For the Warcraft III unit, see Necromancer (Warcraft III). For the mob, see Necromancer (mob). For the kind in Maldraxxus, see Maldraxxi necromancer. For the kind in the Maw, see Maw necromancer.

The Primus, creator of necromancy.

“That is the good thing about necromancers--we never let anything go to waste.”


Necromancers are practitioners of necromancy (also called the dark arts[2][3] or the black arts)[4] the study and use of magic to raise and control the dead.[5] Necromantic magic (or death magic) has many functions beyond simply raising the dead. Masters of this tainted field of magic can conjure festering diseases, harness the shadows into bolts of incendiary energy, and chill the living with the power of death. Necromancy can also be used to reconstruct the flesh of undead creatures, allowing them to function again even after the foul monsters have been destroyed.[6] Necromancers are the enemies of life itself, and all hands are raised against them. Some of the worst evils in Azeroth's history have been perpetrated by necromancers, and they deserve their malevolent reputation. Few things are as abhorrent and horrifying as necromancy.[5]

However according to Margrave Sin'dane, necromancy is simply the art of using magic to animate unliving flesh, and the magic used to do so may be of Death, Light, or any other power.[7]


Maldraxxus, the Citadel of the Necrolords.

Maldraxxus is the birthplace of necromantic magic,[8] where necromancy was developed by the Primus. He is responsible for the creation of Maldraxxi rune magic, which serves to manipulate necromantic energy,[9] and its more powerful counterpart, Domination, whose purpose is the suppression of another.[10] All necrolords receive a portion of the Primus' power in order to carry out their duty of defending the Shadowlands from external forces.[11] The Primus established the House of Rituals and its liches to constantly innovate and advance the art of necromancy with new incantations and formulae.[12]


The Burning Legion

During the War of the Ancients, the Burning Legion started to experiment with creating an army of unliving, but Kalimdor was probably not the only place that they've been attempting this.[13] The nathrezim, also called dreadlords, were found animating the dead by the orc Broxigar. When Illidan Stormrage found out that the eredar warlocks could raise the dead, he actually found himself admiring the audacity of the demons.


After the Great Sundering, Hakkar taught the Atal'ai trolls necromancy for their unwavering loyalty.[14]

The troll Zanzil was exiled from the Skullsplitter tribe for using his necromantic poisons on several of his unsuspecting fellow trolls, but his exile has not been the punishment that his kindred had hoped. Indeed, since that time, several witch doctors have joined Zanzil. With their assistance, he has built up an undead army that is loyal to him alone.[15] It is well-known that his toxic elixirs can even rouse the dead from their graves.[16]

The Sandfury sand trolls practice necromancy with voodoo.

The Shadowpine troll priests must have been trying to bolster their numbers through necromantic means (they were raising mummies). Juju is an object that that is derived from a life force, a spiritual power, called E'ko[17] and houses an unknown power source. Deathstalker Maltendis believed that Shadowpine troll priests used the unknown power source within  [Troll Juju] to animate the dead.[18]

In the aftermath of the Lich King's defeat, the Icetusk tribe of ice trolls was formed by Drakani Death-Defilers. The group settled upon a chain of islands known as the Dread Chain. In order to survive, the Icetusk turned to necromancy, with many of their dead having been risen as servants. They mined Azerite along the isles, and came into conflict with adventurers looking to do the same.[19]

Ogre magi

The ogre magi were originally a small band of extremely loyal ogre enforcers, transformed by Gul'dan into scheming and malicious sorcerers. By warping and twisting the elf-magiks of the Runestone at Caer Darrow, Gul'dan was able to infuse the magical abilities of long dead warlocks into the bodies of these unsuspecting hosts. Once hulking simpletons, the transformed ogre-magi can direct their death magiks as easily as their lesser cousins would deliver a crushing blow to any foolish enough to stand in their path.[citation needed] 


Warlords of Draenor This section concerns content related to Warlords of Draenor.

The Gor'vosh ogres found on alternate Draenor practice necromancy as well, where they raise the dead in the Ashmaul Burial Grounds. Their connection to the Shadowmoon clan and the Shadow Council is unknown, so it is not known if they were influenced by either group or if these ogres discovered necromancy on their own.


Rise of the Shadow Council

Orc necrolyte from the Warcraft: Orcs & Humans manual.

Ancestral worship has long been at the heart of orcish religion. While nearly all of the orcish Horde believed that their dead elders watched and guided them from the depths of some lost realm of chaos, Gul'dan believed this notion to be a product of ritual and not reality. Within the Twisting Nether, Gul'dan discovered that the spirits of the dead do linger on, floating on the astral winds between the worlds. Gul'dan knew then that these spirits of the dead would be a useful tool for anyone who could bind them to his will.[citation needed] 

Knowing that the time had come to claim the mantle of power that Gul'dan had so long neglected he quickly gathered together the few warlocks who had shown some spark of passion and desire to rise above the petty quarreling of the clans. To these warlocks Gul'dan bestowed the knowledge of the dead by leading them in secret rituals and communing with the spirits of the Twisting Nether. Those who were incapable of channeling this power were destroyed. After a time a pact was forged between the members of the warlocks' circle and the dark spirits whose energies they had learned to invoke. Gul'dan would use his place among the warlocks to shape the thoughts of others while, cloaked by a veil of secrecy, they would be immune to the caprices of the bloodthirsty masses. Thus did the Shadow Council come to be.[citation needed] 

In pursuit of furthering the Shadow Council's magical resources, Gul'dan opened a new school of magical discipline that became known as necromancy. The Shadow Council began training young warlocks in the arcane mysteries of life and death. Again, with tutelage from the demon Kil'jaeden, these necrolytes delved into the dark arts, eventually gaining power enough to animate and control the bodies of the newly dead.[20]

By the time of the war against Deathwing, the Dark Horde would still have necromancers among their ranks.[21]

On the alternate Draenor, the warlocks of the alternate Shadow Council were desecrating the dead in the Icescar Boneyard,[22] summoning demons to inhabit the bones of the dead.[23]

Alternate Shadowmoon clan

Warlords of Draenor This section concerns content related to Warlords of Draenor.

Necrolytes of the alternate Shadowmoon clan employ necromancy by using the power of the Void.[24] Ner'zhul, chieftain and elder shaman of the Shadowmoon clan, sacrificed the heart and soul of his tribe in an attempt to join the Iron Horde. After failing to use the dark naaru K'ara to destroy Karabor, he retreated to his clan's ancient burial grounds, venturing ever further along a dark path, embracing the power of the Void and the necromantic arts.


Scourge necromancer

Necromancers of the Scourge are dark magi. Necromancy being highly illegal for the mages of Dalaran, the former archmage Kel'Thuzad is perhaps the most notable example of a modern necromancer. He greatly contributed to the initial spread of the Scourge and the fall of Lordaeron.[6] Many modern necromancers were trained by Kel'Thuzad and his agents in the Scholomance beneath Caer Darrow, otherwise known as the School of Necromancy. The school contains notable figures such as the lich Ras Frostwhisper, as well as the headmaster of the facility, Darkmaster Gandling. Ner'zhul, the Lich King, granted these malevolent sorcerers true power over the dead in exchange for their loyalty and obedience.[25] The necromancers continue to abound in the Plaguelands. Overseeing both the spread of the Blight and the construction of new Scourge installations, necromancers are most commonly encountered within and around the ruined city of Stratholme. An elite branch of necromancers, under the command of the dark master Maleki the Pallid, refer to themselves as the Thuzadin, in honor of their lord and first of their kind, Kel'Thuzad.

Thanks to Magus Bisp who supplied and perhaps even trained the Redpine tribe, some gnolls have also learned the art of necromancy. Moldfang is one of the first results of this.

Following the onslaught of the Scourge during the War of the Spider, many plagued nerubians have become necromancers.[citation needed] 

The lich Amnennar the Coldbringer also recruited the Razorfen quilboar of Razorfen Downs, creating the new Death's Head tribe, which includes necromancers.

The death knights use the Maldraxxi necromantic runes in runeforging.[26]


Mists of Pandaria This section concerns content related to Mists of Pandaria.

The magically gifted mogu race practice "spirit-capture magic",[27] allowing them to capture and bind willing or unwilling spirits in constructs,[28] bend them to their will,[29] and even summon spirits from beyond the grave.[30][31] These mogu casters can also access a realm called the "Spirit Void", which is very similar to the Realm of Shadows used by the Scourge.[32] While the schools of magic practiced by the mogu does not fall within the ordinary class categories,[27] the deathspeakers and possibly the spiritbinders can be referred to as necromancers.[33] The Rajani openly call this magic necromancy, which they call forbidden and disgraceful arts.[34]

The mogu appear to have abandoned this practice at some point before the reign of Emperor Shaohao, but have resumed it in recent times.[35]

Some of the magic practiced by the mogu, like flesh-shaping and spirit-capture magic, seem to be based on magic or knowledge left behind by the Titans.[27]


Mists of Pandaria This section concerns content related to Mists of Pandaria.

The Deadtalkers once tended to the sacred burial grounds of the yaungol tribes and held funerals for fallen warriors,[36] but for unknown reasons they recently began using dark magic to defile the corpses of their former clanmates.[37]


Centaur are known to be necromancers, but it is generally frowned upon.[38]


Cataclysm This section concerns content related to Cataclysm.

Witch doctors of the Oomlot tribe on the Lost Isles can create zombies.[39]

Red dragonflight

As they are the servants of Life, the red dragonflight has some knowledge of necromancy as well. They are able to raise the dead as animated corpses for a short amount of time, though they take no joy in it.[40]


The Necrofin tribe of Deep sea murlocs is known to practice necromancy. Legend has it that they discovered necromancy on a series of runed tablets at the bottom of the sea.[41]



Name Role Affiliation Status Location
Neutral  The Primus Eternal One, leader of the Necrolord Covenant and the Maldraxxi army, ruler of Maldraxxus Eternal Ones of the Shadowlands, Necrolord Covenant Active Seat of the Primus, Maldraxxus
Neutral  Margrave Sin'dane Margrave of the House of Rituals Necrolord Covenant, Maldraxxi army Active Hall of Sorcery, House of Rituals
Neutral  Baron Balmedar Baron of the House of Rituals Necrolord Covenant, Maldraxxi army Active Hall of Sorcery, House of Rituals
Neutral  Gul'dan Master of the Shadow Council, Chieftain of the Stormreaver clan, creator of the first death knights Shadow Council, Stormreaver clan, Burning Legion Deceased Died in the Tomb of Sargeras
Neutral   Kel'Thuzad Former master of Naxxramas and majordomo of the Lich King, former leader of the Cult of the Damned, former Baron of the House of Rituals and ally to Zovaal Scourge, Cult of the Damned Deceased-Killable Various
Neutral  Ner'zhul Warlord of the Shadowmoon clan on alternate Draenor Shadowmoon clan, Iron Horde Deceased-Killable Shadowmoon Valley; Edge of Reality, Shadowmoon Burial Grounds
Neutral  Dar'Khan Drathir Master of the Scourge in Quel'Thalas Scourge, Cult of the Damned Deceased-Killable Tower of the Damned, Ghostlands
Neutral  Abercrombie The Embalmer, creator of Stitches Independent Alive Beggar's Haunt, Duskwood
Boss  Amnennar the Coldbringer Commander of the Scourge forces in Razorfen Downs, recruiter of the quilboar Scourge Killable Spiral of Thorns, Razorfen Downs
Mob  Araj the Summoner Ruler of the Ruins of Andorhal Scourge Killable Ruins of Andorhal, Western Plaguelands
Boss  Dalronn the Controller "Companion" of Skarvald the Constructor Scourge Killable Utgarde Keep
Boss  Darkmaster Gandling Headmaster of Scholomance Scourge, Cult of the Damned Active-Killable Headmaster's Study, Scholomance
Boss  Dia Darkwhisper Left hand of Gul'dan, member of the Hellfire High Council Iron Horde Killable Court of Blood, Hellfire Citadel
Neutral  Diesalven Engaged Arellas Fireleaf in combat Unknown Unknown Unknown
Neutral  Diodor the Damned One of the first members of the Cult of the Damned, hero of the Scourge Scourge, Cult of the Damned Deceased Unknown
Mob  Doctor Theolen Krastinov The Butcher; former servant of Kirtonos the Herald Scourge Deceased-Killable Butcher's Sanctum, Scholomance
Mob  Ephial Betrayer of Taylor, creator of Soulscythe Unknown Killable Admiral Taylor's Farm, Spires of Arak
Boss  Exarch Maladaar Leader of the Auchenai Auchenai Deceased-Killable Crypt of Remembrance, Auchenai Crypts
Boss  Gothik the Harvester Teaches the death knights of Naxxramas the art of necromancy Scourge, Cult of the Damned Killable Military Quarter, Naxxramas; Death's Breach, Scarlet Enclave
Mob  Grimkor the Wicked Commander at the Ironwall Rampart Scourge Killable Ironwall Rampart, Icecrown
Horde  Gunther Arcanus Ally of the Forsaken Undercity Active Gunther's Retreat, Tirisfal Glades
Boss  Heigan the Unclean Creator of the plague cauldrons Scourge, Cult of the Damned Killable Plague Quarter, Naxxramas
Horde  Helcular Former apprentice of Kel'Thuzad Forsaken Active Ruins of Southshore, Hillsbrad Foothills
Mob  Kormok Summoner of souls Scourge Deceased Formerly Scholomance
Boss  Krick Diminutive necromancer who oversees workers in the Pit of Saron Scourge Killable Pit of Saron
Boss  Instructor Chillheart Necromancer instructor Scourge, Cult of the Damned Killable Reliquary, Scholomance
Mob  Instructor Malicia Cultist instructor Scourge, Cult of the Damned Killable Malicia's Outpost, Western Plaguelands
Boss  Maleki the Pallid One of the first to join the Cult of the Damned Scourge, Cult of the Damned Killable Gauntlet, Stratholme Service Entrance
Mob  Morbent Fel Leader of the undead in Duskwood Independent Deceased-Killable Dawning Wood Catacombs, Duskwood
Mob  Naberius Raised the entire village of Kirin'Var Independent Killable Kirin'Var Village, Netherstorm
Mob  Necrolord Amarion Necrolord Scourge Killable Wintergarde Crypt, Dragonblight
Boss  Noth the Plaguebringer Creator of the process that distills the souls of the living Scourge, Cult of the Damned Killable Plague Quarter, Naxxramas
Neutral  Rage Winterchill Commander of the Scourge at Mount Hyjal Burning Legion Deceased-Killable Hyjal Summit
Boss  Salramm the Fleshcrafter One of the first necromancers trained beneath Scholomance Scourge Killable Stratholme, Culling of Stratholme
Mob  Thule Ravenclaw Former master of Fenris Keep Scourge Killable Fenris Keep, Silverpine Forest
Mob  Uruk Leader of the Deadtalkers Deadtalkers Killable Deadtalker's Plateau, Townlong Steppes


In the RPG

Orc necromancer.

Class icon from WoW: The RPG.

Icon-RPG.png This section contains information from the Warcraft RPG which is considered non-canon.

Necromancers are spellcasters whose magics manipulate the power of death. In calling upon this power, necromancers risk being consumed by it — until eventually they join the ranks of the undead.[42] Necromancers twist arcane magic to manipulate the power of death. Commanding the undead, generally in the service of the Scourge, they gradually take on the characteristics of the dead — hollow eyes, shambling gaits, pallid and sunken skin, foul odors and so forth.[43] A few necromancers are uncorrupted.[44] The most experienced necromancers become epic necromancers.[45]

The Dark Lady, Sylvanas Windrunner, realized how valuable necromancy was to their cause. Though Forsaken heal naturally, many go to the priests of the Forgotten Shadow for "repairs". Necromancers can also free enslaved, mindless undead and research powerful spells that might one day return the Forsaken to life. Sylvanas knew she needed necromancers to heal, strengthen and replace her people, and she set about wooing necromancers away from the Scourge, mainly by force.[46]

The necromancer was a prestige class in the Warcraft RPG and an early part of the World of Warcraft RPG, but was changed to a core class in the later part of the World of Warcraft RPG.[47]


Name Role Condition Magical Field
IconSmall Lich Male.gif Abrakkar the Wretched Role unknown Unknown Unknown
Al'satt Role unknown Unknown Unknown
Gul'zakar Role unknown Unknown Unknown
IconSmall NerubianVizier.gif Mael Shelub Independent, last seen in Silverpine Forest Alive UnholyUnholy
IconSmall Troll Male.gif Nazaruul Stationed at Plaguelands Dead Unknown
Ru'sad In charge of the undead forces found in Zul'Aman Unknown Unknown
Toren Snapjoint Role unknown Unknown Unknown
IconSmall HighElf Male.gif Ul'haik Hadanot Leader of the Cult of the Damned Alive Ability creature cursed 03.pngShadow & Ability creature cursed 05.pngDeath
IconSmall NerubianVizier.gif Vasilii Role unknown Unknown Unknown
IconSmall Human Female.gif Linnena Hallow Teacher Alive Unknown

As a companion pet

Notes and trivia

  • Draenei tails are potent necromantic ingredients when ground finely.[48]
  • The necromancer class was one of three front runners to becoming the first hero class released with Wrath of the Lich King, however, the ideas surrounding them were incorporated into the death knight. (The two other front runners being runemasters and monks.)[49]
  • According to Jaina Proudmoore, it is believed that if necromancers are not perfectly precise in their magical workings, or if they are killed, then they are subject to began to rot immediately. It was notably the case of Kel'Thuzad, whose body decomposition should have taken days but occurred in just a few seconds.[50]


Warcraft III


  1. ^ Tides of Darkness, pg. 138
  2. ^ Instructor Chillheart#Dungeon Journal
  3. ^ Exarch Maladaar#Dungeon Journal
  4. ^ Entertainment, Blizzard. "Unit Descriptions", Warcraft: Orcs & Humans Manual, Orc - 22. 
  5. ^ a b Ultimate Visual Guide, pg. 21
  6. ^ a b The Schools of Arcane Magic - Necromancy
  7. ^ N [60] House of Plagues
  8. ^ Blizzard Entertainment Blizzard Entertainment. Shadowlands - Home. Retrieved on 2019-11-02.
  9. ^ Grimoire of the Shadowlands and Beyond, pg. 118
  10. ^ Grimoire of the Shadowlands and Beyond, pg. 116
  11. ^ N [60] Power of the Primus
  12. ^ N [60] Errant Enchantments
  13. ^ The Demon Soul pg. ??
  14. ^ Troll Compendium/Jungle Troll Tribes#The Atal'ai - The Atal'ai knew that they needed greater numbers to achieve their goal. Fortunately, their unwavering loyalty to Hakkar had pleased him greatly, and he taught them further dark magics, including necromancy.
  15. ^ Troll Compendium/Other Trolls#Zanzil the Outcast and His Followers - Zanzil was exiled from the Skullsplitter tribe for using his necromantic poisons on several of his unsuspecting fellow trolls, but his exile has not been the punishment that his kindred had hoped. Indeed, since that time, several witch doctors have joined Zanzil. With their assistance, he has built up an undead army that is loyal to him alone.
  16. ^ Zanzil (tactics)#Dungeon Journal
  17. ^ N [60] Frostmaul E'ko
  18. ^ H [1-30] Troll Juju
  19. ^ N [10-50] Icetusk Fur Cloak
  20. ^ Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness manual#The Rise of the Shadow Council
  21. ^ Blackrock Necromancer
  22. ^ H [10-40] Desecration of the Dead
  23. ^ H [10-40] Stop the Flow
  24. ^ Shadowmoon Burial Grounds - Ner'zhul - Adventure Guide
  25. ^ Necromancer (Warcraft III)
  26. ^ World of Warcraft: Grimoire of the Shadowlands and Beyond, pg. 118, "To do this, he devised a unique language of intricate symbols, each individually representing a specific word tied to the very foundations of Maldraxxus and the might of the five houses, from simple commands to necromantic energy manipulation. One example keenly relevant to our interests on Azeroth are the runes found on the weaponry of its champions, known as death knights. Their massive two-handed runeblades are emblazoned with words of power set in runes - each with quaint translations such as "Razorice" and "Fallen Crusader."
  27. ^ a b c  [Cracked Mogu Runestone]
  28. ^ Spirit Binders
  29. ^ N [90 Daily] Unleashed Spirits
  30. ^  [Incantation of Gura]
  31. ^ N [10-35] Break the Cycle
  32. ^  [Shao-Tien Spirit Dagger]
  33. ^ N [25-35 Daily] When The Dead Speak
  34. ^ N [50] Built to Fall
  35. ^ N [10-35] An Urgent Plea
  36. ^ N [25-35 Daily] The Deadtalker Cipher
  37. ^ N [25-35 Daily] Assault Deadtalker's Plateau
  38. ^ Outcast Necromancer
  39. ^ H IconSmall Goblin Male.gifIconSmall Goblin Female.gif [1-20] Three Little Pygmies
  40. ^ The Sundering, pg. 202
  41. ^  [Necrofin Tadpole]
  42. ^ Alliance & Horde Compendium, pg. 35
  43. ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 60
  44. ^ Horde Player's Guide, pg. 14 - 15
  45. ^ Shadows & Light, pg. 21
  46. ^ Horde Player's Guide, pg. 90
  47. ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game Conversion Document, pg. 3
  48. ^  [Draenei Tail]
  49. ^ BlizzCast Episode 7. Retrieved on 2009-10-10.
  50. ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, pg. 89 - 90