At first, Terran evolution had minimal priority to Vaul research as most efforts were focused on the Protoss and Zerg evolutionary growth. Another reason for the low priority rating was that Terran psionic potential was too low to be an outright threat compared to the chosen races. This did not mean that they were not interested. Because the infestation of Sarah Kerrigan yielding unforeseen results, the Vaul devoted a some of their resources into potential psionic Terran weaponry. After infiltrating Project Shadow Blade, they were impressed (as much as A.I.s can be) with the Terran's discovery and usage of Terrazine Gas. These Spectres were an unprecedented jump in projected evolutionary calculations of the Terrans. For this reason, the Operators redirected extra resources and efforts into developing a suitable counter to these elite Ghosts. Using Xel'Naga genetic manipulation technology coupled with Terrazine, the Vaul developed a third generation to the Terran's psychic family designated as Phantoms.
Using hybridized Protoss technology, Phantoms possess some of the most advanced alien equipment ever developed. Among these technologies is a reverse engineered version of a Dark Templar cloaking device. Augmented by psi amplifiers, users become permanently invisible with no drain on energy reserves. This allows users to save their strength for other purposes. At the same time, Phantoms can draw on Void energies with modified Khaydarin crystals to replenish reserves more efficiently when not attacking.
For personal defense, Phantoms are armed with prototype C-16 rifles. Made for especially to work in tandem with psionic individuals, these weapons can make entire battalions "disappear" in the hands of an expert (Halo - Reach: Noble Six). Like most rifles in the C-10 series, C-16 are often equipped with a low frequency under slung laser for pinpoint targeting during sniping and nuclear strike missions.
According to legends accessed from the Terran hypernet, Ghosts and other paranormal beings are capable of creating localized decreases in temperature called Cold spots. Inspired by this theory, Phantoms began using different types of cryo-based weaponry. Settling on Cryo Burst Grenades, enemy units and structures are flash frozen instantly by highly concentrated cryogenic fluid (Mass Effect 2: Cryo Blast; Warner Bros./Silver Pictures: Demolition Man). Due to the debilitating effects sub-zero temperatures, most forms of circuitry is rendered inoperable making this equally effective against both biological and mechanical targets. Very effective in crippling enemy bases, Frozen buildings cannot function and have the resilience of glass armor against all forms of attack (Warcraft III: Frost Wyrm). What really causes enemy forces to be frozen to the core is the Phantoms final form.
By channeling small amounts of Chaos energy, Phantoms are able to temporarily become a Psionic entity with strength comparable to Archons (Dragonball Z: Super Saiyan; Darksiders: Chaos Form). In this form, all of their abilities exceed all previous Psi Index ratings. In between biological and psionic energy, Phantoms are slightly out of phase with normal space. This phase shift ability allows them to pass through most obstructions as if they were real ghosts (Marvel: Shadowcat; Naruto: Obito). Though very difficult to control directly, Phantoms can channel the chaotic energies through the Khaydarin technology in their rifles. When fully charged, the special ammunition inside the rifles can strike with forces exceeding a siege tank plasma mortar. Even though this form is a great drain on energy, the absolute destruction Phantoms can inflict is worth twice the price.
- ADVANCED CLOAK (passive) - unit is permanently invisible to anything, but detectors. Unit also recharges energy 25% faster when not attacking or casting spells
- NUCLEAR STRIKE - calls down a nuclear strike dealing 300 damage +200 vs buildings. Unit is "frozen while targeting, but can be ordered to "move away"
- CRYO BURST - units and buildings within a 3X3 matrix are temporarily frozen. Affected units and buildings are stunned and take 20% extra damage. Effect lasts for 20 seconds
- ENTROPY - unit become ethereal and can pass through obstructions. Unit cannot be attacked except with special weapons. Unit attack becomes 45 (+15 vs psionic) air and ground damage that ignores armor and shields. Unit cannot use other abilities while energy is drained 2 per second