Binding of Isaac: Rebirth Wiki
Binding of Isaac: Rebirth Wiki

Added in Repentance

Damocles is an activated item added in The Binding of Isaac: Repentance.


  • Upon use, summons a sword that hangs directly above Isaac. As long as the sword hangs above Isaac, all item pedestals and items spawned from Machines and Beggars are doubled, spawning an additional, free item next to them.
    • The extra item spawned will be pulled from the current room's item pool.
    • Mega Chests will also spawn an extra item if they contained items.
  • After Isaac gets hit once with the item activated, at any time with only a brief warning, the sword may fall, instantly killing Isaac regardless of his health. The sword has a 1/10000 chance every 4 frames to fall, averaging at slightly more than 22 minutes for it to fall.
    • Self-damage (such as from a Blood Bank, Devil Beggar, Curse/Sacrifice room, or self-damage Active Items) does not count as damage taken for Damocles, and will not give it the chance to fall.


  • The chance for the sword to fall does not increase beyond the first hit taken.
  • In scenarios that have multiple items to choose from (such as double Treasure Rooms and Boss Rush), an additional set of items for Isaac to choose from spawns. Only one item from each set can be taken.
  • Having multiple Damocles active at once does not spawn additional items.
  • The only way Isaac can survive the falling sword is if he's invincible at the time it falls or, by technicality, with a respawn item. After the sword falls, extra items will no longer spawn.
    • Losing a life before the sword falls does not de-spawn the sword.


  • 15►Metronome Metronome: Can invoke the effect of Damocles, which will apply permanently.
  • 15►Blood Oath Blood Oath: Getting stabbed by Blood Oath does not trigger the chance of falling.
  • 15►Kamikaze! Kamikaze!: Blowing yourself up does trigger the chance of falling.
  • 15►Isaac's Heart Isaac's Heart: Taking damage still allows it to fall, and the sword will still kill Isaac if it falls.
  • 15►D4 D4 / 15►D100 D100 / Tainted Eden Tainted Eden: The sword does not get rerolled.
  • 15►Clicker Clicker: The sword cannot be removed from Isaac's inventory.
  • 15►Genesis Genesis: The sword does not get removed going to the unique Bedroom. It will then cause all the options to generate 3 additional items that can be taken for free, effectively quadrupling Isaac's items. Bonus active items can spawn on top of each other, making items next to them unobtainable.
  • Butter! Butter!: Using active item will drop it and spawns an extra item pedestal on the ground; Getting hit may cause Isaac to drop the sword, removing the effect and chance of falling.
  • Tainted Isaac Tainted Isaac: Damocles does not count toward his passive item count, and cannot be removed.
  • Jacob and Esau Jacob and Esau: The sword will only gain the chance to fall if the brother who used it takes damage.
  • Tainted Lazarus Tainted Lazarus: The character that used Damocles must be active for double items to spawn.
    • In the case of Boss Rooms, the character that did not use Damocles must fight the boss for it to drop double items.
  • Tainted Forgotten Tainted Forgotten: The sword will hang over Tainted Forgotten's body but will still kill the character despite being invincible.
  • Panic Button Panic Button: Does not activate when the sword falls on Isaac.
  • 15►Holy Mantle Holy Mantle: Does not protect Isaac from death when the sword falls.
  • XVII - The Stars? XVII - The Stars?: The sword will not be removed from Isaac's inventory.


  • 15►Book of Shadows Book of Shadows / 15►Empty Vessel Empty Vessel / Rune of Algiz Rune of Algiz / other items that give shield: Nullifies the insta-kill of Damocles if the shield is active when the sword falls.
  • 15►Diplopia Diplopia / 15►Crooked Penny Crooked Penny: An extra item is spawned per each item cloned.
  • 15►Gnawed Leaf Gnawed Leaf: If in the form of the statue, the player will be immune to the falling sword.
    • 15►Tooth and Nail Tooth and Nail's statue form can also save the player, but the statue transformation time lining up with the sword falling is unlikely.
  • 15►Holy Mantle Holy Mantle / 15►Blanket Blanket / Wooden Cross Wooden Cross / Holy Card Holy Card: Damage blocked by the shield doesn't count as damage taken. It will not, however, protect Isaac from the falling sword.
  • 15►Infamy Infamy / 15►Host Hat Host Hat / 15►Cone Head Cone Head / 15►Metal Plate Metal Plate: Blocked damage does not count as damage and can delay the triggering of Damocles.
  • The Lost The Lost / Tainted Lost Tainted Lost: Any damage the Lost would take is likely to kill him instantly, meaning that the item's downside is greatly mitigated. Dying and respawning, however, will still trigger the chance of falling,
  • 15►Magic Skin Magic Skin: Spawns 2 items on every use instead of 1.
  • 15►Unicorn Stump Unicorn Stump / 15►My Little Unicorn My Little Unicorn / other items that give invulnerability: If active, will negate the sword's fall killing Isaac.
  • 15►Dark Arts Dark Arts: When in the shadow state, Isaac can survive the insta-kill of Damocles, however this requires precise timing and can be impossible if Dark Art's charge is empty as the sword is falling.
  • Tainted Lazarus Tainted Lazarus: If the character that used Damocles takes damage, swapping to the other character will cause the game to 'forget' that he took damage when you change back into him, making this item much safer than usual to use.


Given the 1/10000 chance for the sword to fall every 4 frames (0.133 seconds), Isaac has a ~4.4% chance to die for every minute of gameplay that passes after he takes damage with Damocles active. The following is a table for times Isaac could survive to after getting hit, along with the chances of reaching them:

Time passed Chance of Survival
2 Minutes 20 seconds 90%
4 Minutes, 57 seconds 80%
7 Minutes, 55 seconds 70%
11 Minutes, 21 seconds 60%
15 Minutes, 24 seconds 50%
20 Minutes, 21 seconds 40%
26 Minutes, 45 seconds 30%
31 Minutes, 45 seconds 20%
51 Minutes, 9 seconds 10%

In-game Footage[]


Added in Repentance
  • The item's appearance and effects are a reference to [the] Sword of Damocles, a story in which Damocles frequently praised King Dionysius's life of wealth and luxury, and is offered to switch places with Dionysius on the throne for a day to have a taste of his power. Damocles accepts, only to find that Dionysius had a sword hanging over his throne by a single horse hair to remind Damocles of the never ending threats to both themselves and their country that a ruler must deal with during their reign, causing Damocles to beg to give the throne back to Dionysius
  • The Damocles can be seen hanging over Isaac's head on the Antibirth album cover.
  • There are actually two different Damocles items in the game: one (item ID 577) is the active item that the player can encounter, and the other (item ID 656) is a hidden passive item that is given when the active Damocles is used and that carries out the item's effects. The passive Damocles cannot be encountered through any normal means, even via 15►Spindown Dice Spindown Dice or 15►Death Certificate Death Certificate, nor does it appear in the collection grid. If spawned on a pedestal via the Debug Console, collecting the passive Damocles will immediately put the sword above Isaac's head as if the active Damocles were used.
  • In Antibirth, the more times the player would get hit, the higher chance of Damocles falling on Isaac's head was.


Bug Bug! If Isaac drops his active item because of Butter! Butter!, it will also spawn an additional item next to it, allowing for infinite items to be generated.

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