Wand of polymorph

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Version 0.24: 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; this will drop all of their equipment (though their new form may be capable of picking it back up) and will also heal them significantly and clear any ongoing status effects. Their 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 (though they will only turn 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, you'll most likely become something more or less helpless in combat.

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


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 eel.png Electric eel: They'll turn into a less dangerous flying or water-capable creature.
  • P Oklob plant.png Oklob plant: You're likely to get a wandering mushroom, which is generally much easier to deal with. Be advised that you can sometimes get a thorn hunter or shambling mangrove, which are worse.
  • y Hornet.png Hornet: For how dangerous they are, both of these monsters have fairly low HD and MR.
  • H Harpy.png Harpy: Same as above, though they always come in flocks and thus require multiple shots to take care of all of them.
  • g Boggart.png Boggart (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.
  • o Orc wizard.png Orc wizard and o Orc priest.png Orc priest: Usually you'll have better ways to deal with these guys, but polymorph tends to make them into something less dangerous.
  • S Anaconda.png Anaconda: 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.
  • x Unseen horror.png Unseen horror: 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.
  • k Death drake.png Death drake: They have low HD and MR; whatever they turn into is almost certainly going to be less dangerous than something that constantly spews miasma.
  • y Moth of wrath.png Moth 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.
  • Y Ice beast.png Ice beast (or other elementally-attuned monsters): If you're fighting something that resists all of your spells, turn it into something you can actually fight.
  • @ Sigmund.png 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

  • D Hydra.png Hydra: 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.
  • Y Death yak.png Death yak: Also high HD, and have high magic resistance as well.
  • y Ghost moth.png Ghost moth: High enough MR that it's better to just kill them.
  • 5 Grinder.png Grinder: You're fairly unlikely to make her lose her spells, and tormentors and hellions are probable results of polymorphing her. Even hellephants are a possibility.
  • w Gastronok.png Gastronok: He has HD 20. This means he can become a titan. You don't want to fight Gastronok the Titan.
  • A Mennas.png 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 anyway, as the dragon's holy breath will deal significantly less damage to them.


  • Prior to 0.21, it could have at most 24 charges.
  • 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