A Phase Shifter is a form of Necron phase technology that truly demonstrates that species' technological superiority over all others in the galaxy. Using a form of unknown inter-dimensional science, a Phase Shifter renders its bearer's form hazy and indistinct, as though he was not completely corporeal. Shots and blows can then pass through the user's mechanical necrodermis body, meaning that even the most powerful weapons cannot harm him.
This is because a Phase Shifter flickers the very fabric of its bearer into and out of a phased state as they move between dimensions. If improperly timed, even the most powerful blows and shots aimed at the bearer of a Phase Shifter instead pass through empty air. Phase Shifters are most commonly found in the possession of Necron Overlords and Necron Lords, who use the technology to make themselves essentially incorporeal.
However, Tomb Stalkers are also equipped with built-in Phase Shifter technology. This allows them to pass easily through inert matter, bore their way through rock and stone, and effortlessly pass through battlefield debris and terrain, as they move to launch an ambush upon unsuspecting enemies.
Necron Gauss Pylons carry up-scaled Phase Shift Generators, which are able to project a phase field in a wide radius around the Pylon, rendering nearby Necrons half-corporal, and thus far harder to strike due to their lack of a true physical form. Doomsday Monoliths possess a similar form of Phase Shift Generator, though this variant's area of affect only makes the Doomsday Monolith incorporeal and does not affect any other Necron units adjacent to it.
Nevertheless, all Necrons are fitted with an unidentified form of interdimensional phasing device which is probably a related technology, which will automatically teleport them, or their remains, back to a Tomb World if necessary. Because of this, the enemies of the Necrons, such as the forces of the Imperium of Man, have found it extremely difficult to recover any Necron remains for study; only those pieces too severely damaged to repair or analyse are left behind.
This phenomenon is known as "Phase Out," and many a Necron force fighting a losing battle has disappeared altogether, merely fading into the wind as they prepare themselves to strike back at a later time of their choosing.
- Dimensional Destabilisation Matrix - Canoptek Wraiths carry a Dimensional Destabilisation Matrix that produces the same effect as a Phase Shifter in that it allows the Necron construct to step in and out of phase with the normal space-time continuum. A Canoptek Wraith can, however, adjust the modulation of the matrix in order to keep sections of its form in different phase states. Whilst a completely phased-out existence can be sustained almost indefinitely, a half-phased state takes a great deal of energy to maintain. As a result, a Canoptek Wraith can exist in a dual phase state for only limited periods of time. The Dimensional Destabilisation Matrix was originally conceived to allow the Canoptek Wraith to reach into and repair solid machinery without all the trouble of removing outer components or armoured casings. It is, however, no less valuable when dealing with intruders -- if the timing is correct, a Canoptek Wraith can phase its claws and tendrils inside an opponent, swiftly resolidifying them to sever arteries, nerve clusters and other vital pathways without leaving an external mark to show for it. Furthermore, the foe must time his return blows with great care, lest his weapons pass through the Canoptek Wraith’s phased form.
- Apocalypse, pg. 164
- Codex: Necrons (3rd Edition), pg. 13, 15
- Codex: Necrons (5th Edition), pg. 44, 82
- Codex: Necrons (7th Edition) (Digital Edition), pg. 209
- Deathwatch: The Outer Reach (RPG), pg. 133
- Imperial Armour Apocalypse (2nd Edition), pg. 90