Phoenix: Shield Rune Word - Diablo 2
Phoenix is one of the two highest level Rune Words that you can Socket into a Shield, the second one being Dream. This Rune Word is also the only way that you can Enhanced Damage on a Shield and it is commonly used as a Rune Word for that purpose. It's worth noting that the Firestorm proc on this Rune Word triggers a cast animation that will take about half a second to finish. Many consider this the largest downside of using Phoenix.
Enhanced Damage is applied differently to your character when it is not on a weapon and is called "Off-weapon ED" or "Off-weapon damage" in these instances. Basically what the game does is it calculates your weapon damage first and all of the bonuses on your weapon; then it factors in your "off-weapon ED" and applies that to the total weapon damage done. There are good writeups about it here and this one is ok.
The short answer is yes, Enhanced Damage on Phoenix when Socketed into a Shield does boost your Melee damage. To quote one of the websites I link to in the previous paragraph, "The combination of weapon Enhanced Damage and % Damage normally has the most significant impact on attack damage: for example, 300% Enhanced Damage results in 4 times base weapon damage while +300% Damage results in 4 times attack damage; together, this results in attack damage 16 times base weapon damage without any other damage bonuses."
Keep in mind that all Rune Words you create will retain any pre-existing bonuses found on the item. If you find a 'Superior' piece of armor with +Enhanced Defense, a Superior Weapon with +Enhanced Damage or a Helm/Weapon that has +Skill bonuses for a certain class, all of these will remain on the final Rune Word that is created. It's also possible to 'ebug' a piece of Ethereal Armor that you find which will increase the Defense bonuses by 50%, check out my Ebugging Guide for more information.
Farming High Runes: Out of all locations in the game one stands above the rest for farming specifically High Runes, the Countess during Act 1. The Countess has a guaranteed chance to always drop a High Rune and can even drop more than one. Check out my The Countess Farming Guide for more information.
Required Runes: Vex -- Vex -- Lo -- Jah
Level Req: 65
Other Req: Ladder Only
Slots: Shields & Weapons
100% Chance To Cast Level 40 Blaze When You Level-up
40% Chance To Cast Level 22 Firestorm On Striking
Level 10-15 Redemption Aura When Equipped (varies)
+350-400% Enhanced Damage (varies)
-28% To Enemy Fire Resistance
+350-400 Defense Vs. Missile (varies)
+15-21 Fire Absorb (varies)
Ignores Target's Defense
14% Mana Stolen Per Hit
20% Deadly Strike
+50 To Life
+5% To Maximum Lightning Resist
+10% To Maximum Fire Resist