Grand Experiment 2: Treading Water in the SCL 10 Post-Shardpocalypse

ThaRoadWarriorThaRoadWarrior Posts: 7,068 Chairperson of the Boards
edited January 2021 in MPQ General Discussion
Now that the original Grand Experiment has run its course in all ways, I'm going to continue into a bold new era of grandiose experimentation: with the new shard economy + SCL10 available, and a potentially more aggressive 5* release schedule, is it possible to spend-as-you go while playing to hybrid progression and stay current on 5* releases as a completely F2P player?

I doubt anyone is reading this that wasn't at least aware of the old thread, but just in case this is the sequel to:

That thread spanned the time from Kingpin (spider-verse)'s release through today, a few days after the launch of SCL10. A little over a year. In that time we saw Bonus Heroes go away in favor of Shards, SCL10 launched, and Support Circuit came and went. 

I went from being a late-middle stage 4* player to an early 5* transitioner, and now have 8 champion 5*s, and all but 11 (about to be back up to 12 when Karnak drops) champed 4*s.

Here is the state of my roster:
8 champions (Profe$$or X, Okoye, GE Doom, Ghost Rider, Rescue, Jessica Jones, Iceman, 5torm)
all others (except Mr. Sinister who is not yet in Latest) on roster in various states of disrepair. Most are 6 or less, some as bad as Widow at 3/0/0, but a few are within 1-4 covers of champable.

All but 11 champed, best is Chavez at 353, next best is Rogue at 308. 2 are waiting on iso, the rest need covers as well.

I flip as they max out, and champ when I need them or they have a lot of saved covers. All on roster, 11 in various states of re-growth to champable

I keep 3 champed, flip as soon as they max out, rechamp a replacement. I'm on my second Bagman, currently lvl 122

I just keep a single lvl 40 Sp1der-Man for DDQ, he can solo it even not leveled up to 50

I'm what I guess you call a hybrid player, I play the highest SCL available to me to full progression (or as close as I can get in pvp), and don't compete for placement outside of character release events. I generally spend cp and lts into Latest Legends exclusively. Doing so put my Profe$$or X 11 covers into being a champ, and at that point I realized that was most of a Mr Sinister I cost myself, so I'm going to start hanging on to CP/LTs as soon as I get the next-leaving 5* to champ status. My average pull rate pre-SCL10 was between 2.5 and 3 Latest pulls per day (but obviously spread around all clumpy and not actually 3 pulls every day). I'm in a decidedly bottom tier alliance that I command, which I'm pretty entrenched in since it has a few IRL friends in it. But I say that to set the stage I'm not getting much/any help from alliance placement - this is largely a solo effort.

So here are the ground rules I'll set for myself: Play every event at SCL10 and push as far as I can, and spend as I go into Latest until the eldest 5* is covered, and then stop spending (or not, depending on how I feel) until they leave latest. 

I use my 4* shards and 5* shards to chase classics via feeders, and I plan to continue doing that. Current shard targets:
5* Gladiathor (2/0/2 - i'm planning to get him to 5/0/2 and move on)
4* Valkyrie (see above, currently lvl 285)
3* Spid3r-Man (currently lvl 262 - i'm taking the very long road of pushing Miles Morales from 293 to 300 to complete Fi5k by just parking on this 3* for 2 more flips. So we'll get to see how long it takes to shard a 3* from 0 to max along the way).

Before SCL10, I had dialed in my pull rate and shard aquisition rate pretty exactly, but now that SCL 10 is live and shards are flying around all willy nilly, it's going to be very difficult to predict in advance how long it might take to grow any specific character. Should be interesting. 

We're now on the 3rd pvp event with SCL10 rewards, I played the first w of them to the 1000pt CP reward - the first by points and the second by wins. We're 4 days into the first SCL10 story event, and so far I'm able to hit 4x clears on all nodes for max progression as I was doing in SCL9.

I have 14 saved LTs and 107 cp in the bank (right after it went live, I blew about 500cp in Classic, so we're relatively close to starting at 0), and I'm going to start spending when Sinister hits Latest Legends.

Current crop of Latest Legends:
Profe$$or X: champed, level 461, my highest leveled character
Carbage: 3/0/3
Beta Ray Bill: 1/1/2


  • ThaRoadWarriorThaRoadWarrior Posts: 7,068 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited February 2020
    As I approach SCL 10, i'm considering my 5* sharding strategy: do i just try and champ the nearly champed ones, or do I try and add drops to the various buckets of the dismally covered ones from way back? It's too soon to tell how bad SCL10 is going to actually be when I don't have the 5* champed, but i'm curious if a top tier duo like okoye/X or even Hawkey/Wcap for the stunlock to bypass the essential nodes will end up being how I play it? 

    given that the bulk of my 4*s are down in the 280-310 level range, it takes a LONG time to shard my way to one of the 20-cover break points where a 5* drops. Or rather it did before SCL10. So i'm very curious to see what happens to my 4* growth now, and whether the 5* shards in PVP placement will start to add up before long.
  • ThaRoadWarriorThaRoadWarrior Posts: 7,068 Chairperson of the Boards
    Just finished the first PVE at SCL10. It went ok, second one starts today, the first release event that has it available. Looks like it is giving out Karnak covers down to t200, and shards down the entire tree of placement in SCL10.

    i burned my cp in classic, got a yellow black panther for a 2/1/2 build. I’m already back up to 58cp, and I have 17 LTs saved up. 
  • ThaRoadWarriorThaRoadWarrior Posts: 7,068 Chairperson of the Boards
    I'm in the PVE slice for Meet Rocket & Groot that closes at 11pm EST, and 4x clears on everything, 1x clears on the yellow nodes has me sitting at 249th place right now. Surely that will drop as people start hitting final grinds, I'm curious where "just showing up for progression" is going to land typically. I will say that with multiple covers in progression for the featured 4* means I care a lot less about scoring them in Shield Training or even the release PVE as I used to do. I may attempt to go back through and green-check the easy nodes for some extra points on this release, but I don't see myself trying to close out a final grind in SCL10.
  • ThaRoadWarriorThaRoadWarrior Posts: 7,068 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited February 2020
    Ideally falling into t200 would be the place - the lowest complete cover. If you're not in t200, you may as well be in t500 it seems. The granularity seems very fine between adjacent reward bands in 10, though perhaps it was like that before and I never paid any attention.

    In preparation, I leveled my BRB up to 315, not really expecting that to make a difference. i am very interested though in trying to run Okoye/BRB/P4nther just to see if that team is fun or not.
  • ThaRoadWarriorThaRoadWarrior Posts: 7,068 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited February 2020
    Something else of note - I have a 5-cover Northstar right now, and there are still essentially 2 covers in Simulator PVP, and then there are 3 covers in progression on the release event, so I will be able to get the Karnak cover from ST after all, assuming I hit full progression before it closes out. Things ARE very different these days in the Shardlands...

    *edit* actually I guess it's even better than that, since I somehow already have 380/400 shards. Probably simulator/pvp season rewards, since i'm not sharding him at all on purpose.
  • ThaRoadWarriorThaRoadWarrior Posts: 7,068 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited February 2020
    Staring down the barrel of that BRB node in this story, I figured I'd test my luck and pull my LT stash to try and get a few more covers. I ended up making 19 pulls out of latest, and 5 of those were 5* covers, and 1 of them was the 13th cover for Talos I've been waiting for for so long (lol).

    Current Latest Crop:
    Profe$$or X: still 461
    Carbage: 4/0/4 (0 shards)
    BRB: 3/2/2 (75 shards so far from events) 

    Northstar is currently 1/2/4, there are still 2 more covers worth of shards in progression on Honor Among Thieves, and i didn't get the one at the top of Simulator yet either.

    At SCL 10, the Carbage/1* Venom/Symbiote challenge node is buck wild for my roster. Took me all 10 health packs just to beat it the one time.
  • Daredevil217Daredevil217 Posts: 3,252 Chairperson of the Boards
    I’m glad you got pretty much optimal pulls (mostly BRB/ no Prof) but do you need like a hoarding sponsor or something? Next time you feel that itch to pull tokens... you call me.... message me on Line... something. 
  • ThaRoadWarriorThaRoadWarrior Posts: 7,068 Chairperson of the Boards
    Lol, it's pretty sad. But I was really struggling on that BRB node, which doesn't bode at all well for some of the Classics to roll around.

    I have to say though, I have a feeling I'm going to enjoy running Sinister in PVE, he seems like the kind of weird character I'd like.
  • ThaRoadWarriorThaRoadWarrior Posts: 7,068 Chairperson of the Boards
    Honor Along Thieves has been awful at SCL 10. Sub 1 I did 4x all the way through, then green checked the easy nodes. Day 2 I 4x’d everything but the challenge node, which I could only do 2x. Day three I’ve 4x’d all of it save the challenge node that I have only cleared 1x so far, and I am currently in 177th place overall. I think either nobody stayed in 10 for the release, or they tapped out sometime in sub 2. It’s still not done though, so we’ll see how it ends I guess.
  • ThaRoadWarriorThaRoadWarrior Posts: 7,068 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited February 2020
    Huh. Playing like that was good for 179th place. I found a team that could handle that challenge node (okoye/hawkeye/WCap), and green checked the easy nodes.

    i didn’t even have a full bracket, I only had 845.
  • ThaRoadWarriorThaRoadWarrior Posts: 7,068 Chairperson of the Boards
    Yeah, as it stands right now, there are only 527 players in my Venom Bomb CL10 bracket. For players like me, this is great I guess; show up and hit that high-end placement. But I'm not sure what it means for the mode or the game.
  • ThaRoadWarriorThaRoadWarrior Posts: 7,068 Chairperson of the Boards
    Okay, I flipped Spid3r-Man, my 3* shard target, and as of this morning i have him at 1 cover. We'll see how long it takes to go from 0->266 in this bold new Shardscape.

    I champed Mysterio, so even with Karnak I'm at 11 4*s left to go.Taskmaster, Talos, and Karolina are fully covered, the rest are still working on it. 

    My Northstar is at 3/2/4 with 205|400 shards. I'd grind for the one in Simulator, but I just stay at 0 healthpacks now with SCL10. This is an interesting situation for sure; i need to get into a better rhythm for playing around the recharges, or I guess drop a mode.
  • ThaRoadWarriorThaRoadWarrior Posts: 7,068 Chairperson of the Boards
    Of note: Valkyrie is up to 288 since I started this thread. One of those was an organic pull, the other 2 were from shards. the ramp-rate of 4* shards is real. Maybe this won't be a heck of waiting at a rate of 1/week before the token jump ups and shard-in-progression we were seeing before. Gladiator Thor is at 219 shards currently.
  • ThaRoadWarriorThaRoadWarrior Posts: 7,068 Chairperson of the Boards

    2 days later, Spid3r-Man is at 1/1/1 with 15 shards. Valkyrie is at 37/400 shards.

    karnak is at 2/1/2 with 325/400 shards right now. There are still 250 shards at the top of story progression, and there is the Shield Training cover if I can grind 11 more simulator wins to get a 10th Northstar today sometime. I also haven't lucked into the Karnak & Friends cover in the vault, I guess there is a chance on that too. A 7 cover new character release would be the best I've ever done, and I really didn't play it any differently than I used to pre-SCL10.

  • ThaRoadWarriorThaRoadWarrior Posts: 7,068 Chairperson of the Boards

    I got that Northstar out of Simulator, and ended up getting to the 3rd solo node in Shield training with my 3/1/2 Karnak. Full progression in Venom Bomb will get me one more shard cover as well. Far and away the best I've done on a new character release block - historically I'd be anywhere from 2-4 covers, and if I hit lucky in the vault MAYBE 5 covers. Next time he's required, I'll have him champable just via progression in SCL 10, so that's a good feeling.

  • ThaRoadWarriorThaRoadWarrior Posts: 7,068 Chairperson of the Boards

    Well, it happened quick: Nata5ha is the required 5, the worst possible 5* on my roster at 3/0/0. This will really be the test for SCL10 in Unstable Iso-8 for me.

  • Daredevil217Daredevil217 Posts: 3,252 Chairperson of the Boards

    My worst was 0/0/2 Carnage in Venom Bomb. Entered somewhere in the late 700s, ended #45 and hit full progression. If I did that, I think I can fare fine as a progression-only 10 player.

  • ThaRoadWarriorThaRoadWarrior Posts: 7,068 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited February 2020

    Okoye/Whoever do most of the heavy lifting; i'm not that worried about it. Progression only i've been hovering around t200 within a few places either side, depending on whether or not i can clear the challenging nodes 4x or not.

    I've been hanging on to CP and LTs again, i'm back up to 250/5 for when Sinister hits (if he hits, it's starting to feel like)...

  • ThaRoadWarriorThaRoadWarrior Posts: 7,068 Chairperson of the Boards

    I’m going to try and grind 75 wins in this Cyclops pvp for the Miles shards. Might save me a flip of Spid3r-Man if I can do it.

  • ThaRoadWarriorThaRoadWarrior Posts: 7,068 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited February 2020

    Ok, crisis averted on having a terrible 5* required in SCL10. Subs 1 and 2 I wasn't quite able to 4x the 5* node or the Challenge node, some variation on 2-3 each, so I went and did a few extra clears on the main-track nodes on sub 2. Then sub 3 was mega-easy being mostly goons. Right now my clear team is:

    Okoye/Spider-Man 2099 (4/5/2, lvl 209)/Auto-damager or battery appropriate to the enemy type. Often this is Strang3 or Profe$$or X, but I was experimenting with a few other teams.

    I was trying to find a way to get Doom + Victorious support to function as a 5* Juggernaut with Okoye, but his yellow is not the cheapest. It might be better against tile-movers than goons, so you can get the passive AP skim off of their matches. I'm still playing around with the best 3rd there. I didn't try 4* Lord or Shuri though, I was focused mostly on yellow batteries like Northstar. I may also attempt Sandman, since he has a board shuffle + AoE on off-colors.

    Currently sitting on 30 wins in Eye for an Eye. 45 more, and that'll put my Miles Morales at 296 with 370/400 shards. Spid3r-Man is 1/1/2 with 189/300 shards. I flipped 3* Storm and needed to re-roster her, so he slowed down briefly.

    Still waiting for Mr. Sinister, I have 6 Lts and 338 cp currently.

    I've been working on putting my unchamped 4*s over to 209 in the background. I have 6 more to go, with Karnak (still NEW!) and Spider-Ham (limited) being the only 2 that are not yet eligible with 7 and 9 covers respectively.

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