The Grand Experiment: Can you transition to 5*s pulling as you go as a progession-only F2P player?



  • ThaRoadWarriorThaRoadWarrior Posts: 4,655 Chairperson of the Boards
    Iceman is champed. I've been running him at 3/5/5 or 5/3/5, I'm not really sure which I like better, in various configurations with my well-built 5s. I like running Okoye/JJ/Iceman for the board chaos. When you find Damning Evidence tiles, which due to Iceman are generally only on black/red, you earn Yellow based on my relative levels for these characters, which keeps Okoye healthy and team up on the board. Iceman's green takes a minute, but unlike Ghost Rider's repeaters it benefits from Wakanda Forever. All the expiring cd's Iceman lays down keep Kitty from stomping you out with Circuit Breaker and keep the board shaking to luck into photo-cascades. It works pretty well against most teams in simulator.
  • ThaRoadWarriorThaRoadWarrior Posts: 4,655 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited December 2019
    I did it. I sharded my way to a completed Jessica Jones via America Chavez this morning. and I managed to do it with 0 shard waste somehow lol. 

    With the impending reward overhaul, I opted to go all-in on Hulkbuster/IM40 to finish up Rescue rather than shifting over to Miles. HB is at 294, and IM40 is at 199, so I have 2x covers left in that 3* compared to my 293 Miles/241 Spid3r-Man.
  • ThaRoadWarriorThaRoadWarrior Posts: 4,655 Chairperson of the Boards
    I’m going to start a new thread about playing this way in the Post-Shardpocalypse, see if I’ll really miss that hp/cp from the 3* tier or not.
  • Daredevil217Daredevil217 Posts: 2,931 Chairperson of the Boards
    Post in general you may get more traffic. I’ve personally enjoyed your journey. So what are your champs looking like now?

    Ghost Rider, Okoye, Doctor Doom, Iceman, Jessica Jones?

    With Rescue after Shardageddon 2?

    Curious what teams you’re running. 
  • ThaRoadWarriorThaRoadWarrior Posts: 4,655 Chairperson of the Boards
    That’s the list, yeah. I have Okoye at 5/5/1, so I run her with JJ and Iceman a lot. Somewhat shockingly, JJ at 450 has a better red than 451 Doom’s yellow by 3pts, otherwise I’d use him. I like Damning Evidence to make yellow for Okoye. 

    i almost never use Ghost Rider anymore, doom is just so much faster and has that heal. 

    I still mess around in PVP with Okoye/XFDP/Bishop or some other passive damager like Chavez or Medusa.

    For fast clears on PVE I’ve been using juggernaut/g4mora/rocket like everyone else I guess, then on the required character nodes I use Okoye and the appropriate passive damager.

    i think I get hung up on recency bias for the teams I try; I tend to burnout in Simulator early trying to make some dumb team work lol.

    as for Shardmas 2, I’m only short a Gambit cover at the 5* tier. I’m currently shargeting Okoye still, and working on IM40/Hulkbuster otherwise. I’m not sure what to target after that; I can move to Shuri, or go back to miles/Fi5k, or maybe try and do Hela via Magik (champable, 4 saved) + Direct. Cable is around there also with a 290  cyclops. Hawkeye is an option at 2/5/3 with a 285 KB. 

    Alternatively I can chase a long play like Kitty (3/2/0) or Gladiathor (2/0/2) and just put the shard covers on the good colors as they show up.

  • ThaRoadWarriorThaRoadWarrior Posts: 4,655 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited December 2019
    Shardmas 2 actually treated me pretty well. I put my Gambit shards on black, so he's now 2/3/3. I figured the additional red AP gain was more useful than a little more damage on his red, or creating a 3rd countdown.

    I was able to champ Sabretooth, so that's going to ideally be a help here at the beginning of Simulator Season. 

    I also got a hulkbuster from shards (coincidentally, not from Shardmas), so he's now at 295, worth 100 Rescue shards. Edging closer to Rescue, I still have 2x covers in IM40.

    I've been using boosted Profe$$or X/Bobby/5torm in the current story run, and this team is my new favorite thing for board chaos. I really hope I can finish X up before he drops out of latest. At 3/3/4, I'm optimistic he'll at worst be an easy-feed if I lose out. 

    I'm taking a look at my 5* roster, looking for some advice on where to go next after Rescue is done with a few of my better covered 5s:

    Fi5k: 5/4/3, Miles Morales at 293
    Okoye: 5/5/1, Shuri at 293
    Cable: 2/4/5, Cyclops at 290
    Hela: 5/2/4, Magik unchamped at 5 saved (is Magik an out-of-sequence rewarder, or is she top to bottom like most?)
    Hawkeye: 2/5/3, KB at 285
    Lumbercap: 2/4/4, Bucky at 290
    Danver5: 5/2/3, C4rol at 300
    Loki: 3/4/2, MEH at 294
    OML: 4/1/4, XFW at 291
    Thano5: 5/2/2, G4mora 301
    Gambit: 2/3/3, Rogue 306
    Kitty: 3/2/0, Frost at 291
    Gladiathor: 2/0/2, Valkyrie at 283

    Given my back of the napkin math, it looks like I'll be earning a 5* about every 7-8 shargeted 4* covers, so we can use that to project a little bit into how much of a time commitment each of these is going to be vs the expected QoL improvement they might bring.

    As far as the Classic Staples go, I really don't think I *need* a better Thano5, do I? How much faster would a champion be compared to Juggs-of-the-galaxy? Or for that matter Okoye/3* Thanos/Auto-Damager in SCL9? Is it worth the ~5-6 month commitment? Given that I'm only playing to progression, speed in PVE is just to get that grind over with faster.

    I kind of want Fi5k because he's so close, but he is also almost certainly going to be a disappointment. He would take something like ~6-7 weeks to finish.

    For awhile, I was considering chasing Hela, but now that I see the current state of those covers, I have to take my Magik to 300 + direct shards to finish her, by which time I'd surely have direct-targeted her without the shards. So if I wanted Hela, I'd probably split focus and set my 4* target to someone else while doing it. Is she worth ~4 months of 5* commitment?

    Right now, I'm kind of thinking I should finish Okoye with direct shards, and set my 3->4* chain to Rags/Valkyrie and start shargeting Gladiathor. It seems to me that a 5/0/2 gives me a Minimum Viable Thor to pair with a champion Okoye - is that wrong thinking? That green doesn't seem to really be a reliable factor until it's at 5 covers, is a 4/0/2 Gladiathor going to fuel the engine well enough?

    Kitty - what's the Minimum Viable Kitty? Is that even worth chasing? I feel like I need a counter to that team more than I need to try and mirror match it, so I'll probably just leave her be. 

    I was real big on finishing Lumbercap to pair with Doom at one point, but I don't have as much trouble with that anymore. The juice doesn't seem worth the squeeze on him right now.

    Hawkeye is the one I'm torn about. I really think with Bobby and WCap (1/5/5 currently), he is probably worth it, but am I better off doing that, or chasing Thor?
  • TPF AlexisTPF Alexis Posts: 3,803 Chairperson of the Boards
    X/Ice/Storm is a really fun team, yeah. I've almost got Bobby champed to fill it out, and I've been having a blast with it in TaT.
    I don't think the extra speed you'd get from Thano5 is worth half a year of your shard income, since you're not going for placement.
    The extra tile from Thor really makes a difference. I would either put your resources getting his fifth green and/or finishing up Okoye.
    For PvE, all Kitty really needs is 5 in yellow, so she's pretty worth chasing if you want that. For PvP, SabreKoye is a way better option to counter other Grockitty teams unless you get Kitty champed.
  • ThaRoadWarriorThaRoadWarrior Posts: 4,655 Chairperson of the Boards
    Thano5 - my gut says the same. I feel like hanging on to a max-champ 3* and a champed Okoye would have me courting all the death I'd need to.

    Right now my Thor only has 2 on green, so it's a pretty long commitment via Valkyrie and Direct to chase him. At least now any shards I get can go straight on to green, rather than going all the way around the horn again. I guess what I'd like to know is whether or not a Thor in that state is really going to be better than say a champion Fi5k, or Hela given the rest of my roster?
  • TPF AlexisTPF Alexis Posts: 3,803 Chairperson of the Boards
    OK, for some reason I misread that as Thor being at 4/0/2 already. In that case, yeah, going for Hela or Hawkeye or someone would probably be better.
  • Daredevil217Daredevil217 Posts: 2,931 Chairperson of the Boards
    I’d go for Okoye.

    By the way, I’m holding on to shards for anyone I don’t have champed rather than applying them right away.  I look at it as a buffer in case I ever have a run of bad RNG luck. Currently sitting on 1,000 Rescue and Banner shards for example. If I put my shards in Rescue red and she pops up in a store where I proceed to pull 5 reds in a row, I’ll be pretty upset I didn’t play my shards elsewhere. The trade off is obviously having to run a weaker version NOW but I think the flexibility  is worth it. 
  • ThaRoadWarriorThaRoadWarrior Posts: 4,655 Chairperson of the Boards
    I think that’s a strong play if you have the bench to support it, and resources to spend in pop up stores. I wonder if ill ever get to a point where sitting on currency is rewarding?
  • ThaRoadWarriorThaRoadWarrior Posts: 4,655 Chairperson of the Boards
    I'm completing Okoye regardless; the question on the table is really just how to maximize my shard mining by either focusing fire on the whole feeder tree, or splitting my 5 and 4* shard targets to get 2 characters over around the same time.

    I'm earning just under 8 5* shards/day. I'm looking at Roughly 64 days/5* cover with this rate on direct shards. 

    Since I've been earning about 1 4*/week via shards.

    I've got 225 shards on Okoye, and I need 7 more Shuri covers for another. It probably does make sense to focus fire on Shuri at this point until she hits 300, then leave it on Okoye to finish up rather than completing Rescue first.

  • Daredevil217Daredevil217 Posts: 2,931 Chairperson of the Boards
    I think that’s a strong play if you have the bench to support it, and resources to spend in pop up stores. I wonder if ill ever get to a point where sitting on currency is rewarding?
    To be clear, those 1K shards were given to me during Shardmas, they weren’t ones I chased opening tokens. But the reality is that a 7 cover rescue won’t make my life meaningfully better than a 5 cover.  So the flexibility is worth way more as I probably won’t play her until champed or required anyway. 

    I’m currently splitting shards myself. 5* shards are going to 5/5/2 Parker and I’m going after 5/4/2 Phoenix via feeder/Jubilee shards. Again, I’m not going to apply that 12th cover right away when I get it though. Once Parker is done, I’ll likely get the 13th Phoenix when I bust my hoard for Carbage/Bill/??? but until then, I like keeping that flexibility. 

    As for your last sentence, I’d argue that “sitting on currency” (essentially hoarding) is almost always beneficial, whether now or later- as this is a game that strongly rewards it. But the whole point of this thread is you not wanting to do that (some just aren’t built that way and it’s fine... each has to find their own fun). 
  • ThaRoadWarriorThaRoadWarrior Posts: 4,655 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited December 2019
    I ended up moving my 4* shard over to Shuri - given that I'm about 4 -weeks out on a 12th Okoye cover from 5*, getting a decent jump on Shuri covers in between ought to cut a little time out of the chase at least. I've left my 3* on IM40 to keep getting incidental Hulkbusters along the way, and I'll switch back to Rescue once Okoye is done. I think Okoye being finished will be a big QoL improvement, so it seems worth going all-in to shorten things up.

    I think I'll move my 5* to Hela after that, depending on what happens with Profe$$or X before he leaves latest.
  • XandorXerxesXandorXerxes Posts: 326 Mover and Shaker
    Apologies if I missed this glancing through the thread - about how often per day would you say you play in order to hit those milestones? I'd also be interested to know if that went up/down as your roster progressed. Thanks!
  • ThaRoadWarriorThaRoadWarrior Posts: 4,655 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited December 2019
    A truly unhealthy amount - according to my iPhone’s Screentime widget, I average 4.5hrs/day of having the app open. I would say the bulk of that time is “wasted” in PvP, pve is only 35-40 minutes of it. A bunch more is probably it just sitting open on my desk or whatever; I tend to treat it like a fidget spinner and be doing matches as I walk around or make coffee, I generally play longest late at night while watching Netflix.

    I will say that time spent in PVE went down via roster enhancement, but that kind of pushed me over into spending more time in PVP, where in many ways you are punished for increasing your roster strength via the matchmaking system. and even then, I could probably spend less time there by committing to 575pts/event rather than chasing 900 every time. I could also certainly make my versus life easier by getting involved in one of the coordination communities on Line or wherever, but somehow that just doesn't appeal to me.
  • XandorXerxesXandorXerxes Posts: 326 Mover and Shaker

    Thanks for the reply! I read through the whole thread and saw that you hit 900/40 wins often to get the covers and tokens, do you think this method is viable only hitting 575? Maybe 650 for the token? My current problem is just staying engaged enough to 5x clear everything in PvE, did you run into burnout at all?

  • ThaRoadWarriorThaRoadWarrior Posts: 4,655 Chairperson of the Boards
    Now that the tokens don't have a Bonus Hero drop rate, I'm not sure how valuable they really are anymore after the Shardpocalypse. I found that event tokens seemed to be giving me a higher drop rate on 4*s than others, but that could have been an artifact of me just earning more of them than i do Heroics the way I play. I tend to get standards & elites from story/lightning rounds, then LTs from character rewards/crash of the titans, otherwise it's all CP based. I think it would be hard to quantify letting go of the 650/800/850/900 rewards for me at this point, but the 575 cp and SCL9 progression CP are the main source of income, with the mostly-champed 4* tier rewards supplementing the gaps. I'd say I've seen a noticeable uptic in my draws-per-day as I continue to champ the 4*s (just 13 left to go!).

    It does tend to feel like a chore if you don't have a fast team for that PVE grind. I find I have the least fun in Alliance Events, because I have to work in a bunch of matches at different times than i normally play across weekends. I routinely miss out on early saturday or sunday rounds.

    For PVE speed I can heartily recommend Juggernaut/G4mora/Rocket for making that very fast. I used to recommend people transition with Vulture, but I think for quality of life purposes that team is the new essential 4* team for sure. I haven't tried dropping down to SCL 7 or 8 to see if I could actually place vs just sticking with progression. I think I worry that failing to place and only earning reduced rewards from progression would be like getting a flat tire in the final lap of the indy 500 or something lol. But i'm sure it wouldn't be the end of the world, and with my roster looking like it does I'm sure i wouldn't be too far out of the sweet spot regardless.

  • ThaRoadWarriorThaRoadWarrior Posts: 4,655 Chairperson of the Boards
    I have Profe$$or X at 5/3/4 now. 4* Chuck is at 290 in the event I can't come up with another one before he drops out of latest. Usually at this point in the cycle, RNGeezus starts throwing the two newer characters at me to cool things off, so we'll see how long it takes to try and score that last one.
  • XandorXerxesXandorXerxes Posts: 326 Mover and Shaker
    Good luck! I've been DPD-only so long that my Grocket is only 5/0/4 (that's my luck), but your post has inspired me to dust off the roster and start doing PvE again. I jumped my 5/1/3 Thanos up to 390 and my 1/1/3 5* Panther to 330 to try to just punch things in the face enough to make up for no Kitty/Grocket/Cap/Juggernaut. Thanks again for your responses and keeping us updated on your journey!
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