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Dagger for reaper PvE?


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Most if not all the pve builds I find for the reaper on the internet make him go GS and Axe/warhorn. While I am aware that going with two sets of melee weapon (gs and dagger/wh) could be very problematic in situations where you can't really fight in melee, I'm still curious about that pairing, since GS seems to be more geared towards cleave and fights with lots of targets, while dagger seems to be a single target dedicated weapon. That said, I haven't done any calculation so I don't know if the dagger main hand can actually work as a dps weapon. I'm mainly interested because in many boss fights I find the aoe of the GS rather wasted.

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It's not that dagger MH is a bad weapon skillset but it's far from being an optimal choice. Both axe mainhand and GS outdps dagger, while the health point given by dagger#2 won't do you much good in PvE and immobilizing a single PvE mob (when it doesn't have a breakbar to simply ignore this effect) have very low value.

Main hand dagger is mostly a concept weapon on which ANet's devs threw a bunch of ideas that are interesting theoretically and full of potential but ultimately lacking in practice in the game.

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Dagger can not work as a dps option. It is designed as a sustain weapon, that unfortunately fails at that task.

The damage potential:Even if you just autoattack, GS outclasses dagger. And then gravedigger, death spiral and nightfall add even more dps to GS, while you lose damage, when you do something else than autoattack with the dagger. On top of that GS hits more targets. The life force generation of both weapons is comparable.

Dagger and GS in one build does not make sense because switching to dagger is a 100% damage loss. It's better to just autoattack with the GS, when everything else is on cooldown. Axe has one very strong 4.0 multiplier skill (ghastly claws) you can add to your dps rotation and switch to shroud or GS right after you used it. And warhorn is the best offhand option, because wail of doom is great against breakbars. Locust swarm is situational: while its damage part alone decreases your dps (it is not worth the cast time), it has a huge life force generation potential and can greatly increase your shroud uptime, which can lead to more dps at the end of the day.

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The issue of Dagger in PvE isn't "Running 2 melee weapons" since this is typically nullified by the nature of everyone stacking in melee anyway for AoE boons + heals.

The issue is Dagger simply has poor DPS. Even against a single target only, GS outperforms Dagger. Axe also outperforms Dagger (Axe only being used because skill 2 is strong and is typically rotated in a way where you only cast skill 2 and don't even auto attack with it)

The only thing Dagger is useful for in PvE, is its auto attack generating Life Force which can have some fringe benefits for DPS but doesn't ultimately outweigh the negative of how trash Dagger is for DPS the rest of the time.

Of course, current PvE isn't particularly stringent with its DPS requirements and it is very possible to get away with using Dagger, it's just that it's not as good as either GS or Axe.

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Thanks, that's pretty much what I wanted to hear. Since axe is ranged and GS is all about AoE, I thought dagger would be somehow supposed to beat them in terms of single target dps, since it's melee and has basically no cleave (max 2 targets lol). But it seems its dps is way too low, so i can forget it ever existed...

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I've been running MH Dagger for years on a few Necros so I'll chime in with my pros and cons.

Since you're asking about DPS i'll start there.Dagger is not very good as a DPS weapon, I have to agree with everyone else here on that point.It has low damage and no viable cleave since the max targets was reduced from 3 to 2.. this really screws the Dagger over as a viable DPS weapon unfortunately.

Imo these are the main pros of dagger and what I personally use it for..

  1. It's a very fast weapon, at least as far as Necro weapons go which are often pretty slow.It has has a 3 skill, 4 hit auto chain that takes 2 seconds to cycle through and you get life force from both the second and third skill in the chain giving you a total of 8% life force every 2 seconds providing you land the second and third skills.This makes dagger pretty good for getting some quick life force gathered up for shroud, specially when combined with Warhorn's Locust Swarm which gives you 1.5% life force for every hit it lands and it can hit up to 5 targets 10 times.. this skill also has life steal.Warhorn also has a very nice 2 second, 5 target, cone pattern, hard CC as well which combined with Locust Swarm makes this easily the best offhand weapon to compliment the Dagger.

  2. The lifesteal potential.I know a lot of people look down on lifesteal in this game but I don't think it's as bad as some people claim it to be.Daggers skill 2 is a very potent healing skill imo, it hits 9 times total at range and gets a 90% buff from your healing power over a full channel and the Blood Magic trait Last Rites can buff this a little by giving you some easy free healing power.It also gains another 20% healing buff if you are bleeding as well and this all adds up very nicely to the point where this skill can easily match or even out heal the Necro's main healing skills due to it having a very very short CD of 10 seconds.. 6,7 seconds if you have it traited with Quickening Thirst and use it about 75% health.This skill also heals you through blocks as well which makes it great in PvE where the only danger of using it is if an enemy evades it which really doesn't happen much.

You can make builds that have Dagger 2 as the dedicated healing skill, I have done that for a couple of builds including one of my main builds which I love playing ^^So Dagger does have some good use in my opinion.But DPS is definitely one of it's weakest points, it's a no go for DPS.. but it's a great weapon for healing and generating life force, specially if you combine it with Warhorn.

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@"Teratus.2859" said:I've been running MH Dagger for years on a few Necros so I'll chime in with my pros and cons.

Since you're asking about DPS i'll start there.Dagger is not very good as a DPS weapon, I have to agree with everyone else here on that point.It has low damage and no viable cleave since the max targets was reduced from 3 to 2.. this really screws the Dagger over as a viable DPS weapon unfortunately.Not sure if I understand you corretly here. The number of targets daggers can hit was even increased (for all classes). In the early days of the game dagger was a single target weapon. The life force generation of dagger is still only single target. That's a relic of the old days.

Imo these are the main pros of dagger and what I personally use it for..

  1. It's a very fast weapon, at least as far as Necro weapons go which are often pretty slow.And still worse due to the necro class mechanic. To land dagger hits you have to stick to your target and will eat each melee hit of it. GS attacks you can pre-cast while moving to or around your target and then land one big hit. That's especially important in the competive modes.

It has has a 3 skill, 4 hit auto chain that takes 2 seconds to cycle through and you get life force from both the second and third skill in the chain giving you a total of 8% life force every 2 seconds providing you land the second and third skills.The GS auto grants 7% in 2.88 seconds. Add 12% for death spiral and 4% for grasping darkness.

And now the most important: these are all multitarget. Hitting 3 targets with a GS auto rotation grants 21% of life force. Hitting 3 targets with death spiral grants 36% of life force. Hitting 5 targets with grasping darkness grants 20% of life force.

The life force generation of dagger isn't actually that great. You need 25.5 seconds to generate 100% life force with dagger autoattacks. In that amount of time you can generate a lot more with GS and deal a lot more damage.

This makes dagger pretty good for getting some quick life force gathered up for shroud, specially when combined with Warhorn's Locust Swarm which gives you 1.5% life force for every hit it lands and it can hit up to 5 targets 10 times.. this skill also has life steal.Death spiral (GS3) is actually a lot better for burst life force generation and deals a ton of damage. Warhown can be combined with axe too.

Warhorn also has a very nice 2 second, 5 target, cone pattern, hard CC as well which combined with Locust Swarm makes this easily the best offhand weapon to compliment the Dagger....and even better with GS and axe. :p

  1. The lifesteal potential.I know a lot of people look down on lifesteal in this game but I don't think it's as bad as some people claim it to be.It's not bad, but useless. Soul eater + GS (= huge burst damage and so also good on demand healing with this trait) and blood magic is more than enough healing for pve. And for the competitive modes dagger is not viable for a lot of reasons.

Daggers skill 2 is a very potent healing skill imo, it hits 9 times total at range and gets a 90% buff from your healing power over a full channel and the Blood Magic trait Last Rites can buff this a little by giving you some easy free healing power.It also gains another 20% healing buff if you are bleeding as well and this all adds up very nicely to the point where this skill can easily match or even out heal the Necro's main healing skills due to it having a very very short CD of 10 seconds.. 6,7 seconds if you have it traited with Quickening Thirst and use it about 75% health.The drawbacks of picking dagger are not compensated by this.

This skill also heals you through blocks as well which makes it great in PvE where the only danger of using it is if an enemy evades it which really doesn't happen much.I actually never noticed blocks being some issue or relevant for buildcrafting at all in pve.

You can make builds that have Dagger 2 as the dedicated healing skill, I have done that for a couple of builds including one of my main builds which I love playing ^^That's actually its intention. It works in pve, but is usless. There are better and a lot more viable options like mentioned above (GS + soul eater + blood magic). Why would you want to run dagger, if you can have more damage and more healing with other options? This is the proof that dagger is a terribly balanced weapon. It is underpowered in every possible way.

So Dagger does have some good use in my opinion.It is a subpar option, if you like its design. But that should not lead to the conclusion that it is fine. It is not. I like the attack speed too. But I hate ineffective mechanics. And dagger is a prime exampe for that.

But DPS is definitely one of it's weakest points, it's a no go for DPS.. but it's a great weapon for healing and generating life force, specially if you combine it with Warhorn.Well... no not really. ;) (see above)

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@KrHome.1920 said:

@"Teratus.2859" said:I've been running MH Dagger for years on a few Necros so I'll chime in with my pros and cons.

Since you're asking about DPS i'll start there.Dagger is not very good as a DPS weapon, I have to agree with everyone else here on that point.It has low damage and no viable cleave since the max targets was reduced from 3 to 2.. this really screws the Dagger over as a viable DPS weapon unfortunately.Not sure if I understand you corretly here. The number of targets daggers can hit was even increased (for all classes). In the early days of the game dagger was a single target weapon. The life force generation of dagger is still only single target. That's a relic of the old days.

Yeah it was in the early days, but at one point if i'm remembering right Dagger used to hit 3 targets but it was nerfed down to 2 a while back.

Imo these are the main pros of dagger and what I personally use it for..
  1. It's a very fast weapon, at least as far as Necro weapons go which are often pretty slow.And still worse due to the necro class mechanic. To land dagger hits you have to stick to your target and will eat each melee hit of it. GS attacks you can pre-cast while moving to or around your target and then land one big hit. That's especially important in the competive modes.

No argument there, though this thread is specifically about PvE so it's a whole different rule set when it comes to combat since AI doesn't play like a human player.For PvE Reaper, Dagger isn't that bad a choice since you'll be in face punching range constantly anyway.. Reaper is designed specifically for that playstyle.

It has has a 3 skill, 4 hit auto chain that takes 2 seconds to cycle through and you get life force from both the second and third skill in the chain giving you a total of 8% life force every 2 seconds providing you land the second and third skills.The GS auto grants 7% in 2.88 seconds. Add 12% for death spiral and 4% for grasping darkness.

And now the most important: these are all multitarget. Hitting 3 targets with a GS auto rotation grants 21% of life force. Hitting 3 targets with death spiral grants 36% of life force. Hitting 5 targets with grasping darkness grants 20% of life force.

The life force generation of dagger isn't actually that great. You need 25.5 seconds to generate 100% life force with dagger autoattacks. In that amount of time you can generate a lot more with GS and deal a lot more damage.

Yep, though Death Spiral and Grave Digger have Cool Down so dagger is still quicker on the life force gen when just comparing autos.Plus you can't use an offhand, though you can however swap into GS after activating Locus Swarm.

Nobody is or would argue Dagger as a replacement for GS though, the competition is more with Axe since we're talking more about support weapons to compliment the Greatsword.

This makes dagger pretty good for getting some quick life force gathered up for shroud, specially when combined with Warhorn's Locust Swarm which gives you 1.5% life force for every hit it lands and it can hit up to 5 targets 10 times.. this skill also has life steal.Death spiral (GS3) is actually a lot better for burst life force generation and deals a ton of damage. Warhown can be combined with axe too.

Yes but Death spiral has cooldown and can't be spammed like the Dagger Auto can.The main point here is to combine the Locust Swarm and Dagger auto with the Death Spiral on a weapon swap to generate as much life force as quickly possible.Basically Death Spiral into Swap, Locust Swarm + Dagger auto (preferably with quickness) then swap back and Death Spiral again as it comes off cooldown.

Warhorn also has a very nice 2 second, 5 target, cone pattern, hard CC as well which combined with Locust Swarm makes this easily the best offhand weapon to compliment the Dagger....and even better with GS and axe. :p

It's good with Axe but better with Dagger in my opinion due to Locust Swarm.Locus Swarm has very short range where as Axe is a ranged weapon and not as great in melee range as Dagger.
  1. The lifesteal potential.I know a lot of people look down on lifesteal in this game but I don't think it's as bad as some people claim it to be.It's not bad, but useless. Soul eater + GS (= huge burst damage and so also good on demand healing with this trait) and blood magic is more than enough healing for pve. And for the competitive modes dagger is not viable for a lot of reasons.

It depends on the build and what/where you want to play it, for the most part you are right and Dagger is definitely useless in competitive modes these days.Dagger is very useful however for tanky Necro builds that want to maintain a high level of sustain for soloing and other such things.I enjoy doing that stuff myself as well so I get a lot of good use from the Dagger, specially against the buffed up Lab Horror this year which has been great fun fighting solo.

Daggers skill 2 is a very potent healing skill imo, it hits 9 times total at range and gets a 90% buff from your healing power over a full channel and the Blood Magic trait Last Rites can buff this a little by giving you some easy free healing power.It also gains another 20% healing buff if you are bleeding as well and this all adds up very nicely to the point where this skill can easily match or even out heal the Necro's main healing skills due to it having a very very short CD of 10 seconds.. 6,7 seconds if you have it traited with Quickening Thirst and use it about 75% health.The drawbacks of picking dagger are not compensated by this.

That's a matter of opinion really, if you're not aiming for high DPS anyway then the low damage trade off is pretty much irrelevant.It becomes more a choice between significantly more healing (Dagger) or better ranged capability (Axe) but dagger's healing is also ranged as well so it's kind of the best of both worlds there if you don't care about your DPS.Either way you'll want to spend as little time as possible in either weapon because of the Greatsword.

This skill also heals you through blocks as well which makes it great in PvE where the only danger of using it is if an enemy evades it which really doesn't happen much.I actually never noticed blocks being some issue or relevant for buildcrafting at all in pve.

It's not, but there are enemies who do use it from time to time leaving you just waiting around for them to stop so you can smack em.It's just something you can keep in mind for some easy free healing when this does occur.

You can make builds that have Dagger 2 as the dedicated healing skill, I have done that for a couple of builds including one of my main builds which I love playing ^^That's actually its intention. It works in pve, but is usless. There are better and a lot more viable options like mentioned above (GS + soul eater + blood magic). Why would you want to run dagger, if you can have more damage and more healing with other options? This is the proof that dagger is a terribly balanced weapon. It is underpowered in every possible way.

I won't argue it's underpowered, it is and i'd definitely support buffing it back up to 3 targets which would be enough to satisfy me personally.

But I don't know about Soul Eater outhealing it, I don't play with this trait that much but on my more damage focused builds I do use it and the healing is good but not as good as Daggers imo.I'm getting between 4-7K heals when using my Life Siphons depending on the circumstances such as bleeding buff and additional life steal sources.But I doubt Soul Eater can match that every 10 seconds with only a 5% damage as healing bonus and such slow attack speed on Greatsword, specially against single targets.Plus Soul Eater doesn't give you the ability to back off and heal either, you must remain in combat for it to work so if you're fighting anything that can out damage your healing then it's not going to sustain you.

As I said above though Dagger isn't meant to replace Greatsword in a build, it's meant to support it as a secondary weapon.That's how I use it anyway, it's my back off and heal weapon and it does that pretty well in my opinion.

So Dagger does have some good use in my opinion.It is a subpar option, if you like its design. But that should not lead to the conclusion that it is fine. It is not. I like the attack speed too. But I hate ineffective mechanics. And dagger is a prime exampe for that.

It's not perfect, could use some buffs here and there as could many other weapons.But it's not terrible, at least not as bad as some people make it out to be at times lol some people really hate this weapon, specially in the PvP crowd.I get why though it's an awful PvP weapon for sure, but as a PvE weapon it's not terrible.. could use some work sure but not terrible.

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@KrHome.1920 said:

That's actually its intention. It works in pve, but is usless. There are better and a lot more viable options like mentioned above (GS + soul eater + blood magic). Why would you want to run dagger, if you can have more damage and more healing with other options? This is the proof that dagger is a terribly balanced weapon. It is underpowered in every possible way.

Not every. One example - 1v1 with champs. Soul eater healing will be pitifully weak, while you'll be eating tons of damage, because with no decimate defenses you're arm twisted into glass gear (zezrk, assassin or marauder). Meahwile a dagger user will have frequent access to a strong heal and by going decimate defenes can use much more tanky gear options like crusader. Not to mention it's far easier to boost dagger healing (self bleed from #3 + vital persistance in soul reaping) than it is to make gs heal you more by boosting your damage.

Blood Magic will also do a ton more for dagger user. For one quickening thirst, for second vampirism traits that have rather flat healing values and ergo work best with fast hitting dagger rather then slow greatsword.

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@Teratus.2859 said:Yes but Death spiral has cooldown and can't be spammed like the Dagger Auto can.The main point here is to combine the Locust Swarm and Dagger auto with the Death Spiral on a weapon swap to generate as much life force as quickly possible.Basically Death Spiral into Swap, Locust Swarm + Dagger auto (preferably with quickness) then swap back and Death Spiral again as it comes off cooldown.

The thing is, if you're trying to leverage burst LF generation alongside Locust Swarm... You're infinitely better off with Axe. Since Axe 2 + Locust Swarm = a huge burst of LF.

Literally the only thing that Dagger has over Axe (Besides some sustain which is useless in most situations (I.e. Instanced content, OW PvE that isn't soloing Champs...)) is the auto attacks being better, with more DPS and also the LF generation.

But when it comes down to it, either weapon you choose you'll be minimizing the time actually using the weapon because GS has superior auto attacks and otherwise you are in Shroud.

Thus, when it comes to optimizing, Axe 2 + Locust Swarm is the most efficient usage of the spare time and you can bypass the crummy Axe auto's by rotating around Shroud which conveniently you should be inside of for the same duration as the CD for weapon swapping (Meaning you can do a GS rotation > Axe combo > Shroud > Axe combo > GS rotation > Shroud rinse and repeat ad infinitum)

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@Taril.8619 said:

@Teratus.2859 said:Yes but Death spiral has cooldown and can't be spammed like the Dagger Auto can.The main point here is to combine the Locust Swarm and Dagger auto with the Death Spiral on a weapon swap to generate as much life force as quickly possible.Basically Death Spiral into Swap, Locust Swarm + Dagger auto (preferably with quickness) then swap back and Death Spiral again as it comes off cooldown.

The thing is, if you're trying to leverage burst LF generation alongside Locust Swarm... You're infinitely better off with Axe. Since Axe 2 + Locust Swarm = a huge burst of LF.

It does although you'll be restricted to Locust Swarms 300 range if you want to actually use that and Axe isn't as great in close range as the dagger, plus it only does single target damage on 2 and the auto where as Dagger will hit 2 targets instead.Guess it doesn't matter if you swap into shroud though.Axe is still a good weapon to pair with Warhorn though, specially on more DPS focused builds but if DPS isn't your absolute focus then I'd go with the Dagger.

But when it comes down to it, either weapon you choose you'll be minimizing the time actually using the weapon because GS has superior auto attacks and otherwise you are in Shroud.

For the most part yea, although shroud does have additional uses other than just damage.It can be used defensively like a shield to tank some hits which spares or covers for dodges when low endurance, and it gains some support use through the blood magic line as well like healing and reviving allies.I use all those abilities which sometimes means I'll save my shroud rather than use it constantly to boost my damage.Even without healing power you can get a good 4k AoE heal from shroud 4 which I've found very useful in content like Fractals for keeping my more squishy allies alive.

Thus, when it comes to optimizing, Axe 2 + Locust Swarm is the most efficient usage of the spare time and you can bypass the crummy Axe auto's by rotating around Shroud which conveniently you should be inside of for the same duration as the CD for weapon swapping (Meaning you can do a GS rotation > Axe combo > Shroud > Axe combo > GS rotation > Shroud rinse and repeat ad infinitum)

Yeah that works out fine for DPS builds, specially if you're going to min max.If you're not so interested in that though there are builds and playstyles that makes Dagger the better choice over Axe, specially if you're going with something tanky.

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@Teratus.2859 said:It does although you'll be restricted to Locust Swarms 300 range if you want to actually use that and Axe isn't as great in close range as the dagger, plus it only does single target damage on 2 and the auto where as Dagger will hit 2 targets instead.

What? Axe is still better than Dagger at close range. Being in melee range doesn't make Axe 2 any weaker... Again, Dagger's only advantage over Axe is the auto's, but again, you want to be using GS's auto's over any other weapon.

The single target nature is also meaningless, since the only time that swapping away from GS really matters is against bosses/champs. Against multiple targets, it's simply better to stick to GS and auto attack/Gravedigger spam as it will provide more damage and more LF than other weapons.

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@Taril.8619 said:

@Teratus.2859 said:It does although you'll be restricted to Locust Swarms 300 range if you want to actually use that and Axe isn't as great in close range as the dagger, plus it only does single target damage on 2 and the auto where as Dagger will hit 2 targets instead.

What? Axe is still better than Dagger at close range. Being in melee range doesn't make Axe 2 any weaker... Again, Dagger's only advantage over Axe is the auto's, but again, you want to be using GS's auto's over any other weapon.

The single target nature is also meaningless, since the only time that swapping away from GS really matters is against bosses/champs. Against multiple targets, it's simply better to stick to GS and auto attack/Gravedigger spam as it will provide more damage and more LF than other weapons.

It doesn't make it weaker but enemies can sometimes cancel it with an interrupt/melee CC hit, plus it can get cancelled if the target gets behind you or there's a conflict with the Camera controls.It's mostly happened with me when using Rapid Fire at close range, but it has happened a few time with Necro's Axe as well.

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Honestly I'm not upset that dagger isn't a dps weapon, I was mainly interested in what its role was. I'm fine with it being a support-y weapon, provided it works that way, of course.I'm not a fan of scourge, but I'd like it being a close range support spec, and since scourge doesn't have access to shroud, a sustain weapon feels appropriate, especially given how close range the torch is. That said, people generally use scepter, staff or even axe on scourge, so it's fair to say that dagger is nowhere near being even a support weapon.

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@Al Masone.1274 said:Honestly I'm not upset that dagger isn't a dps weapon, I was mainly interested in what its role was. I'm fine with it being a support-y weapon, provided it works that way, of course.. That said, people generally use scepter, staff or even axe on scourge, so it's fair to say that dagger is nowhere near being even a support weapon.

In pve heal scourge uses dagger for its life force generation.

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@Aceofsppades.6873 said:

@Al Masone.1274 said:Honestly I'm not upset that dagger isn't a dps weapon, I was mainly interested in what its role was. I'm fine with it being a support-y weapon, provided it works that way, of course.. That said, people generally use scepter, staff or even axe on scourge, so it's fair to say that dagger is nowhere near being even a support weapon.

In pve heal scourge uses dagger for its life force generation.And even there it lost its place since eternal life was introduced. Supporting with scepter/torch + staff is better, because you deal more damage additionally to the healing and might support.

Scepter does also corrupt more boons (if needed at all in pve) than dagger and torch grants might for the group and deals equal breakbar damage (even on a lower cooldown) compared to warhorn.

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@"Al Masone.1274" said:Honestly I'm not upset that dagger isn't a dps weapon, I was mainly interested in what its role was. I'm fine with it being a support-y weapon, provided it works that way, of course.I'm not a fan of scourge, but I'd like it being a close range support spec, and since scourge doesn't have access to shroud, a sustain weapon feels appropriate, especially given how close range the torch is. That said, people generally use scepter, staff or even axe on scourge, so it's fair to say that dagger is nowhere near being even a support weapon.

It's not support, it's sustain and control. To be more accurate, it's a "ressource gathering" weapon, in which health and LF stand as "ressources". The main idea being to immobilize a foe to ease the necromancer ability to drain it from health and life force. The main flaws being that immobilize can be ignored through defiance and immobilize don't prevent your foe from retaliating or hard control you, disrupting the whole flow of the weapon's concept. Knowing that the weapon is supported by a trait that ask you to be above 75% health to give you it's effect make it even more frustrating because the way the weapon work you have to hurt yourself and put you in harm way in order to drain those ressources giving you high probability to fall below 75% health where other weapon trait will just give you the moon without asking anything.

I say that it's a concept weapon because theoretically the design is very interesting. However, the necromancer simply lack the tools to make this concept "viable". It's like light bulb without neutral gaz, in theory it will produce light for a long time while in practice the filament just burn quickly. The necromancer is full of such concepts, making it theoretically OP, but always lacking the essential part that would allow it to unleash it's potential.

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Dagger is a 2012 era weapon in 2020. It hasn't been changed much from its original iteration and really should have had major damage increases in PVE because it's 2 targets (single target for the immob) whether it is through higher PVE modifiers for the third skill (Dark Pact) or bleeding tacked on to make it more effective as a hybrid weapon. Maybe if it had shared healing on Life Siphon it'd be more useful. The sustain isn't amazing either (the sustain on heal scourges using dagger is from the barrier output of scourge not the dagger) ; staff has more lifeforce generation outside of PVE especially if using soul marks.Let's also not forget that Gravedigger recharges instantly when the target is <50% HP.

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I think they should probably buff the power dmg values on the mh dagger skills in pve. It will help in creating support power scg variant with spite bm scg and using dread trait to get f3 barrier spam. This build can be really useful for fractals and in some mob heavy raid encounters. Its just that it doesnt do enough power damage right now to look into going for power & healing stats.

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@Dadnir.5038 said:

@"Al Masone.1274" said:Honestly I'm not upset that dagger isn't a dps weapon, I was mainly interested in what its role was. I'm fine with it being a support-y weapon, provided it works that way, of course.I'm not a fan of scourge, but I'd like it being a close range support spec, and since scourge doesn't have access to shroud, a sustain weapon feels appropriate, especially given how close range the torch is. That said, people generally use scepter, staff or even axe on scourge, so it's fair to say that dagger is nowhere near being even a support weapon.

It's not support, it's sustain and control. To be more accurate, it's a "ressource gathering" weapon, in which health and LF stand as "ressources". The main idea being to immobilize a foe to ease the necromancer ability to drain it from health and life force. The main flaws being that
immobilize
can be ignored through
defiance
and
immobilize
don't prevent your foe from retaliating or hard control you, disrupting the whole flow of the weapon's concept. Knowing that the weapon is supported by a trait that ask you to be above 75% health to give you it's effect make it even more frustrating because the way the weapon work you have to hurt yourself and put you in harm way in order to drain those ressources giving you high probability to fall below 75% health where other weapon trait will just give you the moon without asking anything.

I say that it's a concept weapon because theoretically the design is very interesting. However, the necromancer simply lack the tools to make this concept "viable". It's like light bulb without neutral gaz, in theory it will produce light for a long time while in practice the filament just burn quickly. The necromancer is full of such concepts, making it theoretically OP, but always lacking the essential part that would allow it to unleash it's potential.

I have to agree with a lot of this.

Out of everything I'd also say the biggest issue I have with Dagger atm is the trait Quickening thirst.Having the skill CD tied into the above 75% health restriction does really hurt the dagger's sustain potential for most builds.You ain't going to be staying above 75% health often unless you have support healing or are playing something very tanky and if you are playing something very tanky or have support healing then you won't be needing the benefits of the lower CD on sustain anyway.

Ultimately this makes the whole trait nothing more than a "mostly" out of combat movement speed buff.. and you can get the exact same effect by taking Signet of the Locust as a utility and not having to worry about loosing the buff in combat unless you use the skill.Just about the only real benefit to this trait is sparing you having to give up a utility slot for a speed boost.

I think this trait needs updating, for the starters the Dagger skill CD needs to be permanent like it used to be and not tied into your current HP.The movement speed buff while above 75% hp isn't that big of a deal but I would drop it to 50% just to make the trait more useful to more Necro builds.

As for Dagger itself.. give it a 3 target cleave on the auto chain.It's a low damage weapon and it really doesn't need to change there tbh.Giving the dagger a 3 target cleave would help with it's ability to gather life force and health through lifesteal quicker.I agree with you that this weapon is designed to be a resource gathering weapon so a 3 target cleave will help it do that providing there are 3 targets to hit.

Dagger 2, Life Siphon.Honestly I don't think this skill needs any changes at all.. it is a very potent healing skill in PvE that can outheal even your dedicated heal skill, and can be in competitive play as well if you can actually land a full channel.That isn't going to happen often though because players are not going to stand around and let you drain them like dumb AI enemies will.

I guess they could maybe add a small AoE healing benefit to this skill like nearby allies within 600 range or something also get healed maybe 10.. 20% of your total healing from this skill but that might make it a little too much with the 6.7 second CD it would get from an updated Quickening Thirst.I'd be fine if they left this skill alone and kept it a selfish personal heal, it suits Necros better that way imo.

Dagger 3, Dark PactThe problem with this skill is ironically not a problem with this skill.. least in PvE.Much as you said the point is to immobilise a foe and bleed yourself so you can heal easier and more from Life Siphon.As you pointed out the biggest flaw with this setup is that any enemy with a defiance bar is going to ignore the immobilise and keep coming at you.. (providing you hold it's aggro) and for most builds that can't tank, it kinda makes it pointless outside of buffing the heal with a self bleed and maybe converting a threat boon like retaliation or a lot of might.

On the competitive side of the argument there's even more problems, namely that this skill has a massive tell animation and is extremely obvious.. so it is extremely easy to avoid making Life Siphon even more difficult to land negating it's usefulness and even making the boon conversion useless too and PvP is where that ability is most useful.

So for PvP the problem is other players are not stupid..And for PvE the problem is a core mechanic of how boss monsters work..

For PvP a simple cast time/animation upgrade may help fix this issue although cleanse will always be another thing Necros will have to worry about.Another possible solution would be to make this skill "Unblockable" so that dodging it would be the only way to avoid it.. that could help Necros a little if they can force their enemy to dodge first and then hit them with Dark Pact and dooming them to a big 3 second immobilise while they're low endurance.The boon strip would also be a nice benefit then at least.

But PvE.. I really can't see anything they could do to this skill to fix the issue with boss creatures being able to ignore the immobilise.The self bleed is still useful though providing there are no players around to either cleanse or pull the bleed off you.Boon conversion is.. very situational, it depends on weather or not you're actually fighting something that can self buff or gain boons in some way.. but even then it's mostly not so great unless you're able to corrupt a protection boon, retaliation or a large stack of might.Even then the condition you get is mostly useless and the benefit is entirely about denying the monster the benefits of those boons.

Outside of maybe adding a small bleed on foes to buff the damage of Life Siphon there's nothing I can think of that would make this skill anymore useful in PvE..For PvP though it could definitely use a better casting animation and time as well as becoming unblockable.

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I think dagger is mostly fine. It could do with more cleave (3 targets instead of 2, not needing a target for chains) but that's about it. Dagger's base damage isn't anywhere near greatsword's but if you use the right traits or sigils it can get pretty high due to being a way faster weapon and the fact dagger 2 is a ranged attack with repeated hits. I also agree dagger/warhorn works better than axe/warhorn in general because warhorn 4 has such a short range. In general I would do axe/focus or dagger/warhorn, not axe/warhorn.

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MH dagger is trapped in a pre-HoT state. It is designed to offer sustain with short-range power dps but is not competitive any longer. Its only use is for melee power-Scourge and, even then, functions more like a utility weapon. It cannot fully cleave large hit boxes and has very short range. Its concept is fine, great even, but is only good for LF gen on Scourge because its dps is not competitive. Core Necro is bad partly because it has no power build due to MH dagger.

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Well, MH dagger could still remain a utility weapon tied to condi and support builds, so scourge and condi necro, In that direction it could get some bleeding added to its skill 1, without beating scepter as a dps weapon, thus finding some kind of niche.As a power weapon we already have axe for core and GS for reaper, and like reaper is mainly a power spec, it's ok for scourge to be just condi or healer, without a power build.At that point only the staff would be left out, and probably that's the weirdest weapon of the necro overall. It has a weird mix of everything, and only works in Wvw thanks to the 1200 range and the fear on skill 5.So maybe it all comes down to whether Anet wants core power necro to be a thing.I think it can: while reaper is all about melee aoe, core power could be about sustained single target ranged damage. and while condi is about dots, power could be about big but slow hits (i'm mainly thinking about life blast).Maybe if core shroud gets a reduced duration like reaper shroud, they could add more damage to it, and core wouldn't be such a joke, nor a weird kind of tank that only works in pvp and even there it's hella annoying to fight.

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