Welcome to Master of Magic – Wiki Guide + Units info and Strategy Guide.
These suggestions come from an experienced Master of Magic player. This guide includes basic gameplay and a walkthrough.
The original Master of Magic was released 28 years ago. This is just a few days after Master of Magic’s re-release in December 2022. It was a game I enjoyed a lot at the time and still enjoy playing 28 years later. Why? Because of – and this is something many later imitators failed to grasp! – The game’s incredible depth. It was amazing in its time and still is today. Master of Magic has been loved and celebrated for nearly three decades. Many other great games from that time have fallen into disrepute. There are 200+ spells, 5 magic schools, 18 retorts, and dozens of creatures. There are also 14 races with about a dozen units each. There are 50+ abilities. This gives you many options to reach Master of Magic.
One playthrough might rely heavily upon the special abilities of a race and its units and their combination with one or more magic schools to create “killer stacks”, which are empowered normal units. Another may not consider race a major issue and seek to dominate using the summons from the chosen school(or) of magic and the buffs that school/schools provide. Another might be looking to dominate the battlefield with the combat spells available. Your units are not the only thing that gets you to the front lines. Another strategy could be to build a team of powerful heroes and support them with powerful artifacts. Any combination of any of the strategies above could lead to various strategies. This is a game where there is no “optimal” build. There are many paths to ultimate power.
With that introduction out of your way, here are 10 tips for new Master of Magic players.
(Tip 1: Starting Out
- If you are a beginner and want to play your first game without reading too much, pick High Men, Halflings, or Halflings for your race. Next, choose Divine Power + 10 Life books or 10 Nature + Nature Mastery or 22, A27388525A. Then, choose 10 Nature + Nature Mastery, 10 Nature + Nature Mastery, or 10 Nature + Nature Mastery for your last pick. This will depend on whether you wish to use more spells, cast more spells, or use your summons to cast your character.
These are the reasons for these choices. High Men have a complete build tree with the Paladins at the end. Halflings have 3 food per farmer at the beginning of their shorter build tree, and the excellent slingers towards the end. They don’t tend to cause too much unrest among conquered races, halflings, in particular, being the least unrest-prone of all races. Life has many spells that increase units and spells that improve cities. There is even a Hero in Torin The Chosen. Nature has good buffs, a few useful utility spells (hello Earth Lore!), and some very strong summons. Chaos is the king of direct damage magic. It has some interesting unit buffs and some strange but powerful summons.
Units (Tips 2, 3, 4 & 5 –
- Unit abilities matter. You must take the time to examine the capabilities of your units, think about how they can be used, and then look at your enemies, their abilities, and any weaknesses you might exploit. The Paladins mentioned above have First Strike. This is what makes them so dangerous. They can kill units before they retaliate. Normally, the attacker and the defender strike simultaneously. First Strike requires that the Paladins are the attacking unit. It doesn’t apply if they are attacked. It would be best if you thought about managing your Paladins to make them the attacker as often and as often as possible.
Also, Thrown Weapons and Breath Attacks are resolved before First Strike. This means that Paladins who have to attack Draconians or Barbarians with those abilities lose some effectiveness. Although the Paladins will still win, they will be more beaten up than you might expect.)
- The number of figures in a unit is a major factor. Units that are at full health and those that are at 25% health strike with equal force. Master of Magic allows you only to get 25% of the attacks if you have 25% less of your figures left. This rule applies only to multi-figure units. A full-health Sky Drake and its 25% remaining Sky Drake friend hit equally hard. This has two implications. First, if a multi-unit figure is damaged or loses figures, it loses combat effectiveness.
I try to have any unit that falls below half-strength fall back so it can live, gain experience and heal, and fight again another. There are exceptions to this rule, such as when I have to sacrifice a unit to buy time or tie up an enemy unit or if I’m in a “do or die” situation like defending my fortress. Or if it’s a unit I don’t care about and can replace easily, such as a basic swordsman/spearman. It also means that you should use units with abilities such as First Strike, Thrown Weapons, or Breath Weapons more often than you let them be attacked.
Consider the following scenario to illustrate how it all works: You face two enemy units at full strength, one at 25% and one at 25%. A single unit can attack these units for approximately 75% of their health. Which enemy unit should you attack first? Most games will have you hit the weakest unit first. Master of Magic is more likely to hit the full-strength unit. One enemy at full strength will cause more damage than two at 25%.
- Direct damage can be fun, but it is not always the best use for your magic points in battle. The Common Nature spell Web can immobilize extremely hazardous enemy units at a low cost and can make enemy fliers unstoppable by your walking melee units. Confusion, a common Sorcery spell can also take dangerous enemy units out of play or even cause them to fight each other. A well-timed Healing can bring back a dangerous unit that has suffered from attrition and many of its original dangers to its original dangerousness.
- Sacrificial units are a great way to turn the tide of war and make early exploration more profitable. Phantom Warriors are a special gem. They can die to a strong breeze but do much more damage when they hit. Their Illusion damage ignores the armor of enemy enemies. This is combined with 3 – above and you can see why this is so useful. Imagine an enemy swordsman facing one of your spearmen. You would normally lose but if you soften up the swordsmen with an attack of phantom fighters, your full-health swordsmen will likely win against a swordsman missing several figures. They can also lure units to chase them, taking heat away from the rest of the units. Heroes with bonuses to movement often play this role better.
This allows you to map scout with small forces and can be used to augment your scouting party in battle.
World-level Strategy (Tips 6, 7, 8 –
- The game starts slowly every time. This is the time to scout. You only know a few spells and have a small mana budget. It’s worth your time to look around. Magic Spirits can be very useful in this task, as the tutorial demonstrates. Cavalry is not too far up the production tree and can often win 1v1 battles against neutral city defenses. It is inexpensive and makes a good second-tier scout or attacker for lightly defended targets. You can inspect a node without engaging in battle to find out what it is. This allows you to find lairs and nodes you can attack, cities to conquer, and good sites for future cities.
However, don’t forget to defend your cities. I recommend at least two units per town and keeping them up-to-date. It’s hard to lose a city that can produce high-level units just because you only had two spearmen to defend it.
- Think about the things you would like to trade with other wizards. For example, Life’s Star Fires only harms the undead. Summons is fine, provided it isn’t a summons that would completely ruin your day if used against you. You can trade any spells from Arcane school without restriction, as you aren’t giving your opponent anything they wouldn’t have otherwise. The AI seems to LOVE summoning creatures and champions, and as long as they’re doing that, they’re not spending mana on more immediately-destructive things.
- Don’t let your city become a dumping ground for more. Consider the role of each city and plan your construction accordingly. Suppose you have two cities that are halflings, one near coal and the other without those resources. In that case, it is more sensible to make the first city a soldier factory and leave the second city with many soldier-oriented buildings. Let them go back to farming. If building a Shipwright’s Guild doesn’t unlock any useful benefits for you, it’s unnecessary to do so for completeness. If you don’t have any unrest trouble, skip the oracle. Cathedrals can also be skipped if you rely on nodes for your power.
Intro to Advanced Shenanigans (Tip 9)
- Think outside of the box! Combining powers in unexpected ways or with certain units can lead to entertaining and useful results. Here are some ideas to get around the limitations of Undead unit. Undead summons that are either Undead or made Undead by being hit with Black Channels or killed by Ghouls, or by Life Drain, don’t heal. Ever. This can severely limit their utility, which is a shame since they can be quite strong and have many natural immunities. There is a way around it!
Regeneration can heal even Undead. This ability can be accessed by either a Troll or a Hero base unit.
The spoiler below offers a more extreme approach. It doesn’t matter if you want this information, it’s widely available and widely known to be extremely powerful.
Flying Invisible Warships Warships can attack from a long distance and have unlimited ammunition. They are ships and can only be used to travel the seas unless they are granted the Flight spell from Sorcery. They can now roam the land and blow things up! Stack Invisibility is an additional feature that makes it impossible for enemy units to target them with spells or ranged attacks. These units can subdue most neutral lairs or nodes in the game. Some units may not be able to see through your invisible. If they are familiar with Dispel Magic, your rival wizards may have opinions about this tactic.
Links and Outro
- As I mentioned in the introduction, Master of Magic has been loved, played with, and discussed for nearly 30 years. many resources can be used to get ideas, perspectives, or strategies. It is worth noting that MuHa Games and Slitherine worked so hard to re-implement Master of Magic. Here’s a wiki that covers everything.
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