Shadow dragon

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shadow dragon DShadow dragon.png
HP 105-149
HD 17
XP 2067
Speed 10
AC 15
EV 10
MR 113
Attack1 20 (bite: drain experience)
Attack2 15 (claw: plain)
Attack3 15 (claw: plain)
Type of Meat Rot-inducing
Resistances rC++, rPois+,
rN+++, rDrown
Vulnerabilities Holy, Dragon Slaying
Habitat Land
Intelligence Animal
Uses Uses nothing
Holiness Natural
Size Giant
Type dragon, shadow dragon
Flags Cold-blooded
Fake spells
See invisible
Silence immune
A great shadowy dragon, radiating evil and death. Its very mouth and breath stink of the grave.

Crux sacra sit mihi lux / Non draco sit mihi dux
Vade retro satana / Numquam suade mihi vana
Sunt mala quae libas / Ipse venena bibas
Let the Holy Cross be my light / Let not the dragon be my guide
Step back Satan / Never tempt me with vain things
What you offer me is evil / You drink the poison yourself.
-full text of initials on the Saint Benedict Medal, worn to ward off evil spririts. Inscription from 11-15th century, formally approved by pope Benedict XIV in 18th centur

For a list of all dragons, see list of dragons.

Useful Info

Shadow dragons are powerful dragonkind whose breath and bite attacks inflict draining. Unprepared characters who survive encounters with them often end up less experienced, in spite of their excellent XP value. They are uncommon, usually only found on Vaults:5 or in certain late-game vaults, but naturally occurring shadow dragons can be found in the deepest Dungeons and the Realm of Zot.

Unlike some dragons, butchering it produces no special hide; doing so only produces rot-inducing chunks which most characters will want to avoid touching.


Spell set
Slot1 Bolt of Draining (3d21)
Slot2 Bolt of Draining (3d21)
Slot3 none
Slot4 none
Slot5 Bolt of Draining (3d21)
Slot6 none

Tips & Tricks

  • Each rank of life protection you have will reduce the effect of their draining by a third, providing complete immunity with three ranks. If you have good reason to suspect a shadow dragon is coming (Vaults:8 is almost a guarantee), it's not a bad idea to come packing rings of life protection, an amulet of warding, or other rN+ sources. Undead characters need not worry.
    • Failing that, high evasion, Repel Missiles, or Deflect Missiles will allow you to dodge many of their breath attacks, although not infallibly. In any case, kill them as quickly as possible to limit their opportunities to drain you.
  • Although they aren't undead, they have the standard undead cold resistance and immunity to negative energy. Fortunately, they are also evil and thus vulnerable to Cleansing Flame (but not weapons of holy wrath).
  • Shadow dragons flee with surprisingly high remaining HP. If you want to avoid having to face them repeatedly, bring some means of dealing heavy damage at range. Powerful ranged weapons or high level Conjurations can get the job done, as can the lower level spell Airstrike which takes advantage of the fact that they fly. Alternatively you can try to corner them, but that often requires turns spent maneuvering around the beast during which you'll be taking breath attacks.