Mach 5 Massacre – In-Depth Marauder Guide

Mach 5 Massacre

An In-Depth Analysis of Sith Marauders

A Helpful Guide by Kiba

Introduction

Hello and thank you for reading this guide. This is the first time I’ve done something like this so try to go easy on me, however I’m open to any criticism or suggestions on how to improve it. My goal is to create a resource for the Marauder community so we don’t turn into ‘that’ class where only a small fraction of the community knows what they’re doing.

From my experience thus far Marauders are quite easy to pick up but fairly difficult to master. There’s a lot going on and a lot to watch so my plan is to try to spell out exactly what to do to make it easier for people to acquire the skill to truly **** things up as Marauders can.

I am writing this guide assuming you, the reader, are familiar enough with MMO/gaming jargon that I don’t need to define terms and spell out acronyms. If you are not familiar with any commonly used terms I suggest finding another term dictionary/resource as you will not find one here.

PS. Yes this is a repost; unfortunately I wasn’t able to re-name the thread for when it was no longer a WIP so I’m remaking it here. tl;dr my OCD took over.

What’s a Marauder?

Marauders are the dual-wielding (and thus superior) brother of the Juggernaut in the Sith Warrior family. Unlike our bulky brother we have no Tanking/Damage Taking capability and therefore rely on precise, powerful strikes to take down our foes.

Pros
– Great damage
– Easy to learn/Difficult to master mechanics
– Ability to choose from two different forms of damage dealing (direct or over-time)
– Can off-tank to some extent
– Good mobility when available
– Provides 15% damage/healing increase to entire group (5min CD)
– 50% move speed increase/10% defense increase to group on no CD (save for re-generating Fury)
– 90% Accuracy debuff for 6sec on 60sec CD
– Two lightsabers

Cons
– Damage relies on constant monitoring of skill CDs, Rage, incoming Rage and Fury
– Easy to learn/Difficult to master mechanics
– Mobility is limited and comes to a halt while on CD
– Squishy when our CDs are down
– Lack of innate control in PvP
– Melee DPS suffers from movement, close-range AoE damage, and any time off a boss
– Since two lightsabers is obviously superior, you’re going to be focused down/snared/knocked back/controlled
– ^ Partially true, however it will be because your damage can be ridiculous if left unchecked

Talent Overview

We have three talent trees each providing a different style of damage dealing to more better customize playing experience:

If you enjoy making your target bleed to death while charging from point blank Annihilation will probably be the spec for you. Focused around the Juyo tree, you’ll be hitting harder and causing your enemies to hemorrhage in front of your eyes while constantly pressing the attack with Charge. This aggressive style is most commonly found in Dark-Side users and a notable practitioner is none other than Darth Maul.

Carnage, on the other hand, is all about direct damage. You won’t be participating in any set-it-and-forget-it combat: instead every button press will focus on dealing direct damage and will almost directly fall into the next ability like a dance. This spec is based around the Ataru form, combining skill with a weapon and fluid, acrobatic motions with the Force to overpower your foe through superior maneuverability. Notable practitioners include Qui-gon Jinn and Yoda.

Last but not lease, Rage is a spec based around mobility and enemy control and, for that reason, will more than likely fall into the PvP spec of choice. Shared with Juggernauts, Fury gives us another Force Charge, more slow utility (including adding on onto Smash) and some perks to using the ever popular Force Choke. This spec revolves around the Shii-Cho form, the first form available to all Sith Warriors. It focuses around balance and is often known as a tutorial form to lightsaber combat. Notable practitioners of Shii-Cho are Obi-wan Kenobi, Luke Skywalker, and Kit Fisto.

***Note***

If you are Annihilation you should (read: need to) be in Juyo form.

If you are Carnage you should (read: need to) be in Ataru form.

If you are Rage you should (read: need to) be in Shii-Cho form.

Each of these specs is focused around its specific form, no questions asked. There is no reason/need/etc to change forms during berserk or for any other reason. I will go into more specific detail why in each spec’s respective guide.
***End***

Don’t Steal My ****

If you want to re-post this PM me or hit me up in game and be sure to cite your source.

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Fus Ro Dah

Or, How to Not Suck at Playing a Carnage Marauder

By Kiba

What is Carnage?

Carnage is one of the three available Marauder trees focusing around dealing bursts of direct damage with Force Scream (hence the Fus Ro Dah), Massacre and Ravage. In my opinion it is an absolutely amazing solo/leveling spec due to its quick-killing ability, but will also perform exceptionally well in end-game along with Annihilation.

The spec revolves around Ataru Form’s extra damage proc, the free rage given from Blood Frenzy, the insta-crit Force Scream, Gore, Ravage, and Berserk/Massacre spams. Because of the ‘unstable’ nature of the damage dealing Carnage will have a priority-based ability queue and not a rotation like other classes will.

Talents

The Carnage tree is extremely straight forward and most can probably put together the correct spec by just glancing through it quick (protip, it’s this: http://www.torhead.com/skill-calc#100bcZhGrbddMorsZG.1 )

Key Talents:

Ataru Form: The ONLY form you will ever be in, Ataru gives us our extra attack that deals a fair amount of damage and allows for one phase of our attack cycle to occur.

Blood Frenzy: Part 1 of the attack cycle triggered by Ataru, every Ataru strike will proc this buff which will grant 1 rage after 6 seconds.

Towering Rage: Part 2 of the attack cycle triggered by Ataru, while Blood Frenzy is active Force Scream has a 100% critical strike chance.

Gore: 100% armor penetration on a 15 second cool-down. Need I say more?

Massacre: No cool-down, costs 3 rage, automatically deals an Ataru strike and increases Ataru strike chance by 30% (for a total of 50%) for 6 seconds. This does roughly the same amount of damage with the Ataru proc as Vicious Slash, and is therefore its replacement (there’s a reason Ataru Berserk reduces the rage/GCD for Vicious Slash AND Massacre).

Other Important Talents:

Rattling Voice -> Sever: Makes your Scream cost less/usable more often. -> Makes your Scream, Massacre, and Ataru proc critical strikes hit harder.

Execute: Ataru procs have a 30% chance to make your next rage dealer do 10% more damage. Necessary to get to Blood Frenzy, however timing the 10% damage proc with a Force Scream is god-like.

Enraged Slash: Essentially makes Massacre’s rage cost 2 (and by extension making Berserk worth 6 Rage due to it lowering Massacre’s cost by 1). **Massacre still requires 3 Rage to use, however will only use two of them (costs 3 but refunds 1).

The above spec is, of course, including the 6 filler skill points. Below are the ones I feel are viable for end-game, marked with my *personal favorites. The placement of them is completely a personal decision.

Cloak of Carnage: Cloak generates 1 rage when it reciprocates damage, 3 second cool-down. Okay on any AoE that procs it and it’s decent if you’re off-tanking anything, however it would easily turn Cloak into a DPS cooldown and healers will hate you for it: you shouldn’t be standing in fire.

*Defensive Roll: The only damage you’ll be taking in an Operation should be AoE, this reduces all AoE damage by 30%. Pretty damn nice.

*Enraged Charge: Charge generates one extra Rage. I’m a sucker for mobility and this makes our main (really only) mobility ability even better. Knockbacks are really common and this will help alleviate them. With Carnage’s huge Rage dependence it’s an added bonus.

Erupting Fury: Increases Fury generated from defeating opponents by 2. Meh. In a boss fight (minus adds) you won’t be killing anything until the end, therefore this is extremely situational however decent for leveling/soloing.

Displacement: Deadly Throw immobilize/increased Obfuscate range. You’re melee/bosses can’t be immobilized. Next.

Unbound: Decent for any knockback/slow combos, however since Carnage doesn’t have a close range charge like Annihilation it will (read should) be up when you need it.

*Overwhelm: Ravage immobilizes the target for the duration. “But Kiba, you said bosses can’t be immobilized.” Yes, but you missed the part where I said personal choice. This adds no direct damage increase but offers extreme utility for the spec in PvP, especially spur of the moment ganks planet-side.

Rotation (Or Lack There-of)

As I said, Carnage relies heavily on a priority system. This is mainly due to the cool-downs not matching up perfectly and spiky rage regeneration from Blood Frenzy.

To make it less confusing, the opening rotation should look like this:

Charge -> Gore -> Ravage -> Battering Assault -> (Massacre if no Blood Frenzy) -> Force Scream -> Massacre

This will be the only time Massacre will be ahead of Force Scream and is to insure there is a Blood Frenzy rolling.

After your opener you will want to keep Ravage, Gore, Force Scream and Battering Assault on CD at all times while weaving in Massacres and Assaults in when you can (Assault -> Massacre = no net Rage loss).

The mid-fight priority is thus:

Gore > Ravage > Battering Assault > Force Scream > Berserk > Massacre

Using Gore into Ravage is incredible burst and should be done whenever possible. Force Scream is, of course, only used when Blood Frenzy is up and is in front of Massacre because of the free crit and the cool-down.

Even though Massacre is at the bottom of the list, when you think of Berserk (which is essentially a free 6 Rage) when using Massacre and the cool-down of all the abilities in front of it you will find yourself using it a lot.

Pretty obvious, however you will, at some point, use Bloodthirst instead of a Berserk for a raid-wide burn phase. Know when it’s coming and have the Fury for it.

Stat Priority

Strength: Our Primary stat. Increases damage and critical chance with melee and Force powers. You want to maximize this.

Endurance: Lets you stand in fire longer. You want it, but don’t go out of your way. Your job is to kill things.

Willpower: You don’t want it, Inquisitors will kill you.

Aim: You don’t want it, Bounty Hunters will kill you.

Cunning: You don’t want it, Agents will kill you.

((This section will need to be updated as more information becomes available, but as of now this will probably be the best allocation.))

Secondary stats available are:

Accuracy: Increases chance for attacks to hit; over 100% it reduces the target’s defense (dodge/parry).

Power: Increases damage done by melee and Force attacks.

Critical: Increases critical strike chance.

Surge: Increases critical strike damage bonus.

Alacrity: Reduces activation time. (There is much debate on whether or not this does/should affect the base GCD (for us attack speed) however at this point evidence is pointing to it only affecting the GCD on activated abilities (for us Ravage) and is therefore pretty terrible.

As for priorities, at this point I’ve been able to piece together this:

Accuracy to 110% > Power > (Accuracy over 110%) > Crit > Surge

What it comes down to is reaching our Main Hand hit cap before adding anything else.

All special attacks (everything but Assault) have a base 100% chance to hit. It is currently theorized that bosses have a 10% Defense chance (parry/deflect). By increasing our Accuracy to 110% we negate the Defense chance for our special abilities (Ravage, Gore, Massacre, Scream, etc can no longer miss).

Power is next simply due to it being our “attack power” and “spell power” stat rolled into one. It increases Scream’s base damage and all of our melee abilities.

It’s possible accuracy over 110% will come next, however this is still in speculation. This will decrease the chance for Assault to be parried/dodged as well as add to our off-hand special accuracy (our off-hand is 33% less accurate).

Finally we come to Critical and Surge. Without hard numbers to put this against it all comes down to theory, however there are two main reasons I put them last. For one, one of our abilities will have a 100% crit chance every time it’s used. On top of that, if, for instance, Ravage is parried there’s no chance for a crit (assuming it calculates a hit before a crit). So, like above, it’s possible our Off-Hand hit-cap should be reached before we focus on Crit/Surge, however again this is speculation.

Surge is also a very hard stat to math because its value changes with changes to Power/Crit. When more Critical is added it becomes more valuable because it will get used more but if more Power is added the base is larger therefore less Surge will give the same result.

Closing

In the long run I feel Carnage is an extremely powerful spec. I feel at home playing a class with a proc-based extra attack (combat swords <3) and this is definitely my personal favorite tree. The added utility immobilize is a god-send in world PvP and even more so in Huttball (protip: immobilize them over the fire). That and, of course, it’s the only spec that revolves around a Thu’um.

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reserved for annihilation

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reserved for rage

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Special thanks: Kibaken
Source: http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=72872