Updates to guide from some more extensive testing (I’ll edit this section out after a while, but heads up that this guide has been updated with these findings VV)
- Desecrate is a DPS gain(+30-49dps). At a base of 24k DPS, Desecrate = 49dps approx. This value drops with higher DPS. For example, during spike DPS phases like while Mass Grave is up, Desecrate falls down to the 30 damage per second increase range, but it’s still worth it regardless with the current rotation;
- Bone Frenzy/Master’s Aid/Parasite should be active before Possession. (approx +100DPS and +606 overall for Bone Frenzy and Master’s aid respectively compared to not having them up at all during Possession); not checked out the DPS gain of using Parasite like this but Possession will desspawn your pet, but if the DoT is active when you cast Possession, the Parasite will hatch and join you
- Master’s Aid should be untoggled and used manually since the pet clips it a lot. Keybinding and trigger Master’s Aid manually will give your pet approx 239-257 additional DPS while it is active, assuming pet is doing 11,000-12,000 DPS. Factoring in Possession pet downtime, this is approx 176-192 overall DPS increase. edit: eh, petcast in macro is rediculously bugged and won’t response properly. Just leave it as normal and autocast
- Ruination is worth it during Possession if Necrosis isn’t on the target (derp, how did I not notice it adds Necrosis before, I assumed it was the same as the petcast!)
This is being written in response to the changes on PTS (play test shard) and aren’t on live shards yet. If any big changes happen (and it is likely they will) I’ll edit accordingly – but as of now I’ve done a pre-emptive write-up for this powerful ranged spec post #2.3!
Changes to Necromancer in this set of updates:
Necromancer – Symbiote now also causes Essence Link to increase the damage taken by the affected enemy, from you and your pet, by 2/4%.
Necromancer – Corpse Explosion can now stack up to 3 times.
Necromancer – Deathly Collusion now causes stacks of Deathly Calling to increase all of your damage on the affected enemy instead of only Death damage.
Necromancer – Fresh Graves now also increases your Spell Power by 1/2/3/4/5%.
Necromancer – Every 2nd Scourge Bolt from the Shadow Revenant pet now applies a stack of Deathly Calling.
Necromancer – Corpse Talon now receives a 15% damage bonus from each stack of your pets Deathly Calling on the enemy. Up from 10%.
Necromancer – Reduced the cooldown of Grave Rot to 6 seconds.
New ability – 61 point talent Soul Bond. Applies a link to intercept 30% of damage from an ally. The Mage takes 30% of this intercepted damage. Can only affect one ally. Increases healing received from Essence link by 30%.
Pets, pets, MOAR PETS
Necromancer is fun. It works with a variety of pet cool-downs and lots of spam stuff inbetween. It has solid ranged and cleaving DPS (damage per second), great utility and great survivability. Best of all, the rotation is designed for you to rarely ever have to stay still.
This guide will both introduce you to the soul and teach you how to be competitive by summoning hoards of zombies.
61 Necromancer 15 Elementalist 0 Pyromancer use the Necromancer synergy crystal
This parses higher and is more fun than Elementalist and Necrolist. So if you were a previous fan of those uber noob pet specs, read on.
Important Necromancer talents
When your pet critically hits a target, you get to cast Crystalline missiles/Plague Bolt and only consume a 1 second GCD (global cool-down) rather than the standard 1.5 seconds. Crystalline Missiles will be our default spam spell so that’s a big deal.
It is important to realise that a casted (non-Epidemic) Crystalline Missiles is really really bad DPS. Hence while it might be tempting to use all of your powerful spells on cool-down first, that’s not the best thing to do, since it will result in subsequently using up procs then having nothing else to do and having to hardcast while waiting for the next proc.
In order to avoid having to this, we want to weave in procs between our more powerful damaging abilities. This will create a constant stream of instant casts with little downtime spent on casting.
Pet adds Deathly Calling. Deathly Calling increases damage done to the target. We consume it only with Condemn. Simple. Make sure Deathly Calling is at 5 stacks before using Possession (information information later)
Spells: what, why, how
2 pets for raiding, one for solo and lols. The pet you choose to DPS with will affect your play style via your Possession cooldown
- Shadow Revenant – Ranged pet. Great DPS but it has lots of cleaving and great passive AoE damage contribution. This will be the pet you generally use to DPS with.
- Greater Skeletal Zealot – Melee pet. Not entirely sure it’s worth using at the moment, at least until the Possession Crypt Rush crit bug is fixed. If you don’t like/can’t be forced into melee then don’t use. Simple make sure the pet abilities on the petbar are all set to auto cast
- Greater Skeletal Knight – Really just used for leveling if you’re having trouble with a tough mob. Nothing special. You can become a tank for 30 seconds with Possession, woot
Main charge management
- Lich Form (charge toggle) – Provides a flat 10% additive damage modifer to you and your pets damage while active. You want to make sure this is always toggled on for Corpse Talon and Condemn, preferably on for Parasite, and Grave Rot (if cleaving). Note that there is a 5 second cooldown on toggling but there is no startup cost like the Pyromancer and Archon variants have – hence try to make the most out of it and squease out extra uptime of Lich Form during Empty the Crypts and Mass Grave cooldowns
- Ashen Armour – 30% pet crit chance for 16 seconds from casting Ignite. Don’t let this buff fall off! Note that even if your target dies or you target swap, your pet still has the 30% crit buff on itself so you don’t need to cast a new Ignite right away
- Necrosis – Simply buffs your Skeletal Zealot’s Soul Rend nowadays. It’s easiest to pair it up with Ignite as they both have a 16 second timer. Keep it up, it hits hard. You can drop it to lower priority if using the Shadow Revenant pet
- Essence Link – Increases damage taken from you and your pets on the target by 4%, 10% healing reduction, and lets your pet heal whatever it hits. Don’t forget this new one!
- Bone Frenzy – 50 charge to give 30% pet damage for 15 seconds. Watch its cooldown on your bar so that you can allow enough charge as its coming off cooldown. Given that its only 50% uptime, try to save excess charge for Lich Form to be used in the time of which this buff is active. Note that it also increases the damage of your Death abilities by 400 for 30 seconds upon use. Hence use it just before Possession cooldown
- Exhume – instant pet summon. Used with Mass Grave rather than saving for if your pet dies (eep!)
These spells are macroed together. They barely do more damage than an Epidemic (1s GCD) Crystalline Missiles. They do a lot more pure damage, but less DPS due to their 1.5s GCD – they’re just there as filler to space out your Epidemic procs so we won’t have to end up hardcasting Crystalline Missiles. Well, with exception of Parasite – that thing hits like a truck regardless.
- Parasite – High DPS. A Parasite will be spawned after 8 seconds at the location you first cast it. It has travel to travel to the target to start dealing damage. You want to ideally be standing next to your target. Roughly 26% DPS loss from Parasite for being 30m away (150-200dps). Activating Lich Form prior to casting buffs the DoT component, but Lich Form must remain toggled to buff the pet spawn
- Grave RoT – Since the introduction of cast @gtae macro command, this is super awesome. It deals nearly as much DPS as an Epidemic Crystalline Missiles and is AoE. Great passive cleave. Remove from macro if your boss is going to be moving lots!
- Reaper’s Touch – Nothing special. It’s a DoT (damage over time) which explodes at the end, and has a snare. Remove from macro if you’re going to be target swapping frequently
- Last Gasp – Lackluster DoT just used to throw out as a filler. It becomes phenomenal though if the target receives healing – causing Last Gasp to restack itself. Example: Matriarch of Pestilence fight. Again being a damage over time nature, remove from spam macro for target switching fights to maximise DPS
- Flame Bolt – Lowest priority spam filler. Only slightly stronger than a hardcasted Crystalline Missiles but it’s another instant cast to add to the weaving mix.
Hard hitters - Attempt to use these on cooldown with 5 Deathly Calling stacks
- Corpse Talon – Casted spell, deals a lot of damage on a target with full Deathly Calling. Hence wait until 5 Deathly Calling and don’t use after consuming Deathly Calling stacks *genius*
- Condemn – Consumes all Deathly Calling, meaning you’ll temporarily lose your 10% damage buff, but it’s worth it. Condemn is an uber DoT. Use directly after Corpse Talon every 30 seconds
- Desecrate – After some more calculations – I’ve found this is barely worth it (in the realm of 30-49 DPS increase) to use on cooldown with 5 DC stacks
Utility/self buffs (why Necromancer is more awesome)
- Bone Armour – You take 20% less damage. Nerf
- New ability: 61 point talent Soul Bond. Applies a link to intercept 30% of damage from an ally. The Mage takes 30% of this intercepted damage. Can only affect one ally. Increases healing received from Essence link by 30%. Nerf moar
- Consumption – Purge (but don’t tell anyone, let them Marksmen do it!)
- Putrify (largely useless utility) – Buffs your pet to make its next cast apply 5 Deathly Calling to the target. It’s worth using pre-pull but apart from that – no. It helps with building up Deathly Calling to get your 10% damage bonus back fast. But given that it’s not going to take your pet long to get the stacks back up by itself, this ability isn’t worth the GCD (global cooldown) it takes to apply in relation to the damage loss for the GCD.
These are what make the spec fun and shine
- Empty the Crypts – Big chunk of charge to summon zomby pets. They do lots and lots of auto attacks, which really puts your Epidemic proc rate on steroids for the duration of the summon. They do a lot of damage, so try to Lich Form during them if excess charge permits
- Mass Grave – Use in conjunction with Exhume. A Greater Zealot and Revenant join you for 30 seconds. They have a similar affect to Empty the Crypts in causing an Epidemic overload so try to use this cooldown a little after Empty the Crypts. Lots of damage, Lich Form as you can, blah blah
- Posession – You turn into a Zealot, Revenant or Knight. Your pets despawn for this duration so its just you. Your bar is replaced by 4 pet abilities which hit for A LOT with the new changes. 60k Blood Spike crits anyone?
Possession form abilities
- Scourge Bolt – Single target spam ability, reduces cooldown of Master’s Rage by 5 seconds per Scouge Bolt cast
- Ruination – 5 target AoE ability, less ST damage than Scourge Bolt, but applies Necrosis. Only use for ST if Necrosis is not on the target
- Oblivion – 5 target AoE DoT.
- Master’s Rage – powerful AoE damage channel
- Blood Spike – hits super hard
- Soul Rend – Leaves a DoT which stacks up to 3 times, but you don’t need to manage it, since the initial hit deals enough damage to warrant using on cooldow
- Crypt Rush – Move back slightly to use this, or save it for if you’ll need a gap closer available
- Jagged Wound – basic spam ability
Choose your macros
Option #1 ”Keep moving/jumping macro’‘
cast crystalline missiles
cast Reaper’s Touch
cast @gtae grave rot
cast Last Gasp
cast flame bolt
cast Bone Frenzy
You’ll cast Parasite normally. Since you’re constantly moving, Crystalline Missiles will only ever cast when you get an Epidemic proc, otherwise you’ll move onto the next spells. You have enough instant spells to make it extremely unlikely to run out of spells before Epidemic procs again to throw another Crystalline Missiles.
*Site seems to have bugged with Apostrophes at the moment. Type in Reaper’s Touch manually ingame rather than copy/pasting from here to counteract the problem
*Put Grave Rot above Crystalline Missiles too if cleaving/AoEing, as you wouldn’t want to leave that waiting if you got a chain of Epidemic procs
*Necrosis should be in its own place on your bar so that you can refresh it in line with Ignite. It is only in this macro as a last-resort instant ability
*Bone Frenzy is off GCD so it will fire regardless of its position in the macro as long as you are mashing the button more than once and have enough charge
- Advantages: Maximum Epidemic proc useage
- Disadvantages: You’ll look silly and it can be annoying to do. Best method for me is to tap my left and right movement keys to strafe while my right mouse button is held down.
Option #2 ”Stationary macro”
cast Reaper’s Touch
cast @gtae Grave Rot
cast Last Gasp
cast flame bolt
cast crystalline missiles
cast Bone Frenzy
Crystalline Missiles is now at the bottom. But you can’t just spam this macro alone, since you’ll cycle through all of your cooldowns and then use an Epidemic proc then start hardcasting Crystalline Missiles (which I’ve told you is bad like 10 times now). Hence you’ll need Crystalline Missiles on its own on another button:
#show crystalline missiles
cast crystalline missiles
cast bone frenzy
- Advantages of option 2: You don’t have to spaz around to keep yourself from hardcasting Crystalline Missiles while mashing a button
- Disadvantages: You have to focus a lot more on whether you get a proc or not. Paying more attention to using your more important macroed abilities on cooldown like Parasite and Grave Rot, etc.
Your choice. Their difficulty and DPS is about the same – just with different annoyances. Choose your poison so to speak. Personally I find it easier to pull more DPS out of option 1, though the moving isn’t a difficulty factor to me.
#show Mass Grave
cast mass grave
#show corpse talon
cast corpse talon
Make sure you have the macroed abilities on your bar so that you can see their cooldowns or use them individually if you want/need to. Here is an example of mine:
Buff yourself with Bone Armour and link another player or your pet with Soul Bond
Keep up Ashen Armour (by casting Initte), Necrosis and Essence Link throughout
Smash spam macro
(Make sure you’re allowing enough charge to build up for Bone Frenzy to trigger every 30 seconds)
Spam macro until enough charge for Empty the Crypts
Spam macro a little more for charge and use Lich Form for Corpse Talon>Condemn
Smash it some more to make sure you have charge for Bone Frenzy and some Lich Form to use with Mass Grave
Exhume+ Mass Grave
Spam that macro some more for 30 seconds, using Corpse Talon and Condemn as they come off cooldown, and using Bone Frenzy/ Lich Form as you can
Posession (make sure 5 Deathly Calling are up, Aid the Master has just been used, and preferably Bone Frenzy/Parasite have just been used(less important))
But seriously, the rotation, in simple terms, is based around cycling between the three cooldowns (Empty the Crypts, Mass Grave and Possession) while keeping up Ignite, Necrosis, Essence Link, using Corpse Talon and Condemn on cooldown and using your spam macro for filler.
Posession priority rotations
Move back and Crypt Rush charge (unless you’ll need to save it for gap closing)
Spam Jagged Wound until aforementioned are off cooldown
- Revenant (single target priority system):
Ruination (only if Necrosis isn’t on target)
Keep Oblivion DoT ticking
Scourge Bolt x4 to reset Master’s Rage cooldown
*You can fit 3 Master’s Rage channels into Revenant Possession form. Make sure the third one is saved and used on 1 second left of your Possession buff. This lets you keep channeling and effectively extending your Possession form for the duration of the channel
*Revenant AoE rotation: Only Scourge Bolt when everything else is on cooldown (you can clip Necrosis an use Ruination more)
Dps rotation with tanking pet? Smash all of the buttons
That’s rotations sorted. But remember, it’s flexible, not rigid. For example, if playing with the Shadow Revenant, you might want to time your Possession specifically for when you’ll need lots of AoE DPs for an upcoming add phase, since Master’s Rage, Ruination and Oblivion will do a lot of AE damage.
Copy and paste the code below into your /Karuulalert in-game addon to get something that looks like this:
That’s all for now. Feel free to leave comments or whisper me in-game: Valeryy@blightweald
tl;dr: spam one button and use cooldowns as they come up