Rise of Immortals Netheurgist Guide

Rise of Immortals Netheurgist Guide by Trylobyte

The Netheurgist is a poorly-understood Immortal who only recently became viable with the game going live. He focuses heavily on damage over time effects, bleeding his enemies’ life away as they can do little but watch. He thrives at any distance, able to harass at long range while being lethal up close, and he’s one of the best creep-farmers in the game. Because of his abilities being highly effective up close, he comes with a large base health pool for a caster and can tank as well as Vezin or Lazarus, though he’s no Scorpix. On his own he’s an effective but not spectacular Immortal, but his abilities synergize extremely well with some other immortals (Ironically his arch-enemy Vezin is the one he combos best with) which can make him a lethal force on a team.

Skills and Abilities

Q: Shadow Spear
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Range: 415 (+30 masteries)
Radius: 25
Casting Time: 0.6 seconds
Cost: 60/90/120/150/180 mana
Cooldown: 12 seconds
Damage: 15/30/45/60/75 Magical
Duration: 5 seconds
Other: Netheurgist can tap Q again while the spear is in flight to teleport to its current position. This costs no additional mana.

Shadow Spear is Netheurgist’s primary skill. It’s his initiator, his escape, his main farming tool, and his harassment ability all in one. Shadow Spear fires a spear of dark energy in the direction you choose; this spear will strike anything within a 25 radius of it and inflict the Necrotic Wound debuff, which causes the damage. The spell’s high damage and the tendency of marching creeps to line up single-file mean you can easily clear entire creep waves with it very early in a match. It has the second-longest range of any skill in the game; only Balak’s headshot hits from farther away. Netheurgist’s ability to teleport to his spear makes him the only Immortal that can jump over walls, which makes him an excellent ambusher as well as providing a means of escape from an ugly situation. In short, this is one of the best skills in the game right now and you should always keep it maxed.

W: Shackles of Death
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Range: 150
Casting Time: 0.5 seconds
Cost: 60/90/120/150/180 mana
Cooldown: 20 seconds
Damage: 50/80/110/140/170 initial + 10/20/30/40/50 base damage per second + 6/7/8/9/10 progressive damage per second (All Magical)
Duration: ~5 seconds
Other: Shackle is not broken by line of sight loss. Shackle has an unlisted Slow effect of ~15%. This is a semi-channeled ability (Netheurgist can still move and use auto-attacks, but cannot cast spells without breaking the Shackle).

Shackles of Death allows Netheurgist to latch onto a target and slowly inflict ever-larger amounts of damage to them, indicated by an increasing number of purple bolts linking him and his target. It has one of the most complicated damage formulas in the game, so this is how it works: When cast, it deals the initial damage all at once. Each second after that, it deals the base damage plus additional damage equal to the progressive damage times the number of seconds the Shackles have been in place. Its Slow makes it easy for Netheurgist to keep up with the person he’s chasing down to get its full effect. Since the spell isn’t broken by loss of line of sight, an enemy kiting through bushes doesn’t end its effect. Stuns and Silences will however break the Shackles. It can do a lot of damage if you can get it out to its full duration, but this is easier said than done and this makes Shackles Netheurgist’s least popular skill.

E: Dark Spirits
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Range: 200
Radius: ~200 (Not listed)
Casting Time: 0.6 seconds
Cost: 100/120/140/160/180 Mana
Cooldown: 18 seconds (16 with masteries)
Damage: 15/30/45/60/75 Magical per second base, +8/14/23/35/46 Magical per half-second ignited
Duration: 3 seconds base, 3 seconds ignited
Other: Silences upon ignition for 3 seconds

Dark Spirits is Netheurgist’s silence of sorts. It is tied for the largest radius of a targetable skill in the game (with Vezin’s Realm of Death) and does respectable damage on its own, but its main feature is its ability to Ignite. If an enemy under the passive effect of Dark Spirits uses an ability, the spell will Ignite, dealing a large amount of additional damage and Silencing the enemy for three seconds. It is important to note that this does not stop the ability that ignited the spell with the huge exception of channeled abilities, which are instantly wasted. This spell is excellent if you are skilled at anticipating Tzai, Kyrie, and Tatiana’s ultimates as it instantly shuts them down. It is also effective against any Immortal who relies on throwing out abilities frequently, such as Lazarus and Psychozen.

R: Necrotic Earth
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Range: Self
Radius: ~50 per zone (Not listed)
Casting Time: 1 second
Cost: 140/160/180 mana
Cooldown: 100 seconds
Damage: 35/70/105 Magical damage per half-second
Duration: 6 seconds
Other: Enemy must be standing in the necrotic zone to take damage. Affected enemies are Slowed 15/20/25%. Zones last 1 second (2 with masteries). As skill level goes up, zones are created faster (0.66 seconds at level 1, faster at higher levels).

Most of your kills will come from this spell. Necrotic Earth creates zones of blue flames under Netheurgist as he moves (these flames will be as green as blue if it’s your Netheurgist) and these zones deal damage to any enemy standing in them every half-second while also Slowing them. Interestingly, the spell does negligible damage at level 1, but rapidly increases to being the most powerful damage-dealing ability in the game at level 3. There are two main ways to use this spell: One is to teleport on top of or slightly behind a small group of enemies and activate it so you can run circles around them as they try to escape. The other, and the best known, is to get people to chase you then activate it, creating a trail of death behind you that seems to magnetically attract people who will often run through it until they’re almost dead, at which point you can turn around and hit them with Shadow Spear for the finish. This spell also combos well with any zone control ability, especially your own Death Rift and Vezin’s Vortex and Arena of Death.

D: Death Rift
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Range: Self
Radius: 215
Casting Time: 0.5 seconds
Cost: 200 mana
Cooldown: 300 seconds
Damage: 60 Magical damage per half-second while pulling, 250 Magical damage upon explosion
Duration: ~1 second pull.
Other: Pulls enemies to the Netheurgist’s current location. Stuns enemies for half a second upon explosion.

Death Rift grabs any enemy nearby and pulls them right on top of Netheurgist before exploding and dealing damage to all of them while micro-stunning. This is the perfect set-up ability for any sort of powerful area-effect spell or zone control ability, including your own ultimate. Combined with Shadow Spear’s ability to teleport Neth into areas where he’s not expected, this sort of initiation can wipe entire teams if your team can coordinate and plan it properly. It’s a very simple skill mechanically, but proper use of it can make or break entire matches. Use it wisely.


Netheurgist needs to be tanky to get his job done, but he can’t scrimp on the mana either since his spells are expensive. This makes balancing out mana and durability a priority for a good Netheurgist, though it’s one that almost always favors durability. Any standard ‘tank caster’ build works well on him. Here are the items you should be looking at on Netheurgist:

Windrunner Boots: The last word in boots. Speed is more important than ever in the current meta, and Netheurgist does well with the cooldown reduction as well, letting him use his destructive ultimate more often. Their low initial price lets Netheurgist pick up a Midas potion, and a few last hits in the early jungling let him buy a healing or mana potion or two for laning as well (or, alternatively, no Midas and a ton of health and mana potions). The first upgrade is great, the second can wait.

Lytle Locket: When upgraded, this can let you toss Spears for what feels like forever early on, meaning you should rarely have to leave lane. It’s especially good if you’ve decided to take mid lane, letting you outlast most enemies without having to chug potions like a drunken frat boy (and risk running out of them and needing to go back). It is, however, somewhat pricey and will set your other items back a bit. Sell it once it’s no longer needed to recover some of your expenses and free up an item slot.

Penman Reflector: This boosts your armor, your health regeneration, and at its final upgrade it gives you 400 extra health. The wait time is worth it, and it’s not even that long when you consider Netheurgist’s excellent farming and ganking ability. The damage reduction is also very useful at mitigating creep damage and pokes from caster immortals. With straight health being the most effective thing you can get at the moment, it’s a healthy investment.

Bloodstone Pendant: Pretty much the same thing as Penman, only it gives you more health and regeneration, less armor, and no poke mitigation. Get them both if you can afford it.

Orchid Stone: Gives you health and mana. You need both. The death timer reduction is a bonus, and a pretty good one at that.

Berek’s Scroll: Magic resist is becoming increasingly important, and this item gives you a good chunk of it while also boosting your health (Are you noticing a theme here?) and reducing the effectiveness of enemy leeching, which puts a hurt on an enemy Nysuss if you get close to her.

Mageslayer Gloves: Mana, mana regeneration, and magic defense penetration. This is probably going to be your late-game mana item of choice, as it should be for every spellcaster. It’s very expensive to upgrade, so only get the last two when you can afford it.

Ring of Shielding: Only worth considering if you’re facing a well-fed carry, since the critical hit reduction will help you survive longer than an extra hundred hitpoints. What item you sell to get it depends on the rest of the match and who the threats are, but it’s worth noting here that this item is still useful.

At very high persistent levels, my personal build is slightly different than the above and maximizes Netheurgist’s shock value in a late-game teamfight. This alternate build is presented here for aspiring Netheurgists who wish to try it – It’s not as defensively-oriented so you will die more, but it has a great initial impact with his Death Rift/Necrotic Earth combo that can make less-professional teams panic and rake up lots of kills:

Wildrunner Boots: More for the cooldown reduction than anything since Neth has a very powerful signature and you want to use it as often as possible.

Amulet of Duality: This provides a nice general assortment of stats at a pretty cheap price, which means you get it a lot sooner than the gold-heavy Penman’s and Bloodstone. This is a perfectly viable alternative to Lytle Locket at high persistent levels when Netheurgist has massive inherent Spirit Vamp to fuel his spear-chucking.

Orchid Stone: All the more important because of how often a team will go after a Netheurgist with his signature. With less tank than the previous recommended build, this means Netheurgist is a lot more likely to die with five people focusing fire on him. The respawn timer reduction is especially valuable here.

Gleaming Wand: Netheurgist thrives on percent magic defense reduction because, once he has his Champion Tree masteries for it, he just has so much. With a fully-upgraded Gleaming Wand and both relevant masteries maxed out, a level 20 Netheurgist has a staggering 60% magic resist penetration. This almost completely removes the need for the more-expensive Mageslayer Gloves or any other magic defense penetration item.

After this I tend to build conditional defensive items depending on who the biggest threats are. These items may include Berek’s Scroll, the Ring of Shielding, Penman’s, or Bloodstone, all listed above.

Champion Masteries

I tend to build Netheurgist for two purposes, damage and survivability. Survivability is especially important for the average Netheurgist, as he doesn’t start with a lot of hitpoints, has few native resistance bonuses, and doesn’t get large health boosts like some other casters do. This means I tend to prioritize the defense tree over his powerful magic defense penetration masteries until the highest persistent levels.

Champion tree first:

Netheurgist Weapon Attack Range Boost: 2 points gives you 50 longer range, which is great – Neth isn’t very tanky for quite a while into the game, so letting him last-hit creeps from a longer distance means he’s less vulnerable to being harassed before his Shadow Spear can kill everything. His attack range is very short without this mastery and he puts himself in a lot of danger if he doesn’t get it.

Netheurgist Armor Boost: More armor is more armor. Two points for 1.6 armor means you’ll take a bit less damage early on.

Shadow Spear I: Shadow Spear is your main skill, always upgrade it when you can. The first one is the best, as it increases the damage per tick the spell does which greatly increases its overall damage early.

Netheurgist Max Health Boost: 1 point, 30 health. You really don’t have anything better to spend this point on, so why not?

Netheurgist Mana Boost: Though it has two ranks I only ever take the one point needed to unlock the next tier of masteries. It’s the best of a bunch of underwhelming choices.

Shadow Spear II: A longer range means you’re likely to hit people that think they’re just out of range and gives you the ability to tag people that thought they were getting out of that teamfight well after they think they’re gone. It also effectively increases your teleport range with it. Why wouldn’t you?

Shackles of Death I: More damage is more damage. This upgrades the initial burst of damage.

Shackles of Death II: The same as above, only this upgrades the progressive damage. Since this increase is recursive, the extra two points adds up to more than you’d think.

Dark Spirits I: In the event the spell ignites, this means it does more damage, and more is still more.

Necrotic Earth I: This is your big kill spell so it makes sense to upgrade it as much as possible. The extra damage is nothing to sniff at, either, when you consider how fast the DoT effect ticks. It’s not going to make your ult murder people at level 1, but it’ll get you kills you wouldn’t have gotten otherwise.

Spirit Vamp Boost: It’s useless without the defense penetration percentage masteries, which you won’t get until MUCH later, but you need it for your sig.

Signature: Death Rift: Now you’re cooking with gas. Neth without his sig is annoying, Neth with his sig is a late-game death machine. Learn how to use it and you will not be disappointed.

Necrotic Earth II: The longer duration per necrotic zone means your trail of pain will effectively be much lengthier, enabling you to catch people in it easier and keep them stuck in it for longer. Since this spell is your main source of damage, it makes no sense to forego this upgrade.

After this, I go with what I call the Standard Defense Build, which is as such:

Max Health Boost: 2 points for 6% more health. The more health you have, the less you die.

Max Mana Boost: 2 points, 6% more mana. The more mana you have, the less you need to go back and get more.

Mana Regeneration Boost: Mana regeneration is almost always more important than health regeneration, especially for a caster like Neth or Vezin. Four points for 0.8 mana regeneration is better than the same points for 1 health regeneration.

Armor Boost: More armor is more protection. Put two points into this initially, then a third after you get the combined boost.

Magic Resist Boost: Same as above. I’d prioritize this one over Armor Boost in the current meta.

Resistance Boost: Two points for 1.5 armor AND 1.5 Magic Resist. It’s a bargain. Why don’t you have it yet?

Midas Boost: More gold means faster builds means more durability. Even though Neth is already a great farmer. It also unlocks Ironhide.

Ironhide Boost: One point, 4% global damage reduction. You’ve come this far, why not?

This should leave you with 8 remaining points to spend as you wish. I’d recommend going back to the Champion Tree and picking up the two Magic Damage Penetration boosts to ensure your skills do maximum damage.

Archeology 101: Artifacts

Netheurgist is probably best served with cooldown reduction artifacts since his ultimate is so destructive. These are the artifacts I would recommend:

Talismans: Gilded Ivory Talismans. Magic Resist is a lot more important than it used to be and you should have a lot of it early on if you can. Gilded Coral Talismans are a possible, though not recommended, alternative.

Totems: Ancestral Totems of the Leopard. With all 5, you’ll obtain a healthy 7.5% cooldown reduction. This, combined with Gleaming Wand and Wildrunner Boots, mean you have maximum reduction.

Seals: Grand Seals of Wisdom if you take mid, Grand Seals of Fortune if you don’t. Grand Seals of Wisdom will let you level up faster than your counterpart, giving you a strong advantage pushing the lane and allowing for earlier ganks than an enemy might be prepared for. In a side lane, Grand Seals of Fortune give you more gold, which lets you buy more wards or potions to frustrate ganks and sustain almost indefinitely.

Symbols: Primal Symbols of Earth. Neth doesn’t have a lot of hitpoints, so starting him with 60 extra means he’s not as likely to die quickly. The extra armor is also nice.

Relic: Relic of Trueheart. Armor, magic resist, and gold. What’s not to like?

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Tip: Don’t sit in Neth’s ult while tanking super creeps. Especially as Tatiana.

Tactics and Strategy.

Early Laning: Try to avoid being paired with a carry or a creep controller if you can, since you will wind up stealing a lot of the carry’s gold with your DoTs and Neth controls creeps extremely well, allowing the other creep destroyer to go in another lane. Because of this, and because of his long-range Spear, Netheurgist makes a good choice for mid lane if you don’t have a Nysuss to take it. Use your Shadow Spear to light up entire creep waves at once – If you can get them while they’re marching towards yours, hitting all six is trivially easy, otherwise you’ll still probably get four or five per wave. Don’t worry too much about hitting the enemy immortal unless they get stupid or aggressive, in which case you might get a cheap kill by taking them down with creep support. If you’re on a side lane, probably with a Scorpix or Aislynn, make sure to let them get creep kills occasionally. They need them too.

Ganking: Neth will not be a primary ganker until he’s level 11 or so when his ultimate starts dealing a lot of damage, though he can do impressive damage with Shadow Spear starting at about level 5. He will rely on others to do most of the work while he softens the enemy up with Shadow Spear, though he can slow enemies down with his Shackles of Death and Necrotic Earth allowing others time to catch up. Later on he can be a primary ganker by using Shadow Spear to hit someone then teleport on top of them and apply Shackles of Death, letting his team catch up and kill the unfortunate victim while they’re crippled. If a gank goes wrong and you haven’t used it yet, Necrotic Earth makes great cover for retreating and overzealous enemies might just kill themselves on it before they realize what you’re doing.

Teamfights: Neth shines in the chaos of teamfights because with all the abilities flying around it’s hard to notice his Necrotic Earth. Abuse this lack of awareness by using it whenever you can on as many people as you can hit with it. Always try to stand behind the enemy so they have to go through the necrotic zones if they want to run away; this is Neth’s primary source of kills in a match. Dark Spirits is great to toss out early on so it ignites on the most people, but you might also consider saving it for when you hear the ping of Kyrie readying Meditated Assault or when you see Tatiana get close or Tzai flying-kick in – Dark Spirits will instantly shut down all three of their ultimates if the ultimate causes them to ignite. Adding insult to injury, they take damage from it too.

General Tips and Tricks:

  • Have your team set up a situation where the enemy can’t do anything about Necrotic Earth. Vezin is great for this with his Vortex and Arena locking multiple people down, but Tatiana’s combo can also devastate an important enemy by tanking their magic resist, causing them to take more damage from the necrotic zone they got stunned in.
  • Use bushes. If you use Necrotic Earth in a bush, the enemy can’t see it until they face-check the bush, which results in them taking huge amounts of damage. You can also surprise unwary enemies with spears from the bushes.
  • Shackles of Death is tough to use in a big fight since it’s hard to keep track of who you just caught with it. Save it for chasing down runners.
  • Moderately savvy enemies will try to put you up against Tatiana, whose Cleanse can negate all your DoT effects. Punish them for this by pushing the lane extremely hard – Tatiana can’t do anything to your creep control and you can push her back extremely quickly. Very good Tatianas will try to counter this by hiding in a bush and hitting you with a Stasis combo, so watch out for it; wards help.
  • Don’t forget you can teleport over walls or obstacles, and you’re the only immortal that can do it.

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