A new season of PvP tournament began last night, and I must give some kudos to Playdom as they've actually made PvP interesting without increasing rewards all that much. A wee bit of competition, and VOILA, people care again.

I wanted to share a bit of my experience in this tournament, so, hello blog!

First, the meta.

Cap (WW2 mostly, Avengers a bit, Tactician mostly, bruiser a bit), Emma dominate. At my level (162), there is a lot of Mockingbird too. I am seeing Agents primarily in Generalist, Tactician, and Scrapper, with a couple Blasters and at least one Infiltrator. I have seen a couple esoteric teams, including a Thing/Fantastic team (interesting), a Cap/Black Spiderman (Inf)/Infiltrator Agent (using Knight, Rook, Bishop and I dunno what) that would confound attack lanes. A couple of Rogues mixed in.

But basically, Cap-Emma-Mockingbird in some combination.

As I was saying to someone today, you can either join em or beat em. His response was that it's actually "If you can't beat em, join em." I have played enough Cap on Cap violence that I refuse to join them unless I can't beat em.

Fortunately, I can beat em. As I was saying in that conversation, Cap on Cap turns into a 50-50. What I do works much higher. It uses cheap heroes.

First, Invisible Woman. She costs, at most, 15 CP. She is massively underrated because:

1- She costs 15 CP.

2- She is an infiltrator, and everyone thinks they're terrible.

3- Two of her skills are team support.

4- A lot of her damage is hidden in deadly criticals.

5- (not so) Fantastic Four.

6- Kind of squishy on first take.

Those are all reasons why people don't like her. So, what's to like:

1- Both of her attacks are Stealthy.

2- Both of her attacks have Deadly Crits.

3- She starts with high accuracy (useful for triggering deadly crits).

4- She starts with 3 bars of damage (easily built with ISO to increase the base damage of those deadly crits).

5- The only true Stealthy Area Attack in the game. (Cap does not block it, Spiderman does not jump it, No one retaliates.)

You can see how valuable she could be in an environment with a lot of Tactician Cap (or even Bruiser Cap) and Emma. She can attack both around Cap and through Cap, and she hits Tact Cap back if he hits her, generally a lot harder.

So, who is our merry companion for her. Not Cap. Remember, no 50-50s. Colossus. Specificially Modern Colossus. 23 CP to get Colossus, 32 CP for Bruiser Modern. 55 CP for Colossus, 70 for the whole team. Woot!

Why Colossus? Well, he does a couple things really well. First, he takes damage. A lot of damage. And he steps in front of everything that isn't Area or Stealthy. Do we fear the Area attacks of Cap and Emma? No. Do we fear the Area attacks of Cap and Emma. No. They don't do enough damage to kill anyone outright or in concert. Emma's does slow your attack a bit, but remember the title of this post. I feel the need...

We do fear one Area attack presented by the four most common Heroes in PVP this week. Scarlet Witch's Hex. Hex is a massive equalizer. I know. The one attacking PVP I've lost this tournament so far happened when Witch's Hex produced SEVEN backfired attacks in a row. SEVEN. If we put a 50-50 on Backfire, the odds of SEVEN consecutive attacks producing backfires is .78%. Yep. We do have something else going for us with the Witch. Again, I feel the need...

Do any of the most common heroes have stealth or ground attacks that could get around our tank and mess us up? Emma has that very nasty Mental Tap. Do we fear it? No, because I feel the need...


PVP Speed that is. Let's break that down a bit.

If everyone in PVP is dangerous (at high level PVP, pretty much everyone is), then the thing that will win the day is who gets to execute their strategy. And importantly, who gets to get their strategy off first. In PVP, this is getting more turns. And then doing something productive with the turns. I've already leaked some of the strategy. Colossus uses his Colossal Smash (it goes under protect abilities, but triggers retaliation). Invisible Woman uses her Force Volley (Stealthy, Area). What does Mr. Agent do? Well, he has two roles. Hammer and Accelerator. As the accelerator, he uses two devices to make sure we get my strategy off before my enemy can disrupt it.

Quantum Jumper is the best use of gold in the game, bar none. That gets me another round of Colossal Smash and Force Volley before the enemy can go. Power of Four gets my agent 4 turns, mostly uninterrupted, to put my strategy all over the enemy. To go all hammer to their nails.

For the Hammer, we are using this old chestnut. Electrostatic Arm followed by 3 doses of Galvanic Arm. If things have shaken out my way (ideal slotting is Colossus, Invisible Woman, Agent), One Galvanic Attack will kill one enemy combatant. I have three, he has three combatants. Nice. If things shake out a bit wonky, I will devastate the health of all three members, making them easy cleanup for a Force Volley and/or a Smash. You could use some other setup, but you need to account for Captain America probably still being standing, so 4 Cosmic Ray Bombs is probably not the answer.

I created a not terribly great stream of photos to show someone this setup would work. I did not use the Po4 in this because I wanted to show that I didn't really need it. I kind of failed to capture the enemy's attacks or my finishing health, but this is the non-turbo edition:

Slideshow of this strategy at work

As we know, everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.

As already discussed, Emma slows this down, but with the 3-4 Area attacks, the deadly criticals, and the deadly combos, we can accept a touch of slow. Cap's Shield Throw (which WW2 Cap will do when faced with a tank with reasonable frequency) does not do enough damage to worry us. And Scarlet Witch never does Hex until her second move, so things will shake very bad for us (.78% of the time), for that to really hurt us (actually, if we figure a random shuffle of the order, she and her agent will have to go ahead of my agent, which cuts the number of times we could get hexed down, and then the number of outs for the hexed to really hurt... slim, but a punch we can't take when it happens).

There is one punch in the face that actually presents a great danger to this team. Mockingbird. Her ability to generate extra turns, he willingness to lay a stun on the tank, her compiled damage, and her ability to be in inconvenient classes make her very dangerous for a variegated team like this. The upside we see (a nice out) is that she will generally be a Blaster (based on Colossus) by the time my agent goes. My agent is a tactician, so he can give her one Galvanic Arm before Po4. This will make her an infiltrator, and possibly give her an extra turn. But she will not critical Colossus if she's already attacked him, so we have some small comfort. And Colossus's main duty is to get the Agent a turn.

I think that wraps up what I'm up to in this tournament. I am doing something different for defense, which is a continually evolving puzzle, and not one I feel confident to discuss.

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