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A Support Class
The Sentinel is for someone who prefers to be more of a buffer in the group, someone who likes to stay in the back and support their squad. Since the Sentinel has a combination of biotics and tech, he is able to mix it up with how he wants to mess with the enemy and suport his team.
Unfortunately, the Sentinel has no major training for the four weapon types in the game so he will be ineffective in direct combat with guns. But he's still got some offense, just not as powerful as other classes, thanks to his Lift, Throw, Overload, and Sabotage talents. Those will do some damage, but don't expect firepower in the same vein as assault rifles and shotguns.
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Since he will be no expert on pistols, shotguns, rifles, and sniper weapons, at least one weapon the Sentinel has is the tech proximity mines, a small bomb that will always be planted at any spot where Sabotage is used. Tech proximity mines deal small damage compared to what grenades could do. They explode on impact and do not need to be diffused.
Tech proximity mines can also be upgraded, as the Sentinel can increase its damage with Decryption; unfortunately he can't upgrade how widespread the damage is or the recharge time, since he has neither Damping or Hacking. If the Sentinel did have those talents, he would have been far more dangerous with his mines; Sabotage could recharge more quickly and its tech proximity mines would have a better chance of damaging more enemies in open space. But he dosen't, so you need to focus on his more supportive abilities.
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Talents To Support His Weak Defense
With Barrier, the Sentinel has the right biotic to give him some additional defensive help. It will be relied on already since this class has no armor training talents and can only wear light armor. It's good to know that you can increase the strength and duration of his shields, so he can absorb additional damage.
Since the Sentinel's primary support techs are First Aid and Medicine, he can turn into a great healer. With Medicine, he can reduce the recharge time of Medi-gel use, that way he won't have to wait so long to heal again if necessary. Medicine works well with First Aid, a talent that improves how much health is restored every time Med-gel is used. If you have another teammate who also has First Aid, then both of your powers combined should restore plenty of health to the squad.
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Mix Them Up
Since the Sentinel has both biotic and tech talents, make sure to mix them up together in combat so you can be efficient as possible. Don't play like an Adept or Engineer, where you only use biotics powers or you only rely on tech talents. Let's say there are Geths in the back shooting while Krogans are coming towards you; you can freeze the Krogans with Stasis, to give you time to attack the Geths behind them by using Throw and Sabotage.
If enemies are coming at you, hit them with Throw to send them back and give your squad some breathing room; then use Overload to decrease their shields so your teammates can take care of those enemies nearby as quickly as possible.
Lift and Throw can help set up opportunities for your teammates to fire at vulnerable enemies while at the same time you can either attack them too or heal your squad.
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Add Some Firepower
Anyone who chooses to go with the Sentinel should be careful to pick at least one teammate who is a monster on offense, like Wrex or Ashley. Both of them specialize in powerful weapons and heavy armor so they make great tanks and front line combatants. Going with both of them can make the battles a less nerve wracking experience since you have two teammates loaded with firepower in front of you. With this strategy, you can opt to stay in the back and do several activities to protect your squad, at the same time disabling the enemies with Stasis and Neuroshock.
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Direct Your Squad Well
But it's not enough to just have a good selection of the right teammates when it comes to the Sentinel. You probably have to be more concerned with directing your squad to the right positions more than other classes. The AI in this game is good, but it still has its issues, when you notice your teammates aren't looking for cover or firing at the target you expect them to. Since the Sentinel shouldn't be considered the main offense, he will have to rely on his squad to get the job done; provide them with good cover so they have a comfortable spot from which to open fire.
The Sentinel has some offensive techs and biotics, but they will not be the answer to all the enemies you face. Bottom line, many foes will have to be simply finished off with guns. Make sure to train your teammates on the weapons they have, since the Sentinel has none.
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Even if the Sentinel has a nice combination of both biotics and tech talents, the class has its limitations. His tech talents are limited compared to the Engineer, who has all of them. One talent the Engineer has the Sentinel doesn't is Hacking. The best part about Hacking is it reduces the recharge time for the other three tech talents - Sabotage, Overload, and Damping. The Sentinel does not have Hacking so he is stuck with the original recharge time of his Sabotage and Overload talents from start to finish.
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The same goes for the Sentinel's limitations with biotics, as the Adept class has everything related to it. Sentinels, unlike the Adept, can't use Singularity and Warp. The Sentinel can reduce enemy shields with Electronics, but he can't lower the lower the enemy defense without Warp. Sentinels also can't draw a group of enemies into one spot since he doesn't have Singularity. Without Singularity to lock down a group of enemies, one alternative the Sentinel has is Stasis. The problem is that enemies are immune to damage when they are held by this talent. The good news, at least later on in the game, is that you can break that limitation by upgrading to the Bastion class, so even if you freeze your enemies you can still deal damage against them. To go against a swarm of enemies, the Setinel still has Throw, an effective talent that not only pushes and damages the enemy, but can do it to several of them close to each other.
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If you like diversity and different ways of taking out your enemies, then the Sentinel will be a good class to pick up. Its biotics and tech talents offer a wide range of skills to help your offense and defense and to support your teammates. The Sentinel will be well suited under many circumstances, when your squad needs lots of healing, when you're up against a crowd of shooters, and when enemies are swarming towards you. You're well equipped for whatever combat environment you get stuck in.
This class will be for the the player who doesn't favor constant shooting, who would prefer the Soldier or Vanguard class. With the Sentinel, you will definitely be provided with plenty of ways to knock and shut down your enemies while protecting your squad.
From engineer, infiltrator, sentinel, soldier and more, check out this guide to the classes of Mass Effect.