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This article is only a guide. Information expressed in a guide is usually more opinion than fact and should be taken as such. Guides are written by players, based upon their experiences, successes and mistakes, and are meant to aid other players. However, there may be differing opinions than those expressed in a guide.
Strategies and information in guides may not work for everyone.

SATA is the acronym for a widely used Thief attack. The attack consists of two thief job abilities: Sneak Attack and Trick Attack.

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, also known as your trick partner, so it is advisable to only SATA onto someone who can take the hits if the mob turns on them.

SATA will only connect on the first attack of an attack round. If you have a multi-hit effect active from Dual Wield, Double Attack, Triple Attack, or an Occasionally Attacks X Times weapon SATA will not connect on the current attack round if used after the first attack of the round and before the last attack of the round. SATA will only connect on the first attack of the next round.

Positioning

Basics

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.

NEVER SATA ON A MAGE JOB! THIS IS THE BEST WAY FOR THEM TO GET KILLED.

Advanced

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.

  1. Get into position behind the tank.
  2. Disengage.
  3. Activate SATA.
  4. Use Hide.
  5. Engage the mob.
  6. You will SATA and the direction the mob faces doesn't matter.

Example of a successful SATA with active Hide:

THF---> TANK---> <---MOB <---DD

Also with the help of a Sneak effect: the spell Sneak, a Silent oil, or the ninjutsu Monomi: Ichi will all work, you can SATA Hide mobs that Detect by Sound. I believe the same is true for a Deodorize effect with mobs that Track by Scent. How ever in these cases you must sneak or deodorize before you use Hide or you will be spotted by the mob and will not lose your enmity.

SATA Macros

/ja "Trick Attack" <me> <wait 1>
/ja "Sneak Attack" <me>

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.

/ja "Trick Attack" <me> <wait 1>
/ja "Sneak Attack" <me> <wait 1>
/ws "Viper Bite" <t>

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 plus Weapon Skills

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!

Dagger WS's

The following Dagger Weapon Skills will work for full effect with SA+TA.

Wasp Sting
Shadowstitch
Viper Bite (most common after lvl33)
Dancing Edge
Shark Bite
Evisceration

Skillchains

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.

Assassin

Once a Thief attains level 60, they will get a new job trait, Assassin, which gives Trick Attack the same guarantee of a critical hit which cannot miss that Sneak Attack always has. Before you get Assassin, Trick Attack can miss and does not generally do critical damage. The reason it is stacked with Sneak Attack is to get this guarantee of a strong hit on the attack which is meant to transfer hate.

Once you have Assassin, you should generally not SATA anymore and instead split the two abilities. SATA will do more damage than either ability alone, but generally separating the two abilities will do slightly more damage overall. It also removes the difficulty of lining up the enemy and risking a missed SATA.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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 or behind your trick partner. If someone to either the side of the enemy got hate, they probably pulled it immediately before SATA went off.
  3. You strike the mob in between SA and TA or TA and SA depending on the ordering of your macro. Even with the minimal /wait 1, this occasionally happens. Try to keep an eye on your swings and hit your macro after your first swing of an attack round.
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