Orb of Destruction

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Version 0.17: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.
Orb of destruction.png Orb of Destruction
Level 7
School1 Conjuration
Source(s)
Casting noise 7
Spell noise 7 (40 when two orbs collide)
This spell conjures an orb of pure destructive magic. Compared to most other projectiles, these orbs travel at a relatively slow pace. The orbs home onto their targets, yet because of their huge inertia, especially agile opponents may be able to outmaneuvre them. The orbs need some time to stabilize, and a nascent orb won't do the full damage it is capable of.

Those who have trained for years, or who have an innate ability, can maintain the orb out of their own line of sight. Adventurers, sadly, do not have the time to master this aspect of the spell.

This globe of pure magic is a conjured projectile that homes onto a designated target, albeit with massive inertia. A smart and agile person may move out of its path, causing it to damage its surroundings or even go around in circles. Be sure to step at least two paces to the side, though, for it is not swayed by minute movements, including those from the Dodging skill.

Orb of Destruction (often abbreviated OoD or IOoD, the I standing for "Iskenderun's") is a level 7 Conjurations spell which launches an orb of energy (speed 30, effectively indestructible) to attack your enemies. The orb itself is extremely powerful, dealing 9d23 damage at maximum power and range. This can potentially kill a Pandemonium lord with 3 or fewer casts. Creatures killed by this spell are typically blown apart into gory chunks (and, unlike disintegration, magic resistance has no effect), although any dragon capable of leaving a hide will not explode when it dies.

However, this spell is not without its flaws: the orb can stray off course and hit the wrong target or crash harmlessly into a wall, the spell does not reach its target instantaneously, and the orb deals much less damage when cast at close range to the target. As alluded to in the flavour text, the player spell is inferior to the monster version: your orb will "dissipate" when it leaves your line of sight, but an enemy's orb will continue to move around until it hits something. Unique among all spells in the game, this spell cannot be evaded by high EV but can be blocked by high SH.

While accuracy is tied only to spell power, its damage output also depends on the range:

  • Range 1: 50% damage
  • Range 2: 70%
  • Range 3: 90%
  • Range 4+: 100%

Sending a volley of orbs against a single dangerous monster is very effective. However, you should never send one out when the previous one is still adjacent to you as the orbs will collide, resulting in a large explosion and injuring you. This is especially likely to happen when hasted; make sure each orb has traveled at least one square away from you before launching the next one.

As with a wand of disintegration, an orb of destruction will destroy doors, iron grates, trees, orcish idols, innanimate statues, and (rock or slime) walls. However, when targeting inanimate objects its aim is terrible; generally you have to be point-blank to intentionally destroy a dungeon feature.

Tips & Tricks

  • Due to the orb's predilection for swerving into walls, when in narrow hallways, launch at short range, since the orb will often fail at distances greater than 3-4 tiles (or use another spell better suited to the task). When launching an orb in wider hallways, situate yourself on the wall opposite from the one your target is nearest:
   Example 1:                  Example 2:                         
        ###########                 ###########
        .@....M....                 ......M....
        ...........                 .@.........
        ###########                 ###########
   Bad: Risks hitting wall.    Better: Much less risk.
  • Orbs of Destruction are great versus statues and other foes which take only physical damage.
  • When stair-dancing, orbs can be used as a fire-and-forget missile. Go to the infested area, fire off an orb at the most dangerous target four or five squares away (for full power), then climb to the safe level. Since you still count as "being on the current level" while climbing the stairs, the orb doesn't dissipate immediately and has two turns of travel time.
  • Since orbs explode the corpses of enemies when they kill them, don't use an orb if you would like to harvest a troll hide. Hide-bearing dragons do not explode and will still leave corpses, however.
  • Utilize Recall and Aura of Abjuration for controlling friendly and enemy summons. On offense, using Recall or Aura of Abjuration while the orb is in flight may clear a path to the intended target. On defense, Recall may provide a meat shield to absorb an enemy's orb.
  • You can make an orb vs. orb situation work for you if you also have Controlled Blink or can retreat quickly: you can blink away safely while the enemy takes damage when the orbs collide.
  • The spell is not too loud, except for when two orbs collide. Be prepared for a swarm of curious enemies making a bee-line for you should this occur. This is an excellent technique for attracting half a dungeon level or dangerous uniques to one area of the dungeon, while you then start exploring from a different stairway.
  • Be very careful when using this spell against monsters wearing shields (eg, Mennas, Donald). They will fairly frequently block it, which can easily make the spell an expensive waste. Occasionally, monsters may even reflect the orb back at you!
  • If you need to blink after firing, best practice is to use a controlled blink. If you blink into the path of your own orb, you'll take the damage instead of your target.
  • If you are fearful of monsters lurking on the other side of a door or grate, open it from a safe distance with this spell; it will probably take a few tries to get a hit, however.
  • If you can see through a wall, the orb won't dissipate if you hide behind it. Ashenzari worshipers and characters with access to the Vitrification card can have transparent walls whenever they want.
  • Each casting of OoD creates a trail of short-lived purple clouds behind it. These are harmless, but can get in the way of any cloud spells you may wish to cast.

Defending Against IOODs

  • You can summon a Fulminant Prism right in front of an incoming orb. This will usually result in the orb and the prism destroying each other, making this an effective defense so long as you're not adjacent to the prism.
  • Summonings spells (especially Summon Butterflies) and undead slaves can take the hit for you. Switch positions with your minion before the orb hits.
  • Blinking at the last possible moment has a decent chance of putting you out of the orb's current trajectory, and if there's a wall behind you, the orb will be destroyed. Controlled blinking is significantly safer, while teleporting usually takes too long (unless it's via a teleport trap).
  • Firing your own orb at the caster will usually result in the orbs colliding and exploding violently. A bit expensive, and dangerous in close range, but effective.
  • Characters with high SH will occasionally block orbs, negating them entirely. This isn't something to rely upon, but it's nice when it happens.
  • Being adjacent to the caster reduces the orb's damage tremendously.
  • Note that you can not run faster than the OOD. It has move delay of 3.33; even a hasted spriggan has a move delay of 4.

History

Prior to 0.14, Orb of Destruction was available in the Book of Annihilations.