|Spell Rarity||Very Rare|
|Upkeep Cost||25 per turn|
|# of Figures||1|
|Melee Attack per figure||20|
|Defense per figure||10|
|Hit Points per figure||25|
+30% To HitLightning Breath 20
The Sky Drake has a powerful Melee Attack that is preceded by a blast of Lightning Breath doubling its overall strength. Possessing both the Illusions Immunity and Magic Immunity abilities, as well as a Resistance score of 14, it is nearly impervious to magic, including most unit abilities. Furthermore, the Sky Drake is amazingly fast, moving at 4 both on the overland map and the battlefield.
The Fantastic UnitEdit
Physical Description Edit
A Sky Drake is Master of Magic's version of the Blue Dragon from fantasy and classical role-playing games. It is essentially a gigantic lizard with a long, keen head, covered entirely in blue scales. Two large draconic wings keep it aloft despite its massive size, and propel it quickly through the air. When the Sky Drake opens its mouth to attack, lightning bolts shoot out of it to electrocute its opponents.
Attack Properties Edit
The Sky Drake has an amazingly-powerful Melee Attack, though this is mainly due thanks to the creature's special abilities.
But what makes the Sky Drake's Melee Attack so fearsome is that it is immediately preceded by a powerful Lightning Breath Attack. Up to 20 points of Damage may be delivered by this attack, and it too enjoys the +30% To Hit bonus, and thus delivers 12 on average as well. This is in addition to the creature's normal 12 average Damage described above!
Since this is a Breath Attack, the damage is delivered immediately upon initiating a Melee Attack against an enemy unit, even before the enemy gets to deal any Gaze Attacks! Therefore, the Sky Drake stands a good chance of killing its opponent before that opponent gets the chance to do anything at all.
Furthermore, because this Breath Attack is lightning-based, it delivers Armor Piercing Damage. This means that the target's Defense score is reduced by 50% when attempting to block any damage from this attack!
In summation, it should be clear that engaging this creature in Melee combat may be fatal to nearly any unit.
Defensive Properties Edit
If its offensive properties were not impressive enough, the Sky Drake also has some of the best defensive properties in the game - especially against enemy spellcasting and general magic use.
For starters, the Sky Drake possesses both the Illusions Immunity and Magic Immunity abilities. These render the creature impervious to nearly all spells and their direct effects. It may not be affected by any Unit Curse or direct-damage Combat Instant, and will not suffer damage from any enchantments. Illusions Immunity makes it impossible to even target it with most spells from the Sorcery realm.
Magic Immunity is even more spectacular: it raises the Sky Drake's Defense rating to 50 whenever it is being targeted by a Magical Ranged Attack, allowing it to block 15 points of Damage on average from each such attack! It also offers the same protection against Breath Attacks, and provides immunity against most types of Special Damage delivered through Gaze Attacks and Touch Attacks.
As if this isn't enough, the Sky Drake possesses a Resistance score of 14. In other words, it is completely immune to any effect that allows a Resistance roll for its target, unless that effect (or a combination thereof) also reduces effective Resistance by at least -5 - this is nigh-impossible considering the above immunities. Most importantly, this impressive resistance score will adequately protect the creature from Poison Touch, the only Resistable ability that can get past its immunities.
After all of the above, the Sky Drake's Defense score of 10, while being one of the highest of all Fantastic Creatures', seems surprisingly low. It will only block about 3 points of Damage on average from enemy Melee Attacks and Ranged Missile Attacks (much more from Magical Ranged Attacks as described above). Still, it would take many such attacks to kill the creature, as it has 25 Hit Points.
Other Properties Edit
On top of being amazingly powerful and tough, the Sky Drake is also a very fast unit. It Flies at a speed of 4 per turn, both in combat and on the overland map - making it one of the fastest units in the game without any additional Unit Enchantments.
And finally, thanks to Illusions Immunity, the Sky Drake can see Invisible enemies regardless of where they are on the battlefield. It can also attack those targets without suffering the usual -10% To Hit penalty.
Basic Tactics Edit
If you've been paying any attention, by this point you should realize that little can stop even a single Sky Drake. It moves very quickly, is hard to kill, can't be stopped with spells, and delivers a Melee Attack that can shred an enemy unit to pieces before it even gets a chance to retaliate.
What more can be said? Charge ahead, take on whatever targets you find most dangerous at the time, and keep fighting until the enemy is dead.
Enemy Sky Drakes Edit
Sky Drakes will often be found guarding the most valuable Sorcery Nodes. Even if the Sky Drake is all alone there, this will be a challenging battle to all but the best armies - and will likely end in casualties even if victorious. Now imagine that on the highest difficulty settings, Sky Drakes can come in pairs, triplets or quadruplets - and may be accompanied by any of the other Sorcery Fantastic Creatures.
Given all the above, taking out an enemy Sky Drake can be the hardest thing to do in the entire game. Most spells are not going to help as they cannot directly affect the Sky Drake, so it's often required to rely on very powerful units of your own.
Ranged Attackers using Missile Attacks or Boulders have the best chance of causing damage to this creature, but most are too weak to withstand its ferocious Melee attack - and it will quickly get close enough to use that attack. Alorra the Elven Archer may be capable of killing a Sky Drake, but even she would have to be fully equipped and highly- Experienced. Alternatively any fully-equipped high level hero can punch through its magical immunity with Arcane Power, possibly supported by Prayer. Or else regular heavy duty melee units can do the job when you bind the Sky Drake with Web, since its most devastating attack is its Lightning Breath (however, using Web in a Sorcery Node is unlikely to be effective unless you have Node Mastery or are using Giant Spiders).
Therefore, your best bet is usually to bring your own tough and powerful Melee hitters, such as Great Drakes, Great Wyrms, Behemoths or even your own Sky Drakes - though you should still accept the chance of losing at least one unit. Furthermore, Heroes such as Gunther, Bahgtru, and Shalla and several Barbarian units including Spearmen, Swordsmen, Cavalry, and Berserkers possess the Thrown ability which can be affective against flying Sky Drakes.
Most importantly, try to keep the enemy Sky Drake from initiating its own Melee Attacks on your units - it gets to deliver its Breath Attack when doing so. Instead, maneuver so that your own units get to attack the Sky Drake during your turn, denying its Breath Attack and thus reducing the creature's damage output considerably. This can be exceedingly tricky of course, because the Sky Drake moves about VERY quickly.
Apart from Web, the only other abilities that will affect this creature are Doom Gaze and Chaos-enchanted weapons. Alas, the Chaos Spawn's measly 1 makes it largely unsuitable for the task at hand (although it will likely survive the Breath to do a Gaze Attack even when defending). On the other hand, the Chaos Item Power allows even low-powered Ranged Magical Heroes to inflict steady (unblockable) damage on the Sky Drake. The only remaining difficulties then are keeping out of Melee range and not running out of Mana.
Above all, expect losses.
Ability Overview Edit
- This unit has an extra 30% chance to hit its target with every attack. This improves its statistical chance to inflict more Damage with each attack it makes.
- Illusion Damage inflicted on this unit does not bypass its armor. The unit gets to make its Defense rolls as normal.
- During combat, this unit will spot all enemy Invisible creatures regardless of how close they are. Those creatures become semi-visible on the screen, and may be targeted freely like any other unit.
- This unit is completely immune to many spells from the Sorcery realm. It either may not be targeted by such spells at all, or is simply not affected by them.
- This unit may not be directly affected by most enemy spells, including Curses and direct-damage spells.
- The unit's Defense score is boosted to 50 whenever targeted by a Magical Ranged Attack or Breath Attack.
- The unit's Resistance score is increased by +30 against Fear Attacks, Gaze Attacks and all Touch Attacks but Poison.
- When making a Melee Attack against an enemy, this unit first delivers a Breath Attack with a strength equivalent to 20.
- The Breath Attack does not occur when the unit itself is Counter Attacking to an enemy assault.
- The Armor Piercing Damage delivered by this attack means that the target's Defense score is reduced by 50% for purposes of blocking the Breath Attack damage.
- Any enemy figures killed by this Breath Attack do not get to deliver combat damage in retaliation.
- Thanks to the Breath Attack, this unit may always attack adjacent enemy Flying units, disregarding the normal restrictions about ground-to-air attacks.
The Summoning Spell Edit
The new unit is created with full Movement Points, and may move and/or attack immediately as necessary.
To keep the Sky Drake in play, it is necessary to pay an Upkeep Cost of 25 per turn. This is drawn automatically from the caster's Mana pool each turn. Failure to pay the required costs due to lack of Mana in the pool will lead to the Sky Drake being immediately destroyed, along with any Unit Enchantments currently affecting it.
If the unit is destroyed in combat, then it is gone from the world entirely, and there is no further need to pay its Upkeep Costs.
You can also dismiss the Sky Drake voluntarily. To do this, right-click the unit's icon and then press the red "Dismiss" button on the bottom right corner of the unit's details panel. A dismissed unit is gone forever, but of course you can always cast the Sky Drake spell again to get a fresh new one. The primary reason to dismiss a Fantastic Creature would be to remove its Upkeep Cost (conserving Mana as a result).
As a Very Rare Sorcery spell, Sky Drake may become available to any Wizard who possesses at least 3 Spellbooks. However, its availability during the game is not guaranteed unless the Wizard acquires at least 10 Spellbooks.
Sky Drake may not be acquired at the start of the campaign regardless of how many Spellbooks the wizard possesses. It must either be Researched during the game, or acquired through other means.
Wizards with 3 to 9 Spellbooks have a random chance of being able to Research Sky Drake during the game. The chance for this spell to appear for research increases with the number of Sorcery Spellbooks the Wizard possesses or obtains during gameplay. With 10 or 11 Spellbooks, the spell is guaranteed to appear for Research at some point, if it is not already available for casting.
Sky Drake has a base Research Cost of 4,500.
With at least 3 Spellbooks, the Sky Drake 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.