My previously posted Deadeye build focuses on making the first strike to win a fight. This build will focus on skirmishing with a lot of mobility and pressure application. A build that focuses on keeping the maximum distance as possible.
The goal of this build is to never get in melee range. It is also important to point out that kneeling is not necessary, in fact, is discouraged due to low armor and health. There are enough tools in this build that will help the Thief keep the distance. The ideal range is 1200 and it is best to use P/P at any time this minimum distance cannot be maintained.
The Deadeye Skirmish Build
WvW – Skirmisher
The main skills of this build are Rifle #2 and Rifle #3. Rifle #3 build Might stacks while Rifle #2 maintains the ideal distance. Many enemies will try to get close using teleports or leaps. This is where Withdraw and the other utilities come into play. The time when the enemy will attempt to get in range is when the time I use Withdraw and leave a Needle Trap for them — thanks to Trapper’s Respite. I was able to maintain distance against Medi-Guardians this way because traps are unblockable. This tactic also works against Spellbreakers since they cannot Full Counter traps.
The strength of this build is its mobility and its ability to apply constant pressure. There are still Medi-Guards and DD Thieves using Bound in WvW and these builds would always prefer a melee fight. It may require the use of both RfI and Shadowstep in these situations. Consuming the DE Mark using Mercy then using Death’s Retreat for a quick escape is advised in an event the Thieves found themselves without initiatives and need an escape. Shadow Meld is also a very good skill for escaping. There would be many situations when the enemy player will get frustrated and try to run away. This is the only time I would kneel and use Death’s Judgement.
The weakness of this build is its low health pool, thus it is highly recommended that the Thief remains outside of melee as much as possible. My personal weakness is the Mirage, actually, Mesmers in general. Their ability to break targets and stealth skill gives them a lot of advantage over me. Of course, there’s the Scourge, but this spec is not just the weakness of DE, it is the weakness of all.
Building this build
The build was suggested to me in the Thief forums and I made some minor adjustments just to match my playstyle and reflexes. The suggested build was made and fine-tuned for players with better reflexes than I do and with better situational awareness. I still make mistakes so going full Marauder doesn’t work for me and so I tweaked the suggested build to include a couple of Soldier armors. The suggested build also suggests to use Mug, however, the damage and the heal are negligible so I opted for Trapper’s Respite — which worked out pretty well for me. Another change I made is I swapped Signet of Agility for Roll for Initiative. This can always be further fine-tuned depending on who is going to be using it and what armor is available for them. Improvisation is a boon to this build for having the ability to use two stolen items and the chance to reset skills. I’m still conflicted not using Critical Strikes because it brings a lot of damage on crit hits, however, losing Improvisation is not in this build’s favor.
Things to avoid
Scourge lives up to its name as they are the scourge of the battlefield. They are the bane of many builds and it takes 2-3 people to take them down. I highly suggest to not engage Scourge until ArenaNet finally release a balance patch.
There is a lot of dishonesty coming from players playing the Scourge. The recent patch fixed a bug where the Scourge is dealing more damage than intended at the same time cutting the Shade’s duration by half. Scourge players claim that this is a huge nerf, however, last night, the Scourge player is still hard to take down and still deals a lot of damage. This what makes the game toxic when a group of players complains about something that is not even true — but I digress. I just hope that when ArenaNet release a patch that they would acknowledge that DE needs a lot of improvements rather than nerfs.