As noted above, there are a number of different traits that can greatly enhance life force gain and death shroud. The key trait line to pay attention to is Soul Reaping – not only does it contain a sizable number of traits specific to life force and death shroud, but spending points in that line increases your total life force pool by 1% per point spent.
The traits that relate specifically to life force and death shroud can be seen below:
|Spiteful Spirit||10||Gain retaliation for 3 seconds when entering Death Shroud|
|Reaper’s Might||10||Life Blast and Plague Blast grant might for 15 seconds|
|Weakening Shroud||10||Cast Enfeebling Blood when entering death shroud|
|Reaper’s Precision||10||You have a 33% chance to gain 1% life force on critical hits|
|Furious Demise||15||Gain fury for 5 seconds when entering death shroud|
|Shrouded Removal||10||Lose a condition when you enter death shroud|
|Death Shiver||20||Apply vulnerability for 10 seconds every 3 seconds to nearby foes while in death shroud|
|Transfusion||10||Life Transfer heals nearby allies|
|Deathly Invigoration||20||Heal in an area when you leave death shroud|
|Gluttony||5||Life force fills 5% faster|
|Vital Persistence||10||Life force drains 25% slower while in death shroud|
|Path of Midnight||10||All death shroud skills recharge 15% faster|
|Speed of Shadows||10||Move 15% faster while in death shroud|
|Unyielding Blast||10||Life Blast pierces and causes vulnerability|
|Soul Marks||20||Marks generate 3% life force when triggered|
|Strength of Undeath||25||You do 5% more damage if you have more than 50% life force|
|Foot in the Grave||30||Gain stability for 3 seconds when you enter death shroud|
|Near to Death||30||Death shroud recharges 50% faster|
As you can see here, there are multiple options for how you can enhance death shroud, and no one specific point spread you would want to focus on. Likewise, there really isn’t any one “optimal” build specific to enhancing death shroud, as many of the traits you choose will depend on which specific gameplay type you’re participating in. For example, you probably wouldn’t want to use the same traits in sPvP that you would in dungeons.
That said, you will want to focus on improved life force gain and slower life force drain first, regardless of which specific death shroud enhancements you’re aiming for with your build. You also have the option to skip over the traits listed here altogether, but be aware that you will be sacrificing a lot of survivability by doing so.
The necromancer in Guild Wars 2 draws plenty of thematic inspiration from the traditional caster archetype of being a practitioner of the dark arts who can control the dead, drain life force from the living, and use poison and cold based attacks to slow and wear their foes down over time. While each of these rings true of the necromancer profession, in GW2 they are also built for high survivability, and are one of the game’s best examples of what is possible with Conditions as the cornerstone of damage output rather than larger direct damage attacks.
Necromancer Quick Facts
- One of Guild Wars 2’s three Scholar professions
- Able to wear Light armor
- Able to summon a variety of undead Minions
- Makes effective use of Conditions
- Uses a unique mechanic called Death Shroud
- Can fight a short, mid, or long range
- Can fulfill a tanking role in dungeons thanks to high survivability
- Makes an excellent point defender in Structured PvP