Home Strategy Guild Wars 2 Starter’s Guide: The Necromancer

Want to get started in Guild Wars 2 but aren’t sure where to begin? Harsh from the Xen of Onslaught [XoO] is here to help. Today, he kicks off his Guild Wars 2 Starter Guide with the deadly Mecromancer profession.

Like the Ranger before him (or her), the Necromancer is another profession returning from the original Guild Wars.

Wielding the powers of death itself, this dark, necrotic sorcerer is capable of being quite the force on the battlefield.


Fear the reaper

Many things you loved about the Necromancer from the original series can be found in its Guild Wars 2 incarnation, though they’ve been tweaked for the new system.

Hexes: Hexes have been removed, so many of the old hex skills serve their old functions by causing conditions mirroring their old effects.

Soul Reaping: Soul Reaping no longer provides energy via the deaths of players/NPCs. In its place is a ghastly form called Death Shroud which gives you a secondary life pool based on your current “life force”, which will be explained more in depth later. The Death Shroud form not only has its own skills, but also has an HP pool which is separate from the Necromancer’s, providing extra suvivability. How’s that for a thriller?

Minions/Wells: While retained between games, these magicks have been changed drastically; they no longer require a corpse, allowing you to walk around with your zombie entourage whenever you wish. Isn’t it good to have death as a best friend?


You say “monster” like it’s bad..

Death Shroud is a very powerful form for a Necromancer, allowing him to have access to up to three separate life pools to draw from, with the correct elite choice. The duration of Death Shroud is determined by the player’s life force amount, which is generated in a multitude of ways to include the use of certain skills. This pool diminishes while you are shrouded, as well as when damage is taken. However, even if you are drained of all life force, your actual life (hit points) will be left intact.

You can return to your “normal” body at any time, allowing you to save whatever life force remains in your pool for later, which is often strategically advantageous. If that’s not enough flexibility for you, there are many traits that modify or enhance the capabilities of Death Shroud. Scared yet?

On top of this unique profession ability, Necromancers also have access to:

  • Marks: These act like traps, triggering when stepped on by a foe. These have a multitude of uses.
  • Minions: Think of the ranger pets, but strip away everything cute, cuddly, or fluffy.


Death is the answer

Staff (two handed): This weapon has a base attack that builds life force, and offers lot of Marks. Ever played Bomber-man? It’s like that..

Axe (main hand): The axe is for the disciple of death who wishes to show his foe the glory of Grenth in an up close and personal way. Vulnerability, cripple, and a multi hit attack that grant life force per hit will help him do that.

Scepter (main hand): The scepter is a very powerful weapon with a chain auto attack that causes two stacks of bleeding and one stack of poison every time they’re cycled, and another attack that causes cripple. Did I mention that it has an attack that builds life force based on the number of conditions an opponent has? No? Oh well…probably wasn’t important!

Dagger (main hand): The dagger main hand is surprisingly lackluster. Its offerings include a chain attack that does nothing but pure damage until the third hit in the chain, and a weak HP siphon. The only saving grace of this weapon is the immobilization skill; unfortunately one ability is not enough to make this weapon worthwhile.

Dagger (offhand): The dagger offhand is a complete contrast to the offerings of the dagger main hand, transferring conditions from yourself to your target, as well as being able to provide AoE bleed and weakness.

Focus (offhand): Another solid offhand choice. A focus provides the ability to strip boons from foes, and a skill that bounces around, causing vulnerability on foes and granting allies regeneration.

Warhorn (off hand): If you weren’t having trouble already with picking an off hand weapon, allow me to introduce the warhorn. This weapon can cause daze in a frontal cone, or grant you swiftness while inflicting cripple on nearby foes. This is a great tool for making a getaway or for chasing someone down.



If you enjoy sending foes to their maker while controlling an army of the undead, being hard to kill with the highest base hp in the game, or simply being an avatar of death itself, the Necromancer is for you. I hope this guide helped those of you thinking about working for the big guy downstairs, and I hope to see you in game!

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