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Version 0.30: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.
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 misshapen and mutated enchantment, with the following effects:

HD has an effect on monster accuracy, willpower, and spell damage, so the HD reduction also lowers these.

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 misshapen and mutated status on monsters via the following sources:


The best method of dealing with Malmutate is to minimize the turns where you can be hit by it. It requires line of fire to hit you:

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 mid-combat are berserkitis and No Unsafe Scrolls / No Unsafe Potions, which can restrict your options for escaping. 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, but sources are rare, and complete immunity is even rarer. You can get full immunity via Mutation Resistance 3 (as a level 3 mutation, is rare), being undead (species, or the very high level spell, Necromutation), or by worshipping Zin at ****** 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.