Wand of digging

From NetHackWiki
(Redirected from Wands of digging)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Name digging
Appearance random
Abundance 5.5%
Base price 150 zm
Weight 7
Type ray
Maximum charges 8
Spell dig
Monster use May be used defensively by monsters.

A wand of digging can dig through walls, doors and floors. It can also help you escape a monster who is digesting you.


Monsters may be generated carrying a wand of digging as a defensive item. When fleeing, they may zap this wand downward to escape. Monsters that try to dig downward through an undiggable floor will simply fail to dig. They do not learn, though.

Minotaurs have a 13 chance of being generated with a wand of digging (except on the Plane of Earth, where they are guaranteed to have the wand).


If you see a monster escape by zapping a wand of digging down, that will identify the wand for you. Engraving with a wand of digging automatically identifies the wand.



You can zap the wand to dig open a corridor of several squares (unless you're in a maze level, in which case the beam will continue as normal but will end after digging one wall square). Closed doors are broken through; as-of-yet-undetected secret doors are cleared. Note, however, that a wand of digging will not destroy boulders.

If you zap the wand upward, a rock will fall from the ceiling and bonk you on the head, unless you are underwater, in which case you get the message "You barely hear some noises".

Zapping the wand downward makes a hole in diggable floors, through which you may fall, or a pit in undiggable floors. If the latter happens on a Gehennom level with an ordinary maze, it's time to look for the vibrating square.

If you are being engulfed by an ochre jelly, lurker above, trapper, purple worm, or Juiblex, zapping a wand of digging sets the monster's HP to 1 and expels you.[1]

The following information pertains to an upcoming version (NetHack 3.7.0). If this version is now released, please verify that it is still accurate, then update the page to incorporate this information.

Juiblex now only loses half of his HP when hit with digging magic from inside.


Any text engraved with a wand of digging is as durable as text engraved with a weapon or hard gem. Wands of digging can engrave Elbereth in one turn.


Breaking a wand of digging with non-zero charges (by applying it) creates pits or holes in your square and in the eight squares around you, if those squares are diggable and don't contain stairs, boulders or traps.[2][3] Unlike a drum of earthquake, this will not let you destroy existing traps from another square, although altars and thrones can still be destroyed.


Zapping the doors on the Astral Plane can save a lot of time there.

For the purposes of engraving Elbereth, the wand of digging is as effective as an athame and slightly less effective than a wand of fire or wand of lightning.


The door is razed!
Zapped at a closed door.
The wall glows then fades.
Zapped at an undiggable wall.
The rock glows then fades.
Zapped at an undiggable rock.



Wands of digging in UnNetHack are no longer restricted to digging a single square on maze levels.

Zapping a wand of digging to escape the engulfing of Juiblex will only halve his current HP, rather than reducing it to one[4]

Wands of digging are ineffective on the ice walls and crystal ice walls generated in Sheol, although other forms of digging are still effective against ice walls.


Wands of digging have a couple of additional uses in SLASH'EM. Firstly, zapping a boulder will simply vaporize it. Doing this in Sokoban will carry a -1 luck penalty. Secondly, they are very deadly against certain monsters which are made of stone. These include xorns, earth elementals, statue gargoyles and stone golems;[5] zapping such monsters will cut their current HP in half, although it will never directly kill them.


  1. dig.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 1166
  2. apply.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 2697
  3. dig_check in dig.c
  4. src/dig.c in UnNetHack revision 1406, line 1219
  5. mondata.h in SLASH'EM 0.0.7E7F2, line 206: It is actually any thick-skinned monster that can phase through walls, as well as statue gargoyles and stone golems. Strangely, it doesn't include regular gargoyles.

This page may need to be updated for the current version of NetHack.

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 the current version's tag or {{noversion}} as appropriate.