UnitEnchantment Possession
Realm Icon Death.pngDeath
Spell Rarity Uncommon
Spell Type Unit Curse
Combat Cost Icon Mana.png 30
Research Cost Icon Research.png 350

If a target enemy Normal Unit or Hero fails a Resistance roll at Icon Resist.png -1, control of this unit is transferred to the casting wizard for as long as Possession remains in effect.

A possessed unit is always destroyed at the end of the battle.
Advisor Sorcery Buggy Feature
As of Master of Magic v1.31, Possession is known to be malfunctioning in at least one way. Please read the Known Bugs section below.
Possession is an Uncommon Unit Curse belonging to the Icon Death.pngDeath Magic realm. For Icon Mana.png 30 it may be cast on an enemy Normal Unit or Hero during combat. The target gets to make a Resistance roll, albeit at a penalty of Icon Resist.png -1 to avert this curse. If it fails, control of this unit is transferred to Possession's caster, who can now command it as though it was one of his own units.

Unless Possession is dispelled before combat ends, it will destroy the unit at the end of the battle (if it reaches the end alive at all). Possessed units will never carry on back to the campaign map.

Effects Edit

Possession warps the very mind of a target enemy Normal Unit or Hero, making them little more than puppets in the hands of Possession's caster. They will fight for this wizard like any of his other units, and will be executed at the end of the battle.

Control Exchange Edit

When Possession is cast on a target unit, that unit must make a Resistance roll at a penalty of Icon Resist.png -1. If the unit succeeds its roll, then Possession fizzles harmlessly. However if the unit fails its roll, control of this unit is transferred to Possession's casting wizard.

That wizard gets to move the unit as though it was his own, and make any attack or use any of the unit's other abilities (if it has any). The unit may now attack its former friends, and its friends may now attack it. It has effectively switched sides.

Unless Possession is dispelled, the unit will remain a part of the enemy army for the remainder of the battle - whereupon it is immediately and automatically destroyed. There is no way to save a Possessed unit from being destroyed - even pulling it out of battle with the Word of Recall spell will not result in it appearing on the overland map after the battle. In this way, Possession is effectively a death sentence, which can only be averted if it is dispelled!

Note: The Icon Resist.png -1 penalty is not mentioned anywhere in the game manual or in-game tooltips. However it is demonstrably true, as the spell will occasionally affect units with Icon Resist.png 10, but never those with Icon Resist.png 11. Testing also shows that the ratio of success for this spell corresponds with Icon Resist.png -1.

Usage Edit

Possession may only be cast during combat, for a Casting Cost of Icon Mana.png 30. It must be targeted at an enemy Normal Unit or Hero. It cannot affect creatures mutated by Chaos Channels nor the Undead.

The enemy unit receives a chance to Resist this Curse. However it must do so at a penalty of Icon Resist.png -1. Any unit that succeeds this roll will not be affected by Possession. Units with Icon Resist.png 11 are completely immune to the spell.

Once Possession is successfully cast on a unit, it will immediately switch sides. If the unit has any Movement Points left over from the previous round, it may move, attack, or use any special abilities immediately after falling under this curse.

There is no visual indication on the battlefield that the unit is Possessed. Of course, if you can select the unit, then it is part of your army now. Also, its details panel will show the icon for the Possession spell.

Acquisition Edit

As an Uncommon Icon Death.pngDeath spell, Possession may become available to any Wizard who possesses at least one Icon Death.pngDeath Spellbook. However, its availability during the game is almost never guaranteed.

Customized Wizards possessing Icon Death.png11 Spellbooks at creation time may choose this spell as one of their default spells before starting the game, in which case the spell will already be researched and available for casting immediately on the first turn.

Wizards who possess at least Icon Death.png8 Spellbooks, or Wizards with Icon Death.png11 Spellbooks who did not select Possession as a guaranteed spell, will be able to Research this spell at some point during their campaign. Wizards with fewer than Icon Death.png8 Spellbooks have a random chance of being able to Research it. The chance for this spell to appear increases with the number of Icon Death.pngDeath Spellbooks the Wizard possesses or obtains during gameplay.

Possession has a base Research Cost of Icon Research.png 350.

With at least Icon Death.png1 Spellbook, the Possession spell may be acquired as a reward for winning encounters in creature Lairs, Towers, et cetera, or when conquering the Fortress of a rival wizard who has already researched this spell.

Strategy Edit

Possession is quite a powerful spell - if it can get through the target's Resistance. Aside from adding an extra unit to your force (and reducing the enemy's force by one unit), it also spells death for the Possessed unit as it will be destroyed by the end of the battle.

Try to target a strong unit with a low Resistance score, as this will increase the chance of the unit changing sides. Alternatively, you can repeatedly attempt to cast Possession on a high-value enemy unit, such as a Hero. While this doesn't always work (such units usually have high Resistance), the payoff is usually very significant.

Bugs Edit

The Possession spell is afflicted by several different bugs, glitches, and exploits.

Valid TargetsEdit

The documentation for this spell indicates that it can only affect Normal Units. In fact, it can also affect Heroes.


The Possession spell can only be dispelled by its caster - who has no real reason to want to do so. It cannot be dispelled by the target's original owner. This is because the Possession effect is classified as a hostile effect, and hostile effects on a unit can only be dispelled by that unit's controller. With Possessed units, the caster of the hostile spell becomes the controller of the unit, leading to this illogical situation.

Note however that dispelling Possession is entirely useless regardless, as it does not cause the unit to return to its original owner's control anyway.

Army Size LimitsEdit

Since the size of an army is normally limited to 9 units, and no more than two armies can participact in any battle, the game is normally designed to handle only up to 18 units on the battlefield at any given time. It also preserves this limit by preventing players from summoning additional units if they already have 9 units on the battlefield.

Possession, however, allows a wizard to control more than 9 units in combat, by taking a unit from the opponent's army. The 18-unit limit remains unbroken, because no new unit is created - one is simply transferred from one army to the other. However, if both players had 9 units each on the battlefield before the spell was cast, Possession now leaves one army with 8 units, and the other with 10. The problem is that the game now believes that the player who has 8 units now has room in his army to summon an additional combat unit. Doing so will increase the number of the units on the battlefield above 18, which will then immediately crash the game.