Necropolis: Necromancy

Necromancy is the result of practicing the dark arts to raise creatures from the dead. The principles of Necromancy have been drastically altered in version 2.1 (and 1.5), and Necromancers are now able to raise undead creatures of all levels, not only skeletons, depending on the type of creatures killed in combat. At the end of each victorious combat, the life taken from the killed enemies determines the maximum amount of undead creatures that can be raised, and the Necromancer can choose to raise them or not. If he/she does, he/she uses Dark Energy points (as each undead creature raised costs DE points) from a pool shared by all of the player's heroes, that only regenerates at the start of the week.

In the new Necromancy system, there are 3 questions to answer:

How many undead creatures are raised?

Undead creatures can only be raised after a victorious combat, and their proposed number depends on the hit points of the killed enemy creatures (except mechanical and elemental):

Hit_Points_Raised = Hit_Points_Killed x Necromancy

where Necromancy mainly depends on your hero's skills and the number of Pillar of Bones in your cities (see below). The number of undead creatures raised is capped by the number of killed creatures.

Basic Necromancy Advanced Necromancy Expert Necromancy Ultimate Necromancy Lord of the Undead Amulet of Necromancy Pillar of Bones Tomb of the Lost
Necromancy 20% 30% 40% 50% +5% +10% +10% +50%

Therefore, if you killed 470 Hit Points worth of creatures, and your overall % of units raised via Necromancy totalled 40%, you would receive 188 Hit Points worth back, which is 47 Skeletons, or 37 Skeleton Archers for example. Provided of course you killed at least that many creatures.

Necromancy Modifiers
Eternal Servitude
Eternal Servitude (Necromancy)
  • Effect: The hero can also raise fallen friendly undead units
Herald of Death
Herald of Death (Leadership)
  • Effect: All joining neutral creatures will be transformed into the undead creatures of their respective level
  • Requires: Recruitment
Lord of the Undead
Lord of the Undead (Enlightenment)
  • Effect: +5% Necromancy
  • Requires: Scholar
Amulet of Necromancy
Amulet of Necromancy (artifact)
  • Effect: +10% Necromancy (1.5/2.1) (3.0: Reduces rising costs by 10%)
Pillar of Bones
Pillar of Bones
  • Effect: +10% Necromancy and +150 points of Dark Energy (for each Pillar owned)
  • Requires: Town Level 6, Mage Guild 1
  • Cost: 1000, 10
Tomb of the Lost
Tomb of the Lost (Grail structure)
  • Effect: +50% Necromancy and +150 points of Dark Energy
  • Requires: Tear of Asha

Dark Energy: How much do you have?

Dark Energy is the commodity which makes raising undead units possible. All of your heroes share a Dark Energy pool, from which they draw points to raise undead troops. The amount of Dark Energy in your pool depends on your heroes' levels and skills and the buildings constructed in your Necropolis towns:

Dark Energy Pool = 200 + Hero_Bonus + Building_Bonus


IMPORTANT 1.5 Note: The Dark Energy Pool formula has been amended to 250 + Hero_Bonus + Building_Bonus. Where the Hero Bonus is doubled, and the Pillar of Bones bonus is reduced from 150 to 20 DE points.

In Tribes of the East (3.0), the values are the same as in 2.1.

Basic Necromancy Advanced Necromancy Expert Necromancy Ultimate Necromancy Basic Necromancy Advanced Necromancy Expert Necromancy Ultimate Necromancy
Level 11234Level 214897145194
Level 21234Level 2252105158211
Level 31234Level 2357114171228
Level 41234Level 2461123185246
Level 51234Level 2566132198265
Level 61234Level 2670141212283
Level 725710Level 2775151227303
Level 8491318Level 2880161241322
Level 96132027Level 2985171256342
Level 109192838Level 3090181271362
Level 1112243649Level 3185191287382
Level 1215304560Level 32100201302403
Level 1318365573Level 33106212318424
Level 1421436586Level 34111223334446
Level 15255075100Level 35116233350467
Level 16285786114Level 36122244367489
Level 17326497129Level 37127255383511
Level 183672108145Level 38133267400534
Level 194080120160Level 39139278418557
Level 204488132177Level 40145290435580

Dark Energy: How much does it cost?

Raising an undead creature costs Dark Energy points, depending on the power of the creature:

Dark Energy Cost = Power / 25

The following table lists, for all the undead creatures, their Dark Energy cost (DE), and the living creatures that will be transformed into it. The number below each living creature indicates how many undead will be raised if 10 such creatures are killed with Basic Necromancy (20%), provided the corresponding Dark Energy cost is paid, of course. To get the final costs and quantities, round-down the result after multiplying.

DE: 2.161.503.
DE: 3.362.804.004.005.602.002.404.005.604.00
DE: 4.201.533.653.061.181.41
DE: 6.001.883.061.534.120.821.41
DE: 9.283.751.880.7510.003.13
DE: 12.483.681.585.266.950.5313.163.683.162.63
DE: 20.721.332.674.001.33
DE: 29.565.145.711.715.711.43
DE: 46.642.161.360.72
DE: 60.722.911.201.092.913.272.912.182.55
DE: 87.202.323.680.690.84
DE: 103.522.403.323.983.622.402.803.503.802.002.40
DE: 126.962.672.671.60
DE: 156.202.503.00

The creatures that do not appear in this table can not be raised as undead. They are of mechanical (Gargoyles, Golems), elemental (Elementals, Phoenix, Fire Dragons) or divine nature (Angels, Unicorns).

As seen in the Necromancy Modifiers table above, undead creatures themselves are not raised through Necromancy, but through the separate method of the Eternal Servitude ability.

The Necromancy skill

Basic Necromancy
Basic Necromancy
Allows a Necromancer to raise 20% of fallen enemy living creatures as own soldiers (A limited number of creatures can be raised per week). Influences the number of dark energy points.
Advanced Necromancy
Advanced Necromancy
Allows a Necromancer to raise 30% of fallen enemy living creatures as own soldiers (A limited number of creatures can be raised per week). Increases the number of dark energy points.
Expert Necromancy
Expert Necromancy
Allows a Necromancer to raise 40% of fallen enemy living creatures as own soldiers (A limited number of creatures can be raised per week). Increases the number of dark energy points.
Ultimate Necromancy
Ultimate Necromancy
Allows a Necromancer to raise 50% of fallen enemy living creatures as own soldiers (A limited number of creatures can be raised per week). Increases the number of dark energy points.

Associated abilities

Banshee Howl
Banshee Howl
Grants a hero an ability to call upon death itself in combat. All enemy living creatures receive -1 to morale, luck and -10% on initiative.
Eternal Servitude
Eternal Servitude
The Necromancer receives an ability to raise some of the fallen undead creatures in his or her army after combat.
Mark of the Necromancer
Mark of the Necromancer
Grants a Necromancer the ability to tie his or her own spirit to the spirits of any creatures on the battlefield until the end of combat. If linked creatures receive any damage the Necromancer will gain some mana, feeding upon those creatures' suffering.
Howl of Terror
Howl of Terror
Banshee Howl special ability additionally dampens enemy morale by -6.


Necromancy is the most prevalent racial skill in the game. It is the lifeblood of the Necromancers, and, as such, there are a multitude of power-ups available for the skill from the town and the hero. Aside from the 2 different undead transformers (Unholy Temple and Herald of Death), it is possible to raise 100% of enemy units if there are enough Pillar of Bones built. Of course, that requires either a large pool of Dark Energy, or a careful contemplation over which troops to raise. Note that Leadership and Enlightenment are the two secondary skills needed to improve your prowess in Necromancy.

Howl of Terror

An extensive upgrade of Banshee Howl, Howl of Terror effectively always reduces enemy morale to a negative value, meaning even the most noble of Knights will cower in fear. Like Nature's Luck though, Archery will have to be forfeited, which can be a deal breaker if you're stacking a gargantuan number of Skeleton Archers and Liches with Necromancy. Boosting Banshee Howl effect, Howl of Terror requires the hero to spend a turn in combat to activate the Morale dampening, and one can wonder if it's really worth it. The answer is rather easy here, as the -6 morale penalty will make enemy troops lose some of their turns, effectively compensating for the turn spent. Moreover, Banshee Howl still comes with a -10% to enemy Initiative.

This information comes from the Heroes V release version (v2.1).

Thanks to ThE_HyDrA for creating and looking after the Heroes 5 section of Age of Heroes!