[Top 5] SWTOR Best AoE Class

SWTOR Best AoE Class,SWTOR Best AoE
No matter the content, you're bound to be surrounded by thickets of enemies. Star Wars: The Old Republic offers the player a few different ways to deal with this eventuality!

There’s a lot of debate across Star Wars: The Old Republic’s forums and subreddit about which class and spec takes the cake when it comes to AoE damage. Most people can’t seem to agree, so I think it’s safe to say that the best performer is up to a matter of opinion. SWTOR offers a lot of different specs that can easily tackle large groups of enemies, but as is custom with this MMO’s gameplay, the best way to deal with some of these groups depends on the specific situation you might find yourself in. Are you fighting story-mission adds? Raid adds? Or, are you dipping your toes into PvP, and are looking for the best class to tackle multiple players? Different classes perform better in different scenarios, so it’s hard to pin down one that outshines all the others completely. Let’s focus on the PvE aspect for now, which includes both casual-play and raid utility.

    If you’re new to the world of MMOs, it’s easy to get lost in all the new vocabulary that crops up with it. AoEs (Areas of Effect), are abilities that certain classes have access to that are able to occupy a set space or affect a certain number of enemies. In SWTOR’s case, most AoEs will affect up to eight targets. Some are applied by laying down a marker on the ground that shows the outline of that ability’s effect, others rely on choosing one target to attack and spreading the damage out to other targets close by, while some are conal abilities that only affect a small space in front of the player’s character (but some are 360° abilities, too). One type isn’t better over the others, and each has their strengths and weaknesses. 

For the sake of ease, I’ll be using the Imperial terminology for classes, specs and abilities. Don’t worry though, I’ll make a note of what the Republic-aligned mirror class is, just in case! Here’s the general consensus on how the classes rank currently: 

5.  Marauder - Annihilation

    Mirror Class: Sentinel - Watchman

“An elegant weapon, for a more civilized age…”: There’s nothing quite like commanding two lightsabers in perfect harmony. It’s double the fun!

    Equipped with twin lightsabers, the Marauder is able to gracefully leap into a fight and dish out damage with ease. While it doesn’t have the same self-healing abilities as the Juggernaut (the flip-side of the Warrior advanced classes), the Marauder’s damage and unique survivability is nothing to scoff at.

  • Throw your sabers through a pack of enemies with Dual Saber Throw, and watch them fly! This move is visually stylish, while also benefiting from a rotational proc, which buffs its damage. Remember: Dual Saber Throw is a conal ability, so make sure you’re pointed at the targets you wish to hit before activating it, as you can definitely miss out on hitting everything there if you aren’t careful.
  • A common theme we tend to find with the best performers in AoE damage, is that they’re DoT (Damage over Time) specs. Annihilation has two DoTs that it can apply to a target and spread with its Smash ability, meaning that those nasty DoTs have the potential to tick on eight enemies, rather than just one!
  • Annihilation Marauders have three separate DoTs that it can apply during a fight. While not all of them can be spread, its DoTs are unique in the fact that successfully applying a bleed during Berserk (a class specific buff that consumes stacks of Fury) will heal your group for a small amount! With specific utilities, these moves can also provide self-heals for yourself, which helps with your survivability. 
  • With access to one of the four raid buffs within SWTOR, Marauders are highly suited for group use. They can also provide a raid-wide speed buff with Predation, which can even cleanse every affected group member if the right utility point is used. 
  • Marauders are a little more difficult to learn at a higher skill level, because they require excellent timing on buff execution and ability usage. While Annihilation’s rotation may seem very complicated to the newcomer, it’s actually a lot more simple than it looks. Keep an open mind and practice, practice, practice, and you’ll be sure to get the hang of this incredibly fun spec!

4. Juggernaut - Vengeance

    Mirror Class: Guardian - Vigilance

One-man Army: Whether you want to shrug off damage as it comes or throw it back at your opponent, the Juggernaut will never fail you.

    This is a favorite advanced class and spec of mine. It’s ridiculously fun, feels powerful, and has incredible survivability no matter the situation it’s put into. Plus, it never hurts to feel like Darth Vader as you charge into the thick of it!

  • My favorite part of playing a Juggernaut is its Reflect ability. In certain situations, it can wreak havoc and really fluff your damage output for good measure. There’s nothing quite like watching an enemy kill themselves as they fire into your Reflect. 
  • Vengeance AoE relies heavily on where you are positioned in a fight. In order to spread your DoTs to other enemies, Vengeful Slam has to hit first and foremost, the affected enemy, and the rest of the targets you wish to spread to. So, this means a Vengeance Juggernaut is going to be right in the middle of a fight, to make sure their slam is hitting as many things as possible. The good news? It has a super short cooldown.
  • Juggernauts have not one, but two amazing self-healing defensive cooldowns. Endure Pain is perfect for restoring some false health to your character in a pinch, and gives your healer (be it friend or companion!) extra time to catch up and make sure you’re topped off. Enraged Defense is also quite powerful: you gain 12 charges once it’s activated and upon taking damage, consume one of those stacks, which heals you for a decent amount. Excellent for PvP or dire raid situations! 
  • Juggernauts also have access to two other AoE moves, a conal called Sweeping Slash, and a 360° DoT called Chilling Scream. While they’re not your heavy hitting abilities, they do provide more AoE utility for a class that already does well in that category. They can also unleash an Intimidating Roar to stun a group of enemies for a few seconds.
  • AoE aside, Juggernauts also provide some great group utility, and can guard allies, leap to friends to reduce their damage taken, and even taunt if it’s needed.

3. Powertech - Pyrotech

    Mirror Class: Vanguard - Plasmatech

“Is it hot in here, or is it just me?”: Turn up the heat with a fully equipped arsenal.

    Pyrotech PTs love to throw themselves face-first into a firefight… with fire of their own. With flame sweeps, searing waves of fire and some fun DoTs, in terms of pure damage numbers, it’s hard to top Pyrotech on the leaderboards. 

  • Pyrotech does have one small consistency issue with its DoT spreads, which is why I would rate it lower than say, Lightning on this ranking. One DoT spread, Scorch, can’t be controlled as easily as the other DoTs – upon target-death, it will jump to the next closest enemy all on its own. This means if you’re trying to get it to spread to a specific enemy after you deal with the first, you’re going to have to be pretty careful about how you position the group, which can be tough at the best of times. The good news is that Scorch makes your target susceptible, allowing them to take increased damage for the duration!
  • Your other DoT, Incendiary Missile, is spread to targets in a different way than Scorch. Rather than jumping of its own accord, you have control over this one. Keep in mind that your DoT spreader, Searing Wave, is a conal AoE ability, meaning you’ll have to be pointed in the right direction to hit your intended targets and subsequently spread your Missiles. It just takes a bit of getting used to! 
  • Powertechs have a pretty neat AoE that’s unique to their advanced class. Called Deadly Onslaught, this ability allows you to lay down fire on your chosen area – just like any other typical AoE – but here’s the fun part: you can run around while you cast it! Most AoEs of this nature have a cast bar as you channel the ability, which means you need to stay still while you’re using it, or the cast will get broken and the ability will fail. Powertechs don’t have this restriction at all. In fact, all of their AoE movesets allow them to be completely mobile!
  • Powertechs also have access to an ability called Shatter Slug, which acts a lot like a grenade. This move is nice, because you don’t have to worry about placing an AoE or pointing it in the right direction, it will always hit other enemies in range of your intended target.
  • Flame Sweep is a 360° move that lights up eight targets that surround you. It’s easy to use, doesn’t cost a ton of Heat (your class resource), and even procs your DoT spreader to do buffed damage! 
  • Like Juggernaut, Powertechs can also stun groups of adds with an AoE (called Carbonize)! This is great for controlling outgoing damage, and really makes you feel like Boba Fett himself.

2. Sorcerer - Lightning

    Mirror Class: Sage - Telekinetics

Feel the Force: With stunning animations that really make you feel like you’re letting a charge of lightning run along the length of your arm, Lightning is an incredibly showy spec that offers a wide array of utility to any situation.

    This is a wickedly fun spec to play. If you want to feel like Emperor Palpatine and indulge in all unlimited power has to offer, this is definitely the choice for you. Lightning is the master of light shows in SWTOR, hitting multiple targets from 35 meters with flashy fits of Force lightning. 

  • Lightning has a priority rotation: which means in simplest terms, the rotation itself isn’t completely set in stone. Instead, it depends on picking the ability that has the highest priority in your rotation, and using it on cooldown within a fight. This makes it easy to recover DPS if you make a mistake or need to adhere to a mechanic. 
  • Equipped with a “God bubble” as the community likes to call it, Sorcerers are able to mitigate some serious, life-ending damage with their Force Barrier. 
  • With self-heals, Phase Walk and Static Barrier, the Sorcerer is a highly survivable class. 
  • Though it does have a fair amount of channeled abilities that sometimes keep it in one spot, with the right procs gained from the use of other abilities in the rotation, Lightning can be highly mobile. 
  • Lightning has an interesting AoE in particular: Chain Lightning is unique in the fact that it is activated by targeting one enemy. Once it’s unleashed, it will fork off into the closest enemies near your chosen target. There’s no chance of an opponent walking out of this area of effect – they’re doomed as soon as you set your sights on them. 
  • Madness, the Sorcerer’s other DPS spec also exceeds with AoE damage, but works as a DoT spec, rather than a burst spec like Lightning. While Madness doesn’t quite have the same quickness and utility as Lightning, it’s still incredibly viable as a workable and satisfying AoE spec. This just means if you decide to pick Sorcerer as an advanced class, you have two great options to choose from!

1. Sniper - Engineering

    Mirror Class: Gunslinger - Saboteur

“I’ll cover you!”: Cover your allies or cover the entire field with AoEs as an Engineering Sniper. Leave no corner untouched!

    Usually the first spec mentioned when AoE utility comes up, Engineering Snipers (fondly called Engi by the community), are hands down the most equipped spec to deal with large groups of enemies. With five separate AoE abilities, in most story missions or casual play settings Engi can completely annihilate enemies in seconds. 

  • The only area Engi truly suffers in is its placement of its AoE abilities. Unlike Lightning, the effect of the AoE doesn’t fork off of your target to the other enemies closest, but exists as an outline on the ground. All this means is that you should have a good knowledge of how enemies behave during a fight, and place your AoEs accordingly, so you can get the most uptime on them. It for sure puts a damper on your numbers when opponents decide to simply walk out of your AoE. 
  • As a ranged class, Sniper is able to look out across the battlefield and deal damage from far away, which usually means you can kill off whatever you’re fighting before it even gets to you.
  • Engineering has two AoEs that work differently than the first three. EMP Discharge, while not inherently an AoE, has the potential to become one when correctly used in the rotation. When Interrogation Probe is applied to the target enemy (this is Engi’s DoT ability), EMP Discharge is procced, causing it to act as an AoE. The nice thing about correctly proccing EMP Discharge, is that once it’s used, Fragmentation Grenade will also become procced, buffing its damage. Fragmentation Grenade can be thrown into a group of enemies, and is able to hit up to seven others within range of the targeted foe. 
  • This spec is unique in the fact that it’s one of the few within SWTOR that is designated as a quasi-burst. It’s versatile in this manner, as it’s able to apply some DoTs and also dish out some burst damage all at the same time. 
  • If you’re thinking about choosing a Sniper for your AoE needs, Engineering is great! Additionally, Sniper has the Marksmanship spec, which many people will tell you also exceeds in the AoE department. Whatever your choice is when it comes to Sniper specs, it’s almost guaranteed that they will be able to handle any group of enemies that you might run into without breaking a sweat.

Always keep in mind when deciding between classes and their specs, that the main goal is to have fun! Play whatever suits your style – you don’t always have to maximize your DPS output. All of these advanced classes and their specs are viable in most content, so pick what speaks to you!

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A druid where one would least expect it -New Jersey- Morgan is happiest when immersing herself in the magic of another world, whether in the pages of a book or the technicolor of a beloved video game.
Gamer Since: 2000
Favorite Genre: RTS
Currently Playing: Star Wars: The Old Republic
Top 3 Favorite Games:Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide, Sea of Thieves, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

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