Wand of polymorph

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Name polymorph
Appearance random
Abundance 4.5%
Base price 200 zm
Weight 7
Type beam
Maximum charges 8
Spell polymorph
Monster use May be used by monsters as misc items.

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


Wands constitute 4% of all randomly-generated items in the main dungeon, 6% in containers, 5% on the Rogue level, and 8% in Gehennom. There is a 4.5% chance that a randomly-generated wand will be a wand of polymorph.

Monsters can be generated with this wand as a miscellaneous item if their difficulty is 5 or less.


Zapping the wand in a direction will polymorph any monsters or items in its path; zapping the wand at yourself will polymorph you, ignoring magic resistance. Monsters can zap this wand at themselves, but mercifully, this will not generate out-of-depth monsters.[1]

Breaking a wand of polymorph causes an explosion that deals 1 to (4×<charges>) damage and polymorphs monsters and items on affected squares; this ignores magic resistance for the player.

Wands of polymorph are immune to polymorphing from other sources, such as a potion of polymorph.


Main article: Polymorph

The advantage of using a wand of polymorph over other methods is that you do not need to use up a potion or be able to cast the polymorph spell; charging can also be used to extend the wand's lifespan. Wands are commonly used for polypiling and trying to polymorph your pet into something high-level; however, the latter carries the risk of system shock, unlike a polymorph trap.

Polymorphing hostile monsters is generally a last-ditch attempt, as it can create even more dangerous out-of-level monster types, but it may be useful in specific situations, such as killing shopkeepers and fighting minotaurs.

With polymorph control, you can zap the wand and choose what monster to become; see the section on polyself for details. If you have polymorph control or unchanging and are surrounded by hordes of nasty monsters, breaking this wand may be a fairly effective last resort to get out of such a jam, but it is entirely dependent on if the new forms are easier to deal with. You can also use this technique to polymorph hordes of pets into stronger ones, though be warned that you do not want to attempt this with pets that are too weak to survive the blast to begin with (such as jackals); a mass pet die-off can leave you with very low alignment.