: Explosive Round immobilizes the target for 4 seconds. Direct damage caused after 2 seconds ends the effect. This effect can only occur once every 8 seconds. In addition, Concussion Charge’s knockback effect is stronger and pushes enemies 4 meters further away.
  • Recommendation: Take this on specific fights only. The Explosive Round root is useless, but the knockback strength increase can be helpful on a few fights where you have to use your knockback, like the lightsabers on Revan HM and the Lightning Manifestations on Styrak NiM.

Parallactic Combat Stims

  • Description: You recharge 20 Energy Cells when stunned, immobilized, knocked down, or otherwise incapacitated. Additionally, your next Tech ability deals 10% extra damage or healing.
  • Recommendation: Take this on specific fights only. My recommendation is a little misleading here, you should definitely take this utility if you can benefit from it at all, but a lot of fights don’t have anything that triggers the effects, so it’s completely useless most of the time. On fights where it does trigger, it is easily the best utility in this tier because it recharges enough Energy Cells for an extra Charged Bolts and then some along with increasing your damage dealt!

Cell Capacitor

  • Description: Recharge Cells now recharges an additional 15 Energy Cells and grants 10% alacrity for 6 seconds.
  • Recommendation: Always take this. Cell Capacitor is the only utility in this tier that is always useful. This utility lets you recharge an extra GCD’s worth of Energy Cells, which is always welcome. The extra alacrity barely doesn’t last long enough to allow you to do an additional ability during those 6 seconds, but it will help you regenerate a tiny bit more Energy Cells passively. This alacrity boost also helps to slightly reduce the cooldown of your abilities, especially ones with long cooldowns like Electro Net, which has its cooldown reduced by about 5 seconds when used during this window, though that will rarely be enough to make a difference. Still, this is a DPS increase and the other utilities in this tier are not nearly as consistently useful. Please note that the alacrity can mess up your Ionic Accelerator (IA) proc, so make sure you only use Recharge Cells immediately after proccing Mag Bolt with Charged Bolts.

Chain Gunnery

  • Description: Increases the damage dealt by Hail of Bolts by 25%.
  • Recommendation: Sometimes take this. Chain Gunnery is one of the default utilities in this tier simply because there isn’t much else that is more consistently useful. If a fight doesn’t have anything that you need to use for Hail of Bolts, there’s no reason to take this, but if you use Hail of Bolts at all, you should definitely take this.

Sticky Mods

  • Description: Charged Bolts and Grav Round reduce the movement speed of targets they damage by 40% for 9 seconds. In addition, the slowing effect applied by Kolto Residue lasts an additional 3 seconds.
  • Recommendation: Never take this. Almost everything that matters is immune to being slowed, so there’s no point in taking this ever.

Suit FOE

  • Description: Increases your steal detection level by 3, increases your melee and ranged defense by 3%, and reduces the cooldown of Stealth Scan by 5 seconds. Additionally, when you activate Field Aid on yourself, all periodic damage taken is reduced by 30% for 12 seconds.
  • Recommendation: Take this on specific fights only. The only tangible benefit of this utility is the periodic damage reduction, though you need to spend a GCD in order to get that damage reduction, which means this utility should only be taken and used if you will die if you don’t use it. The only fight I know of that has this sort of situation is Monolith HM when you get hit by Terrible Shout while Cursed, this is about the only thing that can protect you.

Efficient Conversions

  • Description: Eliminates the Energy Cell cost from Concussion Charge, Concussive Round, Field Aid, and Cryo Grenade.
  • Recommendation: Sometimes take this. If you’re using any of the abilities, you should definitely take this utility and it’s mandatory if you’re taking Reflexive Battery. This utility along with Reflexive Battery make Concussion Charge a superior ability to Hammer Shot.

Masterful

Charged Barrier

  • Description: Charged Bolts, Grav Round, and Medical Probe generate a Charged Barrier that increases damage reduction by 1% for up to 15 seconds. Stacks up to 5 times.
  • Recommendation: Sometimes take this. The effect is very nice, but in AS, it can be difficult to maintain since sometimes you are only using Charged Bolts once every 15 seconds. Generally you’ll only be taking this if you can’t use Reflexive Battery and don’t need Overclock.

Advance the Line

  • Description: Increases the duration of Hold the Line by 4 seconds.
  • Recommendation: Take this on specific fights only. The only time you’d maybe want to take this is if there’s some mechanic you’re trying to cheese with the CC immunity from Hold the Line that’s difficult to time since the additional 4 seconds gives you a larger window. Unless there’s a specific mechanic that you can cheese that happens between every 7-10 seconds (enabling you to cheese it twice), you really shouldn’t even take this utility for more than a couple of pulls while you learn the timing.  Don’t take this if you just want a longer movement speed boost, there are very few instances in the game where you have to move for more than 6 seconds at a time and a 35% movement speed increase isn’t all that helpful for getting you there faster. There are far better utilities to take.

Electro Shield

  • Description: When activated, your Reactive Shield charges with electricity, zapping attackers for elemental damage when they deal direct damage to you. This effect cannot occur more than once each second.
  • Recommendation: Almost always take this. Electro Shield provides you with free damage that’s off the GCD! As a DPS, what more could you want? This utility can tick up to 12 times in 1 Reactive Shield, but so long as you only get 6 ticks, you’ll deal about as much damage as Assault Plastique or Full Auto. If you manage to get it to tick all 12 times, you’ll deal about as much damage as Mag Bolt!

Combat Shield

  • Description: Reactive Shield now further decreases ability activation pushback by 30%, increases all healing received by 20%, and makes you immune to interrupts.
  • Recommendation: Never take this. While the effects of this utility are nice, there are always better utilities to take in this tier.

Reflexive Shield

  • Description: When you take damage, the active cooldown of Reactive Shield is reduced by 3 seconds. This effect cannot occur more than once every 1.5 seconds. In addition, when taking damage, you have a 20% chance to emit an Energy Redoubt, which lasts up to 6 seconds and absorbs 4118 damage. This effect cannot occur more than once every 10 seconds.
  • Recommendation: Always take this. The Reactive Shield cooldown reduction component of this utility synergizes very well with the Electro Shield and Trauma Regulator utilities, enabling you to receive even greater protection from and deal more damage with Reactive Shield. In fights with tons of ticking damage, you will find that this utility significantly reduces the cooldown of Reactive Shield. The damage absorption is really just a nice bonus.

Overclock

  • Description: Reduces the cooldowns of Concussive Round and Tech Override by 15 seconds each. In addition, Tech Override grants a second charge, making your next two abilities with an activation time activate instantly.
  • Recommendation: Take this on specific fights only. Overclock is a nice utility that can help to make you more mobile, but unfortunately, it has some pretty steep competition from the other utilities in this tier. If you find yourself wanting to use Serrated Bolt but have to delay using it to move because Tech Override is on cooldown, take this utility over Charged Barrier.

Reflexive Battery

  • Description: Activating Concussion Charge generates 2 stacks of Supercharge and heals you and up to 7 other allies within 8 meters for ~3124 health. In addition, Concussion Charge deals 30% more damage and reduces its active cooldown by 1 second when you take damage. This cannot occur more than once every second.
  • Recommendation: Sometimes take this. The reason to take this is because the 2 Supercharge Stacks provide a noticeable DPS increase over Hammer Shot when paired with the Efficient Conversions utility. The problem is that it’s on the knockback, and you can cause major problems for other players if you knock something back that you aren’t supposed to. If you won’t knock back anything you’re not supposed to, definitely take this utility instead of Charged Barrier and Overclock. I will cover this utility and Concussion Charge in greater detail later on.

Supercharged Reserves

  • Description: Reduces the cooldowns of Field Aid and Disabling Shot by 3 seconds. In addition, you build up to 10 stacks of Supercharge over the course of using Recharge and Reload. This effect cannot occur more than once every 30 seconds.
  • Recommendation: Never take this. You can always build stacks of Supercharge outside of combat using Medical Probe and Med Shot and 3 second cooldown reductions on those abilities isn’t enough to make this utility worth taking. If you’re parsing on the dummy, this utility can be nice since you’ll build stacks of Supercharge faster than you would with those abilities and won’t proc your relics, but you shouldn’t ever take this for an actual fight.

Heroic

Trauma Stabilizers

  • Description: While Reactive Shield is active, you generate a stack of Trauma Stabilizers each time you receive direct damage. Stacks up to 10 times. When Reactive Shield expires, each stack of Trauma Stabilizers instantly heals you for 4% of your maximum health.
  • Recommendation: Take this on specific fights only. The healing provided by Trauma Stabilizers is higher and more frequent than the healing provided by the Adrenal Surge utility, especially with Reflexive Shield. Take this utility over Adrenal Surge if you can reliably get all 10 stacks. I’ll cover this in greater detail in my Defensive Cooldowns and Mobility section.

Smoke Screen

  • Description: Propulsion Round generates Smoke Screen when used, keeping you from being leapt to or pulled and making you immune to interrupts and ability activation pushback for the next 4 seconds. In addition, taking melee or Tech damage within 4 seconds of previously using Propulsion Round refreshes its cooldown. These effects cannot occur more than once every 40 seconds.
  • Recommendation: Never take this. The other utilities you have to take are far more important and immunities against being leapt to or pulled are inconsistent at best.

Adrenal Surge

  • Description: Adrenaline Rush triggers at, and can heal you up to, 60% of your maximum health. Additionally, Adrenaline Rush lasts 2 seconds longer and heals for twice as much each time it restores health.
  • Recommendation: Almost always take this. Adrenal Surge provides an incredible boost to Adrenaline Rush and while the healing isn’t quite as much as what you can get with Trauma Stabilizers, it’s far more reliable. Don’t take this if you can fully benefit from Trauma Stabilizers or if the fight doesn’t have any hits where the higher health will prevent you from dying while the regular ability won’t be enough.  I’ll cover this in greater detail in my Defensive Cooldowns and Mobility section.

Supercharged Defense

  • Description: Activating Supercharged Cell increases your defense by 15% and grants immunity to interrupts for 8 seconds. In addition, your endurance is increased by 3% and all healing received is increased by 3%.
  • Recommendation: Never take this. The effects aren’t terrible, but there will always be vastly superior defensive utilities to take in this tier.

Shock Absorbers

  • Description: Reduces damage taken from area effects by 30%. Additionally, while stunned, you take 30% less damage from all sources.
  • Recommendation: Always take this. The vast majority of damage dealt by bosses in raids is considered AoE damage, even if it doesn’t look like it. Reducing all that damage by 30% is invaluable on every single class.

Suppression Protocols

  • Description: Stealth Scan grants Suppression Protocols, increasing the damage or healing dealt by your next non-channeled direct damage or healing ability by 20%. For each target revealed from stealth, you generate an additional charge of Suppression Protocols. This effect stacks up to 5 times and lasts for up to 10 seconds.
  • Recommendation: Never take this. Even if there were enough enemies where you could actually reliably benefit from this utility at all, it still costs a GCD to activate Stealth Scan, so at best you’re only getting that GCD back if you manage to somehow reveal 5 enemies.

Forced March

  • Description: Allows Full Auto, Blazing Bolts, and Progressive Scan to be activated while moving.
  • Recommendation: Always take this. Full Auto is one of your most damaging abilities and procs Mag Bolt, your rotation can easily get ruined if you’re not able to use this on cooldown, so you want to make sure you can use it while moving.

One Man Army

  • Description: Hindering a target with Electro Net grants One Man Army, increasing your Alacrity by 15% for 9 seconds. Additionally, Supercharged Cell reduces the cooldown of Adrenaline Rush by 5 seconds.
  • Recommendation: Never take this. Most enemies you’ll encounter during bosses are immune to being Hindered, so you will usually not receive the alacrity boost when you activate Electro Net and any enemies without immunity won’t be worth using Electro Net on anyway. The Adrenaline Rush effect is nice, but there will always be better defensive utilities to take in this tier.

Default Utilities Setup

SWTOR Assault Specialist 6.0 PvE Guide - Default Utilities BuildSWTOR Assault Specialist 6.0 PvE Guide - Default Utilities Build

Abilities, Priorities and Rotations


Single Target Rotational Abilities, Attributes and Important Procs

Please have the game open while reading the remainder of this guide. I will not be writing out tooltip descriptions for abilities and I will only be writing out the components of discipline passives that directly relate to the ability and rotation. This forces you to read through what everything does so that you can understand what all of your passives and abilities do as well as locate these abilities in-game. Make sure you place all of these abilities on your bar in an order that makes sense to you. 

Mag Bolt (Ranged/Energy/Direct/Single Target/Instant)

This ability is your single most damaging GCD, it accounts for 20% of your total damage output. The rest of your rotation is structured in part around being able to use this ability as often as possible. I also want to note that this ability hits twice, so when you’re looking at StarParse, the ability damage only represents a single hit. You have to roll over the ability to see its per-activation damage output. Mag Bolt has 4 procs that are relevant to your rotation:

  • Ionic Accelerator (IA) – Charged Bolts, Full Auto, and Hail of Bolts finish the cooldown on Mag Bolt and make the next Mag Bolt cost no Energy Cells. Cannot occur more than once every 7.5 seconds. The existence of this proc is single-handedly responsible for making AS so ridiculously unstable and susceptible to getting ruined by small disruptions or sudden alacrity boosts and it’s extra unfortunate that all they would need to do to solve this problem would be to change it so IA procs off of Assault Plastique and Full Auto without the rate limit instead, though until that happens, we have to work with what we’re given. IA has to be procced as often as possible, which means you will be able to use Mag Bolt twice per cycle. I do also want to note that it still costs only 15 Energy Cells without IA, so if this ability happens to be off cooldown without the proc, it takes the highest priority as a filler ability. Generally, this will only happen during the opener or after some downtime. 
  • Scorching Bolts – Mag Bolt ignores 30% of the target’s armor, always triggers Plasma Cell, and if Mag Bolt is used against a burning target, you recharge 5 Energy Cells. Your target should always be burning since Incendiary Round and the burning DoT from Plasma Cell should always be on the target. IA and Scorching Bolts make Mag Bolt free and regenerate 5 Energy Cells, making the ability not only important as a damaging ability, but also as a tool for helping to keep your Energy Cells down. 
  • Blazing Celerity – Dealing damage with Mag Bolt grants Blazing Celerity, which makes your next Serrated Bolt or Charged Bolts (or Medical Probe) activate instantly. Cannot occur more than once every 15 seconds. This effect will only be able to trigger with every other Mag Bolt, so you’ll only be able to use it once per cycle. Typically, this will only be used with the Charged Bolts that procs Mag Bolt since it enables you to use that Charged Bolts while moving, so it won’t be vulnerable to interruption so it can’t ruin your rotation.
  • Concentrated Fire 6-Piece Set Bonus – Activating Supercharged Cell makes your next Mag Bolt (or Bacta Infusion) automatically critically hit. As if Supercharged Cell didn’t already do enough for the spec, it also gives you an autocrit to your most damaging ability!

Incendiary Round

Incendiary Round Incendiary Round (Tech/Elemental/Periodic/Single Target/Instant)

This is the first of your two main DoTs and accounts for about 10% of your total damage output. Since it accounts for such a high amount of your damage output, it should have 100% uptime. The most notable feature of this DoT is that it is instant, so it can always be used while moving. Incendiary Round has 1 discipline passive, 1 debuff, and 1 ability associated with it that are relevant to your rotation: 

  • Relentless Assault – Periodic damage dealt is increased by 30% on targets below 30% max health. This includes damage dealt by Incendiary Round, Serrated Bolt, Plasma Cell, Supercharged Burn, Pre-Emptive Strike, and Electro Net. About 48% of your damage dealt is considered periodic, so this is a massive increase to your damage dealt. 
  • Sweltering Heat – Incendiary Round provides the internal/elemental damage debuff. This is the second most valuable DPS debuff in the game because almost every single spec deals some kind of internal/elemental damage. 
  • Supercharged Cell – Supercharged Burn applies to the next target you use a ranged attack on that is burning from your Incendiary Round. This will probably not be relevant very often, but it’s important to know when target swapping since you don’t reapply your DoTs immediately like you often do for other DoT specs but you do tend to use Supercharged Cell as often as possible. Hold off on using Supercharged Cell if your current target doesn’t have Incendiary Round until you can apply it to your current target or switch back to whatever does have the DoT right before doing your next ranged attack and activate Supercharged Cell so that target gets Supercharged Burn.

Serrated Bolt

Serrated Bolt Serrated Bolt (Tech/Internal/Periodic/Single Target/Casted)

This is the second of your two main DoTs and just like Incendiary Round, it accounts for about 10% of your total damage output and for this reason should also have 100% uptime. Serrated Bolt and Incendiary Round deal nearly identical damage, though their damage types are slightly different. The most notable difference between the two is that Serrated Bolt is a casted ability. Serrated Bolt has 1 discipline passive and 1 debuff associated with it.

  • Flaming Wound – Your elemental (fire) attacks deal 3% more damage to bleeding targets. Basically, this DoT makes the rest of your DoTs deal slightly more damage, so it’s important that you have 100% uptime on Serrated Bolt so that you maintain this damage boost.
  • Assault Trooper – Serrated Bolt provides the ranged debuff. Unfortunately, the ranged debuff is arguably one of the worst DPS debuffs. You’ll still get some use out of it in AS, but all of the other specs that would greatly benefit from this debuff already provide it themselves and the ones that still deal ranged damage but don’t provide it only deal a very small amount of ranged damage, generally through a weak filler.

Full Auto

Full Auto Full Auto (Ranged/Energy/Direct/Single Target/Channeled)

This ability is on par with your other non-filler abilities though your DoTs and Mag Bolt are still slightly stronger. Full Auto accounts for about 14% of your total damage output. The one thing that is important to remember is that IA will only proc off of Full Auto when it is activated, so if IA becomes available after you’ve already activated the ability, you’ll have to wait until the channel ends and then cast Charged Bolts to get the proc, so your rotation will get ruined if you aren’t careful. If you’re not sure whether or not IA will be up in time, throw in an extra filler ability prior to using Full Auto. There isn’t really much more to say about the actual ability, it’s just a channeled attack that deals a fair bit of damage and should be used on cooldown. Full Auto has 1 utility point associated with it that is relevant to your rotation:

  • Forced March – Full Auto can be activated while moving. This helps to make you more mobile. It’s incredibly important to always take this utility point since you should never delay Full Auto just because you have to move. If you don’t take it, your DPS will plummet because you don’t have too many other abilities you can use while moving and may end up having to delay proccing IA if you are unable to proc the first one off of Charged Bolts.

Assault Plastique

Assault Plastique Assault Plastique (Tech/Kinetic/Direct/Single Target/Instant)

Assault Plastique is in kind of a weird spot when it comes to damage output, though it still accounts for about 9% of your total damage output. Some people see it as being the weakest of your rotational abilities while others think of it as the strongest of your fillers and can therefore be skipped for one cycle to help manage your Energy Cells and it is possible to do this since Assault Plastique doesn’t do anything else for your rotation other than being more damaging than Charged Bolts. Let me be clear, you definitely should try your best to use it on cooldown. If you ever have to use Hammer Shot instead, you messed up. You need to have a good enough handle on your rotation and managing your Energy Cells that you can use this ability on cooldown consistently because you will lose DPS if you have to skip it. 

Assault Plastique is also a bit strange as an ability because it isn’t a DoT, but it does have a 3 second delay before the damage actually goes out. This is important to keep in mind because you don’t want to use it if the target is about to die because you might not get to deal damage before it actually goes out. Assault Plastique has 1 proc associated with it that is relevant to your rotation:

  • Pre-Emptive Strike – Mag Bolt and Charged Bolts cause targets with a primed Assault Plastique to combust early. In addition, when Assault Plastique combusts, it deals a small amount of additional burn damage over 6 seconds. I have written the description of the discipline passive more clearly than it is represented in-game, where it implies that you have to cause it to combust early in order to get the additional burn damage when this is not the case. I do also want to point out that there will always be some delay before combustion even with this proc because Assault Plastique is applied to the target at the beginning of the GCD so even if Mag Bolt is your very next ability, it will still be on the target for about 1.5 seconds before the damage goes out, so you still have to pay attention when using this ability against enemies that are about to die.

Charged Bolts

Charged Bolts Charged Bolts (Ranged/Energy/Direct/Single-Target/Casted)

Charged Bolts is your strong filler while Hammer Shot is your weak filler. While Charged Bolts does account for about 8% of your total damage output, it is still far weaker than the rest of your rotational abilities. Due to the amount of Energy Cells generated by your other abilities, this will generally only be used as a filler when you have Recharge Cells or Reserve Powercell available, or if you happen to have a lot of Energy Cells as a result of downtime. Since the damage difference between Charged Bolts and Hammer Shot is so small, you can forego using Charged Bolts as a filler ability and it will only have a small impact on your overall DPS. Charged Bolts has 1 proc associated with it that is relevant to your rotation that I haven’t already mentioned:

  • Boosted Bolts – Dealing periodic damage grants 1 stack of Boosted Bolts, increasing the damage dealt by your next Charged Bolts or Hail of Bolts by 1%. Stacks up to 10 times. These stacks usually build fairly quickly, but the damage increase of an individual stack is too weak to care about, so you should use Charged Bolts when appropriate and ignore how many stacks of this you have.

hammer shot

hammer shot Hammer Shot (Ranged/Energy/Direct/Single-Target/Instant)

This is your weak filler ability. Deals very little damage and accounts for only about 2% of your total damage output, though you will still be using it pretty frequently since your rotational abilities cost so many Energy Cells. Since it is instant, it can be used while moving. Hammer Shot has one class passive associated with it that is relevant to your rotation:

  • Plasma Cell – Ranged weapon attacks have a 30% chance to deal additional elemental damage over 6 seconds. Cannot occur more than once per second. You won’t activate an ability specifically for the purpose of applying this DoT, but it should have very high uptime and you’ll see it in StarParse as one of the Burning debuffs. I just wanted to mention it since it will account for about 8% of your overall damage dealt.

Concussion Charge

Concussion Charge Concussion Charge (Tech/Elemental/Direct/AoE/Instant)

This is your 360 degree knockback. Due to its short range, it can be more difficult to use than other knockbacks against some mechanics, like the Chained Manifestations on Styrak NiM, but it does knock them pretty far away. In AS, it is valuable to use rotationally with both the Reflexive Battery and Efficient Conversions utilities as a replacement for Hammer Shot. The most important part of the Reflexive Battery utility is that it causes Concussion Charge to generate 2 stacks of Supercharge and given how strong Supercharged Cell is in AS, this is very valuable. The other effects of the utility are nice, but the 2 stacks of Supercharge are why we consider using this ability at all rotationally. Hold off on using Concussion Charge if you have 9 stacks of Supercharge since you’ll waste one of them. Use Hammer Shot or Charged Bolts instead. The Efficient Conversions utility makes Concussion Charge free to use, just like Hammer Shot. Using this ability results in a noticeable DPS increase even if you can’t actually deal damage with the knockback, though it is still ideal to deal damage with the knockback whenever possible. Do not use Concussion Charge if it will ever cause something to be knocked back that is not supposed to be knocked back. 

Explosive Round

Explosive Round Explosive Round (Tech/Kinetic/Direct/AoE/Instant)

This ability description will be a bit different from the others because Explosive Round is an absolutely horrible ability in any of the specs unless you have the Hyper Assault Rounds proc. Without the proc, it deals very little damage and costs way too many Energy Cells to ever be worth using, so I am going to explain the proc now because it only makes sense to ever use it when you have said proc. Hyper Assault Rounds makes it so that dealing periodic damage to a target with less than 30% health grants Hyper Assault Rounds, which reduces the Energy Cell cost of your next Explosive Round by 10 and increases the damage it deals by 75%. Cannot occur more than once every 15 seconds. 

This proc makes Explosive Round deal more damage and cost fewer Energy Cells than Charged Bolts, so when the boss’ health is sub-30%, it will replace your filler Charged Bolts. You will need to change how you manage your Energy Cells though. Normally, you use your Hammer Shot when you don’t have Recharge Cells or Reserve Powercell available and then only use Charged Bolts when they are available. With Hyper Assault Rounds, you always want to have 1 of your fillers be Explosive Round and the other be Hammer Shot. You do need to make sure that you have enough Energy Cells before Hyper Assault Rounds begins proccing or you can run out of Energy Cells very easily and your Energy Cell management cooldowns need to be used on cooldown to keep your Energy Cells high enough. 

If you aren’t prepared with your Energy Cells when the boss goes sub-30%, you need to hold off on using Explosive Round or you will quickly run out of Energy Cells. You also need to be careful about watching how much time is left on the proc because Explosive Round’s travel time is quite slow and the proc isn’t consumed until you actually deal damage with the ability. There aren’t too many things in SWTOR that are more soul-crushing than watching the Hyper Assault Rounds proc fall off while the round is still soaring through the air. When this happens, it means you just threw 20 Energy Cells out the window to deal very little damage. Make sure that you don’t use Explosive Round if the proc will fall off in the next GCD. 

Since Hyper Assault Rounds triggers when a DoT ticks on something that has less than 30% health, you’ll end up getting the proc a lot more often on fights with a bunch of adds, especially when you get to DoT spread, so make sure you don’t waste the proc. Just use it in place of a Charged Bolts. 

Finally, I want to point out that Hyper Assault Rounds does not make Explosive Round grant a stack of Supercharge and since Supercharged Burn deals such a ridiculous amount of damage, it is a DPS increase to forego using Explosive Round entirely if you can manage to get an extra Supercharged Cell before the fight is over. Since you’re still limited by Energy Cells, the boss needs to have quite a lot of health for this to work. If you manage to do 15 Explosive Rounds over the course of the fight, which will take a little under 4 minutes, you would also have been able to do 10 Charged Bolts, which would give you your extra Supercharged Cell. Honestly, I’m not sure that such a fight exists, but be sure to keep an eye on StarParse just in case. In addition, if the boss is really close to dying and you are really close to getting another Supercharged Cell but might miss out because of Explosive Round, it’s okay to use Charged Bolts instead.

Single Target Rotation and Opener

I’m going to start this section by going over the rotation since everything else you’ll be doing is basically just the rotation with some fillers that will be slightly different from what you’re normally using. Due to the strictness of the rotation with regards to Energy Cell management, proccing IA, and using everything on cooldown, when swapping targets, all you do is keep going with wherever you’re at in the rotation. Do not interrupt your rotation to reapply your DoTs.

Rotation

  1. Incendiary RoundIncendiary Round Incendiary Round
  2. Serrated BoltSerrated Bolt Serrated Bolt
  3. Filler (first)
  4. Full AutoFull Auto Full Auto (procs IA)
  5. Filler (second)
  6. Assault PlastiqueAssault Plastique Assault Plastique
  7. Mag BoltMag Bolt Mag Bolt (procs Blazing Celerity)
  8. Charged BoltsCharged Bolts Charged Bolts (instant, procs IA)
  9. Mag BoltMag Bolt Mag Bolt

Here are some explanations about the main rotation:

  • The vast majority of the time, your fillers will be Charged Bolts, Hammer Shot, and Concussion Charge (if you’re using Reflexive Battery).
  • The actual order of the abilities doesn’t matter all that much so long as you have 100% uptime on Incendiary Round and Serrated Bolt, are proccing IA on cooldown, and using Full Auto and Assault Plastique on cooldown. There are a couple of variants out there, so don’t feel pressured to switch to this one if your rotation still meets those requirements.
  • The benefits of doing Assault Plastique > Mag Bolt > Charged Bolts > Mag Bolt is that it gives you 6 seconds of burst. You can actually start the rotation from Assault Plastique if you like and IA will still work properly, though this is unwise in the opener because it’s harder for the tanks to keep aggro and wastes time on Supercharged Cell.
  • A lot of players like to use Serrated Bolt and then Incendiary Round because it allows you to precast Serrated Bolt. The DPS increase from doing this is incredibly small and comes with a significant drawback for the rest of the fight because of when exactly Energy Cells are depleted. For casted abilities, Energy Cells are depleted at the end of the cast while for instant abilities, Energy Cells are depleted at the beginning of the GCD (as soon as you press the button), so when you use Serrated Bolt followed by Incendiary Round, you end up depleting 30 Energy Cells all at once. Since you’re supposed to push the envelope with regards to Energy Cells depletion, if you’re still under 90 Energy Cells by the time that the cast on Serrated Bolt finishes, you will go below 60 Energy Cells, so you’ll only passively regenerate 4 Energy Cells rather than 5. In addition, this gives you a longer uninterrupted window where you can move freely by putting Incendiary Round next to your burst. 
  • If the first filler is Charged Bolts, it can proc IA rather than Full Auto. This is desirable when using Recharge Cells, but I’ll cover that later on in greater detail. It also helps you keep IA synchronized with the beginning of the Full Auto channel since IA only procs at the beginning of the channel.
  • The most important thing in the rotation is to make sure that you are proccing IA on time. So long as you don’t do anything that will mess up the timing, you can do whatever you need to for the sake of mechanics until it’s time to proc IA again and then at that point, you just need to be mindful of when you do end up proccing it (so knowing that Charged Bolts, Full Auto, and Hail of Bolts will proc it) and know that once that happens, you either need to get back to doing the rotation or keep very precise track of when IA will be available again. 
  • It’s very important that your APM is consistent. It can be tempting to wait like a half second so you passively regenerate 5 Energy Cells so your next ability doesn’t put you below 60, but this will end up causing more problems with future IA procs. 

Filler Priority

  1. Mag BoltMag Bolt Unprocced Mag Bolt
  2. electro netelectro net Electro Net (only during supercharged cellsupercharged cell Supercharged Cell)
  3. Explosive RoundExplosive Round Explosive Round (only with Hyper Assault RoundsHyper Assault Rounds Hyper Assault Rounds)
  4. Charged BoltsCharged Bolts Charged Bolts (if Energy Cells cooldown is available or above 85 Energy Cells)
  5. Concussion ChargeConcussion Charge Concussion Charge (only if using Reflexive BatteryReflexive Battery Reflexive Battery)
  6. hammer shothammer shot Hammer Shot

This does make the rotation seem a bit more complicated than I may have led you to believe in the guide, but I assure you that it’s much simpler than it seems since most of the time you will only be choosing between a couple of abilities.

  • As I already mentioned, the vast majority of the time, you’ll only be choosing between Charged Bolts and Concussion Charge/Hammer Shot, which will be dependent on your Energy Cells. If you have at least 85-90 Energy Cells or have Recharge Cells/Reserve Powercell, use Charged Bolts. Otherwise use Concussion Charge/Hammer Shot. When in doubt, be conservative with your Energy Cells and use Hammer Shot. Keep your APM consistent.
  • Unprocced Mag Bolt really only ever comes up in the very beginning of the fight or after long periods of downtime and it’s not the end of the world if you miss it. On dummy parses, this literally never happens, so you’ll still do fine if you never do this and while you’re still working on the spec, you will probably be better off ignoring it entirely.
  • There is an alternate style of doing your fillers that works better for dummy parses than it does in actual raids, though you’ll basically end up doing it when the boss’ health is sub-30%. Basically, you can always do 1 Charged Bolts and 1 Rapid Shot/Concussion Charge for your first and second fillers and use Recharge Cells/Reserve Powercell mostly on cooldown and it will work. This style doesn’t work when you need to do burst damage or when there is any sort of downtime.  
  • Remember that in fights with frequent downtime, you can and should try to be more aggressive with using Charged Bolts over Hammer Shot because you will have time to passively vent your Energy Cells during that downtime. 
  • Sub-30, Charged Bolts as a filler just about entirely gets replaced by Explosive Round with the Hyper Assault Rounds proc. Make sure you have enough Energy Cells when you transition to sub-30 since you will probably run out of Energy Cells as you transition to the sub-30 style. 
  • Concussion Charge should only get used if you’re taking Reflexive Battery and Efficient Conversions and are not going to cause any problems with your knockback whatsoever. Whenever you are using Concussion Charge, it should always be used over Hammer Shot if it’s off cooldown, but Charged Bolts should always be used over Concussion Charge if your Energy Cells are in a good spot.
  • While you’re learning, it’s okay to completely forego using Charged Bolts. You won’t lose very much DPS at all and this will make it so you don’t have to manage your Energy Cells until the boss’ health goes below 30% and you have to start using Explosive Round.

Opener

  1. Sha’Tek Relic of Primeval FatesealerSha’Tek Relic of Primeval Fatesealer Primeval Fatesealer Relic (if applicable)
  2. Incendiary RoundIncendiary Round Incendiary Round + supercharged cellsupercharged cell Supercharged Cell
  3. Serrated BoltSerrated Bolt Serrated Bolt
  4. Adrenal
  5. Mag BoltMag Bolt Mag Bolt
  6. Full AutoFull AutoFull Auto (procs IA)
  7. electro netelectro net Electro Net
  8. Assault PlastiqueAssault Plastique Assault Plastique
  9. Mag BoltMag Bolt Mag Bolt
  10. Charged BoltsCharged Bolts Charged Bolts (procs IA)
  11. Mag BoltMag Bolt Mag Bolt
  12. Rotation

You may notice that your opener is mostly the same as your regular rotation. The biggest difference is that the abilities you’ll use for fillers won’t come up quite as often as what you’ll normally use. Here are a couple of comments about it:

  • That first Mag Bolt will generally be unprocced, though if you want to try really hard, you can use Hail of Bolts prior to pulling so that first Mag Bolt is free, though you have an incredibly small window since you have to wait 3 seconds after proccing it before you can pull, otherwise you won’t be able to proc it as part of your rotation. 
  • Mag Bolt has to be used prior to proccing IA with Full Auto, otherwise you won’t get to use it. There is still more than enough time left on Supercharged Cell to affect the full duration of Electro Net.
  • The Primeval Fatesealer relic should be used prior to applying your DoTs so that their duration is reduced so you don’t end up clipping them later. Make sure you aren’t wasting active time on the relic before pulling. Remember this is only applicable if you are in scaled/sub 75 content.
  • It really doesn’t matter when exactly you use your Adrenal. You can use it prior to applying your DoTs if you want. It’s unavoidable that you will have to apply your DoTs once while the Adrenal is up since all of them will last 15 seconds. 
  • Supercharged Cell should be used in the same GCD as Incendiary Round and ideally pressed after you activate Incendiary Round, but it doesn’t make a huge difference. The point is to have the boosted periodic damage on these initial DoT ticks but not waste active time just like with the Primeval Fatesealer relic. 

Recharge Cells / Reserve Powercell Rotation

  1. Incendiary RoundIncendiary Round Incendiary Round
  2. Serrated BoltSerrated Bolt Serrated Bolt
  3. Charged BoltsCharged Bolts Charged Bolts (must proc Mag BoltMag Bolt Mag Bolt if using Recharge CellsRecharge Cells Recharge Cells)
  4. (Recharge CellsRecharge Cells Recharge Cells or Reserve PowercellReserve Powercell Reserve Powercell)
  5. (extra filler if using Recharge Cells)
  6. Full AutoFull Auto Full Auto
  7. Charged BoltsCharged Bolts Charged Bolts / Filler
  8. (extra filler if using Recharge CellsRecharge Cells Recharge Cells)
  9. Assault PlastiqueAssault Plastique Assault Plastique
  10. Mag BoltMag Bolt Mag Bolt
  11. Charged BoltsCharged Bolts Charged Bolts (procs Mag BoltMag Bolt Mag Bolt)
  12. (Recharge CellsRecharge Cells Recharge Cells)
  13. Mag BoltMag Bolt Mag Bolt

Here are a few explanations for what to do when using one of your Energy Cell cooldowns:

  • Recharge Cells should always be used immediately after you proc IA. I have indicated the two spots it can be used. 
  • Reserve Powercell should only be used immediately before Full Auto (though it can also be used before one of your other 3 second channels if needed). Make sure to wait until after Charged Bolts has dealt damage or you may accidentally consume Reserve Powercell on Charged Bolts instead of Full Auto.
  • Use an extra filler before the next time you proc IA after using Recharge Cells. If you don’t do this, the extra alacrity will mess up the timing for IA and you’ll often end up not proccing it. This doesn’t always happen, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. 
  • The first slot that is normally a filler must be used on Charged Bolts so you can have that proc IA rather than Full Auto. 
  • Be mindful of the 10 extra Energy Cells recharged by Supercharged Cell. The second filler slot in this rotation as well as the first filler slot in the next cycle will be determined by your precise amount of Energy Cells when you activate Recharge Cells or Reserve Powercell. Avoid reaching 100 Energy Cells. 

Low Energy Cells / Easy Rotation

  1. Incendiary RoundIncendiary Round Incendiary Round
  2. Serrated BoltSerrated Bolt Serrated Bolt
  3. hammer shothammer shot Hammer Shot / Concussion ChargeConcussion Charge Concussion Charge
  4. Full AutoFull Auto Full Auto
  5. hammer shothammer shot Hammer Shot / Concussion ChargeConcussion Charge Concussion Charge
  6. Assault PlastiqueAssault Plastique Assault Plastique
  7. Mag BoltMag Bolt Mag Bolt
  8. Charged BoltsCharged Bolts Charged Bolts
  9. Mag BoltMag Bolt Mag Bolt

When you can’t afford to use Charged Bolts, just use Hammer Shot/Concussion Charge in both filler slots. You’ll probably be doing this most often, though sometimes one of the Hammer Shot/Concussion Charge will be replaced by an Electro Net. If you’re really struggling with managing your Energy Cells, or if you feel it’s too distracting, you really won’t lose very much DPS to just completely forego using Charged Bolts in your rotation and just do this all the time. 

Sub-30% Rotation

  1. Incendiary RoundIncendiary Round Incendiary Round
  2. Serrated BoltSerrated Bolt Serrated Bolt
  3. Explosive RoundExplosive Round Explosive Round w/ Hyper Assault RoundsHyper Assault Rounds Hyper Assault Rounds or hammer shothammer shot Hammer Shot / Concussion ChargeConcussion Charge Concussion Charge
  4. Full AutoFull Auto Full Auto
  5. hammer shothammer shot Hammer Shot / Concussion ChargeConcussion Charge Concussion Charge or Explosive RoundExplosive Round Explosive Round w/ Hyper Assault RoundsHyper Assault Rounds Hyper Assault Rounds
  6. Assault PlastiqueAssault Plastique Assault Plastique
  7. Mag BoltMag Bolt Mag Bolt
  8. Charged BoltsCharged Bolts Charged Bolts
  9. Mag BoltMag Bolt Mag Bolt

As the boss transitions to being sub-30% HP, make sure you have enough Energy Cells and maybe hold onto Reserve Powercell as you transition to using Explosive Round w/ Hyper Assault Rounds for one of your fillers and Hammer Shot/Concussion Charge for the other.

Offensive Cooldowns

All offensive cooldowns should be used as frequently as possible under the conditions stated here or if it needs to be saved for a DPS check/burst window, but don’t start delaying it for that until you see that you have to. 

Recharge Cells

Recharge Cells Recharge Cells

Repeat after me: “Recharge Cells is an offensive cooldown, not something I save and only use when I mess up my rotation and run out of Energy Cells.” It may be a bit strange since it isn’t as straightforward as some of the other offensive cooldowns are, but rest assured that it is still an offensive cooldown. If you’re a bit confused, let’s imagine that you have two parses that are identical in every way but one: the only difference is that in one parse, you used Recharge Cells 3 times, which let you use 13 extra Charged Bolts instead of Hammer Shot.

As we’ve already established, Hammer Shot deals a lot less damage than Charged Bolts, so the parse that managed to replace 13 Hammer Shot with 13 Charged Bolts will have higher DPS because it got to use the higher-damaging ability more often. This applies in burst situations as well, because as soon as a burst DPS check happens, you stop using Hammer Shot at all and use Charged Bolts instead, even when this causes you to run out of Energy Cells, because you can use Recharge Cells to come back down to above-60 Energy Cells. It’s a bit tricky to get the maximum benefit from this ability, especially in AS, since you want to return to the maximum Energy Cells regeneration rate, but at the same time, you don’t want to go below 60 Energy Cells with your next ability or go up to 100 Energy Cells either since in both scenarios, you’d be wasting Energy Cells. Your goal is to get as close to 100 Energy Cells as possible without hitting 100. Luckily, this is pretty easy to control with the number of Charged Bolts you use. 

Since sudden short bursts of alacrity cause problems for AS and the Cell Capacitor utility provides such a short burst of alacrity (if only it provided critical chance or critical damage instead), the only time Recharge Cells can be used safely is immediately after proccing Mag Bolt, either right after using Charged Bolts that comes immediately before Full Auto, or with the Charged Bolts in between the Mag Bolts. Which spot you use it in depends on roughly how many Energy Cells you have at that specific point in the rotation. You don’t want to use it if you have more than 35 Energy Cells and if you’re close to 35 Energy Cells, you will probably need to do an extra Charged Bolts. In addition, just so you don’t have to worry at all about messing up IA, I like to put in an extra filler ability before proccing the next IA since sometimes the alacrity still causes problems. The filler can still adhere to the normal filler priority. If you’re in danger of hitting 100 Energy Cells, use a Charged Bolts, otherwise use Rapid Shot/Concussion Charge. 

Reserve Powercell

Reserve Powercell Reserve Powercell

This ability is just a mini-version of Recharge Cells, which means it’s also an offensive cooldown, just like Recharge Cells. It is best used on one of your 3 second channel abilities like Full Auto, Hail of Bolts, and Mortar Volley while you are close to, but still above 60 Energy Cells. It’s important to use this on an ability that has a 3 second channel since it leverages your passive Energy Cell regeneration to provide an additional GCD where you aren’t depleting any Energy Cells, meaning you’ll regenerate more Energy Cells overall. Ideally, you should have between 60 and 70 Energy Cells when Full Auto is activated, but that can be a bit difficult to do in AS, so try your best. It’s okay if you end up overshooting and start Full Auto when you’re at 55-60 Energy Cells, though you’ll probably need to use an extra Hammer Shot/Concussion Charge later on. Similarly, it’s also okay if you dip into the very low 80s, just make sure that you do a Charged Bolts as your filler after Full Auto, and maybe make it instant with Tech Override if you can so you don’t waste any passive Energy Cell regeneration. 

supercharged cell

supercharged cell Supercharged Cell

Unlike Gunnery, Supercharged Cell is ridiculously strong in AS. It regenerates 10 Energy Cells, increases periodic damage dealt by 10%, gives an autocrit to your next Mag Bolt (thanks to the Concentrated Fire set bonus) and most importantly, provides the Supercharged Burn DoT, which is your most damaging ability by far. In one of my parses, it accounted for a whopping 13.8% of my total damage dealt despite using it only 11 times, this is of course because it deals so much damage. For me, each use averaged over 81k damage per use, though if you use Periodic Intensity amps (I have Armor Penetration), you can expect even more. As a result of all this, it’s incredibly important to use this ability as soon as it becomes available so you can gain all of these effects as often as possible. 

There are several abilities that generate stacks of Supercharge, including Charged Bolts, Hammer Shot, Medical Probe, and Med Shot. It’s important that you generate 10 stacks of Supercharge prior to combat using either Med Shot or Medical Probe. It’s a ton of free DPS you’re missing out on if you don’t do this. You can and should also use Med Shot in-combat during periods of downtime where you can’t DPS anything in order to generate extra stacks of Supercharge. In addition, whenever you gain a stack of Supercharge, you gain the Incisive Critical buff which increases your critical chance by 10% for 10 seconds, though this can only occur once every 10 seconds. 

electro net

electro net Electro Net (Tech/Energy/Periodic/Single-Target/Instant)

While this ability isn’t technically an offensive cooldown since it’s still on the GCD, you should still think of it as one since it does a pretty high amount of damage. Against non-player enemies, builds up to 5 stacks that each increase the damage taken by Electro Net by 20% (100% total) and these stacks apply over the first 5 seconds after application automatically and are not dependent on whether or not the target moves, unlike in PvP. This stacking mechanic makes it a bit unclear how much damage you’re actually dealing with the ability. According to StarParse, the ability does a little over 50k damage, which is a fair bit higher than what most of your other abilities can do. Since it is still an attack, make sure you aren’t wasting this extra damage on an add. It also deals periodic damage, so the periodic damage boost you get from Supercharged Cell will affect this ability. Since you have such high uptime on Supercharged Cell thanks to Energized Charges and the Concentrated Fire set bonus, it’s okay to wait a little bit to use this until you can apply it while Supercharged Cell is active, though don’t wait more than a full cycle since the damage boost is still small.

Adrenal

The Adrenal is a really simple cooldown. There isn’t really anything to say about it. Just like everything else, make sure to have it available for DPS checks and otherwise use it on cooldown. Try to pair it with Electro Net, though don’t delay either ability for very long in order to do this. Remember, you should use the Advanced Kyrprax Attack Adrenal in level 75 content and Advanced Kyrprax Critical Adrenal in non-level 75 content.

Sha’Tek Relic of Primeval Fatesealer

Sha’Tek Relic of Primeval Fatesealer Sha’Tek Relic of Primeval Fatesealer

This relic is unfortunately the only viable alternative for use in sub-level 75 content alongside the Sha’Tek Relic of Devastating Vengeance because the standard Focused Retribution and Serendipitous Assault relics are useless because Mastery and Power are capped. It should be used on cooldown because it is not affected by Alacrity like Recklessness and the Adrenal are. It should also be saved for burst phases and DPS checks if they exist in a given fight.

AoE Abilities

The formula for determining how much damage an AoE ability does per GCD such that it can be compared to single target abilities is: (Damage Dealt/Number of GCDs) x Number of Enemies. An AoE ability’s place in the priority is as high as it can be until it reaches a single target ability that deals more damage than the AoE will deal to all enemies in the GCD. AoE damage is considered fluff if the adds do not need to die or if you are otherwise shirking your main responsibilities to deal more damage to adds. It’s pretty easy to tell what is and isn’t fluff, don’t be greedy and don’t hurt your group’s chances of beating the boss. Commandos in general have far more AoE abilities than they really need, but I’ll be going over all of them in this section. Some of them you will use, some of them you won’t. When you use the Continuous Fire tactical, you’ll also use a different rotation, even when there isn’t anything to AoE.

Plasma Grenade

Plasma Grenade Plasma Grenade (Tech/Kinetic and Elemental/Direct and Periodic/AoE/Casted)

This ability is your primary DoT spread. If there are other enemies out that need to die, this takes the highest priority in your filler slot and should be used on cooldown. Thanks to the Power Barrels discipline passive, the Energy Cell cost is reduced to 15 and its cooldown is reduced to only 15 seconds, making it as expensive as a Charged Bolts and usable once per cycle. Only use your other AoE abilities if this DoT spread is insufficient. When the boss is sub-30% and/or during Supercharged Cell, Plasma Grenade also deals slightly more damage than Charged Bolts against single targets since the DoT component gets buffed by both, though you will still always want to use Charged Bolts so long as you have Energized Charges equipped since Plasma Grenade does not generate a stack of Supercharge. 

mortar volley

mortar volley Mortar Volley (Tech/Kinetic/Direct/AoE/Channeled) 

This is your strongest direct AoE ability, though it has a fairly long cooldown, so you can’t spam it. If Plasma Grenade’s DoT spread is insufficient to take care of the adds or if you really want to fluff, you can use this ability instead of your second filler and Assault Plastique (it will deal more damage if there are at least 2 targets). Be mindful that Mortar Volley costs 30 Energy Cells over the duration of the channel, which is equivalent to using Charged Bolts for the second filler slot along with Assault Plastique in the normal single-target rotation, so you will likely need to use an Energy Cell cooldown if you use this ability. 

hail of bolts

hail of bolts Hail of Bolts (Ranged/Energy/Direct/AoE/Channeled)

This is your spammable AoE. Even with the Chain Gunnery utility, this always deals less damage and costs more Energy Cells than Mortar Volley, so you should never use this ability if Mortar Volley is off cooldown, though be sure to take the Chain Gunnery utility if you plan to use this ability at all during a given fight. Hail of Bolts also benefits from Boosted Bolts and can proc IA. If you find yourself needing to use this ability more than once or twice in a given fight, you should probably take the Continuous Fire tactical. 

Sticky Grenade

Sticky Grenade Sticky Grenade (Tech/Kinetic/Direct/AoE/Instant)

This is easily one of the worst abilities in the entire game. I suppose since it’s instant, you can also use it while moving, but AoE is never so urgent that you can’t just wait to use an actually damaging ability once you stop moving. The most useful part of this ability is the 3 second delay before the damage goes out, though that makes it less useful for AoE purposes. Basically, if an enemy is temporarily immune to taking damage (like Operator IX Black Obtuse shield), you can technically use this 3 seconds before the immunity ends and then apply your DoTs, but you are depleting Energy Cells to do this and the amount of damage is only barely more than Hammer Shot. It does also spread your DoTs, so if you miss a few with Plasma Grenade, you can use this in your second filler slot if you want, but otherwise feel free to completely remove this ability from your bar.

Continuous Fire TacticalContinuous Fire Tactical Continuous Fire Tactical

The Continuous Fire tactical is unlike most other classes’ AoE tacticals because it actually works fairly well for single target DPS as well as AoE whereas most other classes’ AoE tacticals do absolutely nothing to increase single target DPS. It is worth noting though that this comes at a cost: you won’t reach the same crazy AoE numbers that other specs offer. 

There are several reasons why Continuous Fire increases single target DPS substantially over not using a tactical at all is twofold: 

  • Charged Bolts and Hammer Shot deal very little damage compared to the rest of your rotation, meanwhile Mortar Volley is competitive with Charged Bolts even at 1 target in terms of DPS. The biggest reason it isn’t used is because there isn’t space for two GCDs in a row in the rotation. Hail of Bolts isn’t too far behind either though it does cost more Energy Cells, so the fact that they get to refresh and tick your DoTs twice over the course of the channel (once per GCD) easily pushes them over the edge.
  • Hail of Bolts works the same way as Charged Bolts in terms of proccing IA and benefitting from Boosted Bolts.
  • Two whole GCDs are freed up by not having to reapply your DoTs. This is really where the biggest flat damage increase comes from. Very little damage is dealt by Serrated Bolt and Incendiary Round upon application, so you get two whole extra GCDs now that can actually be used to deal damage. 
  • The fact that Hail of Bolts doesn’t generate a stack of Supercharge is not nearly as relevant because half of the power of Supercharged Cell in the normal rotation relies on you equipping the Energized Charges tactical, which you have to give up to use Continuous Fire. 

Continuous Fire Rotation

  1. Full AutoFull Auto Full Auto (proc IA)
  2. Mag BoltMag Bolt Mag Bolt
  3. Assault PlastiqueAssault Plastique Assault Plastique
  4. Filler 1
  5. hail of boltshail of bolts Hail of Bolts (proc IA)
  6. Mag BoltMag Bolt Mag Bolt
  7. Filler 2
  8. Filler 3
  9. Repeat

Filler Priority

  1. Plasma GrenadePlasma Grenade Plasma Grenade (AoE only)
  2. mortar volleymortar volley Mortar Volley (Filler 2&3 Only)
  3. electro netelectro net Electro Net
  4. Explosive RoundExplosive Round Explosive Round w/ Hyper Assault RoundsHyper Assault Rounds Hyper Assault Rounds proc
  5. hail of boltshail of bolts Hail of Bolts (if above 90 Energy Cells)
  6. hammer shothammer shot Hammer Shot

Here are some explanations for why this rotation is used:

  • Just like the standard single-target rotation, this one is structured around being able to proc IA as often as possible. In this rotation, IA will be procced exclusively by Full Auto and Hail of Bolts. This gives more room for AoE abilities. 
  • Assault Plastique can technically be skipped or delayed in case more AoE is needed, so you’d do Hail of Bolts instead of Assault Plastique and Filler 1, though that won’t usually be necessary since you’ll usually be saving Filler 1 for Plasma Grenade since Continuous Fire only refreshes your DoTs on existing targets, it doesn’t spread them to new ones. 
  • Mortar Volley should only be used during Filler 2 and 3. You will be able to do it every 3 cycles. Make sure you have at least 90 Energy Cells. 
  • Remember, Mortar Volley does not proc IA, so it’s important that you only use Hail of Bolts in slot 5. 
  • With the Continuous Fire tactical, Hail of Bolts always deals more damage than Charged Bolts, so Charged Bolts is never used if you have that tactical equipped. 
  • It’s a bit harder to manage your Energy Cells precisely due to the additional channeling that you will be doing. Unless you’re using Plasma Grenade, Filler 1 will usually be Hammer Shot.

Defensive Cooldowns and Mobility

Mandos are often thought of as having 3 health bars thanks to their incredibly potent and long-lasting defensive cooldowns. This reputation originates from PvP, though it unfortunately doesn’t translate to PvE quite as well. Don’t get me wrong, Mando DCDs are still quite strong and last for a while, but they aren’t without their weaknesses. 

Reactive Shield

Reactive Shield Reactive Shield

This is your most reliable defensive cooldown. It will mitigate all damage that can be mitigated because it provides flat damage reduction. Along with your armor, you will have 52.57% damage reduction against Kinetic/Energy damage and 35% damage reduction against Internal/Elemental damage. Thanks in part due to its long duration, Reactive Shield is best when trying to mitigate damage that you’re supposed to be taking, though you’re not going to be able to cheese anything with this ability. Thankfully, you have other DCDs to cheese with. Reactive Shield has 3 utility points that are relevant to its usage:

  • Trauma Stabilizers – While Reactive Shield is active, you generate a stack of Trauma Stabilizers each time you receive direct damage. Stacks up to 10 times. When Reactive Shield expires, each stack of Trauma Stabilizers instantly heals you for 4% of your maximum health. You should always take this utility over Adrenal Surge when you’re able to consistently get the 10 stacks of Trauma Stabilizers, but otherwise use Adrenal Surge instead. Please note that you can get the heal immediately by right-clicking off Reactive Shield before it expires naturally, though you will lose the damage reduction. This utility is stronger than Adrenal Surge because it provides more healing more often. Adrenal Surge only causes Adrenaline Rush to heal you for an extra 25%, while you can get 40% healing from each use of Trauma Stabilizers. While Adrenaline Rush does sustain you for 10 seconds, Reactive Shield only has a 2 minute cooldown (or even less with Reflexive Shield) while Adrenaline Rush has a 3 minute cooldown.
  • Electro Shield – When activated, your Reactive Shield ignites in a blaze, scorching attackers for elemental damage when they deal direct damage to you. This effect cannot occur more than once each second. Since your primary job as a DPS is to deal damage, this utility will often determine when Reactive Shield gets used. You’ll still have your other defensive cooldowns for the other stuff. Please remember that if you die, you deal 0 DPS, so if there’s some sort of attack that you need a defensive cooldown for and only Reactive Shield works, you have to save Reactive Shield for that attack.
  • Reflexive Shield – When you take damage, the active cooldown of Reactive Shield is reduced by 3 seconds. This effect cannot occur more than once every 1.5 seconds. In addition, when taking damage, you have a 20% chance to emit an Energy Redoubt, which lasts up to 6 seconds and absorbs 4118 damage. This effect cannot occur more than once every 10 seconds. The component here that we’re interested in is the cooldown reduction on Reactive Shield. If you’re constantly taking damage such that the cooldown reduction is happening as often as possible, Reactive Shield can have a cooldown of only 40 seconds, meaning you can have up to 30% uptime on all of these effects!

Adrenaline Rush

Adrenaline Rush Adrenaline Rush

Adrenaline Rush’s greatest strength is in its ability to reliably keep you alive through constant damage, generally the kind you’ll find in burn phases, as well as damage that you know will be coming soon but don’t know exactly when. Very few other DCDs in the game can do this as well as Adrenaline Rush. It does come with a drawback though, Adrenaline Rush is also one of the worst DCDs in the game at helping you to mitigate big hits since it provides its mitigation through healing, which requires you to take the damage and survive. This ability isn’t going to do a thing if an attack takes away the final 36% of your health. Adrenaline Rush has one utility point associated with it that is relevant to its usage:

  • Adrenal Surge – Adrenaline Rush triggers at, and can heal you up to, 60% of your maximum health. Additionally, Adrenaline Rush lasts 2 seconds longer and heals for twice as much each time it restores health. This utility is pretty straightforward, it makes Adrenaline Rush last a little bit longer and, more importantly, makes it heal you up to 60% health, enabling you to mitigate big hits that you otherwise couldn’t. Now it is important to note that Adrenal Surge is useless if you’re getting hit by attacks that deal damage greater than 60% of your max health, though many other DCDs will struggle to deal with such big hits on their own as well. In this sort of situation, it’s okay to pair it with Reactive Shield, though you should avoid using the two together if Adrenaline Rush will be sufficient on its own. Adrenal Surge also makes it much worse to preemptively activate Adrenaline Rush, so you generally want to wait until after you get hit if you can before activating it instead of relying on the Health Monitor since a defensive cooldown isn’t always needed if you only drop down to 60% HP. 

echoing deterrence

echoing deterrence Echoing Deterrence

Echoing Deterrence is one of the best DCDs in the game. It absorbs all the damage, heals you, and reflects half of the damage back at the attacker. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work on everything; it only works on direct, single-target damage, so it won’t do anything against DoTs and AoE damage, though remember that in raids, damage types don’t always match their appearance. Since this ability does completely absorb the damage you take, Echoing Deterrence should never be used at the same time as another defensive cooldown. You’ll either take no damage or all of it. if you take any amount of damage, this DCD did absolutely nothing and you just wasted it. The one exception to this is if you’ll be taking incredibly little damage and can afford to use Reactive Shield exclusively for Electro Shield damage as well. 

Since most damage you’ll be taking in raids is AoE damage, there aren’t too many attacks that this works on and there are many fights where this isn’t usable at all. This isn’t a major problem though since you can almost always survive while only using Adrenaline Rush, Reactive Shield, and Diversion. Since it’s so often useless against damage you’re meant to take, it’s best to seek out attacks that you can reflect with this ability in order to deal extra damage. Just like Electro Shield, it’s free, extra DPS, so there’s no reason not to. This ability does not have any utility points or discipline passives associated with it.

Diversion Commando

Diversion Commando Diversion and the DegaussDegauss Degauss Discipline Passive

AS has a discipline passive that provides you with an additional defensive cooldown. Diversion (your threat drop) grants Degauss, which increases your defense (and resist) chance by 35% against all attack types for 6 seconds. Defense chance refers to your chance to take 0 damage by dodging a melee/ranged attack or resisting a force/tech attack (though the defense rating stat only increases your chance to dodge melee/ranged attacks). Unless you really, really need to make sure that you take as little damage as possible, this DCD should generally only be used on its own since if it works, your other defensives won’t have done anything. It works best against frequent, ticking damage since you’re likely to dodge/resist about 35-40% of them, which isn’t any different than if you had 35-40% damage reduction.

Medpac

Don’t save it for a rainy day because today is that rainy day! Unless you get hit by a one-shot mechanic (which you shouldn’t), you should never let yourself die while your Medpac is still available and you certainly should never try to use one of your heals before using your Medpac. If everyone’s health is getting low or there’s a heal check in the current phase, do not hesitate to use your Medpac if you can take full benefit of the health provided or need to be above a certain health level to survive an imminent mechanic. If you think Medpacs are too expensive, it’s time to get Biochem on one of your alts or even better, your raiding toon so that you can make your own or get reusables. 

Field Aid

Field Aid Field Aid

This is the cleanse for the Mandos. Generally the healers are responsible for dealing with most of the cleanses, though there are a few instances where the DPS should help, like on Dread Council with Tyrans’ Death Mark. Before you use this on yourself, make sure that you don’t get Electro Shield ticks off of it and try to avoid using this as your cleanse, a lot of the cleanses that DPS are responsible for can be removed with an ability that is off the GCD like the CC break or Hold the Line. Be sure to take the Efficient Conversions utility if you have to use this ability frequently and if possible, try to use Field Aid in a spot where it won’t be disruptive to your rotation, like in place of a filler or in between cycles. 

Hold the Line

Hold the Line Hold the Line

The movement speed boost provided by this ability is rather small for Commandos, so it’s far more useful for its CC immunity, which allows you to cheese mechanics and prevent yourself from getting interrupted. If you’re thinking in terms of interrupts, so long as you don’t get stunned, this ability will generally prevent you from being moved or interrupted. You should prioritize using Propulsion Round if you have to move, but don’t hesitate to use this ability as well to help you get back into range even faster, provided you aren’t saving it for a mechanic. It also tends to be better for movement than Propulsion Round if the whole group is moving with the boss since you can still deal damage during this ability while each use of Propulsion Round costs a GCD.

Propulsion Round

Propulsion Round Propulsion Round

Rather than getting a new ability in 6.0, Mandos got a second charge of Propulsion Round. Unlike other, similar abilities like the Agent’s Roll and Mad Dash, you do not gain any sort of damage mitigation during this ability, so it can only be used for mobility. Propulsion Round does cost a GCD to use, so you should avoid using this if you can safely get where you need to go without using it. This means you should reserve it for moving long distances and getting out of fairly large circles. Do not use Propulsion Round if you only need to take a step or two to get out of a circle. 

It is possible to use Propulsion Round to move forward by doing some fancy maneuvering with rotating your character. If you plan to regularly play Commando, you need to get good at this because it’s your only real mobility tool for long distances. If you somehow end up a mile away from the boss, you have to be able to get back ASAP, and you need to be able to move forward using this ability to do that. The key is to start walking in the direction you want to go and then quickly rotate your camera and character 180 degrees using your mouse (holding right click), then as soon as you finish rotating, activate your ability and rotate back during the animation. Other people may comment with different methods, I know there are a few ways to do it, but that’s what I do. Regardless of your method, it needs to be muscle memory. You can practice while running back to the boss after a wipe.

tech override

tech override Tech Override

This ability makes your next ability with a cast time instant, allowing it to be used on the move. It does not provide a tangible DPS increase when used on abilities that have a 1.5 second cast time because the GCD is also 1.5 seconds long, so you don’t save any time by using it on those abilities. It does provide a DPS increase when used on abilities that have a cast time longer than 1.5 seconds, like Concussive Round. Since you lose very little DPS from using Hammer Shot over Charged Bolts, this ability is best used to make Serrated Bolt or Plasma Grenade instant in case you have to move. It can also be useful if you end up using one of your Energy Cells cooldowns a little early to make a filler Charged Bolts instant.

Additional Raid Utility

I have already covered some aspects of Assault Specialist’s raid utility, like the armor debuff, burst, and target swapping. Here I will cover the rest of it.

Supercharged Celerity

Supercharged Celerity Supercharged Celerity

Mandos unfortunately have the worst raid buff by far. Specs that use the 1.4s GCD (which is all specs besides Gunnery, Telekinetics, and Combat) do not actually get to use an extra ability during this window because the alacrity increase isn’t significant enough, though it does work for specs using the 1.3s GCD. Since it boosts alacrity for a short time, it also very likely to mess up your rotation, which completely negates the DPS increase that this is supposed to provide. Combine this with the fact that Supercharged Cell is incredibly strong for AS, you should never use this ability and other Mandos in your group should also refrain from using this ability while you are playing AS.

Emergency Medical Probe

Emergency Medical Probe Emergency Medical Probe

This is a battle rez. Often, if somebody dies, the healers have a lot on their plate and you should attempt to use this as soon as you see the text appear on your screen. Make sure you’re standing in a safe location and if multiple people are dead, check with the raid lead if you aren’t sure who to revive. Use this to revive someone who died on a trash mob if you want to troll your team.

Rapid Scan

Rapid Scan Off-Healing

Your three off-healing abilities are Med Shot, Bacta Infusion, and Medical Probe. If you ever have to use these for the purpose of healing, something has clearly gone wrong with the fight, or someone is not pulling their weight and you should complain to the raid lead and make a big scene about having to off-heal. This game is designed around each role being able to fully perform all of its duties without the need for another off-role’s help. You should not ever off-heal yourself unless you think you will literally die if you do not receive healing right now and the pull is still salvageable and the same goes for healing someone else. 

If there is downtime though where you can’t do anything else at all, it’s okay to heal yourself with Bacta Infusion (make sure you can get back up to 100 Energy Cells though) and Med Shot, but really make sure there’s nothing you can do at all that would increase your damage output first. Besides it being not your job, a lot of bosses have fairly tight enrage timers, so if you’re having to waste your precious GCDs helping out another role because they can’t deal with what they should be fully capable of dealing with, you’re gonna end up wiping to an enraged boss later anyway. I would like to be clear that building stacks of Supercharge outside of the fight or during downtime is encouraged. I would not consider that to be off-healing though since the purpose is not to gain health.

Crowd Control and Other Notable Abilities

There are only a handful of instances in operations where CC is required, so I will briefly go over what the Mando has at their disposal.

Cryo Grenade

Cryo Grenade Cryo Grenade

This is your hard stun, meaning it does not break on damage. In PvE, this will generally only be used for specific mechanics since most things you’d care about stunning are immune. Be sure to pay attention when something is stunnable though, because that often means you’re intended to stun it.

Disabling Shot

Disabling Shot Disabling Shot

This is your interrupt. Mandoenaries get the honor of having the interrupt with the longest cooldown in the game at 24 seconds! This usually isn’t a huge problem, there are really only a couple instances in the whole game that require a shorter cooldown and generally a melee DPS takes that over other ranged classes. If you really want to be a clicker, I highly recommend you at least keybind this ability or you will have trouble with some of the shorter casts that need to be interrupted. 

Concussive Round

Concussive Round Concussive Round

This is your mez, a CC ability that breaks on damage. Usually if you’re using this in-combat, you will want to use it very soon after the enemy spawns, though usually healers are assigned this responsibility when possible. This is also one of the better abilities to use with Tech Override since it goes from being a 2 second cast to instant, meaning it’s only a GCD, so you won’t lose as much DPS that way. 

Stealth Scan

Stealth Scan Stealth Scan

This ability does nothing in PvE. Even though some adds can use stealth, they don’t ever respect this. It costs a GCD to use anyway. 

Tenacity

Tenacity Tenacity

This is your CC break. Use it when you get CC’d.

Conclusions


Acknowledgements and Special Thanks

I want to thank my raid team, Time Turners, for your invaluable feedback on this guide. I’ve had an amazing time over the years and can’t wait to see what’s in store for the years to come. 

About this Guide

I would like to note that my actual raiding experience is significantly less with this class than it is with my main class, Sith Sorcerer, so a lot of the knowledge contained within this guide comes from theory and dummy parses rather than from experience in actual raids. To be clear, I can still play this spec at a nightmare level and have cleared some NiM raids with it, but I don’t actively raid with this spec on any team.

About the Author

Endonae began nightmare raiding in 4.0 and is an avid decorator. He also leads a raid team that has been around since late 1.0 and currently resides in <Lightning Masters> on Satele Shan. It has slowly worked its way up from getting lost in the lava caves on the way to Gharj in EV SM to completing timed runs in nightmare. If you have a question, feel free to message me on Discord, my name is Endonae#3332. 

From Vulkk

Endonae has proven himself to be invaluable for the SWTOR community, especially for the 6.0+ era. I have been working with him for quite some time now and his numerous guides on the Sorcerer, Sage, Commando, Mercenary and more coming soon are an incredibly valuable addition to the SWTOR 6.0 Class Guides list here on VULKK.com!

If you are skilled with a Class and Discipline that has not yet been covered with a guide on VULKK (SWTOR 6.0 Class Guides list), and you want to provide one for the Community, contact me via email or wherever you see Vulkk present. I share on Facebook and Twitter whenever a new guide is available or will soon be ready.

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