For a list of all dragons, see list of dragons.
|A dark and baleful minor dragon, the death drake breathes a lethally potent miasma from its pestilential maw.|
Death drakes are small, extremely unpleasant members of dragonkind. Although not very threatening physically, their miasma breath attack creates clouds of poisonous rot- and slow-inducing corruption that can semi-permanently weaken your character, if not kill them outright. They can be found naturally in Tartarus and the the Abyss as well as in some vaults, most notably the 'undead' Swamp:4 ending. However, by far the most common place to see death drakes is in the Realm of Zot, where draconian stormcallers will summon hordes of them.
Tips & Tricks
- Read the article on miasma.
- If you have rot resistance (undead or Necromutation, Gargoyle, Vine Stalker, Demonspawn with Foul Stench, Statue Form, or Zin's Vitalisation; Dithmenos's Shadow Form also works, but is more suitable for escape than combat), then death drakes are nothing more than a smelly and unusually durable wyvern. If you don't have rot resistance, then make killing or avoiding death drakes a priority.
- In their "real" form, these monsters are quite rare, only appearing naturally in Tartarus and the Abyss. If you see one outside these areas, it is either a vault monster, a shapeshifter, or summoned. In the latter two cases, the best option is often to simply escape the area and wait for the drake to unsummon/shift, since it is not worth acquiring rotted HP for a threat that simply could have been avoided. Even "real" death drakes are often best avoided unless they are blocking an area you need to get to. However, since drakes are fast, avoiding them is not always trivial.
- Despite their name and breath weapon, they are not undead or even considered unholy or evil. This means holy wrath weapons are not especially effective against them, but it also means they have no resistances other than poison and rotting.
- Unfortunately, killing them quickly may be easier said than done: they have good EV, non-trivial AC, and almost twice as much HP as most HD 9 monsters. If the drake came from a draconian stormcaller, it is usually better to run away, wait for the drakes to unsummon, and try to catch the caller in melee before he fills the area with allies. If it is a real death drake, use your best weapons and/or spells to dispatch them quickly.
- Airstrike is as effective against death drakes as any other flying monster, with the added advantage of being able to hit them at any time, though they have enough HP to take a couple hits before succumbing.
- Note that their low MR means Hexes can often disable them if you have them at a decent power. Be aware that a confused death drake may still breathe clouds of miasma everywhere.
- Their low MR and HD also make them a good candidate for a wand of polymorph.
- In an emergency, you can partially protect yourself from the miasma by reading a scroll of fog. You'll still take impact miasma damage and may be slowed and poisoned, but at least the fog will prevent any miasma clouds from forming for as long as it lasts.