Depends on the minions used. Blood Fiend and Flesh Golem don't need Death Magic so badly. In competitive flesh wurm is first and foremost an escape tool, not a damage dealer, so also often no Death Magic there.
So that's like 3/5 slots that can be minions are are not in dire need of death magic.
Since HoT gave us Elite specs and the 90% damage reduction for targeted minions in pve, I've found Death Magic kind of pointless even for minions. The extra toughness and health is self explanatory. The extra minion damage is negligible, whilst pve doesn't have enough condi for the transfer to be that useful. And most minions are meant to be kept alive, so the death nova fields are somewhat wasted. The Jagged horror cooldown was nice, but not enough to take even on a condi build (curses/soul reaping are just so much better choices). The only really good minion trait is Vampiric and that's in Blood Magic.
All in all, Death magic is just bad.
"Surrender and serve me in life, or die and slave for me in death."
Minion builds are annoying to play. Or better to say, it's like not playing at all.
If I want to do that, I don't have to switch my pc on and just go Netflix and chill.
If you want a build like that, you have to play DM. But else DM is completely useless.
Flesh Golem/Shadow Fiend/and flesh wurm is prop the ones you can use without death magic and Reapers RISE of course. Shadow fiend was my best friend for catching thieves pre expan along side my dark path before anet butchered it. They added chill by default for shadow fiend so that's cool I guess The Haunt ability will follow anyone in stealth but minions will return to you after a few seconds. If you have a target selected they also will start to attack if you press an auto attack.
Yes, even if you want to role play a Minion Master in open world, because let's be honest, there is no other reason to ever run that build, you are better off taking anything but Death Magic.
Even if you entire skill bar is minions, it still provides the lowest value (damage, survivability and utility) out of all Traitlines.
It's in need of a rework since 7 years.
"As you know, those who you once called friends have become enemies." ~Glint
Yeah Death Magic has been in dire need of help for the longest time. Its neglected and not very useful overall. People will always find more worth playing blood or something else.
However, I still use it. It can be a boost to overall defenses and if played right can be somewhat effective.
I think some of the minions themselves should be reworked.
Blood fiend needs a visual rework and always has imo
Shadow fiend should be dropped entirely and replaced by a new minon
Flesh Golem R should get a second cast change when picking up GM trait in death where the necro can basically warp inside the golem and play as the golem.
Flesh Wurm is pretty good but should really allow for a longer range for the necro to warp back to so there's less buggy and unwanted interactions with terrain.
Bone Feind is decent but is also sorta visually unappealing to me (may just be me).
Poison should also get more love. Maybe if there's a new expansion w/ new elite, they can specialize in poison. That would be cool.
You dont have my answer for the Poll. Basically MM is much too weak as a spec to really do much. I use minions occasionally but as utility and not for their damage or for a zerg function. It's one of the major failings of minions in gw2. They're not used for their intended purpose.
Basically my answer would be "I don't use minions for a minion build because MM is bad."
Depends on how lazy I am at the time. If I don't feel like even dealing with active condition management then I will bring DM.
If Im using brain cells then I will bring some extra damage instead.
WvW™ - where you find more Red Rings of Death than an Xbox repair facility.
Minion Mancer was great for a while.. but I got aggravated at the minions always running off and putting me in combat so I couldn't waypoint out anywhere. I switched to Chilling GS spec instead and haven't looked back. Sure I'm not as tanky, but damage is nearly the same. At least I can get out of combat easier which is a huge help if you have to follow a commander around.
I occasionally use a MM when I feel super-casual in open world PvE, often when messing about with various builds.
PvE MM is also one of the standards I use to compare how balance changes affect performance and QoL because minions have flat damage curves. Dps, group utility, and sustain on a minionless build should never be lower than on a MM... Right?