Best Sentinel Build - Mass Effect 3 (ME3)

By zanuffas
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Best Sentinel Build

This post covers the best Sentinel build in Mass Effect 3 and Mass Effect 3 Legendary Edition. This class has the ability to both use Tech and Biotic abilities making it extremely versatile throughout the whole game. What makes them special is their Tech Armor which provides unique offensive, defensive and biotic bonuses.

Shepard Sentinel Build - Biotic Detonator

This Sentinel build will concentrate on using detonations to create constant combos. Moreover, thanks to the Tech Armor the build will have decent survivability chances, especially on Insanity difficulty.

The build is special that it can create and detonate combos by itself, not depending on any companions for that. This opens up multiple combat options on how to best utilize this Sentinel build.

Squad Point Allocation

This section covers how Squad points should be allocated for the end game on the Sentinel Build

sentinel detonator build mass effect 3

Power name Upgrades Order Level (Points)
throw mass effect 3Throw Radius
Double Throw
6 (21)
warp mass effect 3Warp Detonate
6 (21)
lift grenade mass effect 3Lift Grenade Damage
Max Grenades
5 (15)
tech armor mass effect 3Tech Armor Durability
Power Damage
Power Recharge
6 (21)
overload mass effect 3Overload Chain Overload
Neural Shock
Shield Damage
6 (21)
cryo blast mass effect 3Cryo Blast Radius
Speed Reduction
5 (15)
offensive mastery mass effect 3Offensive Mastery Force & Damage
Weight Capacity
Force & Damage
6 (21)
fitness mass effect 3Fitness Durability
Shield Recharge
Fitness Expert
6 (21)

Bonus Ability

Here I will cover what bonus abilities you should be picking with the Sentinel.

Power name Upgrades order Description
stasis mass effect 3Stasis Stasis Strength
Recharge Speed
An extremely strong ability that can disable multiple protected enemies with a Rank 6 Bubble upgrade. Moreover, it can be followed up by Warp or Throw for Biotic Explosion.
reave me3Reave Radius
Recharge Speed
It allows Sentinel to prime any enemy (even if they have protection). It also gives some damage reduction and staggers normal enemies.
fortification mass effect 3Fortification Durability
Power Synergy
Power Recharge
This ability improves damage reduction and power damage. However, just like Tech Armor, it reduces the power recharge rate. This negative effect is reduced via upgrades.
warp ammo mass effect 3Warp Ammo Damage
Provides bonus damage to health, barriers, and armor. Moreover, Sentinel will deal even more damage if shot at the enemies that are lifted by Biotic abilities.

Ability Progression

This section covers detailed ability progression for Sentinel Build. This is just a suggested progression, feel free to adjust it based on your needs. The idea

Order Skill Description
1 throw mass effect 3Throw Lv 2 The main point is to get the decreased recharge time for the ability
2 overload mass effect 3Overload Lv 3 I recommend getting this ability early in the game as you will fight many enemies with armor
3 warp mass effect 3Warp Lv 3 This ability will prove useful against enemy barriers and armors. Moreover, it can set and detonate combos.
4 tech armor mass effect 3Tech Armor Lv 6 The ability reduces the power recharge rate and we want to minimize that as early as possible. First, take the Durability upgrade. You can go another one, however, I did not use the detonation ability that much. The pick Power Damage upgrade. And last we take Power Recharge to reduce the cooldown penalty so that we could use our abilities faster.
5 lift grenade mass effect 3Lift Grenade Lv 2 Although not the main ability, I still suggest having it. You can use these grenades to deal adequate damage against groups of enemies. This can be very useful in early to mid-game.
6 offensive mastery mass effect 3Offensive Mastery Lv 3 This passive ability provides all the bonuses the Sentinel build needs: Power damage and weapon damage bonuses. Moreover, it gives a weight capacity bonus.
7 throw mass effect 3Throw Lv 6 Take Force, Detonate, and Double Throw upgrades. The ability should have up to two seconds of cooldown and release two projectiles. This means that you can detonate two combos at the same time. Moreover, it deals some damage with the Force component
8 warp mass effect 3Warp Lv 6 Take Expose and Pierce upgrades. We skip recharge time because with all the abilities we take and low weapon weight you should have at most a few-second cooldown. This in turn greatly improves your damage to armored targets.
9 cryo blast mass effect 3Cryo Blast Lv 3 I personally do not use this ability often. However, it can be extremely satisfying to be used on unprotected enemies. Once they freeze, use that chance to detonate Cryo Explosion

With the allocation that you have done, the Sentinel should have no problems progressing through the mid-game. Now, here is what you should do to maximize the effectiveness of the build

This is also a perfect time to start putting points to Bonus power (mentioned above). I did not mention it explicitly in Sentinel progression.

Order Skill Description
10 offensive mastery mass effect 3Offensive Mastery Lv 6 We maximize this ability tree for great offensive improvements. Take Weight Capacity and Force & Damage upgrades. With this, the Sentinel will maximize the biotic damage output. Moreover, due to greater carrying weight, your power cooldowns will decrease or you can carry an additional weapon.
11 overload mass effect 3Overload lv 6 We take Chain Overload so that Sentinel or companions could detonate multiple targets if targets are within 8 meters. This greatly boosts damage output. Neural Shock is special and has an unlisted effect that doubles damage to the organic enemy's shield. Shield Damage ensures that we take out most of the enemy shields.
12 fitness mass effect 3Fitness Lv 6 Take Durability, Shield Recharge, and Durability. With these upgrades, we maximize the Sentinel survivability in the higher levels. This is not a mandatory ability just good to have
13 lift grenade mass effect 3Lift Grenade Lv 5 Take a Damage upgrade for increased grenade damage. Max Grenades allows you to carry more of them which you can then spawn in some difficult late-game encounters.
14 cryo blast mass effect 3Cryo Blast Lv 5 Take Radius and Speed Reduction upgrade. I think the latter upgrade is extremely useful once Cryo Explosion has been detonated as even protected enemies are chilled.

Tactics and Squad

This build is very versatile. The main idea is that it can create multiple combo explosions by itself, without needing companions.

Main Combo loop

Now take a look at the main loop that I use with Sentinel. It is fairly easy to use and becomes very efficient at tearing down protected enemies:

sentinel incinerate warp throw combo me3

Let's go through each of the steps:

  1. Tech Power - Incinerate, Overload, Carnage. This can either be done by Sentinel or companions. If done by companions you will not need to wait for an additional cooldown to create the first detonation. That is what I did with EDI.
  2. Warp - this ability is very important and unique. It can detonate both biotic and tech abilities. Moreover, once that happens it also applies biotic debuff, which can be used for another combo.
  3. Throw - we finish the chain with this ability. Once you have it maximized you will release two projectiles. Thanks to Warp that we used in the previous step, now Sentinel will create a Biotic Explosion.

This will greatly improve your damage output rather than using two abilities combos, that were used in previous games.

Detonating Tech Armor

Although this build uses Tech Armor to mainly increase Power Damage and Force. It can also do other effects - wide explosion in the area around the Sentinel:

tech armor sentinel explosion mass effect 3

This is a very helpful option as you can use it to stagger enemies around you. Moreover, it is a good ability when there are multiple enemies like Husks surrounding Sentinel.

Also do not forget to put on the armor back after detonation as you will miss a lot of good stat bonuses.


In this section, I would like to talk about what companions should be taken with Sentinel build:

  • An obvious choice is Liara. She has one of the most powerful biotic abilities in the game - Singularity. It also affects protected enemies and can be used to set up Biotic Explosions. Moreover, she has Stasis. This is a powerful ability that can disable an enemy for a period of time. It is truly a lifesaver in some difficult encounters. She also has Warp that can be used to both set and detonate various combos.
  • Another choice is EDI. She is extremely versatile because she is effective against all protections. Overload deals damage to shields and barriers. Incinerate takes care of enemy armors. I usually use her abilities first against protected enemies and then follow up with my or Liara's Warp.


This section will cover what equipment you should be using with Sentinel Build. Choosing the correct weapons and armor will greatly improve Shepard's overall performance. Moreover, you will be able to deal more damage and have better bonuses.

It is important that you try to pick at most two weapons. This way Sentinel will have reduced power cooldown times, the aim is 200%. Of course, you can use any weapons that you prefer but have this in mind.

Moreover, to minimize the weight impact I suggest taking Ultraweight materials upgrade.

Assault Rifles

Name Upgrades Description
m7 lancer mass effect 3M-7 Lancer Piercing Mod
Extend Barrel
A decent option that has balanced damage.
m96 mattock mass effect 3M-96 Mattock Extend Barrel
Magazine Upgrade
A reliable assault rifle that deals adequate damage and has very high accuracy. Moreover, it is fairly light.

Submachine Guns

Name Upgrades Description
geth plasma smg me3Geth Plasma SMG Magazine
Power Magnifier
Light Submachine gun with a very fast fire rate.
m9 tempest me3M-9 Tempest Recoil System
Power Magnifier
This SMG has a high fire rate and decent clip capacity. However, it requires some practice due to its large recoil. It is also a very light option

Heavy Pistol

Name Upgrades Description
m77 paladin mass effect 3M-77 Paladin Power Magnifier
Magazine Upgrade
A high-tier weapon that deals high damage. It is also lightweight and has a low impact on power cooldown.
m 5 phalanx mass effect 3M-5 Phalanx High Caliber Barrel
Power Magnifier
Cheaper option compared to the Paladin. However, it also has a semi-automatic fire rate providing different combat approaches for Sentinel.
M 358 talon mass effect 3M-358 Talon Piercing Mod
Power Magnifier
This is a shotgun in pistol disguise. It is very lightweight and deals adequate damage. I recommend trying it out before committing. It can work well if you constantly detonate Tech Armor


I recommend these armor sets for Sentinel Build in Mass Effect 3:

Name Effects
inferno armor mass effect 3Inferno Armor +30% Power Recharge Speed
+30% Power Damage
cerberus spirit armor mass effect 3Cerberus Spirit Armor +30% Power Recharge Speed
+30% Power Damage
+10% Shield Regen Speed
+10% Shields
blood dragon armor mass effect 3Blood Dragon Armor +10% Power Recharge Speed
+30% Power Damage
+20% Shields

If you wish to go with separate parts. Here is what I recommend:

Type Armor Description
Helmet archon visor mass effect 3Archon Visor Increases power recharge speed by 10% 
Helmet umbra visor mass effect 3Umbra Visor Increases power damage by 10% 
Helmet mnemonic visor mass effect 3Mnemonic Visor  Increase power recharge speed by 5%
Increase power damage by 5%
Chest serrice council armor mass effect 3Serrice Council  Increase power damage by 10% 
Chest rosenkov materials amor mass effect 3Rosenkov Materials  Increase power recharge speed by 10% 
Shoulders serrice council shoulders mass effect 3Serrice Council Increase power damage by 10% 
Shoulders rosenkov materials shoulders mass effect 3Rosenkov Materials Increase power recharge speed by 10% 
Arms serrice council arms mass effect 3Serrice Council Increase power damage by 10%
Arms rosenkov materials arms mass effect 3Rosenkov Materials Increase power recharge speed by 10%
Legs serrice council legs mass effect 3Serrice Council Increase power damage by 10%
Legs rosenkov materials legs mass effect 3Rosenkov Materials Increase power recharge speed by 10%

Generally going for a full armor set with Sentinel you get overall bigger bonuses. However, these items have drastically fewer customization options.


Thank you for reading this post on the best Sentinel build in Mass Effect 3. I covered recommended abilities and their progression, best equipment, and tactics. All of this information should allow you to have a blast with this versatile class.

Feel free to leave a comment below!

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