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Star Wars: The Old Republic - Vigilance Guardian Guide (6.2.1)

The Jedi Guardian could be considered the most 'vanilla' class in Star Wars: The Old Republic as far as the lore goes, giving you the archetypal valiant hero character wielding a single saber - but the various disciplines available can help you tailor it to your tastes regardless.

Vigilance is one of the two DPS disciplines - the third being a Tank discipline - available to the Guardian, itself an Advanced Class of the Jedi Knight. Vigilance Guardians mirror Vengeance Juggernauts on the Imperial side. We'll walk you through the best way to play this hybrid burst and DoT (damage over time) damage spec.

Introduction

While SWTOR fares pretty well in terms of balance, when you've got 8 classes, each with 2 advanced classes which each have 3 disciplines, a few of those whopping 48 specs are going to fall behind. When it comes to the Guardian, the Focus discipline is widely considered to be one of the worst specs in the game both for PvE and PvP content, so if you want to play with a Guardian character in a DPS role, Vigilance is definitely the way to go.

Vigilance Guardians offer a blend of damage-over-time and burst damage abilities, paired with surprisingly high survivability for a DPS spec (anecdotally, we've managed to tank easier Flashpoints with a Vigilance Guardian). It also throws some highly effective AoE damage into the blend, making it a highly versatile class that can wrangle just about every kind of encounter, be it single-target or crowd control.

These qualities make the Vigilance Guardian a great asset both in group PvE content as well as PvP, tearing through trash mobs or enemy players with ease while also knocking off huge quantities of health from bosses. Playing alone, the Vigilance is by far the best leveling discipline for the Guardian class, though it isn't the best choice for soloing specific group content such as Master Mode Knights of the Fallen Empire/Eternal Throne chapters. With a good healing companion however, a skilled Vigilance Guardian can potentially solo Veteran Flashpoints. If you are looking for a strong, independent melee damage spec, look no further.

Gearing

As always, the first thing you need to do when gearing up is hitting Item Rating 306 no matter what. Optimization with set bonuses and ideal mods comes afterward.

Items

The stat spread you want to achieve with a Vigilance Guardian as of 6.2.1 is a minimum of 1500 Accuracy and 1200 Alacrity, with all subsequent efforts pooled into Critical Rating, which should be around 3300. The way to go about this is to push your Accuracy and Alacrity stats up to those numbers at which point you can stop focusing on them, and then push only your crit rating going forward.

If you are a returning player, you might remember the Alacrity meta for Vigilance players in past versions, but due to balance changes High Alacrity builds no longer work for this spec.

Descent of the Fearless armor set

Despite not mirroring, Vigilance Guardians happen to share their ideal Set Bonus build with the Carnage Marauder in the current meta: Descent of the Fearless. The reason is the same with this class as well, though adapted to its own relevant ability: Force Clarity. With a 4 piece bonus you get a damage buff for building or using a charge of Force Clarity while the 6 piece bonus increases the rate of your Force Clarity building, feeding back to the damage buff bonus.

Since Sets have 7 pieces, but the 6 piece bonus is the maximum, wearing a full Descent of the Fearless set is a bit of a waste - this is where Amplified Champion comes into the picture with its versatile amplifier potential. Use one piece from this set - it does not matter which.

When it comes to Relics, Vigilance Guardians will need different ones for PvE and PvP situations. When you are facing down other players in Warzones or Arenas, equip Sha’tek Relic of Serendipitous Assault and Sha’tek Relic of Serendipitous Assault, whereas for PvE content you'll need Sha’tek Relic of the Primeval Fatesealer and Sha’tek Relic of Devastating Vengeance.

You can further optimize your build for maximum damage output by properly allocating Modifications, which for the ideal Vigilance build come down to 8x Superior Versatile Armoring 80, 1x Superior Versatile Hilt 80 and 9x Superior Lethal Mod 80R-2.

As a Vigilance Guardian, you'll need to hold onto multiple Tactical items as different ones will be needed in different cases - thing's aren't as clear cut as with other specs where one of these stands out.

For PvP, we recommend Grit Teeth, which reduces the active cooldown of Focused Defense by 2 seconds every time you are attacked. Since you'll be relying on this ability a great deal when facing other players, Grit Teeth will boost your survivability in Warzones and Arenas. It's entirely useless in PvE, though.

Even if you only stick to PvE content, you'll still need to carry around two tacticals depending on the kind of encounters you expect. For single-target fights, like most bosses, Hemophilic Slash is the way to go. This will make Blade Barrage increase the duration of all of your DoT effects on the target caused by Blade Storm, Overhead Slash, and Plasma Brand while also giving you an extra damage tick on them.

Cut to Pieces Tactical

When you expect to deal with a lot of weaker enemies, primarily in solo content, then Cut to Pieces is absolutely the way to go. This reduces Vigilant Thurst's cooldown when a procced ability delivers a critical strike, turning the Vigilance Guardian into the strongest AoE damage dealer in the game.

Amplifiers

This is where that extra piece of Amplified Champion armor comes in handy, as with the right Amplifiers you can significantly boost your damage. For the best results, you're going to need all of your Amplifiers being of the same type.

With Vigilance Guardians, there's more flexibility here than with some other specs. It's up to you whether you max out Weapon Expertise or Force Sensitivity and luckily with the changes to Amplifiers implemented in Update 6.2.1, it's easier to get the ones you want.

Utilities

While the Vigilance Guardian offers some flexibility when it comes to Amplifiers, there is a much more rigid meta for the Utilities, with one selection clearly rising above other combinations.

The ideal Vigilance Guardian Utility build.

This consists of the following:

  • Skillful: Second Wind, Narrowed Focus, Guardianship
  • Masterful: Unremitting, Focused Freedom, Peaceful Focus, Stalwart Defence
  • Heroic: Through Peace, Daunting Presence

This combination of Utilities help to boost the Vigilance Guardian's already impressive survivability even further, something we are afforded by everything else boosting your damage combined by the fact that there simply aren't any particularly good Utility combinations that serve that purpose.

Essentially, multiple abilities will now remove debuffs, controlling effects and movement impairing effects, robbing opponents of the chance to restrict your movements or ability to deal consistent damage, while key cooldowns for the perfect rotations are also reduced.

Rotations

As is the case with other classes, the Vigilance Guardian has a separate opener rotation that does not need to be repeated, before your main repeating rotation kicks into gear. Unlike some other classes however, there is no separate "finisher" rotation that relies on your opponent being below 30% health. This makes the Vigilance Guardian easier to master, as there are fewer rotations to memorise.

Opener

Your opener quite simply depends on how far away you are from the target. In PvE situations you typically have control over this, but in PvP situations you might enter fights without a chance to use Force Leap.

If you can use Force Leap, then your opener is:

  1. Force Leap
  2. Sundering Strike

If you cannot use Force Leap, then your opener is:

  1. Sundering Strike
  2. Combat Focus

Essentially, the purpose of the opener is resource building, which is why Force Leap is replaced by Combat Focus in close-quarters situations.

Main

The main rotation of the Vigilance Guardian basically consists of four very similar "blocks" which have minor variances caused by cooldown management. Each block begins with Overhead Slash. As always, the golden rule is to never not do anything, so even if you made a mistake and the next ability is on cooldown, just jump to the next one.

  1. Overhead Slash
  2. Plasma Brand
  3. Blade Storm
  4. Blade Barrage
  5. Vigilant Thrust
  6. Whirling Blade/Saber Throw/Force Push (whichever available)
  7. Overhead Slash
  8. Sundering Strike
  9. Blade Storm
  10. Plasma Brand
  11. Vigilant Thrust
  12. Blade Barrage
  13. Overhead Slash
  14. Whirling Blade/Saber Throw/Force Push (whichever available)
  15. Blade Storm
  16. Sundering Strike
  17. Vigilant Thrust
  18. Blasma Brand
  19. Overhead Slash
  20. Blade Barrage
  21. Blade Storm
  22. Whirling Blade/Saber Throw/Force Push (whichever available)
  23. Vigilant Thrust
  24. Sundering Strike
  25. Repeat

Since there is no finished to worry about, and due to the Vigilance Guardian's relatively simple opener, this main rotation is all you need to commit to memory to deliver the highest possible amount of damage with this spec. Though it is a fairly long rotation, Vigilance players are still better off than most Sorcerer specs or the Annihilation Marauder with their complex, fluid rotations.

Armed with this knowledge, you can go forth and liberate the galaxy as a nearly unstoppable defender of the Republic. May the Force be with you!

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Written By

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.