Lightning rod

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Version 0.30: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.
Type Miscellaneous item
Name lightning rod
Icon Lightning rod.png
A rod that allows its wielder to fire unavoidable blasts of lightning. Consecutive evocations cause the discharge to be sustained, which increases the power level up to four times and allows the blast to be redirected to affect an area.

The lightning rod is a powerful source of area-of-effect electricity damage, though it requires multiple turns to use properly.

Useful Info

When first used, the lightning rod fires a weak, range-5, unavoidable Thunderbolt. Unlike Lightning Bolt, this does not bounce off walls. If your next action is to evoke it again, the rod becomes stronger. Targeting the same tile will create a stronger bolt. Targeting a different tile will create a wide arc of electricity, covering the area between the 1st and 2nd bolts. The more tiles you cover, the weaker the bolt.

Each successive use makes the attack stronger. Doing anything except for evoking the rod again will reset the rod, causing the next bolt you fire to be another low-power bolt.

It comes with 4 charges, which, once used, will be replenished one-by-one as you gain experience while the rod is in your inventory.

Damage is dependent on Evocations skill, how many turns the rod was used consecutively, and the length of the current arc. It is calculated as follows:

  • Damage = Uses dice notation, NdM, with the following variables:
For arc = Aperture of the beam, in tiles, at the given radius. Its value is always at least 1. Note that arc length is measured for each individual tile. This means that, when spreading out the beam, enemies closer to you take more damage (as the arc is tighter).

Like with other miscellaneous evocables, only 1 lightning rod will spawn in a given game.


A lightning rod can deal heavy, unavoidable damage. This makes it a great item to finish off enemies, or deal with evasive enemies like Agnes. It is also great at wiping out large packs of enemies, such as ugly things and slime creatures.

To maximize the damage per target, you should minimize the area you affect. For example, you may want to ignore a monster that's several tiles away from the others. You'll leave that monster completely unharmed, but will deal much more damage to the rest of the pack.

Can pair well with a scroll of immolation. Immolation's Inner Flame creates a flame cloud no matter how much damage you deal, so even wide arcs of lightning can deal lots of damage. Plus, you'll get all explosions at the end.


  • Prior to 0.30, the lightning rod dealt x66% as much damage, Nd(0.5 * Evocations + 30.83).
  • Prior to 0.20, this item was a rod, cost the rod's MP to use, and had to be wielded prior to use. Damage was based on how much MP was used, rather than the number of consecutive uses.
  • Lightning rods were added in 0.11.


Miscellaneous Evocables
Figurine of a zigguratHorn of GeryonLightning rodPhantom mirrorPhial of floods
Condenser vane / Tin of tremorstonesBox of beasts / Sack of spiders