A Primer on Jedi Templates

by HavelockVetinari


    Lots of young jedi and soon-to-be jedi have come to the board curious about their options and the advantages of different templates. I've written this short overview of key skills and popular templates, revised to include input from many other members of the jedi community, to offer some guidance to those who must make the big choice. As I have unfortunately learned, retemplating a jedi can be extremely tedious, so it's important to make sure you're picking up a template you'll be happy with for awhile. There is a brief discussion of Force Sensitive skills at the end, too, for those who want to know how FS skills work with a jedi template. 

    This is by no means a complete guide, nor am I particularly wise about jedi templating.  In fact, I made a huge templating mistake after the revamp (my initial template is listed below as a cautionary tale).  If you disagree with me or have a new template idea, please post your objection.  I'm particularly interested in hearing about the Powers tree.

    Thanks to all the jedi who have contributed their ideas and experiences, particularly Yo'ho and Renairdor who shed some light on how to take advantage of some of the more difficult-to-play templates.  I'd also like to thank everyone who took the time to read my guide; I just saw there have been over 10,000 views.  I hope it's been helpful. 

Four Key Skills

Heal All Self 2 (Healing 4xxx) (alternatively, Heal Health Self 2, Heal Action Self 2, Heal Mind Self 2 (Healing 3xxx): Heal All Self 2 will heal 1500 points of damage in each of your HAM bars; the individual bar heals will also heal 1500, and for slightly less force cost. The big difference is that with Heal All Self 2 you only suffer several seconds of healing delay, while with the individual heals you must sit through the delay for each bar you want to heal. If you are being hit across multiple bars, this reduces your DPS (Damage Per Second) and costs more force, so most jedi choose to get Heal All Self 2. In some hybrid templates the extra 2 skill points are required elsewhere, so a few people give up Heal All Self 2, but this should not be done lightly.

Heal States Self (Healing xxx4): This clears stun, dizzy, blind, and initimdate, even if you're lying on the ground. Jedi get hit hard when they get hit because of the lack of armor; when a jedi's on the ground, melee damage against him gets a multiplier, and on top of things he cannot fight back or run away. Dizzy/kd was the death of many pre-revamp jedi. If you go out to PvP without Heal States Self, you cannot expect to survive unless you have a competent and dedicated support group. A bonus to this skill is that its prereqs include Force Cure Poison and Force Cure Disease, both very important to have given the continuing danger posed by DoT weapons.

Force Run 2 (Enhance 4xxx): Jedi often get into hairy situations. Force run 2 lets you get the heck out of dodge, outrunning your enemies and escaping to safety. While its offensive uses have been decimated in the post-gank & run era, force run 2 (or 3) is still a very strong skill. Given the penalties for dying, both in jedi xp and FRS xp, a skill that lets you stay alive in a great many situations where not having it would lead to death is a skill that many jedi appreciate. Some jedi have dropped to enhancer 2xxx for Force Run 1 since Force Run 2 no longer offers the offensive advantage, but Force Run 1 is less effective for getaways since you only move at about the speed of a burst running player.

Channel Force (Enhance xxx2): Even at knight level, a jedi can burn through force extremely quickly. Channel force lets you take a temporary hit to your maximum HAM stats in order to regenerate some force instantly. Handy when leveling, handy in prolonged fights, and a virtual necessity in one-on-one duels, Channel is also widely appreciated by the vast majority of the jedi population. While it can sometimes be risky to use, intelligent use of channel gives you access to far more force power per hour than a non-channeling jedi. As a bonus, you get Transfer Force and Force Shield I; the latter will take some of the bite out of Force Drain attacks against you in jedi on jedi action. Channel is also a prereq for Force Drain and Meditate, which many jedi view as essential and which are unquestionably useful skills to have.

A Note on Master Lightsaber

Master Lightsaber is unquestionably the most desireable master box in the jedi profession. It offers radically higher DPS than that of a nonmaster and gives better defense than the defender tree. In jedi on jedi fights, the jedi without Master Lightsaber will lose, period, because saber toughness protects against saber damage while jedi toughness does not. A jedi with Master Lightsaber is the bane of all ranged professions because of the high saber block. Therefore, most of the templates discussed below have master saber. People, including myself, have tried templates without master saber and usually found them wanting. If you want to try a build without master saber, go for it, do not be discouraged, just know that you'll be giving up a lot to try it.

Some Templates and Analysis

Popular Double Mastery Templates

With two trees mastered, a jedi maximizes his force power and force regeneration.

The Old Flavor of the Month: Master Lightsaber, Master Enhancer, 4004 Healer

In the days of gank & run this template was the undisputed king. Now that a jedi's offensive capabilities are severely curtailed when using Force Run 2 or 3, it has lost some of its luster, and some people spoiled by its former supremacy have called it useless. But Master Lightsaber offers a great combination of powerful offense and unparalleled defense vs. ranged, with saber toughness adding decent melee defense to the mix.

Master Enhancer gives you the ability to self resurrect for a minimal xp hit, 50k as opposed to the 200k you lose if you clone, as well as Force Run 3, which *will* save your life at some point. Channel and Meditate give an enhancer unparalleled control over his force pool. Force Armor, while not a sustainable defense because of its big drain on your force pool, can be thrown up to keep you alive in the hairiest situations and dropped when you don't need it anymore. Force Armor is also extremely effective in jedi vs. jedi situations, since it absorbs saber damage where jedi toughness does not. Force Resist States is not terribly effective when used without the 0004 defender state line, but Force Resist Poison and Force Resist Disease give you +100 to poison and disease resistance; I believe they still absorb 25% of the tick of the poison or disease, as well. And, as discussed above, Healing 4004 is a crucial part of almost every jedi template.

The New Flavor of the Month: Master Lightsaber, Master Healer, 4004 Enhancer

This is not as clearly dominant as the old FotM, but many jedi are picking up this template because of its effectiveness in larger battles (which jedi often enter, given the gank squad mentality that dominates jedi PvP). Master Healer lets a jedi heal not only his own damage, states, wounds, and battle fatigue, but also his ally's. While the force cost is high, when a few jedi with this template work together, it dramatically improves their side's chances in a battle. The jedi can heal mind damage without any adverse effects to themselves and can even heal mind wounds. The jedi also gains an advantage: by healing all his damage, clearing all his states, and curing all of his DoTs in one healing delay, the jedi spends more of his time fighting and thus has a higher DPS. This coincides nicely with the damage potential of Master Lightsaber. The ability to negate fire DoTs should also not overlooked; fire is the weapon of choice for killing jedi. And while the jedi loses force armor and the resist line (the latter often viewd as the weakest of the enhancer lines), he retains Force Run 2 for quick escapes and Channel and Meditate to control his force bar.

Rapid Response Variant: 4004 (or 0044) Lightsaber, Master Healer, Master Enhancer

I don't know of anybody who has this yet but it's been discussed at length as a good support build. The jedi gives up the offense and defense of Master Lightsaber for Force Run 3, Force Armor 2, and the Force Resist line, and focuses on moving quickly around the battlefield keeping his teammates healed and generally avoiding contact with the enemy. The difference between Force Run 2 and Force Run 3 is negligible, and Force Armor 2 and the Force Resist line are probably not worth giving up Master Lightsaber, so I doubt we'll see too many of these.

Another Variant on MLS/Master Healer: Master Lightsaber, Master Healer, 4004 Defender

Some have opted to pick up the Defender melee and states lines with Master Lightsaber and Master Healer. Healer is fairly force-intensive, though, so losing Channel and Meditate is rough.

Another Popular Template: Master Lightsaber, Master Defender, 4004 Healer

When Force Run 2 and 3 were nerfed, the initila buzz was that this would be the new FotM. Several serious flaws with the template kept this from coming about, but it is still a popular aspiration among up-and-coming jedi. Master Defender does not offer as much defensive bang for the buck as the Lightsaber Tree, but the two in conjunction make for a much tougher jedi and this template is not vulnerable to non-jedi melee templates in the way that most other jedi templates are. Master Defender gives a jedi 45% jedi toughness, which reduces ranged damaged by 45% and stacks with saber toughness to reduce melee damage by about 75%. In addition, Master Defender plus the force sensitive ranged and melee defense give a jedi high (though not capped) ranged and melee defense. The melee defense means another jedi will miss over a third of the time, although most non-jedi meleers have high enough accuracy that the miss rate is far lower. Saber block will protect you from so many ranged attacks that the ranged defense is almost redundant, but it goes a long way.

One notable bonus to this build is that the Defender tree is almost entirely passive, meaning you'll have more force for healing and saber specials. Avoid Incap costs a lot of force, but frankly it's not generally that useful and you will not be using it much except to have fun or die gloriously. There are some tactical uses for it, but none aside from base shutdowns are practical once your opponents have seen them done once or twice.

This Master Defender build is also the most effective PvE jedi template. It is not as effective a tank as an elite melee master in good armor, but it works very well against everything but the top-end mobs. If you don't plan on pursuing PvP with your jedi, this build will be much more attractive to you than it is to an PvP-focused jedi.

The number one weakness with this template is the lack of force run. Even a Master Defender is relatively vulnerable, and the inability to escape when the situation gets nasty means many Master Defenders had a very hard time under the old Force Ranking System. Lack of any method of supplementing force regeneration is also a problem, although with the new function of holocrons rich players can afford to play this tepmlate without worrying about that.

A Variant of the MLS/Defender Template: Master Lightsaber, Master Defender, 4004 Enhancer

One of the most notable contributors to the Jedi board chose this template and has apparently enjoyed quite a bit of success with it. While he retains the benefits of Force Run, Channel, and Meditate, he loses out on 4004 Healer. Master Lightsaber/Master Defender may be the best jedi tanking template, but it still tends to lean heavily on healing to last the fight. With this variant, a jedi hits Avoid Incap and runs to safety when things get rough, then Meditates up his force and lets his HAMs regenerate, then hurries back into action. This template can be quite effective if a jedi has CMs, docs, and Master Healers backing him up.

Another Variant of the MLS/Defender Template: Master Lightsaber, Master Defender, 0404 Enhancer

Renairdor is considering this template; I think it probably won't work well in the long term, but for as long as the jedi's force bar can hold out he will make a formidable tank. Without the ability to run or heal, though, the outcome seems pretty inevitable.

Another Variant of the MLS/Defender Template: Master Lightsaber, Master Defender, 0044 Enhancer

I can speak from experience on this: you will be extraordinarily hard to stun, dizzy, or blind when Force Resist States is stacked with a Master Defender's jedi state defense. That being said, this template suffers the same problem as the above variant: without the ability to run or heal, the outcome seems pretty inevitable. That said, this will not suck a jedi's force bar down as quickly as the 0404 Enhancer variant, and with decent healers backing him up this could make an effective group template.

The Rarely-Seen Glass Cannon Template: Master Lightsaber, Master Powers, Healing 4004

Those few brave jedi who pick up Master Wielder tend to take a lot of verbal abuse for their choice; conventional wisdom is that the Powers tree is broken beyond the point of utility.  I bought into this view myself until some Master Wielders, Yo'ho in particular, convinced me otherwise.  Against most jedi this template could run into trouble, since your opponent will have Force Shield 1 or 2 or, less likely, force defense from the Defender tree.  But the DPS from this build is higher than that of any other jedi template, because of Force Choke's DoT and Force Weaken 1 & 2's effect on your opponent's stats.  Force Intimidate 2, Mind Blast 2, and Force Knockdown 2 make Master Powers terrific for harrying your foes on the battlefield.  The downside to this template is that you are very vulnerable to attacks (no Force Armor, no jedi toughness) and if things get rough you cannot escape since there is no room for Force Run.  Because of these limitations, at this point in the tree's evolution Master Powers may be better adopted by picking it up as a single mastery and focusing on using the jedi to supplement a larger force.  As one Master Wielder has analogized, Master Powers is a lot like Carbineer: you have the ability to inflict all kinds of states and kd, and can be immensely useful to a group.

Single Mastery Templates

While a jedi with a single mastered tree loses some force regeneration and force power, diversifying a template can allow for more flexibility and the ability to more effectively react to different situations.

A Popular Single-Mastery Template: Master Lightsaber, 4004 Enhancer, 4004 Healer, 4001 Defender

While this template sacrifices some of the force power and force regen available to a dual-mastered jedi, it offers enhanced flexibility. The Defender lines help offset some of a jedi's vulnerability to melee and also provide some helpful jedi toughness to supplement the saber toughness. In addition, the two key lines from Enhancer and Healer are present.

A Clever Variant on the Single-Mastery Template: Master Lightsaber, 4004 Healer, 4004 Defender, 2003 Enhancer

This template gives a jedi the melee and states defense lines of the Defender tree, including a fair amount of jedi toughness, without sacrificing the two key healing lines or Force Run 1 or Channel. The more I look at this template, the more I think it will be one of the most effective under the current publish. It covers all the bases while giving a jedi decent additional defense.

A Variant on the Single-Mastery Template: Master Lightsaber, 4002 Enhancer, 4004 Healer, 4003 Defender

Adds some additional jedi toughness and state defense at the cost of Meditate and Drain Force.

A Variant on the Single-Mastery Template: Master Lightsaber, 4402 Enhancer, 4000 Defender, 3004 Healer

This template retains Channel and Force Run while keeping the melee line of Defender and picking up Force Armor 2. The big visible downside is the lack of Heal All Self 2, but with the melee line of Defender, Master Lightsaber, and Force Armor all up in conjunction with synthsteak, you won't need to heal all that much for as long as you have the force to keep the armor up. This has been reported extremely effective against stackers.

An Anti-Stacker Variant on the Single-Mastery Template: Master Lightsaber, 4200 Enhancer, 4004 Healer, 4003 Defender

Similar to the above, but trades Channel for Force Armor I. Reported to be very effective in one-on-one PvP, including against a stacker.

An Anti-Stacker Variant on the Single Mastery Template: Master Lightsaber, 4204 Healer, 3004 Defender, 0004 Enhancer

This template seems to be designed for protracted duels. It sacrifices Force Run to pick up added Defender boxes for jedi toughness and some decent melee and state defense, and it has x2xx in Healer to take care of wounds and battle fatigue that result from disease and fire DoTs and make further DoT attacks more effective. The Enhancer line gives the template good force management skills to help keep the force pool under control through a battle.

A Single-Mastery Variant suited to Large-Scale Battles: Master Lightsaber, 4404 Enhancer, 4404 Healer

This template covers all the basics (Heal All Self 2, Force Remove States, Force Run, Channel) and includes Force Armor and wound and battle fatigue healing. Force Armor will provide short-term protection for the particularly hairy situations, while the x4xx Healer line will take off wounds and battle fatigue and let a jedi remain fresh throughout a lengthy battle (low BF also reduces the bite of DoTs, a major advantage on a large and busy battlefield).

A Single-Mastery Variant with Force Intimidate: Master Lightsaber, Powers 1040, 4004 Enhancer, 4004 Healer

Some jedi substitute Force Intimidate for the jedi toughness and melee defense of the Defender tree. The upside is that, if you can keep the intimidate on your opponent, he will do less damage to you than he would if you had the defender build. The downside is that doing so is force intensive and the defense in the earlier template is passive.

A Variant with Force Intimidate I: Master Lightsaber, Powere 0030, Healer 4214, Enhancer 2003

This build appears well suited as a combination fighter/support jedi for large scale combat. The wound and BF healing in x2xx Healer will keep a jedi from being worn down in the fight, Healer xx1x lets the jedi heal his teammate's wounds at a very low skillpoint cost, he has Force Run 1 to navigate the battlefield, and keeps Channel. The big cost here appears to be force power, which will take quite a hit from the diversified template and the large number of low-tier skills. Channel will help offset this. It may be advisable to try Enhancer 2002 instead so you can pick up Powers 0040 and get acces to Force Intimidate 2; depending on how many opposing jedi you face, that may be more effective than Force Drain.

The Brawler Variant: Master Lighstaber, 4003 Enhancer, 4004 Healer, 4000 Defender, Novice Brawler

This is pretty popular; novice brawler lets you intimidate and warcry to your heart's content without using any force, and for the time being it works - you can be a jedi knight and still have the non-jedi novice brawler skill. The devs said before that knights would not be able to have non-jedi skills, so don't be surprised if this gets fixed someday.

Another Brawler Variant: Master Lightsaber, 4004 Defender, 4004 Healer, 0003 Enhancer, Novice Brawler

A brawler variant with more defense but no Force Run or Meditate. This has been reported to be extremely effective against stackers as well as in PvE and PvP. The warcry and intimidate skills let you shut down an opponents offense while leaving you all your force to devote to offense and the occasional heal.

A Pure PvE Single-Mastry Jedi Template: 0404 Lightsaber, Master Defender, 3204 Healer, 0040 Powers

While not well-suited to PvP, this template will make a jedi a PvE monster. The AoE (Area of Effect) health attack in the two-handed saber tree allows for efficient killing of groups of enemies. Master Defender gives ample toughness, especially in conjunction with stun and blind applied by the saber and the AoE intimidate from Powers xx4x. Wound and BF healing allows for long, uninterrupted loot sessions, and according to one user the individual HAM pool healing is not a significant problem.

My Old Ineffective Variant of the Defender Template: Lightsaber 4004, Master Defender, 0042 Enhancer, 3004 Healer

I thought this template would be useful for staying alive in the 100+ to a side battles that tend to rage across Bloodfin. It did not work so well. The upside was that I was very difficult to land states on, and in one-on-one duels I crushed almost all non-jedi without much trouble.  The DoT defense provided by xx4x Enhancer was not enough to make up for the lack of the substantially increased saber block and saber toughness of master saber, and having to heal each of my pools individually cut severely into my already gimped DPS.

The Yo'ho Build: 4004 Lightsaber, Master Powers, 3002 Enhancer, 4004 Healing

This template gives you all the state and KD goodness Master Powers has to offer, but instead of focusing on pure DPS like with the Master Lightsaber build discussed above, this template includes Force Run 1, Force Speed 2 (which will up your saber DPS on Flurry 1), and Channel to offset the high force costs.  According to Yo'ho, the template is very effective in PvP as long as you play smart, know when to run, know who to Force Choke and Force Weaken, and how long you can spam Force Intimidate 2 and Force Knockdown 2.

Powers Variants

Because so few jedi have mastered the powers tree, it's hard to say how well different variants work. Aside from the above single mastery build and Master Lightsaber/Master Powers/Healing 4004, I have not heard of any other Master Powers variants, so if anybody knows of any others and how they've worked out please feel free to share.

Force Sensitive Skills

As a jedi, you will forver have 24 skill points tied up in your force sensitive skills. Once you get Initiate, you cannot change those skills. These skills continue to affect your character when you are a jedi; whatever bonuses they give, you keep.

A lot of people want to know which skills they should pick, and I think the best answer is, get the Ranged Defense and Melee Defense lines of Enhanced Reflexes, which will give you at least some ranged and melee defense if you're a non-Defender or supplement your defense if you are; the Melee Speed and Melee Accuracy lines from Combat Prowess, which will improve your effectiveness with a Lightsaber (though once you hit Master Lightsaber you're speed capped even without the FS line), and whichever other two skills are easy and convenient to get depending on your template and the Phases of the Village.

I have Luck and Assembly myself, and Experimentation and Vehicle Handling also seem useful. But really, aside from the first four lines I mentioned, they do not seem to make a particularly big difference. Friends with Master Lightsaber, Assembly, and Experimentation have noted little difference in the quality of sabers made with the same materials as those made by Lightsaber Masters with neither crafting FS line.

So, to reiterate, I'd say grab Melee Defense, Ranged Defense, Melee Accuracy, Melee Speed, and then whichever two are convenient for your Village Phases and current template.