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Thief commander WVW?


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Even though guardian has always been the prime commander, once upon a time you could command with pretty much anything. I remember a thief commander that did very well, he used to run EB and was basicly unkillable.

But that was back in the old days when WvW was more about classes instead of just boons, boons and more boons. If you aint running a boonball with your entire bar being filled with all the boons all the time, you're doing WvW wrong. Thus anything that doesnt give boons is unacceptable.

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If you're on discord or something and you roll with everyone a lot you can make calls and set markers. You can probably drive with some builds but you might start feeling your thief skills wanting to be used correctly, and that's often as a 1 to ? split in and out of your group or squad. A lot of your skills and utilities have trajectories and use of space that might drive your people too hard to keep up and could place them in a lot of hurt unexpectedly if you're not always scoping out the area. Maybe a sustaining specter or drd build for driving with weapon kits or other stuff to make good use of everyones circles. Probably DrD since Specter is tuned to arm themselves with the driver. 

That's a lot of stress keeping your people up if you run into a comped guild or murder pugs who know how to walk you into something or make you over extend or panic. I'd rather be a squad fixer-upper.


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If you want to command a real Zerg and lead your people you have to beef up by a lot as a Thief. Something like sentinels gear is well advised. You should Not rely on shadowsteps,otherwise you will lose people with every shadowstep you do. In my opinion you have two Options. Either daredevil with Blocks, dodges and stunbreaks or specter with shroud as a second Life bar.


Overall I would Not recommend to command a Zerg as a Thief. Because you have to sacrifize so much of your Power and useful traits in Order to survive Standing and leading the Squad under damage pressure that you do Not Bring anything Else to the Party besides your lead.

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Normally you only really see Mesmers and Firebrands in organised zergs, simply because of the easy sustain they can bring themselves. When a commander dies, it becomes really hard for a group to keep themselves together. Mesmer can be really tanky with Distortion and self-Stability and valuable to a squad with things like Veil, and Firebrand has a lot of access to self-sustain due to the fact of a lot of Stability to give and share.


Thieves shines more the smaller the group gets. It's not tanky at all, even with very tank stats. There is only one skill literally that gives Stability. Yes you could go Specter for the Stability well, but even that is lackluster and Specter really doesn't bring much to the table.

Futhermore, Thief has a lot of leaps, jumps, teleports and all that stuff. People will have a hard time following you around, even if it's on voice.


If you really, REALLY want to Thief, I mean: sure, go for it, but don't expect to hold up against decent enemy tags. It will work great as a PPT tag, and that's about it.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...

I normally roam but I have tag and turn it on, and have led sizeable groups almost always without voice because I am a shy/introvert pug commander. I normally play thief when I am in wvw and when I turn my tag on.

8  months ago, I got into contact with other thief players who used to command back in the day. To summarize their responses: Either buff up your hp so you can actually lead more so from the front, or go full dps and watch your positioning (use voice), or a mix of dps and tank gear. It's harder for sure basically and the people whom I questioned and I think in other online posts about this topic suggest specter because of the double health bar. 

I believe not to long ago support specter was on metabattle in the zerg section. For some groups like the guild I am in we absolutely allow support specters which use minstal gear which can be a nice hp/tank set up maybe that can work for a commander thief but at the end of the day, atm guard, mesmer are go to commanders.

In smaller havoc squads focusing on taking smaller objectives thief can work I would say. If you try to lead a zerg group I would suggest smoke screen as it can block projectiles for you and your team and/or dagger storm if you don't feel that confident with a tankish set up or a full zerk gear. You could also, designate a lieutant and give them a mark above their head incase you are afraid you will go down quick. Probably a friend who is experienced in zerg fights who can act as a back up lead.

Edited by VaderFan.8537
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  • 1 month later...
On 3/25/2023 at 4:55 PM, Jtoon.6907 said:

I am mostly a support person on other classes. Thief is my first class I made. Is there a good commander build for WVW?

I command pugs mostly on kain

Used to run HEAL guild bout 5 years ago now I'm only member left.

When I command on thief I run specter, feel free to watch my twitch channel TCKama. You might catch some gameplay normally on around 12 hours a day fri sat sun.

Edited by Zippidy.1045
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