So, thanks to some judicious use of [Orange Sauce], I was able to hit 80 on my Thief a short time ago. Not a massive achievement, but still a significant step on any Thief’s journey through Tyria. This week, I’ll continue in the same style as my previous guide to the first 40 levels of your experience in Tyria.
At 40, you have many of your traits unlocked and most of the skills you’ll end up using, and you probably feel like you are starting to get a handle on things, gameplay-wise. So what happens next? Well, my friend, now we get into the good stuff. I realize many of you have likely hit 80 a while ago, but I know from my own experience that there are still a few people climbing that ladder. This is for those of you just reaching 80, and for those looking for a slightly different build.
As I noted in my 1 to 40 guide, I see the Thief as falling into three basic leveling styles, which I based on the three personal biography choices available to thieves. The Anonymity-minded thief will focus on Stealth and perhaps condition-based damage. A thief looking for Determination will focus on straight damage, and the Subterfuge thief plays the role of support. I can’t really continue the same way as last time, though. At Level 80, it all comes down to traits. I’m going to offer a trait build for each of these leveling builds for you to build toward.
Also, unlike last time, I’m going to assume you have, or will buy, all training manuals. The markets are starting to stabilize, and I think money is starting to become less of an issue in the game as a whole. Also, it’d make this a much harder article to write if you didn’t have that training manual…
Your Traits are here to make stealth your super-weapon, as well as focusing on critical hits. There’s a good number of Major Traits that affect stealth, but I think that the collection I have chosen is a good mix. This build is 0/30/30/10/0:
- Critical Strikes: Side Strike – Stealth provides you the best means of getting into the perfect position. Your Dagger Stealth skill should be enough to get you to use this. Combo Critical Chance: It’s brilliant. Any dual skill you use will benefit from this. Hidden Killer – The lynchpin. Being able to count on a critical from stealth makes every point, be it from traits, equipment or sigils, into Critical Damage more valuable.
- Shadow Arts: Shadow’s Embrace – Plays into the idea of stealth being your refuge. Removing conditions can be incredibly useful in the right situations, and is never a bad idea. Patience – Your initiative regen trait. Every build should address the Thief’s need for initiative, and this is yours. Shadow Rejuvenation – Makes stealth even more of a safe haven for you, as you effectively now have a slew of healing skills.
- Acrobatics: Fleet Shadow – Seems obvious. Since you’ll be in stealth for a good part of your gameplay, moving faster while in stealth makes a lot of sense.
Focus on Damage and Survivability. Though the best way to do this in my opinion is to dodge roll often, and use dodge skills like Withdraw, I’ve gone for a less mobile form of survivability in this build, which is 10/30/0/30/0:
- Deadly Arts: Sundering Strikes – Vulnerability is one of the best ways to bring an enemy down fast. A 40% chance for 5 seconds of vulnerability is nothing to scoff at. Nor is the extra power you’ll get from investing in this trait line.
- Critical Strikes: Furious Retaliation – Fury for 10 seconds? I almost don’t care what the prerequisites are. It is also a great bit of surviviability, as you can use every benefit you can get. Combo Critical Chance – I think this is a superb trait to take in almost any build. Combo skills tend to involve a flurry of attacks, from Unload to Pistol Whip. So, for each of those to have a better chance of being a critical hit? Sound like a good plan to me . Executioner - More damage to the injured? This is this build’s perfect skill. Focus on those enemies at low health and watch them drop.
- Acrobatics: Power of Inertia – If you are a thief, you should be dodge rolling often. This trait will make sure that those dodges can be translated into more killing power. Assassins Reward – If you are going to be in close combat, you are likely going to be taking damage. Signet of Malice will help mitigate this, but this skill can also help. Quick Pockets – perhaps an odd choice, but I can imagine switching quickly between a sword and dual daggers. You initiative woes are managed, and you get to be a flurry of blades. Win-win, in my mind!
You’re building your traits for others in this build. You want to focus on granting boons to your allies or help them in some other fashion. Though there are many ways this can be done, I’ve opted for a 0/0/20/20/30 build:
- Shadow Arts: Master of Deception – It’s all about Shadow Refuge. The more often you can use this, the better off your group will be. Shadow Protector – Makes Shadow Refugee all the more powerful. I call it my “healing nuke.”
- Acrobatics: Nothing in the Adept traits is all that amazing for this build, but I’ll suggest Descent of Shadows. I’ve had great success with it in WvW as a support Thief. Quick Recovery – Your answer to any Initiative woes you may have.
- Trickery: Thrill of the Crim e- Buff those allies!. Bountiful Thef t- again… BUFF THOSE ALLIES! Sleight of Hand – Super helpful to have a daze available for use.
So, there is my take on the journey to 80. There are, of course, many ways to accomplish this. Going into WvW, spending your time crafting, it all works, and I’d say you should diversify. It is the spice of the game. Now that you are a level 80 Thief, find a goal or a passion. If you want to craft a legendary weapon, start working towards that. Hoping to lead your server to victory in WvW? You should start saving for that Commander upgrade. Hell, if you even want to play the market game, you can do that too! This game is all about finding a goal and working towards it. Do that, and I think you’ll be playing for a long time to come…