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Animate Dead is a mage spell from the Spirit tree in Dragon Age: Origins.


  • The caster summons a skeleton minion, whose level equal to (0.75 * [caster's level]), from the corpse of a fallen enemy to fight alongside the party, for as long as the modal is active.
  • A corpse wielding dual weapons will become a rogue when reanimated. A corpse wielding a staff will become a mage. It will be a warrior otherwise.
  • Fatigue is set to 100% for the minion, meaning that it uses all abilities at twice the normal activation costs.
  • Only works on humanoid corpses. If the spell cannot find a valid corpse, it will not be put on cooldown, and will not trigger upkeep cost.
  • Spell Combinations: Advanced Reanimation.
  • Area of effect: 5m self-centered sphere.
  • Conjuration time: 1s.


  • Shield Pummel and Mighty Blow (given by Advanced Reanimation) are placed in the same slots as Shield Defense and Pommel Strike, respectively, resulting in the player no longer having access to the minion's latter two talents. Only a ranged minion actually gets three total extra talents available.
  • With Advanced Reanimation, the minion is scaled up to 90% of the caster's level instead.
  • The skeleton (not the caster) draws a lot of threat when initially summoned. The amount of threat generated is similar to that of Taunt.
  • The minion is treated as a normal-rank NPC when its statistics are calculated. It also receives bonus armor equal to 5 + 0.5 * Level, and bonus armor penetration equal to 1 + 0.3 * Level.
  • The minion also has all natural traits of an undead: nature immunity, +75% cold resistance, -25% fire resistance, and immunity to charm and sleep effects.
  • This spell does not function in the Fade.
  • The minion will be unsummoned if either the caster or the minion is hit by a dispel magic effect (from Dispel Magic or Cleanse Area, for example).


  • While the base spell is useful, Advanced Reanimation makes minions much more powerful. Thus, investing in Spell Might is strongly recommended (especially since it is the prerequisite for Mana Clash).
  • Reanimated warriors can serve as great "off-tanks", as they have high health, and all possess Threaten, regardless of weapon set. Use them to distract powerful enemies you don't want to deal with just yet. However, relying on one as your primary tank is inadvisable, as they can easily be dispelled.
  • While reanimating a mage may sound like a powerful option, it is rare for these minions to know much beyond basic damage spells, like Arcane Bolt. Combined with a low mana pool and poor auto-attack damage, skeletal mages are somewhat underwhelming. See Exploits for exceptions.
  • Dual-wielding rogues have the highest potential damage of the skeleton types. Positioning them behind enemies (which requires little micromanagement, as they come with Combat Movement) will let them do serious damage with auto-attack alone. Consider using Flaming Weapons or similar to get the most out of these minions. Note that they can also pick locks and disarm traps like any other rogue.


  • pcpc (prior to v1.02a): Similar to the ranger summoning exploit, it's possible to have two animated skeletons.[1][2] If the first animated dead was a mage, it will assume the tactics of the dead NPC and be able to use spells/talents which do not appear in its hotbar when directly controlled. If that NPC mage had the spell Animate Dead, there is a chance the skeletal mage will summon a second skeleton from a corpse whose talents will appear in your group's spells and talents section (however the skeleton mage's will not).[3] Furthermore, neither the caster nor the skeletal mage will have a mana upkeep cost for the second skeleton.


  • This ability cannot be used at the same time as the ranger summon. When summoning an animal while a party member has a skeleton summoned, the skeleton dies; and summoning a skeleton while a party member has an animal summoned, the summoned animal dies.
    • No longer true as of patch 1.02a (pcpc); ranger(s) can have their pet(s) summoned and a skeleton can still be animated. If the skeleton is animated, pet(s) can still be summoned.


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