Penetration and Scrolls

It all happens to us all eventually. You're playing the game, kicking some butt when suddenly, the gods of luck just happen to decide to screw with you. You roll the die only to land on your opponent's high level territory. And just your luck, the creature guarding it is of the same element and getting a nice HP boost. So what are you going to do now?

If you choose to battle, then there are 3 ways to deal with it. First, you could send out your biggest creature and equip your strongest weapon and brute force your way through battle, spending a heap of manna in the process. Or you could go for one of the two cheaper routes and use either a creature with Penetration or simply equip a creature with a scroll. Now constantly using brute force will work, but it could also get expensive. And in this game you really need to manage your manna. So, being the penny pincher that you are, you choose one of the latter. But does it really matter which one you choose? They both do the same thing, right? Well, yes and no. They both help you get around an opponent's HP boost from land bonus, but they don't do it the same way. Each one has its own strength and weaknesses. So let us compare the two and see what each one can do.


Like any eager man my age, let's start with Penetration. Penetration is quite simple. It is treated as a normal attack, but has a special effect on Land Bonuses. It gets rid of them. If a creature with Penetration attacks a creature with a Land Bonus, the Land Bonus is negated and the defending creature has to use its current HP to defend itself. However, the defending creature still has the option of equipping an item to help protect its self. What does that mean for you? Not much. Since your attack is treated as a normal attack it has all the advantages and disadvantages as a normal attack. Meaning, if your creature allows it, you can equip an item to boost your own attack strength. Or, if you have a blessing such as Tough Song on yourself, that too will boost your attack with Penetration. Also, creature boosts, such as Ares, will also increase your strength.

Penetration does have its weaknesses, though. Since it is treated as a normal attack, it also suffers the same risks as a normal attack. If your opponent's creature has a way to neutralize attacks, it will be neutralized. If they have a way to reflect damage, it will be reflected. If you are cursed with something such as Sinking Song, your attacks will be weakened. And if an opponent has a creature that weakens your attacks (e.g. they have a Humbaba out and you attack with a Nightmare), you will suffer the loss as well. To break it down to its most basic, all Penetration does is take the HP increase from Land Bonuses out of the equation.

At a glance:


  • HP from Land Bonus is negated

  • Strength of it can be increased though spells, items, TA and enchantments


  • Can be neutralized like any other attack

  • Can be reflected

  • Can be weakened by Spells, Curses and TAs


Scrolls act differently than Penetration attacks. They too bypass land bonuses, but for a different reason. Scroll attacks bypass everything and do direct damage to a creatures' base HP. What does that mean? Whereas Penetration just negated HP from Land Bonus, Scroll attacks act like it isn't even there and go around it. Similarly, Scrolls will go around various protection TAs and Items. A creature neutralizes normal attacks? Not a problem! A scroll attack is considered its own attack, and will still get through! Creature equipped with an Item or spell that reflects damage? The Scroll goes around that too! In fact, the only things that actually negate a Scroll attack are innate abilities and items that specifically say they affect Scroll attacks.

I know... Scroll attacks seem like they're the ultimate, right? Well, they have their weaknesses too. For starters, they are generally weak. Doing either 30 damage (45 critical) or 50 damage (75 critical). You can't power them up any stronger than that. Though some creatures have their attack act as a Scroll attack, their attack is treated as a normal attack if you equip an item. Now, you're probably thinking, that isn't a big deal as very few creatures will have a base HP of 75 or higher, right? Well, yes and no. TAs that boosts HP (such as Lichenoid) boosts the base HP. Also, Scroll attacks don't get around items or spells that boost HP. So, for example, you go into a battle with a monster with 10 HP. You use a Tearing Halo that critical for 45 damage, but your opponent equips a Scale armor that boosts their HP by 40. Their base HP is now, temporarily, treated as 50. So you do 45 damage and they survive with 5 HP left.

At a glance:


  • Ignores HP from land bonus

  • Ignores Items and abilities that neutralize or reflect attacks

  • Can only be neutralized by items or abilities that specifically state scrolls


  • Generally weak and can't be powered up (other than via Scroll Critical Hit)

  • Doesn't get around HP boost from items

  • Doesn't get around in battle abilities that boost HP

In the end, both Penetration and Scrolls have their own unique advantages. And if used at the correct times can save you manna and gain you land. As long as you pay attention to what your opponents have in their hands, when they are shown, you shouldn't have any problem deciding which one to use and when.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 May 2013 08:48

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