SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (2023)

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide (Tank) for beginners and more experienced veterans: Skills, Choices, Rotations, Gearing, Builds, and tank-specific tips for all Operations!

The guide is up-to-date for Patch 7.2.

Table of contents

  • Introduction to Darkness Assassin
  • Abilities Explained
  • Ability Tree Choices
  • Gearing and Stats Priorities
  • Best Assassin Darkness Builds in 7.0
  • Openers, Rotations, Priorities
  • Advices for Operation Encounters
  • How to get and use Starparse
  • About the Author

Introduction to Darkness Assassin

Assassin tanks are one of the three tank classes in SWTOR. This guide covers the basics about rotation, gearing (including tacticals and legendaries) and abilities, as well as advanced advices for endgame raid at the highest difficulty available.

With the 7.0 changes, some abilities are now optional and you can no longer stealth out to exit combat, which means no more stealth reviving or resetting medpacs, but that didn’t change the stealth breaking mechanics for some encounters.

Not having more than a single medpac per encounter makes it so you have to think about when to use it, while Force Cloak is purely used for defensive purposes (you don’t have to worry about timing that stealth revive in a way you had time to cast a 6 seconds ability without getting hit by anything or before mob spawn).

With the new ability tree and no more utility points, the game offers you a few choices that will boost your survivability and your damage done as a tank. In most cases, the choices are going to be the same for most encounters, with a few free choices due to the situational uses.

Even after all the changes, Assassins are extremely good tanks for progression because of Force Shroud and being able to stealth casts from enemies (that can break mechanics but require some knowledge and practice). Force Shroud by itself can make you immune to certain attacks, cleanse and even ignore application of debuffs. Being able to stealth a cast from an enemy and making them not recast again can end up making a certain mechanic way easier to deal with.

If you’re looking for POV of encounters, you can find them on my Youtube channel (linked at the end of the guide in case you wanna skip and just watch boss clears) and sometimes you might catch me streaming on Twitch (also linked at the end, I rarely stream SWTOR).

As a tank, you should always be aiming at prioritizing survivability and mechanics. Making it as easy as possible for your team and contributing during progression makes a very big difference. Understanding how the game and class works are part of your job as a tank. Doing damage is also important as you need to maintain threat and it helps with dps checks. There’s always a debate about how much DTPS you should take, but you have to think a lot about the survivability party.

DTPS isn’t what you should usually focus on too much, unless the encounter is all about DTPS, because it’s more important to save defensives to avoid spike damage/getting one shot or to save them for phases of hard heal check rather than wasting everything during phases where you take almost no damage and later on you just end up dying to a hard-hitting ability.

I’ve seen situations where the tank takes no damage but not too long after the enemy starts using hard hitting abilities and a death happens within 2 seconds. It helps a lot if you know what type of damage/attack the enemies will do and when, so you can mitigate it. Record yourself playing, watch videos and you can also check your combat logs after the raid, be in Starparse so you can check your damage taken and death logs, so you can always see what killed you and what you can do to improve (there’s a difference between dying to a 140k hit because you didn’t pop a defensive and you dying to multiple hits over 15 seconds and not receiving enough healing).

DTPS won’t kill you in most cases unless you don’t get healed or it’s a heavy DTPS encounter, spike damage/really hard hitting abilities can kill you easily within 1-2 seconds before you realize what’s going on.

Defensive stats/damage type

This section is important for gearing and understanding how defensives work. Except for Armor/Damage Reduction, the mitigation is RNG.

Damage types
Kinetic, Energy, Internal, Elemental

Attack types
Melee/ Ranged (can be Kinetic/Energy) or Force/Tech (can be any of the four type of damage, Kinetic/Energy or Internal/Elemental)

Reduces damage taken from Kinetic and Energy damage (the attack type can be Melee, Ranged, Force or Tech)

Damage Reduction
Reduces damage taken from any type of damage (Internal, Elemental, Kinetic and Energy). The DR for Kinetic and Energy has a bonus from armor, while the Internal/Elemental DR isn’t affected by armor. For Internal/Elemental DR, Assassins/Shadows have 24%, Juggernauts/Guardians have 21% without Aegis Assault buff and Powertechs/Vanguard have 19%.

Chance to avoid Melee/Ranged attacks, 2% chance to resist Force/Tech attacks. (you defend the hit completely or take the hit and that’s the issue with Defense itself, sometimes even with a Defense boost cooldown, you won’t defend Melee/Ranged attacks and there are spikes of that attack type looks at EC Kephess, Tyth, Kronissus, Huntmaster, Apex and Calphayus).

Can reduce damage taken from Kinetic/Energy damage. If you don’t parry/resist/deflect, Shield has a chance of mitigating it (the Shield % you have). With that in mind, you cannot shield Internal/Elemental Damage (but you can resist it with Force/Tech resistance cooldowns). Requires a personal Shield (The Shield offhand).

Percentage of damage absorbed by your personal Shield.

Reduced Damage Taken vs Damage Reduction

It sounds like the same thing but it’s not the same. Did you ever notice that Energy Shield is stronger than Cloak of Pain, even knowing they are supposed to be similar. So Energy Shield increases Damage Reduction, while Cloak of Pain reduces your damage taken. All the damage you see is post-mitigation. A lot of tooltips aren’t accurate and they say Damage Reduction but they reduce your damage taken.

The difference is simple: Damage Reduction is passive mitigation, if you’re going to take a 100k hit and you’re at 50% DR, it will reduce that hit to 50k.

Reduced damage taken is post mitigation, after that hit was mitigated. Let’s say you’re using a cooldown that reduces your damage taken by 20%, so it will reduce the 50k hit by 20%, which is going to reduce 10k from that hit, which means 40k hit. Not counting any shielding (absorb shields), which would make that number even lower.

Overcharge Saber is a Damage Reduction cooldown. Defensive cooldowns that increase Damage Reduction works for both Kinetic/Energy and Internal/Elemental DR. The various mitigations are multiplied together.

The process of mitigation should be something like:

Immunities/Deflecting/Parrying/Defending/Dodging/Resists > Shielding (from your Personal Shield) > Damage Reduction (includes Armor if it’s not Internal/Elemental) > Reduced Damage Taken cooldowns > Absorb shields (External Sources or not your personal Shield)

External Sources or outside personal Shield: Static Barrier, Shield Probe, Emergency Power.

Important thing: If you have a reflect up (Saber Reflect or even a Rebounder) and resist/parry/deflect/dodge the hit, you won’t reflect and your rebounder won’t be consumed. A way to test that is have a Powertech giving you a Rebounder and you Force Shroud the hit, you will still have your Rebounder up (please, don’t do this unless it’s accidental or for science, you will overlap defensives if it’s single target Force/Tech attack). Natural Resist can also happen in some cases (Energize Slice from Nahut said hi). Same thing if you have Force Shroud the hit. It won’t reflect anything.

You can learn more about Damage Types and Mitigation in SWTOR from this guide by Endonae.

Assassin Specific:

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (1) Dark Ward
It’s important to mention Dark Ward. It’s a free 18% Shield increase. It gives you 15 stacks. You want to keep it up 100% of the time, you should refresh when it’s about to fall off (Try to track your buff, if you can’t, just refresh when the ability is off cooldown and get used to track it, take your time). Dark Ward lasts 20 seconds and can be refreshed each 10 seconds. When you shield an attack, you lose one stack and gives 1% absorption (Dark Bulwark, passive level 43). The absorption can stack up to 8 times and lasts 20 seconds, but if you refresh Dark Ward, you lose the extra absorption.You only lose extra shield if you let Dark Ward expire completely. You can increase the number of stacks to 20 with the Tactical Item Ward of Continuum. (See tacticals for more information on what to use).

How to improve as a Tank

If you just started tanking now and feel you’re still not at the level you wanted, you can always improve, everyone needs to start somewhere. Always practice, that’s the best way to improve your performance as a Tank, even if you have to run SM Operations and Flashpoints, they definitely will help you.

Don’t be afraid of attempting Veteran Operations, since they are the best way besides for Master ops to increase your raid awareness and learn about defensive cooldowns since some bosses will hit you really hard. If you can, record yourself playing and use Starparse even if the raid doesn’t require it (use for yourself) and check your combat logs.

When you’re starting, one really important thing is don’t panic during pulls, that can lead you to lose your focus completely and wipes can happen from the Tank panicking during pulls. Unexpected things can happen during pulls and you need to learn what’s going on. If you can, watch other people playing and ask for advice, don’t be shy.

My main thing as a player in general is trying to understand how the mechanics and bosses attacks work. I try to find patterns so I can optimize my tanking path (if it requires a lot of movement) and my defensive usage (maybe I need to save a defensive for later or I don’t have to, only knowing how the encounter works to make sure).

Also I try to look at the fight as always something that I can do better. Each raid group you join might have different strategies, if you understand how the encounter works, will be a lot easier to adapt to their way to do (yes, groups can have different positions for tanks, when to swap or even avoid swap depending on the strategy they use).

Abilities Explained

Damaging abilities

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (2) Saber Strike

Your basic melee attack, low priority filler in your rotation. No cooldown and has a range of 4 meters. It’s Melee/Energy attack.

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (3) Shock

One of your main abilities in your rotation, build stacks of Harnessed Darkness and it does a good amount of damage. Has a 10 meters range and it’s Force/Energy attack, has a cooldown of 6 seconds but it can be reset when you proc Energize.

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (4) Thrash

One of your fillers in your rotation, does alright damage and can proc Energize. Got a range of 4 meters and, Melee/Energy attack and has no cooldown. It applies Trauma, which reduces the target’s healing received by 25%.

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (5) Depredating Volts

Your main ability on rotation, deals the highest damage on your rotation. Channel is 3 seconds long, which means it won’t break on movement. When you have 3 stacks of Harnessed Darkness, it gives you 4 stacks of Dark Protection (1% damage reduction per stack. It is Force/Energy attack, got a 6 seconds cooldown and 10 meters range. It can be turned into AoE with a new choice within the tree of the spec.

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (6) Maul

One of your main fillers, deals good damage but you only want to use it when Conspirator’s Cloak is up because it consumes a lot of force without it and deals less damage if you attack from any position that’s not behind the target. Procs Energize. It is 4 meters range, Melee/Energy attack and has no cooldown.

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (7) Discharge

AoE ability, you will use only in 3 situations: You want to apply Unsteady debuff, you’re not in melee range or 2+ targets, damage is ok (a bit more than Thrash, but doesn’t proc Energize). It is a Force/Internal attack, got a 10 seconds cooldown and it’s 10 meters range.

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (8) Wither

High priority ability, high AoE damage, applies Weakened debuff and build stacks of Harnessed Darkness. It is a Force/Kinetic attack on a 10 seconds cooldown and 10 meters range.

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (9) Assassinate

One of your main abilities, does really high amount of damage but only available when your target is sub 30% hp or have Reaper’s Rush talent. It can proc Energize. It is Melee/Energy and has a 6 second cooldown and 4 meters range.

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (10) Lacerate

AoE ability, you are going to use it at 2+ targets and it can prog Energize. It is Melee/Energy attack, no cooldown and 5 meters range (the radius of the ability). It applies Trauma, which reduces the target’s healing received by 25%.

Personal Utility

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (11) Electrocute

Stuns the target for 4 seconds. You only will use it when you need to stun something. It is Force/Energy, has a 1 minute cooldown and 10 meters range.

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (12) Stealth

Enters in stealth mode, becoming difficult to detect. You can basically sneak through enemies while in stealth unless they have detection. Taking damage will take you out of stealth.

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (13) Force Cloak

Makes you enter Stealth mode immediately. If you have Shroud of Madness, it can be used as a defensive cooldown. It is naturally in a 2 minute cooldown but can be reduced by 30 seconds with the talent Fade.

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (14) Phantom Stride

Teleports fast to your target. On gcd. It’s on a 30 seconds cooldown and you can dash from 30 meters.

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (15) Force Speed

Your main movement ability, it is 150% speed for 2 seconds. The cooldown is 20 seconds and it can be extended to 2.5 seconds with Force Magnetism and cooldown reduced by 5 second with Avoidance.

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (16) Force Slow

Single target 50% slow for 6 seconds. It is on a 12 seconds cooldown and can be used from 10 meters.

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (17) Mind Control

Your single target Taunt. Forces the enemy to attack you (unless you have a debuff to make enemies ignore you). It is on a 15 seconds cooldown and can be used from 30 meters.

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (18) Mass Mind Control

Same as Mind Control but taunts in an area of 15 meters around you. It’s on 45 seconds cooldown but can be reduced with Gloom Ward

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (19) Guard

Applies guard to an ally. Reduces their damage taken by 5% and reduces threat generated by 25%. You can switch Guard during combat as long as they are within 30 meters There is a Guard range of 15 meters but it’s relevant for PvP.

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (20) Jolt

Your interrupt. Works on targets without Unshakeable or Unshaken buff. Can be used from 10 meters and has a cooldown of 18 seconds, with the possibility of reducing to 16 seconds with Avoidance talent.

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (21) Mind Trap

Out of combat crowd control. It keeps the target sleeping for a minute. You can cast from 10 meters and has no cooldown, but you can only sleep one target at a time.

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (22) Unbreakable Will

Your stun breaker. It’s on a 2 minutes cooldown but can be reduced by 30 seconds with Avoidance.

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (23) Force pull

Pulls weak targets and generate high amount of threat. For targets with pull immunity/boss immunity, you just generate high amount of threat. You must be within 10-30 meters and it’s on a 45 seconds cooldown.

Defensive Cooldowns

As Assassin Darkness, you have a lot of defensive cooldowns, some of them are really powerful. It’s really important you use your defensives properly for the hardest content in game, specially because Assassins mitigation come a lot from how you use your defensives, in the case of Juggernauts and Powertechs, they triggers a lot of mitigation from rotation and still got more from Defensives (a lot of passives from the tree will trigger with rotation, giving you extra stats, for Assassins, you have Dark Protection, which increases your damage reduction by 1% per stacks when you use your Depredating Volts with 3 stacks of Harnessed Darkness or exit stealth, stacks get capped at 4).

Like I mentioned before, the best way to know when you have to use defensives is knowing the encounter, when you can or need to use defensives due bosses hitting hard or heal check coming. Most people don’t understand, but defensive cooldowns are used to mitigate damage or prevent them, so you pop before you are going to get hit, depending on the situation, the boss can just instant kill you for not popping anything since it will drop you from 100% to 0% in 2 seconds and healers aren’t going to be able to heal you.

Even with all the changes from 6.0 to 7.0, the class is still great for progression (Force Shroud is really strong). If you are doing blind prog (no guides used at all), you need to have some class knowledge and how your defensives work to apply for that environment. With no medpac reset, you have to use them wisely.

*Note: True Damage you can’t mitigate normally with Defense/Shield/Absorb, those are rare but existent (Izax is the best example, like Omnicannon, Tether and other attacks).

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (24) Deflection

Increases Defense by 50% for 15 seconds. Deflection grants Mounting Darkness, reducing all Force/Tech damage dealt by enemies within 8 meters be reduced by 15%. It’s on a 2 minutes cooldown. Works more efficiently against Melee/Ranged, but can be used for Force/Tech.

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (25) Overcharge Saber

Increases your damage reduction by 25% for the duration (Premonition passive). Heals you for 15% of your max health once you activate and heals you when Dark Charge triggers. It works against everything except True Damage (it’s actual Damage Reduction). Can only be activated once every 2 minutes. Overcharge Saber is a level 43 choice, competing against Reckless Defense.

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (26) Force Shroud

Your strongest defensive cooldown, sometimes can ignore mechanics. Increases your chance to resist Force/Tech attacks by 200%. Works as cleanse and you can avoid some application of stacks. Lasts 3 seconds and it’s up every minute. The cooldown can be reduced due to the Lightning Recovery passive.

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (27) Recklessness

Gives you 30% absorption for 20 seconds. It also increases your critical chance by 60% while the charges are up. The charges are consumed by Force attacks. Works against Kinetic/Energy. It’s on 1 minute and 30 seconds cooldown but it can be reduced by a Legendary Item and Twilight Ward. Can also have the defensive part buffed by Reckless Defense, which gives you 5% Damage Reduction for 6 seconds and it stacks up 3 times.

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (28) Spike

Increases damage reduction by 10% for 6 seconds. It works against everything except True Damage since it is real Damage Reduction. It is a level 27 choice and can be really useful for having an extremely short cooldown.

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (29) Shield Adrenal

Absorbs 30% of damage, it has a cap and it can break after a few attacks. The damage scales up according to your adrenal level. Works against the same type of damage as Overcharge Saber and has a cooldown of 3 minutes.

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (30) Relic of Shrouded Crusader

Increases your Shield and Absorption, the amount will depend on the item rating. Can be combined with Recklessness. It’s on a 2 minutes cooldown. See gearing about using this relic.


One thing important in my opinion is knowing the passives of your spec to optimize your rotation and performance on the fights. No noticeable changes from 6.0. Some passives aren’t showing in your ability tree but they are still there if you use your abilities that activate them.

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (31) Premonition

Increases stealth level by 5. Defense is increased by 2% and Absorption by 4%

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (32) Assassin’s Training

Increases total endurance by 3% and Saber Strike restores 1 force every time it damages an enemy. Granted at level 23

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (33) Dark Charge

Your stance. Melee attacks have 50% of dealing extra internal damage and generating threat. Reduces your damage dealt by 10% but gives 130% more Armor Rating, 10% Accuracy, Shield Chance by 15%, Damage Reduction by 5% and Threat Generation by 150% – Granted at level 15

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (34) Torment

Discharge hits multiple targets and gives Unsteady debuff to all affected targets. Lacerate deals 15 % more damage on Unsteady targets. Granted at level 23

Blood of the Sith

Increases force regeneration rate by 30% and damage reduction against internal and elemental damage by 10%. Granted at level 3

(Video) Darkness Assassin Tank Sith Inquisitor Class Guide (SWTOR 6.0)

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (35) Dark Bulwark

When Dark Ward stacks are consumed, your Absorption is increased by 1% per stack consumed and goes up to 10. Lasts 20 seconds or until Dark Ward is reactivated. Has a 20% chance of restoring a charge when shield an attack and increases duration by 1 second. Granted at level 43

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (36) Exploitive Strikes

Critical hits with Force attacks increase your melee critical by 5% for 10 seconds. Granted at level 43

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (37) Thrashing Blades

Increases the damage dealt by Thrash, Lacerate, Voltaic Slash and Leeching Strike by 5%. Granted at level 47

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (38) Energize

Thrash, Maul and Lacerate have a 30% chance and Assassinate has 100% chance of resetting Shock cooldown, make it cost 10 force instead of 25 and make it critical hit. If it consumes a Recklessness stack, deals 50% extra critical damage. Granted at level 51

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (39) Lightning Reflexes

Increase melee and ranged Defense by 4%. Discharge deals 75% more damage and you recover 2% of your total force when you Shield, Parry or Deflect an attack. Granted at level 60.

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (40) Mounting Darkness

Deflection causes all the enemies within 8 meters deals 15% less Force/Tech damage. Wither and Discharge deal 30% more damage. Granted at level 68

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (41) Harnessed Darkness

Shock and Wither gives you 1 stack of Harnessed Darkness per activation, making your Depredating Volts deals 15% more damage per stack and goes up to 3. At 3 stacks, Depredating Volts grants Dark Protection, which increases damage reduction by 1% per stack and goes up to 4. Granted at level 73

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (42) Conspirator’s Cloak

Exiting stealth grants Dark Protection. Thrash, Lacerate, Assassinate and Phantom Stride grants Conspirator’s Cloak, making your next Maul deals 50% more damage and deals full damage regardless the position.Granted at level 78.

Here are the old passives that aren’t showing in the tree but they still exist. (They are built into your class but it’s not listed anywhere in your character). The text for these were copied from my 6.0 guide released a few years ago.

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (43) Shroud of Darkness

Increases Damage Reduction and Endurance by 2% and Spike can be used out stealth. Recklessness grants 30% Absorption for 20 seconds.

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (44) Lightning Recovery

Increases the force recovered by Lightning Reflexes by 100%. When you Shield, Parry or Deflect an attack, the cooldown of Force Shroud is reduced by 1 second.

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (45) Electrify

Shock deals 20% more damage and consumes 15 less force. Thrash and Lacerate traumas the target, make them receive 20% less heal from all sources for 6 seconds.

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (46) Swelling Shadows

Increases Armor Rating by 20% and Damage Reduction by 2%.

Ability Tree Choices

With 7.0 release, there were class changes such as new traits/passives have been added and abilities removed from the base class. Some of your old abilities are no longer available by default, instead you need to choose in between different options. As example, Assassins don’t have Overcharge Saber by default anymore, Whirlwind and Overload are now optional and in the same tier. Some of the old utilities were completely removed from the game and others were incorporated into abilities or merged into different options.

Examples of that: Electric Bindings are incorporated into Overload by default. Whirlwind is always instant. Speed Surge and Obfuscation were merged into a single passive named Obfuscating Speed (which is optional). Force Phase is Phasing Phantasm and Emersion in one. I looked into each one of the new options with the new Assassin Darkness tree and I wrote down some comments and what I recommend using in general and some pointers for other traits (mainly the situational ones).

Level 23 Choices

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (47) Antagonizing Volts

  • Effect: Increases the damage, critical hit chance and threat generated by Depredating Volts by 10%.
  • Recommendation: This is going to be a base choice since it’s just a straight dps increase single target.

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (48) Energized Volts

  • Effect: Depredating Volts deals 20% more damage to targets you have mind controlled and restores 5 force whenever it deals damage to them.
  • Recommendation: Taunting off cooldown can be more harmful than helpful, especially if you’re randomly taunting, so I don’t recommend taking this passive unless you really know what you’re doing. Getting maximum benefit of it requires a lot of encounter knowledge and planning to know if you can taunt or need to save it.

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (49) Chained Volts

  • Effect: Depredating Volts arcs to nearby enemies each time it deals damage.
  • Recommendation: This is your AoE choice as Depredating Volts becomes your strongest ability while hitting multiple targets.

Level 27 Choices

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (50) Spike

  • Effect: Short duration stun (3 seconds) and grants 10% Damage Reduction for 6 seconds (Steely Spike). Since Spike is a Force attack, it consumes Recklessness charges.
  • Recommendation: Always take it, spike change made it become a really good defensive.

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (51) Energized Shock

  • Effect: Shock’s critical hit is increased by 50% and dealing damage with Shock extends the duration of mind control by 3 seconds to targets already affected by it.
  • Recommendation: It is a DPS increase but doesn’t provide survivability.

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (52) Force Magnetism

  • Effect: Force Cloak increases movement speed by 50%. Force Speed lasts for an extra second and applies a 75% slow for 2,5 to nearby enemies.
  • Recommendation: Not recommended as you are not going to use it as much (cases would be extremely rare)

Level 39 Choices

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (53) Dusk Ward

  • Effect: Each time you consume a charge of Dark Ward the cooldown of Force Cloak is reduced by 2 seconds. If Dark Ward is broken by damage it reduces the accuracy of all nearby enemies by 20% for 6 seconds.
  • Recommendation: This is only an option when Force Shroud can be used multiple times or stealth can help you with mechanics. The optimization of this Ward can be tricky as it requires encounter knowledge

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (54) Twilight Ward

  • Effect: Each time you consume a charge of Dark Ward the cooldown of Recklessness is decreased by 2 seconds. If Dark Ward is broken by damage it grants 1 charge of Recklessness to you.
  • Recommendation: Default choice. The ward that’s a dps increase as Recklessness is both Defensive and Offensive. In a situation where you’re tanking multiple enemies at once, you can have Recklessness up very often, making it very powerful for your damage and tankiness.

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (55)Gloom Ward

  • Effect: Each time you consume a charge of Dark Ward the cooldown of Mass Mind Control is reduced by 2 seconds. If Dark Ward is broken by damage it deals X damage to nearby targets, generates a high amount of threat and finishes the cooldowns of Discharge and Wither.
  • Recommendation: Recommended for a situation where you don’t need the extra stealth or Recklessness usage + having more Mass Mind Control usages are beneficial.

Level 43 Choices

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (56) Dark Forces

  • Effect: Consuming a charge of Recklessness grants you and nearby allies Reckless Defense, increasing damage reduction by 5% per stack. Reckless Defense stacks up to 3 times and lasts 10 seconds.
  • Recommendation: Since it Increases the Defensive part from Recklessness. I recommend combining this with Twilight Ward.

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (57) Reckless Defense

  • Effect: Consuming a charge of Recklessness grants you and nearby allies Reckless Defense, increasing damage reduction by 5% per stack. Reckless Defense stacks up to 3 times and lasts 6 seconds.
  • Recommendation: Since it Increases the Defensive part from Recklessness. I recommend combining this with Twilight Ward.

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (58) Overcharge Saber

  • Effect: Increases your damage reduction by 25% for the duration . Heals you for 15% of your max health once you activate and heals you when Dark Charge triggers. Also increases the damage of Dark Charge by 50%
  • Recommendation: Very strong defensive, this should be your default choice. Having 25% flat DR makes it the best choice in this tier

Level 51 Choices

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (59) Formless Phantom

  • Effect: Reduces damage taken by 30% while stunned.
  • Recommendation:Take it for fights where you will get stunned and boss damage you like Izax, Styrak and Operator IX

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (60) Fade

  • Effect: Decreases cooldown of Force Cloak by 30 seconds and increases duration by 5 seconds.
  • Recommendation: There’s no reason to not take it, so take it for every situation. Stealth is the most broken ability on tanks, especially considering you have a defensive incorporated into it.

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (61) Dark Stability

  • Effect: Deflection gives you 6 seconds of immunity against sleep, stun, lift and incapacitating effects.
  • Recommendation: Choice for Revan (makes you immune to Impel knockback, but only because he stuns you before push, but Ballast Point does the same job).

Level 64 Choices

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (62) Obfuscating Speed

  • Effect: Increases movement speed by 15% and stealth by 10 levels. Activating Shock increases movement speed by 50% for 9 seconds. Cannot occur more than once every 18 seconds.
  • Recommendation: Combo of Obfuscation + Speed Surge from the past expansions. Recommend always taking it unless Lambaste or Force Phase will outperform it. (read below)

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (63) Force Phase

  • Effect: Force Speed and Phantom Stride cleanse movement impairing effects and grants immunity to them for 2 seconds.
  • Recommendation: Take it when the situation demands. As example, Cartel Warlords, Mutant Trandoshans if tanking Kronissus.

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (64) Lambaste

  • Effect: Increases Lacerate damage by 25%
  • Recommendation: Encounters with multiple targets are perfect for this talent.

Level 68 Choices

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (65) Overload

  • Effect: 15 meters conal knockback. Enemies hit by it (without boss immunity) are bound in electricity for 5 seconds (dealing damage to them will break it earlier).
  • Recommendation: Default choice, usually knockbacks aren’t super useful but the bindings work on some enemies that can’t be knocked back. Whirlwind can be useful for some encounters, but in a lot of situations where you would take it, Overload is going to outperform it in PvE situations.

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (66) Severing Slash

  • Effect: Deals damage in a cone and immobilizes the targets for 2 seconds.
  • Recommendation: AoE situation. You are only not taking it if Overload/Whirlwind are needed.

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (67) Whirlwind

  • Effect: 8 seconds Crowd Control. In 7.0 it became an instant cast as the utility doesn’t exist anymore.
  • Recommendation: It’s very useful in some encounters with weak enemies but, again, Overload with bindings will most likely do the job that Whirlwind would do.

Level 73 Choices

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (68) Reaper’s Rush

  • Effect: Assassinate can be used at any percentage after activate Phantom Stride. Also the cooldown of Phantom Stride resets if you kill the target that you teleported to within 10 seconds.
  • Recommendation: Dps increase for tanks, but I only recommend taking it for when you don’t need extra shrouds on stealth.

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (69) Avoidance

  • Effect: Reduces cooldown of interrupt by 2s, Unbreakable Will by 30s and Force Speed by 5s
  • Recommendation: In the past expansions, it was an utility on the first tier and was the best you could get in there. Now it has to compete with Shroud of Madness and definitely loses to it.

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (70) Shroud of Madness

  • Effect: Force Cloak grants 2 seconds of Force Shroud.
  • Recommendation: Very strong defensive. It works the same way as Force Shroud, but instead you need to stealth and make sure you have a taunt (so you don’t lose threat and potentially cause a wipe for randomly stealthing).

Gearing and Stats Priorities

My logic of gearing a tank is pretty similar for every class. When I decide to gear up my tank, I don’t go for numbers like 3000 or 4000 of a certain stat, I go for the percentage at the end, but the difference in between x and y amount of each stat isn’t going to make or break because of an extra augment or something (Proper defensive usage is way more important than defensive stats).

That does not mean you shouldn’t try to optimize your gear to the best possible or run full dps stat for progression, what I’m saying is that even if you don’t have everything 100% optimal, it can work fine during progression. (as example, in the past and even current expansion, you didn’t need full best-in-slot gear to clear the content, not having some extra pieces just made so the team had to push through their limits a little more to meet the checks and tanks having to play more properly with defensives).

NOTE : Most survivability comes from defensive cooldowns.

Gearing: the short version

You wanna aim for Hazardous (340) from R4 Veteran raid for most pieces except for Relics, Wrist and Waist, but until you don’t have access to that, just use the highest item level you have available and fix your stats with augments.

The amount of stats:

  • Aim for 42%+ shield and rest absorb
  • Relics: Shield Matrix and Avoidance
  • Augments: Shield and Absorb (whatever you have)
  • Legendary Items: Force Resistance and Dynamic Force (if you don’t wanna run the implant with dps stat, get a generic Rakata implant without bonus)
  • Tacticals: Two Cloaks and Friend of the Force (Life Warden as spare tactical).

An important thing is that you can have two Shield Matrix or Avoidance relics since they don’t have procs that mess with each other.

My gear set is a mix of Rakata, Hazardous and Virulent and has full shield augments, shield earring and one of each relic, which gives me over 42% shield. In my case, I have an extra absorb implant to swap off the dps stat one if really needed.

Gearing: the long and detailed version

Unmodded gear

Since the highest item level gear isn’t modded, only the catch up items, my recommendation is to just equip the highest item level you can obtain and fix your stats with augments. You’re a tank, that means you don’t have to worry about hitting accuracy cap and alacrity threshold.

You may not have desired stats at the beginning, but once you’re max ilvl, just grind the maximum item level and fix the stats with augments. Since the mitigation has a lot of rng into it and the best way to guarantee survivability is by planning defensives the best possible, having a little extra shield or absorb shouldn’t hurt you.

You are looking for 340 Hazardous gear from R4 Veteran (you buy with blue tokens) for most slots, except for Relics, Waist and Wrist due to blue gear having more health than purple. In the case of the Relics, the Virulent relics got more Defense than Hazardous.


Highest Item level until you can get Hazardous/Virulent 340 gear. Preference the Armorings with more Endurance.


Highest Item level until you can get Hazardous/Virulent 340 gear. Preference Defense ModsEnhancement:Highest Item level until you can get Hazardous/Virulent 340 gear. Preference Shield and Absorb.


It will totally depend on your gear stat composition. The idea of the augments is to help you hit the stat tier you’re aiming for. The current best augments you can obtain are the 300 from last expansion (new augments are going to be released later this expansion). Considering the gear stats, you might invest in Shield. This logic doesn’t change once you obtain moddable gear.


We have the same type of relics from the previous expansions, I recommend using Shield Matrix and Avoidance as they are the best relics for Tanks. The reason behind that is, the proc relics can be nice and helpful sometimes, but having the value of multiple augments always there will end up being better than a proc relic in the long run. Until you don’t get the desired relics, equip the highest item level relic you have. Prioritize getting Virulent (340) relics.


There’s no correct or wrong if you pick absorption or shield, you wanna go for whichever one is the highest item level possible.

Implants, aka Legendary Items

With the release of 7.0, Set Bonuses are gone, but now you have Legendary Items. I searched each one of them and I selected a few that could be used for PVE Tanking ((but you can only have two equipped at once). Keep in mind that you lost your taunt cooldown reduction from 3.0-5.0 and the Spike bonus from 6.0. Legendaries that aren’t the best options are grayed out. As new Legendaries are introduced, I will add them to the list and my opinion on them.

Below is the list of Legendaries for Assassins:

Force Resistance
Elemental, Internal, Kinetic and Energy damage reduction is increased by 3%. (Your main tanking legendary, it boosts your passive damage reduction. It’s also a Shield implant). Having 2 of these do not stack.

Dynamic Force
The cooldown of Recklessness is reduced by 15 seconds. (This legendary comes with Critical as stat but it’s one of the best values for tanks since it will be way more beneficial than Ballast Point for most situations as it reduces the cooldown of a defensive).

Ballast Point
Deflection grants Ballistic Immunity for 6 seconds, giving you immunity to movement impairing effects, knockdowns, and physics.(The use of the legendary itself is very situational as the actual effect of it is only going to be used for encounters where you would really need knockback immunity for progression purposes, since there’s always a way to deal with mechanics without using immunity for them. It is definitely helpful for new players that are learning how to tank and the knockback on specific encounters is making it more difficult for them, like Tyth, as example. The stat of this legendary is Absorption).

Force Training
Melee and force attacks deal 3% more damage. (Basic implant for more dps. You can use it when you don’t need any of the tank legendaries. Main stat is Alacrity)

Using Phantom Stride from stealth grants Shadowcraft, increasing your critical hit chance by 100% for 6 seconds. Force Cloak resets the cooldown of Phantom Stride.(Doesn’t fit a legendary for tank, so you’re not going to make it unless you’re playing the dps specs. Critical is the stat).

TLDR: Force Resistance and Dynamic Force by default. Make Ballast Point if you want it for the knockback immunity on Deflection for some situations. If you wanna have 2 implants with tank stats, you can wait for a Rakata drop.

Tactical Items

They modify the way an ability or passive in your class works. I’ve been experimenting with them and I decided to separate my favorites or more specifically for tanking. My favorite tacticals are marked with a * at the start.

TLDR: Friend of the Force and Two Cloaks are still the 2 most powerful tank tacticals in the game. Even if you can’t reset encounters and medpacs or ignore certain mechanics, the benefit of having 3 Shrouds is very broken. A lot of mechanics you can ignore are either the result of stealthing or having Shroud up.

SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (71) Ancient Tome of Wrath (Darkness)
Wither generates Redirect Wrath stacks for every enemy it hits, increasing your shield absorption by 2% per stack and lasts 5 seconds.
Just no. The gain is very tiny compared to just using Two Cloak or Friend of the Force.
SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (72) Shroud of a Shadow (Darkness)
Using Force Shroud while Dark Ward is active consumes it and extends Force Shroud duration by 0.25s for every stack consumed.
That’s a really situational tactical, probably wouldn’t recommend buying to start.
SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (73) Ward of the Continuum (Darkness)
Dark Ward gains 5 additional stacks and parrying, deflecting or resisting an attack while it is active increases defense chance by 1%. This effect stacks up to 10 times and lasts for 20 seconds or until Dark Ward is reactivated.
Don’t prioritize. Doesn’t change anything, still not worth it since it’s Defense Chance.
SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (74) * Friend of the Force (Assassin)
Force Shroud applies to you and the guarded target.
Really good tactical. Extra mitigation for a party member (it can save someone’s life too). Good for progression.
SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (75) * Two Cloaks (Assassin)
Force Cloak has 2 charges.
Double Cloak. This is going to be your best tactical by far for most encounters since you have the utility to gain 2 seconds of Force Shroud after you vanish. It’s by far a very strong tactical for progression.
SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (76) Overwhelming Offense (General)
Dealing damage increases all damage done for 2 seconds. Stacks up to 5 times.
I recommend using this tactical for more damage where survivability isn’t an issue..
SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (77) * The Life Warden (General)
aking damage below 20% health will heal you for a large amount. 10 minutes cooldown.
Heals you up super fast. Like having Kolto Overload. Currently better than medpacs.

I aim for the high shield build on every tank class. Why?

TLDR: You wanna have more Shield than Absorption to minimize the RNG on shielding.

Because the way stats work/all the RNG mitigation. Shield and Absorption work together. If you don’t shield, you won’t absorb damage, so that means if you have a higher amount of shield, you will have a higher chance of mitigating damage and the absorption is the amount of damage you will absorb. As Assassin, you have Dark Ward, which gives you 18% Shield, that means you can have very high shield numbers. With the current stats, there isn’t a definite amount set yet to go for, but invest in Shield and try to hit over 60% with Dark Ward for now. Shield makes you less spiky since you can Shield more and, that means, Absorption is being used.

Critical vs Alacrity

If you can hit the 1.4s GCD without harming your tank stats too much, Alacrity going to be better not only because you’re fitting more GCDs into your rotation, but due the reduced cooldown on some defensive abilities (the ones where the cooldown is affected by alacrity) like your Overcharge Saber and Recklessness. Below or too much above that number, Crit is going to be better. You can still fit some crit in your gear and be fine. Currently I do not recommend running dps stats outside of a single implant due to how low the stat budget is and the amount of times you can get hit through your defensives (as example, dying to autos because you got hit through deflection 3 times back to back).

To learn how to gear up your character at level 80, check out the SWTOR 7.0 EndGame Gearing Guide.

Best Assassin Darkness Builds in 7.0

Here are some of the builds I recommend for Assassin Tanks. You can essentially play the job in a fine state without them, but the boost they give to you is extremely good and I recommend always checking if you have them or not.

Always take:

  • Spike
  • Overcharge Saber
  • Shroud of Madness

Single Target:

  • Antagonizing Volts

Multi Target:

  • Chained Volts
  • Lambaste
  • Severing Slash

Which ward do I take?

Usually Twilight Ward as it boosts your defenses and damage at the same time, plus it works for a lot of situations.

If there are a lot of Force/Tech attacks where Force Shroud is going to be strong, Dusk Ward can outperform Twilight Ward.

(Video) SWTOR - Dread Master 7.0 - Tank PoV

In some cases, I recommend taking Twilight Ward for encounters with multiple enemies as you can keep Recklessness up for a very long time.

Meaning: Dusk Ward is stronger when Force Shroud can be used but requires more encounter knowledge and understanding of the damage types, while Twilight Ward is more friendly in that sense and it also boosts your survivability. Since Dusk Ward is very situation dependent, your default will be Twilight Ward as it works for every situation as Force Shroud is NOT required to clear any encounter (but it is powerful when used properly).

Openers, Rotations, Priorities

You will use your highest threat skills and 2 taunts. You can also move the first taunt to before Depredating Volts and the second taunt even longer, but I recommend watching the target of target just in case a dps pulls off you. If you can, be in stealth before you pull since it gives you 4 stacks of Dark Protection when you come out. Sometimes you are going to find situations where moving taunts around are necessary due to encounter timings or dps threat.


This is my opener: (you can move taunts if it feels more comfortable for threat)

  1. SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (78) Force Pull
  2. SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (79) Shock
  3. SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (80) Wither and weave SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (81) Mind Control
  4. SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (82) Discharge (if no Juggernaut/no Discharge proc)
    SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (83) Thrash if conditions met
  5. SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (84) Maul (if no proc, SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (85) Thrash) and weave SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (86) Recklessness
  6. SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (87) Shock
  7. SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (88) Depredating Volts and weave SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (89) Mind Control
  8. SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (90) Thrash (if SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (91) Maul proc happens, use it)
  9. SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (92) Wither
SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (93)

Here are my notes:

  • Taunts and Recklessness don’t consume a Global Cooldown.
  • You can run or Phantom Stride to the boss after your Force Pull, I don’t recommend using Phantom Stride for every situation (since it can bug out and send you off the map). You should just rush in without Force Pull if you’re not going to take the boss first.
  • If you have a Juggernaut or somebody else applying Unsteady Debuff, you can replace Discharge with a Thrash (Avoid using Discharge without proc if you can).
  • If you don’t proc Maul on your opener, just use a Thrash instead and replace the Thrash after Depredating Volts with Maul

Single Target Priority

Assassins have Priority System Rotation like many other classes. Note: Assassinate, Maul, Thrash and Lacerate proc Energize, which makes your Shock reset the cooldown and deals 50% more critical damage if consumes a Recklessness Stacks. You wanna get as many Energize proc as you can. Avoid using a gcd that does proc Shock if Shock is coming off cooldown on the next gcd.

After the opener, this is your priority rotation: (note: Assassinate is only available sub 30% or if you have Reaper’s Rush selected to be able to use above 30% hp)

  1. SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (94) Assassinate
  2. SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (95) Depredating Volts (when it’s glowing/you have 3 stacks of SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (96) Harnessed Darkness)
  3. SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (97) Shock (on cooldown, unless you have 3 stacks of SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (98) Harnessed Darkness)
  4. SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (99) Wither (on cooldown)
  5. SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (100) Maul (only when you have SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (101)Conspirator’s Cloak up)
  6. SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (102) Thrash
  7. SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (103) Discharge (only once every 45 seconds to apply SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (104) Unsteady on the target or 2+ targets and if you have a proc)
  8. SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (105)Saber Strike (force management)

AoE Priority

Wither is your hardest hitting AoE ability and builds stacks of Harnessed Darkness if you don’t take Chained Volts, which in this case, Depredating Volts hits harder even without Harnessed Darkness stacks. Discharge comes after Wither and applies Unsteady debuff and makes your Lacerate deals 15% more damage to affected targets. Severing Slash does more damage than Lacerate but it’s a conal, while Lacerate is a 360 cleave, so if you aren’t going to hit all your targets, don’t use Severing Slash unless you’re doing it for the Damage Reduction.

Your priority will be

  1. SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (106) Depredating Volts (even at 0 stacks you can use in 2+ targets)
  2. SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (107) Wither
  3. SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (108) Discharge
  4. SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (109) Severing Slash (If you can hit all targets and you have it)
  5. SWTOR 7.0 Darkness Assassin PvE Guide and Best Builds by Jaydenz (110) Lacerate (3 targets)

Advices for Operation Encounters

It’s really important to know how every encounter works. For tanking, I really recommend learning the damage profiles and mechanics (including tank swaps). I will leave some raid advices for some raids assuming their highest difficult mode. Knowing if you have to save defensive cooldowns for spikes or just use them to reduce DTPS is really important (reminding: Force Shroud isn’t a defensive cooldown if it’s Melee/Ranged, only Force/Tech). All the raid advices aren’t assuming any specific Legendary, but I will point out the tactical efficiency for each encounter. You can still stealth cheese some mechanics, but others have been fixed. Not all the raid advices have been updated yet, I will update as I run more raids.

So, which raid cheeses still work or not due to the changes to Stealth?

For the most part, it looks like every cheese that doesn’t require you to be outside of combat to make it work (so the TFB ones like the adds on Writhing Horror and Kephess orbs) are no longer a thing.

The ones where you just stealth to cancel bosses cast (Arching Assault, Chest Laser and others similar) you can still cancel the cast like you could before the patch and completely ignore it.

Explosive Conflict


You can Shroud the damage from Fearful and Zorn attacks. Toth deals melee damage and during his berserk phase, you should use a cooldown (Force Shroud isn’t a defensive here) since he will hurt a lot. To make moving during tank swaps a bit easier, I recommend saving your Force Speed to run across the room (if you are about to take Zorn, you can Phantom Stride to him too). Toth deals mostly Kinetic damage while Zorn is the Internal/Elemental boss.

Tactical: Two Cloaks if you want more defensives or Friend of the Force for DPS friends. If surviving is an issue, Life Warden isn’t a bad choice.


They both deal different kinds of damage and they have frontal cleaves too. Firebrand will hit you with Ranged attacks, while Stormcaller will go full Tech (Elemental). If you are taking Firebrand, make sure to rotate through your cooldowns since the frontal cleave hurts a lot. Don’t point it at Stormcaller to avoid killing the group.

You can stealth out the Incinerate Armor to make it go to someone else or use Deflection if the group takes a while to push (your co-tank can also taunt Firebrand during Double Destruction). While you take Stormcaller, make sure to use a cooldown for the cleaves and don’t point it at the rest of the group unless you need to share Double Destruction. If you are taunting Firebrand for the debuff, make sure to do during the cast and turn Stormcaller away from the group as soon as the cast ends.

Make sure to not outrange the healer while kiting the electrical spires. If you feel in danger, you can use your Deflection since Firebrand will be hitting you while kiting.

Tactical: Two Cloaks no matter which boss you’re tanking


Nothing special here. Just pray for the puzzle to not kill you if doing tower and use defensives to reduce your damage during the droid part if you stay down. Vorgath puts a dot on you that actually hurts, cleanse or using a defensive should be enough.

Tactical: No preference, you can just run Overwhelming offense.


This encounter has some heavy melee/ranged damage profile. I really recommend using a defensive for every set of Trenchcutters if you are taking them (Shroud isn’t a defensive here). Deflection is perfect to tank them! When Kephess comes down, make sure to swap after the dot (you should Shroud the dot, it will still apply but you will not take damage from him applying it and a bit of the dot damage itself, healers will have to heal you a lot here since it hurts). Kephess hurts a lot too, most melee attacks. If you have a defensive available, use it while tanking him.

Tactical: Two Cloak, you can get more Shrouds on the dot after the tank swaps.

Terror From Beyond

Writhing Horror

The boss itself hurts a lot, so make sure to use your defensives (most attacks are melee). If you are the off-tank in burn phase, try to pick up the adds that spawn since they apply a dot that stacks up (I have seen that dot at like 10+ stacks). The stealth cheese no longer works.

Tactical: No preference, but Life Warden isn’t bad here since you can get super low towards the end of the encounter.

Dread Guards

Don’t be afraid to use your defensives here. Save your Force Shroud for Lightning Field so you can negate the damage completely (Friend of the Force to a class with a low amount of defensives). The bosses have cleave, so make sure to not point them at other players.

During Kel’sara phase, you can Force Shroud during the Force Leech cast, so you avoid taking damage from that and dying from damage + healing. She does a lot of damage, so mitigating some damage here will be a key to surviving. If you have Friend of the Force, you can use it to save a friend from dying to Doom in case the group is not using the puddles. The most important thing is to ALWAYS dps the boss that needs to die while you have threat of either Ciphas or Kel.

Tactical: Friend of the Force for Lightning Field and Doom (your dps will love you for doing that) but if you’re having trouble with Force Leech towards the end, having Two Cloaks will help you survive since you can stealth more often once you get hit with it (so healing shouldn’t kill you, but healers shouldn’t be applying HoTs or healing you at all during Leech, it will kill you and heal the boss).

Operator IX

Use cooldowns while tanking Regulators, they hurt (especially if you are tanking 2 of them, make sure to have Stun DR). When Operator comes down, he will also do a lot of damage, you can even tank swap for defensives in here to avoid globals (I have seen that happening). Also make sure to always taunt the boss on the moments he threat drops (communicate with your co-tank).

Tactical: No preference but Two Cloak is just default, Life Warden isn’t bad either as the boss and Regulators hurt a lot.


Different from EC Kephess, this boss doesn’t really hurt a lot. Last phase will be the part where the group takes the most damage. You cannot stealth orbs to get rid of them anymore.

Tactical: Friend of the Force can be used on a team member while they’re getting blasted by Kephess, but you can also stand in front with Shroud or just roll Two Cloaks for all the advantages this tactical offers.


Tentacles will slam every ~12s, you will wanna mitigate all you can (slams are Force/Tech, while slaps are Melee/Ranged). If you time your defensive, it can last through 2 slams. You can save your Force Shroud for the enraged slam depending on your group’s dps (the next slam after the 2nd set of adds spawn). In the second phase, you can use Deflection while taking the boss, but make sure to use a defensive for the scream (Force Shroud or Deflection are not a cooldown for it).

If you are at 100% health, you should survive, but don’t rely on it all the time, since the boss does 8 auto attacks, then spit and scream, you can time an Overcharge Saber or Adrenal for the last auto attack. A fun fact is that the boss does different type of damage depending on which platform you’re tanking him on.

The 2 platforms on the sides (where tanks normally tank) and the one in the middle front between the 2 platforms where the sets of tentacles 1 and 3 spawn are the safe ones. That’s because he will do Melee attacks, if you are on any other, he will do Force/Tech attacks, that means you can even use Force Shroud. Going towards the end, make sure to save something for Tantrum.

Tactical: Friend of the Force is the best option by far for the dps check. You can Shroud a dps during the second phase so they can eat an extra slam to help push dps more. Two Cloaks is not good for phase 1 because if you stealth during an add spawn, you are going to make the add switch to someone else and kill the team.

Scum and Villainy


Nothing special here, boss can hurt when he does his knockback and can do some spikes on the main tank, so just make sure to use cooldowns to minimize damage.

Tactical: Anything, Two Cloaks is fine.

Titan 6

Titan 6 hurts a lot with melee/ranged attacks, while adds will do tech damage. For the grenades, you can’t shroud them (except on the last phase). Do not face the boss towards the group as he cleaves.

Tactical: Anything, I use Two Cloaks.


This boss will destroy the tanks if you don’t use cooldowns, due the taunt cooldown reduction being gone, you should swap every time a tank goes up. Use something to tank the boss (it has a force/tech attack, you need to figure out the timing since there’s no cast), most damage is melee, make sure to not outrange the boss too much as it will start screaming and deal aoe damage. When you go up, make sure to use a defensive for the snipers (Shroud is banned here).

Tactical: Two Cloaks or Life Warden depending if you wanna try to stealth his Force/Tech attack more often and reset medpac or just have a cooldown to heal you up fast if you need to. Life Warden seems more valuable here.

City Boss

It will all depend which team you’re going for. If you go to red, you can interrupt some of their casts and make sure to use defensives as they can hurt. If you go to green, you can pull them inside one of the buildings and LOS their casts. On gold, just Force Shroud the laser beam if you need to. If you go to blue, you can Force Shroud the dot they apply to cleanse it, making sure to not get hit by their cleave. On the sniper guy, you can use Deflection to try defending his Terminate.

Tactical: anything.


Go AFK for 15 minutes jk. The first part of the encounter doesn’t really hurt, make sure to tank the adds. You will start getting hit hard when Olok comes down since he hurts a lot. He will keep stabbing you, which means tech attacks (rip Deflection). Make sure to not stay out of range as he will throw Corrosive Grenades on the entire group if you outrange him

Tactical: Two Cloaks can help mitigate boss autos (since they are Tech), but for adds tanking you might wanna use Overwhelming Offense.


Regardless of which boss you’re taking, have Force Phase. You can cleanse Horic’s grenades with Force Speed if you have Force Phase, you can CC Break it or Shroud (if you take Tu’chuk, you can save it if healers mess up on cleanses). As Tu’chuk tank, use your defensives for when you are taking a lot of damage (if it’s close to the debuff application, you can get hit by something as the debuff applies and be super low + boss hitting you).

The first part hits extremely hard, so reducing some dtps can help the healers. Just make sure to not use all your cooldowns at the same time. If you are taking Sunder, kite him around and make sure to taunt after he finishes casting fixate (he also goes to closest target). For when Garr starts backstabbing, he goes to the closest person (spec into stun DR and try to stand next to him if you aren’t kiting Sunder). If your group goes for Sunder last strategy like 5.0, just reminding you don’t have Force Speed DR anymore, so you might have to tank swap for defensives once you run out.

Tactical: Two Cloaks. Makes a big difference at the end if you’re doing Sunder last.


There’s a lot of damage going out during first dragon phase. Save your deflection for when the dragon starts spinning and you have to soak for the group. You can mitigate the dot afterwards with Shroud. Use your other defensives when you’re tanking the dragon. I usually tank swap during the chokes only, but all changes on group preference. For when Styrak is down, damage taken reduces a lot, you should still try to mitigate his Thundering Blast since it hurts (sometimes he will do that + a melee attack at the same time).

You can Force Shroud it. After 10 minutes of manifestations, second dragon should be up. One of the tanks should save their Defense based cooldown for after the dragon dies (Deflection, Saber Ward, Fuel) so they take Styrak and have some chance of living. While dragon is alive, if you have a cooldown like Overcharge Saber or Adrenal, you might be able to keep him until like 10 stacks (back in 5.0, I was able to hit 15 stacks, but that was with Force Speed DR being a thing too), if you don’t have defensives, just swap at low stacks to avoid deaths.

Tactical: Friend of the Force has the most value out of all tacticals for this encounter as you can guard someone during both dragon phases and make healing easier since the raid DTPS is really high there.

Hateful Entity

This secret boss encounter is all about your positioning and not getting one shot when you’re getting towards the end of the encounter. The main thing you need to know about this encounter is the fact the boss will pull people into the circle at some point (will depend on how you can desync his rotation by LOSing him or pushing). Be careful to not stack circles too close to each other as the group might die when they get pulled into double circles. You can tell when the pull is going to happen, it’s aprox. after 2 circle drops but it shifts a little every time the boss pulls the group. If you have boss threat, you do not get hit by Dread Touch or Death Mark.

Tactical: Friend of the Force is the best since you can bring an extra Powertech/Sniper and not worry about cleanse.

Dread Fortress


The easiest NiM boss by far. For the most part you don’t even need to use your defensives, but you can do that to reduce dtps and use your Force Shroud to cleanse the dot.

Tactical: Do you even need one here?


This boss can have some tough healing parts (talking about wave 5). I usually use my Force Shroud to take all the subteroths at the begin (try to time it for when they are going to die, or you are going to die). I use my deflection while tanking him when he comes down again, save my Force Shroud for Dismantler cast since you can just take both and time it to not get debuffed, otherwise just taunt off people that got kicked.

On the wave 5, I use Overcharge Saber and Adrenal while tanking him since group will be taking massive damage and healers will have to focus on healing the group (since there were triple Bulwarks and you don’t get healed inside their shields). If you have your Deflection back, you can use to tank the Dismantlers, but make sure to use your Force Shroud for the kicks.

Tactical: Friend of the Force or Two Cloaks.


I recommend using defensives if you are tanking massive amount of adds (having 2 or 3 waves of adds up hurts more than the boss, that will happen if you do solo tank strat).

Tactical: Any.

Corruptor Zero

The boss himself hurts a lot, so I recommend using your defensives while you are main tanking him (there are times you can tank the boss + adds at same time and use one defensive). You can use Force Shroud for Chest Laser since the final hit hurts a lot (if you’re low, you might die) or cleanse the bleeds from the boss.

Tactical: Two Cloaks will help your survivability.


There’s a lot of pressure on tanks during this boss encounter. If you are going to tank a hand and you have the attunement debuff, make sure to use Deflection, if you don’t have it up, Overcharge Saber will help. Save your Force Shroud to eat orbs at any stacks (don’t let it hit 20).

If you decide to solo tank Brontes during Kephess phase, make sure to have your Force Shroud and Force Cloak up (I usually use it after I have 8 stacks), but my favorite strategy is to tank swap when the Kephess jumps, so you have your Force/Tech immunity to eat orbs later. You can use Deflection during the clock phase to defend some droids hit.

During six fingers phase, you should only use your Shroud once at the begin, sometimes once around 20% and maybe Recklessness and Medpac at the begin, save the other defensives for burn (if you die here, that’s on your healer). If you have Two Cloaks, you can stealth right after the Slam ends and taunt back to fully mitigate it. Now for burn phase, if you take far hand, you can use all your defensives (not all at once), start using at around 3 stacks and if you feel like you’re going to die to the last slam going into the shield, use your Force Shroud. If you take close hand, you need to save something for when you take the far hand during the swap.

For the final burn, make sure you are not letting any orb 20 stacks (usually the first orb on your side will 20 stack a few seconds before the 3rd orb spawns on your side, I recommend using focus target on the first orb that spawned if you wanna be safe, Whirlwind or Overload can help control orbs).

Tactical: Two Cloaks is the way to go.

Dread Palace


If you are going to take doubles, timing your defensives are much more important for spike damage than it was before, you can’t just Force Speed your way through it and get out without using Overcharge Saber or Adrenal like before. Prioritize Force Shroud and Force Cloak with Shroud for the Pulverizes (12s cooldown), try to time the other defensives for the spikes, as you can have it up for 2 sets of Pulverizes. If you are taking single monsters, you can just use defensives to minimize damage taken. For when Bestia comes down, you can Force Shroud the stack application (usually happens after the cast, looks like Ravage icon).

Tactical: Two Cloaks for any situation. For Double Monsters it’s amazing and you can hold Bestia for the longest time since you can Shroud her stacks more often


Make sure to use a defensive for most Thundering Blasts as it hurts a lot (you can legit go from 100% to 5% without a defensive). His Thundering Blast is Force, but his Shock is melee (so you can use Deflection for his auto attacks, while you can negate damage from Thundering Blast with Force Shroud).

Unlike before, you will have to use Overcharge Saber, Spike and Adrenal to mitigate his Thundering Blasts as you no longer have Force Speed DR. The boss is now doing an additional Thundering Blast after the Infernos.

Tactical: Life Warden since extended shroud is gone (the old extended shroud wasn’t only for regular, but it also gave you 2 extra seconds on stealth Shroud, without that, you can’t stealth and still have Shroud up for the re-casted Thundering Blast).


I recommend pre-using Deflection before taking him as his Force Charge hits super hard, same goes for his melee attacks (He’s pretty much an Assassin Tank that hits super hard, I wish my attacks hit that hard). Use cooldowns as necessary when you go inside the portal, I usually save something to tank the boss for after portals.

Make sure to not use your Force Cloak all the time as you might need to save it to do the final phase (stealthing out with the seed).

(Video) SWTOR - Apex Vanguard (Master Mode) 7.0 - Tank PoV

Tactical: Two Cloaks.


You can negate Force Execution damage with Shroud, you can also use Deflection to try defend some of his hits (including when he randomly throws you into the sky, you can defend that, not talking about the conal knockback that you need to move out). You should use defensive cooldowns inside the challenge and after the 2 challenges, you can just use it to minimize dtps and to not get globaled by execution. The challenge is all AoE Force damage.

Tactical: Two Cloaks.


It will all depends on which boss you’re taking. But regardless, I recommend saving your Force Shroud to cleanse Death Marks. If you are taking Calphayus, make sure to not stand in his puddles as you take 90% reduced healing and he takes 90% reduced damage. He has an ability named Crystal Projection, he doesn’t cast or anything, just throws crystals at you every 12 seconds and the crystal hurts a lot.

You should definitely try to mitigate it as it can kill you (hopefully Bestia tank won’t buff it or you’re dead). If you are taking Bestia, make sure to mitigate Force Push (the knockback) since that hurts a lot, you can use your Deflection for normal Melee attacks too. If you are good at timing, for the most part, you can time your Force Shroud to cleanse the Death Mark with the Force Push, so you completely ignore the damage + cleanse the mark. Make sure to not run Bestia on top of the other Dread Masters or you will buff their damage and might wipe the group as they can one shot people (Tyrans can one shot with his Thundering Blast if buffed).

If you have a defensive to tank the Dragon, I recommend using it. Third phase is the same except they do more damage if you don’t pick up crystals on thrones (which you are not going to do during tank swaps, only if kiting), if you do, it’s less damage taken. If you’re trying to kite after the changes, Juggernauts are kings.

Tactical: Friend of the Force is the best pick for this encounter as you can cleanse death marks and help on the raid DTPS.



If you are picking up adds, just make sure to keep them away from the circle and the main tank. Depending on your group, you might wanna tank swap on the Delicious debuff. If you are tanking Sparky and decide to not tank swap, make sure to use something when you are at higher stacks (around 3 or higher than that). You can Force Shroud her Shoulder Throw (the backwards knockback) to avoid getting knocked into the middle of the room.

Tactical: No preference.


Make sure you are one of the 2 highest threat as the boss keeps swapping between first 2 threat. You don’t have to do barrels anymore, but if you wanna do, make sure to swap with your co-tank on who is doing barrels after every single one. I usually use my defensives when I feel like it’s needed in here.

Tactical: No preference, maybe Friend of the Force for a dps.


If you are doing the solo tank strategy, I recommend saving defensives for the swap moment, so you can just face tank him. Avoid fire.

Tactical: No preference.


This boss is usually painful for most groups and requires progression. NEVER take Force Phase for this and avoid using Phantom Stride during burn. If your co-tank is a Juggernaut or Powertech, you should take Master. His auto attacks hurt a lot and they are Tech attacks, so Overcharge Saber, Adrenal, Recklessness and Force Shroud are your friends here.

I save my Force Cloak to vanish his Ion Cutter cast, while using defensives at high stacks and swapping bosses for cooldowns depending on the amount of stacks as they do different type of attacks (Blaster is ranged, Master is tech).

Tactical: Two Cloaks no matter which boss you’re taking as you can stealth Blaster’s knockback or Master’s beam (you can solo Master even by stealthing 3 beams and shrouding one).


This encounter is about doing the mechanics. If you are tanking Pearl, make sure to use a cooldown for when Cora dies as he’s going to enrage (have stun DR too) and taunt him as soon as he isn’t immune to taunts anymore. Ruugar hits harder than Cora, but make sure to swap at 2-3 stacks and never point your back towards him as he will stab you and do a lot of damage. I usually don’t worry about standing in the mines.

Tactical: Friend of the Force for the mouse droids is probably the best option as you don’t really need Two Cloaks.

Temple of Sacrifice


You can Force Shroud the red circle.

Tactical: No preference.


If you are doing solo tank strategy, you will need a good cooldown usage, while during normal strategy, just stand out of circles and use cooldown to minimize dtps.

Tactical: no preference, but if you’re solo tanking, Life Warden is the best.


I recommend pre-using Deflection before you pull the boss to avoid global.

Tactical: No preference.


There’s nothing special here. Just make sure to face adds away from the group as their cleave hurts.

Tactical: No preference.


You can use Dark Stability on Deflection to avoid getting knocked off the edge (it doesn’t prevent knockback, it will prevent Revan from stunning you, so if you are not stunned, he can’t push you, that’s why CC breaker works). You can cloak it too. It’s recommended to use a defensive cooldown on second floor since his damage dealt is buffed. Your Overload is very useful to knock blades off the edge.

You can Force Shroud some of his cleaves and Trail of Agony stacks and damage. For core, you can Phantom Stride the core to move out for pull ins (it should be up for most of them).

Tactical: No preference, Friend of the Force has its uses outside of first phase like mitigation for group members, Two Cloaks can cheese the knockback from Revan on first floor a few more times and use it as defensive on second floor and Life Warden can help you during second floor and core.

Gods from the Machine


The first boss of GFTM can be pretty difficult to deal with for the first time due the add management and tanks learning how to deal with Energy Wave knockback. One of the most common issues are tanks trying to avoid getting knocked off the edge and end up cleaving an add due all his attacks being a cleave (including melee attacks). If it’s your first time ever, you might have some trouble while learning but your group should be a little patient while you’re learning.

Assassins/Shadows have ways to deal with Energy Wave knockback besides the normal way (pointing the cleave to open spots). Force Cloak can cancel the cast and avoid the knockback since he won’t re-cast it for a while (I usually use it for high stacks Energy Wave where I have to edge tank the boss and there aren’t too many open spots).

There’s a way to deal with it using Phantom Stride/Shadow Stride, which is inconsistent and I only recommend if there’s no other option, where you get knocked off the edge and activate Phantom Stride mid air, there’s a 50% chance it will work even timing properly. The Legendary Ballast Point works to mitigate the knockback (not the damage, but getting knocked off).

Energy Wave is the ability that deals the most damage as well, but Assassins can mitigate every single one while they are tanking the boss. Tyth usually casts 3 energy waves before inversion and you can mitigate it with Force Shroud, Adrenal, Overcharge Saber and Vanishing. Don’t forget to have a defensive cooldown popped whenever you’re tanking Tyth since the adds don’t do as much damage and the boss hits really hard. If you stealth the Energy Wave cast, he won’t re-cast until he is supposed to cast again.

Important Note: If the boss is enraged, he won’t gain any stack if cleave an add. (he’s already at full rage).

Don’t forget to take Overload, Electric Bindings can root guardians during inversion and make tank swaps easier since you probably don’t wanna vanish to drop threat on adds (like I mentioned before, Force Cloak can be used to avoid getting knocked off the edge and has a great value there).

Tactical: Two Cloaks.

Energy Wave
(Tyth – Energy – Force/Tech – AoE)
The big cleave that deals massive damage and knocks whoever is inside the area. Knockback distance and damage dealt changes with amount of stacks on boss

(Tyth – Energy – Melee/Ranged – AoE)
AoE melee attack. You can see the telegraph on the ground. Size of the cleave changes depending on amount of stacks.

Melee Attack
(Tyth – Energy – Melee/Ranged – AoE)
His basic attack.

Guardian Blast
(Guardian – Kinetic – Melee/Ranged – Single)
Guardians basic attack.

Volatile Platform
(Guardian – Internal – Force/Tech – AoE)
Whenever the guardians die, they explode and deal Volatile Platform to everything within 30 meters (including other adds).

Energy Lance
(Lance – Energy – Force/Tech – AoE)
Lance regular beam. If you get hit by it, it decreases your Shield Chance by 0% (avoid getting hit unless you really can’t while trying to unshield Justices)

Energy Pulse
(Justice – Energy – Force/Tech – AoE)
Damage dealt while inside Justice shield


Compared to VM pre-nerf, the fight doesn’t change for tanks. Make sure to focus on having the correct color, tank swaps and grabbing countermeasures as soon as possible if your group has tanks doing it. A lot of damage is avoidable by just using the proper color. Shroud and Stealth on the bombs will help reduce DTPS and spike damage. The Overdrive bombs at the end of the encounter can be stealthed and cancelled.

Important note: Sometimes they will cast Remote Access right before the jump (usually only one tank gets it), so make sure to swap before they come down in case that happens or the tank might get spiked.

Remind: Aivela does Positive damage (blue) and Esne does Negative damage (red).

To mitigate Positive/Negative damage, my priority is:
Purification > Polarized Energy Burst > Radiance/Polarized Ranged Attack.

Tactical: Friend of the Force for healers during the bombs and dps can use for the rest of the fight.

Abilities used by the Sisters and their adds:

Ranged Attack
(Sisters – Kinetic – Melee/Ranged – Single)
Basic ranged attacks.

Polarized Ranged Attack
(Sisters – Kinetic – Melee/Ranged – Single)
Basic attacks with polarization can either be positive or negative depending on which boss is attacking you.

(Sisters – Elemental – Force/Tech – AoE)
Radiance Spawns during Phase 2 (the phase where dps soaks beams from Nexus). Make sure you have the correct color while tanking the boss to avoid taking damage from Radiance (you also gain stacks that increase your damage taken from Positive/Negative damage)

Polarized Energy Burst
(Sisters – Elemental – Force/Tech – AoE)
The famous bombs. They can do significant damage if you have stacks from Radiance. Targets are always random

Overdrive Energy Burst
(Sisters – Elemental – Force/Tech – AoE)
Also known as double bombs. They only happen once bosses enter on Overdrive Mode (Burn Phase). If you don’t have a color for some reason, you will take damage from both Positive and Negative, so make sure you selected a color in case you died and just revived.

Super Energy Burst
(Sisters – Elemental – Force/Tech – AoE)
Also known as big bombs. Happens during first phase when they jump to the side platforms. Just make sure to have a color and don’t stack them since they cast 5 bombs (3 are double and one of each color).

Pulse Fire
(Countermeasure – Kinetic – Melee/Ranged – Single)
Countermeasures basic attacks. NOTE: They apply the healing output stacks at double rate on Master Mode.

Residual Burn
(Nexus – Internal – Force/Tech – AoE)
Damage dealt by Charge Fire (Nexus beam during Codex phase)

Pulse Fire
(Codex – Energy – Melee/Ranged – Single)
Codex basic attack

(Glare – Elemental – Force/Tech – AoE)
The famous wiper beam. You might die if you’re not using the correct color or pop Force Shroud (I only use it for emergency, like getting spiked or some bad rng beams during Overdrive Mode).


The boss does a lot of damage and has a tight dps check, but you can run skank for this encounter if you know when you’re going to get hit hard and pop something. If you have a Juggernaut or Powertech tank in the group, they are going to be better at skanking than Assassins (they do a lot of damage and can survive the boss very well while they have cooldowns up). It is important to know when to use cooldowns since everybody will take a lot of damage during certain phases and avoid eating spike damages without cooldowns (Energized Slice and Reflexive Slice deals the big spikes, but you will take a lot of damage from Slash).

Knowing positioning (where mines are located, burn phase and where to place mass distortions) and when to pop cooldowns are keys to succeed and make it easier for everybody.

Note: Be careful with tank swaps due his Reflexive Slice.

If you get Mass Distortion and you’re standing on awkward spots, you can pop Force Shroud and move with it without taking damage. Force Cloak makes tank swaps easier since you can vanish once for a swap as long as your co-tank has 2nd threat on boss (for next swap, you gotta taunt since you won’t have 2nd threat on the boss since you vanished). Vanishing for a swap makes everything a lot smoother since the boss won’t cleave both tanks or the group even.

Stealthing out the Energize Slice will make him cast Reflexive Slice after you taunt, but it shouldn’t hit the main tank (it will hit the group members if they are in front of the boss).

Having Whirlwind or Overload can help the group and yourself since you can CC a healing add in case your reveal is on cooldown (depending on candle order) during couplings or if you are trying to control an Extermination Droid during phase 3 and wants to grab a power cell while you have threat. In the case of the Extermination Droids, you can root them with Overload and kite them which makes it easier to grab powercells.

Tactical: Two Cloaks for survivability.

Abilities used by Nahut and his droids:

(Nahut – Kinetic – Melee/Ranged – Single)
His basic attack.

Energized Slice
(Nahut – Energy – Force/Tech – Single on the main target/AoE on anyone else)
His casted cleave. Does a lot of damage if you don’t mitigate at all. 120º Cleave.

Reflexive Slice
(Nahut – Energy – Force/Tech – AoE)
His cleave after a taunt. Does the same amount of damage as Energized Slice but the area is smaller, 90º cleave.

Rending Cloud
(Nahut – Internal – Force/Tech – AoE)
AoE damage inside his shield during first phase. Damage is increased depending on stacks. Tanks shouldn’t take as much damage as dps from it since boss is constantly moving.

Railgun Snipe
(Nahut – Kinetic – Force/Tech – AoE)
Rail Shot he does during Couplings Phase. It cleaves whoever is within the line and applies a debuff that decreases your health. Sometimes you might go into Phase 3 with the debuff and you have to tank the boss, so make sure to have cooldowns up.

Mass Distortion
(Singularity Chamber – Internal – Force/Tech – Single)
Literally an electro-net, if you get it, don’t move. Casted on the main tank by Nahut.

Mass Distortion Field
(Singularity Chamber – Internal – Force/Tech – AoE)
The puddle that drops once Mass Distortion debuff expires.The tank who dropped it won’t take damage from it for a few seconds after it drops.

Powered Conduit Ring
(Singularity Chamber – Internal – Force/Tech – AoE)
Electrified Floor. Deals massive damage.

Plasma Vent
(Singularity Chamber – Elemental – Force/Tech – AoE)
Fire that comes from the vents. Deals massive damage.

(Video) SWTOR - Izax NiM on Jugg tank

Gravitic Shockwave
(Singularity Chamber – Elemental – Force/Tech – AoE)
Damage from the pull-in during phase 3 (sometimes you take it, sometimes you don’t)

Gravitic Storm
(Singularity Chamber – Elemental – Force/Tech – AoE)
Damage taken from standing in the middle of the room after first jump.

Melee Attack
(Extermination Droid – Kinetic – Melee/Ranged – Single)
Droids basic attack. Deals a lot of damage so make sure to deal with them during phase 2 and phase 3.

Energy Burst
(Extermination Droid – Elemental – Force/Tech – AoE)
Cast. Does a lot of damage to close targets.


Didn’t really change from HM except everything deals a lot more damage and having to tank turrets for a longer period.

During Omega Protocol Droid phase, make sure to pay attention to his Priming Ignition stacks so you know when Accelerated Destruction is coming (around 11 stacks, you can identify by a buff he gains 1 second before, looks like Blazing Bolts). As an Assassin, you can Force Shroud the full duration of Accelerated Destruction and take no damage (hurts really hard without shroud popped, you will die in 1 gcd). He builds stacks faster if you interrupt any of his casts while he’s vindictive, so your shroud might not be up in time if people keep interrupting during vindictive. Make sure to not interrupt Accelerated Destruction unless you need to buy time for your shroud to be back up. While you’re offtanking, you can help healers by interrupting and taunting off adds on them.

The blue turret (left side looking at Scyva) in phase 2 hurts a lot, most of the damage is Melee/Ranged, so defense isn’t bad at all here. The red turret doesn’t need to be tanked for the most part and doesn’t damage as much. Remind: If you taunt blue turret mid cast, it won’t swap target, it will keep casting shots at the previous target, so make sure to soak the shots and use cooldowns specially when you don’t have stacks. If you time your defensives for the blue turret shots, you can have it up for 2 casts.

Using Force Cloak to cancel the Blue Turret cast will be helpful to reduce your chances of dying (the Turret is the most dangerous enemy in this encounter as it can one shot you if you don’t have any defensives up in case the luck isn’t on your side for the RNG mitigation). Ballast Point can help you with positioning

Since everything hurts way too much, make sure to not stand in purple and to swap for defensive cooldowns on the turret, soak Deconstruct and Destroy (tank swap for cooldowns if you need to) and don’t hit lit up orbs.

Tactical: Two Cloaks. Will help you deal with the blue turret.

Abilities used by Scyva and her droids:

(Scyva – Kinetic – Melee/Ranged – Single)
She casts deconstruct multiple times during the fight when she’s down. The idea is having the offtank soak the damage for the main tank since offtank will take reduced damage (if main tank eats, gain stacks that increase damage taken from it, while threat increases stacks if offtank soaks). Chances of the main tank losing threat at some point. Scyva is immune to taunts during deconstruct cast.

(Scyva – Kinetic – Melee/Ranged – Single)
Same thing as Deconstruct but only happens when Scyva is in burn phase. Instead of increased damage stacks, it is healing reduced.

Organic Destruction Array
(Scyva – Energy – Force/Tech – AoE)
Purple on the ground, ticks aprox. 15k every 0.5 seconds. Avoid at all costs

(Scyva – Elemental – Force/Tech – AoE)
Her conal that makes orbs red. Make sure to not hit a red orb more than once or you might cause a wipe. Sometimes you can interrupt it (don’t rely on it).

Atomic Scattering
(Scyva – Energy – Force/Tech – AoE)
Damage that can be avoided by being on the correct gravity side and using the jump module (left facing the boss when you enter in the room). On NiM, if you take more than one atomic without jumping on the correct gravity side, you die. Being on the outer ring when it’s not open deals Atomic Scattering damage as well.

Extinction Protocol
(Scyva – Energy – Force/Tech – AoE)
Circles during burn phase. Avoid getting hit by them since they hurt.

Core Radiation
(Scyva – Energy – Force/Tech – Single)
Damage going out whenever you attack her during Ignite Core

High Density Round
(CFA-Railgun – Kinetic – Melee/Ranged – Single)
Turret basic attack. Make sure to soak the blue turret shots or taunt before the cast starts so they hit you.

Melee Attack
(Omega Protocol Droid – Kinetic – Melee/Ranged – AoE)
His basic attacks. Can cleave other players as well.

Accelerated Destruction
(Omega Protocol Droid – Kinetic – Force/Tech – AoE)
His beam hurts a lot and decreases healing received. Whoever stands in front of the boss will take damage from it. Casts around 11 stacks of Priming Ignition

Composite Cannon
(Omega Protocol Droid – Kinetic – AoE)
Damage during Accelerated Destruction

Explosive Force
(Omega Protocol Droid – Kinetic – Force/Tech – AoE)
AoE damage he deals to whoever is inside the shield if cast goes off. Damage ramps with Priming Ignition stacks.

(Stasis Swarm Droid – Kinetic – Force/Tech – Single)
Cast the small add does. Make sure to interrupt it or run away/knock/pull to cancel their casts since it hurts a lot.

Deflected Blast
(Sterilization Array Module – Elemental – Force/Tech – AoE)
The deflected beam from the turret during the first phase, make sure to not eat the beam since it hurts a lot.


If you have cleared Izax HM pre-nerf, you will find the fight is super similar. Same mechanics for tanks, just have to execute perfectly or near perfect. Cooldown usage matters a lot more than it did before since you can easily go from 100% to 20% hp within 2 seconds. There’s a lot of pressure on you while getting used to the NiM version due all the damage going out. Please don’t double tether the boss in burn. The most important thing during Izax is to be able to do the mechanics efficiently.

Tactical: Friend of the Force is the best. You can guard Shroud the Inductions, Saturation Volley and even Scyva during phase 5.

Abilities used by Izax:

Magnetar Plasma Cannon
(Izax – Kinetic – Single)
The hit from Head cannon. You can’t really avoid that damage unless you have rebounders

Plasma Field
(Izax – Elemental – Force/Tech – AoE)
The circle dropped from Head Cannon hit. Avoid at all costs, if you’re going to stand on it, pop something.

(Izax – True damage – AoE)
His Omnicannon during p2-p3 transition hurts a lot, so if you have medpac use it, if you’re going to taunt tethers right after that, make sure to pop a cooldown since everybody is low.

(Izax – True Damage – AoE)
Avoid getting hit by swipe unless you have Binding Shockwave (root). Swipe one shots you on NiM, you can’t mitigate and you should avoid stepping on Germicidal Field.

Germicidal Radiation Field
(Izax – Internal – Force/Tech – AoE)
The yellow field under Izax. Avoid stepping into it since you gain stacks of reduced healing received from any source and lasts 2 minutes (which means, a lot of stacks = no heals during phase 2 and you take a lot of damage there)

Power Slam
(Izax – Energy – Force/Tech – AoE)
The slam he does after a few swipes. Avoid getting hit by it since one shots players.

Saturation Volley
(Izax – Force/Tech – AoE)
Orange circle under Anchor droids.

Missile Volley (Transition)
(Izax – Internal – Force/Tech – AoE)
Missiles during transition from Phase 4 to Phase 5. Avoid getting hit since they reduce your healing received by 95% per stack and you might die just because you got hit.

Induction Cascade
(Izax – Elemental – Force/Tech – AoE)
Debuff that goes on the DPS. You will ONLY get hit as tank if you stand on top of the dps with Induction (but not your fault if the dps doesn’t move, your fault if you chase them).

Missile Volley (Phase 2, 3 and 4)
(Izax – Internal – Force/Tech – AoE?)
Orange circles he drops during phase 2. During phase 3, he drops on Conductor droids and players when interrupted (Conductors have higher priority on getting targeted). During phase 4, Izax drops the missiles on Amplifiers after he jumps. NPCs are going to get one shot by it, but players only take some damage and gain a debuff that increases damage taken from all sources. Avoid it.

Magnetic Tether
(Electro-Tether Droid – Elemental – Force/Tech – Single)
Tether beam. If you’re tanking multiple tethers, make sure to pop a cooldown since they hurt.

Electrical Overload
(Arena – Elemental – Force/Tech – AoE)
Electrified floor

High Powered Laser Cutter
(Hull Cutter Droid – Energy – Melee/Ranged – Single)
Casted attack. Make sure to interrupt/stun if possible. Tanks shouldn’t take a lot of damage from it before phase 5 since dps are tanking them for the previous phases.

High Powered Laser
(Hull Cutter Droid – Energy – Melee/Ranged – Single)
Basic attack.

Energy Beam
(Energy Drone – Energy – Force/Tech – AoE)
Blue beam. You can LoS the damage with an Amplifier, just make sure to charge the amplifiers with the correct amount of stacks even if that means eat damage.

Deflected Beam
(Amplifier – Energy – Force/Tech – AoE)
Red beam. Damage is increased depending on stacks.

Energy Beam
(Makeshift Energy Drone – Energy – Force/Tech – AoE)
Blue beam. Works the same way as Energy beam from regular Energy Drone.

Deflected Beam
(Makeshift Amplifier Drone – Energy – Force/Tech – AoE)
Works the same way as the Deflected Beam from the regular Amplifier

Recently Charged
(Makeshift Amplifier Drone – Energy – Force/Tech – AoE)
Whenever the amplifier is charged more than once, it will deal an AoE damage to the whole raid.

(Overloaded Bypass Conduit – True Damage)
85% absolute damage on the target. Make sure you have enough health before doing that. You can Tether the conduit and kill every add that’s in between you and the conduit

Dxun (Master Mode)


You can Force Shroud the Acidic Jet and the 30 stacks hit (you take no damage if you Shroud, if you don’t, it will hit for almost your full hp bar and it’s AoE, which means you can kill the group if you’re standing on top of people). I recommend using defensives while tanking Thrasher (if you can even see them).

Tactical: with the strat my group does, Friend of the Force is required, but you can use any other tacticals here.

Encounter 1

Make sure to taunt the Droid in time or a dps will get one shot. Use cooldowns as necessary depending on your strategy (my group has dps picking up stims to push the droid and reapers faster, so we are forced to use defensives to tank the droid and tank swap, but you can have a single tank picking up every stim and solo tank the droid). In this case, I take droid 2, 5, 6 and 8 (if we get a 9th, I take this one too but I only have Overcharge Saber, since we are in the room if that happens, I just pick up stims). I use Deflection for 2, 5 and 8, every other defensive popped at once for 6.

Tactical: for the strategy my group does, I use Life Warden as I’m in danger of dying during droid 6 if I don’t defend and RNG mitigation isn’t with me.

You have enough time to pop defensives and taunt before the dps with the droid dies. Every time the droid stealths, the threat on him is reset. If you’re having trouble trying to tab target or click on the droid, you can AoE taunt to guarantee it on you.

Encounter 2

I always recommend resetting the encounter (pulling and stucking) in case you used any flare or stim for the previous one. The first part is very similar to VM, you just gonna need defensives to tank the Crab (and use flare on them as they hurt a lot). For the Titan 6 droid at the end, Force Shroud is a great defensive (it will prevent the fire damage).

Tactical: Two Cloaks. Having extra Shroud for the fire at the end can help your survivability. You can also have it pre-loaded if your group has a trash strategy after the encounter is done where your stealther tank will sap the medics and just plant the battery without pulling extra packs (like my group)

Mutant Trandoshans

It will depend which boss you’re tanking at the time. They do a lot of melee attacks but they can also deal force/tech attacks (like Kronissius breath, fire from Greus, the puddles from Hissyphus, Titax Strike). Your cooldown usage will depend a lot on your strategy and how you are dealing with each boss. Note: Since MM got released, any ability that cleanses movement impairing does break the root from Kronissus as he keeps slowing you and Force Shroud (not Stealth Shroud) can cleanse the freeze if you get caught in his breath. You can cleanse yourself if you’re taking Hissyphus.

Most groups have a dps on Greus and Titax, while tanks take Hissy and Kron. Defensive wise, you wanna use them to reduce DTPS if you’re tanking Kronissus as he does the most damage. Assassins are great to tank Kronissus as you can break every slow before the breath and never get caught if you do it right (he will do 5 melee attacks then breath, Force Phase can do the job, since Force Speed and Phantom Stride can break slows. I recommend saving CC breaker for emergency in case you really need or for when you have to bring him into the tracks).

For Ultimate Hunter, Assassins are kings as they can shroud and stealth his Flamethrower. Ramp strat is recommended here.

Tactical: Two Cloaks. Ultimate Hunter will be a lot easier if you have it.


He has ranged attacks, while adds will melee you a lot. You can Force Shroud the Penetrating Shot and Egg Snipe but won’t prevent the debuff from applying, only the damage. If you have to tank a lot of adds, I recommend saving all you can to do that as more adds = a lot of damage taken. Assassins are also amazing at scoring birds and controlling adds.

Tactical: Life Warden


Again, another encounter that will depend on how you are dealing with mechanics. You can cleanse your Contagion with Force Shroud or Cloak (be aware where you are cleansing it). Your mobility is also really good due Force Speed (as you can do that before you pick up the battery and run super fast). You might wanna use cooldowns for when the boss is enraged or if he is at high stacks. You can also Force Shroud the Acid Blast damage but you wanna save it for cleanses. Getting the mechanics done is more important than anything. On Master Mode, make sure you have enough stims for every Bloodlust and Ultra Violence. Stealthing will make the adds lose your sight and you won’t get pulled.

Plan your swaps, communicate with the team, progging this boss is stressful and will require you to not freak out and be able to adapt in case something goes wrong. The main reasons I recommend doing Tank swaps for Apex is cooldown efficiency (boss hurts A LOT) and running the battery will apply invisible Acceleration stacks, which will make your Tired stacks go up faster, which eventually will make you get a stack per second (you can get around it by using /stuck at some point and getting revived, but I don’t recommend for prog as people can die during Ultra Violence or if something goes wrong and you can’t continue due to that, having both tanks knowing how to do battery makes a lot easier for everyone).

Be extremely careful while picking up charges as the counter on the battery is bugged, you actually might have to count how many charges you had previously and how many you will have while picking them up. Blowing up a battery too early might cause a wipe since it will be hard to recover depending on the point. Sometimes charges are overlapping on the ground and you gotta be super careful to not pick up too many or not enough for mechanics. Pay attention to the “Battery is fully charged” message to make sure you don’t blow up.

The point you’re going to be in most danger of dying is post stim usage, as you have less hp and boss will still hit hard (you aren’t in danger of dying during Bloodlust and Ultra Violence if you used stims as you get 100% defense), so make sure to chain a defensive after the stim if you have available. Don’t forget that blowing up a battery will remove 5 stacks from the boss and break the Target Lock.

Tactical: I recommend using Two Cloaks as you can do extra cleanses in case you get extra contagion from running battery and to stealth if adds are targeting you. You can also stealth 2 spits during Acid Deluge and move the boss less (which means less flares wasted, don’t need to rush for the wash and less movement). Friend of the Force is a good option for cleanses if your composition demands extra cleanses.

How to get and use Starparse

One important tool used by raiders on SWTOR is Starparse, a program that reads your combat logs generated in-game. You can download it here: http://ixparse.com/

To enable Combat Logs, you need go to Preferences > Combat Logging > check the “Enable combat logging to file” and restart your game.

Once you have Combat Logs enabled and Starparse downloaded, you need to join a group on Starparse. To join a group, go on Raiding > Settings and type the group name + password (your raid leader will probably have it made for the team to use). You can make your own group too if you want for parsing or something. Once you have everything set up, click on Raid.

Once you join the Raid on Starparse, should show a lot of info like DPS, DTPS, TPS, HPS, EHPS, APM. After each pull, should display death log for when you die, showing the exact time you or somebody died.

Once you click on one of the Deaths, should display the last 10 seconds of all the actions (includes bosses attacks, healing received, damage done, damage taken). Checking death logs can be important since it can say how did you die so quick, if you could pop a cooldown or was just lack of heals. Here is an example of a death log, you can check and uncheck the options for a better view.

If you wanna have Starparse overlays displaying on your screen, go to Interface and check the ones you want and move them around your screen (place where you want them to be). Once you set them the way you want, just check “Lock Overlays”, so you dont move them around by accident for just clicking them.

About the Author

People call me Jaydenz or Jay, I have played SWTOR since 3.0 came out but I didn’t start raiding until the last couple weeks of 3.0 and since then, I’ve cleared all the HM/NiM content available in the game pre 6.0 as Tank and DPS. Played all the 3 tank classes and Powertech DPS for the most part. Cleared most content as healer too. All the clears include World First 5/5 Gods From The Machine NiM/MM and World Second Timed Run, for Dxun I got World Second full clear, World First Timed run and World First Ultimate Hunter. Cleared all the old content in 6.0 after Veteran’s Edge was removed. I raid with <Failure> Group Emerald on Satele Shan and used to raid with <Origin> on Star Forge. Raided in 7.0 until April and cleared all the Master Mode raids except for Gods from the Machine pre-nerf as I took a break from the game right before my team went in, came back in September for a short period and cleared R4 Veteran. I still keep up to date with the game and love helping new players trying to get into it.

I would like to thanks Dongo and Sevenfaced for the opportunity in Failure, Roscoe for giving me a chance in Origin, Firebrand and Jacen for giving me some of my first raiding opportunities in Entity and all my teammates and friends like Sabz, Var, Pres, Kell, Nyyah, Jackie, Adorbs, Deatch, Mac, Auro, Mon, Blas, Spice, Laet, Buff, Cliff, Marisi, Narwhal, Karnage, Myschaa, Famine, Potter, Guzor, Pires, Parkland, Yolo, Sion and Zin. Thanks to Freaky, Nyyah and Mac for reviews and help while writing this guide.

Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/jaydenz
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/JaydenzOmega

If you would like to contact me, message me in-game or Discord Jaydenz#6788. I’m more likely to respond to Discord messages (Don’t be shy, if you have questions or want some advice, feel free to message me, I’ll be happy to help).

(Video) Failure vs Izax Master Mode | World First

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