Necrotic Guardian – Necromancer healing guide (Dragonhold updated)
Welcome to my necromancer PvE healing guide :)! I will present here the skills and gear I would use in general for healing PvE content such as trials or 4-man dungeons and arenas. Some sections are kept short intentionally as my templar healing guide goes in-depth in things like healing gear, trait and enchantments. The last section includes my thoughts on necro healing in the current meta.
This guide is organized as follows (click on the links for quick travel):
Make sure to hover your mouse pointer over the underlined sets and skills to see the tooltips :)!
As for any healer, I recommend to pick Breton as your race. Sustain on a necromancer can be a bit tough, so the extra magicka recovery and cost reduction are definitely welcome.
Other choices include High Elf or Argonian.
I aim at getting about 18k in health with food and gear on, unbuffed. Depending on your food and gear, you may want to adjust those, but with my setup I run 64 points in Magicka.
Sustain on a necromancer healer is less comfortable than on Templar or Warden. Therefore, I run Clockwork Citrus Filet (Max Health, Max Magicka, Magicka recovery and Health recovery)
As for potions, we are using Spell Power potions (Lady’s smock, Corn Flower, Water Hyacinth), to get major prophecy on both bars and major sorcery.
With the changes brought with the Scalebreaker patch, we no longer have to spam orbs as a healer. Therefore, we can invest much more in “offensive” stats. My favorite mundus to use now is the Thief, as it buffs your healing done by a lot as well as your damage done. While the Ritual gives you more raw healing, I find it very unnecessary. The Apprentice and the Mage both gives less healing/damaging power than the Thief.
This section is identical as in my templar healing guide. Therefore, I will keep it short and just mention the essentials.
I prefer using 1 heavy piece and 1 medium (with 5 light pieces from another set).
Traits, enchantments and weapons
Armor traits and enchants
- Running the thief mundus stone, we use infused on big pieces (head, chest, legs), and divines on small pieces (shoulders, gloves, boots, belt), with a magicka enchantment on everything.
Restoration staff trait and enchant
- You should have multiple staves depending on your group and the situation.
- Infused with a crusher/weakening glyph or a damaging glyph..
- Powered with a weapon damage or absorb magicka or weakening glyph.
- Charged (with any enchant listed above).
- Precise (with any enchant listed above).
- Decisive (with any enchant listed above).
Lightning staff trait and enchant
- You should have multiple staves that you will use depending on the situation.
- Infused with a shock glyph.
- Infused with a weakening/crusher glyph.
- Decisive with a shock glyph.
Jewels traits and enchants
- We use Arcane jewels with as many spell damage enchants as possible, the rest being magicka recovery. There are no definite rule on how many magicka recovery enchants you should use, it depends on the content you are running, how comfortable you are with it, and on the sets you are using (do they give you magicka recovery or not).
- As a general rule of thumb, I start with a lot of magicka recovery, and add more and more spell damage if I feel comfortable enough with my sustain to do so.
- Infused magicka recovery jewels can be used in very sustain-intensive fights – for example, HoF 1st boss.
Keep in mind that green cps will also depend on your playstyle and on the content you are doing.
Green tree :
Shadow Ward 46
Red tree :
Blue tree :
Spell erosion 23
Elemental expert 32
Staff expert 9
Note that depending on the content you are running, you can actually remove more points from Blessed to buff your damage done.
As a healer, the following passives are essential:
- Grave Lord, Bone Tyrant, and Living Death passives.
- Destruction Staff and Restoration Staff passives.
- Light Armor passives.
- Heavy Armor: Juggernaut II.
- Fighter’s guild: Banish the wicked III.
- Mage’s guild: Magicka Controller II.
- Undaunted: Undaunted Command II, Undaunted Mettle II.
- Support (Alliance war): Magicka Aid II.
- Racial passives.
- Vampire: Supernatural Recovery II, Undeath II, Unnatural Resistances.
- Alchemy: Medicinal Use III.
Front bar: restoration staff
- Illustrious Healing, Energy Orbs and Combat Prayer are our healing 101 skills and don’t need to be introduced anymore.
- Blood Sacrifice is a strong burst heal, which can heal a second target by consuming a corpse. The other morph of this skill is also really strong. If you can afford to use only Combat Prayer as a burst heal, this can be used as a flex spot.
- Unnerving Boneyard is one of the two unique necromancer synergies. It deals damage and applies AoE major breach and fracture. On boss fight, it’s very nice to have to provide your tank and dds with an extra synergy, while on trash fights, we want to keep it up for the debuffs it applies. This skill can be used on your back bar if you need the slot for something else (Purge, for example).
- Ultimate: Replenishing Barrier. We use it for the extra magicka recovery from the Magicka Aid passive. You can also use Shooting Star for Magicka Controller, or the Bone Tyrant ultimate for Death Gleaning, or Replenishing Barrier for the extra magicka regen through Magicka Aid.
Back bar: lightning staff
- Lightning Blockade and Blood Altar are also healing 101 skills. You may use Elemental Drain instead of Altar if your group needs it. Note that the other morph – unstable wall of element, is really interesting if you want to have extra damage.
- Agony Totem is the second unique necromancer synergy. It provides minor protection in a 6m-radius AoE for 10s, and activating the synergy applies minor vulnerability in the same AoE for 5s. A very nice skill which helps our group survivability and damage. Note that this cannot replace Infallible Aether.
- Spirit Guardian heals over time and procs our Undead Confederate passive, as well as giving a corpse to consume. With the increased cost of this ability, I would actually recommand using it only if you are looking for increasing your survivability.
- Necrotic Potency allows you to consume corpses to generate 6 ultimate. It is a really strong ability on trash. In boss fights, this is a flex spot.
- Ultimate: Glacial Colossus. Applies major vulnerability for 5s in a 8m-radius AoE. This necromancer unique debuff is really strong. In 4-man content, this ultimate is particularly interesting as it also deals quite a lot of dps.
Other useful skills
- Efficient Purge, Bone Surge, Shadow Silk, and Mystic or Stalwart Guard should be leveled up and ready to use, depending on the content.
- Skeletal Arcanist deals nice AoE damage and procs our Undead Confederate passive. I like to use it on trash fights instead of Spirit Guardian.
- Expunge and Modify is a self-cleansing ability that also reduces the cost of all your abilities by 3%. Slot it on your front bar if you have a free slot.
- Degeneration, Soul Splitting Trap, Scalding Rune and Destructive Reach should be used if you are using Z’en’s redress.
Once again, if you are new to healing, I recommend to read the best practices section of my Templar Healing guide where I cover extensively what I find the most important about healing. I discuss in this section only what is relevant to Necromancer Healing.
What makes necromancer healing special
I’ve been asked multiple times “is necromancer healing any good?” or “is it as good as Templar healing?”. In my opinion, the necro healing kit is very strong, well-rounded and quite complete. The skills feel smooth to use compared to warden healer, and bring some off-dps which is always good. I’ll list here the main strengths of necro healers in the current patch, in my opinion:
- Two unique synergies which can be activated without any condition and which deal damage, one of which being ranged. This allows us to provide synergies for our tanks (for Alkosh uptimes) and our stam dds (for Lokkestiiz uptimes). In addition, these two synergies are linked to abilities which are actually useful on their own (Boneyard deals damage, Totem brings minor protection), unlike corrupting pollen, for example.
- AoE major breach and fracture through Unnerving Boneyard.
- AoE minor vulnerability for trash through Agony Totem.
- Large minor protection AoE through Agony Totem.
- Extra proc of major vulnerability through the Colossus ultimate.
- Insane ultimate generation on trash through Necrotic Potency.
Providing synergies to your group
As any healer, our role is to provide for orbs for everyone in the group, in addition to keeping all our buffs and debuffs up. However, as a necro, we should also aim at using our two unique synergies as much as possible – provided that we also have enough orbs in the group. Make sure to cast them on your tanks and dds if they are using Alkosh/Lokkestiiz.
Sustain on necromancer is definitely less comfortable than on templar or warden. Make sure to heavy attack on your resto staff whenever you feel you’re running low, if there is little to no incoming damage.
As always, I hope this was helpful! Feel free to contact me here, or on Twitch or Discord if you have any questions.