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Version 0.31: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.
Alchemists start with knowledge of poison-based magic, which is extremely useful in the shallower levels of the Dungeon where few creatures are immune to it.

Alchemists are mages who focus on Alchemy. Their starting set is based on poison except for Sticky Flame.

Preferred Species

Deep Elf, Demonspawn, Djinni, Merfolk, Naga, Octopode, and Spriggan are the recommended species if you pick an Alchemist background.

Starting Equipment

Some species may receive different items based on their unique restrictions.

Available Spells:

Alchemists start with the Sting spell memorised.

Starting Skills and Stats

These are adjusted by your species' aptitudes.

Choosing Alchemist adds 7 to your starting Intelligence and 5 to your starting Dexterity.


In the early game, Alchemists can struggle against enemies with poison resistance. Sting can deal with oozes, but anything tougher will require Sticky Flame. So until you can cast Sticky Flame, try to avoid foes with rPois if possible.

Spell Details

Sting is a decent spell. It deals some physical damage on its own, but its guaranteed chance to poison (if it hits) will probably kill any foe on the first 2 floors. Mercury Vapours is a nice upgrade; it never misses, allowing you to reliably deal with early game enemies, and has a chance to inflict weakness.

Learn Mephitic Cloud the instant you hit level 3. Confusion is a very strong status, preventing all spells, and monsters only have a 1/3 chance to successfully move towards you. However, this spell is quite loud, attracting other enemies to you. It also doesn't work against enemies with rPois. The clouds will affect you if used too close; either have poison resistance, or aim behind an enemy. Having 2-3 points into both Air Magic and Conjurations is helpful; its a little tough to cast by training Alchemy alone.

Olgreb's Toxic Radiance is a powerful crowd controlling tool. It inflicts less poison than Mercury Vapours, but it affects all vulnerable monsters in your line of sight. While Vapours is better against single targets, OTR excels against groups, especially in the mid-dungeon and Orcish Mines. A frisky Alchemist may want to clear Orc before Lair (though watch out for many threats: wargs have rPois, while paralysis, stone giants, and many melee threats are still scary).

Sticky Flame sets an adjacent target on fire, dealing damage over time in addition to the initial impact. If the enemy moves, the fire will get put out.


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Warrior-mages WarperHexslingerEnchanterReaver
Mages Hedge WizardConjurerSummonerNecromancerFire ElementalistIce ElementalistAir ElementalistEarth ElementalistAlchemist
Adventurers ArtificerShapeshifterWandererDelver