Deadeye - Marauder Rifle

Part of the current metagame

Our curator decided this build is in the current metagame regardless of rating. The community gave this build a rating, making it top-tier: Great

Focused on: Strike damage and Mobility

Designed for: PvP Conquest

This build was last updated on May 21, 2024 and is up to date for the March 19, 2024 patch.


This PvP Deadeye Rifle build takes Thief's role of outnumbering to the extreme, potentially bursting targets down in mere seconds.

Skill Bar


Skill Variants


For the optional slot:

  • Shadow Gust - another Stealth Stealth access and an AoE CC.
  • Binding Shadow - better burst setup. In the burst combo use it before Deadeye's Mark.
  • Signet of Agility - better cleansing, Silent Scope synergy and passive crit chance.
  • Blinding Powder - great on-demand Stealth access and a stun break.


  • Hide in Shadows - adds more stealth access to the build but it's a harder healing skill to pull off under pressure.


  • Dagger Storm - similar to Withdraw, acts as a panic button that can help you avoid damage when pressured but gives up another stealth access in exchange. Dagger Storm is especially useful if you expect the enemy team to have builds with Revealed Revealed access like "Sic 'Em!" Soulbeasts or Lock On Engineers which would deny you stealth access, leaving you quite vulnerable and unable to use Shadow Meld under pressure.


Rifle's set in stone but the secondary set can be changed based on personal preferences, there are several alternatives to Sword/Dagger:

  • Dagger/Pistol, which has a great leap finisher for Sniper's Cover or Black Powder synergy plus Malicious Backstab can substitute Malicious Death's Judgment if there's some anti-projecile field in the way.
  • Sword/Pistol keeps some the utility value of both mainhand Sword and offhand Pistol with a strong (albeit expensive) skill #3 that stuns enemies and does high damage whilst evading attacks.

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  • Cloaked in Shadow is also a viable option.


  • Malicious Intent can save you initiative by making you reach the Malice cap with fewer attacks, but less access to stolen skills also means less Stealth Stealth.

Specialization Changes

Deadly Arts Deadly Arts could replace Shadow Arts Shadow Arts, giving up survivability and initiative regen for more pressure:


  • Executioner is also a viable option if you value raw damage more than utility.



Equipment Variants


  • Sigil of Separation over Sigil of Opportunity - the same damage bonus but instead of relying on the Cripple Cripple from Skirmisher's Shot you rely on having a big enough gap between you and the target. Which one of these sigils you use is entirely up to you.


  • Relic of Antitoxin - better cleansing.
  • Relic of the Deadeye - slightly higher burst damage, worth considering especially when playing with at least 2 utility Cantrips.


Elite specialization basics

  • Steal is replaced by Deadeye's Mark, which has greater range but also a cast time. We're still going to refer to this as steal.
  • Stolen skills are also replaced by new ones for each profession, although these are much less situational and can be used more freely. One thing to note is that you cannot pick the target freely for the new stolen skills, they will always be used on your marked target (even if they are in stealth, which can be useful for finishing off low HP stealthed targets).
  • Your specialization resource is called Malice. It's built through using attack skills with an initiative cost on your marked target and you can have up to 5 stacks of Malice. Stealth attacks such as Malicious Death's Judgment consume Malice and become more powerful with higher Malice stacks.
  • At the 5 Malice threshold stolen skills such as Steal Health grant Stealth Stealth on activation, which is going to be their primary purpose - but be wary that they also do damage, so if you were already in stealth these will reveal you instead. There is a workaround for this however: stolen skills need line of sight (LoS) to deliver damage, if you intentionally break LoS then you can use them for the stealth without drawbacks.


  • Start fights with Deadeye's Mark to begin passively building Malice.
    • This skill also procs the damage bonus of Relic of Fireworks, creating a burst window for you.
  • Silent Scope provides easy stealth access on rifle, the only limiting factor will be endurance.
  • Mercy recharges Deadeye's Mark. Use it when you run out of initiative, have to switch targets, or need to interrupt via Sleight of Hand. It also breaks stun but that's more of a bonus functionality rather than the main focus.
  • Shadowstep is easily the most versatile skill in the build. Couple of applications include:
    • Extending the reach of rifle by 1200 range instantly.
    • Escaping from melee, and then doing it again with Shadow Return when they get close.
    • Stomping downed opponents with Shadowstep Shadow Return.
    • Breaking stun and cleansing conditions.
  • Shadow's Embrace and Shadow's Rejuvenation offer a steady stream of cleansing and Initiative in combat, having great synergy with Silent Scope and other sources of Stealth Stealth.
  • Shadow Meld provides stealth without having to burn resources like initiative or endurance.
  • If taken Signet of Agility is good for more than just cleansing conditions or boosting your precision, its active effect restores an entire dodge roll's worth of endurance which can be turned into stealth.
  • If taken Dagger Storm is primarily a defensive 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.
    • Note: skills like Shocking Aura or Line of Warding are able to interrupt Dagger Storm, so don't be completely careless.-->


Main weapon set. Burst, mobility, easy stealth access.

  • Rifle technically has 10 skills, but most of them won't be used much or at all.
  • The basic game plan is the following: Deadeye's Mark your target, spam Skirmisher's Shot until you reach the Malice cap, then enter stealth and follow up with a Malicious Death's Judgment.
  • Kneel swaps your rifle skills for more powerful ones but limits your mobility. The cost usually doesn't justify the payoff, so stick to your Skirmisher's Shot spam. The only real reason most people ever use Kneel is to drop a smoke field with skill #4 which is a combo field your team can use for stealth stacking and grants access to Death's Advance (while standing inside the field) for stealth access and some mobility.
    • Kneel skills have longer range, in niche situations you may end up using skills 2-3 to stack Malice but only if you're out of range with Spotter's Shot.
    • The Sniper's Cover Death's Advance chain allows you to move around the map undetected in stealth, and you can do this for extended periods of time as Shadow's Rejuvenation refunds part of the initiative cost (especially if your weave in a few dodges too). Don't forget to cancel Kneel after using Death's Advance for improved mobility. It's also a great defensive chain to fall back on if you're getting focused by the enemy team, especially following a dodge which already gives you a brief amount of stealth plus some initiative refill.
  • Death's Retreat is basically the Infiltrator's Arrow of this build when it comes to mobility, but that's just one aspect of it. In combat this serves as a spammable condition cleanse or even combo tool for stealth access when used in a smoke field.
    • We recommend that you set up a bind for "about face" (Options ⇒ Control Options ⇒ Movement). This makes it easier to teleport forward with this skill using the following sequence: about face Death's Retreat about face.
    • You may decide to throw in a dodge or any other stealth source to proc Shadow's Rejuvenation, restoring initiative and allowing you to spam Death's Retreat more. This skill burns the same amount of initiative as the Death's Advance chain (after factoring in the Shadow's Rejuvenation synergy there) and you remain targetable for most of it, but offers better mobility as you don't have to kneel between jumps.
  • At maximum (5 stacks) of Malice you should enter stealth and do a Malicious Death's Judgment. Exceptions include targets at very low health, in that canse it may be quicker to just spam them down with other skills.
    • At maximum Malice prioritize using stolen skills for stealth access, don't waste dodges if you don't have to!
  • Sniper's Cover could be useful against other ranged specs, but a more common application of it is stealth stacking. It's a combo field which can be utilized by you or your team. After dropping SC at your feet, either cancel kneeling and use Death's Retreat to combo stealth (the two skills are also tied to the same button), or use its chain skill Death's Advance which is cheaper but doesn't cleanse conditions (and teleports you in the opposite direction).
  • Sigil of Energy is taken for Silent Scope synergy.

Rifle burst rotation example:

  1. If taken Open with Binding Shadow. This skill has a delay so timing is key! If you immediately follow up with Deadeye's Mark, BS should land a split second after the mark has been applied.
  2. Deadeye's Mark (which already puts you at 1/5 Malice IF you're using Malicious Intent)
  3. Skirmisher's Shot x3 (enough to do it x2 when playing with Malicious Intent)
  4. Stealth up using either a stolen skill or a dodge if you can, or any of your stealth CDs if you can't
  5. Malicious Death's Judgment


This is the secondary set. Good for cleaving downed targets, defending yourself vs melee, or finishing off targets who have projectile denial.

  • Most of the damage here comes from weaving together autoattacks with the Flanking Strike (thief dual) + Larcenous Strike chain. Try not to spam skill 3 too many times in a row because it's very predictable and thus often a waste of initiative.
    • There are exceptions of course. For example spamming Flanking Strike (thief dual) without a target (and without hitting anything) could be used to buy a few extra seconds for your CDs to come back up under heavy pressure, as it evades attacks.
  • Most of the time you should initiate combat with Infiltrator's Strike from a safe distance, preferably also behind something that breaks line of sight. This way you'll always have an escape route via Infiltrator's Return.
  • Dancing Dagger is sort of a filler skill, won't be used much unless you're stuck on S/D but can't afford to go into melee range.
  • Cloak and Dagger does good damage and the Stealth Stealth lets you follow up with a Malicious Tactical Strike for even more damage plus a CC. At 5 Initiative this isn't cheap, but Shadow's Rejuvenation refunds much of the cost.
    • This could be used on AI (clones, pets, minions) if all you need is stealth not the damage, as AI won't dodge it therefore the odds of getting a successful CnD off becomes higher.

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This build has a rating of 4 stars based on 17 votes.
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5 stars
Yerloq gave this build 5 stars • April 2024
Right as DE gets its nerfs, sword comes in clutch with some tweaks to keep it in the meta and in favor. Still has excellent mobility and the damage is too much. It's a mosquito that you can't get rid of and it actually kills you.
5 stars
Zenn gave this build 5 stars • April 2024
The most broken thief build I've ever played. Even after several nerfs it's going strong, shadow arts makes rifle broken. The damage is way too high for such a defensive build but ironically stealth isn't the real source of its sustain, the mobility is. Stealth is just an enabler which refills initiative so the magic can happen.
2 stars
Chiaros gave this build 2 stars • March 2024
It's so slow and clunky, and they have to be asleep for you to be able to burst them. Daredevil with axes is currently doing everything this tries to do but better.
5 stars
Hanz gave this build 5 stars • January 2024
Saw a surge in popularity recently, enough to get it receive nerfs later his month. The initiative increase on Rifle 4 is well deserved, right now it can virtually be spammed for free with the help of SA. High damage, low downtime, very hard to catch when played right.
4 stars
Ethan gave this build 4 stars • August 2022
It’s a good build with good damage/escape/sustain but gets absolutely wrecked by projectile denial, and with tempest being meta support right now with focus 4 and magnetic aura…it isn’t very fun, also an issue when playing against an untamed.
4 stars
Emforay gave this build 4 stars • August 2022
Updating this, my point about it performing only well with a good team still stands mostly, and against pros you'd probably get easily dispatched. However, for gold and lower this build is actually pretty phenomenal if you learn not to spam skirm shot when you shouldn't spam it.
3 stars
Csev gave this build 3 stars • August 2021
Obviously great single target burst, but in my view the window of opportunity is too narrow and easy to counter, especially where LoS can easily be broken. I find it too inflexible compared to D/P daredevil which provides far more options of play.
5 stars
Baescons gave this build 5 stars • December 2020
Deadeye is definitely a hard carry in ranked but it’s not super fun or effective in tournament/organized play since you have to use all your cds to be effective and are counter able with reveal and projectile block that’s stacked in those premade teams
4 stars
Lil’ rookie gave this build 4 stars • September 2019
So while doing damage is great it loses some use without a proper steal. This build adds huge damage at the cost of functionality such as losing mobility with rifle. With the meta as it is- lots of revs and condi thieves this build seems to need new rating since it’s powery burst may stand out. The thing is most thieves can put plus1 but if they are much less experienced they might just be farmed. Hence why it may seem good- for now rating 4 (or maybe 4.5)stars since I don’t think it’s quiet ranked meta yet.
5 stars
Ryanjt123 gave this build 5 stars • August 2019
This build is very easy to learn but also very easy to die with if you don't know how to use the mobility and weapon swaps
5 stars
Nebo grey gave this build 5 stars • August 2019
This build has great Mobility hard to deal with in the right hands has more than one style letting you use s/d d/p if you like and can do everything a theif can and sometimes more
5 stars
DDuff gave this build 5 stars • May 2019
Proper usage of evade from pwhip and daggerstorm on top of good mobility won't let you be farmed. 1500 distance on rifle and in and out on s/p in general will keep opponents moving places in attempts to catch you.
4 stars
Daxx gave this build 4 stars • March 2019
Will get farmed if people close the gap but it can be very annoying, critting someone for their full health bar may be a bit busted though.
5 stars
Soller gave this build 5 stars • January 2019
On the rise since last season, this is something of a solo ranked meta now. Most matches have a deadeye and it's kinda busted. Only way to die is to overextend, if someone's patient enough and gets a feel for the build this is an immortal roamer with crazy spikes from maximum range. Fun to play, nightmare to play against.
5 stars
MurkWan gave this build 5 stars • January 2019
Traditionally considered to be a meme build, but in the right hands, this build is stupid OP. If you know your rotations, time your bursts and couple it with Assassin's Signet, you would be the most annoying piece of work the opponent has to deal with. Knowing the map to kite and deploy your stealth skills (which never runs out tbh) makes you harder to catch and focus target. Use it wisely.
4 stars
Zeirio gave this build 4 stars • September 2018
Kind of a cheese build, but with the damage output it has and lack of focus in soloq, it can be really effective. However, it gets pressured out pretty easily if focused. In more coordinated play it doesn't offer enough outside of it's insane burst damage to really see much use. 4 star soloq 2 star at
5 stars
Auser gave this build 5 stars • September 2018
Great finishing abilities in teamfights, s/p completely removes any issues it had against melee pressure and the unblockable deaths judgement is godly.


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