L2 Necromancer guide Part I


You might be sitting here thinking: I’m about to start playing classic, which class should I play? Well, there are plenty of good classes like Spellsinger (high DPS nuker), Phantom Ranger (high DPS archer) and Warlord (AOE Stun Master), what is the only class that can be described as “Tanky Nuking Summoner with multiple high land rate debuffs”? That’s right, only Necro. Necro is everything you want in a Tank/Nuker/Summoner/Debuffer and if you’re not playing one, you’re playing the wrong class.


  • Skill Breakdown
  • Skill Leveling Priority List
  • Necro Strengths
  • Necro Weaknesses
  • Equipment
  • Dyes
  • Runes
  • Solo Leveling Guide
  • Group Leveling Guide
  • General PvP Guide
  • Olympiad Guide
  • Conclusion

In the interest of making this an all-inclusive guide, and because Necro has several skills that are important to not max out in skill level, we’ll be taking a look now at a breakdown of specific skills, with a note in brackets of whether or not they should be kept up in levels with the character or not. Please refer to this section of guide for links to detailed skill descriptions.

Curse Gloom: (Level 1) : Curse Gloom - Necromancer This is the first skill that I’ll say shouldn’t be leveled. While Curse Gloom doesn’t have a 100% land rate, it is above 90%, and will land on enemies regardless of level – for example, my level 58 mage landed it 10 times in a row on my level 78. Gloom is also your main debuff so every target you nuke, for the most part, should be hit with Curse Gloom before you start nuking. 23% M. Def debuff is extremely strong, and with the cast time you should be able to easily drop it on every target you want to kill.
Silence (Max Level Available) : Silence - Necromancer The main open PvP debuff other than Gloom. Silence has a higher land rate compared to Fear at, especially in open PvPs where Mental Shield - Prophet will greatly diminish Fear’s land rate. One of the main tools that make Necro strong in 9v9 and other small numbers PvPs.


Curse Doom(Max Level Available) : Curse of Doom - Soultaker See Silence, but Doom also blocks things like a tank’s Chain Strike - Hell Knight, Vengeance - Hell Knight, Shield Stun - Dark Avenger, and Ultimate Defense - Dark Avenger.


Fear (Max Level Available) : Curse Fear - Necromancer Affectionately termed as the “OMG NECRO IS OP IN OLYMPIAD” skill, fear is a game changing skill in Olympiad and against unbuffed targets, however outside of Olympiad, especially against opponents with Chant of Spirit - Doomcryer) and Mental Shield fear should be noted to be a very low land rate skill, not typically worth using unless you have epic jewelry like Refined Ring of Core and Refined Orfen's Earring or you know your opponents are without Mental Shield.
Transfer Pain (Max Level Available) : Transfer Pain - Necromancer Not much to say here – Transfer Pain is what makes Necro more than a normal nuker. 50% of your damage is transferred to your summon making you significantly more tanky than a sorcerer or bishop.
Anchor (Max Level Available) : Anchor - Necromancer Anchor is near instant cast debuff with an extremely high land rate against anyone without specific paralysis resistance. Anchor is extremely strong in Olympiad, and is one of a few skills that will somewhat consistently land on someone that is more than 5 levels higher than you. If you’re over leveled and playing Olympiad, anchor can often be what saves you from defeat.
Mass Curse Gloom(Max Level Available) : Mass Curse Gloom - Necromancer Typically a PvE skill, Mass Gloom is also occasionally useful on siege fields and in mass PvPs where your opponents are all flagged and clumped together.


Curse Weakness (????) : Curse Weakness - Necromancer The level of this skill remains a question mark for two reasons. Reason one is that like Mass Slow, you have limited uses for this skill and you will likely have SP problems. Reason two is that Curse Weakness is a skill you will use in Olympiad to break an opponent’s debuff talisman, and at max level costs over 75 mana. The mana cost of Curse Weakness at max level can occasionally cause some mana issues in longer fights. Although it doesn’t come up often, it is worth noting that unless you actually need weakness for something, it’s best to keep level 1.


Curse Chaos (????) : Curse Chaos - Necromancer This skill, has essentially the same role as weakness. It is used in Olympiad to break talismans, and has some limited uses outside of Olympiad.


Forget (Level 1) : Forget - Necromancer This skill is essentially only relevant in Olympiad. Forget will stop summons from attacking you when it lands. Inside of Olympiad this is quite relevant, outside it might be useful once a week when you want to take a mob off of yourself.


Curse Disease (Max Level Available) : Curse Disease - Necromancer I list this as a max level skill, however it is one you will probably want to max a little bit later than others. While it has some PvP and Olympiad uses, it isn’t used all that often and thereby should not be a priority when you’re short on SP.


Sleep (Level 0) : Sleep - Necromancer Honestly this is actually a strong skill, however pretty much every mage class in the game gets it, so it’s much more reasonable to have a class that isn’t as SP starved as Necro learn and utilize this skill. Necro doesn’t really have a use for Sleep in Olympiad and other classes should have sleep learned (either mages or WC/OL) so in my opinion, it’s not worth leveling


Poisonous Cloud (Max Level Available) : Poisonous Cloud - Necromancer Yet another skill Necro has with limited uses that it likely wants to level up. While it should be low on your priority list, it can be used in Olympiad to get extra DPS against targets that are in Ultimate Defense, Vengeance, or Shield of Faith - Shillien Templar, or it can be used outside of Olympiad to do damage to targets without killing them. The reason to level this over single target Curse Poison - Necromancer is that Poison Cloud continues to be learned to 78+ whereas single target poison ends at lvl 72.


Summon Reanimated Man (Level 1***) : Summon Reanimated Man - Necromancer of all the skills on Necro that you need to be aware of, Reanimated Man is the most important. If you want to be EXPing in AOE, it is imperative that you leave your skeleton at level 1 so you can kill it for Corpse Burst - Necromancer

Tier 1 (Keep leveled 100%) Silence, Doom, Anchor, Fear
Tier 2 (Level if you have the SP) Mass Curse Gloom, Poison Cloud, Curse Disease
Tier 3 (Level if you have excess SP) Mass Slow, Curse Poison
Tier 4 (Level if you literally hate the idea of having all your important skills leveled) Sleep
Tier X (Doesn't need more than level 1) Gloom, Discord, Forget, Weakness, Chaos

Unlike most nuker classes, Necro doesn’t have any obvious weaknesses when it comes to PvP or Olympiad. While it may not excel in something like Mass PvP where higher DPS classes like Spellsinger and Spellhowler truly shine, it isn’t in any way useless in them and Curse Gloom is always relevant

AoE Farming (8.5/10)
Necro brings Corpse Burst – An unlimited target AOE with the same DPS as a normal single target nuke – meaning Necro will be your best possible AOE DPS in most locations that contain trains more than 16 mobs (the target limit for most other AOEs). For all locations, Necro also has Mass Curse Gloom to increase his fellow nuker’s DPS. As with PvP, Necro allows its fellow nukers to be much more efficient.
9v9 PvP (8.5/10)
Necro’s debuff capabilities make it proficient in any sort of PvP, and debuffs like Curse Doom, Curse Silence and Fear can make massive impact when you land them on good characters in low number PvPs. 9v9 gives you room to get off these spells without worrying too much about being killed while going for them, and Gloom as always allows a nice boost in DPS.


Mass PvP (7/10)
While Necro is not at its strongest in mass pvp, Curse Doom means Necro is the only class that can prevent tank classes from pulling or running in and UDing. Curse Gloom also allows a Necro in a party with good assisting to make even high health targets easy to kill. Transfer Pain - Necromancer also allows Necro to effectively be slightly further up and trade damage with high damage targets without running the risk of being 1 shotted like most other nukers.
Olympiad (9/10)
Necro is the only nuker class that is also proficient in Olympiad. Depending on level, Necro will typically stand somewhere within the top 5-6 Olympiad farmer classes, while all other nuker classes are stuck in the bottom tier of Olympiad. Olympiad in classic is mostly based on debuffs, and Necro has a lot of them.


Single Target PvE (3/10)
While Necro single target is benefited by the major farm skill Curse Death Link - Necromancer, because its main nuke requires Cursed Bone Necro is one dimensional in its single target farming. Necro has a sweet spot between the levels of 50-70 where CDLing will get very high EXP, but as the mobs begin to get harder and deaths begin to hurt more (70+) Necro has to be very careful and one unfortunate misstep can often mean a loss of 30+ minutes of farming. Necro also has the major downfall of being a nuker, which means you need a lot of boxes to non-stop farm without running out of mana, which is the main reason they sit at such a low rating. If you have out of party buffers that you can level with, Necro is much better than a 3/10.


Levels 40-50 (1/10)
Levels 40-50, while being part of the “Single Target PvE” section, unfortunately are weak enough that they deserve their own mention. While all other nuker classes get their major DPS skill at level 40, Necro unfortunately only gets Vampiric Claw - Necromancer at level 40, meaning the levels 40-44 typically require you to continue using Blaze - Human Wizard and while Necro is helped by Death Spike - Necromancer at 44, unless you have a lot of adena, you will likely still have to use Blaze until you hit the power spike level of 50 where you can pick up Curse Death Link. Unfortunately this means that Necro moves through levels 40-50 at a pace slower than almost any other class.

Necro, along with every mage class, clearly has its main strengths outside of the single target PvE realm, however I still rank it above many other classes because the levels 50-70~ are a breeze and during those levels, because of CDL, Necro can farm at a rate faster than almost any other. While Necro ranks as “weak” to me in single target PvE, compared to other nukers it is notably better than both Sorcerer and Spellsinger because of Curse Death Link, and of course Body To Mind - Necromancer and only truly falls behind Spellhowler which gets both CDL and a normal, resource-less nuke, Hurricane - Spellhowler as well as an overhit which Necro lacks, Shadow Flare - Spellhowler.


D Grade : Devotion Set, Knowledge Set, Staff Of Life
Your class will have semi-infinite mana because of your pet, so your focus should be maximum DPS, and in the majority of solo spots I will point to, you shouldn’t be getting hit much or at all, so devotion shouldn’t be a problem. If you absolutely must have a D grade set, Knowledge gives the best stats in my opinion. For a weapon, you just want the best weapon you have available to you. If you can afford a Staff of Life or Ghost Staff, go for them. If not, Sword of Magic Fog or Goat Head Staff is just fine.


C Grade : Karmian Set, Demon Set, Demon's Staff
The important thing to recognize here is not to rush to get yourself a C grade weapon. While it may look nice, your spirit shots will double in price, which makes any subsequent gear you want to get quite a bit more tedious. The damage increase on your Blaze - Human Wizard skill will be noticeable but you won’t go from 4 shotting mobs to 2 shotting them, so be careful how you itemize here if you’re low on money. In my experience, the best use of adena is Dyes > Karmian Set > Demon Staff, so long as I have a top D grade weapon in my hands already.


B Grade : Avadon Set, +++ Demon’s Staff or Staff of Evil Spirits
Note: around the time you’re getting yourself into B grade, if you’re gearing all of your chars as you go, you want to start considering getting your rechargers into their end game gear. A +6 set on each of them (D Grade will do) and a MP Regen weapon will significantly increase their MP Regen and thereby allow you to farm for longer periods of time with more efficiency compared to a lot of gear option you might consider for yourself. Personally, around the time I got myself into an Avadon Set with a +4 Demon Staff, I’d be looking to get my rechargers end game geared.

As with C grade, the trouble with upgrading your staff to B grade is that your shots will again nearly double, which will eat directly into your profits while leveling. If possible, you should consider going after an over enchanted Demon’s Staff in order to maximize profits, as your CDL should already be doing very solid damage even with a +0 weapon. The price of a Staff of Evil Spirits has been coming down, and it can be worth it to buy however if you’re looking for long term profits, an over enchanted C grade weapon is your best bet.


Realistic End Game Gear : +6 Karmian Set, +7 Demon’s Staff
I’ll not go into the crazy possibilities of what you can get in the end game with a Dark Crystal set or a +8 Ecliptic Axe, but a realistic expectation as you get 70+ and into end game content is to get yourself into a +6 Karmian Set with a +7 Staff and anything on top of that is icing on the cake. A nuker with this gear will be a threat in the majority of PvPs for a while to come.

+12 WIT, +8 WIT +4 INT, or +8 WIT +4 CON.

Whether you want to get the +4 INT depends on whether you want to be more PvE or PvP oriented. If you’re in a mode to PvE for weeks on end, the +4 INT will give you a small boost that can help in certain areas. Typically, while +4 INT absolutely does help, it isn’t the massive boost that some people expect, so don’t look towards it to double your damage output or anything. If you’re in a PvP mode, there are people that like to debate between +12 WIT and +4 CON. In my opinion, CON is not worth the drop in DPS when you’re playing on a necro, as you’re already a fairly tanky class. For overall gameplay, I stick with +12 WIT on my necro and always have. Important to note that for Olympiad, +12 WIT is an absolute must.


PvE : for full PvE, ISS rune is your best bet as none of the other runes give you a significant advantage in terms of kill rate while CDLing.
PvP : Super Feo, while extremely expensive (30kk+) gives you a notable boost in your crit rate (10%+) and for an end game PvP setup is absolutely worth buying. If you’re having trouble with adena, I would make do with a standard Wynn’s Rune.
Olympiad : Typically you’re looking at 2 runes for olympiad. You can add a couple of extras if you want, however the main rune you want to have is a cast speed rune. Most people run a cast speed rune on an extra weapon so they can keep their main rune in their main weapon, and they can use that cast speed weapon when the goal is to get fear or another debuff of as fast as possible.


Olympiad : Typically you’re looking at 2 runes for olympiad. You can add a couple of extras if you want, however the main rune you want to have is a cast speed rune. Most people run a cast speed rune on an extra weapon so they can keep their main rune in their main weapon, and they can use that cast speed weapon when the goal is to get fear or another debuff of as fast as possible.


Overall : Assuming you’re sticking with 1 weapon for PvP+PvE and you have the adena to afford it, a Super Feo gives you the best bang for your buck as the crit rate will help in PvE as well as being the strongest rune for PvP. If you, as most people, can’t afford a Super Feo, your best bet, in my opinion, is to stick with a mana regen rune (ISS) as for general PvP a 3-4% cast speed rune or a very slight M. Attack boost won’t change almost anything. For Olympiad, you can have a cheap secondary weapon with a cast speed rune.

First, I will reiterate that Necro is a very tough class to level solo if you’re starting from 0 with no help. While it isn’t impossible and I’ve seen plenty of people do it, you do need to have an attachment to Necro in particular if you’re going to have the dedication required to get to higher levels through mainly solo leveling. Most non-mage classes have a better time in that they don’t need multiple buffers kept up with their levels, and random parties are easier to find as single target 9 man farming is very realistic for archers and melees, but not highly realistic for nukers as they typically want to get AOEing with a 9 man party. This is not to say that you shouldn’t level Necro, obviously I love the class, but you should know what you're in for. If you have some high level supports for whatever reason, for example a couple of lvl 76+ rechargers, you can ignore this and the next warning.

Now for the leveling setup, Necro also happens to be a class, along with all nukers, that needs quite a few boxes to level optimally. Again I will warn you to be certain of what you want to do if you’re planning on sitting with 1 buff box. My recommendation for “optimal” leveling will state you want 4 buffers, 3 of which keep up in level with you. This “optimal” setup will give you maximum DPS in farming and, for the most most areas, keep you from sitting down to regen MP more than once in a while as long as your rechargers have adequate regen gear.

Prophet (Lv. 58)
BladeDancer (Lv. 52)
Elven Elder (within 6 levels of your nuker)
Shilien Elder (within 6 levels of your nuker)
If you already have high level rechargers, a 2nd EE would help in certain areas, but it shouldn’t be a necessity.
BladeDancer (Lv. 52)
Elven Elder (within 6 levels of your nuker)

With the budget leveling setup, you will be lacking complete full buffs so your PvP readiness will take a very big hit, and you’ll very often be sitting to regen MP. Of course there’s a reason I call it a “Budget Leveling Setup”, and it is naturally not the best possible conditions, but it is doable if you’re dedicated. For this setup, you’ll need to be spending money on both cast speed potions and empower fish stews, so you’ll also be taking a slight hit on income, especially in the lower levels, but it shouldn’t break the bank too much.

I'll put this here as my belief is a lot of people misunderstand this. The nice thing about mage is because you're going to be 2-3 shotting most mobs, you will almost always be making a profit in low levels and you'll make adena hand over fist when you're CDLing. Rather than focus on adena, my belief is that your best bet is to focus on EXP and allow the adena to come in slowly for the majority of levels. Perhaps in the levels 30-45~ you want to be focusing a bit on adena so you can get yourself into C grade, however at almost every other level I find it to be more efficient to just allow the adena to come while I focus on the EXP side of things. By the time you reach 78 if you only farm on the top EXP spots you will have more than enough for end game gear and fully geared boxes, so don't worry too much about everything else.

You'll see a lot of people that sit in bad exp spots for a long period of time in their early 50s trying to get a +4 C grade staff, but in reality you're sacrificing levels for something you don't need for leveling and you'll get eventually anyways. For Necro, all you need is decent gear and low HP and you have all you need to level all the way up. Good gear is for PvP.

Now on to the actual leveling, I’ll say that generally as a nuker you want to be focusing on areas where you 2-3 shot mobs as that is typically the best balance for MP and EXP. If you go to spots where you’re 5 shotting mobs, unless you have a Refined Orfen's Earring or 5 rechargers, you will likely have mana troubles, and if you go to spots where you 1 shot them you’ll have trouble finding enough mobs.


 Necromancer guide l2
Typically, abandoned camp is a spot that you will probably be sad to leave, as the exp effiency here at the back area is very high compared to most other spots. In the early levels, you will likely have to farm closer to the entrance as the Ol Mahum Commanders will give you some trouble, but as you get to 25+ if you have decent gear, you should be able to handle the tougher mobs.


 Necromancer guide l2
There are a few options for where you can go past 32, but the 2 most realistic ones are EG in the lower area(Hangman Trees, and Corpse Trackers) or Plains of the Lizardmen on the lower level mobs (Archers, Soldiers, and Bloody Axe’s Escorts). EG should give you better EXP, however it will give less adena as the bats spawn adenaless special mobs. If you’re worried about adena, you can consider going to the plains, however I prefer to stay in EG for the majority of these levels.


Necromancer guide l2
Necromancer guide l2
Necromancer guide l2
The choice between the 3 areas is fairly linear. If you have equipment, buffers and adena and all you want is EXP, Forest of Mirrors is by far the best. If you have buffers and gear and want a mix of adena and EXP, Plains of the Lizardmen’s high level mobs are your go-to. If you have mediocre gear or lack buffers, you can stick on the lower level mobs in Plains of the Lizardmen, or you can try out a new area in the Hardin’s Academy. Personally, I prefer to stick to the low level mobs in Plains of the Lizardmen. Important note here is that unfortunately 36-40 if you're leveling without any high level buffers will feel like it takes forever. Once you hit 40 you'll get a big boost with WIT dyes/gear, so I would consider leaving a few buffers behind and powering to 40 as fast as possible


Necromancer guide l2
Necromancer guide l2
Necromancer guide l2
As with level 36-40, Plains of The Lizardmen will give you a mix of adena + EXP, and Forest of Mirrors will be by far your best bet for EXP but will almost certainly cost you adena.
I include Sea of Spores here not because I believe it to be an efficient leveling spot in terms of adena or EXP, but because there are some people that like to go spell book hunting, and this is the area where you can do so. I would recommend against it and say that you should go to a spot where you can make good adena then buy the books, however if you must gamble on a lucky drop, you can farm on Rotting Trees for your CDL spellbook, and beside those you'll find some Rotting Golems which you can kill for a chance at the Death Whisper spellbook which sells for a good price.


Necromancer guide l2
Necromancer guide l2
Necromancer guide l2
Once again, Forest of Mirrors is your best bet if you can afford it. aas you get higher in levels, it loses you less adena and by 45 you might actually be able to break even if you farm in a spot with a good mix of shamans and other mobs. Outside of Forest of Mirrors there are about 500 leveling spots that you can test out. Unfortunately however, there is a reason I rated levels 40-50 as a 1/10, and 45-50 might be a 0/10. You don't have a real nuke to do damage, and you don't have any good leveling spots that you can handle that make good adena and even decent EXP. Feel free to try out as many spots as you like because you will continuously come to the conclusion that the EXP in your current spot is terrible.

50-58 (AKA You've Made it!!)

Necromancer guide l2
Necromancer guide l2
At this level, you have a ridiculous number of spots you are capable of leveling at. Unlike other spells, Curse Death Link won't be failing unless you're farming on mobs that are massively outside of your level range (20+) so you can even farm on dark red mobs if you want to. My recommendation for EXP is Anghel Waterfall. The EXP at Anghel Waterfall is unmatched by almost any other spot in the game, and you should easily be able to pass 12kk exp/hour if you have the right setup. Unfortunately, Anghel Waterfall like most every other EXP based spot will run you a bit dry on adena, so you might not be able to farm here permanently. Seal of Shilen is effectively the same story as Anghel Waterfall, however I add it here because it can be a nice change of scenery if you're getting bored of the Forest of Mirrors area.
If you're looking for a spot to get some adena along with your EXP, there are many options. I have seen people CDL in Enchanted Valley before, and I've seen people deep in Dragon's Valley as well, however in sticking with my earlier recommendation that you don't want to be more than 2-3 shotting mobs, my recommendation is Plains of Glory. You will gete soem good EXP, the mob density is fairly solid, and of course you get adena along with it.


Necromancer guide l2
Necromancer guide l2
Necromancer guide l2
As mentioned earlier, Seal of Shilen is quite similar to Anghel Waterfall, however the mobs are higher level so you can stay there longer. again, if you're able to afford it, Seal of Shilen is your best EXP all the way until you level out of the area. If you're not able to afford it, you have quite a few options to get solid EXP and adena, but I'll point you to 2 of them : Plains of Glory, and Forsaken Plains. I've already recommended Plains of Glory and it's certainly a good spot, but if you're looking for a change up (and I'm sure you will given that 58-70 is a lot lf leveling) or you've begun to out level Plains of Glory, Forsaken Plains is a good option. You can also try out the lower level mobs in Blazing Swamp.


Necromancer guide l2
Necromancer guide l2
Realistically, most people seem to agree that Blazing Swamp is the superior spot for these levels. You should already be geared for the most part and looking to get levels more than anything else, and Blazing Swamp's adenaless mobs are perfect for that. You should also be able to make a profit in the area given that there's nowhere with only adenaless mobs, so I would stick mostly to Blazing Swamp. Forsaken Plains can be good if you really need the adena or want a change in scenery, but it really doesn't compare.

Read Necromancer Guide Part II


Posted By: Your Gaming Dude

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L2 Necromancer guide Part II

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