he 5-point trait Exposed Weakness in the Deadly Arts line provides a 10% damage modifier when the target is suffering from a condition. A rapid-action backstab after applying serpent’s touch and lotus poison will net a 10% increased damage modifier before the conditions are cleansed – not to mention the additional 50 power gained from the build. At best, a 4/6/0/0/4 build – or any other 4/6/x/x/x variant will achieve close to a 5% damage modifier through other traits without the bonus power.
Why it deals more damage than 6/6/0/0/2:
6/6/0/0/2 is a hard-hitting spec, but it fails to utilize the 5-point Critical Strikes trait First Strikes’ 10% damage modifier. With a signet burst build, a thief will be generating 11-16 stacks of might on engage (quad signets are a waste), putting the thief well over 3 thousand power. In WvW with proper food and gear, this number can start approaching the 4k number. Gaining an extra 200 power from Revealed training nets around a 5-7% damage increase. With Preparedness, a thief will have 13 initiative, and after a CnD will thus have 7 initiative, allowing for First Strikes’ 10% damage modifier to be applied even on the Mug damage portion, let alone the backstab, thus signficantly increasing the overall damage dealt by the combo by roughly 15-20% when the CnD hit is also included.
Why it’s better than both:
More damage, identical survivability, near-identical cooldowns on steal (it’s a 1s faster recharge 4 pts deep into Trickery versus 3s).
I’ve found extreme success with this in WvW roaming, but you NEED to pick your fights well. You will have matchups you can’t win, and should be paying attention to your enemies to see what kind of setups they run based off of what utility passives or stacks they might have. It is NOT a build you can just engage anyone with, and it’s extremely punishing for misplays. That said, the damage potential is absolutely incredible and this build can end fights before they even begin.