Thief - Power S/D Roamer
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A Sword/Dagger WvW roaming build for core thief. This mix of evasions, boon stealing, and unblockable damage makes for a great duelist.
For the optional slot there are two similar options. Both breaks stun and generates initiative:
- Roll for Initiative - defensive pick with evasion and puts some distance between you and the target.
- Infiltrator's Signet - primarily used to chase down targets. If you need to break stun with it and don't want to remain right next to your opponent, you can use NPCs and other players as targets to teleport to.
- - burst damage.
- - crit chance bump with armor ignoring damage procs which also heal.
- - mainly a defensive food that provides more frequent access to dodging.
- Dodge if you need Swiftness while roaming.
- The many dodges and evasions on weapon sets provide decent survivability for an otherwise very squishy profession.
- 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).
- Thanks to Swindler's Equilibrium however you can use this skill a bit more freely compared to other thief builds.
- Steal refills endurance, grants initiative, inflicts Poison, does damage, heals for ~2k, and provides a variety of boons for you and your team. Its most important function however is the instant boonstrip that prioritizes Stability, which goes off before the Daze does, resulting in an instant interrupt.
- Improvisation adds a gambling element to this skill and could even reset the CD of your heal or elite skill!
The main set of the build
- Most of the damage will come from a combination of autoattacks and the Flanking Strike chain.
- Infiltrator's Strike is an excellent skill for initiating fights or just closing gaps.
- Infiltrator's Return provides minor cleansing and an escape route.
- Don't spam Flanking Strike mindlessly. You will become easily predictible and locked in an animation while your enemy can set up burst. Find a balance between your autoattacks and flanking strike. Both this skill and its chain Larcenous Strike are unblockable. Larcenous Strike will be your main source of burst damage.
- Dancing Dagger is merely a filler for ranged poking in case going into melee range would be too dangerous and Short bow is on CD, or if you want to get rid of Aegis / Blind before jumping in. The bouncing attacks however aren't all that bad when it comes to clearing Mesmer clones.
- Cloak and Dagger - although rarely used - is strong in its own right. Being the only source of Stealth in the build, this grants access to Tactical Strike which can help with interrupting important casts (heal, stomp, etc.) when Steal is on cooldown, and the stealth in general can help you lose aggro for a short while or even leave the fight entirely without being chased. Its high cost and long cast time however makes it a very situational skill.
- This is often used on AI (clones, pets, minions) because this skill is all about the stealth, not the damage, and AI won't dodge it therefore the odds of getting a successful CnD off becomes higher.
- Cluster Bomb being a spammable blast finisher has high value for your team when it comes to blasting fields for Stealth or healing (although they'll have to provide the fields).
- Disabling Shot 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 Immobilized.
- Use Choking Gas on downed enemies especially if they are being revived - Poison decreases healing gained by 33% which affects resurrecting speed.
- Infiltrator's Arrow is the #1 skill for moving around the map in general.
Utilities & elite
- Signet of Agility is your best souce of cleansing, as it instantly removes 3 conditions. In addition to that, this also gives 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 active 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.
- 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.