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A phoenix was a powerful elemental bird that embodied the wild and unpredictable nature of fire.[1]


Phoenixes were enormous birds with brightly colored feathers ranging from orange to red and violet, and blue-violet beaks and claws. Their eyes were a glowing ruby color.[4] A phoenix's body was naturally bright and shed its own light.[1]

Phoenix bodies were almost immaterial, composed of flame taken solid shape. For that reason, they were capable of passing through extremely narrow passages and of engulfing opponents within their fiery bodies.[1]


Phoenixes were described by many sages as champions of good,[4] and by others as random agents of destruction.[1] Most accounts agreed that phoenixes were reclusive creatures that did not seek out contact or conflict with other creatures, but, if disturbed, provoked, or properly motivated, showed relentless fury and destructive power.[1][3][4]

Phoenixes had a fierce hatred toward undead and attacked them on sight.[2]


In combat, phoenixes were fierce adversaries with no fear of a fight to the death, especially since their rebirth was assured.[3] They had a huge array of innate magical effects at their disposal,[4] as well as fast and powerful physical attacks.[1]

Phoenixes were extremely effective at destroying buildings and structures.[1]

If a phoenix was slain in combat, its body exploded in a violent detonation that destroyed the phoenix and most of its surroundings.[1]


Phoenixes could be found in the deepest reaches of the Elemental Plane of Fire[6] and in remote locations in Elysium. As reclusive creatures, they tended to avoid contact with others.[4]


To rise like a phoenix from the ashes―so many use that quaint colloquialism. Little do they know about the true horror of such a rebirth.
— Mordenkainen[1]

All phoenixes were male. They had extremely long lifespans, estimated to be between 1,000 and 12,000 years, and their reproduction process consisted entirely of self-immolation and rebirth.[4] The ashes left behind by a slain phoenix included an extremely hot cinder egg that weighed 5 pounds (2.3 kilograms). The egg was completely immune to all forms of damage. After a few days, it hatched into a new phoenix.[1]


Phoenixes were among the most sought-after creatures by sages and alchemists. Virtually all parts of their bodies could be used as ingredients for potions or in magical research. A phoenix's feathers could be employed in the creation of a staff of healing and in powerful potions of healing. Other body parts, such as eyes, beaks, and talons, could also fetch high prices, but many cultures considered slaying a phoenix to be a bad omen.[4]

The fire wings spell required an amulet in the shape of a phoenix as its material component.[7][8]

A phoenix's feather, when used as an additional component of a raise dead spell, granted additional powers to its magic. In addition to extending the time window since the creature's death during which the spell was effective, it was capable of extending the life of a creature that had died of old age by one year.[2]

Notable PhoenixesEdit

The spire of Howler's Crag located in Cocytus, the second layer of Pandemonium, was built atop the grave of a phoenix deity who held the secret to reincarnation. Its opponents killed the phoenix out of envy and cast its body in Pandemonium. The latent divine magic of the phoenix granted the place its magical properties.[9]

A phoenix was also said to inhabit the vast desert of Mithardir, the third layer of Arborea. Its nest was said to become a pillar of fire at night.[10]


See AlsoEdit



  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (May 29, 2018). Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes. Edited by Kim Mohan, Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 199. ISBN 978-0786966240.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Mike Mearls, Stephen Schubert, James Wyatt (June 2008). Monster Manual 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 220. ISBN 978-0-7869-4852-9.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Ed Bonny, Jeff Grubb, Rich Redman, Skip Williams, and Steve Winter (September 2002). Monster Manual II 3rd edition. (TSR, Inc), pp. 168–169. ISBN 07-8692-873-5.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 Doug Stewart (June 1993). Monstrous Manual. (TSR, Inc), pp. 288–289. ISBN 1-5607-6619-0.
  5. Gary Gygax (August 1983). Monster Manual II 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), pp. 100–101. ISBN 0-88038-031-4.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (May 29, 2018). Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes. Edited by Kim Mohan, Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 198. ISBN 978-0786966240.
  7. Gary Gygax, David Cook, and François Marcela-Froideval (1985). Oriental Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 83. ISBN 0-8803-8099-3.
  8. Mark Middleton et al (January 1998). Wizard's Spell Compendium Volume Two. (TSR, Inc), pp. 366–367. ISBN 978-0786906642.
  9. Wolfgang Baur and Lester Smith (1994-07-01). “The Book of Chaos”. In Michele Carter ed. Planes of Chaos (TSR, Inc), pp. 95–96. ISBN 1560768746.
  10. Wolfgang Baur and Lester Smith (1994-07-01). “The Book of Chaos”. In Michele Carter ed. Planes of Chaos (TSR, Inc), p. 56. ISBN 1560768746.
  11. Rick Swan (1989). Test of the Samurai. (TSR, Inc), p. 90. ISBN 0-88038-775-0.
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