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Water Walking
UnitEnchantment WaterWalking.png
Realm Nature
Spell Rarity Common
Spell Type Unit Enchantment
Casting Cost  50
Upkeep Cost  1
Research Cost  190
Effects
Grants the Icon Movement Water.pngswimming Movement Type

Water Walking is a Common Unit Enchantment of the Nature Realm. For  50 it may be cast on a unit on the overland map to allow that unit to move through water-based terrain – including Oceans and Shores – for a Movement Allowance cost of Icon Movement Water.png1 per tile. The spell must then be maintained with a  1 per turn Upkeep Cost.

Effects[]

Water Walking imbues the unit with the Icon Movement Water.pngswimming Movement Type, allowing it to traverse water-based terrain as if it was plain ground, both overland and in battle.

Overland Water Movement[]

The primary effect of Water Walking is enabling the target to move through Ocean and Shore tiles on the overland map, which Icon Movement Ground.pngground units are incapable of by default. While it can be cast on them, the spell has little practical effect on units that can already cross Oceans – Icon Movement Air.pngflying, Icon Movement Water.pngswimming, Icon Movement Sailing.pngsailing, Ability WindWalking.png Wind Walking, or Ability NonCorporeal.png Non-Corporeal units –, although it does allow Wind Walkers that don't also Icon Movement Air.pngfly to move around the map in combat.

In addition, Water Walking allows travesring land terrain types that are considered water-based – River, River Mouth, Swamp, and Tundra – for the same movement cost as Oceans and Shores, which is Icon Movement Water.png1 per tile. However, this effect is only applicable if the target could already enter the tiles in question, meaning that the spell does not confer land movement to Icon Movement Sailing.pngsailing ships. It does not alter the unit's actual Movement Allowance in any way either, nor does it have any effect on other units grouped with the target.

Water Walking can be considered inferior to Icon Movement Air.pngflying in that the unit will still require a hefty amount of movement points to cross rough non-water terrain, such as Forests or Mountains. It also doesn't give a significant tactical advantage in battle. However, when combined with Ability Pathfinding.png Pathfinding from any source – such as the Path Finding spell from the same Realm –, Water Walking yields the equivalent of Ability NonCorporeal.png Non-Corporeal movement. This is the only method of movement in the game that allows crossing Oceans for only Icon Movement Water.png0.5 per tile, and while it prevents the use of Enchanted Roads, it is strictly superior to Icon Movement Air.pngflight otherwise.

It's probably worth noting that if Water Walking is removed while the unit is over an Ocean or Shore tile, the unit will drown and be destroyed immediately, unless its innate abilities – or other Unit Enchantments cast upon it – enable it to traverse Oceans anyway. The same applies if Water Walking is dispelled by the enemy during combat, although the destruction is not immediate in this case, but rather, will happen when the battle ends. The unit may still be able to act until then, even if it can not move.

Combat Water Movement[]

Water Walking allows the enchanted unit to move and act normally in combat taking place on Ocean or Shore overland tiles. By contrast, Icon Movement Ground.pngground units carried by a Icon Movement Sailing.pngsailing ship can not participate in such battles at all; while those transported by a Floating Island or Ability WindWalking.png Wind Walking unit may fight, but not move during tactical combat – although in the former case, the island's combat tiles do count as land and appear on the map from the Unofficial Patch 1.50 onwards, so Icon Movement Ground.pngground troops can at least maneuver on them.

Usage[]

Water Walking may be cast only on the overland map, for the basic Casting Cost of  50. If the casting is successful, the game will prompt for a friendly unit to be selected as the spell's target. On the overland map, this typically requires clicking on the army stack that contains the unit which, in turn, brings up a list view of all units in that stack, allowing for the target to be picked individually. Only units not already under the effect of Water Walking may be chosen. Once the spell is cast, a glowing green outline appears around the unit (unless it is overridden by a stronger enchantment); and Water Walking, along with its icon, will be displayed in the unit statistics window when inspecting this unit.

Water Walking has an Upkeep Cost of  1 that must be paid at the beginning of every turn to keep the spell in effect. This is automatically deducted by the game from the owner's  Mana pool as long as the enchantment remains in existence. If there is insufficient  Mana in the pool to pay for the spell, then it will dissipate, ceasing its effect immediately. It may also be cancelled manually by left-clicking its name in the unit statistics window of its target unit. However, this action can only be performed outside of combat, during the caster's own turn.

Acquisition[]

As a Common Spell of the Nature Realm, Water Walking may become available to any Wizard who acquires at least 1 Spellbook. With none, the spell can naturally not be learned during the campaign. This is the minimum requirement for it to be traded for, appear in Treasure, or be found in the spoils of victory when conquering the Fortress of a rival Wizard who already knows it.

The base chance for Water Walking to be researchable (at some point) in the campaign is roughly 30% (with 1 book), which gradually increases with the amount of Nature Spellbooks possessed or found during gameplay. With 7 or more, the spell is certain to show up sooner or later, unless acquired from another source. It has a Research Cost of  190, although its research is quicker for Wizards possessing the Sage Master, and/or Nature Mastery Retorts; or a bookshelf containing 8 or more.

Water Walking may also be selected as a starting spell by any Wizard with at least 2 books. In this case, it will be available for casting as soon as the game begins.

Item Power[]

Water Walking can also be duplicated as an Item Power and imbued onto a Magical Item. This requires either the Enchant Item or the Create Artifact spells, and has the advantages of being non-dispellable, and requiring no Upkeep Cost. While enchanting Water Walking onto an item can't be done unless the Wizard possesses at least 2 Spellbooks, knowledge of the actual spell is not necessary. Selecting this Power increases the item's total value by  100.

Water Walking can be enchanted onto Staves, Wands, and magical Accesories. Naturally, this means that it is available to any Hero, as all of them possess at least one ItemSlot Misc.png miscellaneous Equipment Slot. If an item with this Power is created and given to a Hero, then they will benefit from the effect described above for as long as they keep the item equipped. Since Water Walking is present on 6 pre-fabricated Magical Items, it is also possible to occasionally find an item already imbued with this Power in Treasure, or be offered one for purchase by a wandering Merchant.

Strategy[]

Water Walking provides an excellent way to create units that can explore across Oceans early in the game, or possibly even be sent to attack Towns or other assets far away. Unlike transport ships, this spell allows the target to participate in battles over water as well. However, it does also make the unit somewhat more vulnerable, since if the enemy can dispel the enchantment while the unit is out at sea, the target will drown and be destroyed regardless of its combat prowess.

Another downside of Water Walking is that it only affects a single unit. That is, to allow an entire stack to move over water, the spell needs to be cast on every unit that is not naturally capable of doing so. Fortunately, Water Walking is relatively cheap, both to cast and to maintain. By mid-game, it shouldn't take more than a few turns to imbue a full group of Icon Movement Ground.pngground units with the power of intercontinental travel, thereby enabling them to make surprise attacks across an Ocean, or conquer remote islands.

The combination of Water Walking and Path Finding – or indeed Ability Pathfinding.png Pathfinding from any other source – is one of only a handful of ways to achieve Ability NonCorporeal.png Non-Corporeal movement. This allows a unit to traverse any tile on the overland map for a cost of only Icon Movement Water.png0.5 – half of that of Icon Movement Air.pngflight –, and can be considered the best method of movement in the game. Its only downside is that it prevents the use of Enchanted Roads, which may make it slightly less useful on Myrror.

Known Bugs[]

High Elf infantry cross the bay with the help of Magic Spirits enchanted for buoyancy.

In versions prior to the Unofficial Patch 1.50, casting Water Walking on a unit that is Ability NonCorporeal.png Non-Corporeal, or can naturally Icon Movement Water.pngswim, will enable it to carry one Icon Movement Ground.pngground unit along on Oceans on the overland map. In fact, each such unit counts as 2 for determining whether the stack can move over water or not, so having 4 actually allows ferrying along 4 Icon Movement Ground.pngground troops at a time.

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