User:Y0 ich halt/Guides/Necromancer

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Info-Logo.png Note: This is a user's guide to playing a necromancer in Guild Wars. It's meant to introduce new players into the necromancer's job and role. outdated, crappy, and irrelevant. please move on, there's nothing to see here.


If you ask someone "What's the best profession in Guild Wars?", many players will steadily answer: "There is none. It all depends on what you like to play". And they are right with that. However, in terms of spell caster classes, many players will agree that, unfortunately, necromancers are - not the "best" - but the most multisided profession. If you look at the table of contents for this article, you will see an unusually big amount of different tasks a necromancer can take on. When you see a necromancer inside the game, you will rarely know what kind of necromancer it is, until you feel some of their spells.

The different attributes alone allow a necromancer to take on many different tasks. Often they are only chosen for their primary attribute, Soul Reaping. This grants an energy bonus whenever any creature (except spirits) near you dies, while "near you" is roughly 2x the aggro bubble. So in PvP with larger groups and especially in PvE it is very good energy management. This is one reason why necromancers are often called the strongest profession in Guild Wars after Paragons (and perhaps Monks).

The Necromancer's job[edit]

Spiteful Spirit: direct damage[edit]

This is the most popular kind of necromancer, although not neccessarily the best. SS necromancers focus (who would've expected?) on the skill Spiteful Spirit. They are seen very often in PvE, usually as N/Me, playing so called "Echo SS". That means, they simply use Arcane Echo to copy Spiteful Spirit to avoid the gap between two times casting the spell.

SS is a hex and deals around 35 damage to all foes around the hexed foe, whenever that hexed one attacks or activates a skill (including stances etc.). In PvE, this can be very useful because it damages the whole enemy crowd at the same time, but in PvP this is mostly useless (especially since human players will/should notice it and move out of AoE range). The skill Spoil Victor has a similar effect: it makes the enemy lose around 100 health each time they use a skill on or attack a creature, be it foe or friend. Therefore, monks with spoil victor will quickly lose their health, since it's their job to use heal spells on party members who will usually have less health than themselves. Spoil Victor necromancers are sometimes also called SS necro, but it's more common to call them SV.

Example: echo SS

Spiteful Spirit.jpg
Spiteful Spirit
Arcane Echo.jpg
Arcane Echo
Desecrate Enchantments.jpg
Desecrate Enchantments
Defile Enchantments.jpg
Defile Enchantments
Reckless Haste.jpg
Reckless Haste
Signet of Lost Souls.jpg
Signet of Lost Souls
Resurrection Signet.jpg
Resurrection Signet

Minion master: indirect damage[edit]

Minion masters are maybe the most popular necromancers in PvE. They base their build on creating an army of undead minions, either to have them deal damage or deal damage through their deaths. As minions are usually around lvl 15-18, and one minion master can control around 15 minions, they overwhelm enemies by their sheer number.

There are mainly three types of minion masters: the traditional masters, lich masters and minion bombers.

The traditional version is a simple necromancer, usually N/Mo, who builds his army and then keeps it alive by healing and animating new minions. The typical elite skill for this breed is Flesh Golem.

Lich masters use Aura of the Lich combined with regeneration for self-healing. They take advantage of the squared health sacrifice for better minion healing through Blood of the Master. Usually also skills like Infuse Condition are used to make the minion master near-invincible.

Minion bombers use Bone Minions and Bone Fiends. They enchant the Bone Minions with Jagged Bones and Death Nova and then either let them get killed or kill them manually (e.g. with Putrid Flesh) to deal damage and to get an even stronger minion out of them.

Another breed of minion masters uses ritualist primary (Rt/N) to get more durable minions through Spawning Power. Explosive Creation finds its optimal use there.

Example bar: traditional

Animate Flesh Golem.jpg
Animate Flesh Golem
Animate Bone Fiend.jpg
Animate Bone Fiend
Animate Shambling Horror.jpg
Animate Shambling Horror
Blood of the Master.jpg
Blood of the Master
Heal Area.jpg
Heal Area
Karei's Healing Circle.jpg
Karei's Healing Circle
Resurrection Signet.jpg
Resurrection Signet

Orders: damage through support[edit]

Orders necromancers are used in teams with a big part of physical attackers. They buff their whole team with Order spells, such as Order of the Vampire, Order of Pain, etc. They are especially popular in UW2 (Tomb of the Primeval Kings), where they play in a full team of Barrage rangers, resulting in a huge damage increase through their orders.

The only problem is health. Order skills require health sacrifice and last only a very short time, so the necromancer needs to regenerate quickly. Usually, Blood Renewal does this job quite well.

Orders necromancers are not only played with necromancer primary. It is also common for Paragons to take necromancer secondary and support their team and themselves with Order of the Vampire. This is combined with the Paragon's shouts and chants to keep energy and health up.

As casting orders alone is only one job, and necromancers can do more at the same time, they are usually also in charge of helping the team survive.


Order of the Vampire.jpg
Order of the Vampire
Blood Renewal.jpg
Blood Renewal
Blood Ritual.jpg
Blood Ritual
Awaken the Blood.jpg
Awaken the Blood
Heal Party.jpg
Heal Party
Heal Other.jpg
Heal Other

Curses hexes: enemy denial[edit]

These are very popular in all forms of PvP. The Curses line stores some very effective hex spells which can effectively shut down enemy physical attackers and spell casters or add pressure through degeneration.

The usual skills featured on all bars include Faintheartedness as a basic physical counter, Defile Defenses as a cheap damage source, Price of Failure for more anti-melee and Rip Enchantment to counter enchantments. This basic set can be completed with many different elite skills. Depending on the elite choice, the build will serve a different purpose, with enemy denial being the primary target.

What needs to be added to the basic skill set are energy management, elite skill and resurrection. All these are choices are normally based on the secondary class, but here is one example for any primary necromancer:

Wail of Doom.jpg
Wail of Doom
Defile Defenses.jpg
Defile Defenses
Reckless Haste.jpg
Reckless Haste
Rip Enchantment.jpg
Rip Enchantment
Signet of Lost Souls.jpg
Signet of Lost Souls
Resurrection Signet.jpg
Resurrection Signet


This may sound strange to new players, but necromancers are actually very popular as healers. The profession combination is traditionally N/Rt, played mostly in Heroes' Ascent and PvE. This combination uses the necromancer's primary attribute for energy management and the ritualist's Restoration Magic to heal. There are some easily spammable, strong spells in this attribute, mainly Spirit Light and Mend Body and Soul. N/Rt are also common using Communing for party-wide protection through spirits.

A typical supporting necromancer could look like this:

Mend Body and Soul.jpg
Mend Body and Soul
Spirit Light.jpg
Spirit Light
Spirit Transfer.jpg
Spirit Transfer
Spirit Light Weapon.jpg
Spirit Light Weapon
Blind Was Mingson.jpg
Blind Was Mingson
Flesh of My Flesh.jpg
Flesh of My Flesh

Weapons and attributes[edit]

Blood Magic[edit]

This might be the least useful attribute for necromancers. Most skills in here directly steal health from the enemy. Stealing life is not the same as dealing damage. When a skill says you steal health, that means the skill will directly transfer the given number of health from the enemy to you, ignoring any armor or enchantments the enemy has which might reduce damage. This sounds very nice, and it indeed is, but the numbers are usually very low, so compared to similar skills from other professions which deal damage, but in larger amounts (which will be reduced by armor). The main advantage of this attribute is self healing, and it contains the cheapest skill to remove two enchantments at the same time: Strip Enchantment. The most useful skill of this attribute may be Blood Ritual, but it's not the only good skill there.


If you're looking for (good) hexes, this is one of the two best attributes to look at (the other one is Domination Magic). Curses skills include many hexes to weaken physical attackers, deny energy and remove enchantments. The most popular skill of this attribute is currently Rip Enchantment, which will remove an enchantment from the enemy and give them the condition Bleeding. Corrupt Enchantment was previously just as popular, before Rip Enchantment was changed to what it is today. It is basically the same skill, just a bit stronger and elite.

Death Magic[edit]

If you're going for MM, this is your attribute. The attribute Death Magic affects many skills that deal cold damage. All skills which raise minions are under this attribute, as well as most skills which apply the condition Disease. One skill worth mentioning is Aura of the Lich. It reduces your maximum health and all damage (but, of course, not life steal) you receive and also life sacrifice by half. It does, however, not reduce regeneration (and degeneration), so it is possible to maintain high regeneration in order to stay alive easier. Life sacrifices are actually quartered: AotL halves the sacrifice percentage, for example 30%. This means you sacrifice only 15% of your halved maximum health, a quarter of your total maximum health.

Soul Reaping[edit]

The primary attribute of Necromancers. As described in the introduction, it serves, just like most primary attributes, as energy management. In detail, it will give you your Soul Reaping rank in energy every time a non-spirit creature near you (2x aggro bubble) dies, but only up to three times every 15 seconds. If a creature dies while you have maximum energy, this does not count towards that three times. Skills in this line serve mostly for self healing or energy management. The most mentionable skill here is Wail of Doom, which is said to be one of the strongest skill in the game as a whole. It reduces all attributes of the enemy to 0 for up to four seconds and has a recharge time of 10 seconds. This means one necromancer with WoD can shut down one enemy character totally for four seconds, losing just 10% of their health, one energy point and close to no time.

Energy management[edit]

Necromancers manage their energy through dieing creatures. As mentioned above some times, they get energy every time something around them dies, which means the more enemies there are to kill, the less energy probems. Otherwise, the team will have to bring dieing creatures itself, i.e. either minions or spirits. Although these give less energy, it's still good energy management.

But what if there's no creature there to die and the necromancer needs energy regardless? As usual, skills for this case can be found in the primary attribute line:

  • Masochism Masochism is used in builds with frequent health sacrifice.
  • Reaper's Mark Reaper's Mark adds a bonus to the energy from soul reaping.
  • Signet of Lost Souls Signet of Lost Souls is very popular. It has low recharge, no cost and it gives you both health and energy.
  • Glyph of Lesser Energy Glyph of Lesser Energy is still popular as many necromancer builds include only one or two spells with higher cost.
  • Foul Feast Foul Feast is good in pvp both for e management & support.

And finally, necromancers can help other players manage their energy. This job is also often done by secondary necromancers.

Frequent mistakes[edit]