The Attack Strength of the Fire Breath ability is noted after its name (e.g. " Fire Breath 30"). This indicates the maximum damage that it can cause (per figure in the unit), though this is subjected to To Hit rolls and the target's 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 Chaos Realm, and one is a Hero. The Great Drake has the strongest Fire Breath by far - at a whopping 30! The Chaos Channels spell can also be cast on a Normal Unit or Hero, and may have some chance of adding the Fire Breath attack to that unit. However, 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, however, none of them can modify the Attack Strength of Fire Breath gained through Chaos Channels.
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 their attacker in hand-to-hand combat. Thus, the creature delivers a preemptive strike that can weaken its opponent considerably.
Fire Breath is automatically used whenever the unit voluntarily makes a Melee Attack against an opponent. Before the unit commences its actual attack, it will unleash a Breath Attack delivering a certain amount of Fire Damage. This 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 figure in the enemy unit that is killed by the Fire Breath does not get to retaliate at all - it is already dead by the time its unit begins the retaliation (that is, if the unit even survived). This confers a great deal of protection to the Fire Breath unit: if it can kill a large number of enemy figures (or all of them) with the Fire Breath, the target can return very little damage at it.
The Breath Attack itself is carried out in a similar fashion to a regular attack. The Fire Breath unit makes a number of To Hit rolls equal to the strength of its breath attack. The target then gets to make Defense rolls to try and block some of the incoming damage.
Note that Fire Breath is not used when the unit is Counter Attacking to an enemy assault. It only works when the unit is the one initiating the Melee Attack. On the other hand, this ability allows a Ground unit to engage a Flying unit in melee combat, even if said unit is actually immune to fire.
Since Fire Breath delivers Fire Damage, it is somewhat inferior to Thrown Attacks: Fire Damage can easily be blocked by either the Fire Immunity or Magic Immunity abilities. If the target possesses either of these, its Defense score is temporarily raised to 50 for the purposes of blocking damage from this attack. Thus, even the Great Drake's impressive 30 Fire Breath would cause only little damage to such a unit. Furthermore, Fire Breath is associated with the Chaos Realm, and thus may be blocked partially or completely by the spells Resist Elements, Elemental Armor, Bless and Righteousness. This last Enchantment actually has the same effect against Fire Breath as the immunities mentioned earlier.
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 traits. 4 other units are Fantastic Units from the Chaos Realm, many of which can deliver quite devastating Fire Breath attacks. Finally, there is Fang the Draconian, a mid-tier Hero.
|Draconian Spearmen||Fire Breath 1|
|Draconian Swordsmen||Fire Breath 1|
|Draconian Halberdiers||Fire Breath 1|
|Draconian Engineers||Fire Breath 1 **|
|Doom Drakes||Fire Breath 6|
|Dragon Turtle||Fire Breath 5 *|
|Stag Beetle||Fire Breath 5 *|
|Chimeras||Fire Breath 4|
|Great Drake||Fire Breath 30|
|Hell Hounds||Fire Breath 3|
|Hydra||Fire Breath 5|
Fang the Draconian - Fire Breath 5
** Draconian Engineers are not available in version 1.31 of Master of Magic.
The Great Drake has the most powerful Fire Breath ability, but it's important to remember that Multi-Figure units, including the Hydra, deliver a Fire Breath attack of the listed strength per each live figure, giving them a greater overall 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 via the Chaos Channels effect. This can be obtained either through the spell of the same name, or as a result of the Global Enchantment Doom Mastery.
Chaos Channels Edit
Chaos Channels is an Uncommon Instant Spell that can be cast on friendly Normal Units and Heroes; all other units, including the Undead, and units already affected by Chaos Channels, are invalid targets. The spell may only be cast on the overland map, for a basic Casting Cost of 50. It has two effects on its target:
- Adding one (and only one) of three powerful bonuses at random.
- Permanently associating the unit with the Chaos Realm.
One of the three available bonuses is Fire Breath 2. It is only available for selection by the Chaos Channels spell if the unit does not already possess a Ranged Attack or Fire Breath ability - otherwise another bonus will be selected.
On the other hand, if the unit had the Thrown ability before this change, a new Fire Breath ability will replace this entirely. This may be seen as somewhat disappointing, since there are no immunities that avert Thrown Attack damage, and they are also easier to improve. However, it's worth noting that players using the unofficial Insecticide patch do not have to worry about this oversight, as it forces the game to choose a different effect for Thrown units instead (as it normally does for every other type of ranged attack).
Once a unit has been altered by Chaos Channels, its new Fire Breath ability is entirely permanent, with a fixed Attack Strength of 2. The spell requires no additional Upkeep Costs, and the change to the unit may never be undone.
Doom Mastery Edit
Doom Mastery is a Very Rare Global Enchantment that can be cast on the overland map for a basic Casting Cost of 1,100. While this spell is in effect, whenever a new Normal Unit is produced in any of the caster's towns, Doom Mastery will automatically apply Chaos Channels on 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. The availability of these depends on the type of unit involved, and may affect either the ability's Attack Strength, chance To Hit, or both.
First and foremost, for Normal Units and Heroes, the strength of the 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, Fire Breath improves at a rate of +1 for every 2 levels - meaning +1 at level 2 ( Regular), +2 at level 4 ( Elite), and +3 at level 6 ( Champion). For Fang the Draconian, the Fire Breath ability improves by +1 for every Experience Level (above first).
Experience further improves these units' chance To Hit, and this will also apply to Fire Breath. Each +1 represents an extra 10% chance per Attack Strength to cause damage (on top of the base 30%). For Normal Units, this attribute improves by +1 at every level above 3rd (only the first of which can be obtained without the Warlord retort or Crusade spell); while Heroes gain a natural +1 on every 3rd level instead (up to a maximum of +3 at Demigod level). Unlike modifiers to Attack Strength, modifiers To Hit do apply to the Fire Breath of Chaos Channeled units, and present the only practical way of improving this attack.
The Might ability does not increase the strength Fire Breath. However, Leadership does help - it can increase not only a Hero's own Fire Breath, but also that of any Normal Unit or other Hero accompanying them into battle. However, Leadership has no effect on either Fantastic or Chaos Channeled units, making Fang the Draconian the only actual Hero whose Fire Breath can ever benefit from it.
With the basic version of Leadership, this bonus is +1, and starts to apply once the Hero reaches Level 6 ( Lord). It does not improve beyond +1. Heroes with Super Leadership attain the same bonus at Level 4 instead ( Commander), and can improve its magnitude to +2 if they manage to reach Level 8 ( Superhero).
To Hit bonuses from the Blademaster (or its Super version) and Lucky abilities both apply to a Hero's Fire Breath attack. Akin to natural To Hit modifiers, this holds true even for Fire Breath gained through Chaos Channels.
Most Magical Items have no effect on Fire Breath. The exception is Jewelry, which can be enchanted to provide an all-round Attack Strength boost. This affects every type of attack that the Hero makes, including Fire Breath. On the other hand, To Hit bonuses on such an accessory do not apply, unless the game is played using the unofficial 1.40 Insecticide patch (or later).
Node Aura Bonus Edit
Whenever a Fantastic Unit of the Chaos Realm enters battle in a Chaos Node or its area of influence, it will enjoy an Aura Bonus granted by the Node. This also applies to any Normal Unit or Hero mutated by the Chaos Channels spell (see above). The bonus is transient however: it applies only while the unit is doing combat within the vicinity of the Node. It is not applied when doing combat anywhere else.
This Node Aura bestows a +2 bonus to many of the properties of any Chaos Creature affected by it. 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 Multi-Figure units, for whom the bonus is applied to each figure's attack.
Chaos Surge Edit
Chaos Surge is a Very Rare Global Enchantment with a base Casting Cost of 1,000, and a relatively high Upkeep Cost of 40 per turn. This is for good reason though: as long as this spell is active, any Chaos (or Chaos Channeled) creature entering battle anywhere in the game world (on either plane) receives a +2 bonus to all of their Attack Strengths, including a +2 to Fire Breath. This effect is fully cumulative with the Node Aura described above, effectively doubling its magnitude with respect to Attack Strength.
The only downside of this spell is that it indiscriminately applies to both friendly and enemy units. However, two instances of the spell (cast by different Wizards) do not stack, the effect will only be applied once per battle (but will always affect both sides).
Hurting an Enemy's Fire Breath Edit
There are several spells in the game that can reduce the strength of an enemy's Fire Breath, thus reducing the danger from that enemy unit. This is the only area where Chaos Channeled Fire Breath actually has an advantage: its fixed Attack Strength of 2 is not subject to any of these reductions either.
|Black Prayer||-1||affects all enemy units|
|Mind Storm||-5||can't target Illusions-Immune units, Non-Resistable|
|Shatter||Set to 1||Normal Units and Heroes only, Resistable|
|True Light||-1||Affects all Undead on the battlefield|
Spells and Abilities affecting Fire Breath Edit
Effects that decrease the Attack Strength are listed separately in the table above.
|Unit Level||+1 for every 2 Levels (up to +3)|
|Hero Level||+1 for each level above 1st (Fang the Draconian only)|
|Black Channels||+1 (normal units become Undead)|
|Chaos Surge|| +2 for all units associated with Chaos|
(Hell Hounds, Chimeras, Hydra, Great Drake, Chaos Channeled units)
|Chaos Node Aura||+2 for all units associated with Chaos (stacks with Chaos Surge)|
|Darkness|| +1 for all Undead units;|
Cloud of Shadow and Eternal Night have the same effect
|Leadership|| +1 for Normal Units and Fang if Hero reaches 6th Level|
+2 if Hero has Super Leadership and reaches 8th Level
|Jewelry||up to +4|
|To Hit Modifiers|
|Unit Level||+10% for every Levels above 3rd (up to +30%)|
|Hero Level||+10% for every 3 Levels (up to +30%)|
|(High) Prayer||+10% for all allied units|
|Vertigo||-20% if unit fails to resist|
|Warp Reality||-20% for all non-Chaos units|
|Blademaster||+5% per Level rounded down to 10%s ( +7.5% if Super Blademaster)|
|Jewelry||only in unofficial 1.40 patch: up to +20%|
|units attacking this opponent receive -10% unless they have Illusion Immunity|
|Conditional Defense Modifiers|
|Fire Immunity||Defense is increased to 50|
|Magic Immunity||Defense is increased to 50|
|Righteousness||Defense is increased to 50|
|Invulnerability||absorbs the first 2 damage coming from each enemy figure|
|Blur||roughly 10 % of all enemy attacks will miss (regardless of hit roll)|
|Haste||Breath attack is executed twice during each Melee Attack sequence|
|Immolation|| adds a strength 4 Area Damage attack to the Fire Breath (before patch 1.50);|
this is in addition to the Immolation attack in the Melee Damage stage
|Chaos Channels||unit might get 2 (Attack Strength is fixed at 2)|
|Poison Touch|| affixes this Touch Attack to the Fire Breath (in addition to the Melee Damage stage),|
only available by Chaos Channeling Wyvern Riders, Manticores, Nightblades, or Tumu