Borgnjor's Vile Clutch

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Version 0.31: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.
Borgnjor's vile clutch.png Borgnjor's Vile Clutch
Level 5
School1 Earth
School2 Necromancy
Source(s) Great Wizards, Vol. II
Book of Unlife
Casting noise 5
Spell noise 4
Power Cap 200
Range 6
Hated By Elyvilon
The Shining One
Flags Dir or target, Needs tracer
Calls forth hands from corpses interred beneath the dungeon floor long ago. Enemies caught in the area will be held in place and constricted until they break free.
Spell Details
Damage Formula 2d(2 + power/20) per turn
Max Damage 2d(12)+ per turn
Max Power 200
Range 6
Targeting Beam
To-hit Infinite
Special Damage/turn
Constriction damage increases over time

Borgnjor's Vile Clutch, also known as BVC and zombie hands, is a level 5 Necromancy/Earth spell that affects all enemies in a beam-targeted line with the constriction status (displayed as "constricted by zombie hands").

Constriction deals damage over time until the affected monster(s) die, escape constriction (which they must waste turns to do), or the effect runs out. In most cases, the monster will die or escape before the status runs out. If you leave line of sight of any affected enemies, they are immediately released.

Resistant Enemies

Only a small number of monsters are not affected by BVC, all of which are also immune to regular types of constriction. They include:

Enemies over deep water or lava are unaffected.


BVC is a very versatile spell: You basically now have access to an unlimited number of throwing nets that cannot only pin but even kill a large number of enemies in a few casts, and has a few specific benefits:

  • Cannot be dodged and is largely irresistible (except for creatures listed above).
  • Significantly reduces the target's EV, making them easier to hit with melee or other destructive spells. This combos well with other Earth Magic spells, like Iron Shot or Lehudib's Crystal Spear, which both suffer somewhat from low accuracy.
  • Pins the target in place, allowing the player to move away even from fast enemies without attacks of opportunity.
  • Makes the target waste turns trying to escape, similar to nets. Enemies that can reach you will still attack you in melee, but this means BVC's effect will last longer since they're no longer trying to escape. Casters can still cast spells, but at their usual rate - they generally won't cast for every single turn.
  • Destroys whole groups of enemies in corridors, since it affects the whole beam path. Other piercing attacks, like javelins, work well in conjunction.
  • Note that unlike throwing nets, BVC doesn't provide an opportunity for stabbing attacks.