Spells in Master of Magic are split into several categories. This helps distinguish them from one another based on their usage and their effects. The game itself splits spells into roughly 6 different categories. On this Wiki, for ease-of-use, they are split into the 9 Spell Types listed below:

Spells in each category follow a few generalized common rules, especially pertaining to the valid targets of these spells, the situations in which they can be cast, and the nature of their effects.

Note: Many spells in the game have their own quirks or odd rules, making them slightly different than other spells in their category. As a result, some spells fit two categories simultaneously!

Categorization by Usage Edit

The game makes a clear distinction between spells that can be used only during combat, spells that can be used only outside of combat, and spells that can be used in both situations. When the player opens his/her spellbook to cast a spell, only spells that are allowed in the current situation are displayed in the book!

Global Enchantments and Instant Spells are both categories for spells that can only be cast while looking at the overland map. They are generally more expensive, as a strategic effect is often far more influential and advantageous.
The majority of Summoning Spells can only be cast on the overland map. Some however are specifically designed to be cast only during combat. Most Town Enchantments can only be cast on the overland map, but a few can be used in combat as well to achieve the same effect.
Conversely, Combat Enchantments, Combat Instants and Unit Curses may only be cast during combat. They are generally cheaper, though they can be quite expensive within the context of combat spellcasting.
Unit Enchantments are different - most of them have both an overland version (used when casting the spell on the overland map) and a combat version (using during battle). The effects are the same, but spells cast on the overland map last much longer, and are appropriately more expensive.

Categorization by Target Edit

Spells from one category will often require the same type of target. Specific valid targets are defined by each spell's own rules, but the general types of targets the spell accepts often conform to the requirements of its specific category.

Global Enchantments and Combat Enchantments require no target whatsoever. They will automatically seek their own targets, and will sometimes only trigger when a certain event occurs.
Summoning Spells also require no target, at least when used on the overland map. The summoned creature will appear in the current location of the Summoning Circle, wherever it may be at the time. Combat Summoning Spells however do require a target - an empty location on the battlefield in which to spawn the summoned creature.
Town Enchantments and Town Curses may only be targeted at towns. The former is targeted at friendly towns, improving or protecting them in one way or another. The latter may only be cast on enemy towns, in order to damage them or their economic contributions.
Unit Enchantments and Unit Curses may only be targeted at specific units. The former is targeted at friendly units, improving or protecting them in one way or another. The latter is targeted at enemy units, in order to reduce their combat performance or alter their behavior.
Combat Instants vary - they either require a specific target (which they will usually injure or incapacitate), or no target at all (in which case they'll affect each valid target on the battlefield).
Instant Spells are too varied for generalization. Some of them require no target, some must be targeted at a unit or town, friendly or enemy. Others yet are targeted at other wizards, or even the terrain of the world itself!

Categorization by Effect Duration Edit

Spells can be said to fall into two or three major groups, based on how long the effect of the spell lasts.

The term Enchantment and Curse denote spells that have a lingering effect. The spell itself continues to have a presence in the world after being cast, and must remain present to maintain its effects. If the spell is canceled, dispelled or dissipated, its effects will usually disappear with it. Global Enchantments, Combat Enchantments, Town Enchantments, Town Curses, Unit Enchantments and Unit Curses all belong to this category.
Enchantments and Curses used during combat are sometimes split into their own category, since these spells only last until the end of the battle. Their effects will only last until the end of the battle as well, given that they are tied to the spell's existence. Again, since the spell has a lingering presence, it can be dispelled by an opponent - though it is not possible to cancel combat spells in any way.
Instant Spells are spells that do not maintain a presence after they're done being cast. They apply a certain effect - usually a permanent one - and then the spell itself disappears. Since the spell has no further presence, it cannot be dispelled by the enemy. There may be other ways to fix any damage or effect caused by an Instant Spell, but there is no way to dispel these effects.
The same goes for most Summoning Spells. They create a new unit, and then go away. The unit itself will usually stick around until it is killed off or dismissed. Summoning Spells used during combat will create a creature that lasts only until the end of the battle. In either case, however, the enemy must actively kill the creature, since the spell itself is already gone.

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