Guild Wars 2: Guide To Playing A Necromancer In PvP

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  • Necromancer Strengths And Weaknesses In PvP
  • Diabolically Damaging Harbinger
  • Harbinger PvP Build – The Dark Destroyer

The Necromancer is a bit of a powerhouse profession in Guild Wars 2. The build and tips we'll be sharing here will show you to maximize the destructive power of this master of death. Hold onto your torso, and ready your vials because things are about to get spooky.

In PvP, the Necromancer is an intimidating force on the battlefield. They can be specked out to be slow, lumbering brawlers who are deadly up close. Or dreadful supports that cause constant debilitation to their foes, but in this guide, we'll be focusing on the Harbinger elite specialization.

Necromancer Strengths And Weaknesses In PvP

As always, we'll begin by briefly touching on the Necromancer's overall capabilities within the confines of PvP game modes. Firstly, let's look at the "roles" that a given profession can occupy in PvP:

  • Damage
  • Duelist
  • Roamer
  • Support

There is potential for the Necromancer to play any role. Although a general tuning down of sustain across the board makes them less self-sustaining than other professions. The Reaper elite spec makes a great Roamer or Duelist but needs to be played carefully, as they are susceptible to being kited around. The Scourge elite spec makes a fantastic supporter in any game mode, PvE or PvP, and their damage output isn't to be underestimated either.

However, it's not always sunshine and rainbows, and the dark and doomy Necromancer wouldn't have it any other way. While they are the masters of attrition and just slowly but surely break down the opponent under a constant barrage of conditions, they are lacking in ways to mitigate large amounts of burst damage.

A Necromancer has access to life force and some way of converting life force into benefits – depending upon what elite spec you are playing; you can utilize life force to cast damaging spells, provide yourself with a second health bar, or various other neat tricks. The price of this mechanic is fewer ways of actively mitigating damage, as Necromancers straight up take punches, but too many hard knocks will completely topple them over.

In this guide, we'll be focusing on one of the stronger Necromancer PvP builds – which means we'll be utilizing the Harbinger elite spec for our purposes.

Diabolically Damaging Harbinger

The Harbinger is the least durable iteration of the Necromancer, but they more than make up for this with their damage. In Harbinger Shroud, a Necromancer can launch barrage after barrage of attacks that inflict potent conditions on the target. They have some mobility built into their Shroud abilities as well.

As a Harbinger Necromancer, you are trying to get into your shroud as often as possible and unleash hell on your enemies. The key to victory is knowing when to go in guns blazing versus when to disengage and head back to your support. It's going to be your job to apply tons of pressure in team fights, so don't try to gun down difficult opponents solo, as you'll be leaving your teammates to be picked off by the enemy team's damage dealers.

As a Harbinger, you are great at overwhelming your opponents with aggressive play, but you are vulnerable to clever counterplay. If you're baited away from your teammates, then you're susceptible to being ganged up on and quickly annihilated by enemy burst damage.

Harbinger PvP Build – The Dark Destroyer

We'll be running through some good trait picks in this section. As mentioned, we'll be focusing on the Harbinger as it's considered to be one of the most powerful PvP specs in the game. This elite specialization gives you access to the Pistol, the Harbinger Shroud, and some potent Elixir utility skills.

For traits, we'll be focusing on Curses, Death Magic, and the Harbinger trait line.

For Curses, we'll be using the following:

Plague SendingYou transfer two conditions on your first attack when entering Shroud.
Path of CorruptionShroud skill 2 (Dark Barrage) converts boons into conditions.
Weakening ShroudCast Enfeeble (Focus skill five that converts boons into conditions) whenever you enter Shroud, plus your critical hits inflict Weakness.

For Death Magic, we'll be using the following:

Shroud RemovalLose a condition when you enter Shroud – every three seconds you'll remove a condition while in Shroud and gain one stack of Carapace (extra Toughness) whenever you remove a condition from yourself.
Dark DefianceWhenever you're disabled, grant yourself the Protection boon.
Corrupter's FervorGain a stack of Carapace whenever you inflict a condition on an opponent. You'll also gain pulsing Protection when at 25 stacks of Carapace.

For Harbinger, go with these traits:

Vile VialsReduced Elixir utility cooldown by 20 percent and also causes Elixirs to inflict Vulnerability on enemies.
Twisted MedicineBoons given by Elixirs are also granted to your allies within the Elixir's impact radius.
Deathly HasteWhile in Harbinger Shroud, grant yourself and your nearby allies Quickness every three seconds.

Necromancer PvP Stats And Gear

For gear stats, you'll be using full Carrion's (Condition Damage, Power, and Vitality). This gives us enough damage to be a threat while also granting enough hit points to allow you some error.

For Weaponry, a Pistol and Dagger will be your primary weapon set. The Staff makes an excellent backup option due to its utility.

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