Melee weapon

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Version 0.19: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.

Melee weapons refer to any weapons which are only capable of attacking opponents adjacent to you (with the exception of polearms; see below). While they lack the obvious range advantage of ranged weapons, they do not require ammunition, and they tend to be more powerful overall. Melee weapons are divided into several categories, each of which has its own associated skill and its own particular advantages.

Weapon attributes

The following is a table of all melee weapons in Crawl. Below is a short explanation of each field:

Name The name of the item as it appears in Crawl.
Damage The base amount of damage the weapon does, before various bonuses and adjustments.
Hit To hit modifier for the weapon, before any other adjustments.
Speed This is actually the attack delay, which is multiplied by 10 to get the "percentages" you see in-game. (That is, attack delay 10 shows as 100%.) Every 2 levels of weapon skill lowers the delay by 1 unit. A weapon's minimum delay is half of its base delay (rounded down) or 7 (5 for cutlass, 10 for hand crossbows, arbalests and triple crossbows), whichever is lower. Speed brand and haste reduce the delay by one third (round randomly up or down). These effects stack, after the base cap, but there's an absolute cap of 2 for attack delay.
One-handed min. size Minimum size required to be able to use the weapon with one hand. The order is little, small, medium, large, big.
Two-handed min. size Minimum size required to be able to use the weapon with two hands. When the player's size is equal or greater than 'Two-handed min. size', but less than 'One-handed min. size', the weapon cannot be used with a shield.
Dam Type What category of damage does the weapon deal?
Prob A larger number indicates higher probability of acquiring through scrolls of acquirement.

Short Blades

Attacks with short blades tend to deal less damage than larger weapons do, but are significantly faster. They also deal very high damage when used to make stab attacks.

Name Dmg Hit Speed One-handed min. size Two-handed min. size Dam Type Prob Notes
Dagger 4 +6 10 Little Little Piercing 10
Quick blade 5 +6 7 Little Little Piercing 2 Cannot receive speed brand
Short sword 6 +4 11 Little Little Piercing 10
Rapier 8 +4 12 Little Little Piercing 10 Min delay is 5

Long Blades

Long blades can riposte on successfully evading a blow. They deal moderate damage when used to make stab attacks and cross train with short blades. Their skill cost is lower than that of polearms and axes, but higher than maces and staves.

Name Dam Hit Speed One-handed min. size Two-hande min. size Dam Type Prob Notes
Falchion 7 +2 13 Little Little Slicing 10
Long sword 9 +1 14 Small Little Slicing 10
Scimitar 12 -2 14 Small Little Slicing 10
Demon blade 12 -1 13 Small Little Slicing 2
Eudemon blade 13 -2 12 Small Little Slicing - A demon blade blessed by The Shining One
Double sword 14 -1 15 Medium Little Slicing 2
Great sword 15 -3 16 - Medium Slicing 10
Triple sword 17 -4 19 - Medium Slicing 2


Axes are unique among weapons in that they can perform cleaving attacks, striking multiple foes in a single strike.

Name Dam Hit Speed One-handed min. size Two-handed min. size Dam Type Prob Notes
Hand axe 7 +3 13 Little Little Chopping 10
War axe 11 0 15 Small Little Chopping 10
Broad axe 13 -2 16 Medium Little Chopping 10
Battleaxe 15 -4 17 - Medium Chopping 10
Executioner's axe 18 -6 20 - Medium Chopping 2

Maces & Flails

Maces & flails have no particular unique traits, but have significantly lower skill costs. Married to the fact that the most powerful weapons are pretty common in the dungeon, they're a popular choice both for one handed and two handed combat. Ogres and trolls have access to giant clubs and giant spiked clubs, the two most powerful weapon types in the game. However, these are generally not recommended for either race.

Name Dam Hit Speed One-handed min. size Two-handed min. size Dam Type Prob Notes
Whip 6 +2 11 Little Little Slashing 0
Club 5 +3 13 Little Little Crushing 0
Mace 8 +3 14 Little Little Crushing 10
Flail 10 0 14 Little Little Crushing 10
Morningstar 13 -2 15 Small Little Piercing (Bludgeoning) 10
Demon whip 11 +1 11 Little Little Slashing 2
Sacred scourge 12 0 11 Little Little Slashing - A blessed demon whip
Dire flail 13 -3 13 Big Medium Piercing (Bludgeoning) 10
Eveningstar 15 -1 15 Small Little Piercing (Bludgeoning) 2
Great mace 17 -4 17 Big Medium Crushing 10
Giant club 20 -6 16 - Large Crushing 10
Giant spiked club 22 -7 19 - Large Piercing (Bludgeoning) 10


Polearms are unique among melee weapons in that they can make reaching attacks, striking foes up to two tiles away.

Name Dam Hit Speed One-handed min. size Two-handed min. size Dam Type Prob Notes
Spear 6 +4 11 Little Little Piercing 10
Trident 9 +1 13 Medium Little Piercing 10
Halberd 13 -3 15 - Medium Chopping (Piercing) 10
Scythe 14 -4 20 - Medium Slicing 10
Demon trident 12 +1 13 Medium Little Piercing 2
Trishula 13 0 13 Medium Little Piercing - A blessed demon trident
Glaive 15 -3 17 - Medium Chopping 10
Bardiche 18 -6 20 - Medium Chopping 2


The Staves skill is used both to fight with physical combat staves (quarterstaves and lajatangs) and magical staves. Physical combat staves are powerful two-handed weapons that require surprisingly little skill to use effectively, but unlike other weapon classes, there is no ultra-powerful, high-skill option available.

Note that magical staves fight like +0 staves, though some offer extra damage or other effects.

Name Dam Hit Speed One-handed min. size Two-handed min. size Dam Type Prob Notes
Staff 5 +5 12 Medium Little Crushing - Not available in game. Used only as a base type for magical staves.
Quarterstaff 10 +3 13 - Medium Crushing 10
Lajatang 16 -3 14 - Medium Slicing 2

Magical Staves

Magical staves are magical devices which are wielded like one-handed weapons. While a spellcaster wields one, it grants a variety of useful benefits, such as enhancing the spellpower of certain schools of magic or negating the hunger costs associated with powerful spells. Although normally very weak when used as melee weapons (they use the staff as a template for their stats), some magical staves inflict additional elemental effects when used by a skilled practitioner. See the magical staff page for more details.

Retired Weapons

Over the years, several weapons have been removed from the Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup arsenal, either due to redundancy with existing weapons or simply due to flavor issues.


  • Prior to 0.18, each weapon had a strength weight percentage that determined how the weapon would benefit from your strength and dexterity.