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 as an icon when present but when consumed it uses as an icon.
Skills which use initiative
|Weapon||Equipped in||Skill||Initiative cost|
|Off hand||Dancing Dagger|
|Cloak and Dagger|
|Pistol||Main hand||Bola Shot|
|Off hand||Head Shot|
|Sword||Main hand||Infiltrator's Strike|
|Short bow||Both hands||Cluster Bomb|
|Staff||Both hands||Weakening Charge|
|Rifle||Both hands|| Skirmisher's Shot
| Double Tap
Three Round Burst
|Death's Retreat|| (PvE)|
|Main weapon||Off-hand weapon||Skill||Initiative cost|
Skills which restore initiative
- Unload — if all attacks hit (PvE) / if all attacks hit (PvP/WvW)
- Infiltrator's Signet — every 10s
- Roll for Initiative —
- Mercy — plus per spent
Traits that grant Initiative
- Shadow's Rejuvenation (Shadow Arts) — Regenerate health and initiative while in stealth.
- Upper Hand (Acrobatics) — Gain initiative and regeneration when you evade an attack.
- Kleptomaniac (Trickery) — Stealing gives you initiative.
- Quick Pockets (Trickery) — Gain initiative on swapping weapons while in combat.
- Maleficent Seven (Deadeye) — Increase the maximum malice-stack count. Restore initiative and gain boons upon reaching the maximum number of malice stacks.
Traits that improve Initiative
- Assassin's Reward (Acrobatics) — Heal yourself whenever you use a skill that uses initiative. Heal yourself for each point of initiative spent.
- Preparedness (Trickery) — Increases maximum initiative by 3. Gain increased expertise.
- Lead Attacks (Trickery) — Increases all damage dealt per initiative spent. Steal gains reduced recharge time.