The Necromancer is a profession that focuses on draining the life force from nearby deaths, using that life force to become a bringer of death, bring fear into your enemies, and corrupt enemy boons into harmful conditions.
Weapons of the Necromancer include Staff, an Axe, main and offhand Daggers, a Scepter, a Focus, and a Warhorn.
If you don’t know anything about Guild Wars 2 profession, and you maybe are looking for a short comparison, check out our introductory guides:
Life Force & Death Shroud
The main mechanic of the Necromancer profession is the generation of Life Force. Weapon skills and traits will generate a set amount of life force depending on the skill used, and killing any enemy will net you 10% of your maximum life force.
To spend your life force, you may press F1 to transform into your
For the duration of
Corruptions are abilities that will apply a condition to yourself as an additional cost but will harm your enemy or benefit yourself and your allies more than harming yourself.
Corruptions are good skills to have in all game modes. In PvE,
A necromancer is never without their loyal undead minions. When the skill is used, you will summon a specific type of minion that will deal damage to nearby enemies. In addition, you may reactivate the ability to command your minion to perform a specific action at the possible cost of harming or killing itself.
Minions are also very useful in all game modes. In PvE,
Signets are skills that have a passive and an active effect. After using the skill for the active effect, you will not gain the benefit of the passive effect until the skill is ready to be used again.
Signets are mainly used in PvE game areas like the open world, strikes, dungeons, and raids.
Spectral skills are sources of quick self-utility. They can be used to protect your own life or mitigate a full-on assault from your opponents.
Wells are large Area-of-Effect (AoE) skills that can be placed anywhere within 900 Range. These can harm multiple enemies or benefit multiple allies and yourself.
In the Open World,
The Spite specialization focuses on increasing your power DPS, generation of
The Curses specialization focuses on increasing your condition damage, gaining a higher chance to Critically Hit, and transferring conditions from yourself to your enemies.
This specialization is mandatory for a condition damage Necromancer build in PvE, and the ideal trait setup to take for this would be 213 with
The Death Magic specialization focuses on keeping yourself alive by gaining stacks of the unique buff Death’s Carapace which increases your Toughness statistic by 20 per stack. This specialization also has high synergy with Minions by giving them buffs and giving you Death’s Carapace stacks.
If the majority of your utility skills are Minions, you should use the trait setup of 111 with
The Blood Magic specialization focuses on keeping you and your allies alive through life drain, condition transfers, and direct healing.
Since the Necromancer is regarded as a Teamfighter in PvP, we recommend taking the setup of 132 with
The Soul Reaping specialization focuses on generating more and more life force and improving your Death Shroud abilities.
This is, by far, the most popular specialization to take in PvE and PvP. In PvP, having a staff as one of your weapons along with taking the setup of 233 with
The maximum amount of Life Force you can have is equal to 69% (nice) of your maximum health pool. What this means is that, by increasing your Vitality statistic, you can increase your maximum amount of Life Force to use for your Death Shroud later.
In PvP, If you cast
If you use
Shroud functions as your second health bar, so while you can use it offensively, you might want to keep it for emergency situations, this is very often the case in competitive game modes to escape near-death situations, but during your leveling, it can be used to gain upper hand in a hard fight against Elite or Champion enemies.
Your minions will often be the focus of mobs in the Open World, if you want to abuse that and send them to attack before even damaging the enemy yourself, simply use any skill or auto-attack while targeting the that is out of range of the skill.
If you are ready to start playing this profession we recommend a starter build that was created to help with the traditional leveling experience of the core profession.
If you are looking for more builds for all game modes, make sure to check your build guides.