Orb of Destruction

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Version 0.13: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.
Orb of destruction.png Orb of destruction
Level 7
School1 Conjuration
Casting noise 7
Spell noise 7 (40 when two orbs collide)
This spell conjures an orb of pure destructive magic. Compared to most other projectiles, these orbs travel at a relatively slow pace. The orbs home onto their targets, yet because of their huge inertia, especially agile opponents may be able to outmaneuver them.

It is said that most copies of this spell suffer from a scribal error that makes the orbs unstable beyond a short range. Certain individuals may have access to spellbooks without this flaw, so beware!

Orb of destruction (often abbreviated IOOD, the I standing for Iskenderun's) is a 7th level Conjuration spell, which launches an orb of energy (speed 30, effectively indestructible) to attack your enemies. The orb itself is very powerful, dealing 9d23 damage at maximum power and range. This can potentially kill a Pandemonium lord with 3 or fewer casts. Creatures killed by this spell are typically blown apart into gory chunks (and, unlike disintegration, magic resistance has no effect), although a dragon leaving a hide doesn't explode when it dies.

However, this spell is not without its flaws: the orb can stray off course and hit the wrong target; the spell is not instantaneous; and, it deals less damage at close range. As alluded to in the flavour text, the player spell is inferior to the monster version: your orb will "dissipate" when it leaves your line of sight, but an enemy's orb will continue to move around until it hits something. Uniquely among all spells in the game, this spell cannot be evaded by high EV but can be blocked by high SH.

While accuracy is tied to spell power, its maximum damage depends on the range:

  • Range 1: 50%
  • Range 2: 70%
  • Range 3: 90%
  • Range 4+: 100%

Sending a volley of orbs against a single dangerous monster is very effective - however, you should never send one out when the previous one is still adjacent to you, as the orbs will collide and you will be caught in the blast. This is especially likely to happen when hasted; make sure each orb has traveled at least one square away from you before launching the next one.

As with a wand of disintegration, it destroys doors, iron grates, trees, orcish idols, most kinds of statues, and (rock or slime) walls. However, when targeting inanimate objects its aim is terrible; generally you have to be point-blank to intentionally destroy a dungeon feature.


  • Due to the orb's predilection for swerving into walls, when in narrow hallways, launch at short range, since the orb will invariably fail at distances greater than 3-4 tiles. When launching an orb in wider hallways, situate yourself on the wall opposite from the one your target is nearest:
   Example 1:                  Example 2:                         
        ###########                 ###########
        .@....M....                 ......M....
        ...........                 .@.........
        ###########                 ###########
   Bad: Risks hitting wall.    Better: Much less risk.
  • Orbs of Destruction are great versus statues which take only physical damage.
  • When stair-dancing, orbs can be used as a fire-and-forget missile. Go to the infested area, fire off an orb at the most dangerous target four or five squares away (for full power), then climb to the safe level. Since you still count as "being on the current level" while climbing the stairs, the orb doesn't dissipate immediately and has two turns of travel time.
  • Since orbs explode the corpses of enemies when they kill them, don't use an orb if you would like to harvest a troll hide. Dragons do not explode and will still leave corpses, however.
  • Utilize Recall and Mass Abjuration for controlling friendly and enemy summons. On offense, using Recall or Mass Abjuration while the orb is in flight, may clear a path to the intended target. On defense, Recall may provide a meat shield to absorb an enemy's orb.
  • You can make an orb vs. orb situation work for you if you also have Controlled Blink: you can blink away safely while the enemy takes damage when the orbs collide.
  • The spell is not too loud, except when two orbs collide. Be prepared for a swarm of curious enemies making a bee-line for you. Excellent for attracting half a dungeon level or dangerous uniques to one area of the dungeon, while you then start exploring from a different stairway.
  • Be careful of using this spell on monsters wearing shields. They will fairly frequently block it, which can easily make the spell an expensive waste. Occasionally, monsters may even reflect the orb back at you! (Donald frequently wears a shield of reflection).
  • If you need to blink after firing, best practice is to use a controlled blink. If you blink into the path of your own orb, you'll take the damage instead of your target.


In 0.14 Orb of Destruction will no longer be in the Book of Annihilations.