This build is designed for Conquest Structured Player versus Player

The Dagger/Pistol Thief is all about spike, single target burst damage. The class excels at destroying Berserker Amulet wearers such as Elementalists or Mesmers and is perfect for supporting your team when trying to bring down particularly hardy opponents. Although it has poor survivability outside of the use of Stealth, its mobility often more than makes up for it. I will forewarn however that to play a Thief effectively requires a great deal of practice at engaging and disengaging quickly. Without this, you’ll likely be killed in a matter of seconds.

Weapon Sets and Skills

Skill Variants


There are actually two viable Trait lines for this build. One involves maxing Deadly Arts for Panic Strike and the other involves maximising Critical Strikes for high Precision and higher damage when an opponent is at 50% health. Personally, I prefer Panic Strike because of the Immobilize it provides but there’s no right or wrong here: it just depends on your play style.

Panic Strike

Critical Strikes

Trait Variants

If specialising in Critical Strikes you can take Furious Retaliation or Signets of Power over Critical Haste.


Sigil Variants

  • You can swap the Superior Sigil of Energy on Shortbow for Superior Sigil of Air for higher burst but less evasion.

Runes and Amulet

Rune Variants

  • Superior Rune of the Ogre is a viable alternative because it provides extra Power and Precision but also summons a Rock Dog when struck in combat. The Rock Dog is a nuisance and also prevents people from rallying when downed as it will continue to attack them.

Play and Usage

As previously mentioned your role as a Thief is to spike down opponents as quickly as possible but besides that, decapping Control Points is paramount thanks to your Bow’s mobility. Infiltrator’s Arrow allows you to quickly travel the map so it’s important to use it as much as possible when moving from point to point.  

Spike Damage

Your main burst damage comes from a combination of using Stealth (for the Mug Trait) and Backstab. You can only Backstab when Stealthed so it’s incredibly important to time your Stealth use so that you can Backstab enemies. Opening with Steal will damage your opponent, provide you with Fury, Might and Swiftness while also porting you to your enemy. It’s a very strong opener and if an opponent is already below 50% health, allows you to follow up quickly with Heartseeker or Head Shot if they’re trying to heal. Utilising Blinding Powder after Mug is also a strong opener as you Blind your opponent, Stealth and can quickly use Backstab. If you use Basilik Venom just after your Backstab it’s often enough time to cast Black Powder > Heartseeker > Backstab again.

Black Powder

  • Black Powder is one of the strongest skills available to a Dagger/Pistol Thief. It’s relatively expensive at 6 Initiative but it’s worth the use.
  • Using Black Powder followed by Heartseeker will stealth you. This grants you access to the very powerful Backstab.
  • If you use the Bow’s Cluster Bomb while in the field you’ll Stealth you and your team mates.
  • Using Black Powder on downed enemies will Blind them, allowing you to safe Stomp when you use Heartseeker.
  • If you steal from a Warrior and obtain Whirling Axe you can use this in the field to send out Blinding Bolts.

Other Tips

  • Choking Gas on downed enemies prevents them healing quickly as it reduces their heal effectiveness by 33%
  • Shadow Refuge should be saved for Downed Enemies so that you and they are stealthed. You can then quickly resurrect them.
  • You should try to use Steal against enemies with Stability as it’ll remove the Boon and also daze the opponent.
  • Shadow Step not only breaks Stun but transports you to a location of your choosing. If used correctly, you’ll have enough time to portal to your opponent, burst them down and portal back. It takes practice but it will save your life.
  • If you’re stealthed don’t forget that the Bow’s auto attack will then Immobilize foes. This can be incredibly useful when trying to escape.

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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Lewis currently splits his time between Heroes of the Storm, Battlerite, Crowfall and Conan Exiles, having covered MOBAs and MMOs for many years.