duvessa's spell guide for cool people


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Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 8426

Joined: Sunday, 5th May 2013, 08:25

Post Wednesday, 14th June 2017, 08:02

duvessa's spell guide for cool people

So this isn't 100% complete; it's missing exact information for some things on some spells, and might even be missing a couple of spells, but I'm posting it now because almost all the important parts are done.

This is a guide to player spells only, monster spells are not covered and I don't plan to cover them.
This is up to date for 0.20.0. I can't promise it will be accurate for later versions.

If you disagree with something feel free to argue it, but please, no anecdotes. It doesn't matter that your sword and board naga caster toon of Chei used Bolt of Magma and almost made it to Shoals:3.

Of course, if you find any errors in this please tell me so I can fix them.

Foundational stuff
Spoiler: show
How to read damage, duration, etc. formulas
"power" means your spell power.
"XdY" means roll X dice with Y sides each. The way I use it, "d" comes before arithmetic in order of operations, so 2d6/2 means "roll two six-sided dice and divide the result by 2". 2d(6/2) would mean "roll two three-sided dice". Also, 1d3.4 means "60% of the time, roll 1d3, the other 40%, roll 1d4".
"random2(X)" usually means 1dX-1, so random2(3) produces either 0, 1, or 2. The reason I sometimes use random2(X) instead of 1dX-1 is that random2(0) results in 0, whereas 1d0-1 does not. Yes, it is possible to cast spells with 0 power.
Similarly, you can usually translate "random2avg(X,Y)" to dice as floor((1dX+(Y-1)d(X+1)-Y)/Y). It looks stupid when you express it as dice, but it produces the same mean as random2(X) with a lower variance (increasing with higher Y).
"floor(X)" means X truncated to an integer. You will see this a lot, since Crawl uses integer division a lot.
"min(X,Y)" means the smaller of X or Y.
"max(X,Y)" means the larger of X or Y.
"2.7 randomly rounded" means a 70% chance of 3 and a 30% chance of 2.

I try to require as little math and programming knowledge as possible, which means converting multiple lines of code into single-line formulas that often look stupid. I do assume that the reader knows what a mean and median are.

Approximate formula for spell power:
1. Start with (Spellcasting+4*[average spell school skill]+[12 if brilliant])*intelligence/20
2. Apply further multiplicative bonuses, if applicable:
Multiply by 1.5^[enhancer level] if positive enhancement, or 0.5^[-enhancer level] if negative enhancement
If you have wild magic 1/2/3, increase by 30%/60%/90%. For subdued magic 1/2/3, decrease by 23%/38%/47%.
If you have augmentation amount 1/2/3, increase by 40%/80%/120%.
If you have horror amount 1/2/3, decrease by 9%/23%/29%.
3. If the result is over 50, set it to 50*log2(1+power/50). Round to an integer.
4. Apply the spell's power cap. This is your final spell power.

Takeaways from this:
- Pre-stepdown power increases linearly with spell skill level, and linearly with intelligence. Since they are multiplied together, increasing both spell skill level and intelligence would naively provide superlinear returns. (1*1 = 1, 2*2 = 4, 3*3 = 9...)
- HOWEVER, as soon as you reach 50 power, the actual-spellpower return you get on pre-stepdown spellpower becomes logarithmic...and so the same is true of the actual-spellpower returns for increasing spell skill level or intelligence.
- Furthermore, higher skill levels cost more. So the returns on training skills for spell power become pretty bad pretty fast. That said, rushing Freeze to maximum power is still a good idea. It's just not a good idea for Throw Icicle, let alone power cap 200 spells.
- Subdued magic is really bad

Summon duration
This is always either 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6. The resulting durations are:
1: 40 to 140 aut (40+random2avg(101,2))
2: 80 to 280 aut (80+random2avg(201,2))
3: 120 to 420 aut (etc...)
4: 160 to 560 aut
5: 360 to 1260 aut
6: 760 to 2660 aut

Other
Direct damage spells' damage and to-hit formulas usually have both a constant part and a part that is linear with spell power. The relative size of these parts varies, and some spells are exceptions that have unusual returns on spell power.

Noise numbers can be taken as an approximation of how far the noise will travel on a level with an ambient noise value of 0, provided no walls get in the way. So a spell with noise 8 will probably wake up stuff in LOS, but not much stuff outside of LOS, unless you're in Tomb or Crypt. This is a simplification; actual noise mechanics are more complicated. Shouting with no mutations or forms makes 12 noise.

Power caps are not listed when the cap is 200 or power doesn't affect the spell.

Level 1 spells
Spoiler: show
Animate Skeleton
Turns a corpse or skeleton into an allied skeleton with a summon duration of 6. Remembers the original monster's HD; animating an orc corpse from an orc warlord will give you an orc skeleton with 15 HD (or even more if the orc warlord had leveled up) and corresponding HP, although its melee damage will still be 4. Fails to create an ally if used on a headless hydra corpse/skeleton, but still wastes a turn and destroys the corpse/skeleton.
The nerf is overblown, this is still the best level 1 spell in the game by far. It gives you great allies basically for free, with a really long duration and no summon cap. Even if you hate allies you likely want to learn it just so that you can close doors that you accidentally killed a monster on top of.

Noise: 1 at your location

Apportation
Any character that uses spells at all wants to memorize this. Apporting an item is simply better than walking over to it, it's faster and safer. Also, you can cast Apportation on a monster trapped in a throwing net to free the monster and save the net from destruction. Very useful if one of your allies gets netted. Note that apporting the Orb of Zot makes 30 noise, starts the orb run, and has a 1 in 3 chance of failing.

Noise: 1 at your location, and 30 at the Orb's location if you try to apport it.

Beastly Appendage
Duration is min(60,8+2d(power))*10 aut.
Temporarily gives you level either level 2 horns or level 3 talons, if you aren't wearing a helmet or boots, respectively, and don't already have a body slot mutation there. If you have both slots free, you may want to end and recast until you get the desired one: horns have 11 base damage whereas talons have only 9, but talons activate 50% more often than horns, so they outdamage horns in reasonable scenarios. This is a good spell for weapon-based melee characters all game. Aux attacks are good, especially with slaying, and can easily be worth taking off your boots/helmet. For unarmed melee characters, it is obsoleted by Blade Hands, and Spider Form is also unambiguously better during the early game, so on Tm specifically you will stop using this spell at XL3 (unless you decided to use a weapon instead of forms for some reason, I guess).
NOTE: There is a bug from 0.16 to 0.20 that causes talons (and all other kicks) to have 5 less base damage than they should, so in those versions you should always recast until you get horns.

Power cap: 50
Noise: 1 at your location

Confusing Touch
Duration is min(20,10+random2(power)/5)*10 aut. Unlike most buffs, recasting Confusing Touch doesn't add this value to the existing duration, it just replaces the existing duration if the new roll is higher.
Makes your unarmed attacks do 0 damage, but adds random2(dexterity) to your to-hit with them. When you hit with an unarmed attack while Confusing Touch active, there is a floor(80*(24-HD)/24)% chance of confusing the monster and ending Confusing Touch.
This spell is still very strong and very dumb and should be very removed.

Power cap: 50
Noise: 2 at your location

Corona
Effectively an increase to your damage against monsters with positive EV, but tedious to use so you'll probably stop using it as soon as you can get away with stopping. It's also a bad way to reveal invisible monsters.

Power cap: 90 (wtf)
Noise: 1 at your location

Flame Tongue
Damage is 1d(8+power/4), to-hit is 11+power/6. Good enough for what it is. If not for its bizarre split power cap, it would be the most unremarkable level 1 spell.

Range: 2 at minimum power, 5 at maximum power
Power cap: 40 for range, but only 25 for damage
Noise: 1 at the destination followed by 1 at your location

Freeze
Does 1d(3+floor(power/3)) cold damage. (Yes, power 24 and 25 are the same.)
Easily the best level 1 direct damage spell. High AC-ignoring damage and it even slows adders for you. Decent even in Lair since there are so many cold-blooded monsters (there are better options against hydras, though). Not really useful after that.

Range: 1
Power cap: 25
Noise: 1 at your location

Infusion
Every time you hit something in melee, does an additional 2+power/25 damage (randomly rounded) that is reduced by AC separately from the original attack's damage - like a staff of earth. This costs 1 MP per attack. Duration is (8+2d(power))*10 aut and cannot be extended past 1000 aut. Extra melee damage is good, so if you use melee and don't need MP for something else, you should keep this on all game. Yes, it usually does nothing against high-AC monsters but there are lots of monsters with low AC throughout the game.

Power cap: 25
Noise: 1 at your location

Magic Dart
Damage is 1d(3+power/5), always hits. Not much to say about magic dart, it's good by level 1 conjuration standards and probably the most convenient way to selectively wake up monsters or explode ball lightning.

Power cap: 25
Noise: 1 at the dart's destination followed by 1 at your location

Pain
Damage is 1d(4+power/5). It's like a magic dart that has shorter range and makes you lose 1 hp, in exchange for usually having higher mean damage (it ignores AC and doesn't get resisted that often). And not working against orc wizards with robes of positive energy.

Power cap: 25
Noise: 1 at the beam's destination followed by 1 at your location

Sandblast
Damage is 2d(4+power/3), to-hit is 13+power/10. This is extremely high damage for a level 1 spell, although monsters get to apply AC thrice. Consumes one stone with every cast.
For a level 1 damage spell, Sandblast remains useful for a long time, since its damage is better than Stone Arrow's against low AC monsters. Great in Lair. Unfortunately, if you run out of stones before XL3 as an EE, you are in an awful situation, so if you can safely melee a monster, do that instead of sandblasting it, particularly if it is a giant cockroach.

Power cap: 50
Noise: 2 at the projectile's destination followed by 1 at your location

Shock
Damage is 1d(3+power/4), to-hit is 8+power/7. Great damage for a level 1 direct damage spell, since it hits twice, and it has LOS range, but you do need a wall. I think Shock is better than Magic Dart but worse than Freeze. As a BEAM_ELECTRICITY spell, only half of AC applies to each hit, so AC is about as good against Shock as it is against anything else.

Power cap: 25
Noise: 1 at the bolt's final destination followed by 1 at your location

Sting
Damage is 1d(3+power/5) pure poison, to-hit is 8+power/5. Probably the worst level 1 spell; it has magic dart's damage roll but it has two schools (so less power), less range, and can miss. If Sting still manages to deal damage after AC and resistances, it has a 2/3 chance of attempting to poison the monster; if the monster has rPois+ or rPois++, this only has a 1/3 chance of succeeding. So the damage is awful but it will sometimes poison the monster...but only if the monster doesn't reduce the awful damage to 0. Which they will, a lot. Sting is sufficient to kill most early-game monsters, but it is excruciatingly slow at it, and it rapidly becomes crap as the game continues.

Power cap: 25
Noise: 1 at the sting's destination followed by 1 at your location

Summon Butterflies
Summons min(8,2+1d3+floor(random2(power)/10)) butterflies with a summon duration of 3. Excellent for clogging corridors and blocking line of fire; any character that can cast spells should learn this spell. Butterflies do have 25 EV, so they don't reliably block projectiles.

Summon cap: 8
Power cap: 100
Noise: 1 at your location

Summon Small Mammal
Summons a bat or rat (equal probability) with a 10/(power+1) chance, otherwise summons a quokka. Summon duration is always 3.
Summoning spells are overpowered starting from level 1. Very few pre-Lair monsters can deal with mammal spam. Quokkas alone are very strong against other monsters.

Power cap: 25
Noise: 1 at your location
Summon cap: 4

Level 2 spells
Spoiler: show
Blink
Characters that can already cast this spell should memorize it. It's a useful way to move a little faster when your LOS positioning is good.

Noise: 2 at your new location after the blink.

Call Imp
Summons a crimson, white, or shadow imp with a summon duration of min(2+floor(random2(power)/4), 6). 5/18ths of the imps are white. Otherwise, if random2(power) >= 46 or a 3/13 chance succeeds, you get an iron imp with a 1/3 chance and a shadow imp otherwise. If all of those chances fail, you get a crimson imp.
Like almost all summons this is a very strong spell, but it's annoying to use even by summon standards as you want to cast it far in advance so that you aren't screwed by getting the wrong imp. Can get extremely long durations, but you can't tell when it gets a long duration, so that isn't too useful. Also, be careful about putting monsters between a white imp and you, the white imp could miss the monster with throw frost and do 3d5 damage to you.

Noise: 2 at your location
Power cap: 100
Summon cap: 3

Corpse Rot
Turns one corpse in every corpse stack in LOS into a miasma cloud with a duration of (4+random2avg(16,3))*10 aut. Spell power has no effect.
A really stupid spell. If you use Kiku to carry bad combos then you'll want to get used to this spell. Basically, kill one monster then lure another monster to the corpse to kill it with the miasma cloud and repeat. Or use deliver corpses if you need to.

Noise: 2 at your location

Ensorcelled Hibernation
If successful, makes a monster instantly go to sleep. There's no timeout on this, so you can hibernate a monster and leave LOS and it will stay asleep forever unless it hears a noise. The monster also stops constricting, if applicable. After being affected by hibernation, the monster loses 10 "stealth awareness" while asleep, for (8+random2avg(21,2))*10 aut, but the monster is also immune to being hibernated again during this time, so either finish your food or leave for a while. For comparison, monsters lose 75 "stealth awareness" if you're invisible to them.
Monsters can't wake up immediately upon being hibernated, so if you hibernate an adjacent monster you'll always get to stab it. However, you may prefer to hibernate monsters from further away so that they don't get melee attacks if you fail to beat their MR. Monsters that are undead, nonliving, plants, berserk, already asleep, have rC+, or have clarity (what) cannot be hibernated.
This spell is basically "I get to kill susceptible monsters for free" if you have any significant stabbing capability at all, with the only limitation being the pool of susceptible monsters (remember it has a low power cap). It's a lot less annoying than chasing confused monsters around, too.

Power cap: 50
Noise: Completely silent

Passwall
Mainly for stabbing; usually too slow to be a better escape option than walking away. Excellent for muckrobin as it allows you to hide in some arrival vaults, protecting you from most OOD spawns.

Noise: Completely silent

Portal Projectile
Casting gives you the portal projectile status, or refreshes an existing status, with a duration of (3+random2(floor(power/2))+random2(floor(power/5)))*10 aut, but no greater than 500 aut. This adds random2(floor(power/4)) to your to-hit* whenever you throw or launch a projectile, and makes it more smitey. The power used here is the power at the time portal projectile was most recently cast, not the power at the time of the shot. Also stops the returning ego from working. Every projectile fired under portal projectile deducts 1 MP; if you fire a projectile with 0 MP, it just gets fired normally without the portal projectile effect.
Provided your spell power isn't rock bottom, this is a significant effective damage increase for any missile character, and the smite targeting is convenient too, or downright amazing if you use allies. It works on awkwardly thrown items too, but since Trog doesn't like it when you cast Portal Projectile and you can't throw the Orb of Zot anymore, the usefulness of this is questionable.
*In case you don't know how to-hit works, this does nothing if your power is less than 8, and is otherwise basically like having +floor(power/4)-1 to your enchantment for accuracy purposes only.

Power cap: 50
Noise: 3 at your location

Searing Ray
The first and second rays do 2d(3+power/13) damage and have a to-hit of 10+power/9.
The third ray does 3d(3+power/12) damage and has a to-hit of 11+power/8.
The fourth ray does 4d(3+power/12) damage and has a to-hit of 12+power/7. It's also a penetrating beam, but this is unlikely to be relevant.
This is a really good damage spell for its level. The fourth ray does about as much damage as IMB at the same power. On the downside, its gimmick is dumb (make sure you always attack enemies in cardinal or diagonal directions!) and its interface is bad.

Range: 4
Noise: 2 at your location on the initial cast, and 2 wherever each beam stops
Power cap: 50.

Shroud of Golubria
Duration is min(50,7+2d[power])*10 aut, power cap is 50.
While the enchantment is active, it has a 2/3 chance of trying to block each melee attack. This has a damage/(damage+10) chance of breaking the shroud, and otherwise the damage is negated. So it's equivalent to +10 hp on average, assuming you last long enough for it to break. Optimally you keep this up for the whole game.

Noise: 2 at your location
Power cap: 50.

Slow
Not really anything to say about this spell. It's good but kind of annoying to use since it's an extra action that doesn't directly contribute to killing the monster (unless it's in a cloud or something).

Noise: 2 at your location

Song of Slaying
The duration is (20+random2avg(power,2))*10 aut. Every direct kill by you (not allies) of an XP-awarding monster while the song is active will increase the slaying bonus by 1, to a maximum of 9.
8 noise per turn isn't that bad, it's not Qazlal or anything, but neither is +1 slaying per kill very good when you can't extend the effect without resetting it. Fighting large numbers of monsters at once isn't good, and you don't really want to explore with this spell active, so it's most charitably described as overly situational and most accurately described as bad.

Noise: 2 at your location upon casting, and 8 at your location on every one of your turns while it is active

Sticks to Snakes
Converts 1+min(6,floor(random2(power)/15)) arrows into snakes. With a one in 5-min(4,power/50) chance, the snake has a floor(power/3)% chance to be a water moccasin and is otherwise an adder. If that one in 5-min(4,power/50) chance failed, you get a ball python instead. Summon duration is min(5,3+floor(random2(power)/20)) per cast, so if a single cast makes multiple snakes they all get the same summon duration.
No summon cap, and the snakes aren't quite real summons so you can use inner flame on them and they can't be abjured. A typical game has, ballpark, about 2000 arrows in it. This is an extremely overpowered spell, even by summon standards. Not many monsters will win against concentrated snake spam, even late in the game.

Power cap: 100
Noise: 2 at your location

Sublimation of Blood
Increases MP and decreases HP according to the following steps:
1. Pick a "minimum HP" value equal to your current HP divided by 10, randomly rounded to an integer, and no smaller than 1 HP.
2. Increase MP by 1.
3. Decrease HP by 1. If HP is no longer greater than the chosen minimum HP, abort.
4. With a 6/power chance, decrease HP by 1 again. If HP is no longer greater than the chosen minimum HP, abort. Repeat this step two more times for a total of three potential HP losses.
5. With a 6/power chance, abort.
6. Repeat from step 2.
So you lose between 1 and 4 HP per MP point, but the spell will never directly kill you or reduce your HP below 10% of its current value rounded down.
Can't be cast by mummies, with less than 3 HP, with full MP, during Death's Door, or by vampires that are Thirsty or below.
Sort of the MP equivalent of the Regeneration spell. Sublimation is usually only useful in combat if you're playing badly or in a ziggurat (otherwise you should not be running out of MP), but it saves turns. It is even more annoying to use than Regeneration is, though.

Noise: 2 at your location

Swiftness
Gives you the Swift status for min(30,12+floor(random2(power)/2)*10 aut. This status decreases your move delay by 25%, rounding randomly on each move, but never taking it below 0.6 (player spriggan move delay). When Swift expires it inflicts -Swift for an equal amount of time, which increases your move delay by 50%.
This spell is still extremely overpowered. A huge movement speed boost now, in exchange for an equivalent movement speed penalty later...after you've already made it to better terrain and no longer need to move. It's not as broken as the old version since you don't want it on while exploring anymore, but it isn't really less powerful than the old version unless your spellpower is exceptionally bad. For questionable flavour reasons, the Swift effect is suppressed while in water or Leda's.

Power cap: 100
Noise: 2 at your location

Throw Flame
Damage is 2d(4+power/10), to-hit is 8+power/10. Every FE should learn this, it has LOS range and better damage than flame tongue.

Range: LOS
Power cap: 50
Noise: 2 wherever the projectile ends, followed by 2 at your location

Throw Frost
Damage is 2d(4+power/10), to-hit is 8+power/10. IE should learn this since it's their longest-ranged attack. It does check AC and EV, so it's often worse than Freeze in melee range even at max power, but that says more about Freeze being amazing than anything else.

Range: 6
Power cap: 50
Noise: 2 wherever the projectile ends, followed by 2 at your location

Level 3 spells
Spoiler: show
Call Canine Familiar
Summons a canine with a summon duration of min(6, 2+floor(random2(power)/4)). To determine which canine you get, take power+1d21-11. If this number is at least 60, you get a warg. Otherwise, if it's at least 40, you get a wolf. Otherwise, you get a hound. Note that while wargs have the highest damage per aut, they are also the slowest of these monsters (wolves are the fastest). Generic decent summoning spell, notable for having see invisible.

Power cap: 100
Summon cap: 1
Noise: 3 at your location

Confuse
Successfully confusing a monster is basically like killing it, since it can no longer do damage to you (unless you stand next to it, which is easy not to do) or cast spells. You do need to spend a few turns to actually kill it after confusing it, of course, so fight monsters one at a time instead of in groups. On stabbers you use this against anything that EH won't work against (either because of immunity or having MR too high for EH's low power cap). Confuse is also a useful spell to have when scumming Xom, as it gives you an easy way to fall down stairs, avoiding Xom boredom entirely. When not actively scumming, the effect of Xom boredom is too small to matter.

Range: LOS
Noise: 3 at your location

Conjure Flame
In my opinion, this is the strongest damage spell in the game, i.e. seriously overpowered. It's nearly silent, and either blocks monsters or does 5+2d16/2 damage to them every 10 aut. Plus, you can use it to never get hit by bolt of cold (although you can already never get hit by bolt of cold just by staying out of its range...)
Since this spell is amazing even with terrible spellpower, almost any character that can cast it should memorize it. Monsters will happily walk into any cloud if they are already in a cloud that they consider harmful. So if a monster won't walk into a flame cloud, but you want it to, you can cast meph or poisonous vapours or corpse rot or breathe steam at it, and it will immediately walk into the flame cloud (unless it's immune to the new cloud, of course). Note that whether a monster is willing to walk into a flame cloud is randomized for every action. So a monster might spend 3 turns doing nothing, then decide to walk into the flame cloud, even if its hp hasn't changed.

Range: 3
Noise: 2 at the target location and 3 at your location.

Dazzling Spray
Has a bizarre cone-shaped targeting that I still don't understand. Damage is 2d(3+power/8). To-hit is 9+power/7. If a monster hit by dazzling spray is susceptible to blindness, not nonliving, not a plant, and not undead, it has a (19-HD)/20 chance of being blinded for (3+1d5)*10 aut. Good for stabbing or if you want to leave a stupidly lethal ghost. The damage is really low, however.

Range: 5
Power cap: 50
Noise: 3 at your location and 3 at the end of every spray projectile.

Gell's Gravitas
Sucks monsters towards the center. Does 2d(1+floor(power/10)) damage to monsters that collide with each other (or somehow manage to collide with a wall), checking AC as normal. It's very difficult to move monsters out of LOS with it so it's not much good for moving monsters, and the damage is bad even for a level 3 spell. Sucks.

Range: LOS
Noise: 3 at the target location. Collisions do not make noise.

Ignite Poison
Does (levels of poison * 2)d(12+power*0.06) fire damage to all poisoned monsters in LOS, removing the poison. This is "roughly 2x to 3x" as much damage as just letting the poison run its course, according to a comment. This sounds nice, but if you are poisoning monsters that means you're probably already killing non-rPois monsters easily enough.
Its other use is that it converts clouds of poison or noxious fumes into flame clouds, and sets their duration to 29+1d(20+power) when it does so. This is somewhat more useful, since it allows you to use Mephitic Cloud and Poisonous Vapours as mostly inferior Conjure Flame replacements.

Noise: 4 at your location

Inner Flame
A line-of-fire enchantment that applies the inner flame status. Duration is (24+1d11)*10 aut.
Monsters that die while inner flamed will explode for 3d15 fire damage in a radius of 1 if tiny, 3d25 in a radius of 2 if giant or bigger, and 3d20 in a radius of 1 otherwise. Each adjacent square has an 80% chance of getting a flame cloud placed on it with duration (9+1d10)*10 aut, unless it already has a cloud. Note that while giant monsters make bigger explosions, they still only place flame clouds on adjacent squares.
Most bad spells are bad because their damage sucks, or they have some crippling downside, or they just don't offer enough returns for their spell level. Inner Flame is bad simply because it's impractical. The damage is good, but to damage a monster with inner flame, you have to do all of the following:
1. Find a monster that will be adjacent to the monster you want to damage.
2. Have line of fire to that monster.
3. Use at least one of your turns to inner flame it (possibly multiple, if you fail to beat MR).
4. Kill the inner flamed monster while it's adjacent to the monster you want to damage.
If any of these steps go wrong, you're out several turns and you have at least two monsters on the screen. Even if it works, you just made a ton of noise. It's usually a lot easier and faster to just attack the first monster directly. The best case you can make for the spell is probably using it on allies. It doesn't work on true summons, but you can use it on skeletons, zombies, simulacra, and Sticks to Snakes snakes. That way, you don't have to spend time killing the inner flamed monster since hostile monsters will do it for you, although the positioning is still awkward.
You could say it's good for saving MP against packs but FE already has excellent MP efficiency with conjure flame and sticky flame, and AM doesn't exactly need a lot of MP.

Noise: 3 at your location, 15 at the center of the explosion.

Lesser Beckoning
I learn this spell in case I ever want to get a ranged monster next to me and I don't have a corner. I almost never end up casting it because that almost never actually happens to me, and it is significantly inferior to using a corner. It's good if you're enough of a masochist to play melee-based Chei characters though. You can also cast it on allies without angering them, which is almost completely useless.

Noise: 2 at your location

Mephitic Cloud
Makes a 3x3 explosion that creates a cloud of noxious fumes at the center, and has a (125+power)/225) chance of creating a cloud on each adjacent square (the chance is individual for each square). The clouds last for 2d(3+floor(power/20))*10 aut. Mephitic clouds only affect players and monsters without rPois or unbreathing. Every time the player is affected, you will resist confusion if 1d27 is less than your experience level. Every time a monster is affected, it will resist confusion with an HD in 21 chance, or a 49 in 50 chance if its HD is 21 or higher.
Additionally, mephitic clouds do 1d3-1 damage per 10 aut to susceptible actors.

The noise on this spell is a big deal, since you generally need extra turns to actually kill the confused monsters.

Range: 4
Noise: 3 at your location, 15 at the center of the explosion
Power cap: 100

Ozocubu's Armour
Duration is 39+1d11 and cannot be increased past 50. Gives 5+floor(power/12.5) AC.
Ridiculously overpowered spell, it's easy to cast out of Spellcasting skill alone and gives you a bunch of free AC. Finding it instantly makes the majority of the game's body armour items obsolete (I'd say only stuff with 10+ base AC or improbably good enchantment is worth using over Ozo's). The AC is based on the power at the time you cast it, so before going down staircases etc., put on two rings of ice and a staff of cold if available, cast Ozo's, then switch back to your regular items.
The movement delay exists to discourage you from keeping this up while exploring and does a passable job of that. It's not significant in combat.

Noise: 3 at your location

Poisonous Vapours
Puts a poisonous cloud on a square that has a non-rPois monster on it. Can refresh an existing poisonous cloud, but not replace other clouds. The cloud's duration is max(1,floor((1d(power+1)-1)/10))*10 aut. Basically what Sting would be if it were actually good. An easy, reliable way to kill non-rPois monsters. It's even smite-targeted. You can cast it on non-rPois allies, but not yourself. This is a good way to turn allies hostile under Beogh, Okawaru, etc. without actually incurring penance (the prompt lies about this), so it can substitute for Conjure Flame as your weak orc killing spell.

Range: LOS
Power cap: 50
Noise: 2 at your location. Makes no noise at the target location, and harmless clouds don't wake up monsters, so casting it on an rPois monster wouldn't wake it up even if it were possible.

Recall
If you have allies and don't have an equivalent god ability, you should memorize this spell just so you don't want to kill yourself as much. It doesn't really provide much extra character power but waiting for allies to catch up to you, manually stopping them from killing themselves in vault clouds, etc. is the worst.

Noise: 3 at your location

Regeneration
If you can cast this spell you should memorize it. Regeneration doesn't do much in combat. If you rush it early it does provide significant healing in combat but you'll take significantly more damage in combat since you wasted your xp on getting Regeneration early, instead of being able to kill things. What it does do is save a lot of turns, which is useful for survival because it means saving a lot of piety. It's also good when you don't have stairs available, though that shouldn't really be happening outside of Vaults:$ and extended.

Noise: 3 at your location

Spectral Weapon
Summon duration is 2+1d(power/25), capped at 4. The spectral weapon's stats are:
HD: 2+power/4, randomly rounded
Damage: floor([weapon base damage]*floor(37500/(50+power)+125)/floor(37500/(50+power))) ; at 0 power this is 1.17x base damage and at 100 power it is 1.83x base damage
Speed: 30
EV: 10+power/10, randomly rounded
AC: 2+power/10, randomly rounded
HP: 10+power/3, randomly rounded
The spectral weapon attacks whenever you do, and gets to apply the weapon's enchantment and brand. Spectral weapon is forbidden for a subset of fixedarts that changes too frequently for me to want to check; according to the learndb it's currently Singing Sword, Mace of Variability, Sword of Power, Staff of Wucad Mu, Sceptre of Torment, Sword of Zonguldrok, and Devastator.
Whenever something damages the spectral weapon, the damage is split evenly between you and the spectral weapon, so it effectively has twice its actual HP. Since most monsters don't get to attack both you and the weapon at once, the weapon has good resistances, and you can always dismiss it in a mere 3 aut by unwielding your weapon, this really isn't a big disadvantage.
One of the most broken spells in the game, and easily the stupidest spell in the game in my opinion. It's a ridiculously huge damage boost for anyone that uses melee. It is also a huge pain in the ass to use with any weapon that isn't a polearm. God I hate this spell so much.

Power cap: 100
Noise: 3 at your location

Spider Form
Despite repeated nerfs, this is still an excellent form. Reaching XL3 takes Tm's melee ability from crappy to amazing (second only to Be), and it has a big defense boost on top of that. The rPois- is an annoyance rather than a real disadvantage and I wish it wasn't a thing. Doesn't meaningfully scale with power.

Noise: 2 at your location

Static Discharge
Creates up to 1d(1d3+floor(power/20)) arcs, one arc to each adjacent non-rElec monster. Each arc hits the monster, then has a 31/40 chance of arcing to another adjacent creature if its power is 10 or greater, or a 1/10 chance of arcing to another adjacent creature if its power is between 3 and 9. When it arcs to another creature, its power is divided by 1+1d2 and rounded down. Static Discharge cannot arc to monsters with rElec, but it can arc to players with rElec just fine.
When an arc hits the caster, it does 1d(3+floor(power/15)) electric damage. When it hits anything else, it does 2+1d(4+floor(power/10)+1d(floor(random2(power)/10)) electric damage. This damage ignores AC, but remember that you can't use the spell against rElec monsters at all.
This spell does excellent damage for its level, hampered by the fact that it's melee range and also significantly damages you. Having rElec makes it much better just because the self-damage is so high.
The damage a single arc does to a single monster will obviously be lower when there are more monsters around. However, since the spell can make multiple arcs, being adjacent to two monsters with at least 20 power will provide better mean damage to the individual monsters, because you are usually getting two arcs between three targets instead of one arc between two targets (as you would get if you just stood adjacent to one monster). The same applies to being adjacent to even more monsters with sufficient power. Sadly, the power is capped at 100, so you're never getting that stupid nested dice roll higher than 1d(1d3+5).
Of course, since additional arcs are only created for adjacent monsters, you want to avoid having monsters that are adjacent to the other monsters but not adjacent to you, since those monsters will soak up arcs without allowing you to create extra arcs.

Power cap: 100
Noise: 3 at your location

Stone Arrow
Damage is 3d(5+power/8), to-hit is 8+power/10, power cap is 50. Good for EE since it only checks AC once, doesn't require stones, and isn't really loud. The damage falls off around Lair even compared to other level 3 spells because of the low power cap, and LRD quickly becomes better against even high-AC targets.

Noise: 3 at the projectile's destination followed by 3 at your location

Teleport Other
This is a really bad hex, but a really bad hex is still pretty good. Unlike other hexes it doesn't help you kill the monster but it does have a good chance of temporarily getting rid of it after a few turns.

Noise: 3 at your location

Tukima's Dance
Despite being both a summon and a hex, this spell is only moderately overpowered. Good against basically anything with a weapon.

Noise: 3 at your location

Vampiric Draining
Damage is 2+2d9/2+random2(power)/7, capped at the amount of HP you're missing. The hp you actually regain is half of the damage dealt, randomly rounded. You might notice that this usually outperforms actual melee, as long as you're missing some HP. So this is a borderline broken spell that Ne can coast on for a very long time if they don't want to use allies.

Noise: 3 at your location

Level 4 spells
Spoiler: show
Animate Dead
This spell is still very overpowered, and ridiculous with Kiku. Good for allowing you to close doors, since you can't move skeletons otherwise. Not much else to say about it.

Noise: 3 at your location

Airstrike
Smite-targeted spell that does 8+random2(random2(4)+floor(random2(power)/6)+floor(random2(power)/7)) damage. Checks AC. Monsters that are flying take 50% more damage, rounded down, before they get to apply their AC.
Airstrike is known for its intimidating damage formula. I did a simple Monte Carlo analysis, 10,000,000 trials for each power level:
  Code:
Power   Mean     Median   Max   Stdev
0       8.375    8        10    0.633
1       8.375    8        10    0.633
2       8.375    8        10    0.633
3       8.375    8        10    0.633
4       8.375    8        10    0.633
5       8.375    8        10    0.633
6       8.375    8        10    0.633
7       8.429    8        11    0.695
8       8.519    8        12    0.787
9       8.593    8        12    0.850
10      8.653    8        12    0.896
11      8.703    8        12    0.931
12      8.744    8        12    0.959
13      8.820    8        13    1.019
14      8.883    9        13    1.067
15      8.973    9        14    1.137
16      9.051    9        14    1.193
17      9.120    9        14    1.240
18      9.184    9        14    1.278
19      9.264    9        15    1.340
20      9.338    9        15    1.393
21      9.405    9        15    1.437
22      9.488    9        16    1.501
23      9.564    9        16    1.554
24      9.634    9        16    1.600
25      9.719    9        17    1.666
26      9.797    9        17    1.722
27      9.867    9        17    1.772
28      9.934    10       17    1.817
29     10.016    10       18    1.876
30     10.090    10       18    1.929
31     10.174    10       19    1.995
32     10.255    10       19    2.055
33     10.330    10       19    2.109
34     10.402    10       19    2.156
35     10.468    10       19    2.200
36     10.546    10       20    2.258
37     10.633    10       21    2.326
38     10.713    10       21    2.388
39     10.792    10       21    2.445
40     10.866    10       21    2.497
41     10.936    10       21    2.544
42     11.002    10       21    2.588
43     11.091    11       23    2.659
44     11.172    11       23    2.723
45     11.253    11       23    2.782
46     11.329    11       23    2.838
47     11.400    11       23    2.888
48     11.470    11       23    2.936
49     11.548    11       24    2.992
50     11.632    11       25    3.059
51     11.713    11       25    3.119
52     11.790    11       25    3.176
53     11.866    11       25    3.230
54     11.939    11       25    3.279
55     12.016    11       26    3.338
56     12.093    11       26    3.394
57     12.171    11       27    3.457
58     12.252    12       27    3.516
59     12.328    12       27    3.570
60     12.402    12       27    3.622
61     12.480    12       28    3.683
62     12.557    12       28    3.740
63     12.634    12       28    3.795
64     12.712    12       29    3.855
65     12.790    12       29    3.911
66     12.865    12       29    3.965
67     12.946    12       30    4.027
68     13.023    12       30    4.085
69     13.100    12       30    4.142
70     13.175    12       30    4.194
71     13.251    12       31    4.252
72     13.328    12       31    4.307
73     13.407    13       32    4.370
74     13.485    13       32    4.429
75     13.566    13       32    4.486
76     13.639    13       32    4.540
77     13.714    13       32    4.592
78     13.790    13       33    4.650
79     13.870    13       34    4.713
80     13.950    13       34    4.772
81     14.025    13       34    4.832
82     14.104    13       34    4.886
83     14.175    13       34    4.940
84     14.247    13       34    4.989
85     14.332    13       36    5.056
86     14.415    13       36    5.115
87     14.492    13       36    5.175
88     14.571    14       36    5.230
89     14.647    14       36    5.285
90     14.718    14       36    5.339
91     14.793    14       37    5.395
92     14.879    14       38    5.457
93     14.951    14       38    5.519
94     15.031    14       38    5.574
95     15.110    14       38    5.631
96     15.183    14       38    5.685
97     15.263    14       39    5.743
98     15.334    14       39    5.800
99     15.418    14       40    5.860
100    15.496    14       40    5.918
101    15.576    14       40    5.976
102    15.645    14       40    6.032
103    15.725    15       41    6.094
104    15.806    15       41    6.146
105    15.880    15       41    6.202
106    15.956    15       42    6.264
107    16.038    15       42    6.321
108    16.109    15       42    6.375
109    16.191    15       43    6.436
110    16.267    15       43    6.495
111    16.347    15       43    6.551
112    16.418    15       43    6.603
113    16.498    15       44    6.663
114    16.578    15       44    6.720
115    16.652    15       45    6.782
116    16.734    15       45    6.840
117    16.809    15       45    6.895
118    16.883    16       45    6.952
119    16.960    16       45    7.010
120    17.036    16       46    7.064
121    17.118    16       47    7.124
122    17.199    16       47    7.187
123    17.275    16       47    7.243
124    17.352    16       47    7.299
125    17.428    16       47    7.353
126    17.500    16       47    7.405
127    17.578    16       49    7.470
128    17.661    16       49    7.531
129    17.740    16       49    7.589
130    17.820    16       49    7.642
131    17.888    16       49    7.701
132    17.968    16       49    7.754
133    18.044    17       50    7.813
134    18.126    17       51    7.875
135    18.204    17       51    7.929
136    18.282    17       51    7.988
137    18.354    17       51    8.043
138    18.428    17       51    8.104
139    18.511    17       52    8.156
140    18.590    17       52    8.214
141    18.666    17       53    8.274
142    18.743    17       53    8.334
143    18.819    17       53    8.394
144    18.897    17       53    8.450
145    18.977    17       54    8.508
146    19.052    17       54    8.562
147    19.135    17       54    8.623
148    19.206    17       55    8.680
149    19.291    18       55    8.737
150    19.361    18       55    8.792
151    19.439    18       56    8.852
152    19.516    18       56    8.915
153    19.593    18       56    8.968
154    19.668    18       56    9.025
155    19.749    18       57    9.079
156    19.823    18       57    9.136
157    19.903    18       58    9.197
158    19.975    18       58    9.255
159    20.058    18       58    9.318
160    20.132    18       58    9.369
161    20.209    18       58    9.426
162    20.282    18       59    9.481
163    20.364    18       60    9.543
164    20.439    19       60    9.603
165    20.523    19       60    9.665
166    20.597    19       60    9.720
167    20.669    19       60    9.774
168    20.750    19       60    9.826
169    20.831    19       62    9.885
170    20.911    19       62    9.949
171    20.985    19       62   10.006
172    21.061    19       62   10.067
173    21.144    19       62   10.120
174    21.214    19       62   10.175
175    21.297    19       63   10.230
176    21.379    19       64   10.289
177    21.454    19       64   10.352
178    21.530    19       64   10.407
179    21.603    20       64   10.466
180    21.684    20       64   10.522
181    21.757    20       65   10.580
182    21.834    20       65   10.636
183    21.913    20       66   10.696
184    21.993    20       66   10.754
185    22.068    20       66   10.814
186    22.140    20       66   10.867
187    22.229    20       67   10.926
188    22.304    20       67   10.983
189    22.372    20       67   11.041
190    22.454    20       68   11.102
191    22.533    20       68   11.156
192    22.612    20       68   11.217
193    22.684    20       69   11.270
194    22.769    21       69   11.326
195    22.842    21       69   11.388
196    22.919    21       69   11.441
197    22.996    21       70   11.504
198    23.072    21       70   11.561
199    23.148    21       71   11.621
200    23.233    21       71   11.678
In other words, each point of power past 6 gives you about +0.08 mean damage and about +0.32 max damage, and the median isn't much lower than the mean. Not as complex as it looks! Note that the mode is always 8 (which is why it doesn't appear as a column in this table).
Does no damage to monsters with rWind; this notably includes ball lightning and air elementals. Air elementals have rWind so that you can use Tornado in conjunction with summoned air elementals from the removed Summon Elemental spell, or the removed fan of air elementals, or the fan of gales that no longer summons air elementals. They also have rWind so that they are really, really annoying for air elementalists to fight.
Enough about that. Airstrike is a good damage spell that's not particularly overpowered or underpowered compared to other damage spells. I'm surprised there are so many people calling for its removal, as it's very convenient to use and its smite targeting makes it one of the most unique damage spells; other smitey spells are all either boring cloud spells, or Fire Storm. I could do without the flying gimmick and the obtuse damage formula, though.

Noise: 4 at the target, 2 at your location. Exception: Airstrike makes no noise at the target if the target had rWind and you managed to cast Airstrike on it anyway (e.g. invisible air elemental).

Cause Fear
This is one of the best hexes in the game, and is borderline broken. It's a scroll of fear that you can use as many times as you want; allegedly it's the same as the scroll at 134 power and above. After the first few levels, AM almost never has to worry about things making it into melee range because they can just spam this, and it's just as good at getting rid of ranged monsters.
You should, however, avoid using Cause Fear on trivial item-using monsters, because feared monsters will destroy scrolls of blinking/teleportation/etc. in their inventory. Also, don't use it on bears since they go berserk when feared.

Noise: 3 at your location.

Control Undead
I'm pretty sure this is a pet spell for at least one dev because that's the only way I can explain it 1. replacing Dispel Undead on Ne, 2. being guaranteed by Kiku while Dispel Undead isn't, 3. still existing while Enslavement was removed despite it doing the same thing. So yeah, this spell is just as busted as Enslavement.

Force Lance
Damage is 2d(6+power/6), to-hit is 10+power/7. Monsters hit by force lance are knocked back based on a formula I don't care enough about to understand. If the knockback makes the monster hit something solid, the monster (as well as the monster it collided with, if any) takes 2d(1+floor(power/10)) damage, checking AC again.
This is just IMB with bad range and two schools, but with extra damage if you're willing to play a silly positioning minigame, kind of like bolt bouncing. Also it doesn't have a noisy explosion, which is nice. The knockback is not useful for anything other than the collision damage. It would be good if the spell had longer range since you could use it to push monsters out of LOS, but the the spell doesn't have that range, so...

Power cap: 100
Noise: 5 at your location and 5 wherever the projectile ends. Collisions do not make extra noise.

Fulminant Prism
The prism has power/10 HD, randomly rounded. The explosion does 3d(6+floor(HD*7/4)) in a radius of 2 if the prism was fully charged, and only 2d(6+floor(HD*7/4)) in a radius of 1 if the explosion was premature.
Basically a weird fireball variant that can be used to block a square like lightning spire. I don't have much to say about it.

Noise: 4 at your location, and 20 for the full-size explosion or 15 for the small explosion. Feeble detonations are silent.

Ice Form
Depending on your species and skill training, this may be either mostly better than Blade Hands or almost strictly inferior. +9 base damage over clawless untransformed, plus freezing brand; this is much better damage than spider or statue form, and with high unarmed skill it is as good as blade hands. Bad innate AC, but +20% HP and Ozocubu's Armour works during it, so if you have that spell it's nearly as good as Statue Form defensively, while offering better offense and a lower level. It's also large, so it effectively has a small EV penalty if you aren't already a large species.
Since it melds all your armour, you are unlikely to get an AC increase from Ice Form after the early game. It is a form you use for damage and convenient rC+++. Probably the form most likely to be useful for conjurers/summoners since it's easy to cast, you get extra HP, and it has no penalties to your spells. It also makes Ozocubu's Refrigeration and Freezing Cloud more convenient to use. Most conjurers and summoners don't really benefit from it though.

Noise: 3 at your location

Iskenderun's Mystic Blast
Damage is 2d(6+power/6), to-hit is 10+power/7. This spell used to be great, then its damage was nerfed into oblivion and it got a useless but noisy explosion. Now it's not very good, though at least it has range.

Range: 6
Power cap: 100
Noise: 10 at the destination if it explodes, followed by 4 at the destination whether it exploded or not, followed by 4 at your location.

Leda's Liquefaction
Makes nearby squares act a lot like shallow water, except nothing swims in Leda's. So monsters and you both and fumble your melee attacks just as they would in shallow water (so a 1 in 4 chance for monsters), and monsters get a big randomized movement penalty. Strangely, you only get 3 added to your movement delay instead of the normal (larger) shallow water penalty, so you can use this to outrun non-flying monsters...until they leave the radius of the spell. Also, you can't fly during Leda's, but monsters can. This means that trying to melee during Leda's is incredibly bad. Thus the spell is only useful if you're about to use a bunch of ranged attacks or teleport, or really need to make a few squares of distance between you and monsters. Like Silence, it has a decaying radius, and even the initial radius is pretty bad unless you have improbably high spellpower. Dragon Form and Tornado can cancel Leda's.
I don't like this spell because my ranged characters are always characters that want to move a lot, but if you're going to use ranged attacks against non-flying melee monsters and aren't going to actually kite them, I suppose this spell would significantly reduce the damage they do to you.

Noise: 3 at your location

Olgreb's Toxic Radiance
This is a pretty good spell now. It's a good option for killing non-rPois monsters through Lair, Orc, and Spider, and marginally useful afterwards.

Noise: 2 at your location

Passage of Golubria
This spell has two main uses:
1. The new semicontrolled blink. It's useful for all the things semicontrolled blink was useful for, with two complications: it makes moderate noise when the portals close, and monsters can stumble into the portals. The former restricts its use for stabbing but is otherwise ignorable outside of quiet branches. The latter is relevant, though; you need to plan your moves so you won't lead monsters into the portal (except the ones you want stepping through it) and this can be a big complication if you cast it from a corridor or whatever.

2. When doing a teleport swagjack or the like, cast it before your teleport goes off, and if your teleport puts you in a bad place, cast it again so you can go back to your original location.

For some reason it works for formicids, but not under Orb status. Players that do more speedruns and swagjacks could tell you more about the spell than I can.

Noise: 3 at your location. Whenever a portal disappers, it makes 8 noise at its location.

Petrify
This is sort of like a version of Confuse that's worse in every way. It's higher level, dual-school, incapacitates the monster less (it gets a few actions before fully petrifying), and improves the monster's defenses instead of reducing them. So if you're a hexes character it's unlikely that you have any interest in petrify. However, EE may want to learn it since it still disables monsters, even if it doesn't do so as well as Confuse. Petrify+LRD is almost always inferior to just using a wall, but it does have a niche against monsters with abnormally high AC (usually orcs in heavy armour), and is mildly useful in Swamp.

Sticky Flame
Ever since becoming melee range this spell hasn't been as good as Conjure Flame, but it's still very good, even after the duration nerf. If you use melee and can cast this spell you should probably always apply it before you start making actual melee attacks, but that's annoying. It's also a good way to reveal invisible monsters.

Noise: 1 at the target followed by 4 at your location

Summon Guardian Golem
Summons a guardian golem with a summon duration of 3 and 4+power/16 HD, randomly rounded. On average, it gets about 8 HP per HD. Half the damage dealt to your other allies (not you) is redirected to the guardian golem, and every time it acts while below half of its max HP, it has a 1/4 chance of getting the inner flame enchantment with infinite duration ("overheating").
You can try to use it to shield your allies, but it doesn't have much HP at low power and you need to position it so it doesn't blow up your allies or you. You can try to use it to blow up enemies but since it has no attack and may die without exploding, you'll likely kill the enemies just as fast (and with less noise) by using other summons. Basically this is the one summon spell in the game that manages to be kind of bad.

Noise: 3 at your location, and of course if it explodes it'll make 15 noise.
Summon cap: 1

Summon Ice Beast
Summon duration is 2+floor(random2(power)/4), capped at 4. Summons an ice beast with 3+power/13 HD, randomly rounded. For comparison, regular ice beasts have 5 HD.
Apparently beating D, Lair, and Orc for free isn't enough for IE because it also has this spell. Optimally you'd keep some ice beasts around while exploring. Very few monsters before Depths can win against three ice beasts; they're a great example of an anti-monster monster, even though they probably weren't intended that way.

Noise: 3 at your location

Summon Lightning Spire
Summon duration is always 2. The spire's HD is 1+power/10, randomly rounded, and the electrical bolts do 3d(3+HD) damage with a to-hit of 35. That's 3d(4+power/10) damage. Not only does the spire fire very often, do good damage (especially if you bother to set up bolt bouncing), and have absurdly high to-hit, the ability to put an immobile monster on a specific square is extremely powerful. You can:
- reliably block all line-of-fire effects including enchantments, malmutate, fireball...
- almost-reliably block missiles and reduce beam ranges by 1, since the spire has 3 EV
- and, of course, you can reliably stall a melee monster, but other summons already do that.

It's the higher-level, better version of Summon Butterflies in this respect and you should be casting it in Zot.

Range: 2 for the summon, the spire's bolts have LOS range
Noise: 2 at your location ("An electric hum fills the air" is a lie). The lightning spire makes 5 noise at its location whenever it fires, but the electrical beam itself appears to be silent.

Throw Icicle
Damage is 3d(3.33+power/6), to-hit is 9+power/12. Decent range and good damage for its level (same as fireball up to its power cap). Similar to old IMB, i.e. good, but poor against monsters with rC.

Range: 5
Power cap: 100
Noise: 4 at the destination followed by 4 at your location
Last edited by duvessa on Saturday, 2nd September 2017, 19:34, edited 11 times in total.

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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Wednesday, 14th June 2017, 08:02

Re: duvessa's spell guide for cool people

Level 5 spells
Spoiler: show
Agony
Not content with doing summoning almost as well as the actual Summoning school, here's a Necromancy spell that does direct damage better than any of the six direct damage schools. It checks MR but its enchantment power boost is so ridiculously large that it just means magic immune monsters are also agony immune; any MR less than immune is easy to get past. Doesn't matter how much HP/AC/EV/SH the monster has, if it's susceptible to agony just cast agony a few times and then tap it with something else and it dies.

Range: LOS
Noise: 4 at your location
Power cap: 100

Alistair's Intoxication
(40+power/3)% chance of confusing each natural, non-rPois, greater than animal intelligence monster in LOS. (60-power/3)% chance of confusing you, regardless of rPois. Not very good.

Noise: 3 at your location

Aura of Abjuration
Summoners should learn this just to deal with their own hostile summons. It's not worth thinking about for other characters.

Blade Hands
Got a slight buff recently. Blade Hands offers +19 base damage over clawless untransformed. The least obnoxious form to use since it has no real disadvantages (can't use wands or cast spells well but you don't want to anyway, and losing gloves is no big deal). Almost always has better damage/time than statue form, since the buff it usually has better damage/time than ice form (but ice form becomes relatively better as your unarmed skill increases), and better than < 7 head hydra form as well.

Bolt of Draining
Damage is 4d(3.75+power*3/20), to-hit is 8+power/20. This has the worst raw damage of any bolt spell, which is saying something when venom bolt and bolt of magma exist. It does always drain the monster, which, in addition to applying the debuff, does an extra 1+1d3 damage.
The biggest draw of this spell is that you can spam it through your undead or demonic allies, though like with most bolts it loses a square of range every time it hits one and its range is not great in the first place. If you don't abuse it this way then it's not very good, unless you need a silent bolt for some bizarre reason.

Range: 5
Noise: 2 at your location. The bolt itself is silent.

Bolt of Magma
Damage is 4d(4+power/6), to-hit is 8+power/25. This spell has bad range and mediocre damage, made worse by the low power from being triple-school. The only time I'd memorize bolt of magma is if I'm a fire character really desperate for unresistible damage, but since the damage is only 45% unresistible it's pretty bad even for that (comparable to IMB, but one level and two schools higher...). I don't ever want to see an EE even looking at this spell, there is no reason to ever cast it instead of LRD.

Range: 4
Noise: 5 at your location and 5 wherever the bolt ends.

Cigotuvi's Embrace
Destroys all corpses in LOS (orc corpses are skipped if you are worshipping Beogh). Gives AC equal to the square root of the corpse count, which decays actually you know what why even bother. It doesn't matter what exactly this spell does, it's worse than animate dead and mutually exclusive with animate dead AND worse than Ozocubu's Armour and mutually exclusive with Ozocubu's Armour. It might as well not exist.

Dispel Undead
Damage is 3d(6.67+power/4). The damage is pretty high, but by the time you can cast it there are really only two relevant undead monsters: lich and ancient lich. Decide for yourself if you need an extra spell specifically for those. In particular I don't learn Dispel Undead on characters that have LRD, since it does similar damage at a longer range.

Power cap: 100
Noise: 4 at your location

Excruciating Wounds
Not sure why this spell is allowed to exist when the lower level brand spells were removed. It's pain on any non-artefact weapon you want, that's pretty good if you use melee, although necromancers have better options than melee. It is very loud, so use stairs.

Noise: 15 at your location followed by 4 at your location

Fireball
Damage is 3d(3.33+power/6). The main appealing points of fireball are that it can't miss, it can hit things out of LOS, and FE starts with it. You certainly want it on fire characters. Other characters may want to learn it just for hitting things out of LOS, but the constant part of the damage is small so if you have low power you won't use it for much else. Even at high power, the damage is pretty low.

Irradiate
Damages adjacent monsters for 6d(6+power/12). Malmutates susceptible monsters that it hits, meaning they temporarily lose 8 AC and 25% of their HD (like draining, so no reduction in XP award, max HP, etc.). Casting it gives you 999+1d500 contamination.
With the number of things that cause Contam steadily decreasing, this spell is becoming less bad, although it still has very awkward schools, making its damage a lot worse than it looks from the formula - and it's still melee range.

Noise: 15 at your location followed by 4 at your location

Iskenderun's Battlesphere
Summons a battlesphere with 1+power/11 HD, randomly rounded. It lasts for min(50,7+2d(power))*10 aut and has 4+floor((1d(power+10)-1)/10) charges. If you cast the spell while a battlesphere is already summoned, it is recalled, and has its duration and charges increased by the aforementioned values, but to no higher than 500 aut of duration and 20 charges.
Every time you shoot a conjuration or similar damage spell at something, the battlesphere will fire a barrage of energy at it, consuming one charge. When it's out of charges, it disappears. The barrage always hits, but requires line of fire, like magic dart. It does 2d(5+HD) damage, so 2d(6+[power at time battlesphere was summoned]/11).
It is optimal to maintain this spell while exploring; it will provide a significant damage boost for your conjurations. Casting it after you've already encountered the monsters is a lot worse, since you'll be out a turn (and some MP). Do make sure to let it die/expire and recast it occasionally as your spell power increases, since the barrage damage is based on its HD, which is set when it's summoned and does not change when you refresh an existing battlesphere.
It can also be used in conjunction with level 1 spells like Magic Dart as a modestly MP-efficient way to kill trivial things, but this is still quite a bit less efficient than using e.g. Conjure Flame.

Lee's Rapid Deconstruction
The damage of LRD depends on what it is cast on:
2d(5+power/5) for player gargoyle
3d(5+power/5) for petrified or petrifying player or monster, ice beast, simulacrum, ice statue, block of ice, skeleton, bone dragon, skeletal warrior, ancient champion, revenant, flying skull, curse skull, Murray, non-gargoyle ice form player, statue form player, toenail golem, earth elemental, ushabti, plain monster statue, monster gargoyle, saltling, granite statue, orcish idol, rock wall, slimy wall, stone wall, door, stone arch
4d(5+power/5) for iron elemental, iron golem, peacekeeper, war gargoyle, obsidian statue, orange crystal statue, crystal guardian, Roxanne, non-destroyed metal wall, crystal wall
6d(5+power/5) for destroyed metal wall, iron grate

If you deconstructed a monster or yourself, the damage above is also applied to that monster or yourself, before the explosion occurs. If this damage kills the monster, the damage roll for the explosion gets another two dice (so if an LRD cast kills an iron golem, it does 6dX instead of 4dX).

Explosion size is:
1 by default
2 for destroyed rock/stone wall, obsidian statue, orange crystal statue, crystal guardian, Roxanne, orcish idol, granite statue, non-destroyed crystal wall
3 for destroyed crystal wall

If the deconstructed object is a non-gargoyle ice form player, ice beast, simulacrum, ice statue, or block of ice, then the explosion is BEAM_ICE (40% cold damage, 60% physical, reduced only once by AC). Otherwise, it's physical damage that is reduced by AC three times, like sandblast.

If spellpower is at least 35, rock walls have a 1/3 chance to be destroyed.
If it is at least 50, stone walls have a 1/10 chance to be destroyed.
If it is at least 75, metal walls have a floor(power/5)/500 chance of being destroyed.
Crystal walls always have a 1/2 chance to be destroyed.
Granite statues, doors, orcish idols, and iron grates are always destroyed.
Slimy walls and stone arches are never destroyed.

Notice how even on rock walls, the damage is almost as good as Iron Shot and it's a level and a school lower and can't miss and has twice the range. On destroyed walls, crystal, and metal, the damage is even better than level 6 spells. You can even use it to hit monsters out of LOS, and it's a source of unlimited digging that works on stone, metal, and crystal - great for branch ends and other vaults, particularly all of Tomb.
The only reasons you could argue this spell is balanced are that it's extremely loud and that it's bad against very high AC monsters (but there are very few of those). Also it's bad in Swamp, I guess, but Swamp is a joke anyway.

Lightning Bolt
Damage is 1d(11+power*3/5), to-hit is 7+power/40. Range is capped at LOS, but does go up to 8 for barachians. Being a BEAM_ELECTRICITY spell, only half of AC applies to it, but since you should always be hitting twice with it, AC is basically just as good against lightning bolt as it is against other bolt spells. Lightning bolt has by far the worst to-hit of any bolt spell, but because it's a bolt spell, its practical accuracy is still very high.
Lightning bolt overwhelmingly outperforms other bolt spells on damage at decent spellpower levels (again, you should always be double-zapping), and it's only level 5. But it does require bolt bouncing positioning in order to not suck, which means it effectively has a pretty short range, and it does make a ton of noise.
Lightning bolt, like Shock, doesn't lose a square of range when it hits a monster, so it's also an efficient way to attack large packs lined up in a corridor, but this situation really isn't important.
This spell is probably more or less obsolete if you have Conjure Ball Lightning.
Turn on simple_targeting to preserve your sanity.

Noise: 25 at your location, 5 wherever the bolt ends, and then another 5 at your location. Bounces don't make noise.

Metabolic Englaciation
Slows all non-stationary, non-cold-resistant, non-firewood monsters in LOS for (floor(3d(power)/6)-1d(HD)+1)*10 aut. Cold-blooded monsters have the duration doubled. The duration is not higher for monsters with rC-, despite the spell's misleading description.
It's nice that this bypasses MR, but it has a solid chance of failing anyway if your power isn't high enough to consistently overcome the -1d(HD) penalty, and of course it is useless against rC+ monsters. There are more of those than there are magic immune monsters.
Affects allies as well as hostile monsters, but won't turn allies hostile or anger gods.

Noise: 4 at your location

Silence
In exchange for casting this level 5, dual school spell, you lose the ability to cast spells or make or hear noise. Also mutes timed portal messages, including the original announcement (not that I can imagine why you'd ever want to enter a new level while silenced in the first place). You also lose 50 stealth. Monsters within the radius also lose the ability to make or hear noise. Incidentally, a select few monsters lose the ability to cast a subset of their spells while within the radius.
Duration is min(100,10+floor(power/4)+random2avg(floor(power/2),2))*10 aut, and the radius is floor(square root of (max(0,min(25,3*(floor((floor(duration/10)-5)/4))))).
In other words, the radius is:
5 while at least 390 aut remain
4 while between 270 and 389 aut remain
3 while between 170 and 269 aut remain
2 while between 110 and 169 aut remain
1 while between 70 and 109 aut remain
0 while less than 70 aut remain (only you are silenced)

Casting this without excellent spell power is fairly dangerous, since you could get a bad radius and end up silencing only yourself for 60 aut while the spellcasting monster is still alive. Casting this with excellent spell power is also fairly dangerous, but at least you have a better chance of killing the monster in time.
Cancellation potions make this spell a bit less bad than it was before, but it's still not of much use.

Noise: It would make 4 at your location if not for the fact that Silence prevents noise at your location.

Summon Demon
The demon has a 4/power chance of being hostile. This is still a very strong summon, even if the occasional hostility and variety of monsters does make it annoying to use.

Noise: 4 at your location

Summon Forest
Turns nearby rock walls and some floor squares into trees, sometimes makes water, and summons a sexy dryad that awakens the trees and theoretically uses vines to pull monsters into the trees. Only works in open space, but summoners prefer open space anyway. Really good.

Noise: 10 at your location followed by 4 at your location

Summon Mana Viper
Summons a mana viper with a summon duration of 2 and 5+power/12 HD, randomly rounded. The HD increase does not affect their HP.
It is easy to underestimate this spell since mana vipers are a joke of a monster by the time they generate naturally. Against other monsters, however, they are extremely good.

Summon cap: 2
Noise: 4 at your location

Venom Bolt
Damage is 4d(4+power*3/20), to-hit is 8+power/20. It's easy to compare this to Bolt of Magma because both of them are level 5 bolt spells and both of them suck. Venom Bolt is more useful in practice because VM starts with it and it's the only spell in their book that does more than 1 damage to rPois+ monsters, although the damage against rPois+ monsters is still really bad. VM doesn't really need more tools against non-rPois monsters.

Noise: 5 at the bolt's destination followed by 5 at your location

Yara's Violent Unravelling
Removes "magical" enchantments from a monster and makes a fireball-like explosion centered on that monster. The damage of the explosion is 3d(3+power/6), randomly rounded, and it also malmutates anything that it hits. No, the number and type of enchantments that you unravel doesn't change the damage.
This is a reliable way to remove some enchantments from monsters and malmutate them on top of that. That said, an even more reliable way to remove enchantments from monsters and yourself is the < key.
While you can target yourself with this spell, it will malmutate you (as will targeting a monster adjacent to you), so if you're not a ghoul you probably don't want to do that.

Monster enchantments that can be removed with Yara's are: slow, haste (except haste caused by Gozag wrath), swiftness, might, agile, fear, confusion (except for permanently confused monsters like butterflies), corona, silver corona, enslavement, paralysis, petrifying, petrified, regeneration, about to teleport, inner flame, Ozocubu's Armour, injury bond, dimension anchor, toxic radiance, agile (again), black mark, Shroud of Golubria, sap magic, repel missiles, deflect missiles, resistant, hexed, pain bond, idealised, insane, and bound soul.
Non-insane monster berserk and monster silence are notably not affected by Yara's.

Player durations that can be removed with Yara's are: agile, brilliant, confused, confusing touch, corona, death channel, ring of flames, Ozocubu's Armour, MR/2, might, paralysis, petrified, petrifying, resistant, sleeping, swiftness, about to teleport, silence, fear, Leda's Liquefaction, Darkness, Shroud of Golubria, Disjunction, Mark, Infusion, Song of Slaying, flayed, Weak, dimension anchor, toxic radiance, rF-, rP-, sap magic, Portal Projectile, Aura of Abjuration, Corr, ambrosia, channel energy, Howl, Vertigo, invisible, slow, mesmerized, haste, flight, regenerating, transformations other than Shadow Form, excruciating wounds, and sickening (inflicted by ancient zymes, the status you get a few turns before the Sick status (which cannot be unraveled)).

Range: LOS
Noise: 5 at your location and 15 at the center of the explosion, if any.

Level 6 spells
Spoiler: show
Bolt of Cold
Damage is 6d(3+power/9), to-hit is 10+power/25. Good damage and accuracy for its level, and about in the middle of the level 6 conjurations power curve. Basically always worth learning on ice conjurers and almost never worth learning on characters that aren't already training ice magic.

Bolt of Fire
Same as bolt of cold, but with fire and the range is one square longer.

Conjure Ball Lightning
Number of balls is 2+floor(power/100)+random2(floor(power/50)+1), capped at 5. Ball HD is 5+power/20, randomly rounded, and ball damage is 3d(5+HD*5/4), so ball damage is approximately 3d(11.25+power/16)). Ball explosion size is 3 with an HD/24 chance, i.e. (5+power/20)/24, and 2 otherwise.
In other words:
- 50 and 150 power are breakpoints that increase your ball count by 0.5, and 100 and 200 power are breakpoints that increase it by 1.5.
- The constant factor is HUGE: even at 0 power you get 3d11*2. No other non-cloud conjuration has low power damage anywhere near this. Pursuing more power is still just as worthwhile as it is with other conjurations because of the breakpoints that give you more balls.
The best high-level conjuration at the moment. Yes, much better than Freezing Cloud. Huge damage and works for attacking out of LOS. Like IOOD you do have to wait a couple of turns after casting before it actually does damage, but unlike IOOD you don't ever have to actually let your target into LOS, so that wait isn't a big deal at all. The general method for using CBL is to cast it one or more times then walk away from whatever you want to kill; the ball lightning
will explode and kill it. You do need to keep the ball lightning itself in LOS, but not the monster(s) you hit with it. Of course, you can also use it to quickly damage nearby monsters, but this is not what makes the spell so great, and is unworkable without rElec (even with rElec it does quite a bit of damage to you, especially since the rElec nerf).
Ball lightning also have much worse EV than butterflies (10 vs 25) so if you're willing to take the elec damage they can be a decent option to block enemy projectiles. You likely want to have rElec even when using the spell properly because it's absolutely possible to screw up and get hit by one or more explosions yourself. Should you wish to selectively detonate ball lightning, note that Airstrike won't work since they have rWind (on the plus side, this allows them to be used normally during Tornado), nor will Freezing Cloud since they have rC+++, so there's no practical smite-targeted option; Magic Dart is about the best you can do. But if you find yourself having to manually detonate ball lightning you are probably using the spell wrong in the first place.

Noise: 6 at your location, 20 at the center of every radius 2 explosion, and 25 at the center of every radius 3 explosion.

Darkness
Reduces LOS by 25%, applying after nightstalker and the robe of Night. Duration is 15+1d(floor(power/3)).
Reduced LOS is extremely good, so it follows that this spell is pretty good for anyone who can cast it. It's especially great if you have out-of-LOS attacks like Fire Storm. There's no downside to keeping it up constantly.

Noise: 3 at your location

Death Channel
It took over a decade, but this spell is finally better than Animate Dead instead of worse...unless you have Receive Corpses. Still, it's worth learning if you can cast it since it can be used in conjunction with Animate Dead or Simulacrum. Be careful about multi-target spells when using Death Channel; it's implemented in a stupid way, so bolts, fireballs, etc. can kill a monster and then immediately hit that monster's spectre, turning it hostile.

Noise: 5 at your location

Deflect Missiles
Success rate for DMsl doesn't matter unless you want to recast it in combat. The chance of DMsl breaking is 1/(2+power/8), where power is the spellpower at the time of the missile, not at the time of casting (and it doesn't get randomly rounded or anything, so every 8 power is a breakpoint).

Noise: 3 at your location

Dispersal
Tries to instantly teleport all monsters adjacent to you, checking MR. If this fails, the monster will be blinked instead with no MR check. This works on magic immune monsters but not on monsters with -Tele or immobile monsters.
If you can already cast Dispersal because you're going for Controlled Blink or Malign Gateway or something, it's probably worth the spell slots just because it gets things out of the way in Zot. Elsewhere it's generally made obsolete by Controlled Blink; checking MR really limits its usefulness.

Noise: 5 at your location

Freezing Cloud
This spell is at least somewhat overpowered. It's a practical and quiet way to do significant damage to monsters at the edge of LOS, and works fine even with terrible spellpower.
It also offers complete protection from one bolt of fire per two clouds, but many bolt of fire users also have fireball, and you can just stay out of range of bolt of fire anyway.

Noise: 2 at the target followed by 6 at your location

Hydra Form
Unarmed base damage is 2+[3 per head for heads 1-10]+[1.5 per head for heads 11+].
Makes you big (larger than ice form but smaller than dragon form, with a corresponding EV penalty), gives +30% HP and rPois.
The number of heads is power/10, randomly rounded, so if you're about to go down stairs, consider ending and recasting until it rounds up (but beware of piety decay).
When you kill a monster in hydra form that is smaller than big and has clean chunks that your god is okay with, you vore the monster, healing for 1+HD*0.75+random2(HD*0.75), and giving you nutrition. Voring an unseen monster will tell you its genus.
You regrow heads when they're chopped off but you don't get healing for that, so the head chopping gimmick is basically irrelevant. Cleaves, but being adjacent to multiple monsters with this form's awful AC is really not something you want, so the actual utility of the cleaving is questionable.
Basically just think of this form as dragon form lite.

Noise: 6 at your location

Invisibility
With Haste no longer a spell (and not even causing contamination anymore) every character should be going invisible in almost every significant fight, if they have the option. For a non-stabber, this probably isn't worth training Hexes for on its own, though.
The spell is not significantly better than +Inv items under most circumstances, unless you want to turn monsters invisible (to make your allies more effective or to make centaurs etc. shoot other hostile monsters). I think everyone already knows how broken invisibility stabbing is, so that's all I have to say about the spell.

Noise: Completely silent
Power cap: 100

Iron Shot
Damage is 9d(5/3+power/12), to-hit is 7+power/15. I'll spare the memes: this is a good spell for earth users and not a very good spell for other characters, though some Vehumet characters may want it even without earth magic.

Range: 4
Noise: 6 at the destination followed by 6 at your location

Ozocubu's Refrigeration
Damage is 3d(5+power/10). Since becoming level 6 this spell hasn't been very good, and getting -Potion made it marginally worse. It does ignore AC and EV, but it also damages you and the damage sucks compared to bolt of cold - it even compares unfavorably to Throw Icicle's damage except at very low and very high power. I would describe this spell as convenient (since it hits every monster in LOS) but also bad.

Noise: 5 at your location

Poison Arrow
Damage is 4d(3.75+power/4). To-hit is 5+power/10. Damage is 70% poison, so the spell does 53.33% damage against rPois+ monsters and 41.67% damage against rPois++.
Probably the most overrated spell in the game. Maybe statue form is more overrated, I don't hang out in tileschat/discord/etc. It is obviously very strong against monsters without rPois, but against rPois+, let alone higher, it sucks, and one of its schools is terrible. Still a lot more useful than venom bolt or bolt of magma, though.

Range: 6
Noise: 6 at the destination followed by 6 at your location

Shadow Creatures
Summons one monster that is compatible with your god, chosen as if it's a random spawn on the current dungeon level, but with no OOD chance (so you can't summon yaktaur captains on d:4 even after waiting 5000 turns, sorry). Monsters that generate with bands will get summoned with a band. The summoned monster has a summon duration of 17/max(1,HD-3), randomly rounded, but no greater than 4 and no less than 1. If it came with a band, the band members always get a summon duration of 1.
This spell has been nerfed very hard, multiple times (band member duration reduction, then level increase, then summon cap). It's still very good, because not only is it a summon, it's a power-independent summon.
There is a miniscule chance of Shadow Creatures summoning nothing if it picks a monster with multiple spell sets, a proper subset of which would anger your god (it rerolls the spell set up to 20 times to try to get one that won't anger your god, and gives up after 20 tries). It will also fail to summon anything if it can't find a compatible monster at all; mostly this just happens for good god worshippers in the Vestibule of Hell.
Particularly good in Pan with a good god, as you'll mostly summon angels and daevas, with the occasional cherub or toenail golem. Other amusing results: with good gods or Fedhas, you'll exclusively summon ushabti in Tomb, and with good gods you'll exclusively summon death drakes in Tartarus.

Summon cap: 4
Noise: 4 at your location

Simulacrum
Like animate skeleton but 50 times better. Simulacra have awful HP, but that's okay because monsters have a strong preference for targeting the player over allies; unless the allies are in the way they don't get attacked much except by monsters that they've just attacked. And if a monster has just been attacked by simulacra it's probably dead because they do absolutely ridiculous damage. This spell takes down orbs of fire, seriously.

Noise: 5 at your location

Statue Form
This is an extremely complicated form, and seems to be good at convincing people it's better than it actually is. For unarmed melee characters, this is an excellent spell, particularly if you are something with bad slots like a troll or octopode: it significantly increases your unarmed damage (though not as much as blade hands) and is the only form that has good AC. Remember to wear archmagi, since your untransformed AC barely matters and the enhancer will give you extra statue AC.
If you are a weapon character without spectral weapon, then this spell basically keeps your melee damage output the same (you check AC less often and get the other advantages of slower attack delay, but also get more overkill, if you care about fighting multiple monsters). It may still be worth it if your species has crappy slots, or you really love spells and yet don't have spectral weapon, but wearing plate armour is almost certainly better otherwise. With spectral weapon, statue form is almost certainly going to decrease your damage output, so it's pretty unappealing.
Moving, casting, and firing in statue form is really bad. It's just like being slowed. The only reason meleeing in statue form is good is that it gets a straight up 150% damage multiplier to make up for the speed loss. Other actions do not. So if you are a conjurer or missile character or the like then the only reason to get statue form is that you're afraid of Tomb and/or irrationally afraid of Gloorx Vloq. (Self-LRD in statue form is not useful, it doesn't offer better damage than a wall and the self-damage is pretty big.)
Also, like most forms, this makes you lose your scales AC, so it's not very good for draconians or nagas.

Noise: 5 at your location

Level 7 spells
Spoiler: show
Dragon Form
Claws 3, +38 base damage (including claws) over clawless untransformed, bite, tailslap, +10 strength, +50% hp, 16 AC, giant, and some other stuff that doesn't matter (rPois+, rF++, rC-, 34% GDR, flight, fire breath).
Giant size makes your EV pretty terrible, but Ozocubu's Armour works, so the defenses of dragon form are more or les fine, and it offers by far the highest damage of any form. Good for almost any transmuter that finds it, and largely makes other forms obsolete once you can cast it.
Draconians get a flavour-based bonus that they really shouldn't get: they keep their original scales AC and get an augmented versions of their resistances and breath weapon.

Noise: 6 at your location

Haunt
Still an amazing summon, not much to say about it.

Noise: 6 at your location

Malign Gateway
Despite being high-level, this spell is still pretty broken. If you try to use it like a regular summon, it will be completely useless. The trick is that the tentacle is not technically a summon, and will happily attack even while out of LOS. So the correct way to use it is to cast it well in advance and run away. It does a lot of damage, has pretty high HP, and is immune to almost everything (rF+++, rC+++, rElec+++, rPois+++, rAcid+++, rDrown, rRot+++, rN+++, rTorment, rNapalm) so there are very few monsters that will win a fight against it.

Noise: 6 at your location. "The dungeon shakes, a horrible noise fills the air" is a lie.

Monstrous Menagerie
Generic good summoning spell, harpies are the best result. Note that harpies are batty. This means that after each attack, they begin wandering until the next player action. Therefore, your harpies will attack much more often if you do quicker actions; repeatedly wielding and unwielding a weapon (5 and 3 aut, respectively) is the fastest thing accessible to most characters. If you have a quick blade at minimum delay, that allows you to repeatedly attack empty space with it for repeated 3 aut actions. Of course, slower actions like summoning more things or moving can still be better.

Noise: 5 at your location

Orb of Destruction
The damage of IOOD is:
9d(floor(30*log2(1+power/30)/4)) if power > 30 and it traveled at least 4 squares
9d(floor(power/4)) if power <= 30 and it traveled at least 4 squares
9d(floor(floor(30*log2(1+power/30)*9/10)/4)) if power > 30 and it traveled 3 squares
9d(floor(floor(power*9/10)/4)) if power <= 30 and it traveled 3 squares
9d(floor(floor(30*log2(1+power/30)*7/10)/4)) if power > 30 and it traveled 2 squares ("wavering")
9d(floor(floor(power*7/10)/4)) if power <= 30 and it traveled 2 squares
9d(floor(floor(30*log2(1+power/30)/2)/4)) if power > 30 and it traveled 1 square ("weakly hits")
9d(floor(floor(power/2)/4)) if power <= 30 and it traveled 1 square
If two IOODs collide, and both of them have traveled at least 2 squares, the one that caused the collision will make a radius 1 explosion that deals the damage listed above and makes 40 noise - tied with alarm traps and Gong as the loudest noise in the game. This is bad. If one of them hasn't traveled at least 2 squares, both will just disappear harmlessly and silently.
The flooring and lack of any constant factor give IOOD the dubious distinction of being the only damage spell in the game that is capable of dealing no damage at all (9d0) if the combination of power and distance is bad enough.

I won't specify exactly how orbs behave because the explanation wouldn't be any easier to understand than the code (it's just a lot of math). Here are the non-obvious points:
1. The angle of the orb is a floating-point number, so it has much higher precision than the grid.
2. The initial angle of the orb, and its initial movement energy, are randomized. However, the behaviour of the orb afterwards is deterministic. The range of possible initial angles is reduced with increasing spellpower, and increased by wearing amulets of inaccuracy or having a missing eye.
3. The orb does not accelerate. Its lack of initial movement energy gives the illusion that it is accelerating, but in reality it just hangs at its initial position for a bit and then immediately starts moving at full speed.
4. The orb can only move forward. To seek targets, it turns left or right, changing the angle that "forward" is at.
5.
  Code:
        // Special case:
        // Moving diagonally when the orb is just about to hit you
        //      2
        //    ->*1
        // (from 1 to 2) would be a guaranteed escape. This may be
        // realistic (strafing!), but since the game has no non-cheesy
        // means of waiting a small fraction of a turn, we don't want it.
        const int old_t_pos = mon.props[IOOD_TPOS].get_short();
        const coord_def rpos(static_cast<int>(round(x)), static_cast<int>(round(y)));
        if (old_t_pos && old_t_pos != (256 * target.x + target.y)
            && (rpos - target).rdist() <= 1
            // ... but following an orb is ok.
            && _in_front(vx, vy, dx, dy, 1.5)) // ~97 degrees
        {
            vx = dx;
            vy = dy;
        }
        mon.props[IOOD_TPOS].get_short() = 256 * target.x + target.y;
In other words, if the target is adjacent to the orb, and tries to dodge it, the orb will instantly turn to hit the target. So when dodging orbs of destruction you need to move a little earlier than that.

This spell offers good damage (and ignores EV, but not SH) at the cost of doing bad damage at close range, taking a while to hit the target, sucking in corridors, requiring a significant delay in between casts, and requiring you to have your target in LOS at both the time of casting and the time of damage, probably giving it several actions. Also, because monsters get to use all their energy at once, if you take an action that is slow enough compared to your target's movement that they can get 2+ moves, they can simply walk around the orb of destruction and not get hit by it.
Orbs do not have rWind, so tornado renders them basically useless or worse.
Because of the way the angle fuzzing works, if you are using IOOD in melee range, it is more likely to miss if you are casting it at a diagonally adjacent monster as opposed to a cardinally adjacent one. Similarly, when meleeing monsters that cast IOOD, it's better to do it on a diagonal because their orbs of destruction will be more likely to miss. For many power values, they can only miss at diagonal angles.

This is a convenient spell if you're a conjurer without a good unresistible damage spell - so most fire/ice conjurers, and air conjurers that don't think Airstrike is enough (or never found it). It is pretty much just plain worse than iron shot or LRD for earth conjurers, and if you decide to get any level 9s those will make it obsolete as well.

Noise: 7 at your location, 7 when it hits anything that is not another orb, 40 and 15 (both at once in the same location) when it explodes due to a collision with another orb.

Ring of Flames
This spell has one use: you're a Fire Storm character and want another enhancer.
The clouds are basically useless for damaging things and really only relevant
because they block bolts of cold sometimes, but since the spell also gives you
rC--, that's a wash. The rF++ is unlikely to be relevant by the time you can
cast this and it's certainly not worth investing XP specifically for this spell
in any case. Even when you can already cast it, it's likely not worth the spell
levels. (Remember that enhancers are capped at 3, so if you already have two rings
of fire and a staff, this spell is useless.)

Noise: 6 at your location

Spellforged Servitor
Summons a servitor with a summon duration of 4. It has 9+power/14 HD, randomly rounded,
and 60+7d5 max HP (yes, increased HD doesn't give it more health). It has all the spells from your spell list that are eligible and have a fail rate better than 50%.
Eligible spells for servitor are Lehudib's Crystal Spear, Orb of Destruction, Iron Shot,
Bolt of Fire, Bolt of Cold, Poison Arrow, Lightning Bolt, Bolt of Magma, Bolt of Draining,
Venom Bolt, Throw Icicle, Stone Arrow, Iskenderun's Mystic Blast, Conjure Ball Lightning,
Fireball, Airstrike, Lee's Rapid Deconstruction, Freezing Cloud, Poisonous Cloud (in case
you imported an old save), Force Lance, Dazzling Spray, Mephitic Cloud, Sticky Flame,
Throw Flame, Throw Frost, Freeze, Flame Tongue, Sting, Sandblast, and Magic Dart.
The servitor's frequency for each spell is [spell level of spell]*200/[total spell levels in the servitor's spell list], randomly rounded.
The usefulness of spellforged servitor depends a lot on which spells you have memorized.
Ideally, you have LCS memorized and no other eligible spells. The damage ranking for monster spells at sensible servitor HD values is approximately:
LCS >>> iron shot >>> fireball >> bolt of magma/fire/cold, stone arrow >> poison arrow, bolt of draining > lightning bolt > venom bolt, mystic blast.
(Remaining spells either can't be directly compared (airstrike, force lance, clouds, etc.) or are bad things to give servitor.)

The three particularly bad servitor spells are Orb of Destruction, Conjure Ball Lightning, and Lee's Rapid Deconstruction. CBL and LRD are excellent spells for players but do much more harm than good on servitors. Monsters are too stupid to hit their intended targets with OOD, and servitors are no exception.

Basically this spell is "extremely good" if you're willing to mutilate your spell list, and not very good if you're not. That's in quotes because you have to mutilate your spell list.

Noise: 6 at your location

Summon Hydra
Summons a hydra with the greater of 4 or floor(random2(power)/6) heads. There is a 1/6 chance of the heads being capped at 12, otherwise they are capped at 8. Summon durationuration is always 1.

This is often jokingly compared to IOOD because of how short the summon duration is. It's a significantly better spell, though. Hydras do a ton of damage to other monsters; monsters almost universally have bad AC and EV compared to players and they don't get GDR either. And unlike IOOD, hydras don't destroy themselves when you cast the spell twice in a row.

Summon cap: 3
Noise: 6 at your location

Summon Greater Demon
The chance of initial hostility is 6/power, and the demon also turns hostile shortly before expiring. I haven't used this spell a lot (it was pointless before the summon cap), but it's not terrible.

Summon cap: 3
Noise: 6 at your location
Last edited by duvessa on Saturday, 1st July 2017, 19:19, edited 3 times in total.

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Post Wednesday, 14th June 2017, 08:03

Re: duvessa's spell guide for cool people

Level 8 spells
Spoiler: show
Borgnjor's Revivification
Heals you to full HP and deducts floor((6+X)*[your max HP]/100) from your max HP. X has a binomial distribution; to compute X, do nine trials with an 8/power chance of "success" for each trial, and count the number of "successes". The mean value of X is 72/power, assuming power is at least 8 - if power is 8 or below, the result is obviously always 9, for a total of 15% HP loss.
The spell equivalent of Enter Abyss or Sanctuary. Unlike those abilities it does have a permanent cost attached, but the cost is not especially large. There are very few situations where a single successful Borgnjor's cast is not enough to eliminate all danger. Just don't try to cast it on the last possible turn unless you somehow have it at 0% fail, and ideally have enough foresight to quaff brilliance in advance.

Noise: 6 at your location

Chain Lightning
This is a very complicated spell, so there is a lot of misinformation about it. It often gets compared to Static Discharge, but this is misleading: Static Discharge can start multiple arcs if there are multiple monsters adjacent (with sufficient spellpower). Chain Lightning always makes one arc. This means that while having 2 or even 3 adjacent monsters can make Static Discharge do more damage to a single target, Chain Lightning will always do less damage to each target the more targets there are.
Generally, you should treat Chain Lightning as a single-target spell. While it obviously can damage multiple targets, it is a very inefficient way to do so compared to casting Conjure Ball Lightning (which is two levels lower!) or Tornado (which isn't really harder to cast, being single-school).
Previously Chain Lightning had two things it was good at: doing the highest single-target damage in the game, and arcing to things out of LOS. It can no longer arc to things out of LOS, but it still has the highest single-target damage in the game.
I view Chain Lightning as very similar to LCS. Chain Lightning effectively has a short range (at 6 squares arcs have an extra 33% failure chance and at 7 squares an extra 66%), and is only good when used against one or maybe two or three targets. In exchange, it has the highest mean single-target damage by an extreme margin; LCS isn't anywhere close, though of course chain lightning has the disadvantages of being resistible, extremely loud, and losing all effectiveness when there are many monsters nearby.
(While Chain Lightning can't technically miss, it always has at least a 1/10 chance of failing to arc to any given monster, which is effectively the same thing.)
The self-damage from Chain Lightning is generally less than that of Static Discharge so there's no need to worry about that.
The damage per arc is 2d(max(3,1+power/15)) to you and 5d(2+power/30) to everything else. After each arc, the power is reduced by 7+1d13, and it stops arcing when the power reaches 0. Computing the number of arcs you'll get is too complicated for me to be interested in as it has extra chances to stop in the middle of arcing ("The lightning grounds out"), but I believe its probability distribution is approximately log-normal, which makes the overall damage dealt by the spell approximately log-normal as well.
Monster Chain Lightning damage per arc is 2d(4.6+power/60) to the caster and 5d(9.2+power/30) to everything else. If you're the kind of character that would get Tornado, you probably want to get Chain Lightning as well since Tornado isn't particularly good at doing damage quickly and Chain Lightning is. Even against rElec monsters, Chain Lightning is the fastest Air Magic damage option. Most characters should not be getting close to level 8 conjurations in the first place, however. Chain Lightning is BEAM_ELECTRICITY, so every arc gets half AC applied to it. Since the average number of arcs is more than 2 unless you're casting it from too far away or with implausibly low power, this means it's more affected by AC than other spells.

Noise: 25 at your location and at the end of every arc, followed by 8 at your location

Controlled Blink
Since this doesn't work in Zot anymore it is unlikely that you care about it in a 3-rune game. It is still good to get in 15-rune games, though, since you have an enormous surplus of experience there.

Noise: 2 at your new location after the blink.

Death's Door
This spell is designed to be a period of invulnerability followed by a period of extreme vulnerability. In practice it is a period of invulnerability followed by more invulnerability, unless you screw up, which is always a possibility (and the reason you learn Borgnjor's too). It's dual-school and level 8 so despite how broken this spell is, you're unlikely to get it in 3-rune games.

Noise: 6 at your location

Discord
Attempts to make all monsters in LOS insane, checking MR. Monsters that are already berserk or fatigued, paralysed, sleeping, petrifying or petrified, have no melee attack, or are both brainless and non-natural holiness cannot be made insane. (Brainless natural monsters are fine.)
By the time this spell is castable, I'm not convinced it's useful outside of ziggurats.

Noise: 6 at your location. Note that frenzied monsters themselves tend to make a lot of noise.

Disjunction
In my opinion, this spell is extremely overrated and has very little use outside of Zot (since if you're outside of Zot you could cast controlled blink instead). It does make it impossible to die to orb guardians, which is nice, I guess?

Noise: 6 at your location

Ignition
Creates a 3x3 fire explosion, similar to Fireball, at the location of every hostile monster in LOS (including invisible monsters). The explosions do 3d(3.33+power/9) damage each - this is the same constant damage as Fireball but only 2/3rds of the power-based damage. Monsters that die partway through the spell will still always get explosions on their square, and if a new hostile monster somehow gets created partway through the spell, it won't get an explosion. So the order in which the explosions occur shouldn't generally matter. It differs from Xom's mass fireball in this respect (and also unlike Xom's mass fireball, it awards xp).
I initially gave this spell Fireball's damage, with the expectation that it would be significantly underpowered. This is because having an underpowered spell is much better than having an overpowered one. Then the damage got lowered below Fireball's. So, yeah. I think this decision was reasonable, since like I said, an underpowered spell is way better than an overpowered one, but it does mean Ignition is almost certainly very, very weak. I think it is only worth getting if you intend to become a Fire Storm character and can't cast Fire Storm yet but can cast Ignition.
Against one monster, it is obviously inferior to casting Fireball even before taking into account the higher level, unless it's too far away to be hit by Fireball or blocked by another monster. Against two adjacent monsters, it does somewhat better damage than a Fireball but no better than a Bolt of Fire (unless the monsters have 0 AC, which most monsters don't), so again, not usually a good place to cast it. In general Ignition is strong if you manage to get 2+ hostile monsters adjacent to another, strong hostile monster, without putting yourself in extra danger or wasting extra turns. This is not easy to do, although it's handy against many vaults and summoners (most visibly Vaults:5 and Tomb).
Ignition is rendered almost entirely obsolete by Fire Storm, including in ziggurats (I have plenty of practical experience with this), but then, so is every other Fire/Conjuration spell.

Noise: 15 at the center of every explosion, followed by 8 at your location.

Infestation
Necromancy, now with even more summoning. Gives a 5x5 square of monsters the infested enchantment, no MR check or anything (it even works on magic immune monsters, but not firewood, tentacles, summons, or anything else that gives no XP). The enchantment lasts for (5+random2avg(floor(power/2),2))*10 aut. It cannot be refreshed, but you can let it run out and apply it again. You can and should infest monsters that are out of LOS.
When an infested monster dies, it summons a death scarab with 6 summon duration. This is very long (see the top of the post). Basically this is the spell for turning every garbage demon/skeleton/etc in Pan/Hell/etc into an allied death scarab, with no summon cap.
Note: Infestation does not suffer from the Death Channel problem; a fireball that kills a monster cannot hit that monster's death scarab.

Range: LOS
Noise: 4 at the target location followed by 8 at your location. The death scarab bursting forth doesn't make noise.

Lehudib's Crystal Spear
Damage is 10d(2.3+power/10), to-hit is 10+power/15. Basically just a bigger iron shot.

Noise: 8 at the target location followed by 8 at your location

Necromutation
One of the worst spells in the game. The only places where this form's benefit outweighs its drawbacks are Tomb, Coc, and certain zig levels, and getting it for Tomb is massive overkill (even getting Statue Form for Tomb makes more sense). It is genuinely very good in ziggurats, but those aren't part of the real game and you have unlimited xp by then anyway.
Elsewhere, you are trading the ability to use potions and the two best necromancy spells in the game (Borgnjor's and DDoor) for the privilege of having 6 more AC, a necromancy enhancer that doesn't matter because you can't cast the best necromancy spells, and some resistances that don't matter either. And it's level 8 with an awkward second school.

Noise: 6 at your location

Summon Horrible Things
Powerful monsters, long duration, and a huge summon cap of 8. Probably the one
level 8 spell that is genuinely good to pursue in 3-rune games, and can kill
pretty much anything easily. The int drain is an incredibly obnoxious way of
stopping you from using it in every fight, but you can still use it with no
problems in every significant fight.

Noise: 6 at your location
Summon cap: 8

Level 9 spells
Spoiler: show
Dragon's Call
Gives you a status for (14+floor(power/5)+1d15)*10 aut.
While this spell is active and hostile monsters are in LOS, a dragon is periodically summoned next to a random hostile monster. The dragon gets to act immediately, unlike most summons. Summon duration is always 2. After each dragon, there's a 2+1d5+[extant dragons]*5 aut delay before another dragon can appear. To determine which dragon you get, roll random2(power). If the result is at least 80, or a 1/6 chance succeeds, you get a golden or quicksilver dragon with equal probability.
Otherwise, if the result is at least 40, or another 1/6 chance succeeds, you get an iron, shadow, or storm dragon with equal probability. Shadow dragons are excluded if you are worshipping a good god.
Otherwise, you get a fire or ice dragon with equal probability.
Every dragon deducts 2 or 3 MP with equal probability; if you don't have enough MP the dragon doesn't appear. When the status ends, you get another status for 160 to 260 aut that prevents you from casting the spell again.
I don't have any real experience with this spell. Seems pointless when you could use malign gateway instead.

Noise: 15 at your location on every turn while the spell is active.

Fire Storm
Makes an explosion doing 8d(5/8+power/8) damage which is 55% fire and 45% unresistible. The radius is 3 with a power/1000 chance, otherwise 2. Each affected square gets
a fire cloud with a duration of (2+random2avg(5,2))*10 aut, and if the square is a floor square with no monster in it, has a 1 in 4 chance of summoning a fire vortex there with a summon duration of 1.
Warning: If you are casting Fire Storm with less than 76 power, the targeter will show only the radius of 2 and will not warn you if the radius of 3 could hit you. The targeter is lying. As long as your power is greater than 0, you have a chance of getting a radius 3 explosion.
Fire Storm gives you all the offense you could ever need; the damage is high, it's easy to attack things out of LOS with it, and the fire vortices stop attacks. For almost any monster in the game, this spell is the safest way to kill it. It's especially convenient against monsters like orbs of fire that can't do anything through the vortices. Do be mindful that the damage is only 45% unresistible, so you need a lot of casts to kill resistant monsters.
Unfortunately, it's still unlikely to be a good idea in 3-rune games since because it's a dual-school level 9 spell. The one bad thing about squarelos is that it made Fire Storm more inconvenient to use: you can no longer use it effectively against adjacent monsters.

Range: 5, but since it is an explosion, effectively 7 and occasionally 8
Noise: 25 at the target location, followed by 9 at your location

Glaciate
Damage is 7d(floor((66+power*3)/max(3,floor(range*6/7)))/7). Leaves a freezing cloud in every affected square with a duration of (18+random2avg(45,2))/max(3,range)*10 aut.
Glaciate does a hair more damage than an equal-power Fire Storm, at the expense of having no vortices and comparatively terrible range: it only does full damage for the first four squares, and it is literally impossible to attack out of LOS with it - even if you read fog to make your LOS 2, that will just make the glaciate stop at 2 squares.
So it's Fire Storm without either of the features (smitey out-of-LOS attacking, and vortices) that make Fire Storm good. Glaciate is a really bad spell that's also really badly designed (WHY DO YOU KEEP TRYING TO PUT CONES IN CRAWL'S GEOMETRY, THEY DON'T AND CAN'T WORK ON A CHEBYSHEV GRID, AND WHAT ON EARTH IS THE POINT OF THE BLOCKS OF ICE) and the only time it makes sense to get it is if you're playing a conjurations/ice Vehumet character, and even then it's probably still a bad idea.

Range: 6
Noise: 25 at your location, followed by 9 at your location

Shatter
In my opinion, this is the most useful level 9 spell in the game. Which is sort of like saying the most effective projectile weapon in my refrigerator is the plate with the leftover potatoes on it. It's technically true, but it feels like I'm overselling it nonetheless.
Affects all adjacent monsters and walls, followed by all monsters and walls that are 2 squares away and in LOS, followed by all monsters and walls that are 3 squares away and in LOS, up to the edge of LOS. Closer monsters/walls being affected first is important because it means monsters initially hidden by walls that get destroyed will also be affected.
Affected monsters take Xd(5+floor(power/3)) damage, where X is:
0 if the monster is insubstantial (a fire vortex, spatial vortex, spatial maelstrom, insubstantial wisp, twister, fire elemental, air elemental, ancestor, player ghost, phantom, hungry ghost, flayed ghost, shadow, silent spectre, drowned soul, wraith, shadow wraith, freezing wraith, eidolon, phantasmal warrior, spectral thing, player illusion, spectral weapon, smoke demon, electric golem, ball lightning, lost soul, lurking horror, orb of fire (fuck), orb of destruction, wretched star, battlesphere, or test spawner)
12 if the monster is petrified
6 if the monster is petrifying, or is an earth elemental, ushabti, plain (vault) statue, gargoyle, iron elemental, iron golem, peacekeeper, war gargoyle, saltling, crystal guardian, obsidian statue, orange crystal statue, or Roxanne
1 if the monster is flying and does not meet any of the previous conditions (e.g. flying gargoyles still get 6 dice), or if the monster is a water elemental or slimy (a great orb of eyes, eye of devastation, glowing orange brain, shining eye, eye of draining, floating eye, golden eye, The Royal Jelly, Dissolution, acid blob, azure jelly, slime creature, death ooze, jelly, or ooze)
6 if the monster is skeletal (a skeleton, bone dragon, skeletal warrior, ancient champion, revenant, flying skull, curse skull, or Murray), and is not flying!
randomly 4 or 5 (equal chances) if the monster is icy (an ice beast, simulacrum, ice statue, or block of ice), and is not flying!
3 if the monster does not meet any of the above conditions

The monster's AC is effectively applied to Shatter damage with a penalty of 1, so a monster with 1 AC gets no damage reduction and a monster with 35 AC gets damage reduction as if it had 34 AC.
Affected doors and iron grates are always destroyed.
Affected orcish idols, granite statues, and green crystal walls have a 50% chance of being destroyed.
Affected trees have a 33% chance of being destroyed. This is exactly 33%, it's not 33.33333...%.
Affected rock and slimy walls have a floor(power/4)% chance of being destroyed.
Affected stone walls have a floor(power/6)% chance of being destroyed.
Affected metal walls have a floor(power/10)% chance of being destroyed.

This spell has the following uses:
1. killing non-flying, non-insubstantial, non-slimy monsters really fast
2. killing non-insubstantial flying or slimy monsters really slowly
3. destroying lots of walls really fast (very useful in Hell endings and Tomb)
4. making a ridiculous amount of noise

While you can use it to make a shortcut through the Zot:5 lungs, the extreme noise and the number of flying and insubstantial monsters on Zot:5 makes this a questionable strategy.

While my policy for this guide is generally to not cover monster spells, I think I should mention that flying player gargoyles and statue formers take only 1 die of damage if they are flying, unlike monster gargoyles and statues. Player gargoyles and statue formers that aren't flying still get 6 dice, and flying petrifying and petrified players still get 6 and 12 dice.

Noise: 30 at your location, followed by 30 at the location of every wall or other feature that gets destroyed, followed by 7 at your location.

Tornado
Tornado does a decent amount of damage across its duration, but the damage per turn is awful for a level 9 spell. (Calculating the exact amount of damage it does is a rabbit hole I don't want to go down - the spell has its own source file for a reason.) Has "synergy" with Airstrike since it makes monsters fly. The most memorable thing about Tornado is that it's extraordinarily clunky to use; it lacks range, moves monsters around, obscures the floor, can't be re-cast, sucks in some terrain, and is ended by blink (but not knockback).
It is good for MP efficiency (lol), hitting lots of targets, doing damage that almost nothing resists, and as the first spell you cast against monsters that are going to survive several turns of chain lightning/airstrikes. It's not good for immediate damage, which is really not a good look for a level 9 spell, but hey, it's still more useful than Glaciate. Also significantly quieter than other level 9 damage spells or Chain Lightning.

Range: 5 at its maximum radius, but most of its duration has a lower radius.
Noise: 5 at your location on cast, plus additional noise at your location on every turn during the tornado, growing to 15 noise on the final turn.


Other misc. stuff
Spoiler: show
How do you rank the elemental schools?
I think they are pretty close together now, even the backgrounds. Ice magic obviously beats the other schools at XL1 and XL2 because it has Freeze, but after that, the distribution of busted spells is roughly even.
Fire and ice magic do trail earth and air in terms of having good high-level spells - there's nothing great between Fireball and Fire Storm, the latter of which very few characters should be pursuing anyway, and ice magic is the same except Glaciate isn't even good. However, this doesn't matter until very late in the game, at which point there is little reason to care.

I would say earth is the best once you get LRD to a usable success rate, but earth has serious problems before that due to limited stones.

Should I train spellcasting for max MP or hunger reduction?
IMO, no. If you're like, MuCj, I might start by training spellcasting from 2.6 to 3 to get the extra point of MP. After early game, you have more max MP than you need. Besides, if you are the kind of character that cares about MP at all, you will almost certainly train spellcasting so high for spell levels that training it even higher for MP or success is an obviously bad idea.

How do you rank Crawl's options for killing stuff?
This is not a question with a consensus even among top players, so I have my doubts about my own opinion. Nonetheless, my personal ranking, strictly for character survival (not turncount or realtime) is:
Allies > missile weapons > direct damage spells > ordinary melee > stabbing
My rationale for placing damage spells over melee is that they do significantly more damage, with much more consistency (usually multiple stable dice, instead of one variable-size die with a low median and enormous tail + one small die for enchantment), and they do it at range. Weak mage starts can run out of MP against D:1 monsters and not regenerate it in time, but weak melee starts have the same problem with their HP. Losing heavy armour hurts, but you make up for it by killing things faster and from further away (often from out of their LOS), giving them fewer chances to do damage to you.
However, it is a bad idea to start a non-mage background and try to use direct damage spells on it. You'd need to get really lucky with books, not to mention that you start with bad int. It doesn't beat melee by a big enough margin to be worth it.
Thinking damage spells are good does NOT mean that I think Sif Muna and Vehumet are strong gods. I think they are very weak gods, and it is always better for winning to worship Kiku, Fedhas, Ru, or Gozag.
I do think it is worth it for "melee" backgrounds to switch to missile weapons a lot of the time.
Stabbing is only an option for En and characters that find early +Inv, and those characters are definitely strong but that's more because hexes are strong, not stabbing.
If you are realtime speedrunning then obviously melee is the best option since it is the only one with a passable interface, although I can imagine missile weapons being nearly as fast if you fix ranged autofight.
Turncount speedruns are more complicated and I'm not really qualified to comment on them.
In extended, summons fall down a couple tiers due to enemy summon/abjuration spam and more penetrating/smitey attacks, and direct damage spells get a bit better, perhaps even better than missile weapons.

Do you think it's optimal to hybridize?
I do not think it is optimal to train weapon skills (or unarmed) on any of the mage backgrounds, even late in the game, unless you are something like Mi, Tr, or Mf. I do think it is optimal for initially spell-less characters to get certain spells eventually (mainly summons and self-enchantments, particularly spectral weapon and DMsl) if they aren't with Trog.

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Post Wednesday, 14th June 2017, 08:19

Re: duvessa's spell guide for cool people

duvessa wrote:As a BEAM_ELECTRICITY spell, only half of AC applies to each hit, so AC is about as good against Shock as it is against anything else.


Why? If you hit once, monster uses half AC. If you hit twice, you do hit twice while AC is applied just once (half AC against first hit and half AC against second hit). So to me it looks like AC is half as good against Shock as it is against anything else.

Awesome post, thanks a lot!
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Post Wednesday, 14th June 2017, 09:16

Re: duvessa's spell guide for cool people

This must have been a huge amount of work to put together. I really like these minmayish evaluations. Awesome, thank you.

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Post Wednesday, 14th June 2017, 09:35

Re: duvessa's spell guide for cool people

What if one is not cool? Asking for a friend.

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Post Wednesday, 14th June 2017, 09:35

Re: duvessa's spell guide for cool people

A great post, it's always nice to learn new things!

Just a couple of comments regarding a specific build that's fresh on my mind, felid w/ Statue Form (or training for it):

Lesser Beckoning: Getting this to range 3+ is very useful for every statformer, because it allows you to snatch the most dangerous dude to melee range.

Petrify: Before statform it's the safest spell to stab dangerous dudes like hydras, as EH'd monsters might just wake up when you step into range. After statform it's more convenient than Confuse because it's annoying to chase confused monsters when you're slow.

Irradiate: Has crazy synergy with Uskayaw, as it's a great spell to paralyze adjacent monsters. Non-Uskers still benefit from it especially in Hells where you will get randomly surrounded.

Other thoughts:

Ignition: I've memorized this once with an octopode all-runer and found it OP especially in Zigs and Tomb, and other locations as well. I ended up casting it a lot more than Fire Storm.
Spellcasting penalties, Armour skill, and strength
15 runes: 2x HuSk, Op(Mo,Tm,Wn,Fi,Wr,EE,AM,Wz,Ne), VSTm, DsTm, Dg(Sk,Tm), MuGl, GhMo, Fe(En,EE,Ar,Wn,IE)
3 runes: FoFi, OgSk, KoHu, SpCj, 2x DgGl, MiBe, Fe(Fi,Tm,Mo,Su)

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Post Wednesday, 14th June 2017, 09:49

Re: duvessa's spell guide for cool people

Hexes like Corona, Slow and Tukima's dance have a spellpower bonus, as compared to hexes like Confuse and Ensorcelled Hibernation (the latter is dual school, so typically it has even lower spellpower). This is not mentioned in the game anywhere as far as I know. I am too lazy to look at the code right now and see what exactly the bonus is.

Spellpower bonus for Pain should also be mentioned somewhere.

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Post Wednesday, 14th June 2017, 10:15

Re: duvessa's spell guide for cool people

VeryAngryFelid wrote:Why? If you hit once, monster uses half AC. If you hit twice, you do hit twice while AC is applied just once (half AC against first hit and half AC against second hit). So to me it looks like AC is half as good against Shock as it is against anything else.
Hitting twice with Shock or Lightning Bolt is the norm, not the exception, and applying half of AC twice is pretty similar to applying all of AC once.
bel wrote:I am too lazy to look at the code right now and see what exactly the bonus is.
Yeah that's why I didn't do it either lol
ThreeInvisibleDucks wrote:Petrify: Before statform it's the safest spell to stab dangerous dudes like hydras, as EH'd monsters might just wake up when you step into range. After statform it's more convenient than Confuse because it's annoying to chase confused monsters when you're slow.
I'm confused by this. Are you saying that you use statue form for stabbing? Because that sounds bad. Agreed on convenience though. I did just notice that I managed to miss Ensorcelled Hibernation when writing the guide, I'll have to add it tomorrow.
ThreeInvisibleDucks wrote:Irradiate: Has crazy synergy with Uskayaw, as it's a great spell to paralyze adjacent monsters.
I'm not seeing how it differs from any other AoE spell in this respect...surely something with more hits, like Static Discharge, has more synergy.
ThreeInvisibleDucks wrote:Ignition: I've memorized this once with an octopode all-runer and found it
I asked nicely for no anecdotes.

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Post Wednesday, 14th June 2017, 10:40

Re: duvessa's spell guide for cool people

This is very nice. Worth to copy+paste into the wiki IMO.

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Post Wednesday, 14th June 2017, 11:21

Re: duvessa's spell guide for cool people

duvessa wrote:
ThreeInvisibleDucks wrote:Petrify: Before statform it's the safest spell to stab dangerous dudes like hydras, as EH'd monsters might just wake up when you step into range. After statform it's more convenient than Confuse because it's annoying to chase confused monsters when you're slow.
I'm confused by this. Are you saying that you use statue form for stabbing? Because that sounds bad. Agreed on convenience though. I did just notice that I managed to miss Ensorcelled Hibernation when writing the guide, I'll have to add it tomorrow.

I was anecdoting about cats.
duvessa wrote:
ThreeInvisibleDucks wrote:Irradiate: Has crazy synergy with Uskayaw, as it's a great spell to paralyze adjacent monsters.
I'm not seeing how it differs from any other AoE spell in this respect...surely something with more hits, like Static Discharge, has more synergy.

Ditto.
duvessa wrote:
ThreeInvisibleDucks wrote:Ignition: I've memorized this once with an octopode all-runer and found it
I asked nicely for no anecdotes.

Oops, sorry about that. Thanks for a great post though, I hope I didn't derail it.
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15 runes: 2x HuSk, Op(Mo,Tm,Wn,Fi,Wr,EE,AM,Wz,Ne), VSTm, DsTm, Dg(Sk,Tm), MuGl, GhMo, Fe(En,EE,Ar,Wn,IE)
3 runes: FoFi, OgSk, KoHu, SpCj, 2x DgGl, MiBe, Fe(Fi,Tm,Mo,Su)

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Post Wednesday, 14th June 2017, 11:42

Re: duvessa's spell guide for cool people

duvessa wrote:Hitting twice with Shock or Lightning Bolt is the norm, not the exception, and applying half of AC twice is pretty similar to applying all of AC once.


This is misleading IMHO. Players should use Shock or Lightning Bolt against high AC monsters unless they read your description.
I wonder what you think about Bolts of Foo which typically hit several monsters. Are they worse than Iron Shot because they apply AC thrice when they hit three orcs?
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Post Wednesday, 14th June 2017, 13:37

Re: duvessa's spell guide for cool people

VeryAngryFelid: Duvessa talks about hitting the *same* monster twice is the norm, by bouncing the bolt. So if you compare lightning bolt and an other normal AC checking spell vs a high AC monster lightning bolt does not have an advantage even if it only checks half the AC, since it checks it twice, which is about the same.

Against multiple high AC monsters lightning bolt could be better theoretically, but don't forget that when duvessa said that lightning bolt's damage outperforms other bolt spells she calculated with double zaps. It's not a common scenario to double zap multiple monsters at once.

If you single hit with lightning bolt, the damage is not so great even against high AC monsters.

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Post Wednesday, 14th June 2017, 13:42

Re: duvessa's spell guide for cool people

Great post ! You didn't mention Sandblast though.
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Post Wednesday, 14th June 2017, 14:12

Re: duvessa's spell guide for cool people

On Bolt of Magma you write:
I don't ever want to see an EE even looking at this spell, there is no reason to ever cast it instead of LRD.


That sounds too strong to me. Even you would appreciate having it in the Swamp (joke or not), as LRD is usually not an option there. This is the only bolt-type spell for EEs, and in this role gets many applications. As some EEs also want to train Fire magic anyway, the three-school complication is only a problem for purists.

I can't give you evidence from code, but it seems that BoM has a better to-hit rate than Iron Shot, and it fills the gap provided by the underwhelming power of Stone Arrow until IS gets fully online.
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Post Wednesday, 14th June 2017, 14:19

Re: duvessa's spell guide for cool people

What earth elementalist want to train fire magic? Conjure and sticky flame can be cast with really minimal investment, if you want them, and LRD is better than all other fire spells, and is in the starting book of earth elementalists. It is better than bolt of magma about anywhere, so why waste the mana on the latter, even if you can cast it? I guess you may memorize the latter for swamp if you feel you need it there for some curious reason.

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Post Wednesday, 14th June 2017, 14:47

Re: duvessa's spell guide for cool people

duvessa wrote:Summon Guardian Golem
Summons a guardian golem with a summon duration of 3 and 4+power/16 HD, randomly rounded. On average, it gets about 8 HP per HD. Half the damage dealt to your other allies (not you) is redirected to the guardian golem, and every time it acts while below half of its max HP, it has a 1/4 chance of getting the inner flame enchantment with infinite duration ("overheating").
You can try to use it to shield your allies, but it doesn't have much HP at low power and you need to position it so it doesn't blow up your allies or you. You can try to use it to blow up enemies but since it has no attack and may die without exploding, you'll likely kill the enemies just as fast (and with less noise) by using other summons. Basically this is the one summon spell in the game that manages to be kind of bad.

I like GG and use it a lot. Several reasons:

  • It effectively doubles the HP of all your summons simultaneously. As long as you don't want to kill some monster ASAP, having high HP summons is just as good as having more summons.
  • If you would rather not fight the monster(s) yourself, GG is helpful to hold the line of summons so that no monster breaks through to you. Similarly, if your summons are already at ideal positions, you can use a GG instead of creating a new summon.
  • Even at low spellpower it is useful because it has pretty high AC (10) and lots of resistances, and thus it can absorb a lot of damage. For comparison, a hound has 2 AC and Ice beasts have 5.
  • You can use it to get away, like all summons. It has very low EV, so it will catch stuff directed at you.
  • If you don't want it to explode, or you don't want it to block one of your other summons, you can just recast it: it has a summon cap of 1.
Last edited by bel on Wednesday, 14th June 2017, 14:55, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Wednesday, 14th June 2017, 14:52

Re: duvessa's spell guide for cool people

sanka wrote:VeryAngryFelid: Duvessa talks about hitting the *same* monster twice is the norm, by bouncing the bolt. So if you compare lightning bolt and an other normal AC checking spell vs a high AC monster lightning bolt does not have an advantage even if it only checks half the AC, since it checks it twice, which is about the same.


I realize that. In this case duvessa should write "Damage is 2d(3+power/4)" instead of "Damage is 1d(3+power/4)".
Otherwise comment about AC being as useful as it is against other spells is misleading. I know magic dart (1d8) is quite bad vs plate armour (AC 10), yet Shock with 1d8 is not that bad even when it hits just once because it checks just half AC (5 instead of 10). And if it hits twice it's even better because it becomes 2d8 vs AC 10. Or more precisely, it is double (1d8 vs AC 5) which is better than 2d8 vs AC 10 because you are more likely to deal at least 1 damage.

If you single hit with lightning bolt, the damage is not so great even against high AC monsters.


It does not matter in this context. We were talking about AC role, not final damage.
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Post Wednesday, 14th June 2017, 15:10

Re: duvessa's spell guide for cool people

Writing 2dx instead of 1dx would be much more confusing. How do you know that this is the already doubled damage? It is quite well explained that this is the damage for one zap, but you can have two.

Shock is better against plate mail than magic dart because it deals twice the damage. Not because it is more effective against high AC.
A spell with 2d8 damage but no AC reduction would be about the same.

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Post Wednesday, 14th June 2017, 15:29

Re: duvessa's spell guide for cool people

This is an excellent resource; thank you, Duvessa.

I would say that Passwall is a good escape spell as long as you don't wait till you're too low on HP. It can remove you from being adjacent to a monster and it can take you out of LOS, neither of which are achieved by walking away unless you are faster than the monster. And EE gets it at XL 2. I'm not sure what increased spellpower achieves with it though.

The most depressing thing about the posts is that, even with explanations, I really can't work out the formulae involved. For instance, given a power of 80 does 2d(3+power/4) come out as 2d23 or 2d20.75? And that's one of the simplest ones. I do wish DCSS would show the exact damage figure either caused or sustained by any given attack, whether weapon, spell or other effect - this would be really helpful for those of us who aren't maths whizzes.

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Post Wednesday, 14th June 2017, 15:51

Re: duvessa's spell guide for cool people

Sanka, you missed my point. Shock 1d8 WITHOUT double zap is better than magic dart vs plate armour. Why? Because it ignores half AC
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Post Wednesday, 14th June 2017, 16:52

Re: duvessa's spell guide for cool people

Sublimation of Blood: can't also be cast while in statue and lich forms. Maybe other forms too, like tree (wisp and fungus form can't cast anyway so they don't count)?
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Post Wednesday, 14th June 2017, 17:24

Re: duvessa's spell guide for cool people

Moanerette wrote:This is an excellent resource; thank you, Duvessa.

I would say that Passwall is a good escape spell as long as you don't wait till you're too low on HP. It can remove you from being adjacent to a monster and it can take you out of LOS, neither of which are achieved by walking away unless you are faster than the monster. And EE gets it at XL 2. I'm not sure what increased spellpower achieves with it though.


More spellpower makes you walk through thicker walls.
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Post Wednesday, 14th June 2017, 18:41

Re: duvessa's spell guide for cool people

These are (some of) the things that make crawl, well, crawl:
  • You can cast Apportation on a monster trapped in a throwing net to free the monster and save the net from destruction.
  • Your allied white imp could miss the monster with throw frost and do 3d5 damage to you.
  • Portal Projectile works on awkwardly thrown items.
  • Whether a monster is willing to walk into a flame cloud is randomized for every action.
  • Airstrike makes no noise at the target if the target had rWind and you managed to cast Airstrike on it anyway (e.g. invisible air elemental).
  • Feared monsters destroy scrolls of blinking/teleportation/etc. in their inventory.
  • Bears go berserk when feared.
  • Passage of Golubria works for formicids, but not under Orb status.
  • Bolt of Draining is silent.
  • Self-LRD in statue form is possible, but not good.
  • Flying player gargoyles and statue formers take only 1 die of damage if they are flying, unlike monster gargoyles and statues.

Also, thanks for the nice guide.

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Post Wednesday, 14th June 2017, 19:45

Re: duvessa's spell guide for cool people

4Hooves2Appendages wrote:Whether a monster is willing to walk into a flame cloud is randomized for every action.


Monster: Hoo boy that fire looks deadly
Monster: Hoo boy that fire looks deadly
Monster: Hoo boy that fire looks deadly
Monster: Hey cool a fire let's walk in it
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Post Wednesday, 14th June 2017, 20:01

Re: duvessa's spell guide for cool people

I had always imagine that the monster gets impatient, or annoyed with getting attacked. Mostly I attack monsters while they are on the other side of the cloud of course.

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Post Wednesday, 14th June 2017, 20:20

Re: duvessa's spell guide for cool people

A comment on malign gateway: The tentacle is immune to fire, which means it is strongly favored to win an encounter with one or more orbs of fire. Makes an economical way to shore up a low hp character with no good way to deal with OOFs.

e: Also, interesting tidbit I thought had been changed by a commit last year on "pseudo-summons." I did not realize that/was unsure whether malign gateway tentacles still do the fighting out of LOS thing.
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Post Wednesday, 14th June 2017, 20:38

Re: duvessa's spell guide for cool people

Added EH and Sandblast, thanks!
watertreatmentRL wrote:A comment on malign gateway: The tentacle is immune to fire, which means it is strongly favored to win an encounter with one or more orbs of fire.
It's immune to pretty much everything it's possible to be immune to, aside from damnation and wind. I'll amend the guide to mention that.
VeryAngryFelid wrote:Sanka, you missed my point. Shock 1d8 WITHOUT double zap is better than magic dart vs plate armour. Why? Because it ignores half AC
Almost everything is better than Magic Dart vs. plate armour, since magic dart does some of the lowest damage of any spell and monsters wearing plate armour aren't known for having high EV.
Magipi wrote:The most depressing thing about the posts is that, even with explanations, I really can't work out the formulae involved. For instance, given a power of 80 does 2d(3+power/4) come out as 2d23 or 2d20.75? And that's one of the simplest ones. I do wish DCSS would show the exact damage figure either caused or sustained by any given attack, whether weapon, spell or other effect - this would be really helpful for those of us who aren't maths whizzes.
Multiplication and divison come before addition and subtraction. 3+80/4 is 23, not 20.75.
Last edited by duvessa on Wednesday, 14th June 2017, 20:45, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Wednesday, 14th June 2017, 20:45

Re: duvessa's spell guide for cool people

Duvessa teaches magic...hmm...
Something is definetely wrong.

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Post Wednesday, 14th June 2017, 20:51

Re: duvessa's spell guide for cool people

I finally found a use for Gell's Gravitas, you can use it to pull things into your conjure flame, if you don't happen to have another "hostile" cloud to convince them with...

Ok, it's not a good use, but that's about the closest I've ever seen to it being 'useful'
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Post Wednesday, 14th June 2017, 21:57

Re: duvessa's spell guide for cool people

Corrected summon duration aut values. I was lazy and misinterpreted a comment; they're slightly higher than I thought.

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Post Thursday, 15th June 2017, 00:58

Re: duvessa's spell guide for cool people

You're missing summon butterflies!!!

For the MR-checking spellpower modifiers, they are as follows:
  • Corona gets a +10 bonus to spellpower. (see spl-zap.cc:spell_zap_power)
  • Corona, Slow, Tukima's Dance, Teleport Other and all forms of mass enchantments (i.e. Discord, Cause Fear, etc.) get 1.5x.
  • EH actually gets a de-enhancer of 0.9x and an second stepdown applied (see spl-zap.cc:spell_zap_power)
  • Inner Flame gets 3x.
  • Pain gets 3.5x.
  • Agony gets 5x.
The non-EH multipliers are calculated using the spell's to-hit data in zap-data.h and applied before the spellpower stepdown.

It's also worth mentioning that most forms set your movement speed to 1.0, which is relevant for all species with non-1.0 movement speed and Na in particular.

Alistair's Intoxication is (bafflingly) Level 5, not 4.

Cause Fear's spellpower cap is 200, not 100 so it's very unlikely the player will actually reach it for the spell.

Leda's Liquefaction applies a uniform +3 aut penalty to player movement, but a +3-10 aut penalty to monsters, so it can be used as a worse and janky form of swiftness. Also, Dragon Form can end this effect early (why would you have both Leda's and Dragon Form though? It is a mystery.)

Petrify has some benefits over Confuse: You get paralyze stab tiers now on petrified monsters (in 0.18 and earlier it was worse) which means all stabbing attempts are guaranteed and the AC reduction is applied after the stabbing multiplier, and you can enhance Petrify with a staff of earth to partially offset the dual school requirement.

Also, a monster in the process of petrifying has their actions slowed so most characters can back up a few spaces to avoid dealing with it until it's fully petrified, and if you follow Dithmenos and both your initial cast and the shadow mimic cast land, the petrification is instant as multiple successful casts speed up the process.

Cigotuvi's Embrace also gives SH.

Summon Forest can be used in non-open spaces. The exact condition is that the player must be standing in a 3x3 region that doesn't contain solid features. They do not need to be centered, so you can cast it in the corner of a 3x3 room. Also I think it's worth mentioning how often the awakened trees attack and their damage.

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Post Thursday, 15th June 2017, 01:25

Re: duvessa's spell guide for cool people

CanOfWorms wrote:You're missing summon butterflies!!!
Fixed, thanks.
CanOfWorms wrote:Leda's Liquefaction applies a uniform +3 aut penalty to player movement, but a +3-10 aut penalty to monsters, so it can be used as a worse and janky form of swiftness. Also, Dragon Form can end this effect early (why would you have both Leda's and Dragon Form though? It is a mystery.)
Huh, I assumed both of those things had been fixed.
CanOfWorms wrote:You get paralyze stab tiers now on petrified monsters (in 0.18 and earlier it was worse)
I missed this too
CanOfWorms wrote:if you follow Dithmenos and both your initial cast and the shadow mimic cast land, the petrification is instant as multiple successful casts speed up the process
wtf

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Post Thursday, 15th June 2017, 04:44

Re: duvessa's spell guide for cool people

Ok, my final attempt to explain. 1d8 shock deals more damage on hit to orc in plate armour than any other spell which checks AC with the same 1d8 damage roll does. So it is wrong to ignore ignoring 50%AC
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Post Thursday, 15th June 2017, 07:32

Re: duvessa's spell guide for cool people

Is description of Sticks to Snakes correct?
Its powercap is 100, so "one in 5-min(4,power/50) chance" can be replaced with "one in 5-floor(power/50) chance"
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Post Thursday, 15th June 2017, 08:10

Re: duvessa's spell guide for cool people

duvessa wrote:
CanOfWorms wrote:if you follow Dithmenos and both your initial cast and the shadow mimic cast land, the petrification is instant as multiple successful casts speed up the process
wtf


Yeah pietrify is actually good in 0.20 for stabber, if they have somehow invested into earth\have enchancer\have extremely high int.

Still not so good spell, as most likely 90% of chars will have confuse at much higher spellpower\success for free, but I'd say that with an unlikely same hex success percentage, confuse is better against ranged\magic user as disable them instantly while pietry is better against melee enemies - especially if faster than char speed.

I'll add WTF with dragon form and leda's.
screw it I hate this character I'm gonna go melee Gastronok

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Post Thursday, 15th June 2017, 08:36

Re: duvessa's spell guide for cool people

Summon forest is pretty good in Swamp.

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Post Thursday, 15th June 2017, 11:06

Re: duvessa's spell guide for cool people

duvessa wrote:
CanOfWorms wrote:if you follow Dithmenos and both your initial cast and the shadow mimic cast land, the petrification is instant as multiple successful casts speed up the process
wtf

I don't know if this is a bug, or if I remember wongly, but several versions ago I had a Dith character with hexes. The interaction was really bad. Sometimes the shadow mimic casting the same spell, would somehow cancel the effect of the initial hex, like undoing teleport status or something.
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Post Thursday, 15th June 2017, 14:25

Re: duvessa's spell guide for cool people

Monsters don't have a summon cap, do they? In my experience there is nothing more irritating than monsters with !@$# butterflies.
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Post Thursday, 15th June 2017, 15:21

Re: duvessa's spell guide for cool people

Fantastic post. One of the best I've seen here, ever.

I might disagree on some of these in some level but those would count as my personal preferences.

One thing I'd like to ask. Conjure Flame is super-good spell as mentioned here also and famously good hydra-killer. However, I have seen hydra taking diagonal move towards me when i have set up conjure flame walk of f(l)ame for it. Is this a random thing or am I missing something here? This has not happened often but often enough to be mentioned.

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Post Thursday, 15th June 2017, 18:25

Re: duvessa's spell guide for cool people

Super useful post, thanks!!!

Edit: random2 doesn't mean "Roll this twice and average the results". My bad.

Worth calling out the poorer accuracy of Throw Flame compared to Flame Tongue (8+power/10 vs. 11+power/6)? Range is nice but average damage per MP seems more important when MPs are in short supply.

Tukima's Dance is more than just a hurt-monsters spell, it also permanently reduces their dangerousness by peeling their weapon. I can't think of another hex with a permanent impact other than Polymorph, which often makes an enemy more dangerous.

Necromutation is a hungerless state. This can transform certain characters into OP casters. To my mind this is a more significant potential benefit than the ones duvessa listed. (I don't care if this is never relevant for players who play "properly" or whatnot.)
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Post Thursday, 15th June 2017, 18:28

Re: duvessa's spell guide for cool people

random2 means "roll this once", not twice.

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Post Thursday, 15th June 2017, 18:42

Re: duvessa's spell guide for cool people

Sphara wrote:Fantastic post. One of the best I've seen here, ever.

I might disagree on some of these in some level but those would count as my personal preferences.

One thing I'd like to ask. Conjure Flame is super-good spell as mentioned here also and famously good hydra-killer. However, I have seen hydra taking diagonal move towards me when i have set up conjure flame walk of f(l)ame for it. Is this a random thing or am I missing something here? This has not happened often but often enough to be mentioned.


Based on my recollection it depends where you are positioned. It will for example step around a cloud if it can still get to you on the same turn. If you've made a line of clouds, but don't exactly at the end of it, then many monsters will walk past the clouds.

The easiest, and most predictable, approach is to have a cloud on a single tile corridor (they can be rare on some lair levels, and hard to use in Swamp). Once it's in the fire you can just make a straight line (orthogonal) to your own position and it will step into each cloud on the way. Silly beast.

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Post Thursday, 15th June 2017, 19:06

Re: duvessa's spell guide for cool people

ThreeInvisibleDucks wrote:A great post, it's always nice to learn new things!

Just a couple of comments regarding a specific build that's fresh on my mind, felid w/ Statue Form (or training for it):

Lesser Beckoning: Getting this to range 3+ is very useful for every statformer, because it allows you to snatch the most dangerous dude to melee range.

Petrify: Before statform it's the safest spell to stab dangerous dudes like hydras, as EH'd monsters might just wake up when you step into range. After statform it's more convenient than Confuse because it's annoying to chase confused monsters when you're slow.

I generally consider it highly worthwhile for melee characters, and especially statue form characters, to have a ranged attack, because you don't always want to be walking towards, or even away from, certain things. Now with lesser beckoning, you can consider lesser beckoning to completely replace the need to train a ranged attack - just pull in the monster and use your far superior melee damage. I love this spell, so so so much. I've basically FR'ed it several times before it went in, and the final version is great. It is difficult to raise the range significantly but I'll train a lot of translocations just to get this up to range 5 or so.

I'm also becoming more and more a fan of petrify, I used to not use it much on EE's, but even with the defenses that monsters get, the stabs and being able to get several free attacks means you can usually kill the petrified monster before it un-stones anyways. Great spell.

Edit: I think the "userbase" for petrify is different from confuse. I wouldn't use petrify over confuse on a En, but for EE's it's a great escape spell that also is a kill spell on things you wouldn't want to melee in a fair fight. It's basically like the spell version of throwing nets, and throwing nets are OP. Assuming your EE has any decent melee combat power, the stabs mean you can pretty much blow through the defenses it gives.

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Post Friday, 16th June 2017, 12:48

Re: duvessa's spell guide for cool people

great read, thanks
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Post Friday, 16th June 2017, 14:25

Re: duvessa's spell guide for cool people

I want to give some props to Sublimation of Blood. Its frequently a great spell on characters who use allies to kill things and who have plenty of health. It is also in necromancy, where regeneration and vamp exist for health, and there are plenty of spells for allies. Its also great on summoners, because it is only level 2.

Summoners and necromancers prefer to not reset, and SoB allows them to rarely reset.

Finally, it is useful on freezing cloud characters (RIP Poison Cloud) because you frequently are just spending idle turns waiting for things to die and just dropped 12-18 MP to get your frozen field up.

I find it more useful in the mid game and beyond.

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Post Friday, 16th June 2017, 19:10

Re: duvessa's spell guide for cool people

4Hooves2Appendages wrote:
Sphara wrote:Fantastic post. One of the best I've seen here, ever.

I might disagree on some of these in some level but those would count as my personal preferences.

One thing I'd like to ask. Conjure Flame is super-good spell as mentioned here also and famously good hydra-killer. However, I have seen hydra taking diagonal move towards me when i have set up conjure flame walk of f(l)ame for it. Is this a random thing or am I missing something here? This has not happened often but often enough to be mentioned.


Based on my recollection it depends where you are positioned. It will for example step around a cloud if it can still get to you on the same turn.
Not true. It doesn't matter whether they have the option to walk around the flame cloud or not, their chance of walking into a flame cloud only depends on their hp, intelligence, and resistances.

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Post Friday, 16th June 2017, 19:16

Re: duvessa's spell guide for cool people

Is a spellcast that does a mean of 16 damage before checking full AC strictly better than a spellcast that does a mean of 14 damage over two segments (like a doublezap) before checking 1/2 AC?
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Post Saturday, 17th June 2017, 04:03

Re: duvessa's spell guide for cool people

also, list of things I found while making this guide that are probably bugs (I'm too lazy to fix them myself):
- Corona has a power cap of 200 specified in spl-data.h, but due to spell_zap_power_cap in spl-zap.cc, its actual power cap is 90. This is a very strange power cap since the hashes are at 75 and 100; you cannot tell whether you have Corona at max power by looking at the hashes. I don't see what harm it would do to allow it to go up to 100.
- Recasting Battlesphere should really update its HD. (There are a lot of other problems with this spell but this one seems like a simple oversight)
- There are a lot of silly breakpoints introduced by integer division (searching for 'floor' should catch nearly all of them), but the Conjure Ball Lightning ones are especially bad. You get +60% mean ball count (and naively +60% mean damage) for going from 99 to 100 power.
- There is a miniscule chance of Shadow Creatures summoning nothing if it picks a monster with multiple spell sets, a proper subset of which would anger your god (it rerolls the spell set up to 20 times to try to get one that won't anger your god, and gives up after 20 tries).
- Malign Gateway is surely supposed to be louder than it is.
- IOOD's returns on spell power are bizarre, I can't think of any other damage spell with a stepdown on damage. Spell power already has a stepdown.
- The fact that the player gets to pick spellforged servitor's spell set makes it very, very strange that monster fireball does more damage than monster bolt of fire/cold, monster bolt of magma does just as much damage as monster bolt of fire/cold, and monster stone arrow does just as much damage as monster bolt of fire/cold and more than monster poison arrow/lightning bolt/mystic blast. How on earth is an unspoiled player going to figure out that giving their servitor stone arrow is better than giving it poison arrow?
- The fire storm targeter should definitely not assume radius 2 when your power is under 76. It should only assume radius 2 when your power is 0, since that's the only situation in which radius 2 is guaranteed.
- Skeletal grounded monsters and other brittle grounded monsters both get 6 Shatter dice. But skeletal flying monsters get 1 die whereas other brittle flying monsters still get 6. Same situation with icy monsters. Surely either all brittle monsters should get 6, or all flying monsters should get 1. (Or they could cancel out, I guess, I just have a hard time believing that a flying harpy skeleton should get a different number of Shatter dice than a flying monster gargoyle)
- Shatter effectively applies AC with a penalty of 1 because it subtracts random2(AC) from the damage. Why doesn't it just call apply_ac?

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Post Sunday, 18th June 2017, 19:05

Re: duvessa's spell guide for cool people

This is freaking awesome, great job
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