Home  >  Games  >  Star Wars: The Old Republic  >  Class Builds

Best Sith Assassin Builds in SWTOR (2024)

Star Wars: The Old Republic offers a wide variety of unique character classes. One of the game’s biggest strengths is how it consistently adds depth to these classes, in terms of both gameplay and player choice. With 8 classes, 16 combat styles, 48 disciplines, and a plethora of options in between, it’s needless to say that SWTOR offers ample room for character building and experimentation. However, while this aspect of freedom is in the game’s favor, it can also be a bit head-spinning.

SWTOR isn’t great at explaining how all these systems work in a clear and concise way. With this in mind, we’re creating a series of guides on the best builds for each Old Republic class. The goal of these guides is both to give players a good starting point to experiment with and to provide sample guides for players who just want to get into the game quickly.

This time, we’re focusing on the sneaky Sith Assassin, one of 2 Sith Inquisitor combat styles. This is one of 2 Force-user combat styles which are built with stealth in mind. As well, Assassins utilize a variety of unique mechanics. For example, Deception utilizes an interesting build-up and unleash mechanic with their abilities. We’ll be listing a built for each of this uniquely interesting class’ 3 disciplines; Darkness, Deception, and Hatred.

Sith Deception Build

Role

The Sith Deception Assassin focus on Burst Damage DPS (Damage Per Second), of course, focuses on dealing as much damage as possible in as short a time as possible. Burst DPS classes are designed to deal high amounts of damage on each hit. This contrasts DoT (Damage over Time) DPS classes, who specialize in dealing constant, sustained streams of damage which add up over time.

As previously mentioned, Sith Assassins feature a unique charge-and-release mechanic. Gradually, your abilities will charge your dual-bladed lightsaber with more and more lightning. After building up said lightning to its maximum, you’ll use a power to unleash it all for massive damage. In addition to the also-aforementioned stealth mechanic, Deception has some interesting oddities which set it apart from many other classes.

Main Abilities

IconAbility
Discharge – This ability is different for each Assassin discipline. For Deception, this is your charge-and-release ability. You cannot use it unless you have enough stacks of Static Charge applied to you. A maximum of 3 Static Charges can be collected at once. The more you have active when activating Discharge, the more damage Discharge will deal. As a result, it’s best to only use this ability when Static Charge is at its maximum. You’ll build Static Charges up gradually as you go through your rotation. Whether or not each stack is based on a chance which is different for each ability. We’ll explain the basics of this mechanic, but for a more complex breakdown, consult the robust guide by Vulkk cited at the end of this article.
Ball Lightning – Deals a nice amount of damage, but that’s not why it’s so important. Ball Lightning is guaranteed to generate a Static Charge stack every time it’s used.
Reaping Strike – Deception’s hardest-hitting ability. It can only be used from Stealth or shortly after scoring a critical hit, emphasizing the importance of Stealth for Deception.
Maul – This ability deals more damage when you’re standing behind the target. Once again, this emphasizes Stealth in the Deception’s rotation. Maneuvering and positioning is more important for the Assassin than it is for many other SWTOR classes, and Maul is proof of this. It costs quite a bit of Force to activate, so it’s advisable to conserve your uses of it.
Voltaic Slash- This is your main filler ability. Use it when you need to fill space and/or when you can’t really do anything else.
Stealth – Allows you to avoid enemy attention, provided you stay a respectable distance away from them. It can only be used outside of combat, so it’s a good idea to have it active before every encounter.

Additional Abilities to Consider

IconAbility
Assassinate – Deals heavy damage but is only useable on enemies with less than 30% health remaining. Use this to finish off weakened targets.
Lacerate – Deception’s main AoE ability. Use it when you’re surrounded by a group of enemies. Aside from scenarios such as this, it’s not particularly useful.
Severing Slash – Deception’s other AoE. This ability is different for each Assassin discipline. Deception benefits from a damage increase which scales with how many enemies you hit with the ability.
Recklessness – Yet another ability unique to each Assassin discipline. Deception benefits from gaining more stores of it than the others. You’ll have 3 stocks of Recklessness which you can use to instantly gain 3 Static Charges.
Deflection – A very useful defensive ability. It temporarily massively increases your chances of negating all damage from an attack.
Phantom Stride – Instantly generates 3 Static Charges, additionally teleporting you to your target. This is a very technical ability which is useful but only in certain situations. You should only use it when you have 0 Static Charges active.
Mass Mind Control – This ability takes enemy attention away from you. Use this if things get a bit too crowded or if you find yourself taking attention away from your tank.
Force Speed – Above, we mentioned that maneuvering and positioning are very important for the Assassin. Force Speed allows you to achieve a high level of versatility in these regards.

Ability Tree Choices

LevelIconAbility
23Energized Blade – Essentially eliminating Reaping Strike’s cooldown is more useful than any other choice on this tier.
27Overload – A stun move is very good on a DPS, especially one so reliant on positioning.
39Voltaic Engine – Massive DPS boost, as it increases your critical chance across the board.
43Lightning Engine – Combined with Voltaic Engine, this will massively increase your ability to manage Force use.
51Formless Phantom – Huge boost to survivability. You’ll be getting hit by a lot of AoE
64Lambaste – Deception doesn’t have very good AoE capabilities, so improving them is nice.
68Force Shroud – Being able to remove debuffs AND massively increasing your resistances while not breaking Stealth is too good to pass up.
73Shroud of Madness – A nice boost to survivability, as well as being a good safety net to have in your toolbox.

Priorities

Sith with red light saber
Electronic Arts

Because of the nature of Deception’s gameplay, it’s better to list ability priorities here rather than a traditional rotation.

PriorityIconAbility
1Voltaic Slash
2 (with 3 Static Charges)Discharge
3Maul
4Ball Lightning
5Reaping Strike
6Assassinate
7Maul
8Voltaic Slash

Gear Suggestions

Gear suggestions for Sith Deception build
Electronic Arts

Upon reaching level 80, focus on acquiring as much Gold tier gear at the highest Item Rating possible (currently this number is 336). After all of your gear has reached this level, here are some tips on how to optimize your gear loadouts:

  • The best Tactical Items for Deception are The Awakened Flame or May Cause Injury
  • The best Legendary Implants for Deception are Force Training and Dynamic Force

Sith Hatred Build

Role

The Hatred Assassin’s focus is Damage over Time DPS. DPS is the simplest role to explain, as well as the easiest to learn and play. Damage over Time (DoT) is just what it says on the tin. You won’t be doing a ton of damage per strike, rather you’ll be focusing on keeping a sustained stream of damage that gradually adds up.

Hatred is perhaps the single best DPS class in the game. They have some of the highest DoT capabilities, as well as having high survivability for a DPS. They shirk away the unique build-and-release mechanic from Deception in favor of a more typical playstyle.

Main Abilities

IconAbility
Discharge – Hatred’s discharge is a bit less interesting than Deception’s. Here, it’s just a DoT which lasts 18 seconds. It has no cooldown, so you’ll just want to use it once every 18 seconds to keep it constantly active. This is your main DoT.
Creeping Terror – Almost identical to Discharge. Creeping Terror is an 18 second DoT which you’ll want to activate every 18 seconds. This is your second main DoT (since it’s so similar to Discharge, it’s a bit weird to call it a secondary DoT).
Death Field – This is Hatred’s secondary DoT. Interestingly, it’s an AoE DoT. Because it doesn’t do anywhere near as much damage as the previous two, Death Field isn’t that important except in situations wherein you are surrounded.
Eradicate – Hatred’s tertiary DoT. It deals an initial hit with high damage. Afterwards, a small DoT is placed on the enemy which dishes out twice as much damage. Although the DoT is short, the sheer amount of damage Eradicate deals makes it an incredibly useful ability.
Leeching Strike – An attack which heals you for as much damage as it deals. Really helps Hatred’s survivability.
Saber Strike – The weaker of Hatred’s 2 main fillers.
Thrash – The stronger of Hatred’s 2 main fillers.

Additional Abilities to Consider

IconAbility
Assassinate – Deals heavy damage but is only useable on enemies with less than 30% health remaining. Use this to finish off weakened targets.
Phantom Stride – Allows you to use Assassinate regardless of your target’s current health. Additionally, teleports you directly to your target.
Lacerate – Hatred’s main AoE ability. Use it when you’re surrounded by a group of enemies. Aside from scenarios such as this, it’s not particularly useful.
Severing Slash – An AoE with a unique bonus for each Discipline. Hatred benefits from healing for 50% of the damage dealt by Severing Slash. As well, targets are slowed by half for a couple seconds.
Recklessness – Another ability with unique effects for each Discipline. Hatred’s cooldown of the ability will be reduced considerably each time a DoT critically hits. Much more straightforward that Deception’s mirror of the ability.
Deflection – A very useful defensive ability. It temporarily massively increases your chances of negating all damage from an attack.
Mass Mind Control – This ability takes enemy attention away from you. Use this if things get a bit too crowded or if you find yourself taking attention away from your tank.
Force Speed – Above, we mentioned that maneuvering and positioning are very important for the Assassin. Force Speed allows you to achieve a high level of versatility in these regards.

Ability Tree Choices

LevelIconAbility
23Pervasive Death – This is pretty much just a straight damage upgrade, since you’ll be using Death Field quite a lot.
27Overload – A stun move is very good on a DPS, especially one so reliant on positioning.
39Befall – Again, a straight damage upgrade considering how often Hatred uses DoTs.
43Hungering Force – A damage upgrade on top of a survivability upgrade with a boost to your resource management on top of that.
51Formless Phantom – Huge boost to survivability. You’ll be getting hit by a lot of AoE.
64Obfuscating Speed – Getting a movement boost as Hatred is very very useful. Force Phase is also good for avoiding enemies destroying your movement speed.
68Force Shroud – Being able to remove debuffs AND massively increasing your resistances while not breaking Stealth is too good to pass up.
73Shroud of Madness/Reaper’s Rush – This could go either way, it’s really up to what you prefer. Shroud of Madness makes for better defense at the expense of damage. Reaper’s Rush makes for the best damage potential.

Rotation and Priorities

rotation and priorities for hatred assassin build
Electronic Arts

Opener

Use this at the start of each encounter

IconAbility
Eradicate
Recklessness
Creeping Terror
Discharge
Adrenal
Leeching Strike
Eradicate
Death Field
Assassinate

This can work as a very basic rotation. However, for a more complex rotational scheme, this should just be your opener. If you take the complicated route, refer to this priority list after completing the opener.

Priorities

IconAbility
Eradicate (if Raze is not active)
Saber Strike (or another melee filler) to activate Raze
Death Field
Eradicate (if Raze is active)
Lacerate (only if your DoTs need to be refreshed)
Creeping Terror and Discharge
Assassinate (if the target’s health is below 30%)
Leeching Strike
Assassinate
Lacerate (if at least 2 targets are in range)
Thrash

Gear Suggestions

Gear suggestions for hatred assassin build
Electronic Arts

Upon reaching level 80, focus on acquiring as much Gold tier gear at the highest Item Rating possible (currently this number is 336). After all of your gear has reached this level, here are some tips on how to optimize your gear loadouts:

  • The best Tactical Item for a Hatred Assassin is Two Time Trouble
  • The best Legendary Implants for a Hatred Assassin are Dynamic Force and Force Training

Sith Darkness Build

Role

The Darkness Assassin’s primary focus is that of a Tank. A Tank’s job is all about drawing attention away from your allies and onto yourself. You’ll be largely focusing on defense at the expense of raw attack power, as you’ll need to take more hits more often. The abilities which you use to attract enemy attention are known as Taunts. They can be a lot of fun but tend to be more complex than DPS, though not quite as complex as Healers.

Main Abilities

IconAbility
Dark Ward – This ability gives you a big shield increase. You want this to be active constantly. Upon activation, you’ll get 15 charges of the ability and lose 1 each time your shield is used.
Depredating Volts – This is Darkness’s primary damage ability. It deals more damage than any other in Darkness’ arsenal. Additionally, Darkness utilizes a build-and-release mechanic similar to Deception’s. You’ll want to have 3 stacks of Harnessed Darkness generated before using this ability (look for the glowing gold border around Depredating Volts’ icon).
Discharge – For Darkness, this acts as a taunt. It does a little bit of damage but generates a lot of Threat (the resource used for grabbing enemy attention).
Wither – Your primary taunt. Generates a lot of threat while making your target deal less damage. Builds a stack of Harnessed Darkness.
Shock – Another taunt. Produces a large amount of threat as well as a Harnessed Darkness charge.
Thrash/Saber Strike – Your main filler abilities. Thrash deals more damage while costing more force. You want to use these in the times when you’re accruing Harnessed Darkness stacks but can’t yet use all of them.
Force Pull – Pulls enemies towards you while generating threat. Most bosses, whom you’ll be focusing on as a Tank, are too big to be affected by this. The usefulness of this ability mainly lies in its threat generation. You’ll want to open most encounters with this followed by Phantom Stride
Phantom Stride – When targeting an enemy, this ability allows you to teleport behind them and then potentially stab them.
Mind Control – This is your standard, dedicated Taunt. Only use this when you REALLY need to maintain threat levels.
Mass Mind Control – The same as Mind Control, it’s just an AoE taunt.
Guard – You can apply this on an ally to increase their defense while decreasing their threat generation. Put this on your strongest DPS so they don’t steal your threat.

Additional Abilities to Consider

IconAbility
Recklessness – Remains just as useful for Darkness as the other Disciplines. Darkness’ version of this ability gives you 30% damage absorption and greatly increases crit rate. Critical hits generate a lot more threat, so this is always nice if you need more threat or find your health dropping a bit.
Maul – Another filler which can be substituted for Saber Strike or Thrash when you see the gold outline on the icon.
Assassinate – Deals heavy damage but is only useable on enemies with less than 30% health remaining. Use this to finish off weakened targets.
Stealth – Darkness’ version of Stealth gives you a defense boost, so it’s good to always start encounters with this active.
Lacerate – Hatred’s main AoE ability. Use it when you’re surrounded by a group of enemies. Aside from scenarios such as this, it’s not particularly useful.
Deflection – A very useful defensive ability. It temporarily massively increases your chances of negating all damage from an attack.

Ability Tree Choices

LevelIconAbility
23Antagonizing Volts – Massive boost to your damage potential, as well as your overall threat generation.
27Energized Shock – Take this for the same reason as Antagonizing Volts.
39Twilight Ward – The best defensive boost on this section of the tree. You’ll need to pay much more attention to your Dark Ward upkeep to get the most usefulness out of this.
43Overcharge Saber – This is a good tool to have in your back pocket for emergencies.
51Formless Phantom/Fade – Formless Phantom is a more basic choice. Stealth and Force Cloak allows Darkness Assassins to utilize a very advanced dodging mechanic that takes some learning to get down. If you don’t want to bother with it, take Formless. If you want a little challenge that pays off in a big way, take Fade and learn how to use Force Cloak dodges.
64Obfuscating Speed – Getting a movement boost as Darkness is very very useful. Force Phase is also good for avoiding enemies destroying your movement speed.
68Severing Slash – AoE attacks are nice for Tanks, ESPECIALLY when they also act as a stun AND a slow.
73Shroud of Madness – A nice boost to survivability, as well as being a good safety net to have in your toolbox.

Opener and Priorities

Opener

Use this at the beginning of each encounter

IconAbility
Force Pull
Phantom Stride
Shock
Wither
Discharge
Thrash
Maul (if it’s not glowing then Thrash)
Shock
Depredating Volts
Thrash (unless Maul is glowing)
Wither

Priorities

IconAbility
Assassinate
Depredating Volts (unless you have full Harnessed Darkness)
Shock (unless you have full Harnessed Darkness)
Wither (on cooldown)
Maul
Thrash
Discharge (once every 45 seconds)
Saber Strike

Gear Suggestions

Gear Suggestions for Sith Darkness Build
Electronic Arts via HGG / Noelle Roberts

Upon reaching level 80, focus on acquiring as much Gold tier gear at the highest Item Rating possible (currently this number is 336). After all of your gear has reached this level, here are some tips on how to optimize your gear loadouts:

  • The best Tactical Item for a Darkness Assassin is Two Cloaks
  • The best Legendary Implants for a Darkness Assassin are Dynamic Force and Force Resistance.

Join the High Ground

Sith Warrior Ebon Hawk
Electronic Arts via HGG / Noelle Roberts

That’s going to wrap up our guide on the best Sith Assassin builds in SWTOR! We hope this article has prepared you to unleash the wrath of the Dark Side upon the galaxy.

Special thanks to Vulkk and SWTORISTA for their comprehensive guides and community resources.

Have any more thoughts on this article? Want to show off your favorite Sith Assassin build? Feel free to leave a comment below or share this article on social media to let us know! As well, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter for more Star Wars: The Old Republic guides and gaming content!

Happy gaming, and may the Force be with you!

 

Continue the Adventure!

Sign up for an account at High Ground Gaming, and access all these amazing perks:

  • Custom profile page
  • Save articles to favorites
  • Rate articles
  • Post comments & engage with the community
  • Access the HGG Discord
  • Enter giveaways
This is a pre-registration form. Fill in the following details to verify your email address first. You will be able to access the full registration form and register for an account after the verification.

Join the Discussion

Give feedback on the article, share additional tips & tricks, talk strategy with other members, and make your opinions known. High Ground Gaming is a place for all voices, and we'd love to hear yours!


X

Forgot Password?

Join Us