Wand of cold

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Name cold
Appearance random
Abundance 4%
Base price 175 zm
Weight 7
Type ray
Maximum charges 8
Spell cone of cold
Monster use May be used offensively by monsters.

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


Zapping the wand in a given direction will shoot a ray of ice that deals 6d6 damage to non-cold resistant targets and possibly freezing any potions in their inventory, destroying them. The ray bounces when it hits walls or targets with reflection. It will also freeze any square of water that it crosses into ice. The ray will not affect potions left on the ground.

Engraving with a wand of cold will give a unique message ("A few ice cubes drop from the wand."); this does not auto-identify the wand. Doing so over a burned engraving will make it vanish.

Applying a wand of cold to break it will create a damaging magical explosion of cold in a 3×3 area around you. See breaking wands for details.


The wand of cold can be especially deadly against vulnerable monsters if you have a means of rebounding or reflecting the ray back at them. In scenarios where a player lacks levitation or water walking boots, a wand of cold with sufficient charges can be a last resort if you need to cross water, e.g. on Medusa's Island. Try to make the shortest ice bridges possible in order to conserve charges. Be careful of monsters with fire attacks, though! In addition, the ice will prove slippery, and as of 3.6.0 may potentially break, raising the possibility of being stranded, although the ice may become also permanent as well.

If you need to use the wand of cold to reach Medusa's down staircase, then zapping a wand of digging downward may be a better idea. You might even choose to zap down to the Castle,[1] collect the loot and the wand of wishing, and come back up with better equipment; rarely, you may want to head even further down to Vlad's Tower for the guaranteed water walking boots.

A wand of cold can be used to retrieve one of the invocation items from water or lava by freezing it, the invocation item will appear on top.