SWTOR Sith Assassin Tanking Guide – Builds, Skill Tree and Rotation

By   /   Jan 4, 2012

In this guide, we’ll be going over some of the basics and techniques of tanking efficiently with the Sith Assassin 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 Sith Assassin tank.

For more help on Star Wars The Old Republic, read our Sith Assassin Build, Sith Sorcerer Build and Respec Guide.

Recommended Builds For Tanking

Unlike some of the other classes, the Sith Assassin is a good tank only with the Darkness builds. For more information on the Darkness and other builds, you can check out our Sith Assassin Specialization Guide.

The Darkness variant of the Sith Assassin is generally the most offensive tank build in the game. This variant has a wide variety of abilities at hand, like general offense, crowd control and healing. In addition to the unique ability to self-heal, the Darkness Assassin is easily the highest damage dealer of any defender specialization in the game

(31,0,10), (25,0,16)

For those looking for an easy way through in PvE matches as a Sith Assassin (Darkness variant), I’d highly recommended the (31,0,10) configuration, because it is the most aggressive variant of the Darkness Assassin, which is generally a tanky class by default.

However, if you’re looking for some distance, you might want to try the (25,0,16) configuration, which will give you good range with skills such as Death Field that has a generous range of 30 meters.


In the PvP builds, you’ll be reinstituting yourself as a tank with a lot of capability of damage absorption, while still dealing out a good punch yourself. Mind Control and Mass Mind Control are your taunts, and are useful because they reduce the target’s outgoing damage by 30% for 6 seconds unless they attack you.

Guarding a target and hiding in stealth until attacked can be an effective defense method, alongside your healer. Another underrated ability is Spike, which knocks down your target for 2s, and the enemy can take a while to recover from it.

Harnessed Darkness is also very essential, though it can be a little difficult to stack. However, once done, Force Lightning will do massive damage/slow/self-healing, and is definitely worth it if it can be executed in a witty manner.

For the most part, I would certainly recommend the (31,0,10) build for PvE tanks. This build can actually work very well for PvP games as well. But if you are looking for some added damage, you might want to try the hybrid builds like (25,0,16).

Priority List/Rotation
Dark Ward
Wither/Death Field
Force Lightning
Crushing Darkness
Shock or Lacerate

Dark Ward is your starting skill, and will give you immediate 15% increased blocking chance. Make sure to cast Discharge every time it’s up.

Wither is particularly useful when facing a set of enemies. You can swap it for Death Field when you think it is entirely necessary. But don’t make it a habit as Death Field is a situation based ability, not a spam type.

Force Lightning is your central ability here. If you have Harnessed Darkness, you can use it to heal yourself; make sure this is done in critical situations only.

Once that is done, and if the target’s health is less than 30%, use Assassinate and watch the enemy wither at your feet.

As stated earlier, the Darkness Assassin is perhaps one of the most aggressive tanks in the entire game. But don’t change your role; you are a tank and should behave as one.

Sure, damage is a good thing, but sustenance is more important as a Darkness Assassin. Use it to your advantage and combine your ridiculously awesome powers to both tire and cripple your foes.

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.

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