This Is The Best PvP Meta MPQ Has Ever Had

ColognoisseurColognoisseur Posts: 768 Critical Contributor
It has taken six years but the top tier meta in PvP is the most open it has ever been. There are multiple top tier teams which allow a player to focus on specific covers to find the set that fits their play style.
From the all offense no D Thorkoye to the all defense less offense BillyKitty.
From the jump in front WorthyHawk and StrangeBishop to Gritty.
DDBSSM and PXIce.
Those are seven teams you could rise to any score you want. 
Gone are the days of the single overwhelming meta team.
We finally have a broad meta.

Comments

  • PhumadePhumade Posts: 2,054 Chairperson of the Boards
    I agree that 5* meta is pretty balanced.  There a good mix between established 5* combos like thorokye, newer 5* like brb pk, older mix’s like DD doom and 5*/4* combos.

    For me it’s about balancing,  what teams I’m using for long slow climbs, vs fast hops,  deciding which players I’m gonna climb off vs when to grill to prime a train.

    better way to sort and organize my team combos would go a long way towards making this game fun again.

    one big draw back I see from the expanded meta is that it’s become much harder to respond to different sets of enemies.

    i the span of 5 matches, I might use 5 different combos to take advatange of matchup weaknesses.  We should be able to say
    anti thorokye,
    anti strike team
    CD focused team etc...

     but overall, I appreciate that I can use different combos through 1200 before I gotta focus on using best teams or defenses
  • ThaRoadWarriorThaRoadWarrior Posts: 5,649 Chairperson of the Boards
    I do really like those novelty event types, but it is a bad feeling when you only have a single or two 5* champs (i'm sure this trickles down to any tier transition) and those characters are locked out of events. When all I had was Ghost Rider and Doom, whenever the 4* or 3* variant would get a PVP I'd be stuck without my "a-team." I would hope we see more novelty board condition/boost list ones and less characters-locked-out ones even though it's very refreshing to see bishop or whoever get locked out for an event.
  • BorstockBorstock Posts: 1,604 Chairperson of the Boards
    Maybe it calms down the nerf Bishop crowd?

    Yeah, right.
  • wymtimewymtime Posts: 3,594 Chairperson of the Boards
    It has taken six years but the top tier meta in PvP is the most open it has ever been. There are multiple top tier teams which allow a player to focus on specific covers to find the set that fits their play style.
    From the all offense no D Thorkoye to the all defense less offense BillyKitty.
    From the jump in front WorthyHawk and StrangeBishop to Gritty.
    DDBSSM and PXIce.
    Those are seven teams you could rise to any score you want. 
    Gone are the days of the single overwhelming meta team.
    We finally have a broad meta.
    I have always respected your opinion in this game and typically agree with you.  In this case I do not.  The PVP meta is Thor/Okoye and Kitty plus R&G or BRB.  The teams you mention might be able to let you play PVP and score in PVP but they are not great meta teams.  

    An example is I used to use GR and Thor to climb in PVP for a while because I just wanted something different.  I could use DD and a Thanos on new 4* release PVP just for fun.  The difference is neither one of those teams I would consider meta.

    for the worthy and Bishop teams those might work in Sim but are not seen as much in PVP unless it is an event where you can choose 3 characters.

    I think the 5* tier is close but still needs some adjustments to be a good healthy meta
  • fight4thedreamfight4thedream GLOBAL_MODERATORS Posts: 1,355 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited February 2020
    Vhailorx said:
    I think there is a lot of merit to your argument colog et al.

    There are more viable pairings/triplets right now than over most of MPQ's lifespan.   But I think the drawbacks of the current setup are also more significant than you are suggesting. 

    While there is an unusually broad mesa of viable teams right now, the gap between viability and the rest of the game is arguably larger than ever (PvP with a suboptimal 5* bench right now is absolutely brutal).  and the current meta is very rock-paper-scissory, where particular teams are very strong against some opponents and very weak against others.  Flexibility is unusually valuable/important right now, which is very refreshing for those with deeper rosters. But it is also problematic in light of how difficult it is to target and make meaningful progress on specific characters while building a roster. 

    Right now, JJ, Hawkeye, Thor, Okoye, Kitty, strange, Prof X, and BRB all have at least some place in the 5* PvP meta.  That's legitimately great.  More real depth in the 5* tier than it has ever had.  But only 2 of these characters are readily available even by 5* standards (and X will be gone by valentine's day).  covering a classic 5* from shards requires something like 2000 token pulls (and that is a assuming one or two lucky natural pulls).  That's 40,000 CP for one character, and maybe 60-70k CP total for 2 (assuming some natural pull luck and duplication of effort).

    And even if you did spend however much it takes to cover X and BRB right now, those two are of limited value without the right partners, who are also buried underneath significant dilution. 

    So it's pretty damn hard to enjoy the unusually broad current meta unless you were also a top tier player in this game ~2018.

    You might also say that the meta includes 4*s, specifically the stunner bros, which is both unusual and democratizing.  And that's somewhat true.  But how useful is a 271 bishop or worthy, really?  In pure 4* land they are fine, but hardly dominant because of the low match damage.  And in mixed 4*/5* play, it's mmr-dependent, but by and large the stunner bros don't have enough health to last very long, which makes PvP a massive healthpack sink. . .unless you get them up to 340+.  And while getting 13 covers for a 4* isn't too hard for serious players, getting 70+ covers for a 4* starts to look a lot more like covering another 5*, which makes them more of a gatekeeper and less of a democratizing force.

    So I don't want to invalidate your observations.  True high end play IS noticeably more diverse than it has been for a lot of MPQ's history, and there is a lot to like about that.  But it doesn't mean that there aren't also significant problems with the current meta.

    [Edited for style]

    Some of your counter points are inaccurate:

    1. "The gap between viability and the rest of the game is arguably larger than ever." How soon we forget the Gambit meta. That was a truly brutal meta for anyone not running Gambit. The same came be argued for the OML/Phoenix meta (although that was largely circumvented utilizing cupcakes). Or the era of Sentrybombing many moons ago. What we are currently seeing is a unique meta where no one team is able to dominate the entire meta. Yes, that means certain players won't be able defeat certain team combos. But as long as those team combos are not overly present and are balanced out with teams that can counter them, I don't see why that would be problematic from a design standpoint. If anything it is desirable because it encourages players to think more strategically and to build rosters with depth instead of just adding champ levels to the best team or characters.

    2. "It is difficult to target and make meaningful progress on specific characters." Kitty Pryde, who I think we both can agree is currently the best single 5* for anyone to enter the 5* tier with as long as they have a 4* Grocket, was featured in special stores five times last year. Thor and JJ both featured three times. And in the past 6 months Okoye has been featured twice. Additionally, I believe Prof X is set to take the record for being featured in Latest Legends for the longest period of time.

    So any player who was genuinely interested in improving their roster had plenty of opportunities to do so last year. And now, save for the newest 5* characters, all 5* characters have feeders and with the addition of shards, players should have an even easier time of completing characters they want.

    If anything, it's easier now than ever to target a specific character as long as a player is willing to do some hoarding and wait for the right opportunities.

    3. "Professor X and BB are of limited value without the right partners." You do know that Professor X and Beta work well together, right? They may not be top tier but they are close enough to the top that a player shouldn't have too much trouble hitting at least the final progression goal in PvP. Additionally, they both work great with Bishop so hopefully if a player went to the trouble to champ both of them, they made the wise choice of selecting him to get bonus shards meaning said player would now have three viable options for regular PvP events: Prof X/BRB, Bishop/BRB and Bishop/Prof X.

    4. "So it's hard to enjoy the current meta unless you were a top tier player from 2018." Really? Currently the most predominant team in top tier play is Kitty/Grocket and that is largely due to 1. how frequently she was featured in stores last year, and 2. her partner is a 4* character which is easier to chase so I imagine there were quite a few younger players who made the jump last year after acquiring Kitty and a lot of vet players who added levels to their champed Kitties.

    5. "But how useful is a 271 Bishop or Worthy really?" This is very much roster dependent. Its akin to asking how useful is a 465 Okoye if a player has 500+ Kitty. But since you asked:

    There's a player in the slice I play running a level 452 Hawkeye/276 Worthy Cap who makes it a point to hit my 521 Thor/483 Okoye or 327 Bishop team every chance they get. I think they have wiped once out of their many attempts. Which is fine since I return the favor when I get the chance with my Thor/Surfer team (although I wiped once when I sent in a low health Thor and got rocked by 3* Magneto. Hawkeye/Worthy/Mags is not a team to be taken lightly).

    The problem here is while you have made it clear you prefer teams that avoid resource exhaustion that is not necessarily true for the player base as a whole. In fact, players playing at the highest level are most likely the ones most willing to use the most resources when you factor in shields and buy club participation. What drives a player is simple: the will to win. How much resources a player is willing to use to achieve that goal differs from player to player.

    6. "Bishop and Worthy Cap are more of a gatekeeper than a democratizing force." Once again, you are arguing here from your own personal preference. Who exactly are they preventing from participating at the highest level?

    I will be the first to acknowledge that the current meta still is not perfect. And there are significant issues that need to be addressed, specifically the stun and jump-in-front mechanic and bringing older 5* up to speed. But the game has made great strides to ensure: 1. more variety at the top of meta, 2. more opportunities for players to be able to target specific A tier 5* characters and 3. players with younger rosters have opportunities to compete at the highest level of play.
  • fight4thedreamfight4thedream GLOBAL_MODERATORS Posts: 1,355 Chairperson of the Boards
    OJSP said:
    fight4thedream said:
    3. "Professor X and BB are of limited value without the right partners." You do know that Professor X and Beta work well together, right? They may not be top tier but they are close enough to the top that a player shouldn't have too much trouble hitting at least the final progression goal in PvP. Additionally, they both work great with Bishop so hopefully if a player went to the trouble to champ both of them, they made the wise choice of selecting him to get bonus shards meaning said player would now have three viable options for regular PvP events: Prof X/BRB, Bishop/BRB and Bishop/Prof X. 

    I think this shows the difficulty of assessing characters synergy in this game (and probably why the developers are having a difficult time ensuring no pairings are overly overpowered). Unless we have been playing around with the combinations ourselves or hear and read what people say about them, we won't know.  I think it's the first time I see someone say they work well together. Personally I haven't faced them myself. At least on paper they don't appear to have any particular synergy, apart from BRB's protect tiles and Prof's damage reduction making matches prolonged and increasing the chance of making or getting hit by match 4s.


    I think part of that is that we are not used to thinking of the meta in terms of defensive merit, largely because up until recently we never really had to. The convention has been "offense is the best defense" but now that we have a group of characters that do relevant things like stun, reduce damage,  produce shields per match and delay the match, it is something we have to take a closer look at. People were quick to judge 5* Carnage because of his lack of obvious fire power but we are seeing people make use of him in PvP, particularly in LRs, since when paired together with Beta matches take significantly longer.

    I think perhaps for the first time in the game, competitive player strategies for LRs are diverging from strategies normally employed in regular PvP events. Given a choice between hitting Okoye/Thor team and Beta/Carnage or Beta/Bishop, a player looking to finish the match quickly and relatively unscathed will take the Okoye/Thor match. Furthermore, I have heard that Beta/Carnage is a pretty decent Kitty/Grocket counter, too. I think it's great that LRs are growing into their own thing and hope the dev team finds ways to freshen it up further.

    It's interesting that you don't find Prof X/Beta to have any particular synergy; neither one gets in the way of the other in terms of their offensive abilities so you are looking at four potential outlets of damage: Beta's Blue and Green, Prof X's Purple and Passive. Additionally, they both have damage mitigating powers which, as you noted, allows for greater potential for Prof X passive to go off. Beta is definitely comparable to 5* Iceman, if not the better partner. For Simulator, add Kitty to the mix and you have arguably the best 5* team in the game.  Kitty will buff Beta's protect tiles at 3 tiles and also gives an outlet for yellow and red AP. She also increases Prof X's damage reduction and enemy power costs in Green and Red to an additional 2 AP. If you are unable to deal with Kitty or the protect tiles quickly enough, you are looking at the enemy team not taking any damage. It's an interesting fight.

    Honestly, I'm very excited to see how the meta continues to develop. It seems we have finally escaped the cycle of nerfing the top character or combo and moving towards a more strategic competitive meta where one team will work well in one situation but not so well in another. So while Okoye/Thor may still be the fastest offensive team, there is now a greater risk to run them as they are seen as an easy team to beat while other teams may not be as fast but have a higher risk of incurring damage, delaying the match and/or losing.
  • fight4thedreamfight4thedream GLOBAL_MODERATORS Posts: 1,355 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited February 2020
    That's a good point and I concede that if there is synergy it is built on their durability and ability to delay the match long enough for them to do their thing.

    With that said, there are a few Prof X/Beta teams out in the wild if you're interested in seeing how they perform defensively. Although interestingly enough, I have been seeing a lot of Prof X/Okoye teams today so maybe she is Chuck's best partner? It seems the jury is still out on that question.
  • VhailorxVhailorx Posts: 5,208 Chairperson of the Boards


    Some of your counter points are inaccurate:

    1. "The gap between viability and the rest of the game is arguably larger than ever." How soon we forget the Gambit meta. That was a truly brutal meta for anyone not running Gambit. The same came be argued for the OML/Phoenix meta (although that was largely circumvented utilizing cupcakes). Or the era of Sentrybombing many moons ago. What we are currently seeing is a unique meta where no one team is able to dominate the entire meta. Yes, that means certain players won't be able defeat certain team combos. But as long as those team combos are not overly present and are balanced out with teams that can counter them, I don't see why that would be problematic from a design standpoint. If anything it is desirable because it encourages players to think more strategically and to build rosters with depth instead of just adding champ levels to the best team or characters.

    2. "It is difficult to target and make meaningful progress on specific characters." Kitty Pryde, who I think we both can agree is currently the best single 5* for anyone to enter the 5* tier with as long as they have a 4* Grocket, was featured in special stores five times last year. Thor and JJ both featured three times. And in the past 6 months Okoye has been featured twice. Additionally, I believe Prof X is set to take the record for being featured in Latest Legends for the longest period of time.

    So any player who was genuinely interested in improving their roster had plenty of opportunities to do so last year. And now, save for the newest 5* characters, all 5* characters have feeders and with the addition of shards, players should have an even easier time of completing characters they want.

    If anything, it's easier now than ever to target a specific character as long as a player is willing to do some hoarding and wait for the right opportunities.

    3. "Professor X and BB are of limited value without the right partners." You do know that Professor X and Beta work well together, right? They may not be top tier but they are close enough to the top that a player shouldn't have too much trouble hitting at least the final progression goal in PvP. Additionally, they both work great with Bishop so hopefully if a player went to the trouble to champ both of them, they made the wise choice of selecting him to get bonus shards meaning said player would now have three viable options for regular PvP events: Prof X/BRB, Bishop/BRB and Bishop/Prof X.

    4. "So it's hard to enjoy the current meta unless you were a top tier player from 2018." Really? Currently the most predominant team in top tier play is Kitty/Grocket and that is largely due to 1. how frequently she was featured in stores last year, and 2. her partner is a 4* character which is easier to chase so I imagine there were quite a few younger players who made the jump last year after acquiring Kitty and a lot of vet players who added levels to their champed Kitties.

    5. "But how useful is a 271 Bishop or Worthy really?" This is very much roster dependent. Its akin to asking how useful is a 465 Okoye if a player has 500+ Kitty. But since you asked:

    There's a player in the slice I play running a level 452 Hawkeye/276 Worthy Cap who makes it a point to hit my 521 Thor/483 Okoye or 327 Bishop team every chance they get. I think they have wiped once out of their many attempts. Which is fine since I return the favor when I get the chance with my Thor/Surfer team (although I wiped once when I sent in a low health Thor and got rocked by 3* Magneto. Hawkeye/Worthy/Mags is not a team to be taken lightly).

    The problem here is while you have made it clear you prefer teams that avoid resource exhaustion that is not necessarily true for the player base as a whole. In fact, players playing at the highest level are most likely the ones most willing to use the most resources when you factor in shields and buy club participation. What drives a player is simple: the will to win. How much resources a player is willing to use to achieve that goal differs from player to player.

    6. "Bishop and Worthy Cap are more of a gatekeeper than a democratizing force." Once again, you are arguing here from your own personal preference. Who exactly are they preventing from participating at the highest level?

    I will be the first to acknowledge that the current meta still is not perfect. And there are significant issues that need to be addressed, specifically the stun and jump-in-front mechanic and bringing older 5* up to speed. But the game has made great strides to ensure: 1. more variety at the top of meta, 2. more opportunities for players to be able to target specific A tier 5* characters and 3. players with younger rosters have opportunities to compete at the highest level of play.
    (1) Gambit is the only other meta that I think came close to the current gap between meta and everything else. That's why I said "arguably" because this is a close comparison.  OML/Phoenix was a fine team, but very very few people had them covered during the several-month-gap between Phoenix's release and the introduction of champing.  And the champing rescale made boosted 4*s somewhat viable against 5* teams.  Plus, as you said, cupcakes were a a powerful leveler.  The rest of your comment is perfectly reasonable editorial opinion that I don't think I need to address here.

    (2) your argument boils down to "but there are special stores!"  That's true.  But te only way to make significant use of those one-off stores is to save up ~5k cp and blow it all during the 3-4 days the store is offered.  And as the 5* tier grows, the cycle for these special stores grows too.  Even getting 1 good 5* covered nowadays requires: (1) building up a viable 4* roster in the current era of super dilution, (2) using that 4* roster to grind pve/pvp hard and hoard up ~5k cp, (3) waiting for the right special store to come around and buying 250cp H4H covers as available, (4) blowing the entire cp hoard on a special store and getting lucky.  That is not a fast project.  And it will only get you 1 of your 5* targets (unless you get extra lucky and there is another store like kitty/thor/okoye).  This ties in to #4 below.

    (3) Prof X and BRB are fine toghether, in that they don't have active power over lap, and are both unusually tough due to their defensive powers.  But I wouldn't say they have any particular synergy.  BRB doesn't have any board control/shake to help proc X's blue.  And X doesn't really generate a huge number of tiles to proc BRB's ap gen.  They are both good 5*s, and a team of good 5*s is good.  But they aren't some engine of destruction, or else they would be all over PVP right now. 

    (4) Yes, kitty is probably the best 5* for a single 5* transition right now, and she was offered a fair bit in 2019.  But in order to have dropped a hoard on a kitty special store in 2019, a player must have HAD a hoard to drop.  That means time spent as a serious player hoarding away.  And that means that they had to be playing seriously in 2018.  QED

    (5) Yes, you can beat overleveled opponents with baby champ bishop/worthy (more so with worthy actually because of his DR).  But it's extremely healthpack intensive.  approaching 1+ pack per match.  That's not sustainable (Especially now that HP is about to get much harder to collect in-game).  In the olden days where a player could climb to 900-1k before shielding, and then hop with meta teams to however high they wanted to go, that was manageable.  But now the meta teams start showing up at 500-600 points (at least for my mmr).  And grinding out 75 wins, or shield hopping from 600 to 1200+ at 1 or more health packs per match is not something that many players can do. 

    (6) What i said was that i don't give extra credit to a 4* for being in the end game meta when that 4* really needs 60-70 covers to excel, because acquiring that many covers for a 4* is basically the same exercise as covering a 5*.  You might quibble with my definition of 'excel' but I stand by the logic of my statement. 

    So overall, I think I was not so much inaccurate as stating an opinion with which you disagree.  We have both done that to each other a lot of late.

  • fight4thedreamfight4thedream GLOBAL_MODERATORS Posts: 1,355 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited February 2020
    Vhailorx said: So overall, I think I was not so much inaccurate as stating an opinion with which you disagree.  We have both done that to each other a lot of late.

    Yeah, at this point we will just be splitting hairs so let's just agree to disagree here. 
  • bluewolfbluewolf Posts: 4,910 Chairperson of the Boards
    In light of the new rewards design, I am even more firm in my opinion that having super-strong defensive characters with no particularly good counters is just poor design.

    I'm not trying to insult anyone but to put people in the game and not have a way to address them after a year, that just feels like you aren't trying to create a meta vs just tossing characters out one after the other.

    Bishop's design has been discussed ad nauseum but I think in the end it was primarily built to reflect the character's inherent traits and designed to make him effective within the 4 tier (hence the low thresholds).  Everyone talks about how other defensive characters have higher thresholds etc but they all have more varied kits that aren't primarily built around being a reactionary character.  Ex:  XFDP has the defensive ability but next to that is a CD spam which does dmg no matter who matches it and a red which is not-bad but expensive.  Anyway.

    All these defensive teams are lazy ways, IMO, to skip shields.  It's interesting but personally not to my taste at all.

    And now the CP will be at a lower score than ever, and some 4* shards are the end goal, meaning lots more players will stop climbing - which is interesting in its own way but means that hitting 1200 will both be harder and less important.

    Maybe it's fine if scores stay lower and targets get harder to hit.  I just am tired of pick 3 PVP and nothing anyone says will change my mind as long as these super annoying 4's exist in the game.

    I realize this is just my opinion and others enjoy the game differently.
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