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Cable PVP Reward Icon

Welcome, friends. While I am not the world's biggest Cable fan, I do like him about a thousand times more than I like Deadpool, so that's something like incentive. But, they're really all numbers on a spreadsheet to me. Unlike some other players, I like to critique the art, but I'm not against buying something ugly or using a character I don't really care for, if it will get me ahead. So, here we are, season 2. I'm going to keep one post to discuss what I'm doing at various stages in the tournament. By the end, it might read like a book. But, I think it is ultimately neater. So, here we go.

Goals

It always starts with goals. Here are the rewards with my take on the amount of effort required by me to get them. Your effort will be different, which should skew your estimation on what's a good goal.

League Reward Requirements Commentary
Silver League
Silver League
Silver PVP Reward Icon

100000 Silver
1 attack. Free. Done. Also worthless to me.
Gold League
Gold League
Gold Sale 1

10 Gold
Top 35% Easy. Nice to have.
Diamond League
Diamond League
Nanite Inductive Nailgun

Nanite Inductive Nailgun
Top 15% Top 10% last time was ~1450? Figure this will be 1300. Easy. Interesting Item. High PVP Bonus
Vibranium League
Vibranium League
Uniform Scrapper 6 Male

Blueprint: Scrapper's Power Armor
Top 3% Intriguing. I don't have a Scrapper Commander Trench, so this is desireable, even if I'm not sure about the actual passive. Estimation: ~1575-1600. Doable. Without going nuts on the last day.
Adamantium League
Adamantium League
Cable PVP Reward Icon

Cable
Top .5% I estimate a required rating over 1700 for this. We'll see how I feel about this in 20 days. He looks interesting.

November 12 Patch Discussion

When they dropped the new tournmanet, they also put in a major rework of some characters. Since my old meta was pretty simple and stable, let's take a look at what changed in the meta:

  • Quantum Jumper no longer gives an extra turn to the agent, on the first turn.
    • I suspect the "on the first turn" is a bug, as there's no description of it in the tool tip.
  • Power of Four now has a two round cool up.
  • Grief is no longer stealthy.
  • Chrono Overdrive's effect has been reduced.
  • Emma Frost
    • Diamond Body doesn't remove buffs anymore.
    • Mental Scarring attaches regardless of what the target does (if they don't attack, they cannot be locked on the next round with Anguish again... if they get cleared by a buff clearer, they are fair game)
    • Now counters with War Diamond if the attacking target has mental scarring (Woot!)
  • Captain America
    • No more Lead the Charge. (This is profound).
    • New passive to all versions; Defensive Stance (gives the Shield Guard style "block" even when SG isn't on).
    • Inspiring Leadership applies at the start of combat, regardless of who goes.

That's a lot of change to a stable meta. It doesn't even factor the new outfit for Dr. Strange or the quick action buffs to Black Panther, Iron Fist, and Spider-Woman.

I'm never one to cry about a change. I don't even really like the word 'nerf.' I used Emma this morning, and it really didn't change how I used her, except that I'm not buffing the agent on the first turn anymore (more a function of the Power of Four change). But, let's break some things in this down: Power of Four: Overdue. I'll miss it, but I won't miss playing against it. Quantum Jumper: Still VERY powerful. Moves the focus to heroes and away from Agent. Grief: Thank God, even though mine is still waiting to be researched. Chrono: ARC was better anyway. I have an ARC, so this only works to my advantage. Not sure I will be using the ARC, however. Emma: As noted, some people who cheesed with her will be upset. Since I cheesed with my agent, don't care. She is still very, very powerful. Captain America: Normal Cap is really hurt. Avengers Cap is also made considerably weaker. WW2 Cap is still a powerhouse. Going first was not that important, since he sets up in Shield Guard anyway. In fact, he now gets to Shield Guard LONGER. Bonus!
Time will tell what the new meta looks like.

Day One - November 13th - 800 Points

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Like you, I started with 800 points. I got to work, starting with the old team from Dark Rush:

But I changed the loadout a little. This isn't for everyone, as it's expensive.

Morning

Play is ragged, but I haven't lost an offense yet (except the one where my flash crashed and I was winning) and havent' faced a defense yet. In 13 attacks, I am 12-1, rated 978, good enough for the top 1.9%. Not enough fights to progress beyond Gold, and of course, the numbers will escalate. The meta will evolve to a new stable point, and I can counter plan the meta. It seems that the neutering of early aggression may provide some great opportunities. Already seeing some Dr. Strange and some Beast. For those wondering, Beast leads with his L9, Farewell to Arms.

Afternoon

Down 62 points while AFK. Gonna have to work on AFK, methinks. But back to 994 after five fights. Early going, the movement is a bit more volatile, as the ranks are condensed. That's good enough for 1.7%. That's more than two standard deviations above the mean, so we know it's tightly packed in the 650-950 band.


I should clarify my overall strategy here. I haven't decided on the end goal, whether it's the easier sweet spot of the Vibranium League or the harder, insane spot of the Adamantium. But, we can merge those goals and assume we'd like to have the option later. I like PvP and I missed playing it while it was on vacation. So, I play my fights as I get them. And the strategy is not to go mental, but play all the free fights that I get, more or less. Some will slip as I refuse to stress about this (oh and I'm going away for 5 days for Thanksgiving, which should produce some interesting results and might dictate not working on this much until that's over. But, the idea is to use the freebies to maintain a highish ranking until the final week when I will see where I'm at, figure out how nuts I will have to be, and decide what prize to chase.

Tourney Strat

One thing I learned from the last tournament is that you really cannot count on making up a ton of ground on the last day. I know, I made up 300 points on the last day. But that was after losing 300 points on the last night AND playing an absurd amount of PVP on the last day. You have to make a move towards the top a bit earlier, because it's easier to make up 300 points on the last day than 600 points, as many people had to do. There will be a lot of lurkers who will want to usurp your position. I am planning on hybridizing. Lurk and pounce, but like a fat cat, I want to minimize my pounce distance.

Evening

An AFK of +7. Six fights, three up, three down. Should preserve this setup for posterity:

  • Captain America - WW2 - Bruiser
  • Scarlet Witch
  • Agent - Tactician - Power Armor
    • QJx2
    • Coulson
    • Pinion

I could live with .500. If I'd gone .500 in the previous tournament, I'd've been in the top 10, if not #1 outright. Small sample size, but I think I will ride it until it fails miserably. That's bound to happen sooner or later. Score: 1024 - 1.2% Post fights: 26 offensive fights, 1098 (.3%) I'm gonna play some PvE and see where I'm at with challenges. Refuse to spend coin early. Also not gonna go mental and fight each ally challenge point as I get it. Saw an interesting idea in AFK.

Magik's passive plus Dark Sigil plus Emma's AoE attack make a lot of Fiery Retributions. I was trying out something a bit different, so I don't know if it's a winner or not, but something to keep watch on.

Day One Results

  • Diamond League
  • 1103 - Top .3%
  • 32 offensive fights
  • 34-14 overall

Day Two - November 14th - 965 ELO rating

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Overnight Results

Good news: Up 165 from the start point after 1 day. I doubt there will be too many more 24 hour +165s out there. Bad news: I am in the grinder. I went to bed with 34-14 (48 total fights, of which I'd started 32). I woke up with 47-35 (82 fights, of which I'd started 32), a net change of 13 wins, 21 losses and 34 actual fights. That's the grinder. 34 fights overnight against 32 started over the course of a day. And overall, 32-50 from started to AFK. I am going to track these numbers as the tournament goes on, so we'll start the day with a break down of the change and the total. What gets measured, gets managed. And I'd like to make a compelling, data based case, that fight distribution is random and frequently unfair. Not that I am complaining. I did finish in the top 500 last time. But, I do believe that fight distribution is massively uneven.

AFK

Far and away, the thing that I get asked about, as if I know, is AFK PVP. There is no science to it. AFK is hard. You don't know what's going on. So, you don't know why it's failing. I used to run a setup AFK called the Chaos Slate. It worked. But not as well as I felt it should have. I made a tweak to replace a common pain in the butt piece of equipment Digital Decoy with the Overwatch, which no one uses because it feels slow, and suddenly Chaos Slate made a lot of chaos. To break that down, I was not happy with the results, but I liked the logic, so I went looking for something to shake it up without destroying the logic. I thought about what I was trying to accomplish and my core principles of success (Speed), and made the decision that Decoy wasn't fast and Overwatch created more speed and more damage. I really wanted Combat Acceleration Programbut it's one of those rare drops that has eluded me. The moral of this story is that you never know what the crucial twist will be. You have to experiment. And keep data. And be prepared to fail. With more than 25 days left in the tournament, you have time to work it out now. It needs to be highly polished in 20 days or so.

If you want a quick way to start, look at what messes you up when you are on offense. Copy that. Tweak from there.

One last set of words about AFK. It's based entirely within your meta. My meta is not yours. If you are seeing a lot of Spiderman and Torch, your metagame is much different than mine, and what works for me probably won't work for you. Improve your bonuses, including recruiting heroes. Bonuses matter.

Morning

5 fights, up 56 (includes an AFK loss). Then, run some PvE. Come back. 3 AFK fights, -52. It's a treadmill. Two more fights, and an even 1000 for ranking.

Tactician Dr. Strange

Saw a tactician Dr. Strange, which is odd in the current L200 meta as there are no blasters except for Mockingbird and the odd agent. So, his extra turns don't really amount to much, unless he can get to Mock or the odd Blaster Agent, while using a bruiser to set Mock up (something I do with Colossus, then exploit with the Agent or Emma). I think Blaster Alt Strange would do a lot better against the tanks, except for the large number of Emmas and Caps and tactician agents. I'm not seeing a ton of tanking, so that might be irrelevant. If tanking is out of style, the meta could be thrown fairly wide open. That's the AM report. Up 35 points in the AM on 8 fights on offense, 4 on defense. Gonna alter the loadout on the AFK team.

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Afternoon

Wow. 11 attacks between the AM and now. Busy day. 3-8 -73 ELO. This is not working. Won't try that tweak again. 927. That's painful.

Metagame Fight Logging

  • Tactician Strange + Beast. No tank means a stunned agent.
  • WW2 Cap + Emma.
  • Ghost Rider + Emma. No tank means a stunned agent. Ghost Rider vs. Colossus is amusing.
  • Blaster Alt Strange + Emma + Scrapper Agent. Colossus against Agent, Emma against Strange, 3 on Emma, vaguely porny.
  • Ghost Rider + Emma. Different guy, same set up, same result.

5 fights, back to 1019. Not sure if I will make any sustainable progress todday. It's all on the AFK.
Just for the record, at this point, 45 initiated attacks, 65 AFKs. 1.44 AFKs per attack. Hopefully, this will round out. But I suspect it will get worse before getting better.

BREAK

Bit of a break, then back for three more... so an hour and change. 7 attacks, 2 wins, 5 losses, -66 ELO. Fer whoever's sake. That's a rate of one every 10 minutes. That's 144 a day. There's no way to pace that.

Metagame Fight Logging

  • Emma,Cap, Blaster Agent - I can get to you Blaster Agent. Cap won't save you, and I will reap the extra turns.
  • Mock, Emma, General Agent - Stun the Agent, exploit Mock for extra turns, good night.
  • Cap, Mock, Blaster Agent - Agent got off the Power of Four, then went MFG, Pinion Colossus, Pinion Emma, QJ.
    • Don't give the AI a chance to sequence badly. It will. Inevitably.

Was 999, but took an AFK loss for the same points as the third fight so 981. This was how the first tournament started and ended. High levels of attacks retarding progress.

BREAK

Another small break. 6 attacks in about two hours. This time I set the team up properly and went 4-2 for +27. Small things matter. The Infiltrator Power Armor seems to make a difference in AFK. 4-2 + what I did yesterday afternoon, versus the 2-5 -66. You can see how it can get ugly on small mistakes. And while we're here. Every point won and lost now is one that I won't have to win or win back later.

Fight Logging

  • Emma, Cap, Tact Agent. Agent with CO and Mechanical Mjolnir
    • I wouldn't leave Mecha Mjol for afk. It's complicated gear that the AI will mess up.
  • Cap, Quicksilver. Agent with 3/4ths of the Demon set. Fury dropped a ton of debuffs on Colossus, but I carry P5 Emma for a reason.
  • Ghost Rider, Emma. p5 Emma makes the AI hard to debuff. I got a stun on his agent, and he got Cosmic'ed out of it.
  • Same guy.

Up to 1056. Had an AFK loss in there.

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Colossus vs. Ghost Rider

Since I'm reading AvX at the moment, I thought I'd break down some Vs. matches that I'm seeing. Modern Colossus, Bruiser against Ghost Rider. They tweaked Ghost Rider a bit since this morning (seriously). This morning, his Damnation Chains would attack colossus, fail to apply burning, so they'd only apply sin. No progression up the chain. Apparently, now, he just goes straight to Dark Void. That's a bit more balanced. But he applies a Sin and an Enraged, which raises Colossus's already considerable defense. So, the sin doesn't make a dent. Ghost Rider's Penance Stare is a psychic attack. Colossus has some resistance. In fact, that's just about the only thing he dodges. So, GR tries Penance (on the first turn, mind you, with no Sin on the field, and all he does is piss off Colossus. Who turns around and puts the Exposed on Ghosty. QJ and it's our favorite time, Double Enraged, Exploit Exposed Decimation Time. Now, if Ghosty's contract applies, he stays alive with 1% of his health. It's based on his base health, not his PVP bonus enhanced health, so instead of 1200, he has 300. Easy prey for anyone, or an epic overkill with another Double Enraged, Exploit Exposed Decimation. Ghosty does a lot of things well, but Modern Colossus and Bruiser Cap are serious problems for him.
Ghost Rider seems fairly solid in PVP except he works slowly. You want to get some sin stacks, so oddly, it's better if he goes last, so he can stack a bunch of Sin all over the place, do a Burnout to get a load of Vengeance stacks, and then Penance Stare to the worst sinner for the overkill. Then back to his other attacks, which are juiced by Vengeance. Vengeance is really sexy, as it stacks very high and builds his attack to large levels. I am considering a ReISO away from Attack because he can stack it very high on his own. And with his Infernal Contract, he can be hard to kill at times. But he really doesn't have solutions for a bruising tank with psychic resistance.

Evening

Three fights, 2-1, +12. I think I found something. Scarlet Witch, WW2 Cap (Bruiser), Agent with 2 QJ, 1 Coulson, 1 Pinion and the Infiltrator Power Armor. More time will be required to tell.

Fight Logging

  • I forget who, but I won.
  • Quicksilver, Cap, Inf Power Armor - Got off first. Ouch. First one I've lost today.
  • P5 Emma Tact, P5 Colossus Bruiser, Gen Agent. No passive tank, Agent gets stunned.
  • Cap, Ghost Rider... Ghost Rider gets off behind a tank. Worth Exploring. With 5 stacks of Vengeance, he one shot killed Emma. 10K+ Bonus on Offense, 7K on defense. Jeepers.

Two and Two. Bad. Seeing some interesting concepts in the metagame. And really, since we want to spend the first week or two figuring out the new metagame, and the rest of the time exploiting it, it's good to see some evolution.

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An AFK loss while PVE. -14 ELO.

  • Colossus (Br Mod), Emma (p5 Tact), Power Armor Agent. Win.
  • WW2 Cap (tac), P5 Colossus (Bruiser), Gen Agent. Interesting concept. If it gets off with Guardian Force, will be nigh impossible to get through Cap. But, we're smart, so we go around Cap.

Ally Collection Remember, I am not going nuts early, so I collect everything and only fight five. Not collect individually and fight all 30-45 of them.

  • Mock, Tact Strange, Gen. Agent. No Tank, bad things happen (in this case, Mock dies only getting one turn and Agent dies to his own Signpost DOT.
    • The Demon Set players... if you get them within range, they can finish themselves for you.
    • Vibranium League
  • Herc, Inf Emma. No passive tank, stunned Agent. His Agent went first, ran a QJ, and never went again.
  • Gambit, P5 Emma Tact, Bruiser Agent. No tank, free shots to stun, expose and exploit exposure.
    • Gambit is an interesting play. That's clearly anti-Emma tech. I'm curious if it works. It doesn't work AFK unless he gets combat reflexes so he can get at Emma via Stealth. And he doesn't seem to use his L2 to crack her shell.
      • The moral of this story is to never let the AI play with complicated toys, because it will not use them properly.
  • P5 Emma Inf, Strange Tact, Gen Agent
    • Heroes overloaded to Defense and Accuracy, with PVP bonus slightly to Offense, but he had higher defense than I did, while less offense. About even in total bonus, but levels worked in my favor. Win. Tough fight though.
      • A thought for others. If you want to be a problem in AFK, overload with Bruisers and Tacticians in your heroes. It will make you a problem, before you even think about strategy.
  • WW2 Cap, P5 Emma, Gen Agent. Not hard. Smash, Emma's L9, repeat three times, and Agent finishes Emma with a Pinion.

Day Two Results

  • League: Vibranium
  • Rating: 1145
  • Ranking: .5%
  • Attacks: 64
  • Record: 88-61-0
    • Defenses: 85

Analysis

Some things I'm seeing in the meta. It's better to have a passive tank (WW2 Cap, Mod Colossus) than not to have one, or even to have someone who needs to activate the skill. Emma, despite much moaning is still the White Queen of PVP. With good reason. That Gambit is clearly a nod to Emma, since he could theoretically open her up with his quick action cards. Ghost Rider is an interesting option. The AI is not playing him strictly right. But he's a powerful counter to extra turns if he can get off. No blasters. You will notice not a single Human Torch in my logs. Not one. A couple blaster Vampire Stranges, and a couple blaster agents. But, it's basically safe, at my level, in my meta, to play a bruiser.

Day 3 - November 15th - 1042 ELO - Vibranium

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Overnight Report

The Good News: Up 77 points from yesterday, and 242 from the start. The Bad News: 30 AFK fights, down 103 points overnight. Mitigating news: I did win 12 of the 30, for a 12-18 record while AFK. That's the bottom threshhold for satisfaction, for me. 40%.
64 attacks by me, 116 AFK. 35.5% of fights I've been in have been started by me. You can see the importance of AFK PVP. If you aren't going to go insane and play three hour sessions for the final week, it's important to get good at AFK PVP. Which is difficult without spending a large amount of gold, which is hardly a guarantee.

Morning

Fight Logging

  • Quicksilver, p5 Emma, Gen Agent.
    • Quicksilver has some interesting possibilities. I've seen him play what I would consider optimally twice in a row now. L1, then Vortex Lariat. If we accept that AFK teams get a proc advantage, we should see more stuns. I would have lost this fight if not for Emma's P5 bonus hitting the agent and removing his stun.
  • Blaster Ann Torch, Mock, Power Armor Agent - MFG, Golden Tyrant Blade
    • No Tank means free runs at folks of my choice. Blasters mean tactician Emmas and Agents (and Caps) run wild with extra turns. This was only a contest because his agent got the MFG off before I got a turn.
    • First Torch of the tournament for me.
  • P5 Emma, Avengers Scrapper Hulk, Generalist Agent.
    • Weird. Bruiser Colossus vs. Scrapper Hulk. When people ask me why I play Bruiser Colossus, it's because there's no one in the meta who blasts and a lot of agents like to run scrapper. He gets very deadly with two stacks of enraged.
  • WW2 Tact Cap, P5 Emma Inf, Generalist Agent with Heavy Ion Beam, Pinion.
    • Cap is more disruptive than Colossus. It's the AOE attack blocking and the countering. My Emma led with her L1, on the Agent, which I rarely do. I didn't want to give the Emma combat reflexes right off the bat. Agent obliged by using the HIB, then missing my agent with the Pinion. I have enough stealth and subtle to get around a tank, but WW2 Cap is a better defender than Colossus.
  • Blaster Vampire Strange, P5 Emma, Power Armor Agent with Digital Decoy
    • Don't bring unprotected blasters to a tactician fight.

Digital Decoy

A quick word on Digi Decoy. If you're seeing as much Emma (who ignores Decoy with two attacks) and Pinion (which also ignores Decoy) as I am, don't run Digi Decoy. It's very passive and it's not terribly effective. Pinion, even though I'm way over the level of mine, remains a terribly effective weapon. Terribly.
I am seeing a TONof Emma. This requires some thought for how to set the defense. Right now, my Witch/Cap/Power Armor team is winning about 40%, maybe a bit better. But, if I could rotate out the Witch for an Emma killer... The question is, with the PVP field as unexplored as it is (There could be an Emma killer that no one runs in PVP so we are unaware), who is this Emma killer?
I am seeing a ton of Emma, but I am whupping a ton of Emma. So, it's not worrying me on offense. AFK is another story.

Afternoon/Evening

Busy at work today, so not so much play. Here's the five this afternoon:

Fight Logging

  • Quicksilver, Cap, 3/4 Demon Set
    • I got lucky to win this one. Quicksilver did dumb things, and my agent still died, but Colossus finished.
  • P5 Emma, Mock. Boring
  • Hercules, Beast - Loss
    • Interesting. He got entire team off before I got a turn, had 17 levels on me, and a very aggressive loadout. Beast merits some discussion.
  • P5 Emma, Vampire Strange.
  • WW2 Cap, Quicksilver, Power Armor agent
    • I got one turn from Emma. When your number is up, your number is up.

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AFK Change

I'm seeing Quicksilver be effective, so I decided to run Me First: Quicksilver, Cap, Power Armor Agent with the same load out (Pinion, Coulson, 2x Quantum Jumper). Results: 3 AFK battles, 3 AFK wins +46 while AFK. Now, mind you, I have tweaked my hero bonus for Offense, and have high PVP bonus (41K offense) and slotted Quicksilver with gold crystals in an effort to make him hit hard. I dunno if he does because I'm not playing him while at keyboard, but in AFK, it produces some results. Nice. Switching to that from the Scarlet Capwich.

Fight Log

  • Cap, Mock, Scrapper Agent. Wrecked them badly.
  • Colossus, Mock, Scrapper Agent. He killed my tank, I killed his team.
  • Colossus, FF Spider, Power Armor. Colossus with 9 tinglies still can't dodge anything.
  • Cap, Emma, Scrapper Agent. MFG. Discussed below.
  • Emma, Quicksilver, Tactician Agent. Agent Raggster Always interesting, frequently a pleasure, Jego.

Magnetic Field Generator

Frequently used in the past as a Quantum Jumper sub and currently gaining some popularity with the change to Quantum Jumper. This is a pre-AvX move. It is annoying to teams that do not feature Emma or Pinion or some other ignore defense weapon, like Coulson's or Super Blade Punch, but as you see from my metagame logs, EVERYONE AND THEIR MOTHER USES THAT POLE DANCER EMMA. And a lot of people use Coulson's Revenge and Phoenix Pinion (which would cut God himself, so it's not being stopped by a shield or a digital decoy). And folks at a lower level might want to investigate Super Blade Punch (combined with Marksman's Spotter )

Here's my take. Don't bother with MFG. Continue to use Quantum Jumper because of the more precise control it gives you over turn sequencing and because you stand a good shot of dying in your bubble.


A word about defensive gadgets in general. You all know, by now, that I like to play a fast, aggressive style. You may even understand the why: If I can kill you fast, and if I don't, I still have a chance to kill you later... if we play defensively, you could get ganked early, or you can volcano up and get ganked before you explode. Seriously, don't worry about overkills until you don't have to worry about normal kills. So, think really hard about that defensive gadget and your meta.

Fight Log

  • Cap, Tact Strange, Power Armor
  • Blast Vamp Strange, Emma, Scrapper - Loss
    • Ton of bonus. Ton of bonus. Extra levels. Slightly better hero bonus. Hard fight. Strange can get a ton of extra turns if played properly. Worth investigation.
  • Cap, Emma - Boring... calling this the Cap'Em.
  • Emma, Mock. Boring.
  • Cap, Emma - Still boring.

Day Three Results

  • League: Vibranium
  • Rating: 1228
  • Ranking: .3%
    • 2573rd if you're interested.
  • Attacks: 93
  • Record: 138-103-1
    • Defenses: 149

Setting Me First and giving up the ghost. Until tomorrow.

Day 4 - November 16th – 1149 ELO - Vibranium

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Overnight Report

The Good News: Up 107 points from yesterday. 349 from the start. Bad News: Down over 100 points overnight. (I played some that I didn’t (b)log last night after TV… I saw a Spider-Man… weird). Record is now 152-122-1 (so, AFK team did 9 wins and 19 losses… bad, but acceptable I guess). A relatively calm night, with a mere 27 attacks. But still, as many fights as I did yesterday. Overall, I have attacked people 98 times, and been attacked 176 times. Ratio is ~1:1.8. Bad.

Fight Log

  • Mock + Mod Colossus + Gen Agent (GTB, CO, QJ)
  • Ghost Rider, P5 Emma, Power Armor (GTB, Soulfinder)
  • Beast, Herc, Power Armor Agent (MFG, Dark Sigil, Coulson)
    • Herc vs. Colossus merits discussion. Colossus’s Smash applies slow, which removes Evasion, which Herc gets when he tanks up. Colossus can also put exposed on Herc, which removed Fortified, giving Herc a tough road to hoe if he’s getting to Blessing. Herc is very strong, but Colossus has some advantage.
    • Beast, everytime I've seen him, has led with a Farewell to Arms. I am not super reliant on Colossus as a tank in Offensive PVP, especially with Beast being a somewhat slow to offense character. But the potential, if I see a ton of tanking, for AFK, seems high.
  • P5 Emma, Ghost Rider, Gen Agent (Pawn, some phoenix gear… assume Flare)
    • Adamantium (Not to stay, I assure you). – 1214 ELO – 4415th at least, maybe more in Adamantium. But I expect it to grow to 13000 or so.
  • P5 Emma, P5 Colossus, Tactician Agent (Coulson, Something Phoenix… he never got a turn)

3 AFKs while playing PVE. 3 wins, 33 points up. I'm running 7.3, leveling Deadpool and Beast. One wonders if they were against the normal loadout (Power Armor, HIB, Gold Needle Gun, QJ, Coulson) or the Boss loadout (Tactician, Marksman's Spotter, QJ, Coulson and Goblin Glider). I wish I could rewatch them or at least get a notation read of events. It would make the AFK question so much easier.

Looking at my ladder, I am wondering about the guy directly below me. Level 52, same rating (1260), but 1 fight started. That means he did a fight, then has won enough AFK PVP to get 460 points up. Similarly, there's a guy above me level 114, same rating, 21 attacks. If he hasn't been attacked, that's 21 attacks of 22 points a piece. That seems high. I notice my fights tend to average about 15 points (oddly, the middle).

Day Four Results

  • League: Adamantium
  • Rating: 1235
  • Ranking: .5%
    • 4769th if you're interested.
  • Record: 187-148-1
    • Attacks: 125
    • Defenses: 211
    • Attack:Defense - 1:1.69

Leaving it with Bruiser WW2 Cap, Quicksilver, Power Armor Agent with the offensive Agent set up. Today was not that great. Built less than 100 points, liable to lose 100 points overnight. Need to think about some things. Wife is sick, alternately coughing and snoring all night long, so I am feeling like Christian Bale in the Machinist. Tomorrow, the weekend starts. I will play less or more, depending. I am thinking that I should not have even started this tournament until after Thanksgiving, when I know I won't be playing much for five days.

Day 5 - November 17th – 1162 ELO - Vibranium

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Overnight Report

The Good News: Up 13 points from yesterday. 362 from the start. Bad News: Down over 73 points overnight. Really, that's not so bad, considering the following. I had more than 30 fights overnight. I know the results of these fights, and the exact number because of the logging I do. It's the reason I do the logging. After being attacked over 140 times in one night during the first tournament, I thought it was worth tracking. At any rate, last night was not that heavy, but it was 38 attacks, which presents, based on an average fight being 15 points, or an even matchup (I know), a loss opportunity of 570 points. Or a gain opportunity of the same.
I think that's worth considering as you evaluate your AFK results. If you think your losses are bad, consider that they could be 15*# of Fights. That hundred that you did lose could have been 300.
So, I know you're all dying to know how I did. 17 wins, 21 losses. 44.7% win. For those that have not read my blog post on AFK PVP process, do so, and understand that I consider AFK to be the hardest thing to do in the game and I consider anything above 40% to be a solid process.
One thing that I didn't put in that post because it's kind of CP intensive is a piece about tweaking your hero bonus. I have found that the teams that I don't like to face have put as many bruisers and tacticians as possible in their slots. And understanding that evasion is not really useful in an environment with a large number of scrappers, have converted as many Infiltrators out as possible. I thought about that and spent some CP. I moved Sif to Bruiser and bought Grey Black Widow to move her to Tactician. That brought me to 3 infiltrators, Spiderman, Gambit and Nightcrawler. I could move Spiderman to Bruiser via his Black suit, but I want my CP reserve back to 200 before I do that, or 150 after I do that. It's only 158 now and I'm expecting a new hero next week. So, I'm rocking it like this:

  • Tacticians:
    • Panther - 11, Widow - 11, Cyke - 12, Emma - 12, Hawk - 11, Fantastic - 11, War Machine-11
  • Blasters:
    • Strange - 12, Torch - 12, Invis - 12, Iron Man - 12, Ms. Marvel - 11, Phoenix - 11, Witch - 12, Storm - 11, Thor - 12
  • Bruisers:
    • Cap - 12, Colossus - 12, Herc - 11, Hulk - 12, She-Hulk - 11, Sif - 11, Thing - 11
  • Scrappers:
    • Black Cat - 11, Daredevil - 11, Deadpool - 10, Ghost Rider - 11, Iron Fist - 11, Kitty - 11, Cage - 11, Magik - 12, Quicksilver - 12, Spiderwoman - 11, Wolverine - 11.
  • Infiltrators:
    • Gambit - 12, Nightcrawler - 11, Spider-Man - 11
  • Generalists
    • Beast - 11, Mockingbird - 12, Rogue - 11

I view these as useful in the following order: Blasters-Tacticians-Bruisers-Generalists-Scrappers-Infiltrators.
The reason that Infiltrators are rated least useful is this: LOOK AT ALL THOSE SCRAPPERS FER THE LOVE OF MIKE!!!!

The Scrappers are second from the bottom for the same reason. There are currently 8 scrappers without other costume options (DD, DP, GR, IF, LC, Mk, QS, SpW), and three more who have a less useful alt (in my opinion... Wolvie, Kitty and Black Cat). What I'm saying is that, no matter what you do, if you have everyone, at the very least you will be carrying 9 scrappers. If you arrange how I do, you will have 11, minimum. FER THE LOVE OF MIKE, LOOK AT ALL THOSE SCRAPPERS!!!!

Generalists are hard to come by. I shouldn't even rank them because you will have 3 if you have everyone, 2 if you missed on Mock. And you can't move 'em anywhere else (Rogue's promised alt MIGHT change that, and I MIGHT reconsider).

Bruisers rate here. It's pretty much a tie. You'll note that I have Cap as a bruiser. It's because that's how I use him. More scrappers to benefit from than blasters to be afraid of, and with his recent change, he does the damage reduction thing even if a blaster hits him square. Nice. And I now have all the of Bruiser/Scrappers in Bruiser. Makes me take less damage. I'm in favor.

Tacticians give you more room for error. More health means more opportunities to survive a deadly attack and unleash your own hell. The extra stamina doesn't hurt, especially when people are running The Experiment.
Blasters rule because damage is the key. The goal is to hurt people until they fade away. Hitting harder is central to that.

So, I rewteaked to get here, by moving Kitty (already owned) Widow (purchased... it's cheap) and Sif (Moderate price) out of where they were. You can also see why I want the 70's Afro Luke Cage in the game so badly. He'd be a bruiser, so I could move him off.
I'm not sure this was the secret sauce of 44.7%, but I like how it plays. More aggressive.

I'm suspending fight logging. I have a good idea of what the meta is. I will comment on interesting things as I see them, but I've done the work. Now lies the conversation with myself. It's the weekend, so I don't plan on playing much today. I'll report later.


So, AFK for several hours. 16 fights. 6 wins. 37.5% Not so good. -57 ELO. It seems that we are in a period of a lot of people moving up. I haven't looked at a calendar with the end of the tournament on it, but I suspect it's a weekday. If it is, that's great. If not, I will have to set the bar very high and get better at AFK.


Was close to a level, so I did a bit of energy/challenge point farming/fighting, which increased my attack total, and my score by a bit. Also won a bit of AFK while I was in PVE mode. It's odd, because I half worry about AFK while in PVE mode. I set Quicksilver and Bruiser WW2 Cap and use two agent set ups:

I am not sure which is the winning setup. I tried out the regular mode (setup #2) and it didn't fly. So, I might run the Boss setup (Setup #1) while AFK tonight. Might not. We'll see.

Day Five Results

  • League: Adamantium (I'd be very surprised if I stay there)
  • Rating: 1464
  • Ranking: .1%
    • 599th if you're interested.
  • Record: 243-186-2
    • Attacks: 157
    • Defenses: 274
    • Attack:Defense - 1:1.75

Day 6 - November 18th – 1280 ELO - Adamantium

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Overnight Report

The Good News: Up 118 points from yesterday. 480 from the start. Bad News: Down over 186 points overnight. Now, 251-207-2 so 8-21 overnight. Bad. Time to reevaluate. But, still made 118 points that I retained. That's the only thing that matters. Since I am fortunate enough to live in a US time zone, I know the tournament will end with me at the computer doing fights. So, I only really worry about maintaining a position where I can get into the tier I want while playing. To maintain that tier overnight is a win. So even the bad news of 186 point loss can be viewed as a win.

For what it's worth (not much as the tournament is early stages still, top .5% is over 5000 people now. So, at least 5x more people will get Cable early versus those who got Deadpool early. I don't want to say this will be easy, but it might require less insane play than the Deadpool tournament. Especially if I don't worry about Cable.
I am ahead of schedule. I don't want to be here. I want to be lower. Really. If I weren't such a junkie, I would not have started until after Thanksgiving. Or I would have started and left it. But, I'm an addict, who actually enjoys PVP puzzles, so here I am. But I'd kind of prefer to have less to defend.

Fun in PVE

As an aside, I am really enjoying playing Magik and WW2 Hulk in PVE. WW2 Hulk's Fiery Retributions get absurdly large. Magik's summonings get very large as well. And the agent, too. Very fun team if you like big hits. At any rate, short day, so I'm putting it down. Gonna try using the boss loadout with Cap and Quick.

Blade of the Guardian

I am not buying Blade of the Guardian. I'm going to make the case against it. Firstly, look at my strategy. My Agent is not the whole key, but since I rely on extra turns, he is pretty important. The reason to use a tank is to keep the bad guys from hitting your important pieces. If the agent is an important piece, why do I have him step in front of attacks? Well, I could change the strategy to use heroes who get extra turns on the second turn like Ms. Marvel, Rogue and Dr. Strange (who gets a lot of extra turns if played with elan). That wouldn't be a bad strategy, except that none of them have skils that circumvent tanks or eliminate tanks from consideration (possible exception for Rogue who has a stun move).

I like passive tanking, but I don't think I want to do it with the Agent, who at my level, is the most dangerous animal. Thus, I will save my 64 gold for something more agressive or countery. And yes, I know BotG has counters, but I'm thinking more along the lines of the Transcranial Stimulator.

Day Six Results

  • League: Adamantium (I'd be very surprised if I stay there)
  • Rating: 1436
  • Ranking: .1%
    • 1139th if you're interested.
  • Record: 270-215-2
    • 56% Win
    • Attacks: 175
    • Defenses: 312
    • Attack:Defense - 1:1.78

Post continued in Week Two


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