|As of Master of Magic v1.31, Spell Ward is known to be malfunctioning in at least one way. Please read the Known Bugs section below.|
|Spell Rarity||Very Rare|
|Spell Type||Town Enchantment|
Spell Ward is a Very Rare Town Enchantment belonging to the Sorcery Magic realm. It may only be cast on a friendly Town on the overland map. For the base Casting Cost of 350, the spell prevents Fantastic Creatures belonging to one specific Magical Realm from entering the town. This affects both the wizard's own Fantastic Creatures as well as the enemy's. Up to 5 Spell Wards may be cast on a single town and affect it simultaneously - each protecting from a different Magical Realm.
The effect lasts as long as you keep paying its Upkeep Cost of 5 per turn, or as long as it is not dispelled or canceled manually.
Note: This spell was also supposed to protect the town from malevolent Town Curses and other spell effects belonging to the selected Magical Realm, as well as preventing any combat spells from that realm being cast during a siege of the town. This would've made it extremely potent, not to mention worth its high Casting Cost and Upkeep Cost. However, due to a Known Bug, this protection does not work at all.
Realm-Specific Barrier Edit
When a Town is enchanted with a Spell Ward against one or more Magical Realms, Fantastic Creatures belonging to those realms may not enter the town - whether peacefully (friendly units) or for combat (rival/neutral units).
Fantastic Creatures belonging to said realm(s) simply cannot enter the town's tile. For the player, any attempt to do so results in a pop-up window informing the player that the movement into the town's tile is illegal.
Army stacks containing one or more of the barred creatures may not enter the town either. They must be split up so that the units ordered to enter the town do not include any of the barred Fantastic Creatures.
Usage EditSpell Ward may only be cast on the overland map, for a basic Casting Cost of 350. It may be targeted at any friendly Town.
At casting time, the game pops up a menu allowing the player to select which specific type of Spell Ward he/she wishes to cast on that town. Each Spell Ward will defend the town against one Magical Realm. It is possible to cast a different Spell Ward on the same town, for a maximum of up to 5 different wards (each against a different Magical Realm). It is not possible to cast the same type of Spell Ward on a city that already has it. In fact, the pop-up menu will not list any type of ward that is already affecting the town.
When the spell is cast, the game automatically opens a town-information window showing the contents of the target town. A few moments later, the image of a yellow circle with a line running through it will appear at the bottom of the window, indicating that a Spell Ward is in effect. The interior color of the circle indicates the Color of the Magical Realm against which this ward protects the town. The Spell Ward icon will remain in the town's information screen as long as the spell remains in effect.
At the start of each turn, the casting wizard must pay an Upkeep Cost of 5 to keep Spell Ward active. Failure to pay this cost due to lack of available Mana will cause the spell to dissipate immediately.
If you've placed a Spell Ward on a town, you may remove it by examining the town's details and clicking the text reading "Life Ward", "Death Ward" (or whatever other ward type) in the town's Enchantments list. The primary reason to do this would be in order to remove the spell's Upkeep Cost, thus conserving Mana for other spells.
As a Very Rare Sorcery spell, Spell Ward may become available to any Wizard who possesses at least 3 Spellbooks. However, its availability during the game is not guaranteed unless the Wizard acquires at least 10 Spellbooks.
Spell Ward may not be acquired at the start of the campaign regardless of how many Spellbooks the wizard possesses. It must either be Researched during the game, or acquired through other means.
Wizards with 3 to 9 Spellbooks have a random chance of being able to Research Spell Ward during the game. The chance for this spell to appear for research increases with the number of Sorcery Spellbooks the Wizard possesses or obtains during gameplay. With 10 or 11 Spellbooks, the spell is guaranteed to appear for Research at some point, if it is not already available for casting.
Spell Ward has a base Research Cost of 2,000.
With at least 3 Spellbooks, Spell Ward 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.
Due to the buggy nature of this spell (see below), Spell Ward's use is very limited, and it is often recommended to avoid casting this spell altogether. Nonetheless, it can still be useful in thwarting an enemy wizard's advances if that wizard relies on a large number of Fantastic Creatures from one specific realm.
For example, if a large army containing several Hell Hounds is approaching a town, cast a Spell Ward against the Chaos Realm on that town. The army cannot enter the town as a whole anymore, causing the enemy wizard to either split that army up (attacking the town with any other non-Chaos units in that army, if any) or give up altogether.
Note of course that Spell Ward also prevents your own Fantastic Creatures from entering the town if they belong to the warded realm. Nonetheless, you may still move the Summoning Circle into the town and summon the appropriate creatures into it. However if such a creature leaves the town, it will not be able to re-enter while the Spell Ward is in effect.
Known Bugs Edit
Due to a bug, Spell Ward does not fulfill nearly as many of the effects described in its in-game tooltip and the game manual.
The tooltip describes it as follows:
- "Provides total immunity for the city from one specific realm of spells (including combat spells) and prohibits any fantastic creatures of that realm from entering the protected city."
Therefore, aside from barring Fantastic Creatures from entering the protected Town, Spell Ward was supposed to also protect Town Curses from being able to target this town, and prevent Global Enchantments from causing any damage to the town. Furthermore, any combat in the town's tile should've prevented either (or both) opponents from casting any spells from the warded realm.
Unfortunately, as of patch v1.31, none of these effects are actually applied - other than stopping Fantastic Creatures.
Nonetheless, enemy wizards will still diligently attempt to dispel any Spell Ward from the caster's towns, even if they do not mean to invade or cast any spells on that town anytime soon.