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Mana is a resource required to cast spells. Every character class is capable of making use of mana, provided they have at least one glyph. Spent mana can be regenerated by exploring tiles, with 1 point of mana recovered for every tile explored. However, the Mana Burn affliction will prevent you from recovering mana until it is cured.
By default a character has a maximum mana capacity of 10 and each dungeon contains three Mana Boosters, meaning that without other bonuses a character can expect to reach a maximum of 13 mana by the time the dungeon is completed.
Increasing Maximum Capacity
The following methods can be used to increase your maximum mana capacity.
- Mana Booster: when picked up, your maximum mana is permanently increased by 1.
- Elf: conversion bonus can convert items to increase maximum mana.
- Mystera Annur: can provide a small increase to maximum mana, but more importantly offers the unique ability to lower the mana cost of key glyphs.
- Jehora Jeheyu: can provide a large increase to maximum mana, but requires you to sacrifice a Mana Potion in trade for each +3
- Glowing Guardian: can provide a large increase in maximum mana at an extremely high piety cost
- Sorcerer: begins with a significant +5 bonus to his maximum mana
- Patches the Teddy: provides random benefits when you level up; one possible bonus is a +1 increase to maximum mana.
- Pendant of Mana: this item provides +2 to maximum mana, no strings attached.
- Hero's Helm: provides +1 to maximum mana in addition to some other benefits
- Elven Boots: provides +3 to maximum mana and bonus Magic resistance but is very expensive.
- Orb of Zot: provides +3 to maximum mana and +5 maximum health until used, but is very expensive.
- Mage Plate: provides a bonus to maximum mana that increases for higher level characters, but also an increasing damage penalty.
In addition to exploration, there are a number of ways to restore your mana. Unless otherwise stated, all of these methods work even when under the influence of Mana Burn.
- Level-Up: when you level up, your health and mana are fully restored
- Mana Potion: restores 40% (60% for a Bloodmage) of your maximum mana (rounded down)
- Schadenfreude Potion: the next time you are attacked, you restore a number of mana points equal to the damage sustained. This effect is applied after Mana Burn (if applicable).
- Crystal Ball: charges up every time you cast a spell, and can be activated (at the cost of gold) to restore a number of mana points equal to the accrued charge.
- Blue Bead: restores 1 mana point for every monster slain. This item is disabled by Mana Burn.
- Rock Heart: restores 1 mana point (and some hit points) when a wall is destroyed.
- Mystera Annur: restores mana with her refreshment boon.
- The Earthmother: restores mana with her clearance boon.
- Glowing Guardian: slightly restores mana (and health) with his protection boon.
- Jehora Jeheyu: fully restores mana (and health) with his chaos avatar and last chance boons.
- BLUDTUPOWA: this unique spell converts health into mana
- Bloodmage: restores 1 point of mana every time he consumes a blood pool
- Rat Monarch and Goatperson: both have special ways to restore mana and health.
An important concept for spellcasters is the idea of mana thresholds. These are convenient maximum mana totals that allow you to cast specific glyph combinations. While most of the time you can do tricks like exploring a single tile mid-battle to afford a spell you're just shy of, being able to conveniently cast the spell with no strings attached can be very important in its own right. In addition, mana potions improve as your maximum mana increases and it's important to be aware when a +1 increase to your maximum mana will improve the value of all your potions (especially for gnomes, who can have a lot of potions)
For instance, 12 mana is a threshold that allows you to cast BURNDAYRAZ twice in a row, and 13 mana is a threshold that allows you to cast HALPMEH twice in a row and then finish with GETINDARE. Additionally, and more subtly, 13 mana allows you to cast BURNDAYRAZ three times in a row by expending one mana potion. Even unusual numbers like 14 mana can open up combos like BURNDAYRAZ followed by WEYTWUT. Effects that change the cost of spells, such as the Berserker or Wizard class features or the Mystic Balance boon of Mystera Annur can change these thresholds; for instance, a Warlord under the effect of Mystic Balance greatly appreciates the 16 mana threshold (a number that doesn't normally open up any relevant options) because it lets him cast CYDSTEPP twice in a row.
Other important thresholds:
- 15 MP - mana potions restore 6 mana (exactly one fireball) per drink, and you can cast BURNDAYRAZ twice and follow with GETINDARE
- 18 MP - mana potions restore 7 mana per drink, and you can cast BURNDAYRAZ three times in a row by default.
- 20 MP - mana potions restore 8 mana per drink, and you can effectively alternate WEYTWUT and BURNDAYRAZ to defeat monsters with Retaliate: Fireball.
- 24 MP - you can cast BURNDAYRAZ four times in a row, and Warlords who worship Mystera can cast CYDSTEPP three times in a row
- 25 MP - mana potions restore a whopping 10 mana per drink, which is very convenient for characters relying on HALPMEH or CYDSTEPP
Typically there are diminishing returns after the 25 MP and for most characters it will not be worth the effort to pursue further improvement even if it is possible. However, specialized builds can push for much higher numbers. Only Elves and worshipers of Jehora Jeheyu can realistically reach the 30 mana threshold or beyond.
Thresholds are most significant when exploration is highly limited, or if you are about to activate a large number of mana potions to defeat a boss. They are less significant when you have ways to strategically restore a precise number of MP, such as the Blue Bead or BLUDTUPOWA. You should always be paying attention to what combos you want to use, and what thresholds you may be able to reach to improve the efficiency of those combos.