Telekinetics | Lightning
Telekinetics is the Sage's Burst DPS spec. It is a highly mobile ranged spec with outstanding survivability and raid utility. The spec has a relatively high ceiling on potential dps output, but a steep learning curve in maximizing on that potential. TK took a big nerf in 7.1.1. then was slightly buffed in 7.3. It has not returned to anywhere near where it was in 7.1.1, but has seen a minor bump. It has quickly gone from the top of players' picks for damage to the middle of the pack. I've found focusing my gear more on alacrity helps this spec quite a bit. The below focuses entirely on single target burst damage. It continues to be a fun and challenging spec to play.
Changes in 7.3.1 - No changes to the patterns/rotaion for this class. We however have had some adjustments to the passives offered in the skill tree. A major one gives the sage more utility from it's stun in PvP. We gain Force mobility base now instead of having to choose it from the skill tree.
Gearing up for Telekinetics
Below are the gear selections, legendary implants, tactical and skill point choices I recommend for this class.
The opener for TK is essentially a Buff Block. We fire off all of our offensive cool downs and hit our class's main DoT.
Our DoT Ability
Weaken mind is our main DoT is used right after our Buff Block. Always use weaken mind after Mental Alacrity, as this ability speeds up the tick time and will keep it ticking faster until it falls off. Weaken Mind will not need to be refreshed unless we have downtime on the boss or target swap. We must always have weaken mind up and ticking on the boss. It is a SIGNIFICANT DPS loss if it falls off. The following abilities will tick weaken mind's damage and/or refresh its duration.
Auto Crits when weaken mind is on a target and will tick weaken mind twice. As such, always make sure Weaken Mind is active. Does not refresh its duration.
Ticks Weaken Mind once and refreshes its duration
Ticks weaken Mind twice and refreshes its duration
The Telekinetic Sage has two main rotational blocks that cycle between each other.
TK Burst Spam Block
From here, we just continue to repeat <Main Block> <TK Burst Spam Block> <Main Block> <TK Burst Spam Block> indefinitely. Prior to 7.0's release, TK was largely played with a priority system. We seem to be back to that point in 7.3, though I continue to believe that the stack two block rotation is the best way to learn the spec and become proficient at high DPS output. Switching to a priority-based system does yield an increase in DPS.
Hard casting Power of the Force is a bit tougher in 7.1.1 as the channel time of the ability has increased. If you foresee that you will need to move and do not have time to stand still for the 2-3" it will take to channel it, use another TK burst in its place. Under Mental Alacrity hard casting it feels very similar to 7.1.0. It is still a net DPS increase to use power of the force over the other options, though it has had its damage reduced. As such, the class's total DPS output has suffered from this nerf.
Quick Reference Guide
Understanding your Offensive Buff Abilities
In the TK spec, we enjoy an increase in our alacrity (channel and ability cool down speeds). As we go through our abilities. The Telekinetic Focal Point passive at level 68 causes Power of the Force and Telekinetic Gust to build a stack of Focal Telekinetics and gives a 50% chance for TK burst to do the same. Each stack gives us a 1% alacrity increase, stacking up to a maximum of 5%. It requires a little bit to ramp up, but once we get to 5% we should stay there unless we have more than 15" of downtime allowing our stacks to fall off. With this passive and mental alacrity, our channels go crazy! I still run the 2100 - 2400 alacrity numbers, despite the extra boost to alacrity allowing me to channel faster. Note in 7.1.1 I have found an Alacrity of 3300-3800 to be a net dps increase.
You can use this to reset Force Speed for More Damage if you do not need it as a defensive cool down.
Use Force speed as close to on cool down as possible. Always use it before a turbulence or Power of the Force for Maximum DPS. Force speed will also make your next two TK Burst instant cast. Don't be fooled into just clicking the glowy ones. Stick to the rotation.
Always use Force Potency (gives 2 charges) before a Turbulence/ Proc'd P.o.t.F. Combo
After the initial use of Mental Alacrity, use it on Cool Down. Force Speed will reduce its C.D. by 5 seconds.
This is a raid wide buff and should be used on the call of the raid leader. If you are in a PuG or the raider leader is not calling them, use in your opener and again on cool down. It boosts your Mastery and Endurance by 10% for 10". If there are multiple sages in the group, it is helpful to discuss who is taking that skill point, as it goes on a shared cool down when any one player in the operations group uses it.
Understanding Movement as a TK Sage
The sage is a highly mobile class, but there are a few abilities that make it seem like we are a fixed turret. Knowing when those abilities are coming around in the rotation is helpful for being able to plan several seconds of standing still.
The following you can move and use
Only when Proc'd (Glowing)
Only when Proc'd (Glowing)
The following abilities you need to stand still for, movement will break your cast
Even when proc'd you must stand still
Keep in mind that even on those abilities that you can move and fire, you can still be interrupted by boss attacks, such as a raid wide knock. Watch trying to start channels if you know these knocks are coming (Grob Throk's Pipe smash)
Telekinetic's Defensive Abilities
Force Armor is a pretty strong defensive on a very short cool down. It is very useful in ops if you know a big burst hit is coming. It absorbs 26k damage and reduces damage taken by 5%. It is on the GCD, so using it is a DPS loss (as you are not using a damage dealing ability
Another Very short cool down solid Defensive Cool down, Cloud mind both lowers your threat, but more importantly provides you a 25% damage reduction.
This is our Self heal and is OFF the GCD, use it often as you take damage to help out the healers. You can buff this with mysteries of the force at level 23, but you are giving up power of the force, making it a dps loss.
Benevolence will proc as you use Turbulence. Benevolence will heal you for around 33,000 hp. Its charges can stack up to two times and are refreshed each time you use Turbulence. It is a net DPS loss to use this as it is on the GDC. It is useful in those emergencies near death situations or when there is downtime in a boss fight, and you have no dps potential. Lean on your healers, do not just use it because it glows.
This is perhaps the most powerful defensive in the game. For 8" you are 100% invincible (note, some damage in the game will still kill you. When the game wants you dead, you die.) As it channels, you gain stacks of enduring bastion. For every stack, you absorb 25k damage while the buff is active. You become immune to interrupts for 5" after it ends, and you can use it as a C.C. Breaker. Moving ends the channel.