ARCHIVED CapnCrunch's Mummy Wizard guide

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Version 0.10: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.


This article contains advice from other players, which may be subjective, outdated, inaccurate or ill-advised. Read at your own risk and alter to fit your play style as necessary!


This thing all things devours: Birds, beasts, trees, flowers; Gnaws iron, bites steel; Grinds hard stones to meal; Slays king, ruins town, And beats high mountain down.

WARNING: Build Not Viable Under Current Version

This guide relies on multiple properties of Kiku that were removed in subsequent versions, mainly a very fast fixed sequence of spellbooks and the ability to ride out Kiku's wrath behind abominations, to make an early jaunt through Kiku worthwhile before a switch to another deity. As Kiku exists now there is no point in the detour and a Mummy Wizard should start with Sif Muna. See updated guide.

Overview

The goal of this character is to make a spellcaster who can learn and effectively cast Haunt. As soon as this spell is learned--sans spell hunger, sickness, and (effectively) MP restraints--mummies are tough enough to win the game. Without a food clock, mummies can then take the time to develop a very well-rounded repertoire of skills to support this spell. Players who have difficulty reaching the 'your to lose' point of the game will find this build incredibly useful. There are some downsides, however:

  • Wizards—and mummies in particular—are particularly bad in the early game. Surviving the early-to-mid game will be your biggest challenge with this build.
  • This guide depends on being able to rapidly transition from one playstyle and skillset to another, often. Adjusting your strategies appropriately will require attentive play.
  • In the end-game, mummies are weaker than Necromutation characters.

God Choice

The overall goal of this build is to develop Haunt, then an appropriate support system. Kikubaaqudgha will accomplish the first goal, and transitioning to another deity will accomplish the second.

Kikubaaqudgha

If you’re going to follow Sif Muna and she gives all the spells in the game anyway, why wait? Three reasons: Kiku always gives you all the major Necromancy spells in an easy to learn order, while Sif can sometimes give you spells you don’t want or can't cast yet; he gives gifts while leveling up stars, giving you access to Necromancy in the early game without losing the flexibility of the starting Wizard spellbook, while in comparison Sif only gifts once you’re at 5 star +; and Kiku is incredibly easy to leave for a Mummy.

When you get the Necronomicon, abandon kiku. One or two ring of sustain abilities and an amulet of faith will help speed this process and protect against wrath, but are not necessary. Go to the Ecumenical Temple, and fill it with abominations through her corpse delivery and Twisted Resurrection. You'll likely get 40-60 abominations, depending on delivery luck. These will be more then enough to defend against Kiku's monsters. Choose sif or nemelex after the wrath subsides.

Endgame Gods

The two major endgame gods for this character are Sif Muna or Nemelex Xobeh.

Sif Muna: As mentioned earlier, her channeling ability is incredible as a Mummy, effectively giving unlimited MP with no downside. Remember the only Invocations levels that matter here are the multiples of 4. You can turn off Invocations at level 4, but pushing past this late game lets you regenerate MP as fast as you can cast. As a summoner, you can use channeling to spam Haunt, Shadow Creatures, etc. without break, filling whole screens with your minions; this is a serious boon. The gifts of books are also nice, as you really benefit from access to a number of spells (as described above); the other benefits are intermittently useful. Finally, Shadow Creatures is very powerful in Zot, and will give you the added offenses needed to clear Zot 5.

Sif’s wrath is pretty mild for a Mummy waiting it out in the ET, and you'll eventually receive spellbooks with every spell in the game, so you could potentially move from her to Nemelex. However, if you can train Channel Energy to a high enough level, it is an unparalleled ability - with one exception. If you happen upon the Staff of Wucad Mu, seriously consider switching to Nemelex later; it is the most powerful form of channeling by a long shot, and if you worship Nemelex you will have to train Evocations up anyway. Just make sure you have a form of Clarity.

Nemelex: Players are recommended to read the Nemelex guide before reading any further.

If you’re having trouble getting Haunt to a reliable skill level, Nemelex is a quick way to get extra experience for magic skill experience; you can get absolutely massive boosts to experience by farming decks of wonder. Try to get an amulet of faith before converting to really rake it in. Nemelex benefits from a mid/lategame switch due to easy piety generation from excess items (which works well with your use of Kiku as an initial diety), and his main boon you’re interested in are the fantastic experience boosts from Deck of wonders. Be sure to frontload your deck weighting by sacrificing all the potions and permafood you can before starting in on other items. Get enough Piety that you can Draw 3 whenever you want to use a Deck of Wonders - you may occasionally have to ditch one of two Experience cards, but that’s better than getting Helix, Wild Magic, or Shuffle.

Drawing from Decks of Escape or Summoning is a good way to build piety. Nemelex isn’t particularly fun to leave, holding a grudge for a long time and able to do almost anything to you (as he can sic other gods on you as well), so you may be stuck with him once you join up.


Stats and Skills

Keep Str and Dex at a minimum of 8. As the various hell effects can remove at most 7 points of a stat at once. Put the rest in Int to increase spell power/succes.

Skills

This build relies upon developing a wide variety of skills at different times in the game. Once you have developed the skills to use a particular ability, turn the old skills off and focus on training the next ability.

  • Fighting, Dodging, and Spellcasting should be trained throughout the game.
  • A favored weapon skill should be trained until Necromancy spells become available. If using blades, train Stabbing for a few levels, too.
  • Ignore Hexes, Fire Magic, Earth Magic, and Ice Magic until very late game. Ignore Shields and Armour unless you find a good Buckler and Troll leather armour, in which case train until your spells are no longer effected by them.
  • Focus Conjurations, Air Magic, and Poison Magic (don’t train poison past 2) until you can cast Mephitic Cloud at excellent. Then turn off all three and focus Spellcasting until you worship Kiku.
  • Focus Necromancy once Kiku gifts books. When you get the Necronomicon, focus Summoning as well. Stop training Necromancy and Summoning when Haunt is at Excellent.
  • Train Invocations or Evocations when you change gods.
  • After Haunt, focus Spellcasting until Mastered.
  • Focus each magic skill until you can cast the relevant spell at Excellent, prioritizing key support spells like Deflect Missiles and Haste.
  • When all spells are at Excellent, focus Fighting, Dodging, Invocations/Evocations, and Summoning for the rest of the game.

Strategy

Early Game: Stabber.

The startgame is tough for this build, as you have a significant chance of getting mugged by a hobgoblin, kobold, or pack of jackals before you find a useful weapon or reach level 3. Don't spend too any time scumming explored levels, or you'll quickly be overpowered by OOD monsters. Be prepared to skip any levels that spawn powerful ghosts or uniques.

Get the first weapon and ranged item you find, and use it. Don't wait for the ideal short blade, and don't expect to rely on Magic Dart; your unarmed skill and your spellcasting abilities are both terrible. Using every item you find will greatly increase your survivability. Worry about picking good equipment later.

Once possible, your primary means of killing opponents is to melee them under the influence of Mephitic Cloud - resistant enemies are kited with Magic Dart or swarmed with Call Imp.

Ignore Conjure Flame and Slow, as Fire and Hexes will be of little use to you throughout the game. Learn the other spells, and save your remaining spell slots for Necromancy magics.

Midgame: Necromancer.

Very similar to Stabber, above, but begin adding all of Kiku's spells, detailed below. Once learned, Agony will let you deal with tough single opponents. Twisted Resurrection/Recall (with Corpse Delivery from Kiku as needed) is the priority after that. Keep a squad of Aboms around at all times. Conversely, Animate Dead is a poor man's substitute. It's much better late game when you have more powerful creatures to zombify, when Haunt-spammed Hungry Ghosts consume most of your corpses, and you no longer have Kiku to give the extra corpses for Abominations.

Spells: From Kiku’s books, start with Pain. Immediately upon memorizing Pain, use the '=' command to swap the spell letters for Magic Dart and Pain! Remember that you're losing two squares of range, but you can still use Magic Dart for distant or resistant foes.

Late-Midgame: Summoner of Sif/Nemelex

You’ll be able to reliably cast Haunt at some point - abuse it. Recall following Haunt gives you a nice buffer of units, but two or three abominations should be kept around just to be safe. Try to learn escape and defense spells (blink, swiftness, summon butterflies) as soon as possible. Shadow Creatures works pretty well everywhere except the Abyss and a couple of undead-themed branches. Keep in mind, it is more efficient to directly kill anything that isn't dangerous as lackey kills give less experience.

  • The Vaults: Note that you cannot cast Alistair's Intoxication for Vault 8; a good strategy is a full complement of Abominations, several scrolls of blinking down one of the corridors, Mephitic Cloud to stall the Vault Guards, followed by a steady stream of Haunts. Some form of controlled teleport and magic mpping will work as well.

End-Game: Arch-mage of Everything

Develop your supporting spells, keep your buffer spells on, keep your MP up, play conservatively, and swarm ANY new or unfamiliar threat with a ridiculous amount of Haunts. When faced with particularly tough situations (as noted below), don't hesitate to cast Haste or rely on controlled teleportation.

  • The Abyss: Grind the Abyss to gain experience and to make up for the fact that your Haunts reduce your XP intake.
  • Hell: Be extremely cautious around Shadow Fiends (Dispel Undead) and Brimstone Fiends (Hellfire); without a buffer of summoned units these particular tier 1 demons are especially dangerous to you. Gehenna is the most dangerous branch, because Asmodeus's Fire Storm will shred through your Haunts incredibly fast. Do not attempt to fight him without Haste and the ability to make a quick escape, and be prepared to retreat and recharge often.
  • Pandemonium: Once you've finished the Pan Lords, you can grind Pandemonium for faster experience and more items then you would find in the Abyss. However, this is only necessary if you are considering a Ziggurat run.
    • Cerebov: His Fire Storm will shred your Haunts, forcing you to retreat and regenerate often. Be aware of Balrogs blocking escape routes during this process.
    • Mnoleg: With his Mass Abjuration, this is actually one of the more dangerous Pan Lords, potentially as dangerous as Cerebov if not approached cautiously. Focus on abjuring his own summons first, and maintaining your forces second. As with Cerebov, this will be a battle of attrition--be prepared to retreat often.
    • Lom Lobon: His Ice Storm is only slightly less dangerous than Cerebov's Fire Storm, and his Blink prevents you from maintaining a buffer of summoned units. Engage him at long range to make sure you can escape easily.
    • Gloorx Vloq: By far the easiest Pan Lord to deal with, your summons will be able to overpower him and the Executioners with ease.

Spells

Other Spells: Eventually, Sif Muna will gift you every spell in the game. Summons will be your main killing tools in the endgame, so it's better to use extra spell levels to finish out utility spells than more offense.

Haunt: It is the main goal of the build, therefore worth a few words. Your main tactic is to spam Haunt to clog any approach or missile LOS the enemy has on you, step back until the enemy is off screen if they have any penetrating missile attacks or smite targeted spells, and spam Channel energy once you have done so to be ready to do so again when new lines open up. Watch your XP to know when you have killed enemies. As needed, you may increase the potency of your Haunt / Channel energy rotation through Haste; this provides you with a preposterous amount of ghosts in very little time. Properly used, this technique works excellently against every single foe in the game.

Gear

  • Don't be afraid to switch weapon types if you find a strong one; you shouldn't have trained any past 3 or 4 anyway.
  • Weapons of pain will be deadly in your hands. Just remember that you're not actually a brawler!
  • Fire resistance is useful, and invaluable in fetching the Orb. Artifacts with rF++ are precious!
  • Mummies can't cast the spell for Regeneration... but items work just fine. The first time you get a troll corpse, butcher it for the troll hide, then enchant that for troll leather armour. The only reason to wear anything else is if it grants rF++.
  • A staff of channeling is very nice -- free mana even before you reach Sif! Note that the staff will train Evocations instead of Invocations. (If you're going for Nemelex instead, that's what you want anyway.) Upgrade to a crystal ball of energy when your Evocations is nearly max level.
  • As with all mummy characters, a wand of heal wounds is invaluable. By the late game, if you can find one, Glow (from Haste and controlled teleports) becomes trivial, as you should have plenty of scrolls of recharging in your stash by this time. This will allow you to keep yourself hasted for a preposterous amount of time.