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Version 0.24: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.
catoblepas YCatoblepas.png
HP 50-103
HD 14
XP 938
Speed 10
AC 10
EV 2
Will 100
Attack1 36 (gore: plain)

Resistances rPetrify
Vulnerabilities None
Habitat Land
Intelligence Animal
Uses Uses nothing
Holiness Natural
Size Large
Type yak, catoblepas
Flags Warm-blooded
A sluggish black buffalo, its hide encrusted with dull scales. It carries its hog-like head just above the ground, protected by a stiff mane of bristles, joined to its body by a neck as long and loose as an emptied intestine. Man and beast alike would be wise to steer clear of this creature, as its fearsome breath is known to turn flesh into stone.

“So passed he over into the island, taking with him the two brothers of Anaxius; where he found the forsaken knight attired in his own livery, as black as sorrow itself could see itself in the blackest glass: his ornaments of the same hue, but formd into the figures of ravens which seemed to gape for carrion: only his reins were snakes, which finely wrapping themselves one within the other, their heads came together to the cheeks and bosses of the bit, where they might seem to bite at the horse, and the horse, as he champed the bit, to bite at them, and that the white foam was engendered by the poisonous fury of the combat. His impresa was a Catoblepta, which so long lies dead as the moon (whereto it hath so natural a sympathy) wants her light. The word signified, that the moon wanted not the light, but the poor beast wanted the moon’s light.”
-Sir Philip Sidney

Useful Info

Catoblepae are enormous yak-genus monsters, bigger and bulkier than even death yaks. They hit very hard and can incapacitate characters at range with their petrifying breath attacks. These breath attacks create clouds of calcifying dust that may slow and eventually petrify you if you remain standing in them. At that point, the catoblepas will take advantage of your inability to move by dealing gruesome damage in melee. Catoblepae can be found alone in the deeper portions of the Lair and the Depths, and generate with yak and death yak allies when generated in Polyphemus' flock, as well as in one Lair:6 vault layout.


Spell set I
Slot1 Petrifying Cloud (2d6) Natural flag

Tips & Tricks

  • Although no equipment provides petrification resistance, characters with high experience levels have a better chance of resisting petrification, and the clouds will not affect you unless you end your turn standing in one (if you get hit, just step out of the clouds as quickly as possible; blink if you have to). It's fairly easy to avoid being turned to stone, but this makes kiting more difficult and tedious.
    • If you're already standing in a cloud, no other clouds can be placed on top of you. Reading a scroll of fog will keep you safe from petrifying clouds for a while.
    • Gargoyles, players in Statue, Shadow, or Wisp Form, and those under the effects of Zin's Vitalisation ability are immune to petrification, making catoblepae significantly easier to deal with.
    • If you can't avoid the petrification, drink a potion of cancellation to reverse the effects before it fully takes hold (preferably after moving out of the clouds). Barring that, reading a scroll of teleportation might relocate you to someplace safer where you can wait for the petrification to wear off.
    • Followers of Elyvilon and Ru can use invocable abilities (Purification and Draw Out Power, respectively) to cure petrification without resorting to a consumable.
  • Fighting catoblepae in open areas gives you more room to maneuver around their petrifying breath. If you encounter one in a tunnel, strongly consider luring it out into the open.
  • Their breath attacks can affect monsters, too. With careful footwork, you can turn the clouds of calcifying dust to your advantage. This is especially helpful when you encounter catoblepae with other dangerous monsters like death yaks or hydras.
  • Calcifying dust will block line of sight like a scroll of fog. If you encounter a catoblepas along with a dangerous ranged monster, you might be able to use this to your advantage.
  • Remember that their breath attack does small amounts of impact damage when it hits you. The damage is largely negligible in most situations, but if you're low on health, few deaths are as frustrating as being downed by catoblepas breath during a hasty retreat.
  • If you are climbing a stairway and hit by the calcifying dust, be aware there's a chance you will arrive on the next floor fully petrified.


Prior to 0.14, catoblepae would not generate in Labyrinths.