Conjure Ball Lightning

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Version 0.23: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.
Conjure ball lightning.png Conjure Ball Lightning
Level 6
School1 Air
School2 Conjuration
Casting noise 6
Spell noise 20 or 25, on each explosion
Creates a pack of ball lightnings, which seek out the nearest enemy before exploding in a huge blast of electricity. Casters are advised to use caution; the lightning is not mindful of what it may hit.

The magic which keeps ball lightnings cohesive has limited range, so they may dissipate harmlessly if allowed to drift too far away from their caster before exploding.

Conjure Ball Lightning is a level 6 Air Magic/Conjurations spell which brings into existence 2 to 5 temporary instances[1] of ball lightning which individually home in on any existing, visible creature in the area (except the caster), and explode when in range, dealing 3d20 electricity damage to anything in a 2 or 3 area radius (same chance).

Electricity resistance is highly recommended unless you want YASD.

Like Orbs of Destruction and player-created clouds, ball lightnings dissipate when out of the player's LOS.

Monster Version

The monster version functions similarly to the player version, with the exception that monster-created ball lightnings do not dissipate when out of the monster's LOS.

The following enemies cast Conjure Ball Lightning:

Tips & Tricks

  • Plants, fungi, and bushes (but not trees) will attract ball lightning, reducing the spell's effectiveness. When possible, lure your intended target away from any such harmless creatures.
  • Ball lightnings cannot see invisible. Casting the spell against an invisible enemy will simply cause your summons to wander aimlessly and ineffectively. Make sure of your enemy's visibility status before casting (eg, vs ghost moths). If your target is, or has turned, invisible, you can always fire a projectile at a ball lightning to trigger detonation; this will result in all ball lightnings in range being triggered also.
  • Only very few, specific creatures have electricity resistance, making this a great all-around spell for area attacks on large numbers of creatures. It's especially suited for attacking creatures who are adjacent to or surrounding the player (since the attack is relatively harmless to the player with rElec).
  • If you lack a reliable source of electricity resistance (potions of resistance will work in a pinch, but not for general, repeated use), strongly consider choosing a different spell. If you decide to use CBL anyways, cast it only in the greatest emergency when there is no other alternative and use these precautions: your target should be at the furthest possible range, with no nearby enemies (or plants); the enemy must be visible (ball lightning cannot see invisible); the enemy should ideally not be able to blink, summon, or use ranged attacks or spells (any of which might prematurely set off the ball lightnings); the player should move backwards right after casting, to get out of range; should the target be destroyed, the player should remain at a safe distance until all ball lightnings have detonated.


  • Prior to 0.14, CBL was a level 7 spell and all ball lightnings were permanently confused.
  • Prior to 0.10, ball lightnings had no duration after which they would explode.


  1. The formula for the number of conjured ball lightnings is: min(5, 2 + pow / 100 + random2(pow / 50 + 1))