This is an alphabetical list with the major and minor races in the Warcraft universe — a fictional universe in which a series of games and books are set. Although some of the races and creatures have been featured in earlier Warcraft games, most make their first appearance in the MMORPG World of Warcraft.
The chromatic dragons are a mixture of Red and Black dragons, created and found in Black Wing Lair and Upper Blackrock Spire. They are coloured a shade of amethyst. They serve under the Black Dragon Flight and have similar powers to other types of dragons.
The dragonflights of Azeroth are not without retainers and assistants. Noble humanoids serve the dragons with absolute loyalty, acting as footmen, soldiers, assistants, companions, and chefs. They are endowed with many of the dragon's mystic abilities and virtuous qualities.
The Dragonspawn (also known as Wyrmkin and Scalebane) are semi-humanoid dragon-like creatures. They're somewhat similar in concept to a Centaur - from the waist up, they're humanoid lizards. From the waist down, they have the body of a dragon. The largest, most powerful Dragonspawn have wings as well, though most don't.
Exactly how they came into being is a guarded secret of the flights. Though they have dragon-like qualities, these creatures are not descended from dragons. Instead, they are distant kinfolk, descended from humanoids who spent their lives so close to the dragons that they took on the qualities of their masters after generations of service. They are gifted with unique advantages of their dragon blood and heritage, including immunity to their dragonflight's breath weapon. They have the same alignment and goals as their patron dragonflight. In short, five species, one for each flight, colors match- blue serve Malygos, Green serve Ysera, etc.
Not truly Dragons, but a rarely found, related creature. They resemble giant, two headed hounds with dragon (as opposed to dog) overtones. They can be found in Upper Blackrock Spire (The Beast), and Molten Core (Magmadar).
A humanoid dragon-like creature, similar to a Dragonspawn only they have 2 legs instead of 4, so they are more like dragon-humans than dragon-centaurs. They are meant to be the footmen and standard soldiers of the Legion of Blackrock, and though they have considerable magic resistances, a flaw does exist: each Drakonid also has a fatal weakness to one magic type, making it suffer enormous damage from that particular school.
Bronze Drakonids can be found patrolling the Caverns of Time. Nether Drakonids can also be found in Shadowmoon Valley, in the service of Illidan Stormrage, while the Infinite Dragonflight also employs drakonids of their own flight. This suggests that Drakonids might not exclusively be the results of Nefarian's experiments and have origins and purposes more similar to those of the Dragonspawn.
Frost Fichens live around Frost Wyrms. They like to live around Northrend and often complement the cleaning behaviour of Wyrms by using their powerful tongues.
Dying Dragons traditionally fly to the land of Northrend to die. When Ner'zhul the Lich King took control of Northrend, he used his powers to raise the residents of the vast Dragon graveyards to do his bidding. In this new age, the Scourge plans to kill all the dragons in the world with their plague and turn them into Frost Wyrms.
Khaz'goroth, the Titan shaper and forger of the world, bestowed some of his vast power upon the mighty black wyrm, Neltharion. The great-hearted Neltharion, known afterwards as the Earth-Warder, was given dominion over the earth and the deep places of the world. He embodied the strength of the world and served as Alexstrasza's greatest supporter. Black dragons breath consists of blasts of molten lava rather than pure fire.
Neltharion used to be allied with the other Dragons, but an artifact he Crafted at the directons of the Old Gods (the Demon Soul) drove him mad through its arcane magic. He came to be known as "Deathwing the Destroyer" and tricked the Aspects into giving some of their powers to the Demon Soul to help battle the demons; however when the Demons were driven back, he turned on the Aspects and began to fight against them as well. Eventually the Demon Soul was destroyed by a human sorcerer named Rhonin while Deathwing attempted to steal Alexastraza's (the Aspect of Life and mother of the Red Dragon Flight) eggs, and Deathwing was driven away by the other Aspects.
Led by this mad leviathan, the Black Dragons plan to destroy the Burning Legion, the Scourge, all other races and all other Dragons so that they may rule the world with their view of perfection.
The Red Dragons were devastated by Neltharion's betrayal. Deathwing led an orc to the Demon Soul, because he couldn't use it himself when the other Aspects cast a spell on him. The Orcs used it to trap the Dragonqueen Alexstrasza the Life-Giver and steal her eggs to give a new force to the Horde. The Red Dragons refuse to forgive the Horde for this, not even the redeemed Horde. The Red Dragons can breath fire.
Eonar, the Titan patron of all life, gave a portion of her power to the red leviathan, Alexstrasza. Ever after, Alexstrasza would be known as the Life-Binder, and she would work to safeguard all living creatures within the world. Due to her supreme wisdom and limitless compassion for all living things, Alexstrasza was crowned the Dragonqueen and given dominion over her kind. Some speculate that Alexstrasza is the "Earth Mother" that the Tauren speak of.
All the Blue Dragons, aside from Malygos the Spell-Weaver and a hand-full of dragon whelps, were killed in the War of the Ancients, but when Alextrasza was freed from the Orcs after the Second War, she gave the maddened Malygos some of her eggs to revive his flight. Some eggs were also preserved from the times of the War of the Ancients by Nozdormu at the request of Krasus when he was sent back in time, kept safe until after Malygos regained his sanity.
Norgannon, the Titan lore keeper and master-magician, granted the blue dragon, Malygos, a portion of his vast power. From then on, Malygos would be known as the Spell-Weaver, the guardian of magic and hidden arcanum.
Nozdormu, the Timeless, rules over the Caverns of Time, the realm of the Bronze Dragons. He was also maddened by Deathwing's betrayal and decided to keep a collection of important artifacts. He claimed that even Deathwing will one day become part of his collection. Like Malygos, he has regained his sanity.
Aman'Thul, the Highfather of the Pantheon, bestowed a portion of his cosmic power upon the massive bronze dragon, Nozdormu. The Highfather empowered Nozdormu to guard time itself and police the ever-spinning pathways of fate and destiny. The stoic, honourable Nozdormu became known as the Timeless One. The Titan also revealed to Nozdormu the exact time and nature of his death, so as to show him both the power and the dangers of knowing all of time.
Eonar also blessed Alexstrasza's younger sister, the lithe green dragon Ysera, with a portion of nature's influence. Ysera fell into an eternal trance, bound to the waking Dream of Creation. Known as The Dreamer, she would watch over the growing wilds of the world from her verdant realm, the Emerald Dream. As a result, Green Dragons live in both the waking world and The Emerald Dream, the eldest ones flying about with their eyes closed, mind traveling the Dream.
Ysera gave all the Night Elves a kinship with nature when she gave her gift to Nordrassil, the World Tree, and allowed them to walk the Emerald Dream in their druidic studies. The Night Elf and the Tauren Druids travel through the Emerald Dream while hibernating, leading to a close relationship between these races.
More recently, the Emerald Dream has fallen into turmoil, and a foul taint has spread inside. This taint twists all life it touches, including those of the Green Flight. Many of Ysera's most trusted kin have felt the touch of corruption, and now fight all who venture close. Below is a listing of the twisted dragons:
- Once one of Ysera's most trusted lieutenants, Ysondre has now gone rogue, sowing terror and chaos across the land of Azeroth. Her formerly beneficent healing powers have given way to dark magics, enabling her to cast smouldering lightning waves and summon the aid of fiendish, corrupted druids. Ysondre and her kin also possess the ability to induce sleep, sending her unfortunate mortal foes to the realm of their most terrifying nightmares.
- Lethon's exposure to the aberration within the Emerald Dream not only darkened the hue of the mighty dragon's scales, but also empowered him with the ability to extract malevolent shades from his enemies. Once joined with their master, the shades imbue the dragon with healing energies. It should come as no surprise, then, that Lethon is considered to be among the most formidable of Ysera's wayward lieutenants.
- A mysterious dark power within the Emerald Dream has transformed the once-majestic Emeriss into a rotting, diseased monstrosity. Reports from the few who have survived encounters with the dragon have told horrifying tales of putrid mushrooms erupting from the corpses of their dead companions. Emeriss is truly the most gruesome and appalling of Ysera's estranged green dragons.
- Taerar was perhaps the most affected of Ysera's rogue lieutenants. His interaction with the dark force within the Emerald Dream shattered Taerar's sanity as well as his corporeal form. The dragon now exists as a spectre with the ability to split into multiple entities, each of which possesses destructive magical powers. Taerar is a cunning and relentless foe who is intent on turning the madness of his existence into reality for the inhabitants of Azeroth.
Sprite Dragons and Faerie Dragons
Though not actual Dragons, they police the Emerald Dream for misuse of magic. They are immune to magic and when out of the Emerald Dream, have the ability to phase into it for a short duration, evading damage. They resemble small, non-aggressive, brightly colored lizards with wings. They can be found near the moonwells of Ashenvale, near Stonetalon Peak, and in the forests of Feralas.
Near the end of the Second War, the black dragon Deathwing travelled through the Dark Portal to Draenor. Believing the world to be a relatively safe haven for his offspring, he secreted away a cache of black dragon eggs. Following the war, Ner'zhul recklessly opened multiple portals on Draenor, and the magical stress tore the planet apart. The energies released in this catastrophe altered Deathwing's eggs, resulting in the Nether Drakes partially corporeal and partially ethereal dragons who possess the ability to shift between the astral and physical planes. Without Deathwing's guidance, these otherworldly nether drakes are just now finding their own way among the blasted ruins of Outland. They are black, somewhat translucent, and have a glowing aura around them.
Elementals were the first creatures to appear on Azeroth, created by a sect of "Old Gods". Chaotic and destructive, they worshiped the Old Gods, but the gods were defeated by the Titans. The Titans took Azeroth because of a deep hatred for anything evil, and the Old Gods were described as "unimaginable evil." The Titans then brought order and prosperity to a new Azeroth, where countless races and creatures were able to come into existence.
There are about 6 kinds of elementals. Earth elementals are made up of floating bits of stone, and sometimes used as minions for some centaur and the Kirin Tor. Fire elementals have burning bodies and are able to attack from a distance with fire, and are extremely hard to kill with physical attacks, because fire is hardly tangible. There are Water Elementals, commonly summoned by mages and wizards, which can cast Ice spells. While not pictured, Wind Elementals appear as small funnel clouds; they tend to have slashing abilities, and exist throughout the Arathi Highlands, Desolace and Silithus. Molten Elementals are based on lava with shale bodies, appearing similar to, but not quite like, earth elementals, and use fiery attacks; they can be seen in ex-Redridge Mountains, including Searing Gorge, Burning Steppes, and Molten Core. 'Arcane' Elementals can be seen in Dire Maul and Netherstorm. These elementals of Twisting Nether can easily destroy mana-based classes like mages by burning mana, and, of course, are immune to arcane magic.
They are ruled by the Elemental Lieutenants: Ragnaros the Firelord (fire elemental, the only one that can be currently fought in World of Warcraft), Therazane the Stonemother (earth elemental, rumored to be the Earthmother the Tauren worship), Al'Akir the Windlord (air elemental, apparently the lieutenant with the least amount of story), Neptulon the Tidehunter (water elemental, stated to be the most evil of the lieutenants).
One thing to note is that these elementals are in fact not a part of the Burning Legion. Though demons can be controlled by Warlocks, elementals can't be controlled by players; however they are also used as minions of NPCs. Elementals will fight the demons of the Burning Legion as well as the beings that inhabit Azeroth. They are merely trying to restore their masters (the Old Gods) to power and to free their elemental lieutenants (mentioned above) so these can once again rule the world.
Water Elementals seem to be a bit more passive, and players can get quests from certain ones, generally involving attacking fire elementals; however water elementals, along with all elementals, are often hostile to players of either faction.
The different elementals seem to be at war with each other; the most obvious version is the "pure" water elementals and their attempts to defeat the "hated" fire elementals.
Additionally, the saga to get the legendary weapon Thunderfury, Blade of the Blessed Windseeker tells the story that Ragnaros the Firelord imprisoned Thunderann who was a wind elemental lord.
In World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, Water Elementals can be controlled by Mages who specialize in frost talents (41 points minimum).
Other Elementals and related creatures There are some other creatures in World of Warcraft that are categorized as elementals; these include tree ancients, bog beasts, golems, etc.; but the wind, water, earth and fire elementals are the only ones to have served the Old Gods. The Old Gods are also served by certain non-elementals.
As the name suggests, bog beasts are large, shambling monsters that are half plant and half beast, resembling hunched humanoids made out of rotting vegetation and sludge. Little is known about these secretive creatures, except that they are territorial and quite aggressive. Explorers have recorded stories of their great strength and resilience to harm. Unlike animals, they reproduce by seeds.
When roused to anger, they fight with great power and fury, using their strength to slam into their enemies, crushing opponents' defenses with their massive fists.
In lore Bog Beasts are not elementals at all, but a type of large, sentient plant.
Because the Elemental Plane is a single location encompassing all four elemental forces in a single area, some of the plane's creatures have adapted to more than one region. To do this, they have taken on the aspects of one more such areas. These creatures are known as "conglomerates". Each kind shares two or more aspects of the basic elemental types.
If a creature shares two elemental aspects they are known as "dual elemental"-type. If a creature shares three elemental aspects it is known as a "triumvirate elemental"-type. If a creature shares all four elemental aspects it is known as a "complete" or "primal elemental"-type. Known Types
- Dust Elemental (Air, Earth)
Dust Elementals are a conglomerate of Air and Earth elementals. Dust Elementals may be found in Westfall in the form of Dust Devils.
- Ice Elemental (Air, Water)
Ice Elementals are conglomerate water and air elementals from Frostland of the Abyssal Maw.
- Spark Elemental (Air, Fire)
Spark Elementals are a conglomerate of Air and Fire elementals.
- Lava Elemental (Earth, Fire)
Lava Elementals are a conglomerate of Fire and Earth elementals. The most powerful Lava Elemental currently in World of Warcraft is Garr.
- Mud Elemental (Earth, Water)
Mud Elementals are a conglomerate of Water and Earth elementals.
- Steam Elemental (Fire, Water)
Steam Elementals are a conglomerate of Water and Fire elementals.
- Tar Beast (Earth, Water)
Tar Beasts are a conglomerate of Earth and Water element types.
- Geyser Elemental (Air, Fire, Water)
Geyser Elementals are a conglomerate of Water, Fire and Air elementals.
- Pyroclastic Elemental (Air, Earth, Fire)
Pyroclastic Elementals are a conglomerate of Earth, Fire and Air elementals.
- Sandstorm Elemental (Air, Earth, Water)
Sandstorm Elementals are a conglomerate of Earth, Water and Air elementals.
- Volcanic Elemental (Earth, Fire, Water)
Volcanic Elementals are a conglomerate of Earth, Water and Fire elementals.
- Primal Elemental (Air, Earth, Fire, Water)
Introduced in the Burning Crusade expansion pack. The Primordial Aspects are probably a group of elementals that instead on focusing on the things like fire and air, focus on unique aspects of nature like the night and poison. The only one in game is Murmur, the Primordial Aspect of sound, a boss in the Shadow Labyrinth wing of the Auchindoun instance.
Note that they may not be elementals but in fact elemental-like beings. Murmur is listed as an elemental for game mechanics.
Revenants are minor elemental creatures who once served as foot soldiers for the malefic Old Gods when the world was young. When the titans defeated the Old Gods and chained them beneath the earth, the wicked revenants and their greater elemental cousins were banished to the Elemental Plane. Locked away from the world they once ruled, the fire of the elementals' hatred of the titans and their creations burned with increasing intensity. As the millennia passed, reckless mortal wizards began to summon elementals back into the physical world. Free at last, many revenants struck out against the mortals that had summoned them and set out to forge their own destiny among their native elements in the world. These evil beings exist only to inflict strife and sow elemental chaos. Though they have limited intelligence, their sheer hatred and will to destroy make them fearful opponents when encountered in the wilds of the world.
Revenants appear as undead Elemental creatures with the ability to cast elemental magics according to their type. Although appearing undead, Revenants have no affiliation with the Scourge as they have some sort of innate immunity to Ner'Zhul's psychic control over undead. They remain neutral in the conflict between the Horde and the Alliance. Many live on the Elemental Plane. They have not appeared in World of Warcraft but were featured in Warcraft III and The Frozen Throne, and the Warcraft RPG. They look similar to floating suits of armor, bound by elemental energy according to their elemental type. They also wield large maces and carry giant shields.
Types of Revenants:
- Death Revenant
- Fire Revenant
- Frost Revenant
- Ice Revenant
- Lightning Revenant
- Revenant of the Tides
- Revenant of the Seas
- Revenant of the Depths
- Deeplord Revenant
In addition to the free-willed Forsaken Undead described in the humanoids section, many other, mindless, evil Undead in service of the dreaded Lich King Ner'Zhul and his scourge and others, are present in the warcraft universe. Numerous different types of these Undead creatures exist. Many of these are common staples in numerous fantasy-themed games.
An abomination is an undead, ogre-like creature composed of multiple bodies gruesomely sewn together. They are composed of stretched and stitched skin, broken teeth, massive bloated stomachs, and are sporting a massive gash where their mixed entrails hang out. From their back they have an additional limb placed, and carry huge meat cleavers in all three of their hands. During the Third War, they served as heavy melee warriors for the Undead Scourge, however in the present the Forsaken have also utilized them as brutish guards in their cities. Many Abominations, aside from their extreme physical strength, also emit a noxious cloud of pestilence and disease from their rotting innards. This cloud can spread disease or physically weaken anyone who attacks an abomination. Almost all abominations lack any real intelligence, having an I.Q. closest to that of an ogre on average.
Abominations outwardly appear strangely joyful due to their absent-minded expressions and mannerisms, though this is most likely due to their low level of mental capacity. Like their undead cousins, abominations lust for flesh and are known to eat not only the living but the dead as well.
The abominations of the Third War were assembled in Slaughterhouses which can still be found in the Eastern Plaguelands. Opposing the Scourge, however, the Forsaken abominations are made in the Apothecarium of the Undercity and are composed of the parts of humans in captivity of the Forsaken. While for the Forsaken the abominations are primarily kept as guards, some have become highly regarded Forsaken representatives in the military, such as Lieutenant Murp of Alterac Valley.
Important Scourge abominations include Glutton, a constantly hungry abomination found in Razorfen Downs; Ramstein, the ruthless guardian of Baron Rivendare's slaughterhouse in Stratholme; and the titanic Patchwerk, whom Kel'Thuzad uses as his "Avatar of War."
Abominations strongly pay homage to Frankenstein's monster, particularly Thaddius, found in the abomination wing of Naxxramas, who is more metal and machinery than flesh.
Banshees were once elf women, returned to a horrible, spectral existence. When the Burning Legion and the kaldorei clashed in the War of the Ancients, 10,000 years ago, many night elf women fell. Their brutal murders returned them as banshees, and for millennia they wandered the world in lamentation, losing ever more of their dwindling sanity. Eventually, the Lich King, Ner'zhul, learned of their existence and recruited them into the Scourge. Banshees fought in the Third War alongside other undead, and when Arthas attacked Quel'Thalas, he found that he could make banshees of high elves as well.
Banshees are undead spirits, many of them from High Elves who were taken and enslaved by the Lich King after his conquest of Quel'Thalas. While under Ner'zhul's control the banshees were kept just aware enough so that they could experience the pain, desperation and anguish of their existence, and were then filled with a desire to spread that pain among the living. Most known for their chilling and deafening screams, banshees can also cast a number of curses.
After the Third War, the Lich King lost control of some of the banshees, including their queen Sylvanas Windrunner. Not long after Arthas raised her as a banshee, she broke from his control, taking fellow banshees with her. She regained her physical body and established the Forsaken. This act gives many banshees hope, and a strong cadre of free banshees can now be seen serving with the Forsaken. Most banshees still remain enslaved to the Lich King's will though, and can be found throughout the Plaguelands. Many wild, unafilliated banshees exist as well. Physically, they appear as spectral elven women, with wild flowing hair and long talon-like hands. Banshees have the unsettling ability to force their way into the bodies of living creatures, thus replacing the creatures' spirits with their own. A banshee who does this, however, loses its original form.
It is thought that some banshees wandered Azeroth long before the Scourge, and were subjugated to the Lich King's will. This is supported by the presence of Banshees in ancient Kaldorei ruins throughout Kalimdor, like Dire Maul.
Created by the Lich King's necromancers, these golems are the necromancers' bodyguards.
Deadly undead constructs made entirely of bones, Bone Golems are one of the deadlier types of undead employed by the Scourge. Their long, scythe-like arms can cleave through the heaviest of armors. Fortunately, despite their strength, they seem to be rather rare, only appearing in large quantities in the basement of Scholomance.
They also spawned in large numbers and in unlikely places during the Scourge Invasion event, for instance in Silithus.
One notable Bone Golem is Rattlegore, a mini-boss in the Scholomance instance.
Bone Golems, instead of undead, could also be regarded as Elementals, or Constructs, or Miscellaneous.
Death knights are former paladins who have forsaken the Holy Light and entered the service of the Lich King.
The first of the Scourge's death knights was Prince Arthas Menethil of Lordaeron, who succumbed to madness and entered into the service of the Lich King at the beginning of the Third War, after his soul was stolen by the runeblade Frostmourne.
Other once-noble paladins would follow in Arthas' steps. During the fall of Lordaeron, the Order of the Silver Hand was disbanded, and its leader Uther Lightbringer slain. Some of the paladins traveled to the plague-ridden colonies, seeking to continue to help the people of the land. Though the Paladins were immune to disease of any kind, they were persecuted by the general populace who believed that they had been infected by the foul plague. Embittered by this rejection, a few traveled north to find the plague's source.
Much as Arthas had before them, these renegade paladins succumbed to bitter hatred over the course of their grueling quest. When they finally reached Ner'zhul's icy fortress in Northrend they had become dark and brooding. The Lich King offered them untold power in exchange for their services and loyalty. The weary, vengeful warriors accepted his dark pact, and although they retained their humanity, their twisted souls were bound to his evil will for all time. Bestowed with black runeblades and shadowy undead steeds, death knights serve as the Scourge's mightiest generals.
In the new expansion of World of Warcraft, Wrath of the Lich King the player is able to become a Death Knight (Hero Class) after reaching level 55. After being sent by the Lich King to their deaths they rebel against him and form the Knights of the Ebon Blade, joining either the Horde or Alliance.
Flesh Giants would appear to be the next step up from the common Abomination. A horrific combination of flesh and machine, they just recently appeared for the first time in the halls of Naxxramas.
Flesh Titans are the most powerful constructs of the Scourge. What little knowledge there is points to the Flesh Titans as being far more intelligent than other constructs and possessing deadly electrical powers. The only known Flesh Titan is Thaddius, a boss in the Naxxramas Instance.
In the first days of the patch 1.11 PTRs, the Flesh Titan Thaddius could be heard howling in pain and begging to be put out of his misery. Judging from this, it would seem that his maker accomplished something extraordinary: creating what could possibly be the first sentient construct on Azeroth.
Flesh Titans are strongly inspired by Frankenstein's monster.
Giant walking fungi creatures that embody the undeath plague and its contaminating effects. They are one of the newer creations of the scourge. They can be found in the Naxxramas instance.
Spectral spirits of the deceased. They resemble see-through, often bluish versions of who they were in life. Most ghosts are harmless reflections of what they were when they still lived, and are invisible to normal eyes. But this is not always the case. Ghosts who have a strong desire for revenge are often tied to the physical plane by that desire. Some ghosts are even forced to remain in the physical plane by an outside force, or tied to the physical by an inanimate object they cherished when alive (such as some of the more powerful Kirin'Tor mages in Netherstorm). Such ghosts are generally hostile, and not only are capable of damaging fully corporeal/living creatures, but will attack and do so on sight.
Unlike wraiths and shades, it's easily possible to see which race a ghost belonged to while it was living because despite being bluish and see-through, there is little difference in their appearance as they were in life, and their race is clearly identifiable.
Ghouls are the shock troops of the Scourge. These lumbering, rotting corpses were once innocent townsfolk who have made the final transition into true undeath. Ghouls have great stamina and revel in combat with living beings. Ghouls are ravenous cannibals who can replenish their health by devouring the flesh of fallen warriors, friend and foe alike.
During the third war, ghouls were used as basic attack units, and also used to harvest lumber to build scourge structures.
Ghouls are found in several places throughout Azeroth, primarily the Eastern Kingdoms. Most notable are those who terrorize the Plaguelands as the front lines of the Scourge, heavy concentrations can also be found in Eversong Forest and Ghostlands. Mindless ghouls can also be found in Silverpine Forest and Duskwood.
Ghouls have the appearance of a bent, twisted humanoid figure. Much of their flesh has rotted away, exposing a fair amount of bone and twisting facial features until they are unrecognizable as human. As undeath progresses in a victim, it twists and corrupts the body, growing fangs and claws. The ghoul is the final stage of the process of undeath. Despite all this, Ghouls are not particularly intelligent, being mindless monsters with the intelligence of a creature such as an Ogre or Gnoll at best, and understand little aside from hobbling around and tearing apart any foe they see.
During his mortal life as the warchief of the orcish Horde of Draenor, Ner'zhul commanded a number of Orcish warlocks, shamans, and even some of Gul'dan's death knights. When these wicked sorcerers were captured by Kil'jaeden and the Burning Legion after the destruction of Draenor, they were transformed into twisted aberrations of their former selves. These liches possessed tremendous magical powers, yet their immortal, undead bodies were bound to the iron will of Ner'zhul. Since the liches showed unswerving loyalty to their master, Ner'zhul granted them control over the furious elements of the cold north. Now, the liches wield frost magic along with their own considerable necromantic spells. Other Lichs are raised important members of the Cult of the Damned, and at least Kel'Thuzad has become one out of free will, and even considers the new eternal life a gift for his servitude.
Every lich has a physical object called a phylactery that contains its soul. As long as a lich's phylactery remains intact and undamaged, the lich will eventually regenerate its body and return to life. It's unclear if the phylacteries are common knowledge, and thus, liches thought dead may still return.
A lesser type of lich is known as a lichling. Many lichlings can be found in Azshara.
Shades are disembodied spirits and are similar to ghosts in that they are the spectral remains of a once-living person. They are far more chaotic and bestial than ghosts however, and more dark and spectral, with their original race being impossible to determine. These often restless spirits are mostly found in the Plaguelands, other undead-infested areas, and the village surrounding the mysterious tower of Karazhan. Because they do not have a real body, some shades are immune to physical damage.
Due to their invisibility, shades are employed by the Scourge as spies and scouts. They are created from the sacrifice of acolytes of the Cult of the Damned.
Some skeletons are animated through necromancy. Most skeletons are raised from battlefields and thus are often seen still clothed in rotting garments and rusting armor. Some skeletons still fight with the weapons they died clutching. Others, specifically created only by the most advanced necromancers are able to cast magical spells. Whatever they attack with skeletons are basically mindless automatons who are either directly controlled, or made to follow a specific order from their creator. If sufficiently damaged, the magic holding their bones together will dissipate, and they will crumple lifelessly to the ground.
Some skeletons, however, actually seems to possess some kind of intelligence, like Mordresh Fire Eye, found in Razorfen Downs. He can be seen talking to and encouraging his brethren, holding a speech about how the undead Scourge will consume the whole of Kalimdor.
In addition to the skeletons described here, some others may be other types of undead that are simply very old and all their flesh has rotted away, leaving nothing but bones.
An Undead Beast resembles an Abomination, only fashioned entirely out of animal parts instead of human parts. Undead Beasts are one of the newer creations of the Scourge and are only found stalking the corridors of the dreaded Naxxramas. The most famous Undead Beast is Gluth.
Wights are an unusual species of undead used occasionally by the Scourge. They most closely resemble a zombie, but their bodies have grown to montrous sizes and are horridly deformed. It is unknown how this transformation occurred. They are mostly employed in places of importance: Magistrate Barthilas protects the key to the city of Stratholme, while two other wights act as the bodyguards of the flesh titan Thaddius. In addition, The Ravenian is one of the six bosses that must be defeated to summon Darkmaster Gandling in The Scholomance.
With their flat heads, and bolts implanted in their neck, they have a very similar design to Frankenstein's Monster. However, they are frequently quite intelligent, and seem to retain the mind that they had in life.
It is only assumed that these creatures are called "wights" due to the fact that their model is called a wight. They have only appeared so far in the form of named bosses, two of which were called wights in an article about the Thaddius fight.
"As your group falls into disarray and scatters, caught unaware and slaughtered one by one by the two gruesome wights that descended from platforms higher up in the room, you wonder to yourself what kind of twisted nightmare spawned this monster."
As with the Voidwalker, Shade and the Fire Elemental, Wights have the same attack animations, run animation, model layout, etc. as that of a Bog Beast.
Wraiths are spirit-beings, similar to ghosts, banshees and shades in that they are the spectral forms of a once-living person. Unlike banshees, who appear to be formed only from the souls of undead women, wraiths can be of either gender. They also appear to be of either elven or human origin most of the time. Some trolls in Zul'Gurub and the Sunken Temple manifest as wraiths before they die. Wraiths appear as partially see-through shapes with a roughly humanoid shape, although notably missing legs, and with a shapeless, incorporeal, unidentifiable head.
They are typically either bluish or purple, and turn into a little ball when destroyed.
Zombies are one of the simplest and most common of undead. They are reanimated corpses who have not yet completed the transition into the "true" undeath form of Ghouls.
Like Ghouls, zombies were once men, peasants and warriors alike. They lack a lot of the intelligence their risen comrades do, even in comparison to Abominations. Slow moving and instinctual, you can find these creatures within the areas either once or still under Scourge control.
Zombies due to their lack of intelligence and their numbers are often used as fodder in the front lines of the Scourge. Most do not seem to be affiliated with any group and just mindlessly wander.
Some Zombies have managed to be part of the Forsaken and seem to have rational thought.
Zombies can be found most notably in Tirisfal Glades, the Western Plaguelands and the Eastern Plaguelands.