After S/D Condition's damage output was nerfed, it's been on the steady decline. This is an interesting way to try to remedy that-- give it additional direct damage pressure after going in with the Shadowstep and dodge in the form of pistol whip at the cost of losing flanking strike and slightly less condition damage output and health. The question then becomes, does that trade-off improve the build?
I'm actually going to go against the grain here and say that it's not a downgrade by any means. It still has the same core playstyle of the sword condition thief which is typically 2 in, dodge, faff around, 2 out, repeat. I do really like headshot for interrupting key skills as well. Pistol whip is much easier to play around than larcenous strike, but offers a potential pulmonary impact proc and an evade window almost twice as long, giving it defensive utility as well.
The amulet really doesn't seem to need precision, as the page itself notes, mug and pulmonary both cannot crit. The loss of thousands of health and a fair chunk of condition damage doesn't seem to be worth the net ~12% damage increase on pistol whip.
I kind of like all these ideas and this build certainly has a higher skill ceiling than S/D. That being said, neither build feels particularly great right now. If I had to recommend someone play sword condition thief though, I would likely recommend pistol offhand over dagger currently, with the amulet choice up in the air.
This build is definetely more basic than condition(condi) s/d, which is already falling out the meta. Being a sword pistol(s/p) variant of thief makes it by definition more focused on fighting other thief's and basically made no contributions since the condi sword dagger(s/d) build's main strength was already a "thief killer". I will repeat what I said on the condi s/d build - Condi thief is falling out of the meta at a consistent speed and already had too low of a skill ceiling. This build is not going to become a contributor to the meta besides being a "meme" build.
This build tries to do too much and ends up having an identity crisis. It's not that it won't get you kills, but if you want to play a hybrid/condi thief then S/D is better, and if you want to play Pistol Whip burst then Marauder is the way to go. It's in a weird spot between the two with no real reason to play it aside from fun.
This build is a great balance between Power and Condi. Prior to the Condi nerf coming the week of DEC 11th 2017 this build I fell has much less counter play compared to S/D Condi or S/D/P Power.
Pretty fun build, I like the idea behind it but i can't help but feel it's just a tweaked version of the current S/D build. don't get me wrong I like this build but that's what im getting from this. The utility that pistol brings is better than dagger but the boon strip and evade from the S/D dual attack is just better imo. i like how the build takes into account the fact that Pulm and steal cannot crit and provides a good amount of condi damage.
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