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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.
Acolyte of Death HS

An Acolyte of Death in Hearthstone.

“Minions, servants, soldiers of the cold dark... Obey the call of Kel'Thuzad!”

Arch-Lich Kel'Thuzad[1]

Necromancers are practitioners of necromancy, the study and use of necromantic magic to raise and control the dead.[2] As the masters of this tainted field of magic, they can conjure festering diseases, harness the shadows into bolts of incendiary energy, and chill the living with the power of death. 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.[2]



Under the rule of the Primus, creator of the arts of necromancy, Maldraxxus is home to the Maldraxxi necromancers, who are in charge of creating the bodies and preparing the souls of the undead that will defend the Shadowlands from external forces and wage war on the enemies of Death.[3] Among the five houses that rule Maldraxxus, the purpose of the House of Constructs is the creation of necrotic constructs to populate Maldraxxus's armies. Among their ranks, the house employs many Maldraxxi necromancers to insert Maldraxxian souls in the bodies they created,[4] or alternatively, to separate body and soul from already existing constructions.[5]

In the Maw, the Mawsworn army employed Maw necromancers, as Zovaal the Jailer knew that there is great power in the dark art of necromancy.[6]


In the Magocracy of Dalaran, any practitioner of necromancy is the enemy of the Kirin Tor. For the mages, necromantic magic is highly illegal, should be avoided at all costs, and they only discussed to have a basic understanding of its use.[7] Researching into banned fields of magic such as necromancy is expressly forbidden by laws almost as old as the Kirin Tor itself, and those who persist are censored, stripped of their power and influence, and banned from the kingdom.[8] As necromantic magic is considered to be a dark and corruptive energy, its use was made illegal in the Seven Kingdoms.[9][7]

During the Second War, the original death knights created by Gul'dan were not battle-hardened warriors; unlike modern death knights of the Scourge, they were insidious necromancers who possessed a superior intellect and tremendous magical power. Further empowered with magical energies culled from the slain necrolytes, the death knights wielded an arsenal of necromantic and elemental spells that mete out all but certain death to the enemies of the Horde.[10]

Among the necromancers of the Scourge, the former archmage Kel'Thuzad is the most notable example of a modern necromancer, who greatly contributed to the initial spread of the Scourge and the fall of Lordaeron.[7] The Lich King Ner'zhul granted these malevolent sorcerers true power over the dead in exchange for their loyalty and obedience.[11] The Cult of the Damned is the organization of living beings who served the Lich King, and was formed years before the Third War. These necromancers and acolytes aspire to become undead, and remain alive because undeath is considered an honor one must earn, and because living beings are useful for their ability to spy, and recruit powerful individuals from among the living.[12] Many modern necromancers were trained by Kel'Thuzad and his agents in the Scholomance beneath Caer Darrow. 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.


During his 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 necromancers, named necrolytes, delved into the dark arts and eventually gaining power enough to animate and control the bodies of the newly dead.[13]

Powers and effects[]

Main article: Necromancy#Uses
Graveyard Shift HS

A necromancer raising the dead into her service.

While necromantic magic is mainly used to perform necromancy, necromancers can also bestow a number of dark enchantments upon their fellow undead warriors, and greatly accelerate an undead's movement and attack rates, however, those under the influence of this spell find themselves moving so quickly that their bodies begin to burn and ache, slowly dying from the effects of their unholy frenzy. They can cause their enemies' muscles to suddenly spasm and quake, leaving them immobile and effectively helpless.[14]

Those who practice death magic gradually become undead, and thus don't need to be killed and brought back from the dead. Necromancers end up losing their soul, if they haven't already sold it, and their bodies bear the marks of decay. In the Scourge, they receive a Scourgestone upon their "birth", like all the other undead who are "created".[15]

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 begin to rot immediately. A rumor that was confirmed after Arthas Menethil killed Kel'Thuzad, as the necromancer's body decomposition, which should have taken days, occurred in just a few seconds.[16]

Notable necromancers[]

Main article: List of necromancers
Name Role(s) Affiliation(s) Status Location
Neutral IconSmall Cho'gall Cho'gall Chieftain of the Twilight's Hammer Clan, formerly ruler of Ahn'Qiraj and Avatar of C'Thun. Twilight's Hammer, Old Gods' forces Deceased Killed at the Throne of the Apocalypse
Mob IconSmall Dar'khan Dar'Khan Drathir Master of Deatholme, once a magister who betrayed Quel'Thalas and helped Arthas to reach the Sunwell. Cult of the Damned, Scourge Deceased Killed in the Tower of the Damned
Boss IconSmall Arugal Darkmaster Gandling Headmaster of Scholomance and leader of the remaining Scourge in the Western Plaguelands. Cult of the Damned, Scourge Active Headmaster's Study, Scholomance
Neutral IconSmall Human Male Dark Summoner Marogh A powerful necromancer who joined the Ebon Blade after a long way from the depths of the Shadowlands. Knights of the Ebon Blade Alive Hall of Command, Acherus: The Ebon Hold
Neutral IconSmall Gul'dan Gul'dan Master of the Shadow Council, Chieftain of the Stormreaver clan, and creator of the first death knights. Shadow Council, Stormreaver clan, Burning Legion Deceased Died in the Tomb of Sargeras
Horde IconSmall Undead Male Helcular Former apprentice of Kel'Thuzad, now a necromancer at the service of the Forsaken. Forsaken, Horde Active Ruins of Southshore, Hillsbrad Foothills
Neutral IconSmall Necromancer IconSmall Kel'ThuzadSL Kel'Thuzad Lieutenant of Zovaal the Jailer, formerly majordomo of the Lich King and leader of the Cult of the Damned. Mawsworn (formerly the Scourge) Deceased Killed at the Throne of the Damned
Neutral IconSmall Sin'dane Margrave Sin'dane Leader of the House of Rituals, one of the five necrolord houses of Maldraxxus. House of Rituals, Undying Army, Necrolord Covenant Active Hall of Sorcery, House of Rituals
Neutral IconSmall Primus The Primus Eternal One, leader of the Necrolord Covenant and the Maldraxxi army, ruler of Maldraxxus. Undying Army, Necrolord Covenant, Pantheon of Death Active Seat of the Primus, Maldraxxus
Neutral IconSmall LichKing IconSmall NewLichKing The Lich King Dark Lord of the Undead Scourge, created to weaken Azeroth for the Burning Legion's Second invasion. Scourge (formerly the Burning Legion) Defunct Destroyed at the Frozen Throne


In the RPG[]

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

Class icon from WoW: The RPG.


Orc necromancer in the RPG.

Vampiric Swarm by Twincruiser

Necromancer casting the "Vampiric Swarm" ability in Magic & Mayhem.

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.[17] 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.[18] A few necromancers are uncorrupted.[19]

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.[20]

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.[21]

Epic necromancer[]

The epic necromancer is a dark champion of the dead and vile bane of the living. Their undead creations terrorize the land while they ravage their opposition with twisted magic. The living fear their name and the dead flock to it. The epic necromancer lives and dies by their spellcasting powers and their ability to command, create, summon and control undead. They improve these abilities even further, making sure their minions can defend them. They use most of their ability increases on their primary spellcasting ability — intelligence or charisma. Dexterity and constitution are their second choices.[22]

Uncorrupted necromancer[]

The Uncorrupted necromancers are rare necromancers who do not suffer from arcane corruption: their alignments remain inviolate, unless they cast evil spells, and do evil deeds. Most young necromancers claim they know what they're getting into. They know about the seductive whisper of power and the strength of the Nether. They know of the crushing will of the demon lords and, most of all they know of the corruptive influence of necromantic magic. They say it will not happen to them; they will not fall to evil, as have so many before them. Most of them are wrong. Most of them join the dark ranks of the creature with which they traffic. Some few, though, are right. Some are strong enough to resist the will of the dark powers they wield; they, in turn, bend their wills to mastering necromantic secrets while remaining immune to their taint. These are the uncorrupted necromancers, and they spread both distrust and hope wherever they go. Some few even announce themselves openly in the cities of the Horde or, rarer, the Alliance, and make their unique talents available to their affiliation.[23]


Name Role Condition Magical Field
IconSmall Lich Male Abrakkar the Wretched Role unknown Unknown Unknown
IconSmall Unknown Al'satt Role unknown Unknown Unknown
IconSmall Unknown Gul'zakar Role unknown Unknown Unknown
IconSmall NerubianVizier Mael Shelub Independent, last seen in Silverpine Forest. Alive Unholy Unholy
IconSmall Troll Male Nazaruul Necromancer stationed in the Plaguelands. Deceased Unknown
IconSmall Unknown Ru'sad Lead the undead forces in Zul'Aman. Unknown Unknown
IconSmall Unknown Toren Snapjoint Role unknown Unknown Unknown
IconSmall HighElf Male Ul'haik Hadanot Leader of the Cult of the Damned Alive Ability Creature Cursed 03 Shadow & Ability Creature Cursed 05 Death
IconSmall NerubianVizier Vasilii Role unknown Unknown Unknown
IconSmall Human Female Linnena Hallow Teacher of the Scourge Alive Unknown

As a companion pet[]

Notes and trivia[]


Warcraft III
Trading Card Game