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Minion's Invincible Thief Build

thief death blossom glass cannon spam

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#1 Minion

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 11:57 AM

EDIT: Prior to editing this post, I was frolicking in the undergrowth and some MUD fell on my post. Sorry.
EDIT 2: THIS POST IS HEAVILY OUTDATED AND NO LONGER IN USE BY THE OP.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.

Common misconceptions

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

>Dual daggers
>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
>Dual daggers
>Signet of Malice
>Roll for Initiative
>Signet of Shadows
>Assassin's Signet
>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.

Traits

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.

Usage
Upon entering a mob:
>Run in
>Death Blossom*3
>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.

Posted Image


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.

~Minion

Edited by Minion, 27 December 2012 - 10:06 AM.


#2 Franklin_Comes_Alive

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 12:10 PM

http://gw2skills.net...6O3cy4UiYrgP9FA

Here you go mate.

#3 Minion

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 12:13 PM

View PostFranklin_Comes_Alive, on 28 August 2012 - 12:10 PM, said:


Cheers; will edit it into the OP.

#4 sty0pa

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 02:32 PM

I pulled up http://gw2skills.net...6O3cy4UiYrgP9FA and show it only has 15 spent trait points?

#5 IDarko

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 02:32 PM

Dunno, it sounds pretty fun but sword/pistol seems superior. I have been using it since the start and the AoE damage makes it extremely good. And pistol whip is dayum strong.

#6 Minion

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 06:53 PM

There is nothing in the Thief's repertoire that deals more AoE damage and AoE bleeding than death Blossom on the dual dagger set. If you're after single-target, sure, switch to sword. In most cases in PvE, that's not the case.



View Poststy0pa, on 28 August 2012 - 02:32 PM, said:

I pulled up http://gw2skills.net...6O3cy4UiYrgP9FA and show it only has 15 spent trait points?

These are what I would call the necessary traits to enable DB spam. The rest is up to you.

Edited by Minion, 28 August 2012 - 06:54 PM.


#7 gingexg

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 11:35 PM

http://gw2skills.net...iviWdG0sl9MuqWB

This is the build I have been using in Spvp and plan on using in pve when I reach max level.  The play style is very similar to yours.  lots of death blossom - I do dodge a bit between DB though for the bleed and cripple of caltrops.  Try it out in heart of the mists - I think youll like it.  (note i didnt select any runes or gear, i leave that up to you guys, personally I go for power>precision>vit>conditiondmg)

#8 Imperatrix Fortuna

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 06:59 AM

View PostMinion, on 28 August 2012 - 06:53 PM, said:

There is nothing in the Thief's repertoire that deals more AoE damage and AoE bleeding than death Blossom on the dual dagger set. If you're after single-target, sure, switch to sword. In most cases in PvE, that's not the case.





These are what I would call the necessary traits to enable DB spam. The rest is up to you.

Sword is pbaoe on its auto attack, it's better AoE by far than LDB spam or using daggers at all.

#9 Swickster

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 07:18 AM

View PostImperatrix Fortuna, on 29 August 2012 - 06:59 AM, said:

Sword is pbaoe on its auto attack, it's better AoE by far than LDB spam or using daggers at all.

Truth, but i still like my LDB so i use it. LDB+Caltraps+RfI+Shadow Refuge(with infusion)=close to 30 seconds of max bleeds by yourself. Just don't expect to be much help in world boss events as your bleeds prolly wont get the ticks.

#10 Scarlet_Blossom

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 07:21 AM

You can do the same with only a shortbow, except you also have access to poison (+ weakness if traited), do more damage, stack more bleeds and have a far superior option to get out of melee in case you messed up and are taking too much damage.

#11 Minion

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 12:22 PM

View PostScarlet_Blossom, on 29 August 2012 - 07:21 AM, said:


You can do the same with only a shortbow, except you also have access to poison (+ weakness if traited), do more damage, stack more bleeds and have a far superior option to get out of melee in case you messed up and are taking too much damage.

The bleed option from sword is bad; you also deal damage with Death Blossom and puts you into a constant cycle of evasion. The pistols for single-target are a better option as daggers are an all-round better weapon set.

To the guy saying "don't blah blah boss fights blah blah"; you're not using Assassin's Signet and Heartseeker, so I can see why you'd think daggers aren't so good. Dagger set gives you the option to destroy single-targets, apply poison on single targets (not to mention Steal does this anyway) cripple multiple foes from range (good for luring/balling) and, of course, AoE bleeding and damage with evasion. They are the ultimate weapon.

On contrast, sword is kind of gimmicky and meh. The autoattack is fine, but the dual attack is single-target. Just because it also causes evasion; the damage is terrible and it doesn't apply conditions.

Just comparing the primary attack skill/chain of sword and dagger shows the daggers to be superior in PvE.  So what do we get:

Sword:
195 dmg->195 dmg->317 dmg + weakness/cripple.
Dagger:
232 dmg->207 dmg + gain endurance -> 207 dmg + 2s poison/-33% heal.

Now just think which is the superior option for PvE. Yes, the sword does all that damage to all foes infront of him in range, but you have other skills for /better/ AoE damage to mobs. You mostly want to be picking off dangerous enemies quickly one-at-a-time. If you're not killing them one at a time, you're using Death Blossom. Flanking Strike is your only single-target attack skill, which is no match for Heartseeker when the foe is pressured and below 1/3rd of it's life.

In short; you can synergise much better with dual daggers + utility skills than you can with sword+whatever and daggers are the more versatile choice for survival, damage and degen. Single-target spikes and AoE.

Edited by Minion, 29 August 2012 - 12:32 PM.


#12 DaiTheBear

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 01:49 PM

I have only ever played a warrior up to level 25 in GW2 so far and while the damage was alright he was quite squishy considering that all you really did was use Hundred Blades over and over and over. It is very repetitive. How does this build compare to the damage of Hundred Blades on a warrior? It seems like it'll do very good damage while offering a fun gaming experience.

#13 Scarlet_Blossom

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 03:25 PM

View PostMinion, on 29 August 2012 - 12:22 PM, said:

...

Please try using a sword before saying it's bad for reason X when your reason X is incorrect.

#14 Pandiano

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 01:06 PM

View PostScarlet_Blossom, on 29 August 2012 - 03:25 PM, said:



Please try using a sword before saying it's bad for reason X when your reason X is incorrect.

Well I have yet to test any of those builds, but he elaborates his point, you don't give any explanations.

#15 Zerj

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 01:44 PM

View PostPandiano, on 30 August 2012 - 01:06 PM, said:

Well I have yet to test any of those builds, but he elaborates his point, you don't give any explanations.

Black Powder from Pistol gives you just as much, or more, survivability and Pistol Whip gives evade and has a 1/2 second stun and VERY high damage which is AoE and procs signet of malice 9 times. Also the auto attack is AoE so you can just spam Black Power and Auto Attack AoE if you want.

Edited by Zerj, 30 August 2012 - 01:45 PM.


#16 Scarlet_Blossom

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 03:23 PM

View PostPandiano, on 30 August 2012 - 01:06 PM, said:

Well I have yet to test any of those builds, but he elaborates his point, you don't give any explanations.

Except the facts that he believes to be true and that he bases his arguments on are not facts from the start but misconceptions that should be sorted out. Since it is more instructional for him to figure those flaws in his theory out it is entirely unnecessary for me to point them out.

#17 coreyz

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 03:51 PM

View PostScarlet_Blossom, on 30 August 2012 - 03:23 PM, said:

Except the facts that he believes to be true and that he bases his arguments on are not facts from the start but misconceptions that should be sorted out. Since it is more instructional for him to figure those flaws in his theory out it is entirely unnecessary for me to point them out.

It would however help others who may not be as practiced with a build to get examples from both camps.

#18 wolfpaq777

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 06:35 PM

View PostImperatrix Fortuna, on 29 August 2012 - 06:59 AM, said:

Sword is pbaoe on its auto attack, it's better AoE by far than LDB spam or using daggers at all.

LDB radius is significantly larger than sword's auto attack, fyi.

#19 IDarko

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 01:14 AM

View PostMinion, on 29 August 2012 - 12:22 PM, said:

....
On contrast, sword is kind of gimmicky and meh. The autoattack is fine, but the dual attack is single-target. Just because it also causes evasion; the damage is terrible and it doesn't apply conditions.

I actually played with d/d and caltrops etc. from 60-80 and it's definitely fun and viable. Is it better than s/p? I don't know but you should get your fact straight. The s/p dual skill also hits up to three targets.

#20 Minion

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 10:53 AM

View PostIDarko, on 31 August 2012 - 01:14 AM, said:

I actually played with d/d and caltrops etc. from 60-80 and it's definitely fun and viable. Is it better than s/p? I don't know but you should get your fact straight. The s/p dual skill also hits up to three targets.

If you think hitting three targets=AOE, maybe you haven't used DB... Alright, it hits multiple foes... Who are infront_of_you_and_adjacent. The range of DB is massive, but clearly there are a few misconception to how amazing sword/dagger is...

The sword's "autoattack", indeed, hits all foes directly in front of you, but the rest of the skills, including the dual attack, are easily lower DPS, no matter what size the mob you're fighting is. This is largely because as you progress through the game and are able to maintain a high Initiative regen-rate, you can spam Death Blossom to out damage both the sword's evasive, AoE damage and single-target capabilities.

The sword's dual skill has a nice evade, but it's damage is not as powerful as DB in terms of DPS, since while evading, you aren't actually dealing damage, as is the case for DB. Half the skill animation for the sword dual is wasted by running up to your target.

Speaking of waste... That random shadowstep on the sword bar couldn't be more redundant. There is no possible reason in PvE you would want to shadowstep away from an enemy without killing them beforehand. If you've killed it, you want to advance, not return.

View PostScarlet_Blossom, on 30 August 2012 - 03:23 PM, said:

Except the facts that he believes to be true and that he bases his arguments on are not facts from the start but misconceptions that should be sorted out. Since it is more instructional for him to figure those flaws in his theory out it is entirely unnecessary for me to point them out.

Please, if you think I am wrong, by all means, show me your theorycraft as to why swords are better, because I am not seeing it in-game. I have now finished off my theory for level 80 traits and will edit the OP later.  

FYI: Currently level 49, did Catacombs story mode at 36 and all went smooth. My survivability was higher than our ranger and elementalist, and they were ranged. It quickly became my job to simply spam dancing dagger on the melee foes before being able to get into melee range, because our team kept dropping apart from myself. Note to all; necros are a pretty cool guy for done-djinns.

#21 SPS

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 11:37 AM

It would be cool to see some video footage of this build in action. It intrigues me greatly but I haven't quite mastered the technique to use it to it's full potential, so I'd like to see what you could do. :)

#22 Minion

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 11:41 AM

Just to note quickly that when you hit 15 Trickery, the extra 3 initiative makes this even easier when start fights. It's also good in some cases to ball foes by using dancing dagger on the one furthest away, then circle them once. then unleash hell :D

If anyone needs this to be more detailed, let me know.

#23 MrLarone

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 11:45 AM

Aww, Minion, shhhhhhhhh... they'll all want one ;)

Can vouch for the bulid's effectiveness, DB is all the AoE you need.

#24 Sinn Longhole

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 12:44 PM

I haven't grouped up yet, so this comes from my solo experience.  Tried this build last night and enjoyed it.  It's a little gimmicky and dangerous when you get around cliffs and are forced to fight as this build is pretty reliant on the terrain you are fighting on.  I didn't feel invincible strong, but safe.  I need to get the timing of DB down a little better instead of blowing through my init.

#25 Minion

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 04:56 PM

View PostSinn Longhole, on 31 August 2012 - 12:44 PM, said:

I haven't grouped up yet, so this comes from my solo experience.  Tried this build last night and enjoyed it.  It's a little gimmicky and dangerous when you get around cliffs and are forced to fight as this build is pretty reliant on the terrain you are fighting on.  I didn't feel invincible strong, but safe.  I need to get the timing of DB down a little better instead of blowing through my init.

Forgot to mention that... Fighting on cliffs is complete BS with DB, since you just fly spin right off high terrain... Take it from experience; you never want to use DB during that Ascalonian Wall skill point challenge...

#26 Kyomi

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 05:05 PM

I've been using a LDB focused spam build throughout all the betas but I changed to S/P for several reasons. I loved the build specially properly specced into venoms and with high cond damage gear but, you are not correct in dissing the S/P build.

As mentioned, I have been playing a LDB spam build for a while now but I switched to S/P for release and would never go back.

I am not saying one is better then the other, as a matter of fact I would say most combinations are very powerful if specced correctly but there are a few things that bug me from your answers:

Quote

The sword's dual skill has a nice evade, but it's damage is not as powerful as DB in terms of DPS, since while evading, you aren't actually dealing damage, as is the case for DB. Half the skill animation for the sword dual is wasted by running up to your target.

You forget that the sword skill is also a daze and a flurry. Since you mentioned haste on shortbow imagine haste on pistol whip..and now imagine specced with runes which increase the daze/stun. And yes, you are dealing damage while evading.
If you run up to your target in a S/P build then you are doing it wrong. Infiltrator's strike is godly - not to mention removes condition and has no cd for leaping back and forth. Together with steal and shadowstep I never have to actually run up to a target and have really easy ways to a) remove conditions and B) get out of  danger fast.

Oh and pistol whip flurry hits harder then LDB spam even though cond damage is not mitigated. Unfortunately I can't compare the numbers now here in live since I don't want to completely respecc to proof my point.

Just straightening out some things here :) Again, I think a proper specced LDB build is fun to play (specially seeing all those flying numbers) but you shouldn't talk down other really good builds as well.

I don't think you've really tested the S/P builds possibility enough to make in depth comparisons (no offense intended here :))

Edited by Kyomi, 31 August 2012 - 05:11 PM.


#27 Dreys

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 05:15 PM

Good stuff.  Thanks OP - this is just what I was looking for to tune up my current build.

#28 Scarlet_Blossom

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 05:21 PM

View PostMinion, on 31 August 2012 - 10:53 AM, said:

FYI: Currently level 49, did Catacombs story mode at 36 and all went smooth. My survivability was higher than our ranger and elementalist, and they were ranged. It quickly became my job to simply spam dancing dagger on the melee foes before being able to get into melee range, because our team kept dropping apart from myself. Note to all; necros are a pretty cool guy for done-djinns.

That's exactly the problem. Everyone else dies except for you. If you brought some proper CCs your whole team could survive without problems.

#29 Minion

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 05:28 PM

View PostKyomi, on 31 August 2012 - 05:05 PM, said:

I don't think you've really tested the S/P builds possibility enough to make in depth comparisons (no offense intended here :))


I'll say outright that I am biased towards dual daggers as a long time Guild Wars player, but it is also true that there is no reason to run sword over the daggers. I've come round to the idea of swapping to a pistol off-hand for the blind during dungeons, but I always found the sword's shadowstep be largely useless if you Steal/dodge well enough.




View PostScarlet_Blossom, on 31 August 2012 - 05:21 PM, said:

That's exactly the problem. Everyone else dies except for you. If you brought some proper CCs your whole team could survive without problems.

Are you the Cuilan of GW2Guru? Try talking in longer sentences and take time to explain and justify what you're attempting to convey.

Edited by Minion, 31 August 2012 - 05:30 PM.


#30 ferv0r

ferv0r

    Pale Tree Seedling

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 08:52 PM

I recently rolled a thief alt and I've been browsing this subforum for some basic info.

I don't understand this build.

1.  What do might stacks / signets have to do with spamming DB or getting more initiative?
2.  Steal has a 45s cooldown, right?




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