Summoning Spell is a Spell Type and a category of of spells in Master of Magic. The purpose of all Summoning Spells is to create a new unit for the caster's army. These are almost exclusively Fantastic Units, drawn from their home Realms, and bound to the service of the caster.
Most Summoning Spells must be cast on the overland map. The new unit is created at the current location of the caster's Summoning Circle, wherever it is at the time. Units brought into the game this way will remain in play until destroyed or dismissed, or until the end of the game, if they survive that long. These units also have an Upkeep Cost, which must be paid in Mana at the start of each turn. Failure to pay the required amount causes the unit to be dismissed automatically.
There are also a few Summoning Spells can only be cast during combat. These summon creatures that will only exist for the duration of the battle - at which point they are automatically destroyed. They can be used to suddenly bolster the strength of an army by a considerable amount. Since these creatures only last until the end of the battle, they do not have any Upkeep Costs to be paid.
In both cases, the Summoning Spell is only responsible for creating the new unit - whereupon the spell itself dissipates. The new unit may not be destroyed by dispel type magic, though there are some spells that attack the bonds between a creature and its master. Counter type effects can also still prevent a creature from being summoned in the first place by fizzling the Summoning Spell itself as it is being cast.
There are a total of 45 different Summoning Spells in Master of Magic, spread across the different Realms. This is the largest category of spells, although that count includes both overland and combat Summoning Spells, as well as Lycanthropy, Summon Hero, and Summon Champion; neither of which are real Summoning Spells in the strictest sense of the term. Nature and Chaos boast the highest amounts (11 and 10 respectively), with some rather powerful creatures; while the Life Realm only has 5 Summoning Spells, somewhat pre-determining its users to rely primarily on Normal Units and Heroes instead of Fantastic Creatures.
Usage and Effects Edit
Summoning Spells are generally split into three main groups based on their usage. Most of them belong to the group of Overland Summoning Spells, a few are combat summons, while two can be used to summon Heroes instead.
Overland Summoning Spells Edit
The majority of Summoning Spells can only be cast on the overland map. They are intended to create a permanent unit to serve the caster for a prolonged period of time, if possible. They run the gamut of Casting Costs corresponding to the overall strength of the summoned unit. Consequently, some of these spells are very cheap, while some are among the most expensive spells in the game.
When an Overland Summoning Spell is successfully cast, it will immediately create a new unit in the Town currently housing the caster's Summoning Circle. The resulting unit is permanent - it will remain under the Wizard's control as long as it exists. All units summoned by an Overland Summoning Spell are Fantastic Units.
The Summoning Spell itself dissipates immediately after creating the new unit, and therefore has no lingering presence or Upkeep Costs. However, the new unit does have an Upkeep Cost specific to its type, which must be paid in Mana at the beginning of each turn. If the unit's owner fails to pay this upkeep as required, the unit is automatically dismissed, along with any Unit Enchantments affecting it at the time.
It is also possible to dismiss Fantastic Units manually. This can be accomplished by right-clicking the unit's icon to open its unit statistics window, and clicking the "Dismiss" button. However, this option is only available during the player's own turn, and only while not in combat. The game will always ask for confirmation before releasing the unit.
Combat Summoning Spells Edit
Several Realms possess Summoning Spells that can only be cast during combat. These are intended to create a unit that will only exist until the end of the battle, such as a Fire Elemental or Phantom Beast. Combat Summoning Spells are generally much cheaper in terms of Casting Cost than their Overland counterparts, but they can still be quite expensive in the context of combat spellcasting, especially considering that the unit only exists for a single battle.
Upon a successful casting, these spells require the caster to choose a tile on the battlefield, on which the new unit will appear. The targeted tile must be empty of all obstructions including other units, and it must also be on the caster's half of the battlefield. The created unit can then move and/or attack immediately after being summoned. Unless destroyed, it will last until the end of battle with no extra costs involved. As soon as combat is over however, the unit disappears automatically - there is no way to keep it outside of battle (outside of certain game exploits). This also means that units summoned during combat do not have any Upkeep Costs of any kind.
Just like with overland summons, the Combat Summoning Spell itself dissipates immediately after creating the new unit. This means that dispel type spells can no longer interact with it, or inflict any direct harm on the summoned unit. Combat summons are also not possible to dismiss manually, not that there would be any reason to do so.
Hero Summoning Spells Edit
Although both the game and the wiki group them with the other Summoning Spells, Summon Hero and Summon Champion are actually not internally classified as such. Most notably, the Conjurer Retort has no effect on either the Research- or the Casting Cost of these spells, despite the fact that they are used in a manner very similar to Summoning Spells.
Both spells can only be cast on the overland map. However, instead of automatically creating a new unit, they will select a Hero at random from a specially-constructed list, and then compel that Hero to offer themselves for hire to the caster. The player may review the Hero's attributes and abilities before hiring, the same way as they could if the Hero showed up randomly at the beginning of a turn. The only difference is that there are is no actual hiring cost involved in recruiting the Hero (other than the hefty Casting Cost of the spell itself).
If the new Hero is hired, he/she is permanently added to the caster's forces, and is placed in the Town containing the caster's Summoning Circle. From that point onward, the Hero is treated exactly as if hired directly, including any applicable Upkeep Costs (in Gold), and the ability to gain Experience, equip Magical Items, or be dismissed. The Summoning Spell itself is completely gone from play until its next casting.
Unconventional Summoning Spells Edit
There are several spells that can be partially categorized as Summoning Spells, but do not behave in the ways described above. The primary example for this is the Lycanthropy spell: it essentially sacrifices an existing Normal Unit, completely replacing it with a unit of Werewolves. It is technically an Instant Spell, grouped in-game among the "Unit Spells", but because it creates a Fantastic Unit, the wiki also categorizes it as a Summoning Spell. However, it requires an existing target, and does not move the unit to the caster's Summoning Circle either.
Zombie Mastery is another interesting unconventional Summoning Spell. It will automatically create a new unit of Zombies out of any Normal Units that die during battle between the caster's forces and any enemy army. Again, the Zombies are not created at the Wizard's Summoning Circle, and the spell itself is quite clearly a Global Enchantment - which is why it is not listed below.
Raise Dead and Animate Dead are two Combat Instants that can also be said to create a new unit - from a unit that died during the battle. Raise Dead will return a friendly unit to life (with half of its original Health), while Animate Dead returns any dead unit to "life" under the caster's control, turning it into an Undead unit. Since both spells only return an existing (or rather, a recently-destroyed) unit instead of actually creating a new one, neither is considered to be a true Summoning Spell.
Similarly, Resurrection will return a dead Hero to life. This can be done only on the overland map, and only if one or more Heroes have died while under the Wizard's employ. This spell has many similarities to other Summoning Spells, including the fact that the restored Hero appears at the Summoning Circle. Nonetheless, since it requires a target and does not actually create a "new" unit (only restores a dead one to life), it is not listed on the wiki as a Summoning Spell.
Finally, the Summon Demons ability is probably the least orthodox of the bunch. It mimics what would normally be a Combat Summoning Spell, but it is not actually a spell. Instead, it is one of the Unit Abilities in the game, unique to Demon Lords, who can gate in up to 3 separate lesser Demon units during each battle.
List of Summoning Spells Edit
The following list details all 45 Summoning Spells available in the game. For a more detailed comparison of the statistics of the summoned creatures, please refer to the Fantastic Unit article.
|Magic Spirit||Arcane||--||30||--||1||20||A single, fairly weak Non-Corporeal Melee creature, that can Meld with magical Nodes to draw Power from them.|
|Summon Champion||Arcane||--||750||--||--||1250||Summons a randomly chosen Champion to offer their services to the caster.|
|Summon Hero||Arcane||--||300||--||--||500||Summons a randomly chosen (non-Champion) Hero to offer their services to the caster.|
|Angel||Life||Rare||550||--||15||1400||A single, fast, Flying Melee creature with a Holy Bonus aura, that can Dispel Evil with its touch.|
|Arch Angel||Life||Very Rare||950||--||20||5000||A single, very fast Flying Melee creature with potent spell-casting ability and a Holy Bonus aura.|
|Guardian Spirit||Life||Common||80||--||1||220||A single Non-Corporeal Melee creature that can Meld with Nodes and potentially prevent others from doing the same.|
|Incarnation||Life||Rare||500||--||--||960||Summons Torin the Chosen - one of the most powerful Champions in the game.|
|Unicorns||Life||Uncommon||250||--||5||560||4 Teleporting Melee creatures that boost the Resistance of all friendly units.|
|Basilisk||Nature||Uncommon||325||--||7||800||A single, powerful Melee creature with a dangerous Stoning Gaze.|
|Behemoth||Nature||Very Rare||700||--||15||2000||A single, very powerful Melee creature.|
|Cockatrices||Nature||Uncommon||275||--||8||620||4 Flying Melee creatures with a deadly Stoning Touch.|
|Colossus||Nature||Very Rare||800||--||17||3500||A single, powerful Melee creature with a strong Ranged Boulder Attack.|
|Earth Elemental||Nature||Rare||--||60||--||1700||A single, tough Melee creature that only exists for the duration of a battle.|
|Giant Spiders||Nature||Uncommon||200||--||4||450||2 Melee creatures that can trap enemy units and ground Flying opponents.|
|Gorgons||Nature||Rare||600||--||15||1400||4 strong Flying Melee creatures with a dangerous Stoning Gaze.|
|Great Wyrm||Nature||Very Rare||1000||--||20||5000||A single, extremely powerful Melee creature with Merging and a deadly Poison Touch attack.|
|Sprites||Nature||Common||100||--||3||220||4 Flying scouting creatures with a weak Magical Ranged Attack.|
|Stone Giant||Nature||Rare||450||--||9||1040||A single Mountaineering giant with Ranged Boulder Attacks.|
|War Bears||Nature||Common||70||--||2||130||2 Forester Melee creatures.|
|Air Elemental||Sorcery||Rare||--||50||--||1300||A single, extremely fast Flying, Invisible Melee creature, that only exists for the duration of a battle.|
|Djinn||Sorcery||Very Rare||650||--||17||1850||A single, fast Flying Ranged creature that can carry other units overland with its Wind Walking ability, in addition to Teleporting and Casting spells in battle.|
|Floating Island||Sorcery||Common||50||--||5||60||A non-combat creature that can ferry armies across Oceans.|
|Nagas||Sorcery||Common||100||--||2||220||2 Swimming creatures with Poison Touch and First Strike.|
|Phantom Beast||Sorcery||Uncommon||--||35||--||800||A single, powerful Non-Corporeal Melee creature with an Illusion Damage attack, that only exists for the duration of a battle.|
|Phantom Warriors||Sorcery||Common||--||10||--||100||6 Non-Corporeal suicide Melee creatures with an Illusion Damage attack, that only exist for the duration of a battle.|
|Sky Drake||Sorcery||Very Rare||1000||--||25||4500||A single, very fast Flying Melee creature with Magic Immunity and a deadly Lightning Breath.|
|Storm Giant||Sorcery||Rare||500||--||10||1200||A single giant with Armor Piercing Ranged Magical Attacks.|
|Chaos Spawn||Chaos||Rare||500||--||12||1040||A single slow Flying creature possessing a slew of deadly Special Attacks that only work in Melee combat.|
|Chimeras||Chaos||Uncommon||350||--||10||800||4 Flying Melee creatures with a strong Fire Breath.|
|Doom Bat||Chaos||Uncommon||300||--||8||620||A single, very fast, Flying Melee creature, shrouded with a dangerous Immolation effect.|
|Efreet||Chaos||Rare||550||--||15||1300||A single, Flying, Spellcasting creature, with Ranged Magical Attacks.|
|Fire Elemental||Chaos||Common||--||20||--||250||A single Melee creature with basic immunities that only exists for the duration of a battle.|
|Fire Giant||Chaos||Uncommon||150||--||3||350||A single Mountaineering giant with Ranged Boulder Attacks.|
|Gargoyles||Chaos||Uncommon||200||--||5||500||4 Flying Melee creatures that are quite hard to kill.|
|Great Drake||Chaos||Very Rare||900||--||30||4500||A single Flying red dragon - one of the strongest and toughest Melee creatures in the game, with a devastating Fire Breath.|
|Hell Hounds||Chaos||Common||40||--||1||80||4 quick creatures with a surprisingly strong Melee Attack with Fire Breath.|
|Hydra||Chaos||Very Rare||650||--||14||1850||9 slow-moving, Regenerating, Fire Breathing heads with extremely high Health.|
|Death Knights||Death||Very Rare||600||--||8||2250||4 fast, powerful Flying Melee creatures with First Strike and Life Steal.|
|Demon Lord||Death||Very Rare||1000||--||15||6000||A single Flying Ranged creature with diverse abilities, capable of summoning Demons to its defense.|
|Ghouls||Death||Common||80||--||1||130||4 Poisonous Melee creatures that possess the unique Create Undead ability.|
|Lycanthropy||Death||Uncommon||180||--||5||400||6 Regenerating Melee creatures replace a target friendly Normal Unit.|
|Night Stalker||Death||Uncommon||250||--||1||560||A single Invisible Melee creature with a deadly Death Gaze.|
|Shadow Demons||Death||Uncommon||325||--||7||800||4 slow, but versatile Flying Ranged creatures with Regeneration and an innate Plane Shifting ability.|
|Skeletons||Death||Common||25||--||1||20||6 basic Melee creatures with many immunities.|
|Wraiths||Death||Rare||500||--||5||1120||4 Flying Melee creatures with a strong Life Stealing attack.|