Thief - VenomShare
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Venoms shared by thieves use the originating power, condition duration, and boon duration attributes. This build will fully maximize condition duration for the control aspect of venoms and try to keep power and might duration high enough for your allies to benefit from the damage dealing portion of venoms. A single venom share thief in a party of ranged damage dealers can provide devastating control with up to 4s immobilizes, 2s chills, and 1.5s stuns per hit.
First Weapon Set
Second Weapon Set
will clear conditions, provide a good burst heal, and most importantly, by entering stealth, it will de-target you from enemies. Stealth skill with shortbow also provides a 4 second immobilize. Synergizes with Shadow Art adept traits.
- Detonate Cluster
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- Move 2 points out of Deadly Arts and into Trickery for
Venoms on this build are purely control based, do absolutely zero condition damage, and have their life siphon damage values affected by power only. A sigil of fire can proc each strike of venom in one hit to multiple foes.
The Dagger/Pistol set can be used for damage, stacking stealth on yourself or party members, or interrupting key skills. Therefore flexibility is afforded to the player with a slight suggestion towards having sigils like Air, Intelligence, Mischief, or Cleansing.
Use more Valkyrie or Soldiers instead of Berserker when you need the additional sustain.
Superior Sigil of Malice ⇒
- or for more control.
- for mor pressure against healing-
- for stronger life siphon.
- or against condition pressure.
however, the missing 10% condition duration would be required elsewhere in the build.
- for decreased incoming condition duration and slightly less might duration for your venoms.
- provides base movement speed if you're skirting too far outside the zerg and some condition/boon duration.
- for Mist Form when hit under 20% and leeching effects (works better with ).
- 4x + 2x for maximal condition duration if you're not capping via food.
- for greater condition removal and 5% condition duration.
There are many condition duration increasing foods. A quick overview will show that the cheapest option is Koi Cakes, though the supply is stagnant, there is still such a large supply as to make it cheaper than Rare Veggie Pizzas. The more optimal choices are expensive, but also listed below. Recommended choices are noted by a . The rest are available as a reference in case you see a feast on the floor and wonder if it's worth eating (as long as it's giving you +40% condition duration, it's okay).
- is currently the cheapest way to get +40% condition duration.
- is the next cheapest way to get +40% condition duration.
- is a cheaper version (and even cheaper than Koi Cakes) but provides +36% condition duration. Could be good for a pug zerg.
- costs more than double to make and lasts 60 minutes.
- is the cheapest food that steals health (according to notes it actually has a 66% chance to steal health, not 33%).
- this 60 minute version costs more than double to make.
- maximizes your condition duration and a very, very minimal boost to life siphon damage: 70 * 0.0333 = 2.33 extra damage per strike of venom. This amount is easily over-shadowed by the amount of life-steal from Prickly Pear Pies above.
- costs more to make and only works for half the duration. Not recommended for crafting.
Utility potions afford a small increase to power, precision, or condition damage. The secondary effects are often the more important aspect, increasing boon/condition duration by 10%. In this build we'll choose boon duration as condition duration should be capped (see below for explanation) to increase the length of our might shared by venoms.
- or . Remember condition damage doesn't actually benefit this build at all. Power and precision stat bonuses are minimal. Main point is increasing the boon duration of might for your party.
It is important to try and hit 100% (going over will not extend your condition's duration). Be sure to add up the numbers yourself to make sure you've set up your build correctly (And note that swapping weapons can affect your condition duration when activating venoms):
- Deadly Arts - 6 points increases condition duration by 30%
- Weapons - A Giver's Shortbow will give 20% (50% total)
- Sigils - A Sigil of Malice can give another 10% (60% total)
- Food - Can give 36-40% depending on type (96-100% total)
If for whatever reason you have tweaked your build and require other sources of condition duration: N.B. Activating venoms while using D/P will cut the duration of your venoms unless you opt to use Giver's + Sigil of Malice on them as well.
- Utility Potions - Can give 10% if you buy the expensive "toxic" version
- Traveler's gives 10%
- Lyssa gives 5%
- A combination of 4x Nightmare and 2x Mad King runes gives 20%
The cheapest setup would be to use 6 points in DA, 4x Nightmare + 2x Mad King runes, cheap food (1s or 7s depending on type), and a giver's shortbow equaling 96-100% condition duration (depending on food).
An expensive but optimal setup would be to use 6 points in DA, Giver's Shortbow, Sigil of Malice, and Food for 96-100%. Note: this method still avoids having to buy expensive utility potions on a recurring basis.
It may be worth noting that Frost Bow increases condition duration by 10% and will affect venoms activated while holding it. (Though again, anything over 100% is not affected).
- You can cast some venoms 10-15 seconds prior to a fight. Each venom applied will stay with the player for ~30 seconds and helps reduce cooldowns after the initial engagement. Depending on the type of engagement (burst every 30-40 seconds or sustained fight) you'll want to activate all venoms at once or over a longer period of time.
- Devourer Venom works through stability should be your first go to venom. It will root the enemy for a short time potentially displacing them.
- Ice Drake Venom will chill the enemy. Not only does this greatly reduce their movement speed but it increases their remaining cooldowns for a short period. Especially good against enemy casters like Elementalists, Mesmers, and Necromancers.
- Basilisk Venom is devastating when used properly. At the least it will cause the enemy to use a stun breaker. Strips stability.
- You can use
- Try to stay alongside your group (preferably the mid/backline of ranged allies). Giving your venoms to ranged classes will make it easy to snare targets inside their AoE skills (eg.
- Party with certain classes to prioritize them receiving your buffs (see below).
- Save your initiative. Your auto-attacks + sigil of fire are often good enough to administer snares to the enemy. You will want to use your skills for group support or safety (such as blasting fields or stacking stealth), unless you want to specifically target a blocking enemy (in which case you should use Choking Gas with venoms activated).
- Make sure you are spamming
- Also be sure to use Choking Gas on downed players away from your group. This increases the chance that they won't be revived by an enemy Warrior's Warbanner.
- Cluster Bomb can be used offensively as it does pretty good damage on downed foes.
This build excels in parties that hit multiple foes in an AoE multiple times. Notable examples include Necromancer wells and Elementalist's Lava Font. It can also do quite well partied with rangers that are single target sniping from far away (You provide basilisk for initial stun, then immob, then chill if required), they can usually hit players from further away than others and with the help of your control conditions down the foe.
- Necromancers (Wells)
- Zerker Staff Ele (Lava Font)
- Rangers (Long Range, Single Target burst)
It can also help to have a guardian for stability or a warrior for condition cleanse, though a healthy zerg will not require it.
- Not enough people to share venoms with severely reduces the usefulness of your role as does a badly organized zerg (Too many front liners, not enough back line DPS).
- Stuns (You only have one good stun breaker on a 50s CD)
- Bad positioning
- Reflects can hurt your own team when sharing venoms