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The Necromancer Preview

David North Posted:
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The Necromancer - Commander of the Undead

Guild Wars 2 has eight professions to toy with, and they all do feel like toys… in the sense that each one is extremely unique and each one brings its own brand of awesome to the table.  Before we dive into how I felt about the Necromancer in GW2, let’s give you some details taken right from the official site.  It’s a mix of many different deathly tricks, and players who like their magic to be of the dark variety won’t be disappointed. 

From the official site, these are some of the mechanics:

Wells—Wells are persistent spells that allow a necromancer to control the area around him. Created at the necromancer's location, wells affect targets within the skill's range.

Minions—The Necromancer summons undead minions to attack foes and do his bidding. Every minion-summoning spell has an associated secondary spell that appears after the minion has been summoned. This secondary spell destroys the minion while providing a powerful effect to the necromancer.

Marks—Necromancers can also place marks--ground-targeted spells with a variety of potent effects. For instance, Mark of Blood damages enemies while placing a regeneration boon on nearby allies.

Fear—Necromancers use a condition not available to any other profession: fear. A removable condition, fear makes an enemy flee directly away from a necromancer for a short period of time.


  • Main Hand: Axe, Dagger, Scepter
  • Off Hand: Dagger, Focus, Warhorn
  • Two-Handed: Staff


In Guild Wars, I did give each profession a taste, but one always kept my interest.  When they announced that it would be returning for Guild Wars 2 I was super excited, and thought I knew exactly what I would be playing.  I’m talking about the good ol’ Necromancer!  This profession was always exciting, and in Guild wars 2 it gets even better.  The first thing that caught my attention was how aggressive it was.  Even when I was using skills that were supportive, they tended to also work in a way that hurt the enemy.  I always felt like I was always on the offensive and that really fit the class well. 

The necromancer isn’t limited to just the traditional magic user weapons.  They can grab an axe, and they sure do know how to use them.  I felt like my character went into super blood lust mode when I switched over to melee style weapons.  I usually kept this setup handy when things were going south.  The damage felt like it was more direct and focused.  It also seemed to be the best setup for when I was by myself.  One skill I loved was a signet that allowed me to instantly revive a fallen player near me.  I felt like I could be a great damage dealer, and could act as the last line of defense for my team.  It felt like a great balance.  Chances are I will be playing this profession again come release.

Visually the Necromancer wasn’t my favorite, but that may be because I’m comparing the starter armor to the sweet Necromancer Asuran armor I had from the first game.  The armor was light, with cloth and leather forming to create more of a fashionable set of cloths rather than a protective layer of armor.  The look was also different for each race, as a human Necromancer looked more gothic than a Charr.  It will be interesting to see how the styles will vary for the other two races, but in the end I am hoping that the high level armors will have a more menacing and dark look.

The skills looked pretty neat.  I loved seeing hands of the undead pop out and tear things to shreds.  I also enjoyed watching a patch of land wither and look plagued.  They fit the feel I was expecting, but what really sold it for me were the casting animations.  The Necromancer just has this evil feel to their posture.  My favorite would have to be when using a staff.  The way even a basic attack is executed, the Necromancer commands the dark energy forward, pointing towards the target.  It’s almost as if the Necromancer is using confidence to get respect from the unnatural powers. 

With the many minions, the wells, and the ability to make your enemies run away in fear? It’s a hell of a lot of fun, and overall I was super impressed.


David North