Shadow Form

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Version 0.23: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.
Transforms you into a swirling mass of dark shadows. While in this form, you are permanently invisible and are immune to poison, draining, torment, and hostile enchantments. All incoming damage will be halved, and you will bleed smoke on any incoming attack. However, your ability to deal damage in melee and with ranged attacks will be halved, your spellcasting power will be greatly hampered, and your skills will be further drained when taking damage.

Invocations skill increases the duration of the transformation.

Shadow Form is a transformation which turns you into an immaterial shadow being. This is an entirely defensive form, greatly increasing your ability to survive dangerous situations, though at significant cost to your offensive capabilities. Shadow Form is only available through worshiping Dithmenos, and costs 9 MP, 10-15 piety, and lightly drains you when activated (about 0.3 skill levels).

Pros

Cons

  • Your attacks do 50% less damage
  • Two negative spell power enhancements
  • Taking damage also inflicts further unavoidable drain

NOTE

Shadow Form does not make you undead or evil for its duration.

Strategy

Shadow Form is very costly and counterproductive for use as a general combat buff. First and foremost, it cripples your physical and magical offensive capabilities; unless you're playing a stabber capable of inflicting massive damage through invisi-stabs, you'll be wasting a lot of time in long, drawn-out battles. On top of that, even the minimized damage you'll take will be aggravating as your drain levels pile higher and higher. Use Shadow Form in the specific situations it excels at.

The combination of invisibility and bleeding smoke clouds allows you to shake off many ranged attackers or unintelligent melee enemies, especially if you have better than average movement speed. Should you be chased by something that can see invisible and keep up with you, increasing your speed with Swiftness or a potion of haste, or simply teleporting away, is recommended instead.

Shadow Form is excellent for surviving several turns of high damage output, making it perfect for breaking into a rune vault, grabbing the rune with Apportation, and teleporting away without dealing with any of the actual guardians. The 50% damage reduction effectively doubles your durability and healing effects even before you consider the various immunities you gain, though you'll almost certainly wind up with heavy draining once you're in the clear, and if you haven't cleared the rest of the floor, your getaway might not be as safe as you'd hoped.

Finally, Shadow Form's immunities to certain threats makes it an excellent buff when faced with particular battles, in spite of the combat penalties. Many dangerous uniques have devastating attacks that must overcome your magic resistance, and many end-game opponents are capable of rapidly weakening you with torment; these threats are entirely disabled while in Shadow Form. Poison is rarely so threatening as to merit use of Shadow Form, but if you lack rPois and find yourself face to face with an enemy capable of casting Poison Arrow, or think you're about to spend many turns stuck in a poison cloud, it will reduce the damage you take drastically. When forced to deal with sources of miasma, Shadow Form can be very helpful, as it's much less costly to cure some light draining than to repair significant amounts of rot.

While Shadow Form's benefits are very similar to those of being undead, Shadow Form does not actually make you undead. As such, it does not make you vulnerable to holy wrath weapons or Dispel Undead.

Shadow Form
Shadow form.png