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Revision as of 07:46, 7 June 2023 by Hordes (talk | contribs) (Strategy)
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Version 0.30: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.
It deals dramatically more damage, but attacks with it are much slower.

Heavy weapons have +80% base damage, but take 50% longer to swing (+50% to final attack delay). This results in an average of +20% physical damage. Compared to brands like flaming and freezing, heavy weapons are reduced less by AC, but receive less benefit from slaying and will activate less auxiliary attacks.

Both melee and ranged weapons can be heavy.


Heavy offers a slightly weaker damage boost than flaming or freezing, but has the benefit of being irresistible. In addition, heavy is less impacted by AC, slaying, and enchantment.

In an average situation, heavy is a competitive brand with flaming or freezing. It has a clear superiority when fighting against high AC enemies. It is worse with species with strong auxiliary attacks, like Tengu or Vine Stalker. It is also poor for slaying-reliant weapons, such as quick blades.

Risks of >1.0 attack delay

Heavy can seem like a good brand on the surface, but it can be very risky, as it can prevent you from reaching ≤ 1.0 attack delay. Most weapons have a minimum delay of 0.7. A weapon with delay of 0.7 would now have a delay of 1.05 decaAut. This represents a 5% chance of a regular speed enemy getting a double-turn of attacks.

With 2 turns, a deep elf annihilator can hit you with 2 crystal spears for a maximum of 204 damage, enough to instantly kill most characters for most parts of the game. While chance to maxroll an attack is minuscule (0.002% to maxroll 1 crystal spear, before AC / EV / SH), enemies do not need to do maximum damage to be scary. And it's important to remember that most dangerous situations in Crawl involve more than 1 monster. When multiple monsters get a double-turn on you, things can go sour very quickly. So even if they don't do max damage, a few high damage attacks can end your run, or at least force you to use scrolls or potions.

Weapons that have a minimum delay below 0.7, like demon blades, demon tridents, and all Short Blades, can reach a post-heavy mindelay below 1.0. Therefore, the dangers of heavy are mostly negated. Watch out for shields, which can bring delay back up beyond 1.0. You will also need to train skill until you get below the 1.0 delay threshold.

Tips & Tricks

  • Slow actions can be useful in a turn count speedrun. Each attack takes 1 turn, regardless of how long the swing was. If a regular weapon would take 3 turns to kill an enemy, a heavy weapon would take 2.
In addition, swinging an untrained heavy weapon is a better way to skip time than bread swinging. For example, swinging a scroll takes 1.5 decaauts, but it takes 2.1 decaauts to swing a heavy flail when you have 0 Maces & Flails skill.


  • In 0.30, this weapon brand was introduced. It replaced the vorpal brand.
Melee weapons AntimagicChaosDistortionDrainingElectrocutionFlamingFreezingHeavyHoly wrathPainProtectionReachingSpectralSpeedVampiricVenom
DisruptionDragon slayingReapingSilver
Launchers AntimagicDrainingElectrocutionFlamingFreezingHeavyPenetrationSpeed
Throwing weapons AtropaCurareDaturaDispersalPoisonedSilver