SWTOR 4.0 Lightning Sorcerer PvP Guide by Dacri.
- 1 Intro to Lightning Sorcerer
- 1.1 Gear
- 1.2 Utilities
- 2 Abilities and Rotation
- 2.1 Offensive Abilities
- 2.2 Defensive Abilities and Cooldowns
- 2.3 Other Abilities
- 2.4 Rotation
- 2.5 Solo Ranked Rotation
- 3 Advanced Tactics
- 3.1 Phase Walk
- 3.2 Situational Awareness and Creating UI
- 3.3 Kiting
- 4 About the Author
Intro to Lightning Sorcerer
Lightning Sorcerer has become one of the most nerfed classes in PvP, but it can be a fun spec to play, having a 35 meters range with all your attacks, and barely worrying about running out of Force.
In PvP, Lightning Sorcerer is one of the less used specs, but you can put up quite a lot of damage, a decent survivability and amounts of healing.
The purpose of this guide is to help every Sorcerer improve their mastery of this class (as they say, Sorcerer is an easy class but hard to master). I will discuss optimal positioning, melee kiting tactics, as well as ways to maximize your survivability and improve your situational awareness.
Again, the target audience of this guide is quite broad, so hopefully Sorcerers of all skill levels will get something out of it.
The how to gear a Lightning Sorcerer is pretty much down to personal preferences, different sorcerers recommend different set ups. There is a single thing every sorcerer agree (for PvP) is that you don´t need Accuracy at all. The regular and ranked gear comes with some accuracy (enhancements) on it, you will have to change them.
The stats that you should take (in order of priority) are Power, Critical Rating and Alacrity Rating. More specifically, what I recommend is the following:
- Power 2734 (All power mods, 5 Advanced Overkill Augment 40. Pretty much every slot and pieces includes power).
- Critical Chance 1543 (5 Critical Enhancements, 8 Advanced Critical Augment 40, 1 Critical Earpiece, 1 Critical Implant).
- Alacrity Rating 484 (2 Alacrity Enhancements, 1 Alacrity Implant, 1 Advanced Alacrity Augment 40).
- Set bonus is Force-Master´s
You basically have 2 stats to pick up from, which are Critical and Alacrity. The amount you stack is really down to personal preference, but what I’ve listed is the most balanced you will get to maximize DPS, speed up global cooldowns, and force regeneration.
This stat increases your Force Critical Chance and your force critical multiplier (pretty much all of your abilities are “force abilities”). Force Critical is the chance that a successful Force Power will deal critical damage or critical heal. Pretty much the percentage of your Force Abilities to make a critical damage or heal.
Force Critical Multiplier is percentage by which Critical hits or heals increase damage health dealt.
What you should see on your Character Tab (under Force Tab) is Critical 39.3%+ (39.3% should be a base with the stats posted up there, difference is going to be from what Datacrons, companions buffs and class buffs. Same will apply to the rest of the stats). Critical Multiplier 70%
Ever since 3.0 dropped, alacrity is one of the best stats available to you, it speeds up your global cooldowns, and affects how fast your damage over time (DoTs) ticks; it basically increases the speed at which abilities are executed. Furthermore, a higher alacrity rating will boost Force Regeneration, which can be quite helpful if you have force management issues.
This spec increases your alacrity by 1-5% (up to 5 stacks-5%) which will be seen later.
If you followed my stat recommendations, what you should see is Alacrity 5.48% and Force Regen Rate 8.4. Force Regen already has a base of 8 per second, which with 484 Alacrity rating gives an extra 0.4 force regen per second.
With 5 stacks of Focal Lightning, you will win a 5% extra alacrity and it will go up to 10.49%.
Power has become a basic stat for sorcerers and pretty much every slot or gear includes this stat. There is no diminishing return to it and it gives more bonus damage than Mastery. Mastery does provide some extra Critical Change, but it is a low amount. In the end, the difference between Power and Mastery is small.
What you should see (under Bonus Damage/Bonus Healing) is 2308 and 1670.
Lightning Sorcerer should only run Relic of Serendipitous Assault (chance to give extra power) and Relic of Focused Retribution (chance to give extra mastery).
These stats are my personal preference; you might see differences on the percentages on your character tab (Force Tab), because all the gear I show is ranked. There might be a difference of 100-200 points with the Regular gear, there might also be a difference since I have very fewDatacrons. Make sure to always wear an Advanced Anodyne Versatile Stim.
Different utilities should be used in different situations, in the case of sorcerer you don´t have much to pick up on Skillful part, but you do on Heroic and Masterful. What you spec into should be influenced by what you are doing (i.e. Regular WZs, Solo Ranked or Team Ranked), every situation demands a different Utilities set up.
Keep in mind you are most easily to get interrupted and shut down playing Lightning than Madness, so you need to be smart with the utilities you pick in order to put out the highest damage you can.
|Empty Body – Increases all healing received by 10%. Does not affect stolen life.|
|Sap Strength – Targets stunned by your Electrocute suffer Sapped Strength when Electrocute wears off, which reduces all damage dealt by 25% for 10 seconds.|
|Oppressing Force – Lowers the cooldown of Electrocute by 10 seconds. And some PVE non related ability.|
|Dark Speed – Dark Heal increases the movement speed of the target by 50% for 6 seconds. This effect cannot occur more than once every 12 seconds.|
|Sith Defiance – Increases damage reduction by 3%.|
|Force Suffusion – Overload heals you and up to 7 affected allies for xxxx-xxxx (Depends on your Bonus Healing).|
|Chain Shock – Shock gains a 25% chance to produce a second Shock that deals 25% damage.|
|Tempest Mastery – Increases the damage dealt by Force Storm by 25%|
|Emersion – Force Speed grants Emersion, removing all movement-impairing effects and granting immunity to them for the duration.|
|Electric Bindings – Overload binds its targets in electricity, immobilizing them for 5 seconds. Direct damage dealt after 2 seconds ends the effect prematurely.|
|Suppression – Activating Cloud Mind grants Suppression, which increases damage reduction by 25% for 6 seconds.|
|Dark Resilience – Reduces the damage taken by the target of your Extrication by 25% for 6 seconds after you extricate them. Additionally increases the healing done by Unnatural Preservation by 30%.|
|Lightning Barrier – Increases the amount absorbed by your Static Barrier by 10%.|
|Corrupted Flesh – Reduces the damage taken from all periodic effects by 15%.|
|Conspiring Force – Targets affected by your Affliction are slowed by 30% for its duration.|
|Dizzying Force – Reduces target´s accuracy by 20% for 8 seconds after Whirlwind ends.|
|Force Mobility – Thundering Blast, Innervate, and Force Leech may be activated while moving|
|Backlash – Static Barriers you place on yourself erupt in a flash of light when they end, blinding up to 8 nearby enemies for 3 seconds. This effect breaks from direct damage.|
|Haunted Dreams – If your Whirlwind breaks early from damage, the target is stunned for 2 seconds. In addition, Whirlwind activates instantly.|
|Shapeless Spirit – Reduces all damage taken while stunned by 30%.|
|Force Haste – Reduces the cooldown of Force Speed by 5 seconds, Force Slow by 3 seconds and Force Barrier by 30 seconds.|
|Surging Speed – Polarity Shift increases your movement speed by 50% while active. In addition, Force Speed lasts 0.5 seconds longer, and when Force Barrier ends, the active cooldown of Force Speed is finished.|
|Shifting Silhouette – Reduces all area of effect damage taken by 30%. In addition, using Phase Walk to return to its marked location grants Shifting Silhouette, keeping you from being leapt to or pulled and making you immune to interrupts and ability activation pushback for the next 6 seconds.|
|Corrupted Barrier – Your Static Barrier, Force Barrier and Enduring Bastion heal you for 2% of your total health every second for as long as they last. This healing scales up to 8% with the charges for Enduring Bastion.|
Different Utilities Setup
The one on the left is quite basic and has all you need in case of an “emergency”. If you are not used to sitting still to cast force Leech, you may pick up Force Mobility. Other sorcerers with more experience could use the one on the right. Suppression is a really nice ability which you could use with a Warzone Adrenal, giving you a 40% damage reduction. While Haunted Dreams is not really a must, but you could pick it up to help the team or cc someone annoying you; healers, etc (remember to use it on targets that are not affected by DoTs, otherwise it is going to be a 2 second hard stun). Try a mix of all of these possibilities for solo ranked, just keep in mind Emersion and Corrupted Barrier are a must for solo ranked.
Abilities and Rotation
This is the fun part, but it is pretty basic, your damage rotation has to be complemented with helping teammates, positioning, kiting and situational awareness.
|Thundering Blast – Sends a thundering blastwave at a single target that deals internal damage. Thundering Blast automatically critically hits targets affected by your Affliction.
|Chain Lightning – Delivers an arc of lightning that deals energy damage to up to 8 targets within 8 meters of the primary target.
|Lightning Bolt – Hurls a bolt of lightning at the target, dealing energy damage and slowing the target by 30% for 3 seconds. Replaces Lightning Strike.
|Lightning Flash – Blasts the target with a quick flash of lightning, which deals energy damage and grants Force Flash, which reduces the activation of your next Crushing Darkness by 0.5s.
|Crushing Darkness – Summons a dark cloud of energy to crush the target, instantly dealing kinetic damage and an additional kinetic damage over 6 seconds.
|Force Lightning – Deals energy damage to the target and consumes 40 force over the duration of the channel. Also slows the movement speed of the target by 50%.
|Shock – Shocks the target with energy damage. Standard and weak targets are additionally stunned for 3 seconds.
|Force Storm – Calls down a Force Storm over the target area, consuming 60 force and dealing energy damage to up to 8 targets within 8 meter.
Defensive Abilities and Cooldowns
|Force Barrier – Projects a Force Barrier around you, granting immunity to all control, damage, and negative effects while channeled. This ability does not respect the global cooldown and can be used while controlled.Charges will build up and grant Enduring Bastion, a shield that absorbs an amount of damage based off the charges that are present when force barrier ended. Enduring bastion grants immunity to interrupts.
|Static Barrier – Surrounds the target in a lightning shield that lasts 30 seconds and absorbs a high amount of damage.
|Overload – Deal damage and knock back up to 8 enemies within 15 m cone in front of you. Standard and weak enemies are additionally knocked down for 3 seconds.
|Electrocute – Electrocutes the target, dealing energy damage and stunning it for 4 seconds.
|Unbreakable Will – Summons the unbreakable will of the Sith, immediately purging incapacitating and movement-impairing effects.
|Force Speed – Increases movement speed by 150% for 2 seconds.
|Recklessness – Grants 2 charges of Recklessness, which increases the force critical chance of your direct attacks and heals by 60%.
Cooldown: 1 min 30s
|Polarity Shift – Grants 20% alacrity and immunity to pushback and interrupts for 10 seconds.
|Phase Walk – Activating this ability marks your current location for 10 minutes. When this ability is activated again, if you are within 60 meters of the marked location, you instantly return to the marked location.
|Unnatural preservation – Immediately restores health to you. Cannot be used on others.
|Resurgence – Immediately heals the target, plus does additional healing over 9 seconds.
|Dark Heal – Heals a friendly target.
|Force Slow – Deals kinetic damage and slows the target´s movement speed by 50% for 6 seconds.
|Whirlwind – Traps the target in a whirlwind for 10 seconds.
|Extrication – If target is a group member, pulls the target to your location.
|Expunge – Cleanses a friendly target of up to 2 negative mental or force effects.
|Jolt – Interrupts the target´s current action and prevents that ability from being used for 4 seconds
|Consuming Darkness – Restores 40 force. Utilizing Consuming Darkness makes you Weary, reducing your Force Regeneration rate by 2 for 10 seconds, This effect can stack up to 4 times.
Your initial rotation is quite simple: open with Affliction (because of Thundering Blast auto crit), then Thundering Blast (you get a proc for Chain Lightning, which casts it instantly), pop Recklessness (which gives you 2 charges+1 from set bonus), Polarity Shift and use Chain Lightning. Chain Lightning gives the target Overwhelmed which increases damage taken from area attacks (like Chain Lightning and Force Storm), also it reapplies Affliction to all the damage targets (targets need to have your Affliction on them in order to be reapplied).
Next you cast 2 times Lightning Bolt (this ability gives you a 50% chance of getting 1 stack of Focal Lightning which increases your alacrity by 1%, also it has a 25% chance to produce a second arc of damage that strikes the target for 25% of the damage dealt and also it gives you Fulgurous Fortification which increases your damage reduction in 3% for 10 seconds and can be stacked up to 3 times), use Lightning Flash right after the cast is over and hard cast Crushing Darkness.
To finish the rotation you can either use Force Storm or Lightning Bolt to get all of Focal Lightning Stacks, Fulgurous Fortification and proc for Chain Lightning.
Solo Ranked Rotation
In solo ranked your rotation will deviate from the Basic one that is most suited for regular warzone matches. The difference for solo ranked is that you will have to try to maximize the survivability of your team mates. Here is the deal, Solo Ranked is about outliving the other team, when you understand that concept you begin to wonder what you can do. Sorcerers have some healing abilities that can be used on the players from your team, such as Rejuvenate, Dark Heal, Static Barrier, Pull (not a heal but can pull the target away from melee, then you can heal him to full, or half).
These abilities will make your rotation vary from what I or any sorcerer tells you, this is where situational awareness and peeling come in to play. Both of which are discussed later on in this guide.
The ideal rotation will go as follows: putting your Phase Walk in a safe place (will see this point further the guide too), Bubble (static barrier) your entire team (make sure to bubble only non-sorcerer players), and run towards the enemy and do the basic rotation. After using Crushing Darkness you will look out for your team mates health, throw them some bubbles (static barrier debuff should be down by now), and throw a rejuvenate or/plus Dark heals on a low target. You may pull him too depending on if he has his defensive cooldown up or not (if he has defensive cooldowns up DO NOT pull him).
Make sure you Line of Sight ranged enemies, you have a 35m range, it will help you to not take damage, not getting interrupted, and can off heal team mates without worrying.
After helping team mates return to your rotation and repeat till you win.
Make sure to keep Affliction on every target, Chain Lightning will reapply it, so you just have to do it once while enemy targets are 8 meters or less away from on who you used Chain Lightning. Also make sure to always have 5 stacks of Focal Lightning, it will increase your alacrity in a 5%, with stacks it should be at 10.49%, this will speed your casts, GCD and DoTs ticks.
4.0 gave you a new best friend. It is basically the most ridiculous ability ever created. Well to start off, you have to put your Phase Walk in smart places such as I will list below. You can put it in different places, but make sure to put it as central as you can (since PW has a 60 meter range) and in a place that you can Line of Sight Ranged, and avoid being close to Melee. After you use your PW to return to the marked position, all you have to do is HEAL TO FULL, make sure to heal to full or you are doing it wrong. Also never use Force Barrier before you use Phase Walk or both at the same time, it is a waste. In some situations where the enemy team rushed to you and you either didn´t have the chance of placing Phase Walk or you placed it and it is a few meters away from the fight you have 2 options, force speed your way out of there, far as you can go and then use PW, or you will have to bubble. In case you bubble, after it ends run way to the limit of your PW. You need to be as far as you can from it to use it as emergency and then heal to full, this way you will take the more damage that you can, praying that your team has killed 1 or 2 players.
Where to put your phase walk Solo Ranked:
Always use that thing to place your PW. Both sides has a pretty similar one, so place it in the point that you can LOS any ranged on the bridge. If melee is close to the PW placement, kite them away, go in a direction such as the other side of the map. The best thing to do is get the fight to beneath the bridge, close as you can to the other “pillar”, PW and heal to full.
On Square use these walls to put your PW. If you use the boxes right down the base you are putting yourself in risk of being too far away and it won’t port you. These marked spots are the most centric ones with the capacity of LOS and getting away from the fight quite easily; giving you time to heal to full. There are more centric spots than these marked ones, such as the box in middle, but enemy players are probably going to catch you quicker if you port there than the places I’ve marked.
PW placement here has quite a lot of possibilities, you can either use the houses or down the huts. If you use the house it will for sure let you heal to full. In case someone comes closer you can knock them back right down, giving you even more time to heal to full.
Best place to put the PW are these “walls”, try to put it in the center of this wall, making you untouchable by any possible AOE´s. Both sides have the same wall, just make sure to keep the fight away from sight so you can have some time to heal to full.
Situational Awareness and Creating UI
This is what is going to make the difference between a good sorcerer and an average or bad sorcerer. Average sorcerers will just straight sit on one spot and do damage while taking damage, having quite high damage numbers, but the healing done is going to be only from Force Barrier/Static Barrier heals or absorb, etc.
Situational Awareness is about knowing what is going on everywhere. You need to set up your UI to something where you can easily see your team´s health and where they are.
This is my UI, the scoreboard has to be close in case you need to CC particular targets (you have to either click on the scoreboard or use focus target modifier), and the operations frame has to be real close to the middle of the screen. In case any of the team mates need help, pull, heals, etc., you can do it quickly without having to move your mouse all over the screen. Other ways to do this is using binds assigned to each group member.
Something that is important too is that you need a quick bar with all of the most important abilities or the ones that you use the most, to know when they are off cooldown or available to use. You can set it even in the middle of the screen, just make sure you put it in a place that you can see quickly for emergencies.
Also I recommend playing at a 100% camera distance, giving you the chance to see all the panorama, be able to tell what is the enemy team going to do, try to predict and be one or two movements ahead of the others. Another important thing is interrupting healer or dps (in case of no healers in the match) using Focus Target Modifier. Focus Target Modifier is one of the best things of Swtor, pretty easy to use and set up. Try to use Jolt (interrupt) on cooldown when there is a healer on the match. You may also use Focus Target Modifier to CC targets, attack them without having the need to move to next enemy, etc. Here is a video from Kre´a that I highly recommend watching if you don´t know how to set up focus target modifier.
Kiting is another pretty important aspect of Sorcerers. If you are able to kite well, by the time that you die, there will be 1-4 deaths on the enemy team. Why is this as important as a sorcerer? Well kiting is one of the most basic things that a sorcerer has to do. We are the squishiest class in the game, without force barrier we would pretty defenseless. What you have to do is kite all you can, until you have 5-15k HP with no choice but to barrier.
- Force Slow is a really good friend. Try to use it on cooldown against melee, make sure the target doesn´t have movement impairing buffs or it will be a waste of global cooldown.
- Chain Lightning slows the target for 5 seconds, Lightning Bolt slows it for 3 seconds and Force Slow slows the target for 6 seconds, so do your best and try to keep the target slowed to get away and kite easily.
- You have 1 root which lasts 0.5s, this doesn´t helps a lot but it roots the target.
- Force Speed has a 30 seconds cooldown, use this ability wisely. When melee jumps on you, they usually cc you instantly, and if you used force run in the same moment they jumped on you, you are probably going to get cc´d, wasting one Force Speed. So make sure you eat a CC or 2, then you Force Speed your way out.
- How to use knockback while going to a different direction
- Don´t use Smart Camera (it is on preferences-> Controls -> Camera -> Leave Smart Camera unmarked.
- Bind Strife Left and Strife Right.
Here is a short video to use it as example. There are other ways to do this, this is a good one though.
I will try adding more videos doing duels against melee, to show some examples of effective kiting.
About the Author
I am Dacri, 23 years old, I’m from Chile and been playing Swtor for almost 3 years. I been quite active in the solo ranked scenario, been 2 times #1 Sage overall, and 1 time #2 Sage. I have 4 Sorcs and 2 Sages since season 4, and since then I’ve been all-star on each toon.
I really enjoy this game, I think it could improve a lot, it has had the potential for like over 5 years, but there doesn´t seem to be an interest from BW, which has made me play less and less.
I had like to mention my friend Obidion/Javelin, Glorfindel, Onzo, Reekü, Droid and a few others that have joined me on different servers such as Bastion, Harbinger, Pot5, Shadowlands, TEH, ToFN among others, and helped me to get better in different things within the game.
If you need any help, feel free to mail me/whisper me in-game, my toon names are Dacri (Sorcerer, no special letters), and Dacrí (Sage). I been only playing on Harbinger lately, and doesn´t seem like I´m moving servers anytime soon.
Here is my stream twitch.tv/Dacri1, I stream sometimes and I highly recommend Sorcerers to watch streams/videos to get an idea of what to do, concepts, etc. Thanks!