Daredevil217's 5* Character Ranking and Analysis (Updated 6/23/2020)

Daredevil217Daredevil217 Posts: 2,834 Chairperson of the Boards
edited 23 June 2020, 08:41 in MPQ Character Discussion
First off, I would like to welcome everyone to my 5* character ranking guide. Some of my fondest memories on these forums were the character polls, discussions, and ranking guides back when the 4* tier was the best in the game. I used to love the countdown to see who is #1, and the debates that came about as a result. I always wanted to make a 4* guide since champing them all, but that seemed like a huge endeavor to start from scratch with the sheer number we have now, and honestly, I’m over a year removed from the tier and can’t really speak to it any more. So I decided to try my hand at this instead.

So, I made this guide as a labor of love. I complain about the developers a lot but really truly love this game and this community. So, this is my way of giving back (consider it a “sorry” to everyone I hit in PVP since I don’t look at names). If well received, I plan to continue updating it.

Before getting into the rankings, I think it’s important to understand my perspective and purpose. Know that I’m just one player and you can feel free to disagree with my opinions (I encourage it!). Also know that I can “get it wrong”, as I don’t have every character champed. For ease of use, I put an asterisk next to every character I have unchamped, so there is transparency around where I’m coming from.

Also know that if I have champed a character, I’ve likely played them a lot. I make frequent contributions to the “fun teams” thread, and am constantly looking for different uses for all my characters. I don’t just play the best of the best. I don’t engage in “coordination” and am not in any shield check rooms or buy clubs. All my champs are low 450s-460s. So that’s my MMR and experience. Finally, know that I’m relatively new to the tier, which can be good and bad. I think sometimes people hold onto what a character used to be and rank them too highly (or too low if they were nerfed badly), so someone with a fresh perspective can be good in this way.

So how did I ultimately determine these rankings? It was a combination of factors ultimately, including (in no order):

Speed- Since both PVE and PVP reward winning fast over just winning, does this character win fast?
Efficiency- What do their powers do for the cost?
Versatility- Can this character play on a number of teams and/or amplify others?
Specialization- Does this character do something few or no one can do? Do they fill a unique niche?
Defense- How scary is this character to face in the AI’s hands?
Sustainability- Does this character help you climb/save health packs?
Fun Factor- Quite simply, are they enjoyable to play?
Roster Importance- When really stuck between ranking two characters I simply asked, who would I rather have on my roster?

This guide skews way heavier toward PVP and CL10 PVE than CL9 and below PVE where most 5* combos work well enough. However, if someone is just beyond exceptional in the latter, expect them to be ranked highly. This guide is also skewed way more toward established 5* players than those looking to transition. Though hopefully this guide helps them too. With a few notable exceptions (Bishop/Worthy/Grocket), I mostly stick to talking about 5* pairs that could work with each character, because that’s mostly what I play.

So without further ado...

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  • Daredevil217Daredevil217 Posts: 2,834 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited 23 June 2020, 18:06
    ***Powers, abilities and stats discussed are all for a level 450 champion***

    #44) The Hulk (Bruce Banner)*
    bluetilepng577 blacktilepng513 purpletilepng449 290
    greentilepng73 yellowtilepng67 62  Health: 41,537

    Recommended Build
    : 5/3/5
    Alternate Build: 5/5/3 (if trying to avoid Hulk form)

    Well, someone had to come in last place, and Banner here got the honor. Bruce Banner is considered complete garbage by most MPQ players, and it makes total sense why. Of the five powers he somehow was given, only one deals direct damage (and of course he has to “transform” to get there first). He’s convoluted, slows you down , and hurts his teammates in several ways. If any character is screaming for a compete remodel, it’s Banner and his alter ego.

    Banner’s blue passive (Gamma Ray Experiment) transforms 2 enemy attack/strike/protect or basic tiles to green basic tiles and deals about 1K damage if there are less than 7 green tiles on the board. Otherwise... it does... nothing?

    Bruce’s black (Smartest Guy in the Room) costs 7 AP and has Banner place 3 friendly attack tiles (strength 987) as well as a strength 765 enemy attack for each of Hulk’s allies still standing. This is beyond terrible. I guess he’s banking on there being less than 7 green tiles on the board and hoping to overwrite the enemy tiles? Ugh.

    Purple (The Other Guy) is... yet another passive... that triggers when his team has 6 green AP. When that happens, Banner places a 2-turn countdown that replaces him with the Incredible Hulk! Woo! Not only that, but he gets a whole new set of powers, replacing his old ones! Thank god, because those were awful!

    Okay!  I collected my 6 green in order to place a 2-turn countdown. It somehow resolved and now I’m the Hulk! Got ‘em! Now Hulk can smash! Hey, he has a green power called “Smash” for 9 AP! What does this do? 8411 AOE damage? That’s it. For all that work? GRAAAGH!

    Wait... there’s ONE more power! Surely this next ability will make him worth it! Banner’s red (GRAAAGH) is... oh another passive. CPU Banner makes a free match, but doesn’t get the AP from it. Just... why?
    At least that bottom tier 5* match damage will put a real hurting on the opponent! Wait.. there’s more! When Hulk is downed, he becomes Banner again. Guess that’s it. Time to start the death/rebirth cycle anew. Eat your heart out Phoenix!

    Hulk is by far the trashiest trash ever. The only reason to play him is that he can’t get insta-killed in Hulk mode and instead will just go Banner mode. He’s the antidote to insta-death powers like Galactus’ and Whales. The problem is... more often than not you’d be better off with him dead. Yeah I said it.

    Pairings:
    Hulk actually has synergy with Kitty Pryde since she can eat enemy attacks and buff friendly ones. Also, Okoye can boost that 1k passive damage with her teamup tiles if you can get the less than 7 green condition to proc. Beyond that, Hulk is best used as a trophy that only the most OCD completionists chase, rather than something you actually bring to a battle.Luckily, for Hulk fans there is a second (and much better) version of The Hulk released that finally got the character "right" (and is ranked much much higher).
    #43) The Wasp (Hope Van Dyne)*
    bluetilepng695 yellowtilepng618 blacktilepng540 349
    88 purpletilepng81 greentilepng74  Health: 50,383

    Recommended Build
    : 3/5/5
    Alternate Build: 5/3/5 (if pairing with Black Panther)

    Hope’s big struggle is that most of her powers do essentially nothing just to set up a big expensive power that does slightly more than nothing. She has a niche as the only 5* that can turn allies invisible, but it’s unfortunately not enough to move her out of the garbage tier due to the cost and the rest of her kit being bad.

    For 6 AP, Wasp’s blue (Sting Operation) steals 3-4 random AP and places a countdown that creates 2 swarm tiles. No, I’m not making this up. At least it’s cheap?

    Yellow (Shrink Tactics) is very expensive for the payoff. For 10 AP, Wasp turns an ally invisible 3-4 turns and places 2-3 swarm tiles. This is her one big niche in the tier, and there is a particular 5* who can benefit from it.

    Finally, her black (Pain Index), arguably her best ability, steals about 5.5k (burst) health from her enemy, plus just over 1k for each each swarm tile on the board. If she hits a low healing threshold she places 2 swarm tiles on the board.

    All of Wasp’s active powers put swarm tiles on the board. When Hope has 4 such tiles on the board, all of her powers become “Call the Swarm”, and her match damage increases 10% for each swarm tile on the board. This 12 AP ability sees her doing almost 7k damage and blowing up her swarm tiles while destroying 3 tiles around each of them. I heard something about the developers overvaluing board shake? Seems like quite the understatement.

    So again, Wasp’s powers ultimately do a whole lot of nothing for the cost, and her AP would be better used by someone (anyone!) else. She obviously needs a rework with this kit, so why did she beat out Banner for second to last (especially since Banner/Kitty is a better team than anything Wasp may pair with)? Well, I operated under the premise that both are “use only if the game forces me to” status. While Wasp sits there doing a whole lot of nothing, letting her teammates do the heavy lifting, Banner/Hulk can actively slow you down and harm your team. So a net nothing ultimately beat out a net negative. Congrats Wasp!

    Pairings:
    Wasp’s ability to turn allies invisible makes her a decent pair with Black Panther who deals big damage when returning from a stun or invisible status. In this case you want yellow at 3 so he returns from invisible status sooner. Due to Panther’s synergy with Thanos (discussed later), he makes a good third. Other than that, Wasp doesn’t really have much synergy with others, so you could always look for people to compliment her colors like IW Cap, Loki, Professor, and Gambit.
    #42) Iron Man (Mark XLVI)
    655 bluetilepng582 yellowtilepng509 329
    blacktilepng83 greentilepng76 purpletilepng70  Health: 49,845

    Recommended Build: 5/5/3

    Iron Man is a character that could have been really great in theory. He has one cool/unique power, one ridiculously overcosted power, and one that needs very specific teammates (most of whom don’t compliment him) to be remotely worth it. What this boils down to is perhaps the least versatile character in the tier. This is sad for a character who is arguably the most popular in the entire company. My hope is he is either reworked or we get a second Stark in the tier. But, for now... I shall review the one we’ve got.

    Iron Man’s red (The Winning Team) is the power that most harms him in the rankings. For 9 AP, at five covers he does 8744 damage to the opponent. This is a terrible return on investment! However... if he teams up with another person with the “Team Iron Man” affiliation, the damage almost doubles. Add a third and it almost triples! Now we’re talking! The problem is, the list of people in the 5* tier with the “Team Iron Man” tag is... shall we say lacking? Parker? Silver Surfer? Both overlap Tony’s two best powers. Black Suit? Somewhat better, but blue is both character’s best active ability. Black Panther? He’s probably your best bet as even though they both have red/yellow strong colors, they have no active overlap. And that’s it. Those are your options to make this power worth it if you don’t want to play down a tier. Tony Stark is out here giving “Wakanda Forever!” a whole new meaning. Because that’s who you’ll want to pair him with.

    Tony’s blue (Girl FRIDAY) is a pretty good power and is what saves him from being ranked even lower than he is. For 10 AP, he converts 8 tiles of the enemy’s strongest color to red, then after matches are made, he blows up the board destroying all red tiles. This does three really cool things. One, if their strongest color isn’t red, then it can fuel your own red nuke due to the matches it makes. Two, while fueling yourself, you’re also depriving the enemy of their strongest color. Three, you are effectively removing two colors from the board which can lead to all kinds of crazy cascades and power-fueling. I feel like as cool as this power is, it's 1-2 AP more expensive than it would be if released today. But, it’s still great... if the opponent's strongest isn't red.  If it is, you just get some overcosted board shake and a hard time fueling "The Winning Team".

    If red is the power that most hurts Tony in the rankings, yellow (House Party Protocol), with its insanely high cost, certainty isn’t helping him. For 12 AP, he places three 3-turn countdown tiles that deal ~6500-8500 damage each. If Stark would take 6558+ damage, remove one and negate the damage. While that secondary part can be huge in shrugging off a major nuke, you’d have to 1) have the tiles out when the nuke hits and 2) have Iron Man actually be the one tanking. Otherwise, this power just does small damage for a huge cost and I’d rather use that AP for better/faster offense than defense anyway.

    Overall, Tony is way too handcuffed to characters he has no synergy with to be ranked higher than he is. While his Civil War counterpart Cap (discussed later) gets a minor drawback for recruiting outside his team, Stark gets dinged big time. If his red didn't handcuff him and his yellow was better (way cheaper, did more damage, or both) he could be worth it. But as it stands you’ll mostly be playing him just for his blue, which while interesting, doesn’t even deal damage. But I mean, if you really love Girl FRIDAY, that’s what teamups are for!  As it stands, he is way too handcuffed to "Team Iron Man" folks and sadly, even when paired with them is mediocre at best.  He absolutely needs a rework!

    Pairings:
    The best use for Iron Man is during PVPs that feature a “Team Iron Man” character. It’s one thing to reach down two tiers to find some dead weight to boost Tony’s red. It’s quite another when both teams are saddled with said weight. Might as well make it work to your advantage. 3* “Team Iron Man” characters are as follows: Black Panther, Black Widow, Captain Marvel, Ragnarok, Sentry, She-Hulk, Spider-Man, The Hulk, and Vision. That’s 19% of the tier. Not bad. Pair with 5* Panther and go to work! In Pick-3 you can lose some red damage and pair Tony/T’Challa with Professor X who can benefit immensely from any match-4s Girl FRIDAY sends his way.

    #41) Kingpin (Spider-Verse)
    bluetilepng713 blacktilepng634 greentilepng555 353
    purpletilepng91 yellowtilepng84 77  Health: 57,701

    Recommended Build: 5/3/5

    Just like those ranked below him, Kingpin is a completely convoluted character whose tricks can be difficult to pull off in the player’s hands, which makes him laughably bad in the AI’s hands. He’s ultimately ranked this low because while many many on this list could be much better with simple health, match damage and ability cost tweaks, Fisk’s whole kit really needs to be re-examined (like Wasp/Banner/Stark). Other characters ranked above him need buffs. He needs a rework.

    Kingpin’s blue (Forced Hand) costs 7 AP and allows you to give a friendly strike/attack/protect to the enemy in exchange for 5 AP in your strongest color. This is not a great ability. However, if the enemy happens to have less than 5 AP of that color, you take it all and deal almost 14k damage. That’s a decent single target nuke, If you can pull it off. This is by no means easy as you have to 1) collect 7 blue 2) ensure your opponent has 4 or less AP in your strongest color and 3) have a special tile to give them (otherwise this ability literally can’t fire). Doing all three isn’t always easy. So while it can be good, it’s a very complex ability that involves both luck and proper setup to pull off. This power can either be his best or worst depending on conditions, so it has super high variance.

    I changed my mind. Forced Hand is never his worst power. Kingpin’s black (The Harder They Fall) is arguably the worst power in the tier and maybe the game. For 11 AP (yes...11), Fisk drops a fortified black tile (you don’t place it) that destroys 8 enemy AP in the opponent’s largest pool. While the countdown is on the board, he reduces match damage (yes... just match damage) by 35% (at level 3, where you’ll keep this garbage power) plus 5% for each AP you destroyed. This is just bad.

    Kingpin’s green (Break Their Will) puts down a fortified 2-turn repeater for 9 AP that deals over 8k damage. This ability is fine and ultimately elevates him above those ranked below him. If Fisk has more AP than his opponent in his team’s strongest color, then he also creates 3 small attack tiles. Since this is the only way he can put special tiles on the board to fuel his blue, you want to either bring a proper partner or make sure you are outpacing your opponent in the right color when you fire this ability.

    So yeah... like I said, Fisk needs a rework to his entire kit. His green should put down specials regardless of AP, his blue should be able to do something if he doesn’t have specials on the board, and his black should do literally anything else. Overall, in a game based on speed, Kingpin is slow and wonky. Constantly checking AP pools and waiting to fire powers is not only slow, but it’s not enjoyable. So add Fisk to the rework list.

    Pairings:
    More than many other characters, pairings are super important to Fisk. The number one thing you want to look for is a person who can put special tiles on the board for him to offer up. Weirdly, his arch-nemesis Daredevil is arguably his best partner. Fisk offering Matt’s passive strikes before Daredevil snatches them back with Sonar Strike is fun if you pull it off. The other contender is Apocalypse, with his protect tile spam ensuring you're never at a loss for tiles to offer.  Apocalypse's yellow repeater can also double the damage on Fisk's green repeater.  They also happen to have actives on everything but purple.  I’ve also had success with Jessica Jones who puts down strikes, and offers a way better black outlet. Kitty is interesting as she has two ways off adding tiles to the board that Fisk can offer up, only for her to overwrite them and deal huge damage (they also cover the rainbow!).  Finally, Old Man Logan can ensure that you get specials on the board when you fire green, regardless of your AP count, saving you some math. But with any of these teams, expect hard retaliations because as stated earlier, as bad as he is in your hand’s, he’s worse with the AI playing him.
    #40) Black Widow (Natasha Romanoff)*
    purpletilepng592 527 blacktilepng460 297
    bluetilepng75 greentilepng69 yellowtilepng63    Health: 45,699

    Recommended Build: 5/4/4

    Black Widow is unfortunately one of the worst characters in the game. She can hit somewhat hard, but all of her abilities are super slow/expensive, and rely way too much on what the enemy does for them to be somewhat reasonable. While I understand what they were ultimately going for (turning the enemy against themselves in a very Natasha-like way) they missed the mark badly.

    Black Widow’s purple (Tell Me Everything) is a ridiculously costed 12 AP ability that deals just under 11k damage and removes up to 3 enemy special tiles (including countdowns and even repeaters). This ability costs 1 AP less for each enemy countdown on the board (minimum 7 AP). Rather than this feeling like a power that punishes the enemy for spamming countdowns, it instead feels like you have to wait for the enemy to give you permission to fire this at a somewhat reasonable cost. Giving that much control to your opponent is not good character design.

    Black Widow’s red (Acrobatic Takedown), while better, unfortunately suffers from the same problem. For 12 AP she deals almost 16k damage, and if the enemy has 12 of any color AP stockpiled she deals an additional 11K. If she’s able to down the enemy she destroys 6-7 AP in a random enemy color. Once again, it feels like you are relying on the enemy’s choices to make this power worth the cost. With powers getting progressively cheaper (as power creep keeps creepin’) this ability seems more and more archaic.

    Finally, black (Red in My Ledger) is Natasha’s best and cheapest ability. At 10 AP, she deals 12-14k damage and if any ally is below 20% health, she steals 4 random AP and deals about 9k additional damage. This threshold is much easier to meet than the other two (heck, we bring in Thor and Daredevil way below 20% to start anyway!), and doing over 20k damage for what ends up being a net cost of 6 AP (after accounting for what you steal back) is a great deal. This power also has a passive attached that stuns a random enemy for a turn when one of Natasha’s allies gets stunned. Seeing that it’s only a turn, it’s more a minor nuisance on defense than anything substantial.

    Black Widow in the comics and movies is a fast, quick hitting character who uses her savvy to get the upper hand. What we have instead is a character that is super slow, and lets her enemies have the upper hand as their choices determine how effective her powers are. Couple this with “old school” health and match damage weighing her down, and what you get is a character whose kit is not very good.

    Pairings:
    Natasha’s powerset screams “I need a battery!”, so Thor is a decent choice as someone who can fuel her red, while the two of them cover 5/6 colors. Other than that I’m going to say, Iceman, Cable and Bill because they have opposite strong colors? Bill actually isn’t half bad because his protect tiles can absorb some damage for Nat while she tries to collect the 10 billion AP needed to fire her powers.
    #39) Star-Lord (Awesome Mix Volume 2)
    yellowtilepng688 purpletilepng611 greentilepng535 346
    87 bluetilepng80 blacktilepng73  Health: 50,041

    Recommended Build: 3/5/5

    Star-Lord is the first of about three characters on this list I’d consider a PVE specialist. And that’s because when you are looking for a 5* Guardian of the Galaxy to pair with a certain raccoon and tree for speed-clearing, he’s the only game in town. This puts Quill in a weird place because while he’s the only 5* who can boost them, a 3* can do the job almost just as well (you do miss out on that sweet 5* match damage though). In PVP, Quill is mostly a support character who does a bunch of stuff, none of it particularly well, and all of it is way too expensive.

    Yellow (Something Good) sees Quill converting 5 standard tiles of the opponent’s strongest color to green charged tiles for 10 AP. He also gives a small burst of health (~4600) to the team if someone is below 40%. If the enemy’s strongest color is not green, this ability can lead to some nice charged tile matches fueling his own AOE or someone else. While it can be an amazing battery if the right color is selected, it does have a steep cost and is ultimately too expensive for what it does. Sadly though, this is his best power by far.

    Purple (Something Bad) costs 8 AP and steals up to 4 enemy special tiles. If none are available he steals up to 8 random enemy AP instead. The special tile theft can be nice, especially in the special tile era we are in. But Daredevil for 1 AP more is likely a better play here. And random AP is random. While it can be helpful, it is usually not worth the cost.

    Green (Bit of Both) is one of the many examples of the “developers overvalue board shake!” theory out there. This does about 8k AOE damage and destroys three columns (leaving friendly tiles unharmed). Overall, it seems like a good power until you realize it costs 12 AP!

    So overall, Star-Lord is best played as an expensive green battery. The problem is there are other green batteries that flat out bring more to the table than him- both in his tier (Captain Marvel, Thor, Beta Ray Bill) and the tier below (Vulture). The fact that his best power is yellow helps him as that is not a color with many great powers. Still, it’s hard to justify bringing him to a fight, as most of his powers are way too costly for what they do. So, he ultimately is a niche character whose main purpose will likely be to boost 4* Rocket and Groot’s strike tiles (see below).

    Pairings:
    As mentioned above, Star-Lord’s main partner is going to be 4* Rocket and Groot in PVE. He can boost Rocket’s strikes and when paired with Thanos, can trigger Court Death- using less health packs (or less time switching characters) than his 4* and 3* Guardian counterparts. However, there are now faster PVE options for speed clearing. But it’s a decent use if you lack those options. In PVP, his best partner is probably Gambit, who can benefit from all the charged tiles Quill creates. However, Gambit pairs better with Storm, Black Bolt and Cable, all of whom won’t have powers blocked by the Cajun. In PVP, he could be a decent third with Grocket (again) and Kitty Pryde. But there are way better thirds for those two. Star-Lord can play decently with half-Thor and Professor in pick-3. Use Thor’s green passive to fuel Star-Lord’s yellow. He can then add a bunch of tiles to fuel Professor’s Signal Boost and Thor’s AOE. But again... Professor/Thor have better thirds. Ultimately, you can play Star-Lord on fun teams but he’s nothing special on offense and easy to dispose of on defense. He definitely can be skipped.
    #38) Doctor Octopus (Classic)
    blacktilepng712 bluetilepng633 greentilepng554 358
    90 purpletilepng83 yellowtilepng76  Health: 51,627

    Recommended Build: 3/5/5

    Doctor Otto Octavius is a “fun” character who is ultimately too slow and complex to have any real impact on your roster competitively. He’s likely one you will break out to shake things up rather than look to play or build around. His powers are all convoluted which I guess fits the “mad scientist” theme, it just consequently hurts him in the rankings. I will say this for Ock though; I’d rather someone be slow and fun than slow and unfun. So he does get points for his uniqueness. He adds a puzzle element to MPQ that many lack. So kudos for that Doc!

    Octavius’ black (Superior Science) costs 11 AP, but costs 1 less for each tentacle tile he has on the board. So it can get down to 7, which still seems 1-2 AP too expensive for what this does. He stuns the enemy 1 turn and places a 3-turn countdown that deals damage (~6k at 3 covers) and throws down a couple strikes (strength 867). This is one of the slowest powers in the tier for a small payoff you may or may not actually get.

    Blue (Tentacles) is Ock’s best power. At 8 AP he does 11k damage plus around 3800 for each tentacle tile on the board. So a total of around 15k under optimum circumstances. Oh... this power also has a passive that tells us how to get these things on the board. You get one for a match-4+. And can’t have more than 4 out because real Ock has 4 metal arms. Makes sense. By the way, he also cannot be stunned if a tentacle is out, which can be super nice against some stun-heavy teams, or that one time he is the 5* essential, you take a vacation from CL10, and he doesn’t take Court Death damage when you’re speed-clearing with Thanos.

    Doctor Octopus’ green (Cunning Scheme) is a cheap 6 AP and sees him placing a 3-turn repeater tile that burst heals his team for about 4k health. If matched away by either team, the tile explodes and deals ~6k damage to the enemy team. The power changes names (Phase 2, Phase 3, Final Phase) but the gist of it is that for 6 AP you can keep paying to “upgrade” the reactor (meaning it resolves a turn quicker, and the damage for matching it increases). After spending a total of 18 AP for final upgrade, you’re looking at ~25k AOE damage.

    Overall, Ock has to get a lot of things to go right in order for his powers to pay off and be worth the investment. And even then, there isn’t a guarantee of payoff. His black countdown can be matched away before dealing damage, his reactor can be destroyed in a match 4, and his blue requires four match-4s to get max damage. So he’s constantly building to a big payoff. Since most game modes rely on speed, this really hurts him. But still, as I said earlier, because he’s a fun character, he’s one I break out now and again. But he’s also not one that will hurt you not to have champed.

    Pairings:
    I’m a big fan of pairing Ock with Thor at half health. The AP generation can get the reactor going, allowing Thor to actually make matches, knowing he can heal back up. Professor X is a good third here as both characters benefit from match-4s (which Professor’s purple can help with) and they complete the rainbow. If you only ever want healing, Goblin is a good partner as he will fortify the repeater, but don’t expect to get damage for matching it away as it’s really hard to do! His other Syndicate brother Carnage has some interesting synergy. Carnage damages his team, Ock heals it. Carnage makes extra matches, Ock needs match-4s. Beyond that, anyone who can flood the board with single-colored tiles (like the aforementioned Xavier) can help get tentacles out, like Jean Grey, Star-Lord or Iron Man. You just may need a newer/more competitive third to help the older characters along.
    #37) Archangel (Classic)
    bluetilepng705 greentilepng626 blacktilepng548 354
    yellowtilepng89 82 purpletilepng75  Health: 53,629

    Recommended Build: 5/4/4

    The Angel of Death is known mostly for one thing in MPQ; that being his niche role as a hard counter to characters that go airborne. This makes him an amazing counter to... one mediocre character in the 5* tier (Captain Marvel). When the next great meta character relies on all sorts of airborne shenanigans, expect Warren here to shoot up these rankings like a certain symbiote-clad arachnid. But as it stands, in the game today, there is little use for Archangel other than as a counter to those occasional 5* Essential Vulture teams.

    Angel’s blue (Angle of Attack) is the power mentioned above that puts him on the map. The active portion of the power is way too expensive for what it does (11 AP for 6700 damage and a 2 turn stun... can’t make this stuff up). But it’s the passive attached to this power that makes him interesting. At the start of the turn he deals 7k damage and stuns any opposing airborne character 2 turns. One day Warren... your time will come.

    Angel’s green active (Enemy Down) is also expensive for what it does (in a tier where awesome greens are in abundance). But, it is miles better than Angle of Attack in the damage department. For 10 AP, Angel deals 14,701 damage and destroys 4 random enemy AP.

    Finally, Archangel’s black (Ariel Superiority), costs 7 AP and creates 2 countdowns of a chosen color that deal about 7k damage when they expire. While on the board, enemies cannot gain AP in the chosen color.

    Given that airborne mechanics hardly exist in the 5* tier, Warren is best used to suppress the enemy. All of his powers in one way or another are about slowing down the opposition (stun, AP destruction, can’t collect AP). It’s a very cool concept, but he’s so slow himself that he easily gets outpaced. I give kudos for trying to make him a specialist in this way, but he definitely needs a numbers buff in order to perform in the way he was conceived. Green and blue are expensive, the stun is short, the destruction is minimal, etc. Still, while he’s simply known as “the Vulture-killer” today, at any time he could be meta as a counter-character to a strong 5* release due to his blue passive. So if you can get him without much effort I would. Otherwise I wouldn’t sweat missing out or go out of my way to chase Angel.

    Pairings:
    Aside from Stark, Angel is probably the character I most struggle to come up with partners for. I’m a big fan of Angel with Professor X, as Professor will tank most colors and shrug off damage due to Warren’s X-Men affiliation. Angel and Infinity War Cap are also a fun suppression team. While slow, they cover the compete rainbow. Thor isn’t a bad play as a battery, though really he’ll do the heavy lifting. Finally, Angel's master Apocalypse is a good pair who (despite black overlap) combine to cover 5/6 colors.  Other than that... I’m open to suggestions.
    #36) Rescue (Pepper Potts)*
    bluetilepng703 yellowtilepng625 547 348
    greentilepng89 blacktilepng83 purpletilepng76  Health: 60,586

    Recommended Build: 5/3/5
    Alternate Build: 3/5/5 (If you are building around protect tiles instead of tile theft).

    Rescue is a character that has always felt like a failed counter-meta attempt. Her biggest issue since her arrival has been that 2/3 of her powers are slow and have awful numbers that ultimately aren’t worth the cost. However, being a more recent 5* puts her on the right side of the power creep bell curve with regards to health and match damage. Ultimately one great power and “modern” health do not make her a character necessarily worth chasing. But if you have her, her strengths can absolutely be leveraged with the right people augmenting what she does.

    Rescue’s blue (All Systems Go) costs a whopping 9 AP and depending on covers, deals 644-1555 damage. She also steals 2-3 special tiles and converts whatever enemy specials remain to red. If this ability was 6 AP, it’d be a much better counter to the tile buff meta often seen in the 5* tier. But as it stands, without an accelerator she is usually dead before collecting the AP; and even when she does, she does not take enough tiles to make the cost worth it. I will say that those rare times when you turn pretty much the entire board red when facing those Carnage/Bill/Apocalypse-spam teams that are all the rage almost makes this power worth it.

    Rescue’s yellow (Your Shield) costs 8 AP and is equally bad. She flips all friendly strikes/attacks to protects and gives them a one time small boost of 324-466 each. If no such tiles exist, she creates two strength 311 protect tiles. The issue with this ability is you are paying AP to actively slow your team down. Protect tiles are also not particularly scary to face on defense. The passive component of her power sees Rescue giving her teammates burst healing of ~1k-1.5k each turn passively if two or more protects are on the board. While that healing is laughably bad and seemingly inconsequential, it can add up if you manage a board full of protects and -1 damage turns from the opponent.

    Luckily, Rescue saves the best for last, as red (Do or Die) is easily her best ability, especially with the right board conditions. For a spammable 6 AP, she deals two blasts of 5317 damage followed by an additional blast of 2853 if there happen to be 2+ friendly strike/attack/protect tiles on the board. While this is by no means huge damage, the cost is low and the three separate tics can all be boosted (just don’t use yellow first and flip your strikes!).

    Ultimately, Rescue’s first two abilities are slow/weak enough that they seem like 4* or even 3* abilities. The damage on blue is outclassed by 2*s. The passive healing on yellow is burst, less than a match-3, and doesn’t target herself. Further, paying AP to slow yourself down by swapping out tiles that accelerate is usually a bad decision. 4* Wasp does this for cheaper and can swap back to offense if need be. While Rescue’s red is good, and saves her from being “trash tier”, the 5* tier is loaded with quality red abilities. Meaning, the one thing she brings to the table is often done just as well by others who will bring more to their team. Unfortunately she was dead on arrival and a huge letdown given all the hype around Endgame. That said, since her arrival, a few character releases have boosted her utility a bit (see: below).

    Pairings:
    Upon release, Okoye was immediately pegged as a good partner despite active overlap on two colors. The idea is that Okoye could boost each blast of damage from Rescue’s red. Though to get the most out of it you need a third to put specials on the board before firing red (as you should be using yellow for Okoye in this combo). Well what do you know? Since her release, Beta Ray Bill has debuted and happens to passively and cheaply spam the board with protect tiles AND pairs well with Okoye himself. While there once again is a ton of overlap, Bill’s protects will start the heal train early while also giving Rescue special tiles to see the most out of her red. He is probably her best partner. These two with a solid third to provide more color coverage (Goblin? Doom?) are a fun pick-3 combo. Daredevil is also a good partner. He can add specials passively for Rescue’s red, provides a green/purple outlet, and can get three tics of Sonar Strike damage if you stun before firing Pepper’s red.
  • Daredevil217Daredevil217 Posts: 2,834 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited 23 June 2020, 18:05
    #35) Captain America (First Avenger)*
    yellowtilepng615 547 bluetilepng478 309
    purpletilepng78 greentilepng72 blacktilepng66  Health: 49,845

    Recommended Build: 5/3/5

    Captain America is a “jack of all trades, master of none” type character. He’s a bit costly for what he does, and definitely could benefit from a health/match damage upgrade. Steve doesn’t have a particular niche that makes him “must play” over other options, but he does a lot of good stuff and is very solid overall. He’s basically what 5* Star-Lord wishes he was.

    Cap’s yellow ability (Earth’s Mightiest Heroes) sees him assembling his Avengers to wreck havoc on the opposing team. For 10 AP, Cap and friends do roughly 9k damage to the target, ~3k AOE damage, stun a random enemy 2 turns, and throw down 4 specials (2 strength 765 attacks and 2 strength 1366 protects). This is probably Cap’s best power (and it’s on yellow!) as it gives a lot of bang for your buck.

    Cap’s red (Shield Bash) is his weakest power. It costs 11 AP and does only around 7500 damage. He then puts down a 2-turn countdown that nets 7 AP in your strongest color, plus 2 more for each other “Team Cap” affiliated partner on his team. In the 5* tier, that’s Black Widow. Daredevil, Hawkeye, Jessica Jones, and Okoye (way better squad than Iron Man!). The AP collection is nice; and if red is your strongest color, then with 2 Team Cap members (say the 5* Defenders), he could spam it and get his AP back identical to 2*/3* Steve (except you don’t get to place the countdown, or overwrite enemy tiles... so really not as good at all). The other option would be using it to spam another color, like his own yellow. So overall there are both limitations and versatility here.  The cost is just too high though. 

    Blue (Coordinated Offensive), is Cap’s spammable 7 AP attack that does 3062 damage plus 1225 additional for each friendly attack/strike/protect (max of 8 tiles). So on an optimal board, with the right partners, or with 20 yellow AP himself, he can do 12,862 damage which isn’t bad for the cost. He also destroys 1 random AP in an enemy color (just... why?).

    Overall, Cap here does a lot. He is much less handcuffed to people with his affiliation than Mr. Stark and has better partners anyway. Getting a slight boost to his worst power (Shield Bash) is more of a bonus than something to build around, which is how it should be. He can be played in a myriad of ways but will mostly see use on fun teams where you build around his unique-colored stun or his spammable blue. His yellow is worth it for the cost but may do too many things when you want it to do one thing. His red is way too expensive even with the potential payoff. His blue takes awhile to set up for max efficiency,  making it slower than it looks on paper. He lacks any passives which is what makes truly great 5*s. And his health and match damage are low. That said, his best powers happen to be on colors that are underrepresented in the 5* tier, so he can play “filler third” if you fancy rainbow teams. And he has a lot of partners that can amplify the stuff he does.

    Pairings:
    You will hear this a ton during this guide, but Daredevil is a really great partner (not because he’s my forum name!). Daredevil can tank yellow and add strikes passively to fuel blue, they have near rainbow coverage (missing black), and Steve provides stun on a second color for Murdock. You can add Jessica Jones for a better red, more strikes, a passive blue and full rainbow coverage with her black nuke. That’s a fun “Team Cap” theme team. Or you can add someone like Ghost Rider for rainbow coverage and 3 colored stuns!. If playing around Cap’s blue, Hela or Carnage may be his best partners. Both provide a better red outlet and can flood the board with tiles to fuel his cheap blue ability. Phoenix is a great old school tile spam option as well if you don’t have Hela or Carnage. That’s the beauty of Cap. He’s versatile depending on what you want to build around. This versatility is why he ultimately gets ranked higher than his more limited Civil War counterpart.
    #34) Silver Surfer (Skyrider)
    bluetilepng586 ️521 blacktilepng456 294
    purpletilepng74 yellowtilepng68 greentilepng63  Health: 47,471

    Recommended Build: 5/5/3

    Silver Surfer is the original charged tile specialist 5*.  He is not a very good 5* by any means due to eons of power creep that have occurred since his debut.  While he once had a niche that elevated him in the tier, power creep took that from him too.

    Silver Surfer’s blue (Perfect Being) is where his niche once lied. He has a passive component to this power that states he cannot be stunned. This can be pretty huge against certain characters/teams that love to stunlock you for eternity while they whittle you to nothing (yes... Bishop). The active part of this power costs 9 AP, true heals Surfer a large amount (10-14k), and charges 3-4 tiles in a color of your choosing. This power is great for a tanky tank. Stay up front, absorb hits, do not get stunned, and heal back up. Unfortunately his match damage is so laughably bad that he very often can’t do the one thing this power is designed to do!

    Surfer’s red (Cosmic Beam) is his best active ability and his one real damage-dealing power. So you’ll want this one at 5 covers where he does about 9500 damage for only 7 AP. He also puts 3 random charged tiles on the board when he fires this ability.

    Surfer’s black (Silver Singularity) is a pricey 12 AP power that puts a 3-turn “black hole” on the board. Each turn it ticks down, the hole destroys 4-5 adjacent tiles. When it “implodes” it does around 5-8k damage. Overall, you are spending a ton of specific AP in order to get a ton of random AP back (from the destroyed tiles) and do middling damage. This power is not really worth the effort, considering the other amazing black abilities in the tier.

    Silver Surfer is ultimately a support character who- due to power creep- now needs way more support than he gives. His red ability is okay for the cheap cost and his blue passive makes him a hard counter to the stun-meta that permeates the 5* tier (assuming you can keep him up front which is not an easy task). It is for these two reasons that Surfer could occasionally find use on a team against certain opponents. Unfortunately for Norrin, another character in the form of Apocalypse was released who has no problems tanking, does 2-5x more damage on red for the same cost, has an excellent black, and happens to be unstunable when paired with a mutant (bye bye niche!).  So if you need stun immunity and don't have Apocalypse, Surfer might work in a pinch if you can keep him up front.  However, he has two mediocre/slow active abilities, is laughably bad on defense, and more often than not just heals, does small damage, and puts charged tiles on the board. If ever there was a character desperate for an upgrade to match damage, health and AP costs, this cosmic being would be it!

    Pairings:
    Given their proclivity for charged tiles, Storm and Black Bolt are two great partners that can make use of the charged tiles Norrin spits out. Storm specifically often ends up with more black AP than she can use, so Surfer can assist with an outlet there, even if it isn’t a great power. He also gets to tank red/blue with them which helps out against stun-heavy teams where you want him up front. Surfer’s stun immunity and true heal also make him an ideal pairing with Thanos, as he is the only character that can negate both of the friendly drawbacks of Court Death (being stunned and taking damage. Thor can act as a decent battery for Surfer, while Daredevil and Norrin also make a sneaky good full rainbow true-healing duo.
    #33) Captain Marvel (Galactic Warrior)
    797 greentilepng709 yellowtilepng620 394
    blacktilepng101 bluetilepng94 purpletilepng86  Health: 60,586

    Recommended Build: 5/3/5
    Alternate Build: 3/5/5 (if you value possibly instant green damage over quicker strikes)

    Carol was easily one of the most anticipated and hyped characters before her release. With Marvel heavily promoting their first female superhero film, we all knew she was coming well before she was officially announced. With her 4* counterpart already being one of the best characters in the game, the hype train for the 5* was off the charts. She was going to change the meta! What we ended up getting was a far cry from that. While not awful, Carol is a slow character due to her reliance on repeater tiles, countdown tiles and going airborne. She also has low damage numbers (even without the delays) and happens to share active colors with some of the absolute best in the game. Thus, what you get from Carol is a character who can be fun with the right partners; but ultimately not competitive. A letdown for those expecting her to make a titanic shift to the game.

    Captain Marvel’s red (Mean Right Hook) costs 8 AP and has her place a 2-3 turn repeater tile that does about 5800 damage and places 2-3 small strikes (strength 266). The passive component of her power states that she gets 1 yellow AP when a strike is destroyed by something other than a match. The synergy (or hope) here is that her next power happens to destroy some of the strikes created by this ability.

    Event Horizon (green) is Carol’s passive that sees her flexing her muscle as a green battery. Unfortunately she needs more time in the gym. She puts down a 3-turn repeater that generates 3 green AP. That’s +1 AP per turn, if the repeater survives... which it very often doesn’t. But it’s free... so whatever. When her team has 10 green AP, the power becomes Photonic Rush- a 10 AP active ability that depending on covers, places a 1-2 turn countdown or deals instant damage (6643 at all 3 levels). She then destroys a random row and if she happens to hit any special tiles she will destroy another row for each tile destroyed.

    Captain Marvel’s yellow (Got Your Six) is in my opinion her best power, which is great given the lack of great yellow in the tier. Danvers sends either herself or an ally of your choosing airborne and when the character lands, they burst heal for about 5400 health and Carol deals about 12k damage to the target. That’s pretty good return for the 8 AP this ability costs. The only issue is that arguably her only good ability has a hard counter in Archangel (mentioned earlier).

    Similarly to Ghost Rider (discussed below), Carol is one of those characters that would most benefit from a 5/5/5 build as she loses a lot when she drops any cover below 5. Usually, when effects are delayed in MPQ, or there’s a risk of them not going off at all, you get a bigger payout. Carol bucks this trend as her damage is lower than other characters, her strikes are weaker, and her AP generation is slower and harder to pull off. Compare her to someone like Beta Ray Bill (also discussed way later) who is similar, but does his stuff with protects instead of strikes. He gets 2 AP when either team destroys a protect tile (by any means) and he starts the game putting them on the board. Carol’s damage is lower and delayed. She gets 1 AP if only her team destroys a strike tile without matching it. And she has to wait forever to get strikes on the board. She has very high health and match damage, which has been one of her biggest compliments since release. But power creep seems to have taken that advantage away, as most characters released since her have outdone her in that department. One thing to note as well is that Carol shares a minimum of two colors with each of the top five characters in the game (obviously those characters are discussed much, much, later). So if you have any of the tippy top, her use goes way down. That said, if you’re just playing for fun or really truly don’t have better options (doubtful), she’s not bad to throw on a team.  Otherwise, if you happened to miss out on her, you didn’t miss much.

    Pairings:
    My absolute favorite partner for Carol is Green Goblin. He fortifies all her repeaters/countdowns to help ensure you get something back for the AP you spend; while Gobby Glider and Pumpkin Bombs can do huge damage, which Carol isn’t great at. Carnage, Bill and Iceman despite overlap can all be great for spamming the board with special tiles to allow you to get the most out of her green active ability. Jessica Jones can similarly put strikes on the board for Carol while providing a nice black nuke.
    #32) Ghost Rider (Robbie Reyes)
    greentilepng722 642 blacktilepng562 363
    yellowtilepng91 bluetilepng84 purpletilepng77  Health: 57,846

    Recommended Build: 5/3/5
    Alternate Build: 5/5/3 (with stronger black users)

    Ghost Rider does two things decently well. One, he is a potentially okay battery once you pay the cost to get him going. And two, he has a good black nuke. His main problem is while solid, and by no means bad, all of what he does is mostly done better by many others ranked above him. His powerset, while creative, is somewhat wonky and most of his abilities work better in theory than execution.

    Rider’s green (Hell Ride) is the unique power that puts him on the map and sets him apart from others in the tier. It’s a cool ability but it often works better on paper than in practice. For 9 AP, Robbie places 3 green repeater tiles that each destroy up to 3 surrounding tiles in his primary colors each turn. Destroyed tiles do 3x damage which is a nice little bump. While this can be great battery, often times the tiles get stuck in places with hardly any red/black/green around them and/or they will quickly “burn” to the bottom of the board where they sit. It’s a power with high variance for sure. When you look at the other faster, passive, and/or more reliable batteries, coupled with the fact that green is probably the best color in the tier for active abilities, this power starts to look bad by comparison.

    Chain Whip is Robbie Reyes’ red (yay alliteration!) active ability. For 7 AP he stuns his target 1 turn and places a countdown tile. The stunned character is now “marked” and while the countdown is out, whenever they make a match, they take ~1600-3800 damage depending on covers. This is an ability that is easy to avoid on defense as you can just match the non-targeted character’s tiles. On offense it can add some nice chip damage as you get to choose who tanks on the opposing team. While his countdown is out, his power becomes Judgement Day. For another 7 AP, Robbie removes the countdown and does 8-13k damage. So if you have the requisite 14 red AP, can keep the tile hanging around long enough, and can hit on Judgment Day before it expires, the damage can add up. It’s just a convoluted path to get there.

    Ghost Rider’s black (Damnation) is probably his best power. While not as creative or unique as the other two, it’s probably the best bang for your buck. For 10 AP he does ~15k damage to the enemy. If you hit the enemy who has done the most damage, he does closer to 20k instead. While this ability is good, Doom, Jessica Jones, Apocalypse, and Green Goblin (all ranked higher) all do black nukes arguably better. Especially since the character you want to hit is not always the one who did the most damage.

    Overall Robbie is one who is conceptually great, but has a lot of shortcomings when you actually play him. More than perhaps any other character (except maybe the aforementioned Carol), I believe he would benefit from a 5/5/5 build, as he loses a lot by dropping any of his abilities below 5. If that were his default he’d be much better than he is. As it stands, he’ll mostly be a fun/filler character that you’ll enjoy if he falls in your lap, but he doesn’t have a “thing” that makes him worth chasing. Especially when there are other characters with his exact color scheme ranked above him.

    Pairings:
    Daredevil is a fun pairing with Ghost Rider due to the extra damage Sonar Strike can do when the repeaters are out and smashing up the board. The red stun is also super helpful if even for just a turn. Similarly, I enjoy Black Suit Spidey with Reyes due to the red stun allowing Spidey to get max damage from his blue (I actually enjoy all 3 together). While not scary on defense, Doc Strange is a really fun pair for full rainbow coverage. Despite strong black overlap, Doom works well with Ghost Rider due to his board shuffle giving Robbie’s repeaters some new life on the board. Finally, Professor X can benefit from the cascades Robbie’s green provides. And when Professor fires his purple, he will more often than not be adding green and red tiles to the board, which Reyes can soak up!
    #31) Cable (Nathan Summers)
    bluetilepng713 greentilepng634 yellowtilepng555 353
    91 blacktilepng84 purpletilepng77  Health: 57,701

    Recommended Build: 5/5/3
    Alternate Build: 3/5/5 (if you are building around special tiles)

    Cable is a character who has a decent power set. Perhaps his best quality is his X-Men affiliation and the fact that he pairs well with a lot of characters (especially X-characters). His biggest drawback is the fact that he is somewhat expensive/slow, and all of his powers are pretty much done better by others. Still if you don’t have those other characters, or are simply looking for a decent blue/green/yellow filler, you could do a lot worse than Cable.

    Cable’s Blue (Cyborg Strategist) is a bit of a wonky power. For a pricey 9 AP, Cable creates a 3-5 turn countdown tile. While it’s on the board, when you make a green match, he stuns his target 2 turns and turns 4-5 basic green tiles to charged tiles. The problem with this power is unless there is one enemy remaining (or you make a green match 5), the opponent gets first dibs on your charged tiles. Second, I wish the length of the stun went up by a turn at 5 covers. 9 AP just seems pricey for what this power actually does in execution, as you often get one match/stun out of it before it expires.

    Green (Plasma Barrage) is without a doubt Cable’s bread and butter power, and is the one you want to ensure is at 5 covers. For 12 AP, Cable does some big damage (just under 22k). If he KO’s the enemy, any remaining damage is dealt to each of the remaining targets. Overall this is a cool ability that is just insane the one time of year he’s boosted. However, I think the cost is too high for the “potential” of hitting that character with 100 health and dealing 21k to everyone else. In practice that big hit can only happen one time, and only if you whittle them down just right. Every other cast is a bad return on investment. I give credit for the outside the box thinking on this one. It’s just a tad too expensive like his blue.

    Cable’s yellow (Veteran Instincts) is the exact opposite of Plasma Barrage with regards to creativity. For 9 AP he creates 2-3 strikes (~500 strength) plus 1 for each ally in the fight. Nate is cooler than this! The passive portion of this power also states “when you make a yellow match, do something that Green Goblin does 3x as fast and for free”. Wait, no... “when you make a Yellow match, fortify 1 random friendly Countdown or Repeater tile”. There it is.

    Overall, Nate has self-synergy on paper, but in execution it doesn’t work as well as one would think. That said I actually find myself playing him a ton (non-competitively) as either his color combo, powerset (especially his proclivity for stuns, charged tiles, and strike tiles) and/or both, make him an ideal partner for a lot of X-Men.

    Pairings:
    Professor Xavier is perhaps my favorite pairing with Cable. They have no active overlap, and Prof will shrug off more damage with Cable by his side. Gambit is a close second as they cover the full rainbow. The Ragin’ Cajun will deal some nice damage and help fuel Plasma Barrage with his red, while Cable can fortify Gambit’s countdowns by matching yellow. Kitty Pryde can boost Nate’s strikes (at the cost of her not dropping protects), while his presence makes her buff threshold go down one tile. Storm, despite massive overlap, works surprisingly well if you use his green and her yellow. Some non-X pairings I’ve enjoyed are Daredevil (who benefits from stuns and strikes), Jessica Jones (5 colors covered), Thor (fuels two of Cables powers), Beard Cap (again... covers 5 colors), and Apocalypse (5 colors again, plus the mutant affiliation makes Apocalypse unstunable). Lots of quality partners is why he is ranked as high as he is. Some slight number tweaks would have him so much higher!
    #30) Wolverine (Old Man Logan)
    blacktilepng624 yellowtilepng554 485 314
    greentilepng79 purpletilepng73 bluetilepng67  Health: 42,480

    Recommended Build: 5/5/3

    Much like Old Man Logan himself, this character was once “the best in the world at what [he did]”, and is now an old broken down version of what he used to be. Even after his very controversial nerf, he still serves as a decent healer and strike tile creator. The problem is that even with Logan doing both things passively, there are people who are still somehow better at both of his specialties, making him quite expendable. He has a “transformation” mechanic that replaces all of his powers with crazy good abilities, but it takes him a ton of time to get there. In a speed-based game where seemingly everyone is bringing their fastest guns... time is not always on this old man’s side.

    Logan’s black (Living Legend) is one of the simplest powers in the game. Spend 9 AP. Put down 4 strikes (strength 645). End turn (this part usually sucks). If he happens to be holding 12 yellow (yes that’s 20 AP total), then he gets a whole new set of powers. We’ll discuss Logan 2.0 later.

    Yellow (Die Hard) was once his marquee power that had people from all tiers of play using him with just a single cover. Now, he can use this passive to shrug off even heavier 5* match damage, but not much else, as each turn he heals 1400 for each ally in the fight (so 2800 total). I’d just as soon bring Daredevil, Okoye or Doom if I wanted a healer.

    Red (Reluctant Hero) sees Logan creating two strength 338 strikes when his allies fire a power, if there are less than 5 on the board. Given the special tile meta that permeates MPQ, this ability is probably his best one.

    If Logan “transforms” (fires his 8 AP black while holding 12 yellow AP), all of his powers change to crazy good abilities. Black (Still Sharp) costs only 7 AP, does almost 14k damage, and destroys up to 4 friendly strikes, doing about 3700 damage for each. Wow!

    Yellow (Old Habits) costs 6 AP, meaning it can be double-cast as soon as you transform (as you’ll be holding 12 yellow). Logan does 2600 AOE damage plus an additional 1275 for each enemy still standing (so almost 6500 AOE against a full team).

    Red (Finish the Fight) is 2.0’s “expensive” ability that at 8 AP, sees Logan doing big damage (around 12k) plus additional big damage (around 9k) it he’s below a certain level of heath (40-60%). Given that Logan 2.0 doesn’t heal, it’s possible that extra damage will proc.

    Overall, version 1 Logan is a very slow character that relies on his allies firing powers in order to contribute to a fight. He is meant to be played in long, drawn out matches that give him time to collect AP to do what he does best. Once transformed, Logan 2.0 is actually one of the faster characters in the game. I believe the developer’s strategy here was to make you struggle through first attacking a character who heals, lest you regret it when he transforms and rips your team to shreds. The problem is he is SO SLOW in his transformation, that I’ve never regretted leaving him for last (especially since he no longer heals with no allies). The other huge detriment to Old Man is he needs to take damage in order to heal it, and his pathetic match damage means many of his best partners take hits that would be better served for him. Still, at worst he’s good for early climbs and to eat some Court Death damage. While he is by no means a good character (especially compared to the “new guard”), the fact that he does two things for your team (strikes and heals) by virtue of existing and the fact that he can do something on offense if you work to transform him, places him higher than those below him on this list.

    Pairings:
    Despite being a mediocre character, Logan has some good partners that either benefit from or can amplify what he does. Kitty Pryde is an exceptional partner, as she can boost his strikes. Unfortunately 4* Rocket & Groot are a thing. Otherwise we’d see this pairing way more. I’d still suggest these two in a PVP where the 3* has quick fire abilities (like Vision). Professor X allows Logan to tank two colors and both can shrug off damage (Professor even more so thanks to Logan being an X-Man). Logan and any true healer that compliments his colors (Phoenix, Daredevil, Loki) are good for saving health packs on early climbs. He’s also good with maniacal villains who harm their teammates (Thanos/Carnage) as he can heal back that damage. Beta Ray Bill provides extra protection, two more active colors, and allows Logan to tank red/black.  Finally, if you want to build around “the transform”, you can use Thor as an excellent yellow battery, while chasing black. The problem is Thor will usually tank all but yellow/black, so you might want to bring a third partner with new age match damage to cover for Odinson.
    #29) Loki (God of Mischief)
    purpletilepng696 greentilepng618 blacktilepng541 344
    bluetilepng89 82 yellowtilepng75  Health: 53,841

    Recommended Build: 5/5/3

    Loki is a character with a decently strong kit, who can hold his own on a team. He has no awful powers, but doesn’t excel at anything either. His overall powerset screams “middle of the pack”, which is where he finds himself in these rankings.

    For my AP, Loki has one of the best active purple (Shadowplay) abilities in the tier.  For 7 AP, Loki spams the board with 4 black countdowns. Destroy one and two more take its place (Hail Hydra!). While these countdowns are out, the power becomes Dagger Surprise, which removes up to 4 of his countdowns and deals about 8900 damage for each. So you can play this as an 11 AP nuke, or if you are lucky enough with regards to spamming more countdowns, you can get a second 25k nuke for 4 AP.

    For 11 AP, Loki’s green (Destroy Everything) puts down a 3-turn fortified repeater that does about 6600 AOE damage and destroys a random row (hopefully hitting some Shadowplay tiles along the way). This ability
    Is ultimately way too slow to be considered effective. It obviously becomes more “worth it” the longer the match drags on and it’s out. While it’s fine as an “AP dump” there are far better greens in the tier.

    Finally, Loki’s black passive (Feign Death) has him place a trap tile on the board when he is KOed. If matched by either team, Loki is revived with 45-62% health (true heal!), and he generates 1-2 green AP to help fuel his expensive repeater.

    Loki is best used when you need an awesome purple ability in early climbs and either don’t have Professor X, or want to save Charles for the end climb/hops. Loki’s passive and a little luck can save on health packs and gives him some solid sustainability, especially if you are able to revive him a few times before he is ultimately downed for good. His purple alone makes him a solid third for many pick-3 teams as well.

    Pairings:
    The number one thing I look for in a Loki partner is an active black ability. You will be chasing black a lot to spam Shadowplay tiles, so it makes sense to have an outlet for that AP. Doctor Doom is an awesome partner for Loki in this regard, plus Doom’s board shuffle can often help get to a hard to reach Loki trap to revive him. Doom also works because he’s another early climb/true heal MVP (Old Man Logan can be used in a similar capacity, he just isn’t as good on offense or defense). Jessica Jones is another person with an excellent black outlet. Her strikes can fuel his AOE, while his countdowns can up the damage on her Body Check. Black Panther also provides a black AP outlet as well as some use for team-up AP, while Silver Surfer provides coverage in three colors (including black).  Finally, Apocalypse is an excellent selection as his repeaters can boost Loki's and he provides yet another amazing black outlet once that repeater spams protect tiles.
    #28) Jean Grey (Phoenix)
    greentilepng550 purpletilepng489 428 276
    bluetilepng69 blacktilepng64 yellowtilepng59  Health: 58,744

    Recommended Build: 3/5/5

    Phoenix reminds me of that Kendrick Lamar album “Good kit... b.A.A.d numbers”. This pretty much sums up Jean in a nutshell. In her heyday she was an excellent red battery, a cascade creator, and had a top notch green AOE in a pinch. All of this is now done better by Thor (discussed later), so you don’t see Jean out and about that much. As it stands, she still has an excellent powerset (we can’t all be thunder gods), but having the worst match damage in the entire tier (especially when you want her tanking) hurts immensely.

    Jean’s green (From the Ashes) creates a countdown tile when she is downed (even if she is stunned) that if resolved, revives her at about half health. This means that you essentially have to target her last... or just let the rebirth happen if there’s a bigger threat. Sadly, a 150% Phoenix’s health is still lower than many of the recent 5s. When she comes back to life, her green becomes Phoenix Force- a 9 AP ability that does 16k+ AOE damage to enemies and about 5k to her allies. This is some great damage for the AP, you just have to down and revive her to get there.

    Purple (Psychic Rapport) is easily Jean’s best ability. For 8 AP she converts 7 basic tiles to red at 5 covers. This is great for triggering crits and cascades, and makes her an excellent red battery. She also has a passive that buffs friendly tiles (+624 each) and reduces enemy tiles (-520 each) on match 5s, which she is hoping to trigger firing this power.

    Jean’s red (Psychic Flames) does low damage for the cost (~8800 for 9 AP), but also sees her putting down 4 strength 414 strike tiles. Unfortunately she also gives some very meaty attack tiles to her opponents (4 strength 1300 tiles!) if there are 5+ friendly specials on the board after firing this power. This makes the ability a double-edged sword where you have to think carefully about spamming all the red you collect. She is absolutely banking on the passive purple to help both buff her low tiles, as well as reduce their strong ones. The problem is that match-5s don’t happen super often, and are likely to occur BEFORE she fires this power (since the progression is purple into red).

    Overall, Jean is a solid character. Her green passive is a great representation of her death/rebirth cycle and her green/red show her struggles controlling her power. Overall she has some self-synergy where you want to chase purple- to fuel red- to spam specials- to buff with match 5s. Then, tank- die- revive- finish the opponent with a cheap team nuke. Her red could stand to be cheaper, less of a boost to the opponent and more to the player. Those critiques are all small compared to her having the lowest match damage in the tier. Phoenix dying and resurrecting is why you play her. But not tanking makes the dying part difficult to pull off (even coming in at half-health) unless paired with specific (usually older) partners, which can paint a target on your back. Another option is to play her as a red battery for other red users (and use green as an “in case of emergency” ability), though this is probably better in pick-3.

    Pairings:
    Though the meta has passed them by, Old Man Logan and Phoenix still make a fine pair for climbing early due to their true heal, strike tile synergy, and Logan shrugging off some of Jean’s friendly fire. True healers who don’t share too much active overlap in general (Doom, Loki, Okoye) could be options to mitigate Jean hurting her allies. Storm, is a good person to pair with her on a fun X-Men team due to the insane cascade potential of Phoenix purple and Storm yellow fired in succession. Jessica Jones, Havok, Rescue and Immortal Hulk are good red outlets if you are looking to use Jean to fuel others. Hulk specifically is a dream pairing due to the damage he does to friendlies and his "must target last" clause allowing Phoenix to live a potentially longer life. But perhaps the best partner for Jean is Kitty Pryde (who unfortunately has better options). When Jean spams red, Kitty can get rid of the enemy attacks and buff the friendly strikes. While this team would be infinitely better without Kitty tanking 6/7 colors, they still make a good pair.
    #27) Gambit (Classic)
    purpletilepng621 552 blacktilepng483 312
    greentilepng78 yellowtilepng72 bluetilepng66  Health: 51,277

    Recommended Build: 4/4/5
    Alternate Build: 5/3/5 (if not pairing with other charged tile specialists)

    Once upon a time, Remy Lebeau ruled the meta with an Iron fist like no one before or since. After much developer deliberation, he was hammered repeatedly with a nerf bat. What remains is a character that has tumbled down the rankings to middle of the pack. Gambit is now a double-edged sword, actively hurting teammates by blocking their purple/red actives and really limiting his team composition. However, with a very select few partners (discussed later) he can be pretty phenomenal still.

    Gambit’s purple (Ragin’ Cajun) is a pricey 11 AP and sees him creating 3 countdown tiles that look to replace enemy attack/strike/protect tiles. When these tiles resolve, they do 8-10k damage each, which is pretty good IF you can get them to resolve (they usually all don’t make it).

    Gambit’s red (Aces & Eights) is much cheaper at 7 AP. He destroys 2 charged or basic tiles (looking for the former first) and he deals around 3-4k damage for each charged tile he destroys. He then puts three charged tiles on the board.  What this ultimately means is that on his own, the first cast of this power does almost nothing other than put some charged tiles on the board. But with the right teammates putting charged tiles on the board for him... he can spam you to death while simultaneously fueling his teammates (since you get AP for the destroyed tiles!).

    Finally, Gambit’s black (Stacked Deck) is a passive power that places a 2-turn repeater when one doesn’t exist. When it resolves, Gambit gets 3 red and 3 purple AP (at 5 covers). Combined with his red, this makes Gambit a decent battery. However, he is mostly fueling himself due to a clause at the end of this power that states “Gambit’s allies may not fire Purple or Red Powers”. Ouch. Pretty selfish, Remy.

    Overall, Gambit is bringing two things to the table. One, he has a decent purple nuke (albeit delayed by countdowns). Second, he pairs very very well with other charged tile specialists in the tier due to his red. With the right teammates he can destroy opponents. However, trying to stick him on a team outside of those that accelerate him can be a painful endeavor due to the last line of his power set. The Cajun would be much more fun to play and extremely versatile as a battery (though still not top tier) if this “block” were removed. But as it stands, Gambit’s lack of versatility is ultimately what drops him to mid-tier.

    Pairings:
    Tier 1: Storm, Black Bolt; tier 2: Cable; tier 3: Star-Lord, Silver Surfer, Hawkeye. Gambit’s tier 1 partners passively add charged tiles to the board, making Gambit’s red scary from the beginning. They also have no active overlap, making the “selfish” clause in Gambit’s black a non-issue. Cable similarly has no overlap, but relies on an active ability to put charged tiles on the board and get the ball rolling. This pairing is fun, because all of Cable’s charged tiles are green, meaning Gambit’s red directly fuel’s Cable’s powerful green. Tier 3 happens to be weaker characters in general, but they also have one power each that Gambit blocks, making them much less ideal pairings. So, Gambit’s “zone” is quite limited, but if he stays in his lane, he can be a monster. Outside his lane he is much slower, having to cast red twice to get it to do anything. He can still tag along with higher ranked characters that don’t actively overlap him like Doom, Beta Ray Bill, or even Black Suit Spidey (vs. strike tile teams) and do well enough. But those tier 1-2 characters are really where Gambit shines. 
  • Daredevil217Daredevil217 Posts: 2,834 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited 23 June 2020, 18:04
    #26) Captain America (Infinity War)
    637 purpletilepng566 yellowtilepng495 320
    bluetilepng80 blacktilepng74 greentilepng68  Health: 57,846

    Recommended Build: 5/5/3

    “Imma kill this man’s whole career... with one punch” - Cap in every boss event ever. That’s right! At this stage of the rankings it is common to see people who are extremely niche/specialists. In a tier with over 40 characters, sometimes it’s better to be elite at one thing, than good at a lot of things. Cap stands above the rest in 1 vs. 1 competition, while his kit is good enough to bring along in standard PvP as well.

    Beard Cap’s unique red (Rope-a-Dope) costs 8 AP and does just over 10k damage to non-targeted enemies (the schlubs in the back). When one enemy remains, the power becomes Coup de Grâce. For 10 AP, Cap deals 15k damage; plus he drains ALL colored AP, dealing 868 damage for each! The pro of this (and reason to play him) is in 1 vs. 1, 10 AP usually ends the match. The con is that the power is super ineffective when two enemies remain. So like Riri in the tier below, you have to play around that limitation. But seriously, if Cap is on your team and you can get down to one enemy, it’s pretty much over on a red-heavy board.

    While red is the “star power”, purple (Man Without a Country) is a very underrated and cheap (6 AP) ability that is excellent at suppressing the opponent. At 5 covers, Cap destroys 6 enemy AP in a color of your choosing (huge); and places a countdown that prevents firing powers in that color (perhaps overkill since you just destroyed 6 AP in that color). This power has been huge in my team avoiding big nukes and saving health packs. This has also been an especially big power for some people to overcome CL10 challenge nodes, where strategic use of this power has resulted in suppressing the enemy enough to get the win. That said, in PVP, active powers are being built around less and less and this power does zilch against Passive Puzzle Quest.

    Finally, yellow (On your Feet, Soldier!) has Steve playing the role of necromancer, reviving your dead characters (40-60% burst heal). While it is cool when you pull it off, the ability has three issues that make it one of the worst powers in the tier. First, it costs a ridiculous 15 AP. Second, it only works when your characters die, which is something you try to actively avoid in MPQ. Third, the benefit only lasts that one match since the healing is burst. You go right back to KO status when the match is over.

    As mentioned earlier, Cap is a specialist in 1 vs. 1 due to his red power defaulting to Coup de Grâce to start. So boss events and PVPs like Festival of Fights are places where he is arguably the best in the game. In Standard PVP, his lack of passives hurt him compared to others who you’d be more inclined to bring along because they “do free stuff”. In fact, every character but one ranked above him, and many below have at least one passive. That said, he’s not going to be a liability on your team, and will definitely carry his weight.

    Pairings:
    My favorite BeardCap pairing is with Doctor Doom as a special tile (Gritty) counter team. Doom essentially chases yellow (his strongest color) allowing him to tank and eventually die, clearing all the special tiles from the board. Cap continues to chase yellow, paying the ridiculous sum of 15 AP to the devil and reviving Doom. Doom can then true heal off the strength of his own passive. Other than that, I like playing Cap with the many blue/green (Iceman, Cable, Beta Ray) or blue/green/black (Ock, Angel) users in the tier. Surprisingly, there is not one character ranked above him on this list that has red/purple actives, so he can play “filler third” very well when looking to fill those specific colors.
    #25) Black Panther (Civil War)
    blacktilepng671 yellowtilepng597 522 337
    purpletilepng85 bluetilepng78 greentilepng72  Health: 51,075

    Recommended Build: 5/4/4
    Alternate Build: 5/3/5 (If only used with Thanos)

    Black Panther is ultimately a character that plays better against certain characters than with. The notable exception of course being his one-time partner in crime that he ruled the meta with long ago. While he has fallen far down the rankings as the meta has passed him by, he still has some unique mechanics that allow him to do things no one else can.

    Panther’s Prey (black) allows you to choose a character on the opposing team to target for 9 AP. Panther then places a 5-turn Countdown tile. While this tile is on the board and your chosen opponent takes damage, he suffers over 5k extra damage. That’s pretty insane considering cascades, attack tiles, and powers that spam hits of damage. I’ve seen cascades melt opponents with this tile out. Unfortunately, it’s garbage on defense where a human player can simply let a non-targeted character tank until it resolves.

    Spirit of Wakanda is an active team-up ability posing as a yellow passive ability. When T’Challa has 11 team-up AP and makes a yellow match, he spends 7 of it and does huge damage (23-27k!). The nice thing here is while it takes a lot to get the prerequisite 11 AP, you only need 7 more for a second casting of this gigantic nuke.

    Panther’s red (Move... Or Be Moved) is a true passive ability and the one that puts him on the map. When The King of Wakanda takes a certain amount of damage (between 6-9k depending on covers), he negates 60% and stuns himself two turns. Whenever he returns from being stunned or invisible, he deals around 12k damage. This is once again a great power on offense, but super easy to avoid on defense, as is his entire kit honestly.

    Overall Panther is best played as a counter character to opponents who stun. Given that the meta is currently dominated by two 4* who love to rack up copious amounts of blue AP and stun the bejeezus out of you, Panther’s thirst for vengeance has found newfound life. He’s also good against Iceman who often hits for very short stuns, allowing T’Challa quick retaliations. He also has use in PVE wave nodes and new release PVPs with a specific partner (see below).

    Pairings:
    “Panthos” (Black Panther and Thanos)- a once feared meta- has now been passed over for faster teams, more resilient teams, and more defensive teams. However, it is still a combo that works better than maybe any other in CL9 and lower PVE wave nodes. Kill one enemy to trigger Court Death, when the next set of enemies appears, Panther returns from being stunned to hit Move... Or Be Moved, downing an enemy, and triggering Court Death again... rinse and repeat. Not health pack friendly by any means, but super fast. Similarly they can gang up on low health new release characters in PVP and hit their famous 1-2 punch for some quick deaths. As mentioned earlier, Panther is the only 5* “Team Iron Man” character to have no active overlap with Stark, so there is good synergy there. Panther and Loki also work well, as Loki collects a lot of black AP he has no outlet for. Okoye, despite complete color overlap, works well with her fellow Wakandan Warrior as they actually share no active ability overlap. She spams the board with the team-up tiles he so desperately needs to trigger his yellow “passive” (it’s still active to me dammit!). These two function better with some much needed blue/purple/green coverage in pick-3 (Iceman, Professor, Parker, Star-Lord, Bill...).
    #24) Black Bolt (Inhuman King)
    greentilepng592 blacktilepng526 yellowtilepng460 297
    75 bluetilepng69 purpletilepng63  Health: 48,835

    Recommended Build: 5/5/3

    Once one of the top characters in the game, despite power creep (and a significant nerf to his partner in crime), Boltagon still finds himself amongst the upper half of 5* characters due mostly to some very unique mechanics that allow him to pair very well with others.

    Black Bolt’s green (Quasi-Sonic Whisper) costs 10 AP and does about 14k damage while destroying the middle two rows. While the damage per AP is low compared to other green in the tier, the board shake can be nice. Low damage? Not enough shake for the cost? Well if you cast it while holding 5 AP in all other colors; he’ll drain ALL your AP and scream from the top of his lungs, destroying the ENTIRE board and doing ~27,000 to the entire enemy team! While this both looks awesome and can severely cripple the opposition, it is still a bad return on investment (that is worse, the more “extra” AP you hold). Especially compared to heavy green hitters like Thor, Bill, or even Thanos.

    Black Bolt’s black passive (Energy Channeling) is by far his best power; and the reason one would play him competitively. Every turn he passively creates 2 charged tiles in the color most prevalent on the board. That last part is key as it makes it more likely the tiles are matchable and can fuel your team more than the opposition. If the tile does happen to land in a hard to reach place, that’s where the second half of Bolt’s power comes in. He deals ~5300 damage passively each turn if there are at least 4 charged tiles on the board. This damage absolutely adds up and can wear opponents down to nothing.

    While black is the good power, yellow (The Silent King) is the fun one! Ever wonder what a character would play like if you had more covers? Wish you could defy game mechanics and run a character 5/5/5? Now you can! Bolt drops a “motivation tile” that counts down (like a countdown?) and while on the board, ups the power level of a chosen teammate (or all teammates with more covers). While not something most build around other than playing for fun/experimenting, the fact that it is a yellow ability really helps him out. Yellow is not a power overstocked with great abilities in the tier, so he can provide a pretty good outlet here.

    Overall, Black Bolt achieved this high of a ranking off the strength of having one of the better passives in the game.  Bolt’s role is clearly that of charged tile specialist and passive damage dealer.  Why is he not ranked higher? His role as premier passive damage dealer was usurped by a big green monster who triggers faster and does AOE rather than single-target passive damage (discussed later). The fact that charged tiles help both teams means that he plays better on offense than on defense, where your opponent will likely utilize those neutral tiles smarter than your AI defense. Still, offensively he can hold his own, especially with a few key partners that he happens to have great synergy with (see below).

    Pairings:
    “Gambolt” (Gambit and Black Bolt) once the premier meta team in MPQ is still the best pairing for Boltagon. While it obviously lacks the fire power it once had, it’s still pretty devastating (would be even more if not for health/match damage power creep). Okoye is the other premier pairing for Bolt. He does damage passively. She boosts damage passively. Yeah. Storm is also an okay pairing that works better on paper than in practice due to complete color overlap. So they’ll mostly be played in pick-3 where you can pair them with their number one partner Gambit. Finally, Silver Surfer and Star-Lord make an abundance of charged tiles. So, while you mostly bring Black Bolt to charge up teammates, these are two teammates you could bring to charge up Black Bolt.
    #23) Mister Sinister (Nathaniel Essex)
    blacktilepng738 purpletilepng656 bluetilepng574 365
    greentilepng94 87 yellowtilepng80   Health: 66,964

    Recommended Build: 3/5/5

    Mr. Sinister, despite being a strategist-type in the comics, is one of the most luck/RNG based characters in the game. He’s extremely high variance in that he can be a damage dealing AP factory one match and be dead weight the next. He’s a character that you put on your team and hope for the best. For this reason, he’s one of those characters that can seem much more effective when you oppose him than when you try him out yourself. While he gets points for novelty and for being the “trap tile specialist” of MPQ, he is hurt by his slowness, reliance on luck, lack of good partners, and overall clunkiness (clicking on various trap tiles to see what they do is NOT fun!).

    Sinister’s passive black ability (Original Sinister) procs when the enemy would deal 6975+ damage. When this happens he drains 2-3 black AP, negates 5581-6976 damage, and spawns two traps that deal a small amount of damage (2214-2767) if matched by either team. While the damage negation can be nice in certain circumstances, potential small damage predicated on the enemy hitting you for big damage does not make for a great power.

    Sinister’s purple (Sinister Secrets) is another trap-based passive ability. When the opponent fires a power, Mister Sinister creates 2-3 trap tiles that when matched by either team, will either destroy 2 or steal 3 enemy AP, depending on how much AP of that color the opponent has when the tile is matched. While this can be a good power against characters with cheap abilities, it is the second power that procs based on the enemy smacking you around, which isn’t ideal. Also, with only one active power, you have to make sure your partners are packing a lot of active abilities, lest the AP you collect go to waste.

    Sinister’s trap-spamming ways culminate with his final ability- an 8 AP blue power (Behold!) that sees him once again putting traps on the board. At 5 covers (you want this one at 5!), he places 3 traps that if matched by either team do 3395 damage for each friendly trap tile on the board (max 8). That’s a beastly 27k damage under optimal conditions! Unfortunately the road to get there may be slow and laden with health packs.

    Mr. Sinister was designed to be a “strategy” character... someone you have to put thought into to use effectively. A character that brings the puzzle element back to puzzle quest. However, that is not how he operates in practice... a shame given how much of a strategist the source character is. Most of his powers rely on luck and on the enemy doing stuff. He waits to get hit with enough powers and damage (things outside your control) to flood the board with traps. You then fire his one active and hope the damage dealing traps land in matchable spots (again, out of your control).  He also has a lack of great partners due to his reliance on friendly traps and a severe lack of characters in the tier who make them (Loki when he dies and... that’s it?). He’s one you play against certain characters (Jessica Jones, Hawkeye, etc.) rather than with. That said...

    Pairings:
    Mister Sinister’s ideal partner in 5* land is some yet to be released character that spams friendly traps to fuel blue. Since that person doesn’t exist, I’m a fan of him with people who can flood the board with certain colors. When Jean turns the board red, Starlord green, or Storm turns the board whatever color you choose, the traps become much more easily matched. As mentioned earlier, characters with three strong non-blue active abilities will also pair decently with Sinister to capitalize on his AP gains. Unfortunately the only T20 characters that fit that description are Thor and Hela, and you have to worry about the latter overwriting traps with her special tile spamming. Okoye turning little damage traps into big damage traps is a good combo (but don't Thorkoye have like a million good partners?). Finally, Doom’s yellow board shuffle can give hard to reach traps a second chance at tipping a match in your favor.
    #22) Green Goblin (Norman Osborn)
    blacktilepng564 purpletilepng501 yellowtilepng438 283
    bluetilepng71 greentilepng66 60  Health: 43,529

    Recommended Build: 5/5/3

    Norman Osborn is like the Steph Curry of MPQ. He can drop huge bombs on you that will annihilate your team. But he’s also frail as heck, god awful on defense, and needs a good team around him to rack up wins. If ever there was a powerset that screamed “offense-only”, this would be it. However, he also has a niche specialty that helps propel him higher in the rankings than he otherwise would be.

    Despite being old as dirt, Goblin’s black (Goblin Glider) holds up with some of the best single target nukes in the game. For 8 AP he does a whopping 22k+ damage. The drawback for such a big hit is he places a 2-turn countdown that disables the power (meaning if destroyed, I hope you enjoyed that one use). This is easy enough to work around on offense, but the AI will cast it ASAP, rather than looking at potential black matches on the board first. Also of note, while this is a good power, we are not at a loss for black nukes in the tier (God Doom, Jessica Jones, Ghost Rider, Apocalypse).

    Purple (Trick or Treat) costs 10 AP and it places three 2-turn countdowns of a chosen color (choose red) that have various effects based on the color you choose (again, choose red). EACH tile does the following:
    Red: ~10k damage
    Blue: stuns a random enemy 2 turns
    Green: destroys 4 random tiles and deals damage
    Purple: steals 3 AP of 3 random colors
    Yellow: Creates a strength 1400 protect tile
    Black: Creates a strength 1400 strike tile

    Finally, Goblin King (Yellow) is an awful active ability (9 AP to reduce countdowns by 1 turn) but an amazing passive ability (fortify 3 countdowns or repeaters every turn). He is the only character who fortifies repeaters passively, which is huge. Especially given that the game is shifting more toward repeaters and away from countdowns. As for the active... there are just as many characters in the 5* tier that would benefit from increasing countdown duration (Beta Ray Bill, Black Panther, Cable, IW Captain America, Daredevil, Ghost Rider, Iceman, Kitty Pryde, Loki), than those that benefit from having them resolve quicker (FA Captain America, Doctor Octopus, Gambit, Hawkeye, Jean Grey, The Hulk, Wasp, and Green Goblin himself). And one category has clearly superior characters to the other (note: Iron Man and Archangel could fit either category while Thanos fits both).

    So while Goblin has mechanics that make him laughably bad on defense, he is a wrecking ball in the players’ hands who can bump the utility of the many countdown/repeater users in the game through his fortification. More often than not, he’ll be a quick out on defense, where the AI will undoubtedly pick the wrong color with purple, waste AP on yellow, and cast black when there are plenty of black matches on the board. Couple this with laughably bad health and match damage, and you can see why he has the offense-only label. Along with Surfer, Jean, Logan, etc. you can easily add Norman here to the list of those who could most benefit from nothing more than a health/match damage boost!

    Pairings:
    Goblin pairs well with CD/repeater users that don’t utilize black/purple AP (as he wants that for himself). Iceman is a dream pairing (one of my favorites in the whole game), as Bobby spams the board with all sorts of protect/repeater tiles and can deflect some hits on defense. Beta Ray Bill can benefit from the countdown fortification while also giving some protection to his frail partner. Captain Repeater absolutely benefits from the purple/black coverage and fortification Goblin provides. Finally, Parker Spidey isn’t a bad play due to the full rainbow coverage and both characters sort of having self-synergy.
    #21) Hela (Goddess of Death)
    703 greentilepng625 blacktilepng547 348
    purpletilepng89 bluetilepng83 yellowtilepng76  Health: 54,209

    Recommended Build: 5/5/3

    Hela has some damage dealing capabilities and a couple of nice passives. But, her main niche in the 5* tier is going to be that of “special tile creator”. She does what she does well, which is how she earned her ranking. What keeps her out of the top tier is the fact that a lot of what she provides is done passively by others. Plus she doesn’t have crazy synergy with many other 5*s.

    Hela’s red (Knives Out) costs 9 AP and when cast, places 4 decently strong strikes on the board (strength 514) that look to overwrite enemy strikes/attacks/protects before landing on other tiles. This may have been conceived as a counter to Rocket/Kitty. But Is ultimately too slow to truly be effective.

    Hela’s green (Death’s Best Friend) has both a passive and active component. For 8 AP she deals about 6700 damage to the target as well as as two hits of around 4400 damage to random enemies. While the damage isn’t huge, the fact that it is broken up means that each tic can be boosted by her strikes. The passive portion of her power punishes enemies for stockpiling too much green AP. If they hold 10+, she destroys 2 enemy green and she deals ~4400 damage to the target. By my count, just about half the 5* tier has active green abilities and there are currently 13 characters with 10+ AP green abilities in the tier (including her fellow Asgardians- Thor, Bill, and Loki). So this ability is a nice one to have.

    Hela’s black active (Death Becomes Her) is a pretty cool ability that is heavily board dependent. For 8 AP she converts ALL blue tiles into strength 270-405 attack tiles. Given the potential sheer number of tiles that could spawn, those are pretty strong. The passive component of her black gives a one time buff to all friendly specials on the board (strength 223-335) when an enemy is downed. While nothing to build around, it’s nice when it triggers with a board full of friendly specials.

    Overall, Hela is a pretty straightforward character with regards to her main purpose (spam tiles to boost multiple small hits of damage). To get the most out of her, you really need to pair her with people who can capitalize on what she does well (see below). The passives she brings to the table, while nice, are not usually things to build around. And what she excels at (special tile creation) is something that others often do passively (Daredevil/Logan/Rocket strikes, Carnage attacks, Beta Ray protects, etc.). This is really the biggest reason I imagine we don’t see more Hela out and about. She’s really good. But why pay for what you can get for free?

    Pairings:
    Kitty is Hela’s number one partner with a bullet. The synergy between someone whose whole deal is making tiles and someone whose whole deal is buffing tiles, need not be explained. The problem is Kitty has more efficient partners to dance with (namely Grocket and Bill). Okoye and Daredevil pair well as they can boost all her “tics” of damage. But everyone seems to pair well with Hornhead and Okoye. The same is true of Thor who can fuel two of her powers. But his own are probably better, and again, he pairs well with everyone. I’ve found Strange to be a good pairing due to the full rainbow and Hela’s strikes boosting his passive damage (but Strange is too squishy in PVP). A slept on pairing is First Avenger Cap whose cheap blue can hit hard with enough specials on the board (Hela... she spams that...). Finally, Loki is not bad as well (despite green overlap) due to them covering most the rainbow.
    #20) Spider-Man (Peter Parker)
    bluetilepng647 greentilepng575 503 320
    yellowtilepng82 purpletilepng76 blacktilepng70  Health: 52,337

    Recommended Build: 4/5/4

    Parker Spidey is a bit of a complex character to play (stupid “web tile math”), but if you fire his powers at the right time, he can be quick, hard-hitting and downright fun. He’s definitely the web tile specialist of the 5* tier. The problem with that is all the people who benefit from said tiles exist in the tier below him. Despite being very good, his lack of playmates and complexity in the stupid AI’s hands does hurt his standing in the 5* tier.

    Spidey’s blue (Stick Around) is cheap at 6 AP. It creates web tiles if there are not already a certain number on the board. If there are, then he removes 2-3 web tiles and stuns the enemy team for two turns instead.  With the enemy incapacitated for two turns, you are guaranteed to get 6 AP back at minimum (from matching while they're stunned), making this an excellent return on investment. Conversely, all of Spidey’s powers depend on a heavy web tile presence for maximum efficiency. So while team stun is nice, you will more often than not be using this ability to flood the board with webs.

    Green (Arachnid Agility) costs 10 AP and has Spidey leaping around the board dealing about 5700 damage to a random enemy followed by ~5700 damage to random enemies for EACH web tile on the board (maximum 5 tiles). Yes... that’s over 34K damage... for 10 AP. Insane.

    Red (Web Shot) is another cheap ability at 7 AP. When cast, Spidey does a good chunk of damage (12–14k) and then converts 1-3 web tiles to critical tiles if there are a certain number of webs on the board when the power is fired. Spidey’s red also comes with a passive that puts 1-2 web tiles on the board if there are less than 2. This is super important given the fact (once again) that every single power in his kit is amplified by the presence of web tiles.

    So how do you play Spidey? The ideal build for most is 4/5/4. At this build he passively makes 2 web tiles to start. Matching 1 web, means there are less than 2 again and you get 2 more next turn for a total of 3. Firing blue gets you 3 more since there are less than 4, which gives you 6 total. With 6 total, you can fire green with maximum efficiency and then fire red, converting 3 webs to crits since there are 5 or more. Has your brain exploded yet? Unfortunately the AI is not programmed for “optimal web tile math”, which really hurts Pete on defense. When his best partners are similarly easy kills for human opponents (see below) it really hurts his overall effectiveness.

    Pairings:
    Parker’s best partner in the 5* tier is everyone’s best partner... Okoye. She really likes people with cheap powers and people with multi-tap powers, which Parker has both. Thor is also a good pairing as he can fuel Spidey’s heavy damage abilities at half health. Since Spidey self-synergizes so well, he benefits from people who compliment his colors and/or have their own self synergy. Examples of these characters are God Doom and Green Goblin. Professor X is also a person who can benefit from the critical tiles Parker drops, while providing a purple outlet. However, a tier below is where all of Spider-Man’s best partners truly lie. Miles purple and yellow will give Parker all the webs he needs. Spider-Man 2099 will help create webs passively on black/blue matches, while Vulture can fuel green/blue insanely well. While these are all fun combos, unfortunately bringing any 4* not named Rocket or Bishop to a fight makes you an instant target for serious play.
    #19) Storm (Ororo Munroe)
    blacktilepng720 greentilepng640 yellowtilepng560 356
    92 bluetilepng85 purpletilepng78  Health: 51,735

    Recommended Build: 5/3/5

    Storm is best described as “controlled chaos” as all her powers will shake up the board and yet at the same time, you can manipulate said chaos, to warp the board in your favor. She’s a slow but ultimately fun character that is way better on offense than defense.

    Storm’s black is called Gathering Clouds, which is the perfect name for the passive portion of the ability. Simply put she charges one black tile each turn. The name is a bit of a misnomer for the active portion of her power though, as it is her only damage-dealing ability. For 9 AP she destroys all charged tiles, dealing 2600 AOE damage for each. Her damage is capped at just over 20K total (so 8 tiles gives max damage). Getting the first crack at those black charged tiles, means you usually have way more black AP than Storm alone can spend. You usually spend more time waiting for charged tiles than you do gathering AP to fire the power.

    Storm’s green (Ice Storm) destroys tiles without generating AP. It might be worth the cost at 5 covers (where it destroys all of a color), but since I can’t bring myself to drop either of her other covers below 5, her green is mostly a “use if you have the AP and nothing better to spend it on”. At 3 covers you are spending 10 green to destroy 6 of a color. Horrible trade-off.

    Storm’s 9 AP yellow (Aurora Totalis) is personally my favorite of her abilities. Storm turns 6 random team-up tiles to a color of her choosing. She then converts three of that color into charged tiles after the board settles. Usually, you can create matches and cascades in helpful colors by observing the board and choosing the right color.

    With Storm, two out of three abilities don’t do damage (green/yellow) and the one that does (black) has a damage cap that isn’t super high. On the plus side, her damage is AOE, cheap, and somewhat self-fueling, but without a proper partner, you may be waiting awhile before actually firing the power, as you wait for charged tiles to trickle in. And one cast destroys all charged tiles, meaning you get to start all over after you finally get that big hit. All in all, this makes her a slow character alone who needs the right partners to get going (see below). On defense, board control powers tend to work pretty awful due to the AI’s stupidity. Storm has two such powers, so when playing against her you only really need to keep an eye on black, which again, only hits hard with the proper amount of charged tiles on the board. So you can consider her an offense-only character, which the meta is moving further and further away from.

    Pairings:
    Storm’s propensity for match 4s and X-Men affiliation make her a good Professor X partner. While her affinity for charged tiles and color combo will absolutely have you dusting off your old nerfed Gambits (assuming you held onto him).  This combo of two mediocre characters is downright brutal when played together.  Surfer and Havok are great partners who add red/blue actives to the team, and both create charged tiles to fuel Storm’s black. The former gives an additional outlet for all the banked black AP, while the latter gives a better green ability.  Finally there is some synergy with Black Bolt and Cable, but the color overlap makes them perhaps better third options than partners in pick-2 situations. In pick-3 it is sometimes helpful to bring along an additional black user, because as mentioned earlier, Storm often creates more black than she can use. So an extra black AP dump (Doom, Jessica, Goblin, Ghost Rider, etc.) can be beneficial.
    #18) Havok (Classic)
    ️805 greentilepng716 bluetilepng626 398
    yellowtilepng102 blacktilepng95 purpletilepng87  Health: 54,209

    Recommended Build: 5/3/5

    The best description I’ve heard of Havok is “damage stick”. That’s pretty much what he is, and he’s damn good at it. In my opinion he may be the character that has been released with the least amount of “noise”. The masses didn’t complain about how bad or rave about how good he was, nor did they speculate on how he’ll play fully covered.  Just... “on to the next one”. Reason being, while you usually expect a new 5* to be unique and creative, he’s a pretty bland character in terms of his power set. His high ranking is due to the fact that he is a cheap, hard-hitting character who will give you big damage in three active colors. If you are a newer transitioner, you won’t regret covering him. However, if you have a large roster, you might not be hurting for damage sticks- especially in his active colors.

    Havok’s red (Plasma Beam) deals just over 18k damage (ignoring protect tiles) for 9 AP. He then converts three blue tiles into charged tiles. This is probably one of the best red abilities in a tier that unfortunately doesn’t suffer from a lack of awesome red abilities. 

    Havok’s green (Cry Havok) is a pricey 12 AP ability that sees Havok destroying up to three enemy special tiles (protect/attack tiles at 3 covers, protects/attacks/strikes at 4 covers) and dishing out a small amount of AOE damage (2800-5800) plus additional damage for each tile destroyed (1800-2200 per tile). This isn’t a terrible AP dump if he’s your only green outlet or at 5 covers against a tile-spammer. Still, this is by far Alex’s worst power as there are many other green abilities that are better and way less conditional.

    Finally, Havok’s blue (Radiation Absorption) costs 7 AP and has you choose red or green. Havok the then coverts 2-3 AP (depending on covers) of the color you didn’t choose into AP of the color you did choose. At 5 covers, he then deals either 18k single target damage (choose red) or 9K AOE damage (choose green). That’s an amazing use of 7 blue AP! One drawback of this ability is that you also need to have the red or green AP necessary to convert, in order to fire this power.

    Let’s be honest. Few can dish out pain with the efficiency of Havok- especially in red/blue. However, since most times you are only bringing two dogs to the fight (sometimes three), most people will sacrifice some AP efficiency for something Alex lacks... a passive ability!  It’s rarer and rarer these days to see a character (especially a 5) released without at least one passive.  The developers made up for it by ramping up the damage per AP, but it still may not be enough for people to bring him off the bench with any regularity. Those players without a good force multiplier like Kitty/Okoye or accelerator like Thor/Bill, can absolutely build a solid team around Havok, as he’s clearly better than most of the “old guard” off the strength of his numbers alone. But his lack of a passive ability and lack of unique mechanics have him on the outside looking in at the top 10 rankings.

    Pairings:
    Havok is a pretty straightforward character, so ideal partners are those that provide outlets in at least two of black/yellow/purple.  Goblin, Doom, Black Bolt, and Storm are examples of such characters. The latter two can benefit from the charged tiles Havok puts down.  Professor X can provide a purple outlet and put some extra red on the board, while Havok provides Chuck some extra defense via his X-Men affiliation and gives Apocalypse stun immunity by virtue of his mutant genes (though they'll fight over red). Finally, despite color overlap, Thor and Jean can be excellent batteries for Havok, who can utilize the red AP more efficiently than they can.
  • Daredevil217Daredevil217 Posts: 2,834 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited 23 June 2020, 17:50
    #17) Yelena Belova (Black Widow )
    756 purpletilepng672 greentilepng588 374
    blacktilepng96 bluetilepng89 yellowtilepng82  Health: 54,322

    Recommended Build: 5/5/3

    Yelena is a bit of a mixed bag with regards to her powerset. She is clearly a defensive character, and a creative one at that! Rather than slow you down with protects, copious amounts of banners/animations, or being immortal, Yelena relies on AP manipulation mechanics that make the opponent think when playing against her. Because thinking takes time, and this game punishes playing slowly, her value lies in being annoying to play against while not slowing you down on offense (the thing that hurts Sinister).

    Yelena’s red passive (Top of the Class) is her best power by far, and the reason one would likely bring her to the dance. When the enemy has 9-10 AP in a color, Yelena does about 3700 passive damage, creates a decent strike tile (strength 472), and she then reduces the enemy’s largest AP pool by 4. While this does little against the new wave of quick hitting abilities in MPQ, she can put a hurting on goons, high AP nukers, and teams who utilize mostly all passives to do damage (collecting AP as a formality). 

    Yelena’s purple ability (Spycraft) is a cheap 7 AP and sees her placing 5-6 trap tiles on the enemy’s strongest color. These trap tiles do around 5-6k damage each and convert 4 AP of the enemy’s strongest color to their weakest color. The con of these traps is that they are only triggered on opponent matches (useless against goons!). The pro is that they trigger when the opponent matches OR destroys them. If only all traps worked this way! This is probably her best damage-dealing ability that will add up on offense, taking advantage of the stupid AI.  But it is easy enough to avoid on defense as you’ll know exactly what color to avoid. 

    Finally, Yelena’s green (Military Surplus) is pretty underwhelming compared to other green abilities in the tier. For 9 AP she does around 1600-4200 AOE damage, destroys 2 enemy strike/attack/protect tiles, and then for each destroyed tile, converts 2-3 AP of the enemy’s strongest color to their weakest. This is a 3* ability masquerading as a 5.

    The synergy of Yelena’s kit is pretty clear. And honestly, it’s quite fun! All three of her abilities manipulate the enemy’s AP pools. Ideally, she uses her green/purple actives to convert a strong/useful color into an AP pool with no outlet. Once that useless AP pool is built up, she then punishes you with her red passive. While all of this sounds good in theory, her biggest problem is that she doesn’t hit hard enough. So the chip damage likely isn’t enough to scare people away.  The AP shenanigans will definitely slow down and frustrate opponents, but most characters/teams should have no problem beating her. To do so swiftly, you definitely want to think about who to bring and what your in-match strategy will be. But even without a plan, most high-health or healing 5* can shrug off the hits and persevere.

    Pairings:
    As mentioned earlier, Sinister has been looking for trap tile partners in the 5* tier, so Yelena is a natural pair there. Carnage can create enemy attack tiles for Yelena’s green to mess with their AP (though it may not be worth it if his specials overwrite your traps). Doctor Doom is an excellent suppression partner with no active overlap who will punish strong black/yellow users by siphoning said colors. Apocalypse and Okoye can boost Yelena’s “chip damage”, while adding active abilities of their own. The former is near rainbow and makes her much scarier to face with his own quick abilities. Finally, against certain opponents, I feel Yelena pairs well with slower build characters that have little active overlap. Yelena gives them time to get going as she slows down the enemy. Examples of such characters are Storm, Old Man Logan, and Jessica Jones. 
    #16) Spider-Man (Back In Black)
    bluetilepng639 greentilepng568 purpletilepng497 321
    yellowtilepng81 74 blacktilepng68  Health: 43,529

    Recommended Build: 5/3/5
    Alternate Build: 5/5/3 (against non-strike tile teams; PVE essential)

    The original 5* Spidey clocks in at a higher ranking than a lot of his peers that are clearly better than him in a vacuum (including Holland Spidey). But since these characters don’t exist in a vacuum and this character provides a very valuable service to PVP players (albeit super niche), he has earned his high ranking.

    Symbiote Spidey’s blue (Taek-web-do) is a spammable 6 AP power that does around 8k damage if he fires it while invisible. If not invisible, he stuns the opponent for a turn and deals about half the amount of damage.

    Spider-Man’s green (Automotive Artillery) is a 14 AP nuke that deals 11-16k damage (ignoring protects) and stuns a random enemy for 3-4 turns (depending on number of covers). This power is extremely cost inefficient but is usually a better option than Daredevil’s green (sadly) whom he partners best with (more on that later).

    Finally... we come to the reason for Spidey’s high ranking (it obviously wasn’t the first two powers)... his purple passive (Shadowy Acrobatics). When an enemy is stunned, Black Suit goes invisible! Not impressed? Oh there’s another part to his passive. At 5 covers, as long as Spidey is alive and well, enemy strikes add 100% less damage.

    Spidey’s kit has a natural synergy that on paper plays well. Fire green to deal huge damage and stun someone. While stunned Spidey goes invisible (purple passive). While invisible, his blue does good damage for the AP. All this is great... but falls apart at step 1, because his green is way way too expensive. Couple this with abysmal health and match damage due to power creep, and playing him just paints a gigantic “kick me” sign on your back (uhh... I thought Bag-Man was the 2*?). So why play him at all? Given a certain meta team that relies heavily on strike tiles, Shadowy Acrobatics has given dark webs here new life as a counter character! Unfortunately, as 4* Rocket and Groot are falling out of the meta in favor of Beta Ray Bill, so too has Black Suit's utility.  That said, there are still enough "Gritty" teams around to make you happy you chased him.  Of note, Black Suit also has use in PVE CL9+ against Kaecilius, whose strike tiles can absolutely ramp up to devastating levels after beating him several times. He is also great at nullifying CL10 Grockets.  So... that purple has use in both PVE and PVP!

    Pairings:
    The purple passive is really the sole reason to play Black Suit on anything but a fun team. When countering “Gritty”, his best synergy is with Daredevil. The idea is to let Kitty buff her team’s strikes since Spider-Man’s presence prevents them from adding any damage. Daredevil’s Sonar Strike then flips them to friendly strikes, allowing you to kill your opponent with their own weapons. Sonar Strike also being a purple stun means that Spidey goes invisible and can spam his blue ability and do extra damage. It’s truly a match made in heaven! Apocalypse is his second best pairing as he'll deal most of the damage himself, boost Spidey's green and spammy blue, and let webs exist just to ignore strikes.  Ghost Rider is another character you can play with Spidey with a similar idea to Daredevil (stun with Rider’s red to up the damage on Spidey’s blue). Okoye is a character with no active overlap that can boost Spidey’s offense. While Jessica Jones and Doctor Doom, are stronger defensive characters that also provide alternate AP outlets.
    #15) Doctor Strange (Sorcerer Supreme)
    bluetilepng630 purpletilepng560 yellowtilepng490 317
    blacktilepng80 73 greentilepng67  Health: 35,842

    Recommended Build: 5/3/5

    The Sorcerer Supreme is one of the few characters on this list that has a niche as an almost entirely PVE specialist. This is due to his kit giving him a huge advantage against goons, and his low health painting a big target on his back against human players. Overall, the pros of chasing Strange far outweigh the drawbacks, as long as you play him in the situations where he is meant to excel.

    Doctor Strange’s blue (Crimson Bands of Cyttorak) is the best reliable stun in the tier (Iceman’s can be way better, but also way worse depending on the board). For 9 AP he freezes the enemy 3 turns. While that seems pricey, when you cast it, you also place a 3-turn countdown tile that deals ~6400 damage and drains 3 enemy AP on the color tile you chose EACH turn it ticks down. So in total that is a 3 turn stun, over 19000 damage, and -9 AP to the enemy if it resolves fully. This is a great value for the power cost!

    Strange’s purple (Eye of Agamotto) is not only Strange’s worst power... it’s arguably one of the worst powers in the entire tier. For the high cost of 11 AP; he creates an “eye” tile that removes one enemy special per turn (the types of tiles removed increase with covers). At 4 and 5 covers he removes invisibility and trap tiles respectively... which I guess is a “thing” (if you really want to lower his other two amazing powers). Otherwise, Kitty does what he does for 11 AP cheaper (i.e. it’s free... oh and she deals big damage after the specials are gone).

    At least we get to end on a positive note, as Strange’s yellow (Flames of the Faltine) is the amazing power that puts him on the map. Whenever an enemy fires a power, Doctor Strange passively deals around 5800 damage. This isn’t a ton, until you realize that every time a goon spams another countdown they are “firing a power”. Then you realize just how spectacular the good Doctor can be. This ability also has an active component that seems like a tacked on afterthought. Deal 16k damage for 14 AP. The damage to AP ratio is bad, but it’s actually a good place to dump extra yellow AP, especially when you realize that aside from FA Cap, this is the only yellow ability that does straight damage not tied to countdowns (Iron Man), going Airborne First (Carol), or changing powers first (Thor, Wolverine).

    As mentioned, Strange’s niche use is melting PVE goons who spam tiles (Mindless Ones being some of the worst offenders), seriously speeding up clear times. In PVP his low health can make him a huge liability, but he often works as a third in pick-3 with the right teammates around him or with a particular broken 4* fueling him (see below).

    Pairings:
    Okoye is often seen paired with Strange due to her boosting his passive damage. Daredevil pairs very well, due to his punishing of stunned characters and strikes pumping up the Flames damage. Strange having a top tier passive and phenomenal blue/yellow powers (in a tier that lacks them) makes him an ideal “filler” character if you have strong red/black/green users (the most popular strong colors in the tier) and are looking for rainbow coverage. Hela, Jessica, Carnage, and Ghost Rider are examples of such characters. Finally, Strange has seen renewed life in PVP due to Bishop’s broken mechanics. Bishop generates endless blue for existing, which Strange can use to stunlock the opponent, deal huge damage and drain their AP pools. Not a fun team to face!
    #14) Carnage (Prophet of Knull)
    greentilepng837 ️744 blacktilepng651 414
    purpletilepng106 yellowtilepng98 bluetilepng90  Health: 66,964

    Recommended Build: 5/5/3

    Nicknamed “Carbage” by forumites upon his release, while hilarious, was also a huge misnomer.  At first glance, it is easy to see why he was trashed.  His tiles are weaker than his 4* counterpart and he puts them out more slowly, thus, people were disappointed. He's also easily disposed of as a stand-alone character.  But what people didn't account for was old Cletus here being a pretty good defensive character both due to his ability to slow matches down, and due to his special tile spam amplifying other top tier characters.  At minimum Carnage specializes in enemy tile production, which as we know from the 4* tier, absolutely has its place in MPQ.  At best, he functions as good third on defensive meta teams.  For the annoyance factor alone, he is one you won't regret chasing.

    Carnage’s green (Red Eyed Monsters) is an expensive power for what it does. For 9 AP, he smashes up the board, destroying 5-7 tiles (does not gain AP). This power is ultimately not worth the cost in a tier with ridiculously strong green abilities.  The passive component of his power is much better however, and sees Carnage creating a small attack tile (strength 168-224) whenever his team destroys an attack/strike/protect tile (friendly or enemy!). What this means is that Carnage greatly helps keep the board flush with special tiles for his team.  This power can get out of hand if a match lingers too long, or when paired with the right allies.

    Carnage’s spammable red (Blood Feud) clocks in at 6 AP and does ~8400 damage to the target. If your team has 4+ specials on the board when he fires this power, he does ~2500 additional damage to the enemy team. Given how much Carnage spams tiles, this isn’t a hard threshold to hit. He also steals a very small amount of health (about 1k) from his allies when he fires this ability.

    Carnage’s black passive (Knull and Void) has him making a free match and dropping a small strike tile (strength 168-322) if the enemy team has 4+ special tiles on the board at the beginning of your turn. If the enemy has less than 4 tiles, Carnage helps them along by dropping two enemy attack tiles (strength 105-209) at the beginning of each turn instead.  The extra match while seemingly inconsequential on paper, can be huge in turning a match in your favor.  It was easily the most slept on part of his kit upon release and arguably the thing that puts him over his 4* counterpart  and helps him rank so highly in the 5* tier.

    The Carnage synergy on paper is pretty simple. He drops enemy tiles to start with the hope that by turn 3 he can start turning the tide in your favor with extra special tiles and matches (and of course the AP that goes with it). He has a really nice red outlet and pairs well with others who can make use of the stuff he does. Also, perhaps his biggest strength is as a defensive character where he can be downright annoying. While he’s not tough to beat, his attack tile animations, extra swaps, tile spam and high health pool will slow the opponent down enough where they might think to skip instead. The issues with Carnage are he is slow offensively, his green active (probably the best color in the tier) is garbage, he gives tiles to his enemies (when Kitty Pryde is a thing), and all of his powers do very little damage. He’s not at all hard to beat as a stand alone character. But with the right team accentuating what he does... he can be a monster.

    Pairings:
    Carnage works best with two characters either separately in pick-2, or as a trio in pick-3. The first partner he synergizes with is Kitty Pryde, who can buff the special tiles that he puts down. Second and perhaps even better, is Beta Ray Bill, who spams protect tiles. Matching away the tiles, means spamming attack tiles, turning defense into offense. Bill also solves Carnage’s low damage issue by bringing a couple nukes to the table. With these three together, the board can get out of hand fast, with tiles everywhere being buffed, extra matches made, and nukes being dropped. Another fun option to play Carnage with is Daredevil, whose Sonar Strike can add damage to all the extra stuff Carnage does. He also benefits from Carnage’s attack tiles and can heal from Carnage’s health steal. Doom similarly can heal up, shuffle the board, and provide an additional AP outlet in two colors. Finally, characters who benefit from match-4s (Professor X, Doctor Octopus) or extra matches in general (Mister Sinister) pair well with Carnage due to the extra matches he makes.
    #13) Daredevil (Matt Murdock)
    yellowtilepng662 greentilepng588 purpletilepng515 333
    bluetilepng84 77 blacktilepng71  Health: 47,984

    Recommended Build: 5/3/5

    The Man Without Fear is without a doubt one of the most fun characters in the game. He has a great set of powers that make him an excellent partner for many characters. He is arguably the best overall partner in the game not named Okoye or Apocalypse. If he had health and match damage to compete with some of the newer released 5*s, he’d probably vault 2-3 people on this list (or if he had a strong nuke... but that’s not really Matt’s style). As it stands, he remains a solid addition to any roster.

    Matt’s yellow (Fighting Spirit) shows off his fighting spirit! It is one of two passive powers that defines his kit. When he is below 50% health, he creates a pretty heavy (strength 718) strike tile, and then heals for just over 1K for every strike on the board (up to five- so max 5,825 healed per turn). Much like his Netflix incarnation, this ability makes putting Daredevil down for good a pain. It also doubles as a great offensive ability because the more you hit him, the harder his team hits back.

    Daredevil’s green (Hand-to-Hand) is his weakest power by far. For a pricey 11 AP he places a 5-turn countdown that does ~1600-1900 damage each time it ticks down. If you match it, you get a lot of the AP back (6-8 depending on covers). And if the opponent matches the tile or it is destroyed, Matt deals around 10-15k damage. A lot has to go right for this power to be effective for its high cost.

    However, Daredevil’s purple (Sonar Strike) is his second defining ability. For 9 AP, the active component allows him to stun his opponent for two turns, steal up to 4 enemy special tiles and turn them into friendly strikes. This ability alone makes Matt a key cog in a counter-meta team (see below). The passive component of Daredevil’s purple states that when a stunned enemy is damaged, they take ~1800 extra damage. This doesn’t seem like much, but I’ve seen stunned opponents melt due to Matt’s presence as each tic of damage procs this power.

    Matt is a pretty versatile character whose role on your team varies depending on what you are building around. He adds friendly specials, steals enemy specials, heals, stuns, and punishes stunned characters. Needless to say he has a lot of people he plays well with. With the exception of maybe Silver Surfer and Old Man Logan, no character would benefit more from standardized match damage across the tier. You want Daredevil on teams where he is out front absorbing damage and dishing out strike tiles for the enemy to deal with. Those strikes coupled with him punishing stunned opponents makes Daredevil a force-multiplier who will pile on to what other characters on your team do.

    Pairings:
    Fun fact: Daredevil is probably my most used character (and not because he’s my namesake). In CL9 and lower PVE he gets played a lot with Thanos, as Matt can heal from Court Death while adding strikes to help kill the enemy’s weakest link faster. In PVP I usually climb with him as he saves on healthpacks and is genuinely fun from 0-800, before you have to worry about counter-attacks. Even after 800, he pairs amazingly well with Black Suit Spider-Man (mentioned earlier) as a counter to Kitty/Grocket teams. He pairs well with Thor (despite overlap) due to both punishing you at half health. He’s great with Okoye, due to her boosting Sonar Strike damage. He's great with Apocalypse due to 5/6 colors covered and Sonar Strike boosting all the multi-hits.  He’s great with Kitty due to her buffing his strikes (though would be way better with standard match damage so he tanked for her) . He’s great with Doom, due to how hard both are to kill. He’s great with Carnage, due to Carnage hurting allies, producing strikes and creating attack tiles when special tiles are matched. He’s great with Jessica Jones due to compete rainbow coverage. He's great with Immortal Hulk, as he's one of the few characters who can keep up with the friendly damage Hulk dishes out. And he’s weirdly great with Kingpin who can “sacrifice” Matt’s specials to do big damage before Matt steals them back with his purple. Finally and obviously, he’s great with any stunner (Iceman, Cable, Ghost Rider, Strange, FA Cap, Ock), especially in the 4* tier where the best ones reside (Gamora, Bishop, Iceman). He’s just... great.
    #12) Jessica Jones (Alias Investigations)
    678 blacktilepng603 bluetilepng527 341
    greentilepng86 purpletilepng79 yellowtilepng72  Health: 57,846

    Recommended Build: 5/5/3
    Alternate Build: Any other configuration

    Jessica is pound for pound one of the best single-target damage dealers in the tier. Her active powers aren’t the fastest but are totally worth it. And she has a dangerous damage-dealing passive that is rivaled only by two people ranked above her on this list (Hulk and Chuck).

    Jessica’s red ability (Defenstrate) costs 9 AP, does around 11k damage (5 covers), and places 5 strength 373 strikes on her off-colors.

    Her red synergizes directly with her black ability (Body Check) which costs 11 AP, deals almost 16k damage plus 2600 for each color friendly special tile on the board (this includes countdowns). So the extra damage is anywhere from nothing to DOUBLE the damage (if you have specials on all 6 colors).  That is insanely good.

    Her blue ability (Damning Evidence) is the fun one that makes her more than just a variation of your standard damage-dealing tank. She passively places an enemy trap tile each turn (up to 4 total) on her dominant colors (now you know why her strikes are placed on her off-colors). If you happen to match a trap, she does big damage (around 10k) passively and you get 3 AP in your strongest color for each. You can either hunt for traps blindly, or, if you hold enough blue AP (the threshold goes down with more covers), you can briefly see where the traps are at the start of your turn.

    Jessica’s main role on your team will likely be that of primary damage-dealer. She is played pretty straight forward. Prioritize red/black matches hoping to hit on traps. Then fire her small nuke (Defenstrate) to help up the damage on her big nuke (Body Check). While she was once one of THE premier damage-dealers in the tier and still quite good, power creep has made her much less of a force than she once was.

    Pairings:
    Jessica benefits from board-shakers who can trigger her traps, people who can fuel her powers, and people who can put special tiles on the board (especially red/black/blue ones). Thor is an ideal pair for her due to the shake and fuel. She is often seen paired with Thor and Okoye in pick-3, though her spot in that particular band lately has gone to a 4* like Chavez, Sabretooth, or 2099, or the bald headed professor ranked above her. She is one of those people that can play “filler” on almost any team that needs actives in her colors. Daredevil, Iceman, Cable, Loki, Yelena, Captain Marvel, Dr. Strange and Beta Ray Bill are all examples of said characters. It’s seriously hard to go wrong with Jessica plus someone offering decent coverage in at least two other colors.
    #11) Doctor Doom (God Emperor)
    yellowtilepng669 blacktilepng595 bluetilepng521 331
    purpletilepng85 79 greentilepng72  Health: 57,701

    Recommended Build: 3/5/5
    Alternate Build: 5/5/3 (if you value burst team heal over true self heal or 4/5/4 if you want to split the difference)

    God Emperor Doom is arguably the coolest version of one of the coolest characters in comics. Did he live up to the hype? Did he save us from a redundant meta in the same way he saved a multiverse? Unfortunately not. He has a solid kit and does a lot of good things, but not quite enough to break him into the meta tier. Unfortunate for a character as awesome as God.

    Doom’s yellow (Brave New World) is his weakest power, but one that might help you in a pinch. He shuffles the board and gives his allies a burst of around 5-10k health for the somewhat pricey cost of 10 AP. It should be noted that the shuffle usually results in some nice cascades, netting some AP back... but not always. This can be a decent yellow outlet.

    Doom’s black (Fallen Favor) is a phenomenal single-target nuke; and as his only damage-dealing power, it should be. For 9 AP he deals just over 23K damage (while also draining 1 AP from each of his off-colors). He also has a passive component to his power that wipes all enemy specials from the board when he dies. Thus, he can sacrifice himself against a certain tile-buffing 5* to help will his team to victory. Not exactly a health pack-efficient counter; but it works in a pinch!

    Doom’s blue (Render Unto Doom...) is a passive that has two effects when the opposing team matches black or yellow tiles. First, Doom steals 1 AP of that color. Second, he true heals for around 3000-4500 per yellow/black match. This power allows doom to slightly fuel his own active abilities while making him a pretty sustainable tank to climb with. Unfortunately his health and damage were low even for his peers around the time of his release, not to mention those released after (though better than the "old guard").

    Doom’s best roles are 1) during initial PVP climbs where he can use his sustainability to save on health packs and 2) during the rare 1 vs. 1 nodes and PVPs (festival of fights!) as Doom is one of the best solo characters in the game. Whether you build around him or bring him along as a filler in pick 3, you really want to chase black AP to fuel your nuke!

    Pairings:
    As an admitted fan of strong true heal characters I have had a lot of success running him with an abundance of characters. He works well as a third with Thor/Okoye (especially if you don’t have Professor X or Jessica). But in pick 2 he pairs well with other true healers Daredevil and Loki. For the former, they can take turns tanking while the other heals. For the latter, Doom’s board shuffle can be key in matching a hard to reach Loki trap and reviving him. Infinity War Cap (mentioned earlier) works great with Doom against Kitty Pryde- where God sacrifices himself to cleanse the earth of enemy specials; only to have Cap revive him.  Similar to Cap, Doom and Yelena make a fun suppression team against strong yellow/black users.  I also like Doom with characters who hurt their allies (Carnage, IHulk, Phoenix, Thanos), due to Doom's passive true heal. I also want to give a shoutout to Hawkeye/Doom. No synergy in particular, but due to match damage creep, my Doom happens to tank blue for the squishy archer, allowing for more arrows to fly- which is honestly just fun.
    #10) Thanos (The Mad Titan)
    blacktilepng671 purpletilepng597 greentilepng522 337
    bluetilepng85 78 yellowtilepng72  Health: 64,964

    Recommended Build: 5/3/5

    Thanos may seem a bit too high on this list to some, given how much of a pushover he is in PVP. Seeing him out usually means an easy victory for pretty much any 5* combo. That said, he is still- years after his release- the undisputed king of PVE in CL9 and lower. An amazing feat for a game with such rampant power creep.

    The reason for Thanos’ high ranking begins and ends with his black passive (Court Death). If you kill an enemy, the Titan stuns everyone (friend and foe) for 2 turns, then he does ~14k damage to his remaining enemies and ~3.5k to allies. 7K teammate damage is nothing to sneeze at, and is a significant drawback for some. Double this with the fact that his other powers are nothing to write home about, and you have a one-trick pony whose trick must be really really good to land him so high in the rankings.

    Thanos’ purple (Infinite Power) costs 8 AP and allows you to place a CD on the board that pumps up his match damage (+65-85%) and makes destroying or altering tiles by anyone not named Thanos a no-go. This can be as much of a hindrance as it is helpful at times.

    Thanos’ green (Come and Get Me!) is pricey at 12 AP. When cast, he places a random 3-turn countdown that can do upwards of 20k AOE damage. That’s huge damage for the cost, but the reality is that his matches rarely last long enough for you to collect 12 AP in one color plus wait 4 more turns to place and resolve the countdown. If the match does turn to a grind, then the countdown often doesn’t survive since it isn’t fortified and you can’t choose where to place it.

    Overall, Thanos has two distinct uses. In PVE CL9 and below he is essential for fast clears. The goal is to target the weakest character and let Court Death do the rest after they fall. Thanos has dropped in the rankings due to the release of CL10.  Unfortunately, 14k AOE isn't enough to chew through the high health pools in 10, where the very best rewards in the game reside.  But he is still king of all other clearance levels (Fury just denied him level 10 access).  He was once atop the PVP meta, but now his best use in PVP is a niche role in new release events. In said events, people often run low-covered or even loaner versions of the essential character. This makes the Titan’s ability to summon Death a “snap” (you see what I did there).

    Pairings:
    Thanos has two very distinct qualities he looks for in a partner. 1) Someone who can pump up match damage in order to court Death sooner and/or 2) Someone who can heal back the damage Death inflicts. In PVE the 5* essential’s boosted match damage is usually enough to set Death in motion. If you don’t have them champed, then 4* Grocket’s strike tiles boosted by another Guardian, or by Kitty Pryde, will do the trick. The aforementioned “Panthos” still works amazingly well for PVE wave nodes and against PVP loaner characters. Logan and Daredevil are both quality pairings as they can pump up match damage via strikes and heal back some of that friendly fire. Similarly, Silver Surfer has a true heal and since he does not get stunned by Death, he provides consistent high(ish) match damage in red/blue.Finally, Immortal Hulk likes taking damage as he will revive with higher match damage each time he is downed, as long as he has teammates standing.  And Thanos here has a pretty big health pool to help Hulk get back up time and again.
    #9) Iceman (Bobby Drake)
    yellowtilepng817 greentilepng726 bluetilepng635 404
    104 blacktilepng96 purpletilepng88  Health: 62,083

    Recommended Build: 3/5/5

    Iceman in PVP is best described as an “annoying pest”. His specialty is defense/slowing the opposition down. The problem however is while he’s annoying to face (especially if you like to run Thorkoye) he’s not flat out dangerous (Gritty, BRBitty, Okoye/Hulk) or broken (Bishop) to face. And because of that, most won’t bat an eye when facing him, especially if it means sidestepping a broken 4* character. Still, his fun factor is high and he has a great kit that makes him a solid addition to any team in PVP. In PVE, Bobby has found newfound life with the introduction of CL10 and its high-health enemies.  It is mostly because of his utility there that Iceman has found a place in the top 10.

    Bobby’s yellow passive (Champion Defender) is probably his worst power. When the enemy hits for big damage (over 9-10k) and Bobby has 2-3 teamup AP; he spends it to create an “ice wall” negating 9-10k damage. He then creates a countdown that if you can’t match it away, will deal the negated damage to Iceman upon resolving. Though not bad per se, I honestly forget about it a lot and that’s for two reasons. 1) I don’t play with animations on and 2) the board is usually filled with CDs and repeaters once he gets going, so adding a yellow CD in a sea of them usually goes unnoticed by me. I’ve probably taken some delayed damage or matched the tile and shrugged off damage unknowingly on more than one occasion. 

    Iceman has only one damage dealing power, in the form of his cheap 7 AP green (Icemen), and it comes with some pros and cons. The cons are the damage is tied to five 2-turn repeaters and they do very small “chip damage” (~2500 each). They also hit random characters, making it harder to control on offense. If you match the repeaters you get ~2K AOE damage which I guess is a bit more control; but minimal damage. The pros are that the power is super cheap/spammable, the amount of repeaters can add up quick, and the “chip damage” can be boosted by Okoye/Apocalypse to insane levels.  This last point is what makes Iceman so important to CL10.  Okoye (with a bunch of team-up tiles) spearing a row of repeater tiles is often the quickest way to chew through high health pools in Cl10.

    On offense, Bobby’s main attraction is his very unique stun (On Ice). For a very low cost (3 blue) he passively spams the board with blue countdown tiles that either stun a character or add to their stun duration (1 turn per tile matched/destroyed). The pro is that matching blue fuels blue to keep the tiles coming. The con is that matching blue dries the board of blue, so you eventually run out of places to put countdowns. So his best power is extremely board dependent and is one of those high risk/high reward powers that that will either do little, or save the match for you. A very cool thing about his blue is that it applies AFTER match damage is dealt. So, if you KO an enemy with a match 4 of blue On Ice tiles, the next opponent in line gets stunned for 4 turns.

    In summary; Bobby is slow on offense and annoying to face on defense, but not scarily so. The fact that he passively stuns gives his value a huge boost, as their aren’t many quality stunners in the tier. He works well on any team that needs blue to “complete the rainbow” as both his passives provide added value. The fact that he stuns, hits random characters, redirects damage, and has high health makes him somewhat annoying to face in PVP; but there’s not enough there that you shouldn’t beat him reliably. Because he lacks a strong nuke, he usually finds himself in a support role synergizing with others (a few characters he pairs extremely well with as noted below)

    Pairings:
    As mentioned, Okoye is probably his best partner; as she can boost EACH of his repeaters to insane levels. She also spams team-up for his yellow, while her red can target a row full of Bobby’s tiles. Similarly, Apocalypse can boost each of Bobby's repeaters, they cover 5 colors, and Iceman makes Apocalypse stun-proof. Thor is a great partner due to a) Thor fueling green b) Thor sapping the board of non-blue so there are more for Bobby to spam tiles on c) Bobby tanking and d) Bobby spamming the board with specials to up Thor’s red damage (note that he’s definitely a pest against Thorkoye as well- where the random damage can hit a hiding Thor and the stun can freeze Okoye’s tanking in its tracks). Bobby paired with Thorkoye is easily one of the best CL10 kill squads in the game as Thor fuels, Okoye boosts, and Bobby provides the damage outlet via his green while slowing the enemy down with his blue.  In PVP, Green Goblin is a match made in heaven due to no active overlap and Gobby fortifying all of Bobby’s tiles. A match-3 with all-fortified blue tiles locking the enemy down 6 turns is beyond satisfying! Daredevil (despite color overlap) makes a great partner to take advantage of Iceman’s stun mechanic, due to the tacked on Sonar Strike damage. And finally... Professor plus any X-Character (except Gambit because of the purple-block) is always gold.
  • Daredevil217Daredevil217 Posts: 2,834 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited 23 June 2020, 18:03

    #8) Hawkeye (Clint Barton)
    purpletilepng592 bluetilepng526 460 297
    blacktilepng75 yellowtilepng69 greentilepng63  Health: 48,835

    Recommended Build: 5/5/3

    Hawkeye- once considered bottom of the mid-tier- is now firmly considered a top tier 5, thanks to one specific 4* partner reviving him in PVP, and the introduction of near-impossible to beat challenge nodes reviving him in PVE. Before these introductions to the game, he mostly served in a niche role as a “fun character” that you put on your team if you need countdowns, fast abilities, or countdown fortification. But without the right partners he has a lot of drawbacks... and I’m not talking his bowstring.

    Hawkeye’s purple passive (Can’t Seem to Miss) is the meat and potatoes of what makes him so good. Whenever a countdown expires he gets 3 blue and 2 red AP. He also fortifies 3 countdowns passively at the beginning of each turn. This ability fuels his other two, creating a nice self-synergy.

    If purple is the good power, blue (Full Quiver) is the fun one! For only 5 AP he places a 2-turn countdown that has a different effect if it resolves. In the following order his countdowns are.
    1) Bola Arrow: stun the target 3 turns
    2) Explosive Arrow: do 17k damage
    3) Electric Arrow: create 8 charged tiles
    4) Sonic Arrow: create 3 strikes
    5) Ant-Man Arrow: steal 11 AP in a color
    6) Acid Arrow: create 3 attack tiles
    7) Smoke Bomb Arrow: 2-turn team invisibility
    8) Shrapnel Arrow: ~8500 AOE damage
    Paired with his passive, this means that if the countdowns survive they have a net cost of 2 AP. After the 8th arrow, Hawkeye’s blue becomes Out of Arrows. He engages in some pretty impressive hand-to-hand combat dealing 10k damage for only 5 AP!

    Hawkeye’s red (Deep Breath) is mostly his throwaway power. It adds some decent chip damage and provides yet another countdown tile source to help self-fuel. For again, only 5 AP, he places a 3-turn fortified countdown that does ~6k damage. If you happen to have 9 more red AP banked when it expires, Clint spends it and deals way more than “chip damage” (20-26k depending on covers). Ultimately, I find it better to spam arrows and get back AP rather than to spend 14 AP on a nuke. But it’s nice that you have the option to play it differently depending on the situation.

    The strategy with Hawkeye is pretty simple. Spam countdowns that do cool things. Collect AP when they resolve. Spam more countdowns that do more cool things. Like Carnage, he’s a “snowball character” in that once he gets rolling, he can become a problem very fast. While his damage per AP numbers are good, the thing that kept him “just a fun character” and out of the top tier (until recently), is that he has some pretty glaring weaknesses. One, for a “fast character” his reliance on countdowns actually makes him pretty slow. In a game that is speed-based you can actually get killed trying to hop in PVP or quick-clear PVE with him. A problem he shares with many below him on this list is low health and match damage. It’s too easy to kill him in one or two big shots before he actually gets rolling. Finally, he has two pretty hard counters in the 5* tier. First, in the form of Dr. Strange who punishes Hawkeye just like he would any other quick countdown-spamming goon in PVE. Kitty will also eat his countdown tiles and do huge damage to him before they have a chance to resolve. So how has he made it so high on this list? Continue reading.

    Pairings:
    As far as 5* partners go, Loki isn’t a bad look due to his countdown spamming. Neither is Storm who could benefit from his electric arrow. But really, Clint pairs best with 4*s who make the most of what he does best.  Hawkeye used to have one main pairing in the 4* tier in the form of Agent Coulson. Coulson has three passive abilities that spam and speed up countdowns, as well as allow him collect AP when they resolve. Wow! The quick napkin math on this means that if you fire a red/blue power for 5 AP and everything resolves, you actually get back 14 AP (6 blue, 4 red, 4 random).  When paired with a stunner (Hi Gam4ra!), this can create a winfinite trio that ensures the enemy never gets to make a move once the engine is going. While crazy slow, these three are often the only option a baby champ/transitioning player has to beat some of the tougher CL10 challenge nodes, and for that reason, he is crucial to many rosters that choose to endure that slog for high end rewards.  Recently a second pairing in the 4* tier has made him worthy of his top 10 ranking (yeah.. I went there). Captain America (Worthy) has a mechanic where if you deal a very low amount of damage to him (usually triggered by a 5* matching 3), Cap jumps in front of his teammates to absorb the damage and places four 1-turn countdowns that resolve on your turn. The countdowns flood the board with red/blue tiles (hey... Hawkeye likes those!), and each countdown resolving means an abundance of red/blue AP, thanks to Clint’s passive. In pick-2 this team is annoying to face but pretty easy to dispose of with the right tools (see: the hard counters mentioned earlier). In pick-3 where you can bring a character that relies less on countdowns to make that AP work for them, they become one of best defensive teams in the game, and almost a guaranteed win on offense (I’ve seen Jessica Jones used most in that third slot- but I imagine Bill and Apocalypse can put in work as well!). This pairing and this pairing alone has revived Hawkeye in the 5* PVP meta game and made him actually useful beyond niche/fun status.
    #7) Professor X (Classic)
    bluetilepng719 purpletilepng639 blacktilepng559 362
    yellowtilepng91 greentilepng84 77  Health: 38,121

    Recommended Build: 5/5/3
    Alternate Build: 5/3/5 (if building around X-Men synergy)

    Professor can best be described as a “Swiss Army Knife”. Put him on any team and he will provide added value on offense and defense.  But he is also a character you can respec and build around to truly leverage different strengths. 

    Professor’s blue (Signal Boost) is the marquee ability that people busted hordes for. Essentially, when his team gets a match-4 or greater, he does huge (~7800) passive damage and destroys a random tile in that color (netting you the extra AP). I’ve seen nasty cascades melt high-health opposition to KO-status thanks to this ability alone. The fact that the AI sees and hits every match-4 makes it an even deadlier defensive power. Getting an extra AP every match-4 may also seem small; but it can add up.

    While that AI-proof, hard-hitting blue passive may be the reason most people run Professor, his purple (To Me, My X-Men) is also an amazing power. For only 8 AP, you can hit with a huge single target nuke, nice AOE, or 4 other niche powers that may be helpful in different situations (my favorite being providing attack tiles to Kitty). The utility (especially for the cost) makes this one of the best and most fun powers in the game. The fact that in the AI’s hands, they won’t usually use the best ability is perhaps Professor’s only real drawback. 

    Professor’s passive black (Xavier Protocols) seems like his “throwaway power” but it can actually be something to build around.  At 5 covers when he’s flanked by two X-Men (of which there are 8 candidates in the 5* tier alone!) it can be downright brutal. It seems counter-intuitive to have the 5* with the second lowest heath (I think only Strange is lower) act as your primary tank; but the health he does have will stretch far, as he shrugs off 75% of ALL damage. Not only that, but with two X-Men, the opponent’s red, green and yellow powers cost +3 AP. So imagine trying to do a quick hop with Thorkoye and having to slug it out with a character that negates 75% damage AND makes your powers more expensive. Might want to just skip instead?

    Professor X is a very versatile character that adds speed to a game built on speed. He has varied builds and will play different depending on who you play with and against (see below). He’s the new gold standard for pairing with Thorkoye and can create tons of killer defensive teams when paired with other X-Men. He is one of few characters great in both PVE and PVP and is one of few in the tier worth going out of your way to chase!

    Pairings:
    There are tons of X-combos that can make him the most annoying character for hoppers to face. How about OML healing and making strikes for Kitty? Boosted Rogue making you choose which health pool to slog through? Iceman throwing out that yellow countdown and either shrugging off damage or eating it for Professor. Havok dishing out insane damage in three additional colors.  In the 4* tier; Bishop and Juggs are also both X-Men. The possibilities are seemingly endless. Heck I even use Angel and Cable a TON in pick-2 thanks to this guy. Of all the X-Men, Storm has the best natural synergy due to her propensity to create cascades and match-4s (or greater). While not an X-Man, Apocalypse makes an excellent partner as well.  They cover 4 colors, and Charles makes his nemesis stun-immune.  Professor at 5/5/3 is also my pick for that “third slot” on team Thorkoye. While Jessica arguably edges him on defense, that team is all about offense and speed. And the fact is, Professor will add more of that than any other character in the game sans maybe Apocalypse. Thor’s cascades and Okoye’s team-up spam will help trigger Professor’s awesome blue power.  Finally, there is some synergy with Carnage, whose extra matches can trigger Signal Boost.
    #6) The Hulk (Immortal)
    greentilepng857 667 blacktilepng762  424
    bluetilepng109 purpletilepng101 yellowtilepng92  Health: 40,027

    Recommended Build: 5/3/5

    The Hulk clocks in at number 6 due to his immediate impact on the meta as a defensive scarecrow who provides quick-hitting passive offense that melts opponents. Though he's not without his drawbacks, his impact on PVP and ability to potentially winfinite any CL10 challenge node, make him a character worth chasing!

    Hulk has two scary good, lightning fast offensive abilities, the first of which is his passive green ability (The Green Door), that sees Hulk converting a random basic tile to green each turn. Then, if there are 8 or more green on the board, he destroys 2 of them and deals about 5500 AOE damage... passively! Paired with a force-multiplier this can end teams in a hurry. It also procs more than one might think.

    Hulk’s black (What Does Kill Me) is yet another passive that essentially has four parts (so strap in). 1) He deals just over 2500 damage to himself each time he makes a match.  With the second-highest match damage in the tier, that should be often!  2) He can’t be killed unless he’s the last person left on your team. If he has teammates standing he’ll just keep reviving at ~45% health whenever you try downing him!  3) Each time Hulk resurrects, he gets a bump in match damage that caps at 252% to 378% depending on covers.  4) Each time Hulk resurrects, he also deals ~7300 damage to his allies... which is no small chunk of life!

    Finally, Hulk’s red (Breaker of Bones) is his only active ability. And what an active it is! For only 7 AP, Hulk SMASHES his opponent to bits, dealing just over 32K damage to his target. He also deals ~17K to himself... which just so happens to be the health pool he revives with each time he resurrects. So using that cheap red will cripple the opponent, kill Hulk, and have him coming back even stronger with increased match damage (thanks to the aforementioned black).  Note: he doesn't take damage if his punch downs an opponent to end the match.

    Overall, Hulk is a defensive nightmare to face. His green is simply unavoidable, and it can wreck you in a hurry. I don’t suggest bringing half-health Thor to a Hulk fight, as The Green Door is a good counter to his antics. Similarly, Hulk’s red is so cheap that the AI could easily stumble into the AP needed to make short work of you. Apocalypse's kit aside, Hulk's red may be the best damage to AP power in the game.  On offense he’s a bit trickier. You’d think his “never say die” attitude would make him the ideal character to climb with, saving on healthpacks, but his tendency to hurt his allies means while he may never need a pack himself, he can cost you big reviving others. However, there are enough true healers to pair him with in the tier to attempt to slow the bleeding. Plus, you only need to win once match with IHulk plus [insert second annoying meta character here] to have one heck of a defensive shield!  Hulk is already scary good, but much like Hawkeye, has the potential to be even better down the road if an even better "must kill last" character is released.  If you have the resources, Immortal Hulk is a character you do not want to miss out on both for now and the future of your roster!

    Pairings:
    Ideal partners for Banner 2.0 here are ones that either capitalize on his gifts and/or mitigate his weaknesses. Loki and Phoenix are examples of the former.  Both have passive resurrection abilities that are usually easily ignored by saving them for last. Hulk makes it so those characters popping back up is a reality that can’t be as easily ignored. Phoenix is especially good due to her ability to function as a red battery, plus she has an awesome green AOE when she revives. True healers like Doom, Daredevil and Okoye are your best bet at mitigating Hulk’s biggest drawback of dealing tons of team damage. Matt will put strikes on the board as Hulk hurts him. These strikes will simultaneously heal Daredevil while amping up Hulk’s already high damage output. Similarly, what’s better than The Green Door? An Okoye-fueled Green Door! Okoye/Hulk have parked themselves right alongside BRB/Kitty as PVP's premier defensive power couples.  Looking at non-healing partners, Hulk shrugging off Court Death makes him a decent pair with Thanos. Beta Ray’s overall tankiness, sustainability, and no active overlap make them a nightmare team to face. Finally, despite red overlap, Apocalypse can also boost green door with his repeaters and tank more so Hulk can sit in back and hurt his team less.
    #5) Apocalypse (Classic)
    blacktilepng879 781 yellowtilepng684  372
    bluetilepng112 greentilepng104 purpletilepng95   Health: 84,960

    Apocalypse- the breaker of hoards- came into MPQ with much hype surrounding him. As the dust settled, people realized that while he’s not exactly pre-nerf Gambit levels of insane, his potential damage output is simply unparalleled. Couple this with a bunch of stellar counter-meta mechanics and you end up with a must-have character for any competitive player’s war chest.

    Apocalypse boasts three great active abilities that all clock in at a mere 7 AP; the first of which is Forged in Fire (black). This power states that when no friendly protect tiles exist, Apocalypse creates 3 or 4 strength 220 protects and burst heals the lowest health team member for 3839-4666. Not impressed? Yeah, me either. But wait... there’s more! If friendly protect tiles exist, Apocalypse destroys up to four of them and deals 4 random hits of 9522-11572 for each tile destroyed!

    Continuing the multi-hit madness, Apocalypse’s red (Survival of the Fittest) deals 3 or 4 hits of 3956-4102 damage to the lowest-health enemy, ignoring protect tiles. So while black makes him a good pair with the “protect tile meta” running rampant, his red makes him a great counter to it!

    Finally, Shared Strength (yellow) sees Apocalypse placing 3 or 4 2-turn repeater tiles that spam the board with two strength 146 protect tiles each time they resolve. When one of these repeaters is on the board, damage done by friendly powers is increased by 5856-8784 damage. He also has a passive that states when paired with a mutant, he can’t be stunned. There is a lot packed into this power, and really it’s the power that not only lends a hand to teammates, but fuels his own kit. Much like Okoye’s yellow, Apocalypse’s pairs well with multi-hit teammates. But unlike Okoye, his best partner is himself due to the aforementioned dual multi-hit powers.

    Ideally, there is an order of operations that allows you to get the most out of Apocalypse’s powerset. If you make sure to fire yellow first and get those protects on the board before firing his other two powers, he can do up to 81,424 damage with his black (wait... what?) and 51,544 with his red!  Given this insane damage output, the highest health and match damage in the game (to date), his versatility with regards to build and quality partners (see: below), and his ignoring of stun and protect tiles (two staples of the current meta), how is he not THE best character in the game?! Simply put, he doesn’t have an over the top passive like those ranked above him. His conditional stun-immunity is a damn good passive, but is only a difference-maker against a pair of problematic 4* that shouldn’t exist as-is. Those ranked above him have passives you build your teams around and go-to meta partners. Also, while Apocalypse can slay on offense, the fact that his powers need to be fired in a certain order and at certain times to get the highest ROI is something the AI will surely mess up. So while he is by no means a liability on defense (like playing BSSM or Surfer as counter characters), he doesn’t quite have the fear factor that other prominent meta teams bring to the table. Still, his offensive prowess alone makes him a can’t-miss character.

    Pairings:
    One of Apocalypse’s biggest strengths lies in his versatility. Whether he’s fighting alongside top tier 5*s or doing the heavy lifting on weaker teams, Apocalypse is pure added value with no shortage of quality partners. Thor and Beta Ray Bill are easily his two best partners. Thor fuels Apocalypse’s stellar red/yellow, while Apocalypse’s repeaters add an extra 26K damage to Thor’s AOE. Whereas Bill generates green and blue whenever friendly protect tiles are destroyed.  Apocalypse destroys protect tiles to deal big damage. Both cheaply spam protect tiles... see where this is going?  If you are looking for mutants to give Apocalypse stun-immunity, there are no shortage of options with little active overlap (Cable, Havok, and especially Archangel if you’re going thematic). But his best mutant pairings are Professor X and Iceman. The former is quite versatile himself, somewhat scary on defense, and brings an active purple to the table. While Iceman gives a blue outlet as well as a green that while mediocre on its own, becomes insane when one of Apocalypse’s repeaters is present. Finally, a sleeper-mutant, Jean Grey works surprisingly well as a red battery for Apocalypse and despite their insane match damage disparity (highest and lowest in the tier) she still gets to tank two colors with him!  Deviating from mutants, much like Jean, Daredevil and Loki also provide green/purple outlets and can absorb a big hit and heal to allow Apocalypse to keep doling out pain. Mister Sinister creates a ton of AP, but lacks many outlets to use it, which makes a character like Apocalypse with three strong actives ideal. Yelena Belova spams a ton of damage, but does not hit very hard. Apocalypse can help up her damage output while she plays the role of nuisance for the opposition.  Mentioned above, Apocalypse can also shield iHulk to mitigate team damage  Finally, Apocalypse can give Kingpin one of his many protect tiles to sacrifice for huge damage, while Fisk provides near rainbow coverage.
    #4) Kitty Pryde (Uncanny X-Men)
    yellowtilepng713 purpletilepng634 555 353
    bluetilepng91 greentilepng84 blacktilepng77  Health: 55,171

    Recommended Build: 5/5/3

    When you talk about characters who have warped the meta, Kitty Pryde is near the top of that list. Before Kitty, the meta mostly revolved around speed, speed, and more speed. This makes sense given how much speed equates to success in both PVE and PVP. When paired with the right raccoon, Kitty offers lighting speed, but she also adds a defensive element that 5* meta teams before her lacked. One could argue Carndusa was the spiritual predecessor to Kitty teams, but Carndusa were very slow. Assuming you can keep tiles on the board, Kitty can wipe you out in an instant.

    Kitty’s passive yellow (Phase and Conquer) is the power that puts her on the map. As long as you have at least 4 special tiles on the board, she buffs up to 5 of them by 633 passively each turn. This threshold goes down by one for each X-Man you manage to put on your team. What this means is if your opponent cannot clear those special tiles, she will get out of hand fast. The active component of Phase and Conquer allows you to get the ball rolling, or keep the number of tiles on the board up, as she drops 3 protects for 8 AP.

    When the opponent has special tiles on the board, Kitty’s purple (Circuit Breaker) passively creates a repeater that hops around the board each turn, eating opponent special tiles. Once the board is cleaned up, the tile explodes for big damage (over 13k). This makes her particularly effective in PVPs where characters passively put down a special each turn (3* Heroes for Hire, Scarlet Witch, Medusa, etc.). On the other hand, the power is worthless against characters who do not rely on special tiles (rarer and rarer these days).

    Finally, Kitty’s red (Practiced Offense) puts down a lengthy countdown for 6 AP. While this tile is on the board, if your team takes damage from a power, she puts 3 attack tiles on the board (to be buffed by her yellow). This power can range from mildly annoying to a game-changer. Especially when you get hit with an AOE. A cascade from an opponent 4* Juggernaut while this tile is out can be particularly hilarious.

    Without assistance from others, Kitty would be painfully slow, as she has no direct damage-dealing abilities herself.  She’d need to get the AP to fire Circuit Breaker, hope the countdown lasts, wait for the opponent to hit her team with a power that does damage, and hope her attack tiles last long enough to stay above the buff threshold. Thus, she needs people who can spam the board with specials for her to buff right away. At that point the strategy is all about protecting your special tiles and adding more. The bottom line is that alone she is awful, but with a select few characters she becomes arguably the best character in the game.

    Pairings:
    Kitty pairs well almost exclusively with those who spam special tiles for her to buff. No one puts as many out as quickly as 4* Rocket & Groot (7 tiles on turn 0). Thus, the “Gritty” meta that has permeated the 5* tier. Recent additions to the 5* tier Carnage and Beta Ray Bill have added playmates for Pryde, given their predilection for special tiles.  In fact, Bill (mentioned above) has seemingly supplanted Grocket as Katherine's partner of choice, where slowing down the opponent to a crawl creates a "skip or suffer" scenario.  Half-health Daredevil and Old Man Logan are oldies that can passively put tiles on the board for her as well. Hela and Jessica Jones can also flood the board, but do so actively rather than passively.  Though this guide is mostly for 5* players, note that people in all tiers of play are seemingly chasing Kitty for that sweet yellow. 2-3* Daken and 4* Carnage are characters those lower tier characters often pair her with.
    #3) Beta Ray Bill (Korbinite Warrior)
    greentilepng837 yellowtilepng744 bluetilepng651 414
    106 blacktilepng98 purpletilepng90  Health: 66,964

    Recommended Build: 5/3/5

    Beta Ray Bill is quite simply a well-rounded character that provides a bit of everything (offense, defense, support). He is one of the best solo characters in the game today and just so happens to have mechanics that allow him to play well with the very best characters in the game (the two ranked above and below him). It is for these reasons that he finds himself in the top 5, and one could make the argument that he is currently the BEST character in the game due to his presence in PVP queues (paired with Kitty, Apocalypse, and/or Bishop).

    Bill’s green (Skuttlebutt!) is pretty straightforward. For 12 AP he dishes out 4 random hits of ~8300 damage. This power is more dangerous to face on defense (especially when you are trying to get specific people to tank) than it is to use on offense (where you may be trying to target a specific character). Its utility goes up as opponents fall and you can more selectively focus-fire.

    Bill’s yellow passive (Defender of Two Peoples) has two components. First, he places 4 small yellow protects on the board at the beginning of the game. Second, when a friendly protect is destroyed (by either team!) he generates 1 blue and 1 green AP. This doesn’t seem like much, but when paired with this next ability... he can get out of hand in a hurry!

    Bill’s blue (Clash of the Worthy) is easily his best ability.  He does a heavy 12k damage for the low cost of 6 AP. This is cheap even before accounting for the fact that any matched friendly protects help fuel this ability. If that was all this ability did it would be worth it. However, he also drops a 4-turn fortified countdown tile whenever he fires his blue. While one of these countdowns is on the board, he creates a strong protect each time he or an ally takes damage. What this means is that a lengthy cascade can result in the board becoming flooded and two of your AP pools glowing shortly thereafter.

    The way to play Bill is to chase blue so you can flood the board with protects that will help you shrug off damage on defense while fueling you on offense. Playing against him is a “pick your poison” situation where you are tasked with letting the protects sit there negating your damage, or fueling your opponent on your turn. The big green nuke gets passively fueled as the board fills with protects, severely crippling your opponent when you cast it.

    Pairings:
    As mentioned earlier, Bill pairs with some of the best in the game. His multi-tap green and cheap blue can be boosted by Okoye (who has no active overlap). He can tank all but red for Thor, resulting in dual Asgardian batteries smiting their enemies. As mentioned earlier, Carnage also plays well with Bill due to the attack tiles you get in exchange for the protects you match away. Though squishy, Green Goblin is a a fun partner due to his re-fortifying Bill’s countdowns and adding a black/purple AP outlet.  Similarly squishy, Bill can play bodyguard for Natasha as she collects AP for her expensive powers.  All these teams are great, But Bill is actually a cornerstone to three meta teams that you will find yourself facing over and over if you want to climb in PVP.  Bill/Bishop sees Bill getting all the blue he can handle and flooding the board with protects due to Bishop's broken mechanics.  Meanwhile, Bill/Kitty sees the latter starting the buff train on turn 1 giving Bill ample time to collect blue and create a situation where the entire board is filled with protects and he is firing green/blue seemingly every other turn.  Finally, new to the scene, Billpocalypse covers five colors, sees Bill spamming the board with protects, which Apocalypse destroys for monster damage and fueling both of Bill's active powers.  All these teams are annoying enough to skip, and the Kitty combo is so good on healthpacks, that people can actually climb to 1200 with it, meaning you will see this team right out of the gate!  These three pairings alone have resulted in Bill's meteoric rise in the rankings.

    #2) Thor (Gladiator)
    greentilepng705 626 yellowtilepng548 354
    blacktilepng89 bluetilepng82 purpletilepng75   Health: 53,629

    Recommended Build: 5/5/3

    Coming in at #2 is Thor who sits atop an unparalleled mountain as the best AP collector in the game.  Not only does he serve in a best-in-class support role, but he also brings a couple heavy nukes to the fight as well. This means that while alive he is always a threat, even if you deal with the teammates he’s supporting.

    Odinson’s green (God of Thunder) is arguably the best power in the game. When he dips below 50% health he passively smashes up the board every turn, destroying 5 tiles in his colors. Getting to keep the AP for the destroyed tiles (plus any from resulting cascades) will quickly tip the scales in your favor as he rapidly fuels himself and others. His active green is somewhat expensive at 12 AP but entirely worth it for the amount of damage you do (~13k AOE). Not that the cost matters too much, as his passive will definitely speed it along.

    Thor’s red (Asgardian Tactics) is a 9 AP single target nuke that does big damage (~12.5k). It ignores enemy protects and tacks on additional damage for up to 10 friendly specials on the board (686 per tile). It’s a pretty straightforward hard-hitting power.

    Thor’s yellow is often deemed his throwaway power due to its slowness. While the other two are straightforward, this one is a bit more complicated. For 9 yellow, Smoldering Fire places a repeater (you hope doesn’t get matched away) that spawns one protect (albeit a big one) every turn. While this repeater is on the board, this power becomes Raging Fire- a 12 AP nuke (yes that’s 21 total for those counting) that removes the repeater, and does big damage (over ~20 to 26k). When the repeater is gone, those beefy protects flip into strikes and the power reverts to Smoldering Fire again. This power is not bad at all- especially when looking at the self-fueling aspect. However there is often another character who has better use for that yellow AP (see: #1 on this list) that goes with Thor like peanut butter and... more peanut butter (I really like peanut butter).

    Thor’s main use is as the best battery ever and primary (with Okoye) or secondary (with Apocalypse) attacker. Because he starts doing his tricks at half health, most will purposely bring him in crippled, making him the tanky Thunder god he was meant to be on defense, but actually one of the squishiest characters ever on offense. Because of this, tanking becomes integral to your team composition more than any other character (save maybe 4* Juggs?). You actually want Thor at lower levels, where he can hide and not risk getting taken out by a small nuke or cascade.  Like Okoye, Iceman, and Hawkeye,Thor has also seen newfound use in CL10 where his AP collection is crucial to your team outpacing higher level opponents who could cripple you or make matches even more of a slog than if you didn't have the thunder god on your side.

    Pairings:
    Thor’s best pairing is Okoye. He fuels his own red/green nukes and Okoye’s yellow. Okoye’s yellow heals her and spams team-up AP which force-multiplies the big nukes. Since this is a guide meant to help, I’ll put it here: try to keep him 13 levels under Okoye to have her consistently tank red. This pairing can easily dispatch of 5* essentials in clearance level 9-10 and hit teams 50 levels higher in PvP. Speaking of PVP, Thorpocalypse is an equally fast team that is a bit scarier on defense due to Apocalypse being a much bigger threat on his own and harder to play around than Okoye.  Other great pairs are Daredevil (due to both punishing you when they hit half health) and Professor X (Thor cascading and sapping the board of three colors means more match-4s for Xavier). Iceman and Beta Ray Bill are also decent as they will tank (green/yellow) for Thor while providing a nice blue outlet. Bill provides a second (albeit smaller) battery and Bobby (via the passive yellow) provides some extra defense and a bunch of specials on the board to fuel red.  He is also a great battery for Havok, or for many of the "old guard" of 5*s, who tend to have more expensive powers, if you want to simply play him on fun teams.  Examples include Star-Lord, Widow, Logan, Ock, etc.
    #1) Okoye (Warrior General)
    blacktilepng750 yellowtilepng658 556 372
    greentilepng93 bluetilepng86 purpletilepng79   Health: 59,274

    Recommended Build: 5/5/3

    Okoye edges out Thor for the number one spot, simply because while both are essential for CL10 PVP, while Thorkoye continues to fall out of the PVP meta, Okoye managed to stay relevant by finding a new dance partner.

    Okoye’s black passive (Wakanda Forever!) is what cements her atop the meta. She makes collecting mostly useless team-up tiles a viable strategy to build around. For each team-up AP you have, powers do ~1300 extra damage. Your team loses one team-up AP every turn Okoye doesn’t tank... so if you want the damage to stay up, you have to keep her in front.

    Luckily, Okoye’s cheap yellow (Indomitable Spirit) makes you want to keep her up front! For 7 AP, she heals over 1700 health for each team-up AP on the board, before then adding 4 more to the board. So she is not only a great support, but a sustainable tank for others.

    Okoye’s red (Piercing Throw) is her least interesting power. But as her only damage-dealing ability, it allows her to act as more than just a support if need be. For 11 AP, she destroys a row of her choosing and deals 7k+ (3 covers) to 12K+ (5 covers) damage- plus additional damage for each tile in the opponent’s strongest color that gets speared. The damage per AP is less important than the slight board control and offensive outlet it provides in the event that her teammates are downed.

    The best way to play Okoye is as a tank (the more levels on your Okoye the better!) who buffs her teammates’ powers passively by collecting team-up AP. In this way, she plays pretty straight-forward.While easy to dispatch of in PVP, she has found newfound life in PVE CL10 where her healing is crucial in shrugging off high damage abilities and her black is essential in doling out big damage yourself  She is absolutely essential to any roster that wants to compete!

    Pairings:
    Okoye is truly the ultimate team player. She is a great transition character due to her affinity for tanking and making 4*s hit like 6*s. You will often hear the phrase “pairs well with Okoye” in many character release threads... and for good reason. Regardless of what stage of the game you are in, she partners well with those who have cheap powers, multi-tap powers, or passive powers. 4* examples include Medusa, Sabretooth, Wolfsbane, Spider-Man 2099, and Deadpool. 5*s include Rescue, Hela, Iceman, Professor X, Apocalypse, BRB, Dr. Strange, and two that deserve special mention.  One, is of course Thorkoye, arguably the quickest offense-only pairing in the game today.  The second is Immortal Hulk who has teamed with Okoye to find a spot in the meta game.  Okoye boosting his green door simply melts opponent health pools to nothing while providing a decent defensive deterrent. While any of the top 5 could make a claim for the throne, it is Okoye's versatility and prominence in both PVP and PVE that makes her queen!
  • TPF AlexisTPF Alexis Posts: 3,771 Chairperson of the Boards
    Nice write-up. Nothing too surprising to me, but it should be a good reference for newer players.
    It still doesn't make him good, but I'd also note that Kingpin works quite well with Kitty. She can make Attack or Protect tiles for him to give away, buff those and the Attack tiles he makes, and turn the tiles he gives away into an additional ~13K nuke with Circuit Breaker. Plus, they have full rainbow coverage on match damage, and all but purple in actives.
  • Daredevil217Daredevil217 Posts: 2,834 Chairperson of the Boards
    And done!
  • tiomonotiomono Posts: 1,596 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited 6 February 2020, 02:29
    Do you have banner champed? Gamma ray experiment does not prioritize overwriting enemy specials. It can hit basic tiles too and its random. Which actually makes it worse than what you wrote. But since he is already bottom of your barrel I guess it doesnt matter.

    I am one of the few players that actually kind of like banner. I run mine at 3-5-5. Gamma ray experiment does the same damage at 3 or 5 covers. At 3 covers it only changes 1 tile to green instead of 2 so you can squeeze a few more turns of damage out of it sometimes. 
  • ThaRoadWarriorThaRoadWarrior Posts: 4,432 Chairperson of the Boards
    LOL at #1
  • ThaRoadWarriorThaRoadWarrior Posts: 4,432 Chairperson of the Boards
    I really wanted Rescue to work better than she does as a Gritty counter. She can do monster damage with Okoye, particularly if there is a SAP generator on the table, but even with Bishop her blue takes too long to get moving for that. I similarly thought WCap would help her get started by adding red and blue all over the board, and charging it for bonus AP gain, but my 270s champ can't hang with my MMR. Really, she is outclassed by 4* Sabretooth for pairing with Okoye to beat Gritty teams. 
  • ThaRoadWarriorThaRoadWarrior Posts: 4,432 Chairperson of the Boards
    Kind of commenting on these as i read them - Ghost Rider would really benefit from Hell Ride taking advantage of Wakanda Forever! I've always felt it should, given that it doesn't just do match damage, but 300% of what would have been match damage, thus seemingly meeting the "bonus damage" described in WF!, but since it's based on tile destruction it seems to be specifically excluded. In 1-on-1 combat he can be pretty rough, since he hits like a truck and you don't have to worry about any conditionals on his black. Since he was my first 5*, I ran him a lot, and settled on 5/3/5 as his best build. He's just a little slow, and lacks the survivability of Doom or one of the other true healers.
  • abennessabenness Posts: 186 Tile Toppler
    Awesome writeup.  I read the lowest ranked few and then skipped to LOL at #1.  Will peruse the others at my leisure.

    I haven't champed Bill yet, but if he gets out enough shields, does that mean Bishop isn't triggering off match damage while they are out?  Similar to how Bishop sometimes won't trigger if you target Prof X and his damage reduction passive means it doesn't meet the Overclocked trigger threshold.
  • abennessabenness Posts: 186 Tile Toppler
    edited 6 February 2020, 03:13
    Thor's red does extra damage per friendly special (not enemy special), which I like using with Iceman as you mention
  • Daredevil217Daredevil217 Posts: 2,834 Chairperson of the Boards
    tiomono said:
    Do you have banner champed? Gamma ray experiment does not prioritize overwriting enemy specials. It can hit basic tiles too and its random. Which actually makes it worse than what you wrote. But since he is already bottom of your barrel I guess it doesnt matter.

    I am one of the few players that actually kind of like banner. I run mine at 3-5-5. Gamma ray experiment does the same damage at 3 or 5 covers. At 3 covers it only changes 1 tile to green instead of 2 so you can squeeze a few more turns of damage out of it sometimes. 

    Nope.  Anyone with an asterix is unchamped.  I mentioned that in the OP, but to be fair, it's a really long OP.  I just went off power descriptions for him and totally overlooked "basic tiles".  That's way worse.  Updated!


    Nice write-up. Nothing too surprising to me, but it should be a good reference for newer players.
    It still doesn't make him good, but I'd also note that Kingpin works quite well with Kitty. She can make Attack or Protect tiles for him to give away, buff those and the Attack tiles he makes, and turn the tiles he gives away into an additional ~13K nuke with Circuit Breaker. Plus, they have full rainbow coverage on match damage, and all but purple in actives.
    Added! Now I really want to try this team.  That's a really smart combo.

    abenness said:
    Thor's red does extra damage per friendly special (not enemy special), which I like using with Iceman as you mention
    Yeah this one I did know (as seen in the pairings).  Definite typo.  Good catch! Fixed as well.


    LOL at #1

    I thought it was funny :)  He's really just a placeholder until I get a feel for Sinister and where he falls.  And yeah I definitely thought of you when writing up Rescue and Ghostie.  I know you are/were high on both, and was shocked how low they ended up being.  I will say, I moved people around a ton right up until hitting post.  And probably will again.  Unchamped people that I don't know if I have too high or low are Phoenix (though she's almost champed), Star-Lord, and Bolt.

    If this ends up being helpful, it'd be cool to get it stickied and continue updating it.  If not, I still had fun writing it!

  • heybubheybub Posts: 247 Tile Toppler
    First of all, this is a great write-up.  Thank you for putting this together.  As a 4* player, this really helps me understand what each 5* character does, who they pair nicely with, and to understand who they are good against and who they should avoid.  It's pretty much exactly what we have been asking the devs to do for like ever.  Also the writing style is entertaining - first and last place are great.

    One thing that would be helpful (not that you haven't done enough already) is to get a feel for how much damage they powers do in relation to the amount of health the opponents have.  I see 5k damage, and am like, wow that sounds like a lot.  But I just fought a champed JJ that had 120k HP, so 5k isn't really that much.  Now that I have seen a JJ in action, I get the feel and can do the math, but might be helpful for others who are reading the post.

    A few things come to mind when reading these, the first being how sad the power creep is.  I always liked Silver Surfer - cool and unique character, but it sucks he has faded so badly.  For guys like him or Logan, it seems like all they need to be relevant is some added match damage and some extra HP.  I wonder what the landscape would look like if the devs did just that.  It might not make a new meta, but maybe we would see some of these characters more.

    Since the best 5* character is a 4*, when do you think we will see him nerfed?  I never realized how powerful that guy was (I don't have him champed), and only really use him as a blue battery.  

    Will you be updating this as time goes on?  Even without the addition of new 5*s, some of the rankings will change depending on new characters that boost them (as you mentioned for Hawkeye), or if the character they counter becomes irrelevant (Black Suit Spidey for instance if Kitty is negated somehow).

    And finally, dude, Banner is SO bad...I mean the Hulk should be feared....by the enemy team, not the owner.  I really hope they scrap this one and do him right.  I like the fear/waiting for the hulk to come out, but when he does, he should be a terror.  I mean like smash the whole board when comes out and do like 5k passive damage randomly every turn (for so many turns).  The opposing team should really work hard to keep Banner calm.

    Thanks again for the awesome post!
  • heybubheybub Posts: 247 Tile Toppler
    edited 6 February 2020, 06:29
    One comment on Carnage - he has a bit more synergy with BRB than you describe.  He creates enemy attacks that fuel BRB blue countdown since they add an additional enemy attack each turn for ~1 damage, and when he makes matches with a flooded board of protects, he creates additional blue/green AP for Bill.  They also flood the board making it harder for the AI to create their own tiles.  I would probably rank him higher, just for that synergy.  True it is a bit slow, but being good on D still makes them effective.  Through Medusa in the mix and now you are generating AP on matching those enemy attacks and fully (burst) healed by the end of the match.  I actually really like that team (fun, too) but then again, I don't have many other 5*s fully covered.
  • TPF AlexisTPF Alexis Posts: 3,771 Chairperson of the Boards

    Nice write-up. Nothing too surprising to me, but it should be a good reference for newer players.
    It still doesn't make him good, but I'd also note that Kingpin works quite well with Kitty. She can make Attack or Protect tiles for him to give away, buff those and the Attack tiles he makes, and turn the tiles he gives away into an additional ~13K nuke with Circuit Breaker. Plus, they have full rainbow coverage on match damage, and all but purple in actives.
    Added! Now I really want to try this team.  That's a really smart combo.

    I honestly ran into it just sort of by default, since Kitty and Grocket are my usual pair for accompanying Essentials who don't specifically synergise with someone else. Even with Fi5k just at 4/1/3, I found myself using his blue and green on the 5E nodes all the time, which doesn't always even happen when I've got the 5E champed.
    heybub said:
    One thing that would be helpful (not that you haven't done enough already) is to get a feel for how much damage they powers do in relation to the amount of health the opponents have.  I see 5k damage, and am like, wow that sounds like a lot.  But I just fought a champed JJ that had 120k HP, so 5k isn't really that much.  Now that I have seen a JJ in action, I get the feel and can do the math, but might be helpful for others who are reading the post.
    Getting used to 5* health pools and damage takes a bit. The gap between the 4* and 5* tier is much larger than any other, and they break a lot of the patterns we're used to from the lower tiers. There was a while when I was wasting health packs on Kitty (my first 5* champ) because I'd just see the "time to heal" in the team selection screen being longer than any of my 4* and heal her out of habit, but eventually I realized that I wasn't even really noticing that much damage on her health bar during fights.
  • tiomonotiomono Posts: 1,596 Chairperson of the Boards
    tiomono said:
    Do you have banner champed? Gamma ray experiment does not prioritize overwriting enemy specials. It can hit basic tiles too and its random. Which actually makes it worse than what you wrote. But since he is already bottom of your barrel I guess it doesnt matter.

    I am one of the few players that actually kind of like banner. I run mine at 3-5-5. Gamma ray experiment does the same damage at 3 or 5 covers. At 3 covers it only changes 1 tile to green instead of 2 so you can squeeze a few more turns of damage out of it sometimes. 

    Nope.  Anyone with an asterix is unchamped.  I mentioned that in the OP, but to be fair, it's a really long OP.  I just went off power descriptions for him and totally overlooked "basic tiles".  That's way worse.  Updated!
    I read the whole intro but somehow mentally checked out when reading that part lol. I was too excited about seeing your thoughts on how the characters rank I guess. Great write up though. I'm looking forward to more.
  • ThaRoadWarriorThaRoadWarrior Posts: 4,432 Chairperson of the Boards
    It should also be said - I have defeated AI opponents who were using Banner by leaving Hulkform for last, and downing him, and he doesn't revert, it just ends the match in the same way a match with a dead Phoenix countdown on the board will just end. I assume that'a a bug, but it has happened more than once to me in PVP. My own Banner isn't worth trying, so I can't confirm it on offense.
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