- This article is about the inherent unit ability called "Plane Shift". For the Life Instant Spell of the same name see Plane Shift (Spell).
On the overland map, a unit with Plane Shift is capable of freely instantly switching from one Plane to the other, whenever it desires. The unit does not pay any Movement Points for this movement, and is unlimited in how many times it can do so each turn.
Plane Shift is activated by selecting only this unit, and clicking the "Plane" button at the top of the screen. The unit instantly appears on the opposite Plane, in the same location corresponding to the one it occupied in its original plane. Another click of the "Plane" button returns the unit to its original position, if so desired. In order to complete the shift, the unit must be capable of arriving at the destination tile legally, and would not trigger combat by doing so.
The only unit to possess Plane Shift by default are the Shadow Demons. However, it is possible to bestow an identical ability to any unit through the use of a Unit Enchantment called Planar Travel. It is also possible to add Plane Shift to a Hero by giving him/her a Magical Item imbued with the "Planar Travel" Item Power.
The planes of Arcanus and Myrror are essentially separate worlds, existing autonomously of one another, but otherwise similar in many ways. Empires and other great forces exist on both planes, but are initially confined to their home Plane. There are only a few ways for any unit to pass between the Planes, mostly involving Towers of Wizardry.
On the other hand, some units can circumvent this through an innate ability to cross between the Planes. The unit's physical presence is actually teleported directly to a specified location on the other Plane, corresponding to the unit's original location. The transfer is instantaneous too, which means that such a unit can cross whenever it desires, presenting both tactical and strategic opportunities.
While looking at the overland map, a unit with Plane Shift can freely be ordered to switch between the planes of Arcanus and Myrror. This allows it to exist, and more importantly to move, on whichever plane suits its purposes.
While an Plane Shifting unit is selected, clicking the "Plane" button at the top right of the screen will have two effects. As normal, it will switch your view to the other Plane; If you were looking at Arcanus, you'll now see Myrror - the opposite to the one you were just looking at. As your view switches, the selected unit is also teleported to the Plane you're now looking at.
- For example, say we have a unit of Shadow Demons on a certain tile in the plane of Myrror. We select this unit, and click the "Plane" button. Our view will now switch to Arcanus, but the Shadow Demons are also teleported to Arcanus!
Once the unit arrives at its destination (it can fail to do so, as explained below), it is considered as being present there, and can now move or attack on the opposite plane as necessary. It can also be returned immediately to its original Plane, simply by clicking the "Plane" button again while the unit is still selected.
The teleportation has no cost at all, and unlimited uses per turn. The unit can simply skip back and forth between the two Planes as desired. Note that the unit does need to have more than 0 Movement Points, because units that have run out of points cannot be selected - and thus cannot Plane Shift. There are also a few other limitations which must be mentioned.
Destination Tile Edit
When a unit uses Plane Shift, it is moved to a very specific location on the other plane, corresponding to the tile it is trying to leave. Each tile on Arcanus has a corresponding tile on Myrror, and Plane Shift can only move your unit between paired tiles. Therefore, using Plane Shift in a certain location on the map will send the unit to the same location on the other plane, every time it is used.
Destination Validity Edit
One important limitation is that the destination must be considered "valid" in order for Plane Shift to work. The game checks the destination tile to see whether the unit can enter that tile legally, given a specific set of rules outlined below.
First and foremost, the unit must be able to enter the tile as though it had simply moved into it from any adjacent tile. For example, if the destination tile is an Ocean, a Walking unit cannot Plane Shift into it, because it wouldn't be allowed to enter an Ocean tile during any ordinary movement.
Furthermore, the destination tile must not contain any enemy assets, including both units and Towns. In fact, any Plane Shift that would result in the shifting unit entering combat is also not allowed. Therefore, you cannot Plane Shift into an Encounter, or into a Node that hasn't yet been cleared of its original garrison.
Group Plane Shift Edit
Another limitation on Plane Shifting units is that they can only cross to the other Plane alone. If you select a group of mixed units where some have Plane Shift (or a similar ability) and some do not, clicking the "Plane" button will not resort in any of the selected units crossing to the other Plane.
Only a group made up entirely of Plane Shifting units can Plane Shift together. Of course, it is also possible to move the Plane Shifting units over one by one, but this is time-consuming.
Failed Plane Shift Edit
If the Destination Tile (see above) is invalid, the game will pop up an error saying so, and no teleportation occurs. When the error message is dismissed, the game neither moves the unit nor the view to the other Plane. While the Plane Shifting unit is selected, it is not possible to change the view without moving the unit, and that is not possible because the destination is invalid.
A failed plane shift does not harm to the selected unit, nor does it cost any Movement Points.
Planar Seal Edit
The Global Enchantment Planar Seal is designed to stop all movement between Arcanus and Myrror. So long as the spell is in effect, there is almost no way to move between the Planes - and this includes the use of Plane Shift or any similar ability.
It is possible to work around Planar Seal (see that article for more details), but does not change the fact that Plane Shift will not work while Planar Seal is in effect. Any attempt to use it will result in a Failed Plane Shift (see above). Also note that it does not matter who controls the Planar Seal - it affects all units and all empires.
Units with Default Plane Shift Edit
There is only one unit in the game that possesses Plane Shift by default:
This is one reason why Shadow Demons are so dangerous: they can maneuver on either plane, attack by complete surprise, and escape before the enemy can engage them.
Acquiring Plane Shift Edit
The Plane Shift ability can be added artificially to a unit by one of two means:
- Casting the Planar Travel Unit Enchantment on the unit.
- Imbuing a Magical Item with the "Planar Travel" Item Power, and equipping it on a Hero.
Both methods give the unit an ability labeled "Planar Travel", which has the same icon (in different colors). However, this ability is identical to Plane Shift, so everything in this article applies to it equally.
Planar Travel Unit Enchantment Edit
Planar Travel is an Uncommon Unit Enchantment from the Life realm. When cast on any unit, it will add the Plane Shift ability to that unit (labeled "Planar Travel", and with a differently-colored icon). This ability remains while the spell is in effect, and behaves exactly as described in this article.
Planar Travel has a basic Casting Cost of 150, and can only be cast on the overland map. It is a lingering effect, so the unit gets to keep its Plane Shift ability only as long as the spell remains active. You must then pay an Upkeep Cost of 5 per turn to keep the spell in play.
Planar Travel Item Power Edit
A permanent version of the Planar Travel spell can be imbued into a Staff, Wand or Jewelry piece. When a Hero wears this item, he/she receives the Plane Shift ability (labeled "Planar Travel", and with a differently-colored icon). This ability behaves exactly as described in this article.
During Item Crafting, it is only possible to select the "Planar Travel" bonus if you possess at least 5 Life Spellbooks. Otherwise, "Planar Travel" is not available. Of course, it is always possible to find an item already enchanted with "Planar Travel" as reward for defeating an Encounter.
The "Planar Travel" ability bestowed by an item is transient: it will disappear if the Hero ever removes or loses the enchanted item.