This is the season of the Synthetic Cube, and it's clear that people without it are struggling.
I began the season with the Cube, Protector of Attilan, Shepherd's Staff, and Savant's Spear on offense, and replacing the Staff with the Magnetic Field Generator on defense. I quickly swapped out the Spear for Mystic after seeing it on defense and realizing how effective it is.
I'm not satisfied with my offensive gear selection (even though I am winning over 80% of my fights). When facing the Mystic I often have nothing to do with my agent on the first round, and wind up smacking someone with the Protector, which is not ideal. I'm considering adopting my defensive gear for offense -- I could MFG on that first round, and maybe pick up some extra turns on rounds when the other team has lost the protection from Mystic. I'm finding that with the Cube, I just don't use the Staff at all, and with the new turn order rules, waiting for the Agent's turn to be shielded might be ok.
I'm wearing last season's reward armor, just like almost everyone else (which tempts me to swap out Emma for Quicksilver on defense, but I won't while I'm still winning so many AfK fights). I shelled out for a Relentless Empowered Iso-8 for the Agent, with the logic that I can Cube away the Stuns on the rest of the team if necessary.
Iron Patriot and Emma Frost team are still giving me way above 20%+ wins on defense. I had leveled them both up to 13 and fit IP with a Recovering E-ISO (because he actually rests sometimes after his Overcharge). I still haven't settled on an E-ISO for Emma. I continue to use them together on offense. The Mystic means that IP's first round of fire doesn't irradiate, and Emma has to wait until turn two to stun, but even with all of the Infiltrator-suited agents around right now, I'm still getting good results.
Rescue and Omega Sentinel have made something of a comeback, oddly (since Resuce got nerfed again), while Ares and Thane continue to be very popular. Seeing some Spiral, who can be a pain for my team. I imagine that I will see a lot of Heimdall when people finish leveling him.
Everyone seems to be running the Empowered armor, Mystic, Cube, either the Protector or Watcher from the Attilan set, and then some other thing (the Quantum Jumper being a somewhat popular choice, or the Scroll of Angolob), so in that sense I am very much going with the flow.
I'm currently in the top 1% in Vibranium. Since I will want the armor, the goal this season is to stay there.
Got into Adamantium for the first time, but I certainly don't expect to stay there. My defensive team is still maintaining a 20%+ win rate, and I'm not having any issue offensively, but I don't anticipate being able to put in the kind of volume needed to end up in Ada, as sweet as it would be to get Domino for free. I made some minor adjustments to my offensive setup. I put a Skullthumper E-ISO on Emma, and switched out the Staff for the Scroll of Angolob. While the Staff's passive is nice, it doesn't deserve a slot of its own, and because of the Cube progression, I was never using it. So in went SoA to solve for Mystic. The Skullthumper may be a waste, as I have never once seen it proc. I've considered some more radical changes, such as putting a Scrapper on my team. Quicksilver is understandably popular right now with all the Inf Agents out there, and has been a problem for my team. Also, it seems that Magik is apparently bugged in some beneficial way involving not losing any Soul Charges, so that's also interesting. Another thought that I have had is to put Thor in. A number of people on the Wiki are seeing a lot of Blaster Thor, but I was thinking Scrapper, or even Bruiser to deal with people running Scrappers to counter the Inf Agents. With the Classic Thor Scrapper armor, one can get three Might of Mjolnirs on the first round, for a big hit on round two. All of that said, it's not broken, so fixing it seems like a bad idea.
The day before the end of the tournament I swapped out Emma for Quicksilver on defense. I was no longer getting a 20% win rate, so it seems like it is time for some experimentation. In spite of poor AfK numbers, I'd maintained Adamantium, so I decided that I may as well go for it. I may not have a lot of other opportunities to land there as I continue to level up. The day that the tournament ended, I put my Generalist suit on the attacking team agent. I was just getting hammered by Quicksilver, who seemed to be in every defense team (Heimdall was also very popular), and was actually losing fights. After the change Quicksilver was no longer a problem, so it was a change that I probably should have made a little earlier.
I got my first legit Adamantium win. I would've been knocked into Vibranium if I hadn't spent a lot of the afternoon racking up wins in order to keep up with my AfK losses. While having Domino early is a nice perk, that's a lot of effort just to save 135 CPs down the road.