Undead Ghouls

Blood Bowl Undead Ghoul
Undead Ghoul Overview:

Ghouls give Undead teams their speed and manoeuvrability due to their above average movement and starting with the Dodge skill. This means they are typically used for two roles on the team and as you can have four of them, you can build two to do each job. Those roles are most obviously as ball carriers and the other is as blitzers. Now you might think Wights are the team blitzers as they start with Block, previous rules you would just give Ghouls Block and use them in a similar fashion. As Wights get strength access and higher armour they are a key player to the blocking game, especially getting Guard. With the introduction of Wrestle, it is helpful to build two Ghouls who can get the ball loose from a ball carrier. As they also start with Dodge and can move further they are more likely to be able to get there as well.

The big drawback for Ghouls though is that they have fairly low armour and don’t have Regeneration like the rest of the team. As Undead teams can’t get an Apothecary either this makes Ghouls a big target for the opposing team. It is their best chance to remove a player from your team for the rest of the match (or permanently) and they are also key players for your team as well. With this in mind you want to build your Ghouls with some form of protection whilst also making them better at the jobs you want them to do.

Ball Carrying Ghouls:

There are two main skills coaches consider for the first skill for a Ghoul built to carry the ball. Block is the staple ball carrier skill and will also help in both protection and also for hitting other players as well. Some coaches also opt for Sure Hands as the first skill on one Ghoul (they would typically take Block first on the other). This helps preserve rerolls, makes picking the ball up easier and protects against Strip Ball. I prefer Block personally for the protection value and it lets you blitz with them as well. After that there are a number of ways to go and you may want to build each one differently or the same, down to personal preference. Side Step is a great skill and makes being near the sideline safer, prevent chain blocking, get better movement and perhaps avoid getting pushed back into the tackle zone of Diving Tackle opposition. Fend could also be a good choice and it can prevent Frenzy and may negate having to dodge which is a bonus even though you have Dodge. Sure Feet is an option if you want to be able to go for it easier, especially useful for times you need to score in two turns. Catch on one can give you someone to use as a receiver for a pass or a hand off. Tackle is useful in Dodge heavy leagues and great as another option for a Blitzer, especially vs teams with Stunty players. Diving Tackle is great on defence and can also help out on offence for the times they aren’t carrying the ball.

For double rolls I think Guard is the only good option, otherwise there are so many useful normal skills you can take instead. Undead really benefit from the extra Guard and if your Ghoul gets marked while holding the ball, the Guard can come in helpful for blocking the opposition away. As far as stat increases go they are all useful for one reason or another at pretty much all of the skill advances. +ST early on might lean you to make that Ghoul a blitzing one instead, while +AG really points more towards being a ball carrier. +MV is helpful though you can also consider +AV to keep them alive a bit longer.

Blitzing Ghouls:

Wrestle is the first skill for these builds to get opposing ball carriers over and follow it up with Tackle to negate those ball carriers with Dodge. Strip Ball is probably helpful on at least one, though Sure Hand heavy leagues you can by all means ignore it. Side Step will keep you next to ball carriers when you only get a pushback. Frenzy gives you two shots at knocking the player down (though be away of the downsides) and Diving Tackle will cause ball carriers problems (though probably not before taking Side Step).

Doubles would point to Mighty Blow if you are using them to blitz with a lot and can also get rid of pesky ball carrier builds on the other team. Guard as ever would also not be a bad choice. +ST is great and makes Frenzy even more viable, +AG lets you dodge away again, or pick up a loose ball (though not an option if you used Wrestle). +MV gives you greater range and +AV is good for more protection.

Undead Ghoul Summary:

Ghouls are probably the most vital players on the Undead team and they are probably best being flexible to be both useful on offence and defence. They will get targeted though, so don’t be overly reckless with them letting the other team getting free blocks if you can avoid it. Don’t get too attached to them either, they will die and get injured a lot but as they tend to be the main ball carriers they will skill up fairly quickly when a replacement comes in. Don’t worry about getting double rolls either, Ghouls can build up very well with just normal rolls every time they advance. Think about what skills your team lacks when choosing a new skill on them and also what role you need that particular Ghoul to fulfil.

18 thoughts on “Undead Ghouls”

  1. Catching Ghouls:

    Normal: Block, Catch, Fend, Diving Catch
    Doubles: not needed
    Stat Increase: +ST +AG +MV

    With a MA of 7 and dodge, Ghouls have the potential to become good catchers. Their ST3 gives them a bit of extra defence as well. If you favor the passing game, consider using a wight as thrower and some ghouls for catchers. While being good catchers, early block combined with ST3, gives them the option to do some blitzing too when needed.  

    Marksman Ghouls:

    Normal: Shadowing, Sidestep, Diving Tackle, Tackle, Jump Up.
    Doubles: Guard
    Stat Increase: +ST +AG +MV

    A marksman ghouls can be great for covering oponent catchers or hunting down a lone thrower. With 7MV the Shadowing, Tackle and Diving Tackle will make it hard to escape, and with 3 ST, Block, Dodge and sidestep, he will be hard to just Blitz out of the way. A really nice build to tie up that one player that seems to make everything happen for your oponent.

  2. Not sure how I missed the Defender Build that you called a Marksman, thanks for that. Not a fan of the passing game with Undead though but it is certainly an option.

    • At a basic level not really as the builds I would do for Undead should work fine for Necromantic teams as well. However one thing to consider is that you can only have two Ghouls rather than 4 and they do tend to be the main ball handlers on the team.

  3. That marksman build listed there has been the absolute star of my team. He has been extremely fortunate with his rolls and now has +2 MA, Guard and Shadowing with Diving Tackle next on the agenda. Only Woodelves and Skaven have had much success getting away from him.

    • Thank you for the feedback and glad you’ve been getting use from the article. I hope you’ve not upset too many of your opponents! I’d personally prefer Block and Side Step to the extra movement increases. That will mean they can’t just blitz him off the ball carrier, though it sounds like it is working for you so far.

  4. Ah, he does actually have Block already, that was his first pick up. I knew there was something missing when I wrote that post! I keep forgetting the merits of Sidestep as well, so that is probably an option if he ever makes it to the next skill up which I think will be his last.

    He is causing all kinds of headaches, indeed. There is something satisfying about trailing an Orc Blitzer for 5 squares, watching your opponent use a reroll on a failed dodge and then fall over and die.

  5. I think on the Catching Ghoul above I wouldn’t just ignore doubles. I mean if you are going the catcher route Nerves of Steel might be a good double

  6. In considering a “marksman” build, I question the lack of block. It would seem the point would be to keep the ghoul on his feet next to the mark, block would seem to be a vital ingredient to the keeping upright. I also wonder about a certain overlap in shadowing and break tackle. Is it worth taking both?

  7. Block is better than Wrestle for a marking build, so you are right on that line.

    I assume you meant Diving Tackle rather than Break Tackle (which you would never take on a Ghoul). It does indeed combine well with Shadowing, though you are going to want Block and Side Step first, then perhaps Tackle. It is going to take a long time to get five skills, especially as they don’t have Regeneration. So I would worry about that when it comes up and often at this point picking skills also depends on the build of your team overall.

    Should get to this point of having a nice problem, then feel free to post your team roster and common opposing races on a forum thread.

  8. Yes, I did indeed mean diving tackle. I was considering shadowing as a second skill after block, but I guess it would make more sense to do sidestep before shadowing to prevent him from being easily blitzed off the ball carrier.

  9. I’m not an really experienced player but I’ve been playing some games with the undead later (Cyanide game, against the AI) and one of my two ghouls are scoring one touchdown after the other.
    So much in fact that I don’t need more than two ghouls.
    Here’s what have been working for me:

    1st Ghoul:
    +1 ST

    2nd Ghoul:
    Sure Hands
    +1 MA

    This, coupled with one Dirty Player Zombie and one passing Wight have become devastating.

    2nd Ghoul moves the ball around, 1st Ghoul gets in position (possible blitzing his way to the opponent’s end zone) Dirty Player Zombie knocks out one or two players (almost never fails with two or three players assisting him on fouling the poor guy) 2nd Ghoul gives the ball do Wight, Wight passes, 1s Ghoul catches, touchdown.

    1st Ghoul is moving up in levels really fast. The +1 STR is giving him an edge because most teams needs assistance in taking him down (and most of them get no assistance since I’ve been bashing them all over the place with wights and mummies).

    • Hi Fernando, thanks for your comment. You will find getting a strength increase on any player makes them a lot more useful and harder to deal with. Human opponents are also a much greater challenge than the AI. They will be better defensively and target your Ghouls in a much more aggressive fashion. When you make the change over, I think you will find the worth in getting all four. I also encourage you to do so, it is a much better game against a real life opponent!

  10. Thanks for the reply, Coach.
    I don’t know if I’ll play multiplayer, but if I do, I fully expect to get bashed to bits =)
    The AI is pretty stupid of course. That’s why I can rely on two ghouls (one more than the other).
    I’ll buy two more ghouls and see how that goes.
    Thanks again, Coach and I love the site, btw. Keep up the good work.

  11. Hello, guys.
    I really wanted to ask for some advice about a recently leveled-up ghoul.
    It had already gained Block and Diving Catch, when I rolled 10 (6-4) for it’s next skill, and I chose +MV instead of +AV, but I really worry about the chance of losing my only “catcher”.
    Do you think I took the right decision?
    Isn’t the lack of Regeneration a good enough reason to choose +AV?
    Note that the other Ghoul that I upskilled has +AG, Accurate and Strong Arm, so I really need a player that can catch the ball after a Long Pass or even a Long Bomb.

    • I wouldn’t have gone with Diving Catch personally. You can’t really be overly worried about losing Ghouls, it’s going to happen eventually. Increasing their cost to keep them around longer isn’t really that helpful in my opinion. I would say the movement is more useful than the armour overall though I rarely take either as I think skills are more useful. This Ghoul isn’t even anything special to worry about, doesn’t even have a single double or an agility or strength increase (but even though I probably wouldn’t bother with extra armour).

      You’ve gone an unconventional route with making the team into a passing offence though so that certainly changes things up a bit. I wouldn’t think you need the extra movement when you’ve got a player that can throw a long way. I would personally go with Catch before Diving Catch (since you can use it on interception attempts and bouncing / scattering balls in the opponents turn) and Catch is also more useful than the movement too imo. For future skill rolls you would be better off making a thread on the forum and posting your entire roster at that point. The team as a whole is important to see when making skill choices and you will also get more input over on the forum.


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