Spectral (brand)

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Version 0.31: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.
When its wielder attacks, the weapon's spirit leaps out and launches a second, slightly weaker strike. The spirit shares a part of any damage it takes with its wielder.

When striking an enemy, the spectral brand creates a spiritual copy of your weapon in a nearby tile, which attacks at 100% of your melee damage.

Useful Info

A spirit drawn from a weapon -- it never strikes on its own. Damage done to it will partially be mirrored onto the caster.

On an attack, even if it misses, you instantly create a spectral weapon. It will spawn in a random tile within weapon reach of both you and your target. If there is no valid tile, then no spectral weapon spawns.

The spectral weapon attacks whenever you attack, including on the turn it was created. Its damage is calculated as if you had swung again. To-hit is the same as your to-hit.

The spectral weapon is a physical entity. It has the traits of the weapon class (cleaving of Axes, reaching of Polearms...), but doesn't benefit from artefact properties. Whenever it is damaged, 70% of damage is additionally dealt to you, ignoring any of your defenses or resistances.

The spectral weapon will vanish if you take an action besides making a melee attack.



One of the strongest brands on paper. Spectral offers an irresistible, AC-independent, +100% damage. In a perfect scenario, it completely outdamages the speed, flaming, and freezing brands. It is limited by the mechanics of the spectral weapons.

  • The spectral brand can cause you to take extra damage, which is always risky. Area-of-effect attacks, like axes or Fireballs, are able to hit both you and the spectral weapon, causing you to take up to x1.7 damage.
  • Spectral weapons need a place to spawn. In a hallway or when surrounded, there can be no space for a spectral weapon, meaning this brand isn't providing any benefit.

Tips & Tricks

  • Works well with Polearms. The extra tile of reach gives more flexibility, making it easier to position. You can attack behind the spectral polearm, and vice versa.
  • Spectral weapons are formed instantly. If you attack, the spectral weapon is formed, then it attacks before monsters get a chance to move.


  • In 0.32, spectral weapons will deal 70% attack damage. They were supposed to do this when the brand was reworked in 0.30, but they're bugged to deal 100% damage instead.
  • Prior to 0.31, spectral weapons only shared 50% of their damage to their user.
  • Prior to 0.30, spectral weapons' damage and to-hit were based off the "spectral weapon" monster, rather than scaling off the wielder's attack power. Also, monsters couldn't use this brand.
  • Prior to 0.27, this brand was boosted by Evocations. It was native to clubs, staves, and two-handed artefacts, though it could still be applied to any melee weapon with a scroll of brand weapon. Also, monsters could create a copy of their weapon when using this brand.
  • This brand was introduced in 0.26, replacing the spell Spectral Weapon.
Axe Long Blade Mace Polearm Short Blade Staff Whip
Spectral Axe.png Spectral Long Blade.png Spectral Mace.png Spectral Spear.png Spectral Short Blade.png Spectral Staff.png Spectral Whip.png
Melee weapons AntimagicChaosDistortionDrainingElectrocutionFlamingFreezingHeavyHoly wrathPainProtectionReachingSpectralSpeedVampiricVenom
DisruptionDragon slayingReapingSilver
Launchers AntimagicDrainingElectrocutionFlamingFreezingHeavyPenetrationSpeed
Throwing weapons AtropaCurareDaturaDispersalPoisonedSilver