Guild Wars 2’s wondrous class system (called professions) has gotten praise from everyone during the beta tests, and rightly so.
The eight different professions are all unique, with completely different learning curves and approach of play. This makes the class system of Guild Wars 2 one of the most unique ever seen in an MMO.
In this guide we will go over the ever-loved Necromancer profession. Gamers tend to have a thing for morbidity and the dead, but what’s better than being able to control the forces of life and death, and raise the deceased to fight by your side.
The Necromancer can do all that, and much more.
We’ll go over the skill types, have a look at the minions and other signature aspects of the Necromancer, check out the concept of Life-Force and Death Shroud, view the equip-able weapons, and the general way of playing the profession.
The infamous Necromancer profession excels at the dark art of commanding an army of risen undead creatures and controlling the essence of life-force.
The Necromancer feeds on decay and death, and uses it to extend his own life. Using a certain set of skills, the Necromancer can build up this “Life Force” by attacking and killing enemies.
What truly sets the profession apart from the others is the unique ability to come back to life after losing health. If sufficient Life Force is built up by the Necromancer, the Necromancer will automatically activate the Death Shroud ability upon dying.
This ability allows the Necromancer to continue fighting in a ghostly form, while his Life Force constantly drains. If the Necromancer gets a kills during this time, he will be brought back to life.
Alternatively, the Necromancer can choose to activate Death Shroud by choice once he reaches a certain life threshold.
After using the Death Shroud ability, the Necromancer exits his body and fights in a ghostly mode. During this mode, he gains some new skills, such as the ability to summon a Shadow Fiend, a minion exclusive to this form.
Necromancers have the following unique set of special skills:
Wells – These are persistent spells that allow a necromancer to control the area around him. This may be a boon or an offensive ability. A Necromancer can only have one Well skill around him.
Minions – This is the iconic skill-type of a Necromancer. The Necromancers summons the dead to fight by his side. Every minion summoning spell has an associated spell that can be activated once the respective minion has been summoned. This secondary spell destroys the minions, and gives the Necromancer some kind of effect, depending on the type of minion.
Marks – Similar to Symbols of the Guardian profession, the Necromancer can place marks on the ground that have specific effects associated with it. Some marks may deal damage to enemies in a specific kind of way, while another might give a boon or heal allies. Some marks actually do both.
Fear – Fear is a special condition that a Necromancer can cast on his enemies. This makes an enemy flee away from the Necromancer for a short duration of time.
Playing As the Necromancer
The Necromancer profession is one of the most exciting professions to play with. Its difficulty is well-balanced – not too difficult and not overly easy, and is generally ideal for all types of players.
The weapons that a Necromancer can yield are:
Main Hand -Axe, Dagger, Scepter
Off Hand – Dagger, Focus, Warhorn
Two-Handed – Staff
Weapons like Staffs and Scepters tend to work best with the Necromancer (particularly Staff), but an alternative set should always be kept that is more melee-focused. An Axe might come in handy in close-ranged combat, but the general recommendation for a profession that is more ability-focused would be something quick, such as a Dagger.
What has changed the Necromancer from Guild Wars 1 greatly is the fact that it is now a much more offense-oriented profession instead of being passive. Even the supportive and defensive skills of the Necromancer are woven with the aggression of the build.
For example, the default healing ability of the Necromancer, called Blood Fiend, is a summoned minion that saps health from enemies and feeds it to the Necromancer. This Blood Fiend can then be sacrificed to give additional health to the Necromancer.
Perhaps the central aspect of being the Necromancer is the capability of going into the Death Shroud form. This form gives the profession very powerful skills and a unique powerful minion. Therefore, generation of Life Force is particularly necessary.
You should always have a bit of Life Force when low on health, so that in-case all health is lost, the Necromancer can automatically transform into the Death Shroud form and give a chance for revival.
When playing as a Necromancer, it is essential to build up Condition Damage (see Attributes Guide), as a large number of the Necromancer’s spells have conditions associated with them. Went the Elite Skills such as Plague is heavily reliant on the Condition Damage you have.