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Marauder guidance/optimization for those struggling

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes > Sentinel / Marauder
Marauder guidance/optimization for those struggling

Pappus's Avatar

01.31.2012 , 04:41 PM | #1
All the rubbish posted stuff on this forum aside, I feel bad for you guys that don't get the same enjoyment out of this class as I do so let's give you some long and lovely advice right here:

Until you reach about 85% surge naturally go with surge adrenal, afterwards switch to warzone or power adrenal.
Medpack: You really should use warzone medpack at all times, because it simply heals more then the rakata one since 1.1 As it is % of your max health.

Use power right off the bat and in your second slot you should have the matrix cube. 50 mainstat and endurance is indeed very strong, but a rakata with augment slot would naturally beat the cube.

Stat Priorities:
Crit/Surge Enhancement Mods till you hit 86% critical multiplier > Str > power > accuracy Rating.

Although you might feel accuracy is needed a good chunk of our damage as rage/annihilation marauder cannot be dodged/parried in the first place.

Smash/Deadly Saber/Rupture dot. Once they are up they tick. Of course it might drive you occasionally crazy when something gets dodged or parried but it won't happen too often. Most classes should sit around 5%. Most of the parries you will see are due to cooldowns like saberward, where accuracy won't do much about anyway.

I will try and give you full calculations (without offhand) tomorrow so you can decide for yourself. You have to keep in mind, that also increasing accuracy means a dps gain, it also means a dps loss, because you could have crit/surge/power instead of it.

Optimal gear for the marauder in PvP and PvE currently is PvE gear, with as much crafts as possible. This is due to diminishing return on expertise and the small effect expertise actually does provide once you attack an enemy that is as 'expertise heavy' as you.

By going with PvE gear you will not only neglect the missing 12% from expertise, but also do MORE dmg in the end and obtain a higher survivability against fully geared BM's and even a stronger effect on low geared players.

Keep in mind, that although PvE gear is better the dmg and survivability increase should be around 5-10% tops. Not the end of the world if you don't have it, but if you want to go all out, this is how you do it:


Keep in mind that all equipment, wether you go with PvE or PvP gear will need tuning. Either way you will end up switching to crit/surge enchantments until you get close to 85% surge and then proceed to increase your power/mainstat as hard as you can.

I didn't make full calculations, but the targetline should be around 340 surge.

Endstats will be around:
20k HP
2k STR (do I even need to say more? )
35%+ crit (could go well in the direction of 40%)
85% surge

Fully buffed and in top notch PvE gear of course.

Some individuals out here will keep believing, that they will split you in half because you run around with 0 expertise, but I will quickly dispatch that thought for you, so all that nonsense talking back at me without any proof - stops and we can all start to get our heads around this relatively new idea and head into direction: Roflstomp everything.

Don't get me wrong, battlemaster gear isn't bad, but if you want to feel true power, then off into HM/NM EV/KP you go.

Delivering........................................ .......Receiving

No gear........................vs.................... ...No gear
1000 dmg............................................... 1000 dmg

Full PvP gear:................vs.........................No Gear
1000 dmg + 12%..................................1000+12% = 1120

Full PvP gear:................vs....................Full PvP Gear:
1000 dmg + 12%.................................1000+12%-12%=1000 dmg

Just as little reminder to get the idea out of your head, that you will get 20% more dmg if you happen to have 0 expertise. You will get 10% more at most remember that fact and we procced to EHP (effective HP):

Those 20k HP and 0 expertise we have will be in EHP
vs 0 Expertise opponent: 20k
vs Full Expertise: 17600

17600 is a number you won't reach in full battlemaster gear and as we just saw two guys going at each other at maximum expertise will damage each other normally. Thus whatever HP our Battlemaster gear would provide us with would also be our EHP as soon as we attack someone with the same amount of expertise. The fact remains, that you won't reach 17600 HP in full battlemaster gear, but more around 16k. So if you fight with top PvE stats vs a full battlemaster you actually fight as if you had full expertise and he had none - survivability wise.

This is not even taking into consideration, that the same holds true for payback, annihilation self heals or warzone medpack which all will benefit greater of your newly gained HP pool.

It also doesn't take into consideration, that we do not know when expertise is applied. Its maximum potential is 10% dmg reduction, but if for example expertise dmg reduction is applied after armor, then it would actually decrease the dmg by less then e.g. 10%. If it is applied before your armor, then your armor reductions gets reduced. So what really needs to happen is for your armor and expertise to be calculated as one as the following chart will further clarify:

Little example: 20% armor reduction 1k dmg spell and 10% dmg reduction via expertise
1k dmg -> armor -> 800 -> expertise -> 720
1k dmg -> expertise -> 900 -> armor -> 720
1k dmg -> expertise & armor -> 700.

Again we don't know that so it might be the last case, but it could also be one of the other cases.

Around 400 mainstat is a 10% dmg increase which you can quickly check with a power relic. The PvE stuff provides that and even a bit more in the end. At this point I rather not go into full explanation mode, mostly because I don't have the full math done yet. Rather I haven't done any math on that topic, but in the end I feel that PvE gear is supposed to fare better in PvP, with a good reason when we compare how hard it is to come by. And I don't mean it in a way of PvE is harder then PvP, but we need a lot of crit crafts, dorpchances raid material. Standard PvE stuff that just drops won't outshine PvP gear.

As that holds true I believe this to be a design decision - one I support, although I do hope maximum effectiveness involves a couple of BM pieces. Like I said elsewhere: This question is for true min/maxer that get their joy out of stuff like that. I'm fine with the groundwork

Even if we lose 5% dmg, as I could calculate for you our survivability goes up by around 10% so it is still a gain given our damage was never a problem to begin with.

Melee/Ranged & Tech/Force Attacks

White damage are considered melee/ranged attacks and therefor affected by dodge/parry and obfuscate.

Force/tech attacks display as yellow and cannot be dodged or parried, but resisted (which will mostly happen against assassins, which can force shroud and increase their resist rate to 100%, it will affect your: Smash, Rupture and Deadly Saber Dots, Force Scream, Force Choke and Force crush. Furthermore obfuscate will have no effect on such attacks. It also means the talent malice will increase your dot critical strike chance.

Damage Types

Kinetic, Energy are mitigated by armor

Internal/elemental are mitigated via e.g. inquisitor buff and "general dmg reduction" e.g. cloak of pain.

There is no 'real' link between damage type and if it is force or melee/ranged attack.

Annihilation Spec example:

Rage Spec Example:

Random tricks of the trade:
Deadly Saber:
If you are running around with rage before you engage give deadly priority and let it cooldown 3-4 seconds before engaging, because that way you will have 3 stacks of deadly saber up for 12 seconds straight, which is nice dmg.

Sweeping Slash:
Everytime you use it you get 4 fury filling your bar insanely fast so after a fight if you have way too much just do it a couple of times. Also as ballcarrier your first move should be to charge and batter someone then keep SS'ing until your first fury is full and go into predation -> frenzy -> fury to give you and your team 50%(+30%) for you and your group.

Don't open up with charge on knockback classes if you could also reach them by walking in reasonable amount of time. If you have to charge first onto a ledge first thing you do is reposition yourself to brace for knockback.

Relentless Fury: If you spec this talent, it fails to tell you, that it gives you 10 fury back for every person you gave predation to. So you could technically have it up 24/7 in a BG. Also the defensive 10% dodge/parry does stack, so if you want to have fun put 4 marauders in a BG and make them predate all the time then you have 45% parry/dodge marauders running wild Attention, this is addicting so you might end up staying rage specced and groups will always keep asking why you respecced.

Bloodthirst: Does stack if you want to do some lolcrits go with 3 other marauders somewhere Note: I did never really compare if you "really" get another 15% dmg bonus, but the way it is shown in the buffindex it should.

It only helps against white dmg or in other words, what you can parry. So if you want to support your tank, then ask him if he can keep an eye on his parries, so you can give him 100% parry chance for 6 seconds when he needs it. (It is 100% once he has reasonable amount of defense rating)

If you want to help our fellow marauder friends, then go ahead and add stuff that I might have missed.

vs Deception Assassin: If you can get him before he starts his voltaic slash rotation you could use it right there or wait till you are at less then 30%, when he will try to maul and execute you, which will both be a parry/dodge most likely.
vs Operatives: Don't use it undless you plan on an predation escape, because almost all of his moves are tech attacks it won't do anything against that. When you run away and he autoattacks you it will work though.
vs TracerMissile guys: Not useworthy. Tracermissile is not affected, I think only unload is in the end not worth the GCD.
vs Sniper: Use it whenever you can but best would after you are actually ready to commit to the fight (e.g. he knockbacked you already etc)
vs Sorcs. Don't use it
vs Powertech: No clue yet there is literally like no powertech on my server playing consistently. A friend of mine is almost at 50 though so info will roll in
vs Juggernaut: If rage specced use it when you are dropping into execute range so at 25%ish percent, otherwise directly
vs Marauder: When they use ravage (then don't interrupt it) or execute range.

Obfuscate is a really heavyhitter which can kill like 3(-4) gcd's for your 1 gcd. Just godlike.

Once you are a good player you will notice how easy it is to just destroy caster classes with this if you use it as another interrupt. The best ways I found so far:

vs Sorc: Dots are ticking you interrupt the first thing you see e.g. lightning/darkness normally and then follow up with vanish, you can hide those 4 seconds ,if you have phantom to minimize further dmg, open out of it and interrupt the next spell normally again, then force choke or roar the next.
vs TM: Interrupt first or second TM. It depends how quickly you got your dots ticking. Once you have a couple of dots going you go Interrupt->Full duration vanish->Interrupt->Choke->Interrupt.
vs Sniper: Dodge ambush with it.
vs Marauder/Jugger: Ravage
vs Powertechs: Flamewhatever

Defensive Cooldowns

Try to make due only with Cloak of Pain at all times. Saberward is a long CD and you should use it only to make something crazy for your team.
Saberward + Cloak of pain will let you tank 4-5 guys for an astonishing time especially with cloak and roar and UR. If you happen to be on the outskirts and have 3+ enemies attacking you, then take one for the team pop all up and bind them right there. This alone can ensure another point for your team in huttball as an example.

Even in real hard fights where you decide to use it, at least for me, it will often not go off anyway, essentially wasting your time.

Cloak of Pain should also not be used instantly, but when you know the burst is incoming.

vs Assassin: Right after his first/second voltaic slash (be quick here)
vs Operatives: ASAP
vs TM: Not before second TM hit you, basically not at all vs TM guys if you follow the above rotation of mine
vs Sorcs: After the first dot on you to cancel second dot into deathfield + force lightning or essentially their burst.
vs Jugger/marauder: Not before obfuscate is finished running and if you decide to push it in execute range you CoP right at the start.
vs Sniper, before ambush/snipe hits you.

Saberward, as I said be very conservative with it. Think of it as CD for your team most of the time.

FC: If you are getting overwhelmed do it quickly and not on 5% or whatever, and use it often.
UR: Try to do it as late as possible and follow it up withwarzone medpack.

Pappus's Avatar

01.31.2012 , 06:28 PM | #2
I will start with beginner level stuff and by the end of this section even self-claimed pros will have learned stuff. If you are new to PvP, meaning not having beat every class but operatives/assassins around 100 times solo you start at the bottom. Assassins and Operatives excluded, because it is simply rare to get into a 1vs1 with them. Most of them are smart and don't go searching trouble with you.

Rule 1: If you are attacked your answer is CHARGE

Rule 2: If you are opened up and cannot charge, because you are rooted you vanish

Rule 3: When you do not know what to do, press charge regardless if cooldown is ready or not.

Doesn't matter against whom, when or what. He opens you up - you charge. In PvP the most important factor ruling the outcome of any given battle is experience. However you have very little experience you could actually tap into, when you are the one under siege so to speak. In every BG I charge dozens and dozens of people, but in the whole match there might be 1 or 2 that would dare go 1vs1 on me let alone initiate first. When you are attacked and lack that knowledge you will be like a helpless whelp simply because how the human brain works.

To get into your rhytm, to go from reactionary to offensive stance you charge. Not because it is the best move. When memories start piling up you will naturally not charge needlessly. That is the reason why you will often see assassins and operatives only running when you engage them first. They lack the experience and that is how you identify serious threats in splitseconds aswell. You know you have a veteran opponent next to you, when you charge and there is no panick knockback, no vanish but just business as usual.
Opening rotation:
If 0 rage -> Battering Assault -> Deadly Saber -> Rupture
If 3 rage -> Deadly Saber -> Battering Assault -> Rupture
If 5+ rage -> Annihilate(+deadly saber) -> Battering Assault -> Rupture

Following UP:
vs Healer Class gather a lot of rage so you can start unleashing with your second deadly saber with annihilates and vicious slashes.
vs Damage Class go low on rage, because you want to reach a their HP threshold quicker. Dps tend to go with their CD's based on their HP and you want them to pop asap and second you don't want to get your biggest burst into their biggest defense. Therefor you stay low on rage, staying with your dps but stretching it instead of spiking it.
vs tanks: Get your dots on them and then kite/juggle. Do not try to stand there face to face with them unless you know what you are doing. Dots are your primary issue.

Intermediate Techniques:

Dot-Dot-Choke (<3 Gluten): Fresh rupture with a fresh stack of 3x deadly saber on your target -> berserk -> Choke most of the time you will follow up with Vicious throw.
Dot-Dot-Cloak: Fresh rupture and deadly saber on your target -> Just vanish and let it tick
U cast - I ravage: Enemy casts e.g. Tracer Missile, Force lightning or whatever you ravage his face.
Ravage-Cancel:Ravaging your opponent and immediately start pressing whatever you want to do next, because two hits are what you will get through anyway most of the time.
U vanish - I slash: Your opponent vanishes which you follow up with either smash or SS.
U vanish - I roar: Your oppnent vanishes which you counter with roar and then slash the field.
Healing Swipes: Deadly Saber + Sweeping slash into several opponents while moving to get a single stack of deadly saber on several targets and therefor maximizing the returned health, because 3x 1 stacks can crit and therefor heal more often then 1x triple stack.

Counter Moves:
Green bubble of operative/sniper increases their parry rate by 100% for 3(4 with gear) seconds. We have 2 options here. We either go with force attacks as those cannot be parried: Smash, Force Scream, force choke or force crush.

If you are a pro, then you will use intimidating roar into ravage. As he will still parry even in roar it won't break on the first two ticks, so it won't break before the third tick of ravage comes right to his face. If you are slow the second hit of ravage will tick already but there is still a chance he won't interrupt your ravage because he thinks he will still parry it.

Vanish as annihilator:
If your opponent vanishes with intend to open again on you, then especially against operatives you can first slash 1-2 times and maybe get him lucky and then go into vanish yourself once you think he is close to you to get his opener into your damage immunity.

Specific Top Level Line-Ups:
Deception Assassins: Fu.cking scary opponents. Most of the time the duels would end with either side around 18-22%.

Obfuscate: First option is to either wait for shock/discharge combo at the start and pop it immediately after and moving less to induce mauls or to go after undieying rage and catch execute/maul/VS there. First option is a bit up to luck and the second one is a more stable approach to memorize.

Saberward: Either immediately to tune down the burst by 25% or after undieying rage. Those bursts can completely break your chances so I went with Saberward right off the bat to counter adrenal etc as much as I could. Even with all that I would often drop to 50% in a couple of seconds.

Vanish:When I vanished, my opponent would just do so aswell to deny myself opening advantage. So I used it primarily as CD pause.
UR: Without it I would probably have lost every single one of them. He tried to stun/finish me before I could use it, but at that point the assassins burst was already out so it only worked one time. Although we could say, that his vanish should probably be used to counter my rage it would still leave me a strong reopening on him via vanish and energy reserves on his side are something else to consider why it might be too late to vanish on UR.

So the rotation I would recommend it:
Phase1: Close Initiative -> Recover from spike then battering(6)-> Intimidating Roar(5)
What you take during Phase 1: Spike, 2x Voltaic and probably Shock this could very well be around 50% of your life sipping away right here.
Phase2: Run away beyong 15m while popping Deadly Saber(2), trinkets, frenzy, berserk at the end saber ward/(cloak of pain)
What you take during Phase 2: Nothing, hopefully force lightning splitseconds before you charge, which is why we run away in the first place. FL at this point would be a clear error due to recklessness stacks, maybe even a force speed.

Phase3: Take Initiative: Charge(5)->Rupture(3)->VS(1)->Battering(7)->Assault(9)->Deadly(6)->Assault(8)->Anni(4)->Ravage and start hitting vanish while ravage runs.

What you probably will take during Phase 3:
Quite a few things can happen: Hopefully he will try to lowblow you into maul during this phase where your parry due to SW is peaking. Probably a force shroud once you cap out Deadly Saber stacks. Maybe a stun with a second burst try, however your HP and defensive should rescue you. If you add up the damage numbers you will give him during this phase and the fact, that you will regenerate at least 18% of your HP will underline again their need to vanish upon your vanish or they will get damn close to termination when you open up after vanish again.

Phase4: Break it or make it: Waiting in vanish till it runs out and running away:
Charge(7)->Rupture(5)->Battering(11)->Deadly(8)->Anni/vicious throw/VS spam.

What you get during phase 4: While you need to keep your HP in check you want to delay your UR as long as possible and still get it through and if possible try to get your berserk + medpack off afterwards. Be sure to pop obfuscate immediately after undying rage is over.

Force Choke - I disregard because this is only exchanging GCD's. Do it when deadly saber reaches 3 stacks and get the tick off and cancel it as soon as he breaks free. Might get you another tick before he shrouds the stack.
Cloak of Pain you can either pull out at the end or right with saberward.

This concludes the deception aspect. Tomorrow I will proceed with surprisingly easy sorcs.

Sayc's Avatar

01.31.2012 , 06:37 PM | #3
vs Operatives: Orbitalstrike(lolz)
Pretty sure thats ground targeted.

Not before second TM hit you
In a straight 1v1, you really should not be getting hit by tracer missile, at all.

Mostly good stuff otherwise, although kinda hard to read.

Pappus's Avatar

01.31.2012 , 07:04 PM | #4
Quote: Originally Posted by Sayc View Post
Pretty sure thats ground targeted.

In a straight 1v1, you really should not be getting hit by tracer missile, at all.

Mostly good stuff otherwise, although kinda hard to read.
Yeah I wrote it on a whim so I still need to polish the gramma, spelling editing and stuff like that but I wanted to push it out quickly when I saw that other thread with so many people having problems.

threas's Avatar

01.31.2012 , 07:10 PM | #5
Kinda blows if pve gear really is better in pvp.

VictorLototskyy's Avatar

01.31.2012 , 07:29 PM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by threas View Post
Kinda blows if pve gear really is better in pvp.
Top PVE gear from ops HM's, crit crafts from rare receipts etc. Much harder to get comparing to BM stuff.
Lotik, Tomb of Freedon Nadd

getdownsb's Avatar

01.31.2012 , 07:33 PM | #7
Nice article, thanks for taking the time.

BioWare, ***. I don't want to PvE to PvP.

Quote: Originally Posted by VictorLototskyy View Post
Top PVE gear from ops HM's, crit crafts from rare receipts etc. Much harder to get comparing to BM stuff.
Who cares how hard it is. Is there a tier of PvP gear that facerolls raid gear so that once us PvP'ers make 100 valor cap we can lol our way through the carebear crap? No. PvP gear is garbage in PvE, the same should be true in reverse.
Helm of Graush

Sabbathius's Avatar

01.31.2012 , 08:02 PM | #8

Really nice writeup.

But one thing to be aware of - you assume a lot of things. Like Assassins, for example. You assume they're Deception. What if he's Darkness spec? Totally different beast. He'll mostly use Shocks and Force Lightning, as well as Wither and Discharge debuff.

RG_jhanlec's Avatar

01.31.2012 , 08:11 PM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by threas View Post
Kinda blows if pve gear really is better in pvp.
There is a huge diminishing return after 8% or so expertise. A lot of people have the minimum amount of gear with stats they prefer for spec up to 8% and then pve gear for the rest to get the bigger stats out of gear.

Sorry I cant like the posts on it, but its been talked about a bit the last 2 days on both pvp and some class forums.

Exertim's Avatar

01.31.2012 , 08:26 PM | #10
Why not just go for the Rakata implants instead of wasting tons of Alien Cubes trying to crit a Columi one? You lose 30 Strength, 12 Surge rating, and 68 Defense but gain 26 Endurance, and 102 Crit rating - not to mention the Rakata one is a lot easier to obtain.

My PvP set is pretty close to what the OP's ideal stats are, except I only have 17.5k HP rather than 20k. I'm sitting at 435.1 bonus damage, 30% crit, and 93.10% surge (unbuffed aside from Biochem stim) and yeah it's an absolute blast plowing through people in Warzones. I have my Champion set (minus boots) but I don't really even use it anymore - I just go full PvE and haven't seen any issues with survivability. I'll most likely swap to BM gear once I hit rank 60 and grab enough Expertise for 8%, but that's far in the future at the moment.
Sakarai - 50 Jedi Sentinel
Canderous Ordo