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The subject of this article appeared in Call of Duty: Black Ops III. The subject of this article appears in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 The subject of this article appears in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War The subject of this article appeared in Zombies mode

For a similar enemy, see Abomination (Cold War).
"You got my wife beat. She only has TWO faces!"
Jack Vincent
"I have fought bears more scary than you!"
Nikolai Belinski

Margwas (Apothicon: Shadow Ability) are an enemy in Call of Duty: Black Ops III on the Zombies maps Shadows of Evil, Dead Ops Arcade 2: Cyber's Avengening, and Revelations. They also appear in the intro cinematic of Alpha Omega and the outro cinematic of Tag Der Toten.

The Margwa is a three-headed monster bearing tentacles. It will swipe at the player if close to them, similar to a normal zombie, dealing the same amount of damage. It also has a very powerful slam attack, which is strong enough to down a player in one hit without Juggernog, and powerful enough to destroy a player's Rocket Shield instantly. Margwas also instantly destroy Li'l Arnies deployed by the player. Furthermore, they are immune to Insta-Kill and Nuke powerups.

In order to kill a Margwa, the player must shoot and destroy all of its three heads. The heads can only be damaged when their mouth is open and glowing. Once a single head is destroyed, the Margwa will move faster, and with each destroyed head it will release a Parasite, and rewards the player who shot it 500 points, for a total of 1,500 Points. Killing a Margwa grants the player 1000 XP points.

  • To kill Margwas quickly, one can use a weapon with splash damage or a fast firing shotgun such as the Pack-a-Punched KRM-262, the Dagon's Glare. While the Margwa is spawning, it briefly opens all three mouths, allowing quick and precise fire to take it down before it can even attack. Even if not done perfectly, 2 heads can be easily shot off, allowing it to be quickly dispatched. This tactic is commonly used in speedruns.
  • Margwas can also be killed by knifing with the Pop Shocks GobbleGum. The effect will kill the Margwa with one knife after a slight delay.

When playing with other players, if one makes themselves disappear with a GobbleGum such as "In Plain Sight" or "Anywhere But Here", the Margwa will turn its attention to the next visible player, or teleport to an area where the other players are using its purple shadow.

Shadows of Evil[]

On Shadows of Evil during the Easter Egg Apocalypse Averted, Margwas appear prominently. They start spawning at round 8, and they also spawn upon completing the second and fourth rituals for Gateworms, and seven per player while upgrading the Apothicon Sword (over the course of four rounds). As well as spawning each time the Shadowman re-activates his shield during the "Capture the Shadowman" step, they also spawn during the infinite Margwa Round afterwards as the final step where they will glow purple instead of yellow, but retain their normal combat capability.

The first Margwa killed in a match always drops the Margwa Heart, needed to craft the Apothicon Servant. If the Heart is not picked up, it will disappear after a while, but will appear again when the next Margwa is killed.

Players can also obtain the Margwa Head after killing six Margwas in a match, a hidden wearable item which significantly reduces damage from the Margwa's slam attack.


In the map Revelations, the Margwa makes a return as a round-based boss. Margwas first spawn on Round 11-12, and spawn after a certain number of rounds, just like in Shadows of Evil. They also spawn inside the Giant Apothicon if the player keeps a few zombies alive at the end of the round for awhile, and a Margwa will spawn for each Li'l Arnie thrown inside the holes for the main Easter Egg quest, For the Good of All.

The Margwa Head returns, although the process to obtain it has been changed and it possesses additional effects. Additionally, the Helmet of the King has been introduced, which also helps against Margwas. For more information on these items, see Revelations Hats and Helmets.

Three types of Margwas appear:

  1. Regular Margwas with their signature yellow glow. They function identically to the ones seen in Shadows of Evil, and have no additional attacks or effects.
    • The Purple Regular Margwas seen during the final Easter Egg step on Shadows of Evil do not appear.
  2. Fire Margwas emit a orange/red glow. Their slam attack is modified to produce a blast of fire to pursue the player with homing capabilities. While this does add ranged capabilities for the Margwa, this attack is relatively slow yet deals heavy damage. These Margwas can also ignite and cause Napalm Zombies similar to the Dragon on Gorod Krovi.
    • The blast of fire has a fairly narrow hitbox and travels along the ground, but will pursue players dynamically around corners and up/down terrain.
  3. Void Margwas emit a purple/blue glow. Their slam attack is modified to produce a portal/void, which spawns skulls that come out to attack and stun the player. This attack is very similar to the charged shot of the Demon Gate Bow from Der Eisendrache. These Margwas can also "mark" zombies they hit until they zombies are killed, causing them to glow purple and leave a temporary purple circle mark on the floor which deals heavy damage to players if they walk over it.
    • It is advised to have the Guard of Fafnir when dealing with Void Margwas, to mitigate the impact of being stunned. Having the Danger Closest GobbleGum active, the Margwa Head, or the Helmet of the King equipped will also prevent being stunned by the skulls.


  • Margwa Party (25 Gamerscore/Bronze Trophy Bronze Trophy PS3 icon) - Kill 2 Margwas in a single round.
  • Keep Close (15 Gamerscore/Bronze Trophy Bronze Trophy PS3 icon) - In Revelations, assist a Keeper in defeating every type of enemy.


Call of Duty: Black Ops III[]

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4[]


  • Margwas are known in the Keeper language as Mirgamaleet.
  • During the infinite Margwa round, all Margwas emit a purple glow, rather than greenish-yellow.
  • During the infinite Margwa round, upon being killed, killing a Margwa has a high chance to drop a "dead" Margwa Heart, which can be picked up. The heart itself currently has no purpose, but it is stored within the account of the player who picked it up.
  • Nero Blackstone observes that the Margwa is a combination of a Cerberus and Octopus, calling it Cerbertopus by creating a Portmanteau.
  • In certain sections of Black ops III's code, the "Margwa" is called "Margwar".
  • In Shadows of Evil's wall run, the Margwas appear to take an active part in the Great War. In a cipher detailing the Great War, Primis use the Elemental Staffs to decimate a Margwa.