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Version 0.30: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.
Bestows a mutation on a target. The mutation is almost always harmful. It cannot affect artificial beings, and the undead will decompose if affected.

Malmutate is a monster-only spell which attempts to mutate its target.


Against players

If Malmutate is used on a player, there is an 80% chance that it will cause a bad mutation, and a 20% chance it will cause a random mutation. Willpower is useless against this, but mutation resistance functions normally. These mutations are permanent until removed.

Undead players cannot mutate, but will decompose and take stat drain, which can be cured by gaining XP.

Against Monsters

When used on a monster, the victim gets the Wretched enchantment, with the following effects:

Undead and nonliving monsters are immune to this status. Abominations change their tile, and (very) ugly things will change their colour, but are otherwise unaffected by the status.

Monster Spell

The following enemies cast Malmutate:

The following monster may inflict Malmutate on a melee attack (25% chance):

Player Sources

Players can inflict the Wretched status on monsters via the following sources:


Your best method of dealing with Malmutate, is to limit the number of turns you spend in the monster's line of fire as much as possible.

  • Any method of restricting line of sight will prevent line of fire. A scroll of fog will let melee characters approach the malmutator. Ducking behind a corner will do the same.
  • Lesser Beckoning or Vhi's Electric Charge can be used by melee character to approach the enemy, without spending as many turns in line of fire.
  • Because Malmutate requires line of fire, you can hide behind other monsters, or use summons to block enemy fire. You can even use Fulminant Prism to block LoF. You can use piercing attacks, such as wands or javelins, or smite-targeted attacks, like Airstrike, to attack through blocking monsters.

Fortunately, neqoxecs and shining eyes are fairly fragile. Cacodemons, while difficult opponents, are manageable enough if you're ready to explore areas where they are common (the deep Abyss, Hell, or Pandemonium). Orbs of fire are so incredibly dangerous that it's already worth hitting them with everything you have.

If you do end up taking some mutations, it's usually not immediately lethal. The ones to watch out for are berserkitis and No Unsafe Scrolls / No Unsafe Potions, which can restrict your options in battle. If you have any potions of mutation saved up, those have a decent chance of fixing your problems (though they might leave you with a set of new ones).

Tips & Tricks

  • Mutation resistance protects against mutation; unfortunately, the only sources of complete immunity are the mutation Mutation Resistance 3 (as a level 3 mutation, rare) or by being undead (species, or the very high level spell, Necromutation).
    • Followers of Zin get a piety / 1.6 % chance to resist mutations (100% at six stars of piety).
  • All malmutators are chaotic, and thus vulnerable to silver. Silver javelins are particularly effective.

See Also


This spell was added in 0.12, replacing the monster version of Polymorph Other.