Phoenix is a flexible and unique ranged strength hero with a plethora of powerful abilities that inflict heavy damage over time on its opponents at the cost of its own health. It can be played as either a support, initiator or semi-carry. Icarus Dive can serve as either a harassment tool, an initiating maneuver or an escape mechanism, all the while slowing and damaging opponents in its path, while its Fire Spirits burn and cripple the opponent's attack speed, making it a potent anti-carry. Sun Ray projects a powerful beam in front of Phoenix that burns enemies for a percentage of their maximum health while sacrificing some of its movement speed, and, if it ever sees fit, it can end its current life to turn into a searing Supernova. Surviving this stage of its life cycle allows Phoenix to reemerge in full strength, stunning all nearby opponents and with all cooldowns refreshed, ready to inflict havoc on its foes once again.
 Recommended items
- Since most of Phoenix's abilities cost health to activate, health regeneration and strength boosting items should be a top priority. Urn of Shadows, Mekansm, Pipe of Insight and Heart of Tarrasque are good examples of such items.
- As such, health regeneration items are a better choice than those that simply increase health, like Vitality Booster and Rod of Atos, as simply increasing health will make your health percentage consuming abilities much harder to maintain. Keep in mind that all of Phoenix's spells except Supernova remove a percentage of your current health, meaning Phoenix cannot kill itself with self-damage, and the costs will always remove the same chunk of health from Phoenix regardless of its max HP.
- Since the only thing that can kill the Supernova are auto-attacks from Heroes, it's best to prioritize a Shiva's Guard as your first or second major purchase, as its passive attack slow works during your ultimate. With a bit of timing, you can also use Shiva's while Icarus Diving for a long ranged AOE disable.
- Buying Eul's Scepter of Divinity can sometimes be a good investment, as you can still Sun Ray while under the effects of Eul's, and you can use it while diving to disable an enemy from a long distance. Do note, however, that the mana regeneration bonus is almost wasted unless you plan on spamming fire spirits and sun beam, as Phoenix relies more on health rather than mana.
- Fire Spirit's attack speed reduction is great to mess up the enemies' last hits. Also, if used right before Supernova, it will make killing the sun harder.
- Phoenix can be used both as a semi-carry and a support. If going for the former, take the mid lane and buy items to make you harder to kill. If you're supporting, consider going for cheap healing items such as Tranquil Boots, Urn of Shadows and a Mekansm.
- You can go to the area around Roshan's pit and use Sun Ray to quickly and safely check if the enemy team is fighting Roshan.
- Should you discover the enemy team inside the pit, have your team follow you, use Icarus Dive into the pit then use Supernova. If they choose to kill Roshan first, they may risk getting damaged heavily and stunned afterwards, during which your own team may get an upperhand. If they do decide to kill you first, then your team may kill Roshan themselves instead, or simply finish what your Supernova started.
- You can give your team a significant initiation advantage by flying over the enemy team with Icarus Dive and rapidly covering the area in Fire Spirits while you are doing so. Fire Spirits will be easier to land from close proximity, but their high range can also allow you to hit spread-out team members. After the enemy team's movement and attack speed has been slowed, activating Supernova in the middle of it will both increase its chances of survival and its potential to inflict its damage and stuns effect.
- In this combo the placement of your ultimate is very important. If you are confident about your team's follow-up, you may be able to soak up some extra damage before using your ultimate, thus relying on your team rather than your own short-lived disables to protect the Supernova. If you're less confident, you can continue the Icarus Dive to a point where Supernova can still affect some enemies, but to eliminate it the enemy heroes will have to (slowly) run towards you and your team and ignore the latter if they still intend to focus you. If you're not confident at all, you can resume support with your Sun Ray instead of using Supernova since the Icarus Dive will return you to your original position by default.
- A Sun Ray that is about to run out can be added to this combo to inflict some extra damage during the Icarus Dive, which can give Phoenix a fast and fluid transition from artillery support to initiator/followup-initiator to seize opportunities. The combined health loss and cooldowns from all three abilities make him more dependent on the success of his Supernova to stay relevant for the fight however. Your combo can also be extended during the Icarus Dive with items such as Heaven's Halberd or Shiva's Guard which are not only most effective in close proximity to the enemy, but also further boost the survivability of your Supernova, which is why they can end up being more important for survivability than a Heart of Tarrasque for example.
- If you want to play more aggressive in the midgame, consider putting skill points into Icarus Dive and Fire Spirits first and building a Veil of Discord to boost the damage of these abilities and your Supernova. Stat-wise Veil of Discord will also grant you some much-needed health regen and armor and a few stats across the board. Picking up the Null Talisman component first will improve your offensive lane presence because its mana pool and regeneration benefits let you use Fire Spirits a bit more liberally, while choosing the Helm of Iron Will component from the sideshop first instead will give you more defensive lane staying power by increasing your survivability and mitigating the HP cost of your abilities.
- Magic Stick and Magic Wand are even more effective on Phoenix than most other heroes because his abilities cost both HP and mana, decreasing scenarios where you only use the items to gain just enough mana for casting an ability.
- Be careful of silencers, especially Drow Ranger and Night Stalker, for these two can silence you, slow you, and easily rid of you with their high attack speed and damage. It is best to stay away and cast all your spells from afar, while saving your Icarus Dive for escape.
 Balance changelog
- Icarus Dive is now interrupted if you are stunned during it.
- Fire Spirits:
- Can now be cast during Icarus Dive.
- Attack Speed slow reduced from 150 to 80/100/120/140.
- DPS reduced from 20/40/60/80 to 15/35/55/75.
- Added Phoenix in CM.
- Sun Ray HP cost increased from 4% of current HP to 6%.
- Sun Ray HP cost per second increased from 3% to 4%.
- Sun Ray max range decreased from 1600 to 1300.
- Sun Ray base damage decreased from 16/24/32/40 to 15/20/25/30.
- Sun Ray now ends if you are stunned or silenced.
- Fire Spirits duration increased from 12.5 to 16.
- Fire Spirits can now be cast while using Sunray.
- Fixed Supernova not working with Radiance aura (other auras work already).
- Supernova level 3 hit requirement increased from 9 to 10.
- Sunray Reworked
- Sunray is no longer channeling and you can control like before with its direction as well as the use of the drift sub ability
- Sunray now also heals allies in the AoE for half of the amount
- Sunray no longer slows
- Sunray HP cost is now 3% per second instead of a one time 10% cost on cast
- Sunray base damage reduced from 20/30/40/50 to 16/24/32/40 (has same percentage components as before)
- Max channel time mechanic is the same (6 seconds and damage/heal increase per second channeled)
- Icarus Dive Reworked
- Dives forward in a looping arc, dealing moderate damage over time and slowing enemy units along the path. Dive can be canceled at any point by using Supernova or the sub ability. Casting your other spells does not interrupt it.
- Travel Range: 1400
- Travel Width: 500
- Total Travel Time: 2 seconds
- DPS: 10/30/50/70
- Slow: 25%
- Duration: 4
- AOE: 200
- Cooldown: 36
- Manacost: 0
- HP Cost: 15% of current HP
- Phoenix base damage decreased by 6.
- Phoenix base strength decreased by 2.
- Phoenix base movement speed decreased from 290 to 285.
- Supernova now refreshes Phoenix's other skills (not items) if the sun survives.
- Fire Spirits reworked
- Summons 4 fire spirits that circle around you. Each spirit can be launched independently at a targeted AoE. Affected enemy units take damage over time and have their attack speed greatly reduced
- AoE: 175
- Cast Range: 1400
- DPS: 20/40/60/80
- Duration: 4
- Attack Speed Reduction: -150
- Fire Spirits Duration: 12.5
- Fire Spirits Flight Speed: 900
- Cooldown: 45/40/35/30
- Mana Cost: 80/90/100/110
- HP Cost: 15% of current HP
- Icarus Dive reworked
- Icarus enters a Dive state. While in this state, his movement is double and nearby allied units are healed, but all damage you take is amplified. This state ends instantly if Icarus casts Supernova.
- Duration: 6
- Damage Amplification: 50% (Icarus takes 50% more damage from everything)
- Heal: 0.5/1.5/2.5/3.5% Max HP per second
- AoE: 600
- Cooldown: 26/24/22/20
- HP Cost: 10% of Current HP
- Sunray reworked
- Channels a sunray in the targeted direction. Deals dps and slows to all heroes in that path. The damage increases per second. Maximum channel time of 6 seconds.
- Starting DPS: 20/30/40/50 + 1/2/3/4% Max HP per second
- Ending DPS: 40/60/80/100 + 2/4/6/8% Max HP per second
- AoE: 130
- Distance: 1600
- Slow: 50%
- Slow Duration: 0.5 seconds
- Cooldown: 20
- Manacost: 100
- HP Cost: 10% Current HP
- Fire Spirits heal amount decreased to 50% of damage.
- Fire Spirits now targets a location rather than a unit.
- Fire Spirits cooldown decreased from 35 to 30.
- Fire Spirits projectile speed increased.
- Icarus Dive cooldown decreased from 30 to 25.
- Sun Ray hp activation cost decreased from 25% to 20%.
- Sun Ray manacost rescaled from 35 to 10/20/30/40.
- Sun Ray damage increased from 4% to 6%.
- Fire Spirits sub ability now launches all the spirits at once, rather than one at a time.
- Fire Spirits min/max numbers rebalanced
- Minimum heal per spirit: 10/15/20/25
- Maximum heal per spirit: 40/60/80/100
- Minimum heal per spirit: 7.5/12.5/17.5/22.5
- Maximum heal per spirit: 30/50/70/90
- Icarus Dive cooldown decreased from 40 to 30.
- Icarus Dive no longer makes Phoenix spell immune. If he is disabled during it, he stops.
- Sun Ray no longer slows.
- Sun Ray damage from 10/20/30/40 + 5% to 15/30/45/60 + 4%.
- Sun Ray turn rate slightly improved.
- Fire Spirits now trigger in the area around you and your target when you use Target Fire Spirits.
- Base strength reduced from 22 to 19.
- Sunray activation manacost increased from 10 to 35.
- Sunray slow from 14/20/26/32 to 10/16/22/28%.
- Fixed a bug that caused Sunray to always affect the first target regardless of magic immunity.
- Reduced the duration Sunray slow lasts on you from 2 to 1 second.