FlashX’s Phinn

Phinn is effective as a roam hero because of his ability to initiate fights with his Forced Accord and protect his allies with Polite Company. Previous to update 1.16, Phinn had not been utilized frequently in competitive play – particularly in North America – due to the immense mechanical skill of some of the best players and their ability to Reflex Block – or even dodge – many of Phinn’s abilities. With the buff to Quibble’s radius and duration, it is now much harder for enemies to dodge and more rewarding when you successful land it on an opponent. I believe Phinn will continue to slowly grow as a standout roam hero in competitive play.

If you prefer a video format, here’s the TL;DR version of this guide:

Item Build

Starting Items

Buying two potions is unncessary because Phinn will receive health back from the passive ability of the Ironguard Contract.



Travel Boots are a must-have for Phinn and should be a first objective. His base movement speed is incredibly slow without them.

You will not have enough money in the early game to purchase both the Fountain of Renewal or Warhorn. This is largely a matter of preference and based on what the team comps are looking like. For a long time, Fountain of Renewal has been an essential part of every roam hero build. However, after a lot of playtesting with Phinn, I believe Warhorn should be the first tier 3 item that is completed and I encourage you to try it. This enables Phinn to quickly navigate the map with his allies and engage upon unsuspecting enemies. The additional 400 health 460 health (with Unstoppable) and 16 health regeneration also help Phinn to be tanky very early in the game.


During the mid-game, you should be able to finally complete both Fountain of Renewal and Warhorn – i.e. whichever you had not previously completed. It’s also recommended to upgrade to Journey Boots, which will provide additional movement speed, a lower activation cooldown, and more tankiness.


With the exception of appropriate situational items (below), late-game Phinn can use his gold on flares and infusions.



Crucible is best utilized against opponents with area of effect (AOE) abilities, such as Blast Tremor (Catherine), Verse of Judgement (Adagio), Dragon Breath (Skaarf). It can also be activated to provide an instant health barrier if an ally is close to dying. As an additional benefit, Crucible offers Phinn 600 690 (with Unstoppable) more health, which will vastly improve his ability to absorb damage and increase the amount of fortified health given to allies by Polite Company.

Atlas Pauldron is best utilized against opponents with high attack speeds, such as SAW, Ringo, Blackfeater, and Krul. The additional armor, and even minimal shield gain, will help Phinn be the front line that his allies need him to be and enhance the strength of Polite Company’s fortified health buff.

Clockwork enables Phinn to use his abilities – which already have fairly short cooldowns – to be used very frequently. Having a Clockwork will enable Phinn to land several Quibbles and several Polite Companies throughout the duration of a single team fight.

Skill Order

[table id=55 /]

You’ll notice that at level 5 I do not recommend spending a skill point. A unique choice presents itself when all heroes reach level 5: rather than placing a second point into the ability you do not want to max first, you use a tactic called skill skipping, which enables you to put a fourth point in the skill you care more about at level 6, as well as a point in your C ability at the same time. This is particularly effective on heroes where placing a second point in an ability does not provide much additional value.

Ability Usage and Strategy


[su_spoiler title=”Unstoppable (Heroic Perk)” style=”fancy”]

Phinn has the single highest base health at level 1 (960) and is outscaled only by Glaive at level 12. Adding to this, Unstoppable enhances the defensive effects of ALL items, making him even tankier. Enemies would be wise to not waste their stuns or slows on Phinn because he will easily shrug them off. Phinn also has slower base move speed than any other hero (2.8) which makes it important to build Travel Boots much earlier than other roam heroes. As a reference point, melee heroes average around 3.4 move speed and ranged heroes average around 3.2.


[su_spoiler title=”Quibble (A)” style=”fancy”]

Use Quibble as a means to deal massive damage in addition to either stunning or slowing the enemy heroes. Overdriving Quibble (getting it to level 5) is very important so that Quibble changes from being a slow into a stun. Having the ability to stun multiple enemies is a huge advantage in team fights. With the increased radius of Quibble in 1.16 (up from 2.7 to 3.0), and the increased slow/stun duration (up from 0.8s to 0.9s), Quibble is now much more potent. While those numbers may seem small, they will have massive effects during combat (e.g. Phinn will be more likely to land double and triple slows/stuns).

Be patient when using Quibble. Enemies will expect it and prepare to dodge. Use Quibble when enemies are in the center of the radius so that it is much harder for enemies to evade both the damage and the slow/stun. Use caution when using Quibble against very mobile heroes – such as Taka, Skye, or Vox – because they have abilities that make it very easy to dodge Quibble. To land Quibble on such heroes, use it immediately after a mobility ability has been used.


[su_spoiler title=”Polite Company (B)” style=”fancy”]

Polite company can be used both offensively and defensively. For offense, use it to bring enemies towards Phinn. This disrupts their positioning which is favorable for Phinn and his allies. In many situations, this will enables Phinn to immediately follow up with a Quibble, which will surely be a good start to a team fight. On defense, Polite Company offers a barrier of fortified health that scales incredibly well as the game progresses and Phinn builds items. If allies come under fire, Phinn can immediately use Polite Company to fortify their health, making them harder to kill. Enemies travel significantly farther when this ability is overdriven, making Polite Company the second ability (after Quibble) that Phinn should overdrive.


[su_spoiler title=”Forced Accord (C)” style=”fancy”]

Similarly to Polite Company, Forced Accord can be used both offensively and defensively; however, using it offensively is much more typical. Because of the relatively slow animation Forced Accord, Phinn has not seen much use in competitive play since professional players can frequently Reflex Block it. This is usually when it used in a manner such that the hook passes through the intended target and continues on before making its return back to Phinn. The best way to use it is such that the hook hits the intended target and immediately starts coming back to Phinn upon contact (i.e. max range). This forces enemies to preemptively use Reflex Block, which is much harder to protect against.

To use this ability defensively, Phinn will want to hook enemies away from his allies. In order to do this, Phinn should position himself in a manner such that the enemies are in between Phinn and the rest of his allies; he can then use Forced Accord to pull enemies away from his allies. It should only be used in the manner when allies have unfavorable positioning and Phinn should know that he will likely die after using this ability in this specific manner. The rest of Phinn’s allies will now be very far away from Phinn while the enemies are on top of him.

Avoid using Forced Accord at close distances. If enemies are too close, the hook will go through them and continue to its maximum range before returning back to Phinn. If used in this manner, enemies will have significantly more time to prepare to block the ability. Also, avoid maxing Forced Accord. While it does offer 15 seconds of cooldown reduction and an additional 15% cooldown refund when you miss, the utility that Phinn and his allies receive from having overdriven Quibble and Polite Company are much stronger. Oftentimes, Phinn will only have one chance to use Forced Accord during a team fight – even at level 3 – so it’s not worth maxing.



To make sure Phinn is always ready to support his team, players will want to practice energy management and use discretion when using abilities for basic farming activities.

Hero Synergies

Here are two best Phinn synergies that come to mind. Through further experimentation, more synergistic pairings will be discovered.


Gaining a barrrier from Dead Man’s Rush, and health regeneration from Spectral Smite, Krul is a hero that must be burst down or will thrive in a prolonged fight. With Phinn’s Polite Company, Krul is an even larger threat. The fortified health barrier from Polite Company pairs incredibly well with Krul’s kit. When Krul has activated Shadow’s Empower Me, he can slow enemies which also makes it very easy for Phinn to land his Quibble. On top of that, when enemies are trying to flee from Krul, Phinn can bring them back using Forced Accord.


Now that some of her nerfs have been reverted and bug fixes have been implemented, Rona is in a good spot to be a menace in the jungle. She now gains fortified health from both Into the Fray and Red Mist. Similar to Krul, Rona’s kit will synergize very well with Phinn’s. Polite Company will grant Rona additional fortified health making her even more difficult to take down and a well-placed Quibble will prevent enemies from escaping Rona’s Red Mist.

Gameplay Strategy


[su_spoiler title=”Team Fight Positioning” style=”fancy”]

Positioning in team fights is very important. Similarly to how all roam heroes should be played (with the exception of CP Adagio), Phinn will want to be the frontline meat shield for his allies. His goal is to absorb as much enemy damage as possible while Phinn’s allies are attacking the enemies. Just be careful to not overextend in a manner that allows enemies to damage Phinn while his allies cannot return this damage.


[su_spoiler title=”Early Game” style=”fancy”]

Game Time = 0:00 – 8:00

For optimal jungle clear speed, begin channeling Quibble on the large double minions right before they spawn at t=0:25. Immediately start to basic attack them while Phinn’s ally kills the large heal minion. Before Phinn’s jungle carry kills any of the jungle minions, Phinn should begin moving towards the inner healer minion. This is so that the jungle carry will reach level 2 after the first rotation through the jungle. Be careful to not leave the jungle carry too soon or else they may take too much damage. However, most damage can be mitigated through the health they receive from killing the healer minions.

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of “hyper leveling” in Vainglory, it’s recommended you watch this video:

 The first engagement

In most situations, both jungles will have finished this mirrored rotation at relatively the same time. (Note: On some occassions, the enemy team may revert to a backwards rotation in which they start from the small double camp and rotate back towards their respective base). At this point, an engagement is likely to occur. Use the flare purchased at the beginning of the game in a manner such that it reveals both the enemy shop bush as well as their tribush. If you see that your rotation is faster than the enemies’, both Phinn and his jungle ally should shop immediately then rotate into the enemy shop bush to position and prevent the enemies from shopping. If done successfully, you know that you will have an advantage if the enemies choose to fight. If they do not choose to fight, and rotate up to lane, you should ping spam the yellow avoid button to your laner to back up. You should also steal the lower small double camp from your enemy.

Other Tips

Phinn is the slowest hero in the Halcyon Fold. Invading the enemy jungle is tricky because he has very slow movement speed. Phinn and his ally should only invade if they successfully win the first engagement. If you do not, simply return to your jungle and continue the rotation.

While it is important for Phinn to be the frontline for his team, he needs to make sure his allies are in a position to help Phinn – should he be engaged upon. Because of his slow movement speed, Phinn MUST fight if they enemy team tries to engage. Phinn’s ally will have to make a decision as to whether he should stay and help fight or use the time to retreat.

Quibble deals massive damage early on in the game. Avoid being impatient and using it ineffectively. It is extremely important to hit the enemies with this ability or else the engagement may go very poorly.


[su_spoiler title=”Mid Game” style=”fancy”]

Game Time = 8:00 – 15:00

Phinn begins to ramp up in the mid game. He hits his first major power spike once he completes his Warhorn, a second major power spike when he reaches level 6 to unlock his Forced Accord, and a final power spike when he reaches level 8 in order to overdrive Quibble so that it now stuns. All of this will happen during the mid game. Phinn’s decisions here should be reflective of his allies versus the enemies. If his allies are strong in the mid game, Phinn will want to be aggressive, pulling in enemy carries whenever the opportunity rises. If Phinn and his allies are at a disadvantage in the mid game, passive play using Quibble and Polite Company to protect his allies should be your focus. Continue to farm and develop items until the enemy overextends or your team gains an advantage.

Be patient with Forced Accord. There is no cooldown refund if this ability misses while it is only level 1. Ensuring that it hits enemies is very important.


[su_spoiler title=”Late Game” style=”fancy”]

Game Time = 15:00 – end of match

While Phinn should have an immense amount of defensive and utility items at this point, the enemy team has also scaled significantly in their damage. Choosing fights selectively is very important at this stage in the game. Ideal Forced Accords will seperate enemy teams such that a high priority carry gets hooked away from his allies such that they cannot help. Because of Phinn’s slow movement speed, it is important that his allies stay patient and always remain behind him.




Thank you to everyone who took the time to read and study my Phinn guide. Every situation is different, and different situations will dictate exactly how to utlize this guide for maximum benefit. This is by no means a definitive guide on how to play Phinn, but purely my interpretation of him as a hero. I hope everyone is able to learn a thing or two in order to improve your own gameplay.

If you have comments, questions, criticism, or any feedback whatsoever, reach out to me on Twitter: @TSMFlashX. Also, be sure to catch my streams on Twitch: @FlashX92.

If you like this guide, you can also check out my previous guide on roam Taka.

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