I would like to say that this is my personal build and I don't intend to please hardcore gamers. I just want to help out general gamers who have trouble surviving and give them a fun perspective. I am also NOT a PRO, so constructive criticism and feedback is more than welcome.
Now, here's the link:
I am NOT SURE whether sigil of superior energy on offhand works because technically you're using the same dagger. Also I found out that hydromancy and geomancy effects cannot be procced concurrently. Can someone help me out with this?
Now, to business:
You will straight away notice how this build compensates that little bit of condition damage for a lot more survivability. What I have done is:
1. Not rely on runes to give me condition damage, but Dolyak toughness and vit instead, this is a good trade because my bleeds still tick above 100, which I think is a good enough number. Melandru set is SOLID as well because of lesser stun durations.
2. Not put the emphasis on venom-ing the hell out of opponents because frankly in non-coordinated play it doesn't work that well.
3. Add some shadowstep and shadow refuge utilities which are priceless in saving our hides AND others, also because SB has been removed.
4. Swiftness on every dodge? SWEET. Feline Grace? GIMME DAT. Vigorous recovery gives vigor upon healing u say? THANKS BRAH, now I get more dodges even when I heal SWEEET. More well timed dodges = tons more suvival.
Now, why no SB? simple, pistol 1 is a free bleed, p/d skill 3 is good enough for me and this build is about cloak and dagger. Also, this is not a full roam build although it can be played like one by swapping out for Shadow signet for long distance rushing.
So, the 2 aspects of this build are to stack bleeds and to survive. How?
Each of the main hands has a Geomancy sigil that is awesome and its CD is about the same as a weapon swap CD > ah hah! There are many ways to open with this build. For node fights, If you are approaching, do a standard Cloak Dagger Steal to close the gap, BUT DONT ATTACK OUT OF STEALTH. drop caltrops and wait for stealth to end, then do a full 1 rotation and get that lotus strike in, Death Blossom once or twice, and don't spam it. observe and use it to evade as well. Then dodge a bit (you have SO MUCH dodge) then u can either cloak and stealth OR swap weapon sets to slam a few more bleeds and THEN Cloak and THEN pistol 1 to stack EVEN more bleeds. you get the idea. when you swop back to daggers, bleeds will stack again, complement with Death Blossom, go to stealth, caltrops, yeap something along those lines. Modify the rotation as u see fit. Notice that Heartseeker is going to be used rarely (Say what?) Yes rarely. only for finishing/closing gap. It is possible to play a solid game without heartseeker.
Hide In shadows cures burning poison and bleeding you say? And gives more stealth AND REGEN? CHECK. That part's done.
Now, I would like to say that speccing in Shadow arts is CRITICAL. Firstly, Shadows Embrace > Remove 1 condition every 3 secs in stealth? CHECK. Everytime you use cloak and dagger, you remove a condition, how awesome is that. (Note, many thieves I see do not use this to their advantage) And here is why I say > DON'T BE HASTY to leave stealth even though it is tempting. why? 2 reasons:
1.Patience and Rejuvenation traits work wonders if you just let that stealth play out. Faster initiative regen in stealth? CHECK. this complements your opening moves, because once you Cloak for 6 init this will get it back up in no time. Added bonus from Quick Recovery in acrobatics.
2. Once again this is why shadow arts is important when u are using pistol/dagger set. Here's a good trick. When you have bleeds etc on you, cloak and dagger and WAIT. 3 seconds for removing that bleed plus some heals out of traits. OBSERVE your conditions bar. You have not 3 but 4 seconds of stealth thanks to meld with shadows. remove that condition and still dish out a fast pistol 1 bleed stack out of stealth.
3. On your D/D set, use Cloak and Dagger to let your bleeds play out and REMOVE your conditions and heal you a bit. this build does not use CnD for backstabbing, hands off that 1, unless of course, finishing.
To talk a bit on Trickery traits. Caltrops on dodge obviously is good for that extra bleed since you're condi specced. Bountiful theft is really good if you are observing enemy's boons, once he puts those boons on, rip them off. However I would like to say that taking this part into consideration gets really hard sometimes and you really need to have developed being calm in intense fights. Even I can't do it half the time. Hence, here u can swop out for Trickster to get faster caltrops CD which is really good too.
In general gameplay, once you get knocked down or stunned and you know you're gonna get bursted, unleash Shadowstep for a clean dodge. This skill messes up bunker ele's rotation to the point of laughter. Updraft? sure! switch out to fire and charge in for a burst? NOPE. im not there. That being said, bunkers are still hard to kill 1v1, although I have taken down eles but the fights are really long and unproductive. However, guardians are easier with this build because of our condition removal and condition damage, which looks past toughness and still ticks normally. Generally, it doesn't really matter what class you're up against as long as you keep focused on the basics >>> Remove those conditions, keep those bleeds, watch your opponent's moves. Mesmers huge hand sign when casting moa is SO obvious. dodge when u see it. As a thief, you are required to be able to dodge easily dodgeable stuff like Eviscerate, Bulls Charge etc. If you do get hit this build will show some mercy unlike a crit build.
For fun's sake I add this paragraph. If you are looking at delaying a couple of players from reaching other nodes, u can lay down some caltrops, and keep going in and out of cloak n dagger as long as you dont attack out of stealth. Because u get init and health regen you can do this for FAIRLY long before u get killed. Do this only when u know you cant escape from them. This messes people up and helps your team on other parts of the map to take objectives fast.
Final note, some players claim that signet of malice and Dagger storm combo works wonders for health. It may be true, but I don't like that style. Thieves Guild is very reliable damage to me, Dagger storm is not that consistent, and reduces effectiveness in a smaller fight. especially when you need that extra burst to down that player at the treb or save your lord or kill opponents lord. Thieves Guild guarantees good support for me also because I am free to do what I want when my elite is active.
As you can see, the thief can be played through this perspective as well. Sure, its fun to go crit and insta gib for a while but that role is an In Out role, which loses entertainment after a while cos all you do is wait for the chance and spam HS after u run out of backstab chances. This build offers survivability and a chance to make a big difference in team fights. Support your comrades, don't be a selfish thief. Res them quickly in a 2v2 etc so you can win and you will surely get a lot of respect, you will know this when they start supporting you seriously too. Most importantly, have some good fun. And for normal folks like me, it's just a game so don't let it ruin your life.
Edited by Vikky, 31 October 2012 - 03:03 AM.