SWTOR Jedi Shadow Tanking Guide – Build, Skill Tree and Rotation

By   /   Jan 3, 2012

In this guide, we’ll be going over some of the basics and techniques of tanking efficiently with the Jedi Shadow in Star Wars: The Old Republic. The information below is susceptible to constant change as more research and testing is done. However, that doesn’t mean that the information is inadequate to get you started as a reliable Jedi Shadow tank.

For more help on Jedi Consular, read our Jedi Sage Builds and Jedi Shadow Builds. If you mess it up, read our Respec Guide.

Recommended Builds For Tanking

As a Jedi Shadow, you have the following trees available for you:

  • Kinetic Combat
  • Infiltration
  • Balance (shared)

For tanking, it is best to develop either a Kinetic Combat build or a Balance one. You can find out more about specialization and builds in our Jedi Shadow Specialization Guide.

Kinetic Combat
(31,0,10), (25,0,16), (23,0,18)

While there are two specializations that can be used for tanking as a Jedi Shadow, the Kinetic Shadow is probably the best choice, provided you are at a high level. The Kinetic Combat variant is the most durable and heaviest tanker.

The above mentioned builds should be ideal for your tanking needs. However, (31,0,10) is probably the best choice out of the lot, as it offers much more survivability. But in PvP games, if you feel you require some extra tricks up your sleeve, the (23,0,18) build will work quite well. You’ll suffer from slightly lower survivability, but it will give you a hybrid styled character in general.


Tanking as a Balance Jedi Shadow is relatively more difficult that it is with a Kinetic Variant. The above builds are for a pure Balance Shadow, which is more of an assassin than a typical tanker. Use them at your own risk. If you wish to add the extra bit of damage and sustenance that you achieve from the Balance tree, it is probably best to consider the hybrid builds listed in Kinetic Combat.

Priority List/Rotation

For Single Target

  • Saber Strike
  • Kinetic Ward
  • Force Breach
  • Slow Time
  • Telekinetic Throw (3 Stacks)
  • Spinning Strike
  • Mind Crush
  • Project
  • Double Strike

If the above rotation is a bit too big for you, you can consider eliminating a few abilities to make it slightly concise and repeatable:

  • Kinetic Ward
  • Force Breach
  • Slow Time
  • Telekinetic Throw (3 Stacks)
  • Project
  • Double Strike
  • (Saber Strike)

First up is Kinetic Ward, and essential for tanking, as it increases your shield block rate by 18%.

After that is Force Breach, priority ability as a tank. FB increases the chance of enemies missing their attacks on your character by 5% – not a very generous percentage, but it’s always when they do miss a bit more.

Slow Time is obviously a must-have, as it is a very useful debuff to put on your enemies.

Telekinetic Throw with 3 stacks of Harnessed Shadows makes your throw uninterruptible, deal 75% more damage, and heal you for 12% of your maximum HP. You can prioritize this skill if you have three stacks and are in need of healing.

Next comes Project. It is a skill you should really look at carefully. When you have the Particle Acceleration proc, you can use the Force Potency, which in turn would increase the critical chance of Project by a massive 60%, along with increases the critical damage by 50%. Time this correctly and you’ll be a heavy damaging bad-ass tank.

Double Strike is your last resort, once everything else is on cooldown. Don’t spam this – only use it when everything else is on cooldown.

And if you have a GCD to use, you can end this rotation with Saber Strike when being out of energy.

For AoE

  • Kinetic Ward
  • Force Breach
  • Slow Time
  • Whirling Blow
  • Saber Strike

This rotation is quite similar to the single target one, but instead of continuing on to 3 stacks of Telekinetic Throw, you spam Whirling Blow to hit all targets within range.

However, it also procs Project so if you are trying to hold a single large enemy with a bunch of smaller adds, continue to use Project and Telekenitic Throw (3 stacks) in front of Whirling Blow.

In simple words, mix it up between Single Target and AoE rotations while fighting in such a situation, which you will probably only encounter in PvE games

For more advanced players who know these ideal tanking rotations on their fingertips, you can try and have a look at the following skills, which might add a nice edge to the playstyle and effectiveness of your tank:

  • Mind Control
  • Guard
  • Mind Snap
  • Force Stun
  • Force Wave
  • Force Clow
  • Tumult
  • Spinning Kick
  • Spinning Strike
  • Mind Maze

Don’t forget to share your specs and builds for Jedi Consular in the comments with a bit of explaining on rotation and PVE/PVP. Keep the format and we will feature best builds in the article =)

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