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PvP Season 4 - Starting Out

So a new PvP season is upon us and I've been debating if I should even make this blog. It seems like a lot of people create blog posts stating their day-to-day results for PvP, and also Spec Ops. To this I say: Why?

I'm sorry, I just don't understand this. I have better things to do than read through all of those and a lot of times they have pointless information other than stating you won "xyz" in the daily bonus (which just makes me cringe more because I have the worst luck with that). Now, if you have some tips or some sort of guide mixed in, then that's fine. If you're just making something for the sake of making something, just stop...please. /rantover #myopinion. ಠ_ಠ

To set you guys up so you understand what I'm talking about and my meta (which may be different from yours), I'll be giving you some basic information about where I'm at in the game.

Agent:

Level: 69

Rating: ~1,370

Fights (Attacks): 132

League: Adamantium


And that's about all you need to know.

Meta

Before diving into roster setups and weapons, I figured I'd address what my meta is like.


*First, I use "meta" lightly in hopes that you guys actually know what I'm talking about. I don't fully understand what the word means: it's a word to describe the type of competition/heroes you're facing? I don't know, leave a comment to explain it and I'll update the blog accordingly.* ¯\(º_o)/¯

In PvP, I face all sorts of heroes and team-ups. This season has been particularly challenging because I can't find a common denominator that I can rely on when picking a team to fight with. Season 3 I made a chart and tallied how many scrappers, blasters, tacticians, etc. I faced throughout the season. From this, I was able to determine that there was almost always a scrapper, then either tactician or blaster. Any anomalies I threw out. With this idea in mind let's take a look at this seasons data....

  • N/A

Yes, that's right. I literally stopped keeping track after 60-70 battles. There was no common class to rely on. Everyone I'm facing at this level has decided their own way to win PvP. This is great, but frustrating at the same time. Sure, I may see a 'theme' in the heroes people use, but with alternate class costumes, I've seen almost every. single. one. (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

So how does one decide on who to put into your roster when you're facing such a variety of enemies when attacking and in AFK? Well, in the words of [User:Potkettleblack|PKB] your play style needs to be: 'Smarter'. For me, this has meant digging deep and throwing together all sorts of hero combinations to try and find something that works. You need to know and understand how your AI will most likely act during a fight to pick the right AFK team. For everyone this would mean start analyzing how heroes react when you're battling them in PvP.

Example: You want Phoenix in your AFK team. You face Phoenix and she is 'Mind Linking' a lot. How would this affect you and your AFK Team? Could this be used to your advantage or disadvantage?

Rosters

We have now gotten into the portion where I talk about all the different hero combinations I've tried thus far. I'll do my best to review the pros/cons of each group, so bear with me as this section might be a little lengthy.

First we're going over the teams I've used for attacking. I don't always change the team during periods of AFK or when I sleep, but I'll get into that later. Also, I started attacking as soon as PvP was unlocked. My strategy at the time was: Get as high as you can early on so you can coast for the rest of the season. <- hasn't worked as planned. Although, I did manage to get in 50-60 attacks the first day.

Attacking:

  • Blaster/Tactician Modern [[Dr. Strange|Strange] + Ghost Rider + Bruiser Agent: This was based from my bad experiences from Season 3. The new Bruiser trenchcoat was to counter all the pesky Scrappers I faced. GR could not only get rid of beneficial status with 'soulfire', but also build up more DoTs thanks to Dr. Strange.

Pros: Both heroes complement each other, GR cripples enemy team, Strange heals/shields + damage

Cons: Scroll of Angolob, WWII Cap (Tact.) got annoying at times vs. Blstr Strange.

The first team up did the job to win some fights in the beginning, but it was quickly replaced. I did not expect so many people to be using the 'scroll of angolob'. Because of this, I just couldn't rely on debuffs or buffs to last in battles. A new team needed to be implemented.


  • Blaster White Crown Phoenix + Tactician Modern Strange + Bruiser Agent: Was getting some feedback from a friend of mine and he said to give this team a go. It was working for him even though he's level ~153 so I figured I'd give it a shot. I had some CPs to spare so I bought the blaster WC alternate costume for Phoenix.

Pros: Death & Rebirth was invaluable. Keeps team alive and Strange could heal if needed. Agent took the damage while the heroes dished it. AOE abilities were really useful for all the "protects" from agents and other heroes

Cons: Psylocke....freakin Psylocke. Warbringer Axe.

Psylocke was broken for a while and wasn't a threat to me. She would do 'mental coordination' then recharge on her next turn. However, when fixed she quickly became really annoying. Essentially I just didn't attack her with Phoenix at all because I would rarely ever hit her. Lastly, warbringer Axe would quickly decimate my agent and once he fell it would be easy to pick off the rest of my team. (-‸ლ)


  • Scrapper/Infiltrator Shadowcat Kitty Pryde + Blaster Modern Armor Thor: Turn order was, at times, killing me. This little number seemed to help out with a lot of issues I was having at the time. Thor was able to quickly eliminate heroes in one hit (sometimes) and Kitty was able to survive and counter when I had bad luck with turn order.

Pros: Thor starting out with x2 MoM, Kitty starting phased + Strike from shadows, Buffs, counters, and at times, stealthy.

Cons: 'Recently Phased', again...Scroll of Angolob, 'protecting' agent/hero.

If you get great luck with turn order, giving up kitty's 'phased' status wasn't always fun...especially if there was a hero/agent 'protecting' (***Sneak attack is not stealthy). Scroll of A. gets rid of all your advantages: makes kitty 'recently phased' and clears all MoM from Thor. ლ(ಠ益ಠლ)


  • Blaster White Crown Phoenix + Beast: This guy...forgot how useful he could be. At this point I wasn't running into a lot of Scrolls so that wasn't really an issue anymore. Beast worked well when I ran into the occassional Mockingbird and devestated teams that used AOE attacks (Grapes of Wrath). *Beast is only level 8 so I couldn't take advante of his L9 skill*.

Pros: Generalist, buffs, counter attacks, Death & Rebirth

Cons: Awkward Turn order, gerneralist

What I mean by 'awkward turn order' is that you don't want your heroes to go next when you use Beast's skill 'Grapes of Wrath'. Once it's your heroes turn again they lose that ability to counter attack when attacked. So you want to plan out when you use it so you get as many counter attacks as possible against the other team. Lastly, being a generalist means he doesn't get any benefits fighting certain classes, but also doesn't have any disadvantages either. Also, I don't know how the AI does with Beast because I've only faced him once in PvP back in Season 2?3? (can't remember)

Defending:  

That has been my attacking experience thus far. Now, before I get into my 'defensive' teams, I want to let you know that before I even consider a team for defense or AFK, I attack with them first to make sure I could win with my own skill (over AI). Because let's face it, if you can't win attacking with a team then you aren't going to win defending with that team. I'm not going into much detail about these teams other than listing what I've tried and how many points I've lost since using them (during afk).

"...if you can't win attacking with a team then you aren't going to win defending with that team."

Teams I've tried are as followed:

Tact/Blstr Modern Strange + Ghost Rider; rating lost: -63

Blstr WC Phoenix + Ghost Rider; rating lost: -87

Inf./Scrp. Shadowcat + Blstr Modern Thor; rating lost: -47

Blstr WC Phoenix + Tact/Blstr Modern Strange; rating lost: -108

Blstr WC Phoenix + Scrapper Modern Colossus; rating lost: -51

Blstr WC Phoenix + Beast; rating lost: -38 (haven't seen over night results yet *pending)

Weapons

Now that we have covered meta and teams I've been using, let's talk about what my Agent loadout has been like. For the majority of the season so far I've been using more-or-less the same weapons and gadgets. I'll cover what I have and why I have it. There has only been a few exceptions where I've changed things up. However, these have only been for experimenting, in practice, and not for any ranked fights.


Hoarfrost Mace Barrowguard Quantum Jumper Scroll of Angolob


Alright, so as you may have noticed I was on the Scroll of Angolob bandwagon for the first bit of the PvP season. However, after I noticed it started to die out then I switched it in for something I felt was more useful* (see in next section). Other than that, my loadout is pretty straightforward. My agent is a Bruiser so I tanked while my heroes did damage.

  • Hoarfrost Mace was used to protect my heroes while at the same time granting them a nice damage buff upon my Agent's death.
  • Barrowguard is an added cushion for keeping my agent alive as the tank. It gives me even more health after a revive when joined with Phoenix Death & Rebirth. Also, if D&R has already been used or removed, I now have another means to keep myself alive. When it revives me it grants 'wisdom' which gets rid of all debuffs on my agent, any DoTs, and if I was stunned. The icing on the cake is that it heals me when I attack.
  • Quantum Jumper is used to give my heroes more turns to attack (if that wasn't obvious). Believe it or not, this is useful for both user attacks and AFK defensives. This is mainly due to the fact that the AI could use as many turns as possible when AFK. (^_^)  The downside being that the AI might use this even if the Agent is the only person remaining...
  • Scroll of Angolob was used to quickly strip Dr. Strange, Modern Thor, WWII Cap, etc. of all their advantages in the beginning. Over time, this just wasn't a problem anymore / I dealt with it in a different way. From this point on it will sit in my inventory. I swapped it out because I wanted something more useful...or something that could be used in 'unique' situations since my meta is all over the place. Enter: Transcranial Stimulator



Hoarfrost Mace Barrowguard Quantum Jumper Transcranial Stimulator


This looks familiar doesn't it? Well, for the most part. There's no reason to re-review why I have 'xyz' in my weapon slots so I'll get right to the point: Transcranial Stimulator is the only new kid on the block here.

  • Transcranial Stimulator almost wasn't even considered. I got this back during the '12 days of Christmas' and thought I out-leveled it. Luckily, the power level says 70 and I'm 69 so I thought, "Why not?". This has actually been semi-useful. When I get teams of Emma's, Psylocke, Phoenix, and even Ghost Rider, this is just an added bonues damage and protective against Psychic attacks. It helps me take less damage as a tank and counters Psychic attacks even if I'm not the one attacked. You can't argue with that.


So there you have it. There's a look into my current arsenal of weapons. Yes, all of those combined give my Agent more protectives/buffs than most of my heroes have. The best part about this is: it is permanent! The Scroll of Angolob cannot strip these away from my agent. All in all, it just makes him that much more valuable.

Final Thoughts

If you have a crazy, inconsistent meta like mine the best piece of advice for you is this: experiment. What may work for you the first week may not work for you the next. I don't want to hear people saying, "What team should I be using?" or "Here are my heroes: a, b, c, d, e. Who should I use??". To all of this I say: Go to the "PvP" section in Marvel: Avengers Alliance. Above the big red "ranked fight" button you will see an option for "practice". Please, stop asking and just click the Practice button. It won't count towards your rank if you lose and you get the added bonus of facing people who you may actually face if it were a real ranked fight. b^.^d

Also, no one knows your meta better than you. If you choose not to track the classes and/or heroes you face, then you have no one to blame but yourself. It's valuable information, but it is optional. It just makes it that much harder for you when the time comes to pick a team. There's still a lot of time in the Season so start tracking now and by next week you'll have a good idea of who you'll be up against. Lastly, don't worry if you still lose fights. This is bound to happen and you can't win every battle. Someone is bound to have a strange team that'll counter you perfectly.

I hope my blog on what I've been using has been useful. If you have any qustions feel free to leave them in a comment below. (^_^) /

Thank you.

Your Friend,

-Gumby


*Update* YouTube Visual Aid

If you want to check out the rosters in action check out the video here!

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