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Star Wars The Old Republic Class Overview: Jedi Knight and Sith Warrior (Pre 3.0)

Updated on December 29, 2015

An Underrated Gem

One of my all time favorite games is Star Wars the Old Republic, my MMO soulmate if you will. A perfect blend of storytelling and action. Though it may not be as popular as other -- similar games -- it holds a special place in my heart. So to any of those interested in trying the game I highly recommend it, hopefully this Hub series will help you decide on a class to play.

Sith Warrior/Jedi Knight

One of the first things to realize about SWTOR is that each faction has mirror classes. Meaning that anything said about one class, combat-wise, applies to its mirror. And while the animations and visual effects will be different for each, their abilities are effectively the same

The Jedi Knight and Sith Warrior are the main melee classes of their particular factions. They charge into frays using force enhanced leaps, and decimate their foes with swift saber strikes coupled with a select few force-based attacks. They are the archetypes of their factions, and anyone familiar with Star Wars will find their iconic combat styles familiar. Upon reaching level 10 each class will be give the opportunity to choose between two advanced classes. The Jedi Knight will select either the stalwart Jedi Guardian or the high-speed dual wielding Jedi Sentinel. While the Warriors will have they're choice between the daunting Sith Juggernaut and the ferocious Sith Marauder.

Every advanced class in SWTOR has three skill trees; two that are completely unique, and a third that is shared between classes who originate from the same base class. In the Warrior and Knight's cases the trees are Rage and Focus respectively.

A Warrior's Smash Abilility

A Knight's Force Sweep

Notice the two abilities are functionally the same; only differentiated by their names and visual effects.


These trees are the primary area-of-effect builds for both iterations of Advanced classes. The main damage dealer for these trees is an AOE nuke referred to as Smash for warriors and Force Sweep for knights. Rage and Focus are trees that center around dealing high critical damage to groups. Players who choose this tree will find that their critical multiplier far exceeds that of those using a different spec. This is because the build focuses on a normally mediocre ability--Smash/Sweep--and a high critical multiplier is needed to offset the relatively low base damage of the ability. These trees excel in player vs player combat because of their reliance on abilities like Force Crush/ Force Exaustion which slow targets allowing the player to easily secure kills. Though for Flashpoints and Operations, unless you absolutely need the best AOE damage possible or enjoy having the extra damage reduction received from using the tree's Shii-Cho form, I recommend choosing a different tree.


These classes wield two light sabers and focus on dealing as much damage in as little time as possible. They are by far my favorite classes and the reason I've chosen to begin the series with the Knight/Warrior. Though they sacrifice some of the defensive capabilities retained by their Heavy Armor clad counterparts, Juggernauts and Guardians, they compensate with pure damage dealing potential. Though they do have some defensive options; for the most part these classes kill fast and die easy, and maintaining balance between the two is invigorating.

Marauders and Sentinels have two skill trees aside from the one they share with the Guardians/Juggernauts. The Carnage/Combat trees which focus on dealing reliable and consistent damage through the use of its Ataru Form and vicious Massacre/Blade Rush. While the Annihilation/Watchman trees focus on dealing damage over time with powerful burns and bleeds.


Damage over time is the name of the game with these trees. They use burns and bleeds to tick away at enemies one at a time. Deadly Saber/ Overload Saber empowers your melee attacks allowing them to place a stacking DoT on enemies, a burn for sentinels and a bleed for marauders. This combined with the stacking damage buff from the tree's Juyo Form and the reliable burst damage from Annihilate/Merciless Slash make this tree a prime choice for damage dealing. Many consider this tree peerless, as the damage it deals is difficult to reproduce in other specs. Though I would argue carnage and combat deal similar damage, these trees are ,without a doubt, easier to play and therefore my recommendation for players new to the class.

Master Strike


These trees are for marauders and sentinels who like to swing their sabers. It's a simple build but devastating nonetheless. It's focused around the Ataru form which increases your accuracy and gives your melee attacks a chance to deal extra damage on hit. This chance is increased whenever you use Massacre/Blade Rush before an attack. But what's truly amazing about these trees are the abilities Gore and Precision Strike. These give the player a temporary buff increasing their armor penetration by 100%, rendering your target's damage reduction meaningless. Nothing is more satisfying than seeing an enemy's health bar melt under the weight of an armor penetrating Ravage/Master Strike. This is my personal favorite tree, it gives some slight damage reduction via talents and does more than enough damage to compete with Annihilation/Watchman.


The Guardian and Juggernaut are defenders, donning heavy armor for increased damage reduction and bending the force to provide protection so immense they can become very nearly invincible. Though for all their defensive prowess they can toss aside their shield generators, pick up a force focus and do enormous amounts of damage.

Unlike marauders and sentinels, who are pure damage dealing classes, Juggernauts and Guardians have the option of taking a defensive role in combat. This role is referred to as Tank, and the Juggernaut and Guardian both have a skill tree dedicated to it. The trees are called Immortal and Defense, and the extra defensive measures they provide, combined with a myriad of taunting abilities inherent to the class, assure that enemies are attacking the Juggernaut/Guardian instead of their less meaty friends. And when you're in need of a bit more damage, the Vengeance and Vigilance trees are there to compensate.

A high level Juggernaut Tank in one of the games Operations; Dread Fortress.


These are the main DPS trees for their class. They deal a good mixture of damage over time and direct damage. The tree modifies Force Scream/Blade Storm to apply a light DoT, and the abilities Overhead Slash/Impale and Plasma Brand/Shatter give a stacking buff called Zen/Rampage, which at 2 stacks finishes the cooldown on Master Strike/Ravage.

This tree is--in my opinion--the go to dps tree for most situations. It deals damage that is comparable to that of a marauder, and is a very fun spec to play. The DoT from Plasma Brand/Shatter combined with the direct damage of Impale/Overhead Slash, and Ravages/Master strikes weaved in to fill the gaps, produces some of the most formidable damage in the game.


The Immortal and Defense trees, very obviously, specialize in defense. They provide extra damage reduction a spare cool down in the form of Invincible/Warding Call which will reduce ALL damage taken by 40%, and increased threat abilities like Back Hand/Hilt Strike and Crushing Blow/Guardian Slash.

In PVP Tanks focus on taking objectives and protecting allies. They have a guard ability that can redirect damage from a player to the tank, and taunts to reduce the damage enemies deal to anyone besides the tank, by 30%. In PVE the job of a tank will be to--for the most part--make sure that the boss is attacking them rather than their teammates. This is again accomplished through taunts, but non-human enemies have what are called aggro tables. To keep threat on his targets the tank will need to make use of Soresu Form, which reduces all damage taken by 6%, increases armor rating by 60%, increases shield chance by 15%, and increases threat generation by 100%

I recommend this tree to anyone who likes being the center of attention. Generally tanks are scarce and therefore each and every one is treated like gold. And given that good tanks are so hard to come by you will generally have your pick of the loot.

Thanks for Reading

As always I appreciate the support you've given me by taking the time to read this. I hope I could help you in some way, however small.

Use Amazon to get a Star Wars The Old Republic Time Card at a Reduced Price

© 2014 Devin


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    • SimilarSam profile image

      Sam 3 years ago from Australia

      Impressive guide!