Of Corpses and Soul Reaping
People often leave perfectly good corpses behind on missions. These are resources going to waste. People also say that Soul Reaping is a useless attribute. This guide will prove these people wrong and show you how to use both these aspects of the Necromancer to your tremendous advantage. After all, corpse spells and soul reaping require synergy to work.
Soul Reaping is exclusive to a primary Necromancer. It gives you energy every time something dies in your general area. The range is roughly how far your staff can hit, so if you are fighting, (and not cowering in a corner) you should be getting energy from your dying foes (and friends). Necromancer spells tend to take a lot of energy, so this attribute is quite useful for them. Once a chain reaction of death starts, you will have close to unlimited energy to finish your fight as long as you invested enough points in this attribute.
Soul Reaping is useful for both PvE and PvP. In PvE, its utility is more obvious, since your party is generally outnumbered throughout a mission. Most classes that use energy lose efficiency over the progress of the fight, as their energy pool dwindles the longer the fight progresses. Necromancers do not have this problem. Short fights enable them to unload their energy and expect to regain most of it when the fight is over. Therefore, the group does not have to wait for them to regain their energy. In longer fights, they can keep a stable supply of energy. Additionally, if your team is doing badly, you will have a lot of energy to use to summon corpses, revive, curse (hex) or use wells to help your team recover. If you are trouncing the enemy, you will be able to press them harder and finish them off faster. Most teams can recover from a few deaths and still win. If you suddenly give an extra burst while they have a temporary handicap, you can counter any possibility of a come back. Another big advantage to Soul Reaping is that minion deaths trigger its effects.
Waiting for Death
At the start of any fight, there are rarely corpses lying around. Therefore, you should bring a spell or two to help your team while you wait for things to die. Since you will be relying on the Blood and Death line of attributes, you should explore what your options are. This choice is up to you, but I recommend disruptive spells or damage dealing spells (
Rotting flesh is a favorite of mine in PvE, provided I am fighting things that are not immune to diseases).
If you are going to use corpse spells, I recommend a Necromancer/Monk. This is so you can revive teammates after you are "done with them". There are many ways to play a Necromancer/Monk. You can either use Soul Reaping to give you more energy when your team is struggling, focusing as an emergency healer or you can simply rely on it to fuel your expensive corpse spells to do damage. A Necromancer/Monk who has a revival spell, should try to remember to use either a well or a minion spell before they revive someone. Why waste a corpse? It is also sensible to use a spell like
Well of Blood or
Well of Power before you revive someone, so that they may recover their missing health and energy; teams will try to pick them off and kill them again while they are weakened. However, if they do happen to die again, you will be able to use the fresh corpse for something else, like minions, thus punishing the other team for picking off the same target many times (while you maintain your energy thanks to the deaths and your ally is dying too fast to accumulate more death penalties).
Wells and Minions
Do you use a fresh corpse for a well or a minion? There are several factors to think of when this opportunity presents itself. If the corpse is surrounded by enemies and your team has the upper hand,
Well of the Profane or
Well of Suffering is a good choice. Once you have a well up, you should use further corpses for minions. If you think they might run, you should use
Animate Bone Minions to hamper their movement. If you are an Elementalist or can coordinate with one, he can also use
Ward Against Foes to keep them in the area. If the corpse is surrounded by enemies, your team is losing, and you have teammates in the area, you should use
<Well of Blood or
Well of Power. Summon minions and then revive as needed. If the corpse is isolated, you should use it for minions. People rarely walk into a well. Good areas for wells in the Tombs of Primeval Kings are around Priests, Relics or the platforms your hero must capture.
Minions and Explosions
There are essentially two ways to use minions: Extra muscle or walking bombs (or both). Generally minions are not attacked in PvP, so unless they happen to walk into an area effect spell (which is very possible if the enemy team is using them), you can accumulate a horde of them in a short amount of time. If you want to keep them alive, use
Verata's Sacrifice and
Blood of the Master.
Heal area, a monk spell, works better outside of combat when your minions are clustered near you. Minions are weak individually, but their damage output grows quite rapidly as you pile them on with each fresh death. They can also "box" people in, preventing them from moving, especially in tight areas. Another use for minions is to cast
Death Nova on them and then use
Taste of Death on them. One minion exploding is decent damage; a chain of them exploding in a short amount of time is massive damage in an area. The damage done by Death Nova is not mitigated by armour, so if you blow up 4 or 5 minions near someone, that person will most likely be dead no matter what. This burst damage is often unexpected, so healers don't usually have time to react. By using
Taste of Death, you are healing yourself at the same time (and Soul Reaping keeps your energy level high). You can also use
Dark Bond to set off your minions if someone is trying to stop you from "bombing". If you are using minions solely to make them blow up,
Animate Bone Minions is the best choice. If you are trying to box them in, use the same spell or
Animate Bone Horror (they are cheaper to cast and more resilient). If you are trying to do a lot of damage with your minions, Bone Fiends are generally a better choice, as more of them can attack (combo this with
Weaken Armor for quicker kills).
Putrid Explosion and similar spells are cheaper, faster, do slightly more damage (but no poison) and easier to target than "minion bombs". However, their disadvantage is that they are useless unless the enemy is near the corpse, which makes explosion chains harder to pull off.
As you can see, minions are far from useless in the right hands. The only thing to keep in mind in PvE is that certain creature types do not produce corpses. Most spells from the Death attribute will therefore be useless. You should take advantage of the refund point system to prepare yourself when fighting golems or undead.
*** This article was written by delicious_doctor and because it is great guide for all of you that want to be best Necromancer ever, I posted it here. :)