About this guide - Change log
Hello everyone, first of all, i'd like you tell you that this is my first guide, and i'm not trying to discover America with this build.
As a matter of fact, leaving the items behind, I'd really like to discuss gameplay aspects of our friendly neighbour Phoenix. The thing is, that this hero is very hard to master, but extremely rewarding when you win!
By the way, english is not my native lenguage, so excuse my grammar or any particular error that you might encounter, I'm working on that... =P
October 2014: Added 6.82 changes in HP removing damage and scepter item discussion
So... Who is Phoenix??
Phoenix is a support / nuker / Ganker, that based on a series of DOT (Damage over time) abilities, can turn all of his enemys into ashes WAHAHAHA (evil laugh). His primary lane should be MID, but he is effective in all three lanes, and can even solo lane.
Phoenix is not an easy hero, all his basic abilities cost health and mana (except for Icarus Dive, which only cost HP). Just to make things worst, all these abilities have an active component while their execution, such as switch them on/off, aim manually, and at the same time, keeping an eye on your health and the whole teamfight configuration, in order to make the most out of his ultimate.
I'd like to remark that Phoenix is mainly a SUPPORT, not a killing machine. In fact, most games (at least the good ones) will show that your KDA will be full of assists rather than kills. Even if you see yourself being quite efficient in ganks, remember that Phoenix is a team oriented hero.
All of this happens for a reason. Basically Phoenix doesn't have any burst damage, so making the last hit in a teamfight is quiet hard, but his presence can be equally lethal.
His gank potencial is amazing at mid, but later on he will always need to be close to his allies, as we will see on the next chapters.
When to choose Phoenix
Choose Phoenix when:
- Your team needs AOE Damage (Area of Effect).
- Your team needs a support.
- Your team already has a tank and a reliable disable.
- You like to play for the team, not for yourself.
Don't choose Phoenix if:
- You want to be the carry (please, there are better options)
- Your team has no disables/stuns
- There are counter heros (see below). You still can, but it's not recommended.
- Enemy team has a lot of Silence/stuns (slows are not a problem)
Friends and Foes
Basicaly, anyone that locks enemys on ground so you can make your combo and take the best benefits out of your Supernova
. Special mention to Crystal Maiden, who can sustain your mana through out the game with global range. Plus you can make some decent combos in lane, but I honestly prefer to share a lane with a carry.
By far one of your worst enemies. His Sadist ignores all your DPS damage, plus his Heartstopper Aura
punish you very hard, making you take a lot of risks by using any of your abilities, because your HP will be way too low. One more thing, you can't go into Supernova
while on Reaper's Scythe
. Avoid laining against him at all cost. Ask your partners to switch lanes if necesarry.
If he silence you, you're death. His Blood Bath nullify your DPS harrasment, and if he catchs you while diving, he can use Rupture
and make one of the most hilarious kills in DOTA. It can be counter though, but only if you prevent him from farm early on with your Fire Spirits
, and being aware of his ultimate while diving =P.
You don't have a hard counter ability against him, he can trap you, punch the ***it out of you and if you go into Supernova
, his clones COUNT as heros, so he will tear your egg apart in no time...
and so on..
If you are silenced, you are nothing but a flaming chicken...
I'll only explain what the database doesn't tell you, aplications will be explain further in the gameplay chapters.
- All Phoenix's abilities affects invisible units.
- All Phoenix's abilities can be ignored with magic inmunity, such as a Black King Bar, Rage and so on...but the stun at the end of supernova pierce magic inmunity tough.
- While diving, you can autoattack, trigger all your abilities except for Sun Ray and you can activate any item. This is far more flexible than a regular blink or escape.
- Although the fly is eliptical, you'll rarely complete the trajectory. Press Q again to stop the dive, making this ability like some sort of blink.
- The damage dealt is fairly important, and stacks with any other source of damage came from Phoenix.
You CAN be attack while flying. If you get stunned, the dive ends, and you will be surely in a bad position. Take this into account.
- One spirit makes the same damage/slow to all enemies in range.
- Several spirits do not stack, only refresh time, but if you manage to land a spirit in a 4 second sequence, you can ideally deal 1120 damage at level 4.
- Can be fully ignored with magic inmunity (both damage and slow)
- Since 6.82 patch, the damage is pure (no longer hp removal), therefore ignores all sources of magic resistance, but it can be block with magic inmunity.
- The damage is based on the ENEMY HP, not yours, so please stop thinking that giving Phoenix more HP will make his Sun Ray harder.
- If you press "D", Phoenix will advance at a fixed 250 speed, ignoring obstacles, so you can climb unpassable terrain too.
- You CAN activate items while on Sun Ray, except for Blink Dagger.
- In practise, a full 6 seconds ray (at level 4) takes 40% to 50% of the hero's hp, no matter the stage of the game, neither the targered hero.
- All auras work while on egg form, except for Blade Mail, if you activated prior to the ultimate (6.81 patch).
- Although the description says that Phoenix kills himself in order to rise again, supernova does not trigger any item or ability that works with your death, such as Bloodstone or a new charge for an Urn of Shadows nearby.
- Meepo's clones count as heros hits, so be careful.
- Buffs and curses remains on Phoenix while Supernova, but have no effect on him. Example: Decrepify >> Supernova will NOT make the egg invulnerable.
Here I'll try to explain why I've chosen the items I described above. As usual, feel free to discuss any aspects of this build, for I am eager to see what other items could be effective on Phoenix.
The starting Items
Besides the Tango
set, get the Animal Courier
if another support hasn't already bought it, the two iron branches will be used to build the Mekansm
, nothing is wasted here. A pair of observer wards is a must if you are going on the side lines, remember to use one for the jungle and other for the rune spot. Another thing you may want to consider is a Magic Wand
if you want to sustain your mana, but only if you're planning on spamming your Fire Spirits
, and if that's the case i'd rather pick a couple Clarity
If you are going mid, a bottle rush is a nice choice, because with your dive and a proper warding, you will own the runes against most heros. An Urn of Shadows
is a much more attractive option than Headdress
but only if you're going to gank the lanes, otherwise stick with the regular build and go for a mek. By the way, if you are at mid, you really should go for a gank, at least once or twice.
The Core Items
: You will always use this, keeping your allies safe in a teamfight, even using it while on a dive, its like a health delivery boy!!. Armor is something that phoenix really needs, and the stats are a big plus.
: Helps you being in every teamfight... Ok, ok, the big discussion, why you didn´t put Tranquil Boots
???, well, half the time this little boots will be broken, deal with it. A Ring of Regen
and a fast Headdress
are more than enough (plus the last one gives regen to your carry, =D). Other boots does nothing for you, so you can survive with your generic boots until you get this ones.
: AWESOME item on Phoenix
. First, no matter how strengh you have, armor is what you needs on later stages of the game. This beauty gives you +15 Armor and provides enough mana for the rest of the match. What other thing?... well, because Supernova
allows passive auras to be active while egg form, it will be harder for your enemies to hit you enough times to prevent your resurrection.
The active ability of Shiva's Guard
allows you to freeze anyone on a huge radius, damaging all, and finally, reduce their movement
If things are going bad (cheaper options)
: ONLY if you are under heavy harrasment and you don't expect to have the luxury for going for the travels. It's not the regen, but the armor and movement speed the stats you are looking for here.
: Are you being focused?? At least return something of that damage to those bastards. Besides, its more like a psychological effect, when your enemies see the spikes, they usually tend to lose focus on you, unless there's no other punch bag nearby hahaha...
: Nice alternative over a Headdress
, I only consider getting this if I find myself in a lot of ganks. You need kills in order to use this.
: Before your combo, throw it to the enemy team, adding more damage. The previous Null Talisman
also gives you solid stats to begin with. The Veil is recommended if there are other nukers that can make some profit out of it.
: All the way around, this is recommended if the nukers are on the other team hahaha.
: In my opinion, the best use of this item is the true sight that gives at level 3. The thing is that you can actually use your minions to defend you while on Supernova
, or they can work as a distraction in the meantime.
: These late game items provides you with something you lack, a disable. Adquire just one of them.
: Most people believe that this is a core item. I'll don't say that this IS a very nice addition to Phoenix
's arsenal, but I think is situational, 'cause it doesn't help your teammates, and ideally, you don't need to bulk yourself, as long as you use your skills properly.
NO NO NO
is not your item, I know that sounds tempting, because the damage stacks with ALL your abilities, but is insignificant later on, and it will delay your core... to the point that I'm not sure if you will get it, at all. If you manage to get it before the 20 minutes mark, be my guess, but you need to have an outstanding start, and even so, the regular build is much more useful in my opinion.
: Added after 6.82 patch. Ahh, yes. This... is... sooooooo... arguable. NOTE: I've tried to test this items with other heros and at least on 6.82c, Supernova INTERRUPTS channeling abilities, this is because I've seen videos on Youtube showing crazy combos such as Crystal Maiden's ulti + Supernova, yet I couldn't reproduce it, any feedback will be helpfull!.
Don't get me wrong, it has some pretty usefull aplications. You see, the key of this item is that now you can apply your ultimate to an ally closed to you (both will be inside the egg). Therefore, both will be fully restored and your QWE abilities cooldowns will be reset. The bad thing is that if the enemy destroys the egg, both heros will die. The way I see it, the fewer allys on the fight, the more chances that the enemy will focus on your egg. You can use it to save an almost dying hero, and return him fully healthed, but if there are two or more enemies, you will just feed them with a double kill =(.
Phoenix performs pretty well in all lanes, and because of his Fire Spirits radius, he can harrass from a very long distance. A special mention to MID. Phoenix can own the mid lane because of his inherent strenght, dive for a gank/escape/rune control with his Icarus Dive, and harm the other hero from the other side of the river with those pesky little birds.
Do the other team has a Sniper and no one wants to go mid against him??, well, Phoenix is your guy.
Fire Spirits has a 1400 cast range, so you can literaly outrange ANY hero with this, but most important, if you land several Fire Spirits, the damage is outstanding and the slow is extremely annoying for your enemy, rendering useless to make last hits. By the way, careful with the microstu.. ups, after 6.82, Sniper has no microstuns, awww poor Sniper =P...
TIPS for a good Early game:
[*] - Use your Fire Spirits after level 2, the first level does almost no damage, and to be honest, a few autoattacks are far more usefull at the very start of the clash. They can, however, give the enemy carry a hard time to last hit creeps from the very beginning. Your call.
[*] - Ward the jungle entrance and the rune of your lane if you are on top or bottom.
[*] - Once you see an enemy with low HP, pass through him with Icarus Dive to secure the kill, remember that this ability does a 25% slow and decent DPS damage, add a couple autoattacks and there you go =).
[*] - Don't be afraid to tower dive a hero to secure a kill, you can go back automatically with your Icarus Dive, but make sure to have most of your hp before that, because the tower can still hit you while diving.
[*] - Phoenix it´s not the best babysitter, but he doesn't need much farm, so its ok if your team needs another hero for MID, or there are two carrys on one lane (sad, but in pubs it happens a lot of times).
Mid Game... It's PHOENIX TIME!
Phoenix MUST be in every teamfight from this moment on. This is were he *shines* (ok, he always shines, but... you get the point =P). Be sure to carry a Town Portal Scroll always, so you can be close to the action.
Basic Phoenix Mechanics:
- Throw Fire Spirits to everyone, priorize the carry and any auto-attack based hero. This will left them unable to attack you or your team.
- If your team goes for it, dive into the mess and use your Supernova while fliying. Make sure that they will not left you alone. You have a chance to cancel the whole move by just doing nothing, therefore returning to your starting position. Beware for stuns, for they can left you in a bad position.
NOTE: Is more effective to throw spirits while
diving, but I understand if this is hard to achieve for new Phoenix
Advance Phoenix Mechanics:
- Try to pull your Supernova at the other side of the teamfight, leaving the enemy team between you and your colleges =). This is a leap of fate, I know, but if your team is aggresive, your enemies will be surrounded, not knowing what's the priority, and at the same time, being forced to engage.
If you landed at least 1 fire spirit to an enemy, and dive close to him before your ulti, all three skills stacks, providing an outstanding damage of 1080 after 6 seconds (besides the slow, which is great).
If they don´t attack you, you will do them full damage and a 1 second stun, otherwise you'll die (most likely), but the distraction will be usefull for your teammates, being Phoenxi its all about trust...
- After a successfull Supernova, activate your Fire Spirits and shoot again to the heros that are bringing pain to your team, save your Icarus Dive to flee the battle or chase a wounded enemy!
- Another option, before or after your "Supernova suicide dive", is to use your Sun Ray towards a hand-to-hand combat between an ally and an enemy (or enemies). Remember that the ray heals your ally and harm your enemies at the same time, giving your team the time to aid your friend. Specially usefull to prolong the life of your tank or carry later on.
- If you have Shiva's Guard, activate it before the dive, this will add even more slow to the enemy team, making them unable to break your egg, plus adding decent damage =). This is way Shiva works so good on Phoenix.
- Perhaps you'll end up with a doubtful team, that tends to go back on a fight, leaving you alone with your combo. If that's the case, use your Fire Spirits and Sun Rayas mentioned above, but save your supernova only if you see the oportunity. ASK YOUR TEAMMATES FOR A MORE COORDINATED ATTACK, because saving your ultimate is a waste of potencial.
If you reach this stage, I have some bad news for you. While Phoenix can perform his combo with ease, the damage output is just not relevant. Even more, most of your enemies should have a Black King Bar, which means that your done.
Now, your Supernova is mainly a survival resource. Your Fire Spirits can still be usefull, as long as you land them on the carry, delaying his attacks.
Finally, your Sun Ray proves to be the best alternative to put some damage on those bastards, but you should use it as a backup ability shooting from behind your carry or tank.
This is were the situational/Luxury support items cames handy, use a Heaven's Halberd or a Scythe of Vyse to disable the enemy carry.
The PHOENIX LAB!!! (Advance and Weird Tactics)
Phoenix is a very flexible Hero, bacause his abilities can mixed with a LOT of variations, lets see what we can pull off with...
Lets make a few changes to Phoenix basic combo. Remember that I told you that Phoenix can use abilities while Sun Ray?, try this:
- From very far, activate your sunray, aim for the enemy mass
- Throw your Fire Spirits while you are delivering your death ray.
- Toogle "D" and aproach to the enemy, bringing destruction to the enemy lines
- Finish the job diving into the mass and make a Supernova. Save a few Fire Spirits for the last, so your enemies can be slowed before you go into egg form.
- Type "Like a BOSS" after the bloodshed
Did you know that Lifestealer
can enter and remain hidden inside Phoenix
even after Supernova
?? YES, that little bastard can hide inside the flaming version of yourself!!!. Just use your regular combo and dive into a couple enemys pushing the lane for example, go into Supernova
form, and seeing that you are alone, they'll face you, in an attemp to destroy the egg... this is when Lifestealer
reveals and finish the job (the damage output at this point will be deadly for the unlucky enemies.
Oh no!, two or three enemies have caught you and you are about to die!!. Luckly, our friend Faceless Void
is near. Before you face your doom, activate your Supernova
and he will trap all of you inside his Chronosphere
. Yes!!, Phoenix
' supernova can still work and cook your enemies inside Void's ultimate. With proper timing, you'll do full damage and reborn just after the sphere banish, turning the battle all the way around =D
Working on other crazy combos...
Keep an eye on future updates! =), and don't forget to share ideas or discuss any aspect of this guide!