Shifting Sands may be used to move both the player's and enemy player's units, however, it will randomly select enemy units affected by the ability, and may not transport all of them. So it will not always eliminate an enemy army but it is still useful in thinning them out. When using it on the player's units, it can be used to ambush an enemy town by bypassing their defenses or to beat a retreat. When used on the enemy, it can transport them right in front of defensive structures or neutralize an ambush. Shifting Sands has a reduced effect on enemy villagers.