The Way of the Discord - Necro Team Builds

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default The Way of the Discord - Necro Team Builds

Post by Rehwyn on Fri 3 Oct - 0:58

Those of you that have done quests or missions with me may have noticed that when I've been using my Necro, I tend to use 3 necro heroes. While I cannot claim to have come up with the idea, I did a little tweaking of the original builds and they have been working quite well for me, both in Normal and Hard Mode. I figured I'd post them here so that anyone with an interest could check here instead of having to ask me to share them in game. I'll point out that this team setup tends to work best if you are a class that can apply lots of hexes or curses, but it will still work fine if you are not. You just need to modify one of the heroes as a result or bring some EotN PvE skills.

First, let me point out that the only "key" skill of these builds is Discord. The rest is honestly just gravy that makes it easier to apply conditions/hexes and to provide fuel for your necros. Why Discord? It's only 5E, it has a cast time of 1S, it has a 2S recharge time, and the damage it does completely ignores armor. It hits the toughest boss just as hard as it hits level 2 things outside Kamadan. This is very important on Hard Mode, where things all have buffed armor.

As always, mouse over the class icons to see the attributes. The "+ 1 + 3" and stuff means he's using a +1 headpiece with a +3 rune in it, just to make the notation clear.

The Heroes

Minion Bomber
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Gear: Bloodstained Insignia on Hands, Survivors Insignia on other gear. Highest affordable Rune of X Vigor and 1 Rune of Vitae.

Weapon: A staff with 20% Half Spell Recharge of all spells (HSR), 20% Half Cast Time of Death Magic (HCT), 20% Longer Enchants, and +30 HP is ideal. Droknar's Death Staff, which you can get for beating EotN, just happens to have these exact stats.

Purpose: Provide meat shields, a constant stream of energy, some healing, and some damage reduction. Oh, and of course big damage through Discord and Death Nova. :p

A note on Vengeance: Yes, the person dies again when it ends, but they get no DP. However, the corpse they leave is exploitable, when means the MM can make minions from it. Also, Vengeance brings the person back to life with full health and energy. It's great for mid-combat when the pressure is on, but you want a permanent res for afterwords.

Rit Healer 1
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Rit Healer 2
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Gear: Full Survivor's Insignia. Highest affordable Rune of X Vigor, and 2x Rune of Vitae.

Weapon: Honestly not important, since they'll be holding the Ashes of Protective Kaolai almost all the time.

Purpose: Spread some hexes/conditions, provide strong party and single-target heals, provide excellent condition removal. Spike targets with Discord.

Optional: If you're clearing an area with lots of Humans, Rotting Flesh is bad, as it'll spread to your team. In this case, I generally replace it with , since all humans leave exploitable corpses (meaning there will be plenty of corpses to fuel two separate MMs).

If you are a class that does not have a lot of hexes or conditions, you may have more luck replacing Rit Healer 2 with something like this:

Curses (optional instead of Rit Healer 2)
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Gear: Full Survivor's Insignia. Highest affordable Rune of X Vigor, and 1x Rune of Vitae.

Weapon: A 40/40 Curses set is prefered. (Wand & Offhand, both with 20% HCT and 20% HSR).

Purpose: Spread hexes and conditions, significantly reduce incoming melee damage, support Rit Healer 1 in healing and condition recovery. More Discord spam. :p

Player Build Ideas

These above heroes will work fine on their own (if you use the Curses hero instead of Rit Healer 2), but they really shine when you can help with applying hexes and conditions. Sometimes, on their own they take a while to get both a hex and a condition on something, which means it takes a while before they can start spamming Discord.

With that in mind, any player build that causes a lot of hexes or conditions is good. However, there is on particular skill that you can abuse with this particular team setup. This is it:



Assassin's Promise is a hex that any */A can use. It is particularly useful for recharging powerful skills that normally have a lengthy recharge. (E/A using a lot of powerful, long recharge spells such as  is a great option, but that's for a different discussion :p). It's very useful with this team for a few reasons. First, it's a hex, so it can help satisfy the Discord requirements. Second, once you get something both hexed and with a condition, it usually dies very fast, unless it's a special boss with lots of health. This means that the skill recharge usually triggers.

Now, combine this skill with powerful, long recharge skills, such as these:



Normally these skills are balanced because of their cost and recharge. However, Assassin's Promise makes them recharge instantly, and gives you back a hefty amount of energy. This allows you to bypass the biggest drawbacks. Just as an example, I've once had 4 Ebon Vanguard Assassins out at the same time.

So with that in mind, here's the build I personally use:

AP Curses
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Gear: Full Survivor's Insignia. Highest affordable Rune of X Vigor. 2x Runes of Vitae.

Weapon: 20% HCT, +5 E Wand. 20% HCT, +1 Curses (20%) Offhand. Half Spell Recharge is pointless because Assassin's Promise recharges your spells anyways.

Purpose: Hex/Condition targets, reduce incoming melee damage, increase outgoing melee damage, provide damage, provide additional meat-shields, and call targets.

Shadow of Fear can be replaced with Suffering in Normal Mode to spread hexes a bit easier.

"You Move Like A Dwarf!" is missing because I preferred the Necro PvE skill Necrosis for it's spammable damage, and you are limited to 3 PvE skills. Also, if you use the assassin on something with a condition, it causes knockdown anyways.

How To Use

Playing with this team is very simple. Simply choose a target, call it (Ctrl+Space), and start stacking conditions and hexes (if you have them).

Once you've gotten your target hexes and conditioned the heroes will start spamming Discord. The health will drop fast. Cast Assassin's Promise as it gets low health and soon after you'll get a bunch of energy and all your skills will recharge. Choose your next target and start again. Hooray!

As far as Henchmen go, I usually grab a monk for more healing and hex removal (typically Mhenlo), a physical damage dealer (typically Devona, but sometimes an archer instead for interrupts), and two elementalists (typically Cynn and Herta). This provides a rather well-rounded party with lots of damage and healing.

Team Evaluation

While the build is quite strong, it has some particular situations where it excels and others where it isn't quite as awesome.

Strengths

Lots of armor-ignoring damage via Discord. Decent AoE damage via Death Nova and Putrid Bile. Lots of hexes and conditions to inhibit and damage the enemy. Good spike-healing, emergency party-wide healing, and condition removal from the N/Rt healers. Good prots from the N/Mo. When minions are plentiful, lots of meat-shields, body blocking, tons of energy from Soul Reaping, and passive party healing from Dwayna's Sorrow. Can function even without minions, but at a reduced level.

Weaknesses

No hex removal outside of henchmen (but most hexes in PvE aren't that big of a deal). Major damage is dependent on applying conditions and hexes (though enchants on the enemy can satisfy the hex requirement) and some things are immune to certain conditions (or all conditions, in the case of Avatar of Melandru). Without minions, dependent on henchmen to provide frontline support. In areas without exploitable corpses, energy regen is reduced due to lack of minions (but heroes are very good at using Signet of Lost Souls).

Conclusion

I hope this little guide has been informative and interesting to those that bothered to read it. I should mention that the glory of "Discord" build is their flexibility. As you can see, certain skills help you get things hexed and with conditions, but the only skill you can't do without is Discord itself. This leaves lots of room for experimentation or customization for a specific area.

Lastly, I should mention that the build can become even better if you run it with a friend for a total of 6 heroes. If you choose to do that, the bars should be further modified to take advantage of all the extra slots (instead of just having a bunch of duplicates).

I'll post some example of 6-man teams later, for those interested.

Thanks for reading!

-Jonathan

EDIT: I added a section describing the strengths and weaknesses of the team build as a whole. Also included comments on Henchmen selection in the "How To Use" section.


Last edited by Rehwyn on Fri 3 Oct - 16:30; edited 4 times in total
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default Re: The Way of the Discord - Necro Team Builds

Post by Rehwyn on Fri 3 Oct - 1:05

Here's a 6-Hero build that someone else built. Haven't had the chance to come up with my own yet, but I'll post this one as an example of the flexibility of Discord builds.

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Note: I believe they opted to go for healing elites on their 2 Rit Healers because honestly.. not much lives through 4 heroes spamming Discord.


Last edited by Rehwyn on Fri 3 Oct - 3:13; edited 1 time in total
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default Re: The Way of the Discord - Necro Team Builds

Post by Ahou Anansi on Fri 3 Oct - 2:57

Actually the mouseover for Xinrae's weapon here doesn't match the one in game. As someone who has just beaten all 4 campaigns (with bonuses) with a Rit using for the most part all H&H I can shed some light on those elite picks.

Xinrae's is now:
Code:
"Elite Weapon Spell. For 8 seconds, the next time target ally takes damage from a foe that damage is limited to 5% of that ally's max Health and that ally steals up to 20...68...80 Health from that foe. "

Very spammable like WoR now.

Most Rit elites are very .. well ... "Meh". The best healing one is actually the healing spirit .. those two elites were not chosen for their healing but for the lifestealing affect which is armor ignoring. Weapon of Xinrae is how I took out the great destroyer. So .. they are just picks to add even more spammable, armor ignoring damage to the setup.

FYI - autospell check thinks spammable is not a word, I beg to differ!
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default Re: The Way of the Discord - Necro Team Builds

Post by Rehwyn on Fri 3 Oct - 3:10

Ahou Anansi wrote:Actually the mouseover for Xinrae's weapon here doesn't match the one in game. As someone who has just beaten all 4 campaigns (with bonuses) with a Rit using for the most part all H&H I can shed some light on those elite picks.

Xinrae's is now:
Code:
"Elite Weapon Spell. For 8 seconds, the next time target ally takes damage from a foe that damage is limited to 5% of that ally's max Health and that ally steals up to 20...68...80 Health from that foe. "

Very spammable like WoR now.

Most Rit elites are very .. well ... "Meh". The best healing one is actually the healing spirit .. those two elites were not chosen for their healing but for the lifestealing affect which is armor ignoring. Weapon of Xinrae is how I took out the great destroyer. So .. they are just picks to add even more spammable, armor ignoring damage to the setup.

FYI - autospell check thinks spammable is not a word, I beg to differ!

What I meant was, he took those two Rit elites instead of Discord because of their healing effects in addition to the damage (since lifestealing can essentially be thought of as both healing and armor-ignoring damage that is not mitigated by enchants). If pure damage is all that was desired, 2 more Discords would suffice. However, with 4 other Discords, there is plenty of direct damage, so those two elites can be used to add a bit more damage (though less than Discord) and help keep people alive at the same time.

Honestly, I didn't even notice the tooltip here was wrong because I knew what the spell did and didn't bother looking. Thanks for pointing out the error though. Smile

And yes, I had lots of red lines in my posts due to "spammable". Some of the suggested words are funny: flammable, programmable, summable, etc. XD
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default Re: The Way of the Discord - Necro Team Builds

Post by Rehwyn on Fri 3 Oct - 16:13

Updated the original post with a few things. Also, I've been working on a 6-Hero Discord build designed to work with any two player characters.

{template_download}{prof_imgs}{skills}
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With 6 heroes, there's a lot more room to expand various roles. I'll explain my thoughts behind each hero briefly.

Note that the order of skills on the bar is significant. Heroes tend to cast things in priority from left to right if there isn't a reason for them to do otherwise, so I usually put high-priority things on the left.

Jagged Minion Bomber
With 4 other heroes carrying Discord, you can afford to have a character dedicated to forming and maintaining an army of minions. Jagged Bones is used to provide a fresh minion whenever one enchanted with it dies. Note that if a Shambling Horror dies while enchanted with Jagged Bones, you actually get 2 Jagged Horrors out of the deal. Two minions from one dying minion is all sorts of win. Also note that Jagged Horrors inflict Bleeding with their attacks. Bleeding = Condition = Faster Discord spam. Blood of the Master works on all allied minions, which means this hero can keep the other minion master's guys alive too. Splinter Weapon is castable on minions as well as any melee/ranger characters and provides quite a bit of AoE damage. Bloodsong is there as a self-sustaining spirit to add a bit of damage and help satisfy the requirements of many of the rit healer spells.

Discord MM
Similar concept as in the 3-Hero version, but having two copies of Death Nova and BotM is redundant. While the recharge on Jagged Bones is a bit long at 15s, having two copies is still unnecessary since heroes are generally very good at using it on dying minions. Without needing to split points into Prots, the healing from Dwayna's Sorrow is buffed quite a bit by raising Healing. Remove Hex is used here just incase the Divert Protector becomes hexed with something that makes casting difficult. Resurrection Chant is here to provide a res that doesn't carry the negative downsides of Death Pact Signet, but still brings the target back at full health.

Various N/Rit Healers
Lots of strong, quick recharging heals. Life heals minions as well as party members. When all the spirits in this team are cast, there will be 3, meaning Mend Body and Soul removes 3 conditions with each cast! Protective was Kaolai is used because it makes the healers harder to kill (+24 Armor is 33% damage reduction) and because of the strong, instant party heals it provides. The curses here are included because the only thing affected by having a high Curses attribute is the duration of the spells. At just 4+1 Curses, they all last longer than their recharge and are useful for reducing incoming damage, making minions do more damage, and satisfying the Discord reqs. Note that Rip Enchantment's description is wrong; it has not health loss now and causes Bleeding on the target.

Why Rit healers instead of Monks? Quite simply, because */Rt healers are better at direct healing than */Mo because */Mo cannot put points in Divine Favor. Also, many on the best healing spells for monks are elites like Word of Healing, Zealous Benediction, and Restore Condition. Spirit Light heals about as much as Zealous Benediction (without Divine Favor), a monk elite spell. Mend Body and Soul will heal for about 100 and often remove tons of conditions, just for 5E. There aren't any monk non-elites that can do that.

With that said, monks are much better at removing hexes and providing protections to reduce the healing needed in the first place, which brings us to the next and final hero.

Divert Protector
Divert Hexes is arguably the best hex-removal spell in the game. At 12 protection, it'll (ideally) remove 3 hexes, 3 conditions, and heal for 189. And that's every 5 seconds for 10E. The drawback is it's useless if there are no hexes to remove, which is why other monk elites are typically used. However, with 3 other healers, a healing elite is honestly not needed. Remove Hex is still included as a backup or for just removing a single hex. In hex-heavy areas, this hero will likely be spamming Divert Hexes and the prots will be unnecessary, since the damage is mostly degen. However, in other areas where damage is more direct, SoA, Protective Spirit, and Aegis are included to reduce big damage into manageable chunks. Defile Flesh is there as yet another Curse and to aid in taking down groups with healers. And we fill out the build with another copy of Resurrection Chant.

------------------

As far as what characters this would work with, just about anything would be groovy, though healers will honestly be a bit bored in all likelihood. Also, Minion Masters may have a bit of a hard time finding enough corpses to use, since two other heroes will already be using them. Melee chars will help with damage, benefit from Splinter Weapon, and soak damage until the minions get rolling. Nukers can bring additional damage that isn't reliant on conditions/hexes, snares, or utility spells (such as wards). Interrupts would also be great, since the heroes have none (for you rangers and mesmers). Hexers help by making Discord spam even fast and by all sorts of debuffs that can reduce incoming damage or increase outgoing. Many Paragon abilities affect all allies in range (for example )... which means they affect minions and become very powerful in this setup (since there will be up to 20 minions when the build is really rolling).

I'd absolutely love to test this team build out with someone. It's a little light on the hexes and conditions with just the heroes, but I can easily make up for that with my build. If you're interested and can provide any three of the above heroes, let me know and we'll work something out.

-Jonathan
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Post by Ahou Anansi on Fri 3 Oct - 19:06

Actually minion crits are "meh" too, not sure GFtE is worth it for minion crits, but it is a nice cheap spammable shout to keep other shout effects up with a paragon. I've been reading that pairing paragon heroes with nec ones makes a solid 6 hero team too. Maybe when I have more paragon skills unlocked. Running a paragon again is my next project anyway.

I can make all heroes in your set up except the last one (lack that monk elite). But, I don't want to test for a day or two. Headcold is now a chest & head cold and I'm sort of .. out of it.
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Post by Rehwyn on Fri 3 Oct - 19:19

Ahou Anansi wrote:Actually minion crits are "meh" too, not sure GFtE is worth it for minion crits, but it is a nice cheap spammable shout to keep other shout effects up with a paragon. I've been reading that pairing paragon heroes with nec ones makes a solid 6 hero team too. Maybe when I have more paragon skills unlocked. Running a paragon again is my next project anyway.

I can make all heroes in your set up except the last one (lack that monk elite). But, I don't want to test for a day or two. Headcold is now a chest & head cold and I'm sort of .. out of it.

GFtE probably isn't worth it for minion crits, you're right. I mainly listed it as an example as a paragon shot that affects "allies" instead of just "party", to give people ideas of things to look for. There are probably better options, but none come immediately to mind when I was writing the guide. One thing to note is that minions count as "allies" with regards to the Paragon's Leadership attribute, meaning in 4-man areas you can get more energy return per shout if you team up with a MM. I'm planning on writing a guide to the "Imbagon" in just a bit, so if you're looking into making a paragon, it should be a good read.

Hopefully you get over your cold soon! Let me know if and when you feel like testing these builds out. We can try vanquishing a zone on HM or something. Smile
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Post by Ahou Anansi on Fri 3 Oct - 20:05

Heh, Imbagon. Yes, why I've been forcing myself to AB. This is my second paragon, had a L20 one Ahou Menuette when I joined (deleted her) but am now remaking one.

I have a love-hate relationship with the Imbagon. Its good, love it, its cookie-cutter and I hate playing the "expected" build. Bleh.

FWIW, I so far beat all missions without resorting to an imbagon or sabway or discordway or anything else. Not because they aren't good! I guess I have more fun trying things with "one hand tied behind my back". =P Or, as I have joked in guildchat with "This is what I have unlocked so far"-way builds.
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Post by Rehwyn on Fri 3 Oct - 22:11

Ahou Anansi wrote:Heh, Imbagon. Yes, why I've been forcing myself to AB. This is my second paragon, had a L20 one Ahou Menuette when I joined (deleted her) but am now remaking one.

I have a love-hate relationship with the Imbagon. Its good, love it, its cookie-cutter and I hate playing the "expected" build. Bleh.

FWIW, I so far beat all missions without resorting to an imbagon or sabway or discordway or anything else. Not because they aren't good! I guess I have more fun trying things with "one hand tied behind my back". =P Or, as I have joked in guildchat with "This is what I have unlocked so far"-way builds.

I honestly know exactly what you mean. I've on a few occasions recently switched out my Discord heroes with other guys to change it up. ;p
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Post by Scion on Sat 4 Oct - 19:14

Great guide. Dischord is the way to go with Vanquishing or Hardmode Missions. Don't forget about bringing , though. Inflicts conditions and has chance of instadeath.

Solid work.

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Post by Rehwyn on Sun 5 Oct - 6:40

Ah yes, also a good option. Can be quite fun on a headshot. Wink

-Jonathan
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Post by Rehwyn on Fri 10 Oct - 8:39

So I noticed something while helping Marie kill Varesh in the Ruins of Morah mission earlier tonight while I was using my necro and Discord heroes. We cleared it fine (and got Master's Bonus), but things actually got a little rough fighting just Varesh alone. Had several deaths that weren't really due to big spikes from full health, which is generally the only way things die with two N/Rt healers and a monk around. I watched my heroes' bars a bit and figured out the problem.

When fighting a boss with a lot of HP, the heroes will use all their energy really fast spamming Discord once the boss is hexed and has a condition. The problem is, without stuff dying, Soul Reaping doesn't return energy. Now, Varesh is at like 60-70% health and my heroes barely have energy to do damage or to heal. Signet of Lost Souls helped a bit when she dropped below 50% (since they could spam it on recharge) but it was still a bit rough.

Moral of the story: one of the few times Discord really has problems is against a high-health boss when relatively few corpses are around to replenish minions. In such a case, alternate means of energy-management become necessary.

Or you can just disable Discord on one of the N/Rt healers so that it maintains energy for healing. :p

-Jonathan
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Post by Scion on Fri 10 Oct - 15:08

Places with no bodies makes for Energy-less Necros. That's where the other four henchies come into play. But really, if something stays alive after that many Dischords, it isn't going down easy anyways!

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Post by Ahou Anansi on Fri 10 Oct - 16:41

Sounds like what I noticed trying to "Hero-way" the revamped Shiro mission. Granted that is a specific boss-only mission so it really puts the no dead bodies, only boss thing in your face.

And sure, bosses can drop like rocks if you set up your all your bars with the sole goal of taking down that boss. But, the beauty of the "pre-packaged" hero teams is that they are so solid and general purpose, the stereotypical "one size fits all". And, you still soundly beat the mission you say, even though the team wasn't "best fit". So, that is (imho) a *great* recommendation of your team build.

How about when you know you will be facing a low-body, high-hp boss .. packing
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in pace of Discord, one just one of the necros or yourself. Its not "spammable" in a way that causes heroes to drain their blue bar, but as you can see does a great job bringing those high hp bosses in to "got you now!" range fast. I was just trying to think of the most minor changes to adjust the existing build when you knew you would be going into this particular "not as good a fit" scenario. If the boss likes to spam, one instance of  should be *more* than enough.
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Post by Rehwyn on Fri 10 Oct - 18:24

Scion wrote:Places with no bodies makes for Energy-less Necros. That's where the other four henchies come into play. But really, if something stays alive after that many Dischords, it isn't going down easy anyways!

That was actually my biggest gripe when I tested Sabway. That setup's effectiveness really goes down in low-corpse areas. Discord is actually a lot better at remaining functional even without minions, largely because the minions aren't a main source of the damage. But you're right; anything that can take that many Discords is going to be rough anyways. :p

As Ahou mentioned, Spoil Victor is always a nice option, though Varesh spends a lot of time spawning vortexes instead of actually attacking anyone, at least in her first form. On just about any other boss, it's a great option though.

As another alternative, I was thinking of replacing Discord with Xinrae's Weapon or Weapon of Remedy on one or two of the N/Rt heroes in the future since that'd reduce their energy-emptying spam and also help with countering the increased damage output of the boss.

On a side note, I was actually the only person in the party that died while taking on Varesh. Like three times. She really hated me for some reason. -_-;

-Jonathan
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default Re: The Way of the Discord - Necro Team Builds

Post by Rehwyn on Sun 7 Dec - 3:29

So, it's not mentioned here, but I did some vanquishing with Animus and Scion using the 6-hero Discord build I posted and it worked quite well. Dalada Uplands and Sacnoth Valley were completed with relative ease, which is pretty good considering there are some rough spots with lots of eles that leave no corpse.

-Jonathan
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default Re: The Way of the Discord - Necro Team Builds

Post by Alaistaria Marie on Sun 7 Dec - 16:11

Thanks for stickying this. I've been scouring the forums for it. lol
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