This question clearly proves, that any changeling is not able to survive phaser blast. An answer, that follows it explains, that changelings are immune only to metal weapons.

Yet, in "Heart of Stone" we can clearly see a Female Changeling, changed into a piece of rock, that survives many direct phaser blasts. What am I missing? These seems to deny each other.

I assume, that the fact, that Odo exploded (in "Crossover"), after being hit by phaser fire, in mirror universe only has nothing to here. I also assume, that Odo (in "Heart of Stone") set his phaser to "something more than just stun", when he was trying to destroy, what he thought, was a piece of rock.

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    Keep in mind that Odo's phaser would have had to be on a relatively low setting, or he'd have killed Kira. Dec 14, 2015 at 23:51
  • This is a good question!
    – Praxis
    Dec 15, 2015 at 0:06

1 Answer 1


The in-universe explanation of this inconsistency is never addressed in canon. Speculating, I can come up with:

  1. The degree of experience of the Changeling taking the phaser fire plays a role. Mirror-Odo, who we might assume has a life parallel to his prime-universe counterpart, is a relatively inexperienced shape shifter unable to cope with phaser fire. When the Martok Changeling was exposed and subject to a barrage of disrupter fire, he did not immediately explode. A sufficiently experienced Changeling, prepared for the blast, may be able to withstand a single phaser shot.
  2. The form the Changeling is currently taking plays a role. The "piece of rock" which Odo was trying to destroy may have been the form of a material which is naturally resistant to phaser fire. A Changeling in humanoid form wouldn't necessarily maintain that resistance.
  3. The "rock" may not have been part of the Changeling herself, but rather a technological artifact deployed to simulate a phaser-proof substance. We have seen such an artifact, on a smaller scale in DS9: Vortex.
  • Your suggestions, though really speculating, does sound convincing to me. Especially the second one. Voting up for now and will accept, if anything better won't show up within a few days.
    – trejder
    Dec 14, 2015 at 21:28
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    When Odo first meets her, she sort of insinuates that when they change into something, they BECOME it, to an extent. I wouldn't be surprised if by changing into a rock, they are able to change their density so that a phaser blast would be harmless.
    – PiousVenom
    Dec 14, 2015 at 22:56
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    Odo also says in an episode something along the lines of "If you scan me when I'm a rock you'll read a rock," suggesting that changing shape is more than just an external arrangement, and actually alters the changeling through and through. This supports the second speculation.
    – Xantec
    Dec 14, 2015 at 23:20
  • These are all good points and does answer this question. However, this leads to an open speculation, why then changelings decided to keep as "everyday form" something with so low resistance to phaser blast, that they can pop like a balloon. I would imagine changing into "something + strong shield around". But, I assume, that these are all small glitches heavily missed by script writers.
    – trejder
    Dec 15, 2015 at 19:32
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    @trejder When they take a non-changeling shape in public, their goal is usually infiltration, as an entity which is itself not phaser-proof.
    – Politank-Z
    Dec 15, 2015 at 19:38

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