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Minion Master - Questions, Answers, and Builds

necromancerminions pets builds necro power build pve damage

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#1 Anam Itheoir

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 10:58 PM

It is said that in days past, the Necro summoned pets to disrupt, destroy, and devour the living from off the earth.  These days in pve or pvp the Minion mancer is rarely seen in dungeons, spvp, tPvP, and questing.  Occasionally we will pass a Necromancer who has 1 or even two minions, but the minion mancer has slowly fallen out of favor due to the strength of the necromancers condition damage, and the dagger power/lich form builds.
Fear not, my friend, for your friend and fearless poster has taken it upon himself to summon forth his minions and wreck havoc upon Tyria.  I have never been a fan of the dark arts, but I have enjoyed the Necro minions more than the dark magic dwellers of past games. I followed 3 principle rules when working on making the Minionmancer a build worthy of consideration.

1).  It must do a decent amount of damage to offset the loss of utility skills for Minions.
2).  They can’t die within two to three seconds.
3).  It must be fun to play, and allow me to stay upright a majority of the time.

I found that the build pretty much wrote itself outside of 10 to 20 points which could be moved all over the place depending on preference.
Here is the build I use:
I find that there are two essential parts you have to remember when running minions.

1).  Flesh of the Master, Minion Master,  and Training of the Master are mandatory pickups.
2).  You have to run a power build.

Death Nova and Vampiric Master are amazing traits, but not necessary.  You can swap either out for 10 more in Spite or 10 more in Blood Magic for Field Consumption.  Personally, I find Death Nova, Axe Training, and Close to Death to be interchangeable depending on preference.  I never go anywhere without Vampiric Master.
With this build you can run Knights, Valkyrie, or Berzerker,  It is probably the easiest gear to run Berzerker’s gear and survive.  I prefer Berzerker’s simply because it’s ridiculously easy to avoid a majority of damage in this build, and since I prefer to have Vampiric Master, I can withstand a lot of stray damage.

Positives:

1).  Easy to survive, and minions do live a lot longer than expected.
2).  The strongest non-lich form power build out there.
3).  Can tank or burst depending on gear level.
4).  Minions, Minions, and more Minions

Negatives:

1).  Without the minions you are extremely fragile
2).  Pigeonholed into a specific build to be competitive.
3).  Condition damage currently is a lot stronger in aoe situations.
4).  Loss of Lich form and the loss of constant DS of other power builds.
5).  Without being able to pull the minions away from fights, you can lose all of them in one quick aoe blow.  Ex. Lt Kohler.
6).  I seriously hate the summoning time. In a fight for my life having to summon a minion is ridiculous.

Here are several builds that I run or have experimented with.

Minion Master build


Boon Stripper (more for pvp) - The boon stripping makes for an amazing neuter of bunker guardians and bunker ele's.  In pve, it has very limited usages.


Axe Smasher - I am a huge axe fan

I run Eagle runes, and Berzerker gear for an incredible amount of crit, power, and crit damage.  Though I could just as easily run Knight, Valkyrie, and Traveler gear but I do love to get crit happy.

If you have any questions as to minions and how to best utilize them I would be glad to answer.
Examples:

Q. How do Minions function in high level questing?
  • Minions are both a benefit and a negative when it comes to questing. They routinely pull off you, and with their side benefits, and Vampiric Master Traits they can keep you alive for a long time. The downside is they routinely pull agro when you simply are running from one location to another.
Q. What is the worst Minion out there?
  


A.  Bone minions are completely ridiculous. The only reason to summon them is to blow them up for blast combo fields. They die at the slightest touch regardless of where they are summoned at.  With the summoning time taking as long as it is for them to die they are completely pointless in every avenue except as combo field fodder.


Q. What Minions do you carry with you then?
  


A.  Blood Fiend, Bone Fiend, Shadow Fiend, Flesh Golem, and my personal favorite for tournaments, and in general the Flesh Wurm.  The Flesh Wurm is amazingly productive and completely underrated.  The Chain skill is a stun breaker, and you can also use it as a poison field if someone is dumb enough to get near it.  In tpvp and spvp, I have used it to escape from crowded battlefields or simply to transport away from a thief and/or get to a base that I left him out.  In PVE, he is a stun breaker saver of Kohler missed dodges, and is the hardest hitting minion not named flesh golem.  To top it off he is almost never killed in a fight.

Q. What about Death Shroud with Minions?




A.  A tricky thing since death shroud is a pretty strong ability.  The biggest issue with Death Shroud and minions is when you run axe and staff, you will have a hard time building life force.  The biggest issue with Death Shroud and minions is that you lose the ability to use their utility skills while in death shroud.  I have actually gone whole matches without once going into death shroud, or even passing the halfway point on life force.  I know craziness, but it happens.  I have often thought about taking Reaper's precision or Vital Persistance to better use Death shroud.


Thank you for reading, and I look forward to your feedback, and any questions.

Edited by Anam Itheoir, 22 January 2013 - 10:17 PM.


#2 OChunx

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 04:43 AM

I'm having trouble seeing the synergy between axe with a power build and minions. :\ The minions don't seem to add anything to your axe abilities besides for just being there and the axe doesn't do anything for the minions either besides for just being a set of attacking skills (also, axe is an interesting choice for a main weapon, since its focus is on single target DPS but is generally outclassed by both dagger and scepter, idk).

I also disagree with your last question about not having death shroud with minions because of the inability to build life force. Axe, staff, and focus (which are the three weapons you are using) are incidentally also the only three necromancer weapons that have a skill that naturally builds life force, with 2 of them having relatively low cooldown and high frequencies of use (staff auto attack and Ghastly Claws), so while it may still seem slow, it is relatively fast given that other builds build life force much slower. Also, since the minions aren't being healed, they'll be dropping quickly, adding to your life force as well. Not to mention life force generally builds quite fast even without necro skills adding to it. Minion utility skills are also either quickly casted or insta-cast with high cooldowns, so unless you're staying in death shroud for the full duration (most of the time I just use it for the 3 and 4 skill or for survival and then come out of it), you won't be missing your minion skills.

Edited by OChunx, 18 January 2013 - 05:10 AM.


#3 Anam Itheoir

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 05:17 PM

View PostOChunx, on 18 January 2013 - 04:43 AM, said:

I'm having trouble seeing the synergy between axe with a power build and minions. :\ The minions don't seem to add anything to your axe abilities besides for just being there and the axe doesn't do anything for the minions either besides for just being a set of attacking skills (also, axe is an interesting choice for a main weapon, since its focus is on single target DPS but is generally outclassed by both dagger and scepter, idk).

Thanks for the feedback.  I will try to answer your concerns. Axes and Minions have as good a synergy as dagger or staff and minions. In a minion build, none of your weapons actually gain anything except focus if you spec into it.  Possibly a reduced cooldown on daggers, but other than that, no weapons see a gain. Axes provide the best middle ground between melee with daggers (better at building force) and the aoe and weak single target damage of staff.  Axe is severely underratted as a weapon. Besides staff is our only aoe weapon.  Axe 3, Focus 4, Dagger 5, and Warhorn are the only aoe abilities in our weapon arsenal outside of staff 2-5.  If you run staff offhand, you can drop 2-5 than switch and hit Focus 4 followed by Axe 3 for some nice aoe, but than you have built zero Life force, and are runnign single target.  Dagger MH is solely single target.

Scepter is perhaps the worst choice for a minion build because it is a condition weapon.  If you are running conditions and minions you are losing so much damage that it's not worth the transition. Dagger has 1 great offensive attack, and the rest is pretty brutal.  Dagger is fantastic at building force for Death Shroud builds, and is the main reason it's chosen.  In terms of pure damage output.  Dagger two with Focus 4 and Axe 1 vulnerability stacking outclasses it by far.  I like dagger, and use it routinely in place of staff.  Dagger/WH is amazingly strong, and provides the best consistent damage out put.  WH 5 with Dagger 1 is alot of fun against running targets, but daggers comes with the inherent danger of being in melee.  With no weapon traits taken, Axe/Focus is amazingly consistent, and in Berzerker gear provides the biggest punch.

View PostOChunx, on 18 January 2013 - 04:43 AM, said:

I also disagree with your last question about not having death shroud with minions because of the inability to build life force. Axe, staff, and focus (which are the three weapons you are using) are incidentally also the only three necromancer weapons that have a skill that naturally builds life force, with 2 of them having relatively low cooldown and high frequencies of use (staff auto attack and Ghastly Claws), so while it may still seem slow, it is relatively fast given that other builds build life force much slower. Also, since the minions aren't being healed, they'll be dropping quickly, adding to your life force as well. Not to mention life force generally builds quite fast even without necro skills adding to it. Minion utility skills are also either quickly casted or insta-cast with high cooldowns, so unless you're staying in death shroud for the full duration (most of the time I just use it for the 3 and 4 skill or for survival and then come out of it), you won't be missing your minion skills.

I apologize for the misunderstanding in my answer.  I was referring to Death Shroud use in terms of comparing it to Death Shroud Power builds which are the most common power builds seen.  I generally Life Blast until half life force than use Life Transfer and follow that with 2.  I almost never use fear unless it's needed.   If you aren't Life Blasting in a power build than you are losing a significant amount of damage with Death Shroud.

There are two main issues with Axe/Focus life force building, both can be cut off by any button push or simply by los.  Axe and staff have natural life force gain because it's on their auto attack.  If you start Axe 2 than have to dodge to get out of away or get interrupted or simply have to turn around to move out of an aoe (you should always strafe when you can) than you immediately get cut off, and your life force is about 1/4th of what it should be (the life force gain on axe 2 is never consistent a majority of it coming at the tail end of the attack).  The same is true with Focus 4. If you dodge before the animation is complete, strafe too far, move 1 step in the wrong direction, or simply hit the next attack in your ability your life force gain is severely nerfed.

Dagger and Staff are your natural life force gains.  Dagger auto's life force gain is amazing for Death Shroud power builds, but the danger of being in melee, and the lack of axe burst is the reason for my choice.

Finally, minions don't die as fast as you think, they also benefit from ally healing.  They don't benefit from boon healing, but shout heals guardian symbol heals, elixir gun heals, elementalist splash healing, life transfer heals, well healings, and ranger Moa heals all heal your minions.  So they live significantly longer than you believe.  Granted if you are running with no healing players, your pets will be nothing more than fodder, but that's what death nova is for :P.  Plus if you run with Flesh Wurm over bone minions, you will always have 2-3 pets that almost never die.  Blood fiend, Bone fiend, Flesh Wurm rarely die in dungeons if you play smart.

Edited by Anam Itheoir, 18 January 2013 - 05:20 PM.


#4 Malganis

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 06:12 PM

I use an axe/focus for main weapons, and scepter/warhorn for backup, mainly for warhorn 5's speed boost as a run.   I also spec 20/0/20/20/10, and I love being a minion master.   Its not quite as good as Aura of the Lich builds in GW1, but its fun enough for me.  I'm not a hardcore player, but I love PvE and my minions make great cannon fodder to keep the foes off of me.

#5 Anam Itheoir

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 05:07 PM

View PostMalganis, on 18 January 2013 - 06:12 PM, said:

I use an axe/focus for main weapons, and scepter/warhorn for backup, mainly for warhorn 5's speed boost as a run.   I also spec 20/0/20/20/10, and I love being a minion master.   Its not quite as good as Aura of the Lich builds in GW1, but its fun enough for me.  I'm not a hardcore player, but I love PvE and my minions make great cannon fodder to keep the foes off of me.

Dagger/Warhorn is an amazing combination, and better for your build than scepter Warhorn.  You get Warhorn speed boost, the trap from dagger three, and Siphon health for great self heals when needed.  Warhorn 5 is amazing damage in aoe melee fights.  Why 10 in Dark Path?  What trait do you pick up there?

#6 Malganis

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 09:31 PM

Life force drains slower while in death shroud, or all death shroud skills recharge faster.    Its also supposed to make the life force bar longer, but I'm not sure if its been fixed yet.

#7 Archon_Wing

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:28 PM

Quote

5).  Without being able to pull the minions away from fights, you can lose all of them in one quick aoe blow.  Ex. Lt Kohler.
6).  I seriously hate the summoning time. In a fight for my life having to summon a minion is ridiculous.

I spent my entire Necro's journey to 70 trying to figure out minions, but that was the deal breaker which made me seek another build.  Not stupid AI. it's fine if some don't attack as long as they serve as a punching bag.  It is just stupid how you must wait for your minion to die and wait out the cooldown. In a party you are completely useless during that time. Minions are actaully great when you are alive. They work even nicer underwater (too bad flesh golem can't) but once they wear down, it's awful. And the fact that your minions vanish when entering a new area or instance? But it doesn't matter anyways, since major enemies will wipe your minions out in an instant since they don't know how to dodge red circles.

Anyhow, the reason why power is used is that since the minions are allegedly keeping enemies off you, that your main focus is to accelerate your own killing and launch an apporiate staff #2 when needed. Your slots are already taken by minions so there's really not much else besides that direct damage you can use.  Greater Marks is very helpful for this build since it gives you more AOE and control; death nova seems more out of control, but I haven't tried it much.

Personally, I have a huge disdain for the bone fiend, which doesn't do much besides die and maybe you can get one of its abilities off. I'd much readily use a well of some kind as a replacement-- losing 20 toughness doesn't really hurt since you're getting tons of toughness anyways.

This is a good guide, I'd like to try the life transfer heal someday. Hope they'll fix AI...

Edited by Archon_Wing, 22 January 2013 - 09:32 PM.


#8 Anam Itheoir

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 10:00 PM

View PostArchon_Wing, on 22 January 2013 - 09:28 PM, said:

I spent my entire Necro's journey to 70 trying to figure out minions, but that was the deal breaker which made me seek another build.  Not stupid AI. it's fine if some don't attack as long as they serve as a punching bag.  It is just stupid how you must wait for your minion to die and wait out the cooldown. In a party you are completely useless during that time. Minions are actaully great when you are alive. They work even nicer underwater (too bad flesh golem can't) but once they wear down, it's awful. And the fact that your minions vanish when entering a new area or instance? But it doesn't matter anyways, since major enemies will wipe your minions out in an instant since they don't know how to dodge red circles.

Anyhow, the reason why power is used is that since the minions are allegedly keeping enemies off you, that your main focus is to accelerate your own killing and launch an apporiate staff #2 when needed. Your slots are already taken by minions so there's really not much else besides that direct damage you can use.  Greater Marks is very helpful for this build since it gives you more AOE and control; death nova seems more out of control, but I haven't tried it much.

Personally, I have a huge disdain for the bone fiend, which doesn't do much besides die and maybe you can get one of its abilities off. I'd much readily use a well of some kind as a replacement-- losing 20 toughness doesn't really hurt since you're getting tons of toughness anyways.

This is a good guide, I'd like to try the life transfer heal someday. Hope they'll fix AI...

I always forget to swap to staff and use Mark of Blood to heal the minions.  I generally daggers as my secondary weapon, but may start running staff solely for that bonus.

You aren't completely useless waiting on your minions, you just lose a good 30 percent of your damage.  Which is why running with Bone Fiend and Flesh Wurm are essential since the odds of them dying is pretty tough since they are always at range.

When you refer to hating Bone Fiend are you referring to bone minions or the Scorpion Bone Fiend that is the tankish pet?  I believe the Bone Fiend does more damage and due to range lives longer than the bone minions who don't explode.   Here is the order of damage for each pet.

1. Flesh Wurm - 833
2. Flesh Golem - 770
3. Bone Fiend - 572 (I am unsure if it's 572 x 2 or 572 total with the two attacks)
4. Shadow Fiend - 330
5. Blood Fiend - 239
6. Bone Minions - 159

If you bring Flesh Wurm, Bone Fiend, Flesh Golem and Shadow Fiend you have the most total damage.

On a final note, The minions resetting and having to be resummoned upon leaving/entering a new zone is fine. Much better than Rangers who lose all pet buffs (master's bond).  Besides the cooldown on the skill resets as well, so you can resummon them with minimum down time.

Edited by Anam Itheoir, 22 January 2013 - 10:02 PM.


#9 Archon_Wing

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:45 AM

The ranged fiend. I seem to have to resummon that one the most.

Daggers are also great for putting some damage if needed, I'd say.

Edited by Archon_Wing, 23 January 2013 - 02:45 AM.






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