|Warrior • Ranger • Monk • Necromancer • Mesmer • Elementalist • Assassin • Ritualist • Paragon • Dervish|
The Necromancer profession serves many purposes in PvE and PvP. They are able to support their team mates and pressure opponents without needing a secondary profession which means that they often choose their secondary based on the needs of the team. In HA or GvG they can often take Ritualist restoration skills to augment their monks. In TA they often use Warrior stances to improve their survivability. In HB they can be given Assassin skills for increased mobility and survival.
Necromancer armor has a maximum armor rating of 60, provides 2 extra pips of energy regeneration, and an additional 10 energy.
Staves are two-handed projectile weapons that can be linked to any of the four Necromancer attributes. They normally deal Dark damage but ones linked to Death Magic and some lined to Curses deal Cold damage. Their maximum damage range is 11 to 22 and their attack rate is 1.75. Being ranged weapons, they receive a damage bonus against targets on a lower elevation and a penalty against targets on a higher elevation. They have a maximum +10 energy bonus and a 20% chance to half the recharge time on Spells. In terms of actual function, both in PvE and PvP, they are largely useless for necromancers. Staves get the most usage as "40/20/20" sets, meaning Halves casting time 40% of the time, Halves skill recharge 20% of time (a trait inherent in all perfect staves), and lengthens enchantments 20%. Necromancers don't cast attunements or other enchantments ever, really making a staff for the most part, useless. The exception to this would be a BiP or orders necro, who rely on enchantments. Wands are one-handed projectile weapons that can be linked to any of the four Necromancer attributes. They normally deal Dark damage but ones linked to Death Magic and some lined to Curses deal Cold damage. Their maximum damage range is 11 to 22 and their attack rate is 1.75. Being ranged weapons, they receive a damage bonus against targets on a lower elevation and a penalty against targets on a higher elevation.
Foci are off-hand items usable when wielding a one-handed weapon. They can be linked to any of the four Necromancer attributes. A focus will provide a maximum energy bonus of 12, but requires investment in their linked attribute to gain the full bonus.
Usually, the purpose for using a focus item and wand together is for making something known as a "40/40" set. This means it halves casting time and recharge of spells 40% of the time. In PvE, this means potentially twice as many Spiteful Spirits or other such skills get placed on a target. In PvP, it can mean the difference between victory and failure. A 40/40 Soul Reaping set is crucial for using Foul Feast when the team is under heavy pressure. It means that hopefully, it can recharge faster allowing for more drawing of Deep Wound, Daze, and Cracked Armor: all powerful conditions. 40/40 Curse or Death Magic sets mean that a ranger interrupt may miss you. This is even better when you're casting Faintheartedness on the ranger, further screwing up his interrupts for the entire team and giving your team an added layer of working defense.
Necromancers will usually use a Shield and Spear in their defensive set. Try to stay in this set most of the time, in case a warrior or ranger switches targets to you. This will assist monks by causing less need for red barring. The details of your spear and shield will usually be +10 armor vs. X with +30 health, while the spear should give +5 energy and +30 health along with any spear head. (The upgrades available for spearheads will not usually effect your build, unless you have Bonetti's Defence, which is more common on monks and mesmers).
Primary Attribute: Soul Reaping
- For each point of Soul Reaping, you gain 1 Energy whenever a non-Spirit creature near you dies. You may only gain Energy in this way 3 times every 15 seconds.
Arguably the best primary attribute in the game, Soul Reaping provides a Necromancer with huge amounts of energy. Deaths will not trigger Soul Reaping if you already have full energy and the "3 times every 15 seconds" will not take those deaths into account.
Skills in the Soul Reaping line focus mainly around energy gain. Popular skills from this line include Foul Feast, Signet of Lost Souls, and Wail of Doom.
- No inherent effect. Many Necromancer skills, especially Hex spells which reduce your foes' effectiveness in battle, become more effective with higher Curses.
A very popular line in PvP at the moment; both in large arenas like GvG and small ones like TA. Curses focuses mainly on degeneration, enchantment removal, conditions, and anti-melee. Popular skills from the Curses attribute include Lingering Curse, Spiteful Spirit, Plague Sending, and Faintheartedness. It also contains powerful Pressure skills such as Corrupt Enchantment and Rip Enchantment (commonly used by other professions). Curses also have two very useful cover hexes: Parasitic Bond and Defile Defences.
- Without Death Magic, you can control no more than two undead servants. For every two ranks of Death Magic, you can control one additional undead servant. Many Necromancer skills, especially those that animate undead servants, manipulate corpses, and deal cold damage, become more effective with higher Death Magic.
Death Magic focuses mainly on summoning and managing minions, dealing damage, and inflicting poison and disease. In PvP, this attribute sees occaisonal play. The most popular build involves summoning lots of minions to help manage energy and apply supporting damage while the necromancers spike targets with Deathly Swarm. In PvE, Sabway is a popular hero build that uses minions for energy management and to tank damage. Popular skills from this line include Aura of the Lich, Jagged Bones, Death Nova, and Rising Bile.
- No inherent effect. Many Necromancer skills, especially spells that damage and steal health from your foes, become more effective with higher Blood Magic.
Much of the Blood Magic line revolves around spells that steal health from opponents. In PvP, this is one of the least popular lines with the exception of Blood Spike. Pvp also contains a build centered around Spoil Victor, a powerful hex which can ruin spikes and pressure monks very effectively. In PvE, this line is often used for Blood is Power to fuel allies that require rapid energy use. Popular skills from this like include Vampiric Spirit, Angorodon's Gaze, and Orders.
Common Necromancer Builds
- The Lingering Curse Necromancer is probably the most popular build. It's focus is to keep Lingering Curse on as many people as possible, making it very difficult for Monks to keep their team alive.
- A Pain of Disenchantment Necromancer fills the role of spike assist while relieving pressure through Foul Feast, Weapon of Warding, and Protective was Kaolai.
- A Wail of Doom Necromancer is a popular build for small arenas where there's likely to be only one monk on each team. Shutting down the enemy monk for spikes with Wail and assisting its Monk by countering condition and melee pressure makes this a solid support character in a balanced team.
- Corrupt Enchantment Necromancers are sometimes run instead of Wail in small arenas when the team wants a strong enchantment counter and a more offensive approach.
- The Contagion Bomber is a popular build for Jade Quarry. Since players only need to kill all NPCs on a shrine to capture it and will be resurrected often with full health and energy should they be killed, this build is ideal. It jumps into a shrine and self destructs, taking the NPCs with it.
- The SS Necro was one of the most popular PvE builds for a long time. It centers around use of Spiteful Spirit and A.I. not recognising such skills to wipe out mobs in PvE quickly. This is especially effective on Hard Mode where mobs have faster attack rates and reduced recharge and casting times of skills.
- The Necro Healer is a popular hero build that uses high energy gain a Necro would have in PvE to counter poor energy managing ability Heroes suffer from.
- Sabway popular Hero team for vanquishing. It makes use of high energy gain from Soul Reaping as well powerful Necro spells to score fast kills. Another advantage this build has is that player can be virtually anything.
- Discordway is another popular vanquishing Hero team that uses same mechanic as Sabway. It's ability to quickly kill one target gains it a significant advantage in tougher fights.
- Minion Masters are very popular for providing a massive army of minions, that can serve as pure damage, but moreso as meatshields.
- Minion Bombers are used for the same reasons a Minion Master is used, except the bomber makes his minions explode by the use of Death Nova. This provide massive AoE damage and additional energy for himself and for allied Necromancers.