|Plane Shift (Spell)|
The targeted stack is teleported to the same location on the other Plane.If the stack contains any unit that cannot legally move to the destination tile, the spell fails.
- This article is about the Life Magic spell called "Plane Shift". For the inherent unit ability of the same name, see Plane Shift.
Plane Shift is an Uncommon Instant Spell belonging to the Life Magic realm. It may only be cast on the overland map. For the base Casting Cost of 125, the spell will teleport an entire army stack from Arcanus to the same map location on Myrror, or vice versa. If any unit within the target stack is not allowed to move into the destination tile (for instance, Walking units attempting to Plane Shift into an Ocean tile), then Plane Shift fails, wasting its Casting Cost for nothing.
Plane Shift instantly transfers an entire army to the opposite Plane. This is a fairly straightforward process, which revolves mainly around figuring out the destination and whether or not the targeted army can legally be teleported there.
The Destination Edit
When an army is Plane Shifted, it will move from its current set of coordinates to the same coordinates on the other Plane.
To see where the stack will end up after the Plane Shift, simply move the overland view window so that the stack is visible on it, and then click the "Plane" button in the upper-right corner. The tile now visible where the army stack was previously is the destination tile for the teleport.
Note that it is possible to Plane Shift into unexplored territory - i.e. when the destination tile is still unrevealed and you do not know what it contains. Nonetheless, if the destination tile proves to be illegal for the unit, the Plane Shift will fail - wasting its entire Casting Cost.
Invalid Destinations Edit
While Plane Shifting an army stack, the game tries to make sure that the destination is valid for all units in the stack. If it is invalid for any of these units, the spell will fizzle - wasting its entire Casting Cost.
For the destination to be valid, the stack must obey the following two rules:
- A stack containing any Walking units may not Plane Shift into Ocean, Shore or River Mouth tiles on the other plane.
- A stack may not teleport into a destination tile that contains enemy units.
In either case, the teleportation fails, and the stack is returned to its original location. However, the stack does get to scout the destination tile and each tile immediately adjacent to it, even if the spell fails.
Abnormal Valid Destinations Edit
On the other hand, the two rules above do not cover the following cases - leading to various odd situations:
- A stack may freely teleport into an enemy city that is not garrisoned by any enemy units. This does not immediately conquer that town - the stack must be moved out of the town first, then back into the town, to initiate the game's conquest mechanism. In fact, that town can then produce new units without triggering combat with the interloping army!
- A stack may teleport on top of an Encounter zone. This does not trigger combat with the zone's guardians. To trigger a battle, the stack must be moved off the encounter zone, then back into it.
- A stack containing Sailing units may freely teleport into a land tile on the other Plane. The sailing units in this stack can only move into adjacent Ocean, Shore or River Mouth tiles, or Plane Shift back whence they came. If neither option is available they will become trapped and unable to move.
No Movement Costs Edit
It is important to note that Plane Shift does not cost any of the units in the stack any Movement Points.
For example, if a unit had its full Movement Allowance of 3 Movement Points available before being Plane Shifted, it will still have the same number of Movement Points available after the teleportation.
Plane Shift may only be cast on the overland map, for a basic Casting Cost of 125. It must be targeted at a tile containing at least one friendly unit.
Once the spell is cast, the stack icon will appear to dissolve until it vanishes. The overland view is then switched to the other plane, and the stack will be shown reappearing in the destination tile.
At this point, if the destination is invalid, an error pop-up will be displayed explaining why the stack cannot be teleported. The entire stack then reappears in its original position on the original plane. If this occurs, the destination tile and all tiles adjacent to it are revealed (if they were previously unexplored), but the entire stack remains where it was prior to casting the spell. Plane Shift's entire Casting Cost is wasted.
Customized Wizards possessing 11 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 8 Spellbooks, or Wizards with 11 Spellbooks who did not select Plane Shift as a guaranteed spell, will be able to Research this spell at some point during their campaign. Wizards with fewer than 8 Spellbooks have a random chance of being able to Research it. The chance for this spell to appear increases with the number of Life Spellbooks the Wizard possesses or obtains during gameplay.
Plane Shift has a base Research Cost of 300.
With at least 1 Spellbook, the Plane Shift 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.
Plane Shift is an exceptionally useful spell, with a plethora of different strategic applications.
The most basic application would be for scouting. Units can be sent to the other plane to begin exploring it, locating enemy empires and easy-to-beat Encounters. Flying units are best for this, both because they make good scouts, and because they are unlikely to try to teleport into an invalid destination (Flying units will only fail to Plane Shift if the destination contains enemy units).
Next up is sending units to beat Encounter zones on the other plane. This can be useful for early-game Myrran players, who could benefit from some easy rewards since most of the Encounters on Myrror are quite difficult. This pertains primarily to Nodes, which are much harder (though much more beneficial) on Myrror - though you'd have to Plane Shift some units to protect these Nodes after they've been captured (not to mention a Guardian Spirit or Magic Spirit to Meld with that Node).
Next up is expansion. Whether it is by Plane Shifting Settlers into an unoccupied continent on the other plane, or sending an entire army to take some Neutral towns there, establishing an early presence on both planes can have several benefits - though it may require a permanent Tower of Wizardry to effectively maintain that presence (i.e. defend the towns you've acquired there).
Finally, Plane Shift can be used to launch a surprise attack against an enemy empire or even a single town on the other plane. Enemies who do not have a presence on your plane cannot stop your units from moving right "underneath" their towns and then Plane Shifting straight into an attack position. This can dramatically cut down on the dangers of moving an army through the enemy's own territory. You might even be able to launch a surprise attack on the enemy's Fortress town this way - without encountering any resistance en-route.
Note that if you are going to use Plane Shift to put a serious presence on the other plane, it is significantly more cost-effective to pool as many units together in the same spot, Plane Shift all of them, and only then split them back up into separate armies as necessary. This requires a single Plane Shift rather than several. Plan accordingly.
Note that at a later stage in the game, the Planar Travel spell may be more cost-effective. Though it only targets specific units, it allows those units to shift back and forth as necessary.
To do this, move a Magic Spirit or Guardian Spirit into the same tile on the other Plane, so that the destination of Plane Shift would be the Node you want to take over. Cast the Plane Shift on the spirit, and then Meld with it!
As a result, the Node is now considered yours, and will generate Power as necessary, without having to fight the creatures guarding the node.
Note that this does not remove the creatures guarding the node! You can engage them later with your units (to get the reward for defeating them). If the enemy wants to take the node, he'll have to fight those creatures - so it's a free garrison for your node (you do not get to see or handle the battle though).