Phoenix on point: what you need to know

A lot of people shy away from using Phoenix on point, and with good reason. She has the lowest health in the game at 375,000. That’s low enough for every character in the game to kill her in one combo. In some cases, only one hyper. Thus, it’s imperative for people to prioritize defense when using Phoenix, especially as a point character.

Believe it or not, Phoenix actually has a lot going for her, health aside. She has what is unequivocally the best level one hyper combo in the game. I know what a lot of you are thinking. “Using meter with Phoenix? Are you crazy? You should throw her in the anchor position and wait for level five!” Well, yes, that would be ideal… if Morrigan and air X-Factor didn’t exist. As it stands, there is a lot of technology that exists that makes Dark Phoenix unreliable in a competitive scenario. With this in mind, we need to find ways to work around it.

Phoenix Rage is the key.

On top of being her only real high-damage offensive option, it has excellent defensive properties. The move has total invulnerability at start-up and comes out instantly. If you land the first hit of the projectile, she gains full invulnerability for the duration of the animation. I didn’t even get to the best part:

Every one of Phoenix’s moves cancels into it.

Yes, everything. Including her teleports. You can stop them mid-animation to throw out a projectile, meaning as long as you have meter, you can make virtually anything safe. Of course, it isn’t perfect for everything. Hyper combos with projectile invulnerability will still get past it. Akuma’s Messatsu-Goshoryu, Crimson Viper’s Emergency Combination, and Sentinel’s Hard Drive will cut through it like a hot knife through butter. But for the most part, it’s an extremely solid defensive option that you shouldn’t be afraid to use.

Hell, even at the beginning of the match, it has excellent cross-up potential, as long as you aren’t afraid of burning X-Factor. TK Overdrive H to close the gap. If the opponent blocks? Phoenix Rage, X-Factor, and teleport behind them. If they don’t? Phoenix Rage anyway. It’s a win-win, most of the time.

Essentially, what I’m saying is:

Don’t be afraid to use meter.

Phoenix is going to have to make sure everything she does is safe especially around Morrigan, Spider-Man, Chun, and Zero with their stupid tac glitch

Well the same rules apply as if assuming that everyone knows the TAC xfactor trick. Take damage w/ phoenix if she has 5 bars that don’t kill such as stray projectiles or assist damage that they can’t easily hit confirm from.

That’s all good and all but whats the recovery on phoenix rage, 20 minutes? Panic supers aside I think she’s great on point; she has every tool in the game, she has great matchups and with the right assist she can become overbearing, but the random elements of this game do not lend itself well with her low HP considering anyone can mash and convert to a launch combo to kill her. Knowing she can’t kill you in one hit is too tempting not to just play dumb against her. Air tight pressure is the way to go to make this work though. L phoenix overdrive ~ M phoenix overdrive is great on the ground and quasi frame trappy, people tend to panic when they block it and throw out their longest normals to punish and M phoenix overdrives invincibility and great hitbox tends to shut a lot down and its easy to convert to a combo or to escape on block with a flight cancel and air dashes. In the air, neutral H is a great move and is special cancelable. On block you can go for pressure with teleport shenanigans a la H xx H teleport ~ d H xx L/M teleport, for a left right mixup, or just flight cancel and run away or shoot balls.

What do you guys think are the best assist to pair her up with?

Ammy w/ cold star. Someone with a beam assist

Nova’s Centurion Rush and X-23’s Ankle Slice are also excellent for her corner pressure game.

Both would be redundant imo since she’s so fast a blocked beam would suffice for a lock down and cross ups, also I just don’t think ammy and Phoenix play well together. When I rock Jean on point in the back of my mind I’m still going for Dark Phoenix or just generally very meter conservative, for DP, Phoenix Rage shenagains or Healing field and you know ammy just goes thru meter.

Ankle Slice would be great for creating unblockables and its so easy to get an opponent in the corner with Phoenix. Centurion Rush could make Phoenix’s approach safer and cause general havoc if you spam it and go teleport crazy; both really great assist for her.

Playing online last night i actually came across a dude who played phoenix/chun/strange, and if he got a clean hit he would do a launch combo and get the ground bounce, then he’d call chun li’s lighting legs and had Phoenix do Healing Field and it recovered in time to keep the combo going, usually just launching again and ending with Phoenix Rage or going for a mixup, i thought that was real clever working in healing field into a combo and just start gaining back life immediately

You don’t need an assist to put healing field on, you can just j.d+H xx l.teleport xx healing field, surely you’ll recover fast enough, it doesn’t have that much recovery.

I like to play point Phoenix and just put healing field on to mess with my opponents. It gets hard to see where she is if she’s rushing down and teleporting and sometimes you can’t hit confirm cause it’s hard to tell if you hit her or not.

It actually a has a shit ton of recovery, start up is 4+3, recovery is 18 frames. You can always activate it mid combo after a burn out beak, but it is nice to be able to safely activate it before going in.

Oh yeah I also found that you can combo an H TK overdrive by cancelling it into Healing Field and then doing c.L

Does PR do a lot of damage? Does she build a lot of meter alone? I’m curious about using her as a glass cannon/assist punisher with Storm.

It does ~380,000 raw, and she can easily build a meter by herself.

Phoenix rage into xfactor hard tag kill is good to make them respect you. Throwing it out early in a set forces certain characters (wolverine, nova) to respect you and actually let you get your game going. I’ve been playing phoenix magneto sentinel, and its actually pretty good. Magneto has midscreen infinites that are piss easy, so every hit is 5 bars and a dead character. Disruptor for teleport mixups, drones for tridash and stand overhead, as well as zone. If phoenix dies you play magneto sentinel.