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Oshef's Roaming Burst Build

thief spvp tpvp

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#1 Oshef

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 12:50 AM

Hello everyone! Welcome to Oshef's roaming burst build! I'm the thief and roamer for the [SBDC] clan. You can find us - here.You think that you know burst now, with heartseeker spam? You're about to learn what burst really is.

You can find me here (twitch.tv/oshef) - streaming tournament pvp with this build often. I'll leave VOD's up in case anyone is desperate for some thief goodness.

The Build <- Click it.

Traits

Deadly Arts
20 points into deadly arts picking up Mug and Improvisation.

Mug - Pretty obvious. It's a free 3k - 4k damage when you steal. Steal is a very important part of this build, it is our class mechanic and I think that it's awesome.

Improvisation - Stealing recharges all skills of one type (venoms, signets, traps, tricks, or deceptions) - in this build we're running both signets and tricks. That would be 2/5 of the possible recharges - which means you have a 40% chance on stealing to recharge either haste, or 3 signets.

Critical Strikes
We're going 30 into this line, picking up Signets of Power, Signet Use, and Executioner. I really feel like this is the 'best' thief trait line. All of the minors are just amazing for glass-cannon burst.

Signets of Power - 5 stacks of might when you use a signet. We have 3 signets in this build, we use them all often - because...

Signet Use - Gain 2 initiative when activating a signet. Reduces signet recharge rate by 20%. This puts your heal on a 12 second cooldown, and our other two signets on 24 second cooldown. This is assuming that steal doesn't proc the 20% chance to instantly refresh these signets.

Executioner - Deal 20% extra damage when target is below 50% health. This build is meant for roaming, when you roam, you finish fights. When you finish fights, you often run into opponents under 50% health. This trait is a must have.

Trickery
We're going 20 points into trickery - picking up thrill of the crime, and trickster.

Thrill of the Crime - This is one of my favorite thief traits, period. Fury is awesome, might is awesome, swiftness is useful. It's 10 seconds of each. All thieves should pick this up in almost all builds.

Trickster - If you haven't noticed, quickness in this game is absurd. Haste paired with Pistol Whip is really the most damage that you can put out as thief. 20% of the time, you will refresh haste on steal. The other 80% of the time, you're going to appreciate this.


Weapon Skills

We're using Sword/Pistol for this build, because of the mobility of infiltrators strike and because of the burst damage potential of pistol whip.

Auto Attack - on Sword this gives us a 2.5 second cripple, and a 2.5 second weakness on the third attack. It also can crit for up to 5k depending on buffs, and normally crits for 2.5-3k. It is AOE damage. It is amazing.

Infiltrator's Strike - The most important ability in this build. Pistol Whip gets all the glory, but this will separate good facerollers from decent facerollers. You need to use this MORE than you think you need to use it. The Shadow Return on this ability is an automatic stunbreak/teleport and it only costs 2 initiative, but you need to use infiltrator's strike in order to have shadow return up. USE INFILTRATOR'S STRIKE.

Pistol Whip - Your bread & butter. It's where the majority of the damage in this build comes from. This + haste - do it once, and you will understand. A pro-tip on pistol whip is to begin casting pistol whip, and then use steal to shadowstep to your target and 100% land the stun and most of the damage. People will tell you this is impossible to use on good players, these people are inexperienced with the ability, and they are wrong. It also evades. It is currently overpowered, and will be nerfed.

Headshot - Ranged daze. It costs 1 less initiative than pistol whip, and for that reason it's not as useful as it could be. If you're unable to pistol whip to interrupt a heal - this can be used in a pinch.

Black Powder - I mainly use this to setup finishes. As long as you start your finish the moment you throw this down you can almost always finish the first time, without stability. It can also be used as a defensive measure against a 100 blades warrior, etc - if you were shortsighted and didn't use infiltrators strike enough.


Utility Skills

heal
Signet of Malice - I use this ability more than most thieves will. It's on a 12 second cooldown, gives me initative and might, and can be refreshed via steal.

Signet of Agility - Passive gives precision for crit - the active cures a condtiion and refills endurance - it also gives you might and initiative in this build on use.

Haste - The most overpowered thing we have access to. It's quickness. Pistol whip animation resolves almost before the stun wears off. It makes us do a TON of damage.

Signet of Shadows - Passive is 25% movement speed - great for roaming. The Active isn't all that great. AOE blind isn't awful, however the might and initiative it gives you on use is very important.


Gear
We're running Berserker's Amulet and Berserker's Jewel, and 6/6 Divinity Runes. Damage. Do it.

Sigils
Sigil of Air on the sword, and Sigil of force on the pistol. Offhand we're running Energy on a shortbow. The shortbow is used almost exclusively for mobility.



Other notes:
You should check out Lowell's Guide if you haven't already. He doesn't have this particular build in it, but he does have a ton of amazing information about how to play thief. There are people who will tell you this is a gimmick build, or that this is a pub-stomp build. If you don't have a stun-break up, I will kill you before you can move. Straight up.


Highlights

I'll add to this when I have more time. For now:

How to beat a 100b warrior

Don't Stand still - no stunbreak

Pistol Whip Pro-Tips

Edited by Oshef, 11 September 2012 - 12:14 AM.


#2 Jhonas

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 08:43 AM

I like it and it seems to be working well for me in PvP.

Any thoughts on the Mesmer Match up?

#3 Oshef

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 04:31 PM

I personally believe Mesmer is the strongest 1v1 profession in the game at the moment. It's a tough win for everyone, and particularly this build. Anytime I know that I'm up against an experienced mesmer, I will try to hold off on the burst until after they stealth at least once. Most mesmsers will blow this the first time you pistol whip them. When they come back out I identify them quickly, and try to blow them up ASAP before the phantasms can kill me. If I'm lucky and evade a swordsman or duelist burst, I will win - if they're lucky and catch me in between pistol whips, they'll usually win.

If they moa, they always win.

If I thieves guild I always win.

I probably need more practice against good mesmers to try and crack this one - I'm still unsure whether or not it'd be optimal to kill the phantasms before bursting the mesmer; the problem being this build is extremely fragile if it's caught without shadowstep and/or pistol whip... the longer the fight the more likely we get caught in a CC that we can't immediately break. If we're killing phantasms the fight is getting longer, because we aren't killing the mesmer.

Edited by Oshef, 31 August 2012 - 04:32 PM.


#4 Oshef

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 04:53 PM

To update this I've been toying with using Runes of Rage instead of divinity. It's an extra 3% crit damage when fury is running, increased duration on fury, and the proc on it gives you fury forever (30+ seconds). I've also begun to swap in shadow refuge for a signet if I think a teamfight is coming. I've messed with using hide in shadows instead of signet of malice, but I still prefer the signet of malice in this build.

#5 blu3steel

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 04:05 PM

Definitely like this build.  It took a while to get used to playing without stealth, but that just forced me to play more carefully.  I was using stealth as a crutch, but now without it being an option, I actually have to think about who and where I'm engaging.

I've tried running it with Ogre runes in sPVP since I get mobbed a lot, and it's worked out pretty well.  I need to spend more time with the Runes of Rage to see if it kills more quickly than with the other two.

Edited by blu3steel, 08 September 2012 - 04:11 PM.


#6 rassier

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 08:09 PM

Ive been trying to decide what build to take along with my unicorn build which i love.

right now im down to a sword/pistol, whip build similar to this, or a stealth backstab build....just not sure!  both require a bit of skill imo

#7 schizocaria

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 10:30 PM

I've been using this build and it seems fun and a very different approach from build involving D/D.

#8 dethus

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 10:54 PM

Don't you guys find pistol whip to be kind of gimmicky and less effective then say CnD and Heartseeker or D/P? Playing S/P today I kind of felt like it wasn't overly useful to my team.

#9 Alzun

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 11:19 PM

View Postdethus, on 08 September 2012 - 10:54 PM, said:

Don't you guys find pistol whip to be kind of gimmicky and less effective then say CnD and Heartseeker or D/P? Playing S/P today I kind of felt like it wasn't overly useful to my team.
If you can, try and get PW to hit a couple of people.  If you see that you will be able to, pop haste.  Do it once, and you will forever love the S/P set.
Honestly, pistol offhand brings some awesome utility to the table (unless you're running a stealth build) and the mainhand sword brings a gapcloser with an immobilze, an autoattack that just kills, and PW itself is just plain awesome.  As the OP said, start casting PW and then hit steal to instantly teleport to your target and land PW.  Works even on good players.

#10 blu3steel

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 12:17 AM

View Postdethus, on 08 September 2012 - 10:54 PM, said:

Don't you guys find pistol whip to be kind of gimmicky and less effective then say CnD and Heartseeker or D/P? Playing S/P today I kind of felt like it wasn't overly useful to my team.

Lots of damage is utility in this case.  I either jump on low hp/squishy enemies and just take them out, or jump on full health Warriors and Guardians and force them to run and heal.  Because using a signet gives initiative I also always have an extra Headshot to interrupt stomps and other things.

#11 Oshef

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 02:09 PM

View Postdethus, on 08 September 2012 - 10:54 PM, said:

Don't you guys find pistol whip to be kind of gimmicky and less effective then say CnD and Heartseeker or D/P? Playing S/P today I kind of felt like it wasn't overly useful to my team.

100% absolutely not. I love when I run into a heartseeker thief. It's my favorite class/spec to play against. 1.5 pistol whips - they die in a stun. I mean - I suppose you could call this a gimmick build. The gimmick is that it kills everyone faster and more effectively than anyone. In a 5v5 match, I can't think of anything more useful to the team than immobilizing, stunning, and killing someone.

The only argument to be had against this build would be an argument for a venom share build. And at that point I still think Sword/Pistol is going to be the best weapon set. Infiltrators Strike and Pistol Whip are too good.

By the way - I'm away from keyboard this weekend, but when I get back I plan on adding a video about landing pistol whip. I got a lot of comments/questions about that and there are a few tips/tricks to landing it more consistently.

#12 rassier

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 11:33 PM

true i found landing that PW a bit difficult at times, other times id kill 3 of the enemy team at once.

its fun, tho the argument about venomshare, you can use the S/P weapon set with venom share, you just wont do as much damage.

#13 VrathX

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 12:44 AM

View Postrassier, on 09 September 2012 - 11:33 PM, said:

true i found landing that PW a bit difficult at times, other times id kill 3 of the enemy team at once.

its fun, tho the argument about venomshare, you can use the S/P weapon set with venom share, you just wont do as much damage.

Yeah obviously you give up power and/or crit plus talent abilities however your team as a whole should do more dmg and apply great pressure. Toss in the pets you can share it to as well venom share is powerful. If you play solo or a roamer might not be the build for you although 1v1 a v share build with ambush trap and TG you can wreck people but heck with thieves guild and most builds you can wreck people. All a matter of play style of course and what your team requires.

One thing about PW in bwe2 before sig of malice and bv you could easily control people into eating PW after the change to a blind and a cast time on BV Grim/Amon made some videos using Scorpion Wire to pull people into it, which is pretty fun. S/P has a lot of utility I find it hard to not use it. I like combining it with D/D to finish people off but SB is so damn useful when working with a team it's hard to drop.

#14 Alzun

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 01:43 AM

View PostOshef, on 09 September 2012 - 02:09 PM, said:

100% absolutely not. I love when I run into a heartseeker thief. It's my favorite class/spec to play against. 1.5 pistol whips - they die in a stun. I mean - I suppose you could call this a gimmick build. The gimmick is that it kills everyone faster and more effectively than anyone. In a 5v5 match, I can't think of anything more useful to the team than immobilizing, stunning, and killing someone.

The only argument to be had against this build would be an argument for a venom share build. And at that point I still think Sword/Pistol is going to be the best weapon set. Infiltrators Strike and Pistol Whip are too good.

By the way - I'm away from keyboard this weekend, but when I get back I plan on adding a video about landing pistol whip. I got a lot of comments/questions about that and there are a few tips/tricks to landing it more consistently.
Honestly, I love fighting any other "burst" build.  PW just owns their faces.  You run up to a GS Warrior, start casting PW, the Warrior gets half a second of of 100B off.  Pistol Whip interrupts, the Warrior proceeds to facetank the incoming 7k damage, while vainly trying to hit you due to the evade of PW.  HS spammers are also really fun to kill.  They think they know burst.  Pffffff :)

#15 Oshef

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 12:15 AM

edit: added my pistol whip pro-tips. Experienced players probably already know, but I got lots of comments about how often I landed pistol whip and I think these are 2 big reasons why. The other is just spatial awareness, which just comes with time.

#16 AleriaVonHouten

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 06:02 AM

Hi Ohef, i made an account just to thank you.
You see, i was looking for thief pvp builds the other day and chanced upon Lowell's thread.
Now don't get me wrong, his builds are really really good and i've tried and tested most of them out.
However i felt that his builds were quite difficult to use especially if you're new like me.
( dagger, pistol venom share... huh? o-o )
Then i chanced upon your thread and i decided to try it out and oh boy, it was excellent.

The signet traits and 3x signet + 1 haste made it synergise so well with the burst.
And not only does it have burst, it has sustain as well. ( 12 second heal lulz )

So anyway, a few points;
when bursting, should you always activate ur haste before signet of agility so that you'll still have full endurance if anything goes wrong?

should you always open with infiltrator strike?  before following up with haste> 3 signets (might) > pistol whip > steal ( to land that pistol whip ) since stealing grants u +3 initiative and stealing from the start means u miss out on that.

for runes and sigils, do you use better/viable alternatives?

any extra tips would always be good.
thanks. :)

#17 AdreeasaM

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 06:54 AM

Really nice guide, but i do wonder how you handle random cc thrown at you in non-tournament games ( in team 5v5's as a roamer you dont really have this issue , i think )  since you have no stun breakers and no stealth escape tools ?

#18 geala

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 09:17 AM

Shadow Return on Infiltrator Strike is a stun breaker and teleport. However I'm questioning myself how you can stun a HB Warrior under Stability?

#19 Oshef

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 03:39 PM

View PostAdreeasaM, on 11 September 2012 - 06:54 AM, said:

Really nice guide, but i do wonder how you handle random cc thrown at you in non-tournament games ( in team 5v5's as a roamer you dont really have this issue , i think )  since you have no stun breakers and no stealth escape tools ?

I don't play 8v8. If I don't have guildies/teammates around I will solo-queue myself for free tournaments. In my opinion melee thief in general starts to break down in 8v8, which is why you see so many people spamming heartseeker like kamakaze pilots.

View PostAleriaVonHouten, on 11 September 2012 - 06:02 AM, said:

Hi Ohef, i made an account just to thank you.
You see, i was looking for thief pvp builds the other day and chanced upon Lowell's thread.
Now don't get me wrong, his builds are really really good and i've tried and tested most of them out.
However i felt that his builds were quite difficult to use especially if you're new like me.
( dagger, pistol venom share... huh? o-o )
Then i chanced upon your thread and i decided to try it out and oh boy, it was excellent.

The signet traits and 3x signet + 1 haste made it synergise so well with the burst.
And not only does it have burst, it has sustain as well. ( 12 second heal lulz )

Thank you! I'm glad it was helpful.

Quote

So anyway, a few points;
when bursting, should you always activate ur haste before signet of agility so that you'll still have full endurance if anything goes wrong?

Absolutely, if it's possible to do so. Usually when people first look at the build they ask why I run that signet, and thats absolutely a big reason that I do. It essentially negates the "drawbacks" to using haste. If the signet isn't up from a previous fight, I wouldn't hold off on using haste before the signet is back up, but it's great when it's available!

Quote

should you always open with infiltrator strike?  before following up with haste> 3 signets (might) > pistol whip > steal ( to land that pistol whip ) since stealing grants u +3 initiative and stealing from the start means u miss out on that.

100% absolutely. I cannot overstate the importance of using infiltrators strike. In fact, I think it's preferable to use shadow return before it runs out even if the fight isn't over. Just disengage and re-engage with infiltrators strike a second time just to always have the shadow return up. Starting fights with steal is just terrible with this build. You lose your opportunity to recharge, you waste your initiatve gain on steal, and you don't have a shadow return to stunbreak/escape.

Quote

for runes and sigils, do you use better/viable alternatives?

As stated I've been playing with runes of rage for extra fury duration and the fury proc. I really think the difference between that and divinity is negligble. In the end Rage is probably better for burst, and divinity is probably slightly better for sustain because of the extra power. I've seen lots of people running ogre, I'm not a fan.

For sigils, I think Air is unbeatable, although there may be an argument for Blood. The way internal cooldowns are shared in the game right now, you can only run one "active" sigil at a time. My favorite passive is 5% damage (force) but I think the 5% crit chance could be good as well.

#20 pags411

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 04:04 PM

Thanks for sharing your experiences with this set up, Oshef!  A lot of good synergy here which I think is the hallmark of any effective build for any class.  This sounds like a really effective build for getting to the action, into the action and out of the action with no down time.  I've been playing roaming with support lately, but s/p is a weapon loadout I've been meaning to practice with more.  I'll be sure to use your suggestions when I do!

#21 AleriaVonHouten

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 04:41 PM

Oh.. how bout sigil of rage & critical haste?
Is the extra haste not needed?

Also i've been thinking of swapping to dual pistols.
Do you think it's a good idea?

Edited by AleriaVonHouten, 11 September 2012 - 04:44 PM.


#22 Oshef

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 05:06 PM

I like Air over sigil of rage because of the absurd cooldown on rage. Air crits for ~2k and it's just free damage that happens on it's own, it can't be dodged or avoided at all (excluding "invulnerable" defensive cooldowns).

My problem with dual pistols is the lack of synergy between the auto-attack and everything else on the weapon set. Auto-attack is very good for bleed generation, but unload is all about direct damage. I think it also lacks mobility tools. In my opinion, S/P is all around better direct damage than P/P, and P/D is all around better for condition damage.

#23 Ironbars_Kalam

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 10:46 PM

Nice build and some great points. My main focus is WvW and the question is have you tested it out there or are you strictly building for sPvP?  Has anyone here tried a similar build in WvW?  If you did take this into open world would add in some defensive stats in you jewelry or stick with full glass cannon?


#24 MrKaiser

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 08:06 AM

Having fun with this so far but would love some more indepth information and maybe a couple videos explaining the finer points of this build. It seems like it could be very powerful in the right hands.

#25 Oshef

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 08:43 PM

View PostIronbars_Kalam, on 11 September 2012 - 10:46 PM, said:

Nice build and some great points. My main focus is WvW and the question is have you tested it out there or are you strictly building for sPvP?  Has anyone here tried a similar build in WvW?  If you did take this into open world would add in some defensive stats in you jewelry or stick with full glass cannon?

Outside of the mists I'm level 25 and I've done very little WvW, however I will tell you that with this build my Clusterbomb tends to crit for between 1k-2k - shortbow auto-attack is hitting for around 1k

In my personal opinion there is no way to soak damage as a thief. You either avoid the damage or you die. There are builds that work that revolve around stealth, and I'm sure they would be awesome in WvW, but would be better served with Sword/Dagger than sword/pistol in my opinion.

View PostMrKaiser, on 12 September 2012 - 08:06 AM, said:

Having fun with this so far but would love some more indepth information and maybe a couple videos explaining the finer points of this build. It seems like it could be very powerful in the right hands.

Thanks for the feedback, anything in particular you'd like for me to make a video about? I've recently added a very brief video with tips for pistol whip. I haven't had too many more specific questions about the build.

#26 Tracker_X

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 12:47 AM

When do you pop haste?  After the stun part of the first pistol whip but before the continuation of strikes?  

Do the follow up continuation strikes get affected by haste if you do that, or does it only take effect as a whole maneuver on the next pistol whip after you pop haste?  Hope that question makes sense.  

Thanks.

Edited by Tracker_X, 13 September 2012 - 12:50 AM.


#27 Oshef

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 01:05 AM

View PostTracker_X, on 13 September 2012 - 12:47 AM, said:

When do you pop haste?  After the stun part of the first pistol whip but before the continuation of strikes?  

Do the follow up continuation strikes get affected by haste if you do that, or does it only take effect as a whole maneuver on the next pistol whip after you pop haste?  Hope that question makes sense.  

Thanks.

Yes, exactly then - and it makes perfect sense. I've practiced on chieftan and svanir many times, the maximum DPS is actually to wait until the second pistol whip. IE:

Pistol whip (full, no haste) -> Pistol whip stun -> haste -> pistol whip animation -> both signets -> steal -> pistol whip (hasted) -> pistol whip (hasted)

Of course this is in a bubble. In actually PvP it never works out as well - but I do always wait until I've landed the stun before I pop haste.

Edited by Oshef, 13 September 2012 - 01:05 AM.


#28 Tracker_X

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 01:07 AM

Thanks.  I think that nuance is very important and appreciate you sharing it.

#29 Tastymuskrat

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 06:28 PM

How useful is this in PvE? I know it is a PvP guide, but I'm trying a different build for PvE right now that isn't working so well.

#30 kewlgui

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 02:06 PM

Oshef have you fought against a roaming D/D Basilisk Venom theif? It seems when I run D/D with BV I just insta kill their S/P theif before he can re-act. The combo is prepping BV, reving up Cnd, steal in ( proc'ing BV ), they Cnd will always land due to BV and then land a easy BS. Total about 14kish damage which is nearly unavoidable. Every tournament game that I run I will always single our their "Glass Cannon" and 90% one shot them, just shutting them out of the game. Oh and I still believe that S/P is a superior spec due to the utility but if you change your mind set I Think that BV and D/D will be the next Fotm.





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