A guide to Phoebe's helix

(Somebody248d) #1

Unlike most other battleborn, Phoebe’s helix is overflowing with powerful helix options, so much so that any random build can be effective. However, many of her helixes have complicated interactions with each other, often with spectacular results. Therefore, I’m making this helix guide to help other players unleash Phoebe’s full potential.

The effectiveness of each helix will be rated on the following scale:

:broken_heart: Terrible - These helixes will do more harm than good, and should be avoided by everyone.
:star: Insignificant - These helixes are not very useful in normal play and are not worth focusing on.
:star::star: Helpful - These helixes are useful in normal play, but are not worth focusing on.
:star::star::star: Strong - These helixes are effective enough to be worth changing your playstyle for.
:star::star::star::star: Game-changer - These helixes are excessively strong and will often have a big impact on the course of the game.
:blue_heart: Obvious Choice - These helixes are clearly superior to any other options at that level.

Note that many helixes are situational, so a higher rated helix is not always the best choice.

Level 1

Aggressive Advance
Exiting Phasegate increases your movement speed by 30% for 3 seconds. This is extended to 9 seconds with level 8 helix Phase Stability.
On its own, this is good for closing gaps or escaping. With Phase Stability, this becomes an amazing movement ability, so long as you’re willing to wait 7 levels for the full duration.
While Aggressive Advance is active, Phoebe will leave a faint trail behind her as she moves, and sound effects similar to Marquis’s Temporal Distortion can sometimes be heard.
Stacks with the movement speed boost from Swordstorm.
Does not apply to True Strike’s lunge.

Enemies hit by Blade Rush will be marked for 3 seconds. Striking a marked enemy with Five Virtues will remove the mark and silence that enemy for 3 seconds.
Most enemy battleborn need their skills to win a fight against Phoebe, so Preparation is incredibly valuable in pvp, and 3 seconds can seem like an eternity with Phoebe’s DPS. Against AI enemies, silence is often treated as a stun, making this highly valuable even in pve.
Marked enemies will be surrounded by a blue visual effect.

Level 2

Shield Resonators
Phoebe’s shields immediately begin recharging after using Phasegate.
On its own, this is useful for survivability, but won’t have a huge effect. Works well with Shield Stabilizers and Contingency Plan.

Phase Distortion
Upon exiting Phasegate, Phase Distortion creates a bubble at Phasegate’s target location. Enemies within the bubble are slowed. This bubble lasts 6 seconds, or 12 seconds with Phase Stability.
This is great for blocking an enemy’s escape or preventing someone from chasing you.

Level 3

Shield Stabilizers
Increases Phoebe’s maximum shield capacity by 240 and shield recharge rate by 105/s.
This is a good boost to survivability and works well with Phoebe’s other shield and defensive helixes.

Striking an enemy or object with the last hit of Five Virtues’ 4-hit combo charges Phoebe’s rapier for 3 seconds. While charged, True Strike will deal 2.5x damage. Striking an enemy or object with True Strike will consume the charge, but this only applies to True Strike’s second attack if Blade Sweep or Reprise are active.
On its own, this is a strong boost to Phoebe’s already high DPS. With Blade Sweep or Reprise, Crosscut becomes an incredible DPS boost, greatly increasing Phoebe’s effectiveness as an assassin.
On a normal 5-hit combo, Crosscut will increase DPS by about 22%.
On a Blade Sweep or Reprise 4-hit combo, Crosscut will increase DPS by over 65%.
While Crosscut is active, Phoebe’s rapier will glow orange.

Sharpened Blades
All attacks made with Five Virtues, True Strike, or quick melee deal +18% damage.
While not as strong as Crosscut, this is still a great DPS increase for anyone who doesn’t want to rely on True Strike to deal damage.
When attacking, Phoebe now glows yellow instead of blue.

Level 4

Unintended Innovation
Blade Rush blades now explode on contact, dealing full damage to all nearby enemies. However, these blades travel at half the normal speed, and can no longer crit or penetrate enemies.
This is great for dealing with hard to hit enemies, dealing damage to groups of enemies, or spreading debuffs from Preparation and Disruptor Blades.
The reduced speed of Unintended Innovation doubles the flight time effect of Close-Quarters Training and Refined Technique for a given distance.

Every time Blade Rush deals damage to an enemy, 1 to 2 seconds are refunded from Blade Rush’s cooldown. The more elite the enemy, the more time is refunded.
Normally, this results in large reductions if you can land your shots. In pve, this can fully refund the cooldown, especially when cooldown buffs are active.

Level 5

Passata Sotto
Striking an enemy or object with True Strike increases Phoebe’s damage reduction by 30% for 3 seconds.
This is a 42% boost to Phoebe’s effective hp that is easy to keep active, making this an amazing defensive helix.
While active, Phoebe’s rapier will glow blue and an orange visual effect will appear at the bottom of Phoebe’s screen.

Blade Sweep
True Strike now chains a second attack after the lunge, dealing 50% increased damage in a 360 degree area around Phoebe. This new attack is boosted by Crosscut, and Crosscut’s deactivation will only apply to the second attack. Blade Sweep also unlocks a new melee combo, replacing the first two attacks in the base 4-combo with True Strike’s two attacks.
On its own, this is a moderate DPS boost with a strong AoE attack and a new, faster combo for more frequent True Strike lunges, all of which are good. With Crosscut, this also becomes an amazing DPS boost, allowing Phoebe to clear waves and deal high single target DPS at the same time.
Attack speed gear has a reduced effect on Blade Sweep’s combo.
Flurry has no positive effect on Blade Sweep’s combo.
Blade Sweep’s combo will add an extra hit if too much attack speed is stacked, reducing DPS.

True Strike now chains a second attack after the lunge, dealing 40% increased damage. This new attack is boosted by Crosscut, and Crosscut’s deactivation will only apply to the second attack. Reprise also unlocks a new melee combo, replacing the first two attacks in the base 4-combo with True Strike’s two attacks.
On its own, this is a moderate DPS increase, which becomes amazing when combined with Crosscut. However, Blade Sweep does the same thing with more damage, a larger AoE, and a faster combo, so there’s no reason to use Reprise over Blade Sweep.
Flurry’s effect is greatly reduced on Reprise’s combo.
Attack speed gear has a reduced effect on Reprise’s combo.
Reprise’s combo will add an extra hit if too much attack speed is stacked, reducing DPS.

Level 6

Phasegate v2
Phasegate’s cooldown time is reduced by 20%.
This is a simple buff, allowing for slightly more frequent Phasegate usage without having a very large effect.

Contingency Plan
When Phoebe’s shield is broken, Phasegate’s cooldown is immediately reset. Phoebe’s shield must fully recharge between activations.
This allows Phoebe to both enter and exit a fight with Phasegate, allowing her to strike freely behind enemy lines in pvp or escape bad situations in pve.
If Contingency Plan activates while aiming Phasegate, the skill will be canceled.
If Contingency Plan activates while casting Phasegate, the skill will be canceled and can go into a full cooldown cycle.

Disruptor Blades
All enemies hit by Blade Rush are wounded for 3 seconds, reducing all healing received by 60%.
This is great if your enemies are healing themselves in combat. Otherwise, this will have no effect.

Level 7

Core Overload
Increases the damage of Phasegate, Blade Rush, and Blade Cascade by 15%.
The boost to Blade Cascade is great, the other skills not so much.
Additive with the damage boost from Phase Stability.

Increases the attack speed of Five Virtues by 20%. Does not apply to True Strike.
This is a great DPS increase if you’re using Passata Sotto or are ignoring True Strike. If you took Blade Sweep or Reprise, Flurry will be much less useful.
Boosts the DPS of a base 5-combo by 15%, and Reprise’s combo by about 7%.
Does not boost Blade Sweep’s combo.

Level 8

Scientific Method
Increases Phasegate’s maximum range by 33%.
Unless you’re trying to get somewhere just out of reach, this won’t have much of an effect.

Phase Stability
Increases Phasegate’s damage by 15% and extends the duration of Aggressive Advance and Phase Distortion by 6 seconds.
The damage boost won’t make a big difference, but the extended duration is a great boost for the affected helixes.
Phase Stability’s damage boost is additive with Core Overload.

Level 9

The Conduit
Adds 3% of your current shield to the damage of each Blade Rush blade.
This can be decent if you stack shield capacity, but only if you can keep that shield active. In general, the other options on this level are more useful.
The Conduit’s bonus damage is boosted by Core Overload and skill damage gear.

Close-Quarters Training
Blade Rush’s damage is increased by 40%, but this damage boost is reduced by 10% every 1/3 second while the blades are in flight. This becomes a damage penalty after 1.67 seconds.
At close range, this is a great damage boost. At long range, this will actually reduce your damage, especially with Unintended Innovation.

Refined Technique
While in flight, Blade Rush blades gain 25% damage every 1/4 second.
This won’t do much at close range, but makes for a good damage boost at medium range. At long range, this can deal massive amounts of damage, especially with Unintended Innovation.
Refined Technique can boost Blade Rush’s damage by about 375% before the blades expire.

Level 10

Calamitous Cascade
Enemies within Blade Cascade’s area of effect take 8% increased damage from all sources.
This is good for maximizing your DPS, but the damage increase is too small to make a big difference.

Blade Cascade’s area of effect travels with Phoebe, but deals only 40% of its normal damage.
The damage penalty from this outweighs any benefit from bringing Blade Cascade with you, so most players should avoid this helix.
Blade Cascade’s normal visuals are replaced by a sword rotating around Phoebe.

Blade Cascade’s radius is increased by 50%. While Phoebe is inside Blade Cascade, her movement speed is increased by 30%, lasting for 3 seconds after she leaves the AoE.
The increased AoE is great for damaging larger groups of enemies, and the movement speed is useful for chasing enemies or escaping a dangerous area.
Movement speed boost stacks with Aggressive Advance.
Movement speed boost does not apply to True Strike’s lunge.

If you have any questions about Phoebe’s helix, or if there’s anything that I missed or that you disagree with, feel free to comment below.

(Somebody248d) #2

All descriptions are up, so this guide should be complete, at least until the next update.

(beta382) #3

You have 20/25 of her helix options labeled as game changers. I can’t help but feel it makes your ranking system feel a bit meaningless.

(Hobbit Warrior) #4

You keep using that rank. I do not think it means what you think it means.

(Cast Iron Chef) #5


(Somebody248d) #6

The guide has now been updated for the June 2017 update. The major changes were:

Changed the rating system to better show which helixes are overperforming. 3 stars is now considered Strong, and 4 stars is the new Game Changer.
Preparation, Crosscut, and the level 5 helixes were upgraded to 4 stars.
Calamitous Cascade was downgraded to 2 stars and its description has been updated to reflect its recent nerf.

Added a note to Preparation.
Removed notes about Crosscut canceling Passata Sotto, as this does not seem to happen.
Added new FX to Passata Sotto’s note.
Clarified notes about Contingency Plan’s glitch (this was not fixed in the patch).

(Too Many Games) #7

This is so hard to take seriously.

Reprise is useless, it doesn’t compare to Blade Sweep, so how the hell is that a 4 star?

With Contigency Plan fixed, it’s a massive opportunity cost if you take the wound. Phasegate is Phoebe’s primary tactic, you always want to use it as often as you can and be available whenever you need it.

Flurry is almost always the helix to pick, like 90% of the time, if not 95%. Phoebe’s damage output doesn’t come from her skills, since her skills are there to set up herself to kill people with her swords. With Flurry, you can activate Crosscut and Blade Sweep with 2 hits of her primary combo instead of 4.

(Somebody248d) #8

Reprise does most of the things that make Blade Sweep amazing, and it does those almost as well as Blade Sweep. Sure, Blade Sweep is always better, but Reprise is still a massive improvement over not taking anything.

Last I checked, Contingency Plan isn’t fixed, it still glitches out in the same ways it did before. How useful Contingency Plan is depends on how much you use Phasegate. Not everyone uses it at every opportunity, saving Phasegate as an escape or chase ability is also very effective. If you can already do that without Contingency Plan, then taking CP won’t make a huge difference.

Wound is always highly situational, but if you find yourself in need of wound, Disruptor Blades is a very effective way to deliver it.

The Blade Sweep 4-combo (2 primary combo hits followed by True Strike and Blade Sweep) is enabled by Blade Sweep, and does not require Flurry. In fact, Flurry will not improve the DPS of this combo at all. Therefore, if you’re using a Blade Sweep build (or Reprise, since it works the same way), Flurry is almost useless.

Also, Phoebe’s ult is one of the highest DPS AoEs in the game, so boosting its damage is always useful.

(Too Many Games) #9

Reprise is still useless, because you have to pick it between Pasatta Sotto and Blade Sweep. Even you state Blade Sweep is superior in every way, since Reprise only almost as amazing, only almost does as much as Blade Sweep, that means it should never be picked.

Blade Sweep does 50% Damage, compared to Reprise’s 40%, AoE, you don’t even need to point at the enemy for it to hit.

Blade Sweep is simply better in every way, leaving no room for Reprise in any situation.

Without Flurry, you must hit 4 times with your primary combo, then crosscut and Blade Sweep, ending with 6 hits. However, what you want is to spam crosscut and Blade Sweep as much as possible since they are the attacks that hit the hardest, so Flurry makes it possible that by holding main and alt fire keys, Phoebe attacks twice before activating Crosscut with Blade Sweep. The DPS increase is significant.

Blade Cascade may have the highest AoE damage, but you’re much more likely be engaged in melee combat than spamming Blade Cascade. Again, the opportunity cost to give up Flurry is very high.

The latest patch notes does state Contigency Plan is fixed, and I haven’t been in another situation where losing my shield amidst activating eats up my cooldown. I have been able to use Phasegate with much less restrictions with this patch.

Even so, Disruptor Blades has its merits, but highly situational. I personally dislike highly situational abilities due to inconsistency, that a certain criteria must be met in order for it to be somewhat useful. I very much prefer general purpose, since the likeliness for it to be useful is significantly higher. Even for a conservative Phasegate user, there will be plenty of times where he’s forced to use Phasegate before the timing he’s waiting for. The shorter the time it requires for it to be off cooldown, the better. Sometimes those extra couple of seconds whether you have Phasegate ready or not is enough to be the deciding factor between winning and losing.

(Somebody248d) #10

The ratings here are about which helixes are good, not which helixes are best. If it was, there would only be one highly rated helix on each level, and this would turn into a build guide.

If there was a choice between a 9% boost and a 10% boost, both would get the same rating. If there was no other choice, the 10% boost would also get the Obvious Choice rating. This doesn’t happen with Blade Sweep because Passata Sotto does something completely different.

Flurry has nothing to do with this combo. To activate it, all you need to do is take Blade Sweep, start attacking with primary attack, then activate True Strike and hold both down.

From what I’ve seen, CP will still cancel Phasegate when CP activates, and this can cause cooldown if Phasegate was actively teleporting you at the time. I’m not sure exactly what the patch changed, but the same glitch can still happen.

(PSN:Santbech_2038) #11

Also not everyone has all the mutations.

Good guide i enjoy to read ur opinion!

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