Vanilla WoW Wiki
This article is about the living dead in general. For the playable race of undead, see Undead (playable), for lore see Forsaken. For the Lich King's faction, see Scourge. For other uses of undead, see undead (disambiguation).

The undead were once-living creatures, now animated by spiritual or supernatural forces.[1] The term undead refers to all creatures or entities that function normally despite having terminated life functions. Most commonly known as zombies or ghosts, undead beings are most typically mindless, bloodthirsty fiends hostile toward any living thing that comes across their path.

The undead have appeared all throughout Azeroth, most commonly in nature as revenants or wraiths. They were used as a combat tool during the First War when the necrolytes of the Horde learned to animate corpses as skeleton warriors in their fight against the Alliance. Later, the studies of the necrolytes developed into necromancy, the form of magic used very heavily in the Third War when the Cult of the Damned spread the Plague of Undeath across Lordaeron.

In modern times, "undead" refers primarily to either the Scourge or the Forsaken, since nearly half of the human race have since become undead. However, Forsaken player characters and NPCs are for most intents and purposes considered to be "humanoids" in World of Warcraft due to gameplay reasons and do not share all the characteristics of other undead. This is not the case according to the lore in other sources where Forsaken share all the characteristics of standard Undead.

Characteristics in World of Warcraft

WoW Icon 16x16.gif This section concerns content exclusive to World of Warcraft.

  • Cannot be skinned, except for certain undead animals that would otherwise be classified as beasts (i.e.: bears, boars, wolves, etc).
  • Generally are unaffected by mind affecting spells, like fear (They've seen it all before), sleep or mind control, however, priests can use Shackle Undead to temporarily imprison monsters and paladins can use Turn Undead which works just like a fearing spell. This does not apply to player characters of the undead race, which are technically classified as humanoid, for purposes of game-balance.
  • Can be tracked by Paladins and Hunters.
  • Death Knights under the effect of Lichborne are considered undead.
  • Cannot be healed by Death Coil (death knight ability) unless a death knight is under the effect of Lichborne

Types of undead

  • ForsakenForsaken Forsaken NPCs or player characters
  • IconSmall Abomination.gif Abomination
  • IconSmall Banshee.gif Banshee
  • IconSmall BoneGolem.gif Bone golem
  • IconSmall BoneWraith.gif Bone wraith
  • IconSmall CryptFiend.gif Crypt fiend
  • IconSmall CryptLord.gif Crypt lord
  • Darkfallen maleDarkfallen female Darkfallen
  • IconSmall DeathKnight.gif Death knight
  • IconSmall FleshGiant.gif Flesh giant
  • IconSmall FleshTitan.gif Flesh titan
  • IconSmall FrostWyrm.gif Frost wyrm
  • IconSmall FungalMonster.gif Fungal monster
  • IconSmall Gargoyle.gif Gargoyle
  • IconSmall Geist.gif Geist
  • IconSmall Ghost.gif Ghost
  • IconSmall Ghoul.gif Ghoul
  • Lich maleLich female Lich
  • Mummy
  • IconSmall Plague-dog.gif Plague-dog
  • IconSmall PlagueEruptor.gif Plague eruptor
  • QuilboarQuilboar Undead quilboar
  • IconSmall RevenantAir.gifIconSmall RevenantDeath.gifIconSmall RevenantFire.gifIconSmall RevenantWater.gifIconSmall RevenantEarth.gifIconSmall RevenantIce.gif Revenant (classified as "Elementals" in game)
  • IconSmall Shade.gif Shade
  • IconSmall Skeleton.gif Skeleton
  • IconSmall Val'kyr.gif Val'kyr
  • IconSmall Vargul.gif Vargul
  • IconSmall Wight.gif Wight
  • IconSmall Wraith.gif Wraith
  • IconSmall Zombie.gif Zombie

See also


For game balance, the Forsaken are registered as humanoids because, in a PvP setting, they would be massacred with Exorcism, Holy Wrath, Turn Undead, and Shackle Undead, but they would also be immune to other CC such as Polymorph and Fear. Forsaken were classified as undead in Beta, but it proved to be too problematic with PvP balance. Many Forsaken NPCs are also considered humanoid.


  1. Monster Guide, pg. 199

External links

UndeadUndead Undead