Guide to the Burglar
The Burglar is a master of stealth and misdirection. He is able to confound his foes with a variety of clever and debilitating tricks. He also excels at attacking from the shadows, allowing him to take his enemies by surprise.
Burglars for Dummies
The Burglar is more than sneaking and backstabbing, as most might believe. It is a very dynamic class, with many interesting skills that make it a highly enjoyable class. No matter if they are soloing or grouping, they are able to quickly turn the tide of a battle, and Burglars are able to solo many foes that other classes cannot master alone.
The Burglar has a few very notable abilities:
- Sneak – Burglars are able to become invisible and move around stealthily, decreasing the chance enemies have to detect you.
- Debuffing – Burglars are able to debuff their foes, by either decreasing the damage they output, or by increasing the damage they take.
- Open conjunctions – Burglars have several abilities that opens conjunctions – making their role in groups very important.
- Burgle - Burglars are able to pickpocket humanoid mobs and get some extra loot that way.
Make sure to read about:
The fashion-conscious pocketlifter.
Which stats are important?
These stats are what I, Tjikke, have experienced to be important, but other stats might turn out to be better.
- Agility increases your Physical Mastery (the damage you deal), your Critical Rating (the chance to land a critical hit), and your evade and parry ratings (the chance you have of avoiding enemy attacks).
- Fate increases your Critical Rating (much more so than Agility) and your in-combat morale and power regeneration.
Note: if you hover over your abilities it says Agility is "very important to you..." and Vitality is "important to you".
What kind of gear?
At level 1, Burglars get to wear Medium Armour and Light Armour. Medium armour always has a greater armour value at a given level and usually has more relevant stat bonuses (mainly Agility and Fate), so maximally effective Burglars always wear medium armour.
Burglars can make powerful attacks after they achieve a critical hit (see Burglar's Advantage, Double-edged Strike, Exposed Throat, and Flashing Blades). Therefore, one of the Burglar's most important stats is Critical Rating, which dictates the chance of making critical hits. While Agility and Fate increase Critical Rating to some extent, maximally effective Burglars will want an even greater increase. Many crafted jewellery pieces include large bonuses to Critical Rating, so it is advantageous to wear these jewellery pieces.
Burglars are one of the few classes who can Dual Wielding, increasing their melee DPS and stat bonuses. A burglar without two weapons is crippled. Some Burglar Skills, such as Double-edged Strike, require two weapons.
- Daggers give by default a 1% auto-attack critical hit chance.
- Maces give by default a small chance of slowing your target's movement speed.
- Swords give by default a slightly increased parry chance.
- Clubs give by default a chance to slow the target's attack speed. The required passive skill is learned from the class quest A Secret Club at level 25.
A Burglar can either be a Man or a Hobbit. Both of these have Racial bonuses to weapons:
Although both of these traits affect both one-handed and two-handed weapons, Burglars cannot use two-handed weapons, so these traits only affect one-handed swords and clubs, respectively. The racial bonus is relatively minor and is not designed to force a player into choosing a particular weapon.
Speaking of which, weapon choice is important and varies based on a number of different factors. The first thing a Burglar should consider is the damage a weapon does and the stat increases it provides. Agility, Fate, and Critical Rating are all important, but Vitality and morale bonuses are icing on the cake. If a Burglar does not have access to the services of a Weaponsmith or Woodworker and is therefore unable to reliably use identical weapons in both hands, he should always use the weapon that does more damage in his or her main hand. Since most abilities rely only on main-hand damage, this will maximize the damage your skills do.
Although stat bonuses can vary widely, daggers often have the most Agility, Fate, and Critical Rating bonuses and are found at a wide variety of levels. Swords and especially clubs are often more favorable to classes that utilize Will, meaning Minstrels and advanced Lore-masters. Maces are only available from Weaponsmiths as drop, single-use, and guild recipes and not as basic or vendor recipes, making a good mace harder to find. For example, an Artisan Weaponsmith cannot make a level 32 or 35 mace but may be able to make a level 38 or 40 mace.
When using two different weapons that deal approximately equal damage, remember that daggers' critical hit chance applies to auto-attacks. If one weapon is a dagger and the other is one for which the Burglar receives a racial damage bonus (sword for Men or club for Hobbits), the Burglar is usually best advised to use the sword or club in his main hand and the dagger in his off-hand. This optimizes his skill damage (from the racial bonus) and his auto-attack critical hit chance (from the dagger's inherent ability).
100329: Updates based on Developer Diary information for the "Siege of Mirkwood" (SoM) update, released December 2009. Source: 
Significant combat mechanics changes were introduced in SoM which have direct relevance to the Burglar Class and render the previous advice obsolete.
1. All one hand weapons of the same level have the same top end damage and speed. No weapon, of the same level and category, hits any harder than any other.
2. Prior to SoM there was an issue with the "Mace" weapon type having a random chance to apply a very brief "stun" debuff to the target. When the weapon stun wore off the target would be automatically marked as "stun immune" for a period of time rendering it invulnerable to any Burglar "stun" based abilities, creating an issue for Fellowship Maneuvers etc. This weapon attribute has been removed from the game and replaced be a debuff which slows the attack speed of the mob slightly. As a consequence there is no reason for Burglars not to use a Mace if desired.
The changes, among other things, mean that the concept of "Slow Main Hand, fast Off Hand" is no longer relevant as weapon speed has been normalised for weapon classes and is no longer shown as a weapon attribute.
Weapon choice is now much wider for the Burglar class.
Choosing a Crafting Vocation
Although a Burglar can find success in any vocation, some can provide special benefits to the Burglar.
An Explorer (Forester, Tailor, and Prospector) excels at making light and medium armour, and since a Burglar wears medium armour, this is a natural choice. However, the benefits for a Burglar extend beyond his armour. Starting at the Journeyman tier, Tailors can create Burglar tools, which decrease the power cost of Tricks (special debuffing skills). Also, starting at the Artisan tier, Tailors can sew together Burglar Signals, which increase the effectiveness of the Burglar's contribution to Fellowship Maneuvers. Since starting Fellowship Maneuvers is the Burglar's most important role in a group, these signals are quite useful.
This vocation becomes much more important starting at the Supreme tier. A guilded Tailor can make legendary Burglar's tools, reducing greatly reducing reliance on drops in instances. For more information, see Legendary Items and Burglar Legendary Legacies.
An Armsman (Prospector, Weaponsmith, and Woodworker) is at his or her finest when forging magnificent metal weapons. In addition to the ability to craft his own weapons, maximizing his or her damage potential, a Burglar Weaponsmith can also create several different items that augment his or her special brand of dirty fighting. Beginning at the Journeyman tier, a Weaponsmith can forge special throwing hatchets. These improved throwing axes have a greater range, do Ancient Dwarf-make damage instead of Common damage, and have a greater chance of achieving critical hits. Starting at the Master tier, a Weaponsmith can also create serrated knives, special throwing knives that consume a Trick and remove a corruption from the target. Additionally, a Weaponsmith can craft clever devices, consumable weapons with long cooldowns (10-15 minutes) but important debuffing and crowd-controlling effects. The most important of these tricky weapons are marbles, which stun the target and start a Fellowship Maneuver.
This vocation also becomes more important starting with the Supreme tier. Guilded weaponsmiths can forge legendary Burglar's daggers, maces, and swords. For more information, see Legendary Items and Burglar Legendary Legacies.
A Tinker (Prospector, Jeweller, and Cook) specializes in making beautiful jewellery. As mentioned earlier, some crafted jewellery pieces provide great bonuses to the wearer's Critical Rating. A Burglar who makes use of such items will be able to use his or her critical response chain much more often, inflicting massive damage on his target.
Additionally, this trade fits in well with role-playing Burglars. Burglars traditionally prize valuable items like rings, and any proper Burglar would covet the ability to make such precious trinkets.
When in a group, Burglars have a few roles with equal importance…
- Damage dealing one of the things Burglars do best. But it is wise to take it easy once in a while, to give the tank a chance to maintain aggro.
- Debuffing is also an important role. The trick Disable decreases the damage the target can deal. and Dust in the Eyes decreases the chance the target will hit and slow its movement speed. Counter Defense and Reveal Weakness increases the damage the target takes, greatly increasing the damage of a fellowship.
- Crowd-control is put in the hands of burglars, through the Riddle-ability. It can put a monster out of the fight for up to 30 seconds, and if traited and in Mischief mode, the target will stay out of the fight until it is attacked. Startling Twist is also very useful – if e.g. your minstrel has a monster beating on him, you can either cast a riddle on it, or stun it, to give the minstrel time to get regain control of the fight.
- Fellowship Maneuvers are, with the unique abilities of a burglar, perhaps the most important role. Read below for more information about the use of conjunctions.
Since Fellowship Maneuver opening is one of the most important trades of the burglar, it is important to understand the basics. Burglars have a total of four abilities that can start a Fellowship Maneuvers (previously known as a Conjunction):
|Exploit Opening||12||Also stuns the target||5 min|
|Any kind of marbles||20||Requires the Clever Devices-characteristic||15 min|
|Trip||28||Only usable while sneaking||5 min|
|Exposed Throat||39||Chance of 6s stun (random chance for a Conjunction)||10s|
As you can see all the abilities has a fairly long cooldown. In longer fights, it is wise to coordinate when to use them. Trip could be used to give the target a massive periodic damage (DoT) at the start of the fight, where you are able to stealth. Another option is to use Hide in Plain Sight in the middle of the fight, and then use Trip. Marbles and Exploit Opening doesn't have special usage requirements, and can be used any time in a boss fight. Your fellowship is likely low on power after fighting for a few minutes - perhaps a full blue conjunction could be useful?
There are 3 basic things, that you should look for before using on of the Fellowship Maneuvers openers:
- Are everyone fairly close to the target? Contributing to a Fellowship Maneuver requires the players to be within few meters of the target.
- Does the target have the buff active? All the openers either stuns, knocks down or knocks out the target, so it is important that the target haven't got the immunity-buff up.
- After every conjunction attempt, whether it leads to a named combo or not, the target will also receive a one minute temporary immunity buff from coordinated attacks, indicated by the shield icon . A new conjunction can not be started on the target until this immunity wears off.
Remember also, that your Fellowship Maneuver openers can be missed or evaded just like all your other abilities. Use Trick: Counter Defence to remove your targets parry/block and evade chances.
To improve your performance in groups, you should read these conjunction-guides:
Burglars get the ability to Sneak at level 4, but effective sneaking needs some experience. Depending on their level relative to the Burglar, mobs will be able to detect him. The detection chance is, however, much lower, when the Burglar stays inside the 180-degree segment behind the mob. At level 18 Burglars get Diversion, which will cause the target mob to stand still and turn its back to him. This skill will make sneaking much easier (and can also be used to split patrols). Looting chests/corpses or using static items will break stealth. Attacking or being attacked does as well.
Note that some types of mobs appear to have enhanced ability to detect sneaking Burglars. Wolves and Spiders, in particular, seem to have detect abilities far superior to other sorts of mobs.
A mob may not break your stealth when you are detected. There are two variations of being detected - sensing your presence and seeing through your stealth. Sensing your presence means the mob will only face you. However, the latter puts you in Combat, although you will remain in stealth until you take damage. With good timing, you can execute a stealth-only ability before the mob has a chance to hit you.
At level 14 Burglars get the ability to Burgle. While stealthed, they have the chance to pickpocket an item from a humanoid mob (not from undead). The success chance depends on the relative level of the targeted mob. This ability can only be used once on a certain mob. The burgled item comes from a separate loot table; hence burgling will not affect the loot you or others get for killing the mob. Burgling will yield - sometimes rather useful - equipable items (armor, weapons), potions, or crafting components, but never coin or treasure loot.
As noted above, Picking the Pocket of a humanoid mob may only be attempted once - ever, for the that mob. Until the mob is killed, no further attempts will ever result in loot. You can tell if the mob was previously Burgled if you get the message "You find nothing of value." Normal attempt failures give the message "You fail to burgle any items..."
It is good etiquette to kill the mobs after you burgle them. In areas where multiple burglars congregate, it can be very frustrating to repeatedly discover your target has already had his pocket picked. Wherever possible, try to kill the mob after you pick its pocket to reduce fellow Burglar frustration.
Note - the Burgle animation can take a bit of time to run, and sometimes this time can be precious, especially if your target is moving. You can bypass the animation if you are moving while picking pockets. If you keep moving, the effect occurs essentially instantly. If you are standing still, the effect occurs at the end of the animation sequence.
Burglars fall into two categories. The ones that Sneak and the ones that Mischief. Mischief is a great tool to use while grouping and many burglars use it while playing solo as well. Mischief allows for the burglar tricks to be used for less power and for riddle to be used back-to-back. This allows for a burglar to take one mob out of the fight completely. During long fights, the reduction to the cost of tricks can greatly add up, allowing for a mischief burglar to keep going while a sneaking burglar might run out of power. The downside of using mischief is that you can not sneak. Since the biggest burglar attack comes from being in stealth, this will reduce the damage output at the start of a fight.
See the Burglar Items Index for items that can crafted for Burglars.
Burglars have been blessed with these special designed quests:
-  A Thief in the Night
-  A Secret Club
-  A Burglar's Errand
-  Articles of Cunning
-  The Truest Course is Awareness
-  Implements of the Night
-  A Lesson from Bilbo Baggins
-  The Path of the Mischief-maker
-  A Bag of Tricks
-  Tracking Treasure
-  A Startling Twist
-  A Confounding Riddle (Optional)