Preparing for the Endgame - Intro to SCL10 Story/PvE Mode

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AdeptusRevolt
AdeptusRevolt Posts: 85 Match Maker
edited June 2023 in MPQ General Discussion

The story thus far...
You've been playing MPQ for a while, and are approaching SHIELD Rank (SR) 120. Maybe you followed the New Player Guide maybe not. SHIELD Clearance Level (SCL) 10 is about to unlock for you. Are you ready? How do you know you are ready?

Regardless, you're about to enter the endgame...

Rewards of SCL10

Why is SCL10 such a big milestone? It's the highest SCL, and it has the best rewards, of course. Most notably, in SCL10 you get 250 shards of a 5 star (half a cover) just for getting progression. Which doesn't even require you to play all the nodes 3 times. Yep, that's right, 3 times not 4 times. But more on that later.

To illustrate the differences in rewards, here are some screenshots from DonkeyTeeth's PvE Tracker Spreadsheet (CL Comparison Tab if you want to play with it yourself).

Between SCL9 and SCL10 you are looking at losing a tiny bit of ISO, some 3 star shards, and a heroic token, but getting an extra 450 4 star shards, 200 5 star shards, and a mighty token - plus 15 HP! Woot!

Most important of course is the 5 star shards, as this is part of the LL train strategy to stay caught up and champ every new 5 star as they come out.

What about placement? Maybe you've been crushing it with the steamroller team of Polaris, Rocket & Groot, and Juggernaut in SCL9 and getting top placement?

This is what the differences are between top 10 in SCL9 and Top 200 for SCL10. T200 in SCL10 (in my experience) is about where you fall when completing progression but not playing for placement. Not a lot, depending. And again, that is SCL9 T10! You can dial in for your own experience on the sheet here.

Did you know - SCL10 gives T200 players a full 4 star cover for new release events, which is likely more attainable than what is needed in SCL9.

Still want to try for placement? Watch for bracket flips (using this guide and this spreadsheet) to improve your chances.

In short, SCL10 is all about the progression rewards, since it makes 5 stars much easier to cover.

A Brief Note about PvP/Versus

Prevailing wisdom is, always play the highest SCL. In Versus mode, SCL does not change who you match up with, just the rewards. So always pick high!

Changes in SCL10

SCL10 is the biggest change in SCLs.

There is no 2 star essential (2E) Keep your 2 star farm going though. but you no longer need a specific 2 star for story mode.
There is a Challenge Node Replacing the 2E is a green Challenge Node. This is a super-tough node where you can pick any 3 characters to face the opponent. Seldom are these goons. And some of these are really, really hard.
One less clear to start the timers/green check a node Really good news - you only have to do each node 3 times to start the timers (2x for wave nodes) and 4 times to get all rewards (3x for wave nodes). This helps make up for the extra time it can take to fight the tougher enemies.

So what do I need for progression in SCL10?

In short, beat each regular node, the 3E, and the 4E - 3 times each.
Then, 3 beat the 5E and Challenge Node (CN) a combination of 3 times.

In other words, if you beat the 5E once and the CN 2 times, you should be good. Or the 5E 3 times, and the CN 0 times. Or the 5E 0 times, and the CN 3 times, etc.

If you do 4 clears on the other nodes, especially waiting for points to refresh, you will need even less.

A big takeaway here is you don't always need the 5E to get progression in SCL10.

Long answer, you can use the PvE details sheet to calculate your points for any specific event.

Requirements for SCL10

In game, you only need to reach SR120 to open up SCL10. But what do you actually need to succeed? Well, that depends on what you mean by success. I'm going to start with success being "getting full progression while still having a life, and only 10 healthpacks."

Here's what you need for that in some general terms:

A way to reliably remove countdown tokens/special tiles. A Tommy Gun from a thug in SCL10 can wipe out a champed 4-star team. Cheap Shot can down most champed 4 stars and undercovered 5-stars. Therefore you need a way to keep them from going off, but the health of even generic goons is going to be 50k- six figures. Even Polaris, Grocket and Juggs will no longer be able to down them all before some of them go off.

For this reason Kitty Pryde used to be the top recommended first 5 star. Sure, her yellow boost to Grocket's strike tiles ramped up fast, but more importantly at 5 covers, her purple would remove one countdown a turn.

Now, however, Morbius and Doctor Octopus provide more directed/reliable removal of those tiles (and repeaters) at the 4-star level.

A way to deal damage faster. As mentioned above, health pools for enemies jumps way up from SCL9. You need to deal more damage faster, or you won't outlast the enemy.

A way to mitigate damage/heal. Enemy match and ability damage goes up too. While you can use Polaris/Grocket/Juggs, you will have to use a lot of health packs in SCL10 vs SCL9.

Several 4 star Champs See the list below for some highlights.

(Ideal) All 4 stars rostered Since you will start to get more 5 star covers and really want to be able to roster new 5 stars as they come out so you can do the 5E node

(Ideal) Some good utility 5 star covers See the list below

Recommended Characters to Build for SCL10 Transition

Recommended 4 Star Characters

SCL10 was made for 5 stars, but there are some key 4 star players that you should make sure you build up. The goal is to build a few different possible teams that can handle different SCL10 challenges.

Morbius Great special tile remover. Match one, and he removes 3 others. Self healing available too.

Doctor Octopus Another great special tile remover, with some board manipulation. Doubles as a good partner with Shang-Chi.

Medusa With Polaris and Rocket and Groot, trades Juggs' toughness with a steady team heal. This team is weak to strong abilities that can one-shot them, though.

Melinda May Similar to Valkyrie, who is at least worth a mention here - a great AP battery. May has simpler AP boost and a cheap stun, though.

Deathlok AP battery that works great with Kang (5 star specifically) to generate the necessary blue to away enemies. Combos well with Okoye too, making him a 4 star that supports several 5 stars well. Vulture can improve the AP battery function, as Vulture is another technologist.

Gorr Another special tile remover, but only if several are put out at once. Pairs well with Okoye with his repeaters.

Recommended 5 Star Starter Characters

Beta Ray Bill Specifically getting at least 1 yellow cover enables a winfinite combo, which can allow you to punch way up on Challenge Nodes.

Shang-Chi Really shines once you get him champed, in which case you probably won't need to use the winfinite in SCL10 anymore, and can do SCL10 clears in a little over 30 minutes. Downside? He really doesn't work great before getting fully covered/champed. Works really well with several 4 stars, including Chavez, Melinda May, Valkyrie, and Doctor Octopus.

Kang Relatively new as I write this, Kang creates a shortcut, accelerated by 4 stars Deathlok and Vulture. 27 blue, and everyone's away. One cover won't necessarily do it, but there are other ways to cheese quick victories. 5 star Hawkeye and 3 star Iron man, plus supports to make yellow at the start of the game can make quick work even with 3 star Kang, but the team is really squishy if things go sideways. All the same, an undercovered Kang or 3 star Kang champ can be something to consider from time to time.

Chasm Specifically getting one purple cover will allow you to stun mindless ones as soon as the game starts, preventing them from placing their special tiles. One purple doesn't do much else though.

Mighty Thor Specifically her blue. 1 cover in blue can help Shang make combos or Polaris fill the board with specials.

Okoye Another that needs to be champed to shine, but she now has several 4 star partners that empower her - Gorr, Hulkling, and Deathlok especially. Also can be devastating with Immortal Hulk with at least 1 green cover. However, as a first champ, Shang-Chi is more reliable and consistent.

Kitty Pryde Still worthy of the list, but not recommended as a first 5 star champ. She can enable Polaris and Rocket and Groot to clear, and with Beta Ray Bill's yellow she can create a well-protected team.

Share your SCL10 tips below!

Comments

  • fight4thedream
    fight4thedream GLOBAL_MODERATORS Posts: 1,930 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited June 2023
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    Awesome write up!

    Just one detail that may be worth adding in regards to Kang is that his Realm Shift doesn't work against boss characters. Gorgon and Ultron are of particular interest as they tend to show up in some nodes a fair bit.

  • shardwick
    shardwick Posts: 2,121 Chairperson of the Boards
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    @fight4thedream said:
    Awesome write up!

    Just one detail that may be worth adding in regards to Kang is that his Realm Shift doesn't work against boss characters. Gorgon and Ultron are of particular interest as they tend to show up in C nodes a fair bit.

    Also not sure if his Realm Shift has been fixed for wave nodes yet.

    His Realm Shift has been fixed. Also, I don't think that Ultron shows up in any challenge nodes. He does show up in some wave and hard nodes though.

  • DeNappa
    DeNappa Posts: 1,372 Chairperson of the Boards
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    • Realm Shift will now just kill enemies in wave nodes if all current opponents are away, removing the countdown tiles and sending in the next enemies.

    • You might want to add a warning to Chasm, since his nerf seems to be in the works and we have yet to see what it's gonna be.

    • You take Polaris/R&G for so granted 4*s you don't even mention them explicitly in the 'starter 4*s'? :mrgreen:

  • Codex
    Codex Posts: 226 Tile Toppler
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    Excellent write-up.

    I noticed the Lt counts under placement in incorrect or maybe I am not understanding something.

  • skittledaddy
    skittledaddy Posts: 980 Critical Contributor
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    "While you can use Polaris/Grocket/Juggs, you will have to use a lot of health packs in SCL10 vs SCL9."

    I find this a little misleading.
    As a 100% CL10 player, I still use Juggs/Pol/Grocket in essentially every node they will me and I hardly ever use any health packs in CL10 PVE. Juggs' limitless 90% match damage reduction just neutralizes so much of whatever the enemy is able to do early in the match. And the opponents are often KO'd or stunned before they get to fire any active powers.
    I know clears 4 (sometimes) and 5 of the hardest nodes can stretch the limits of this team, but if you are talking exclusively to those transitioning to CL10 for the first time, clears 1-3 are all they need to be putting attention towards at this time, anyway.
    And for the essential nodes, I just drop Juggs and let the 3E/4E/5E tank for Polaris/Grocket. No point in wasting health packs on the essential chars, as you only need them for a handful of battles each day.

  • AdeptusRevolt
    AdeptusRevolt Posts: 85 Match Maker
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    @skittledaddy said:
    "While you can use Polaris/Grocket/Juggs, you will have to use a lot of health packs in SCL10 vs SCL9."

    I find this a little misleading.
    As a 100% CL10 player, I still use Juggs/Pol/Grocket in essentially every node they will me and I hardly ever use any health packs in CL10 PVE. Juggs' limitless 90% match damage reduction just neutralizes so much of whatever the enemy is able to do early in the match. And the opponents are often KO'd or stunned before they get to fire any active powers.
    I know clears 4 (sometimes) and 5 of the hardest nodes can stretch the limits of this team, but if you are talking exclusively to those transitioning to CL10 for the first time, clears 1-3 are all they need to be putting attention towards at this time, anyway.
    And for the essential nodes, I just drop Juggs and let the 3E/4E/5E tank for Polaris/Grocket. No point in wasting health packs on the essential chars, as you only need them for a handful of battles each day.

    I might drop this in as a direct quote, since you're "fellow alliance family member" I cite for this success with PolGrocketJuggs in SCL10 :D

  • ShionSinX
    ShionSinX Posts: 61 Match Maker
    edited June 2023
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    Other 4★ worth mentioning IMO:

    Annihilus: red and green get rid of all special tile types, overtime he can spam his powers more and more and empowers his own attack tiles, which is like a baby Kitty by himself. Can take a while to ramp up, but if you are going for progression I think hes a safe bet.

    Clea: her blue stops goons from putting up CDs, making them literal sitting ducks. If you can get her to hide behind someone else even tilemovers cant do damage to you, as they cant use any AoE powers and match damage is negated completely. While 3/5Kang away'ing ultimately stops them and can instawin, shes an option for 4★ land and (CMIIW) works against the bosses who cant be away'd.

    I heard about the airbone team (Ikaris, Karolina and Vulture), but I havent tried it myself and am not really sure how its supposed to fully self feed AP to keep it going forever. Cheesy but supposedly can get you through harder nodes.

    Winfinites in general could help you as mentioned on BRB portion, and again, even if its slow, as long as you can win thats enough if progression is what you are aiming for. Something like the old Charlie's Angels team (abusing 4ProfX AP loop) with a support that increases the tile strenght color you need to generate to keep the match5's going, while having a good damage dealer to use the spare AP you get, should be fine as well.

  • Grizwald
    Grizwald Posts: 108 Tile Toppler
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    If you're transitioning to SLC10, Melinda May can be rough as a battery. Needing to do 8% of someone's health in a turn when health pools can be 150K and higher means do 12K+ in damage. Which can take a few rounds to build up to. If the team you're running can do that starting right away, great. Otherwise Valkyrie might be better as you have more time to get the damage in.

  • fight4thedream
    fight4thedream GLOBAL_MODERATORS Posts: 1,930 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited June 2023
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    @shardwick said:

    @fight4thedream said:
    Awesome write up!

    Just one detail that may be worth adding in regards to Kang is that his Realm Shift doesn't work against boss characters. Gorgon and Ultron are of particular interest as they tend to show up in C nodes a fair bit.

    Also not sure if his Realm Shift has been fixed for wave nodes yet.

    His Realm Shift has been fixed. Also, I don't think that Ultron shows up in any challenge nodes. He does show up in some wave and hard nodes though.

    Thanks for the clarification! I edited my post to prevent potential confusion.

  • Omegased
    Omegased Posts: 581 Critical Contributor
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    SCL10 was always really tough for me when i started, until I got Beta Ray Bill. BRB/Kitty/Polaris is a great team that you can quickly stunlock a team for.

    This team will get you through a lot of SCL10 if required. which brings me to the next suggestion

    Good utilization of supports! Carol's Communicator is an absolute MUST for the above team. Put it on either Kitty or BRB, depending on who's tanking...

  • McRich
    McRich Posts: 27 Just Dropped In
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    @ShionSinX said:
    Other 4★ worth mentioning IMO:

    Annihilus: red and green get rid of all special tile types, overtime he can spam his powers more and more and empowers his own attack tiles, which is like a baby Kitty by himself. Can take a while to ramp up, but if you are going for progression I think he is a safe bet.

    Who is Annihilus? Is he related to Carnage?

  • skittledaddy
    skittledaddy Posts: 980 Critical Contributor
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    @McRich said:

    @ShionSinX said:
    Other 4★ worth mentioning IMO:

    Annihilus: red and green get rid of all special tile types, overtime he can spam his powers more and more and empowers his own attack tiles, which is like a baby Kitty by himself. Can take a while to ramp up, but if you are going for progression I think he is a safe bet.

    Who is Annihilus? Is he related to Carnage?

    4* Human Torch (Annihilus)