Under leveled Karnak

So, I’m pretty close to being able to put Karnak @ 8 covers. Trying to do a cost benefit analysis of leveling him (every time I level a 4 star, my MMR gets noticeably harder.) Currently I at 70 (1/2/1), is there a build that would make him worthwhile @ 8 covers?


  • HoundofShadowHoundofShadow Posts: 3,122 Chairperson of the Boards
    I find that 535 is his best build. The first one increases his match damage by 560%, and the blue power puts out three critical tiles for 8 blue ap. I uses his red a lot and sometimes I have no idea what tiles to destroy, so that extra 1 or 2 tiles to destroy aren't really helpfu to me. Someone might run him at 5/4/4 though.

    Deadpool vs MPQ will give out his shards, depending on your placement. This means that the following PvE will give out his cover(s) for progression rewards. Check what colour they are giving out and I think you can make a better decision.

    Which power to focus on first depends on who you are teaming him up with. If you are teaming him up with 5*, I focus on blue. If not, I focus on Black. 

    His common teammates that I see in Shield Simulator are Bishop and America Chavez. These are the ones I can remember now.

  • krakenoonkrakenoon Posts: 279 Mover and Shaker
    edited 29 April 2020, 16:16
    Thanks for the advice. Did not think of him being in PvE. Hope it’s not a hard one, but I won’t hold my breath.

    My bishop is at 3/0/1 and America is at 1/4/2 so it will probably be a while getting those up. I have unleveled Profe$$or at 1/5/3, Carbage 2/5/2 and BRB 3/3/2. As mentioned, I’m trying to stay out of the all a Bishop all the time PvP meta for as long as possible, so my roster needs to stay down as much as it can.

    Some of my more common teams feature Medusa 3/1/3 lvl 152, M4rvel 5/2/5 lvl 233, Juggernaut 3/5/4 lvl 250, M.O.D.O.K. 5/5/1 lvl 233, a champed Worthy and/or 3 stars at or below 220 (Like Falcon) as well as a growing roster of underleveled 4s. I run Carbusadok often on truly difficult non-essential nodes in PvE, sometimes BRB and falcon, when I can swing it, juggernaut & R4G (2/5/2 lvl 188) with a 3 Gamora or SL is nice. I am getting a yellow 4SL in a few days, which will put him at 2/2/2. I think that’s around level 111, which I consider not really playable.

    I think I may be dropping my 0/2/1 Havok and 0/1/0 Sinister since I also think SCL7 PvE is not for me until my 4 star roster is in a healthier place. I was planning to chase single covers of 5s in LL, but that’s still above my pay grade. I have a 5/3/3 lvl 229 N* I want for some reason and a 5/2/3 Karolina Dean with 515 shards I feel is just taking up space and bumping up my MMR.

    The plan for now is to drop all non-meta 4s I have shards for as I pick up the remainder of them. I’ve been super focused so far this year and I think I can’t afford the time investment to keep playing as I have. This will mean a further slowing of resource accrual as I phase back to the marathon mode of playing as I get some champed meta 4 stars. At 8/9 covers, maybe 10, Karnak will be just below my big 4s. Find the Flaw is attractive at first glance, and I don’t see putting more that 3 into Shatter, but board control is more what I’m looking at for him. I was thinking N/3/4? 

    Edit; almost forgot I have around 510 shards for Kitty, but heard she didn’t really come online until something like 2/1/0 so I’m waiting to roster her.
  • HoundofShadowHoundofShadow Posts: 3,122 Chairperson of the Boards
    It's giving out his black cover and some shards in Fight for Wakanda.

    Black Panther is giving out Juggernaut shards and cover in his PvP, so you can champ your Juggernaut.

    Generally speaking, MMR looks at your top 3 to 5 characters. I heard that unlevelled 5* (level 255) are not taken into account for your MMR. 

    I'm current "deep" in 4* land and Bishop is not a big concern, if I understand it right. I don't really see this guy often in 4* land PvP. You are more likely to see boosted champed 4* than Bishop.

    What do you mean by "drop"?

    If you are strapped for time in PvE, Juggernaut and R4G + GotG/Kitty will be able to help you complete the first 4 clears in 25 minutes in SCL 7. Another PvE core team (for goons) are 3* Dr Strange and Thanos.

    Since PvE is the meat of the game, I would focus on R4G next, if play time is a concern.

  • krakenoonkrakenoon Posts: 279 Mover and Shaker

    Totally missed your response with all the recent uproar. By dropping, I meant selling. I did notice an uptick in PvP difficulty after rostering Havok & Sinister (my 4th & 5th 5 stars), but there could have been other factors at play.

     I could champ Juggs & Medusa RN, but I plan on doing a mass champing to avoid getting to an area of PvP where I cannot swing 25 wins. JotG has definitely helped with my time commitments in PvE & my 2/5/2 Carbage with my slightly less than optimal Medusa usually do well enough in the essential nodes for PvE SCL7.

     I am focusing on R4G for the moment, but considering how hard it already is to do well in PvP, I have a feeling that it might be as late as the end of the year before I start champing my 4 stars.

     I am afraid to focus Bishop since I’m almost certain he’s getting a nerf, but America probably does need some love. I actually have a list of 4 stars I want to have ready when I start champing, I was curious if Karnak deserves a spot with the likes of Coulson, G4mora, Vulture, Peggy & Captain Marvel, possibly Sabertooth.

     I think the goal after getting a decent stable of champed 4 stars is working toward a ~2/5/N Kitty, Thorkoye and 5HE since there is likely no way for me to keep up in 5 star releases after I do my next LL pull right before the next 5 leaves. I know the chances of getting multiples of those in a special release vault is pretty low, so I may end up pulling those when some of my current 5 stars are featured.
  • HoundofShadowHoundofShadow Posts: 3,122 Chairperson of the Boards
    Firstly, unless you levelled up those 5*, I think it's unlikely that it will affect your MMR. I believe timing plays a part. Since you are aiming for the HP at 25 wins and don't seem to be concerned about placement, I recommend you to try this out and it could reduce the number of wins you need to reach your target by as much as 50%. Imagine reaching the HP in 12 or 13 wins instead of 25 wins. It worked for me when I was in 3* land and it still works for me in 4* land. Here it goes:

    Enter the first bracket of the slice that you play. Wait until the timer in that PvP shows around 1d 10h to 1d 16h. But this could change depending on the slice you are in. The reason for doing this is because by then, there will be a lot of players with 60-70 points per win. Secondly, you are unlikely to get attacked during this period, compared to playing the PvP when it starts immediately or when it's about to end.  If the average point is 60, you can reach 725 points in 13 wins instead. Sometimes, you have to skip some opponents to meet those that will give you 60 or more points.

    Karnak definitely deserves a spot as one of your PvP teams. Having him is almost like owning a champed 5*. I heard great things by players who paired him up with IM40. Don't worry if you don't have Bishop or American Chavez yet.

    Consider this, at level 270, Karnak puts out a 333 strength protect tile each turn if there isn't one, until he transforms. This means that you are taking only 1 match damage from many of your opponents.

    Secondly, the basic tiles replaced by critical tiles net you additional aps. If the critical tile replaces a red basic tile, you gain 1 red ap.

    Thirdly, after he transforms, he multiplies his own match damage by 6.6x. This means that his black match-3 deals 85*3*6.6 = 1683 damage. His black match-3 with a critical tile deals 1683*4.5x = 7573 damage.

    Fourthly, you can use his red power to create match-3/4/5 that you need without losing a turn. 

    I think this would be enough to convince you that it's worth it to include him as your PvP team. However, whether to prioritise him next depends on your playstyle. There's no right or wrong answer on which top 4-star to champ first. It depends on how you like to win matches.
  • krakenoonkrakenoon Posts: 279 Mover and Shaker
    Thanks for the tips. I am new to PvP and the extra points will be welcome. I agree that Karnak is much more awesome than I was giving credit for, the loaner node recently just melted foes.
    He may have even beat out my Profe$$or for my next big PvP team after getting happy with a BRB team.

    For now, I broke down and purchased the covers needed to champ Medusa, left her @233. It’s a lot more comfortable in PvE now that she can crank out heals with Carbage on essentials. They’re kind of my go to in PvP as well.
  • HoundofShadowHoundofShadow Posts: 3,122 Chairperson of the Boards
    Medusa can be a pain to deal with in PvPs and Shield Simulator. Currently, 4* Carnage and Medusa is quite a common team in PvP. 

    It's good to know you are putting together more new teams to play with in PvPs and PvEs. Continue to explore more types of abilities to play around with and find the one that you like.
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