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Jedi Sentinel Padawan Guide: Levels 1-20

By on Dec 31, 2011 at 3:00 pm, in Article, Featured Article, Guides, SWTOR  |  Comments: 13 comments

Jedi Sentinel Guide 1-20

“We are the Jedi, the ultimate power in the universe. We will do as we choose. And we will destroy any who dare stand in our way.”
Jorus C’baoth, Outbound Flight (novel)

Guide Introduction:
The purpose of this guide is to give potential and current Sentinel players a good foundation to build on.   It will focus base mechanics and gameplay up to level 20.  It will not cover skill tree builds.  An advanced guide will follow this one that will analyze the different skill trees in the class.
 

Sentinel Overview:
The Jedi Knight Sentinel is a High DPS Melee character who lives in the thick of the battle.  Melee DPS roles are the only roles available to the Sentinel.
 
Stats:

The primary statistics of the Sentinel are Strength, Endurance and Willpower.   Strength is by far and way the most important statistic.  Endurance and Willpower follow next, but which is next is in priority is debatable.  For leveling, I recommend favoring endurance or willpower.
 

Strength is the primary statistic that drives the DPS of a Sentinel.  Strength increase damage dealt in melee combat and also increases the critical chance of melee attacks.  This stat is the most important to the Sentinel and should be maximized over all others.

Endurance increases the total health and the health regeneration rate of the character.  Since the Sentinel is always in the heart of the battle, adding endurance when possible is always a good idea.  Endurance should be given a little more priority for players who play a lot of warzones.

Willpower is the primary statistic for boosting force ability powers, also affects healing , bonus healing and critical strike rate for healing.  To maximize DPS, the Sentinel would prioritize willpower over endurance, as it will boost the force portions of damage in the Sentinel arsenal.
 
Secondary Stats:
While leveling, the gear used by the Sentinel will most likely consist of Strength and Endurance.  At later levels though, gear will start having secondary stats on them.   The secondary stats the Sentinel wants to be on the look out for are the following:

Critical rating increases the chance of getting critical  hits will abilities.

Power increases the strength of your all attacks, whether they be force attacks or non-force attacks.

Surge increases the damage of critical hits.

Accuracy increases the chance to hit with attacks.

Alacrity increases the speed at which the Sentinel can attack. It reduces the global cooldown for the Sentinel’s abilities,  therefore allowing the Sentinel to attack more frequently.  This mechanic is often seen in other MMO’s as haste.
 
Mechanics:

“When I spoke of sight before, there is a similar handicap that tends to occur among those strong in the Force. They neglect their skills. Some believe they no longer need them.”
―Kreia to Jedi Exile, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords

Focus
The Jedi Knight uses a resource system called focus to fuel it’s abilities.  The knight begins with zero Focus and gains Focus by using abilities that generate focus, to a maximum of 12.  A majority of the knight’s abilities expend Focus.  The trick is in managing the generation and spending of Focus while, tracking the cool down’s of the different abilities.

Build it, spend it, never have too much of it.

Centering
Activating an attack that spends focus and defeating opponents builds centering. When 30 stacks of centering are built, the Sentinel becomes centered, enabling the use of Zen, Transcendence and Inspiration.

Forms:

The Jedi Sentinel has 3 different forms (stances) that it uses:  Shii-Cho, Ataru and Juyo.  Different skill trees and abilities can affect the Sentinel’s abilities while in these forms.

Shii-Cho Form is a good, solid stance and is recommended for leveling and for PvP.

Ataru Form is an 11 point skill from the combat tree.  This is the stance the Jedi will reside in if using a Combat Skill spec.

Juyo Form  is trainable at level 14.  This form needs extended combat to really shine and is amplified by the Watchmen skill tree.
 
Gear and Crew Skills:
The Jedi Sentinel use dual lightsabers and wears medium armor.  For each of these items, choose them according to the recommended primary stats listed above.  As with any character, there isn’t a right or wrong choice to crew skills.   To review all of the different crew skills, view this ForceJunkies guide.  However, there are two crafting skills that allow the Sentinel to create/modify the Jedi’s armor and weapon.

Artifice
Supporting Crew Skills: Treasure Hunting, Archaeology
Items Made: Lightsabers, Armor/Weapon Enhancements, Lightsaber Hilts (mod for lightsabers), Lightsaber Crystals (mod for lightsabers), Relics and Generators (off-hand items)

Synthweaving
Supporting Crew Skills: Archaeology, Underworld Trading
Items Made: Light, Heavy and Medium Armor
 

Lightsabers

The Sentinel uses dual lightsabers. Once a moddable (orange name) lightsaber is obtained, there isn’t a need to get another.  The moddable lightsaber can have the modifications constantly updated. The lightsaber is made up of four item modifications, these mods combine to create the stats for the lightsaber.  Artifice should be the chosen crafting crew skill for those who want to keep their lightsaber stats maxed out.

“This weapon is your life.”
―Obi-Wan Kenobi to Anakin Skywalker regarding a lightsaber

Abilities
Listed below are the abilities obtained up to level 20.

Level 1
Shii-cho Form
The first form the Sentinel learns, it requires no focus to activate, but does need to be activated. (0 focus)

Strike
This is a quick attack that is primarily used to build focus. (+2 focus)

Introspection
This is the Jedi Knights out of combat health regeneration and requires no focus to activate.  (0 focus)

Force Might
The Jedi Knights class buff, don’t forget to keep it up. (0 focus)

Slash
This ability has no cool down, so should be used to eat up focus while other abilities are on cooldown. (-3 focus)

Level 2
Force Leap
Every fight should start with this ability if possible.   It instantly closes the gap between the Jedi and it’s target, deals damage, temporarily roots the target in place, generates three focus and looks awesome!  Bind it, use it, love it.  (+3 Focus)

Level 3
Force Sweep
This is a point blank AOE, meaning it will strike every enemy around the Jedi within 5m.  It will quite frequently stun opponents also.  A great attack to use after force leap. (-3 Focus)

Level 4
Saber Ward
A defensive cooldown to aid in survivability.  Saber Ward helps the Jedi to avoid incoming attacks, use it early and often, don’t save it for a rainy day. (No Focus)

Level 5
Riposte
This ability reads really well, but in practice it underwhelms.  As more abilities open up, this attack falls further and further down the priority list. (-3 Focus)

Level 6
Blade Storm
With a 10 meter range, this ability is great in pvp for closing in on other players or chasing them down.  It is high damage attack and has a chance to stun also. (-4 Focus)

Level 8
Master Strike
This ability is channeled, for a very cool animation, but it hits like a truck.  The lack of focus cost makes the channeling more palatable.  It has a bit of a cooldown (27 seconds), so it is best to use right away.   (0 Focus)

Level 9
Resolute
The Jedi Knight’s crowd-control breaker.   (No Focus)

Level 10
At this level, the Jedi Knight becomes a Sentinel.  When talking to a trainer, the Sentinel abilities are on a different tab than the rest of the Jedi Knight abilities.  Don’t forget to check it whenever training.

Centering
Discussed above in the mechanics section

Dual Wield
This is why you picked a Jedi Sentinel no?

Rebuke
A truly amazing ability, use it whenever it is available. (0 focus)

Zealous Strike
An ability that generates 6 focus!  This is the Sentinel opener, after Force Leap that is.  (+6 focus)

Zen
This ability varies on the form the Jedi is in.   Should be used when up, but it could use a buff considering the time it takes to build up. (0 focus)

Level 12
Cauterize
A DoT really only useful in PvP at the lower levels and bosses in Warzones.   (-2 focus)

Level 14
Juyo Form
A decent DPS increase at a slight cost in survivability.  Up to level 20, the encounters are so short, this form might not have a chance to shine until later levels.  (0 focus)

Sprint
The biggest game changing ability in the game, turn it on and leave it on.  (0 focus)

Level 15
Call on the Force
An emergency survivable button for the Sentinel.  While it is a great ability, the 20 minute cooldown seems very excessive.  A companion is required, so this ability is limited to PVE encounters.   (0 focus)

Level 16
Leg Slash
This ability, at least at the lower levels, is really only needed in PvP.  There aren’t any mobs that will try to run away from the player in the first 20 levels.  (-2 focus)

Level 18
Crippling Throw
A DoT that reduces healing, this is a great PvP ability, but once again, at low levels, not real useful in PVE.  (-3 focus)

Force Kick
This is the Sentinels interrupt, pretty standard MMO interrupt.  Definitely a top PvP ability and as the game goes one, becomes more important in PVE encounters as you hit 20.  Look for the casting bar above the target and kick away.  (-1 focus)
 

Skill Trees

“A Jedi whose lightsaber is guided by the Force need not fear the outcome of any battle.”
Anoon Bondara, Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter

The skill trees really don’t take on their own feel until the 11th skill point.  This guide will not discuss different builds, there will be an advanced guide that will follow this one examining the different builds.  The skills taken will craft the gameplay of the Sentinel and should be chosen to reflect the type of game the player wants to play.  Skills can be reset by visiting a skill mentor, so I recommend trying out all the different trees and builds.  Torhead has a great skill calculator for planning out builds.  Here is a brief overview of the different skill trees:

Watchman is a tree that focuses on DoT’s and gets stronger the longer battles go on.

Combat which teaches  Ataru form, is based on saving up focus for large crits and burst damage.

Focus is a tree that is really balanced and provides a lot more control with slows, stuns and rooting of opponents.

At first glance, Watchman appears to be PVE focused tree, well suited for Flashpoints and Operations.  However, while leveling up to 20, encounters are pretty short and I wouldn’t recommend using Watchman in the lower levels.  The Combat and Focus trees have good low level talents and are both good for PVE and PVP.
 

Companions

“Who’s the more foolish, the fool or the fool who follows him?”
Obi-Wan Kenobi to Han Solo, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

The first two companions the Sentinel get are game changing partners.  Either can be used to complete the content to level 20 and is really up to personal preference.  While T7 is a tank and could help with tougher longer battles, I had no problem doing all of the content with Kira.  When upgrading gear for the companions, always just go for their primary stat.

T7-01
Species:  Astromech Droid
Planet: Typhon
Playstyle: Ranged tank
Weapons: Blaster Rifle or Blaster Pistol and Shield Generator
Armor: Heavy
Primary Stat: Aim
Crew Skills: +10 Bioanalysis Efficiency, +2 Slicing Critical
Disposition: Light-side
Likes: Light-side morality choices, beating the empire
Dislikes: Dark-side morality choices, disrespecting authority
Gifts: Artifacts, Republic Memorabilia, Technology, Military gear and weapons.

Kira Carsen
Species: Female Human
Planet:  Coruscant
Playstyle: Melee DPS
Weapons:  Lightsaber, Double-bladed Lightsaber, Polesaber and Focus (off-hand item)
Armor: Light
Primary Stat: Willpower
Crew Skills: +5 Synthweaving Critical, +1 Investigation Critical
Disposition: Light-side
Likes: Being funny, mocking, getting involved and beating the empire, courting (from male)
Dislikes: Acting like a bounty hunter, cooperating with the Sith, being a bully
Gifts: Luxury, Technology, Cultural Artifacts, Republic Memorabilia, Trophies, Underworld Goods, Military Gear.
Special:  Force Tremor This ability is great, but is not on by default.  I recommend turning it on. It synergizes well with her Exsanguination stance.

SPEAK FRIEND AND DISQUS WITH US
  • Suro

    I am confused by this guide. It mentions “Willpower” as a DPS stat (which, since it can never be found on the same gear as strength, it a pointless note – sents should always gear for STR, then for END) and also claims that Alacrity affects the GCD (which it explicitly does not on instants or most melee abilities). Having read those two blatant inaccuracies already, I’m hesitant to keep reading, or trust anything by this author.

    • scott fleming

      i went willpower over strength, i can crit for 1k at level 24

      • Suro

        Have you tried a setup where all that willpower turns into Str? Similarly, how often are you critting? I had thought that Str gave you additional crit to work with..

        • Dragonquest73

          first of all some people just dont get it you dont take willpower over str as a sentinal…..omg really look at your stats with will power then look at your str you do way more damage  I MEAN WAY more damage with str will power is a distance distance 3rd stat

  • Suro

    I am confused by this guide. It mentions “Willpower” as a DPS stat (which, since it can never be found on the same gear as strength, it a pointless note – sents should always gear for STR, then for END) and also claims that Alacrity affects the GCD (which it explicitly does not on instants or most melee abilities). Having read those two blatant inaccuracies already, I’m hesitant to keep reading, or trust anything by this author.

    • scott fleming

      i went willpower over strength, i can crit for 1k at level 24

  • Suro

    I am confused by this guide. It mentions “Willpower” as a DPS stat (which, since it can never be found on the same gear as strength, it a pointless note – sents should always gear for STR, then for END) and also claims that Alacrity affects the GCD (which it explicitly does not on instants or most melee abilities). Having read those two blatant inaccuracies already, I’m hesitant to keep reading, or trust anything by this author.

    • scott fleming

      i went willpower over strength, i can crit for 1k at level 24

  • ScytheNoire

    Sentinel seems very squishy to me. And T7, from having played all the classes, is the worst tank companion. Not enjoying the Sentinel too much so far, although not bad in PvP.

  • Triptych21

    Yeah, im prettysure that as strength is their primary stat, it affects both force and melee damage.

    Willpower does boost force damage for them too, but there is no real reason for themto grab it.

    (That said, I did grab a strength implant for my shadow as it was the only option at the time)

    • JasonDodge

      Yes, STR is their primary stat, willpower is the secondary stat.  Much like Trooper/BH where AIM is their primary stat and cunning is secondary.

  • Triptych21

    Yeah, im prettysure that as strength is their primary stat, it affects both force and melee damage.

    Willpower does boost force damage for them too, but there is no real reason for themto grab it.

    (That said, I did grab a strength implant for my shadow as it was the only option at the time)

  • Triptych21

    Yeah, im prettysure that as strength is their primary stat, it affects both force and melee damage.

    Willpower does boost force damage for them too, but there is no real reason for themto grab it.

    (That said, I did grab a strength implant for my shadow as it was the only option at the time)

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