Heroes of Might and Magic 5 Necropolis / Necromancer Guide (walkthrough)

Heroes of Might and Magic 5
Necropolis / Necromancer Guide
by Robo Mike

The guide is for version 1.00 (release version) of the game.
Future patches may introduce gameplay changes.

Latest updates:

May 26, 2006
v1.00   Initial guide release

Campaign walkthrough (when I feel like it)

Section 0
Table of Contents

 S#  code   title
  0 (    ) Table of Contents
  1 (DISC) Disclaimers
  2 (INTR) Introduction / How To Use This GUide
  3 (HERO) Necromancers  - Select your character...
  4 (SKIL) Skills&Spells - Train your heroes...
     (UHS)   A. Unique Hero Skills
     (UNA)   B. Unique Necromancer Abilities
     (USK)   C. Useful Skills
  5 (BUIL) Structures    - Build your town...
     (PLS)   A. Price Listing
     (REQ)   B. Prerequisites Table
     (BLD)   C. Suggested Build Order
  6 (ARMY) Creatures     - Hire your army...
     (CST)   A. Creatures
     (HIR)   B. Hiring and Upgrading
     (MIX)   C. Mixed Stacks Strategy
  7 (RIDE) Adventuring   - Plan your journeys...
  8 (WAR-) War           - Fight your battles!
  9 (HIST) Revision History
 10 (END-) Ending Credits
 11 (INFO) Contact Info
           Final Words

Section 1 (DISC)

This document is (c) 2006 Robo Mike, All Rights Reserved.

The contents may be printed and saved on your hard disk for personal
non-profit use only. Any attempts to profit from this guide is
strictly prohibited.

Use of information on this guide with permission is acceptable. It took
me forever to type all this up you know!

The only site allowed to host this guide at the moment is gamefaqs.com
(and its partner sites such as gamespot.com) as of now (because I'm lazy)
I don't think I'll allow other sites to host it even if you ask nicely --
it's hard enough updating one guide on one site, sorry!

The author will not be held responsible for game loss, personal loss,
damages or whatever inconvenience resulting from use of this guide
and the strategies herein.

Section 2 (INTR)
Introduction / How To Use This Guide

Greetings! Welcome to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Necropolis.

Maybe you've heard the rumors about the Necropolis being underpowered
in Heroes 5. Maybe you're heard that skeletons are weak, that zombies
are utter crap, that bone dragons are the pits.


But this is the undead army. We're not here to challenge Paladins to
one on one duels, we're here to fight dirty and crush them underfoot
beneath legions of undead troops.

Let's weigh the cons and pros:

Generally weak level 1, level 2, level 6 and level 7 creatures
Low initiative for most undead
Uses a lot of wood and ore

Cheap production buildings
Inexpensive creatures
High growth rate for low creature levels
Can easily raise (and maintain!) a huge army early in the game via
    Raise Dead spell, Necromancy skill, Eternal Servitude skill
Can convert other creatures to undead
Raise Dead, which is a level 2 spell, while Resurrect is a level *5*
Did I say, Raise dead?

The pros certainly beat the cons. But that won't win the game, oh
no... with your skills (and perhaps the help of my guide) we can
steamroll the living into their graves, and then "convince" them to
join us... forever!

I do not claim that these strategies will work all the time or for all
players of the game. This guide is NOT a walkthrough and is never
meant to be.

By all means, choose your own skills, fight your own battles, play it
your way and cut your own path to victory. But here's a reference.

Finally this guide does not cover the campaign and duel modes yet. I am
too lazy to play the campaign (especially having to slog through missions
involving living creatures...) while the Duel Mode forces Necromancers
to forgo their best asset: Necromancy, a.k.a. the ability to raise and
maintain a larger army faster and better than the others.


To view this guide, your web browser will do for the most part. Also
use plain text editors like Notepad or Pine or something.

To quickly proceed to a desired section, search for the CODE,
including the parentheses ( ). So if you wish to proceed to the

Since this guide uses quite a bit of tables, the text must be alinged.
A fixed-width fond such as Courier New will do the trick.

Suspicious? Here's a line of 75 numbers followed by a line of 75
hyphens. If they're not aligned, you better change some settings. Now.


Section 3 (HERO)

Campaign heroes are excluded. You can't pick them anyway in
multiplayer or custom maps... :)

All Necromancers start with the following stats:
0 Attack
1 Defense
3 Spell Power
1 Knowledge

Most Necromancers start with the following creature stacks:
Around 10-20+ Skeletons
Around 5-10 Zombies
Around 0-2 Ghosts

A. Deirdre

Deirdre was an overzealous Inquisitor for the Church of Light in the
Holy Griffin Empire. She spent many years hunting Demon cultists in
the Free Cities of the East on the fringe of the Empire's territory,
"cleansing" innocents and culprits alike, worried that a lapse of her
vigilance would allow the corruption to spread. In the end, when she
was captured and tortured to death by her enemies, her restless soul
was spirited away by Necromancers who coveted her knowledge. Now
converted to the Necromancer's cause, it can be argued that no being,
living or unliving, knows more about screams than Deirdre.

Banshee - The effect of the Banshee Howl ability increases as hero
gains new levels.

Basic Necromancy
Basic Dark Magic
Banshee Howl

Deirdre's Banshee Howl shines in long battles to cut down all the
turns of the opponent's living creatures in addition to their morale.
You will not see the extent of her powers in that random fight with
those peasants. Patience, waiting and training and preparing for that
big castle siege, is the key.

Banshee Howl stacks with (Mass) Slow, by the way. Have fun!

B. Kaspar

Kaspar was a great doctor and healer who was able to cure even the
most terrible wounds. Delving deeper and deeper into the secrets of
life and death, Kaspar made a particularly risky experiment that went
wrong... and brought him to the realm of the dead. Though he now leads
an undead army, his knowledge of anatomy and the treating of wounds
remains unparalleled.

Embalmer - The First Aid Tent will heal 5 more hit points per hero
level. The damage in case of Plague Tent ability is also increased.

Starts with free First Aid Tent

Basic Necromancy
Basic War Machines -> First Aid

Who cares that the First Aid tent doesn't heal enough in a long, hard
battle? You have Raise Dead for that, correct?

Kaspar's power lies in being able to resurrect his undead army for
free, every battle. All those saved units from those first fights with
lowly peasants and imps for your mines, to those moderate battles with
griffins and dark raiders for artifacts, up until that fateful battle
with the enemy hero -- yes, they will all add up. And all that without
costing Kaspar's turn or mana, freeing him to cast offensive spells or
Raise Dead.

And before you ask, unfortunately, the First Aid Tent is unaffected by
the ammo cart. It always has 3 uses worth of healing power. :(

C. Lucretia

Seduced and turned to the Necromancer ideals by Sandro himself, this
ex-Bull Duchy countess immediately showed thirsts for both blood and
power. Already a talented courtesan when still alive, Lucretia's
vampiric embrace granted her a couple of centuries to hone her natural
gifts for seducing, backstabbing, and politicking. Promoted to the
rank of Undead Princess, she is a spiritual and (im)moral leader to
other vampires that dream of re-creating her escapades.

Vampire Princess - All Vampires and Vampire Lords in hero's army gain
+1 to their attack and defense for every two levels of the hero,
starting on first level.

Instead of 0-2 Ghosts, starts with 1 Vampire.

Basic Necromancy
Basic Sorcery
Mana Regeneration

Vampires are one of the better Necropolis units. If you find yourself
using Vampires a lot, then Lucretia may be for you. Better defense
means fewer will die while better attack means more will be
resurrected with every shot.

D. Naadir

Naadir despises the world of flesh, even more so than his fellow
Necromancers. To him, perfection is only to be found in the naked
spirit, cleansed from its material impurities. On the battlefield, his
intimate knowledge of the spirit world allows him to "capture" the
souls of his enemies and use them as reinforcements to his own forces.

Every time the group of enemy creatures dies it is replaced by the
group of friendly Manes on the time of combat. The number of the Manes
depends on hero's level.

Basic Necromancy
Basic Summoning Magic
Basic Dark Magic

Manes are similar to Ghosts but disappear at the end of the battle.

Unfortunately, for the skill to activate, you'll have to kill an
opposing stack first. Not the easiest thing to do in the world if they
have a bigger army than you. This ability may help cut losses when
Naadir's army is in the lead, but it won't help too much when he's
faced with a superior force.

However, if the opponent likes to abuse his caster armies by splitting
them (e.g. a "group" of "1" Shadow Witch) then feel free to punish
them for doing so.

E. Orson

Somewhat lacking in charisma and natural authority, Orson realized
that he was ill-equpped to lead troops that were capable of
independent thought. In order to avoid having his orders questioned or
ignored, he has spent years perfecting the creation of obedient Zombie
troops. "Anything above the neck is useless," claims this Undead

Zombie Lord - All Zombies and Plague Zombies in hero's army gain +1 to
their attack and defense for every two levels of the hero, starting on
first level.

Instead of the regular starting army, Orson starts with 3 groups of

Basic Necromancy
Basic Defense

Zombies are not the best undead units in the world, but that's not all
there is to Orson. He starts with Basic Defense and Vitality. Get it,
VITALITY. +2 hitpoints for all creatures to start with might mean a
lot of saved casualties in the long run. Think about it.

F. Raven

Having lived through the wars that sundered the Necromancers from
the Mages of the Silver Cities that were once their brethren, Raven
has seen first-hand the devastating effects of magic upon Undead
troops. She has since devoted herself to finding ways to weaken the
powers of enemy spellcasters, rendering their attacks both weaker
and of shorter duration.

(to be confirmed)
Souldrinker - The Curse of Weakness spell not only lowers creature's
damage, but also reduces creature's defense by 1 for every three
levels of hero, starting on first level.

Basic Necromancy
Basic Destructive Magic
Basic Dark Magic
starts with Weakness spell

Well, the description doesn't seem to match the special skill... er...

If you're a fan of cursing the opponent's creatures, then Raven is for
you. Cutting down their attack and defense in one fell swoop is not
funny at all. Since Raven starts with Basic Dark Magic, Master of
Curses, a.k.a. the ability to cast Mass Weakness, is not far away.

G. Vladimir

Vladimir reasons that with few exceptions, Undead troops will generally
be out-thought and out-maneuvered by their living counterparts. As a
result, he prefers to mass large forces instead of planning more
precise attacks. His specialty, therefore, is in raising hordes of
mindless Undead who can overwhelm their enemies through the sheer
weight of numbers.

Reanimator - The Raise Dead spell has increased effect. The spellpower
of this spell is increased by 1 for every three levels of hero,
starting on first level.

Basic Necromancy
Basic Summoning Magic
Master of Life
starts with Raise Dead spell

Raise Dead is one of the most useful spells for the Necropolis. Seeing
as the no one can resurrect living creatures until they get Resurrect
(a level 5 spell) or Archangels (an expensive top-level creature),
Raise Dead puts any marching undead army at an advantage.

Vladmir's specialty helps tremendously in huge battles, with extra
raised dead from damaged stacks. Combine this with the Sorcery skill
and the legions of dead will never die... er, okay, they're already
dead but hey...

The downfall is that Raise Dead costs 6 mana and (especially in the
early game) Vladimir may have to take a few trips back home or to a
well to regain mana, unlike Kaspar who brings back his troops for
free. Another con is that Vladimir has to waste his turn casting Raise
Dead, when he can use that turn to kill the opponents faster...

H. Zoltan

Zoltan is one of the many Undead leaders who views mages as their true
enemies. To better know them, Zoltan studied deeply in the arcane
magics of the Silver Cities. As a result, he can combine his own
Necromantic skills with arcane ones to a particular effect: once a
spell is used by an enemy that knowledge "dies" as long as Zoltan is
on the battlefield.

Spellwringer - If an enemy hero casts any spell, it can be blocked in
his or her spellbook making it impossible to cast that spell again in
this combat. The probability of blocking increases as Zoltan gains new
levels. The higher the spell's circle, the harder it is to block it.

Basic Necromancy
Basic Enlightenment
Arcane Intuition

Some players just love to spam certain spells, such as PHANTOM FORCES,
Summon Elementals or Raise Dead... and in fact build their hero around
these skills. And here we have Zoltan to stop them.

Not very useful in wandering army battles, Zoltan is excellent for
countering other Necromancers or any aspiring Summoning Magic experts.

Problem is, Zoltan is generally poor against Destructive Mages who
usually have 6-7 direct damage spells to throw out... or even Light
Mages who only need to cast their Mass Haste or Mass Divine Strength

Section 4 (SKILL)
Skills and Spells

I won't go into detail about individual skills, but talk about the
more useful ones...

A. Unique Hero Skills (UHS)

Necromancy - Unique Necromancer's skill. Allows a Necromancer to raise
     a percentage of fallen enemy living creatures as skeletons.
Basic - 5%
Advanced - 10%
Expert - 15%
Ultimate - 20%

Skeleton Archers - Allows a Necromancer to raise Skeleton Archers
     instead of Skeletons. Useful if you plan to upgrade... and you

Eternal Servitude - Re-raise some of the dead casualties in your army
     after combat. I don't know what affects what you can bring back
     or how much... but this helps in maintaining the size of your
     army throughout the map, so get this ASAP.

Banshee Howl - Affected creatures suffer -1 morale and lose -10%
     initiative. It only affects the OPPONENT'S living creatures, so
     feel free to have Dungeon or Inferno troops in your army.

Howl of Terror - Ultimate skill which allows Banshee Howl to cut
     enemy morale by -6. It's pretty hard to get and in my opinion not
     worth it. No one ever reaches level 30+ in a custom game. :|

Ultimate Skill Requirements:
* Expert Necromancy
* Banshee Howl
* Silent Stalker (1)
* Power of Speed (2)
* Corrupted Soil (3)

(Expert) Logistics -> Pathfinding -> Death March -> Silent Stalker

(Expert) Attack -> Battle Frenzy -> Cold Steel
Eternal Servitude + Cold Steel -> Power of Speed

(Expert) Enlightenment -> Scholar -> Lord of Undead
Skeleton Archers + Lord of Undead -> Dark Reveleation
(Expert) Dark Magic -> Master of Curses -> Spirit Link
Dark Revelation + Spirit Link = Corrupted Soil

B. Unique Necromancer Abilities (UNA)

I won't describe all what the prerequisites do...
I will describe the effects in gameplay terms and not in
"descriptive fantasy language" like the game does. :)

*** Arcane Excellence ***
Hero gets +2 Spellpower. And +100 free mana that goes beyond the max.
Requires: Boneward*, Eternal Servitude
My Rating: 4/10

Not the most useful skill, but it is a prerequisite for Secrets of

*** Banish ***
Kills off parts of a summoned or gated stack. Single target. :(
Requires: Secrets of Destruction*
My Rating: 7/10

This is the only reason ever to get Secrets of Destruction. Kill off
their Phantom Forces for a whopping 0 mana. Get rid of their
elementals or gated Pit Lords... all for free!

*** Boneward ***
Destructive magic causes 20% less damage to your dead troops.
Required: Basic Sorcery, Magic Insight
My Rating: 8/10

If you're opting for Sorcery, you might as well get this. It certainly
won't discourage your opponent from casting that Lightning Bolt on
your ghosts, but it will kill off less (and most of the time they
won't realize it). Stacks with Protection's 15% magic damage reduction.

*** Chilling Bones ***
Any troops attacking the hero's undead get ice damage. Exact formula
is unknown, but I'm sure 1000 skeletons don't deal 1000 extra damage
to their attackers if they're struck.
Required: Advanced Defense, Protection
My Rating: 10/10

Want something like an Ice Shield on ALL your undead troops? YES! YES!
This ability never fails to annoy a human player. If you're into
Defense, you definitely must have this.

*** Cold Death ***
A passive skill that increases damage of cold spells used by the hero.
If you manage to kill 0 creatures on a stack hit by the spell, it
kills 1 creature instead (if the creature is not immune).
Requires: Advanced Destruction Magic, Master of Ice
My Rating: 6/10

Destruction-based Necromancers should consider this. Even if the
1-creature feature isn't that great, extra damage doesn't hurt one
bit. Er, I mean it WILL hurt... the enemy that is.

Not to mention that Master of Ice already grants freezing effect...

*** Cold Steel ***
All attacking troops of the hero deal additional ice damage. Exact
formula is unknown, but I'm sure 1000 skeletons don't deal 1000 extra
Required: Advanced Attack, Battle Frenzy
My Rating: 8/10

Any extra damage is gooooood. And since you're undead, you'll probably
get Battle Frenzy anyway, correct?

*** Corrupted Soil ***
An ability used on the hero's turn that affects all enemies. If they
try to move or use a melee attack, they take fire damage. I believe
this does stack with Decay. Requires: Spirit Link*, Dark Revelation*
My Rating: 7/10

This skill is really tough to get as you need to go through a lot of
skills. Good for your hero's first few turns in a battle when there
are no casualties to resurrect. This will really hurt fast attackers
like Blood Maidens or Cerberi.

*** Dark Revelation ***
+1 level. Free!
Required: Expert Enlightenment, Lord of the Undead
My Rating: 6/10

This is useful for around level 18+ when it takes too much experience
to level up. This might give you the edge against rivals. It is needed
to get to Corrupted Soil, though.

*** Dead Man's Curse ***
Enemy luck is reduced by 1.
Required: Basic Luck, Banshee Howl
My Rating: 7/10

If you ask me, I hate luck when it's on the opponent's side. If you're
going to pick Luck as a skill you better get this, to ensure that you
will be lucky and they won't.

*** Death March ***
When attacking a castle, a hero's troops will get +4 speed.
Required: Advanced Logistics, Pathfinding
My Rating: 6/10

You won't attack castles often, but this will ensure that even your
Plague Zombies make it to the front lines once your catapult busts
through their defenses. Also gives that added mobility for Specters,
Vampire Lords and Spectral Dragons to get in and out of the fray.
Limited use, yes, but gives your army a tremendous advantage during
a castle siege.

*** Haunted Mines ***
(to be confirmed)
After capturing (NOT revisiting, BAH!) a mine, you get free ghosts
that will defend the mine. I don't think you can move them to your
army... sigh. You get more ghosts the later you get in the game.
Requires: Advanced Summoning Magic, Master of Life
My Rating: (to be confirmed)

Killing the guards does give enemy heroes experience, but at least you
can prevent that Knight and his 1 peasant from stealing your mines...

*** Herald of Death ***
Any non-undead creature that joins your army will be transformed into
a Necropolis creature of same level.
Required: Advanced Leadership, Recruitment
My Rating: 1/10

Well, Leadership is absolute crap for a Necromancer. So why even
bother with THIS? The only use I see in this is for a weak messenger
hero who's job is only to run across random creature dwellings and
transform them into undead. BUT WAIT! You can transform them at your
Necropolis anyway. So here, for the most part, a useless skill...

*** Lord of the Undead ***
+1 Knowledge, +5% Necromancy
Required: Advanced Enlightenment, Scholar
My Rating: 4/10

I'm sure +1 Knowledge is not too useful, but if you get this early,
maybe that 5% Necromancy bonus will count. It is needed to get to
Corrupted Soil, though.

*** Plague Tent ***
(to be confirmed)
First Aid Tent attacks and poisons opponents. This doesn't use up any
Required: Advanced War Machines, First Aid
My Rating: (to be confirmed)

Well, if you ask me I'd rather let the First Aid tent wait if it
isn't active but if it runs out of ammo, I'd rather not have a useless
piece of canvas! This makes the First Aid Tent a bigger threat to the
opponent... this might encourage them to destroy it... :)

*** Power of Speed ***
Free 0-cost Haste spell for hero. No, it's not Mass Haste unless you
have Light Magic -> Master of Wrath.
Required: Expert Attack, Battle Frenzy, Cold Steel*, Eternal Servitude
My Rating: 2/10

Why are you even getting this? By the time you need Haste, I'm sure
you have all the spell points to cast it. This also wastes a skill
slot because you need a more important ability from Attack, and that's

*** Resistance ***
Not MAGIC resistance, mind you. Hero gets +2 Defense.
Required: Expert Defense, Chilling Bones*, Skeleton Archers
My Rating: 3/10

While 2 defense reduces damage to your army... I'd rather have
Vitality and raise HP of my skeletons, zombies, ghosts, etc. by 2.
No, you can't get both Vitality and Resistance.

*** Secrets of Destruction ***
Hero gets +2 knowledge and a free damage spell of level 1, 2 or 3.
Requires: Cold Death*, Arcane Excellence*
My Rating: 4/10

By the time you get this (and you WILL go through a couple of levels)
you should have enough mana points that +2 knowledge isn't too useful.
It's a prerequisite for Banish though, if you want to use that

*** Silent Stalker ***
Opponent can only see the strongest creature in your army, with a
quantity of "???".
Required: Expert Logistics, Death March*
My Rating: 6/10 vs humans, 0/10 vs computer

I've never used this one often, so I don't know if enemies with
Scouting will still be able to see your army. It's not that useful
in my opinion since the opponent will assume you have all creatures
from level 1-7 anyway. They just won't be able to estimate your army
strength. It's USELESS against the computer because they can see
into your stack regardless.

*** Spirit Link ***
During the hero's turn, select this ability then select a creature.
Until the next hero's turn any damage dealt to that creature causes
the Necromancer to gain some mana points.
Requires: Advanced Dark Magic, Master of Pain
My Rating: 4/10

If your Necromancer runs out of mana and there's no well or town 
around, sic your Vampires at the enemy, then Spirit Link the Vampires
and watch the mana count go up.

Not the most useful ability but if you're going Dark anyway, you might
as well have this handy.

*** Twilight ***
+3 Spellpower when casting Light and Dark Magic spells.
Requires: Advanced Light Magic, Master of Blessings
My Rating: 5/10

Well, if you want to make a master of bless and curse, here's a good
specialty to pick.

C. Useful Skills (USK)

I won't go through all the skills, but I will talk about the skills
and abilities I find more useful.

*** Logistics (-> Pathfinding)

I hate it when I have to run after enemy heroes. I make it a point to
have logistics. Although I have made heroes without logistics in the
past... that's ok as long as there are a stables nearby or I eventually
find the boots of travel, but why leave it to chance?

*** Sorcery -> Magic Insight -> Boneward
*** Defense -> Protection (-> Chilling Bones)

Boneward provides 20% less magic damage for the dead... this stacks
with the 15% less magic damage from Protection. Not to mention that
Sorcery means the hero waits less between spells which means MORE

In addition, Magic Insight is good to learn useful level 3 spells
(Phantom Forces and Fireball come to mind) that you don't plan to get
their major skill for.

*** Defense -> Vitality
*** Offense -> Battle Frenzy (-> Cold Steel)

What better way to improve a horde of low-class creatures than to add
"2" to their HP and 1 to their average damage?

*** Enlightenment (-> Scholar -> Lord of Undead -> Dark Reveleation)

Enlightenment's 30% experience at expert level isn't that important.
What matters is the +1 to a random stat every other level.

Not to mention that Dark Revelation is an instant level up for those
high-level heroes.

Instead of Dark Revelation, you can opt to pick up Intelligence
instead for a cool 50% more mana.

*** Summoning Magic -> Master of Life

Improves Raise Dead... good enough for me. Not to mention that Basic
Summoning Magic allows learning of the very effective Phantom Forces
spell. (Hero can also learn Phantom Forces if they're into
Sorcery -> Magic Insight though.)

Summoning Magic's level 5 spells are pretty good, so do try for them.
Necropolis Mage Guild specializes in Summoning and Dark magic so
there's a good chance you'll end up with one.

*** Dark Magic -> Master of Mind

MASS SLOW. Since your troops are slow, make them as slow as you are!

In addition, level 4 and 5 Dark Magic contain excellent spells for
messing around with the minds of the living. Definitely try for
Expert Dark Magic if you're not up against other Necromancers.

Slapping Frenzy on an enemy stack right before they act is something
your opponent will not readily forget.

*** Destruction Magic -> Master of Ice -> Cold Death

For Destruction-based Necromancers. See entry above under Unique
Necromancer Abilties.

*** Destruction Magic -> Master of Fire

Looking to grill the opponent's armies for your next barbecue? So
why not cut down the defense of the survivors? This is definitely a
must for Necroes with Destruction.

*** Light Magic -> Master of Wrath

MASS HASTE. Very important for the legions of slow undead cannon
fodder. But then again, a Necro gets light magic rarely, so I don't
expect to see this in action often.

*** War Machines -> First Aid Tent

Controlling your tent and resurrecting your creatures is a great way to
avoid losses every battle for no mana cost. However, it wastes a skill
slot which could've been used for say, your Expert Dark Magic for the
game-breaking Mass Slow and Frenzy spells.

The only reason I would pick this is if I had Kaspar as my main hero (he
starts with it). Come to think of it, I use Kaspar a lot...

Section 5 (BUIL)
Town Structures

No town, no dead! Here's the lowdown on the furnishings that can be
set up in our home town.

A. Price Listing (PLS)

note: rare resources = mercury, crystals, sulfur, gems

Level 0:
** Village Hall - free
(Provides 500 gold per day and allows construction)
** Tavern - 500 gold, 5 wood
(Hire heroes, get info, increases defending troops morale by 1)
** Blacksmith - 1000 gold, 5 wood
(Provides First Aid Tent at normal price, others at triple price)
** Market - 500 gold, 5 wood
(Allows resource trading, more markets give cheaper rates)
** + Resource Silo - 5000 gold 5 ore
(Provides 1 mercury per day)
** Graveyard - 500 gold, 5 ore
(Provides Skeletons)
** + Boneyard - 900 gold, 5 ore
(Provides Skeleton Archers)

Level 3:
** Crypt - 800 gold, 5 ore
(Provides Zombies)
** + Festering Crypt - 2000 gold, 5 ore, 3 mercury
(Provides Plague Zombies)
** Mage Guild (level 1) - 2000 gold, 5 wood, 5 ore
(Provides 3 first circle spells)
** + Mage Guild (lv 2) - 1000 gold, 5 wood, 5 ore, 1 each rare resources
(Provides 3 second circle spells)
** + Mage Guild (lv 3) - 1000 gold, 5 wood, 5 ore, 2 each rare resources
(Provides 3 third circle spells)
** + Mage Guild (lv 4) - 1000 gold, 5 wood, 5 ore, 5 each rare resources
(Provides 2 fourth circle spells)
** + Mage Guild (lv 5) - 1000 gold, 5 wood, 5 ore, 10 each rare resources
(Provides 2 fifth circle spells)
** Unearthed Graves - 500 gold, 5 sulfur
(+6 weekly Skeleton or Skeleton Archers growth)

Level 6:
** Town Hall - 2000 gold
(Provides 1000 gold per day)
** Ruined Tower - 1000 gold, 5 ore
(Provides Ghosts)
** + Haunted Tower - 2000 gold, 5 ore, 5 mercury
(Provides Specters)
** Pillar of Bones - 1000 gold, 10 sulfur
(Adds 10% to revival rate of Necromancy, cumulative with other towns)

Level 9:
** City Hall - 5000 gold
(Provides 2000 gold per day)
** Vampire Mansion - 1500 gold, 5 wood, 10 ore, 5 mercury
(Provides Vampires)
** + Vampire Palace - 4000 gold, 10 wood, 10 ore, 5 crystals, 5 gems
(Provides Vampire Lords)
** Sepulcher - 2000 gold, 10 ore, 5 crystals, 5 sulfur
(Provides Liches)
** + Mausoleum - 6000 gold, 10 ore, 5 crystals, 5 sulfur, 5 gems
(Provides Archliches)
** Shrine of the Netherworld - 1000 gold, 5 ore
(-2 morale for attackers, transforms other troops to undead)

Level 12:
** Forlorn Hall - 4000 gold, 5 wood, 5 ore, 5 mercury
(Provides Wights)
** + Forlorn Cathedral - 8000 gold, 10 wood, 10 ore, 5 mercury, 5 crystals
(Provides Wraiths)
** Shipyard - 2000 gold, 20 wood
(Provides ships)

Level 15:
** Capitol - 10000 gold
(Provides 4000 gold per day, only one Capitol per game per player)
** Dragon Graveyard - 15k gold 20 wood 15 ore 10 mercury 5 crystals 5 gems
(Provides Bone Dragons)
** + Dragon Vault - 20k gold 20 wood 15 ore 15 mercury 5 crystals 5 gems
(Provides Spectral Dragons)
** Dragon Tombstone - 3000 gold, 10 ore, 5 mercury
(+1 weekly Bone or Spectral Dragon growth)
** Tomb of the Lost - 1 Tear of Asha
(Extra gold, extra creature growth, Necromancy bonus)

...wow, I abused the word "Provides" didn't I?

B. Prerequisites Table (REQ)

Lv. 0
+------------+ +------------+ +------------+ +------------+ +------------+
|Village     | |Marketplace | |Tavern      | |Blacksmith  | |Graveyard   |
| Hall       | |+ Resource  | |            | |            | |+ Boneyard  |
|            | |  Silo      | |            | |            | |            |
|            | |            | |            | |            | |            |
+------------+ +------------+ +------------+ +------------+ +------------+
      |                             |                             |
Lv. 3 |                             |                             |
+------------+ +------------+       |        +------------+ +------------+
|Crypt       | |Fort        |       |        |Mage Guild  | |Unearthed   |
|+ Festering | |            |       |        |(5 levels)  | |Graves      |
|  Crypt     | |            |       |        |            | |            |
|            | |            |       |        |            | |            |
+------------+ +----------- +       |        +------------+ +------------+
      |              |              |              |
Lv. 6 |              |              |              |
+------------+ +------------+       |        +------------+
|Town Hall   | |Ruined      |       |        |Pillar of   |
|            | |Tower       |       |        |Bones       |
|            | |+ Haunted   |       |        |            |
|            | |  Tower     |       |        |            |
+------------+ +------------+       |        +------------+
      |              |              |              |
Lv. 9 |              |              |              |
+------------+ +------------+ +------------+ +------------+ +------------+
|City Hall   | |Citadel     | |Vampire     | |Sepulcher   | |Shrine of   |
|            | |            | |Mansion     | |+ Mausoleum | |   the      |
|            | |            | |+ Vampire   | |            | |Netherworld |
|            | |            | |  Palace    | |            | |            |
+------------+ +------------+ +------------+ +------------+ +------------+
      |              |                                            |
Lv. 12|              |                                            |
      |        +------------+                               +------------+
      |        |Castle      |                               |Forlorn     |
      |        |            |                               |Hall        |
      |        |            |                               |+ Forlorn   |
      |        |            |                               |  Cathedral |
      |        +------------+                               +------------+
      |              |
Lv. 15|              |
+------------+ +------------+ +------------+                +------------+
|Capitol     | |Dragon      | |Dragon      |                |Tomb of the |
|            | |Graveyard   | |Tombstone   |                |Lost        |
|            | |+ Dragon    | |            |                |            |
|            | |  Vault     | |            |                |            |
+------------+ +------------+ +------------+                +------------+

C. Suggested Build Order (BLD)

Don't forget that upgrades are more expensive than the actual dwelling
itself, so if given a choice between upgrading or building a new dwelling
pick the new dwelling. Exception is the Boneyard, which should be built
as soon as you can (once you have nothing else better to build).

Level 0...
It's a good idea to build the Tavern (if not built) followed by Graveyard.

And if we're talking about Day 1-2...
Hire another Necro hero immediately, recruit Skeletons from Graveyard (if
available), move all troops to the main hero.

Level 3...
Prioritize Mage Guild, Crypt, Fort. Unearthed Graves if you have excess
Sulfur and it's the end of the week (and you can't build other dwellings).

Level 6...
Prioritize Town Hall, Ruined Tower, Pillar of Bones.
If short on ore, build Market or Blacksmith.
Now might also be a good time to upgrade your graveyard.

Level 9...
I don't know about you, but I'd build the Sepulcher over the Vampire
Mansion if resources are short. If you like Vampires over Liches, feel
free to start with the mansion. Don't forget the City Hall (priority at
beginning of week) or Citadel (priority at end of week). Netherworld
Shrine can wait until later when you're ready to buy Wights dwelling.

Level 12...
Wights are less of a priority than increasing growth of lower levels, so
I would build the Castle if I could. If I couldn't build, I'd try
upgrading my Mage Guild or lower level dwellings to help reach Level 15. 

Level 15...
Needless to say, Dragon Tombstone is useless without Dragon Graveyard. So
put that last on your list. Capitol is high on the list, followed by
Dragon Graveyard if you can afford it.

If you have an extra town, try to keep them on even or near-even levels;
instead of gunning for a Capitol in one, try for a City Hall in both.

Section 6 (ARMY)
The Undead Legion

I've decided not to go into stats since they can be viewed in-game or with
your creature cards for you people with the Collector's Edition. I will
discuss general strategies with them...

One important thing to note about undead troops is that living troops no
longer get an additional -1 morale penalty. Undead still always have
neutral morale, so they're perfect even for mixed stacks of troops as
long as your hero can support the living creatures with no morale loss.
(e.g. a Wizard with Haven troops + Undead troops will have neutral morale)

A. Creatures (CST)

Level 1 - Skeleton / Skeleton Archer

These form the backbone of a Necro attacking army. Upgrading to Skeleton
Archer is well worth it for the range and the increase in HP. Try to get
Skeleton Archers capability for towns and heroes ASAP.

Since you will raise A LOT of these via Necromancy, army-affecting hero
skills such as Battle Frenzy or Vitality are excellent for them.

Skeleton Archers do get 1/2 damage due to Melee Penalty though, so it's
a good idea to protect them from attackers.

Level 2 - Zombies / Plague Zombies

With low initiative and speed, they're some of the worse Level 2
creatures, they're however tough enough to make good cannon fodder.
If forced to choose between sacrificing Skeletons or Zombies, let the
Zombies die as Skeletons are more valuable in my opinion.

Upgrades gain the ability to cut the opponent's attack and defense,
but still slow, so Haste is a must.

I'd recommend piling up Zombies in town, then hiring them all once they
number around 50-100 to make them a valid threat.

Level 3 - Ghosts / Spectres

Incorporeal ability allows the ghost to evade all physical attacks (and
some spells like Fist of Wrath) with a 50% chance. This is counterbalanced
by their horrendously low 10 max HP, which makes them are prime targets
for a hero's direct damage spells, but on the other hand they're easy to
Raise Dead.

Upgrade these as soon as you can: they need the HP bonus...

Like Zombies, try to build up a good number of them (like 20-30) before
letting them loose to wreak havoc. They're more threatening that way, and
since you didn't have them in your army beforehand, no one can kill them
before you build them up to a threatening number.

Level 4 - Vampires / Vampire Lords

Unlike Heroes 3, Vampires no longer have the ability to fly. However,
the un-upgraded version now has the Life Drain ability. Upgraded version
gains the ability to teleport though (which is essentially the same as

Still, they are among the best Level 4 creatures available out there.
Hire a few, and take care of them until they can be joined by more of
their brethren -- they will serve your army well.

Level 5 - Liches / Archliches

Still one of the better ranged units out there. They're now much tougher
than in Heroes 3, but that doesn't mean you should put them in harm's

Death Cloud effect hits any non-undead creatures in a 3x3 square around
the target, so just be careful if you like to create mixed living and
undead armies.

Level 6 - Wights / Wraiths

They now look like the Grim Reaper! While looking cool and menacing on
the battlefield, they are not among the better Level 6 options. Still,
I would use them over Bone Dragons if forced to choose between them,
because of their high HP, good Defense, and decent damage.

Wights are good for killing mid-level stacks for mines, because they
can stand up to moderate punishment, and a loss of 1 or 2 can easily
be raised from the grave.

Level 7 - Bone Dragons / Spectral Dragons

Well, well. Undead have the worst level 7 unit, bar none. The only
redeeming factor is the increased growth rate provided by the Dragon
Tombstone. Still, we can't be choosy since the Level 7 dwelling is
cheaper than most of the other Level 7 dwellings. The goal of a Necro
army is raising them fast and raising a lot, so you should have your
dragons up before they do.

Or better yet, attack the enemy with your legion of level 1-5 creatures
and kill them before they even think of upgrading.

B. Hiring and Upgrading Creatures (HIR)

If low on cash and forced to choose which creatures to pick up at the
beginning of a week, I'd say:
1. Liches/Archliches
2. Vampires/Vampire Lords
3. Skeletons/Archer Skeletons
4. Wights/Wraiths
5. Ghosts/Spectres
6. Zombies/Plague Zombies
7. Bone Dragons/Spectral Dragons

Upgrading creatures...
If you want to upgrade, here's my suggestion for what upgraded
dwellings/creatures to build/upgrade first. Generally, focus on the
improvements that are most worth it for their cost.
1. Archer Skeletons
2. Vampire Lords
3. Spectres
4. Archliches
5. Plague Zombies
6. Wraiths
7. Spectral Dragons

C. Mixed Stacks Strategy (MIX)

Because undead troops always have neutral morale, they can be put into any
stack, and the penalty will be minimal for the other armies. Living troops
no longer get an additional penalty of -1 morale when mixed with the dead,
so feel free to mix and match undead troops + one faction's troops.

Non-Necromancer heroes don't have Necromancy, so it's not too good an
idea to have them lead the dead. However, it is possible.

1. Inferno + Undead

The only problem you have here, is that Succubus Mistresses will kill off
any non-infernal troops, so don't upgrade them. Otherwise, they mix
perfectly, since Curse of the Netherworld, a mass-kill level 5 Dark spell,
doesn't kill off Infernal troops.

Skeleton Archers in an infernal army definitely helps make up for their
lack of ranged options (Pit Lords are too slow BTW).

You can have a Necromancer lead Inferno troops since Inferno troops are of
the evil alignment.

If you have two castles, you can make a powerful army such as...
Skeleton Archers, Vampire Lords, Archliches
Cerberi, Nightmares, Archdevils
+ any of Pit Lords, Wraiths or Familiars

2. Dungeon + Undead

If you absolutely hate Hydras or Minotaurs, why not replace one of them
with Skeleton Archers? Having a Necromancer such as Kaspar or Deirdre lead
Dungeon troops is a fun and unique experience. Try it!

Skeleton Archers give Dungeon a boost to their good ranged options.

Being evil, Dungeon troops suffer no additional morale penalties when led
by Necromancers.

If you have two castles, you can make a powerful army such as...
Skeleton Archers, Vampire Lords, Archliches
Blood Furies, Dark Raiders, Shadow Matriarchs, Black Dragons

3. Haven + Undead, Sylvan + Undead, Academy + Undead

You can easily put Undead troops in a Good army at a minimal loss in
morale (you only lose the +1 morale for all troops being of the same
alignment) as long as the army is being led by a Good hero.

A Necromancer can't lead Haven, Sylvan or Academy troops without a -3
morale penalty though, so it's not a good option.

Section 7 (RIDE)
The Journey Begins

Not all maps are the same but some general strategies for beginning weeks
can apply to most maps.

These strategies can help the beginning player grasp the general gameplay
of Heroes of Might and Magic 5 on the adventure map.

This assumes you have 1 main hero. Some people prefer to develop 2 heroes
at the same time, so adjust these strategies accordingly.

General tips:
1. This applies not only to Necro armies, but to all armies: minimize
   losses as much as possible.
2. Use Quick Combat to speed up Neutral enemy encounters, but replay it if
   you feel you can either reduce losses or, for example, convert Skeleton
   Archer losses into Zombie losses.
3. If the Week of Festivals comes out, Necropolis is at a distinct
   advantage because they can raise troops without money.
4. Watch out, if the opponent is Level 10 or more and their army is weaker
   than yours, ambush them before your turn is up, otherwise they might
   use Summon Creatures and turn the tide!
Week 1:
1. It is a good idea to hire a secondary hero to help scout the area and
   provide more troops for your main hero.
2. When leaving the castle for the first time, look around the map and find
   the easiest enemies. There should be cheap level 1 enemies guarding some
   cheap mines and artifacts, so kill them first. Prioritize melee enemies
   first as ranged targets are guaranteed to destroy a sizable chunk of
   your army since you probably don't have Skeleton Archers yet.
3. Take over an Ore Pit ASAP. Necro structures demand lots of ore.
4. Experience shrines are important so use them.
5. A good time to upgrade your first town to Skeleton Archers is when your
   hero acquires the ability to raise Skeleton Archers.

Week 2-4:
1. Once you acquire Vampires and/or Liches try to kill the harder mine
   guards for rare resources.
2. Feel free to leave the vicinity of your castle.
3. Mage Guild Level 2 is cheap, so try to have it before your main hero
   leaves your lands.
4a. If you know the side that your neighbor is playing and they don't have
    too good early ranged options (e.g. Inferno, Academy), feel free to
    harass their lands, mines and creature dwellings with your main hero
    and larger force of    Skeleton Archers.
4b. Try to kill the creatures on the opponent's lands to deny them of
    experience and at the same time raise more Skeleton Archers.
4c. Make sure you have logistics or Stables bonus so the other heroes
    won't be able to sneak by counterattack on your town.
4d. If harassing a neighbor and a new week begins, be careful because they
    WILL hire new troops. Try to have your second hero bring fresh troops
    to your main hero.
5a. If harassment is not a good option or if you're unable to attack their
    lands due to a powerful neutral creature blocking the way, go for
    neutral lands and try to grab artifacts and stat bonuses for your hero
    while continuing to pump your army size.
5b. If against a human player don't stray too far from your base because
    they might think of attacking you.
6. Once the main hero reaches Level 10, prioritize a Level 3 Mage Guild to
   get the Summon Creatures spell.
7. It would be a good idea to reveal your opponent's castle as much as
   possible so to check up on their progress (you'll be able to monitor
   the garrison and hopefully their hero) and see if you can attack them
   or if they're getting prepared to attack.

Week 4-8:
1. You should be worried if you're even in terms of towns with your enemies
   because they probably got all levels of creatures. In a larger map you
   should have more than one town or taken over a neighbor by now or at
   least have been harassing them to exploit your resource and cheap
   creatures advantage.
2. If there are opportunities (e.g. multiple experience stones, stat-ups,
   enemies spawning) try to level up a second hero, preferably a
   Necromancer to get more skeletons.

Section 8 (WAR-)
The Field of Battle

I guess this applies to Duel Mode also, but this is better on a Scenario
where you can amass an army advantage through high Skeleton Archer counts.

General tips:
1. When it's your turn, prioritize attacking enemy stacks with No
   Retaliation ability since they won't get damaged if you don't use your
   turn to attack them.
2. Moving your stacks next to ranged attackers forces them to use melee,
   but this doesn't prevent spellcasters from using their spells!
3. If it's a stand-off with melee troops on both sides waiting, bunch up
   your melee troops on either the North or South side of the map (if
   not a siege) and advance slowly while continuing to shoot the enemy.
4. Lead the melee attack with Zombies or Vampires. Try as much as
   possible to do the first attack.
5. A favorite tactic is to use Phantom Forces on ranged troops or No
   Retaliation troops. The Lich already has a 50% chance of killing the
   clones while damaging the regular troops anyway, so don't hesitate to
   use Haste or Phantom Forces your own Lich.
   Alternatively, cast Fireball or some area effect spell with your
   hero to avoid wasting turns. Summon Elemental also works well if
   you get Water Elementals.
6. Mass Slow or Banshee Howl or Fireball (with Mastery) is good to start
   the big battle with. Also consider Frenzy or Puppet Master.

Necropolis vs Haven:
1. Focus on Archers/Marksmen and Crusaders/Paladins first. Peasants last.
2. Don't forget that Footmen/Squires take 1/2 damage from ranged attacks.
3. Defeat Griffin Unlimited Retaliation ability with your ranged options.
4. Watch out when the Imperial Griffins' turn is coming up. Haven players
   love to Battle Dive with them, but unless you're certain of whether
   they're targeting your Liches or Skeletons, don't bother wasting both
   their turns moving--it's better just shooting another enemy.
5. Their fastest units are large so keep your Skeleton Archers in the
   corner, and Zombie or Vampires next to them, and 1 square forward.
   Also try guarding them with Wights.

Necropolis vs Sylvan:
1. Kill the Hunters first. At 10 HP they're easy to kill with spells or
   ranged options. Pixies and Sprites should be next on your list.
2. Don't bunch up your troops during Tactics if they have Druid Elders.
   (And Sylvan heroes usually have Destruction as a skill so...)
3. Don't cast spells on opposing armies when they're around Unicorns.
4. Sylvan's high initiative kills. Having Haste on your Skeleton Archers
   will turn the tide of the battle. Also don't forget to protect/raise
   your Archers and Ghosts/Spectres because the opponent will throw spells
   and ranged attacks at them.
5. You usually have more Melee than they do, so if they don't have
   Dendroids/Treants just charge them with all you've got (Zombies are
   slow but that's OK, you will need them to guard your Archers against
   their dragon or Sprites anyway). Just don't bunch up to avoid getting
   hit by the War Dancer's combo attack.

Necropolis vs Academy
1. Shoot and cast all kinds of killing spells on their Djinn since they
   have low HP.
2. Kill off the Rakshasa next since their No Retaliation ability is
   annoying. Prioritize Mages next.
3. Do not kill off any Golems before killing off all Master Gremlins.
4. Titans are very annoying. They have No Nelee Penalty so don't even
   think about getting close to them.
5. Using Frenzy or Puppet Master on the opponent's Magi works wonders.
6. Gargoyles have low attack but high defense, so kill them last. They
   can easily get close to your Archers though so have Wights guard
   your Archers to counter.
7. Sacrifice your Ghosts and let them lead your melee troops since
   they will be inundated by destructive spells anyway.

Necropolis vs Dungeon
1. KILL BLOOD FURIES! GWAAAAAA! Blood Furies are the one of the most hated
   troops in the game, and for a good reason. So kill them ASAP. They
   usually attack first in a battle, hopefully you didn't put your Liches
   or Skeleton Archers or Vampire Lords in range during tactics. :(
2. The infamously popular Dark Raider + Blood Fury combo... AAAARRRGH!
   Needless to say, prioritize the massacre of enemy Blood Fury and Dark
   Raider troops, while trying hard not to get close to Dark Raiders.
3. Ignore the Assassins' ranged attack for the most part since your undead
   are immune to their poison.
4. Many Dungeon players try to use Teleport on their Hydras. Casting Slow
   on the already slow Hydras will mean they won't even get a turn once
   in a blue moon. They also love to follow up Teleport with Phantom
   Forces. Fortunately, many attacking Dungeon heroes don't have Hydras
   in them, but they might try to teleport their Minotaurs...

Necropolis vs Inferno
1. Inferno players usually Gate troops at the start of the match, so
   don't leave your ranged attackers unguarded.
2. Succubus Mistress can cause a lot of damage especially if the hero's
   Hellfire ability triggers. Kill them first, but try not to use your
   ranged attackers.
3. Cerberus has No Retaliation and multi-attack ability but have low
   defense. Vampire Lords attack and ranged options should take them out.
4. Next on the hit list would be Hell Chargers/Nightmares then Devils.
   Pit Fiends/Lords and Demons are slow, so leave them for last.
5. Familiars sap your mana at the start of the match, there's nothing
   you can do about it. After that they can safely be ignored.
6. Watch out for the hero Deleb, his ballista bolts release exploding
   fireballs. Adjust your army accodringly.

Necropolis vs Necropolis
1. A majority of your curse spells don't work on them, but Slow works so
   use it to cripple their army. If you don't have Mass Slow, start by
   Slowing the opponent's Skeleton Archers or Vampires. If you don't even
   have Slow, then use Haste on your own archers. If you don't have
   both, just attack their archers with yours.
2. After Slowing down their Archers, take out their important and faster
   troops first: Vampire Lords, Dragons, Wights/Wraiths. You can leave
   Ghosts/Spectres for last.
3. Liches aren't that much of a threat since the area of effect doesn't
   work on Undead, so you can leave their Liches for later.
4. Vampire Lords take only 2 moves to get to your Archers from the other
   side, make sure your opponent lives to regret sending them first.

Section 9 (HIST)
Revision History

May 26, 2006
v1.00   Initial guide release

Section 10 (END-)

Section 11 (INFO)
Contact Info

alias: Robo Mike
location: Manila, Philippines
devArt page: http://pencil-sketch-badger.deviantart.com/
e-mail: Whoops, don't email me your questions. Just post at the GameFAQs/
        Gamespot forums and we'll answer your questions faster than if
        you email me. Be sure to look through the first few pages and
        maybe your question has already been answered...

        If you wish to submit contributions or corrections to the FAQ
        be sure to send an email to mercenary_badger@y!.com (replace
        y! with yahoo) with the subject "Heroes 5 Necro Guide" or
        something similar. Be sure to quote your sources if any. AND

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