Phantom Beast
Realm Icon Sorcery.pngSorcery
Spell Properties
Spell Rarity Uncommon
Casting Cost Icon Mana.png 35
Research Cost Icon Research.png 800
Unit Properties
# of Figures Icon SingleFigureUnit.png 1
Moves Icon Movement Ground2 / Icon Movement Water2
Melee Attack per figure Icon Melee Normal.png 18
Resistance Icon Resist.png 8
Hit Points per figure Icon Hits.png 20
Unit Abilities

Ability ToHit +10% To Hit

Ability NonCorporeal Non-Corporeal

Ability PoisonImmunity Poison Immunity

Ability StoningImmunity Stoning Immunity

Ability DeathImmunity Death Immunity

Ability Illusion Illusion
Tactical PhantomBeast
The Phantom Beast is a type of Fantastic Unit featured in Master of Magic. Phantom Beasts belong to the Icon Sorcery.pngSorcery Realm, and may be summoned using a Summoning Spell of the same name. They may only be summoned during battles, and disappear immediately afterwards.

The Phantom Beast has a ferocious attack, which completely ignores enemy Icon Defense.png Defense scores thanks to its Illusionary property. Nonetheless, the Beast is very vulnerable to Icon Damage.png Damage, and is therefore a short-lived but very powerful asset during combat.

The Fantastic Unit Edit

Physical Description Edit

The Phantom Beast is a large, vaguely humanoid-shaped creature, significantly larger than a grown man. Only a rough outline of the creature is visible as a shimmering blue light, with the rest of its body being completely transparent. Therefore, little is known about it beyond this basic description.

The Phantom Beast is a Icon SingleFigureUnit.png Single-Figure Unit.

Attack Properties Edit

The single Phantom Beast has a powerful Melee Attack strength of Icon Melee Normal.png 18, which is pretty much its most defining trait. With its Icon ToHit.png +10% To Hit bonus, the Phantom Beast delivers on average about Icon Damage.png 7.2 points of Damage per attack, enough to kill the majority of mid-tier Normal Units.

To make matters worse for its prey, the Phantom Beast's attack has the Illusion Damage property - ignoring the target's armor. This means that in Melee combat the target does not get to use its Icon Defense.png Defense score to block any of the damage inflicted by the Phantom Beast! In other words, even the most heavily-armored enemy unit will suffer an average of Icon Damage.png 7.2 points of Damage per attack from the Beast.

Note of course that target units possessing the Illusions Immunity ability are not subjected to the Illusion Damage effect - they get to make their Icon Defense.png Defense rolls to reduce damage as normal.

Defensive Properties Edit

The Phantom Beast is one of the weakest units when it comes to protection in combat - it has none! The Phantom Beast's Icon Defense.png Defense score is Icon Defense.png 0, which means that it too makes no rolls to deflect incoming damage, and is thus extremely vulnerable to Ranged Attacks of all kinds, First Strike and any other pre-melee attacks, as well as direct-damage spells.

Fortunately, Phantom Beasts have a relatively high number of Icon Hits.png Hit Points with which to absorb damage. This can help keep the beast in combat for a longer period of time, allowing it to inflict more damage. However, the creature is still expected to die in any prolonged battle.

Phantom Beasts possess a Resistance score of Icon Resist.png 8, which gives them reasonably-good protection from enemy spells and other ill effects. Phantom Beasts are also completely immune to Stoning Damage (from any source), Poison Touch attacks, and all Death- and Fear-related Curses and unit abilities.

Other Properties Edit

Phantom Beasts are quick combat units, moving at Icon Movement Ground2 during battle. They can move on ocean terrain as easily as on earth, making them suitable for naval combat situations.

The Phantom Beast is also Non-Corporeal. This renders it immune to most ill effects that only target Walking units, such as Earth to Mud. Furthermore, it enables the Beast to move through City Walls or other obstacles without any problems.

When Phantom Beasts exist outside of combat (usu. as Rampaging Monsters), their Non-Corporeal ability allows them to move across overland map tiles at a cost of 0.5 Movement Points per tile. However, they do not get a speed benefit from Roads, and will not have infinite movement across Enchanted Roads like other units do.

Basic Tactics Edit

The Phantom Beast is a powerful suicide troop, meant to inflict as much damage as possible before it is destroyed. Losing the beast is fine - it disappears after combat anyway - but the idea is to maximize the amount of damage the Phantom Beast does before it is destroyed.

Thanks to its quick movement, the Phantom Beast is expected to close the distance with the enemy as rapidly as possible (to avoid being killed or heavily-injured by incoming Ranged Attacks), and then inflict as much damage as possible to the most heavily-armored units on the battlefield with its Illusion Damage attack - which ignores armor.

Enemy Phantom Beasts Edit

Although Wizards may only use Phantom Beasts for the duration of a single battle, these Fantastic Creatures will sometimes be encountered as permanent guardians in Sorcery Nodes and other encounter areas. Furthermore, they may lead Rampaging Monster groups to attack your cities! Phantom Beasts are often encountered in groups of two or three, and accompanied by large numbers of Phantom Warriors. They may also accompany stronger Icon Sorcery.pngSorcery units.

Phantom Beasts have a high Icon Hits.png Hit Point count, but virtually no Icon Defense.png Defense. Additionally, they strike very hard once they get into Melee range - which they will very early in the battle. This means that taking out a charging Phantom Beast is a high priority, and needs to be done before the Beast reaches your lines.

Powerful direct-damage spells are by far the most effective way to take out a Phantom Beast. It is very easy to calculate approximately how much damage any spell will do to the Beast, because it cannot Icon ToBlock.png block any incoming damage. You can pick the right spell, at exactly the right Icon Mana.png Mana cost, to take out the Beast with one hit.

Alternatively, Ranged Attacks can be used to whittle down a Phantom Beast at a distance - assuming they can do it fast enough. In any case, Ranged Attacks are usually preferable to Melee Combat against a creature that can cause so much damage in a single hit. The more powerful your Ranged Attackers are, the better chance they stand to kill the beast before it reaches and kills them.

Icon Death.pngDeath wizards can engage Phantom Beasts with their own expendable units - the Undead - who are immune to the Beasts' Illusion Damage effect. Large masses of Undead may be required for this. If you have no Undead at your disposal, masses of other kinds of expendable units might do the trick - and they will take plenty of casualties while doing so.

Ability Overview Edit

Ability ToHit +10% To Hit Edit

  • This unit has an extra Icon ToHit.png 10% chance to hit its target with every attack. This improves its statistical chance to inflict more Icon Damage.png Damage with each attack it makes.

Ability NonCorporeal Non-Corporeal Edit

  • This unit may move across any land Terrain and/or Ocean at a rate of 0.5 Movement Point per tile.
  • The unit does not get speed benefits from moving across Road or Enchanted Road tiles.
  • During battle, the unit may move through City Walls as though they were not there.
  • Many spell effects that target only Walking units will not affect this unit regardless of what movement abilities it has.

Ability PoisonImmunity Poison Immunity Edit

  • This unit cannot be hurt by Poison Damage. It will automatically pass any Icon Resist.png Resistance roll to avert such damage.

Ability StoningImmunity Stoning Immunity Edit

  • This unit cannot be petrified, whether by Stoning Damage attacks or the Petrify spell. It ignores the Stoning effect entirely.

Ability DeathImmunity Death Immunity Edit

  • This unit cannot be affected by any spell or ability that causes death or fear, including most of the combat spells from the Icon Death.pngDeath Realm.

Ability Illusion Illusion Edit

  • When this unit attacks an enemy, that enemy does not get to make any Icon Defense.png Defense rolls to reduce incoming damage.
  • Enemy units with Illusion Immunity ignore this effect, and may make their Icon Defense.png Defense rolls as per the normal combat rules.

The Summoning Spell Edit

Usage Edit

Phantom Beast may only be cast during combat, for the base Casting Cost of Icon Mana.png 35. The spell must be targeted at any unoccupied battlefield tile, and only on your half of the battlefield. Upon casting, the new Phantom Beast unit will appear in the targeted tile.

The new unit is created with full Movement Points, and may move and/or attack immediately as necessary.

The Phantom Beast will always be destroyed at the end of combat, if it hasn't already been destroyed by that point. There is no way to "preserve" it for use on the overland map. As such, the unit also has no Upkeep Costs.

Permanent Summoning Trick Edit

Disclaimer: This trick appears to violate the game designers' intent, and it cannot be guaranteed that its use won't destabilize the game.


A Phantom Beast summoned to your Summoning Circle using the Word of Recall spell.

If you MUST have a Phantom Beast for your army garrisoned in one of your towns, you can enter a battle with the intention of losing (not winning). You will need the Icon Sorcery.pngSorcery spells Word of Recall and Phantom Beast. Enter a battle and summon the Phantom Beast or Phantom Beasts that you want for your army. Use the Word of Recall on your Phantom Beast or Phantom Beasts. You can continue the battle to the maximum number of turns, flee the battle (with the risk of losing any units that you have in the battle), or use Word of Recall on any remaining units. This brings your units back to the Summoning Circle and you now have a Phantom Beast that requires Icon Mana.png 4 per turn Upkeep Cost. This does not work if you win the battle.

Acquisition Edit

As an Uncommon Icon Sorcery.pngSorcery spell, Phantom Beast may become available to any Wizard who possesses at least one Icon Sorcery.pngSorcery Spellbook. However, its availability during the game is almost never guaranteed.

Customized Wizards possessing Icon Sorcery.png11 Spellbooks at creation time may choose this spell as one of their default spells before starting the game, in which case the spell will already be researched and available for casting immediately on the first turn.

Wizards who possess at least Icon Sorcery.png8 Spellbooks, or Wizards with Icon Sorcery.png11 Spellbooks who did not select Phantom Beast as a guaranteed spell, will be able to Research this spell at some point during their campaign. Wizards with fewer than Icon Sorcery.png8 Spellbooks have a random chance of being able to Research it. The chance for this spell to appear increases with the number of Icon Sorcery.pngSorcery Spellbooks the Wizard possesses or obtains during gameplay.

Phantom Beast has a base Research Cost of Icon Research.png 800.

With at least Icon Sorcery.png1 Spellbook, the Phantom Beast spell may be acquired as a reward for winning encounters in creature Lairs, Towers, et cetera, or when conquering the Fortress of a rival wizard who has already researched this spell.