Afterlives - Protectors of Maldraxxus.png
Faction/Affiliation The Undying Army
Racial capital Maldraxxus
Racial leader(s) IconSmall Primus.gifPrimus
Homeworld Shadowlands

Maldraxxi are the various types of undead that inhabit the eponymous realm of the Shadowlands known as Maldraxxus. As part of their credo, those who enter into Maldraxxus are able to reshape themselves into any form they see fit. While some, such as Draka and Alexandros Mograine choose shapes similar to their original bodies; many shift into greater or imposing forms. They make up the forces of the Necrolord Covenant.


Maldraxxus is the birthplace of necromantic magic[1] and home to the forces that were called upon by the Lich King and the Scourge on Azeroth.[2] The Maldraxxi were unified under an Eternal One known as the Primus. The most tactical and long-thinking of the Eternal Ones,[3] he was a master strategist who was nearly unbeatable on the field of battle[4] and was notorious for always thinking far ahead of everyone else.[5] The Primus embodied the five traits of the ideal Maldraxxi soldier, traits he also instilled into the five houses: ambition, might, insight, guile, and the relentless pursuit of victory.[6][7] In addition to his military might, he was also known as a legendary weaponsmith.[8] All Necrolords receive a portion of the Primus' power in order to carry out their duty of defending the Shadowlands from external forces.[9]

The Maldraxxi are split into five houses, the House of the Chosen, the House of Constructs, the House of Eyes, the House of Rituals and the House of Plagues; each with their own specialties. These houses pledged unending loyalty to the Primus, but began to waver from his vision as protectors of the Shadowlands after his disappearance. This led to the destruction of the House of Eyes and Plagues by the House of Rituals and Constructs. In absence of the Primus, the leaders of the three remaining houses now ruthlessly fight one another to claim the Seat of the Primus and the position of commanding the armies of Maldraxxus. Before he disappeared, the Primus left behind cryptic messages and prophecies concerning the coming of one who would embody the might of Maldraxxus and save the realm from itself.[4][10]

Types of Maldraxxi

As stated, the Maldraxxi take various forms and shapes to fit and suit their roles. From the imposing Gladiators to the stealthy Aranakk, some also choose largely unique shapes.


The Skeletons of Maldraxxus

In Maldraxxus, skeletons, also called animates,[11][12][13] appear to be the most common form of undead within the realm of the Shadowlands, seen in all five houses. These sinewy warriors serve a multitude of roles amongst the Maldraxxi; from serving as mages, warriors, craftsmen and fodder. They are shown to be capable of being summoned by some of the greater necromancer maldraxxi in great numbers, though they should not be underestimated. Quite a few skeletons serve in high positions, such as Bonesmith Heirmir, who was apprenticed by the Primus himself.


  • The Necrolord Covenant mage ability [Deathborne] transforms the caster into a Maldraxxus skeleton.
  • One of the random effects of  [The Necronom-i-nom] toy turns the player into a Maldraxxus skeleton.
  • They use the Kul Tiran male rigging.
  • Their sound files are named "ossien summon" for combat sounds,[14] "bony skeleton" for males,[15] and "salgin" and "Maldraxxus Skeleton" for females.[16][17]
  • Despite being referred to as skeletons, they all have flesh.


Afterlives animated short


The Necromancers of Maldraxxus

A form typically adopted by spellcasters and researchers; the necromancers[18] of Maldraxxus draw reminiscent claim to the Liches and mortal necromancers of Azeroth. Adorned in flowing robes with magnificent crystals and dark hoods, these undead typically fall into the employ of the House of Rituals as eponymous necromancers, the House of Constructs as those who piece together the various abominations that give the house its name and, before its destruction, the House of Plagues as researchers such as Plague Deviser Marileth.

Despite this, necromancers could be found in the employ of the Chosen and Eyes, though in lesser numbers. Some of these necromancers also seem to take on the path of the warrior, fighting with blades or riding atop massive beasts. Necromancers experiment on the souls of the ambitious and contentious, reforming only the greatest into undead soldiers who protect the Shadowlands.[19]


  • Necromancers are visually inspired by the undead unit of the same name from Warcraft III. Artist Matthew McKeown started designing the Maldraxxian necromancers by pushing shapes to get a distinct silhouette and incorporating iconic elements from the Warcraft III necromancers, such as crossing daggers, large sleeves, and a giant spell book. These elements show the necromancers' ritualistic nature and keeps them recognizable as necromancers that players know. Since necromancers live alongside liches in the House of Rituals, they wear similar purple-and-gold clothing and have similarly-shaped skulls with long chins resembling Egyptian pharaohs.[20][21]
  • They use the same animations as male Zandalari trolls.
  • In-game necromancers have three fingers on each hand, but Afterlives: Maldraxxus depicts a necromancer with a five-fingered hand.
  • Purple robes seems to indicate allegiance to the House of Rituals, green is usually only seen in the Houses of Plagues and Constructs, and black is primarily used in the House of the Chosen.



Mad scientist from Maldraxxus.

A form very reminiscent of the Forsaken of Azeroth, the Scientists of Maldraxxus are a semi-common form of undead that specialize, as the name implies, in scientific pursuits. These mad surgeons typically give their employ to the House of Constructs and the now fallen House of Plagues. They are typically accompanied either by vicious abominations and beasts of flesh, or plague-formed monstrosities as a result. Most carry backpacks with containers of plague upon their back, as well as numerous vials and potions from their unstable concoctions. Most unsettlingly, their heads are typically wrenched open; containing domes of what seem to be plague fluid or their exposed brains.



  • They use the same animations as the Forsaken male. They appear to be a spin on the Mad scientist characters that can be found in the Forsaken and Scourge.



The Gladiators of Maldraxxus

The most powerful warriors and champions become gladiators within the ranks of the House of the Chosen. These peerless battlefield tacticians tirelessly train with a variety of rune-forged weapons and are unmatched in martial combat. They are much more stocky than their ossein skeleton companions; garbed in anything from simple small clothes to full sets of imposing boneplate armor. They are, as stated, almost exclusively in service to the House of the Chosen; seen as the hallmark warriors of the house. Peerless battlefield tacticians, gladiators are unmatched in martial combat and train with a variety of rune-forged weapons.[22]

The Gladiators make their appearance predominantly in the Necrolord Covenant as part of the forces of Baroness Draka and Baron Mograine, though they also make up the treasonous host of Baron Vyraz, who usurped the House of the Chosen from Krexus after slaying him.



  • The female version has the Kul Tiran female animation rig. The male version has the ogre animation rig with a different standing posture.
  • Their sound files are named "Maldraxxus Gladiator".[23]



See also: Lich

Margrave Sin'dane of the House of Rituals.

In Maldraxxus, liches are scheming skeletal sorcerers who use anima to fuel their potent magic and practice their craft primarily in the House of Rituals.[24] Margrave Sin'dane had been manipulated by her new Baron, Kel'Thuzad, who in turn was in service to the Jailer, causing a civil war within Maldraxxus and helping an invasion of Bastion and Revendreth.

Liches are virtually identical to their Azerothian counterparts, including possessing a phylactery that allows them to reincarnate as long as it is not destroyed. They have been found working for houses outside of the House of Rituals, such as the House of the Chosen.




See also: Abomination

A abomination in Maldraxxus, with a similar appearance to Scourge abominations.

In Maldraxxus, the corpses of the slain are brought to the House of Constructs, where the finest pieces of flesh and bone are skillfully assembled into a new form. These reanimated monstrosities are given new purpose in a body that is greater than the sum of its once separate parts.[25] Constructs have formed the backbone of Maldraxxi armies in more wars than anyone can count. A well-constructed body can turn any soul into a potent frontline weapon.[26] These abominations are far more advanced than those of the Scourge, being fully sealed, sometimes possessing extra mouths, and, most notably, being capable of far greater intelligence. Indeed the leader of the House of Constructs is an abomination, Margrave Gharmal, with intelligence fully suited to match its station.

Unlike Azerothian abominations, Maldraxxi abominations come in all shapes and sizes, with some resembling Plague eruptors, while others resemble Ghouls. Some of these abominations have been found working for houses outside of the House of Constructs, such as Ansid the Mechanic, who works as a member of the House of Eyes.




An Aranakk.

The aranakk are a spider-like race belonging primarily to the House of Eyes in Maldraxxus. They once served as the house's master assassins and scouts, but with their necropolis lying in ruins, they now find themselves bannerless nomads. However, they still retain their sense of purpose and are willing to share their secrets for a price.[27] A venthyr historian speculated that the aranakk were created long ago specifically for their purpose to be spies for Maldraxxus.[28]

Some Aranakk have been found outside of the House of Eyes, with a number of them working for the House of Constructs. Under Thread Mistress Leeda, they appear to be providing the silk used for stitchwork that the house uses.




A typical boneguard.

Boneguards[29] are a type of powerful, skeletal Maldraxxi construct. Summoning one of these beings requires a large amount of anima.[29][30] Successfully summoning one and defeating it is the test of the House of Rituals for the ritualist's mantle.[31] As evidenced by Mortanis, powerful necromancers can undergo a ritual to transform themselves into a boneguard.

Boneguards appear to be the precursors to the similar-looking bone wraiths of Azeroth.



  • Boneguards appear most dangerously as an ascended form of another soul, as seen with Mortanis who transforms himself from a necromancer into a boneguard, and with Thanikos; who is forcibly changed from a kyrian into a boneguard. In the latter case, Thanikos was capable of being controlled by another Maldraxxi.


Not all Maldraxxi share a template. Some have managed to craft for themselves unique bodies. These are often inspired by the forms they took in life, such is the case for Draka and Alexandros Mograine. Vashj was given the opportunity to return to a night elf form, but opted instead for a take on her naga appearance, preferring the way people treated her when she was a naga over a handmaiden. [32] The margraves, Krexus, Stradama, Sin'dane, Gharmal and Akarek all took unique variants of the most iconic form their house employed.



  1. ^ Blizzard Entertainment Blizzard Entertainment. Shadowlands - Home. Retrieved on 2019-11-02.
  2. ^ Blizzard Entertainment Blizzard Entertainment 2019-11-01. BlizzCon 2019 - World of Warcraft: What's Next. Retrieved on 2019-11-02.
  3. ^ Cass Marshall 2020-09-24. World of Warcraft’s Maldraxxus is the grittiest zone in the Shadowlands. Polygon. Archived from the original on 2020-09-24.
  4. ^ a b Blizzard Entertainment Blizzard Entertainment 2020-06-11. Shadowlands Preview: Maldraxxus and the Necrolord Covenant. Archived from the original on 2020-06-11.
  5. ^ N [52] The Path to Glory
  6. ^ N [52] Meet the Margrave
  7. ^ N [60] Welcome To Our House: Baroness Draka yells: Though the Primus has long been absent from these halls, the Maw Walker embodies the virtues he instilled in the five houses.
  8. ^ N [52] The Seat of the Primus
  9. ^ N [60] Power of the Primus
  10. ^ Blizzard Entertainment Blizzard Entertainment. Necrolord - Covenants - Shadowlands. Retrieved on 2020-06-11.
  11. ^ N [53W] Ani-Matter Animator
  12. ^ N [60] Cut to the Bone
  13. ^ N [60] Blade of Blades
  14. ^ Wowhead - MON_Ossien_Summon_Attack_01_155624
  15. ^ Wowhead - MON_Bony_Skeleton_Greetings_01_154354
  16. ^ Wowhead - MON_Salgin_Greetings_01_153701
  17. ^ Wowhead - MON_MaldraxxusSkeleton_Greetings_01_153704
  18. ^ Crawbat#Pet Journal
  19. ^ - Shadowlands
  20. ^ Cass Marshall 2020-09-24. World of Warcraft’s Maldraxxus is the grittiest zone in the Shadowlands. Polygon. Archived from the original on 2020-09-24.
  21. ^ Garth Holden 2020-09-24. A deep dive into Maldraxxus, the defenders of Death. SA Gamer. Archived from the original on 2020-09-24.
  22. ^ Blizzard Entertainment Blizzard Entertainment 2020-06-11. Shadowlands Preview: Maldraxxus and the Necrolord Covenant. Archived from the original on 2020-06-12.
  23. ^ - MON_MaldraxxusGladiator_Attack_00_166298
  24. ^ Blizzard Entertainment Blizzard Entertainment 2020-06-11. Shadowlands Preview: Maldraxxus and the Necrolord Covenant. Archived from the original on 2020-06-12.
  25. ^ Blizzard Entertainment Blizzard Entertainment 2020-06-11. Shadowlands Preview: Maldraxxus and the Necrolord Covenant. Archived from the original on 2020-06-11.
  26. ^ N [60] Abominable Stitching and Me
  27. ^ Blizzard Entertainment Blizzard Entertainment 2020-06-11. Shadowlands Preview: Maldraxxus and the Necrolord Covenant. Archived from the original on 2020-06-11.
  28. ^ The Malice of Maldraxxus
  29. ^ a b N [52] Maintaining Order
  30. ^ Visectus
  31. ^ N [60G5] Mantle of Mastery
  32. ^ Shadowlands quotes