Well, this season of PVP ended. I finished with an ELO rating of 1412 and an overall ranking of 1410th. Doesn't sound that great (especially given my contributions around here), but factoring my level (and the tight competition and lack of dedicated PvP players around my level) as well as my general lack of play during this tournament (I was AFK for 7 days in the middle of it, and didn't run the Chaos Slate), pretty good.
- The Chaos Slate:
- The Need for Speed:
There's some changes from the original blog posts. The Need For Speed (NFS), my offensive team, is essentially the same. I juggled Tactician uniform with Generalist. The main change is that Invisible Woman has been changed. I do love what her Future Foundation uniform brings with the passive shielding. The shields aren't huge, but they can extend life by 2-5 hits. They make The Rook irrelevant.I am not a fan of her responding with Shields to combat reflex situation, but it also extends life. Since NFS is built around swift aggression, it was better for her to hit back with Spheres on every combat reflex attack, as opposed to ~every other attack. I am vaguely indifferent to Force Cage, and I kind of like her passive invisibility, but it doesn't seem to process very often for me. Overall, I think New Sue < Old Sue. But Old Sue was a destroyer of unappreciated magnitude. New Sue is more balanced defensively, but still does the destruction well. The boost to Infiltrators since I wrote the original NFS post would have made old Sue a much bigger destroyer. It's a nice boost anyway.
The Chaos Slate has changed less. I fiddled with the fourth slot of agent gear. I was sure that I liked the Omni-Fury, the Quantum Jumper and the Magnetic Field Generator, but I was kind of dithering on Digital Decoy. It worked okay. It foils the agent portion of the NFS strategy, and it hurts a number of characters in the current PvP meta. But it eats a turn, slows the fight down, and I would prefer to foil the opponent while hurting him. One idea, from Xobai was to use the X-Play X-Ploiter, which felt good on paper (Quick Action so it wouldn't mess with the other pieces, Blinded to mess with opponent offense, and Staggered to juice my offense), but I got my butt handed to me the night I ran with it, so I went back to DigiDecoy. The XXXploiter wasn't the solution.
I found my secret sauce however. Kind of randomly. Was looking to sell some junky low level items like Third Law Nullifier to keep my weapons page more sortable. And I found Overwatch. With overwatch in place, win percentage jumped very high. I like the effect, as it creates more speed and more turns. And, if you read the NFS blog entry, you know I'm a freak for extra turns. Granted, these aren't real turns. They're counter attacks. But what am I countering with... a strong agent (I only use Generalist for Chaos Slate as it's my strongest suit, and I don't trust the AI to run the Tactician intelligently enough to make up for the gap) brawling, Mockingbird's Twin Strike (dropping all sorts of debuffs) and Scarlet Witch's Arcane Blast (pretty deadly if they are Hexed). So, yeah, I saw it, forgotten for many months, and tried it, and, it's the dash of something special that seems to make the strategy hum.
PVP is a moving target. Good strategy wins. High bonuses help, but can be overcome with good strategy. Aggression is key to offensive PvP. Defensive PvP is still a work in progress, but you have to do two things: Present enough aggression while also foiling strategy.
Why should I share this with you? Am I making you lazy, as a troll suggested? I would like to hope that I am giving you ideas and encouraging experimentation rather than blind copy. Blind Copy is okay. If everyone copies Chaos Slate, I will have to devise an offensive team to beat that meta. And I might not share it, as I will prove an ability to move the meta. What I'd like you to do is to take time and think, rigorously, about the meta you are seeing, and adapt some of my thinking to your play style. I would hope that you'd share your results and your observations, and return the favor to make my thinking more rigorous and flexible. I hope I've made yours more rigorous and more flexible.