Master of Magic – Tips for New Players

Tips / Recommendations for Newcomers

This is a set of recommendations mainly for players that may be coming to this game without having ever played the original, but can apply for anyone possibly.

My first piece of advice is: Learn to love summing. I think summoning is the aspect of the game most overlooked by new players, because those spells look really expensive and like they are going to take too long to cast, and you don’t wan to spend all that mana, etc.

But summoning is by far the best way to get started in the early game.

So my advice would be to start by playing through at least into the late game with every school of magic by taking 10 books of a single school and the Conjuration retort (or ability or whatever its called now). The exception here will be Life, don’t do that with Life. I would play through all of these using High Elves for starters as they give you more mana and are just generally well rounded.

For your single Uncommon spell pick the most powerful summon for each school. Put all of your Power to Mana on turn one to build up mana as fast as you can, and then summon some units. Your first priority should be to acquire Nodes (but be opportunistic and take what you can). You need nodes to power your conjuration.

With Nature you want a Basilisk for sure, and if you can add in a Sprite then do that, but keep the Sprites out of combat with other ranged units. But the visibility and Forestry are helpful and they can help against Phantom units. If you see a lot of Sorcery nodes then make more Sprites. Basilisks are good all game long, especially when taking capitals since they stand up well to the towers and as you get more powerful can can summon stacks of them quickly. Gorgons are very good, but not as good against the towers unless they are well buffed.

With Chaos you can either go with Chimera, which are quite strong, or Doom Bats, which are weaker but also cheaper and can still get the job done. Actually Hell Hounds can be good. You will probably want something like a full stack of Hell Hounds or a Doom Bat mixed with Hell Hounds or Chimera plus a couple of Hell Hounds. Get some Chaos nodes and you’ll be good. Take towns with Magic Spirits and Fire Elementals when you can. Long term you want stacks of all Chaos units and stacks of zero Chaos units. Use Chaos Channels to convert Normal units to Chaos Units once they are Elite (is that still an issue or do Chaos Channeled units get EXP now?). Use Warp Reality to give your Chaos units a big advantage. You’re best Ultra Rare Global Enchant is Chaos Surge for the buffs. Continue using your Uncommon summons throughout the game. Rely on Fire Elementals heavily in combat.

Sorcery, get the Phantom Beast, but you will instead be using a lot of Magic Spirits and sometimes Nagas on the map. Send Magic Spirits out and use them to start battles that you dominate with Phantom Warriors and Beasts. In Nodes rely on Warriors over Beasts as they are more cost effective with the node buffs. You should be able to take towns easily with a single Naga. You will transition to Normal units and heroes as the game goes on, using Magic Immunity, Invisibility, Guardian Wind, etc. to keep them protected. Storm Giants aren’t great, but the Ultra Rare summons are.

With Death take Shadow Demons. In Classic with Death you either started with just Ghouls or Wraiths (11 books). But Wraiths aren’t as good in this version of the game, nor are Ghouls really since they aren’t guarantied to create undead units. But still, the classic strategy with death is to open by taking towns and creating undead to fill the garrisons. That doesn’t work as well in this game, also many towns have only a single defender, so just rely on Shadow Demons. But you can use Ghouls too. With Death you should be using all summoned units all the time pretty much, only have normal units on defense. Undead units with Darkness is what its all about with Death. Get Zombie Mastery ASAP.

So play through all of those starts first. Don’t worry about Life for now.

As for how to build, you should not build Settlers at all. Sometimes it makes sense to build Settlers, but generally you can get more than enough towns just by conquest. Develop your economy before doing anything else. In your capital you should basically build to a Miner’s Guild before building any unit production buildings or units.

The Build Order is Generally:

  • Granary > Marketplace > Farmer’s Market > Sawmill > Shrine > Forester’s Guild > Miner’s Guild. Once all of that is built, then you can build other stuff.

As a High Men example I would typically build:

  • Granary > Marketplace > Farmer’s Market > Sawmill > Shrine > Forester’s Guild > Miner’s Guild > Armory > Fighter’s Guild > Pikemen > Temple > Parthenon > Priest > Cathedral > Armorer’s Guild > Paladin > Paladin > Library > Sages Guild > Alchemist’s Guild > Paladin > Paladin > Paladin > Paladin, etc.

Again, just a generalization. And something like that is what I would do if playing Sorcery or Chaos for example, while my summoned units are off fighting battles or providing additional defense.

And don’t forget to rush buy. Rush buying is more important the earlier you do it. Rush buy that Granary when you can, Rush buy the Marketplace and Farmer’s Market to save a few turns and get growing faster.

Make stacks that go together.

When using Death or Chaos, make stacks with all Death or Chaos units. Take fights with those stacks you have an advantage in and avoid fights were you don’t. Also have hero stacks, ranged stacks, cavalry stacks, etc. Now, there are times when you mix and match, but generally, you want to have stacks where all the units have the same movement allowance to get maximum mobility for the stack. With a ranged stack, you may have something like 6 Slingers, 1 Shaman, 2 Paladins or Berserkers or heroes or whatever. It can be good to have a couple melee units in there as blockers, etc. or to deal with odd units that can’t be hit by the ranged units, etc.

The fastest way to gain resources is through conquest.

One of the things that makes MoM different from most other 4X games, and more fun IMO, is that loot from battles is so good. In fact, your economy will grow much much faster by getting active on the map and taking encounters and conquering cities than sitting defensively waiting for resources to accrue. This is the biggest mistake people make. They get defensive, sit in their towns and wait for gold and mana to build up. No, no, don’t do that. You have to make a stack and go conquer stuff. Its best to always have at least one stack, often heroes, that does nothing but take neutral encounters, like liars. It can be tempting sometimes to use them to take towns, but don’t let yourself get bogged down sitting in a town waiting for it to build up while your death stack defends it. That’s a losing proposition.

Make a death stack and keep it on the move. You can raze towns with it, or sometimes even conquer (depending on more advanced tactics), but don’t just take a town and then sit it in and wait to build up the town. Bad, bad.

Understand the conquering strategy for each school.

Several of the schools have distinct conquering strategies that allow you to effectively expand and take towns while being able to keep you war machine moving. Using these strategies is essential.

  1. Sorcery : Summon Circle > Word of Recall > Rely on combat summons. With Sorcery you want to have towns deep in your empire that just keep pumping out defensive units, like Paladins, Catapults, Priests, etc. When you take a new town, move the Summon Circle to that town and then use Word of Recall to teleport a garrison into the town. Then your death stack can move on while you put production in the new towns to economic development. You can also defend sparsely garrisoned towns using combat summons.
  2. Life: A little challenging in the early game, but down the road its all about Prosperity, Stream of Life, etc. Use Prosperity on your large cities to generate lots of gold. With Just Cause crank your taxes to generate more gold. Use that gold to buy units and quickly develop towns that you conquer so that your death stack can quickly move on. In addition, its typically good to use Warlord with Life so you can also build units sooner, not having to rely on getting a Fighter’s Guild first.
  3. Death: Generate Undead units using Ghouls, Wraiths (doesn’t work as well in this game right now) and Zombie Mastery. Fill towns with undead units. In the early/mid game you can even use Skeletons to hold down towns. With Darkeness they can do ok while your death stack moves on. Don’t leave your Shadow Demons sitting in town defending unless the place is under immediate threat. Be ready to convert Spearmen to Werewolves if you see a stack coming.
  4. Nature: Move that summoning circle and summon in defensive units like Spider, Sprites, and Stone Giants. Or Basilisks if the town is under serious threat.
  5. Chaos: Hell Hounds, Hell Hounds, Hell Hounds. Also, eventually Chaos Spawn can be ok. Once you get Flame Strike (and they fix Flame Strike) then you can rely on Flame Strike for a lot of your defense. Also use preemptive strikes, like Fire Storm and Call the Void.

Of these, clearly Sorcery is best, and ultimately Sorcery is the overall best at conquest IMO. Word of Recall is just so, so powerful and the ability to call in Phantom Beasts and Air Elementals is huge. Death was really good in Classic, but less so in this game right now. Undead generation is not good enough right now IMO. Life with Warlord can be pretty good once you get your economy going. The ability to build units w/o a Fighter’s Guild can help a lot. And once you get Lionheart you can also defend a lot with just Spearmen and Bowmen. But the key is being able to rush purchase those units.

Nature and Chaos struggle a little, but again, you have to use those summons. This is why I think that Conjuration and going deep into a single school is very powerful, so those summons get really cheap. Summoning a lot speed up everything. The more you summon the less you are slowing down the rest of your economy.

As for Life:

IMO, the opening for Life is harder to master because you can’t rely on summoned units. Unicorns just aren’t good enough. Most importantly, they can’t take nodes, which you really need to be able to take to keep fueling your conjuration.

For Life you are better off starting with Warlord. This will let you build (effective) normal units much faster. Actually I would go with either Warlord + Alchemy or Warlord + Archamge. Good races for Life are Draconian, Barbarian, Nomads and Klackons. All either have Flying units or units capable of hitting flying units and importantly all have powerful units you can build early (well Klackons sort of).

Again put all power to mana to start. Cast Just Causes ASAP. Increase taxes with Just Cause.

For life you want to get active as soon as you can, BUT it will surely be slower than summoning. Still, build just to the Forester’s Guild, then start making some units to form a stack. With Draconians, Barbarians, and Nomads, that means making a Stable. Make the Stable, and build 2-4 units from it, depending on what you see around for conquering and how long it will take and how many heroes you’ve been able to recruit. typically, take one of those units and buff the heck out of it. I’ll often have something like a single Barbarian Cavalry with Heroism, Bless, Endurance, Holy Armor, Holy Weapon, along with 2 other unbuffed Cavs that will gain Exp along the way. Maybe endurance on all of them. Or maybe its a hero that gets the buffs, etc.

Again, you need to take some nodes to keep your power base up to pay for the buffs. Nomads and Horsebowmen work really well for taking Sorcery Nodes, but it can be harder for Chaos and Nature. You don’t need nodes so much with Draconians. So with 3 or 4 Cavalry type units and a hero you should be able to be quite effective. Keep buffing that stack as you are able. Heroism will fall off as they gain EXP but stuff like Bless and Endurance can be important to get onto all the units. Holy Armor for melee units, etc.

If playing Klackons, then just go for Stag Beetles and don’t do anything until you get them. You’ll fall behind a bit, but make up for it when the Beetles come out.

Don’t start with Life. Don’t play Life Halflings. Halflings move to slowly. Use Horsebowmen and Cavalry to quickly move around the map. Actually, the easiest way to start Life is Draconians. But when playing Draconians, its often worthwhile to build a Spearman after your Farmer’s Market and then load that Spearman up with buffs and take what you can with him. So Dracs can give you an even earlier start than the others. Barbarian Spearmen can work too, but IMO, its often better to just wait for the Cavs, but it can depend on the situation. When playing Life + Nature Warlord I have conquered multiple towns and taken nodes with a single Spearman buffed with Heroism, Bless, Giant Strength, Holy Weapon and Endurance.

The point is, with Life you really have to rely on Normal units to get active and start taking resources. With all the other schools you can get active and acquire resources even sooner by using Conjuration and summing up an army while your capital develops economically.

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