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Revision as of 03:10, 21 June 2018 by Cacophonie (talk | contribs) (Distortion no longer heals blink frogs, up version to 0.20)
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Version 0.20: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.
It warps and distorts space around it. Unwielding it can cause banishment or high damage.

Distortion is a brand that any melee weapon may have. Distortion weapons bend and tear the fabric of space-time, and generate a variety of effects when they hit:

Chance Effect
33% The target takes an additional 1-7 damage
22% The target takes an additional 3-26 damage (14.5 on average, low variation)
15% The target blinks
10% The target teleports instantly
10% The target teleports (effective 2-3 turns after being hit)
5% The target is banished to the Abyss
5% Nothing happens

Unwielding a weapon branded with distortion or casting Excruciating Wounds or Warp Weapon on it causes severe translocation miscast effects, including up to 43 damage or even banishment to the Abyss (25% chance). This is a very good reason to avoid wield-IDing random magic and artifact weapons. Note that followers of Lugonu are protected from this effect.

A weapon given the temporary distortion brand by the Warp Weapon spell does not suffer this limitation.


  • Since the brand's effect is not dependent on the damage your weapon does, it works best on a fast weapon with low base delay. But remember that the nature of the brand prolongs fights by blinking enemies away from you, disperses enemies over the whole floor, and ultimately banishes many stronger foes for decreased experience gains. That being said, if you intend to switch weapons occasionally as a non Lugonu worshipper, you almost certainly don't want to deal with a distortion weapon's guaranteed miscast effects.
  • Be careful about the blinking effect. It gives you no message when it occurs, suddenly leaving you with empty space where that monster used to be. If you're attacking by attempting to move into the monster, your next swing will move you instead, and that can be bad when you move out of a choke-point or into unfavorable terrain. Attacking using Tab lets you avoid this, but you may still move unintentionally if other monsters are within your line of sight.
  • Pious followers of Lugonu can have a weapon branded with distortion once per game, while the Warp Weapon spell can apply a temporary distortion brand.
  • Unwielding a distortion weapon can serve as a last resort to teleport you while confused, but be aware that the consequences of this can be lethal.


Prior to 0.20, distortion weapons could sometimes heal blink frogs (including the unique blink frog Prince Ribbit), who were immune to all of the effects of the distortion brand.

Prior to 0.15, rebranding a distortion weapon (e.g. by a Scroll of brand weapon) caused a distortion effect.

Prior to 0.14, followers of Lugonu were not protected from the effects of unwielding a distortion weapon.

Prior to 0.12, this brand was safer when found on sharp weapons, since blunt weapons didn't allow butchering corpses.

Melee weapons AntimagicChaosDistortionDragon slayingDrainingElectrocutionFlamingFreezingHoly wrathPainProtectionReachingReapingSpeedVampiricVenomVorpal
Launchers ElectrocutionEvasionFlameFrostPenetrationSpeedVenomVorpal
Throwing weapons AtropaCurareDaturaDispersalPenetrationPoisonedReturningSilver