Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Necromancer PvE Build (D/WH)

FYI:  The title of this thread is Dagger/Focus, but I have adjusted the build to be a dagger/warhorn setup instead.  Warhorn has proven to be a much better off-hand choice with the control and higher damage output.  Focus can still be used as this is what the build was originally built around, but I will be focusing on warhorn primarily.

With all of the condition builds floating around, I wanted to put together a short guide about the power build I am running and how it works.  As of the writing of this, I understand that power builds for necromancers may not be ideal for most people and there are a lot of debates on what off-hand is best or what traits are best.

In my opinion, it is mostly about what works best for you.  This dagger/warhorn build may not be something you enjoy, but that does not mean it is wrong.  This build was used on the second necromancer that I leveled up to 80 (my first is an 80 conditionmancer).  I was able to easily solo veterans and did many events solo in lower populated areas.  Again though, what works for me may not work for you.  I invite you to give it a try if you're interested in a build outside conditions and see what you think.

The Build:
This is a vampiric-style power build utilizing precision and power as your primary stats.  It is ideal for solo and dynamic events.  While it CAN perform in dungeons, it does lack some pure dungeon-teamwork style elements, but can be easily adapted to do so.  However, for the sake of this guide I will be considering that you are doing open world PVE content.

This build is all about being in the face of your enemy and stabbing them to your heart's desire.  Being a cloth-wearing class it takes a little more skill and knowledge of what is going on around you in order to handle the pressure of melee.  Your margin for error is much smaller, but the rewards are significant.  You will do a large amount of damage in much shorter time than your conditionmancer counterparts by utilizing wells and Life Transfer with a very high power and precision coefficient.  Once mastered, you can easily handle multiple targets at once without taking much damage to yourself while using your numerous life siphon abilities and passive traits to stay alive.  You have a staff as a secondary weapon for large-scale events, AOE, and other control/support abilities.

There are several possibilities for variations in the build and it still being viable.  As I test them and find if they work well enough, I will post them at the bottom of the guide.

Stat Priorities and Gear:
Power -> Precision -> Toughness / Critical Damage -> Vitality -> Condition Damage

For gear here are some options:

  • Crafted Berserker's and/or Knight's - you can mix and match to get a balance of offense and defense OR go full on one way or the other.  For accessories I would always recommend sticking to the rare or exotic quality ruby accessories.  Each piece coupled with the same jewel is a HUGE number of stats and well worth it.... if you go full Knight's for toughness, you will definitely need the ruby stats on accessories to make up for the loss in power/precision.
  • Orr Temple karma gear - specifically pieces from Grenth, Lyssa, and Dwayna (Balthazar has some you could use, but he is a pain to down).  The stats on these are power/vitality/toughness for a truly defensive powermancer.  Again, go ruby accessories to make up differences and get some more bite to your attacks.
  • Dungeon gear is a given... you can mix and match stats, but look for the ones with Berserker stats if you would rather run dungeons than craft.
  • What I am doing?  Three pieces of Karma gear (gloves, shoulders, and boots as they have the least amount of stat numbers on them) and three pieces of Berserker gear (helm, pants, and chest as they have the highest stat numbers).  All accessories/jewels and weapons are Berserker stats.  Runes in armor are 5 Ranger and 1 Air.  Sigil for now is Blood (30% chance on crit to gain HP), but I may be trading it out for an on-crit lightning or fire blast.
What Do I Do?
This build is all about direct damage, critical hits, and power-based attacks.  No waiting to stack a certain number of bleeds or poisons... no praying your minions get the idea that they something should do.  You are in control and can dish out all the damage as fast or slow as you want.

Here is an overview of abilities and traits with this build and what they do for you:
  • Well of Suffering is one of the first wells you should put down at any time.  The vulnerability stacking is going to make you hit harder faster - 2% per stack and stacks 2 at a time for 5s.
  • You also have the benefit from Close to Death and 20% more damage to mobs under 50% HP.  A very strong trait and a must in this build.
  • Warhorn[5] should be used early on as it ticks damage and life siphon ever 1s as well giving you Swiftness and a Cripple on the target AND damage each tick.  A 4-way win!!
  • Ranged mobs can be locked down on the pull with Dagger[3] so they do not try to run away on engagement.
  • Blood is Power should be used every cooldown to be sure you have Might stacks up as often as possible.
  • If you are fighting a tougher mob that has hit you hard a few times, use Dagger[3] to root them and back off before using Dagger[2] to gain some health back.  Dagger[2] is also a nice finisher for mobs to grab some HP back and continue the fight.  This is especially true in multi-target situations.
  • Use Warhorn[4] on mobs that tend to do knockdowns or stuns... or just for some free hits without worrying about taking damage.  Two seconds may not seem like a lot, but it is ample time to get some free shots in.
  • All of the traits in Blood Magic help you regen HP.  It's not a massive number but the numbers add up fast.  Before you know it you are regening 200-300 every couple of seconds from all of the siphons going on.
  • Use Death Shroud early on and as often as you can, especially when BiP's Might stacks are up.  The only ability you are going to be using from DS is Life Transfer.  It scales with power from Might and packs a massive punch (my highest ticks were for almost 4,000).  If you follow the trait setup exactly as I have it, you will also have 3s of Retaliation so any damage while in DS is reflected back adding to your overall damage.
Alternative utilities include:
  • Bone Minions - great for large packs of mobs that don't do much AOE.  They have a very powerful explosion and can help out with clearing areas quickly.  Careful though... they die super fast to AOE so be cautious about what you want to use them.
  • Well of Darkness - if you want to play a bit more defensively, this is your friend.  Pulsing blinds keep you from taking damage and let you attack without worrying about getting stunned or knocked down.
As far as elites go, I tend to use the Flesh Golem for regular grinding since he can distract mobs and do a decent amount of damage to help you out.  For DE boss fights, I will use Lich form.  Plague is handy in WvW settings where there are always nice clumps of players to jump in the middle of and bomb away.

For healing, Consume Conditions still ends up being the better heal to use.  If you are in a group setting, you could switch to Well of Blood for group support and use a blast finisher for Area Retaliation.

Use of the staff is standard stuff.... marks as required and auto attack. I won't go in to detail on that really since nothing is different.

Alternate Builds:
Defensive Build moving points in Curses to Death Magic.  This alternate build focuses more on survivability using retaliation and protection buffs from wells.  Your damage will be slightly lower with losing precision, but makes you a bit tougher to kill.|0|0|0|0|0|0|0|


by Takarazuka


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