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Introduction to the Necromancer profession, its strengths, weaknesses and derived roles in gameplay.

Overview

Necromancer is a caster profession uniquely defined by health sacrifices, the exploitation of corpses and death based energy management. Their skills lend themselves more to building pressure than to cause damage spikes, but are versatile enough to constitute a large array of viable builds for frontline, midline and backline roles.

Attributes

The choice of a necromancer's attributes determines his contribution to a team.

Compared to other energy related primary attributes soul reaping's advantage is to work independently from the selection of skills, making it well-suited to sustain secondary profession based builds.

Secondary profession interaction

Necromancers can use their secondary profession effectively by bringing utility skills in a necromancer attribute build. Alternatively they can focus on secondary profession skills fuelled by soul reaping. Common secondary profession usage:

PvE
  • Mesmer The mesmer skill arcane echo is used to duplicate key skills.
  • Assassin Necromancers can mimic assassins by playing dagger builds while improving their own performance with supportive necromancer skills. Casters use assassin's promise with slowly recharging necromancer skills.
PvP
  • Warrior Defensive warrior skills like protector's defense are used in arenas to improve the necromancer's survivability.
  • Elementalist The elementalist skill Glyph of lesser energy helps alleviate the upfront energy demand of necromancer builds.
  • Assassin Defensive assassin skills like return and dark escape are used in arenas to improve the necromancer's survivability. Dash is a common speed boost.

Primary profession interaction

Combining different necromancers in the same team is effective because of their synergizing abilities:

  • The death of a minion triggers soul reaping, giving every necromancer energy.
  • Minions attack and deal physical damage, interacting with curses skills like mark of pain.
  • Some skills like oppressive gaze and feast of corruption interact with conditions and hexes, which other necromancers can provide.
  • In PvP multiple necromancers are combined in hexover teams to exceed the opponent's ability to remove troublesome hexes.

Status in the game

Due to their attributes' mechanics and the meta necromancers' popularity depends on the game mode.

PvE
Dying creatures are easily available, so necromancers have excellent passive energy management. The support, utility and damage they offer are very effective and in some non-native roles their secondary profession usage outrivals the mimicked primary professions. Necromancers are a part of the meta.
PvP
The lower count of creatures on the map and less frequently occuring deaths render soul reaping less effective in PvP. Necromancers are either found in formats featuring many NPCs or using energy efficient builds.

Common roles: PvE

Player: Frontline

Frontline necromancers utilize dark aura to deal armour ignoring area damage. They are glass cannons, providing potent offense but straining their backline. Some soul taker builds are designed to receive dark aura from a party member.

Frontline Caster      Supported Daggers

Masochism.jpgDark Aura.jpgContagion.jpgBurning Speed.jpgPoisoned Heart.jpgSignet of Agony.jpgPutrid Explosion.jpgFoul Feast.jpg

Masochism
Dark Aura
Contagion
Burning Speed
Poisoned Heart
Signet of Agony
Putrid Explosion
Foul Feast

Death's Charge.jpgSignet of Lost Souls.jpgGolden Lotus Strike.jpgJagged Strike.jpgFox Fangs.jpgDeath Blossom.jpgDrunken Master.jpgSoul Taker.jpg

Death's Charge
Signet of Lost Souls
Golden Lotus Strike
Jagged Strike
Fox Fangs
Death Blossom
Drunken Master
Soul Taker
Self-sufficient Scythe Supported Scythe

Signet of Mystic Speed.jpgMasochism.jpgDark Aura.jpgSoul Taker.jpgMystic Vigor.jpgGrenth's Aura.jpgAttacker's Insight.jpgDrunken Master.jpg

Signet of Mystic Speed
Masochism
Dark Aura
Soul Taker
Mystic Vigor
Grenth's Aura
Attacker's Insight
Drunken Master

Masochism.jpgSoul Taker.jpgTwin Moon Sweep.jpgEremite's Attack.jpgStaggering Force.jpgDust Cloak.jpgDrunken Master.jpgMystic Regeneration.jpg

Masochism
Soul Taker
Twin Moon Sweep
Eremite's Attack
Staggering Force
Dust Cloak
Drunken Master
Mystic Regeneration

Player: Midline

Necromancers are adept at various midline sub-roles.

Minion Masters
Defensive Minion Master      Offensive Minion Master      Minion Bomber

Aura of the Lich.jpgAnimate Bone Horror.jpgAnimate Shambling Horror.jpgBlood of the Master.jpgMasochism.jpgSignet of Lost Souls.jpgProtective Spirit.jpgAegis.jpg

Aura of the Lich
Animate Bone Horror
Animate Shambling Horror
Blood of the Master
Masochism
Signet of Lost Souls
Protective Spirit
Aegis

Order of Undeath.jpgAnimate Bone Fiend.jpgAnimate Vampiric Horror.jpgBlood of the Master.jpgMasochism.jpgGlyph of Lesser Energy.jpgSignet of Lost Souls.jpgNecrosis.jpg

Order of Undeath
Animate Bone Fiend
Animate Vampiric Horror
Blood of the Master
Masochism
Glyph of Lesser Energy
Signet of Lost Souls
Necrosis

Aura of the Lich.jpgAnimate Bone Minions.jpgAnimate Shambling Horror.jpgBlood of the Master.jpgMasochism.jpgDeath Nova.jpgTaste of Death.jpgNecrosis.jpg

Aura of the Lich
Animate Bone Minions
Animate Shambling Horror
Blood of the Master
Masochism
Death Nova
Taste of Death
Necrosis
A minion master creates sturdy high-level minions to deal direct damage and create a wall of creatures that block hostile frontline characters and divert hostile skills away from party members. Depending on the skill selection the focus can be put on improving the team's survivability or damage output.
Minion bombers are a subtype creating lower-level melee minions and Death Nova to combine offense and defense.
Ranged Damage Dealer
Area Damage      Single Target Damage
     Allrounder

Icy Veins.jpgPutrid Bile.jpgNecrosis.jpgPutrid Explosion.jpgMasochism.jpgSignet of Lost Souls.jpgWell of Suffering.jpgFlesh of My Flesh.jpg

Icy Veins
Putrid Bile
Necrosis
Putrid Explosion
Masochism
Signet of Lost Souls
Well of Suffering
Flesh of My Flesh

"You Move Like a Dwarf!".jpgAssassin's Promise.jpgEbon Vanguard Assassin Support.jpgPutrid Bile.jpg"Finish Him!".jpgMasochism.jpgAnimate Shambling Horror.jpgPutrid Explosion.jpg

"You Move Like a Dwarf!"
Assassin's Promise
Ebon Vanguard Assassin Support
Putrid Bile
"Finish Him!"
Masochism
Animate Shambling Horror
Putrid Explosion

Arcane Echo.jpgSpiteful Spirit.jpgReckless Haste.jpgSignet of Lost Souls.jpgEnfeebling Blood.jpgWeaken Armor.jpgMark of Pain.jpgNecrosis.jpg

Arcane Echo
Spiteful Spirit
Reckless Haste
Signet of Lost Souls
Enfeebling Blood
Weaken Armor
Mark of Pain
Necrosis
The icy veins necromancer stacks hexes which deal area damage upon the target's death, trying to turn the death of one target into a chain reaction which kills an entire group of balling targets. It combines well with the assassin's promise necromancer who specializes in killing single targets in quick succession. The spiteful spirit necromancer instead builds pressure on multiple targets while debuffing them and supporting his own frontline.
Physical Support
Blood Magic      Curses      Death Magic

Order of the Vampire.jpgMark of Pain.jpgWeaken Armor.jpgBlood Bond.jpgStrip Enchantment.jpgAwaken the Blood.jpgNecrosis.jpgFlesh of My Flesh.jpg

Order of the Vampire
Mark of Pain
Weaken Armor
Blood Bond
Strip Enchantment
Awaken the Blood
Necrosis
Flesh of My Flesh

Assassin's Promise.jpgMark of Pain.jpgWeaken Armor.jpgRigor Mortis.jpgBarbs.jpgRend Enchantments.jpgFoul Feast.jpgNecrosis.jpg

Assassin's Promise
Mark of Pain
Weaken Armor
Rigor Mortis
Barbs
Rend Enchantments
Foul Feast
Necrosis

Dark Aura.jpgWithering Aura.jpgPutrid Explosion.jpgNecrosis.jpgMasochism.jpgSignet of Lost Souls.jpgStrength of Honor.jpgUnyielding Aura.jpg

Dark Aura
Withering Aura
Putrid Explosion
Necrosis
Masochism
Signet of Lost Souls
Strength of Honor
Unyielding Aura
The blood magic support improves the damage dealing capabilities of his frontline while also healing it. The curses support also enhances his frontline's performance, but focuses on removing the enemies' defenses. The death magic support is designed to help frontline necromancers with soul taker to reach their full damage dealing potential.

Player: Backline

These builds utilize soul reaping to fuel protection prayers or restoration magic to protect and heal allies.

Healing      Damage Mitigation

Signet of Lost Souls.jpgWeapon of Shadow.jpgXinrae's Weapon.jpgMend Body and Soul.jpgSpirit Light.jpgSpirit Transfer.jpgProtective Was Kaolai.jpgLife.jpg

Signet of Lost Souls
Weapon of Shadow
Xinrae's Weapon
Mend Body and Soul
Spirit Light
Spirit Transfer
Protective Was Kaolai
Life

Zealous Benediction.jpgProtective Spirit.jpgShield of Absorption.jpgShielding Hands.jpgEnfeebling Blood.jpgRemove Hex.jpgDismiss Condition.jpgSignet of Lost Souls.jpg

Zealous Benediction
Protective Spirit
Shield of Absorption
Shielding Hands
Enfeebling Blood
Remove Hex
Dismiss Condition
Signet of Lost Souls

Heroes

Heroes can play most player midline and backline builds and are commonly used.

Their key advantage compared to players is to be aware of party members' energy level, allowing them to effectively use blood is power as external energy management for the entire team. A variant of the restoration magic healer equipped with blood is power is the most popular necromancer hero build:

Blood is Power Healer Hero

Blood is Power.jpgBlood Bond.jpgSignet of Lost Souls.jpgMend Body and Soul.jpgSpirit Light.jpgSpirit Transfer.jpgProtective Was Kaolai.jpgLife.jpg

Blood is Power
Blood Bond
Signet of Lost Souls
Mend Body and Soul
Spirit Light
Spirit Transfer
Protective Was Kaolai
Life

Hero Team Builds

A popular combination of synergizing necromancer heroes is Discordway for party size 4 areas. The heroes play hybrid builds encompassing damage, debuffs, distracting minions, healing and protection. The player coordinates their damage, ideally with an assassin's promise build.

Hero 1      Hero 2      Hero 3

Discord.jpgAnimate Shambling Horror.jpgWeapon of Warding.jpgMend Body and Soul.jpgSpirit Light.jpgProtective Was Kaolai.jpgLife.jpgFlesh of My Flesh.jpg

Discord
Animate Shambling Horror
Weapon of Warding
Mend Body and Soul
Spirit Light
Protective Was Kaolai
Life
Flesh of My Flesh

Discord.jpgEnfeebling Blood.jpgShadow of Fear.jpgMend Body and Soul.jpgSpirit Light.jpgProtective Was Kaolai.jpgRecovery.jpgFlesh of My Flesh.jpg

Discord
Enfeebling Blood
Shadow of Fear
Mend Body and Soul
Spirit Light
Protective Was Kaolai
Recovery
Flesh of My Flesh

Discord.jpgAnimate Bone Minions.jpgDeath Nova.jpgMasochism.jpgPutrid Bile.jpgShield of Absorption.jpgProtective Spirit.jpgAegis.jpg

Discord
Animate Bone Minions
Death Nova
Masochism
Putrid Bile
Shield of Absorption
Protective Spirit
Aegis

Common roles: PvP

The peculiar energy management situation of necromancers reduces their build pool in arenas and organized PvP to few efficient builds. Blood magic necromancers are viable in all formats, curses necromancers better suited for hotjoin arenas.

Blood Magic      Curses

Signet of Suffering.jpgDark Pact.jpgLife Siphon.jpgOppressive Gaze.jpgStrip Enchantment.jpgAngorodon's Gaze.jpgDash.jpgBlood Renewal.jpg

Signet of Suffering
Dark Pact
Life Siphon
Oppressive Gaze
Strip Enchantment
Angorodon's Gaze
Dash
Blood Renewal

Corrupt Enchantment.jpgRip Enchantment.jpgFaintheartedness.jpgDefile Defenses.jpgProtector's Defense.jpgFoul Feast.jpgPlague Sending.jpgResurrection Signet.jpg

Corrupt Enchantment
Rip Enchantment
Faintheartedness
Defile Defenses
Protector's Defense
Foul Feast
Plague Sending
Resurrection Signet

Additional roles can be played in gimmick teams and Fort Aspenwood.

Hexover
Toxic Chill      Lingering Curse      Soul Bind

Toxic Chill.jpgDeathly Swarm.jpgPutrid Bile.jpgRising Bile.jpgRotting Flesh.jpgSignet of Lost Souls.jpgGlyph of Lesser Energy.jpgResurrection Signet.jpg

Toxic Chill
Deathly Swarm
Putrid Bile
Rising Bile
Rotting Flesh
Signet of Lost Souls
Glyph of Lesser Energy
Resurrection Signet

Lingering Curse.jpgSuffering.jpgFaintheartedness.jpgFoul Feast.jpgPlague Sending.jpgAngorodon's Gaze.jpgGlyph of Lesser Energy.jpgResurrection Signet.jpg

Lingering Curse
Suffering
Faintheartedness
Foul Feast
Plague Sending
Angorodon's Gaze
Glyph of Lesser Energy
Resurrection Signet

Soul Bind.jpgParasitic Bond.jpgDefile Flesh.jpgInsidious Parasite.jpgEnfeeble.jpgSignet of Lost Souls.jpgGlyph of Lesser Energy.jpgResurrection Signet.jpg

Soul Bind
Parasitic Bond
Defile Flesh
Insidious Parasite
Enfeeble
Signet of Lost Souls
Glyph of Lesser Energy
Resurrection Signet
These necromancers are combined to spread hexes across the enemy team, preventing effective removal of key hexes and building pressure which the opponent's backline eventually can't sustain.
Necromancer/Ritualist Healer
Anti-Monk Team      Hexway      Fort Aspenwood

Xinrae's Weapon.jpgWeapon of Shadow.jpgSignet of Lost Souls.jpgMend Body and Soul.jpgSpirit Light.jpgSpirit Transfer.jpgProtective Was Kaolai.jpgLife.jpg

Xinrae's Weapon
Weapon of Shadow
Signet of Lost Souls
Mend Body and Soul
Spirit Light
Spirit Transfer
Protective Was Kaolai
Life

Icy Veins.jpgAngorodon's Gaze.jpgFoul Feast.jpgMend Body and Soul.jpgSpirit Light.jpgWeapon of Warding.jpgProtective Was Kaolai.jpgLife.jpg

Icy Veins
Angorodon's Gaze
Foul Feast
Mend Body and Soul
Spirit Light
Weapon of Warding
Protective Was Kaolai
Life

Signet of Lost Souls.jpgXinrae's Weapon.jpgSpirit Light.jpgResilient Weapon.jpgProtective Was Kaolai.jpgRecuperation.jpgLife.jpgRecovery.jpg

Signet of Lost Souls
Xinrae's Weapon
Spirit Light
Resilient Weapon
Protective Was Kaolai
Recuperation
Life
Recovery
Necromancer healers are sometimes taken instead of monks to add more damage and hexes to a hexover. They are also an option in teams like BBway that utilize tranquility and nature's renewal to spoil the opponent's monk backline's performance. In Fort Aspenwood necromancer healers are popular because of the specifics of the game mode. Resilient weapon provides unremovable protection on allies that need to be protected, Life, Recuperation and Recovery affect a large amount of allies and can be placed in safe distance from foes, the entire party can be healed with protective was Kaolai even if it is spread across the map and the defending team will find Xinrae's weapon helpful against siege attacks.

See also

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