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An Angel,[1] A, is a type of monster that appears in NetHack, and is the most prominent of the angelic beings. Angels are strong humanoid monsters that are capable of flight, can see invisible, and will follow you to other levels if they are next to you.

Angels possess two weapon attacks, a claw attack and a magic missile attack. In melee, the magic missile uses a number of d6 equal to half the monster's level plus 1 for damage, and ignores both reflection and half spell damage, but is completely nullified by magic resistance - at range, they are rays similar to those from a wand of magic missile that can be fired at will. Like other monsters with magic missile attacks, Angels have magic resistance; they additionally have resistances to cold, shock, sleep, and poison.


13 of randomly generated Angels will be minions of a random god from your pantheon: angels serving your god are usually peaceful, while "renegade" Angel minions are peaceful towards cross-aligned players instead.[1] Angels of a particular god may also appear as hostile minions when that god is angered. Angels that do not serve a particular god are lawful by default. No Angel of any kind will generate randomly in Gehennom.

Several Angels in service of the gods (including Moloch) appear on the Astral Plane - upon reaching this level, if your alignment is sufficiently high and you are not causing conflict, you will obtain a tame guardian Angel.[2] If you are generating conflict when you arrive, or generate conflict later that would affect the guardian Angel, a group of hostile Angels will be generated instead, with the guardian Angel disappearing.[3][4]

Angels are generated with an uncursed erodeproof large shield 34 of the time and an uncursed shield of reflection otherwise, and their weapon will be a blessed erodeproof long sword, with a 15 chance of the sword being either Demonbane or Sunsword if neither artifact has been generated.[5] The tame guardian Angel you get when entering the Astral Plane has their level, armor and weapon enchantments boosted:[6] their weapon is blessed and has its enchantment raised by 1-4 points if it is under +4, and they will be given an amulet of reflection if they do not get a shield of reflection.

Angels are special-cased to become human zombies if the player attempts to animate a statue of one by any means, including statue traps, or directly create them in wizard mode.[7] They are an invalid form for normal polymorph, and do not leave a corpse upon death.

The following information pertains to an upcoming version (NetHack 3.7). If this version is now released, please verify that it is still accurate, then update the page to incorporate this information.

Angels can only receive Sunsword, as Demonbane's base item is changed to a mace.


Angels have a solid AC of -4 augmented by their shield, and their magic missile attack can be quite fearsome in melee if you lack magic resistance; the attack also grants them magic resistance that makes a wand of death completely ineffective. The 14 chance of a shield of reflection can neuter other attack wands and ray-type spells as well, and the rest of them are much less effective due to the Angel's MR score of 55. Fire Brand and Stormbringer are among the best weapon choices when fighting Angels in melee; for viable ranged spells, the spell of fireball at Skilled or higher can do significant damage.

On the Astral Plane, you may have trouble mustering the necessary power to cast spells like fireball repeatedly while you are carrying the Amulet of Yendor; in addition, it is wisest to find your high altar as soon as possible, so a footrice corpse and a wand of teleportation will be preferable in that scenario. If you wish to avoid generating further hostile angels, remove any sources of conflict before entering the Astral Plane and do not generate conflict until after your Guardian angel has died - though its 55 MR means that conflict may not provoke it to leave for several turns, this is generally unreliable for purposes of avoidance.



In UnNetHack, Angels have a mutual grudge with major demons, and they will attack each other on sight.


Main article: Angel (starting race)

SpliceHack previously had Angels as a starting race, but they were later removed.

Encyclopedia entry

He answered and said unto them, he that soweth the good seed
is the Son of man; the field is the world, and the good seed
are the children of the kingdom; but the weeds are the
children of the wicked one; the enemy that sowed them is the
devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers
are the angels. As therefore the weeds are gathered and
burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
[...] So shall it be at the end of the world; the angels
shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just,
and shall cast them into the furnace of fire; there shall be
wailing and gnashing of teeth.
[ The Gospel According to Matthew, 13:37-42, 49-50 ]


  • ^  While "angel" is a common noun in English, in the NetHack source code (and thus the game) it is capitalized, and this article reflects that.