It’s been a while since I’ve written about Guild Wars (as opposed to all of my posts about Guild Wars 2). Whoops!
I am a bit of a fan of having alts, and while I definitely spend the most time playing my Dervish, I do have one of each profession (and FOUR Mesmers…I may be a bit of a fan of them) and have played most of them a fair amount. The one I find the hardest to play, though, is my Necromancer.
It’s not so much that I don’t like the profession (though it’s by far not a favorite of mine, I made one simply to prove a point, more or less)…it’s mostly that while they’re very powerful, they don’t have a huge amount of options. You basically have minions, Discord, or Spiteful Spirit, or going /Rt for spirits or healing. Maybe using Blood Magic for support. Well, I’m not a support player and I don’t like relying too heavily on secondary profession skills, so that knocked out most of my options. I mostly use a Spiteful Spirit/Curses build, but I find it to be less viable now for players, with the seven hero update. Things are dead before I finish casting half of the time. And minions I’ve never cared much for because it’s a playstyle I’ve always found to be too boring and passive.
So, basically, I was stuck – the one build I liked was too slow to really be worth playing, and as a result my poor lovely Necro was collecting dust.
I decided to change that recently, though, and started the search for something new that looked like it could be fun. Pain of Disenchantment looked like it could be a neat skill to make a build around, and it stayed in my preferred Curses line. Problem is, not everything you come across is going to be enchanted, and so it’s something that would only work part of the time. Order of the Vampire had potential…however, melee heroes really aren’t the best and so it’d have limited use. Ironically, the elite skill that interested me the most was a minion skill – Order of Undeath. It looked like it would require you to be a bit more active than simply “Stand back, cast Aura of the Lich, and watch a dozen minions appear”.
So I decided to give it a go! Over to PvX I went, and of course there was a build using it on there. Took that build and made some adjustments – both from necessity (I don’t have EBSoH on that character) and my own tastes (I prefer bone minions to bone fiends – quicker and easier to replace when necessary), and off I went. The base is pretty simple. Keep Masochism up at all times to boost Death Magic and Soul Reaping (DM should be at 18), raise minions as things die, keep them healed up with Blood of the Master, and as they attack, use Order of Undeath to increase the damage they do. I’m currently using the Healing Prayers variant (so much for me not liking support!) because it makes it easier for me to keep my minions up and going, as well as helps make up for the fact that I’m sacrificing/losing so much health so frequently.
Of course, like any minion build, it won’t work everywhere. If you don’t have bodies to raise minions from, you’re kind of screwed. You also have to be very careful to stay in the backline, because you’re going to have low HP most of the time (my base health running this is 496, thanks to the Superior Death Magic rune; at any given point in time I have about 2/3rds of that), though the Vampiric Horrors help with that. A hero with Protection Prayers is incredibly useful, but then again, when are they ever not? A good 40/40 Death Magic set is helpful though not 100% necessary – I’m currently using a 20/10 staff with an enchanting mod on it which works fine. You have to be careful on using Blood of the Master while Order of Undeath is up, for obvious reasons; too much sacrifice will kill you. And it requires you to pay more attention to the battle than most minion builds do. If your minions are attacking, you should have OoU active, and you should prioritize spamming that. If your minions are just standing there doing nothing (as they do on occasion), wait for them to start attacking before you cast.
I’m still adjusting things on my build a bit. I might try out some of the other variations that exist for it. But so far? I’m quite enjoying this. It’s a minion build I find fun. It’s proving to be pretty awesomely effective in battle. And I’m playing my Necromancer more, which is always nice. Sometimes, trying something new works out quite well! Which profession or build have you tried that surprised you in how much you enjoyed it?