Well, the Phoenix Lords are expensive Eldar HQs that are effectively hero-level exarch HQs. My question is whether they're worth it or not.
All of them share the same statline, and it's not bad at all.
WS 7, BS 7, S4, T4, 3 wounds, I7, four attacks, and a 2+ armor save.
On top of that, they are Fleet, Fearless, Eternal Warriors that grant that Fearless bonus to their given Aspect Warriors if they're leading them.
He's the Dire Avenger leader. He has the dire sword that the Avengers get, save that his re-rolls misses in close combat. He also has the twin avenger catapults for an Assault 4 S4 AP5 weapon. The neatest thing he's got is the 4+ invulnerable save.
Not that you ever want your Avengers in close combat, but you get Defend, and he comes with Bladestorm as well.
See Jain. See Jain lead the howling banshees. Pretty much standard Banshee exarch kit; the banshee mask, executioner, and a Triskele with S5. She also benefits from Furious Charge.
For Exarch powers, she gets War Shout and and Acrobatic. (Translation: make the enemy take a ld test to keep their WS in lieu of 1, and Counterassault).
...now, he makes your Swooping Hawks fearless, but that implies you'd want to take Swooping Hawks. He gets the Hawk's Talon and a power weapon, and is pretty much an Exarch past that.
This is the leader of the Striking Scorpions. He gets the Scorpion chainsword, the scorpion powerfist dealie, plasma grenades, and his mandiblasters give him +2 attacks instead of +1.
While he gets the Infiltrate and Move Through Cover special powers, he ALSO gives his squad Stealth, which isn't that bad. Won't necessarily use it a lot since you've got 3+ saves, but still.
This is the psycho that leads the Fire Dragons. He takes a Fire Pike, and a power weapon that hits at S5 and rolls 2d6 for armor penetration. He gets Tank Hunter and Crack Shot (read: +1 to penetration and Ignores Cover Saves), and also Feel No Pain.
He's actually kind of disgustingly adept at killing vehicles.
Hey, he's the happy guy that leads the Dark Reapers. He takes an Executioner (so he hits at S6 and ignores armor saves) and has a 36", Assault 4 Pinning, Rending Shuriken Cannon. Not a bad little gun, that. With Exarch Powers, he gets another shot, and ignores cover saves. Big deal on a weapon that's AP5, but it lets him snipe at fast-moving, lightly-armored skimmers?
The biggest problem I see with these guys is that they're 190-230 points a head. Jain's the cheapest, and Asurmen's the most expensive.
They all grant Fearless to their chosen aspect, and save you the cost of buying exarch powers. (or, more like drop 20-40 points on them...). They DO let you take an Exarch's kit twice; IE: you can get an S6 and S5 Executioner in Banshees, and get an S6 and S8 powerfist in the Scorpions.
This is neat in cases where the Exarch's special kit is actually cool and useful, as opposed to the neat but not-so-spectacular extra guns (a la the Double Shuriken catapult, or double Death Spinner).
I think if we want to look at other stuff that makes any of the Phoenix Lords worth taking, it's the extra features.
I think this guy's honestly a favorite, largely for his capabilities. He will always contribute to the fight; long-ranged gun and nasty in CC with four S6 power weapon attacks at Initiative 'I go First.'
He's a bit mono-tasked in terms of what he does in shooting, but he's got some CC prowess with the whole 'Fire Axe' letting him hit at S5 and rolling 2d6 for armor penetration. Feel No Pain helps as well.
Jain and Karandras
Unsurprisingly, these guys are pretty adept at melee. I'd say Jain's got an advantage, especially on the charge since there's that whole 'Furious Charge' thing. S7, I8, 5 attacks?
Baharroth and Asurmen
Baharroth....is...a Swooping Hawk, and that says it all. There's no real need to have him lead Swooping Hawks. Asurmen is bloody expensive for what he does.
I'm not really a big fan of the Phoenix Lords as a whole. They're meant to be killy HQs, as they've no real support abilities (read: no psychic powers and no Master Strategist). However, for all that price? I don't think they contribute enough, and in my opinion they'd benefit from a price adjustment.
What's my logic for this? Look at the marine HQs. For about 200 points, you get someone potent in melee, and an army-wide effect. In part, it's the difference in army styles, but it's also bang for buck. Lysander, for example, costs 200. You get immunity to Instant Death, a nasty set of saves, the ability to whomp ANYTHING in melee, and an army-wide bonus.
As of now, I'd rather drop ~140 on a Farseer as my HQ than a Phoenix Lord. For fun, I'd probably take Maugan Ra, since he's the most capable of any phase of the game.