(As posted as Guildwars2.com Forum)
At full initiative, Lead Attacks can give you 15% damage increase. Thus, one way of taking advantage of the line is not by spending initiative on skills, which is what you are focusing on, but by conserving initiative on lower cost skills while regenerating initiative at a quicker rate.
When you combine Lead Attacks with First Strikes (10% damage when above 6 initiative) and Executioner (20% damage increase), you become a powerhouse at 50% health.
25 in DA also receives bonus from First Strikes and Executioner, so you’re only chip is Lead Attacks. Sure Lead Attacks grants you 15% dmg boost, but 25 in DA gives you 20% dmg boost (Exp Weak + Improv) on top of +150 Power and +15% condition duration (compare to 10/30/0/0/30 build) difference. Then add First Strikes and Executioner to the equation and you got a lot of dmg boost.
Compare that to a dwindling damage boost given by Lead Attacks every time you spent initiative. Every use of CnD is -6% from your dmg output. That’s just too much restriction in keeping your DPS higher.
Everyone knows that the #1 weapon chain by S/D is pretty powerful. By using it, you’re conserving initiative and dishing some good damage. FS, when used at the right time, can easily do 6k – 9k (watch my videos) for 4 initiative! That’s an awesome damage to initiative ratio. When I want to get in close to my target, it only costs me 3 initiative to do so; but when I combine IS + Steal, with Kleptomaniac, it costs me nothing.
You just proved what I said to be true. Anyone spec-ing into Trickery is really only after the Initiative boost. With 25 in DA, your first Steals gives you a +20% dmg boost right off the bat because of Exposed Weakness and Improvisation. If I use my FS, my dmg doesn’t drop by 4%. When I use IS, my dmg doesn’t drop by 3% even if spec-ing into Trickery gives me a refund. When I use CnD, my dmg doesn’t drop by 6%, etc.
But I can guarantee you that you do not have the mobility needed to fully take advantage of the conserved initiative damage increase with any D/x build because you have to spend so much more initiative to even get close to your target and not die.
It is ideal for D/x because that initial first attack is boosted so high that a back stab will really leave a mark. The initiative boost is not for decoration, it’s for spending, and S/D is not a spender. A D/x build deals more damage when spending the initiative than what Lead Attacks’ negative boost dmg reduction. That’s why putting points into Trickery will benefit D/x more than S/D.
Example: Using Shadow Shot for 4 initiative ~snip~
That’s not a very good example and you know it. :/
Let’s look at S/D: ~snip~
Further evidence that spec-ing Trickery is mainly for initiatives. And it seems that Lead Attack is starting to concern you also.
Trickery with S/D just works and it works very well. I’ve been experimenting with it since November and I can tell you that it’s a very viable and effective way of playing the thief. People have different play styles, but for me, S/D is fun, and I enjoy the challenge of thinking the exact opposite of the majority of the thief population: use less skills for more damage!
That’s not what I’m saying at all. I’m simply saying that if your goal is damage output for S/D, you’re better off not spec-ing Trickery. But if your goal is max Initiative and Initiative gain, then spec Trickery.
The only reason someone will spec for Trickery is when they like spamming their weapon skills, rather than tactically using each one. If you are using your weapon skills tactically, the base initiative of 12 points is more than enough, which no need to spec for Trickery. The bulk of the S/D dmg is really coming from Sword #1’s third strike, which means the rest of the weapon skills in the set are for utility. Some might find this boring but that’s what tactics is all about.
In a build of 10/30/0/0/30, survivability is totally abandoned and less likely to stay in a fight longer than a build that spec for either SA or Acro or both.