Mjollnir

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)   Mjollnir   War hammer.png
Base item war hammer
Damage vs. small 1d4+1 +1d24
Damage vs. large 1d4 +1d24
To-hit bonus +1d5
Bonus versus not shock resistant
Weapon skill hammer
Size one-handed
Affiliation
When carried

(none)

When wielded
  • throwable
When invoked

(none)

Base price 4000 zm
Weight 50
Material iron

Mjollnir (or Mojo) is a neutral artifact weapon. It is a reference to Mjölnir, Thor's hammer from Norse mythology. The damage of an ordinary war hammer is fairly low, which Mjollnir sadly inherits. However, Mjollnir deals an additional 1d24 lightning damage to non-shock resistant monsters; this can destroy wands and rings carried by whomever it strikes, including the player who throws it.

Mjollnir is the first artifact Valkyries receive upon sacrificing at an altar. Any neutral character may receive Mjollnir as a random sacrifice gift. If the character has strength of 25 (usually achieved by wearing gauntlets of power) and is currently wielding Mjollnir, they can throw Mjollnir at enemies like a ranged weapon. Furthermore, if the character is a Valkyrie, there is a 99% chance of Mjollnir returning,[1] and a further 99% chance of catching it (this chance is reduced to zero if the player is confused, stunned, blind, hallucinating, or fumbling).[2] If the thrower fails to catch the hammer, it has an equal chance of falling to their feet or striking the thrower, dealing damage as well as possibly exploding wands and rings. Note that Mjollnir can still destroy rings and wands even if the player is shock resistant. Because of this, many players choose not to throw Mjollnir, though the technique can still be employed with success by careful players.

Strategy

Very few monsters in the game resist lightning, making Mjollnir an excellent weapon. For much of the game only three truly dangerous monsters are resistant to lightning: Blue Dragons, which are exceedingly rare, Electric Eels, whose attacks can be negated with magic cancellation 3, and Energy Vortexes. Mjollnir does next to no damage when fighting Energy Vortexes, so they are the only real danger when using this weapon. In the end game weapon-wielding angelic beings, hostile aligned and high priests and all the Riders will also be a major problem for Mjollnir. One of the draining artifacts, The Staff of Aesculapius or Stormbringer, is a good complement weapon since only two monsters, the Arch-Lich and Death, are both shock and drain resistant.

Mjollnir has the highest average damage while unenchanted than any weapon in the game (even two handed weapons). It averages 14 damage vs. large creatures and 15 damage vs. small creatures. Since it can be wielded in one hand, you also can two weapon with it and use a shield. This makes the weapon a excellent choice in the early game for characters who are melee based as their main strategy. Since after the Castle armor class becomes more important than weapon damage, an argument could be made for Mjollnir being the best weapon in the game as it gives such an advantage in the early game, and weapon choice isn't as important in the late game. Mjollnir can also be wielded by any alignment because it is neutral and not a quest artifact, and basic proficiency is available to a wide array of classes. Depending on circumstances, Mjollnir can be an excellent early wish if a co aligned altar (and thus a sacrifice gift) is unavailable.

Beware throwing Mjollnir at a disenchanter: Mjollnir still has a ten percent chance to be disenchanted. If a thrown Mjollnir is disenchanted, you will not receive a warning like you do for hitting a disenchanter in melee combat ("Your Mjollnir seems less effective").

Monster resistances

Main article: Monster resistances

Notable monsters that do not have shock resistance:

Notable monsters that do have shock resistance:

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.

Weapon Shock resistant Not shock resistant
Small monster Large monster Small monster Large monster
+0 Mjollnir \frac{1+4}{2}+1=\bold{3.5} \frac{1+4}{2}=\bold{2.5} \frac{1+4}{2}+1+\frac{1+24}{2}=\bold{16} \frac{1+4}{2}+\frac{1+24}{2}=\bold{15}
+7 Mjollnir \frac{1+4}{2}+1+7=\bold{10.5} \frac{1+4}{2}+7=\bold{9.5} \frac{1+4}{2}+1+\frac{1+24}{2}+7=\bold{23} \frac{1+4}{2}+\frac{1+24}{2}+7=\bold{22}

History

Mjollnir in its present form first appeared in NetHack 3.0.3. It replaced a lucern hammer named Thunderfist, which also dealt lightning damage and appeared as early as NetHack 3.0.0. The original programmer of Thunderfist perhaps did not realize that a lucern hammer is a polearm.

The present throwing behavior (25 strength needed, returns to the hand of a Valkyrie) first appeared in NetHack 3.1.0.

SLASH'EM

Mjollnir's weak base damage is somewhat ameliorated in SLASH'EM, where it is instead a heavy hammer with base damage of 1d6 against both small and large foes, as well as doing a flat +24 damage instead of a die roll up to that amount. Otherwise it remains unchanged, although the different behaviour of gauntlets of power means that obtaining the strength to throw Mjollnir is more difficult than in NetHack.

Average damage calculation

We assume the player has expert skill in hammer, which gives a +2 damage bonus. A blessed weapon deals 1d4 extra damage against demons and undead. The worst case scenario is against a shock resistant, non-undead, non-demon monster. The best case scenario is against a non-shock resistant, undead/demon monster.

Weapon Against regular non-shock resistant monsters Worst case scenario Best case scenario
Uncursed Mjollnir + 0 \frac{1+6}{2}+24+2=\bold{29.5} \frac{1+6}{2}+2=\bold{5.5} \frac{1+6}{2}+24+2=\bold{29.5}
Blessed Mjollnir +7 \frac{1+6}{2}+7+24+2=\bold{36.5} \frac{1+6}{2}+7+2=\bold{12.5} \frac{1+6}{2}+7+24+2+\frac{1+4}{2}=\bold{39}

The largest damage boost in vanilla NetHack, percentage-wise, is a +0 Mjollnir attacking regular non-shock resistant large monsters. (+68.6%)

Encyclopedia entry

Forged by the dwarves Eitri and Brokk, in response to Loki's
challenge, Mjollnir is an indestructible war hammer. It has
two magical properties: when thrown it always returned to
Thor's hand; and it could be made to shrink in size until it
could fit inside Thor's shirt. Its only flaw is that it has
a short handle. The other gods judged Mjollnir the winner of
the contest because, of all the treasures created, it alone had
the power to protect them from the giants. As the legends
surrounding Mjollnir grew, it began to take on the quality of
"vigja", or consecration. Thor used it to consecrate births,
weddings, and even to raise his goats from the dead. In the
Norse mythologies Mjollnir is considered to represent Thor's
governance over the entire cycle of life - fertility, birth,
destruction, and resurrection.

References

This page may need to be updated for NetHack 3.6.0.

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 {{nethack-360}} or {{noversion}} as appropriate.