Blood Bowl – Shambling Undead Team Guide

The Shambling Undead are one of the traditional powerhouses of League and Tournament Blood Bowl.  With an extremely diverse roster and some fantastic flavour, they are also one of the most fun and thematic teams in the game.  In this guide we’re going to venture into the graveyard and take a look at all them in all their decrepit detail!


  • Two “big guys” with ST5/Mighty Blow and no negatraits
  • Plenty of Block and Dodge in the starting roster
  • Mass Regeneration can mitigate casualties and long-term damage


  • Many slow players that require careful positioning
  • Ghouls have no regen and are the team’s only real ball handlers
  • Can fall away in power at higher TV

Shambling Undead by @rumhampainting on Instagram

The Roster

Zombie Linemen

The Undead have two sets of core linemen on their roster, but the Zombies will be your go-to choice.  They are slow, with average strength and armour, have bad agility, and cannot even pass the ball; but thanks to their 40k price tag they are absolutely perfect at what they do – which is every dirty job your team needs them to.  Whether it’s standing on the LOS, tagging more valuable opposing players, or fouling; cheap and durable linemen are a great asset.  The fact that your Masters of Undeath skill allows you to occasionally get them for free is another bonus.

Zombies benefit greatly from Block.  Tackle can be a good second skill.  Fend and Guard (a Secondary) are also worth considering.  Dirty Player is an option once you have skilled others.

Skeleton Linemen

Skeletons, while sharing many of the same stats and limitations as the Zombies, crucially lack the higher armour that allows them to be an annoying meat shield for the team.  As a result, they are generally only taken occasionally, mainly because the extra movement is helpful for fouling.  Skeletons can be skilled just as zombies, but arguably having one with Dirty Player is the best use of them.


Your ancient armoured warriors are one of the key players in the team.  A Blitzer by any other name, they have a combination of movement range and blocking ability that means they will normally be your Blitz action user on any given turn.  Wights can ball carry in a pinch, but this is a poorer use for them than guarding and supporting your Ghoul ball carriers.

Strength Access on Primary means they can easily pick up key skills like Guard and Mighty Blow.  Tackle is another great skill for them.  Having one Wight with the MB/Tackle combo is a fantastic asset to hunt enemy Dodge and Blodge threats that the Mummies are less able to deal with.

Shambling Undead by @rumhampainting on Instagram


Ghouls are some of the most pivotal players on the team.  They are your natural ball carriers, with high movement, decent agility and passing ability, and start with Dodge.  On the flip side they have low armour and are your only players without Regeneration.  That said, Dodge is a very powerful defensive tool at lower TV, and so you can quite happily field Ghouls on defense, and even use them quite aggressively, especially when you have three or four on the roster.

Ghouls can be developed as ball carriers or as ball-hawks.  Block is a great first skill on any Ghoul and immediately turns them into dual threats.  Wrestle is a sound option if going the pure ball-hawking route, in which case Tackle or Strip ball should follow.  Sure Hands is a good second skill option for carriers, while Sidestep also has good synergy for Blodgers.  Ghouls can absolutely benefit from more MA if you are in a position to save for it.

Mummies by @rumhampainting on Instagram


The player that really defines the Undead, the Mummy turns what would be a tough hybrid team into a legitimately terrifying basher.  ST5 and Mighty Blow, with no negatrait to spoil your actions, or cause you Loner Turnovers, means this pair of brutes can (semi-)reliably smash opponents and control the pitch turn after turn.

Their poor MA means they are less effective blitzers, and it also means you must be very careful with their positioning, as they can easily become separated, particularly if knocked down.  It also means if using them to cage you must plan around that cage advancing at their pace.

Mummies happily take Guard as a Primary, but saving for Block as a Secondary is equally viable.  Stand Firm is also a nice Primary and combo with Guard.

Star Players

Undead have the Sylvanian Spotlight special rule, meaning they have a fairly limited set of Stars to choose from.  This actually includes some very interesting and useful stars such as Wilhelm Chaney, who is a very strong versatile piece and can add a very different dimension to Undead.  Frank N Stein is great value as a ‘third mummy’ and fits well into the Undead bash and pitch control approach.  Gretchen Wachter is a little overpriced for her potential impact, but she certainly has many opponent-annoying skills. Sadly, as cool as he looks, Bryce is probably not as good as Helmut out of the two Chainsaw options.


Tactics and Playstyle

In lower TV play and short-term leagues, Undead are one of the strongest bash teams.  They trade very well into most opponents with their hitting power and resilience.  That said, they have many characteristics of hybrid teams, and so need to judge their opponent’s capabilities well to know the best way to play into them.

On Offense Undead tend to play a fairly conventional slow cage (they have little choice in this matter) but the movement range of the Ghouls and Wights does give them the ability to break out if the situation calls for it (and the more Ghouls you have the more viable this will be).  How you construct your cage (solely Zombies, or  a combination of Zombies and Mummies) will depend on your opponent’s ability to match up against your strength.  You will need to make a decision about your ability to bash and control your opponent vs their ability to directly attack your cage.

On Defense, Undead’s main strategy is to base up opponents’ better players with Zombies to let your other pieces do their thing.  This can be very effective against teams who have low-mobility but high-cost pieces like Big Guys, Sauruses, Flesh Golems, etc.  You can then choose to play aggressively or reactively with your poistionals depending on the opportunities this creates.  Opponents will often underestimate the threat range and mobility (thanks to Dodge) of Ghouls, so keeping them close behind your front line can often enable them to spring a counter-attack when opponents get tied up.

Against Agility teams Undead need to be careful trying to force the ‘base-up’ approach because opponents can easily outmanoeuvre your slower players.  Against such opponents, playing a more reactive defense by screening with your Mummies and Zombies, while keeping your Wights and Ghouls behind them to respond is effective.

I have touched on it several times already but it is worth reiterating that positioning of Mummies on both sides of the ball is pivotal to success with Undead.  Their extremely slow movement means they can find themselves isolated from the play, or tagged by cheap opposition players, or even ganged up on and bashed themselves.  

Shambling Undead by @rumhampainting on Instagram

Starting Team Builds

League Play

The below roster gives you everything you need to get started with Undead.

  • 2 x Mummies
  • 2 x Wights
  • 2 x Ghouls
  • 5 x Zombies
  • 3 x Rerolls

This comes in at 990k, leaving you 10k to spend on Dedicated Fans.

I would not recommend sacrificing a reroll to gain an extra Ghoul or extra Zombies, simply because it will cost you 140k to buy it during the season.

League Development

Your immediate goal will be to get at least one more Ghoul, and at least one more Zombie (or Skeleton).  The relative cheapness of these players means TV bloat is not really an issue for Undead, and they will certainly benefit from carrying a larger bench.  I would personally max Ghouls as soon as possible.

Undead actually have relatively little else they want or need to spend cash on during the season.  Thanks to Regeneration and Masters of Undeath you will find that replacing players is not required frequently.  A fourth Reroll may well be an option, and I would base the decision on its purchase on your league meta and opponents.

A final note on development: Undead can start to fall away in power as the TV of your play environment rises.  When other teams have their full complement of positionals and a good range of skills, the upside of your cheap but poor quality linemen starts to fade.  This effect typically starts to kick in around 1500-1600+ TV, which means you won’t start to see it unless your league plays maybe 10+ games.  Undead don’t become bad at this point, but you will start to notice your limitations.


Tournament Builds

At 1.1m Gold you can get the following:

  • 2 x Mummies
  • 2 x Wights
  • 3 x Ghouls
  • 5 x Zombies
  • 3 x Rerolls

This (annoyingly) comes to 1065TV, but still gives you 12 players and every key asset you want.  You can use the remaining spend for Assistant Coaches and maybe a Cheerleader.

At 1.15m Gold it becomes a little better, allowing the addition of the 4th Ghoul, giving you 13 players overall, and leaving 10k spare for an Assistant coach.  This is a very strong and well-rounded Tournament Roster with plenty of resilience.

Tournament Skills

Key skills for Undead are some amount of Guard across the Mummies and Wights, some amount of Block on Ghouls, and then whatever else the rules let you have.  If you get a Secondary, a Block Mummy is fantastic.  Tackle or Mighty Blow on any Wight is also excellent.  Wrestle is great on one Ghoul if you have another with Block.  A Dirty Player Zombie is another option, but if you have an abundance of skills (and you rarely will) I would prioritise giving them to Ghouls.


Undead remain one of the unequivocal Tier 1 teams in the game.  With even four or five skills they are a potent threat against all opponents.  Their bugbears amongst the very top teams are Amazons, who they have a very tough matchup against.  We’ll see if the impending changes to that team make Undead even better!


We hope you’ve enjoyed this shamble through the world of the Undead; as always if you have any feedback or requests for our Blood Bowl coverage, drop us a line at