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Clearing camps with S/D Power Daredevil?

Taylan.2187Taylan.2187 Member ✭✭✭

So I just spent some time and resources getting Marauder gear for this build because I hoped I could get more effective in WvW roaming:

I've applied the following exceptions to the build:

  • For better survival while learning the build I went with all Marauders on the armor, only Berserker on the weapons.
  • Weapons and armor are exotic until I decide I like the build and work on getting ascended gear. (Amulet/rings/accessories/backpack are ascended.)
  • Rune of Rage for now to cut costs.

I'll probably need some time to learn dueling with the build and actually get effective at the PvP aspect of WvW roaming, but after trying out the build on camps I noticed the following:

CAMPS ARE HARD! Previously I had a dumb simple all-Carrion condi build on my thief with which I could spam Choking Gas and jump around the camp NPCs with Lotus Training to stack poison, or use Dagger Storm to get the same effect, and they'd all die pretty soon. Low effort, quick results. But with this build it seems I have to pick the NPCs one by one and actually put some serious effort into the fight or else risk actually getting killed by them.

Is this normal? Am I doing something terribly wrong? L2P? The other character I've been playing in WvW since months is a zerg scourge and clearing camps is totally easy peasy with that build once I get all NPCs on one spot so I thought a roaming build should be more effective on it, not less.


  • Strider Pj.2193Strider Pj.2193 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 22, 2020

    Being S/D most of your attacks are up close, and the blinds the vets spawn relentlessly can be a bear. Need to learn to interrupt those, AND the heals. Use the teleports in and out to make it a little easier.

    People think Thief is faceroll....

    Edit: others are better at pointing out finer points of thief for camps.

    Thank You for the {MEME}

  • Biermeister.4678Biermeister.4678 Member ✭✭✭

    Better solo cap builds out there sword dagger disadvantage all close combat might want to look at a staff builds for camps

  • Taylan.2187Taylan.2187 Member ✭✭✭

    Thanks for validating my experience LOL. Perhaps I could swap between a staff build and an s/d build without needing to swap gear? The staff one wouldn't be as optimized but that shouldn't matter in the PvE aspects of WvW I guess.

    Thing is, I'd gladly learn to take out camps the s/d way (pick enemies one by one) but the longer it takes you to cap a camp, the higher the risk you'll get caught by an enemy group, or another roamer who can duel better, so I think quick NPC kills are pretty essential.

  • Paradoxoglanis.1904Paradoxoglanis.1904 Member ✭✭✭✭

    s/d thief is probably one of the worst builds for camp clearing. Your only real "aoe" is auto attacks or sb spam, so you cant really los and stack npcs to quickly burst them down. I would probably just hold onto a staff or use s/p for camps.

  • Duckota.4769Duckota.4769 Member ✭✭✭

    Nothing wrong with using dagger 5 to kite around a camp either. Cloak and dagger works on supply (even if none is showing). There are better builds for clearing camps though as others point out. I played core s/d for quite a while when it was meta and cleared camps with even less dodges, but it still wasnt very enjoyable.

  • reddie.5861reddie.5861 Member ✭✭✭✭

    s/d is no camp capper...

    all u need with s/d is patience and porting in and out at right moments to drop your enemy i mean if played right ull never really be in danger, thus being said ur not gonna port in and out on camp npc's..

    if i was u id just get pistol with me and pistol whip camps..

  • SpellOfIniquity.1780SpellOfIniquity.1780 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 24, 2020

    With some things it's necessary to swap a utility or two for capping a camp. This can put you at a disadvantage if someone comes to defend, but if it means you'll take it faster it's probably worth doing. The longer you take the more likely someone is to come stop you.

    Smoke Screen is a good skill to slot for taking camps. Pull all the NPC's behind an object ( LOS ) so they all stack on you, drop Smoke Screen + Choking Gas, spam Cluster Bomb and they should die pretty quick while missing most attacks. The Vet and one other NPC might survive your initial burst so back away a bit when your Initiative is spent and Smoke Screen wears off. Mash autos on any survivors and that should be all.

    Alternatively, you can run circles around them while spamming Cluster Bomb behind you as you move. You'll likely take more damage this way and if you don't dodge the guard CC's it can be bad news, but you won't have to change a utility and because you'll be moving constantly you're less likely to eat much damage besides the ranged attacks from the scouts. Just be sure to move fast enough that they follow you as well. If you're not moving far enough they'll just stand in place and get free hits on you.

    Also, you can try my "cheese" method for upgraded camps. Have some supplies with you, throw a blueprint and build it. You don't need to complete it, just put supplies in it to give it health. NPC's will often focus siege because it has higher health/armor. You can use this to body block for you and also to take some of the pressure off while NPC's attack it. I use this trick to take T3 camps and it works 99% of the time, although if there are also mercenaries it doesn't work so well.

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  • Widmo.3186Widmo.3186 Member ✭✭✭

    Lol, if you cant get a camp solo with thief, I hardly believe you can kill anyone who knows how keyboard works.
    All thief builds are perfectly capable of capping camps, different playstyles, but its not a problem for any of them. Sd - pick guards 1by1 and make use of CnD, dp - stack and make use of Black Powder, staff - spam 5, condi - spam choking gas. Have fun.

    Dont mind me, I just randomly spam 35 skill-buttons
    25.02.2020 edit - Nevermind, now I spam only 29 skill-buttons

  • Zepoolpe.9217Zepoolpe.9217 Member ✭✭
    edited May 24, 2020

    @Taylan.2187 said:
    Is this normal? Am I doing something terribly wrong? L2P? The other character I've been playing in WvW since months is a zerg scourge and clearing camps is totally easy peasy with that build once I get all NPCs on one spot so I thought a roaming build should be more effective on it, not less.

    If you are playing SD thief the same way a s ascourge, then yes, you are doing something terribly wrong.
    Ask thieves for pointers (Widmo & Spell already gave you some tips in the post above)... For example, try asking to some Youtubers that main thieves and post build and guides videos for some tips: they are usually more than happy to help (for thief, I'd suggest Noody)...

  • DeceiverX.8361DeceiverX.8361 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 24, 2020

    Have to leverage LoS, kiting, CnD stealth for target breaking and the sword stealth skill daze for interrupts, and actually dodge the camp's NPC's skills.

    Ensure you're using the 130 weapon melee range to your advantage as well. Scouts' blind still follows the pre-nerf BP blind rules of pulsing once per second with a 120 blind radius field, and will seriously mess with your damage if you stand in it. This means your tolerance for range is 10 units to get sword AA's to land while they have the field up.

    It can help to IS/IR their blind field after they use it as well as the camp guard's immob, as IR will cleanse it, then pay attention to where they were standing before for the next few seconds, and don't stand where the fields were cast. DDagger's cripple and IS's immob will help you kite, as the mobs will not attack at > 120 range, either.

    You have to maximize your cleaves and dazes for critical interruptions too (such as supervisor heals), and may need to reset and kill the mobs one or two at a time if you're not in ascended or familiar with the class yet.

    If the camp is upgraded, especially if you're newer to thief, you'll need to skip it, play another weapon set, or find friends. S/P and P/P work pretty well as far as core weapons go, and staff and rifle also work well to clear the camps either with lots of aggressive cleave burst damage or safely plink out the big threats easier.

    It's something you have to slowly learn and die a lot on. Contrary to popular opinion, core thief is hard to play well, and struggles a lot in multi-target scenarios, which is a primary reason why it deliberately isn't taken in group encounters. It's just weak at them. "Roaming builds" are more about self-sufficiency, mobility around the map (largely negated by mounts) and the ability to run away when played at an expected level rather than clearing objectives solo. This is why roaming builds have also included stuff like boonbeast and other various mesmer builds in the past, which have atrocious PvE damage. The focus is duels, picking off other players, and misdirection while moving around the map faster than the main blob.

    Since several of thief's major power skills were also heavily nerfed in the major update recently (S/D pretty much untouched though), dispatching mobs is also generally harder than before, and generally harder than most other classes. Condi thief is also just easier to play than most of the power variants, and most condi builds have the stats, weapon skills, and trait lines to make them beefier and better at head-on approaches.

    You can't run at a camp, unload your cooldowns, and just kill everything like you can on most necro builds (saying this as a reaper player) when playing thief. Despite the initiative mechanic enabling spam, you really do need to be pretty mindful of what to cast and when.

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  • Dagger.2035Dagger.2035 Member ✭✭✭

    It should be easy to clear camps as S/D if you use short bow. Don't use your sword until there are 3 targets or less and no Veteran Scouts remaining. Blinds affect S/D too much but it has no effect on Cluster Bomb. You want to spam Cluster Bomb shotgun style so it explodes right on top of you.

    You just need to use line of sight to pull all of the enemies behind a pillar. Drop a poison field, then start spamming your dodges and Cluster Bomb. If you need to, you may use Dagger Storm to get a break and recover some initiative mid way through the capture. Try to use Dagger Storm after you put down a poison field, then stay on top of it. After Dagger Storm, you drop another poison field and rinse and repeat. For faster camp capture's try and interrupt the lord's heal. It should happen once you've killed most of the other NPCs.

    It may make sense to start out using Critical Strikes and Invigorating Precision until you get used to camp captures. The heals from your critical hits should make camp captures trivial.

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  • kash.9213kash.9213 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Shortbow or Rifle backup, a few sources of life steal and siphon along with Cloaked in Shadow, and Dancing Dagger usually clears camps at an alright pace. Maybe setup for Infiltrators Return outside at the start in case you were setup to get jumped once you committed. I de-target to pick a direction and stagger Flanking Strike with dodges and blinds to work my way out if I need to.

    Northern Shiverpeaks [EL]

  • babazhook.6805babazhook.6805 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 24, 2020

    While you have to kite if sticking to s/d a problem is that retreat they pull off if you kite too far which in turn full heals them. S/d is likely the worst set for camp clears. There nothing worse then blowing INI , kiting out to avoid death dealing damage and then see the bloody guards retreat and heal to full.

    S/d is just too slow for camp clears. Even low tier camps will often see you take too long resulting in one of the first guards you killed regenning this leading to the chances an enemy player shows when you still working at the camp and out of INI.