Starcraft 2 Beta New Protoss Unit Spotlight: Phoenix
You can build Phoenixes at the Stargate, for a cost of 150 minerals, 100 vespene gas, and 2 psi each. The Phoenix is classified as a Light Mechanical unit, and has 120 hit points, 60 shields, 0 armor, and a Move Speed of Very Fast.
The Phoenix attacks with its Ion Cannons, doing 2 attacks of 5 damage with a bonus of 5 extra damage against Light units. While the Phoenix has a short range of 4 and a Weapon Speed of Slow, it is still good because of the fact that it can attack while moving.
The Phoenix has one special ability, Graviton Beam, which incapacitates one ground unit by lifting it up in the air for up to 10 seconds. This is a channeled ability that costs 50 energy per use, and Massive units are immune to it.
Available Upgrades For The Phoenix
At the Cybernetics Core there are 3 levels of Air Weapons and Air Armor upgrades available to research for the Phoenix. Each Air Weapons upgrades adds 1 base damage to the Ion Cannons, and each Air Armor upgrade adds 1 armor.
At the Forge you can research 3 levels of the Plasma Shields upgrade to add 1 armor per upgrade to the Phoenix’s shields.
The Phoenix has three good things going for it. It moves very fast, it can attack while moving, and it can use Graviton Beam to lift ground units into the air. A good harassment tactic to use is to fly a small group of Phoenixes into your opponent’s base, use Graviton Beam to lift up and destroy some of his workers, and then quickly fly away before your opponent can react.
The Phoenix is a fragile unit, and will be destroyed relatively quickly if fighting other flying units in a face-to-face battle. You need to keep your Phoenixes on the move as much as possible, especially because of their ability to attack while moving.
Since the Phoenix can only attack other air units, it is vulnerable to large numbers of ground-to-air units. The one opposing unit to fear the most is the Thor, which does ridiculous damage to Light flying units and can not be picked up with Graviton Beam because it is Massive.
Best Uses Of The Protoss Phoenix
The Protoss Phoenix is best used for harassing and quickly scouting the map for enemy expansions. Its Graviton Beam is very good when used to lift up and destroy enemy workers, or key ground units like Siege Tanks and Immortals. Phoenixes are especially good early on when facing Zerg opponents, as they can be used to set your opponent back by hunting Overlords, or lifting up and destroying Queens/Drones with Graviton Beam.