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Disambig icon.png This article is about the Thief profession. For the summoned Thief ally, see Thief (summon).

Experts at stealth and surprise, thieves move through the shadows, vanish into thin air, or steal items from their opponents and use them as weapons. Thieves practice an agile, acrobatic fighting style, which makes them very hard to hit. Thief

Thief is a profession of masters of shadows and assassination who use Steal and initiative as their profession mechanics. With Steal, thieves teleport to their target and create a makeshift weapon derived from that enemy to gain the upper hand. Weapon skills of thieves have no recharge and instead use initiative as the resource for quick bursts of damage. Thieves are elusive and hard to catch, teleporting through the shadows by shadowstepping. They are experts in stealth, becoming fully invisible to then surprise their enemies with a powerful Stealth Attack unique to each of their weapons. As an adventurer profession, thieves wear medium armor.

Thieves who venture into the Heart of Maguuma with the Heart of Thorns expansion can choose to become Daredevil icon small.png daredevils, acrobatic combatants that vault over their enemies' heads, preferring a more physical solution to their problems, and improving their dodge roll to further empower their damage or mobility.

Thieves that traverse the Crystal Desert and the Kingdom of Elona with the Path of Fire expansion can choose to become Deadeye icon small.png deadeyes, lethal duelists with cantrips who mark an enemy for death with Deadeye's Mark, building malice with their attacks, before entering stealth and consuming their malice to unleash a devastating Stealth Attack.

Thieves who wander the Canthan Empire of the Dragon with the End of Dragons expansion can choose to become Specter icon small.png specters, deepening their knowledge of shadow magic to cast wells and enter Shadow Shroud, damaging enemies with shadows while tethering their own with an ally's to empower them.


Profession mechanic[edit]


Thieves have the ability to steal an item from an enemy that they can use as a bundle. In terms of game mechanics, the thief does not literally steal an item, but instead creates a bundle based on the targeted creature's classification that the thief can store for later use. The stolen item will be taken from a pool of several possible items for each creature classification, including opposing players in PvP.

Steal.png StealShadowstep to your foe and steal from them.

The thief's weapon skills have no recharge time; instead they use initiative. This resource allows the thief to use attacks back-to-back and more quickly in a unique pattern. The downside of initiative is being unable to use weapon skills while waiting for initiative to regenerate over time. Thieves also have their own special weapon skill types; Dual Wield skills, Venoms that empower the thief and nearby allies, Stealth Attacks and shadowstep skills.

Thieves are less powerful in terms of durability in comparison to some professions. They must rely on stealth, evasion, surprise attacks, and debilitating and damaging conditions to overpower their opponents. An experienced thief can take on multiple targets but preferably one at a time.


Primary article: List of thief skills

Utility skill types[edit]

  • Deception — Focus on turning the tide through stealth, teleports, blinds, and summoning allied thieves.
  • Preparation — Skills that function similarly to traps but are manually activated by the thief.
  • Signet — Signets grant passive effects while equipped, and produce a powerful effect when activated. The passive effect is lost while the signet recharges.
  • Trick — Skills that focus on making the thief even more slippery and hard to catch.
  • Venom — Apply a creature's venom to the thief and nearby allies' weapons to inflict conditions on the next attacks.
Other skills
  • Stealth Attack — These special skills replace the first weapon skill of the thief's skill bar while in stealth.
  • Dual Wield — When thieves wield two one-handed weapons, they combine both weapons to create a Dual Wield attack, which takes the place of their third weapon skill.

Thieves are also adept in Shadowstepping, certain skills allow the thief to disappear from one location and then instantly appear at a different location by traveling through the shadows.

Skills unique to elite specializations
  • Daredevil icon small.png Daredevil: Physical — Skills that focus on damage and crowd control.
  • Deadeye icon small.png Deadeye: Cantrip — Skills that interact with the Deadeye's profession mechanic, Deadeye's Mark, to crowd control enemies, and provide mobility and stealth to the Deadeye.
  • Specter icon small.png Specter: Well — Skills that focus on debilitating enemies or supporting allies. All these skills also shadowstep.


Thieves have five core specializations, and three elite specializations:


Deadly Arts Deadly Arts — Focuses on use of poisoned, and exploiting enemies with low health. Enhances dagger skills.
Critical Strikes Critical Strikes — Focuses on critical hits and critical damage. Enhances pistol, harpoon gun, and signet skills.
Shadow Arts Shadow Arts — Focuses on stealth and blinding enemies. Enhances venom and deception skills.
Acrobatics Acrobatics — Focuses on dodging, mobility, and healing. Enhances sword and spear.
Trickery Trickery — Focuses on stealing and managing initiative. Enhances trick and steal skills.


Daredevil Daredevil — Gains access to staves, a set of physical skills, increased endurance bar, and additional dodge mechanics.
Deadeye Deadeye — Gains access to rifles, a set of cantrips, and replace the steal mechanic with deadeye's marks.
Specter Specter — Gains access to scepters, a set of wells, replace the steal mechanic with siphon, and gain shadow shroud and your initiative pool is reduced.


See list of thief traits.



The thief is an adventurer profession and wears medium armor.


There are eight possible weapon sets for this profession and two weapon sets while underwater. The thief can switch between two weapon sets in combat.

See also detailed list of thief weapon skills.

  • Main-hand
    • Axe — A hybrid mid-range weapon that can do a large burst of strike damage or conditions, depending on the off-hand weapon. (Expanded Weapon Proficiency)
    • Dagger — Jump on a foe, attack quickly and inflict many conditions on them.
    • Pistol — Ranged shots from pistols leave enemies vulnerable to following attacks.
    • Scepter — Support an ally with boons and barrier or inflict conditions on an enemy. (Specter specialization or Weaponmaster Training)
    • Sword — Flanking sword attacks provide extra evasiveness and control enemy movement.
  • Off-hand
    • Dagger — Gives access to skills that allow quick escape by crippling the enemy or vanishing from sight.
    • Pistol — Ranged weapon used to quickly retreat or to daze the target by a shot to the head or a pistol whip.
  • Aquatic
    • Harpoon gun — Bombard foes with ranged attacks - good for kiting with several attacks that cause movement impairment.
    • Spear — Rapid melee attacks spiced up with the usual thief tricks.


The following crafting disciplines can create items that are useful to the thief:

Personal story[edit]

In the biography step of character creation, thieves must choose what they believe is the most important characteristic to have in their line of work - anonymity, determination, or subterfuge. This choice is merely cosmetic and determines their starting head armor, which can be hidden or transmuted after character creation.

In my line of work, it's important to understand the power of _____.
Biography Anonymity.png Anonymity — My talents lie in the art of stealth, infiltration, and escape. I do not draw attention to myself. To protect my identity, I hide my face behind a mask of darkness.
Biography Determination.png Determination — I mean business. I'm the bruiser, the muscle, the bear you don't want to poke. My headband keeps my vision clear, no matter how physical I get.
Biography Subterfuge.png Subterfuge — A mask draws attention, and an uncovered face allows people to identify you. I prefer a more subtle subterfuge. A drawn hood lets me blend into the crowd, and no one knows I was there.


At first glance, the thief profession appears similar to the ancient Canthan practice of assassination: both make heavy use of shadowstepping to take their victims by surprise, and practitioners often rely on their knives to make swift, deadly attacks. In truth, however, the two are unrelated.

Notable thieves


Concept art
Pre-launch promotional screenshots


  • The thief was previewed under this image until its unveiling on March 11th, 2011.
  • While being a confirmed reworking of the original assassin with no lore parallels between the two, the thief was the second profession unveiled not to be in the original Guild Wars.
  • This profession was originally leaked by an early video showing the second Guild Wars 2 demo.[1]

External links[edit]

  • Thief on the official website.