Harbinger - Pistol Curses

The community gave this build a rating, making it second-tier: Good

Focused on: Condition damage and Boon removal

Designed for: PvP Conquest

Expansions required: End of Dragons buildsPath of Fire BuildsSecrets of the Obscure builds

This build was last updated on May 20, 2024 and is up to date for the May 21, 2024 patch.


A high condition damage PvP Harbinger build made to teamfight.

Skill Bar


Skill Variants


Always keep Spectral Walk but the other 2 slots are more flexible. Other viable options include:

  • Corrupt Boon - unblockable single target boon corruption that's hard to avoid, great for bursting targets without any other setup. It's even good for defensive purposes while under pressure - quickly corrupting Stability Stability and Might Might into Fear Fear and Weakness Weakness for instance could save you.
  • Well of Darkness - works both as a defensive and offensive AoE skill.
  • Well of Corruption - less bursty than Corrupt Boon but it's AoE.
  • Spectral Armor - relatively low CD stun break + damage mitigation and better Life Force management.
  • Spectral Ring - area denial that can save your life or cage in enemies to set up kills.
  • Corrosive Poison Cloud - excellent anti-projectile skill which also brings Poison Poison and Weakness Weakness spam to the table, further mitigating damage as well as enemy healing.


Torch can be replaced by either of the following weapons:

  • Offhand Dagger - defensive pick with condition transfer and some damage mitigation via Blind Blind and Weakness Weakness.

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Specialization Variants

Soul Reaping Soul Reaping can replace Death Magic Death Magic if you want to play a more high risk/reward version of the build:


  • Soul Marks makes your Staff marks unblockable but weakens your shroud auto spam.



Equipment Variants

Runes and sigils

  • With the Soul Reaping Soul Reaping variant Rune of Balthazar and Sigil of Smoldering on Pistol/Dagger also become viable options because of Dhuumfire synergy.


  • Relic of Akeem - improves condition variety on your bursts if you can proc it consistently with CC.
  • Relic of Antitoxin offers better cleansing at the expense of damage.
  • Relic of Vass - might offer you more damage than Demon Queen if you're also using utility elixirs, but losing out on the extra healing reduction of Demon Queen could ultimately make it harder for you to kill high sustain bunker and support builds.


Elite specialization basics

  • Harbinger Shroud doesn't replace your health bar! Unlike other Necromancer shrouds, Harbinger Shroud can't be used to soak damage, which makes this spec more squishy by default. Death Magic should offset this a bit.
  • You can enter shroud even with no Life Force to use, but staying inside still drains your LF each interval.


  • Role: follow the teamfight, stay with the support if you have one.
  • Don't spam your marks on the ground out of combat - they are easy to spot and a single dodge from the enemy can get rid of them. Skills 4-5 are also valuable defensive cooldowns and you don't want to risk not having them for the next fight. There are exceptions of course, Mark of Blood (because it's not a key skill and has a low CD) or even Chilblains can be used a bit more freely. For example place them at an entrance or under yourself to help your team spot Stealth Stealthed enemy movements or force a dodge at the start of the fight. Or if you see an enemy with teleport skills approaching you could place Reaper's Mark right before they jump you to ruin their burst.
  • Entering Shroud triggers Weakening Shroud. If you're CC'd and getting focused you can enter shroud for the Weakness Weakness and boon rip as a defensive measure and even proc Plague Sending for some cleansing and additional counter-pressure.
  • Corrosive Poison Cloud is one of the more versatile skills in the build:
    • The healing and endurance reduction from Poison Poison and Weakness Weakness is great for wearing down enemy bunkers/supports.
    • Could be used defensively for AoE projectile denial, helping you and your teams survive pressure, even shutting down elites such as Lich Form.
    • It's unblockable and the Poison Poison does solid damage on its own.
  • Entering Harbinger Shroud gives you life force, so start dropping in/out of shroud the moment the game starts (before you'd even leave spawn) and keep doing it even out of combat for the rest of the match for free LF (and mobility from skills 3-4).


  • Both entering and staying in shroud removes conditions thanks to Plague Sending and Shrouded Removal (Death Magic-only).
  • When playing with Death Magic Death Magic removing and applying conditions generates Carapace stacks, reducing strike damage taken. At 25+ stacks Corrupter's Fervor is going to start pulsing Protection Protection for, well, further protection. This boon also reduces condition damage taken thanks to Dark Defiance.
    • Shrouded Removal grants Carapace even if the condition was removed through other means, like Spectral Walk.
  • Spectral Walk (SW) is great for preventing condition pressure from ramping up on you. Activating its chain skill which "ends" Spectral Walk does not stop the cleansing. This skill has many uses, for example:
    • Activate SW jump off a cliff while being chased Spectral Recall when your enemies jump after you.
    • Activate SW Necrotic Traversal (Flesh Wurm skill) teleport back when they catch up to you. This works for stomping downed enemies as well, the channeling isn't interrupted by either of these teleports!
  • Summon Flesh Wurm should be placed well before entering combat, preferably at a spot where your enemies can't reach it easily. Wurm provides you with an escape route and makes it easier to travel around the map in general. Last but not least, teleporting to the wurm with Necrotic Traversal grants 10% life force, which means you could consider using the teleport before even leaving spawn at the start of a game in order to start off with some LF.
  • Harbinger has better mobility than the average Necromancer build which could prove useful when it comes to surviving damage. Devouring Cut and Voracious Arc are both great for building (or closing) gaps.
  • Skill #4 on both weapon sets is a condition transfer: Deathly Swarm and Putrid Mark.

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This build has a rating of 4 stars based on 8 votes.
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3 stars
Krytical.ERROR gave this build 3 stars • October 2023
Tough spot for this build currently. Pre SOTO, started working on a very in depth guide for Harb builds based around the Pistol Curses build with some tweaks, as it was my favorite and most played build for the entirety of EOD. But it feels very underwhelming currently where there are so many melee burst builds that can blink on top of you from what feels like out of nowhere, projectile denial and people running in packs and with what seems to be pro-tier supports even in unranked matches.... Pistol Curses and variants used to be a super hard carry build. It's just not in a good place and it's hard to see it coming back to 4 or 5 stars without some significant changes to the meta, even in unranked. Can still be fun for sure, the build itself still flows nicely and feels smooth to play, and if you go up against a team of mostly lower skilled players, you'll wreck. Otherwise you're crossing your fingers and clenching your jaw.
3 stars
Hanz gave this build 3 stars • September 2023
Not what it once was, gets blown up in mere seconds in this burst meta, extremely vulnerable when Wurm/Spectal Walk/elite elixir are on CD. I'd rank this last among necro elite specs and arguably even power Harb is better now. Has a couple of redeeming qualities like the damage which is still great when playing with Soul Reaping, shroud mobility allows for skillful gameplay if you know how to use those skills properly. Weakness uptime is nice but more and more specs are getting Resistance for free which lets them ignore that. It's still playable but there are better options out there.
5 stars
Gkhougaz gave this build 5 stars • August 2023
This build has it all for a dps. Great weakness spam. An escape button with wurm, projectile denial with Cloud, very long range with staff, and solid CC. Excellent ability to scale damage from single target (pistol) to staff (aoe). Fantastic condi build during the condi build drought. EDIT: Don't play if enemies have core guardian or tempest.
4 stars
Rhubarbpie gave this build 4 stars • October 2022
Honestly I don't consider this build to be as meta as other people say. Reaper feels a little stronger to me. I Think maybe it's easy to do though since mostly just using auto attacks and pistol/shroud 2 and occasionally throwing your potions at people
4 stars
Chokeen Chi Kahns gave this build 4 stars • August 2022
Seriously, is it the best, is it the most powerful? Probably not. But using condi removal when condi is supa pop right now is awesome. As well as regen casting acting as an opening or upkeep. Then you spike condi right back. I did put signet of spite. since i act almost like a tank / gw1 necro bomber then get out with spectral or my worm bud - I like a little more power. Also, like sending the spite as active when we target or if i need to spam/overwhelming the area while being attacked.
5 stars
Acezelpyer gave this build 5 stars • May 2022
High damage, decent defense and your sheer presence makes others fear you. If you get popping off your target is going to fold fast, and that's the name of your game. Sheer overwhelming force. Remember your shroud here doesn't cover your HP so you're taking all that damage to your face.
5 stars
MaxWolfe gave this build 5 stars • March 2022
Great build with good pressure and survivability if played well. Virtually unbeatable if you have no condition cures. I play this as Pistol/Dagger, Scepter/Focus and it works well. I'm currently running Blood Magic instead of SR which might be worth a shot if you are struggling with sustain. Give it a go!
5 stars
Primeauxvera gave this build 5 stars • March 2022
The fun part about this build, is that it can be overwhelming to your opponent to fight if you play it aggressively. Good crowd controls, if you utilize the utilities correctly you can be very mobile. High damage, carrion amulet is a great choice since harbinger doesn't have a second HP bar. I recommend this to anybody, especially if you're used to playing support classes. This is the glassy spec you need, to break you out of that defensive support class mentality, and into the world of dps. Overall it's a good option for anyone to pick up. :)


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