"Whatcha got there, bud?" - Thief
The Thief is a swift damage dealer who focuses on sabotaging single targets with combo attacks while being able to avoid damage.
Damage Dealer: A lurker in the shadows who can deal great damage
- Waylay: Deals physical damage to a single target. Can attack enemies at any position, bypassing frontline units.
- Backstab: Deals physical damage to a single target. Deals more damage against stunned targets.
- Flanking Strike: Deals physical damage to a single target. Next attack on the same target deals more damage.
- Greater Dodge: Increases dodge temporarily.
- Envenom: Adds bonus poison damage to all of Thief's attacks temporarily.
- Cheap Shot: Deals physical damage and stuns a single target.
- Concealment: Increases Greater Dodge effect and Waylay damage.
- Pickpocket: Increases the amount of gold obtained from each combat.
- Underhanded: Increases Cheap Shot duration and Backstab damage.
- As a damage dealer with poor defense, the Thief must be placed behind frontline heroes so he can deal his heavy damage safely.
- Don't underestimate Envenom. It stacks with each use, meaning in drawn-out confrontations where Envenom can be used multiple times, the Thief eventually becomes a true powerhouse in damage dealing.
- The Thief has exceptional speed on his cooldowns, making him great at cycling skills to control battle tempo while dealing punishing damage. In this regard, he's a cheaper alternative to the Shaman for newer players. Although not as strong in pure combat, the Thief does have other applications.
- The Thief's Cheap Shot along with Underhanded passive is particularly powerful against the guild boss for chain-stunning, a necessary tactic to survive the fight. The Thief is suited to this role because he is one of only three heroes in the game to have a stun effect whose duration can be doubled down on via a passive (others are Sorceress and Witch, the Witch being most optimal out of all three heroes in this supportive role due to an additional support skill in Curse and being much tankier).
- Cheap Shot also has potential synergy with Blackguard's Deadliness passive, which leads to the highest single-target damage in the game.
- The Thief has his own recurring personal campaign, where he must be played with up to 3 other heroes. Investing in him early does make this campaign considerably more accessible, where the player is rewarded almost exclusively in gold.
- The Thief is one of only three heroes in the game with a skill that brings bonus gold, along with the Cleric and the Pirate. While the other two have higher bonuses, the difference is small (the Thief caps at 23%; the others reach 25% and slightly beyond). The Thief is also the only single-target damage specialist of any farming hero (the other two being Sorceress and Mage for training points), so he can still bring a unique advantage to a PvE farm composition, or simply be run alongside the Cleric/Pirate to stack all their passives together for nearly double gold gain.
- The Thief is an ideal candidate for the offensively-statted Ambusher's Hacker. As a common hero, his Star Level will stack quickly. Since the Ambusher's Hacker has low crafting requirements, it should be acquirable several levels before other epic equipment, enabling the Thief's early star rating advantage to transition into a big powerspike from a complementary early epic weapon.
- The Thief can be run in tower defenses similar to a weaker Shaman. A common set up would be Chill Turrets + the Thief on the first floor. In early levels where chill towers don't fall so easily, this can be devastating as the Thief builds up inevitability through Envenom, eventually bulldozing down any defense. At later levels, this tactic falls off as epic equipment is acquired—epic armor that shuts down the Thief's damage and epic weapons with massive AoE damage to quickly level the turrets and expose the vulnerable Thief.
- The Thief's biggest weakness is that the Shaman does many similar things only better. In particular, the Shaman will always have a crucial attack advantage through his passive Inner Power and active Spirit Rage (which also brings a significant damage bonus to match some of the Thief's combined damage bonuses), while the Thief must rely on others to enable a positive attack difference. The Shaman also has even faster cycle thanks to Inherent Speed. Finally, the Shaman acquires the best Super Rare weapon in the game, which is practically epic tier in performance, so he also surpasses the Thief's advantage of having an easily crafted early epic in the Ambusher's Hacker.
- Nevertheless, investing in the Thief is not a waste. He still deals fast and heavy damage, has great stun synergy, unique applications for the boss fight and his own campaign, and he is great for farming gold with his Pickpocket passive, especially when used in combination with the Cleric's Tithe and Pirate's Plunderer passives.
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