Necrotic Guardian – Necromancer healing guide (Elsweyr 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 52 points in Magicka and 12 points in Health.
Sustain on a necromancer healer is less comfortable than on Templar or Warden. Therefore, I run either Clockwork Citrus Filet (Max Health, Max Magicka, Magicka recovery and Health recovery)
or Ghastly Eye Bowl (Max Magicka, Magicka recovery) if my gear provides for some extra health bonus (Torug’s or Ebon for example).
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.
I use the Atronach for some extra magicka recovery.
Depending on your gear and food, the Ritual can be nice to use if you find that you have too much sustain with the Atronach, or the Thief if you want to boost your healing power as well as your damage output.
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 light (with 5 light pieces from another set), as it gives the best compromise between high stats and sustain.
Traits, enchantments and weapons
Armor traits and enchants
- Running the atronach mundus stone, I prefer to use divines on all my body pieces, with three prismatic enchantments on big pieces (head, chest, legs) for the extra health and the extra stamina, and magicka enchantments on the rest.
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).
- 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
- On a Necromancer healer, I like to have around 3k unbuffed magicka recovery on my front bar without an Asylum Staff, or 2.6k with an Asylum Staff.
- Use magicka recovery (infused or arcane) or spell damage (arcane) jewels to meet this goal.
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
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. If you struggle with sustain, use Healing Springs instead of Illustrious Healing.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- Necrotic Potency allows you to consume corpses to generate 6 ultimate. It is a really strong ability on trash. In boss fights, you may replace it with Bone Shield, Shadow Silk or any other ability that may suit your group better.
- Ultimate: Glacial Colossus. Applies major vulnerability for 5s in a 8m-radius AoE. This necromancer unique debuff is really strong. Assuming that the +10% stat increase from warhorn doesn’t fall off, an additional proc of major vulnerability means more damage than an extra proc of major force. If your group cannot keep this stat buff on, use Aggressive Horn. 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.
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 budding seed, 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.
All this brings necro healer on par with templar healer, in my opinion.
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. I recommend keeping the Spirit Guardian up as much as possible, on cooldown, to help with that. However, recasting it too early may end up making the ability cost more than what we are gaining from it, so avoid that. 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.