Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Necromancer Overview

A necromancer is a practitioner of the dark arts who summons the dead, wields the power of lost souls, and literally sucks the lifeblood of the enemy. A necromancer feeds on life force, which he can use to cheat death or bring allies back from the brink.
-from GuildWars2.com

The necromancer is a spellcaster that feeds on the life force of his enemies and can use it to fuel a death shroud, an alternate form that unlocks a few powerful abilities. A necromancer inflict conditions on foes for a variety of effects, from mitigating damage to healing allies, and can even cause the Fear condition, which is unique to necromancers. His abilities are further augmented by a potentially sizable army of minions that can sow chaos in the heat of battle.

The Necromancer is one of 3 scholar professions (along with the Elementalist and Mesmer), meaning they wear light armor.

Main Hand weapons available:
Axe - medium-range burst damage with conditions.
Dagger - close-range life-steals.
Scepter - long-range damage skills with conditions.
Off Hand weapons available:
Dagger - control skills that inflict or transfer conditions.
Focus - control skills that inflict conditions or remove boons.
Warhorn - AoE conditions and life-steal.
Two-Handed weapons available:
Staff - long-range skills with AoE's and conditions.
Aquatic weapons available:
Spear - close-range skills with conditions that can hit several targets.
Trident - long-range skills with conditions.

Death Shroud
As they defeat foes, necromancers gain life force, slowly filling up their life force bar. A necromancer can use life force to enter a Death Shroud, an ethereal form that allows him to leave his physical body behind. The Death Shroud consumes the necromancer's accumulated life force, so the more life force the necromancer has, the longer Death Shroud can last. While in a Death Shroud, the necromancer will have 5 new skills that allow him to deal large amounts of damage and inflict conditions, including fear. Death Shroud ends when the necromancer runs out of life force, or when the necromancer chooses to end it.

Necromancers are capable of summoning undead allies, and like in Guild Wars 1, a necromancer is capable of having several minions in his employ at once. However, no nearby corpse is required to summon a minion and a minion will stay alive unless it has been sufficiently damaged. Most minion skills only allow one minion to be summoned per skill, but there are exceptions. For example, Bone Minions are summoned two at at time.

When a skill is used to summon a minion, that skill is replaced with a new skill unique to that type of minion. These follow-up minion skills either augment the minion's abilities or sacrifice the minion, which either heals the necromancer or inflicts conditions on foes. After using Summon Blood Fiend, for example, the skill turns into Taste of Death, which sacrifices the minion and heals the necromancer.

Marks are ground-targeted spells that function similarly to traps. However, some marks can also have beneficial effects for the necromancer or his allies. After being placed at a specific location, marks are triggered after a certain amount of time or when a foe enters the mark. They can also be manually triggered by activating the skill again. For example, Mark of Blood inflicts bleeding on foes and grants regeneration to nearby allies when it is triggered.

These utility skills create a well at the necromancer's location. Wells have a variety of effects, capable of inflicting conditions and granting boons. Each well has an area of effect, potentially allowing the necromancer a lot of control over a certain area. For example, Well of Power transforms conditions on allies into boons every two seconds.

Corruption skills are utility skills that can apply multiple conditions to a single target or within a certain area. However, these skills will also give the necromancer a condtion as well. Because of the varied nature of conditions, these skills can consequently help deal damage or can be useful for controlling a foe through immobilizations or cripples. For example, Corrupt Boon transforms all boons on the target into conditions.

Necromancers also have a few utility skills that draw upon ethereal spectral energy, primarily to mitigate damage. Most of the Spectral skills can apply the protection boon to the necromancer or his allies. For example, Spectral Armor allows the necromancer to gain life force as he takes damage, in addition to applying the protection boon.

Trait Lines
Spite - focuses on damage and Signets (increases Power and Expertise).
Curses - focuses on conditions and critical hits (increases Precision and Malice).
Death Magic - focuses on minions and AoE skills (increases Toughness and Concentration).
Blood Magic - focuses on life-stealing and healing (increases Vitality and Compassion ).
Soul Reaping - focuses on life force and Death Shroud (increases Prowess and Hunger).

For more info on the effects of different attributes, check out this article. General information about Traits and Trait Lines can also be found here.

Complete lists of Skills and Major & Minor Traits coming soon!

By Mothyames


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