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So, as I rise up the PVP ladder, I noticed that I was getting clocked for double digit points by attackers while playing my offensive team. This is the major disadvantage to playing an offensive team that uses an intricate combo, as it is reliant on the AI doing multiple things in a proper sequence. That is never a good thing to do, which is why I create defensive teams to leave for the AI to play while I'm away from keyboard. In this season, with the stakes high and the time winding down, I decided to tweak Need for Speed into something different, that could take advantage of the best that's out there, and stand a chance while I am away from keyboard (gets increasingly less likely as you go up the rankings, I assure you). So, I present to you what I came up with:

Dark Rush

Heroes:

  • Emma Frost
    • Tactician
    • Phoenix Five lingerie
  • Colossus
    • Bruiser
    • Modern aerobics gear
  • Agent
    • Tactician
    • Commander Trench

Agent Gear

The Meta Game

No discussion of a PVP setup is complete without talking about the meta game that inspired it. I am seeing pretty much the following four characters in various combinations and garb.

Given this metagame, it is important to have attacks that go around a tank. It's very important to get to the agent. With the exception of Mockingbird, none of these characters have attacks that scare me because of the crazy damage they do. Being able to pop a cap in mock is also highly valued.

Operation

Tanks matter. There is a difference between Colossus's and Cap's ability to tank. Cap is generally better at keeping people off your non-tanks because he can block area attacks. Colossus can absorb a lot more damage. Based on the tank (and if people are running Emma/Mock or something without a tank, we will count that as being like Colossus), we can break this into Normal Strategy and Cap Strategy.

Normal Strategy

Colossus will pound the ground. That lowers evasion on most players, does some damage (about 10-15% of total) and goes under tanks. No fliers in my meta, so I don't have to worry the flaw with ground attacks.

Emma will Unlock the agent's Potential. We don't care about the stamina, but this will improve the agent's damage potential, and improve his accuracy. A quick side word: We have increased the agent's accuracy while lowering evasion on all enemies. He doesn't miss often.

Agent will Quantum Jump to set up the proper sequence. When it's his turn, he will use the Power of 4 to get extra turns, use Dark Sigil to infect people with Burning (Colossus is immune), Dark Void (everyone is hit), and, perhaps most importantly, Weak Point, which guarantees hits and crits. Then 3 Pinions. Anyone left alive can be cleaned by Colossus and Emma.

Mockingbird and Blasters

Now, people always complain about Mockingbird. But this strategy accounts for her very nicely. Colossus has turned her into a blaster (at risk, yes). Agent, in his tactician coat, can (and should) hit her with a Pinion attack BEFORE starting the Power of Four. If the sequencing is correct (Colossus before Agent before QJ), the agent should even give her a pinion BEFORE quantum jumping. This policy is unchanged for any blasters, like Human Torch or agents.

The reasoning is this. When a tactician agent attacks a blaster Mock, we create two coin flips. The first is whether Tacticial Insight will process for Mock. That's what gives her extra turns. The second coin flip is which resolves first, her Insight or the agent's tactical advantage. If it's the agent's advantage, he can run his extra turn device to put more turns between himself and Mock's new turn. And since we've turned her to infiltrator, we can Dark Sigil the whole team, take a soft lick from Mock, and then cut her in half with the Pinion.

Cap Strategy

Cap's ability to absorb area attacks makes him a special case. The strategy for the two heroes remains unchanged. But the agent must read the situation and react. The Blaster Addendum above is still to be observed. But the read-react is based on whether we can one shot Cap with our Pinion. If we can, we go Power of Four - Pinion Cap to death, Dark Sigil, Pinion Hero, Pinion Agent (or whatever works for you... double tap the agent, double tap the hero, whatever). If we cannot, we will just take 4 straight Pinions to the non-Cap heroes. I do not fear Cap's damage output, so I am happy going 2-on-1 with my Colossus and Emma against Cap, since I have all kinds of stealthy attacks that don't trigger Shield Guard.

The beauty here is that the AI can't mess it up that much. It will not run it as efficiently as I run it, but it won't butcher it very badly (as it will with Need for Speed... Electrostatic Arm can be used on any ally, which gives the AI some bad options). The worst the AI can do with this is:

  • Forget to use Power of Four or Quantum Jumper
  • Use Dark Sigil with Cap on the board (you put the two DoTs on Cap, but he gives you a dizzy for your trouble) and then runs more Dark Sigil with Cap on the board.
  • Runs the QJ-P4 sequence wrong.

You accept some risk when you let a dumb computer do your work for you, but that's the option we have.

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