|Spell Rarity||Very Rare|
|Upkeep Cost||30 per turn|
|# of figures||1|
|Melee Attack per figure||30|
|Defense per figure||10|
|Hit Points per figure||30|
+30% To HitFire Breath 30
The Fantastic UnitEdit
Physical Description Edit
A Great Drake is Master of Magic's equivalent to the Red Dragon, a creature almost ubiquitous in any modern fantasy work.
The Great Drake is essentially a gigantic lizard with a long, keen head, whose body is entirely covered in thick red scales. Two large batlike wings keep it aloft despite its massive size. The Great Drake can ignite its breath, sending out long plumes of flame at its enemies, burning them to cinders.
Attack Properties Edit
The Great Drake's ferocious attack has two components: A Melee Attack and a Fire Breath attack - each with an amazingly high attack strength of 30, and both enjoying a massive To Hit bonus of +30%. The majority of creatures in the game simply cannot survive both attacks together, and many cannot even survive one.
With a strength of 30, the Great Drake's Melee Attack is easily the highest of all Single Figure Units. With the Drake's total To Hit score of 60%, this attack delivers on average 18 points of Damage. Even the most well-armored Champions are unlikely to block so much damage, so needless to say it will outright kill most of its targets when engaging them in Melee combat.
On top of this, whenever it is voluntarily attacking an enemy target (i.e. not when Counter Attacking), the Great Drake unleashes a Fire Breath attack of the same strength - 30! This too enjoys the high To Hit bonus and has an average damage output of 18.
Therefore, when the Great Drake assaults an enemy target in combat, it will deliver on average a total of 36 (before factoring in the target's Defense score). Only a handful of units possess anywhere near this many Hit Points.
The Fire Breath attack has the added benefit of being processed before Melee Damage is dealt by either side (the Drake or its target). As a result, any figures killed off by this attack will not even get to deal damage back at the Great Drake. Therefore, in any voluntary engagement with an enemy unit, the Great Drake has a good chance of eliminating most if not all of its opponents before they deal any damage - and the Great Drake emerges completely unscathed. Any figures that do survive may then deal their damage - while being struck by the Drake's equally-devastating Melee Attack.
One important caveat to remember is that the Fire Breath attack delivers Magical Fire Damage. As a result, targets possessing Fire Immunity or Magic Immunity are significantly stronger against it - they are considered to have a Defense score of 50 for purposes of blocking damage from this attack. Nonetheless, since the Fire Breath is so powerful, it does stand some chance of actually inflicting damage to such units.
Defensive Properties Edit
The Great Drake may not have the survivability of its lumbering cousin the Hydra, but it is still quite formidable in battle, and can stand significant hammering by enemy units.
The Great Drake possesses the second highest Defense score for default units, which is 10. It will therefore block on average about 3 points of Damage from any incoming attack. Only powerful attackers will be able to get through this armor - and even if they do, they still have to chip away at the Drake's formidable 30 Hit Points.
In terms of Resistance, the Great Drake has an impressive score of 12. This makes it immune to Curses and other combat maledictions requiring a Resistance roll, unless of course they enforce a Resistance penalty of at least -3.
Other Properties Edit
Like its cousin the Sky Drake, the Great Drake also possesses the ability to Fly, which it does at a rate of 2. This makes it only an average scout, and although it can avoid most Walking enemies on the battlefield, it is not maneuverable as other dragons.
Nonetheless, the ability to pick its own targets is extremely important, and will help the Great Drake to deliver its powerful Fire Breath attack.
Basic Tactics Edit
Because of its immense strength, the Great Drake offers very few opportunities for actual finesse, and doesn't really require it either. In most cases its job is to simply make a beeline straight towards the most dangerous enemy unit and take it out. If other units get in the way, the Great Drake can either attempt to bypass them, or simply destroy them as well.
The only thing to really worry about - except perhaps for pesky high-level, well-equipped Champions trying to bring it down - are enemy spells. Though the creature is immune to most Curses, there are several types of spells that can and will significantly weaken it - possibly to the point where it can be overwhelmed by its enemies. The use of preventative spellcasting and/or plenty of dispelling magic may be prudent, when fighting another powerful wizard.
Enemy Great Drakes Edit
Great Drakes are surprisingly common, especially when playing a high-difficulty game. They will be found guarding the most valuable Chaos Nodes and occasionally Towers of Wizardry - and may be accompanied by any number of smaller Chaos creatures.
Even a single Great Drake can be a challenge to overcome. Ranged Attack units may cause it some damage from afar - if they can get through its armor at all - but then become targets for the Drake's devastating attack.
Therefore, the best ways to bring down a Great Drake would be to weaken it with any sort of spells that can get through its high Resistance scores. There are several such spells in each Realm, and wizards who do not possess them may end up being easily overrun by any wizard who can summon a Great Drake.
If you possess fast units - avoid the Great Drake at all costs. As soon as it makes contact with your units you can expect serious losses. To minimize losses, it might be possible (and prudent) to maneuver in such a way that the Drake never (or at least rarely) gets to voluntarily attacks your units. Always try to force the dragon to Counter Attack instead, since it cannot use its fearsome Fire Breath attack when doing so. This may be tricky, so finding a way to slow the Great Drake down may be imperative.
Ability Overview Edit
- This unit has an extra 30% chance to hit its target with every attack. This improves its statistical chance to inflict more Damage with each attack it makes.
Fire Breath 30 Edit
- Whenever this unit makes a Melee Attack against an enemy target, it also delivers a Fire Damage Breath Attack with a strength of 30 per figure.
- As a Breath Attack, this damage is delivered before the enemy gets the chance to retaliate. Any figures in the target unit that are killed by the attack do not get to deliver any Melee Damage.
- This Breath Attack does not occur when the unit is Counter Attacking against an enemy assailant.
- This effect does nothing against targets possessing the Magic Immunity or Fire Immunity abilities.
The Summoning Spell Edit
The new unit is created with full Movement Points, and may move and/or attack immediately as necessary.
To keep the Great Drake in play, it is necessary to pay an Upkeep Cost of 30 per turn - the highest of any Fantastic Unit. This is drawn automatically from the caster's Mana pool each turn. Failure to pay the required costs due to lack of Mana in the pool will lead to the Great Drake being immediately destroyed, along with any Unit Enchantments currently affecting it.
If the unit is destroyed in combat, then it is gone from the world entirely, and there is no further need to pay its Upkeep Costs.
You can also dismiss the Great Drake voluntarily. To do this, right-click the unit's icon and then press the red "Dismiss" button on the bottom right corner of the unit's details panel. A dismissed unit is gone forever, but of course you can always cast the Great Drake spell again to get a fresh new one. The primary reason to dismiss a Fantastic Creature would be to remove its Upkeep Cost (conserving Mana as a result).
As a Very Rare Chaos spell, Great Drake 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.
Great Drake 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 Great Drake during the game. The chance for this spell to appear for research increases with the number of Chaos 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.
Great Drake has a base Research Cost of 4,500.
With at least 3 Spellbooks, the Great Drake 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.