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So, I've said most of what I have to say about PVP. I play aggressive, and fast and advise other people to do the same. I watch my meta and adjust. I play the same team until I get proficient. I tinker with my AFK teams constantly. I advise you to measure everything you can. Log fights to figure the meta game, log results to see what needs work, log overnights to see how your AFK team is doing. The old business maxim of What Gets Measured Gets Managed applies.

I have a treat for you today. A special guest post of sorts, from a guy who has been on top of the leaderboard for six months, Agent Wanderer.

Teams

  • Modern Colossus + Invisible Woman
  • Modern Colossus + Kittly Pryde
  • Modern Colossus + Mockingbird
  • Modern Colossus + Emma Frost
  • Modern Colossus + Modern Thor
  • P5 Colossus + Dr Strange
  • P5 Colossus + Invisible Woman
  • WWII Cap + Scarlet Witch
  • WWII Cap + Kitty Pryde
  • WWII Cap + Modern Thor
  • Thing + Invisible Woman
  • Dr. Strange + Magik
  • Dr. Strange + Kitty Pryde
  • Emma Frost + Mockingbird
  • Emma Frost + Invisible Woman
  • Emma Frost + Kitty Pryde

That's a lot of teams. He used them in 36 hours, which means a lot of fights, a lot of switching, or both. Eleven different chracters in the rotation. A lot of different teams and variations. My takeaway is this: EXPERIMENT!

Agent Wanderer notes that he does not change out to a specific AFK setup, he leaves the same team in. He says that he loses 95% of his AFK (which jibes with my understanding) because he plays the same two people who are within his range (why I'd like to get up over 2200). There's an inefficiency, perhaps, but your meta is a lot different that his (as mine is). You are liable to have more people in your combat range than just two, so it will be more difficult to outpace the field. But, as I tell everyone, doing more attacks is the key to maintaining high rating. Wanderer essentially agrees.

Bonus

He is arranged thusly:

  • HP/SP = Medium
  • Attack = High
  • Defense = Medium
  • Accuracy = High
  • Evasion = Low

This is not to say that other configurations are not effective. But since aggression is central to my style and Wanderer's style of play, Attack never hurts, and reactive skills can be wasteful.

Turn Advantage

All of these are good, in the Wanderer canon:

  • Po4
    • Pro: +4 turns for your agent
    • Con: death
  • Quantum Jumper
    • Pro: +1 turn for each hero, immediately.
    • Con: -1 turn for agent, not so good when you lose a hero
  • MFG
    • Pro: Damage Shield, +1 turn for heroes, delayed turn for Agent
    • Con: Delayed turns
  • Digital Decoy
    • Pro: Potentially up to 6 turns if your agent relies on single attacks, at the cost of one agent turn.
    • Con: AOE, Psychic and multihit attacks.

Turn adtange also comes through:

  • Stuns
    • By using your turn to negate an opponent's turn, you are gaining an advantage of uneven turns (Emma stuns enemy agent, for example)
  • Tanking with damage reduction
    • Cap and Colossus both tank with damage reduction, reducing effective turns by the enemy, resulting in turn advantage.
  • Evasive procs
    • Phasing results in wasted turns by the enemy, producing advantage
    • Emma's Diamond Body eats an attack
    • Scarlet Witch's Reality Warp, Chaos Shield, and Hex all produce turn advantage.
    • FF Invisible Woman's  Fourth Field and Dr. Strange's Defender proc both reduce/eliminate damage.

Turn advantage is the name of a game in a turn based game.

Matchup Workshop

Some tips on problem matchups from Wanderer:

  • Mockingbird
    • Modern Colossus blocks her attacks
    • Generalist Agent helps
    • Digital Decoy is amazing.
  • Emma
    • Colossus
    • Transcranial Stimulator
    • The Experiment
  • Quicksilver
    • Bruisers can take the damage and gain Enraged
    • MFG works well against him too
  • Dr Strange
    • Kitty resists his AOE attack and usually counters
    • Avoid using Bruisers against Blaster Strange (except maybe if it's Colossus)

Quick Actions

Quick Actions are generally good. They all produce turn advantage and provide you with flexibility. Heavy Ion Beam is the best. Against an opponent without a blocker, HIB works a lot like Chorno Overdrive or ARC Reactor Charge to increase your damage. It has some other advantages, like removing Mirror Image or Emma's Diamond Body. It doesn't work as well against Colossus or Cap, but it's still free damage against Colossus. HIB and Stark Industry Catalyst also remove the Migraine debuff, as does the SA "Pincer", which isn't as good because of the cooldown and lower damage.

Levels

There are top players at every level set. It is possible to get a high rating at every level. There are threshholds beneath which, it's difficult to compete at a high rating because you get matched upwards. If you are just below Level 65, 100 or 150, it's a good idea to speed level by spamming a mission with decent xp to get over the threshhold.

There are advantages to being just over one of those threshholds or to being level 300. If you are not doing well, and blame your level (or gold players), you are essentially being dishonest with yourself. You can do better.

Conclusions

You are going to want to do a few things. I endorse all of these things and they work with my philosophy and I used to talk to Wanderer quite a bit  about PVP and he shaped some of my thinking.

If you want to be good at PVP, you will have to play more PVP. You will want to experiment and try new things. You will want to keep track of your results. You might have to give up on winning a ton of AFK fights, especially at high ELOs. But, you have to be thoughtful about what you are doing. And when things aren't working, go to your toolbox and figure out why rather than complain about the injustice of it all.

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