How to Fight Necromancer in PvP

GW2. How To Fight Necromancer. How To Beat Necromancer. Class Mechanics. Matchup Guide. Necromancer Reaper Scourge Harbinger. Guild Wars 2 PvP 2023.

Your ability to adapt to situations in PvP is not only tied to your knowledge of your class, but also of the classes you will be facing. This is a basic guide to understanding Necromancers in PvP so that you can figure out how to fight them without having to learn to play the class entirely.


Necromancers gain Life Force from the death of nearby characters as well as from landing specific skills. They can use this resource to enter into Death Shroud which replaces their weapon skills with a new set of abilities and a second health bar to protect their own. Shroud has a 10 second cooldown when leaving it before they can reenter it.

Death Shroud Skills

Because they lack evasion and blocks, necromancers rely on a larger health pool which they can soak damage with. This means that builds/classes that do not do a large amount of damage will run out of cooldowns before they can take out a necromancer. If you do not have the output to handle them yourselves, you will need to coordinate with a teammate. While necromancers have great sustain over time in controlled situations, if they get focused with CC and outnumbered, their resources run out faster than they can regenerate them.

If you put too many of your cooldowns into their Death Shroud which is their second health bar, then you may not have enough to finish them off. To play around their Death Shroud, there are a few options:

  • Shroud degenerates over time. Disengage or use CC to delay them and let the degeneration take them out of shroud
  • They lose access to all of their utility skills while in shroud, which means they cannot cleanse conditions or break stuns as easily. Use these on them when they are in shroud
  • They cannot cast their heal skill while in shroud, so they often cast it right after leaving shroud. Be prepared to interrupt their heal skill when they leave shroud
  • Power damage is reduced while they are in shroud. Save your burst damage for when they leave shroud to get more pressure on them

Downed State

If you manage to get an enemy necromancer into the downed state, disposing of them involves handling a few skills:

Life Leech: the auto attack of necromancer downed state does great single target damage and will heal them. This makes them do a lot of pressure over time even in the downed state.

Single Targeted Fear – Use Stealth, Stability, Invulnerability, or Ports to be able to secure your stomp. The boon Resistance will also prevent the fear from CCing your stomp so long as the resistance lasts the entire animation.

Poison Well– After 8 seconds a necromancer can throw a ranged well at the targets location which will pulse damage and poison. Poison reduces healing and in combination with the Life Leeching, necromancers are powerful for winning fights against other downed bodies.


While you can learn how to play against meta builds, not everyone plays the same builds and there are some variations of necromancer that may differ from one another. Understanding their traits and how they synergize with their class can help you to fight them.

Most necromancers take Soul Reaping which improves their shroud generation and shroud skills. Changing playstyles around their shroud timing becomes even more important.

The elite specializations necromancers can play offer new mechanics and shroud abilities.


Reaper Shroud abilities become more melee oriented and there is an emphasis on chilling enemies. Wait until their stability ends or boon remove them and then CC them to prevent their aggression in shroud. Don’t waste dodges or stun breaks because if they catch you they can burst very hard. When they charge at you in shroud, try to change directions to create distance and survive their onsalught.


Life Force is converted into barrier which can be shared to allies instead of keeping it for itself, making Scourges great for team play but much more susceptible when isolated. Instead of entering shroud, they gain barrier. This means you need to be careful all the time not to waste your damage into their barrier which will fade away after 5 seconds. Decide when you have plenty of damage to burst through the barrier, and otherwise conserve your cooldowns. However, power damage is much more powerful against barrier than it is against shroud.


Rather than becoming more survivable in Harbinger Shroud, they gain Blight which lowers their maximum health but increases their health regeneration. Try to play carefully while they are in shroud, but keep up the pressure because unlike other necromancers they do not have more survivability in shroud. Don’t stand next to them when they create a rune on the ground, this Vital Draw will float you for a long time.


There is always a potential to beat an enemy either by rotating into better fights or outplaying their mechanics, but these are the main dynamics of how specific classes interact with necromancers:

Necromancer Counters


  • Necromancers will put out conditions and CC to debilitate warriors
  • Warriors can’t always hit necromancers but they can always hit from range
  • Necromancers can pressure enough to break down the warrior’s defenses


  • Necromancers lock down and bombard engineers with conditions they can’t handle
  • Engineers do not get a range advantage against necromancers
  • Necromancers have more sustain than engineers


  • Necromancers have plenty of chill to counter elementalists
  • Necromancers can corrupt the boons elementalists need for survivability
  • Elementalists can’t handle the overwhelming pressure of a necromancer

Situational Dangers


  • Necromancers corrupt the boons that guardians provide their team
  • Guardians remove the conditions necromancers apply to their team
  • Guardians work well with allied necromancers for the same reasons they are good against each other


  • Necromancers will put out conditions and CC to debilitate revenants
  • Revenants rely on boons which necromancers can corrupt
  • Necromancers are often the easiest target to focus


  • Necromancers are slow and easily interrupted, making them prey to outnumbered situations thieves thrive in
  • Necromancers have plenty of AoE damage to hit thieves even when they can’t see them
  • A Thief can create momentum around the map before a necromancer can rotate there

Counters Necromancer


  • Necromancers have slow animations susceptible to interruption
  • Mesmers are too elusive for a necromancer to stick their damage to
  • Mesmers can use distortion to trade blows with necromancers when they do choose to fight


  • Necromancers are slow and often cannot catch up to a ranger
  • Pets can tax necromancers of their life force while the ranger stalls during their shroud uptime
  • CC can shut down a necromancer’s damage output


NOTE: If you wan’t to know the current updated builds that people may be playing check out the PvP Builds, and WvW Builds.

One Comment

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