Well, it's been awhile since the last Special Ops, and I seem to be getting a little better at Special Ops with each new one.
I've learned a few new things this Special Ops. The first thing that I've learned is that now that I am level 300 with some heroes capable of one-hit-knock-out epic-overkill of enemies, it no longer makes sense to try to conserve U-Iso by only doing some of the deploys. I now do all deploys and battles to maximally inflate my mission score on the first run through each mission to try to get three or four stars. It's a much bigger U-Iso savings to not need to do extra runs of missions to complete 2-star or 3-star tasks.
I do not do more battles than what is required for my current task. Because it turns out that the left over battles sometimes are useful to complete later tasks. For instance, in the Fratricide Spec Ops, I read ahead, to see that I needed to defeat sentinels and test subjects for Task 8. By not exiting Mission 1 right away or fighting the remaining battles after I started the research for Task 6, I was able to get a good number of the requirements of Task 8 after my research finished and I fought Bastion group boss. Even if I did finish off the first mission, I could still get enough sentinels and test subjects in the second mission to complete the requirements for Task 8, but I wouldn't have been able to do the mission in the "optimal path" by doing all hard battles before medium and easy ones.
Basically, I've discovered that it's in my best interest to stop playing Spec Ops when I get to "roadblock" tasks, particularly the research tasks. Lots of times the "left-over" battles on my map lets me make faster progress once I'm past the roadblock.
One of the epic boss deploys in Mission 2 has been changed to Sandman on iOS, as Hogun has not been released. I already had Sandman by the time I started this Spec Ops, but once again, it pays to not recruit heroes for a Spec Ops until you get to the point where you actually need that hero.
As it often happens, there was a conflict between Task 19 and Task 22. Task 19 required us to use Cannonball's level 1 skill twice and his level 3 still once, and Cannonball appeared as an optional team-up against Mystique; however, Task 22 required us to defeat Mystique and Dragoness. The way to conserve U-Iso was to fight and lose against Mystique, but use Cannonball's requisite skills, which set us up to complete all the tasks through Task 24 in a single run of Mission 3. Still managed to get 4-Stars even with the loss because I did all battles and deploys with maximal OHKO-epic-overkills.
After that, all I needed to do was one more epic boss run on Mission 2. The Bastion Epic Boss was surprisingly hard the first time I fought him because he and the two prime sentinels would become the counter class to whoever was attacking, and I didn't want to bring any heroes that would give him counter or follow-up attacks. That was a bad plan, because it dragged out the battle, and the longer the battle was, the harder it was to defeat him. The best team for me turned out to be Rescue and Havok. Two hits from Havok's Plasma Spheres pretty much eliminated the prime sentinels, while Rescue's protection essentially negated any damage that Bastion was able to dish out.
It took me 180 lockboxes to recruit Avalanche, which is pretty close to the average number of lockboxes needed to recruit the lockbox hero.