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Can someone explain Shortbow to me for pvp/wvw


Karma Crimzin.5079

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Hello everyone title pretty much sums it up. I wanted to make a S/D build and realize that nothing really changed to much with it and it looks like core is still the main way to play the build but for a secondary weapon I've been seeing shortbow being used pretty much exclusively. I was wondering why? I don't really understand the weapon much and if there is something I've been missing I want to know what it is. I've been using P/P for the fun of it because unload is great when people don't block or unaware of the massive damage dump. Just shortbow seems to be the go too for everything no matter what it is and I just want to know what it brings.

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Alas, the Shortbow... ever since before I began playing, it has been all but the required second weapon for Thieves in PvP.

The reason is that Infiltrator's Arrow (5 key) allows the Thief to move around the map very quickly and very efficiently, especially over gaps and up cliffs/platforms.

Such mobility is required for the Thief to do the one thing it's good at in PvP which is to decap empty control points.

It also allows the Thief to reach fights and imbalance them in the Thief team's favor quickly.

It is for that reason, seemingly, that the Thief does not get its combat abilities upgraded much even though they are really lacking against other professions.

Of course, you may know all this already. But it seems to remain as true today as it did when I started playing years ago. No other weapon set can make up for what Infiltrator's Arrow does. It's just THAT useful to the sole purpose of a Thief in PvP.

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Quite simple. Shortbow 5, Infiltrators Arrow. In WvW, its great mobility that allows you to run away from any fight you dont think you can win (unfortunately, this tends to be most of them). In sPvP, shortbow 5 is the sole reason thief is viable. Your ability to move around the map at unparalleled speeds and decap and +1 is tied with that one skill, and without it, youre useless.

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Ok thats kinda sad though being that its only took for one skill. Even though im taking P/P for unload but at least I can interrupt with that and blind with it. I'll give it a shot though all the same and see if I like it. I dont have problems in P/P S/D when I PvP but since im not using Daredevil anymore it is hard to get around. Thanks for all the info if I like it then ill use Shortbow but I rather be "useless" playing something I like than be "viable" playing something I hate.

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@"Karma Crimzin.5079" said:Ok thats kinda sad though being that its only took for one skill. Even though im taking P/P for unload but at least I can interrupt with that and blind with it. I'll give it a shot though all the same and see if I like it. I dont have problems in P/P S/D when I PvP but since im not using Daredevil anymore it is hard to get around. Thanks for all the info if I like it then ill use Shortbow but I rather be "useless" playing something I like than be "viable" playing something I hate.

Shortbow can be used for offense as well. Drop a poison field from #4, then fire a couple autos through it, repeat. This is a good way to get some cleave from the edges of team fights, as the poison field reduces healing and also causes Daze when you spike the poison stacks to 5 on your opponents. #2 does good damage as well. I would suggest playing around with the weapon a bit. You may be surprised.

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@"Karma Crimzin.5079" said:Ok thats kinda sad though being that its only took for one skill. Even though im taking P/P for unload but at least I can interrupt with that and blind with it. I'll give it a shot though all the same and see if I like it. I dont have problems in P/P S/D when I PvP but since im not using Daredevil anymore it is hard to get around. Thanks for all the info if I like it then ill use Shortbow but I rather be "useless" playing something I like than be "viable" playing something I hate.

If you detonate the #2 sb attack the CB at closer range to the ground and it crits you might inflict aoe backstab comparable dmg to the enemy(s). It's a good source of pressure anyways and since thief doesant have too much 360 deg cleave, this can be used that way to a certain amount. It's great for deleting mesmer clones too. You can also use both #2 and #4 to agitate other people in stealth. #1 and #3 are pretty good kiting tools too, so you can keep a bit o pressure on stuff like reaper shroud form while keeping your distance from their melee or 600 range that is about an instant death sentince for a squishy thief. #1 is pretty good against 2 opponents that stick close together since it does double the dmg due to bouncing. #3 can be used instead of a normal dodge against quick attaks if you get stuck with sb and to manage some of your endurance and also for exiting pulsing aoe float effects. And yeah, #5 everyone knows what's that for.

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Cause it serves its purpose for those niche moments in need. Arguably the best weapon in thief's arsenal even tho it does not excel at damage. The utility is just irreplaceable. All of which has been mentioned by others before. It never left my second slot regardless of what weapon (combo) i use as main. That's how good it is. I love it

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I find that cause of the Initiative system, you gain very little from having two sets that have the same functionality.shortbow is an unrivaled disengage weapon that offers so much functionality. aoedmg on 1-2, sb3 for evadeframes, sb4 for downed cleave interrupts, sb5 for mobility..it complements any of the other sets so well.

I use an offensive set, and then a shortbow.

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You know that sad feeling you get when your defense runs out and that cluster bomb comes floating at you right at that moment?

What about after you are down and you see the thief spamming choking gas while your allies are trying to res you and the enemies are stomping/cleave?

What about the auto attack ping pong ding dong accidental shot that takes you out (10 % health left) from behind los just because it hit your buddy?

The war that goes rampage and hits you with the rock right after you cast infiltrators arrow?

Phew.

This little pony drives people baloney....

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While others have noted how invaluable Infiltrator's Arrow is, I would also like to note that, because of the way initiative works, thieves don't really need a second offensive weapon. Other classes swap weapons because they have weapon skill cooldowns. Since thieves don't have weapons cooldowns, they don't really need to swap weapons in combat unless trying to get away or something. In my mind, each thief build uses a single weapon set + shortbow, and that is just fine. It makes our gameplay more focused, and you can get better at using a set much faster if you are only using one. Honestly, this is a great boon, because I wouldn't want to have to constantly decide whether shortbow was worth taking. I like always being able to take it.

Of course, shortbow isn't required. If you still want the mobility, rifle #4 is comparable. If you bind a key for look behind, you can use it almost just like Infiltrator's Arrow and still have the much greater damage from rifle, although you do have to give up steal and a spec for Deadeye.

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@kaikalii.4198 said:While others have noted how invaluable Infiltrator's Arrow is, I would also like to note that, because of the way initiative works, thieves don't really need a second offensive weapon. Other classes swap weapons because they have weapon skill cooldowns. Since thieves don't have weapons cooldowns, they don't really need to swap weapons in combat unless trying to get away or something. In my mind, each thief build uses a single weapon set + shortbow, and that is just fine. It makes our gameplay more focused, and you can get better at using a set much faster if you are only using one. Honestly, this is a great boon, because I wouldn't want to have to constantly decide whether shortbow was worth taking. I like always being able to take it.

Of course, shortbow isn't required. If you still want the mobility, rifle #4 is comparable. If you bind a key for look behind, you can use it almost just like Infiltrator's Arrow and still have the much greater damage from rifle, although you do have to give up steal and a spec for Deadeye.

I like shortbow for all of the skills but I also like carrying a Bounding Dodger over on Inf Arrow, between that and Disabling Shot I can work a small area or make my way out similarly to playing staff. Inf Arrow you can distance and target normally but rifle 4 you have to guesstimate the arch, and by instinct you have to place the middle of that arch just right to scale small walls if that's what you're trying to do or if you're trying to get up to a ledge you have to know how far out to be. I wouldn't bother using look-behind or about face key binds, I'd speed up pan camera and work Death's Retreat untargeted the same way you'd use Withdraw and get used to the distance by muscle memory.

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5 for mobility, #4 for poison field - can make interrupts, reduces healing and autos deal more dmg if in poison field, #3 - evade, for kiting #2 for blasting (poison field on #4, but also stealth etc) and for good burst and cleave from using 2 again. #1 for ranged dmg that bounces between foes. Actually if u got 2 enemies and ull put poison field on them, it can deal quite a dmg to them

SB is defensive set, to keep up distance, has many possibilities and synergies well with whole thief kit. Imo one of best weapons in the game, but also one of hardest to master and utilize properly

Also if u got daydreamer u can troll ur enemies(or allies as well) with killed-unicorn sound

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Ok i'm trying to learn it now to get use to the set and i can see the choking gas has been helping a lot even when I just fire it off in a large group but I get focused down when I do it. PvP is a little new to me still anyway so its just practice that I need. I really do like all the tips and feedback since I really was confused as to why it was used.

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@"kaikalii.4198" said:because of the way initiative works, thieves don't really need a second offensive weapon. Other classes swap weapons because they have weapon skill cooldowns. Since thieves don't have weapons cooldowns, they don't really need to swap weapons in combat unless trying to get away or something.

I can understand this perspective, though I do have another perspective. While a Thief's weapon skills don't have cooldowns, the weapon sets as a whole do have cooldowns through initiative. Initiative is a cooldown in itself, only in a different manner. And unlike other professions, if a Thief uses all of its initiative, it can't just switch weapon sets to gain new skills that are not on cooldown. This makes playing the Thief even more of a balancing act, requiring more planning and awareness just in managing resources.

Also, because the Thief can actually have two weapon sets, and because there is only one shared initiative pool between them, I would definitely prefer two "real" weapon sets. Originally, I played Deadly Arts/Critical Strikes/Trickery with Dagger/Pistol with Sword/Dagger. I could hit very hard on many targets with D/P, and those that were too tanky, I could switch over to S/D and survive while still putting out decent damage. I loved the playstyle. The problem is that I was spending too much time fighting, and not enough time decapping. So when I started to decap more, I didn't have the required mobility (this was before Swiftness on Sword 2), so I had to switch to Shortbow even though I ran with Traveler's Runes or Signet of Shadows. I started to win more matches, but I lost more fights.

Personally, because the Shortbow is a "utility" weapon, I think it should be part of a set of "Thieves' Tools" that every Thief has access to (like an F3-key). It would allow every Thief to have mobility and utility it needs to remain viable in Conquest without sacrificing combat ability... something that it really needs in order to stay viable in a fight. It won't give the Thief any more potential as a decapper as it has now, and it won't give the Thief more potential as a fighter than it already has now... it would only allow it to do both... something that would hardly break the game with all of the nerfs the Thief already receives.

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