High Level Necro Spells


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Temple Termagant

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Post Sunday, 7th July 2019, 22:12

High Level Necro Spells

Which high level necro spell (infestation, revivification, death's door, necromutation) is the best?

Zot Zealot

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Post Sunday, 7th July 2019, 22:49

Re: High Level Necro Spells

deaths's door > Revivification > Infestation >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Necromuation

In my opinion, the strongest one is death's door. Invulnerability is good. You need to use it correctly though.

Revivification is also strong. At this stage of the game (these spells are mostly for extended or maybe the very end game) you need options for the time when you do something very stupid, and revivification is exactly useful for that.

Infestation is extremely strong as well. The death scarabs are very strong and seem to stay for a long time.

Necromuation is very rarely useful, only in areas with a lot of torment, but most of the time you have better use for the XP. Good for Ziggurats, though.

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Post Monday, 8th July 2019, 00:51

Re: High Level Necro Spells

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Post Monday, 8th July 2019, 00:55

Re: High Level Necro Spells

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Post Friday, 19th July 2019, 23:44

Re: High Level Necro Spells

I've always been too afraid that I'll use death's door in the wrong circumstances so I basically never used it at all. Revivification is a total get out of jail free card, though. Are you about to die? Poof, full life. It's like being a felid except you aren't teleported.

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Post Saturday, 20th July 2019, 06:32

Re: High Level Necro Spells

Necromutation is the weakest. The rest are all good.

Quaff brilliance before using Revivification.

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Post Saturday, 20th July 2019, 18:04

Re: High Level Necro Spells

Necromutation is the best for otherwise mutation-vulnerable characters spending excessive time in the Abyss, but generally speaking, Death's Door is best. Borg is strong, but I won't touch it because I hate the idea of permanent stat loss and would rather just let my character die.

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Post Sunday, 21st July 2019, 10:30

Re: High Level Necro Spells

I have extremely limited experience with Death's Door, I guess I used it in 2 games. Both games went like this: I cast DD, then it expired, and I died immediately without a chance to do anything. Maybe I'm missing something crucial.
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Post Sunday, 21st July 2019, 10:53

Re: High Level Necro Spells

Magipi wrote:I have extremely limited experience with Death's Door, I guess I used it in 2 games. Both games went like this: I cast DD, then it expired, and I died immediately without a chance to do anything. Maybe I'm missing something crucial.
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Post Monday, 22nd July 2019, 09:52

Re: High Level Necro Spells

Magipi wrote:I have extremely limited experience with Death's Door, I guess I used it in 2 games. Both games went like this: I cast DD, then it expired, and I died immediately without a chance to do anything. Maybe I'm missing something crucial.


Well you have 20ish turns where you're are invulnerable, so I believe the statement "without a chance to do anything" isn't really correct.

However you need to spend well those 20ish turns. It usually means either:

* to run away and get to a safe place to rest burning anything necessary to do so - e.g. from tomb 3 to tomb 2 - with tomb 2 ideally full cleared.
* kill anything - e.g. usually ziggurat.

I would prefer revification on hells' level because you could always get killed by a unresistalble and unpredictable hell's effect, or probably even in situations like half of a pan level cleared - where smiters and things like that could always appear in LOS.
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Post Wednesday, 24th July 2019, 18:36

Re: High Level Necro Spells

IMO necromutation gets a little too much hate just because it's so much worse than other necro spells close to it in level...but those spells are some of the best spells in the game. Lich form is not, it is pretty situational. But it's often still worth rostering for those odd scenarios for players going heavy into necro + not very heavy into other spell schools (a reasonable choice since necro is versatile).

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Post Thursday, 25th July 2019, 05:13

Re: High Level Necro Spells

nago wrote:I would prefer revification on hells' level because you could always get killed by a unresistalble and unpredictable hell's effect, or probably even in situations like half of a pan level cleared - where smiters and things like that could always appear in LOS.
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Post Thursday, 25th July 2019, 19:24

Re: High Level Necro Spells

TheMeInTeam wrote:IMO necromutation gets a little too much hate just because it's so much worse than other necro spells close to it in level

I think it's mainly because it's double-school with tmut, so you need to dump a ton of XP into a spell school you (almost certainly) aren't otherwise using just so you can be immune to torment.

It's not a useless spell, it's just extremely expensive for what you get.
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Post Thursday, 25th July 2019, 20:25

Re: High Level Necro Spells

njvack wrote:
TheMeInTeam wrote:IMO necromutation gets a little too much hate just because it's so much worse than other necro spells close to it in level

I think it's mainly because it's double-school with tmut, so you need to dump a ton of XP into a spell school you (almost certainly) aren't otherwise using just so you can be immune to torment.

It's not a useless spell, it's just extremely expensive for what you get.


How much XP you need to dump depends on how much INT your character has and how much you're putting into necromancy. Could be that you only need 4-8 tmut, which isn't a big investment for extended.

I wouldn't mind it being lower level though, considering it can't touch dragon form or even statue form in utility and those are both lower level.

But hey, at least it's better than hydra form.

Edit: I forgot to mention that haunt is very strong even at its level 7 spot. Anything w/o stasis gets slowed, with a good chance of MR/2 also. While the lower tier stuff doesn't hit enemies very hard you often still have 1-2 ~30 and 1-2 ~40 damage monsters hitting the target each turn in addition to the slow/blocking. Even high AC enemies like OOFs still take damage. The list of things haunt can't kill is tiny.

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Post Saturday, 27th July 2019, 16:50

Re: High Level Necro Spells

I found Haunt solid enough I was casting it when I had the Dragoncall status - that I was willing to not turn 7 of my MP into dragons in order to drop Haunt on some particular nuisance.
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Post Sunday, 28th July 2019, 02:41

Re: High Level Necro Spells

Hydra Form is way more useful than Necromutation. Sure it's mostly just a weaker version of Dragon Form, but it's lower level than Dragon Form and still gives you a big damage increase, some extra HP, and move delay 6 in water (a lot of levels have water on them these days).
Necromutation on the other hand manages to be actively worse than untransformed in any situation that doesn't involve a screen full of mummies, because at a minimum, being able to cast Necromutation means that you can cast Borgnjor's (and that DDoor is not far away), and access to Borgnjor's is far more valuable than torment immunity in any situation that doesn't involve a screen full of mummies. So you are looking at a spell whose use cases are like, doing Tomb:3 and doing mummy levels in ziggurats, and even there, it blocking DDoor really hurts. And that isn't even accounting for how it also prevents you from drinking potions lol.
I actually think statue form is better in Tomb, and statue form isn't that great in Tomb.
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Post Sunday, 28th July 2019, 19:31

Re: High Level Necro Spells

duvessa wrote:Hydra Form is way more useful than Necromutation.


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Halls Hopper

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Post Monday, 29th July 2019, 11:26

Re: High Level Necro Spells

Necromutation removes the food clock, allowing for millions of turns to meticulously reveal each unseen tile of a floor in a theoretically optimal, perfectly safe manner.

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Post Monday, 29th July 2019, 14:01

Re: High Level Necro Spells

You have to consider opportunity cost: investing that much XP into a niche (some might say useless) spell is itself not "optimal".

Also, by the time you learn Necromutation, there's no need to play in a meticulous "optimal" manner. And even if there was a need, at that point, food is almost certainly irrelevant.

[I think Lich form should be able to quaff potions. Liches are not Mummies. Ghouls can quaff, Bloodless Vampires can quaff, so why not Liches? Necromutation would still be a fairly niche and quite expensive spell.]

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Post Monday, 29th July 2019, 14:48

Re: High Level Necro Spells

braveplatypus wrote:Necromutation removes the food clock, allowing for millions of turns to meticulously reveal each unseen tile of a floor in a theoretically optimal, perfectly safe manner.
You can't cast Necromutation early enough for this to be useful. Perhaps if Pan didn't have monster spawns it would be a different story.

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Post Monday, 29th July 2019, 14:57

Re: High Level Necro Spells

Changing forms doesn't take that long. There's no reason to avoid having both torment immunity and access to revivification/ddoor/potions.

Necromutation is also useful for blocking malmutations and those can be absolutely cancerous to deal with if you get teleportitis or berserkitis. Though at least by extended you can probably find a piece of -tele gear, no guarantees. If necromutation were a more reasonable level it would be more useful as a hedge against malmutation, though I'd rather see the mutation system be made less cancerous in general than making necromutation the "solution" for it.

Hydra form is way too frail. Bad AC even with Ozocubu's and terrible EV. You get more damage, but the loss of most defenses makes that niche, good for felids in swamp or something but generally bad.

Still, given its typical utility compared to statue form (which is overrated itself but at least has more use cases) I see no reason necromutation is a level 8 spell. At level 5-6 it would see more use...and I think even at that range it would still be a situational spell.

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Post Monday, 29th July 2019, 23:28

Re: High Level Necro Spells

given that you can block malmutations with a level 1 spell, i don't see much use in a level 8 spell blocking malmutations

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Post Tuesday, 30th July 2019, 14:23

Re: High Level Necro Spells

duvessa wrote:given that you can block malmutations with a level 1 spell, i don't see much use in a level 8 spell blocking malmutations


You can (usually) block malmutes with a level 1 spell. Butterflies aren't going to kill the OOFs for you though. You'll need to kill them with smite targeted magic (if you have something strong enough that is), pproj, or you'll wind up having LoS with them. Same goes for malmuters in abyss/extended.

Butterflies will work pretty well in slime though because floating eyes are pretty easy to kill quickly if you get the other crap out of the way.

As I said, the utility of lich form suggests it shouldn't be a level 8 spell though. It's obviously weaker than a level 6 spell that is also dual school and itself overrated. And despite that, it's also more god-restricted than even cheaper alternative tmuts like ice form.
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Post Tuesday, 30th July 2019, 16:04

Re: High Level Necro Spells

OoF malmutations are generally not a problem because 90+% of the time, you'll get them in Zot:5 and you're just going to ascend soon. In the worst case (let say teleportitis or berserkitis), just quaff !mutation and get rid of it...
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Post Tuesday, 30th July 2019, 17:07

Re: High Level Necro Spells

Were it only OOFs. In addition to extended, you can get malmulted in two of the 3 common picks for 3rd rune. You can also get random summons that malmutate you in orc, elf, and depths. These can mostly handled by destroying the enemies quickly/limiting their time in LoS, but once every 100-200 games or so they'll put a malmuter in your face and hit you with a berserkitis/teleportitis. Better hope the potion RNG is good that game.

But this is starting to get tangential. Lich form isn't a practical counter to most of this, because lich form is (for some reason) a level 8 spell. As it stands right now lich form is mostly a niche spell for extended on caster that already went high necromancy for the other, better options.

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Post Thursday, 1st August 2019, 07:01

Re: High Level Necro Spells

If doing a full 15 rune game, and not worshipping TSO (which is a bad idea, but hey there are demonspawn, etc.) then Necromutation is an extremely useful spell. It isn't particularly easy or efficient to train for because 1) you don't generally need a lot of necromancy skill trained for much beyond perhaps dispel undead for very tough ghosts, and 2) transmutations are pretty annoying in general, except statue form, but it's use is fairly case specific (like for octopodes, or TSO worshippers.) If doing zigs, then it's an absolute requirement (combined with Mak) if you want reliable results.

Hydra form and summon butterflies are better? Please. This is nothing more than elitist posturing.

Normally in cases where necromutation would be a great choice, TSO is always still a better one (except zigs). But if you cannot worship TSO, then it's good to have. You don't need it for a 3-rune game though. One thing that helps a little bit is that because it's a transmutation, you can carry a staff of wizardry around as a swap item to make casting it a bit easier without too much of a negative impact.

As for the other necro spells, well, some of them are okay but each is annoying in one way or another. I don't like permanent stat drains, and despite having a lot of turns to recover, I've found that overall you're better off maintaining a position of strength than having spell slots loaded with escape options. It's hard to control what may happen at just the wrong time, better to be always prepared for anything. Infestation, well, if you're able to kill enough monsters to make it worthwhile then you should already be fine from a god with life on kill. Usually, it isn't lack of offense (especially from allies) that is the main problem, but keeping your health high so that from each turn to the next your odds of not being killed stay as good as possible, and this often means more defense. When offense becomes more important because you're surrounded by mobs of creatures, this is where AOE spells balance the scales (ignition, etc.) You don't need allies when you're able to mop up the screen packed with enemies and/or deal with lone targets just fine. What's the cost? Spell slots. Spell slots do matter my friends.

The only serious argument for a necromancy spell that towers over the rest is vile clutch, by no small margin.
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Post Friday, 2nd August 2019, 18:53

Re: High Level Necro Spells

svendre wrote:The only serious argument for a necromancy spell that towers over the rest is vile clutch, by no small margin.

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Post Saturday, 3rd August 2019, 12:32

Re: High Level Necro Spells

biasface wrote:Which high level necro spell (infestation, revivification, death's door, necromutation) is the best?


The more I think about this thread, the more unfair it feels to compare the four spells. The context and use is wildly different, to the point where no useful comparison can be made that one of the spells is the "best".

1) Infestation is a summoning spell which works off killing. It gives extra damage through the scarabs, and some safety due to the sheer amount of HP the enemies have to burn through. The slowing attacks also offer benefits to the player in all cases except when using Slouch. The context of the spell requires reliable damage through other sources to get the (dung)ball rolling, and it can be argued that another spell or two could take up the slots.

2) Revivification is a full heal at the price of permanent HP loss. Because of the overall hostility of DCSS towards player HP bars, it is useful in a dominant majority of bad situations. In fact, aside from being an evil spell, vulnerable to silence and MP drain issues, and the HP loss - BR is one of the most powerful spells in the game IMO.

3) DDoor offers temporary invulnerability. Much like BR, it is obscenely powerful in so many bad situations that it may as well be called the most powerful spell of all. The balancing factors of a cooldown period and a return to almost no HP do work, but unless in extremely unpredictable places like ziggurats or the Hells - you're almost guaranteed full safety. Plus, BR complements it.

4) Necromutation is a form spell, and should be considered such. This makes it an intruder from the start: all form spells are situational. There are plenty of places where at least one of {rPois ∞, rN ∞, rRot, rC+, MR+} is useful, if not a complete difficulty changer. It also grants +# to all other necromancy spells, which is nothing to overlook. Again, the high level of the spell itself is a limiting factor, and the -Potion is a major disadvantage.

In summary, the four spells are just too different by basic design to draw a real conclusion about the "best" - of the four, Revivification and DDoor are the closest to one another, and they're still very far apart in utility and context. Infestation can be loosely comparable to Animate dead or Haunt, and Necromutation is in another bracket altogether.
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Post Monday, 5th August 2019, 17:14

Re: High Level Necro Spells

The only serious argument for a necromancy spell that towers over the rest is vile clutch, by no small margin.


If it's not an OOF or something with extremely powerful AoE, it will die to haunt. For the purposes of this spell, torment doesn't count, because ghosts are immune.

Despite that it won't solo kill them for free haunt is still useful against OOFs and Hell/Pan lords, however, because they don't have stasis and are thus susceptible to the on-hit slow. Their attacks are a lot less scary while slowed. Plus phantasmal warriors hit hard enough to be noticeable.

It's amazing that this spell is rarely mentioned since it's 1) one of the guaranteed spells in Kiku's necrobook 2) is smite targeted 3) is effective against nearly everything 4) requires no killing of monsters in advance to be useful and 5) does good damage + irresistible status effect to the target. It's also silly not to consider a level 7 spell in the highest level necromancy book anything other than "high level". Throwing haunt on fiends will kill them modestly quickly, but it does so at a distance while significantly reducing their #turns to torment you. It can also be used to straight up block enemies like Mennas from reaching you and kill him trivially. Combos nicely with BVC too.

Walking through extended with regen stacks, kiku torment protection, and haunt/infestation as your offense against non-popcorn is a straightforward way to get to 15 runes. I'm not convinced TSO is actually better, unless you're trying to be faster real-time, considering such a setup can also drop 3 dozen+ high end zombies (Kiku often gives you stuff like gold dragon corpses) in the face of any hell/pan lord at a very reasonable piety cost.

Zin probably shouldn't overlooked either, though TSO/Zin will block the "high level necro spells" from practicality.

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Post Monday, 5th August 2019, 17:49

Re: High Level Necro Spells

Yes, Zin!

Sanctuary gives invulnerability similar to Revocation and Death's Door. Recite is a free full-screen nuke. Vitalization is a strong buff. Mutation invulnerability. Annoying conducts.

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Post Thursday, 8th August 2019, 02:14

Re: High Level Necro Spells

I will concede that Haunt is a good spell, and I should have mentioned it. Here's the irony though, the best application for Haunt that I've found is to kill Tzmitzles(sp?!) that have both torment and dispel undead. Torment is *bad*, therefore neromutation is very helpful when facing off against torment. Dispel undead is very, very dangerous against undead. So, imo the best case scenario for when you want to train Haunt is when you are using necromutation, because the two together solve one of the most dangerous combinations by blocking both torment and dispel undead's required line of sight :P

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Post Thursday, 8th August 2019, 15:48

Re: High Level Necro Spells

Haunt blocks hurling damnation variants too. Unlike actually being undead you can have regen active before doing lich form, but lich form is still easily the weakest spell in the book and situational. Certainly useful when multiple tormentors just appear though.

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Post Thursday, 8th August 2019, 16:14

Re: High Level Necro Spells

Sorcerous wrote:4) Necromutation is a form spell, and should be considered such. This makes it an intruder from the start: all form spells are situational.

I don't get it. How situational is Blade Hands? Or Dragon Form? Or Hydra Form?

Form spells, aside from necromutation at least, are built to be your primary offense that you use in every major fight (with at most a small handful of exceptions). That's the opposite of situational AFAICT.
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Post Friday, 9th August 2019, 10:50

Re: High Level Necro Spells

byrel wrote:Form spells, aside from necromutation at least, are built to be your primary offense that you use in every major fight (with at most a small handful of exceptions). That's the opposite of situational AFAICT.


I don't appreciate the offensive strength of a spell that screws up my defensive capacity. Maybe I'm just biased against mending to the point of it messing with my logic.
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Post Friday, 9th August 2019, 16:52

Re: High Level Necro Spells

Walking around in -tele and melding it in the time it takes to cast a spell is actually a pretty useful side benefit to tmut.

Blade hands, statue form, and dragon form tend to have sufficient defenses. One lets you keep your armor, the other gives enough AC and HP, and the last gives a ton of HP and the ability to erase most monsters in very few hits (with still > 20 AC using ozocubu's). Lich form is also not crippling to defenses, though it doesn't help you much unless you're in torment land or see 3 shadow dragons or something.

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