Krea’s Shadow/Assassin Ranked PvP Guide

Note: Updated Guides for all 3 specs are being released for 4.0. Check them out: Here

Hey guys, Kre’a here! Have you just now finished leveling a brand new Assassin or Shadow and decided to give Ranked PvP a try? Or perhaps you have already been playing the class and want a few tips? Or, better yet, are you frustrated with fighting Assassins and Shadows and need a good guide to find some tips on how to beat them? If any of the above statements are true, you’re in the right place! In this guide, I will disclose all of the knowledge that I have acquired throughout my three or so years of playing the Shadow/Assassin class. I will give information on how to both DPS and Tank on a Shadow/Assassin as well as show a detailed breakdown of how to both beat individual classes as a Shadow/Assassin as well as how to beat a Shadow/Assassin as each individual class. I will highlight both strengths and weakness of each spec, how I personally gear for each spec, how to utilize optimal damage per second rotations as well as various tips and tricks for how to be successful in Solo Ranked as well as Group ranked.

*DISCLAIMER*


This guide is specifically for endgame PvP, which is Solo Ranked and Group Ranked. While every arena match will be different than the last, the purpose of this guide is to simply inform you of how to effectively play a Shadow/Assassin in Ranked PvP. Once again, every match is different, and following this guide to the letter will not guarantee you victory, but it will give you a better understanding of the class.

Change Log:

Spoiler
5/10/15: Compressed “Gearing up” lists for easier visibility.
5/11/15: Cleared up some typos. Increased visibility in some sections. Wrapped the index in a spoiler tag. Updated maps section.
5/12/15: Changed the difficulty rating against Marauder/Sentinels. Added information to “Optimal DPS rotation for Infiltration/Deception.
5/13/15: Finished the maps section! Removed the Index.
7/19/15: Updated for 3.3
7/24/15: Updated Tips sections to better reflect gear pricing. Updated tanking section.
7/27/15: Added a youtube video with tips and tricks! This is in the 4.4) Tips and Tricks section for tanks.
9/3/15: Added a video showing Cloak Mechanics.
10/28/15: New Deception guide is up, check it out on Dulfy.net

 

1) Overview

 

1.1) Who am I?

Hey guys, I’m Kre’a, and I main Shadow/Assassin. A little about my history, I have been playing this class for a little over 2 years now and I absolutely love it. In all of the MMO’s I’ve played (Lineage 2, Tera Online, Shaiya), I have always played a stealthy rogue type class and love to be “in the shadows”, so to speak. In swtor, I started playing PvP competitively in Season 3, and I did terribly to say the least. After a couple hundred games (800 or so I believe), I only managed to win 100 or so and ended the season with 850 Elo. But that didn’t stop me, so I transferred servers a few times and got the advice of various players who I perceived to be doing well in Solo Ranked and Group Ranked and dueled them various times until I became more knowledgeable about both the class as well as how to perform in Ranked PvP. I put this knowledge to use in Season 4, where I ended the season with 2877 Elo, with a top Elo achieved of 2930,

placing me as the highest rated Shadow/Assassin for solo queue and the second highest rated player of Season 4 in solo queue.

1.2) Why play shadow or sin?

You will want to play this class if you enjoy playing a stealth class that has access to one of the most powerful DoT based damage in the game for endgame PvP as of Patch 3.2 as well as a pretty good burst spec and a more than viable tank spec for both Solo and Group Ranked. If those points interest you, by all means, read onward!

2) DPS – Serenity/Hatred

 

2.1) Utilities

These are the utilities I take when I play this spec, as well as a brief explanation of why.

Skillful:
Avoidance/Celerity – Reduces the cool down of Mind Snap/Jolt by 2 seconds, Force of Will/Unbreakable Will by 30 seconds and Force Speed by 5 seconds.

Mental Defense/Shapeless Spirit – Reduces damage taken while stunned by 30%.

Force Wake/Electric Bindings – Force Wave/Overload unbalances its targets, immobilizing them for 5 seconds. Direct damage dealt after 2 seconds ends this effect prematurely.

Reason: I take these utilities for multiple reasons. I find that you don’t really need the movement speed in this spec because of the fact that majority of your damage comes abilities and DoTs that can be placed at 10 meter range or more. While there are melee abilities that need to be used, having a rotational root on a 9 second internal cool down more than helps to keep you stuck to your target. Reduced damage taken while stunned by 30% is an amazing utility that can be stacked with your AoE taunt for a total of 60% less damage taken while stunned, and further, can also be stacked with your Warzone Adrenal, assuming you can pop it before you get stunned, and most stuns are predictable, so this shouldn’t be too difficult. Force Wave/Overload root comes in handy for grouping up enemies and keeping them rooted so you can spread your DoTs, as well as for peeling. Lastly, Avoidance/Celerity is mainly taken to reduce the cool down of force speed by 5 seconds, which is a 25% reduction in the overall cool down of your biggest gap closer.

Masterful:
Mind over Matter/Disjunction – Increases the durations of Resilience/Force Shroud by 2 seconds and Force Speed by 0.5 seconds.

Egress/Emersion – Force Speed grants Egress/Emersion, removing all movement-impairing effects and granting immunity to them for the duration.

Reason: Egress/Emersion is a must have, there is nothing that will be more valuable in this tier of utilities than this one. This will not only break any and all roots/slows but also prevent you from being rooted/slowed for the duration of force speed. I take Mind over Matter/Disjunction for 2 reasons. The first being that not only does it increase your Resilience/Force Shroud by 2 seconds, making it last for 5 seconds total, but it also increases the duration of the shroud on your force cloak (Heroic Utility, explained below) by 2 seconds, giving you an additional 4 second shroud attached to Force Cloak. This Is is very powerful, as it will give you 9 seconds of shroud, or 6 Global Cool downs of immunity to all hard Crowd Control and immunity to Force/Tech damage. An extra bonus is that you have .5 seconds added to your Force Speed, meaning that if a Sorcerer speeds away, you can catch them and still have an extra .5 seconds of 150% movement speed while their Force speed has already ended.

Heroic:
Cloak of Resilience/Cloak of Madness – Activating Force Cloak grants 2 seconds of Resilience/Force Shroud.

Sturdiness/Dark Stability – While Deflection is active, you are immune to stun, sleep, lift, and incapacitating effects.

Reason: Having a Resilience/Force Shroud attached to your combat break is very useful so that you can not only break combat effectively, but also to allow you to mitigate incoming Force/Tech attacks as well. CC immunity on Deflection is one of the major reasons for this class being considered OP by the majority. Deflection lasts 12 seconds, so you can effectively be unstoppable while you pump out massive damage. This also helps against Sorcerers, because usually, Deflection does nothing against this class, as this class has no white damage. This helps a bit in that it prevents them from hard stunning you as well as lifting your with Whirlwind/Force Lift.

2.2) Gearing up

 

These are the stats that I have when I run Serenity/Hatred spec. There are many ways to achieve these stats, but here is the cheapest and easiest way to achieve these stats.
*Note* I have all Strength/Willpower/Endurance Datacrons for maximum bonuses

Spoiler
1x Dark Reaver Force-Mystic’s Device (Power/Alacrity)
2x Dark Reaver Stalker’s MK-X Package (Power/Alacrity)
1x Dark Reaver Relic of Serendipitous Assault
1x Dark Reaver Relic of Focused Retribution
9x Advanced Aptitude Mod 33X
5x Advanced Adept Enhancement 33X
2x Advanced Quick Savant Enhancement 33X
8x Advanced Resolve Armoring 33X
1x Advanced Resolve Hilt 33X
14x Advanced Resolve Augment 36

Explanation: This spec benefits from Alacrity because it not only decreases your cool downs and internal cool downs, but also speeds up your DoTs, which is a direct Dps increase as opposed to having 5 or 6% more Surge. I run 0 crit because of personal preference, I find that I do more damage with full power in this spec than with crit, and to compensate for my low crit, I use Main stat augments to increase my crit rating by about 1.5%.

2.3) Optimal Dps Rotation

For optimal damage per second in Ranked, you will want to wait for the opportunity to spread your DoTs to as many targets as possible. This can be by either forcing a single target to retreat into their team, or by utilizing overload to knock a target or multiple targets into a large group for optimal DoT spread. Your initial rotation will be the following:
Sever Force/Creeping terror > Force Breach/Discharge > Lacerate/Whirling Blow as many targets as possible. After you spread your dots with Lacerate/Whirling Blow, your options are as follows:

If you’re able to hit 2 or more targets, use Whirling Blow/Lacerate again. If you can only hit 1 target, use Double Strike/Thrash.
You will only use Serenity strike/Leeching strike on a target if they have the Force Breach/Discharge dot on them, as this will proc an instant cast and free Vanquish/Demolish. Use Spinning strike whenever you gain a proc for it. You can use Death Field on cooldown now since it no longer spreads DoTs but still gives a buff to your dots.

2.4) Tips and tricks

1) Try to force an opponent into their team for maximum DoT uptime on as many targets as possible
2) Delay your FiB/Death Field if you know your enemy is running into the rest of their team. Waiting a few seconds can sometimes increase your Dps if you can hit more than one target with FiB/Death Field.
3) Utilize the fact that this spec has 10m range abilities. Using this to your advantage, you can mitigate a lot of damage by simply throwing out DoTs and line of sighting enemies.
4) Phase Walk can be used while stunned or otherwise controlled. Use this to your advantage!
5) If you come down to a 1v1 situation in Ranked, you can use the Force Cloak > Mind Maze trick to break combat, mez your enemy and heal up with your class Regeneration skill.
6) Sometimes it is better to use Force Cloak offensively, by using it for the 4 second shroud to mitigate damage, or to use Spinning kick/Spike on an enemy who is about to fall into the execution range, so that they cannot use a Defensive cool down or escape.
7) Sometimes a situation calls for heavy kiting, and in these situations, a good way to keep up your damage is to maintain 30 meter range while spamming Sever Force/Creeping terror. It applies damage on activation, and while it is minor damage, it is dealing more damage to your enemy than you will be taking if the enemy cannot reach you.
8) Cloaking with dots out will still take you out of combat (click me!)

3) DPS – Infiltration/Deception
3.1) Utilities

Skillful:
Avoidance/Celerity – Reduces the cool down of Mind Snap/Jolt by 2 seconds, Force of Will/Unbreakable Will by 30 seconds and Force Speed by 5 seconds.

Misdirection/Obfuscation – Increases your movement speed by 15% and your effective stealth level by 5.

Force Wake/Electric Bindings – Force Wave/Overload unbalances its targets, immobilizing them for 5 seconds. Direct damage dealt after 2 seconds ends this effect prematurely.

Reason: Infiltration/Deception has issues with being kited, which is slightly mitigated by having access to a 30 meter Low Slash as well as 30 meter instant Force Lift/Whirlwind. For this reason, I like to take the increased movement speed while in combat, because this spec has no rotational slows in its optimal dps rotation, so you need all the sticking power you can get. Force Wave/Overload root helps with peeling for team mates, as well as on various maps, which I will detail later in this guide. Lastly, Avoidance/Celerity is mainly taken to reduce the cool down of force speed by 5 seconds, which is a 25% reduction in the overall cool down of your biggest gap closer.

Masterful:
Force Harmonics/Audacity – Reduces the cool down of Force Wave/Overload by 2.5 seconds and Force Potency/Recklessness grants 1 additional charge when activated.

Egress/Emersion – Force Speed grants Egress/Emersion, removing all movement-impairing effects and granting immunity to them for the duration.

Reason: Egress/Emersion is a must have, there is nothing that will be more valuable in this tier of utilities than this one. This will not only break any and all roots/slows but also prevent you from being rooted/slowed for the duration of force speed. Deception needs this more than the other specs because of how susceptible it is to being kited. Force Harmonics/Audacity is a straight up Dps increase for this spec, more so than for Serenity/Hatred. This spec is all about burst, and having the extra charge will help to increase your opening burst window, which is less important for Serenity/Hatred, as that spec is more about sustained damage.

Heroic:
Cloak of Resilience/Cloak of Madness – Activating Force Cloak grants 2 seconds of Resilience/Force Shroud.

Containment/Haunted Dreams – If your Force Lift/Whirlwind breaks early from damage, the target is stunned for 2 seconds. In addition, Force Lift/Whirlwind activates instantly.

Reason: Having a Resilience/Force Shroud attached to your combat break is very useful so that you can not only break combat effectively, but also to allow you to mitigate incoming Force/Tech attacks as well. I take insta-lift over Deflection immunity because this spec has a really hard time sticking on a target, and for that reason, it helps to have an additional ability that can be used outside of 10 meters to catch back up to a target. Deflection immunity will do nothing for you if your target roots you or slows you and creates a gap while your Force Speed or Low Slash are on cool down, so having this really helps to play “catch up.”

3.2) Gearing up

 

These are the stats that I have when I run Infiltration/Deception spec. There are many ways to achieve these stats, but here is the cheapest and easiest way to achieve these stats.
*Note* I have all Strength/Willpower/Endurance Datacrons for maximum bonuses.

Spoiler
1x Dark Reaver Stalker’s Device (Crit/Surge)
2x Dark Reaver Force Mystic’s MK-V Package (Crit/Surge)
1x Dark Reaver Relic of Serendipitous Assault
1x Dark Reaver Relic of Focused Retribution
9x Advanced Aptitude Mod 33X
7x Advanced Adept Enhancement 33X
8x Advanced Resolve Armoring 33X
1x Advanced Resolve Hilt 33X
14x Advanced Overkill Augment 36

Explanation: There is a lot of controversy over whether to use Accuracy up to 5% or full Surge. I personally use Full surge, as this spec is a burst spec, and doesn’t put out as much burst damage as some of the other burst specs in the game at the moment, so to compensate, I increase my Surge to as high as I can take it. Accuracy to 5% does help to mitigate the 5% base defense chance that all classes get (except consular/inquisitor who get 10% due to low armor), but I find that in the end 5% extra surge is worth more than 5% less chance to miss on an attack, but like I said, this is personal preference. To further boost the burst this spec can put out, I run overkill augments to increase my bonus damage. I do run a small amount of crit, 25%, so that I can have *slightly* better burst outside of my Force Potency/Recklessness windows, however, this is not necessary, and a full power/surge build works just as well. This spec has a lot more flexibility in its build path for PvP, which is both good and sometimes confusing.

3.3) Optimal DPS rotation

I will preface with saying, this spec is not friendly to novice players in Ranked PvP, especially Group Ranked. Because of how easy it is to kite this spec, you will have to be skilled in the art of target swapping to the appropriate target at the appropriate time. Sometimes it is better to just swap targets to an enemy who is still close to you as opposed to chasing down that pesky sorc who Force Sped away. With that being said…

1) Open with Force Potency/Recklessness buffed Spinning Kick/Spike > Force Breach/Discharge > Psychokinetic Blast/Ball Lightning.

2) Open with Force Potency/Recklessness > Force Breach/Discharge > Psychokinetic Blast > Maul (if proc’d)

From here, you are going on a priority based system. If you didn’t proc Infiltration Tactics/Duplicity, then you will use Clairvoyant Strike/Voltaic Slash or Whirling Blow/Lacerate (depending on how many targets are near you) to build stacks of Clarivoyance/Voltage which will both lower the cost of Psych Blast/Ball Lightning as well as increase the chance of Pysch Blast/Ball lightning to give you a stack of Shadow Technique/Surging Charge by 50% per stack. Ideally, you want to keep this buff at 2 stacks so that your Psych Blast/Ball lightning will always give you a stack of Shadow Technique/Surging charge. You always want to use Force Breach/Discharge before you use Psychokinetic Blast/Ball Lightning no matter which opener is used, because it adds a debuff to the target, increasing all force damage taken by 5% for 45 seconds.

A good use of Low Slash for optimal burst is to Low Slash your target, hard cast Weaken Mind/Crushing Darkness, and immediately use a proc’d Shadow Strike/Maul, 3 stack Force Breach/Discharge, or Psychokinetic Blast/Ball Lightning. This is because Low slash will give you enough time to get off this DoT and immediately follow it up with burst, and if done correctly, the enemy will take both the initial ability damage of Weaken Mind/Crushing Darkness at the same time as the heavy burst from one of the 3 abilities I listed to follow it up with. This is invaluable in a duel, but also works well in a 4v4 environment if you aren’t being focused.

3.4) Tips and tricks

1) Only use Force Breach/Discharge at 3 stacks, anything less is a Dps loss.
2) Sometimes, I will use Phase walk in this spec as a gap closer, by placing it around a Line of Sight object that I’m sure an enemy will run to in order to kite me. This will let me teleport to my enemy unsuspectingly.
3) Try to use Force Cloak offensively in this spec, as it will reset your Force Potency/Recklessness and give you another burst window.
4) Recognize through practice when it’s better to swap targets versus chase a target down. Only practice will help you identify what the situation calls for.
5) Try to create advantageous fights for your team with your excellent crowd control by using low slash on one target, Force Lift/Whirlwind on another, and focusing Dps on a third. This separates good Shadow/Sins from great ones.
6) NEVER use Shadow Strike/Maul without the proc to reduce its cost and increase its damage. This is a great way to run out of Force, which is a Dps loss.
7) Use instalift before you use Low Slash to close a gap. This is because instalift fills a lot of resolve, and to use it to its potential, you will want to also get the 2 second stun at the end of it from breaking it on damage. This stun will not apply if you used instalift and then white barred the enemy.

4) Tank – Kinetic Combat/Darkness

 

4.1) Utilities

Skillful:
Avoidance/Celerity – Reduces the cool down of Mind Snap/Jolt by 2 seconds, Force of Will/Unbreakable Will by 30 seconds and Force Speed by 5 seconds.

Force Wake/Electric Bindings – Force Wave/Overload unbalances its targets, immobilizing them for 5 seconds. Direct damage dealt after 2 seconds ends this effect prematurely.

Mental Defense/Shapeless Spirit – Take 30% less damage while stunned.

Reason: Force Wake/Electric bindings is a great peeling tool for tank spec, just like the other two specs I’ve described.Mental defense/shapless spirit is vital to this spec since you will be running high endurance dps gear without any mitigation. This will help you when you are being tank tunneled.

Masterful:
Force Harmonics/Audacity – Reduces the cooldown of Force Wave/Overload by 2.5 seconds and Force Potency/Recklessness gives 1 extra charge.

Egress/Emersion – Force Speed grants Egress/Emersion, removing all movement-impairing effects and granting immunity to them for the duration.

Reason: Egress/Emersion is a must have, there is nothing that will be more valuable in this tier of utilities than this one. This will not only break any and all roots/slows but also prevent you from being rooted/slowed for the duration of force speed. I take Foce Harmonics/Audacity now because with the set of gear you will be running with, you will want all the dps you can get as well as the cooldown reduction on your knockback, it will give you great peeling ability as well as a dps upgrade.

Heroic:
Cloak of Resilience/Cloak of Madness – Activating Force Cloak grants 2 seconds of Resilience/Force Shroud.

Containment/Haunted Dreams – If your Force Lift/Whirlwind breaks early from damage, the target is stunned for 2 seconds. In addition, Force Lift/Whirlwind activates instantly.

Having extra shroud when you stealth out is useful for defensive purposes as a tank, but the most beneficial thing in this tier is insta-lift. This move is a game changer if you combine it with Phase Walk and Force pull to pull a tank away from their team and lift them when their cc breaker is down, then Phase walk back into your team. I go over this more in the Tips and Tricks section below.

4.2) Gearing up

 

These are the stats that I have when I run Kinetic Combat/Darkness spec. There are many ways to achieve these stats, but here is the cheapest and easiest way to achieve these stats.

Spoiler
1x Dark Reaver Force Master’s Device
2x Dark Reaver Force Master’s Package
1x Dark Reaver Relic of Serendipitous Assault
1x Dark Reaver Relic of Focused Retribution
9x Advanced Aptitude Mod 33B-X
7x Advanced Discipline Enhancement 33X
8x Advanced Force Wielder Armoring 33X
1x Advanced Resolve Hilt 33X
14x Advanced Fortitude Augment 36

Explanation: The best mitigation in PvP is straight Endurance. This is because of how poorly Shield/Absorb and Defense work based on the damage profiles in PvP. For this reason, you want all B-lettered mods as well as High Endurance Enhancements and Fortitude augments to give you the most endurance possible. I have tested out both full tank mitigation stats as well as full dps stats, and the gain in raw dps FAR outweighs any loss in mitigation. Here is a match with full high endurance dps tank gear.

Notice how I outdps’d everyone in the match excluding 1 juggernaut. This is definitely going to be the way to go for tanking in ranked on a Shadow/Assassin.

4.3) How to tank in Ranked PvP

Guard swapping is the #1 mechanic in PvP that separates good tanks from great ones. A good way to guard swap effectively is to focus target the enemies highest Dps and use the “Acquire Focus Target’s Target” hotkey to immediately swap to whoever they’re focusing and give that target guard. Your 2nd priority will be to peel for your team mates, and this class has quite a few peeling mechanics for that occasion. Your last priority will be to do damage, and while this is the least important thing to worry about as a tank, it is still vital to put out as much damage as possible to assist your team in taking down key targets. Also, make sure that you are taunting off cool down, as a tank, your taunt should never be available and should always be on cool down.

4.4) Tips and Tricks

 

1) Use your Phase Walk offensively. I like to drop PW in the middle of the fight, run 30 meters out and pull the enemy tank and instalift him. This will prevent the enemy team from having guard swaps for 8 seconds. Only try this when your team is healthy and the enemy tank has already used his CC breaker.
2) Force Cloak defensively to utilize the 2nd Shroud that is attached on the Cloak to mitigate damage.
3) Don’t be afraid to just sit on the enemies highest dps and constantly interrupt them with your interrupt as well as hard stuns. Also, try to taunt them on cool down to reduce their damage by 30% on any target that isn’t you.
4) Learn to use the Focus Target and Acquire Focus Target’s Target hot keys, as well as Acquire Target’s Target hot key. This will help you pick up which of your teammates is being focused and get your guard switches off quicker.
5) Use the “Focus Target Modifier” hotkey. What this does is make it so that when you press the key, you can use abilities on your focus target, all while having a different person targeted. This is great for Focus targeting healers and targeting dps. You will be able to taunt the dps you have targeted while simultaneously interrupting and stunning a healer to prevent their casts from getting off.

5) Maps

 

This section will show you key locations on each map to use for line of sight, various locations to drop your Phase Walk offensively and defensively, as well as locations where you want to force fights to happen.

 

5.1) Orbital Station

This map is one of the best for a Shadow/Assassin player. Use the red marks for offensive Phase Walks, green for defensive. Try to initiate the fight by getting a stealth knockdown on as many enemies as possible. Force the fight up on the catwalk and use your knock back to force imbalanced fights for the enemy. If you set your PW up top and have focus fire on you, jump down. If the enemy chases you, PW back up and you have now forced a 3v4 in favor of your team.

5.2) Makeb Mesa Arena

The green circles indicate places you want to place your Phase Walk to ensure that you do not get popped out of stealth if you decide to Phase Walk and use Force Cloak to heal to full. The red circles indicate common locations that a ranged or even melee class will run to kite you or to escape being focused by your team. If you place your Phase Walk in these locations, you can often teleport behind your enemy when they go to run or escape.

An amazing trick that is severely underused is setting your Phase Walk on the top bridge and jumping down when you’re focused. I will make a video showing this mechanic, as it will make more sense when it is seen. Essentially, if you are being focused, you will want to jump down off of the bridge to the ground level. If you jump at the appropriate time (about 50-60% HP range) you enemy will 8 times out of 10 attempt to chase you down for the kill. This is when you will use Phase Walk to teleport you back on top of the bridge. This creates an extremely favorable position for your team, as you have now secluded 1 or more of the enemy team on the ground level, forcing their team to fight a 3v4 or even 2v4 if more than one person chases you down.

You will want to communicate with your team that you want to force the fight on the bridge. The reason is that you were a superstar and decided to take Force Wave/Overload root . When the fight is just starting, the enemy will more than likely do 1 of 2 things. 1) Huddle together around the base of the bridge, near the LoS rock. Or 2) Rush the bridge to claim the high ground. This is your time to shine, you will use stealth as your gap closer and use Blackout to increase your stealth level so you can get in undetected. Initiate the fight by properly timing your knock back to knock as many off of the bridge as possible, creating an imbalanced fight for the enemy team, and giving you the advantage as now, whoever was knocked down will have to use movement increasing effects to try to re-engage into the fight, effectively wasting their time and reducing the overall damage your team will take. If you can help it, always try to force the fight up top. The only exception to this is in Tank/Heal/2Dps matches, as attempting to fight up is just a waste of time. In Heal/3Dps matches, you will still want to fight on the bridge, even more so, because if you can knock the healer down, you put yourself at a very large advantage towards winning the round.

5.3) Corellia Square

Green squares indicate places to place your Phase Walk defensively. Red squares indicate offensive positions to potentially cut off a running enemy. This map plain sucks for Shadow/Assassin players. It is the most wide open of the 4 maps, and as such, is terrible to play on when we are facing a multitude of ranged dps classes because it makes it difficult to Line of Sight. There are a few LoS objects, but they are situated in such a way that you will not be able to always continue to dps while LoS’ing. The best thing you can do in a map such as this is to wait for the enemy team to engage on your terms, by simply waiting around a LoS object and attempting to attack from behind it. This strategy actually works well if the enemy team has at least 1 melee dps, as they will be forced into the center of your team, allowing you to both dps the Melee enemy while simultaneously LoS’ing the ranged dps. With practice, this becomes easier.

5.4) Tatooine Canyon

The red indicates places to place your Phase Walk offensively, to catch someone kiting potentially. The green indicates locations that are generally safe to heal to full from. This map is really good for Serenity/Hatred players. The small size of the map forces fights to be in one centralized location, which is optimal for DoT spreading. There are also a large sum of LoS objects for kiting purposes. A small trick that many don’t utilize is using the outer edge of the pit to LoS players who are on the top of the ledge of the pit. The angle is just slight enough that players will be unable to see you if you hug the wall inside of the pit, effectively allowing you to LoS ranged classes with ease. Knock back root is best utilized here by rooting someone behind one of the 4 inner pillars, or knocking them into the pit when the fight is happening on the top level. Make sure that as a melee dps, you do not find yourself Dpsing your target with your back to the pit, as you will inevitably be knocked in, which is a hassle considering there is only 1 focal way to escape the pit and get back to the fight, depending on which side of the arena you are playing on.

6) Consumables
(Working as of Patch 3.2)

6.1) Czerka VX-736 Injector

This gives a buff that increases your out of combat health regeneration by 10%. While it does state that isn’t usable in PvP, it actually means that you simply cannot click it to activate it in PvP. I have tested it, and the health regeneration does work in PvP if you activate it outside of an Arena match. In a regular warzone however, I believe the buff is removed, so this only works for Ranked Arenas at the time of writing this guide.

6.2) Bantha Steak

Same with the Czerka Injector, this is an out-of-combat health regen item. It increases out of combat regen by 90, which is small, but sometimes you win with very little health left, and in a Ranked Warzone, you want to increase your chances to win by any means necessary.

6.3) Grenades
Each grenade has its uses. Some are more beneficial than others, but I like to have all 4 in my inventory and which I use is dependent upon the enemy team composition.

6.3.1) Electro-Stun Grenade

This stuns 3 targets for a total of 2-3 seconds. This grenade is very situational, but is more useful than a Seismic Grenade when playing Serenity/Hatred, because in an ideal situation, all enemy players will have your DoTs rolling on them, which will negate the effect of the Seismic Grenade.

6.3.2) Seismic Grenade

This is extremely useful as Infiltration/Deception and Kinetic Combat/Darkness as you can get the full duration out of it because there is little AoE in Infiltration/Deception, and controllable AoE in the tank trees. In Serenity/Hatred, you will not get the full effect of this grenade, so it is recommended to use this only to interrupt a channeled ability or to prevent short term movement abilities, such as Force Speed.

6.3.3) Cartel Waste Grenade

This grenade is useful in all specs, as a 70% slow for 9 seconds is a decent anti-kiting tool. Unfortunately, a lot of classes have movement impairing immunities on various abilities, which makes this grenade somewhat redundant.

6.3.4) Pyro Grenade

This grenade is extremely underused and is extremely powerful for Serenity/Hatred players. While it is more or less a one-time use DoT, it is a stronger DoT than Sever Force/Creeping Terror, doing 1k more damage, but is weaker than Force Breach/Discharge by 900 damage. If you apply this to a group of 4 in an arena, in conjunction with your regular DoTs, you will be doing 20k damage with your DoTs alone, before mitigation. Once again, for optimal Dps, I highly recommend this grenade in arenas. Its use is more limited to games without healers, however, so it is not the end all, be all of grenades.

7) 1v1 Section

This is aimed at showing you how to beat various other Advanced Classes as well as how much difficulty you will encounter when facing said advanced class. While arenas are not based on 1v1s, more often than not you will come down to a 1v1 which will determine whether you win or lose the round or match. Difficulty ratings are as follows 1 being not difficult at all, 10 being extremely difficult.

7.1) As a Shadow/Assassin
I will denote the difficulty based on which spec you are. DoT = Serenity/Hatred. Burst = Infiltration/Deception.

7.1.1) Guardian/Juggernaut

Difficulty – DoT 8/10, Burst 6/10

As DoT spec, this is a very hard fight for the sole reason that your DoTs will inevitably heal the Guard/Jugg to full from Enraged Defense. The best way to fight this class as DoT spec is to use your DoTs to your advantage, they will continue to deal damage while you LoS and kite the Guard/Jugg. This is a fight based on patience, as Guardian/Juggernauts have the most effective defensive cool downs in the game. As burst spec, it is easier in that you can completely ignore their heal to full mechanic, and have enough Crowd Control and burst as well as defensive cool downs to both survive their burst as well as damage them from 10 meter range, dancing in to 4m range to Shadow Strike/Maul as needed. Playing burst spec well vs a Guard/Jugg is like perfecting the Tango. You have to know when to dance into 4m range and when to use your 10m abilities at close to max range.

7.1.2) Sentinel/Marauder

Difficulty – DoT 4/10, Burst 7/10

Simply put, as DoT spec, this fight is pretty easy. You can kite marauders pretty well and your DoTs will eat away at their health. Don’t underestimate them though with Cloak of Pain active with 50% uptime, they have a lot more damage reduction than you would think. As burst spec, this fight is hard, marauders can simply out-burst you, and have more overall damage reduction than you do as well. They also some of the hardest hitting abilities in the game of both Force and Melee damage because of Gore windows. Be wary of their defensive cool downs, it’s best to just instalift them when they pop Saber ward and Low Slash them during Undying Rage.

7.1.3) Shadow/Assassin

Difficulty – Skill based

This is a mirror class fight, it comes down to skill. While some people will argue that burst spec is the superior dueling spec, much experience has taught me otherwise. A well-played DoT spec can beat burst spec and the reverse is also true. Just try to make your enemy use their defensive cool downs first, generally speaking, if they have to pop DCDs first, they are more likely to lose.

7.1.4) Sage/Sorcerer

Difficulty – DoT 6/10, Burst 7/10

I have fought some very good sage/sorcs and the difficulty ultimately comes down to how well the player is, but for the most part, this is an easy fight. It’s a little harder for burst spec because of how easily they are kited, and sage/sorcs are the kings of kiting. Combine their superior kiting with their very strong self healing abilities, and this fight becomes slightly challenging. I have never really had any issues as DoT spec against a sorc, they can kite you but your dots hurt, you have the most powerful DoTs in the game and any good sage/sorc will respect that. Not to mention you also have decent burst and good sustained damage, this fight is kind of easy as DoT spec.

7.1.5) Vanguard/Powertech

Difficulty – DoT 6/10, Burst 4/10

This fight is easy. Vg/PT burst is both predictable as well as easy to mitigate. DoT spec has a harder time because they can’t kite as effectively because of Super Sonic Hydrolic Overrides, and the main advantage of Serenity/Hatred is the ability to kite. Still, Force Shroud/Resilience is your friend, and will mitigate 80% of this classes predictable damage, all while you eat away at their health. In my opinion, burst spec has an easier time, because you can cc them through Hydrolic Overrides and you have a lot more burst, so the fight will end faster than it would if you were DoT spec. Still, don’t let them catch you with your DCDs down, as they can burst very hard.

7.1.6) Commando/Mercenary

Difficulty – DoT 3/10, Burst 4/10

This is a pretty easy fight. It is well-known that this class has amongst the worst DCDs in the game, and you simply have to exploit that to your advantage. No matter which spec you are, once they pop Energy Shield, just cloak out and mez them. You can keep them from healing this way as well as wait out the entirety of their best DCD. Kolto Overload is pretty weak in its current iteration in that it can be bursted through. Their new Chaff Flare buff is annoying, but more so to burst spec than it is DoT spec, as Infi/Decep’s burst is tied into Force Potency/Recklessness buffed force abilities. It’s best to just cc them when they pop this, as crowd control works, but they will not take the damage from the ability if it is Force based damage.

7.1.7) Gunslinger/Sniper

Difficulty – DoT 2/10, Burst 7/10

This fight sucks if you’re burst spec. The main reason being, most Slinger/Snipers are Sharpshooter/Marksman, and outside of Deflection, you have absolutely nothing to mitigate their damage, while they on the other hand have very good, under rated DCDs. Being burst spec, you are forced to be within line of sight, and they simply tear you apart, as well as kite you, which burst spec has trouble with. With that being said, in order to win, you simply have to cloak out when they use entrench. Patience is your biggest weapon here, as without entrench, you have superior CC, and can interrupt most of their long casts with Low Slash, Electrocute, Instalift, Knockback, etc. As DoT spec, this fight is pretty easy. You can just pump out dots and LoS them, this will force them to constantly reposition, leaving cover and giving you windows to cc them, even when Entrench is active, since they will be out of cover. This fight can be fought 100% on your terms, just don’t fight them in an open environment, use Line of Sight. If they use ballistic shield, LoS them so they have to move out of it. If they pop shield probe, it can be taken down with 1 hard hitting ability. This is an easy fight for DoT spec.

7.1.8) Scoundrel/Operative

Difficulty – DoT 10/10, Burst 9/10

If the scoundrel/operative is concealment, you will not win this fight as DoT spec unless your enemy is playing without a mouse and keyboard. They will cleanse your dots with evasion, and when you reapply your dots, it will only reduce the cool down of their evasion even more. They can roll majority of your Vanquish/Demolish damage and the worst part is that they have self heal abilities. This is worse than a sorc/sages’s because while a sorc/sage has stronger off-heals, the op/scoun has the tools to live long enough for their HoTs to add up. The only way you will stand a chance at winning is as burst spec. As burst spec, this fight is still very difficult because a good scound/op will know when to time their rolls, not to mention that they also have MUCH more burst than you have and insane critical rating due to passive buffs in their tree. You have to really know how to use your cc effectively, allowing them to roll even one Low Slash will make it that much harder for you to win. The real only way to win this fight is to hope that RNG works in your favor, as when you crit on all of you heavy hitters, they will melt. They are also very weak to roots, as this prevents them from rolling, so don’t be afraid to use knockback root even when they’re white barred, as while they won’t take the knock back from the ability, they will still be rooted, preventing them from rolling.

8) Teamwork!

8.1) Peeling
Use Force Wave/Overload knockback root to peel for your team mates. Same goes with grenades, pick the appropriate grenade for your spec and if your team needs it, use them to help your teammates gain some breathing room. 80% of Arenas is teamwork and if you don’t peel for your team or communicate, then you will have a hard time winning.

8.2) Crowd Control
Know when and where to place your cc. If you are infiltration/deception, you have much more cc than your DoT spec counterpart, and can control the flow of the fight much better. Even as DoT spec, knowing when it is appropriate to hard cast Force Lift/Whirlwind is vital.

8.3)Taunting
As a sin, you have access to taunts, which reduce your enemies’ damage by 30% when they aren’t focusing you. The best part of playing this class is that for the most part, you are focused last. Your taunt, specifically your single target one, should ALWAYS be on cool down, there is no excuse to not taunt, period.

8.4) Damage
The more damage you do, the quicker your enemies die, and the better chance you have at winning the arena. If there are two targets, one is focusing you, one focusing your teammate, focus the one attacking your teammate. With enough pressure, they will be forced to retreat, and as a Shadow/Sin you have 2 different escape abilities to evade focus fire. Use that to your advantage. The more people targeting you, the better, as that means less damage taken by your teammates, which leads to more damage taken for the enemy team. You can also just stealth out and PW away and heal to full, literally making all the damage the enemy team did to you a waste.

9) Closing, Credits, Cookies!

I just want to thank all of the people who helped me out, both when I was a total scrub and now, as I can always improve. I would also like to thank my viewers! You guys who watch my stream consistently are the ones who urged me to make a guide of this type in the first place. I’m really lazy, so your constant encouragement paid off, as the guide is now made! I also want to thank Mosh and Lycaeon for showing me optimal DoT spread mechanics as well as some of my guildies from Clickers of The Bastion for showing me optimal kiting methods. In closing, I will continue to update this guide as I discover more information. Also, if there is something you see that I’ve missed or a mistake I’ve made, or if you even have a simple question for me, I am more than willing to go over my thoughts with you and amend my guide as needed. Thanks for reading!