- Build theme (if it has one, not obligatory): Focused, sustained use of of an amped Death Shroud.
- Class: Necromancer
- Build for: Open World PvE
- Build Type: Efficient solo build, but very little group support.
- Build Main Damage Source: Direct Damage
- Build difficulty: Easy
- Build Link: Right here, boss.
- Build details: Named for the original Guild Wars Dervish skill, the Avatar of Grenth build is designed for sustained use of the Reaper's Shroud build, which is traited for enhanced damage dealing with might stacking, high crit, over 200% ferocity, and uses Chill to build sustain and life force.
This is a much simpler build than my earlier post, with a great deal more damage, solid survivability, and a pretty neat feel in the way the traits interact. I also like the weapon and utility choices, which focus on drawing enemies in and affecting them en masse. This is actually similar in a whole lot of ways to the Chilling Death Build posted by Hystery (when I peeked at it, we were using the exact same weapons types, utilities, and Elite even!), but while that build focuses on improving the duration and damage of its chills, this one uses chills as a means to acquire buffs to proc off Blighter's Boon rather than as a damage source.
The Traits which make this build work are Reaper (of course), Spite, and Soul Reaping.
Reaper makes the build work. It gives some of this build's most important traits.
- Shroud Knight - You can equip greatswords and use reaper shouts. Death shroud is replaced with reaper's shroud, which has more melee oriented skills.
This gives you the Reaper Shroud and one of the build's Weapons. And two of its skills. KIND OF important.
- Augury of Death - Your shouts recharge faster for each foe they hit.
While other choices are REALLY nice for chilled enemies, the chill in this build tends to be so short in duration that it makes more sense to go for shout recharge rather than a 2.5 second chill on luck. Reapers always perform best when surrounded by enemies, and this trait is no exception. Shouts receive a 7% recharge reduction for each target they hit, up to the maximum reaper shout limit of 5.
- Shivers of Dread - Whenever you inflict fear, you also chill.
- Chilling Force - Striking a chilled foe grants might and life force.
This build has a good deal of chill in it for a reason, and this is half of that reason. Might is good.
- Cold Shoulder - Chill lasts longer, and chilled foes deal less damage to you.
Don't mind if I do.
- Blighter's Boon - Gain life force when you gain a boon. If you are in reaper's shroud, gain health instead.
This is the other reason for having chill. Together, these two traits have the potential to generate a lot of life force, which can be used to rapidly build up your Shroud and, when IN Shroud, used to heal yourself. It's a very simple mechanic, but it has an interesting feel to it that I enjoy.
Next on the list is Spite, which primarily deals in direct damage.
- Reaper's Might - Shroud skill 1 grants might.
Yep. First Minor trait in the tree and you get a 15 second duration might every time you use the Shroud Skill you'll be using the most. This will proc off Blighter's Boon and heal you whilst in Shroud as well as build up higher damage. It's purdy nice.
- Spiteful Renewal - Consume conditions to gain health when you strike a foe below the 25% health threshold. 5 second recharge.
Basically I had to pick one of three good traits that don't have a whole lot of bearing on the build, and so I picked this one because shut up. It's nice.
- Death's Embrace - Inflict vulnerability when you strike a foe below the health threshold. Deal more damage while downed
Nicer for Decimate Defenses builds than this one, but still nice.
- Chill of Death - Cast Spinal Shivers on a foe when attacking them while their health is below the threshold.
Nice for proccing Chilling Force, which triggers Blighter's Boon.
- Siphoned Power - Gain might when you strike a foe below the health threshold. 1 second recharge.
Get enemies down low enough and you get 2 might stacks every time you hit the 1 key in Reaper Shroud, which proc Blighter's Boon, and 1 stack out of Shroud. Mwahahahahaha.
- Close to Death - Increases damage by 20% to enemies below the 50% health threshold.
Hit everything harder when it's below half health. What's not to like?
Soul Reaping is a trait line with a lot of options for Death Shroud and Life Force.
- Gluttony - Increases life force gain from skills.
- Speed of Shadows - Increases movement speed while in shroud. Reduces recharge on shroud.
Run faster when you're in Shroud, and you're gonna be the in Shroud a lot, and this lets you go into Shroud faster.
- Last Gasp - Gain Spectral Armor when your health falls below the threshold. 50 second recharge.
Protection and added when your HP goes below 50% on a minor trait. S'very nice, ain't it?
- Vital Persistence - Life force drains slower while in shroud. Shroud skills recharge faster.
Stay in Shroud longer. This is nice for a Shroud build, yes?
- Death Perception - Increases critical-hit chance while in shroud.
Go into Shroud and instantly get an added 50% Crit chance. Why would you NOT take this on a build based on Shroud use for DPS?
Gear is Valkyrie with force sigils and strength sigils. I set the gear for exotics, and the extra pieces on the accessories were zerker for added crit%. Armor uses Runes of the Pack for the added buffs, which trigger Blighter's Boon, as well as what can probably be calculated at something like a 25% Fury uptime that can temporarily bump the build up to around 80% crit.
The weapons are Staff and Greatsword for the moment, primarily because they make the strongest combination of weapons which can inflict chill. With the traits in this build, Staff 3 and 5 both inflict chill, along with Greatsword's last autoattack and its skill 5.
Reaper's Shroud also gives Chilling on hit with its skills 3 and 5.
- Consume Conditions - Feast on your conditions, gaining health for each one consumed. You become vulnerable. 30 second recharge.
Still probably the best single heal Necros have. It doubles as condition cleansing also. A possible alternative is "Your Soul is Mine!" given its much lower recharge and life force generation, but I thought this build could use some added condi cleanse because I'm paranoid about Conditions.
- "Suffer!" - Damage foes around you and chill them. Transfer a condition to each foe you strike. 30 second recharge.
A Shout skill with recharge affected by the Augury of Death trait. The chill duration is short, but it's enough to be useful for Blighter's Boon/Chilling Force to be effected, particularly when paired with, I dunno, the very next skill on the list?
- "You are all weaklings!" - Damage foes around you inflicting Weakness on them and giving you boons. Gain additional might per foe struck. 30 second recharge.
Yeah this skill grants 5 might stacks standard and 3 more per enemy it hits to a max of 5 targets. Using this right after "Suffer!" will mean everything around you will already be chilled, which will add another might stack AND life force. It's kind of a nice combo, right?
- Spectral Grasp - Pull your foe to you, chill them, and gain life force. 30 second recharge.
Scorpion someone right into your melee range, chill them, and give yourself 16% life force every 30 seconds? Yeah that sounds nice.
- ELITE: "Chilled to the bone!" - Freeze all enemies around. Gain boons for each foe you freeze.
Chill all of the things, or at least chill 5 of the things, for about 7 seconds, which is plenty of time to turn into Reaper form and get off several good whacks to drive up your HP bar and stack copious amounts of might.
The build is fairly easy. Gather a high concentration of enemies, chill them, slap them around until you have life force, Shroud, go nuts and restore your health bar, come out of Shroud, build up life force rapidly, and repeat. You'll passively heal in Shroud, where your life force takes the damage in lieu of your HP bar.
I like the playstyle because it's both very simple and has an interesting dynamic between normal form and Shroud form. They empower one another, and they're two very different playstyles that feed off of one another in heavy combat.
Normal form has heavy access to chill for building up life force and might, certainly, but its damage is slow. It also has useful enemy pulling skills in Greatsword 5 and Spectral Grasp. Alone, it can kill things and has appreciable survival with its skills and the Vitality from the Valkyrie gear, but it isn't going to win awards.
When you've build up a large pile of enemies, though, and hit Shroud, that's when the real fun goes into play. Big, heavy, fast AoE hits which do double damage on crit and a high crit percentage to add along for the ride. You'll also do a lot for restoring the damage your human form had sustained while building up even MORE might stacks, and when mobs dip under 50% health, you'll hit them even harder before dashing into the next pile and scything like mad until your lose Life Force and revert to normal, which will rapidly chill, build might, and feed the Reaper for another change.
And now you have my character Dominic's IC build, the Avatar of Grenth.
And that is the build.