Great Drake
Summon GreatDrake
Realm Icon Chaos.pngChaos
Spell Properties
Spell Rarity Very Rare
Casting Cost Icon Mana.png 900
Upkeep Cost Icon Mana.png 30 per turn
Research Cost Icon Research.png 4,500
Unit Properties
# of Figures Icon SingleFigureUnit.png 1
Moves Icon Movement Air2
Melee Attack per figure Icon Melee Normal.png 30
Defense per figure Icon Defense.png 10
Resistance Icon Resist.png 12
Hit Points per figure Icon Hits.png 30
Unit Abilities

Ability ToHit +30% To Hit

Ability FireBreath Fire Breath 30
Tactical GreatDrake
The Great Drake is a type of Fantastic Unit featured in Master of Magic. Great Drakes belong to the Icon Chaos.pngChaos Realm, and may be summoned using a Summoning Spell of the same name.

The Great Drake has by far the strongest Melee Attack in the game, with a Icon Breath.png Fire Breath so powerful that it will typically inflict some Icon Damage.png damage even to opponents with Ability FireImmunity Fire Immunity or Ability MagicImmunity Magic Immunity.

The Fantastic UnitEdit

Physical Description Edit

The Great Drake is Master of Magic's equivalent to the Red Dragon, a creature almost ubiquitous in any modern fantasy work. The Great Drake is essentially a gigantic lizard with a long, keen head, whose body is entirely covered in thick red scales. Two large batlike wings keep it aloft despite its massive size. The Great Drake can ignite its breath, sending out long plumes of flame at its enemies, burning them to cinders.

The Great Drake is a Icon SingleFigureUnit.png Single-Figure Unit.

Attack Properties Edit

The Great Drake's ferocious attack has two components: A Icon Melee Normal.png Melee Attack and a Icon Breath.png Fire Breath attack - each with an amazingly high Attack Strength of 30, and both enjoying a massive To Hit bonus of Icon ToHit.png +30%. The majority of creatures in the game simply cannot survive both attacks together, and many will not even survive one.

With a strength of Icon Melee Normal.png 30, the Great Drake's Melee Attack is easily the highest of all units in the game. With its total hit chance of Icon ToHit.png 60%, this attack delivers an average of Icon Damage.png 18 points of "raw" Icon Damage.png damage. Even the most well-armored Champions are unlikely to block this much, so needless to say the Great Drake will outright kill most of its targets when engaging them in Melee combat.

On top of this, whenever it is voluntarily attacking an enemy target (i.e. not when Counter Attacking), the Great Drake unleashes a Ability FireBreath Fire Breath attack of the same strength - Icon Breath.png 30! This too enjoys the high Icon ToHit.png To Hit bonus and has an average "raw" Icon Damage.png damage output of Icon Damage.png 18. Therefore, when the Great Drake assaults an enemy target in combat, it will deliver, on average, a total of Icon Damage.png 36 (before factoring in the target's Defense score). Only a handful of units possess anywhere near this many Icon Hits.png Hit Points.

The Breath Attack has the added benefit of being processed before Melee Damage is dealt by either side (the Drake or its target). As a result, any Icon Figure.png figures killed off by this attack will not even get to deal Icon Damage.png damage back at the Great Drake. Therefore, in any voluntary engagement with an enemy unit, the Great Drake has a good chance of eliminating most, if not all of its opponents before they deal any Icon Damage.png damage - and the Great Drake emerges completely unscathed. Any Icon Figure.png figures that do survive may then deal their Icon Damage.png damage - while being struck by the Drake's equally-devastating Melee Attack.

One important caveat to remember is that the Icon Breath.png Fire Breath attack delivers Fire Damage. As a result, opponents possessing Ability FireImmunity Fire Immunity or Ability MagicImmunity Magic Immunity, and targets enchanted with Icon Life.pngRighteousness are significantly less susceptible to it - they are considered to have a Defense score of Icon Defense.png 50 for the purpose of blocking Icon Damage.png damage from this attack. Nonetheless, since this Icon Breath.png Fire Breath is so powerful, it does stand a good chance of actually inflicting damage to such units, as these protections only reduce the Icon Damage.png damage by an average of Icon Damage.png 15 points, as opposed to its output of Icon Damage.png 18.

Defensive Properties Edit

The Great Drake may not have the survivability of its lumbering cousin the Hydra, but it is still quite formidable in battle, and can stand significant hammering by enemy units. It possesses the second highest Defense score for default units, which is Icon Defense.png 10, and will therefore block on average about Icon Damage.png 3 points from incoming Conventional Damage attacks. Only powerful attackers will be able to get through this armor - and even if they do, they still have to chip away at the Drake's formidable Icon Hits.png 30 Hit Points.

In addition, the Great Drake has a very impressive Resistance score of Icon Resist.png 12. This makes it immune to most Unit Curses and other maledictions requiring a Resistance roll, unless of course they enforce a penalty of at least Icon SpellSave.png -3 on those rolls.

Other Properties Edit

The Great Drake is a natural Icon Movement Airflyer, with a Movement Allowance of Icon Movement Air2. This makes it only an average scout, and although it can avoid most Icon Movement Groundwalking enemies on the battlefield, it is not as maneuverable as other dragons. Nonetheless, the ability to pick its targets in most situations is extremely important, and helps the Great Drake in delivering its powerful Icon Breath.png Fire Breath attack.

Basic Tactics Edit

Because of its immense strength, the Great Drake offers very few opportunities for actual finesse, and doesn't really require it either. In most cases its job is to simply make a beeline straight towards the most dangerous enemy unit and take it out. If other units get in the way, the Great Drake can either attempt to bypass them, or simply destroy them as well. Naturally, against similarly powerful enemies, it is also ideal to try and keep the initiative, so the Drake is always the one making the voluntary attacks - thus enabling it to fully utilize its Icon Breath.png Fire Breath.

The only other thing to really worry about - except perhaps for pesky high-level, well-equipped Champions trying to bring it down - are enemy spells. Though the Great Drake is immune to most Unit Curses, there are several types of spells that can and will significantly weaken it - possibly to the point where it can be overwhelmed by its enemies. The use of preventative spellcasting and/or plenty of dispelling magic may be prudent, when fighting another powerful Wizard.

Enemy Great Drakes Edit

Great Drakes are surprisingly common, especially when playing a high-difficulty game. They will be found guarding the most valuable Icon Chaos.pngChaos Nodes and occasionally Towers of Wizardry - and may be accompanied by any type of smaller Icon Chaos.pngChaos creatures.

Even a single Great Drake can be a challenge to overcome. Ranged Attack units may cause it some damage from afar - if they can get through its armor - although they may then become targets for the Drake's devastating attack. By the same token, Conventional Damage spells can also be useful, although most Special Damage ones will not affect the creature. On the other hand, spells that are either indirect (e.g. Icon Sorcery.pngInvisibility), or ignore Resistance (such as the Icon Nature.pngWeb + Icon Nature.pngCracks Call combination), can work very well against the Great Drake.

Although not exactly slow, the Great Drake is not exceedingly fast either. This is important because units with a Movement Allowance of 3 or more can still outmaneuver it, even to the point of attacking it once and then disengaging completely, so the Drake won't be able to make voluntary attacks against them at all. This effectively cuts its Icon Damage.png damage in half. Alternatively, Icon Sorcery.pngMagic Immunity or Icon Life.pngRighteousness can also significantly reduce the Icon Damage.png damage caused by its Icon Breath.png Fire Breath, although they won't be able to eliminate it completely unless used in combination with a Icon Life.pngPrayer enchantment, which raises their Icon Damage.png damage reduction to an average of Icon Damage.png 20.

It may also be a viable tactic against a single Great Drake to try and mob it with strong Melee Attack units. Ideally, this involves moving the units in such a way that the Drake ends its turn next to at least 3 of them, who can then attack one after the other. While this usually results in a number of casualties, it can at least be attempted with units that are not of the highest tiers. The biggest caveat is that the Great Drake is a Icon Movement Airflying unit, which means that Icon Movement Groundground troops can't engage it by default. However, this may he resolved with spells such as Icon Sorcery.pngFlight, Icon Chaos.pngChaos Channels, or Icon Nature.pngWeb. Icon Death.pngDeath Wizards can also gain access to the last spell by creating UnitEnchantment Undead Undead out of Giant Spiders.

Ability Overview Edit

Ability ToHit +30% To Hit Edit

  • This unit has an extra Icon ToHit.png 30% 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 FireBreath Fire Breath 30 Edit

  • Whenever this unit makes a voluntary Icon Melee Normal.png Melee Attack against an enemy target, it also delivers a Fire Damage Breath Attack with a strength of Icon Breath.png 30.
  • As a Icon Breath.png Breath Attack, this damage is delivered before the enemy gets the chance to retaliate. Any Icon Figure.png figures in the target unit that are killed by the attack do not get to deliver any Melee Damage.
  • This attack does not occur when the unit is Counter Attacking against an enemy assailant. However, it does enable the Great Drake to engage Icon Movement Airflying units even if afflicted with a Icon Nature.pngWeb.
  • Targets possessing Ability FireImmunity Fire Immunity or Ability MagicImmunity Magic Immunity, or enchanted with Icon Life.pngRighteousness are considered to have a Defense of Icon Defense.png 50 against this attack. It also triggers conditional protections granted by Icon Life.pngBless (Icon Defense.png +3), Icon Nature.pngResist Elements (Icon Defense.png +3), or Icon Nature.pngElemental Armor (Icon Defense.png +10).

The Summoning Spell Edit

Usage Edit

Great Drake may only be cast overland, for the base Casting Cost of Icon Mana.png 900. Upon successfully casting the spell, the new Great Drake 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 Great Drake in play, its controller is required to pay an Upkeep Cost of Icon Mana.png 30 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 Great Drake 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 a Very Rare Spell of the Icon Chaos.pngChaos Realm, Great Drake may become available to any Wizard who acquires at least Icon Chaos.png3 Spellbooks. With any less, the spell can normally 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 Great Drake to be researchable (at some point) in the campaign is roughly 10% (with Icon Chaos.png3 books), which gradually increases with the amount of Icon Chaos.pngChaos Spellbooks possessed or found during gameplay. With Icon Chaos.png10 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 4,500, although its research is quicker for Wizards possessing the Sage Master, Conjurer, and/or Chaos Mastery Retorts; or a bookshelf containing Icon Chaos.png8 or more.

Great Drake may not be acquired at the start of the game, regardless of the amount of Icon Chaos.pngChaos books selected from the starting picks. It must always be either researched or found. However, a bug exists in the official game, that may occasionally allow Great Drake to be researched with only Icon Chaos.png2 books despite its Rarity. This can happen if, and only if, the second Icon Chaos.pngChaos Spellbook comes from Treasure, as it then allows a random Very Rare Spell to be researched, which has a flat 10% chance of being this spell. This oversight is corrected in the Unofficial Patch 1.50.