Hey everyone, This guide was written by myself, for our community's players! This is a current, and up to date guide on Necromancers in Pre! It Explores everything from gear, to skills, into builds then hunting! Please read it, try it, and provide feedback so we can improve our community guides.
-Cheers, Lord Arrow.
-Ascended Prophecy, for starting these forums with us.
-Presearing Club's profession guide: presearing.boards.net/thread/973/profession-guide-warrior#ixzz5YM2G5hD4
-The Guild Wars Wiki for providing every detail/statistic you could dream of
-Mino For his write up a while back and joining in on hunts Necro hunts.
-And the fine folks on these boards www.Presearing.Club for always answering questions!
Generally Necromancer's gear is used to buff it's skills, such as +1 death/blood, occasionally people use DmgVsCharr wraps but they aren't very popular as you don't usually whack the Charr to death with auto attacks.
Staves: are the go-to weapon for most Necromancers! The weapon crafters in Ascalon don't offer any good options but those lucky enough to have access to the /Bonus content can create an Insightful Soul Shrieker and an Hourglass Staff, The Shrieker is great because although you likely won't hit the damage requirement you will half your casting time in Blood and Death magic spells, as well as get a +15 energy buff. The Hourglass staff is easier to hit the damage requirement, gives you the +15 energy, another +45hp while enchanted (great with Blood Renewal) it also has 20% HSR and 10% HCT, So even if you can't afford expensive gear, if either of the /bonus options are available to you, you're set!
Wands: While there is no good bonus weapons available and dual modded wands are pricey, you can get something to reduce casting time of spells then couple it to a good shield or offhand to buff your other stats.
Offhands: these guys are the saving grace of wands, you can get a nice HSR on these as well as occasionally Armour vs Charr and generally they all offer +energy.
Bows: Pretty much just used for pulling mobs, you can create some neat effects with minion walls Give it a shot! (pardon the pun)
Shields: Can be used with wands instead of using an Offhand. Although the base armour a shield provides is useless now thanks to our Armour setting Vanguard Initiate buff, the other modifiers such as +hp, +armour against charr or -Damage taken, are all still great! The quest: Bandit Raid given out by Baron Egan in Ascalon City, offers a Tallshield with not only a cool skin, but also an incredible +10 vs Charr, and +15hp to boot, even Ascalon's Elite and wealthy will be hard pressed to find a dual-mod Charr shield that can beat that.
Be wary: Not all modifiers on bonus weapons can be replaced.
Now that you have your weaponry settled we're moving onto armour and runes I'd suggest using collectors armor but it doesn't really matter anymore the Vanguard Initiate armour bonus sets your armour to an unchangeable amount which changes with your level, so that also means all +armor runes/Insignia's are useless! While Necromancers have some cool insignia options in Pre, none of them work anymore, so it's best to stick to the Radiant and survivor Insginia's (energy/health) As for runes, of course pick up the new scar pattern from the yak outside Ranik for 50 flowers, The runes of choice are: Death Magic, Soul reaping, Curses, and Blood magic and the multi-class rune Minor Vigor. Generally you can use all of these regardless of build and generally you will put your main skill choice's rune on your headpiece (usually Death, sometimes blood).
There are different builds and skills in pre (believe it or not) some of them are very viable for both Charr & Vanguard mobs, others
are mostly preference based or a build just for the fun of it, below are just a few of the options available to Necromancers;
1: N/-- no secondary Necromancer
This build is heavily optimised for minions, they do a lot of damage in Pre, and have the bonus of body blocking very well also, with maximum investment in death magic and a +1 rune on your headpiece, you'll be looking at level 16 minions (higher than the Charr!) as well 86 damage shots of Deathly Swarm (AoE-ish). Your next attribute, in blood magic will define most of your healing. Don't go all in
though because you'll need a few points in soul-reaping for energy management. Play with it on your hunts to find the balance that works for you.
The empty slot can be used for one of the temporary profession skills, the best ones for you are Mesmer's Ether Feast, as a great quick heal option Ele's Glyph of Lesser Energy, to help spam those costly blood & death magic spells, and the Ranger's Troll Unguent & Pet combo. Your call folks! remember as long as you don't accept the profession, this can be changed
2: N/E AoE Machine
The AoE Machine of Pre!!
For optimal AoE fun, i tend to run a slightly higher death attribute than Fire, with a low balanced investment of Soul Reaping and Blood magic, It's a lot to balance, but you can achieve high firepower from every skill, again, i use a Death rune on the head piece here, and
i recommend Radiant Insignia's for energy management.
I always start with a pull, bow, or staff doesn't matter, once you have their attention you can firestorm them then Deathly Swarm them without fear of anyone dodging either, once those skills are in effect you'll want to switch to blood magic as your hp will drop for a bit, then start popping minions, easy! next group!!
Your biggest concern is minions pulling new groups in before your firestorm and healing skills are useful again, unless you have enough minions this is a quick way to end your run, just balance it out maybe you won't need firestorm on every group with enough minions, or maybe target a boss that will give you a morale boost and recharge your skills.
3: N/E Fire and Curses
Originally i started playing with this build just for fun, however when the Vanguard quests launched it turned out to be more than just viable! Here i would run a higher count in Blood then curses, then Fire magic, and the remainder into soul reaping, which is not as beneficial with out minions, but still somewhat effective.
if you're attacking a group (of Charr let's say.) start with Firestorm if there's only 1-2 enemies (like VQ enemies) try and hit the higher damaging one first and always start with Soul Barbs. It gives you the largest portion of your base damage, and only works well if used first, follow up with Life Siphon, Firestorm, and Faint Heartedness (Which works best on Warrior and Ranger enemies).
This build also works very well with a Mesmer secondary, making use of Ether Feast's heal, and their plethora of hexes. it runs more or less the same, just pull Firestorm, Glyph and Vampiric Gaze, i recommend Empathy over backfire due to energy restraints, then Conjure Phantasm, as this is easy to use with low skill point investments, and shatter delusion as a great closer!
4: N/W the N-War custom:
This one is a bit of a rarity, and one of my personal all-time favourite builds in Pre-Searing. it was based on the cultist Monk/Warrior concept, and works best with a sword over an axe due to energy constraints and the benefit of being able to focus on healing whilst bleeding the Charr out. I originally made one to test it, and brought my character all the way to LDoA before Searing him, it was one of the most fun experiences i've ever had leveling a character here, fair warning: this one is very slow, and the imp is highly recommended. This build was made viable by the Vanguard Initiate armour buff.
Always lead with blood renewal, whack them a few times and try to get the bleed off on as many enemies as possible, then switch to healing mode, turtle behind your shield until you can rinse and repeat. use Frenzy sparingly, to finish off a "for sure kill" just to increase run times a little bit.
You can choose to bring life siphon over Frenzy if you're struggling. The axe alternative is an easy switch of the first 2 skills, however since you will be pressed for energy I don't recommend spamming it. Run high blood magic, with a reasonable balance between sword then tactics, and lastly Soul reaping. Check out the Rinblade and (quest) Tall-shield available in Pre as great weapon choices for this build!
Have fun everyone!!!
MORE TO COME (you're welcome to post your Necromancer builds in the format shown above i will test them, and hopefully add them!
Charr hunting is the number one reason to level up any character in Pre.
Upon entering the Northlands, continue north until you see 2 Charr groups after a small wall section, if you intend to kill them make sure to pick up a few minions from the Oakhearts near the entrance of the Northlands. The wall here will prevent Charr casters/hunters from being able to hit you. Deathly Swarm, Firestorm, Bane Signet and the Mesmer spells can do damage to enemies while you're hiding behind the safety of the wall, minions will also rush the otherside and do the dirty work for you.
Continue east to the shrine. You'll run into some Grawl here, eliminate them for minion fodder. The first group of 3 can be safely eradicated for free minions. There will be a group that patrols up and down the left side of the shrine and one that runs diagonally through along the right. generally starting with the right side is preferred so they don't ambush you by surprise later, then hit the left group as well.
Pull these towards you with a bow as far back as you can to eliminate the chances of other Charr aggroing on your minions, if this does happen fear not, just keep summoning minions and run back if it looks like you'll end up losing the fight, though at higher levels you will just steam roll the shrine with an armada of minions and AoE spells.
Note: Blaze Bloodbane may occasionally reach out and heal these groups, if this makes it too difficult to kill them, just pull back further towards the ledge to get them out of his range.
Once the side groups are eliminated, pick apart the warriors standing guard on either side, if they haven't joined in already and prepare to fight the bosses starting with Jaw Smokeskin! If you're running an AoE build, start whacking them with skills like Deathly Swarm and Firestorm. In case you aren't running minions, it's best to pull Jaw from a head on position up the hill with a bow. You can now pull the other 2 bosses with a bow if they haven't already joined the fray. To pull both bosses, simply shoot one of them with a bow, and back up, they will eventually gather nicely on the front stairs for you to eliminate. After this, you can safely round up any other Charr in the area and pick up your loot!
VI: Other Info/Q&A:
What enemy should i target first?
Generally, the Charr hunters and Chaots! they do the most damage and Chaots will shatter your enchantments! Infact, you'll probably want to hide, or give the hunters something else to target while they're still alive as you're quite squishy compared to the damage they can deal.
Why is there no N/R Guide?
Simply put, i do see a lot of N/R's in Pre-Searing, but i'm not going to make a guide as it runs almost identical to the N/-- build posted at the top. the bow skills don't add value to your kit, so all you generally will bring is Troll Unguent and Comfort Animal, basically it's a more sturdy version of the base necromancer, those of you asking about N/Mo and N/Me right now, calm down! they're still just as viable, due to space concerns and maybe my lack of experience with these options, they're not in the guide. Perhaps someone is willing to share their build?
Why should i hide behind cliffs and walls if i can't attack them either?
But you can! Deathly Swarm, Firestorm, Bane Signet, and most hexes/curses will work right through the wall and your minions will storm the other side while you sit back safely and wait for the Charr to die.
I don't have (bonus weapon, or Imp) am i still viable as a Necromancer?
Absolutely, weapons are not as big of a deal to Necromancers as they are perhaps on almost all other professions. As for the imp, of course he's a big help as a near permanent minion, but fear not, you are more than capable without.
What rune do i use on my Headpiece?
While this is highly dependant on your build, if you run anything involving minions, Death Magic is generally the best bet, however there are blood-magic based builds, that would require a Blood-magic rune, and in rare cases where you run neither Soul Reaping is always a viable option to help with Energy management.
Just how much armour do i get from the Vanguard Initiate buff?
As a light armour profession it would be the same as other casters:
Levels 10-13 your armour is set to: 15
levels 14-16 your armour is set to: 25
levels 17-20 your armour is set to: 35
Please remember most armour modifiers and armour adding runes will NOT affect this number as it is a "set" amount, and over-rides your actual armour value.
Any questions? anything I missed? I can add it to the guide or answer it just ask me in-game at I Lord Arrow I or post/message here Lord !