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Powerleveling PvE AoE Necromancer Guide

necromancer pve level

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#1 Proseidon1

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 10:56 PM

Here's a commonly held belief: Necros are slow, boring levelers.
Well, I'm about to blow your mind.

Ready for a claim?
I will state here and now that I believe that Necromancers can be the fastest leveling class in the game.

"Well, Proseidon, I already think you're a noob, but I'll keep reading just to make fun of your build and ideas."
By all means.

Here is my ultimate super master build. I have brought it down from the heavens to lavish upon the other mortals who enjoy this game, and I hope it brings you as many PvE wreckings as it has brought me. Please note that I am going to leave some pieces of the build as UP TO YOU. "But Proseidon!", you say, "I can't think for myself! Can't you just tell me everything?" No. I don't think you'll have fun with the build unless you do something to make it your own. So experiment, add your own flavor to it!


Okay, okay, calm down, I'll give you the build, the meat. Here's what I do to level.
  • For attributes I try to focus power. Any time I can choose, I will choose +power gear. The second most important is HEALING. Vitality and toughness are useful, too: forget everything else.

  • For weapons I choose the staff and then whatever else you fancy for the offset (ideally something good for single-target dps)

  • For utility I get the well of corruption, well of suffering. The third is what you prefer. I suggest well of darkness for survivability. Heal is Well of Blood.

  • Traits depend on your level. The ones I find most essential for this build are:
  • Death's Embrace (+50% down damage)
  • Spiteful Vigor (Gain retaliation when you heal)
  • Chilling Darkness (confuses foes that you blind) (if you use Well of Darkness)
  • Ritual of Protection OR Greater Marks (Do you need more offense, or defense?)
  • Deathly Invigoration (Heal when you leave death shroud)
See where this is going yet?

Let me take a moment to explain something about the traits. As you learned from the attribute explanation above, you get no benefit from curses tree! Let me say it again to emphasize. The only reason you should go into the curses tree is to get Chilling Darkness because it's really good with Well of Darkness. Otherwise, skip it!
As you level up, it's up to YOU to decide what traits you want to get first. What do you find yourself using most? What do you think would help your gameplay more? Etc. I have given you the important pieces but you are the one who must decided what order you want to put them together in.


How to use the build (the important part):

I don't really have any witty comments so I'll just explain. Equip your staff. Using your autoattack, gather up LOTS of nearby mobs. You have to decide how many you're comfortable with, but I will say that I believe any less than 3 is a WASTE and you will be leveling slower. If you are not fighting at least three mobs at a time then this build will not work for you!

So gather up however many YOU, PERSONALLY, can handle. I like to get around 6. Try to avoid getting hit or stunned until you have them all close to you. As soon as the mobs get close to you, you're going to do several things very fast.
  • Well of suffering

  • Well of corruption --- If you are below 30% hp at this point, STOP AND SKIP TO 5!

  • Well of darkness (if you took it) --- If you are below 30% hp at this point, STOP AND SKIP TO 5!

  • As many marks as you can. Ideally, #2-5. Remember #5 can take some pressure off.

  • Enter death shroud. You should be at low life by this point. Use Life Transfer, and then the AoE Chill. Enemies will probably start being low at this point, depending on how much of the combo you got off earlier.

  • Exit death shroud. You just healed, and gained retaliation.

  • Lay down a Well of Blood.

  • Lay down more marks.

  • Switch to your other weapons, use any AoE you have left, and clean up stragglers.

  • If at any time you go down, cast #1 on your weakest nearby mob. You should be able to rally and continue.

  • That's it! You just killed a large group in a very short amount of time.
A few notes about this build:

You are very tough to kill. This is mostly in part to necromancer class design. That's what makes you able to tank 3-8 mobs at a time. Your AoE damage isn't spectacular, but when you combo everything you will be doing some serious AoE. Numbers be high like you ain't ever SEEN! You have ABYSMAL single target dps. DON'T USE THE BUILD FOR SINGLE TARGET DPS!

This is NOT a PvP build! This build does not work effectively in PvP! Don't use it in PvP! This is NOT a PvP build! If you say 'proseidon diz build sux i do wvw get kill ever time.' I will be very very sad that the school system failed you so badly.


Last, but not least, a few helpful hints.

If you're having an EASY TIME:
  • Drop Well of Darkness, drop the points in Chilling Darkness. Replace this with something for more DPS like poison cloud, or a way to get ranged like Spectral Grasp.
  • Greater Marks! Do more damage.
If you're having a HARD TIME:
  • Get Well of Darkness! Five seconds of (basically) damage immunity! Chilling darkness adds to the fun!
  • Ritual of Protection! Get protection when you lay down the (law) wells. -33% damage should be enough to help you live.
If you're in a GROUP:
  • You are a support/dps master. You will gold everything because you tag everything.
  • Well of blood heals the #!%% out of everyone.
  • Life transfer heals the #!%^ out of everyone.
  • Possibly consider getting a Well of Power instead of one of your other wells.
  • Remember your staff #2 grants regen.

That's it. Take it from someone that thought they would never roll a stupid boring Necro: Necromancers are the bomb. Have fun soloing Zhaitan*!

* (Note: Author is not responsible for any failures incurred in attempting to solo Zhaitan)

Edited by Proseidon1, 06 September 2012 - 10:57 PM.


#2 rez11

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 01:49 AM

Good read I like the humor you put in it, also as a new necromancer this already was what i wanted to do, and now I find confirmation that its a good way to PvE, your tips will help for sure, also the Traits are what I probably messed up on, im (24) now, went into curses for the Bleed duration, and the rest are in Blood i think the one with the Dagger recharge and stuff, Mabye I can retrain the traits at this lvl cause when i was reading the trait part i was like DOH!, anyways this build works really well and has been working for me (skill wise) doing the same method of aoe killing, and it is indeed fast and exciting, these posts about being boring seem quite wrong so far im having a blast!

my current setup thats similar: staff, dagger+dagger (for aoe 4,5?) marks, and wells and everything dies, now i just need to redo the traits like this :/  very fun build!

#3 Bloggi

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 05:09 AM

View Postrez11, on 07 September 2012 - 01:49 AM, said:

now i just need to redo the traits like this :/  very fun build!

At lvl 40 when you get your next training manual, you can retrait.

#4 Brazen_NL

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 09:10 AM

View PostXekk, on 07 September 2012 - 05:09 AM, said:

At lvl 40 when you get your next training manual, you can retrait.

It's cheap to respec trait points. Makes it fun to try out stuff until you find something that clicks.

#5 rez11

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 09:12 AM

with this aoe well build, i was thinking of going Plague over Flesh Golem, but does Plague actually do enough dmg? Not sure what to choose, i guess plague is more of a defensive spell?

#6 LastDay

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 10:12 AM

I like using Locust Swarm+Well of Suffering+Ghost Armor+Signet of Undeath for ridiculous Life Force generation while dealing AoE damage.
Dagger skills and Wells are both Power based so they go together nicely.

Something people also often don't think about is that putting points in Spite gives not only power but also Condition duration.
It makes people think "So my bleeds and poison last longer? I'm not using bleeds much! Stupid stat spread."

The points in Spite are actually making Vulnerability, Blind, Fear, Cripple and Chill better, while the Curses trait line's Condition Damage bonus is doing nothing for these conditions.

I should probably use Marks more than I do.

#7 Brazen_NL

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 10:29 AM

View PostProseidon1, on 06 September 2012 - 10:56 PM, said:

As soon as the mobs get close to you, you're going to do several things very fast.
  • Well of suffering

  • Well of corruption --- If you are below 30% hp at this point, STOP AND SKIP TO 5!

  • Well of darkness (if you took it) --- If you are below 30% hp at this point, STOP AND SKIP TO 5!
I'm confused by the "very fast", as I read on this forum that you can only have one well active at a time (or, I might have misinterpreted that?). So do I have to wait five seconds between dropping wells?

Edited by Brazen_NL, 07 September 2012 - 10:35 AM.


#8 Gutz

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 10:35 AM

The problem with our traits is that spite SUCKS for staff/well builds since all of our decent traits for those are in curses/blood/death.

I use this.

http://gw2skills.net...X/8kCvHP6BxDXMA

I take advtange of well of darkness so i spec into chilling darkness to keep up as many conditions as possible.

I also specced into both the staff and well recharge traits and i personally have yet to require a 2nd weapon since i always have a skill available off cd.

I feel that getting focused rituals is also very helpful as we can use wells just like marks, and greater marks trait imo is a must for staff as it enchances our aoe capabilities.

#9 rez11

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 11:20 AM

View PostBrazen_NL, on 07 September 2012 - 10:29 AM, said:

I'm confused by the "very fast", as I read on this forum that you can only have one well active at a time (or, I might have misinterpreted that?). So do I have to wait five seconds between dropping wells?

can have all wells up at the same time, just drop them all instantly.

#10 Brazen_NL

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 11:48 AM

View Postrez11, on 07 September 2012 - 11:20 AM, said:

can have all wells up at the same time, just drop them all instantly.
Fantastic, thanks! Going to try that then, as I sucked on the whole transferring conditions bit. I'm only L17, though, so that might have something to do with it. Need experience. :(

#11 swarmofseals

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 02:48 PM

Nice post. I've already been using wells on my Necro but your suggestions gave me some new ideas. I had been using a dagger/focus setup with staff offweapon, but I've been thinking about switching to staff main. I think using dagger/focus, dagger/warhorn, or axe/warhorn for your offweapon choice would be good as all of these combinations do fine for single target damage.

Personally, my necro is the character that I play alongside my gf. She plays ele, so the AOE we can pump out with a spec like this is insane. I think there are a few tweaks that you might be able to make to optimize the build for when you know you are running with a partner:

1. Instead of 50% more downed damage, consider Retaliation for 3 seconds on entering Death Shroud. If and when you enter DS, you should have a bunch of mobs pounding on you and that retal should mulch them fast. If you are running with a partner that you coordinate well with, the extra downed damage will be unnecessary as you can just focus the same target and/or your partner can revive you.

2. Forget about single target damage and use an axe/anything offweapon. You can use the number 3 ability on Axe to AOE cripple and roll out while you and your partner pound the area with AOEs.


I think this is the version that I will build toward: http://gw2skills.net...Pz70ju3ecIF7qLA


EDIT: There is one thing that I hate about this build, and that's that it requires you to put any points into death magic at all. Every time I see one of those stupid Jagged Horrors spawn I just want to strangle the thing... but it dies before I even get the chance. That trait isn't just useless; it's useless in a way that constantly reminds you how awful it is. Sadly the 10 and 20 point traits are well worth it, so death magic it is!

Edited by swarmofseals, 07 September 2012 - 02:59 PM.


#12 Proseidon1

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 03:45 PM

View PostGutz, on 07 September 2012 - 10:35 AM, said:

The problem with our traits is that spite SUCKS for staff/well builds since all of our decent traits for those are in curses/blood/death.

I use this.

http://gw2skills.net...X/8kCvHP6BxDXMA

I take advtange of well of darkness so i spec into chilling darkness to keep up as many conditions as possible.

I also specced into both the staff and well recharge traits and i personally have yet to require a 2nd weapon since i always have a skill available off cd.

I feel that getting focused rituals is also very helpful as we can use wells just like marks, and greater marks trait imo is a must for staff as it enchances our aoe capabilities.

I don't know why this is a common opinion and I'd like to debate it with you a bit if you'd do me the honor.

I think spite is amazing and the only tree I would consider maxing for this build. This is why I say that:

The attributes are perfect. Power directly effects your AoE damage. Your Well of Suffering is your biggest nuke and it's entirely based on Power. Condition duration? Yes please. Vulnerability, chill, fear, poison, weakness, and blind are all used very often and very useful even with no +condition damage.

There are quite a few very well-synergized traits, too. Spiteful spirit and Death's embrace always come in handy. 5% power to healing? As a necro, you heal a LOT, and this helps very much. Spiteful marks is decent. Not the best, but useful. Siphoned power isn't reliable but it does help. Close to death is pretty amazing.


Okay, now I'll look at curses again and explain why I didn't like it very much. Attributes are not too helpful. +Precision? I feel like this works with a dedicated crit build, but staff and AoE are too slow to build up a satisfactory number of bleeds. It doesn't hurt, but there's not any synergy. +Condition Damage? In this style of play, you have one source of bleed from staff, one source of poison from staff. Two more AoE bleeds if you go to scepter/dagger, but I don't depending on a weapon switch. Does not benefit wells, life transfer, at all.

So let's look at the traits then. The one that jumps out at me most (and as very out of place) is major #2, focused rituals (causing wells to be ground targeted). I think this trait is in a very frustrating and stupid spot. I think this trait is also necessary for any type of PvP/WvW wells. However, in solo PvE you have plenty of control over the mobs and you don't need to ground target, having them on your character works excellent and puts you in life transfer range anyway. If there were good traits UP to 20, then I'd consider, but look what we have. Barbed precision belongs in a crit build. Not much synergy. Hemophilia, again, works more for a conditionmancer, and wells dont bleed/poison. Furious demise is totally ignorable. And you have to spend 20 entire points just to get the trait. There is practically ONE worthwhile trait in the entire curses tree for this build, and chilling darkness is a good dump for an extra 10.

That is why I chose not to use curses extensively. I agree that it's NECESSARY (and I hate it) to spend 20 to do any sort of PvP with wells. But this build thankfully does not need the ground targeted to be effective.

To address your other concern, while the staff skills SEEM really awesome, in reality most of your damage comes from other sources, so they're, for me, "nice to haves", but not nearly as useful as additional durability, AoE, healing, lifesteal, and retaliation

Edited by Proseidon1, 07 September 2012 - 03:47 PM.


#13 Proseidon1

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 03:50 PM

View Postswarmofseals, on 07 September 2012 - 02:48 PM, said:

snip

I would agree with NOT using this build for grouping. This build is really built from the ground up on the idea of SOLO aoe leveling. There are more efficient uses of stats and skills in a group. However, I do believe that this is the best you can get on your own for farming and rapid clearing, as well as doing DE's solo. That's just my opinion and experience though, I encourage people to improve upon it or prove me wrong (so I can work on an even better build!)

#14 swarmofseals

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 07:50 PM

Ehh, I think this build is perfectly good for small group situations. Dungeons might call for a different spec, yes, but for just standard open world PvE I don't see why more massive AoE and decent control would be inefficient. I mean, what else could you be doing with necro that would be better?


Also, just responding to your reply to a different poster: I don't think you need ground targeting for wells in sPvP. the area where combat happens is fairly constrained there and the well areas are quite large, so they are good for both point offense and defense. I use a dagger build for sPvP with point blank wells and it does quite decently. WvW I think you are correct though as there are too many situations where getting in close isn't doable.

#15 ridwansameer

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 03:57 AM

Can this build gudgeon well?
And can you give a good ice breakdown of traits? Like for example... At level 20 you need xx in spite and xx in whatever...
Thanks :) tc looks like an efficient build... But I thought the main source of xp was not killing mobs... :P

#16 Sefiror

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 09:18 PM

Thanks for your build i like it very much!

I have made some thoughts about it and at the moment ot looks like  this...
I chose "Poison Cloud" for higher dmg output!

At the weapons i'm thinking about axe+warhorn/focus.
Warhorn - Locust Swarm is really handy while lvling (swiftness) and can sometimes help with pulling mobs

Focus - Reaper's Touch is really nice with Spiteful Vigor and could really help at soloing powerful mobs


With the 10 unspent points, i'm not sure what to do i think "Axe Training" (Spite Grandmaster) or "Vampiric Rituals" (Blood Magic Grandmaster) would be the best choices!
Axe Training - better single target dps

Vampiric Rituals - in combination with Spiteful Vigor semms pretty nice, cause you gain retaliation every time a wells pulses (if you were attacked in between) and i think that could be a massive damage boost...

Also i'm not sure if "Staff Mastery" would be better then "Greater Marks"...

What are your thoughts about this?

#17 Kain the Tormented

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 03:52 PM

Alright I used a variation of this to lvl my Necro and I loved it! I'm just wondering if I should change anything upon hitting lvl 80. I'll mostly be running dungeons. Any advice would be helpful. I use double daggers and my traits are 30/0/0/30/10

#18 Archon_Wing

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 07:42 PM

Hmm, I'm running something similar but I really do guess putting points in curses just for the ground targetting wells isn't that hot. Greater marks gives me quite some range already. I suppose I should really try spite for the extra damage, but this is a really cool build since it seems like I can just really bunker down and ignore a lot of the monsters in this game. Are there certain bosses where getting close for wells isn't viable?

As for the weapon switch, I am using the scepter, which is kinda silly since that's more for conditions. Dagger main does much more damage but I got sick of missing with it due to the tiny range and Scepter 2 is too good to pass up. Offhand, I have dagger for the condition removal skill. Otherwise I only have the staff one.

Edited by Archon_Wing, 27 January 2013 - 07:46 PM.


#19 Dervo

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 08:51 PM

I want to point out that I think you meant to say that chilling darkness inflicts chill, not confusion.  That might confuse someone ;)
Chill is a good condition, but man... I'd love it if that trait applied confusion instead, even 5 stacks of confusion does a lot of damage.  I've found that enemies in pve don't run out of wells enough for me to bother with this, as the only other benefit chill has is that it slows down attacks.

Anyway, while the condition damage from curses is not a benefit to a full well build that doesn't use a scepter, the increased chance to crit does help.  Also, while I did go wells and staff + dagger/warhorn for a while and found the damage from daggers to be great... I found it left me at a disadvantage in dungeons since there were times that I both couldn't get into melee range (or stay there due to red circles) and had my marks recharging.  So I tried an axe for a little while, but quickly found out that it is indeed a very, very low dps weapon.

So I tried what was left, a scepter... and was amazed at the damage considering that my armor wasn't set up for condition damage.  So I read up and found that a power-based scepter does more dps than a power based axe.  So I'm using wells and staff + scepter/warhorn, which makes curses more attractive to me.  It also makes the idea of switching out one of the wells for blood is power more interesting.  Since the 10 stacks of might increases the damage from conditions as well as normal attacks, it helps the scepter and the wells at the same time.  Of course, this means you aren't taking four wells, so it begs the question which one to get rid of.

Since I don't take chilling darkness I feel like well of darkness would be the first one I'd drop.  This is because it's the only one that doesn't deal damage, and since you already have death shroud for survival, and can take plague to cause blind, I just don't see the need anymore.  For those new to rounding up enemies, who take longer while not damaging enemies at the same time, I do think I'd recommend they use it at first.  So your build is probably more friendly for the leveling process.

Here's mine if anyone's interested: http://gw2skills.net...WyukbJ5SrKGasJA

The last 10 in curses is less about damage and more about utility, if someone wants more offense switching 10 out into spite would probably be a good idea.  I just love applying perma-weakness.  Maybe that's why I'm not as worried about not having well of darkness.  I'm worried that damage from the wells of suffering and corruption will both probably get a nerf, it seems like they're the most common necro utilities.  Hopefully if this happens more damage will be moved back onto the weapons, especially the axe.

Edited by Dervo, 27 January 2013 - 09:19 PM.


#20 Dulci Ti

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 08:26 PM

Just rolled a necro - he's level 7 I think. This is JUST the kind of post I was hoping for when I checked this forum.

I love it when people think through the skills and traits using reason and logic to come up with game play synergism. It not only makes it easy for me to formulate a game plan that I can use for the next many many levels, but it allows me to gain understanding and insight into the class itself.

I'll be using this system and checking in frequently to read and write feedback.

thanks a zillion, man
DT

Edited by Dulci Ti, 28 January 2013 - 08:27 PM.






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