Magicka's best spells

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Magicka: Vietnam was released last week, and we love it. The best part is the glorious union of guns and spells, and the experimentation that comes from combining different elements into spectacular new magics. We've gathered ten of the most explosive, useful and entertaining spells we could find.

Since the game teaches you the special Magickas, we've omitted them from the list. Meteor Storm and Thunderbolt might be cool, but you know how to do them already, this list is about using the stock elemental effects to create wondrous and deadly new things.

1: ARSE Mines - ARSE - (shift) right click

ARSE (Lightning Cold Arcane) mines aren't the most damaging mines in the game (that honour belongs to the less catchy ESQFA mines) but they freeze enemies, do good damage, and you are never, ever going to forget what keys you need to hit to make them.

2: Hit Weak Point for Maximum Damage - QFQFSAA right click

Steam is always helpful. In fact the secret to most of the game's highest damaging spells is to combine two steam elements (QF) with an arcane element (S) and a pair of lightnings (A). You can cast this on your weapon or as an area attack and do massive amounts of damage, but it's best use is as the most powerful beam in the game. Cross the streams for even more damage! (Ignore Egon, he's a killjoy).

3: Haley's Comet - DSR - right click

Bombs work differently to beams. They use Earth (D) as a carrier. They charge up as you hold down right-click (increasing range) and fly out when you release it, detonating in a burst of area damage. Useful for attacking a group of enemies at range. This little gem does strong damage and chills your enemies, letting you inflict more damage before they reach you. More Cold (R) means more damage and chill effect, more Arcane (S) means a bigger area of effect. Season to taste.

4: Stalagdeath - SQR shift right click

There are more damaging area attacks out there (I refer you again to the steam, lightning, arcane combo) but Ice (QR) based attacks hit a wide radius and come with a cool ice crystal effect. The more ice in the spell, the wider the radius. A single Arcane (S) greatly increases the damage. You could also mix in an Earth (D) to add a knockdown effect. Be careful when using this in multiplayer, the massive radius means you can quite easily 'accidentally' take out your allies.

5: The Mighty Glacier - DQRQRQRQR - right click

This is one of the few top tier damage spells not to use the steam/arcane/lightning combo. The mighty glacier is a bomb, but does no splash damage. Instead, it focuses all of its power on a single target. You don't have to train it like a laser, the combo is easy to remember (just hit D and wildly mash Q and R) it's a great fire and forget weapon, and even the toughest enemies will feel it's sting.

6: PewPewPew - QRSA right click

Beams, bombs and area attacks not enough for you? Then how about a shotgun? Still not good enough? What about an Ice Shotgun? No? What about a Laser Lightning Ice Shotgun? I've got your attention now haven't I? Combining Ice (QR) and right click will fire a trio of ice shards in front of you, adding arcane (S) and lightning (A) ups the damage considerably, while adding more ice gives you more shards. As if that wasn't customisable enough the spread tightens if you hold down the right mouse button, just tapping it fires in a wide arc for when you're cornered.

7: Fun with Acronyms! - (QF)SAFE - middle click

Typing SAFE into Magicka and middle clicking will (unsurprisingly) keep you safe by making you immune to Fire, Arcane and Lightning. You can also add a Steam (QF) to it for more immunities, although that's less easy to remember. It's not showy, but casting this on yourself means you can use your big damaging spells without having to worry about accidentally killing yourself (although some say that's half the fun).

8: Super Exploding Electric Ice Wall - EQRQRAS

For most of these entries I've tried to come up with a catchy name, but in this case I couldn't possibly create anything more brilliant than the simple description: Super Exploding Electric Ice Wall. As the name suggests it is a wall (E and right or shift right click) of ice (QR) that is electrified (A) and explodes (S). Voila: the Super Exploding Electric Ice Wall! (the second ice makes it super). It's perfect when you want to block your enemy with an ice wall. And electrocute them. And blow them up.

9: Volcano Trap - EDFFF

One of the cleverest concepts we've seen, and also one of the most likely to get you killed. Combining Earth (D), Shield (E) and Fire (F) creates a wall of volcanoes that burn anyone who comes near them. Right clicking casts them in a semicircle, shift right clicking encircles yourself and shift left clicking casts them on your weapon, letting you spring them in a line the next time you hit. Why is this useful? Because enemies trapped by them will inevitably bumble into the walls and repeatedly set themselves on fire. You can even trap them in a circle of volcanoes with you if you like, just stand very, very still if you do.

10: Life from Below! - EW (shift) right click

One of our favourite spells in Magicka. Healing mines manage to be simple, effective and very very silly all at once. They're great because it only needs two elements to cast, and standing in the middle of the mines does enough healing to fully rejuvenate a near dead Mage (making any extra Ws redundant). Then there's the icing on the cake; it knocks back enemies, but leave you standing serene in the middle of a totally lethal looking explosion. Once we figured this one out it became our default method of healing. Get used to casting it as soon as you resurrect your allies (WA and Space) which if you use the rest of these spells, you'll probably be doing a lot.

A more comprehensive guide to how all the different elements mix can be found here . These our are favourites, but what's your go-to monster zapper?