Fire and Frost Brand

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)   Fire/Frost Brand   Long sword.png
Base item long sword
Damage vs. small 1d8 ×2
Damage vs. large 1d12 ×2
To-hit bonus +1d5
Bonus versus not fire/cold resistant
Weapon skill long sword
Size one-handed
When carried


When wielded
When invoked


Base price 3000 zm
Weight 40
Material iron

Fire Brand and Frost Brand are two very similar artifacts. They are both unaligned long swords that give double damage and +1d5 to-hit against monsters not resistant to fire or cold respectively. When the bonus is applied, Frost Brand gives the message "The ice-cold blade freezes the <monster>!" and Fire Brand gives "The fiery blade burns the <monster>!"

Fire Brand confers fire resistance when wielded, and Frost Brand confers cold resistance when wielded.


Frost Brand is vastly more popular than Fire Brand, because many monsters in Gehennom are fire-resistant. However, most of the Astral Plane's monsters are cold-resistant and not fire-resistant. Both can destroy potions carried by their target; Fire Brand can also destroy scrolls and spellbooks. Some players dislike using them for this reason, but they are likely to kill their targets before the monster can use its item or the item is destroyed.

Frost and Fire Brand do slightly more damage than Grayswandir against large monsters who are neither resistant nor silver-hating. For that reason, they make excellent weapons once you have the resources to enchant them, and Frost Brand is probably your best weapon choice for Gehennom if you have it (unless you also have Grayswandir).

Average damage calculation

The average damage calculations in the following table do not include bonuses from weapon skills, strength, or from using a blessed weapon against undead or demons. The same calculations apply to Frost Brand with respect to cold-resistant monsters.

Weapon Fire-resistant Not fire-resistant
Small monster Large monster Small monster Large monster
+0 Fire Brand \frac{1+8}{2}=\bold{4.5} \frac{1+12}{2}=\bold{6.5} \left (\frac{1+8}{2} \right )\times 2=\bold{9} \left (\frac{1+12}{2} \right )\times 2=\bold{13}
+7 Fire Brand \frac{1+8}{2}+7=\bold{11.5} \frac{1+12}{2}+7=\bold{13.5} \left (\frac{1+8}{2}+7\right )\times 2=\bold{23} \left (\frac{1+12}{2}+7\right )\times 2=\bold{27}



In xNetHack, Fire Brand and Frost Brand are short swords instead of long swords, reducing their damage. Unlike other artifacts, they can be twoweaponed with each other or with Mirror Brand, a new artifact short sword. Additionally, Fire Brand instantly kills green slimes and flammable golems.


In EvilHack, Fire and Frost brand are short swords instead of long swords, and are always made of steel. Additionally, they can be forged together to create Dichotomy, an artifact runesword.


Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

[ Fire and Ice, by Robert Frost ]

This page may need to be updated for the current version of NetHack.

It may contain text specific to NetHack 3.4.3. Information on this page may be out of date.

Editors: After reviewing this page and making necessary edits, please change the {{nethack-343}} tag to the current version's tag or {{noversion}} as appropriate.