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Initiative is a profession mechanic of Thief. It replaces the recharge time of Thief's weapon skills, which instead use Initiative Initiative points as a resource for their activation. Initiative passively self-replenishes over time at one point every second; some skills and traits also restore a number of initiative points.

Thief has a base of Initiative 12 initiative points (15 with the trait Preparedness Preparedness) which serve as a combined resource pool for all weapon skills. Whenever a weapon skill is used, it will consume a certain number of initiative from the available pool. The "Initiative cost" of a skill is indicated in its tooltip.

Initiative allows Thieves to use their weapon skills in quick succession for high bursts of damage, limited only by the resource pool size. Combined with the high mobility of the profession, it enables the Thief's playstyle of dropping in and out of combat, dealing damage in that short timeframe.

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