Death laughed, a great booming sound filled with malicious mirth. His sharp eyes espied the bodies of the forlorn dead, and again he laughed joyously. And in his wake, the bones of the dead, the decaying corpses of the dead, rose with trembling hatred to follow their master.

What are they?

Embodying pure elemental Death, the Undead are fierce combatants that are hard to put down, and harder still to keep down. Equipped with a plethora of SAIs that are unique to the faction - and with two magic classes and no missile units whatsoever - they offer an altogether different experience in the battlefield.

The Six-sided Units

With no missile classes and two mage classes, the Undead differ from most faction in several interesting ways. From their single-element composition to their SAIs that appear nowhere else in Esfah, there is much to learn about them.

Heavy Melee

Undead are best characterized by their fierce melee units, starting with the heavies. With absolutely zero non-melee or non-save faces, they are slow but brutal. Utilizing the Mummy-specific Wither SAI - which is a Palsy-on-a-stick - these units are best not tackled head-on.

Light Melee

Trading a little bit of melee prowess for a bit of maneuverability, the light melee units are still nothing to trifle with. The Scare SAI - only appearing on the Death Knight - can force units to flee into Reserves (if it doesn't kill them outright).


Undead have a cavalry class only in the loosest sense of the word, bringing no more than four maneuver icons on any die. Despite their lack of speed, they pack a lot of saves. The large cavalry unit - the Ghost - has another unique SAI in Vanish, which generates saves and also lets the unit flee to any terrain or Reserves.

Light Magic

The first of the Undead magic classes, light magic units are melee combatants with a little bit of access to magic. With only one magic icon per health, they aren't likely to be summoning dragons, but they can be used for little buffs from time to time. The large unit - the Vampire - carries the Convert SAI which can kill opposing units to resurrect Undead units.

HEavy Magic

Much more magic-inclined than their brethren, heavy magic units have about three times the magic icons of the light magic class. Still packing multiple melee icons, heavy mages are the only Undead class without a faction-specific SAI, opting for the versatile Cantrip SAI common to mages of all stripes.

Monster Mash

Undead pack some very powerful monsters, some with unique SAIs found nowhere else in Dragon Dice. While not all of these monsters are strong units, all of them can find a home in one build or another.


The rarest of the Undead monsters, the Dracolich offers tremendous versatility at the cost of raw power. With four faces for magic, melee, save, and maneuver it offers some decent flexibilty, though doesn't excel at any one task. However it can adapt to a changing battlefield, offering some coverage for any event.

Minor Death

While it may be called a Minor Death, it is anything but minor. Bringing seven melee faces, including the targeted removal in Slay, the real star of the show is Plague. With its ability to spread from unit to unit, Plague has the capability to decimate an army all on its own.

Skeletal steed

Faster than any other Undead unit by far, what the Skeletal Steed lacks in exciting abilities it makes up for in consistency. Boasting a decent five melee and six maneuver faces, it can add some speed to any Undead army looking to get terrain moving.


While the Fenhound doesn't offer much power or speed with no more than four useful faces on any action, it does offer the hard-to-find Dispel Magic SAI. The potential to disrupt an entire turn worth of spellcasting with one roll is a powerful threat, so one would do wise not to underestimate it.

Carrion Crawler

One of only two dice with the Stun SAI, the Carrion Crawler offers reliable melee results but not much else. Low on saves and maneuvers, it can add some punch to an army but needs support in order to really shine.


The only single-element faction in Esfah, the Undead are potent melee combatants and powerful mages, with a variety of abilities found nowhere else in the realm.

Their Stepped Damage faction ability - which allows killed units to be swapped with smaller units from the DUA - makes any war of attrition with Undead an uphill battle.

Their other faction ability - Bone Magic - lets their mages reach even greater heights by channeling dead units into additional magic results.

Across the board, Undead excel in melee icons compared to other factions, and their SAIs - especially Wither and Convert - are incredible tools for turning the tide of battle.

The Open Grave spell makes it nearly impossible to kill Undead units, and Exhume is one of the few ways to bury dead units - along with a resurrection effect tacked on.

The Plague SAI - found on the Minor Death - can tear through armies that are not well-equipped to defend against it.


Despite their combat and magic strength, Undead have some important flaws to keep in mind.

Undead are slow. Even their fastest units pale in comparison to any other faction, so they need magic support or additional units from another faction to augment their low maneuvers.

With no access to missile results, mid-terrain faces with missile icons are "dead zones" (no pun intended) where Undead can do little more than twiddle their thumbs.

Being comprised only of Death magic, they are unable to access many powerful effects found in other colors, such as Transmute Rock to Mud, Fiery Weapon, and Flash Flood. Furthermore, this often leads to the unfortunate use of black dragons and black Dragonkin, which means the Dragonkin can't be used to defend against the dragons.

Relatively low saves on most units requires some extra work, such as Open Grave or careful damage distribution to take full advantage of Stepped Damage.

No missile units means all combat is head-to-head with no safe distance.


Excelling in melee combat, and with powerful mages augmenting their abilities, Undead have lots of possible strategies to employ in battle. From unique SAIs to some of the best spells - even when limited to one color - Undead are dangerous.

Here are a few sample 18-point army builds to explore:

Life Drain

Swing for the fences with this army, which throws caution to the wind. Hard hitting heavy melee units paired with the Convert SAI from the Vampire form an army that kills ruthlessly and resurrects its own dead as needed.

A handful of mages can give this army some necessary speed as well as add some punch to the already powerful melee units.

Pox Walker

With light melee units for extra saves, this army cares more about its Minor Death, who can inflict Plague on opposing armies. A single hit with Plague can destroy entire armies with a little luck, and that's what we're hoping for.

Mages in Reserves can use Restless Dead and Open Grave to help facilitate this strategy and keep the army going.

No bones about it

Reaching for maximum magic with this army, we've got three Lich - the most magic-dense Undead. Only two Heucuva (as they are below-par mages) and five apparitions round out the cast. Access to Open Grave, Soiled Ground, Restless Dead, and Exhume grants us some devastating power.

This pairs nicely with just about any army, so grab it and go!

Final Thoughts

Undead are a strange and powerful faction for any Dragon Dice player to utilize. With their specialized SAIs, their brutal melee units, and some of the best spells in the game, we highly recommend getting to know the Undead inside and out.

If you haven't checked out our {DD Boot Camp} section, we have an Undead-focused build you might find interesting as well!

Let us know what you think of this primer and be sure to send any requests for future content to info@thedicemustflow.com