PvE – Ignore your health bar buddy because it’s lying to you. Necromancers have a lot more health that you’d think initially. With minions, life stealing, and traits on top of their Death Shroud ability, they can be some of the hardest bastards to take down for good.
Signet of the Locust is perfect. Using higher movement speed and an area-of-effect life-steal, you just can’t go wrong with it. Once you have more skill points, invest in a tough pet. The Bone Fiend is a great all weather pets that make it harder for things to jump on your back without going through something. It’s much more of a speed bump than the other non-elite pets.
To deal with powerful single targets, focus on stacking condition after condition on your foes. Necromancers have a lot of Bleed and Poison effects. Make sure Poison is on the target at all times, and then try to get as much Bleeding as you can on that sucker (bleeding Stacks, in effect). Though it takes a while to come together, it pays off in massive damage over time.
Remember not to use up all of your Lifeforce in one long Death Shroud. Instead, dip in and out of the state for boosted survivability and the powerful Death Shroud abilities.
As for your weapons, try going for a Kiting set. Since most of your damage should be damage-over-time through conditions, you’ll be applying these conditions then running around avoiding attacks while their heath bars tick down. Staves, Scepter/Focus and Axe/Dagger combinations are recommended.
PvP – Necromancers are a mixed bag in PvP. Opponents will be wary of engaging you as they have no way of knowing if you’ve opted for a survival or damage-oriented build. Avoid summons in PvP, as they are more of a hindrance than a help. Summons can be kited and destroyed easily, and then you’re helpless.
You should usually wait for other players to begin the engagements, then quietly apply your conditions from the sidelines. All of your poisons will make sure their heals are useless, and your bleeds/poisons will deal massive damage over time.
You’ll want to use Deathshroud defensively. If you’re getting overwhelmed, smack them with your conditions, pop Deathshroud and terrify/freeze them with Dark Path and Doom then run away to get yourself some breathing room. Consume conditions and Plague Signet are amazing combinations that will keep you condition free and at good health in PvP.
If you want a more comprehensive guide on builds for the Necromancer for Dungeons, PvP or PvE, check out our Necromancer build guide here.