Dungeon: Elemental Chains

The Elemental Chains system allow a Warlock to deal additional elemental damage with his/her troops and spells. Provided the requirements are met, this bonus damage triggers when the attacker possess the opposite "element" as the target. It can greatly enhance the damage output of the Warlock, and as such, is a very rewarding system to master.

What are Elements?

Every creature and destructive spell in Heroes of Might and Magic V bears one of the four elements of the ancient world: Air, Earth, Fire and Water. The destructive spells deal direct elemental damage, depending on the nature of the spell, e.g. Fireball to Fire, Implosion to Earth, Ice Bolt to Water etc. A full list can be found in the spells table below. Each creature in the game has an element which is randomly re-generated weekly.


In order to execute the Elemental Chain process, there are certain pre-requisites that need to be fulfilled:

Elemental Vision
This ability enables the player to see the aforementioned elemental types associated with enemy creatures. Without this, elemental chains do not work. Elemental Vision allows elemental damage to be dealt via spells only, meaning that your own creatures are not yet able to partake in elemental chains.
Altar of Elements
The Altar of Elements allows the player to see the elements associated with his/her own units. This building is required for creatures to participate in elemental chaining.

Note: Elemental Vision is the ability that allows chaining. If you possess Elemental Vision, but not the Altar of Elements, you are able to chain with spells. However, if you possess Altar of Elements but not Elemental Vision, you are unable to chain whatsoever.

The Essence of Chaining

When the requirements above have been met, Elemental Chains allow you to deal more damage in combat. This elemental bonus damage is a fraction of your creature or spell damage (see the table below). It triggers when the element of the target creature is the opposite of the element of your damaging spell or creature.

Air <--> Earth
Fire <--> Water

Once the Elemental damage bonus has triggered, creatures' elements (both for the attacker and defender) are randomly remodified. So if Fire attacked Water, the new elements could be Earth and Fire, Air and Water, Fire and Air, etc. As soon as the combat is over, though, all creatures will assume their weekly element again. That "elements roll" prevents the same creatures from always getting a bonus when attacking the same targets.

Note that elements associated with spells never change.

Frequently Asked Elemental Chains Questions

Where are the elements displayed and where can I see them?

The elements associated with creatures are displayed in combat (and in the town screen). The element of each creature is visible on their icon on the ATB Bar, and is accessible if you right click the stack for creature information.

Can elemental chains work the opposite way? What happens if an enemy's fire-aligned creature attacks my water-aligned one?

The only way elemental chains work in the opposite direction too is if your opponent is a Warlock who has at least the Elemental Vision ability. Then, the damage would correspond to the other buildings and skills he/she possesses. If the enemy is not a Warlock, then they cannot make use of elemental chains.

What happens when luck strikes? And what about retaliation?

When your creature is affected by good luck, the amount of elemental damage dealt reflects that. For example, if your creature deals 70 damage + 7 earth damage normally, but deals 140 damage with luck, then the earth damage will also undergo a proportional increase: 14 damage will be dealt. In terms of retaliation, yes, elemental chains are still in effect for your creature's retaliatory actions.

Are there any implications if creatures attack with non-opposite elements? (E.g. Fire vs Air)

No, nothing occurs in terms of elemental damage, switching elements or otherwise, if two non-opposite elements interact.

What about creatures who affect more than one enemy with one attack?

For creatures that inflict a double-strike, the two strikes are successive, and the elemental damage, if any, occurs on the first attack. For creatures like Hydras or Black Dragons, dealing damage to multiple targets simultaneously, each target creature is subject to elemental damage depending on their element.

Why is it called Elemental "Chains"?

Because they were chains once (during the beta testing). The system then was much more elaborate, and accordingly more difficult to master. As rewarding as it was, it has been simplified to allow an easier access to all the players. Only the name remained, as a last sign of the glory of ancient times. You can visit the Elemental Chains Beta page, to get a glimpse of it.

Elemental Damage Multipliers

As with other racial abilities, there are a number of multipliers which increase the amount of damage dealt using elemental chains.

Basic Irresistible Magic
  • Effect: 5% elemental damage bonus
Advanced Irresistible Magic
  • Effect: 10% elemental damage bonus
  • Requires: Basic Irresistible Magic
Expert Irresistible Magic
  • Effect: 15% elemental damage bonus
  • Requires: Advanced Irresistible Magic
Ultimate Irresistible Magic
  • Effect: 20% elemental damage bonus
  • Requires: Expert Irresistible Magic
Altar of Primal Elements
  • Effect: +10% added to elemental damage (cumulative)
  • Requires: Town Level 3, Altar of Elements
  • Cost: 3000, 5
Rage of the Elements
  • Effect: Doubles the percentage of elemental damage to be dealt
  • Requires: Plague Tent, Tear of Asha Vision, Wizard's Reward

Elements associated with Destructive Spells

The spells from the other magic schools will not grant you any element damage bonus.

Name Level Element
Eldritch Arrow1
Stone spikes1
Ice Bolt2
Lightning Bolt2
Circle of Winter3
Chain Lightning4
Meteor Shower4

The Elemental Chains skill

Basic Elemental Chains
Basic Elemental Chains
Partially negates magic protection and allows to deal 20% of normal spell damage to otherwise resistant creatures. Gives a 5% bonus to elemental chain damage
Advanced Elemental Chains
Advanced Elemental Chains
Significantly negates magic protection and allows to deal 40% of normal spell damage to otherwise resistant creatures. Gives a 10% bonus to elemental chain damage
Expert Elemental Chains
Expert Elemental Chains
Negates half of magic protection and allows hero to deal 50% of normal spell damage to otherwise resistant creatures. Gives a 15% bonus to elemental chain damage
Ultimate Elemental Chains
Ultimate Elemental Chains
Drastically negates magic protection and allows hero to deal 75% of normal spell damage to otherwise resistant creatures. Gives a 20% bonus to elemental chain damage

Associated abilities

Dark Ritual
Dark Ritual
Special adventure ability. Hero spends entire day to perform the ritual and regain full mana. Can only be used at the beginning of the day.
Elemental Vision
Elemental Vision
Allows Warlock to see elements on enemy creatures so that Destructive Magic spells cast by the hero can inflict additional elemental damage. 5% elemental damage through spells only.
Empowered Spells
Empowered Spells
All damaging spells cast by hero deal 50% more damage, but the mana cost is doubled.
Rage of the Elements
Rage of the Elements
Elemental chain effects inflict double damage.


Similar to Counterstrike, the Elemental Chains secondary skill deals with enhancing another factor as well - negating magic protection. While leveling up in the Elemental Chains skill will make you more proficient at dealing elemental damage, learning the abilities associated will allow you to strengthen your hero's magical strength - e.g. Empowered Spells. The distinct lack of mana the Warlocks suffer from can be somewhat helped by Dark Ritual. In terms of Elemental Chains, there is only one modifier, namely Rage of the Elements enabling you to deal double elemental damage. Of course, there is always the Altar of Primal Elements available in-town, with a stackable 10% bonus.

Rage of the Elements

The power of the Rage of the Elements absolute ability depends on the initial effectiveness of your hero's elemental chains damage bonus. The most can be attained from this ability with a number of Altar of Primal Elements. Certainly, once the hero reaches the later levels of development, Rage of the Elements may prove indomitable, especially if the Warlock has masteries in Luck and Attack, too. Rage of the Elements is a very active ability, and comes into play every time an elemental damage bonus does.

This information comes from the Heroes V release version (v2.1).

Thanks to ThE_HyDrA for creating and looking after the Heroes 5 section of Age of Heroes!