|Upkeep Cost||7 per turn|
|# of figures||4|
|Melee Attack per figure||5|
|Ranged Attack per figure||4|
|Defense per figure||4|
|Hit Points per figure||5|
+20% To HitDeath Immunity
|As of Master of Magic v1.31, Shadow Demons is known to be malfunctioning in at least one way. Please read the Known Bugs section below.|
Fantastic Unit featured in Master of Magic. Shadow Demons belong to the Death Realm, and may be summoned using a Summoning Spell of the same name. The Shadow Demons possess both a Melee Attack and Magical Ranged Attack of reasonable quality, but benefit most from their other abilities: Weapon Immunity, Non-Corporeal, Plane Shift and above all Regeneration. They also Fly, albeit at a slow pace, and possess all four immunities common to all Death creatures.
The Fantastic Unit Edit
Physical Description Edit
Shadow Demons are exactly what their name suggests: demonic creatures, vaguely humanoid in appearance, comprised entirely of shadows and dark energy. They float above the ground, wreathed in what appears to be some sort of purple flame. Their long, spindly bodies and limbs belie sturdier mettle.
Attack Properties Edit
Shadow Demons tend to use their Ranged Attack as their primary mode of combat. Each Shadow Demon attacks with a strength of 4, and benefits from an innate To Hit bonus of +20% for an average damage output of 2 per attack. With all four Shadow Demons attacking in unison, this can be quite a competent attack.
Shadow Demons may only use their Ranged Attack up to 8 times in any battle - which is usually enough. However if their ammunition runs out, they have to resort to a Melee Attack - which is actually a little stronger. Each Demon attacks with 5, and the same +20% To Hit bonus applies to give an average damage output of 2.5 per Demon, per attack.
Defensive Properties Edit
Shadow Demons possess a rather-light Defense score of 4, high enough to do combat with weak enemy units, but not to protect the Demons against substantial damage. On average, the Shadow Demons will block only 1.2 points of Damage from any incoming attack.
Shadow Demons are quite healthy, at 5 Hit Points per Demon. This allows them to take a good amount of damage before being destroyed. Remember of course that Shadow Demons have the innate ability to Regenerate, which will slowly return lost health during combat. Whenever the Shadow Demons' army wins a battle, the unit is returned to full health, with all 4 Demons restored to life - even if the entire unit was destroyed during the battle!
Shadow Demons possess all four immunities common to Death creatures: Poison Immunity, Illusions Immunity, Cold Immunity and Death Immunity. This helps protect them from a wide variety of enemy spells and special attacks. The Shadow Demons' Non-Corporeal ability also helps protect them from a few various effects.
On top of these, Shadow Demons possess Weapon Immunity. This ability temporarily raises the Shadow Demons' Defense score to 10 whenever engaged in Melee combat with an enemy unit using Normal Weapons. As a result, Shadow Demons can safely engage such units with little or no fear of taking any damage.
Finally, for cases where its immunities don't apply, the Shadow Demons unit possesses the rather-high Resistance score of 8. While insufficient to stop all Curses and Special Attacks, it does reduce the chance of these taking hold by a good amount.
Other Properties Edit
Shadow Demons possess several abilities which truly expand their versatility, allowing them use tactics not normally available to other units. For starters, Shadow Demons are Flying Non-Corporeal creatures, and this has many implications on both combat and overland movement.
During combat, Flying allows the Shadow Demons to maneuver more freely, with less fear of being attacked by enemy Walking units in Melee combat. This allows the Shadow Demons to pick their targets more easily, which is very useful given the Weapon Immunity that renders them highly-resistant to the weaker enemy units on the field. Furthermore, their Non-Corporeal nature makes them immune to the Web spell, which means that their Flying ability cannot be taken away.
On the overland map, Shadow Demons can go pretty much where they please, due to having both Flying and Non-Corporeal abilities, as well as Plane Shift (discussed below). They don't make very good scouts however, because their Flying ability overrides the Non-Corporeal ability when spending movement points, so the Shadow Demons end up paying 1 Movement Point per tile instead of 0.5. Also, the Shadow Demons have an uncharacteristically-slow movement rate of only 1. Fortunately, Flying also allows this unit to utilize Roads and Enchanted Roads, which other Non-Corporeal units cannot.
Plane Shifting Edit
Whenever the Shadow Demons are selected, clicking the "Plane" button will move the Shadow Demons from their current location to the corresponding location on the other Plane. This allows the Shadow Demons to explore both Planes easily.
When they are moving alone or in hordes, Shadow Demons can easily evade enemy patrols or stronger armies by shifting to the other plane, staying out of reach. They can launch surprise attacks on enemy assets in this way, with the enemy having little to do about it.
Note that Plane Shift only works if the movement to the other plane will not result in immediately triggering combat. It is not possible to shift into an enemy army or Town, nor into an Encounter zone or a non-liberated Node.
Basic Tactics Edit
Shadow demons are most effective when summoned immediately on starting the game by a wizard with eleven death spellbooks. This strategy requires the wizard to give up on skill and research in the early game and focus on mana for shadow demons. The shadow demons will return the mana with interest by defeating encounters and conquering cities. A stack of one shadow demon can safely defeat any neutral city, most dwellings and some nodes and towers. Regeneration means that the shadow demon can continue without having to stop and heal. Usually, a single shadow demon will be able to conquer an enemy capital at the point that capital is found. If the shadow demon reaches the capital too late, black wind can be used to soften up the defenders.
If the enemy is too strong to beat with one stack of shadow demons, use the strong economy you gained by defeating neutral cities and dwellings to build a more conventional army. At this point the high upkeep and slow speed of shadow demons can cause problems. Use the summoning circle spell to get them where they are needed.
- Let the shadow demon regenerate to 4 figures before engaging in melee.
- Change planes every turn to maximise exploration and hence the number of lairs found
- Start with Elves for extra mana or Halflings to take advantage of conquered cities
- Try to avoid fighting unbanished enemy wizards except to banish them
- Keep your shadow demons in stacks of one.
Lairs containing the following creatures can be attacked with a single shadow demon unit:
- Earth elemental
- Fire elemental
- Giant spiders
- Guardian spirit
- Hell hounds (except in nodes)
- Night Stalkers
- Phantom beasts
- Phantom warriors
- Sprites (except in nodes)
- War bears
Enemy Shadow Demons Edit
Shadow Demons are fairly common as neutral enemy units. They are sometimes found in Encounters such as Ancient Temples, Fallen Temples, Ruins and occasionally Towers of Wizardry. Shadow Demons like to appear in large hordes, especially on higher difficulty levels, which can make battles with them very difficult. In other situations, a few Shadow Demons will accompany a large force of low-level Death creatures.
Shadow Demons will likely start the battle by pelting your units with Ranged Attacks, and if there are several Shadow Demons in the opposing army this can be a real problem. Expect losses amongst your weaker units by the time you manage to close the distance.
Try to gang up on a unit of Shadow Demons to destroy it entirely as quickly as possible - thus preventing the unit from Regenerating. Fortunately, Shadow Demons are not quick enough to get away, but if they do slink off you may have a problem.
In any case, strong Melee Attackers and/or Ranged Attackers are recommended, though naturally the best thing to do would be to cast powerful spells to reduce the effectiveness of any and all Shadow Demons on the battlefield.
Ability Overview Edit
- This unit may use a Magical Ranged Attack instead of a Melee Attack 8 times in each battle. Once the unit's ammo is expended, it must resort to Melee Attacks.
- This unit has an extra 20% chance to hit its target with every attack. This improves its statistical chance to inflict more Damage with each attack it makes.
- As long as it has any Movement Points left on the overland map, this unit may freely switch between the planes of Arcanus and Myrror.
- While the unit is selected, clicking the "Plane" button instantly transfers the unit to the corresponding tile on the other plane. You may do this repeatedly as necessary.
- The unit may not Plane Shift into a tile that would trigger an immediate battle. This includes shifting into enemy armies or Towns and shifting into Encounter zones.
- Non-Corporeal may move across any land Terrain and/or Ocean at a rate of 0.5 Movement Point per tile. However, due to this unit being a flying unit, the movement is 1 Movement Point per tile regardless of Terrain.
- 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.
- At the end of its combat round, this unit regains 1 Hit Point, as long as it is not already at full health.
- If the unit has one or more dead (missing) Figures, and all remaining figures are at full health, the next Hit Point will restore 1 Figure to life. Subsequent turns will see that figure regaining health until it is fully-healed, whereupon the next figure is restored to life, and so on.
- If an army stack containing this unit wins a battle, the unit is restored to full health immediately at the end of the battle. If the unit was killed, it is restored to life and full health at the end of the battle (again, only if its army won).
- If the unit is killed in battle, and its army retreats or is defeated, it is destroyed and will not regenerate.
- This unit cannot be hurt by Poison Damage. It will automatically pass any Resistance roll to avert such damage.
- Normal Units and Heroes attacking this unit with a Normal Melee Attack temporarily increase its Defense score to 10.
- Illusion Damage inflicted on this unit does not bypass its armor. The unit gets to make its Defense rolls as normal.
- During combat, this unit will spot all enemy Invisible creatures regardless of how close they are. Those creatures become semi-visible on the screen, and may be targeted freely like any other unit.
- This unit is completely immune to many Curses from the Sorcery realm. It either may not be targeted by such curses at all, or is simply not affected by them.
- This unit cannot be affected by any spell or ability that delivers Cold Damage. It will simply not receive any Damage from such sources.
- This unit cannot be affected by any spell or ability that causes death or fear, including most of the combat spells from the Death Realm.
The Summoning Spell Edit
Shadow Demons may only be cast on the overland map, for the base Casting Cost of 325. Upon casting, the new Shadow Demons unit will appear in the town currently containing the caster's Summoning Circle.
The new unit is created with full Movement Points, and may move and/or attack immediately as necessary.
To keep the Shadow Demons in play, it is necessary to pay an Upkeep Cost of 7 per turn. This is drawn automatically from the caster's Mana pool each turn. Failure to pay the required costs due to lack of Mana in the pool will lead to the Shadow Demons being immediately destroyed, along with any Unit Enchantments currently affecting it.
If the unit is destroyed in combat, then it is gone from the world entirely, and there is no further need to pay its Upkeep Costs.
You can also dismiss the Shadow Demons voluntarily. To do this, right-click the unit's icon and then press the red "Dismiss" button on the bottom right corner of the unit's details panel. A dismissed unit is gone forever, but of course you can always cast the Shadow Demons spell again to get a fresh new one. The primary reason to dismiss a Fantastic Creature would be to remove its Upkeep Cost (conserving Mana as a result).
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 Shadow Demons 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 Death Spellbooks the Wizard possesses or obtains during gameplay.
Shadow Demons has a base Research Cost of 800.
With at least 1 Spellbook, the Shadow Demons 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.
Known Bugs Edit
Shadow Demons as well as Hydrae may gain bonus health (shown as golden Heart icons). This happens, when a previously killed figure is recovered via Regeneration. Then, all figures receive an extra 1. The recovered figure start with 2.