Lethality Operative

Last Updated: 5/31/21

Table of Contents


About the Class

Lethality Operative is a DoT-based melee DPS class with outstanding sustained DPS and is frequently the top parsing DPS class in the game. Lethality is best used as a DPS class that stays on the boss in an operation encounter as the class does not maintain DPS well when constantly swapping targets. In degree of difficulty, Lethality is relatively easy to learn the basic rotation but the skill ceiling to maximize its DPS is fairly high. As such, I highly recommend it as a DPS spec for players of all skill levels given its exceptional DPS capability, as even an average Lethality player will frequently out DPS a skilled player of classes with a lower DPS ceiling.

Role in Operations

Lethality performs best when assigned to focus damage on the boss and occasionally DoT spread to nearby adds. As a stealth class, Lethality is a great candidate to provide a stealth rez. In phases where healing is more important than damage, Lethality can provide limited off-healing through a basic HoT to various players and a periodic free use of Kolto Infusion.


As a melee class, Lethality Operatives have various defensive cooldowns and can buff those abilities through utilities and utilize off-healing abilities. I would still rate them as slightly lower than off-tank DPS classes Juggernaut, Powertech and Assassin due to their better armor and/or broader list of strong defensives. That said, Lethality Operative in particular is significantly “tankier” than Concealment. Through skilled use of roll, Shield Probe, Evasion, and the free Kolto Infusion available after a roll, as well as selective use of 10m abilities to step outside of melee range periodically, a skilled Lethality player enjoys good survivability in all raid environments.

6.0 Impact on Discipline

The 6.0 expansion gave Lethality a significant boost to its damage potential relative to other classes, leaving it well positioned as one of the very top DPS disciplines early in the 6.0 cycle. Tactical Overdrive is one of the most useful new abilities that can reset cooldowns of several useful offensive and defensive abilities. The new set bonus, Tactician, provides a very strong offensive boost (+10% critical chance, +1 Tactical Advantage, +5% damage). The discipline also got a great combination of tactical items that can be swapped to (1) further buff the discipline’s outstanding sustained single target DPS; (2) provide very high situational burst DPS, otherwise the biggest weakness of the discipline in most circumstances; or (3) provide a very large buff to AoE sustained DPS.

As is discussed below, the overall rotation priority should not change in many circumstances, but the third Tactical Advantage provided by the Tactician set bonus will alter the feel of the discipline’s playstyle (generally making it easier for players in my opinion).

Utility and Mobility

Lethality has solid mobility as all abilities are instant, has available utilities to boost movement speed, and roll and Holotraverse abilities.

UPDATE: I made some rather extensive updates to the rotation / opener discussions below to add some more nuance and provided insight into potential ways to tweak your rotation from the "basic" rotation that deals very high damage and is very easy for newer players, an "advanced" rotation that is pretty close to optimal and will output higher DPS though with greater complexity, and a hypothetical "parse" rotation that I think likely comes the closest to having a true "rotation" and optimizing ability use but as a practical rule will not work very well in a real boss encounter.

I wanted to acknowledge Kamiala as a fellow guide writer on Lethality. Kamiala's guide is located here. I believe Kamiala is updating their guide also and we had a number of discussions about the discipline about tweaks and ways to improve. We both really like Lethality though sometimes get frustrated trying to write rotation guides for a priority discipline.

I really think Lethality is one of the most flexible disciplines in the game in that you can run it a variety of ways and still deal really good DPS. So please make sure to check both of these guides and any others out there and figure out what works for you!!!


I usually take some combination of the following Utilities, though the optimal combination can change from fight to fight. As of 6.0, the tiers have been reorganized.

Skillfull Tier

You must take 3 to advanced to Masterful.

Chem Resistant Inlays: 5% damage reduction.

This utility is always a must take, as anything you can do to increase damage mitigation is incredibly helpful.

Nanotech Suit: 30% AoE damage reduction.

This utility is nearly always useful due to most PVE encounters having some AoE damage mechanics.

Infiltrator: 15% extra movement speed and +3 to stealth level.

Due to the low cooldown of Exfiltrate as a movement ability, I do not typically find this utility to be that helpful. However, its alternatives are even less useful as they consist of PVP utilities and a buff to a weak conal AoE attack.

Masterful Tier

You must take 6 between Heroic and Masterful.

Med Shield: Heals you for 5% of your maximum health when defense screen collapses.

You should be using Shield Probe regularly to mitigate damage, so over the course of an operations encounter this will cumulatively grant you a sizeable amount of healing. As such, this is a boost to survivability and should be taken.

Endorphin Rush: Adrenaline Probe immediately restores 15 additional energy.

This utility sounds great but depends greatly on player playstyle. The ability already restores 50 energy over 3 seconds, which is boosted to 65 by this utility. Also bear in mind that you will be using abilities (that may cost energy) as well as natural energy regeneration over those 2 GCDs. This utility is only a worthwhile choice if your use of Adrenaline Probe will not cap energy. That requires a more skilled energy management, as in most cases you need to be 20-30% energy levels to activate Adrenaline Probe without capping energy.

Advanced Cloaking: Reduces the cooldown of your combat stealth by 30s and using combat stealth will also increase your movement speed by 50% for 6s.

This utility is mandatory for Lethality as it enables more frequent use of a buffed Lethal Shot.

Evasive Screen: Using combat stealth grants 2 seconds of Evasion.

This can be useful to enable a second defensive/cleanse, and can be helpful when attempting a stealth rez given Evasion’s use as a purge of DoTs.

Heroic Tier

A maximum of 3 utilities

Evasive Imperative: Every time you get attacked, the active cooldown of Evasion is reduced by 3 seconds (can occur every 1.5 seconds).

Evasion is a great utility that makes you temporarily immune to certain types of damage and can be used as self cleanse. This should be taken nearly always.

Escape Plan: Reduces the cooldown of Escape by 30 seconds, Shield Probe by 5 seconds, and Infiltrate by 60 seconds.

The biggest benefit here in PVE is the Shield Probe cooldown reduction. When combined with the Med Shield utility, this benefit is even better.

Revitalizers: Stim Boost now also grants Revitalizers, reducing damage taken by 20% for its duration and restores 5% of maximum health every 3 seconds (cumulative heal of 25%).

This utility makes Stim Boost an amazing defensive cooldown and should be taken for any fights that have difficult heal checks, though for other fights it can be substituted for utilities below if they provide more utility.

Augmented Shields: Increases the amount of damage absorbed by Shield Probe by 30%.

If taking Escape Plan and Med Shield to boost Shield Probe, this utility makes a lot of sense. I take this utility over Revitalizers in fights where I know I am going to take steady moderate damage, as in those cases the overall mitigation from Shield Probe over a fight will outweigh Revitalizers’ buff to Stim Boost that can be used 1-2 times per fight.

Blow for Blow: Activating Evasion grants Back at Ya, reflecting 150% of single target force or tech damage during Evasion’s duration.

This utility is worth taking on fights that are not exceptionally heal intensive and that present opportunities to reflect damage without dying, or in progression situations if DPS is an issue. That said, Operatives are fairly squishy as a melee class so I usually recommend prioritizing survivability in most of my utility selections.

Circumvention: Reduces the cooldown of Holotraverse by 10 seconds and allows it to be used while Immobilized, and using Holotraverse now generates an Tactical Advantage.

This utility is great for generating Tactical Advantages for DPS disciplines as it enables more frequent use of your big hitting abilities.

Example Utility Build

Here is what I run for most encounters, though I frequently take other situational utilities for specific fights.

Key Passives

Lethal Proliferation - Toxic Haze spreads your Corrosive Dart to the targets it damages, as long as it damages at least one target already affected by your Corrosive Dart.

This passive makes Toxic Haze your DoT spread ability. Note that Toxic Haze uses an Tactical Advantage and only spreads Corrosive Dart, whereas Corrosive Grenade is an AoE DoT ability so it spreads itself upon application.

License to Kill - Reduces the energy cost of Corrosive Assault by 5 and causes damage by Shiv to make its target susceptible for 45 seconds, making it take 5% more damage from tech attacks.

This passive makes Shiv apply your tech debuff.

Fatality - Shiv triggers Fatality, which makes your next Corrosive Assault regrant Tactical Advantage and cost no energy. This can occur once every 10 seconds.

This passive is huge for energy management while making balancing Tactical Advantages slightly more complicated. It is difficult in practice to time this ability, but in general Shiv should be utilized as close to every 10 seconds as possible to maximize this benefit.

Toxic Regulators - Periodic damaging effects don’t tick on sleeping targets. Also, you take 30% reduced damage from all DoTs and your damage reduction is increased by 15% for 6 seconds after Shield Probe ends.

This passive is part of why Lethality Operatives have really strong survivability when played well. Utilities should generally be chosen to buff and reduce the CD of Shield Probe anyway, which maximizes the benefit of this passive.

Corrosive Microbes - Corrosive Dart has a 10% chance to tick twice. Also, Corrosive Grenade makes its targets assailable for 45 seconds, making them take 7% more elemental and internal damage.

This passive makes Corrosive Grenade apply your second debuff for elemental/internal damage.

Lethal Purpose - Reduces the CD of Adrenaline Probe by 15 seconds. Dealing damage with a bleed effect restores 1 energy.

This passive helps with energy management, as each time your DoTs tick you get energy back. This makes full uptime on both DoTs (Corrosive Dart & Corrosive Grenade) absolutely critical to energy management.

Quickening - Increased duration of Evasion by 1 second and your effective stealth level by 2. Also, when you active Exfiltrate you gain Quickening. Quickening makes your next Kolto Infusion activate instantly, cost no energy and not require/consume an Tactical Advantage. You can receive Quickening once every 10 seconds.

This passive further helps Lethality Operative survivability. Note that using Exfiltrate < Kolto Infusion takes 2 GCDs away from dealing damage. However, this can be a good way to help healers while letting your energy regen for 2 GCDs, during a transition phase where you are not dealing damage, or when you would otherwise die due to stress on healers.

Augmented Toxins - Lethal Strike grants Augmented Toxins, increasing critical chance and critical multiplier of your damaging and healing periodic effects by 30% for 6 seconds.

This crit buff means Lethal Strike should be used on cooldown. Skilled players should attempt to utilize Corrosive Assault as often as possible within the 6 second window of Augmented Toxins.

Gearing in 6.0

Gearing Stat Allocation

Please see my Gearing Guide for a detailed overview of gearing in 6.x in SWTOR. Please also see my Alacrity Guide for a much more in-depth look at alacrity.

For Lethality Operative, I gear as follows:

  • Set Bonus: Tactician

  • Tactical: Synox Shots (Viral Elements for very heavy AoE fights)

  • Amplifiers: Periodic Intensity

  • Mods: Unlettered Lethal Mods

  • Relics: Devastating Vengeance & Primeval Fatesealer (Serendipitous Assault & Focused Retribution for Dxun/PVP)

  • Stim: Proficient

  • Adrenal: Critical (Attack for Dxun only)

For Lethality Operative, I allocate my tertiary stats as follows:

  • Accuracy: 1,585 - 1,630 (anything outside this approximate range and I usually try to re-optimize by swapping around enhancements and augments)

  • Alacrity: around 1,400 (at least 1,895 if the Zeal guild perk applies)

  • Critical: all remaining tertiary points go into Critical

  • Shield: None

  • Absorb: None

Set Bonus


Increased drop rate from conquest.

(2) +2% Mastery

(4) Tactical Overdrive additionally resets the cooldown Sever Tendon and Toxic Scan. Gaining an Tactical Advantage increases your Critical Chance by 10% for 10 seconds. Can only happen once every 18 seconds.

(6) Tactical Advantage gets an additional stack. Having an Tactical Advantage increases your damage and healing by 5%.

Analysis: A really great set bonus, Tactician provides a +10% Critical Chance and +5% damage buffs. There will be some downtime on the 10% critical buff, though due to the low cooldown and high rotational priority of Shiv (4 GCD cooldown) to generate Tactical Advantage, the buff should be up slightly more than half the time.

Impact on Rotation: Minimal change in priority. Maximizing the use of Corrosive Assault via generating Tactical Advantage as quickly as possible has always been a rotational priority and will continue to be so in 6.X. Running the same priority system as in 5.X will take full advantage of this set bonus.

With that said, the flow of the discipline will change due to the additional Tactical Advantage increasing to a maximum of 3 versus 2 as in 5.X. This should make it easier to use Toxic Blast and Shiv on cooldown. Given the need to use Lethal Strike on cooldown to maintain the Augmented Toxins buff on DoTs, re-applying both DoTs as they expire, and keeping maximum uptime of Toxic Blast, many rotations would frequently find themselves forced to delay Shiv either due to higher priority abilities or to first use Corrosive Assault once (or twice if the Fatality buff applied) to spend an Tactical Advantage to free up a space to generate another via Shiv.

Now with the extra Tactical Advantage, the rotation will have more “cushion” to stack these buffs to enable more sustained spam of Corrosive Assault, particularly right after Lethal Strike when the Augmented Toxins passive ability will buff DoT ticks by +30% (+40% with the Tactician set bonus).

The other nuance added for advanced players is watching the +10% critical chance buff and keeping it active as often as possible. In particular, ensuring that Corrosive Assault is only used while the buff is active will be key to maximizing DPS.

When to Take: All situations. Of the other available choices, Aggressive Treatment is primarily a healer-focused set bonus, Debilitator is a PVP set bonus, and only Authority offers a decent PVE DPS boost.

Authority makes Toxic Haze refund its Tactical Advantage provides a buff (and is in turn buffed by) Noxious Knives. This could have situational use in very high AoE DPS fights, but as a practical matter there are no operations in the game where it is optimal to sacrifice single target DPS for AoE DPS (i.e., even the Hive Queen in Hard Mode is really more about doing really high single sustained DPS while maintaining good AoE DPS).

As such, it will be optimal in all situations to take the Tactician set bonus and utilize the Viral Elements tactical for fights where increased AoE DPS is useful.

Tactical Items

Synox Shots

Increased drop rate from flashpoints.

Toxic Blast does 75% more damage. Whenever Toxic Blast critically hits, it restores 2 energy.

Analysis: Toxic Blast deals damage any time the target takes damage from a DoT, which is doubled in most instances as the target should always have Corrosive Dart and Corrosive Grenade ticking on the target. Doubling its damage (which given 2 DoTs means it is dealing 4 times the base damage) elevates it in DPS priority to the higher overall damage dealing ability for the discipline.

The energy regeneration is especially powerful given how the Tactician set bonus impacts the discipline. Having an extra Tactical Advantage enables more frequent and more sustained usage of Corrosive Assault, which often can be damaging to energy levels for the discipline. Given that Toxic Blast should be ticking twice per DoT tick, this set bonus should trigger frequently especially given the +30% critical chance from Lethal Strike (via the Augmented Toxins passive) and the +15% critical chance from the Tactician set bonus.

Impact on Rotation: Toxic Blast becomes the top priority ability due to its buffed damage and effect on energy regeneration. Ideally, the rotation should be spread out such that using it on cooldown never results in delaying re-application of a DoT or delaying Lethal Strike by more than 1 GCD.

When to Take: Should always be taken except for specific situations where Viral Elements (AoE damage priority) or Catalyzed Toxins (burst DPS) are used. Synox Shots provides by far the largest increase to sustained DPS of Lethality tactical items.

Viral Elements

Increased drop rate from operations.

Toxic Haze spreads Toxic Blast’s effect and Lethal Strike does additional damage to all nearby targets affected by Toxic Haze.

Analysis: This tactical provides a large buff to the discipline’s AoE DPS capability. Toxic Blast causes the target to take extra damage every time a DoT deals damage. Of the discipline’s two DoTs, Corrosive Grenade is an AoE effect so automatically applies to nearby targets while Corrosive Dart is spread by Toxic Haze via the Lethal Proliferation passive ability. Being able to also spread its DoT buff as well should significantly increase the AoE DPS by DoTs ticking on targets.

The second effect making Lethal Strike an AoE effect provides some additional powerful AoE burst damage. Lethal Strike does the most damage by the discipline independent of other effects (i.e., Corrosive Assault requires both DoTs to be applied to deal stronger damage) so enabling it to deal AoE damage is very strong.

Impact on Rotation: When taking this tactical, the key change will be to ensure that Corrosive Dart and Toxic Blast is on the target prior to using Toxic Haze to spread its effects as well as properly positioning oneself (the ability’s AoE is centered on you when you activate it) to maximize the spread. Otherwise the rotation should be followed normally.

When to Take: Fights where really high AoE DPS will be beneficial.

Catalyzed Toxins

Increased drop rate from flashpoints.

Toxic Blast finishes all your bleed effects on the target and deals their remaining damage immediately. Toxic Blast’s cooldown is extended by 9 seconds.

Analysis: This is a troublesome tactical that is difficult to recommend in most situations. The tactical compresses the remaining damage of Corrosive Dart and Corrosive Grenade into one GCD. These DoTs have a duration of 24 seconds, so applying both DoTs and immediately using Toxic Blast would compress the vast majority of their damage into one GCD. This provides for some strong burst.

However, there are severe downsides to Catalyzed Toxins. Accelerating the DoT damage will require re-applying both DoTs (taking two GCDs) before resuming use of Corrosive Assault. If the burst window extends more than 3-4 GCDs, this is likely to be a DPS loss due to the trade-off of reapplying DoTs versus use of Corrosive Assault or Shiv.

The DPS loss can be mitigated somewhat by using Corrosive Assault and the normal rotation until the end of the burst window and then using Toxic Blast. Doing so is likely a DPS loss due to being unable to use Toxic Blast and benefit from its additional ticking damage per DoT tick.

The much longer cooldown on Toxic Blast is also a significant DPS loss. It deals damage over 10 seconds and has a 15 second cooldown, which is increased to 24 seconds by this tactical. That changes the uptime of its buff, a strong DPS buff, from 67% to 42%, which is a major DPS loss.

Even assuming the burst window damage was neutral to sustained DPS and positive to burst DPS (neither of which are likely the case), the cooldown change and enforcement of a wonky rotation outside burst windows makes the tactical a large DPS loss.

Impact on Rotation: N/A, do not take this Tactical.

When to Take: Not recommended. It accelerates DoT damage but over most burst windows in operations it is likely to be a DPS loss due to the need to re-apply DoTs after Toxic Blast in order to resume using Corrosive Assault. Over any sustained DPS window the tactical is a DPS loss, and thus not recommended in comparison to Synox Shots (sustained/single target DPS) or Viral Elements (AoE DPS).


Periodic Intensity (or secondarily, Tech Wizardry or Weapon Expertise)

Lethality has a mix of abilities that cross nearly the entire spectrum of attack types and damage types (excluding Force types, of course). Around half the damage effects are tech type attacks with the rest weapon type attacks. With respect to damage dealt, around half is internal damage with the rest kinetic/energy damage. The class is primarily a DoT spec so most of its heaviest DPS abilities deal periodic damage.

Given this mix, Periodic Intensity emerges as the best DPS buff as it buffs the abilities that typically output the highest percentage of overall damage. Fully min-maxed amplifiers can provide a 7-8% DPS increase. Weapon Expertise ((buffs weapon type attack damage) is a reasonable alternative and provides only a slightly smaller DPS increase. Tech Wizardry (buffs tech type attack damage) provides around a 1% less in DPS increase potential but is still pretty good. If the player plans to frequently re-spec between Lethality and Concealment, Tech Wizardry is a good choice because it provides by far the best DPS buff to that discipline at a relatively small trade-off for Lethality.

Key Abilities

Tactical Overdrive (instant, free, 3 minute cooldown) NEW IN 6.0 - Resets the cooldown of Stim Boost, Recuperative Nanotech, Volatile Substance, Lethal Strike, and Shield Probe and increases your Mastery by 20% for 15 seconds.

A new cooldown in 6.0, it provides both offensive and defensive boosts.

Corrosive Assault (10 energy, 12s cooldown) - Exploits Tactical Advantage, dealing moderate weapon damage and causing your periodic bleed effects on the target to also deal damage. Requires and consumes an Tactical Advantage.

The signature ability of the Lethality Operative, the rotation revolves around the usage of this ability. It should be used as often as possible.

Corrosive Grenade (10 energy, 24s duration, no cooldown, range 30m) - Hurls a bomb that explodes and places a DoT on all nearby enemies that deals moderate damage over the duration.

Lethality shares this DoT with Virulence Sniper. As an AoE DoT it will automatically spread to nearby targets. It should be refreshed as it expires to avoid wasting any ticks.

Corrosive Dart (15 energy, 24s duration, no cooldown, range 30m) - Deals moderate damage over the duration.

Operative shares this DoT with Sniper. The second DoT of the discipline, it can be spread via Toxic Haze via the Lethal Proliferation passive ability. It should be maintained on the target at all times and refreshed precisely as it expires.

Lethal Strike (15 energy, 12s cooldown) - Deals moderate kinetic damage and moderate internal damage. If used while stealthed, does extra damage and generates an Tactical Advantage.

Lethality uses this ability as a high damage filler, but its main benefit is the buff provided by the Augmented Toxins passive ability to provide a 30% critical chance / multiplier buff for 6 seconds. Players should use on cooldown and strive to fit in as many Corrosive Assaults into that buff window as possible.

Toxic Blast (10 energy, 15s cooldown, range 10m) - Deals low damage and for the next 10 seconds causes the target to take extra weapon damage whenever it takes damage from one of your bleed effects. Generates an Tactical Advantage.

This ability should be used on cooldown to buff the damage from your DoTs.

Shiv (15 energy, 6s cooldown, range 4m) - Strikes the target with your weapon for moderate kinetic damage. Builds an Tactical Advantage.

The main filler for Lethality and primary means to generate Tactical Advantages to enable use of Corrosive Assault. It should be used as often as possible without delaying higher priority abilities that buff DoT damage or if its use would cap / waste an Tactical Advantage.

Overload Shot (10 energy, no cooldown, range 10m) - Spammable filler ability that deals moderate weapon damage.

This ability should not be used often in the Lethality rotation but in some places may be appropriate where insufficient time exists to apply / re-apply DoTs to a target.

Rifle Shot (free, no cooldown, range 30) - Free ranged filler.

The free filler has one big advantage over most other melee DPS (along with Powertechs) in that its free filler has a 30m range. Use this ability when at range or when energy drops below 60% (or even at 75% when several costly abilities are about to come off CD).

Fragmentation Grenade (20 energy, 6s cooldown, range 30m) - Ranged ability that deals AoE damage to the target and those nearby.

A more expense ranged filler option and should be used in AoE rotations.

Toxic Haze (15 energy, 15s cooldown) - Consumes 1 Tactical Advantage and deals AoE damage around the player.

Toxic Haze is a more expensive AoE ability that should be used on CD in AoE situations to deal damage and to spread the Corrosive Dart DoT.

Noxious Knives (15 energy, no cooldown) - Deals low kinetic/internal damage to up to 8 targets within 5 meters.

Operative’s spammable AoE ability though it only deals damage in a frontal cone. Should be spammed in AoE situations.

Cooldowns & Other Abilities

Cloacking Screen (free, no cooldown) - Removes you from combat and enter stealth.

A combat stealth ability, it should be paired with Backstab to deal more damage and generate a Tactical Advantage. Depending on utility choice, it can also function as a self-cleanse.

Stim Boost (15 energy, 120s cooldown) - Grants 1 Tactical Advantage and increases alacrity 10% for 15s.

A key offensive cooldown that grants a Tactical Advantage and boosts alacrity. Should generally be used in the opener and then on-demand later on.

Holotraverse (free, 45s cooldown) - Instantly teleports you to the target and increases your movement speed by 75% for 3 seconds. Can be used for either friendly players or enemies.

The Operative's gap closer in addition to their roll, the ability is typically used to generate a Tactical Advantage via the Circumvention utility.

Adrenaline Probe (free, 120s cooldown) - You recover 50 energy over 3 seconds.

The main energy cooldown for the discipline. Due to its heavy energy regeneration, it is important to not waste any regeneration due to its lengthy cooldown.

Tactical Superiority (1 Upper Hand, 5 minute cooldown) - Exploits Tactical Advantage to increase critical chance by 10% for 10 seconds.

The class raid buff. It is expensive due to its Tactical Advantage requirement and thus I usually ask an Operative healer to trigger their raid buff if possible. That said, it is a clear group DPS increase so use it when necessary in ops.

Shield Probe (free, 30s cooldown) - Projects a defense field around yourself for 10 seconds, which absorbs low damage.

The discipline's low cooldown defensive ability that shields against all damage, use it aggressively to mitigate predictable damage. Just do not expect it to save you from a big hit if you are already low health.

Evasion (free, 60s cooldown) - Increases your chance to dodge melee and ranged attacks by 200% for 3 seconds.

Evasion is a tricky cooldown as it only applies to certain damage types and has a very short duration. I primarily find it useful as a self-cleanse/purge to avoid wasting a GCD on a cleanse ability (which is why the cleanse is not even listed in this guide). Use it for mitigating heavy damage when it is useful.

Exfiltrate (free, 8s cooldown) - Roll forward 12 meters. While rolling, your chance to dodge melee and ranged attacks is increased by 30%. Exfiltrate has 2 ability charges and recharges one charge every 8 seconds.

The great and unique strength of Concealment Operative is its roll. Having a low cooldown, the Scrapper has far higher uptime on an ability that can effectively cheese nearly all one-shot damage mechanics in the game due to the Shadow Operative passive ability. Master the timing of the "roll cheese" and your progression healers will greatly appreciate it.

Kolto Probe (10 energy, no cooldown) - Injects the target with slow-release medicine that heals a low amount over 18 seconds. Stacks up to 2 times.

Your HoTs deal a respectable amount of healing over time and with a utility can even provide a decent mitigation boost of up to +6% damage resistance. I use these semi-frequently during downtime or transitions to pre-apply HoTs to help out my healers a little bit.

Kolto Infusion (20 energy, 9s cooldown) - Exploits your Tactical Advantage to heal the target immediately for a low amount.

An expensive heal ability that requires and consumes a Tactical Advantage. I generally avoid using this ability at all as a result, and instead rely on my HoTs, mitigation abilities (especially roll for high damage burst hits) and my healers. That said, in some instances when healing gets really tough and the boss is shielded or something this can be useful to help out.


Basic Rotation Priority System

The Lethality Operative class has a defined rotation that should be followed as much as possible. The overall goals in order of priority are

1. Refresh Corrosive Dart and Corrosive Grenade as they expire.

2. Lethal Strike on cooldown for its damage and to buff DoT damage.

3. Toxic Blast on cooldown to buff DoT damage. (Note that with the Synox Shots tactical in 6.0, this ability becomes the #1 priority.)

4. Shiv when at 0-2 Tactical Advantage.

5. Corrosive Assault as often as possible.

The Lethality Operative class has a defined priority that should be followed as much as possible. The overall goals in order of priority are

1. Refresh Corrosive Dart and Corrosive Grenade as they expire. All of the discipline's abilities revolve around dealing damage by triggering DoTs, so these must be applied and kept to 100% uptime on the target or as close to it as possible. Both DoTs have a 24s / 16 GCD duration and that corresponds to exactly double the cooldown of Lethal Strike, thus the rotation discussion will address how tracking and re-applying these DoTs exactly as they expire is relatively straightforward.

2. Lethal Strike on cooldown for its damage and to buff DoT damage. Lethal Strike does good burst damage and is valuable for that in a DoT-based discipline. However, it's best strength is via the Augmented Toxins passive that buffs the critical chance and critical multiplier of all DoT damage by 30% for 6 seconds. This buff is huge and we need to benefit from it absolutely as often as possible. Lastly, the cooldown of Lethal Strike is really helpful to track when to re-apply DoTs (every other use of Lethal Strike) so using it on cooldown ensures we stay on schedule to refresh DoTs without clipping or without any loss of DoT uptime.

3. Toxic Blast on cooldown to buff DoT damage. (Note that with the Synox Shots tactical in 6.0, this ability becomes the #1 priority.) Toxic Blast does minimal damage but provides a powerful increase to damage while DoTs are ticking and it also generates an additional Tactical Advantage. Toxic Blast should NOT be delayed when capped in Tactical Advantages (2 without the Tactician set bonus, 3 with the Tactician set bonus), as the damage buff is powerful enough to "waste" a Tactical Advantage if needed, though ideally that should be avoided through an earlier use of Corrosive Assault to spend the "extra" Tactical Advantage.

4. Shiv when at 0-2 Tactical Advantages. As discussed more fully at the end, maximizing the rate at which we can generate Tactical Advantages is the biggest driver to our potential DPS by enabling more frequent use of Corrosive Assault. Thus, we want to be using Shiv on cooldown or as close to it as possible without delaying any higher priority abilities.

5. Corrosive Assault as often as possible. It may feel weird that the top damaging ability of the discipline is at the bottom of the rotational goals list but it is true. The earlier goals are all set up to ensure that when we start spamming Corrosive Assault we can do major damage. The earlier goals made sure DoTs are ticking so Corrosive Assault can trigger them (goal #1), gives us a short-term powerful buff to critical chance on DoTs triggering (goal #2), provides additional DoT damage (goal #3), and ensures we are generating the resources we need to spam Corrosive Assault as quickly as possible (goal #4).

Basic Opener (# of Tactical Advantages)


























  1. Stealth - Being in stealth buffs your first Lethal Strike to do significantly more damage

  2. Stim Boost (1) - I like to use early to help accelerate my ramp-up time applying DoTs and get to the high damage earlier, even if this may be slightly suboptimal on a parse it typically lines up better with operations and use of other group raid buffs and offensive cooldowns.

  3. Lethal Strike (2) - Buffed from stealth and applies Augmented Toxins

  4. Tactical Overdrive OFF GCD (2) - I use right after Lethal Strike to reset its cooldown and enable two free buffed uses. This is sub-optimal by clipping the DoT damage buff and is not how I handle the rotation when parsing. I recommend it for non-experts in the discipline since it enables you to keep your rotation aligned as discussed below where you always refresh DoTs after every other Lethal Strike.

  5. Lethal Strike (2) - Second use via Tactical Overdrive, did not use stealth here as we would waste the TA generation

  6. Corrosive Grenade (2) - Apply Dot #1

  7. Corrosive Dart (2) - Apply DoT #2

  8. Adrenal OFF GCD (2) - Use here as we begin to do big damage

  9. Tactical Superiority OFF GCD (1) - Use here as we start to do damage.

  10. Toxic Blast (2) - Buffs your DoT damage and grants a Tactical Advantage

  11. Corrosive Assault (1)

  12. Shiv (2) - Grants Tactical Advantage and should grant Fatality passive

  13. Corrosive Assault (2) - Uses Fatality so doesn’t cost a Tactical Advantage

  14. Corrosive Assault (1)

  15. Disappearing Act OFF GCD

  16. Lethal Strike (2) - Stealthed Lethal Strike does more damage and grants a Tactical Advantage

  17. Stim Boost OFF GCD (3) - Used here as the first Stim Boost buff expires to maintain uptime on our high DPS, this also allows use to substitute a Corrosive Assault for delaying Shiv during Lethal Strike’s buff to DoT critical chance/damage

  18. Corrosive Assault (2)

  19. Holotraverse OFF GCD (3) - I try to fit in as soon as I can do so to generate a Tactical Advantage without capping. Using this opener this seems to be the earliest I can safely do so.

  20. Corrosive Assault (2)

  21. Corrosive Assault (1)

  22. Shiv (2) - Should grant Fatality passive here

  23. Toxic Blast (3) - Using on cooldown while not capping a Tactical Advantage

  24. Corrosive Assault (3) - Free due to Fatality passive

  25. Lethal Strike (3) - End of opener, time to re-apply DoTs

[End of opener, continue priority rotation]

Opener Comments - This opener assumes one has the Tactician set bonus active and thus can stack up to 3 Tactical Advantages. Given that we are now a ways into 6.0 this seems a safe assumption. This opener is also deliberately sub-optimal with respect to its use of the free Lethal Strike provided by Tactical Overdrive and the back-to-back application of both DoTs.

As discussed below in the advanced rotation, a more optimal application places 1-2 GCDs between DoT applications to allow for use of Toxic Blast on cooldown as well as an earlier use of Shiv on cooldown for Tactical Advantage Generation (or Corrosive Assault to burn a Tactical Advantage if Shiv is about to come off cooldown) without delaying DoTs.

However, I feel in most operations content and for folks that are newer to this discipline, it makes more sense to be slightly sub-optimal when doing so makes following the rotation MUCH easier. This opener should still be strong and allows you to flow into a very easy steady priority rotation where you can use Lethal Strike to keep the time for DoT application.

It is definitely not optimal (especially for parsing) but it facilitates high APMs without any loss of uptime on DoTs and thus will likely perform better for players until they master this discipline and are comfortable trying out more advanced opener/rotation strategies.

Basic Rotation

















  1. Lethal Strike

  2. Corrosive Grenade

  3. Corrosive Dart

  4. Filler 1 - See Filler Priority below

  5. Filler 2 - See Filler Priority below

  6. Filler 3 - See Filler Priority below

  7. Filler 4 - See Filler Priority below

  8. Filler 5 - See Filler Priority below

  9. Lethal Strike

  10. Filler 6 - See Filler Priority below

  11. Filler 7 - See Filler Priority below

  12. Filler 8 - See Filler Priority below

  13. Filler 9 - See Filler Priority below

  14. Filler 10 - See Filler Priority below

  15. Filler 11 - See Filler Priority below

  16. Filler 12 - See Filler Priority below

[Repeat] at beginning with Lethal Strike

Why such a simple rotation, you ask?

My general playstyle approach is to maximize my DPS while also maximizing my margin for error. Operations in Veteran or especially Master Mode can be quite difficult and involve lots of mechanics to watch for and execute successfully. If I have to choose between a rotation that is easy to remember and keep track of during a fight and a rotation that is significantly more complicated but offers a little bit more DPS, I'll usually take the slightly sub-optimal but reliable rotation. If I am running a specific encounter in Veteran or Master Mode that has a really tough DPS check, then maybe I'll tinker with the rotation to get a little more DPS and just take the risk.

Lethality's DPS depends a lot on keeping high uptime on Toxic Blast and the buff from Lethal Strike. It also absolutely requires having your DoTs ticking all the time. Corrosive Assault does a lot of damage if DoTs are ticking but only tickles if your DoTs were not re-applied.

Using Lethal Strike as the guidepost for your rotation makes it really easy to track during an op. Use Lethal Strike on cooldown, refresh DoTs every other Lethal Strike, and then follow the ability priority (Toxic Blast on CD, Shiv on CD, stay above 60 energy, spam Corrosive Assault).

Below is an example of how you could flex the rotation to make it more effective at generating DPS but in exchange for a lot more complexity and risk of forgetting something.

Advanced Opener (# of Tactical Advantages)



















  1. Lethal Strike (stealthed) (1)

  2. Stim Boost OFF-GCD (2)

  3. Corrosive Grenade (2)

  4. Toxic Blast (3)

  5. Tactical Overdrive OFF-GCD (2)

  6. Corrosive Dart (2)

  7. Shiv (3)

  8. Adrenal OFF-GCD (3)

  9. Tactical Superiority OFF-GCD (2)

  10. Disappearing Act OFF-GCD (2)

  11. Lethal Strike (3)

  12. Corrosive Assault (3)

  13. Corrosive Assault (2)

  14. Shiv (3)

  15. Corrosive Assault (2)

  16. Corrosive Assault (1)

  17. Stim Boost OFF-GCD (2)

  18. Toxic Blast (3)

[End of opener, continue priority rotation]

Summary: This opener changes two things to set up the advanced rotation. It spaces out the application of DoTs so they can be refreshed on cooldown with a filler in between. The opener also delays the "free" extra use of Lethal Strike 4 GCDs instead of using it immediately. These tweaks let us line up our opener so we naturally flow into the advanced rotation discussed below.

Advanced Rotation

















  1. Lethal Strike

  2. Filler 1 - See Filler Priority below

  3. Filler 2 - See Filler Priority below

  4. Filler 3 - See Filler Priority below

  5. Corrosive Grenade

  6. Filler 4 - See Filler Priority below

  7. Corrosive Dart

  8. Filler 5 - See Filler Priority below

  9. Lethal Strike

  10. Filler 6 - See Filler Priority below

  11. Filler 7 - See Filler Priority below

  12. Filler 8 - See Filler Priority below

  13. Filler 9 - See Filler Priority below

  14. Filler 10 - See Filler Priority below

  15. Filler 11 - See Filler Priority below

  16. Filler 12 - See Filler Priority below

[Repeat] at beginning with Lethal Strike

Not too big a change, right? Yes and no.

This rotation spaces out your two DoTs with a spacer in between and 4 GCDs after Lethal Strike. This rotation is much more efficient to allow you to use key abilities on cooldown. In exchange, you have to remember when in the rotation to refresh DoTs and to remember to leave a filler in between refreshing DoTs.

Here are the main pros of this rotation:

  • We remove the 3 GCD block of Lethal Strike / Corrosive Grenade / Corrosive Dart. There will be times when Toxic Blast and/or Shiv come off cooldown early in that 3 GCD block and get delayed 2-3 GCDs. For relatively low GCD abilities, that is a significant delay we want to avoid if possible.

  • We can use Toxic Blast without delaying Lethal Strike or our DoTs. Toxic Blast has a cooldown of 15 seconds / 10 GCDs. Since the core rotation is based on Lethal Strike's 8 GCD cooldown, this means Toxic Blast will float +2 spots into the next 8 GCD rotation or skip ahead in the subsequent 8 GCD rotation block. If we are using the 2-block rotation above as an example, this means Toxic Blast used first in GCD #2 will then go 2 -> 12 -> 6 -> 16 -> 10 -> 4 -> 14 -> 8 -> 2. This is fairly elegant and means we can utilize this rotation and never delay Toxic Blast at all, which is hugely beneficial since that is our top damaging ability!

  • We can use Shiv more often to get more TAs. Shiv has a cooldown of 6 seconds / 4 GCDs. If not for Toxic Blast floating through the rotation it would have a static position in an 8 GCD rotation (either 2/6/10/14 or 4/18/12/16). As is, Toxic Blast will sometimes come off cooldown at the same time as Shiv and cause us to delay Shiv 1 GCD or at most 2. That will only happen infrequently and is way better than delaying 3-4 GCDs on occasion.

  • We get a LOT more DPS from Lethal Strike's Augmented Toxins passive ability. Lethal Strike applies Augmented Toxins that buffs critical chance and critical damage multiplier for DoTs by 30% for 6 seconds / 4 GCDs. Lethal Strike deals its damage at the beginning of the GCD so that means the next 3 GCDs have a significant buff to DoT damage. Using the Basic Rotation, every other Lethal Strike we use 2 of those 3 GCDs refreshing DoTs and sometimes use the 3rd for either Toxic Blast or Shiv. Using the Advanced Rotation, we will typically use at least 2 of 3 GCDs after Lethal Strike on Corrosive Assaults that tick DoTs and thus will deal more damage during Augmented Toxins.

The big downside to this advanced rotation is that it places much more pressure on the player to keep track of their DoTs and refresh them on time. The "refresh DoTs every other Lethal Strike" rule still applies except now you have 3 fillers after Lethal Strike before refreshing DoTs. Losing track of the count and accidentally going several GCDs without DoTs ticking is likely to lose more DPS than the advanced rotation otherwise gains over the basic rotation. I suggest practicing this rotation or maybe setting up starparse timers to track DoT duration as a helpful aid.

Parse Rotation

















  1. Lethal Strike

  2. Filler 1 - Toxic Blast > Rifle Shot (if low on energy) > Corrosive Assault

  3. Shiv - Use on cooldown

  4. Filler 2 - Toxic Blast > Rifle Shot (if low on energy) > Corrosive Assault

  5. Corrosive Grenade

  6. Filler 3 - Toxic Blast > Rifle Shot (if low on energy) > Corrosive Assault

  7. Shiv - Use on cooldown

  8. Filler 4 - Toxic Blast > Rifle Shot (if low on energy) > Corrosive Assault

  9. Lethal Strike

  10. Filler 5 - Toxic Blast > Rifle Shot (if low on energy) > Corrosive Assault

  11. Shiv - Use on cooldown

  12. Filler 6 - Toxic Blast > Rifle Shot (if low on energy) > Corrosive Assault

  13. Corrosive Dart

  14. Filler 7 - Toxic Blast > Rifle Shot (if low on energy) > Corrosive Assault

  15. Shiv - Use on cooldown

  16. Filler 8 - Toxic Blast > Rifle Shot (if low on energy) > Corrosive Assault

[Repeat] at beginning with Lethal Strike

This rotation is as close as Lethality can get to the ideal "parse rotation". We break down the Lethality rotation into 4-GCD blocks. Each block begins with either Lethal Strike or one of your DoTs and alternates Lethal Strike / Corrosive Grenade / Lethal Strike / Corrosive Dart.

This rotation design is really neat since it aligns Toxic Blast and Shiv where they can be used on cooldown without any delay. Shiv (4 GCD cooldown) occupies the third slot in each 4 GCD block and Toxic Blast (10 GCD cooldown) will float amongst the 2nd and 4th GCDs in the various blocks.

The downsides? There are a few:

  • There will be some instances where Toxic Blast comes off cooldown around the same time as the Fatality passive procs (Shiv procs it and causes Corrosive Assault to refund its TA). In those cases, you may cap TAs because Toxic Blast and Shiv will grant +2 TAs and using Corrosive Assault will not cost one. This may lead to capping TAs or delaying Shiv.

  • Setting up this rotation is a bit annoying. You would have to delay applying your DoTs in the opener and that could cost some DPS and could be really problematic in fights with virtually any target swapping. In those cases, you would either have to abandon this rotation or clip one of your DoTs to get it placed correctly.

As neat as this idea is, I prefer the Advanced Rotation when you really need the extra DPS and mostly run the Basic Rotation except for very tough Veteran and Master Mode operation DPS checks. The Advanced Rotation can flex pretty easily to target swapping and the only real downside to it versus the Parse Rotation is occasionally delaying Shiv a GCD (or rarely, two GCDs).

Filler Priority







  1. Toxic Blast Use on cooldown.

  2. Rifle Shot Use if below 60 energy and Adrenaline Probe is not available.

  3. Shiv Use if 0-2 Tactical Advantage.

  4. Toxic Haze See discussion below as Toxic Haze is very situational to use in single target rotations.

  5. Corrosive Assault Use as often as possible.

  6. Overload Shot Only use if nothing else is available and >80 energy.

Use of Toxic Haze in Single Target Rotation

Toxic Haze can be used to increase DPS in the single target rotation but it should be used carefully.

Toxic Haze is an AoE ability that functions as a DoT to affected enemies. As a DoT, it increases the damage dealt by Toxic Blast while both abilities are active. Corrosive Assault also deals increased damage by having an additional DoT to trigger damage.

Early in 6.0, Toxic Haze was a huge DPS increase even in single target rotations. Synox Shots was nerfed to address this unintended rotation impact, leaving Toxic Haze a very situational DPS increase in single target situations. Toxic Haze remains Lethality's best AoE damage ability.

So when can you use Toxic Haze as a single target DPS increase and should you do so?

We want to use Toxic Haze when its status as a DoT deals the most damage. This generally means the best time to use it is immediately after Lethal Strike (+30% crit chance/damage for 6 seconds) while Toxic Blast is active (deals damage based on # of DoTs ticking) and when we can spam Corrosive Assault (ticks all DoTs to deal damage) after applying Toxic Haze. Thus Toxic Haze benefits from Lethal Strike's crit buff and leads to increased damage from Toxic Blast and Corrosive Assault.

Please recall that Toxic Blast lasts for almost 7 GCDs and has a 10 GCD cooldown. If you are using the Advanced Rotation above, that makes it pretty easy. The simple rule of thumb is that if you used Toxic Blast since the last use of Lethal Strike, then you should go [Lethal Strike] -> [Toxic Haze] -> [Corrosive Assault] -> [Corrosive Assault] when Lethal Strike comes off cooldown.

Should you use Toxic Haze? I know some Lethality players that swear by its use in single target. I agree it can be a DPS increase. With that said, Toxic Haze is not required to deal really high Lethality DPS. I personally do not typically use Toxic Haze in single target situations. Many fights have AoE potential and I prefer to save Toxic Haze for those situations, and I have not noticed a substantial DPS increase when using Toxic Haze so feel like it is nice but is really a playstyle choice outside of min-maxing discussions.

Rotation Tips

  • Make sure to note that Lethal Strike has exactly half the cooldown (12s / 8 GCDs) of both DoTs employed by the discipline (24s / 16 GCDs for both Corrosive Grenade and Corrosive Dart). Thus, the concept behind the rotation above is that every other use of Lethal Strike, you should refresh your DoTs. This makes timing DoT refresh much easier to avoid clipping DoT duration or re-applying late.

  • Whenever Disappearing Act (combat stealth) ability is off cooldown it can be used immediately before Lethal Strike to buff that ability's damage and gain a Tactical Advantage. Make sure you are not already at the maximum number of Tactical Advantage's to avoid wasting it, though. In some progression encounters you may want to avoid doing this if the team may need a stealth revive, such as if your team does not have Operative healers or any other Assassin or Operative DPS players.

  • It is important for players familiar with this discipline but seeking to master it to understand the key to maximizing DPS is Shiv. This seems counter intuitive to most, as maximizing DPS requires as frequent use of Corrosive Assault as possible. However, ultimately the rate at which we can spam Corrosive Assault is entirely dependent on our ability to generate Tactical Advantage to make that ability useable.

Thus, the true goal of the rotation is to maximize the rate at which we can generate Tactical Advantage while maximizing uptime of our DoTs (Corrosive Dart and Corrosive Grenade) and our DoT buffing abilities (Lethal Strike and Toxic Blast). The more Tactical Advantage, the more we can use Corrosive Assault to deal big time damage.

This aspect of the discipline is why the filler priority above has Toxic Blast and Shiv above Corrosive Assault, because they both generate Tactical Advantage! In situations where you are capped on Tactical Advantage (2 normally but 3 with a 6-piece Tactician set bonus), you would prioritize Corrosive Assault to spend a Tactical Advantage so that you can then use the other abilities to gain more Tactical Advantage.

  • The rotation discussed above is intended to be the simplest rotation that accomplishes the primary goals of (1) using Lethal Strike on cooldown; (2) keeping full uptime of both DoTs; and (3) using Toxic Blast and Corrosive Assault on cooldown or as often as possible, respectively. However, a more advanced rotation will require spacing out both DoTs (Corrosive Grenade and Corrosive Dart) with GCDs in between them. This will allow for more frequent use of Shiv to generate Tactical Advantage, more frequent use of Corrosive Assault to spend Tactical Advantage when capped, and/or using Toxic Blast on cooldown without delaying any rotational abilities. I recommend starting with just 1 GCD in between DoTs to keep it easy to remember, but if possible an optimal solution would be 2-3 GCDs.

  • In 6.0, the rotation changed in a subtle but powerful way. All of the information above about priorities is true with the 6-piece Tactician set bonus. However, having the cap on Tactical Advantage increased from 2 to 3 makes the rotation feel much more fluid. You should find yourself much more comfortable in using Toxic Blast and Shiv on cooldown without frequently having to burn Corrosive Assault first due to being capped.

Also, if you are using the Synox Shots tactical, the only key change is that Toxic Blast becomes your top overall DPS ability and so takes precedence over every other ability.

  • An advanced tip that is somewhat more difficult to balance amid the various rotational priorities is bunching together as many uses of Corrosive Assault in the 6 seconds / 4 GCDs after using Lethal Strike. Due to the Cut to the Quick passive ability, DoTs receive a 30% buff to critical chance and critical damage, so your damage will be noticeably higher during this mini-burst phase.

Ideally a rotation should be set up to re-apply DoTs immediately before Lethal Strike rather than AFTER it, as this would allow for more free GCDs to use Corrosive Assault. In practice, I find this makes timing the re-application of DoTs much more difficult and easy to mess up, so I typically do not strive for this type of rotation except when dummy parsing or on fights with very high sustained DPS requirements.