I have just moved to 5e from 3.5e.

I've read up about the Necromancy Wizard subclass in 5e, and from what I have seen so far there are only three possible undead that they can possibly animate: medium zombies, medium skeletons, and ghouls. Are there other options for animation?

Undead created by a Necromancer add a proficiency bonus to damage, but in my opinion, without extra help they will miss often at medium-high level. Are there options to improve their stats?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Also, Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already and see the help center or ask us here in the comments (use @ to ping someone) if you need more guidance. Good Luck and Happy Gaming! \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil
    Aug 10, 2019 at 21:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Someone_Evil thank you for welcome! Yes i refer to wizard school. no homebrew for the moment. :) \$\endgroup\$ Aug 10, 2019 at 22:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ Are you asking both for "What spells/methods are available to make undead?" and "What methods are available to improve/buff my undead?"? Because to me they sound like two different questions which would be better served by being asked separately (linking between the two would probably still be useful). \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil
    Aug 10, 2019 at 22:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ yes both, but mainly the first. It is the basis, then i will try to fin out if there are methods to buff undeads :) \$\endgroup\$ Aug 10, 2019 at 22:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you specifically asking about the animate dead spell, or any spell that animates creatures as undead? \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Aug 10, 2019 at 22:59

1 Answer 1


There are four spells which make undead:

  • Animate Dead. 3rd level spell which is added to your spellbook at 6th level and for which you get an additional undead. Makes zombies or skeletons.

  • Danse Macabre. 5th level spell from Xanathar's Guide to Everything (p. 153) which creates 6 undead for an hour. Makes zombies or skeletons, with a bonus to attack and damage.

  • Create Undead. 6th level spell which creates 3 ghouls which last indefinatly. Can be cast at higher levels to make 4 ghouls (7th), 5 ghouls or 2 ghasts or wights (8th) or 6 ghouls, 3 ghasts or wights, or 2 mummies (9th). Must be cast at night for added cliche. Lightning strike and full moon optional.

  • Finger of Death. 7th level spell which can create a zombie of its target if it kills it. The zombie has no time limitations or upkeep costs.

These are buffed by Undead Thralls

The 6th level feature which grants you the animate dead spell, Undead Thralls, also buffs these undead:

Whenever you create an undead using a necromancy spell, it has additional benefits:

Which is a buff to their hit points and damage (this stacks with the bonus innate to danse macabre).

There are otherwise no other features (to my knowledge) which explicitly improve the stats of your undead. (Obtaining minions in 5e is already quite powerful as it weighs heavily on the action economy.) You are then left with the myriad of spells and features which can buff any creature. I'm not going to list them here, but you may find D&D Beyond's Spell Search a useful starting point to find buff spells.


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