Overview of Guild Wars 2's Newest Elite Specialization: The Reaper

The Reaper is the Necromancer’s Elite Specialization. As the name suggests, they are monsters on the battlefield, and most of their skills revolve around melee combat, using a greatsword. The skills provided by the reaper are focused on applying the chill condition to foes around them. They also have the capability to transform into a variation of the Death Shroud. This form is the Reaper’s Shroud, which gives the reaper a scythe and replaces the previous Death Shroud’s skills. Just like the reaper’s normal form, the Reaper’s Shroud has skills focused around melee combat.

The Skills and Traits of the Reaper

Seeing as many of the reaper’s traits garner benefits from the chill condition, most of their skills take full advantage of that. For instance, the Shivers of Dread minor trait inflicts chill when you fear an opponent, and another minor trait, Cold Shoulder makes chill last longer along with making foes do less damage to you. Both of these traits can be very effective at helping the reaper close gaps to their foe, and survive once they have.

Most of the skills given to the reaper have a fairly large cast time because of the slow nature of the greatsword. The main skill of the greatsword is Gravedigger. This skill performs a large swing and recharges faster if it hits a downed or low health foe. Other skills hit more than once, but they all have varying and interesting effects.

Among the many skills available to the reaper, there is a special subset of shout skills. A skill called  “Rise!” deals minor damage, but summons a jagged horror for each foe hit. This can be made more effective by use of a trait that reduces the recharge of any shout per foe hit.

The Inspiration Behind the Reaper

The general aesthetics of the reaper have been based off of movie and game monsters such as Pyramid Head and Jason Voorhees. Keeping with that theme, the reaper has been designed with the idea of making a deadly pursuer who can easily keep up with their prey. To make the reaper a horror on the battlefield, they’ve been given the use of the greatsword.

Personal Opinions and Concerns

My main concern with the reaper is that it will feel more like an upgrade from the base necromancer profession than a specialization. The ability for the reaper to engage multiple foes makes it far more desirable than the base necromancer. Although, whether that is true depends on the changes that are made to their traits. The reaper still retains the necromancer skills, so it literally builds upon the necromancer. Even though the chill condition was originally a main part of the necromancer, embellishing it as part of the reaper makes it seem like an extension. With this said, I’m not sure why anyone who plays a necromancer wouldn’t become a reaper.