Draconian breath attacks

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Version 0.21: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.

When draconians reach level 7, they receive a colour and an associated draconian breath attack. Each colour receives its own unique attack except for grey draconians (they stop breathing entirely and become immune to certain effects as a result). While these attacks are fairly powerful, they all come with a significant hunger cost and inflict the breath status effect, preventing you from using them repeatedly in combat.

Breathe Fire

Breathe a blast of fire at a targeted monster, leaving a cloud of flames at the endpoint.

Breathe Fire.png Red draconians receive Breathe Fire, which allows you to bellow forth a bolt of flame which leaves a cloud of fire at its destination. This can be used to place a single cloud of fire at a desired location (by aiming at a floor tile with [.]). You can deal heavy damage over several turns if you engage the target in melee or otherwise force it to remain in the flames.

Breathe Frost

Exhales a blast of frost that may knock back airborne targets.

Breathe Frost.png White draconians receive Breathe Frost, which allows you to bellow forth a bolt of frost which ignores AC and knocks back flying creatures.

Breathe Noxious Fumes

Breathes a blast of noxious fumes at a targeted creature.

Breathe Mephitic.png Green draconians receive Breathe Noxious Fumes, which allows you to cough up a noxious trail of Mephitic Clouds, confusing the target and doing very minor poison damage. You can then use this opportunity to stab your disabled opponent or to simply run away. Although very useful against living natural opponents, this breath weapon is useless against plants, most demons, the undead, and the non-living.

Breathe Acid

Spit acid at a targeted monster, covering it in corrosive slime for a short time. It may also splash onto other nearby creatures on impact.

Spit Acid.png Yellow draconians receive Breathe Acid, which allows you to spit a corrosive glob at an enemy, corroding their armour. Unlike the other breath attacks, this targets a single enemy, though it can splash to enemies adjacent to your target. Its advantage lies in the fact that hardly any opponents resist acid damage and reducing a creature's AC renders them more vulnerable to your other attacks.

Breathe Lightning

Releases a great discharge of electricity, causing an uncontrollable lightning storm. It partially bypasses armour.

Breathe Lightning.png Black draconians receive Breathe Lightning, which allows you to generate electrical explosions around you while firing Lightning Bolts and Shocks in random directions, much like use of a disc of storms. This is an extremely powerful attack, but it's impossible to aim and is somewhat dangerous to the user.

Breathe Steam

Breathes a jet of steam at a targeted location, which will scald any creatures it hits and will also obscure vision.

Breathe Steam.png Pale draconians receive Breathe Steam, which allows you to issue forth a bank of scalding steam that deals weak damage while also blocking line of sight. Although unimpressive for offensive uses, it is exceptionally good at forcing dangerous ranged opponents to engage you in melee or simply to escape pursuing distant foes.

Breathe Dispelling Energy

Breathes a bolt of dispelling energy at a targeted creature, possibly removing some of its enchantments.

Breathe Energy.png Purple draconians receive Breathe Dispelling Energy, which allows you to launch a bolt of irresistible power at a line of enemies, reducing the duration of any magical effects currently on them. This is a modestly powerful attack, but it can be a life saver when you manage to dismiss an opponent's Might or Haste prematurely.

Monster Version

Monstrous dragons and draconians are capable of identical breath attacks which are also determined by their associated element, though there are some exceptions:

  • Monstrous green draconians and swamp dragons have Breathe Poison instead of Breathe Mephitic.
  • Monstrous black draconians and storm dragons breathe regular Lightning Bolts in place of the uncontrollable havoc player black draconians create.
  • The unique draconian Tiamat can breathe whichever breath attack matches her current color.


  • Before 0.20, there was a draconian breath ability associated with mottled draconians and mottled dragons called Breathe Sticky Flame that splattered Sticky Flame onto a target. The player version only worked in melee range, but it could potentially splash onto other monsters adjacent to the one targeted, while the monster version could work at range. Additionally, yellow draconians' Spit Acid ability could not splash onto adjacen targets and draconian player ghosts could breathe bolts of negative energy.
  • Before 0.17, Spit Acid could cause bleeding.