skip to content
All builds
  • Any Gamemode
  • Any Role
  • Any Labels

    Boonstrip Scourge
    December 2022

    WvW - Zerg
    Recommended icon Recommended


    Illustrious Masque icon Superior Rune of Durability icon
    Berserker's HelmSuperior Rune of Durability
    Illustrious Epaulets icon Superior Rune of Durability icon
    Berserker's ShouldersSuperior Rune of Durability
    Illustrious Doublet icon Superior Rune of Durability icon
    Berserker's ChestSuperior Rune of Durability
    Illustrious Wristguards icon Superior Rune of Durability icon
    Berserker's GlovesSuperior Rune of Durability
    Illustrious Breeches icon Superior Rune of Durability icon
    Berserker's LegsSuperior Rune of Durability
    Illustrious Footwear icon Superior Rune of Durability icon
    Berserker's BootsSuperior Rune of Durability

    Weapons & Sigils

    Axe icon Superior Sigil of Energy icon
    Berserker's AxeSuperior Sigil of Energy
    Focus icon Superior Sigil of Nullification icon
    Berserker's FocusSuperior Sigil of Nullification
    Scepter icon Superior Sigil of Energy icon
    Berserker's ScepterSuperior Sigil of Energy
    Dagger icon Superior Sigil of Nullification icon
    Berserker's DaggerSuperior Sigil of Nullification


    Quiver of a Thousand Arrows icon
    Berserker's Backpiece
    Black Ice Earring icon
    Berserker's Accessory
    Asgeir's Talisman icon
    Berserker's Accessory
    Asgeir's Amulet icon
    Berserker's Amulet
    Black Ice Band icon
    Berserker's Ring
    Mistborn Band icon
    Berserker's Ring


    Peppercorn-Crusted Sous-Vide Steak icon Potent Superior Sharpening Stone icon
    Peppercorn-Crusted Sous-Vide Steak Potent Superior Sharpening Stone


    Mighty WvW Infusion icon
    18xMighty WvW Infusion

    Utility Skills


    Scourge plays a very important role in any World vs World battle. In large scale fights you provide pressure and break up the enemy squad through area damage, boon removal/corruption, single target bursts and finally support allies by giving barrier and condition removal.

    Build Fundamentals

    Unlike other necromancer specializations you do not gain an additional health bar or gain access to a shroud form/skills.  You do have though access to sand shades with shade skills and a life force bar.  Shade skills are fuelled by your life force except forManifest Sand Shade.

    These shades strike enemies near you and the shades position, so for example you can hit twice if placed on top of you in melee range.  Each shade skill has a purpose and its important to use them wisely at the appropriate time. Placing Manifest Sand Shade is not instant cast but shade skills (f2-f5) are, this means so you can use them during when you dodge.

    Most organized groups will be trying to coordinate your shades, Ghastly Breach and wells, so make sure not to use them until the commander calls for them. Your elite skill Ghastly Breach will more than likely also be used in coordination with all other scourges or maybe in combination with key skills from other professions such as Winds of Disenchantment. Predicting the enemy movement and positioning your abilities accordingly is very important for your effectiveness as this build utilizes a lot of stationary area attacks.

    Scourge also happens to have excellent self sustain from Feed from Corruption and Blood as Sand while also providing powerful group support in the form of barrier from Sand Flare and condition cleanse from Abrasive Grit and Nefarious Favor.

    Correct rotation and timing of skills is very important (read your skills tooltips!).

    Main Priorities

    Staying alive is the most important priority.  This can be achieved by dodging, removing boons which will sustain you thanks to Feed from Corruption and careful positioning.  You will also rely on your party to assist you with this, be it receiving stability, superspeed, heals and cleanses.

    Removing/corrupting boons from single targets and groups of players is your key role.  It’s important to understand how you can achieve this through skill usage.  An example of a single target spike rotation can be seen above top right.

    Scourge also has some powerful defensive utility, barrier in particular. Good usage of abilities such as Sand Flare and Sand Cascade can give you and your allies an edge in surviving enemy spike damage during pushes.

    Boon Removal & General Ability Usage

    This build’s boon removal is spread into four main areas:

    Shade Abilities

    • Nefarious Favor corrupts a boon on all enemy targets affected thanks to Path of Corruption, this is a key component of ranged boon removal.
    • Desert Shroud activates Spiteful Spirit which will corrupt a boon on up to five targets in a 600 radius around the necromancer. Used when pushing into groups especially as it also grants barrier to the scourge. If Spiteful Spirit strikes targets below 50% hitpoints it’ll corrupt two boons instead of one!

    Weapon Skills

    • Devouring Darkness corrupts a boon on up to 5 targets at range while dealing decent damage.
    • Unholy Feast corrupts a boon on up to 5 targets in a 600 radius around the necromancer, also deals good damage. Enemies struck below 50% hit points get hit with the damage again after a short delay but don’t have an extra boon corrupted.
    • Enfeebling Blood is a ranged area attack that corrupts a single boon from up to 5 targets and applies weakness.
    • Spinal Shivers is a single target ability that applies Chilled to the target and removes up to 3 boons, dealing extra damage for each boon removed. This ability can hit very hard when removing 3 boons and is excellent for spiking down single targets especially when combined with Ghastly Claws.


    • Well of Corruption The classic boon corruption tool of necromancer – used since the dawn of the game! This skill corrupts one boon per second on up to five targets at range.


    • Sand Flare although often used for the barrier support component, Sand Flare just like all punishment abilities will convert a boon on up to five nearby enemies into Torment and Crippled.
    • Trail of Anguish is your stunbreak ability, however it can also be used offensively to corrupt boons into Torment and Crippled on all enemies who cross the trail it leaves! (Also applies Stability to allies as a bonus)
    • Ghastly Breach is a very powerful melee ability, it drops a large pulsing field around the necromancer that converts a boon into Torment and Crippled every second in addition to applying Slow.

    The key in executing your important task of removing boons from your opponents is swiftly chaining key abilities together. You can see a list of standard combos in the rotation segment of this page.

    The core concept behind ability usage is rotating between weapon skills to keep as many of them off cooldown while also being on the appropriate set depending on your current range; scepter for range and axe for melee.

    Your commander is likely to call for specific abilities such as shade spikes, wells or Ghastly Breach so don’t just spam them off cooldown. Removing boons randomly won’t really do that much – it’s very important that all players use their boon removal at the same time not only for maximum effect but also so that damage dealing players are able to capitalize on the vulnerability of your enemies when they have their boons removed!

    You will mostly start the fight with scepter/dagger for more area dmg and boon removal.  On heavy ranged only fights (1200 range) you can start out on axe and focus so that you can use Spinal Shivers first on 1200 ranged targets with boons, its single target burst strip and will allow your chronomancers to pull them closer to your group using Into the Void for you and your squad to quickly attack.

    Once enemies are in range and the shade spike is called by your commander drop one or more Manifest Sand Shade then activate Nefarious Favor, Sand Cascade and Garish Pillar , while doing this get ready to rotate through your weapon skills to corrupt additional boons and to down enemy players or finish them off. Remember that shade abilities do not have a cast time, meaning you can be using weapon skills at the same time as activating shade skills for extra efficiency!

    Make sure you are weapon swapping consistently, always using your 3rd skill (Devouring Darkness and Unholy Feast) on each weapon set immediately entering the weapon but make sure you are close enough to enemies when using Unholy Feast. Make sure you swap weapons often almost off cooldown to maximize corrupts, but its alright to stay in the weapons a bit longer depending on the current positioning of the fight. Try to judge how the fights are going and adapt.

    Defensive Utility

    Try and use your heal skill, Sand Flare, for when your group is pushing into the enemy in order to give them barrier. You can also use this skill in order to prevent allies from downing to Illusion of Life expiring. Try to cast Sand Flare when there is 2-3 seconds left on the illusion of life effect as barrier lasts 5 seconds. If someone is calling out that they are about to down to it, and they are in your party you can also use Sand Cascade to add more barrier to them.

    Nefarious Favor converts two conditions into boons which will be a nice bonus when using this skill offensively, particularly as it will convert Immobilize into Resistance.

    Trail of Anguish is a stunbreak and causes the player to leave a trail that applies Stability and Swiftness to you and allies that cross it – with no target cap!


    Wells are ranged pulsing area attacks, this means to get maximum value out of them it’s very important to place them correctly. Specifically try to place your wells slightly ahead of your enemies instead of where they are at the exact moment you start casting so that they run through them and get hit multiple times instead of being able to easily run or evade through them.

    Dropping your wells when your commander calls for them is an important priority for this build.  The two wells you will be running are: Well of Corruption and Well of Suffering,  Save your wells for the call, one or two wells randomly thrown out won’t do anything.  If every necromancer in the squad uses their wells at the same time, the damage and boon corruption will have huge impact on the fights outcome as it will not only deal significant damage but also enable your damage dealers.

    Try to give your commander cooldown timers for your wells, usually when you are about 10 seconds away from getting Well of Corruption back. Wells are a very a important cooldown and this information will allow your commander to know when the squad is ready to unleash another bomb.

    Always use Well of Corruption before Well of Suffering as it has a longer cooldown and because it is always best to corrupt boons first then deal damage.

    Shade Abilities

    Manifest Sand Shade and shade abilities (Nefarious Favor, Sand Cascade,Garish Pillar and Desert Shroud) are the elite specialization mechanic for scourge, shade abilities (except Manifest Sand Shade)  consume a fixed amount of life force to use and can all be cast instantly while performing other actions.

    Manifest Sand Shade creates a shade that covers a small radius and lasts for 15 seconds at a targeted location. You can have up to three shades out at a given time and you can store up to three Manifest Sand Shade charges at a time, with a new Manifest Sand Shade charge replenishing every 15 seconds. This means that you need to be careful to not waste Manifest Sand Shade charges as if you use all of them it’ll take a fairly long time to get them back and good shade usage will greatly impact your effectiveness.

    All of your shade abilities will hit two targets around you and two additional targets in each of your shades created by Manifest Sand Shade. This means you can can hit up to 8 targets per shade skill activation (2 from you and 3×2 from shades)!

    Note: Nefarious Favor and Sand Cascade also have positive effects for allies and will affect up to 8 enemies and 8 allies for a total of 16 targets!

    You can precast shade abilities while casting Manifest Sand Shade and they’ll activate around the new shade because shade abilities have a half second delay on activation, you can use this to make your shade spike quicker.

    Just like other ground area attacks on this build, when using shades offensively try to position them such that your opponents will run through them so you get maximum value, especially for Desert Shroud which is a pulsing area attack.

    Note: Desert Shroud will pulse around shades you place during it’s duration not just before, this means you can keep placing shades to keep doing damage to moving targets or just new targets.

    For the purposes of traits, Desert Shroud counts as ‘shroud 1’ for traits such as Reaper's Might, Nefarious Favor counts as ‘shroud 2’ activating Path of Corruption, Garish Pillar counts as ‘shroud 4’ (used to great effect with Transfusion on the infamous PvE heal scourge) and activatingDesert Shroud counts as entering shroud which will activate traits such as Spiteful Spirit. Additionally the necromancer is considered ‘in shroud’ during Desert Shroud for the purposes of traits like Soul Barbs.


    Superior Sigil of Nullification can be swapped in if you feel you do not need Superior Sigil of Energy  on both weapon sets.

    Superior Rune of the Scholar or Superior Rune of Speed can also be a viable rune change if you want some additional mobility, this can be an excellent option when learning this build as positioning is very important which this rune can help with.

    As for attributes, you may wish to add some Marauder and Cavalier if you feel you are struggling to survive.  This will give you more health and toughness.




    Latest video

    Latest Hardstuck video