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Opinions about Necro from a returning player, and noobish consideration about each specialisation

Al Masone.1274

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I stopped playing basically just before HoT came out, but came back to try out the game with the two expac and, honestly, I really felt the improvements on all sides. Back then I was playing the necro, and at some point i stopped because the class wasn't that much fun anymore. Now, I must say that necromancer has betting getting better and better over the years, and I just fell in love with the reaper spec, but there are some points I would like to address.First of all, I think that is supposed to be a primary debuffer, you get stronger the weaker your opponent becomes.Finally, I'd like to give my opinion about each spec after having tried them out sometime anew, since quite a bit has changed over the years.
One note on necro in general, that many keep saying: I think that necro still suffers from having a limited team utility. Unless you're going scourge you're not going to give much to team aside from damage, the debuffing is only really useful for yourself, since in teams it's pretty easy to get to 25 stacks of vulnerabilityLittle wall of text here we go:

Spite:Here the theme I spoke of is taken to the letter. I also like how the spec focuses around axe and focus, and death shroud. If I have to point out a problem here, it would be vulnerability stacking, since it's nice only when playing alone, in group I think necro should be rewarded a bit more for spamming vulnerability on foes.

Curses:Back before I stopped playing gw2, I tried a bit of condimancer, but it always felt weird to me: you can't stack a lot of conditons on foes and deathshroud seems more power-oriented. Then they introduced dhuumfire, which even today looks pretty out of place (I know fire is the highest damaging conditons, but coudln't DS help stack bleeding and poison? and why is it on Soul Reaping?). Nowadays I tried it again a bit, and it still feels somewhat weird. Unless you take the scourge spec, I don't see core necro being able to be pure condi, and I think that is a shame. But if you don't take dhuumfire, death shroud on a condimancer just has no use whatsoever, in my opinion.

Death Magic:Before the recent it was a mess, no way around it. Now it feels way better, And I can see it being interesting for all kinds of necros, exept maybe scourges.First of all it gives toughness, as long as you're debuffing the enemy. it can improve poison's damage, and helps spread conditions through your minions (potential for condi minionmancer); It can give up to an additional 300 power, and with axe it's easy to get there. Oh, and I like being the last man standing when playing reaper: 600 thoughness plus protection, plus 30% less condition damage, and with shroud 3 you get an additional 20% less direct and condition damage. I can easly get over 3k toughness, before counting in protection and shroud 3.Still, with all that said, I don't think that carapace stacking should be tied to a grandmaster trait. No wonder the one that heals you while in shroud isn't even looked at, why would I pass up the stacking trait, especially since the spec revolves around death's carapace?

Blood Magic:I haven't tried it much actually. I like the fact that it gives party support in ways other classes cannot, but it's more tied to condition builds and the scourge spec. The scourge spec if a support AFAIK, so it's ok, but that leaves power necro as nothing more than a dps bot with little to no team utility. It not bad per se, but many other classes can do the same damage and give plenty of support.

Soul Reaping:This seems core to me in pretty much all builds, since it improves what is, or should be, your main tool as a necromancer. I really like soul barbs, since it rewards your for juggling in and out of DS, while vital persistence lets you get healed more by other players. What I really don't like is dhuumfire, which feels pretty out of place to me.

Reaper:First of all I love this spec. I like how it allows you to go in balls deep and still come out alive. Of course, that won't happen if you build full zerker and take spite for maximum damage. Still, I think reaper should reward you more for prioritising toughness and sticking to enemies, and forget the bleeding trait, consolidate reaper as a tanky/power spec. It's main focus on damage should be on slow but very heavy hits, while any type of conditon damage reflects the exact opposite. Also they should give more reason to build ferocity by giving baseline more precision. You hit slow, but when you hit it hurts real bad. Right now it doesn't convey that idea very well. Maybe make it deal more crits vs chilled targets

Scourge:The spec I have tried the least so far, and personally I don't like it. The main reason is that it's damage comes from torment and burning, while I tend to associate the necromancer to themes like poison and cold. It's a drastic twist on core necro, moreso than the reaper, and that makes it interesting. It just doesn't click with me. I do think that they way it supports is interesting and, again, it is tied to debuffing the enemy. But as the recent changes have demonstrated, it still needs some work to be balanced.

TL;DR:Spite OKDeath Magic OK-ishReaper OK-ishBlood magic mmmCurses ehScourge not may favorite playstyle but many seem to like it so OK.

Necro overall still needs work, but believe me, it's way better now than it was years ago. Back then it could easily get dreadful to play.

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@Al Masone.1274 said:SpiteYou are rewarded via decimate defenses.

CursesCurses is the most flexible traitline for necro. It has useful options for almost any build (speaking about competitve play). I am running spite+curses builds 95% of the time.

Death MagicYes it's gotten better but still underwhelming and very niche. If you maintain 25 to 30 carapace it's a nice stat boost but the way to get there is too clunky. All in all still the last traitline you should pick.

Blood MagicSince it has now viable major traits in each category that are not necessarily team focused it is a useful traitline for sustain oriented builds. It's the to go traitline if you want to have decent condi defense (for solo players) or if you play support.

Soul ReapingIt's not mandatory anymore as the vulnerability spam of spite, decimate defenses and curses (precsision, fury, crit chance for various conditions) grant you enough crit chance to build some nice soldier or celestial roaming builds which will outclass the defense that soul reaping will grant to you while giving you great corrupt pressure at the same time.

ReaperReaper totally rewards you for picking toughness for the reasons I stated above. It's even safe to say that non toughness builds are not viable at all against any meta build while paladin, cele, soldier and under specific circumstances also wanderer are pretty decent. The gm traits aside from onslaught are useless and so limiting the spec to play burst oriented, which is a shame as reaper could be extremely flexible with minor adjustments. All other traits are somewhat between at least okay and just great.

ScourgeI hate everything about this spec. It's clunky, it's spammy, it's slow without any compensation, it's the weakest solo spec in the game.

CoreIt needs a useful direct damage elite skill.

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