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WvW Thief Build


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#1 Drtrider

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 04:11 PM

I have been searching the 'interwebs' and all the local GW2 resources however I have yet to find any decent builds for the Thief in WvW.

My goal is to get an idea of what people are using, what they think works, and doesn't work and then take that knowledge and create something unique to my own play style. It's also my hopes to get a decent little discussion going to hopefully help future thieves be able to create their own WvW builds.

So! With that said, I look forward to seeing what the community has to offer! Thanks in advance!

#2 Cutwolf

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 04:47 PM

View PostDrtrider, on 08 September 2012 - 04:11 PM, said:

I have been searching the 'interwebs' and all the local GW2 resources however I have yet to find any decent builds for the Thief in WvW.

My goal is to get an idea of what people are using, what they think works, and doesn't work and then take that knowledge and create something unique to my own play style. It's also my hopes to get a decent little discussion going to hopefully help future thieves be able to create their own WvW builds.

So! With that said, I look forward to seeing what the community has to offer! Thanks in advance!

Burst builds. Get in, burst someone down, get out before you are seen. Plenty out there.



#3 Ponzio

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 05:34 PM

View PostILoveGW2, on 08 September 2012 - 04:47 PM, said:

Burst builds. Get in, burst someone down, get out before you are seen. Plenty out there.

Only works with opponents that dont know what they are doing. I run around in a small 10 man team, capping supply camps and everytime we encounter another small zerg I send a phantasm to every thief I find. It completly shuts them down in a zerg vs. zerg situation because if they come close or unstealth they get 5k damage + tons of bleeds in their face which combined with the aoe present drops them instantly. They can avoid the damage of course but that makes them do almost no damage at all.

Edited by Ponzio, 08 September 2012 - 05:39 PM.


#4 Cutwolf

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 06:20 PM

View PostPonzio, on 08 September 2012 - 05:34 PM, said:



Only works with opponents that dont know what they are doing. I run around in a small 10 man team, capping supply camps and everytime we encounter another small zerg I send a phantasm to every thief I find. It completly shuts them down in a zerg vs. zerg situation because if they come close or unstealth they get 5k damage + tons of bleeds in their face which combined with the aoe present drops them instantly. They can avoid the damage of course but that makes them do almost no damage at all.

And how much of wvw is 10 on 10 fights? Burst builds are best for big fights at bridges or other random points, and for one on one (IMO). It's tough to have a spec that excels in every situation, but burst damage specs (30 in crit, 20 in power) excel in several and are at least good in all.

But even in situations where burst isn't ideal, then you simply switch over to abilties like scorpion wire and smoke screen. A well placed smoke screen can turn the tide of a fight (7 seconds of projectile blocking combo field) and scorpion wire will rip your Mesmer booty across enemy lines. I will gladly expose myself to 5k damage to get within 900 range to yank a caster across battle lines. And let's not forget short bow which is devastating even without speccing it specifically, for those times when a thief is pinned down.

Also, getting rid of every bleed and condition in big fights is a simple matter of activating a signet.

I wasn't trying to say burst builds will win every situation, but in what wvw is, high crit high power builds rule for thieves. I can lay down 16k+ damage almost instantly (mug for 3- 5k, backstab for 9k, 1 skill for 2k) allowing me to down most players I target before the enemy even realizes Im there. And that's excluding heart seeker, which would take it over 20k. It's also excluding putting haste in the build or haste proccing off a trait or a sigil, which could push you to 25 or 30k territory in seconds.

All that being said, a well played Mesmer is my most difficult fight.

Edited by ILoveGW2, 08 September 2012 - 06:32 PM.


#5 Drtrider

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 03:43 PM

View PostILoveGW2, on 08 September 2012 - 06:20 PM, said:

And how much of wvw is 10 on 10 fights? Burst builds are best for big fights at bridges or other random points, and for one on one (IMO). It's tough to have a spec that excels in every situation, but burst damage specs (30 in crit, 20 in power) excel in several and are at least good in all.

But even in situations where burst isn't ideal, then you simply switch over to abilties like scorpion wire and smoke screen. A well placed smoke screen can turn the tide of a fight (7 seconds of projectile blocking combo field) and scorpion wire will rip your Mesmer booty across enemy lines. I will gladly expose myself to 5k damage to get within 900 range to yank a caster across battle lines. And let's not forget short bow which is devastating even without speccing it specifically, for those times when a thief is pinned down.

Also, getting rid of every bleed and condition in big fights is a simple matter of activating a signet.

I wasn't trying to say burst builds will win every situation, but in what wvw is, high crit high power builds rule for thieves. I can lay down 16k+ damage almost instantly (mug for 3- 5k, backstab for 9k, 1 skill for 2k) allowing me to down most players I target before the enemy even realizes Im there. And that's excluding heart seeker, which would take it over 20k. It's also excluding putting haste in the build or haste proccing off a trait or a sigil, which could push you to 25 or 30k territory in seconds.

All that being said, a well played Mesmer is my most difficult fight.

So, I'm assuming you're running Dagger-Dagger? I'm having a tough time deciding between Dagger-Pistol and Sword-Pistol. I hated sword pistol due to the fact that pistol whip was incredibly hard to land after my poisons and lock-downs were used. (Keep in mind I'm lvl 40 currently trying to find a happy place to play the thief)

And yes I agree about the short bow. Godly in many terms.

However, if you don't mind, telling me what weapon set you're using and walk me through an average fight, and what skills/abilities/utilities are of the norm for your use. As in, what would be you're main source of damage.

I suppose finding some synergy is harder then I thought when it comes to the Thief.

Edited by Drtrider, 09 September 2012 - 03:45 PM.


#6 Cutwolf

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 04:03 PM

View PostDrtrider, on 09 September 2012 - 03:43 PM, said:



So, I'm assuming you're running Dagger-Dagger? I'm having a tough time deciding between Dagger-Pistol and Sword-Pistol. I hated sword pistol due to the fact that pistol whip was incredibly hard to land after my poisons and lock-downs were used. (Keep in mind I'm lvl 40 currently trying to find a happy place to play the thief)

And yes I agree about the short bow. Godly in many terms.

However, if you don't mind, telling me what weapon set you're using and walk me through an average fight, and what skills/abilities/utilities are of the norm for your use. As in, what would be you're main source of damage.

I suppose finding some synergy is harder then I thought when it comes to the Thief.

I'm actually running dagger pistol, but I plan to give dagger dagger a try later today.

Usually, I shadow step in to a target who has already taken some damage or who is causing trouble (often, a clothie). I steal, blinding powder, backstab, chain 1, drop 5 (the aoe blind), heartseeker through it for both the damage and the stealth due to combo,and try to land another backstab. If it played perfectly, they'll either be dead or low, at which point I heartseeker them. If you didn't do it perfectly, your shadow step should still be up so just hit it and go back to your side to recover. All takes a few seconds max. If they react quickly and you start taking damage, just shadow step out. I'll also strategically use the 3 ability in dagger pistol if shadow step is down. It makes escaping more difficult, but usually I target people already on the edge of the battle line or outskirts with it, so getting back is a simple matter of evading twice. But really, there is no routine fight. It's a general concept for me. I want to be stealthed as much as possible, land back stabs, and kill as quickly as possible. Sometimes I don't pull it off and improvise, sometimes I don't and retreat, sometimes I don't and die, sometimes I just go in after someone already at 20% and heartseeker them down. If I feel like causing a lot of damage and confusion, I'll either pop thieves guild before I go in, or use dagger storm when I go in, and teleport out right when it finishes.

I am also toying with incorporating that stealth trap that teleports you back to the trap and puts you in stealth for 5 seconds. Tricky to use, but could be devastating and potentially great to escape pursuers.

When I don't feel like doing that, I'll switch over to smoke screen and scorpion wire. Throw a smoke screen down on the front lines every time it's up, scorpion wire people who get within 900 range for easy and final kills, cluster bomb the smoke screen for aoe stealth, etc. I consider that my support approach :)

Edited by ILoveGW2, 09 September 2012 - 04:05 PM.


#7 Ironbars_Kalam

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 08:49 PM

@ Cutwolf, would you mind sharing your build and traits?

#8 Drtrider

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 04:15 PM

Hey guys, checking in again.

I did some WvW over the weekend. I played with Dagger-Pistol, Sword-Pistol, and finally Dagger-Dagger with a stealth approach.

Dagger-Pistol was my normal set to run with in the past, however I was finding the over all damage with is was not where I wanted it to be. (Keep in mund my gear and traits have been set to gain as much power/precision/crit damage as possible.) Over all, was tired of getting no where with it. The 5-Skill aoe blind and the 3-skill were nice at times however more often then not they proved non-useful.

Sword-Pistol was an interesting one. It really packed allot of damage, however I had a hell of a time landing it on any one. After my venoms were used, I had no way of really locking a player down to do decent damage. Over all, too much set up was needed to finaly get a good hit in. Even then, they would just walk away while I desperately try to stay close.

Dagger-Dagger my new favorite love. I had re-worked my traits to favor my activities in the stealth department. This combo proved by far the most useful in both the sense of spiking some one down, and increasing my over all survivability. I'm still learning in WvW (When to pick a fight and with who) and when to use each skill. I'v found using stealth as much as possible by far proved the most enjoyable and most effect of the three I had played with. Shadow-step/steal in, backstab auto attack, blinding powder, backstab again, then finish them off with 1 or 2 heart seekers with that wonderful below 33% bonus and that was that. Not only was I able to really mess some people up, I was also able to keep myself from general harm and out of the target zone of players. Match that setup with a short bow, and I could normally get myself out of just about any sticky situation.

However, note to self. If your target starting running back into their own zerg, don't go chasing them.... You're going to have a bad time.

Any who, just wanted to share my findings. Comments any one?

#9 Cutwolf

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 04:58 PM

I like the damage and stealthability of d/d.

I don't like the lack of gap closers. It's brutal.

#10 Rythmn

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 07:42 PM

View PostDrtrider, on 10 September 2012 - 04:15 PM, said:

Hey guys, checking in again.

I did some WvW over the weekend. I played with Dagger-Pistol, Sword-Pistol, and finally Dagger-Dagger with a stealth approach.

Dagger-Pistol was my normal set to run with in the past, however I was finding the over all damage with is was not where I wanted it to be. (Keep in mund my gear and traits have been set to gain as much power/precision/crit damage as possible.) Over all, was tired of getting no where with it. The 5-Skill aoe blind and the 3-skill were nice at times however more often then not they proved non-useful.

Sword-Pistol was an interesting one. It really packed allot of damage, however I had a hell of a time landing it on any one. After my venoms were used, I had no way of really locking a player down to do decent damage. Over all, too much set up was needed to finaly get a good hit in. Even then, they would just walk away while I desperately try to stay close.

Dagger-Dagger my new favorite love. I had re-worked my traits to favor my activities in the stealth department. This combo proved by far the most useful in both the sense of spiking some one down, and increasing my over all survivability. I'm still learning in WvW (When to pick a fight and with who) and when to use each skill. I'v found using stealth as much as possible by far proved the most enjoyable and most effect of the three I had played with. Shadow-step/steal in, backstab auto attack, blinding powder, backstab again, then finish them off with 1 or 2 heart seekers with that wonderful below 33% bonus and that was that. Not only was I able to really mess some people up, I was also able to keep myself from general harm and out of the target zone of players. Match that setup with a short bow, and I could normally get myself out of just about any sticky situation.

However, note to self. If your target starting running back into their own zerg, don't go chasing them.... You're going to have a bad time.

Any who, just wanted to share my findings. Comments any one?

I personally run the sword/pistol build and I think it's amazing. I have a video you can check out if you're interested, it should be on the forums somewhere. Of course the abilities might be a little bit challenging to land, but what abilities aren't?

You can use your 2 ability which is like a free shadow-step and it immobilizes them for a short duration, which allows you to get off a 3 ability and cause havoc.

In all honesty, every build has it's advantages, and they're used for different situations. You just have to find YOUR play-style and play it the way you want to.

#11 Drtrider

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 07:57 PM

View PostRythmn, on 10 September 2012 - 07:42 PM, said:

I personally run the sword/pistol build and I think it's amazing. I have a video you can check out if you're interested, it should be on the forums somewhere. Of course the abilities might be a little bit challenging to land, but what abilities aren't?

You can use your 2 ability which is like a free shadow-step and it immobilizes them for a short duration, which allows you to get off a 3 ability and cause havoc.

In all honesty, every build has it's advantages, and they're used for different situations. You just have to find YOUR play-style and play it the way you want to.

I have done some more reading and playing. I miss my D/P badly. The mobility of that coupled with the stealth/blind was more useful then I had earlier believed. In regards to that video, I would love to see it. Or perhaps just show me in-game. :P You're on the same server as me any who. Would love to head out with another thief and learn the class better.

View PostCutwolf, on 10 September 2012 - 04:58 PM, said:

I like the damage and stealthability of d/d.

I don't like the lack of gap closers. It's brutal.

I would agree. The way I see it as a D/D is you need to bring some utility lock-downs. If you don't, good luck staying close. Where D/P has some god-like stealth and shit tons of gap-closers/blinds. Plus it's fun to watch your opponent swing widely while blinded missing every time and then stun them out of a big cast. Makes me think of an old quote with that much control of your opponent...

"I reject your reality and substitue my own." Basically, I don't like what you're doing. I think I'm gonna have to make you stop that. Kay' thanks bye.

#12 Kingdom of Hollows

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 07:58 AM

Its simple:
What you need is 4 Pistols.

30 Points in Acrobatics: I - III ( switch, between moving around and fighting ) ; IX ; XII  - this will give you 5 initiative regen every 10 sec.
Number III you use in a combination with Withdraw healing skill. In total you can perfrom 6 Dodges back to back.
Number II you use in a safe situation, where you don't need Dodge as much, so instead of Vigor you gain Might when ever you dodge.
Switch to your second set of pistol every 10 seconds to gain 3 Initiative from XII

You got your survival kit all set for WvW now.

Afterwords i went with 30 points in Critical strike, there you boost your crit and  Unload damage by 10%, and another 20% damage bonus for targets below 50% HP.


This basicly is an Unload spamm build.

#13 Cutwolf

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 01:07 PM

One build I've been trying out is:

10 Deadly
25 Critical
20 Shadow
15 Tricks

I do miss the awesome tier 3 traits in Critical but...

Stealing stealthing + doing damage + granting you buffs + 15 initiative is really nice.

#14 Yamirashi

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 02:55 PM

View PostKingdom of Hollows, on 11 September 2012 - 07:58 AM, said:

...
What you need is 4 Pistols.

...
Switch to your second set of pistol every 10 seconds to gain 3 Initiative from XII


Not saying I agree or disagree with your build or anything. Just curious about something.

I know you have to swap sets to get the 3 initiative. I also know if you have a S/D in your first set and just a pistol offhand in your second set, you'll switch from S/D to S/P while only needing 1 sword. Is it possible to equip a pistol main hand in your first set and a pistol offhand in your second set to allow weapon swapping with the same two pistols and only need 2 pistols to accomplish the same thing?

#15 pags411

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 03:31 PM

Only level 30, but I'm exploring all my options at this point.  So far I'm rocking 10 acrobatics/10 trickery- thrill of the crime and descent of shadows.

Thrill of the crime is really good.  In my opinion, any traits to add utility to steal is going to be a good investment as it is a very versatile skill on its own and I'm starting to learn the combo fields it can offer (chaos armor ftw).

Descent of shadows sounded gimmicky to me until I started acting as roamer for a small group I was with.  The reduced fall damage coupled with a free stealth allowed me so many opportunities to escape (i.e. avoid a rez/runback).  This could also have some utility in screwing with enemies banging at your gate, but I think the real value here is it's capacity to make you even more slippery as a scout (arguably the single most potent role the thief can perform in WvW).

I've also used power of inertia and vigorous recovery in the acrobatics line.  Both are straightforward and very good.  I wanted to like fleet shadow, but I just didn't notice much of a benefit compared to some other options.  I think this trait will be more effective when I can use it in conjunction with meld with shadows and some other traits that add more stealth options.  I will revisit this later.

For skills, I always seem to bring roll for initiative regardless of the tactics I'm employing in a session.  I've been practicing saving it for stun breaks.  I've also had a lot of success in using it as another chain in my movement (dodges combined with infiltrator arrows and then keep forward momentum with a jump, half-turn, roll for initiative in the same direction and spin back around for more arrows/dodges).  It has allowed me to cover ground incredibly quickly whether I'm escaping or chasing down or just on the go.

I have been playing support this week mostly with smoke screen and shadow refuge.  I'm really digging both of these skills for their utility.  Smoke screen's ability to function defensively and offensively at the same time makes it very valuable for me.  Throw it down to block enemy projectiles while adding blind to your allies projectiles.  Most people know to use the leap finisher through it for a nice stealth advance OR retreat, etc.  When you're on the run, drop it as you go to throw up a quick barrier for your pursuers.

Shadow refuge is a great ability to give people a second to breath.  Some healing and a long sttealth duration help those who are falling back to recover.  It's a great way to protect rezzers or jump in to rez yourself.  I also used it last night right as we broke town a tower door.  Dropping it just inside the doorway confused some defenders for a few seconds while most of us got a stealthed headstart into the courtyard to spread out.

As for weapons, I always bring the shortbow.  Infiltrators arrow and disabling shot are just too effective for mobility and defense.  The combo field and finisher are also amazing in large-scale encounters.  My other set has been dagger/pistol or dagger/dagger.  I really like black powder as a combo field and a defensive utility.  I will start to explore some other combos in the weeks to come.

Good community we have going here!  Thanks to everyone for sharing your experiences and helping us all be a little sneakier!

#16 Drtrider

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 11:38 PM

Thanks to every one! There are some great topics going around. I have yet to tinker with my D/P build however from what I read from the wonderful little community we have going here, it's going to be a fairly stealth-focused/opponent-control build. Which in my opinion is a viable and worthwhile build to create. Who knows, if we collectively come up with something interesting, we can start playing it a bit further and really do some fine tuning.

View PostKingdom of Hollows, on 11 September 2012 - 07:58 AM, said:

Its simple:

..........

This basicly is an Unload spamm build.

Not a bad plan there. And it has some serious survivability mixed in. However, I'm going for
1) A little less unicorn/gimmicky build.
2) I thoroughly enjoy stabbing the shit out of some one in the back while they sit there confused and desperately try to make an escape. >:]

Regardless, some good work went into such a build. I will be taking a little of this and that into my build for a bit more survivability.

Edited by Drtrider, 11 September 2012 - 11:39 PM.


#17 Gumma

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 03:34 PM

http://gw2skills.net...1IqxWjrGZNDKmQA

my build for WvW, engage with shadowstep & steal (stealth) backstab and finish with HS.

#18 Grendel

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 04:35 PM

For most of my play time I had been p/p + sb. But p/p just wasn't cutting the bill dmg wise and I was already using sb for ranged most of the time anyways.

So, about the shortbow. In almost all cases it's great. Plop Aoe into masses, add aoe poison for combo. Easier kills on immune super at supply camps with people shooting through it. On keep walls, shoot down at enemy, or shoot up the aoe's where enemy are shooting down on you. They will quickly disburse or die. If anyone is manning a siege weapon, or oil, just aoe the area and the user will be force to abandon soon enough. Added mobility, you need to catch up or run away from someone. You need to make it into the "capture point circle" to get that free exp/karma..

Now you need to decided on your play style if you go for some sort of d/d d/p s/d or s/p for your get up close and personal melee or play it safer as p/p.

When I was p/p I built around the premise I was a "field combat medic" as Sylvari get a racial aoe heal, add shadow refuge to that and spec traits to heal allies when you stealth them. You have a few aoe and self heal/regens at your disposal. Even "Decent of Shadows" and blind allow you to regen allies/self..

I now play as s/p, as it allows for a lot of CC and spec'd/trait correctly allows for some nice burst dmg. Especially useful once you've taken attacking mobs of enemies' hp down conciderably with bow action, jump in for the kill.. and get out just as quick. I can now also take out caravans, sentry points solo and duo supply camps. Where as p/p I wasn't enough dmg to live through the fight..

Edited by clockcycle, 12 September 2012 - 04:43 PM.





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