Hey everyone. Guide has been updated on Dulfy (2nd August 2015). If you have any questions feel free to ask here or whisper me in game.
This forum version is out of date. I may fix this at a later time. But I recommend readers visit Dulfy for the up to date version anyway.
Necro is far from optimal when it comes to organised groups and speed clears. However when built and played right they can be pretty strong. Their main strengths are good single target dps, good access to aoe blinds and dark fields, some fairly good condition support and reasonable vuln access. What they lack is mobility, cleave, projectile defence, vigor and other defensive options. What you get with this build is the highest possible single target dps, very nice burst aoe and the flexibility to change to a rampager spec for clearing trash mobs in fractals with sustained condi aoe. This build is mainly suited for organised groups. But It works very well in pugs as well, you just have to be prepared to adapt to your group more.
As expected, your equipment will be full Berserker’s trinkets with Berserker’s armour. Exotic is fine if you cant obtain full ascended right away. If you are finding it difficult to survive with no defensive stat gear then try Knights armour with Berserker weapons and trinkets. It shouldn’t take long to get used to full glass cannon due to how durable the necro is. In fights where dodges are important tanky gear isn’t going to make much of a difference so you may as well just focus on damage and learn the encounters and maybe take energy sigils if needed.
Using assassins gear is now ideal when using the dagger build. If you have some pieces of berserker already dont worry about it too much as the difference is minor. Assassins will be the ideal choice if you want to be completely optimal. But for most people it shouldnt matter whether you use berserkers or assassins. Bare in mind if you have a full set of assassins then it might be better to use power food instead of precision food, depending on the group buffs available to you.
For runes you have several options. The best choice is a full set of Superior Runes of the Scholar. The cheap alternative is ruby orbs. You could use ruby orbs until you can afford runes of the scholar. Ranger runes are also good and the 6th bonus can be triggered with minions or a mini pet. In most groups and especially a group with banner of discipline and/or spotter covered you should use Scholar.
For weapons you should have the following (all berserker):
- Main hand Dagger with a DPS sigil (force/night/slaying)
- Warhorn with a sigil of strength/energy
- Focus with sigil of strength/energy
- Staff with DPS sigil + sigil of energy
- Axe with a DPS sigil
Additional optional weapons:
- Berserker offhand dagger.
- Rampager/Berserker scepter.
Your main weapon set will be dagger + warhorn with a focus in the second set. Staff is useful for more difficult skipping sections where you might need to cc some mobs to get passed.
Having Sigils of Strength on your offhands is even more beneficial thanks to the buff. I also recommend having a warhorn and focus with energy sigils for skipping sections and more difficult boss fights such as Lupicus.
The main hand axe is an option you can take in your second set if you aren’t completely comfortable staying full melee (This is recommended for less experienced players especially when starting out). Its also fairly decent for fights like the legendary imbued shaman or Dredge Powersuit/Ice Elemental where most groups tend to kite them between the lava buckets.
The optional weapons are simply for better aoe, especially when swapping to a hybrid build for certain fractals. Also the offhand dagger can be used for extra aoe weakness which is helpful in the dredge fractal.
The first adept trait you take is Spiteful Talisman because focus is such a good offhand to have and having reapers touch on a 14 second cool down is just amazing. You have several options for the master tier major trait. Chill of Death is good for long boss fights as it will proc multiple times (every 20 seconds) once the boss is below 50% hp. Another option is Spiteful Spirit which is good for clearing trash as it adds to your aoe damage when hit. If you are running Flesh Golem you can take Training of the Master to boost his damage and make Golem Charge hit that much harder. Just go with whatever you prefer or feel is more useful for the situation. Finally we take Close to Death for the grandmaster for obvious reasons.
For curses we want to go all the way in for the grandmaster minor Target the Weak. This is one of the best traits a power necro can get, 2% damage per unique condition is nothing to smirk at. In an average group you can easily see over 5 conditions permanently on a boss which amounts to a permanent 10% boost with the possibility of going even higher. All the traits we take in curses supplement this trait. The 1 point minor, Barbed Precision, allows the necro to sustain permanent low duration bleeds which guarantees a 2% damage boost with Target the Weak. The 3 point minor (Furious Demise) boosts personal dps when flashing DS assuming your group doesn’t already provide permanent fury.
For major traits we pick Weakening Shroud and Banshee’s Wail. Weakening Shroud adds to our dps when flashing DS, making it worthwhile even when the group provides perma fury. It does some nice aoe damage on your location and provides weakness and bleed for a few seconds which boosts your damage by another 2% thanks to weakness synergising with Target the Weak. The second major we take is Banshees Wail. This is a must have when using the warhorn, it increases the uptime of locust swarm by a huge amount making locust swarm a pretty good dps increase. Also allows us to interrupt with Wail of Doom more often. For the final trait we have two options. For groups which dont maximize might stacks we take Master of Corruption so we can get Blood is Power on a lower cooldown. For other groups you could take Withering Precision for extra weakness uptime.
For soul reaping we now only go 2 points in for Path of Midnight. This allows us to be able to burst aoe more often. It also puts Tainted Shackles on a lower cooldown which should be included in your dps rotation. You could also swap the major trait to something else which better suits your preferences. If you find you use life blast every now and again you could take Unyielding Blast. You could also take spectral mastery for reduced cool down on spectral walk (decent stunbreak).
For the optimal dps food I recommend taking Bowls of Curry Butternut Squash Soup. This is quite expensive though, so for cheap alternatives I recommend Omnomberry Ghosts / Omnomberry Pies / Slice of Candied Dragon Rolls. Precision food is the best for groups. For solo play precision food is also superior. Bowl of Sweet and Spicy Butternut Squash Soup is what you should use if you have banners, fury and spotter covered. In most other situations precision food is better.
For potions you should use the dungeon specific slaying potions. For the rare instances where there isn’t a dungeon potion worth bringing you can use Scale Venom.
For your standard skill bar you want to take Well of Suffering and Signet of Spite most of the time. This leaves one situational utility slot. Well of Suffering is a must have due to the damage and vuln it provides, it is especially useful for aoe’ing groups of mobs. Also be aware that Well of Suffering may get in the way of your groups might stacking in fire fields, so try to use it after a fire field is placed down (first field placed down takes priority). Signet of Spite is also important simply for the passive (180 power).
The third slot is situational. If you don’t need any extra blinds, condition removal or a stunbreak there are several dps options. The most common one and probably the most beneficial for single target dps is Blood is Power. This provides 10 stacks of might for a pretty reasonable duration. Blood is Power is wasted if your group can keep permanent 25 might on you, so keep that in mind when choosing the 3rd slot. The other option I use quite often is Well of Corruption. This provides some extra aoe and is particularly useful for mobs and bosses that stack boons. If im about to reach a large group of trash I will usually take this for a more potent aoe combo.
For some encounters you may find that having signet of spite or well of suffering isn’t worth the loss of utility and that’s fine. Go with whatever you feel you need. If you need a stunbreak or swiftness for running sections then I find Spectral Walk is the best choice, especially when traited. Another utility I occasionally use is Summon Bone Minions. The reason for this is the blast finishers. You can summon the bone minions before engaging on a boss and if your group is pre stacking might with a fire field you can detonate the bone minions for 6 stacks of aoe might. Or you can detonate 1 bone minion for 3 stacks of aoe might and then swap it out for another utility before getting put in combat.
Your elite slot is also pretty situational. Most of the time I run with Plague because it has great access to aoe blind and its an instant cast 30 second stability transform. If you engage in fights where minions should survive for a reasonable amount of time then you can take Flesh Golem and abuse the charge into a wall for some pretty nice damage. Flesh Golem is your standard dps elite. Lich Form is rarely used and doesn’t scale properly when down levelled but it can be useful if your group decides to range certain encounters.
For your heal slot you will probably stick with Consume Conditions. Blood fiend can be good for improving dps slightly if it doesn’t die. Well of Blood is very situational and not really worth it most of the time especially as the light field could overlap your groups fire fields. Vampiric Signet can be used as a middle ground between Blood fiend and Consume Conditions. It will heal for less while also helping your party members slightly and it will be less of a dps loss than casting consume conditions.
The basic rotation for single target dps is fairly simple. You want to start with dagger + warhorn. Cast Locust Swarm as you engage and immediately swap to focus. Then cast Reaper’s Touch and proceed to dagger auto attack until Reapers Touch is off cool down, cast it a second time and then swap back to warhorn. Cast Locust Swarm as soon as you can and then dagger auto attack until you can swap back to focus. Cast Reaper’s Touch twice and repeat. You Should also be flashing DS (double tap) on cool down while doing the dagger rotation and using Tainted Shackles on cooldown. Basically you want to cast reapers touch twice while on focus and use locust swarm whenever you can on warhorn, you should be staying on dagger + focus for most of the time. Don’t forget to DS flash for fury and weakening shroud and cast tainted shackles whenever you can!
Another important combo to use is the aoe burst combo. For this I will assume you have both Well of Suffering and Well of Corruption equipped but it works pretty well with just Well of Suffering. Start off by casting Locust Swarm. When the mobs are mostly grouped up cast Well of Suffering first then Well of Corruption. Go into DS, cast Tainted Shackles and then use Life Transfer. If mobs aren’t quite dead after that. Come out of DS and use Reaper’s Touch, dagger auto and flash DS to finish them off. You can also use one well for the initial burst and then save the second for after you come out of DS. Spreading out the wells is good if your group needs the blinds from blasting inside the dark fields while clearing the group. It also allows you to tag a second wave of mobs more easily by spreading out your aoe damage.
There are many alternative trait setups you can use but most of them arent worth mentioning. The builds that went further into soul reaping recieved a large nerf when Ferocity was introduced so 30/15/0/0/25 is no longer a viable solo build.
The old trait setup (6/5/0/0/3) still works very nicely. It is however weaker than 6/6/0/0/2 in most situations because the extra 50 precision is worth more than the 50 ferocity. The only times 6/5/0/0/3 is superior is when your group has fury, spotter and banners covered and you have fully stacked up with perception. You will rarely be in this situation so you are probably better off just sticking to 6/6/0/0/2.
The most important thing is to learn to adapt and use the right skills/weapons at the right times and in the right situations. This all comes with experience and these are just guidelines. Feel free to give feedback, ask questions and alter as you see fit. If you think I’ve missed anything please let me know.
Thanks for reading.