I’m here to show everyone a new necromancer build I’ve been working hard on since the new patch. I call it the Necro Signet Spiker. This post may get a little lengthy, but to those interested and looking for guidance in our new PvP world I feel like it’s my responsibility to post things that I’ve had success with!

Note: Please don’t downvote this post if you are not a necromancer player… This is intended to help my fellow Necro brothers and sisters and is meant for all good intentions! This build is always looking for improvements, so if you have helpful advice or happy comments feel free to throw some down! Here is my guide!

The Necro Signet Spiker works like a condition build, but can spike with high amounts of power. The object of the build is to apply conditions to the enemy, all while ripping boons and regenerating health. Ripping the boons from the enemy allows the conditions work easier at bringing down your opponent.

WEAPONS AND ARMOR

The build utilizes necromancer signet’s low cooldowns and beneficial abilities, while relying heavily on the necromancer traits as much as the weapons themselves.

Staff: The utility this weapon offers to the build is unquestionable. The staff will be a source of Life Force, condition removal, and CC. This weapon will be your opener during battle.

  • Start with Staff-2 to gain Life Force.
  • Cast Staff-3 to Apply Conditions.
  • Cast Staff-5 to CC
  • Cast Staff-4 to remove conditions. Make sure you do not cast this instantly for added damage, as it will be essential in additional condition transfer.

Scepter: Another CORE weapon that applies more conditions and centers around 1 of our 2 spiking spells in this build, Feast of Corruption.

  • Cast FoC when a viable amount of conditions are on your enemy. The more the better. If you are low on Life Force is becomes more essential that you apply as MANY CONDITIONS AS POSSIBLE before casting. It could mean life or death.
  • Focus: Our offhand item we use contains our 2nd spiking spell, Spinal Shivers.
  • OR: Dagger: This item is another great off-hand for the build. Though the focus contains one of our spike skills, the focus is slow, and against specific team compositions it can be easily interrupted and you can be shutdown. Try using the dagger as your offhand weapon and putting trait points into Bitter Chill in the Spite column. This offers additional conditions and chill at the price of spike.
  • After using your staff skills you will want to switch to this weapon set. Cast SS to rip boons and then apply your conditions. This leaves your enemy weak and open for the rest of the spike.

Armor: I use the Rune of Grenth set to compliment the amount of chill and condition damage in the build. The chill helps ward melee attackers, and makes the healing signet rather offensive.

Amulet: Applicable amulets vary against enemy team composition, but my personal choice goes to the Celestial Amulet. It offers stats that work well with every aspect of the build, while not crippling the combo by lack of power/condi dmg.

WORKS WELL AGAINST: Heavy boon users such as Guardians, Elementalists, and Mesmers. The chill effects also hinders Warriors and Engineers harshly.

  • Guardian (Heaviest boon users in the game, even with condition removal)
  • Elementalist (Lots of boons=lots of damage)
  • Mesmer (Heavy boons, less condi removal)
  • Warrior (Have a tough time touching you)
  • Ranger (Not a lot of condi removal)

SUFFERS FROM: Stealth, teleportation, condition removal, and blind. The build relies heavily on a combo I will get to next, and if the enemy consistently gets away from you it can be difficult to win a fight. In addition to that, thieves are the hardest counter to this build due to their lack of boon usage, constant stealthing, and blinding abilities.

  • Thief (Stealth, blind, shadowsteps, CC)
  • Mesmer (See thief)
  • Shout Warrior (They can get to you now!)
  • Necromancers occasionally (Not heavy Boon users, but good condition counterers)
  • Elementalists (condition immunity trait can completely counter this build)

ROTATION

  • Step 1: Open up on the enemy with your staff equipped. Casting Staff-2 and then Staff-3 will apply damage and chill which will hopefully even get them to use their first condition removals. Next cast your Staff-5 to Fear the target. This is where you will cast your first signet, Signet of Spite. As quickly as possible, switch to your Scepter/Focus and cast your Scepter-2 (Grasping Dead) to apply more conditions, and then cast FoC (Feast of Corruption).

Once you have gotten this far you will have finished your first spike and dealt a harsh amount of damage. During this time, if you have a large amount of conditions on you, including especially Blind, cast Plague Signet. This is both an offensive and defensive skill.

  • Step 2: The battle is heating up and you’ll be in the thick of it now. The enemy should be clensing conditions now out of panic, and thus applying boons. Thanks to the trait Signets of Suffering you will be stacking might and be prepared to rip those boons off with Spinal Shivers. If the enemy is low enough of health, the Chill of Death trait will cast and spike for even heavier damage.

The entire time you are in combat Signet of Undeath will be building you Life Force. If you spiked well with FoC then your LF bar should be near to full. Use your Death Shroud defensively, or for additional condition damage from Death Shroud-4. Use Death Shroud-2 to rip boons with the Path of Corruption trait.

Note: Signet of Undeath is a risky signet, and should be replace with Signet of the Locust. Though both are viable, Locust offers much more beneficial stats, whereas SoU is really just a place holder for the socket. SoU cast time is one of the slowest in the game, and your allies will be stomped long before you can cast it on them. Though the life force gain is nice,

  • Step 3: Swap back to your staff or go into Death Shroud to deal additional damage in efforts to finish the opponent. The build survives well with Parasitic Contagion, especially if you used Grasping Dead on a group of enemies. If the enemy persists, remove conditions with Staff-4, kite and repeat.

TIPS AND TRICKS

  • Do not be afraid to cast Signet of Vampirism even if your health is not low. You have a passive “backup” version of the spell in your traits, and both being cast grants you Might.
  • Your signets are visible when used! An observant player can anticipate when you will be casting your abilities by the mark above your head. This is why using Staff-5 before Signet of Spite is a great combo. Either that, or wait until your opponent’s Endurance is low.
  • Anticipate the rate of your enemy’s condition removal. If you spike them with Signet of Spite but they don’t remove conditions until right before you cast FoC you could be in for a world of hurt. The combo is sensitive and may take reading your enemy before eventually killing them.
  • Use Plague against bunched up enemies, or to secure a stomp. If you find yourself covered in Thieves, Plague-2 can help keep you alive while you get to safety.
  • Use Signet of Undeath wisely in PvP. The ability can be swapped out for Signet of the Locust, but you will sacrifice Life Force gain for minor damage and lifesteal. Signet of Undeath adds up over time! Also be aware that Signet of Undeath is a long casting signet. Cast it from a safe location and away from interrupts.

Conclusion

Thank you for reading my guide, and I hope it works well for you! The new meta is full of exploration and new experiences, and time and time again my Signet Spiker is a fun to play build even viable in Ranked PvP. Feel free to share this build, but like you apply the conditions in it, apply credit to me. 🙂 I appreciate it. <3 If you have any other questions, comments, or critiques, I am open to suggestions. Thanks again!

Edit 1: You guys have given fantastic feedback and I feel like posting progress on here to those interested.

  • First off I tested the build with Celestial Amulet and it certainly helps in terms of squishiness. The damage output is slightly less, but still effective.
  • Someone mentioned using a dagger as the offhand instead of the focus. Though the focus is a slow weapon, the idea of the build is to rip helpful boons off of the enemy to allow your conditions to do the work here, all the while dealing spike damage. Spinal Shivers is pretty core, but if you did swap the focus to dagger this build could easily turn into an awesome bleeder build. Try it!


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