Spells and when to use them

Best practices and optimistic theories.
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Crystal Ooze
Posts: 368
Joined: Fri 15.02.2008, 12:50

Spells and when to use them

Post by Ace » Tue 06.01.2009, 14:41

Hi there!

I wanted to start a thread about when a spell proves most useful. I want to include all spells so your help and opinion is needed. Maybe we get some surprising results and even start to use a spell in a different way or start using one which we disregarded in the past.

General notes for all spell casters:
- Avoid wearing gloves and/or heavy armor if they do not give you large benefits (stats increase, resists) they reduce available Spell Points.
- Keep an eye on the failure rate. A failure rate of 25% means 1 of 4 tries fails, so be sure to have time && Spellpoints for several attempts.
- Restore Mana pots are valuable to have with you to be able to keep casting in emergencies.
- Some spells can be stacked, you can stack them in town, rest up, repeat a few times and then make use of the benefits during the time in the dungeon.

Acid Ball => Good against monsters not resistent to acid. Since it hits multiple monsters I think its a good attack spell if you don't mind that armor, melee weapons, bows, arrows, bolts and staves on the floor can be destroyed.

Acid BOlt => Hits one monster, heard that this should be better than the acid ball because it does not damage items on the floor, but against hordes of enemies I don't think its so useful. I did not use it.

Alter Reality => you can create a new level with this spell. I think it's useless and just for fun if you are to lazy to search the next stairs ;)

Annihilation =>I have no experience with this spell.

Banish Evil =>

Banishment => Kills monsters of particular type on whole level, alternative mass banishment to kill monsters in 20 square radius.
1) Avoid casting it without a large amount of hps - don't even try without 600 hps, 800hps recommended (check one of Poundy's recent deaths - banishment ate more than 800 hps)
2) Avoid banishing orcs, trolls, demons and dragons - they come in pits and in packs
3) Avoid banishing hounds - there are often multiple packs on a level
4) Stay in a large room to banish stuff - in case you die, at least your stuff will survive if you can be rescued

Bedlam =>I have no experience with this spell.

Berserker => I have no experience with this spell.

Bless => The AC Bonus is quite small but nevertheless I cast it shortly before a difficult fight. As soon as mighty "blessing" spells become available this one becomes obsolete. Upgrades are "holy chant" (improved) and "Holy prayer" (best).

Blink => Like a phase door spell. It's good if you have plenty of mana reserves and want to fight a strong mellee monster, sometimes i try to combine a spell that slows down the monster, strong attack spell until it gets too close then i blink away and repeat the process or rest up or cast the buff spells (haste, shield etc) again :)

Call Light => I like to use it to light up rooms and partially corridors. It can theoretically be used to hurt monsters that are suspectible to light, but probably only good when they are already fleeing, if in a room and you are still at very low level and have no other attack spells :) If you are a priest use Claivorance to light up the whole level instead.

Chant => See "Bless"

Chaos Strike => I have no experience with this spell.

Clairvoyance => Shows all items and lights up the whole level. Great spell and should always be cast after arriving in a level.

Cloudkill => Stronger Stinking Cloud. Does fair damage, ball effect and does not destroy any items. Good alternative to the other ball spells. Ineffective against monsters with poison resistance and golems and similar.

Confuse Monster => I have no experience with this spell.

Cure Light Wounds => Useless - Do not cast during a fight because monsters will hit harder than you heal. Stronger versions are CSW, CCW, CMW, Healing)
Cure Serious Wounds
Cure Critical Wounds
Cure Mortal Wounds
Healing ===> Always cast the best healing spell you have, only cast if you are sure that the monsters will not hit for more that you can heal with the spell. - If not it's better to retreat to a better position.

Cure Poison => Self explaining, for low levels it would be good to know the key combo. But use only when you are no longer in fighting the monster, else you will be poisoned again.. Remember to keep mana reserve to cure poison. Certain healing potions also cure poison.

Detect Doors/Stairs > I always cast it to uncover all secret doors. And to get fast to new depths If I want / have to.

Detect Enchantment => Rarely cast it when running through a level, near promising vaults I'll try to look if there are any "important" items like speed rings etc. inside.

Detect Evil
Detect Invisible
Detect Monsters
Detect Objects ====> Detection is a must use, since it shows a lot of info on the surroundings. Detect invisible is a must use since it shows dangerous monsters e.g. Q. In general to detect monsters use those detections available to you. For the items only Detect enchantment is of use I think.

Dispel Curse ==> Get rid of a cursed weapon / object. If you can enchant the object you can also break a curse by doing that. Curse is broken at if iehter toHit or ToDam is at +6 i think.

Dispel Evil ==> Nice for priest dish out a lot of damage to undead creatures
Dispel Undead ==> Nice for priest dish out a lot of damage to undead creatures. I did not really use the spell though.

Door Creation ==> Good to block the LOS for distant monsters so their breath will not kill you. Beware doors can be smashed by certiain attacks so escape the situation by using destruct, or teleport.

Earthquake ==> Crap. ALso the spell is currently broken. You'll need to redraw the screen after you have cast it.

Elemental Brand ==> Useless. Once you can brand weapons you have probably a powerful weapon already. Anyway you can use it to make normal items more valuable for selling in the shop.

Enchant Armor
Enchant Armour
Enchant Weapon ==> These spells can improve the item you are trying to enchant.

Find Hidden Traps/Doors
Find Traps
Fire Ball
Fire Bolt
Frost Ball
Frost Bolt
Glyph of Warding
Greater Recharging
Haste Self
Holy Word
Ice Storm
Lesser Recharging
Light Area
Lightning Bolt
Magic Missile
Mana Storm
Mass Banishment
Mass Sleep
Meteor Swarm
Neutralize Poison
Orb of Draining
Phase Door
Polymorph Other
Protection from Evil
Remove Curse
Remove Fear
Rend Soul
Resist Cold
Resist Fire
Resist Heat and Cold
Resist Poison
Rune of Protection
Satisfy Hunger
Scare Monster
Sense Invisible
Sense Surroundings
Shock Wave
Sleep Monster
Slow Monster
Slow Poison
Spear of Light
Stair Creation
Stinking Cloud =>
Teleport Level => I never use that, last resort escape? Too dangerous in my opinion.

Teleport Other => Great for beaming dangerous monsters away if the situation gets out of control. Be carful if other players are on the dungeon, the monster could show up right in front of them.

Teleport Self => Good to get far away, If you have access to Portal that one is preferable as it is cheaper and brings you usually also far enough away.
Trap/Door Destruction => Use it to destroy stuck doors and traps if there is no suitable rod in your inventory.
Treasure Detection => I never use it.
Turn Stone to Mud => Build tunnels with it to be able to fight summoners savely or to create shortcuts between two seperate parts of the dungeon.
Turn Undead => I never used that spell - useless.
Unbarring Ways => Use it to destroy stuck doors and traps if there is no suitable rod in your inventory.
Wonder => Mostly useless, I never use it since the effects are too different. Following effects are possible: [...] and with higher player level the "better" effects are being activated.
Word of Destruction => If failure rate is at 5% (or respectively 0% for priests) they replace effectively scrolls/staves of destruction. Use this spell when you arrive in deeper parts of the pits and when too many / too strong monsters are approaching. Knowledge of the monster list is good.
Word of Recall => Use this until you have a rod of recall

Work in progress but please post your input and I'll update this post as well :)


Ancient MultiHued Dragon
Posts: 662
Joined: Sat 26.10.2002, 15:00
Location: Norway

Re: Spells and when to use them

Post by Warrior » Mon 12.04.2010, 20:32

This is stuff that might be interesting to add to the upcoming bestseller MAngband for Dummies. Good idea Ace.

And before any of you smart people start commenting: Yes, I know this is old! Oldies but goldies :)
-- Mangband Project Team Member

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