SWTOR Jedi Shadow Tanking Guide

Use this SWTOR Jedi Shadow Tanking guide to learn the skill rotations and specs for your tanking build with this melee class

In this guide, we’ll be going over some of the basics and techniques of SWTOR Jedi Shadow Tanking. 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.

SWTOR Jedi Shadow 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.

Rotational Abilities

Cascading Debris

Great damage, and should only be used with 3 stacks of Harnessed Shadows so as to ensure maximum damage output. Use this ability as much as you can; this should be your go-to ability.

  • Cooldown: 6 seconds
  • Cost: 40 Force
  • Range: 10 meters


Use this ability after buffing it with Force Potency and Force Acceleration; if you can’t do the both of them, then make sure to at least use Particle Acceleration for decent damage. Use this ability whenever it comes off cooldown.

  • Cooldown: 6 seconds
  • Cost: 25 Force
  • Range: 10 meters

Slow Time

Place a weakened debuff on your target and reduce incoming melee and ranged damage by 5% for 45 seconds. Slow Time is an AoE attack.

  • Cooldown: 10 seconds
  • Cost: 20 Force
  • Range: 10 meters

Force Breach

AoE ability used to apply high threat unbuffed and deal a little amount of damage. Pair Force Breach with Double-bladed Sabre Tactics and you can deal a great amount of damage as well. Make sure you buff this ability prior to using it.

Apply the Unstead debuff to your enemies as well; resulting in a reduction in melee and ranged accuracy by 5%.

  • Cooldown: 10 seconds
  • Cost: 20 Force
  • Range: 10 meters

Double Strike

Use this once every circle in order to get your third stack of Harnessed Shadows. Replaced by Spinning Strike once your target reaches 30% health.

  • Cost: 20 Force
  • Range: 4 meters

Shadow Strike

Use this after you use Cascading Debris for that damage outburst. And to get your first project in our rotation to be accelerated.

Spinning Strike

Deal a ton of damage instantly, can be deadly if combined with Force Breach.

  • Cooldown: 6 seconds
  • Cost: 20 Force
  • Range: 4 meters

Whirling Blow

AoE attack to keep the heat off yourself, or to get the edge over two enemies popping in on you.

  • Cost: 20 Force

Saber Strike

Use only this if you are low on force.

  • Range: 4 meters


The Utilities are divided into three tiers namely Skillful, Masterful, and Heroic. You will have a total of 9 utility points to allocate to the best of your knowledge. We will be seeing what abilities you can use in each tier to get the best Commando on the field.


Celerity – Reduce cooldown of Mind Snap by 2 seconds, Force Speed by 5 seconds and Force of Will by 30 seconds. It is pretty self-explanatory as to why we would want you to pick this ability no matter what. The cooldown reduction is extremely significant.

Intangible Spirit – Reduce incoming damage by 30% while stunned for the Kinetic Combat discipline. This is useful and can be used to get out of sticky situations that you may not be able to get out of otherwise.

Lambaste – Increase Whirling Blow’s damage by 25%. Out of the other abilities left, this one is definitely the more useful one to pick. The damage increase is certainly appreciated, and specifically since the attack is AoE.


Fade – Reduce cooldown of Force Cloak by 45 seconds and extend duration by 5 seconds. Cloak is useful and you are going to need it for fights, picking Fade in order to reduce cooldown and extend the duration is definitely the best choice for an ability in this tier.

Misdirection – Increase your movement speed by 15% and effective stealth level by 10. This ability is pretty good to evade situations and to chase down enemies. Mobility all the way.

Force Harmonics – Reduce the cooldown of Force Wave by 2.5 seconds and Force Potency grants 1 additional charge when activated. This ability is worth picking as it increases your DPS and honestly, there are no better options.


Cloak of Resilience – Gain 2 seconds of resilience after activating Force Cloak. The resilience makes the already amazing ability even better. Definitely a must-pick.

Sturdiness – Activating Deflection grants 6 seconds of immunity to stun, sleep, lift and incapacitating effects. Pretty good if you want to head-butt your way into a team-fight.

Egress – Remove all movement impairing effects and gain immunity to them for the duration. If sturdiness is on cooldown, feel free to use this to get yourself out of an awkward situation.

Haider is a freelance contributor, who loves video games, playing guitar, and aviation. He is a competitive FPS player and also enjoys exotic RPG games like Diablo and Xenogears (his favorite game of all time) ...