Episode 16a – Jared’s Thief Guide

Jared’s Guide to not Being a Bad Thief

Thief Guide

I’m taking a different approach this week.  Instead of telling you exactly how I successfully played a thief, in order to give you an option for equally successfully playing a thief; I’m going to tell you how I unsuccessfully played a thief, so that you have an idea of what to avoid.


Don’t Charge in Headfirst


You are not a warrior, you can and will get two-shot by that champion mob over there.  The fact of the matter is, you may get two-shot by him anyway, if he decides your leather armor might taste better than your buddy’s plate or cloth.  There are ways that you can avoid this problem, however:


  • Following a beefier melee character into the fray.
    • Warrior and Guardian are great choices =)
  • Taking advantage of skills that temporarily stealth you.
    • Stealth will drop all mob aggro from you.


Weapon Swapping is Helpful, if You’re Smart About it


So, you’re level 7 and can weapon swap.  The world is a better place because you can dual wield pistols AND daggers, right? I’m here to tell you that in the proper hands it might be.  In mine, as an average newbie thief, it was not.  I spent a large part of my time accidentally weapon swapping at the wrong time and wondering why I was shooting something at point blank range or not attacking at all because I was outside of melee range.  Ways you can maximize the benefit of your weapons swapping include:


  • Choose complimentary weapon sets, like Sword/Dagger and Dagger/Dagger or Pistol/Dagger and Pistol/Pistol
    • Yes I realize these are the breadth of the possible weapon combinations for the thief. I’m simply providing alternatives to Dual Pistols and Dual Daggers that have a slightly lower learning curve.
  • Don’t forget that your “3” skill changes based on what it is that you’re dual wielding.
    • Proper weapon set-up can be the difference between wrecking your target and wondering if someone saw the license plate number on the truck that just hit you.


Don’t Blow Your Initiative Load Early


This was a lesson I learned later than I probably should have.  I was super excited to be able to spam all of my buttons without the hindrance of cooldowns.  Don’t get me wrong, it was super fun blowing up mobs that were equal or lower level than me.  Unfortunately, those higher level mobs laughed at me as I attempted to auto-attack them while I was waiting for my initiative to replenish.  Here is a list of things I should have considered:


  • Save 4 or 5 initiative back, just in case you need to pop a defensive skill to buy yourself time to heal, dodge, or beat a hasty retreat into the shadows.
  • Make sure you don’t combo yourself into a corner.
    • You do a lot of flying around, with dual daggers especially.  One poorly timed skill could aggro that other mob or cut off your escape route.
  • Know your combos (and how much initiative they cost).
    • This will allow you to follow Rule 1 much more easily.  If your combo leaves you with only 1 or 2 initiative then you need to find a better mid-fight combo.  This way, you can pull off that huge, initiative-draining combo, as a finisher.

In closing, I would encourage you to take this advice and mutate it however you would wish it to work for your profession.  After all, many of these points could easily be applied to any other profession.  The key, really, is to take the lessons delivered by a Champion Flame Effigy and allow them to make you a better player.  This way you don’t have to wait for the zerg to show up and win the event for you.


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