|Spell Type||Global Enchantment|
|At the end of every battle won by Zombie Mastery's caster, any Normal Unit (whether friendly or enemy) that died during the battle is brought back as a unit of Zombies.|
Zombie Mastery is a Rare Global Enchantment belonging to the Death Magic realm. It may be cast on the overland map for the base Casting Cost of 800. While Zombie Mastery is in effect, it will regularly return dead Normal Units to the game, but transforms them into Zombies. This occurs only when an army belonging to Zombie Mastery's caster wins a battle where one or more Normal Units - friendly or enemy - were completely destroyed.
Zombie Mastery surrounds all armies with a magical energy field that will automatically reanimate the corpses of dead Normal Units. This occurs when the caster's armies win their battles, and will reanimate any dead Normal Unit, friendly or enemy, as a unit of Zombies. The Zombies are the weakest Death-aligned Fantastic Units, but have no Upkeep Costs.
While Zombie Mastery is in effect, it is triggered whenever one of the caster's armies wins a battle where at least one Normal Unit - friendly or enemy - has been killed.
At the end of any battle won by the caster's forces, the game checks the battlefield to see if any Normal Units on either side have been slain. If so, if will create a number of Zombie units equal to the number of slain Normal Units, or as many as the caster's army can absorb (whichever is less).
For example, at the end of a battle where one enemy Normal Unit and one friendly Normal Unit were destroyed, Zombie Mastery will create 2 new Zombie units and add them to the caster's army. This, again, assumes that the caster's army has won the battle, otherwise Zombie Mastery does not reanimate anything. If the army already has 8 units in it (i.e. one free unit slot), only 1 new Zombies unit is created. If the army has 9 units in it, no Zombies are created as there is no room to contain them.
Only "true" Normal Units are affected by this spell. Heroes and Fantastic Creatures will never be turned into Zombies. Neither will the Undead nor units affected by Chaos Channels - since they are considered to be Fantastic Units.
Note that Zombie Mastery takes effect after any units have been raised from the dead due to being killed off primarily by Ghouls, Wraiths, Death Knights or a Demon Lord. Therefore Zombies will only be created from those Normal Units that were not raised due to another effect.
- Main article: Zombies
Zombie Mastery transforms the fallen Normal Units into Zombies. The original unit's combat properties and abilities are completely removed, along with any Unit Enchantments it previously had. All Zombies are virtually identical when created.
Zombies are the weakest and most basic Fantastic Creatures in the realm of Death. They have mediocre combat properties on par with low/mid-tier Normal Units, possess a +10% To Hit bonus, and all 4 immunities common to all Death units. They have no other abilities.
The new Zombies unit is created with all 6 figures present, though it may retain some damage to the leading Zombie in the unit. This results from the original dead unit having fewer than 3 Hit Points per figure. The formula is as follows:
Health of Leading Zombie = 3 - Original Unit's Health-Per-Figure
For example, if the original unit had 1 per figure, the new Zombies unit will have full health minus 2 points of Damage. If the original unit had 2 per figure, the new Zombies unit will have full health minus 1 point of Damage. If the original unit had 3 or higher per figure, the new Zombies are created with full health.
Zombies are not Undead creatures, despite the obvious connotations. They are actually Fantastic Creatures from the Death realm. This allows them to ignore special effects that only apply to Undead creatures, such as extra vulnerability to certain spells. Again, this also means that the Zombies retain none of the original unit's properties, Experience level, or anything else. They are simply Zombies, and possess the same properties as any other Zombie unit.
Zombie Mastery may be cast only on the overland map, for the rather-high Casting Cost of 800.
To keep Zombie Mastery in effect, the casting wizard must pay an Upkeep Cost of exactly 40 per turn - regardless of how many Zombies it has created (the Zombies themselves have no Upkeep Costs at all). Failure to pay this cost due to lack of Mana will cause the spell to dissipate.
After casting the spell, its name will appear on the "Overland Enchantments" list in the Magic menu. The color in which the name is printed indicates which wizard controls the spell. If the player controls the spell, he or she may cancel it manually by clicking the name of the spell. The primary reason to do this would be in order to remove the spell's Upkeep Cost, thus conserving Mana for other spells.
Note that if Zombie Mastery is removed, it does not affect any existing Zombie units, but only ceases to create any new ones.
As a Rare Death spell, Zombie Mastery may become available to any Wizard who possesses at least 2 Spellbooks. However, its availability during the game is not guaranteed unless the Wizard acquires at least 10 Spellbooks.
Customized Wizards possessing 11 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 with 2 to 9 Spellbooks have a random chance of being able to Research Zombie Mastery during the game. The chance for this spell to appear for research increases with the number of Death 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.
Zombie Mastery has a base Research Cost of 1,500.
With at least 2 Spellbooks, the Zombie Mastery 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.
Zombie Mastery is a very useful spell with two important implications.
For one, this spell means that the loss of Normal Units in combat only means that they are replaced with Zombies, who are often more powerful and/or more survivable than most low-tier Normal Units anyway. If all you can produce are basic Normal Units, then losing them in battle may actually produce superior troops. Naturally, this doesn't apply to high-tier Normal Units lost in battle, as they are often stronger in life than Zombies would be, though if you're going to lose a unit it's always better to get another unit in return.
The second benefit is that your armies will keep growing as they defeat enemy armies. The resulting Zombies can then be used to defend Towns, or simply to augment the strength of existing armies. Remember of course that Zombies are not too impressive in combat terms, so relying on massive armies comprised entirely or primarily of Zombies may not be as effective as it sounds. A single Life combat spell can wipe them out entirely, or render them all useless, et cetera.
Remember that in order to create new Zombies, your armies must have room for them. An army containing 9 units will never create new Zombies unless it loses at least one unit during battle. Try to keep at least one slot open in any army to ensure that Zombies will be created when that army wins its battles.