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Night Stalker

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Night Stalker
Summon NightStalker
Realm Icon Death.pngDeath
Spell Properties
Spell Rarity Uncommon
Casting Cost Icon Mana.png 250
Upkeep Cost Icon Mana.png 1 per turn
Research Cost Icon Research.png 560
Unit Properties
# of figures Icon SingleFigureUnit.png 1
Moves Icon Movement Ground2
Melee Attack per figure Icon Melee Normal.png 7
Defense per figure Icon Defense.png 3
Resistance Icon Resist.png 8
Hit Points per figure Icon Hits.png 10
Unit Abilities

Ability ToHit +10% To Hit

Ability Invisibility Invisibility

Ability PoisonImmunity Poison Immunity

Ability IllusionsImmunity Illusions Immunity

Ability ColdImmunity Cold Immunity

Ability DeathImmunity Death Immunity

Ability DeathGaze Death Gaze -2
Tactical NightStalker
The Night Stalker is a type of Fantastic Unit featured in Master of Magic. Night Stalkers belong to the Icon Death.pngDeath Realm, and may be summoned using a Summoning Spell of the same name. The Night Stalker's combat properties are surprisingly low for its cost, but it makes up for this with two key traits: inherent Invisibility, and a dangerous Death Gaze. Night Stalkers are used for quickly taking out unsuspecting enemy Ranged Attack units and other weak opponents hiding behind their lines.

The Fantastic Unit Edit

Physical Description Edit

Two different versions of the Night Stalker can be seen in the game. One version shows the Night Stalker as a tall, thin humanoid, wrapped in darkness, and wearing a black cloak. In the other we see this as a shambling form made of shadows with glowing red eyes, though still roughly humanoid (bipedal) and roughly man-sized.

Little is known about the Night Stalker's true shape, as it is actually invisible - making it difficult to ascertain anything about this creature. However it is safe to say that this is a stealthy and deadly hunter.

The Night Stalker is a Icon SingleFigureUnit.png Single-Figure Unit.

Attack Properties Edit

As far as its Melee Attack goes, the Night Stalker is fairly weak. With Icon Melee Normal.png 7, it can reliably get through most targets' Defenses, inflicting at least some damage. Thanks to a Icon ToHit.png +10% To Hit bonus, the Night Stalker will deliver about Icon Damage.png 2.8 points of Damage with each attack, on average.

More importantly, the Night Stalker likes to make surprise attacks that will wipe out most of its opposition, through the use of its Death Gaze Special Attack. This is used both when the Night Stalker is initiating a Melee Attack and when Counter Attacking.

When the enemy unit is struck by the Death Gaze, each Icon Figure.png figure in that unit must make a Resistance roll at a penalty of Icon Resist.png -2. Any figure that fails this roll is instantly destroyed! Units with Icon Resist.png 2 or less will obviously be completely wiped out by the Night Stalker upon being attacked. Only units with Icon Resist.png 12 or higher are immune to this effect.

The Death Gaze occurs right before Melee Damage is inflicted. As a result, any enemy figure killed by this effect will not get to deliver any Melee Damage whatsoever!

Defensive Properties Edit

For an expensive Fantastic Creature, the Night Stalker is surprisingly fragile. It has a Defense score of Icon Defense.png 3, allowing it to block about Icon Damage.png 0.9 points of Damage on average from any attack - though again it will usually aim to kill most or all of its opponents before they get to inflict any damage.

Even if damage gets through, the Night Stalker has Icon Hits.png 10 Hit Points, so it can take some hits before being destroyed. Unfortunately this is quite a low amount, especially for a Icon SingleFigureUnit.png Single-Figure unit, which is why the Night Stalker should not attack unless it has a clear advantage.

With a Resistance score of Icon Resist.png 8, the Night Stalker is quite resistant to Curses and other ill effects, including several types of Special Attacks. This joins up with the unit's many immunities - namely Poison Immunity, Cold Immunity, Death Immunity and Illusions Immunity - which are common to all Icon Death.pngDeath creatures.

Other Properties Edit

The Night Stalker moves at a rate of Icon Movement Ground2, both on the overland map and during battle. It is a good scout (especially thanks to its Invisibility, as discussed below), and its movement during battle allows it to easily flank the enemy lines and get to the weaker units in the rear. It utilizes speed to stay away from stronger enemy units as well.

Invisibility is the Night Stalker's greatest asset. It can move stealthily on the battlefield, evading stronger units and attacking only when it has the advantage. The enemy cannot make Ranged Attacks against it (which is good, considering the Night Stalker's poor Defense). As long as it keeps its distance from enemy units, the Night Stalker is effectively invisible to the enemy.

Remember that enemy units possessing Illusions Immunity and/or the True Sight spell can detect the Night Stalker wherever it is on the map, making it an easy target. Try to avoid engaging such units if possible.

As with most other Icon Death.pngDeath creatures, Night Stalkers do not heal naturally every overland turn. They also cannot be healed using Icon Life.pngLife magic spells. Usually the only way to heal Night Stalkers is through the Regeneration spell.

Basic Tactics Edit

Night Stalkers may deliver a deadly attack, but they are also very poor defensively. They must rely on stealth rather than brute force.

Try to get your Night Stalkers behind the enemy line if possible, to attack the enemy's Ranged Attack units or other soft targets. Only attack if you have a clear advantage - do not get surrounded! Engage weak units one-by-one, making sure to withdraw quickly if other enemy units move in to respond. Always remember that your Night Stalker becomes visible when it is adjacent to an enemy unit, so kill the unit you are fighting as quickly as possible, or withdraw to disappear again.

Select targets with as low a Resistance score as possible. It's likely for the Night Stalker to take out an entire unit if most of its figures fail their Resistance rolls against the Death Gaze. This minimizes the damage to the fragile Night Stalker, especially if it can disappear immediately after attacking.

Do not engage enemy armies containing Illusions Immunity or True Sight-enchanted units with an army containing Night Stalkers. If confrontation cannot be avoided, try to eliminate such units first to regain the advantage.

Enemy Night Stalkers Edit

Night Stalkers are relatively common as neutral enemy units, though less common than most other Icon Death.pngDeath creatures. They are often found in Encounters such as Ancient Temples, Fallen Temples, Ruins and occasionally Towers of Wizardry. They will often provide support for a large horde of Ghouls or other creatures, and are rarely on their own.

The best way to contend with a Night Stalker is to bring in an Illusions-immune unit (whether innate or bestowed by True Sight). High-Resistance units will also fare well against a Night Stalker, though they may still suffer serious damage. Strong Melee Attackers will usually take the Stalker down fairly easily.

If you do not know where the Night Stalker is, it's usually a good idea to bunch up your units together, so that when it does appear several units can gang up on it. Of course, you will usually not know that the enemy army contains a Night Stalker until it is already upon you.

Ability Overview Edit

Ability ToHit +10% To Hit Edit

  • This unit has an extra Icon ToHit.png 10% chance to hit its target with every attack. This improves its statistical chance to inflict more Icon Damage.png Damage with each attack it makes.

Ability Invisibility Invisibility Edit

  • During combat, this unit is only visible to the enemy when it moves adjacently to an enemy unit, or when any unit in the enemy army possesses the Illusions Immunity ability, or is affected by the True Sight spell.
  • While undetected, this unit may not be attacked by any enemy, or targeted by any spells.
  • The unit inflicts a Icon ToHit.png -10% penalty on any enemy that attacks it with a Melee Attack or Ranged Attack.

Ability PoisonImmunity Poison Immunity Edit

  • This unit cannot be hurt by Poison Damage. It will automatically pass any Icon Resist.png Resistance roll to avert such damage.

Ability IllusionsImmunity Illusions Immunity Edit

  • Illusion Damage inflicted on this unit does not bypass its armor. The unit gets to make its Icon Defense.png Defense rolls as normal.
  • During combat, this unit will spot all enemy Invisible creatures regardless of how close they are. Those creatures become semi-visible on the screen, and may be targeted freely like any other unit.
  • This unit is completely immune to many Curses from the Icon Sorcery.pngSorcery realm. It either may not be targeted by such curses at all, or is simply not affected by them.

Ability ColdImmunity Cold Immunity Edit

  • This unit cannot be affected by any spell or ability that delivers Cold Damage. It will simply not receive any Icon Damage.png Damage from such sources.

Ability DeathImmunity Death Immunity Edit

  • This unit cannot be affected by any spell or ability that causes death or fear, including most of the combat spells from the Icon Death.pngDeath Realm.

Ability DeathGaze Death Gaze -2 Edit

  • Whenever this unit makes a Icon Melee Normal.png Melee Attack against an enemy target, it first makes a Gaze Attack delivering Death Damage.
  • Each Icon Figure.png figure in the target unit must Resist at a penalty of Icon Resist.png -2 or be destroyed immediately.
  • This is a Gaze Attack, which means it takes place before melee damage is dealt by either unit. However, it occurs after Breath Attacks and Thrown Attacks (if any).
  • Gaze Attacks allow non-flying units to make Melee attacks against Flying units.
  • Death Gaze also occurs when the unit Counter Attacks against an enemy assailant.
  • This effect does nothing against targets possessing the Death Immunity ability.

The Summoning Spell Edit

Usage Edit

Night Stalker may only be cast on the overland map, for the base Casting Cost of Icon Mana.png 250. Upon casting, the new Night Stalker unit will appear in the town currently containing the caster's Summoning Circle.

The new unit is created with full Movement Points, and may move and/or attack immediately as necessary.

To keep the Night Stalker in play, it is necessary to pay an Upkeep Cost of Icon Mana.png 1 per turn. This is drawn automatically from the caster's Mana pool each turn. Failure to pay the required costs due to lack of Icon Mana.png Mana in the pool will lead to the Night Stalker 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 Night Stalker 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 Night Stalker spell again to get a fresh new one. The primary reason to dismiss a Fantastic Creature would be to remove its Upkeep Cost (conserving Icon Mana.png Mana as a result).

Acquisition Edit

As an Uncommon Icon Death.pngDeath spell, Night Stalker may become available to any Wizard who possesses at least one Icon Death.pngDeath Spellbook. However, its availability during the game is almost never guaranteed.

Customized Wizards possessing Icon Death.png11 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 who possess at least Icon Death.png8 Spellbooks, or Wizards with Icon Death.png11 Spellbooks who did not select Night Stalker as a guaranteed spell, will be able to Research this spell at some point during their campaign. Wizards with fewer than Icon Death.png8 Spellbooks have a random chance of being able to Research it. The chance for this spell to appear increases with the number of Icon Death.pngDeath Spellbooks the Wizard possesses or obtains during gameplay.

Night Stalker has a base Research Cost of Icon Research.png 560.

With at least Icon Death.png1 Spellbook, the Night Stalker 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.

Known Bugs Edit

It may happen that the Night Stalker loses the ability to use its Death Gaze, if the opposing wizard uses the spells Black Prayer, True Light or Heavenly Light.

More explicitly, the Night Stalker has a hidden variable set to Icon Ranged Bow.png 1 which corresponds to the Ranged Attack strength of ranged units. This variable has no influence on the strength of the Gaze Attack, but if it is reduced to Icon Ranged Bow.png 0, then the Night Stalker's Death Gaze won't be executed.

Note, that the hidden variable will be increased by Icon Ranged Bow.png +1 by Darkness, Cloud of Shadow or Eternal Night. Thus Black Prayer alone won't stop the Gaze Attack in this case.

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