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SetharosMember Since 20 Aug 2009
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- Member Title Asuran Acolyte
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- Birthday June 21, 1985
- Website URL http://anotheronebitesthedust.enjin.com/
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Posted The Mighteous One on 31 December 2012 - 06:21 PM
I watched a video the other day of a kid running around farming mobs by spamming them with traps. What a shame.
I watched a video the other day of a kid running around never making use of his pet? Shameful.
In fact, I see nothing but shameful video after shameful video on YouTube about rangers. I see people all over the forum saying "We need more! My ranger (with a lowercase "R") isn't strong enough! My traits don't work right! My DPS isn't this! My slot skills aren't that! One guy even said to another guy on this very board that there was such a thing as a "wrong build!"
I figured it was time to show people how to do it the RIGHT way. This video shows that there's absolutely nothing wrong with Rangers but that they're overpowered. Please nerf me, ArenaNet. I'm too good at this game.
You've never seen a video of a Ranger (with a capital R) before. I make use of the boar forage skill! The FORAGE skill! How many of you ever even thought of doing that? Well everybody's gonna be doing it now!
Posted Relair on 02 December 2012 - 03:48 AM
Posted OChunx on 02 December 2012 - 02:14 AM
I currently run a build very similar to your guide, but using cleric, it does really well on dungeons and open pve activity since it allows me to tank a lot of damage and get a lot of mitigation through 2900+ armor plus minion healing from blood traits and the blood fiend. Cleric in this case was what i preferred because some dungeon fights such as Lupicus(Arah) or Kholer(AC) the golem becomes completely useless and i can swap to lich and get some nice escalated damage from it, alas condition damage is kinda capped in this game due to the bleed cap limitation. But as I said before, it doesn't hurt having both sets(apothecary and cleric) since you can grab a full cleric set for almost 1g per piece(Menhlo set if i recall).
Other then that I gotta say you did a very nice update on your guide and I'd recommend people that want to go minion master to read your guide. Even if people end thinking minionmancer builds are not that useful, i would disagree and say it has somehow a fair spot for necros, also it is fun, and my guldies ask me to run dungeons as minionmancer due to the high relisience and mitigation I get from it, I can tank some bosses and some elite bosses for them without even DeathShrouding too much and they don't need to worry much about being chased, also there is the fact that conditionmancers can be capped and lose it's usefulness and damage at PvE depending on how many people controling conditions and doing condition damage are there nearby attacking too(ie:Dynamic Events and some group compositions) and an axe power build is still kinda meh due to axe still having so-so damage + somehow long cds from wells.
Overall all I gotta add for people is that knowing when and where you're gonna summon your minions is an important key to succeed as a minionmancer. I for one, alternate my worm and bone minions depending if i am clearing dungeon trash or controling a point/fighting a boss, also there is the advantage of not needing to explode the wurm for being able to swap the utility slot for the bone minions when out of combat. Which is a good thing. I prefere avoid summonion minions when i am skipping trash mobs or using them as bait to avoid fighting trash mobs too(their AI can kinda work that way too lol)
By the way i think the trait "Death into Life" in the Spite tree is bugged, but i can't confirm atm, at least last time i checked it wasn't updating my Healing Power tooltip.
Yea, the bone fiend damage does look kind of funny, I just compared damage really quickly between the bone fiend and the bone minions, and it looked like even though bone fiend attacked for less, it did hit two times and and attacked faster than the minions, so at the very least its DPS should be higher than the minions. The DPS listed was taken during the BWE and not by me, so it might be so out of date that it would warrant a removal from the guide.
I see what you're saying with preferring cleric over apothecary. Cleric is definitely better than apothecary in large group dynamic events, but the days of Orr zergs are over and its hard to justify going power over condition damage when hitting the bleed cap will never be an issue when you are soloing PvE and will rarely be an issue in dungeons, unless there's another necro or some earth-bleed elementalists (I think they bleed, correct me if I'm wrong). Focusing on condition damage also opens up the option to use scepter for the secondary set (though it's equally valid that focusing on power makes D/D secondary better), not to mention the skill that you spam most, mark of blood, derives about 90% of its damage from bleeding. Even though many of the other staff skills don't benefit of condition damage, their cooldowns are too long anyway to add effectively to DPS.
Knowing when to summon sounds like great advice. Would you care to elaborate on it a bit more? I just didn't entirely get what you were trying to say. I for one basically just summon my minions as soon as they come off cooldown, unless I'm trying to run somewhere fast and/or don't want aggro. Maybe I can add it into a "tips" section of the guide. Of course, I'm gonna credit you with that bit.
I don't know if Death into Life is bugged; it could be working. It's not listed as a bug in the master necromancer bug compilation: https://forum-en.gui...n-NB44-NT18-NP7. My guess is that it is functioning like the guardian trait "Strength in Numbers" right now. The stat on the hero menu isn't updated (not like healing power even has a stat tab on there so I'm not sure what you mean by not updating on your tooltip), but no one knows for sure that it isn't working either.
Posted OChunx on 13 October 2012 - 05:24 AM
3/1/13 - Updated guide for the big February patch changes, updated comments in blood magic trait explanations, added a new entry on jagged horrors, added underwater combat section, and updated equip section to talk about more weapons and to reflect new information
2/24/13 - Edited comments in blood magic variants
2/22/13 - Added comments about axe/focus as a secondary set, added stuff into blood magic trait variants, added part to credit people who have helped with suggestions
2/20/13 - Added info about exotic rabid jewelry, more info on death magic trait variations and Life Transfer, wording changes
1/25/13 - Fixed a price typo in guide, added comment about apothecary jewelry
1/22/13 - Added greater explanation to the functioning of the build, added minor comment about minions not scaling with traits, updated minion damage.
12/23/12 - Corrected comments about function of "Bloodthirst" and updated build to reflect changes in blood magic traits and recommendations
12/15/12 - Added some strategies for controling minion AI, removed out of date rabid trinket comments and updated rune suggestions
12/1/12 - Added comments about jewelry and backpieces.
11/30/12 - Edited Spite section of the build
11/29/12 - Added an affix table to Equips section, added minion DPS
11/20/12 - Emphasized that this build is more PvE solo oriented than dungeon oriented, although build alternatives for dungeons were also highlighted
11/19/12 - Updated equips section. Re-added suggestions on runes and upgrades that were previously deleted (accidentally), started tracking updates
Major edits/changes from most recent update marked in blue!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
II. The General Build
- Weapons, Skills, and Stats
- Underwater Combat
- Death Magic
- Blood Magic
III. The Minions
- Weapon and Armor Affixes
- Upgrades and Sigils
V. Low Levels
Hi guys, ever since guild wars 1, I've enjoyed the notion of being a one man army. In gw1, a minion master was a support role who not only dished out massive AoE damage, but more importantly provided a massive meatshield that increased a party's survivability drastically. Although the style has obviously changed in gw2, a minion master retains that feeling of toughness and power that comes with leading your own army. So I thought I'd share with you guys my thoughts and build on the minion master since I see so many threads with questions on this.
You are one of the most unkillable forces in PvE. With 7 bodies of HP (and death shroud) coupled with high toughness, vitality (highest base vitality in the game), and healing power, you are the real "tank" in the game (as in survivability, not taking hits). Being at range means you get hit less often and less hard as well, so really most deaths should have been caused by you running off a cliff. As long as all your minions attack, you also do insane single target damage, perhaps the most out of all builds. Your staff is also the best AoE necros have, so in an ideal situation, you could be doing the most single and AoE damage out of all necro builds.
Minions are dumb. They are just inexcusably dumb. On average, around 50% of the time, a minions won't attack at all. And when you don't want them to attack, you find them wandering off to hunt a jotun or something. Unless you want your minion to die or you want to enter your next battle with hurt minions, you have to go help your pets, slowing you down a lot as you simply walk around. Hopefully AI will be fixed in the future. The addition of out of combat regen would also be good as right now.
The General Build
(Recommended mostly for solo, dungeon options listed in variations for death magic)
In this guide, I have listed many variants and many alternatives to the main build and equips. However, it is strongly, strongly, STRONGLY, suggested that you keep to the main build in most cases. That is:
- stick with the same traits
- stick with the staff
- stick with healing power
This guide's explanations, unless otherwise stated, assume you follow the main build.
All will be explained in time...
Weapons, Skills, and Stats
First off, it's absolutely essential that you bring all minion utility skills is you want to be a true minion master. The stats that our gear will be focusing on will be from the Apothecary line with healing power as the major trait, and condition damage and toughness as the minor traits. The staff is going to be the weapon here that you use 95% of the time. The secondary set is purely up to you and won't have much of an impact at all.
Dagger/dagger as a secondary set is good because what the minion master usually lacks is direct damage from himself, and what better way to remedy that than to use the necromancer's highest DPS weapon set? Plus, with the trait set-up that I'll explain, you end up having a lot of toughness in addition to healing power, making you pretty sturdy on the front lines.
Scepter/dagger is also very good. You'll be stacking lots of +condition damage, so the bleed from the scepter will be very strong. Not as strong as in conditionmancer builds, but still fairly strong. The advantage of this over dagger/dagger is that you'll be ranged.
Either way, dagger off hand provides a condition removal.
Finally, axe/focus provides good single target offensive minion support with its stacking of vulnerability, as well as a tiny amount of healing. It's dps may lose to dagger/dagger in the long run, and it may not have the AoE of scepter/dagger, but in the short run, axe/focus provides the most burst damage.
Whew, it seems that in conclusion almost any set can be your secondary weapon set, it just depends on what kinds of extra perks you want in a set. If it's sustained 1v1 dps, go dagger/dagger. If its high burst damage/minion support, go axe/focus. If it's condition damage, survivability, and AoE, go scepter/dagger. It honestly doesn't matter much since staff is used 95% of the time pretty much.
USEFUL TIP: If you stack boon duration and regeneration duration with 2 runes of the water, 2 runes of dwayna, and 2 runes of the monk, you can safely swap to a secondary weapon set and make use of it while maintaining regeneration on your minions after throwing down a few Marks of Blood.(thanks Reverse Ghost!)
The general idea with this build is that it is a crossroads between going a fully defensive minion master tank (10 curses, 30 death magic, 30 blood magic) and going a fully offensive minion master glass cannon (20 spite, 30 curses, 20 death magic). You will rely mostly on your mark and your minions to deal damage, however, spamming mark of blood as soon as it's off cooldown is your priority. The more often it goes down, the longer your minions last, and with such a long cooldown on minion skills, it is imperative that they don't go down. So a typical situation would probably start with you aggroing the mobs with Necrotic Grasp, followed by laying marks 2-5 down right away, then spamming each mark as it comes off of cooldown, with mark of blood always taking priority. Also enter death shroud when you have the trait "transfusion" to mass heal your minions, as well as making sure to spam death shroud on and off every 10 seconds as soon as its off cooldown to make use of "Deathly Invigoration". Generally, I don't find the minion skills to be worth using except for the flesh golem's charge or if you are fighting a veteran/champion. Then the single target minion skills will be actually useful.
In essence, the build is very support and control oriented. Not because there's a lot of crowd control skills (although there are many, AoE chill, AoE fear, cripple, AoE knockdown), but because of the swarming, aggro, and body-blocking potential of minions in managing just one enemy, or an entire crowd of enemies. The highly-traited staff offers both offense in the form of more AoE, but at the same times lets you lay down larger and more frequent Marks of Blood, providing massive healing for minions, and support for melee party members (or even casters, the range of a Greater Marks Mark of Blood is pretty big). The apothecary set (specified later in the Equips section) provides you with a perfect balance for this build. Healing Power for the minions and support, Condition Damage for offense, and Toughness for defense. In this way, you can effectively fill three different roles, lending lots of healing support while being near unkillable yourself, as well as decent AoE damage and pretty good 1v1 potential.
I guess the cornerstone of everything can be said to be the staff, which through the use of only two traits (Greater Marks and Staff Mastery), provides both offense and defense. The minions simply augment the crowd control portion while providing targets for your staff support skills when no one else is around, and then adding damage on top of that.
It may seem unorthodox and different from many other "minion master" builds to focus mainly on the staff and healing and support, instead of say, go glass cannon rampager equips (again, equips and affixes are elaborated on in the Equips section) and have a scepter or axe as the main set. The thing is, the other necromancer weapons simply have no synergy with minions. If you are using a condition build, or a power build, it is best to simply just focus on those aspects and bring traits and utility skills that augment the things you want to focus on (dealing damage with the scepter, or power weapon) instead of half-heartedly mixing in minions that do nothing for your main weapon set, and in return the main weapon set does nothing for the minions. Those kinds of builds can function perfectly without minions, and try to combine two separate spheres to no additional effect. You want the whole to be greater than the sum of the parts, not a whole that is content with being equal to its parts.
Underwater combat essentially uses the same bar, just with Plague instead of Flesh Golem since no other Necro elites work underwater. Honestly though, the only reason that minions even work on land is because you can keep them maintained by healing them, something you can't do at all underwater (only way is to toggle Death Shroud on and off with Deathly Invigoration). If minions underwater aren't working well for you and are constantly dying (remember, we didn't invest in the Minion Master trait so the cooldowns are not reduced), just run a conditionmancer build with Blood is Power, Epidemic, and Signet of the Locust since the Apothecary adds condition damage as its offensive stat. Either way, spamming attack 1 with trident will be your main attack. Spear might do more damage in some cases, but you aren't specialized for it, and it is riskier being in close range.
The spite line contains the "training of the master" trait that increases minion damage by 30%. Since minions theoretically should be doing most of your damage when they are all attacking, a 30% damage boost is simply too huge to give up in most cases. The "death into life" minor trait is also helpful in increasing your healing power, which will help in healing your minions. The first major trait is pretty arbitrary. The template uses "Spiteful Removal", for the added condition removal.
Variations: Not putting anything in spite, and instead putting 10 in curses and maxing out death and blood magic. In this case, you will be the main damage dealer instead of the minions and your minions will be more durable because of the extra healing power you get from blood magic. Reaper's Might can also help add damage and Death's Embrace can make it easier to get back up when downed if you don't want another condition removal (there is two already in the build).
This is the obvious choice for minion masters (and the toughness bonus is very nice). First off, "flesh of the master" is a necessity no matter what variation of a minion master you use. Minions are just way too squishy without them. But here is where my build deviates from many others. Most minion builds use the "minion master" trait which lowers the cooldown for minion skills. I prefer using the two staff boosting skills however. "Minion master" just has that implication that makes minions will die anyway despite what you do. You cannot play the build thinking this way. You simply lose way too much in letting a minion die; you lose 20 toughness, you lose damage, but most importantly you lose the entire thing that your build is based off of. With the right amount of healing from mark of blood, your minions will be extremely durable in general PvE. Reducing staff cooldown obviously facilitates healing, since all your marks will be off cooldown more often. Greater marks may facilitate in healing your minions that attack from range, but mostly I put it in because you realistically cannot expect your minions to do all the damage. You as the master not only provide a significant portion of damage, but also ALL the AoE in your build. "Minion master" is necessary, however, if you plan to go minion master in dungeons or PvP/WvW, where your minions will inevitably die. The "Death Nova" trait is bad for the same reason that "Minion Master" as a crutch is bad: your minions shouldn't be dying in the first place, or you should at least be avoiding it. "Necromatic Corruption" is just too situational: most mobs don't even have boons and the strip rate is just too small.
Variations: Using "Minion Master" instead of "Greater Marks". Putting 20 in death magic and 30 in blood magic for greater healing power to keep minions alive. If you want to be a minion bomber, combine "Minion Master" with "Death Nova" and drop the two staff traits. Doing this also means that you can skip out on investing in healing power equips and just use a rabid set. Traiting as a minion bomber is also okay for dungeons, since it's inevitable that your minions will die. Sticking with the original build and having extremely high healing power, however, is good in its own way for healing and supporting your melee teammates and is still preferable even in dungeons in my opinion.
Blood magic is important for keeping both your minions and you alive. It keeps the minions alive because of the added healing power which helps mark of blood, as well as life transfer (4th skill from Death Shroud on land) healing them through "Transfusion". Chances are, you won't be under large threats of dying, making "Vampiric Master" somewhat unnecessary. So you might as well make yourself a better supporter and heal up your allies and your minions and take "Deathly Invigoration" instead. "Deathly Invigoration" will provide about 700 in healing every 10 seconds if you spam death shroud on and off as soon as its off cooldown. "Bloodthirst" would only provide about 1000 extra healing every 40 seconds.
One very useful thing to remember is that both Life Transfer with the "Transfusion" trait and toggling death shroud on and off with "Deathly Invigoration" are actually ways to heal your minions out of combat (!). Transfusion needs no target to siphon from in order to activate its healing, although it will also not scale up in healing amount from healing power or number of targets, should you use it in battle.
Variations: Taking 10 out of death magic/spite in order to max blood magic and max your healing power. If you do this, I recommend using either "Bloodthirst" (Increases healing of Life Transfer, but not damage). "Fetid Consumption" can work, I suppose, but generally your minions are under much higher thread of dying then you are, with your massive necromancer health pool that is hardly affected by conditions.
Another double trait combination that works well is "Bloodthirst" and "Vampiric Master", as "Bloodthirst" increases the amount that minions siphon to you, giving a vampiric aspect to your build.
If you are a skilled dodger and good with positioning, Mark of Evasion can be substituted for Deathly Invigoration as it can both heal and provide extra damage. The Mark of Blood that comes from this trait can be stacked with the one from your staff, however the difficulty in hitting these and the 10 second internal cooldown of Mark of Bloods really hurt this trait. In addition, Deathly Invigoration provides instant healing, instead of simply longer regeneration (if you are spamming #2 on your staff, you'll have continuous regeneration anyway so any additional regeneration won't do much).
*Credit for minion DPS goes to Fiesbert on the official GW2 Forums! https://forum-en.gui...irst#post258301. Testing done without traits as far as I can tell.
Many experience issues with their minions not attacking when they get into a fight. Here are some tips on triggering minion aggression:
1. Auto-attack the mob you want to attack using the 1 skill. This is important, especially for the staff. I was able to reliably replicate having my minions focus on a target by first attacking it once with 1. Marks will not work; your minions will continue to stand still if you use a mark on the enemy. Bone minions seem to be just a tiny bit less responsive to this, but that may just be anecdotal.
2. Minions tend to attack when they are attacked, but do not as attack as often as when you start the engagement (as in strategy 1).
3. Using the corresponding minion skills has so far had a 100% success rate in making minions attack. Obviously, this will only apply for some.
4. Running away far enough will disengage your minions. For flesh golem, however, you tend to have to run away farther. You'll know when he's back when he teleports back.
It should also be noted that minion attributes (power, vitality, toughness) do not scale with your stats or your traits, the exception being the traits that explicitly say they affect minions (Flesh of the Master, Training of the Master).
Blood Fiend - Use him because you have no alternative. Each minion means 20 toughness, so it's best to bring as many as you can. Well of Blood's recharge is too long to justify using it as a means to heal your minions.
Bone Fiend - Use because you have no other choice. I don't like this guy much; he does the least damage besides for each individual bone minion and is ALWAYS the one who is targetted by mobs first, if they get the chance too (this has to be a glitch, idk). Super squishy with a high cooldown and is often outside your mark of blood range but w/e, there's no alternative.
Shadow Fiend - Awesome minion. Inherently tougher than many of the other minions and haunt is useful in blinding bosses. Is always on the front line so he will be a meatshield for you and is constantly healed by mark of blood.
Bone Minions - Probably more resilient than what you thought they would be because of all the healing the get from mark of blood. They do okay damage if both are alive, but generally try not to explode them because they are worth more to you alive than dead (extra meatshields, each will be 20 extra toughness because of the "Protection of the Horde" minor trait)
DPS: 90.85 (Counts both)
Flesh Golem - Awesome elite skill even if you aren't a minion master. This guy can AoE knockdown and often does just as much DPS as you spamming your staff marks, in fact most of the time he does more. As an extra, this is the only minion with out of combat regeneration, so it's less vital to be watching his HP bar. His attacks also auto-cripple. The only downside is flesh golem tends to wander off to attack other mobs more than the other minions do, with inanimate objects taking precedence.
Flesh Worm - Yes, he's good if you're one place for a long time, but the fact that you can't move him is VERY bad, basically the same as always having one less (or two) minion. The biggest pro about him is that he does a lot of damage. Maybe you can use him in a long dungeon fight...? Idk
Jagged Horror - These little guys won't last long in fights due to their constant internal degen, but when they are up, they will provide you the +20 toughness from Protection of the Horde and will bleed the enemy on an attack. If you are constantly spamming Mark of Blood and endless mobs are coming at you, it is entirely possible to keep 3-4 of them up, with having 5 momentarily. Flesh of the Master does affect these guys as well.
Weapon and Armor Affixes
Although it was earlier stated that this build is not meant to be a fully defensive build, I still prefer playing to a minion master's strengths, which is defense. Therefore I would recommend stacking healing power over mediocre damage boosting stats (for minion masters anyway) like power or precision. However, I'll outline the offensive alternatives in here as well.
With the release of Lost Shores, the Apothecary affix now exists in the game (++healing power, +toughness, +condition damage). It is by far the best option for minion masters, providing maximum healing for minions, toughness to compliment high necro base HP, and condition damage to boost a necro's main method of damage dealing.
Slightly cheaper alternatives include the cleric's (++healing power, +power, +toughness) and rampager's sets (++precision, +power, +condition damage). The rabid set is the go-to set if you want to be more offensive oriented (++condition damage, +toughness, +precision).
Jewelry should ideally be apothecary as well (look up passiflora on the trading post). Offensive types go rabid. The Temple of Dwayna in Malchor's Leap also offers exotic rabid jewelry for 42k karma per piece.
Something important to note here is that apothecary jewelry is outrageously priced, I'm talking almost 200 gold(!!!!) for 2 rings, 2 earrings, and an amulet. Given that not everyone has the funds to afford this psedo-legendary set (in cost), cleric jewelry is the clear alternative.
The ascended version (accessory, amulet, ring) of all these affixes can be at the Laurel Merchants in every major city. Only rabid has an ascended backpiece.
Your weapons (basically staff) should be apothecary, with the continuing theme that offense focused minion masters go rabid.
Table showing the affix recommendations for armor and weapons at each level, based on a defensive (Def) or offensive (Off) focus. Bolded is the recommended one, non-bolded the alternative. Don't waste your money on non-optimal exotic/ascended armor.
So what about your other weapons that isn't the staff? They really don't matter much at all, but just for reference, my personal preference is like this:
Main-Hand Dagger: Berserker (++power, +precision, +critical damage)
Off-Dagger: Rabid with Scepter, Berserker with Main-Hand Dagger
Why the sudden shift to berserker on some of those weapons? First off, because of the weapons listed with Berserker, none of them benefit from condition damage. Also, the rest of your equips/trait set-up is so defense oriented that it's not a risk at all to go glass cannon stats on the one or two weapons that you will hardly ever use. Also none of the weapons can heal, except for the focus, but even then the healing is very, very small, so there's little benefit from investing in anymore healing power. The difference in Deathly Invigoration healing will be hardly noticeable.
Upgrades and Sigils
There are very few effects of runes that minion masters can benefit from. Therefore, it is preferable to use either orbs or crests for all your slots, since the total number of stats you gain from those is greater than the number of stats you gain from runes (except for runes of divinity, which is insanely expensive and offers little specialization). Therefore, I recommend filling everything with either Sapphire Orbs or Crests of the Rabid. Both these options are also much cheaper than runes, especially such sets as runes of the afflicted.
The only good sets of runes that offer a viable alternative are the runes of the undead, which provide a lot of toughness and condition power (although you lose out on a lot of healing power) and superior runes of dwayna with +healing power and regeneration duration (although you lose out on total number of overall stats).
2 Runes of Dwayna, 2 Runes of the Water, and 2 Runes of the Monk also offer +30% boon duration and +20% regeneration duration to make your regeneration last longer. This is not needed in most cases, however, as with the reduced staff cooldowns and with the +30% boon duration from 30 death magic, the regeneration that Mark of Blood applies will already last longer than the cooldown duration of Mark of Blood. Stacking this much boon/regen duration is useful if you plan on weapon swapping between cycles, as your minions will continue to heal after you swap weapons. It can be useful to more effectively utilize a second set of weapons, such as switching to axe to stack vulnerability, though this playstyle hasn't been fully tested yet by me or some of the contributors on this thread and is recommended for more advanced players.
Make sure to place a "stack on kill" sigil on your weapons as well, preferably a superior sigil of life for healing minions (recommended) or a superior sigil of corruption if you are going more offensive (fits a rabid set more). There aren't many other necessary sigils, so put in one of the aforementioned upgrades (sapphire orb or crest of the rabid).
Sigils on your other weapons don't matter a whole lot. Sigil of Force is a good choice for any weapon, as is Sigil of Agony (increase bleed duration) for your trident, scepter, or off-hand dagger. Really though, any effects are negligible and you can do whatever you want. Perhaps having a Sigil of Agony on your trident is really the only sigil that will have a real importance in some cases, since you will mainly be using trident underwater.
Note: Apothecary affix upgrades only go up to level 65.
In conclusion: All Apothecary armor, staff, and trinkets with Sapphire Orbs on the armor and a Superior Sigil of Life on the staff.
I found that playing a minion master was very frustrating with my minions constantly dying up until I was able to unlock flesh of the master. So for low levels, I recommend unlocking "staff mastery" or "minion master" for the reduced cooldowns right away (minions die a lot in the early levels b/c of lack of healing power and "flesh of the master"), then going for 20 death magic for flesh of the master as soon as you can. It's pretty safe to go the glass cannon power -> condition damage/precision armor stats as well since things will be easier.
This isn't meant to be part of the guide; I just want to share my opinion on the state of the minion master.
October 13, 2012
As always, please don't be afraid to comment or make a suggestion below. Especially in the case that I need to update some information, as the game is constantly changing.
Thank you for reading my guide and I hope this helps you a lot.
SPECIAL THANKS TO THOSE WHO HAVE OFFERED CONSTRUCTIVE ADVICE OR SUGGESTED THINGS THAT I HAVE INTEGRATED INTO THE GUIDE!
Mathog - Corrected some errors and false information that I had previously included
Miss Nightly - Suggested the use of scepter as a secondary weapon
Stellar - Suggested use the of axe/focus
Setharos - Started writing in my changes and updates per his suggestion
Reverse Ghost - Added an insightful post about stacking boon durations in order to utilize secondary weapon sets (axe/focus)
Posted AetherMcLoud on 06 November 2012 - 02:23 PM
Look at your avatar,
Now back to mine.
Now back at your avatar.
Now back to mine.
Sadly, yours isn't mine.
But if you stopped playing lady-scented professions and switched to Elementalist yours could look like mine.
Look down, now back up.
Where are you? You're reading a post with the Avatar your avatar could look like.
What's in your post? Back at mine. I have it, it's factual discussion of tournament balance.
Look again. The post is now favorited.
Everything is possible when your avatar looks like a norn and not a lady.
I'm on a lightning.
Posted Kaenes on 04 October 2012 - 09:51 PM
SalutationsI feel like this is the sort of thing that I've been doing far too often for my own sanity over the past few months. Introductions. Can I just skip this and start meandering inconsequentially about how aesthetically pleasing it is to watch a warrior being eaten by a shark in sPvP?
(I'll hold that for the conclusion. Best for last and whatnot.)
Greetings, my name is Kaenes and I'll be chiming in here on Guru to keep everyone up to date on the times and fortunes of necromancy in Guild Wars 2. Other than my work here on Guru, I'm also the project lead of Foundation, a collaborative writing/art/music project. It's rather neat, you should check it out.
On the other side of the veil, I spend my time writing things, applying economics to places where economics should never tread (when I go grocery shopping, I actually calculate utility curves for each good I purchase to make sure that my overall utility is maximized), and realizing gradually that the American south-west is, functionally, a post-apocalyptic wasteland.
Keeping with the general theme of hating introductions, let's get down the science at hand.
A Big Ball of Magic-y, Doom-y Stuff
"So, Kaenes, how did you come to play a necromancer, which is obviously the most wonderful profession?"
Thanks for the question, anonymous cough-syrup hallucination!
When Guild Wars 2 went up for pre-order, I stopped what I was doing immediately and bought my copy. After 4-ish years of drooling over the potential of Guild Wars 2, I was ready to actually see what the fuss was about. The-dreaded-game-that-must-not-be-named had long lost its shine in my eyes and all of its assumed successors had proved equally uninspiring. That exasperation is, what I imagine to be, a widely shared emotion, and Guild Wars 2 promised to provide the first honest rethinking of the genre in nearly a decade. Needless to say, I was excited.
When the next BWE rolled around, I logged in; my young and impressionable heart set on rocking PvP with my much-anticipated mesmer. What followed was less than inspiring.
I shuffled through professions for the rest of the night, trying to find something that felt "right." After exhausting the engineer, the elementalist, and the other myriad of professions that weren't the necromancer, I eventually rolled a charr necromancer out of a potent mixture of boredom and desperation; it was love at first soul-reaping. (I was actually so shocked of the score at the end of the round that I immediately screenshotted the occurrence.)
The reply then to this is, "Substantiate yourself! Why are necromancers so great?" Patience, for the substantiation follows.
10 Reasons Why Necromancers Are the Best Profession or My Apologies to David Letterman
- Death Shroud. Oh, I'm sorry random elementalist. I wasn't aware that you lack a continually regenerating second health bar that you could activate at any time. That troll club the size of a sedan must've really hurt. Once I finish sucking our troll-friend's life out, I'll meander my glorious self over there and resurrect your corpse. (Don't forget AoE debuffing, fear, cc-immunity, and stacking self-buffs. The fun just continues on.)
- Vampirism. Your health bar is my health bar. Basically, I'm a health socialist. From you according to your vitality, to me according to my dagger.
- Conditions. Every time I see conditions, anywhere, I get giddy. Conditions on you, I'll spread to all of your teammates. Conditions on my team, I'll turn into boons. Conditions on me, I'll use as fuel to power the best heal in the game or to reflect back onto you. It doesn't end there; see those precious boons right above your health bar? Surprise! Those are now conditions eating away at said health bar.
- Spectral Walk. This skill deserves a spot of its own. Massive duration of swiftness, coupled with one of the most useful secondary effects in the game. Don't believe me? Here's a completely hypothetical situation that may or may not have actually happened. I was defending the clock tower in a certain sPvP map. Lo and behold, a warrior and a guardian, both with shiny great-swords flailing erratically, come charging up the stairs.
I could have stayed to fight (and then promptly died) or I could have done what I, theoretically, did. I activated spectral walk, and jumped out the window. The duo, power-stacking bloodlust in their eyes, jumped out after me with the expectation of an easy kill on wide open ground. I wish I could have seen the theoretical shock on their faces when I vanished, but I was back inside the theoretical clock tower again, so I couldn't.
- Elite Skills. Unlike engineers (who definitely got the short end of the stick), necromancers have three immensely useful elite skills. The Flesh Golem is a minion without par, despite his occasional indecision on whether that centaur hitting him with a club is a threat or not. Plague is a fight changing support skill; 20-seconds of permanent AoE blinding and poison on your enemies is nothing to laugh at. This skill can single-handedly change the outcome of a losing battle - I couldn't count the times that I've saved a group from wiping on the Magg event in CoF by activating plague form and tanking the entire enemy team. Lich Form turns the necromancer into a one-man army capable of feats that defy common sense. Solo a group event, and you'll see what I mean.
- Minions. Why do all the work yourself when you have disposable flesh slaves that you can exploit for your benefit? Capitalism at its best, folks. (Alternatively : DO YOU LIKE FREEDOM? PLAY A NECROMANCER! *queue rock music solo*)
- Wells. Sorry Lassie, but if Jimmy fell into one of these, he's not making it back. At least, not in the same condition he was before. For more on this, see #6.
- Vitality. Necromancers are part of the highest vitality tier, shared with those abominable warriors. Consider that an elementalist, stacking vitality, will almost equal our standard health pool, uninvested. That, my friends, is a beautiful thing.
- Flexibility. A lot of derision has been heaped upon the "unfocused" structure of our trait trees; these people have been missing the forest for the trees (it's funny because it's a pun). Because of the diversity of traits within each of our lines, it's possible to run multiple builds without having to re-spend your points. For example, I'm currently running 30 Spite, 20 Death, and 20 Blood. This combination gives me access to, but is not limited to: Staff AoE, daggers and vampirism, debuff/power axe builds, minion mastery, and well specialization. Simply put, I can quickly and effectively adapt my tactics to any possible situation.
- Group Support. The necromancer is possibly one of the most viscerally effective professions for group play. Wells are some of the most powerful AoE support skills in the game, our signets allow us to cleanse our allies of conditions and revive fallen comrades at distance, and our weapon skills are remarkably effective at debuffing and crippling an enemy. (Consider that the presence of a necromancer can trivialize the Legendary Flame Effigy in Citadel of Flame - otherwise, the boss was [pre-nerf] mathematically impossible.) Necromancers might not be churning out immense bursts of damage, but the sheer presence that they create on a battlefield makes them an invaluable member of any group.
Thanks for All the Fish
And there you have it; Necromancers are superior. In the unlikely case that there are remaining questions about our viability and lethality, I would be happy to answer those concerns in the nearest dark alleyway. And no, of course not! My minions are definitely not laying in wait for you. That would be silly.
Tune in later this week; we'll be taking a look at necromancers in structured and unstructured content (read as "PvP" and "dynamic events"). There have been a lot of misconceptions and concerns about the necromancer's role in these scenarios and I'll be tackling those things head on.
"Necromancers don't really do meaningful damage."
"Their support is weak."
"I don't know why anyone would play a necromancer, compared to the other professions."
"They're only good for conditions, and nothing else."
To which I say, underestimate us at your own peril - because it will be perilous.
I suppose you'll have to wait, and see.
Posted Teilion on 20 August 2012 - 04:53 PM
From an dedicated offensive standpoint, GS is "very easily counterable" and a burst gimmick. But when factored in with the ghetto mobility and wide range, it becomes every bit as good a punishing weapon for controlling space.
Posted bigaus on 16 May 2012 - 07:47 PM
Guardian damage: http://www.youtube.c...v=SCeqdmyfJKY#!
Warrior gets some glass cannon builds tho, Guardian not really.
2. Warrior has offensive mobility and CC tools (gap closers, KB, cripple, immob, antislows), while lacking escape tools.
Guardians has little in the form of CC and mobility, but a lot in regards of negating CC and mobility impairments.
3. Guardian is a lot better at removing conditions to self and team, and team-wide damage prevention (Prot/Aegis) and generally a ton of skill that heal team, protect team, negate damage, avoid damage.
Warrior has no real forms of healing outside the heal skill and traited shake it off (which heals 2k only and 19s cd), but gets 5s immortality twice; one by skill, one when health gets to 25% (traited).
4. Warrior can boosts team's offense. Fury, might, swiftness.
Guardian can boost team's survivability. Aegis, regen, protection, vigor, healing, shields.
Both can remove conditions but Guardian does it much better.
5. This is GW2 not WoW.
Ultimately, the Warrior has a more offensive playstyle, boosts team's offensive ability and focuses on -staying- in the middle of the battle, while the Guardian aims to outlast enemies, boosts team's survivability and ability to get out of conditions.
Pick your poison.
Warrior banners can also give increased damage, malice, healing etc.
and "I will avenge you!" will be the first thing the BNet kiddies want nerfed in sPvP. Promise you that.
and if you are interested in comparing ranged damage, rifle/bow warrior wins hands down over scepter/staff guardian.
Guardians are definitely better at support. Warriors better at control. Both have access to 2h hammer goodness. Guards have great area denial which is big time in WvW and sPvP.
Posted Master Eriko on 06 August 2012 - 10:55 PM