Madness Sith Sorcerer Class Guide (PvE & PvP) by Sceviour

Overview

This guide was written by Sceviour and adapted for TORCommunity - please do not repost it elsewhere without permission from the author.

You can view the original format of this guide on the Official SWTOR Forums here.

Madness Sorcerer/Balance Sage is a spec that revolves around using Damage Over Time abilities to kill your opponents, as opposed to direct damage abilities like lightning/telekinesis which focus on burst damage. To successfully play Madness/Balance in 8v8, 4v4 and open world, your first priority is to stay alive. Mobility is key and using your utilities to focus on locking the enemy down, and keeping your distance will allow you to truly maximize your potential.

Author's Note: I am by no means the best Sorc in the world nor do I know everything 100% of the time. If you have comments, questions, or even criticisms, please by all means share them. It's only through the collection of everyones' knowledge that we can become better players and if you have a tip or find something wrong in the guide, please post below and I'll update the guide.

Also a final shout out to Naryik of the Bastion for helping me improve the guide. The end goal is to help everyone become a better player so thanks!

Gearing & Stats

Suggested Best-in-Slot Stats

All suggested PvE stats were generated by Bant aka Goblin_Lackey and assume you have a full set of relevant gear.

Name PvE | Exarch Gear (224) PvE | Exarch Gear (220) PvE | Defiant Gear (216) PvP | Exemplar Gear (208)
Crit Build
PvP | Exemplar Gear (208)
Alacrity Build
Mastery 5372 5158 4969 5468 ?
Power 2931 2779 2639 2369 ?
Critical Rating 1170 (3E, 8A, 2C) 1146 (3E, 8A, 2C) 1110 (1E, 12A, 2C) 1443 (7E, 1A) ?
Alacrity 913 (5E, 1A) 873 (5E, 1A) 833 (5E, 1A) 0 0
Accuracy 701 (2E, 5A) 685 (2E, 5A) 681 (4E, 1A) 0 0
Absorb 0 0 0 0 0
Defense 0 0 0 0 0
Shield 0 0 0 0 0
Endurance 6410 6160 5902 5435 5435

"E" = Enhancement/Earpiece/Implant, "A" = Augment, "C" = Color Crystal (+41 ones).

Name PvE | Exarch Gear (224) PvE | Exarch Gear (220) PvE | Defiant Gear (216) PvP | Exemplar Gear (208)
Crit Build
PvP | Exemplar Gear (208)
Alacrity Build
Max DPS 6560 6320 6090 ? ?
APM 41.3 41.1 41 ? ?

"APM" = Actions Per Minute, "Max DPS" = Maximum Damage Per Second possible.

Suggested Best-In-Slot Gear




Set Bonuses

As of Game Update 4.0, both PvE and PvP gear share the same set bonuses.

Pieces Set Bonus
2 Turbulence or Force Serenity and Thundering Blast or Force Leech increase damage dealt by 2% for 15 seconds. Cannot occur more than once every 30 of seconds.
4 Reduces cost of Lightning Bolt and Force Lightning or Telekinetic Burst and Telekinetic Throw by 2 and reduces the cooldown of Polarity Shift or Mental Alacrity by 15 seconds.
6 Increases Recklessness or Force Potency charges by 1.

Suggested Utility Skills

PvE

Suggested PvE Utility Build

Suggested PvE Utilities
Name Description Tier
Sith Defiance Increases damage reduction by 3%. Skillful
Empty Body Increases all healing received by 10%. Does not affect stolen life. Skillful
Force Suffusion Overload heals you and up to 7 affected allies for <<1>>. Skillful
Emersion Force Speed grants Emersion, removing all movement-impairing effects and granting immunity to them for the duration. Masterful
Suppression Activating Cloud Mind grants Suppression, which increases damage reduction by 25% for 6 seconds. Masteful
Force Mobility Thundering Blast, Innervate, and Force Leech may be activated while moving. Heroic
Shifting Silhouette Reduces all area of effect damage taken by 30%. In addition, using Phase Walk to return to its marked location grants Shifting Silhouette, keeping you from being leapt to or pulled and making you immune to interrupts and ability activation pushback for the next 6 seconds. Heroic

Comments

PvP

Suggested PvP Utility Build

Suggested PvP Utilities
Name Description Tier
Sith Defiance Increases damage reduction by 3%. Skillful
Empty Body Increases all healing received by 10%. Does not affect stolen life. Skillful
Sap Strength Targets stunned by your Electrocute suffer Sapped Strength when Electrocute wears off, which reduces all damage dealt by 25% for 10 seconds. Skillful
Emersion Force Speed grants Emersion, removing all movement-impairing effects and granting immunity to them for the duration. Masterful
Conspiring Force Targets affected by your Affliction are slowed by 30% for its duration. Masteful
Corrupted Barrier Your Static Barrier, Force Barrier, and Enduring Bastion heal you for 2% of your total health every second for as long as they last. This healing scales up to 8% with the charges for Enduring Bastion. Heroic
Surging Speed Polarity Shift increases your movement speed by 50% while active. In addition, Force Speed lasts 0.5 seconds longer, and when Force Barrier ends, the active cooldown of Force Speed is finished. Heroic

Comments

Taking Conspiring Force over Dark Resilience is something I'm still testing and honestly, its up to your play style. I like the extra slow added onto a DoT that I pretty much have up 100% of the time which makes it easier to kite everything but if you want to take Dark Resilience for the damage reduction on Extrication and +30% health on Unnatural Preservation, go ahead. See what works best for your play style.

Abilities

Discipline Abilities
Name Description Type
Steals life from an enemy, dealing <<1>> internal damage to the target and healing you for 50% of the damage dealt.Casted
Paralyzes the target in fear, dealing <<2>> internal damage over 18 seconds and immobilizing it for 2 seconds. The immobilizing effect cannot occur more than once every 9 seconds.Instant
Crushes the target with devastating force, dealing <<1>> kinetic damage initially, plus an additional <<2>> kinetic damage over 6 seconds. The target also becomes Vulnerable for 45 seconds, increasing the damage taken from Force attacks by 5%. Replaces Crushing Darkness.Casted
Creates a death field at the target location, dealing <<1>> internal damage and stealing life from affected targets to heal you for 10% of the damage dealt. Strikes up to 8 targets within an 8-meter radius. Instant

Advanced Class Abilities
Name Description Type
Immediately heals the target for <<1>>, plus an additional <<2>> over 9 seconds.Instant
Immediately restores <<1>> health to you. Cannot be used on others.Instant
Revives an incapacitated ally. This ability is usable while in combat. When used, all group members can neither use nor be the target of an in-combat revival for the next 5 minutes.Casted
Your connection to the Force shifts, granting 20% alacrity and immunity to pushback and interrupts for 10 seconds.Instant
Wipes your enemies' thoughts, instantly lowering your threat by a moderate amount.Instant
Casts a powerful Force affliction upon the target that deals <<1>> internal damage over 18 seconds.Instant
Lowers the target's threat by a moderate amount and, if the target is a group member, pulls the target to your location.Instant
Consumes the dark energy around you, restoring 40 Force. Utilizing Consuming Darkness makes you Weary, reducing your Force regeneration rate by 2 for 10 seconds. This effect can stack up to 4 times.Instant
Calls down a Force storm over the target area, consuming 60 Force and dealing <<1>> energy damage to up to 8 targets within 8 meters over the duration of the channel. Standard and weak targets have a 33% chance to be stunned by the storm each second.Channeled
Fires a charge of lightning at the target, deals <<1>> energy damage.Casted
Cleanses a friendly target of up to 2 negative mental or Force effects.Instant
Projects a Force Barrier around you, granting immunity to all control, damage, and negative effects while channeled. This ability does not respect the global cooldown and can be used while controlled. While you are protected by Force Barrier charges will build up and grant Enduring Bastion, a shield that absorbs an amount of damage based off the charges that are present when Force Barrier ended. Enduring Bastion also grants immunity to interrupts.Channeled
Surrounds the target in a lightning shield that lasts 30 seconds and absorbs a high amount of damage. The target becomes deionized and cannot benefit from Static Barrier again for 20 seconds.Instant
Heals a friendly target for <<1>> health.Casted
Increases mastery, endurance, and presence for you and your Operation group members within 40 meters by 10%. Lasts 10 seconds. Instant

Class Abilities
Name Description Type
Deals <<1>> energy damage and knocks back up to 8 enemies within a 15-meter cone in front of you. Standard and weak enemies are additionally knocked down for 3 seconds.Instant
Grants 2 charges of Recklessness, which increases the Force critical chance of your direct attacks and heals by 60% and increases the ranges of Force Lightning and Depredating Volts to 30 meters. Each time a direct Force ability critically hits or each time a channeled Force ability is activated, 1 charge is consumed. Lasts 20 seconds.Instant
Shocks the target for <<1>> energy damage. Standard and weak targets are additionally stunned for 3 seconds.Instant
Deals <<1>> kinetic damage and slows the target's movement speed by 50% for 6 seconds.Instant
Summons a dark cloud of energy to crush the target, instantly dealing <<1>> kinetic damage and an additional <<2>> kinetic damage over 6 seconds.Casted
Traps the target in a whirlwind for 8 seconds. Non-player, non-standard, and non-weak targets heal rapidly while trapped. Damage causes this effect to end prematurely.Casted
Activating this ability marks your current location for 10 minutes. When this ability is activated again, if you are within 60 meters of the marked location, you instantly return to the marked location. Phase Walk goes on cooldown for 45 seconds when used to return to the marked location. Does not break stealth.Casted
Increases movement speed by 150% for 2 seconds. Does not break Stealth.Instant
Deals <<1>> energy damage to the target and consumes 40 Force over the duration of the channel. Also slows the movement speed of the target by 50% and immobilizes weak and standard enemies.Channeled
Interrupts the target's current action and prevents that ability from being used for 4 seconds.Instant
Strikes the target twice. Each hit deals <<1>> weapon damage.Instant
Electrocutes the target, dealing <<1>> energy damage and stunning it for 4 seconds.Instant
Summons the unbreakable will of the Sith, immediately purging incapacitating and movement-impairing effects.Instant
Deals <<1>> weapon damage spread across a flurry of 3 melee attacks.Instant
Increases the target's Mastery by 5% and internal and elemental damage reduction by 10% for 60 minutes. If the target is a group member, all other group members are also affected.Instant
Seize the moment, restoring 2% of your maximum health every 3 seconds. Requires an active companion. Lasts 60 seconds. Instant

Rotation

PvE

Coming Soon



PvP

There is still much debate regarding what the best spec is for Madness PVP. My personal playstyle and theory favors going with the heavy up front burst path for solo ranked. However I've talked in length with Naryik of the Bastion who prefers to go with low burst/Crit but high Alacrity, which gave rise to the 3rd rotation below. Depending on your playstyle, pick the rotation that works best for you.

Rotation Option 1 (Recommended for Crit Spec unranked): Force Lightning -> Affliction -> Creeping Terror -> Death Field -> Demolish -> Force Leech -> Recklessness -> Force Lightning (stop it after 1 second) -> Unlimited Power -> Force Lightning x2 -> Polarity shift -> Force Lightning x3 and repeat

Rotation Option 2 (Recommended for Crit Spec Ranked): Force Lightning -> Affliction -> Creeping Terror -> Recklessness -> Polarity Shift -> Demolish -> Force Leech -> Death Field -> Force Lightning x 4 times then starting with Affliction to repeat the rotation

Rotation Option 3 (Recommended for Alacrity Spec ranked & unranked): Polarity Shift > Unlimited Power > Affliction > Creeping Terror > Recklessness > Death Field > Force Lighting > Demolish > Leech


Comments: For the 2nd rotation option, make sure to time the Force Leech -> Death field combo to hit at the same time. It's pretty easy to do but do that to have the biggest burst you can get. If you want good sustained DPS that you can just spam away from range and want good DoT spread, use the 1st rotation option. If you want high burst that can help kill a target in very little time, use the 2nd rotation option. For the first Force Lightning in both rotations, make sure you get your 4 stacks of Wrath and Fulminating Current before moving on.

Misc. Items

PvE
Name Description
Advanced Anodyne Versatile Stim Use: Increases Mastery by 198 and Power by 81 for 480 minutes. Only one stimpack can be active at a time. This effect persists through defeat.
Advanced Anodyne Attack Adrenal Use: Increases Power by 750 and reduces all healing done by 20%. Lasts 15 seconds. (Cooldown: 3 minutes)
Advanced Anodyne Medpac Use: Restores <<2>> health and an additional <<3>> health over 15 seconds. Only usable once per fight. (Cooldown: 1.5 minutes). Health restored scales by level up to level 65.
PvP
Name Description
Advanced Anodyne Versatile Stim Use: Increases Mastery by 198 and Power by 81 for 480 minutes. Only one stimpack can be active at a time. This effect persists through defeat.
Warzone Adrenal Use: Increases damage reduction by 15% for 15 seconds while fighting other players. Only usable in Player versus Player environments. (Cooldown: 3 minutes)
Warzone Medpac Use: Immediately restores 35% of maximum health. Only usable in Player versus Player environments. Only usable once per fight. (Cooldown: 1.5 minutes)

Tips & Tactics

Stay Alive

As a Sorcerer, your main job is to stay alive. In 90% of ranked games, you'll be the first focused guaranteed. Because of this, your primary goal is not dying. In all the games I've played in ranked, the games that I die first is a game I've lost, guaranteed. The games where I die after we've dropped one of the enemy team, there's a 50/50 chance of winning or losing and the games where I'm the last man standing is a 90% chance to win.

Open Up

If it's the rare 10% case where you're not focused first, then it's time to show what you've got. Utilize all the tactics in your arsenal. Kiting, Line-of-Sighting, as well as your class abilities like Force Speed, Force Barrier, and your numerous CC abilities. Typically, in the games you're not focused first, if you're not pulling top damage then you're not utilizing Madness to its full potential. When left alone to ‘Free Cast' (successfully pulling off your rotation consistently without any enemy focus), Madness Sorcerers have some of the highest DPS potential of any class in its current state.

Emersion is a must have utility

Force Speed + the Emersion utility is probably my most used escape move in ranked and it has saved my *** countless times. Plus, there's always something satisfying about watching a Jugg mindlessly slash at the air while you sprint to safety.

Use your Force Barrier strategically

Sometimes, that means saving it for the very last second before you die. Sometimes that means using it when you're being heavily focused, even though you have 100% health. This can often play to your advantage, as an opponent has a 50/50 chance of blowing their damage increasing cooldowns to open up on you early.

In games where I'm facing high burst DPS classes like Marauders and Assassins, I sometimes pop my Force Barrier as soon as they're locked on to me and starting their rotation, as that burns out their burst on my invincibility shield so that neither I or my team take that high damage. After their burst is wasted on my shield or they've wasted their time striking against my bubble, which inevitably wastes their bursts, I kill them pretty easily.

Using your Barrier is a skill that takes practice to master. It's a tactical ability, and is not a set rule that it must be used in X situation. You just have to watch, and learn, your enemies abilities, and typical patterns/rotations. Then you'll be able to easily determine when to use your barrier, to both stunt the enemies DPS potential, and save yourself from certain death.

Range is crucial

to successfully playing Madness. You're one of the squishiest ranged classes in the game. Staying away from enemies, and using your 30 to 35 meter attacks to your advantage is key to winning most fights. Height is also a significant advantage for ranges classes like yours. In maps like Tatooine Canyon, Alderaan Civil war, or Quesh Huttball, stand on the edges. Stay out of the enemy's area of focus and spam away.

Know your Maps

This goes hand in hand with #5. Take full advantage of the level design used in your maps. In maps like Makeb Mesa, or Orbital Station, it's the smart move to not take the high path first. Knockback or pulls easily separate you from your teammates, taking you out of the fight for sometimes crucial seconds, leading to a loss. In maps with two or more levels, like the ones I mentioned, I'd suggest that your team take the direct route and charge the enemy right out of the gate. Engage them and put them immediately on the defensive. This brings me to my next point.

Engage the Enemy First

Get your attacks out first, in all warzone situations, as soon as possible to try to catch the enemy with their pants down. The longer you wait, or hesitate, the more opportunity you're giving the enemy to prep, organize and get the drop on you. Which means that you'll more than likely lose. Get the first attacks out, attack them as soon as possible and try to catch them with their pants down. The more you wait, the more they prep and organize which means you are generally going to lose.

Play to your Team's Strengths

Lastly, I'm strongly of the opinion that Sorcerers are strongly dependent on their team composition. If you're stuck with a bad team, more than likely you're facing a loss. If you've got a good team with competent players, you'll probably win. If you've got an average team, then you could easily carry the team to victory. That is a rare situation however, which only happens once in a blue moon. This is all less true in 8v8 warzones. One good player could turn the tide of a battle.

Parses

PvE

Coming Soon


PvP

The following section will also have 2 separate parses. The first parse will be for the Heavy Crit gearing with the 2nd Rotation.

Heavy Crit Parse

5,638 DPS, for the time frame of an average ranked match


Heavy Alacrity Parse





The high crit build is focused towards the most up front damage to kill 1 target as quickly as possible whereas the 2nd build, for high alacrity is built for DoT spread and spreading out as much small damage to as many targets as possible.

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