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Signet of Malice or Hide in Shadows?


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#1 Shoppy

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 01:12 AM

I'm a lv30 thief and still using Hide in Shadows because it heals more and gives stealth for more backstab damage. But signet of malice gives healing per hit. Which of the healing skills is more worth it?

#2 Phenn

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 04:34 AM

What build are you using? Your heal is more or less tied directly your playstyle:

1. Hide in Shadows: Best for very early in the game (somewhat a "duh" moment there), both due to availability and as an escape mechanism. However, later in leveling it's suited best for stealth builds that rely on backstab, tactical strike, or sneak attack (D/D power/crit, S/D, and P/D conditions, respectively). In WvW it's handy in general for the high heal and the condition removal--something the thief lacks a lot of.

2. Withdraw: Best for high-evasion builds that rely on generating vigor and dodges. It is NOT a good heal at early levels simply because of the low heal and the fact that you won't have the traits to really benefit from it. If you put your first 10 into Acrobatics, you can get the Vigor-on-Heal trait, but it's best to put your first points somewhere else. Late game, however, it becomes very viable in super evasive builds--which, to be honest, all thief builds should be.

3. Signet of Malice: This is, perhaps, the best leveling heal but ONLY if you're speccing toward D/D Death Blossom spam or S/P Pistol Whip. It won't let you facetank with just auto attack. But when coupled with DB-spam, you'll almost never run low on health. If you're specced for it, it's awesome. End game it becomes far less useful for a few reasons: One, you can't really USE the active heal. The benefits of the heal-on-hit outweigh the active heal, but that also means you won't get procs on any trait that works with healing skills. Two, you have virtually no condition removal. The other two have some of sorts, and with low access to stealth, it's difficult to survive conditions. To be sure, SofM's passive does not proc on-heal traits. If you can do the consistent damage, however, it's great.

So there you go--depends on your build.

Edited by Phenn, 12 December 2012 - 04:35 AM.


#3 Rachmani

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 07:07 AM

Purely for leveling use both, signet of malice & Hide in Shadows to your liking. Can't do anything wrong with them. Use Hide in Shadows against enemies that poison regularily.

#4 Soki

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 07:13 AM

Against enemies that use DoT effects, use Hide.
Against anything else, I use Malice with shortbow.

#5 sty0pa

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 01:49 AM

Hide in Shadows also has a nice 4s stealth - actually quite long.  Not sure if there are any other abilities that put us in stealth that long.  Anyway, it's great for exploring, ninja'ing champion chests, etc. as it completely drops aggro.  I can run through ANYTHING and have no worries as long as it's still available.

#6 Orpheo Lyra

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 03:30 AM

As Phenn posted, it depends a lot on your build, you state the advantage of Hide in Shadows due to the Backstab afterwards, therefore you'd benefit very little from Signet of Malice because well, just how often are you gonna be hitting? Backstab builds are meant to hit hard in a single attack or maybe two

#7 SpelignErrir

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 05:28 PM

I used the Signet for leveling. Really, the sustained healing should keep you alive when leveling.There are so many skills on thief that hit rapidly - DB, PW, Unload, Sneak Attack (Pistol Stealth skill)

#8 Orpheo Lyra

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 10:14 PM

Basically SoM is only good if your main damage output is a multi-hit like Death Blossom

#9 Begur

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 12:41 AM

You may heal almost full HP bar via following combo using signet and P/P:
1. Shadow Refuge then instant press 1: 5 hits
2. Unload: 8 hits
That is 13 hits plus Refuge heal plus because Shadow Refuge provides combo field: all that hits has an 20% chance to steal life as long as  you attack from that field. That why you shall press 1 instantly after going into stealth.

#10 Heart Collector

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 01:24 PM

I play exclusively open world stuff so I'm anything but an expert, but here goes:

I love both HiS as well as SoM, recently though I've been tearin' it up with SoM more. I'm combining it with the Assassin's Reward trait in the Acrobatics tree, and it's been a life saver on numerous occasions. I've seen my survivability go through the roof, and I often find handling situations my glass cannon buddy dies in. However, I've found that it's only really effective with multi-hitting attacks like LDB, the shortbow, and of course Dagger Storm, which can end up healing you to full health within a cluster of Risen that would otherwise tear your face off.

That's not to say that HiS has no merit... It heals for more up front, removes some pretty nasty conditions and puts you in stealth to boot. Which can be pretty godly when properly traited. It's a very powerful heal and often find myself missing it, especially versus a single, powerful enemy with conditions. However I do have Blinding Powder as well as my favorite Shadow Refuge on my bar, and use my backstab defensively, so I currently have no need for another stealth ability. And my self healing tends to offset a lot of the condition damage I receive.

All in all I feel that HiS is a powerful, bursty life saver, whereas SoM is a more sustained, drawn out attrition tool (with a shorter CD to boot). Love 'em both either way :D

#11 Revonz

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 01:50 PM

If you're leveling then either of these heals will work. Most thieves though would gravitate towards the other heals (particularly HiS) later on unless they are (as has been said before) multi-hit (somewhat spam reliant) thieves. Even then (at max level) I always rationalize that the utilities (stealth/evade, condition removal) provided by the other two heals far outweigh the sustained heal of SoM (which you could mostly replace with lifesteal food)

#12 spirit 3ater

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 06:39 PM

If you really just wanna face-tank use both Signet of Malice and some Life-Steal Food ( <3 Ghost Berries). I can't tell you how much HP regen you can get but it's really nice with Signet of Rage/ Haste/ I forgot the trait the name in Crit Strikes Tree....

In heavy condition areas/ CC areas definately use Hide In Shadows. The on demand condition cleanse and aggro dropper are life savers, especially in Orr/ Dungeons.

PvP wise, always HiS or Withdraw, SoM works of attacks done and spamming attacks against anything but baddies is a death sentence. You might as well abuse the Thief's steath and evasions to their fullest right?

#13 Loperdos

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 07:12 PM

I would agree with the general consensus of the rest of the thread with one additional plug for Withdraw.

Withdraw is an amazingly useful escape skill when used with an evasion/condition build especially paired with Roll for Initiative (this is on my lvl 80 condition/bleeder thief).  The combo has saved my behind in many situations because it puts enough space between you and whatever combat you are involved with, giving you a chance to regroup and figure out what your best attack strategy is at the current moment in the fight.

Also, as Phenn said, I would caution against using Withdraw early on, unless you are running a P/P build.  On my low lvl thief with a pistol build Withdraw is quite useful for keeping space between my enemy and myself especially paired with caltrops for the cripple, as well as its short cool down (comparable to SoM's cool down, but from my experience, if you have to activate SoM, you are in some trouble and you may want to switch to either HiS or Withdraw).

Edited by Loperdos, 31 December 2012 - 07:13 PM.


#14 Heart Collector

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 10:58 AM

View PostLoperdos, on 31 December 2012 - 07:12 PM, said:

I would agree with the general consensus of the rest of the thread with one additional plug for Withdraw.

Withdraw is an amazingly useful escape skill when used with an evasion/condition build especially paired with Roll for Initiative (this is on my lvl 80 condition/bleeder thief).  The combo has saved my behind in many situations because it puts enough space between you and whatever combat you are involved with, giving you a chance to regroup and figure out what your best attack strategy is at the current moment in the fight.

Also, as Phenn said, I would caution against using Withdraw early on, unless you are running a P/P build.  On my low lvl thief with a pistol build Withdraw is quite useful for keeping space between my enemy and myself especially paired with caltrops for the cripple, as well as its short cool down (comparable to SoM's cool down, but from my experience, if you have to activate SoM, you are in some trouble and you may want to switch to either HiS or Withdraw).

Haven't used this yet... But Withdraw looks awesome with 30 in Trickery with the Hastened Replenishment trait, it becomes a Roll for Initiative "lite" on a much shorter CD... And paired with Shadowstep and Roll for Initiative it seems awesome in heavy CC environments. We have a heal for every occasion it seems :D

#15 Phenn

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:04 PM

View PostHeart Collector, on 01 January 2013 - 10:58 AM, said:

Haven't used this yet... But Withdraw looks awesome with 30 in Trickery with the Hastened Replenishment trait, it becomes a Roll for Initiative "lite" on a much shorter CD... And paired with Shadowstep and Roll for Initiative it seems awesome in heavy CC environments. We have a heal for every occasion it seems :D

Withdraw is a blast with an Acrobatic-heavy build. I'm using a 0/20/0/20/30 build with P/P whilst working on 100% map completion. So much fun. It takes forever to kill a decent group of mobs (woohoo P/P!) but I absolutely love being uncatchable whilst running around. With as much vigor and dodging possible with the build, I just wish Unload would continue firing throughout a dodge. I'd be perfectly happy with that. Or if it did some Matrix-style evade while firing? Any way, it's still fun.

To the point, though, Withdraw is tricky unless specifically traited for.

#16 Heart Collector

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:11 PM

View PostPhenn, on 02 January 2013 - 03:04 PM, said:

Withdraw is a blast with an Acrobatic-heavy build. I'm using a 0/20/0/20/30 build with P/P whilst working on 100% map completion. So much fun. It takes forever to kill a decent group of mobs (woohoo P/P!) but I absolutely love being uncatchable whilst running around. With as much vigor and dodging possible with the build, I just wish Unload would continue firing throughout a dodge. I'd be perfectly happy with that. Or if it did some Matrix-style evade while firing? Any way, it's still fun.

To the point, though, Withdraw is tricky unless specifically traited for.

With a SB as your second weapon for AoE, this could be insane... Initiative evasion and shadowstep + everything else = trolling mobs so hard they actually begin writing nerf posts on the forums o.O

#17 Phenn

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:25 PM

View PostHeart Collector, on 02 January 2013 - 03:11 PM, said:

With a SB as your second weapon for AoE, this could be insane... Initiative evasion and shadowstep + everything else = trolling mobs so hard they actually begin writing nerf posts on the forums o.O

Yep! In WvW it's great for that very reason. You don't kill anyone, but you can distract small groups indefinitely while waiting for the zerg to arrive. Be prepared for "haxor" complaints...

#18 Rachmani

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:44 PM

Leveling (and the OPs question) aside, Withdraw is amazing.
Terrain can screw you, and so do bad reflexes (it's an evade for a reason!), but apart from that it's easily our best heal.
Hide in Shadows is easier to use and to some degree more flexible (as it also removes damage conditions) but in terms of raw performance it doesn't come close to withdraw.
The one exception being shadow arts heavy specs. In that case Hide in Shadows is a no brainer :)




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