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Mass Effect Wiki

A result of the Illusive Man's early experiments in enhanced human physiology, Project Phoenix subjects are highly skilled combat and biotic specialists. When the Illusive Man turned to indoctrination in order to ensure the loyalty of his troops, many Phoenix operatives defected and joined the Alliance in order to stop the Reapers.

Phoenix operatives are highly skilled combat and biotic specialists. Their ability to manipulate Cerberus lash and stasis technology, backed up by their powerful skills, make them invaluable assets on the battlefield.


Melee and movement[]

Fist Melee
  • Regular Melee – The Project Phoenix Vanguard attacks with a shock baton, hitting up to two nearby enemies.
  • Heavy Melee (Cerberus Lash) – The Project Phoenix Vanguard swings biotically-charged lashes, striking the surrounding area. This has a high chance of knocking down unprotected foot soldiers.
  • Grab (Biotic Punch) – The Project Phoenix Vanguard drags an enemy over cover and then executes them with a charged biotic punch.
Dodge Arrow
  • Dodge (Combat Roll) – The Project Phoenix Vanguard rolls to quickly evade incoming attacks.
  • The Project Phoenix Vanguard can take cover, and can roll from cover to cover.

Player Notes[]

General Notes[]

  • The Phoenix Vanguard's Lash ability functions similarly to Pull, except that targets are dealt considerable damage and thrown a good distance. With the Shield Penetration evolution, Lash can be set up to penetrate shields and barriers. Lash can also be used as a primer for Biotic Explosions, with the Fast Recharge evolution increasing the short time that Lash's biotic effect affects a target.
  • The Phoenix Vanguard is capable of single-handedly creating Biotic Explosions on armored enemies by using Smash and following it up with Biotic Charge (or vice-versa). This enables the Phoenix Vanguard to take down armored units even quicker and enhance survivability by restoring barriers with Charge.
  • Smash creates a short-ranged Shockwave-esque effect that can travel through cover. This is useful against basic infantry enemies, since Smash's high damage will likely kill them; it also enhances longevity as Smash otherwise exposes the user for a long time if cast in the open.
  • The Biotic Combo evolution of Smash leaves a biotic combo priming effect on any target, including large armored targets. This makes the Phoenix Vanguard the only Vanguard class that can benefit from the biotic damage bonus of Warp Rounds on hard targets like Atlases on its own, giving the class a potentially large edge in weapon damage alongside hard-hitting powers.


  • Phantoms should be first priority when possible, since they are capable of killing the players team in moments.
  • Shield Penetration for Lash is recommended against Cerberus since most of their troops are protected by shielding or barriers. An alternative is to use a shield/barrier killer weapon (like Acolyte) as a primary or secondary. With the latter approach you can put all the points in Biotic Charge, Smash and Fitness, which makes the close combat most effective.
  • When surrounded, Smash is highly advised since it can give the Phoenix Vanguard a great crowd controlling ability.
  • Lash is very effective against Guardians as it will yank their shields off permanently and allow them to be killed more easily.
  • Although it won't knock it over, Lash will still stagger an Atlas and will give enough time for Smash to be used against them without taking any additional damage.
  • Since Smash can hit through walls it will devastate Atlases while remaining safe and can make living much easier since they usually take up everybody's attention.
  • Like the Phoenix Adept, a smash-melee combo will prove very effective against infantry on Gold difficulty, as Smash will destroy most or all of its initial defenses or health while a heavy melee can hit anybody outside smashes path. Smash can destroy a great deal of armor or barriers when evolved to do armor damage and even with electrical damage remains lethal, ensuring that a melee can gravely injure or kill a Dragoon soon after.
  • Dragoons posses the same Smash and heavy melee attacks as the player, but with noticeable time differences. Should the player and a Dragoon activate Smash at the same time, the player’s attack will strike first. However, enemy Dragoons’ heavy melee attack is faster and will hit the player first. Utilizing the timing to the player’s advantage is crucial on higher difficulties, especially due to the enemies’ increased damage.


  • Project Phoenix Vanguards may find themselves at a disadvantage against Collectors, since they favor powerful ranged attack and excel at close combat.
    • Lash is very useless against this faction, since only three enemies are affected by it, the Collector Trooper, the Collector Captain (only affected if Shield Penetration Evolution was chosen at Rank 6) and the Abominations (though it's ill-advised to do so, since Lash can sometimes pull them to the squad, being lethal if they're possessed).
    • Since this class's most useful power is close ranged, Smash, players may find themselves frequently being downed, since Collector enemies are geared towards ranged combat. They are also just as deadly at close range too.
    • Care should be taken to avoid or neutralize Seeker Swarms as often and as quickly as possible, for obvious reasons.
  • The impulse force from Smash can be useful for knocking back lighter enemies; this is especially applicable to Abominations, as it can easily send them flying. Care should be taken not to fling them towards teammates though, as Abominations can explode shortly after being killed.


  • Lash is very effective here since the Hunters and Rocket Troopers are capable of stunning you and the team, so a player can use Lash on them to incapacitate them for a while. Primes and Pyros aren't affected by Lash but Smash will deal more than adequate damage.
  • Make sure any Hunters are lashed quickly, because they can and will stun the team. Combined with other enemies, such as Pyros, or Rocket Troopers, the player's entire team can be brought down instantly. While a Vanguard can be a bit aggressive against the geth, its often best to avoid dare-devil stunts and stick by the team.


  • Lash is less useful since only the smaller enemies (Husks, Cannibals, and Marauders) will be yanked off the ground.
  • As ever, caution is advised around Banshees since they can and will grab anybody nearby. Smash can be used, but carefully - you don't want to be grabbed.
  • Make sure you don't charge into Banshees, as said above, you don't want to be grabbed.