Phoenix rod


A phoenix rod picked up after its first occurrence.

The phoenix rod is a powerful weapon from Heretic. This golden winged rod is powered by flame orbs. It launches fireballs that explode with splash damage which can hurt the player if they are too close. Each fireball does 20-160 points of damage, in round multiples of 20, plus a blast radius of 128 units (taking a direct hit automatically incurs the full 128 additional points). This mode is equivalent to Doom's rocket launcher. The phoenix rod can be chanced first in E2M3: The River of Fire where it is placed in a non-secret, albeit tricky, part of the lava river. By contrast, the following map, E2M4: The Ice Grotto, has the rod sitting on an obvious position, allowing the player to finally grab the weapon if they missed it on the previous level.

When enhanced by a Tome of Power, the phoenix rod behaves like a flamethrower, pumping out a torrent of fire that causes 2-16 damage per tic, or 70-560 damage per second, and can be channeled for up to 10 seconds by holding the attack button, spending 1 ammo in the end of the channeling. If the channeling ends by reaching its limit, firing again requires re-pressing the attack button.

The phoenix rod's normal fireballs pass through ghosts without harming them. However, its splash damage and power mode flames will damage ghosts. Maximum capacity is 20 shots, or 40 with the Bag of Holding.

Description of the phoenix rod from the manual: The Phoenix Rod delivers an explosive charge that will decimate the normal baddie to bits. Powered-up, it's time to deliver some deep-fried damage as the rod pours out a steady, hot stream of raw inferno! Watch'em scream and burn - it's great!


As an explosive weapon, the unpowered phoenix rod is best used at longer distances against clusters of enemies, or against bosses. Although it cannot hit ghosts directly, it is still effective to hit non-ghost monsters that are clustered with ghosts, or in times of desperation, to shoot the fireball against a wall or obstacle that ghosts are near to. When enemies close to nearer ranges, a different weapon should be chosen.

When powered, the weapon's role completely changes. Now it is a close range weapon that can potentially stunlock even resilient enemies, allowing a player to quickly burn through groups of minions or inflict terrible damage upon bosses, with a single orb's worth of flames generally being more than sufficient to destroy an iron lich and seriously injure a maulotaur, although D'Sparil, once in his dismounted phase, may still manage to teleport away from the onslaught, causing firepower to be wasted. To achieve the maximum effect of each flame orb, the trigger must be held down until the orb is completely exhausted, otherwise the remaining output will be lost. It is then necessary to release and press the trigger again to begin burning another orb.


Appearance statistics[edit]

In the IWADs the phoenix rod is first encountered on these maps per skill level:

The IWADs contain the following numbers of phoenix rods per skill level:


  • Heretic II continued the trend of phoenix-themed explosive weapons, although rather than bring back the phoenix rod directly, there is instead a phoenix bow.
  • Three frames of the phoenix rod's ranged attack impact sprite were removed in Heretic v1.2 compared to v1.0. These are: FX08I0, FX08J0, FX08K0.