Necro skills, balance and opinions

Necro skills, balance and opinions

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Posted by: War Mourner.5168

War Mourner.5168

This I suppose is a rundown of all necro skills, and how I feel they could be changed or improved, if needed. I try to avoid talking about the bugs, as we already have a great thread about that. It’s a bit of a read, but no one’s forcing you, and who knows, maybe you (and hopefully Anet) will come away with a slightly different perspective. Or maybe you’ll just think I’m talking something that the forum considers small and furry, who knows.

Edit: Here is the link to my later thread, on necromancer traits.

Weapons

Axe
The principal problem the axe has, is an underwhelming amount of damage, for the range it has. In PvE you can do a vastly superior amount of damage with the dagger, and barely get hit. In PvP, it’s quite difficult to stay out of melee range while still be less than 600 away, as every melee setup I can think of has (at least) one way to close such a short gap, and you can’t be directly running away from them and while still hitting them.

I think it should maintain its current range, but either increase the damage of rending claws, or increase the attack speed, with some reduction of its damage per hit (say 1/2s cast instead of 3/4s), giving a net higher dps, along with faster vulnerability stacking.

Ghastly claws is basically fine as is, after the recent modest buff to its damage.
Unholy feast is quite good in both PvP and PvE, with decent damage and against multiple enemies it provides a good amount of retaliation, it’s a bit lacking against a single opponent, but you can’t have everything

Dagger

MH: The main hand dagger is my favorite weapon as a necromancer, but it does have a few notable flaws, especially when compared to other classes, who tend to have more practical and useful second skills, and have less trouble keeping in range and avoiding/absorbing incoming damage.

Necrotic slash is good as is, does fairly solid damage, and builds life force well. A few people have mentioned it should cleave or do some small aoe or something, but honestly it doesn’t need to change (although having a cleaving melee weapon would be nice, say a sword or something).

Life siphon is a skill that I honestly don’t like much at all. In PvE it works fine, you can run around and kite while casting the channel, so the healing can be a bit useful. In PvP however, I would call it a downright bad skill. Dagger 1 does far more DPS, and with its life force generation, creates an equivalent amount of ‘health’. Because of this, it’s really worth using over dagger 1, as ranged opponents will still be applying their full damage, and most/all melee opponents shouldn’t have an issue closing that gap and applying their damage. In this regard it suffers from the same problem as axe 1, not enough effect for the range it has. While I guess you could increase the damage or life steal, or speed up the channel, as the dagger is essentially a melee weapon, I think life siphon would be better as a melee attack, as having this low damage ranged attack has poor synergy with the hard hitting melee auto attack. Turning life siphon into a single hit attack (maybe with a short leap or something, as we lack both movement skills and combo finishers) I feel would make this a more useful skill when you consider how the other 2 dagger skills operate together. (Obviously the damage/life steal and perhaps even the CD would have to be rebalanced if this change happened, but that’s a dev’s job.)

Dark pact works well as is, not the best in PvE, but solid in PvP. Having a secondary effect like a short chill or blind (or perhaps a small life force gain) would be nice, but the only real niggle I have with this skill is it’s rather long cast time. This skill is most comparable to infiltrator’s strike (the thief’s second sword skill), in that they do the same damage, have equal range, and both immobilize. The differences though, are that our immobilize is 3 seconds while theirs is only 1, theirs teleports them to the target (and allows them to teleport back if they wish, which is also a break stun, come on) and that we have a slow 1 second cast time. I don’t think Dark pact should be a gap closer (you two extra second to close on them for that, although they can break out I guess), but the cast time makes it much harder to use effectively, usually I have to force them to use their dodges before I can risk casting it, so yeah, a faster cast time would be nice, but solid as is.

(edited by War Mourner.5168)

Necro skills, balance and opinions

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Posted by: War Mourner.5168

War Mourner.5168

Off hand: A popular and effective off hand weapon, the only real flaw is the bugged deathly swarm. (Is it still bugged? I haven’t tested it for a fair bit) I do find it a bit odd however, that it’s role is so completely different from the MH version, as most weapons that I can think off behave similarly on MH and OH (ele daggers being close range, warrior swords focused on bleeds etc), but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing.
Deathly swarm: has solid range, blinds people, transfers conditions, all good, literally the only problem with this skill is the bug with it only transferring one condition instead of three.

Enfeebling blood is also a good skill, I don’t think people take advantage of weakness enough, as it can seriously cut down on your incoming damage, depending on your opponents build. No change needed.

Focus
The focus is a very solid off hand weapon, both its skills are useful pretty much regardless of what your build and main hand weapon is, and an old favorite of mine.
Reaper’s touch is both useful in PvE and PvP, in 1v1 (stacking all the regen on you, and all the vulnerability on them), or in group situations, making it an all around very good skill. The only thing I thing worth mentioning is that the duration of the regeneration could perhaps be increased, as in my opinion the 4 stacks of vulnerability for 10 seconds are comparatively better to the 3 seconds of regeneration, which off the top of my head is 400 health or so.

Spinal shivers is an extremely useful skill, allowing you to cancel out common stack of boons, nullifying abilities like the signet of rage altogether, while the chill is always an amazing condition to get. The only thing that would be nice to get changed with this skill is the very long cast time (currently 1 and a quarter seconds), which makes it pretty easy to avoid.

Scepter
The scepter is a poor condition build weapon when you compare it to what some other classes have access to, but when the scepter gets used in a hybrid build it gets it’s chance to shine, to superior damage to the axe over a greater distance, and punishing foes that can’t clear conditions easily. Like all bleed stacking weapons however, it doesn’t like the bleed stack limit, although this is mainly a large scale PvE issue. The real issue the scepter has is that is has very poor life force generation.

Blood curse and the rest of its chain is pretty solid, but not as great since the pre-release nerf, but still good, especially if you invest in lingering curses, which is pretty much a prerequisite of the scepter.

Grasping dead is a little plain, but it’s clear what it’s supposed to do, and it does it well enough. Having some sort of life force gain per target hit would benefit the scepter a lot though.

Feast of corruption has a nice idea behind it, but realistically you’re going to have 4 or less conditions on your target (unless you’re with someone else applying different conditions), so the life force and damage per condition kind of lack. Boost both of those somewhat, or at the very least the life force per condition and this skill is fine.

Staff
The staff is really a nice all round jack of all trades weapon, being extremely popular and generally being fairly useful for most builds, although some have said because we simply lack a useful substitute, which often could be true.

All the marks are basically fine as is, although the necrotic grasp projectile speed is rather lackluster. Someone once suggested making it bounce between targets rather than pierce, which would be nice, but the change isn’t exactly needed.

(edited by War Mourner.5168)

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War horn
The war horn is probably the most underrated weapon the necromancer has, but I think this is partly due to the fact it only really works with the dagger main hand.
Wail of doom is a 2 second daze, with a deceptively large area of effect. People for some reason don’t like this skill, citing its long cast time for a daze, but fail to remember that many skills (heals in particular) have a cast time of 1 second or longer. Having an interrupt in PvP can be invaluable (if you can time it right), and It’s also great in PvE, allowing you to daze multiple foes (I’m still not certain why daze basically acts like a stun against npc’s). Other then possibly reducing the cast time, the only thing I think needs changing here is the animation, which doesn’t correctly show the affected area at all.

Locust swarm is an amazing skill, but only when used alongside the dagger main hand (our only melee range weapon), allowing the necromancer to stay right on top of the enemy, inflicting addition damage and crit based effects, as well as minor life force gains. I think it’s worth noting that when used with banshee’s wail, as well as extending the duration of its effects to 13 seconds, the duration of the cripple (that is applied every tick) is also extended to 2 seconds, even though the tool tip doesn’t state it. This means if you stay on top of a target for the full duration, you can inflict 26 seconds of cripple with a 25 and a half second skill. While it’s unlikely for you to be able to do that in PvP, you can still none the less maintain a lot of cripple, which is hard for them to remove due to the fact it is applied in every second. A slightly larger range would be nice, but is over all a great skill alongside dagger.

I think it’s worth repeating that although this is a good weapon, it performs much better with the dagger then with the scepter or axe, but I don’t know how you could fix this (maybe give us another melee weapon, a sword would still be necro-ish, wouldn’t it?)

Both underwater weapons are honestly fine, not that people use them much anyway.

Death shroud
The balance of death shroud has been talked to death since before release, from its hilariously powerful times in BWE1, to its more demure post release state, some (Anet supposedly among them) saying that it’s powerful enough as is, and that it merely needs to be used better by the players, to those that say it is lacking compared to the class mechanics of other classes, for one reason or another. Personally I don’t think it can be compared to other class mechanics simply because it’s so crucially important to all necromancers, regardless of build (I guess elementalists’ class mechanic is even more tied into the way they play, but that’s completely different). Necromancers are forced to rely on death shroud in a variety of situations, where other classes usually use conventional methods to deal with (death shroud being our principal way of taking damage, where other classes have invulnerability, evades, blocks, stealth and more), so I think that overall it could be improved upon, in a couple of ways.

First of all, Death shroud needs to be treated more like conventional transformations, allowing us to see our conditions and boons, as opposed to our current 4 button UI setup we get currently. That would also open up space for a fifth skill, although whether we need one is debatable, it always struck me as slightly odd that we don’t have a skill to expend our life force for some gain (damage, movement, conditions, what it is isn’t relevant to this post), as that would be more in line with other mechanics, most notably the adrenaline of warriors. The two ideas for a 5th skill that I like most however is either to have a weapon based skill (which would give us some nice variety), or a merging of the land and underwater skills, where we would have life transfer and gather plague on land and underwater.

Considering the slow ROF, and its life force dependant damage and they fact we passively and actively lose life force all the time, I find life blast is a little underwhelming, and think it would just be easier if it did a flat amount of damage, so you don’t feel like you’re wasting your time firing at low life force. Whether it needs to fire faster, or do more damage is a discussion for another day. Alternatively, part of the suggestion someone made about combining land and water DS, was to make life blast transfer one condition like the current plague blast, and to have this shared on land and underwater; this would require no dps improvement, and would help cement our condition control ability.

(edited by Moderator)

Necro skills, balance and opinions

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Posted by: War Mourner.5168

War Mourner.5168

Dark path is an invaluable asset to necromancers, providing us with a gap closer regardless of build, with a lovely AOE chill on top. After the buff to its projectile speed it’s now fine.

Doom is an invaluable skill mainly in its ability to interrupt your enemy regardless of what you’re doing, and I don’t think it needs to change, as increasing its duration would make it OP, while its CD is fairly short already (not that I wouldn’t welcome a further reduction!)

Life transfer is a generally very good skill, boosting your life force if you can hit enough targets, and doing pretty solid damage. With a crit build it can easily proc a whole bunch of abilities onto everything near you (the sigil of earth back in BWE2 and before springs to mind), which is rather nice. The down side is that this skill literally begs to be interrupted in PvP, and it’s very easy to do so, unless you have foot in the grave (which still doesn’t cover its entire duration anyway), which is a trait most necromancers are unwilling to invest so heavily into soul reaping to get. If this channeled a little faster, it would be great, but I can’t complain much as is.

Underwater, death shroud is sadly nothing short of a joke. The only useful thing you get it a 2 second fear wave (which makes me again ask why the other fears are only 1 second), and while dark water isn’t outright terrible, the first and forth skill are so gimmicky and weak compared to their land counterparts, and useless in practice it’s quite embarrassing to use. The idea of combining the land and underwater abilities I think really would benefit here, that is life blast with a condition transfer, dark water as is, wave of fear, life transfer and gathering plague (and on land dark path and doom instead of dark water and wave of fear). I’m sure there are other ways to improve it, but I honestly really like this one.

One last thing before I move onto utilities, is the debate as to whether we should be able to stomp/revive in death shroud; in that argument I’m more on the side that we should, as we can still be hit and CC’d in death shroud (since 3 seconds of stability isn’t actually enough to complete a stomp), and so I don’t feel this would be overpowered or anything, and I don’t see why this wasn’t originally implemented.

Oh yeah, I found that thread talking about merging the underwater and land DS skills, and also about changes to the trait lines that I largely agree with, but maybe I’ll make another thread talking about traits as they are currently.
https://forum-en.guildwars2.com/forum/professions/necromancer/Simple-Improvements-to-Death-Shroud-and-Boons/

Healing skills
Consume conditions numbers among the very best healing skills in the game, with an average CD, and an average heal amount, but with a complete condition cleanse, healing for every condition removed. Definitely nothing to complain about here.

Blood fiend is alright with the recent buff (once it actually works everywhere) in PvE, but still is a bit lacking in PvP, but you can’t have everything I guess.

Well of blood, for what it does it’s fine, but its CD is far too long to make it viable in the vast majority of situations compared to consume conditions. Reduce the CD and I might consider using it. In PvE. Sometimes. Maybe give it some other ability on activation? I dunno.

Utilities

Corruptions
Blood is power is a skill, in my opinion has potential but isn’t quite good enough to use over more useful utility skills. The might side of this skill is pretty much fine (although the life force generation used to be a good way for condition based specs to generate some LF), but the bleed side of the skill is pretty ridiculous. Firstly there’s the self applied bleed, which is effected by your own condition damage/duration modifiers (and I assume by the stacks of might you just applied to yourself), which punishes you for having strong condition stats (on top of the already gimmicky self inflicted conditions that all corruptions give you; the aforementioned change to life/plague blast would make it less ridiculous), but the applied bleed has a base duration of 30 seconds (or if you’re spec’ed right, up to 60 seconds). Against regular trash in PvE any mob is going to be dead in well under 30 seconds, so the only time such a long bleed is useful is against dungeon bosses, or if you’re lucky enough to actually get them applied to a world boss due to the stack limit. In all forms of PvP, that bleed is going to get cleansed, or they’re going to die in less than 30 seconds. Seriously, it’s extremely unpractical, as bleed is the first condition to get removed by any condition removal. Make it 6 stacks for 10 seconds, or 4 for 15 seconds, just something to make this more generally practical.

(edited by War Mourner.5168)

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War Mourner.5168

Corrosive poison cloud is… pretty lack luster. The effects are fairly weak, the application rate is rather slow and of course it applies weakness to yourself. Short of completely changing/scrapping this skill, it needs to apply its conditions more frequently, and frankly should apply at least some sort of damage, like well of suffering or corruption. This skill has extremely limited (read: no) use in PvE at the moment, and is useless in PvP.

Corrupt boon is a great, if situational skill in PvP, but pretty irrelevant in PvE as well as against enemies in PvP with few/no boons, but it can’t do everything, so it’s fine as is.

Epidemic is another situational skill, but can be rather useful in PvP and PvE (and is often downright hilarious in WvW), and with such a short CD, there is really nothing to complain about here.

Minions
Ah, putting the necromancy into the necromancer. It’s a pity that their AI is shockingly bad, and AOE tends to shred them far too fast (although some wily necro’s have used this to their advantage by giving them all retaliation). I don’t really feel I should talk about minions until the very least their AI is fixed, as you can’t judge their balance when they sit 2 feet away from the fight and spin in a circle doing nothing.

Signets
Our signets in general, regardless of their actual effects suffer from a severe case of extremely long cool down (except perhaps signet of undeath, which possibly deserves it’s CD), which makes them all frankly crap for their current effects.

Plague signet is a pretty neat idea, and its effects don’t need changing, although I’m pretty sure it still doesn’t pull conditions with 100% accuracy, and it would be nice if you could still activate this without a target for the stun break. Other than that, perhaps a slight reduction of its CD, but that’s it.

Signet of spite is objectively bad, the increase in power is pretty low (90 at level 80), and its active just throws a handful of conditions at your foe (all single stack of course), for a disappointingly short duration, and then topped off with a bitter 90s CD. This skill either needs a serious reduction in CD, or get it’s active (at the very least) seriously buffed.

Signet of the locust’s passive would be worth considering if the speed increases we had access to actually stacked, but as is, its effectively junk. While I like the idea of the life stealing active, its effect is far too weak to justify the 60s CD. If anet doesn’t want to reduce the CD, then buff the effect, or give it something else; a stun or some other form of CC would be nice, as we have a fairly shallow pool of CC to access.

Signet of undeath’s passive is a little… slow I feel, and could perhaps be given a small buff somehow. Its active ability is a very good, but very situation tool, most useful in TPvP. Not for general use, but this signet definitely has its uses, although you have to make it really count with its massive CD.

Spectral
Spectral armor in its current state is, (in my opinion) not worth using over spectral walk, which offers a longer duration of the spectral armor buff and has a shorter CD, as well as the advantages of spectral recall and mobility. Recently a thread was posted where someone suggested giving spectral armor stability. I think this is probably the best idea to improve this ability, otherwise I would have to suggest something boring like reduce the CD.

Spectral grasp is a great skill other then it continued lack of reliability, and other then improving this, doesn’t need any change.

Spectral walk is a pretty great skill as is (thank you anet for the fix to spectral recall), and I don’t really feel it needs any change. The fact that DS removes spectral effects is pretty stupid, and they should keep working, or at the very least not get removed while in DS. This isn’t a problem with this skill though.

Spectral wall isn’t a skill I’ve had much experience using, but it seems balanced enough as is, although it would be nice if they could fix the placement of the ethereal field.

Wells
The wells seems to be one of the better sets of utilities we have on offer but they suffer slightly from that fact that they all look basically the same; teammates can’t tell a well of power from a well of suffering, and enemies can’t tell a well of suffering from a well of corruption. This is a problem that is also shared by staff marks, which do have noticeable differences, but can’t be seen at a glance. Also not really a problem, more of a lack of variety is the fact that they’re all dark fields. Would it kill anet to change it up and give us an ice field, or smoke or anything different?

(edited by War Mourner.5168)

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War Mourner.5168

Well of corruption is a pretty useful skill – the damage isn’t as impressive as well of suffering, but against the right opponents the boon corruption is very powerful. Sadly as with all boon corruption, it’s of pretty limited use in PvE, but doesn’t terribly need a change regardless, but a boost to its damage would be nice. (Which reminds me, why does the captain in the ascalon fractal have infinite, incorruptible boons?)

Well of darkness is a great skill, and the only thing I find odd is the higher CD compared to well of suffering/corruption. Is it really that much better?

Well of power is also rather good, but it’s odd that it has a longer CD then well of corruption, while not even inflicting damage.

Well of suffering is a great skill, and has a special place in my heart. It was better when it had the 8s duration, but it’s still a very solid skill.

Elites

Both transform elites are pretty powerful if used at the right time, if used to late however, you won’t get the most out of them, but there’s nothing wrong with that.

Lich form is a pretty entertaining offensive elite, with a shockingly powerful piercing 1st skill (although it could move faster, as at long range it is far too easy to avoid), with the other skills being varying levels of situational usefulness. Marked for death tends to not really be worth it, as you can usually do more damage just by spamming 1, although in group fights it would become more useful. Mark of horror would be great, if all the jagged horrors didn’t die to a single aoe attack, or bleed to death in 10 seconds, but the 3rd and 5th skill are both rather useful.

Plague’s is a pretty hilarious skill (and for people that don’t know, press a skill once, and the plague will keep apply that condition until you change it, you don’t have to spam 22222), but withering plague and plague of pestilence are rather lacking when you compare them to the unkillable ball of fun that is the plague of darkness. Maybe buff those two to somewhere near plague of darkness.

Flesh golem might be good if it actually did stuff more than once every blue moon. Come back when minion AI is fixed and we can discuss its balance then.

I think that’s everything for skills, If I missed something, let me know, If you disagree with me, I encourage you to post why, so long as you give reasons, or your alternative solutions. I certainly don’t think my word is the end all, this is just my view on things, and maybe Anet will take a look and see something they can agree with.

Linking this again because I really do think it’s worth a look, although the trait changes are fairly drastic, and I sadly doubt anet would consider it post release, but it’s a good read none the less.
https://forum-en.guildwars2.com/forum/professions/necromancer/Simple-Improvements-to-Death-Shroud-and-Boons/

If you’ve taken the time to read all my ramblings, thanks, and maybe I’ll make another post about traits some time.

Edit: If I mysteriously missed something, it’s probably because I had to cut up my stuff into multiple posts, might have left something behind/double posted. Oh well.

(edited by War Mourner.5168)

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Posted by: sorrow.2364

sorrow.2364

I hope you are going to make a tl:dr with all those reserved posts.

Necro skills, balance and opinions

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Posted by: War Mourner.5168

War Mourner.5168

the tl:dr is necro isn’t bad, but could be better.

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Posted by: Abigor.4952

Abigor.4952

I think life siphon would be better as a melee attack, as having this low damage ranged attack has poor synergy with the hard hitting melee auto attack. Turning life siphon into a single hit attack (maybe with a short leap or something, as we lack both movement skills and combo finishers) I feel would make this a more useful skill when you consider how the other 2 dagger skills operate together. (Obviously the damage/life steal and perhaps even the CD would have to be rebalanced if this change happened, but that’s a dev’s job.)

How about necro stabs and enemy once and for the next few seconds he will be leeching hp from it unless enemy get out of range (600?)

Deathly swarm: has solid range, blinds people, transfers conditions, all good, literally the only problem with this skill is the bug with it only transferring one condition instead of three.

Um, I may be mistaken, but shouldn’t it behave like that? It does transfer 3 conditions when there’s someone to bounce on.

I think life siphon would be better as a melee attack, as having this low damage ranged attack has poor synergy with the hard hitting melee auto attack. Turning life siphon into a single hit attack (maybe with a short leap or something, as we lack both movement skills and combo finishers) I feel would make this a more useful skill when you consider how the other 2 dagger skills operate together. (Obviously the damage/life steal and perhaps even the CD would have to be rebalanced if this change happened, but that’s a dev’s job.)

About DS#4 – I think it would benefit if during life transfer your life pool stopped depleting.

Blood is power – another suggestion is to have it as “unremovable” skill.

Corrosive cloud – will disagree on this, while it may have lack of condition rate, in pvp it gives good strategical advantage on capture points, where enemies don’t run around much, it makes them hit weaker and heal not so efficiently + it gives pretty long poison area for projectiles and finishers.

Wells in overall – personally I’m not fond of them at all, short duration and long CD doesn’t seem like they’re worth something, or let’s just say they’re not my play style.

Lich Form – I would also add #5 skill has a long cast time, usually when it reaches the target there’s either no enemy to remove boons from, or no ally to remove conditions from, since nobody stands in place like a fool.

(edited by Abigor.4952)

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Posted by: Andele.1306

Andele.1306

For minions there was/is this genious idea, if fully speced for (30 point DM trait option) being, the necromancer has mastered the dark arts of ressurection offering his connection to life force for them – you can only summon 1 minion of each type as base utility, but when speced, the longer you hold/channel the summon, you summon more minions of the type, with each post the first one limiting the amount of life force you can use (like what deep wound would do to normal hp in GW only for as long as the minion type is alive and upon death consuming that much of the life force). Let the minions melt, just summon more~

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Posted by: Kardiamond.6952

Kardiamond.6952

Really good post War mourner!

Dagger #2 can still do a good amount of damage. I use it when my CC are on CD and I can’t reach the target. Can crit for up to 5k damage, ain’t bad.

I actually run both Signet of Undeath and Spectral Wall.

Those are 2 wonderful abilities, and I have a hard time removing them from my skill bar.

Signet of Undeath passive might seems lack luster, but it still a 1% over 3 sec free Life force. Maybe It could use a little buff, but the activate make up for it. Each 144 sec if traited, I can revive ally to 50% hp without having to sit down near them.

In dungeon/fractal, I used it so manytime. People love it.

In WvW, it’s a fight winner right there. I roam with a friend in WvW, and man when he get downed, and everyone go around to finish him just to see him get up heal and continu to fight. It’s wonderful

Spectral wall, such an underused skill. It offers a lot.

First you have a protection buff, each time you walk in it (it won’t stack, you only get the protection buff if you don’t have it already). You also get a 10 stack of vuln right away. That’s awesome for DD necromancer.

Ethereal combo field. Enought said.

Rotthen (Necro) / Zhyx (Engineer) /Inglorious Beasterd (Ranger)
Server : Anvil Rock (Since Release!) [SOLO]

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Posted by: Drarnor Kunoram.5180

Drarnor Kunoram.5180

Spectal Wall should be used in any MM build with either Bone Minions or Putrid Mark. Laugh at those throwing AoE onto your minions when they all have Chaos Armor.

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Posted by: Sheobix.8796

Sheobix.8796

I have much respect for you War Mourner! I fully agree 110% with every breakdown you’ve made with the skills here. It’s actually uncanny how my point of view matches yours entirely.

+1000 to this post. I vote for implementation ASAP

(edited by Sheobix.8796)

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Posted by: Arvid.3829

Arvid.3829

Spectal Wall should be used in any MM build with either Bone Minions or Putrid Mark. Laugh at those throwing AoE onto your minions when they all have Chaos Armor.

Last time I tried (which was a while ago…), I found it pretty hard to get Bone Minions and/or Putrid Mark to combo with Spectral Wall (can’t remember if it was both or which one in particular). Is there some ‘trick’ you use to pull it off?

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Posted by: War Mourner.5168

War Mourner.5168

Corrosive cloud – will disagree on this, while it may have lack of condition rate, in pvp it gives good strategical advantage on capture points, where enemies don’t run around much, it makes them hit weaker and heal not so efficiently + it gives pretty long poison area for projectiles and finishers.

At least with my build in pvp I have basically perm weakness anyway, and it’s too easy for most opponents to cure the poison, which is why I think it would be better if it did less poison per tick, but ticked more often.

Dagger #2 can still do a good amount of damage. I use it when my CC are on CD and I can’t reach the target. Can crit for up to 5k damage, ain’t bad.

I actually run both Signet of Undeath and Spectral Wall.

It certainly can do decent damage, no question, it’s just that it isn’t strong enough to use over dagger 1 unless they’re out of melee range, and my ds/dark path/weapon switch/pretty much everything else is on CD.

But yeah, I agree that signet of undeath is very much worth it in the right situation; I think it’s one of the fastest revival abilities outside the war banner and maybe the mesmer one?

Last time I tried (which was a while ago…), I found it pretty hard to get Bone Minions and/or Putrid Mark to combo with Spectral Wall (can’t remember if it was both or which one in particular). Is there some ‘trick’ you use to pull it off?

The combo field is on you, so get the bone minions to be as close to you as you can manage and you shouldn’t have a problem.

(edited by War Mourner.5168)

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Posted by: Kardiamond.6952

Kardiamond.6952

@War Mourner

You got a point, more often then not, it would be better to just swap weapon/DS then use dagger #2.

And about the spectral wall combo field, it’s annoying. But at the same time, with bones minions never attacking, you better summon and pop them right away. Cast wall, summon them, pop them.

They are unreliable if you wait for them to attack the ennemy, as they are also really slow.

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Posted by: Ithir Darkleaf.7923

Ithir Darkleaf.7923

This is simply one of the best threads in Necro subforum. I really hope some devs go print this and keep in mind all this analysis because is pretty good and the changes you propose to some of our current problems seem to be “easy” to do and reasonables.

PS.: I put easy between " because I’m studying engineering but I’m not an expert on videogames yet

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Posted by: gamefreak.5673

gamefreak.5673

This was a good read on the necromancer forum. I agree with almost everything but the minion part. I still think they need to have the recast time be cut in half and it applies when they summon not on death. This way once they fix the AI we will be able to keep putting them back into the fight quicker. Having them die to 1 aoe is fine, if we can get them back in the fight and not just have a full utility bar of dead minions.

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Posted by: Ithir Darkleaf.7923

Ithir Darkleaf.7923

This was a good read on the necromancer forum. I agree with almost everything but the minion part. I still think they need to have the recast time be cut in half and it applies when they summon not on death. This way once they fix the AI we will be able to keep putting them back into the fight quicker. Having them die to 1 aoe is fine, if we can get them back in the fight and not just have a full utility bar of dead minions.

Probably you are right, but I agree with ArenaNet’s way of doing changes: take it slow, bit by bit… so it’s better (and more important) for us to get the AI fixed in the first place. We need to have minions useable at least and then, if minion master isn’t viable yet, implement changes based on feedback.

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Posted by: striker.3704

striker.3704

This was a good read on the necromancer forum. I agree with almost everything but the minion part. I still think they need to have the recast time be cut in half and it applies when they summon not on death. This way once they fix the AI we will be able to keep putting them back into the fight quicker. Having them die to 1 aoe is fine, if we can get them back in the fight and not just have a full utility bar of dead minions.

In all honesty minion masters would become incredibly over powered if either of those changes were made true. If you cut the cooldown in half on bone minion summons we would have an 8 second cooldown on two 2000+ damage nukes, and the blood fiend heal would become way too good. If the cooldown started on summon you would become very hard pressed to survive a fight with a minion master who has had all of his minions up for more than 30 seconds.

War mourner is right in that we should wait for an Ai fix.
I'm gonna go ahead and contradict myself and say I think the minion master trait should reduce minion active cooldowns alongside the re-summon cooldown.

(edited by striker.3704)

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Posted by: Ithir Darkleaf.7923

Ithir Darkleaf.7923

In all honesty minion masters would become incredibly over powered if either of those changes were made true.

Yeah, that is what I meant with my post, it’s better to balance the game from underpowered to balanced state than to cut down things from overpowered state. People will angry and rage (non-necromancer players because of the OPness and necromancers because of the nerf).

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Posted by: Lil Puppy.5216

Lil Puppy.5216

I play a necro and go dd/staff and I gotta say that dagger #1 being the only melee skill is a complete WTF moment for me. I mean it only synergizes with the warhorn banshee wail or whatever because of the crappy distance on it.

Don’t get me wrong, I love jumping into the fray and slashing away with my main-hand dagger, but #1 is the only necro skill that I use that needs me to be in the ‘Squishy warning zone’. All the other skills I can stay quite a distance back like I’m supposed to.

Some of my magical weapons cause bleeding but the ones that actually have a blade dont? Always thought that was weird.

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Posted by: Brokin.6834

Brokin.6834

Spectral armor in its current state is, (in my opinion) not worth using over spectral walk, which offers a longer duration of the spectral armor buff and has a shorter CD

Yeah but Spectral Armor gives you -33% damage reduction in addition to LF generation no?

The bigger problem in my opinion is the ridiculous 90s cooldown.

(edited by Brokin.6834)

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Posted by: Dakiaris.2798

Dakiaris.2798

Spectral armor in its current state is, (in my opinion) not worth using over spectral walk, which offers a longer duration of the spectral armor buff and has a shorter CD

Yeah but Spectral Armor gives you -33% damage reduction in addition to LF generation no?

The bigger problem in my opinion is the ridiculous 90s cooldown.

Simple solution would be to keep it as is and lower the cooldown to 30-45 seconds or change the ability so that it adds a 8 second stability as well and keep the current cooldown.

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Posted by: TheWalkingDead.7298

TheWalkingDead.7298

Excellent well thought out post. Would make a few notes at Wells that they are extremely kittened in sPvP or particularly tPvP, you will be lucky to get two ticks off with them on the same target. Well of darkness doesn’t find its way on my toolbar even in a well build, simply because a blind every other second (assuming they are standing in it, which they wont be) isn’t worth a sizable CD and a slot.

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Posted by: Drarnor Kunoram.5180

Drarnor Kunoram.5180

Well of Darkness ticks blind every second.

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Posted by: hermit.1573

hermit.1573

one of the best well thought out posts on this forum, excellent advice.

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Posted by: hrkljus.1243

hrkljus.1243

One last thing before I move onto utilities, is the debate as to whether we should be able to stomp/revive in death shroud; in that argument I’m more on the side that we should, as we can still be hit and CC’d in death shroud (since 3 seconds of stability isn’t actually enough to complete a stomp), and so I don’t feel this would be overpowered or anything, and I don’t see why this wasn’t originally implemented.

I’m suprised how a lot of people don’t know this already – you can both stomp and revive in death shroud. It requires some coordination though, something along the lines of a dodge-jump (= pressing dodge and jump at the same time to do a front/back/sideflip, thus getting a full length jump even while in combat which is useful in jumping puzzles).

I advise binding death shroud to something other than F1 though, mine is bound to ‘Q’. So you do a shroudstomp/rez a bit differntly than a dodge-jump. Press Q (or whatever you bound to death shroud) first, and then fairly quickly after press F (stomp/rez button). So it’s a bit different than dodge-jumping which requires you to press both skills at the exact same time. It takes some time to get the timing right, I suggest practicing both shroudstomping and rezzing in the Heart of the Mists tutorial area – don’t forget to take the trait that halves your death shroud cooldown (for practicing only ofcourse, take the stability one if you plan on doing shroudstomps/rezzes in general).

Also, check out the “Shroudstomp” series of videos from the RaggokOozo youtube channel for some good power necro WvW action (and shroudstomp/revive demonstrations):
http://www.youtube.com/user/RaggokOozo/videos?query=shroudstomp

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Posted by: DeMo.4935

DeMo.4935

Great post, but do you think Feast of corruption (scepter 3) is worth using as-is? If you’re spec’ed heavy condition damage you might be giving up more damage to use it because during the time you’re casting feast of corruption you’re not spamming scepter 1.

I think it’d be better if it were an instant cast, so you don’t have to stop stacking debuffs with the number 1.

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Posted by: Rising Dusk.2408

Rising Dusk.2408

There is one thing I’d like to see added to this:
- Necromancer needs a few more finishers

I really like your suggestion for Life Siphon becoming a leap stab skill, because it gives the MH Dagger a much-needed gap closer, makes the skill useful at large (quicker activation, unchanneled), and gives us a leap finisher which we could desperately use.

I’d also like to suggest here something that I put some thought into before, which is that I feel Enfeebling Blood should become a blast finisher. This would give us a second blast finisher, since we lost Mark of Evasion, and would go a long way to giving well builds and team-centric builds more usefulness. It’d also give us a way to actually take advantage of our own combo fields without wasting the AOE weakness from Staff 3 → 4.

I absolutely agree with your sentiment on most of the utilities. Corrosive Cloud is downright bad, our signets have way too long of cooldowns, our wells could use distinguishing runes, and pretty much everything else you suggested is spot on.

Good post, would read again; here’s to hoping Jon Peters reads it and comments.

(edited by Rising Dusk.2408)

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Posted by: Valderro.6389

Valderro.6389

Good write-up, learned a few things. I’m going to use warhorn more, because all those hits from swarm might be good to proc the grandmaster trait for weakness on 25% of crits.

I really like the suggestion to combine both versions of death shroud, because I feel neither version has that much utility on their own. I’d take the suggestion that if you allow rezzing in death shroud that the necro spends his life force to get a boost to speed at which he rezzes, say 25% faster at the expense of half of the life force bar, maybe be able to trait it for 50% faster. If a necro stomps in death shroud they gain bonus life force. I think it would really fit necro taking life force from the enemy and giving it to allies.

I agree with other posters, more variety on fields, smoke, frost and water (well of blood!). I think we are ok for finishers, for blast anyways we have putrid mark and minions, I would like axe skill 2 to be a whirl finisher.

Would like if the minion we get on death of target, was another way to trigger the regen boon (mark of blood effect) on nearby allies and minions. So after it died in a few seconds, it would heal your other minions.

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Posted by: Attic.1562

Attic.1562

Death shroud
The balance of death shroud has been talked to death since before release, from its hilariously powerful times in BWE1, to its more demure post release state, some (Anet supposedly among them) saying that it’s powerful enough as is, and that it merely needs to be used better by the players, to those that say it is lacking compared to the class mechanics of other classes, for one reason or another. Personally I don’t think it can be compared to other class mechanics simply because it’s so crucially important to all necromancers, regardless of build (I guess elementalists’ class mechanic is even more tied into the way they play, but that’s completely different). Necromancers are forced to rely on death shroud in a variety of situations, where other classes usually use conventional methods to deal with (death shroud being our principal way of taking damage, where other classes have invulnerability, evades, blocks, stealth and more), so I think that overall it could be improved upon, in a couple of ways.

First of all, Death shroud needs to be treated more like conventional transformations, allowing us to see our conditions and boons, as opposed to our current 4 button UI setup we get currently. That would also open up space for a fifth skill, although whether we need one is debatable, it always struck me as slightly odd that we don’t have a skill to expend our life force for some gain (damage, movement, conditions, what it is isn’t relevant to this post), as that would be more in line with other mechanics, most notably the adrenaline of warriors. The two ideas for a 5th skill that I like most however is either to have a weapon based skill (which would give us some nice variety), or a merging of the land and underwater skills, where we would have life transfer and gather plague on land and underwater.

Considering the slow ROF, and its life force dependant damage and they fact we passively and actively lose life force all the time, I find life blast is a little underwhelming, and think it would just be easier if it did a flat amount of damage, so you don’t feel like you’re wasting your time firing at low life force. Whether it needs to fire faster, or do more damage is a discussion for another day. Alternatively, part of the suggestion someone made about combining land and water DS, was to make life blast transfer one condition like the current plague blast, and to have this shared on land and underwater; this would require no dps improvement, and would help cement our condition control ability.

Honestly, I would call Death Shroud fixed if they would give it normal UI and open up a 5th slot (my favorite nomination for a 5th skill is Epidemic, because DS lacks anything for condition builds as is and Epidemic has some decent use even for non-condition specced necros). I also think it would be pretty cool if Lich Form was a DS specific Elite, but that might be asking too much

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Posted by: Druitt.7629

Druitt.7629

+1. Heck +100. Very good, very well-informed summary!

The only thing I’d add is that I really think they need to turn a few more skills into finishers. Perhaps two more blasts, one projectile (perhaps Scepter #1), and one leap. It seems like we have the fewest finishers of any class, though we have a good number of fields. (I don’t think that minions as blast finishers are really useful and they don’t make up for our overall lack.)

Also, it’s been explained to me that the reason Death Shroud’s UI looks so weird is that it was originally the Necro Downed State. (The idea is that we didn’t have a class mechanic, but we were much stronger in our downed state than other professions.) This helps to explain the hideously uninformative UI and why we can’t see boons, conditions, and cooldowns, since none of this matters while downed. But it needs to work just like Plague and Lich in order to be truly useful. (If for some odd reason AN thinks DS is soooo powerful that they need to handicap it with a bad UI so we don’t overuse it, that’s a fundamental mistake.)

I’d emphasize your point that minion AI really, really needs a fix. That issue is in the top three or four for the class.

In terms of changing Staff #1 to a bounce instead of pierce, I’m personally fine with with pierce… As long as it continues to have the side-effect of traveling farther than its “max range”. I can fire — though it won’t auto-fire — out to 1500, which is nice, and I imagine that it works this way to give you some pierce possibility even at max range.

One small bug that I feel knocks Spectral Walk down a notch is that often times your green outline remains behind as a green trail, pointing directly to where you will recall if you use Spectral Recall. Seems like that would make it a lot less useful in PvP.

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Posted by: Druitt.7629

Druitt.7629

Spectral wall, such an underused skill. It offers a lot.

First you have a protection buff, each time you walk in it (it won’t stack, you only get the protection buff if you don’t have it already).

Even better, the Protection lasts 5 seconds and the wall lasts 9 seconds, so if you stand near the wall you have a 4-second window to pick up another Protection once the first one runs out. I’ve added it to my bar and am still learning to use it well.

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Posted by: Drarnor Kunoram.5180

Drarnor Kunoram.5180

One small bug that I feel knocks Spectral Walk down a notch is that often times your green outline remains behind as a green trail, pointing directly to where you will recall if you use Spectral Recall. Seems like that would make it a lot less useful in PvP.

Not a bug, but it does allow for fun in WvW. When I’m scouting and have to run from a zerg that spotted me, I pop Spectral Walk. If they’re smart, they split the zerg to be sure that they get me. While this has uses on its own, I usually pop out of there with the Flesh Wurm I had placed long before and leave both groups confused.

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Posted by: Kardiamond.6952

Kardiamond.6952

@Drarnor

I used that for a short time, it was a really useful to escape zerg.

But over time, having 2 escape mecanism was too much on my utilities bar.

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Posted by: Drarnor Kunoram.5180

Drarnor Kunoram.5180

@Drarnor

I used that for a short time, it was a really useful to escape zerg.

But over time, having 2 escape mecanism was too much on my utilities bar.

Hence why I do it for scouting. When you’re doing that, “too much mobility” is something you simply cannot have. Fights you get into while scouting would very rarely go in your favor anyway since you are some distance away from your allies.

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Posted by: Kardiamond.6952

Kardiamond.6952

Oh Scouting is different.

I agree that we can’t have too much mobility, but other then for scouting, I can’t use every utilies I have for escape.

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Posted by: War Mourner.5168

War Mourner.5168

I’m suprised how a lot of people don’t know this already – you can both stomp and revive in death shroud. It requires some coordination though, something along the lines of a dodge-jump (= pressing dodge and jump at the same time to do a front/back/sideflip, thus getting a full length jump even while in combat which is useful in jumping puzzles).

yeah I run with foot in the grave and always shroudstomp, but it’s clearly not an intended feature as it is now. Seeing as it has been so frequently talked about and shown, without Anet saying anything, says to me they don’t think it’s an exploit (yet), but they probably will fix it at some point, so I’d like to make it much more open, and simply allow it during DS.

I agree with other posters, more variety on fields, smoke, frost and water (well of blood!). I think we are ok for finishers, for blast anyways we have putrid mark and minions, I would like axe skill 2 to be a whirl finisher.

Interesting idea about axe 2, it makes sense if you look at it literally!

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Posted by: Excio.9153

Excio.9153

IMO, it would be nice if in PVE only, well of corruption inflicts random conditions if there’s no boons to corrupt.

Also, I’d have to disagree with

Dark path is an invaluable asset to necromancers, providing us with a gap closer regardless of build, with a lovely AOE chill on top. After the buff to its projectile speed it’s now fine

With my dagger necro in WvW, I barely use it as a gap close since it has a long cast time and is quite unreliable at hitting.
It also almost never works on players trying to run (Especially if they have swiftness), since it only closes around 300 range before disappearing due to ‘out of range’

I’d love if it were made into a skill similar to ‘Ride the Lightning,’ where enemies in the path are blinded, and when it reaches the target, it does an AOE blind+chill+blast finisher.

.

Death shroud #1 should also be a 40-100% projectile finisher, at the very least. A trait that executes a blast finisher on deathshroud should also exist. In the current state, necromancers basically apply fields, and can’t really reliably finish out of them.
.
.
The #1 skill should also change based on weapon used,

  • Scepter could transfer 1 condition, then inflict poison/bleed if there are no conditions to transfer
  • Staff could function as is, except with 1200 range
  • Dagger could heal the main health bar the equivalent of 1/10th or so of the damage dealt
  • Axe could apply vulnerability or something.

(edited by Excio.9153)

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Posted by: War Mourner.5168

War Mourner.5168

As long as you’re in 900 range of the target when dark path is cast, and when it hits, it will work. This means it can travel further then 900 as long as you keep pace, not to mention the fact that it homes to a degree.

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Posted by: hermit.1573

hermit.1573

Hmm yeah, anymore input, i’m interested in further discussion on this.

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Posted by: Excio.9153

Excio.9153

As long as you’re in 900 range of the target when dark path is cast, and when it hits, it will work. This means it can travel further then 900 as long as you keep pace, not to mention the fact that it homes to a degree.

I wasn’t aware that dark path homed or chased over 900 range, so i tested it.

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/9522001/necromancer_dark_path_testing_random_bugs/

The homing itself doesn’t function reliably, it seems to home with a small chance – unlike mesmer’s staff #1 skill which always homes.

The projectile itself also seems to have an extremely small hitbox, unlike staff. This often causes it to just pass the target by 1cm and miss.

I’m not sure how long the projectile does chase, but some failed dark paths suggest the chase range is ~1500 or so, however other cases such as with the dolyak (start) suggest otherwise. I might try testing it a bit in sPVP when i get the chance to.

Overall, dark path did better than I expected it to by a huge margin, however it is still quite unreliable, only hitting ~50% of moving targets in my tests.

I’d still prefer a mechanic like Ride the Lightning though, with a plague form like effect. It would even suit the name better, blinding enemies in its path.

Also, I seem to have discovered a random bug – If lich form is interrupted right near the end of the channel, the player does not go into lich form, and it goes into full 180 sec CD – see 2:55, and weakening shroud has a delay after the animation before damage is applied, while dagger #5 doesn’t appear to (see end).

(edited by Excio.9153)

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Posted by: War Mourner.5168

War Mourner.5168

I’ve found as long as you’re in range when dark path finishes its cast, it will always home (of course that doesn’t mean it will always hit).

The lich bug has been around for a bit, they fixed it on warrior a while ago (warbanner)

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Posted by: Zoke.2147

Zoke.2147

DS needs 5th skill, don’t know what it should be, but 5 would not be game breaking, and if it acted like Ele attune swaps that would be enough IMO, I.E. switching attunements does not interrupt your current cast. This would break nothing given necro’s are strait out one of the slowest and weakest classes in a game ruled by bursty classes that can down you before you get 4 stacks of bleed off.

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Posted by: BenevolentBovine.2105

BenevolentBovine.2105

An interesting read, you should post your thoughts on traits, for discussion.

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Posted by: War Mourner.5168

War Mourner.5168

They really need to fix the way these forums display threads, it’s showing the (at the moment) empty page 2, even though we’re still on page 1 of this thread, oh well.

But yeah, I’ll probably wait until the patch before posting something, so I can base it on the up to date stuff (looking forward to an improved gluttony).

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Posted by: Khristophoros.7194

Khristophoros.7194

Just a few comments on dagger and axe

Axe – It’s bad, yeah. 600 range feels terrible. I would rather see an increase to 900 or 1000 than say, damage or something. It would be nice to have a viable alternative to scepter for more power based builds.

MH Dagger – I mostly agree except I find Life Siphon occasionally useful. In WvW mostly when I need to damage a fleeing enemy, it’s some ranged damage. Of course, this is only good if my immobilize is on CD already, but I’ve had this situation come up often. Life Siphon isn’t your best skill, and it’s not a skill you should be using often, but I think overall the MH dagger holds its own and Life Siphon has its uses.

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Posted by: Gryph.8237

Gryph.8237

Probably the biggest problem I have on the necro is the lack of stability unless we are in a form (which I am not a huge proponent of because it locks out our utility skills and heal), or have traited into 30 points of the SR trait line, which I think is a waste and weakens your damage output significantly. We need access to another stability, because if anyone sees a necro, the easiest way to take care of one, is to CC it to death. Most people run with one stun break which are spectral skills, which is good, but the minute someone goes into DS, you get stunned, knocked down, etc, get back up, and get stunned again. One access via a trait (that requires you to DS) and two from forms (Lich, plague – although plague does not work vs ranger’s long bow) makes it difficult.

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Posted by: Gryph.8237

Gryph.8237

one more thing, yeah, axe autoattack dmg sucks. even with 18-19 vulnerability, the autoattack hits for 339 – 400 dmg (non-crit) at 3700 attack. That is kitten dmg. Seriously kitten damage and makes you rely on axe 2, which can be CC canceled and often is. You might get off 1k dmg before the channel gets interrupted, which plays back into my point about our lack of stability.