Thief Elite Specialization: Buccaneer

Hello everyone. I felt inspired with a possible new specialization suggestion, and thought I would type it up. This is a detailed guide of all slot skills, traits, and weapon skills.

To give you some background, I like daredevil and am still quite fond of the old core vanilla thief. Don’t care much for deadeye. Hoping to help encourage bringing some of that feel forward in future patches, if popular demand is like minded. I have over 5000 hours played on thief over the last 6 years in WvW and PvE, and another 2000 in other classes, again mostly in WvW and PvE.

This spec brings in access to off-hand sword and is generally pirate themed. I felt this would have synergy with and expand upon existing content. It needs some more balancing since this is first draft work, but please share comments. Thank you.

Slot Skills


Crow Nest
“Ruffian. Leap toward your destination while healing, evading attacks, and curing conditions.”
Casting time: 0.0 seconds
Animation time: 0.5 seconds
Healing: 4,800 (0.66)
Chilled Condition removed
Crippled Condition removed
Immobile Condition removed
Torment Condition removed
Evade: 1/2 second
Combo Finisher: Leap
Range: 600
Recharge: 20 seconds
Target: Ground targeted.
Animation: Like Vault [&BoV3AAA=] or Bound [&Bpl5AAA=] except without the ground smash at the end.
Notes: If you click the skill instead of ground target, you cast and leap at your current position per default behavior.
Comments: A ground targeted movement heal! Can be used offensively for positioning purposes, or defensively for the leap/evade.

Ruffian Utility #1

Vortex Kick
“Ruffian. Daze foes around you with a kick that does extra damage when you successfully break a stun.”
Casting time: 0.0 seconds
Animation time: 0.5 seconds
Damage: 450 (1.4)
Damage when breaking stun: 900 (2.8)
Number of Targets: 3
Radius: 130
Evade: 1/2 second
Combo Finisher: Whirl
Daze (0.25 seconds): Unable to use skills.
Breaks Stun.
Recharge: 25 seconds
Target: Yourself (AoE around you).
Animation: Inspired by a miniboss “Shiva” in Streets of Rage 2 for Sega Genesys.
See following Youtube link (0:18 – 0:21).

Notes: You cannot move during the animation.
Comments: This is intended to be commonly used in PvP/WvW, much like Bandit’s Defense [&BsV3AAA=] or Shadowstep [&BsoyAAA=] but somewhat unlike Fist Flurry [&BpR4AAA=]. The goal is a utility that is flexible and best used reactively. Stunbreaks are critical for thief due to how squishy they are when “caught” although it could be used strictly offensively or defensively as well, with less reward. The best application of course would be the intended one: to immediately counter a foe who has just CC’d you at melee range. At the devs’ discretion, a slight buff (Launch instead of Daze) and other small changes (higher CD, maybe more damage) could make this an elite instead of a utility.

Ruffian Utility #2

“Ruffian. Taunt and reveal your foe from afar.”
Casting time: 0.50 seconds
Animation time: 0.50 seconds
Number of Targets: 1
Revealed (3 seconds): You cannot stealth
Range: 1,200
Taunt 0 to 400 Distance (1 second): Involuntarily attack foes.
Taunt 400 to 800 Distance (2 seconds): Involuntarily attack foes.
Taunt 800 to 1200 Distance (3 seconds): Involuntarily attack foes.
Maximum Count: 2
Recharge: 1 second
Count Recharge: 20 seconds
Target: Single target (must have foe targeted).
Animation: Quickly extend a spyglass directed at your target.
Comments: Thief currently has no access to Taunt that I’m aware of, although gap closing and CC are core for many popular thief builds. Similar to Scorpion Wire [&BtwyAAA=]. Thief doesn’t have a ton of ranged CC, so it could be fun to play with both sometimes.

Ruffian Utility #3

Admiral’s Flask
“Ruffian. Drink a liquid which causes pain relief, stupor, and lethargy.”
Casting time: 0.75 seconds
Animation time: 0.75 seconds
All Conditions removed
Immune to all damage and conditions (6 seconds)
Speed capped at walking rate (6 seconds)
Intoxication/drunk [&BgMDAAA=] (6 seconds) – Screen distortion
Slow [&Bo5oAAA=]: 1.0 seconds
Duration: 6 seconds
Prevents Capture-Point Contribution
Recharge: 40 seconds
Target: Yourself.
Animation: Drink. Like [&BnAbAAA=]
Notes: Upon successful cast, immediately removes access to all weapon and utility skills (like elementalist Mist Form [&BrIVAAA=]). At conclusion of 6 seconds, you have no conditions on you, initiative is at 25% (3 base, or 4 with trickery), endurance is at 25%, and you are slowed (1 second).
Comments: This is like the elementalist Mist Form, except it does not break stun, is longer in duration, reduces move speed instead of increasing, cleanses all conditions, and sets initiative to a static value at its conclusion. A bit of a gimmick. Gives thieves our first invincibility button, in exchange for three of our most critical resources: dodging, initiative, and mobility.

Ruffian Utility #4

Anchor Toss
“Ruffian. Hurl an anchor to capsize your target.”
Casting time: 1.00 seconds
Animation time: 1.50 seconds
Damage: 500 (1.75)
Knockdown: 2 seconds
Number of Targets: 5
Radius: 120
Range: 1,200
Combo finisher: Blast
Recharge: 30 seconds
Target: Single target (must have foe targeted).
Notes: Anchor should travel at the same rate as Cluster Bomb [&BvEyAAA=]). Anchor should home to target, like Orb of Wrath [&BoojAAA=] and many other projectiles.
Comments: Spongebob thiefpants. Arrg

Elite #1

Bombardier’s Beloved
“Ruffian. Hurl then shadowstep to an explosive to devastate your destination.”
Casting time: 0.0 seconds
Animation time: 0.5 seconds
Damage: 1000 (1.50)
Burning (4 seconds): 500 Damage
Knockback: 120
Number of Targets: 5
Radius: 240
Range: 1,200
Recharge: 60 seconds
Combo Field: Lightning
Field Duration: 4 seconds
Target: Ground targeted.
Animation: Something like a skill from engineer’s Grenade Kit [&Bq0WAAA=] with a colored glow, like Death’s Judgment [&BjesAAA=] has. Maybe a red&purple gradient around a shadowy grey&black sphere.
Notes: No pulsing effect from the lightning field. Intended to be viable to combo leap finishers (Dazing Strike) from it.
Comments: Gives thief our first (native) access to apply burning and create lightning fields!


Minor Proficiency

“Sword Proficiency”
You can wield swords in off hand.

Minor Adept

“Going Nautical”
+10% Underwater Damage
Gain access to Ruffian skills.

Major Adept (Top)

“Pirate Cove”
When you grant stealth to an ally, they gain Aegis and Protection (3 seconds).

Major Adept (Mid)

“Captain’s Blade”
Movement speed +25% while wielding a sword or dagger (either hand).

Major Adept (Bot)

“Tactful Raider”
Ruffian abilities recharge 20% faster and cleanse one condition.

Minor Master

“Unquenchable Greed”
When you gain a boon, also gain one random boon (Cooldown: 1 second).
Aegis (5s): Block the next incoming attack.
Alacrity (1.5s): Skills recharge faster.
Fury (5s): 20% Critical Chance
Might (5s): 30 Power, 30 Condition Damage
Protection (5s): -33% Incoming Damage
Quickness (1s): Skills and actions are faster.
Regen (5s): 1,300 Heal
Resistance (1s): Conditions currently on you are ineffective; stacks duration.
Retaliation (3s): Reflect incoming damage back to its source.
Stability (3s): Cannot be knocked down, pushed back, pulled, launched, stunned, dazed, floated, sunk, feared or taunted.
Swiftness (5s): 33% Movement Speed
Vigor (5s): 50% Endurance Regeneration

Major Master (Top)

Gain stealth (2 seconds) when interrupting a foe.
Notes: Affected by Shadow Arts trait Meld With Shadows [&B3AEAAA=] for 3 seconds total duration, if applicable.

Major Master (Mid)

“Sea Legs”
Gain one stack of stability (1 second) when you evade an attack.

Major Master (Bot)

Nearby foes lose up to 100 power and condition damage based on your effective level.
Demoralize: 6 seconds
Interval: 3 seconds
Radius: 600
Combat Only

Minor Grandmaster

“Command of the Sea”
Deal +10% increased damage while you have a boon.

Major Grandmaster (Top)

“Shock and Awe”
Ruffian skills grant 3 seconds superspeed

Major Grandmaster (Mid)

Dodging creates a 2 second smoke field which pulses a total of two times, once on dodge and once just before disappearing.
Lesser Black Powder Duration: 2s
Interval: 2s
Radius: 90
Notes: The smoke cannot block projectiles. The smoke does inflict blindness and is usable for smoke combos.
Comments: Think Lesser Caltrops [&Bjg3AAA=] except with Black Powder [&BjkzAAA=]. If I’m not wrong, 2 seconds duration should be enough to get 2 leap finishers through without quickness.

Major Grandmaster (Bot)

“Defense in Depth”
Gain evasion (1 second) when interrupting a foe (Cooldown: 1 second).
Notes: Evade all attacks, like Instant Reflexes [&B1gEAAA=].

Weapon Skills

Pistol/Sword Dual Skill (#3)

“Scorched Earth”
Initiative Cost: 4
Casting time: 0.00 seconds
Animation time: 0.75 seconds
Damage: 500 (1.25)
Burning (3 seconds): 300 Damage
Number of Targets: 5
Radius: 120
Range: 450
Combo field: Fire
Target: Yourself (Original location).
Notes: Pulses every 2 seconds (total 3 pulses).
Animation: A backward flip in the air with the player firing a charged exploding shot while upside down. The shot is aimed at the original location you leapt from.
Comments: Optional buff, for a 0.75 second evade, initiative cost should be 5 instead of 4.

Dagger/Sword Dual Skill (#3)

“Shadow Dive”
Initiative Cost: 4
Casting time: 0.00 seconds
Animation time: 0.75 seconds
Damage: 400 (1.25)
Number of Targets: 1
Range: 450
Target: Single target, but targeting is not required (like Heartseeker [&BikzAAA=])
Animation: Dive forward into a somersault that strikes with both weapons.
Question: Could this be coded as a Leap finisher for combos, or could that immediately reveal the player (unintended) in some circumstances? Ideally this would be a leap finisher if that can be coded safely without bugs.
Notes: Hits 1 player anywhere along your path during the animation, and stealths upon hit.
Comments: This is like a somersault version of Heartseeker [&BikzAAA=] crossed with Cloak And Dagger [&BjBAAAA=].

Sword/Sword Dual Skill (#3)

“Nine-Tipped Strike”
Animation: Both swords alternate stabbing motions.
Notes: Terrestial version of Nine-Tailed Strike [&BkIzAAA=] (Thief Spear #3)
Comments: I am fond of how Nine-Tailed Strike is currently setup. I would closely mirror those mechanics and stats.

Sword Off-Hand (#4)

Fleet Fencing
“Do an evasive attack over your opponent. If you evade your foe’s attack, they are confused and marked for a Pulmonary Impact.”
Initiative Cost: 4
Casting time: 0.00 seconds
Animation time: 0.50 seconds
Damage: 200 (1.50)
Confusion (5 seconds): 250 Damage
Pulmonary Impact Damage: 872 (3.28)
Number of Targets: 1
Combo Finisher: Leap
Range: 130
Number of Targets: 3
Target: Single target, but targeting is not required (like Heartseeker [&BikzAAA=])
Animation: Please see this first video from 1:40 through 1:42

and the second video from 1:13 through 1:16

…to get a rough idea. Travel distance should be further than those videos show. Aerial attack which resembles a cross between Weakening Charge [&Btd0AAA=] and Death Blossom [&Bs4yAAA=].
Notes: Animation travel distance is 300.
Comments: Pun intended. Fleet can mean flying swiftly (leap), or a group of ships (buccaneer).

Sword Off-Hand (#5)

Swift Sail
“Blitz forward, striking foes along your path.”
Initiative Cost: 5
Casting time: 0.00 seconds
Animation time: 1.00 second
Damage: 800 (2.25)
Number of Targets: 5
Range: 170
Target: Ground targeted in a direction, like Whirlwind Attack [&Bm84AAA=].
Animation: Similar to Rush [&Bm44AAA=] except the sword is extended forward, laterally toward your right flank.
See this video from 2:10 through 2:12

except both hands are used (both palms facing down and closed over the Off-Hand sword grip on the hilt.
Notes: Animation travel distance is 900 unless cancelled earlier. Can be halted at any time by pressing 5 again, but initiative consumption is unchanged. Hitbox from center, 40 range is toward the hilt (left), and 130 range is toward the tip (right) along the 900 travel path (total 170 range). Rate of movement and animation travel distance is identical to the maximum Bull’s Charge [&BrQ4AAA=] capability.
Comments: Imagine if you combined Warrior Greatsword #3 whirlwind, Warrior Greatsword #5 Rush, and Warrior utility Bulls Charge, and altered it. Damage is performed along the path, not just at the destination, much like whirlwind.

Catapult Profession Skill #3

“Jacob’s Ladder”
Supply Cost: 20 supply (single use)
Casting time: 5.00 seconds
Animation time: 5.00 seconds
Revealed (15 seconds): You cannot stealth
Animation: Like Lion’s Arch jumping platforms (aerial cannonball somersaults), with some rope graphics added.
Notes: Binds to Profession Skill #3 which appears just above the endurance bar when a Buccaneer begins using a catapult in WvW. So for thief, Profession Skill #1 is Steal and #2 is to use stolen skills, so #3 is currently unused, so as to avoid any overlap.
Comments: Intended to allow buccaneers to be sent short to medium range over walls and gates into enemy controlled WvW objectives.


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