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KBN's Guide to Combat Spec (or: how to sentinel tank)


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The full form of this guide is now mostly obsolete and has been replaced by a forum post that I threw together in an afternoon. Treat it as such. If I can get over my PTSD from the evisceration of Combat as a spec, I might flesh out this guide to be something real.

 

---

 

So I'm finally back from my trip and I got a chance to play around with new Combat a bit, though on a rather laggy connection and a toon that only has 180s. First off, I'd like to reiterate that I still believe the changes really suck and I'm very sad that they happened. With that out of the way…

 

Cooldown Drift

 

This is the most difficult skill check in this spec post-2.10. None of the cooldowns align. At all. One would want to align everything in the rotation along a cycle with a 10.5 second period. The following lists our major abilities and how they drift relative to Precision Slash.

 

A - indicates that it drifts back, while a + indicates that it drifts forward. Thus, a + is sort of ok, since we can make that ability line up by delaying it by the drift length. A - means that we cannot realign the ability without delaying Precision Slash itself. Delaying abilities to make them fall under Precision Slash is generally ok. Delaying Precision Slash is not ok. Thus, the + drifts are annoying but not problematic. The - drifts are severely problematic at various points.

 

  • Zealous Strike (-1.5s)
  • Master Strike (+1.5s)
  • Dispatch (-1.5s)
  • Cauterize (-3.5s)
  • Twin Saber Throw (+3s)
  • Blade Storm (+1.5s)

 

Zealous Strike is by far the worst offender here. The fact that it misaligns with Precision Slash by exactly 1 GCD is a real problem, since it means that every fifth Zealous Strike will come off cooldown during Precision Slash. This was a problem even with the old double-PS rotation, but it's more acute now since we only have four GCDs to build up enough focus for our next PS window (more on that in a second). The end result is that new Combat has a distinctly "Watchman-ish" flare, where the focus costs come crashing down around our ears once every few rotations.

 

Note that the above implies that you categorically must always put Master Strike inside of Precision Slash, and further implies that Master Strike must take priority over Blade Storm in such windows. Clipping Master Strike is a requirement, even under Zen. (sidebar for future investigation: this means that alacrity might actually have some value now)

 

Another implication of the above is that Dispatch should be mostly used on CD during the execute phase (regardless of proc status), except when Precision Slash has less than 2 seconds on the cooldown. In that case, delay Dispatch and use it in the first GCD of the window. The exception to that guideline is if PS has less than 2 seconds on its cooldown and Master Strike has less than 0.5 seconds and you have less than 24 stacks of Centering, in which case you should use Dispatch immediately since you won't be able to get it into the window. This does require some practice.

 

Focus Costs

 

In the old double-PS regime, we could actually predict our focus costs a bit better due to the reliable focus-builder GCD between windows and the longer rotation period. 7 focus was enough to get through any non-Zen double PS pair, and we could stick with that pretty reliably since Master Strike always went in the second window. With the more frequent PS, oddly, our focus costs have become less consistent but still potentially just as high as they were before.

 

Blade Storm goes in every single Precision Slash window. No exceptions. It does move around within the windows, but it will always be present somewhere. Thus, the only distinction between windows (absent Zen) is in the two remaining GCDs. I have broken down the focus costs of all valid windows below:

 

  • Master Strike (3 focus)
  • Dispatch (proc) > Twin Saber Throw (3 focus)
  • Dispatch (no proc) > Twin Saber Throw (5 focus)
  • Dispatch (proc) > Blade Rush (4 focus)
  • Dispatch (no proc) > Blade Rush (7 focus)
  • Blade Rush > Twin Saber Throw (5 focus)
  • Blade Rush > Blade Rush (7 focus)

 

All windows involve a focus refund of at least 1. The costs listed are the execution costs, meaning you need at least that much focus in your pool, even though you won't actually use all of it.

 

As you can see, the focus costs are pretty much the same as they used to be in the worst two cases (double-BR or Disp>BR). Every other window will involve a Twin Saber Throw, and every third window will involve a Master Strike (delaying TST). This means that, on average, you will see a "worst-case" window about 25-30% of the time, depending on RNG. That number climbs closer to 30% during the execute phase, since you're using your proc'd Dispatch outside of the PS window, uniformly increasing costs.

 

So, every 3-4 windows are expensive (7 focus) depending on HoJ RNG, while every fifth window happens without Zealous Strike. This means that every 15-20 windows, you will see an expensive window without being able to use Zealous Strike at any point before that window but after the previous one. This situation SUCKS. You basically end up having to Strike three out of your four filler GCDs, probably delaying Cauterize and maybe even not building Opportune Attack (depending on ataru RNG). The good news is that the previous window is guaranteed not to be expensive and guaranteed to have a Zealous Strike immediately prior, which means you can plan for this situation a bit in advance and save up some extra focus. Basically, the same thing you do in Watchman.

 

Zen pretty much uniformly increases PS window costs by 2 focus. There are exceptions to this (e.g. Master Strike > Blade Storm > Twin Saber Throw), but in general you should just plan on having one Strike more focus going into a PS window where Zen will be active. Thus, the worst-case scenario is a 9 focus window, which is hilariously expensive given that we need to build all of that focus in just four GCDs, potentially without being able to use Zealous Strike.

 

Managing your focus is the second-hardest thing about this spec. Since it is cooldown-dependent, and the cooldowns don't align, you could actually make a pretty compelling argument that it is the absolute hardest aspect of the spec.

 

Blade Rush

 

Correctly managing the Blade Rush buff is the last 100-150 DPS that separates a good parse from a fantastic parse. Blade Rush should be used in one of the two GCDs prior to Precision Slash, ideally in the very last one (but not mandatorially). Blade Rush should be used once every four GCDs at a minimum, but unfortunately that's not sustainable from a focus standpoint. You need to build a lot of focus between windows, and you need to get Cauterize on cooldown, and you don't always have Zealous Strike to help you out. The buff falls off sometimes and you simply can't avoid it.

 

Due to the more variable focus costs, Blade Rush seems to be used a bit less often than before. I guess that's sort of nice…

 

Oh, one thing to keep in mind here. Due to the misaligned CD on Zealous Strike, it is actually possible to hit a PS window during the execute phase without having Opportune Attack available. This can probably be avoided by using Blade Rush rather than Dispatch if you don't have OA. It can happen outside the execute phase as well if your expensive ZS-less window aligns with the cooldown on Cauterize (roughly once every 30-40 windows). Be careful. Opportune Attack is more important than keeping Cauterize or even Dispatch on CD.

 

Opener

 

I'm pretty sure the following is optimal:

 

Leap + Zen + Valorous > ZS > BR > Inspiration + Adrenal + [PS + MS > BS > Disp/TST] > Cauterize > BR > Strike > BR > ZS > [PS + BS > Disp/TST > BR]

 

You can use Blade Storm before Master Strike if you want to. I prefer to use Master Strike first so that the CD aligns more precisely with Precision Slash, thus making it slightly easier to use the second time it comes off CD. It doesn't make much of a difference though.

 

If you use the double Zen trick (e.g. for a dummy parse), you can delay your first activated Zen until after the first window, and Valorous gets paired with Inspiration rather than Zen.

 

APM

 

Due to Zen, our GCDs often drift out of alignment with the 10.5 second CD on Precision Slash. This isn't anything new. However, what is new is the fact that we don't have to worry about HoJ procing and eating a Precision Slash. This means that certain instances where we would hit the end of a GCD with about 0.2s on the cooldown of PS no longer result in a (slight) loss of APM. Previously, if we hit that situation and we had gotten an early HoJ proc in the previous double-PS window, the optimal response was to stand still for the 0.2s rather than risk an early proc. This resulted in a very slight loss of APM. Post-2.10, we don't delay anything. If PS has 0.2 seconds on it, we squeeze in another GCD and delay PS by 1.3 seconds as a result.

 

All of this means that the optimal dummy APM for this spec is probably around 50.3 (maybe 50.4).

Edited by HillaryNicole
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KBN, thanks for this; my first character was a combat sent; I've since rolled guardian and shadow tanks,and have enjoyed reading your tanking guides (over.... And over...). My sent is Watchman now, but This has inspired me to go back to combat and see if I can learn this. :o

 

Best to you and thanks again for your work for the community.

 

- Dr'daniel (sent; Shadowlands)

Deborana (shadow; Shadowlands)

Beredan (guardian; Red Eclipse)

 

((No idea how to do a cool sig ;)))

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I play 36 8 2 on my sentinel and recently experimented with 5 36 5 and the opening burst with inspiration+boundless ages+underworld seren+adrenal is around 6200 maybe more. For the first minute or two on the dummy you stay between 4500 and 3500 as most of your high hitters do not align nicely. You will continue to drop and stabilize at around 2700 or higher depending on gear and proficiency in the spec. I do 2850 atm in watchman with 2730 in combat. I prefer watchman but it seems to me that the majority of bosses benefit more from ludicrous burst damage specs. I mean, if at DG i get the doom and have to run through the pools, i lose 4 stacks of merciless and all the dots.
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I haven't gotten there in NM, but surely you can spare a few seconds to get near somebody and merciless them to keep your four stacks rolling, can't you? Or is the doom timing so tight you can't waste it at all?

 

Timing is not a problem, if your raid (especially yourself as melee dps) manages not to delete one sinlge green puddle (which is not very easy, I can tell you) so there are always 4 or more puddles to go to.

 

If that's accounted for, there's a small chance you can do it, if you're healers can spare the resources - which again is not very likely, as the encounter is very hard on them.

<- Doom has six stacks in NiM, deleting one of them in a puddle ticks for something like 3K uinprotected I think -> Before you start running, you need to pop Rebuke and Force Camouflage for damage reduction and ideally Transcendence so you can delete the stacks fast enough for Force Camouflage to stay up. If you attack Ciphas or Kelsara inbetween for Merciless stacks, you will lose the damage reduction of Force Camouflage - and you can rarely afford that (you also want to keep your medpack for the final phase (e.g. when adds spawn)).

 

TLDR: Works, if you've got a group that excels in movement and very good healers.

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This is a very interesting thread.definitly. although i would like, if possíble, some advices.

 

I see there is almost no reference into stats, and a big parte of the game is to maximize our stats with excelence!

 

What i would like to know is what are the reasonable values for accuracy, crit and surge.

 

From what i read, accuraccy should be slightly over 100% and surge around the 70's. But reguarding the crit i see no referem e number.

I ask this cause i almost 72 fully geared with bónus, But yesterday i bought the weapons master earpiece that drops on trasher. And this led me to a somehow scary number of 18.66% buffed and stimezed on critical. But i am with almost with 960 bónus damage.

 

Só in the lights of this numbers can anyone point me a secure zone to be with critical?

 

Should i go back to the relic sold on vendors with comms that puts me back with 20.38% on crit?

 

The numbers are só hard to figure :(

 

I am combat btw :)

Edited by Threjyan
bad english
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This is a very interesting thread.definitly. although i would like, if possíble, some advices.

 

I see there is almost no reference into stats, and a big parte of the game is to maximize our stats with excelence!

 

What i would like to know is what are the reasonable values for accuracy, crit and surge.

 

From what i read, accuraccy should be slightly over 100% and surge around the 70's. But reguarding the crit i see no referem e number.

I ask this cause i almost 72 fully geared with bónus, But yesterday i bought the weapons master earpiece that drops on trasher. And this led me to a somehow scary number of 18.66% buffed and stimezed on critical. But i am with almost with 960 bónus damage.

 

Só in the lights of this numbers can anyone point me a secure zone to be with critical?

 

Should i go back to the relic sold on vendors with comms that puts me back with 20.38% on crit?

 

The numbers are só hard to figure :(

 

I am combat btw :)

 

It says all you need to know about gearing.. 0 crit. 0 alacrity, accuracy to 100% rest surge. Augment with either strength or power.

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Sorry to be a bugger, But why critical=0?

 

I am linda noob in this, my best parsers sit around 2400 without adrenals, and i tried today 2 new parsers, and noticed almost no change in DPS...well maybe Less crits But in the overall they didnt change much..só i assume losing on crit doesnt make much of a diference...

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Sorry to be a bugger, But why critical=0?

 

I am linda noob in this, my best parsers sit around 2400 without adrenals, and i tried today 2 new parsers, and noticed almost no change in DPS...well maybe Less crits But in the overall they didnt change much..só i assume losing on crit doesnt make much of a diference...

 

Every point spent in crit is a point NOT spent in power and at the current tiers of gear power is simply better than crit that is why you shouldn't have any crit. If you have a lot of crit on your gear you will notice a big chance changing it to all power.

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Can we see some dummy parses?

 

Here's one that I have on hand. Gear is 72s except for enhancements, which are mostly 69. Power augments. Dread Guard relics. (It's an alt). I made at least two mistakes in this parse, and had one instance where RNG killed me and I didn't have OA going into PS. If procs had been reasonable and I hadn't made mistakes, I probably would have been in the 2900 range.

 

http://www.torparse.com/a/323084/time/1372957122/1372957422/0/Damage+Dealt

Edited by KeyboardNinja
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Master Strike

 

...

 

[PS + BS > MS] + (followed by a normal second window)

 

...

 

 

Wouldn't it be better to roll MS immediately, let the GCD expire while using it and sticking in BS right at the end of the cast? Using Zen i even manage to fit in PS + MS > BS > Dispatch in a single window if it procs during MS...

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punctuated by exactly 11.5 seconds of mind numbing boredom and pitiful damage output.

 

lol this is so true.

 

Okay I found the same thing on Valor. What I don't get is 3 in insight. Is it just for swift slash?

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Wouldn't it be better to roll MS immediately, let the GCD expire while using it and sticking in BS right at the end of the cast? Using Zen i even manage to fit in PS + MS > BS > Dispatch in a single window if it procs during MS...

 

If you do that, then you can't fit a second blade storm into your double PS windows, which is a DPS loss (even though you got master strike under PS). You really have to open the first window with BS if it has proc'd. If you don't have OA going into the natural CD on PS, then you can play games with putting MS first or similar.

 

Incidentally, you don't want to do Dispatch last in a PS window, because the animation causes the damage to hit at the end of the GCD, which often means that you lose out on the armor pen. I have my fingers hard coded to hit PS+Dispatch whenever Dispatch is up (which causes me some problems in execute phases, but otherwise works very well).

 

lol this is so true.

 

Okay I found the same thing on Valor. What I don't get is 3 in insight. Is it just for swift slash?

 

Mostly to tech up into Swift Slash. Insight is not useless because we do use Cauterize (and occasionally Force Sweep on adds), but it's definitely not a spectacular use of three points.

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Can some expert have a look into my parser http://www.torparse.com/a/330005 and tell me what i am doping wrong?

 

I can clearly see by comparising the other parser that my critical is way lower.

 

I really need to check the advices in this thread.

 

Quite simply, you're not hitting your abilities fast enough is the first thing that jumps out. A good Combat Sentinel parse is sitting somewhere around 47-49 APM, you're sitting at 43.5 APM. This comes down to reaction time on your end, reacting to HoJ procs and fitting in Precision Slash on cooldown. Next up, you need to use more Twin Saber Throw. This is absolutely crucial to maintaining damage since it 's free and hits reasonably hard. Toss in Cauterize as a filler as well. This will bump your DPS up a slight amount, but hey every little bit helps. You made a mistake and used Force Sweep, don't do that for single targets. You seem to be using Blade Storm a lot less that you should be as well, this is a massive DPS loss. As soon as you see the Opportune Attack proc, use it unless there is a Precision Slash coming off cooldown in the next GCD. This is the only time to hold on to Blade Storm when procced.

 

So to sum up; work on getting your reaction time quicker to bump up your APM, use more Blade Storm with Opportune Attack (this is a huge issue for you), and use more Twin Saber Throw.

 

Also, great guide KBN. I've always thought of Combat spec as being more a thought process than strict rotations and you've definitely gotten as much of the thought process down on paper as reasonably possible.

Edited by Mr_Fuzzle
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Can some expert have a look into my parser http://www.torparse.com/a/330005 and tell me what i am doping wrong?

 

I can clearly see by comparising the other parser that my critical is way lower.

 

I really need to check the advices in this thread.

 

At first glance, I see a couple of things. First, you didn't parse against the ship dummy, which means you were dealing with fleet lag. With combat especially, this lowers DPS by a very significant degree. Second, your APM is quite low. Ideal combat APM is around 49-50 (slightly higher if you run a 2 point Valor build). Third, Force Sweep?!?! Fourth, you didn't use Cauterize. Fifth, you opened with Twin Saber Throw (hint: you're not a guardian). Sixth, you trimmed Precision Slash windows at least once, and possibly more times as the parse went on. Be sure to never use your second Precision Slash before the first one has expired.

 

That's just what I got with a minute or two of looking. I think deeper analysis would reveal more.

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I've just wrote a guide about Carnage myself!

http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?p=6524942#post6524942

 

Your guide is a great guide and on almost all points the same as mine from another perspective. You do not go further in on the chances of the procs and what happens when you do have to delay your second precision slash/gore window and how to deal with such situations.

 

Besides that, you says master strike has 3 melee hits, in fact it is 6 melee hits. And in the opener you wait with the first precision slash/gore till after the zealous strike/battering assault which you should never do since you have 9% chance to reset the cooldown of precision slash/gore on your force charge and a 21.96% chance to reset the cooldown of precision slash/gore on your zealous strike/battering assault.

 

You use a lot of examples which makes it easy to read, but in this spec it is not about memorizing all examples but about the rules how to setup the rotation and deal with all the different situations.

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Your guide is a great guide and on almost all points the same as mine from another perspective. You do not go further in on the chances of the procs and what happens when you do have to delay your second precision slash/gore window and how to deal with such situations.

 

I thought about dwelling more on this situation. The truth is that it's almost catastrophic to delay the second PS window because of the danger of missing the next (natural CD) PS window. It also increases the slow built delay between windows which starts in the opener (when they are in sync) and builds from there.

 

Besides that, you says master strike has 3 melee hits, in fact it is 6 melee hits. And in the opener you wait with the first precision slash/gore till after the zealous strike/battering assault which you should never do since you have 9% chance to reset the cooldown of precision slash/gore on your force charge and a 21.96% chance to reset the cooldown of precision slash/gore on your zealous strike/battering assault.

 

Master Strike does have 6 hits, but 3 of them have only 77% accuracy, so saying that it is comprised of six standard melee attacks is a bit deceptive, which is why I didn't put it that way. The "three chances" claim was inaccurate though, your correct.

 

Force Leap with 100% accuracy: 9% chance

Zealous Strike with 100% accuracy: 9% on first hit, 6.93% on second (off hand accuracy at 77%): 15.3063%

 

Thus, danger of premature reset: 22.9287%

 

Annoying, but not probable enough to be a serious issue. If you go straight into Precision Slash, you have to waste a GCD under armor pen on Zealous Strike, which is a fair bit of damage lost (especially in light of inspiration, which should be up). I would have to sit down and calculate it out, but I'm guessing the expected value of the "Leap > ZS" opener is higher than the expected value of "Leap > PS", even accounting for the case where PS resets prematurely.

 

You use a lot of examples which makes it easy to read, but in this spec it is not about memorizing all examples but about the rules how to setup the rotation and deal with all the different situations.

 

I agree. People often learn by example though. I could just brain dump all of the criteria I go through to manage the various procs and how to handle different scenarios, but it's hard to absorb all of that. Better to give the general idea, pointers to where the murky stuff is, lots of examples and then let the reader figure the rest out for themselves.

Edited by KeyboardNinja
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One other question. Assuming no OA proc during a prec slash window and master strike is up, would you still go with BR, TST, BR or go MS + BR?

 

I'm assuming if it's the second window you'd use MS + BR, but if its the first window you'd go with BR, TST, BR (or even BR, BR, then TST and replace TST with BS if OA procs off the BRs). If second window and OA procs after do you immediately hit BS?

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One other question. Assuming no OA proc during a prec slash window and master strike is up, would you still go with BR, TST, BR or go MS + BR?

 

I'm assuming if it's the second window you'd use MS + BR, but if its the first window you'd go with BR, TST, BR (or even BR, BR, then TST and replace TST with BS if OA procs off the BRs). If second window and OA procs after do you immediately hit BS?

 

If you have no OA and MS is up for the first window, I would do PS + BR > MS. It's risky because of the third tick issue, but it has a much higher chance of procing the second window (and OA!) due to the BR Ataru buff. If you want to guarantee maximal damage in the first window at the possible expense of the second, you can do PS + MS > BR. I've done it that way on occasion. Honestly, it's a situational thing.

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If you press the next key after channeled Master Strike in EXACTLY the right moment (Edit: which is about 0,2 secs left on the castbar), you can fit in the next attack right after third tick of master strike WITHOUT using another GCD. If you can pull that off, you can do PS - MS - BS in second window and PS - MS - BS - Dispatch under Zen.

 

This works just like Trickshot after Aimed Shot or Charged Burst for a slinger. The curious thing is, these are casted abilities and not channeled abilities: You can't do it after Speedshot which would be the equivalent to channelled Master Strike.

 

Anther funny thing: This should only work during Zen when you have alacrity running. In fact it's by far easier then. But this does also work without Zen. Strange...

Edited by Ardarell_Solo
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IForce Leap with 100% accuracy: 9% chance

Zealous Strike with 100% accuracy: 9% on first hit, 6.93% on second (off hand accuracy at 77%): 15.3063%

 

Thus, danger of premature reset: 22.9287%

 

Annoying, but not probable enough to be a serious issue. If you go straight into Precision Slash, you have to waste a GCD under armor pen on Zealous Strike, which is a fair bit of damage lost (especially in light of inspiration, which should be up). I would have to sit down and calculate it out, but I'm guessing the expected value of the "Leap > ZS" opener is higher than the expected value of "Leap > PS", even accounting for the case where PS resets prematurely.

 

I have completely forgotten about the lower accuracy on the offhand in my guide, good point! Also my 21.96% was wrong.

Besides that, Zealous Strike has 3 melee hits (2 mainhand, 1 offhand if I can believe the combat log) making the chance to trigger Hand of Justice 22.93% resulting in a 29.865% chance.

I think this is a serious issue, definitely because you have used all cooldowns and Zen is up. Missing a Precision Slash window under those circumstances is a massive damage loss and I think it is worth having to spend one GCD during your Precision Slash window (of the 4 GCDs with Zen up) on Zealous Strike.

 

Another point where I think you are completely wrong is on the Master Strike. I recommend using it directly at the start of the first Precision Slash window after it comes off cooldown. If this appears to be at the start of the natural Precision Slash you will have to delay your Blade Storm 2 GCDs, but with 3 GCDs (which can be dangerous if Hand of Justice gets triggered fast) in between the two Precision Slash windows you will be able to use it again at the end of the second Precision Slash window. (http://puu.sh/3trIM.png)

In my parses, Master Strike is good for 15% of all DPS (probably more counting the ataru form damage) and that only for the 3 seconds (2.3 seconds with Zen) up time each 30 seconds!

 

Also nice to mention is that the 12 second cooldown of Zealous strike fits perfectly twice in the 24 seconds rotation of the 2 Precision Slash windows. So you would be able to use it between the 2 windows and 3 GCDs after the second window every time. (http://puu.sh/3u2Fu.png)

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I have completely forgotten about the lower accuracy on the offhand in my guide, good point! Also my 21.96% was wrong.

Besides that, Zealous Strike has 3 melee hits (2 mainhand, 1 offhand if I can believe the combat log) making the chance to trigger Hand of Justice 22.93% resulting in a 29.865% chance.

I think this is a serious issue, definitely because you have used all cooldowns and Zen is up. Missing a Precision Slash window under those circumstances is a massive damage loss and I think it is worth having to spend one GCD during your Precision Slash window (of the 4 GCDs with Zen up) on Zealous Strike.

 

But in exchange, you're nerfing the damage of both windows *considerably*. We would need to break out the expected value calculations to be absolutely sure.

 

I have no idea where the third hit of Zealous Strike is coming from. The script files claim there should be only two (one from each weapon). The third hit does seem to be coming very late, with the same damage values as an Ataru strike (though separate from an Ataru hit). Very confusing.

 

Another point where I think you are completely wrong is on the Master Strike. I recommend using it directly at the start of the first Precision Slash window after it comes off cooldown. If this appears to be at the start of the natural Precision Slash you will have to delay your Blade Storm 2 GCDs, but with 3 GCDs (which can be dangerous if Hand of Justice gets triggered fast) in between the two Precision Slash windows you will be able to use it again at the end of the second Precision Slash window. (http://puu.sh/3trIM.png)

In my parses, Master Strike is good for 15% of all DPS (probably more counting the ataru form damage) and that only for the 3 seconds (2.3 seconds with Zen) up time each 30 seconds!

 

Using Master Strike first in the window delays your first Blade Storm in the pair by 3 seconds. This in turn either eliminates the Blade Storm in the second window altogether (a major DPS loss) or delays the second window by 3 seconds. Delaying the second window by 3 seconds is CATASTROPHIC if you happened to get the proc during Master Strike, which is possible, and it's very, very bad for proc alignment if you didn't (since HoJ will then proceed to drift significantly out of sync with your first window). Overall, this is just very, very bad.

 

I'll do some math at some point on the relative DPS contribution of Master Strike and the benefits of squeezing it under Precision Slash. It's tricky though, because you have to take into account its effect on timings, which are difficult to quantify in terms of DPS.

 

Master Strike is really, really overrated honestly. It's a great ability, and it does a lot of damage, but Dispatch and Blade Storm are far more interesting due to low CD, high damage, mobility and proc alignment. When I *can* get Master Strike under Precision Slash, I will, but delaying windows to do so is very much not worthwhile.

 

Also nice to mention is that the 12 second cooldown of Zealous strike fits perfectly twice in the 24 seconds rotation of the 2 Precision Slash windows. So you would be able to use it between the 2 windows and 3 GCDs after the second window every time. (http://puu.sh/3u2Fu.png)

 

Yeah, I've noticed that when I really have my timing down, Zealous Strike hangs out in exactly that midpoint of my rotation, which is a very nice property.

Edited by KeyboardNinja
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