Necromancers are one of the deadliest and underrated classes. It is not for the faint of heart. If you play one, prepare to spend an hour online at the LEAST when you are preparing and fighting.
The training for a necromancer is akin to an invoker. A shit load of spells that are afflictions or maledictions. Rank as quick as you can to level 30-33 (the NICHE for a necromancer). Once you reach that plateau, you have to stop and train. Train everything to 100%. Including your one defense, your two weapons, and all your afflictions and maledictions. They are the lifeblood of a necro. The damage spells you can perfect while ranking. However, shatter is a really underrated spell. Experiment with it. It does funky shit, that can fuck people up royally if you shatter the right body part. Don't worry about animate corpse, that comes with levels, and its more luck than proficiency. If you feel like it, train death's grasp for power word. If you land 5 deaths grasps, power word is SUPPOSED to work. I've had it work once on a pkill. Go figure. Its still worth it though, because I've power worded some big time mobs, just by screwing around.
All the way up to level 50, you can use damage equipment. Just keep a large supply of gyvel potions with you, to get rid of the blind. Shamans rarely feel like fighting necromancers. and healers dispel your stuff, but who cares, its not like you are taking the hits. (You shouldn't be) Of course, stock up on the requisite rares, and get yourself a cursed weapon, or curse yourself one. A naked necro is a dangerous necro, so equipment is beside the point, unless you manage to get two nimbuses of power ;)
Necromancers can heal like sons of bitches. Walk around the city walls and vampiric touch the guards for a quick 40ish hp heal at level 50. Keep lots of gold on hand, and use the priests in the different towns for a timely heal. Just don't get caught in the spell lag. Keep an eye on your surroundings. As a strategy, you can let yourself get low, flee, and heal real real quick, and run back. Your adversary will think you still hurt, and maybe make a mistake, or allow a spell to run out, thinking he has a chance if he hurries.
I started with darkhaven guards, which worked really well. I think they're about level 28, and they trip, which is a bonus. Hard to kill alone though. If you can, raise rangers as early as you can, and then graduate into tough guards, or vicious warriors. At level 50, Seringale shopkeepers are the way to go. Their damage range is maim - *** on unsanc. They dirt, disarm and shield disarm, but no lags. If you know what you are doing, you can take a shopkeeper solo, without resting. Make lots and lots and lots of gold that way too. They are perfect for fighting healers or invokers. Otherwise, stick to triton watchmen or Arboran, both of which are summonable. Strength damned, of course, is used on any and every zombie you can. Start with the strongest of course. And, don't forget the stone mercenary.
There are basically two ranks that you can stop ranking to fight: Level 32ish and level 50. Otherwise, rank your fucking ass off, or you will get gangbanged like no tomorrow.
At any rank, lead with sleep. If you hit a sleep, you have a damned good chance of killing him. If possible, run to a room and summon the sleeping person, shut the door and spell him up. Remember in town, that lowbie looters are everywhere, so spell up first, then summon to keep the looting to a minimum. If you don't have a room to summon him to, summon him to another room far or not far away to confuse him. Or the ultimate confusion: Summon him to the same room he is in. He wont know and he'll think he is moved. Use energy drain on anything that uses big mana, like a healer or shaman. Invokers will resist it, but YOU CAN SLEEP A MANA SHIELDED INVOKER. Its hard, but I've done it more than once. Right Kyrian? Ghoul touch is a hardcore bonus. It adds an extra round of lag to anything the prey does. IE casting a spell (2 round lag) or bashing (three round lag) If they spam at all, they are fucked. I won a large amount of fights because of that. Shatter and plague can work to remove their regeneration capabilities. Experiment, but remember that maledictions are your bread n butter. Well, that and your charmies.
If played right, you WILL dominate. If played wrong, you WILL be slaughtered. (Yes I cut and pasted Kalist's ramble to use as a template, cause I was too tired to think myself) There is no class in the game that can stand against you, if you have your full charmies, at level 50, and you know what you are doing. There is one exception, which I will get to at the bottom of the page. Kill quickly, and efficiently to build up a reputation. Fear is as good as gold. Many many people fuck up because they lose before they even begin the fight. Sooner or later people will avoid you. I would log on, EVERY day at 8am PST for a few hours, sometimes longer. By the time I was about to ascend, NO ONE would play in that time slot. There may have been a few that could give me a run, but no one bothered to try anymore.
Keep the souls of your kills, but, god, DON'T soul steal on those you don't kill. That is so gay. That's like fucking a dead person. Don't practice that, I lose respect for people that do.
#1 RULE OF PLAYING A NECROMANCER
DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES GO UNDEAD. IT IS FUCKING OVERRATED, AND IS FUCKING IMPOSSIBLE TO PLAY. When I went undead, I lost avian fly, stats, gained vulns to light and wrath etc. I got jack shit. Ugula owned me (Even though I was 1-0) because you cant do jack shit to someone who mangles you through sanc with his wrath. Avian, drow and humans, however, will be able to take whatever you want. Even a fire giant warrior will lose. (It'll be tough, but completely possible)