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AstralFire
12.13.2011 , 07:12 AM | #1
THE SITH ASSASSIN'S CODEX
v1.1.1b (updated 10-Feb-12)

"I know that treachery can break even the mightiest foe."

Speed and deception are the tools in the Assassinís arsenal. Whether using stealth to infiltrate a Republic base and remove a high-profile target or tactically entering a large-scale battle, the Assassinís dual-bladed Lightsaber flashes with deadly precision to provide a relentless offense and when necessary, a formidable defense. The Assassin can channel the Force just as easily, mentally assaulting an enemy and manipulating a confrontation to ensure his side maintains the upper hand.


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INTRODUCTION

First off, a little about me - my name is AstralFire, my main is a Jedi Shadow, and I have played almost every spec that has ever appeared in this guide for at least a day. I am a PvPer first, a Battlemaster before patch 1.1, and a group PvEer last. The guide has a stronger PvP tilt than many play guides for other classes, but I try my best to cover everything for the newbie.

This handbook is intended to be a comprehensive guide to gameplay competency with the Sith Assassin. As such, it will provide data on effective Player-versus-Player gameplay, Player-versus-Environment gameplay, and some general tips on leveling as a Sith Assassin. It is not intended to be a walkthrough or guide to any specific World, Flashpoint or Operation, and will only contain some brief looks at specific Warzones. Skill Calculator builds are merely my opinion, and though I do my best to learn as much as possible, I cannot know everything. If you have contradictory ideas, please post them here. While this guide will never be perfect, it will be more perfect with each version than the last. We get better through sharing ideas, after all.

This guide will also go over the basics of gearing as a Jedi Shadow, and highlight some notable pieces of equipment.

The version numbering will correspond with that of the most recent live version of the game, followed by a letter indicating a major revision to the guide's contents. e.g. 1.0.1c would be the third major version of the guide intended to correspond to game version 1.0.1. Minor wording changes and stylistic editing will not be considered.


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TABLE OF CONTENTS

01. [Introduction]
02. [Table of Contents]
03. [Assassin Basics]
04. [Notable Issues]
05. [Specialization: Darkness]
06. [Specialization: Deception]
07. [Specialization: Madness]
08. [Assassin Companions]
09. [Equipping an Assassin]
10. [Crew Skills]
11. [Appendix: FAQs]
12. [Appendix: MMO Glossary]
13. [Appendix: Keybinds]
14. [Appendix: Shadow <-> Assassin Dictionary]
15. [Appendix: Changelog]
16. [Appendix: Advanced Reading]


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ASSASSIN BASICS

Parent Class: Sith Inquisitor
Sister Class: Sith Sorcerer
Mirrored by: Jedi Shadow
Primary Weapon: Double-bladed Lightsaber, Electrostaff
Off-Hand Items: Shield Generator, Force Focus
Armor Class: Light
Aesthetic Inspirations: Darth Maul, Exar Kun, Satele Shan, Bastila Shan
Story Inspiration: Emperor Palpatine. "First and foremost was the Emperor/Palpatine inspiration. To be just bat-**** insane or to be subtle and clever."
Skill Trees: Darkness (Defender), Deception (Melee Striker), Madness (Hybrid Striker)
Resource: Force Points. (Base Max: 100; Base Recovery: 8 Pts/Second)
Playable Species: Human, Zabrak, Rattataki, Twi'lek, Sith Pureblood
Voice Actress: Xanthe Elbrick
Voice Actor: Euan Morton

The Sith Assassin does not fear wasting her Force Points early in a fight; she has few long cooldowns, and a steadily refilling resource bar. Unlike Smugglers and Troopers, this resource bar does not regenerate at variable rates. The challenge in playing a Sith Assassin correctly is careful management of several short-term cooldowns and interspersing low or no-cost abilities with medium and high cost abilities, to avoid missing a vital window of opportunity.

The Assassin can access up to three different combat stances, or charges, which significantly alters her playstyle. Each of these stances adds a chance to affect each of her melee attacks (though no more often than once every 1.5 seconds). Melee attacks which hit multiple times or multiple targets have a better chance of activating the technique once per ability. These stances are off of the global cooldown, but have a high resource cost. It is possible to switch charges and then immediately benefit from the change, but you can do so only with careful forethought and planning, and at the expense of restricting yourself heavily for several seconds prior.

People familiar with Rogues from World of Warcraft will find only some similarities in the Assassin. For the most part, it is far more survivable with fewer hard controls (such as stuns) and more range as well as self-healing. While it will usually be optimal for Assassin to attack from behind, it is by no means expected or necessary for any but a Deceiver. The Assassin is also more comfortable with range than the Rogue, especially as a Madness specialist.


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NOTABLE ISSUES

- Assassin's Training is not functioning properly and does not increase the damage dealt by Shock.
- Sacrifice is notably worse than the Consular counterpart, Unity, at least when Unity will no longer be bugged in 1.1.2. Item of minimal importance since neither Sacrifice nor Unity can be used in endgame zoned content.
- Spike has a somewhat more unpredictable animation than the Shadow counterpart, making it more difficult to 'place' an opponent with the small knockback it possesses.


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DARKNESS ASSASSINS

"Jedi. Their order is a fading light in the dark. Corrupt and arrogant. They must be punished. The Jedi shall fall!"

Playstyle: High threat defender; melee with some ranged moves.
Mode: Dark Charge
PvE Builds: Standard (31/0/10)
PvP Builds: WitherChain (31/0/10), WitherStab (31/7/0+3)
Which spec should I pick?: Standard is your best option if you want to both PvE and PvP, as it performs well at both. WitherChain is my recommendation for the hardcore PvPer, and WitherStab is an experimental build I want to mess around with a bit. Three points are leftover with WitherStab; I recommend they go in Exploitive Strikes in Madness, or Obfuscation in Deception.

Overview of Recent Changes:
Spoiler


Welcome to our tanking tree. The Darkness Assassin has the highest single-target threat of the three tank styles available in the Old Republic, and we possess a mix of battlefield control, mobility and range that makes the playstyle a blast. The bulk of a Darkness's survivability is defined by her high blocking chance, while she has moderate avoidance, stable mitigation, and the unique ability among tanks to self-heal. Though the class's armor rating seems initially low, Combat Technique and several of its specialized skill brings the class armor values on par with the Jedi Guardian, and it has superior damage reduction for Elemental and Internal damage, the two types not covered by armor.

ABILITY OVERVIEW

Priority List:
1. Dark Ward (1 charge or about to expire)
2. Force Lightning (3 stacks of Harnessed Darkness)
3. Assassinate (Target at 30% health or less)
4. Wither
5. Shock (Energize)
6. Discharge (every CD)
7. Thrash
8. Saber Strike (Conserving Force)
This priority list holds even single-target, as Wither and Discharge have useful side effects, and Death Field is good damage for the FP cost.

Dark Ward: Useless in PvP; shielding is basically unimportant there and it costs Force and splits your attention. In PvE, just keep it up whenever it is about to expire.

Spike: This ability is most notable in PvP; it causes less than half a bar of resolve. Darkness Assassins will be able to use this ability out of stealth, and should use it before any of their other stuns; it's particularly effective after Force Pulling a target into a hazard in Huttball, or to be focus-fired, thanks to the Nerve-Wracking skill. Do not open with this ability at the start of the fight, but save it to disorient the opponent. In PvE, the tank should use it regularly on the primary non-boss target.

Wither: This ability generates more single-target threat than your Thrash, increases your Harnessed Shadows stacking, and deals a comparable amount of damage, while also snaring the target and ignoring defense/accuracy. It also delivers a hefty 5% damage debuff to the target. And it strikes up to five targets at a time within 5 meters of your original target. Use it every cooldown. This ability makes Darkness Assassins very important for harassing opponents trying to move between objectives, especially in Huttball and Voidstar.

Maul: Only use this ability while Exploit Weakness is an active buff. If you're not WitherStab specialized, don't use it at all.

Discharge: In Dark Charge, it functions like a cheaper (20 cost versus 30 cost) and weaker version of Wither that bypasses standard armor-based damage reduction. It has double the cooldown length, and deals less damage even against heavily armored targets. -5% accuracy is also a significantly weaker debuff than -5% damage in PvP, though it's the other way around in PvE. It's useful and necessary, but not very fun or compelling.

Electrocute: It has a much longer CD than Spike, but is also a much longer stun. In PvP, when used on kill targets it should be reserved for targets who are already near their maximum resolve bar. It's also very handy to use on non-kill targets, of course, to prevent enemy ranged artillery and healers from freecasting. In PvE, it should be used similarly to Spike.

Whirlwind: 23/0/18 Hybrids will use this ability a lot due to having it as an instant cast; the two second cast makes it uncommon for use by any other type of Darkness Assassin. The primary incapacitate basically gives the opponent a full grey resolve bar from nothing. If the target has any grey on their resolve bar prior to casting, they will get a white resolve bar, granting them CC immunity until the bar drains completely. Any damage will break a Whirlwind, but Madness Hybrids will then get a secondary two-second stun. If the target did not already have a white resolve bar, this second stun will trigger and give them one. All in all, Whirlwind is a risky and situational ability and I only recommend using it in PvP on a target you have no intention of killing or can guarantee that you will kill in 2-3 global cooldowns. In PvE, its benefits are slim.

Force Shroud: Any ability that doesn't deal 'weapon damage' in its description is affected by this ability. Use it together with Force Cloak to make a successful escape, use it offensively when you anticipate a cast, use it to remove all healer-removable enemy effects on you... It's on a short cooldown and grants you five seconds of near-immunity. It's particularly useful for running the ball in Huttball, or surviving boss damage traps like those on the final boss of Athiss or Eternity Vault. Force Shroud is not affected by nor causes a global cooldown. Jedi Knights and Scoundrels have some immobilizes and snares which Force Shroud does not grant immunity to.

Force Cloak: Obviously, a very useful defensive escape tool - but you cannot be healed while in it. Make sure to keep stealth in a position that's easy to activate immediately following Force Cloak. Worth noting is that Overcharge Saber does not break stealth, but medpacs will - so the former would be wasted if you used it within 10 seconds of Cloaking without first breaking stealth, while the latter will immediately break your stealth and heal you. In PvP, I frequently run for the heal power-ups while being chased, cloak, and then immediately destealth right before I run over the heal. Force Cloak is not affected by nor causes a global cooldown. Deception Hybrids do not have the issue of Cloak preventing healing.

Mind Trap: A very useful ability - in PvP it can help a partner take an objective, reduce the number of opponents you have to face temporarily, break an opponent's objective taking without revealing your presence. In PvE, the biggest issue is that you risk discovery if you're not careful, and that your AoEs can break your Maze. It's used well in conjunction with Blackout to prevent the former issue, and strategic use of Force Pull can help with keeping your targets far enough away from your Mazed victim.

Blackout: For most Darknesss, this ability is only useful to ensure that you can remain hidden for a brief period of time while Mind Mazing or scouting. If you're an Deception hybrid, you'll want to avoid using it for that and instead using it to guarantee when you can go all-out against a target. I recommend using it at about 25% to 75% Force. Any higher and you risk wasting some of the energy, and going lower risks having periods where you have insufficient energy anyway; none of the Force would be wasted, but your burst period would be hampered. This ability does not respect the global cooldown.

Overcharge Saber: Use it whenever you need a 10% heal. This ability does not break stealth. The bonus to your healing over time from Combat Technique is notable, but not significant enough to plan around. The 2 minute cooldown is short enough that you can use it multiple times in long boss fights like in operations: once early on, once in the middle, and then once towards the end. Most boss fights of any kind will allow at least two uses if the first is cycled early, so don't be too shy about saving it. This ability does not respect the global cooldown.

Deflection: Amazing survivability CD in PvE. The 2 minute cooldown is short enough that you can use it multiple times in long boss fights like in operations: once early on, once in the middle, and then once towards the end. Most boss fights of any kind will allow at least two uses if the first is cycled early, so don't be too shy about saving it. In PvP, it's of limited function; it will provide a decent survivability bonus against specializations that rely heavily on weapon damage, such as the Deception Assassin, Sentinels and some Gunslingers; it is of less useless against those that primarily rely on tech or force damage, such as the Commando, and completely useless against a Sage. This ability does not respect the global cooldown.

Recklessness: This ability should work with Energize, but as described in the notable issues segment, it does not. That's not a major concern, however; you primarily want to use the ability with Force Lightning as a Darkness Assassin, as it increases the range to 30m and gives a 60% boosted chance of critical on every single tick. Harnessed Darkness is what you want to save your first Recklessness charge for. Your second should ideally be spent on Shock, as you will almost always have enough Force to activate Shock immediately after a full-duration F-Lightning. Anything else is a waste for anyone with the Harnessed Darkness skill. If you are Darkness and don't have Harnessed Darkness, your best bet is to use it with Death Field. If you don't have that, either, use it with... whatever, I guess. Note that Shocks that activate with the Chain Shock skill will consume two charges of Recklessness, and Death Field's heal will also consume a Recklessness charge. This ability does not respect the global cooldown.

Force Lightning: Never use this ability as a Darkness unless you have three stacks of Harnessed Darkness. With three stacks and Recklessness active, I can guarantee delivering 3.5k damage in 1 second, and another 3.5k damage over 2 seconds. That is a massive amount of single target threat, and a massive amount of burst damage. In a multiple target situation in PvE, this should go towards your secondary target, as it will even up your threat very quickly.

Shock: Ideally, you should only use Shock with the Energize buff active, which can be noticed on your buff bar or with a briefly flashed halo of color around your character. When opening, however, you may wish to begin with Shock to gain a Harnessed Shadow buff; the amount of healing and damage delivered by Harnessed Shadows is too large.

Force Pull: In PvE, never start a fight with your primary target using Pull; it has a threat component and a long cooldown, so it's best used to reposition a ranged enemy closer to you mid-fight. In PvP, it's extremely versatile; you can use it to close gaps with a target, pull someone into the fire (where you will then stun them), pull them into your group (where you will focus fire and murder them), or - and this is a personal favorite - sprint about 25 meters away from the group and pull a healer or a tank away from the rest of their group. Pulling the healer away prevents him from healing effectively and you may be able to kill him, especially if you broke a tank's Guard on him. Pulling the tank away prevents him from taunting and again interrupts his Guard on an ally. Use your judgement on which is the best to pull away at a given time; I usually prefer to get the healer, especially if it's a Sage, as a Sage can pull their tank right back to them.

Lacerate: This move is typically terrible and should only be used when you can guarantee you'll strike at least four targets, or if you like spinning in place like a pretty ballerina. In PvP, it can also be useful for preventing objective caps, but watch out for the Force Cost. However, when paired with Deflection and other defensive cooldowns, the Force cost can briefly become negligible and make its use more compelling when a lot of AoE damage is necessary.

Unbreakable Will: Your CC breaker as a Jedi Consular. In PvE, just use it any time you're stunned for more than a second. Your speed should be used for breaking immobilizes and snares instead. In PvP, try to reserve it for when you have a white bar of resolve, unless you absolutely need to break an objective cap by the enemy or something.

Force Speed: You can do it every 20 seconds, and it breaks all snares and immobilizations on you. Use it judiciously to avoid hazards (like in Hard Mode Directive 7), sprint right through hazards (in Huttball, but this is risky even when paired with Force Shroud), close gaps, etc.

Guard: Judicious use of Guard is one of the things that separates the good tanks from the bad tanks. In PvE, you'll typically want to Guard your off-tank - in a flashpoint, this refers to your best-geared DPS (melee preferred over ranged.) This will reduce the amount of healing that needs to go to them. Healers should generally not be guarded barring extraordinary circumstance. In PvP, however, the Guard mechanic changes greatly and a Healer should almost always be your main Guard target. But not your only Guard target. Watch people near you and switch Guards as necessary or even turn them off if it's going to get you killed - you'll do more if you survive, heal, and taunt than if you just go down. Keeping Target Nearest Friendly bound in a convenient place as well as Set Focus and Target Focus is essential to maximizing good Guard play in PvP. Also try and keep your Guard target about 10m away from you. 15+ breaks the Guard effect, while <10 makes it too obvious who you're Guarding as well as making you both susceptible to AoEs.

Mind Control/Mass Mind Control: PvE, their usage is simple: you don't have threat, you use this ability and get threat. Force Pull is preferable to MC for a ranged enemy, and note MMC's short 15m radius as opposed to MC's long 30m range. In PvP, use Mind Control every CD on someone who's not hitting you (it doesn't trigger a GCD), but I'd reserve Mass Mind Control for the hectic situations. Every now and then I do burn MMC with only a single target around - if a healer is about to go down and they're already guarded and MC is about to end, then I chain in MMC. It's made the difference a few times.

Overload: There's about a 0.5s delay in activation on this ability, which can make prediction hard unless paired with a target who is already immobile. Overload is also the weakest KB in the game, with the least momentum behind it. Aside from the obvious 'knock someone into hazards or down cliffs' component of all knockback abilities, Overload should be used judiciously to get your Guard target some breathing room in PvP.

GEARING

As with all Inquisitors, Willpower is your primary stat, and you use both physical and Force abilities; Willpower no longer increases the effectiveness of any of your self-healing, however. When gearing in PvE, you will have to balance Shield Rating (chance of a shield effect triggering), Absorption (strength of a shield effect), and Defense. Averaging out these values to provide your maximum survivability has a precise formula. This thread has the related formula you should use if you want to find out what could potentially give you the most survivability out of your upgrade slots. The basic rule is to not try to stack too high on any one stat. In PvE, you will always prefer mods that favor Endurance over Willpower, and you'll never have to make a choice for Endurance versus a secondary stat.

For PvE gearing, you can just stick with the Survivor sets.

PvP is where the whole thing gets complicated. Avoidance and Shielding (especially shielding) are mostly worthless in PvP, as they will not activate properly on a significant portion of the attacks delivered in PvP. My recommendation for PvP tanks is to slot a balance of power and surge rating in your upgrade slots, along with a bit of critical hit rating. This extends to your relics and adrenals; only your stim is possibly in question, since a higher Endurance translates to a bigger Harnessed Shadow heal. Expertise is, of course, the most important stat - it improves all of your healing - but it's basically a default stat that doesn't need to be factored in. At 50, you'll want to run with two pieces of Survivor PvP gear rather than Stalker PvP gear if you went deep enough to get the Stasis skill - just unslot the Survivor mods and put in Stalker mods. Yes, that means you have to get at least two extra pieces of Centurion, Champion or Battlemaster.

Getting the four piece Survivor bonus isn't a big deal in PvP. It's preferable over having two pieces of Stalker and two pieces of Survivor, but the Stalker two-piece bonus is decent enough, so if you want to grab all Stalker pieces initially for the better mods, do so.

I do not recommend equipping a Shield Generator in PvP; you'll be better off with a Power Generator.


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DECEPTION ASSASSINS

"You were deceived."

Playstyle: Spike damage striker, harasser; melee skirmisher.
Mode: Surging Charge
PvE Builds: Chain Shock (2/31/8), Armor Piercing (5/33/3)
PvP Builds: PvP Chain Shock (0/33/8)
Which spec should I pick?: Honestly, I haven't done the math on whether Upheaval or AP is a better spec and I haven't been able to find any math on that subject. If anyone happens to know where I can find some, please let me know.

Overview of Recent Changes:
Spoiler


ABILITY OVERVIEW

Priority List:
1. Assassinate (Target at 30% health or less)
2. Maul (Exploit Weakness)
3. Discharge (every CD)
4. Shock (2x Induction)
5. Voltaic Slash or Thrash
6. Saber Strike (Conserving Force)
Deception is the most martially-based of the three Assassin trees, eventually becoming extremely flashy as a melee combatant. It's the tree the Assassin was built for, and thus levels the most effectively of any Assassin tree early on; where the other trees are grasping for their basics before level 20, the Deceiver already has most of what he needs. It also is unique, as it is the only spec among all 24 Imperial specializations that has no good 30m offensive abilities, and essentially, no method of gap closing beyond Force Speed. In return, it has the most effective control while it is on a target, and the highest damage of any Shadow specialization. The basic conceit of the tree is that you use your martial strikes with a lightsaber to either buy time for your powerful, Force-driven attacks; or that you use those abilities to get into position for a particularly vicious Lightsaber stab in the back.

Note that Deception is overall considered to be lesser PvE damage than Madness, both for its higher melee dependency and lower sustained damage.

Thrash/Voltaic Slash: Voltaic Slash is essentially the same ability as Thrash, dealing slightly more damage, using a new animation, and with an excellent secondary effect. Once you have Voltaic Slash, take Thrash off your bar.

Maul: Generally, try to restrict use of this ability to when Exploit Weakness has activated, preferably near the end of Exploit Weakness' buff cycle since it can only trigger once every 10 seconds anyway. It can deal more damage than Assassinate for you when it crits. There may be once or twice you'll really need the spike of burst damage and you have the spare Force to use Maul without the Exploit Weakness buff active, but it's not going to happen very often, and miscalculated it will cost you more damage than it gives you. You may also sometimes wish to open with this ability in PvP, such as on a weakened target.

Spike: This ability is most notable in PvP; it causes less than half a bar of resolve. Do not open with this ability at the start of the fight, but save it to disorient the opponent after vanishing with Force Cloak, particularly if the opponent is in mid-activation of a non-instant ability. You can also use Spike to buy you time to set up for a Maul backstab.

Low Slash: This ability has some similarities to Spike for tanks, but important differences; Low Slash does significantly more damage, almost as much as your normal attack. Low Slash is also a daze and not a stun, which means that it breaks on damage. It also fills the resolve bar less than Electrocute. This opens up several different avenues of approach: Low Slash into a brief run into a Whirlwind when you want to escape, Low Slash into Maul for burst, Spike into Low Slash into Electrocute to maximize damage uptime and minimize their time to react, Low Slash to break someone's non-instant ability... it has a very fast CD, which only helps. In PvP, this is the most game changing single ability for an Deception Assassin; in PvE, however, the only reason you would bother to take it is because it's required for Voltaic Slash.

Force Slow: Should be spammed on your primary target judiciously in PvP, just about every cooldown. It causes no resolve, does a little bit of damage, and helps you maximize your uptime. It has no PvE usage except on very specific fights.

Surging Charge, Discharge and Static Charges: Since Surging Charge has a chance to activate on each hit, even though it's capped at a maximum of 1 activation per 1.5s, all of your multiple hit moves get more benefit from Surging Charge than it appears. Incidentally, you gain Static Charges very slowly. You'd need six or seven full cycles to get a stack of five with high certainty - that's around 30 seconds, and Discharge will be up every 12 to 15 seconds. Static Charges should be simply considered a bonus rather than a need in a maximum DPS cycle, and Discharge should only be held back when you want burst damage.

Electrocute: It has a much longer CD than Spike, but is also a much longer stun. In PvP, when used on kill targets it should be reserved for targets who are already near their maximum resolve bar. It's also very handy to use on non-kill targets, of course, to prevent enemy ranged artillery and healers from freecasting. In PvE, it should be used similarly to Spike.

Whirlwind: The two second cast makes this ability uncommonly used. The primary incapacitate basically gives the opponent a full grey resolve bar from nothing. If the target has any grey on their resolve bar prior to casting, they will get a white resolve bar, granting them CC immunity until the bar drains completely. Any damage will break a Whirlwind, but Balance Hybrids will then get a secondary two-second stun. If the target did not already have a white resolve bar, this second stun will trigger and give them one. All in all, Whirlwind is a risky and situational ability and I only recommend using it in PvP on a target you have no intention of killing or can guarantee that you will kill in 2-3 global cooldowns. In PvE, its benefits are slim.

Force Shroud: Any ability that doesn't deal 'weapon damage' in its description is affected by this ability. Use it together with Force Cloak to make a successful escape, use it offensively when you anticipate a cast, use it to remove all healer-removable enemy effects on you... It's on a moderate cooldown and grants you three seconds of near-immunity. It's particularly useful for running the ball in Huttball, or surviving boss damage traps like those on the final boss of Athiss or Eternity Vault. Force Shroud is not affected by nor causes a global cooldown. Jedi Knights and Scoundrels have some immobilizes and snares which Force Shroud does not grant immunity to.

Force Cloak: Obviously, a very useful defensive escape tool - but you can use it offensively to lead into a Spike when it's absolutely vital.

Blackout: You'll want to avoid using this ability for improving your stealthiness most times, and instead use it to guarantee when you can go all-out against a target; it increases your Force Regeneration. I recommend using it at about 25% to 75% Force. Any higher and you risk wasting some of the energy, and going lower risks having periods where you have insufficient energy anyway; none of the Force would be wasted, but your burst period would be hampered. This ability does not respect the global cooldown.

Overcharge Saber: The additional damage increase is fairly large - it can easily pan out to an additional 3000 damage while it's active, by itself - and gets even larger when timed with other cooldowns. Use it early, use it often. This ability does not respect the global cooldown.

Deflection: Amazing survivability CD in PvE. The 2 minute cooldown is short enough that you can use it multiple times in long boss fights like in operations: once early on, once in the middle, and then once towards the end. Most boss fights of any kind will allow at least two uses if the first is cycled early, so don't be too shy about saving it. In PvP, it's of limited function; it will provide a decent survivability bonus against specializations that rely heavily on weapon damage, such as the Deception Assassin, Sentinels and some Gunslingers; it is of less useless against those that primarily rely on tech or force damage, such as the Commando, and completely useless against a Sage. This ability does not respect the global cooldown.

Recklessness: Note that Shocks that activate with the Chain Shock skill will consume two charges of Recklessness. You'll want to use Discharge first with this, then Recklessness, for maximum ouchies. And trust me, it will be very ouch. In PvP, your four-piece set bonus gives an extra Recklessness charge, so you can use it in whatever order you like. This ability does not respect the global cooldown.

Force Lightning: This move is usually terrible as a Deception. Potency/Recklessness extends the range and makes every tick have a 60% higher crit chance, making it situationally useful. You may want to bind it if you're really concerned about the lack of a 30m attack and think that there will be sufficient situations where you'll save up Recklessness to channel from 30 meters away - stranger things have happened. But that will be rare enough that, if you are hurting for keybind space, you won't miss not having this on your bars.

Shock: Only use it after two Voltaic Slashs or Thrashs. Don't bother using it before you get the Induction skill. In PvE, Shock has a stun effect on some weaker enemies if you're desperate for a chance to backstab.

Lacerate: This move is terrible and should only be used when you can guarantee you'll strike at least three targets (preferably four or more), or if you like spinning in place like a pretty ballerina. In PvP, it can also be useful for preventing objective caps, but watch out for the Force Cost.

Unbreakable Will: Your CC breaker as a Jedi Consular. In PvE, just use it any time you're stunned for more than a second. Your speed should be used for breaking immobilizes and snares instead. In PvP, try to reserve it for when you have a white bar of resolve, unless you absolutely need to break an objective cap by the enemy or something.

Force Speed: You can do it every 30 seconds, and it increases speed enough to basically ignore most snares (though not immobilizations.) Use it judiciously to avoid hazards (like in Hard Mode Directive 7), sprint right through hazards (in Huttball, but this is risky even when paired with Force Shroud), close gaps, etc.

Mind Control/Mass Mind Control: PvE, their usage is simple: don't. You're not a tank. In PvP, refer to the Kinetic Shadow overview.

Overload: There's about a 0.5s delay in activation on this ability, which can make prediction hard unless paired with a target who is already immobile. Overload is also the weakest KB in the game, with the least momentum behind it. Aside from the obvious 'knock someone into hazards or down cliffs' component of all knockback abilities, Overload should be used judiciously to some breathing room in PvP, such as immediately before a Cloak.

GEARING

As with all Inquisitors, Willpower is your primary stat, and you use both physical and Force abilities. The Deception Assassin has essentially identical preferences for gearing in both PvE and PvP. You target the Stalker gearsets at 50, and lean heavily on critical hit chance in your passive gear upgrades, while picking up a bit of Surge rating here and there incidentally. Around 5% accuracy from gear is useful - much more and you are subject to diminishing returns that reduce the value of the gear. Your adrenals and active-use relics will prefer to be Surge Rating and Power so that they can be used in conjunction with your Recklessness. Accuracy Rating is of minimal importance, and I would strive to minimize it in your gear whenever possible. In PvP, Expertise Rating will be your single most important statistic.


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JEDI SHADOW

You've failed, your highness. I am a Jedi, like my father before me.