Colognoisseur's 11 The 4* released since January 2017
This is my regular round-up of the 4-star characters released since February 2017. To start with I have to return to two of the last ones I reviewed; Riri and Mordo. Both received re-works in the time since I commented on them initially.
Riri was a character with nothing to her but a giant red nuke before the re-work. After the re-work she has been turned into one of the better damage dealers within the tier. Her red can now hit multiple characters or really hit the last one standing. Green now only sends RiRi airborne if there are specials on the board. With Medusa one of the current 4-star meta choices it is almost a guarantee she will be airborne too. In the 5-star meta she is a good choice against Panther-Thanos because of her damage.
Mordo got a little better but he is still best with Black Bolt so his ability to generate black charged tiles helps increase Mordo’s actives while accelerating Bolt’s passive. Still a support character still solid mid-tier.
Summary: Riri is one of the best 4-star damage dealers who is good in the current meta. Mordo is still support.
Agent Coulson is part of the best current winfinite gimmick paired with 5-star Hawkeye. Just those two alone generate huge amounts of ap with the passive cd Coulson spawns every time another character fires a power. Coulson generates random ap upon cd resolve Hawkeye feeds blue and red. The tile swapping purple ability and yellow damage cds are underwhelming. Coulson is all about the passives and with other cd generators he can be fantastic.
One of the themes of this particular group of releases is a Thor-like ability to have each active power feed into another leading to a nuke. Iron Fist does this as Blue can generate green which can do aoe damage while generating black to fire the biggest single damage effect in 4-star. The black also turns protect tiles to strikes while doing the damage which means he is good with his heroes for hire buddy c4ge.
Cloak & Dagger is one of the best of this batch of new releases. In its default starting cloak form it generates black tiles until it starts dropping attack tiles. The yellow does aoe with no specials on the board or single target while removing the specials. It makes this really good against Medusa because it removes the tiles she generated while damaging her. Purple transforms cloak to dagger and vice versa while doing a bit of damage. When Dagger is in effect yellow tiles are generated until once there are enough true healing every turn occurs. Cloak & Dagger is a bit of a chore to use to full potential and the decision about when to flip back and forth is part of a learning curve. Even without that when Cloak is the set of actives that is still a really good 4-star character.
Rocket & Groot are another incredible support character especially, and maybe only, when paired with another Guardian. When that happens you start with 2K+ in total strike tiles (about 40% of that without a Guardian) on the board on turn one. That means with a fresh board you have the ability to make the first move setting off a cascade which can down a character. Even without you are almost certainly killing something by turn three. Any character which generates attack tiles allows for double dipping on the strikes with match damage then attack tile damage. Rocket & Groot work with every Guardian in the game currently massively improving them and it all comes down to starting with those strike tiles right from the start. The blue does generate attack tiles and green does an extra match while the cd it generates is still on the board but it is like Coulson it is the passive matched with a specific set of characters which makes Rocket & Groot good.
My favorite Guardian to pair with R&G is Gamora. They have given her the best stun in the 4-star land because it stuns the target for three turns and another random enemy for one turn. Oh and it generates a random purple attack or strike tile. Oh it only costs six blue and you get that attack tile to double dip R&G strike tiles. Her black puts more purple attack or strike tiles on the board and if the odds allow you to have all of the purple tiles covered in friendly specials the passive removes all of them and takes out the target. It is not something to actively work towards 99% of the time. It I s just something to look at before making your match because you might want to bring the highest health enemy forward if there is a chance it could go off. Her red has the mechanism of doing damage and then the cd does damage to the character targeted with this power after every turn. It is a great choice to take away a squishy support character.
If there is a dud in this group it is probably Sandman. His green aoe and stun is very good for the ap cost. The problem is the purple ability to do board shake while generating yellow which feeds to the yellow but it is very slow. He is like Mordo there is one great active, green, which works with one particular character; the next one on this list.
Vulture was called by many, when he was released, the 4-star IM40 which I agree with but add the words and much more. Vulture is a self-sustaining ap generator who will quickly power up anything while being nearly invulnerable to anything you can do. The reason is the ap generating mechanic is to cast black for 6ap which sends Vulture airborne for two turns where for each turn it is airborne it generates 4green, 3blue, 2black, and 1 red. Which means when he lands again it only requires a black match to have been made while he was airborne to be sent aloft again generating more ap. Any power which requires lots of green ap Vulture feeds it in a wave. I used him with 5-star black suit spidey and I had so much green I was able to stun lock with a 14ap power. Use him with Sandman above and you’re firing that aoe every couple turns. This doesn’t even take into account it fires the blue active if you have 10 blue ap when he goes airborne and removes 4 special tiles of any variety including invisibility and repeaters. Vulture is the star of this group like IM40 is the star of the 3-star tier.
The one which I think is going to be seen as good as Vulture is Mockingbird but it will take more people to cover her before this happens. Mockingbird was also compared to a 3-star character as well; Loki. I again agree and I also say and more. The power which makes her strong is the yellow passive which casts an active for free when the opponent makes a 4-match or higher and you have 6ap in that color. It doesn’t drain the existing ap it just casts it for free. It casts it for free so it doesn’t trigger Dr. Strange. It casts it for free so Peggy’s dampening ability has no effect. It casts it for free so you can take the same ap and cast it again. When she is used with any color generator enriching the board sets this up for crazy fun. Her purple helps in your strongest color by destroying 5-8 ap of the enemy strongest color returning 4-5 in your strongest color ramping you towards your nukes. Which might just go off twice if they make a match-4 in your strongest color and you cast it on your turn. I’m still working through all of the combinations but I haven’t found anyone she is bad with yet. I’ve really enjoyed using her with Teen Jean, Bl4de, and the last character on this list. One bonus bit of tech in PvE if you hate sentries play her against them. You will laugh and laugh when every swarm sets off a new active for free she is the anti-sentries like quake neutered the ninjas.
The last character in this group is Yondu. If his yellow wasn’t tinykitty I’d have him as the best in this group but he has the same dopey healing via cd that xfw does which is good because you want the other two powers at five covers anyway. Black destroys up to seven ap in the opponents highest ap pool generating a modest strike tile for each ap destroyed. This leads to a blue power that can just do crazy damage every turn. For 9ap you do 9k+ damage then at the beginning of every turn after you do 1500+ damage to the lowest health character and the only way to stop this is to do 1k damage to Yondu. Hide him behind other characters which cover his colors and the blue will never stop eating away until the opponent fires an aoe. I play him with Mockingbird and the black and blue get fired because the opponent makes a match-4. Add in R&G for the strikes or Five-Star Star Lord or hide him behind 5-cap or just keep looking for fun combos I know I still am. I’ve watched the blue just eat a team up from the back of the line to the front.
I think this will be the last I do of these. The recent changes have made my way of playing the game less enjoyable and I can’t promise I’ll be here by the time there are seven more to write about. If I am I will.