|Spell Type||Combat Enchantment|
|Combat Casting Cost||20|
|Magical Ranged Attack who use ammunition will lose one point of ammunition each turn.|
Mana Leak is a Common Combat Enchantment belonging to the Death Magic realm. It may be only cast during combat, for a basic Casting Cost of 20. At the start of each and every combat turn while Mana Leak is in effect, each and every enemy unit possessing the Caster ability loses 5 out of its personal Mana pool. Furthermore, if the enemy army belongs to any Wizard, that wizard loses 5 per turn as well from his/her own Mana pool. Finally, any enemy units using a Magical Ranged Attack with limited ammunition will lose 1 point of ammunition at the start of each turn.
Mana Leak causes magical energy to escape from the hands of those enemies who can utilize it. They lose Mana every turn, and as a result may quickly lose their ability to cast spells and/or make Magical Ranged Attacks.
Draining Unit Mana Edit
Enemies with the Caster ability have their own Mana Pool, and thus will lose Mana every turn in this way. This reduces the unit's ability to cast spells during the battle, as it will quickly run out of Mana.
Units with both the Caster ability and a Ranged Magical Attack use Mana as ammunition to fuel their ranged attack (at a cost of 3 per attack). Draining out such a unit's Mana pool essentially also reduces the number of Ranged Attacks they can make before having to resort to an often weaker Melee Attack.
Draining Wizard Mana Edit
If the opposing army is controlled by one of the Wizards, Mana Leak will also drain 5 out of that wizard's Mana pool.
In the short-run, this may curtail the enemy wizard's ability to keep casting spells during the battle, as he/she may end up running out of Mana with which to do so. Unfortunately, most wizards have ample Mana, and won't run out so easily.
On the other hand, Mana lost in combat is lost in the overland map as well. Therefore, the longer Mana Leak is kept in play (and vicariously, the longer the battle is kept without resolution), the more strategic benefit results from the use of Mana Leak.
Draining Ammunition Edit
Finally, Mana Leak also targets enemy units that use a Ranged Magical Attack but do not have the Caster ability. Such units use ammunition for their Ranged Attacks, which is limited. At the start of each combat turn, Mana Leak will reduce the number of ammunition points these units have by 1 each.
Mana Leak may be cast during combat, for the basic Casting Cost of 20.
Mana Leak acts at the start of each of the opponent's turns. This means that its first effect will take place after it has been cast and the turn is handed over to the opponent.
After casting the spell, its icon will appear in the "Enchantments" window underneath the casting wizard's name. The spell will remain in effect until the end of battle, or until dispelled by the opponent. Since it does not carry on after the end of the battle, Mana Leak has no Upkeep Cost.
As a Common Death spell, Mana Leak may become available to any Wizard who possesses at least one Death Spellbook. However, its availability during the game is not guaranteed unless the Wizard acquires at least 7 Spellbooks.
Customized Wizards possessing up to 10 Spellbooks at creation time may choose this spell as one of their default spells before starting the game, in which case the spell will already be researched and available for casting immediately on the first turn. Wizards with 11 Spellbooks are guaranteed to have this spell available for casting as soon as the game begins.
Wizards with 6 or fewer Spellbooks who have not chosen Mana Leak as a guaranteed spell have a random chance of being able to Research it. The chance for this spell to appear increases with the number of Death Spellbooks the Wizard possesses or obtains during gameplay. With 7-10 Spellbooks, the spell is guaranteed to appear for Research if it is not alraedy available for casting.
Mana Leak has a base Research Cost of 220.
With at least 1 Spellbook, the Mana Leak 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.
Mana Leak comes in handy when facing several spell-casters simultaneously, as it will quickly drain all of them of Mana and of the ability to use Ranged Magical Attacks. It is often best to cast this spell as early as possible in the battle, to drain those spell-casters as early as possible.
More interesting is the use of this Combat Enchantment to achieve a strategic effect. Get some fast-moving units into battle with an enemy wizard's army, cast Mana Leak, and evade the enemy units for as long as possible. Even if you end up fleeing from the battle (whether automatically or to save your units), you will likely have drained a very significant amount of Mana from the enemy wizard's pool. If done right, you can potentially drain about 250 this way, for what is essentially a very low Casting Cost.
If an enemy wizard casts Mana Leak, your best move (short of dispelling it immediately) would be to use up as much Mana as you can casting actual spells and making Ranged Attacks, and try to win the battle as quickly as possible. The more you linger, the more Mana you lose!!