SWTOR 7.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvE Guide (DPS) for Beginners and Seasoned Veterans: Skills, Choices, Rotations, Gear, Builds, Tips!
The guide is up-to-date forPatch 7.2b.
Table of contents:
- Introducing Lightning Sorcerer
- skills explained
- Skill tree selection
- Equipment and stat priorities
- Beste Lightning Sorcerer Builds in 7.0
- Openers, rotations, priorities
Introducing Lightning Sorcerer
Welcome to my Lightning Sorcerer 7.0 guide! Lightning Wizards use their rage and hatred to decimate their foes with endless lightning bolts and thunderous blasts of overwhelming darkness.
In terms of sustained single target damage, Lightning is by far the strongest ranged burst spec, but it falls short of most melee DPS disciplines. However, thanks to its legendary implants, it remains absolutely fantastic when it comes to burst control.
Lightning also has the potential to do significantly more AoE damage than pretty much any other burst spec in the game, although they now have to sacrifice some single target DPS in exchange for rotational AoE. However, all of the DoT specs are leagues ahead when it comes to AoE.
While the survivability of most combat styles was impacted in some way with the release of 7.0, Lightning was arguably one of the hardest hit in PvE and is in a much worse spot compared to 6.0. The biggest nerf to Lightning in PvE comes from the fact that casters in general no longer have access to AoE RDT, which is now only granted to mDPS.
Now, if that were all, Lightning would be in a tight spot, but her other mitigation could potentially compensate, but that wasn't the only nerf BioWare felt needed. Lightning Barrier is basically untakeable in group content, so the uptime of the 5% DR of the deionized debuff is greatly reduced and you lose the damage absorbed by the bubble itself. Unnatural Power (15% DR on unnatural preservation), Defiance (3% DR), Void Body (+5% healing received), and Dark Resilience (+30% healing on unnatural preservation) are also largely inaccessible or gone entirely in PvE group content .
Luckily, even with the reduced survivability, Lightning Sorc should still be fine for pretty much all PvE content except certain NiM bosses, so there really isn't much content where a Lightning Sorc would be downright detrimental to your party. However, you'll often need to make adjustments to your skill tree choices to ensure you're reaching your full potential.
BioWare will likely make balance changes during the first few patches, so check back with this guide after each update. You can check the guide above to see if the guide has been updated for the latest patch.
Important changes in 7.0
Supply points are gone! Instead, there is a new system called the skill tree. Each discipline has 8 choices where they choose 1 out of 3 options. The options have several similarities between the fighting styles:
- 2 choices enhance a discipline-specific skill (2 skills, 1 choice each).
- 3 ways that are just old utility effects. These options are almost always the same for all disciplines.
- 2 choices where you choose between 1 ability or 1 of 2 passives. One of the ability options is usually an offensive cooldown (OCD). The other seems to be related to PvP balance, but there is no clear pattern beyond choice that forces players to choose which of the 3 skills they want to keep.
- 1 choice where you choose 1 of 3 skills. One of the skills is always one of your primary CCs, either the 8s Mez or the 4s Hard Stun. Another of the abilities is the movement ability with the longest cooldown. The third option is less consistent, it seems to be there as an additional balance lever for BioWare as some abilities that have been locked away are more effective than others. The 3 skills are almost always the same for every discipline.
This means almost all disciplines had 5 abilities locked behind choices, with the option for players to keep up to 3 of them. In addition, many extremely situational abilities have been completely curtailed. Lightning permanently lost access to 2 skills:
- Force slowly
Combat rezzes in general are now only for healers (so Corruption still has Reanimation), but there is no longer a 5 minute global ban on these abilities, so they are treated like any other ability, albeit with a much longer cooldown .
Guarding is now a tank-only skill, which is the logical next step since Guard's nerf to DPS was ineffective midway through 6.0 to stop its ubiquity in PvP.
Group composition tips
To deal maximum damage, Lightning needs 2 more DPS debuffs:
|DPS-Debuff||The presence of a debuff increases DPS by approximately|
|Total DPS Gain:||7,0 %|
Lightning is less independent than most Burst specs, but it's still pretty average in terms of dependency on party composition compared to all DPS. Unfortunately, there's no such thing as a "perfect pairing" for Lightning either, as no single Discipline delivers both of the DPS debuffs Lightning needs. However, the Armor and Internal/Elemental debuffs are useful for all disciplines, so meeting Lightning's requirements shouldn't be too difficult. It is more common for Force wielders to provide the Armor debuff, while Tech wielders are more likely to apply the Internal/Elemental Damage debuff.
It is best for Might wielders to bring a Juggernaut/Guardian as they can provide the armor debuff and benefit from both debuffs that Lightning provides. For the tech wielders, your best bet is to bring an agent/rogue who can provide both the Internal/Elemental debuff for Lightning and the tech debuff for any other tech class. Both options allow the fourth player to bring whatever they want, and everyone gets full DPS debuffs.
To be clear, Juggernaut/Guardian and Operative/Scoundrel are by no means required and aren't the only combat styles or disciplines that offer the DPS debuffs Lightning requires, they are simply the most efficient and allow the fourth player to do everything bring what he wants.
As long as each DPS gets the debuffs they need (or at least the most impactful ones), you'll be fine. Don't fixate on having a 100% ideal composition.
Given the limitations of combat in each GCD (global cooldown, 1.5s duration before you can activate another ability), how do I do as much damage as possible? What ability am I currently using that is giving me the most damage per second? How can I maximize my uptime? If I'm not activating an ability right now, why not? Can I finish this occupation before I have to move? What if I don't have time to finish a cast before I move? Can the healers handle this without too much stress?
Visit theSWTOR damage types and damage controlGuide.
Please leave the game open while you read through the next sections. I will not be writing skill descriptions and will only transcribe the components of the passive disciplines that relate directly to the skill and rotation. This forces you to read through everything so you can understand what all your passive abilities and abilities do and locate those abilities in game. Make sure you place all of these abilities on your bar in an order that makes sense to you.
Single target rotation abilities, attributes and important procs
This DoT is one of your most powerful skills on its own, and should typically be the first skill you use on a new target. When Affliction is on the target, Thundering Blast is an autocrit, so it's imperative that Affliction is active on anything you plan to hit with Thundering Blast.
If you ever run out of downtime, or you ever need to switch to attack something else, make sure Affliction is on the target before continuing your rotation, as it can often fall off.
Since this is one of your most damaging abilities, it's beneficial to equip secondary targets that need to die (e.g. when a fight has two or more bosses), especially if they are within 8m of each other. This is called multi-doing.
When you're just starting out, it's best to always reapply Affliction as your first ability, but if you're an advanced player it doesn't technically always need to be immediately applied as your first GCD on a new target. There are situations where using other abilities first can be a little beneficial, such as: Damage abilities like Crushing Darkness and Lightning Flash.
The primary benefit of having Affliction on the target is simply making Thundering Blast an autocrit. You definitely don't want to delay Thunderstrike while delaying Affliction, but if Thunderstrike has a few seconds of cooldown left and one of your other high-priority skills is available, it may be worth using those skills first. Again, if you're new to the spec, just always apply Affliction first.
There are still instances when you should use Affliction first, even if you have other high-priority abilities available. When a quickness buff like Polarity Shift is about to end, you'll want to make sure you apply it before it decays so you get the higher tick rate. If you focus on an add that will die quickly and no boss, the longer you wait to apply affliction will result in lost DoT ticks on that target, so the GCD used to apply affliction will be less is effective. It's already a DPS drain from even having to reapply Affliction, so you definitely want to get the most out of this GCD. Affliction has 1 proc relevant to your rotation:
Affliction's duration is refreshed by dealing direct damage with Chain Lightning and Crushing Darkness. This means you only need to use it once on most targets unless you don't use those abilities for a long time. It's possible to sustain Affliction on 2 targets indefinitely by alternating Chain Lightning and Crushing Darkness on each target, but this is difficult and results in less damage being dealt by Stormguard.
You must remember to apply Lightning Flash to the target you are applying Crushing Darkness to as well. Since a full duration of Affliction is still a DPS increase over Lightning, I prefer to just manually reapply Affliction to secondary targets after it falls off rather than squeezing every last drop of DPS out of the spec.
This is Lightning's most powerful hitting ability by far, as it automatically crits targets affected by Affliction. So you should make sure Affliction is on the target before using Thunder Clap. It's also important to never delay this ability since it deals so much damage. The only time it makes sense to delay Thundering Blast is when there's a lot of expansion for AoE, but make sure you don't get fluffy. Thundering Blast has 3 procs and 2 passives of discipline relevant to your rotation:
Finishes the cooldown of Chain Lightning, casts the ability immediately the next time, and consumes 50% less Force. This can only happen once every 10 seconds. This ability can also be triggered by Lightning Bolt and Force Storm, but the rate limit (internal cooldown) of this proc aligns perfectly with Thundering Blast's 9 second cooldown, so making sure Thundering Blast triggers this proc is important , so you can too can ensure you get the proc as often as possible and in a predictable way.
Direct Force attacks grant 2 charges of Lightning Burst when they critically hit. Each charge reduces the might consumed by your next force attack by 75%. This proc is one of the main reasons why you don't have energy management as a Lightning Sorc as you are almost guaranteed to have this proc for ⅔ of your attacks and always get it from Thundering Blast as it is an autocrit.
Thunder Clap grants a stack of Reserved Darkness, causing your next Dark Heal to activate instantly and heal for 30% more. Stacks up to 2 times and lasts 15 seconds. This proc was added to Passive Convection Discipline in 7.1.1. Since Dark Heal still costs a GCD, its main purpose is to increase survivability in PvP. In PvE, even with this proc, you should only use Dark Heal during downtime when you can't hit anything, so you don't lose DPS.
Increases the critical damage of Thunderbolt, Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning, and Shattering Darkness by 12%. This passive ability makes Thunderbolt, Lightning Bolt, and Chain Lightning play better with Recklessness than with your other rotation abilities. 12% isn't enough to make Crushing Darkness a viable Recklessness target, as the critical hit chance increase only applies to initial direct damage, not DoT, although both components of Crushing Darkness still benefit from Reverberating Force.
Activating Thunderous Blast has a 25% chance for the ability to create a second explosion, hitting the same target for 20% damage dealt by the first hit. This passive is pretty basic, I just wanted to mention it because it shows up as a separate entry in StarParse, and note that it's autocritical just like Thundering Blast.
This ability gives Lightning some rotational AoE damage, which is unusual for burst DPS specs, although it's still nowhere near the rotational AoE damage provided by DoT specs. In single target situations, Chain Lightning should never be hard cast and should only be used with the Lightning Storm proc. However, if there are multiple targets, it can be a DPS increase, the ability to cast hard, although I'll discuss that in more detail later.
While Chain Lightning is one of your more powerful abilities, it doesn't always need to be used immediately after cooldown. The only normal limitation is that it has to be used before your next Thunderbolt, as we want to trigger Lightning Storm with this ability (this changes if it can be cast hard), so the ability's effective cooldown is Lightning Storm's cooldown and Thundering Blast, although it's often used right after Thundering Blast anyway.
Outside of the priority system, you should delay activating Chain Lightning, if adds have spawned recently and aren't sufficiently grouped yet, but will be before your next Thundering Blast, delay this ability until they're close enough that you hit (almost) all of them can from them. Chain Lightning has 1 associated debuff that I want to mention:
Dealing damage with Chain Lightning inflicts Overwhelmed, increasing the target's AoE damage taken by 10% for 45 seconds. The AoE debuff is only useful outside of AoE situations for Vengeance Juggernaut / Vigilance Guardian, Virulence Sniper / Dirty Fighting Gunslinger and Lethality Operative / Ruffian Scoundrel as these are the only Disciplines that have a rotational AoE ability for which the AoE debuff is not provided itself.
Lightning Bolt is your fill ability, so it's only used when everything else is on cooldown. While this ability accounts for a large portion of your overall damage, almost as much as Thunder Clap, that's because you use it a lot more often. It takes 4-5 uses of Lightning Bolt to deal the same amount of damage as a single Thundering Blast.
Lightning Bolt doesn't deal noticeably more damage than other less rotating abilities like Shock or Force Lightning, so you don't lose DPS by replacing it with another ability if the other ability has a more desirable trait. Lightning Bolt makes itself important by being so tightly integrated into the discipline, benefiting from and providing many procs. Lightning Bolt has a whopping 5 procs and 2 discipline passives relevant to your rotation:
Force Speed grants 2 Convection Charges that instantly activate your next 2 Lightning Bolts. Contrary to popular belief, this is not a DPS increase. Since Lightning Bolt is still a 1.5 second spell (like a GCD) you don't really speed up your rotation because you can't use your next ability until the same amount of time has passed since the ability activated.
The only difference is that the damage vanishes at the start of the 1.5s if it's instant instead of at the end if it's cast, which can result in a DPS boost if a temporary damage boost while casting before the damage would drop goes out; However, the opposite is also true for random procs, so it's kind of a wash. Any other observable DPS increases would be due to exploiting bugs. This isn't a reason to use Force Speed on cooldown though, as thanks to Gathering Storm and Unmatched Haste Legendary you'll be missing out on a lot more DPS when you're moving and don't have to do anything for a GCD or two items you end up having to anyway Use Force Speed on cooldown.
Taking direct damage has a 25% chance to grant Subversion, causing your next Blitz to be instantaneous and can only occur once every 8 seconds. It's very difficult to capitalize on this in PvE unless you're taking damage very consistently. The only example I can think of is if you kite Raptus or Greus. The big thing to note is that when this proc is active and you use Force Speed to gain Convection Stacks, both Subversion and a Convection Charge are unfortunately consumed by the same Lightning Bolt.
Lightning Bolt increases damage reduction by 5% and stacks up to 3 times (15% damage reduction total). This proc is now built right into the ability itself. It's easy to let this damage reduction fall off, since its low priority means you can go relatively long without Lightning Bolt. Given the lack of AoE RDT, it's more important not to drop Fulgrous Fortification. So if you can delay Chain Lightning to prevent losing those stacks, do so. However, don't let this hinder the rest of your rotation unless you think you're going to die without this DR.
Lightning Bolt increases your Force regeneration rate by 10% and stacks up to 3 times (30% total). Running your rotation normally will ensure you have enough uptime for this proc so you never run out of power, but it may be more beneficial to ensure you have more uptime if you die and get rezzed since you're going with a smaller one supply of power. After you've been rezzed, prioritize building these stacks over using Chain Lightning, but still make sure to activate Chain Lightning before Thundering Blast goes off cooldown.
Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning, and Lightning Flash have a 25% chance to generate a second arc of lightning that deals 25% damage. Forked lightning occurs twice as often while polarity shift is active. This effect packs a lot of RNG into the spec as it accounts for about 6% of your damage dealt and some of your other passive abilities depend on forking.
Please note that Forked Lightning can consume the 20% damage increase effect of the legendary item Gathering Storm. This is particularly problematic, but unfortunately unavoidable, if one of your lightning bolts branches just before activating a Thunderbolt that you want to use the 20% damage increase on.
While Polarity Shift is active, using Lightning Bolt over Shock or especially Force Lightning while Polarity Shift is active is slightly more important. Since you have 4 GCDs to use Shock after Crushing Darkness, I'm trying to wait for Polarity Shift to drop when Crushing Darkness is applied at the very end of the window for a small potential DPS boost from an additional fork.
It's also technically ideal to apply Lightning Barrier before activating Polarity Shift, but you have so many other considerations to make with this ability that it's almost never possible to take this into account. I want to stress that these are tiny tweaks that may not even result in a DPS increase. Only engage in Forked Lightning if you are extremely comfortable with the combat and rotation.
Forked Lightning (and Forked Darkness) each decrease Polarity Shift's cooldown by 1 second when they trigger. This effect is very significant; In just a little under 5 minutes of analysis, Forks triggered 116 times, resulting in Polarity Shift's cooldown being reduced by 116 seconds, which is almost enough for 2 additional uses of the ability!
This effect of Conduit is bugged or may have been changed because it was combined with another effect that makes you immune to interrupts for 4 seconds after being interrupted. Currently there seems to be a 15s rate limit on this cooldown reduction as interrupt immunity can only be granted once every 15 seconds.
This ability deals almost the same amount of direct single-target damage as Chain Lightning, although it directly accounts for a smaller percentage of your total damage thanks to its longer cooldown. Lightning Flash has 2 associated procs relevant to your rotation:
This proc is built right into the ability and reduces the activation time of your next Oppressive Darkness by 0.5 seconds. If both Lightning Bolt and Shattering Darkness have no cooldown at the same time, make sure to use Flashbolt first so you can take advantage of Shattering Darkness's reduced cast time.
This is the primary tactical item you will be using for Lightning. It does more damage than Blitz itself, making using Blitz on cooldown more important than it might seem. If you're not using Stopped Offensive, Lightning Flash should take precedence over Thundering Blast thanks to the Dark Embrace skill tree buff if they come off their cooldown at the same time.
(Force/Kinetic/Direct and Periodic/Single-Target/Casted)
This ability deals both direct and periodic damage, with the initial hit being direct and the DoT component being periodic damage. This makes Crushing Darkness a very poor candidate to use with Force Speed and Recklessness, as only the weak first hit will benefit from these abilities or other direct damage only abilities. However, Crushing Darkness as a whole still deals a significant amount of damage, more so than Chain Lightning and Blitz, so it's worth using on cooldown.
It is imperative that this ability not be used unless you have Lightning Flash's Force Flash proc active as his DPS will become too low without the proc. It's possible to use Crushing Darkness and Lightning Flash on cooldown and always get the proc, although the timing is pretty tight at times.
It's common for Crushing Darkness to end its cooldown just before Lightning Bolt so you'll still have the proc, but it will drop very early in the cast, which is fine, but be careful because when If you're slow (low APM) or don't have enough energy, you might end up casting Crushing Darkness hard, which is bad. As you learn, it's best to be safe and always use Lightning Flash first. Crushing Darkness has 1 proc and 1 passive discipline relevant to your rotation that I haven't mentioned yet:
Shock deals 35% more damage to targets afflicted by Crushing Darkness, and Crushing Darkness deals 10% more damage during polarity reversal. This means that after Crushing Darkness you have 4 GCDs to apply Shock to that target. Please note that you do not receive a buff on your bar and therefore Shock does not light up. So it's not really a proc, although I call it that in this manual. The second component of the effect doesn't change how you use the ability, since Crushing Darkness is already a pretty high priority.
Crushing Darkness applies the Force debuff, causing the target to take 5% more damage from Force attacks for 45 seconds. Forked Darkness also gives Crushing Darkness a 25% chance to tick an extra time when it deals damage. This chance is not increased by the presence of Polarity Shift like Forked Lightning does, but benefits from the effects of Conduction. These extra ticks also trigger Stormwatch.
This ability is primarily used on targets afflicted by Crushing Darkness, and its 6 second cooldown guarantees that you can only use the ability once per application of Crushing Darkness, unless you use Crushing Darkness and immediately increase your Zeal .
While Crushing Darkness is on the target, it deals slightly less damage than Lightning Flash and Chain Lightning on average because it doesn't benefit from Convection and can't trigger Forked Lightning. Since Shock isn't inherent in this type of damage buff, Recklessness and Force Speed shouldn't be consumed with it, although it's pretty easy to avoid.
Without Crushing Darkness on the target, Shock deals almost the same damage as Lightning Bolt (as does Force Lightning via GCD), so it really wouldn't matter what you use and if it weren't for all the procs that Lightning Bolt gives in the short term, it becomes yours DPS doesn't really affect negatively. Shock's primary benefit is that it's instantaneous, and there are a few other notable situations where it's a valuable ability:
- When you need to move and don't have instant flash available.
- When something is dying and you think there is a high chance the target will die before you finish a spell on Lightning Bolt.
- When you screw up Lightning Storm's (Chain Lightning) proc and want to make sure you don't use any abilities that trigger it until you do Thundering Blast again. Force Lightning is also very helpful in this situation, so it's actually an advantage that Shock (and Force Lightning) doesn't grant all of the other procs that Lightning Bolt has.
Shock doesn't have any other procs or discipline passives that I haven't already mentioned.
Static barrier with lightning barrier
Each tick of Lightning Barrier deals almost exactly the same amount as a Lightning Bolt/Shock/Force Lightning. So as long as you manage to take damage that causes the Lightning Barrier to tick once every 30 seconds (the max duration of the bubble), you'll break the damage per second if Static Barrier is used instead of a Lightning Bolt while you're using a significant amount mitigate at the same time from damage.
Unfortunately, it's difficult to get more than a single tick out of each Lightning Barrier activation in group content, thanks to Lightning damage mitigation nerfs. Lightning Barrier is really only consistently useful for solo content, but being able to apply Static Barrier without losing DPS can greatly improve survivability without sacrificing DPS in fights where mobility is little required or where mobility is a lot is predictable.
Since Static Barrier is also an instant ability that doesn't require an enemy target to activate, it's a fantastic move when moving and can result in a DPS boost if activated during downtime when you're not hitting anything can.
Lightning Barrier only triggers from direct damage, so DoTs don't typically trigger the ability, although BioWare isn't very consistent in matching damage types by appearance. Some DoTs are coded as direct damage, while some attacks that definitely look like direct damage are actually periodic.
Regardless, if you manage to squeeze multiple ticks out of a single use of the ability, your damage output increases dramatically since you're now dealing the damage of multiple bolts while only dealing a GCD (the same as bolt) for that damage.
In the last expansion I went into much more detail on how to maximize the number of Lightning Barrier ticks from each bubble using damage reduction, but you just can't get DR high enough to be useful anymore. Make sure you activate the static barrier (even without a lightning barrier) if you can't hit anything.
It's important to note that you'll always deal the same amount of damage per tick, no matter how much health the bubble has left. It's not a mirror image, where damage sent is proportional to damage taken (although it probably should be). So if you only have 1 health left on the bubble when you take damage, Lightning Barrier will still send out a tick and outputs the same amount as a lightning bolt.
You also can't use Lightning Barrier on yourself if you would overwrite another player's bubble when activating Static Barrier, so you need to make sure your current bubble is completely removed before applying your own once the deionized debuff wears off . To avoid this, right-click on the other player's bubble in your buff bar to remove it before applying your own.
This ability is quite unique and is one of the few damaging abilities that can have multiple charges and deals more damage each time it's used thanks to the Energized proc, although this proc only lasts 5 seconds so you can't do much more in between Volts Rush activations if you want to benefit from Energized.
Volt Rush deals slightly less damage per target than Lightning Bolt on average, so it should only be used if you have the Elemental Convection equipped as it almost completely eliminates the DPS loss associated with using Volt Rush, even in single target situations when using Stopped Offense.
This ability also has other tradeoffs compared to Lightning Bolt, as it's not as tightly integrated into the discipline. It won't trigger things like Forked Lightning or grant Fulgrous Fortification and Charged Reaction like Lightning Bolt does.
In addition to AoE, Volt Rush has another key advantage over Lightning Bolt: it's always instantly available. This allows for mobility so far superior that you can probably do almost your entire rotation while on the move, with the exception of casting Crushing Darkness.
Volt Rush also incorporated the effects of 6.0's Endless Offensive set bonus, so it deals 10% more damage than usual (not sure if that's reflected in the tooltip damage), and more importantly, activating Force Speed Grants 2 charges of Volt Rush, although it still has the bug of resetting the cooldown timer when activated.
Volt Rush should only be used when you can trigger Lightning Rush, need to deal AoE damage, or need to move when Shock is unavailable and the Subversion or Convection procs that make Lightning Bolt instant are unavailable.
The formula for determining how much damage an AoE ability deals per GCD so 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 priority is as high as possible 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 don't need to die immediately, or if you otherwise evade your primary responsibility to deal more damage to the adds than necessary. The best example of this for Sorcs is placing your Force Storm on a group of Ugnaughts away from Grob'thok. It's pretty easy to tell what is and isn't fluff, don't be greedy and don't hurt your party's chances of beating the boss.
This is your spamable AoE. It triggers Lightning Storm, which is good if you need AoE, but it can desync Thundering Blast's proc, so make sure it resyncs with Thundering Blast when you return to the single target (basically use Shock or Force Lightning instead of Lightning Bolt until the next Thundering Blast). You can still use Thunder Clap to trigger it. Force Storm damage per GCD surpasses the following abilities after hitting the following number of targets:
- 2 targets: Lightning Strike
- 4 Ziele: Lightning Flash, Crushing Darkness, Shock w/ Proc
- 6 targets: Thunderbolt
- Never: Chain Lightning because Chain Lightning deals about the same damage but only has a 2.5 second cast time instead of a 3 second channel
If you're channeling Force Storm during a boss fight, unless there's a more important single-target DPS check, you should probably be using the skill tree's Oppressive Current buff.
This ability is already being used in rotation and should be used during cooldown, including hardcasting when there are multiple targets. If it's cast hard, the instant proc should be used as soon as you get it, as the ability's cooldown is now the relevant limiting factor on how often it can be used, rather than the Lightning Storm proc's rate limit. It has a higher priority when hard cast when hitting the following number of targets with one use of the ability:
- Lightning Bolt, Lightning Flash, Crushing Darkness, Shock w/ proc: 2 Ziele
- Thunderbolt: 3 targets
Thanks to the Charged Reaction proc, you can afflict many enemies when they are within 8m of each other, and afflict them all indefinitely as Chain Lightning refreshes their duration. The more targets there are, the longer it takes for this to result in a DPS increase. The less health each enemy has, the less time the DoT has to tick. It's difficult to give precise recommendations as to when Affliction should be applied to Adds. It's best to only apply Affliction to a few high-health targets, like champions.
This ability is only an AoE if you have the Elemental Convection Tactic equipped and only if you have activated Chain Lightning within the last 10 seconds. With Elemental Convection, you can use Volt Rush in two different ways.
The first way focuses on sustained DPS, where you only use Volt Rush when you can trigger Lightning Storm to reset Chain Lightning's cooldown. The second way focuses on Burst AoE where you mostly use all 3 charges in a row so you can benefit from the Energize Proc.
Make sure you don't use Volt Rush if you think it will trigger Chain Lightning when you already have Lightning Storm, as you'll just be overriding the proc instead of getting a different one. In general, you should only use Volt Rush before triggering chain lightning if you're sure you're not going to trigger a lightning storm. Volt Rush has a higher priority if you can hit the following number of targets with one use of the ability:
- Lightning Bolt, Lightning Flash, Shock w/ proc: 2 Ziele
- Crushing Darkness: 3 targets
- Thunderbolt: 4 targets
- Chain Lightning: Never
The Eye of the Storm
This ability is brand new in 7.0, but don't get too excited. Basically, you can only cast Lightning Bolt on 3 targets at once, but without most of the little bells and whistles that Lightning Bolt gets from Discipline. The only thing it can do is trigger Lightning Storm (chain lightning proc), but that's a nice perk and 3 targets is usually enough to hit a whole set of junk.
Eye of the Storm is really only worth using against trash mobs in the open world as an AoE alternative before casting Lightning Bolt so you don't have to hard-cast Chain Lightning against every single trash group. You can take out most groups of standard enemies with Eye of the Storm > Chain Lightning (instant) > Force Storm (with Suppression Current).
All offensive cooldowns (OCDs) should be used as much as possible under the conditions outlined here and only delayed when they need to be saved for a DPS check or burst window, but don't start delaying them until you see that you have done this.
Thanks to our Legendary items Unmatched Haste and Gathering Storm, this ability has an uptime of roughly 33% when used on cooldown, increasing your Alacrity to the point where you have a GCD of 1.2 seconds and with deal 20% more damage to all of your attacks.
Make sure the polarity shift is available for all DPS checks, but don't store it long enough that the cooldown might be up in time for the DPS check.
This ability should almost always be used during Polarity Swap, and if you activate it at the same time, make sure you activate Polarity Swap first. Delaying it for a significant amount of time is fine, as Polarity Shift's quickness counteracts the delay, so your next Recklessness will happen around the same time regardless.
I usually base this decision on how much time is left on Polarity Shift's cooldown when it's not active. If the cooldown is over 30-40 seconds I will try to use Recklessness right away as it means Polarity Shift has probably just ended so you have a situation where Recklessness will skip the next Polarity Shift but at the time of the available will be following. Using Recklessness during Polarity Swap amplifies the benefits of both damage stacks; You gain an autocrit that deals 20% more damage.
Almost always use a stack of Recklessness on Thundering Blast. Although this ability is an autocrit, it still deals increased damage as a supercrit, which is a special property of autocrit attacks where the excess crit chance is converted into a crit multiplier, meaning that Recklessness when effective on Thundering Blast is used, their damage increases to 60% traded. To be clear, supercrits only affect abilities that are autocrits. It does not work if combined effects randomly increase the critical chance of abilities above 100%. A single effect must grant 100% critical strike chance.
The other stack of Recklessness should be used on either Chain Lightning or Lightning, depending on availability. When using Chain Lightning as one of the skills for Recklessness, it must always be used on the second charge when hitting multiple enemies, as it consumes a charge for each enemy hit, although it still increases the critical hit chance for all Enemies, even if only one stack can be consumed.
Once you activate Recklessness, it's more important that the right skills benefit from the increased Critical Chance, so it's okay to ignore the priority list for a moment. In general, this means you need to delay Crushing Darkness by one GCD in order to use the second charge on Chain Lightning.
Recklessness can also be used on Force Storm if you need boosted AoE damage. This ability only consumes a single stack at a time, even if it hits more than one enemy. Ruthlessness should never be used on Crushing Darkness as it only affects the first hit as Ruthlessness only increases critical chance of direct damage.
Never use Recklessness with Lightning Bolt. If you mess up, you'd better use one of Force Lightning's charges, since Force Lightning deals the same damage per GCD as Lightning Bolt. So you're better off effectively getting 2 GCDs to autocrit rather than 1.
Also, as I mentioned, Shock isn't a good choice to use Recklessness as it doesn't benefit from the Reverberating Force passive discipline and it's better to use the second stack on Force Lightning.
This ability increases the damage dealt by your next direct Force attack by 20% thanks to the Gathering Storm legendary item, and also reduces the cooldown of Polarity Swap by 5 seconds for the cooldown reduction and number of damage stacks thanks to the Unmatched Haste legendary item to maximize.
It's best to save the proc exclusively for Thundering Blast rather than trying to use it on cooldown on something like Chain Lightning or Lightning Flash, although it's not the end of the world if you use it on one of those abilities instead and due to Thundering Blast's travel time, there's a good chance most of your Force Speed uses will actually result in Chain Lightning being buffed unless you're very close to the boss.
The 20% buff can be consumed on Forked Lightning, which is terrible. If you're really comfortable with the combat and rotation and have very high APM and you know you're going to use an ability that Forked Lightning will use before using Thundering Blast, try Force Speed immediately after using it from Thundering Blast rather than before in those instances to ensure the buff is consumed on Thundering Blast.
Unless you're in a fight with lots of DPS checks where it's impossible to have polarity changes available for every single check, make sure you always activate your adrenals during the polarity switch, even if you have to delay it for a while have.
It's highly unlikely a fight will last long enough if that delay is enough to miss the Adrenal onset, and most of the delay is offset by the increase in Alacrity from the Polarity Shift anyway.
It is important that you do this because during the Adrenal window you will unlock more skills thanks to quickness thanks to your higher APM and the damage increase will scale up with the Adrenal stat increase.
Defensive cooldowns and mobility
Defensive Cooldowns (DCDs) are used not only to prevent you from being killed, but to minimize the overall damage taken. For each combat style and combat, your most effective DCDs should be allocated to the most damaging attacks in combat, while weaker DCDs should be used against weaker attacks.
Don't pop all your DCDs at once, or only use them when your health is low. You should try to mitigate as much damage as possible by using your DCDs against predictable damage.
In fights where you take a lot of sustained damage, it's important to use your DCDs in the order that maximizes your total uptime. If you can adjust the order in which you use your DCDs so that you can get an extra benefit from one of them over the course of a long burn, you should definitely do so instead of activating your potentially more powerful DCDs first.
It's also good to have an emergency panic button, but everything else should be used to prevent your health from being compromised in the first place. Knowing a fight requires understanding how much damage you take and what you can do to mitigate that damage.
This is your bread-and-butter defense cooldown, giving you good damage reduction for a short time. Its short cooldown and duration makes it better at mitigating spikes than dealing with higher damage taken that you find in burn phases.
Cloud Mind also acts as a threat drop, so make sure you use it early in the fight, especially when you're not guarded. The best time to use it is right after the second Thunderbolt or Chain Lightning in your opener, which should be right before the tank's AoE taunt wears off and right around the time the raid buffs end.
If you're having trouble consistently drawing aggro on the primary target and you're performing your threat drop correctly, get someone to guard you. At this point you've done everything you can to minimize your threat generation and it's your tank's fault they're losing aggro.
This ability is non-healing. Don't think of it as healing. Think of it as a defensive cooldown like any other that works randomly by giving you loads of HP. The traditional wisdom with Sorcs survivability is that they can take big hits and survive because they almost always have higher HP than all other classes, so overall they don't lose as much health if someone else hits another defensive cooldown with a lower one Health Used However, since the Sorc had higher health before taking the hit thanks to proactive use of Unnatural Preservation, it will be reduced to the same health level as the other class.
Force Barrier and Enduring Bastion
This ability works by giving you a +20,000% Defense Chance. So if an attack cannot be dodged/deflected/parried/resisted, Force Barrier will not work. Most fights don't use this ability and it's more of an emergency button unless she gets used to intentionally cheesing something like Ciphas' Doom or Master's Ion Cutter.
Since you don't deal damage while channeling this ability, it's absolutely critical that you don't channel it longer than necessary. Unless you're buying time for DoT ticks and such, it doesn't make too much sense to channel longer than 6 seconds anyway, because that's when you get the fourth and final stack of Enduring Bastion, which absorbs a massive amount of damage (although usually not massive enough if you need the 4 stacks). Each stack of Enduring Bastion absorbs as much damage as your Static Barrier. So with 4 stacks of Enduring Bastion you basically have 4 bubbles on you at once.
Force Barrier costs no GCD and works as a CC break, and I use it when I need to CC break frequently like I do with Monolith when I get a color. I also like to use the ability and immediately pause the channel to get Enduring Bastion's single stack, which helps a bit during burn phases where everyone is taking constant damage.
This ability also reduces Force Speed's cooldown when it ends if you choose the Surging Speed skill tree option (which you will almost always do thanks to the Unmatched Haste and Gathering Storm legendary items), but this isn't a good use of the ability in it fight and it's much better to save it for emergencies.
The deciding factor in defeating a boss is surviving long enough with force barrier through the full channel far more likely than getting an extra force speed or two mid-fight and if you get killed while force barrier is on cooldown because you have it as For example, if you've used a DPS boost, you'll lose a lot more DPS when dead.
Each combat style now has an ability that gains a unique effect or otherwise works slightly differently with each discipline. For casters, this ability is Static Barrier, which gains the following effect in the Lightning Discipline:
While under the effect of Deionized, gain 5% damage reduction.
Those of you who played in 6.0 may recall that Lightning previously granted 10% DR while Deionized was active. It seems that BioWare didn't want to increase the overall DR provided by Lightning and since they created the Insulating Blast option which also offers 5% DR they had to take 5% away from somewhere else and that ended up with Deionized polishing.
You shouldn't think of Static Barrier any differently than your other healing abilities like Resurgence and Dark Heal, as it costs a GCD to use. So you lose DPS if you use this skill and either don't have the Lightning Barrier skill tree option or don't get a tick from Lightning Barrier in the next 30 seconds even if you choose that skill tree option.
Static Barrier should only be used as an off-heal for you or someone else if you think you or someone else is going to die if you don't use it, and when I say die I mean it, I don't mean take a huge hit, I mean actually die. If your healers can heal you again and you don't have the Lightning Barrier skill tree option, don't use it unless there's downtime when you can't DPS.
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 should definitely not try to use any of your heals before you Using your Medpac (and I hope you know that unnatural preservation is not included in this rule).
If everyone's health is low or there's a healing check in the current stage, don't hesitate to use your medpac if you can take full advantage of the health provided or need to be above a certain health level to survive an upcoming mechanic. If you think medpacs are too expensive, it's time to get Biochem on one of your alternatives, or better yet, your raid toon so you can create your own or get reusable ones. Choosing not to use a medipack for financial reasons and then dying is not a valid excuse.
This is the cleansing for the sorcs. In general, healers are responsible for most cleanses, although there are a few instances where the DPS should help, like the Dread Council with Tyrans' Death Mark. Before using this on yourself, make sure you don't get lightning barrier ticks from what you're trying to clean
Try to avoid using this as your cleanse. Many of the purges that DPS are responsible for can be removed with an ability that is outside of the GCD, such as your party while your healers are responsible for purifying you.
Your job as a DPS is to spend your GCDs on dealing damage. Your healer's job is to spend their GCDs on damage mitigation, which includes most cleanses.
This skill is by far the best movement skill in the game as it allows you to hold DPS while moving an incredible distance very quickly. Unfortunately we can't really use it for movement now as we need it for our legendary items. However, if you come across a situation where you are likely to die if you don't use it, save it for that situation, but try to rely on Phase Walk as much as possible when those situations are predictable, and ensure Force Speed is used during downtime to further reduce Polarity Shift's cooldown.
Since our Legendary items require the use of Force Speed on cooldown, our mobility is significantly reduced and it becomes more important to rely on Phase Walk for movement. This ability can be activated outside of the GCD, although it has a spell, the only reason it has one at all is to prevent you from placing it mid-air or while moving. Phase Walk can also be activated in the middle of channelings (including Force Barrier) but not in casts without breaking the cast as long as you stay within range of anything you hit and can be used while CC is set, although the button will be grayed out if you try to use it while CC is enabled.
When you try to teleport mid-air sometimes it doesn't work, sometimes there's quite a bit of lag before it teleports you, so keep that in mind. As you think about different places to place Phase Walk, ask yourself: is there a specific place I'd like to return to later in the fight? Is it generally safe to return to this position? Ask yourself this in every single fight and keep in mind that the benefit can be different in each phase.
Unlimited power and empowerment
Your raid buff should be used on cooldown like any other offensive cooldown unless it needs to be used for a burst phase or DPS check. The one-time use results in an approximate sustained DPS increase of 1,000, or around 4,000 over the course of those 10 seconds it's active. HPS is more variable, but should also be proportionally stronger. Unlimited Power isn't a personal buff for you, it's something that empowers the entire team, so multiply those numbers by 6 + a little more for tank contribution.
Normally the raid lead will make the call if this should be used. Since there is a 5 minute ban for anyone who has received the buff to activate or benefit from the effect, and this applies to both factions' version of the ability, only one player in the raid group should ever have unlimited power or receive empowerment. Other casters and sages should choose one of the other 2 options in the skill tree instead. If multiple DPS are dead, the player with an unused unlimited power or empowerment should be prioritized.
I'd also like to point out that all raid buffs only have a range of 40m, so be aware on larger maps that it might not get everyone; Make sure you position yourself to affect as many people as possible before activating it. The most notable instance of this range limitation is during the second set of tentacles in the first phase of the TFB fight, where you need to position yourself in the center near the first and third sets of tentacles to ensure everyone gets the raid buff.
Use this on trash mobs if you want to troll your team.
This is the famous sorc pull! While it's primarily used for trolling to great effect, especially when combined with Phase Walk to leap off ledges and drag an unsuspecting victim to their demise while you teleport back safely, it still has some utility in combat.
If you are 100% sure someone will die if you don't drag them, do it; If you're 99% sure they're going to die, probably don't pull them. You get yelled at if you screw up. You should have a very good idea of where this ability is on your bar, because if you have to waste time finding it, you'll likely be sending a corpse flying through the air instead of saving someone's life, and on At this point you better just remove it from your bar. If possible, try to minimally disrupt the other person's spin, as this will interrupt their spell, and talk to them beforehand if you have time.
If you ever have to do this, something clearly went wrong in the attempt or someone isn't moving along and you should complain to the raid leader and make a big sceneneedheal. PvE in this game revolves around each role being able to fully complete all of their duties without requiring the help of another off-role. Healers are fully capable of keeping anyone alive without anyone having to use off-heals. You should never heal yourself unless you literally believe that if you don't get a heal now and the train can be saved you will die.
Also, don't waste your time healing another player with Resurgence or Dark Heal, just let it bubble up and get back to DPSing as the other heals won't be enough to save someone's life. If there's some downtime when you can't do anything else at all, it's fine to heal yourself and others with these abilities, but really make sure you can't do anything at all that would increase your damage output.
Aside from not being your job, many bosses have pretty tight rage timers. So if you have to waste your precious GCDs helping another role because they can't handle what they can fully handle, you'll have to swipe to an angry boss later anyway.
crowd control and other notable abilities
There are only a handful of instances in Operations where CC is required, so I'll briefly cover what Sorc has at its disposal.
This is your Conal knockback. The only fight it matters for right now is Styrak in NiM, where you have to fight back the chained manifestations. It now has electrical bindings as a built-in feature. Also, please don't ruin everyone else's day by using this ability for their AoE damage.
This is your hard anesthetic. Most stuns have a range of 4m or 10m, depending on whether it is a melee or ranged specialization. However, Lightning's stun has a 15m range, as Lightning has a 5m range increase on almost all of his offensive abilities.
This is your break. Unfortunately, it only has a range of 30m. At 18 seconds, its cooldown is longer than most melee specialists, but not the longest for ranged specialists. That honor goes to the Mercenary, which has a 24-second cooldown on its interrupt (and it was the only class that didn't have one at launch). If you really want to be a clicker, I highly recommend you at least activate this ability via hotkey, otherwise you'll have trouble with some of the shorter spells that need to be interrupted.
This is your CC break. Use it when you get CC and can't deal any damage.
As I mentioned earlier, this ability deals the same damage per GCD as Shock, Lightning Bolt, and a Lightning Barrier Tick, so full channeling deals the same damage as two spells of these other abilities. However, that doesn't mean it should be part of the normal rotation. As weird as it is, you shouldn't be using Force Lightning on a rotating basis in the Lightning spec. However, it has some advantages that make it worth using occasionally:
- 2 GCDs damage for one use of the ability. This means it's better to use Recklessness and Force Speed than Lightning Bolt for this ability, since the effects apply channel-wide. It's still not enough to make it any better than using those cooldowns on a more appropriate ability, but it does help you recover if you screw up.
- It's a channeled ability instead of being cast, so the damage wears off in 4 ticks over 3 seconds instead of 1 tick at the end of 1.5 seconds. So if something is only a GCD or two away from death, it's a more valuable use of your time than throwing a bolt and hoping it lands before the enemy dies.
- Resetting the Lightning Storm proc to Thundering Blast when they desync is very helpful. Generally delay Thundering Blast by one GCD as none of the cooldowns in Lightning line up properly thanks to the inconsistent Zeal and cooldown durations not being multiples of each other. Either way, Lightning Storm is triggered by a Lightning Bolt just before you cast Thundering Blast. The key to fixing this is to not use lightning or anything else that triggers Lightning Storm until you use Thunder Clap again. Force Lightning and Shock are two abilities to replace your Lightning Bolts with when trying to fix this.
- It slows the target by 50% for the duration of the channel (Lightning Strike only slows by 30%).
Skill tree selection
Make a habit of reading through all of your skill tree choices every time you log in. They're meant to be changed on the fly, and having a clearer idea of what they're all doing will help you spot situations where individual choices are useful in-game.
Level 23 Choice - Chain Lightning Buffs
- Effect: Deal damage with chain lightningReduces the cooldown of Unnatural Preservation by 5 seconds, up to 15 seconds per Chain Lightning activation and buildStacks Forbidden Knowledge, increasing the healing of your next Unnatural Ward by 5% per stack (up to 15%). Stacks up to 3 times and lasts 10 seconds.
- Recommendation: Take this in boss fights where you can hit at least 2 targets with Chain Lightning consistently, but Force Storm's AoE is unnecessary. The effect is very confusing as the cooldown reduction scales with the number of targets hit, up to 3 for a maximum 15 second cooldown reduction per Chain Lightning activation, while you can get up to a 15% healing boost for your next Unnatural Predation (this will also occur consistently in single-target situations), but Forbidden Knowledge stacks do not affect the amount of cooldown reduction. Make sure you activate Unnatural Preservation before using Chain Lightning when using this skill tree buff, even if you can only partially benefit from the heal.
- Effect: Replaces Chain Lightning with a single-target version of the ability that deals approximately 30% more damage and has a 0.5 second longer cast time.
- Recommendation: Only take this for single target boss fights. Suspended Offense provides a DPS boost for a single target, making it deal virtually the same damage as 2 Blitzes. With Suspended Offense becoming your second most damaging direct attack by a considerable margin, it's imperative that your second stack of Recklessness be used for Suspended Offense, not Lightning Bolt or anything else, and it's okay to delay your other abilities with a GCD to to ensure this happens. Hard casting Halted Offensive provides the same amount of DPS as casting 2 Lightning Bolts, but since survivability, mobility, and reliability are reduced, there's no reason to hard cast the ability outside of pre-casting.
- Effect: Chain Lightning applies Suppressive Current to all targets hit. Your next Force Storm detonates the stream, dealing additional damage.
- Recommendation: Take this in solo content and add fights. In solo content, this option is great as it practically guarantees that you won't have to channel Force Storm more than once. Suppression Current is also valuable in boss fights, where you regularly use Force Storm throughout the fight and there isn't much of a single target DPS check (like add fights like Draxus and Revanite Commanders). Using a single Force Storm GCD against a target affected by Suppression Current increases a single target's DPS versus Lightning Bolt. That said, it's awkward having to break the cast of Force Storm every single rotation cycle, so I'd only recommend taking this in fights where you're mostly fighting adds all the time and can afford to take the full one channel of Force Storm.
Level 27 Wahl – Eye of the Storm, Cloud Mind oder Finish Them
The Eye of the Storm
- Effect: Grants a new ability that deals damage similar to Lightning Bolt, but can damage up to 3 enemies.
- Recommendation: Only take this in solo content. It's not fully integrated into your rotation, so it doesn't work well in sustained DPS situations, but for solo content it triggers chain lightning, so you don't have to hard-cast chain lightning for every single garbage disposal.
- Effect: Grants the Cloud Mind ability, which increases your damage reduction by 25% and reduces your threat by a moderate amount for 6 seconds.
- Recommendation: Take this for all group content. Unnatural preservation alone is not enough to keep you healthy. You need something to help mitigate the big hits that's more readily available and less fiddly to use than Force Barrier. The Threat Drop component is also important as a burst DPS spec to start the fight.
- Effect: Shock deals additional damage and restores power when it hits targets affected by slows, and increases your movement speed by 20%. This can only happen once every 8 seconds.
- Recommendation: Never take this. Bosses are immune to slows, meaning you won't get any meaningful benefit from them in raids. Outside of raids, Eye of the Storm will likely be a more helpful option.
Level 39 Choice - Thundering Blast Buffs
Out of balance
- Effect: Thunderbolt immobilizes targets for 2 seconds. This can only happen once every 9 seconds.
- Recommendation: Never take this in PvE. Its effect is extremely useful in PvP, but you won't benefit much from a root in PvE.
Thunder and lightning
- Effect: Thunder Clap causes your next Chain Lightning or Offense Stopped to deal 10% more damage.
- Recommendation: Take this in solo content and in battles with lots of adds. Thunder and Lightning offers a DPS increase over Dark Embrace even if you have Stormwatch equipped if you can consistently hit at least 3 total targets. When not using Stormwatch you only need to hit 2 targets consistently for thunder and lightning to become superior. It never provides a DPS increase when using Suspended Offense, as 10% of Suspended Offense's damage is less than the damage dealt by a single tick of Affliction, and you can never multi-target with this ability. Keep in mind that with only 2 or 3 targets, the DPS gain from using Thunder and Lightning is tiny. So unless you're consistently hitting more than the minimum, or the secondary targets have a much lower priority than the primary, you should probably use Dark Embrace instead.
- Effect: Thundering Blast ticks Affliction.
- Recommendation: Take this in fights that are mostly single target. Contrary to the in-game description, this skill tree buff causes Affliction to only tick once, not twice. Dark Embrace is the strongest option if you're using Halted Offensive or can't consistently hit at least 3 targets with Chain Lightning. It will usually be inferior in solo content. Since Stormwatch is triggered by Affliction Ticks, Dark Embrace works in tandem with it, although a single Stormwatch Tick is still fairly weak.
Level 43 Choice –Isolation Blast, Unlimited Power, or Overcharged Barrier
- Effect: Thunderstrike grants a stack of Insulated Strike, increasing your damage reduction by 5% for 18 seconds.
- Recommendation: Take this if someone else is providing the raid buff or it's not needed. 5% DR is not that much. Don't feel too bad about missing this if you have to take the Raid buff instead, although Insulating Blast will be your default choice for group content.
- Effect: Grants the Unlimited Power ability, increasing Mastery, Stamina, and Presence by 10% for you and your Ops Party members within 40m for 10 seconds.
- Recommendation: Take this when no one else is providing the Sorcerer/Sage Raid buff. Lightning has the weakest defense options in this tier compared to Madness/Balance and Corruption/Seer. So if you have multiple Sorcs/Sages, whoever is playing Lightning/Telekinetics will lose the least mitigation to take this. Madness gains 15% DR from one of her options and Corruption gains 6% DR or a passive ability that works very well with one of her legendary items. Only one player in the group should receive this raid buff at a time.
- Effect: Increases all healing received by 5% and increases damage absorbed by Static Barrier by 10%.
- Recommendation: Take this only for solo content. It's hard to say for certain whether Insulating Blast or Overcharged Barrier are better suited for solo content. Isolation Blast can quickly mitigate more damage than the increased Bubble Absorption, but the healing boost it gives makes up for it. Since you don't typically have your DR for most trash pulls, but can apply your bubble out of combat and will likely have a companion to heal you, I think it makes more sense to take this for solo content, even if that's the one Cases do not always lead to the absolute maximum level of damage reduction. With longer fights like you find in Feats of Strength, I think Isolation Blast will be a clearer winner.
Level 51 Choice - Lightning Barrier, Force Mobility, or Defiance
- Effect: Your Static Barrier crackles with electricity, shocking attackers for as much damage as lightning when it absorbs direct damage from you. This does not affect static barriers placed on or by allies and cannot occur more than once per second.
- Recommendation: Take this for solo content and in fights with very little movement. Lightning Barrier is great (and a little OP, to be honest) for solo content as adds don't hit very hard so the bubble often stays up for the entire fight. Group content now relinquishes Force Mobility, which is risky but can sometimes pay off. It's okay to take Lightning Barrier if there's movement, it just has to be predictable and unusual; You don't want to delay Thunderous Blast at all. It takes 5 Lightning Barrier ticks to deal the same damage as 1 Thunderbolt. So if you manage to delay Thunder Clap enough that you missed a spell because you had to move, you're basically just throwing away an incredible amount of Lightning Barriers.
- Effect: Thundering Blast can be cast while moving.
- Recommendation: Take this in most fights. Take this on any fight that you aren't very familiar with. It's difficult to take full advantage of Lightning Barrier. It's easy to miss Thundering Blasts. Instead, only pick up Lightning Barrier if you're very comfortable with the fight and confident that you won't have to move when it comes time to cast Thunderbolt.
- Effect: Increases damage reduction by 3%.
- Recommendation: Never take this. Force Mobility and Lightning Barrier are always way better than that.
Level 64 Choice - Unnatural Power, Surging Speed, or Backlash
- Effect: Unnatural Preservation increases your damage reduction by 15% for 6 seconds and the cooldown of Unnatural Preservation is reduced by 5 seconds.
- Recommendation: Almost never take this. It's a nice effect, but Surging Speed is more important since it's a DPS boost. I think you could only make the case for Unnatural Power if you can also take Forbidden Knowledge and have a much higher uptime with the 15% DR.
- Effect: Reduces the cooldowns of Force Speed by 5 seconds and Force Barrier by 30 seconds. Also, Force Speed lasts 0.5 seconds longer, Polarity Shift increases your movement speed by 100% while it's active, and activating Force Barrier ends Force Speed's cooldown.
- Recommendation: Take this almost always. Force Speed's cooldown reduction makes this a significant DPS boost, thanks to the legendary Gathering Storm and Unmatched Haste implants. The other mobility improvements are nice too.
- Effect: Static barriers you place on yourself explode in a flash of light when they end, mezzing up to 8 nearby enemies for 3 seconds.
- Recommendation: Never take this. It's useful in PvP, especially against assassins/shadows and agents/rogues, but it's not very helpful in raids since most enemies have CC immunities.
Level 68 choices - Whirlwind, Phase Response, or Volt Rush
- Effect: Grants the Whirlwind ability that mezzes the target for 8 seconds. If the effect ends prematurely, the target is stunned for 2 seconds. Strong, Elite, and Champion enemies heal quickly.
- Recommendation: Take this when there is an ad that needs to be CCed. Phase Walk is nice but not essential. CCing specific enemies is almost always more valuable than moving somewhere faster.
- Effect: Grants the Phase Walk ability, which allows you to place a mark on the ground that lasts up to 10 minutes. You can always teleport back to this marker if you are within 60m, after which the ability will wear off for 60 seconds.
- Recommendation: Take this almost always. It's the most consistent of the three abilities in raids, but if there's no pressing need to take this ability, feel free to swap it out for one of the other two.
- Effect: Deals a small amount of damage to your target and grants Charge up, increasing the damage (and healing if applicable) of Volt Rush by 30%. Stacks up to 3 times and lasts 5 seconds.
- Recommendation: Only take this if you have Tactical Elemental Convection equipped. Volt Rush is your weakest non-elemental convection ability. It deals very little damage, but with the Elemental Convection Tactic, the extra Chain Lightning it can trigger makes up for it. Some damage is also better than no damage. So if you find yourself in a fight where you have to kite so much that you have GCDs where none of your skills are available, consider this option.
Level 73 Wahl – Emersion, Corrupted Flesh oder Conspirating Force
- Effect: Force Speed grants Emersion, removing all movement-impairing effects and granting them immunity for the duration.
- Recommendation: Take this in fights where you are slowed down. Adds tend to apply slows more often than bosses, but slows aren't all that common in raids. Emersion can also be used to purify certain DoTs that have a movement impairing component, like Captain Horic's Corrosive Grenade in S&V NiM.
- Effect: Periodically reduces damage taken by 15%.
- Recommendation: Take this in fights where enemies periodically damage you. Corrupted Flesh isn't great, 15% less damage taken (RDT) against a single damage type, which usually comes from a single attack if the boss has one at all. It's better than nothing and that's about it. Unfortunately, there is no consistently useful alternative for raiders at this level.
- Effect: Targets affected by your Affliction are slowed by 30% for its duration.
- Recommendation: Never take this. Bosses cannot be slowed down and for enemies you can slow down you have other rotation slows that are more than adequate.
Equipment and stat priorities
Lightning Flash applies Stormwatch to his target for the next 10 seconds. Whenever the target takes damage from Affliction, Thunderclap, and Crushing Darkness, a bolt of lightning is called down on the target, dealing a small amount of energy damage.
This is your default tactical item for single target situations, especially when you need sustained DPS or don't plan to switch targets. You need to be careful about what you're using Lightning Flash for when using this tactic, as it basically applies a different DoT.
Volt Rush triggers Lightning Storm when activated (with separate rate limit). Chain Lightning gives you Volt Flux, causing your Volt Rush to multi-target for the next 10 seconds.
If you need sustained AoE, this is the better tactic as Volt Rush will give you an extra chain lightning and AoE. Never take it offensive with Halted
Force Speed grants an additional stack of convection. 3 Convection Stacks allow Thundering Blast to activate instantly, consuming all stacks. Lightning Bolt deals 10% more damage and Thundering Blast deals 20% more damage while Convection is active.
This tactical item is geared towards PvP as it makes it impossible to interrupt any other use of Thundering Blast and deal bonus damage. It offers significantly less sustained DPS and burst damage (related to burst DPS checks) than Stormwatch, so it should never be used in group PvE content. Still, sometimes I like to take it for solo content because you don't really do much rotation against normal enemies, and sometimes that damage boost can be enough to take down stronger enemies, while Stormwatch can take an extra GCD.
BioWare removed set bonuses from the game and replaced them with legendary items, which are just implants with old 4 or 6 piece set bonus effects, instead of having to collect 4 pieces of a gear set to get the 4 piece set bonus or 6 pieces for that 6 piece set, you get either a 4 or 6 piece set bonus effect on an implant.
This was done to improve customization (now you can mix and match set bonuses), get them easier, and take up less inventory space. Here are the legendary items you should use as a lightning caster.
- Unsurpassed haste- Mental Alacrity / Polarity Shift duration is increased by 5 seconds and using Force Speed reduces Mental Alacrity / Polarity Shift active cooldown by 5 seconds.
- collect storm– Force Speed causes your next Force attack to deal 20% more damage and you deal 20% more damage while Polarity Swap is active.
I recommend buying the Gathering Storm implant first, as that grants the actual damage increases, while Unmatched Haste only boosts them.
If you're interested in learning more about legendary items, I called a guideLegendary items in SWTOR 7.0. It explains how to unlock legendary items and includes a full list of them, broken down by combat style.
The Earpiece is the only piece of gear that really lets you choose your tertiary stats. It must be granted eitheraccuracy(Initiative, yellow icon) orwillingness(Quick Savant / Flink, green icon), depending on your mix of Augments.
Advanced EvisceratingCrystalsare still the best because +41 stat is a more significant Critical Rating upgrade since your total stat pool for tertiary stats is much smaller than for the alternative stat increases from crystals that enhance primary and secondary stats including Mastery, Stamina and Power.
I recommend theRemnant of Targeted VengeanceAndRandom Attack Remnantfor all content. Equip the highest item rated version of these relics. Thankfully, we no longer have to worry about carrying around a second set of relics as all endgame content will be balanced for level 80.
Since no new crafting tier will be released with the launch of 7.0, the biochem items from 6.0 remain BiS. I recommend theAdvanced Kyrprax Proficient Stim,Advanced Kyrprax Medpac, AndAdvanced Kyrprax Attack Adrenal.
Since there isn't a new crafting tier yet, there aren't any new enhancement tiers yet either, so just like Biochem items, you'll be using 6.0 stuff. There are 3 different levels to consider. If you played in the last expansion, keep everything you have, although it's unlikely you'll be able to save everyone.
Just like in 6.0, Augments are mostly about how much you want to spend. Most perks are pretty cheap to get, but if you need that extra power boost and are willing to give away the credits, you'll have access to more powerful gear.Almost everyone should buy the blue 276 Augmentsbecause they offer the best value for money.
- Augmented Gold 300(Superior [Type] Augment 77 + Augmentation Kit 11). These are Best in Slot (BiS) overall and will offer a noticeable DPS boost, but they're obscenely expensive. Unless you need them to hit a stat threshold, you'd be better off spending your hard-earned credits on a cool armor set instead.
- Purple 286 enlarged(Advanced [Type] Augment 74 + Augmentation Kit MK-11) are a notch down, but they're incredibly expensive, so I'd only recommend buying them for your main product, and only if you have a bunch of extra credits that burn a hole in your pocket.
- Blue 276 added([Type] Augment 73 + Augmentation Kit Mk-11) provide about 88% of the benefit for about 6% of the cost of the purple 286 Augments. It's really hard to justify using the purple 286 augments unless you or your party really need that little stat boost to boost your numbers slightly. Almost everyone should get this level of enhancements.
Since we don't have access to modifiable gear, we're completely dependent on Augments to even out the stats BioWare gives us. You'll likely need a lot more accuracy and speed to hit the associated stat thresholds.
- Accuracy up to 110.00%– This is the most important stat to reach its threshold because attacks that miss deal 0 damage and no other stats matter in this case. You need 110% accuracy and not just 100% as bosses have a 10% chance to dodge/resist player attacks and any percentage above 100% reduces that chance.
- Zeal to 2.15%– This stat has second priority as you won't get the full benefit of the stat unless you're on one of the thresholds, although it's still less important than accuracy as your attacks still need to hit. Lightning has different alacrity requirements than any other DPS spec, as they gain 5% alacrity in combat from the proc Focal Lightning, which allows us to hit the 1.4s GCD (7.15%) without spending nearly as much stat having to to get there. It's no longer worth shooting at 11.38% and the 1.1s GCD during the polarity swap as it takes far too much zeal to get there and the critical value is already much lower than in previous expansions. If you go for 340 gear, the lowest speed you can get is only 4.38% and requires you to use boots and pants, which don't offer speed (Targeter and Pummeler are the alternatives). If you stop at 330 you can get down to 2.15% with mods.
- Critical gets the rest– This stat has the lowest priority as it does not have a threshold associated with it like the other two tertiary stats. Critical Chance is more valuable than in the past as Critical Chance has been lowered across the board.
Experiencewhich Hyde and Zeek mods to buy in SWTORon the fleet to minimize your expenses and streamline your build. The dedicated guide contains tips for all roles in PvE and PvP.
Regarding the Zeal Guild Perk Zeal Boost
If your guild is using the Alacrity (Cyan) set bonus 5% Alacrity Boost, you won't need nearly as much Alacrity stat to reach your desired Alacrity Threshold, so focus on the percentage thresholds rather than the values of the stats. Just add one increase at a time until you reach the desired percentage.
I personally recommend using the Fortune Set Bonus (yellow) instead, which grants a 5% Critical Chance and also increases the Critical Rate and Time Efficiency of all Crew Skills by 2%. This is because you don't need to change your equipment to benefit from the effect.
None of the effects work in MM raids or PvP. So if you're doing any of these activities, you'll need to tweak your gear to get the threshold you want, which I find very boring. The speed boost is way more powerful than the critical chance boost, but the content isn't balanced around those guild perk set bonuses anyway, so I find it better to just have a smaller boost that I don't have to worry about, as opposed to a larger boost that I have to interact with.
Beste Lightning Sorcerer Builds in 7.0
These are the builds I recommend for different types of content and situations. Thebuild foundationsare the core components that make the build viable in my opinion. Without them, the build no longer fulfills its primary function. Build Essentials can include major skill tree buffs, a tactical item, and even the occasional legendary item. The skill tree buffs not listed as Build Essentials can be changed as needed without affecting the integrity of the build, although I've included a full set of default options that will be most consistently helpful in achieving what the build provides .
Lightning doesn't have interdependent skill tree options, so it doesn't have as much need for dedicated builds as many other disciplines. Lightning also has many situational options, so be prepared to make changes on the fly.
insulating blastUnlimited Power
This build feels very similar to Lightning from 6.0 (minus the rotational AoE) and emphasizes survivability against fluff. As the name of this build suggests, it should be used when you want to maximize your single target DPS, as adds are rare or non-existent, or are handled by DoT specs in your party.
In fights where you don't need Force Mobility, you can take Lightning Barrier instead, but remember that delaying Thunder Clap's movement almost always results in a larger DPS loss than you would gain from Lightning Barrier.
Strong sustained AoE build
forbidden knowledgeOppressive Current
Thunder and lightning
insulating blastUnlimited Power
This build is designed to deal heavy, sustained AoE damage in group content, so there's a greater emphasis on survivability compared to what you might be using in solo content. You have very granular control over how much AoE you actually have to do based on which skill tree buff you choose for Chain Lightning. Volt Rush and Elemental Convection are an optional pair that allow and facilitate some of this flexibility.
Forbidden knowledge vs oppression current is the next step. Suppression Current allows for maximum AoE damage, but should only be used when you need to alternate using Force Storm. Use Forbidden Knowledge if you don't find it necessary to use Force Storm. You might make a case for taking Unnatural Vigor instead of Surging Speed when taking Forbidden Knowledge to increase the availability of the 15% DR, but you'll need to balance this against the DPS loss from the reduced effectiveness of your Legendary Implants.
I don't think it's worth taking Eye of the Storm with this build since you don't have very many free GCDs to use for AoE anyway. With Elemental Convection, Volt Rush, and Force Storm, it's not really a DPS increase over Eye of the Storm anyway, even with 3 targets. Also, Eye of the Storm doesn't benefit from pushback rotation, making it terrible when you're actually in combat. Cloud Mind is also more valuable for harm reduction.
The Eye of the Storm
Thunder and lightning
These options focus on dealing maximum damage in a solo content setting. Against most trash groups, just do a simple twist of Eye of the Storm -> Chain Lightning -> Force Storm. Any stronger enemies that remain are struck with Affliction -> Thunderbolt -> (if necessary) Lightning Bolt -> Crushing Darkness. Static Barrier should also be applied outside of combat between Trash Pulls.
It doesn't matter what tactical item you use; they all have advantages. Stormwatch leads to the highest sustained DPS and is at its best in longer fights. Eyrin's Rush can often allow you to directly take down enemies with Thundering Blast, so you don't have to spend an additional GCD to run Lightning Flash. Elemental Convection gives you a lot of AoE, but you get enough of your skill tree buffs that it's not strictly necessary.
I would also like to draw attention to a few specific, non-essential decisions. Emersion is by far the best top tier choice as so many adds slow you down with those pesky DoTs that reapply the slow every tick and last way too long.
Phase Walk is also super nice when you need to get back the way you came, like when you just need to go into a room or alcove to click a button, you can place Phase Walk on the door to get yourself to save a little time.
Openers, rotations, priorities
This is the rotation you use at the very beginning of combat and for burst DPS checks. It may be a little different than the default rotation as everything is off cooldown including your OCDs and Relic procs. It's important to get as much damage as possible while having all of your damage boosts available to maximize their effect.
- chain lightning (premade)
- polarity change
- adrenal gland
- Unlimited Power (if applicable)
- Force speed +carelessness
- thunder strike
- Crushing Darkness
- priority list
This opener assumes you are using Stormwatch Tactics and using the Unmatched Haste and Gathering Storm legendary items. You'll have enough time to get the full duration of Crushing Darkness in Stormwatch even if you wait that long to cast it.
Chain Lightning is used before Crushing Darkness as Recklessness is active. This is especially important when using the Stuck Offense skill tree buff. When Suspended Offense is used, it's far superior to pairing with Recklessness compared to Lightning Bolt, so you also don't need to adjust your opening spell depending on which Chain Lightning buff is being used.
Lightning Flash is used before Thundering Blast so we don't miss 2 ticks from Stormwatch. You can move it until after Thundering Blast (and the following stopped offensive) if you're not using Stormwatch, but make sure you use it before Crushing Darkness.
Polarity Shift must be used before applying Affliction as this will increase tickrate as long as Affliction remains on that target, which in many cases can last the entire fight. Recklessness and your Adrenal are also affected by Zeal, so these are also used after polarity swaps.
The Adrenal and Unlimited Power are saved until Affliction is used, as these types of cooldowns only affect the damage that occurs during the buff, not the entirety of the DoTs. A good way to remember is that damage increases apply once health is actually reduced (or when you see flytext for damage value), not based on ability activation.
It's important to wait until you've activated Lightning Bolt before using Force Speed and Recklessness in order for the Thunderbolt and Chain Lightning damage boosts to take effect. Technically, it's fine to use Recklessness on Lightning Flash when you're not using Halted Offensive since they deal very similar single-target damage, but Halted Offensive or Multi-Target Chain Lightning are superior uses of the second stack of Recklessness.
In Lightning, you use a priority system because it's impossible to use all of your rotation abilities during cooldown. So when multiple high damage abilities are available at the same time, a priority list is used to determine which to use first in order to provide the highest damage per second and ensure your most damaging abilities are used as often as possible.
- Affliction (if not on target)
- thunder strike
- Crushing Darkness
- shock (only ifCrushing darkness is on target)
- Static barrier (only withlightning barrier)
- Lightning Bolt (only when procs drop)
- chain lightning (withlightning storm proc)
This ability priority ensures that your most damaging abilities are used as often as possible. It's important to practice this on a dummy at least long enough to be able to perform the twist without having to constantly look at your bar. The only things you really don't want to delay are Thundering Blast and Lightning Flash.
It's common to have multiple high-damage abilities available at once; All you have to do is stick to the priority and you will do well.
If there is downtime during a fight, remember that you can predict things and often activate your DoTs just before the boss does actual damage. You don't get the full damage of your DoTs, but you also don't have to spend a GCD to apply them when the boss is vulnerable, so you end up dealing more damage.
The key to great DPS is to always be DPS. Using every damaging ability is better than just standing there and doing nothing. Some DPS is better than zero DPS. Even if you screw it up, keep on rotating! Unless there is a mechanic preventing you from dealing damage or forcing you to stop DPSing, you shouldn't stop DPSing. If a tank tells you to stop DPS or wait a few seconds because he can't hold aggro, don't listen to him, he's the one who doesn't know how to hold aggro. Tell them to git gud.
Appreciation and special thanks
I would like to thank everyone who is or has ever been a member of Time Turners. I've had a great time over the years and can't wait to see what's in store for us in the years to come.
I'll be updating all of my class guides as balance changes are released, although this will take some time as I'm just one person with many different class guides to maintain. If you come across something that you think I haven't considered such as: B. a build, rotation or opener that works the same or better than what I recommend, please let me know in the comments!