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[Guide] An Introduction to the Necromancer

necro power cond dagger warhorn wells build guide

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#91 Epixors

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 12:50 PM

Newest iteration of the Hybrid build.

So far I'm really enjoying it. The passive ConD is HUGE, and 1700 ConD after Might and Stacks is not shabby at all. Let alone the fact that you're still packing 2200 Power and 66% Crit.

I've tried working Crit dmg into the build, and you can't do it without seriously gimping ConD. So I'm leaving it out for now. Also changed the Dagger CD trait to Mark of Blood on-dodge, for more sustain and a free AoE 3-stack bleed. Swapped the Ele runes for a combo that provides another source of Burn, and makes sure that Burn duration is always at 100% even without Toxic stones.

General rotation can spike up to 25 stacks of Bleed on a single target, and maintain 8-10 in AoE if the fight lasts long enough. It's...ridiculously fun.

So. Much. Synergy.


YOU MONSTER!

Now all of my video data is useless :(
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#92 Brandon the Don

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 02:32 PM

Looks good, I might get just full rampager as well if it is indeed correct that you could just concentrate on ConD rather than CritD...

When the Dhuumfire nerf (finally) hits, is it viable to concentrate on burning rather than the other conditions though? I currently run like 3x Sunless and 3x Elementalist (might need to look into this as well), for something more general...

And how does this compare to a classic DPS set-up?
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#93 Phenn

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 03:22 PM

YOU MONSTER!

Now all of my video data is useless :(


I know right? Your data isn't useless. :) I'm still looking for a general idea of the relative DPS of the build. The rotation is only affected if I'm popping every CD on CD. Which I'm not after the first burst. And the runes don't change a whole lot either.

Or I can just come to terms with being a monster. :P
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#94 Pregnantman

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 02:30 PM

Looks good, I might get just full rampager as well if it is indeed correct that you could just concentrate on ConD rather than CritD...

When the Dhuumfire nerf (finally) hits, is it viable to concentrate on burning rather than the other conditions though? I currently run like 3x Sunless and 3x Elementalist (might need to look into this as well), for something more general...

And how does this compare to a classic DPS set-up?


Without might or condition sigil stacks, Dhuumfire in this build is worth around 220 dps if it works perfectly well. If you have a Guardian, Ele or only one person who can keep a good uptime of Burning then Dhuumfire is worth even less. With dagger melee and warhorn your direct damage should easily exceed over 2200 dps, so the overall %10 bonus of Close to Death is better than Dhuumfire. After testing it for myself, I can confirm that Close to Death is always the way to go in single target.

For AoE the idea to use Dhuumfire seems inspiring. It can look even better if piercing Life Blasts burn every target they hit, and Epidemic allowing to maintain near perma burning on all targets. Everything is perfect until a class with burning steps in (Ele and Guardian can perma AoE burn without much investment) and your burning suddenly hits less and less often while you sacrifised the precious DS cooldown and left exposed to damage. Close to Death instead offers a flat bonus, so that you can use DS when you desire instead of being obligated to use it. The small advantage of Dhuumfire (and the disadvantage of Necromancers) is that we cant cleave, therefore Close to Death may not be as efficient as it looked on paper. So Dhuumfire is probably only better than Close to Death on prolonged AoE situations, where all your burst AoE is in cooldown and you cant do sustained AoE damage aside conditions.

So after the patch if I was to use this build, Dhuumfire would only be my situational choice while Close to Death would remain slotted most of the time.

Edited by Pregnantman, 08 February 2014 - 02:34 PM.

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#95 Brandon the Don

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 02:56 PM

Without might or condition sigil stacks, Dhuumfire in this build is worth around 220 dps if it works perfectly well. If you have a Guardian, Ele or only one person who can keep a good uptime of Burning then Dhuumfire is worth even less. With dagger melee and warhorn your direct damage should easily exceed over 2200 dps, so the overall %10 bonus of Close to Death is better than Dhuumfire. After testing it for myself, I can confirm that Close to Death is always the way to go in single target.

For AoE the idea to use Dhuumfire seems inspiring. It can look even better if piercing Life Blasts burn every target they hit, and Epidemic allowing to maintain near perma burning on all targets. Everything is perfect until a class with burning steps in (Ele and Guardian can perma AoE burn without much investment) and your burning suddenly hits less and less often while you sacrifised the precious DS cooldown and left exposed to damage. Close to Death instead offers a flat bonus, so that you can use DS when you desire instead of being obligated to use it. The small advantage of Dhuumfire (and the disadvantage of Necromancers) is that we cant cleave, therefore Close to Death may not be as efficient as it looked on paper. So Dhuumfire is probably only better than Close to Death on prolonged AoE situations, where all your burst AoE is in cooldown and you cant do sustained AoE damage aside conditions.

So after the patch if I was to use this build, Dhuumfire would only be my situational choice while Close to Death would remain slotted most of the time.


Dhuumfire: This trait has been changed so that it will make Life Blast inflict 3 seconds of burning with a 10 second recharge.


Problem I personally see is the ICD plus the fact that you try to maintain conditions in Deathshroud (whilst not impossible, simply not desirable)... That, and as you say, burning gets procced by some key classes already...

I know close to death is only meant to amplify your direct damage, but the Dhuumfire trait seems kind of worthless to spent extra traitpoints for when the patch hits imho...

I shall see when the patch hits, but I hold no high hopes - hence why I questioned Phenn about concentrating on burning and burning duration instead of going with full ConD or duration...
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#96 Phenn

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 04:15 PM

Yeah once the patch hits, I'll drop the burn duration. At that point, the situation proc is handy only if you're going to make it part of a Sig of Spite + Epidemic AoE burst. The passivity with which it procs at the moment make extending the duration valuable, and the fact that it hits harder than most passive burns helps keep it up most of the time.

But...

The change will totally shank the idea of passive ConD (which is what makes my idea work). However, if I use one LB as part of my DS ConD rotation (pop DS for Weakening Shroud, 3 + 2, one LB), then a 10 second CD isn't bad, because it'll be up every time I use the DS rotation. Add on to that 100% duration, and you'll have a 6-sec burn.

I dunno. I don't like the change, and will probably go with CtD anyway.
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#97 Pregnantman

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 11:57 PM

Though the wiki doesn't clearly tell how Burning works, after some searches I was able to find some info on the issue of multi burners:

https://forum-en.gui...g-effect-Damage

http://wiki.guildwar...acking_effects|

https://forum-en.gui...-does-burn-work

Apparently I didn't take condition damage into account when testing, so this build (having good condition damage inherently) will not lose its burning to people with lower condition damage. Therefore, I can say that Dhuumfire is the way to go on prolonged AoE, but Close to Death is far better on single target.

Although burning is superior to Close to Death in prolonged AoE fights, Dhuumfire isn't the only way to apply AoE burning. Burning is a condition many classes share and inherently apply while using their skills, so you can use Epidemic to spread it to all targets. Since your condition damage will be higher than average zerkers and therefore your applied burning takes priority, you can effectively claim your party's burning as "yours". Another method is having Bone Fiend/Flesh Wurm and have them attack through Fire Fields, but that seems only good in theory (I may try it for myself and tell you if it is good in practice also). Therefore, Dhuumfire isn't necessary in AoE at all, where it can actually be deemed worthwhile.

On a further note, the zerker necro with 25+ points in Curses, Koi Cakes and perhaps some additional investments (optional) can probably be the one who has his burning prioritized over others if the group doesn't have a hybrid or condition built class in it. My last iteration of "%100 weakness dagger action" ( http://gw2skills.net...V7NKiWtUAwMsC-e ignore the Toxic Consumable and slot Skale Venom) build and pretty much all other builds in Brandon's thread are up to the task.

Edited by Pregnantman, 09 February 2014 - 12:01 AM.

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#98 Pregnantman

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 12:12 PM

Sorry, forget anything I said about burning. Apparently it doesn't prioritize condition damage at all and its more or less "first come first serve".


Edited by Pregnantman, 27 February 2014 - 12:13 PM.

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#99 Phenn

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 05:23 PM

Well that sucks.

(On a complete side-note, the "watch next" suggestions at the end of the video are hilarious.)

I'm getting to the point where, until the Necro gets a serious re-work, I'm playing other classes.
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#100 Brandon the Don

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 05:58 PM

Well that sucks.

(On a complete side-note, the "watch next" suggestions at the end of the video are hilarious.)

I'm getting to the point where, until the Necro gets a serious re-work, I'm playing other classes.


Or play Necromancer in PvP as it was intended :P

No worries, the big patch is comming soon... They are finally gonna fix the bug where people thought Necromancer was a class in PvE...
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#101 Phenn

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 06:57 PM

Or play Necromancer in PvP as it was intended :P

No worries, the big patch is comming soon... They are finally gonna fix the bug where people thought Necromancer was a class in PvE...


Yeah...I'm finally dropping the cash on gearing for WvW backlining. It'll be fun.

And wait. There's a Necro class in this game?
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#102 MCBiohazard

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 12:53 AM

So I was wondering, has anybody tried fooling around with Zealot prefix gear that was introduced back during Twisted Marionette with one of the lifesteal and/or DS transfusion builds? If so, do you think it would be worth it to trade in the ferocity for healing power instead when 4/15 hits or is the difference in healing numbers negligible with healing power as a secondary instead of primary stat?
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#103 Brandon the Don

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 08:37 AM

So I was wondering, has anybody tried fooling around with Zealot prefix gear that was introduced back during Twisted Marionette with one of the lifesteal and/or DS transfusion builds? If so, do you think it would be worth it to trade in the ferocity for healing power instead when 4/15 hits or is the difference in healing numbers negligible with healing power as a secondary instead of primary stat?


It is rumoured (or confirmed, I am not sure) that they are gonna rebalance the scaling of vampiric/lifesteal traits because they now scale horribly with healing power for any competitive gameplay...

The 15th is gonna determine a lot of things regarding with the necromancer in the PvP areas of the game... Not much was given or said that is actually that useful for PvE... My guess? I think lifesteal builds are not gonna work ever since Anet is kind of scared to give them an acknowledgable buff...
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#104 dean_851

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 09:01 PM

Have any of these builds bee updated / do any need to be updated? Been awfully quite in here..
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#105 Phenn

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 02:12 AM

As far as the Necro is concerned, not a whole lot changed with the builds with the update. There are some new builds that are available with the updates to the Death Magic line. But none of them are going to be meta. The Minion Master took a huge hit. I'm planning on updating the builds section to categorize them by gear, since you can retrait at any time.
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#106 Brandon the Don

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 08:27 AM

I'll be completely honest on my part...

For a PvE Necromancer nothing much has changed - except for the fact that it doesn't matter what classes you really bring into a low level dungeon now since ferocity broke the scaling, so now those low level dungeons are drop dead easy...
Weapons, traits or anything else did not get a noticable change as far as I know, so I guess you are still golden with the usual 6-5-0-0-3 setup...
Maybe a necromancer is somewhat more viable in Fractals since Skale Venom finally got nerfed... But aside from that?
... You might've already guessed that PvE wise I have not done much, and you are absolutely right... Doing some of the dungeons after the patch only to facepalm when you cleared it in record time with a random setup, and some fractals; only to find out that the droprate is still... well...

In the PvP areas of the game though... Now I cannot speak much for WvWvW since I just do not do that, but in SPvP I have had a good time...
Most of the new traits have not done anything for me... Renewing Blast is probably the most laughable skill ever since the 800 healing was a big fat lie... Not just that, it scales absolutely horribly and it is way to hard to hit in the competitive scene... Most of the other new traits have not done anything good to me, except Path of Corruption; This trait has made a corruption or anti bunker necromancer an absolute blast to play... I am fully aware that Dark Path is incredibly slow, but it makes the trait so much better! It is simply a high risk, high reward trait which can make an enemy who previously had stability run away in terror!
Some of the power/well builds I made got improved by the rune reworks as well, but not noticable...

Sadly though, the patch, despite loving my renewed Corrupton Necro, has not done anything to make a necromancer really exciting to me - especially when I look at where Eles stand now in PvP... Holy Cow, I have such a good time playing one again...
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#107 Phenn

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 03:58 PM

Updated with information from the April Feature Patch.

I'm looking for help in the "Tips for Leveling" section. I have no interest in rolling another Necro to level just to figure out how it plays out in the new system. So if anyone has anything they think would be helpful in this section, feel free to post here or PM me.
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#108 MCBiohazard

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 01:14 AM

If I hadn't made and leveled a second necro before I found about the altered leveling progression (I made a minion master, thanks Ochunx), I would definitely have attempted it after the patch hit. Though now I am tempted to level a fresh alt just so there is some perspective on the matter. Especially since there is so much acrimony over the feature implementation currently on these forums, I want to have some actual observation and experimentation to contribute.
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#109 Crashproof

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 01:46 PM

I had a new Necro at level 28 when the patch hit. Lost my traits of course, and with the first minion minor trait changed, along with the not-exactly-stellar minion AI right now, I decided to abandon a minion master build for leveling.

For a while I ran with something like your Specter of Death (surprisingly effective even with few traits), but switched to a dagger/focus power build (2/2/0/0/2 so far). it feels really good.

I am mostly keeping Well of Suffering, Signet of Spite, and Signet of the Locust on my bar. If a tougher fight is ahead I'll swap out Locust for another well or Spectral Armor or Wurm or... whatever. More often than not I just leave Locust on.

Flesh Golem I think is severely underrated, at least for leveling. And I actually kind of suspect Blood Fiend might be better for me than Consume Conditions, since I almost never pop the heal skill anyway.

Necros seem to be a lot easier to level than many classes. The key is really to learn the weapons and how to use DS effectively.
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#110 MCBiohazard

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 11:40 PM

So I bit the bullet and leveled a necro from 1-80 without birthday boosters. Here are my thoughts, a bit scattered though as I try to remember what was important. Some traits can be a pain to unlock due to being tricky mini-dungeons or meta events that are not always available during your play time but overall, it shouldn't be too hard to get the traits you need for the build you want to go for at level 80 without having to spend at the trainer. If you play in mind to unlock traits along the way, you should have plenty of skill points left over even after buying all your skills to splurge on the key traits you don't want to attempt to unlock.

The trait unlock system will dictate your leveling path and it will require you to do all sorts of content for certain key traits. Asuran and Sylvari alts unfortunately get the short end of the stick as they have no unlocks whatsoever in their two starting zones aside from the rather important for condimancer Curses II trait Hemophilia that can be got from Twilight Arbor story mode. Humans, charr and to a lesser extent norn probably are best situated to naturally move into the zones that have important traits for necros.

Gendarren Fields full clear grants Spite III Spiteful Removal and you can also pick up Blood IV Mark of Evasions from the Provernic Crypt mini dungeon as well as Curses VI Focused Rituals from defeating Elite Officer Jayne in the Brigatine Isles

Harathi HInterlands is a smorgasboard of useful unlocks. Defeating Kol Skullsmasher grants you Spite VI Reaper's Might, which is one of the key traits for any aspiring Life Blast death shroud build. Defeating Sharky the Destroyer will grant Curses V Reaper's Precision, which also is very nice for tor any death shroud build. Defeating Gargantula will give you Blood V Vampiric Precision, for those lifesteal builds. Doing the Ulgoth world boss will give you Curses III Blinding Darkness, which isn't too useful but he may be an easy follow up after defeating Kol Skullsmasher. Full clearing the zone will give you Blood IV Ritual of LIfe, which also isn't great but hey, might as well finish the zone for the extra XP and free mats since you've been running around there so much.

Fields of Ruin has two useful traits for the necro and going into that area will naturally lead to Blazeridge Steppes and Iron Marches, where a few more can be found. Full clearing the zone will grant Death III Staff Mastery and doing the Ogre Wars meta event ending with defeating the Foulbear Chieftain will unlock Soul II Vital Persistence, useful for any flavor of death shroud build.

Lornar's Pass has a very important key trait for the Life Blast death shroud build. Doing the Lord Ignius chain event and defeating him will grant you Soul VI Unyielding Blast. Defeating the Champion Ice Wurm underneath the Durmand Priory will grant Soul V Speed of Shadows, which isn't too essential but low hanging fruit if you happen to be in that area while clearing. Clearing the map will grant Curses IV Weakening Shroud, also quite useful for weakness uptime builds.

Clearing Blazeridge Steppes will grant Spite V Spiteful Spirit. Iron Marches has the fire shaman world boss, who will grant Curses IX Terror upon defeat and also has Victurus the Shattered, who will grant Death IV Ritual of Protection, useful for well based utility bars, and the Branded Devourer Queen who will grant Soul X Soul Marks

Dredgehaunt Cliffs has an assortment of niche traits that might be useful for certain builds. Doing the Forsaken Halls minidungeon and defeating the Fleshgrazer at the end will grant Death I Dark Armor. Defeating the dredge commisar at Tribulation Rift will grant Blood IX Deathly Invigoration. Full clearing the map will grant Soul IV Spectral Mastery.

Bloodtide Coast also has one or two niche trait unlocks. One comes from the Admiral Taidha Covington world boss, defeating her grants Soul IX Master of Terror. Defeating the Giant Blood Ooze in Challdar Gorges will grant Death VI Shrouded Removal

Timberline Falls has a useful trait for lifesteal builds if you defeat the Nonmoa Lake krait witch. Doing so grants Blood VI Transfusion, one of the best AoE heals available to necros.

Sparkfly Fen has a key trait for minion masters. If you complete the Verenium Delves jumping puzzle, you will unlock Blood VII Vampiric Master, which will grant your minions extra lifesteal damage.

Don't neglect doing your personal story, the dungeon story modes and zerging around in Eternal Battlegrounds/Edge of the Mists as soon as you are able to as there are useful unlocks for doing so.

By the time you're able to get into the Mount Maelstrom zone, you should be able to wander into Fireheart Rise and Frostgorge Sound safely and you will be able to fill out your trait list with the unlocks in all these zones. You should be 80 by the time you get into Orr so you can take your time unlocking the grandmaster traits that will be associated with the Orr temples and certain minidungeon/jumping puzzles there.

As for leveling builds, necros always could get by without too many traits unlike some of the other classes that really shine only with them unlocked. When in doubt, power dagger necro with wells will get you by just about anything. But minion masters unfortunately won't be able to access their key traits until much later in the leveling process or at end game so while it is still very safe to carry a minion bar while leveling, there will not be much to supplement them. Likewise condimancers may want to wait until end game as well to spec in as their key traits are also fairly late in. Death shroud necros will probably have the easiest time leveling as they will be able to get the Life Blast traits soon after they break into the 30-40 zones.
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#111 Phenn

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Posted 15 September 2014 - 03:49 PM

Added new Vampiric GC build, and MCBiohazard's leveling walkthrough.

Very little changed for the Necro in the September Feature Patch, so I've not done a thorough work up of the alterations. Crossed out irrelevant information, though.
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#112 Treetoptrickster

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Posted 04 January 2015 - 03:03 PM

"Bloody Mary" Necromancer Any opinions on my necro build?


Swapping your weapons in this build swaps your play style, giving you a bit more flexibility in combat but it also takes getting used to and knowing which situation is best for which weapon set. Before reading through all of this you should know that this build doesn't provide power from Spite and doesn't prioritize power, but has a few tricks to increase your direct damage.

Weapons/Utility_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Dagger/Focus

Pros : Sustain, fast life force generation, provides control and support, great for duelling, boon removal.
Cons : Inconsistent power damage, puts you in melee range, not beneficial for condition damage.

This is generally what you'll be using for situations when you want to be tanky or are facing a single or small group of mobs. The dagger AA and Reaper's touch provide very quick and easy life force generation which helps with survivability by ensuring a full life force bar to work with nearly every time you go into DS. Standing close to your enemy will make it easier to ensure that Reaper's touch bounces between only you and your intended foe, giving a nice long regen to you and 12 stacks of long lasting vulnerability to them. The vulnerability and regeneration can also be used to help the DPS of your allies while keeping them alive. Dark Pact is a good skill to cast prior to Life Siphon to keep melee mobs or players at bay while you heal.

Scepter/Dagger

Pros : Oh the conditions, bleed stacking, multiple aoe and multi target skills, condition transferring.

When you need to be at range, are fighting groups of mobs, and when you're pretty sure all you need is DPS use this. Very standard pairing for potent condition application but not much else to say. Feast of Corruption offers a large damage spike when used against bosses or when you've set up a lot of conditions before hand. Initiate a fight with Scepter/Focus from range and swap when you need the defence of Dagger/Focus. The conditions you apply continue ticking away while using the dagger.

Healing: Consume Conditions, sweet condition removal with amazing heal potential.

Signet of the Locust: More sustain in combat and greater mobility that's useful in pretty much every situation. Meh cooldown. Swap if you want, I just like having this.

Epidemic: Compliments both the Scepter/Dagger's artillery of conditions and provides aoe immobilization, vulnerability and chill for the Dagger/Focus.

Blood is Power: without traits this one ability can mean permanent bleeding and a great boost to power damage for the tanky side and more condition damage for the
DPS side.

Elite : Plague. Bleeds for DPS and cripples and blinds for support. Mostly for defensive purposes.

Use corruption skills before Deathly Swarm or Consume Conditions to turn their weaknesses into strengths.

Traits_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

0/5/5/4/0

Curses. Barbed Precision adds some condition damage to the Dagger and even greater bleed stacking to the staff.
Hemophilia increases bleed stacking and damage potential, makes the Bleed on foe from Blood is Power incredibly long.
Furious Demise increases death shroud DPS, works well with Barbed Precision.
Master of Corruption makes for a quick recharge on aoe condition bursts and higher uptime on might stacks.
Target the Weak is just great for the number of conditions applied with Scepter/Dagger and helps with the lack of power in this build.

Death Magic. Armoured Shroud makes you a fair bit more durable.
Dark Armor means high uptime on a good boost to toughness.
Soul Comprehension means a full life force pool in large fights.
Death Shiver is awesome for increasing allies damage as well as your own and last a fair while after exiting DS.
Deathly Strength helps with lack of power especially while in DS or channeling a skill which is almost always. Significant bonus toughness while in DS.

Blood Magic. Full of Life helps you stay alive.
Dagger Mastery benefits both weapon sets and the strengths the you gain from daggers.
Vampiric provides a small amount of bonus damage and healing every time you hit a foe, stronger when used with the dagger's fast AA cycle.
Bloodthirst increases the healing and damage of Life Siphon, Vampiric and Signet of the Locust.

Sigils and Runes______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

For Dagger and Focus I suggest sigils of Blood and Earth to make up for lacking condition application and to compliment the sustain of this set.

Scepter and Dagger work with Sigil of Corruption as it will stack faster in the aoe fights when Scepter/Dagger is better and when the frequent deaths means fast stacking to make up for the slower life force generation. Sigil of Agony, Malice, Purity or Generosity if you can get your hands on it, are all complimentary choices.

I would go for full runes of the undead because they increase the build's two main stats and conversion of toughness to condition damage means Dark Armour and Armoured Shroud boost both power and condition damage.



- welcome to the forums : Ship

Edited by Ship Soo, 04 January 2015 - 08:50 PM.

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#113 Phenn

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Posted 31 May 2015 - 10:33 PM

Hiya all! I'll be working through this whole guide once the major feature patch drops, and I'll have it brought up to spec for the xpack. At the moment it's actually still largely accurate.
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#114 Phenn

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Posted 23 June 2015 - 05:00 PM

This thread is massively out-dated as of June 23, 2015. I'll be updating it slowly as I work through all of the builds/trait/specialization changes. Bear with me, if you will. Any input would be appreciated!
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#115 UnDeadFun

UnDeadFun

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Posted 23 June 2015 - 06:07 PM

Thanks Phenn ;)
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#116 Phenn

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Posted 26 October 2015 - 02:23 PM

I'll be updating this thread soon. The Necro's in a great place currently. Still a terrible divide between party support and damage, but both roles are there, and the Necro does them better than it used to.

I'll probably be soliciting help from any of you Necro pros still out there.
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