Phoenix/Guide

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Phoenix Guide Header.png

Gameplay[edit]

Playstyle
Phoenix minimap icon.png Phoenix is a high-risk-high-reward, spell-dependent supportive initiator adept at placing debuffs on a wide area to hamper the enemy team's offensive capabilities and slowly burn their health away. Its abilities apply powerful slows, rain down heavy damage over time from a distance, and cover a large area in a stellar inferno as it collapses into a scorching Supernova. Should enemies fail to destroy or escape it, they will be met with a stun that pierces spell immunity, allowing Phoenix and its allies to follow up with their own abilities.
Pros Cons
  • Abilities have long range.
  • Counters physical attackers.
  • Scaling magical damage along with healing.
  • Capable of inflicting many debuffs on multiple enemies at once.
  • Deceptively elusive and durable with the right order of ability usage.
  • No true and reliable disables.
  • Has almost no spell immunity piercing effects.
  • Dependent on abilities and mana.
  • Requires precise and careful positioning, aim, and timing.
  • Low armor and has health costs along with mana costs on most abilities.

Initiator[edit]

Phoenix is best played as an initiator, as it can deal heavy damage per second over time with its abilities. Fire Spirits should be the first maxed-out ability, acting as a pseudo-disable that can fool the enemy into thinking they can fight back. Adding more levels to Icarus Dive applies more DPS to an enemy when harassing during the laning phase or when initiating. Avoid leveling Sun Ray early on as you require the mana for Fire Spirits and Supernova, and Phoenix's mana pool is not very large early game. Supernova can turn the tide of battle if used properly. Quick reaction time, proper positioning, and an aggressive, risk-taking mindset are important, so that Phoenix can land all its debuffs on as many of the enemies as possible prior to using the ultimate, dealing immense magical damage in a large area. Items that synergize with Supernova well (such as magic amplification and AoE effects) are best gotten for Phoenix players who go by this playstyle.

Support[edit]

Phoenix's abilities are also very good at disorienting the enemy team and keep your team alive in teamfights. Instead of focusing on initiating with Supernova, it is reserved only as a follow-up for its team's other abilities, preferably area disables such as Chronosphere or Ravage. Sun Ray will be Phoenix's staple ability, as its scaling and gradually increasing damage can easily whittle an enemy's health down, and even heal allies at the same time. Fire Spirits should be the next priority as it is still important in keeping the Supernova alive, while Icarus Dive only increases its damage with levels, meaning it should be maxed last. Positioning is still key, so that Sun Ray may be in an angle that can heal and damage simultaneously. Items to go for in this playstyle are preferably those that aid in the survival of your own team, such as auras like Pipe of Insight icon.png Pipe of Insight or Guardian Greaves icon.png Guardian Greaves. However, if Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter becomes an option, Sun's survivability should be top priority to prevent having two deaths at once in your own team, so consider Heaven's Halberd icon.png Heaven's Halberd or Shiva's Guard icon.png Shiva's Guard as possible next items.

Ability Builds[edit]

Initiator Phoenix
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Icarus Dive icon.pngFire Spirits icon.pngFire Spirits icon.pngIcarus Dive icon.pngFire Spirits icon.pngSupernova icon.pngFire Spirits icon.pngSun Ray icon.pngSun Ray icon.pngTalent icon.pngSun Ray icon.pngSupernova icon.pngSun Ray icon.pngIcarus Dive icon.pngTalent icon.pngIcarus Dive icon.pngUnknown icon.pngSupernova icon.pngTalent icon.pngTalent icon.png
Support Phoenix
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Icarus Dive icon.pngFire Spirits icon.pngSun Ray icon.pngSun Ray icon.pngSun Ray icon.pngSupernova icon.pngSun Ray icon.pngFire Spirits icon.pngFire Spirits icon.pngTalent icon.pngFire Spirits icon.pngSupernova icon.pngIcarus Dive icon.pngIcarus Dive icon.pngTalent icon.pngIcarus Dive icon.pngUnknown icon.pngSupernova icon.pngTalent icon.pngTalent icon.png

Talents[edit]

Hero Talents
+2% Max Health Sun Ray Damage25+3 Supernova Hit Count
+1.25s Supernova Stun Duration20+1400 Icarus Dive Cast Range
+500 Health15+40 Fire Spirits DPS
+8% Spell Amplification10+90 Gold/Min
Notes:
  • The health talent increases maximum health capacity, and keeps the current health percentage.

Tips & Tactics[edit]

General[edit]

  • Quick timing, good positioning, order, and aim are necessary for the perfect initiation as Phoenix. Cast Fire Spirits beforehand, concealing yourself from the enemy team so they will not expect your initiation, then try to Dive through as many enemy units as you can to inflict the movement speed slow debuff. During the Dive, try to cast Fire Spirits on as many heroes as possible and, if available, use Veil of Discord icon.png Veil of Discord and Shiva's Guard icon.png Shiva's Guard just right before you cast Supernova. If done in the right order and quick enough, the Supernova would end up right in the middle of the fray, preventing the enemy from stunning you. Most, if not all, enemy units will be afflicted with all your debuffs, taking amplified damage and crippled with the slows, making the Supernova incredibly difficult to kill and/or flee from.
  • Phoenix wants mana, armor, and health regeneration. Consider buying intelligence items to increase your mana pool, armor-increasing items for more survivability, and health regenerating items to pay the health costs its abilities use.
  • If playing aggressively as an initiator, Phoenix should choose the middle lane or offlane, where it can go solo and have as much gold and experience as it can get. Harass your lane opponents with your debuffs to prevent them from getting last hits and denying you from your own.
  • When choosing to do an aggressive playstyle, Phoenix must increase its spell damage output and its capability to contribute to teamfights a lot more. Since initiator Phoenix players will use Supernova to get into fights often, the additional health, strength, and armor are not too important as the Phoenix Sun does not use these values. Instead, the extra experience gain will allow Phoenix to level up its abilities as well as talents faster, increasing both survivability and damage output.
  • At level 25 talent, if you are facing high attack speed heroes, choosing the extra Supernova hit count will assist the Sun's completion. On the other hand, if the enemy heroes are either lacking in attack speed or have difficulty escaping your initiation, choosing the additional stun time may keep the enemy in place long enough to let your team follow up with their own damage.
  • For the support Phoenix, such players will not be throwing themselves deep into the fight with their ultimate, rather will be using their abilities from afar to cripple the enemy and aid their allies while staying away from harm, or perhaps initiate as well but mostly using their already available abilities to add damage to a gank or teamfight. The additional health and armor will increase Phoenix's lane survivability, and perhaps more protection from would be gankers or should it be the focus of a teamfight, the extra gold per minute will allow faster purchasing of expensive items like Shiva's Guard icon.png Shiva's Guard or Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter, and the additional Supernova hit count stacks with Aghanim's Scepter's as well, meaning should Phoenix absorb an ally into its Sun, enemy heroes should face great difficulty destroying it if the entire team doesn't focus it down as soon as possible or if they lack the attack speed.
  • Remember to keep at least 310 mana on Phoenix at all times, so that you have enough to use Fire Spirits and Supernova should the need arise. Try not to waste too much mana with your spells as lacking these abilities to use can make escaping difficult if Icarus Dive is unavailable. Defend yourself by activating Fire Spirits, applying them quickly to enemies and then cast Supernova to protect yourself. If done right, you will be reborn with refreshed abilities, health and mana, as well as stunned opponents, letting you Dive away to safety.
  • Phoenix's non-ultimate abilities are very weak at level 1. Try to get to level 3 first to obtain a level 2 Fire Spirits/Sun Ray to harass the enemy. Supernova is also rather fragile at level 1, so great caution must be taken when using the ability at low levels.
  • All of Phoenix's abilities, except for its ultimate, have health costs along with mana costs (except Icarus Dive). With this in mind, be wary of the enemy team when using those abilities in lane. While the health costs are always based on your current health (and therefore, you can never kill yourself with it), it will decrease your health by a great amount, making you a tempting target for ganks. As such, ward around your lane or have an escape prepared.
  • Phoenix does not have any targeted abilities but have good range and radius, making it good for area denial, scouting, or teamfight contribution all from a safe distance.
  • Phoenix does the most damage when it manages to apply all its debuffs (and any of those from items it has bought) onto its target, slowly whittling them down. Being highly dependent on debuffs, be wary of dispel like Fortune's End or Aphotic Shield.

Abilities[edit]

Icarus Dive[edit]

  • Be wary of silences while diving, as it will prevent you from cancelling the dive and result in you turning back to where you started.
  • Beware of roots, as this prevents you from using Icarus Dive. However, getting rooted during the dive does not cancel it.
  • You can attack, and use abilities and items while diving. Try to finish off an enemy by applying its debuff, getting to land a few attacks and perhaps use other abilities/items such as Fire Spirits or Urn of Shadows icon.png Urn of Shadows, then let yourself circle back to your original location.
    • Phoenix does not need to turn to use abilities/items while diving, so use them quick succession regardless of where you are in the dive.
    • Use Icarus Dive to approach enemies to land Fire Spirits, as they cannot easily dodge at close distance. Then, Phoenix has a choice of stopping the dive early to chase or returning so safety.

Fire Spirits[edit]

  • Always try to apply the Fire Spirits debuff on all enemy heroes before using Supernova, as the attack speed slow will cause enemies to not land as many attacks, increasing the chance of rebirth.
  • Remember that Fire Spirits does not stack with itself, as they only refesh duration of debuff. Try to spend the four spirits wisely so that you can make most of the ability for its entire duration.
  • The spirits have a fixed movement speed, and therefore take some time to reach their destination. Try to lead your aim so that it can hit a moving enemy, or try to predict where the enemy might move to next. This also means that firing the spirits from its maximum distance (especially if cast range is increased) will delay their impact further compared to firing from a closer distance.
  • The attack speed slow can be enough to completely nullify an attacking hero for a meanwhile. If you are suddenly ganked, try to apply the debuff on your assailants, and perhaps try to turn the fight around or escape.
  • The attack speed slow also works on Roshan. Accompany an ally and help out by casting it on Roshan, making sure to use the Spirits one after the other to make full use of them.
  • Use Fire Spirits on creep waves to push and farm faster so you can help apply pressure on the lanes.

Sun Ray[edit]

  • Reserve Sun Ray for healing purposes or if there is a fleeing enemy within reach. Sun Ray is fairly weak when the enemy is at or is close to full health.
  • The damage/heal increases the longer the Ray is activated, so try to keep the Ray pointed at an enemy/ally for maximum efficiency.
  • Sun Ray's heal is not as quick acting as other heals, therefore it is best to be used while an ally is being attacked at full health instead of using it as a last-ditch save attempt.
  • Sun Ray gives vision along its path. Use it to scout areas such as Roshan's pit, above cliffs, or the juke areas inside trees where enemy Heroes would tend to hide in.
  • Be careful of the enemy team when you're using the Sun Ray. Even with the toggled movement, you are a very easy target for skillshots like Hookshot. Try to hide behind allies or be in a hard to reach area so you cannot be hit by such abilities while still contributing to fights.
  • When movement is toggled on, Phoenix can fly over cliffs and destroy trees, as well as be unaffected by any sort of slows. Depending on the situation, it may help you escape. For example, you can use it to fly over Ice Shards, to break free from Pounce, or to ignore the slows from like Ice Wall. During the toggled movement, you are also immune to roots like Fortune's End.
    • Phoenix can still use abilities and items while firing the Sun Ray. A wise escape tactic can be to toggle the Sun Ray's movement on (preferably through a cliff) and then use Town Portal Scroll icon.png Town Portal Scroll to go back to base while moving so enemies may have a harder time trying to stop you from escaping.

Supernova[edit]

  • Supernova is best used if Phoenix is at low health and mana to make the most of its refreshing ability at the end. However, having quick reaction times and judgment is important so that Phoenix cannot be silenced, disabled, or nuked down before it can use the ability.
  • Illusions cannot hurt the Phoenix Sun, but clones such as those from Divided We Stand or Tempest Double can.
  • No ability can affect the Sun, even abilities like Phantom Strike or Focus Fire pose no threats to it.
  • Supernova hurts most when the enemy team is clumped together so that they will take the area damage for as long and as much as possible. For example, use Supernova when they are trying to push tower, at Roshan's pit, or if they are captured in an allied area disable, such as Black Hole.
  • With Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter, if the Sun is destroyed, it gives away a double kill to the hero that gets the last hit, so do not trying to use Supernova offensively while having an absorbed ally. Instead, use it as far away from harm as possible, to reduce the chances of having it destroyed.
  • The Sun can be denied when it reaches 50% health. Tell your teammates to deny when the Sun is certainly dying to the enemies.
  • Using Icarus Dive towards an uphill then Supernova will greatly increase the chances of Supernova completing, as uphill miss chance applies to ranged units while melee units cannot target you.
  • Keep in mind that while Supernova applies a strong dispel, it is still unable to remove certain debuffs such as Rupture, Ice Blast, or Doom.
    • However, even when afflicted by Ice Blast's debuff, preventing healing, Supernova will still reset your (and your ally's with Aghanim's Scepter) health back to full, as well as make you (and your ally) invulnerable to the DPS of the ability, possibly saving you and your ally from death caused by the frostbite.
  • Keep in mind that it's not always essential to survive Supernova, enemies almost always prioritize Sun among everything else as a primary target so casting it to shift a focus from your ally to yourself might be a good idea.

Items[edit]

Starting items:

  • Tango icon.png Tango provides health sustain as all of Phoenix non-ultimate abilities have health costs.
  • Healing Salve icon.png Healing Salve also restores health to Phoenix.
  • Clarity icon.png Clarity restores mana for Fire Spirits and Sun Ray.
  • Iron Branch icon.png Iron Branch gives Phoenix cheap attributes, and can later build into either Magic Wand icon.png Magic Wand or Mekansm icon.png Mekansm; alternatively, you can use it with Tango to boost healing.
  • Wind Lace icon.png Wind Lace gives some movement speed bonus and will upgrade to Tranquil Boots (Active) icon.png Tranquil Boots.

Early game:

  • Tranquil Boots (Active) icon.png Tranquil Boots gives health regeneration to offset the health costs of Phoenix's abilities, especially when firing Sun Ray. The high movement speed bonus allows Phoenix to travel to the right lanes or teamfights as quickly as possible.
  • Magic Stick icon.png Magic Stick provides burst health and mana so Phoenix can stay alive and use abilities.
  • Urn of Shadows icon.png Urn of Shadows restores health followed hero deaths, or perhaps adds more DPS to help with ganks. The mana regeneration also sustains abilities.

Mid game:

  • Magic Wand icon.png Magic Wand grants attributes and burst health and mana.
  • Hand of Midas icon.png Hand of Midas aids Phoenix to quickly obtain enough experience for level 3 Supernova and later talents as they increase survivability to ensure reborn and stun.
  • Veil of Discord icon.png Veil of Discord reduces enemy magic resistance, letting Phoenix's abilities deal great damage. Its bonus armor, health regeneration, and intelligence increases survivability and ability usage.
  • Spirit Vessel icon.png Spirit Vessel, upgraded from Urn of Shadows, gives extra health and movement speed to Phoenix. The active can heal allies and counter enemies with high regeneration.

Late game:

  • Shiva's Guard icon.png Shiva's Guard has attack speed slow aura that aids in the Phoenix Sun's survivability. Use Arctic Blast right before Supernova to slow enemy movement speed, keeping them in range of the Sun. Since Arctic Blast takes more than 2 seconds to build up to maximum radius, activate it a little while before Icarus Dive to cover as much area as possible during the dive.
  • Lotus Orb icon.png Lotus Orb increases Phoenix's survivability by giving it armor and regeneration. Its active ability dispels silences and other debuffs, and may deter enemy heroes from placing targeted abilities on Phoenix for fear of reflection.

Situational items:

  • Tome of Knowledge icon.png Tome of Knowledge helps Phoenix reach higher levels of Supernova and talents, improving its survivability and contribution in fights.
  • Kaya icon.png Kaya further increases Phoenix's damage output, and its mana cost reduction and intelligence is invaluable to the caster-type Phoenix.
  • Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter is more for a support role Phoenix, turning Supernova into a very powerful "heal". It is more effective on heroes with long cooldowns on non-ultimate abilities (such as Terrorblade minimap icon.png Terrorblade or Invoker minimap icon.png Invoker) or gets into skirmishes often (such as Sven minimap icon.png Sven or Spectre minimap icon.png Spectre), but saving any ally from certain death should be great enough on its own. Unlike when initiating, Supernova is best preferably used far away from enemy heroes to increase the chances of having the Sun survive.
  • Eul's Scepter of Divinity icon.png Eul's Scepter of Divinity gives high mana regeneration, allowing Phoenix to use Fire Spirits and Sun Ray more often. Its active not only dispels debuffs, but may also come in handy in having an actual instant interrupting ability for channeling enemies, and if Phoenix is silenced during Icarus Dive: Using the active on yourself while Diving and silenced stops Phoenix mid-Dive, preventing Phoenix from circling back to its original location.
  • Rod of Atos icon.png Rod of Atos gives health and mana to Phoenix, allowing more ability spam with the increased mana pool; its active root can keep enemies in place to take more of your abilities' damage.
  • Heaven's Halberd icon.png Heaven's Halberd deals with enemy heroes with quick attack speed, such as Troll Warlord minimap icon.png Troll Warlord or Clinkz minimap icon.png Clinkz. The additional strength can also aid in Phoenix's survivability. The disarm also persists through spell immunity.
  • Pipe of Insight icon.png Pipe of Insight gives health regeneration and magic resistance, giving Phoenix and its team even more survivability in teamfights.
  • Guardian Greaves icon.png Guardian Greaves restores health and mana in a radius, as well as remove debuffs from Phoenix. The increasing health regeneration and armor upon reaching low health is great for Phoenix's constantly dwindling health.
  • Radiance (Active) icon.png Radiance adds area damage and applies miss chance to enemies, perhaps key for a successful Supernova.
  • Heart of Tarrasque icon.png Heart of Tarrasque grants lots of health, strength, and health regeneration to supply abilities' health costs. It provides enough survivability so Phoenix always has a chance to activate Supernova.
  • Octarine Core icon.png Octarine Core increases health and mana substantially, and the cooldown reduction means Phoenix can re-enter a fight much more quickly than before.
  • Refresher Orb icon.png Refresher Orb should only be bought if the player is sure on how to make the most of it. It is best to not use Refresher Orb immediately after Supernova as the ultimate already refreshes Phoenix's other abilities, making Refresher's active rather pointless. Instead, spend the other abilities first, then refresh so you may perhaps have a third Icarus Dive/Fire Spirits/Sun Ray to use and a second Supernova to refresh them.