Leaping into a group of evil foes with dual lightsabers a blaze, the Jedi Sentinel stuns and damages his enemies by leaping into the air and blasting them with a concussive wave of the force. Before regaining his senses, an adversary is finished of by a slash of a lightsaber. As another opponent approaches, he too is cut down buy a wide sweep of the Jedi’s lightsaber. The final combatant tries in vain to shoot the Jedi with his blaster, but the bolts find no purchase as they are easily deflected by the Jedi. With a dazzling 180 degree turn and the Jedi spins around and finishes his final enemy by stabbing him with both lightsabers. After the flurry of violence over in what seems in instant, his foes dispatched of, the Jedi Sentinel deactivates his lightsaber and centers himself for his next quarry.
The Jedi Sentinel is a flashy, wrecking ball of force and lightsabers. The combat animations are loaded with flare and small extra animations that help keep that cinematic feel of the game going. The gameplay style of the Jedi Sentinel is of a pure melee DPS class who will always be right in the middle of all the action. The Sentinel has many abilities and it’s combat mechanics will require players of the class to be very active when playing.
By level 19 the Sentinel has quite a toolbox of abilities and begins to become it’s own class. While many of the core Jedi Knight abilities learned before choosing an Advanced Class are a mainstay of Sentinel gameplay, there are some Sentinel Specific abilities that really make the class shine. Here are the abilities learned up to lvl 19. All of the abilities discussed below are based on the Thanksgiving Weekend beta build.
Rebuke – Instant, Cooldown: 1 minute
Reduces all damage taken by 20% and deals X energy damage to attackers. This effect cannot occur more than once every 1.5 seconds. Lasts 6 seconds. Rebuke refreshes to its full duration when attacked, but this effect cannot last more than 30 seconds in total.
Zen – Instant, Cooldown: 1 second
Requires and converts 30 stacks of Centering to enter a Zen state. Lasts for 6 charges. This effect varies based on your current lightsaber form:
- Shii-cho Form: Slash costs no focus and strikes 1 additional nearby enemy.
- Juyo Form: Increases the critical chance of your burn attacks by 100% and causes burn damage to heal your party for 1% of max health each tick.
- Ataru Form: Reduces the focus cost of Slash and Blade Rush by 1 and reduces their global cooldown by 0.5 seconds.
Centering is a passive ability of the Jedi Knight. When the Jedi Knight activates an attack that spends focus and defeating opponents it builds Centering.
Juyo Form (Stance) - Enters an offensive lightsaber form, causing your melee attacks to increase all damage dealt by 2% for 15 seconds. Stacks up to 5 times. This effect cannot occur more than once every 1.5 seconds.
The big bright shining star is Rebuke. It is an excellent ability and shines in both PvP and PvE encounters. Sentinel players should bind a key to Rebuke and use it every time they can. Zen seemed really lackluster when running a focus build, as strike only ever used to generate focus. My experience was spent using a focus build, in Shii-cho form.
Zealous Strike – Instant, Cooldown: 15 seconds, Strikes the target multiple times with both lightsabers, inflicting 60 – 68 damage and granting 6 focus. Requires two lightsabers.
Cauterize – Instant, Cooldown: 15 seconds, Strikes the target for 35 – 39 damage and deals an additional 49 elemental damage over 15.0 seconds.
Leg Slash – Instant, Deals X weapon damage and slows the target’s movement speed to 50% for 12 second. Attacks with both weapons if dual wielding.
Zealous Strike should be used every time it is up. Focus is the fuel that feeds the fire. Instantly getting six focus enables to the Sentinel to quickly pump out a lot of damage at the beginning of a fight. Cauterize puts a decent DoT on opponents and has one sweet animation! Leg Slash is mainly a pvp ability, as I never encountered any runners in PVE play.
Putting it all together
A typical rotation can look like this:
Rebuke – If available, always activate it just before combat.
Force Leap – Force leap has a root effect, closes the gap quickly and generates 3 focus.
Force Sweep – Stuns up to five targets within 5m and does decent damage.
Zealous Strike – While everyone is stunned, pick up 6 focus.
Blade Storm – A short ranged ability, 10m, that hits like truck.
From there the rest of the encounter can go any number of ways. However, leaping into a small pack (3-4) of even level mobs , a couple of them will likely go down with that opener.
The Sentinel is a buzzsaw that dishes out a lot of damage in short order. There is definitely some skill needed to play the Sentinel effectively though. The constant process of generating and utilizing focus takes some practice. Durability is also a bit of an issue, but that is to be expected as the Sentinel is a pure DPS class. The Jedi Knight has some defensive utility, but the Sentinel should always have a stack of medpacs on them to pull out some fights. Bioware has done a great job with making the Sentinel play as if it were a jedi Knight in one of the Star Wars movies. It is a fun class and it will always be on the high ground.