Ghouls act as the shock troops for the Scourge. These lumbering, rotting corpses were once innocent townsfolk who have made the final transition into true undeath.
Ghouls are the main forces of the undead Scourge. They are vicious creatures, retaining little of their humanity. The plague has torn away most of their memories, leaving only hunger and basic survival instincts in their place. Ghouls are feral and animalistic and are often considered to be the lowest form of undead. While generally humanoid in appearance, a ghoul is easy to recognize on the battlefield by its pallor, hunched-over posture, and feral face.
Even those who were close to the individual in life have difficulty recognizing their loved one; the transformation removes most vestiges of humanity as well as identifying features of voice and body structure. Ghouls of the Scourge are strong fighters, but they are not particularly tough.
Their ability to regenerate, coupled with cannibalizing the dead, makes them far tougher opponents than they may seem. Because of their limited intelligence, their greatest tactical insight is to hit something until it’s dead. Thus, more intelligent beings often direct ghouls of the Scourge or send them into suicide situations where no tactics are needed.
Ghoulish tenacity and fearlessness make them feared and loathed opponents (as does their habit of eating slain foes). They have some animalistic cunning when it comes to ambushes and other primitive attack strategies. They do not use weapons (having little brains with which to understand the concept) and fight with their bare hands or with a club or other found item. ( )
Only the Scourge and a few other necromancers know the secret of creating ghouls. Rumors say that zombies transform into ghouls when they make the transcendence to "true undeath", perhaps reclaiming a small portion of their former intelligence in the process. However, death knights have raised ghouls to their will to fight along side them as well. It is likely they know the secret to raise the dead to their command as well.
Ghouls speak in growling, phlegmy voices, but they only mutter to themselves; they do not normally communicate meaningfully. ( )Horgus the Ravager is one such ghoul that managed to retain a fair amount of intelligence, and was given a very high rank in the Scourge. It has been shown that ghouls can speak but most of what they say are driven through some sort of hunger for meat, such as Eliza.
During the third war, ghouls were used as basic attack units, and also used to harvest lumber to build scourge structures.
Ghouls are found in several places throughout Azeroth, primarily the Eastern Kingdoms. Most notable are those who terrorize the Plaguelands as the front lines of the Scourge, heavy concentrations can also be found in Eversong Forest and Ghostlands. Mindless ghouls can also be found in Silverpine Forest and Duskwood.
Ghouls have the appearance of a bent, twisted humanoid figure. Much of their flesh has rotted away, exposing a fair amount of bone and twisting facial features until they are unrecognizable as human. As undeath progresses in a victim, it twists and corrupts the body, growing fangs and claws. The ghoul is the final stage of the process of undeath.
During the Zombie Infestation world event, conspicuous crates could be found in Booty Bay, that if opened would give the player a 1-10 minute plague infection. If the plague was allowed to complete its duration or if the player died while infected, the end result led to the player becoming a zombie (with the appearance of a ghoul). As a zombie, the player is able to infect other players, leading them to become undead, as well. The hits and attacks an infected player receives hasten the process towards mutation.
In Warcraft III
- Main article: Ghoul (Warcraft III)
Ghouls are the basic warriors of the Undead Scourge. These lumbering, rotting corpses were once Zombies that have made the final transition into true 'undeath'. Ghouls have great stamina and revel in combat with living beings. Ghouls are ravenous cannibals who can regenerate their wounds by eating the flesh of fallen warriors.
In addition to being combat units, Ghouls also harvest Lumber. They harvest 20 Lumber as opposed to Human Peasants and Orc Peons that start with 10.
In Wrath of the Lich King
This section concerns content exclusive to Wrath of the Lich King.
In the Wrath of the Lich King ghouls were given a new look, the most obvious change is the face and hair. However the old model is still used along with the new one.
Death knight minions
- Main article: Risen Ghoul
- Raise Dead allows the player to raise the corpse of a deceased humanoid into a ghoul to fight along their side for 2 minutes. The ghoul has the following abilities: Claw, Gnaw, Huddle, and Leap.
- Raise Ally allows the player to raise the corpse of a fallen party or raid member as a ghoul, giving the raised player control over the ghoul for the duration.
- Army of the Dead will allow players to raise a small number of ghouls to fight along their side, a lot like a Druid's Force of Nature or a Mage's Mirror Image.
With the Master of Ghouls talent, the death knight can make the ghoul a permanent pet like a warlock's demon and similarly the risen ghoul can not be renamed. They can also be fed buff food in the same way.
- There has been an occasionally reported bug with ghoul pets where they freeze or disappear. Although not a great solution, apparently a work around is get the ghoul killed in-game.
In Heroes of the Storm
This section concerns content exclusive to Heroes of the Storm.
"Ghoul of the Scourge" is an acquired template in the Warcraft RPG.
See this subject on the Hearthstone wiki: Ghoul