Character rankings 3/2014 edition: the results!

mischiefmaker Posts: 932
A few weeks ago, I invited everyone to vote in round 2 of the character rankings, hoping to get 10 or so ballots. The response was overwhelming: over 40 responses in less than a week! Thanks to NorthernPolarity, Lyrian, gobstopper, Celerity, quazi44, Radav, beezer37_84, Bosyhammer, Coolbond, codhimself, Flasheart, Nemek, GEFPenst, zpzpz, AnubisUltra, Ozark, Boatswain, lleywen, Cheradenine, Elitow, Nonce, Equitaur, Dayv, soenottelling, ihearthawthats, bronco10, FINK, rat, Twysta, mark10, locked, soloL27, Puritas, Killjoy00, Rabscutle, Tannen, Highdark, Kappei, user311, Mizake, Tyru, DirigiblePilot, and Threid for casting ballots.

Also, special thanks to Celerity for providing some of the writeups! Hopefully it'll be helpful to have a different perspective. And if some of you have thoughts you'd like me to incorporate the next time around, or want to do a full writeup, I encourage you to do so!

Before we get started, it might be instructive to talk about all the changes in the metagame that have happened in the last two months, in order to help us understand why certain characters moved up or down as much as they did. In no particular order of importance:

New characters
Since the last round of rankings, we've had six new characters: Hulk, Ares, Patch, Daredevil, Psylocke, and Black Panther (we're not counting Thor, since voting closed before anyone has had a chance to play with him). As a group the new characters were very strong; this pushed everyone else down.

Also, Hulk elevates the importance of stun in the meta-game; he has so much health that you really want strike tiles to take out big chunks of health, but then you really want stun to make sure a cascade doesn't cause him to create 3-4 Anger tiles and wipe you out with the resulting green cascade.

Changes to existing characters
Pour one out for Raganarok and 2* Wolverine, who used to be one of the preeminent combinations in the game. Thor isn't quite what he used to be either, as he can't generate yellow nearly as well, though he's a much better green generator and has a stronger area damage effect, so on balance he's still quite playable. Invisible Woman got a buff, but not enough of one to actually make anyone want to play with her.

Aside from changing the characters themselves, the changes to Wolverine and Raganarok were among the biggest to hit the metagame. Every red power in the game used to be lame compared to Thunderclap, every green power could be arbitrarily costed since it was trivial to generate 15+ green on turn one, and if you couldn't down a character in the first handful of turns, you weren't worth playing. These changes were greatly reviled but in hindsight it's pretty clear they've been really, really good for the game — so many more characters are playable now.

Two rounds of changes to boosts: first the +3 all AP required hero points, then the change to stackable boosts, and finally the price increase. It used to cost 133 ISO to boost +6 of four colors and +3 of the other two, and you earned 105 per PvP fight, so with the progression rewards, you could run maximum boosts every match and still be roughly breakeven ISO-wise. Combined with the raw strike tile power of Wolverine, even 2* rosters could end matches in under ten turns.

Now, boosting +3 to all colors takes 360 ISO, and you earn 135 assuming you never skip, so if you're relying on boosts, you're hugely ISO net-negative, not to mention that it's likely very few people are using the +3 all boost with any kind of regularity. This has multiple important effects: it makes matches go longer, which means more damage, which means healing is more important; longer matches also means increased chance that the opponent gets enough AP to do something seriously damaging, which means AP steal is more important.

Perhaps most importantly, it changes how we should look at power cost. It used to be that anything under 6 is really powerful because you can cast it on turn 1; things around 12 were still quite viable because you can usually get 2 matches quickly; things 15+ were useless because matches never go that long. It's hard to say exactly how things stand now, but as a rough cut I'd say that low cost powers (up to 8) are still quite strong as you're almost assured of being able to cast them at least once; mid-cost powers are weaker since you may not ever get enough AP, and you certainly can't get the AP as quickly; high-cost powers are relatively better since the matches are longer and you might actually get to use them.

A few more important changes:
- Regular hero lightning rounds means that the six featured heroes always have a buffed tournament coming soon with prizes that help you ramp up your 3* roster, making those heroes more important.
- The desert environment has been present in a few PvPs and has been prominent in PvE, which makes characters with strong green powers much more viable.
- Speaking of PvE, recently there's been a lot more PvE content. Characters that deal with countdown tiles, can create infinite or very long chains of powers, or can punch above their weight are therefore more useful than they used to be.
- Removing the 3 tries and greatly reducing the use of boosts means that it's now a good idea to think about how your team presents itself to opponents on defense. In the past, you could get away with glass cannon teams, focusing only on speed, because nobody was intimidated by anyone. Now, with the right team composition you can get people to skip you pretty often, or generate points with defensive wins. This is, as they say, big deal.

Note that even with all these changes, a lot of characters, especially those at the bottom, are still relatively or functionally similar to how they were two months ago. For that reason, I haven't reproduced information from the previous rankings where they still apply. So if you're looking for more analysis or a build recommendation, or you just want to see how they've changed in the last two months, I strongly recommend you refer back to the last set of rankings.

All right, you're probably hungry for actual rankings and character analysis by now. So with no further ado, let's get to it!

Here are our character groupings:

#30-35: Blech
#23-29: Meh
#17-22: Bridging the gap
#11-16: Best supporting actor/actress
#5-10: The best of the rest
#1-4: The Best There Is

And here's the full list. As always, both will be updated as we reveal all the characters.

1. Spider-Man
2. Magneto (classic)
3. Wolverine (Patch)
4. Black Panther
5. Punisher
6. Black Widow (original)
7. Hulk
8. The Hood
9. Black Widow (grey)
10. Thor
11. Psylocke
12. Ares
13. Doctor Doom
14. Iron Man (Model 40)
15. Storm (classic)
16. Storm (modern)
17. Magneto (Marvel Now)
18. Wolverine (yellow)
19. Daken
20. Ragnarok
21. Invisible Woman
22. Loki
23. Captain America
24. Hawkeye (modern)
25. Black Widow (Modern)
26. Daredevil
27. Juggernaut
28. Moonstone
29. Iron Man (Model 35)
30. Venom
31. Wolverine (X-Force)
32. Bullseye
33. Hawkeye (classic)
34. Bag Man
35. Yelena Belova


  • mischiefmaker
    mischiefmaker Posts: 932
    edited March 2014
    #30-35: Blech

    There's really no good reason ever to use most of these guys, aside from tanking.

    35. Yelena Belova: -1 from last time; SD 1.31, by Celerity

    Note: "SD" stands for standard deviation, which is new to this edition of the rankings. It measures how much consensus there was around the ranking. SD of 0 means every single ballot had the exact same ranking; SD of 17 means exactly half the ballots ranked the character #1 and the other half ranked the character #35, so would be the theoretical maximum. In practice, SD ranged from just over 1 to just under 6. Think of it this way: SD of 2.5 or less means widespread agreement; SD of 2.5-4.5 means some agreement, maybe with some outliers, 4.5-6 means widespread disagreement.

    Do you ever wish OBW could spend double the AP for some marginal damage on her purple? Do you ever wish Loki could make critical tiles instead of useful strike and protect tiles for his team? Then Yelena Belova may be the character for you! Only 1540 health at max level means she's easy to maintain! For only 29 AP, all of this and more can be yours! Act now!

    Yup, that pretty much says it all. Yelena was terrible before and terrible now. Bag Man at least has some health and an occasional buff to make him a damage sponge.

    34. Bag Man: +1, SD 1.09

    Speaking of The Bag, let's not kid ourselves. His powers are still useless for anything except dealing with countdown tiles, and even then they're expensive and not that effective.

    Bag Man had the lowest SD of any character — with the exception of two voters who had him as high as #30, every single ballot had him in the bottom 3.

    33. Hawkeye (classic): even, SD 1.96, by Celerity

    Despite the low rating, I think Hawkeye is fine for what he's supposed to do. He actually controls countdown tiles better than Moonstone, who is intended to be his 2* equivalent. Unfortunately he deals virtually zero damage since both of his abilities are based on match damage, so at some point he'll outlive his usefulness. I have pulled him out on occasion for tough PVE minion fights, though.

    Chawkeye, as I like to call him, is a bit underrated. As Celerity says, he deals virtually no damage, and as a bonus also has the lowest health in the game. Whee! But his powers do deal with countdowns fairly well, and there's potential for decent board control. You can often use purple to create a critical tile that you then 5-match to create a second critical tile, and you can use red to set up the initial critical tile.

    Combine him with someone else who can place tiles or that can shake up stagnant boards and you can often punch well above your weight; for this reason I'm a big fan of using Chawkeye on my tank team, because the AI can't do any of the fun tricks with board control, so he's unlikely to win you any fights on defense.

    32. Bullseye: -2, SD 3.68

    I'm not really sure why there's any disagreement on Bullseye, with eight voters ranking him in the mid-20s and one as high as 17. Maybe having to face pumped-up PvE Bullseye has colored their judgment? Anyway, he's really not much different from last time — still has too low health and too slow to get out protect tiles that aren't strong enough to make a big difference.

    Fun bit of trivia: Bullseye is the only 2* character who has never been buffed.

    31. Wolverine (X-Force): -4, SD 4.59

    We know there's a pending buff coming for X-Force, and he needs one badly. Since he'll likely need to be as good or better than Patch (spoiler alert: Patch is pretty good), there's reason to be optimistic about where he ends up. But for now, he's the same as he ever was: weak strike tiles, expensive ineffective red, slow unreliable yellow. Spend your ISO somewhere else, folks.

    As Celerity says, this character needs savage buffs, with the quickness.

    30. Venom: -5, SD 3.12

    Aside from Yelena, Venom is one of the 1*s I recommend that new players just sell off immediately - I'd rather save the roster space for a budding 2* than have a complete Venom, which says a lot about how useful he isn't. In fact, he only times you'd ever actually play him are in the 1* tournament, which only comes around every couple of months, and maybe as a fun trick to use with Spider Man to Devour people (this can actually be fairly useful in PvE events, where you don't care about Venom's relative lack of health and you might be facing level 230 fights with over 10,000 health). But if you're using Spider Man, chances are good you can run him with someone quite a bit more powerful.

    It'll be interesting to see how the coming change to Spider Man affects Venom. I wouldn't be surprised if Spidey takes a huge hit in usefulness, which might make Venom more useful as a web-tile generating partner for Spidey. At the moment, though, Spidey generates plenty of web tiles on his own; there's just no need to bring along someone who doesn't contribute much elsewhere.

    Venom is the first character on our list where your build might actually matter. 5/5 is the easy choice, and it's not bad, but I've found I like 5/4 better — in a 1* tournament, it's usually more useful to stun one character than it is to stun the whole team, and if web tile generation actually becomes important, L4 purple generates them much more efficiently than L5. You do give up a decent amount of damage on Devour and roughly 300 health, though, so I could see an argument for going 5/5, especially if you're OCD about completionism (fair warning: if you are, you're not going to be happy with some other builds).
  • mischiefmaker
    mischiefmaker Posts: 932
    edited March 2014
    24-29: meh

    Not totally useless, but the things these guys do they just don't do well enough.

    29. Iron Man (Model 35): even, SD 2.73

    Good old IM35 is kind of like your first boyfriend: nice enough, solid and reliable, good for a bit of fun, but once you see what's out there you'll dump him and never look back.

    Not that I'm bitter about that or anything.

    28. Moonstone: +3, SD 2.67

    If we continue our awkward metaphor, Moonstone would be the hot but vapid and wishy-washy blonde girl: she's got a decent health pool and her red looks like it might deal pretty big damage, but in practice by the time you get 11 red, the board won't have that much red on it, so you'll have to wait even longer to get full use out of it. Purple is sometimes very strong, as it deals damage, generates a bit of AP, and creates a cascade, and sometimes incredibly weak, as when there are multiple colors of special tiles on the board. Finally, her black is just horrible. It's too expensive and it doesn't let you choose which countdown tile to take.

    Moonstone can occasionally be useful in a PvE event for stealing a high-level Threaten or Tommy Gun tile and helping you sneak away with a win you otherwise wouldn't have a chance at, but that's an awfully limited niche.

    27. Juggernaut: +1, SD 3.17, by Celerity

    YOLO Headbutts. This guy makes lv50's hit the Skip button faster than you can blink. Despite the lowered level cap, he has a ton of health, which is great for early progression since it means you can have him tank all of the damage (he conveniently covers all of M-Storm's colors) and use a minimum of health packs. Both of his skills are cheap and great for winning tough fights when you're first starting out. Even though I have him ranked low on the list for late game viability, I heavily recommend him for newer players.

    Also, hey, remember that one time Juggernaut was buffed and he did 1750 damage but only took 350? Good times.

    26. Daredevil: new to the list, SD 5.51

    The first of the new arrivals on our list, Daredevil is also easily the worst new character to come along in a great long while (maybe ever, although the original Invisible Woman was pretty bad too). Here's Celerity's take:

    This character is awful. Two of his abilities are completely irrelevant because you can't choose when they go off, and his third one works about 10% of the time vs the AI, and 0% of the time vs competent human players, meaning he's just a weaker version of Modern Hawkeye. I don't even know what the animation for his red skill looks like, because when he sets the trap against me, I simply choose not to activate it. I save him for last and revel in my perfect victory. At least Bag-Man has some tile control for PVE, this character just has nothing.

    I'd add that while his red does a ton of damage, it's also overwritten by strike tiles (Daken, Wolverine, Psylocke), attack tiles (mStorm, Doom), and not triggered by shattering (Storm, Hulk, Juggernaut, Ragnarok, Punisher, IM40, Magneto...the list goes on). If that's not enough, if you're savvy about paying attention, you can just remember which tiles were on the board when the trap was set, and only match other tiles. If that's too much work, you can get most of the way there by just preferring to match tiles near the top, since they're more likely to be newer.

    There's probably a reason he had the fourth-highest SD on the list, though, with one voter ranking him as high as 14th. If I had to make a case for him, it'd be something like this: you can often set off his traps by accident by cascading; the blue and red traps are pretty cheap so you can often set two or more of them, and the purple and red traps are actually devastating if you do actually trigger them. Against weaker players who don't pay attention, you'll either whomp someone with the red trap, or they'll play ultra-conservatively and try to avoid matching red at all. Given how many direct-damage powers use red, that's not a terrible thing.

    I've considered playing a Daredevil/Hood/OBW team just to mess with people. Still haven't found an opportunity to do so, though.

    Best build: 5/3/5. You want the red to insta-kill anyone who triggers it, and the increase from 4-turn stun to 6 turns is pretty negligible if you can't choose who gets stunned. Going from 4 to 6 AP is much better. That being said, 4/4/5 is probably just as good.

    25. Black Widow (Modern): -3, SD 5.04

    Speaking of high standard deviations, mBW was right up there with Daredevil, with one voter ranking her #2. Maybe he confused her with OBW? Either way, he wasn't the only one, with multiple people having her as high as 19 but others as low as 30.

    Not much has changed between last time and this time, except that with longer games, her purple is actually a bit more viable as you may actually get to 16. Keeping her at 3/5 so the purple costs a bit more reasonable 13 isn't a terrible choice either, especially since her powers don't scale at all with level.

    Also, mBW is a good introduction to stunlocking. Paired with mStorm, she makes for a very strong PvE team, as you almost always generate enough blue in 5 turns to keep a single character stunned, and you can usually generate enough to keep two stunned almost all the time. This team is ripe for beatdowns on defense, so not great for PvP, but if you don't have anyone better, sometimes you can get lucky with cascades and that can be enough to get you a win or two.

    24. Hawkeye (modern): -4, SD 3.85

    Funbalancing can't come fast enough for Mawkeye, who's actually not that terrible. With the right build, he can be quite powerful, especially on defense, where the usual method of just killing the countdown tile owner isn't viable thanks to Avoid. However, there's still plenty of other ways to deal with countdowns, and many teams will have a tile shattering power just because there are so many of those attached to powerful characters. Plus, the AI isn't smart enough to hold off placing the countdown until there are no immediate matches, which makes a huge difference.

    Avoid is very interesting, in that you can predict where it shifts damage (and it's changed since last time — now it always shifts damage to the right instead of the left). This means you can use Hawkeye to tank purple, blue, or red over a squishier character and dump that damage onto a tank, helping to Avoid (har har) having to use too many health packs.

    Still, that ability is more of a nice bonus than a primary reason to bring him to the table. As Celerity opines, number tweaks aren't enough, he needs a functional redesign of how his abilities work if he's going to be a relevant character.

    I'd love to see them really break into new design space with him and do something crazy like give him really high tile damage (to take advantage of Avoid), or really high env/crit damage (to do fun things like make crit chains). Letting him place his countdown tiles, or making Avoid have a side effect of lowering his countdowns, would go a long way towards making him viable too.

    23. Captain America: +2, SD 4.35

    The good Captain rose a couple of spots in the rankings mostly due to the increased emphasis on PvE events, in which he's commonly buffed. He's still pretty bad at PvP, but in PvE, the ability to overwrite countdown tiles while getting some benefit is pretty huge. If you can generate blue and red quickly, before you're overwhelmed with too many countdowns to stop at once, you can take down some very powerful goons indeed.

    As such, we continue to recommend 3/5/5 as the best build, but with slightly updated reasoning — yellow is still too expensive, but the main reason is that you really want blue and red to be able to overwrite countdown tiles, which only comes at level 5.
  • mischiefmaker
    mischiefmaker Posts: 932
    edited March 2014
    17-22: bridging the gap

    Playable, solid characters that have some combo potential, but shouldn't form the core of your roster. Useful for winning better characters as prizes and transitioning to a stronger roster.

    22. Loki: +1, SD 3.47

    Loki's minor improvement in the rankings is likely due to his synergy with offensive powerhouse Patch: Berserker Rage for ungodly strike tiles, then follow up with Trickery and never take damage again. It's a fun and very powerful combo, but the problem is that protect tiles don't actually help you win the game, and Patch heals up plenty of damage on his own without them. Also, consider that someone like Black Panther can use that same 12 black to do nearly 4k damage to the entire opposing team, and you start thinking, hm, would I rather have some protect tiles, or would I rather this match just be over?

    Some research has been done on Loki's purple — at max level it averages 4 tiles matched, which is fun thematically (spend 5 purple, get 4 of a random color back) and quite strong, since it doesn't account for criticals made. It's still not that reliable, though, and he's still got low health, and Trickery is still useless when the enemy doesn't make strike or protect tiles. He's not bad in a pinch since he has a reasonably playable purple power, which is in short supply, but by the time you get enough covers for him you're almost certain to have better options.

    21. Invisible Woman: +10, SD 5.92 by Celerity

    Even after being buffed, the character still feels incomplete. Her abilities are too expensive and require too much setup for no immediate reward, and while the protect tile is strong, it's still just one tile set in a random location, making it easy prey to be destroyed. She's somewhat annoying to fight, but she doesn't deal appreciable damage, meaning you can ignore her as long as you go after her tiles.

    An interesting tactic with IW is to place force bubbles on all the blue tiles, thus making it extremely hard to to get rid of a very powerful protect tile. But as we covered with Loki, a protect tile, even a 500+ point one, doesn't actually help you win the game; you've still got to actually damage the opponent.

    Invisible Woman was the biggest gainer in our list, jumping up 10 spots, but at the end of the day she's still barely playable, especially when you consider just how much ISO it would take to get her to a decent level. Maybe another round of funbalancing is in order?

    20. Ragnarok: -14, SD 5.06

    Eagle-eyed readers may note that Ragnarok fell from 1 to 20, yet we list him as -14; this is because we track change relative to previous position, ignoring the new characters. I think this is a more meaningful indicator of how their value has changed.

    Speaking of biggest movement, Ragnarok had the biggest change of any character in our rankings, falling from his lofty perch at #1 all the way down to #20. And when you look at the changes, it's not hard to see why: his green was never very good, and you were willing to put up with his subpar tile damage because his red was so devastating. Now? His red is embarrassingly weak, as it's too expensive to spam, generates too few green tiles to rely on to generate cascades, and doesn't do enough damage to scare anyone.

    He does still have a lot of health, though, which isn't bad, and he's still buffed for lightning rounds, which is still a great way to transition into powerful 3*s. So he's not useless, as everyone likes to say, but there's no question his utility has severely decreased.

    Here's an interesting thought experiment: how would we rate Ragnarok's red if it were 12 AP, 1800 damage, generates 8 green tiles? Sure, it's not great, but it's pretty good, right? Well, that's just his current red, played twice. If you're going to play Ragnarok, you might want to think of only using his red when you get 12 AP, as it's much more likely to generate cascades that way and so has a lot more utility.

    Playing Thor and Ragnarok together now makes some sense too — you have two skills that both generate green, a powerful outlet for that green, and a ton of health to dissuade opponents from attacking you.

    19. Daken: -1, 3.65, by Celerity

    I may be underrating Daken somewhat, as the prevalence of green skills right now makes him better than he used to be. He's one of the best strike tile generators in the game, but he's still a 2* with zero active skills and a lowered level cap, meaning he can't tank that well and he requires a specific team composition to be effective. Early on, Daken+Thor is a powerful 2* combination.

    I'm surprised Daken actually came out lower in this set of rankings than he did previously; two months ago there was no reason to play Daken over Wolverine, because Wolverine made stronger strike tiles, spun up faster with boosts, and had the red nuke on top of all that. But that Wolverine is a distant memory, and Daken is actually much better for generating strike tiles in the 2* set, plus has a much more reliable regeneration.

    That being said, his health is still quite low, he doesn't have a scary active skill, and his low level cap means it takes quite a few green matches to get enough strike tiles to really make a difference, so maybe he's in the right place.

    Daken plays best with characters who can use green so that each green match is a triple-whammy for you (match damage, strike tiles, build up to power), including Ares and Thor. He also serves as a decent tank for squishier characters using purple and black, like modern Black Widow or grey Magneto.

    18. Wolverine (yellow): -7, SD 3.45 by Celerity

    Oh how the mighty have fallen. Wolverine's yellow is a shadow of its former glory, and his green is basically unusable in the face of all the other good greens the game has to offer right now. That means he's a one-trick pony with a semi-expensive red skill that does nothing but raw damage. He is obsoleted by at least 3 other characters on this list, but he might still be good enough for early progression.

    That about sums it up. Wolverine's still marginally playable thanks to the raw power of his red ability, but his green is incredibly weak now and his low health and reworked yellow means it's common for it to never kick in — you can match him down to half and then finish him off with a single power, or on many boards there won't even be any yellow for him to match. You'd expect the green to play well with characters that produce strike tiles, since strike tiles like cheap damage-dealing abilities, but it's actually quite hard to find a character where this actually works out well in practice:

    - Punisher/Patch: both use the green themselves
    - Psylocke: uses red to make strike tiles, so you can't take full advantage of Wolverine's red
    - Wolverine: his own strike tiles are too weak

    Daken is about the only choice, and he's not bad -- between them they can tank 5 of the 6 colors with some kind of self healing, and as mentioned the green does multiple good things for you.

    Best build is now clearly 5/5/3: the extra damage on red is really important, and you only lose a bit of healing power on yellow, which as we covered already, isn't really something you want to rely on anyway.

    17. Magneto (Marvel Now): +3, 4.76

    MMN, as he's often called, moved up a fair bit; 3 spots doesn't sound like much but it's the fifth-biggest jump of all the characters. What's more interesting is that none of the changes really affected MMN significantly, so it's more likely that he's just benefitted from the extra exposure afforded by two Magnetic Mayhem tournaments and a buff in the Iso-8 Brotherhood event.

    It's now become quite common to see 2* teams that are built around CStorm and MMN, and even as you get into 3*s he can be useful as a blue battery for Spider Man. On offense, the MMN/CStorm team is quite powerful and can take down much stronger teams.

    The problem is that he's really a one-trick pony. His own blue skill is terrible, and his red skill is merely ok (extremely expensive, but does good damage and generates quite a bit of AP). He has weak health, and the AI is terrible at playing his purple, so he's basically a non-factor on defense, especially once you eliminate the character who actually uses his blue. I'd recommend not investing a ton of ISO into him; purple doesn't scale with level, you're never going to use his blue, you're likely not to use his red often, and the extra health makes basically no difference on defense since he's safe to leave for last.
  • mischiefmaker
    mischiefmaker Posts: 932
    edited March 2014
    11-16: best supporting actor/actress

    Powerful support characters that will play well on many teams, but shouldn't be the core focus of your roster due to some glaring weakness.

    16. Storm (modern): +3, 5.69

    mStorm hasn't changed at all, but the environment has, literally: the presence of the desert environment, and the frequency with which it's used in big PvE events, has made her considerably stronger. In fact, in the desert environment, she can be a one-woman army: red to get desert tiles, Oasis to create green, which often cascades and creates red, then use the green to Lightning Storm, getting more red, shaking up the board to get more desert tiles, rinse, repeat. Add Daken for automatic strike tile generation, Thor to keep the chain going, or any stun ability, and you have an incredibly powerful offensive weapon capable of beating almost literally anyone.

    Storm also makes a good soft counter to Patch — her black is cheap enough where you're likely to get one off before or shortly after he gets his green off, after which you're double dipping off all those strike tiles he just gave you, and it's near impossible to clean out all the attack tiles even with repeated board shakeup.

    By the way, those who are wishing for a 3* Gold mStorm should be careful what you wish for. If you thought Ragnarok Thunderclapping everything into oblivion or facing endless cookie-cutter Thorverine teams was bad for the game, wait until you see what having a bunch of 3.5k health Storms would do.

    Best build is still 5/5/3, and there's really no other option; on the desert environment you want red to be as cheap as possible so you can cast it just to smash 2-3 tiles, and the black is greatly hampered by her own green, which you'll cast far more often.

    15. Storm (classic): even, SD 4.74

    It's fitting that the two Storms would be next to each other in the rankings, because they're very similar. CStorm's green suffers greatly from Raganarok's neutering, as it's quite difficult to find a situation in which mStorm's green isn't as good or better, but it's no shame to play second fiddle to one of the best AP generators in the game.

    Her yellow is still just a mere annoyance, but thanks to the emergence of MMN as a 2* blue battery, her blue becomes much more viable — you don't have to put her out in front to collect the blue, and you can get it much faster. Combined with its raw power and Storm can be a force on offense. Her main weakness is low health — if you're facing her, just target her first, and she'll usually be down before she can get off a Wind Storm.

    14. Iron Man (Model 40): -1, SD 4.36, by Celerity

    IM40 is a solid character, but his power level is more like a 2* than a 3*. His abilities are pretty overcosted, so you're probably playing him for his massive health pool and AP battery potential. Unfortunately, the cost of his yellow increases as you level it, meaning you need to figure out exactly what colors your team needs and spec accordingly. Sometimes this means stopping at 5/5/2. It makes him pretty awkward to squeeze into new team comps, since you likely do not have a thousand IM40 covers sitting around to respec him every time.

    There's a fair bit of disagreement on how to build him, but I'm sticking with 5/5/2, as it hits the sweet spot of being both reasonably fast to cast (and the flip side of that, hard to prevent on defense), and provides two very strong colors. L3 gets you green, which is probably now the most powerful color in the game, but there's so many green generators that generating green with Recharge is more of a bonus; L4 is so expensive that it's more of a finisher, and there's not that many decent purple powers out there.

    I also like 5/5/1, which isn't as versatile but is much faster; I like it enough that I have both a 5/5/2 and a 5/5/1 build, and will use one or the other depending on the team composition. Most people will be better off just picking one and using that roster slot for someone better, though.

    13. Doctor Doom: -1, SD 4.33, by Celerity

    Black Panther's personal assistant. It's too bad, because Doom has a great black ability in his own right, and his blue is actually fantastic at getting it online quickly while shutting down characters like Spider-Man and Classic Storm, but right now there happens to be a guy with a slightly better 12AP black skill. It's still impressive to be this high on the list with only two skills; if he ever gets a third, he will be a fantastic character.

    I'm surprised Doom didn't fall farther; in the previous edition of the rankings, his was the only black power worth playing at any level, and his blue only existed to feed his black. His black is still pretty good, but when you're looking at dishing out 1200 damage per turn in attack tiles or 3200 to the entire opposing team right now, it's not too hard to pick.

    Celerity's point about Spider Man is a good one, though — Doom can shut off all the available blue, and attack tiles activate even if your entire team is stunned. Also, if you have a fully built Doom, you might try a MMN/Doom/Black Panther combo: collect purple, place just enough blue to get 9, placing the rest next to black, Doom's blue to generate a ton of black. The resulting cascades might be enough to rinse and repeat, then fire off Rage of the Panther twice and call it a day. Weak on defense, since the AI isn't remotely capable of pulling that off, but fun to play on offense.

    12. Ares: new to the list, SD 3.78

    A strong showing for a first-timer and especially for a 2*, Ares has been much maligned for his tendency to damage himself. But if you build and play him right, it's not hard to get Sunder to heal, making the net damage almost negligible, and what you're left with is the best offensive 2* in the game.

    His yellow in particular is so good because there are so few playable yellow powers in the game, but his green is pretty great too as a finisher. Sure, it can potentially give the opponent a whole lot of very dangerous green, but you can't use AP if your characters are dead. Play the green to knock out a scary but weak opponent early, or build it up late to down a powerful green-user, and you'll minimize the damage giving AP to your opponent can do. Better yet, give them green and steal it right back with original Black Widow, Hood, or Psylocke (using the green the turn before your Bewilder countdown tile triggers).

    His red is the weakest of his abilities, but in a pinch it can do decent damage and it works well with strike tiles. A fun thing to try is to have Ares out front to soak damage, use Sunder to drop below the double damage threshold, cast red, then heal the damage back up with Sunder's countdown.

    Best build: 4/4/5; you really want to reduce the countdown on the yellow to 2, as that makes it significantly easier to protect than 3. Then you want to maximize green damage, and you don't care too much about getting the AP reduction since you'll rarely want to cast it at 5 instead of 6 and you're not looking to spam it either. Conveniently, L4 red also gets you the last damage increase; L5 only increases the double damage threshold, which is hardly going to matter: at max level, that 5% increase only widens the threshold from 1335 to 1602, which isn't much.

    11. Psylocke: new to the list, SD 3.70

    Another respectable first-time placing, Psylocke is a ton of fun to play and capable of doing lots of damage quickly. She's quite similar in many ways to Punisher, who's one of the best characters in the game right now: her powers are relatively low-cost, they synergize with each other, and they build up over time; both characters play well with just about any team due to a fairly powerful black power (generally in short supply) and the ability to make strike tiles (always welcome). They even share the same weaknesses: both are good but not great at any one thing, including health — at 5800 max, it's not too hard to run them over with a strong 3* team before their powers really snowball.

    So why is Psylocke ranked lower than Punisher? It's probably due to the fact that all three of Punisher's abilities are useful almost all the time, whereas Psylocke's blue is pretty bad most of the time (exceptions: if both you and the opponent field a team with strong abilities in every color, or the opponent has no ability in a color that you can use). Taken together, her red and black are a bit better than Punisher's green and black, but it's harder to stomach taking along a squishy support character who only brings 2 usable abilities to the table, especially when there's likely to be competition for the red AP.

    Best build: 5/3/5. Blue is really bad, as it always takes the AP that your opponent has the most of. But if your opponent has a lot of one color, most of the time that means it wasn't a color they were going to use anyway, so you're not getting the defensive benefit of AP steal. Combine that with the fact that a lot of teams have no use for purple or yellow and you'll find that you're often stealing a big chunk of useless AP.

    4/5/4 isn't terrible if you want to design a team that has usable powers in every color, but I'd much rather have slight improvements on the powers I'm actually going to use and preserve Psylocke's flexibility, which is one of her main strengths.
  • mischiefmaker
    mischiefmaker Posts: 932
    edited March 2014
    6-10: The best of the rest

    Each of these characters is strong enough to be one of the pillars of your roster. You should feel free to invest in them as they play well with characters of all rarities, and you won't outgrow them anytime soon.

    10. Thor: -3, SD 3.51

    Well, ok, one exception to our opening blurb for Thor, who is obviously outclassed by his 3* counterpart. But don't overlook the 2* version, which still has the highest health of any 2*, is easy to acquire in the Prologue, and perhaps most importantly, eases both the 1* to 2* transition and the 2* to 3* transition.

    The funbalancing changes to Thor have significantly changed the way you play with and against him; used to be you wanted to collect red to make yellow to make green, and it was really important to deny him red. These days, you can usually take a red hit because it generates so little yellow, and it's extremely important to keep him from getting yellow because it makes so much green and will likely lead to a Call the Storm.

    Best build: Everyone seems to have jumped to 3/5/5 as the best build, which makes a lot of sense considering how much stronger green got and how much weaker red got. But I actually prefer 5/5/3, having turned down a post-respec green cover already. My reasoning? If I'm playing Thor, usually it's to generate green, and if I'm going to use the green for someone else, I'm almost never going to have enough left over to Call the Storm. There's no shortage of characters whose green powers I'd rather use: Punisher, Storm, Patch, grey Widow, and they're spread across the rarity spectrum so no matter where you are roster-wise you can probably pair Thor with a better green power.

    By comparison, an 8 cost red is reasonably cheap, so I wouldn't mind getting maximum damage out of that. That being said, I don't think it's a big advantage either way. You definitely want 5 yellow, but otherwise it doesn't matter that much.

    9. Black Widow (grey): even, SD 4.60

    When the changes to Ragnarok landed, grey Widow took a big hit too, as the easiest way to generate all that green went up in smoke. But a few rounds of changes later, she's back exactly where she started, for two reasons: one, her green is still one of the premier area damage abilities in the game, and as we discussed earlier, games are much longer now, so it's more likely that you can get it off. Two, there's a real shortage of usable purple powers right now, and the fact that her purple feeds her devastating green makes for excellent self-synergy.

    Grey Widow also generates 4 AP per env tile matched, which doesn't sound like much of an improvement over the standard 3, but if you're playing in the desert, it adds up quickly.

    8. The Hood: +6, SD 3.71

    The Hood was pretty underrated our first time around, owing to games being over so quickly and because there were so few players who actually had him. Now that we've had to struggle against him in the Simulator, and games are longer, letting his AP drain go to work over dozens of turns, people are finally starting to come around to how powerful he is.

    With very few powers costing less than 6, The Hood can often completely shut out the opponent from getting any abilities off, reducing you to match damage until you take him out. Meanwhile, the AP he's stealing feeds his own team's powers, which is a deadly combination.

    Dealing with The Hood means targeting him early (almost always first) and focusing on AP of one color that can help you ramp up quickly or put him down. Strike and attack tiles are an excellent option, since they continue to do damage on future turns; for this reason, Psylocke is a great Hood counter because she produces both using relatively cheap abilities. Daken is a good choice too, since he doesn't need AP at all. Another option is to bring along some +% match damage boosts and just cut him down the old-fashioned way. No matter what you do, though, be prepared for a slog until you get rid of him.

    If you're building a Hood for the first time, be aware that he's even more dependent on leveling up covers than the usual 3*. Yellow at less than 5 and blue at less than 4 are pretty underwhelming; you may want to hold off on leveling him up until you get him those last few covers.

    7. Hulk: new to the list, SD 3.76

    Hulk's introduction to the game signaled a big shift in PvP, and he benefitted from the change from three tries to one-and-done more than perhaps any other character. On offense, he's pretty much terrible; there are so many better green powers, and his red, while potentially very powerful, requires so much setup and so much babysitting that you're usually better off doing something else with all that AP.

    But the reason Hulk ranks so highly is because of defense. With the highest health in the game, Hulk guarantees that any would-be opponents are in for a long match, and speed, while not quite as important as it used to be, is still a prime consideration for many situations. His black shines on defense too, as it discourages the use of strike tiles, which are the best ability in the game, since strike tiles are likely to trigger Anger on every match, making accidental cascades or even just turns with a damage ability very dangerous.

    The bottom line is that most folks will skip even a decently leveled Hulk, which makes a big difference in protecting your ranking.

    Best build: Most seem to agree that 5/3/5 is the best, and I tend to agree. If you have a way to routinely get 15 or more green and 14 red, and you don't mind spending almost all of that on one ability, a level 5 Smash can be extremely strong, but you have to get all that AP and then also make sure the board is clear enough of green to not hurt your own team. The chance of that happening is pretty rare and probably more trouble than it's worth.

    That being said, going from 3 green to 5 green makes very little difference. It's really a question of whether you'd want an ability you're going to use some of the time (green) to be a little bit better, or an ability you're almost never going to use (red) to be a lot better on the rare occasions you do use it.

    At the end of the day, I'd say 5 black is the most important thing to get right, and the others don't matter that much, so just use whatever covers you get first and see how it goes.

    Useful mechanical note: Hulk's env tile priority is the highest of all characters with 3, tied with Hood, OBW, Mawkeye, Bullseye, XForce, Loki, and Daredevil, which means you can often get him out in front to soak damage and trigger Anger by matching env tiles, so long as you don't have one of the 4-AP characters (Punisher, BWGS, IW, Spider Man, Bag Man) on the team.

    6. Black Widow (original): +9, SD 3.75 by Celerity

    The gateway drug of support characters, OBW is by far the strongest 2*, and a great replacement for Spider-Man if you don't have all of his covers yet. Due to her universally strong skill set, she can pretty much be slapped onto any team, and her AP denial can at times be superior to Spider-Man's stunlock. Her black passive synergizes with strike tiles, which happen to be very popular in the current meta, so she's a solid damage dealer as well.

    The second-biggest gainer in the ratings, right behind Invisible Woman's +10, OBW was pretty underrated the first time around (self-promotion alert: I had her at #6 then too). It probably says about all you need to know about her that there are already a few threads asking for her to be nerfed; whether you agree with them or not, the fact that they exist points to how powerful she is.

    Speaking of which, for those arguing that she isn't overpowered as is, let's try a thought experiment. Let's imagine you took any one of her powers and gave it to Bullseye (ignore color overlap and thematic appropriateness for the moment), who's easily the worst 2* in the game and one of the worst characters overall. Let's also say that she now maxes at 69 and he maxes at 85. Is there any power you could pick that wouldn't immediately make Bullseye a viable character? Is there any power you could pick that would prevent you from still using OBW? I'd argue no to both.

    So, if all three of her powers are so good that just one of them is enough to make a terrible character viable, and two of them are good enough to play her even with a lowered level cap, how can we possibly argue with a straight face that she's not overpowered, relative to other 2* characters?

    A good tactic when facing OBW is to never make the first purple match (and wait until she gets 6 if it's an L5 purple), so that barring cascades and 4-ways it takes 3 matches to get 8 and 4 matches to get 11. If you match purple before she does, there's a good chance it only takes 2 and 3, which can make a big difference.

    Best build: there's been a lot of discussion about this lately, but I'm still going with 3/5/5. In fact, I think I might prefer 1/5/5 to any of the 5-purple builds; whenever I play with her, I'd rather get a smaller amount of AP more quickly to get my team off the ground, and when I play against her I find it's a whole lot easier to take down an 5-purple OBW before she gets 11 than a 3-purple OBW.

    No matter how you build her, you really want to make sure you get at least 4 black so that you can double-dip on strike tiles when you match her colors, and an odd number in purple.

    5. Punisher: +6, SD 4.03 by Celerity

    A great all-around character, and the best of what I would consider the "fair" characters on this list. He has one of the best strike generating abilities, plus an AoE/attack tile ability which matches perfectly with it. His red is not very strong, but it's useful in high-level PVE content, which is common these days, and at the very least it can add a little bit of extra damage. All three abilities are cheap and the attack tiles work through stunlock, so he can be a defensive deterrent as well.

    Time to eat some crow: during the last round of rankings, I said that Punisher was overrated thanks to being new. Since then, all he's done is jump up 6 spots to land in the top 5, and he's a fixture in many high-level players' A teams. A big part of the rating jump is Wolverine's nerf; whereas Punisher's green used to be not quite as good as the more easily-obtainable Wolverine's green, it's now the best fire-and-forget strike tile generator in the game (Patch's green is better, but requires more care as to when you cast it -- see Patch's writeup for more information).

    The other thing that I missed the first time around is that Punisher's collection of good-but-not-great powers is actually kind of a strength in its own right. Sure, there's lots of characters with strong green and red powers, but Punisher plays surprisingly well with most of them, because his green and red powers are both cheap and situational, so you have flexibility as to when you use one or the other. In fact, Punisher's collection of powers will play quite well with just about anyone, and in a world where there are rotating buffed characters and new characters being introduced, that versatility and protection against obsolescence makes him a valuable investment.
  • mischiefmaker
    mischiefmaker Posts: 932
    edited March 2014
    1-4: The Best There Is

    These are the best of the best. Cover and level these guys up and you'll always have someone who can play effectively, no matter what the event is.

    4. Black Panther: new to the list, SD 4.67

    When he was first released, everyone was quick to point out how incredible his black was, as the original version, dealing 4k damage, outclassed both comparable area damage abilities like grey Widow's green (7 more AP, dealing less damage) and Ballistic Salvo (way less damage and uses way more AP) and comparable black abilities like Doom's black (1.2k damage per turn, as opposed to 12k damage up front). The change to drop damage down to 3.2k doesn't change that much, especially as there's not a whole lot of competition for decent black powers — it's still the best black power in the game by a long shot, and worth having BP on your team for that reason alone.

    But in all the excitement most have overlooked that his other powers don't exactly suck. Yellow is actually his second-strongest power, since there's not a lot of competition for yellow at the high levels, and if you have any kind of board shake up or the ability to create critical tiles, it's not hard to generate 2 or 3 strike tiles from environment AP that you just got by accident. Sure, it sucks up all your environment AP, but unless you're playing in the desert or the jungle, that's usually fine (and even in the jungle, you might consider taking 3 strike tiles over 5 AP sometimes). In a PvE situation, BP plays great with mStorm, whose cheap red power generates tons of environment AP and has a green that can help build up his black. Note that all your env AP is consumed even if you have less than 15, so you may want to hold off casting Battle Plan until you get up to at least 30.

    Blue's the weakest of his abilities — the protect tile is pretty strong, but it only defends against match damage until you get a few out, and relying on a 2-turn countdown tile to survive long enough to produce multiple protect tiles, which won't even help you win faster, isn't a particularly strong plan unless you're expecting the game to go for a long time. That being said, just one protect tile will defend match damage pretty well, and two will basically eliminate it, so pairing BP with someone who can steal AP to prevent ability damage is a pretty good way to prevent taking very much damage.

    Throw in that he also has one of the highest health pools in the game, making him an iffy proposition on defense, plus generates 4 env AP per tile, so tanks env on most teams and generates env powers more quickly, and you've got one of the best new characters to come along since...well...

    Best build: 5/3/5. As we said, blue is the weakest of his abilities, and to get a significant difference between L3 and L5 you need to get 4-5 on board, which is either a double casting (16 blue AP is a ton) or a single casting that stays on the board for 8 matches (a really long time, especially if anyone has tile smashing or other cascade-friendly abilities). 4/4/5 is probably just as good and maybe a bit better if you plan on pairing him with an AP stealer all the time.

    3. Wolverine (Patch): new to the list, SD 4.72

    Lots of disagreement on Patch's placement, but one thing has to be clear: Patch is far and away the most powerful offensive character in the game. His green can produce nearly a thousand damage's worth of strike tiles, his red can do enough damage to one-shot almost every character in the game, and his yellow provides enough healing to overcome all but the most egregious of match-3 cascades.

    The flip side of that is that Patch also comes with some pretty hefty drawbacks; if you're going to play Patch, you need to have a plan for how you're going to deal with the strike tiles that you're giving the enemy, and you need to plan your team properly or you won't be getting maximum benefit from him.

    The good news is that Patch has synergy with a lot of characters, including most of our top ten:

    - Spider Man's stun means not having to worry about enemy strike tiles
    - Magneto can overwrite them, and his ultra-cheap blue/red powers take full advantage of your own strike tiles
    - Patch green + BP black = game over
    - Black Widow's Espionage double-dips on strike tiles (hey, a blue match! oh, that's TWO THOUSAND DAMAGE)
    - Patch's green will trigger Anger from Hulk, which then benefits from your own strike tiles and does area damage, and the resulting green tiles are often enough to cast Rage again
    - Psylocke's cheap red and black, plus attack tiles, add up to a lot of damage in a hurry
    - IM40's yellow produces enough red for Best There Is, plus stuns IM40 so Patch's icon gets on more tiles

    Patch tends to get a lot of respect on defense, but he's beatable if you gameplan appropriately. I welcome his green, as I can usually deal with the green tiles better than the AI can deal with the purple; his red is really expensive, so not too hard to prevent, and while the regeneration is annoying, he doesn't have that much health so you can build up a couple of powers to take him out, or just wait for him to cast green and then piggyback off the strike tiles to overcome the regen.

    That being said, when you're facing Patch there's a good chance you're going to take pretty significant damage, which might be a good reason to look for easier prey elsewhere.

    Best build: I could write a whole post on the different Patch builds, but in the interest of space, I'll just say that different builds are better for different playstyles, and 3/5/5 fits mine best. I've considered building a second Patch 5/5/3, though.

    2. Magneto (classic): +1, SD 2.98

    There's not much to say that's new about Magneto, except that he's a holdover from the old era of MPQ, where it was impossible to prevent enemy abilities and matches ended in just a few turns. And his abilities even have a good deal of synergy with each other; enough so that with just 5-6 blue and red AP, he can be his own self-sustaining one-man army:

    - At L5, every 5-way match you make generates a critical and 5 blue AP, which is enough to cast it again; you can also make 4-way matches to pick up extra red, blue, or purple AP
    - Ran out of blue on the board? No problem, just spam the red a few times and get yourself a new board!
    - Still short on blue, but have the purple charged? Instead of using the blue to make matches, drop it as extra blue to add about a thousand damage to his purple.

    He's also underrated as a primary method of dealing with countdown tiles; the blue is cheap enough where you can use it to overwrite, and the red has both potential to destroy the tile outright or cause cascades that do. He's still much weaker on defense, but the sheer damage his purple deals and the random cascades you might get from his red make him a dangerous opponent.

    Best build: last time we recommended 5/3/5, and that's still a very good build, with the purple doing massive damage and the blue good for long chains of critical-generating 5-way matches. I like this build mostly because purple is such a wasteland right now for decent abilities, but 5/5/3 might be even better, especially with strike tiles and on defense. There'll be some games where you get purple charged and won't be able to do as much damage as you might like, and games might take a long time thanks to all the red/blue animations you have to watch, but you'll take better advantage of strike tiles and give yourself a better chance of going off for long ability chains. 5/4/4 is a nice middle ground too — red's not quite as cheap, but you'll usually get maximum benefit from the purple, which you can't say about 5/5/3.

    1. Spider-Man: +1, SD 3.29, by Celerity

    I ranked Spider-Man #1 not because of his power, because he is certainly less broken than the other members of the top 3 (ed: Magneto and pre-nerf Black Panther), but rather because of his irreplaceability. Spider-Man's blue trivializes PVE content and allows lv230 fights to be winnable, and there's no other character in the game who can serve the same purpose. He is the only character that I feel every player must have on their roster to be competitive.

    More than half our voters ranked your friendly neighborhood web-slinger #1, and Celerity makes an elegant case for why: in a world where community scaling PvE events can give you fights a hundred levels above yours before you even start, being able to stunlock reliably is often the only way you can compete for those shiny new character covers.

    Spidey's also pretty good at PvP, where on defense he forces the opponent to churn through 5k health before taking on your actual damage dealers, and on offense he adds a safety net and ensures that your team comes out of the fight not needing any health packs. Adding him to your team does slow the game down, though, so there will be many situations where you want to sacrifice a bit of safety for speed.
  • NorthernPolarity
    NorthernPolarity Posts: 3,531 Chairperson of the Boards
    Nice work! Looking forward to reading the rest of the analysis: it'll be interesting to see how it differs from the ones that I wrote up for my guide.
  • Spider_Man
    Spider_Man Posts: 38 Just Dropped In
    Awesome, love these write ups. The last one you did really got me into the game; it changed me from a casual player to a much more dedicated one.

    Here's hoping that you will include a quick "build guide" for new and updated characters. Your old guide is usually the first place I check when building out my team.

    Could you include the star value of each character as well?
  • Spider_Man wrote:
    Awesome, love these write ups. The last one you did really got me into the game; it changed me from a casual player to a much more dedicated one.

    Here's hoping that you will include a quick "build guide" for new and updated characters. Your old guide is usually the first place I check when building out my team.

    Could you include the star value of each character as well?

    Many agrees here on all sentiments. Thanks.
  • Yeah I love reading these, even the lowest tier. And I usually end up learning something which really shouldn't be possible at this point!
  • Arogntbastrd
    Arogntbastrd Posts: 1,009 Chairperson of the Boards
    Oh snap! And now... The waiting game. Last thread was awesome. Glad this is back
  • So good! Can't wait for more write-ups icon_e_smile.gif
  • Tannen
    Tannen Posts: 294 Mover and Shaker
    Glad to see this is back. icon_e_biggrin.gif

    And yeah, like others here, I usually re-read your old post when I'm looking at a character again.
  • Nice. I like the +/- changes.

    Bullseye is one of the worst 2-stars but certainly better than 1-stars like im35 in terms of usefulness. I suppose his main problem is health and he's actually a pretty rare cover. He plays nice with obw and patch.
  • hurcules
    hurcules Posts: 519
    Couple of questions:

    1) No more suggested builds? Admittedly, characters in this rank of 30-35 does not matter or same as the last one.

    2) You forgot to mention that Venom + Spidey can actually be quite good in PvE where opponents are L230 monsters.
  • Thanks for the kind words everyone! I'm glad people enjoy these, and I very much enjoy the fellow who went ahead and +1'd all the reserved posts -- quite a vote of confidence!

    Where the recommended build hasn't changed, I didn't include it, sort of as a reminder that the old rankings still have a lot of information that's still valid.

    I did mention the Spider Man/Venom Devour combo; I can add a bit about how it's better for high-level PvE.

    Second installment should be up later today! Hope you enjoy it.
  • Second installment is up.
  • I've considered playing a Daredevil/Hood/OBW team just to mess with people. Still haven't found an opportunity to do so, though.

    One of these days...
  • If only there were a no holds barred tournament where I don't care about the rewards!

  • Theoretically, Daredevil can be a beast on offense. Pair him with MNMagneto or GSBW and you should always be able to line up a match-4 that will trigger his Ambush, since destroying a trap with a match-4 activates traps. That's all theorycrafting though, since I'm not crazy enough to dump any more iso into him.

    CapAm was awesome during Heroic Juggernaut. It was the first time I really used him, but I enjoyed him a lot. He is slow, and in an event where I have my entire roster available, I still wouldn't use him, but endless Reds and Blues made goon fights and even that PITA Daken much more manageable.