The Illusionist
Hero Aerie
Type Champion
Hiring Cost Icon Gold.png 500
Upkeep Cost Icon Gold.png 10
Prereq. Icon Fame.png 40
Moves Icon Movement Ground2
Melee Attack Icon Melee Normal.png 1
Ranged Attack Icon Ranged Magic.png 5
Defense Icon Defense.png 4
Resistance Icon Resist.png 6
Hit Points Icon Hits.png 5
Equipment Slots
ItemSlot StaffItemSlot MiscItemSlot Misc
Hero Abilities

Ability Caster Caster (Icon Mana.png 10)

Ability MissileImmunity Missile Immunity

Ability Illusion Illusion
Random Abilities 2 (Mage)
Extra Spells
Tactical Hero Aerie
Aerie the Illusionist is one of the 35 Hero units featured in Master of Magic.

Aerie is a Champion. She may randomly appear for hire if a wizard has at least Icon Fame.png 40 Fame points, in which case her Hiring Cost is Icon Gold.png 500 by default. Alternatively, Aerie can be summoned using the Summon Champion spell.

Aerie's Icon Ranged Magic.png Magical Ranged Attack strength is deceptively low: She inflicts Illusion Damage, which will completely bypass the target's Icon Defense.png Defense rating. She will even ignore the defense of units with Magic Immunity, unless those units also possess Illusions Immunity. This makes her very dangerous to the majority of enemy units, especially after she gains some Experience. She has plenty of Icon Mana.png Mana to use for this attack as well.

Aerie has the innate ability of Missile Immunity, which protects her from several types of Ranged Attacks. Furthermore, Aerie is always granted 2 extra Random Abilities picked from the "Mage" category, which can significantly boost her performance.

Aerie also has the ability to cast spells, for which she will pay from her own Icon Mana.png Mana pool. In addition to any spell known to her employer, Aerie may also cast the Psionic Blast, Vertigo and Mind Storm spells - assuming she has sufficient Icon Mana.png Mana to do so.

While Aerie has virtually no Icon Melee Normal.png Melee Attack capabilities nor a strong Icon Defense.png Defense, she will rarely if ever be called upon to use them anyway. It is best to keep her safe and away from enemies if at all possible.

Aerie may be equipped with the mage set of Magical Items, contributing primarily to the strength of her Ranged Attack and spell-casting abilities. Icon SpellSave.png Spell Save bonuses from items can make her Vertigo spell incredibly difficult to resist! The lack of armor, however, makes her more vulnerable to enemy attacks.

Aerie's Upkeep Cost is Icon Gold.png 10 per turn, unless she has randomly acquired the Noble trait.

General Description Edit

Aerie the Illusionist is practically a child compared to some of the other Heroes, but she already possesses frightfully-powerful abilities - all related to the effects that magic can have on the minds of others. She can cause her enemies to believe in all sorts of bizarre visions which she spins from raw magic. These illusions can be anything from terrifying visions to downright mind-destroying abominations.

It is possible that Aerie's own appearance is itself an illusion. She seems nothing more than a child, with an innocent face and short blond hair. She holds a white half-face mask, which is likely an important component of her magical abilities. A small snake serves as her companion, and she rides a light-brown horse. Aerie is dressed in very vivid yellow and orange clothes.

Initial Properties Edit

Note: All data below assumes Aerie is at her lowest Experience Level, and without any Magical Items or Random Abilities - After all, any Hero can become devastatingly powerful after gaining several levels and powerful items. Please refer to the tables and chapters below for more information.

Attack Properties Edit

Aerie the Illusionist's primary mode of attack is a Icon Ranged Magic.png Magical Ranged Attack of moderate strength, and she also possesses a weak auxiliary Icon Melee Normal.png Melee Attack. Both attacks are deceptively weak however - they can be devastatingly powerful thanks to Aerie's Illusion Damage.

Aerie's Ranged Attack has a default strength of Icon Ranged Magic.png 5. Given a basic To Hit chance of Icon ToHit.png 30%, she can be expected to deliver about Icon Damage.png 1.5 points of Damage with this attack, on average. Nominally, this would be a fairly-weak attack for such an expensive Hero.

However, Aerie delivers Illusion Damage with each of her attacks, and this means that the target does not get to make any Icon Defense.png Defense rolls to block this damage. As a result, Aerie will actually deliver about Icon Damage.png 1.5 with each attack even if the target is extremely well-armored! Note that targets possessing Illusions Immunity or the True Sight spell can ignore this effect and will roll for Icon Defense.png Defense as normal. Aerie's attack is thus much less powerful against them.

Note that Aerie's Icon Ranged Magic.png Magical Ranged Attack uses Icon Mana.png Mana from her own personal pool as ammunition. Each attack reduces her remaining Mana by Icon Mana.png -3. When she has only Icon Mana.png 2 or fewer left, she may not use her Ranged Attack anymore for the rest of the battle. Since this is the same Icon Mana.png Mana that Aerie uses to cast spells during combat, she must decide whether to use Ranged Attacks or cast spells depending on the situation on the battlefield. Icon Mana.png Mana is restored to full capacity at the end of each battle.

Aerie's Melee Attack has an initial strength of only Icon Melee Normal.png 1, a token attack that is highly unlikely to cause any damage. Given a basic To Hit chance of Icon ToHit.png 30%, it can be expected to deliver no more than Icon Damage.png 0.3 points of Damage on average. This attack also delivers Illusion Damage, and will thus ignore virtually any armor, but is still too weak to be useful - at least until Aerie can improve it through Experience.

Defensive Properties Edit

By default, Aerie the Illusionist has a rather-low Defense score of Icon Defense.png 4. This enables her to block, on average, about Icon Damage.png 1.2 points of Damage from any damage source. This is in no way impressive, and means that most enemy units can damage Aerie. If she is to go into any battle, she definitely needs extra protection.

This vulnerability does not apply to enemy Icon Ranged Bow.png Ranged Missile Attacks, thanks to Aerie's innate Missile Immunity ability. Whenever such an attack strikes her, her Defense rating is temporarily boosted to Icon Defense.png 50, essentially making her totally immune! Very few units (mostly high-Experience and very-well-equipped enemy Heroes) would have anywhere near the amount of Icon Ranged Bow.png Ranged Attack Strength to penetrate this much armor. Note that a Slingers unit's attack, though marked by Icon Ranged Boulder.png Boulders, is considered a Ranged Missile Attack.

Aerie possesses a below-average Icon Hits.png 5 Hit Points by default. This means that it doesn't take a lot of damage to kill Aerie, and puts her in danger whenever she is sent into battle.

As with most Heroes, Aerie possesses a default Resistance score of Icon Resist.png 6. This makes her somewhat vulnerable to Curses and other combat maledictions. It will take at least Icon Experience Level.png 4 Experience Levels before she can become immune to some of these effects, assuming no Magical Items or Random Abilities augment it.

Other Properties Edit

Aerie the Illusionist has a basic Hero's Movement Allowance of Icon Movement Ground2. This is good for speeding up her movement on the overland map, through plain land tiles like Grassland and Deserts. During battle, Aerie may need to use her speed to avoid her enemies.

Spellcasting Edit

Aerie the Illusionist possesses the Caster ability by default, and initially has Icon Mana.png 10 Mana to spare. This Mana pool increases with Experience.

Aerie may cast any combat spell known to her employer. In addition, regardless of whether they are available to the employer, Aerie also has access to Psionic Blast, Vertigo and Mind Storm. Some spells, including these three, may be unavailable for casting until Aerie can gain some Experience and increase her available Icon Mana.png Mana.

Note also that Icon Ranged Magic.png Magical Ranged Attacks will draw Icon Mana.png 3 Mana from Aerie's pool each time they are used. This will reduce the remaining Mana for spellcasting. Fortunately, Icon Mana.png Mana is completely replenished at the end of each and every battle.

To cast a spell with Aerie during combat, you must select Aerie, press the "Spell" button, and then select "Illusionist" from the pop-up list. If Aerie is out of Icon Mana.png Mana, out of Movement Points, has been killed or is otherwise incapacitated, her name will not appear on this list.

Note that using Aerie to cast spells does not reduce your own available Spell Skill or Icon Mana.png Mana - she is completely independent and uses up her own skill and Mana.

Finally, the Caster ability also allows Aerie to augment your wizard's own Spell Skill. To perform this, place Aerie in the same tile as your Fortress town. While she is inside this town, your Spell Skill is increased by half the value of Aerie's Caster skill, rounded down.

Experience Edit

The following table illustrates how Aerie's various skills and attributes increase as she gains Experience. Attributes not appearing on this list do not improve with Experience. Also note that Aerie always receives 2 extra Random Abilities which may also increase with Experience, and may adjust any of the attributes listed below!

Icon Level Name EP Melee Ranged To Hit Defense Resist Hits Mana
Experience 0 Hero Icon Experience.png 0 - Icon Experience.png 19 Icon Melee Normal.png 1 Icon Ranged Magic.png 5 Icon ToHit.png 30% Icon Defense.png 4 Icon Resist.png 6 Icon Hits.png 5 Icon Mana.png 10
Experience 1 Myrmidon Icon Experience.png 20 - Icon Experience.png 59 Icon Melee Normal.png 2 Icon Ranged Magic.png 6 Icon ToHit.png 30% Icon Defense.png 5 Icon Resist.png 7 Icon Hits.png 6 Icon Mana.png 20
Experience 2 Captain Icon Experience.png 60 - Icon Experience.png 119 Icon Melee Normal.png 3 Icon Ranged Magic.png 7 Icon ToHit.png 40% Icon Defense.png 5 Icon Resist.png 8 Icon Hits.png 7 Icon Mana.png 30
Experience 3 Commander Icon Experience.png 120 - Icon Experience.png 199 Icon Melee Normal.png 4 Icon Ranged Magic.png 8 Icon ToHit.png 40% Icon Defense.png 6 Icon Resist.png 9 Icon Hits.png 8 Icon Mana.png 40
Experience 4 Champion Icon Experience.png 200 - Icon Experience.png 299 Icon Melee Normal.png 5 Icon Ranged Magic.png 9 Icon ToHit.png 40% Icon Defense.png 6 Icon Resist.png 10 Icon Hits.png 9 Icon Mana.png 50
Experience 5 Lord Icon Experience.png 300 - Icon Experience.png 449 Icon Melee Normal.png 6 Icon Ranged Magic.png 10 Icon ToHit.png 50% Icon Defense.png 7 Icon Resist.png 11 Icon Hits.png 10 Icon Mana.png 60
Experience 6 Grand Lord Icon Experience.png 450 - Icon Experience.png 599 Icon Melee Normal.png 7 Icon Ranged Magic.png 11 Icon ToHit.png 50% Icon Defense.png 7 Icon Resist.png 12 Icon Hits.png 11 Icon Mana.png 70
Experience 7 Super Hero Icon Experience.png 600 - Icon Experience.png 999 Icon Melee Normal.png 8 Icon Ranged Magic.png 12 Icon ToHit.png 50% Icon Defense.png 8 Icon Resist.png 13 Icon Hits.png 12 Icon Mana.png 80
Experience 8 Demi-God Icon Experience.png 1,000 Icon Melee Normal.png 9 Icon Ranged Magic.png 13 Icon ToHit.png 60% Icon Defense.png 8 Icon Resist.png 14 Icon Hits.png 13 Icon Mana.png 90

Average Damage Output Edit

The following table shows Aerie's average Icon Damage.png Damage output with each of her attacks, based on her current Experience Level. Note that this table completely ignores bonuses from Magical Items, if any. You can use the checkboxes to see the effect of some of the Random Abilities that Aerie may pick at the start of each game.

Level Icon Level Name Melee Ranged * Thrown Breath
Experience 0 Hero
Experience 1 Myrmidon
Experience 2 Captain
Experience 3 Commander
Experience 4 Champion
Experience 5 Lord
Experience 6 Grand Lord
Experience 7 Super Hero
Experience 8 Demi-God

* Magical Ranged Attacks do not suffer To Hit penalties for distance. Therefore, the values in this column apply at any distance.

Remember that with Illusion Damage, Aerie can actually be expected to deliver the amount of damage listed above to most targets. Only targets possessing Illusions Immunity or True Sight can use their Icon Defense.png Defense scores to try to lower the amount of damage they take!

Improvement Overview Edit

As with any other Hero, Aerie can eventually become very powerful as she gains Experience. She's not too shabby at low Experience Levels either, but is nonetheless fragile like most mage-type Heroes.

With additional levels, Aerie's Caster ability will allow her to perform several more Icon Ranged Magic.png Magical Ranged Attacks in each battle (or cast more spells). This can turn her into a powerful ranged attacker.

Since Aerie can gain up to 2 additional Random Abilities, either or both of these abilities may grow with Experience as well. In particular, acquiring the Arcane Power ability will rapidly boost Aerie's Icon Ranged Magic.png Magical Ranged Attack strength with each level - making her attacks absolutely devastating. Augmentations of the Caster ability will allow her even more spellcasting in each battle than she can normally accomplish - to the point where she might be able to cast spells and/or make Icon Ranged Magic.png Magical Ranged Attacks throughout an entire battle.

Ability Overview Edit

Ability Caster Caster (Icon Mana.png 10) Edit

  • This Hero may cast spells during combat, withdrawing Icon Mana.png Mana from his/her own personal Mana Pool to do so.
  • The Hero may spend only Icon Mana.png 10 per battle. This Mana Pool is reset at the end of each battle - assuming the Hero survives at all.
  • With each Icon Experience Level.png Experience Level gained, this Hero receives a permanent bonus of Icon Mana.png +10.
  • Spellcasting takes up all of the Hero's remaining Movement Points for the turn.
  • While this Hero is inside his/her employer's Fortress town, the owner's Spell Skill is increased by half the value of the Hero's Caster ability.

Ability Illusion Illusion Edit

  • When this unit attacks an enemy, that enemy does not get to make any Icon Defense.png Defense rolls to reduce incoming damage.
  • Enemy units with Illusion Immunity ignore this effect, and may make their Icon Defense.png Defense rolls as per the normal combat rules.

Ability MissileImmunity Missile Immunity Edit

  • Any Icon Ranged Bow.png Missile Attack performed against this unit will temporarily raise the unit's Defense score to Icon Defense.png 50 - allowing it to block virtually any incoming damage.
  • Icon Ranged Magic.png Magical or Icon Ranged Boulder.png Boulder attacks do not trigger this effect, and will damage the unit as normal.

Random Abilities Edit

When a new game is started, the program randomly chooses 2 additional abilities for Aerie. These are called Random Abilities. The selection is done completely at random (while observing a limit on the strength of certain abilities) from the list below:

Ability ArcanePower Arcane Power Ability Caster Caster Ability Charmed Charmed Ability Lucky Hero Lucky
Ability Noble Noble Ability Prayermaster Prayermaster Ability Sage Sage

Whichever Random Abilities were picked, they are permanent. Aerie will never re-randomize her abilities during the course of a single game. She may, however, pick different abilities in the next game.

The Charmed, Lucky and Noble abilities may only be picked once each, since they have no "Super" version. All other abilities may be picked either once or twice. If this occurs, Aerie receives the "Super" version of that ability, which is 50% stronger than the standard version.

The Caster ability may be picked once or twice, despite the fact that Aerie already has this ability by default. If picked once, it will increase Aerie's available Icon Mana.png Mana for spellcasting by Icon Mana.png 2.5 per Icon Experience Level.png Experience Level (including the first level) to a total of Icon Mana.png 12.5 per level. If Caster is picked twice, the bonus is Icon Mana.png 5 per Icon Experience Level.png Experience Level, to a total of Icon Mana.png 15 per level.

The Arcane Power ability is undoubtedly the best pick from the list, especially if taken twice ("Super" Arcane Power), or together with the Lucky ability. This will boost Aerie's damage output so high that she might be able to kill some surprisingly-powerful enemies with a single attack!

Some of the other abilities in the list above are also useful for Aerie, but to a much lesser degree.

Equipment Edit

Aerie the Illusionist has the following item slots:

Icon Name Items that fit here
ItemSlot Staff Staff Slot Staff or Wand
ItemSlot Misc Jewelry Slot #1 Any Jewelry
ItemSlot Misc Jewelry Slot #2 Any Jewelry

This set-up is unique to mage-type Heroes, and allows them to significantly boost their magical abilities. The Jewelry pieces can be used to augment defensive properties instead (in order to increase Aerie's survivability), but might also combine offensive and defensive capabilities to make a well-rounded Hero.

Recommended Items Edit

The mage set-up doesn't leave much choice in terms of items, as it will strictly increase Aerie's magical prowess. However there are several possible outcomes from mixing and matching various bonuses.

Weapon Edit

With a Staff Slot, Aerie is limited to using either a Staff or a Wand (with Staves often being stronger). In both cases, only some of the bonuses would be truly useful for this Hero.
By far, augmenting Aerie's Icon Ranged Magic.png Magical Ranged Attack (through either Attack Strength or Icon ToHit.png To Hit bonuses) is the best choice. With every tiny boost, Aerie becomes significantly more dangerous.
On the other hand, Aerie does need to cover the deficiencies in her Icon Defense.png Defense score if she is to survive battle (especially against enemy wizards and Icon Ranged Magic.png Magical Ranged Attackers). Only a Staff can provide such bonuses, but they should be taken if at all possible. Icon Resist.png Resistance bonuses are similarly important, but will become less important as Aerie gains more Experience.
Icon Mana.png Mana bonuses and Icon SpellSave.png Spell Save penalties are less important, but in large quantities they can still be helpful. Spell Save, in particular, will allow Aerie to utilize her Vertigo spell more efficiently (i.e. having a better chance of affecting her targets).

Jewelry Edit

Aerie can wear up to two pieces of Jewelry, and thus can mix-and-match bonuses from these items to get both a good magical prowess increase and some good defensive properties. Going for only one or the other may prove useless - try to get some of both.
Once again, Attack Strength, Icon ToHit.png To Hit and Icon Defense.png Defense bonuses are of roughly equal importance. Do not neglect Icon Defense.png Defense, or else you may lose this valuable Hero!
Note that attack Strength and Icon ToHit.png To Hit bonuses on Jewelry will apply to both of Aerie's attacks, but don't expect them to actually make her a good Icon Melee Normal.png Melee Attacker - she is too fragile for this role.
Movement Allowance bonuses of +1 or +2 at most may be beneficial, as they help Aerie avoid enemy Melee units trying to chase her down. Don't exaggerate, she doesn't need to be very fast-moving.
You can probably ignore Icon Mana.png Mana bonuses, as Aerie will likely have plenty of Mana after gaining just a couple of Experience Levels (especially if she gets an upgraded Caster ability). Similarly, Icon Resist.png Resistance bonuses can be useful, but will become less important as Aerie's Experience increases.

Acquisition Edit

Aerie the Illusionist can be acquired in one of three different methods:

Hiring Aerie Edit

Every once in a while, a Hero will arrive at your Fortress town to ask for employment. The frequency of this event depends on your current Icon Fame.png Fame score, the number of Heroes already under your employ, and whether or not you have particular Retorts that affect this chance.

In order for Aerie to appear for hire in this way, you must meet several requirements:

  1. You must have at least Icon Fame.png 40 Fame points.
  2. You must have sufficient Icon Gold.png Gold in your treasury to hire Aerie (more on this below).
  3. Aerie must not have already been killed in battle.

Since the game randomly chooses which Hero appears during this event, there's no guarantee that Aerie will ever appear. The chance, however, increases if the number of other valid Heroes dwindles (such as when most other Heroes have died in battle).

The default Hiring Cost for Aerie is Icon Gold.png 500. This is reduced to Icon Gold.png 250 if your wizard has the Charismatic Retort. If you do not have this much Icon Gold.png Gold at the start of a turn (after paying all Upkeep Costs), Aerie will not appear for hire. In fact, if she is picked as the Hero who approaches you, and you lack the money to hire her, you are effectively forfeiting your chance to hire any Hero this turn.

After agreeing to hire Aerie (you can always refuse), you may give her any name you choose - she will be known as "<name> the Illusionist". Her overland unit will appear at your Fortress town or, if that town's garrison is full, next to your Fortress town.

Summoning Aerie Edit

As a Champion, Aerie the Illusionist can only be summoned using the Summon Champion spell.

Once the spell is completed, the game chooses a random Champion to bring to your Fortress from a list of all available and valid Champions. Therefore, there is no guarantee that Aerie will appear when this spell is cast, unless all other Champions are unavailable.

Again, you get a chance to agree or refuse to hire Aerie. If you agree, she will appear in your Fortress town and/or next to it.

If Aerie is hired through the use of Summon Champion, there is no need to pay any Hiring Cost. However, you may still need to pay an Upkeep Cost (see below).

Resurrecting Aerie Edit

For most wizards, losing Aerie in battle removes her from the game permanently. She will never appear again.

For Icon Life.pngLife-wielding wizards, however, who have access to the Resurrection spell, it is possible to bring Aerie back to life after she has died. In this case, Aerie returns to your Fortress town, with no Magical Items, but keeping all Experience she had prior to her death.

You may repeatedly resurrect Aerie each time she dies.

Upkeep Costs Edit

Once Aerie is in your employ, you must pay her an Upkeep Cost of Icon Gold.png 10 at the start of each and every turn. Failure to pay this price due to lack of Icon Gold.png Gold results in Aerie leaving your employ. This is not permanent however: Aerie may still be acquired in any of the above methods with no penalty.

Note that if Aerie picks the Noble Random Ability, she will demand no Upkeep Costs - and instead contribute Icon Gold.png 10 to your treasury every turn!

Alternate Names Edit

Other wizards can also have a Illusionist, but they are different characters (what happens to one has no effect on the others), and go by different names, as follows:

Hero Aerie
Player Alternate Name
  Human (0)   Aerie
  Wizard 1   Xoara
  Wizard 2   Miranda
  Wizard 3   Windaria
  Wizard 4   Mira

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