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Havok Portrait Art

Havok

We're back. Soon enough. It feels like two months since I last started one of these. In fact, I haven't started on of these since December 1st, when the Wild Hunt began.

At any rate, I'm feeling this one. Blaster hero (cool... more atk bonus). And I like me some Havok. The new leader of the Uncanny Avengers, the captain of the Star Jammer, the leader of X-Factor (back when comics were really ugly). We're getting his cosmic outfit (I'm on the fence about his Uncanny Avengers outfit, but it is an update of the iconic {and silly} original costume).

But wait, there's more. There are promised NEW MUTANT VILLAINS. WOO HOO! A special op without the WRECKING CREW? It just won't be the same without them. It will be MUCH BETTER!

Oh, and they are debuting a new feature that will allow a second recruitable character. Which will no doubt give me something to do after the first 11 days when I finish the whole thing.

But wait, THERE'S MORE! We're gonna chuck a new set of gear, a new progression of gear and at least 4 new agent devices, which works to:

  • 8 new agent equippable devices (minimum)
  • 3 new consumables

Yes, it's time to get excited.

GOALS

As always, pick your goals at the start of the op. Mine will be, in order:

  1. Game Breaking Equipment
  2. Havok
  3. Second recruitable "character"
  4. 5 stars in all missions (15 CPs, 3 gold, lots of roulette spins)
  5. Nice to have equipment
  6. All equipment.

Your goals may be different. Plan accordingly.

A Word About Special Ops Gear and Heroes

The Hero Is ALWAYS the most important thing. The gear is nice and I am not one to pass on easy gold or command points, but let's think about this. The gear will always be customized. I am not as down on customized as most people, but still, gear gets outleveled, so there's no point in killing yourself for the gear, even though you can now reforge it (or will be able to in the near future). Oh, and if they make the gear OP they will hit it with the nerf bat (q.v. Grief and Phoenix Flare). They can (and will) adjust the hero downward (Emma Frost) or upward (Mockingbird), or both (both of them). Here's the thing. The hero will likely go away for a good long while, and if they come back at all, they will cost 200 CP. There is a larger advantage to hero ownership than to gear ownership, due to PVP bonuses and the way Op gear is structured (before we even factor the customization factor). Your first priority should be making it to the hero, regardless of initial impression. There were a lot of people kicking themselves after Spec 1 when they buffed Mock. They were kicking themselves more when she went on sale for 200 CP for the Black Friday-Cyber Monday insanity.

That said, Spec Ops produce strong gear, particularly in the 3 gear slots on the task list. So, complete your tasks and then farm the roulettes.

Long Term Preparation

If you haven't read my guide to being prepared for everything, then you probably don't have the heroes required for the deploy to load Green Goblin to complete the final task. You may already have them as a set, but, in case you don't and you're not the type to read ahead, you will need Tigra, Beast and Deadpool in order to do so. That's 315 command points. In case you don't have those heroes, and you don't happen to have 315 command points sitting around, you might want to consider reading my guide to getting more CPs.

Efficient Results

As always, if you have concern about finishing on time, or want to finish quickly, it is imperative to be efficient with your ISO. It is more efficient to fight the bosses together, as a three-bird, if you can. If you cannot complete that fight (spec ops three birds can occasionally be tricky), it is more efficient to take out a miniboss and then two-bird the boss. All efficient routes assume that you will three-bird the boss, if possible, and costs are listed as such.


A Note about Efficiency: Due to the task by task nature of special ops, the efficient path is not always the best path for where you are in the progression. Be sure to keep your next few tasks in mind when deciding whether to run efficiently or not. The GOAL is not efficiency. It is results. Efficiency is a tool to get results, but not a worthwhile result in itself.

Mission 1

There are two optimum paths through Mission 1. Both take 80 UISO.

  1. Medium fight, deploy, Miniboss (doesn't matter), Hard fight, Medium fight, Two Bird Boss.
  2. Medium fight, Low fight, Miniboss (doesn't matter), Hard fight, Medium fight, Two Bird Boss.

I would opt for the second if I need stars (the extra fight will produce more mission score) and the first if I needed Lockboxes.

Mission 2

The Epic route may be efficient, but the extra roulette has no special gear, just 3/5/10 CP, and 3 sets of lockbox drops. It takes 160 UISO to run the epic (fighting Avalanche and Mystique's crew together) and requires Phoenix and Nightcrawler.

The minimally efficient route will cost you 100 UISO and go:

  1. Medium fight, Hard fight, Low fight (or deploy), 2x Medium fights, Hard fight, Low fight (or deploy), deploy, Two Bird Boss.

Mission 3

The Epic route isefficient. It takes 160 UISO (fighting Blob and Living Monolith together, Toad seems to be required to fight separately.) and requires Beast, Deadpool and Tigra.

The minimally efficient route will cost you 100 UISO and go:

  1. Medium fight, Low fight, Miniboss, Hard fight, Medium fight, two-bird.

There is a way to three bird this mission, but it is not efficient. You have to start a deploy, then lose to Toad on purpose. That's a 20 UISO penalty, for not much reward.

The Plan

Day One

  • Task 1: Defeat 3 Hellfire Troops
    • Medium fight has 4. 10 Energy, 10 U-Iso. Done.
  • Task 2: Collect a distress call
    • Collect a distress call from an ally. Easy. Done.
  • Task 3: Defeat a Mini-Boss
    • Do Bullseye. 20 UISO.
  • Task 4: Defeat 3 Hellfire Elite
    • Hard fight that loads has one. Constrictor has the other two we need. 30 UISO.
  • Task 5: Defeat Dragoness
    • Another 20 UISO. Have to say, I like the add. Obscure but interesting. Also, good call on Living Pharaoh. Perfect Havok bad.
  • Task 6: Research Pyramidion
    • 60 UISO, 8 hours. Day is done.
  • Total UISO for Day 1: 140. Base stock remainder: 300. Collect from allies and put it away.
    • Earlier would have been a good time for Facebook players to go to Free Stuff for Facebook Players and click on the last round of UISO links. There were TWO HUNDRED AND NINETY UISO for the taking there. They're gone now. Sorry. But keep your eyes on that space as Mondays mean new links.

A word on Dragonness. She can be very hard to hit, especially as Havok's accuracy is lacking. I read the tooltip and hit her with my last EMP grenade (I've been selling them). That shuts down her evasion. Her roulette drop looks like it could be worth farming for PvP.

Day Two

  • Complete Task 6 by checking your research.
  • Task 7: Three Shattering Punches
    • I did this on the two minibosses in Chapter 1. 50 total UISO.
    • Completing this task opens up the Magneto Side Quest.
  • Magneto Quest Task 1: Defeat 10 Hellfire Soldiers
    • Doable on Chapter 1 at a cost of 40 UISO by doing the Hard fight (5 soldiers, 10 UISO), the Medium fight (4 soldiers, 10 UISO) and Dragonness (2 soldiers, 20 UISO).
    • Results in 2-3 star mastery on Chapter 1, so Task 9 is done.
      • I now have two covers.
  • Task 8: Defeat Avalanche (Chapter 2) / Magneto Task 2: Defeat 5 Brotherhood Mutants
    • Into Chapter 2. If you're doing my plan, you will run this to Epic if you can. That requires Phoenix and Nightcrawler.
      • Yes, this is expensive in UISO. Not as expensive as the stupid way I figured this out so you don't have to.
    • A hard and a medium, and there he is. 40 UISO.
    • He counts towards the Magneto task.
  • Task 9: 2 Star Mastery Chatper 1
    • Already done.
  • Task 10: Defeat Mystique (Chapter 2) / Magneto Task 2: Defeat 5 Brotherhood Mutants
    • Do all the deploys and clear all the fights.
    • Pretty straightfoward fight. All three can be a pain and they interlock a bit (Jugs protects Mystique, Sabre counters for Jugs).
    • I did a stupid. I went straight into the Living Pharoah since he could be the 5th mutant. Did not read ahead. He is essentially the SIXTH mutant, as he's the next task.
    • Go to the flight deck and then go to Mission 7.2, where you will do two fights and fight Blob. Easy.
  • Magneto Task 3: Defeat the Living Pharoah
    • Back to the Special Op Mission 2, and pop a cap in that Pharoah.
  • Magneto Task 4: Defeat 15 Sentinels
    • This is a lot of fights in the special op, but we're going to need 2 stars 'ere too long, 3 stars before we get Havok, and 4 stars for 32 boxes. So, while you could do this on 8.4, 8.1, 7.2 (actually not a bad idea since we did Blobby there), 6.4, 3.4 or 2.6 (Special thanks to the AWC who doped this all out). We could mix the minimal run of Chapter 2 with supplemental Sentinels from the regular ops.
  • Task 11: Research the Spartha
    • THIS! IS! SPARTHA!!!!

Long day with a lot of stuff. I burned a bunch of small energy to get it done in one session, and I messed it up in a couple ways. The path described above is closer to optimal than what I did. Please lern from my mistakes.

With where we are,

While Juggy, Sabretooth and Mystique are not new, they made the fight new by giving Juggy a protect Mystique passive and Sabretooth a "counterattack attacks on Juggy" passive. Living Pharoah is all new. Not hard, but large, extra turns, energy charges. A debuffer wouldn't be the worst idea, nor would Beast (Pharoah gets multiple turns, giving multiple shots at countering). I approve of this op so far. New stuff, two new bosses, new way of thinking about a couple old bosses, new gear (nothing striking me as game breaking), two worthwhile heroes (on the surface), and new mechanism. I even like the redseign, but the in mission score counter seems to have gone away... don't like that.

Day Three

I set up my day last night by running Mission 2 like an Epic run, and leaving it with just the bosses (and Nightcrawler deployed). That let me do Havok's Plasma Wave easily on the Mystique fight and the Living Pharoah fight. I was rewarded with a 12 pack of magnetic boxes (yielding a new cover... #4 for me, a combat acceleration program, a chaotic crystal, a CP and a bunch of stuff).

  • Task 12: 3x Havok's Plasma Wave
    • Wherever we need the stars. Any mission we don't have 4 stars in yet.
  • Task 13: 5x Deploys
    • I did this on 7.3. If I'd had my head on straight, I would have sent my heroes on flight missions before starting it. Why 7.3? 5 deploys, 3 fights. Doesn't get faster than that.
  • Task 14: 5 Flight Deck Missions
    • Another freebie.
  • Task 15: 5 PVP battles
    • Practice has counted, but I was in the middle of a PVP tournament, so let's make some points.
  • Task 16: Research the Radian Rifle.
    • 120 UISO, 48 hours. I'm off special ops until Friday morning.

Mop Up: Day 5 and Onwards

  • Task 17: 10 M-Class Sentinels
    • Mission 3. We have a problem. As part of the January 31st Patch, they have removed our ability to use the M-Class Sentinels on 6.4 and 8.3 for this task. Or at least my ability. The problem that I've encountered is that, even fighting the minibosses individually, there are only NINE M-Class Sentinels on the entire mission. Bummer for me as I was doing this like an epic run, so wasted a bunch of UISO. D'oh! You will want to mission 3 minimally, then run it to epic if you're in the situation I am in.
  • Task 18: Two Stars on Mission 2
    • Done. If you're on plan, this is done. I have 4 stars on Mission 2 on day 3.
  • Task 19: 3x Havok's Plasma Spheres
    • Worth a discussion. To split the mini boss and the big boss or to do something else. I think I'm going to use Emma Frost or Reed Richards or someone else who can help Havok with his Stamina (Cookies?) so that I can go Spheres, Spheres, Spheres on the two-bird. That will set up the Epic which we need for task 22 on Havok. We won't fight the Goblin at this time, because we have other concerns like...
  • Task 20: 3 PVP battles
    • More freebies.
  • Task 21: Collect 20 UISO
    • We will be sure to hold off on collection until this task is loaded. As always, keep your head up.
  • Task 22: Collect 10 Lock Boxes/Magneto Task 5?
    • We might've screwed up again. We could spend the gold, or we could run missions and deploys till we get there. I say we run Mission 3 to Epic, as we know this will get us Lockboxes. But there might be something more apparent later. To do this with early Magneto tasks would put us much further behind on Magneto tasks or make that much less efficient.
  • Task 23: Living Monolith.
    • Boss fight. Chapter 3.
  • Task 24: 3 stars in all missions.
    • If we ran this to the Green Goblin AND the fights set up so we could use the Doombringer strategy, we COULD have our 3 stars on our first run, the one we did to complete task 22/mag task5. In which case, we would have run it to epic twice and not have to jump out after Living Monolith. If that didn't work out, we'd have to run it Epic/Minimal/Epic and hope we have 3 stars on the minimal run. Yoiks. My head is spinning. Either way, we probably have to run to Goblin twice or spend the gold or get real lucky. We do need 4 stars for Magneto Task 6.
  • Task 25: Beat Goblin.
    • We need BEAST, DEADPOOL, and TIGRA. That's 315, what I told you to aim for in your farming. And we should already have Beast, since he was required previously. See, the gold you spend to skip recruitment of a hero to get a spec ops hero will come back to bite you eventually.
  • Magneto Task 6: 4 star all missions.
    • You don't need my help with this. I will have the efficient paths mapped (or cribbed) before you get here. Hopefully before I get here.

Notes

Always look ahead 5 or more tasks to see how you can set yourself up. The 2 star and 3 star tasks can be done out of order, so it's worth considering them out of order to see if there are ways we can minimize skipping from one mission to the other.

All in all, the main mission feels pretty easy. And I don't have a gauge for the Magneto acquisition yet, but there's an opportunity to get almost 100 boxes just for doing tasks. Should take 80-160 boxes to guarantee a win.

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