Dark Catalyst (719)

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Dark Catalyst (719)
Mnemonic [DARKCAT]
Duration Instantaneous
Attack Magic - Damage  
Subtype Warding 
Target(s) Single 
Damage Type Health & Mana 
Critical Type Lightning, Impact, Fire, Cold 
Sorcerer Base Spells
Blood Burst (701) Attack
Mana Disruption (702) Attack
Corrupt Essence (703) Attack
Phase (704) Utility
Disintegrate (705) Attack
Mind Jolt (706) Attack
Eye Spy (707) Utility
Limb Disruption (708) Attack
Grasp of the Grave (709) Attack
Energy Maelstrom (710) Attack
Pain (711) Attack
Cloak of Shadows (712) Defensive
Balefire (713) Attack
Scroll Infusion (714) Utility
Curse (715) Attack
Pestilence (716) Attack
Evil Eye (717) Attack
Torment (718) Attack
Dark Catalyst (719) Attack
Implosion (720) Attack
Minor Summoning (725) Utility
Animate Dead (730) Utility
Ensorcell (735) Utility
Planar Shift (740) Utility

Dark Catalyst converts the mana of the target into elemental energy, causing mana loss and massive critical damage. A successful cast can yield mana return between 1 and 14 to the caster (heavily weighted towards lower amounts). The spell's offensive impact is determined by the target's current amount of magical power, the amount by which their spiritual warding fails, as well as one's training in the Elemental Lores.

On a successful cast, five individual strikes are unleashed upon the target. In order: essence (health only, no critical), fire, ice, lightning, and impact. Magical and semi-magical creatures have a high chance of being killed with a single cast. If the target dies before receiving all of the strikes, the spell will end immediately. This may also cut off any mana return.

Because Dark Catalyst turns mana into elemental energy, it is most effective against spell-casting creatures that have a lot of mana, and creatures that are most vulnerable to the applicable elements. There are two individual considerations to take into account considering the efficiency of this spell.

  • Magical ability of the target - Magical (pure) targets that are primarily spell casters have plenty of mana and will suffer the most damage from the spell, including subsequent casts. Semi-magical creatures with some mana which are not primarily spell casters. Casts beyond the first are less effective and generally not worthwhile. Square targets with little or no mana will take very little damage from this spell, making poor targets.
  • Elemental makeup of the target - Regardless of the target type in terms of its magical categorization, the fact that a successful cast of Dark Catalyst subjects the target to a variety of elemental criticals is important in its own right. For example, creatures made of stone will receive up to 2 additional critical strikes shortly after the spell has resolved. This is due to stone's weakness against the combination of heat and cold attacks. Also, most trolls take double damage from fire and are unable to regenerate for a period of time. Conversely, Dark Catalyst might not be the best choice for creatures highly resistant to any of the four elements.

Dark Catalyst can be made effective versus non-corporeal creatures, which are not susceptible to critical damage, by casting Phase (704) on them to make them corporeal, and thus increasing their susceptibility.

Sorcerers should be very careful when using Dark Catalyst in The Bowels and Nelemar due to the fire and lightning cycles, which might ignite the gas or electrify the water, respectively.

When Dark Catalyst is used in conjunction with the Elemental Targeting (425) lore benefit, sorcerers attuned to air will receive a critical weighting boost to the lightning critical cycle.

Mana Control Benefit

The amount of mana returned is modified by training in Elemental Mana Control and Spiritual Mana Control.

Lore Benefits

Training the applicable Elemental Lores will increase the damage and severity of the critical strike for the corresponding element.

Elemental Lore, Air Electricity
Elemental Lore, Earth Impact
Elemental Lore, Fire Heat
Elemental Lore, Water Cold

At twelve ranks of a given lore, the critical rank of the relevant damage cycle is increased by one level; at fifty lore ranks, it is increased by 2 levels; and at one hundred lore ranks, it is increased by 3 levels. This flat modifier is unaffected by the warding margin.

Applicable Elemental Lore ranks 12 50 100
Relevant damage cycle critical rank increase 1 2 3

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