Wand of cold

From NetHackWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
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.


A Wizard may receive a wand of cold as part of their starting inventory.

There is a 4% chance that a randomly-generated wand within the dungeon and its branches will be a wand of cold. Monsters may generate with the wand as a random offensive item.

Asmodeus will always generate with a wand of cold and a wand of fire.[1][2]


Zapping the wand in a given direction emits a ray of ice that deals 6d6 damage to non-cold resistant targets, with a +6d3 bonus if the monster has fire resistance.[3] Monsters hit with this ray have a 13 chance of any potions in their inventory freezing and shattering. The ray bounces when it hits walls or targets with reflection; it will also freeze any moat of water it travels over into ice, and lava is cooled and solidified into normal rock.

Engraving with a wand of cold will cause a few ice cubes to drop from the wand; this message is unique to the wand, but does not auto-identify it. 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 square centered on you. See breaking wands for details.


See also: Wand strategy

The wand of cold is a useful offensive item against most monsters that can prove just as deadly to you, especially early on where you typically lack a source of reflection or cold resistance. It 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 a levitation source or water walking boots, a wand of cold with sufficient charges can be a good choice if you need to cross water (e.g., gaining entrance to the Castle, entering the throne room in Fort Ludios) or lava (e.g., the lower floors of the Valkyrie quest). Ice can prove slippery to many characters and may potentially melt away, raising the possibility of being stranded - additionally, be careful of monsters with fire attacks! When crossing water or lava using this wand, try to make the shortest ice bridges possible in order to conserve charges.

In the event of much larger crossings, such as Medusa's Island in most cases, zapping a wand of digging downward is usually a better idea. You might even choose to continue to the Castle, collect its loot and the wand of wishing, and come back up through Medusa's downstair with better equipment;[4] very 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 destroy the door to the Sokoban zoo without waking up all of its inhabitants. The wand can also serve as a valuable offensive/escape item against sea monsters such as giant and electric eels while crossing water: freezing the water they're in will strand them on the surface, weakening them - and in the eels' cases, rendering them unable to drown you - until they re-enter water. Additionally, wand of cold can also be used to retrieve any of the invocation items from moats of water or lava by freezing it - the invocation item will then appear on top.


The wand of cold has been present in the game since Hack 1.21, a variant of Jay Fenlason's Hack.


A few ice cubes drop from the wand.
You engraved something on the floor with a wand of cold.


In many variants, engraving with the wand of cold will auto-identify it.


In SLASH'EM, Ice Mages start the game with a wand of cold.


In FIQHack, which incorporates the Wands Balance Patch, unskilled usage of a wand of cold chooses the lesser of two values to deal as damage: 3d6 or 40% max HP damage.

NetHack Fourk

In NetHack Fourk, which incorporates the Wands Balance Patch, unskilled usage of a wand of cold also chooses the lesser of two values to deal as damage: 3d6 or 40% max HP damage.