|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.|
+8 lance (8 damage, +4 accuracy, 110% speed)
Dragon slaying brand
Enchantment level rises when you kill dragons
If a dragon slaying-vulnerable target is killed by the base damage of this weapon, it will gain +1 enchantment up to the HD of the dragon killed.
- 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, though there are draconic monsters with higher HD. Even if you manage to kill something like the Serpent of Hell (HD 20) or Tiamat (HD 22) with Wyrmbane, its enchantment won't increase past +18.
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.
|d||Any adult draconian||14|
|d||Any professional draconian||16|
|D||The Serpent of Hell||20|
Extremely high. In almost all cases, a fully empowered "Wyrmbane" is the most powerful weapon in the game, given that it provides a high amount of irresistible damage coupled with excellent speed (5 min delay), the ability to wield a shield (even spriggans can use it with a buckler), 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 haste, 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 ranks of Polearms (all that is required to reach minimum delay) is very reasonable, even for those with abysmal aptitude for it.
Its base enchantment level of +8 does not keep it from being an extremely effective weapon, but 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 will take you further but are less commonly encountered, though you'll probably see at least a couple of them in the Vaults (they're especially likely to appear on Vaults:5).
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 (the draconians can also help you get a bit closer to maxed out), or into The Crypt, where bone dragons and skeletal or zombified dragons of very high HD tend to roam. You can also find high-HD undead dragons in the Abyss, if you can handle a trip through it (and you may as well look for the Abyssal Rune while you're there). The iron dragons of Dis and Serpent of Hell are also viable targets, and you'll find more undead dragons in the various Hell branches, but exploring there is significantly more dangerous than the other options. The same applies to Pandemonium, which is generally the only place you'll ever see pearl dragons outside of rare vaults.