Thief - Core Power S/D

This is a test build. You may comment and rate it.

Focused on: Strike damage and Mobility

Designed for: PvP Conquest



Core S/D Thief is an evasion and boon removal focused builds with high mobility and decent damage, also available for F2P players.

Skill Bar


Skill Variants


  • Shadow Portal over Signet of Agility - you become weaker in combat but gain an extremely powerful mobility tool that turns you into a decap machine.

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Specialization Variant

Deadly Arts over Critical Strikes. This provides you with more survivability and utility. Can make you a better prescence in teamfights if your teamates already have high damage.



Equipment Variants


  • Relic of Isgarren - higher uptime on your damage bonus, but less control over it.
  • Relic of Antitoxin - more cleanse, especially useful when not running signet.



  • The thief's role is to almost constantly keep moving. Infiltrator's Arrow and other shadowsteps 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), interrupt foes with stability by landing Steal, and gank targets in team fights.
  • Dodge if you need Swiftness Swiftness or extra mobility in general while moving between capture points.
  • The many dodges and evasions on weapon sets provide decent survivability for an otherwise very squishy profession.
  • Fluid Strikes provides you with a 10% damage buff after using a movement skill. You likely will not need to actively think about maintaining this buff.


  • 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).
  • Steal refills some endurance, grants initiative, strips boons and provides a variety of boons for you and your team. Its most important function however is the instant, interrupt.
    • The instant boonstrip of Bountiful Theft prioritizes Stability Stability, which goes off before the Daze Daze does, allowing you to interrupt targets who have Stability with just one button!
  • Steal procs the damage bonus of Relic of Fireworks, creating a burst window for you.


The main set of the build

  • Most of the damage will come from a combination of the Flanking Strike (thief dual) chain and Cloak and Dagger into Tactical Strike.
  • Infiltrator's Strike is an excellent skill for initiating fights or just closing gaps. It's recommended that you start fights with this skill from a place that break line of sight (LoS), like a wall or a pillar. This leaves you with an escape route via Infiltrator's Return in case you get focused, and IR even provides some minor cleansing.
  • Don't spam Flanking Strike (thief dual) 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. This skill chain is useful as the evade can result in you getting initiative through Upper Hand to enable you to stay in fights for longer.
  • 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 Aegis / Blind Blind before jumping in. The bouncing attacks however aren't all that bad when it comes to clearing Mesmer clones.
  • Cloak and Dagger is strong in its own right. Being the only source of Stealth 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. The damage itself is quite good both on CnD and Tactical Strike, which means chaining these 2 could act as a finishing move as well. With Steal added to the mix in the middle of casting CnD this combo becomes less obvious and harder to avoid.
    • 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.

Short bow

Utility weapon

  • Cluster Bomb being a spammable blast finisher has high value for your team when it comes to blasting fields for Stealth Stealth or healing (although they'll have to provide the fields).
    • Its chain skill Detonate Cluster is a solid cource of downed cleave, or even ranged burst if you pre-cast Cluster Bomb aimed at your feet, Steal near the end of the animation and then detonate at your target. Even when not performing this combo this skill provides decent ranged damage.

  • 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 Immobilize 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, cuts down on travel time between capture points drastically.

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.
  • Basilisk Venom is a strong offensive elite. It has a long duration and usually lasts until your first hit so can be cast out of combat to get the cooldown ticking. However, the most value you can get from this skill is by casting it in the prescence of allies to almost instantly turn a fight around.


This build has a rating of 4 stars based on 1 votes.
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4 stars
Goon gave this build 4 stars • August 2023
This build is back from the dead with the acrobatics rework. It's not super powerful but it is extremely fun to play. It loses thief duels to most especs however it has very high damage and has quite alot of sustain. Could be considered a slightly worse version of deadeye that becomes better verses tempest or other strong projectile block comps. Is a higher skill core thief build then condi thief and is also better in teaching new players how to play thief.


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