"Lightning" is an Item Power associated with the Chaos Realm. It may be added to Magical Weapons created for Heroes via Create Artifact, and makes any attack delivered by this weapon Armor Piercing. Some of the 250 premade Items possess this power, and these can be found mainly as Treasure during the campaign.
A weapon enchanted with the power of "Lightning" produces an aura of surging electrochemical potential. The weapon discharges violently against any dense, mineral-rich armor plating and renders the target vulnerable.
"Lightning" causes the type of attack for which the host weapon is designed to deliver Armor Piercing Damage. These attack types are, respectively:
- Bow: Ranged Missile Attack
- Staff, Wand: Ranged Magical Attack
- Mace, Sword: Melee
- Axe: Melee and Thrown Attack (if applicable)
Defense for details. Units with the innate armor-piercing Ability have the big, gold armor-piercing icon (pictured) in their query screen and deliver general AP Damage with any sort of attack they make; whereas, this item power only applies to weapon-appropriate attacks as listed above.
First example: Gunther the Barbarian is a melee-focused hero who can equip magic Axes, Maces, and Swords. He has a Thrown Attack ability like others of the Barbarian race; it fires before melee begins whenever he is voluntarily attacking. An "Axe of Lightning" will cause both his melee and thrown attacks to deal AP Damage. Whereas, a Sword or Mace of Lightning will only affect the melee attack.
Second example: Yramrag's Ranged Magical Attack looks like the lightning bolt pictured on the right, but is entirely conventional Magical Damage which, like the majority of ranged magic attacks, is a physical attack that happens to have an (undocumented) alignment with the Chaos Realm. When he is equipped with a Lightning Wand or Staff, however, any ranged magical attacks he makes will then do AP Damage. The AP Damage will halve his targets' defense, including that granted by certain buffs like Elemental Armor and Bless which trigger against Chaos. His melee attacks will continue to be normal, as these are not fortified by any properties on a wand or staff.
"Lightning" rounds the victim's defense score down in fractional calculations; i.e., 3 goes down to 1. In the case of ranged attacks, it does not halve the 50 granted by Magic Immunity or Missile Immunity. Trivially, "Lightning" does not function against Weapon Immunity, either, since heroes' attacks automatically negate that ability.
As in the example given above, some magical discharges fired off by heroes in combat might look like an element, such as a flying fireball or icy shard resembling those produced by a Wizard's Fire Bolt or Ice Bolt spells. They are nevertheless generic "Magical Damage" and will only be blocked by Magic Immunity— not Fire or Cold Immunity. Again, a lightning wand or staff will assist augment these attacks with Armor-Piercing as described.
"Lightning" is one of several item powers which enable a hero to pierce through an enemy's defenses, and while it is by no means cheap, it is somewhat easier to qualify for and far less expensive than its closest relatives, Chaos and Phantasmal. These three properties have a tendency to overlap one another's effects completely, so it is not necessary in practice to select more than one of them when creating an artifact.
Halving an enemy's Defense score obviously scales up in effect with the magnitude of that score. The tougher the enemy, the more valuable this effect. As such, "Lightning" is an item power tailored towards survival and victory in fights where the hero's life is in the balance, rather than enabling him to simply crush inferior units even harder than usual.
"Lightning" is most useful in two circumstances. First, when the hero is engaging a heavily-armored Single-Figure unit— like a Great Wyrm with its defense of 14 in Nature Nodes. Second, when the hero is engaging a Multi-Figured unit that will make successive Defense rolls as he kills off figures in the unit— like with a Hydra, where each of the creature's heads bears up 6 in Chaos Node combat.
"Lightning" is decidedly unhelpful when there's no armor to pierce. Enemies with a mountain of health and negligible defenses, such as a Phantom Beast, require a different approach.
The three heroes below deliver Armor Piercing attacks by default and get no benefit from a "Lightning" weapon. That these are top-tier champions should nevertheless give some indication of the desirability of an Armor Piercing attack.
All other heroes will gain the full benefit, dealing AP Damage in attacks made with the lightning-enchanted weapon.
Create Artifact Edit
- Main article: Item Crafting
With 5, "Lightning" may be added to a weapon of your own design through Create Artifact. Making strong Items through this spell is an incredibly expensive and time-consuming process. Its cost is reduced by the Artificer and Runemaster Retorts. Artificers with the requisite spellbooks have this item power available at game start.
- Main article: Magical Items in Treasure
The game data files contain 250 pre-defined Items. Of these, eleven possess the "Lightning" power. This power causes a prefab item to variably demand that the Wizard have particular Spellbooks in order to appear in a Treasure hoard, and the requirements are irregular. Oddly, the wizard needs to have a strong line of Life spellbooks to find most prefab "Lightning" items in loot.
There are three different ways by which you can acquire one of these pre-defined items:
- By winning a difficult Encounter.
- By purchasing it from a Merchant, a random petitioner.
- As result of a Random Event called "The Gift".
It is often better to acquire items in these ways, as it means you do not need to spend any time or Mana to create them. Still, the items thus found are in no way guaranteed to exactly suit your needs.
The table below lists the pre-defined Items with this power.
|Premade Items with "Lightning"|
|Item||Attributes||Realm Powers||Required Ranks|
|1200||Mae Govannon||1||1||5|| Lightning|| ||5|
|1450||White Lightning||1||5||-2|| Lightning|| ||5|
|1600||Storm Mace||3||5|| Lightning|| Flaming||5|
|2200||White Lightning||3||2|| Lightning|| ||5|
|2350||Sting||3||3||1|| Lightning|| ||5|
|2700||Silver Shortbow||5||3||1|| Lightning|| ||5|
|3100||Staff of Pain||6||3|| Lightning|| ||5|
|2950||Thors Hammer||4||3|| Lightning|| Holy Avenger||5||3|
|1900||The Devils Instrument||2||5|| Lightning|| Magic Immunity||5||5|
|Item||Attributes||Realm Powers||Required Ranks|
|3700||Sword of Pendulum|| Vampiric|
|5200||Blade of Blood|| Vampiric|