Maximum Thief DPS (and not dying) and Fractal Guide

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Maximum Thief DPS (and not dying) and Fractal Guide Empty Maximum Thief DPS (and not dying) and Fractal Guide

Post by Varkros on Thu Jun 26, 2014 4:19 am

Phlimmphlam's guide to stealing shoes and stabbing backs.

First off, the weapon setups for thief:

Dager/Dagger (d/d) - This is your single target max damage weapon choice. This is usually saved for a boss fight.

Sword/Pistol (s/p) - For clearing trash mobs (non-boss fights), the thief should be using  (s/p) as sword attacks all cleave (hit multiple targets). Depending on the difficulty of the fight you will either be using pistolwhip (3 skill) or blackpowder (5 skill). Pistolwhip it like no tomorrow for some serious damage. Blackpowder is an aoe blindfield that if positioned properly will prevent groups of enemies from hitting you and your group. This is the thief face tank move.

Pistolwhip also starts with an interrupt which is handy for casters or stopping a runner; you can activate it and move a bit before the flailing around bit of the animation starts.
Depending on the fight you will have to decide which to use. Usually 3 unless the fight is difficult or the mobs do a lot of damage then 5. Using 5, you rely on the auto attack from sword which is actually really good damage just not as much as using 3. It also applies weakness and snare so if something makes it past the blind field from 5 it's not doing full damage until you get the blind field in the right spot again.

Sword/Dagger (s/d) - After a test run with s/p in place of s/d for boon stripping, picking up Bountiful Theft was enough for key boon strips and the damage of s/p just punts s/d off the cliff and into pvp where it works.This is a utility setup that is only useful in the Dredge fractal for stealing/removing boons from the dredge to help speed up the run as protection on everything is just zzzZZZz. This is not high damage compared to d/d or s/p but it still has its niche.

Pistol/pistol (p/p)- Very bursty setup using the Unload (3 skill) on a continual basis. This is single target only so it would be good only during a ranged only boss fight. This combined with some thief traits (get to those later) can stack up vulnerability very fast. This also has a spammable root with skill 2; useful vs Mai Trin and the fractal boss that needs to stop under the lava buckets. As I said up top, bursty setup not sustained dps as Unload costs a ton of initiative. Also, has access to Blackpowder like s/p. The 4 skill is a daze/interrupt on demand. Stop spell casters/runner  from ruining the groups day. This will also interrupt the healing of the lava bucket boss; when he stops and 'sits down' use this and it will stop the heal.

Shortbow (clouds part and a beam of light hits the weapon and choir music softly plays) (sb or SB) - This is the best weapon in the game hands down over anything any other class has. They're jealous even if they don't know it yet. The auto attack on this bounces to multiple targets making it not only good single target damage but aoe as well. It's also power based unlike the main hand pistol bleed attack.

Cluster bomb (skill 2) is the butter to the enemies' bread. While mid air you can hit the skill again to detonate the bomb. DO NOT DO THIS. Doing so not only robs you of damage but if the cluster bomb hits an aoe field it performs a blast finisher. Ele using fire aoes? Cluster bomb it for group might stacks. Smoke field? Cluster for stealth (which now gives you the immobilize shot on skill 1). Mix some cluster bombs in with the auto attack for some nice aoe damage and group bonuses from blast finishers.

Do note that the cluster bomb impact speed is determined by the distance it has to travel as it goes in an arc so the closer you are to the aoe target marker before firing the faster it will go off. So closer is better even while ranged attacking...if you can.

Disabling shot (skill 3) puts a cripple on a target and evades you back (they broke the animation on this and you're now in danger while scooting backwards at the end of the animation *shakes fist*) This is the kiting move of kings here. 2 second cripple and you get further away from the target. This is great if you see a boss moving towards a downed party member. Can slow it down just enough while someone is picking them up.

Choking Gas (skill 4) is an aoe poison field that is nice damage but if you use cluster bomb on it you get an aoe weakness. This is great not only for large groups (horray they're all doing half damage) but bosses as well that can only be ranged in case it gets in someone's face at least it isn't doing full damage.

Finally, Infiltrator's Arrow (skill 5) is the thief cheating move if you ever did see a cheating move. This will shadowstep you to the targeted area (note that it does aoe blind in the area and will put you into combat if the blind hits anything). You can use this to cover large amounts of ground, port over nasty aoe areas, get close to an enemy then switch to melee weapons. This will also port you through some types of flooring. Usually looks like wooden planks that the construction team just found lying around. This can be used to get to places faster than other group members or to places you shouldn't get to normally. This move works while immobilized as well.

d/d - Superior sigil of force and superior sigil of night (see other post on where sigil of night works)
s/p - Superior sigil of Fire and superior sigil of night
s/d - Superior sigil of Fire and force or night if it's night
p/p - Superior sigil of Force and night
sb - Superior sigil of fire and superior sigil of bloodlust

This concludes weapon setups until they give us axes...give me axes!

Maximum dps build

For d/d boss fight - 6 (VI, IX, XIII) / 6 (I, III, XI) / 0 / 0 / 2 (IV)

Sigils -  see above or link

Runes - Scholar

Side Note: Same build for trash except it is s/p and the power line is now VI, VII, X

The skill rotation is 5 (while it is casting steal to target and gain stealth), backstab, auto attack till revealed goes away then 5 again and backstab. Repeat till 50% health on boss. Previously at this point you would spam 2 (heartseeker) like a madman.
This is no longer the case thanks to our new grandmaster trait in the power line, XIII, Revealed Training. 200 more power while revealed is active.

This is huge. It's basically another 4 points in the power tree. So while the boss is at 50% health you now 5, backstab, 2, autoattack till it loops around then 2 again. Once revealed wears off repeat till boss dies. Why not just spam 2 while revealed training is going? Because of math and testing done a 2 and a full auto was higher dps. 2 spam is more burst damage sure but don't confuse burst with dps as they're like a car and a truck. Both automobiles but not the samething.

As per the build link up top, full zerker gear (power, precision, ferocity) and accessories. Scholar Runes for the armor. The food and stone listed are both the top foods for this and other thief builds below but are expensive and will be swapped out in other situations (high level fractals). Feel free to use cheaper versions of them in normal dungeon runs. I know I do :b

If you have an elementalist in your group then the build changes to compensate for FGS (Firey Great Sword). Your IX in the power line changes to VII (Improvisation). This gives 10% more damage with bundles (does not affect stolen items). Any picked up weapon gets this bonus. So 10% more damage with FGS is huge. To use the FGS optimally, do not target the boss. Instead face him and start with 5 (aoe attack) then use 4 in his direction then 3 in his direction.

If the boss is near a wall and you 4 into the wall all the aoe from the FGS will stack on the boss and do massive amounts of damage. Same with 3. Walls are the FGS' and thief's best friend for life. In a group setting only the thief with this trait equipped should be picking up the FGS otherwise it's wasted damage potential.

This build is so glassy it's pretty much sand. You will die very fast if you get hit while using this. It's not recommended to use unless you know the fights as you must dodge at the correct time or get downed in 1-2 hits depending on where you are. Sometimes you'll get downed no matter what due to the glass factor.

Boss was swinging at someone else as you were about to backstab and it turns mid swing...squished thief. Also, be careful of mobs with 360 and 180 degree attacks. Such as the ettin boss in the fractal. When the earth shards come up and his club is overhead that's going to be 360 and will down you. If he does a crazy horizontal slow swing at Thrash it's 180 and will in fact probably hit you or me while backstabbing him. The ettin, not Thrash.

Non-Maximum dps, now with more survival!

So you're dying more than you should be or it's a really tough dungeon/fractal. Don't go alone. Take this.

5 (VI, X) / 6 (I, IX, XI) / 0 / 3 (III)

This is a s/p setup you can change X to IX in the power line for dagger fighting the boss if you want some more damage or if you're still having survival issues just keep using the s/p till you learn the fight and when to dodge.
The acrobatics line will help you out on the learning to dodge part of life. With III you get vigor on using your heal. The two minor traits also give you swiftness and 15 endurance back on a dodge. If you haven't noticed yet you also gain endurance off the d/d autoattack.

The food choice of mango pie combined with the passive healing from signet of malice should keep you alive. If not run away and hide behind another group member till your health is good and one of them took agro. Then go back to swinging away.

Utility Skills

You probably noticed in the builds linked they were: Signet of Malice, Shadow Refuge, Assassin's Signet, Signet of Agility, and Thieves Guild.

For the most part, this is the standard damage setup. Refuge to stealth a downed party member and help them get up faster by dropping their agro on the boss that's moving to finish them off mortal kombat style.

Assassin's signet is just used for the passive power gain. You can activate during the last 10% or of a boss fight to speed it up or if you're last standing hopefully kill it. This is also your swap out skill. This will be swapped out for usually Smokescreen for more group reflects. Can also put Shadowstep here if you need to move far away instant for whatever reason.

Signet of Agility is usually kept up for the passive precision. Do note however that when used it clears a condition on you and nearby allies (360 radius) and here's the best part *drum roll* refills the endurance bar to full. This is huge in fights that need dodging or you made a mistake and dodged early. Pop this and get those dodges back. Try and use it near group members so they get the bonus dodges as well.

For the elite skill we're now limited to either Thieves Guild or Dagger Storm because Basilisk Venom no longer effects bosses (Thanks Anet). 98% of the time you should have Thieves Guild running for the extra dps on boss fights or a really bad trash pull. Dagger Storm if you know there's a lot of ranged attackers and some extra reflects will help the group out. Dagger Storm combined with Signet of Malice will refill your health to max in no time flat.


Aquatic Ruins Fractal - Everyone's favorite place. Utilities stay the same except for Refuge which is swapped out for Scorpion wire as you can pull the jellyfish boss at the end to the electrified cages with it. Elite is also now Basilisk Venom...I know I know I said it didn't work on bosses anymore but for whatever reason the stun hits this one. /shrug

For the krait trash at the start usually pull everything with harpoon gun before the group gets there so you have agro then swap to spear. Just before the krait smash you to pieces hit 3 and you'll block the attack and hit 7 times and any health you may have lost is refilled thanks to signet of malice. And you tore up most of the krait. Do that till someone else takes agro or they start using pull down or cage moves.

Nothing to block now so start attacking krait with 2 to toss out more vulnerability stacks and make them die faster. Next enjoy your dolphin run :b If you got lucky and didn't get that one swap out assassin's signet for Signet of Shadows so you can swim faster.

Urban Battleground (Char) - s/p and shortbow are your weapons till the boss at the end. Pistolwhip (3) the monks to prevent them from putting might stacks everywhere. Blackpowder (5) also works here during their melee attacks. Shortbow up the oil buckets then swap back to s/p and steal to the gate boss. Standing near the door lets you hit the boss and the door with autoattack and pistolwhip.

Inside you can 2 to warp to the ballistae then pistolwhip them and you'll evade while smashing them to pieces. On the pulls leading up to the boss drop Blackpowder fields (5) so the mobs stay blinded and everything is a walk in the park.

Boss fight use d/d for max dps in the beginning. A little bit into the fight he will block and proc fire if you hit him. So don't use cooldowns or get dps crazy till he blocks. d/d till he gets angry and starts aoeing everywhere. Time to shortbow it up. Proceed to loot.

Uncategorized fractal (harpy jump puzzle) - The joy of this one past 9. waaaaaaaaah is what you usually hear. s/p and sb are the goto here. Assassin's signet should now be Smokescreen to help out with reflects. Or swap out refuge for it and downed people be laughed at.

Drop blackpowder right on the harpies in higher fractals to help out with damage mitigation for the group. Lower end just pistolwhip. In the the higher settings I've found if there's two harpies near each other it works out best to run past the first and drop blackpowder on the second while the group kills the first. Reflects work on the giant blast of knock-you-off- the- platform.

After that first area you can run past the next two harpies and let the group kill those while you zip on past the electric bars that are flying down the stairs at you. Move through those, dodge through them also if need be, then activate the first panel. Here's some awesome thief nonsense at its best. Use 5 on shortbow to shadowstep to the 2nd panel. Activate it. Repeat for the 3rd. Electric bar trap is now off and you're awesome. Now go stand near the boss room entrance and wonder what's taking the group so long to kill some harpies (was only 2...geez you're all slow).

Fan room boss fight weapons are p/p and d/d. Don't agro first (more so in higher level fractals as you'll get pulled to the boss and promptly die). If you're not on battery or fan duty, hit that unload button (3) while zig zagging the poison bolts the boss spins out. This does in fact cause some to miss. Just get all Neo on it and zig zag past them all. When he's not spinning you can get in there and do the normal backstab rotation on him.

Back to s/p and sb. Once past the harpies and at the 4 cat robot fight, pistolwhip (3) will in fact interrupt their spin move. Other class dazes/stuns should work as well. Try to get them all at one spot during the single fight phase so they're grouped up when all 4 activate. Aoe the cats back to the pet shop. Pistolwhip it into shape.

Snowblind (guitar svanir) - Not a fun place as a zerker thief. While waiting for the wall to melt stay away from group members as the svanir attacking them will more than likely end up hitting you instead. Just go look for dropped coins in the snow or something. When cold go back to the fire.

Wall is down go go go. When running down the bridge to the annoying elemental fight, spread out so the incoming blast doesn't hit everyone. Get warm at one of the fires then go smash the elemental with some pistolwhip to the...face? You can drop some Smokescreens to help the group not die from the veteran elementals that show up to snow on your dps parade. Pistolwhip also helps you live longer here.

Go back to the fire at 4-5 stacks so you don't get killed from coldness after the boss teleports you.
Run to the final boss. Stay away from Ender. You'll die. Run like 25-40 steps behind him. Or that many in front.

d/d is usually fine for this boss fight if you have issues just stay with s/p. Tell your guardian in the group (you don't have one? hahaha I'm sorry) to use Sanctuary on top of the boss when he starts up ice breath as it will stop it. If a mesmer times it right some confusion stacks before the boss ports up top to aoe will mess him up bad as each aoe will trigger the confusion.

Molten Furnace (the drill and rox and brahm) - s/p and shortbow (I see a trend) all the way till the final boss. Then it's s/p and d/d. Refuge gets swapped out for scorpion wire. Pistolwhip the core that pops up in the middle. When it pops up a second time a protecter will spawn near the core. Scorpion wire that fool away from the core so he can't shield it and make the fight longer. Same for phase 3. When the boss finally drops down, at the start scorpion wire him away from the door. Now you can backstab him and not get ported from the door bug.

Cliffside (Hammer) - d/d and sb for lower level and p/p with sb for higher levels during intial boss fight. While running around with hammer, s/p and sb till you get to the seal where you can't kill the marked target. Then either d/d or just don't attack till you get to the other  side and then drop blind fields with 5 while corner stacking. Can also use smokescreen to help everyone not get hit with the necro focus attack.

Final boss same as first encounter. p/p and sb. sb when he starts to summon scorpions so they die faster.

Aetherblade - s/p the entire run. Too much corner stacking and all that to bother with d/d. Standard utilities. There's a couple of shortbow shortcuts in the zone. Hard to explain in text. I'll post pictures next time I run the place.

Volcanic (grawl) - s/p and sb at start. s/p to help root and stun the grawl during first boss fight that tries to knock the hostages off the cliff.

Final boss fight d/d and sb. Smokescreen and Daggerstorm for elite. Don't stop moving; zig zag around as it will cause the fire arrow the boss shoots to miss. If the boss turns to you and flies up, dodge; you'll not get hit with the fire arrow. If you do get hit by it don't run near group members you'll aoe fire them. You don't have the health to help someone up usually. If you're full health and they're not mostly dead go for it then use signet of agility to get rid of burning you both have from not moving.

Keep the boss in the middle of the land mass. This makes it have to move further to the captives during its shield phase and easier to remove the shield before it gets there. On this phase swap to d/d and just auto attack the shield while moving along with the boss so you don't get burned.

If you get immoblized use Dagger Storm and hope you get the shield down. This can also be done with s/p but you need to use pistolwhip as the autoattack is too slow to get the shield down in time;  this is also harder to do as you need to be slightly ahead of the boss so it doesn't move past you flailing about.

Thaumanova Reactor - s/p and sb for trash. Standard utilities.

In the reflector room you can turn off both panels with the shortbow 5 shenanigans again by yourself.
Subject 6 you can either run s/p and make sure the blue blobs don't make it to the boss with immobilize and pistolwhip or d/d and shred the boss down; this depends entirely on what the group is comprised of. Best bet is to error in favor of stabbing the boss. Don't do this if it's blocking however. Which also brings up the elite Thieves Guild. They'll attack while it blocks so don't use it.
s/p for the other core rooms.

Dragging cores into the reactor room. Spam 1 and use Shadowstep to get close as possible to a red gear on the wall and plug that sucker in. The first spot is on the left and then middle right then left at the far side of the room. At lower levels you don't really need the core but it is easier depending on group composition. You can also Shadowstep towards the back of the room and get as far as possible while spamming one then while downed, use your downed shadowstep move while rallying. Sometimes you can get two of those off and make into the other barrier and then activate both consoles with shortbow 5 and be awesome (this only works in 1-9 and possibly 10-19 damage is too high later on).

Final boss fight is the Anomaly. d/d and sb. Change Refuge to Shadowstep.

Start the fight by doing your normal backstab rotation as this thing dies really fast to melee damage. The entire group can actually melee at the start until someone gets a bomb overhead then that person needs to run off and range attack while everyone else melees. You can steal from this boss but it's not worth the items and you get knocked down from the barrier so don't bother. Just stab away.

Once you're forced to range, you can stay alive while shooting the boss with sb 5 to port to non-purple tiles so you don't drop. Can also use Shadowstep to get to the other side of the platform if it looks less purple than your current surroundings.

Underground Facility (Dredge) - Everyone's favorite place. Way easier than it used to be and actually not a bad one to get overall now. Weapon choice depends on group. If there's no one to boon strip use s/d and sb. s/d 3 twice will steal a boon and this is fantastic when you steal 12-15 stacks of might from the dredge but your main target is their protection boon so they die faster.  If boon stripping is covered use s/p and make sure to interrupt the Disaggregators (gong players) with Pistolwhip to prevent more boons from going up.

Trait swap to this setup of 4 (VI, X ) / 6 (I, IX, XI ) / 0 / 0 / 4 (V, VII )
Now you can also steal those dredge boons for the group and they die faster with no protection running. Continue to either boon strip or smash face.

Don't let the group con you into hitting one of the first two door buttons. You'll probably die. Once everyone is down and ready to open the gate that has the two switches and the panel don't rush in. Let the person that's kiting everything go in first and hit stuff then run to either your button or the panel depending on what you worked out with the group. You can also drop Refuge in the area of the panel for the person opening panel then run to your button. Can drop smokescreen while on button duty or use daggerstorm or sb to help the kiter by either killing some of the dredge or taking a few off their face.

Boss fight (Champion Rabsovich). Either s/p or s/d depending on boon stripping. Easy fight now.
Lava bucket room use p/p and sb. p/p is your main damage source and gets the boss' attention for kiting to the bucket drop spots.

When it's near the spot hit it with 2 to immobilize it and make sure it gets lava to the head. At any point it stops and sits down to heal, hit it with p/p 4 to daze it and stop that mess from happening. Swap to sb (for skill 3) if you're out of dodges which you shouldn't be with signet of agility sitting there waiting to be used. Use Refuge on downed party members from afar while continuing to kite the boss. They can usually get up themselves with Refuge on as nothing has agro on them now or someone else nearby can get them.

Whew final fractals. Get ready to get some shinies!

Solid Ocean (Jade Maw) - d/d and p/p put signet of shadows up to zip past everything and everyone to you get to the boss platform then back to standard utilities.

d/d attacks for the elementals since they reflect range and p/p for the tentacles. Drag shards back to 'the corner'. Simple fight of picking up the shard when skull is overhead and tossing it back at Jade Maw. If you don't have a shard just dodge right as the skull goes away to not get hit by the attack. Make sure to steal a shard just before the end from another group member so you can wooop wooop woooop away while they die from the final boss attack. Good times.

Molten Boss (Beebop and Rocksteady) - p/p and sb (you can use s/p during second phase but you're better off just staying ranged as the boss dies fast enough already no reason to stand in fire to kill it). Standard Utilities. Use Thieves guild at the start so it's back up around 40% of the second boss's health for a faster end burn.

When the Berserker ground slams just continue to Unload with p/p or auto with sb while jumping over the shockwaves. p/p will drop him fast but swap to sb to get out of town with skill 5 if there's too much fire around.

Second phase vs Firestorm just avoid fire and Unload to victory. After winning fire your pistols into the air to celebrate.

Captain Mai Trin - Everyone's favorite. Low end you can d/d it up and use p/p. Higher up its p/p and sb all the way. Standard utilities.

Everyone should stack on MT's butt while she rambles on with Horrik. This gets you a guaranteed blue aoe to drop her shield stacks. Hit p/p 2 to root her in said blue field. Make sure you steal from Mai as you can get the invulnerability drink sometimes. If you don't just use up or get rid of the other trash you stole so it refreshes the cooldown and try again.

This drink is great for the cannon phase if you get in a bad corner. Turn into Mario with a Star and run past cannon fire to safety. Use your heal during cannon phase as it will be back off cooldown when Mai lands again. Try and use Thieves Guild soon as her stacks are down the first time and it will be back up in time for her third appearance.

That's it for the fractals.

If you're still dying in there, refer back to my post on potions over here: Fractal Potion Guide and maybe shove some mango pie in your face.

A special non-crit based build for Fractal 44 so you don't die from your own criticals: 6 (I, VII, X) / 0 / 6 (III, VII, XIII) / 0 / 2 (V)

Hopefully this guide helps you enjoy the class more overall or make you want to start one up. It's a rough class at first but it will make you learn to dodge and in turn make you better at the other classes as well. Any questions just ask away.


Last edited by Varkros on Sun Jun 29, 2014 12:22 am; edited 1 time in total


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Maximum Thief DPS (and not dying) and Fractal Guide Empty Re: Maximum Thief DPS (and not dying) and Fractal Guide

Post by Ender Wiggin on Thu Jun 26, 2014 6:52 am

Ima make a thief now 0.o This guide is super awesome Thank you!!

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Ender Wiggin
Ender Wiggin

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Maximum Thief DPS (and not dying) and Fractal Guide Empty Re: Maximum Thief DPS (and not dying) and Fractal Guide

Post by Das Versprechen on Fri Jun 27, 2014 9:07 am

awesome guide.  i also use the same max dps setup u have for d/d (with some tweaks when i need more stealth or condition removal).  thief is a bit squishy with this setup, but the dps is huge.  survivability largely depends on player experience with this class.  my thief is sitting at 952 hours  Smile
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Maximum Thief DPS (and not dying) and Fractal Guide Empty Re: Maximum Thief DPS (and not dying) and Fractal Guide

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