The ascension kit is the nickname given to a set of items that are virtually required for a successful ascension. Most often, they are chosen for their attributes: reflection, magic resistance and cancellation, and similar. Most kits include: a unicorn horn, escape items, a Luck item (usually a blessed luckstone), a source of levitation, some ranged attacks, a source of conflict, portal detection (for the Elemental Planes), and augmented attributes, either intelligence and wisdom, dexterity, or strength.
- Cloak of magic resistance : Provides magic resistance, magic cancellation 3, and 1 base point of AC.
- Robe : Provides enhanced spellcasting, magic cancellation 3, and 2 base points of AC. Commonly combined with GDSM and an amulet of reflection, or SDSM and a quest artifact that provides magic resistance.
- Oilskin cloak or at least grease: Water monsters such as giant eels can drown you by wrapping around you. Even if you have genocided all ';', couatls can still wrap around you and drown you (even though they fly!), so you want some protection against this. An oilskin cloak stops all attempts, and a greased cloak stops these attempts as well, but the grease may wear off.
- Cloak of protection or Elven cloak : Either of these options will give maximum AC when fully enchanted, as well as MC3, but do not provide the special benefits of the above cloaks. Elven cloaks also provide stealth, and can be safely enchanted to higher levels.
- Dragon scale mail, usually silver or grey : This provides either reflection (silver) or magic resistance (grey), 9 base points of AC, and does not hinder spellcasting.
High-level Monks can hit accurately enough to nullify the -20 to-hit penalty for wearing body armor, but most Monks can get by without.
- Speed boots, or jumping boots and haste self : Combined with intrinsic speed (zap yourself with a wand of speed monster or eat a quantum mechanic if your class does not get it by default), this provides Very Fast speed, helping you get through the endgame faster and dodge monsters. Jumping boots (or the spell of jump, or a knight's intrinsic jumping ability) allow you to move sometimes up to three or four squares in one turn, which is even better than speed. Extrinsic speed (via haste self or potion of speed) combined with the jump spell is easily the fastest.
- Gauntlets of power or dexterity: Gauntlets of power provide strength 25 (+6 to damage) and 1 point of base AC; casters prefer gauntlets of dexterity, which do not hinder spellcasting, increase dexterity by the number of points in the enchantment, and provide base AC 1. Valkyries in particular should use gauntlets of power, since this allows them to throw Mjollnir. Ordinary leather gloves are fine too.
- Helm of brilliance: does not hinder spellcasting and increases Intelligence and Wisdom by its enchantment, along with providing base AC 1 and protecting your head from falling rocks.
- Elven leather helm: does not hinder spellcasting, provides base AC 1, and can be safely enchanted up to +7, giving a higher potential AC boost than any other helm. Its weight of 3 is also much less than the others 50.
- Cornuthaum (for wizards only): Does not hinder spellcasting. If you are a wizard it gives you +1 to charisma, grants clairvoyance, and can safely be enchanted to +7. However non-wizards will lose charisma, have clairvoyance blocked, and can only safely enchant it to +5.
- Helm of telepathy: for characters who wish to use telepathy while non-blind.
- Helm of opposite alignment: for switching alignments at the last minute.
You may also wish to grease your helmet to help protect against mind flayer attacks.
- Shield of reflection: If you are not wearing SDSM or an amulet of reflection, you need another source of reflection; otherwise lightning attacks can explode rings and wands, cold attacks can freeze potions, etc. The shield is a good choice for non-spellcasters, cannot rust or corrode, and provides 2 base AC.
- Elven shield: If you already have reliable reflection from one of the other sources and are not a spellcaster, this may be a good choice. It has a base AC of 2, and can be safely enchanted to +7, making it the highest AC of any shield.
- Small shield: Can be great for spellcasters who are wearing a robe. Provides base AC of 1, but can be safely enchanted to +5. You might also want to fireproof this wooden piece of armor.
- T-shirt or Hawaiian shirt, the only choices. They are nearly identical and both provide an extra piece of armor to enchant, for lower AC. Unenchanted, they provide 0 AC reduction.
- Ring of levitation : Players must be levitating or flying to move usefully on the plane of Air. The potion of levitation is unreliable, while levitation boots are less desirable than speed boots or jumping boots. The Heart of Ahriman is an alternative to the ring. Levitation is also helpful but not necessary on the plane of Fire. You can walk to the portal if you really have to, and fireproof boots of water walking are also an option. Still, most players levitate, and most levitating players use the ring.
- Ring of conflict : Makes monsters fight each other instead of you. If you are wearing this ring when you arrive on the Astral plane, instead of receiving a tame guardian angel you will be met by some hostile angels (but because of conflict, they will probably fight each other). Putting on this ring will also make your tame guardian angel attack you, if you received one.
- Ring of teleport control or other source of teleport control : If you have teleportitis, a must. Also very useful for controlled level teleport between the Wizard's Tower and the vibrating square, or the vibrating square and Moloch's Sanctum, or from anywhere to your stash if not using the Eye of the Aethiopica.
- Ring of free action : Prevents paralysis from a number of sources. Not the same as sleep resistance. Combine the two to prevent those annoying "while helpless" deaths.
- Amulet of life saving : If you die while wearing it, unless the cause of death would still kill you afterward, you come back with full HP. While not necessary this item is quite useful.
- Amulet of reflection : Some playstyles would prefer to gain reflection via the amulet - you may wish to free the left hand for #twoweapon instead of the shield of reflection, or keep a robe to enhance spellcasting instead of a cloak of magic resistance (gaining magic resistance from a GDSM instead).
Tools & miscellaneous items
- Blessed unicorn horn : Can be applied to cure sickness caused by Pestilence, not to mention all of the status ailments you might pick up otherwise.
- Blessed luckstone : Or a blessed Quest Artifact that acts as a luckstone (for example, The Tsurugi of Muramasa or The Orb of Fate).
- Towel or blindfold: put one of these on to become blind and use intrinsic telepathy if you have it. It's a good idea to bless your towel or blindfold as an extra layer of protection against cursing.
- 7 non-cursed candles: these must be attached to the Candelabrum as part of the Invocation
- Wand of death : Pestilence and Famine are both vulnerable to wands of death, as are other endgame baddies: the Wizard of Yendor, air elementals, player monsters, etc. (note: Do not zap Death with a wand of death.)
- Wand of teleportation : Can be zapped (even on non-teleport levels!) at monsters or objects to make them go away. Very useful when trying to get to a high altar or get rid of air elementals. When surrounded on a non-teleport level, breaking one can give you room to maneuver.
- Wand of secret door detection : Very useful for finding the secret door in Moloch's Sanctum, as well as finding the portal on the Plane of Water or re-finding it on the Plane of Air if you used a cursed scroll of gold detection.
- Wand of cancellation : Though best kept in a separate bag, the wand of cancellation can be used to uncurse a bag of holding in case of emergency.
- Wands of digging : You will need several wands of digging for the Plane of Earth. You could also choose to use a pick-axe, but the ground there very often forms earth elementals when dug.
- Wands of fire : Burn Elbereth when surrounded by nasties, or cure sliming.
- Scroll of gold detection : You likely want four or more to discover the locations of the portals on the Elemental Planes. You could use a crystal ball, but it has possible negative effects; you could use the Amulet of Yendor or aforementioned wand but it only helps if you are very close to the portal (eight squares). Cursed scrolls of gold detection will find all traps as $; this is actively useless on the Plane of Fire, which is full of fire traps. Confused scrolls of gold detection will detect and identify traps. Many players prefer to use gold detection when confused because traps detected in this way will not vanish from the screen once they are in sight; however, it takes a turn or more to confuse yourself (perhaps using a forgotten spell or a cursed unicorn horn), a turn to read the scroll, and a turn or more to cure confusion using a unicorn horn. It is probably better to use a cursed scroll of confuse monster or a potion of confusion, as forgotten spells can also cause stunning, which may cause many more lost turns.
- Blessed scroll of remove curse : Can be useful to uncurse all items in main inventory. Uncursed scrolls only uncurse worn and wielded items.
- Blessed scroll of charging: In case your wands run out of charges.
- Weapon : You likely want some weapon, unless you are a conduct player. Most players choose an artifact weapon. Grayswandir, enchanted to +6 or +7, is usually considered the best and #twoweapon with a blessed silver saber makes it even better. A comprehensive discussion on weapon selection is beyond the scope of this page.
- Holy water : Used to bless items that are unblessed or cursed by the Wizard of Yendor, liches, and other foes. While there are a number of techniques for un-cursing your items, holy water is the only convenient route to re-blessing items that you need to be blessed (a bag of holding, perhaps?). It is advisable to carry a good supply of holy water.
- Potions of full healing : Quickly restores your hitpoints to their maximum in case of emergency. It also cures sickness, blindness, and hallucination. It is important to have a reliable way (read: a blessed unicorn horn might not be enough) to cure sickness on the Astral Plane because of the Riders.
- K-ration and C-ration. Often dropped by the Yendorian military members, these rations provide 400 and 300 points of nutrition respectively, both are consumed in only one turn making this type of food very useful when facing Famine, both weigh 10.
- Lembas wafers provide 800 points of nutrition each and are eaten in 2 turns, weigh 5. Can be very effective while still running to the planes.
- Royal jelly found in giant beehives provides 200 nutrition, but weighs only 2. These can actually heal you up to 20 HP at a time when eaten. Non-cursed royal jelly also increases strength by 1 and heals wounded legs. Cursed jelly never gives these effects.
- Blessed tins of nurse meat. Consuming one restores you to full hit points. A useful item for healing yourself, with some advantages and some disadvantages relative to potions of full healing. First and foremost, consumption of nurse meat is cannibalism for human characters! Unlike potions, tins never explode or dilute, so are always safe to carry in main inventory, even in such hostile environments as the Plane of Fire. On the other hand, even a blessed tin will take two turns to heal you (one to open and one to consume), which is slower than quaffing a potion in main inventory and no faster than retrieving a potion from a bag before quaffing. A (non-cursed) homemade tin will always provide 50 nutrition, and can cause you to choke to death if you are satiated; this is never the case with a potion. Finally, a full healing potion can only restore a maximum of 400 hit points; nurse meat always restores you to your maximum, however high that is (although it is rare to attain (or need) over 400 hp without alchemy or any farming in the first place).
Reflection and magic resistance are considered essential properties for the end game. Other desirable properties are life saving, displacement, two weaponing (when available), magic cancellation of 3, and a slippery cloak (oilskin being the only foolproof option). The following table summarises the tradeoffs:
|Body armor||Cloak||Amulet||Shield||Other||Advantages||Disadvantages||For whom?|
|SDSM||magic resistance||life saving||Gives life saving
|Wizards, or any character who has found a cloak of magic resistance|
Safe switching to robe or oilskin cloak
|No life saving|
Magic cancellation of 2 instead of 3
|GDSM||displacement||life saving||reflection||Gives life saving
More AC from shield
Magic cancellation of 2 instead of 3
|Classes that cannot do two-weapon combat: caveman, healer, priest, ranger|
Rogues who want backstab damage
|GDSM||protection||life saving||reflection||Maximum AC
Gives life saving
Safe switching to oilskin cloak
|Those who need AC: speed ascenders, illiterate conduct players|
Artifact not required
|No life saving
|Those who need help casting spells: Archeologists do well with this|
|SDSM||robe||life saving||MR artifact such as the Eye of Aethiopica||Best spellcasting
Gives life saving
|Must wish for artifact or wield Magicbane
|Classes that need help casting spells but can be powerful casters: knights especially (due to doubled magic missile damage; note they cannot obtain the Eye unless they convert themselves to neutral after the quest and wish for it)|
Those willing to wish for artifacts
|none||robe||reflection||MR artifact such as the Eye of Aethiopica||No body armor
|Must wish for artifact
No life saving (though can use shield of reflection instead)
|Monks who are not wearing body armor because of the to-hit penalty|
Other quest artifacts confer MR but don't enhance spellcasting as much
|none||magic resistance||reflection||No body armor
No wishes required
|No life saving
||Monks who don't want to wish for an MR artifact|