Complete SWTOR Gunnery Commando 6.0+ 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 6.1.2

INTRODUCTION


Welcome to my 6.0 guide as for Gunnery! Mando DPS in general, represents the middle ground between Sage and Gunslinger DPS. They tend to be not quite as mobile as Sage, but their mobility is vastly superior to Gunslinger. Defensively, they’re more similar to Gunslinger, offering strong damage mitigation that lasts for quite a while, though they aren’t quite as good as mitigating spike damage due to their more situational cheese ability. Gunnery continues to be in the middle-of-the-road when it comes to group utility. It provides the armor debuff, battle rez, and incredibly consistent performance (you won’t ever find a fight where Gunnery is bad). 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. 

Gunnery offers exceptional target swapping capabilities and has a greater capacity to concentrate its burst than Sharpshooter and Telekinetics, so Gunnery ends up being the most consistent in terms of its performance in burst situations, though Sharpshooter and especially Telekinetics can do better under the right conditions.  

Unfortunately, the benefits do stop there. Gunnery is a bit worse than Sage and Gunslinger in terms of AoE. It’s just weaker and less sustainable, though it’s usually enough to get the job done. Most importantly, Gunnery just doesn’t have the sustained DPS to match any of the other DPS specs. As of 6.1.2, Gunnery is by far the lowest parsing spec in the game since the devs neglected to provide some sort of buff to compensate for the major nerfs to the Concentrated Fire set bonus. The spec is still viable for SM and HM raiding, though you will have to work much harder to pull the same amount of DPS as people playing other specs.

GEARING AND STATS PRIORITIES


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?

RELATED ► SWTOR Guide to Damage Types and Damage Mitigation by Endonae

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 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 – +2.50% Armor Penetration (only applies to armorings and hilts/barrels). Almost all of the damage you deal is mitigated by armor, so this amplifier is the best. It’s also the second best amplifier for Assault Specialist, behind Periodic Intensity, so you should be fine using this amplifier for both DPS specs. Weapon Expertise is also an okay secondary option if you’re a bit short on credits and happen to roll that first. Weapon Expertise performs about the same as Armor Penetration does for Assault Specialist as well. If you plan on primarily playing Assault Specialist, Periodic Intensity is fine for both specs thanks to the Primed Ignition tactical. To be clear, if you’re going to only play Gunnery, the Armor Penetration amplifier is definitely your best option.
  • 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 – The new purple 286 augments (Advanced [type] Augment 74 + Augmentation Kit MK-11) are best-in-slot, 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. The blue 276 augments ([Type] Augment 73) 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. If you played in 5.0, your 228 augments (Advanced [type] Augment 45 + Augmentation Kit MK-10) are still valuable, more than even the old 236 or 240s! They contain roughly the same amount of tertiary stat as the new 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 new augments really don’t provide any noticeable benefit in non level 75 content.

RELATED ► Complete SWTOR EndGame Gearing Guide for Level 75

Stat Priorities


  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 15.38% – I reach this with 5 enhancements/implants/ear + 3 augments resulting in 2423 alacrity and 15.58% alacrity. Gunnery is able to go for the 15.38% alacrity threshold since it receives 3% alacrity from the Armor-piercing Cell passive. This threshold enables you to have a 1.3 second global cooldown (GCD). I am currently working towards getting closer to 15.38% (2374 alacrity) using R-enhancements with more power and less alacrity.
  3. Critical gets the rest – I currently have 37.19% Critical chance from 2003 crit from 2 crystals, 3 enhancements/earpiece/implants and 9 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


apex_predatorapex_predator Apex Predator
Effect
(2) +2% Mastery
(4) Activating Charged Bolts, Grav Round, or Medical Probe increases the critical chance of your next Charged Bolts, Grav Round, or Medical Probe by 10%. Stacks up to 5 times.
(6) Dealing damage with Charged Bolts or Grav Round and healing with Medical Probe grant a stack of Power Step, stacking up to 5 times. At 5 stacks, your next Charged Bolts, Grav Round, or Medical Probe is more effective and costs no Energy Cells.
Recommendation
This set offers slightly higher DPS than Concentrated Fire and is the recommended set. Unfortunately, you can’t purchase it from the tech fragment vendor, so your only ways of obtaining it are by having it drop from a boss or buy it off Kai Zykken. This set does require you to adjust your playstyle a little bit. When you know that you’re coming up on 5 stacks of Power Step, your 6th Grav Round will cost no Energy Cells so you can delay using Hammer Shot. If you aren’t good at getting the most out of your Energy Cells, you may be better off sticking with Concentrated Fire. Remember to build your stacks of Supercharge with Medical Probe rather than Med Shot outside of combat so you can gain stacks from this set bonus.
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 High Impact Bolt, Mag Shot, or Bacta Infusion automatically critically hit or heal.
Recommendation
You should pick up this set off the tech fragment vendor; you’ll be using it until you get a full set of Apex Predator gear. This set is a little bit easier to use as well since it doesn’t require you to change your playstyle at all, unlike the Apex Predator set. It’s pretty simple, you just get Supercharged Cell more often and autocrits on High Impact Bolt.

Tactical Items


Primed IgnitionPrimed Ignition Primed Ignition
Effect
Vortex Bolt causes its target to burn. Blazing Bots, Demolition Round, and Grav Round all tick its damage.
Recommendation
This is your default tactical item. It provides the greatest single-target DPS increase compared to the other Gunnery tacticals and is in general one of the strongest tactical items in the game. Unfortunately, the large damage increase comes in the form of a 12 second DoT, which significantly hampers Gunnery’s otherwise exceptional target swapping capabilities. It still does some damage as a DoT, but the bulk of it will come from the additional ticks from your abilities that cause it to tick, so if you have to target swap very frequently, it will be difficult to get as much of a benefit out of it. That said, the incredible DPS increase provided by this tactical means you’ll still use it in the vast majority of bosses. Primed Ignition also provides a great cornerstone around which you can structure the rest of your rotation by helping you to keep track of your Curtain of Fire proc, but I’ll talk more about that later on.
Thermonuclear FusionThermonuclear Fusion Thermonuclear Fusion
Effect
Plasma Grenade spreads your Grav Round’s Gravity Vortex to targets it damages as long as it damages at least one target already affected by your Gravity Vortex. Demolition Round fires additional rounds to nearby targets affected by your Gravity Vortex.
Recommendation
This is your AoE tactical item. This tactical does not cause Plasma Grenade to also spread the armor debuff that Grav Round applies, but it does allow you to deal AoE damage rotationally. You should only use this tactical over Primed Ignition if you’re able to reliably hit 3 targets (1 primary and 2 additional targets) for the vast majority of the fight, though Assault Specialist can provide superior AoE. I will cover this tactical in greater detail in the AoE section.
Burning BrightBurning Bright Burning Bright
Effect
Dealing damage with Boltstorm increases the damage of your next Vortex Bolt by 25%. This effect stacks up to 4 times.
Recommendation
This tactical item makes Vortex Bolt as strong as Demolition Round and High Impact Bolt, but it’s significantly worse than Primed Ignition in terms of single-target sustained DPS. You’ll be doing at least 1500-2000 DPS less with this tactical, though it doesn’t come with any of the drawbacks of Primed Ignition either, so if you find yourself on a fight where you’re target swapping quite a lot or have a really short DPS check (sub 10 seconds), consider throwing on this tactical and seeing if your DPS increases.

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 Grav Round 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.

Chain Gunnery

  • Description: Increases the damage dealt by Hail of Bolts by 25%.
  • Recommendation: Almost always 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. If you get hit by Terrible Shout while Cursed, this is about the only thing that can protect you since only 1 of your DCDs works against that and it’s probably already on cooldown

Efficient Conversions

  • Description: Removes the Energy Cell cost for Concussion Charge, Concussive Round, Field Aid, and Cryo Grenade.
  • Recommendation: Take this on specific fights only. The only reason to consider taking this utility is because the other utilities in this tier are either terrible or incredibly situational. If you find yourself using at least one of these abilities consistently during a fight and you have a utility point to spare, this will help a little bit with your Energy Cell management. Other utilities definitely take priority over this one though.

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: Always take this. You use Grav Round very frequently in Gunnery, so it’s exceedingly easy to maintain this 5% DR

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 still deal about as much damage as your High Impact Bolt or Demolition Round. If you manage to get it to tick all 12 times, you’ll deal about as much damage as Electro Net!

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 Stabilizer utilities, enabling you to receive even greater protection from and deal more damage with Electro 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 damage taken is pretty light, you may consider giving up Charged Barrier since 5% DR isn’t all that much, or you might consider giving up Electro Shield if you aren’t able to get too many ticks out of it. Assuming you get to activate Tech Override twice per Reactive Shield (which will vary depending on the fight thanks to Reflexive Shield) and you would use Hammer Shot in that GCD instead, Overclock is better than Electro Shield if you’re getting less than about 5 ticks of damage out of a single Reactive Shield. You can see for an individual fight how much damage you’re getting out of Electro Shield in StarParse.

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: Never take this. The 2 stacks of Supercharge are nice, but there are always better utilities to take in this tier. Maybe if it were in the Skillful tier it might get used on fights where you’re already using your knockback, but this utility isn’t enough to make it worthwhile to use Concussion Charge for anything other than a knockback.

Supercharged Reserve

  • 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. You should still avoid this utility even for parsing though if you have the Apex Predator set.

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 40s
  • 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 Absorber

  • 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 for every single class.

Suppression Protoco

  • 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 Marc

  • Description: Allows Unload, Boltstorm, and Progressive Scan to be activated while moving.
  • Recommendation: Always take this. You use Boltstorm very frequently in Gunnery, so this makes you significantly more mobile.

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.

Default Utilities Setup


SWTOR 6.0 Gunnery Commando PvE Guide - General Utilities Build TemplateSWTOR 6.0 Gunnery Commando PvE Guide - General Utilities Build Template

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.

grav round

grav round Grav Round (Tech/Kinetic/Direct/Single Target/Casted)

This is the stronger of your two filler abilities and accounts for about 18% of your total damage output. Generally, it will be one of the first abilities you use on a new target.  While it is technically a filler ability, Grav Round interacts in some way with almost every ability you use rotationally, and this greatly impacts when you use it. Grav Round has 4 procs and 2 debuffs associated with it that are relevant to your rotation: 

  • Gravity Vortex – This debuff counts as a DoT for the purposes of High Impact Bolt and increases the damage dealt by Demolition Round. Basically, your options are more limited as to what you can actually do to a target before you’ve hit them with a Grav Round, including not being able to deal damage with some of your most powerful abilities.
  • Sunder – This is the armor debuff. While all DPS specs provide two debuffs that increase the recipient’s damage taken in some way, the armor debuff is usually the most powerful of the debuffs since a very significant proportion of all damage dealt by players is affected by armor. In addition, it also reduces armor by 20% as opposed to 5-10% like all the rest of the debuffs, so the debuff itself is stronger even if the proportion of abilities it affected were the same. This armor debuff represents a significant part of Gunnery’s raid utility. Most of the other debuffs are nice, but you really notice when you don’t have an armor debuff in the group. The only damage that ignores armor is Internal/Elemental damage, which tends to mostly be reserved for DoTs and a few other heavy-hitting attacks. 
  • Charged Barrel – 2 stacks of this buff are granted per use of Grav Round. Each stack increases the damage dealt by your next High Impact Bolt (or also Medical Probe) by 6%. In addition, thanks to the Honed Lock discipline passive, Charged Barrel also increases the critical chance of your next High Impact Bolt (or Medical Probe) by 3% per stack. This effect stacks up to 5 times, resulting in a 30% damage increase and 15% critical chance increase. The stack generation is weighted, so you need to do 3 Grav Rounds to get all 5 Charged Barrels, but you’ll still have 80% of the effect if you mess up and only do 2 casts before using High Impact Bolt. If you deliberately use your Charged Barrel on Medical Probe, I will personally hunt you down and destroy you if I ever find out. Your job is to DPS, not throw away your GCDs on healing! I might make an exception if all your DCDs and medpac are on cooldown and you will literally die if you don’t use Medical Probe, but you better follow that up with the biggest tantrum of your life because unless that pull was going to be a wipe that you were trying to salvage, your healers and tanks weren’t doing their job and they need to hear about it! Charged Barrel is for High Impact Bolt ONLY!
  • Curtain of Fire – Grav Round (and Hail of Bolts) finish the cooldown on Boltstorm. This effect cannot occur more than once every 8 seconds. This proc used to be quite challenging to keep track of because it doesn’t align nicely with any other ability. Thankfully, it’s now much easier thanks to the Primed Ignition tactical. I’ll get more into it later on when I talk about Boltstorm, but the basic idea is that when you use Primed Ignition, you want to have one Boltstorm available for use at the very beginning of the DoT and one available for use sometime after, so generally you’ll proc one right at the beginning or in the short downtime in between DoTs and then proc the second about halfway through the DoT.  
  • Apex Predator Critical Chance – Activating Grav Round increases the critical chance of your next Grav Round by 10%. Stacks up to 5 times (also applies to Medical Probe and Charged Bolts). This critical chance increase comes from the Apex Predator 4-piece set bonus, so if you are using the Concentrated Fire set, this does not matter to you. Just like Power Step, this proc builds to 5 stacks and then the 6th one resets it. I have not gotten to try the set since it was on the PTS and don’t have a full set on live yet, so the behavior may have changed or I am misremembering. I will update this section when I obtain a full set.
  • Apex Predator Power Step – Dealing damage with Grav Round grants a stack of Power Step, stacking up to 5 times. At 5 stacks, your next Grav Round is more effective and cost no Energy Cells (also applies to Medical Probe and Charged Bolts). This proc comes from the Apex Predator 6-piece set bonus, so if you are using the Concentrated Fire set, this does not matter to you. This proc builds to 5 stacks and then once you have 5 stacks, the 6th Grav Round is free and removes all the stacks. You have to make sure to factor this free GCD into your Energy Cell management. For example, if you’re at 65 Energy Cells, you don’t have to use Hammer Shot yet if your Grav Round is about to be free. If you don’t factor this into your Energy Cell management, you will not benefit from this component of the set bonus’ capacity to increase your DPS and may end up doing less DPS than you would by just sticking with the Concentrated Fire set. 

boltstorm

boltstorm Boltstorm (Ranged/Energy/Direct/Single Target/Channeled)

This ability is one of your harder-hitting attacks, though it is slightly weaker than High Impact Bolt and Demolition Round in terms of per-GCD damage, but it accounts for about 26% of your total damage output. This is because you’ll be using it far more often than those two abilities since Grav Round procs Curtain of Fire, which finishes the cooldown on Boltstorm, so its effective cooldown is far shorter than those two abilities. Boltstorm is one of your cheaper rotational abilities, it only costs 10 Energy Cells per GCD. This ability is responsible for about a third of your Primed Ignition DoT ticks, so this ability is very important to use at the right time and as often as possible. You might be asking, when exactly is the right time to use this ability? The answer is only use it if you can complete the channel before the Primed Ignition DoT falls off. If the DoT is not on the target or will fall off mid-channel, delay using Boltstorm until the beginning of the next DoT. It’s possible to get two uses of Boltstorm per DoT application. In order to accomplish this, you need to use the first Boltstorm within the first couple of GCDs and then have the second one procced and activated while there are still at least 2-3 seconds left before the DoT falls off. 

In practice, the first Curtain of Fire proc will usually happen anywhere between the end of the previous DoT and the first GCD or two of the current application of the DoT. The earlier you proc the first use, the earlier you are able to proc the second use, though it will typically proc somewhere around the time that the DoT has about half its duration left. You can delay activating Boltstorm once it’s procced, though you need to activate it before Curtain of Fire can be procced again, provided the Primed Ignition DoT is up, of course. Vortex Bolt’s cooldown does not divide evenly into the rate limit of Boltstorm, so along with the fact that you also have other priorities, particularly High Impact Bolt, Demolition Round, and managing your Energy Cells, when exactly you use it will fluctuate and occasionally you will only get a single Boltstorm during one application of the DoT. When this happens, your second use of Boltstorm on the next application will be pretty early, usually about halfway through the DoT. This is fine since you’ll be set up to get the first proc for the next application pretty early as well and will have no trouble activating the second use in time. 

If you are already a master at proccing Boltstorm as often as possible, you probably won’t notice much of a difference in DPS and can continue to proc and use Boltstorm without considering the Primed Ignition DoT and play the spec as you did prior to 6.0. I don’t have perfect muscle memory with it and I don’t really see much of a change in terms of DPS, but I find it to be very helpful to use the DoT as a scaffolding for the rest of the rotation. This makes sense since you aren’t able to always proc Boltstorm on cooldown, so you won’t get as many uses in a given amount of time, but you will get more ticks of the DoT since some of them will be available to use when the DoT is not on the target, so the DPS balances out. If you are using Burning Bright, you will need to proc Boltstorm as often as possible, though you can still delay using it until it’s time to proc Curtain of Fire again. Boltstorm has 1 utility point associated with it that is relevant to your rotation:

  • Forced March – Boltstorm (and Full Auto and Successive Treatment) can be activated while moving. This makes you significantly more mobile since you use this ability so much. It’s incredibly important to always take this utility point since you should never delay Boltstorm 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 you will struggle to continuously use it twice per Primed Ignition DoT application.

high impact bolt

high impact bolt High Impact Bolt (Ranged/Energy/Direct/Single Target/Instant)

This ability is another of your hardest-hitting attacks and accounts for about 15% of your total damage output. In terms of normal hits, it does almost the same amount of damage as Demolition Round, though thanks to the autocrit from the Concentrated Fire set bonus, it contributes to a larger amount of damage. As I previously discussed, Grav Round interacts with this ability in a couple of key ways. First, the Gravity Vortex debuff counts as a DoT, fulfilling the requirement that High Impact Bolt can only be used against a target that is incapacitated or suffering from periodic damage. Second, Grav Round grants stacks of Charged Barrel, which increase the damage dealt by 30% and critical chance by 15% at 5 stacks. 

You should only be using High Impact Bolt when you have 5 stacks of Charged Barrel due to these significant buffs, though it isn’t the end of the world if you accidentally use it at 4 stacks. Since High Impact Bolt is such a hard-hitting ability, you want to be using it on cooldown as often as possible. This means you need to make sure that you are getting your 5 Charged Barrel stacks before High Impact Bolt comes off cooldown, which can be a bit difficult to accomplish sometimes with all the other requirements you have to fulfill, like managing your Energy Cells and activating your other high-priority abilities. Not wasting Charged Barrel stacks is the biggest reason to use High Impact Bolt first if you have both Demolition Round and High Impact Bolt off cooldown at the same time. 

If you’re using the Concentrated Fire set, High Impact Bolt always has a higher priority during Supercharged Cell than Demolition Round since the increased damage provided by the autocrit gets compounded by the increased armor penetration from Supercharged Cell, giving you more flat damage. This extra damage isn’t a whole lot though, not enough to be worth delaying High Impact Bolt over. High Impact Bolt is also one of the best abilities to use outside of the Primed Ignition DoT window since High Impact Bolt doesn’t tick the DoT, so if you find yourself in a situation where you only have one GCD before Vortex Bolt comes off cooldown and both Demolition Round and High Impact Bolt available, it’s better to use High Impact Bolt first because it doesn’t tick the DoT while Demolition Round does. High Impact Bolt has 1 additional discipline passive associated with it that is relevant to your rotation:

  • Cell Charger – The Energy Cells depleted by High Impact Bolt is reduced by 10. In addition, you passively regenerate 2 additional Energy Cells every 1.5 seconds. Even without the additional regeneration every GCD, this passive brings the Energy Cells cost of High Impact Bolt down to only 5 Energy Cells, making it neutral in terms of Energy Cells generation since you regenerate 5 Energy Cells every second passively. You still should try not to use this ability while under 60 Energy Cells, but it’s not nearly as bad as using one of your other abilities at that level. 

demolition round

demolition round Demolition Round (Tech/Kinetic/Direct/Single Target/Instant)

This ability is one of your hardest-hitting attacks and accounts for about 12% of your total damage output. Before you use Demolition Round on a target, you first need to make sure that you’ve applied a Gravity Vortex from Grav Round, since damage dealt by Demolition Round is increased by 25% when there is a Gravity Vortex on the target. There really isn’t much more to this ability, it just hits hard and you want to use it as often as possible. While Demolition Round hits slightly harder than High Impact Bolt, if you only have one GCD before you have to use Grav Round, it’s best to use High Impact Bolt first so that you don’t waste the stack of Charged Barrel, though if you can use them back to back, it’s better to use Demolition Round first. I’ll go over the Thermonuclear Fusion tactical item in my AoE Damage section later on. Demolition Round does not have any additional procs, debuffs, or discipline passives associated with it that I haven’t already mentioned. 

vortex bolt

vortex bolt Vortex Bolt (Ranged/Energy/Direct/Single-Target/Instant)

When paired with the damage provided by the DoT from the Primed Ignition tactical, Vortex Bolt is your most damaging GCD by a massive margin, contributing a whopping 23.7% of your overall damage output. Even with the burst tactical, Burning Bright, Vortex Bolt is still your hardest hitting rotational ability, though I’ll mostly be talking about Primed Ignition here. The DoT that Primed Ignition applies is so strong that the rest of the rotation is structured around getting the most out of it, though you should think of this as a benefit, not a drawback since it’s fairly difficult to do things optimally without this added structure because there’s nothing in the rotation that allows you to keep track of when you can proc Boltstorm. Since each tick of Boltstorm ticks the DoT, you want to make sure that you use Boltstorm only while the DoT is active to maximize the number of ticks. Grav Round also ticks the DoT while Hammer Shot doesn’t, so it’s ideal to only use Hammer Shot in the 2 ish GCDs where the DoT is not active, thus providing a helpful framework for how often to use Hammer Shot since that isn’t always super clear either. 

It’s also important to note that you should not be applying this to things that are about to die. You should also delay applying this if you are about to have to hit something else. Vortex Bolt has 1 proc and 1 discipline passive associated with it that is relevant to your rotation that I haven’t already mentioned:

  • Grav Primer – This proc is granted by Vortex Bolt itself and makes your next Grav Round instant. Since Grav Round already has a 1.5 second cast time, this does not provide any tangible DPS increase since it’s still on the GCD, which also lasts 1.5 seconds, though it does allow you to use the ability while moving, which increases Gunnery’s mobility. Please make sure to consume this proc before activating Tech Override, or don’t activate Tech Override until after this proc has been consumed, because a single Grav Round will consume both procs. This is an unfortunate bug that exists for all procs like this. I really wish Vortex Bolt would just grant a charge of Tech Override instead since the only other thing you can even use this on in Gunnery is Plasma Grenade and combining the two would eliminate this problem, but I digress. 
  • Ironsights – Vortex Bolt marks its target. Marked targets take 5% more damage from ranged weapon attacks. Also increases the damage dealt by Vortex Bolt as well as dart and missile attacks by 10%. The second effect doesn’t have any effect on the rotation, though it mentioned Vortex Bolt so I brought it up anyway. We just care about the ranged debuff. Unfortunately we get to add to the pile of things Gunnery does that aren’t very good. The ranged debuff is one of the least useful debuffs since the actual debuff it provides is fairly weak; it doesn’t affect a very significant portion of abilities and damage output in the game outside of a couple of specs. That said, it does affect a little over 50% of Gunnery’s damage, so at least you will always get use out of it even if the rest of your group doesn’t. 

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 3% of your total damage output (it may be lower depending on which set bonus and rotation you’re using). You should only be using this ability to manage your Energy Cells and as a last resort to use while moving. I do want to be clear here, you will be using this as your filler ability about 20% of the time simply because you otherwise deplete Energy Cells at a faster rate than you regenerate them. It is still important to avoid using it as much as possible because it does significantly less damage than Grav Round, so you will lose a fair bit of DPS if you use it too often. The existence of this weak, free filler does mean that for short bursts, you are able to do more than your sustained DPS simply by omitting this ability entirely as your sustained DPS factors in that this ability must be used. 

You should always use this Hammer Shot over Grav Round if your next ability would put you below 60 Energy Cells when the attack goes off. For example, both Demolition Round and a casted Grav Round cost 15 Energy Cells, but Demolition Round is instant, so the Energy Cells are expended at the beginning of the GCD, while Grav Round expends Energy Cells at the end of the cast/GCD, so there will be more time for more Energy Cells to regenerate.  It’s your responsibility to remember how many Energy Cells each ability costs. That information can be found in the description for each ability, though I will provide a list here with a good rule of thumb for where your Energy Cells should be below before using each ability:

  • High Impact Bolt and Boltstorm – Above 65 Energy Cells
  • Grav Round (casted), Vortex Bolt, and Electro Net – Above 70 Energy Cells
  • Demolition Round, Grav Round (instant), and Plasma Grenade (casted) – Above 75 Energy Cells

You need to be watching your Energy Cells when these abilities are about to come off cooldown so you aren’t delaying them. These numbers are also rough estimates, going under 60 Energy Cells for a GCD isn’t the end of the world, though you should definitely avoid it as much as possible. Managing your Energy Cells properly is one of the hardest parts about playing Gunnery. Your DPS will be low until you can get a feel for it. This ability does not have any additional procs, discipline passives, or utility points associated with it that are relevant to your rotation.

AoE Damage


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. 

mortar volley

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

This is your strongest AoE ability, though it has a fairly long cooldown, so you can’t spam it. This should be the first AoE ability you use unless the fight requires the Thermonuclear Fusion tactical. Mortar Volley’s damage per GCD surpasses the following abilities after the following number of targets are hit with one use of the ability:

  • Hammer Shot : 1 target
  • Grav Round, Boltstorm, Vortex Bolt: 2 targets
  • Demolition Round, High Impact Bolt: 3 targets

Please note that Demolition Round and High Impact Bolt are both right on the cusp of only needing 2 targets. High Impact Bolt needs 3 on average, though it will work out that autocrits will require 3 targets while regular hits only require 2 targets. I have also not factored in Primed Ignition for Vortex Bolt since you may not be using that tactical in an AoE situation and you definitely won’t be causing as many DoT ticks when using frequent AoE. 

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 than Mortar Volley, though thanks to the Blazing Barrels discipline passive that increases Hail of Bolts’ critical chance and critical damage, the damage lost is very small. This ability also costs slightly more than Mortar Volley, so you should never use this ability if Mortar Volley is off cooldown. Hail of Bolts also procs Curtain of Fire, and you should definitely use Boltstorm each time it procs since it will help with managing Energy Cells. Please remember to have the Chain Gunnery utility if you plan to use this ability at all in a given fight. Hail of Bolts’ damage per GCD surpasses the following abilities after the following number of targets are hit with one use of the ability

  • Hammer Shot : 1 target
  • Grav Round, Boltstorm, Vortex Bolt: 2 targets
  • Demolition Round, High Impact Bolt: 3 targets

Since this ability deals almost the same damage as Mortar Volley, it also surpasses your other abilities with the same number of targets. 

Plasma Grenade

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

This ability always deals less damage and costs more Energy Cells than Hail of Bolts. The only time you should ever use it in Gunnery is if you have the Thermonuclear Fusion tactical equipped and even then only if you need to spread Gravity Vortex to additional targets. It does affect an 8m radius compared to only 5m for Mortar Volley and Hail of Bolts, but since you can’t place it, this benefit is less valuable since you are often able to hit the same number of targets by placing the reticle for the AoE in a way that hits all of the targets. 

Explosive Dart

Explosive Dart Explosive Dart (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 cast Grav Round, just like other disciplines can do with their DoTs, but you are depleting Energy Cells to do this and the amount of damage is so low that it’s almost never going to make a difference in the outcome of the fight. Feel free to completely remove this ability from your bar.

demolition round

demolition round Demolition Round w/ Thermonuclear Fusion

With the Thermonuclear Fusion Tactical, Demolition Round becomes your most damaging AoE ability. It’s important to make sure that this ability is being used on cooldown, provided that all relevant targets have Gravity Vortices. Demolition Round deals damage to all nearby targets that are affected by Gravity Vortex. This is not a proc. Once the targets have Gravity Vortex, you do not need to use Plasma Grenade unless you need to spread Gravity Vortex to new targets. You do not need to use Plasma Grenade at all if you’ve already manually hit all relevant targets with Grav Round. 

Please remember that Plasma Grenade has an incredibly long animation and travel time, so it can take a moment for the Gravity Vortex to actually spread after the cast and GCD have ended. If you hard cast Plasma Grenade and then immediately use Demolition Round, you may find that Demolition Round hits before Plasma Grenade spreads the Gravity Vortices, meaning you don’t get the AoE damage. In order to prevent this, either use Tech Override to make Plasma Grenade instant or use another GCD in between Plasma Grenade and Demolition Round if you’re hard casting Plasma Grenade.

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 overheat.” It is your responsibility to know your rotation well enough that you don’t run out of Energy Cells accidentally. 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 Grav Rounds instead of Hammer Shots.

As we’ve already established, Hammer Shot deals a lot less damage than Grav Round, so the parse that managed to replace 13 Hammer Shots with 13 Grav Rounds 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 Grav Rounds instead, even when this causes you to overheat, because you can use Recharge Cells to come back down to above-60 Energy Cells. This ability should be used when you have about 15-25 Energy Cells since you will immediately recharge 45 thanks to the Cell Capacitor utility, which will instantly bring you up to about 60-70 Energy Cells, returning you to the maximum Energy Cell Regeneration Rate.

Reserve Powercell 6.1.1

Reserve Powercell 6.1.1 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 Boltstorm, Hail of Bolts, and Mortar Volley while you are as 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 Cells regeneration to provide an additional GCD where you aren’t depleting any Energy Cells, meaning you’ll regenerate more Energy Cells overall. You need to make sure to use it above 60 Energy Cells but as close to 60 as possible so that you’re regenerating as many Energy Cells as possible. 

supercharged cell

supercharged cell Supercharged Cell

The biggest benefit of this “cooldown” is that it recharges 10 Energy Cells. The other effects only last 8 seconds and are incredibly weak. The 6% alacrity will only help to slightly reduce the cooldowns of your abilities and increase your Energy Cell Regeneration Rate, but you’re certainly not going to get an extra ability in that window. The armor penetration is a little bit better, but still it’s a pretty small improvement. Use this as often as possible, though make sure you have it for any burst DPS checks and make sure you’re building Supercharge stacks when you can’t do any DPS. Please note that if you happen to be close to 60 Energy Cells shortly before the burst DPS check, it may be better to use Supercharged Cell before you go below 60 Energy Cells so your Energy Cell Regeneration Rate is not reduced, rather than save it for the burst check. 

There are several abilities that generate stacks of Supercharge, including Grav Round, 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 just free DPS you’re missing out on if you don’t do this. Make sure to use Medical Probe if you have the Apex Predator set since that will also generate stacks from your set bonus. You can also use Med Shot in-combat during periods of downtime where you can’t DPS anything in order to generate extra stacks of Supercharge. 

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 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 energy damage, so the increased armor penetration you get from Supercharged Cell will affect this ability, though I wouldn’t save it if I still needed to generate more than a stack or two. If you’re doing a burst DPS check or happen to have both abilities usable at the same time, apply Electro Net first, then Supercharged Cell because the first tick is the weakest and the last is the strongest. 

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.

Opener


  1. grav roundgrav round Grav Round (pre-cast)
  2. Sha’Tek Relic of Primeval FatesealerSha’Tek Relic of Primeval Fatesealer Relic (sub-75)
  3. Supercharged CeleritySupercharged Celerity Supercharged Celerity (if applicable)
  4. electro netelectro net Electro Net
  5. supercharged cellsupercharged cell Supercharged Cell
  6. Adrenal
  7. vortex boltvortex bolt Vortex Bolt
  8. demolition rounddemolition round Demolition Round
  9. boltstormboltstorm Boltstorm
  10. grav roundgrav round Grav Round
  11. grav roundgrav round Grav Round (should proc Boltstorm)
  12. high impact bolthigh impact bolt High Impact Bolt
  13. Diversion CommandoDiversion Commando Diversion (for threat drop)
  14. boltstormboltstorm Boltstorm 
  15. Priority System

Gunnery’s opener is basically just following the priority system when you have all of your abilities available to you. I do want to point a few things out:

  • This opener assumes that you are using the Primed Ignition tactical. If you aren’t, you’ll want to delay Vortex Bolt. If you’re using the Thermonuclear Fusion tactical, you just use Vortex Bolt immediately after Demolition Round instead. If you’re using the Burning Bright tactical, you’ll want to delay Vortex Bolt until after your first Boltstorm, which you can use immediately after Demolition Round.
  • The second Grav Round after the first Boltstorm should proc your next Boltstorm, but it’s okay to delay it because it also gives you your 5th stack of Charged Barrel, which fully buffs the damage of the next High Impact Bolt and we want to get that on cooldown as soon as possible.
  • Supercharged Celerity and the Primeval Fatesealer Relic are used prior to Electro Net so that the cooldown on Electro Net is reduced, but Supercharged Cell and the Adrenal are used afterwards because you’ll only be missing out on a tick of buffed damage while those abilities have the potential to buff a whole extra ability if they’re used after. Try to wait to activate them until the end of Electro Net’s GCD if you can. 
  • Diversion is used there for the purpose of reducing your threat. Tanks have 12 seconds at the beginning of the fight where the boss is forced to attack them when using their single and AoE Taunts back to back. This assumes that tanks will be their taunts immediately, and that won’t be the case but exact timing will vary depending on which tank classes your group has and what fight you’re doing (tanks can’t always afford to use their Taunts like this), so this will give you a little bit of wiggle room. The taunt itself will likely fall off some time during your Boltstorm channel, but you can ask your tanks after how many GCDs they do their first Taunt and then wait that many GCDs after my recommended placement to use Diversion as well, but this is a nice rule of thumb.

Single Target Priority


With Primed Ignition Tactical

  1. vortex boltvortex bolt Vortex Bolt 
  2. boltstormboltstorm Boltstorm (only if there are about ~3 seconds left of Primed IgnitionPrimed Ignition Primed Ignition DoT or if it’s almost time to proc again) 
  3. grav roundgrav round Grav Round (if you’re running late on proccing boltstormboltstorm Boltstorm or gravity vortex Marauder Furygravity vortex Marauder Fury Gravity Vortex isn’t applied)
  4. demolition rounddemolition round Demolition Round and high impact bolthigh impact bolt High Impact Bolt (with 5 stacks of supercharged barrelsupercharged barrel Charged Barrel)
  5. electro netelectro net Electro Net
  6. hammer shothammer shot Hammer Shot (if you are running low on Energy Cells or during GCDs when grav roundgrav round Grav Round doesn’t proc boltstormboltstorm Boltstorm)
  7. Boltstorm (only if Primed Ignition DoT is up)
  8. Grav Round

This priority assumes that you are using the Primed Ignition tactical. In my opinion, it is much easier to execute in practice, even though it may look a little more confusing at first glance. Here are some additional notes and rationale about the priority:

In the grand scheme of things, a few seconds delay on Electro Net isn’t going to reduce the number of uses you get during a fight, but delaying your other abilities by a few seconds will add up more quickly. It still is one of your most damaging abilities though, so you don’t want to delay it too long.

Demolition Round and High Impact Bolt do about the same amount of damage, though if you want to be super duper optimal, Demolition Round does slightly more damage. However, you’ll get more damage out of an autocrit High Impact Bolt as the last GCD in a Supercharged Cell window than you will out of a Demolition Round, so it really depends on the situation regarding which one you use first. You’ll find the Charged Barrel proc to be in short supply sometimes, so if you only have 1 GCD to spare before you have to use Grav Round to proc Boltstorm because you’re running late, it’s better to use High Impact Bolt first there as well. High Impact Bolt is also cheaper to use, so if you are running low Energy Cells, it’s probably better to use High Impact Bolt first. If you don’t want to think about this stuff at all, you’re not gonna miss out on much DPS either way.

Really the only things that need a Gravity Vortex are Demolition Round and High Impact Bolt, and while the armor debuff is nice to have, missing out on having it for a single ability will have less of an impact than delaying your abilities too much. 

If you have a choice between using Demolition Round/High Impact Bolt and Boltstorm and there’s only about 3 seconds left on the Primed Ignition DoT, you’ll deal slightly higher damage by using Boltstorm than you would if you delayed Boltstorm by a GCD and only got half of the ticks to trigger the DoT. Also, the alternative will be to delay Boltstorm for 3 more GCDs, until the next Primed Ignition DoT, which is far too long. At that point, you’ll have missed out on a whole Boltstorm proc, which is not a good idea.

Vortex Bolt should be used on whatever you plan to be attacking for the next 12 seconds. If you’re about to switch, it’s okay to delay Vortex Bolt for a GCD or two until you switch, otherwise you should hold off on switching if you can at least until after your Boltstorm if possible.

It’s important that you’re doing something in every single GCD. Don’t wait around to see if Boltstorm got procced (you need to be able to anticipate it, which takes practice) or if one of your abilities is about to come off cooldown. You will not get to use all of your abilities on cooldown. Some of them will be delayed. This is completely okay and it’s why this spec has a priority system and not a rotation.

Due to the number of things that Grav Round does, you have to be opportunistic and preemptive with your Energy Cell management, the fewer benefits you get out of Grav Round, the more important it becomes to use that GCD on Hammer Shot instead so you are able to use Grav Round on the the GCDs where it does the most without having to worry about overheating. Grav Round can do the following things:

  • Generate Charged Barrel stacks
  • Proc Boltstorm
  • Tick Primed Ignition DoT

Remember that fights do have downtime, so you usually won’t have to use as many Hammer Shot as you do on a dummy. You can spend more Energy Cells than normal on fights with frequent downtime since you will be regenerating any Energy Cells during those periods without expending any. Make sure you don’t go overboard though, you don’t want to still be overheated when the downtime ends.

Without Primed Ignition Tactical

  1. grav roundgrav round Grav Round (to proc boltstormboltstorm Boltstorm)
  2. boltstormboltstorm Boltstorm (if it’s almost time to proc again)
  3. vortex boltvortex bolt Vortex Bolt (if using Burning BrightBurning Bright Burning Bright tactical)
  4. high impact bolthigh impact bolt High Impact Bolt (with 5 stacks of supercharged barrelsupercharged barrel Charged Barrel)
  5. grav roundgrav round Grav Round (if gravity vortex Marauder Furygravity vortex Marauder Fury Gravity Vortex is not on the target)
  6. demolition rounddemolition round Demolition Round
  7. vortex boltvortex bolt Vortex Bolt
  8. hammer shothammer shot Hammer Shot (if you don’t have enough Energy Cells)
  9. boltstormboltstorm Boltstorm
  10. grav roundgrav round Grav Round

This priority assumes that you are not using Primed Ignition, so you’ll either be using Thermonuclear Fusion (which will modify the priority further when you have to AoE) or Burning Bright. 

  • The main goal is to proc Boltstorm as often as possible, though you can delay using it until 2 GCDs before trying to proc it again so you can continue to proc it on cooldown.
  • Vortex Bolt’s priority changes depending on which tactical is being used. If Burning Bright is being used, it deals more damage than Demolition Round and High Impact Bolt, but not as much as it does with Primed Ignition. Without Burning Bright, it deals less damage than either of those abilities so it has a lower priority otherwise. 
  • Energy Cell management remains the same. Use Hammer Shot if the next ability would push you below 60 Energy Cells, otherwise use Grav Round. 

These ability priorities ensure that your most damaging abilities are being used as frequently as possible, it’s very important that you practice on a dummy at least until you can do the rotation without having to constantly look at your bar. Make sure you understand and remember this priority because you do not get to do all of your abilities on cooldown in Gunnery, things will get delayed and that’s unavoidable. I will go into detail about each ability later on so that you can have a better understanding of how these abilities interact with each other and the discipline. 

The key to being a great DPS is to be always DPSing. Using any damaging ability is better than just standing there not doing anything. Some DPS is better than zero DPS and if there is downtime during a fight, remember that you can precast things and build stacks of Supercharge with Med Shot. Even if you mess up, keep doing the rotation! Unless there’s a mechanic that prevents you from dealing damage or forces you to stop DPSing, you should not stop DPSing. If a tank is telling you to stop DPS or hold off for a few seconds because they can’t keep aggro, don’t listen to them, they’re the one that doesn’t know the proper way to keep aggro. Tell them to git gud, but maybe ask for a Guard and make sure you’re using your threat drop (Diversion) appropriately.

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 and Charged Barrier utility, you will have 57.57% damage reduction against Kinetic/Energy damage and 40% 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 some 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 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 so it will work on some things that clearly look like AoEs DoTs and won’t work on some things that clearly look like single-target hits. Since this ability does completely absorb the damage to 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 Decoy Discipline Passive

Gunnery provides an additional defensive cooldown to Mandos called Decoy. Diversion (your threat drop) grants 2 charges of Decoy. Each charge of Decoy absorbs 1 Force or Tech attack, lasts up to 10 seconds. Just like Echoing Deterrence, this ability completely absorbs all the damage of an attack, so you shouldn’t ever use any other DCD at the same time as this one and if you still take damage from an attack while this was active, then this did nothing and you should use it on something else. 

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. 

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 be reserving 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. Usually, Tech Override will be activated in order to make Grav Round instant so you can use it while moving, or on Plasma Grenade if you’re using the Thermonuclear Fusion tactical. Make sure that you don’t have the Grav Primer proc from Vortex Bolt though if you plan to use this ability since a single Grav Round will consume both buffs simultaneously.

Additional Raid Utility


I have already covered some aspects of Gunnery’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. It does work for specs using the 1.3s GCD. Since it boosts alacrity for a short time, it also has the potential to mess up some specs that use fairly strict rotations since it can desynchronize their cooldowns, which may be dependent on each other. You won’t get to recharge the 10 Energy Cells either if you use this instead of Supercharged Cell. I would have a Mando healer use the raid buff or just not use it altogether unless your other DPS also happen to be playing Gunnery, Telekinetics, and Combat. 

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.

Off-Healing

Your three off-healing abilities are Med Shot (green beam), Bacta Infusion (instant), and Medical Probe (casted). If you ever have to use these, 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 up to 100 Energy Cells though) and Med Shot, but avoid using Medical Probe if you have any stacks of Charged Barrel, 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 are 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.

Concussion Charge

Concussion Charge Concussion Charge

This is your 360 degree knockback. Due to its short range, it can be rather difficult to use against some mechanics, like the Chained Manifestations on Styrak NiM, but it does knock them pretty far away. Make sure to take the Afterburners utility if you have a spare point and plan to use your knockback during the fight. Also, please do not ruin everybody else’s day by using this ability for its AoE damage. 

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. Commandos 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, even over other ranged. 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. 

Explosive Round

Explosive Round Explosive Round

This ability deals more damage than Hammer Shot, but less than Grav Round. The key benefit here is that it’s instant, allowing you to do deal damage while moving. It also does a small amount of AoE damage, but it isn’t ever worth using this ability for its AoE damage. Unfortunately, it costs 20 Energy Cells and doesn’t generate a stack of Supercharge, so it’s never worth using for Gunnery. I really wish that it did generate Supercharge and cost 15 Energy Cells so the only thing you’d be giving up is a little bit of damage when you have to move just like Shock for Sages. Until they change it, the only time this ability should ever be used if you’re a Mando is if you’re playing the other DPS spec, Assault Specialist, and even then, they only use it when they get a proc when their DoTs tick on something that’s below 30% health.

CONCLUSIONS


A Note on Gunnery’s Viability


Let me be clear here folks, Gunnery is the worst DPS spec in the game by a significant margin. It’s not even close. At the time of writing, the stats on Parsely don’t tell the whole story since the leaderboards weren’t cleared with the most recent balance update. 6.1.2 was released on 6/24/2020, so any parse prior to that date does not represent the current state of the class. The actual current record is only 21.2k DPS, which is about 2k-3k DPS lower than the rest of the specs, which are all in the 23k-24k range. To put this into perspective, the other specs could use the old 228 augments instead of the new 286 ones and they’d still perform about the same as or better than an Gunnery Commando that is fully kitted out in the new 286 augments. It is possible that there are other parses from other players on the leaderboard that were not able to surpass their pre-6.1.2 records, but still surpass the current record, though this doesn’t change the fact that this nerf was substantial, you can’t just get rid of 10% crit chance and expect that numbers will remain the same. 

In terms of AoE, Gunnery is also on the low end for ranged specs, even compared to the other ranged burst specs. They don’t have any rotational AoE abilities like Telekinetics Sage and their AoE tactical doesn’t provide as much of a damage increase as Sharpshooter Gunslinger’s does. Their dedicated AoE abilities also generate a lot of Energy Cells so they can’t sustain it for very long, though it doesn’t really matter since it’s not all that strong anyway and their areas of effect are also smaller. Regardless, the DoTs specs provide better AoE, so if a fight requires it, you’ll generally need to switch to Assault Specialist anyway.

Now, I want to reiterate that there are a few upsides to playing Gunnery. It still offers consistent and potent burst damage due to its incredible target swapping capabilities and longer cooldowns on burst abilities. Mando in general is also pretty capable in the defensive cooldown department, though it isn’t as strong as it is in PvP and compared to the other ranged specs, it’s not all that special. Perhaps the biggest benefit of all is the fact that this is one of the only two ranged specs that provide the Armor Debuff (Sharpshooter is the other).

Sadly, these benefits are not nearly enough to make up for its frankly horrendous damage output. It’s extremely hard for me to recommend that anyone use Gunnery at the moment if sustained DPS matters at all during the fight, regardless of skill level or group composition. As I said in the intro, it should still be fine for SM and HM raiding, but you will have to work quite a bit harder than your peers. Hopefully Bioware will release a buff for it soon or it will continue to be a spec that almost no one plays, just like in 5.0.

Acknowledgements and Special Thanks


I want to thank Healthbars and Dexen for helping to review this guide. I also 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 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 now covered everything about the Sorcerers and Sages in SWTOR 6.0 PvE-wise and now the Arsenal and Gunnery specs of the Merc and Trooper classes.

I would like to thank him for his dedication to the community and for sharing his experience and knowledge to help all players, who are just starting their first character, trying the class and spec for the first time or are returning after a long break and need to catch up!

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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