Focus Guardian

Last Updated: 5/29/21

Table of Contents


About the Class

Focus is the Guardian burst DPS spec. It has several high damaging single target abilities, a few DoTs, and is very effective in encounters with target swapping. As such, it is the preferred spec to utilize in PVP (though that role is not discussed specifically in this guide) and is preferred in any Ops encounter with lots of adds and target swapping (e.g., Draxus in Dread Fortress operation). In comparison to Vigilance, Focus typically has lower sustained DPS though is still viable for all encounters in story mode and veteran mode operations.

Role in Operations

As a burst DPS spec, Focus players should ideally be looked to for any roles that require target swapping or require short burst DPS windows. For example, Focus would be ideally suited to DPS’ing Dismantlers in Draxus HM or dealing with adds in Tyth.

Utility and Mobility

Focus players enjoy instant cast on all abilities so their rotation is 100% mobile. As a Guardian specialization, players also have a leap attacking ability (with reduced cool down and a second leap available via utilities), Guardian Leap to a friendly player (which provides a damage reduction and threat reduction effect as well), Blade Blitz gap closer that can also be used to cheese mechanics, a cleanse (via utility), limited but situationally powerful self heal capability when below 70% health, and a single target taunt. Focus also has an additional shorter range leap in Zealous Leap versus other Guardian classes, giving them even better mobility. Focus Guardian applies an armor debuff but does not otherwise buff other players. Focus Guardian does not have a CC or raid buff.

6.0 Impact on Discipline

In 6.0, Focus got some interesting buffs and playstyle tweaks via the new set bonus and tactical options. The discipline does not benefit from them as much as Vigilance, so comparatively the early impressions are that it will continue to be the less-preferred playstyle in PVE with respect to DPS. That said, the discipline will continue to deliver strong burst DPS and with the proper gear should have steadier DPS via the addition of a DoT tactical.


Focus Guardian gains benefits to direct and AoE damage reduction through skills and Utilities, wear heavy armor, and have several strong defensive cool-downs as a result of their off-tank nature. They can also potentially cheese mechanics with Blade Blitz. As such, they have above-average survivability generally, though Shadows provide better survivability in a short-term off-tank role due to their superior cooldowns.


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.

Narrowed Focus -

Taking non-periodic area of effect damage generates 2 Focus. This effect cannot occur more than once every second.

This is the only mandatory utility in the Skillful tree, with the second choice being situational amongst Defiance, Battlefield Command, or Trailblazer. Every operations encounter in SWTOR has some AoE damage component, so this utility offers basically free Focus and should always be taken.

Defiance -

You generate 4 Focus when stunned, immobilized, put to sleep, or knocked around.

This utility is situational for fights with lots of physics effects. On a fight like Underlurker, this utility generates effectively unlimited Focus which is a strict DPS boost by enabling more use of fillers. Know which fights benefit this utility and only take in those situations, as otherwise either Battlefield Command (mobility) or Trailblazer (AoE DPS) will typically be better choices.

Battlefield Command

Getting attacked reduces the active cooldown of Force Leap by 1 second. This effect cannot occur more than once every 1.5 seconds.

I find this utility very useful on any fights with adds where I am likely to hold aggro periodically and where movement is required (e.g., Draxus, Hive Queen, Bestia, etc.). Better mobility = more uptime on targets = more DPS.


Cyclone Slash deals 25% more damage.

I will sometimes take this utility if neither Defiance or Battlefield Command provide any benefit. That said, all three Guardian disciplines have comparatively strong AoE DPS so I feel that this is frequently not needed outside a few very specific fights (e.g., Hive Queen Veteran Mode).


Challenging Call protects all other allies within range, excluding yourself, granting Guardianship, which absorbs a moderate amount of damage. Lasts 10 seconds.

This utility makes the Guardian tank’s AoE taunt or DPS’ threat drop an AoE mitigation buff. It should only be taken on fights with predictable AoE damage where the majority of the team can be closer together (e.g., burn phase in Dread Council).

Gather Strength

Whenever your movement is impaired, you gain a 10% damage bonus to your next ability that consumes Focus. This effect can stack up to 5 times and lasts 15 seconds.

I find this utility useful on similar fights to Defiance, such as Underlurker in Veteran Mode, where it provides a strict DPS increase. It should always be taken in such situations, though overall it is situational due to that status effect being uncommon.

Masterful Tier

You must take 6 between Heroic and Masterful.

Purifying Sweep

For the Defense discipline, Force Sweep slows the targets it damages by 60% for 10 seconds. For the Vigilance and Focus disciplines, Force Sweep and Vigilant Thrust sunder the targets they damage for 45 seconds. Sundered targets have their armor rating decreased by 20%.

A mandatory utility for DPS Guardian disciplines due to the armor debuff but should never be taken outside of PVP for Guardian tanks.


Force Leap grants Unremitting, granting immunity to movement impairing effects and effects that push or pull you around for 4 seconds.

A highly situational utility that is more useful in PVP, there are a very few select circumstances where it is useful in PVE. The most notable example is Master & Blaster Veteran Mode in the Ravagers operation, where taking Unremitting and Battlefield Command can enable solo tanking Blaster and ignoring its knockback attack via this utility.

Stalwart Defense

For Vigilance and Focus, all area effect damage is reduced by 60% for 15 seconds after Challenging Call is activated. For Defense, all damage is reduced by 30% when stunned.

This utility is mandatory for Vigilance or Focus players as it makes your threat drop an incredibly powerful AoE defensive cooldown. For Defense tanks, it is highly situational for only fights with significant stun potential (e.g., Pirate Captains in Ravagers operation).

Peaceful Focus

Enure removes all cleansable effects when activated.

A situational but frequently useful utility, take whenever having a self-cleanse is a key mechanic. Note that this is usually only the case with very hard hitting DoTs or status effects, or one-shot mechanics (e.g., Death Mark in Veteran Mode Dread Council). Otherwise, I would usually not take this utility in lieu of Through Peace (Focused Defense can be used to heal to full via a DoT).

Heroic Tier

A maximum of 3 utilities

Through Peace

Reduces the cooldown of Focused Defense by 30 seconds.

Focused Defense is a very powerful self heal and having a 25% shorter cooldown will frequently mean you can get 3 uses per fight instead of 2. I nearly always take this utility.

Ardent Advocate

Force Leap enables your next Dispatch or Whirling Blade to be used against a target with any percentage of health. Lasts up to 15 seconds.

I find this utility helpful to add more DPS via more frequent use of your execute ability. That said, it only really adds significant value in fights where you will be able to periodically leap from boss to adds, where there are multiple bosses, or where bosses have transition or movement phases. This encompasses the majority of fights and so I find it useful. In fights where there is essentially no movement and no use of Force Leap outside of the initial pull, I may not take this utility and take Unyielding Justice to get a periodic use of Force Push as a more powerful filler.

Daunting Presence -

Force Leap finishes the cooldown on Force Kick. Also, Saber Reflect lasts 2 seconds longer and for tanks generates high AoE threat.

I nearly always take to improve the utility of Saber Reflect. The cooldown reset on interrupt is also highly useful for a few specific fights like Izax. On Izax Phase 3 (interrupt phase), two Guardians alone can essentially handle all the interrupts due to being to take 3 straight interrupts (Force Kick interrupt -> (dance out of melee range) -> Force Leap interrupt -> Force Kick interrupt).

Unyielding Justice

Increases the range of Blade Storm to 30 meters, but Blade Storm deals reduced damage beyond 10 meters. Additionally, Force Push deals 20% more damage and grants Unyielding Justice, allowing your next Blade Storm to deal full damage regardless of the distance from the target.

This utility’s boost to Force Push makes it a higher priority filler and can increase overall DPS slightly. That said, I usually do not take this utility on any fight where I can use Saber Reflect to boost my DPS and/or mitigate sizable damage.

Example Utility Build

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

Key Passives


Using Force Leap or Zealous Leap makes your next Blade Storm deal 5% more damage and generate 1 Focus rather than consuming 4 Focus.

Zealous Leap and Blade Storm have the same cooldown, so it becomes important to ensure Zealous Leap is always utilized before Blade Storm to deal more damage and save Focus.

Zephyrean Slash

Strike, Sundering Strike, Slash, Cyclone Slash, Riposte, Blade Storm, Dispatch, and Concentrated Slice reduce cooldowns of Force Sweep, Focused Burst and Zealous Leap by 1 second and Combat Focus by 2 seconds.

This passive primarily explains why Focus can become very confusing if you don’t follow a set rotation. Due to the varying cooldowns of abilities based on this utility, if you don’t follow a specific rotation then having a really good understanding of ability usage becomes critical to follow a priority system.

Felling Blow

Force Leap and Zealous Leap make your next Force Sweep or Focused Burst used within 20 seconds an automatic critical hit.

This passive ensures you should use Zealous Leap on cooldown so that each Focused Burst or Force Sweep is an automatic crit. These abilities (along with Blade Storm) have an identical cooldown which facilitates this usage.

Heightened Power

Increases all damage dealt by 5% for 6 seconds after dealing damage with Force Sweep or Focused Burst. This effect cannot occur more than once every 8 seconds.

Focused Burst is your second highest damage ability in base damage and should regularly (1) be an auto-crit from Felling Blow; and (2) consume no Focus due to Singularity, and as such is arguably your most powerful ability when considering this passive. As such, it is the beginning of your burst and should be followed by your next 4 biggest hitting abilities.


Combat Focus and Force Exhaustion grant Singularity, increasing the damage dealt by your next Force Sweep or Focused Burst by 15% and making your next Force Sweep or Focused Burst consume no Focus. Additionally, the cooldown of Combat Focus is reduced by 15 seconds, and Combat Focus generates 6 additional Focus over 6 seconds when used.

This passive buffs Combat Focus and enables it to be a rotational off-GCD ability. Due to the buff to Force Sweep or Focused Burst, it also requires spreading out usage of Combat Focus and Force Exhaustion so that each buff is used. As such, Combat Focus is typically part of the beginning of each rotation and Force Exhaustion used in the middle, each used the GCD before Focused Burst comes off CD.

Concentrated Power

Concentrated Slice enables Riposte and beats down its target for 45 seconds. Beat Down targets take 5% more damage from melee attacks.

This passive applies Focus debuff to targets and should generally be applied as soon as possible in the opener or when switching targets.

Focused Vision

Force Exhaustion grants Focused Vision, making your next Zealous Leap or Concentrated Slice consume no Focus.

This passive establishes that you should be using Force Exhaustion on cooldown and that following it Concentrated Slice (5 Focus) should take priority over Zealous Leap (2 Focus) due to the buff removing the Focus cost.

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 Focus Guardian, I gear as follows:

  • Set Bonus: Descent of the Fearless

  • Tactical: Cauterized Coronary

  • Amplifiers: Armor Penetration

  • 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 Focus Guardian, 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

Descent of the Fearless

Increased drop rate from Daily Missions.

  • (2) +2% Mastery

  • (4) Whenever you gain or use a Force Clarity ability charge while in combat, your damage is increased by 10% for 10 seconds.

  • (6) Dealing damage has a 10% chance to build a Force Clarity ability charge. Can only occur once every 5 seconds.

Analysis: The only set bonus that is BIS across multiple advanced classes, Descent of the Fearless is BIS for all Guardian and Sentinel DPS disciplines. Focus benefits less than Vigilance due to the discipline’s lack of DoTs ticking to proc the 6 piece set bonus. That said, the 4 piece bonus (along with infrequent proccing of the 6 piece set bonus) still make it the preferred option if less overwhelmingly than DoT specs. Having the Cauterized Coronary tactical to have an additional ticking DoT is very helpful to proccing the 6 piece more often to generate additional stacks of Force Clarity.

Impact on Rotation: Make sure to use Force Clarity every 10 seconds to keep the buff active. Monitor your charge generation and use extra charges to avoid capping, but always save 1 charge to refresh the buff. Try to time the use of Force Clarity to buff Concentrated Slice as often as possible as it is your highest damaging ability. If additional stacks are available to burn off more frequently than every 10s (to keep up the 10% damage buff), the next priority should be Focused Burst.

When to Take: All situations. Descent of the Fearless is easily the BIS set bonus for all Jedi Knight / Sith Warrior disciplines.

Tactical Items

Cauterized Coronary

Increased drop rate from Operations.

Concentrated Slice causes its targets to burn.

Analysis: This tactical provides the discipline with a DoT. Per the tooltips, it has a duration of 6 GCD / 9 seconds, thus per the rotation it should have full uptime.

Impact on Rotation: No change. Concentrated Slice should be used on cooldown without exception as the highest damaging ability for Focus, so this tactical just makes the strongest ability stronger.

When to Take: All situations unless the Tactical ceases to work for Focus.

Joiner’s Pressure

Increased drop rate from Operations.

Activating Force Push on a target affected by Force Exhaustion grants Joiner’s Pressure, increasing your damage dealt by 20% for 10 seconds.

Analysis: This tactical is less strong than Cauterized Coronary but still provides a useful damage buff. The duration of the buff is slightly more than 6 GCDs / 9 seconds, thus skillful timing of the buff can enable its use to buff 2 Focused Burst.

Impact on Rotation: Force Push should be used in the opener as the first ability to proc Joiner’s Pressure and then Force Clarity should be triggered to apply a 20% damage buff during the first part of the opener. Afterwards, it should be used in the 6th GCD of the second rotation (i.e., in the rotation discussion below, it should replace Blade Barrage). Depending on energy levels, either Riposte or Blade Barrage can be used in the previous GCD. Using Force Push in this fashion should maximize DPS by causing the Joiner’s Pressure DPS buff to apply to an entire 6 GCD rotation cycle and then buff a second Focused Burst.

When to Take: If the Cauterized Coronary Tactical ceases to work for Focus, or situationally on fights with heavy burn phases. For example, being able to control the 10% DPS buff might be useful on the Scum & Villainy Styrak HM/NiM encounter to help clear the Chained Manifestation mechanic.

Syn's Second Amulet

Increased drop rate from Flashpoints.

Riposte refunds one focus and finishes the cooldown of Concentrated Slice.

Analysis: This tactical is not recommend. While an extra use of Concentrated Slice is potentially very powerful, optimal use of this tactical would be extremely disruptive to the rotation and likely lead to delays in the use of other key abilities. Also, the extra Concentrated Slice would not receive the same buffs so would be less powerful. However, this tactical could be very useful in PVP where a fixed rotation is impossible.

Impact on Rotation: This tactical would severely disrupt the rotation for Focus Guardian. Optimal use would make Concentrated Slice a floating ability in the rotation, which would at times cause it or another key ability to be delayed. Due to its high Focus cost, managing energy would become much more challenging than the fixed rotation. In PVP, these issues would be greatly decreased and a Focused Burst > Concentrated Slice > Zealous Leap > Riposte > Concentrated Slice 5-move rotation would hit very hard.

When to Take: Not recommend in PVE content.

Unknowing Ancient Text

Increased drop rate from Operations.

Force Exhaustion builds a Force Clarity ability charge.

Analysis: Force Exhaustion is used regularly in the rotation but has a longer cooldown than most abilities, thus the increase in damage per GCD is minimal. This tactical is not recommended.

Impact on Rotation: No change in rotation would be necessary as Force Exhaustion should be used on cooldown anyway. The additional charge of Force Clarity should generally be used on Zealous Leap.

When to Take: Not recommended in any content.


Armor Penetration (or secondarily Weapon Expertise)

The Focus Guardian discipline consists of skills with either a Weapon or Force type attack dealing Energy/Kinetic damage. The discipline has one DoT effect in Force Exhaustion. When considering the abilities based on the mix of damage, the majority of DPS is dealt by Weapon type attack abilities Concentrated Slice, Zealous Leap, Riposte and Blade Barrage, with Force type attacks including Focused Burst, Force Exhaustion and Blade Storm.

Given that all abilities deal Kinetic/Energy damage, Armor Penetration provides the highest DPS increase. Weapon Expertise is second but should provide around ⅘ the benefit. Force Sensitivity (buffs Force type attacks) then Periodic Intensity would provide much smaller buffs to DPS.

If attempting to synergize a Descent of the Fearless set of gear between Jedi Knight DPS disciplines, Weapon Expertise is likely the best option as it provides either the best or usually second best DPS boost for nearly all disciplines.

Key Abilities

Force Clarity

Consumes all ability charges and applies Force Clarity stacks to you. Each stack increases your next direct single target melee attack by 25% and is consumed whenever you deal damage with these attacks. Recharges 1 ability charge every 30 seconds.

A new offensive cooldown, it can be used in the opener to buff you heaviest hitting ability for +100% damage or used every ~30 seconds to buff an ability damage +25%

Focused Burst

Deals high kinetic damage. Costs 3 Focus and has a 12s cooldown before alacrity.

Focused Burst is buffed via the Singularity passive by Combat Focus or Force Exhaustion to deal 15% more damage and be free. It is also buffed via the Felling Blow passive by Zealous Leap to be an automatic critical hit. Lastly it also buffs all other ability damage by 5% via the Heightened Power passive ability. Due to the Heightened Power buff, it always begins each rotation block to ensure Concentrated Slice and Zealous Leap are buffed.

Force Sweep

Hits the target and up to 8 enemies within 5m for moderate kinetic damage. Stuns weak and standard enemies for 2 seconds. Costs 3 Focus and has a 12s cooldown before alacrity.

An AoE ability that is buffed by all the same passives as Focused Burst, so can be substituted for it in any AoE situations.

Concentrated Slice

Deals high weapon damage. Costs 5 Focus and has a 9s cooldown before alacrity.

The highest base damage ability for Focus, is it used after Focused Burst to ensure it is always buffed via the Heightened Power passive.

Zealous Leap

Leaps to a target and deals high weapon damage and immobilizes the target. Can be used while immobilized. Costs 2 Focus and has a 12s cooldown before alacrity.

Zealous Leap procs Felling Blow which makes the next Focused Burst an automatic critical hit, thus it should be used rotationally.

Force Exhaustion

Progressively slows the target from 50% to 5% movement over 3 seconds and deals low kinetic damage each second. At the end of the duration, the target takes additional moderate kinetic damage. Costs 3 Focus and has a 18s cooldown before alacrity.

This ability does not deal a huge amount of damage on its own but is critical to supporting the rotation via the Focused Vision passive that makes the next Zealous Leap or Concentrated Slice free. It also procs Singularity just as Combat Focus. Thus each rotation block should be preceded by EITHER Combat Focus or Force Exhaustion, or else the energy management of the rotation will fall apart.

Combat Focus

Generates 6 Focus. Off-GCD ability. 45 second cooldown.

Combat Focus is hugely buffed for Focus due to the Singularity passive, which causes it to increase the damage of the next Focused Burst by 15% and make it free, and also regenerates 6 additional energy over 6 seconds. This makes the ability key to the rotation. Due to its cooldown, it can be used to buff every other Focused Burst and precedes every other rotation block.

Blade Storm

Deals moderate kinetic damage. 10m range. Costs 4 Focus and has a 12s cooldown before alacrity.

High damage ability that should be used on cooldown. It is buffed by Zealous Leap to deal slightly more damage and generate energy instead of using it.


Deals moderate weapon damage. Cannot be parried, dodged or miss. Can only be used after successfully defending against a ranged or melee attack or after one of your melee attacks is parried dodged or misses. Costs 2 Focus and has a 6s cooldown.

A useful filler damage ability. Riposte normally can only be used when you dodge an attack or you miss an attack, but Focus can use Riposte every time you use Concentrated Slice.

Blade Barrage

Deals high weapon damage.

High damage and free filler. It should be used every other rotation block in a filler slot.


Deals high weapon damage and slows movement speed of target by 50% for 3 seconds. Normally only usable on targets at or below 30% of max health.

High damage filler when it's available, it should be used in a filler spot.

Sundering Strike

Deals moderate weapon damage, generates 5 Focus, and causes the target to become Sundered (-20% armor for 45 seconds).

Main energy building ability, care should be taken to use on cooldown as often as possible without (1) delaying a key rotational ability; or (2) capping energy.

Force Push

Deals moderate energy damage and knocks the target back several meters and stuns them. Force Push immediately finishes the cooldown on Force Leap. No energy cost. 10m range.

A low priority filler with a long cooldown. Force Push is only optimal as a filler to replace a use of Slash when taking the Unyielding Justice utility.

Saber Throw

Deals moderate damage and generates 3 Focus. 30m range.

A ranged ability and energy generating ability. Use when needed as a filler. If swapping targets and Sundering Strike is on cooldown, using Saber Throw while running in or before leaping is optimal to apply the Sundered debuff to reduce the target’s armor by 20%.

Force Leap

Leaps to target and deals low damage. Immobilizes target for 2 seconds and interrupts its current action. Builds 4 Focus. Cannot be used against enemies in cover. 10-30m range.

Used for movement and to add a second interrupt.

Cyclone Slash

Hits up to 8 enemies within 5 meters in front of you for low weapon damage.

Your spammable AoE conal ability, only use in AoE situations.


Deals low weapon damage and generates 2 Focus.

Your basic filler, only use when you are low on energy and need it for abilities. You generally should not use often in this discipline.


Deals moderate weapon damage.

Your spammable filler, you should use to spend excess energy but takes bottom priority otherwise.




















  1. Force Leap - Gap closer, builds Focus, and procs Felling Blow making your first Focused Burst an automatic critical hit

  2. Force Clarity + Adrenal OFF GCD

  3. Combat Focus OFF GCD - Builds Focus for rotation, procs Singularity to make Focused Burst free and deal 15% increased damage, will also regen 6 Focus over next 4 GCDs

  4. Focused Burst - Focused Burst should now be free, an automatic crit, and deal +15% damage, also procs Heightened Power to increase damage by 5% over next 6s / 4 GCDs

  5. Concentrated Slice - Top damage ability, now buffed by Focused Burst, applies Beat Down debuff

  6. Dispatch- If a utility makes your Execute ability available, it can be used here in opener, otherwise Riposte can be used here due to the extra Focus provided by Combat Focus.

  7. Zealous Leap - Utilized here to proc Felling Blow so next Focused Burst is an auto-crit in next mini-cycle, procs Momentum to boost damage / reduce cost of Blade Storm.

  8. Blade Storm - Filler, Blade Storm is very cheap and deals increased damage due to Momentum proc from Zealous Leap.

  9. Force Exhaustion - Used here to proc Singularity for next mini-cycle, by using it here we alternative Force Exhaustion > Combat Focus so each Focused Burst is buffed, also procs Focused Vision so next Concentrated Slice also consumes no Focus.

  10. Focused Burst - Similar to mini-cycle #1, ability is free, auto-crit, +15% dmg and procs Heightened Power.

  11. Concentrated Slice - Similar to mini-cycle #1, except Concentrated Slice is free here due to Force Exhaustion proccing Focused Vision.

  12. Sundering Strike - Used here in place of Riposte in mini-cycle #1 since you didn’t open with Combat Focus, so will need to generate Focus here.

  13. Zealous Leap - Similar to mini-cycle #1

  14. Riposte- Useful filler, this ability is pushed down one slot due to the need to proc Focus.

  15. Blade Barrage - Free filler

  16. Combat Focus OFF GCD

  17. Focused Burst

... continue rotation discussed below.


Rotation Theory

The first key to the Focus Guardian rotation is understanding the Singularity passive ability. Per above, Combat Focus and Force Exhaustion grant Singularity, increasing the damage dealt by your next Force Sweep or Focused Burst by 15% and making your next Force Sweep or Focused Burst consume no Focus.

The optimal rotation depends on every use of Force Sweep or Focused Burst free. When this is accomplished, no use of basic attacks is required to maintain energy. If this goal is not accomplished, energy management will become very difficult, key abilities will be delayed, and DPS will suffer significant reductions.

The second key to the Focus Guardian rotation is how to balance use of Force Exhaustion and Combat Focus so every use of Force Sweep or Focused Burst is buffed by the Singularity passive and thus free to use. Force Exhaustion has a 18s cooldown that breaks down to 12 GCDs. Given that the cooldown of Focused Burst should be 6 GCDs after the cooldown reduction applied by the Zephyrean Slash passive, that means Force Exhaustion can apply Singularity to every other Focused Burst or Force Sweep.

Combat Focus has a 45 second cooldown that would normally be available every 18s as we need for the rotation. Thankfully, Zephyrean Slash has double the cooldown reduction as compared to Focused Burst, so proper rotation use should ensure Combat Focus can apply singularity to every other Focused Burst or Force Sweep.

TLDR - Force Exhaustion or Combat Focus should be used immediately prior to Focused Burst or Force Sweep to ensure the ability is always free. Due to the cooldowns of each ability, they should be alternated such that the first Focused Burst or Force Sweep is buffed by Combat Focus, then the next by Force Exhaustion, and so on.

The third and final key to understanding the Focus Guardian rotation is the length of the rotation blocks. The Zephyrean Slash passive ability should ensure that Focused Burst or Force Sweep, Concentrated Slice and Zealous Leap all have a 6 GCD cooldown, as well as Force Exhaustion having a 12 GCD cooldown. Thus, the core rotation becomes very fixed as 2 alternating blocks of 6 GCD rotations that alternate between each other for the entire duration of any encounter.

Rotation Cycle #1 - Combat Focus used off-GCD to apply Singularity to Focused Burst







  1. (Combat Focus) + Focused Burst - Focused Burst should be free, an automatic crit, and deal +15% damage, procs Heightened Power increases damage by 5% for 4 GCDs

  2. Concentrated Slice - Top damage ability, now buffed by Focused Burst

  3. Blade Storm - Filler, Blade Storm is very cheap and deals increased damage due to Momentum proc from Zealous Leap.

  4. Zealous Leap - Procs Felling Blow so next Focused Burst is an auto-crit, procs Momentum to boost damage / reduce cost of Blade Storm.

  5. Riposte- Useful filler, nothing else available in this GCD.

  6. Force Exhaustion - Used here to proc Singularity for next cycle, also procs Focused Vision so next Concentrated Slice also consumes no Focus.

Rotation Cycle #2 - Force Exhaustion used in previous cycle to apply Singularity to Focused Burst







  1. Focused Burst - Due to Force Exhaustion in cycle #1, Focused Burst should be free, an automatic crit, and deal +15% damage, procs Heightened Power increases damage by 5% for 4 GCDs

  2. Concentrated Slice - Top damage ability, now buffed by Focused Burst

  3. Sundering Strike - Used here since Combat Focus wasn't used in this block for Focus generation.

  4. Zealous Leap - Procs Felling Blow so next Focused Burst is an auto-crit, procs Momentum to boost damage / reduce cost of Blade Storm.

  5. Dispatch or Riposte- If a utility or boss health makes your Execute ability available, it should be used here, otherwise Riposte can be used due to the extra Focus provided by Sundering Strike.

  6. Blade Barrage - Free filler, nothing better is usually available in this GCD

AOE Rotation

When looking to do single target damage but include more AoE, the primary change is to substitute Force Sweep for Focused Burst. All procs affecting Focused Burst also affect Force Sweep. This change adds sizable AoE burst DPS but only slightly reduces your DPS on your primary target.

If you need to more fully shift over to AoE DPS, the second change is to substitute Cyclone Slash for Riposte or Dispatch. This change adds AoE DPS but significantly reduces your single target DPS on your primary target.

Defensive Cooldowns

1. Saber Reflect (large single target damage)

Reflects single target ranged/force/tech abilities for 5s with Utility. Also works great to build AoE threat. Is best used for really heavy damage mechanics (e.g., Terror’s Scream) that would otherwise one-shot you. Be really careful about knowing when it will work so you don’t waste it (e.g., the Huge Grenade in HM S&V Titan 6 can’t be reflected since it’s AOE damage). 1 minute cooldown, so you can use many times during a fight.

2. Saber Ward (Melee/Ranged damage)

Increases Defense by 50% and Force/Tech damage reduction by 25% for 12 seconds. It also provides a second buff, Blade Turning, that increases Melee/Ranged Defense by 100% for 2s. This cooldown is best used during damage phases that can be dodged, as it should cause you to dodge most attacks for its cooldown. The 25% damage reduction is icing on the cake, but optimal use focuses on the 50%/100% Defense boost. 2 minute cooldown.

3. Focused Defense (continuous damage)

Usable when below 70% health, cooldown grants 12 charges that will be used one at a time to provide a small heal as damage is taken. Best used during damage phase with lots of small damage (e.g., the Tank challenge during HM Dread Palace Raptus). 10 second duration, 1:30 cooldown (2:00 without Utility).

4. Enure (various)

Your “oh s**t” button, this provides a temporary self-heal for 20s. Use it during heavy damage phases or when you know healers are really stressed but can heal you up in a few GCD’s. 1 minute cooldown.

5. Blade Blitz (any large individual mechanics)

Increases defense by 100% during ability. The timing of the buff is difficult to manage during a fight, but when timed appropriately can be used to ignore various mechanics. With Saber Reflect, this makes Guardians extraordinarily strong at avoiding large one-off damage mechanics. 45s cooldown.

6. Challenging Call (AOE damage)

Your threat drop reduces AOE damage by 60% for 15 seconds. This cooldown is best used during heavy AOE damage phases. 45s cooldown.


Tips on Focus Management

Timely use of Combat Focus is hugely important to Focus Guardians. Combat Focus procs Singularity, which makes Focused Burst or Force Sweep free, and it also passively generates 6 additional Focus over 6s after its use. This means you generate a LOT of Focus and get a free heavy hitting ability. The rotation above is designed around using Combat Focus on cooldown as the lead of every other mini-rotation.

Follow the rotation precisely. A key to managing Focus in this rotation is the timing for proccing passive abilities Singularity (makes Focused Burst or Force Sweep free, procced by Combat Focus or Force Exhaustion) and Focused Vision (makes Concentrated Slice free, procced by Force Exhaustion). The rotation above alternates Combat Focus and Force Exhaustion, ensuring each Focused Burst is free, while still making sure Combat Focus and Force Exhaustion are used on cooldown to maximize Focus generation and ensuring every other Concentrated Slice is free.

Tips to using Saber Reflect

  • EC Zorn & Toth - all circles

  • EC Tanks - Double Destruction, Lightning Pylons, Adds

  • EC Vorgath - turrets

  • EC Kephess - Add damage inside reflect bubble (reflects to Warrior), Walker (stand under it while it is immune after popping reflect)

  • TFB Dread Guard - Doom

  • TFB Kephess - red laser

  • TFB Terror - slam, Scream

  • S&V Thrasher - firebug AOE

  • S&V Operations Chief - terminate

  • S&V Warlords - Sunder

  • S&V Styrak - add’s channeled lightning attack, orange debuff during lightning AOE

  • KP Jarg & Sorno - Unload

  • KP Karraga - fire puddles

  • DF Draxus - Subteroth explosion, Draxus non-cleave attacks, Guardian thundering blast, Guardian cleave

  • DF Grob’thok - raidwide Roar

  • DF Corruptor Zero - chest laser, missile Barrage, ranged add attack’s

  • DF Brontes - orbs (note you can taunt someone else’s orb then use reflect to pop without damage)

  • DP Tyrans - fire at the door (not inferno), though be very careful doing this

  • DP Raptus - force execution

  • DP Council - burn phase AOE

  • Ravagers Sparky - brutal punch, add jump

  • Ravagers Bull - scatter blaster, mass barrage, ore carts, add attacks

  • Ravagers Torque - turrets, fire device, shoots lasers, knockback from panel destruction

  • Ravagers Master/Blaster - rain of pain

  • Ravagers Cora/Ruugar - most boss attacks

  • ToS Malaphar - spear throw

  • ToS Commanders - Kurse smash

  • ToS Revan - heave, Saber overcharge, HK mines, Core’s AOE

  • Toborro - purple circle

  • Monolith - slam, first tick of Curse