Wand of striking

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Name striking
Appearance random
Abundance 7.5%
Base price 150 zm
Weight 7
Type beam
Maximum charges 8
Spell force bolt
Monster use May be used offensively by monsters.

The wand of striking is a wand that appears in NetHack.


Wands comprise 4% of all randomly-generated items in the main dungeon, 6% in containers, 5% on the Rogue level, and 8% in Gehennom. There is a 7.5% chance that a randomly-generated wand will be a wand of striking.


Zapping this wand has the same effect as the force bolt spell, dealing 2d12 damage to any monsters in its path as well as destroying boulders, doors, statues, drawbridges, and fragile items such as potions. Therefore, it is to be used with caution. Wands of striking have a fixed chance of hitting; if the roll of a d20 is lower than (10 + monster's AC), the strike hits.[1]

A wand of striking will normally have no effect on items carried by monsters. However, if the zap kills a monster, it will also strike the items that the monster drops. This makes zapping nymphs dangerous, because they are weak enough to be killed by a single zap, and tend to carry mirrors that give a −2 luck penalty when broken.

Engraving with a wand of striking gives the unique message "The wand unsuccessfully fights your attempt to write!", as a pun on a writers' strike. This does not auto-identify the wand.


If an intelligent monster gets its hands on a wand of striking, keep in mind that force bolts cannot be reflected; however, magic resistance makes it harmless. ("Boing!")

For attacking monsters, a wand of striking is usually superior to a wand of magic missile, dealing much more damage (2d12 rather than 2d6). Its beam does not reflect, meaning it cannot be used to strike twice with one zap, and it may destroy objects, but the increased damage usually outweighs the downsides. Starting at experience level 6, the magic missile spell begins to out-damage wands of striking; the wand's fixed to-hit rolls also make them unsuitable for use in the late game, where many monsters have zero AC or less.

If you can't cast force bolt, you should keep at least one charge of a wand of striking as you descend to the Castle level. The safest and most convenient way to enter is to just blast the drawbridge to bits, though you may wish to use the drawbridge to crush enemy monsters before destroying it to pass the square. It is incredibly risky, though, to attempt to cross the drawbridge while it's still intact.


The given confidence of getting a wand of striking from polymorphing a wand:

Confidence 7.595 25% 50% 60% 75% 85% 90% 95% 99%
Polymorphs 1 3.5 8.43 11.14 16.86 23.07 28 36.43 56

This table does not include the chance of a wand shuddering, so the number of wands required to reach this level of confidence will almost surely be higher; the effective number of polymorphs is as per the table, however.


A wand of striking first appeared in Rogue version four,[2] where it never missed and would deal 1d8+3 damage, with a one in twenty chance of instead dealing 3d8+9 (overall, an average of 8.95 damage).

In Hack, at least as far as version 1.0.2, it always appeared as a zinc wand.[3] It was mentioned in a rumor which stated, "Eventually all wands of striking do strike."[4] Indeed, the sure-strike ability had been removed, and it followed an AC roll. Even as early as this version the damage was changed to 2d12[5]—which it remains to this day.


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

It may contain text specific to NetHack 3.6.4. Information on this page may be out of date.

Editors: After reviewing this page and making necessary edits, please change the {{nethack-364}} tag to the current version's tag or {{noversion}} as appropriate.