Phantom was buffed severely in the Hunter Update, and while most agree it is better than before, he still has issues that make players annoyed by his playstyle. Here’s my proposed adjustments.
-1.0 Second delay until he can act after uncloaking: Allows for players to react, "oh shoot, there’s an enemy two inches from my face, better prepare myself mentally
-Louder EMP boom, decloaks with same audio even if EMP charge already expended: Phantom is meant to get in without detection and to get out of enemy fire just as easily. However, this should not happen all the time for him, and by having a more obvious decloak, his role is targeted towards people who are alone. This means that two or more players can easily counter him, especially with a 1 second delay before acting.
-melee damage during first two seconds after decloak delay is reduced by 33%. This means that, with the quickslash augment, a phantom can’t simply mow you down without any problem unless you have 80hp. This also means that he can only kill 100 hp mercs (phoenix) and lower with a quick and heavy melee, making players need to be smarter about how they use Phantom. Your enemy has 3 seconds to react, good luck killing them in that time.
Maybe these changes aren’t perfect, but it keeps his role the same. The changes presented in today’s Dev video don’t really fit his role as well, it mostly just makes him the old phantom with 10 more hp. The big problem right now is that his time to kill is too high for a merc who can pop up at any time. These changes promote focusing single targets, such as snipers and flankers, and hinders him when confronting two or more enemies. The best part of these changes is that it leaves his invisibility alone, for it feels a lot more comfortable to run around entirely invisible at the cost of damage than to have to crouch walk around the map to keep that same damage, and still get noticed for a mechanic out of your control (cloak noise).