Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Mikazuki X

[Thief][DPS/Tank/Utility]: [Everything]

Recommended Posts

Traits, gear, food to use. Read this link first. Berserker is used with no assassin additions as you already have 62% critrate as base, 5% for being above 90% HP (which will be all the time unless you're downed because of how low your survivability is), 7% for being behind or at the side of a mob (which is rarely true since you tank everything), and 5% for any dual skill (including SP3 pistol whip and DP3's world-exploration instantkill skill). This adds to a total of 79% critrate, and any source of fury from any friendly will immediately boost you to 99%. The presence of either a ranger with spotter or a warrior with battle standard will boost you to 99% and 100% critrate respectively in the majority of the dungeons where you can't flank mobs because you're tanking them. As you can see, adding any form of critrate above this would waste it.

 

If you have problems staying alive, your survivability stat as a thief is Toughness, as your self-healing is so weak that buffing either healing power or vitality makes no sense - the former makes an already low self-heal not much less useless, and the latter would buy you perhaps 2 seconds more life in minute-long fights. However, try to transition to berserker as soon as possible as the loss of damage is very large compared to the gain in survivability given your very low healing rates. Incidentally, the reason why thieves aren't as powerful in PvP is that the berserker amulet splits off a portion of damage to vitality, wasting it completely - but this is not true of WvW, where you can still essentially down most players in 2 seconds. If you're still learning the game consider using another class to do it in, like the guardian or warrior, where survivability stats actually mean something.

 

Swap to the usual power/feroc food if you're doing something serious, use Skale Venom (the consumable, not the utility skill of the same name) if you're cheapskate, and use the relevant dungeon potion if you're running dungeons. Also get ready a Zojja's Razor, because this build actually uses 4 different non-aquatic weapon sets. Dungeon potions are bugged and actually increase damage you take from mobs, rather than reducing it, but this is irrelevant to this build as you should never be hit. The newly added Bountiful sharpening stone improves your might uptime at the cost of reducing your condition uptimes; in parties with grenadier engineers or more than 3 warriors, it may be worth using it; in other cases the Toxic sharpening stone still ends up being more useful.

 

Weapon Sets and Usage


When clearing mobs in AoE or at range, use shortbow mode. When clearing Veteran Archers/fools from WvW forts, shortbow blast - most people don't seem to know the explosion can go through walls or floors, so you can kill a defender from below if he's sleepy/too focused on nuking your people/a scrub. When blasting might, shortbow blast. Before stacking engagements, SB4 followed by SB2 to area-weak mobs before they reach you for a 25% incoming dps reduction. SB3 when fighting ranged attackers/when evading people charging at you. SB5 is more for clearing ground faster, but is superceded by another skill. SB5 has a special mention that using it can solo all three switches for the Uncat fractal's guitar-hero run, as movement from this skill is not blocked by the movement-nullification invisible debuff you have when you activate a switch - this can be useful for parties who can't run that corridor to save their lives. A little known secret of SB2 is that detonating the shot early releases 5 clusters that all bleed and crit independently; given how PD requires you be able to access a mob in melee for the best CD rotation, the best way to condition damage mobs you cannot access in melee for some reason is to aim SB2 past its target circle and detonate it within the mob for guaranteed 5x bleed, 5x vuln chances and effectively 100% rate of triggering might from the Strength sigil. Most know about the detonation but not this added effect - this is the tradeoff you get for losing the Blast finisher from an undetonated SB2.

 

Dagger/pistol mode is used for tearing down the HP of a non-threatening mob in the fastest possible time AND for general world exploration. You should be able to kill any yellow mob in a single shot with DP3 while also moving across land faster than if you shot nothing... while AoE loot adds more profit. DP3 is useless for most other cases as its single blind works poorly even on a single mob, let alone a group. P5+D2 gives you both the damage from heartseeker and stealth, from which you can immediately proc a D1 backstab. When using this in damage mode attempt to have Smoke Screen in your utility bar, and go P5-D2-D1 spam till revealed off, repeat, repeat with SS-D2-D1 spam twice/thrice, then return to P5-D2-D1. When a target is below 50% for a vet, go full D2 spam until it's dead. For a champ, do D2 spam only when at 25%. Use Steal to refund initiative, drop F1 then resume D2 if low on initiative. By nonthreatening I mean anything that cannot use instant kill moves at a rate faster than your endurance can regenerate. If it takes even 2 hits on its greatest damage move, it's considered nonthreatening. Malrona in TA-Up is also nonthreatening as its damage can be entirely nullified by walking around its poison spit and dodging its aoe spits. You have more than enough time to regen the dodge you require in the intervening poison spit animation, and using pistol whip on that boss is Very Bad if you end up increasing the rate at which it uses aoe spits through interrupts. The decapitated wurm is considered nonthreatening as its flop and charge are both dodgeable, and heartseeker spam near the end can kill decapped wurms even if the rest of your zerg is downed. P4 can be used to interrupt higher damage attacks, which is important in particular for dredge as they cannot be blinded. In most other cases you'll want to do the earlier blind-heartseeker-backstab rotation as long as a mob is blindable.

 

It bears special mention that D2 spam not only does damage, but leaps you forwards at a high speed. In WvW for supply runs, in zero-mob locations in dungeons and such, D2 spamming (with autotarget off if necessary) moves you faster than anything else in the game except a warrior with sword/shield, greatsword AND bull rush. Unlike SB5 it is classed as a movement skill and not a teleport skill, so it IS allowed at Crimson wurm without removing colours from you.

 

Sword/pistol mode is used for cleaving multiple mobs in melee quickly, for spamming Interrupts and for general killing of threatening mobs - that is, anything that can OHKO you. Even with full berserker ascended you should find that very few bosses belong in the realm of threatening. Subject Alpha from CoE is one, the Legendary in SEp3 is one, General Volkov in SEp3 is one, Lupicus is one, etc. The keystone of this entire rotation is SP3 Pistol Whip - it starts off with a pistol shot that stuns one target, 8 sword hits that do cleave damage, and you have an evade frame of 1.25 seconds during the cleave part. Timing the 1.25 second frame with the instakill boss attack allows you to nullify its damage and so effectively tank most bosses as the glassiest build in existence (bosses with unblockable attacks like the ones in CM cannot be tanked using SP3's evade frame even though their attacks can be dodged, use DP+smokescreen for those). The frame's different with every boss, and you will die multiple times until you master it, after which you will tank everything you fight whether you want to or not, because aggro generally procs on melee range, low-vit, high-dps, interrupt-using characters, and you are all of this at once. Taidha will attack only you out of 80 players, Maw will attack only you out of 60 players... get used to it. As far how much it can tank - I cleared CoFp2 in a 3-man group before where the two other players' damage combined was about half of mine; SP was capable of killing the Assassins with no support in addition to surviving all other mobs for the entire defense duration. The other useful skills are S2, which when used twice clears a condition on demand (critical against condition-using bosses) and P5 from the earlier weaponset. P4 is only used in S/P 0.5s before Scorpion Wire for clearing the last Defiance stack and immediately pulling it before someone can insert a pointless CC skill. This is also your mainstay for PvP as nothing in the game that doesn't possess blocks, stability or a stunbreaker can survive this for more than 10 seconds - and more than half of all PvP players don't have all three. S2-SP3 is useful for finishing off a person who survives one rotation, and F1-SP3 if they survive two of them. 

 

It is worth taking a line by itself to mention that while DP is ideal for most epic-rank bosses (ergo has its own special healthbar, is uncrittable, has more than one hitbox, is vulnerable to conditions and has no limit on the number of players it can AoE), SP is better for the Inquest Golem Mark II in particular as in the correct position, it has a triple damage spot. No other epic-rank boss has a cleavable triple damage spot (though a few can be hit for triple damage by bomb engineer autoattacks), making DP superior for damage as long as you can keep yourself alive.

 

Pistol/Dagger mode is used for dealing selective damage to only one target, as well as to immobilise a certain target. This is useful against the Champ Hypnoss at Tequatl, against husks as a condi-team/escort member in Triple Wurm, against the Rat Wrangler in guild missions and against the Copper Husk and Champion Husk in the Silverwastes, but other than that you rarely use it. The general max damage rotation is D5-P1-PD3 repeatedly with just PD3 spam to regenerate initiative, the immobilise spamming rotation is just P2 every time immob fades with D4 to buy you time to regenerate initiative. You can kill a husk solo faster than a fully specced condi guardian can with this rotation, and more importantly, you can hold the husks indefinitely solo so they never interfere with burns, even if your killrate is slower than properly specced builds. Against the Silverwastes Champion Husk this can hold aggro indefinitely while it stumbles towards you with torment, but in most other cases this combination does not hold aggro. The other 3 weaponsets maintain aggro on you indefinitely.

 

Utility Skills and Usage


Utilities wise, the stated signets all have secondary uses. Assassin's signet should never be activated in any mode except D/P, and it should be activated under the strict condition that the 5 hits in question are not only all Heartseekers under 25% of your target mob's health bar, but that the last hit must kill your target (except Arah p2). Used in such a way, it amplifies your ability to kill a target under a time limit - this is critically important for killing a decapitated wurm, killing Liadri the Concealing Dark, and for killing the Teragriff in Challenge Mode for the personal story. In all other cases, leaving it unused, the 180 power gives you far more damage per second than the +15% would over the course of its cooldown.

 

The Agility signet is an AoE single condition removal, which removes an entire stack of a condition. Its main use is against mobs that deal very high condition damage (especially General Volkov) via either bleeding or burning, and it can save your party from a wipe - but always use it last as most other classes generally cleanse conditions better, and in its passive state its improvement to critrate helps kill them before they can deal more damage to your party. If you can cycle SP2, use that before this signet.

The Shadows signet is kept there to give the 25% runspeed for clearing things faster in general, and you can also use it to blind mobs before they use knockdown-based skills on you - Risen Brutes being the most common type, but the Jade Maw's tentacles being a very important special case. Never activate this on dredge for obvious reasons. As this is the least useful in combat, you will be swapping this signet out first for any special utilities based on encounters.

When stealthing, always use Smoke Screen + 6 blasts from shortbow 2 first, then drop Shadow Refuge halfway. Let your party know in advance by ctrl-clicking your SR a few seconds before you drop it so they don't overshoot. Because this is used for runs, this is the only exceptional case in which your Shadows signet is not replaced - generally, your Agility signet is more important since its condiclear has a survivability function, so replace Assassin's signet with smoke screen first, and Agility with Shadow Refuge only for 2 or 3 stage stealth runs. The three stage stealth run involves using smoke screen again once SR's stealth fades, and it is also sufficient for you to solo resurrect a completely dead character without ever leaving stealth.

 

In other cases, special utilities should replace the Shadows signet for the duration of the battle, and be replaced again during the run phase. The most notable two are smoke screen again (this time for stealth in DP mode, or for projectile nullification, or both) and Scorpion Wire - a 1200 unit pull that in conjunction with PD can permanently put a husk out of commission , and is also used for dragging bosses to advantageous locations. The main few to note are Nokk and Tazza from SEp1, Subject Alpha phase 1 from CoE and the golem from CoE. Nokk is to the bridge, Tazza is away from the other champion, Alpha is to the corner and the golem is in between the retaliation and protection turrets. In that spot your cleave in SP will break both turrets without losing DPS on the golem - the protection one needs to be down to do 33% more dps, and the retaliation one needs to be down as retaliation is the SP thief's only (really, only) weakness. If you have nothing better to use (none of the targets use projectiles and you are in SP mode), Ambush acts as a mini-Thieves' Guild with much lower cooldown. Needle Trap is used in conjunction with Scorpion Wire for husk condition team play, but is otherwise not used. The other utilities are PvP only and highly situational.

 

I do not recommend the common venom share type build as none of the venoms inflict higher levels of bleed, and skale venom's single torment stack does not really help. The poison venom is probably the most useless given DP already has it by default in its AA, steal also poisons, and SB4 also poisons. For conditeam usage devourer venom has similar uptime and inferior damage to needle trap, and Basilisk Venom wastes an entire elite slot for the same effect as a single use of pistol 4. Most people run it for mighting, but it is very low relative to the might you should be getting from S.S.Strength plus S.R.Strength already, and if you really want to mightstack for the party there are better classes to do it in. The DPS sacrifice from taking enough traits to make venom share available as well as the utility sacrifice from taking otherwise useless venoms makes most of those builds 20-30% less optimal than running full damage with a reduction to survivability considering the sacrificed Ambush/Smoke Screen/Agility signet utilities.

 

You'll only use two elites - Dagger Storm and Thieves' Guild. Thieves' Guild increases DPS, clears Defiance, gives an additional random blind/smoke field and also can draw pressure off you by distracting targets with adds - particularly important for CoFp1 gating, where your adds distract the elite while you Heartseeker the gate controller object to oblivion. Use it only when you need that added blinds, DPS, threat reduction or all of the above at the same time. It also makes soloing camps even easier if you can draw all defenders into a single spot - and while you can normally solo clear and cap any unupgraded camp in 40 seconds alone, you can clear a fully upgraded camp with any non-dredge defenders in EBG in 55 seconds solo with Thieves' Guild activated. Dagger Storm is more for killing people who like to spam ranged attacks a lot, as every ranged attack is reflected to its user - but has very limited utility in PvE. It is the only thief skill capable of granting Stability, but given how you should never even need Stability if your SP3/dodges are timed correctly this is generally pointless.

 

Learning Curve


The main twitch-level difficulty in playing a full damage-based thief is that you need to time your Pistol Whips, dodges and Smoke Screens perfectly, as you generally can survive exactly one hit from most things, and zero from a few - so the margin for error on this is the lowest of any build in the game. The 'intellectual' difficulty in playing this is knowing when to swap which signet for what utility, knowing when to use which weapon set for max effectiveness, and gauging when it is better to use a damage-based method for resurrecting downed players, when it is better to physically resurrect them, and when you have to decide that those players are beyond your ability to save, and to finish that encounter so you can resurrect them in safety. In terms of reflexes this would be 10/10 the single hardest class type to master, but in terms of planning/thought it's only 3/10, in comparison to mastering the mesmer class which requires far more intimate knowledge of mob animations, and the elementalist and engineer classes, which require understanding and memorising both the functions and cooldowns of every attunement/kit at your disposal.

 

Direct resurrection is the 2nd riskiest thing you can possibly do as you have no ability to take hits, no healing ability in the small chance you survive and no blocks/invulnerability skills at all. The riskiest is using a finisher on a downed player - but you can avoid that completely by Pistol Whipping downed players to death. It normally kills them faster than anyone else can stomp them after all - unless the stomper has Quickness and you don't. You can theoretically stomp safely by starting the stomp, using the Shadowstep utility skill 1000+u away and then using the Shadowstep-return skill 0.1 seconds before your character's fist touches the floor, but I don't personally find this limited useto be worth sacrificing the other utilities or signets for.

 

Class Comparisons


Played well your personal damage contribution is greater than any other class in the game (except for cases where mobs can shoot themselves with reflected projectiles), your one-hit damage is greater than any other attack in the game (Assassin-boosted Backstab on ArahP2's boss at 50.5% HP), your ability to attract and maintain aggro and nullify all incoming damage to the party is greater than anything else in the game, and your ability to chain AoE stealths is greater than anything else. Your ability to spam blinds is second only to the guardian with traited VoJ, your ability to immobilise-lock a mob is the greatest (rangers can do so with only one elite but have far lower uptime than you do) and your interrupts per second is the greatest (important for CoEp1). For soloing the personal story, your combination of being able to chain-interrupt, having the highest DPS and being unkillable by normal AI makes this far-and-away the best class to use.

 

Your party damage contribution is generally inferior to the PS charr war or 25-might elementalist as both of them can maintain permanent 25 might + fury on a party solo; your ability to mightbuff is limited to SB2, and requires someone else to use a fire field first. The exception to this rule is when your party is so bad that your personal DPS is greater than 3 of the lowest players combined - in that specific case, your damage contribution from your damage alone will outdo the damage buff those builds can give to others in addition to their own. This usually occurs when >2 players are dead which happens most often on CoE, HoTW or Arah, but sometimes is true even when the players aren't downed for players stuck behind trait locks, or particularly bad builds. Your only way of increasing damage dealt by your allies is in the 12 permanent vulnerability you place on normal mobs, and 6 on champion+ mobs.

 

You have zero outgoing healing to your party, and your ability to absorb and nullify incoming damage is limited to single-target damage abilities. Against bosses with AoE attacks (notably Mai Trin), this is inferior to guardians, rangers or elementalists in keeping poorer parties alive. This is not a concern if everyone in your party can at least keep themselves alive.

 

This is not an optimal build for PvP as it is incapable of withstanding high amounts of small hits. You can easily defeat poor players in hammerbows, most other thieves who can't fight to save their lives outside stealth or players with no stunbreaks, but against even anyone with equal skill to you, you should lose most of the time.

 

Part of the reason why the thief is effectively OP in the PvE segment of the game is that a lot of gameplay balance revolves around cooldowns, but with the Initiative system unique to the thief you can break this balance by using the most needed functions repeatedly with little or no cooldown effect. The only other class capable of ignoring cooldowns for the most part is the engineer (even elementalists have attunement swap cooldowns), but even engineers have lower uptimes on any given function than thieves.

 

Raids


For Triple Wurm kills I'd consider this as a top-tier build to bring for the raid as it is capable of soloing a husk in condi even in full zerker, capable of reflecting on call in reflect (however, is the second hardest to use behind warriors), its ability to stack might in a burnphase is second to none, its ability to kill a decapped wurm is second to none and its ability to run colours on cobalt is second only to S/S|GS warriors. Turret engineers and shield-equipped guardians have additional utility in being able to solo reflect, guardians in particular have a very useful Hallowed Ground for burnphases and amber, and rangers' Spirit of Nature in combination with their water field can keep people alive the best in amber's stomach/phase II, if they know how to use their skills properly.

 

Mathematically speaking the fastest possible triple wurm kill would be achieved by a solo guardian reflector, 3 zerkthieves in PD (to swap to DP for burns and decap) for conditions, 2 rangers at amber to maintain constant healing spring uptime inside the wurm, and 3 rangers per wurm for revival purposes, and all other players being DP thieves. Stability is not required as the PDs will never let a husk go, and the solo reflector's fire fields alone are sufficient for everyone else to SB blast to perm 25 might. Fury is irrelevant against an uncrittable target in phase 1, and DP3's instant movement blinks the zerg nonstop for wurm charges and the smokescreen-heartseeker-backstab rotation will null all incoming wurm projectiles making survival a matter of simply dodging the large flops and charges.

 

For Tequatl this is a top-tier build to use for boats defenses, but Smoke Screen seems to be unable to stop fingers' poison projectiles for some reason, and zergmeleeing Tequatl in S/P is possible, but ill-advised as you have zero margin for error on Tequatl's direct attacks, and it may be difficult to dodge a poison field's first tick. If in zerg, it would be better to keep in SB mode and function as the ERT as the lower player-particle density at 900 units makes it easier to avoid all incoming attacks with SB3.

 

Postscript


I have 7 other characters with entirely different builds, specs and purposes, but this is the only one I consider as overpowered enough in enough different fields, and difficult enough to use for the uninitiated to warrant making a guide for. Even though I'd probably be one of the better users of this combination, my poorer twitch reflexes and high ping level means I'm probably not the best at it - in theory, you should never see a perfect thief in this ever being downed in PvE.

 

Feel free to strive to be that perfect thief. Especially if you have sub-100 ping.  ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the great guide on this, Mika~! Pretty much exactly the same kind of stuff that I do with the utilities and weapons, almost word for word.

 

I use a slightly different build, though, with 3 points in Acrobatics (skill IV) and 5 points in Trickery (skills IV and IX), for the added evasiveness and condi damage, as well as additional Initiative build.

 

Question, though... why skill IX in Critical Strikes, when you almost never use dagger/dagger or pistol/pistol? I personally run skill VI in that second slot for a slight boost on vitality.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Question, though... why skill IX in Critical Strikes, when you almost never use dagger/dagger or pistol/pistol? I personally run skill VI in that second slot for a slight boost on vitality.

 

That trait also buffs the SP3, PD3, and DP3 so it still gives you a very nice increase.

 

A question for Mika, I noticed that you run strength runes but then mention that with this build you'll need to say near full health the entire time. If that's the case then scholar runes would probably be the smarter option to take as you'd be staying above 90% health the entire time (unless you die). Just a thought

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Sera

 

Because of Pistol Whip for dungeons/bosses, and Shadow Shot for general world movement.

Frankly in my trait setup the least useful trait is III since I rarely get to move behind a mob, so I'd replace that before IX if anything in the I-VI range was anything I liked.

I don't really need VI much though, and V seems a bit underpowered given PP is not one of my combinations; in offhand pistol tends to be low-damage and used more for utility while in mainhand it tends to be a condition weapon, which doesn't use it either. Trickery IX is good, but the only way for me to get it is to sacrifice either Exposed Weakness or Executioner, neither of which I'm willing to lose (esp Executioner, its damage combined with <25% heartseeker is pretty powerful).

 

@Taxi Senpai (ahem  ;))

 

It was a legacy thing since it was created in the age when S.R.Strength gave +7% damage instead of +5%, but to recalculate for current conditions...

 

Scholar's runes amp 175 power, 100 ferocity and +10% damage while above 90% hp, while Strength runes amp 175 power, 45% might duration and +5% damage permanently. Between these two, assuming strength runes activate off cooldown, unbuffed the thief will generate slightly more than 6 might per second from the sigil (100% critrate, assume 1 attack per second as a base value though it should be slightly higher) and 1 might per second from the rune. Given the base boon duration of +0% from traits and gear, the 45% might increase is a full 45% increase over base, which leads to a total of 10.15 might, or 4 additional constant might (140 power, 140 condi) over base.

 

Given that the build has 2438 power (amped to 2638 by toxic stone plus butternut squash as the max-power variation, amped to 2848 by the 'base' 6 constant might from the sigil), the usage of 6x superior strength runes increases the damage by 5% in addition to the existing 5% on the 6th rune bonus for about 10.3% damage increase (closer to 10.5% given the multiple round-down steps earlier). Scholar's runes increase damage by 10% from its 90% bonus, while the ferocity adds 7% critical damage (from 1115 to 1215, assuming use of butternut squash again) from 224% to 231%, representing a total dps increase of 3%.

 

So in conclusion, under current perfect conditions, scholar's runes represent a 13.4% direct dps increase relative to strength's 10.5%. Strength still has some areas in which it is better: mightstacking using shortbow is far more effective as combos use the stats of the finisher to calculate might duration, it has more use in condi damage applications for SB and PD modes, and it is better for players who can't maintain at least 70% uptime of 90+% hp in fights. The last requirement will rarely be true since you'd be either fully alive or fully dead most of the time; to have 0%<x<90% hp, you'd either need to fight something with retaliation on, or you'd need to fight with a high bleed/burn/torment stack active.

In other cases Scholar runes would indeed be better at present, especially if your party can buff you for 25 might nonstop, in which case the might effects of Strength can be assumed to be zero, and it'd be a flat 5% vs 13.4%.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

. . .

 

...lmfao

 

Okie, I feel like a total derp, it's been so long since I actually looked at my tooltips on thief that I thought dual wield was the auto-attack from wielding 2 of the same weapons. Question totally answered. XD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, it looks like the biggest difference between my build and the one Miku posted was I trade a little DPS for a much higher evasion rate, and additional Initiative building. Not sure what the conversion rate between damage per attack on Miku's  vs. the more numerous skill use on mine is, but they should be fairly close. But yah... dodging like crazy = epic, especially when you're not good at twitch-speed playing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not that good of a player either, so still need to train a lot.

 

5 deaths later, successfully soloed the champ krait hypnoss near Tequatl (interrupt the animation when it raises its body into the air as that's its summon, dodge when it swings both hands as that casts the poison field). 1 death later, soloed the champ spider at Flamefrog waypoint (aside from predictable timing on its attacks, when you see the trace of a web (its immob animation), the next attack is always eggplanting - disallowing that eggplanting to ever hit disables its summons completely). Troll was always easy as you can walk through it to nullify its melee attacks and you can use Pistol Whip when it does the poison-stealth to interrupt its stealth heal.

 

Moar training to come... maybe solo meleeing Juggernaut. o_O

 

P.S. Yes, the reason why we always had hatchlings at champ spider is because people got hit by eggs. Not telling you who... but its egg spit animation is a cone AoE, so even if it was aimed at a certain person all the time, 4 other people failing to dodge correctly means they still spawn in x4 quantity. Agility signet is a must-have here as it allows you to clear the immob and dodge the eggs immediately after, given the the eggs ALWAYS follow the immob, and you can't dodge when immobed. That is, if your initiative is too low to cheese through it by pistol whipping.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I forgot to mention. Sigils also work when you're downed, so sigils of air/fire are useful for doing 'power resurrections' as downskills' multipliers are so low it can represent as much as a 40% dps increase. On builds with high down risk like this it grants additional survivability, even though under perfect conditions with no downs at all, the Sigil of Night is theoretically superior.

For this cause my Night is on my Zojja Razor, which is used only when enemies are nonthreatening - and my Air is parked on my Rapier. The strength sigil goes in the pistol so that it can buff condi damage in PDmode.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have to update this guide based on new information I got.

 

The slaying potions were apparently already fixed, though no announcement was officially made for this. It still shouldn't change anything for a thief in S/P mode, but now skale venom's remaining use is really only for targets for which no slaying potion exsts.

 

Also, due to the incoming change to might, the superior runes of strength no longer have enough utility to justify their use. Would recommend swapping all runes to Scholar now, and swapping the superior sigil of strength within the build to a superior sigil of fire.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

P.S. Yes, the reason why we always had hatchlings at champ spider is because people got hit by eggs. Not telling you who...

 

Please don't tell me you are referring to the one time I tagged along when you were killing the Champion spider. I didn't realise that my ability to dodge was under scrutiny.  :ghost:

 

Since my thief reached lvl 80 a week or two ago, I have decided to adopt this build and give it a whirl. But to my dismay it turns out that I am a worthless thief player. It takes seconds for me to get downed and at times I feel as if though I am getting instagibbed. To make matters worse I have had people in my party telling me to 'Stop dying so much'. I have followed the build as best I can (Some of the expensive superior sigils are major at this point in time) though I probably should switch to Knight stats to give me a few more seconds of sweet sweet life. I am hoping that eventually I will understand the limits of the build.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately, even switching to Knights gear won't help ya out a lot, lol... when they take damage, thief seems to die faster than any other class in the game (ele coming a close second if they're full zerker). I can honestly say if you just stick to it, you'll improve. When my thief first hit lv80 and I set her up in zerker gear, it felt like I was downed 65% of each and every fight... just takes practice, and learning when to use your skills.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please don't tell me you are referring to the one time I tagged along when you were killing the Champion spider. I didn't realise that my ability to dodge was under scrutiny.  :ghost:

 

Since my thief reached lvl 80 a week or two ago, I have decided to adopt this build and give it a whirl. But to my dismay it turns out that I am a worthless thief player. It takes seconds for me to get downed and at times I feel as if though I am getting instagibbed. To make matters worse I have had people in my party telling me to 'Stop dying so much'. I have followed the build as best I can (Some of the expensive superior sigils are major at this point in time) though I probably should switch to Knight stats to give me a few more seconds of sweet sweet life. I am hoping that eventually I will understand the limits of the build.

 

Naw, I'm referring to zergs always triggering hatchlings, lol. So far I've never seen a pre-teq spider zerg ever kill the spider without having hatchlings.

And this is the #1 glassiest build in existence, so instant gib is normal. Pistol Whip evade frame timing is especially problematic at the start because it happens about 1 second after you press the button (0.5s to initiation, 0.5s more till the evade starts) so dying on that is perfectly normal. While eles technically have slightly less toughness than thieves, eles also have Arcane Shield, Obsidian Skin and Mistform, all of which give complete invulnerability on demand. Thieves have no invulns at all and everything is about timing. That said once you do get the timing down for a certain boss it's hard to die to it again. Nowadays I'm practicing evading Lupi's grub and kick attacks with PW, but I still fail 20% of the time, and a fail = guaranteed down. Paradox can tell  you how I'm the weakest link in our Lupi runs lol.

 

Ascended armor actually has a point for thieves since on occasion full ascended berserker allows you to survive a hit with 250 HP. o_O

The D/P set can be used once you're comfortable enough with a boss' animations to get through it with only dodges, without abusing PW evade frames, but it's harder to use, even though it has better damage, particularly after a boss is at < 25% of its health.

It took probably along the lines of two weeks to get the thief running properly for me since my ping is crap. The concept behind the gameplay is simple since there are no complicated rotations to remember and only one set of 10 skills in general, just the timing is problematic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately, even switching to Knights gear won't help ya out a lot, lol... when they take damage, thief seems to die faster than any other class in the game (ele coming a close second if they're full zerker). I can honestly say if you just stick to it, you'll improve. When my thief first hit lv80 and I set her up in zerker gear, it felt like I was downed 65% of each and every fight... just takes practice, and learning when to use your skills.

Agreed with Rosso. Thieves are a pita to learn how to play properly but sticking it out is so worth it. Like majorly so. The DPS is real and once you've got the evades down, it starts to become really nice. A trick I learnt was to go into dungeons and to solo as far as possible. It takes forever but each time you slowly get further until you're pretty much able to carry others through dungeons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The DPS on this build is indeed real. On a normal CoFp1 run, I can easily expect my thief to start cranking out 8k-10k Backstabs and Heartseakers on the last boss, and when running around normally, it's very common to see those sword auto-attacks registering between 3k and 5k damage per target hit, going up to 7-8k on the third attack. PW cranks in around 12k regularly. (Keeping in mind I actually run a 2/6/0/3/3 build, instead of full DPS.) If thief doesn't have the highest single-target DPS in the game, they come awfully close to it, and their cleave damage isn't bad, either. But yah, until you learn those evades and such, expect to be downed every single time something bigger than an elite lands an attack on ya.

 

But agreeing with Greg, I did more or less the same thing with champions in the world (Frostgorge Sound ftw) and carrying newbie groups in dungeons. Once you take on the mentality that the DPS will just come on it's own, and ya start paying more attention to what the beastie is doing rather than your own numbers, your survival rate climbs quickly. ^.^

 

On a side note, strongly encourage the practice. As Miku mentioned, D/P is even higher DPS than S/P, but riskier... and sooooooooooooooo very fun. Especially for world exploration. And WvW roaming. And world boss fighting. And-- er... you get the point. O.o

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Psst, blinds are a thieve's best friend ;)

 

EDIT: Also Spike Trap is massively buffed =)

Eh, sadly champions cleave right through blinds, otherwise thief would be brutally OP EVARIWARE, lol... but yah, Spike Trap is definitely fun. I actually switch that in once I find enemies to kill out in the field, activate my swiftness on kill trait.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If thief doesn't have the highest single-target DPS in the game, they come awfully close to it, and their cleave damage isn't bad, either.

 

It is the highest for both cleave and single below 50% hp mark in solo. Warriors running 66002 a/m become #2, and unlike thieves require a wind up time of about 4-5 seconds before they reach full potential with the Berserker's Power trait. When they reach full adrenaline, full damage warriors become #1 for >50% hp mark cleave/single target damage. The difference of course is that the warrior's aggro is lower than that of the thief's and it has no evade frame, so wars cannot tank like thieves can, but the warrior outputs far more Vulnerability than the thief can and also contributes Discbanner/Powerbanner, so in terms of party damage contribution potential the war is generally better. Thief is, oddly, more defensive with tanking, emergency stealth, aoe blinds and of course, Smoke Screen's projectile nullification.

AoE dps is a diff story, where engineers are the highest and elementalists a very close second. And 'burst damage within 3 seconds' is highest on elementalists (churning earth-lightning flash or meteor shower-lightning flash-tornado).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.