Death Shroud

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Disambig icon.png This article is about the necromancer profession mechanic. For the effect, see Death Shroud (effect). For the NPC skill, see Death Shroud (NPC skill).

Death Shroud.png

Death Shroud

Necromancer icon small.png Necromancer (skill list)
Profession mechanic
Weapon slot filled tango.png
Death Shroud.png
 → End Death Shroud.png
Game link
10 Recharge time  
Death Shroud

Assume a spectral form and gain new skills, turning your life force into health.

— In-game description

Death Shroud is the necromancer's unique mechanic providing some passive benefits and replacing the necromancer's normal weapon skills with a fixed set of Death Shroud skills. It is fueled by life force and can be entered even while under control effects. The necromancer's elite specializations replace this mechanic - Reapers enter a Reaper's Shroud instead, while Scourges enter Desert Shroud (Desert Shroud does not grant new weapon skills, although it can trigger traits with "enter shroud" and "exit shroud" conditions e.g. Spiteful Spirit), and Harbingers enter Harbinger Shroud.


Death Shroud has a base 10-second recharge upon deactivation. It ends either when the life force pool is completely depleted, or when manually deactivated. A minimum of 10% life force is required to enter Death Shroud.

While in Death Shroud, the necromancer's health is temporarily replaced by their life force pool, and all damage dealt will be inflicted to the life force pool instead of the necromancer's normal health pool. This includes falling damage, allowing Necromancers in Death Shroud to survive falls from greater heights than usually possible. Direct and condition damage done to the life force pool is reduced by 33% in PvE and 50% in WvW and PvP. This damage reduction stacks multiplicatively with other damage reduction effects such as Protection. Additionally, the necromancer naturally loses 3% of its total life force pool every second (5% per second in PvP).

Necromancers cannot be healed while in Death Shroud (except for Unholy Sanctuary, and life steal effects such as Vampiric, Vampiric Presence, and Locust Swarm). Effects that normally restore health will have no effect on either the life force pool nor the necromancer's regular health pool. Skills and traits that refill life force will continue to function while in Death Shroud. However, the necromancer will not get life force from nearby deaths.

While in Death Shroud, upgrades, such as sigils, on the necromancer's currently equipped weapon continue to function. While you cannot swap weapons in Death Shroud, entering Death Shroud will activate sigils that trigger on weapon swap. The weapon strength of the equipped weapon is applied to the Death Shroud skills, including any traits that affect the equipped weapon, such as Spiteful Talisman. Traits and rune bonuses that trigger at health thresholds (such as Superior Rune of the Scholar) rely on the necromancer's regular health pool, rather than their life force pool.


When under the effect of Death Shroud, these skills replace the normal weapon skill bar. They can't be changed but can be upgraded through the use of traits.


# Skill Activation.png Tango-recharge-darker.png Description
1 Life Blast.png Life Blast 1 Shroud. Blast your foe with life force.
With  Dhuumfire.png Dhuumfire
1 Life Blast.png Dhuumfire 1 Blast your foe with life force, setting them alight.
2 Dark Path.png Dark Path 0.75¾ 8 Shroud. Send out a claw. If it hits a foe, it inflicts bleeding and chill on nearby foes and you may cast Dark Pursuit to shadowstep to the initial target.
2 ChainDark Pursuit.png Dark Pursuit Shadowstep to the foe marked by Dark Path. Using this skill increases the recharge of Dark Path.
3 Doom.png Doom 0.75¾ 20 Shroud. Inflict fear on your foe.
4 Life Transfer.png Life Transfer 30.5½ 25 Shroud. Damage nearby foes and steal their life force.
5 Tainted Shackles.png Tainted Shackles 0.25¼ 30 Shroud. Begin binding nearby enemies with your life force, pulsing out conditions; they can break this binding if they get far enough away from you. Bound foes are immobilized if the binding finishes.


# Skill Activation.png Tango-recharge-darker.png Description
1 Life Blast.png Plague Blast 0.5½ Blast a foe with a plague that transfers one condition to them.
With  Dhuumfire.png Dhuumfire
1 Life Blast.png Dhuumfire 0.5½ Blast a foe with a plague that transfers one condition to them.
2 Dark Water.png Dark Water 0.5½ 8 Blind and poison foes near your target with a dark cloud.
3 Wave of Fear.png Wave of Fear 0.5½ 20 Terrify all foes in front of you with a wave of fear.
4 Gathering Plague.png Gathering Plague 10.25¼ 25 Draw conditions from nearby allies to yourself, and inflict weakness on yourself.
5 Tainted Shackles.png Tainted Shackles 0.25¼ 30 Shroud. Begin binding nearby enemies with your life force, pulsing out conditions; they can break this binding if they get far enough away from you. Bound foes are immobilized if the binding finishes.

Related traits[edit]

Spite Spite

Curses Curses

Death Magic Death Magic

Blood Magic Blood Magic

Soul Reaping Soul Reaping

Traits that improve Death Shroud skills[edit]

Spite Spite[edit]

Curses Curses[edit]

Blood Magic Blood Magic[edit]

Soul Reaping Soul Reaping[edit]


  • Grants Death Shroud.png Death Shroud.
  • When activating Death Shroud, the necromancer will occasionally shout "I am death incarnate!".
Entering or exiting this form does not grant the bonuses imprinted on carried weapon's sigils.
  • Appears in the first profession mechanic slot if no elite specialization is equipped, or if no minor adept for an elite specialization is trained.

Version history[edit]

For a detailed skill history, see here.

Patch Changes
March 30, 2022
  • (PvP Only) Increased life force lost per second from 4% to 5%.
February 28, 2022 End of Dragons release:
  • Death Shroud now has a tooltip fact indicating that damage is reduced while in shroud. Damage reduction has been decreased from 50% to 33% in PvE only.
November 30, 2021
  • This skill no longer disables autoattack when activated or deactivated.
September 01, 2021
  • Fixed an issue that caused strike damage reduction to stack additively with other sources instead of multiplicatively.
August 17, 2021
  • Players may now use the mount key while in Death Shroud. Doing so will automatically deactivate Death Shroud.
April 28, 2020
  • Increased the life force lost per second from 3% to 4% in PvP only.
July 16, 2019
  • Fixed an issue in which the UI icon displayed while in shroud incorrectly used the icon for Dark Path.
September 22, 2017 Path of Fire release:
  • Added a 0.5-second delay on activation before being able to exit.
August 09, 2017
  • The base drain of life force from being in death shroud has been reduced 25%.
October 23, 2015 Heart of Thorns release:
  • Shroud now counts as a weapon swap for the purposes of sigil upgrades that activate when swapping weapons.
November 04, 2014
  • Reverted a change that caused this effect to incorrectly cancel abilities (such as stomping) when the necromancer's death shroud runs out.
October 21, 2014
  • Updated this state so that it no longer ejects players from Plague Form in certain instances.
September 30, 2014
  • Leaving Death Shroud by running out of life force now engages the same cooldown as manually ending Death Shroud by using the End Death Shroud.
September 09, 2014
  • Necromancers are now able to interact with NPCs and players while in this form.
July 01, 2014
  • Updated the skill facts when traited with Death Shiver.
April 15, 2014
  • Fixed a bug that caused necromancer skills to be locked for 1 second after exiting death shroud.
  • Removed old text from this skill's description stating that entering Death Shroud removes spectral effects.
July 23, 2013
  • Damage taken while in death shroud will now overflow to the necromancer's health pool if the damage taken is greater than the remaining life force.
  • Fixed a bug that caused the necromancer to take increased damage from direct attacks while in death shroud.
June 25, 2013
  • No longer removes the Spectral Armor buff.
  • No longer removes the Spectral Walk buff.
March 26, 2013
  • No longer uses a custom skill bar interface, thereby allowing players using Death Shroud to see buffs, health, and endurance.
  • The screen and sound effects are unchanged.
August 28, 2012 Game release:
  • Death Shroud has been added to the game.


  • Prior to the March 26, 2013 game update, Death Shroud had a unique interface centered at the bottom of the screen that replaced the skill bar.
  • Prior to the June 25, 2013 game update, entering Death Shroud removed Spectral effects.
  • Prior to the July 23, 2013 game update, Death Shroud would absorb/negate damage that went over its capacity. This made it possible to jump from any height and survive due to mitigation of any overflowing damage to real health, though all secondary effects of skills still applied.
  • Prior to the September 22, 2017 game update, unlike other sequenced skills, the Death Shroud-End Death Shroud sequence lacked an aftercast or a recharge on the second skill after switching, making it prone to accidental double activations.
  • Prior to the November 30, 2021 game update, ending Death Shroud would interrupt any ongoing channel such as reviving allies, finishing foes, or channelling a hero point.
  • At one point during development, the necromancer could only enter Death Shroud as a replacement of downed state. Leaving shroud would cause the necromancer to "rewind" back to the location where they were forced to enter Death Shroud. This made necromancer the only class without a downed state. Eventually, still during developing, Death Shroud was reworked into a transformation, as the previous functionality was deemed "too hardcore and confusing".[1] The rewind mechanic was reworked into the Spectral Walk utility skill.
  • The weapon wielded in Death Shroud counts as a staff and will count towards the Staff Master Achievement.