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Phoenix Guide by Maigoh

The phoenix is a fast support and ganking hero. It requires some careful play to prevent dying in the early stages, but once you get things up and running you are almost unstoppable. However, you are unable to win the game on your own so you must help your teammates.

Stats:
Health: 100
Shield: 100
Energy: 200
Damage: 6 x 2
Attack speed: 1
Range: 4
Targets: Ground/Air depending on phoenix
DPS: 12
Armour: 0
Move speed: 3

Skills:
Q: Void Sphere
Active:
Allows the phoenix hero to fire void spheres at enemy units or structures. Void spheres split into several fragments midair and each fragment deals 8 (+0.8 per level) damage to the target. The fragments will also damage enemy air/ground units or structures within a radius of 2 upon impact, depending on whether the target is air or ground.
Range: 7
Energy cost: 50
Cooldown: 12

Level 1: Each sphere splits into 4 fragments.
Level 2: Each sphere splits into 6 fragments.
Level 3: Each sphere splits into 8 fragments.

W: Graviton Beam
Active:
Allows the phoenix hero to use graviton beam on enemy ground units. Graviton beam makes the target unit float in the air, disabling the target’s abilities. The phoenix hero may move (with a maximum speed of 3) and use abilities while graviton beam is active. While graviton beam is active the target unit will remain within a distance of 4 of the caster unit. Graviton beam lasts half as long when used on heroic units.
Energy cost: 50
Range: 3
Cooldown: 15

Level 1: Lasts 6 seconds.
Level 2: Lasts 8 seconds.
Level 3: Lasts 10 seconds.

E: Overload
Active:
Allows the phoenix hero to use overload, increasing the hero’s attack speed for 5 seconds. After overload is used, the attack speed of the phoenix hero is decreased by 50% for 5 seconds.
Energy cost: 50
Cooldown: 12

Level 1: +90% attack speed and provide a bonus of 1 attack range
Level 2: +135% attack speed and provide a bonus of 1.5 attack range
Level 3: +180% attack speed and allows the phoenix hero to fire while moving, while active and provide a bonus of 2 attack range.

R: Gravitic Thrusters
Passive:
Increases the movement speed of the phoenix.

Level 1: +20% movement speed.
Level 2: +40% movement speed.
Level 3: +60% movement speed.

T: Flight
Active:
Allows the phoenix hero to fly at an energy cost.

Cooldown: 3
Level 1: Energy cost of 1 energy per second.
Level 2: Energy cost of 0.5 energy per second.

Analysis of skills:
Q: This is the bread and butter of farming for the phoenix until you can afford nova. At level 3, this skill will do 64 (+6.4 per level) to either ground or air units in a radius of 2, which is a significant amount of damage.

The only problem with this skill is that once the targeted unit dies, the remaining sphere fragments do not do any damage. That means if you target a zergling, you will do slightly over 35 damage to the surrounding roaches, but not more. Always try to target the unit in the middle of the group that has the most health.

I lied, there’s a second problem. This skill won’t do splash damage unless you have vision of the target. Kind of silly, but it is what it is. Try and keep vision if you want the splash.

W: A good CC spell that has some great uses, but requires that the phoenix get relatively close to its target. Watch your health when you use it, you can easily get stunned and killed if you are too close to other enemy heroes.

E: This is a great spell to use in combination with W once you are flying, since W will raise heroes to your level and you can subsequently burst them down with E. The most synergy happens at level 3 of E since you can shoot heroes while dragging them.

R: The usual movement skill. No surprises here.

T: The usual flight skill. Also no surprises here.

Skill order:

Crittering: R, Q, Q, R, W, R, T. Stop crittering at level 7.
Terran: R, Q, Q, R, R, Q, T, W, E, E, E, W, W, T
Protoss: Critter. Or else R, W, R, E, R, E, T, E, W, W, Q, Q, Q, T
Zerg: Q, R, Q, R, Q, R, T, W, E, E, E, W, W, T

Laning counterparts:

Strong against:
Not much. Maybe slow heroes if you prioritize W. Just kill the creep and then poke the hero. Oh and zergling. But if you’re laning against a zergling you’re going to win the game anyways.

Weak against:
So many things. Ghost, medic, firebat, corruptor, the list goes on. Phoenix is pretty damn weak early game, it doesn’t get good until you have farmed a lot.

Gameplay:

Crittering:
Phoenix is really good at crittering, but take the small critters. Start by dragging them to the towers until you are at level 3. After that, draw the patches together, and then hit the strongest unit in the middle of the pack with Q. At level 3 you will still have to kite them all a bit to finish them off. At level 4 you will only have 3 critters left to kite. At level 5 you don’t have to kite anymore and can fly away to poke an enemy hero and come back before the critters spawn again.

If you think you can defend your farms for the majority of the game, go back when you have 325 minerals and set up farms. Two prisms and an obelisk for small critters, and three prisms instead for the ursadon. Keep an eye on these in case they get attacked.

Farming:
Other than setting up prisms and obelisks, there isn’t much you can do. Prisms and obelisks come at high risk but give you high rewards. They have to survive 6 minutes to give you back the money you spent on them, but that doesn’t account for the kills you missed by not getting important items or upgrades earlier. Long story short, I wouldn’t do this in an IH but I would do this in a pub if you have no other farming heroes such as zealot or DA.

Early game:
If you’re against terran and zerg, use Q to kill the creep and then chase after the enemy hero with your auto-attack. Level 1 Q will kill zerglings. Level 2 Q will kill marines. Extra bonus if you can get the enemy hero with the splash damage. Don’t bother doing this against protoss, it won’t get you any extra kills. You can poke the enemy hero with this though, but if they’re any good they will have warp prism and it won’t be productive.

Against all races, you can level up W instead of going the farming route. Use this to pull the enemy hero into the midst of your zealots and stalkers, and hope they get surrounded. On desert you can pull them behind your units on the bridge, and if you are successful in preventing their escape they will most likely die. It might not always net you a kill, but you will probably force that enemy hero out of lane for a little bit. Less effective on heroes with movement spells like vulture, worm, or stalker. However, you do have soul channel so that will be a nice way to deal some extra damage.

Items: Port, Vision, Soul channel, Movement Speed, Extra Damage
Weapons: 1-3
Armour: 0
Energy: 0

Mid game:
Okay your job in the mid game is to farm as much as you possibly can. Don’t worry for now about team fights unless you maxed out W and E (which is dumb since now you have now minerals to start farming) since you realize your maximum effectiveness after that point. Grab nova and enough energy to sustain nova and a Q, and put the rest into weapons. Get vision so you can see where to fly and when to best nova.

Fly into double waves, nova, and Q the remaining ground units. This could be roaches, tanks, or immortals, but do it. In the early mid game, this will significantly increase your income. Port back as needed to get more energy. This part starts off slowly, but as you get more money you can get enough energy to sustain 2 novas and have enough damage to kill more creep with each nova.

Items: Port, Vision, Nova, Movement Speed, Psitrous
Weapons: 2-5
Armour: 0
Energy: 2-4

Late game:
Now you can really shine. Hopefully you’ve been using tons of nova and getting tons of minerals. Keep doing that between teamfights. If you spot a lone enemy hero, he’s fair game. Fly around putting down observers as appropriate so you can catch those lone heroes. This is where the fun ganking begins.

In a team fight, use W to bring the squishy heroes closer to your teammates. This also stuns them for the duration which is an added bonus.

For a solo gank on a ground hero, which is totally the most fun thing about phoenix, do the following: Soul channel the enemy hero so they can’t port out the moment they see you. Pick them up with W, and hit E at the same time. If they are heading for your base (like a pesky firebat would do) this is your opportunity to pull them away from your base. Just before W ends, use disruption web. Land and continue to hit them, although at a much slower firing rate. Right before disruption web ends, stasis them. When stasis ends, pick them up again with W and use E and soul channel. If they’re still not dead, hit them again with disruption web. Unfortunately stasis is still on countdown at this point, so the cycle cannot continue.

In total you have just stunned them for 25 seconds (5 for W + 5 for disruption web + 5 for stasis + 5 for W + 5 for disruption web) while doing an insane amount of damage. If my calculations are correct, you do 912 (+91.2 per level) damage over 25 seconds with level 5 weapons, and that’s not even including Q and possibly nova. To be honest the only thing that has survived this to date has been a firebat, but he was down to red and ported back, so I prevented the backdoor which was nice. This chain combo is pretty freaking amazing, but it is quite energy demanding.

If they are an air unit, land and lead off with disruption web and soul channel. Before it finishes, change to flying, and hit them with W and E. Right before W finishes, stasis them. While they are in stasis, change to ground. As soon as stasis finishes, hit them with disruption web and soul channel again. Then change to flying, and use W and E. This actually deals more damage since the enemy hero is in stasis while your overload is recovering and making your firing rate half of normal.

Seriously, the phoenix is insane.

Items: Port, Soul Channel, Disruption Web, Stasis, Nova/Observers/Movement Speed/Power Field
Weapons: 5
Armour: 5
Energy: 5

Specific things:

Gank guide:
See late game section for full details.
Soul channel >> W + E >> disruption web >> stasis >> W + E + soul channel >> disruption web
Seriously, this thing is god mode and I don’t see phoenixes doing this enough.

Heroes with no movement spells (e.g. hydra, firebat, tank, archon, etc.):
Pick them up and move them onto terrain. You have to be within 10 spaces of terrain since your W only lasts for 5 seconds, you can only move at speed 3, and your target trails behind you for a bit, but this is a great way to trap somebody and force them to use their port. If you have a teammate nearby that outranges the hero you just trapped, then it’s basically a free kill. Soul channel will also do wonders to keep that hero trapped on the terrain, since they can’t port out until the damage has stopped for 3 seconds.

Zerg:
Watch out for scourge. Hit them with nova or Q and they will all die before they can take you out. The only threat is if you’re stunned by the queen or corruptor latches on to you.

Recap:

Basic gameplan goes like this: Farm critters and creep. Farm some more. Gank. Farm until you’re bored. Gank. Win teamfights. Gank. Win.

How to play against phoenix:

The phoenix is a squishy hero, so stun it as soon as you can. The above kill sequence can be interrupted pretty well with a stun, so travel with a buddy. Sweep for observers so the phoenix doesn’t know where you are and can’t come hunt you down.

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