Speed (brand)

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Version 0.31: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.
Attacks with this weapon are significantly faster.

The speed brand does the following:

  • Reduces time to attack by -33.3% (for an extra +50% damage/turn).
    • The bonus to attack speed happens after skill, but before shield or armour encumbrance. Therefore, encumbrance has a somewhat greater impact on speed weapons: going from 0.5 -> 0.6 delay is a bigger difference than 0.75 -> 0.85 delay.
    • Non-integer aut delays are rounded in a weighted manner, after speed is accounted for. If you have a 0.7 decaAut delay before speed, you'd have an average of 0.467 delay. This equates to a 67% chance (per turn) to attack at 0.5 decaAut, and a 33% chance to attack at 0.4 decaAut.

Note that speed is not particularly worse against high AC enemies - speed increases your post-AC damage/turn by +50% against any enemy. Brands like flaming and freezing also increase post-AC damage. For example, if you dealt 10 damage, any enemy AC reduces it by 5:

  • Speed: (10 - 5) damage * 1 multiplier * 1.5 attacks = 7.5 damage/turn
  • Flaming: (10 - 5) damage * 1.25 multiplier * 1 attack = 6.25 damage per turn

Heavy is particularly good against AC, and 'flat damage' brands like electrocution ignore AC entirely. This is because these brands are good against AC; not that speed is bad against high AC enemies.


The speed brand cannot be obtained via a scroll of brand weapon. It can normally be found on Short Blades, quarterstaves, and lajatangs. However, quick blades cannot have the speed brand. Various artefact weapons may also come with this brand:


Speed is one of the best 'percentage' brands in the game - it's irresistible and provides a large, consistent increase to damage output independent of enemy AC. It's objectively better than flaming or freezing, which are already good enough for a 3-rune game. A hand axe of speed isn't an endgame weapon, but Arga is one of the strongest one-handed weapons almost purely because of this brand.

  • Holy wrath is usually better for extended, but does nothing if the target isn't undead/demonic.
  • Spectral offers a stronger (+70%) damage boost, but the spectral weapon needs an empty tile to spawn, and it can cause you to take extra damage from AOE attacks.

Also, since weak weapons like daggers and short swords have such low base damage, 'flat' brands (e.g. venom, electrocution) can end up being stronger in the early-game.

Unlike every other weapon brand in the game, speed improves auxiliary attacks, since aux attacks are performed faster.


  • Prior to 0.14, melee weapons with the speed brand dealt only 90% damage, but their attack speed was 50% of normal.
  • Prior to 0.9, melee weapons of speed dealt full damage. Also, ranged weapons attack speed was 50% of normal.
  • Prior to 0.8, all weapons of speed reduced attack speed to 50% of normal (though this calculation was then rounded up, leaving some weapons attacking slightly slower).
Melee weapons AntimagicChaosDistortionDrainingElectrocutionFlamingFreezingHeavyHoly wrathPainProtectionReachingSpectralSpeedVampiricVenom
DisruptionDragon slayingReapingSilver
Launchers AntimagicDrainingElectrocutionFlamingFreezingHeavyPenetrationSpeed
Throwing weapons AtropaCurareDaturaDispersalPoisonedSilver