Fix a 5* -- Episode 1: The Widow Bites

jackstar0 Posts: 1,280 Chairperson of the Boards
edited March 2019 in MPQ Character Discussion
I'm thinking about posting a weekly thread about each of the sub-par 5*s out there and I don't want to start with the most obvious, because you gotta save those for special occasions.

So let's start with 5* Black Widow (Natasha Romanoff).

Quick recap:

Purple - Tell Me Everything
at 5 Covers: 12AP She deals damage and removes up to 3 specials (including repeaters) and the cost of this power goes down for each countdown on the board (min 7).

Red - Acrobatic Takedown
at 5 Covers: 12AP deals damage and if an enemy has 12AP or more in one color, deal some more. Then IF this downs a character destroy 7 AP of a random color.

Black - Red in my Ledger
at 5 Covers: 10AP deals damage and if any allies are below 20% health, she deals some more damage and steals 4 random AP. The Passive aspect is if an ally is stunned, a random enemy is stunned for 1 turn.

My suggestions:

Purple should decrease based on any specials. It'd make her a good Kitty/Gritty counter that still requires at least 1 match (if you boost everything and purple) to get fired. I'd personally like to see a Stun added to this power, too, as a partial reflection of her 1* prowess. As it is, she's only useful against... Goblin, Hawkeye, Loki, and IM46 in the 5* tier? They hardly need such a counter as none of them are particularly meta strong (and all potential subjects for this series).

Red should target the enemies strongest AP color for any destroying, and it should only cost 10AP max to fire. Maybe also make it's cost conditional on enemy AP pools of 12 or more, so if it's Galactus collecting everything, she can knock him around for cheap. If It's 1/2Thor, then she can get the drop on him as he becomes threatening (better on defense as AI Thor spends AP recklessly).

Black should give a stun as strong as her ally gets. Ally stunned for 4 turns? So is a random enemy. If not that, then at 5 covers, she should be stunning back for at least 2 turns. They way she can set off an otherwise docile Black Panther is silly.

Overall, her power costs are too high. While the damage per AP can be solid, it's not consistently so and she lacks for synergy with other characters in the 5* tier (except those that help everyone like Okoye for damage and Black Bolt for speeding up AP accrual). I'd like to see her work well with 5* Cap (either/both), IM46, but especially Hawkeye.

Now what would you do to fix this 5*? Lemme know! Serious and silly suggestions are welcome!


  • tiomono
    tiomono Posts: 1,654 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited March 2019
    Allies health moved to 30% on her black.

    Let each countdown reduce the cost of her purple by 2. Leave it capped at 7 so if you have 3 countdowns out at once it costs 7. Countdowns can be expensive to place, and a couple characters that spam them do it with purple (5*Loki, xpool) so there's not really a ridiculous synergy there. 

    I just drew my 8th widow today from the hela store. I got the token for it from the hela odindaughter vault. One pull one 5* woot woot!
  • Glockoma
    Glockoma Posts: 555 Critical Contributor
    I like the idea for the series. We need to keep speaking about buffs. The 5* tier is make or break. It is compromised with the haves and the have-nots. Due to dilution and not enough access to cover a character in an allotted timeframe, this subject needs to be voiced frequently until they bring them back.
  • ThaRoadWarrior
    ThaRoadWarrior Posts: 9,276 Chairperson of the Boards
    I think the countdown based cost reduction WAS supposed to be a synergy with 5* Hawkguy, since he is something of a CD spammer. I don't know if it works or not, since my BW is 2/0/0 and I'll never use her off a required node.

    As a vocal single-5* Champ-haver, I think having any duds at this tier is a recipe for player loss. If your only 5* champ is a liablity rather than a boon, and it's going to take you at least a year to get another one through any reasonable kind of means (saving up the pulls for a store or grinding a 4* to max-champ), it's asking a LOT of a player to stick that out. I would love to see some load leveling going on at the 5* tier.
  • Dormammu
    Dormammu Posts: 3,531 Chairperson of the Boards
    5widow is the classic example of 'too expensive to be useful'. Any character with all three ability costs that high are instant rubbish. If they want to fix her, bring down those costs. It's as simple as that. Oh, and she could use some health, too.
  • Kolence
    Kolence Posts: 969 Critical Contributor
    She's also an example for powers that have too many conditions all tied somehow.
    And effects that are bad most of the time, like "steal/destroy RANDOM AP color".  

    For example, her red AP drain could theoretically be the strongest when enemy team has rainbow coverage of active powers and has some AP in all colors. But it triggers only after you've KO'd one of the enemies, most likely leaving 1-3 colors unusable for them. So there's a chance the added effect doesn't help at all even then.

    To me, she seems like a character meant to punish the other team for leaving her last. In that way, there's synergy already if she completes the unused AP pools by the rest of the team.
    Agree she needs ways to have her costs reduced, most of all. 

    On purple, I actually like it doesn't count all special tiles for cost reduction. All Widows before and after her have had some way of dealing with goons CD's. She seems like the least reliable, removing only 3 tiles while needing more for the cost to drop sufficiently so it might keep pace with goon spamming. 
    Maybe make the cost go down 2 AP for each enemy CD and Repeater?
    Or just give her a flat 2 AP cost reduction for all her powers if enemy has a Repeater in play? Since those are all the rage lately (for better or worse :) ), it might be the way to  make another older 5* slightly more relevant these days.

    I really like the OP's suggestion for her red. I'd only add an extra condition for reducing cost. Something like - "Reduce cost by 1 (with some floor) for each AP pool in which the enemy has X+ total AP or has Y+ AP more than you do". 

    For black, I think the random stun is fine as is. It can throw a wrench in your plans when she's paired with a character that can punish firing powers as soon as you have the AP, like Dr. Strange, or Thor.
    The damage might be getting a gradual increase as allies are losing health, something like - "For every 10% an ally is below full health, her black does X% extra damage." Then, if any ally is under 20% health, she does an even bigger damage.
  • Gold_Dragon
    Gold_Dragon Posts: 101 Tile Toppler
    The stun needs to be longer. I’m down with the stun equaling the amount of stun given. Having it be one turn is borderline worthless. 

    - opponent does a 3-turn stun
    - Widow’s passive activates
    - random opponent character is stunned
    - player has the turn and turn is over
    - opponent stun Time is over. 
    - player still has 2 more turns of stun to wait for

    theres not even enough time to take advantage of the stun Widow’s passive provides. 

    I’m a fan of dropping the AP cost of all her powers by the amount of CDs and repeaters on the field with the minimum cost being 5-7.
  • Zeofar
    Zeofar Posts: 45 Just Dropped In
    edited April 2019
    I think this one has serious issues both from mechanical and character fantasy standpoints. Every ability is relatively expensive, heavily conditioned, and it doesn't come together into an engaging play pattern. Red and Purple have awesome names, but I don't find that the effects quite tell the "badass superspy" story that those names are promising.

    • Tell Me Everything (Purple) - Cost reduced by all enemy specials.
    Purple has me a bit conflicted, since the interrogation-inspired name makes me want to do something with locked tiles and build a synergistic Red... But that's probably getting too deep into experimental garbage. So yeah, probably just go with the straightforward approach. Honestly, the first time I read the ability I just assumed it was going to work this way.

    • Acrobatic Takedown (Red) (New Effect) - 6 AP - Deals damage. Consumes red AP over 6, dealing damage at an improved rate + destroying equal enemy AP in a random color.
    Red is the lamest part of the original kit. Good damage in the ideal situation, but you're dependent on the AI collecting AP if you even want that damage. Purple is already a reactive ability, so let's drop that part. I don't like the KO condition either since destroying AP only when the enemy is losing doesn't feel great, but maybe there's a way to work it back in. Here I want to think dramatic stunt, not clunky finisher.

    • Red in My Ledger (Black) - AP Steal + Lesser damage is now primary effect. Extra damage is dealt when an ally is heavily damaged. Improve Stun duration (?).
    As it stands, Black is probably the most appropriate-feeling ability and offers something to tie BW into the team. AP drain has been a staple of spy characters in MPQ, and I don't think it ought to be hidden behind an annoying condition here, so I'd swap the effects. I think the story also makes more sense: BW would be there to disrupt and sabotage, but is ready to kill when lives are on the line. The passive stun is a little awkward, as aside from self-stuns, punishing abilities on characters like Deadpool and Bishop are a lot more reliable and generally get triggered by any abilities that both stun and damage. But that's OK. It should probably scale to 2-3 turns of stun at 5 covers.
  • Kolence
    Kolence Posts: 969 Critical Contributor
    Here's an idea for a Widow rework, meant to possibly help with Bishop stunlock... 

    Black Widow (Natasha Romanoff)
    (all abilities at level 5)

    Tell Me Everything (11 purple AP) - deals (moderate) damage and removes 3 random enemy Special tiles targeting Countdown and Repeater tiles first.
    (PASSIVE) - BW's abilities cost 1 AP less when enemy team has a Countdown or a Repeater tile on the board, and 2 AP less when they have both (minimum cost 5 AP). 

    Acrobatic Takedown (12 red AP) - deals (big) damage.
    (PASSIVE) - BW's abilities cost 1 AP less when enemy team has an AP pool with 6 or more AP more than her team has, or one with 12 or more AP total, and 2 AP less when they have both (minimum cost 7 AP). 

    Red In My Ledger (10 black AP) - deals (medium-big-huge) damage. If an ally's health pool is below 60% of their max health, deals (bigger) damage, if it is below 20% deals (even bigger) damage (minimum cost 6 AP).
    (PASSIVE) - Whenever one of BW's allies is stunned, stun a random enemy for the same duration. While BW has an active ally, she cannot be targeted with a stun. 
  • Glockoma
    Glockoma Posts: 555 Critical Contributor
    Phew, that’s a lot to unpack but I am all for rebalancing!
  • XandorXerxes
    XandorXerxes Posts: 340 Mover and Shaker
    Random necro boost - I'm not a 5* player, but I had a weird mix of ideas I thought I'd throw out there for the actual players based on mechanics from lower tiers that I don't see in the upper ones. Going on the "you have all of the information so you can sabotage the enemy" premise for her purple...

    Purple - Allows you to choose to either increase the countdown on X targeted repeater/countdowns or remove them entirely (like Spider-woman's decision option, to have either an OBW effect or just wipe them). If you want more flexibility, the remove/destroy option can target special tiles too.
    • Can have a variable cost - maybe 7 AP for 1, +1 AP/tile chosen.
    • If you have a variable cost, it also lets you keep her 'expensive' mode by saying "if you spend X AP on this power, have a secondary effect.
    Alternatively, you could do something like Mystique - put out a countdown that lets you steal an AP on enemy match-3+. You could also do something closer to a she-hulk/red-hulk type power, nuking a (targeted?) AP color to 0. If you want to give the finger to Okoye/BP, allow targeting of Team-Up AP.

    If you'd rather have a unique power, you could do something like "the enemy can't gain more than X AP on their turn." I hesitate on that one just because it'd slow the game down, but it'd also stop the enemy from gaining 30 AP on those bad-luck cascades.

    Hopefully even if those are all dumb ideas, they at least spark someone's creativity for making a good one.