Experiences with and Advice on Transitioning to the 5* tier

GrimSkald
GrimSkald Posts: 2,470 Chairperson of the Boards

So a thread was opened on General Discussion regarding a player's experience in transitioning to the 5* tier.  I made a post there on how I did it and how I would advises others to do it - a lot of people did, which caused the thread to be moved to "Tips and Guides."  It occurred to me that probably the best thing to do would be to make it it's own thread - here's basically what I posted, edited to be more general.  I invite others to post their own experiences in transitioning, and what advice they'd distill from their own experiences.

I started off with one champ 5* - Black Bolt.  Black Bolt pairs very well with many, many characters, so I ran BB and a boosted 4* (I had a pretty full 4* roster at the time, and it's only gotten better since.)  I played this way for a few months until I maxed out Black Widow.  BB and Widow pair together very well, so I champed her too.  I then fully covered Dr. Strange, but since Stephen doesn't play very well in PVP, I decided he wouldn't be a great 3rd 5*, and stopped pulling Latest as soon as he was fully covered.  I resumed pulling Latest after, as I wanted Thanos.  Once I got Thanos, I then fully leveled all my 5*s (in for a Penny, in for a Pound,) which at the time included OML and Strange.  I champed Strange, as his build wasn't great (4/5/4,) but have yet to champ OML since he's very usable at 4/5/4.  I'll get around to it when I can spare the extra 20k Iso.  I don't have an extra cover for either OML or Strange.  I have recently champed Black Panther, and am working on Hawkeye - I want Hawkeye for the diversity he'll give to my roster.  After I fully cover Hawkeye I'll probably move to Classics until we see another top-tier 5* - I'd like to finish my older characters and get more levels for my current champs.

So when I had one champ 5*, my scaling went up appreciably - I stopped seeing 4* teams with any regularity and generally just saw a 5* with one 4* or two 5*.  My PVE scaling went up too, but I expected that.  When I champed Widow, I saw a lot less 5/4 teams and saw pretty much just 5*s.  I didn't notice much difference if any in PVP when I got my 3rd 5*.  The PVE difference wasn't huge, either.

As far as PVP climbing went, I could generally climb to around 900 (in S4) with a boosted 4* team before taking more than a few hits.  Adding Bolt increased that to around 1050ish, depending on the time and other things.  With Bolt/Widow I could make it to 1200 before shielding unless it was particularly "hot" out.  Thanos/Black Panther has impacted this a little - I now take more hits since BB/BW isn't as scary, but I still think I can do this (also, I now have Thanos/BP too, so I'll switch to them when I get high in points.)  I will definitely say it's helped my HP income a lot - I spend a lot less on shields, and have to hop less.  Also, I can get a much higher total though I've yet to score higher than T10 (well, I got T5 once in a fairly lazy bracket.)

The downside of this is you wipe a lot more with 5* teams  - the match damage is so much higher that a bad cascade will destroy your team.  You also consume a lot more health packs.  I frequently climb to a good float point evening, then climb to shield the next morning.  Sometimes I dig into my Tacos.  If I don't have much time to play, I will climb as far as I can get and shield.

In general, I would say you can play with 5*s as long as you don't level them past 390 or so - I noticed the PVP scaling kicking in at around 400.  My advice would be to be careful with the 5*s you champ until you have at least two good ones.  You will want your first 5* to be one that plays well with others - Bolt, Thanos, even OML.  I believe Hawkeye is too squishy (don't have him yet,) and Strange definitely is (he rocks for PVE, though.)  Widow can be devastating, but she's too slow to be a good deterrent - she really needs a good accelerator (like Black Bolt.)  I'm honestly not sure who else - maybe 5* Cap and IM?  GG? PHX? 

Anyway, your second 5* should play well with the first.  After that, you can do what you want, but unfortunately this is the best way to deal with the scaling and not have an awful time of PVP.

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Comments

  • Jarvind
    Jarvind Posts: 1,684 Chairperson of the Boards
    A constructive post?! On these foramz?! Perish the thought!

    I'll add on the most important bit (at least in my opinion) from my thread: if you have the option to transition to 5* with low-tier 5* characters(Black Suit Spidey, Star Lord, Doc Ock), consider waiting until you have at least one strong one (Thanos, Bolt, Panther) to balance it out. The difference between a "good" and "bad" 5* is vast, and running PVP with two weak ones will be pretty difficult.

    PVE will still be manageable as the mechanics don't change, the numbers just go up (at least for now until SCL scaling becomes the norm). That said, 40k health Muscles and Faceless Ones are pretty daunting.
  • broll
    broll Posts: 4,732 Chairperson of the Boards
    So I'll chime in asking for advice as someone considering jumping into 5* in a big way in December.  I'm going to copy and paste my plans to enter 5*s and why December below, but more details can be found in the original thread (https://forums.d3go.com/discussion/38452/roster-progress-report-and-plans-for-your-roster#latest)

    5*s
    Currently 0 champed, most covered is Black Panther with 4/4/0, next most is Thanos with 2/3/2 (he's marked as Bonus Hero due to better character and more even distribution).  The rest below:
    CharacterVariantApplied CoversLevel
    Black PantherCivil War8255
    ThanosThe Mad Titan7255
    Silver SurferSkyrider6270
    Jean GreyPhoenix5255
    Black BoltInhuman King4255
    Doctor StrangeSorcerer Supreme4255
    The HulkBruce Banner4255
    Black WidowNatasha Romanoff3255
    Steve RogersFirst Avenger3255
    Iron ManMark XLVI2255
    Green GoblinNorman Osborn1255
    Spider-ManBack in Black1255
    Star-LordAwesome Mix Volume 21255
    WolverineOld Man Logan1255
    Doctor OctopusClassic00
    HawkeyeClint Barton00

    With a 6 month hoard coming up and there should be 3 new 5*s by then I'm strongly considering making a run on 13 covering (if not champing) the next 3 5*s to be released.  Doing it this way seems to be the only viable way to enter 5* territory and I'm at an optimal place in my 4* progression to try it.  I've estimated that I should have at least 4000 CP by December (160 pulls).  I currently have 20 LTs and am at place in 4* progression that I can win CoT every time with only 2 or 3 exceptions.  (6*30)/5 = 36 more LTs.  Add to that champ levels from 3*s and 4*s I'll easily be able to do over 200 pulls from Latest Legends.  Assuming they don't stop CS cover swapping by then this should be enough to get at least 1 13 covered, I hope to get all 3 but that depends on luck and what my final pull count ends up being.

    The real question is do I want to get 5* territory.  Until recently the answer to that has been a pretty obvious no, but a few things have changed that for me. 
    1.  SCL based scaling is coming out.  One of the biggest fears about putting levels into 5*s is bad scaling issues.  Assuming SCL based scaling is applied to all PvE by this point that concern is gone.  I would still have the concern of it wrecking PvP, but if that's true will largely depend on how good the 3 characters are (and if I manage to luck out with BHs on Thanos).
    2.  See a reasonable end for most 4* championing.  Vaulting has some pros and cons.  One of the cons is I'm not able to reliably stay up to date on new 4*s.  One of the cons is once they leave chasing their levels / hoping to get to the back part of their champ levels where the rewards are better is futile.  The two of these combine to my goals for 4*s be champ them all and then move to 5*.  As noted about I don't see any problems keeping up with new 4*s as long as the meta doesn't change.  I'm at a point with my vaulted characters where more than 50% have 10+ covers and it shouldn't be hard to champ them as they cycle through with the help of BH without pulling from CP (even if they finally give us a store for them).  Add to that the fact that I can get enough ISO to champ 1 per week and they release on average once every 3 the end of the 4* tier is in sight for me.

    There's also the possibility that I don't champ any 13 covered 5*s I get.  The main challenge is getting to 13 so holding off on actually champing wouldn't be such a bad thing, even if I end up selling a cover or two.  This would almost certainly be the case if I don't manage to get all 3 to 13 as I wouldn't want to try PvP in 5* land unless I have at least 3.
    -----------

    Based on the comments from others in this thread it sounds like I should base who I champ based on their abilities and as such I'll just have to wait till they start coming out.  In general though for now is Thanos the best of the listed ones to be marked as BH?  I'll check back again then the first of these 3 5*s get's released in the next few weeks.
  • Jarvind
    Jarvind Posts: 1,684 Chairperson of the Boards
    @broll from my brief experience (I've sold my 5s because I got tired of them and am currently saving my Latest tokens until I'm ready to make a run at a better trio), I'd say Thanos is definitely the best overall 5* right now. He's not particularly interesting to play, but his passive is second to none and his green, while saving the CD is sometimes frustrating, does insane damage even by 5* standards - over 20k AOE if you 5-cover it. Often green will down an enemy and trigger the passive, meaning in one turn you deal around 80k total damage and also stun the other team. It's nuts.

    Purple's match damage boost is "eh," but I was also surprised at how often locking down the board came in handy. The AI is stupid, per usual, and will sometimes attempt to use OML's black while it's out, which just wastes its black AP and its turn. It was also the only counter I had to Hawkeye's insane arrow-spam. You just have to remember that it applies to your team as well.


  • Bowgentle
    Bowgentle Posts: 7,874 Chairperson of the Boards
    Jarvind said:
    @broll from my brief experience (I've sold my 5s because I got tired of them and am currently saving my Latest tokens until I'm ready to make a run at a better trio), I'd say Thanos is definitely the best overall 5* right now. He's not particularly interesting to play, but his passive is second to none and his green, while saving the CD is sometimes frustrating, does insane damage even by 5* standards - over 20k AOE if you 5-cover it. Often green will down an enemy and trigger the passive, meaning in one turn you deal around 80k total damage and also stun the other team. It's nuts.

    Purple's match damage boost is "eh," but I was also surprised at how often locking down the board came in handy. The AI is stupid, per usual, and will sometimes attempt to use OML's black while it's out, which just wastes its black AP and its turn. It was also the only counter I had to Hawkeye's insane arrow-spam. You just have to remember that it applies to your team as well.



    Bolt is the best 5, hands down.

    But forget about covering any classic 5 with Bonus Heroes that are more than two covers away.

  • msp2211
    msp2211 Posts: 47 Just Dropped In
    I am in a similar position to @Broll. I have OML at 9 covers, Phoenix, Cap and Thanos at 8. Lastly, Bolt at an ugly 1/1/4. I started to hoard, but realized I would be the bottom of the food chain in the 5* tier. That is not what I want to limit myself to either. I am at a good spot scaling-wise. I can hit 900 when I choose. This is a temporary situation though. With only 12 4*s in the latest pool, sooner or later, I will get several 4* above 290-300. When that happens, those 5* teams with 1 champ, or 330 4*s will drool when they see my team. Eventually, it will be either hoard and make the jump, or quit the game. With vaulting, more and more people will be in our situation and no clear path to move forward.

    I have chosen to continue champing 4*. I'm up to 35, with 36th in the next couple of days. I cashed out some of my hoard trying to get medusa, carol and r&g covers. I'm hoping that path opens up before too long.
  • CT1888
    CT1888 Posts: 1,201 Chairperson of the Boards
    A bit about my experience.
    While I was working on champing my 4*s (autumn/winter I think) I also brought my 8 cover OML up to 360, to help out on weeks when I only had 1 buffed 4*. There was a marginal increase in Pve scaling, and limited effect in pvp. With 2 x boosted 4s or 1 + OML, 900 in pvp was pretty much guaranteed.
    I was in no great rush to reach the 5* game, so I carried on opening everything. Half way through Thanos's spell in Latest, I realised I had a decent number of his covers, so went full in on drawing only Latests, and got him covered.

    Once champed, pve scaling took a big jump, however, because it was Thanos, I can still clear and grind in about the same time as before.

    In pvp, I now see predominantly 5* champ + boosted 4* or 2 x underlevelled  5*. I am a target for people with at least 2 5* champs (I have a lot of BP/Thanos retaliation nodes). But I'm still able to hit 900 with relative easy, and without shielding (unless I run out of health packs and decide I can't be bothered  starting again from lower down). Hawkeye/Coulson is the team that gives me the most hassle btw.

    If I had 13 covers in anyone else first (except BB) I would've been hesitant to champ them as quickly. If it had been anyone else, I may have regretted it.

    Black Panther is sitting at 13, and I'm starting to work on him. Without the trials on pve, I'd be a bit less comfortable doing so, but for pvp, it's gotta be the way forward if I want to start pushing for 1200 without loads of shield hopping, and for me that's progress.

    I'll try and mind to update this post once I get BP champed to report on how that effects pvp.
  • FokaiHI
    FokaiHI Posts: 272 Mover and Shaker
    I recently got my 13th cover for HE and was able to cover BP before he went to classics. I have 35 4*s champed and will add 2 more within the next 10 days. 

    My question is, do I champ them or leave them soft capped until I get a strong 3rd? Would I get crushed in pvp? I don't use line and pretty much avg 900 per pvp event already. Would I be able to hit the elusive 1200 w/o using line chat and such?

    My Thanos has 11 covers, but I would really like avoiding purchasing a cover. Also, depending on Spidey and Thor, who knows if there is a better 5* on the way. 
  • Pongie
    Pongie Posts: 1,410 Chairperson of the Boards
    I don't think you will see much difference between 2x 5* or 3x 5*. The biggest change in mmr comes from having your first 5* championed and then again when you have the second. I just have the one and getting to 1200 requires more work, so much so, that I don't bother anymore and just settle for 900. I would imagine having 2x 5* would make it easier. 
  • FokaiHI
    FokaiHI Posts: 272 Mover and Shaker
    @Pongie. In your opinion, BP and HE are good enough to make the transition. As Jarvind and others mention their issues, I don't remember you having an issue with you 5*. Btw, which character do you have?
  • Pongie
    Pongie Posts: 1,410 Chairperson of the Boards
    Hawkeye is my only 5* champion. The climb to 900 is ok, just pair with Coulson and spam arrows. Without Coulson I was really struggling against thanos and bp teams. These retals became 50/50 and losing really made the climb difficult (this is because I used to be able to float at 5-600 and only drop to 4xx to reclimb. This was before having hawkeye. Now the same float usually ends up around 2xx-3xx). 

    Not it sure if bp will be better to pair with hawkeye than Coulson and you may be better off running thanos/bp even if thanos isn't fully covered. 
  • FokaiHI
    FokaiHI Posts: 272 Mover and Shaker
    Thanks. I appreciate the help. 
  • Sendikelm
    Sendikelm Posts: 51 Match Maker
    I have almost all 4* champed (besides new Sandman and limited Howard). I'm not going to champ any 5* - I want to use them along with my buffed 4*. I have 9 5* deep covered now (2x13, 2x12, 2x11, 3x9-10) and I want to level up them all. My boosted 4* are @380-390. I don't want fight against champed 5* in PVP. Does level of 5* count the same as 4* in the sense of MMR?
    So could you tell me what is max 'safe' level for this - 360, 370, 380, 390?
  • FokaiHI
    FokaiHI Posts: 272 Mover and Shaker
    I still pull double 5*s in pvp and my highest 5* is 360. 
  • Pongie
    Pongie Posts: 1,410 Chairperson of the Boards
    Before I championed hawkeye, I had oml at level 390 (his cap) and mmr was fine for my wide 4* roster. That was when I could frequently get to 1200. Championed 5* teams could not queue me (less hits when I floated and those that did left beatable retal nodes). With hawkeye championed, the retals have become stronger. 
  • Spidurman27
    Spidurman27 Posts: 184 Tile Toppler
    Really appreciating this thread - especially @Pongie and @CT1888 since I'm considering a single champ 5* scenario.

    Background: Champed the whole latest 12 last season, 22-23 4* champs topping out at 293.  Most concentrated in the 285 range.  Also have a 5-2-5 Black Bolt.

    At this point, I feel like I've done what I can in 4* land and am ready for a new challenge.  I'm pulling together the CP and ISO to champ Bolt and then start hoarding for a trio alongside.  I'll try to somehow sneak in my 2-3-4 Natasha, but not sure how realistic that is.

    TLDR: bored with 4* - looking for new challenge and opinions/advice.

    https://mpq.gamependium.com/rosters/Spidurman27/ (accurate within a couple covers here and there)
  • Beer40
    Beer40 Posts: 826 Critical Contributor
    Question about the CS swaps: (example) If I have a 13 cover Thanos with a 2/5/6 build, will CS swap the 6th cover for the 3rd one I need in the other power, if Thanos is still at level 255? Or do I have to max his level as high as possible before they make the swap?

    I'm interested in going all in on the 5* tier because I'm on my way to getting enough CP. The lack of ISO to level the 5s is worrisome though.
  • FokaiHI
    FokaiHI Posts: 272 Mover and Shaker
    Beer40 said:
    Question about the CS swaps: (example) If I have a 13 cover Thanos with a 2/5/6 build, will CS swap the 6th cover for the 3rd one I need in the other power, if Thanos is still at level 255? Or do I have to max his level as high as possible before they make the swap?

    I'm interested in going all in on the 5* tier because I'm on my way to getting enough CP. The lack of ISO to level the 5s is worrisome though.
    Sadly, the answer is no. CS will only swap covers of characters in the Latest Legends pool. They actually swapped 5 covers for me between BP and HE recently. Also, they will only swap unusable covers. I.e. Your 6th black cover. 
  • Beer40
    Beer40 Posts: 826 Critical Contributor
    FokaiHI said:
    Beer40 said:
    Question about the CS swaps: (example) If I have a 13 cover Thanos with a 2/5/6 build, will CS swap the 6th cover for the 3rd one I need in the other power, if Thanos is still at level 255? Or do I have to max his level as high as possible before they make the swap?

    I'm interested in going all in on the 5* tier because I'm on my way to getting enough CP. The lack of ISO to level the 5s is worrisome though.
    Sadly, the answer is no. CS will only swap covers of characters in the Latest Legends pool. They actually swapped 5 covers for me between BP and HE recently. Also, they will only swap unusable covers. I.e. Your 6th black cover. 
    Sorry, I meant from the Latest Legends pool. I used a bad example.
  • FokaiHI
    FokaiHI Posts: 272 Mover and Shaker
    edited July 2017
    In that case. Do not roster your unusable cover. CS will see it in your cover pool, then instruct you to remove it. Once removed, they will give you a color of your choice. On average, it took about 3 days from ticket to receiving my cover.  
  • GrimSkald
    GrimSkald Posts: 2,470 Chairperson of the Boards

    So the way CS swaps will work is if you draw a cover that you have 5 in that particular color for a 5* in the Latest Legends Pool, they will swap it for another color for the same character if you do not yet have 13 covers for that 5*.  So if you have, say, a 2/5/5 Hawkeye and you draw another red (this is me, right now, actually,) they will swap that red for purple.  Let's say they do this so I now have a 3/5/5 Hawkeye.  I draw a blue for him, and for some reason I want to respec him to 4/5/4 rather than champ him.  They will not do the swap at that point since I have the potential to use the cover as a champ level - I have 13 covers for the character so my choices are to champ him or burn the cover.

    They will let you swap for another character, actually.... if you have that character at 550 (and so cannot apply the champ level.)   I am not tinykittying you, that's what the Rep told me, at one point, when I asked if it was possible to swap it to a different character.  :) Makes sense, though, since you do have a use for the cover.