Water elemental

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Version 0.22: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.
water elemental EWater elemental.png
HP 27-56
HD 6
XP 212
Speed 10 (swim: 60%)
AC 4
EV 7
Will Immune
Attack1 22 (hit: engulf)

Resistances rElec
Vulnerabilities Fire
Habitat Amphibious
Intelligence Brainless
Uses Uses nothing
Holiness Non-living
Size Large
Type elemental, water elemental
Flags Unbreathing
A spirit drawn from the elemental plane of water. It exists on this world as part of a body of water and can engulf other beings in its form, depriving them of breath and voice.

Useful Info

Water elementals are animate blobs of water, surging toward their foes and drowning the unwary. They are immune to electricity and poison, and their melee attacks occasionally engulf their victims.

Being engulfed is similar to being under the effects of silence: it prevents creatures from casting spells, reading scrolls, and using god-given abilities. In addition, it deals moderate asphyxiation damage each turn. Moving away from the engulfer is enough to break free. Unbreathing creatures (including player species such as the undead, gargoyles, or grey draconians), and creatures that are naturally aquatic (including player merfolk, octopodes, and barachim) are immune to all effects.

Water elementals can be found throughout the Shoals and Cocytus and in some water-based vaults in the Dungeon and the Depths. They can also be summoned by monsters through the Summon Water Elementals spell. Players may summon them yourself by evoking a phial of floods or invoking Qazlal's Elemental Force when clouds of cold or rain are visible.

Tips & Tricks

  • Avoid simply tabbing your way through combat with water elementals. Once they've engulfed you, you'll start taking irresistible damage each turn, but moving away from them breaks this effect. If possible, retreat each time they start the process.
    • Players of unbreathing or aquatic races are immune to the engulf damage and can still cast spells normally, making water elementals much less dangerous.
  • Their electricity resistance makes it difficult for Air Magic-users to take them out, though Airstrike is a perfectly acceptable method for defeating them.
  • Keep in mind that they move much faster when in water.
  • Water elementals are weak to Fire Magic or other sources of fire damage. Casting fire spells at a water elemental that is currently standing in water is particularly effective, as the steam this generates will do even more damage.
  • If using Qazlal's Elemental Force, the friendliness of the elemental will depend on the source of the cloud: Your clouds are friendly, ambient clouds are neutral, enemy clouds are hostile.


  • Prior 0.22, the Engulf status slowed movement but did not block god abilities.
  • Prior to 0.13, water elementals had normal melee attacks.