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Best Daredevil Builds in Guild Wars 2

As someone who can never commit to a class in any MMO, the Thief has been my latest choice in Guild Wars 2. I’ll be honest. I didn’t really like the Thief at first. Something about having to manage Initiative and lacking a classic stealth option didn’t sit right with me. However, I decided to stick through it because I had a perfect outfit idea and couldn’t let it go to waste. And it’s a good thing I did because Daredevil has become one of my favorite specs in GW2!

The Daredevil Specialization

The Daredevil is the Heart of Thorns elite specialization for the Thief in GW2. With this spec, the Thief can use the Staff as a melee weapon, along with multiple skills that use punches and kicks. Additionally, they gain a third endurance bar for extra dodging, and their last trait modifies their dodge into a damage skill or dash.

Once you get used to the new playstyle, Daredevil is incredibly fun. You’ll be constantly dodging, jumping and dashing around, rarely getting hit while doing tons of damage. If you want to give Daredevil a try, here are the best builds right now for PVE and PVP in GW2.

Condi Daredevil Build

GW2 Condi Daredevil
Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke

The first build we have is the Condi Daredevil, one of my favorites. Just to make sure we’re all on the same page, Condi stands for condition damage in Guild Wars 2. This means most of this build’s damage revolves around applying conditions and keeping them there. Condi builds are great because your damage isn’t affected by the enemy’s armor value, which means you have less to worry about in order to deal maximum damage.

Condi Daredevil has some of the highest DPS for Thief in GW2, primarily focusing on high stacks of Bleed and Poison. Unfortunately, that means we won’t be using the staff. If you do want to use the staff and fulfill your Shaolin Monk dream, then skip to the Power Daredevil.

For the most part, you’ll be using a combination of dual daggers and utility skills to keep Bleed and Poison on your enemy. The best part is most of your damage comes from dodging and evading, so you’ll look cool while also being untouchable.

To get this Condi build started let’s go over what type of gear we want.

Stats

The most important stats we want are Condition Damage and Expertise. There are three prefixes that meet that:

  • Viper’s – Power, Precision, Condition Damage, Expertise
  • Sinister – Power, Precision, Condition Damage
  • Carrion – Power, Vitality, Condition Damage

Viper’s is the best option, as it has everything we want. The only issue, especially for new players, is that there is only so many items that can get Viper’s. While it’s easier to get Ascended gear with Viper’s, Exotic Viper’s gear will have to be crafted, or you’ll have to grind for specific gear such as the Bladed armor set.

While you grind out some Ascended Viper’s gear, gear with the Sinister prefix is a great alternative. With Sinister you can gain just about the same amount of Power and Condition but lose out on the Expertise. If you are don’t mind a damage loss, Carrion is another great alternative for some extra health.

Specialization/Traits

Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke

The specializations that we want for Condi Daredevil are Deadly Arts, Trickery, and of course Daredevil.

Deadly Arts is basically the foundation for our build. In this spec lies the Deadly Ambition trait. This trait gives our dual wield attacks, the third weapon skill, Poison in addition to the Bleed it already does. It also has the Potent Poison trait, increasing our Poison damage by 33%.

Similar to Potent Poison, Trickery has the trait Deadly Ambush which will increase the damage our Bleeds do. Trickery also has the Preparedness trait that increases our Initiative, so we can use more skills. This goes great with the Lead Trait perk that increases our total damage per Initiative spent.

Lastly, Daredevil will give us a bit more survivability with more health and more endurance for more dodging. Also, for dodging, the last trait Lotus Training turns our dodge into a flip that throws daggers at enemies and gives 15% condition damage buff.

Weapons and Skills

Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke

As we said, Condi Daredevil uses dual daggers to achieve some of the highest DPS for a Thief in GW2. We want to use dual daggers because we want to take advantage of the dual wield skill, Death Blossom (3). With this skill we can apply 3 Bleed and 2 Poison with every use. It’ll become our only weapon skill we use besides auto-attacking.

As for utility skills we want Channeled Vigor (6), Spider Venom (7), Devourer Venom (8), Thousand Needles (9), and Basilisk Venom (0). When combined, Venoms and Thousand Needles will be a big source of our Poison stacks, with the exception of Basilisk Venom. Basilisk’s will be used more for crowd control or breaking defiance bars.

The flexibility of these utilities is pretty rigid. If you want to switch some out, I recommend keeping at least Channeled Vigor, Spider Venom, and Thousand Needles. The damage and endurance regen are too good to throw away. You can replace Devourer’s with something like Haste or Shadow Refuge and Basilisk’s with Impact Strike or Thieves Guild.

Rotation

Now let’s get into the rotation. Your opener should look like this:

  1. Prepare Thousand Needles (9)
  2. Swipe (F1)
  3. Use Thousand Needles again (9)
  4. Dodge to active Lotus Training Buff
  5. Death Blossom a few times (3)
  6. Dodge to refresh Lotus Training
  7. Death Blossom (3)

If they aren’t dead by then, the rest of your rotation should just be:

  1. Auto-attack if low on Initiative (1)
  2. Dodge whenever to keep Lotus Training up
  3. Death Blossom (3)
  4. Repeat

Don’t forget to use your Venoms and Thousand Needles when they come off cooldown if your target isn’t dead by that time. Additionally, Swipe and Channeled Vigor can be used to restore some Initiative and Endurance respectively.

All in all this build is pretty easy to play. The only difficult part is managing your Initiative and Endurance, so you can always attack and dodge. If you want to see a more interactive build, click this link. It’ll show everything here with detailed descriptions, and you can change it to your liking.

Power Daredevil Build

GW2 Power Daredevil
Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke

The next build is the Power Daredevil. Power builds typically focus on grabbing as much Power as possible to maximize their base damage. They also try to grab as much Precision and Ferocity as they can to supplement their base damage with high crit.

For Power Daredevil, you’ll be using the Staff to get this done. The Staff is basically built for a Power build, having high base damage and quick skills we can spam. Just like the Condi build, Power Daredevil will have plenty of dodges and evades making it incredibly hard to get hit.

While it doesn’t have the highest damage in GW2, Power Daredevil is still plenty viable and brings much to the table for Fractals or Open World. This build is perfect for someone who appreciates big damage numbers rather than slow damage over time.

Stats

While it may come as a surprise, the best stat we want is Power. Here are our options:

  • Berserker – Power, Precision, Ferocity
  • Marauder – Power, Precision, Vitality, Ferocity
  • Soldier – Power, Toughness, Vitality

Berserker’s is our best option for maximum damage output. It’ll give us Power for our base damage and Precision/Ferocity for crit. Beserker’s Exotic gear is easy to get and fairly cheap on the market if you want to skip the grind.

As for alternatives, Marauder’s and Soldier’s are great for damage and some extra survivability. Just know these options will give less damage stats compared to Marauder’s. However, if you wanted to get a head start on Ascended gear, some story achievements reward Ascended accessories with Marauder’s.

Specialization/Traits

Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke

To get maximum damage, we will need to mix it up from the Condi build. Power Daredevil takes Deadly Arts, Critical Strikes, and Daredevil.

This time around, we are going to take Dagger Training, Revealed Training, and Executioner for Deadly Arts. With this set up, we will gain about a 30% damage increase give or take.

Instead of Trickery, we will take Critical Strikes for our second spec. This spec is pretty simple and mainly just increases our damage through increased crit chance and crit damage. The must have perk here is the last trait No Quarter. It gives us just about a 10% damage increase alone.

And of course, we have Daredevil. The choices for this spec is pretty similar to Condi, but this time we will take Bounding Dodger instead of Lotus Training. Bounding Dodger will turn our dodge into a leap that deals damage on landing. Like Lotus Training, we will use this during out rotation to increase our damage.

Weapons and Skills

Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke

For our weapon, we will be choosing the Staff. This is the perfect weapon for Power Daredevil in GW2. It has high base damage along with quick skills we can spam. Additionally, it has a few mobility skills we can use when things get problematic.

As for the utility skills, we will take Hide in Shadows (6), Assassin’s Signet (7), Fist Flurry (8), Pitfall (9), and Impact Strike (0). Using these skills, we can get the most damage possible. However, not all of these are set in stone. Feel free to change out the healing skill, Pitfall, and Impact Strike.

The healing skill can be replaced by any of your choice like Signet of Malice. Likewise, Pitfall can be replaced with Haste, Shadowstep, or whatever you like. Lastly, Impact Strike is mainly used for defiance bars so can be replaced with Thieves Guild or Dagger Storm.

Rotation

The Power rotation is pretty similar to the Condi Daredevil skill rotation. We really only press 2-3 buttons and call it a day:

  1. Dodge to activate the Bounding Dodger buff
  2. Activate Assassin’s Signet for maximum burst damage (7)
  3. Weakening Charge (2)
  4. Weakening Charge (2)
  5. Dodge for Bounding Dodger buff upkeep
  6. Weakening Charge (2)

After that we go into a loop of:

  1. Weakening Charge (2)
  2. Dodge
  3. Weakening Charge (2)
  4. Auto-attack (1)
  5. Repeat

Don’t forget to activate Assassin’s Signet off cooldown and repeat the beginning rotation. Likewise if you are using utility skills like Pitfall or Haste, don’t forget to use those. If you ever need to dodge but don’t have Endurance, weapon skill 3 and 5 can be used as dodges.

Just like Condi Daredevil, this build is pretty easy to pull off. For an interactive build with skill descriptions check out this link. If you are more interested in PVP, let’s check out the next build.

PVP/WvW Daredevil Build

GW2 PVP Daredevil
Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke

This last build is for the PVPers out there. Thief, and by extension Daredevil, is a great class for PVP in GW2. With as much mobility and stealth as the Daredevil has, they make for a very annoying opponent. Since they don’t have much in AOE, you won’t be seeing too many excelling in big WvW groups.

While some builds can be used in big World versus World groups, the PVP focus Daredevil excels in smaller scale PVP like Conquest or roaming skirmishes in WvW. This build focuses on having plenty of survivability through mobility, stealth, and crowd control while also having plenty of damage.

If you don’t care too much about PVP meta and just want to have some fun with an enjoyable class, then this build is for you.

Stats

The stats for this build will primarily focus on Power and Precision, but unlike Power Daredevil we need some Vitality to compete.

  • Berserker – Power, Precision, Ferocity
  • Marauder – Power, Precision, Vitality, Ferocity

Ideally, we want a mix of Berserker’s and Marauder’s. We need to have as many pieces of Marauder’s to hit the health we want, then fill the rest of the slots with Berserker’s. 16-17k health is a decent starting point so equip 6-9 Marauder’s pieces, depending on which gear slots you use. How many of each is really up to you.

Specialization/Traits

Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke

The specializations we want are very similar to Condi Daredevil with Deadly Arts, Trickery, and Daredevil. However, this time we are going to empower our signature class skill, Swipe.

With Deadly Arts, every time we use Swipe we will inflict Poison, Weakness, and Vulnerability and gain some healing and Might. Additionally, with the last two traits, Exposed Weakness and Executioner, we will get some extra damage for finishing off enemies.

With the Trickery spec, Swipe will gain more benefits. Thrill of the Crime will give us more Might, some Swiftness, and Fury for using Swipe. At the same time, Bountiful Theft plus Sleight of Hand will steal boons and Daze targets hit by Swipe.

Lastly, we will be taking the usual traits from the Daredevil spec. Marauder’s Resilience will help us a bit by giving us Vitality and 10% damage reduction. For our dodge trait this time, we will take Unhindered Combatant to turn our dodge into a dash that removes movement impairing conditions and gives a 10% damage reduction buff.

Weapons and Skills

Image: ArenaNet via HGG / Tyler Locke

For the weapons we want, Sword and Dagger will be the choice. With the Sword, we will get Infiltrator’s Strike (2) that teleports us to our target, Immobilizing them. Infiltrator’s Strike also leaves a place to teleport back to just in case. We also get Flanking Strike (3) which is small evade that deals unblockable damage. This will be our main source of damage.

For range, we can bring a Shortbow as well. The Shortbow won’t be used for damage per say but more for its mobility. Disabling Shot and Infiltrator’s Arrow are evade and teleport skills that are perfect for escaping a bad situation.

As for our utility skills, we want everything that can cleanse conditions. Surviving is our number one priority so we need anything we can get. We will grab Withdraw (6), Signet of Agility (7), Shadowstep (8), Roll for Initiative (9), and Dagger Storm (0).

If you find you like other utility skills better then feel free to take them. These skills are mainly for survival rather than the build itself.

Rotation

The rotation might change depending on who you go up against but typically should go like this:

  1. Dodge to Unhindered Combatant trait buff
  2. Infiltrator’s Strike (2)
  3. Cloak and Dagger (5) for Stealth and Vulnerability
  4. Stealth Auto Attack (1)
  5. Swipe
  6. Flanking Strike (3)
  7. Larcenous Strike (3)
  8. Auto-Attack Chain (1)
  9. Repeat from Step 5

With this rotation you apply full Vulnerability to the enemy and gain maximum benefits from Swipe. When possible, try to dodge to upkeep Unhindered Combatant, but don’t worry about it if it gets in the way of the rotation. Also, if you chose to use Assassin’s Signet, you could activate it after Swipe for a larger damage burst.

While this isn’t the best PVP Thief build in GW2, Daredevil is still pretty fun to play for small skirmishes out in World Versus World or Conquest. If you want to see an interactive build then click here. There you can change it to your liking and build upon this build.

Join the High Ground

And that wraps up some of the Daredevil builds in Guild Wars 2. Thanks for reading! Which type of Daredevil build do you prefer in GW2? Condi or Power? Leave a comment down below and be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to never miss a new guide.

And as always, take the High Ground!

 

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