For lore about Gul'dan, see Gul'dan.
Race Orc
Base Unit Death Knight
Faction Horde
Hit Points 40 (-33%)
Armor 0 (Normal)
Sight 8 (-12%)
Speed 8 (Normal)
Basic Damage 0 (Normal)
Piercing Damage 3 (-67%)
Range 3 (Normal)
Mana 250 Mana
This article contains lore taken from Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness, Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal, the manuals, and/or official bonus maps.

Gul'dan - Warlock of the Inner Circle and Destroyer of Dreams - is the true mastermind behind not only the inner workings of the Horde, but those of the secretive Shadow Council as well. Trained in the arts arcane by the Daemon Kil'jaeden, Gul'dan is perhaps the most powerful Warlock ever to walk the temporal plane. Obsessed with discovering the legendary Tomb of Sargeras, he hopes to obtain ultimate power by deciphering the secrets ascribed by the Daemonlord since times long forgotten. Gul'dan has used his magiks to bring into being a host of servants for the Horde. Necrolytes, Ogre-Magi, and the dread Death Knights are all results of his endless experiments with the forces of magic. Although his spawn of his work have strengthened the Horde, the true loyalties of Gul'dan lie only with himself and his quest to become omnipotent.[1]


Touch of Darkness
Basic attack (does not use Mana)

By enveloping their truncheons with the dark essence of Hel, the Death Knights are able to deplete vital energies from those they lash out against. Their ability to discharge this energy over short distances makes this a menacing attack. Although the effects of this spell are abhorrent to the living, the Touch of Darkness is a[sic] but a lesser enchantment within the arsenal of these vile horsemen.[2]

Death Coil
Powerful attack that heals back the caster (costs: 100 Mana, range: 10)

Death Coil is a particularly potent variation of the Touch of Darkness spell. By channeling the necromantic powers of the underworld through his ghoulish form, the Death Knight creates a field of dark energy that drains the life-force from any who come in contact with it. This life-force is then consumed - thereby replenishing the strength of one so enchanted, be he friend or foe. The icy embrace of death can be beneficial...for those who know how to control it.[2]

Upgrades target's movement speed (and attack rate if Dragon or Gryphon) (costs: 50 Mana, range: 6)

By magically increasing the speed at which a body generates vital energy, the caster may bestow great speed to any being. All actions taken by one so enchanted are swifter than a common adversary - an advantage that is evident on the battlefield. The effects of Haste can persist for but a short time.[2]

Unholy Armor
Damages the target unit but makes it invulnerable for a short time. Does not protect against Polymorph (costs: 200 Mana, range: 6)

This ancient Necromantic spell transforms a portion of the recipient's life force into an unearthly, phantasmal suit of armor. This spectral armor then absorbs the damage from any attack directed at its wearer for a limited amount of time. As the magiks that link this armor to its host cease, so will the invulnerability that it grants.[2]

Death and Decay
Ranged AoE damage (costs: 25 Mana, range: 12)

The aphotic, swirling clouds conjured by the Death Knights can cause anything within their path to rot and decompose. The vapor created by Decay can consume anything - flesh, bone, wood or even the strongest metal. Heavily laden with base substances, these clouds descend and quickly diffuse, leaving only suffering in their wake.[2]

Summons an uncontrollable but powerful whirlwind over an area (costs: 100 Mana, range: 12)

This focusing of the winds of the underworld causes any caught within to be cast about with great force and violence. Bones are easily shattered and mainsails are quickly snapped within the torrents of these fierce winds. The howl of these winds allow no commands to be issued to those trapped within the Whirlwind, rendering those unfortunates helpless until the magiks fade.[2]

Raise Dead
Summons the controllable skeletons of up to 5 dead units (costs: 50 Mana per Skeleton, range: 6; affects a very large area)

This dark magik is the final legacy of the Orc Necrolytes who were destroyed shortly after the First War. The Death Knight can animate corpses of the newly dead and then command these monstrosities to attack their enemies. This terrifying spell is the paramount power of the Death Knight as it serves to augment the Horde forces with vast armies of the Undead.[2]


  • Gul'dan appears only in the Orc campaign Mission The Tomb of Sargeras. Killing him is required to win the mission.
  • He uses a Death Knight unit sprite despite being an orcish warlock. Also, just like a Death Knight, he is vulnerable to the Paladin spell Exorcism despite not being undead.
  • Despite being described as the most powerful warlock, he also actually has no advantages over the unit he's based on, instead actually being weaker, with less HP, less sight, and doing less damage. The Official Strategy Guide mentions that the Gul'dan encountered in the mission may have been a decoy, which would explain his inferior stats. However, in the sequel, with 650 HP his unit is similarly inferior to the 675 that Death Knights start out with.
  • Gul'dan starts the game knowing only the Touch of Darkness and Death Coil spells. Others must be researched at a Temple of the Damned before he can use them.


See also