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Initiative is a skill cost mechanic unique to the thief profession. It replaces recharge on the thief's weapon skills with a pool of twelve points which are spent when the skills are used and gradually returns over time. Using initiative the thief is able to tactically attack an opponent with their own chains and bursts of damage until they run out of the resource.

Thieves have a base of 12 initiative. Initiative is represented by twelve diamond-shaped indicators above the weapon skill slots. The initiative pool can be expanded up to 15 points through the primary trait line Trickery. Whenever a weapon skill is used, it will consume a certain number of initiative from the available pool. Initiative will replenish naturally at one point every second.

Initiative uses Initiative as an icon when present but when consumed it uses Initiative empty.png as an icon.

Skills which use initiative[edit]

Weapon Equipped in Skill Initiative cost
Dagger Main hand Heartseeker.png Heartseeker 3 Initiative
Off hand Dancing Dagger.png Dancing Dagger 3 Initiative
Cloak and Dagger.png Cloak and Dagger 5 Initiative
Pistol Main hand Bola Shot.png Bola Shot 3 Initiative
Off hand Headshot.png Head Shot 4 Initiative
Black Powder.png Black Powder 6 Initiative
Sword Main hand Infiltrator's Strike.png Infiltrator's Strike 3 Initiative
Redirect Arrow.pngInfiltrator's Return.png Infiltrator's Return 2 Initiative
Short bow Both hands Cluster Bomb.png Cluster Bomb 3 Initiative
Disabling Shot (thief short bow skill).png Disabling Shot 4 Initiative (PvE)
5 Initiative (PvP/WvW)
Choking Gas.png Choking Gas 4 Initiative (PvE)
6 Initiative (WvW)
7 Initiative (PvP)
Infiltrator's Arrow.png Infiltrator's Arrow 6 Initiative (PvE)
8 Initiative (PvP/WvW)
Staff Both hands Weakening Charge.png Weakening Charge 3 Initiative
Debilitating Arc.png Debilitating Arc 4 Initiative (PvE)
5 Initiative (PvP/WvW)
Dust Strike.png Dust Strike 4 Initiative
Vault.png Vault 5 Initiative (PvE)
6 Initiative (PvP/WvW)
Rifle Both hands Skirmisher's Shot.png Skirmisher's Shot
Redirect Arrow.pngSpotter's Shot.png Spotter's Shot
3 Initiative
Double Tap.png Double Tap
Redirect Arrow.pngThree Round Burst.png Three Round Burst
4 Initiative (PvE)
6 Initiative (PvP/WvW)
Death's Retreat.png Death's Retreat 4 Initiative (PvE)
6 Initiative (PvP/WvW)
Redirect Arrow.pngSniper's Cover.png Sniper's Cover 4 Initiative
Kneel.png Kneel 1 Initiative
Harpoon gun Aquatic Deluge.png Deluge 5 Initiative
Poison Tip Strike.png Escape 4 Initiative
Disabling Shot (thief harpoon gun skill).png Disabling Shot 4 Initiative
Ink Shot.png Ink Shot 5 Initiative
Spear Aquatic Flanking Dive.png Flanking Dive 3 Initiative
Nine-Tailed Strike.png Nine-Tailed Strike 5 Initiative
Redirect Arrow.pngBreak Stance.png Break Stance 2 Initiative
Tow Line.png Tow Line 4 Initiative
Redirect Arrow.pngHooked Spear.png Hooked Spear 3 Initiative
Shadow Assault.png Shadow Assault 5 Initiative

Dual skills[edit]

Main weapon Off-hand weapon Skill Initiative cost
Dagger Dagger Death Blossom.png Death Blossom 4 Initiative (PvE)
5 Initiative (PvP/WvW)
Pistol Shadow Shot.png Shadow Shot 4 Initiative (PvE)
5 Initiative (PvP/WvW)
None Twisting Fangs.png Twisting Fangs 4 Initiative
Pistol Dagger Shadow Strike.png Shadow Strike 4 Initiative
Redirect Arrow.pngRepeater.png Repeater 3 Initiative
Pistol Unload.png Unload 5 Initiative (PvE)
6 Initiative (PvP/WvW)
None Repeater.png Repeater 3 Initiative
Sword Dagger Flanking Strike.png Flanking Strike 4 Initiative
Redirect Arrow.pngLarcenous Strike.png Larcenous Strike 2 Initiative
Pistol Pistol Whip.png Pistol Whip 5 Initiative (PvE)
6 Initiative (PvP/WvW)
None Stab (thief sword skill).png Stab 4 Initiative

Skills which restore initiative[edit]

Weapon skills which restore initiative[edit]

  • Thief icon small.pngUnload.png Unload — 2 Initiative if all attacks hit (PvE) / 1 Initiative if all attacks hit (PvP/WvW)
  • Deadeye icon small.pngKneel.png Kneel — 1 Initiative

Utility skills which restore initiative[edit]

Stolen skills which restore initiative[edit]

Related traits[edit]

Traits that restore Initiative

Traits that improve Initiative