Phoenix Guard is a High Elves melee infantry unit in Total War: Warhammer II. At the heart of the battle, in the thickest fighting, highly-trained and utterly silent.
The Phoenix Guard are the guardians of the Shrine of Asuryan, the great pyramid temple in the Sea of Dreams. Deep within lies the Chamber of Days. On its ancient walls, it is said, are the histories of past, present and future, etched in words of fire. Legend tells that any who behold that wall shall forever be cursed with the knowledge of their own death. Regiments of Phoenix Guard are always found where the fighting is fiercest and victory hardest won, for their gift allows them to see confluences and crux points upon the battlefield that lie hidden to mortal eyes. Each warrior knows his appointed hour of death, but none seek to delay that fatal moment. Whether battle brings victory or defeat, life or death, the Phoenix Guard fight on without fear.
- ↑ Anti-Large: Anti-large units have an advantage against targets that are at least as large as a horse. This advantage can be a damage bonus against large targets or an attack that focuses on a very small area. However, some units are simply better against large targets because their attacks are slow and easy to dodge by skilled melee combatants.
- ↑ Armour-Piercing: The damage of armour-piercing weapons mostly ignores the armour of the target, making them the ideal choice against heavily-armoured enemies. They are often heavier and attack at a slower rate though, making them less efficient against poorly-armoured targets.
- ↑ Armoured: Armoured units can block damage from any source apart from Armour-Piercing damage.
- ↑ Charge Defence Against All: When standing and bracing against a charge this unit will negate the enemy's charge bonus.
Although they are probably the strongest unit in the High Elves´ roster when it comes to taking down monsters or heavy cavalry in melee, Phoenix Guards are surprisingly versatile. Their expert charge defence allows them to stop charging infantry as well as large creatures, they cause fear and are highly resilient to non-magical damage. In short, they are a very efficient roadblock: place them where you absolutely do not want the enemy to break through and protect them from getting whittled down by missile fire. The only reason not to replace all your Spearmen with Phoenix Guards in late game is their exorbitant upkeep cost, but even that can be compensated for if your economy is very strong.
With the introduction of the Silverin Guard, it is worth comparing the two as they are both defensive anti-large units. The biggest difference is in their resistance, Phoenix Guard have 30% physical resistance vs. the Silverin Guard's 30% magic resistance. Physical damage is more prevalent in the game, but magic resistance can also be very useful. They have equivalent bonus vs. large so that trait cancels out. Silverin Guard have 55% missile block chance through their shields which makes them much more resilient as a front line unit.Comparing stats though, the Phoenix Guard have significantly higher melee stats, leadership, and armour-piercing damage.
In conclusion, use Silverin Guard when you want a unit that can hold the line, be resilient to magic damage, and do damage to large units. Bring the Phoenix Guard when you want a melee powerhouse that can absorb damage while also dishing it out, ignoring most of the armour of any enemy they fight. Notably, from a multiplayer perspective, the Silverin Guard are much more cost effective at what they do and are less vulnerable to magic and missiles which makes them difficult to deal with.