Scourge can play an important role in any World vs World battle. In large scale fights you provide pressure breaking up the enemy squad through area damage, boon removal/corruption, single target bursts and finally supporting allies by giving barrier, condition removal might and a new addition alacrity.
Unlike other necromancer specializations, you have no additional health bar or shroud form with skills that replace your weapons. Instead you have access to sand shades with skills that can be used if you have enough life force except for
Some shade skills have powerful effects and can strike enemies near you and where you place
TIP: You can stack/build up life force with other Necro’s whilst out of combat before the fight, simply replace utility skills with minions and summon them, swap back in the skills you need and you will see upon the minions death this will grant you life force (Please note the cooldowns of the skills you swap back in will be effected)
Most organized squads will be coordinating spikes and bombs on enemy groups, this means your shades, elite skill
Scourges also have powerful ways for supporting your party in the form of health barrier’s, these take damage prior to the player’s health bar (Note: Barrier disappears 5 seconds after being applied).
Correct rotation and timing of skills is very important (read your skills tooltips!).
Staying alive is the most important priority and this can be achieved by dodging combined with careful positioning. You may rely on your party to assist you with this, be it receiving stability, superspeed, heals and cleanses.
TIP: Be Ready to adapt depending on the situation, this could mean swapping the way you play or swapping build via your sigil’s, runes, gear and traits!
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.
Boon Removal & General Ability Usage
This build’s boon removal is spread into four main areas:
Nefarious Favorcorrupts a boon on enemy targets affected thanks to Path of Corruption, this is a key component of ranged boon removal. (note this trait has been nerfed when using scourge and when used will put the skill on a 18s cooldown) Sandstorm Shroudactivates Spiteful Spiritwhich will burst corrupt boons in a large radius around the necromancer and your manifest sand shade. Used in combination with wells during the bomb spike, worth noting it will also provide yourself and allies with pulsing barrier, condition cleanse and might.
Unholy Feastcorrupts 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 an explosion for addition damage. Spinal Shiversis a single target ability that applies Chilledto 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 CorruptionThe 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 Flarealthough often used for the barrier support component, Sand Flarejust like all punishment abilities will convert a boon on up to five nearby enemies into Torment Trail of Anguishis your defensive stunbreak ability which may also be used offensively to corrupt boons into Torment(Also applies Stabilityto allies as a bonus) Ghastly Breachis your powerful elite ability that once used is dropped at your location, this large pulsing field converts boons into Tormentevery pulse.
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/distance to the enemy; scepter/dagger for ranged and axe/focus for melee.
Your commander is likely to call for specific abilities such as shade spikes, wells or
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
Once enemies are in range and the shade spike is called by your commander drop one or more
Swapping weapons often almost off cooldown will maximize your corrupts, sometimes you may camp a certain weapon set a bit longer depending on the current positioning of the fight. Try to judge how the fights are going and adapt.
Try and use your heal skill,
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:
Try to give your commander cooldown timers for your wells, usually when you are about 10 seconds away from getting
Manifest Sand Shadeis not instant cast but shade skills (f2-f5) are, this means you may use them simultaneously whilst dodging.
You can precast shade abilities while casting
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.