The Irrelevant 7 Part Deux: The 4*'s released since 5/16

ColognoisseurColognoisseur Posts: 717 Critical Contributor
edited October 2016 in MPQ Character Discussion
There have been seven more new 4* characters released since May of 2016 so time for Part Deux of The Irrelevant 7. Before I dig in I want to confirm what I mean with the title. It is not that the characters are irrelevant because I think they are bad. On the contrary I would say taken as a whole the last 14 four star characters have shown the developers trying different things and arguably might be the best run of design in the entire history of the game. Why I think they are irrelevant is since the advent of 5* characters and their overpowering match damage they have faded the new 4* into the background. Unless you started playing in January of this year the number of covers you have for any of these characters is minimal. Making it more likely you will put your precious resources in to the previously released 4* which you have more covers for. For those players they will sit around level 100-ish with however many covers you have; maybe getting some iso when they come up in Battle of the Titans DDQ. Now, to this edition of The Irrelevant 7.

War Machine continues the trend of having characters who have their powers feed into each other making them good as a stand-alone. Using the green countdowns to then drop a bunch of tiles from red being active can be a pretty powerful move. As a partner War Machine brings a decent amount of board shake and damage with green and direct blue damage. So when looking for a blue green partner War Machine can fit the bill. I have used him often in PvE because the board shake can remove CD’s while the blue can one-shot many of the dark avengers and goons.

Moon Knight is another case of the devs showing a spirit of fun. Moonie is not a reliable damage producer but he sure is fun to play. I call him my Dungeons and Dragons character because I feel like I am rolling a d6 to see what his purple power is before each match. Then the same d6 tells me which character his random green hits. There is nothing random about the black, as it hits for decent damage and true heals. The randomness can be frustrating but if you partner him with characters with good purple and green then no matter what the purple power becomes there will be benefit for gathering that AP. I play him as much as I can because I enjoy the randomness it makes it fun to vary strategy depending on what that d6 tells me is in play for this match.

Kate Bishop is an underrated powerhouse. She has two huge damage dealers in black especially and purple secondarily. The black’s supposed drawback about taking damage if the cd resolves is minimal. I think in all of the times I have used her it has gone off for damage once or twice. It is truly irrelevant for doing huge damage for 8 black. The purple is a real problem once it is cast either match the cd and leave five big strike tiles on the board or let it resolve and have one character suck up a bunch of damage while still probably have one of the strikes still there. Really great design. The blue is situational but using it against the life gaining goons in PvE is awesome set it up right and three morale boosts can go off and do nothing. Because she is champed I’ll max her blue over the purple when facing life gaining goons and finish those matches much more quickly.

Peggy Carter is in no way irrelevant. Since January she has become the chase 4*. If any of the 4* since then is highly leveled on rosters it is Peggy. It is for one reason her yellow. At five covers it means the opponent has to spend 4AP more to use a power. Even if you have a 0/3/0 Peggy she can be used because of this power. It is the single best power in 4* land because it slows down every single enemy you face. If that was all she had it would be enough. Except she also has a game finishing blue to go with it. If you set it up right you use it to stun two undamaged opponents while finishing off the one who has taken all the match damage until it now. Once the stun wears off three cds worth of damage should kill one or both of the stunned characters. Her red is also good but anytime I use her there are better red powers on my roster. Peggy is a top tier 4* on the same level as HB, Iceman, Cyke, Rhulk, and Jean Grey. There is a reason to chase after her.

Wasp is the almost character in this group of seven. Her powers are all pretty interesting but none of them are strong enough to see much use. The best is the blue passive and once it gets going the ever resolving cd and ap steal is certainly annoying but it needs to do more damage when matched because even with the stupid ai it rarely gets matched and so when it does it should hit harder. The same also applies to the black I’d rather do more damage and get rid of the strike tile generation. The stun once you have 7-blue is good. I get that the strike tile is then supposed to be buffed by iterations of yellow but it is a gimmick which doesn’t work well. I used it with Kate’s purple to turn the strikes to protects so when the purple cd goes off there are no strikes to be removed then bring them back afterward. Again it is too gimmicky and it works rarely. Wasp is the worst of this group.

Spider-Woman has the best damage reduction power so far. Once you cast the black almost any damage done for the next four turns is neutered including match damage to any one on your team. It is very powerful as it can give you up to a 4-turn chance to gain advantage. The flexibility of the purple is good if you are facing an opponent which is producing tiles which will overwrite traps then you should have targets for the remove special tiles part. If there are no possibilities to overwrite then those four traps can do good damage. The red is just too expensive even though it is undeniably powerful. If it was just two or three AP cheaper it would be a top red power.

Luke Cage is going to be another PvE star along the lines of Quake. The reason is the black passive which goes off every time a cd is placed by a goon. Also now the fast Dark Avenger powers hurt much less. The protect tiles become so numerous that you will take one damage even when the muscle goons get threaten tiles out. To go along with all of the protect tiles his yellow can build up over multiple casts to being a huge amount of damage after there are five or six fortified tiles out. The red is another in a line of too expensive for the effect which seems common for this group. Pair C4ge and Daisy when facing overpowered goons and the cds almost become irrelevant, too. In PvP there just aren’t enough things cast to make the passive come in to play. Although buffed in his featured PvP once there were three on the board the 5* match damage was shut down. I don’t think he will be a PvP player because of this.

I’ve had a few discussions since my first The Irrelevant 7 about what I see as the current top tier of 4*. I think there are eight essential 4*’s now: Hulkbuster, Iceman, Red Hulk, Jean Grey, Cyclops, Nova, Punisher Max, and Peggy. The last three are the ones you should be chasing if you have the first five.

I assume they will not stop producing 4* any time soon so once there are seven more I’ll do The Irrelevant 7 III.
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Comments

  • cyineedsncyineedsn Posts: 361 Mover and Shaker
    This was a fun read, I look forward to the future installments!
  • OrionOrion Posts: 1,295 Chairperson of the Boards
    All of the 4*s in existence now makes it really hard to get covers for these 7. I have a decent number of covers for Moon Knight (10), but no more than 7 for any of the others. It really makes it hard to get enthused for any new 4* when you know it will be 6+ months before you can even consider maxing them out. And the more 4*s they come out with, the harder it will be.
  • VhailorxVhailorx Posts: 4,217 Chairperson of the Boards
    Nice update Colog!

    a few questions/thoughts in response:

    (1) Do you think Cage has much PVP value? You have done a great job outlining his worth against goons in PVE. And yellow and black seem like legitimately good powers. But red is pretty bad (considering the cost and reasonably difficult to meet contingency). He isn't an AP battery, and he doesn't provide fast/reliable offense, so I don't see a place for him in 2+ featured PVP unless he is the best boosted character in a bad week.

    (2) Your list of essential 4*s seems to be supported by both the player consensus, and the opponents I see in SSim. But what about your second tier? That's where people have trouble deciding how to spend limited resources. Anyone who has peggy or Rulk at 13/13 and doesn't level them is either (i) softapping, (ii) really dumb, or (iii) uninterested in the meta. But the hard choice is when you have Peggy and 12/13 and Xpool or X23 ready to champ, but not enough iso for both. So who would be in your second tier, and how far behind the essential 8 do you think the second tier is?

    IMO, Xpool, X23, Kate, quake, and 4* thor all seem to be pretty clear 2nd tiers (and not all that far behind behind the best 8). There are some other, more recent 4*s that may belong in this group too (moonie, cage, war machine, bucky), but I don't have enough experience with them to say to for sure. And a few older characters with neat tricks (thing, antman, KP, carnage) that could arguably be included included as well, but I think they have mostly been aged out of tier 2 status.

    Where is your cutoff point for "this character is worth champing when fully covered, even if it runs the risk of delaying a better character in the short term"?
  • BowgentleBowgentle Posts: 5,038 Chairperson of the Boards
    Vhailorx wrote:
    Nice update Colog!

    a few questions/thoughts in response:

    (1) Do you think Cage has much PVP value? You have done a great job outlining his worth against goons in PVE. And yellow and black seem like legitimately good powers. But red is pretty bad (considering the cost and reasonably difficult to meet contingency). He isn't an AP battery, and he doesn't provide fast/reliable offense, so I don't see a place for him in 2+ featured PVP unless he is the best boosted character in a bad week.
    In PvP there just aren’t enough things cast to make the passive come in to play. Although buffed in his featured PvP once there were three on the board the 5* match damage was shut down. I don’t think he will be a PvP player because of this.
  • OneLastGambitOneLastGambit Age Unconfirmed Posts: 1,963 Chairperson of the Boards
    I'm not sure hb and teen Jean can still be considered top tier anymore. Quake makes teen Jean absolutely useless and hb is not much of a damage dealer in the current meta, showing his age now.

    Other than that I completely agree.
  • Nicholas HewittNicholas Hewitt Age Unconfirmed Posts: 116
    A champed Moon Knight is the best 4* companion to a 360-390 5* (speaking mainly of Phoenix or OML). His passives are greatly improved by the massive strike tile generation of the two most coveted 5*s (double dipping damage or attack tiles), and his green is good enough to take out most in your similar MMR when buffed.

    Granted, it's been a while since I was in that level of MMR, but I remember being greatly impressed when using him at first release, and he and Punisher are the only 4*s I'll actually consider using alongside 5*s when buffed.
  • simonsezsimonsez Posts: 4,663 Chairperson of the Boards
    I'm not sure hb and teen Jean can still be considered top tier anymore.
    HB can still one-shot almost anyone, and JG is still your best goon option.
  • CrookedKnightCrookedKnight Age Unconfirmed Posts: 2,579 Chairperson of the Boards
    Also, even though neither of Jean's actives is best in class anymore, there's still no other single character who carries two high-power AOE attacks -- even in the 5* tier.
  • VhailorxVhailorx Posts: 4,217 Chairperson of the Boards
    I'm not sure hb and teen Jean can still be considered top tier anymore. Quake makes teen Jean absolutely useless and hb is not much of a damage dealer in the current meta, showing his age now.

    Other than that I completely agree.

    I think jg remains very important for pve. No one else is quite as good at removing Cd's quickly. Maybe spiderwoman, but her red is worse than anything Jg has. In pvp she is now use when boosted only.

    Imhb is still tip tier. His red damage is only middling now, but black has always been his best power and remains awesome. He is beastly when boosted and is still one of the better, tankier red batteries in the game.
  • PylgrimPylgrim Posts: 2,296 Chairperson of the Boards
    Also, even though neither of Jean's actives is best in class anymore, there's still no other single character who carries two high-power AOE attacks -- even in the 5* tier.

    Also, her passive changes the way you play and can punish you accidentally, so it's annoying to play against, much like Loki was in 3* land.
  • GrumpySmurf1002GrumpySmurf1002 Age Unconfirmed Posts: 3,511 Chairperson of the Boards
    I'm not sure hb and teen Jean can still be considered top tier anymore. Quake makes teen Jean absolutely useless and hb is not much of a damage dealer in the current meta, showing his age now.

    They're no longer 1-2 (or 2-3 if Iceman was your thing), but they're still in the 5-7 range, which in a group of ~40 still puts them in the top tier.
  • carrion_pigeonscarrion_pigeons Age Unconfirmed Posts: 942 Critical Contributor
    Suggestions for tier 2 (as far as pvp goes):
    Ant-Man
    Cyclops
    XFDP
    Kate Bishop
    4hor
    War Machine
    X-23

    Not that I have a ton of experience with the 4* tier, but that has been my impression.
  • VhailorxVhailorx Posts: 4,217 Chairperson of the Boards
    Suggestions for tier 2 (as far as pvp goes):
    Ant-Man
    Cyclops
    XFDP
    Kate Bishop
    4hor
    War Machine
    X-23

    Not that I have a ton of experience with the 4* tier, but that has been my impression.

    I am positive that cyclops should be considered top tier. he is a bit fiddly to use because he requires careful tile destruction to really maximize, but he is very strong. His blue, in particular, is shockingly good.

    I suspect that Kate may also end up sitting right behind the top tier. She hits really hard and has relatively cheap powers. I think the community has not yet realized just how strong she is because she was released at an awkward time (overshadowed by civil war and then peggy).

    Otherwise, your list seems like a good place to start.
  • jobobjobob Age Unconfirmed Posts: 664 Critical Contributor
    I'm not sure hb and teen Jean can still be considered top tier anymore. Quake makes teen Jean absolutely useless and hb is not much of a damage dealer in the current meta, showing his age now.

    Other than that I completely agree.
    Jean is still the AOE queen of the game, and... sure, Quake makes her mostly useless, but BSS makes OML mostly worthless. And since Quake isn't a defining PVP character, I'm not sure why that matters.

    Her passive can turn a bad-luck cascade against you into a weapon.

    Her green's secondary ability often gives you attack tiles to double-dip on strike tiles if paired with a strong strike producer.

    Her purple's secondary ability of removing enemy special tiles can be just as important as the AOE damage.

    And boosted... whoa, that AOE packs a punch.


    I definitely put Jean up there in the top tier.
  • jobobjobob Age Unconfirmed Posts: 664 Critical Contributor
    Vhailorx wrote:
    (1) Do you think Cage has much PVP value?
    I feel like Cage is a PVE workhorse. I found that (especially against 5*) I was taking so much match damage before a protect went out that it was worthless. And, hopefully, the AI isn't firing off powers that much.

    I will say this, it saved my bacon in one match against Phx, where she got a big purple cascade and used that to cast 2x, followed by 2x red... having those protects out was all that saved me. But that was once in an entire PVP.

    (2) Your list of essential 4*s seems to be supported by both the player consensus, and the opponents I see in SSim. But what about your second tier? That's where people have trouble deciding how to spend limited resources. Anyone who has peggy or Rulk at 13/13 and doesn't level them is either (i) softapping, (ii) really dumb, or (iii) uninterested in the meta. But the hard choice is when you have Peggy and 12/13 and Xpool or X23 ready to champ, but not enough iso for both. So who would be in your second tier, and how far behind the essential 8 do you think the second tier is?

    IMO, Xpool, X23, Kate, quake, and 4* thor all seem to be pretty clear 2nd tiers (and not all that far behind behind the best 8). There are some other, more recent 4*s that may belong in this group too (moonie, cage, war machine, bucky), but I don't have enough experience with them to say to for sure. And a few older characters with neat tricks (thing, antman, KP, carnage) that could arguably be included included as well, but I think they have mostly been aged out of tier 2 status.

    Where is your cutoff point for "this character is worth champing when fully covered, even if it runs the risk of delaying a better character in the short term"?
    I say "no" to Antman, Thing, or Carnage being 2nd tier. Kingpin is a maybe. But I do think that in most cases, they are clearly a step behind the 1st tier, the possible exceptions being MK, & Kate, maybe GT who I think are closest.

    It depends on how you want to define the second tier. I start splitting the second tier up somewhat into roles

    I would have the second tier being:
    Good all-around: WM, WS, MK, GT, Kate

    PVE warriors: Cage, Quake, GT, X23 (I am only including Cage/Quake as 2nd Tier specifically because of PVE... otherwise, they are definitely not)

    Especially awesome when boosted: GT, MK, X23

    *XFDP is a highly specialized character. He wouldn’t be 2nd tier normally, but he serves a very key role in the 4 -> 5* PVP transition, and in that particular stage, he becomes the #1 4* IMO.
  • PylgrimPylgrim Posts: 2,296 Chairperson of the Boards
    jobob wrote:
    PVE warriors: Cage, Quake, GT, X23 (I am only including Cage/Quake as 2nd Tier specifically because of PVE... otherwise, they are definitely not)

    I agree in most things with you but I'm wondering why you think that Quake is not 2nd tier in PVP? Her passive blankets the best powers of half of the 8 tier 1 characters.
    *XFDP is a highly specialized character. He wouldn’t be 2nd tier normally, but he serves a very key role in the 4 -> 5* PVP transition, and in that particular stage, he becomes the #1 4* IMO.

    Could you please elaborate on this? Do you mean as part of the combo with X-Force? Then why not mention him too?
  • stochasticismstochasticism Posts: 1,181 Chairperson of the Boards
    Pylgrim wrote:
    jobob wrote:
    PVE warriors: Cage, Quake, GT, X23 (I am only including Cage/Quake as 2nd Tier specifically because of PVE... otherwise, they are definitely not)

    I agree in most things with you but I'm wondering why you think that Quake is not 2nd tier in PVP? Her passive blankets the best powers of half of the 8 tier 1 characters.
    *XFDP is a highly specialized character. He wouldn’t be 2nd tier normally, but he serves a very key role in the 4 -> 5* PVP transition, and in that particular stage, he becomes the #1 4* IMO.

    Could you please elaborate on this? Do you mean as part of the combo with X-Force? Then why not mention him too?

    No. 5* match damage will trigger his passive and since the 5* will also tank for him his black will fire off almost every turn. Works especially well with OML.
  • PylgrimPylgrim Posts: 2,296 Chairperson of the Boards
    Pylgrim wrote:
    jobob wrote:
    PVE warriors: Cage, Quake, GT, X23 (I am only including Cage/Quake as 2nd Tier specifically because of PVE... otherwise, they are definitely not)

    I agree in most things with you but I'm wondering why you think that Quake is not 2nd tier in PVP? Her passive blankets the best powers of half of the 8 tier 1 characters.
    *XFDP is a highly specialized character. He wouldn’t be 2nd tier normally, but he serves a very key role in the 4 -> 5* PVP transition, and in that particular stage, he becomes the #1 4* IMO.

    Could you please elaborate on this? Do you mean as part of the combo with X-Force? Then why not mention him too?

    No. 5* match damage will trigger his passive and since the 5* will also tank for him his black will fire off almost every turn. Works especially well with OML.

    Ahh right! Thanks!
  • VhailorxVhailorx Posts: 4,217 Chairperson of the Boards
    Pylgrim wrote:
    jobob wrote:
    PVE warriors: Cage, Quake, GT, X23 (I am only including Cage/Quake as 2nd Tier specifically because of PVE... otherwise, they are definitely not)

    I agree in most things with you but I'm wondering why you think that Quake is not 2nd tier in PVP? Her passive blankets the best powers of half of the 8 tier 1 characters.

    I have only had quake champed for a few weeks now, but my impression is that the biggest drawback with her in pvp is the featured +2 format. she doesn't have a great single target nuke, and she also benefits from a battery. So she really plays best as the third wheel on a team (paired with a battery and stunner/damage dealer). She is viable when boosted though, as her green hits hard enough to make a difference, and he blue provides excellent board control.
  • jobobjobob Age Unconfirmed Posts: 664 Critical Contributor
    Pylgrim wrote:
    I agree in most things with you but I'm wondering why you think that Quake is not 2nd tier in PVP? Her passive blankets the best powers of half of the 8 tier 1 characters.
    Her passive blanket is excellent when the AI fires AOE... And completely wasted when they don't. Out of the Top 4* and most common 5*... You have only 3 characters with normal AOE (JG, Ice, Rulk) and 2 with AOE only if you are doing it wrong (OML/Phx). Quake's value goes up, I suppose, if one of those 3 are boosted... But in that scenario, you would still want to take the boosted character and not Quake. If she's boosted... Sure, take her along to mitigate other Quakes, but then you are losing utility on her own AOE... Either it gets nerfed by enemy Quake, or you kill their Quake first and your damage is only against 2 enemies, not 3 like you want it.

    If there were no 5* tier, and we had just released Jean, Rulk, Ice... I would rank her higher. But with the current teams I face in PVP, I just am not seeing her as being in that next grouping.

    (That said, it isn't like I put 1/3 into each tier... So I'm not saying she's bottom tier... I just don't see her as being just below the cream of the crop)
    Could you please elaborate on this? Do you mean as part of the combo with X-Force? Then why not mention him too?
    stoch nailed it... His passive will be triggered nearly every turn, maybe multiple times. And, since the most likely first 5* you will run is OML or Phx, you should have some strike tiles out to make his passive really nasty.
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