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Thief PvE (Solo) Backstab Build - Worth It or Not?


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#1 Graham_Specter

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 06:17 PM

Hey guys,

After rerolling my thief from his Ranger "reincarnation," (Fun, but slow, and his shoulders were too immense) I've been going through a lot of build ideas. For that sort of thing, I've really had to consider my playstyle and the people I generally play with. I'm generally a solo player - my events end up being scattershot with "Whoever's around." I do play WvW and other events with my guild - but since there are typically so many of us it's hard to get party support down.

So, I've decided to focus on the "classic" Thief aspect - Backstabbing. Sneaking up behind someone (Or Black Powder + Leaping through Smoke) and giving them a good pierce to the vitals. Shortbow for minor AoE (Big wave events) and such, of course.

Now - I was just going to ask you guys what sorts of Backstabbing builds are available? I've done a bit of searching - and the typical combo seems to be something like 25 DA/ 30 Critical Strikes and 15 in... something else? And of course the gear is fairly standard - Valkyrie or Berserker (I'm leaning toward Valkyrie myself - for a bit of extra health).

No idea about utilities or elites either.

Now, onto the "Is it Worth It?" part of the title. I open this up to all of you Backstab Thieves currently out in Orr and other places. How's your survivability? Did you find the build hard to break into? I can imagine the Stealth and Smoke fields provide some survival benefits, but I also understand that there's a lot of stuff I'm going to need to learn and forget - especially after playing a "co-op" profession in the Ranger and a heavily armored profession like the Warrior. Dodging, for one thing. Although I do think I'm up for it - now I just need to get kitted out the right way to perform it.

#2 Korra

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 06:32 PM

Ill tell you what to do.

Go 25/30/0/0/15

Take mug/ dagger dmg, 7% crt chance from behind, haste 10% chance at crit, exucotioner and Thrill of the crime.

Tka efull valkyrie armor, berserker jewels and berserkers weapon.

Enjoy you 45% crt chance (with sigil) and 93 crt dmg oh and 14k life (enough to survive)

Its an hybrid build, (pve and wvw) you will not base yourself on backstaping but it will work if you wanna burst a mob down. On WvW focus on ganking with CnD + steal + backstap.

What diferences a backstap build from a glass cannon is the utilities, in that case i recomend Sigent of shadows / Caltrops/ Shadow refuge for pve and Sigent of shadows/ shadowstep/ shadow refuge for WvW.

Youll survive a lil more thanks to the vit but youll have to play it well. And use Signet of  malice for pve and Hide in the shadows for WvW.

And yes it is completly worth it.

Oh and use SB to tag mobs spamming melee ranegd cluster bombs.

#3 Al Shamari

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 06:36 PM

Well, with Thieves, evading is your defense. I'm running 30/30/10/0/0 and as long as I time my dodges correctly I don't have too much of a hard time surviving. As far as utility slots you're looking at Haste for the increased DPS, since it's an extremely powerful skill at this point in time and both Signet of Shadows and Assassin's signet. The only really great elite for solo play is Dagger Storm, it allows you to storm those mobs with AoE damage.

Like you, as far as solo play I'm running dagger/dagger and a short bow as my secondary weapon. But, when it comes to dungeon play or even WvW I change up my build to achieve a more "supportive" role. I swap out the short bow for dual pistols and run Blinding Powder, Shadow Refuge and Smoke Screen for the stealth, healing and some nice combo fields available.

#4 BakaB

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 07:22 PM

In solo PvE: (opposite in dungeons)

Hidden Killer > Executioner

Signets of Power > Side Strike

C&D - Any Signet - Backstab - Autoattack will kill trash mobs fast enough making Executioner useless. Hidden Killer makes Side Strike useless.

25/30 is mandatory. Up to you on what to do with the remaining 15. I run 25/30/0/15/0 cause thats what I used in dungeon and too lazy to reset every time. 25/30/10/5/0 is probably optimal: reduce C&D cost, swiftness on roll will help you travel faster/run away from mobs, the blinding powder at 25% hp is useful in PvE.

Edited by BakaB, 19 October 2012 - 07:24 PM.


#5 Graham_Specter

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 07:26 PM

View PostBakaB, on 19 October 2012 - 07:22 PM, said:

In solo PvE: (opposite in dungeons)

Hidden Killer > Executioner

Signets of Power > Side Strike

C&D - Any Signet - Backstab - Autoattack will kill trash mobs fast enough making Executioner useless. Hidden Killer makes Side Strike useless.

25/30 is mandatory. Up to you on what to do with the remaining 15. I run 25/30/0/15/0 cause thats what I used in dungeon and too lazy to reset every time. 25/30/10/5/0 is probably optimal: reduce C&D cost, swiftness on roll will help you travel faster/run away from mobs, the blinding powder at 25% hp is useful in PvE.

I'll take your advice with the traits - Would you recommend Beryl for everything then?

As for skills

Signet of Malice

Assassin's Signet

Signet of Shadows

Haste

Dagger Storm

How's that look? Or should I switch Haste for Signet of Agility?

#6 BakaB

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 07:57 PM

View PostGraham_Specter, on 19 October 2012 - 07:26 PM, said:

I'll take your advice with the traits - Would you recommend Beryl for everything then?

As for skills

Signet of Malice

Assassin's Signet

Signet of Shadows

Haste

Dagger Storm

How's that look? Or should I switch Haste for Signet of Agility?

That's the utility skill setup I go for as well.
-Blind is amazing in PvE
-25% runs you around the map so much faster
-condition removal
-restore endurance = more dodges
-haste to increase dps (remember to only use haste when assassin's signet is available, otherwise you could be very vulnerable)

Trade dagger storm for thieves guild when you're preparing to fight champions since it's better targeted dps and provides cannon fodder.

TBH, I solo PvE with MF gear so I can't comment on Valk (Beryl) vs Berserker (Ruby). I would guess that Valk/Beryl is better since there will be times when you just can't dodge everything (DE events) and Hidden Killer makes precision somewhat less effective.
Dungeons, I run full berserkers.

And take Sundering Strike over Mug. You only steal every 40secs, you'll likely activate sundering strike much more often over a 40sec span.

#7 Graham_Specter

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 08:52 PM

View PostBakaB, on 19 October 2012 - 07:57 PM, said:

That's the utility skill setup I go for as well.
-Blind is amazing in PvE
-25% runs you around the map so much faster
-condition removal
-restore endurance = more dodges
-haste to increase dps (remember to only use haste when assassin's signet is available, otherwise you could be very vulnerable)

Trade dagger storm for thieves guild when you're preparing to fight champions since it's better targeted dps and provides cannon fodder.

TBH, I solo PvE with MF gear so I can't comment on Valk (Beryl) vs Berserker (Ruby). I would guess that Valk/Beryl is better since there will be times when you just can't dodge everything (DE events) and Hidden Killer makes precision somewhat less effective.
Dungeons, I run full berserkers.

And take Sundering Strike over Mug. You only steal every 40secs, you'll likely activate sundering strike much more often over a 40sec span.

Right. Mug is great in Final Fantasy games - not so much for a bit of extra damage over a few second span.

Also - Very much looking forward to Leaping Death Blossom. I've seen guildie Thieves use it and it seems to be tons of fun.

Question though: Is that Mystic Forge gear hard to get? I know there are specific recipes for higher end stuff - and that Legendaries cost a ton of gold, karma and skill points... so I'm a bit worried about budget.

Edited by Graham_Specter, 19 October 2012 - 08:54 PM.


#8 Graham_Specter

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 04:41 AM

Playing a proto-Backstab build now (As far as I can get with tier 1 utilities (which isn't far) and I'm loving it.

Question though - What runes do you all recommend? I've heard good points made for Thief and Eagle...

#9 Minion

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 05:36 AM

What issues do you have with my backstap build?

#10 Graham_Specter

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 07:32 AM

View PostMinion, on 20 October 2012 - 05:36 AM, said:

What issues do you have with my backstap build?

Uh... nothing. Just the fact that I didn't notice it before. Giving it a look now.

#11 grotesca

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 09:12 AM

I've geared and traited for glass cannon backstab but I find myself lazy to always position around trash mobs. Doesn't always feel as satisfying as in WvW. What you'll probably find surprising is if you use Dancing Daggers just twice when there are 3+ mobs, you'll easily whittle their health down to ~20%.

For sigil, I use minimum a superior speed for 10 secs swiftness after killing an enemy.

Worth it? Yeah!

#12 Korra

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 09:22 AM

Hidden killer, works just fine against  Veterans. Please, Executioner is the best single trait a thief have and you would be stupid to not take it, especially when at lvl 80 backstab have a 50% chance to crit and 70% if you do it after Steal.

#13 Graham_Specter

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 02:54 PM

View Postgrotesca, on 20 October 2012 - 09:12 AM, said:

I've geared and traited for glass cannon backstab but I find myself lazy to always position around trash mobs. Doesn't always feel as satisfying as in WvW. What you'll probably find surprising is if you use Dancing Daggers just twice when there are 3+ mobs, you'll easily whittle their health down to ~20%.

For sigil, I use minimum a superior speed for 10 secs swiftness after killing an enemy.

Worth it? Yeah!

Thanks for the input! Though I was mainly thinking about runes - not sigils. I think I'm going to just slot ruby orbs, if I can.

As for Hidden Killer over Executioner, I can pretty much just swap between the two at my leisure - depending on what works and what doesn't.

#14 Sheffyeld

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 03:35 AM

That moment when you learn there are differences between Backstab and Glass Cannon. Anyway, I was looking for a guide i think i found my build for Pve. :o

View PostKorra, on 19 October 2012 - 06:32 PM, said:

Ill tell you what to do.

Go 25/30/0/0/15

Take mug/ dagger dmg, 7% crt chance from behind, haste 10% chance at crit, exucotioner and Thrill of the crime.

Tka efull valkyrie armor, berserker jewels and berserkers weapon.

Enjoy you 45% crt chance (with sigil) and 93 crt dmg oh and 14k life (enough to survive)

Its an hybrid build, (pve and wvw) you will not base yourself on backstaping but it will work if you wanna burst a mob down. On WvW focus on ganking with CnD + steal + backstap.

What diferences a backstap build from a glass cannon is the utilities, in that case i recomend Sigent of shadows / Caltrops/ Shadow refuge for pve and Sigent of shadows/ shadowstep/ shadow refuge for WvW.

Youll survive a lil more thanks to the vit but youll have to play it well. And use Signet of  malice for pve and Hide in the shadows for WvW.

And yes it is completly worth it.

Oh and use SB to tag mobs spamming melee ranegd cluster bombs.

Anyway, Do you don't have a Topic Guide? :o I think that hybrid will be okay for my soling pve thief :3 *Pve/Dungeon*

#15 Korra

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 04:12 AM

View PostSheffyeld, on 25 October 2012 - 03:35 AM, said:

That moment when you learn there are differences between Backstab and Glass Cannon. Anyway, I was looking for a guide i think i found my build for Pve. :o



Anyway, Do you don't have a Topic Guide? :o I think that hybrid will be okay for my soling pve thief :3 *Pve/Dungeon*

No i dont have a guide, but if you are interested you can pm me :)

I have over 2000 kills in wvw using this build, most of them from solo play,

#16 AKGeo

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 04:52 PM

View PostGraham_Specter, on 19 October 2012 - 08:52 PM, said:



Question though: Is that Mystic Forge gear hard to get? I know there are specific recipes for higher end stuff - and that Legendaries cost a ton of gold, karma and skill points... so I'm a bit worried about budget.

Magic Find, not Mystic Forge.

#17 ivonbeton

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 04:40 AM

I run 10/30/15/15/0 works great, doing crazy damage and surviving longer than most people :)




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