Author Topic: Magic Booster Guide - need to get your N2 mage to be N3? Your E4 pretender to E5  (Read 1126 times)

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Offline undercovergeek

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From sector24 at Shrapnel - http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/showthread.php?t=37423

This guide is designed to help new players understand what spells and items are available to boost their magic paths. Veterans will not find anything new and exciting here, but hopefully it will be a useful reference all the same.

NOTE: Only relevant boosters and summons will be mentioned in the guide. For instance, the Wraith Lord is a D3 mage, but he requires D5 to be summoned so he does not boost your maximum magic path even after you give him boosters.

NOTE: In general the easiest method to boost magic paths will be highlighted, although that does not mean there aren't other ways.


Air

Relevant items:
Bag of Winds (req Con4, A4, Misc. slot)
Winged Helmet (req Con4, A4, Head slot)

Relevant Summons:
Faerie Court (req Conj8, N5) A3N3
Tartarian Gate (req Conj9, D7) ?7
Bind Demon Lord (req Blood9, B8)

The game does not provide a lot of help in boosting your Air magic, with access to Air 1, 2, or 3, you really can't do anything. The only exception is if you have A2S2 and Construction 8, then you can forge the Tome of High Power (req A2S2, Misc. slot *Slight chance of Horror mark) which boosts both your Air and Astral magic by 1. However, you'd have to have A3S2 for the tome to boost you high enough to forge additional items.

Alternatively, if you have Nature 5 and Conjuration 8 you can cast Faerie Court, but you still have to empower the queen up to 4 in order to forge boosters. See the section on Nature for how to get up to level 5.

Finally, if you get all the way to Death 7 and Conjuration 9 you can summon Tartarians with a chance of up to A7, but if you don't have Air by the time you summon them, you probably don't need it. On the bright side, only one spell in the game requires you to go higher than Air 6. Fata Morgana requires Air 7 but it's not the greatest global enchantment. Air 6 gets you everything you want, which is probably Wrathful Skies, Mists of Deception, and a really big Mirror Image.

Finally, Pazuzu the Demon Lord has Air 5, but it also spreads disease so it is not exactly the most versatile commander. Large quantities of Air magic can be great on the battlefield, but if you don't start with it naturally, don't try too hard to get it.

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Astral

Relevant items:
Crystal Coin (req Con4, S2E2, Misc. slot)
Ring of Sorcery (req Con6, S5, Misc. slot)
Ring of Wizardry (req Con6, S6, Misc. slot)
Starshine Skullcap (req Con6, S2, Head slot)

Relevant Summons:
Bind Arch Devil (req B4F2) F4 (1 in 5 chance of S3)
Bind Ice Devil (req B3W3) W3 (1 in 6 chance of S2)
Ether Gate (req S4D1) S3D2?1 (100% chance of Air, Astral, Death, Blood)
Summon Spectre (req D3) D1?2 (100% chances of Astral, Death, Earth, Water)
Hidden in Sand (Ench. 6, req E3D1) E1D2H2 (50% chance at +1D, one 100% chance at +2F/E/S, and one 50% chance at +1F) Information provided by Cleveland

You need at least Astral 2 to get started in this path, at which point you can forge a Starshine Skullcap to get to 3. If you're lucky and have earth magic as well, you can forge a Crystal Coin. At this point you're stuck unless you count the Dimensional Rod or Tome of High Power artifacts at Construction 8:

Dimensional Rod (req A3, Hand slot, cursed *slight chance of horror
mark and/or insanity)
Tome of High Power (req A2S2, Misc. slot *Slight chance of horror mark)

You will need to empower or rely on unique items to get to Astral 5. However, this is worth the effort because it allows you to forge a Ring of Sorcery. This ring gives a +1 boost to Astral, Blood, Death and Nature. Wearing the newly forged ring allows you to create a Ring of Wizardry which gives a +1 boost to all paths. Remember that these rings won't take you from 0 to 1, you have to already have the magic path to get the boost.

Micah wrote:

The RoW (Ring of Wizardry) is pivotal to getting access to other path boosters, and is always central to my magic diversification strategies. It and a Ro Sorcery make access to Death magic a breeze, and nature nearly as easy. It will also provide a critical boost that will allow you a much better shot of forging a staff of elemental mastery, which can help out with elemental paths as well. Any long term game virtually requires that you get one of these things in order to get to most high-level magic. Basically any time you mention "empower" in the guide you really ought to replace it with "have a RoW." This item virtually eliminates the need to empower your mages for booster access.

Some nations have no natural access to Astral. Your best bet is Summon Spectre at Conjuration 6. He requires D3 and has 2 chances at an Astral pick. If this is not an option you can take a chance on blood magic. The spell Bind Ice Devil randomly summons 1 of 6 Ice Devils. One of those commanders has Astral 2. The spell Bind Arch Devil randomly summons 1 of 5 Arch Devils and one of those commanders has Astral 3. In single player you can eventually summmon them all until you get what you need, but in multiplayer this can be a bit of a gamble because the summons are unique. Failing that, you will have to empower a mage from scratch. If this is the case, pick a mage with Earth magic so you can forge the Crystal Coin.

At best you will probably be stuck somewhere around Astral 7, so if you want Astral 9 you'll just have to empower your way up. Empowering Astral is generally more useful than empowering any other path (except Blood) because of the importance of the Ring of Wizardry. Also remember that at Astral 9 you can Wish for just about anything, so path diversification is no longer an issue at this point.

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Blood

Relevant items:
Armor of Souls (req Con2, B5, Chest slot)
Armor of Twisting Thorns (req Con4, B3N2, Chest slot, cannot be removed)
Blood Thorn (req Con6, B4, Hand slot)
Brazen Vessel (req Con4, B4, Misc. slot)

Relevant Summons:
Awaken Treelord (Ench. 7, req N5) N4 (Chance of B1 or E1)
Bind Arch Devil (Blood 7, req B4F2) F4 (1 in 5 chance of S3)
Bind Heliophagus (Blood 8, req B5) Chance of B4, F4B3, D4B3, or D3B3
Bind Ice Devil (Blood 6, req B3W3) W3 (1 in 6 chance of S2)
Bind Demon Lord (Blood 9, req B8)
Contact Lamia Queen (Conj. 6, req N5D2) D2N1?2 (100% chances of Blood, Death, Nature, Water)
Ether Gate (Conj. 6, req S4D1) S3D2?1 (100% chance of Air, Astral, Death, Blood)

Like Air, blood magic is hard to boost until you get to level 4 (or level 3 if you also have nature). However unlike Air, it is possible to create your own economy of blood slaves. Even a commander with no blood magic has a chance to be successful with the blood hunt command, so if you devote enough people to this endeavor you can eventually get enough slaves to empower someone to Blood 1. From there, get 5 more slaves and forge a Sanguine Dousing Rod, and then that commander blood will hunt as if he/she were a Blood 2 mage. From here, blood hunting is much more consistent, and you can continue to empower commanders to increase your blood slave income. Before long you'll be pulling in 100+ slaves per turn and empowering someone to Blood 4 is not a big deal.

Alternatively, you can try the Awaken Treelord spell, Contact Lamia Queen or Ether Gate, sometimes the commander has a blood random, which takes all the pain and effort out of getting that first batch of slaves. In addition to the boosters listed above, you can also use Rings of Sorcery and Wizardry, and there are three artifacts (Construction 8) that boost blood:

Flesh Ward (req B5, Chest slot)
The Black Book of Secrets (req B2D2, Misc. slot)
Tome of the Lower Planes (req B2S3, Misc. slot)

Blood magic is great for diversifying your other paths if you're the first person to get to the unique summons. Bind Heliophagus gets you 1 of 4 unique commanders with either B4, F4B3, D4B3, or D3B3. The fire Heliophagus can also summon Arch Devils with F4, and 1 of the 5 has S3. If you use water boosters to cast Bind Ice Devil, you can then give those boosters to him to get to W5, plus summoning the Ice Devil doesn't cost any water gems which is helpful if you're just starting a water economy.

If you research Blood 9, the Bind Demon Lord spell opens up the rest of the paths for you. However, by the time you get to Blood 9 it may be too late for diversification to have an effect on the game's outcome. Here are the Demon Lords and their paths:

Belphegor
F4E4B4 *Heretic 5 (lowers all dominion towards 0)
Attracts blood slaves and milita

Belial
F4N4B4 *Causes unrest

Buer
F5D3B4

Pazuzu
A5D3B4 *Spreads disease

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Death

Relevant Items:
Scepter of Dark Regency (req Con8, D5, Hand slot)
Skull Staff (req Con4, D2, 2 Hand slots)
Skullface (req Con6, D4, Head slot)
The Jade Mask (req Con6, D6N3, Head slot) +2 Death

Relevant Summons:
Bind Heliophagus (Blood 8, req B5) Chance of B4, F4B3, D4B3, or D3B3
Bind Demon Lord (Blood 9, req B8)
Contact Lamia Queen (Conj. 6, req N5D2) D2N1?2 (100% chances of Blood, Death, Nature, Water)
Ether Gate (Conj. 6, req S4D1) S3D2?1 (100% chance of Air, Astral, Death, Blood)
Hidden in Snow (Ench. 6, req W3D1) D1?4 (Small chance at Death, Earth, Water)
Hidden in Sand (Ench. 6, req E3D1) E1D2H2 (50% chance at +1D, one 100% chance at +2F/E/S, and one 50% chance at +1F) Information provided by Cleveland
Lichcraft (Ench. 8, req D5) D4
Streams from Hades (Conj. 6, req W4D1) W3D3
Summon Mound Fiend (Conj. 7, req D3) D3H2
Summon Spectre (Conj. 6, req D3) D1?2 (100% chances of Astral, Death, Earth, Water)
Tartarian Gate (Conj. 9, req D7) ?7

Death is easy to get to a certain level, but there are some very powerful death spells above 6 and you may have empower (or use Astral rings) for a level or two if you want to get to them. You need at least D2 to begin, at which point you can forge a Skull Staff to get to 3. From here you can summon a Mound Fiend at Conjuration 7. Give the Skull Staff to the Mound Fiend to boost him to Death 4 and you can forge a Skullface. Now you can cast Lichcraft to get a Demilich and give him both items to get to level 6.

If you're lucky, you can forge the Construction 8 artifact Scepter of Dark Regency which gives an astounding +3 death magic. This is a unique artifact, so if you're playing a death nation and you are planning to spam Tartarians, I consider getting it to be a high priority. Even if you have a mage summoning Tartarians through empowerment, this item will let you summon two a turn instead of just one.

The Mound Fiend with the scepter and the Skullface has Death 7, the Demilich 8. You can also get the last level from The Black Book of Secrets (req B2D2, Misc. slot), but if you didn't manage to craft the sceptre, I doubt you'll have this either. In that case you'll just have to empower the missing levels or use Astral rings.

Another option is the Jade Mask. It provides +2 death magic but requires the wearer to be cold blooded. Lamia Queens are cold blooded and she is D2N1 with 2 random picks of Blood, Death, Nature, or Water. If you get really lucky she can be D4 at which point you just need a Skull Staff and the Jade Mask to start summoning Tartarians. Throw in the Astral rings and she is D9. Information provided by K

In rare cases that you only have Death 1 but you have some other magic, you can cast Streams from Hades (req W4D1) to boost yourself to Death 3 or Ether Gate to get to D2. Hidden in Snow is also an option, but it is not guaranteed to produce a commander. When it does, he is D1 with two 50% chances at +1D, three 50% chances at +1W, and three 50% chances at +1E. Information provided by cleveland.

Death is a great path for getting into other areas of magic. Spectres have 2 chances of getting Astral, Death, Earth or Water magic, and at Conjuration 9 you can cast Tartarian Gate. This spell has a 20% chance of the summon being a commander, and that commander can have up to level 7 in a single magic path, or all manner of lesser combinations. The nature spell Gift of Reason can be very useful here, as can abilities that heal afflictions such as the global enchantment Gift of Health, or the artifact The Chalice.

« Last Edit: May 07, 2013, 04:47:21 AM by undercovergeek »


Offline undercovergeek

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cont...............


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Earth

Relevant Items:
Blood Stone (req E2B3, Misc. slot)
Earth Boots (req E2, Feet slot)

Relevant Summons:
Awaken Treelord (req N5) N4 (Chance of B1 or E1)
Hidden in Snow (req W3D1) D1?4 (Small chance at Death, Earth, Water)
Summon Spectre (req D3) D1?2 (100% chances of Astral, Death, Earth, Water)
Tartarian Gate (req D7) ?7
Troll King's Court (req E3) E3
Hidden in Sand (Ench. 6, req E3D1) E1D2H2 (50% chance at +1D, one 100% chance at +2F/E/S, and one 50% chance at +1F) Information provided by Cleveland

Earth is one of the most important paths to have so that you can make Dwarven Hammers, which reduce the gem cost of all items that you forge. You'll need Earth 2, at which point you can forge Earth Boots. By wearing them you get to Earth 3 and can cast Troll King's Court. By giving your troll the boots you can get Earth 4.

If you also have Blood magic you can make Blood Stones which are very nice because not only do they boost your earth magic but they generate one earth gem per turn. If you get to Construction 8 you can also make a Pebble Skin Suit (req E1B3, Chest slot). If you have Nature instead of Blood you could shoot for the The Tome of Gaia (req E2N2, Misc. slot) instead, also Construction 8.

Without artifacts or blood magic it's difficult to get to that pivotal Earth 5, where you get Forge of the Ancients, King of Elemental Earth, etc. Your only real options are the Ring of Wizardry or Robe of the Magi mentioned earlier in the guide, or a Staff of Elemental Mastery (req E4A4 OR F4W4, 2 Hand slots). Ring of Wizardry is the obvious choice due to its usefulness in boosting other paths as well.

If you have no Earth magic, I recommend you get Earth 2 on your pretender. If that's not an option, The spell Awaken Treelord has a chance of E1 (but no feet slot to wear the Earth Boots), or you can try Hidden in Snow, Spectres or Tartarians, all requiring death magic. Also, at Blood 9 you can cast Bind Demon Lord and sometimes get one with E4. Luckily, there's no reason to go above Earth 6, there are no higher level earth spells or items in the game right now.

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Fire

Relevant Items:
Flame Helmet (req Con4, F4, Head slot)
Skull of Fire (req Con6, F1D1, Misc. slot)

Relevant Summons:
Bind Arch Devil (Blood 7, req B4F2) F4 (1 in 5 chance of S3)
Bind Heliophagus (Blood 8, req B5) Chance of B4, F4B3, D4B3, or D3B3
Bind Demon Lord (Blood 9, req B8)
Tartarian Gate (Conj. 9, req D7) ?7
Hidden in Sand (Ench. 6, req E3D1) E1D2H2 (50% chance at +1D, one 100% chance at +2F/E/S, and one 50% chance at +1F) Information provided by Cleveland

Fire is another path that is difficult to boost if you don't have natural access to it. It turns out that Blood magic is the easiest way into fire. Arch Devils require Blood 4 and Fire 2, but you get a summon with Fire 4 as a result. Even easier is the spell Bind Heliophagus which has a chance of summoning a commander with F4B3. However this is a unique summon so in multiplayer someone may beat you to him.

Blood is much easier to empower than any other magic path, refer to that section of the guide for more details. In the late game you can research Blood 9 to Bind Demon Lords, many of which have Fire 4. At Conjuration 9, Tartarians can also have Fire magic.

Two useful artifacts also boost fire, but you wouldn't necessarily forge them for that purpose:

The Forbidden Light (req F4S4, Misc. slot) +2 Fire and +2 Astral
The Ruby Eye (req F3, Misc. slot, cannot be removed)

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Nature


Relevant Items:
Armor of Twisting Thorns (req Con4, B3N2, Chest slot, cannot be removed)
Moonvine Bracelet (req Con6, N3S1, Misc. slot)
Thistle Mace (req Con4, N2, Hand slot)
Treelord's Staff (req Con6, N5, 2 Hand slots) +2 Nature


Relevant Summons:
Awaken Ivy King (Conj. 7, req N4) N3
Awaken Treelord (Conj. 8, req N5) N4 (Chance of B1 or E1)
Contact Lamia Queen (Conj. 6, req N5D2) D2N1?2 (100% chances of Blood, Death, Nature, Water)
Contact Naiad (Conj. 5, req W3N1) W3N3
Faerie Court (Conj. 8, req N5) A3N3
Bind Demon Lord (Blood 9, req B8)

Nature has several easy boosters, and additionally with nature magic you can get into other magical paths more easily. If you only have N1, you will also need W2 but you can start from there. Forge a Water Bracelet (refer to the Water magic section) and cast Contact Naiad, who has N3W3.

Starting with N2 you can forge a Thistle Mace to get to N3. From here it depends on what other paths you have available. You can forge a Moonvine Bracelet (Astral) or Armor of Twisting Thorns (Blood) or you can cast Contact Naiad. The Naiad can then use the Thistle Mace to get to N4.

Getting to that pivotal N5 requires you to have Astral, Blood, or Earth. Astral gets you a Moonvine Bracelet (or Ring of Sorcery/Wizardry). Blood gets you the Armor of Twisting Thorns, Earth and Construction 8 get you the artifact The Tome of Gaia (req E2N2, Misc. slot). From there you can summon into other magic paths with Contact Lamia Queen and Faerie Court, and Forge the Treelord's Staff to get to 6 and beyond. Unfortunately, there are very few high level nature spells so 5 is usually sufficient.

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Water

Relevant Items:
Robe of the Sea (req Con4, W3, Chest slot)
Water Bracelet (req Con6, W1, Misc. slot)

Relevant Summons:
Bind Ice Devil (req B3W3) W3 (1 in 6 chance of S2)
Contact Lamia Queen (req N5D2) D2N1?2 (100% chances of Blood, Death, Nature, Water)
Contact Naiad (req W3N1) W3N3
Hidden in Snow (req W3D1) D1?4 (Small chance at Death, Earth, Water)
Queen of Elemental Water (req W5) W4
Sea King's Court (req W3) W3
Streams from Hades (req W4D1) W3D3
Summon Spectre (req D3) D1?2 (100% chances of Astral, Death, Earth, Water)

Although you can forge the Water Bracelet at W1, you need at least one mage with W2 in order to wear it and forge the Robe of the Sea. From there you can cast Contact Naiad or Sea King's Court. Contact Naiad is less expensive and gets you into Nature magic, but Sea King's Court summons you some amphibious trolls and the commander generates a water gem every turn.

If you're "bootstrapping" into water and you don't want to spend the 55 gems on Sea King's Court, you can give the water boosters to a blood mage and cast Bind Ice Devil. Ice Devils are W3 and using the two boosters gets you to W5.

From Water 5, if you have an underwater province you can cast Queen of Elemental Water and give her the bracelet and robe to get to W6. There are also two artifacts that boost water:

Orb of Atlantis (req W4E1, Misc. slot)
Trident from Beyond (req W3S2, 2 Hand slots)

Interestingly, you can wear all 4 boosters at the same time, unlike most other paths. Water magic is very easy to boost, but like Nature and Earth there's nothing past level 6 for you to cast except an enormous Falling Frost. Even if you can't get the Queen of Elemental Water or the artifacts, W5 is probably enough for all your needs.

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Rainbow Pretender

Early in your single player Dominions career you will want to try making a Rainbow Pretender with the minimum paths necessary to make all the boosters. Here are the paths:

Air 3
Astral 3
Blood 2
Death 1
Earth 2
Fire 2
Nature 2
Water 1

Get your research up to construction 6 and forge items in the following order:

Forge Earth Boots (+1 Earth)
Forge Dwarven Hammer (no path increase but significant reduction in item costs)
Starshine Skullcap (+1 Astral)
Crystal Coin (+1 Astral)
Ring of Sorcery (+1 Astral, Blood, Death, Nature)
Ring of Wizardry (+1 to all paths)

The Ring of Wizardry gives you Air 4 to make Air boosters.
The Ring of Sorcery and Ring of Wizardry give you Blood 4 to make Blood boosters. DO NOT equip the Armor of Twisting Thorns on your pretender because you cannot take it off.
The Ring of Sorcery and Ring of Wizardry allow you to forge Death boosters with a Dwarven Hammer. Without them you have to forge the Skull Staff and Skullface without a hammer because the Skull Staff requires both hands.
The combination of Fire and Death allow you to forge a Skull of Fire, and the Ring of Wizardry gets you to Fire 4 to make the Flame Helmet.
After the Thistle Mace, you can make the Moonvine Bracelet and/or the Armor of Twisting Thorns, plus the Ring of Sorcery which gets you to Nature 5.
The Water Bracelet and Ring of Wizardry allow you to forge the Robe of the Sea.

From here you can forge the Robe of the Magi by wearing the Winged Helmet, both rings, and a Blood Thorn. That gives you access to a huge list of spells and the ability to forge every artifact in the game as far as I know, since no artifacts have a path requirement higher than 6.