Last Updated: 5/31/21
Table of Contents
About the Class
Serenity is the Shadow’s sustained DoT specialization discipline. Serenity has 3 DoTs (Force Breach, Sever Force, and Squelch), an AoE ability that buffs DoT damage (Force in Balance) and two powerful fillers (Spinning Strike and Serenity Strike). Similar to its cousin the Balance Sage, Serenity also offers rotational self heals through the casting of Force in Balance and Serenity Strike, which combined with the Shadow’s class defensive abilities gives them great survivability despite having slightly less mitigation in their skill tree as compared to Infiltration Shadows. Serenity provides excellent sustained DPS and is among the strongest sustained AoE DPS disciplines in the game.
Utility and Mobility
Shadows have strong utility for a DPS class. They can guard and taunt, they have a 4 second hard stun (Force Stun), an 8 second soft stun (Force Lift), an additional 2 second hard stun (Spinning Kick), Force Slow, tank classes can pull certain targets for positioning, all classes have Force Wave as a knockback, and Kinetic Combat Shadows can apply melee/ranged accuracy and damage debuffs as well as a healing received debuff to targets.
Regarding mobility, Shadows have very strong mobility when needed. All of Serenity’s abilities are instant and can be used on the move. Shadows have a gap closer (Shadow Stride, though it is buggy when not on level terrain) and Force Speed provides a great mobility boost on a very short cooldown (15 seconds with utility). That said, given the power of One with the Shadows utility, choosing to use Force Speed for mobility sacrifices a cooldown (though given its short cooldown that usually isn’t a big issue).
Shadows have the best survivability of any class in the game. They enjoy the largest and most powerful selection of defensive cooldowns, of which the most powerful are on a relatively short cooldown. Resilience can be used on a 1 minute cooldown to mitigate virtually all Force/Tech damage (and nearly all big hitting abilities in operations are Force/Tech) and/or to self-cleanse. With utilities, Force Cloak can be used every 1:15 to provide a shorter duration Resilience. With utility, Force Speed can be used every 15 seconds to provide a brief 25% absorb boost on all damage. And that isn’t even all the defensive abilities!!! Given these abilities (and more), Shadows are the best tanks due to their ability to cheese big hitting mechanics, and Shadow DPS players are the best emergency tanks for the same reason.
Role in Operations
As with most DoT disciplines, Serenity performs best when allowed to maintain emphasis a single target (or when target swapping, they will have at least 15 seconds to ramp up). They also perform well when AoE’ing adds through DoT spreading while maintaining high single target DPS. Without the ability to DoT spread prior to swapping targets, Serenity will struggle to maintain high DPS compared to Infiltration.
6.0 Impact on Discipline
Shadow was arguably the strongest overall class in the 5.x update cycle, so it’s not too surprising that it could only go down (somewhat) from there. Great options at both burst and sustained DPS, really strong DWT utility and defensives making them the best “emergency tank”, a very strong class in PVP, and boasting by far the best tank discipline in the game at that time, they had it all.
In the 6.0 cycle (6.1 as of this writing), Shadow has come down somewhat in the rankings. It is unclear where they will settle as we move further through the patch cycle, though early indications were that the DPS disciplines were somewhat underpowered and have received some slight buffs.
The biggest changes to the class relate primarily to the tweak to One with the Shadows utility. Prior to 6.0 this provided very frequent 60% damage absorption via Force Speed, making a 2.5s 60% absorb buff available every 15s (that is 20% uptime, which was crazy...and awesome). In 6.0 and moving forward, this utility is worthless for tanks and only provides a 25% buff for DPS.
For Serenity, the discipline remains as a good sustained melee DPS class with amazing sustained AoE potential. It suffers somewhat from relatively weak synergy with the Death Knell DPS set and its tactical bonus is not quite as strong as some other disciplines. However, the discipline has received steady incremental buffs and is very strong discipline when played well, especially given the new operation on Dxun has many opportunities for AoE DPS.
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.
You must take 3 to advanced to Masterful.
Mental Defense - As Kinetic Combat, reduces all damage taken while stunned by 30%. As Infiltration and Serenity, reduces the damage taken from area attacks by 30%.
Should always be taken by DPS players, as nearly every PVE encounter has some form of AoE damage. The utility is somewhat more situational for tanks as stuns are not always present. As a tank, I typically swap between this utility and taking Lambaste when this utility is not needed.
Lambaste - Increases the damage done by Whirling Blow by 25%.
A situational utility that can be helpful in increasing AoE DPS. I very rarely take this utility as a Serenity DPS, as that class has DoT spread capability and can do enormous AoE DPS without it, and thus I can save the utility slot for a utility boosting single target DPS, mitigation or movement.
Celerity - Reduces the cooldown of Mind Snap by 2 seconds, Force of Will by 30 seconds, and Force Speed for 5 seconds.
Previously a must-take in 5.X, this utility is much more situational due to the nerf to One with the Shadows in 6.0. I find myself typically choosing between this utility and Shadow’s Shelter as to whether a slight AoE group mitigation buff or increased uptime on mobility/interrupt/stun-breaker is more useful on a fight-by-fight basis. If taking One with the Shadows then I do recommend Celerity.
Shadow’s Shelter - Mass Mind Control provides Shadow’s Shelter to all allies within range, excluding yourself, reducing the damage they take by 5% for the next 6 seconds and healing them for a small amount over the duration.
This utility can provide a marginal mitigation boost and AoE heal. The benefit it provides is minimal, so I only recommend considering in fight where there is heavy sustained AoE damage and where Force Cloak’s use for a more frequent mini-Resilience is unlikely to be helpful.
Force Wake - Force Wave unbalances its targets, immobilizing them for 5 seconds. Direct damage dealt after 2 seconds ends the effect prematurely.
Highly situational. This utility has limited applications in Hard and Nightmare Mode operations on several specific fights (e.g., Styrak Nightmare, Tyth Hard/Nightmare).
You must take 6 between Heroic and Masterful.
Force Harmonics - Reduces the cooldown of Force Wave by 2.5 seconds and Force Potency grants 1 additional charge when activated.
Should always be taken by DPS players as it provides a strict DPS increase. Is not quite as mandatory for tanks though still increases DPS, though can and should be exchanged for another utility where mitigation (Shadow’s Shelter) or movement (Misdirection) is more useful.
Fade - Reduces the cooldown of Force Cloak by 45 seconds and extends its duration by 5 seconds.
I usually take this utility along with Cloak of Resilience in the Heroic tier. When combined, I effectively gain a second (though slightly shorter) use of Resilience on nearly the same cooldown. When used skillfully, this adds another very powerful defensive ability to the Shadow’s kit.
Misdirection - Increases your movement speed by 15%.
Not a super helpful utility but one I sometimes take in fights with lots of transition. Shadow players should strive to use Force Speed to mitigate damage, so the movement buff can be useful in instances where Force Speed is being used on cooldown as a defensive.
Egress / Emersion - Force Speed grants Egress, removing all movement-impairing effects and granting immunity to them for the duration.
A very situational utility for PVE (though amazing for PVP) and should only be taken on fights where it will be useful to avoid slows (e.g. Underlurker Hard Mode).
Sturdiness - Activating Deflection grants 6 seconds of immunity to stun, sleep, lift, and incapacitating effects.
A highly situational utility, it should only be taken by players for specific encounters in PVE.
A maximum of 3 utilities
Cloak of Resilience - Activating Force Cloak grants 2 seconds of Resilience.
I find this utility incredibly useful for tanks and DPS. Since Resilience functions as a self-cleanse, this gives Shadows an additional self-cleanse every 2 minutes (1:15 if taking the Fade utility). If taking Fade, this nearly doubles the availability of Resilience (which has a 1 minute cooldown). If tanking, Force Cloak can be used to cheese certain mechanics, though care must be taken to avoid a big hit swapping to another player if timed poorly and ensuring that a taunt is available and used immediately to regain aggro. Particularly for DPS players, this utility can be used to help increase the success rate of stealth rez attempts, since the self-cleanse of Resilience should avoid being pulled into combat by a ticking DoT.
Stalker’s Swiftness - Shadow Stride grants Stalker’s Swiftness, allowing your next Spinning Strike to be used on any target, regardless of remaining health. Stalker’s Swiftness lasts for 10 seconds. Also, if the target of your Shadow Stride is killed within 10 seconds of using Shadow Stride, Shadow Stride cooldown is reset.
I always take this utility as a DPS player as it provides a strict DPS increase by enabling more frequent use of Spinning Strike. For Infiltration players, it provides an even larger DPS boost due to proccing a full stack Force Breach. If I am playing Kinetic Combat, I frequently choose between this utility and either Mind Over Matter or Avenging Grip depending on whether more mitigation is needed or more DPS (and if so, which DPS utility will provide greater benefit).
Mind Over Matter - Increases the duration of Resilience by 2 seconds and Force Speed by 0.5 seconds. Also, Force Speed slows all enemies within 5 meters by 75% for 2.5 seconds when activated.
This utility should be taken by all tanks but generally should not be taken by DPS unless dealing with a very damage intensive fight (thus prioritizing mitigation over the DPS boosting utilities below). The extra 2 seconds of Resilience increases from 3 to 5 seconds which can be enormously useful on some fights (e.g., tanking Master’s Ion Cutter attack in the Ravagers / Master & Blaster encounter).
If taking One with the Shadows as a Shadow DPS, Mind Over Matter and Celerity synergize well to increase the effectiveness and uptime of the Force Speed DR.
Avenging Grip - Deflection grants Avenging Grip, reflecting 50% (or 100% for the Kinetic Combat discipline) of all direct single target tech and Force damage back at the attacker. Avenging Grip lasts for 12 seconds and does not absorb incoming damage.
The Shadow’s reflect ability is useful but is overall one of the most limited reflects as it (1) reflects the least damage (as little as 50% for DPS specs); and (2) it does not mitigate any damage. It is also notable that it does not reflect melee/ranged single target damage unlike most reflects (though due to the defense buff from Deflection, most melee/ranged single target attacks will be dodged anyway and thus wouldn’t be eligible for reflection). This can be useful in situations where DPS checks are troublesome or in progression, though in general I prefer other utilities for all specs.
One with the Shadows - Shadow Stride can be used while immobilized and purges movement-impairing effects when used. Also, Force Speed grants One with the Shadows, which reduces all damage taken by 25% for the duration of Force Speed.
This utility was heavily nerfed in 6.0 to reduce the DR from 60% to 25% and removing it entirely for Kinetic Combat tanks. As currently constituted the DR can be helpful for fights with high damage taken for DPS or if you may need to emergency tank while a combat revive goes out.
Example Utility Build
Here is what I run for most encounters, though I frequently take other situational utilities for specific fights.
Mind and Body - Reduces the damage taken from all periodic effects by 15%. Also, Mass Mind Control increases your damage reduction by 30% by 6 seconds.
This passive provides some helpful damage mitigation for Serenity and makes the aggro drop a strong through short duration defensive cooldown.
Prolific Justice - Whirling Blow spreads your periodic Force Breach and Sever Force effects to the targets it damages, as long as it damages targets already affected by your Force Breach and Sever Force. Also, Force in Balance overwhelms its targets (+10% AoE damage) for 45 seconds.
This passive provides for Serenity’s DoT spread via its spammable melee AoE ability. This is a little unusual, as most other DoT classes have a key ability to DoT spread (e.g., Sage Balance uses Force in Balance to DoT spread) or one of the DoTs is AoE and spreads the other (e.g., Gunslinger Dirty Fighting). This passive provides an AoE damage debuff that benefits Force in Balance but overall is a somewhat less useful amongst the various debuffs.
Force Strike - Melee attacks that strike a target affected by your Force Breach grant Force Strike, finishing the cooldown on Squelch and making your next Squelch consume no Force. Also, activating Shadow Stride grants Force Strike, but Force Strike cannot occur more than once every 9 seconds.
One of two major RNG elements to the Serenity rotation is introduced by this passive, which enables Squelch to proc either by using Shadow Stride or through regular melee attacks. Due to Squelch's long cooldown absent this proc and its fixed rate of proccing only every 9 seconds, Squelch can be delayed several GCDs to ensure it is always benefiting from Force in Balance's buff to DoT damage or to use abilities not capped in their frequency like Serenity Strike or Spinning Strike.
Force Suppression - Force in Balance now suppresses resistance to the Force, increasing the amount of damage the targets suffer from your next 15 periodic damaging abilities by 15%. Lasts 30 seconds.
Force in Balance is Serenity’s most powerful ability primarily due to this passive and its buff to DoT damage. It should be used on CD.
Rebounding Force - Sever Force deals 10% additional damage and when your Force Technique deals damage, it restores 3 Force.
It is worth noting this passive primarily for its periodic Force regeneration. Force management is relatively straightforward for Serenity, provided Squelch is being used when procced (and free), thanks to this passive.
Crush Spirit - Your damaging periodic effects have a 30% chance to trigger Crush Spirit, which finishes the active cooldown on Spinning Strike and makes your next Spinning Strike usable on a target with any health level. This effect cannot occur more than once every 15 seconds.
This passive provides the second RNG element to the Serenity rotation via a proc of Spinning Strike. Similar to Squelch when procced, this passive has a rate limit so it doesn’t necessarily have to be used on CD when procced.
Psychic Absorption - Increases the life redirected by Force in Balance and Serenity Strike by 100% and causes Sever Force and Force Technique's Force Breach effect to steal life from enemy targets, healing you for 10% of the damage they deal.
This passive is notable for significantly increasing self-healing. It boosts the self healing from Serenity Strike from 50% to 100%, Force in Balance from 10% to 20%, and provides periodic self healing from DoTs.
Aching Mind - Force in Balance, Squelch, and your periodic damage abilities deal 30% more damage on targets under 30% health.
This passive doesn’t affect the Serenity rotation but is worth noting due to how powerful it makes Serenity sub-30% boss health. Between this passive ability and the power of Spinning Strike as an execute ability on a 6s cooldown, Serenity has an argument to the most powerful execute buff. When below 30% and with both Force in Balance and Psychic Absorption active, DoTs tick for 55% more damage!
Atrophying Attacks - Dealing melee damage increases the critical chance of your damaging periodic effects by 10% for 10 seconds. Also increases the damage dealt by Serenity Strike by 20% against enemies with less than 30% health.
Another buff to DoTs, the Serenity Rotation should endeavor to keep this buff up as much as possible. When this passive and Force in Balance are active on a target, DoTs tick for 25% more damage. Double Strike, Serenity Strike and Spinning Strike all proc this buff and will automatically be used frequently, though highly skilled players should learn to watch for this buff and know when to delay a procced Squelch to refresh this buff.
Serene Poise - Serenity Strike deals 5% more damage and restores 4 Force for each of your active periodic damaging effects on the target, up to 3.
This passive is notable for buffing Serenity Strike damage and reducing cost by ensuring full uptime of DoTs. Force Breach, Sever Force and Squelch all qualify, of which the first two should always be active on a target but Squelch will have some downtime. As such, delaying Serenity Strike 1 GCD to activate a procced Squelch is always a good idea so long as it won’t clip an existing Squelch DoT. When used with all 3 DoTs active, Squelch gets a 15% damage increase and its cost is decreased from 25 Force (making it a fairly expensive ability) to 13 Force (making it the most energy efficient ability).
Shadow's Training - Increases your total Endurance by 3%. In addition, Saber Strike restores 1 Force each time it damages an enemy.
Shadow's Training is a class passive skill for Shadows and causes your basic attack Saber Strike to generate extra Force, which is really helpful to quickly regenerate Force.
Force Technique - Utilizes a Force technique, giving your melee attacks a 50% chance to deal kinetic damage.
Force Technique is a passive skill for Serenity Shadows. Force Technique is the equivalent to the Shadow Technique passive skill for Infiltration and functions similarly.
Gearing in 6.0
Gearing Stat Allocation
For Serenity Shadow, I gear as follows:
Set Bonus: Death Knell
Tactical: Two Time Trouble
Amplifiers: Periodic Intensity
Mods: Unlettered Lethal Mods
Relics: Devastating Vengeance & Primeval Fatesealer (Serendipitous Assault & Focused Retribution for Dxun/PVP)
Adrenal: Critical (Attack for Dxun only)
For Serenity Shadow, 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
Increased drop rate from conquest crates.
(2) +2% Mastery
(4) The cooldown of Force Potency is reduced by 15 seconds. Whenever you consume a charge of Force Potency you gain a stack of Potent Critical, making your next Shadow Strike, Spinning Strike or Serenity Strike critically hit. Stacks up to 3 times.
(6) Whenever you consume a charge of Force Potency you gain a stack of Audacious Potency, increasing melee damage done by 10% for 30 seconds. Stacks up to 3 times.
This set bonus is nice but is really lopsided in favor of Infiltration and provides much weaker buffs to DPS for Serenity primarily due to the much less frequent use of Force Potency in the absence of the Potent Shadows passive ability. The good news is that it makes the rotational impact much simpler.
For Serenity, the impact becomes very simple. Continue using Force Potency to buff your attacks and that’s it. Serenity will have around half the uptime on Audacious Potency and half the critical hit buffs to all attacks and the extra critical hit procs for Spinning Strike or Shadow Strike.
The much weaker impact of Death Knell to Serenity is the primary reason that the discipline started 6.0 in a relatively weak position compared to other sustained DPS disciplines and have seen a few small buffs from the developers in recent months.
Impact on Rotation:
No change to rotation.
When to Take:
This is the only viable set bonus option for Shadow DPS.
Two Time Trouble
Increased drop rate from flashpoints.
Sever Force has a 100% chance to tick an additional time when you deal damage with Spinning Strike and a 50% chance to tick an additional time when you deal damage with a melee attack.
Sever Force applies DoT damage over 12 GCDs (18 seconds before alacrity) and ticks 7 times over its duration.
Over the course of the other 11 GCDs (excluding the GCD spent to refresh it), you will typically use Force Breach once to refresh a DoT (not a melee attack), Force in Balance once (not a melee attack), Squelch once or twice (not a melee attack), Serenity Strike once (melee attack), Spinning Strike once if it procs (melee attack), and any remaining GCDs will be use by Double Strike or Saber Strike (both melee attacks and usually 1 or 2 Saber Strikes per rotation for energy management).
Thus in a typical 12 GCD rotation, we would normally expect to see 5-6 non-melee attacks and 6-7 melee attacks and most of the time one of those will include one Spinning Strike. Once we get below 30% boss health, we will be using two Spinning Strike per 12 GCD rotation. Also worth noting is that Saber Strike ticks 3 times for damage, Double Strike ticks twice and Spinning Strike and Serenity Strike each tick damage once. Thus, if we add up all these attacks we should get 1 guaranteed extra tick of Sever Force from using Spinning Strike and 12-13 melee attacks that have a 50% chance to trigger an extra tick.
Taking all of this into account, we would expect to have around 6-8 extra ticks of Sever Force per 12 GCD rotation above 30% boss health and 7-9 ticks below 30% health as Spinning Strike is used more often. This effectively doubles (plus a bit more) the number of ticks of damage from Sever Force and so would lead us to expect to increase DPS by a corresponding amount.
From a parsing perspective, Sever Force normally deals around 12-14% of total damage absent any tactical-related damage boost. So if we can more than double that damage we should be boosting DPS by more than 10%, which is consistent with observed results. This makes the tactical a less noticeable but still quite powerful boost to Serenity DPS.
Impact on Rotation:
No change to rotation.
When to Take:
Recommended for all encounters.
Increased drop rate from operations.
Force in Balance does 30% more damage to slowed targets and finishes the cooldown of Cleaving Cut.
This tactical is intended to provide more AoE DPS by providing more frequent use of Cleaving Cut. I find it very weak as a DPS buff given that Serenity already has exceptionally strong AoE DPS between a spammable AoE that continuously spreads DoTs and the DoT debuff applied by AoE-based Force in Balance. Serenity can already handle every AoE DPS check in the game easily, so it just isn’t worth adding a little more AoE DPS at the cost of sustained single target damage. I think it would be interesting if the slow effect of Cleaving Cut would buff Force in Balance against operation bosses (even if the slow effect didn’t work directly) but otherwise the tactical provides no DPS benefit for any targets immune to slows and thus very limited in benefit in operations.
Impact on Rotation:
N/A as not recommended.
When to Take:
Not recommended for any operation boss encounters. It could be situationally useful for large trash pulls in between boss encounters in operations or flashpoints.
Increased drop rate from operations.
The critical chance of Serenity Strike is increased by 25%. Critically hitting with Serenity Strike resets its cooldown and grants Balancing Blade, increasing the critical hit chance of your next Serenity Strike by an additional 25% for the next 6 seconds. Balancing Blade stacks up to 3 times and is removed after Serenity Strike deals damage at 3 stacks.
This tactical is an interesting effort to buff burst DPS for Serenity. Most classes regularly have a base critical chance in the high 40's, meaning that with Quick Escalation equipped Serenity Strike will have a critical chance around 70% and a successful crit will increase it to around 95%. All of this means that more often than not Serenity Strike should be spammable fairly frequently to add significant burst DPS and some moderate self healing.
Between the tactical's +10% critical chance to Serenity Strike, another 10% from the Atrophying Attacks passive skill and the usual 40% or so critical chance from gear, Serenity Strike should have at least a 60% base critical chance that goes up to 85% after a crit from Balancing Blade and goes up to over 100% after 2 crits.
The optimal way to use Quick Escalation is to use Serenity Strike and hope you get lucky with the first crit to let you spam it three times consecutively. When you get to 3 stacks of Balancing Blade, click off the Balancing Blade buff to avoid the ability going on cooldown. You can then use Serenity Strike a fourth time with the chance to crit and get another series of consecutive uses.
You should still prioritize key abilities above Serenity Strike but it becomes your sole filler as long as it keeps succeeding the critical chance roll. When it does not crit then it goes on cooldown and you start the process again when it comes back off cooldown.
Prior to the 6.2 patch, the top 4 Serenity / Hatred parses used this tactical and rotation strategy, with the top parse being 23.9k and the best parse not using Quick Escalation being 23.0k.
With all that said, clicking off buffs can be tricky and this approach is far more difficult in actual content. Shields, probes, HoTs, various passive buffs, raid buffs, etc., are all applied and will move the Balancing Blade buff around on your bar, making it more difficult to click off the right buff and likely slowing down your ability activation speed.
Impact on Rotation:
Prioritize Serenity Strike as your filler in all situations where you would use Thrash. When you get to 3 stacks of Balancing Blade you should click off the buff and resume your rotation.
When to Take:
A cool option for parsing, I do not recommend this for any serious content. Keeping track of mechanics, movement and a much more dynamic buff bar will make it far more difficult to consistently click off Balancing Blade. Without clicking off Balancing Blade, the DPS potential is significantly lower and Two Time Trouble should provide higher DPS and far more consistent DPS.
Increased drop rate from PVP.
Force Cloak has 2 charges.
UPDATE - Tactical swapping is no longer a viable strategy in combat, so this tactical is not recommended for any PVE content. Two Cloaks remains a very useful tactical for PVP since the extra self-cleanse and stealth out can be very useful.
This tactical is mentioned because it has some interesting benefits for Infiltration in the opener. That is entirely due to the Infiltration passive ability Potent Shadows, which causes Force Cloak to reduce the cooldown of Force Potency by 60s (making it nearly instant).
Force Cloak is still a great utility ability for Serenity due to its ability to drop aggro, a low duration defensive cooldown and self-cleanse via its Resilience (with utility), and providing an out of combat opportunity to stealth rez. However, Force Cloak has no rotational use for Serenity so a second Force Cloak would be wasted in nearly all instances while also failing to contribute a buff to any damaging abilities.
Impact on Rotation:
When to Take:
Friend of the Force
Increased drop rate from Onderon and Mek'sha daily missions.
Resilience also applies to any ally you are guarding.
UPDATE - A previous update changed the mechanics for Guard such that non-tanks guarding players have their damage reduced by 50%. As such, Friend of the Force is not recommended unless you really really need it to cleanse another player and do not mind sacrificing significant DPS to do so. If so, wait to guard the player until just before you activate Resilience, then remove Guard after Resilience cleanses you and the guarded player.
Friend of the Force is a really neat tactical for utility purposes but adds nothing to your DPS. As its description clearly implies, its value resides in helping another player mitigate big damage spikes and/or provide an additional cleanse.
There are two primary scenarios where I find this tactical potentially useful. First, I might take this tactical to share my Resilience with my other tank or a DPS/healer for predictable big damage spikes. If sharing with a tank, I make sure I am only guarding them immediately before hitting Resilience and remove it right after the defensive expires.
The second use is as an additional cleanse to a teammate. Most cleanse mechanics in boss encounters can be handled adequately by healers and tanks/DPS with built-in self cleanses. Having a couple Vanguard or Gunslinger players is not a big deal for most fights. There are some exceptions where DoT cleanse mechanics become critical and being able to consistently get someone else’s cleanse can make a huge difference:
TFB Dread Guards: Help someone cheese Lightning Field, help a tank survive Force Leech damage
DF Draxus: Help a tank or melee DPS survive the exploding Subteroths in first wave, help self-cleanse Mass Affliction if it goes off
DF Corruptor Zero: Help a tank survive channeled attacks, enable a cleanse of tank if no tech healer is present
DF Brontes: Enable two people to cheese orbs during push to clockwork phase
DP Tyrans: Help tank avoid damage from Thundering Blast
DP Calphayus: Additional cleanse for group going Right in first phase if an add gets its cast off
DP Council: Additional cleanse for Death Mark
Ravagers Sparky: Help tank cheese damage from Brutalize
Torque: Help another melee player avoid damage from fire AoEs
Master & Blaster: Use to help a non-Shadow take Ion Cutter stacks without taking damage, or alternate with a Shadow tank holding Master to help avoid damage from basic attacks, or help whomever is holding Master during burn phase avoid damage from conal channel
Pirate Captains: Additional cleanse of DoTs, help two players run through red circles to clean them up
ToS Revan: Help a tank resist damage from Trail of Agony on first floor
Gods Aivela & Esne: Help another player survive a hit by Overdrive Energy Burst (AoE during burn phase) or help a player survive Purification Beam (wiper phase) if they are Spiked (tank) or just are unfamiliar with mechanics, could also be used to enable a DPS to stay in the middle more easily to DPS the Nexus
Gods Nahut: Help a tank move while affected by Mass Distortion
Gods Scyva: Help another tank survive Accelerated Destruction channel, help a fellow player survive Extinction Protocol
Gods Izax: Help another player mitigate damage from Induction Cascade
Dxun Red: Help a tank mitigate damage from Acid Jet
Dxun Trandoshans: Additional cleanses for tanks holding Kronissus or Hissyphus
Dxun Huntmaster: Help tank mitigate damage from Penetrating Shots
Dxun Apex Vanguard: Provide a dual cleanse of Contagion for yourself and a teammate without a self cleanse
Impact on Rotation:
No change, just make sure you apply a guard to the player you intend to buff prior to hitting Resilience.
When to Take:
This tactical is very situational to your playstyle, group composition and relative experience of teammates. In a wide range of circumstances it can be very helpful and should be taken, but only when you CAN use it to mitigate big damage by sharing the defensive and when you WILL actually do so in a timely and consistent fashion. If not, take a different tactical to buff your DPS.
Crafted by Armstech.
Shadow Stride has 2 charges.
This tactical has some benefit for movement heavy fights and providing an extra procced Spinning Strike. However, it only offers one extra use and Shadow Stride is very buggy in general. I do not recommend taking as other options provide far more DPS increases and a variety of utility choices can provide significant additional mobility.
Impact on Rotation:
When to Take:
Not recommended for any content.
Periodic Intensity (or for multi-discipline, Armor Penetration)
The majority of top damaging ability dealt by Serenity comes from DoTs so Periodic Intensity provides by far the strongest buff. If looking to select amplifiers that provide strong buffs to both Infiltration and Serenity, I recommend Armor Penetration as it is the strongest amplifier set for the former and the second best for the latter.
Cleaving Cut (20 Force, 12s cooldown, 5m range) NEW IN 6.0 - Strikes targets in a cone, dealing weapon damage and slowing their movement speed by 50% for 3 seconds. Cleaving Cut spreads Force Breach and Sever Force periodic effects.
New ability for 6.0, it will have minimal use in PVE content.
Saber Strike (no cooldown) - Basic attack.
Free filler ability, it should only be used very infrequently when main tanking an encounter, and somewhat often when off-tanking.
Shadow Stride (30s cooldown, range 30m) - Teleports to your target and increases your movement speed by 75% for 3 seconds.
Shadow’s gap closer and with a utility can be used to proc Spinning Strike. Serenity should try to time its use after Spinning Strike has already procced via the Crush Spirit passive ability. Be wary of using Shadow Stride when elevation changes are relevant, as it can bug and leave you in a weird position or even kill you (e.g., I have died several times using Shadow Stride to get onto the tanks in the Firebrand & Stormcaller encounter in the Explosive Conflict operation).
Sever Force (20 Force, no cooldown, range 30m) - Weakens the target, freezing it in place for 2 seconds and dealing high internal damage over 18 seconds. The immobilizing effect cannot occur more than once every 9 seconds.
One of Serenity’s core DoT abilities, Sever Force is usually applied first due to its 30m range. When Shadow Stride isn’t available as a gap closer and the target can’t be approach in stealth, using Sever Force while at range can fill a GCD to give time to get into melee range.
Force Beach (20 Force, no cooldown, range 10m) - Blast the target with raw Force energy dealing high kinetic damage over 18 seconds.
Serenity’s second DoT only with a 10m range and thus usually applied second. Both DoTs should have full uptime on the target.
Squelch (30 Force, 24s cooldown, range 10m) - Squelches the target with mighty force dealing moderate kinetic damage initially, plus additional kinetic damage over 6 seconds. The target also becomes Vulnerable (+5% damage from Force attacks) for 45 seconds.
Squelch is Serenity’s third DoT but is subject to RNG in its use. Normally its very long cooldown would limit its usefulness. However, the Force Strike passive provides for Squelch to be procced once every 9 seconds either through a melee attack on a target affected by Force in Balance or through the use of Shadow Stride. Force Strike also makes Squelch free. As such, Squelch should be applied within each proc window but does not necessarily need to be used immediately. See the rotation discussion for more details.
Force in Balance (30 Force, 15s cooldown, range 10m) - Deals moderate internal damage and redistributes life from affected targets to heal you for 10% of the damage dealt. Strikes up to 8 targets within a 5-meter radius.
Force in Balance is the signature Serenity ability. It deals decent AoE damage and provides 20% self heals (the 10% is doubled via a passive). However, its real power lies in the Force Suppression passive that causes affected targets to suffer 15% more damage from the next 15 DoT attacks (i.e., multiple DoTs ticking at the same time only consume 1 stack). Force in Balance also enables Squelch to be procced and free. Force in Balance should be used on cooldown to ensure maximum uptime of the DoT damage buff.
Spinning Strike (17 Force, 6s cooldown) - Issues a subduing strike, dealing high weapon damage. Only usable on targets at or below 30% max health.
Unlike Kinetic Combat or Infiltration disciplines, Serenity regularly procs Spinning Strike even if not taking the Stalker’s Swiftness utility (enables a proc of Spinning Strike by Shadow Stride). The Crush Spirit passive enables Serenity’s DoT effects to proc Spinning Strike to be usable on any target. Similar to Squelch proc, the rate limit on this benefit means that Spinning Strike should be utilized within each proc window but can be delayed for other abilities. Below 30%, Spinning Strike takes a much higher priority and should be utilized on cooldown with sole exceptions of refreshing DoTs and Force in Balance.
Serenity Strike (25 Force, 12s cooldown) - Redistributes life from an enemy, dealing moderate weapon damage to the target and healing you for 50% of the damage dealt.
Serenity Strike is another Serenity discipline-exclusive ability, which replaces Shadow Strike as compared to Kinetic Combat and Infiltration. Serenity Strike's self heal is buffed to 100% by a passive, providing a very powerful self heal, and assuming DoTs are ticking on the boss its Force cost will be either 17 or 13 (depending on whether Squelch is active on the target or not). It should be utilized as close to on cooldown as possible.
Double Strike (20 Force, no cooldown) - Strikes the target twice dealing medium damage.
Shadow’s spammable filler ability. Double Strike is Serenity’s filler ability and will be used fairly often in the rotation. It is the most likely ability to proc Squelch and if the player is able to track the cooldown on Squelch proccing should endeavor to prioritize Double Strike higher when doing so will proc Squelch faster, otherwise it takes low priority and should only be used when sufficient Force is available to avoid delaying higher priority abilities.
Whirling Blow (20 Force, no cooldown) - Deals low weapon damage to up to 8 targets within 5 meters.
Shadow’s spammable AoE filler ability. Can be buffed 25% with a utility and enables Serenity’s DoT spread.
Squelch - Regular cast rather than a proc, this enables a procced Squelch to be used again in the opener
Shadow Stride OFF GCD - Used as a gap closer and to enable a use of Spinning Strike in the first rotation prior to it proccing through damage and get Shadow Stride on cooldown immediately so it will be back up sooner. We use after Squelch so that Force Strike immediately resets Squelch's cooldown.
Sever Force - Applying first DoT
Attack Adrenal OFF GCD Entering opener burst window so want to maximize damage
Force Potency OFF GCD - About to begin burst so hitting offensive cooldowns
Force in Balance - Using as early in opener as possible, will not tick quite as hard since only 2 DoTs are active, but this sets up the rotation to avoid any future delays
Battle Readiness OFF GCD - Using additional offensive cooldown
Spinning Strike - Using the proc from Shadow Stride here for damage and to get the ability on cooldown so we can proc it again via the Crush Spirit passive.
Squelch - Procced by Shadow Stride and usable here as the previous DoT expires
Force Breach - Applying second DoT, which now establishes both DoTs on a 12 GCD pattern with sufficient space between DoTs to allow immediate use of all abilities
Serenity Strike - Finally left with a free filler spot, Serenity Strike is next up. At this point all 3 DoTs are ticking so Serenity Strike will hit for its maximum DPS and cost very little in Force.
Spinning Strike - Spinning Strike should be off cooldown and usable due to the 30% chance per DoT tick. If it has not triggered then fill with Double Strike and use when available.
Double Strike No other abilities are available in this GCD so using spammable filler
Double Strike No other abilities are available in this GCD so using spammable filler
Squelch - Procced by Force Strike 6 GCDs after the previous proc in the opener.
Double Strike No other abilities are available in this GCD so using spammable filler
Force in Balance - Force in Balance comes off cooldown in this GCD so is reapplied.
(Continue general rotation priority)
The Serenity Shadow requires maintaining maximum uptime on DoTs (100% for Force Breach and Sever Force, as much as possible with Squelch), using Force in Balance on cooldown, using Spinning Strike and Serenity Strike as close to cooldown as possible, and using Double Strike as Force permits without delaying other abilities.
1. Force in Balance used on cooldown. In general, maintaining and refreshing DoTs is important as Force in Balance's biggest benefit is its buff to DoT damage. That said, it will usually be optimal to delay refreshing either Force Breach or Sever Force by 1 GCD to use Force in Balance first.
2. Sever Force and Force Breach refreshed before expiration. Serenity is a DoT discipline and a huge chunk of its damage comes from these DoTs and various buffs applied to them, most notably by Force in Balance. As such, it is absolutely critical to maintain 100% uptime, with the sole exception being delaying reapplication 1 GCD to make room for Force in Balance.
3. Squelch used on cooldown. Squelch should proc every 6 GCDs and its duration is 4 GCDs. This provides for a window to delay use of Squelch, but in the TLDR rotation it is simplest to try and use Squelch on cooldown as soon as it procs to ensure it isn’t delayed overly long.
4. Serenity Strike used on cooldown. Serenity Strike does great damage for low cost as long as DoTs are ticking on the target, making it a very powerful and efficient ability to use as often as possible.
5. Spinning Strike used on cooldown. Spinning Strike is a great ability but above 30% boss it has a 15s cooldown on being procced, so it is relatively low priority as there should nearly always be a free GCD in the 10 GCD window to utilize Spinning Strike following its proc.
6. Double Strike used when >40 Force. Force management is relatively easy for Serenity so liberal use of Double Strike is fine so long as enough energy is left for high priority abilities.
7. Saber Strike when <40 Force. This should happen once every 10-15 GCDs or so.
Serenity's DoTs both have an 18 second duration prior to alacrity, which works out to 12 GCDs of duration regardless of alacrity level. Thus our thought process around a rotation is centered around this cycle.
However, Force in Balance is ultimately more important to our overall DPS since it significantly buffs the damage dealt by our DoTs. We also need to prioritize Leeching Strike in the rotation design to use it on cooldown as a high damage rotational filler. Force in Balance has a 15 second / 10 GCD cooldown and Serenity Strike has a 12 second / 8 GCD cooldown.
The customary recommendation to achieve these goals is to leave 3 abilities in between the initial application and subsequent refresh of our primary DoTs, Sever Force and Force Breach. If we think of the "rotation" as a 12 GCD cycle where Sever Force and Force Breach have the same slots, then Force in Balance will move up 2 slots in the rotation after each use and Serenity Strike will move up 4 slots.
This rotation design leaves both DoTs on odd-numbered rotation slots while Force in Balance will always be an even-numbered slot based on applying it initially in GCD #2, which completely avoids any conflict with refreshing DoTs and applying Force in Balance.
Given the 12 and 10 GCD durations for our DoTs and Force in Balance, respectively, the full rotation consisting just of those abilities takes 5 blocks of 12 abilities or 60 GCDs total. That rotation is outlined below to show how Force in Balance moves through the rotation without delay. Serenity Strike is also shown and only has to be delayed occasionally and only for a single GCD. Serenity Strike should ultimately have a predictable path through the rotation but would require several more rotation blocks to illustrate, which seems unnecessary to show the point.
Please note that a simpler rotation design to just leave one space in between DoTs would still allow for them to be refreshed as they expire and still use Force in Balance on cooldown. I recommend this approach for newer players to the discipline since it is easier to track and avoid forgetting to re-apply the second DoT. The downside to this approach is more frequent delays of Serenity Strike and those delays being likely to be 2-3 GCDs on occasion instead of only a single GCD under the above.
The best part about this rotation is that it is entirely set up by the opener and then simply follows the priority discussed above. Just make sure your opener applies both DoTs and uses Force in Balance as shown in the first row, then you can follow the priority to use Force in Balance on cooldown, refresh each DoT as it expires, and so on.
The above illustration obviously does not present uses of Squelch, Spinning Strike, Double Strike or Saber Strike. I feel that overly complicates the point I am trying to illustrate about rotation design. Also, the priority discussion about when to use those abilities is straight-forward, which in summary is to maximize Squelch's uptime, fit Spinning Strike in where convenient when it procs and use on cooldown in execute, and use Double Strike or Saber Strike for fillers based on energy.
Advanced Rotation Tips
Leave 3 GCDs between Sever Force and Force Beach.
See above discussion.
Squelch should be used twice during each 12 GCD DoT cycle.
As Squelch can be procced every 6 GCDs and both DoTs have a duration of 12 GCDs, Squelch should be procced in the same slot in each 12 GCD rotation. Note per the next point that the GCD in which it is procced and the GCD in which it is used may not always be the same.
Can delay Squelch 1-2 GCDs for Serenity Strike or Force in Balance.
Squelch's proc can occur every 6 GCDs but its duration is only 4 GCDs. Thus, Squelch can be safely delayed up to 2 GCDs without risking clipping its DoT when it procs the next time. This should only be done for an ability that by using earlier will enable more frequent use (i.e., delaying Squelch to use a procced Spinning Strike would not be a DPS increase because Spinning Strike can only be procced every 15s until sub-30% boss health). Force in Balance takes higher priority than Squelch anyway, so the primary beneficiary of this rule is Serenity Strike.
Use Spinning Strike ASAP when procced by Shadow Stride.
Assuming Stalker’s Swiftness utility is being taken (as it generally should), it is important to use the procced Spinning Strike as quickly as the rotation allows to avoid a Crush Spirit proc (the regular proc every 15s). As soon as Shadow Stride is off CD, I usually wait until the next Spinning Strike proc by Crush Spirit and then use Shadow Stride as soon as I use Spinning Strike (similar to the opener). That guarantees the longest window where the two won’t overlap.
Spinning Strike should be used every 4 GCDs when sub-30%.
Spinning Strike is a high damage and low CD ability once sub-30%. During this phase, it takes priority over ALL abilities except Force in Balance. That includes Squelch procs (those can be delayed 1-2 GCDs per above anyway), Serenity Strike (Spinning Strike does more damage), and both DoTs (losing 1 tick of DoT damage is a smaller sacrifice than delaying Spinning Strike by 1/4th its cooldown). Proper prioritization of Spinning Strike can boost DPS in the execute phase by 1k.
Force management for Serenity Shadows is pretty straight-forward. Force-based abilities Force Breach, Sever Force and Force in Balance are expensive and consume more Force. Weapon attacks are cheaper due to several passive abilities. Squelch can also be used for free often. When you get low on Force, Saber Strike has several passives that make it hugely Force positive to quickly regenerate.
There is not necessarily much strategy to Force management beyond following the priority discussed above, but I think it's helpful to understand how your Force management works in case you run into any issues. The key goals from an energy management perspective are:
Make sure to use Squelch when it procs as it is free due a passive skill. It follows the priority and discussion above, where it can occasionally be delayed a GCD or two to line up better with Serenity Strike.
Use Serenity Strike on cooldown and only delayed for higher priority abilities. It is nearly net neutral energy-wise if all 3 DoTs are active.
Use Spinning Strike when it procs or sub-30%. It costs nearly half the net energy as Double Strike and deals way more damage so is a win-win option.
If you get low on Force, slip in a Saber Strike in an available filler spot. Saber Strike's passives make it hugely Force positive and one use can get you back into stable territory and two will get you pretty high on Force.
See below for a discussion of the noteworthy passives and related abilities that help improve your Force management as a Serenity Shadow.
Serenity Strike ordinarily costs 25 Force to use but its cost is reduced by 4 Force per DoT on the target via the Serene Poise passive skill, down to a minimum of 13 Force if you have all 3 DoTs ticking on the target. Assuming no extra alacrity, Force regeneration for one ability activation should be 12 Force so Serenity Strike only has a net Force cost of 1 when it is used on a target with 3 DoTs!
Squelch ordinarily costs 30 Force to use but it becomes free whenver the Force Strike passive skill is triggered. Melee attacks that strike a target affected by your Force Breach grant Force Strike, finishing the cooldown on Squelch and making your next Squelch consume no Force. Also, activating Shadow Stride grants Force Strike, but Force Strike cannot occur more than once every 9 seconds.
Spinning Strike costs 17 Force due to the Adjudication passive skill. Most abilities cost 20 Force so this makes Spinning Strike closer to energy neutral. Assuming no excess alacrity, you should regenerate 12 Force in a GCD so Spinning Strike is net negative by 5 Force instead of 8 Force for most other abilities. That may not sound like much but is nearly half the net Force cost of Double Strike, which it normally replaces when available.
Below 30% boss health Spinning Strike can be used very often and is a huge help to Force management (and DPS!) Above 30% Spinning Strike can be triggered by Shadow Stride via the Stalker's Swiftness Heroic utility or has a 30% chance to be triggered by melee attacks via the Crush Spirit passive skill. Shadow Stride has a 30 second cooldown and the Crush Spirit passive skill cannot trigger more than once every 15 seconds.
Force Technique is a passive skill that gives your melee attacks a 50% chance to deal energy damage. When your Force Technique deals damage, it restores 3 Force thanks to the Rebounding Force passive skill.
Force Technique can trigger from weapon attacks so Serenity Strike, Spinning Strike, Double Strike and Saber Strike can all trigger Force Technique. Some attacks deal damage more than once so have a higher chance to trigger Force Technique. For example, Double Strike deals damage twice (i.e., it hits with each side of the double-bladed lightsaber) so actually has a 75% chance to trigger Force Technique as a result.
I've noticed I usually trigger Force Technique on average every other ability, which means Rebounding Force triggers every 3 seconds prior to alacrity. That works out to around 1 Force regeneration per second on average.
Saber Strike is a free ability that deals damage to the target 3 times per activation. Thanks to the Shadow's Training passive skill, Saber Strike restores 1 Force each time it damages an enemy so 3 Force total. Saber Strike also has 3 rolls with a 50% chance each to trigger Force Technique and restore 3 Force, which works out to a 87.5% chance per activation.
Shadows have a base Force regeneration rate of 8 Force per second prior to alacrity. Saber Strike is an instant ability so it consumes a global cooldown of 1.5 seconds before you can activate another ability.
Putting this all together, using Saber Strike leads to natural Force regeneration of 12 Force, restores 3 Force via the Shadow's Training passive skill, and has a very high chance to restore 3 Force via the Force Technique passive skill. In total Saber Strike should be net Force positive by 15-18 Force. As such, one use of Saber Strike is typically enough energy regeneration to resume your rotation.
Force Potency & Death Knell
Assuming the player is equipping the Death Knell 6-piece set bonus, Force Potency and the Audacious Potency buff provided by the Death Knell set are very important to your DPS.
As a quick reminder, Force Potency grants 2 charges that increase the critical chance of attacks by 60% and each attack that critically hits consumes 1 charge. Force Potency normally has a 90 second cooldown.
All Shadows can benefit from the Force Harmonics Masterful utility that increases the charges granted by Force Potency from 2 to 3.
The Death Knell 4-piece set bonus reduces the cooldown of Force Potency by 15 seconds and each time a Force Potency charge is consumed (i.e., an attack critically hits) you receive 1 stack of Potent Critical that makes Serenity Strike or Spinning Strike critically hit. Stacks of Potent Critical can accumulate up to 3 stacks.
The Death Knell 6-piece set bonus applies a 10% melee damage buff called Audacious Potency each time you consume a charge of Force Potency. Audacious Potency lasts 30 seconds and can stack up to 3 times, so can reach +30% melee damage.
So with the Death Knell set bonus and the Force Harmonics utility, Shadows have a 90 second cooldown on Force Potency and it grants 3 charges that grant +60% critical chance to attacks and as those charges are consumed will make 3 extra Serenity Strike or Spinning Strike attacks auto-crits and will grant +30% melee damage.
Hopefully this is obvious by now but Force Potency is really strong and important to maximizing DPS as a Shadow and particularly as a Serenity Shadow.
There are a few key guidelines to follow when using Force Potency as a Death Knell Serenity Shadow:
Always take the Force Harmonics utility. Force Harmonics causes Force Potency to grant 3 charges instead of 2. This is a significant DPS increase since each extra charge of Force Potency means an extra +60% critical chance on an attack, an extra charge of Potent Critical (auto-crit of Serenity Strike or Spinning Strike) and an extra charge of Audacious Potency (+10% melee attack damage for 30 seconds).
Use Force Potency on cooldown. Unlike Infiltration Shadows that need to time their use of Force Potency due to a passive that lets them reset its cooldown, Serenity Shadows are stuck with the normal cooldown on Force Potency. As such, they do not need to worry about clipping the Audacious Potency or Potent Critical buffs. The only time to delay Force Potency is if downtime or a transition phase is coming in the next 30 seconds.
Spinning Strike takes priority over Serenity Strike after Force Potency. Spinning Strike deals around 15% more damage on average than Serenity Strike so it will get more benefit from consuming Potent Critical charges. I recommend trying to time Force Potency when Spinning Strike is procced and Shadow Stride is nearly off cooldown, which can let you use Spinning Strike and then proc it again via Shadow Stride. At worst you consume one Potent Critical charge on Serenity Strike but get at least two via Spinning Strike, which should be a DPS increase.
1. Resilience (Force/Tech damage) - 1 minute cooldown. Resilience purges all removable effects (aka self-cleanse of all debuffs, not just 2 per cleanse like normal) and increases the chance to resist Force and tech attacks by 200% for 3 seconds (5 with utility). Resilience is an amazing defensive as it provides complete immunity to most heavy hitting mechanics in PVE content. It has a very low cooldown and can be reduced further by successfully shielding attacks. Should be saved for heavy hitting mechanics to cheese the damage, otherwise should be used nearly on cooldown.
2. Force Cloak (Force/Tech damage, certain interruptible channels) - 2 minute cooldown (1:15 with utility). Force Cloak is the Shadow’s combat stealth. It is notable as taking the Cloak of Resilience utility will also grant 2 seconds of Resilience when stealthing out. This provides a second self cleanse on a low cooldown and can be used situationally to cheese mechanics and break certain casts. A great example is the Master & Blaster encounter in the Ravagers operation, where using Force Cloak during the Ion Cutter channel will interrupt the cast and prevent any further stacks being added. Great care should be taken as to the timing of using Force Cloak (to ensure a big hitting ability doesn’t swap to a DPS or healer) and the boss should be immediately taunted to regain aggro.
3. Force Speed (all damage) - 20s cooldown (15s with utility) and 2.5s duration (3.0s with utility). When taking the One with the Shadows utility (as everyone should), Force Speed provides 25% absorption of all damaged taken in its duration. This provides huge damage mitigation and up to 20% uptime when taking the Celerity and Mind Over Matter utilities. In fights with large burst damage abilities, Force Speed should be used whenever Resilience (for Force/Tech) or Deflection (for ranged/melee) isn’t available. In fights without large burst hits, use Force Speed on cooldown for better average mitigation.
4. Battle Readiness (all damage) - 2 minute cooldown and 15s duration. Battle Readiness does a little of everything, providing 25% damage reduction, immediate healing of 15%, increasing damage of Shadow Technique by 50%, increasing the change to trigger its effects by 25% and healing some each time it triggers. I recommend using for sustained phases of Force/Tech damage, where Resilience and Force Speed will be useful but their short duration will not provide as much benefit.
5. Deflection (ranged/melee damage OR heavy sustained AoE Force/Tech damage) - 2 minute cooldown and 12 second duration. Increases ranged and melee defense by 50%. This defensive ability should be used to mitigate ranged/melee damage.
6. Mass Mind Control (all damage) - 6 second duration. Increases damage resistance by 30%. After using an aggro drop in the initial encounter, the aggro drop should be saved for mitigating hits where other defensives are not available.