Magie (Civ4 FFH)

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Magic can turn the tide of battle and push even peaceful civilizations to greater glory.

Magic can be divided into divine and arcane. Divine magic-using units include Priests and High Priests. Arcane units include Mages, Archmages, Conjurers, and Summoners, all of which must be upgraded from Adepts who have attained high enough levels. Don't worry, your spellcasting units don't have to get their staves dirty, for many of them they gain experience over time, slower than, but similar to, hero units. See Arcane Units and Disciple Units for detail

To cast a spell, a unit needs a magic sphere promotion, and a Realm promotion, the latter coming automatically when a unit is built or upgraded. Magic sphere promotions can be given upon level gain for both divine and arcane. Divine units have a limited, but quite useful, selection of spheres to choose from, depending on what creed they espouse (their religion). Arcane units are more versatile, being able to choose from any of the sphere upgrades on promotion. Further, if you have more than one mana of most types when an adept is trained, it will gain corresponding spell sphere promotion. Since Adepts will eventually gain experience very slowly, owning mana nodes will allow you to create much more powerful spell casters.

Arcane magic is quite varied. Experiment with different spell spheres to find all the spells. Some examples: adepts with body 1 can cast Haste, which will give all units in their stack one extra movement point for a turn. Conjurers with Chaos 2 can cast Summon Imp, which summons a 3 strength monster to serve you--one that might know spells of its own! Mages with fire 2 can cast Fireball, which can attack stacks to inflict minor collateral damage.

A couple more important points--Unless your leader has the Summoner trait, summoned creatures last only one turn before they must return to the ether. Combat promotions given to spell casters apply the appropriate Empower promotion to their spells, so a fire mage with combat 2 will have more fire-power. Similarly, spell extension promotions allow a mage's spells an extra movement point, allow him to stay a safe distance from danger. Detail on what promotions grant promotions to summoned units is here.


There are three levels of channeling:

Each allows access to spheres of that level, provided that all other requirements are met.

Some units (adept) need to be upgraded (mage, archmage) before access to Channeling II or III is granted. These upgrades usually require the unit to be at least level 4 or 6 (17 and 37 xp, respectively) before it can be upgraded.


Each level allows the channeling of higher power of usage of any sphere that unit can use. The spheres are:

  • Air
  • Body
  • Chaos
  • Death
  • Dimensional
  • Earth
  • Enchantment
  • Entropy
  • Fire
  • Law
  • Life
  • Mind
  • Nature
  • Spirit
  • Water

each of these spheres has three levels (I, II, and III). The first level of a sphere may be gotten by a unit in only one of the following cases:

  • The unit always starts with that promotion (ex: Priest of Leaves).
  • The unit is an Arcane Unit, and you have Mana of the same type, and you spend a promotion on it.
  • The unit is an Arcane Unit, and you have 2 or more Mana of the same type.

The later levels (II, III) require the following (save in the case that the unit starts with them, either through excess mana or unit ability):


Each Sphere's level has 0 or more spells associated with it. In the later levels (II, III), spells are divided into three realms (Note that the earlier spells tend to only require level I of the sphere); spells that are so divided require the following promotion as well (which must be obtained as part of the unit definition):


A Firebow starts with Channeling I, Channeling II, Fire I, and Sorcery.

  • Initially, it can cast the Fire I spell, Scorch.
  • With a promotion, it could gain Fire II; then it could cast Fireball
  • It will never gain alternate spheres, divine spells, summoning spells, or Fire III spells, because it is not an arcane unit and has only two levels of channeling.


See Spells for a chart of spells.


Spells with a target can be resisted. The chance is: 100% if the target is Magic Immune


  • If the total above is over 99%, it is changed to 99%.
  • If the total above is under 6%, it is changed to 6%

Question: What would the odds be for say, a Level 8 Archmage with Channeling III would have vs a level 1 Longbowman?

Assumption: the code starts counting levels at 1, not 0. I haven't verified this.

Answer: 21% +30% (Domination) +5% (Longbowman level) - 8*2% (Archmage level) - 20% Channeling III -10% Channeling II = 10% chance of the Longbowman successfully resisting.


Most spells that deal damage do a base number (or random range) of damage, along with a type. Here is how this is converted to real amounts of damage

  • Base Damage
  • +5 if the caster has Combat I.
  • +5 if the caster has Combat II.
  • +5 if the caster has Combat III.
  • +5 if the caster has Combat IV.
  • +5 if the caster has Combat V.
  • +10 if the caster has Channeling III.
  • Now we have the total base damage.
  • The total resistance is the resistance to the damage type (note that there is no resistance vs. physical damage) + 3 * the defending unit's defense combat strength + 2* the defending unit's level.
  • Actual damage is total base damage * (100 - total resistance)/100. Note that 100+ points of damage always kills the defending unit.
  • Note that if the total resistance is >= 100, no damage is dealt. Otherwise, unless either unit has Hidden Nationality, a war is started (if one has not already been started) between the caster's player and the target's player.

Spells that cannot be cast while disabled

The following spells cannot be cast while the caster is disabled:

Free Experience Points

Arcane Units and Disciple Units gain free experience points. See Arcane Units' Specific Information or Disciple Units' Specific Information for detail.

Chart of Magic Spheres