Phoenix Point: Year One Edition – How to build your soldiers

Phoenix Point: Year One Edition – How to build your soldiers 1 - wpgameplay.com
Phoenix Point: Year One Edition – How to build your soldiers 1 - wpgameplay.com

Guide for Phoenix Point: Year One Edition – How to build your soldiers

A breakdown of how good each class’s skills are, both on their own and combined with other classes.

 

Foreword

It seems people liked my last two guides, so I’m back for round three! This time I’m covering class skills and the generic skills that randomly appear as options on all soldier types. This guide is more designed for players who want to optimize some stronger late-game characters and will go into great detail about niche situations where each skill can be used.

I’ll be ranking the skills on a scale that goes “S,” “A,” “B,” “C,” “D,” and “E” in descending order, where “S” is “Take it, take it now!” and “E” is “Actively avoid taking this; it will make you worse.”

As always, if you like my hints, tips, and ideas, leave a comment letting me know. I might have a few more guides in me yet!

Assault

The assault class is the most common, the most versatile, and the most powerful, as far as I can tell. Its skills are instrumental in conjuncture with all the other classes, both in-class combinations and other soldiers fighting alongside you.

DASH:
Level 2 costs 10 SP.
Move as far as 2 AP of movement away for 1 AP and 3 Will. Max 2 uses per turn. (Active)

“A” rank.

Ah, dash. The bread and butter of moving quickly. AP comes at a premium in the game, and so dash lets you get where you need to be TO attack without burning through the AP you need FOR the attack. This one is a good pick on any assault-type soldiers; moving fast is essential in this game. However, I would advise putting points into your soldier’s speed stat first, as both will achieve the same result, but one will do so without burning through will points. 20 Speed soldiers for the win!

RETURN FIRE
Level 3 costs 15 SP.
When shot by an enemy (doesn’t proc on melee attacks), fire back if the gun you are holding has ammo and the enemy is within your gun’s aiming range. (Passive)

“D” rank.

You might be fooled into thinking this skill is the badger’s knackers based on your first run-in with New Jericho, but in truth, this skill suffers from what I like to call “Expendable Impact.” Basically, the more expendable a unit is, the more or less impact different skills it uses will have, and the more or less impact different skills will have against it. Here’s an example: Debuffs and status effects are more impactful against enemies with more HP and skills, like Scylla, whereas high single target damage weapons like shotguns and sniper rifles have a greater impact against enemies with less HP and fewer skills, like Arthrons. Your soldiers should not be viewed as expendable, so you don’t really want to plan around them getting shot. It works for the Arthrons because they get shot at a lot. After all, that’s a good way to deal with hordes of nasty buggers.
Still, it does have some niche uses, in high armor Heavy/Assaults with machine guns who can withstand the odd ambush attack and long-range Sniper/Assaults who can fire back at basically any incoming shot.

READY FOR ACTION
Level 5 costs 20 SP.
All inventory actions and reloading costs 0 AP for this soldier. (Passive)

“S” rank.

Ready for action is less of skill, more of a skeleton key. It opens so many class combination doors and has so many applications that it’s basically a must-have for every assault. Here are a few examples: A Technician/Assault can use this to rapidly retrieve fresh gun turrets from their inventory to deploy in conjuncture with their “Rapid Deployment” skill. An Infiltrator/Assault can use this to reload their low ammo guns to fire multiple times a turn, allowing them to shoot as many as 6 spider drones (if they have “Spider-Drone Pack”) or 4 crossbow bolts. Any assault can use this even if they have zero action points to move items to and from the inventory of any nearby allies, letting you take a buddy’s gun and spare ammo, reload it FOR them and then give it back without spending an action point. Have a Neurazer? Pass it to your buddy so they can get in on the stunning fun when you run out of AP! IT’S SUCH A GOOD SKILL, YOU GUYS. I CAN’T EVEN

ONSLAUGHT
Level 6 costs 25 SP.
Spend 2 AP and 4 Will to give 2 AP to an ally within 15 feet. (Active)

“S” rank.

The Assault class is defined, in my opinion, by this skill more than any other. Whether you’re moving action points from the weak to the strong, from the far behind to the further ahead, from the in cover to the out of cover, or from the generic dude-with-gun to the weird combo character who just needs a little more gas to do something really freaking cool, this skill is a must-have for every Assault. Still, more than that, it makes the Assault a must-have for every team—one of the best, if not THE best, skills in the game.

RAPID CLEARANCE
Level 7 costs 30 SP.
Spend 5 will to gain 2 AP whenever you kill any enemy this turn. (Active)

“C” rank.

This makes one of the strongest characters build in the game work, but it’s actually pretty bad outside of that context. Most weapons that can reliably kill cost 2 AP to fire, and enemies rarely line up like ducks at a shooting range, so moving between shots is required but not really possible. You’ll see some use outside of the build I described in my prior guide, “Fighting Dirty,” but this one is costly for how little practical use it will see in the majority of cases. Avoid taking it if you aren’t building whack-a-mole.

Sniper

Sniper is the second-best class, in my opinion. Most of their abilities are pretty dang good, but there are some stinkers here and there.

EXTREME FOCUS
Level 2 costs 10 SP.
Overwatch costs 1 fewer AP. (Passive)

“C” Rank.

Overwatch is not as good in Phoenix Point as it is in other strategy games. It’s not useless, but you want to go on the offense as often as possible, and the game gives you plenty of tools to do so. Still, this skill is a good pick for Snipers later down the road, once you’ve got the next skill.

QUICK AIM
Level 3 costs 15 SP.
Spend 3 will to make the next shot with a proficient weapon cost 1 fewer AP. (Active)

“A” Rank.

This ability defines Sniper in my eyes. It’s very versatile; letting you fire your sniper rifle twice, or move a good distance to get a better aiming angle before firing, or letting you fan the hammer on your pistol for 3 will a bullet. It pairs well with Priest as they get extra will points for more rapid pistol attacks, and it also pairs well with any class that wants to fire their weapon for fewer AP, which is every class. Sniper’s best skill.

MASTER MARKSMAN
Level 5 costs 20 SP.
If you haven’t discovered any enemies in 10 tiles, gain 30% extra accuracy. (Passive)

“B” Rank.

Good for pureblood snipers who want to stand very far away and pick small weak spots like Arthron arms and Siren heads. Not so good for sniper hybrids who want to get closer to the enemy. Still, it’s a decent old skill.

WEAK SPOT
Level 6 costs 25 SP.
If you break a body part with an attack, that body part loses all its armor. (Passive)

“A” Rank.

A damn fine tool for any sniper, this handy little number pairs very, very well with an Anu shotgun-toting assault unit who want to score that sweet 350 damage at melee range on a weak spot. If armor is giving your grief, this is one of many solutions.

MARKED FOR DEATH
Level 7 costs 30 SP.
For 4 will points, one enemy you can see takes 10 extra damage per incoming bullet (or attack if it’s something other than bullets)

“B” Rank.

This one also pairs well with a shotgun/machine gun-toting teammate, as more bullets mean more extra damage, but its uses are a little more restricted than weak spots. 30 SP is a steep price for a little extra damage, and it’s not really worth using on smaller, weaker enemies. Still, Scylla always needs killing, and this is a piece of that puzzle, albeit an optional one.

Heavy

The third strongest class in the game. It makes sense they give you these three by default. I’ll also be detailing my thoughts on “Jet Jump” in here.

BRAWLER
Level 2 costs 10 SP.
Melee attacks and bashing deal 50% extra damage. (Passive)

“A” Rank.

A new player could be forgiven for looking at this and thinking, “What? THAT’S the Heavy’s first skill?” Hey, I get it, it looks odd from the outside, but this little number along with the next skill PLUS Jet Jump makes the Heavy a deadly battlefield threat right from the start of the game all the way to the end. The trick is realizing that “Bash” costs 1 AP and “Jet Jump” costs 3 AP of the 4 AP you get each turn. Jumping right up into an enemy’s face and bashing it clean in with your big old cannon is the Heavy’s one-two punch. It deals 130-ish damage to low armor targets, often applying daze. Early doors, the cannon is really more of a melee weapon than a gun. Just bear in mind that using a cannon or machine gun to perform a melee attack deals a small amount of damage TO the gun, so don’t do it too much, or you’ll break an expensive weapon.

WAR CRY
Level 3 costs 15 SP.
Spend 1 AP and 3 will to set the turn start AP of all enemies in 10 feet to 2 instead of 4. (Active)

“S” Rank.

If Jet Jump – Bash is the one-two punch, Jet Jump – War Cry is the knockout blow. Enemies such as snipers and other heavies need 3 AP to fire their weapons, and the area of effect is large enough that you can hit 2 to 4 enemies with a good shout. Then, on their turn, you can laugh as they stand there picking their noses like idiots while you get ready to destroy them with a heavy weapon attack (or bash) on your next turn. It’s also good against enemies that use 2 AP weapons because you’re forcing them to choose between moving OR shooting. It shuts DOWN enemy berserkers, as they have to spend 2 AP to melee. It’s the Heavy’s best ability; better than “Rage Burst,” IMO.

BOOM BLAST
Level 5 costs 20 SP.
Spend 5 will to make explosives cost 1 fewer AP and have 50% more range this turn. (Active)

“C” Rank.

The Heavy’s weakest skill. It is useful, but only for Heavies, who plan on bringing a grenade launcher and a back-mounted rocket launcher to every mission. 2 grenades and a rocket at double range ain’t half bad, but the other options for Heavies are just better. Gets outclassed, as far as my experience shows. I guess you could try using hand-held grenades, but honestly, if you don’t have the assault’s “Ready For Action,” then opening your inventory to grab more ‘nades will burn through the AP that you were trying to save by using this skill in the first place, so it’s kind of self-defeating.

INSPIRE
Level 6 costs 25 SP.
All kills restore 1 will for all OTHER teammates. You get the default amount per enemy. (Passive)

“B” Rank.

More will is a good thing. It’s pretty pricey, but that’s the only real downside. Heavies score plenty of kills, so you’ll have little trouble getting this to proc. Explosives can be used on Chiron worms to the farm will, if you’re cool, leaving a Chiron alive. I wouldn’t, but it’s an option.

RAGE BURST
Level 7 costs 30 SP.
Fire in a cone using a direct-fire weapon for 5 will and the weapon’s normal AP cost. (Active, one use per turn.)

“B” Rank.

How do you kill a Scylla? It’s a question this game will ask you, and you will need an answer. This skill is one answer, but the best way to use it is a little more obscure than it first appears. The trick is viral weaponry. A viral sniper rifle can fire 50 points of virus straight into a Scylla with Rage Burst, leaving it in a near-permanent panic attack where you can just whittle away its huge HP bar in relative peace. Viral Rifles of the non-sniper variety can achieve similar results, but armor is an issue. Maybe shred some armor with bombs or a Weak Spot Sniper first, just to make sure. Outside of the Scylla context, though, this is just plain old overkill. You don’t need it for Sirens, or Chirons, or even really Vehicles. If you like it, then go for it, but it’s really just one piece of a larger puzzle.

JET JUMP
Comes with the Phoenix and New Jericho heavy chest armor pieces.
Spend 3 AP and 2 will to ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ FLY. (Active)

“S” Rank.

Holy moly, when I found out you can fly in this game, not as a late-game thing but RIGHT FROM THE START, I was so happy. It’s an excellent skill, too. The only real downside is the speed penalty of the torso armor needed to use it. The upsides are as numerous as they are obvious, so I’ll just move along to the next class.

Berserker

Berserker is one of the weakest classes, but hey, somebody had to be the worst. The main reason they suck is that they’re supposed to be the melee unit, but the best melee unit is an Assault/Heavy with the Vengeance torso, so they’re pretty mediocre at their main gimmick.

ARMOR BREAK (I know, I know, but that’s how the game spells it)
Level 2 costs 10 SP.
Spend 3 will to make the next attack deal 30 shreds to armor. (Active)

“B” Rank.

It’s alright if you use a weapon with multiple bullets like a shotgun or an AR. The trouble is, it works best on a Hybrid class of Berserker and something else, which is kind of a running theme with the Berserker’s skills. Berserker wants to hybridize with everybody, but nobody wants to hybridize with Berserker because they bring so little to the table in terms of weaponry.

CLOSE QUARTERS EVADE
Level 3 costs 15 SP.
Enemies within 10 tiles do 25% less damage to you. (Passive)

“D” Rank.

It’s our old friend Expendable Impact again. When cannon fodder enemies have it, your melee weapons bounce off them like nerf bats, but when you have it, it’s still two hits ’til death; it’s just two slightly softer hits. I’ve never taken this and thought, “Wow, that really helped out.” Kind of a waste of 15 SP; just take a speed point.

BLOODLUST
Level 5 costs 20 SP.
Gain up to 50% extra speed and damage when your HP gets lower. (Passive)

“B” Rank.

It’s got some good applications; it just wishes it wasn’t attached to Berserker. Still, if you plan on using a “By the book” Berserker, then this is a must pick. It’s a smart idea to leave your Berserkers damaged or to deliberately attack them with your own units to get that sweet 50% speed and damage boost—a good passive for a bad class.

IGNORE PAIN
Level 6 costs 25 SP.
No panic, no mind control, no broken limb stat, or skill penalties. (Passive)

“C” Rank.

I’ll be honest; I seldom have trouble with mind control or broken limbs. Panic is a more common threat, but there’s an easier solution to that conundrum, which I’ll cover in the Priest section. This one may look like a good passive, but it’s kind of just OK. I don’t know; maybe it’s better for players who end up in dangerous situations more often than I do. I wouldn’t get it, though. Speed is a better place to spend 25 SP.

ADRENALINE RUSH
Level 7 costs 30 SP.
For 5 will, all AP costs are 1 this turn, but you can’t spend will, and you get dazed next turn. (Active)

“A” Rank.

The best thing the Berserker has and the class’s defining skill. Use with a weapon that costs 3 AP like a sniper rifle or heavy gun, and you’ll get a lot of mileage out of this; just remember the prices you have to pay to use this skill in the first place are fairly dear.

Priest

The priest is… alright. They’re probably the closest class to “average” in my mind. Still, they have some pretty neat strings to their bow.

MIND CONTROL
Level 2 costs 10 SP.
Grab a nearby enemy and puppet them about. Costs as much will as the enemy currently has. If you still control them at the start of the next turn, pay some will (more for bigger enemies) to maintain control, or lose control. (Active)

“C” Rank.

The applications are too scarce. You need to be close enough to reach the enemy, and you need to have enough will, and they need to be worth controlling in the first place. Still, it is useful for picking off a different enemy using the first one as a weapon, and it’s a cheap way of killing off Chiron worms for Sniper/Priest hybrids.

INDUCE PANIC
Level 3 costs 15 SP.
If you have more will than an enemy, force them to panic for 1 AP and 3 will. (Active)

“A” Rank.

Priest’s defining skill. They have the high will and can use it to knock one enemy that you can’t otherwise deal with into a brief therapy session to win you a free turn. At the same time, you pick off targets you actually can kill and move your other units around to reach the ones you can’t—a good utility skill.

MIND SENSE
Level 5 costs 20 SP.
Reveals all organic enemies within 15 tiles. (Passive)

“C” Rank.

Meh. I’ve never found it particularly useful, but it’s hard to tell when and where it is and isn’t helping because it’s passive. If you’ve got 20 SP to burn, pick it up, but don’t go out of your way.

PSYCHIC WARD
Level 6 costs 25 SP.
All allies within 10 tiles are immune to Panic and “Psychic damage attacks” (Passive)

“B” Rank.

No panic for friendlies is always nice. I have no idea what “Psychic damage attacks” actually means, though. Since this is passive, it’s hard to know what’s being prevented and what’s just not happening because the enemy chooses not to today. Still, it’s doing… something, and that’s not bad.

MIND CRUSH
Level 7 costs 30 SP.
Deal 100 damage to all enemies in 10 feet for 1 AP and 6 will. (Active)

“E” Rank.

10. damage? Really? That’s your final move, priest? That’s nothing! I can do 150 damage with a level 1 assault. 10 feet? How on earth am I getting a priest close enough to a bunch of weak enemies? 6 will? That’s highway robbery, mate. 30 SP? No thanks, I can buy more will points with those, which are more useful for priests in the first place. All the numbers are just too low, or too high, contextually speaking, for this one to ever really be worth taking on ANY priest.

RADIANT HOPE
Comes with the Synod Head mutation.
Restore 2 will to all allies within 7 feet each turn. (Passive)

“C” Rank.

It’s not a lot of will, but it’s free, so there’s that. Still, it’s not as good as…

INSTIL FRENZY
Comes with the Judgement Head mutation.
All allies within 20 feet gain frenzy, making them immune to panic and gaining 50% more speed for two turns. Costs 5 will. (Active)

“S” Rank.

GIMME FUEL GIMME FIRE GIMME THAT WHICH I DESIRE!
+50% speed for the WHOLE TEAM (except the priest) is SO ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ good, you guys. I always take a priest so that I can use this head. I use it every two turns like clockwork from the moment I get it to the end of the game.

PSYCHIC SCREAM
Comes with the Screaming Head mutation.
Reduces the will of all enemies in 8 feet around you. It costs 3 AP and… like 4 will or something, I forget. (Active)

“E” Rank.

So trash. It costs 3 AP to deal 0 damage to targets that are almost always nowhere near you. Induce panic works because it’s a line of sight based, not proximity based. Take the Judgement head; it’s the best.

Technician

These metal nerds have some odd ideas about skills; some of them are crazy strong, and some of them are gutter muck—a real gaggle of weirdness.

FAST USE
Level 2 costs 10 SP.
All robot arm skills, medkits, and stimpacks cost 1 AP. (Passive)

“D” Rank.

It’d be E rank if it were more expensive. I’ve never taken this skill. The robot arms are, simply put, totally worthless. You’re better off scraping any pairs you find; the tech you get will serve you better than the arms ever could. Medkits for less is a very, very small upside. You don’t want to have one dedicated healer; you want everybody to carry one medkit so that whoever gets hurt can heal themselves while the rest of the team keeps up the momentum. Stimpacks are worthless because of the Judgement head from the last section. This skill is trash.

REMOTE CONTROL
Level 3 costs 15 SP.
Command a turret or vehicle to fire for 1 AP and 3 will. (Active)

“B” Rank.

I would have made this another E rank, but apparently, this skill is fairly good. I don’t use vehicles, so maybe I’m missing something obvious, but I can kind of see how this could be useful with turrets. The trouble is, turrets can’t move to a better aiming angle, so you’re stuck with whatever you start with unless you have your techie move the gun before-hand. Still, I’ll give it a generous benefit of the doubt.

FIELD MEDIC
Level 5 costs 20 SP.
Fix broken bones, restore 10 HP, and amour to each body part. Costs 2 AP and 2 will. (Active)

“E” Rank.

I’ve never used this rubbish skill.
I highly doubt I ever will.
My soldiers have no broken joints,
I will not waste my 20 points,
I will not use it on my team,
“I will not use it!” hear me scream.
2 AP? It must be a joke.
I spend that much, and I’ll go broke!
My armor points, they seldom break,
what is the point, for heaven’s sake?
I’ve never used this rubbish skill,
I highly doubt I ever will.

REMOTE DEPLOYMENT
Level 6 costs 25 SP.
Hurl turrets very far for 1 AP apiece. (Passive)

“S” Rank.

Oh, THERE you are, Technician. Glad you could finally show up and show off what you bring to the table. This skill is nuts, and it’s good that it’s nuts, ’cause it’s basically all the Technician has. It defines the class as gun-chucking maniacs that litter the battlefield with up to 9 bullet spitting beauties, which is exactly the role they were born to play. The Assault’s Ready for Action lets these turrets be retrieved for free from your massive pockets, and if you take the level 2 robot torso, you can carry all that weight without being overburdened. This is how “I” use Technicians.

ELECTRIC REINFORCEMENT
Level 7 costs 30 SP.
For 1 AP and 6 will, give all friendlies within 20 feet 20 extra armor this turn. (Active, doesn’t stack)

“A” Rank.

Super good. Applies to ALL friendlies, including spider drones, turrets, and civilians. Very strong when used near the start of a mission, when your team is still close to each other. An ounce of prevention is worth its weight in lives.

ROBOT ARM ABILITIES
Comes with the VVA-2 Arms
Remove a mindfragger, restore 120 Machine HP or 120 Bio HP. 1 AP each. (Active)

“E” Rank.

Remove a mindfragger is a bizarre choice since a gun bash does that without needing you to cosplay as doctor octopus. Restore bio HP is achieved with a medkit, without needing you to have one dedicated healer. I don’t use machines enough for the second one to really apply. Perhaps you consider these to be good, but this ain’t your list.

Infiltrator

In the last class, and the most fun, the infiltrator is a good scout and silent hunter, and their skills reflect this.

SURPRISE ATTACK
Level 2 costs 10 SP.
Attacks from “behind” gain triple their damage as a shock. It can lead to Dazing. (Passive)

“B” Rank.

It’s a small thing, in my opinion. It doesn’t come up much when I’m playing, but when it does, it’s fun. The trouble is, it’s sometimes a little hard to tell where “Behind” ends and “In front” begins at times. Still, it’s cheap, and when it works, it’s cool.

DEPLOY DECOY
Level 3 costs 15 SP.
Spend 1 AP and 4 will to create a holographic you nearby. Trick your enemies. (Active)

“C” Rank.

I’ve never used this, actually, but it seems fairly useful. It’s just I find the next skill to do the same thing and more without costing a single will point.

SPIDER DRONE PACK
Level 5 costs 20 SP.
For 2 AP (the normal cost of firing one spider drone), fire 3 spider drones. (Active)

“A” Rank.

This plus Ready For Action for a free reload means 6 spider drones, but even for 3, you’re getting a distraction, a scout, and armor shredding explosive damage on up to three targets, all for 2 AP. It’s so versatile!

VANISH
Level 6 costs 25 SP.
For 4 will, disappear and move up to 5 feet away. (Active)

“D” Rank.

I seldom need to disappear because I get my enemies to do that part instead. Still, the AP free movement has its use. If you love this, good for you, it’s just not my cup of tea.

SNEAK ATTACK
Level 7 costs 30 SP.
Damage dealt while hidden increases by 100%. (Passive)

“A” Rank.

If you are an infiltrator and somebody can see you, they’re either already dead, or something has gone horribly wrong. Sneak attack is more or less just a flat damage upgrade for max level Infiltrators. Shame you can’t really use it with shotguns, but I guess they’ve got to balance somewhere.

Other

Okay, this took longer to write than I expected, so I’m rapid-fire these next ones. Each costs 25 SP and is available to everybody, but 3 (or 2) are picked for each unit at random and tied to random character levels. Here we go!

THIEF: +25% stealth and +1 speed. “B” Rank, “S” Rank for Infiltrators.

BOMBARDIER: Mounted weapon proficiency, +20 Range, +10% Damage with MWs. “E” Rank.

HEALER: +30% extra healing, +2 will. “B” Rank, “A” Rank for Priests.

SELF DEFENCE SPECIALIST: PDW and Handgun proficiency. +10% accuracy, +10% damage with both, +10 feet hearing range. “C” Rank.

SNIPERIST: Sniper rifle proficiency, +25% damage with sniper rifles. – 4 will. “D” Rank. (Too heavy price to pay)

TROOPER: AR Proficiency, +20% accuracy, and +10% damage with AR’s. “C” Rank.

CAUTIOUS: +20% accuracy, -10% damage with everything. “D” Rank.

FARSIGHTED: +2 will, +10 Perception. “B” Rank, “A” Rank for Priests.

BIOCHEMIST: All bullets deal 1 Virus. “A” Rank, “C” Rank for Snipers, “D” Rank for Berserkers.

QUARTERBACK: +25% Grenade Range, +2 Speed. “A” Rank.

STRONGMAN: Heavy Weapon Proficiency, +20% aim with Heavy Weapons, +2 Strength, -15 Perception. “D” Rank, “B” Rank for Berserkers.

RECKLESS: -10% accuracy, +10% damage with everything. “D” Rank. (25 SP is too much)

RESOURCEFUL: +25% carry capacity, +2 Strength. “C” Rank, “A” Rank for Technicians

CLOSE QUARTERS SPECIALIST: Shotgun and Melee Weapon Proficiency. +20% accuracy with shotguns, +20% damage with melee. “C” Rank, “A” Rank for Heavies and Assaults

Okay, I think that’s all of them; if I missed one, let me know.

By marbeltoast

This is all that we can say about Phoenix Point: Year One Edition – How to build your soldiers for now. I hope this post helped you. If there is anything that we should add, please let us know via comment below. See you soon!


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