How to Siege A Phoenix with Trixtank
Thu 1st Aug 2019 - 8:23pm
Phoenix’s are the last line of defence before the Titan’s chamber. Breaking Phoenix defences can be a tough task for any team, especially in close games. Being able to break down a good defence opens up a lot of opportunities for your team and even can lead to victory. This is why we asked Dignitas’ support Jeppe "Trixtank" Gylling what you need to do to successfully siege a Phoenix and tips on how to defend one as well.
Do Your Job
Knowing what you need to do while sieging a Phoenix is vital in a successful siege. Each role needs to be aware of their responsibilities and what they must do for the siege to have the best possible outcome for your team. So, what do you need to do when you are sieging?
Trixtank says, “Well, the Guardian is usually there to tank the Phoenix. The roles depend. If you have a dive combo, then the Guardian wants to engage with the solo, the jungle would blink over from the Phoenix and flank. The Mage and ADC will dive. When you get 1-2 kills, you go back for the Phoenix. If you don't have a dive combo, then the support and solo want to find CC chances, and then whenever the enemies back to base or are poked out, you can engage and the ADC role there would be to get it ASAP.”
Dive comps are the depending factor on what you need to do when you look to siege a Phoenix. Diving into an enemy team’s Phoenix with a solid dive comp is a very effective way to ensure you get the Phoenix. The support's job either with or without a dive comp is to tank the Phoenix, obviously, but it’s also to look for CC chances like Trixtank mentioned. Just because you have a dive comp doesn’t mean your CC isn’t valuable for your team. Being able to tank effectively while getting a pick on the enemy ADC or mid can make the siege go a lot easier. The solo laner will need to follow on the support's aggression, your job with them is to create a wall almost. You don’t let anything get behind you and disrupt your back line so they can focus on getting either the objective or focusing damage on a single target. Your main job is to keep the fighting in front of you and manage your CC chains well with your support.
If the Phoenix is successfully tanked, you should be able to burst it and also effectively look for a pick
Junglers have a fun role when attacking a Phoenix. If you’ve picked a jungler that is good at diving and disrupting the backline (Serqet is an example of a dive jungler), your main aim is to blink past their frontline and flank the backline causing some disruption to stop the enemy team's damage. As the frontline will be looking for the chance to CC the enemy team you can have a free reign to pick your target and get a kill or force them off the Phoenix. In the case where you haven’t picked a dive jungler, you need to look at following up on your frontline's CC and look at being able to secure kills or guarantee the enemy team can’t stay on the phoenix.
Hunters and mid laners, both of you have a similar role, get that bird! As you both can focus your damage on either the fire bird or the enemy team. Remember to listen to what your team is calling. Do they know with your damage you can secure a kill or are they telling you to stay on the objective? Just remember that you both need to ensure that the objective goes down. This is more the ADC’s job as higher basic damage so the mid laner does need to look more at following up from the frontliner’s CC. As you both produce the highest damage on your team, you need to make sure you follow up correctly with their CC and yes, your focus can be split. The mid can go for the enemy team and the ADC can focus on the bird, but you both need to communicate with your team on what you want to prioritise.
Hunters and Mid laners need to try and stay as safe as possible so they can focus on the Phoenix
That covers what you need to do when attacking and what your roles are from that perspective now defending one is different. Yeah, you still have the frontline and backline doing similar things on defence that you would when attacking, but there are some slight differences.
Trixtank explains that, “The Guardian makes sure that you don't get picked by their CC; the same with solo who waits with engaging until they are under the Phoenix. The ADC's role is not to die by their solo blinking in. The Mage clears the waves before they reach the Phoenix so the enemies have to tank it immediately when they walk into the Phoenix area.”
The support is there to make sure the back line doesn’t get picked and can contribute to the defence. If this doesn’t work, there is a high chance the defence won’t go too well. Making sure you either take the CC yourself or just countering it when they engage can set up your team effectively. While this is going on, the solo laner is looking to counter-engage when they are under the Phoenix, making sure to get your CC off for your jungler to pounce on the enemy team to disrupt. The support is there to tank the initial attack and can help his team with the counter-engage, so making sure you can keep them in the fray and healthy will make for a strong defence.
Making sure you're all in a position to defend effectively is just as important
Mid laners, just focus the wave first. If you can get it before it gets to the Phoenix line, that's great, but if not, focus that down first so the enemy team has to tank the objective. If you can poke a few while you do it, bonus. You do need to look at staying safe as well, however. If you can’t get the wave safely before it reaches the Phoenix line, don’t step forward or you will get picked. Hunters, they will try to dive and get to you, so be ready to take a step back or get to safety before they fully engage on you. If you can stay unchecked in the backline and have little focus on you from the enemy team, great. Just focus on following up from the CC chains.
Who to Pick
Knowing your god is vital in Smite and is as vital here then at any other point in the game. Some gods are better under a Phoenix both on offense and defense and, if this is an area of Smite where you do struggle at times and need to find the right god to survive under or punish effectively while sieging, then these are the best gods for you. First we look at who is strong when sieging.
Trixtank advises, “Chronos is nuts and any tank with heals, so like Amaterasu for support. If you have those two, it is so easy, Amy ults in and Chronos gets the Phoenix in legit 3-4 seconds.”
Chronos is super strong in the meta right now and is a high value pick in both mid and the ADC role. Magical ADCs struggle with taking objectives but not him. He does insane damage to structures if you stop his two in the right spot and he can still translate this into damage onto the enemy team. Trixtank advised combining this with Amaterasu because of her ult but the fact she can effectively keep the enemy team locked down with this is a huge reason why you should use the two together. Amy does struggle on engaging without her ult, but if you can bide Chronos enough time, the Phoenix will crumble easily, allowing you to escape relatively unharmed.
Chronos and Ama work great together when sieging and can provide a lot for their teams
Trixtank also mentioned tanks with healing in general and none are a better fit to this then Terra. Her heal might not be the most effective on her three but her ult can save your team under the Phoenix. She has great CC and the ability to control the fight for her team while the likes of a Chronos shreds the Phoenix with the added safety of the Terra ult. Being able to Heal up between pushing waves can be vital to overcoming a Phoenix defence as well, Terra’s three gives you good sustain and can be effective in getting your team healthy enough to reengage if they have used some key abilities or are relatively low.
With some of the highlighted gods on the attacking side covered, we can now look at who can control the area around the Phoenix from the defender’s perspective.
Trixtank advices that, “Ah Puch and Zeus are insane because the enemy frontline can't walk in without dying, plus they can clear the wave pretty easily. If you have Zeus, you might want an AMC to clear the waves so the Zeus can get his combo off. But Ah Puch mid would probably be the #1 pick.”
With being able to clear the wave effectively so the enemy team has to tank the Phoenix’s shots, Ah Puch is a solid pick up. Add in how big his ult is and that you can fit that in the Phoenix’s area it makes it a rough spot for the enemy team to be in. Having the ability to secure area control against an attack while also clearing waves effectively with his kit makes him a great pick and a very strong defensive element for his team.
Ah Puch is the best pick up when defending as his kit provides so much for his team whilst defending
Another one that has great area control with their ult is Zeus. Being able to force the enemy off or fight in your ultimate’s radius is great for Zeus and his team. Ah Puch does have the superior wave clear over him, but it still doesn’t make Zeus a bad pick up. What you are sacrificing in wave clear you are securing in burst damage while they are in your ultimate. Having the ability to turn a teamfight around in your favour with Zeus detonate can make for an effective defence, but like Trixtank said you need a god that has safe and strong wave clear to compliment Zeus. This is why he highlighted AMC. The bee man has great wave clear and can hold his own when defending a Phoenix but as his main responsibility here would be focus on the wave it does mean Zeus only has to wait for the engage and dump his kit on the enemy team.
Zeus provides similar area control to Ah Puch but has bad wave clear meaning you need to look at picking an AMC with him
Items can make key differences to many aspects of Smite. With the differing item choices throughout each role, it is hard to pinpoint specifics on what can work well on Phoenix sieging. Nonetheless, we had a dive into this anyway to find the ideal items for what you need when taking on the fire birds.
Trixtank mentions, “Emperor's Armor helps of course, but other than that, there is no specific items that help you siege. It is all about how you do it.”
Emperor’s Armor is a great item for your team on attack and defence. Having the ability to make structures have 30% more or less attack speed is great for your team, it means no matter what happens, you know the damage coming from the objective will be better for your team. It is an under-utilised item in Smite as it is rarely picked up, because of the lack of turtling in the game this season compared to previous seasons, but it can be a great tool to aid you in taking those objectives. The one thing you will have to watch out for is if the enemy team is building it, as it can counteract itself, rendering both useless for their teams, so be aware of this.
Emperor's Armor is a great item if you struggle with taking or defending under structures
Most of the items you’ll look at building from this are key items to help in general teamfights. This doesn’t mean they are less effective while sieging, they just do the same thing. The ADC will need to look at building in some damage for objectives to effectively take them down. While the rest of the team has a responsibility to take down the fire bird, it is more the ADC’s job to focus fire, so having that extra damage can make them fall easier. The most obvious choices are crit items for this. As much as crit has fallen out of favour in the meta, it does have some showings and they can be great items when sieging.
Crit items do rely on RNG but if you can get a few crits on a Phoenix it will fall quickly
From the defensive point of view, the only real highlight is again Emperor’s. As we mentioned before, it can be a great pick up when your back is against your Phoenix.
Trixtank explains, “There are no specific items that make this job easier. It is all about realizing what combo you have and figuring out the best method of defending.”
Emperor’s can give you a great tool to help your defence if they haven’t picked one up and can aid you in your defence, but it is mostly down to getting a good defence going. This can be said for the attackers as well, but the benefit is there that they can have the ADC focus the Phoenix and so long as they keep you off them, they can free fire onto it. This means getting a good defence and knowing when to engage or getting the perfect counter-engage is more vital to a defence than any item that you can get.
Taking a Phoenix is already difficult enough but, if you’re able to open up the base once, it can give you an amazing chance to do it again either via the same spot or another approach.
Trixtank mentions that, “The first Phoenix is always hard to get, it does not matter which one. You have to go about it the same way, which I explained in one of the previous points. But when you have a Phoenix down, what you do is you put your solo and jungle in the lane where you have taken a Phoenix and then they flank them from their base. This way they have to fall back from the Phoenix and then you can get the 2nd-3rd Phoenix for free.”
Getting one Phoenix opens a lot more avenues of approach for your team, you can use this to get a better flank on the enemy team or you can bait them in by forcing waves into their base. Either way, it spreads the team out across their defence, making the siege a lot easier for you by giving you the number's advantage over them. Having either the jungler or solo coming from the flank can open the chance to engage in different ways as well. It isn’t solely down to the support to engage now. The jungler can and the solo laner can start the attack with the support following up with their CC after.
Having the jungler flank from the downed Phoenix opens plenty of avenues of approach
All is Not Lost
We’ve all had moments when you think the attack or defence seems like it is going well and then the next moment, you're disengaging away from it just to survive and you are wondering what went wrong. Just because something didn’t go to plan doesn’t mean it’s the end, you just need to take a step back and see what is happening.
Trixtank explains that, “When something goes wrong on defense, which is usually the solo or mid getting poked too much or mid gets blinked on by solo/jungle, then it is better just to peel him off and kill one guy and leave the Phoenix. On attack, if you fail your Blink engage or you get poked too much or used a crucial ultimate wrong, you might want to evaluate whether it is better to back off or not.”
On the defending side, if you can manage to get a pick from a tough spot, it can be better for you than just abandoning everything and retreating. If you can pick the right target in the crossfire, you can salvage some positive notes from the skirmish. Trixtank used the example of the solo or mid getting poked out or getting jumped on. These can be tricky for you but if you peel them off and get them to safety you can turn the fight in your favour as you can go for the pick and force the team away as they will be fighting 4v5. Other examples are if your frontline is taking a lot of the brunt from the enemy team but your jungler gets the ADC in the backline. This is a huge win. It may not seem it at the time as you may have lost part of your frontline but disengaging off this allows you to reset and may even force them away.
Not every engagement will go to plan but it doesn't mean its all over
For the attacking side’s perspective, if you get a poor engagement, it might not be a horrid situation for you. You may be able to go in again forcing the issue while the enemy team waits for their cooldowns. You’ve got to look at what was used for both teams and weigh up if it’s worth trying again or just pulling straight off and waiting for another shot. If you come out on the positive side from the first attempt, you can get a second shot at the siege. You may even catch them in an awkward situation, forcing them into a fight they aren’t prepared to take.
Getting into fights that aren’t 100% ideal doesn’t mean it’s an instant L for that engagement. Sometimes the scruffiest of fights can end up being a lot cleaner for your team then you think.
Trixtank says, “Just commit to the fight you're forcing. If not, you will 100% have a bad outcome, but now you still have a chance that this not-perfect fight actually is a winning fight!”
If you engage and a few things don’t go totally your way, it doesn’t mean it's lost already. Being able to force the issue while in a non-ideal situation can turn out in your favour. Just being able to fully commit to it no matter what can allow you to come out on top in some cases. Sure, their Hun Batz might have got a counter ult off spreading your team, but your ADC was hitting every basic on him, putting him dangerously low. This is still a good fight. Your team might be spread and need a second to reposition but because their engage didn’t go ideal you have a chance to pounce.
Just because it may not seem ideal doesn't mean it can't have positive results for your team
At the end of the day sieging isn’t ever easy on attack or defence. There are a lot of things that you need to do to make this as simple and as easy as possible for your team, either on the attacking side or defending. It’s things like doing your job that your team is expecting you to do for the team or getting a good engagement whenever the opportunity arises. It’s even getting the right amount of vision to fully understand what is happening and what could happen while under the Phoenix.
One big thing though that has made sieging easier this season is Enhanced Fire Giant. This objective grants 25% extra damage to structures and ignores 50% of their backdoor protections. This makes sieging so much easier for your team and can vitally change pushes. So, when should you look to take it over taking a Phoenix?
Trixtank advises, “The only time you prioritize a phoenix over EFG is if you can 100% win the game from the kills you have. If you're 95% sure you can end, you go for EFG. When you have EFG, you will win the game if you're a well-coordinated team because you don't need minions to siege anymore.”
Make sure you always priorities EFG over taking a Phoenix unless you are 100% sure you can win off that push. Otherwise you can set yourselves up for failure as you are allowing the enemy team to take one of the strongest buffs off the map if you mess up the assault.
Securing EFG will ensure your Phoenix sieging will go easier
Hopefully this guide helps you in successfully sieging Phoenixes and gives you a greater understanding on how to defend them.
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