gamesuperchampion – SWTOR 4.0 Carnage Marauder PvE Guide by Hayete

SWTOR 4.0 Carnage Marauder PvE Guide written by Hayete. (Updated for Patch 4.2a)


  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Gearing
  • 3 Utilities and Abilities
    • 3.1 Offensive Abilities:
    • 3.2 Defensive Abilities:
    • 3.3 Raid/Personal Utilities:
  • 4 Understanding Carnage Spec – How It Works
  • 5 Rotation
  • 6 Parsing Analysis & Examples
  • 7 Video Guide
  • 8 How to be a Great DPS
  • 9 Credit and Acknowledgements


Hi there all! My name is Hayete and i’m glad you’ve decided to give Carnage spec a try! My intended objective for this guide is to help other people make the same discovery I did back in 2011. What discovery is that? That playing a Carnage Marauder is a ton of fun and an awesome challenge that’s what! My aim is to present information in such a way that whether you’re a veteran with the spec or a new comer looking to try something different this guide should be informative and complete enough to help you enjoy the spec and your time playing it in Knights of the Fallen Empire.

A little about me. I’m a 28 year old Electrical Engineering student, a decorated Combat Veteran, and an uber Star Wars nerd! Unlike most of my peers here I have never been a “World First/Server First” player. I’ve never been part of a guild structured towards that goal. Like many of you I log in to play the game, hang out with good friends, and challenge myself. I’ve been playing The Old Republic since Beta without interruption. Like most writing these guides I’ve cleared the hardest content out there, I’ve obtained the titles, and most recently at the end of 3.0 I managed to obtain the third highest DPS parse among all classes and specs worldwide, that was reported anyway. While those accomplishments are great and i’m proud of each of them it wasn’t always like that. I started as a newbie and latched on to good people who helped me along the way, players who were kind enough to mentor me and get me to the level of play that I’m at today. I’m here to be that mentor for each of you as well. This guide is but one part of that. As with all my guides I invite each of you to ask questions and open up constructive dialog’s with both myself and each other as that is the only way we learn, and learning is the only way we get better.

With that said there are several ways in which I make myself available to those who would like to reach out to ask questions, get help, etc. Obviously you can leave comments here and ask questions. Second, you can email me directly at [email protected] Third, you can make your way over to and send me a message through multiple media’s. You can email me directly through the “Contact Me” page, message me on Twitter, comment through YouTube, etc. All of those media’s can be found at the website. Understand that if you message me through email, the site, or social media your message will go directly to my phone, meaning I see your message instantly in real time! With that said please allow at least 24 hours for a response. Take note that if you take the time to ask a question i’ll take the time to give you a thoughtful answer! Point is, i’m here to help. If you need any don’t be shy and let me know!



Achieving 110% Accuracy is a must. Reaching the 110% Accuracy cap will allow you to achieve a 100% chance of success on all outgoing damage which should be your first goal. Currently 109.97% is the closest you can get with the fewest number of gear pieces. Statistically 109.97% will be as effective as 110.00%. In 4.0 your Basic Attack Accuracy (Assault is your only ability this applies to) has been brought up to 100% baseline. You still need to gain 110% Accuracy (or as close to it as possible) to counter the 5% and 10% mitigation inherent to both higher ranked enemies and raid bosses.  For a more detailed breakdown of Accuracy ratings at the 216, 220, and 224 item level refer to the stat builds at the end of this section.

gamesuperchampion - SWTOR 4.0 Carnage Marauder PvE Guide by Hayete

Critical Chance:

Of all the stat changes with the release of 4.0 Critical Chance is by far the stat that experienced the most attention. Throughout 3.0 Crit was more or less a negligible stat, either with it or without it you may experience a small DPS increase or decrease. This has changed significantly with the expansion. I want to take a moment to explain what has changed, passively, and then give you my explanation on how to respond to this change. I feel compelled to warn you however if you played the spec in 3.0 this will be a shock to the system, so bear with me. In 3.0 Carnage gained a passive ability at level 59 called Sever this passive granted you an increased critical strike damage bonus on Massacre and Devastating Blast by 30%. With 4.0 this has been reduced from 30% to 15%. Furthermore, on October 2, 2015 a blog post was released detailing combat changes in 4.0. The following is a direct quote taken from this post; “To ensure that Critical Hit Chance is never a wasted stat, any abilities that automatically critically hit now convert any Critical Hit beyond 100% into additional critical damage.” What this means is when the chance to Critically hit a target is greater than 100% (keep in mind our auto crits gain us a 100% chance to crit by default) then the extra Critical Chance will multiply out against the Critical Multiplier by that amount and that total is then delivered as damage against your target. So what does this mean? In 3.0 you wanted essentially zero Crit, in 4.0 you want ALOT of Crit. Lets call this “Super Crit”. For a more detailed breakdown of exactly how much Crit to obtain at the 216, 220, and 224 item level refer to the stat builds at the end of this section.

gamesuperchampion - SWTOR 4.0 Carnage Marauder PvE Guide by Hayete

Surge Rating:

This stat has been rolled into, and combined with, Critical Chance. You will no longer find any gear containing Surge by name.


Alacrity is a haste effect. It reduces the length of channeled abilities, increases the frequency of Damage over Time (DoT) effects, decreases cooldowns, etc. Mathematically speaking +1% Alacrity means you do everything 1% faster, which exactly equates to a 1% increase in performance. In 3.0 Alacrity proved it’s worth ten fold across almost every class and spec. At the moment it appears this has not changed for the spec. Combat still benefits from increased amounts of Alacrity in 4.0 when average DPS is analyzed across various builds. For a more detailed breakdown of exactly how much Alacrity to obtain at the 216, 220, and 224 item level refer to the stat builds at the end of this section.

gamesuperchampion - SWTOR 4.0 Carnage Marauder PvE Guide by Hayete

Item Piece Stat Changes:

4.0 has done away with several choices as it relates to Armoring, Mod, and Enhancement gear pieces. All class main stats have been consolidated into one stat called Mastery. Strength, Willpower, Aim, and Cunning have been done away with. Mods have also been redesigned to reflect this change. Furthermore, with the removal of Surge as a stand alone stat you will no longer find any Enhancements containing Surge, these have been removed.

Armoring’s and Hilts:

All Armoring’s and Hilts should be Advanced Versatile Armoring/Hilt 42 – 44 depending on current item level gearing capabilities.


With 4.0 you no longer have two choices when it comes to Mods, you now have only one. Advanced Lethal Mod 42 – 44 depending on current item level gearing capabilities. This Mod affords Power and Mastery.


From 3.0 to 4.0 your Enhancements have not changed much with one exception. With the removal of Surge as a stand alone stat the developers have combined the Advanced Battle Enhancement (which afforded Crit and Power) and the Advanced Adept Enhancement (which afforded Surge and Power). It would seem they chose to combine these and keep the Advanced Adept Enhancement by name only. The Advanced Adept Enhancement now affords the player Crit and Power in 4.0. This means you have three Enhancements available to you while gearing. The Advanced Initiative Enhancement still affords Accuracy and Power and the Advanced Quick Savant Enhancement still affords Alacrity and Power.


Okay, so as with Critical Chance i’m about to flip what you’ve known throughout 3.0 on its head so hang on and enjoy the ride! Through various degrees of analysis using Mastery or Power Augments resulted in a DIRECT damage loss. This is completely backwards from gearing strategies in 3.0 and you probably feel right now like i’m trying to convince you that the Earth is flat. In ever analytical case it was seen that damage was gained by using only Tertiary stat Augments. Crit, Alacrity, and Accuracy Augments are these Tertiary stat Augments. This is a result of 4.0 changes to both stats pools and the changes made directly to the stats themselves. This is not meant to tell you not to apply Mastery or Power Augments only that the damage gain and loss between the two groups exists and I recommend, at least at the moment, avoiding Mastery and Power Augments.


Relics in 4.0 have largely remained unchanged. You’ll want to acquire a Relic of Serendipitous Assault and Relic of Focus Retribution which will give you the best sustained DPS overall. You may choose to also acquire the Relic of Boundless Ages which is a user activated relic that more or less acts as a Power adrenal increasing Power by X for 30 seconds. If you are looking for directed burst in response to certain raid mechanics or damage challenges this relic may be useful otherwise the Serendipitous Assault and Focus Retribution relics should be run standard.


Adrenal: Advanced Polybiotic Attack Adrenal or Prototype Polybiotic Attack Adrenal (Cheaper/Easier to Craft)
Stim: Advanced Polybiotic Versatile Stim(Mastery/Power) or Advanced Polybiotic Proficient Stim (Accuracy/Crit)
Medpak: Advanced Polybiotic Medpac or Prototype Polybiotic Medpac (Cheaper/Easier to Craft)

Mastery Stim vs. Accuracy Stim

With the addition of the Accuracy/Crit Stim in Patch 4.1 you now have two choices when DPSing. The difference between the two under analysis is 1 DPS (except for the 216 item level) favoring the Accuracy/Crit stim. Keep in mind the analysis used was against a target with an arbitrarily large but finite amount of health. This is done to allow time averages to be valid because of the extreme time length. What this means is that since you’ll never DPS under these conditions, as enemies in the game do not have this level of health, the divide between the two Stims is very small. What does this mean for you? Well, this means you can use either Stim and still be effective and will pull the same DPS under either one. What this does offer you however is an alternate way of gearing depending on the stim you intend on using. Gearing strategies for both Stims will be discussed in the following section.

Weaponmaster’s Set Bonus:

gamesuperchampion - SWTOR 4.0 Carnage Marauder PvE Guide by Hayete

(Your 6-Set Bonus remains unchanged in 4.0)

Gearing Builds:

Below are builds constructed to capitalize on their own individual item level vs. stat distribution strengths. The following are split into two sections, Mastery Stim builds and Accuracy Stim builds. Treat these builds as “Beta” since further live dummy and raid damage analysis may shift these values over time with added information or rotational changes.

Gearing Distributions and Compositions:

With the stat changes in 4.0 our ability to gear has become very straightfoward and effortless. With the consolidation of Main stat into Mastery you no longer need to hunt around for the right piece of gear. You now only need to find a piece of gear with the right Tertiary stat. Across Enhancements, Implants, and Earpiece each affords the following rating + 152 | + 160 | + 168 these are the values for Item Level 216 | 220 | 224 respectively. Augments afford +73 Tertiary stat and Crystals still afford +41. With that said here are break downs of how you can reach the above builds with available gear at your desired Item Level. Gear legend: E = Enhancement or Implant or Earpiece; A = Augment; C = Crystal, Stim = Stim Type

– Mastery Stim Builds –

Item Level 216 (Story Mode):

6362 DPS @ 55.1 APM | 5871 Endurance | 4990 Mastery (Stim) | 2689 Power (1xC)
1250 Critical (6xE, 3xA, 1xC) | 730 Alacrity (10xA) | 681 Accuracy (4xE, 1xA)

Item Level 220 (Hard Mode):

6603 DPS @ 55.3 APM | 6127 Endurance | 5179 Mastery (Stim) | 2829 Power (1xC)
1290 Critical (5xE, 5xA, 1xC) | 772 Alacrity (3xE, 4xA) | 685 Accuracy (2xE, 5xA)

Item Level 224 (Nightmare Mode):

6856 DPS @ 55.5 APM | 6375 Endurance | 5393 Mastery (Stim) | 2940 Power
1346 Critical (7xE, 2xC) | 825 Alacrity (1xE, 9xA) | 701 Accuracy (2xE, 5xA)

– Accuracy Stim Builds –

Item Level 216 (Story Mode):

6341 DPS @ 54.9 APM | 5871 Endurance | 5067 Mastery (4xA) | 2640 Power (2xC)
1226 Critical (6xE, 2xA) | 681 Alacrity (4xE, 1xA) | 729 Accuracy (7xA, Stim)

Item Level 220 (Hard Mode):

6604 DPS @ 55.2 APM | 6127 Endurance | 5256 Mastery (4xA) | 2780 Power (2xC)
1280 Critical (6xE, 2xA) | 758 Alacrity (2xE, 6xA) | 684 Accuracy (2xE, 2xA, Stim)

Item Level 224 (Nightmare Mode):

6857 DPS @ 55.5 APM | 6375 Endurance | 5394 Mastery (3xA) | 2932 Power (2xC)
1354 Critical (7xE) | 825 Alacrity (1xE, 9xA) | 700 Accuracy (2xE, 2xA, Stim)

Utilities and Abilities

Standard Utility Build:

gamesuperchampion - SWTOR 4.0 Carnage Marauder PvE Guide by Hayete

The standard build I’ve designed is exactly what it sounds like. This is a build that will provide you with quality of life enhancements as well as defensive and mobility bonuses which can benefit you in some form or another whether you’re doing daily’s or fighting Operation bosses. For a more in depth guide on my recommended Utility setups for each Operation boss encounter please head to the following guide (

Skillful: Path Carver, Brazen, Inexorable

► Path Carver is an amazing utility that augments your ability to AoE by 25%. Due to the amount of content and Operation bosses that involve multiple targets this utility, in skilled hands, is invaluable when direct AoE damage is needed.
â–º Brazen is the second utility I run standard. This utility serves as a 2% flat damage reduction to all incoming damage. Furthermore, you gain 2 Fury when attacked, proc’ing this passive utility every 1.5 seconds. Damage reduction and the ability to gain the usage of Berserk faster than normal makes this utility a must have for all encounters.
► Inexorable grants you Rage whenever you’re stunned, immobilized, put to sleep, or knocked around. Whether doing dailies, heroics, flashpoints, or operations odds are you’ll experience at least one of these effects. This can also be a great benefit if you’re a new player trying to find your footing as it helps aid in energy management.

Masterful: Relentless, Defensive Roll

â–º Defensive Roll is the third utility I run standard no matter the build. This utility affords you a flat 30% damage reduction to all AoE damage as well as increasing internal and elemental damage reduction by 5%. Since in almost every raid fight you’ll encounter either AoE, internal, or elemental damage this utility pays for itself ten fold and is an invaluable utility, thus why i run this one standard for all encounters.
â–º Relentless allows us to use Predation without the required 30 Fury. Upon activation Predation is placed on a 30 second cooldown and thus can be used every 30 seconds. Due to the nature of Marauder DPS this increases our mobility, defense, and our raid wide class utility as far as what we can bring to the table.

Heroic:Brooding, Unbound

â–ºBrooding is the fourth and final utility that I run standard. This utility has been specifically chosen to allow you to initiate a fight at your full potential i.e. with an available Berserk. While it does reduce the cooldown on Intimidating Roar by 15 seconds the only reason I’ve chosen this is to allow me to put as much DPS on the target from the moment the fight is initiated. While this can also be obtained by spec’ing into this utility, stacking, and then respec’ing utilities for another I choose not to do this since the hassle is not worth the return in my opinion. However know that you do have that option available to you considering your group affords you the time and opportunity to do so.
â–ºUnbound directly augments your Relentless utility by giving you an extra 30% movement speed increase to Predation. Additionally it allows your Predation to break movement impairing effects for you’re entire team (or companion if playing solo). This benefits you by giving you extra mobility and crowd control breaking utility.

New Utilities Added with 4.0: Unflinching Determination, Thirst For Rage, Through Victory

â–ºUnflinching Determination (Bottom right in Skillful) grants immunity to stun, sleep, lift, and incapacitating effects for 6 seconds when activated Saber Ward.
►Thirst For Rage (Bottom right in Masterful) generates 12 Rage when Bloodthirst is activated.
►Through Victory (Bottom right in Heroic) allows Mad Dash to be used while immobilized and purges movement-impairing effects when activated.

Offensive Abilities:

gamesuperchampion - SWTOR 4.0 Carnage Marauder PvE Guide by HayeteAtaru Form – is your stance of choice for Carnage. The stance increases Alacrity by 3% as well as giving every successful melee attack a 20% chance to deal a second strike for free.

gamesuperchampion - SWTOR 4.0 Carnage Marauder PvE Guide by HayeteGore – is your most important ability, as your whole rotation revolves around Gore windows. Gore DOES NOT respect the GCD and lasts 3.0 seconds  (2 GCDs, or 3 GCDs coupled with Berserk and clipping), due to this you CAN still use Devastating Blast or Dual Saber Throw before activating Gore, and due to their travel times will still allow you to fit another ability into Gore assuming you have increased Alacrity and/or a stable and reliable internet connection with little to no lag.

gamesuperchampion - SWTOR 4.0 Carnage Marauder PvE Guide by HayeteRavage – is a hugely important part of your rotation, however it shouldn’t be used on CD, instead saving it to combine with Gore is a must. You should never delay a Gore for a Ravage, unless Ravage is one second or less from cooldown, and similarly you should never use Ravage outside a Gore window. It should always be the first ability used in a Gore window when it is available. New to 4.0 Ravage now applies Bloody Slashes. Bloody Slashes stacks a bleed on the target (stacks up to 3 times). Each time Ravage deals damage it will add a new stack to the bleed. Bloody Slashes deals damage when applied, each time a stack is added, and every 3 seconds for 9 seconds after Ravage finishes adding stacks.

Note: The 6-Set bonus will also give you an auto Crit on your next Vicious Throw after using Ravage. This buff lasts for 30 seconds and cannot be gained but once every 60 seconds.

gamesuperchampion - SWTOR 4.0 Carnage Marauder PvE Guide by HayeteMassacre - is your general filler ability. Massacre replaces Vicious Slash once gained since it does higher damage and has more utility at an equal cost. Using Massacre between Gore’s is necessary, not only because you don’t have much else to use but also to proc Ataru Form strikes, and subsequently Execute as well as Slaughter procs. It has a very low priority during Gore Windows, but should still take precedence over Battering Assault and Assault. To allow for proper energy management you should avoid when at all possible spamming more than three Massacre’s in a row. Doing so will quickly deplete your Rage and leave you playing catch up. The buff from Massacre adds an additional 30% chance to trigger your Ataru form pumping up your overall chance to proc your Ataru Form from 20% to 50%.

Note: When under the effect of your Berserk this ability will only cost 1 Rage

gamesuperchampion - SWTOR 4.0 Carnage Marauder PvE Guide by HayeteDevastating Blast – is your most important filler during Gore windows, and its Cooldown is rather conducive to doing so. However, if you happen to have Devastating Blast available and Gore is going to be on CD for awhile you can use it outside of Gore windows at your own discretion, but keep in mind that you should be aiming to use Devastating Blast in every possible Gore window, buffed by your Execute proc.

gamesuperchampion - SWTOR 4.0 Carnage Marauder PvE Guide by HayeteVicious Throw- is a key ability thanks to the Slaughter passive, which makes it a regular part of your rotation, and it simply becomes more frequently used when your target falls below 30% health. Using it before Gore and timing its activation allows you to fit another ability into your Gore window, which is an important trick to master in order to maximize your DPS. Keep in mind that although it is free with Slaughter, non proc’d regular uses still cost Rage.

Note: This will refund 1 Rage when used in conjunction with the Slaughter proc.

gamesuperchampion - SWTOR 4.0 Carnage Marauder PvE Guide by HayeteDual Saber Throw – is your free filler that is generally used to greatest effect during Berserk windows. When AoE is not important, Dual Saber Throw can be used before activating Gore as an extra ability in your Gore window, maximizing not only its own damage but your overall DPS as well. It is free of cost, grants 2 Rage, and should be used regularly to aid in proper energy management.

Note: The 6-Set bonus will also give you an auto Crit on your next Vicious Throw after using Dual Saber Throw. This buff lasts for 30 seconds and cannot be gained but once every 60 seconds.

gamesuperchampion - SWTOR 4.0 Carnage Marauder PvE Guide by HayeteBattering Assault – is your main Rage builder, and using it regularly outside of Gore windows is necessary to keep your Rage high so that you can deal as much damage as possible during Gore. Keep in mind that both Gore and Battering Assault have the same CD. This means you should always aim to use Battering Assault just before your Gore to give yourself enough Rage to get your attacks in the Gore window.

Note: The 2-Set bonus will also give you a +2% damage increase when activating Battering Assault for 15 seconds every 30 seconds.

gamesuperchampion - SWTOR 4.0 Carnage Marauder PvE Guide by HayeteAssault- is your secondary Rage builder. Because Gore windows account for the vast majority of your DPS, your main focus between these times is to ensure that you have enough Rage to do a full rotation during Gore. Used in combination with Devastating Blast and Battering Assault, this is the core of your rotation between Gore uses. As a general rule you should do your best not to spam this ability. Early Rage management will allow you to use this ability to augment your Rage instead of solely relying on spamming it to generate Rage.

gamesuperchampion - SWTOR 4.0 Carnage Marauder PvE Guide by HayeteBerserk (Ataru Form) – grants significantly increased Alacrity for 6 abilities by granting you 6 charges. As abilities are used charges are spent (Gore doesn’t use a charge). This ability isn’t very complicated; using it regularly is necessary, and using it during Gore windows will increase your DPS even more, as it allows you to fit another ability into the Gore window.

Note: The 4-Set bonus will also give you a +3% damage increase when activating Berserk for 10 seconds.

Important Passives:

gamesuperchampion - SWTOR 4.0 Carnage Marauder PvE Guide by HayeteExecute – Damage dealt by Ataru Form grants Execute, which makes your next Force Scream or Devastating Blast deal +5% damage and sunders the target for 45 seconds.

gamesuperchampion - SWTOR 4.0 Carnage Marauder PvE Guide by HayeteSlaughter – Damage dealt by Ataru Form triggers Slaughter, which finishes the cooldown on Vicious Throw and makes your next Vicious Throw usable on a target at any health level without consuming any Rage. This effect cannot occur more than once every 20 seconds.

gamesuperchampion - SWTOR 4.0 Carnage Marauder PvE Guide by HayeteTowering Rage – Execute now additionally increases the Critical Chance of Force Scream and Devastating Blast by 100%.

gamesuperchampion - SWTOR 4.0 Carnage Marauder PvE Guide by HayeteEfficient Strikes – While Ataru Form is active, Berserk reduces the Rage consumed by Massacre and Sweeping Slash by 1.

Defensive Abilities:

gamesuperchampion - SWTOR 4.0 Carnage Marauder PvE Guide by HayeteSaber Ward – is an amazing ability and one shared by all Sith Warrior advanced classes (With some minor differences). Saber Ward in essence raises your Melee and Ranged defense chance by 50% and reduces Force and Tech damage by 25%. You can see this surge in defense if you go into the character tab and look under the ‘Defense’ tab while activating this defensive. With that said there are multiple ways to implement this cooldown. My preferred method is to activate it sub 50% and when I am the focus of whatever is doing damage to me. While this is all situational and does not fit into every scenario the same at least knowing what it does will give you a better sense of when to use it.

Note: Keep in mind you can use parsing programs such as StarParse to determine the ‘Type’ of damage you are being attacked with during raid encounters. By type I’m referring to Force, Tech, Internal, Kinetic, etc. This will give you a better understanding of when this defensive may be used at its full potential or when it will not work at all.

gamesuperchampion - SWTOR 4.0 Carnage Marauder PvE Guide by HayeteForce Camouflage – can be an excellent threat drop but in my opinion is far better utilized as a defensive ability (Reducing all damage by 50%). This can be used to reduce incoming damage from a wide variety of Raid mechanics. Furthermore, Force Camouflage grants immunity to controlling effects for its full duration. While most classes use threat drops on cooldown you should consider yours a defensive ability.

Note: If you re-engage in combat the damage reduction and immunity to controlling effects will end prematurely.

gamesuperchampion - SWTOR 4.0 Carnage Marauder PvE Guide by HayeteCloak of Pain- is not only your best overall damage reduction cooldown, but it also deals a moderate amount of damage to the enemy that hits you. As such, using it during phases where you will be consistently hit by the boss or by ticks of AoE damage will increase both its duration and your DPS by a slight amount.

gamesuperchampion - SWTOR 4.0 Carnage Marauder PvE Guide by HayeteUndying Rage – is an excellent defensive to help avoid lethal damage. It is often used while at exceedingly low HP to try and survive for as long as possible, however if you are about to take lethal damage, even if you are only at half health, you are better off using Undying Rage to mitigate as much damage as possible. This ability should always be used as your last resort unless responding directly to an otherwise unsurvivable raid mechanic. This IS NOT an “Invincibility” granting ability as it only gives a 99% reduction to all damage.

gamesuperchampion - SWTOR 4.0 Carnage Marauder PvE Guide by HayeteMad Dash – is your new ability gained at level 61. Mad Dash causes you to dash forward 20 meters dealing damage and increases your defense chance by 100% (technically 105% since you already have a base line defense of 5%). Thus far all my testing has shown that while the defense increase is active you will take zero damage from enemies, bosses, and mechanics whose damage profiles are recognized as Melee, Ranged, Tech, and Force attacks making this a VERY powerful defensive against specific mechanics or attacks. Keep in mind however that the defense increase lasts for 1 second so time it well and use it wisely.

Note: The best way I’ve found to employ this ability is to ensure that you will end up, at a minimum, 10 meters away from your target. By doing this you enable the use of your Force Charge which you can then utilize immediately after Mad Dash to get back to your target and continue doing damage with as little downtime as possible. This may not be suitable for every situation but remember to have a plan on where to go next so that you’re not stuck in the middle of nowhere having to run to get back into the fight.

gamesuperchampion - SWTOR 4.0 Carnage Marauder PvE Guide by HayeteObfuscate(Pseudo Defensive) – While Obfuscate is not a true defensive by design it can be employed to great effect on certain enemies to help mitigate damage. Obfuscate by design cannot be used on bosses themselves but can be used on certain adds. This reduces the targets Melee and Ranged Accuracy by 90% for 6 seconds which generally tends to stop incoming damage from the targeted source. So while this is not a true defensive it can be used to mitigate damage which is pretty much the idea behind defensive cooldowns.

gamesuperchampion - SWTOR 4.0 Carnage Marauder PvE Guide by HayeteForce Choke (Pseudo Defensive) – As with Obfuscate Force Choke is not typically thought of as a Defensive but can be utilized in various encounters in such a way that makes it as good as one. Force Choke, when used, will incapacitate the selected target for 4 seconds, do damage, and grant 3 focus over it’s duration. Like Obfuscate this cannot be utilized on bosses and additionally is ineffective against targets with the Unshakable buff. However, if you can use this to negate incoming damage or interrupt an ability that will do damage using Force Choke can mitigate that potential incoming damage effectively making this a defensive.

gamesuperchampion - SWTOR 4.0 Carnage Marauder PvE Guide by HayeteIntimidating Roar (Pseudo Defensive) – Similar to Force Choke Intimidating Roar will prevent all actions for up to 6 seconds on enemies affected by it. This ability will not work on bosses or targets with the Unshakable buff. Unlike Force Choke this ability will end prematurely if the target takes damage. There are a few encounters where this ability can become an amazing asset if employed properly to negate potential damage not only to yourself but your raid group as well.

gamesuperchampion - SWTOR 4.0 Carnage Marauder PvE Guide by HayeteDisruption (Pseudo Defensive) – Disruption is your standard interrupt ability and can be used in certain situations to effectively negate damage that would be directed to either yourself or your raid group. This ability should be maintained in an accessible spot on your action bars as you will need this ability for several PvE encounters.

Raid/Personal Utilities:

gamesuperchampion - SWTOR 4.0 Carnage Marauder PvE Guide by HayeteBloodthirst– Bloodthirst is one of 4 class raid buffs that can be utilized in game. As a Marauder you can employ Bloodthirst which will consume 30 stacks of Fury and grant your group members (within 40 meters) +10% to all damage and healing done over 10 seconds. This is arguably the most powerful raid utility in the game. Bloodthirst has a cooldown of 5 minutes and cannot be double stacked or used again within 5 minutes of another activated Bloodthirst. This should be utilized either at your own discretion or that of your raid/group leader. I generally employ this buff at the start of combat to allow max damage output during the first 10 seconds of combat and/or after a boss has fallen to 30%, or less, health.

gamesuperchampion - SWTOR 4.0 Carnage Marauder PvE Guide by HayetePredation– Predation acts in the same capacity as Bloodthirst in that it consumes 30 stacks of Fury and is applied to all group members within 40 meters. When used Predation grants +50% movement speed as well as a +10% Melee and Ranged defense bonus for 10 seconds. This is a very versatile ability and one you can use on almost every encounter to give either yourself or your group a one up on an encounter. Due to the nature of this ability and its inherent passive gains Predation can also be considered a Pseudo Defensive.

Note: If you choose the Relentless utility Predation no longer requires 30 stacks of Fury to be activated and instead is able to be used instantly but will fall on a 30 second cooldown timer after activation.

gamesuperchampion - SWTOR 4.0 Carnage Marauder PvE Guide by HayeteFrenzy – Frenzy allows you the opportunity to instantly gain a 30 stack of Fury. Essentially this allows  you an extra Berserk on demand. There are many ways you can utilize this cooldown to great effect. I personally use it at the start of fights, or sub 30%, to push out Bloodthirst. It can also be used for burst phases where you need to do your burst rotation but do not have a 30 stack on standby. Lastly, it can be used to straighten out your rotation if it derails during the course of a fight. Knowing where you should be in your rotation you can use Frenzy to immediately reset your rotation back to where it should be and continue doing damage at your greatest potential.

Understanding Carnage Spec – How It Works

Carnage Marauders are the perfect combination of one of the most powerful burst rotations followed by decent filler abilities, making it an excellent spec for both burst and sustained DPS. Gore should be used as close to/on cooldown as possible, according to the abilities that you have available to use in conjunction with it. Gore lasts for 3 seconds and DOES NOT respect the global cooldown, so it essentially lasts for 2 abilities even if you have Berserk activated assuming you have 3% base Alacrity (increased Alacrity will obviously change this to an extent).

Ravage should only ever be used during a Gore window, and has top priority. Devastating Blast should only be used in conjunction with its Execute proc, and should be your next priority after Ravage within the Gore window. Due to Slaughter Vicious Throw is free and generates 1 Rage. Assuming it procs with a Gore and the Gore is a non-Berserk Ravage + Devastating Blast combo, it should always be used during the Gore window that it procs with if it will fit.

Dual Saber Throw is your free filler and generates 2 Rage. When possible you should do your best to limit Dual Saber Throws activation to when you are under the effect of your Berserk. Massacre is your general all-purpose filler ability, as it will trigger Ataru Form strikes and Devastating Blast/Vicious Throw procs, as well as dealing some good damage. When Ravage, Devastating Blast, and Vicious Throw are all on cooldown, Massacre is your final ability to use during a Gore window (keep in mind this should NEVER need to happen). You must keep the Massacre buff up at all times (6 second buff). Ok, now that you understand WHAT to do let me show you HOW to do it!


Single Target Priority:

First and foremost you need to understand that Carnage spec is a list of priorities with a few cardinal rules to follow. To master the spec you will need to be able to take a snap shot of where you are at any given moment and evaluate your current position within that set priority list. There are of course energy management considerations but this largely takes care of itself if you really commit yourself to understanding everything here that follows.

1) Massacre (ONLY to maintain proc)
2) Gore
3) Ravage (Only with Gore)
4) Vicious Throw
4) Devastating Blast (Only with Execute Proc)
5) Massacre
6) Dual Saber Throw (Free; Generates 2 Rage)
7) Battering Assault
8) Assault

Note: Vicious Throw and Devastating Blast are both rated equally among Single Target Priority rankings. Depending on what you have available and the duration remaining on Slaughter this can push one above the other. Keep this in mind when working within the bounds of Single Target Priority.

Gore Window Single Target Priority:

So here we are at our second priority list. The Gore priority list is a list of considerations when using Gore in the Single Target Priority list. If you feel like this is a bad metaphor for Inception then you’ve absolutely got the idea! When going through your Single Target Priority you’ll come to that moment when you are about to use Gore and need to think about what to fit inside Gore’s 3 second window. This Priority list will help you to evaluate what to do when you reach that point.

1) Vicious Throw ( If used before hitting Gore; if timed right will hit after casting allowing a free ability inside the window)
2) Dual Saber Throw (If used before hitting Gore ONLY; if timed right will hit after casting allowing a free ability inside the window)
3) Ravage (Only if you can achieve the entire attack within the Gore window)
4) Vicious Throw (Use cautiously with Gore because it can potentially be picked up outside the Gore window if used at the very end)
4) Devastating Blast (With the Execute buff)
5) Massacre
6) Other abilities (i.e. Battering Assault, Assault) This should never need to be viable during an encounter.

Note: Again here Vicious Throw and Devastating Blast are both rated equally and the same considerations should be taken ( same as with the Single Target Priority ranking).

Standard Rotation:

Alright! So now you have your gearing strategy and you understand your abilities and priorities. Well lets go over how to put all of that together into a fluid rotation. The following image has been designed and developed to encompass everything you need to do to perfectly execute Carnage spec. What I mean by this is that this image contains the entire spec rotation infinitely and can be executed infinitely. This is accomplished in three steps so let me go over those with you now.

gamesuperchampion - SWTOR 4.0 Carnage Marauder PvE Guide by Hayete

Force Charge– Berserk– Battering Assault — Massacre — Gore — Adrenal – Ravage — Devastating Blast — Assault– Massacre — Massacre — Battering Assault — Gore — Vicious Throw — Devastating Blast — Massacre — Massacre — Massacre — Vicious Throw —  Berserk — Dual Saber Throw — Battering Assault — Massacre — Gore — Ravage — Devastating Blast — Assault — (Follow Priorities)


gamesuperchampion - SWTOR 4.0 Carnage Marauder PvE Guide by Hayete Force Charge– Berserk– Battering Assault — Massacre — Gore — Adrenal – Ravage — Devastating Blast — Assault

As a Carnage Marauder you need to understand three rules as they relate to you being able to do damage. 1) You need to be close enough to do damage. 2) You need to have enough Rage to do your damage. 3) Follow your priorities.  The Opening rotation I’ve designed encompasses these three rules, so lets go over it in detail and i’ll explain how this is accomplished.

When you start a fight, be it boss fight or trash mob, you need to be close enough to do damage (rule 1) and you need Rage to do your damage (rule 2).

Force Charge is your first step in accomplishing these requirements, you put yourself within range of your target and you now have 3 Rage to do damage (Yay!). Berserk (in Ataru Form) is where Carnage Spec gains a lot of it’s burst capability. Speed up how quickly you do damage and you speed up how much damage you do over time (damage PER second). That is the first reason we’re using it here, the second is our 4-Set bonus. The 4-Set bonus grants you +3% damage for 10 seconds.

Battering Assault follows after Berserk for two reasons as well. 1) It grants you 6 Rage (rule 2). Coupled with the 3 Rage gained from Force Charge you are now at 9 out of 12 Rage and have successfully accomplished rule 2 and have set yourself up for some major burst! 2) Your 2-Set bonus proc will be gained here. This will grant you a +2% damage increase on everything you do for the next 15 seconds.

Ok so we’ve set you up to do damage so lets get to it! At this point it’s time to follow our Single Target Priority list. Starting with Massacre, we’re using this for two reasons. 1) You absolutely NEED to maintain the Massacre buff at all times. This buff takes you from a 1 in 5 chance of doing free damage (through Ataru Form procs) to a 1 in 2 chance of doing free damage every time you use a melee attack. 2) It does damage! Ok so lets keep moving down the priority list. So… looks like we should use Gore next, BUT WAIT! Since we’re going to use Gore we need to establish what we’re going to do inside of the Gore window, time to take a look at our Gore Priority list. We’re going to forgo Vicious Throw and Dual Saber Throw here (i’ll explain why on the next section) so looks like Ravage is our go-to choice here, so lets do that! Now if you want to maximize your opening rotation this is the time to use your adrenal (you’ve got some major damage coming in a second so now is the most opportune time to get the most out of it!). As we start to end Ravage you’ll want to cancel it early ( at 0.3 seconds remaining, ideally, or less) as the last damaging component of Ravage occurs at this time. What this will allow you to do is hasten your next damaging ability and also allows you to squeeze it into the Gore window. Since we’re saving Vicious Throw (again i’ll explain why momentarily) lets use Devastating Blast and squeeze that into our Gore window.

Ok we’re a bit low on Rage so lets use Assault and spend our last Alacrity stack from our Berserk to gain 2 Rage back quickly. Ok! Phew! That was crazy right? So, what now? Well lets go over it!


gamesuperchampion - SWTOR 4.0 Carnage Marauder PvE Guide by Hayete


Massacre — Massacre — Battering Assault — Gore — Vicious Throw — Devastating Blast — Massacre — Massacre — Massacre — Vicious Throw

Alright so now we’re moving into what I refer to as the “Build-Up”. This part of the rotation is basically sustained filler damage as we set up for our Burst again. Since at this point our Massacre buff is literally falling off as we conclude Assault we’ll want to reapply it as it has highest priority. We use Massacre a second time as a filler to fill the gap we need as we wait for Battering Assault to come off cooldown.

Ok, so we’ll use Battering Assault now since it has just come off cooldown to gain 6 Rage again (rule 2) in preparation for our next Gore. Ok so we arrive again at Gore, here is where i want to explain WHY we’ve held Vicious Throw. So your 6-Set bonus allows you an instant Crit on Vicious Throw once every 60 seconds and last for 30 seconds after using Ravage. The reason we held Vicious Throw was to capitalize on this proc. By holding Vicious Throw up to this point we can now fit it into the Gore window and get it’s Crit proc plus the extra damage it will do by being activated within the Gore window. Keep in mind the Priority List. Number 1 says “If used before hitting Gore, and if timed right, will hit after casting allowing a free ability inside the window”. Vicious Throw has a travel time and this travel time exists in real time on the server. What this means is that if you hit your Vicious Throw button and then very VERY quickly hit your Gore the game calculates this in reverse as Gore then Vicious Throw. This means that you can “sneak” Vicious Throw into your Gore window and still get your two abilities off inside of the Gore window, effectively getting three abilities to fit inside of what normally only fits two.

So, now that you understand that lets do that here. Ok so lets follow up after hitting Gore + Vicious Throw with Devastating Blast and Massacre. These two abilities will finish out our Gore window. Since we now have nothing of higher priority available lets use two Massacre’s as filler damage. The second or third Massacre here will proc your Slaughter giving you the ability to use Vicious Throw again. Notice that at this moment you should have 24 or 28 stacks of fury (depending on latency and your attacks per minute [APM]). Activating Vicious Throw at this point will complete your 30 stack of fury and prepare you for our last section, Burst!


gamesuperchampion - SWTOR 4.0 Carnage Marauder PvE Guide by Hayete

Berserk — Dual Saber Throw — Battering Assault — Massacre — Gore — Ravage — Devastating Blast — Assault — (Follow Priorities)

Alright! So now we’ve come to the fun part, Burst! So i’m sure a few of you are thinking “Wow! Hayete this looks exactly like our opener except for that oddly placed Dual Saber Throw.” Well those of you who are thinking that are 100% correct. Hopefully this points out that your Opening rotation IS your Burst rotation. This will be very important to remember moving forward (i’ll explain why shortly) . So With the conclusion of Vicious Throw in the Build-Up portion of our rotation we have our Berserk so we’re going to go ahead and use that. We wont get the 4-Set buff here but we will get the six Alacrity charges and the ramp up of damage output. The reason we are using Dual Saber Throw here is to aid in proper Rage management and help us get ready for our Burst rotation (rule 2).

Everything else that follows from this point we’re doing for the exact same reasons I detailed in the Opener. Ok, so now we come to Follow Priorities. Do you remember when i said at the very beginning of this section that the “image contains the entire spec rotation infinitely and can be executed infinitely”? Well i promise i wasn’t lying to you! The Follow Priorities thing here is not that. The reason I put Follow Priorities here is very often in live raid or while you’re out doing other content it can be very difficult at times to maintain this exact ability composition. You’re responding to mechanics, changing targets, gaining extra fury from Brazen (If you have chosen this utility, which you should!) all of this can cause your rotation and procs to be thrown off. In the event this happens, which it will, you need something to fall back on and that something is your Priorities list. Ok so now let me explain how to put this all together, that single image, and maintain it indefinitely.

To make this work there are three things you HAVE to know.

  1. Once you complete the image in its entirety (Force Charge through Follow Priorities) you will circle back around and start at the Build-Up section’s FIRST Massacre.
  2. Since we held the first Vicious Throw for so long to get the auto Crit from our 6-Set the Vicious Throw at the end of line 1 in the Build-Up section will never be available to you again until AFTER your target has dropped to 30% health or less at which time you no longer need Slaughter’s proc to use Vicious Throw and will then be able to utilize Vicious Throw at the end of this row. What this means is until your target is at 30% health or less you will skip this ability and move on to Devastating Blast instead.
  3. After you complete the image in its entirety (Force Charge through Follow Priorities) and make your way back to the Burst section you will need to swap Massacre and Battering Assault. The internal cooldowns on these two shift slightly once you rotate back around to them and it forces you to swap the two. So here you should be using — Dual Saber Throw — Massacre — Battering Assault –. Everything else in the Burst section will happen as originally depicted.

And that’s it! That is how you can take that one image and it’s three sections and run Carnage spec indefinitely while maintaining proper Rage management, priorities, procs, etc.

Alternate Rotation:

The following rotation was designed and developed by G_mK (Dón-Quijote) about a week prior to the release of Knights of the Fallen Empire. His developed rotation gains strength from it’s utilization of Devastating Blast and the frequency of which it is used. On average, when compared, the Alternate Rotation will grant you a damage increase of about 100 DPS when analyzed side by side on a dummy parse with that of the Standard Rotation. This rotation is very strong when used properly but very VERY difficult to employ and master for use in live raid. Furthermore, it is very easy to throw the rotation off as the rotation is very dependent on several cooldowns being available all within two to three global cooldowns of one another.

Due to these facts I highly suggest that you master the Standard Rotation before proceeding on to the Alternate Rotation. Due to the fragile nature of the Alternate Rotation you’ll need to use the Standard Rotation to realign the abilities needed by the Alternate Rotation if (or should i say when) the rotation gets thrown off. There are some Priority differences to take note of with the Alternate Rotation. Those differences are highlighted in yellow.

Note: G_mK and myself have been testing the Alternate Rotation since the release of 4.0. The reason it was left out of the guide until now was that we needed to figure out how to use it during live raid. Let’s face it at the end of the day you wont be getting gear from the fleet or ship dummies! We’re fairly confident that we have figured out how to effectively utilize the Alternate Rotation and have identified its strengths and weaknesses BUT we may stumble onto something else or figure out something new along the way so be flexible with this Rotation and if you discover anything yourself let us know.

Single Target Priority:

The two big differences to consider with the Alternate Rotation Single Priority list is that Devastating Blast is now prioritized over Vicious Throw at all times and Devastating Blast MUST be used on cooldown to capitalize on the rotations strengths.

1) Massacre (ONLY to maintain proc)
2) Gore
3) Ravage (Only with Gore)
4) Devastating Blast (on cooldown [this should occur coupled with Berserk and after Ravage])
5) Vicious Throw
6) Massacre
7) Dual Saber Throw (Free; Generates 2 Rage)
8) Battering Assault
9) Assault

Gore Window Single Target Priority:

The Gore Window experiences a similar difference to that of the Single Target Priority in that Devastating Blast is of higher priority than Vicious Throw.

  1. Vicious Throw ( If used before hitting Gore ; if timed right will hit after casting allowing a free ability inside the window)
  2. Dual Saber Throw (If used before hitting Gore ONLY; if timed right will hit after casting allowing a free ability inside the window)
  3. Ravage (Only if you can achieve the entire attack within the Gore window)
  4. Devastating Blast (With the Execute buff)
  5. Vicious Throw (Use cautiously with Gore because it can potentially be picked up outside the Gore window if used at the very end)
  6. Massacre
  7. Other abilities (i.e. Battering Assault, Assault) This should never need to be viable during an encounter.

Alternate Rotation:

gamesuperchampion - SWTOR 4.0 Carnage Marauder PvE Guide by Hayete

Force Charge– Berserk– Battering Assault — Massacre — Gore — Adrenal – Ravage — Devastating Blast — Assault– Massacre — Massacre — Battering Assault — Gore — Vicious Throw — Devastating Blast — Massacre — Massacre — Massacre — Vicious Throw —  Dual Saber Throw — Berserk — Devastating Blast — Assault — Massacre — Battering Assault — Gore — Ravage — Devastating Blast — Assault — (Back To Build – Up)

How to Use:

The Alternate Rotation runs pretty close to that of the Standard Build in that you will run through this image once following all depicted abilities from Force Charge to Assault. Once you get to Assault you’ll follow the image Back to ‘Build – Up’, you’ll then run through the image indefinitely.

Remember the Standard Build exception with Vicious Throw? The Alternate Rotation has it’s own Vicious Throw consideration. Due to the nature of the Alternate Rotation the two Vicious Throws in the Build – Up section will “float” throughout the rotation as you go through it. Due to this fact you MUST stick to the Priority List by ensuring that you prioritize Devastating Blast over Vicious Throw otherwise the rotation will be thrown off.

The Alternate Rotation also has live raid considerations. Due to the inherent nature of the rotation any excess Fury built can throw the rotation off wildly. If the rotation gets thrown off by more than two global cooldowns then you’ll be unable to maintain the stable format of the Alternate Rotation. If your rotation becomes skewed from it’s set pattern you will be forced to revert back to the Standard Rotation until you are able to get the rotation realigned. This can be very difficult for those not well versed in the spec so use this rotation with caution.

Note: To better help fight against excess centering being built you can forgo the Brazen utility. Since in live raid you will almost always take damage from some sort of mechanic dropping this utility will ensure you do not gain Fury from the damage you take which can throw off the Alternate Rotation exponentially. This is not a requirement and the Alternate Rotation can be used in conjunction with Brazen (for some fights it actually helps with the rotation although those are few and far between) but is much more difficult and requires more practice and proficiency from the player to master.

AoE Rotation Priority:

1) Berserk
2) Gore
3) Sweeping Slash
4) Dual Saber Throw (Generally for building Rage while helping to do damage; Try and use right before Gore)
5) Vicious Throw (To help with Rage Management while helping to do damage)
6) Battering Assault (To build Rage)
7) Assault

AoE Rotation:

gamesuperchampion - SWTOR 4.0 Carnage Marauder PvE Guide by Hayete

Force Charge — Berserk — Battering Assault — Dual Saber Throw — Gore — Sweeping Slash x 4 — Vicious Throw —  Follow Priorities

The AoE rotation is very simple and if you play these few abilities correctly you’ll come out with almost an infinite amount of Rage so resource management is quite easy during an intense AoE encounter. Utilize Dual Saber Throw for its AoE damage, however do not use it when above 10 Rage as it generates 2 Rage and you’ll waste it. Vicious Throw is a nice hard hitting ability and also generates 1 Rage when used under your Slaughter proc. It may not sound like much but it does help with the Rage Management during long AoE encounters. The majority of your damage is coming from Sweeping Slash as it auto procs your Ataru Form. Your goal here should be to do as many Sweeping Slashes, under Berserk, inside the Gore window as possible. Due to this Carnage Marauder AoE is one of the strongest in the game if everything is within range and you’re capable of maintaining proper Rage Management. The highest DPS I was able to obtain following this simple rotation (and it’s priorities) was just over 32K during 3.0 (R.I.P. you poor poor collection of adds before Quartermaster Bulo).

Parsing Analysis & Examples

Note: This parse was done with unoptimized gear. Gear used was a mix of legacy’d 216 SM gear and 208 comm gear. For an example parse in full min/max’d 216 SM gear please refer to the Combat Sentinel version of this guide.

gamesuperchampion - SWTOR 4.0 Carnage Marauder PvE Guide by Hayete

gamesuperchampion - SWTOR 4.0 Carnage Marauder PvE Guide by Hayete


Video Parse Example (500K Dummy):

Video Guide

gamesuperchampion - SWTOR 4.0 Carnage Marauder PvE Guide by Hayete

How to be a Great DPS

I created this 15 minute video just prior to 4.0. If you’re looking for some tips on how to become a better DPS then take some time and watch my Top 10 on How to be a Great DPS.

Credit and Acknowledgements

I would like to thank Bant (Co-GM of Psy-Ops – The Harbinger Server) for all his help in theroycrafting specific points of interest (namely gearing stats) as they related to Carnage Spec. I would also like to extend a big thank you to Ardarell_Solo (Taking the Jawas to Alderaan – T3-M4 Server) and Dón-Quijote (Ebon hawk Server) for their many conversations, back and forth ideas, and theorycrafting contributions. I would like to thank Daevia, Krae, NeoChicken, Oldeo, Qahnaar, Rexal, Slancrest, and Isaac-bell of TAW (Shadowlands Server) for their selflessness in helping me get gear to do parse testing. Finally, i’d like to thank Republic Gentlemen (Jedi Covenant Server) for helping me to test and verify Operation specific information within this guide.

Guide Updates and Changes

  • 11/3/15 – Updated item level DPS averages and adjusted Gearing Compositions to reflect new models
  • 11/6/15 – Alternate Rotation Added
  • 11/14/15 – Edit made to correct 224 gearing build Alacrity Augment typo (7 Augments corrected to 6)
  • 11/25/15 – Recommended Hilt type added
  • 12/8/15 – Changes made to reflect changes implemented in Patch 4.0.3
  • 1/23/16 – Standard Utilities updated. Utility Guide link added.
  • 2/11/16 – Added new sections ‘Consumables’, ‘Mastery Stim vs Accuracy Stim’, ‘Accuracy Stim Builds’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *