The Specter is the End of Dragons Elite Specialization for the Thief. Although the Thief normally occupies DPS and mobility roles in Guild Wars 2, the Specter is able to heal and support their allies in combat. To do so, the Specter uses shadow magic and gains access to a new form…
- Shadow Shroud
- Siphon replaces Steal
- What does the tether do?
- The Specter’s Scepter Skills
- Shadow Sap
- Dual Wield (multiple skills)
- Well, Well, Wells!
- The Specter’s Traits
- Specter Build
- Closing thoughts
When you select the Specter Elite Specialization it’ll allow you to enter the Shadow Shroud. The Shadow Shroud gives your 5 new skills that damages foes or support your allies.
In order to use the Shadow Shroud a Specter must gathered have Shadow Force. Shadow Force is gained by simply using your weapon skills.
If you’ve played a Necromancer in Guild Wars 2 then you’ll notice the similarities between the Specter’s Shadow Shroud and the Necromancer’s Death Shroud.
Siphon replaces Steal
Steal is a core profession mechanic of the Thief. Steal let’s the Thief shadowstep towards an enemy and steal an item from them. This item can be consumed to provide boons to yourself or it can be used against your enemies.
Whenever you use the Specter Elite Specialization your Steal ability is replaced by Siphon. Siphon has two purposes; you can Siphon your foe to slow them and generate Shadow Force.
Or, it can be used on an ally to provide them with barrier. Whenever you Siphon an ally it creates a link between you and that ally the next time your enter Shadow Shroud. This link is referred to as ‘tether’.
What does the tether do?
Siphon let’s you tether yourself to an ally. But what does this link do?
Whenever the Specter enters Shadow Shroud it gains a number of new skills. These skills have additional effects whenever the Specter is tethered to an ally. When you use a skill while tethered to an ally in Shadow Shroud, the tethered ally gains additional boons. So, you can deal damage to your enemies while simultaneously buffing your allies!
The tether mechanic takes some time to get used to and makes this Elite Specialization somewhat harder to play. The Shadow Shroud skills and additional benefits can be found in the table down below.
|1||Haunt Shot||½||Unleash darkness in a targeted area, inflicting conditions on foes and gaining might for each target struck. Heal your tethered ally and grant them might based on the number of targets struck.|
|2||Grasping Shadows||¼||3||Unleash darkness in a targeted area, inflicting conditions on foes. Cleanse conditions from yourself while healing and cleansing your tethered ally, based on targets struck.|
|2||Grasping Shadows||¾||3||Unleash darkness on your target’s location, inflicting conditions on foes. Cleanse conditions from yourself while healing and cleansing your tethered ally, based on targets struck.|
|3||Dawn’s Repose||¾||8||Leap to the targeted area, inflicting fear on foes at your ending point. Grant barrier to your tethered ally and yourself based on targets struck. Heal your tethered ally based on targets struck.|
|3||Dawn’s Repose||1||8||Dash in the direction you are facing, applying fear to foes at your end point. Grant barrier to your tethered ally and yourself based on the targets struck. Heal your tethered ally based on targets struck.|
|4||Eternal Night||1||8||Strike at foes in front of you with your shadow magic, inflicting conditions. You and your tethered ally gain health for each enemy struck.|
|5||Mind Shock||½||16||After a short channel, unleash a blast of compressed magic that stuns enemies. You and your tethered ally gain stability, with stability gaining bonus duration for each enemy struck. Heal your tethered ally based on each enemy you hit.|
The Specter’s Scepter Skills
The Specter Elite Specialization is able to wield a scepter in their main hand. This is the first weapon for the thief that uses magic. This scepter brings 2 new skills to the table and another Dual Attack. Let’s go over them briefly.
As with all the Scepter skills, Shadow Bolt, your first skill has two purposes;
- Enemy targets: Inflicts Torment and damage.
- On allied targets: Grants Barrier.
Send a projectile that to an enemy or ally;
- Enemy targets: Weakens your foes and grant might to the Specter.
- On allied targets: Grants barrier and might to the targeted ally.
Dual Wield (multiple skills)
The Specter’s third Scepter skill is a Dual Wield attack. This attack changes based on you offhand weapon.
Triple Threat (without offhand weapon)
Fires three missiles at allies or foes;
- Enemy targets: Inflicts Torment and damage.
- On allied targets: Tracks up to 3 allied targets and provides them with barrier.
Twilight Combo (with dagger in offhand)
Fire a slow-moving projectile followed by another shot;
- Enemy targets: Inflicts conditions and damage on the first shot, inflicts torment on the second shot.
- On allied targets: Grants swiftness and barrier on the first shot, grants healing on the second shot.
Measured Shot (with pistol in offhand)
Fire a shot that supports allies, damages foes and shadowsteps;
- Enemy targets: Damage and immobilize your foe and shadowstep away from your foe.
- On allied targets: Grants barrier to an ally and shadowstep to your ally.
The Specter’s scepter skills have multiple purposes. This makes the scepter a great weapon for every situation. However, the Guild Wars 2 UI does not lend itself to target specific allies in bigger squads. You’d have to click specific allies in order to grant them barrier.
Well, Well, Wells!
The Specter’s utility skills are all wells. Wells are used to damage and disrupt your enemies. However, wells can also support allies if you select the Traversing Darkness trait.
All of the wells let you shadow step to the targeted area and then leave a field that damages your enemies. As you can see on the image below, the Well of Silence also grants Alacrity to allies in the area. This an effect of the Traversing Darkness trait.
The Specter’s Traits
The Specter’s traits are focused on supporting your allies. There are just a few traits that really enhance the Specter’s damage. However, selecting the right traits can most certainly make the Specter a decent DPS specialization.
|Tier||Trait Name||Trait Recharge||Trait Description|
|Minor Proficiency||Scepter Proficiency||–||You can wield scepters in your main hand.|
|Minor Adept||Specter||–||Unlock scepter. Steal becomes Siphon and your initiative is reduced. Gain access to shadow force through spending initiative, and gain access to Shadow Shroud ability.|
|Major Adept||Second Opinion||–||A portion of condition damage is converted to healing power. Gain healing power, which is increased while wielding a scepter.|
|Major Adept||Shallow Grave||60||If the ally tethered by your Shadow Shroud takes a lethal blow, consume your shroud to prevent their death and heal them. If you would take a lethal blow, enter Shadow Shroud instead if your shroud is above the threshold.|
|Major Adept||Consume Shadows||–||Gain stacks of Consume Shadows at regular intervals while in Shadow Shroud. Exiting Shadow Shroud consumes your remaining shadow force and heals allies based on the number of stacks you have gained. Allies that are fully healed receive the rest of the value in barrier.|
|Minor Master||Dark Sentry||1||Apply Rot Wallow Venom to allies you grant barrier to. Outgoing healing to allies is increased.|
|Major Master||Larcenous Torment||–||Torment you inflict is increased. Gain shadow force when you torment a foe.|
Does not grant shadow force while in shroud.
|Major Master||Amplified Siphoning||–||Gain increased shadow force when hitting a foe with Siphon. Grant increased barrier when targeting an ally.|
|Major Master||Traversing Dusk||–||Heal allies in the area around you when you shadowstep. Gain shadow force for each ally in the radius. Wells grant alacrity on their initial impact.|
|Minor Grandmaster||Panaku’s Ambition||–||Gain barrier when you strike foes with a stealth attack. When you apply stealth to allies you also grant them barrier. This effect can only be received once and will reset when stealth is removed.|
|Major Grandmaster||Strength of Shadows||–||Gain expertise based on a percentage of your vitality. Incoming damage from enemies is reduced based on the number of conditions they have. Rot Wallow Venom inflicts torment for a longer duration.|
|Major Grandmaster||Hungering Darkness||–||While in shroud, transfer conditions from your tethered ally and cleanse conditions from yourself. Each condition removed in this fashion heals a percentage of your base health and grants your tethered ally barrier.|
|Major Grandmaster||Shadestep||–||Siphon now grants you barrier when targeting enemies, and it revives allies when targeting them. Shadowstepping breaks your barrier and grants it to nearby allies, proportional to the number of allies affected.|
As a Specter your traits and scepter encourage you to play supportive and heal your allies. However, a number of traits allow you to play more offensively in the form of condition damage.
If you want to be a supportive Specter, create your build with traits like Shallow Grave, Traversing Dusk and Hungering Darkness.
For a more offensive or Condition Damage Specter, create your build with traits like Larcenous Torment and Strength of Shadows.
Specter Open World PvE build
If you want to play your Specter in Open World PvE I suggest to use a build optimized for that type of content. Vallun is one of the Guild Wars 2 Content Creators who is great at creating builds for every type of content.
Check out Vallun’s Video about the PvE Specter.
The Specter is an original approach to the Thief. The ability to support your allies is something that this profession could not do before. However, in my opinion it lacks abilities to heal or damage multiple targets. This makes the Specter less suitable in large groups or Open World PvE but it can be effective in PvP or smaller groups. The Alacrity the Specter grants makes it quite useful in raids and Fractals of the Mists.
The Specter is original and allows the Thief to finally support their allies. However, it is tricky to play and is less effective in larger groups. However, it is strong when you're focused on single target damage or support.
Ease of play2.5