EDIT 2: THIS POST IS HEAVILY OUTDATED AND NO LONGER IN USE BY THE OP. REFER TO http://www.guildwars...-a-basic-guide/ BEST THREAD FOR THIEF AND SHOULD BE STICKY! DAT GRAMMAR.
I've seen a few people struggling with the Assassin- I mean Thief, for quite some time, claiming that they are too squishy and cannot stand up in melee combat. I had just advanced past level 30 and was really happy with the way my build was panning out. For all those who say Thieves are squishy, initiative is a terrible mechanic, etc. wait until you get at least ten trait points.
1.Initiative is sucks omg its like having energy bar fffuuuuuuu!!!11
Initiative is a Godsend. The Thief is the only profession with the ability to spam overpowered skills and stack conditions like no other profession. Once you acquire some traits and easily obtained utility skills, you will never thirst for more initiative during a battle. They are a very proactive profession, and you get to control their DPS cap, instead of the other way around.
2.omg my thief dies in seconds they cant melee omg so squishy glf monk to go ?!!
Thieves have lower armour rating compared to other melee classes, this is true. However, no other class is able to sustain the amount of evasion while attacking as the Thief. Death Blossom is very strong in this regard, as well as your extra fall-back skill Roll for Initiative which gets you out of battle, as well as allowing more evading attacks. And even if you're a sword/pistol fanatic, you have access to a spammable AoE blind, which makes you rather tanky indeed.
3.Ain't nothing better than yer shawtbow, maan. Ya can git'er doen with yer shawtbow an' nothin' else. yee-haw.
Actually, no. Dual pistols can be a lot more effective in dungeons and even DE zergs because you need to proc quite a high amount of damage to be awarded the kill. The poison/bleed damage you get from the bow won't generate damage fast enough. For a long-ranged weapon, the dual pistols clearly have greater utility and defence. 1. it's ranged, 2. Headshot is the greatest daze source in the game. Ignore Black Powder for now but Headshot can remove 4~ stacks of Defiant in dungeons so quickly, and with RfI and Signet Use with a couple of signets, you'll be able to spam that very often and keep an enemy out of play for the majority of the time. All of this coupled with Black Powder for the ultimate combo field, and you have a very sturdy supportive long-ranged weapon set to swap to in hard times.
This build uses dual daggers for heavy DPS, falling back on Sword/Pistol or Pistol/Pistol when the going gets tough and you need to throw out some blind/daze and keep your distance. Dual Daggers offer the highest DPS and are the most versatile weapon at the thief's disposal. This gives you access to high single-target damage, fast spreading AoE bleeding, a ranged semi-AoE cripple(excellent for luring) and a panic-button cloak if you should ever need it.
Death Blossom is the greatest skill of all, which makes it possible to, effectively, tank whole groups of foes. The whole time during the attack animation of DB, you are evading and cannot be hit. Along with Signet of Malice and a high Initiative pool, this makes you a very durable character and offers high DPS without having to retreat.
There are two types of builds when focusing on melee:
High powered crits
>Hide In Shadows
>Shadow Refuge (AKA "iHouse")
>Signet of Shadows/Assassin's Signet
>Roll for Initiative/Shadow Step
>20 (VI, IX)/30 (III, X, XII)/20(V, III)/0/0
>berserker/Valkyrie armour and Ruby/Beryl jewels
[basic usage: cloak as often as possible, maintaining Revealed means you're maximising your damage, and stay behind the target while autoattacking. Also, use Hide in Shadows to lead into another backstab while near-downed]
or condition damage
>Signet of Malice
>Roll for Initiative
>Signet of Shadows
>10 (VI)/30 (II, VIII, XII)/0/0/30(V, VII, XII)
>Rampager/Carrion armour/coral jewel
[basic usage:Evade whilst attacking; tighten mobs and lure several enemies to maximise the damage from DB and heal from Signet of Malice]
The condition heavy build is designed to abuse Death Blossom as much as possible for high DoTAoE whilst constantly evading, while the Backstab build is focused on dealing high single-target damage using the stealth mechanic to abuse AI for defence.
The important traits to take note of when a lower level are:
Kleptomaniac- requires 5 Trickery; Stealing returns 3i. Needless to say, this changes how you would use Steal. Instead of Stealing into combat, you will preserve it until after at least one chain of DB to get an extra one in.
Preparedness- requires 15 Trickery; increases max initiative by 3i, which doesn't seem much but it will get you another DB without waiting.
Opportunist- +1i^crit (20% chance). requires 15 Critical Strikes and is the greatest gap-closer skill if you're running out of initiative too quickly.
Signet Use- requires 20 Critical Strikes and returns 2i every signet use. This is useful since you will have three signets on your bar, generally.
I won't tell you which order to trait in, but this is all you need to know. The rest of the traits are all about buffing damage. What is dead can't hurt you, after all!
With the major Critical trait, you select the trait skill that offers 5x Might for 5 seconds each time you activate a signet. You have three of these; two of which should be used as often as possible, starting with Assassin's Signet unless surviving becomes tricky, you should then use Signet of Shadows first. The Trickery minor trait is the most warranted trait of all; Stealing gives an instant 3 initiative. And, of course, with each point you put into Trickery, the faster Steal recharges.
Upon entering a mob:
>Steal, immediately followed by using the Stolen skill
>Death Blossom another two times
>Activate Assassin's Signet and use Heartseeker. When fighting just one foe; get them to 9-12 stacks of bleeding then spam Heartseeker till they die.
If the whole mob hasn't died, at least the Heartseekered target will be. That's a lot of bleeding damage, and the whole time you are in the Death Blossom animation, you are constantly evading. This makes you very durable, and at this time you shouldn't have used any Endurance. When you run out and there are still foes in the area, quickly use Roll for Initiative to instantly boost back to near-max Initiative and continue spamming Death Blossom. The whole time you're not taking damage by evading and pewpewing, you are also gaining health with Signet of Malice. The more foes you hit with DB, the better. Remember each foe is hit three times, so they bleed*3 and trigger Signet of Malice*3. FYI, max bleed stack is 25. I've checked; and it's easy to get it up to that number (if boss; normal enemies can't stand 15 stacks) If you're still in battle, start rolling and spam your primary attack to end it all.
Armour and Jewelery
The condition build is greatly improved with full Rampaging armour of the Scholar with the coral jewel set.
The high crit build is greatly improved with full Berserker or valkyrie armour with superior runes of the scholar with the Ruby or Beryl jewel set. The valkyrie and beryl options offer no extra precision, but the trade-off is a chunky amount of vitality, which counters major degen and conditions. Without any of these +vit, you'll have 8-9k health. It's not important, but can help and won't affect the damage output since your critical chance becomes 100% when cloaked and you cloak every 2-3 seconds for a backstab.
Dungeons and other special occasions
If a boss or tough enemy starts tearing up your team, it's best to sit on your pistol set and maintain Black Powder to keep them blind. At this point, your role isn't to damage or absorb aggro, but to add a layer of defence and prevent damage taken to your team.
The importance of cloaking and dodging
Positioning in general is what will stop you from taking damage. Most people take the girly way out and just use ranged weapons all the time. It helps vs melee mobs sure, but it can often be detrimental vs a ranged enemy. The longer it takes to kill, the more time it has to kill you. Melee damage is almost always higher, due to a supposed risk:reward ratio of getting up close. Daggers have faster attack speeds compared to a staff and no air-travel time. The key to being successful in melee combat is never disconnecting with the enemy unless you have to. There's no point in being too cautious if the point is to deal more damage. Always sit on their back and make sure they're not focusing you. This is where cloaking plays in; the AI works by queuing up names of characters who entered monster aggro first. When you cloak, your name goes to the bottom of the list. Only dodge when you're about to be stunned or killed. Always try to rally from the ground.
You are now a tank, you now have op domoges. ur welcome.
Edited by Minion, 27 December 2012 - 10:06 AM.