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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 called forth during battles, and disappear immediately afterwards.

The Phantom Beast has a ferocious attack, which completely ignores enemy Icon Defense.png Defense scores unless its opponent possesses Ability IllusionsImmunity Illusions Immunity. Nonetheless, the Beast is very vulnerable to Icon Damage.png Damage, and is typically 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 bigger 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 Phantom Beast has a powerful Melee Strength of Icon Melee Normal.png 18, which is more or less 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 Icon Damage.png 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 Icon Defense.png Armor.

This means that whenever the opponent could make a Defense Roll to try and block some of the Melee Damage inflicted by the Phantom Beast, its Icon Defense.png Defense score is temporarily reduced to zero. As such, even though it is technically eligible for rolling, it has no dice to use, and thus will normally be unable to reduce the Icon Damage.png damage. In other words, even the most heavily-armored enemy unit will suffer that average Icon Damage.png 7.2 per attack from the Beast.

However, targets possessing the Ability IllusionsImmunity Illusions Immunity ability are not subjected to the Illusion Damage modifier at all - they get to use their Icon Defense.png Defense as normal against the Phantom Beast. In addition, any bonus granted by City Walls is applied after the Ability Illusion Illusion effect, and as a result may still provide some protection.

Defensive Properties Edit

The Phantom Beast is one of the weakest units when it comes to protection in combat - it has none! Its Defense score is Icon Defense.png 0, which means that it too makes no rolls to deflect incoming Conventional Damage, and is thus extremely vulnerable to Ranged Attacks of all kinds, as well as direct-damage spells, Ability FirstStrike First Strike, or other pre-melee attacks. Fortunately though, Phantom Beasts have a relatively high number of Icon Hits.png Hit Points with which to absorb incoming hits. This can help keep them in combat for a longer period of time, allowing them to inflict more Icon Damage.png 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. They are also completely immune to petrification (from any source); Poison Damage attacks; and most spells, Special Attacks, and Unit Curses associated with the Icon Death.pngDeath Realm.

Other Properties Edit

Phantom Beasts are fairly quick, moving at Icon Movement Ground2 during battle. They can move on water as easily as on land, making them suitable for naval combat situations. They are also Ability NonCorporeal Non-Corporeal, which enables them to move through City Walls or other obstacles without any problems. When Phantom Beasts exist outside of combat (as Rampaging Monsters), this ability also allows them to move across overland map tiles at a cost of 0.5 Movement Points per tile. On the other hand, 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 Icon Damage.png damage as possible before it is destroyed. Losing the Beast is fine - it disappears after combat anyway - the idea is to maximize the amount of Icon Damage.png damage it does before that happens. Thanks to its quick movement, the Phantom Beast can close the distance with the enemy rapidly (and thus avoid being killed or heavily-injured by incoming Ranged Attacks), but it is still beneficial to summon it as close to the opposing army as possible. It is best used against the most heavily-armored enemy units, as this gets the most out of its Illusion Damage attacks.

Enemy Phantom Beasts Edit

Although Wizards may only use Phantom Beasts for the duration of single battles, as Fantastic Units, they can also be featured as permanent guardians of Icon Sorcery.pngSorcery Nodes and other Encounter Zones. Furthermore, they may lead Rampaging Monster groups to attack player-owned cities! Phantom Beasts are often found in groups of two or three, accompanied by large numbers of Phantom Warriors. They may also provide support for stronger Icon Sorcery.pngSorcery units.

Phantom Beasts have a high Icon Hits.png Hit Point count, but virtually no Icon Defense.png Defense. However, they strike very hard once they get into Icon Melee Normal.png Melee range - which they usually do quite early in the battle. This means that taking out charging Phantom Beasts is a high priority, and needs to be done before they reach the friendy lines. Powerful direct-damage spells are one of the most effective ways of accomplishing this, although Ranged Attacks can also be used to whittle them down at a distance. As a last resort, severely Icon Damage.png damaged Beasts may also fall to short-range attacks or Ability FirstStrike First Strikes before they can strike back at their assailants, although this is a rather risky tactic.

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 die of its Attack Rolls. 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 overland terrain at a rate of 0.5 Movement Point per tile.
  • The unit does not get speed benefits from moving across Roads or Enchanted Roads.
  • During battle, the unit may move through City Walls as though they were not there.
  • The unit is immune to the effects of the Icon Nature.pngWeb, Icon Nature.pngCracks Call, and Icon Nature.pngEntangle spells.

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 by Stoning Damage. It will automatically pass any Icon Resist.png Resistance roll to avert such damage.

Ability DeathImmunity Death Immunity Edit

  • This unit will not be affected by most spells and abilities associated with the Icon Death.pngDeath Realm.

Ability Illusion Illusion Edit

  • When this unit attacks an enemy, that enemy's Icon Defense.png Defense score is considered to be zero while resolving this Icon Damage.png damage.
  • Targets with Ability IllusionsImmunity Illusions Immunity ignore this effect, and may make their Defense Rolls as normal.

The Summoning Spell Edit

Usage Edit

Phantom Beast may only be cast in combat, for the base Casting Cost of Icon Mana.png 35. Upon successfully casting the spell, the game will prompt for an unoccupied tile to be selected on the combat map, where the Phantom Beast unit will then appear, with full Movement Allowance, and may move and/or attack immediately as necessary.

Since it does not carry over to the overland map, there is no Upkeep Cost associated with either the spell or the unit itself, which will automatically disappear at the end of the battle - along with any Unit Enchantments that may have been cast on it. It is not possible to manually dismiss the Phantom Beast unit during combat, nor is it possible to use dispel type spells to remove it from play - the Summoning Spell itself dissipates immediately after casting.

Acquisition Edit

As an Uncommon Spell of the Icon Sorcery.pngSorcery Realm, Phantom Beast may become available to any Wizard who acquires at least Icon Sorcery.png1 Spellbook. With none, the spell can naturally not be learned during the campaign. This is the minimum requirement for it to be traded for, appear in Treasure, or be found in the spoils of victory when conquering the Fortress of a rival Wizard who already knows it.

The base chance for Phantom Beast to be researchable (at some point) in the campaign is roughly 10% (with Icon Sorcery.png1 book), which gradually increases with the amount of Icon Sorcery.pngSorcery Spellbooks possessed or found during gameplay. With Icon Sorcery.png8 or more, the spell is certain to show up sooner or later, unless acquired from another source. It has a Research Cost of Icon Research.png 800, although its research is quicker for Wizards possessing the Sage Master, Conjurer, and/or Sorcery Mastery Retorts; or a bookshelf containing Icon Sorcery.png8 or more.

Phantom Beast may also be selected as a starting spell by players who allocate all of of their picks into Icon Sorcery.pngSorcery books when creating their Wizard. In this case, it will be available for casting as soon as the game begins.

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.

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A Phantom Beast summoned to your Summoning Circle using the Icon Sorcery.pngWord 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 to know the Icon Sorcery.pngWord of Recall and the Phantom Beast spells. Enter a battle and summon the Phantom Beast(s) that you want for your army. Use Icon Sorcery.pngWord of Recall on the Beast(s). 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 recall any remaining units as well. This brings your units back to the Summoning Circle and you now have one or more Phantom Beast(s) that require a Icon Mana.png 4 per turn Upkeep Cost. This does not work if you win the battle.