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4.0 PVP Madness Sorcerer Guide

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes > Sage / Sorcerer
4.0 PVP Madness Sorcerer Guide

KingDeathII's Avatar

11.09.2015 , 09:48 PM | #1
Hello, Sceviour here with my edited guide for PVP Madness Sorcs for 4.0. You might remember me from my PVP Madness Guide for 3.3 but since the new expansion is out, I thought Id update the guide to help all the new players. I have added to the guide some suggestions for an alternative build from Naryik of the Bastion as he tends to favor an Alacrity heavy Madness build, whereas I favor a Crit heavy build. We have less than a 1% difference in damage between the 2 options so its up to the reader to figure out what works best for them. Remember, this is a guide, its meant to help you along, not tell you what you should objectively gear your toon with.

However, the tips and tricks below ARE OBJECTIVE so follow them to the T

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.

The first section of this guide is going to be tips and things that Madness Sorcs need to know and do in Warzones.

To decrease on clutter, weíll be adding this legend for any republic player reading in the spoiler below.


From here forth we will only be using the Imperial terminology for abilities and referencing the class.


Stay Alive
As a Sorcerer, your main job is to stay alive. In 90% of ranked games, youíll be the first focused guaranteed. Because of this, your primary goal is not dying. In all the games Iíve played in ranked, the games that I die first is a game Iíve lost, guaranteed. The games where I die after weíve dropped one of the enemy team, thereís a 50/50 chance of winning or losing and the games where Iím the last man standing is a 90% chance to win

Open Up
If itís the rare 10% case where youíre not focused first, then itís time to show what youíve 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 youíre not focused first, if youíre not pulling top damage then youíre not utilizing Madness to its full potential. When left alone to ĎFree Castí (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, thereís 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 youíre 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 Iím facing high burst DPS classes like Marauders and Assassins, I sometimes pop my Force Barrier as soon as theyíre 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 theyíve 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. Itís 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 youíll 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. Youíre 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 enemyís 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, itís 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, Iíd 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 youíre giving the enemy to prep, organize and get the drop on you. Which means that youíll 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 Teamís Strengths
Lastly, Iím strongly of the opinion that Sorcerers are strongly dependent on their team composition. If youíre stuck with a bad team, more than likely youíre facing a loss. If youíve got a good team with competent players, youíll probably win. If youíve 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.


The guide here is going to get a bit confusing as there is still discussion regarding what the best spec is for Madness PVP. My personal play style and theory favors going the heavy up front burst path for solo ranked. Ive 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. Without further ado, here are the rotations;

1st possible rotation (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

2nd possible rotation (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

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

Note: For the 2nd rotation, make sure to time the Force Leech -> Death field combo to hit at the same time. Its 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. If you want high burst that can help kill a target in very little time, use the 2nd rotation. For the first Force Lightning in both rotations, make sure you get your 4 stacks of Wrath and Fulminating Current before moving on.


Skillful: Sith Defiance, Empty Body, Sap Strength
Masterful: Emersion, Conspiring Force
Heroic: Corrupted Barrier, Surging Speed

Note: Taking Conspiring Force over Dark Resilience is something Im 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.


Again, here the guide will split into 2 possible builds. One that is high Crit which is for a higher burst (to be ideally used with Rotation #2). The second part of Gear section will be the gearing for the #3 rotation.

HEAVY CRIT - Gear Option 1:

7/7 Force Master Gear set to get the 6 piece set bonus

9 of Adv. Lethal 40x

7 of Adv. Adept 40x

Focused Retribution and Devastating Vengeance (Crit Relic)

13 Advanced Versatile Augments 40
1 Advanced Critical Augment 40

Disclaimer: A lot of people have done theory crafting on augments for burst classes but not really for sustained. Im not a theorycrafter, Im just going off what I have seen, mainstat augments work just fine compared to power and even if there is a difference, it will be like a 1% difference at most. YMMV

2 Exemplar Adept Package

Ear Piece:
Exemplar Adept Device

Advanced Anodyne Versatile Stim

Overall Stats:
Endurance: 5,435 (Health: 70,539)
Mastery: 5,468
Power: 2,369
Crit Rating: 1,443
Crit Chance: 40.16%
Crit Multiplier: 69.29%
Alacrity: 0
Accuracy: 0

HEAVY ALACRITY - Gear Option 2 - Credits to Naryik of the Bastion :

9 of Adv. Lethal 40x

5 Advanced Quick Savant 40x
2 Advanced Adept 40x

2 Exemplar Adept Package

Ear Piece:
Exemplar Adept Device

Focused Retribution and Serendipitous Assault

14 Advanced OVERKILL (power) Augments

Stat totals:

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

1. (5,638 DPS)

2. (DPS for a ranked matches time frame


Now here is the Heavy Alacrity gearing build with Rotation #3 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.

Aaaannndd finally, if you've made it this far, congrats! :P 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. Its 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 Ill go about either editing the guide or what have you.

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!

KingDeathII's Avatar

11.10.2015 , 01:54 PM | #2
I forgot to include the 2 ingame screenshots I took of ranked matches I was in so here they are to show how the spec works in ranked:



csant's Avatar

11.10.2015 , 02:37 PM | #3
Thanks for putting this together.
Xe'nogears Lv65 OP, Styls Lv62 Sorc

KingDeathII's Avatar

11.10.2015 , 04:46 PM | #4
I edited the guide with suggestions from Naryik from the Bastion as he had a 2nd way of gearing his toon. Both builds have less than a 1% difference between them in terms of theoretical parses so the difference is between play styles. I prefer build 1 for high crit to get that double crit from Leech and Death Field which can hit up to a combined 23k or 24k but like I said, its a personal choice if you wanna get high crit or high alacrity. Both are equally viable for PVP

Aeries_Holley's Avatar

11.11.2015 , 12:40 AM | #5
good guide thanks !

StepTNT's Avatar

11.11.2015 , 04:00 AM | #6
Hi there and thanks for your guide!
I'm a T1 Sage but I don't think I'm an expert at all, still I wanted to try some of your suggestion mixing them with things from different sources and experiences.

This is my last parse (cut at 4:30 because I stopped after that but I still was in fight):

Balance - 5844 - 39 APM

To be honest I was surprised that I pulled higher numbers than yours, because I always sucked with dummy parsing.
I've never checked how long a Ranked round lasts, but if I cut the parse at around 1:30 I'm at 6k DPS.

Here are my stats (with Advanced Anodyne Versatile Stim, all class buffs and all datacrons):
  • Mastery: 4744
  • Endurance: 5446
  • Power: 2588
  • Critical: 986
  • Alacrity: 1041

Rotation was quite simple.
I used the #3 rotation from the OP as opener, then I followed this kind of guideline:
  • Tk Throw (until dots wear off, clipping around 4th execution)
  • Sever Force
  • Weaken Mind
  • Force In Balance
  • Vanquish
  • Force Serenity

I tried to avoid applying dots before they ran out, so I used more fillers instead of reapplying them.

Damage distribution

I've not tried with your gearing suggestions because I'm out of commendations and I don't have enough time to get them now, but I wanted to share my results to see if I'm on the right track or if it was just a matter of luck and my build won't work in a real fight.

KingDeathII's Avatar

11.11.2015 , 07:46 AM | #7
Yeah your parse is higher because you have a bit higher alacrity and a massive increase in APM from my parse and even from Naryik's high alacrity build parse. 39 APM is pretty impressive IMO so Im not really sure why Naryik's high alacrity build and your high alacrity build are so vastly different in APM.

Also you arent using any of the PVE debuffs on the dummy are you? If you are, that might account for the big dps difference. Also, what is your augment set up, Im guessing its more into alacrity augs since your alacrity # is a bit higher than Naryik's so is your % at like 11% or 12%?

Also another very interesting thing is that with your low crit, your attacks are critting a LOT, like 40, 50 and even 60% crit rates on your attacks but Im assuming from your stats your crit chance is probably in the low 30s?

StepTNT's Avatar

11.11.2015 , 08:08 AM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by KingDeathII View Post
Also you arent using any of the PVE debuffs on the dummy are you? If you are, that might account for the big dps difference.
If you're ralking about the Armor Reduction one, it can't be used on the Warzone Dummy

Quote: Originally Posted by KingDeathII View Post
Also, what is your augment set up, Im guessing its more into alacrity augs since your alacrity # is a bit higher than Naryik's so is your % at like 11% or 12%?
  • 3x Advanced Alacrity Augment 40
  • 3x Advanced Overkill Augment 40
  • 6x Advanced Critical Augment 40
  • 2x Advanced Versatile Augment 40

Running with 10.57% Alacrity

Quote: Originally Posted by KingDeathII View Post
Also another very interesting thing is that with your low crit, your attacks are critting a LOT, like 40, 50 and even 60% crit rates on your attacks but Im assuming from your stats your crit chance is probably in the low 30s?
Actually I'm at
35.10% Crit Chance
65.23% Crit Multiplier

But the big difference may come from the Crit Relic instead of the Power one (sorry, I don't remember the names!).

skarlson's Avatar

11.11.2015 , 08:40 AM | #9
I think the difference is in rotation. One sees significantly higher sustained, about 9%, but its burst ceiling is nearly 40% lower. Both are viable play styles it simply comes down to which one do you prefer. I prefer the higher burst window personally. What I would be interested in seeing is a parse running the same as the 5800 parse rotation but with high crit to see how close the sustained is.
"Unlimited powahahaha! I can't say it..." -Darth Sidious as a Sorcerer

StepTNT's Avatar

11.11.2015 , 10:27 AM | #10
Quick update with more burst but less DPS, gear is still the same (I'll stop here for today because my arm hurts for spamming TK Throw )

Balance - 5711 - 39 APM

Before writing the rotation, please keep in mind that I have issues when changing my rotation so I ended up skipping some dots once in a while.
So, with a little bit of more training and maybe replacing one Alacrity augment with an Overkill one, I'm sure I can get back to 5800+ while keeping the added burst.

Here's the "new" rotation (basically I've taken something from the various rotations posted here):
  1. TK Throw
  2. Mental Alacrity
  3. Force Empowerment
  4. Sever Force
  5. Weaken Mind
  6. Force Potency
  7. Force Serenity + Force In Balance (just start spamming FiB as soon as FS channel starts)
  8. Vanquish
  9. TK Throw (4.5 times, until Severe Force wears off)
  10. Go to 4 and repeat

Both Mental Alacrity and Force Empowerment were used on CD but never before Severe Force and Weaken Mind because I thought that using them before the FS+FiB+Vanquish combo could increase burst.

As a side note, I think this rotation will lead to Force management issues, as I had some moments in which my force was under 50, and considering that in Ranked you may need some self healing, I'm not 100% sure that this can be viable.
I still think it may work because in Ranked you'll not be able to spam abilties like I did on Dummy, so maybe Force won't be an issue but I needed to point it out.