Nemelex Xobeh

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Nemelex altar.png "It's all in the cards!"
Nemelex is a strange and unpredictable trickster god, whose powers are invoked through magical packs of cards painted in the ichor of demons. Followers will be granted decks of cards as they traverse the dungeon, and are encouraged to trust in the cards to provide them with divine assistance. However, the Trickster can also ensure that fortune favours the bold.

The Trickster's followers gain various ways to influence fate when playing their cards. The effects of the cards will be more powerful with higher piety and with greater Invocations skill. Later, followers will gain powerful abilities to manipulate the cards, allowing them to choose one of three drawn cards, to gain the effects of multiple cards at once, and finally to stack decks and re-order their contents.

Nemelex Xobeh likes it when you explore the world.

The power of Nemelex Xobeh's abilities and of the cards' effects is governed by Invocations.

Racial restrictions

  • Demigods cannot worship Nemelex Xobeh (or any other god).


  • Exploring the world.


  • Inactivity: You lose 1 piety per 700 turns, on average (1/35 chance every 20 turns).
  • Abandonment.


Starting from 1* piety, Nemelex will frequently gift access to cards, which have powerful effects. These cards are given as you gain piety. The cards belong to the deck of destruction, deck of escape, and the deck of summoning.

Probability of types of cards to receive as gifts:[1]

Between 4 and 13 cards will be gifted at once,[2] and any cards exceeding a deck's capacity are lost.

Nemelex has a gift timeout of 4 + (2d9)/2.[3] This represents how much piety you need to get before considering a gift. After gift timeout = 0, there is a (piety - 29) / 600 chance to be gifted a card when gaining piety.[4] The first gift is 12x faster.

Card mechanics

Player cards use your Invocations skill and piety for their power, calculated by power = (piety × (Invocations + 25) / 27) + (9 × Invocations) + (1.5 × piety).[5] This power is converted into "power level", which starts at 0 and increases up to twice. There are two separate chances to increase power level by +1, equal to power / 900 and power / 2700 out of 1, respectively.[6]

Power determines the strength of the card, while power level determines the tier of effect. For example, the orb card increases in damage/orb with power and increases orb quantity with power level.

Given Abilities

All of Nemelex's abilities deal with manipulating or controlling cards. Nemelex will gift you additional cards as you gain more piety.

Piety level -: "Pannier"

  • Pick a card, any card: You can draw from decks of power. The card effect is selected at random based on the deck type. Drawing a card takes one turn, removes that card from the deck, and has no other cost.

Piety level *: "Jester"

  • No new abilities.

Piety level **: "Fortune-Teller"

  • No new abilities.

Piety level ***: "Soothsayer"

  • Triple Draw: Draw three cards from any deck, look at them, and decide which one to use, discarding the other two. If only two cards remain in a deck, then only the remaining two cards will be displayed. If only one card is left, then it will be played as normal while still incurring the regular ability cost. (2 MP, 6-9 Piety)
    • Note that even if all viewed cards are undesirable, you must draw one of them; there is no way to back out once you have seen them.

Piety level ****: "Magus"

  • Deal Four: Select a deck and draw four cards from it in a single turn. (8 MP, 4-6 Piety)

Piety level *****: "Cardsharp"

  • Stack Five: Draw any five cards from the available decks and order them however you like. These cards will be kept in a separate deck which can be drawn from as normal. You can only have one stacked deck at a time. (5 MP, 10-15 Piety)

Piety level ******: "Hand of Fortune"

  • No new abilities.


Decks Nemelex's Cards
Deck of destruction Degeneration The Orb Pain The Storm Vitriol Wild Magic
Deck of escape The Cloud The ElixirExile The Tomb Velocity
Deck of summoning The Dance The Elements The Illusion The Swarm The Pentagram The Rangers
Deck of punishment Swine TormentWraith Wrath


Nemelex Xobeh does not appreciate abandonment, and will call down fearful punishments on disloyal followers!

Those who abandon Nemelex Xobeh have all of their gifted decks revoked immediately. They are also regularly forced to draw from the deck of Punishment, inflicting a range of unpleasant effects including draining, torment and polymorphing, as well as calling upon other gods to assist in inflicting wrath.

Nemelex Xobeh's wrath lasts for a relatively long duration.

If you leave Nemelex Xobeh, your penance counter will be set to 50 and you immediately lose access to all decks. If you later return, the decks will be empty again.

While you are under penance, Nemelex Xobeh will occasionally punish you by drawing a card from the deck of punishments, which can include one of the following (equal chances):


Nemelex provides a wide selection of powerful abilities. Compared to the abilities of other gods, Nemelex's cards are plentiful: they are gifted frequently, can be stored (up to 52), and do not use piety. For comparison, Makhleb's Greater Servant is very powerful, but you can't use it many times in a row. On average, you'll get 9 cards for the same amount of piety as 2 Greater Servants.

Don't be too stingy with your cards, as any gifted cards over the deck limit are wasted. Because of this, Nemelex benefits a lot from Invocations training. A high aptitude helps, but Nemelex remains useful even if you don't have the best Invocations.

While the randomness of the decks may be off-putting, realize that you are the dealer, and can stack the deck in your favor. This includes the 5* ability Stack Five, but even the simple fact that you have control over the "what" and "when" is powerful. Nemelex's other abilities help control things more -- see the below sections for more details.

Ability Strategy

  • Draw Four is your main "emergency" button, drawing 4 cards in one turn with no cost other than piety (and 4 cards, and 8 MP). Drawing summoning is bound to surround you with allies, drawing destruction is great against threats and crowds, and drawing escape is likely to get something that you need (watch out for the Tomb card).
  • Triple Draw is useful for getting a card that is best suited for a specific situation. A poorly timed Degeneration card from the deck of destruction can polymorph a moderately dangerous group of monsters into something much, much worse. Remember that you must choose one of the three cards if using this ability; you cannot cancel a Triple Draw.
    • However, you can still cancel the effect of a targeted spell, such as one from the deck of destruction, though this still consumes piety and the card.
  • Stack Five costs a fair amount of piety, but it is very valuable to go into situations knowing exactly what to expect.
    • It's also valuable for 'using' five cards when all your decks are full - stacked decks go beyond the usual 52 card limit.

Decks have some amount of danger, but not a lot. Escape has the Tomb card, which can block every tile around you except the one where monsters are. Destruction has the Degeneration card, which, while usually creating weaker monsters, will heal them. It can also create nasty low-HD monsters like floating eyes. Summoning has the Pentagram card, which has a small chance to summon hostile demons. Most other cards are entirely safe.

Tips and Tricks

  • You can press ? while using Triple Draw or Stack Five to quickly view each potential card's effect.
  • Some of the summons that may appear in the deck of summoning may spawn hostile, though most are friendly. The chance of this decreases as your skill in Invocations increases. Even then, the friendly summons are usually more than capable of dealing with the hostiles.
  • Try to use destruction cards before summoning -- drawing any of the area-of-effect cards will hurt and thus despawn your summons.

See Also


  • In 0.32, Nemelex will become a chaotic god.
  • Prior to 0.26, Nemelex's deck gifting began at lower piety. From 0.26 on the Shaft card is removed, and the Exile card no longer has a chance to self banish.
  • Prior to 0.25, Nemelex card abilities could be used when silenced.
  • Prior to 0.23, decks were evocable items rather than an exclusive god ability.
  • Prior to 0.19, there were many more types of decks and cards. Nemelex's powers used Evocations instead of Invocations. You could also identify decks via identify scrolls.
  • Prior to 0.16, Nemelex granted two additional abilities: Draw One and Peek at Two.
  • Prior to 0.15, piety was gained by sacrificing different kinds of items, which would cause Nemelex to gift you specific types of decks based on the number of items gifted of a certain type.
  • Prior to 0.14, the type of decks provided were dependent on the type of items you were sacrificing. Also, deck of dungeons was available as a possible gift type.
  • Prior to 0.11, Deal Four was known as Mark Four, which allowed you to peek at a few cards in a deck and identify them.
  • Prior to 0.10, letting time pass would reduce the gift timeout.
  • Prior to 0.3, followers of Nemelex could use a portable altar for sacrificing items. The altar was given to them as the first gift.


  1. (0.30.1)
  2. decks.h:22 (0.30.1)
  3. (0.30.1)
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  6. (0.30.1)
Good ElyvilonZinThe Shining One
Neutral AshenzariCheibriadosFedhas MadashGozag Ym SagozHepliaklqanaIgnisNemelex XobehOkawaruQazlalRuSif MunaTrogUskayawVehumetWu Jian
Chaotic JiyvaXom
Evil BeoghDithmenosKikubaaqudghaLugonu *Makhleb *Yredelemnul
* Chaotic & Evil