Drain resistance

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Drain resistance, or level drain resistance, is a property in NetHack that nullifies attacks that reduce a character's experience level or a monster's level.


Drain resistance blocks the following attacks:


The following monsters possess drain resistance:[1]

Drain resistance can be acquired extrinsically by wielding Stormbringer, Excalibur, or the Staff of Aesculapius. It can be obtained intrinsically by polymorphing into a monster with drain resistance or having lycanthropy.

The following information pertains to an upcoming version (NetHack 3.7.0). If this version is now released, please verify that it is still accurate, then update the page to incorporate this information.

Black dragon scales and black dragon scale mail also provide drain resistance.

Monsters with drain resistance

Drain resistance is intrinsic to all major demons, undead monsters, lycanthropes in either form, and & Death.


Drain resistance is worthwhile and easily obtainable early on for non-neutral characters that have access to either a fountain (if lawful) or an altar (if chaotic).


You have a curious feeling.
Drain resistance prevented you from losing an experience level after a foocubus encounter.



In SLASH'EM, Necromancers and Undead Slayers start the game with drain resistance.

Drain resistance is much more important in the earlier stages, as it protects from the wand of draining, particularly in wand-heavy special levels such as the Guild of Disgruntled Adventurers.

In addition to the monster types listed above, the following monsters in SLASH'EM have drain resistance:

SLASH'EM also adds the following sources of drain resistance:


In FIQHack, drain resistance is also conferred by wearing black dragon scales or armor.


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 Information on this page may be out of date.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.