Terrain Types and Terrainwalks
Terrain Helper Spells
Terrain Types and Effects
Terrainwalks and Flight
Limitations of Flight
What if only some of a group's members are able
to cross a square's terrain?
How can I use my opponent's innate terrainwalk abilities
What happens to a group if, during the spell execution phase, ...
... its square's terrain changes?
... it gains or loses terrainwalk?
... it teleports to a square with a different terrain
Terrain Helper Spells.
A terrain helper spell is a special kind
of square spell. The following special rules
apply to them.
- Exactly 1. Every square
always has exactly one terrain helper spell. Equivalently, we say that
a square has exactly one terrain type.
- Change replaces. Whenever a square's terrain becomes
another terrain type, this means that its old terrain helper spell is
dispelled, and a new terrain helper spell is cast. Hence, terrain helper
spells are neither exclusive nor cumulative.
- Like other spells.
- Visible. They're visible in
a square's spell list box. Double-click
on a terrain helper spell's name in the list box to open its spell
help dialog, which shows its art and text.
- Sequential. They apply their effects
in the same order as other active spells.
To eliminate legacy race conditions between start-of-turn events, all
non-terrain spells currently use the at
start of turn event, and all (and only) damaging/fatal
terrains currently use the after
start of turn event.
- Different from other spells.
- Not enchanting. A terrain helper spell does not count
as an enchantment.
- No aura. A square with only a terrain helper spell (remember,
every square always has one!) does not show the green enchantment
aura. Otherwise, every square on the board would always show it!
- Non-dispellable. Terrain helper spells cannot be dispelled (even
though they're visible). They ignore all explicit dispel effects. The
only way to dispel a terrain is to change it to another terrain.
Terrain Types and Effects.
There are 11 types of terrain in Sanctum. Each terrain type can be created by
several different real spells.
Effect and Spells
Plains; Abatement, Nullify; Savannah (3x3), Deluge after
it recedes, Jumping Land after it jumps, Justicars group
as it moves.
Earthquake, Gogar's Wrath, Husks, Juggernaut, Limbo, Tornado, Uproot;
Scorched Earth (contiguous); Flaming Arrows after combat, Gnome
and Ngozi as they move, Lava Flow after it cools off.
Minions in forest are concealed.
(Concealed minions cannot be targeted by enemy individual
Forestation; Faerie Glade, Haunted Forest, Jungle, Seed
on the Wind (3x3); Golden Grove after it matures, Seedbearers
group as it moves.
When group enters ice, group slides
in its direction of travel to the first non-ice square, or the first square
that blocks movement. A sliding group ignores:
- other groups in all squares except the last square;
- all spells in squares except the first ice square and the last square.
Flight does not prevent sliding.
Freeze; Water's Gift; Ice Age, Icecaps when their group
Mountain blocks movement unless group
has Mountainwalk. Mountain; Natural
Defenses; Gnome under Misfits in combat.
Group in swamp can exit only in the most
recent direction from which any group entered that swamp.
Swamp Land; Mudslinging.
Desert causes 1 hit point of damage after
start of turn unless group has Desertwalk.
Oasis, Wasteland (3x3); Famine at random, Sand
Sphinx as it moves.
Lava causes 3 hit points of damage after
start of turn unless group has Firewalk.
Salamander; Lode Star, Ring of Fire; Firewyrm whenever it appears,
Lava Flow sporadically.
Volcano causes 5 hit points of damage after
start of turn unless group has Firewalk. Volcano
blocks movement unless group has Mountainwalk.
Volcano; Lava Flow.
Each minion drowns (dies)
in water unless minion has Waterwalk. This is
Water blocks movement unless group has Waterwalk.
Inundate; Jade Dragon, Overflow; Bleak Isle, Deluge.
group from the game. This is checked:
Void does not block movement.
Void; Maelstrom when it expires.
Some spells create many different terrain types: Blight, Changing
Lands, Drought, Illender.
Terrainwalks and Flight.
A terrainwalk is the ability to ignore the harmful effects of certain terrains,
and to cross (enter and exit) certain terrains that normally block movement.
Some spells give terrainwalks. Some monsters, and some nations' recruits,
have intrinsic terrainwalks.
- There are 6 types of terrainwalks in Sanctum (although Swampwalk currently
Spells and Nations
Group takes no damage from desert.
Bone Chariot, Caravan.
Group may cross water, and does not drown in water.
Bleak Isle (II), Nereid's Curse, Water Breathing, Water
(Mind) and Vision
(Hope) recruits have Waterwalk.
Group may cross mountains and volcanoes. This does not protect group
from volcano damage.
All Dwarf (Making)
and Shadow (Despair)
recruits have Mountainwalk.
Group takes no damage from lava or volcanoes. This does not allow group
to cross volcanoes.
Bone Chariot, FireWalking.
Group may cross any terrain, and is immune to adverse terrain effects.
Dracha's Sphere, Flight, Flying Carpet, Shaman's Walk.
Limitations of Flight
- Flight gives immunity to adverse terrain effects. These are
only those damaging or fatal effects from terrain
types that occur in the after
start of turn phase. Flight does not protect against anything else
(unless explicitly stated).
- Groups with Flight still slide on ice (because
ice's text explicitly says so).
- Groups with Flight still suffer all other non-terrain spell effects.
(Examples: Leechwood's dispel, Faerie Circle/Lost Mine's leaving the board,
monster group falling into Cessao Spiral, etc.)
- Some monsters with Flight take less damage in combat unless its opponents
also have Flight. This usually gives the monster a combat advantage similar
- Volgaris does not have Flight (even though his card art and
group sprite depict him having wings)!
What if only some of a group's
members are able to cross a square's terrain? Then the group cannot
enter (or exit) that square. Movement must be unanimous. If any
one minion can't go, then the whole group can't go.
- Group A has 7 Dwarves (who
have Mountainwalk) and 1 Djinn
(who has Waterwalk).
- Group A can't enter a square with mountain terrain, because the Djinn
- If a mountain appears under group A, then group A is stuck there, and
cannot move away, because the Djinn
can't exit the mountain.
- Group A can't enter water, because the 7 Dwarves
- If group A is thrown into a water square, the 7 Dwarves
drown (die), and the Djinn
- Group B is a Horde of 4 Humans.
One of them gets Forsaken.
- Group B cannot enter any structure,
because the one Human with
Forsaken bounces off.
How can I turn my opponent's
innate terrainwalk abilities against him?
- Cast Volcano in the path of a group of Dwarves
or Shadows. Their Mountainwalk
enables them to walk onto the volcano, and then they'll take 5 damage each.
- Cast Forbidden Ichor on a Dwarf
or Shadow when its group
is on a mountain. There's a 10-in-11 chance that it will change to a non-Mountainwalk
nation. Then the entire group is stuck on the mountain! (The only way this
can fail is if you change a Dwarf into a Shadow, or vice versa.)
- Cast Forbidden Ichor on a Djinn
or Vision when its group is
on water. There's a 10-in-11 chance that the targeted recruit will drown (die)
in the next before movement phase.
- Cast Penumbra on a group containing Djinni
and/or Visions when its group
is on water. All Djinni and Visions in the group will drown in the next before
movement phase. You could wipe out an entire group of 8 this way!
What happens to a group
if, during the spell execution phase, its square's terrain changes?
It depends on the new terrain type.
- Fatal terrains (water, Void) apply their effects immediately, since their
texts say when ... created. Hence, any minions that can't swim/fly
will die or be removed
from the game as part of that spell's execution, before the next spell
- Damaging terrains (desert, lava, volcano) don't inflict any damage right
away. If the group moves out of the square in the same turn's movement phase,
it escapes without any damage at all. Only if the group stays there until
the next after start
of turn phase would it take any damage.
- Other terrains have no effect during spell execution. (They could block
movement during the movement phase.)
What happens to a group if,
during the spell execution phase, it gains or loses terrainwalk?
- Fatal terrains (water, Void) do not say that they check their effects
after each spell's execution. The earliest time for water or Void
to recheck a group is in the before
movement phase. Hence, groups that lose their terrainwalk during
spell execution while in a water or Void square will survive unhurt
for the rest of the spell execution phase! So they could be saved by a later
spell in the same spell execution phase that gives them a new terrainwalk,
or changes the square's terrain, or teleports them away.
What happens to a group if,
during the spell execution phase, it teleports
to a square with a different terrain type? Nothing (yet), for the
same reason as losing a terrainwalk. Terrains do
not (re)check their groups after each spell execution. The earliest terrain
recheck is in the before
movement phase, for water and Void.
Case study. Player B has previously cast a Void on the board.
Player A has a recruit group on the board,
- Player A targets Plains on the Void square.
- Player B, with initiative,
targets Bolt of Somersaults on A's group.
- First, B's Bolt of Somersaults executes. It teleports
A's group onto the Void square!
- Since Void doesn't check the group yet, the group survives (for now!).
It hovers in mid-air over the Void!
- Next, A's Plains executes. However, the Void square is no
longer unoccupied, because A's group
is hovering in it! This violates the game rule that a square
spell must target an unoccupied square. So the Plains squanders!
- This completes the spell execution phase.
- In the before movement
phase, the Void checks A's group, and removes
it from the game!
Hapless Player A lost his group and his Plains spell, and didn't
even get rid of the Void!
v2.20.00 Last updated 2009/03/27