Wand of magic missile
|Base price||150 zm|
|Monster use||May be used offensively by monsters.|
A Wizard may receive a wand of magic missile as part of their starting inventory.
Zapping the wand in a given direction will fire a ray of magic missiles that damages monsters in its path - unlike the spell of magic missile, the wand only deals 2d6 damage and does not scale with the user's level. The ray can rebound off walls and monsters with reflection. Magic resistance negates this damage, as does reflection.
Wands of magic missile are the least effective attack wand, dealing only 2d6 damage and lacking useful secondary effects - they are best used liberally in the early game as a form of disposable ranged attack as it will soon be almost worthless. The wand's damage can be increased to a somewhat respectable 4d6 by bouncing the ray off a wall behind your target.
It is possible to use a wand of magic missile to engrave in the dust while levitating. If you're already levitating and want to engrave Elbereth, you can use this to save a charge from a more useful wand of digging, fire or lightning, since engravings will not erode while you are levitating.
Arguably the best use of a wand of magic missile in the late game is to throw it at an intelligent monster. They may elect to pick it up and use it over any more deadly innate attacks or ranged weaponry that they possess, and most late-game players will have reflection, rendering it harmless while damaging the zapping monster along with other monsters in the ray's path that are not resistant.
The wand of magic missile has been present in the game since Hack 1.21, a variant of Jay Fenlason's Hack.
The canonical D&D spell of Magic Missile was a stereotypically puny level one wizard spell that quickly became a staple of the wizard class, as it was effectively a homing attack with each bullet doing its own damage roll; this can easily rack up significant damage, short of the target having magic resistance. The magic missiles of NetHack lack this homing property.
In Rogue, a wand of magic missile did 1d4+1 damage unless a given monster saves vs. magic ("The missile vanishes in a puff of smoke");; this is a rough translation of the spell into the world of Rogue. In Hack, it would always have the appearance of an aluminum wand and dealt 2d6 damage; the latter trait was carried over into NetHack.
- The floor is riddled by bullet holes!
- You engraved on the floor with a wand of magic missile.
In several variants, engraving with a wand of magic missile will auto-identify it.