|[ elven mithril-coat
Player elves start the game with knowledge of the elven mithril-coat.
In addition to random generation, armor shops and general stores can stock elven mithril-coats.
Elven mithril-coats can safely be enchanted from +5 like other elven armor.
While the dwarvish mithril-coat has one higher natural AC than its elven counterpart, it cannot be safely enchanted if above +3, while the elven mithril-coat can be enchanted even at +5. Thus, a dwarvish coat is slightly superior when unenchanted, but an elven coat is slightly superior when fully enchanted.
Equipping or unequipping mithril-coats takes only 1 turn, which is much faster than the 5 turns that it takes for most other body armor.
Elven-mithril coats are among the best available body armor after dragon scale mail - obtaining one is often a major goal for early game characters due to its high AC and low weight, which is especially ideal for early characters with low strength and no bag of holding. Characters in spellcasting roles (such as Wizards) will occasionally make use of a mithril-coat to boost AC, only removing it to cast as needed. Though the dwarvish mithril-coat has one more point of base AC, an elven mithril-coat can be safely boosted to a higher enchantment, making it more effective. It is also somewhat easier to obtain earlier in the game if you have a lucky encounter with a hobbit.
Barring a wish, an elven mithril-coat can easily last as a character's primary armor throughout the mid-game or until their desired set of dragon scales becomes available, whichever occurs first. The coat's material protects it from erosion while worn, though it still breaks if a polymorph trap turns you into a large enough monster.
The elven mithril-coat first appears in NetHack 1.3d, where it is known as elfin chain mail and has most of the same qualities: elfin chain mail is a light form of body armor that is fairly rare, provides 5 AC and MC3 when worn, and takes a near-minimum amount of time to put on or remove. In NetHack 3.0.0, elfin chain mail is replaced by the elven mithril-coat in its current form - from this version to NetHack 3.4.3, including variants based on those versions, it still grants MC3 when worn.
Variants based on NetHack 3.4.3 and earlier versions may retain the MC3 granted by wearing an elven mithril-coat. Some variants may give dwarves (including the player) an AC bonus for wearing a dwarvish mithril-coat.
Variants that employ object materials may replace the elven mithril-coat with a similar item that can be made of mithril.
In SLASH'EM, the elven mithril-coat grants MC3 when worn.
Upgrading an elven mithril-coat will produce a dark elven mithril-coat, and vice versa.
The November NetHack Tournament
In xNetHack, elven mithril-coats are replaced with elven ring mail, which has a base material of copper and grants 2 AC - a mithril set of elven ring mail behaves identically to an elven mithril-coat, since mithril body armor will always grant at least MC2. Hobbits have the same chance of generating with elven ring mail, which will always be mithril.
In SpliceHack, elven mithril-coats are also replaced with elven ring mail, similar to xNetHack.
In EvilHack, elven mithril-coats are replaced with elven chain mail. Elven chain mail grants 5 AC when worn and has a base material of copper - when made of mithril, it behaves similarly to an improved elven mithril-coat, granting two more points of base AC and MC2.
In Hack'EM, elven mithril-coats are also replaced with elven chain mail, as in EvilHack.
_Mithril_! All folk desired it. It could be beaten like
copper, and polished like glass; and the Dwarves could make
of it a metal, light and yet harder than tempered steel.
Its beauty was like to that of common silver, but the beauty
of _mithril_ did not tarnish or grow dim.