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Zombie Mastery

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Zombie Mastery
GlobalEnchantment ZombieMastery
Realm Icon Death.pngDeath
Spell Rarity Rare
Spell Type Global Enchantment
Casting Cost Icon Mana.png 800
Upkeep Cost Icon Mana.png 40
Research Cost Icon Research.png 1,500
Effects
At the end of every battle won by Zombie Mastery's caster, any Normal Unit (whether friendly or enemy) that died during the battle is brought back as a unit of Zombies.

Zombie Mastery is a Rare Global Enchantment belonging to the Icon Death.pngDeath Magic realm. It may be cast on the overland map for the base Casting Cost of Icon Mana.png 800. While Zombie Mastery is in effect, it will regularly return dead Normal Units to the game, but transforms them into Zombies. This occurs only when an army belonging to Zombie Mastery's caster wins a battle where one or more Normal Units - friendly or enemy - were completely destroyed.

Zombie Mastery requires an Upkeep Cost of Icon Mana.png 40 per turn to maintain. The Zombies created by this spell will continue to exist even if it is removed.

Effects Edit

Zombie Mastery surrounds all armies with a magical energy field that will automatically reanimate the corpses of dead Normal Units. This occurs when the caster's armies win their battles, and will reanimate any dead Normal Unit, friendly or enemy, as a unit of Zombies. The Zombies are the weakest Icon Death.pngDeath-aligned Fantastic Units, but have no Upkeep Costs.

Reanimation Edit

While Zombie Mastery is in effect, it is triggered whenever one of the caster's armies wins a battle where at least one Normal Unit - friendly or enemy - has been killed.

At the end of any battle won by the caster's forces, the game checks the battlefield to see if any Normal Units on either side have been slain. If so, if will create a number of Zombie units equal to the number of slain Normal Units, or as many as the caster's army can absorb (whichever is less).

For example, at the end of a battle where one enemy Normal Unit and one friendly Normal Unit were destroyed, Zombie Mastery will create 2 new Zombie units and add them to the caster's army. This, again, assumes that the caster's army has won the battle, otherwise Zombie Mastery does not reanimate anything. If the army already has 8 units in it (i.e. one free unit slot), only 1 new Zombies unit is created. If the army has 9 units in it, no Zombies are created as there is no room to contain them.

Only "true" Normal Units are affected by this spell. Heroes and Fantastic Creatures will never be turned into Zombies. Neither will the Undead nor units affected by Chaos Channels - since they are considered to be Fantastic Units.

The reanimation is automatic and free of charge. The Zombies, as explained below, are also free of charge, as they have no Upkeep Costs.

Note that Zombie Mastery takes effect after any units have been raised from the dead due to being killed off primarily by Ghouls, Wraiths, Death Knights or a Demon Lord. Therefore Zombies will only be created from those Normal Units that were not raised due to another effect.

Zombies Edit

Main article: Zombies

Zombie Mastery transforms the fallen Normal Units into Zombies. The original unit's combat properties and abilities are completely removed, along with any Unit Enchantments it previously had. All Zombies are virtually identical when created.

Zombies are the weakest and most basic Fantastic Creatures in the realm of Icon Death.pngDeath. They have mediocre combat properties on par with low/mid-tier Normal Units, possess a Icon ToHit.png +10% To Hit bonus, and all 4 immunities common to all Icon Death.pngDeath units. They have no other abilities.

The new Zombies unit is created with all Icon Figure.png 6 figures present, though it may retain some damage to the leading Zombie in the unit. This results from the original dead unit having fewer than Icon Hits.png 3 Hit Points per Icon Figure.png figure. The formula is as follows:

Health of Leading Zombie = 3 - Original Unit's Health-Per-Figure

For example, if the original unit had Icon Hits.png 1 per figure, the new Zombies unit will have full health minus Icon Damage.png 2 points of Damage. If the original unit had Icon Hits.png 2 per figure, the new Zombies unit will have full health minus Icon Damage.png 1 point of Damage. If the original unit had Icon Hits.png 3 or higher per figure, the new Zombies are created with full health.

Zombies are not Undead creatures, despite the obvious connotations. They are actually Fantastic Creatures from the Icon Death.pngDeath realm. This allows them to ignore special effects that only apply to Undead creatures, such as extra vulnerability to certain spells. Again, this also means that the Zombies retain none of the original unit's properties, Experience level, or anything else. They are simply Zombies, and possess the same properties as any other Zombie unit.

Note: If the original unit had Icon Melee Magic.png Magical, Icon Melee Mithril.png Mithril or Icon Melee Adamantium.png Adamantium weapons, these are retained by the new Zombies unit. This is one of the few methods of acquiring a Fantastic Unit with special weapons.

Usage Edit

Zombie Mastery may be cast only on the overland map, for the rather-high Casting Cost of Icon Mana.png 800.

To keep Zombie Mastery in effect, the casting wizard must pay an Upkeep Cost of exactly Icon Mana.png 40 per turn - regardless of how many Zombies it has created (the Zombies themselves have no Upkeep Costs at all). Failure to pay this cost due to lack of Icon Mana.png Mana will cause the spell to dissipate.

After casting the spell, its name will appear on the "Overland Enchantments" list in the Magic menu. The color in which the name is printed indicates which wizard controls the spell. If the player controls the spell, he or she may cancel it manually by clicking the name of the spell. The primary reason to do this would be in order to remove the spell's Upkeep Cost, thus conserving Icon Mana.png Mana for other spells.

Note that if Zombie Mastery is removed, it does not affect any existing Zombie units, but only ceases to create any new ones.

Acquisition Edit

As a Rare Icon Death.pngDeath spell, Zombie Mastery may become available to any Wizard who possesses at least Icon Death.png2 Spellbooks. However, its availability during the game is not guaranteed unless the Wizard acquires at least Icon Death.png10 Spellbooks.

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 with Icon Death.png2 to Icon Death.png9 Spellbooks have a random chance of being able to Research Zombie Mastery during the game. The chance for this spell to appear for research increases with the number of Icon Death.pngDeath Spellbooks the Wizard possesses or obtains during gameplay. With Icon Death.png10 or Icon Death.png11 Spellbooks, the spell is guaranteed to appear for Research at some point, if it is not already available for casting.

Zombie Mastery has a base Research Cost of Icon Research.png 1,500.

With at least Icon Death.png2 Spellbooks, the Zombie Mastery 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.

Strategy Edit

Zombie Mastery is a very useful spell with two important implications.

For one, this spell means that the loss of Normal Units in combat only means that they are replaced with Zombies, who are often more powerful and/or more survivable than most low-tier Normal Units anyway. If all you can produce are basic Normal Units, then losing them in battle may actually produce superior troops. Naturally, this doesn't apply to high-tier Normal Units lost in battle, as they are often stronger in life than Zombies would be, though if you're going to lose a unit it's always better to get another unit in return.

The second benefit is that your armies will keep growing as they defeat enemy armies. The resulting Zombies can then be used to defend Towns, or simply to augment the strength of existing armies. Remember of course that Zombies are not too impressive in combat terms, so relying on massive armies comprised entirely or primarily of Zombies may not be as effective as it sounds. A single Icon Life.pngLife combat spell can wipe them out entirely, or render them all useless, et cetera.

Remember that in order to create new Zombies, your armies must have room for them. An army containing 9 units will never create new Zombies unless it loses at least one unit during battle. Try to keep at least one slot open in any army to ensure that Zombies will be created when that army wins its battles.

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