|As of Master of Magic v1.31, Spell Lock is known to be malfunctioning in at least one way. Please read the Known Bugs section below.|
|Spell Type||Unit Enchantment|
|Combat Casting Cost||20|
Spell Lock is an Uncommon Unit Enchantment belonging to the Sorcery Magic realm. For 100 it may be cast on any unit on the overland map to grant it two possible benefits. For any unit, it will protect all of its other Unit Enchantments from being dispelled by the enemy. For Fantastic Units, it further makes them immune to "banishing" attempts. Once Spell Lock is affecting the unit, it must then be maintained with a 1 per turn Upkeep Cost.
Alternatively, a cheaper version of the same spell may be cast for 20 during combat, in which case it should temporarily bestow the same bonus on a unit for the duration of the battle (with no permanent effects or upkeep costs). The spell's dispelling difficulty is still calculated as though it had a Casting Cost of 150! Unfortunately this means little due to a bug that prevents Spell Lock from functioning at all in this scenario (see #Known Bugs below).
Spell Lock protects any other Unit Enchantments cast on the target unit from being dispelled by the enemy. It also protects Fantastic Units from several spells that would attempt to "banish" them.
Spell Protection Edit
When cast on a unit, Spell Lock's main purpose is to protect the unit's other Unit Enchantments from being dispelled by the enemy.
As long as Spell Lock is in effect on a unit, any dispelling effect cast on that unit must target Spell Lock itself. If Spell Lock is successfully dispelled, only subsequent dispelling attempts may target the other Unit Enchantments.
In other words, to dispel any enchantments from the Spell Locked unit, at least two dispel attempts are required: one to remove Spell Lock, and then a second one to target the remaining enchantments. This assumes, of course, that the first dispel attempt actually manages to remove Spell Lock - which is difficult in its own right!
When any dispel attempt tries to remove Spell Lock from a unit, Spell Lock is considered as having a Casting Cost of 150. This value is placed into the dispel potency formula as follows:
Potency = DCC / (DCC+150) * 100%
Where DCC is the Casting Cost of the dispelling effect being targeted at the unit.
If the dispel failed to remove Spell Lock from a unit, the next dispel targeted at the same unit will still have to attempt to remove only Spell Lock.
- Spell Lock as well as two other Unit Enchantments are cast on a friendly unit.
- An enemy wizard wants to remove all of these enchantments, so they will now cast Dispel Magic at this unit, with the full Casting Cost of 50.
- Thanks to Spell Lock's effect, Dispel Magic must target the Spell Lock itself first. Regardless of how much Mana was spent on casting Spell Lock, the program uses the value of 150 as its Casting Cost in the Dispel Potency formula, as follows:
Potency = 50 / (50+150) * 100% = 50 / 200 * 100% = 0.25 * 100% = 25%
- A random number between 1 and 100 is then rolled for Spell Lock. If it rolls 25 or less, it is dispelled. Otherwise, it is untouched.
- If the enemy failed to dispel Spell Lock, they will have to repeatedly attempt to dispel it until successful - otherwise they cannot dispel any other enchantments on this unit.
- Once Spell Lock is removed, the enemy then needs to cast yet another Dispel Magic at the unit, in an attempt to remove its remaining Unit Enchantments. Thus, Spell Lock has potentially cost the enemy many dispelling attempts (and thus plenty of Mana) - and that's assuming the enemy managed to remove Spell Lock at all!
Banish protection Edit
There are several spells that can sever the bond between a fantastic creature and their summoner. A Spell Lock affecting such a creature will prevent these spells from working on it at all. In essence, it grants total immunity against the following spells: Banish, Great Unsummoning, Dispel Evil, and Holy Word.
Spell Lock may be cast during combat for a base Casting Cost of 20. However, due to a bug (see below) it is generally not worth using it this way.
Alternatively, Spell Lock may be cast on the overland map for a lasting effect. In this case it costs 100 to cast, and requires an Upkeep Cost of 1 per turn to maintain. Failure to pay this Upkeep Cost due to lack of Mana will cause the spell to dissipate. However, as long as the spell is paid for (and not dispelled by any rival Wizard), the unit continues to enjoy its protection.
Like all other Unit Enchantments, Spell Lock must targeted at a friendly unit, whether in or out of combat. If the desired target is in an overland army stack, click on that stack to get a list of units inside it, and then select your desired unit.
If you've placed Spell Lock on a unit, you may remove it by examining the unit's details and clicking the Enchantment's icon. The primary reason to do this would be in order to remove the spell's Upkeep Cost, thus conserving Mana for other spells.
Customized Wizards possessing 11 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 8 Spellbooks, or Wizards with 11 Spellbooks who did not select Spell Lock as a guaranteed spell, will be able to Research this spell at some point during their campaign. Wizards with fewer than 8 Spellbooks have a random chance of being able to Research it. The chance for this spell to appear increases with the number of Sorcery Spellbooks the Wizard possesses or obtains during gameplay.
Spell Lock has a base Research Cost of 450.
With at least 1 Spellbook, the Spell Lock 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.
Naturally, since Spell Lock is intended to protect other Unit Enchantments, there is little point to just casting Spell Lock alone on a non-fantastic unit.
Besides providing situational protection for Fantastic Units, there are three common applications to Spell Lock:
- Protecting a powerful Unit Enchantment that is too expensive to be easily replaced in an emergency.
- Protecting a set of Unit Enchantments which would be complicated or painstaking to replace if they get dispelled.
- Protecting a unit that gets Flying ability from an enchantment. If the enchantment is dispelled while the unit is over an Ocean, it may fall and drown, so Spell Lock ensures that a single whimsical Disenchant Area by a rival wizard can't kill the unit in such a situation.
In other words, casting Spell Lock to preserve a single Giant Strength spell on the target unit is simply a waste of Mana.
Known Bugs Edit
Spell Lock is known to be malfunctioning in at least two ways.
First, when cast in combat, its only effect seems to be granting protection against a single spell: Holy Word. Neither of the other two immunities applicable in combat will work. Furthermore, a Spell Lock cast in combat will fail to protect other Unit Enchantments in any way whatsoever. This makes it simply not viable to re-cast in combat if dispelled.
Second, when in effect (i.e. cast on the overland map), dispelling it will generate no notification (as one would normally see when other spells are dispelled). This means that Spell Locked units need to be individually checked after every dispel attempt to determine whether the effect is still active or not. The unit panel will still list the enchantment effect if the dispel attempt has failed.