Sereniy | Hatred
Serenity is the Shadow's DoT spec. Serenity will feel less "contact" vs Infiltration. Almost half of the class's rotation can be performed at 10 meters from its target. This can give Serenity an edge over other melee specs in fights that require melee classes to routinely move away from a boss for a mechanic, such as a large damaging AoE attack centered on the boss. Serenity can also quickly DoT spread its 2 main long burn DoTs to mobs pretty much on demand, making it extremely responsive to add waves, whereas specs such as vigilance or balance can only DoT spread once rotationally. Serenity hits its stride when a target is sub 30% HP. Its DoTs and core abilities deal increased damage, and it gains more uses of its strong execute ability. The class's main drawbacks are its limited raid utility and defensive tool kit, though the passive healing helps.
Gearing up for Serenity
Below are the gear selections, legendary implants, tactical and skill point choices I recommend for this class.
I open with squelch to get its DoT ticking for the first block. It will reset when we hit Force Potency (as will serenity strike, so always make sure that you wait to hit force potency until after you have used serenity strike).
Block 1 - Apply DoTs
The main DoT ability that makes our entire rotation work is Force Breach. If force breach falls off, or fails to hit the target (the target is invulnerable or our accuracy is not at 100%, and it misses) we are not going to get the resets to squelch we need to make this happens. It is very important to this rotation that you start over with DoT reapplication if switching targets, or re-engaging from boss downtime. Trying to pick back up the rotation from where you left off will muck things up. You must track your force breach debuff on the boss. If it falls off before your final squelch in block 3, it will not proc.
Saber Strike may need to be added into the rotation in place of one of the melee attacks if force becomes low.
Spinning Strike is our can be subbed in for either double strike in block 3 if the target is below 30% HP.
We can use Shadow stride to enable spinning strike at any level HP.
While this can be used at any time (no cool down), fitting it into our static rotation can be difficult. Either double strike in block 3 as well as our spinning strike in block 2 is easily replaced with a whirling blow. (it's important to use saber strike in block two to rebuild force) You can delay core abilities like Force in balance or squelch, but keep in mind that inserting a "13th" ability into the 12 ability rotation can lead to force breach falling off before the final squelch. It may need reapplied. Excessively using whirling blow will lead to a burn out of force energy. Your best case scenario is using whirling blow in block 2 ability 3 (in place of spinning strike). Our Force in balance will have hit all the AoE targets, whirling blow will spread Force breach and Sever force. We can then continue our Single Target Rotation while our DoTs and Force suppression (from Force in Balance) do their work to eliminate the adds.
Quick Reference Cards
Serenity's Defensive Abilities
We use this against force/tech damage types. There are tacticals that extend the time beyond its 3" duration. This ability completely resists force/tech damage, but will do nothing for kinetic/energy damage. Also, a self-cleanse.
Deflection increases your Defense chance against Melee/Ranged attack types. Keep in mind it's only a 50% increase which probably lands us around 75-80% with our tank stats meaning damage will still come through. Does nothing for Internal/Elemental attack types.
Through the "Intangible Spirit" passive @ level 51, this ability (our AoE Threat drop) provides a 60% increase to your AoE Damage reduction (most OPs damage is AoE) for 15". This is an exceptional defensive and should not be overlooked. If this skill point is not chosen, we still get a base 30% AoE DR from the mind and body level 1 passive class skill. This last for 6".
Trade stalker's swiftness @ 73 to take Cloak of resilience instead. This gives us 2 seconds of resilience, a second cleanse for those cleanse heavy fights.