I realized today that I've never designed a build around the short bow, and figured I'd give it a shot. Hence the thread title. Keep in mind that this particular build was purely for PvE. I'd change utilities around for Dungeons or WvW.
This is the build I've been using. It revolves around dodges and might stacking.
Reasoning? Well, dodges should be obvious--the short bow is king of evasion, and kiting is necessary with the (relatively) low damage on the auto attack. Thing with this build is you'll never have insta-kills, but having played S/D while leveling, I got used to it.
The second aspect is might-stacking to compensate for the lower general damage. To achieve this, I've gone with a signet loadout for a couple of reasons. First, the signets are good. Assassin's signet adds damage plus might (when traited), Agility signet is a cleanse and refills endurance and adds might, and the Shadows signet is a blind (especially helpful when KDed or Stunned) and adds might.
When coupled with sigils of battle and/or sigils of energy, you can keep a decent (around 10) stack of might on you at all times and have your endurance up for at least one dodge ready at all times.
Additionally, each of the signets adds 2 initiative, keeping you topped up and taking full advantage of the SB #3 dodge, and the Crit Strikes Grandmaster minor trait.
There's not a lot else to say--gameplay with the Short Bow is pretty straight-forward. But I've enjoyed running headlong into groups of level 78-80 mobs and wrecking havoc. Champs weren't a problem either except that I kept kiting them out of their wipe areas. I keep Hide in Shadows on my bar for the easy-out if necessary. SofM was okay in lower-leveled areas, but gets weak in higher ones.
The biggest weakness right now is a lack of stunbreak. You could easily swap one of the signets out for RforI, but I've been content with the insta-blind on the Shadows signet.
Anyway--I'm having fun with it. I had never seen a build designed specifically for the Short Bow, so it's my attempt. You're welcome to offer suggestions or mods.
EDIT: Forgot to add: You're extremely hard to catch with this setup. Couple the crazy amount of initiative-return with Infiltrator's Arrow? Too much fun. Though unless you're in combat mode, the blind won't proc, so you have to lead with an autoattack if you want to initiate with a AoE blind.
Edited by Phenn, 11 January 2013 - 06:36 AM.