SWTOR Sith Assassin Tanking Guide

Star Wars The Old Republic Sith Assassin Tanking Guide to Builds, Talents and Skill Rotation to master SWTOR Sith Assassin Tanking.

In this guide, we’ll be going over some of the basics and techniques of tanking efficiently with the Sith Assassin in SWTOR. 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 Sorcerer Build and Respec Guide.

SWTOR Sith Assassin 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.

Skillful Utilities


  • Description: The cooldown of Jolt, Unbreakable Will and Force Speed is reduced by2 seconds, 30 seconds and 5 seconds respectively. 
  • Note: You should always use this utility. The reduction in cooldown is always a plus in fights.

Oppressing Force

  • Description: The cooldown of Electrocute is reduced by 15 seconds and the duration of Force Slow in increased and its cooldownis reduced by 6 seconds. Along with that your will effect up to two more standard or weak enemies within a range of 8 meters using your Whirlwind affects.
  • Note: It is not very useful and only one fight has use of whirlwind so you shouldn’t be using this utility.

Formless Phantom

  • Description: The Darkness discipline takes 30% less damage while in use of this utility. 
  • Note: This can be useful sometimes in fights like Styrak and Operator IX as this tier has no better utility.


  • Description: Lacerate damage is increased by 25%. 
  • Note: This is recommended for the fights where you have to fight will multiple enemies as once for longer periods of time and essential for trash pulls.

Electric Bindings

  • Description: Your target will be bind with overload and it will not be able to move for 5 seconds and if you deal direct damage after 2 seconds it will end the effect prematurely. 
  • Note: It can be used in fights like NiM Styrak because it must be used in that one but the other fights have much better options.

Snaring Slashes

  • Description: The movement speed of the target is reduced Thrash, Voltaic Slash, and Lacerate reduce the movement speed of the targets they damage by 30% for 6 seconds. 
  • Note: Useless. Never take it. Ever.

Assassin’s Shelter

  • Description: All the allies within range get Assassin’s Shelter from Mass Mind Control but you don’t and the damage they take is reduced by 5% for the 6 seconds and for a little while also heal them
  • Note: This can be taken on several occasions where you don’t need Lambaste or Electric Bindings as there is no netter option and the next tier comes after 3 Skillful utilities.

Nerve Wracking

  • Description: Your spike and electrocute controlled targets get 5% more damage. 
  • Note: This is never useful.



  • Description: The cooldown of Force Cloak is reduced by 45 seconds and its duration is increased by 5 seconds. 
  • Note: This is useful in every fight, this is because in case we don’t use Cloak as a cheese, Cloak + Medpac can still be considered a valid defensive cooldown.


  • Description: Your movement speed is increased by 15% and there is an increase of 10 in your effective stealth level. 
  • Note: The increase of stealth level is not useful at all but the increase in movement speed is nice. As there is not better option so we will use this often.


  • Description: The cooldown of Overload is increased by 2.5 seconds and there is an increase of 1 charge in Recklessness when you activate it. 
  • Note: This is great. Use this.

Speed Surge

  • Description: You movement speed is increased by 50% for a duration of 9 seconds due to Activating Shock, Ball Lightning, or Eradicate and you can use this once for every 18 seconds. 
  • Note: This utility can be useful as it is great for kiting but the rate limit is the problem but it is still better than Obfuscation in certain scenarios. Take it if you want but I have never used it.

Haunted Dreams

  • Description: Your target will be stunned for 2 seconds upon breaking your Whirlwind early and also Whirlwind is activated instantly. 
  • Note: Only useful for a single fight and it is very handy for that but for other fights don’t use it.


  • Description: You get Emersion from Force Speed and all the movement impairing effects are removed and they get immunity for the duration. 
  • Note: This ability can be used in fights like NiM Warlords because a wrongly timed root can cause a horrible painful death the hands of The Tinman.


  • Description: For 3 seconds the movement speed of your target is reduced by 90% when it recovers from being stunned by your Spike or Electrocute and your movement speed is increased by 50% by Force Cloak when it is active and the targets get 20% slower.
  • Note: Don’t use this.

Dark Stability

  • Description: You get 6 seconds of immunity to stun, sleep, lift, and incapacitating effects by Activating Deflection.
  • Note: This can used in fights like HM Revan.


Shroud of Madness

  • Description: You get 2 seconds of Force Shroud for Activating Force Cloak. 
  • Note: This is extremely useful as your cloak is now an even better cheese so always use this.


  • Description: You movement speed in increased by 35% for 6 seconds because of Depredating Volts while Dark Charge is active. The target will deal with Sapped minds when your Mind Trap damage breaks prematurely due to damage and the because of that the damage they deal will be reduced by 25% for 10 seconds. 
  • Note: Useless but there might be some obscure use for Depredating Volts movement speed increase.


  • Description: The duration of Force Shroud and Force Speed is increased by 2 seconds and 0.5 seconds respectively and all the enemies within the range of 5 meters are slowed down by 75%. 
  • Note: This is great as you get 2 more seconds of cheese which is including the Force Shroud gained from Shroud of Madness so you should always take it.

Reaper’s Rush

  • Description: Irrespective of the remaining health you get Phantom Stride with which you get Reaper’s Rush and your next Assassinate can be used on any target and it lasts  for 10 seconds. The cooldown of Phantom’ Stride is reset is the target dies within 10 seconds
  • Note: When you need more DPS and you don’t have the option to reflect anything hten you should take this as more Assassinates translates to more DPS.

Hand of Darkness

  • Description: Your target is immobilized for 3 seconds by Force Pull, for 2 seconds by Leeching Strike and for one second by Low Slash after the incapacitating effect wears off. You also get hand of darkness from the successful use of Mind Trap and there is an 100% increase in the critical chance of your next direct attack and this lasts for 20 seconds. 
  • Note: This is useless. Don’t take it.

Phasing Phantasm

  • Description: When you are immobilized Phantom Stride can still be used and the movement-impairing effects are purged when used. You also get 10 additional Force regeneration from the Phasing Phantasm you get Force Speed.
  • Note: This can be of use sometimes but a better option is Emersion but this is also useful in fights when you know that you won’t be taking damage or when you’re going to be under slow or root effects constantly, for example when kiting the Blue Power Ranger in the Kephess and the Power Rangers in Dxun.

Retaliatory Grip

  • Description: You get Retaliatory Grip from Deflection with which you can reflect 50% or in the case of Darkness Discipline; 100% for every direct single target tech and the attacker gets the damage back. This utility works for 12 seconds and the incoming damage is not absorbed.
  • Note: When you can reflect then this utility is great to use. You should use this when you can but in case you cannot deflect then the best one to use is Reaper’s Rush

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) ...