SWTOR Jedi Shadow Tanking Guide

SWTOR Jedi Shadow Tanking Guide by MercArcher

Welcome to the in depth guide for Jedi Shadow tanking in Star Wars: The Old Republic. This guide will equip you with the basics of tanking with a Jedi Shadow as well as provide advanced discussion into various aspects of tanking.

Please note this is from the beta. I will be updating this post for live soon. Most of the information is still accurate however.


This is your main tanking spec, There are very few optional points of wiggle room. The points invested into Rapid Recovery can be re-invested anywhere in the kinetic tree.


Kinetic Combat

Tier 1

Double-bladed Saver Defense – 4% melee and range defense as well as up to 2 force per second regen

Technique Mastery – 9% internal and elemental (caster damage) resistance

Tier 2

Mental Fortitude – 3% more Endurance

Elusiveness – 15 second cooldown reduction on Resilience from 1m to 45s (removes all debuffs AND increases force and tech resistance by 100%)

Rapid Recovery – Filler points, can be swapped with Nerve Wracking in Tier 5

Tier 3

Mind Over Matter – Takes Resilience duration from 3s to 5s, also makes Force Speed break ensnares.

Particle Acceleration – Refreshes Project cooldown and makes project crit harder. Project is high on priority list for tanks.

Kinetic Ward – Increases shield block rate for 8 blocks

Shadowsight – 2% defense

Tier 4

Impact Control – 4% better shields and a 10% heal on a major cooldown

One with the Force – Lets us spam buttons more.

Tier 5

Bombardment – Increases effectiveness of Project.

Stasis – Bonus armor and Spining kick outside stealth. Kick is a 2s knockdown.

Force Pull – GET OVER HERE!

Nerve Wracking – Filler Points. Can be swapped with Rapid Recovery in Tier 2

Tier 6

Harnessed Shadows – Gives us a heal and the ability to use Tele Throw while tanking.

Force Break – Drastically increases the damage of our AoE tanking skills.

Tier 7

Slow Time – An AoE debuff reducing targets damage done.


Tier 1

Jedi Resistance – 2% less damage taken

Force Synergy – Project will be spammed giving you 9% melee crit whenever it crits

Tier 2

Upheaval – Improves Project again

Psychokinesis – Reduces the force cost of our 2 go to skills


Shadows are both a cooldown and a proc based tanking class leading to a priority list for skills rather than an actual rotation. This rotation includes watching buffs, debuffs, procs, and cooldowns leading to a complicated priority list.

Single Target

Force Breach Debuff = Kinetic Ward > Slow Time > Telekinetic Throw (3 stacks) > Project > Double Strike > Saber Strike

Keeping up the Force Breach debuff gives all enemies a 5% chance to miss, you should not be spamming Force Breach, only using it enough to keep the debuff up.

Next is Kinetic Ward. This skill increases your shield’s block rate by 15% for 8 blocks AND is off the GCD!. This skill is both defensive and offensive as it synergises extremely well with the talent Double Bladed Saber Defense and will give you 2 force every time you shield an attack giving you the force needed to maintain the rotation. The less you are pressing Saber Strike, the better off your threat will be. You will use this ability every time as soon as it is off CD

Slow Time is your main threat generating ability, as well as an important debuff on the target. The debuff makes the target deal 5% less damage increasing your survivability while generating a large amount of threat.

Telekinetic Throw with 3 stacks of Harnessed Shadows makes your throw uninteruptable, deal 75% more damage, and heal you for 12% of your maximum HP. This skill can be prioritized higher if you have three stacks and are desperately in need of a heal.

Project is a proc skill that you will have to watch for. When you have a proc of Particle Acceleration is when you want to also use your Force Potency cooldown. Force Potency increases the crit of project by 60% and increases the crit damage of project by 50%. Force Potency is off the GCD and has no cost so it can be used freely when casting project.

Double Strike is your go-to skill when everything is on cooldown. This is how you get your Project procs. It isn’t something that you want to be spamming Only use it when nothing else is available.

Saber Strike is what you use when you are out of energy and have a GCD to use.


Force Breach Debuff > Kinetic Ward > Slow Time > Whirling Blow > Saber Strike

Your AoE rotation follows the same basic list of your single target, however it replaces everything after Slow Time with Whirling Blow. Whirling Blow is a spammable attack that hits all targets within range. It also procs project so if you are trying to hold a single large mob with a bunch of smaller adds continue to use Project and Telekenitic Throw (3 stacks) in front of Whirling Blow.

Energy costs
Force Breach – 20
Kinetic Ward – Free
Slow Time – 30
Telekinetic Throw – 30
Project – 39
Double Strike – 23
Whirling Blow – 40


Shadow has a large amount of cooldowns at its disposal for tanking.

Force Speed (remove movement impairments)
Resilience (removes all debuffs and grants 100% force and tech resistance for 5 seconds)
Deflection (50% melee and ranged defense for 12 seconds)
Mass Mind Control (AoE Taunt)
Battle Readiness (10% heal and 300% increase of Combat Technique healing for 15 seconds)
Unity (Unsure if usable solo) (Reduce damage taken to you and your companion by 50%)
Force of Will (Removes all incapacitating effects)
Force Cloak (Vanish – Possible complete agro drop !!!USE WITH CARE STOPS ALL HEALING FOR 10 SECONDS!!!)

Force Potency (60% crit for 2 attacks/30 meter range Telekinetic throw)

Other Useful Skills

Mind Control (Taunt)
Guard (Share 50% damage, reduce threat gen by 25%, reduce damage by 5%)
Mind Snap (Interrupt)
Force Stun (Stun)
Force Wave (Knock back)
Force Clow (50% slow)
Tumult (High damage to incapacitated targets)
Spinning Kick (2 second knockdown)
Spinning Strike (Execute)
Mind Maze (Out of Combat CC)

Gearing – WIP

Some notes about shadow gearing.

170% bonus from armor giving us 270% armor contribution
7% damage reduction
3% bonus stamina
6% bonus defense
19% bonus resist (elemental and internal)
30% bonus shield chance
4% bonus shield absorb
5% enemy miss chance
50% bonus threat generation
Base Parry – 10% (Melee)
Base Deflect – 10% (Ranged)
Force Regen rate – 8/sec base, 10.3/sec talented, 12.3/sec with procs

Stat Scaling
10 armor = 27 armor
1 endurance = 10 hp
100 endurance = 3 hp regen
10 defense = 1% deflect and parry (no DR seen yet)
4 Shield Absorption = 3%
232 accuracy = 100% hit

Work in Progress. Will update after more testing.

Consumables – WIP
Rakata Fortitude Stim – 136 Endurance 56 Defense for 2 hours
This stim will give us 1400 HP and 5.6% deflect and parry if talented %defense is static, 5.9% if it adjusts your stats.

Rakata Absorb Adrenal – 1725 armor for 15 seconds, 3 min CD
This potion will give 4657 armor if adjusted by % armor increase providing a rough 30% increase to survivability. If it stays 1725 armor it is a rough 14% increase to survivability. Either way prepare to use a lot of these adrenals.

Rakata Medpac – Restores 5050 to 6175 health and an additional 2245 health over 15 seconds.
If this shares a cooldown with the Absorb Adrenal it won’t see much use, if not this provides some nice burst healing in a pinch.

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3 Responses

  1. Nathan says:

    yes thdaldan slow time is a major agro grabber also i found that the rotation i use that works well is:
    Kin ward b4 attacking and keep up
    project, force breach, slow time, saber strike, project again, then telekinetic throw for the heal
    (note project can be cast while moving into the pile or running up to the mob)
    if i want the guaranteed crit for project which helps on aggro i do the following
    kin ward, project, breach, slow time, saber strike x2 (single) double strike or (multi) whirling blow, if it causes the proc i can do project and if not i keep resetting the stacks and try again.
    this strat works best against single mobs but can be used in a group

  2. thdaldan says:

    i have trouble holding aggro but i dont have slow time yet will that help me (for aoe my single target is fine)

  3. Exildor says:

    What do you mean by this:
    4 Shield Absorption = 3%?

    there is something called Shield Rating and something called Absorbation Rating.

    Shield Rating determines how often your shield proc and Absorbation Rating determines how much dmg will be absorbed by shield.

    10 Absorbation Rating = 1% Shield Absorbation
    10 Shield Rating = 0.6% Shield Chance

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