Guild Wars 2 : Necromancer

Guild Wars 2 : Necromancer


Greetings and welcome to Game Theory.  I'm the Lazy Gamer.  This week I will be talking a little about the MMORPG GuildWars2 and more specifically the class of Necromancer and my well worn statagy in PVP battles.  

For those who are not familier to GW2 it is a pretty basic MMO.  If you are familier with WOW or Everquest, you get the idea.  What make GW2 different for me is the PVP.  You enter a zone called The Heart of the Mists and are instantly max level.  You can equip yourself any way you want, but everybody will be on an even playing field as far as power goes.  Unlike other PVP areas where newbs are hopelessly outpowered by gear, GW2 removes that.  You never get more powerful weapons than those you start out with.   Gear simply has its basic shell armor value and you can enchant it for free with any enchantment you want.  

People often ask me, Trog, how do you play one of those cheap overpowered Necromancers?  Going forward, I will direct those people here and start with a description of the build and abilities.


You can see above that my gear is all enchanted with the Divinity set.  This grants me a total of 60 to each stat and 12% more crit damage.  


Above is my Primary Action bar.  I like that GW2 limits the amount of buttons you need to keep track of to this menu.  In GW2 your abilities are determined by the weapon you use.  In this case my Primary weapon is a staff.  This is one of 3 action bars I manage, cycling through them to get the ability I need when I need it.  I won't lie, this takes some adjustment and is one of the primary factors that seperates the Veteran from the Newb.

Staff abilities are on the left above:

Necrotic Grasp(Tab): Slow, long range auto-attack

Mark of Blood: Area of Affect that bleeds enemies and regenates Allies

Chillblains: Area of effect that puts a slow on enemies

Putrid Mark: High damage Area of effect that tranferes negative conditions (Like Bleed and slow) from me onto all the enemies.

Reapers Mark:  Area of effect fear

As you can see, I am a fan of the marks.  I built this toon to improve the marks as much as I can get away with.  Things I lke about marks: long range, Area of effect damage, proactive (does not require an enemy to be targeted to use them.)

 To the right of the Staff skills you can see my additional slot skills.  In GW 2 you can place 4 slot skill and one that is called an Elite skill.  I built this Necromancer to focus heavely on additional minions.  My slot skills are:

Blood Fiend: Low damage range minnion that heals me while damaging the enemy.  I can also sacrifice him to get a gulp of health in a pinch.

Flesh Wurm (that's what she said): A high damage stationary turret, that allows me to sacrifice it to travel up to 1200 feet in its direction.  This allows impossible escapes when I am down and outnumbered

Signet of the Locust:  This gives a constant 25% movement bonus.  This buff or something similar is a requirement in PVP.  Speed is king.

Bone Fiend: Medium damage range attacker.

Elite Skill - Flesh Golum:  Medium damage, high hit point, melee, it regenerates, and can push players off of cliffs or knock them down

 Here is my secondary Weapon Bar.  I use dagger and Warhorn.

Dagger: Necrotic Slash(Tab):  High damage, Melee range.  I use this on downed / stunned players and PVP objectives (Like a trebuchet for example).

Life Siphon: Medium range, High damage, with a significant Heal

Dark Pact: Slow cast, medium range immobilizing strike.  Very strong agains opponents who are attempting to flee/  Immobilize them and then Necrotic Slash them down.

Next is Warhorn - Wail of Doom: Awful.  Useless, dont waste your time clicking it.  Its part of the warhorn, so I get it, but I use the warhorn for the next ability...

Locust Swarm: Provides a 33% movement speed, and creates an aura around me that slows enemies 50%.  It last 13 seconds which is a long time.  Speed is king, you gotta have something like this in any build.

Above you can see my Death Shroud form.  The more damage I do, the more my death shroud gets powered up, thats the green bar above the action buttons.  While I am in death shroud form all damage is taken from the green bar instead of my life total, this adds immusuably to the survivability of the Necromancer.  Weaving in and out of death shroud is a key skill to master.  Here are the abilities:

Life Blast(Tab) - Long range, High Damage auto attack.  No downside.

Dark Path - Teleports you to the enemy and puts a bleed on them.  Slow to cast it can be usefull as a getaway by switching targets, but can often fail.  This is the weakest Death shroud ability in my humble opinion.

Doom: Simple fear.  I try to use it often.

Life Transfer:  High damage Area attack that Transfers damage back to your death shoud bar.  Wonderfull ability, but once you use it all those green orbs transfering to you turns you into a target.

Tainted Shackles: Area of effect slow.  Decent

Traits are the GW2 version of a talent tree.  There are 70 available points to spend.  I will go down the list to explain how These points enhance the overall synergy of the Necromancer.

 At the top I have placed 20 points in Spite.  This increases my power by 200 which means my spells do more damage and making any conditions I place on an enemy last 20% longer.

At the 5 point mark I automaticly pick up Parasitic Bond.  This heals me when I slay another player.  Its not a huge bonus, but its ok.

At ten points I get to chose from 5 abilities.  I choose Spiteful Spirit which reflects damage I take back to my enemy whenever I am in death shroud.

At 15 points I automatically gain Death into Life which makes some of my power double as Healing, increasing things like regeneration I get from my Mark of Blood and heals I recieve from Siphon Life.

At 20 Points I get to choose another ability and I choose Training of the Master which increases my minions damage by 30%.  My Necromancer is based on minions so this is a key Trait to get.

Next I put 30 (max) points in Death Magic.  This provides me an extra 300 toughness making take less damage from enemies, and making any boons I recieve (like regeneration or speed) last 30% longer.

At 5 points I automatically gain Reanimator which summons a minor temporary minion whever I slay a foe.  Its not amazing.

At 10 points I get to choose a trait and I choose Staff Mastery which reduces the cooldown on all my Area Marks by 20%

at 15 Points I automaticaly pick up Protection of the Horde which grants me a further 20 toughness for each minion I control.  That make me one tough hombre!

At 20 Points I again choose a trait and I chose Flesh of the Master.  This increase the health of my minions by 50%.  This is a Key Trait.

At 25 Points I automatically recieve Deadly Strength which converts 10 % of my toughness to power (Which as you remember above is in turn fed to my healing) This takes off some of the sting of stacking so much toughness and generally adds synergy to the build.

At 30 points I again choose a trait and I chose Greater Marks which doubles the size of my Marks and also makes them irresistable.  I do like me some Marks!

The last 20 Points go into Blood Magic, which provides me an extra 200 points of vitality, adding to my life and increases my healing.

At 5 points I automatically pick up Full of Life which automatically puts regeneration on me when my life falls to 90 %.  Its a great skill that cushions the blow of inital contact with the enemy.

At ten points I chose Bloodthirst which increases my life siphons by 20%.  This increases both the damage and the heals from all my Siphons.

At 15 point I automatically gain Vampiric which makes all of my attacks siphon life.  This is an amazing free trait.

at 20 Points, My last trait, I chose Vampiric Master which grants siphon to all my minions and the life is transfered to me.


Ideally I front load the marks at the battle point before enemy contact is initiated.  This starts the battle with the enemy down at least 1/3 of their life.  I usually follow this up by switching to death shroud and fearing/Life Transfering and then Life blasting until they are down.  I then switch to dagger and stab them to finish, I seldom even bother with Finishing moves, as it is more efficient for straight damage.  


In group scenarios I find an out of the way spot and lob marks and cheap shots at range, bleeding, and slowing the enemies while healing my allies, switching to Deathshroud and running through the center of the combat while Life transfering everything in sight.

I move from point to point with Warhorn speed and If I find I am chasing anyone I can lock them up with Darkpact and commence to stabbing.

Overall, this is a fairly easy to play character, with high life, a lot of toughness, regenerative abilities, a secondary life bar, area damage, and portable range turrets.  This build focus's on three things that intermingle synergistically: Minions, Marks and Siphons.

This style apeals to me, as I have used it in several games.  Many of my abilities are automatically being used with 100% uptime via my minions.  I drop  my oversized marks to attack and dont have to worry about even facing the enemy and the hits land anyway.

Pure laziness!

I hope you enjoyed this guide and I would be happy to answer any questions you may have.  Thanks for reading.