Home » Guides » Madness Sorcerer PvP Guide By Sceviour of Jung-Ma (Updated to 3.2)

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Madness Sorcerer/Balance Sage is one of the most popular specs in PvP today. To master this spec takes a certain degree of skill and the right mods to maximize your damage output in both 8v8 warzones and 4v4 arenas.  Sceviour of Jung Ma has been kind enough to put this guide together, which will be broken into sections covering gear, utility choices, rotation and advice for playing.

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Madness Sorcerer/Balance Sage is a spec that revolves around using Damage Over Time abilities to kill your opponents, as opposed to direct damage abilities like lightning/telekenises  which focus on burst damage.  To successfully play Madness/Balance in 8v8, 4v4 and open world, your first priority is to stay alive. Mobility is key and using your utilities to focus on locking the enemy down, and keeping your distance will allow you to truly maximize your potential.

To decrease on clutter, we’ll be adding this legend for any republic player reading.
Balance Sage Class Parallels:

Affliction| Weaken Mind
Creeping Terror| Sever Force
Demolish| Vanquish
Death Field| Force in Balance
Force Leach| Force Serenity
Force Lightning|Telekinetic Throw
Polarity Shift| Mental Alacrity
Unlimited Power| Force Empowerment

From here forth we will only be using the Imperial terminology for abilities and referencing the class.

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Stay Alive
As a Sorcerer, your main job is to stay alive. In 90% of ranked games, you’ll be the first focused guaranteed. Because of this, your primary goal is not dying. In all the games I’ve played in ranked, the games that I die first is a game I’ve lost, guaranteed. The games where I die after we’ve dropped one of the enemy team, there’s a 50/50 chance of winning or losing and the games where I’m the last man standing is a 90% chance to win

Open Up
If it’s the rare 10% case where you’re not focused first, then it’s time to show what you’ve got. Utilize all the tactics in your arsenal. Kiting, Line-of-Sighting, as well as your class abilities like Force Speed, Force Barrier, and your numerous CC abilities. Typically, in the games you’re not focused first, if you’re not pulling top damage then you’re not utilizing Madness to its full potential. When left alone to ‘Free Cast’ (successfully pulling off your rotation consistently without any enemy focus), Madness Sorcerers have some of the highest DPS potential of any class in its current state.

Emersion is a must have utility
Force Speed + the Emersion utility is probably my most used escape move in ranked and it has saved my ass countless times. Plus, there’s always something satisfying about watching a Jugg mindlessly slash at the air while you sprint to safety :P.

Use your Force Barrier strategically
Sometimes, that means saving it for the very last second before you die. Sometimes that means using it when you’re being heavily focused, even though you have 100% health. This can often play to your advantage, as an opponent has a 50/50 chance of blowing their damage increasing cooldowns to open up on you early.

In games where I’m facing high burst DPS classes like Marauders and Assassins, I sometimes pop my Force Barrier as soon as they’re locked on to me and starting their rotation, as that burns out their burst on my invincibility shield so that neither I or my team take that high damage. After their burst is wasted on my shield or they’ve wasted their time striking against my bubble, which inevitably wastes their bursts, I kill them pretty easily.

Using your Barrier is a skill that takes practice to master. It’s a tactical ability, and is not a set rule that it must be used in X situation. You just have to watch, and learn, your enemies abilities, and typical patterns/rotations. Then you’ll be able to easily determine when to use your barrier, to both stunt the enemies DPS potential, and save yourself from certain death.

Range is crucial
to successfully playing Madness. You’re one of the squishiest ranged classes in the game. Staying away from enemies, and using your 30 to 35 meter attacks to your advantage is key to winning most fights. Height is also a significant advantage for ranges classes like yours. In maps like Tatooine Canyon, Alderaan Civil war, or Quesh Huttball,stand on the edges. Stay out of the enemy’s area of focus and spam away.

Know your Maps
This goes hand in hand with #5. Take full advantage of the level design used in your maps. In maps like Makeb Mesa, or Orbital Station, it’s the smart move to not take the high path first. Knockback or pulls easily separate you from your teammates, taking you out of the fight for sometimes crucial seconds, leading to a loss.  In maps with two or more levels, like the ones I mentioned, I’d suggest that your team take the direct route and charge the enemy right out of the gate. Engage them and put them immediately on the defensive. This brings me to my next point.

Engage the Enemy First
Get your attacks out first, in all warzone situations, as soon as possible to try to catch the enemy with their pants down. The longer you wait, or hesitate, the more opportunity you’re giving the enemy to prep, organize and get the drop on you. Which means that you’ll more than likely lose. Get the first attacks out, attack them as soon as possible and try to catch them with their pants down. The more you wait, the more they prep and organize which means you are generally going to lose.

Play to your Team’s Strengths
Lastly, I’m strongly of the opinion that Sorcerers are strongly dependent on their team composition. If you’re stuck with a bad team, more than likely you’re facing a loss. If you’ve got a good team with competent players, you’ll probably win. If you’ve got an average team, then you could easily carry the team to victory. That is a rare situation however, which only happens once in a blue moon. This is all less true in 8v8 warzones. One good player could turn the tide of a battle.

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For 8v8 Unranked:
Skillfull: Tempest Mastery, Sap Strength, Empty body
Masterful: Emersion, Dark Resilience.
Heroic: Surging Speed, Corrupted Barrier
For Ranked Queueing, the only utility change is Tempest Mastery to Force Suffusion. The reasoning behind that is that Madness is heavily dependant on self heals, so any utility that helps in healing is best. The damage reduction ones are pretty worthless, as the healing that you get in just raw numbers is larger than any damage reduction you get. In a burst situation the damage reduction won’t matter much at all.

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7/7 Force Master Gear set to get the 6 piece setbonus.

Mods:
Advanced Aptitude 33X: 7
Advanced Mettle 33x: 2
Enhancments:
Advanced Adept 33x: 7
Relics:
Focused Retribution
Serendipitous Assault
Augments:
Advanced Resolve Augment 36: 14
Implants:
Force Master MK-X Packages: 2
Earpiece:
Force Master’s Device
Stim:
Advanced Anodyne Resolve Stim
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This brings your stats to (Accounting for some Datacrons. Your numbers may be slightly different.):
Endurance: 3541 (Health: 42452)
Willpower: 3738
Power: 1353
Crit Rating: 126 (22.1%)
Surge Rating: 860 (77.7%)
Alacrity: 0
Accuracy: 0

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The rotation for Madness Sorcerer is pretty straight forward. Past the opening rotation, continue in this order as your abilities come off cooldown to maximize your damage output. If before level 57, replace ‘Demolish’ with ‘Crushing Darkness’

Force Lightning -> Affliction -> Creeping Terror -> Death Field -> Demolish -> Force Leech -> Recklessness -> Force Lightning (stop it after 1 second) -> Unlimited Power -> Force Lightning x2 -> Polarity shift -> Force Lightning x3 and repeat

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These parses are for a character with the gear outlined above. You may not hit this initially, but it is very easy to achieve using the above rotation.  Average DPS for these parses is around 3,407. Total damage done was 205,244.

 

 

In conclusion, if nothing else this will give you a decent start off point for mastering Madness Sorcerer.

If you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments.

 

Thanks for reading,

Sceviour

  • Sérgio Alves

    Alacrity Zero? explain please…

    And what about the diminishing returns on surge, is it viable to go as far as 77.7%?

    • Sceviour

      Hi there, so yeah with the alacrity, I found that there’s very little gain between having 0 and 5% (generally the accepted number now days) alacrity in the raw DPS numbers that I pull in ranked and unranked. In fact, I tended to better in warzones with 0% alacrity in madness because I put it into power which in turn not only increased the damage but also increased my self heals, mainly Unnatural Preservation which is one of the main heals I use to stay alive. With 5% alacrity, theres not much chance that Ill be getting 10-12k unnatural preservation crit heals but with 0% and max power, I do, quite often in fact.

      Also the diminishing return on surge starts generally around 75% so I might be able to move around 1 mod or enhancement but in the long run, its not going to make a massive difference. With the setup I have right now, in both ranked and unranked, I generally get the highest damage in the games. Also, a little bit of surge does play well to the spec because the way that I use polarity shift and recklessness, you are looking at 88% chance of critting on force lightning which is generally a guaranteed crit the way RNG works in this game, so the bigger the crit, the better it is.

      I hope that helps with my reasoning! 🙂

      • Sérgio Alves

        It did thank you xD

  • Vicious

    Pretty solid guide, but I don’t really agree with the utility choices.

    For skillful I use Empty Body, Sap Strength, and Oppressive Force. (You aren’t going to be using Force Storm that much, and reducing your electrocute by 10 sec is much better)

    For Masterful skills I use Emersion and Electric Bindings (For me, multi target rooting is more important than a 30% boost to a heal with a 30 sec CD, but I’ve never used it, so hard to say)

    For Heroic I use Shapeless Spirit and Haunted Dreams. (With all the stuns in this game a 30% damage reduction while stunned is HUGE! Also, having an instant whirlwind is very clutch. I do miss surging speed from pre 3.0, but the other two are a lot better IMO. As for corrupted barrier, I really like this utility, but the other 2 just barely beat this one out.)

  • Shanchem

    I just tried this rotation out with utility points and i f*****g love it
    Completely game changer
    Thx a lot