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How to Rune and Gear Your Necromancer at Level 20 in Guild Wars

by: Melina Ann Collison ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

Guild Wars is an MMORPG game that allows players to sink deep in a world that is full of beauty and fighting. The Necromancer is a specific character class in Guild Wars that offers players a unique opportunity play the game like never before. Learn how to gear a level 20 Necromancer.

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    Character Introduction

    The MMORPG game that has entered the hearts and minds of millions of gamers across America and the globe, Guild Wars, offers players versatile and unlimited worlds consisting of PvP and PvE. Reaching level 20 in the game is the highest level one can obtain. When a character reaches level 20 they will begin choosing primary skills and attributes which will need to work in harmony with runes, insignias, second professions, and weapons. The Necromancer is a caster character in Guild Wars.

    The Necromancer can raise the dead from corpses lying around them as well as place hexes, curses, and do major damage in the areas of one on one combat as well as multiple opponents. Necromancers normally use a staff or wand and offhand to boost stats and fight with. Necromancers can fight in both PvE and PvP against a multitude of enemies.

    Photo By Melina Ann Collison 

    A Necromancer is typically a ranged caster who also specializes in minion making. Many Necromancers become minion masters and their only goal is to raise an army and keep it alive to fight alongside tanks and other players in a Guild Wars group. The Necromancer is the only character class that can be a minion master and are often seen as essential party members that a group cannot do without.

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    Armor Selection

    The Necromancer has many different armor types specialized just for their class. Level 20 Necromancers should have “maxed” armor since it will give the character the most protection against enemies. Maxed armor for a Necromancer is 60.

    Here is a list of the different maxed armor types and where to obtain each:

    • Obsidian Armor: The Fissure of Woe
    • Asuran Elite: Rata Sum
    • Deldrimor Elite: Central Transfer Chamber
    • Monument Elite: Eye of the North Outpost
    • Norn Elite: Gunnar’s Hold
    • Ancient Elite: Bone PalacePhoto By Melina Ann Collison 
    • Sunspear Elite: Command Post
    • Primeval Elite: Throne of Secrets
    • Vabbian Elite: The Kodash Bazaar
    • Canthan Elite: Divine Path
    • Kurzick Elite: Vasburg Armory
    • Luxon Elite: Leviathan Pits
    • Judge Elite: Granite Citadel
    • Saintly Elite: Marhan’s Grotto
    • Woven Elite: Granite Citadel
    • Flowing Elite: Granite Citadel
    • Labyrinthine Elite: Marhan’s Grotto

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    Armor Selection (cont.)

    • Tyrian Standard: Droknar’s Forge, Wajjun Bazaar, and Boreal Station
    • Istani Standard: Consulate Docks or Command Post
    • Sunspear Standard: Consulate Docks or Command Post
    • Canthan Standard: Kaineng Center
    • Kurzick Standard: House zu Heltzer
    • Luxon Standard: Cavalon
    • Shing Jea Standard: Kaineng Center
    • Ascalon Standard: Kaineng Center
    • Krytan Standard: Bukdek Byway
    • Censor Standard: Droknar’s Forge
    • Dragon Standard: Droknar’s Forge
    • Sacred Standard: Droknar’s Forge
    • Star Standard: Droknar’s Forge
    • Woven Standard: Droknar’s Forge

    Photo By Melina Ann Collison 

    The only difference between elite and standard armor is the way it looks and the price. Standard armor is considerably cheaper than elite armor.

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    Rune Selection

    Runes are items that upgrade armor in Guild Wars. Insignias work with runes by adding modifiers. Each armor piece can have 1 Photo By Melina Ann Collison insignia and 1 rune attached to it; head, chest, hands, legs, feet. This will allow for up to 5 runes and up to 5 insignias for each complete armor set. You can remove and change runes on a character’s armor but it is very expensive to do so.

    Runes can be obtained from Rune Merchants, loot from drops, or salvages from armor pieces. Some runes are stackable and others are not, however, if two of the same runes are applied the negative benefits will occur but not the positive. So if the runes are giving a +3 buff and -75 health and there are two on instead of getting +6 buff the player receives -125 health and +3 buff.

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    Necromancer Runes and Insignias


    • Bloodstained Insignia
    • Tormentor’s Insignia
    • Bonelace Insignia
    • Minion Master’s Insignia
    • Blighter’s Insignia
    • Undertaker’s Insignia


    • Minor Blood Photo By Melina Ann Collison 
    • Minor Death
    • Minor Curses
    • Minor Soul Reaping


    • Major Blood
    • Major Death
    • Major Curses
    • Major Soul Reaping


    • Superior Blood
    • Superior Death
    • Superior Curses
    • Superior Soul Reaping

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    Attributes and Builds

    Photo By Melina Ann Collison The Necromancer’s attributes will primarily be focused on their core profession and include any second profession that is active. The maximum Necromancer attribute level with a full set of armor, runes, and weapons can be; Blood Magic and Curses PvE 21 and PvP 19, Soul Reaping PvE 21 and PvP 17, Death Magic PvE 21 and PvP 18.

    A character’s build and attributes should be similar in nature to ensure the best possible game play as well as the strongest character possible. Builds should focus on 2-3 attributes instead of 4 or 5. When you do this your Guild Wars character is maximizing their potential by putting all their attribute points in one place, as a substitute to placing them in random spots. If a Necromancer has skills that are placed in Death Magic then the attributes should be in Death Magic as well. The special attribute for a Necromancer is Soul Reaping

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    Attributes and Builds (cont.)

    The basic Soul Reaping attributes explained:

    • Soul Reaping – Special attribute; each Soul Reaping attribute point allows the character to gain energy when a non-spirit creature or player dies.
    • Blood Magic – Increases the success rate of damage and stealing health from other foes.
    • Curses – Increases the success rate of damage hexes against enemies.
    • Death Magic – Each Death Magic attribute increases how many minions a Necromancer can raise, cold damage skills, and manipulating corpses.

    Photo By Melina Ann Collison 

    Necromancer builds can be categorized as minion masters, spiteful spirit, batteries, or by the attribute type. Each Necromancer build needs to include 1 elite skill in the bar that is from their specializing attribute.

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    Second Professions and Elite Skills

    Each Necromancer that gains level 20 status is going to want every second profession offered in the game. Having multiple second Photo By Melina Ann Collison professions will give gamers additional options to customize their characters with buffs and skills. There are 9 different second classes available to the Necromancer; Ranger, Paragon, Assassin, Ritualist, Monk, Warrior, Dervish, Mesmer, and Elementalist.

    Elite skills are available from a multitude of zones in the Guild Wars games. Elite skills can be captured from a boss if the player has a Signet of Capture equipped in their skill bar. Signet of Captures are available from Rune Traders in Guild Wars towns and outposts. Every build needs at least one elite skill that corresponds with attributes and weapon points.

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    Combining Attributes, Builds, Runes, and Armor: Explained

    The Necromancer needs to combine insignias, weapons, armor, runes, builds, and second profession to make the most powerful Photo By Melina Ann Collison character possible. A Necromancer who specializes in Death Magic will want to set their gear up in the following way:

    • Obtain a wand and off-hand or staff Req. 9-12 Death Magic with stats in Death Magic or Soul Reaping
    • Maxed armor, with headgear for Death Magic
    • Insignias and Runes for Soul Reaping and Death Magic
    • Attributes set in Soul Reaping and Death Magic
    • Build and skills that reflect Soul Reaping and Death Magic
    • Death Magic elite skill

    Furthermore, if a Necromancer wishes to change builds they would want to correlate their skills and attributes and follow the same concept explained above. Armor, attributes, skills, runes, insignias, and weapons all need to have similar traits to enhance each other.Try not to mix up skills and attributes. While it is possible to do this it does not make for a good character build.