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What countermeasures do mesmers have against C&D -> Mug -> Backstab thieves?


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#1 Reikou

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 07:09 AM

My main is a thief, however, I've recently been playing alot more mesmer in tournaments as I'm trying to learn the class.

As a thief, I've found mesmers to be one of the more annoying classes to kill, however, as a mesmer, I find that I'm having alot of problems against thieves, specifically backstab thieves.

Perhaps its because I'm not as familiar with the Mesmer, or perhaps there's some theory I'm missing out on.  I'm hoping someone can give me some tips as to how to deal with backstab thieves to improve my chances of winning against them.

Currently, I usually attempt to use Decoy to stealth while they are in stealth as to prevent them from getting a backstab off, or use distortion to try to burn their backstab.  Even then, being brought down 10k HP from C&D+Mug is still quite painful as it usually leaves me in 40-60% HP range.

#2 osicat

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 07:41 AM

Tbh so many ppl complain about thives and as I basicly rape em most of the time I started to get some shoots and will setup a collage of "how to thief"

rule nr 1 - Carry a staff in your right hand, staff 2 save your life, dead you cant kill a thief (ok accualy you can but its harder)

rule nr 2 - Decoy, this is teamed up with staff fantastic, if you cant affort take this skill you just have to play better vs them.

rule nr 3 - Learn what they do. more than 50% of al thievs jump you and after that dont stop hit. If you see emotion and know they    comming hit immunity. a 4 second but even a 3 second immunity to dmg and they got enought time to use up al the resources. If you pro you do a cry of frustration here aswell so they after the failed burst are out of resourses and 70% health.

rule nr 4 - dont run. Its a cliche but its true.You can never outrun em so eather you attack or be clever. Portal, decoy + blink, mass invis is how i escape if i feel i absolutley need 2 go away. Most time its better to just attack with dmg immunity up. Thye get down so fast.

rule nr 5 - let your clones /phantasm stop them. You been running around like a mainiac looking for that blinking invis annoying thief while he close to downing you with daggers? So have we all, make 2 cones and a phantasm and leth tehm handle him while you look for other targets. The clones are better at find him when he blink tbh.

Hope it help some.

PS. if you in glasscannon spec with a gs we cant help you... noone can you free kill for thiefs

#3 Skyro

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 08:36 AM

Depends on your build. If you're playing Shatter you just need to set up Blurred Frenzy + Mind Wrack. For example if you already have 3 clones out you can literally just Blurred Frenzy and Mind Wrack him which should kill him. If you're defensive Phantasm spec you just have to kite him while your Phantasms deals the damage. Really hard to say if you don't post your build. Not giving us much to work with here.

#4 Reikou

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 08:45 AM

View PostSkyro, on 14 October 2012 - 08:36 AM, said:

Depends on your build. If you're playing Shatter you just need to set up Blurred Frenzy + Mind Wrack. For example if you already have 3 clones out you can literally just Blurred Frenzy and Mind Wrack him which should kill him. If you're defensive Phantasm spec you just have to kite him while your Phantasms deals the damage. Really hard to say if you don't post your build. Not giving us much to work with here.

The situation I was having trouble in was the following.

I am defending a point solo, out of combat, so no illusions.  I see a backstab thief incoming and charging up basilisk venom.  Nothing I can really do at this point, save call for backup.  Perhaps drop Illusionary Duelist or Illusionary Warlock, but thats about it.

They come in and Mug/C&D me.  I am stunned, but I counter with Decoy.  We are now both in stealth, but I am 10k HP down.

at this point, its a 50/50 chance for me to win or lose.  What i'm looking is for tips or suggestions as to make this a better chance for me to win.

Edited by Reikou, 14 October 2012 - 08:53 AM.


#5 osicat

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 09:04 AM

KK I randmly piced a fraps i had from yesterday and saxed how i usualy do with thiefs. I do a timing mistake and take a little dmg but in general its the exact situation in most mesmer vs thief i run into in sPvP. More annoying is the defensive bleed spec ones, need to work a bit more. The backstab hs etc is usualy dead in a few sec if they jump a mesmer in 1vs.

I even have dmg tab up and rendering it atm in hd so you prob can see the dmg he take in 1,5 sec after jump me.

As said I will post a longer pvp vid for entertainment later with more thief encounters.

No music or fun text etc in this, just plain killing



#6 Skyro

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 09:46 AM

View PostReikou, on 14 October 2012 - 08:45 AM, said:

The situation I was having trouble in was the following.

I am defending a point solo, out of combat, so no illusions.  I see a backstab thief incoming and charging up basilisk venom.  Nothing I can really do at this point, save call for backup.  Perhaps drop Illusionary Duelist or Illusionary Warlock, but thats about it.

They come in and Mug/C&D me.  I am stunned, but I counter with Decoy.  We are now both in stealth, but I am 10k HP down.

at this point, its a 50/50 chance for me to win or lose.  What i'm looking is for tips or suggestions as to make this a better chance for me to win.

First of all if you see them coming up to you casting Basilisk Venom why would you have no clones/phantasms? Phantasms have more range than Steal AND you can cast them without LoS. Get those suckers up.

So you say iDuelist and iWarden. I'm assuming that means a shatter build. I like to use Phase Retreat whenever possible due to its low cooldown, but if they use Basilisk Venom Decoy is worth it to break the stun. If he's using Basilisk Venom I assume he's D/D. Ok, so now you're stealthed, heal up and get distance. In situations where the Thief is stealthed I kite because you don't have to worry about holding the node since they can't cap it while stealthed.

Usually Thieves at this point either are super aggressive and try to finish you off, or try to wittle you down some more with Shortbow. If they are aggressive you can just Pistol Stun or Sword 3 Immobolize him and Blurred Frenzy + Mind Wrack and they are probably dead of very low. That's it. Or you can bait him into your Frenzy. Just don't let them get the backstab and you're ok, which is why I like to kite to make it hard for them to get my back after the initial C&D mug. Try to stay out of meele so they can't hit you with C&D. You can time your Chaos Storm and Chaos Armor while they are stealthed as well. GS 5 for knockback also works while they are stealthed, but if you're shatter you're probably not using GS. If they get on you Phase Retreat or Frenzy depending on what weapon set you have equipped. Look for your burst. The best way to handle aggressive thieves with a shatter build is actually to punish their aggressiveness by bursting them down.

If they use shortbow play the ranged game with your staff. With no Thieves Guild they won't win the ranged game with your phantasms up. It's trickier though because they are not so obvious with their spike.

In all cases use Distortion as your last resort. Also Diversion can also to buy you some time if they are on you and you can't get away.

edit: also that thief in the video above was terrible and not what the OP was asking about at all

Edited by Skyro, 14 October 2012 - 09:58 AM.


#7 Reikou

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 10:12 AM

View PostSkyro, on 14 October 2012 - 09:46 AM, said:

First of all if you see them coming up to you casting Basilisk Venom why would you have no clones/phantasms? Phantasms have more range than Steal AND you can cast them without LoS. Get those suckers up.

So you say iDuelist and iWarden. I'm assuming that means a shatter build. I like to use Phase Retreat whenever possible due to its low cooldown, but if they use Basilisk Venom Decoy is worth it to break the stun. If he's using Basilisk Venom I assume he's D/D. Ok, so now you're stealthed, heal up and get distance. In situations where the Thief is stealthed I kite because you don't have to worry about holding the node since they can't cap it while stealthed.

Usually Thieves at this point either are super aggressive and try to finish you off, or try to wittle you down some more with Shortbow. If they are aggressive you can just Pistol Stun or Sword 3 Immobolize him and Blurred Frenzy + Mind Wrack and they are probably dead of very low. That's it. Or you can bait him into your Frenzy. Just don't let them get the backstab and you're ok, which is why I like to kite to make it hard for them to get my back after the initial C&D mug. Try to stay out of meele so they can't hit you with C&D. You can time your Chaos Storm and Chaos Armor while they are stealthed as well. GS 5 for knockback also works while they are stealthed, but if you're shatter you're probably not using GS. If they get on you Phase Retreat or Frenzy depending on what weapon set you have equipped. Look for your burst. The best way to handle aggressive thieves with a shatter build is actually to punish their aggressiveness by bursting them down.

If they use shortbow play the ranged game with your staff. With no Thieves Guild they won't win the ranged game with your phantasms up. It's trickier though because they are not so obvious with their spike.

In all cases use Distortion as your last resort. Also Diversion can also to buy you some time if they are on you and you can't get away.

edit: also that thief in the video above was terrible and not what the OP was asking about at all

I already do all of this, again, it leaves me with a 50% chance to win/lose.  Perhaps this is "balanced."  Like I have said, I am looking for some other ways to tip the scales in my favor.

#8 Skyro

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 10:24 AM

View PostReikou, on 14 October 2012 - 10:12 AM, said:

I already do all of this, again, it leaves me with a 50% chance to win/lose.  Perhaps this is "balanced."  Like I have said, I am looking for some other ways to tip the scales in my favor.

Are you? First you say you don't have any clones/phantasms up when you should. You also say things like you use Distortion to "burn their backstab," which I have no idea why you would do that. Just avoid getting backstabbed in the first place. You can't do much to prevent C&D -> Mug, but you sure as hell shouldn't be getting hit with backstab constantly.

Shatter Mesmers have the upperhand vs D/D Thieves in a straight 1v1 situation with all cooldowns up. They essentially have to trick you into blowing your cooldowns to win. That or you just have slow reactions. The only other thing you can do is exploit LoS, but that is dependent on where you are at that moment. You still do damage with your Phantasms out of LoS, but Thieves can't do much without LoS.

Edited by Skyro, 14 October 2012 - 10:28 AM.


#9 Cry

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 10:25 AM

Best way to kill a back stab thief in my opinions is guessing their location while stealthed and using AoE/CC against them, a mesmers general lack of AoE seems to be the issue here.

I know this wont apply for some node's but you could try hiding off point and surprising them with a burst combo to the face when they least expect it (Think Mine/Henge on Forest, Any node on Khylo, foefire is where you have to get creative) this works against most players regardless of class as well.

#10 Shaynaro

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 10:56 AM

I run a full glass cannon shatter build. What I usually do when I see ( or don't see ) a backstab thief (out of combat) going for me is hit Distortion and then blurred frenzy+mind wrack in open air. It takes a bit of getting used as timing/positioning goes but this usually kills them before they even come out of stealth while I am at 100% hp with all their cooldowns down. If they are still up and running, there are a few possibilities -  mirror images and a confusion shatter, daze shatter and pull out a phantasm to finish the job - just got to choose since they are already almost useless.
As you can probably imagine, this is with an Illusionary Persona trait.

@Skyro - would really like to see a video vs a good backstab thief kiting and doing what you mention there. I tried staying in staff and using the usual defense provided by it but maybe I am doing it wrong, since I am already at ~5k hp by the time I use phase retreat or decoy. A good backstab thief will start directly in stealth and get the kill on you before their stealth even runs out.

@Osicat - That thief is not good :) He basically lets you know already that he is there with some dancing daggers for pitiful damage, then does 2 heartseekers while you are at ~90% hp for more pitiful damage.

Edited by Shaynaro, 14 October 2012 - 11:15 AM.


#11 Playpad

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 12:35 PM

View Postosicat, on 14 October 2012 - 09:04 AM, said:

KK I randmly piced a fraps i had from yesterday and saxed how i usualy do with thiefs. I do a timing mistake and take a little dmg but in general its the exact situation in most mesmer vs thief i run into in sPvP. More annoying is the defensive bleed spec ones, need to work a bit more. The backstab hs etc is usualy dead in a few sec if they jump a mesmer in 1vs.

I even have dmg tab up and rendering it atm in hd so you prob can see the dmg he take in 1,5 sec after jump me.

As said I will post a longer pvp vid for entertainment later with more thief encounters.

No music or fun text etc in this, just plain killing



1# using dancing dagger out of hide while neither illus are up nor anyone else is close
2# spamming heartseeker while HPs are approximately 90%
3# instant using daggerstorm due to having no idea what's next if initiative is gone and #2 cannot be used anymore

he simply didn't deserve to survive. Unfortunately it's not representative at all since in tpvp most thiefs are way smarter.

Edited by Playpad, 14 October 2012 - 12:38 PM.


#12 osicat

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 01:09 PM

Heh yeah in no way applaude hes skill. Its raher showing that IF a thief start take dmg thy go down wery fast. Will have a better vid another time. While... share your best kill of the thief vids. Always a good watch.

#13 Skyro

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 06:44 PM

View PostShaynaro, on 14 October 2012 - 10:56 AM, said:

I run a full glass cannon shatter build. What I usually do when I see ( or don't see ) a backstab thief (out of combat) going for me is hit Distortion and then blurred frenzy+mind wrack in open air. It takes a bit of getting used as timing/positioning goes but this usually kills them before they even come out of stealth while I am at 100% hp with all their cooldowns down. If they are still up and running, there are a few possibilities -  mirror images and a confusion shatter, daze shatter and pull out a phantasm to finish the job - just got to choose since they are already almost useless.
As you can probably imagine, this is with an Illusionary Persona trait.

@Skyro - would really like to see a video vs a good backstab thief kiting and doing what you mention there. I tried staying in staff and using the usual defense provided by it but maybe I am doing it wrong, since I am already at ~5k hp by the time I use phase retreat or decoy. A good backstab thief will start directly in stealth and get the kill on you before their stealth even runs out.

@Osicat - That thief is not good :) He basically lets you know already that he is there with some dancing daggers for pitiful damage, then does 2 heartseekers while you are at ~90% hp for more pitiful damage.

The point in kiting is for 2 reasons:
1) to make it hard for them to get the backstab off. You want to circle strafe, juke around a bit and hope they are forced to facestab you. Don't kite directly backwards as if they equipped a shadowstep utility skill they can use it to backstab you immediately. Sometimes you'll still get hit (should still survive since you should have got a heal in) but you definitely should not always be getting hit with it nor should you burn distortion for this (distortion should be used as a last resort). You shouldn't be getting hit with backstab on the initial open. If you are you just need to react quicker.
2) to make them burn their shadowstep. Not all D/D Thieves equip a shadowstep skill in their utility slots, but if they do, and they burn it to try to get a backstab off on you, they also burn their stun break, further ensuring your own counter burst will obliterate him.

As always, abuse LoS when possible. Stealth has limited uptime and if you can abuse LoS until they pop out of stealth you're in pretty good shape. In reality the better thieves know not to play super aggressive since it is much easier to counter. They swap to shortbow and start taking out your clones and phantasms and keep you on your toes on when the spike is coming. A lot of Thieves also like to pop Thieves Guilds in 1v1 scenarios vs Mesmers which also makes it quite hard on the Mesmer, but in the OP's scenario the Thief is using Basilisk Venom.

#14 RandolfRa

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 11:28 AM

View Postosicat, on 14 October 2012 - 07:41 AM, said:

Spoiler
Your post is good, except that I don't agree to the PS. Thiefs can be handled with GS fairly easily provided you spot them in time: berserker has nice range and can used through any obstacles, and hence it provides a nice element of surprise against the unvary thief. You just have to be very agressive: don't wait for them to make the first move. I have always found warriors lot more harder to handle than thiefs.

Edited by RandolfRa, 15 October 2012 - 11:34 AM.


#15 lay

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 03:02 PM

Not sure how you expect to dodge backstabs... Cnd-mug-bs pretty much all goes off at once, and with a venom is pretty much guaranteed. If you get hit by my mug, you will definitely get hit by my backstab as well, barring lag. This will basically drop any glass cannon out there. Tips are nice though, so keep em coming.

#16 Snipes

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 11:14 PM

Even if you survive a C&D you cant easily stop the thief from going invis running off and coming back. You can stop the C&D but you cant kill the thief unless they suck.  Even out of cloak they can melee for a lot then just run off cloaked. Without conditions or a well placed stun a mesmer cant kill a decent thief.

#17 Symbiont

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 11:48 PM

View Postosicat, on 14 October 2012 - 07:41 AM, said:

PS. if you in glasscannon spec with a gs we cant help you... noone can you free kill for thiefs

i run a berserker amulet with greatsword and mind stab but especially illusionary wave is so good to reveal thieves location.
and i also main a thief, but i am having too much of a great time with mesmer, seriously they are too good... and so very versatile.

this is what i do against thieves; i try to intercept when they are about to attack me and do a Decoy + dodge with Deceptive evasion.
and i laugh when they Basilisk Venom my clone.

you just need to create your own burst combo against the thief and interrupt the thief when they play that glass canon build.

#18 CepaCepa

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 01:59 AM

View PostReikou, on 14 October 2012 - 10:12 AM, said:

I already do all of this, again, it leaves me with a 50% chance to win/lose.  Perhaps this is "balanced."  Like I have said, I am looking for some other ways to tip the scales in my favor.

Just a little trick here that might be of help: instead of using decoy as a stun breaker, use it before the thief opens on you. While you're in stealth, you can summon a phantasm and if needed, dodge to create another clone. If you need more stealth time (since that thief may wait it out), take mass invisibility as your elite, and chain it before the decoy stealth ends. By this time, the thief would open on either your phantasm (unlikely) or one of the clones. Voila, your clone death gives him confusion, he's exposed and wasted his opener, you have the upper hand at 100% health.

#19 osicat

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 12:27 PM

K 50% less dmg on the backstab should make this initial burst easier to handle as if you react the other hits wont land even if 1st do. Anyway, I made a pvp movie about how i hanle thief,s. Its not perfect as a perfect 1vs1 mesmer - thief fight you land al your burst and thief is dead before he understand what just happened. This is intended and idea is to show you stil can come out on top even if you do a misstake or 2. Tbh did 1 st with 10 insta kills and after watching it i deleted it as its just stupid to post.



#20 Dirame

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 01:44 PM

Step 1: Grab a Sword (mainhand or offhand) or Scepter
Step 2: Grab a stun breaker (preferably decoy)
Step 3: If you see the thief stealth, activate Blurred frenzy or any of the block skills on either the scepter or Sword
Step 3.2: If you don't see the thief but you notice your health drop, activate stun breaker and use one of the blocks on the Scepter or Sword.
Step 4: Stun the thief
Step 5: Profit?




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