Originally Posted by Stexe
I have to disagree with the idea of going Turtle first. If you have Bear you can stun and harass, especially when you're going for early ganks or to stop potential enemy ganks. Turtle doesn't shield for much and level 1 skills don't do much damage, so I think it would be better to go:
1 - Bear
2 - Turtle
3 - Turtle
The rest should be built similar to your suggestion. Although I have seen Tiger builds that don't go Phoenix if your team has a lot of pushing Champions and not as many DPS champs. Either way, Turtle and Bear are still the best stances from what I can see.
Bear will keep them on their toes at level 1 but won't let you do any significant dmg, and is next to useless against a range dpser. Turtle, if you know when to use it, should let you avoid almost all early game dmg as well as being your only source of mana. Turtle will let you farm even while under attack and gives you the choice of completely ignoring their attempts to harrass. Level 2 always sees me choosing Bear, which combined with Turtle should keep you as safe as you want to be. At third level, Tiger. By level 3, you should have pushed to their tower which is when you need tower to chop them down.. also, this is when you can really take advantage of whoever you're laning against. Turtle makes sure you don't get hurt (or take next to nothing from some huge mana investment on their part), Bear lets you interrupt any evil thoughts on their part, and after the first time you use Bear then Tiger they will start running as soon as they recover from the short stun (if they stay, Turtle right after the Tiger should block most of the dmg from whatever skill they choose to use as well as fill your HP up a bit... unless they are able to keep up, unlikely since you get two first hits on them, they will only stay once).
At level 4 is when I start making decisions... If I'm up against faster heroes I'll prioritize Bear over the others, if I'm easily pushing to their tower than the points go to Tiger to take it down faster, and if they are heavy on harrassing (which takes away either hp, mp, or gold depending on how you deal with it) Turtle. Phoenix is painfully underpowered at lower levels so I usually save it a few more level and then grab two points in it just to clear out creep during team fights (also makes for easy farming later when it isn't entirely safe to be pushing). Most of the time, I find myself taking the powers pretty evenly, often finding myself with two in each ability before finding what role the team needs me in.