Wand of polymorph

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Version 0.19: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.
Type Wand
Name Wand of polymorph
Icon Wand of polymorph.png
A magical device which causes a creature to be transmogrified into another form. It is especially effective against shape-changing creatures.

A wand of polymorph will attempt to permanently transform one monster into another. Unless resisted, the creature will evaporate and instantly reform as another random creature. The new form will be of similar (but on average slightly higher) HD to the old one, and be of the same holiness. Polymorph has no effect on the undead, but demons can be affected (turning into other demons).

Normal casters lose their spells when polymorphed, and polymorph will never turn a monster into an "actual" spellcaster: you can get monsters with innate magical abilities such as dragons, but not casters such as orc wizards. Note that most demons' spells are considered innate abilities, and will always be maintained. Uniques retain their name, and they also retain their spells as long as they are polymorphed into a form that can speak.

When used by monsters against the player, it temporarily transforms you into a bad form. While some of these have useful traits, this is usually a bad thing.

Followers of Zin incur piety loss and a penance if they zap this wand.

It can have at most 24 charges.


Use with caution. While this wand can turn dangerous monsters into creatures that are easier to deal with, it will backfire with some by turning them into even worse monsters. Some examples of good and bad targets are:

Good targets

  • Electric eels: They'll turn into a less dangerous flying or water-capable creature.
  • Oklob plants: You're likely to get a wandering mushroom, which is generally much easier to deal with.
  • Hornets: For how dangerous they are, both of these monsters have fairly low HD and MR.
  • Harpies: Same as above, though they always come in bands and thus require multiple shots.
  • Boggarts (and other low-HD summoners): Although fragile, summoners can bring lethal reinforcements into play. Fortunately they have low enough HD that the polymorph results are usually pretty pathetic.
  • Orc wizards and orc priests: Usually you'll have better ways to deal with these guys, but polymorph tends to make them into something less dangerous.
  • Anacondas: They have moderately high HD, but low MR, and whatever they polymorph into is at least likely to be something you can more easily escape from.
  • Unseen horrors: If you can get them in a corridor to line up the shot, this is a good way to make them visible. Despite their name and glyph, they are natural monsters, and have only modest HD, making polymorph pretty safe.
  • Moths of wrath: They have very low MR for a Zot monster, and can be quite dangerous when they start berserking Orb Guardians right next to you. Polymorph is a good option for characters needing an instant way to take one out at range.
  • Sigmund (and other well-armed uniques): If he turns into anything but a humanoid, his branded scythe, spells, and wands will be useless.

Bad targets

  • Hydras: High HD, meaning that it's not at all unlikely you could get a dragon. Most characters can run away from hydras, and should if they lack a means to kill them.
  • Death yaks: Also high HD, and have high magic resistance as well.
  • Ghost moths: High enough MR that it's better to just kill them.
  • Grinder: You're fairly unlikely to make him lose his spells, and tormentors and hellions are probable results of polymorphing him. Even hellephants are possible.
  • Gastronok: He has HD 20. This means he can become a titan. You don't want to fight Gastronok the Titan.
  • Mennas - High HD and being holy give him a near guaranteed chance of turning into an extremely dangerous pearl dragon. Worshipers of good gods may want this, as the dragon's holy breath will deal significantly less damage to them.


The wand of polymorph was added in 0.12, replacing the very similar wand of polymorph other. That wand would inflict permanent bad mutations on you instead of temporary bad forms.

See Also

AcidCloudsDiggingDisintegrationEnslavementFlameIceblastParalysisPolymorphRandom effectsScattershot