SWTOR – Ombre Tank #2 (3.0)

Who I am
Alejandra Rangel


Guide for beginners to Nightmare Mode

Let me introduce myself, Shevadra, Shadow tank on the Kraken Guild's MoTF. I have been playing since 2.0. I will introduce you to my way of playing the Shadow Tank.

3.0 didn't make any big changes to tanking, we still have defense, shield, and absorption as the main stats. In terms of powers, the Shadow has not undergone any significant evolution, compared to other classes, like the Vanguard DPS.

Summary :

  • Disciplines
  • Cycle
  • Statistics and equipment
  • Defensive powers
  • The tanking
  • Conclusion



The talent tree is gone, the disciplines are.

Basically nothing has changed, what was there before is either available as a passive spell, in your discipline path, or with the help of use points. The Usages, which we choose with the usage points, are to be chosen unlike the discipline path common to all Tank Shadows, which are mostly unimportant, however, we have some interesting points.

There is no diagram to follow, these utilities are to be changed depending on the Bosses, the trashes, it will be necessary to think about when to take them by dint of knowing the fights, some may seem useless for the moment and become so over the years. game evolutions.

My opinion on these different Uses and some examples on when to choose them:

  • Skill
  • mastery
  • Heroic

Speed : (Reduces the cooldown of theMuddled mind, 30 seconds that of the Strength of will and 5 seconds that of the Force Speed.) Useful for reducing reuse times.

Obstruction resolution : (Reduces the cooldown of theForce Stun of 10 seconds. In addition, your Lift by Force affects up to 2 additional weak or standard targets within 8 yards of the target.) More useful in PvP than PvE, ZL, or on trash to stun multiple enemies at once.

Mental defense : (Reduces all damage taken while stunned by 30%.) Useful in PvP or against bosses that stun and slap at the same time, a perfect example of Sparky (1st Ravager boss during his tank burst phase).

Subterfuge : (Increases your effective stealth level by 5 and your movement speed by 15%.) Increases stealth and speed, 15% more speed, it's up to you if you need it, personally. Force Speed me suffit.

Vilipendage : (Increases damage dealt by the Whirlpool shotVery important in tank, allows to have an incomparable multi-target aggro compared to other tanks.

Shadowy veil : (Increases your armor index by 30% when Strength Technique or Shadow Technique are active. Additionally, targets you protect gain Shadow Veil when damaged, increasing their damage reduction by 1%. Cumulative 3 times. This effect is available once per second and lasts up to 10 seconds if you keep the protection on the target.) I spoke badly, if there is one point to take it is him, armor + buff on the protected ally. However the light armor remains of the light armor don't forget it (be careful not to think that we are more resistant than before, the 30% given were available in the tree and are now a use).

Wake of Force : (The flow of Force unbalances its targets, immobilizing them for 5 seconds. Direct damage inflicted after 2 seconds breaks the effect.) A projection (bump) that immobilizes 5 seconds, useful in PvP or on Styrak NiM to bump the adds during the hologram for example.

Mind over matter : (Increases the duration of the Résilience and 0,5 seconds that of the Force Speed.) Force speed of 2,5 seconds instead of 2. Resilience of 5 seconds instead of 3. Useful in PvP as well as PvE.

Captivating techniques : (Increases the duration of Force Slowing and reduces its cooldown by 6 seconds each.) Useful in PvP. No interest in PvE.

Fanage : (Reduces the cooldown of the Black-out and 30 seconds that of theForce Occultation.) Useful in PvP, combined with Resilience Camouflage (another use) we can see a second Résilience of 2 seconds every 1min30.

Anxiety : (Targets controlled by your Rotating kick Or your Force Stun take 5% more damage from all sources.) Not useful in PvE, very useful in PvP.

Issue : (The Force Speed grants the issue, removing all movement-impairing effects and making them immune to all movement effects for its duration.) Useful if a boss Roots or Slows, but very useful in PvP!

Sapped spirit : (When the damage prematurely interrupts your Lift by Force, the target has a shattered mind and deals 25% less damage for 10 seconds.) Not useful in PvE, very useful in PvP.

Force Harmonics : (Reduced by 2,5 seconds the cooldown of the Force flow. The Strength Content grants 1 additional charge.) Useful on Styrak NiM for bumping more often and combined with Wake of Force to manage a single side for example. Or for a DPS for the plus content charge.

Humility strike : (When a target recovers from stuns by Rotating kick or Force Stun, its movement speed is reduced by 90% for 3 seconds.) Useful in PvP. Useless in PvE.

Shade shelter : (Increases all healing received by 3%. In addition, the deployment of Phase walk Also deploys Shadow Shelter, increasing healing done by characters within 5 yards of the Phase walk.) More care all the time more when you are under the Phase walk useful in both PvP and PvP.

Containment : (If the damage interrupts your Lift by Force, the target is stunned for 2 seconds. Additionally, Force Lift activates instantly.) Very situational in PvE, another daze (yet another?) For Shadow in PvP.

Aplomb : (The activation of the Deflection makes you immune to stuns, sleep, heaves, and crippling effects.) Very useful as stuns tend to 3.0, PvE and PvP (does not dodge bumps).

Martial prowess : (The Force Pull immobilizes its target for 3 seconds, Serene strike immobilizes its target for 2 seconds and Low lunge Roots its target for 1 second after the crippling effect dissipates.) Useful in PvP and Infiltration DPS for immobilizing on the Low Slash.

Resilience Camouflage : (The activation ofForce Occultation grants resilience for 2 seconds.) Almost essential in PvP, 9 seconds of resilience including 4 seconds which are linked only to flight, no need to use your resilience to flee! A true UP of the shadow resistance, in PvP! Useful on Sunder in the last phase of the Cartel Leaders when he sends his spell to 90K! More than a vanish, occultation becomes a defensive spell.

Motion control : (The Force Camouflage increases your movement speed by 50% while active and the Force Slowing reduces his target's movement speed by an additional 20%.) 50% speed buff under Force Occultation. To escape faster in PvP or slow down more.


The cycle

Some will say that there is no cycle on a tank on the contrary, there are certain things to know that will optimize your DPS, therefore your threat, but which also makes it possible to fill certain lack of DPS especially on the Council of 'Nightmare Dread, between a tank at 1000 DPS a and one at 1600, that changes a lot!

As a reminder, your biggest threat spells (apart from taunts) are Debris cascade Projection and Idle time (there is also the Shadow Strike but which can only be used at certain times, I will explain this point later), these are therefore the spells to use as soon as possible however, the Debris Cascade can only be used with the 3 accumulations of Tedding .

  • Sweater
  • Monocible
  • Multi-target

First of all, don't forget your Tank shape, that is to say the Combat technique. Then the Phase walk where your healers are or under the boss if possible for you and melee, plus stealth for the 4 stacks of Shadow Protection when exiting stealth mode.

Combat Technique

Phase walk



Kinetic Guard

Force Speed

Force Pull

Idle time


Force Breach

Double attack


Here lies all the optimization between a Shadow Tank and a good Shadow Tank, there are 2 procs to manage:

Be there Double attack do proc Projection, we then continue with Projection, then under 3 accumulations, Debris cascade.

Either she only does proc Shadow Strike, we then go on Shadow Strike and Projection, then under 3 accumulations, Debris cascade.

Either she does both and then we go on Shadow Strike, then under 3 accumulations, Debris cascade, then Shadow Strike.

Either no proc, we restart Shadow Strike, then Projection, then under 3 accumulations, Debris cascade.

You can just before Debris cascade lancer Mind control, it was often the hollow moment to pull the casting of this spell but it is less so, to use to secure your engage. Note that the single and multi-target taunt between 0 and 3 meters only increases the threat by 10% and 30% at more than 3 meters, which is why, if the combat allows it, you must provoke in being more than 3 meters.

The rest of the cycle is content to mount the accumulations of Tedding to make a Debris cascade under 3 stacks to benefit from the 4% resistance proc, and refresh Idle time as soon as it is available, and Force Breach every 45 seconds, and use your 2 procs Shadow Strike et Projection in the right way.

The bottom line is that both Shadow Envelope and Particle Acceleration procs should be handled in the best way possible. We have several possible variants such as never using a Projection without the proc for example. I will give you my opinion on these 2 trials.

The Particle Acceleration proc resets the cooldown of the Projection, the other allows to use an attack similar to the Double attack Shadow Strike, but which generates twice as much threat (twice as much damage) and can proc Particle Acceleration.

Which seems logical:

  • Have the Particle Acceleration proc with the Projection under CD, so as not to have a proc that is only half-used.
  • Use a Slap in the back (under Shadow Envelope) only when the Projection is on CD, potentially not having a Particle Acceleration proc half-used.

Why ?

  • You might as well make a Projection unbuffered, try your luck with a Shadow Strike or a Double attack, have a proc and do a Projection buffed. Rather than waiting for a proc that will only be used halfway (we do not benefit from the reset of the cooldown, only the critical hit). In addition, do not forget that the process of Projection which only makes a single critical hit and with 51% surge (50% base + 1% partners) it does not increase the threat enough to such an extent to use this spell only under proc.
  • Likewise you do not normally use the Double attack that if you have nothing more to refresh (Force Breach, Idle time ou Projection) since the Shadow Strike, under proc, has the same effects (it can do proc Particle Acceleration), use it instead of a Double attack.

Of course this is all theoretical, in practice it is not easy to set up, although the highlighted spells can help!

Do not forget either that when it is below 30%, the Rotary strike is available, it allows a good up of damage and therefore threat, although I doubt that with all these tips, you still have threat issues.

La Rotary strike fully replaces the Double attack. Under 30%, do not use your Double attack only if your Rotary strike did not proc there Projection or Slap in the back. Or if the Slap in the back did not proc there Projection, and that consequently the Rotary strike is on CD and the Slap in the back is not under proc.

The sweater remains the same,

First of all, do not forget your Tank shape, that is to say the Combat technique. Then the Phase March where your healers are located or under the boss if possible for you and the Melee, plus the stealth for the 4 stacks of Shadow Protection when you exit stealth mode.

Combat Technique

Phase walk




Forget the 2 procs mentioned above, forget your Debris Cascade. Enter Commando Mode 2.0 and use ONLY Force Breach et Idle time as soon as they are up, if not spam Whirlpool, don't forget your Mass mind control when you start to lose one or two adds.


Statistics and equipment

We attack my favorite part.

We all know this beautiful image:

In absolute terms, we know that it takes several Tank equipment to be 100% optimized, one focused on Defense, another Shield and Absorption and a mixed one. If we could even change the equipment between 2 boss phases, that would be great! But it is very (too) complicated to do so. We just take a little Defense, a little Abs / Shield and it works very well, even in NiM! All this without the slightest point of endurance, because it is evil!

I took a whole different approach to 3.0, so no I'm not full Power / Presence Stamina, whatever I can do, I'm writing that down for 4.0! No I said to myself, full stuff opti 72 darvannis HM it was not complicated, full 180 opti FE / PE HM it was very simple, 3.0 HM full stuff opti = easy, so instead of taking my head with the 'Opti Defense / Shield / Abso I take the lead with Endurance! And it's fun! I have more HP than some strong to see elite!

I'm not saying it's the most optimized. But to answer some detractors, do you know the internal damage? Imagine a full Stuff 186 Shadow: Defense = 20% Shield = 41% Absorption = 50%, with about 46K HP at level 60, if it takes 10K internally, or about 22% of its total HP impossible to dodge or absorb! But me with my 59K at level 60 with just full endurance improvements, currently I will only take 17%! That is 5 points less, so I am more resistant in Endurance tank than in Opti Tank!

I am not saying that we should follow this example, I know that my reasoning does not take everything into account but it is not wrong! If you want to help your healers, go full opti. But considering my healers as good players and who, themselves, tell me that they are bothered in the raid, I tell myself that making them work can only do them good in view of the NiM, where I will optimize myself ! Here is a link, where you can see the performance of the statistics and how to distribute them.


Defensive powers

Mental bravery : level 59 (in the discipline path), allows your Strength Content to grant 30% Absorption for 20 seconds, so I recommend that you no longer use it as a damage burst, unless combat allows it, but as a defensive power. If you can run it at the same time as the Kinetic guard, the combo is very very interesting. CD: 1min30.

Résilience : For 3 seconds (plus 2 seconds with Usages), you are immune to Force and Techno damage, plus dispels any undoable effect. Fast recovery level 48 (in the discipline path), allows to have a resilience every 30 seconds in theory, thanks to the reduction of the CD by 1 sec with each dodge. CD: 1min.

Deflection: 50% Defense for 12 seconds, immune to all stuns. CD: 2min.

Readiness to fight : Heals you for 15% of your health, grants you a 25% damage resistance bonus, thanks to Shadow Sight level 56. CD: 2min.

Kinetic guard : Increases shield chance and absorption when the power is activated and your shield proc thanks to Kinetic Bulwark level 36 (in the discipline path) to be used continuously or to keep if a burst phase occurs. CD: 20 sec.

Force Occultation: combined with Force Camouflage, allows you to have a new resilience of 2 seconds, be careful this remains a vanish. CD: 2min or 1min30 if you are taking Fanage.

Activatable relics + dopants, a very good combo.

3.0 gave us increased resistance, we can be under defensive powers about 70% of the time.


The tanking

I'll show you how I play my Tank. This is by no means the best way to play, but it can help you find your way to play.

My interface 

It looks a lot like the default one, but you can see the target of the target very useful for aggro losses and instant taunt to regain aggro. Likewise for the concentrated target, you must activate it in the interface editor, as a reminder alt + f to put your current target in concentrated target. This can be used in particular on Brontes NiM in P4 to know what percentage of life the boss is at, and to know if you can pass the hand.

We also see shortcuts on my powers, I do not force you to bind spells and I do not forbid you the mouse click since I did both separately and I still do both simultaneously, even if the mouse is more useful to me for very situational spells (60sec stun, Force Occult etc). Remember that binds allow you to be very reactive and that this is incomparable compared to a mouse clicker. But since you can click next to it, you can press next to it. This is not the only solution and the only way to play.

We also see holes in my bars before there was not that no no! Thanks BioWare and 3.0! So I was too lazy to hand over, PvP stim, Darvannis shield, etc ...

What we do not see

The operating framework, I put the life bars rather thick with the numbers and the large debuffs, it allows to know when someone has a debuff and to announce to him (not to do if you have an RL in your group of course).

My camera in combat, I see a lot of players using ZQSD to make all their movements, especially thanks to the side steps, personally I use normal ZQSD (no side step) + right click it allows a similar result or even faster flips and more precise placements (slightly), however I lose the use of the click during some of my phases of movement especially on the NiM board. But it is compensable by TAB.

What I should change, I could for example place a spell bar (or even two by gathering all my bind spells) at the bottom very small to gain visibility, rebalance the size of all the modules present (portrait / life bar , buff, mini-map, menu etc).

The course of the fighting

I pull first for aggro (if I have to pull of course), I taunt always being more than 3 meters away to generate 30% more threat.

I use my defensive powers one by one: the long CDs first, I keep my Résilience only on heavy Force or Techno attacks, Lightning Blast for example. Put his Résilience on a Expert Strike, it is not interesting at all! I use my Force Occultation to reset my dopant and my medipack.

I try to keep my eyes as less as possible on my power bar / buff, but more on the boss, what he does, my placement, what my group is doing and my knowledge of the fight to anticipate at best and help my teammates. To do this, I impose myself to know the strategy that the DPS and the healers have, as well as the second tank to be able to act in their interest.

You can also use the sound of the game, some bosses announce a typical sentence before the appearance of addons (Bestia on Dread Palace) or a bump (Slayer on Darvannis).

In addition, even after having passed a boss and therefore having a strategy that works, I try to improve what I do by using, for example, powers that I do not use, or by looking for a more suitable placement. I never rest on my achievements.



If you knew how to play Shadow 2.0 you won't be lost, overall Shadow 2.0 and 3.0 are the same. Finally, the Debris Cascade offers us real entertainment and not just a throwing of gravel. I hope I have been clear in my remarks, do not hesitate to ask me questions or to discuss certain points. Thanks for reading me. I would also like to thank my guild for helping me with this guide including Keros and Mothership.

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