Difference between revisions of "Zombie"

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[[Category:Creature types]]
[[Category:Creature types]]

Revision as of 23:09, 4 June 2014

Zombies are animated corpses. They are normally simply animated and have little to no connection with the soul of the deceased, though some especially powerful necromancers know how to bind the dead to their bodies to create smart zombies. The first card to bear the type was Scathe Zombies in Alpha. That set also contained Zombie Master and Scavenging Ghoul which later gained the subtype Zombie, as well. [1]

Alaran zombies

Esperian zombies

In the Shard of Alara called Esper, artificers animate corpses grafting them with etherium modifications.

Grixian zombies

In Grixis, necromancers create zombies to do their bidding or to prolong their own life. One of the major powers of the Shard, Sedris, is a zombie himself.

Dominarian zombies

Liches are beings who have stored their life force in an object called a phylactery so that their mortal body will endure upwards of millenia in undeath.

Otarian zombies

Zombies were disturbingly common on Otaria thanks to the Cabal. These included zombified Beasts, Birds, Cats, Centaurs, Dragons, Dwarves, Giants, Goblins and Wurms.

Innistrad zombies

Innistrad is a plane partially infested with Zombies. [2] Zombies come in two variants. On one hand, there are the common shambling corpses associated with the color black, called ghouls. Reanimated by necromancers and ghoulcallers they go about making more zombies, killing the living and devouring their flesh. Even gameplaywise these Zombies are slow but overwhelming if the opponent cannot contain them, typically being powerful creatures for their cost and difficult to permanently kill (either through the undying mechanic or occasionally the ability to be recast such as on Gravecrawler) but with some kind disadvantage (coming into play tapped, unable to block etc).

The second variety are in the vein of Frankenstein's Monster, the failed experiments of mad scientists who attempted to toy with life itself, associated with the color blue. These are called skaabs. A common mechanic for them is the requirement to have creature cards in the graveyard removed, such as corpses as the base for these medical abominations. These creatures are typically very powerful but can be difficult to get into play because they need dead bodies first. This can be provided by self-milling that the mad scientists enable, such as on Deranged Assistant.

Mirrodin's zombies

In the plane of Mirrodin, they are known as the nim, and inhabit the Mephidross swamps.

Ravnican zombies

In the plane of Ravnica, two guilds employ zombies: the Golgari Swarm and the Cult of Rakdos.

Golgari Swarm

The Golgari uses ritualistic magic to make zombies, which can deliberately be made to be mindless deadwalkers for labor purposes, or letting them keep their full faculties and abilities, like their Guildmasters Svogthir and Jarad, who were zombies themselves. Their zombies are usually imbued with plants, insects or fungi.

Cult of Rakdos

They are usually made as mindless deadwalkers and servants. Unlike the Golgari's these ones have their bodies altered with spikes, metal teeth and other torturing implants to make them more deadly.

Phyrexian zombies

While, as noted above, Phyrexian Scuta and Phyrexian Rager have the creature type "zombie" while actually being Phyrexians, zombies of Phyrexian origin do exist. Cards like Metathran Zombie and Vodalian Zombie represent creatures that were killed by a Phyrexian tingler. The tingler is a nasty device that resembles a spiny centipede-like insect. One end of the tingler is fashioned with small hooks used both for movement, and for carrying out its main function, which is to zombify enemy troops in the midst of battle, turning them against their allies.

The tingler zombifies by crawling into its victim's mouth and using its hooks to literally rip out their spinal cord, effectively killing them. It will then crawl down their mouth and into the cavity once occupied by the spine and replace the spinal cord, controlling their body. This process is short and leaves the corpse mostly intact, as opposed to the long process by which Phyrexian soldiers usually are created.

Theros zombies

In Theros, the Nostron, or Returned, are undead that escaped the plane's Underworld, governed by the god Erebos, lacking the Sun and the nightsky. To escape the Underworld, one must loose one's own identity, and as such the Returned not only have no faces beyond a few holes, but also have lost their memories, both of their past lives and the capacity of holding long term memories in themselves. As such, while they are sapient and feel emotions, their existences are nothing but shadow-play, being unable to connect with other living beings and form an actual identity, forever in a state of negative emotions and empty routines.

The Returned wear golden masks: clay masks are used in Theros to frame the faces of the dead, so the elimination of these masks is a symbolic act for the return to the world of the living. Gold is the most common material in the infernal realm, so the Nostron use it to craft new masks, that serve as flimsy, hollow identities. They value gold very little beyond their masks, but use currently based on the broken fragments of the clay masks, which have immense symbolic value. When not wandering alone and rejecting civilisation, the Returned go to cities unironically called necropolises, two of which being of particular importance: the neutral Asphodel, where the Nostron simply embrace their fate, and the agressive Odunos, where the undead give in to violent emotions and perform raids on the living.

Notable zombies


  • Zombie Apocalypse is a sorcery that return all Zombie creature cards from your graveyard to the battlefield tapped, then destroys all Humans.

Zombie tokens

1/1 black Zombie Goblin Creature tokens are created by:

1/1 black and blue Zombie Wizard Creature tokens are created by:

2/2 black Zombie Creature tokens are created by:

5/5 black Zombie Giant Creature tokens are created by:

*/* black Zombie Creature tokens are created by:

Grand Creature Type Update

In the Grand Creature Type Update the following creature types were changed into Zombie:


  1. Mark Rosewater (March 03, 2003). "I cc: Dead People". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Mark Rosewater (September 05, 2011). "C'mon Innistrad, Part 1". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.