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Sentinel Dueling.


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Hi folks!

 

I just rolled a new Sentinel a few days ago and am LOVING this class. I want to use it as a heal-killer in PUGs, but what I really love is dueling with friends on the fleet and in RP situations.

 

Right now, I'm running with Combat at level 23 and am really enjoying it. However, I want to put all of my practice time into the spec that will give me the best chances of winning a 1v1 fight - whether that's against a tank, a DPS, or a single unsupported healer.

 

Like I said, I'm only level 23, so I'm not invested into one playstyle or the other just yet. Any advice or insight you could offer into the 3 specs would be most appreciated.

 

Thanks in advance!

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Hi folks!

 

I just rolled a new Sentinel a few days ago and am LOVING this class. I want to use it as a heal-killer in PUGs, but what I really love is dueling with friends on the fleet and in RP situations.

 

Right now, I'm running with Combat at level 23 and am really enjoying it. However, I want to put all of my practice time into the spec that will give me the best chances of winning a 1v1 fight - whether that's against a tank, a DPS, or a single unsupported healer.

 

Like I said, I'm only level 23, so I'm not invested into one playstyle or the other just yet. Any advice or insight you could offer into the 3 specs would be most appreciated.

 

Thanks in advance!

 

Sentinel isn't the best dueling class. Jedi shadow, scoundrel, and gunslinger are all better at dueling than sentinel is.

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Sentinel isn't the best dueling class. Jedi shadow, scoundrel, and gunslinger are all better at dueling than sentinel is.

Thanks for the reply, Courier.

 

I have a Kinetic Combat Shadow, and it's great for dueling, but I'm finding I simply don't have enough burst to win a match against a healer - even in full DPS gear.

 

So, I rolled a Vigilance Guardian thinking that would be an effective heal-killer. Again, I found I didn't have enough burst to even pressure a healer, much less kill one. Oh, and I die a LOT faster.

 

So, I'm trying out this Sentinel. I'm only 23rd level, and running Combat, but I'm actually able to kill healers and I feel almost god-like against tanks and DPS. I understand everything changes at 55, but this class feels really good in a 1v1 to me.

 

Of course, I'd be glad for any more insight you could offer. Thanks again!

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Well, I have a valor 100 sentinel that I retired (Thecourier), so I'll try to give some advice. Overall, watchman isn't worth playing for PVP. The spec was crippled by the self healing nerf of patch 1.5. Focus spec, can 1 vs 1 kill most classes except sniper. You will not be able to beat snipers reliably with any of sentinel's specs. Combat's tremendous roots are very nice to have, but combat isn't a true PVP DPS spec. Combat is the team support spec (fast transcendence, roots, etc). If you like playing team support, play combat. If you like primarily DPSing, then play focus spec.

 

One mistake that I see a lot of sentinels do, is not use pacify. Pacify is extremely useful against snipers, vanguards, and mercenaries. Pacify will basically make railshot miss most of the time. Save guarded by the force for 20% health, and use force camouflage as a gap closer. For focus spec, the most important thing is placement of force sweep, and the second most important thing is using Zen extremely often. Zen is the primary way of getting singularity. Use force stasis as an extra interrupt.

 

I retired my sentinel because of rage spec getting nerfed, and watchman not getting buffed. I personally don't like precision slash as a signature attack, because it is very easy to shut out. All that is required to shut out a combat sentinel is to stun him/her when he/she uses precision slash. Too much of combat's damage is tied to precision slash (at level 23, you don't have precision slash yet).

 

So, my advice for you about sentinel would be to spec focus spec. It is the only viable DPS spec for PVP. For PVE, all three specs are viable. Focus spec can do a ton of damage, but isn't a medic killer spec.

 

Thanks for asking for advice. Hopefully you find my post to be very informative. :)

 

If Bioware buffs watchman spec, I might make a jedi sentinel tutorial video in the future.

Edited by TheCourier-
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Thanks for asking for advice. Hopefully you find my post to be very informative. :)

I absolutely find this information invaluable, and I so appreciate the time and thought you put into it. You're a good man, Charlie Brown!

 

One point of clarification I'd like to ask: You mentioned that - with the exception of snipers - that Focus Sentinels can beat most classes 1v1. Later on, you mentioned that it wasn't necessarily a heal-killing spec. Were you referring to a warzone situation where guarding, peeling, and crosshealing are involved? Using judicious interrupts, would a Focus Sentinel have a chance of beating a healer one-on-one?

 

Again, thanks so much for your time and effort!

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1 vs 1 I can kill sage and commando medics easily. Very strong scoundrel medics can be a difficult fight. Warzones have so many medics cross-healing each other, that killing medics in warzones is very difficult to do. One of the main reasons for that besides medics cross-healing, is that a lot of heals are now instant, and a lot of the heals that were instant before 2.0 got massively buffed (slow release medpac and koto cloud). Overall, medics got massively buffed by 2.0, and healing abilities such as healing trance scaled better than abilities such as masterstrike. When I was using mostly optimized gear on the PTS, my marauder's masterstrike showing a tooltip damage increase of around 22%, and most players now have around 30000 health instead of 20000 health, a 50% increase. One of the only DPS classes that scaled properly was sniper, mainly due to followthrough getting a significant buff. Sentinel and vanguard got nerfed while most other classes got buffed.

 

That being said, some if the main advice I would say about fighting medics 1 vs 1, is always keep crippling throw on the medic. That will keep a healing debuff on them. For commando, interrupt medical probe, not advanced medical probe. Advanced medical probe has a 9 second cooldown; medical probe has no cooldown. Against sages, deliverance is the heal to interrupt. Due to the changes to how healing trance works, a sage can still get 2/3 of one of sage's procs from an interrupted healing trance. If a sage is spamming benevolence, let him/her. Benevolence has a massive force power cost, and a sage can easily run out of force power if he/she is spamming benevolence. A skilled sage doesn't run out of force power quickly. While a sage is using force barrier, use strike the entire duration, and build focus. A sage is invulnerable while channeling force barrier, but can't directly attack you, so build focus. Use twin saber throw as a snare, not an offensive attack. After force jumping back to the sage , use force exhaustion (assuming that it's off cooldown), then force sweep (after 3 stacks of the singularity buff have been built), then zealous leap, then masterstrike, using force kick on the sage when he/she is channeling deliverance. After that, use duel saber throw for the snare. If you use a rotation similar to the oe that I mentioned, the sage will be snared for most of the duel, as zealous leap has a snare post-2.0.

 

For scoundrels? There isn't a great way to attack a scoundrel medic, tbh. They can spam emergency medpac at below 30% health, flashbang then heal, and cloak out when about to die.

 

The thing about sages, though, is that in a warzone, barrier doesn't have a healing debuff, so a team's other medics can heal the sage back to full health while barrier is up.

 

If you have any more questions, feel free to ask.

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Focus is the least viable 1v1 spec out of the three trees, I don't know why anyone would say otherwise. You have Sweep which hits hard and Dispatch which hits hard when they're below 30%. Other than that, you don't have much. And certainly not enough to 1v1 a healer. Combat has possibly the best burst in the game. If you don't get CC'd, Combat can take a healer down in about 6-7 seconds. And Watchman is one of the strongest dueling specs in the game. You can't beat 12% increased damage (plus 10% bonus after Force Charge which Watchman gets to use at 0 range and more often than the other trees) and self-heals.

 

That all being said, Focus will pull the highest numbers at the end of a WZ because Sweep is AoE and can do ridiculous things like hit 4 people at the same time for 8k each. And its very good in rateds because you can coordinate the Sweep burst with your other DPS to burn down any target. But you asked for 1v1 and dueling possibilities and I'm telling you, Combat and Watchman are far superior and always have been.

Edited by Aetrus
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I can use focus spec to beat any sentinel that is using watchman spec on Jedi Covenant. Ever since patch 1.5, watchman became an unplayable spec for PVP. I used watchman spec almost exclusively until patch 1.4, and watchman spec was one of my favorite specs of SWTOR. I set the Jedi Covenant sentinel record for damage dealt while using watchman spec (over 1.227 million damage). Patch 1.5 killed watchman spec. Edited by TheCourier-
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How does a healing nerf completely ruin a damage-based spec? You got 1.2 mil in Watchman pre 2.0. That's amazing. It has even more damage potential in 2.0 because of extra Juyo and Annihilate (apologies for the Mara terminology) stacks. And more ways to heal yourself (with Saber Ward, for example.) Really. If you're good at playing it you should give it another look. :p
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Hayley's giving you good info Rodney, it sounds like he/she knows what he's/she's talking about. When I said that a focus sentinel shouldn't beat a good sage or commando healer, I have a high standard for them being "good"-i.e. you should be able to beat 99% of them because the vast majority are bad.

 

I would still say watchman is better in general for dueling than focus. In a watchman vs focus sent duel- if the watchman has speced for 30% aoe dmg reduction talent in 2nd tier combat tree- they should win more, assuming equal skill and gear level. I haven't done as much watchman dueling vs other classes as I'd like since 2.0, but even in 1.7 watchman was a very good dueling spec. I made it to semis of the Bastion's 1v1 tournament about 5 months ago (post 1.5 nerf) playing watchman, losing 2-3 to a concealment op (scrapper scoundrel). But yeah I have a thread discussing ways to make the spec viable again, it's really just not good for warzones.

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Okay, so what I'm gleaning from what you guys are saying is that Watchman can handle a protracted 1-on-1, but Combat blows up too easily and is easy to shut down?

 

I've been playing around with Focus and Combat today. I like the flow of Combat, but I don't really like the way that Focus feels. I'm going to give Watchman a try later on tonight, but I'm not really sure about its rotation/priority system.

 

Again guys, this information is extremely helpful, and I appreciate it!

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Okay, so what I'm gleaning from what you guys are saying is that Watchman can handle a protracted 1-on-1, but Combat blows up too easily and is easy to shut down?

 

I've been playing around with Focus and Combat today. I like the flow of Combat, but I don't really like the way that Focus feels. I'm going to give Watchman a try later on tonight, but I'm not really sure about its rotation/priority system.

 

Again guys, this information is extremely helpful, and I appreciate it!

 

Combat is better in general for warzoning than watchman, even though its burst can be shut down. It's burst is less reliable now because of how they changed the blade storm autocrit, but it's potential burst is considerably higher because of the dispatch/precision slash reset proc.

 

This is from the lvl 55 perspective. I don't really have much advice that's more tailored to lowbies. It'll get better as you level.

Edited by JediMasterSLC
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How does a healing nerf completely ruin a damage-based spec? You got 1.2 mil in Watchman pre 2.0. That's amazing. It has even more damage potential in 2.0 because of extra Juyo and Annihilate (apologies for the Mara terminology) stacks. And more ways to heal yourself (with Saber Ward, for example.) Really. If you're good at playing it you should give it another look. :p

 

Lol, the marauder terminology is fine. I have a sentinel and marauder. :)

 

The main problem about watchman post-2.0, is that watchman takes way too long to ramp-up. Watchman has a 40ish second ramp-up time, which is way too long in PVP. Most fights last between 30 seconds to 1 minute. Another thing about watchman is that losing the merciless buff is extremely easy. 1 stun when you have two stacks of the buff, and you could very easily lose the 2 stacks of merciless buff that you had spent 30seconds stacking (counting the time between second and third stack). Watchman also got its burn damage nerfed by 9%. There was a box in the skill tree that buffed watchman's burn damage by 15% for 3 points. That was changed by 2.0 to be 6%.

 

The solution for watchman spec is to set the burn damage back to +15%, and tie the merciless buff to Juyo form, which would allow a much faster ramp-up time, without affecting PVE DPS a lot. Make each stack of Juyo reduce the cooldown of merciless slash by 1 second, for a total of 6 seconds. That would be the same cooldown as 4 stacks of merciless is now.

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Okay, so what I'm gleaning from what you guys are saying is that Watchman can handle a protracted 1-on-1, but Combat blows up too easily and is easy to shut down?

 

I've been playing around with Focus and Combat today. I like the flow of Combat, but I don't really like the way that Focus feels. I'm going to give Watchman a try later on tonight, but I'm not really sure about its rotation/priority system.

 

Again guys, this information is extremely helpful, and I appreciate it!

 

At level 23 or so, the priority for watchman would be to keep the overload saber and cauterize dots on a target. You don't get a cauterize reset until later.

 

At level 55, the rotation would be force jump, overload saber while in midair, zealous strike, cauterize, merciless slash, twin saber throw, cauterize, then masterstrike. Most players will use a knockback or stun when you channel masterstrike, so use force leap immediately afterwards. If the target is a medic, after the second force jump, use crippling throw, then work on getting the merciless buff to 4 stacks while keeping dots on the target.

 

Some people will say to use masterstrike after merciless slash instead of dual saber throw, because of clipping the first cauterize, but you will probably get stunned and/or knocked back when you use masterstrike, so make sure that you have force leap off cooldown (or almost off cooldown) before using masterstrike.

Edited by TheCourier-
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Hayley's giving you good info Rodney, it sounds like he/she knows what he's/she's talking about. When I said that a focus sentinel shouldn't beat a good sage or commando healer, I have a high standard for them being "good"-i.e. you should be able to beat 99% of them because the vast majority are bad.

 

 

A lot of sage and commando medics are awful, that is a true statement. I usually make sure that either I'm healing, or one of my friends is, so that I don't have to be concerned about whether or not my team has a medic.

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