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Daredevil - Dagger/Pistol

The community gave this build a rating, making it top-tier: Great

Focused on: MobilityStrike damage and Utility

Designed for: PvP Conquest

Expansions required: Heart of Thorns builds

This build was last updated on June 01, 2024 and is up to date for the June 25, 2024 patch.


D/P Thief is a PvP build that's an asset to the team not only because of its pressure, but also due to the utility it brings - most notably the top tier mobility and the AoE stealth. The build focuses on decapping unguarded enemy points and outnumbering fights before quickly moving on to the next one - in short, its role is map control. One of the harder builds to play.

Skill Bar


Skill Variants


The only utility that shouldn't be replaced is Shadowstep. There are many great options for the other slots, including:

  • Impairing Daggers - adds more burst to the build and the Immobilize Immobilize could be used to set up kills.
  • Shadow Portal - exceptionally strong map control tool that's great for getting decaps or cutting down on time you spend roaming between fights.
  • Bandit's Defense - short CD stun break with a block, and the CC on the chain skill could help you set up kills.


  • Basilisk Venom - better setup for coordinated burst, can even be shared with allies.

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  • Escapist's Fortitude - this trait is great for dealing with condition pressure, but kind of forces you to run Rune of Warrior as you'll need the extra vitality.

Specialization Variants

Critical Strikes over Deadly Arts. This version of the build trades some survivability and utility value for higher damage:



Equipment Variants


  • Relic of the Daredevil - lower burst potential but more consistency.


  • Rune of Holosmith - very similar to Vampirism, slightly lower HP for a bit higher crit chance. Higher risk/reward option.
  • Rune of Warrior - more beginner-friendly option with higher HP.


  • Sigil of Escape or Sigil of Purging over Sigil of Energy - better condition cleansing.



  • Stack AoE Stealth Stealth for your team before fights using the Black Powder + Cluster Bomb combo.
  • The thief's role is to almost constantly keep moving. Unhindered Combatant and Infiltrator's Arrow make this build incredibly mobile. Decap unguarded capture points, +1 fights (rotate to outnumber the enemy team on a point, quickly ending the fight and then move on), provide AoE stealth for your team, interrupt foes with stability by landing Steal, and gank targets in teamfights.
  • In larger fights camp short bow and stay in range until an opening shows, then pressure the target with D/P.


  • Steal is the most powerful tool in a thief's kit and should not be wasted! Do not start fights with steal, keep it for the right moment (mainly to interupt important skills such as heals or elites).
  • Among other things stealing refills endurance, grants initiative, and provides a variety of boons for you and your team. Its most important function however is the instant boonstrip that prioritizes Stability Stability, which goes off before the Daze Daze does, resulting in an instant interrupt.
  • Steal procs the damage bonus of Relic of Fireworks, creating a burst window for you.


  • Backstab is the best burst skill in the build but comboing Stealth Stealth can be quite costly. Try to hit enemies from behind or the side for extra damage.
    • You can backstab enemies from range with the following combo: Black Powder Heartseeker Steal during Heartseeker animation.
  • Autoattacks combined Shadow Shot are the primary source of sustained damage on this set.
    • It's worth noting that the build is rather squishy by default, so most of the time you won't be able to spam autoattacks in melee for long. The Blind Blind from Shadow Shot may buy some time for some quick hits without the fear of getting deleted in melee.
    • Standing in Black Powder briefly allows you to go toe-to-toe with other melee builds while auto spamming.
  • Heartseeker (HS) is seldom used to deal damage. It's mainly just a tool for comboing stealth by performing a Leap finisher in Black Powder (BP), and sometimes adds an extra bit of mobility. Other than that it may be useful for finishing targets below 25% HP who are just out of melee range.
    • Note: if you're not in Stealth Stealth, hitting a target with the BP + HS combo will deal damage to them and give you stealth after the strike went off, perfectly setting up a Backstab. However, if you already had stealth then the damage will instead reveal you and prevent the next stealth from being applied!
  • Shadow Shot will be your main gapcloser on this set. There are a couple of things to note about this one:
    • Shadow Shot has 2 parts: first one is an unblockable teleport/blind, while the second part deals damage. If you're in Stealth Stealth and don't want to lose it, it's possible to cancel the 2nd part of the skill by using stow weapon immediately after the Blind Blind is applied (you should definitely set up a bind for it if you haven't already). This even lets you follow up with Backstab if the stealth wasn't broken.
    • Because of its unblockable part you can use this skill once on blocking targets to ensure that you stay one step ahead of them as Blind Blind makes it harder for them to counterpressure you after the block is over.
  • Headshot is a quick interrupt. Other than that it can be combined with Black Powder for an interrupting + blinding attack, effectively shutting down the skill they are currently using, and the next one as well.
  • Black Powder will be your primary source of stealth - combo it with Heartseeker for self stealthing or short bow's Cluster Bomb for AoE stealth. Another use includes dropping it on downed enemies in order to blind their interrupt skills - making stomping easier - or comboing it with Steal for a near-instant long range Blind Blind.
    • The maximum amount of Heartseekers you can do in a Black Powder under normal circumstances is 3 - this can be extended to 4 if you brop BP next to a corner or a wall and keep facing the wall while spamming HS.
  • It's possible to burst someone from range, even without line of sight with the following combo:
  1. Black Powder
  2. Heartseeker in Black Powder for stealth
    1. Steal in the middle of the Heartseeker
  3. Backstab from behind or the side

Short bow

  • Trick Shot is a fine option for ranged poking in case going into melee range would be too dangerous. The bouncing projectiles provide decent cleave in teamfights and excel at removing Mesmer clones.
  • Cluster Bomb being a spammable blast finisher has high value for your team when it comes to blasting fields for AoE Stealth Stealth.
    • Its chain skill Detonate Cluster is a solid source of downed cleave, or even ranged burst if you pre-cast Cluster Bomb aimed at your feet, Steal near the end of the skill cast and then detonate at your target.
  • Disabling Shot (thief short bow) provides cheap and spammable evasion in case you're being focused by the enemy team and your defensive skills are on CD. Remains usable even while Immobile Immobile, but it's somewhat expensive.
  • Use Choking Gas on downed enemies especially if they are being revived - Poison decreases healing received by 33% which affects resurrection speed, and the initial strike even interrupts foes.
  • Infiltrator's Arrow is the #1 skill for moving around the map in general, cuts down on travel time between capture points drastically.


  • Signet of Agility (if taken) is your best souce of cleansing, as it instantly removes 3 conditions. In addition to that, this also refills an entire dodge roll's worth of endurance which can be used as a last resort option for squeezing out more dodges when you're out of endurance and don't have time to heal. Keep in mind that the condition cleansing portion of this skill is AoE! Try to use it near allies whenever possible.
  • Shadowstep is easily the most versatile and one of the strongest skills in the build. It has 2 parts:
    • The first half is a stun break and teleport, which already has countless applications. A few applications include teleport to safety while pressured, extending your reach in combat, or using the instant mobility boost to decap enemy points before using the 2nd part of the skill to leave just as fast.
    • The second half is called Shadow Return. This skill becomes available for 10 seconds after using Shadowstep, and cures 3 conditions in addition to breaking stun again before returning you to your starting location.
    • These can also be combined to safe stomp targets: begin stomping, Shadowstep away to safety, and then follow up with Shadow Return at the end of the animation in order to finish the target.
  • Blinding Powder is fairly simple. This is your second stun breaker, and another source of stealth. As a Blast finisher you can combo it with Black Powder for AoE stealth. Just like Signet of Agility, this is a skill you can use to your allies' benefit by sharing its effect with them.
    • If you want to be greedy and use this offensively, the low cast time and 0 initiative cost makes this quite good at quickly stealthing up for a Backstab burst.
  • Dagger Storm is both a defensive and offensive elite. The rather lengthy evade frame with increased movement speed makes it an excellent panic button when you're being focused by the enemy team. On the other hand the skill deals heavy AoE damage whilst evading, which makes it great for pressuring melee targets in general with next to no risk.
    • Note: skills like Shocking Aura or Line of Warding are able to interrupt Dagger Storm, so don't be completely careless.

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This build has a rating of 5 stars based on 44 votes.
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5 stars
Krytical.ERROR gave this build 5 stars • May 2024
I feel like this build needs some context for its rating between uncoordinated, unranked play, and ranked play. Against uncoordinated teams in unranked play, you will absolutely go nuclear on this build, and you can opt for Bound for more stealth spam. In unranked play, I've been accused of hacking more times than I would have ever imagined for my level of play. But in ranked games anywhere Gold or above, you may find it significantly harder to control the map via movement and rotating alone, as every game is likely to have a WB, Vindi, or a version of Mesmer that can either outroam you, destroy you in 1v1s if they shadow you, trap DHs and Condi Necros who will make it hard for you to help get and secure kills at teamfights, and BunnyThumper Untamed who will literally laugh off your damage and kill you nearly instantly. As with any class / build, if you can Q with a capable duo in ranked, good comms may allow you to move around the map and execute low HP enemies and take favorable +1s and 1v1s. For full context, my comments are based solely off my own experience as a long time Thief main / Dash / Bound DP player, I'm currently in mid Gold in ranked and the experience between unranked / ranked is absolutely jarring. I have ONLY Q'd solo in the current season. For unranked play, I still give this build an overwhelming 5, but as a solo Q ranked play build, from my own personal experience, I couldn't give it more than a 3 at most.
5 stars
Zenn gave this build 5 stars • April 2024
People always loved to whine about this build being "dead" despite appearing in almost every game still. Thief isn't going anywhere as long as dash, shortbow and steal exist. D/P is just icing on the cake, a tried and tested set with so much value and versatility.
5 stars
Ethan gave this build 5 stars • June 2023
Definitely the meta way to play thief, personally I prefer s/d but this is probably better.
5 stars
Tao1013 gave this build 5 stars • April 2023
Well this is turn up for the books. It's the Crit Strikes variant that I like, fly by the seat of your pants stuff, but it hits like a freight train. Thief in its purest form. Experienced thieves only I'm afraid, but you can run with, invigorating precision on, if you need just a little sustain to help keep you balanced on that razors edge ;)
2 stars
HendoGaming gave this build 2 stars • June 2022
No longer a valid PVP build, I guess the mobility makes it have a 2 star, but no longer stealth on steal and having to go in and out of stealth instead of the stealth advantage, this build is dead.
3 stars
Acedia1092 gave this build 3 stars • January 2022
Despite still being deadly against low health / out of cd opponents, this build is very weak against a lot other popular meta choices, especially duelists such as core MM or fire weaver, making it's +1 considerably less effective as other roamers and more dependent on the opponent's status. despite still good on the right hands, its very costly to learn and the return can be not worth the effort.
5 stars
Jopri gave this build 5 stars • August 2021
Best PVP build for a thief, use it just do it!
5 stars
Majki83 gave this build 5 stars • June 2021
One of best build ive played in pvp so far. Comprehensive in every aspect of its role. Lack mass condi cleanse seems even justified because if he had it then it would be too overpower. Extremely unfriendly to newbies which also results from his role and tasks in the team. Its very rewarding for the effort put into learning
5 stars
Baescons gave this build 5 stars • April 2021
need to update this one. Its generally fairly good on average. no reason to play s/d drd rn without dh, though its fairly sensative to condition burst and won't carry as hard as deadeye(though its strong into deadeye). again very consistent into almost everything, can plus 1 and even 1v1 well. great but very hard for new players, who would severely struggle on this.
5 stars
OuterOcean gave this build 5 stars • March 2021
Great build, I almost never die with this and end up doing a lot of damage. Once you start the rotation, you can consider your enemy dead on the spot, and it has a lot of AoE in a low cost 1 skill great for doing poking damage and getting group of enemies low. Awesome at capping objectives without consequences.
5 stars
Hanz gave this build 5 stars • March 2020
Still great and once again rising in popularity after repeated S/D nerfs. Blinding Powder becoming a stunbreak with stability also helps, although it was more of a rework than a buff. Mobility is god tier as always. D/P remains a good +1 build with some decent utility. EDIT: updated for the February patch, maybe the most popular thief builds atm.
4 stars
Lil’ rookie gave this build 4 stars • September 2019
Pretty much this build is a little better now. You need condi clear trait and if u want dagger to do dmg you cannot take pulm edit: It’s burst is ok with unblockable steal and the mobility is nice, but the damage still isn’t anywhere near s/d and the mobility isn’t enough to justify taking over acro
5 stars
Nebo grey gave this build 5 stars • September 2019
This build has been nerfed in the past and I would say that before portal was added it is a 3 star rated build but with portal on theif it’s equally powerful when compared with core s/d except the fact you got more pressure than s/d with one of the highest skill caps
3 stars
Aquamarine gave this build 3 stars • May 2019
Somewhat this build have a better uptime of applying weakness, stronger in 1v1 than before. It's sort of ok-ish with the steal nerf.
2 stars
JasherTV gave this build 2 stars • April 2019
D/P was already weaker than S/D in most scenarios. As others have stated before me, this is the nail the proverbial coffin. It's a shame really as D/P in its prime was my preferred build. There are glaring weaknesses with Thieves in general even with S/D. There is too little reward with such high risk and skill needed to play most Thief builds at a high level. Let's hope ArenaNet sees the light and decides to give Thief more build diversity in competitive PvP.
3 stars
Norcast gave this build 3 stars • April 2019
This is really the end of an era. Swipe killed off DP completely with this patch. Lowering the range lowered gap closing potential, and it decreases the ability to hard counter firebrands...
3 stars
Blogg gave this build 3 stars • April 2019
After 23-4-19 Patch: No longer works as intended. With Steal becoming Swipe, ANet has made it clear they want Daredevil to be a brawler based spec. Your damage may be deadlier in some scenarios but the range cut just increases the gap between D/P Dash and S/D Thief in terms of rotational ability. Expect Daredevil to turn into a dueling spec or a teamfight/roamer spec like Holosmith or Core Guardian.
5 stars
EricTheThief gave this build 5 stars • December 2018
As always very good and punishes greedy builds. One thing to note is that D/P thief is favored against every sword thief build because of Shadow Shot. Even if it can't team fight well keeping other thieves in check is *extremely* valuable.
5 stars
Doomblaze gave this build 5 stars • November 2018
still great
5 stars
Smoothwalker gave this build 5 stars • March 2018
It´s a really good build. Just lacks a bit of stealthness to it, wich means your enemies can always see when you're arriving somewhere, and you have to play smart against deadeye thiefs, you won't probably burst them down in a one shot, so when they become invisible you become an easy target.
5 stars
Will Paharu gave this build 5 stars • February 2018
I feel this is meta right along with marauder. It is not inferior to marauder, more a matter of taste and preference. I like both. Personally I feel this build superior, my reason being because I can blind and interrupt with ease. The remarks that this cannot help in team fights are invalid, as I help win team fights constantly and I am new to this.
5 stars
Drummermean gave this build 5 stars • February 2018
Overall, a really good build. However, it is not the #1 choice for most thieves in the current metagame, due to the ability of core s/d thief to easily deal with firebrands and scourges. D/P is often taken, however, when against another thief, as it dominates in duels and rotation speed. As the meta shifts, d/p daredevil will most likely find itself back into meta.
5 stars
Noodica gave this build 5 stars • January 2018
good build, anyone who says it is bad or isn't viable haven't or can't grasp the role properly.
5 stars
Nathanel gave this build 5 stars • December 2017
I second Prizeekings opinon, daredevil has and still is meta. roamers and decappers/duelists still have a role, I mean we litterally have a meta in which a side capper/duelist aka spellbreaker is one of the FOTM classes. Since this is daredevil, it really is a ''you'' problem and it really is a build recommended for the ''veterans and high level players''. That is the sad and hard truth.
5 stars
Prizeeking gave this build 5 stars • December 2017
Still the best build, even after the (minor) nerf. You can listen to people like Pwadigy or Kassy if you want; but the fact of the matter is that this build always has been and always will be one of the hardest thief builds to master. If you are rubbish at interrupting high priority skills, global positioning and just reading the game in general, this build is clearly not for you. And for those who actually want to learn one of the most fun and challenging roles in the game, just go and watch Sindrener's stream and tell me if this build is not "useful anymore in PvP" lol.
5 stars
Fhynix gave this build 5 stars • June 2017
I cannot really understand how people are saying that this build is "easy to learn, easy to master". To clarify: I have seen quite a number of players that really rolled with this build. Well-timed interrupts, great mobility/pindown to catch fleeing enemies and thief-typical SB-mobility to decap outside of +1-ing. All this makes this build incredibly annoying to play against and can win games against unorganized teams. I also think it is the better build in a 1on1 against a staff-thief. BUT in my opinion, this build is "somewhat easy to understand, medium to pull off" and has arguably the highest skill ceiling in the game, especially compared to the other meta build (the vault spammer / staff thief in general). Why? - you are utter useless in any teamfights, because you'll have a hard time to get hit backstab (AoE reveal, bodyblock, random AoE CCs etc.), hit headshots / shadow shots or do any relevant damage in a crowded fight. Without dodging attacks (like Vault or Death Blossom), you'll be bursted down quickly while trying to AA something. - you will mostly do 1on1s while decapping or roaming. Here, you rely on backstabs and interupting core-skills of the enemy. THIS REQUIRES YOU TO RECOGNIZE THE ENEMY BUILD, or at least their core skills. This is nothing for a newbie and will initially often result in failed stuns, running out-of-initiative and death. This build is great if you've mastered it or play in an organized team. Sti
5 stars
Ajapai gave this build 5 stars • May 2017
Very good Build, I advise you to take in a Trap (preferably Shadow for even more mobility) and change Thrill of the Crime to Haste to make full use of Imprivisation and add burst in 1v1 situations that you will encounter very often with this build. It's quite easy to hold far and close on your own with this setup, unless the enemy gives up on mid. The more is Rune of Lyssa a good tool against high condition Pressure whilst maintaining critical chance.
5 stars
Nepstr2 gave this build 5 stars • March 2017
Without any doubt, the most efficient Thief Build at this time. It is easy to play, easy to master, very fun to play, and along all that it also complements the Thiefs role perfectly. It is too perfect to be honest. In fact it is so Good that I can't recommend it to players, that seek to learn skill with Thief. As I said it is easy to play and easy to master, if you decided to pick this build up and play only that one, you will never become a really epxperienced Thief as it is no challenge and does not require you to really know what you are doing. Just don't panic and you are fine. Not an offense, of course, it is very clever build. But if you want to become really Good at Thief, I'd suggest go D/P, then after some time D/D and then Staff, this way you will know what to do in most situations that normal "D/P only" would Panic in. Yet, as I said, perfect dmg, perfect mobility, perfect fun, so those "situations" will not occure often.
5 stars
FormerBearbowUser gave this build 5 stars • March 2017
Great build, but I still prefer shadow arts over daredevil
5 stars
Anonymousquestions gave this build 5 stars • November 2016
This build is great, worthy of meta but o used one alteration in PvP and WvW. If you use bound over unhindered combatant you can 4 stack stealth easily. This gives you the option of perma stealth. To do it you need to move the screen up so you are looking down on your character, the. Use the pistol 5 - dagger 2 - bound backwards - dagger 2 twice. It may take 1 or 2 tries to get used to it but it is really helpful.
5 stars
Tiitz gave this build 5 stars • August 2016
Played this build for a few month now in PvP and WvW(I took SA instead of DA) Had a blast playing it together with my friend who is a thief main. You can really fight against most build if you play careful. You can roam around in Pvp without a problem thanks to SB. I took the Withdraw heal and Bandit's Defense,Blinding Powder and Shadowstep and Impact Strike. We both used runes of pack,we also took energy over bloodlust. Havoc Mastery and Escapist's Absolution was our way to go. This build is definitely one of the easiest thief builds to pick up and learn. Can recommend it to every thief player.
5 stars
Kickerkiki gave this build 5 stars • July 2016
this with vampirism runes, fire sigil over leeching and with basi venom is the best thief build u can go for. A bit less dmg than staff but more reliable overall. I hope they balance out the other weaponsets because for almost 2 years this has been the best weaponset by far but not as fun as sword, IM(and most people's)O. D/P is pretty faceroll but there are some intricacies that can keep it interesting on higher levels.
5 stars
Deemonkee gave this build 5 stars • May 2016
i love this build i just started playing thief and this is a easy to pick and use build and i've been very successful with it
5 stars
This me by metabattle gave this build 5 stars • May 2016
I would definitely class this build as Meta now, a lot of ESL teams use a thief ATM.
5 stars
Rarnark gave this build 5 stars • May 2016
More powerful with the recent update to lead attacks and bountiful theft. This build definitely deserves to be in the meta category.
5 stars
CGSN gave this build 5 stars • February 2016
Incredibly mobile and hard to pin down, the daredevil line added an incredible amount to the old D/P build. Most likely the best +1 build in the game due to how fast it can travel between points and how easily it can escape. While the interactions are simple, the difficulty for this build is in the rotations around the map and the decision on when to go into a fight. That more than anything else will dictate the amount of success someone will have with this build. The S2 patch's autoattack buff combined with the removal of tanky amulets was massive for this build's effectiveness, as it frees up initiative to be used for utility, allowing more liberal use of headshots and black powders as the situation needs it.
5 stars
J0ttem gave this build 5 stars • February 2016
Has always been viable, and now it's better than ever thanks to Anet being in charge of healthy game balance™
5 stars
Billaboong gave this build 5 stars • February 2016
While the patch didn't change the build as much as other metas, it still remain the best for thief.
5 stars
Serdoc gave this build 5 stars • January 2016
A great build in the new Meta that is forming after the 01/26/2016 balance patch. It has good mobility, damage, and sustain.
5 stars
Rai gave this build 5 stars • December 2015
I run the variant with Daredevil Runes and Basilisk Venom. In the current Meta, the thief can only go in form of full dmg and almost max mobility (Dash adds alot to mobility, so that is still a possibility to max but you'll loose tons of Damage) This Build form leaves enough room for personal tweaks, but in thats the most effective if played right! You have everything you need: Condi Removal, Stunbreak, Mobility, Damage
5 stars
Chase gave this build 5 stars • November 2015
Dagger/Pistol continues to be one of the best weapon set (if not absolute best for single-target) available to a thief, providing better mobility and safety than d/d with nearly equivalent damage, a smoke field for quick-stealthing multiple targets for a burst or downed targets being cleaved. Withdraw remains most powerful heal against any form of immobilize coming in and with it's unique-to-thief un-interruptable nature provides the most HPS possible when enemies can easily and clearly interrupt the new heal. Bountiful Theft continues to strip stability for the grandmaster trait Sleight of Hand providing an excellent form of interrupting an enemy with stability ressing and enemy/downing a friendly. Vigor non-withstanding, the boon strip nature of this trait is remarkably powerful when combined with Sleight of hand. Mandatory condi removal in SA has finally been given a relative equivalent in DD with remove condi on dodge. Given the triple dodge endurance bar, signet of agility, and endurance on successful steal, this allows D/P thieves to finally leave the SA line (which was never truly taken for it's healing capacity when in stealth but for it's condi removal nature). Trait variants can be taken in DD to even further reduce control impair conditions. DD also opens the build up to physical skills which can also be taken as variants to the main bar. Overall an improvement to the previous meta D/P thief build. And still better than DD, PP, PD, SP
5 stars
NYn gave this build 5 stars • November 2015
Best build to play conquest at the moment, the Burst is insane. It also gives very needed sustain due to the new dodge rolls which also burst. It plays very much like the normal D/P Thief, but offers even more damage and better sustain, as mentioned above, best build for Conquest right now.
5 stars
Impact.2780 gave this build 5 stars • November 2015
Brings much needed damage back to thief and the team vs the new high sustain builds. D/P still brings more to the table than any other weapon set.
5 stars
Khyllar gave this build 5 stars • October 2015
I have been running this build on thief for the last couple of days now and I feel it is the best build for thief to compete in the current meta. It brings all the utility of dagger pistol but with way more burst then the shadow arts build. Granted its not as survivable as the Shadow Arts build I feel this build is way better for taking down the highly sustainable Elite specs from the other classes. Definitely this build can become Meta especially since Magic Toker has been running it to great success lately.


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