Summoning Spell is a Spell Type and a category of of spells in Master of Magic. The purpose of all Summoning Spells is to create a new unit for its caster's army.
The clear majority of Summoning Spells create Fantastic Units, drawn from their home Realms and bound to the service of the caster. A few Summoning Spells behave slightly differently, as explained below.
Most Summoning Spells must be cast on the overland map. The new unit is created at the current location of the caster's Summoning Circle, wherever it is at the time. Units brought into the game through an overland Summoning Spell will remain in play until destroyed, in one way or another, or until the end of the game if they survive that long. These units also have an Upkeep Cost, which must be paid in Mana at the start of each turn. Failure to pay the required amount causes the unit to be destroyed instantly.
A few Summoning Spells can only be cast during combat. These summon creatures that will only exist for the duration of the battle - at which point they are automatically destroyed. They can suddenly bolster the strength of an army by a considerable amount. Since these creatures only last until the end of the battle, they do not have an Upkeep Cost to be paid for their continued service.
Note that the Summoning Spell is only responsible for creating the new unit - whereupon the spell itself dissipates. The new unit may not be destroyed by dispelling, though there are some spells that attack the bonds between a creature and its master.
There is a total of 45 different Summoning Spells in Master of Magic, belonging to different Realms. This is the largest category of spells. The 45-spell total includes both overland and combat Summoning Spells, as well as spells that are only partially classified as Summoning Spells. 11 of these are Nature spells, and its creatures are all quite powerful. This is closely followed by the 10 Chaos Summoning Spells. The Life Realm only has 5 Summoning Spells, as the faction most likely to rely primarily on Normal Units and Heroes instead of Fantastic Creatures.
Usage and Effects Edit
Summoning Spells are generally split into three main groups, based on what they do and how they are used. The majority of belong to the Overland Summoning Spells group, a few are Combat Summoning Spells, and two are Hero Summoning Spells.
Overland Summoning Spells Edit
The majority of Summoning Spells can only be cast on the overland map. They are intended to create permanent units to serve over a prolonged period of time, if possible.
Overland Summoning Spells run the gamut of Casting Costs corresponding to the overall strength of the summoned unit. Some of these spells are very cheap, while some are among the most expensive spells in the game.
When an Overland Summoning Spell is cast, it will immediately create a new unit. The unit is placed in the same town currently containing the caster's Summoning Circle.
The resulting unit is permanent - it will remain under the wizard's control as long as it is not destroyed. All units summoned by an Overland Summoning Spell are Fantastic Units, obeying special rules that apply only to such units.
The Summoning Spell itself dissipates immediately after creating the new unit, and therefore has no lingering presence or Upkeep Costs. However, the new unit does have an Upkeep Cost specific to its type, which must be paid in Mana at the start of each turn. If the unit's owner fails to pay this Mana as required, the unit is completely destroyed, along with any Unit Enchantments affecting it at the time.
It is always possible to Dismiss a Fantastic Unit under your control. Do this by right-clicking the unit's icon and selecting the "Dismiss" option. The main reason to do this would be to get rid of the Upkeep Cost this unit is demanding, though it is often better to send the unit into combat, if at all possible, and try to cause as much damage as possible before it is killed off.
Combat Summoning Spells Edit
Several Realms possess Summoning Spells that can only be cast during combat. These spells include the Fire Elemental, Phantom Beast, and other powerful spells. They are intended to create a unit that will only exist until the end of the battle.
Combat Summoning Spells are less expensive than their Overland counterparts - though they can be viewed as quite expensive given that the unit only exists for a single battle.
These spells require the caster to choose a tile on the battlefield in which the new unit will appear. The targeted tile must be empty of all obstructions or other units. It must also be on the caster's half of the battlefield.
The resulting unit can move and/or attack immediately after being summoned. Unless destroyed, it will last until the end of battle with no extra costs involved. As soon as the battle is over, the unit is automatically destroyed - there is no way to keep it outside of battle. This also means that units summoned during combat do not have any Upkeep Costs of any kind.
Again, the Summoning Spell itself dissipates immediately after creating the new unit. Since it has no presence after being cast, spells like Dispel Magic and Disenchant Area cannot dispel it or inflict any direct harm on the summoned unit.
Hero Summoning Spells Edit
Both spells can only be cast on the overland map. Instead of automatically creating a new unit, they will actually select a Hero at random from a specially-constructed list of available Heroes, and then compel that Hero to ask the caster for employment. The caster may review this Hero's properties and only then decide whether to hire that Hero. There are no costs involved in hiring new Heroes in this manner, other than the hefty Casting Cost of the spell itself.
Heroes have their own Upkeep Costs, which can vary from nothing (free) to a large sum of Gold which must be paid each turn. Failure to pay these costs will automatically release the Hero from the wizard's service, though a subsequent casting of the Hero Summoning Spell might bring that Hero back to ask for more work.
It is always possible to Dismiss a Hero under your control. Do this by right-clicking the Hero's icon and selecting the "Dismiss" option. The main reason to do this would be to get rid of the Upkeep Cost this Hero is demanding. It is not a good idea to get a Hero killed off instead, as a dead Hero cannot easily be replaced.
Again, the Summoning Spell itself dissipates immediately after it triggers the employment request from the Hero. There is no way to "dispel" a Hero after he/she has been summoned - it's only possible to kill them directly.
Unconventional Summoning Spells Edit
There are several spells that are partially categorized as Summoning Spells, but do not behave in the same way as explained above.
The Lycanthropy spell is the primary example for this. It essentially sacrifices an existing Normal Unit, completely replacing it with a unit of Werewolves. Since the spell requires a target, and does not put the unit at the caster's Summoning Circle, it is partially considered an Instant Spell. Still, the creation of a Fantastic Unit means that this is a Summoning Spell anyway.
Zombie Mastery is another interesting unconventional Summoning Spell. It will automatically create a new unit of Zombies out of any Normal Units that die during battle between the caster's forces and any enemy army. Again, the Zombies are not created at the wizard's Summoning Circle, and Zombie Mastery itself is quite clearly a Global Enchantment - which is why it is not listed below.
Raise Dead and Animate Dead are two Combat Instants that nonetheless create a new unit - from a unit that died during the battle. Raise Dead will return a friendly unit to life (with half of its original health), while Animate Dead returns any dead unit to life under the caster's control (and changes it into an Undead unit). Since both spells only return an existing (or rather, a recently-destroyed) unit rather than actually create a new unit, neither is considered a true "Summoning Spell".
Similarly, Resurrection will return a dead Hero to life. This can be done only on the overland map, and only if one or more Heroes have died while under the wizard's employ. This spell has many similarities to other Summoning Spells, including the fact that the restored Hero appears at the Summoning Circle. Nonetheless, since it requires a target and does not actually make a new unit (only restores a dead one to life), it is much more of an Instant Spell than a Summoning Spell.
Finally, the Demon spell is the least orthodox of the bunch. It is a Combat Summoning Spell, but it is not available for casting. Instead, it is cast by Demon Lords, who can summon up to 3 separate Demon units each battle. Wizards may not summon Demons without the aid of a Demon Lord, which is why this spell is not listed below.
List of Summoning Spells Edit
The following list details all 45 Summoning Spells available in the game.
For a comparison of the statistics of the summoned creatures, please visit the Fantastic Unit article.
|Magic Spirit||Arcane||--||30||--||1||20||Summons a Magic Spirit - a unit that can Meld with Nodes to take control of them. Not very suitable for combat.|
|Summon Champion||Arcane||--||750||--||--||1250||One randomly-chosen Champion will immediately arrive to offer his services to the caster.|
|Summon Hero||Arcane||--||300||--||--||500||One randomly-chosen non-Champion Hero will immediately arrive to offer his services to the caster.|
|Angel||Life||Rare||550||--||15||1400||Summons an Angel - a strong support and Melee Attack unit which increases the combat properties of all friendly units during battle.|
|Arch Angel||Life||Very Rare||950||--||20||5000||Summons an Arch Angel - a very strong support unit with spell-casting ability and a powerful bonus applied to all friendly units.|
|Guardian Spirit||Life||Common||80||--||1||220||Summons a Guardian Spirit - a respectable Melee Attacker with the ability to Meld with Nodes and protect them from being captured.|
|Incarnation||Life||Rare||500||--||--||960||Summons Torin the Chosen - one of the most powerful Champions in the game.|
|Unicorns||Life||Uncommon||250||--||5||560||Summons 4 Unicorns - a fast unit capable of Teleporting, and providing good Resistance bonuses to all friendly units in its army.|
|Basilisk||Nature||Uncommon||325||--||7||800||Summons a Basilisk, a powerful Melee unit with a deadly Stoning Gaze attack.|
|Behemoth||Nature||Very Rare||700||--||15||2000||Summons a Behemoth, a very powerful Melee unit.|
|Cockatrices||Nature||Uncommon||275||--||8||620||Summons 4 Cockatrices, with a deadly Stoning Touch attack.|
|Colossus||Nature||Very Rare||800||--||17||3500||Summons a Colossus, a very powerful Melee unit with a good Ranged Attack.|
|Earth Elemental||Nature||Rare||--||60||--||1700||Summons an Earth Elemental for the duration of combat, a tough Melee unit.|
|Giant Spiders||Nature||Uncommon||200||--||4||450||Summons 2 Giant Spiders, who can trap enemy units and force Flying units to the ground.|
|Gorgons||Nature||Rare||600||--||15||1400||Summons 4 Gorgons, a strong Melee unit with a deadly Stoning Gaze.|
|Great Wyrm||Nature||Very Rare||1000||--||20||5000||Summons a Great Wyrm, an extremely powerful Melee unit with a deadly Poison Touch attack.|
|Sprites||Nature||Common||100||--||3||220||Summons 4 Sprites, a Flying scout unit with a weak Magical Ranged Attack.|
|Stone Giant||Nature||Rare||450||--||9||1040||Summons a Stone Giant, a versatile and tough unit with plenty of special abilities.|
|War Bears||Nature||Common||70||--||2||130||Summons 2 War Bears, a mediocre Melee Attack unit.|
|Air Elemental||Sorcery||Rare||--||50||--||1300||Summons an Air Elemental for the duration of the battle - an invisible, fast, hard-hitting Melee Attacker.|
|Djinn||Sorcery||Very Rare||650||--||17||1850||Summons a Djinn - a fast Ranged Attacker with spell-casting ability who can aid other units in moving quickly on the overland map.|
|Floating Island||Sorcery||Common||50||--||5||60||Summons a Floating Island - a non-combat unit that bands with army stacks to move them quickly across Oceans.|
|Nagas||Sorcery||Common||100||--||2||220||Summons 2 Nagas - a Swimming unit with a good Poison Touch attack and First Strike.|
|Phantom Beast||Sorcery||Uncommon||--||35||--||800||Summons a Phantom Beast for the duration of combat - a powerful Non-Corporeal Melee Attacker with an Illusion Damage attack.|
|Phantom Warriors||Sorcery||Common||--||10||--||100||Summons 6 Phantom Warriors for the duration of combat - a Non-Corporeal suicide unit with a nasty Illusion Damage attack.|
|Sky Drake||Sorcery||Very Rare||1000||--||25||4500||Summons a Sky Drake - a fast and deadly Melee Attacker with Magic Immunity and a devastating Lightning Breath attack.|
|Storm Giant||Sorcery||Rare||500||--||10||1200||Summons a Storm Giant - a versatile and tough unit with plenty of special abilities.|
|Chaos Spawn||Chaos||Rare||500||--||12||1040||Summons a Chaos Spawn - a Flying unit possessing a slew of deadly Special Attacks.|
|Chimeras||Chaos||Uncommon||350||--||10||800||Summons 4 chimeras - a Flying Melee Attack unit with a strong Fire Breath.|
|Doom Bat||Chaos||Uncommon||300||--||8||620||Summons a Doom Bat - a Flying Melee Attack unit shrouded with a dangerous Immolation effect.|
|Efreet||Chaos||Rare||550||--||15||1300||Summons an Efreet - a versatile support unit with a Ranged Attack, Flying ability, and some Spellcasting ability.|
|Fire Elemental||Chaos||Common||--||20||--||250||Summons a Fire Elemental for the duration of combat - a strong Melee Attacker with several immunities.|
|Fire Giant||Chaos||Uncommon||150||--||3||350||Summons a Fire Giant - a versatile combat unit with several useful abilities.|
|Gargoyles||Chaos||Uncommon||200||--||5||500||Summons 4 Gargoyles - a tough Flying unit that is quite hard to kill.|
|Great Drake||Chaos||Very Rare||900||--||30||4500||Summons a Great Drake - one of the strongest and toughest Melee Attack units in the game, with a devastating Fire Breath attack.|
|Hell Hounds||Chaos||Common||40||--||1||80||Summons 4 Hell Hounds - a surprisingly-strong Melee Attack unit with a good Fire Breath ability.|
|Hydra||Chaos||Very Rare||650||--||14||1850||Summons a Hydra - a Regenerating monster with extremely high Health, considered as a 9-figure unit.|
|Death Knights||Death||Very Rare||600||--||8||2250||Summons 4 Death Knights - a fast, Flying unit with a powerful Melee Attack that can Steal Life.|
|Demon Lord||Death||Very Rare||1000||--||15||6000||Summons a Demon Lord - A powerful unit with plenty of diverse abilities, capable of summoning Demons to its defense.|
|Ghouls||Death||Common||80||--||1||130||Summons 4 Ghouls - a relatively mediocre unit which can nonetheless Create Undead out of its victims.|
|Lycanthropy||Death||Uncommon||180||--||5||400||Target friendly Normal Unit is replaced by a unit of 6 Werewolves, who possess Regeneration and a good Melee Attack.|
|Night Stalker||Death||Uncommon||250||--||1||560||Summons a Night Stalker - an Invisible Melee Attacker with a deadly Death Gaze.|
|Shadow Demons||Death||Uncommon||325||--||7||800||Summons 4 Shadow Demons - a versatile Flying unit with Regeneration and innate Plane Shifting ability.|
|Skeletons||Death||Common||25||--||1||20||Summons 6 Skeletons - a basic Melee Attack unit with many immunities.|
|Wraiths||Death||Rare||500||--||5||1120||Summons 4 Wraiths - a Flying unit with a strong Life Stealing Melee Attack.|