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Version 0.28: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.

This page is about the weapon brand. For the removed card, see Venom card.

It poisons the flesh of those it strikes.

The venom brand allows your weapon to poison your target, causing it to take further damage over time. All strikes have a flat 75% chance of poisoning monsters without poison resistance, and a 25% chance of poisoning resistant monsters, regardless of damage done. If the enemy would be poisoned, Venom will add poison damage equal to 6-13 plus a random amount from 0 to 1.5x the damage done (before being reduced by poison resistance). Poison immune creatures, like the undead and the nonliving, are completely unaffected by this brand.

Venom does not appear on ranged weapons except for the occasional randart.

Tips & Tricks

  • Venom's ability to poison an enemy is largely independent of the amount of damage dealt, so it is best used on a fast weapon. Poisoning a target multiple times will strengthen the poison, causing it to deal more damage and take longer to run its course.
  • This brand allows you to disengage early from fights, giving the foe fewer chances to hit you. Once you've softened a dangerous foe up with a few stabs and given them several shots of poison, you can then retreat, letting the poison finish them off. This works best when dealing with melee threats that aren't faster than you, of course; ranged units will likely shoot you a few times before dying.


Prior to 0.18, poison resistant monsters were completely immune to the venom brand.

Melee weapons AntimagicChaosDistortionDrainingElectrocutionFlamingFreezingHoly wrathPainProtectionReachingSpectralSpeedVampiricVenomVorpal
DisruptionDragon slayingReapingSilver
Launchers ElectrocutionFlamingFreezingPenetrationSpeedVenomVorpal
Throwing weapons AtropaCurareDaturaDispersalPoisonedSilver