I’m going to write up my review of the recent patch from the perspective of a condi-Hybrid thief player who has run P/D for a very long time. Obviously, there are quite a few other builds out there but I wanted to share some insights specific to my build as it is developing post-patch.
First, let me stress how important the new Smoke Screen is. Any build with either Leaps or Blasts can use this field for Stealth. Shortbow is especially powerful in this context by providing AoE stealth on Cluster Bomb. Any thief with Shadow Arts and Smoke Screen can achieve significant AoE stealth uptime.
Shadow Arts review:
- In the adapt tier the trade off between stealth on steal with the deception cooldown and Shadow’s Embrace is harsh. Thief doesn’t have that much condi cleanse so the trade off hurts more than other trade offs might be. Deception cooldown might be better to just increase the uses of HiS to reach a decent degree of condi cleanse and utility.
- Leeching Venoms could be better. The extra stacks of venom from this could occur faster. I think the observation that one stack at the outset of gaining stealth could be more appropriate. This appears to be balanced around staying in stealth for the full duration to get six stacks, that is a full 18+ seconds. That’s possible with Smoke Screen and Cluster Bomb but that’s a long time just to get an extra 6k poison damage over 10 seconds.
- Rending Shade: this one is...pretty ok. The extra fear is nice and there is a mix of defense and offense possible with using this trait. But, and this is important: the trait should trigger at the target. Sometimes I need fear at at a specific point and that point should be where I hit and not just a clunky AoE around me.
A few other points:
- Short bow can blast Smoke Screen from a fair distance. You don’t need to be standing in the circle to stack stealth.
- Leeching Venoms (once it stacks venoms to 4+) is decent. But this is balanced around having those stacks so you need to be stacking stealth between fights to make this trait worth taking. If you aren’t able to permastealth or close to it then you shouldn’t take this trait.
- When fighting CI Mirage you can try to burst and then disengage. Build up venom stacks in stealth and then do another burst. This degree of condi will help down the Mirage and give you a fighting chance 1v1.
Northern Shiverpeaks (NSP)
Commandant of P/D and Apex Predator