Guild Wars 2: End Of Dragons – Best Open-World Build For Specter Thieves

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  • The Specter Explained
  • The Best Specter Traits For Open-World
  • The Best Gear For The Specter Open-World Build

Want to know the best open-world build for your Specter Thief in Guild Wars 2? You've come to the right place, read on to learn how to turn your sneaky and stabby thief into a master of shadow and death.

While the Thief is a strong class in Guild Wars 2, especially in player versus player game modes, the Specter specialization turns the Thief into an absolutely unstoppable force. Normally the Thief is a bit of a glass cannon, but this is not the case with the Specter. This elite specialization gains access to a bunch of new tools and traits that greatly enhance your survivability (and your companions) while still dealing respectable damage.

The Specter Explained

The Specter elite specialization new to the End of Dragons expansion brings a bunch of changes to the Thief profession. Your F1 Steal skill becomes Siphon, and you can use a scepter in your main hand. The scepter deals mostly condition damage and the weapon skill 3 changes depending upon what offhand weapon you use (more on that later).

You also gain access to another skill, usually bound to the F2 key; this skill is called Shadow Shroud. It works almost the same as core Necromancer's Death Shroud. It acts as a secondary health pool and makes the Thief significantly more durable.

Shadow Shroud

Shadow Shroud is similar to Death Shroud but has a few key differences. A Thief fuels Shadow Shroud by spending initiative (using their weapon skills) and using Siphon (the F1 Steal skill used by the Specter). Siphon especially gives you a large chunk of Shadow Force.

It's actually easier for a Thief to build up their Shadow Shroud because they don't have to kill things for large bumps of Life Force like a Necromancer. This arguably makes Shadow Shroud better for longer fights, and a Thief can use Siphon while in Shadow Shroud to extend its duration.

The Best Specter Traits For Open-World

The picture above shows you the optimal trait picks for the Specter open-world build. You'll be taking traits from the following lines: Deadly Arts, Trickery, and Specter. We're going to go into detail as to why you should pick these traits in particular and what the synergies are between them.

Deadly Arts

In Deadly Arts, you'll be taking the following traits: Deadly Ambition, Panic Strike, and Potent Poison. This line is all about enhancing your lethality, specifically by making you apply more conditions – especially poison, which is an excellent source of condition damage. Let's look at the traits in detail.

  • Deadly Ambition – makes it so every time you use a dual-wield attack (weapon skill three for the Thief) you apply two stacks of poison.
  • Panic Strike – changes your attacks to also apply poison when you immobilize them, which goes fantastically well with our weapon skill 3.
  • Potent Poison – gives you an additional stack of poison on every trait that applies poison (which is why every trait applies at least two stacks).

Plus, these are the bonuses you get for putting points into deadly arts:

  • Using Siphon on enemies inflicts three stacks of poison.
  • You weaken targets when you poison them.
  • You deal extra strike damage per condition on the target (two percent extra strike damage per condition).


You'll be taking the following traits from the Trickery line: Thrill of the Crime, Trickster, and Quick Pockets. Trickery is all about boosting the power of your Siphon skill. It also allows you to gain initiative more easily, letting you to sustain your attack. Now let's have a look at the Trickery traits picks in detail.

  • Thrill of the Crime when using Siphon you'll get ten seconds of fury, might (three stacks) and swiftness.
  • Trickster tricks gain reduced recharge and cure a condition when used – this is a great trait even if you only have one Trick utility skill slotted.
  • Quick Pockets allows you to gain three initiative when swapping weapons while in combat, which is a great way to get even more initiative, if you actually. need it.

These are the bonuses we get for putting points into Trickery:

  • Gain two initiative when using Siphon.
  • Increases maximum initiative by three and also gives you extra expertise.
  • Reduces Siphon cooldown by 15 percent and also slightly boosts strike damage.


Finally, we have the Specter trait line. This gives us access to all the basic mechanics this build needs to thrive. We'll be using the following traits: Consume Shadows, Larcenous Torment, and Strength of Shadows. This trait line is all about ramping up our torment/overall condition damage and giving us a ton of sustain. Let's look at the traits in detail.

  • Consume Shadows builds up stacks to a maximum of five – after the five stacks are built up (which takes five seconds), exiting Shadow Shroud consumes the stacks and then heals you and your allies.
  • Larcenous Torment Extends the duration of torment you inflict, and you also gain shadow force every time you apply torment to an enemy.
  • Gain extra expertise based on your vitality stat, damage is reduced based upon the amount of conditions the target attacking you has, and your Rot Wallow effect applies longer-lasting torment.

Rot Wallow is something you gain as a built in trait for the Specter, you grant it to allies, and it allows their attacks to inflict torment. It also increases the effectiveness of Specter healing effects.

The Best Gear For The Specter Open-World Build

The gear we'll be using is very straightforward, we'll need a blend of damage and survivability. So, we'll be going for a combo of Trailblazer's (Toughness, Vitality, Condition Damage, and Expertise) as well as Dire (Toughness, Vitality, and Condition Damage). This gear setup will allow us to take a few hits and dish them out.

You'll be using Trailblazer's stats in all the armor slots, and then you'll use Dire in the Back, Accessory, and Trinket slots – for the Amulet slot stick to Trailblazer's.

Specter Weapons

The Thief has access to a varied arsenal, but you'll be using the Scepter and the Pistol for the purposes of this build. The Skill 3 of Scepter and Pistol combines into the dual-wield skill 3 known as Measured Shot. This last skill has a second part to it called Endless Night. The vast majority of the damage in this build comes from this skill, which makes it one of the easiest builds to play in the game.

You'll begin by using your Siphon skill (use it in combat whenever it's off cooldown), then you'll use your skill 3 Measured Shot/Endless Night. When you need healing, you can switch to your Shadow Shroud and start spamming your skills (these skills are great at cleaving through trash).

Finally, for the Sigils, you'll be using Cleansing and Venom, and for the armor Runes, you'll be using the Tormenting set.

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