This article is about detrimental Unit Curses, which the caster places on enemy units. For spells that enhance the caster's own units, see Unit Enchantment.

Unit Curse is a Spell Type, or group of spells in Master of Magic. Like all other curses, Unit Curses are meant to have a persistent negative effect - lasting as long as the curse remains in play. Spells in this category are meant to be used on enemy units, reducing their combat effectiveness, or hindering their performance in other ways.

Unit Curses can only be used during combat, and must be targeted at enemy units. Usually, the enemy unit gets one singular chance, as a unit, to Icon Resist.png Resist the curse. Should it fail, the spell will take hold immediately. Some Unit Curses are harder to avoid than others, and apply a penalty to the target's Icon Resist.png Resistance roll, while the Rare Icon Sorcery.pngMind Storm spell may not be resisted at all.

Unit Curses continue to affect their target until the end of the battle, until dispelled by the enemy, or until the afflicted unit is destroyed. They can not be canceled by their caster.

There are a total of only 9 different Unit Curses in Master of Magic, making this the smallest category of spells. Only the Icon Sorcery.pngSorcery, Icon Chaos.pngChaos and Icon Death.pngDeath Realms possess such spells - Icon Nature.pngNature and Icon Life.pngLife specialize in beneficial Unit Enchantments instead.

Usage Edit

All Unit Curses must be cast during combat - they cannot be cast on the overland map under any circumstances. A Unit Curse must be targeted at an enemy unit, though some units may possess certain properties that render them immune to one or more Unit Curses, and these units may therefore not be targeted.

Unit Curses span the gamut of Casting Costs - some are very cheap to cast, while others are quite expensive. However, all but one of them give their target a chance to Icon Resist.png Resist the curse, albeit always on a per-unit basis, meaning that the target can only make a single roll to avoid the effect, regardless of the amount of Icon Figure.png figures it has. If the roll is successful, the curse dissipates harmlessly, applying no effect and wasting its entire Casting Cost. As a result, units with high Icon Resist.png Resistance scores may be completely immune to some or all Unit Curses.

Once a unit is affected by a Unit Curse, that curse and its effects will remain until the end of the battle. However, the opposing Wizard may attempt to remove the curse prematurely using dispel type spells, and it will also dissipate naturally should the afflicted unit die. Because Unit Curses do not carry over to the campaign map, they never have an Upkeep Cost.

Targeting Restrictions Edit

Not every enemy unit may be targeted by any Unit Curse. Icon Death.pngPossession and Icon Chaos.pngShatter can only be cast on Normal Units and Heroes, while Icon Sorcery.pngCreature Binding will only affect Fantastic Units. Some units can also possess certain abilities that prevent them from being targeted. Most notably, Ability MagicImmunity Magic Immunity protects against any and all Unit Curses. In addition, units with Ability IllusionsImmunity Illusions Immunity are immune to all but Icon Sorcery.pngCreature Binding from the Icon Sorcery.pngSorcery Realm; while units possessing Ability DeathImmunity Death Immunity will not be affected by Unit Curses from the Icon Death.pngDeath Realm, with the exception of Icon Death.pngPossession.

If an invalid target is selected, the game will refuse to cast the spell, although it does allow choosing a different target.

The Curse Icon Edit

Once a unit is affected by a Unit Curse, an icon representing the effect of the spell appears in the unit statistics window, when right-clicking to inspect the unit. Unit Curse icons can be quickly distinguished from other icons by their blue background.

Getting Rid of Unit Curses Edit

All Unit Curses last only until the end of the battle, or until the cursed unit is killed - whichever comes first. However, the unit's owner may be able to prematurely remove these effects through the use of dispel type spells. In fact, in the latest official game version (and even in Insecticide), the removal of Unit Curses is entirely automatic: the game will not make any dispel attempts and will always remove all curses from any targeted units. This is generally regarded as a bug though, and is corrected in the Unofficial Patch 1.50.

Dispel Magic Edit

Combatants may cast either the Icon Arcane.pngDispel Magic or Icon Sorcery.pngDispel Magic True spell on an individual unit on their side, in an attempt to remove each and every Unit Curse affecting it. As noted above, in the official game, this will automatically succeed and free the unit from all afflictions immediately. From v1.50 onwards however, the spell has to make a separate dispelling attempt against each Unit Curse; with a different chance of success based on the Casting Cost of the targeted curse, and the Icon Mana.png Mana invested into Icon Arcane.pngDispel Magic / Icon Sorcery.pngTrue. If the curse is lifted, all of its effects will instantly disappear as well.

Disenchant Area Edit

It is also possible to try and remove all Unit Curses currently affecting all of a Wizard's units on the battlefield. This requires the use of the Icon Arcane.pngDisenchant Area or Icon Sorcery.pngDisenchant True spells, both of which will simultaneously target all enchantments and curses on the battlefield. Again, in the latest official game version, both spells will remove Unit Curses automatically; but require successful dispelling attempts in v1.50+ instead.

Related Bugs Edit

It may also be worth noting that there are two more bugs in the official game that may come into play when dealing with Unit Curses. Firstly, curses that subvert control over a unit may not be dispelled by the unit's original owner, and even if they do somehow get dispelled, the unit will not be returned anyway. This applies to both Icon Death.pngPossession, Icon Sorcery.pngCreature Binding, and Icon Sorcery.pngConfusion. In addition, Heroes casting 3 out of the 4 dispel type spells mentioned above will target their own side's spells instead of those cast by the enemy in the original game, making Icon Arcane.pngDisenchant Area their only option if they intend to lift any Unit Curses.

Effects Edit

Unit Curses can serve different functions, but will generally cause one of two different effects:

  1. Reduce the target's combat attributes, such as Icon Melee Normal.png Melee Strength, Icon Defense.png Defense, or Icon Resist.png Resistance; or
  2. Change the target's behavior, preventing it from obeying orders.

In all cases, a Unit Curse only applies these penalties to the specific targeted unit, although in the case of Icon MultiFigureUnit.png Multi-Figure units, it does affect all of the Icon Figure.png figures. For spells that may affect more the one unit simultaneously in a similar fashion, refer to Combat Enchantments and Global Enchantments instead.

Combat Properties Edit

Almost every unit attribute has at least one Unit Curse that reduces it by at least a small amount. These include:

  • Icon Movement GroundMovement Allowance;
  • Icon Melee Normal.png Melee Strength;
  • Icon Ranged Bow.png / Icon Ranged Boulder.png / Icon Ranged Magic.png Ranged Attack Strength;
  • Icon ToHit.png To Hit chance;
  • Icon Defense.png Defense score;
  • Icon Resist.png Resistance score.

Note that of these, only Resistance can be reduced below 0. Other properties may only be reduced to 0, as negative numbers would make no sense for them. However, a unit that is reduced to a Melee Strength of Icon Melee Normal.png 0 cannot initiate Melee Attacks against any opponent. Similarly, a unit that reaches a Ranged Attack Strength of 0 cannot make any Ranged Attacks.

With the exception of Icon Chaos.pngWarp Creature, which has three different effects that it may apply, it is not possible to cast the same Unit Curse on a unit multiple times to "stack" its attribute penalties. This remains true even if there are multiple entities that could cast the spell on the same target. If this is attempted after already having afflicted a unit with a curse, the game will throw an error message stating that the spell is already affecting that target.

Disrupting Unit Behavior Edit

Several Unit Curses do not alter the target's properties - but rather, its behavior. For example, the Icon Death.pngBlack Sleep spell, if successfully cast on an enemy unit, will prevent that unit from moving, attacking, or even defending itself. Icon Death.pngPossession and Icon Sorcery.pngCreature Binding are even worse - transferring control of a unit to the other side!

Temporary Effects Edit

All effects applied by Unit Curses are completely temporary - they last exactly as long as the curse remains on its target, and no longer. If a curse is lifted in mid-battle, its effects disappear and the unit returns to normal. Otherwise, the unit will return to normal after the battle has ended - assuming it survived that long. Curses never leave behind any permanent effects whatsoever.

The Web Spell Edit

Icon Nature.pngWeb is categorized as a Combat Instant spell on the wiki, and as a "Special" spell within the game. However, strictly speaking, Icon Nature.pngWeb satisfies every criteria for a Unit Curse, with the exception of its in-game grouping. The reason it is not classed as one anyway is that it has two distinctive effects, one of which can end naturally even if it isn't dispelled, while the other may not be removed by any means in the official versions of the game.

The first effect immobilizes the target unit, making it unable to move or perform voluntary attacks. At the beginning of their combat turns, trapped units automatically try to break free, inflicting Icon Damage.png damage to the Icon Nature.pngWeb based on their attack attributes (see the spell's page for more details). Once a total of Icon Damage.png 12 is done to it, this effect is removed, and the target is free to act from the subsequent turn.

The second effect of Icon Nature.pngWeb is disabling a target's Icon Movement AirFlying Movement Type, if applicable. Because of the way this is implemented in the official game, an affected unit can only ever regain its ability to Icon Movement AirFly if it is granted specifically by the Icon Sorcery.pngFlight spell. Otherwise, the loss of this Movement Type will always last until the end of the battle.

List of Unit Curses Edit

The list below details each of the 9 Unit Curses available in the game.

Name Realm Rarity Cost Research Short Description
Confusion Icon Sorcery.pngSorcery Common 15 130 Target unit must resist at Icon SpellSave.png -4 or act in a random manner each combat turn.
Creature Binding Icon Sorcery.pngSorcery Very Rare 70 2250 Target Fantastic Unit must resist at Icon SpellSave.png -2 or change its allegiance.
Mind Storm Icon Sorcery.pngSorcery Rare 35 1400 Target unit receives Icon Melee Normal.png -5, Icon Ranged Bow.png -5, Icon Thrown.png -5, Icon Defense.png -5 and Icon SpellSave.png -5.
Vertigo Icon Sorcery.pngSorcery Uncommon 25 400 Target unit must Icon Resist.png Resist or receive Icon ToHit.png -20% and Icon Defense.png -1.
Shatter Icon Chaos.pngChaos Common 12 190 Target Normal Unit or Hero must Icon Resist.png Resist or have its Icon Melee Normal.png Melee-, Icon Ranged Bow.png Ranged Missile-, and Icon Thrown.png Thrown Attack Strength reduced to 1.
Warp Creature Icon Chaos.pngChaos Common 18 220 Target unit must resist at Icon SpellSave.png -1 or be afflicted with one of three significant attribute penalties, selected at random.
Black Sleep Icon Death.pngDeath Common 15 100 Target unit must resist at Icon SpellSave.png -2 or become unable to move, attack, cast spells, or defend itself at all.
Possession Icon Death.pngDeath Uncommon 30 350 Target Normal Unit or Hero must resist at Icon SpellSave.png -1 or change sides and join the caster's army for the duration of combat.
Weakness Icon Death.pngDeath Common 5 40 Target unit must resist at Icon SpellSave.png -2 or receive Icon Melee Normal.png -2 and Icon Ranged Bow.png -2 (and also Icon Thrown.png -2 from v1.51 onwards).