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Cockatrices
Summon Cockatrices
Realm Icon Nature.pngNature
Spell Properties
Spell Rarity Uncommon
Casting Cost Icon Mana.png 275
Upkeep Cost Icon Mana.png 8 per turn
Research Cost Icon Research.png 620
Unit Properties
# of Figures Icon MultiFigureUnit.png 4
Moves Icon Movement Air2
Melee Attack per figure Icon Melee Normal.png 4
Defense per figure Icon Defense.png 3
Resistance Icon Resist.png 7
Hit Points per figure Icon Hits.png 3
Unit Abilities

Ability ToHit +10% To Hit

Ability StoningTouch Stoning Touch -3
Tactical Cockatrices
Cockatrices are a type of Fantastic Unit featured in Master of Magic. They belong to the Icon Nature.pngNature Realm, and may be summoned using a Summoning Spell of the same name. Although their attack stats are not impressive on their own, each attack made by this unit stands a very high chance of Petrifying its target, destroying it automatically. This makes Cockatrices very dangerous even to enemies that are much more powerful than themselves.

The Fantastic Unit Edit

Physical Description Edit

A Cockatrice is a bizarre abomination: It has the head of a rooster (or "cockerel") and the greenish reptilian body of a small dragon, complete with a pair of dragon-like wings.

The Cockatrices unit is a Icon MultiFigureUnit.png Multi-Figure Unit, containing up to 4 of these creatures.

Attack Properties Edit

Cockatrices are relatively weak in Melee, in terms of their combat stats. Each Cockatrice attacks with Icon Melee Normal.png 4, and although they have a Icon ToHit.png +10% To Hit bonus, this still only gives them an average of Icon Damage.png 1.6 points of Damage per Icon Figure.png figure with every attack. This puts them on par with low/mid-tier Normal Units produced regularly from Towns.

However, the true power of the Cockatrices comes from their exceptionally-powerful Ability StoningTouch Stoning Touch ability. Whenever the unit engages in Melee combat with an enemy unit, the opponent must make as many Resistance checks at penalties of Icon Resist.png -3 as the Cockatrices unit has remaining Icon Figure.png figures (before Melee Damage is dealt). Each failed roll destroys one Icon Figure.png figure in the target unit, regardless of how healthy or strong it is!

Thus, a unit of Cockatrices can possibly take out significantly stronger targets, particularly Icon SingleFigureUnit.png Single-Figure Units. Only units with Ability StoningImmunity Stoning Immunity, Ability MagicImmunity Magic Immunity, or an effective Resistance score of Icon Resist.png 13+ are safe from this Touch Attack.

It should be noted however, that this ability only takes effect when Melee Damage is being dealt by the Cockatrices. Therefore, any units petrified by the effect will still be able to hurt the Cockatrices before dying, and opponents with Ability FirstStrike First Strike, Breath-, Gaze-, or Thrown Attacks might prevent Icon Damage.png damage by killing one or more Cockatrice Icon Figure.png figures before they can attack.

Defensive Properties Edit

Cockatrices are defensively weak - roughly on par with low/mid-tier Normal Units. Their Defense rating is only Icon Defense.png 3, and each Cockatrice has only Icon Hits.png 3, meaning that they can be destroyed fairly easily during combat.

Other Properties Edit

One important advantage of Cockatrices is their ability to Icon Movement AirFly, at a pace of Icon Movement Air2. This allows them to maneuver easily across a battlefield without fear of being attacked by most enemy Icon Movement GroundWalking units.

With a Resistance score of Icon Resist.png 7, Cockatrices are also fairly resistant to Unit Curses and other combat maledictions. They are by no means immune to such effects, however.

Tactics Edit

Due to their low combat stats, Cockatrices rarely survive for a very long period of time - and so are best used as suicide troops to try and petrify the strongest enemy units. Almost any enemy unit with less than Icon Resist.png 13 stands at least some chance of being turned to stone and removed from the battle, thus fulfilling the Cockatrices' objective. The creatures themselves are often destroyed in such attempts though, because the effect occurs simultaneously with Melee combat - the Cockatrices still suffer Icon Damage.png damage from the enemy's Counter Attack, if any, even if the enemy was petrified during the attack.

Enemy Cockatrices Edit

Cockatrices occasionally appear as neutral monsters, mostly in mid-level Encounter Zones. They may also appear as support units for much larger creatures of Icon Nature.pngNature. Any battle against one or more units of Cockatrices is dangerous, and may result in the loss of Heroes or other strong units due to failing their Icon Resist.png Resistance rolls against the powerful Ability StoningTouch Stoning Touch attack.

Units with higher Resistance values or Ability StoningImmunity Stoning Immunity are recommended in such situations. Masses of low-tier units can also be thrown at Cockatrices because their defensive stats are so low - but these units will probably be destroyed in the process. The Common Icon Sorcery.pngResist Magic and Icon Nature.pngResist Elements spells can also be useful, as can Heroes with the Ability Prayermaster Prayermaster ability.

Ability Overview Edit

Ability ToHit +10% To Hit Edit

  • This unit has an extra Icon ToHit.png 10% chance to hit its target with every die of its Attack Rolls. This improves its statistical chance to inflict more Icon Damage.png Damage with each attack it makes.

Ability StoningTouch Stoning Touch -3 Edit

  • Whenever this unit makes a Icon Melee Normal.png Melee Attack or Counter Attack against an enemy target, it first delivers a Stoning Damage Touch Attack.
  • The target unit must make one Resistance roll at a penalty of Icon Resist.png -3 per Cockatrice Icon Figure.png figure; for each failure, one Icon Figure.png figure in the target unit is destroyed immediately.
  • This is a Touch Attack, which means it takes place simultaneously with combat. Therefore, any Icon Figure.png figures that are destroyed by this power will still be able to deal their Melee Damage.
  • This effect does nothing against targets possessing the Stoning Immunity ability.
  • Reducing the Melee Strength of the Cockatrices to Icon Melee Normal.png 0 disables this attack.

The Summoning Spell Edit

Usage Edit

Cockatrices may only be cast overland, for the base Casting Cost of Icon Mana.png 275. Upon successfully casting the spell, the new Cockatrices unit will appear in the Town currently containing the Wizard's Summoning Circle, with full Movement Allowance, and may move and/or attack immediately as necessary.

To keep the Cockatrices in play, its controller is required to pay an Upkeep Cost of Icon Mana.png 8 per turn. This is drawn automatically from the caster's Icon Mana.png Mana pool at the beginning of each turn while the unit exists. Failure to pay this Upkeep due to lack of Icon Mana.png Mana will lead to the Cockatrices immediately disappearing, along with any Unit Enchantments currently affecting it. However, this upkeep is for the unit, not for the spell: Summoning Spells can not be dispelled by the enemy once cast.

Naturally though, if the unit is destroyed, then it is gone from the world entirely, and there is no further need to pay its Upkeep Cost. Units summoned on the overland map may also be dismissed manually from their unit statistics window the same way as any other overland unit (during their controller's turn, while not in combat).

Acquisition Edit

As an Uncommon Spell of the Icon Nature.pngNature Realm, Cockatrices may become available to any Wizard who acquires at least Icon Nature.png1 Spellbook. With none, the spell can naturally not be learned during the campaign. This is the minimum requirement for it to be traded for, appear in Treasure, or be found in the spoils of victory when conquering the Fortress of a rival Wizard who already knows it.

The base chance for Cockatrices to be researchable (at some point) in the campaign is roughly 10% (with Icon Nature.png1 book), which gradually increases with the amount of Icon Nature.pngNature Spellbooks possessed or found during gameplay. With Icon Nature.png8 or more, the spell is certain to show up sooner or later, unless acquired from another source. It has a Research Cost of Icon Research.png 620, although its research is quicker for Wizards possessing the Sage Master, Conjurer, and/or Nature Mastery Retorts; or a bookshelf containing Icon Nature.png8 or more.

Cockatrices may also be selected as a starting spell by players who allocate all of of their picks into Icon Nature.pngNature books when creating their Wizard. In this case, it will be available for casting as soon as the game begins.