When both these abilities are activated the thief can deal critical damage from behind the mob and standing directly behind another player. Bear in mind that Trick Attack will transfer all the enmity of your damage onto the player you're behind, or trick partner, so it is advisable to only SATA onto someone who can take the hits if the mob turns on them.
It can be hard being a thief because many other players aren't aware of the very specific positioning requirements that we have. Basically, we need the trick partner (usually the tank) behind the mob, and the thief behind the tank. Easy as that. But nonetheless, we don't get every SATA off. Here is a little diagram:
THF---> TANK---> MOB---> <---DD or THF--->DD--->MOB---><---TANK
You need one person holding the hate for long enough that the thief can do their thing from behind the mob and the tank. All other party members can basically be wherever, as long as they're not prone to pulling hate. If they are prone to pulling hate, then they might also want to line up in front of the mob with the DD (damage dealer). A good thief should take very little time to line up and get a SATA off most of the time.
You can also take advantage of the ability Hide in a battle when you want to SATA without considering which direction the mob faces. This may become useful when the mob is often turning. Only usable on mobs that Detect and Track by Sight only.
- Get into position behind the tank.
- Activate SATA.
- Use Hide.
- Engage the mob.
- You will SATA and the direction the mob faces doesn't matter.
Example of a successful SATA with active Hide:
|THF---> TANK---> <---MOB <---DD|
This one is good for just dealing a critical hit. Many thieves like to activate SATA when they see that a mob has been pulled so that they can be ready before the mob gets back to camp. Once they get their hit on the mob their SATA will be ready a few seconds later because the timers were already ticking down as the mob was coming to camp.
This one is good for making sure that your weapon skill (Viper Bite or another) goes off right after SATA. This is useful because sometimes if you're not fast enough at spamming your weapon skill macro you will swing and hit the mob, using up your SATA, and then your Viper Bite goes off, effectively wasting your TP.
However, there are many thieves who prefer to keep their SATA macro separate from their weapon skill macro. This way they can still set up SATA as the mob is pulled, position themselves behind the mob and trick partner, use their WS macro as they engage the mob, and a few seconds later SATA is ready for use again.
SATA + WS
SATA can make a lot of weapon skills do a lot more damage than they normally would. But it won't stack (this means that the 2 or more abilities/spells/etc can be active at the same time, or used to enhance each other) with every WS. If the WS does purely elemental damage then your SATA is useless with it. SATA can only stack with WS's that are purely physical, or just have an elemental effect that they do. It's kinda hard to tell by looking which ones do and don't stack, but if the WS icon (when you go to your WS list in game, the icon next to the WS name) is white, then it's pure damage. If it's another color, that means it is either purely that element, or has an effect of that element. Experimentation is the best way to figure out which ones work and don't!
The following Dagger Weapon Skills will work for full effect with SA+TA.
One of the best uses for SATA is with a weapon skill. Thieves are notorious for closing Distortion skillchains. It can be tricky to close a weapon skill as a thief because you have to time everything just right, as well as be positioned perfectly, and hope that the mob doesn't turn around prematurely. On top of that, you have to make sure that your SATA is actually ready to be used again before you do the Skillchain.
So line yourself up, tell your buddy to go, and practice with your own personal timing from when to activate SATA and do your WS. You typically want to activate your weapon skill as you see the effects of the previous one fading away. So you need to activate SATA at about the middle to end of the previous weapon skill. I don't have a very good explanation, but practice and experimenting is what really will make you understand. A good idea is to always coordinate the skillchain before you begin fighting. You and your partner should show each other your TP and weapon skill macros so you know what to look for in the log.
Unexpected situations of SATA
Many times during the leveling career of a Thief, you will experience a situation that was not expected. Some of the common ones are listed below.
- Low damage, hate did not seem to change: This means that your SATA may have failed. This can be caused by the tank moving during the attack, being in the incorrect position for SA, or not standing directly behind the trick partner.
- Your intended trick partner did not get hate, however another player did: This means that for some reason, the other person likely received the effect of SATA. This seems to most commonly occur if someone is very close to your trick partner, is standing 90 degrees to the left or right of the monster, or was standing behind your trick partner.