SWTOR Assassin HATRED Guide (Upated for Patch 5.6)

Detailed PvE guide for the DoT Discipline of the Shadow Assassins

The guide is structured in sub-pages for better orientation, less scrolling and easier navigation. Click on one of the 4 tabs below to visit the INTRODUCTION TO THE DISCIPLINE, STATS PRIORITIES AND GEARING TIPS, ABILITIES, UTILITIES AND PRIORITIES and CONCLUSION sections. Inside each one of the tabs (or sub-pages) you will find Table of Contents to further ease your navigation and help you find what you are looking for. The 4 tabs are available on the top and at the bottom.


Important Note

I’ve translated the Serenity Shadow 5.0 Guide Mebrithiel wrote and I published on VULKK.com a while ago to fit the Empire’s Assassin HATRED 5.0 terms. My edits are minimal – only cosmetic and related to the layout and a little bit on the gearing section (it’s the same text that I always include in all my guides) as well as a few links to other useful articles on VULKK.com. All credits for the abilities, priorities, opener, rotations and gameplay tips go to Mebrithiel!

Please see this video for more details. On Page 4 of this guide you will find information about the author. If you have any questions about the guide, leave a comment.

Wherever you may encounter “I”, consider this as a personal opinion from the author and statement or preference, based on his experience and practice.


Hatred (balance) Assassins has always been a DoT based melee dps class. At the launch of the game, when tools like StarParse were not available, a dps-wise comparison to other such classes was not possible. The overall feeling of the class was satisfactory but nothing special.
In 2.0 (Rise of the Hutt Cartel) the class had a major redesign and unfortunately for those playing it, the results were disappointing. The class’s DPS output was horrible and as a result it lost its position in operation’s teams. Many players were forced to abandon the class and some who denied doing so abandoned the game.

I was one of the few who stayed true to this class and luckily for me with patch 2.7 and the changes that came with it, we got a big part of our lost prestige back. Crushing Darkness, one of the major DoTs at that time, received a +30% damage boost that changed the overall damage output and as a consequence Hatred Assassins were back in the game.

In 3.0 (Shadow of Revan) Hatred Assassins became even stronger. With the right conditions the class could top the dps charts and all operation teams needed one Hatred Assassin. The class was king of the hill.
But with great power comes great grieving by the opponents! In later patches (after 3.0), due to pvp players complains, the class received some major nerfs, and lost its DPS edge.

In 4.x (Knights of the Fallen Empire), things started to look worse and Hatred became a mid-range damage dealing class.
Unfortunately, all the nerfs Hatred received from mid 3.x were not enough and in KotFE & KotET, more nerfs came along the way. According to theorycrafting, Hatred nowadays is one of the weakest dps classes in the game, being 14th out of 18.

With patch 5.3, the new developing team (thank you Keith) decided to bring balance to the damage output of all classes and Serenity shadows were the first to receive a dps boost, similar to the one in patch 2.7. Combined to the nerfs in almost all other disciplines, serenity shadows now are one of the strongest DPS disciplines in the game (included ranged ones).

Serenity shadows are again important for any operation team; what they lack in utility and operation buffs, they can make up in damage output. The wheel turned ladies & gentlemen, slowly but it turned! We are back in the game!

Patch 5.0 Changes

  • Thrash: Now granted at level 1 as an Assassin exclusive.
  • Lightning Charge: Now a passive buff.
  • Guard: Now available at level 16. No longer requires Dark Charge.
  • Dark Charge: Removed from Advanced Class. Now granted as Discipline passive in Darkness.
  • Phase Walk: Removed from base class. Now Sorcerer exclusive.
  • Reaping Strike: New ability for the Deception Discipline. High damage single-target skill on a 15s cooldown that is usable from stealth or within 15 seconds of landing a critical hit.

Each Advanced Class is receiving a new suite of Legendary Utilities, here are some of the Assassin’s:

  • Reaper’s Rush: Phantom Stride grants Reaper’s Rush, allowing your next Assassinate to be used on any target, regardless of remaining health. Reaper’s Rush lasts for 10 seconds. Additionally, if the target of your Phantom Stride is killed within 10 seconds of using Phantom Stride, the cooldown of Phantom Stride is reset.
  • Renewing Darkness: When entering stealth with Force Cloak you generate a stack of Renewing Darkness and heal 4% of your maximum health every 2 seconds for 10 seconds. Stacks last for 6 seconds. When stealth is broken, each stack of Renewing Darkness heals you for 4% of your health.
  • Retaliatory Grip: Deflection grants Retaliatory Grip, reflecting 50% (or 100% for the Darkness discipline) of all direct single target tech and Force damage back at the attacker for 12 seconds. Does not absorb incoming damage.

Knights of the Eternal Throne did not change that much for a Hatred Assassin; just made things worse DPS wise. Many of our core damaging abilities now do less damage, our mobility is impaired with the removal of Phase Walk (now what were the developers thinking?), and we did not receive an active ability to use at level 68.

One major difference though is the redesign of Eradicate. Eradicate now is an instant ability with a rather long cooldown that can target someone within 10m. This means that if you can afford the Force cost, you can cast Eradicate even when not proced by Raze (Passive boost from the Discipline), which sometimes stabilizes our difficult & demanding rotation.

Patch 5.0.1 Changes

As shown in the Patch notes, here are the changes made to the class in this update:

  • Using Mind Trap no longer grants Hand of Darkness if the corresponding Utility is not selected.

Patch 5.3 Changes

There have been a number of improvements in DPS and energy management with this Game Update, boosting the Discipline’s performance to be on par with other similar Melee Damage Dealing Classes.

  • Increased Deathmark’s periodic damage boost from 10% to 15%.
  • Crackling Charge now increases the damage of Discharge by 30% (up from 20%).
  • Fulguration restores 3 Force (down from 5) when Lightning Charge deals damage.
  • Increased Inevitable Demise’s low health damage bonus from 15% to 30%.
  • In addition to its previous effects, Leeching Hunger now restores 4 Force for each of your damaging periodic effects on a target damaged by your Leeching Strike.
  • Leeching Strike now replaces Maul.

Patch 5.6 Changes

With Game Update 5.6 the discipline received the following changes:

  • The Formless Phantom utility has been redesigned and now reduces damage taken from area of effect attacks by 30% for the Deception and Hatred disciplines and reduces damage taken while stunned by 30% for the Darkness discipline
  • Deathmark stacks are now only consumed by your own periodic damage, and only your periodic damage gains a damage benefit from your Deathmark


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