Becomming A Better Necromancer
This guide was created by Kski93 of the EQ2 Necromancer Forums. All credit goes to him for this guide. To see the original posting for this guide click here.
I decided to try and lighten the mood since our board has become filled with all the dread of the upcoming summoner nerfs. My goal is pretty simple. I want others to benefit from what I have learned, and also learn from the rest of the necro community. This post is more of a guide to RAIDING and not towards grouping and soloing. Opening the thread up to those categories would greatly increase the size of the posts and I just dont have that time.
Before Starting just let me state,I am not claiming to be the best necro or that I know everything about the class. I'm just going to be putting out the information and knowledge I have gathered during my course of raiding. I encourage anyone to correct me on any mistakes I may have made, post suggestions that could improve this guide, or just offer a different perspective.
 Mage vs Scout
 Achievement Abilities
 Casting Order and TACTICS
Mage vs. Scout
I think the easiest way to assess the two is to break them down and look at each pets positives and
negatives. I am also looking at the two without aid of AA's. The affect of AA's on our pets will be
covered in a another section.
- Due to the +subjugation/focus/disruption that our Mage pet recieves from Howl of the Damned it is
easier for it to land spells on raid mobs then the scout.
- The mage pet has three area effect spells that do some serious damage in group encounters.
- The mage pet heals although very little i'll still count it as a benefit
- Provides damage from a range. Although we have to be watchful and pull the pet back out after it
runs in, it is still damage from a range. Very useful when a mob has an AE or Melee damage Sheild.
- With a troubador in the group your mage will also get the benefits of the proc and jester cap
- Few hitpoints. If your mage pet gets hit with anything it's almost always guaranteed death.
- Damage vs single target doesn't come close to that of the scout.
- Runs into melee range after it's casted all it's spells and is waiting for timers to come back up.
- Doesn't use Rending fervor since the mage should always be casting and not in melee.
- Can't make use of the Haste that Howl of the damned(HotD) provides.
- Higher Damage output on single targets
- Makes good use of Rending fervor
- Benefits from the Haste HotD provides and procs more.
- Higher HP. The scout can take some AOE's but not all of them.
- Makes better use of Consumption then the Mage pet
- Mobs with aoes you are forced to pulse. In the time that it's pulsed out the scout is innactive.
- Not as high dps in group encounters
- Has a harder time landing hits on higher lvl raid mobs.
So what does all of this mean exactly? Well quite simply put it's very situational based on your raid make up and what mob your fighting. I personally am usually in a caster group with a troubador so i've been using my mage pet a lot more. Precision of the maestro(For a short duration it adds a proc to every spell cast by you and your pet) and jesters cap(reduces recovery timers) are powerful tools, and if you haven't been grouped with a troubador your missing out.
With the addition of zones like Halls of seeing, and encounters with aoe's like Talendor, Mutagenic, Hurricanus, etc i've found the mage pet more and more to my likeing. It is my belief that SOE is nerfing the scout pet so that we don't just rely on him as our damage dealer in every single instance. Since our mage pet is frailer shouldn't he be doing more damage? I will still use my scout pet on certain single targets for sure, but for me I am parsing just as high with the mage pet, and I really like the ability to be casting at a distance out of harms way.
For me I'm an advocate for two different builds Str/Int(MAGE pet focus) or Agi/Wis(SCOUT pet focus). I will also discuss other alternatives. Since LU24 I've taken a look at my builds. I really have been thinking of scraping the Str/Int build that I have advocated a while. With the last patch I think diversity has become the best plan of action, and this requires a Str/Wis(Diversity) build.
Strength 4/4/5/8 Intelligence 4/4/4/8/1
This build is built for using the mage pet as your primary Damage dealer. The strength line provides and increase critical chance which gives a huge boost to your personal DPS. If you couple Wild Channeling(11.7%) with Mark of the awakened Intellect(2%) you get a +13.7% chance to critical. With the release of the upcoming adv/expansion pack you can pretty much be sure there will be other items that will add to this as well. It alone is worth taking the strength line for.
The intelligence line offers reduced casting timers for your mage pet via Arcane Minion and a power reduction cost with Empower Servant(8points required to get ability). I've also heard that all Achievements that provided increased casting speed with increased rank received a boost. I dont know if this is a deffinate thing yet but if it is we should be seeing some boost to your Arcane Minion AA.
So why these two for the Mage build? Quite simply put the others just suck and dont help out at all. Agility gives benefits to scout which were not working toward in this build. Stamina line isn't worth it and the Wisdom line doesn't offer that much either. Our offensive pet stance already offers +31 to disruption/subjugation/focus so the minions uproar that the Wisdom line gives is just redundant.
Agility 4/4/4/8 Wisdom 4/4/4/8
This build leaves you with 10 points left over to use where ever you see fit. I'll give you my suggestions at the end. The critical chance when used by your scout pet is pretty effective. Since he isn't inhibited by casting timers like the mage, he can burn through his combat art pretty quick. Add to that the haste buff we provide it thats a lot of attack in a short time. More attack = More chances to critical.
I chose the Wisdom line because I'm a firm believer that the scout pet really needs the increase to +slashing/crushing/piercing that minions uproar gives. You are fighting raid mobs, which are in general harder to land hits on. Again it goes back to the critical thing More hits landed = More chances to critical. If your scout pet isn't landing all his hits/combat arts your really cheating yourself out of a lot of dps.
The left over 10 points can be put into animists transference, minions barrier, a stat you need to boost (probably Wis or int), or distracting strike. I wouldn't recommend distracting strike i've really never had to use that ability even with M1 Rending fervor and Howl of the damned.Are these the only two good builds? No there just the two I would recomend. I'm sure there are some people who chose to do a Str/Agi build. I'm just not convinced that the scout is as good without minions uproar.
Strength 4/4/4/8 Wisdom 4/4/8/8
This will leave you with 5 points to put anywhere you want, I leave that up to you. I've already described above why the Strength build is good, but to reiterate. Adding to your personal critical chance is just a guaranteed increase to our dps and anything that guarantees I have better dps is good. It's a solid line nuff said. Ok with the Wisdom line you get some really great abilities, minions uproar and minion barrier. It's pretty simple really, the build lets you use which ever pet is needed for that circumstance, without having the negative sides. Since our offensive stance only increasing the casting skills and not the melee skills, this line will make it so the scout/fighter have increased chance to land there hits. Minions barrier is just good to have up all the time. The heal is nice to have especially if you like to play a less aggresive role. By that i mean you spot heal classes that need some health before that aoe or your the first rezer to always pick up the dead. If you want you can take the 5 points and put them in any skill or another option may be to only put 5 points into the minions barrier which will give you 8 points, so you can take implode. Str/Wis is a very flexible build and can tailored to your likeing. There more room to play around with points, I would just make sure you keep 8 in Wild channeling and 8 in Minions uproar.
CASTING ORDER and TACTICS
This section is dedicated to maximizing your dps through a certain spell order. I'll start off by saying this is the area where I myself could use some new tricks. So i'll be updating this section more often based on what other people have to contribute. Here is a brief explanation of what I try to do, more to come based on the amount of feedback.
I think the most important thing you want to remember is that Arch Lich is our bread and butter. You want to proc that thing litteraly as often as you are able to, while maintain all your dots. As a general guideline you want to get all your dots/dumbfires out as early as you can. After you have everything out it's just a matter of keeping a strong rhythm. After I have everything out, I will literally fall into deathrot, abate, deathrot, deathlycoil(for proc), death rot. You get the point pretty much i'm casting deathrot every other spell. The first things in combat you should do if a mob doesn't have an AOE is send pet in and cast Blighted horde. They make up the biggest chunk of our dps and should be first priority. The following is a rough guide to the order I like to use. Again it's very situational, if a mob has high resistance to disease I want to throw loathsome mark after the horde and make sure that lands every little bit of resistance debuff helps.
Blighted horde, Awaken Grave, Abate life, Deathly Coil, Death rot, Swarm of bats, Loathsome Mark, Abate Life, Death rot. After this point I usually will refresh any dots that need to be while chain casting abate life and death rot. Also note that during any time where you can't be casting those two spells i will cast deathly coil whenever it's up just to get the proc off lich, same with loathsome mark. If the encounter doesn't require you to stay out of the aoe or if it doesn't have one I will throw in infernal cloud, it's an extra 1200 points of damage and I feel should be used in group or solo ecounters. Whenever consumption is up I will throw it as long as there is 15 second left in the encounter, just so I can get as much out of it as I can. It's important to be a judge of how long the battle is going to last as a necro. It can severely change your dps numbers if your wasting your time with such spells as swarm of bats on trash clearing where the mob is dead within 20 seconds.
If a mob has an AOE I always try to let the first aoe go off before sending in any dumbfires just so i know they'll get the most time in there before the next one goes off. I've seen it happen on raids where there firs thing people will do is throw there dumbfires and 10-15 seconds later the aoe goes off and kills them all. This can deffinatly keep your dps high if you just have patience and wait out that first hit. If you dont have a stop watch get one, it's a great investment believe me. Just knowing exactly when that aoe is going to hit is a life saver and will boost your dps, I guarantee. So get a notepad and get a stop watch get those AOE's on timers and write them down so next time you get in that zone you know.
Know your role!
Alright many people think there is simply one way to play your necro on a raid, and that's do as much dps as you can. I fall into that category myself. The otherway but surely wont get you the most dps is to be more friendly = ) This means your paying more attention to the raid window, when somone drops your right on top of it and are the first person to call out there rez and pick that dead man up. You spot heals those with low life, doing this can save your fellow raider. It takes pressure off the healers since they can just focus on the tank while you heal up any of those endanger of getting smashed by the next incoming AE. Staying on top of hearts as soon as they are called for and not a second later. Hey this way of playing might not be for everyone and you say might be down right dumb, but if your looking to change up your style a bit try it out. You'll still probably put out a solid 1k dps while doing all this as well.
NECROS LOVE PROCS
I'll end with a few items that can increase your DPS. Death Caster Vest(+60dmg to abate life), Wand of Second Life(10% to proc magic dmg), Mystical Orb of the Invoker(10% to proc Fire damage), Mark of Awakened Intellect(+2% chance to critical). There are many more like the boneclasped girdle(Spelling?), the cap from T6 circlet of living fire I think? Both have procs. Anyway I hope some of you have gotten at least a little something out of this. Please leave suggestions or just talk about what I've wrote here. Please no flaming this is suppose to be an informative thread.