Sentinels are unique, bringing both tech and biotic abilities to the battlefield. In addition to complete weapons training, Sentinels are equipped with an advanced shield that makes taking cover much less necessary and rushing their enemies much more productive. This armor system can also be detonated to blast nearby enemies.
Tech Armor, the Sentinel's unique power, has changed significantly from Mass Effect 2 to Mass Effect 3. Likewise the Sentinel itself plays quite differently.
Tech Armor will no longer automatically detonate after your shields go down. Instead, it must be detonated manually. Furthermore, Tech Armor imposes a significant cool down penalty on your other powers while active. In combination with the new Weight system, all of this results in the Sentinel having two basic build options: one that focuses on weapons, supplementing their defense with Tech Armor, and one that focuses on powers, trading durability for versatility.
If you plan to tank it up with Tech Armor, focus on Fitness as well to make yourself as hard to kill as possible, ignore weight restrictions, and gun everyone down. Even compared to the Soldier this is low-maintenance as you don't need to spam Adrenaline Rush. Due to limits on power points, this build works best with a fresh Mass Effect 3 character, or one who has free run of the Normandy and can reset their powers, rather than one imported from a previous game.
The second way returns to the original Mass Effect playstyle: eschewing Tech Armor for emphasis on your other powers. You can easily stun and kill light enemies with a maxed-out Overload or by chaining Warp and Throw. The core of this build is versatility: this Sentinel can stand back and use Overload, Warp and (now) a sniper rifle to ruin shields, armor and health in rapid succession. You can even provide one-person biotic combo and tech combos by combining Overload and Cryo Blast, and Warp and Throw, or even both at once by chaining Overload, Warp, and Throw.
Class Powers Edit
Tech Armor Edit
- Main article: Tech Armor
As stated above, Tech Armor no longer detonates automatically. This allows for players to play more defensively with heavier armor choices or more offensive by increasing the knock-back and damage. The big disadvantage to Tech Armor is that when it is active, powers cool down a lot slower; use light weapon load-outs and other advanced powers to counter.
- Main article: Throw
Throw is best used as a offensive knock-back tool to dislodge enemies from cover and to set off biotic charges like warp. The Recharge Combo evolution is very useful for Sentinels, as it mitigates the cooldown penalty from Tech Armor. This is doubly true for Sentinels equipped with a heavier loadout. With this evolution and a biotic squadmate, Throw becomes a power that can be used liberally.
- Main article: Warp
Warp in Mass Effect 3 has been changed in that it does not remove barriers like in Mass Effect 2. It is still potent against armor and it can be set off in a biotic explosion with throw.
Warp's later upgrades can increase the amount of damage the target takes for fifteen seconds or so afterwards. This makes it a great tool against enemies such as Atlas Mechs and Brutes--Warp it and then focus-fire.
Cryo Blast Edit
- Main article: Cryo Blast
Cryo Blast is a nice tool in that it slows enemies and might even freeze the target. That said, consider only upgrading it to Tier 2. You may find the Sentinel's other powers are a lot more useful.
- Main article: Overload
Overload has gained a few nice abilities since Mass Effect 2. For starters, it is now the main tool for taking down barriers and shields. Upgraded it gains the ability to jump from multiple enemies, making it a great crowd control weapon.
It also can create a Tech Burst when the same enemy is hit by a Warp.
Lift Grenade Edit
- Main article: Lift Grenade
Lift grenades for players transferring from Mass Effect 2 will be relativity useless as Throw can be used unlimited amount of times and can be useful in dislodging enemies. Upgrade to Tier 2 for the 4th grenade and use the points for other powers. This is also not a great upgrade for long-range power-users, since grenades are less dependable than the Sentinel's other target-seeking abilities.
Alternatively, the upgraded grenade can do a significant amount of damage over a large radius, making it a useful offensive power in its own right.
- Main article: Fitness (Sentinel)
Other than the usual improvement in shield, health and melee damage, the Sentinel's Fitness ability is capable of increasing squadmate health and shield by 30% in its 5th upgrade, making them significantly more durable.
Offensive Mastery Edit
- Main article: Offensive Mastery
Being a passive power, it focuses mainly on increasing power and weapon damage, but, for Caster-style Sentinels, it also offers valuable weight capacity bonuses.
Bonus Powers Edit
Defense Matrix Edit
- Main article: Defense Matrix
Coupling a defense-specialized Tech Armor with Defense Matrix is a smart way to survive the more difficult encounters in the game - it is effectively a second, slightly weaker Tech Armour that stacks. However, Defense Matrix gives you the option of detonating it to restore a portion of your shields, further increasing your survivability. For Sentinels who prefer to Tank and don't care about cooldowns, this is possibly the best choice.
Even if you want to play as a power-focused Sentinel, Defense Matrix can still be useful, replacing Tech Armor entirely: it has a lower cooldown penalty (which can be reduced to merely 30% at rank 6) and, like the Barrier from Mass Effect 1 and the Tech Armor from Mass Effect 2, it can restore your shields instantly in the heat of the combat. If you are used to this feature from the previous games, this power is a great choice.
- Main article: Marksman
Additional offense is even more wide open since the Sentinel has so much of it to begin with. Marksman is a poor man's Adrenaline Rush, providing increased accuracy but not the "bullet time" slowdown. However, it is much more suited for automatic weapons, such as SMGs and assault rifles. With a weapon such as the Revenant, this is a reasonable choice for a Tank-style Sentinel, as you will only have to use the power against strong foes - heavy weapons can be used as you will not be concerned with cooldowns.
- Main article: Stasis
The one biotic power that the Sentinel lacks is a means of debilitating a target, such as the Adept's Singularity or the Vanguard's Pull. Stasis fills that gap, and gives you another option for generating biotic explosions with Throw or Warp. With the Bubble evolution at rank 6, Stasis becomes effective even on enemies protected by shields or barriers, and can be used to set up traps at bottlenecks.
- Main article: Reave
This Biotic power works really well as a bonus protection without hindering cooldown, with the right evolutions, the Sentinel can have as much as 75% damage reduction, while still using powers frequently, the only real drawbacks are that it has to be an organic target, and that it only lasts for a small period of time. When used with rank 6 of Fitness and Tech Armor, this is even more formidable, but can seriously compromise cooldowns.
Armor-Piercing Ammo Edit
- Main article: Armor-Piercing Ammo
With a protective power, a good grenade power, and enough offensive powers to deal with any protective layers and set-up/detonate 3-out-of-4 power combos, Sentinels have it all... except for an ammo power. Armor-Piercing Ammo gives a passive bonus to all weapon damage against health and armor, and all enemies have health or armor. It deals extra damage to all the enemies that are hardest to kill, and makes armor-piercing weapon upgrades unnecessary, thus freeing up a slot for scopes, smart chokes, melee mods, or ammo upgrades. Especially on Insanity, or against armor-plated enemies in general, it makes a huge difference.
- Main article: Barrier
Further adding to a Sentinel's damage protection, Barrier envelops the player in a biotic barrier (hence the name) and can be detonated to damage enemies and send them flying. The bonus to this is that it can both set up and detonate biotic explosions, giving a Sentinel even more close range flexibility. Plus, with Barrier and Tech Armor active, a max of 70% damage negation is possible, making the Sentinel an unstoppable force. It also can be chained with Tech Armor detonations, giving the Sentinel a needed edge in close combat.
Inferno Grenade Edit
- Main article: Inferno Grenade
While the Sentinel already possesses a grenade power, Inferno Grenade provides several advantages that their existing powers do not: a means to prime Fire Explosions (the only kind of power combo that a Sentinel cannot set up) and a grenade that inflicts heavy damage to armor (whereas Lift Grenades are most powerful against barriers). Inferno Grenades deal more damage than Lift Grenades while Lift Grenades inflict instant damage; an Inferno Grenade followed by a Lift Grenade will inflict massive damage and potentially set off a Fire Explosion. The capacity evolutions of both grenade powers stack, allowing a total of nine grenades between Lift and Inferno Grenades if all capacity evolutions are chosen.
Weapons and Equipment Edit
Assault Rifles Edit
- Main article: Assault Rifles
Assault Rifles are powerful and versatile weapons that can either be the primary (or even sole) weapon of many Sentinels. Depending on the player's personal preferences, there is argument to choose literally every Assault Rifle available - from the humble Avenger to the withering Typhoon. The key to picking the right Assault Rifle for your Sentinel will be in finding the balance you want to strike, and the role you expect to play in combat. Sentinels using a lighter load can get much mileage out of the Mattock as their primary weapon. It is relatively light and is useful in nearly every situation you can expect to need a firearm. Sentinels using a bit heavier load may want to look at the Revenant. Though less flexible in general, a Sentinel can repel every form of infantry and most heavy units with this weapon alone. Among the best choices is the new Lancer rifle. It provides strong damage, flexibility, good customization options - all with low cooldowns. While new, it is possibly the premier assault rifle for the Sentinel.
Heavy Pistols Edit
- Main article: Heavy Pistols
Heavy Pistols are lightweight, reliable, and effective at dispatching enemies at any range. Regardless of playstyle, there's a heavy pistol for your Sentinel. From the lightweight, accurate M-3 Predator for a powers-based build, to the any number of powerhouse pistols such as the M-6 Carnifex, M-77 Paladin, or M-358 Talon for weapons-centric builds, a heavy pistol can make for a decent sidearm (or main gun) for any Sentinel. As a sidearm, one choice not to be overlooked is the Acolyte. While not versatile enough in its own right to be considered a primary weapon, this can trivialize enemies with thick shielding or barriers (such as Atlas Mechs or Geth Primes), and a fully-upgraded Acolyte can usually remove a Phantom in two rounds on most difficulties. A Scorpion can serve well in dealing large amounts of AOE damage, and also as crowd control. It stuns enemies and causes knock-back, giving you room and time to use more powers.
- Main article: Shotguns
For those wanting to tank it up with Tech Armor, shotguns are a very powerful tool to add to your arsenal. The close quarters stopping power combined with Tech Armor's damage negation gives the Sentinel an edge in close combat. As for which shotgun to use... that is all up to personal preference. Those wanting to still use a power or two could use a lighter shotgun such as the Disciple, M-22 Eviscerator, M-11 Wraith, or M-27 Scimitar. For those simply tanking it up and not worried about powers the M-300 Claymore is excellent at destroying anything in your way, as is the N7 Piranha. Yet another option for a heavily-armed Sentinel would be to employ the Venom Shotgun as a "heavy killer." This weapon is particularly devastating against Brutes, Banshees, Geth Primes, and other large, armored enemies. Keeping it on the side for these enemy types can entirely trivialize the difficulty of these encounters. The downside of this strategy is that it does require a commitment to a heavy loadout. Even with a Shotgun Spare Thermal Clip mod, this will not be accurate or efficient enough to use as a primary weapon.
Sniper Rifles Edit
- Main article: Sniper Rifles
Sniper Rifles may be difficult to justify for any power-focused Sentinel. They do not gain as much weapon damage from their respective class passive (Offensive Mastery) as other classes do, and so Sniper Rifles will deal less damage in the hands of a Sentinel than they would in that of almost any other class. That aside, many Sniper Rifles do not need a specifically tuned class to deal a tremendous amount of damage. To that end, a heavily-armed Sentinel can definitely benefit from the firepower a Black Widow or Javelin would provide. If you are already considering a heavy loadout, it will be worth your time to employ one of these.
Submachine Guns Edit
- Main article: Submachine Guns
A 'bread and butter' gun of the Sentinel, sub-machine guns give a Sentinel an edge in any situation, from power-saving builds to Tech Armor tanks. All are lightweight, do decent damage, and have an almost unrivaled ammunition capacity. Add in the Ultra-light Materials modification, and they weigh almost nothing, and as such, have seemingly no downsides, regardless of build. As with shotguns, specific weapon use is up to the player - there are no immediately superior choices, though special consideration should be given to the Tempest, Hornet, Hurricane, and even the humble Shuriken.
Combat Guide Edit
- See also: Combat (Mass Effect 3)
As a Sentinel, you are a very versatile and can adapt to any situation. You can load up an assault load-out one mission, a CQC load-out the next, then a marksman load-out the mission after.
The main deciding factor is how you load up your Tech Armor. A focus on defense can make you a walking tank and act as a support class, working in the back and managing your squad-mates. Choosing a more offensive Tech Armor will allow you to play as a more aggressive class, with your squadmates supporting you.
The typical weapon loadout for a Sentinel would be an Assault Rifle and a Pistol. For stronger power recharge using a SMG instead of a Assault Rifle. For a stronger weapon load-out, replace the Pistol with a Shotgun or the Talon.
Using an upgraded Mattock or a Raptor will make the Sentinel more of a marksman while keeping the power cool-down tolerable. Adding close range weapons like an SMG or a light shotgun, like the Disciple or the Talon Pistol, will make the Sentinel an all around combat class without too much additional cooldown penalty.
Using a high rate of fire weapon like the Revenant or the Geth Pulse Rifle and an extremely light weapon like a SMG with lightweight materials mod will turn the Sentinel into a squad-support class. Taking the Armor Piercing perk will allow you to take down any enemy with sustained fire.
The extreme combat build invests in Tech Armor, Lift Grenade, defensive bonus powers (like Barrier or Defense Matrix), health and shield bonuses from Fitness (Sentinel), and takes advantage of Throw's ability to not have a cooldown when used in Biotic Explosions. With this build, you are free to load up as many weapons as you like, ignoring cooldowns almost entirely besides the odd tech armor explosion or other protective power's cooldowns. The cost is ignoring other powers the class has to offer. The benefit is that you can carry a weapon for literally any situation you come across, negating the need for powers almost entirely. Players using a build like this should consider equipping themselves with only the best. Typically, this means a Revenant, Typhoon, or Saber as the primary weapon, a heavy Sniper Rifle (such as the Widow or Javelin), a Shotgun (such as the Claymore, Piranha, or Venom Shotgun), and an appropriate Heavy Pistol as well as even an SMG. Also consider party members - such as Liara T'Soni or Garrus Vakarian - that can provide ammo powers that the player might not otherwise be able to obtain.
Finally, if you have the From Ashes DLC and its Particle Rifle, all calculations go out the window. The Particle Rifle is an extremely versatile weapon; basically any class can use it as their sole weapon. With nerves of steel and the right point investments, you could potentially build a Sentinel around the Particle Rifle who can switch between play styles at a moment's notice, charging in under Tech Armor and then retreating when necessary or if hardened enemies show up.
Squad Members Edit
- Main article: Squad Members Guide (Mass Effect 3)
The Sentinel is a very versatile class that can combine well with a lot of squadmates. Bringing Liara T'Soni, Kaidan Alenko or Javik will allow you to set up powerful biotic detonations. in particular, the warp/reave detonation combo can deal heavy damage to tough, armored enemies such as the Atlas Mech, Banshee, and Brute. Bringing EDI allows you to set up powerful tech explosions with Overload and Incinerate. Even on Hardcore and Insanity, a fully evolved Overload and Incinerate will very quickly destroy shielded enemies such as the Centurion, Marauder, and deal heavy damage to Phantoms. Tali can provide a Tech Burst option with Energy Drain (followed by Overload or Cryo Blast from Shepard), and render enemies vulnerable to tech and weapon damage with Sabotage.
|Mass Effect 3 Guides|
|Completion||Walkthrough • Morality • Search and Rescue • Equipment and Items|
|Classes||Adept • Engineer • Infiltrator • Sentinel • Soldier • Vanguard|
|Other||Squad Members • PC Tweaks • Interrupts • Merchants • The One and Only|