Guild Wars 2 Necromancer PvP Comprehensive Guide

Guild Wars 2 Necromancer PvP Comprehensive Guide by Draecor

Hey guys, I noticed their haven’t been many Necromancer’s guides. I think I have a good understanding of the class after 300+ tournament matches. Please note this guide is more geared towards the Competitive PVP’ers in Tournament Level Play. I would like to finally contribute to the PVP community in the best way I can at the moment.

The Necromancer is meant to be in the brunt of team fights with its game changing elite skills. However, only one build currently makes the most of being in a team fight without the aid of the elite skill (Conditionmancer).

Here is what you can expect about the Necromancer. I have divided them up in the currently “viable” builds for Tournament Level Play.



·Best Conditions in the game. You have poison, bleeds, cripples, chills, blinds, weakness, and vulnerability.
·You can control where the conditions go, keep them from your allies, send them back to your foe, turn them into boons, and etc.
·You have very strong team fight presence with the constant pressure your conditions put and your elite form “Plague” deals.
·Plague Form can chain blind, cripple, or bleed.
·You should beat any other condition spec (yes the Venom thief) one versus one.
·2 Fears


·You lack any real “burst” besides stacking 9+ bleeds and poison on a target (which takes time)
·Stability can really be a pain when trying to stack conditions (I think this is subject to change.)
·Most Tournament teams have learned how to deal with conditions so you have to be smart when placing them.
·You are weak against most FOTM builds that don’t involve conditions. 100b Warrior (especially with the nerfs to Stability in DS), Ride the Lightning Ele, and the Power Necro.
·You need to land your marks in order to burst.
·Fears are on 20+ second cooldowns. (One is 20, the other is 45 seconds on your staff).

Power-Crit Necromancer


·Consistent Damage.
·Strong Elite Skill presence, with my build the Lich Form ticks 4-4.5k on most targets (half that with protection up).
·Still have strong condition control with utility skills.
·A 2 second daze, and a 3 second fear.
·Your damage is hard to dodge.


·You lack burst besides a 8 second cool down and an elite skill.
·You have trouble against FOTM classes one versus one.
·You are forced to roam when Lich Form isn’t up because you lack any real burst.
·Your Daze (if using Warhorn) is hard to land and easy to dodge.

Please don’t assume by reading this that the Necromancer is not a viable class. It is, and will be even more in the future. It just needs some love right now, something Arena Net has admitted as of August 11th 2012 the Necromancer needs help. We are pigeonholed into certain roles, DS was nerfed too much, and we need more tools for DPS.

Combo Fields

There is not much to cover in terms of combo fields for the Necromancer. The only combo fields we put out are Dark, Poison, Ethereal, and Light.

Dark Fields: (These are probably the best)

Well Of Corruption
Well Of Power
Well Of Darkness
Well Of Suffering

Ethereal Field:

Spectral Walk (Buggy Warlock well type ability from WoW)

Light Field:

Well of Blood (Doesn’t heal enough)

Poison Field:

Chilblains Staff Mark (good skill)
Corrosive Poison Cloud (Not worth it with a only 3s poison)


The Necromancer is lacking when it comes to finishers.

Blast Finishers:

Dark Field – Area Blindness
Ethereal – AoE Chaos Armor
Light – Retaliation
Poison – AoE Weakness

Putrid Mark is the only blast finisher we have that doesn’t involve pets. It is probably also the only one you will end up landing.

Both Necrotic Traversal and Putrid Explosion are pet oriented Blast Finishers that can be hard to land.

Leap Finishers:


Projectile Finishers:

Dark Field – Lifesteal
Ethereal – Confusion
Light – Remove Condition
Poison – Poison

Necrotic Grasp (Staff Auto Attack)

Whirl Finisher:

None (Spear Weapons aren’t in Tournament PVP)

Weapon Sets

Main Hand

Axe: (Power Necromancer Build most effective)

Rending Claws – Auto attack that stacks Vulnerability. Update: Fixed as of now. 1% damage per stack
Ghastly Claws – 8 Second cd 3 second duration. Ticks you multiple times doing cumulative damage and gaining life force. Our strongest burst ability for the Axe.
Unholy Feast – Good cripple, Retaliation is good when timed right. Especially for the Power Necromancer.

Scepter: (Conditionmancer Build most effective)

Blood Curse – This is a great auto attack at stacking bleeds and poison. Even after the 7s-5s bleed nerf. When combined with the 60% bleed sigil it is super strong at stacking bleeds.
Feast of Corruption – Needs a buff in my opinion, even when it crits it barely does 2k damage with 5+ conditions on a target. It is very good at gaining life force.
Grasping Dead – A good cripple and bleed on a targetable ability.

Dagger: (Weak even after a buff, has no place in the current “meta” builds. Haven’t tested it thoroughly lately, but I still think it’s weaker than Axe.)

Necrotic Slash – terrible range, the reason the dagger is so weak. It also has no DPS abilities on it.
Life Siphon – A decent life siphon, however it’s damage is laughable.
Dark Pact– A great root, however you don’t really have the damage to take advantage of it.

Staff: (Very strong, just harder to use than most weapons.)

Necrotic Grasp – Just a standard life force gaining auto attack. Has a slow cast projectile though.
Mark Of Blood– An awesome bleed, especially when used with the Conditionmancer.
Chilblains – Awesome ability, chill + poison is super strong.
Putrid Mark – Don’t know how much this actually moves the conditions, but it does a good amount of damage when used in either spec.
Reapers Mark – One second fear, good to use to interrupt stomps and revives.


Warhorn: ( The daze is where the money is here.)

Wail of Doom – this is awesome when used right, it is harder to land then other classes dazes.
Locust Swarm – The swiftness is good but when it hits something as simple as a crate on Khylo it slows you down due to in combat.

Dagger: (Only useful in Condition spec)

Deathly SwarmGood at spreading conditions, and blinding those pesky warriors.
Enfeebling Blood– Good at putting out more bleeds, which is always good for the Conditionmancer.

Focus: (weaker than the Warhorn + Staff, but the chill is good)

Reapers Touch – Good at stacking vulnerability, but the regen is meh. With how fast the Axe stacks, you don’t need another vulnerability stacker especially when other classes stack too.
Spinal Shivers – Good chill, but about all this weapon has.


Power Necromancer

Utilities depend on what you need for your team composition. Common choices are Corrupt Boon, Plague Signet, and your choice of well. Consume conditions is not even debatable as a heal.

This build focuses on using Axe/Warhorn to put pressure through dps and dazing important moves (Eviscerate, Venoms, Heal, and etc). Then using your Staff to burst your target down fearing when necessary (heals, stomps, revives). If you are fighting a melee stack your marks on yourself.

Runes are pretty much always Divinity. And Sigils are subjective, I like my choice though.

For traits I take 30 spite for the +300 power. 10+ spite for the crit and 33% chance to gain life force on crits, 30 in soul reaping for the survivabiltity and extra crit damage.Taking Axe Training for the damage increase and cooldown reduction (bugged currently.). I take Reapers Might to stack Might when in Death Shroud. And the signet recharge to better redistribute conditions. For Soul Reaping I take Near Death due to the recent nerf to stability in DS, I take a second longer fear, and life force drains 25% slower.

Stacking Vulnerability actually does something now, awesome!

Power Tank Build

This is a build focused on being tankier, with consistent damage from the Axe. Compared to my power build it only loses like 5% crit, and 100 power. It gains toughness, and you fear people when CC’ed. Double Spectral Armor (one from the trait) and the Well of Power gives 3 seconds of protection each time. Same scenario as above, but points in death magic for some extra toughness.

Stacking Vulnerability actually does something now, awesome!


Utilities depend on what you need for your team composition. Common choices are Corrupt Boon, Plague Signet, and your choice of a well or Blood is Power. Consume conditions is not even debatable as a heal.

This build focuses on applying bleeds and conditions through the use of the Scepter/Dagger combination and Staff 2nd weapon set. You stack as many bleeds and conditions, and use your blind (4 ability) to spread them. Switch to Staff and go hammy with it. I will have a section dedicated on how to use your marks. Use the fear to disrupt the enemy team wisely (long cd).

For traits I go 10 in spite for the signet reduction and condition duration, 30 in curses for the condition damage, and 30 in Soul Reaping for survivability.

In Curses I go Linger Curse for extra duration on my Scepter conditions, second is up to you as a player. You can take Reapers Precision for easier life force gain, or the corruption reduction if you are a Epidemic build. For Soul Reaping I take Near Death due to the recent nerf to stability in DS, I take a second longer fear, and life force drains 25% slower.

For Runes I take the standard condition damage runes 3 Krait 3 Affliction. And for sigils you take the 60% chance for a bleed on crit, and which ever you want.


Conditionmancer AoE

This build is similar to the one above, except it has different utility skills, These skills are based more on AoE condition control. You can drop Corrupt Boon for Well of Corruption, because it is AoE and shares the same cool down give or take.

Utility Skills

Power Necro

Plague Signet– Stun breaker, controls conditions very well.
Consume Conditions – Best heal in the game in my opinion.
Corrupt Boon– Great at turning boon builds on their heads. Careful as it can bug out and not cast so don’t miss! Edit:Works better than WoC but should take CD reducer
Well of Power –  Conditions to boons? Yes please!
Well of Darkness – AoE Pulsing blind, great for those melee classes.
Spectral Armor – damage reduction and a stun breaker, also gains life force. A long cooldown though, so use it instead of Plague Signet if you don’t want to deal with condition micro-manage.
Spectral Grasp – Great to pull people towards your mark stacks. That’s about it though.


Signet of Spite – Great when used with Epidemic to spread conditions. Long cooldown though.
Epidemic – Spread conditions AoE, awesome ability when using a condition spec.
Consume Conditions – Best heal in the game in my opinion.
Plague Signet– Stun breaker, controls conditions very well.
Consume Conditions – Best heal in the game in my opinion.
Corrupt Boon– Great at turning boon builds on their heads. Careful as it can bug out and not cast so don’t miss! Edit:Works better than WoC but should take CD reducer
Well of Power –  Conditions to boons? Yes please!
Blood is Power – More bleeds is good

Other Utility Skills

Signet of the Locust – It doesn’t steal enough health in my opinion. Why is this one not a stun breaker?
Signet of Undeath – Stun breaker that ressurects that sounds nice, but it’s a cast time….zzzzzz
Spectral Wall – A wall that gives protection and vulnerability…but what if it misses?
Well of Corruption – Boons to Conditions, but unlike Well of Power you don’t call out to your enemies to sit in it. Edit: Is not better than corrupt boon, because it removes 1 boon per pulse (5)

“Clutch” Moves

“Clutch” is an action that is almost automatic for professionals, it is just being able to make the perfect decision whenever they need to. An example is fearing a stomp or revive and etc…

I will name a couple “clutch” ways to stop your opponents dead in their tracks.

Shameless plug of my recent Necromancer video where I show a couple “clutch” examples.

Stop the Stomping, Stop the Revive, Stop the Heal?

Death Shroud Fear, Reapers Mark, Wail of Doom, and Chilling Wind are all ways to stop a stomp, revive, or heal. The easiest of the 4 is the Death Shroud Fear. The hardest would be Chilling Wind in Lich Form as it’s an awkward casted ability. I normally save my Wail of Doom until my target is popping a high value ability in a fight. This can be a heal, elite, or a eviscerate and so on. A daze will stop them dead in their tracks knocking them down if they are in mid air.

If your opponent wants to stack conditions let them, then unleash them on them with Plague Signet! Watch out for other Necros though!

If you are having trouble with a frenzying Warrior fearing him or blinding is the easiest way to deal with him. Example…

Warrior jumps on you with bulls charge, you death shroud fear and run away. Then daze his eviscerate and he has down 10% of his burst.

Role in the Team

Your role in the team depends on which build you are running. Power Necro? Conditionmancer? Minion Master maybe?

Power Necro

You want to be using your Lich Form in big team fights and focusing on killing high profile targets. Watch out for Mesmers, as you Lich Form they can MoA you. When it is off cool down you should be splitting around the map helping who ever needs it. With your warhorn you have a good swiftness for getting around quickly. And you can be a decent 1v1 class. You are better off running if you are getting ganged up on though, through death shroud usage (can’t tank damage anymore). Use your dazes to set up ganks, and/or stop important things.


This build is much more team oriented. You should focus on spreading your conditions to as many targets as you can, and using your fears to stop important abilities. If you stack enough conditions on someone they will feel the pressure, which is what you want them to do…react to it and blow their cooldowns. Focus on targets like Warriors, Thiefs, and Guardians. Yes, Guardians. They can remove your conditions better than the other two but they can’t stop your output unless they blow big CD’s. Which you want them to. Use plague form to slow, chain blind, and stack bleeds. Especially useful on melee classes.

1 Versus 1


Power Necro

This is a hard fight no matter how you slice it, but it isn’t the hardest. This fight depends on how you can land your CC. If you can’t fear, or daze when needed you can lose the fight…and fast. Burst DPS hurts us, and hurts us bad. When you open the fight expect the bulls charge early, save your DS-Fear for it and make sure to dodge his HB and Eviscerate. If he’s holding out on bulls charge punish him by bursting with Axe and dazing him when he tries to land burst. If he bulls charges you Death Shroud fear and run a distance to avoid the frenzy. Switch to staff and stack your marks as much as you can on yourself and heal early. At that point you both will be low so just make sure to use your CC wisely as it is a game changer.

Now throw in Lich form and you use your knockback, mark of blood, and use your rip conditions to rip is Signet of Rage. Burst down in Lich Form.

Also, if you are running Well of Darkness and Corrupt Boon (SOR Warrior counter) it should be an easy fight. Corrupt his boons, and sit in your well. gg no re


This is a much easier fight for you. You have enough blinds to keep him missing, especially when you factor in a Plague Elite. Plague can easily lock a warrior down with blinds. If you are running a Well of Darkness, it’s even easier. Stack your conditions, don’t pop your major CD’s yet wait for him to Mend Conditions then restack (Blood is power for instance). Similar strategy above, land your marks and keep him crippled and at a distance. DS-Fear his burst, and Plague to win the fight.


Power Necro vs Venom Spec

This is a very hard fight for you, even if you take condition removal. If he dodges your daze it could seal the deal. Be smart with your CC, consume or plague his opening barrage as soon as possible. If you didn’t take plague signet pray you have a well or you will have to blow your heal early. Stack your bleeds until he cleanses and Lich form when you see an opening and don’t waste time bursting him down. Knock back his thieves if you have to too. Even if he runs if you put enough bleeds they will take care of him. Place you marks in front of him to try to anticipate his whereabouts. This can be a hard fight because of the burst they have, and that we don’t have enough burst to burst them. Daze as soon as he goes invisible so he can’t take advantage of it, or daze the heal as usual.

Conditionmancer vs Venom Spec

This is a much easier fight, you control conditions better and do more damage with them. Your plague chain blinds them making their thieves useless. If you are in DS early for the fear, and Plague form right after healing. Then spam blind on his thieves and him if you can. You should be able to outlast him here.

Yes this works against Lowell’s thief guide, I was playing a pug game and Lowell and I wen’t 1-1 in duels. The first time he managed to burst me down before I could cleanse conditions. Don’t underestimate their damage.





A lot of Elementalist will take up to 3 cantrips. In terms of likeliness you will see Mist Form > Armor of the Earth > Lightning Flash/Arcane Shield. Luckily these don’t really effect your fights to much.

Staff Ele



Power Necromancer

If you are fighting this as a Power Necro. You know what you need to do, but so does he. It comes down to not letting them implement their plan, and you implementing yours. In this fight it is better to drop cc’s early and Lich asap.

If you are fighting as a conditionmancer anticipate him to put the conditions back on you, counter with your own Plague signet. If he heals first, put them back, and then use Plague signet.

Conditionmancer Necro

Here is an example of me winning a 1v1 versus a Conditionmancer as a Power Necro.
He stacks his early conditions on me and I use Plague Signet to put them back. He instantly puts more back on to me and I consume them as soon as I can and Daze his heal. This is an example of how to beat a Conditionmancer.
As a conditionmancer it is the same as above, outsmarting your opponent. He will most likely start with his Plague signet, place your conditions and Plague form early spamming your conditions.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.