Instant Spell is a Spell Type, or category of spells, in Master of Magic. It is essentially the group of overland spells that do not require continuous investment of Mana to maintain. In other words, an Instant Spell may leave a lasting impact, but the spell itself disappears completely once cast. While this is akin to the behaviour of Summoning Spells - and is very different from enchantments -, the units that are conjured by spells generally also do have an Upkeep Cost.
By definition, all Instant Spells can be cast on the overland map, and the majority of them must be targeted at a specific asset (unit, Town, or something else). A few Instant Spells are targeted at other Wizards, using special interfaces unique to these spells. There are also 3 that may be cast during combat as well, which means that they can also double as Combat Instants.
There are a total of 37 Instant Spells in Master of Magic spread across the different Realms. Most of the game's Arcane spells, including the fabled Spell of Mastery, belong to this category, leaving this Realm with just one fewer Instant Spell than Nature or Sorcery, both of which have 8. The Life Realm invests heavily into enchantments instead, and has the fewest: only 2.
All Instant Spells are designed to be cast on the overland map. However, three of them may also be cast during battles, these are: Disenchant Area, Disenchant True, and Word of Recall. As noted below, the first two of these normally target a map tile, and in combat will instead affect the entire battlefield, while the last one works the same way as on the campaign map, targeting a single unit.
Instant Spells run the gamut of Casting Costs, with some being incredibly cheap, and others extremely expensive. In all cases however, Instant Spells have absolutely no Upkeep Costs, as the spell itself ceases to exist after it has applied its intended effect. Since the spell dissipates after casting, it cannot be "canceled" voluntarily by the caster, nor can it be dispelled by rival Wizards. Still, this does not mean that the effect cannot be undone - in fact, most Instant Spell effects are reversible in one way or another. They can also be countered as normal as they are being cast.
In addition, there are two Instant Spells that do indirectly incur an Upkeep Cost, either by creating (Wall of Stone), or appropriating (Spell Binding), an asset that naturally has one. Furthermore, casting Lycanthropy on a unit will remove whatever Upkeep it used to have, and replace it with a pre-set 5.
Most Instant Spells require a target, upon which they will inflict their effects. Due to the way this group is defined, the variety of target types for Instant Spells is the widest of any spell category. It can be anything from individual units, to rival Wizards, or even the terrain itself. As such, these spells are targeted in a number of different ways. Selecting an invalid target will typically cause an error message, but the game will usually allow the player to choose a different one. Occasionally however, an "invalid" target can be selected, except the spell will have no effect on it, and ends up wasting its entire Casting Cost for nothing.
City Spells Edit
- Some of the most straightforward Instant Spells to target are those that affect Towns. Earthquake and Call the Void are both destructive spells that need to be cast on a rival Settlement. In contrast, Summoning Circle, Move Fortress, and Wall of Stone may only target the player's own Towns. Finally, selecting a friendly City is also ultimately required upon casting the special Spell of Return.
Unit Spells Edit
- Chaos Channels, Lycanthropy, and Word of Recall all require individual units as targets, and are thus a little trickier to cast. That is, if the unit is grouped with other units, the stack needs to be clicked on first to bring up the list view of all the units inside; much like targeting a Unit Enchantment. Word of Recall is also castable in combat though, in which case choosing its target is a matter of a simple click. All three spells can only be used on the caster's own units.
Army Spells Edit
- These represent a crossover between the Instant Spells that must be cast on a tile (see below), and those that target units. They have to be targeted at a map tile containing at least one unit, but if there are more there, these spells will affect every unit in the target army. Plane Shift and Nature's Cures need to be cast on the caster's own armies, while Stasis has to target an enemy or rival's stack.
Tile Spells Edit
- The largest subgroup of Instant Spells in terms of targeting must be cast on a selected tile on the overland map, and will affect every valid target on that tile. Only five of these spells have a casting condition however, meaning that it is entirely possible to cast the rest of them in a way that will have no effect, wasting their entire Casting Cost.
- Transmute and Warp Node have the strictest requirements out of these: the former must target a tile with a Mineral resource that it can alter, while the latter can only be cast on a tile with an occupied, but not yet warped, magical Node. The other 3 spells like these that may not target simply any tile are Change Terrain, Raise Volcano, and Corruption; mostly because not all terrain types are valid targets for them.
- Disenchant Area and Disenchant True deserve a special mention here, as they may also be cast during combat to affect the tile that the battle is taking place on. They will then attempt to remove every opposing spell, just like they would if cast overland. However, when cast in combat, this will also include any Combat Enchantments cast by the opponent, in addition to any Unit Curses affecting the caster's own units. On the other hand, both spells can be "mis-targeted", and cast on tiles with no active hostile spells.
- Ice Storm, Fire Storm, and Black Wind are designed to damage or outright kill rival units on the target tile. However, their targeting does not require there to be any such units on the tile. Similarly, Earth Lore is possible to cast even if there are no un-scouted map tiles in its range; and Enchant Road also does not check whether there are any Roads at all in its area of effect.
Targeting Wizards Edit
- Spells that take another Wizard as a target have a special interface to accomplish this. This is essentially a pop-up window displaying the four other Wizards in gems identical to those visible on the Magic Screen. Just like there, the gemstones for uncontacted Wizards appear grey, and those of defeated players are shattered. As such, spells that are targeted at Wizards can only be cast on those who are currently active in the game, and with whom contact has already been established. The game will even warn the player if they are attempting to start casting one of these spells when there are no valid targets. However, if this is ignored, and there are still no active contacted Wizards when the casting is finished, the spell will fizzle and have no effect.
- While the targeting interface is the same for all 4 Instant Spells that target another player, the information they display during the selection can be different. Cruel Unminding, Drain Power, and Subversion all show the caster's current Visible Relation with the target under their gems. Spell Blast instead displays the spell they are currently casting, in addition to showing the amount of Mana they have already channeled into it, when mousing over one of the valid target Wizards. This is important because this is the amount that the caster needs to spend (immediately) to successfully counter the spell. It is also worth noting that the portait gems can be right-clicked from this interface the same way that they can from the Magic Screen, to view the profile of the depicted Wizard. This may be useful for choosing the best possible target, for instance, in the case of Drain Power.
Global Enchantments Edit
- Disjunction, Disjunction True, and Spell Binding all use the same custom interface designed for selecting a single Global Enchantment as a target. This shows the portrait gems of the other four Wizards, followed by a scrollable list of their active Global Enchantments. Unlike the window used to select target Wizards, this screen does display the colors and portaits of players with whom contact has not yet been established, but only if they have at least one active Global Enchantment. This is understandable considering that the game also shows their name when they successfully complete casting one. However, the gems can not be right-clicked to query the profile traits of Wizards from this interface.
Item Crafting Edit
- Main article: Item Crafting
- The Enchant Item and Create Artifact spells are both used to create Magical Items. Neither of them are targeted in a conventional way. When selecting these spells for casting, the player is prompted to design the item they wish to craft, before being allowed to start channeling the spell (this also determines its Casting Cost). Upon successful completion, the Items Screen will automatically open, with the newly created item placed on the mouse cursor. It can then either be deposited in the Fortress vault, broken down immediately, or distributed to a Hero. The item is considered to be located at the player's capital for the purposes of transportation costs, meaning that an extra 20 will need to be paid to give it to any Hero who is not garrisoned there.
- Resurrection has a unique effect with an interface not shared with any other spell. It needs to target a deceased Hero who has died in the caster's service. The game will warn about casting this spell when there are no dead Heroes, although it does not stop the player from doing so anyway. When the casting is complete, a list of all valid Heroes will appear in a new window, from where the target can be selected. Unfortunately, their statistics can not be viewed before choosing.
Automatic Targets Edit
- Finally, there are also 3 Instant Spells require no targeting at all. Instead, they automatically seek out all valid targets on the overland map. Black Wind affects every Normal Unit on both Arcanus and Myrror, while Great Unsummoning targets each Fantastic Unit. Apart from these, the only other Instant Spell that does not need a target is the Spell of Mastery.
As can be expected from the diverse targeting rules described above, Instant Spells also have widely-varied effects. Unfortunately, they cannot be generalized in any meaningful way apart from the targets they take. Instead, the exact effects of each Instant Spell are explained in great detail within their articles on this wiki, and both the in-game help and the table below contain a brief summary of these effects.
List of Instant Spells Edit
The following list details all 37 Instant Spells available in the game.
|Create Artifact||Arcane||--||Varies||1000||Creates a customized Magical Item with up to 4 attributes. Casting Cost depends on the value of the item.|
|Disenchant Area||Arcane||--||50+||300||Attempts to dispel all enemy-cast spells on every asset on the target tile (or on the entire battlefield).|
|Disjunction||Arcane||--||200+||750||Attempts to dispel one enemy-controlled Global Enchantment.|
|Enchant Item||Arcane||--||Varies||450||Creates one customized Magical Item with up to 4 properties, each of which is individually limited to a maximum cost of 200.|
|Spell of Mastery||Arcane||--||5000||up to 60000||The caster wins the game immediately, and receives +250 points to their Score.|
|Spell of Return||Arcane||--||1000||20||The caster returns from Banishment. His/her new Fortress and Summoning Circle are placed in the targeted Town.|
|Summoning Circle||Arcane||--||50||150||Moves the caster's Summoning Circle to the target Town.|
|Plane Shift||Life||Uncommon||125||350||Target friendly stack is teleported to the corresponding coordinates on the other Plane, if possible.|
|Resurrection||Life||Uncommon||250||400||Returns one dead Hero to life, with all of their combat properties intact, but no equipment.|
|Change Terrain||Nature||Uncommon||50||500||Changes the Terrain type of the target overland tile.|
|Earth Lore||Nature||Common||30||250||Reveals a large section of the overland map.|
|Earthquake||Nature||Rare||200||1300||Randomly destroys units and Town Buildings in the target Town.|
|Ice Storm||Nature||Rare||200||1200||Strikes all enemy units on the target tile with a Strength 6 Area Damage Cold attack.|
|Move Fortress||Nature||Rare||200||1500||Moves the player's Fortress to the target Town.|
|Nature's Cures||Nature||Uncommon||75||740||Instantly restores all units in a targeted stack to full Hit Points.|
|Transmute||Nature||Uncommon||60||680||Transforms a target Mineral into a different type of Mineral.|
|Wall of Stone||Nature||Common||50||60||Instantly constructs permanent City Walls around the target Town.|
|Disenchant True||Sorcery||Uncommon||50+||350||Attempts to dispel all rival spells on a target tile. Dispel Strength is three times that of a Disenchant Area spell.|
|Disjunction True||Sorcery||Rare||200+||880||Attempts to dispel a rival's Global Enchantment. Dispel Strength is three times that of a Disjunction spell.|
|Enchant Road||Sorcery||Uncommon||100||500||Turns all normal Roads in a 5x5 area of the overland map into Enchanted Roads.|
|Great Unsummoning||Sorcery||Very Rare||1000||3000||Every Fantastic Unit on the overland map must Resist at -3 or be destroyed.|
|Spell Binding||Sorcery||Very Rare||1000||3500||Attempts to steal a Global Enchantment controlled by a rival Wizard.|
|Spell Blast||Sorcery||Uncommon||50+||680||Counters a spell as it is being cast by a rival Wizard. Requires instant expenditure of extra Mana equal to that already channeled into the spell.|
|Stasis||Sorcery||Rare||250||1500||All enemy units in the targeted stack must Resist at -5 or be stuck in place until they manage to Resist successfully.|
|Word of Recall||Sorcery||Common||20||160||Teleports the target unit to the Town currently containing the caster's Summoning Circle.|
|Call the Void||Chaos||Very Rare||500||5000||Causes massive damage to a target enemy Town, its Town Buildings, and garrisoned units; and Corrupts the surrounding area.|
|Chaos Channels||Chaos||Uncommon||50||400||Turns a Normal Unit into a Fantastic Unit associated with the Chaos Realm, and gives it one of three possible permanent bonuses.|
|Corruption||Chaos||Common||40||100||Causes a targeted land tile to become Corrupted.|
|Fire Storm||Chaos||Rare||250||1400||Strikes each enemy unit on the target tile with an Immolation Damage attack of Strength 8.|
|Raise Volcano||Chaos||Uncommon||200||680||Transforms a target terrain tile into a Volcano. The caster gains +1 Power while this Volcano exists.|
|Black Wind||Death||Rare||200||1400||Each figure in each unit on the target tile must Resist at -1 or be destroyed.|
|Cruel Unminding||Death||Very Rare||250||1850||Target rival Wizard loses 1-10% off his current Spell Casting Skill.|
|Death Wish||Death||Very Rare||500||5000||Every enemy Normal Unit and Hero anywhere in the world must Resist or be destroyed.|
|Drain Power||Death||Uncommon||50||300||Target rival Wizard randomly loses between 50- 150.|
|Lycanthropy||Death||Uncommon||180||400||Transforms a Normal Unit into a 6-figure Werewolves unit.|
|Subversion||Death||Uncommon||100||620||Diplomatic Relations between the target Wizard and all other players deteriorate by -25 points.|
|Warp Node||Death||Rare||75||1300||Target Node decreases its owner's Power by -5 instead of increasing it. A warped node may not change owners.|