Dirty Fighting Gunslinger

Last Updated: 5/31/21

Table of Contents


About the Class

Dirty Fighting is the DoT-based sustained DPS specialization for Gunslingers. It offers exceptional sustained ranged DPS and very strong AoE potential. In comparison to other sustained damage ranged DPS classes, it has a slightly higher DPS potential than Balance Sage and Assault Specialist Commando, though with the additional trade offs of less mobility, less self healing and more powerful defensive abilities (and of course the awesome Slinger shield).

Role in Operations

Dirty Fighting offers really strong single target sustained DPS and AoE DPS in situations where DoT spreading is possible. As such, Dirty Fighting Gunslingers are best targeting the boss, AoEing smaller adds, and minimizing target swapping. Dirty Fighting also loses significant DPS in heavy movement phases, so positioning to minimize movement and leaving those roles to other classes where possible is best.


Gunslingers have incredible survivability due to having arguably the best collection of defensive cooldowns in the game, along with their positioning as a ranged DPS allowing them to avoid many damage mechanics that endanger melee DPS. Defense Screen (should be buffed via utilities) provides moderate and frequent damage absorption, Dodge can entirely avoid melee/ranged attacks over a short duration and with a relatively short cooldown, Hightail It can be used to cheese a wide range of mechanics, Hunker Down provides incredible AoE damage reduction (with proper utilities), Scrambling Field provides the entire raid with a 20% damage reduction for 20 seconds, and Bag of Tricks can be used to immediately reset the cooldown on all these defensives save for Scrambling Field. Furthermore, skilled players can utilize Ballistic Dampers to get nearly continuous 30% damage absorption on all incoming attacks. Combined with limited self heal capabilities, Gunslingers should need much less healing than most other DPS classes.

6.0 Impact on Discipline

Gunslinger moved into 6.0 very smoothly and maintained their position as a very strong ranged DPS and the premier “turret” DPS class. The class got two good options for set bonuses, with Precise Targeter offering mobility and situational burst while Established Foothold offers superior energy management and overall DPS at the cost of becoming an immovable turret as often as possible. With respect to tactical items, the class and all its disciplines received some great options, so great in fact that several of them have been nerfed several times and the class still sits very high in DPS rankings.

Dirty Fighting got some very nice tacticals in Exploited Weakness that boosts sustained DPS via a buff to existing DoTs and a new DoT, Ultraviolet Blast that provides a somewhat odd mechanism to provide powerful burst damage, and Airborne Agents for additional AoE DPS. Overall the discipline is well poised to maintain a strong position on the DPS charts for the 6.x cycle.

Utility and Mobility

Gunslingers provide great utility via being arguably the best ranged DPS in the game and their Scrambling Field can be immensely helpful on certain boss encounters (e.g., final burn phase of Dread Council HM/NiM). Gunslingers all struggle with mobility due to the need to remain in cover as much as possible and most abilities unable to be cast on the move. Skilled player can mitigate this handicap through utilities (Snap Shot, Hot Pursuit) and by being pro-active about positioning (i.e., if you know the team will need to move East on the map, try to set up as far East as possible to minimize movement).


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.

Ballistic Dampers

Entering covers grants 3 charges of Ballistic Dampers. Each charge absorbs 30% of the damage dealt by incoming attacks. Cannot occur more than once every 1.5 seconds, and this ability can only be granted every 6 seconds.

This utility grants sizable nearly continuous damage reduction by making sure to exit and re-enter cover every 6 seconds. I highly recommend it assuming the player can remember to take advantage of its benefits by periodically exiting and re-entering cover.

Snap Shot

Entering cover makes the next Charged Burst or Dirty Blast activate instantly, and can occur once every 6 seconds.

This utility is situational to some degree but useful most of the time. Being able to instant cast Charged Burst or Dirty Blast makes it easier to DPS on the move by entering cover, instant casting Charged Burst or Dirty Blast , then resuming moving. This can also be used to front-load the energy cost of Charged Burst or Dirty Blast if you would otherwise cap on energy.

Hot Pursuit

You gain 4 charges of Hot Pursuit by exiting cover, which allow Charged Burst or Dirty Blast to be activated while moving. The charges last for 15 seconds and can be gained every 20 seconds. Reentering cover removes the effect.

I find this utility very useful in movement heavy fights, as with this you can DPS on the move for 4 consecutive GCDs, which is otherwise nearly impossible for any Gunslinger.

Cool Under Pressure

While in cover, you heal for 2% of your total health every 3 seconds.

I always take his utility for any fight where Snap Shot and Hot Pursuit are not beneficial due to minimal movement. Most of this healing is typically wasted, but over the course of a 6 minute encounter, this utility will cumulatively heal you for up to 240% of your total health over time. Even if it is only 20-30% effective, that is still equivalent to a 50% heal which can be helpful.

Efficient Ammo

Increases the damage dealt by Sweeping Gunfire by 25%.

I typically do not recommend this utility, as spamming Sweeping Gunfire can quickly destroy a Sharpshooter’s energy level, and Dirty Fighting and Saboteur already have impressive AoE capability. As such, I find movement and survivability utilities to provide greater benefit for all fights except those requiring exceptionally high AoE DPS (e.g., Hive Queen in Hard Mode).

Masterful Tier

You must take 6 between Heroic and Masterful.

Hotwired Defenses

Increases the amount of damage absorbed by Defense Screen by 30%.

Defense Screen has a 30s cooldown so should be used up to 10 times per fight, so a 30% boost makes this a much better defensive cooldown.

Hold Your Ground

Reduces the cooldown of Defense Screen and Pulse Detonator by 5 seconds, and Escape by 30 seconds. In addition, when you exit cover you gain a Cover Screen that increases your ranged defense by 20% for 6 seconds.

I like this utility as it provides a range of survivability benefits. The Cover Screen is fairly limited as it only applies ranged defense but the reduction in cooldown to Defense Screen is very helpful and synergizes with Hotwired Defenses.


Activating Pulse Detonator makes the next Charged Burst activate instantly and increases your chance to resist Force/Tech attacks by 20% for 6 seconds.

This utility is theoretically useful as another way to make Charged Burst instant (and improve mobility) while also providing a defensive cooldown. That said, I feel like Snap Shot is a better utility given it’s much shorter cooldown on use and the defensive buff is marginal given Gunslinger’s already very powerful damage mitigation.

Reset Engagement

Surrender purges all movement-impairing effects when activated and grants Reset Engagement, increasing your movement speed by 75% for 6 seconds. Also, the final shot of Penetrating Rounds knocks back the target if they are within 10 meters.

This utility can be situationally useful in a few fights for on-demand speed boosts, such as being a runner on Master/Blaster in Veteran Mode.

Heroic Tier

A maximum of 3 utilities

Holed Up

Hunker Down reduces all AoE damage by 60%.

Nearly every fight has notable AoE damage, and with this utility and the buffed Defense Screen from Hotwired Defenses, Gunslingers can ignore a wide variety of AoE damage phases in order to increase DPS. For example, this utility is hugely beneficial in the final burn phase of Dread Council fight in the Dread Palace operation.

Lay Low

Reduces the cooldown of Hunker Down by 15 seconds and Pulse Detonator knocks back targets an additional 5 meters.

For any fights where Hunker Down will be useful, this is typically a good pickup for better uptime of the AOE damage reduction provided by Holed Up.

Riot Screen

Reduces all damage taken while in cover by 5% and reduces the cooldown of Scrambling Field by 30 seconds.

This is a vanilla buff to damage reduction while in cover (and you should always be in cover unless required to move for a mechanic). Always take.

Bait and Switch

Hightail It heals you for 10% of your maximum health. Additionally, the duration of Dodge is increased by 2 seconds.

This is a situational utility but any areas where healing is challenging this utility can be helpful to ease the burden on your healers.

Perfect Scheme

Reduces the cooldown of Bag of Tricks by 45 seconds and increases your damage reduction by 15% for 15 seconds after activating Bag of Tricks.

This is also a strong utility and what I take for any fights where I don’t think Hightail It will be useful. I find this utility is helpful for fights with multiple heal-intensive burn phases, as with the CD reduction on Bag of Tricks it becomes easier to use the ability twice per fight instead of more typically once per fight.

Opportunity Knocks

For every target initially affected beyond the first, Diversion grants a charge of Opportunity Knocks, increasing armor penetration by 10% per charge. This effect lasts 8 seconds.

I feel this is a very situational utility. For fights where there are semi-regular add waves (e.g., Grob'thok, Foreman Crusher) it can give a defensive boost to the group by debuffing the adds and give you a nice short term damage boost.

Example Utility Build

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

Key Passives


Increases maximum energy by 10.

A passive shared by all Gunslinger disciplines, this passive explains why all Gunslingers have 110 base energy instead of 100.

Crack Shot

Increases the range of Quick Shot, Flash Grenade, and Distraction to 30 meters, and additionally increases the range of all blaster, grenade, and charge attacks by 5 meters. In addition, Vital Shot marks its target for 45 seconds. Marked targets take 5% more damage from ranged weapon attacks.

A passive shared by all Gunslinger disciplines, this passive explains a key debuff applied by Vital Shot that increases ranged damage and why all Gunslingers have 35 meter range on most abilities instead of 30 meters like most other ranged classes.

Hold Position

While in cover, ranged defense is increased by 20%. You cannot be leapt to or pulled, you are immune to interrupts and ability activation pushback. While in cover, Dodge reduces Force / Tech damage taken by 75%.

A passive shared by all Gunslinger disciplines, this passive explains some additional defensive benefits for players while in cover. The buff to Dodge is especially critical as it makes the ability very powerful at mitigating both "white" melee/ranged damage and "yellow" force/tech damage while in cover.

Extra Shrapnel

Shrap Bomb spreads your Vital Shot to the targets it damages, so long as it damages at least one target already affected by your Vital Shot.

This passive enables your DoT spread. Shrap Bomb is an AoE DoT already and also spreads Vital Shot. Thus, it is important to always apply Vital Shot first so that Shrap Bomb will spread it to any nearby enemies.

Fighting Spirit

Reduces the cooldown of Cool Head by 15 seconds. Also, dealing damage with a bleed effect restores 1 energy.

This passive is key to energy management. Keeping DoTs up on at least one target is critical to sustainable energy management. It is also worth noting that DoT spreading will dramatically increase your energy generation, to the point where Sweeping Gunfire can be spammed nearly indefinitely if you can DoT spread to at least 6 or more targets.

Mortal Wound

Vital Shot has a 10% chance to deal its damage twice whenever it harms a target. Also, Shrap Bomb makes its targets assailable (7% more elemental/internal damage) for 45 seconds.

This passive introduces more RNG to the damage profile of Dirty Fighting players and applies a debuff.

Nice Try

Increases the damage dealt by Charged Burst, Dirty Blast, and Wounding Shots by 5%. Additionally, when Shrap Bomb and Vital Shots end they are replaced by a lingering version for 5 seconds that will only deal damage when Wounding Shots deals damage.

This passive explains the "white DoTs" that are applied after your DoTs expire. The rotation is designed around using these for a 3rd Wounding Shots as the "white DoTs" are applied before refreshing DoTs again.


Increases the damage dealt by Shrap Bomb by 5% and reduces the energy cost of Speed Shot by 1 per tick.

Speed Shot is not ordinarily used by Dirty Fighting Gunslingers if they have the recommended set bonus and tactical item. However, this passive is key to note because Speed Shot will normally tick 8 times so its energy cost is reduced from 20 to 12, thus is becomes an extremely energy efficient filler ability in those limited circumstances where it's useful, like when an add is about to die.

Cold Blooded

Increases the damage dealt by bleeding effects by 15% on targets below 30% of max health. In addition, if a target dies with Hemorrhaging Blast, it finishes the cooldown of Hemorrhaging Blast.

This passive gives our discipline one of the strongest buffs to execute-range damage in the game and makes target swapping slightly easier by potentially resetting the cooldown on Hemorrhaging Blast, which is our highest damage ability if running the recommended tactical.

Dirty Shot

Damage dealt by Wounding Shots has a 80% chance to trigger Dirty Shot, which finishes the cooldown of Quickdraw and makes your next Quickdraw usable on a target with any health level and cost 3 less energy.

This passive enables Quickdraw to be part of your rotation each Wounding Shots cycle. Despite the 80% chance, given how many times Wounding Shots deals damage during its channel, its effective chance to proc Quickdraw is very nearly 100% (as in I have never seen it not proc Quickdraw). Quickdraw should generally do more damage than Dirty Blast (even during the effects of Hemorrhaging Blast) and costs 3 less energy due to this passive, so it should always be used each time it is procced by Wounding Shots.


Your periodic effects don't tick on targets affected by any of your sleep effects. In addition, you always take 30% reduced damage from periodic effects, and your damage reduction is increased by 15% for 6 seconds after Defense Screen ends.

This passive is notable for its survivability buffs to give Dirty Fighting gunslingers much better resistance to periodic damage and makes Defense Screen a really great defensive by giving you a shield to low to moderate damage and giving a nice 15% overall DR buff for 6 seconds afterwards.

Incendiary Mine

Increases the duration of your Scrambling Field by 5 seconds. In addition, when you activate Hightail It you detonate an Incendiary Mine that deals internal damage to all nearby enemies over the duration.

This passive makes your Hightail It roll ability a free offensive filler. In theory, this makes it an optimal filler to choose over your basic attack whenever it can be utilized safely (i.e., the repositioning of the roll won’t leave you in a conal / damage AoE circle / damaging mechanic, etc.). In practice, I typically do not utilize this passive and save Hightail It for movement phases and/or to utilize the Bait and Switch utility (if taken) to get a free 10% heal.

Gushing Wounds

Hemorrhaging Blast deals 5% more damage and Shrap Bomb has a 10% chance to deal its damage twice whenever it harms a target.

This utility gives Shrap Bomb some additional RNG chances to deal extra damage. It is worth noting that the description does not mention a cooldown on this passive and it does not discount the second tick unlike similar passives for other disciplines.

Bloody Mayhem

Hemorrhaging Blast applies Bloody Mayhem to the target, which causes internal damage the next time the target takes damage from your Shrap Bomb.

This passive provides another way for Hemorrhaging Blast to deal damage as your highest damaging ability.

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 Dirty Fighting Gunslinger, I gear as follows:

  • Set Bonus: Established Foothold

  • Tactical: Exploited Weakness for sustained damage fights with minimal/no target swapping, Ultraviolet Blast for fights with frequent target swapping (Airborne Agents for AoE though I rarely swap since AoE DPS is already great)

  • Amplifiers: Periodic Intensity

  • Mods: Unlettered Lethal Mods

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

  • Stim: Proficient

  • Adrenal: Critical (Attack for Dxun only)

For Dirty Fighting Gunslinger, 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 2,350, a secondary option is around 1,500 if running the UV Blast tactical (at least 1,895 in all scenarios if the Zeal guild perk applies)

  • Critical: 2,700 - 2,800 (all remaining tertiary points go into Critical)

  • Shield: None

  • Absorb: None

Note - A variety of alternative gearing approaches exist that stack additional alacrity. See advanced rotation discussions below for more details.

Set Bonus

Established Foothold

Increased drop rate from conquest.

(2) +2% Mastery

(4) The cooldown of Hunker Down is reduced by 10 seconds. You gain 2 energy per second while Hunker Down is active.

(6) While Hunkered Down, you build stacks of Entrenched Offense, increasing damage by 3% per stack while you remain Hunkered Down. Stacks up to 5 times. Breaking cover or Hunker Down being removed removes this.

Analysis: Hunker Down has a 20s duration and a 45s cooldown prior to any set bonus, assuming one takes Lay Low (reduces CD from 60s to 45s). Thus, the 4-piece set bonus reduces the cooldown to 35s and makes it possible to have Hunker Down active for more than half the time and have a very high uptime. Beyond the benefit to DPS via the 6-piece set bonus, the very high uptime of Hunker Down provides amazing damage mitigation against AoE damage via the Holed Up utility.

An easily overlooked feature of the 4-piece set bonus is the energy regeneration. At “fast” regeneration you normally recover 5 energy per second, so the 4-piece set bonus increases energy regeneration 40% while Hunker Down is active. That buff is so huge that energy management is trivial for all disciplines as long as Hunker Down is used on cooldown or close to it.

Lastly, the most obvious benefit is the 6-piece set bonus. You gain one stack of Entrenched Offense per second up to a maximum of five stacks and +15% additional damage. Assuming Hunker Down is used on cooldown that should provide an average damage buff of around 7% net of the downtime while the ability is on cooldown.

Impact on Rotation: No change to the ability rotation for attacking abilities. However, it becomes critical to use Hunker Down as often as possible and to avoid moving while the cooldown is active. If you simply *have* to move, reenter cover as quickly as possible. The stacks of Entrenched Offense build around one per second, so quick movement can leave sufficient time to rebuild stacks and still deal meaningful DPS.

Otherwise, the key to maximizing the buff from the set bonus is being proactive to position oneself in a way that reduces required movement. If you know a fight involves movement, cheat in that direction as often as possible. In fights with attackers coming from multiple directions (e.g., Draxus adds), try to be set up as centrally as possible.

The other point to consider is when it is okay to delay using Hunker Down. For fights with periodic movement phases like Gharj, it is okay to delay the cooldown if a movement phase is imminent until after repositioning.

When to Take: Recommended for all encounters.

Precise Targeter

Increased drop rate from conquest.

(2) +2% Mastery

(4) Reduces the cooldown of Illegal Mods by 15 seconds and activating Illegal Mods restores 15 energy.

(6) Smuggler’s Luck gets 3 charges and its cooldown is reduced by 15 seconds.

Analysis: Prior to alacrity and this set bonus, Illegal Mods has a 2 minute cooldown and Smuggler’s Luck has a 1 minute cooldown. The set bonus allows around one extra use of the former and 2-3 extra uses of the latter per encounter. As such it provides a nice DPS boost.

In comparison to the Established Foothold set bonus, Precise Targeter is nice but noticeably weaker. In terms of DPS boost, it provides a slightly higher burst DPS increase but at the cost of much less uptime of the buff. It also provides a much smaller buff to energy management. Precise Targeter provides 15 energy regeneration once every 105 seconds as compared to 40 energy regeneration every 35 seconds, which means Established Foothold provides EIGHT TIMES the energy regeneration.

Impact on Rotation: No impact but the set bonus will provide additional uses of both key offensive cooldowns per encounter.

When to Take: Not recommended. Established Foothold is strictly better and provides superior buffs to damage and energy management. This set is not bad and may be preferred by players who have a difficult time using Hunker Down on cooldown and not moving for its full duration.

Ballistic Concentration

Increased drop rate from The Nature of Progress Operation on Master Mode Difficulty, and has a small chance from Unidentified items on the Spoils of War vendors.

(2) +2% Mastery

(4) When you deploy Scrambling Field, each group member within it grants a stack of Ballistic Concentration, increasing your energy regeneration rate by 1 for 20 seconds. Max 8 stacks.

(6) Each stack of Ballistic Concentration also increases the damage you deal by 5%.

Analysis: An interesting and super situational set bonus. This set bonus makes your Scrambling Field a very powerful individual offensive cooldown in addition to its group AoE defensive buffs (up to +40% damage and +8 energy regen). The challenge is that the ability has such a long cooldown that it pales in comparison to Established Foothold that provides more than enough energy regen and a +15% damage buff with more than 50% uptime. See above discussion on Established Foothold and Precise Targeter for more analysis on energy regen.

This set bonus could be useful for super stressful and tight soft enrage phases (where both the damage and mitigation are desirable) but on balance I still prefer Established Foothold especially given it being far easier to acquire.

Impact on Rotation: No impact. You should already be using Scrambling Field during high damage burn phases so it will simply provide a powerful offensive boost in addition to its significant group defensive benefit.

When to Take: Not recommended. Established Foothold is strictly better and provides superior buffs to damage and energy management. This set is not bad and may be preferred by players who have a difficult time using Hunker Down on cooldown and not moving for its full duration.

Tactical Items

Exploited Weakness

Increased drop rate from operations.

Hemorrhaging Blast deals 50% more damage. Dealing damage with Dirty Blast causes the target to take bleed damage over 18 seconds.

Analysis: This tactical is quite powerful, so much so that it was one of the first nerfs in the 6.0 cycle. It remains quite strong and significantly boosts the discipline’s sustained DPS through buffing extra damage from Hemorrhaging Blast and buffing the filler DPS by having it apply a third DoT.

Impact on Rotation: The only change is that Dirty Blast now becomes a preferred filler and Speed Shot is excluded from the rotation in nearly all instances. The extra DoT applied by Dirty Blast causes Hemorrhaging Blast to deal extra damage and so Dirty Blast is prioritized when Hemorrhaging Blast is active on the target.

When to Take: Recommended for most encounters.

Airborne Agents

Increased drop rate from flashpoints.

Shrap Bomb spreads Hemorrhaging Blast’s effect. Dirty Blast does splash damage to all targets affected by Shrap Bomb.

Analysis: Dirty Fighting is already a good AoE DPS discipline. It rotationally spreads both DoTs via Shrap Bomb and when DoTs are ticking on 3+ targets can spam AoE high damage channeled attacks due to the energy regeneration all the DoTs provide. As such, I find that the major weakness to the tactical isn’t that it somehow fails to provide a great AoE DPS boost, but rather that AoE DPS is already quite good so the extra AoE DPS is rarely needed to trade off against higher sustained single target DPS.

The tactical ensures that all nearby targets will have the same DoT uptime of Vital Shot and Shrap Bomb, take damage from Hemorrhaging Blast due to the DoTs and take frequent burst DPS from Dirty Blast. This is all in addition to the discipline being able to cast XS Freighter Flyby and spam AoE channeled attacks. Taken in combination, this makes Dirty Fighting incredibly strong in AoE DPS.

Impact on Rotation: No change in rotation. Shrap Bomb will automatically spread Hemorrhaging Blast to nearby targets and enable use of Dirty Blast to deal AoE damage (in addition to spreading Vital Shot).

When to Take: Recommended for VERY high AoE DPS encounters. Exploited Weakness is usually still preferred since it will provide higher DPS on the main target while Dirty Fighting also has very strong AoE DPS capability through DoT spreading.

Ultraviolet Blast

Increased drop rate from daily missions.

Hemorrhaging Blast finishes off all your directly applied poison effects at once, dealing all their remaining damage. While the target is affected by Hemorrhaging Blast, Wounding Shots converts your lingering poison effects on the target into the original poison effects. Hemorrhaging Blast’s cooldown is increased by 6 seconds.

(Updated in Patch 6.3)

Analysis: Ultraviolet Blast was redesigned in update 6.3 to make it more viable for players as a burst tactical option for Dirty Fighting Gunslingers. The redesign added the mechanic where Wounding Shots converts lingering (grey) DoT effects and refreshes their cooldown. The added mechanic greatly boosts the tactical's viability compared to its earlier design, which required players to manually refresh DoTs.

The Ultraviolet Blast tactical applies a hidden buff called Blood Choke whenever you apply Vital Shot or Shrap Bomb to the target. Each DoT gets its own Blood Choke hidden buff. Blood Choke begins with 8 stacks and loses a stack each time its DoT (either Vital Shot or Shrap Bomb) deals damage. Whenever the player activates Hemorrhaging Blast, Blood Choke triggers and deals damage that scales with the number of remaining stacks. As such, Blood Choke deals the most damage when Hemorrhaging Blast is used right after applying DoTs since most of the DoT's damage has not yet been dealt.

So why is this a DPS increase?

DoT-based classes like Dirty Fighting nearly always deal the most damage per activation with their DoT abilities. However, the DoTs tick over time so the best you can normally do is to keep full uptime on those DoTs and refresh them as they expire.

Ultraviolet Blast lets you get nearly a full extra cycle of DoT damage, which will typically be far more the next best option of using Dirty Blast fillers. Here is a quick comparison based on some high level parsing. In a few test parses with Ultraviolet Blast, Dirty Blast did around 15-17k of damage per activation whereas the combined Blood Choke damage did around 67-73k of damage per activation. The Blood Choke damage alone typically contributed around 3k DPS in some initial parsing, though again it's important to note that the effective DPS increase is a bit lower since you need to refresh DoTs a bit earlier than usual.

What are the downsides to the tactical? There are a few to consider:

  • Hemorrhaging Blast does far less damage due its longer cooldown and the absence of the damage buff from the Exploited Weakness tactical. I usually have Hemorrhaging Blast deal around 4k of DPS on a typical parse with Exploited Weakness, but with Ultraviolet Blast it only did around 1.2k DPS.

  • You lose the Exploited Weakness DoT applied by Dirty Blast. On a typical parse right after 6.3 launched, I typically had the Exploited Weakness DoT deal around 1.6k DPS.

  • You have to refresh DoTs a bit earlier and lose some GCDs of Dirty Blast damage. To maximize the Blood Choke damage from Hemorrhaging Blast, you want to re-apply Vital Shot and Shrap Bomb immediately before Hemorrhaging Blast. Your DoTs have a 24 second duration and then have a 5 second lingering duration where they tick damage during Wounding Shots but otherwise deal no damage. The recommended rotation using Exploited Weakness below has you re-apply DoTs every 28-29 seconds (before alacrity) where you use 3 Wounding Shots in between each DoT refresh. Using Ultraviolet Blast, you need to refresh DoTs every 24 seconds (before alacrity). Over the course of a full encounter, you'll lose several uses of Dirty Blast fillers as a result.
    In addition, the DoT refresh applied by Wounding Shots under Hemorrhaging Blast via the Ultraviolet Blast tactical means that the DoTs get refreshed once and so will have several extra ticks remaining that get wasted via re-applying DoTs.

  • Hemorrhaging Blast's place in the rotation floats and is often awkward. Without the Ultraviolet Blast tactical, Hemorrhaging Blast is used right before Wounding Shots in every other rotation (see rotation discussion below) consistently. This placement is ideal since it enables a Wounding Shots and 1-2 ticks of a second Wounding Shots to be placed inside the Hemorrhaging Blast duration and deal extra damage. With Ultraviolet Blast, Hemorrhaging Blast will usually float where it comes off cooldown 1-2 GCDs before Wounding Shots or 1 GCD after Wounding Shots. This placement in the rotation frequently leads to a few GCDs of "ticking" grey lingering DoTs that miss some periodic damage in the rotation and also makes it impossible to get any ticks of a second Wounding Shots inside Hemorrhaging Blast.

So how does Ultraviolet Blast stack up to Exploited Weakness in sustained DPS?

Exploited Weakness appears to be better by around 1k or so DPS based on early parsing. The combination of much higher damage from Hemorrhaging Blast and the Dirty Blast DoT, and particularly the synergy between them where Dirty Blast's DoT can trigger more Hemorrhaging Blast damage, is noticeably stronger in sustained DPS compared to Ultraviolet Blast.

Ultraviolet Blast is intended as a burst DPS tactical, so how does it compare in burst DPS?

Ultraviolet Blast is definitely stronger for burst DPS but is very dependent on the length of the "burst phase". Starting from nothing, Ultraviolet Blast should outperform Exploited Weakness over the first 20 seconds or so of burst then underperform afterwards. By the time the phase length goes into a second Hemorrhaging Blast window the Ultraviolet Blast falls behind a bit.

Ultraviolet Blast will perform really well in fights with lots of target swapping where killing targets resets the cooldown on Hemorrhaging Blast. This lets you go from target to target with Vital Shot / Shrap Bomb / Hemorrhaging Blast / Wounding Shots, and repeat as needed and then still be able to open up on the main target afterwards with big burst.

The downside to Ultraviolet Blast is that there simply are not many burst phases short enough to make the burst worthwhile. Killing clockwork adds in Master Mode Brontes might be a reasonable example, except that the bigger challenge to that encounter is the sustained DPS check in last phase so Exploited Weakness would be better. Similarly, killing Lightning Manifestation adds in Master Mode Styrak might go faster with Ultraviolet Blast but the DPS check is killing the Kell Dragon in burn phase where sustained DPS matters more.

Impact on Rotation: Re-apply Vital Shot and Shrap Bomb immediately before Hemorrhaging Blast. Wounding Shots should still be used on cooldown. In situations where Weakening Blast comes off cooldown at the same time or right after Wounding Shots, re-apply DoTs before Wounding Shots and go Vital Shot / Shrap Bomb / Wounding Shots / Hemorrhaging.

When to Take: The Ultraviolet Blast tactical is much better after the change in update 6.3. Exploited Weakness will outperform it in sustained single target and Airborne Agents in multi-target. However, the tactical is now a decent alternative and should be viable for any content below Master Mode and will be optimal for fights with a high frequency of target swapping where you can get frequent refreshes on the cooldown for Hemorrhaging Blast.


Periodic Intensity (or secondarily, Weapon Expertise)

Dirty Fighting is primarily a DoT-based discipline so it is not surprising that Periodic Intensity provides the biggest DPS boost by buffing DoT damage. For players looking to leverage the same gear while swapping disciplines, Periodic Intensity is also the ideal amplifier build for Saboteur but is quite poor for Sharpshooter (for which Weapon Expertise is the best amplifier setup). I suggest following the optimal amplifier build for whichever discipline is played most often.

Key Abilities


0.5s cast, free, 120s cooldown NEW IN 6.0

Activating this ability marks your current location for 10 minutes. When this ability is activated again, if you are within 60 meters of the marked location, you instantly return to the marked location. Hideout goes on cooldown for 120 seconds when used to return to the marked location.

The Gunslinger received their own Phase Walk in 6.0. It should be placed as needed before the fight to a location you will need to go during the fight, or during the fight at a location you will need to return to. Either way, take advantage of it to minimize movement time.


instant, free, no cooldown

Crouches in place to take cover. Enables certain cover-only abilities.

The defining trait of the Gunslinger in all disciplines is the need to be in cover as often as possible. This makes the class very much a “turret DPS” class as there are many passive abilities that improve DPS, damage mitigation, self healing and energy regeneration when in cover. Put simply, try to be in cover anytime you do not need to move.

Wounding Shots

3s channel, 18 energy, 9s cooldown

Channels a wave of attacks at the target low damage. When you deal damage, each of your bleed effects on the target also deal damage.

The biggest hitting ability for Dirty Fighting, it does little damage on its own but it causes your DoT effects from Vital Shot and Shrap Bomb to tick multiple times over the duration of the channelled attack. It should be used on cooldown.

Vital Shot

instant, 15 energy, no cooldown

Applies a DoT that deals moderate internal damage over 18 seconds.

Vital Shot is the first DoT for this discipline and should have full uptime on the target.

Shrap Bomb

instant, 10 energy, no cooldown

Hurls a bomb that applies a DoT to all enemies in a 5 meter radius, dealing moderate internal bleed damage over 18 seconds.

The second DoT for Dirty Fighting. It is an AoE DoT and also spreads your Vital Shot to affected enemies via the Extra Shrapnel. It should have full uptime on the boss.

Hemorrhaging Blast

Instant, 5 energy, 18s cooldown

Deals low weapon damage and for the next 10 seconds causes the target to take additional weapon damage whenever it takes damage from your Wounding Shots or a bleed effect.

A buffing ability to the rotation, it increases damage from your DoTs and should be used as often as possible.

Speed Shot

3s channel, 20 energy, 15s cooldown

A channelled attack that deals high weapon damage.

A strong offensive ability, for Dirty Fighting it takes priority whenever the Hemorrhaging Blast buff is not active on the target.


instant, 15 energy, 12s cooldown

Execute ability that deals high weapon damage and can normally only be used on enemies below 30% of maximum health.

A powerful execute ability, it is procced regularly in the Dirty Fighting rotation by Wounding Shots via the Dirty Shot. As such, it should be used in between each use of Wounding Shots.

Dirty Blast

15 energy, no cooldown

Shoots the target for low weapon damage and moderate internal bleed damage.

The spammable filler of the Dirty Fighting discipline, it should be prioritized anytime the Hemorrhaging Blast buff is active, and other times it is the lowest priority filler.

Flurry of Bolts

basic attack, instant, free, no cooldown

Your basic attack that consumes no energy and has no cooldown.

Basic attack should only be used very infrequently. As noted in the rotation guide below, there is one filler slot per rotation cycle. In my experience, a basic attack needs to be used around every 3rd or so rotation cycle whenever Illegal Mods (recovers some energy via set bonus) or Cool Head are not available.

XS Freighter Flyby

2s cast, 20 energy, 45s cooldown

Pre casts an AoE attack that deals high elemental damage over several seconds to up to 8 enemies within the targeted area. Can only be used from cover.

A high damage ability that should be used in the opener if possible. Outside of the opener, it has no place in the single target rotation as it deals insufficient damage due to its cast time to be worthwhile. In any sustained AoE DPS situation, it should take top priority.

Sweeping Gunfire

4.5s channel, no cooldown

Channeled AoE attack that deals high weapon damage over its duration. Can only be used from cover.

Gunslingers have a great advantage in that their channeled AoE attack does incredibly high damage, but at the cost of being very energy expensive. The ability is very expensive so should be used with care. Fortunately for Dirty Fighting, the Fighting Spirit passive provides significant energy regeneration when DoTs are applied to multiple opponents. As such, Dirty Fighting can use Vital Shot then Shrap Bomb to apply a second DoT and spread the first DoT, which together on multiple enemies will provide enough energy regeneration to enable nearly continuous spamming of this amazingly strong channeled AoE attack.

Thermal Grenade

instant, 20 energy, 6s cooldown

Deals moderate kinetic damage to the target and nearby standard/weak enemies (also knocks down standard/weak enemies).

A filler ability that is not used outside rare instances where it will deal AoE damage or where DPS on the move is needed.


















  1. Smuggler’s Luck OFF GCD - Activated here before pulling.

  2. Pre-cast XS Freighter Flyby 3s before pulling boss

  3. Dirty Blast - This is a nice second pre-cast if you can get it off. If you are taking the Exploited Weakness tactical then this is a must to get the extra DoT ticking for later in the opener when you really go ham.

  4. Vital Shot - Applying first DoT

  5. Shrap Bomb - Applying second DoT

  6. Hunker Down - We want to get our damage buff going right as we begin to deal heavy damage.

  7. Hemorrhaging Blast - Now that all DoTs are ticking, used where it will tick for maximum damage.

  8. Illegal Mods OFF GCD

  9. Adrenal OFF GCD - We delay its use until right before we really start hitting for big damage.

  10. Wounding Shots - After all the set-up, this slot (our 4th GCD since combat began) is when we actually start dealing very high damage

  11. Bag of Tricks - When you do not need Bag of Tricks to reset defensive cooldowns, you can use it offensively to enable a second consecutive Hunker Down as the first one expires. See below for more discussion on this strategy.

  12. Dirty Blast - Priority filler anytime Hemorrhaging Blast is active on target

  13. Dirty Blast - Priority filler anytime Hemorrhaging Blast is active on target

  14. Dirty Blast - Priority filler anytime Hemorrhaging Blast is active on target

  15. Dirty Blast - Priority filler anytime Hemorrhaging Blast is active on target

[End of opener, continue priority rotation as discussed below]

Rotation Priorities

1. Refresh Vital Shot and Shrap Bomb after every 3rd Wounding Shots.

Dirty Fighting primarily does damage via its DoTs though indirectly. These DoTs have to be active on the target at all times and refreshed on time.

DoTs for Dirty Fighting don’t do a lot of damage on their own but Wounding Shots causes them to tick and deal significant damage and Hemorrhaging Blast deals damage based on the number of DoTs ticking on the target.

Both DoTs will expire prior to 3rd Wounding Shots, but a grey version of the DoT will remain that does not deal damage except for Wounding Shots. Ideal timing of the rotation should ensure the DoTs are in this phase during the 3rd Wounding Shots and refreshed immediately afterwards.

2. Hemorrhaging Blast on cooldown.

Hemorrhaging Blast buffs Wounding Shots and Dirty Blast so should be used on cooldown. Given the relationship of its cooldown to Wounding Shots, it will come in the same spot in the rotation. As of 6.0 and assuming the player is running the Exploited Weakness tactical, Hemorrhaging Blast becomes our top damaging ability per activation. It depends on having DoTs ticking on the target (see #1) but otherwise is our top priority ability.

3. Wounding Shots on cooldown.

Wounding Shots used while both DoTs are active is by far the highest DPS ability so should be used on cooldown.

4. Quickdraw between each Wounding Shots.

A buffed Quickdraw does more damage than Dirty Blast and should be procced by each Wounding Shots.

Assuming the player is using the Exploited Weakness tactical, the player should try to use Quickdraw after each Wounding Shots and when Hemorrhaging Blast is not active on the target. See below for more discussion on Quickdraw strategy.

5. (Only if NOT running Exploited Weakness tactical) Speed Shot can be used in rotation blocks whenever Hemorrhaging Blast is not active.

In rotation blocks where Hemorrhaging Blast is not active and DoTs are not being refreshed, Speed Shot can be utilized along with Quickdraw. In this case, the rotation is the exact same as utilized prior to 6.0.

6. Dirty Blast is your remaining filler.

Dirty Blast is our third filler ability for Dirty Fighting and used whenever Quickdraw (and Speed Shot if not running Exploited Weakness) are on cooldown. Dirty Blast causes Hemorrhaging Blast to deal more damage while it is active on the target and doubly so with the DoT applied by Dirty Blast when equipping the Exploited Weakness tactical.

Rotation "Blocks"

From the priorities above, the defined rotation emerges. The best way to think of the Dirty Fighting rotation is a collection mini-rotation blocks that form a larger rotation. Each mini-block ends with Wounding Shots.

Mini-Rotation Block #1 "DoT Refresh"

The goal of this mini-block is refreshing DoTs and applying Hemorrhaging Blast. Relatively little damage is done but the setup here provides the core of most of the rotation's damage. This block needs to be repeated every third cycle (after every 3rd Wounding Shots) to refresh DoTs). The only nuance is that every other time you repeat this block Hemorrhaging Blast will not be available, so use Dirty Blast instead.






  1. Vital Shot

  2. Shrap Bomb

  3. Quickdraw (Dirty Blast if HB is active)

  4. Hemorrhaging Blast (Dirty Blast if HB is active)

  5. Wounding Shots

Mini-Rotation Block #2 “Dirty Blast”

The goal of this mini-block is spamming Dirty Blast while under the buff from Hemorrhaging Blast. We also use Quickdraw for its slightly higher damage. This block is pure damage and should always follow a cycle where Hemorrhaging Blast is applied.

Note that I put Quickdraw in the 3rd ability slot for convenience because of how it usually falls into that slot for the other rotation blocks. If abilities are used on cooldown then the first four abilities will all be buffed by Hemorrhaging Blast and thus it does not really matter where you use Quickdraw between abilities 1-4 here.






  1. Dirty Blast

  2. Dirty Blast

  3. Dirty Blast

  4. Dirty Blast

  5. Wounding Shots

Please note that under some alacrity builds it may be possible to substitute Quickdraw in slot #1 for Dirty Blast.

Mini-Rotation Block #3 “Hemorrhaging Blast”

The goal of this mini-block is re-applying Hemorrhaging Blast as it comes off cooldown. The first several GCDs do not have the buff active so this is where some decision making comes in with respect to what filler ability to use, which is dependent on the tactical primarily.






  1. Quickdraw

  2. Dirty Blast

  3. Dirty Blast

  4. Hemorrhaging Blast

  5. Wounding Shots

Putting It All Together

These mini-blocks can then be assembled into a six-block rotation, as follows:

  • Block #1a DoT refresh (w/ Hemorrhaging Blast)

  • Block #2 Dirty Blast

  • Block #3 Hemorrhaging Blast

  • Block #1b DoT refresh (w/o Hemorrhaging Blast)

  • Block #3 Hemorrhaging Blast

  • Block #2 Dirty Blast

As you can see, you basically go 1/2/3/1/3/2 and repeat. The reason that mini-block 2 and 3 alternate is due to the cooldown for Hemorrhaging Blast, as it must be refreshed every other cycle.

This is somewhat difficult to explain and absorb in written format, but I suggest attacking a dummy for 5 minutes or so using this rotation set. You’ll eventually see that is follows a simple priority system as outlined above.

Below is the Complete Rotation that is rather long but is 100% repeatable and follows these recommendations.

Regular Rotation (Exploited Weakness tactical)































Block 1a - Vital Shot / Shrap Bomb / Dirty Blast / Hemorrhaging Blast / Wounding Shots

Block 2 - Dirty Blast x 4 Wounding Shots

Block 3 - Quickdraw / Dirty Blast x2 / Hemorrhaging Blast / Wounding Shots

Block 1b - Vital Shot / Shrap Bomb / Dirty Blast x2 / Wounding Shots

Block 3 - Quickdraw / Dirty Blast x2 / Hemorrhaging Blast / Wounding Shots

Block 2 - Dirty Blast x 4 / Wounding Shots


Quickdraw v. Dirty Blast


A big question for Dirty Fighting Gunslingers in 6.0 is whether and when to use Quickdraw due the Exploited Weakness tactical. The short version is I believe Quickdraw is either a little better or basically the same as Dirty Blast in damage and thus it is usually a DPS increase to use it in the rotation. However, I do not necessarily believe there is a huge difference in DPS between using Quickdraw or just endlessly spamming Dirty Blast. I will go through my thinking and high level analysis here so give you insight into my perspective, then you can decide for yourself what makes sense for you.

Ability Overview

For us to make a good decision we need to consider all the factors affecting damage for each ability.

Quickdraw is a straight-forward ability that deals instant damage. It is normally only usable on targets that are below 30% of their max health, but can be procced by Wounding Shots via the Dirty Shot passive ability to make it usable. Quickdraw has an 80% chance to trigger on each tick of damage by Wounding Shots. Since Wounding Shots ticks 8 times per channel (4 ticks each with the mainhand and offhand), it has a 99.9997% chance to proc on each full channel of Wounding Shots. Quickdraw normally costs 12 energy but is reduced to 12 by the Dirty Shot passive when it procs.

Dirty Blast is normally a cast ability that deals weapon damage and bleed damage. Dirty Blast can also be activated instantly via the Snap Shot utility (can instant cast Dirty Blast after entering cover) and Pandemonium utility (activating Pulse Detonator makes the next Dirty Blast instant). Dirty Blast can also be cast on the move via the Hot Pursuit utility. Dirty Blast costs 15 energy.

Dirty Blast Analysis & Impact of Hemorrhaging Blast and Exploited Weakness

Dirty Blast is trickier to analyze than Quickdraw due to the additional damage that may be triggered based on the Hemorrhaging Blast ability and the Exploited Weakness tactical.

Hemorrhaging Blast applies a debuff to the target that deals damage any time the target takes bleed damage. Since Dirty Blast deals bleed damage, it will trigger Hemorrhaging Blast to deal extra damage if the debuff is active on the target at that time.

The Exploited Weakness tactical increases the damage dealt by Hemorrhaging Blast by 50% (so also increases the tick triggered by Dirty Blast if Hemorrhaging Blast is active) and causes Dirty Blast to apply a DoT that deals bleed damage over 18 seconds. The Exploited Weakness DoT ticks every 3 seconds for 6 total ticks of damage. If Dirty Blast is cast on a target that already has the Exploited Weakness DoT, the DoT ticks immediately from Dirty Blast and its duration is refreshed. Thus, the rotation's chain spamming of Dirty Blast will ordinarily mean 1 extra tick of Exploited Weakness (and potentially Hemorrhaging Blast) per cast, with extra DoT ticks while other abilities (Hemorrhaging Blast, Vital Shot, Shrap Bomb, Quickdraw, Wounding Shots) are being used.

Rankings of Potential Fillers

How does the interaction between Dirty Blast, Hemorrhaging Blast and Exploited Weakness work? Dirty Blast's direct tick of damage will trigger damage from Hemorrhaging Blast and apply Exploited Weakness, for which each tick of the DoT will also trigger Hemorrhaging Blast if active on the target.

I am not a true theorycrafter but did some testing of various scenarios and I came up with the following rankings of abilities based on damage per activation. This assumes that the Dirty Blast DoT from Exploited Weakness has full uptime and so does not give credit for all the ticks from the DoT but only the incremental tick from a single cast.

  1. Dirty Blast w/ Exploited Weakness Tactical, Hemorrhaging Blast is active - Dirty Blast deals damage plus 1 extra tick of the Exploited Weakness DoT, which together lead to 2 extra ticks of damage from Hemorrhaging Blast

  2. Quickdraw - Deals instant and immediate damage, is typically around 1k or so less damage at level 75 than a fully loaded Dirty Blast per #1

  3. Dirty Blast w/o Exploited Weakness tactical, Hemorrhaging Blast is active - Deals damage plus 1 extra tick of damage from Hemorrhaging Blast, is typically at least 2k less than Quickdraw at level 75

  4. Dirty Blast w/ Exploited Weakness tactical, no Hemorrhaging Blast - Deals damage plus 1 extra tick of the Exploited Weakness DoT, is typically around the same damage as #3

  5. Dirty Blast w/o Exploited Weakness tactical, no Hemorrhaging Blast - Deals damage and that's it, is typically around 2k less damage than #3-4 at level 75, 4k less than Quickdraw and 5k less than a fully loaded Dirty Blast


All of this discussion and analysis leads to a fairly simple filler priority as reflected in the rotation guide above:

  1. Dirty Blast when Hemorrhaging Blast is active on the target

  2. Quickdraw

  3. Dirty Blast w/o Hemorrhaging Blast active on the target

Advanced Rotation - High Alacrity Builds - Introduction

As mentioned above briefly regarding gearing, Dirty Fighting is an interesting discipline in how alacrity builds can change the rotation slightly. My intention is to discuss the most common high alacrity strategies with which I am familiar, explain how they work and make a few recommendations.

First a big caveat - all the discussion below is intended for rotations without the Zeal perk. The Zeal perk only applies in Story and Veteran Mode content, for which these advanced strategies should not be necessary to pass ANY DPS checks.

If you are using the Zeal perk to run 1,895 alacrity and a 1.3 second GCD, you should be able to get extra ticks of Wounding Shots within Hemorrhaging Blast without any gearing changes. As for the second strategy, gearing up somewhat in alacrity should still accomplish that goal but I did not extensively test it.

Advanced Rotation - High Alacrity Build - Wounding Shots & Hemorrhaging Blast

The most common high alacrity build involves high alacrity without the Zeal guild perk. This alacrity build leads to a 1.4s global cooldown (GCD) and has significant extra alacrity above the 1,213 required for the 1.4s GCD without the Zeal perk.

The goal of this build is to get extra ticks of damage from Hemorrhaging Blast (HB). HB deals damage during its duration any time the target takes bleed damage, which includes ticks from either Vital Shot or Shrap Bomb, ticks of the Exploited Weakness DoT applied by Dirty Blast, or ticks of all 3 DoTs triggered by Wounding Shots.

No change in rotation is required for this strategy as it entirely revolves around how alacrity affects your rotation.

With the rotation above, Hemorrhaging Blast is always applied immediately before Wounding Shots. With alacrity right at the 1,213 breakpoint for the 1.4 second global cooldown, HB expires immediately before the second Wounding Shots. However, with high alacrity we can accelerate our abilities so HB carries over into Wounding Shots.

See the Gearing Guide for a detailed discussion of alacrity. Briefly, alacrity speeds up your activities by decreasing the cooldown of abilities and causing them to activate and tick faster. For example, the DoT applied by Dirty Blast normally ticks every 3 seconds for 18 seconds (so 6 total ticks of damage), but with a 1.3s GCD it will tick every 2.6 seconds for 15.6 seconds (still 6 ticks of damage). Note that either way it still ticks and deals damage 6 times, but it does that damage over a shorter time with higher alacrity.

Some abilities and durations are not impacted by alacrity. Hemorrhaging Blast has a 10 second duration regardless of alacrity. This means if we have some extra alacrity, we can fit extra ability damage into HB's duration. Since HB normally expires right before Wounding Shots and it ticks 4 times (8 if we count the off-hand ticks), if we can get at least the first tick from Wounding Shots in during HB, we will get 3 extra ticks of damage from HB and significant extra damage.

So how much alacrity do you need? A common target quoted on the theorycrafting discord is 2,327 for a player running the 1.4 second GCD without the Zeal perk. That is over 1,100 points of extra alacrity over the 1,213 needed for a 1.4 second GCD.

My experience has been that you can execute this strategy consistently with less alacrity by clipping Wounding Shots as discussed below. A player's lag between ability activations and inherent latency will also impact the alacrity required.

My recommendation is to play around with alacrity and parse until you are consistently getting the first tick of Wounding Shots within Hemorrhaging Blast. I have seen good results with around 1,900 alacrity and usually get the extra tick.

How can you check if you are getting Wounding Shots within Hemorrhaging Blast?

  • Parse on the operations dummy. Applying health or damage modifier buffs does not matter for this purpose.

  • Open Starparse and pull up the parse you just completed.

  • Navigate to the "Combat Log" tab

  • Check the "Actions" and "Buffs given" boxes at the top and uncheck all other boxes

  • Scan through your combat log and look for the removal of the Hemorrhaging Blast debuff (it will be targeting the Operations Training Dummy and have a red downward arrow indicating the debuff was removed from the target)...does that happen before or after Wounding Shots? If it happens after Wounding Shots then you likely are getting an extra tick.

  • If you want to see more detail, then check the "DPS" box. This will show all instances of damage. Scroll to any instance of Wounding Shots as Hemorrhaging Blast is expiring and see how many ticks of Hemorrhaging Blast you get in the first few hundredths of a second of Wounding Shots.

It should also be noted that depending on the tick rate of your existing DoTs that tick independently of the ticks from Wounding Shots, over-gearing for alacrity can also lead to a "normal" tick of your DoTs in the first few tenths of a second of Wounding Shots under Hemorrhaging Blast triggering additional ticks of damage.

Advanced Rotation - High Alacrity Build - Quickdraw Usage

Another high alacrity build I have played with involves using around 1,925 points of alacrity and is also focused on getting extra ticks of DoT damage. However, here the goal is to time our use of Quickdraw to trigger extra ticks of the Exploited Weakness DoT as well as extra ticks from Hemorrhaging Blast if it is active. In particular, I am trying to see if it is viable to use Quickdraw during Hemorrhaging Blast unlike the general rotation above.

My brief testing indicates that Quickdraw's base damage at level 75 is around 1k less than Dirty Blast with HB but it's damage is 2k or so more than Dirty Blast without HB. This reinforces the filler priority above where we use Quickdraw > Dirty Blast outside HB, but Dirty Blast > Quickdraw within HB. However, if we can get a bonus tick of Exploited Weakness through careful timing then Quickdraw becomes a preferred filler in all circumstances since then it will generate a tick of Hemorrhaging Blast as well.

For this gearing and rotation strategy, the focus is again on the mechanics for alacrity and the GCD. In this case, we care about how the game system treats instant abilities and cast abilities as well as how the Exploited Weakness DoT ticks.

For cast and channeled abilities, the game system typically rounds up to the hundredth place. With the alacrity described above, Dirty Blast should be a 1.36s cast. However, for instant abilities like Quickdraw the game system applies the GCD until another ability can be activated and does so while rounding up to the tenth decimal place. With the alacrity described above, Quickdraw would impose a 1.4s GCD until another ability can be used.

Exploited Weakness normally ticks once every 3.0 seconds. Alacrity reduces its tick rate and rounds similarly to cast time, so with the above alacrity it should tick once every 2.72 seconds. Dirty Blast will automatically tick Exploited Weakness and refresh its timer.

Let's now put this all together.

If we use Dirty Blast / Quickdraw / Dirty Blast, then the first Dirty Blast will apply Exploited Weakness at the end of the cast. Quickdraw will activate instantly and take up the 1.4s GCD. We can then cast Dirty Blast over 1.36 seconds, which means the second Dirty Blast will deal damage and tick Exploited Weakness in 2.76 seconds since we deal damage with the first Dirty Blast. That 2.76 second delay is MORE than the 2.72 seconds it takes for Exploited Weakness to tick so it ticks BEFORE the second Dirty Blast deals damage! Dirty Blast will then finish casting and deal damage and tick Exploited Weakness again! If Hemorrhaging Blast is active we will get an extra tick from it as well!

This cycle should also work when using Quickdraw at the beginning of each filler cycle due to the total duration of instant abilities used previously. I like this approach due to its simplicity.

How is this different from using the abilities in a different order? If we cast Dirty Blast / Dirty Blast, then the second Dirty Blast ticks in the middle of the DoT's duration and we only get one tick from the second cast. Even if we try to use Snap Shot or Pandemonium to instant cast the first Dirty Blast, the identical treatment of alacrity on the cast time and DoT tick rate means we still only get one extra tick of Exploited Weakness for a second Dirty Blast cast. This only works because Quickdraw triggers the GCD and rounds to a tenth place while DoTs round to a hundredth place.

With sufficient alacrity, I believe you can use Quickdraw every rotation block prior to any uses of Dirty Blast and get an extra tick of Exploited Weakness, including during Hemorrhaging Blast. The extra tick will happen during the subsequent cast of Dirty Blast but would not otherwise happen if Dirty Blast were used instead of Quickdraw.

How much alacrity? I can not be precise since lag and individual activation speed will vary between players. I was using a gear set built for using the 1.3s GCD with the Zeal perk (1,925 points to be precise) and found it worked on a highly consistent basis. Your results may vary.

Why so much extra alacrity? Mathematically I would expect that just having slightly more than the cut-off for an alacrity GCD breakpoint would be enough to let you get extra ticks of Exploited Weakness by using Quickdraw at the beginning of a Dirty Blast spam cycle. However, I noticed in my combat logs there is a little bit of a delay in how some of the mechanics work. A build with 1,925 points of alacrity still had some instances where the "bonus tick" during the Dirty Blast cast following Quickdraw would trigger 0.01 seconds before Dirty Blast finished casting and ticked damage and the DoT again. As such, I would not want to run less alacrity since it seems much lower and I would occasionally not get the bonus tick, but that may be unique to me or be something I am not doing as well as I could.

Here is a look at the tweaked full rotation:































Block 1a - No change

Block 2 - Use Quickdraw in first GCD

Block 3 - No change

Block 1b - Use Quickdraw after re-applying DoTs

Block 3 - No change

Block 2 - Use Quickdraw in first GCD



Note that all we did was swap 3 Quickdraws in for Dirty Blasts during Hemorrhaging Blast in block 1b and both blocks 3, right?

A key point to note is that the normal rotation will already get an extra tick of Exploited Weakness in both Block 3 rotations by using it at the beginning, as long as we have some extra alacrity.

With appropriate alacrity, it should be possible to get extra ticks of Exploited Weakness and Hemorrhaging Blast while keeping the rotation fairly straightforward.

Advanced Rotation - Clipping Wounding Shots

Another advanced rotation strategy involves clipping the end of the Wounding Shots channel. Doing so successfully can increase DPS through higher activation speed, and can lead to Hemorrhaging Blast ticking the first tick of Wounding Shots without utilizing a very high alacrity build as discussed above.

Let's first define how Wounding Shots deals damage. Wounding Shots has a channel time of 3.0 seconds prior to the effects of alacrity. As a channelled ability, Wounding Shots rounds up to the hundredth of a second as its channel time is reduced by alacrity.

Wounding Shots deals damage 4 times over its full channel and each tick also causes a tick of damage from every bleed effect on the target. If Hemorrhaging Blast is active on the target then each tick of a bleed also triggers a tick of damage from HB as well. So, if all possible DoTs and buffs are active (Hemorrhaging Blast, Vital Shot, Shrap Bomb, Exploited Weakness), then Wounding Shots will deal damage 4 times, tick all 3 DoTs 4 times, and ticks Hemorrhaging Blast 12 times.

With a 1.4s GCD and having alacrity very close to the breakpoint for that GCD will lead to Wounding Shots being a 2.8 second channel. Wounding Shots will deal damage after its activation at approximately 0.003 seconds, 0.99 seconds, 1.86 seconds and 2.74 seconds. These times and especially the timing for the third and fourth ticks may fluctuate slightly depending on your level of alacrity, latency and other active or passive effects (e.g., the alacrity relic). For example, if running a 1.3s GCD then the third and fourth ticks should come closer to 1.72 and 2.55 seconds, respectively.

So if we get the fourth tick of damage at 2.74 seconds out of a 2.8 second channel, or 2.55 seconds out of a 2.6 second channel, is it even possible to clip Wounding Shots and still get that fourth tick of damage? There appears to be an inconsistency where you can clip Wounding Shots slightly earlier and still get the fourth tick of damage. My observations and practice indicates you can active the next ability and interrupt Wounding Shots at 0.1s left in the channel and still consistently get the fourth tick of damage.

How much does this matter? It can potentially matter quite a lot.

Recall that Wounding Shots deals its first tick of damage in less than a hundredth of a second of activating Wounding Shots. Also recall that Hemorrhaging Blast's duration typically ends right before Wounding Shots. Gaining 0.1 seconds can make the difference between getting up 4 extra ticks of Hemorrhaging Blast damage.

My recommendation is to try and clip Wounding Shots at 0.1s if you can but make sure to parse to double check you are consistently getting the fourth tick of Wounding Shots. This strategy is a DPS loss if you miss the fourth tick (7th and 8th if you are counting the off-hand ticks as well).

Advanced Rotation - Conclusion

If you are trying to combine some/all of the above strategies, please note that using Quickdraw during Hemorrhaging Blast will make it more difficult to fit Wounding Shots' first tick into Hemorrhaging Blast's duration. Each Quickdraw triggers the GCD and so will consume either 1.3 seconds or 1.4 seconds depending on your alacrity, whereas each Dirty Blast cast can consume slightly less (e.g., 1.29 seconds, 1.36 seconds, etc.) based on its more precise rounding. Depending on your level of alacrity, activation speed and latency it may still be possible but there is not a clear cut "right" answer for every player.

Clipping Wounding Shots can help merge these two strategies along with extra alacrity. Play around with all these strategies and see what works for you!

Offensive Cooldowns

Smuggler’s Luck (60s cooldown prior to alacrity)

Increases the critical chance of your next Aimed Shot, Explosive Charge or Wounding Shots by 100%.

Smuggler's Luck should be used on cooldown in most instances. The buff it applies lasts for 20 seconds. The pre-alacrity cooldown of Wounding Shots is 9 seconds or about 6 GCD's, so at a minimum the duration of the buff should be enough for 2 Wounding Shots.

The cooldown can be saved for specific burn phases when necessary though given its relatively short cooldown make sure to use it as often as you can before/after any hard burn phases.

Illegal Mods (10s duration, 120s cooldown)

Increases ranged/tech accuracy by 30% and critical chance by 15%.

Illegal Mods is a stronger cooldown with double the cooldown and a defined duration, so it should be timed a bit more carefully. Apart from using it early in the opener for high early damage, it's use should be timed within the rotation when we deal the most damage.

Since it's 10 second duration is identical to Hemorrhaging Blast (our highest overall damage ability), I suggest using Illegal Mods immediately before activating Hemorrhaging Blast. I would try to avoid activating Illegal Mods when you about to go Hemorrhaging Blast / Wounding Shots / Vital Shot / Shrap Bomb, as that window will do less incremental damage than a window of Hemorrhaging Blast / Wounding Shots / Quickdraw / Dirty Blast x3 / Wounding Shots. If looking at the rotation chart above, try to use Illegal Mods before Hemorrhaging Blast in either the first or fifth blocks.

Hunker Down (20s duration, 60s cooldown / 35s with utility + set bonus)

Hunkers you down into cover, becoming immune to all controlling effects. Only grants protection while in cover.

Hunker Down is a very powerful offensive cooldown for all Gunslingers. Its offensive buffs come from gear:

  • Heads Up (Masterful Utility) - When Hunker Down ends or you leave cover while Hunker Down is active, you gain Heads Up, which increases your movement speed by 50% and grants immunity to movement impairing effects for 6 seconds.

  • Lay Low (Heroic Utility) - Reduces cooldown of Hunker Down by 15 seconds.

  • Holed Up (Heroic Utility) - Reduces all area effect damage taken by 60% while Hunker Down is active.

  • Established Foothold (4 piece set bonus) - The cooldown of Hunker Down is reduced by 10 seconds. You gain 2 energy per second while Hunker Down is active.

  • Established Foothold (6 piece set bonus) - While Hunkered Down, you build stacks of Entrenched Offense, increasing damage by 3% per stack while you remain Hunkered Down. Stacks up to 5 times. Breaking cover or Hunker Down being removed removes this.

If you are running Established Foothold (and you should be), you should generally use Hunker Down on cooldown unless you are about to enter a period of downtime or movement.

Defensive Cooldowns

Crouch (no cooldown)

Crouches in place, taking cover if used behind an object that provides cover. Crouching enables the use of cover-only abilities, and so long as you remain behind a cover object, most ranged attackers strike your cover instead.

Crouch provides a LOT of benefits through passive abilities and utilities:

  • While in cover the player receives +20% ranged defense and is immune to ability activation pushback via the Hold Position passive ability.

  • Hunker Down can only be activated while in cover and with utilities and set bonus has very high uptime and provides 60% resistance to AoE damage while active.

  • Using Dodge while in cover adds 75% damage resistance to Force or Tech attacks via the Hold Position passive ability.

  • If taking the Ballistic Dampers utility, each time the player enters cover they receive 3 charges of Ballistic Dampers that absorb 30% of the next 3 damaging attacks to the player.

  • If taking the Cool Under Pressure utility, while in cover the player will heal 2% of total health every 3 seconds.

  • If taking the Snap Shot utility, each time the player enters cover they can immediately activate Dirty Blast and can trigger this utility once every 6 seconds.

  • If taking the Hot Pursuit utility, by entering cover the player can gain 4 charges of Hot Pursuit for 15 seconds after exiting cover, which enable the player to cast Dirty Blast on the move.

  • If taking the Riot Screen utility, while in cover all damage taken is reduced by 5%.

Gunslingers are a cover-based ranged damage class and gain many defensive benefits from being in cover and so should be in cover as often as possible.

Hunker Down (20s duration, 60s cooldown / 35s with utility + set bonus)

Hunkers you down into cover, becoming immune to all controlling effects. Only grants protection while in cover.

Hunker Down is a very powerful defensive cooldown for all Gunslingers. See above for the complete listing of potential benefits via gear and utilities. The key defensive benefit for Hunker Down is it's 60% AoE damage reduction. This gives Gunslingers up to 57% uptime on 60% AoE damage reduction. When combined with the Gunslinger's other defensive cooldowns, this lets players ignore most AoE damage mechanics if necessary.

Hunker Down's cooldown can be reset by Bag of Tricks.

Defense Screen (30s cooldown / 25s with utility)

Projects a defense field around yourself for up to 10 seconds, which absorbs moderate damage.

Defense Screen can benefit from the Hotwired Defenses Masterful utility that increases the damage it absorbs by 30%, and the Hold Your Ground Masterful utility that reduces its cooldown by 5 seconds. The Concussion passive ability also causes Defense Screen to grant 30% damage resistance for 6 seconds after it ends.

Defense Screen is a great low cooldown defensive ability for any predictable instances of low to moderate damage. Since it projects an absorb shield it is effective against nearly all types of damage mechanics.

Defense Screen's cooldown can be reset by Bag of Tricks.

Dodge (60s cooldown)

Increases your chance to dodge melee and ranged attacks by 200% for 3 seconds.

If Dodge is used while the player is in cover then it also benefits from the Hold Position passive ability, which causes Dodge to reduce damage taken by Force and Tech attacks by 75% for Dodge's duration.

Dodge is a really powerful defensive cooldown is used smartly. It can let Gunslingers entirely mitigate melee/ranged attacks regardless of whether the player is or is not in cover. If the player can anticipate heavy Force or Tech damage mechanics, the player can enter cover and use Dodge to mitigate 75% of the damage. Combining Defense Screen and Dodge while in cover is frequently enough to survive nearly any damage mechanics outside of "one shot" mechanics.

Dodge's cooldown can be reset by Bag of Tricks.

Hightail It (20s cooldown)

Roll forward 18 meters, purging movement-impairing effects and landing crouched behind cover. While rolling, your chance to dodge attacks is increased by 100%.

Hightail It can benefit from the Bait and Switch Heroic utility that causes Hightail It to heal you for 10% of your maximum health on activation.

Hightail It is a situational defensive ability that is more consistently useful as a movement cooldown. I primarily use it to quickly reposition and get back into cover. However, it can be used to completely mitigate most damage mechanics if timed correctly, but it is fairly challenging given the brief window of damage resistance. The keys to success are (1) aim yourself to make sure you don't roll into trouble or off a ledge; and (2) try to time Hightail It as close as possible to the damage tick.

Hightail It's cooldown can NOT be reset by Bag of Tricks.

Diversion (60s cooldown)

Reduces the accuracy by 45% and exposes from cover of up to 8 enemies with 8 meters for 8 seconds. Cannot be used on operation bosses.

Diversion can benefit from the Opportunity Knocks Heroic utility that applies a +10% armor penetration buff for every additional enemy affected by Diversion (so a maximum of +70% armor penetration) if Diversion affects the maximum of 8 enemies.

Diversion is not usually very useful in operations. I can occasionally be useful on fights with lots of adds to debuff them to deal less damage to the team, and has a niche use in the Thrasher encounter in the Scum and Villainy operation in Veteran or Master Mode to force the snipers on the elevated platform out of cover.

On fights with lots of adds near the boss the Opportunity Knocks utility makes Diversion an offensive cooldown. Diversion consumes a global cooldown though so it really needs to affect close to the maximum for the armor penetration buff to make it worthwhile to buff DPS, which is pretty rare in operations outside of trash pulls.

Diversion's cooldown can NOT be reset by Bag of Tricks.

Scrambling Field (180s cooldown / 150s with utility)

Deploys an acquired scrambling field that disrupts the energy signatures of conventional weapons. The field spawns 10 meters around you, reducing the damage taken by all allies that remain inside by 20%. Lasts 20 seconds.

Scrambling Field can benefit from the Riot Screen Heroic utility that reduces it cooldown by 30 seconds. I often take this utility but primarily for its other benefit that adds a permanent 5% additional damage reduction while in cover. The cooldown reduction is only useful for fights where you need to use Scrambling Field more than once and need the 30 second cooldown reduction to time it correctly.

Scrambling Field is an AMAZING ability and serves as a defensive "raid buff" for Gunslingers since they do not have an offensive team cooldown. It has a long cooldown so needs to be timed correctly, but can make a massive difference to help teams survive high group damage phases. Some examples include the burn phase in the Dread Council fight in the Dread Palace operation, the burn phase in the Master & Blaster fight in the Ravagers operation and the Red boss fight in the Dxun Nature of Progress operation.

Scrambling Field's cooldown can NOT be reset by Bag of Tricks.

Hunker Down & Bag of Tricks

As discussed above, Hunker Down provides a really strong boost to damage when you have the Established Foothold set bonus equipped. Except during downtime or when downtime is imminent, players should try to activate Hunker Down on cooldown to get the maximum benefit of the damage buff. Players can further optimize the buffs from Established Foothold via the Bag of Tricks ability.

When Hunker Down is activated, it builds stacks of Entrenched Offense that increase damage by 3% per stack. Entrenched Offense builds 1 stack every second, so it takes 5 seconds to build from 0 stacks to the maximum of 5 stacks. So instead of receiving 20 seconds of +15% damage, instead we have +3-12% damage for 5 seconds and +15% damage for 15 seconds.

Bag of Tricks resets the cooldown on various abilities including Hunker Down. This means we can squeeze in some extra uses of Hunker Down during a fight, as long as we do not expect to need Bag of Tricks to enable extra uses of other applicable abilities.

With all applicable utilities taken, Hunker Down has a 20 second duration with a 35 second cooldown, while Bag of Tricks can be used every 150 seconds with a utility. Without using Bag of Tricks for extra Hunker Down uses and ignoring downtime, we can achieve 20s / 35s = 57% uptime on Hunker Down. Over the course of a 6 minute fight we can potentially use Bag of Tricks 3 times to get 3 extra uses of Hunker Down, which would increase our overall uptime on Hunker Down to around 67%. Getting +10% more uptime on a +15% damage buff should equate to around a 1.5-2.5% increase in overall damage. (The math indicates +1.5% but we should be looking to use offensive cooldowns, burst windows in our rotation and synergizing with group raid buffs to increase the benefit of this additional uptime.)

An advanced option for Bag of Tricks is to use it to bridge together two uses of Hunker Down. This strategy involves using Bag of Tricks right after Hunker Down is used initially, the activating the second Hunker Down just before the first expires. If we execute this strategy correctly, we can carry over our 5 stacks of Entrenched Offense for the second full duration instead of building back up from 0 to 5 stacks.

Movement as a Gunslinger

Gunslingers are a cover-based class by design, so we want to avoid movement whenever we can and minimize it when it is unavoidable.

Let's first discuss relevant abilities, passives and utilities that can help Gunslingers quickly relocate from position to position, then go over some strategic considerations and how those can apply in operations encounters that involve lots of movement.

Hideout (0.5s cast, free, 120s cooldown)

Activating this ability marks your current location for 10 minutes. When this ability is activated again, if you are within 60 meters of the marked location, you instantly return to the marked location. Hideout goes on cooldown for 120 seconds when used to return to the marked location.

Hideout is a great ability for any fight where you will have to move to a pre-determined location. Place it before the fight if possible. You can also place it mid-fight if you run past an area you will need to return to later in the fight.

Hightail It (20s cooldown)

Roll forward 18 meters, purging movement-impairing effects and landing crouched behind cover. While rolling, your chance to dodge attacks is increased by 100%.

I primarily use Hightail It for relocation, as most of the time moving 18 meters is sufficient to get into the class' 35m range on most abilities.

Hot Pursuit (Skillful Utility)

You gain 4 charges of Hot Pursuit by exiting cover, which allow Charged Burst or Dirty Blast to be activated while moving. The charges last for 15 seconds and can be gained every 20 seconds. Reentering cover removes the effect.

I always take Hot Pursuit. A bunch of other abilities and utilities are great for momentary relocation but Hot Pursuit is the only way to let you hard cast your filler while moving. For any operations that may include sustained movement phases I have found Hot Pursuit to be an amazing utility.

Reset Engagement (Masterful Utility)

Surrender purges all movement-impairing effects when activated and grants Reset Engagement, increasing your movement speed by 75% for 6 seconds. Also, the final shot of Penetrating Rounds knocks back the target if they are within 10 meters.

Reset Engagement is a situational utility that can be taken when you need periodic but infrequent big bursts of speed. Surrender has a 45 second cooldown so can provide quite a few on-demand speed boosts in a fight. The Master and Blaster fight is a good example for this utility, where if you are running in phase 1 this utility can help you quickly relocate.

Snap Shot (Skillful Utility)

Entering cover makes the next Charged Burst or Dirty Blast activate instantly, and can occur once every 6 seconds.

I find Hot Pursuit to be more useful for mobility but Snap Shot can be helpful to "stick and move" to get an extra instant cast in while moving.

Movement in Operations

As discussed above, the key to maximizing Gunslinger DPS is to stay in cover (and Hunker Down) as often as possible. When you have to move you should try to move as quickly as possible and pre-position yourself to minimize the travel distance.

Here are some quick tips for each operation encounter to maximize your DPS uptime as a Gunslinger:

Eternity Vault

  • XRR-3 Annihilation Droid - Enter cover 20m from boss to avoid stun/knockback then Hightail It under the boss for AoE healing, then Hightail It back out when it comes off cooldown.

  • Gharj - Hot Pursuit and Reset Engagement are great to get a speed boost and mobile DPS each time an island collapses.

  • Ancient Pylons - Enter cover next to the consoles so you can click while in cover. No movement necessary.

  • Infernal Council - Enter cover next to your assigned boss. No movement necessary.

  • Soa - Enter cover on the west side of the room and stay there. Use Hightail it and Hot Pursuit to reposition if needed to DPS mind traps.

Karagga's Palace

  • Bonethrasher - Try to set up a little out of the middle but far enough from the edge to be safe, and reposition any time you get knocked back by the boss. If you avoid moving to maximize uptime on DPS, make sure to use defensives prior to boss cleaving in your direction.

  • Jarg & Sorno - Set up near max range from boss starting position but out of the middle to avoid damage when bosses leap to middle. The fight should not involve any movement except dodging purple circles.

  • Foreman Crusher - Set up in the middle of the room within range of the door. The fight should not involve any movement except dodging red circles.

  • G4-B3 Heavy Fabricator - Set up close to max range away from team members to avoid splash damage from grenade. No movement necessary.

  • Karagga the Unyielding - Set up in the middle of the room to avoid boss cleave attacks. Re-position as needed if you get pulled by the gravity mechanic.

Explosive Conflict

  • Zorn & Toth - Try to set up >28m from both bosses to avoid taking damage from bosses. Reposition if needed due to boss movement. Should be minimal movement unless you get targeted by boss' throw mechanic.

  • Firebrand & Stormcaller - Set up on the side of the tanks and only move during defensive systems. Try to avoid being the runner on the ground if possible since your DPS will suffer a lot more than other ranged DPS.

  • Colonel Vorgath - This fight involves a lot of periodic movement, so time your Hunker Downs as each probe droid is summoned and move with the group.

  • Warlord Kephess - Try to set up near but not underneath the big walker. You can often reach every enemy from this position with minimal movement. You still need to run under the pulsar droids though.

Terror From Beyond

  • Writhing Horror - Set up in the middle of the room near but not on top of the flowers. Only move if you need to stand in a flower to pacify adds.

  • Dread Guards - Set up in the middle of the room to maintain range on your targets. You are much more at risk to stand in green circles when they spawn under you while attacking Ciphas, so keep a close eye on your feet for the green swirls and move out of green circles. Apart from green circles or if you get marked for death by Kel'sara, the fight should involve minimal movement.

  • Operator IX - Use speed buffs and Hideout to move from side to side when attacking cores. During phase 2, time your use of Hunker Down so if is on cooldown when you need to run around standing in colored circles or for color deletion.

  • Kephess the Undying - Set up a bit out of the middle of the room so you can maintain range on Kephess but avoid lightning puddles. Try to be aware of when you can safely be mobile in your rotation and Hunker Down is on cooldown, and use that time to reposition to be near Kephess in case you need to stand near the pillar.

  • Terror from Beyond - This fight involves a lot of movement in both phases. The key thing to consider in phase 2 is whether you can safely survive tentacle slams to avoid jumping off the platform. As long as Hunker Down is active and through other defensives you usually can do so safely.

Scum and Villainy

  • Dash'roode - Hot Pursuit and Snap Shot are great for filler cast DPS on the move while moving the generator. The Reset Engagement utility speed boost along with the Hightail It and Pulse Detonator abilities are great for knocking back the adds if you get lost and quickly getting back to the group.

  • Titan 6 - Set up at max range and right next to your assigned rock. As Titan 6 relocates, use your mobility phases in your rotation and Hot Pursuit to relocate early for the next launch sequence. Setting Hideout pre-pull can help with one of the relocations.

  • Thrasher - I suggest setting up near a wall so if you get Firebug then you only have to move when the add gets to you instead of moving to and from the wall. If you have to relocate to DPS adds then try to avoid moving after that unless more adds spawn elsewhere or the boss is out of range. Reset Engagement and Hightail It are great for rapid relocation at these points or if you go up top to kill adds.

  • Operations Chief - This fight has a lot of movement but not during battles. On the boss, set up in the middle of the room so everything is in range and you should never have to leave cover.

  • Olok the Shadow - No movement should be necessary in phase 1 except when you get a token or to move out of fire. During phase 2, move between shield phases and once you reach the boss set up near the middle of the room so you have the boss in range no matter where he appears.

  • Cartel Warlords - Set up near the bosses starting position and no movement should be necessary except possibly to attack Sunder, for which Hightail It should be plenty to reposition.

  • Dread Master Styrak - Set up in the middle of the room where the big ghost spawns and you should only have to move if you need to get into melee range on the little ghosts.

Dread Fortress

  • Nefra - Set up near max range in case you need to pick up the exploding add. Use Hightail It to reposition quickly if a red circle spawns under you.

  • Draxus - Try to set up in the front middle of the room cheating towards which side you are assigned. From this position you should be able to reach Draxus, adds on your side and adds in the back. I also suggest setting up a Hideout in the back for teleporting there while shields are up, though otherwise Hightail It should very nearly cover the distance instantly. Make sure to stay out of the middle anytime Guardians are up to avoid their cleave, though Gunslingers can handle the cleave if Hunker Down is active plus either Defense Screen or Dodge.

  • Grob'thok - Set up in the middle of the room and you should have range on the boss and adds as they run in.

  • Corruptor Zero - Set up in melee range of where the tank will hold Corruptor Zero. If you are asked to stand out for concussion mines, try to set up right at 18-20m range so Hightail It can immediately roll you into melee range. Make sure to watch your position heading into any big laser beam phases.

  • Dread Master Brontes - In Phase 1, try to set up in the middle of the room where you can reach most enemies without moving. In Phase 2, set up just a bit behind Brontes where you can reach Kephess at all 3 spawn points. Heading into the clockwork lightning phase, I suggest setting up as close to max range of the first add as possible. Once it dies I use Hightail It and Hot Pursuit to quickly relocate and DPS on the move to stay ahead of the lightning beam. In the 6 finger phase you should stand near your finger. In burn phase stay near a wall and watch our for purple circles. Hunker Down is great to avoid the knockback.

Dread Palace

  • Dread Master Bestia - I suggest setting up near the throne since you can keep the entire room in range apart from weird LoS directly opposite the throne. Be careful though of yellow circles as they clip over/under the ground near and on the throne.

  • Dread Master Tyrans - Try to set up at max range so you have to move as little as possible to drop platforms or to move out of fire.

  • Dread Master Calphayus - Set up outside the group with Hunker Down if you are kiting the big red AoE or stand with the group depending on your strategy. Very little movement is required during any of the active damage phases in this fight.

  • Dread Master Raptus - Coordinate with your tanks on where they will hold Raptus but make sure you position yourself to naturally avoid all cleave damage. Tanks doing a good job keeping Raptus in place will be huge for your DPS. If Raptus gets too far to one side, use Hightail It to reposition and try to keep Hideout on the throne for quick returns once the boss gets back to a normal position.

  • Dread Council - Try to set up very near the holocron in the middle of the room unless you are asked to kite Raptus. If you have to grab any crystals make sure to use all mobility buffs like Hightail It and Reset Engagement to get your crystal quickly and back down to attack the bosses.


  • Sparky - Set up in the middle of the room so you can keep Sparky in range no matter how much he punts the tank around.

  • Quartermaster Bulo - Set up near the back of the room. This helps you drop the burst volley blue AoE near a wall in a safe location and you should still keep Bulo in range. Use Hunker Down and defensives during mass barrage to stand in 3-4 circles as they stack then move one time out of circles and then get back into cover and resume attacking.

  • Torque - Set up near the console to summon repair droids so you minimize downtime and reduce your chances of getting fire. This room is really small so range should not be an issue.

  • Master & Blaster - If you have to run then you will need to make full utilization of mobility abilities and utilities. Hideout, Hightail It and Reset Engagement are all great to quickly reposition out of orange circles, while Snap Shot and Hot Pursuit help you DPS while dodging orange circles or while chasing Master.

  • Pirate Captains - Set up near the middle of the room in both phases to keep the bosses in range.

Temple of Sacrifice

  • Malaphar the Savage - Stand inside the red circle to DPS. Try to time your use of Hunker Down so you reset stacks in between uses of Hunker Down so you do not have to interrupt it. Watch our for Malaphar's spear throw red AoE.

  • Sword Squadron - Set up as far back as possible while keeping Unit 1 and Unit 2 in range for easy target swapping. If possible, ask teammates to move away from you if you get the big grenade so you do not lose uptime. For the gravity pull-in mechanic, use Hightail It or Hideout to get back into position. You should avoid red circles as often as possible though with Hunker Down active and another defensive you can periodically eat one in order to maintain uptime (make sure your healers are okay with that first though!)

  • Underlurker - Set up at a position equidistant from the three adds and near your other ranged DPS and healers for efficient AoE healing. Quickly reposition near a rock and then resume DPS next to it until you need to hide. In Story Mode you can stay out during rage storm with Hunker Down but do not do so in Veteran Mode. Use Hightail It and Reset Engagement to quickly get to the boss during the cross mechanic.

  • Revanite Commanders - Set up near Sano's spawn point but cheat a little towards the middle of the room. Apart from moving out of cleaves or AoEs from adds, this should let you stay inside Sano's shield when he spawns but keep Kurse and Deron in range nearly all the time. Use Hightail It to chase a boss while Snap Shot is great to quickly move out of a cleave or AoE then resume DPS.

  • Revan - You should generally set up near max range to kite the lightsabers near an edge and use Pulse Detonator to knock them off. That range can also help if you need to break the tether beam, especially if the other player will let you stay in cover and do all the running. If not, Hightail It can often be enough along with your range to break the beam. During the HK-47 phase on first floor, do not mess around with uptime and get out to drop the grenade damage. On 2nd floor stay with the group and time your use of Hunker Down carefully. On 3rd floor you can use Hunker Down on cooldown in Story Mode, but in Veteran Mode you should time your use to cheese each pull-in so you can maximize uptime on the core.

Gods from the Machine

  • Tyth - Try to set up relatively close to Tyth for inversion, after inversion use Hightail It to get back close to Tyth for the next one.

  • Aivela & Esne - Set up on the side of the platform near your Countermeasure for most of the fight so minimal movement is required except to stand between the boss and the Nexus in phase 2 or to dodge wiper beams in phase 3.

  • Nahut - During Phase 1, try to time your use of Hunker Down when Nahut is not being moved. During Phase 3, put your back to a generator for the pull in. During Phase 4, make sure to stay ahead of Nahut and move during mobility phases to when you can Hunker Down you can stay put for its full duration.

  • Scyva - This fight involves very little movement until the last phase with Scyva. In that phase, try to be very quick in relocating from side to side or between inner and outer rings to dodge purple floors.

  • Izax - This fight involves a lot of movement at times so all your abilities will be useful, especially during "Master/Blaster" phase late in the fight.

Nature of Progress

  • Red - Use your mobility abilities while moving Red but hopefully your tank will move the boss in spurts rather than continuously.

  • Holding Pens - Use all your mobility abilities to damage adds on the move, as this fight is particularly tough for Gunslingers.

  • Control Center - Use mobility abilities while moving into the Control Center. Once inside the Control Center you should not have to move much at all the rest of the boss fight.

  • Trandoshans - Try to set up in the middle of the room to keep all bosses in range. I suggest setting Hideout near the train terminal if you need to summon a train.

  • Huntmaster - This fight does not involve a lot of movement except for the yellow fire grenade. I suggest running out to drop the grenade then Hightail It back into the spotlight.

  • Apex Vanguard - Apex moves regularly as acid blast puddles are dropped, so time your use of Hunker Down to avoid clipping it and Hightail It to relocate as needed as the boss is moved around the room. In Veteran Mode you should time your use of Hunker Down so you do not have to clip it to move into position to be cleansed.

Applying DoTs to Multiple Targets

Several boss encounters in operations involve multiple bosses that are too far apart to rely on DoT spread to maintain DoTs ticking on multiple targets. Some examples include Zorn & Toth and Firebrand & Stormcaller in Explosive Conflict, both Tunneling Tentacles in phase 1 of the Terror fight in Terror From Beyond, the Dread Council in Dread Palace, Master and Blaster in Ravagers, Sword Squadron and the Revanite Commanders in Temple of Sacrifice, Aivela and Esne in Gods from the Machine and the Trandoshans in Nature of Progress.

While these bosses are typically too far apart to DoT spread, it is possible to modify the Dirty Fighting rotation to replace several Dirty Blasts with an extra use of Vital Shot and Shrap Bomb on the secondary target to apply/refresh DoTs. The damage from a DoT application over its full duration is significantly higher than the damage and additional DoT tick from a single Dirty Blast, so this strategy can provide a significant DPS boost.

We have three primary goals when thinking how to optimize this multi-DoT strategy:

  1. Only substitute extra DoT applications for uses of Dirty Blast and without delaying key abilities like refreshing DoTs on the main target, Hemorrhaging Blast or Wounding Shots.

  2. If possible, also apply a single use of Dirty Blast to add a third DoT via the Exploited Weakness tactical.

  3. Swap DoT applications for Dirty Blast outside of Hemorrhaging Blast windows, as during Hemorrhaging Blast we want all damage to be on our main target to maximize the ticks of damage from Hemorrhaging Blast.

This strategy results in a modified main rotation as follows below, assuming we are following the base rotation and not trying to execute any high alacrity rotations:































Block 1a - Vital Shot / Shrap Bomb / Quickdraw / Hemorrhaging Blast / Wounding Shots

Block 2 - Dirty Blast x 4 / Wounding Shots

Block 3 - Vital Shot / Shrap Bomb / Dirty Blast / Hemorrhaging Blast / Wounding Shots

Block 1b - Vital Shot / Shrap Bomb / Dirty Blast x2 / Wounding Shots

Block 3 - Quickdraw / Dirty Blast x2 / Hemorrhaging Blast / Wounding Shots

Block 2 - Dirty Blast x 4 / Wounding Shots


We apply DoTs to the secondary target in Block 3, including Dirty Blast, since Hemorrhaging Blast is not active. This can be done in either Block 3 in the rotation, so can theoretically keep DoTs up on 3 targets at a time.

Note we could potentially apply DoTs to a third target during the second round of Block 3 without sacrificing any uptime on Hemorrhaging Blast or Wounding Shots to deal damage on the primary target.

This example rotation assumes no high alacrity builds so Quickdraw is only used outside of Hemorrhaging Blast's duration, but can be modified as discussed above.


AoE DPS is very simple and straight-forward as a Dirty Fighting Gunslinger. Shrap Bomb is an AoE attack that applies its DoT to any targets in its area of effect, while Vital Shot is spread by Shrap Bomb as long as it is already ticking on an affected target.

The normal single target rotation will naturally apply and spread DoTs to enemies near your primary target. This is why the above discussion around rotation always uses Vital Shot before Shrap Bomb so that both DoTs will be spread.

However, a key point to remember is that neither Vital Shot nor Shrap Bomb deal very high damage on their own. Their damage is multiplied through use of Wounding Shots that causes each DoT to tick extra times, and it buffs the damage of Hemorrhaging Blast. Since Wounding Shots and Hemorrhaging Blast (unless running the Airborne Agents tactical) only affect one target, this leaves the normal rotation dealing solid AoE DPS while performing a single target rotation but substantially less than on the main target.

Apart from DoT spreading, our main options to boost AoE DPS are XS Freighter Flyby and Sweeping Gunfire. Flyby is a fairly long cast ability that deals heavy AoE damage over a few seconds and has a relatively long cooldown. It should be used pre-pull but otherwise should only be used for AoE situations. Sweeping Gunfire is a spammable channel AoE attack that deals heavy damage and has a very large area of effect, but is extremely expensive in energy cost.

Dirty Fighting's saving grace for AoE DPS is the Fighting Spirit passive ability, which restores 1 energy any time a bleed effect deals damage. The energy recovery in single target is important but not hugely noticeable but really shines in AoE situations.

Normally you can spam 1 extra Sweeping Gunfire without compromising your energy or maybe 2 if Hunker Down is active and you are running Established Foothold. You can potentially do a little more if you have Cool Head available but that's it. However, if you can DoT spread to 3-4 or more enemies then Fighting Spirit gives you virtually unlimited energy and you can potentially spam Sweeping Gunfire until needing to refresh DoTs.

When thinking about AoE DPS, there are three options to deal with multiple targets. Let's consider each one and when it should be used.

  • Continue single target rotation. As noted above, the single target rotation naturally applies and spreads DoTs to nearby targets. I recommend this approach if the group has other players with DoT spreading, the adds have low health and will die quickly, can ignored until DoT spread steadily kills them, or if the single target DPS check is especially challenging. 80-90% of the time in AoE situations this option is appropriate as there are few (if any) actual AoE DPS checks in operations at any difficulty.

  • Modify single target rotation to add an XS Freighter Flyby cast or Sweeping Gunfire channel to replace 2 Dirty Blasts. Most fights do not have continuous add waves but instead feature periodic spawns of adds near the boss or that can be pulled near the boss. For example, if Foreman Crusher in Karagga's Palace is held near the shield then adds spawn next to him at 75% / 50% / 25% of boss health. Another example is the periodic spawning of adds in the Grob'thok encounter in Dread Fortress. In these situations, we might want a little extra AoE to quickly burst them down but want to avoid compromising our single target damage. Swapping a couple Dirty Blasts for a Flyby or Sweeping Gunfire along with DoT spread ticking damage will contribute enough DPS that along with teammates to quickly kill the adds. I suggest this approach for any fights where the single target rotation does not provide enough AoE DPS.

  • Apply and spread DoTs, cast XS Freighter Flyby then spam Sweeping Gunfire. This approach maximizes AoE DPS at the trade-off of dramatically lower single target DPS on the main target. It is only appropriate when there is no main target (i.e., trash pulls) or when a fight has significant AoE DPS requirements and the group composition has no or very little AoE damage (i.e., no DoT spread other than you). For example, if a second wave of adds spawns in Grob'thok and the first wave is still alive then a few extra channels of Sweeping Gunfire might be appropriate. An even better example is the Dxun Control Center encounter, where overall the focus is single target damage to kill the droids and big adds but being overwhelmed by adds is a real concern. I only suggest this approach in fights when add waves start to accumulate and are not being killed on time, and thus sacrificing single target DPS is desirable to keep tanks and healers from being overwhelmed with adds.