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Fire Breath

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Ability FireBreath
Fire Breath is one of the many Unit Abilities available in Master of Magic. With this ability, a unit making a voluntary Melee Attack starts this attack with a blast of Fire Damage.

The strength of a Fire Breath ability is noted after its name (e.g. "Fire Breath 30"). This indicates the attack's strength, and thus the maximum Icon Damage.png Damage it can cause (though this is subjected to Icon ToHit.png To Hit rolls and the target's Icon Defense.png Defense rolls).

There are 12 units in the game that possess a Fire Breath attack by default. 7 of these are Normal Units (almost all from the Draconian Race), 4 are Fantastic Units from the Icon Chaos.pngChaos Realm, and one is a Hero. The Great Drake has the strongest Fire Breath by far - at a whopping Icon Breath.png 30!

The Icon Chaos.pngChaos Channels spell can be cast on a Normal Unit or Hero, and may have some chance of adding the Fire Breath attack to that unit. Fantastic Units cannot acquire Fire Breath if they don't already have it.

There are many different modifiers in the game that can increase the strength of a unit's Fire Breath. The available modifiers differ based on the unit's type.

Description Edit

Fire-breathing monsters have long haunted the nightmares of humans in our world - but in the world of Master of Magic they are quite real. Not only that, but certain races (evolved from fire-breathing dragon ancestors) take this ability for granted.

Fire Breath offers a great way for a combatant to start its attack. Only those enemies who aren't burned to a crisp by this deadly breath will be able to stand up to the creature in hand-to-hand combat. Thus, the creature delivers a preemptive strike that can weaken its opponent considerably.

Effect Edit

Fire Breath is automatically used whenever the unit voluntarily makes a Melee Attack against any opponent. Before the unit commences its actual attack, it will unleash a Breath Attack delivering a certain amount of Fire Damage.

This is carried out in a similar fashion to a regular attack. The Fire Breath unit makes a number of Icon ToHit.png To Hit rolls equal to the strength of its breath attack. The target then gets to make Icon Defense.png Defense rolls to try and block some of this incoming damage.

As a Breath Attack, Fire Breath occurs before any other exchange of damage or other attacks between the unit and its target. It precedes Gaze Attacks, Touch Attacks and any exchange of actual Melee Damage.

As a result, any Icon Figure.png figure in the enemy unit that is killed by the Fire Damage does not get to retaliate at all - it is already dead by the time its unit begins the retaliation (that is, if the unit survived at all). This confers a great deal of protection to the Fire Breath unit: if it can kill a large number of enemy Icon Figure.png figures (or all of them) with the Fire Breath, the target can return very little damage at it.

Since Fire Breath delivers Fire Damage, it is somewhat inferior to Thrown Attacks: Fire Damage can easily be blocked by either the Fire Immunity ability or the Magic Immunity ability. If the target possesses either of these, its Defense score is temporarily raised to Icon Defense.png 50 for purposes of blocking damage from this attack. Thus, even the Great Drake's impressive Icon Breath.png 30 Fire Breath would cause only little damage to such a unit. Furthermore, Fire Breath is associated with the Icon Chaos.pngChaos Realm, and thus may be blocked partially or completely by the spells Resist Elements, Elemental Armor, Bless and Righteousness.

Note that Fire Breath is not used when the unit is Counter Attacking to an enemy assault. It only works when the unit makes a voluntary Melee Attack against an enemy.

Also note that Fire Breath allows a ground unit to initiate Melee Attacks against Icon Movement AirFlying Units, even if said units are immune to fire.

Units with Default Fire Breath Edit

There are exactly 12 units in the game that possess Fire Breath by default. 7 of these are Normal Units, 5 of which belong to the Draconian Race, which has Fire Breath as one of its racial advantages. 4 other units are Fantastic Units from the Icon Chaos.pngChaos Realm, many of which deliver quite devastating Fire Breath attacks. Finally, we have Fang the Draconian, a Hero.

Normal Units Edit

Tactical DraconianSpearmen Draconian Spearmen - Fire Breath 1
Tactical DraconianSwordsmen Draconian Swordsmen - Fire Breath 1
Tactical DraconianHalberdiers Draconian Halberdiers - Fire Breath 1
Tactical DraconianEngineers Draconian Engineers - Fire Breath 1 **
Tactical DoomDrakes Doom Drakes - Fire Breath 6
Tactical DragonTurtle Dragon Turtle - Fire Breath 5 *
Tactical StagBeetle Stag Beetle - Fire Breath 5 *

Fantastic Units Edit

Tactical Chimeras Chimeras - Fire Breath 4
Tactical GreatDrake Great Drake - Fire Breath 30
Tactical HellHounds Hell Hounds - Fire Breath 3
Tactical Hydra Hydra - Fire Breath 5

Heroes Edit

Tactical Hero Fang Fang the Draconian - Fire Breath 5

* These units are almost always created with one extra Experience Level, which gives them an extra Icon Breath.png +1.

** Draconian Engineers are not available in version 1.31.

The Great Drake has the most powerful Fire Breath ability, but it's important to remember that Icon MultiFigureUnit.png Multi-Figure units, including the Hydra, deliver a Fire Breath attack of the listed strength per each live Icon Figure.png figure, giving them a greater potential for damage (though not against heavy armor).

Acquiring Fire Breath Edit

The only way to add the Fire Breath ability to a unit that does not already possess it is to cast the Icon Chaos.pngChaos Channels spell on a friendly unit. Only Normal Units and Heroes may be targeted; all other units, including the Undead and units already affected by Chaos Channels, are invalid targets for this spell.

Chaos Channels is an Uncommon Instant Spell from the Icon Chaos.pngChaos Realm. It may be cast on the overland map for a basic Casting Cost of Icon Mana.png 50. Once targeted at a friendly Normal Unit or Hero, it makes two permanent changes to that unit:

  1. Adding one (and only one) of three powerful bonuses at random.
  2. Permanently associating the unit with the Icon Chaos.pngChaos Realm.

One of the three available bonuses is Fire Breath 2. It is only available for selection by the Icon Chaos.pngChaos Channels spell if the unit does not already possess a Ranged Attack or Fire Breath ability - otherwise another bonus will be selected.

Once the unit has been altered by Chaos Channels, its new Fire Breath ability is entirely permanent with a fixed strength of 2. The spell requires no additional Upkeep Costs, and the change to the unit may never be undone.

Note that if the unit had the Thrown ability before this change, the new Fire Breath ability replaces it entirely. This can be seen as somewhat disappointing, since there are no immunities that avert Icon Thrown.png Thrown Attack damage, and Thrown Attacks are easier to improve.

Doom Mastery Edit

Doom Mastery is a Very Rare Global Enchantment belonging to the Icon Chaos.pngChaos Realm. It can be cast on the overland map for a basic Casting Cost of Icon Mana.png 1,100.

While Doom Mastery is in effect, whenever any new Normal Unit is produced in any of your towns, Doom Mastery will automatically cast the Chaos Channels spell at that unit - for no extra charge.

The resulting effects on the unit are identical to those described above.

Improving Fire Breath Edit

There are several methods of improving a unit's Fire Breath attack strength, but the available methods depend on the type of unit involved.

Experience Edit

First and foremost, for Normal Units and Heroes, the strength of the unit's Fire Breath ability will improve as the unit gains Experience. It is one of the only Unit Abilities in the game that does so.

For Normal Units, the Fire Breath ability improves at a rate of +1 per every 2 levels - which means +1 at level 2 ("Regular"), +2 at level 4 ("Elite"), and +3 at level 6 ("Champion").

For Heroes, the Fire Breath ability improves by +1 per every Icon Experience Level.png Experience Level.

Note that this bonus also applies to units that have received Fire Breath thanks to Chaos Channels (see above).

Hero Abilities Edit

The Might ability does not increase the strength of a Hero's own Fire Breath ability (if he/she has one at all). However, the Leadership ability does help - increasing not only the Hero's Fire Breath ability, but also the Fire Breath ability of any unit accompanying this Hero into battle.

With the "standard" version of Leadership, the bonus is exactly +1 and applies once the Hero reaches Icon Experience Level.png Experience Level 6 ("Lord"). It does not improve beyond +1.

With Super Leadership, the bonus is +1 when the Hero reaches Icon Experience Level.png Experience Level 4 ("Commander") and +2 when the Hero reaches Icon Experience Level.png Experience Level 8 ("Superhero").

Icon ToHit.png To Hit bonuses from the Blademaster ability (or its Super version) and Lucky apply to the Hero's Fire Breath attack.

A Jewelry with Attack Strength bonuses will apply those bonuses to the Hero's Fire Breath ability as well. On the other hand, Icon ToHit.png To Hit bonuses on such a Jewelry item do not apply, unless the unofficial 1.40 Insecticide patch is used.

Node Aura Bonus Edit

Whenever a Fantastic Unit belonging to the Icon Chaos.pngChaos Realm enters battle inside or within the vicinity of a Chaos Node, it enjoys the node's Aura Bonus. This also applies to any Normal Unit or Hero mutated by the Chaos Channels spell (see above).

Chaos Nodes bestow a +2 bonus to many of the properties of any Icon Chaos.pngChaos Fantastic Creature fighting in their area of influence. This includes the unit's Fire Breath, if it has one. It's a small bonus, but is nonetheless welcome - and can be quite beneficial to Fire-Breathing Icon MultiFigureUnit.png Multi-Figure units, for whom the bonus is applied to each Icon Figure.png figure's attack.

This bonus is transient: it applies only while the unit is doing combat within the vicinity of the Node. It is not applied when doing combat anywhere else.

Hurting an Enemy's Fire Breath Edit

There are several spells available in the game that can reduce the strength of an enemy's Fire Breath ability, thus reducing the danger from that enemy unit. The list below may or may not be complete.

Spell Name Effect on target's Fire Breath ability
Icon Death.png Black Prayer -1
Icon Chaos.png Shatter Set to exactly 1
Icon Sorcery.png Mind Storm -5

Spells and Abilities affecting Fire Breath Edit

Icon Name Description
Attack Strength
UnitEnchantment BlackChannels Black Channels Icon Breath.png +1 (normal units become Undead)
CombatEnchantment BlackPrayer Black Prayer Icon Breath.png -1 for all enemy units
UnitEnchantment MindStorm Mind Storm Icon Breath.png -5 if unit hasn't Illusions Immunity or Magic Immunity
UnitEnchantment Shatter Shatter Attack is reduced to Icon Breath.png 1 if normal unit fails to resist
SpellIcon ChaosSurge Chaos Surge Icon Breath.png +2 for all units associated with Icon Chaos.pngChaos
(Hell Hounds, Chimeras, Hydra, Great Drake, Chaos Channeled units)
CombatEnchantment ChaosNodeBonusAura Chaos Node Aura Icon Breath.png +2 for all units associated with Icon Chaos.pngChaos
(Hell Hounds, Chimeras, Hydra, Great Drake, Chaos Channeled units)
CombatEnchantment Darkness Darkness Icon Breath.png +1 for all units associated with Icon Death.pngDeath (Undead units);
Cloud of Shadow and Eternal Night have same effect
CombatEnchantment TrueLight True Light Icon Breath.png -1 for all units associated with Icon Death.pngDeath (Undead units);
Heavenly Light has same effect
Ability Leadership Leadership Icon Breath.png +1 for all accompanying normal units if hero reaches Icon ExpLevel 5.png 6th Level
Icon Breath.png +2 if hero has Super Leadership and reaches Icon ExpLevel 7.png 8th Level
Item Misc 1 Jewelry up to Icon Breath.png +4 (To Hit modifiers have no effect though)
To Hit Modifiers
Ability Invisibility Invisibility an enemy attacking this unit receives Icon ToHit.png -10% (unless enemy has Illusion Immunity)
Ability Lucky Lucky Icon ToHit.png +10% (also: Icon ToBlock.png +10% To Block)
CombatEnchantment Prayer (High) Prayer Icon ToHit.png +10% for all allied units (also: Icon ToBlock.png +10% To Block)
UnitEnchantment Vertigo Vertigo Icon ToHit.png -20% if unit fails to resist
CombatEnchantment WarpReality Warp Reality Icon ToHit.png -20% for all units not associated with Icon Chaos.pngChaos
(Hell Hounds, Chimeras, Hydra, Great Drake, Chaos Channeled units)
Ability Blademaster Blademaster up to Icon ToHit.png +40% (Icon ToHit.png +60% if Super Blademaster)
Item Misc 1 Jewelry only in unofficial 1.40 patch: up to Icon ToHit.png +20%
Non-listed Defense
Ability FireImmunity Fire Immunity Defense is increased to Icon Defense.png 50
Ability MagicImmunity Magic Immunity Defense is increased to Icon Defense.png 50
Ability LargeShield Large Shield Icon Defense.png +2
UnitEnchantment ResistElements Resist Elements Icon Defense.png +3
UnitEnchantment ElementalArmor Elemental Armor Icon Defense.png +10
UnitEnchantment Bless Bless Icon Defense.png +3
UnitEnchantment Righteousness Righteousness Defense is increased to Icon Defense.png 50
UnitEnchantment Invulnerability Invulnerability absorbs the first 2 damage coming from each enemy Icon Figure.png figure; unit gets Weapon Immunity
CombatEnchantment Blur Blur roughly 10 % of all enemy Icon Breath.png attacks will miss (regardless of hit roll)
UnitEnchantment Haste Haste Icon Breath.png Breath attack is executed twice, Icon Movement GroundMovement is doubled
UnitEnchantment Immolation Immolation every enemy Icon Figure.png figure is hit by a Icon Ranged Magic.png 4 Fire Damage attack (To Hit modifiers have no effect);
this is additional to the Immolation attack in the Melee phase
UnitEnchantment ChaosChannels FireBreath Chaos Channels unit might get Icon Breath.png 2 (attack strength of 2 is fixed)
Ability PoisonTouch Poison enemies with less than Icon Resist.png 10 resistance may suffer some additional damage, this is additional to the Poison attack in the Melee phase, only available by using Chaos Channels on Wyvern Riders, Manticores, Nightblades or Tumu

Note: This table is also (almost) correct if you substitute Icon Breath.png Fire Breath with Icon Breath Lightning.png Lightning Breath. The only difference between these two is: Icon Breath Lightning.png Lightning Breath is Armor Piercing and doesn't trigger Fire Immunity.

Note: Spells and Abilities (not Items) listed under Attack Strength and Attack Modifiers will affect any Icon Ranged Magic.png, Icon Ranged Bow.png, Icon Ranged Boulder.png, Icon Thrown.png attack in the same way (except Leadership for Icon Ranged Magic.png). Spells and Abilities listed under Attack Strength will also modify Doom Gaze (and have a certain effect on Death Gaze and Stoning Gaze).

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