Wyrmbane

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Version 0.28: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.
An enchanted lance deadly to all dragonkind. It grows more powerful every time it inflicts a killing blow on a strong dragon. The more powerful it grows, the harder it will be to find a worthy opponent.

Wyrmbane.png the +8 lance "Wyrmbane"

+8 lance (modified spear: 8 base damage)

Dragon slaying brand
+3 AC
rF+
rC+
rPois
Enchantment increases when used to kill dragons

Enchantment Mechanics

If a dragon slaying-vulnerable target is killed by the base damage of Wyrmbane, it will gain +1 enchantment up to the HD of the dragon killed.

Examples:

  • If you kill a fire dragon (HD 12) with the basic +8 Wyrmbane, it will become +9
  • If you then use Wyrmbane to kill a swamp dragon (HD 9), Wyrmbane's enchantment will not change (the dragon was too weak to boost the enchantment).

The maximum enchantment Wyrmbane can gain this way is +18, even though there are draconic monsters with higher HD.

The following creatures can raise the enchantment of Wyrmbane when slain, assuming its enchantment is less than their HD. Any dragon slaying-vulnerable creature not listed here (steam dragon, rime drake, etc.) is too weak to affect even the base enchantment of Wyrmbane.

Glyph Tile Name HD
k Lindwurm.png Lindwurm 9
k Death drake.png Death drake 9
D Swamp dragon.png Swamp dragon 9
D Fire dragon.png Fire dragon 12
D Ice dragon.png Ice dragon 12
d Red draconian.png Any adult draconian 14
D Storm dragon.png Storm dragon 14
d Draconian knight.png Any professional draconian 16
D Quicksilver dragon.png Quicksilver dragon 16
D Shadow dragon.png Shadow dragon 17
D Iron dragon.png Iron dragon 18
D Pearl dragon.png Pearl dragon 18
D Golden dragon.png Golden dragon 18
D Xtahua.png Xtahua 19
D Bone dragon.png Bone dragon 20
D Serpent of Hell (Gehenna).png The Serpent of Hell 20
d Bai Suzhen.png Bai Suzhen 20
d Tiamat.png Tiamat 22

Desirability

Very high. In almost all cases, a fully empowered Wyrmbane[1] is the most powerful weapon in the game, given that it provides a high amount of irresistible damage coupled with excellent speed, the ability to wield a shield (for all species), and four useful intrinsics which help your survivability immensely.

Be aware that the dragon slaying brand has little to do with its excellent performance; Wyrmbane works just fine against any opponent you may encounter in Crawl, particularly with might, other slaying bonuses, or while berserk. Characters who are lucky enough to find this weapon should definitely consider switching to Polearms; for a weapon as good as Wyrmbane, 12 skill of Polearms (all that is required to reach minimum delay) is very reasonable, even for those with abysmal aptitude for it. Continued training will provide small but significant bonuses to accuracy and damage.

In order to make the best use of Wyrmbane, one must first kill many dragons with it. Fortunately, this is an easier task than it might seem. Getting Wyrmbane up to +12 can be accomplished by hunting fire and ice dragons, which can be found throughout the Depths easily enough. Storm dragons, shadow dragons, and quicksilver dragons are less common but will take you further -- you'll probably see at least a couple of them in the Vaults (especially in Vaults:5). Professional draconians also help and are quite abundant in The Realm of Zot.

Golden and bone dragons are probably the easiest dragons to find that will get you all the way up to +18. You can either dip into the Realm of Zot to hunt golden dragons, or into The Crypt, where bone dragons and skeletal or zombified dragons of very high HD tend to roam. The Abyss, Hells, and Pandemonium all contain even more dragons for the particularly daring explorer to slay.

The uniques Maggie and Margery both have a chance of spawning with a slightly pre-enchanted Wyrmbane; Maggie's version is +9 while Margery has raised it to +10.

History

  • Maggie and Margery were given the ability to appear wielding a pre-enchanted Wyrmbane in 0.25
  • Prior to 0.19, Wyrmbane provided +Rage instead of rC+ and had a +5 AC bonus.
  • Prior to 0.15, Wyrmbane had a +9,+6 enchantment bonus, either of which could increase when slaying dragons.

References