Star Wars: The Old Republic - Infiltration Shadow Guide (6.3)


The Jedi Shadows, along with their opposite-faction counterparts the Sith Assassin's, are among the most form-breaking classes in Star Wars: The Old Republic. The closest approximation the game has to the typical "rogue" class, Shadows are among the most survivable classes in the game, and their tank discipline tops out all the leaderboards.

The Infiltration discipline is aimed at the players who want the closest equivalent of the 'rogue' playstyle, focusing on burst DPS and, as the name suggests, sneaking.

Introduction

Of the three specializations Jedi Shadow players can choose from, Infiltration fills the burst-DPS role, with Kinetic Combat being the Tank discipline, and Balance being the other DPS spec. It is mirrored by the Deception Assassin.

Unlike the other Consular subclass, Sage, which focuses above all else on casting and ranged combat, the Jedi Shadows are a melee class blending Force-based abilities with lightsaber attacks, using multiple abilities that can quickly close the distance between them and the target. While we call the Infiltration spec the "burst-DPS", it fares well in other areas too, which has made it a highly popular class for both endgame PvE and PvP.

None of the Infiltration Shadow's abilities rely on a status effect placed on your target, meaning you'll experience no damage falloff from target swapping. With the right Tactical, the Infiltration Shadow can maintain some competitive levels of Area-of-Effect damage for short periods of time, perfect for easier PvE encounters where clearing trash mobs fast is needed.

Between a major initial damage output with the opener, and several defensive abilities, the Infiltration Shadow can hit hard and take a beating - neither traits of which are generally typical of the sneaky classes in RPGs. Players of this spec also have several movement impairing debuff cancellation abilities and a leap ability which also increases your attack speed temporarily, allowing you to always rush to the area of the battlefield you are most needed.

Though not as tanky as the Kinetic Combat discipline, you're definitely not squishy when playing Infiltration with the right gear. This is a highly versatile spec with viability in capped PvE, uncapped PvE and PvP situations.

Gearing

When gearing your Infiltration Shadow, something to keep in mind is that stat-wise you'll start pouring all of your available points into critical rating after you've achieved, or gotten reasonably close to, 1590 accuracy rating and 1213 alacrity. Naturally, the first thing you need to do is reach Item Rating 306.

Items

Once you've achieved that coveted IR of 306, it's time to fine tune your gear to bring the best performance out of your Infiltration Shadow. The best set bonus for this spec is Death Knell, a set exclusively worn by Consulars and Sorcerers. With Death Knell, two pieces grant you a 2% Mastery boost,  and 4 pieces reduce the cooldown of Force Potency while also granting you up to 3 stacks of Potent Critical. This essentially guarantees a critical strike on your next activation of Shadow Strike or Spinning Strike.

Sure, it looks very Sith-y, but that's what the Appearance Designer is for!

The main attraction here however is the 6 piece bonus, which grants you up to 3 stacks of Audacious Potency whenever you consume one stack of Force Potency - which you will be doing a lot. Audacious Potency will boost your melee damage by 10% per stack for 30 seconds. The ideal Infiltration Shadow rotation - which we cover below - will keep you in this state for the maximum amount of time during any encounter.

Since you have 7 item slots but the Set Bonus you're gunning for maxes out at 6 pieces, you can use that 7th slot for any piece of the Amplified Champion set, which grants a potential damage amplifier - though you'll likely have to roll for the ideal one.

Death Knell set bonus tooltip

When it comes to Relics, stick to the Sha'tek Relic of Focused retribution and Sha'tek Relic of Serendipitous Assault so long as you are completing level 75 content, granting you Mastery and Power. This will increase your combat effectiveness more so than the clicky Alacrity Relic or the Critical Rating relic, as your set bonus will already be pushing those stats to the maximum. You can swap them around for level-capped content, since sub-75 caps will remove any benefits you get from Mastery and Power Relics.

Things get a bit complicated with the ideal Infiltration Shadow Tacticals. This isn't a clear cut (ha!) situation like the Vigilance Guardian, where once you get Cut to Pieces you're good to go - no, the Infiltration Shadow will need to keep three Tacticals on hand depending on the situation. For PvP situations, your best bet is Two Cloaks, which adds an extra charge to Force Cloak. Enemy players will absolutely hate you for this, as disappearing mid combat is a fantastic strategic advantage both from a damage dealing and survivability perspective. You can unleash your heavy-hitting stealth-only attacks, or slink away to safety should a duel prove too difficult.

When you are facing down PvE encounters, you'll still need two other Tacticals to get the most out of your character. When you know you will be facing single targets, like during boss encounters, you need to use The Awakened Flame, which will cause your Psychokinetic Blast ability to impart a Damage-Over-Time status to your target, vastly increasing your long-term damage output.

May Cause Injury is the Tactical to choose when you are doing PvE content that throws multiple enemies at you, like Heroic missions where clearing out trash mobs is part of the objective. When using this Tactical, if you activate Force Breach following Cleaving Cut, it will hit up to 8 enemies, and you can pre-buff your Force Breach since Cleaving Cut can be activated without a target.

Amplifiers

Your overall damage output will get the most benefits out of the Armor Penetration Amplifiers, of which you'll get an extra one due to the use of the Amplified Champion armor piece. This is best combined with The Awakened Flame, giving a huge damage boost to the Damage-Over-Time effect your Psychokinetic Blast imparts on the target, since that DoT relies on Armor Penetration damage.

Utilities

Example of our preferred build

Infiltration Shadows have quite a bit of flexibility when it comes to their Utility layout - they aren't as rigid as some other classes where there is one single clear-cut best distribution. That said, some builds are still better than others.

Our preferred setup consists of the following:

Skillful

  • Celerity - Reduces the cooldown of Mind Snap by 2 seconds, Force of Will by 30 seconds, and Force Speed for 5 seconds. The main attraction here is the Force Speed cooldown reduction, but it's definitely less hot since the major nerfs. Still a must have.
  • Mental Defense - Reduces the damage taken from area attacks by 30%. This is a good bet since basically every PvE encounter has some AoE damage, and you can bet on being hit by AoEs in PvP.
  • Lambaste - Increases the damage done by Whirling Blow by 25%. We use this to bolster the spec's AoE damage.

Masterful

  • Fade - Reduces the cooldown of Force Cloak by 45 seconds and extends its duration by 5 seconds. Even more potent when combined with the Two Cloaks Tactical.
  • Force Harmonics - Reduces the cooldown of Force Wave by 2.5 seconds and Force Potency grants 1 additional charge when activated. See that additional Force Potency charge? Yep, that works wonders together with 6 pieces of Death Knell.
  • Kinetic Acceleration - Psychokinetic Blast increases movement speed by 50% for 6 seconds. Since you'll be using Psychokinetic Blast a lot, this mobility boost comes in handy.

Heroic

  • Cloak of Resilience - Activating Force Cloak grants 2 seconds of Resilience. Once again, the synergy with Two Cloaks and Fade will increase your survivability immensely.
  • Mind Over Matter - Increases the duration of Resilience by 2 seconds and Force Speed by 0.5 seconds. Also, Force Speed slows all enemies within 5 meters by 75% for 2.5 seconds when activated. Here again, we see an example of your Utilities working together. Your Force Speed cooldown is further reduced and the survivability boost granted by Cloak of Resilience increased.
  • Stalker's Swiftness - Shadow Stride grants Stalker’s Swiftness, allowing your next Spinning Strike to be used on any target, regardless of remaining health. Stalker’s Swiftness lasts for 10 seconds. Also, if the target of your Shadow Stride is killed within 10 seconds of using Shadow Stride, Shadow Stride cooldown is reset. This is an important element of our rotations for the Infiltration Shadow.

You may notice the lack of One with the Shadows, which might confuse you if you were an old-time Infiltration player coming back to the game and checking this guide for a refresh. Following the merciless (though arguably justified) nerfing of both Jedi Shadows and Sith Assassins in 6.0, this formerly essential Utility isn't really that great anymore - though it isn't useless either, and can be worked into a build.

Situationally you might want to swap a few of these out, or to experiment with Utilities that better fit your playstyle. Some other viable options include stuff like Avenging Grip, Sturdiness, Misdirection and Egress.

Rotations

The Infiltration Shadow is one of those funky classes that relies on a more complex opener than its main rotation - another stark contrast between this class and the Vigilance Guardian, but we digress.

Your opener will largely depend on your exact Utility build, but the one we describe below works perfectly with our model Utility build seen above.

Opener

  1. Force Potency
  2. Force Breach
  3. Force Cloak
  4. Shadow Stride
  5. Force Breach
  6. Battle Readiness
  7. Psychokinetic Blast
  8. Vaulting Slash
  9. Shadow Strike
  10. Spinning Strike
  11. Psychokinetic Blast
  12. Force Breach
  13. Clairvoyant Strike
  14. Clairvoyant Strike
  15. Psychokinetic Blast
  16. Switch to Main

Main

  1. Force Breach
  2. Psychokinetic Blast
  3. Vaulting Slash
  4. Spinning Strike
  5. Shadow Strike
  6. Clairvoyant Strike
  7. Repeat until target dies
Aron Gerencser
Gaming at least as long as he's been walking, Aron is a fan of all things sci-fi and lover of RPGs. Having written about games for years, he's right at home reporting most of the breaking news in the industry and covering the happenings of the e-sports world. When not writing or playing, you can find Aron on Facebook.