Guild Wars 2 Thief

Welcome to the Thief, the most hated profession in the game! Jokes aside, we do get a lot of hate for our constant evades, blinds, shadowsteps and stealth, the latter is the subject to most of the hate. I have played Thief since it first was available in the beta, and I have never looked back. Maybe you, as many others before you, have decided to play a Thief after you got wrecked in WvW, saw a Thief level his character in god mode or simply just fell for the acrobatic fighting style. No matter what brought you here: Welcome to a deceptive, sneaky and deadly profession!

What’s good about the Thief?

  • No cooldowns on weapon skills. Yep, that’s right! But we have a resource pool called Initiative that is shared between weapon sets.
  • Stealth. Not completely unique, but it’s a mechanic that define this profession. Other professions like Mesmer and Ranger have access to it, but it does not define them as much as us (except for PU Mesmer builds). More about this mechanic later.
  • Blinding our enemies. Other professions do throw out a blind here and there, but the Thief is definitely unparalleled in applying this condition.
  • Speed. We can walk within the shadows in both the z and y axis by using different shadowstep skills. Our travel time from point a to b are unparalleled. We can teleport up to that bridge to rain down poison or exploding bombs with our shortbow or to catch up with a fleeing enemy.
  • Burst damage. There’s no other profession that can burst someone from full health to dead in 1 second. We can build for it, but we will be very open for direct attacks or AoE damage.

The downside of being a Thief.

  • Hate from other players. No matter how well you do in PvP you will be told that you won because of the profession mechanics. You will hear that Thief is overpowered (OP) and that you are a bad player, even when you won. In PvE you may find it hard to join dungeon groups because it is very hard to stay alive unless you know the boss mechanics. Most bosses have skills that one shots a Thief.
  • Little passive defense. This is arguable. We have one of the smallest health pools in the game, and our armor/toughness isn’t exactly something to brag about… Since (almost) all our defense is active, we are very often downed unless we know what we are doing. As a Thief we have to learn other professions animations and tells for hard hitting skills. We need to learn dungeons and boss encounters. If we fail to evade one hard hitting attack, stun or knockback, we are probably going down. I find this as much of a pro as a con, simply because it forces me to learn and to always evolve and adapt. I have to be aware of what’s going on around me and I need to scope the terrain for possible areas to shadowstep to if needed. It simply forces me to become a better player.
  • Conditions. This is the one damage source that can completely wreck a Thief. The small health pool makes it very hard to deal with conditions, and unless the Thief is traited into Shadow Arts for condition removal, it has very few other ways of clearing them. There are some healing and utility skills that clear conditions, but not many.
  • Learning curve. Thief is a very hard profession to truly master. It’s easy to get the basics down and go to WvW and kill scrubs and bad players, but once you meet a player that know how to counter Thief you’ll be dead. Good thieves however are almost impossible to beat 1v1, and if you manage to get the better of that Thief it’ll probably run away and never be seen again. It is a steep learning curve, but very fun if you’re up for a challenge!
  • No 1200 weapon. Our ranged weapons are at 900 range.