Orb of fire

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Version 0.31: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.
orb of fire *Orb of fire.png
HP 99-200
HD 30
XP 8528
Speed 15
AC 20
EV 20
Will Immune

Resistances rF+++
Vulnerabilities Silver
Habitat Land
Intelligence Human
Uses Uses nothing
Holiness Non-living
Size Little
Type orb of fire, orb of fire
Flags See invisible
A globe of raw primordial fire, capable of impressive pyrotechnics, and of twisting the very flesh of creatures who come into its ken.

“There ’s not the smallest orb which thou behold’st
But in his motion like an angel sings,
Still quiring to the young-eyed cherubins.”
-William Shakespeare, _The Merchant of Venice_, V, i. 1597.

Useful Info

Orbs of fire (or OOFs) are fast, powerful, extremely durable horrors with access to brutal Fire Magic and the ability to inflict bad mutations. These end-game monsters have traumatized many adventurers who died just before reaching the Orb of Zot. They can occasionally be found throughout the Realm of Zot or in certain Ziggurat floors, and are always found in the Orb chamber of Zot:5.


Spell set I
Slot1 Bolt of Fire (3d40) Magical flag
Slot2 Fireball (3d43) Magical flag
Slot3 Malmutate Magical flag


Orbs of fire are one of the toughest enemies you'll encounter in a 3-rune game. The usual maxims of Crawl apply even more than usual:

  • Buff up! Battling one with haste, might, and/or brilliance will significantly reduce the amount of time it has to roast and mutate you. A potion of resistance directly reduces the damage you'll take.
  • Have some level of fire resistance. Having rF+++ reduces fire damage by 80%, making it much easier to survive their onslaught. Characters with sufficiently strong offensive abilities can get away with rF+, but be prepared to face their incredibly high damage output.
  • Avoid fighting more than one at a time. One orb is dangerous on its own; two orbs are (for most characters) a serious cause for concern. Since OOFs are so durable, you're unlikely to kill even one before taking serious damage. Try not to stay in open areas for too long.
    • Being near an OOF and Killer Klown at the same time is even worse; the latter can silence you, making it very difficult to escape from the orb. Moreover, it can turn you into a bad form, making the orb nearly impossible to fight.
  • Orbs of fire are fast, so it's difficult to escape from one. If an orb is at the edge of LOS, you can haste up and run away. Scrolls of blinking (when combined with haste) are as useful as ever.

Killing Methods

Orbs of fire are very durable enemies that are immune to fire, electricity, poison, and negative energy, and partially resistant to cold. The following can work well against orbs of fire (but aren't the only ways to deal with them):

  • Weapons: By the time you reach Zot:5, characters dedicated to melee combat or Ranged Weapons will often have the stats to win the fight, at least with buffs and multiple sources of rF+. You don't need a perfect brand - a +9 weapon of flaming is perfectly fine to use.
  • Throwing: They are weak to silver, so a skilled thrower will find silver javelins brutally effective. Killing them with 2 or 3 shots isn't uncommon.
  • Irresistible Attack Spells: Spells like Lehudib's Crystal Spear, Bombard, Orb of Destruction, and Maxwell's Capacitive Coupling ignore all resistances, making them effective magical options. A spellforged servitor can fire the former two (while blocking malmutate attempts in the process).
  • Summoning: Malign Gateway's tentacles are immune to fire, so they'll have no trouble in a 1v1 fight. Spellforged Servitor, as mentioned above, can also function well.
  • Level 9 Spells: Fire Storm is a perfectly valid option. While orbs are immune to fire, Fire Storm deals 50% physical damage. The same applies to the likes of Chain Lightning, Polar Vortex, and Dragon's Call. However, Shatter performs quite poorly against flying creatures.
  • Antimagic: While antimagic won't kill directly, it greatly reduces the amount of spells an orb of fire will cast. Good weapons of antimagic (a short sword is not a good weapon), a Vine Stalker's bite, and Enfeeble are effective at disabling an OOF. Even Summon Mana Viper can work, if the viper doesn't die trying to approach.

Reminder: these are not the only ways to kill orbs of fire! This is just a list of common archetypes that work; you may find other things useful. Also, you don't have to kill everything in Crawl. Sneaking up and stealing the Orb can be a valid option, depending on the character.

Tips & Tricks

  • Silence is worthless against orbs of fire.
  • Orbs of fire can fire bolts through other orbs of fire. However, orbs will generally avoid harming their (non-fire-immune) allies. E.g. standing next to an orb guardian will usually prevent you from being hit from Fireball.
  • Freezing Cloud can be used to block bolts of fire (but not Fireball), reducing the orb's ability to injure you.
  • The glowing colors the orb cycles through in console mode indicate merely that it has cast a spell; it bears no relation to the type of spell cast or about to be cast.