|Spell Rarity||Very Rare|
|Spell Type||Unit Curse|
|Combat Casting Cost||70|
|As of Master of Magic v1.31, Creature Binding is known to be malfunctioning in at least one way. Please read the Known Bugs section below.|
Control of the unit remains "switched" until the end of combat, or until the unit dies, or until Creature Binding is dispelled; whichever comes first. If the creature is still under Creature Binding's effect at the end of the battle, it is immediately destroyed. Therefore, the casting wizard does not get to keep the unit. There is no Upkeep Cost associated Creature Binding.
Creature Binding attempts to take control of an enemy Fantastic Creature, possibly until the end of the battle.
The Allegiance Switch Edit
Success in this roll means the unit has resisted the effect of the spell, and no harm is done to it. The spell simply fizzles.
On the other hand, failure to make this roll means disaster for the unit: it changes sides, and is now under the control of Creature Binding's caster.
As long as Creature Binding is affecting the target unit, that unit behaves in every way as though it belongs to the Binding wizard:
- The binding wizard may select the unit and give it orders.
- The unit will move during the binding wizard's turns.
- The unit's former friends (other units in its original army) can and will attack it.
Movement Points Reset Edit
It's important to note that while the unit switches allegiance immediately, it may or may not be able to move/attack immediately. This is because Movement Points are not reset until the start of the unit's next turn, so if the unit had spent all its Movement Points just prior to being Bound, it cannot move or attack until its next turn begins.
Example #1 Edit
- A Storm Giant belonging to Army A spends all of its Movement Points during its turn, ending up with 0 Movement Points.
- During Army B's turn, that army's wizard casts Creature Binding on this Storm Giant.
- Since it still has 0 Movement Points, the Storm Giant may not immediately move. However it already belongs to Army B and is treated as one of Army B's units for all intents and purposes.
- Once Army B's turn ends, Army A's next turn begins. Its units may attack the Storm Giant since it is now considered an enemy unit.
- When Army B's next turn begins, the Storm Giant's Movement Points are reset. It may now move and attack freely.
Conversely, if the unit had any remaining Movement Points when Creature Binding is cast upon it, the unit may immediately act as soon as the spell takes effect.
Example #2 Edit
- A Hydra belonging to Army A ends its turn with 2 Movement Points remaining. Perhaps it had no targets to attack, or was waiting for the enemy to come to it.
- During Army B's turn, that army's wizard casts Creature Binding on this Hydra.
- The Hydra is now part of Army B. Since it's still Army B's turn, the Hydra may now use the 2 Movement Points it had remaining, whether to attack or move as necessary.
At the End of Battle... Edit
Creature Binding is effectively a death sentence for any unit: Even if it manages to reach the end of the battle alive, any unit under the effect of Creature Binding is immediately destroyed when combat is over. It does not survive the battle to become a permanent part of the Binding wizard's army.
This can be a curse or a blessing, but in either case there's nothing you can do about it. No unit will never make it out of combat if it switches ownership. The only way to get the unit out of combat alive would be to dispel Creature Binding, returning the unit to its original owner, who must then win the battle (or flee).
Therefore, the only options are:
- The bound unit is destroyed during the battle.
- The bound unit is destroyed at the end of battle.
- Creature Binding is dispelled before the battle ends, returning the unit to its original owner.
Note: Using Word of Recall to pull the captured unit out of combat does not work to circumvent this: the unit will disappear immediately from the game.
The game's combat rules dictate that combat is immediately over once either army has no more live units under its control. Therefore, for purposes of ending the battle, "stealing" a unit is as good as killing it. For example, if you successfully cast Creature Binding on all of the enemy's units, the battle ends in your victory. You do not need to kill the units your stole (or get them killed), to end the battle - they no longer count as enemy units while under the effect of Creature Binding.
This also means that you do not get any Fame points for creatures that are stolen from the enemy army with Creature Binding. At the end of combat, you are only awarded Fame points for enemy creatures you actually kill off. Therefore, if you win a battle by "stealing" the entire opposing army, you get 0 Fame points for your victory regardless of the value of the units you stole.
Creature Binding may only be cast during combat, for a base Casting Cost of 70.
Creature Binding must be targeted at an enemy Fantastic Unit. Normal Units and Heroes may not be targeted. Furthermore, units possessing Illusions Immunity or Magic Immunity may not be targeted by this spell. Attempts to target the spell at any invalid unit will result in a pop-up window explaining why the target is invalid, and asking the player to choose another target instead.
Upon casting the spell, a shower of Blue sparkles will rain down on the targeted unit. Once the animation is complete, there is no further visual indication that the spell is in effect, aside from its icon appearing in the unit's details window. To know whether the spell successfully affected the unit, place your cursor over that unit. If the cursor changes to a hand holding a wand, this unit is now yours and clicking on it will select it, so that you may give it movement/attack orders like any other unit you own.
The spell will only affect the targeted unit until the end of the battle - at which point the affected unit is destroyed. Since neither the spell nor the targeted unit carry over to the campaign map, there is no need to pay a per-turn Upkeep Cost to maintain them.
As a Very Rare Sorcery spell, Creature Binding may become available to any Wizard who possesses at least 3 Spellbooks. However, its availability during the game is not guaranteed unless the Wizard acquires at least 10 Spellbooks.
Creature Binding may not be acquired at the start of the campaign regardless of how many Spellbooks the wizard possesses. It must either be Researched during the game, or acquired through other means.
Wizards with 3 to 9 Spellbooks have a random chance of being able to Research Creature Binding during the game. The chance for this spell to appear for research increases with the number of Sorcery 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.
Creature Binding has a base Research Cost of 2,250.
With at least 3 Spellbooks, Creature Binding 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.
Creature Binding is a very dangerous spell, reducing the strength of the enemy army and increasing the strength of your own army. If successfully cast on a powerful enemy unit, it may make the battle significantly easier to win.
Note of course that with only a -2 penalty on the target, it may be impossible to successfully cast this spell on any unit possessing a basic Resistance score of 12 or higher, thus making most of the high-end Fantastic Units immune to it. Spell save items on a hero able to afford the casting cost make this spell much more useful. For instance, two -4 Spell Save items mean this spell will never fail against a 10 resistance creature.
Pay close attention to the description of the effect - it does not allow you to keep the Bound unit after the battle is over. You only get to use the unit against the enemy until the end of battle, and then it is destroyed automatically. Furthermore, you do not get Fame for defeating the bound unit, as it is not considered to have been killed off in the battle.
If Creature Binding has been cast on one of your own Fantastic Units, especially a valuable one, you would do well to attempt to dispel it immediately. Otherwise, you would have to kill that unit to win the battle!
Creature Binding cannot be dispelled by the original owner of the unit -- only the current controller of the unit. If it is dispelled, the unit's allegiance does not return to its original owner.