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I'm now at level 225, which means that this may be my last PvP tournament not in the killing fields. I may get lucky though, as there are some promised changes about level match-ups coming, which may make the killing fields an obsolete concept. After spending 68K worth of silver, which is now a precious commodity after the introduction of the second training room,  on Antiserum Bombs, my armory bonus is:


  • Attacking Offense: 117K
  • Attacking Defense: 126K
  • Defending Offense: 129K
  • Defending Defense: 113K

[ETA: Those bombs became obsolete with a few days left in the tournament, so I wound up spending that again on the new items.]

Setup

For now, I am making only a few preliminary tweaks to my teams over last season. On offense, I have the agent in the Tactician's Empowered Armor with the Snappy Service E-ISO. For gear, I have

whereas Famine and War remain exactly the same.

On defense, the agent is still in the Bruiser's Empowered Armor with the Big and Fast E-ISO, and I've swapped out the MFG for Mystic. I've left it in because it now has anti-Cube properties, but I suspect that I am going to do a fair amount of tweaking to this team before I'm done. I can imagine mirroring the offensive team, or going with something completely different, such as the popular Quicksilver and Psylocke combination, since I have her E-ISO. I now have quite a few heroes leveled up to 14, and even more at 13, so my options have expanded significantly in who I could bring to the field, depending on how the meta shakes out.


Update

With nine days remaining, I am still running the above on offense. As of four of five days ago it was clear that doing only my five fights a day was leaving me stuck in high Vibranium. In response I increased to fifteen fights per day, and am now in mid-Adamantium. I've levelled up to 237, partly because of finishing Chapter 6 after its release. This is making the current tournament more difficult, but the closer that I am to 300 for the next one the better I will do.

I am seeing a lot of 'Quicklocke'. Other than using Raft Shank, the only other counter to it is Heroic Age Iron Fist, who I am currently training to 14. I'm nervous about making such a drastic change to my teams, but he's impressive when I've encountered him on defense. I regularly lose a hero in the first round to a OHKO from his L2. Another drawback is needing to farm 2.6.6 for his EISO, which means continuing to gain XP. 

I've switched out my defensive team, running a radically different team on defense than I do on offense for the first time. My results on defense were stuck at around 20%. That's not terrible for mid-Adamantium, but I'd like to do better if I can since I'm reguarly losing offensive fights to 'Quicklocke' teams with big armory advantages over me. That may not be happening often enough now to really impact my standing, but it very well could on the last day, which makes having some cushion on defense more pressing.

I've put in Pestilence and Rescue. They're built per my builds page. My agent is still in his Bruiser suit as above, but is now carrying:

This was inspired by a team that PKB reported encountering. I'm unsure whether or not switching out Neurotrope for extra Apocalypse set gear is the right move, but my thinking is that it's easy to strip the buffs on this team, but impossible to remove some additional debuffs for the opponent. I'm also wondering if losing the Raft Shank is a mistake, since it helps prevent instant kills before the team gets its start, but there are so many ways that this team can apply Winded that I'd rather not use a slot for it. I'll leave them in for a few days and see what kind of results I get. If I don't see an improvement, I may try Iron Fist out.


Results

As one can see from the comments below, I wound up trying a few different defense teams. I finally settled on stealing a setup from an opponent named Agent Mist that I ran into, with minor alterations. This was Future Foundation Invisible Woman with her E-ISO, Falcon without any E-ISO at all because he was only level 12, and the Agent in the Empowered Tact suit with Quick. For gear, they had:

This was based entirely around delaying the other team. I did actually lose to it once out the dozen or more times that I fought it, but the point was really hoping that people would quit out of a fight that was taking too long. I don't know what was going on this season, but I really couldn't find a defensive team that maintained a 20% win rate. I would never use that team on offense, and it broke a number of my rules of thumb for PvP teams (not everyone was maxed out for level, one was a Blaster and the other an Infilitrator, nobody has a Brutal Strike move...), but it did win a few matches so was better than anything else I tried.

On offense I did wind up trading War for Heroic Age Iron Fist. I had very little trouble on offense with this team, which suggests that everyone else was also stuggling to field a reasonable defense. The volume on the last day wasn't really too bad, so I was able to make up for all the defensive losses with offensive wins and wound up comfortably in Adamantium for the entire day. 

Consensus seems to be that the Infiltrator's Safeguard Suit is inferior to the Empowered one, but I think that it could have its uses in Group Boss fights. I imagine that the upcoming Blaster suit will be more compelling; there are certainly times that I would trade Focused Attack and a guaranteed crit for dishing out Exhausted. I don't have any opinion on Drax yet, other than that the mechanic in which one has to remember to hit his L2 every round before making one's move is tedious.

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