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Version 0.31: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.
Shatter.png Shatter
Level 9
School1 Earth
Source(s) Book of Annihilations
Casting noise 7
Spell noise 30
Power Cap 200
Flags Area
Causes an enormous burst of concussive force around the caster, dealing severe damage to all nearby creatures. It is especially effective against those made from ice, bone, or any wall-like substance (such as rock, metal or crystal), as well as those turned to stone by petrification. It is less effective against flying, gelatinous and insubstantial creatures. It may also destroy nearby walls.

“So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to
pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted
with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up
into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.

And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young
and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.”
-KJV Bible, Joshua 6:20-21.

Spell Details
Damage Formula Nd(5+Power/3)
Max Damage Nd72
Max Power 200
Range 7
Targeting LOS
Special Destroys walls

Shatter is a level 9 Earth Magic spell which destroys walls and attacks all monsters in line of sight, dealing unavoidable physical damage.

Useful Info

Shatter deals damage and has a chance to destroy walls, where the closest targets are affected first. It is possible to damage monsters you didn't know about: if you break a wall, and this puts a monster in LOS, you'll damage that monster as well.

Like almost all effects in Crawl, it won't damage targets/things behind transparent walls (unless you break the walls, as mentioned above).


Shatter deals Nd(5+power/3) damage. The number of dice (N) is determined by the target. When Shatter hits a monster, the number of dice is as follows, where the first applicable condition on this list applies; no other conditions further down the list can then apply.

Target N
Monsters made from metal, stone or crystal 6
Insubstantial monsters 1
Petrifying/Petrified (reduced later by petrification reduction) 6
Monsters made from ice or bone 6
Slimy monsters 1
Flying monsters 1
All other monsters 3

Players have a different, but similar list of conditions (See below for details).

Wall destruction

The following dungeon features may be destroyed, but only if the caster has line of sight:

  • Door: 100%, whether they are open or closed
  • Iron grate: 100%
  • Statue or orcish idol: 50%
  • Rock, slimy, or crystal wall: 33%
  • Tree: 33%
  • Stone wall: 25%
  • Metal wall: 15%


Much like Fire Storm and Chain Lightning, Shatter lives up to its level 9 spell status: it deals high damage, to everything on screen, in a short amount of time. Unlike the former spells, Shatter is a single school spell, so it's easier to train.

There's one problem with Shatter as an attack spell - it doesn't do much against flying and insubstantial foes. In a 3-rune game, Shatter can be a questionable XP investment. A level 9 spell is a lot of XP, and it doesn't hit many of the big threats in Zot (orbs of fire, electric golems, dragons). Plus, crystal spear is likely to be more efficient against single targets.

Still, if the XP cost isn't an issue (e.g. worshippers of Ashenzari or Vehumet; casters in extended), then Shatter can be a useful spell. It is a strong AOE that hits many targets for full damage. In Zot, Killer Klowns, Orb Guardians, most draconians are hit normally; liches are especially vulnerable. In extended, good targets are certain Pan/Hell lords (Cerebov, Ereshkigal, Antaeus) and most inhabitants of Dis.

Perhaps more importantly, Shatter is a great utility spell, since it can break walls. See below for details.

Breaking Walls

Shatter is one of the few ways to destroy stone and metal walls. Therefore, you can Shatter your way through many vaults, including: Slime:5's loot chambers, Zot:5's Orb chamber, the entrance of Tomb, and rune vaults in extended. Sif Muna worshippers can use Divine Exegesis to break the arenas of a Gauntlet.

  • You don't need an amazing success rate. Even when you have a >50% failure rate with 2 rings of wizardry, it's reasonable to use Shatter to break walls. If you've trained Earth Magic for spells like Iron Shot, Statue Form, or LCS, it's likely that Shatter is below 100% failure (at least with wizardry boosts). Just wait out the magical contamination each time you miscast.
  • It makes stealing runes in Pan/Hell fairly easy. Go to the edge of the rune's room, use Shatter, then use Apportation to grab the rune. If that isn't enough, have haste and/or Swiftness. You can then teleport out to escape from the rune's (likely very angry) guardian.
  • Shatter is extremely loud (noise 40, same as an alarm trap without mark). Using it in, say, Zot:5, will attract a huge group of monsters.

Monster version

Player ghosts that knew Shatter in life might be able to cast it in death.

Power: 5 + 4.5×HD
Damage: Xd(5+Power/3)

Player Dice

When Shatter hits a player, the number of dice is as follows, where the first applicable condition on this list applies, and no other conditions further down the list can then apply.

Target N
Insubstantial (Storm Form, Wisp Form) 1
Petrifying/Petrified (reduced later by petrification reduction) 6
Gargoyles 6
Statue Form or Ice Form 6
Flying 1
All other players 3

Gargoyles in particular should avoid opening ghost vaults that have a ghost with Shatter, and other species should stay out of Statue Form. Be especially weary of Petrify - if you don't have the willpower to resist it, avoid the ghost entirely.


  • Prior to 0.22, Jorgrun could cast Shatter.
  • Prior to 0.21, icy monsters took 4 or 5 dice of damage, water elementals took 1 dice, insubstantial creatures took 0, and the order that dice were applied was different. Pandemonium lords could cast this spell, and flight reduced the damage taken by player gargoyles and statues from 6 dice to 1.
  • Prior to 0.15, the range of Shatter was dependent on your Earth Magic skill.
  • Prior to 0.14, Shatter had a high chance of destroying potions not being carried.
  • Prior to 0.10, casting Shatter near permarock walls would damage monsters on the other side. After 0.10, monsters are only damaged if the wall is shattered in the process.