Gabo’s Quiet Knife Guide for Burglars

October 17, 2012

Class Guides

And so we finally arrive to my favorite build, the one that accomplishes everything I can hope to get from a burglar, and maybe a little more.

There is a reason as to why I left this part for last. I wanted to give you the notions of what the job of a burglar is in the previous guides, and how the other trait lines help in the individual aspects of these functions, and as we already know, a burglar should be capable of doing a DPS par to a Hunter, Champion, or Rune Keeper.

Simply put, this is the trait line that will make you put out a DPS as high as any other DPS class, or even higher.

While doing this is possible, achieving it is not even close to easy. It requires that you execute your rotation in a near perfect manner and a have a near excellent timing on skills, maintain positional standing, while keeping tricks up. But let’s break it down as we have been doing it so far, although I am going to switch the presentation and go for traits first for a good reason.


The idea of building Quiet Knife is to maximize the damage output you can do, so keeping this in mind we can start picking our 5 red traits:

  • Hidden Dagger: Your attacks from stealth become harder to Block, parry or evade, you have less chance to miss, and increase damage. While this is only in stealth, it also applies when you have the Improved Feint Attack buff on. This will become very interesting below.
  • Strike from Shadows: Gain 5% critical chance when attacking from stealth with Surprise Attack, Cunning Attack, and Provoke; I call these skills "Finishers". Again, wait until we get to explain the Improved Feint Attack buff.
  • Cunning Wound: Increase the bleed damage of Cunning Attack and Well Placed Strike by 40% and 10% respectively. Did I mentioned anything about Improved Feint Attack before? It gets better.
  • Focused Eye: Reduce 30 seconds on Aim, an extra critical more often.
  • Ambidextrous: Increase 15% the damage on your off-hand. This applies to every auto attack and your dual wield skills.

Before I continue talking about traits, I think it’s important that we talk a little about something I haven’t mentioned yet. Improved Feint Attack!

Improved Feint Attack

Ok so we have already established that every trait line has a capstone that is not wise not to use. In Quiet Knife Feint Attack is your Weapon of Stealth Destruction.

It becomes Improved Feint Attack, reduces the cooldown by 4 minutes, increases 5% damage from stealth, and when used you will get a buff for 10 seconds or until you use a Finisher: Surprised Attack, Cunning Attack, or Provoke.

While you have the buff active you gain a 7.5% increase on melee damage, enables the use of Trip/Tangle Foot and Location is everything (even Diversion, but this is actually changing come RoR), since you are though as attacking from stealth while the buff is active.

Now hold that last thought for a moment, while you have the buff you are attacking as if you were in stealth. This means that all the benefits of those traits we talked about before, apply every time you use Improved Feint Attack.

You want to use this to your advantage, and this is why your DPS skill rotation should be as accurate as possible, because in 10 seconds you can go around your crit chain at least once and ideally end it with one of the Finishers. It’s not a bad idea to use aim before the Finisher so you get a big nice critical hit with all the damage increase of stealth.

So say for example you use Improved Feint Attack as you had a crit response, you can start with Burglar’s Advantage, followed by Subtle Stab, Double Edge Strike, Flashing Blades, Addle to cut the animation, Aim and Surprise Strike. All of this under the Feint Attack buff, and the benefits it provides to attack from stealth. Don’t worry, we’ll talk about rotations later.

And yes, you guessed correctly when you thought that there is a Legacy that also reduces the cooldown of the skill, so with this maxed out you can have this buff every 15 seconds, which is really what makes this trait line so powerful and useful.

Remember Cunning Wound trait? Well it makes Cunning Attack really potent, specially on this trait line where you can always apply a wound from stealth. So if you decide to go for Cunning Attack as your Finisher. Here are a couple of interesting facts about Cunning Attack:

You can have 2 bleeds at a time, one from stealth and one out of stealth. So say for example you attack from stealth and apply a bleed, 5 seconds later you apply another one out of stealth, they will both stack.

If you land a critical hit with Cunning Attack, all the bleed ticks will also be critical. At higher levels (70+ with Improved Sneak) combine both for 2 critical bleeds, start from stealth with Cunning Attack behind target, 5 seconds later (without Improved Feint Attack buff, otherwise you will overwrite the previous one) use Aim and Cunning Attack again, preferably behind so you get more initial damage.

If you get the legacy that gives a chance to stack Cunning Attack, you can possibly stack several of them.

What are the benefits of traiting deep into Quiet Knife?

When you have 5 traits of the Quiet Knife line, you will improve many important things for your build. With all combined you will get:

  • +10% Positional damage stand-alone.
  • +10% Skills critical multiplier stand-alone.
  • +600 Melee Critical Rating.
  • +15% Stealth Movement Speed.
  • +2% Additional Melee and Positional Damage for Quiet Knife Stance.

On a devastating critical hit you get a buff for 30 seconds that increases +10% Positional Damage and +20% Skills Critical Multiplier.

So summarizing all of the above in Quiet Knife Stance, and assuming you get the Devastate buff, you will have: +25% Positional Damage; +30% Skills Critical Multiplier; +600 Melee Critical Rating (roughly 1% Critical Chance); 15% Stealth Movement Speed.

Just by looking at the Positional Damage increase and the incredible Critical Multipliers you get, it’s enough to understand how much DPS you will be able to put out. Now top that out with the Improve Feint Attack benefits plus all the individual enhancements from your traits. With the right timing and execution you can potentially become a Monster DPS class, like I said before able to do even more damage than Hunters, Rune Keepers, and even Champions.

What about debuffs?

Well your tricks are intact for the most part, which are your big debuffs, and remember we always leave room for 2 Traits of another line to complement our builds? The same applies here, and the selection becomes even more wide, and it helps in many other ways. Let’s take a look at what we can do with these last 2 traits:

For Mez support in a raid:

Perplexing Riddle: Increases the duration, gaining an extra 5 seconds to re-apply Riddle while in mischief 

Complicated Terms: Reduce the chances of your Riddle to be resisted.

This selection is really for when you are needed as a CC support for a raid and only for pulls before a Boss, there is absolutely no reason to re-trait to another line just for CC, since Riddle is your only reliable Mez skill and these 2 traits accomplish just what you need for that purpose.


Opportunist: Decrease target’s Block, Parry and Evade even more and increase target’s susceptibility to critical hits on Counter Defense.

Appraising Eye: Increase an extra 2% of Reveal Weakness.

This is my preference for all current end-game raid content, as it increases the damage done by the whole raid to a target.

Can I apply Gambles?

While I don’t bother with doing this, some people like it and it is possible in a couple of ways. By slotting certain traits you can have a chance to apply Gambles. One way is to slot the Footpad so you get a 60% base chance to apply a Debuffing Gamble when using the Burgle skill.

Another way is to slot Honed Wit and Leaf Walker. Just by having 2 traits of the Gambler Line Clever Retort has a 25% base chance to inflict a Debuffing Gamble, and the trait Honed Wit allows you to use the skill in any stance, so you can continue to enjoy all of the Quiet Knife benefits. And there is something interesting about Leaf Walker and Quiet Knife, take a look at this:

So Leaf Walker trait gives Provoke a 60% chance to apply a Disabling Gamble (mez) from stealth, this means that if you sneak and use Provoke you may apply a mez. But does it work when I have the Improve Feint Attack buff on? Well yes, since you are attacking as if you were on stealth. This means that you can use Provoke as your Finisher for the buff and have a good chance of mezzing the target, and remember you can use Improve Feint Attack every 15 seconds with the legacy.


So I’ve talked about rotations and how they should be executed in a neat way in order to get a fluid use of skills and be as fast as possible, which is what makes the burglar a killing machine. So here I will share my personal rotations in general circumstances, as they always vary in different situations.

Starting from stealth: Surprise StrikeSubtle StabBurglar’s AdvantageDouble Edge StrikeAddleExposed ThroatImproved Feint Attack. (Now you have the Buff up.) Counter DefenseSubtle StabBurglar’s AdvantageDouble Edge StrikeFlashing BladesAddleAimSurprise Strike

Starting out of stealth: Counter DefenseImproved Feint AttackSubtle StabBurglar’s AdvantageDouble Edge StrikeFlashing BladesAddle – (if possible add another Subtle Stab and Burglar’s Advantage before ending the buff) – AimSurprise Strike. (Assuming you did get off an extra Burglar’s Advantage) Double Edge StrikeAddleExposed Throat.

This will give you an idea of how to use your skills, and while the timing is not always perfect, you accustom yourself to the execution of the skill-chain. Practicing this to the point you don’t even need to think of how to do it makes the rest way easier, remember you still need to apply debuffs, possibly mez, and move around in fights.

Again, not every rotation is going off perfect, so you have to deal with some disruptions, don’t feel bad about it, in fact consider it a norm. I can’t tell you how many times I am the lucky one chosen by a Boss to make me run away from the group to use a potion or just get away. And don’t get me started on PvMP scenarios.

Yes, yes, can you show the the legacies already?

Well if you thought at this point I didn’t have much to throw at you, I might prove you wrong. You see, I have been showing you specific Legendary Items (LI) Legacies for the different trait lines, and worry not because I plan on doing the same here, but also I will be adding a feature of my gameplay which is shared by many other players. LI swaps!

But ok, we will begin with the main LI’s:


Well it happens to be that I have a couple of choices depending on your luck on Majors and intentions of play (PvE or PvMP) for your LI weapon, so we’ll start with a 3 Majors 3 Minors weapon for PvE.

This is my All-around and PvMP weapon legacies, I feel like the yields from Subtle Stab are greater in the Moors environment:

  • Critical Response Skill Damage: Direct damage increase on your skills that require a response.
  • Feint Attack Cooldown: We all know by now how important this is.
  • Subtle Stab Damage Multiplier: The shortest cooldown on skills makes it the most used, increase how much damage it does!
  • Subtle Stab Critical Multiplier: Does it hit hard enough? How about more on those critical hits?
  • Trick Range: I personally can’t do without this legacy, as I needed for PvMP, but if doesn’t cater to you, feel free to change it for another one that requires few points.
  • Agility Stat: You main Stat, remember you don’t need to invest much points to see the effect it does on your damage.

This is my PvE weapon legacies, if you don’t get 4 Majors try replacing the Bleed legacy for Subtle Stab Critical Multiplier:

  • Burglar Skill Bleed Damage Multiplier: Not a bad idea to increase the bleed damage. OR perhaps you want to go for Cunning Attack Bleed Stack Chance: if you want to play with the possibility of stacking bleeds like discussed before.
  • Critical Response Skill Damage.
  • Feint Attack Cooldown.
  • Position Surprise Strike From Stealth: Since you will be using this skill every time you can as a Finisher, it is perhaps the best legacy to slot here.
  • Trick Range.
  • Agility Stat.

Burglar Tools:

Not much to pick for the Tools Bag, so this ends up being a pretty standard selection. Although I have considered replacing Off-Hand Critical Chance Rating for Aim Cooldown.

  • Addle Cooldown: You need this to achieve a good rotation and cut animation times
  • Off-Hand Critical Chance Rating: I use it to increase around 1% critical chance to my off-hand attacks.
  • Positional Damage: Just when you thought all the Quiet Knife benefits were a lot on Positional Damage, take another 15% increase =)
  • Skills Critical Multiplier: What? We can increase the damage critical hits inflict? DO IT!
  • Addle Induction Multiplier: It is better than what one might think at first, you are almost doubling the induction time a skill takes when you put this debuff on.
  • Agility Stat: Simply more Agility.

Like I’ve said before, I am basing all of the above on Second Age LI’s.

Did I talk about Swaps? How do they help and in which ways?

Ever since I started playing with legacies, I questioned the benefit of having legacies that effect some skills that are not frequently used in you main weapon and tools. So I was taught by some, and devised some of my own. Here are the Swap LI’s that I use:

For Riddle and Ready & Able:

Every time before I use Ready and Able I quickly switch to this LI to reduce the cooldown by 10 minutes. And if I need to mez a distant mob or creep I also switch to use Riddle.

For Hide in Plain Sight:

This is another crucial skill for me, reducing its cooldown by 3 minutes can be very important.

For Mischievous Glee:

Maybe the most elaborated swap, I decided to create an LI that will increase my Glee Skill as much as possible. So I swap this LI every time I use Glee. The legacies evidently increase the base healing, the ticks it provides, and the Relics in it increase my Outgoing Healing and Incoming Healing.

Quiet Knife and the Ettenmoors:

The Ettenmoors and PvMP has changed dramatically in the past year or so. For the burglar the best option is to have the highest DPS output, since the possibility of debuffing and CC’ing is not viable due to the mechanics of Diminishing Returns and the variety of potions and Brands available to Monster Players.

So you are pretty much left with putting as much DPS as possible and managing the fight on your favor with skills. As a mainly solo player in the Moors, I’ve learned my ways into fighting each individual Monster class, and there is little room for anything else other than straight out-damage them before they kill you. And as we have learned here, Quiet Knife is the way to go for the current environment.

I can possibly write a lot more about PvMP, but that is not the scope of this guide.

Thanks a lot for reading, and I will do my best to answer any question you may have.

~ Lieutenant Anodhelm

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Avatar of Gabo

19 Responses to “Gabo’s Quiet Knife Guide for Burglars”

  1. Crell of Riddermark, Vanguard Says:

    From the Rohan Patch notes:,_Riders_of_Rohan,_Official

    The trait Strike from Shadows will now give +5% critical chance to Suprise Strike, Cunning Attack and Provoke at all times, not just on attacks from Stealth.

    Much more useful now =)


  2. Flosiin Says:

    I only do PvE. I use a similar trait line. Very powerful set. I forgot about the feight attack buff will have to use that more.
    Do you use Cunning attack as your initial attack very often? I tend to use surprise strick for the initial guarantee crit hit for regular mobs. And use well placed strick from stealth on a signature (solo only as we don’t want aggro.) I love the cunning stack chanced maxed so can get 3-4 strong bleeds going on a Signature.
    Awesome write up! Will definitely be checking my my traits and LI’s!


    • Avatar of Gabo
      Gabo Says:

      I always start with Surprise Strike (SS) since I have the PvMP set that gives +5% Devastate Chance every time you use SS. Cunning Attack (CA) is also a guaranteed crit when used from stealth, maybe with the new RoR Hytbold 3 piece set would be better to start off with CA instead of SS, I’ll have to test.

      Thanks for reading.


  3. Rabbitses Starkfoot Says:

    thanks so much. this is really helpful.


  4. Dan Says:

    So I have kind of a stupid question: How do you get the Improved version of Feint Attack?


    • Avatar of Gabo
      Gabo Says:

      Feint Attack you get at lvl 58 if I am not mistaken, Improved Feint Attack you get once you slot the Legendary Trait Practiced Bluff, which is in fact just improving the original Feint Attack.

      Thanks for reading.


  5. Sly Says:

    Hey Gabo, thanks for all your awesome Burglar guides! Leveling up my Burg as a Gambler is alot of fun.

    I’m interested to hear your thoughts on the Burglars role in Rohan.


    • Avatar of Gabo
      Gabo Says:

      Haven’t been able to play much and level up, but I don’t see much changing from 75 to 85 other than a couple of skills and other minor things. But I still have to play with all these new content and test =)

      Thanks for reading.


  6. Uwe Says:

    Hi Gabo, i´ve seen your Burglar-Etten-Vid on YouTube – very impressing! How do you move your Char and activate the Skills? Only with Mouse and Standard-Keyboard?


    • Avatar of Gabo
      Gabo Says:

      Yes, I move mainly with my mouse and use 90% of the skills with the keyboard. Rotating with the mouse is crucial for any class, but even more important for a burglar since you can use positional to get a big bonus on all attacks. Turning fast gives you this small opportunities for more damage.

      Thanks for reading.


  7. Talbot Banyan Says:

    Thanks for this! Got anything written up about your traits? ;)


  8. Avatar of Kazren
    Kazren Says:

    I have bookmarked this and returned a few times, even though my burg is only level 37. What virtues do you find most beneficial for this class?


    • Avatar of Gabo
      Gabo Says:

      Zeal and Valour for morale, Determination for Agility since it’s your main Stat, Tolerance and Fidelity for Tactical Mitigation. But these last 2 are mainly for end game content (including PvMP). You can use Loyalty and Justice instead for some more morale while leveling up, or play with any other virtues you like.


  9. John Says:

    Hey fantastic guide, it’s absolutely brilliant. When you get time please make one for QK at level 85 for the moors, thank you once agian!


  10. Brian Says:

    Great Guide.
    How do you have your skills and items set up in your hotbar?
    I am only at 44 and I am running out of room.


  11. Lucifier Says:

    Hi! I just joined LOTRO. I have played burglar for few days and it is really fun. I am leaning towards quiet knife. However I don’t know how to organize my skills. Can you help me what to use and what to not use? Thank you!



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