Phoebe Guide - How to Play & Build

Hey everyone in the PS4 beta (and soon PC beta players), I’ve played Phoebe for 17 hours in the early access build of the game and I’ve got just the guide for anyone looking to play her. Phoebe has gotten flak about her nerf, but I think she is still perfectly viable. And in the right hands- extremely powerful.

Phoebe Summary

Phoebe is a Brawler and Assassin, and she is also classified as Advanced. However, I find one of these to be misleading- Phoebe is not a very good assassin until mid-game when her damage ramps up, but we will talk about this later in the builds section. With my Phoebe builds, you will mostly be assisting heavily in team fights and pushing enemies who overextend. Make no mistake however, Phoebe is a versatile character and can fill in for different roles if you team so needs it.

The Build

In this build you will be mostly picking the offensive helix choices. Here’s the outline.

Level 1, Preparation - The silence on this skill is very, very, very under-rated. Taking this skill allows you to stop certain character’s abilities and force their cooldown. For example, if you silence Montana while he is using Hailstorm, he will be forcibly taken out of the skill. I’m not 100% sure if this can cancel every skill, but I would assume it can stop things such as Rath’s dreadwind and ISIC’s ult transformation as well.

Level 2, Phase Distortion - This is the crux of this build. The slow is EXTREMELY useful. If you use it at the right times, you can Phasegate in for ~200 damage, stop enemies from escaping, secure the kill, and thanks to the fact that the slow AoE stays for 6 seconds, you can escape fairly easily.

Level 3, Crosscut (MUTATION) - Crosscut is Phoebe’s first mutation. It allows you to deal 150% damage on your True Strike. With any piece of attack damage gear, this is about ~170 damage per true strike. And although this is a lot of damage, the real power of this helix choice comes in at level 5.

Level 4, Either - Personally, I do not find either of these to be very consequential in terms of the overall build, so you may choose whichever you prefer.

Level 5, Blade Sweep (MUTATION) - Blade Sweep is Phoebe’s second mutation. Now, in the early access preview this skill was kind of broken. It gave True strike a small area of effect and did more damage than the option that gave +40% damage (Reprise). If this is fixed in the open beta build, you should pick Reprise instead. Either way, picking these options allows you to do ~450 damage with True Strike. This is insane burst damage and essential to the build. It allows you to take out foes and minion waves insanely quickly.

Level 6, Contingency Plan (MUTATION) - Another great mutation (unlocked at char rank 7). This instantly resets Phasegate’s cooldown when your shield breaks. With this, you can phasegate in, deal damage, and phasegate out. Also great for escaping hopeless situations.

Level 7, Flurry - Not much to say here, +20% attack speed. Gives you even more damage.

Level 8, Either - I prefer Phase Stability here as it doubles the slow effect of Phasegate and gives more damage. However, it’s not essential and you can really go for either. Up to you.

Level 9, Either - Again, I do not find much difference here. Just depends on what you prefer. The Conduit is good with high shields, but with this build I don’t really spec for shields so it’s inconsequential.

Level 10, Stormbringer (MUTATION) - One of my favorite mutations for Phoebe. It makes Blade Cascade’s AoE travel with Phoebe at the cost of -50% damage. I feel that the tradeoff is worth it as it emphasises Phoebe’s role as an assassin more, allowing you to dish out crazy damage and turn the tides in team fights as well. Unfortunately, this is Phoebe’s last mutation which means you need Char rank 12. Until then, I’d pick Calamitous Cascade for the damage amplification.

The Gear

With Phoebe, you will want attack speed and attack damage gear. I was fortunate enough to get a piece of gear that gave me attack damage and increased my attack speed on melee hit. However, I still use both that and a piece of dedicated attack speed gear. For my third piece of gear, I get extra shield capacity, and although it’s only ~120, you can definitely notice the difference in survivability. I try to keep the gear cost as low as possible.

The Playstyle

This Phoebe build, early game, is not very powerful. You don’t get all of your damage until you have a full gear set (which is why I keep a cheap set) and level 5. You’ll generally want to just clear minion waves and go for kills if you see a good situation. Once you hit level 5, you can embrace your role as an assassin and punish “lone wolves”. Phoebe is extremely good for taking out people who come into your team’s territory, as you can slow them and stop many characters from being able to escape.

Phoebe as I mentioned earlier is also amazing for clearing minions. This is especially useful in Meltdown as you can pretty much hold an entire lane by yourself (you can literally clear waves in ~1-2 seconds with Blade Sweep). To summarize, you’ll really just want to stay mobile and out of sight if possible. Use your Phasegate to manuever around the battlefield and get picks, but don’t forget to also support your team with the silence and slows. Your ultimate can also force enemies out of an area, don’t forget to use it.

And there it is, a full guide to Phoebe. Play smart everyone.


Thank you SOOOOOO much for this guide. I’m going to use this and try to step my game up.

I’ve yet to unlock Pheebs in the Beta. This looks informative and rather useful though for when I do, so thanks!

I’ve played a substantial amount of Phoebs in open beta and have had much success with a slightly different build. Not sure what changes have been made to her since this post but I’ll share my variation in case anybody has an interest.

My gear loadout focuses on shield recharge, shields, and attack speed/damage. It seems tanky at first, but ultimately plays a huge role in combat survivability and overall map presence and aggression.

My playstyle is very mobile and aggressive, taking her Left Helix first 2 levels. This gives bonus move speed out of Phasegate as well as shield recharge. I use these frequently for both initiation and escape, diving into the backlines and chasing snipers with no escape utilities. With the extra shield gear, I am able to live long enough for Phasegate to come off cool down and either proceed to attack or escape depending on the situation. Later I take the mutation that resets Phasegate when her shields break, so the extra shield simply becomes more sustainability.

I take the Left Helix that gives Blade Rush an explosion effect and the Right Helix for increased damage the further I am. Very good for picking off low health enemies without committing too deep and if they are just out of range to finish off.

For True Strike, if they have more attackers than us and are being very aggressive, I’ll take the Left Helix for defense increase, but otherwise I’ll just run the mutation that gives it a follow up attack. I use this in close quarters a lot and if you’re crafty enough most gunners will miss. Good for clearing minions and stacked up enemies.

Besides that, I take the Left Helix that gives additional shield and shield recharge, which my loadout compliments greatly. Right Helix for attack speed, and either Left or Right level 10 Helix depending if I’m playing Incursion or Meltdown respectively.

I tend to avoid gunners with Shield Pen since this specific build leaves her with 1300 Hp and 600 Shields, but with proper spacing and mobility I can Phasegate around the map safely while still being constantly aggressive and pushing.

My biggest problem hero so far has consistently been Orendi since her burst only needs to hit once or twice before I’m low health or dead. I’ve found moving around with True Strike and saving my Phasegate for when she Nullifies out to be the best strategy for her, but a skilled enough Orendi can read the Phasegate and set up a Shadowfire Pillar or Paradigm Shift.

All in all, Battleborn does a great job of making each character versatile enough to fit a plethora of unique playstyles fitted to everyone’s preference. One of the many great aspects of this wonderful game :slight_smile:

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