Guardian serpent

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Version 0.30: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.

For a list of all snakes, see list of snakes.

guardian serpent SGuardian serpent.png
HP 29-59
HD 8
XP 458
Speed 15
AC 6
EV 14
Will 60
Attack1 26 (hit: plain)

Resistances rPois+
Vulnerabilities None
Habitat Land
Intelligence Human
Uses Uses nothing
Holiness Natural
Size Large
Type guardian serpent, guardian serpent
Flags See invisible
Serpents are distinct and rare members of scaly society. They are light and swift like snakes, yet also intelligent like nagas. Their lack of hands, together with an extreme sense of duty, makes them renowned guardians. It is said that a guardian serpent would rather die in battle than leave anything to an intruder.

“The latter lived in the country, and before his house there was an oak, in which there was a lair of snakes. His servants killed the snakes, but Melampus gathered wood and burnt the reptiles, and reared the young ones. And when the young were full grown, they stood beside him at each of his shoulders as he slept, and they purged his ears with their tongues. He started up in a great fright, but understood the voices of the birds flying overhead, and from what he learned from them he foretold to men what should come to pass.”
-Pseudo-Apollodorus , _Library and Epitome_, 1.9.11. circa 150 BC.
trans. Sir James George Frazer, 1913.

“A snake, with mottles rare,
Surveyed my chamber floor,
In feature as the worm before,
But ringed with power.”
-Emily Dickinson, “In Winter In My Room”. circa 1860.

Useful Info

Guardian serpents are dangerous support units. They can deal moderate damage on their own, but the real danger lies in Blink Allies Encircling, sending its allies to the tiles adjacent to you. You can end up surrounded very quickly. They are common in Snake Pit, and occasionally show up in the Desolation of Salt.


Spell set I
Slot1 Venom Bolt (3d13) Wizard flag
Slot2 Slow Wizard flag
Slot3 Blink Allies Encircling Wizard flag

Tips & Tricks

  • Being surrounded is extremely dangerous. When surrounded, your normal escape paths are cut off. Since nagas constrict, even a scroll of blinking can fail to get you out. And, even for the toughest Axes users, taking 8 attacks per turn isn't fun.
    • Try to limit the number of free spaces around you. If you're standing in a hallway or corner, you might take only 2-3 attacks per turn rather than 8. Also, being surrounded by allies (summons, Kiku's Unearth Wretches...) means you can't be surrounded by enemies.
    • In Desolation, being encircled by creatures means high damage from Resonance Strike.
  • Blink Allies Encircling can bring any monster in the caster's line of sight adjacent to you (not the player's LOS). This means that a guardian serpent can bring in monsters you didn't know about.