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Necro - beginner's dilema

necromancer beginner build guide leveling

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#1 Lapis

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 02:11 PM

Hello,
I bought GW2 last week and started to play as Necromancer. I didn't play GW1, most of my MMORPG experience is from WOW. I like WOW's warlock class (and shadow priest, frost mage) and thus I selected Necro as my first character in GW2.
I am just a bit confused with specs and skill points - it is not exactly what I expected. I am level 25 now and I have a bit mixed feelings from this class.

At beginning, I was quite lost in slot skills so I selected something that looked interesting, however I wasted quite many skill points and I didn't find any way how to re-assign them. I found most of them just useless for leveling.
Then I found this Power build guide: http://www.guildwars...r-from-1-to-40/
and I am soloing PvE mostly with dagger/focus with Power, Precision and Thoughness on equip, meleeing single mobs (meleeing is really not what I expected from a cloth caster class) and they die quite quickly if I take them one by one, but I have to run away if I get attacked by more than 2 or 3 mobs. I use Death Shroud quite rarely (just when fight is turning bad or in group events where there are multiple mobs or one hard boss).

Most of the time, for soloing I have Well of Blood as heal, Bone Fiend and Shadow Fiend (for tanking, however minions die quite quickly) and Signet of Spite for passive power boost (switching to Signet of Locust while not in fight to run faster). For group events I usually take Well of Suffering/Well of Corruption and use staff as I don't want to run with dagger from mob to mob or stay too close to the boss (axe might be a better alternative, I am not sure). I have 10 poins in Spite trait so far.

It works quite well for soloing, but something is missing there - minions die quickly when I use them for tanking, I take a lot of damage when I tank by myself, wells have too big cooldown to be effectively used when killing mobs one by one.

I am thinking about trying some different spec but I don't know which one. Are there any good leveling builds described around? I have read about scepter/dagger (but that mechanics of spreading diseases and poisions looks quite complicated, and slow for killing one/two mobs), dagger/dagger (what is benefit of this?), wellmaster, condition build (which one is it?) or minion build with staff (I have read that minions are quite stupid), but I didn't see any detailed description of skills, combos and rotations used, some really useful build guide. I am also wondering if my Necro will be useful in dungeons and PvP as I have read that it is not the best class - that it sucks in boss DPS and PvP.

What would you recommend for the spec - for soloing, group events, later also dungeons and WvW? Otherwise I am thinking about re-rolling to elementalist or guardian...

#2 takarazuka

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 03:07 PM

The dagger build is not for the feint of heart really.  It does require a measure of understanding of how the class works and is a bit more advanced.  At level 80 I can take on 4 or 5 Risen at a time in a dagger/focus build using wells and Bone Minions for combo finisher blast (area blindness), but I would definitely not recommend it for a new player... it took some practice.

Wanderlust has a good guide on this forum for a condition well build for leveling that is pretty standard and works very well - http://www.guildwars...ion-guidebuild/

It is not very complicated to play this spec at all - think affliction warlock from WoW and that's 90% it.  To respec, visit a class trainer in any major city (look for the book icon on the map) and he will reset your trait points.  Wanderlust's post and the continuing thread go in to a lot of detail about the build, how it works, what works best and what doesn't and so on.  Great for beginners!

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#3 Lapis

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 04:13 PM

takarazuka: Thanks, I will check the condition build you are reffering to.
For the respec - I noticed that class trainer is selling books, that is what I need to respec? There is a level 10 book, level 20 book which is more expansive, and so on...so I need that 20 level one?
Is there any way to respec also slot skills, or I just need to gather more skill points in order to spec also condition slot skills?

#4 Sirandar

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 05:35 PM

When you respec it will only reset your Trait points.  You will get more skill points than you really need as you level up and explore so no worry there.

I believe the books are purchased at level 20, 40, and 60.  When you buy and use a book it will auto reset your traits so keep that in mind.

#5 Chey

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 05:43 PM

The trainer sells books for you at level 11, 40 and 60, these unlock your tiers in your traits so you can spec deeper into them, they also reset you talents at the same time

for a standard respec, just ask the trainer for that, do not buy the book as you cannot use them repeatedly.  How much the respec costs seems to depend on how many trait points involved.

the condition build but just for pve levelling you could also run with some minions if you fancy it, either staff or sceptre/dagger and full minions and you will rampage across the maps :P  at least my necro has done :D

#6 Lapis

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 10:14 PM

I have tried condition build from Wanderlust's guide that takarazuka mentioned, it is not bad, but quite more difficult from what I was used to from power build. Mainly I was running without any minions, so mobs are going right after me; most of abilities have quite high cooldown (blood is power 30s, corrosive cloud 40s, enfeebling blood 25s) so if I aggro an additional mob too soon after killing previous one, I have to kill it just with Blood Curse + some abilities that are not on cooldown. And it often happens that if I finally manage to pull more than one mob, the mob to which I am putting needed bleeds and poisons dies even before I have time to use Epidemic to spread its poisons to nearby mobs... then I find myself with AoEs on cooldown and some mobs going right after me...
Maybe I will try using bone fiend instead of poison cloud or blood is power and see if it can do a bit of tanking...but as I use Consume Conditions for healing, I have no heal for the minion so it may die quickly...

#7 Bloggi

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 11:47 PM

Necromancer builds have been covered in great detail in other threads such as these:

http://www.guildwars...-buildin-depth/

http://www.guildwars...ion-guidebuild/

http://www.guildwars...first-80-necro/

http://www.guildwars...nk-wells-combo/

http://www.guildwars...romancer-guide/

On minions:

http://www.guildwars...ilds-worthless/

Plus the plethora of other builds and guides which I'm sure to have failed to mention, plus variances on those builds. In esssence, there's a few ways to build a necro.

#8 Bloggi

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 12:40 AM

View PostLapis, on 24 September 2012 - 10:14 PM, said:

I have tried condition build from Wanderlust's guide that takarazuka mentioned, it is not bad, but quite more difficult from what I was used to from power build. Mainly I was running without any minions, so mobs are going right after me; most of abilities have quite high cooldown (blood is power 30s, corrosive cloud 40s, enfeebling blood 25s) so if I aggro an additional mob too soon after killing previous one, I have to kill it just with Blood Curse + some abilities that are not on cooldown. And it often happens that if I finally manage to pull more than one mob, the mob to which I am putting needed bleeds and poisons dies even before I have time to use Epidemic to spread its poisons to nearby mobs... then I find myself with AoEs on cooldown and some mobs going right after me...
Maybe I will try using bone fiend instead of poison cloud or blood is power and see if it can do a bit of tanking...but as I use Consume Conditions for healing, I have no heal for the minion so it may die quickly...

Understand where you're coming from in terms of skill cooldowns. Wells however are even slower to come off CD. In that sense, when you're solo, using conditions with epidemic offers more sustained damage over time (rather than a 'spike' as it would occur with wells). The tricky bit is also knowing how big a mob you can reliably tackle without dying, which will improve your efficiency. At lvl 40 when you get access to the second trainer's manual and can spec for Master of Corruption or Ritual Mastery, they reduce the CDs of your corruption and well skills respectively. In big group fights, be aware of the bleed cap, and wells might be more effective when you trait for Focussed Rituals.

Personally I'm a little adverse to the concept of 'tanking', and that's probably going to go for most if not all professions. This is an action-based RPG so use the ability to kite, circle strafe and dodge to its best ability and it will really save you in a lot of situations. Watch for the red AoE circles on the ground and move out of the way before it strikes. The necro may have the highest health pool in the game, a match for the warrior, but with cloth armor the punishment is massive if you decide to stay rooted, and you're just gimping yourself by standing still.

Also, use wise cycling of your weapon skills and also DS skills to maximise efficiency and get more consistent damage over time. DS is strong if played right and I find myself wanting to use DS as often as possible, wishing the skills would come off cooldown quicker. Life Transfer is brilliant on a mob with its AoE damage but take care to ensure you don't overaggro by hitting monsters that you weren't actually planning to hit!

#9 Targanwolf

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 01:38 AM

I have a main 53 Necro. I use a staff for WvW and a septer/horn   and sometimes staff for pve. I emphasise condiction....and use marks/and wells extensively.  In pve....an npc or 2 jumps me...I dump wells and marks on them as I'm casting.I don't die very often with one on one, or two on one.I'll go to death shroud in a heartbeat.....and plague :devil: .

WvW...I see few Necromancers.I like my WvW playstyle.

I try to emphasise condiction..but since I change levels and equippment fairly often....it often gets ignored.That won't be the case at higher levels.

Edited by Targanwolf, 25 September 2012 - 01:40 AM.


#10 eLeet

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 01:56 AM

The necro class is alot like the warlock class in WoW, you spread dot damage and you yourself are able to tank quite a bit. We aren't the burst class, even though there are some specs that do have the power based build. If you want big numbers and burst, a thief or an elementalist would probably do you more justice.

I run a Wellmancer in sPvP and I tell you, we are about the only caster class that can straight up tank 3 melees on us especially warriors~

#11 Lapis

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 10:26 AM

Thank you for replies.
I have now a few questions:
1. While using scepter/dagger for condition build, how do you get life force needed for Death Shroud? From available weapon skills, only Feast of Corruption is available and it has 10s cooldown. With dagger in main hand or staff, I can recharge life force with spammable basic attack. Here Blood Curse obviously doesn't do the trick.
2. Some people mention condition build with focus on wells, but they don't put skills into Spite and don't equip items with Power. However damaging wells take bonus damage from Power, not from Condition. Doesn't wells usage stack rather with Power/Spite focused build that uses dagger or axe in main hand?
3. Wanderlust's build with Epidemic and Blood is Power, which takarazuka recommended, is obviously good for taking down many enemies that are packed together, but it is not much usable for single mobs, which are found in open world more usually. Wouldn't it be better to take some minion and perhaps a signet istead of epidemic for such cases?
4. It seems that this build is also not very viable for group events with lot of people - regular mobs die too quickly for me to be able to infect them with bleeding/poisons and bosses have this problem with limit of number of debuffs affecting them. For those cases you just switch to staff and use wells and marks for doing damage?

#12 takarazuka

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 02:21 PM

1. You would normally need to switch to staff to regenerate life force really fast.  Once your conditions are up from scep/dagger and any utilities, just switch to staff for marks and life force regen.  The time it takes to be able to switch back to reapply any conditions, your life force will be high enough to go in DS and Life Transfer.

2.  It's more of a preference really, but it makes a big difference on single target event bosses.  With the 25 bleed cap in the game, a lot of your conditions are likely to not even get applied.  Using wells negates this by using the short bursts you get from them in damage.  Almost all gear has power on it unless you farmed up the Rabid set, so you're going to have some amount of power.  Since you are easily 20+ points in to Curses in condition anyways, you can grab the targeted wells trait for boss fights and switch back to pure condition afterwards.

3.  Again it is a choice on that how you want to handle single target.  Those adorable little bone minions are fantastic creatures with their putrid explosion.

4.  Yes, I covered that mostly in #2 as well... staff+wells is much better for group events.

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#13 Lapis

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 03:18 PM

So I advanced to level 58 and I am enjoying conditionmancer, much more than I enjoyed power based dagger melee on early levels. I have 10 points in Spite, 20 in Curses, 18 in Blood magic and I am thinking whether I should put last 10 before level 70 into Spite (to have 20 there for increased condition duration, power and +10% damage on marks or +30% dmg for my flesh golem) or into Death magic for increased area of Marks / faster staff skills recharge. What do you advice?

In my skill slots, I have usually Consume conditions as heal, Blood is Power, Epidemic and either Signet of the locust for speed bonus, or spectral walk for speed bonus, or one of AoE skills (poison cloud or well of corruption) for events. As elite, I use mostly flash golem as tank for soloing or plague for multiple-mobs events or lich form for one elite-mob events/skill challenges.
I can recommend that build to everybody - I rarely die even against multible mobs and downtime is low (I just use staff when my scepter/dagger abilities are on cooldown). With a bit of kiting, 2-3 mobs usually die before they even hit me and I can handle even much larger groups of mobs.

I have just problems on events with 25 bleeds limit - even group of 5 people can reach it and damage on boss is then quite bad. Maybe 25 limit has some reasons in PvP or end-game fights, but it has no reason for events and I feel quite discriminated...

Underwater combat is quite poor - I do small damage with trident/spear, DS is not very good, many AoE abilities are unusable and I die easily when I aggro multiple mobs so I preffer surface questing. I don't know if it applies for all professions, but conditionmaster sucks under water...

I tried a dungeon for 30 and another for 40 level on story mode, but it was incredibly difficult in comparison with WoW low level dungeons - I died like 20x in each of them. Even when I was avoiding red circle areas, boss one/two shotted me quite often. Maybe it is normal for GW2, but I don't see any reason to go into dungeon with this difficulty - it is frustrating to die all the time, rewards are nothing (I buy better things from auction for 1-2 silver), I had to pay a lot for gear repairs and it takes a lot of time to complete. They should make it easier and with better rewards to motivate somebody to go inside...

From level around 56, new type of items appears in auction - blue quality items with high condition damage and vitality + power in addition. In total, it has more stats than just classical green/yellow condition+precision gear (example 30 cond / 20 vit / 20 power vs 34 cond / 24 precision). So I am wondering, is precision so useful for conditionmaster that it is better than vitality+power bonus? As I know, precision has no impact on our poisons/bleeds, except that crits have 66% change to cause short bleeding to the target...

Edited by Lapis, 01 October 2012 - 03:27 PM.


#14 takarazuka

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 04:14 PM

View PostLapis, on 01 October 2012 - 03:18 PM, said:

So I advanced to level 58 and I am enjoying conditionmancer, much more than I enjoyed power based dagger melee on early levels. I have 10 points in Spite, 20 in Curses, 18 in Blood magic and I am thinking whether I should put last 10 before level 70 into Spite (to have 20 there for increased condition duration, power and +10% damage on marks or +30% dmg for my flesh golem) or into Death magic for increased area of Marks / faster staff skills recharge. What do you advice?

I would go in to Spite since you have a lot of AOE damage as it is in condition and you won’t be using marks AS often to warrant going in to Death Magic.  The Jagged Horror is also a terrible minor trait and tends to run around pulling mobs before it dies (very quickly mind you so it’s useless anyways) and brings friends to you.


View PostLapis, on 01 October 2012 - 03:18 PM, said:

I have just problems on events with 25 bleeds limit - even group of 5 people can reach it and damage on boss is then quite bad. Maybe 25 limit has some reasons in PvP or end-game fights, but it has no reason for events and I feel quite discriminated...

The devs are aware of this and have stated on the official forums that they are looking in to changing the bleed caps.  No ETA of course, but it’s a known issue for any class with a condition spec.


View PostLapis, on 01 October 2012 - 03:18 PM, said:

Underwater combat is quite poor - I do small damage with trident/spear, DS is not very good, many AoE abilities are unusable and I die easily when I aggro multiple mobs so I preffer surface questing. I don't know if it applies for all professions, but conditionmaster sucks under water...

I agree with this… underwater combat for necromancer is pathetic.  Trident is mostly focused on stacking bleeds so the direct damage is terrible.  Spear has great damage on it, but trying to melee underwater is easily the most difficult and aggravating venture I have ever attempted.  I gave up on underwater combat and just ignore stuff as I swim around gathering or anything.  They need to take some serious looks at how it works for us… like seriously.


View PostLapis, on 01 October 2012 - 03:18 PM, said:

From level around 56, new type of items appears in auction - blue quality items with high condition damage and vitality + power in addition. In total, it has more stats than just classical green/yellow condition+precision gear (example 30 cond / 20 vit / 20 power vs 34 cond / 24 precision). So I am wondering, is precision so useful for conditionmaster that it is better than vitality+power bonus? As I know, precision has no impact on our poisons/bleeds, except that crits have 66% change to cause short bleeding to the target...

A lot of people will stack crit to help with two things: triggering the Barbed Precision minor trait and to help with direct attacks from scepter/staff.  Power is an overall bonus for you since it affects all direct attacks.  It might be a good idea to split your gear…. There are no set bonuses so you can mix and match gear stats to get a nice balance.  Remember that you need 1200+ condition damage to really see a difference at 80 so always focus towards that number and then look at precision and toughness.  We already have high vitality so it’s not as important.

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#15 Requiamer

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 04:53 PM

If you are not able to take multiple opponents at once, then you don't use minions or DS properly, both cover that aspect very well, and make the necro one of the best tank.

#16 Phenn

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 08:13 PM

At low levels I've found a few things to be true for a conditionmancer:

1. Keep gear and weapons upgraded constantly. And this includes keeping good minor runes/sigils installed. There's a huge benefit to be gained from the added condition damage and bleed duration that good equipment can give. And I'm talking under level 20 here. (This may be assumed in the above posts, but I've found there to be a huge advantage in keeping good equipment in order.)

2. Kiting is critical. This has been said above, but it has to be emphasized. Not only do you have to run away from mobs, but you also have to control where they chase you. If you have AoE's on the ground, kiting through them is key. This game plays very similar to Tribes in that you must constantly be moving. If you stop, you're dead.

3. Pick your primary target carefully. I find that if you're trying to stack a bunch of conditions up on a single mob in a group in order to Epidemic them out, often that mob will die too soon taking all of its conditions with it. It's important to manage the number of conditions with the health of the mob. I'll usually pick the Veteran/etc. as the condition carrier to avoid having it die.

4. Get familiar with CD times. This is something you can only really learn through practice, but it helps to have an intuitive sense of when skills and utilities come off CD. Because you have to remain so mobile, you don't really have time to keep checking on CD's. Plus, with DS blocking all view of primary skills/etc., you have to have a good sense of CD's so you know when to leave.

Again, I apologize if these are obvious givens, but they really help.

Edited by Phenn, 01 October 2012 - 08:15 PM.


#17 thehotsung

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 09:04 PM

Is there a speed cap in this game?  So according to the first guide, does having a passive of 10% and using the warhorn skill that let you have 33% speed for 10 second, during those 10 second are you only getting the 33% speed increase or the complete 43% speed increase?

#18 takarazuka

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 09:18 PM

View Postthehotsung, on 01 October 2012 - 09:04 PM, said:

Is there a speed cap in this game?  So according to the first guide, does having a passive of 10% and using the warhorn skill that let you have 33% speed for 10 second, during those 10 second are you only getting the 33% speed increase or the complete 43% speed increase?

Speed increases DO NOT stack afaik.  You get the greater increase with any given ability.  So you might have 10% passive, but if you gain Swiftness for 33% then you only go 33%.  That is my understanding from others' posts.

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