Phalanx are a type of Cabal military rank.
They are similar to Legionnaires and carry big tactical shields, acting as a mobile defensive front, holding their ground or pushing forward at will; they have no jump-jets. Besides blocking attacks, Phalanx shields are dangerous in melee combat. A single hit can send Guardians flying, which will cause damage if they crash into a solid object. This is strong enough to kill Guardians on higher difficulties. In Destiny 2 their shields has a deactivation point at the centre of it. If you shoot at it, it'll deactivate the shield and disorients the wielder.
On their own, Phalanxes aren't particularly threatening, but that doesn't excuse them from being difficult to kill. The shield they carry covers a big portion of their body, which is only made worse by the fact that the shield is fully immune to most weapons. Occasionally, a Phalanx will plant down their shield to fire their Slug Rifle in rapid succession with a good degree of accuracy. Otherwise, it will slowly corner a Guardian until it gets into melee range, which is where a Phalanx is arguably at its most deadly, considering the fact that they have two different melee attacks.
The first attack is a shield swing that is hard to dodge and does a decent amount of damage when it hits. The other melee attack is far more devastating: if within range, a Phalanx will lunge shield-first into its target; this will either outright kill the player (which happens in most cases), or deal heavy damage and send them flying into a wall, causing them to die of impact with a hard surface (which happens if the player has a high armor build). For this reason it is recommended that Guardians dispose of them quickly before they get to close; flanking them, throwing a grenade behind them or shooting their exposed arm are all good ways to finish them off. Splash-damage from Rocket Launchers or Interceptor rockets can also deal with them quickly.
In Destiny 2, Red Legion Phalanxes are equipped with Energy Shields, which they can expand to provide protection to multiple Cabal soldiers. They do not impede movement when expanded and can be walked through. Shooting the glowing icon in the center of the shield or using a Suppressor Grenade will deactivate the shield and stun the Phalanx for a few seconds. Like Legionnaires they tend to use Cabal Slug Shotguns.
List of appearances