Verene over at under the pale tree, suprised me a bit with her rampant disregard for the awesomeness of necros. She went so far as to say that “it’s mostly that while they’re very powerful, they don’t have a huge amount of options” I could write in-depth about each attribute and specific builds, but I’ll try to keep this short.
Blood:Life Transfer (AOE degen pressure builds) add curses secondary highly survivable Blood rit for the ele in the party that wants to spam 25 energy spells Good options for putting out cheap fast hexes and conditions that allow the triggering of necrosis or virulence
Curses: Verene is right that curses is a slogging slow spell group most of my PvE builds include mindbender from the asura skill set to off set this. A 40/40 cast time/recharge reduction weapon set is almost required as is heavy energy management if you want to go all out.
Spiteful spirit is still potentially awesome but when you are running with SoS ritualists that can have five sprits up in the time it takes to cast your curse it’s just not worth it. Curses are fun but right now serve to accent a build more that be the core. Feast of corruption can be used and is quite fun as part of a spike build.
Death: ok she’s right it’s all about the minions and oh how I love them. One key thing I’ve learned is that in hard mode quality beats quantity (ha ha silly bone minions and their
love of being one shot) which is why masochism and flesh golem is perhaps my favorite combo in existence. Tack on a con with +1 to all attributes and a grenth shrine and well, in a game where the player level cap is 20 a level 32 flesh golem is just plain fun!
I usually use a mix of secondary minions with bone horrors and vampiric horrors though if I want some conditions I’ll go with shambling horrors for some bleeding. My friends say getting some ranged damage in there is worth it but I figure spirits are better than bone fiends.
Perhaps the part that really improved the complexity of minion mastery for me is when I decided to create a pure summoner build for PVE. I have never cared much about keeping my minions alive which some people seem to think is a sign that I’m a terrible necro. It probably is but aside from referring to my flesh golem as my line backer I don’t have much emotional investment in my minions.
When I threw out the support skills on my build (and bought some rez scrolls… thanks vrabin) it freed up space for three spirits and a pve summon. I love this death build because even if you hit a portion of a map where exploitable corpses are thin you still have access to half of your skill bar and conditionally the corpse of your flesh golem and any of your allies should they fall (and are not insta-rezed… dang monks).
Necros in Guild Wars are actually one of the most versatile classes from minion tanking to condition and degen pressure, to life steal and shadow damage spiking, to necro/rit healing, to enchantment removal, to caster control (ok so spinal shivers barely counts, but man can they shut down a paragon), to blood is power energy support; they have a ton of variable tools and with soul reaping a quickly regenerating energy pool to support them. Heck the first time I took down the lich I was running an orders build with two monks, four warriors and an ele (though that was a long time ago when crazy builds were accepted over henchmen). The great thing about classic guild wars is that so many of the classes have a large variety of ways they can play. In retrospect I have to thank Verene for her post as it gave me a chance to mosey down memory lane with my favorite class.