I would argue that the Sword/Dagger build for a Thief is the strongest available at the moment. It hits hard, has ridiculous amounts of mobility and evasion and can disengage combat in seconds. It’s harder to learn than Dagger/Pistol and it has less of a spike but it has much more survivability because of it.

Weapon Sets and Skills

Skill Variants


Trait Variants


Sigil Variants

  • You can swap the Superior Sigil of Air on Dagger for Superior Sigil of Energy for more evasion.

Runes and Amulet

Rune Variants

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. Unlike a Dagger/Pistol Thief you’ll also spend a lot more time visible when using Sword/Dagger but you should use your evades and Shadow Steps’ to stay alive.  

Spike Damage

A Sword/Dagger Thief’s spike is much slower than a Dagger variant but it’s still incredibly strong. Your main damage comes from Steal, your Swords auto attack and Flanking Strike. You will however have to use your evades and Shadow Steps’ to avoid damage to retreat and then re-engage. You have access to a large pool of skills that will teleport you, stealth or allow you to evade:

You should always open with Infiltrator's Strike because it not only teleports you to your opponent but if you use it again, it will teleport you back. If you use this on a ledge or out of line of sight you can get a good surprise attack and retreat to safety after your burst. You should follow this up with Steal and Flanking Strike. Once you’re safely away and your Initiative has begun to recharge, you can go in again with Infiltrator’s Strike. If you’re coming under heavy fire use Cloak and Dagger to Stealth and retreat or Shadow Step away before returning back to the fight once you’ve healed. This build is all about using your teleports to disorientate your opponent and mitigate damage.

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

Lover of all things MOBA, Lewis splits his time between Heroes of the Storm, Battlerite, Crowfall and Conan Exiles.