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Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition)» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Best Skills for Necromancer rss

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Jesse the Fourth
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So, my group just recently started a campaign of Descent and I chose Mad Carthas as the Necromancer for my hero. We've only played First Blood and Fat Goblin so far, but looking over things, I'm wondering what the "most optimal" direction to take skills are, especially for the whole campaign. I'm very interested to see what people usually take for their first four experience points (leading up to the Interlude) and then afterwards.

After First Blood, I grabbed Corpse Blast because it's always handy to have access to some form of AOE to clear out the trash. Although I think it was a decent decision, after looking at Necromancer progression, I'm wondering if this might be a better option:

1. Fury of Undeath - your Reanimate is straight-up going to be move effective than you are, especially in the long term. You should get the most mileage out of that that you can.
2. One of the 2 XP upgrades - In my mind, your best bet is Undead Might, although I could be convinced that Dark Pact is better.
3. Corpse Blast - With Fury of Undeath, it becomes easier to get your Reanimate in position and you can possibly pull an Activate, Activate, Corpse Blast for maximum firepower with 4 XP.

This leaves you at a pretty solid build for the Interlude - rolling Act II damage twice a turn. This also front-loads your easiest utility and least situational things. Fury of Undeath will always be good - as will Dark Pact/Undead Might. The only thing I'm still iffy on is whether Corpse Blast is worth it in the long run. For my party, I think it's almost necessary as we don't have any real access to AOE (Knight and Disciple for other two roles), but it may be better to leave it for access to Army of Death or Dying Command without leaving sloshy XP around that ends up going to Deathly Haste.
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Rafal Areinu
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Corpse Blast and Fury of Undeath doesn't work that well.

action 1: create familiar in adjacent position to yourself. You cannot make blast attack as it would also hit you. Well, you can move with fatigue to get out of range, but this would only work when you're adjacent to monsters.
action 2: do something. Maybe fury of the undeath, maybe not.


Now OL kills your familiar on his turn. Familiar has only 4 HP and no defense dice. Unless your OL is as bad as ours he will surely kill him. Especially in act 2 where every monster and their grandpa have additional attack die.

Now it's your turn again and you need to sweat again to create familiar, which you can't really put into blast attack. Your familiar needs to be alive at the start of your turn to be effective for blasting, which means you shouldn't probably race him towards death as soon as he is created.

Also you might get some weapons that get AOE on surge, which might work more often than using familiar for AOE. If the familiar becomes the only way to make AOE it will almost surely die before you get chance to use it effectively.

Deathly Haste might often do what Fury of Undeath would do, also granting movement points for you, and not using up your action.

Vampiric blood is very good option, especially after 2nd quest, as it's very powerful in act 1. Army of Death + Vampiric Blood would give you, for 5 exp, much better AOE than Corpse Blast + Fury of Undeath, and one that is much harder for OL to get away from.
 
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Darren Nakamura
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I'm with Areinu; Corpse Blast isn't as good as we originally thought it would be, because of how it activates. If Corpse Blast were something the Reanimate could do rather than something the Necromancer could do, it would be much better. But as it is, you almost always have to already have the Reanimate out at the start of your turn in order to use Corpse Blast well.

That said, it does have advantages over the Runemaster's Exploding Rune, in that you can move the Reanimate to a space in between two monsters and hit them both, where the Runemaster must target a monster so if the others aren't adjacent then he won't hit. I still prefer the Runemaster's Exploding Rune over the Necromancer's Corpse Blast for the reason in the first paragraph. It just doesn't come up often enough, and especially if you are up against an Overlord who has any sort of foresight. The Reanimate's starting health and lack of defense makes him an easy target to kill.

To answer the original question, I would probably opt for Vampiric Blood first, then Undead Might just before the Interlude. Having the Reanimate attack with blue/red/yellow during Act I is awesome, and Undead Might makes him slightly tougher to get rid of, while also providing a low damage boost. After the Interlude, I'd probably go for Dark Pact and then Army of Death. Perhaps I could be convinced to do Army of Death sooner, if the Overlord favored groups of small monsters and the team didn't have any other area of effect attacks like yours.
 
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Jesse the Fourth
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So, with Undead Might, Vampiric Blood, Dark Pact and Army of Death ... isn't that 9 XP worth of abilities? Aren't there only 8 XP that you can get in a campaign? I haven't looked at the Act II quests yet, so it's possible they give you more than 1XP and I hadn't realized that.
 
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Rafal Areinu
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Maybe with Lair of the Wyrm. I don't have that expansion yet(waiting for Polish translation) so I didn't see quest rewards for most of the quests.
 
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Darren Nakamura
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Ah, sorry, that is 9 XP. Some Act II Quests grant bonus XP, but you can't count on it. If you were to get only 8 XP over the course of the campaign, I'd drop Dark Pact for one of the 1 XP skills. Fury of Undeath, perhaps.
 
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Jesse the Fourth
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So, since I've made my bed (in that I now have Corpse Blast and Fury of Undeath), what do people think the best next skill is going to be? Act II damage, correct? That's what I was thinking would be best.

I'm wondering about Fury of Undeath being rated so low - it seems to me to be one of the best early-to-mid (and even late) skills. You take it as your first skill and you're getting a functional three attacks a round (if the Overlord doesn't take your zombie down, two if they do). Level it up with Vampiric Blood and you've got Act II damage on quest three of Act I, 2-3 times a round.
 
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Darren Nakamura
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falarransted wrote:
So, since I've made my bed (in that I now have Corpse Blast and Fury of Undeath), what do people think the best next skill is going to be? Act II damage, correct? That's what I was thinking would be best.

I'm wondering about Fury of Undeath being rated so low - it seems to me to be one of the best early-to-mid (and even late) skills. You take it as your first skill and you're getting a functional three attacks a round (if the Overlord doesn't take your zombie down, two if they do). Level it up with Vampiric Blood and you've got Act II damage on quest three of Act I, 2-3 times a round.


Don't take it as your first skill and you can still get three attacks in one round: two from the Necromancer and one from the Reanimate. Purely based on Actions, it is a bargain; trade one Necromancer action for two Reanimate actions. It's certainly better if you have Vampiric Blood.
 
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Jesse the Fourth
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And, since the Reanimate is putting out more damage than you in the opening (unless you get really lucky and get a staff upgrade), it's better to trade one of your attacks for one of his attacks. If on quest 3, you upgrade to Vampiric Blood, then it's just sick.

However, given that I have Corpse Blast and Fury of Undeath now - my next skill should probably wait for Vampiric Blood to give us our best chance in the Interlude, right?
 
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guendalf 42
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That's exactly what I've just done as my first experience with a necromancer: 1. Fury of Undeath. 2. Vampiric blood.
I was using a lot Fury of Undeath, so I'm glad I bought it first. Now, with Vampiric blood, it's even better! Note that I don't need a weapon with my hero; so my group spends the money in other stuffs.
Next thing I'll get is Army of Death ^_^
 
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