Hi there! I'm Raggster. You might have seen my handle before in the main M:AA forums and throughout the comments sections here. Been playing since around January, and still manage to find entertainment in this game.

One thing that has recently become entertaining is PvP. With the massive update and new accomplishment-based League rewards, it seems that more and more players are trying it out. Personally, I wouldn't mind scoring a free Deadpool myself, which is why I'm chronicling my erstwhile quest starting with this blog entry.

Right now, I'm sitting at Lvl 185. Not the best of levels to try to get to that magical 1000 rank, as AFK teams at this level range tend to get eaten alive by, well, anything. But, that doesn't mean we can't give those attackers a hard time, yes? ;-)

In this blog post, I'll lay out what I *think* will be my best chance of getting to into the Adamantium League by the time Season 1 is up. I'll be laying out my Attack and AFK teams, why I think they're optimal (for the moment), as well as my general timeline for the next 20 days or so.

Without further ado, I give you: Blade Rush.

Attack Team: Agent (Infiltrator), Modern Colossus (Bruiser), Mockingbird
  • Agent Loadout: Commander Trench, Phoenix Pinion (PP), Chrono Overdrive (CO), Arc Reactor (AR), Quantum Jumper (QJ)
AFK Team: Agent (Infiltrator), Modern Colossus (Bruiser), Emma Frost (Tactician, original suit)
  • Agent Loadout: Commander Trench, PP, Phoenix Flame (PF), Magnetic Field Generator (MagFG), QJ

The Strategy (in General)

Ideally, the sequence would be as follows:

  1. Use QJ.
  2. Use MB's Critical Intel (if you haven't already done so). Her next move may vary, but generally it's either Pole Vault against a Protect toon or Twin Strike against a non-Protect toon. Either way, whoever she hits next should be the next opposing team member to go down.
  3. Stack the CO and AR buffs, then use PP to kill any choice of target. Suggested targets: Opposing Agent, MB, SW, EF
  4. Use synergistic attacks between MB (Double Strike) and Colossus (Decimate) to kill a second member of the opposing team (possible within the first round, since QJ will give them 2 turns each).
  5. End the first round with a 3-on-2 or even a 3-on-1 advantage against the opposing team.
  6. Win the match.

There are, of course, a lot of ways to vary the strategy, but that is how it generally goes. This setup cares very little about what the opposing team is comprised of or what it tries to do. That said, there are a few things that can royally screw up the steps (I mention a few below, where I talk about my choice of Infiltrator Agent). Lucky (or unlucky, depending on which way you look at it) MB Tactical Insight procs leading to someone dying prematurely, the opposing Agent going first and functioning precisely as how the AFK player imagined the actions to be, etc. In those cases, just suck up the loss and keep going. Bad matchups will be bad matchups, and in the end you can't prepare for *everything.* =)

Infiltrator? Are you serious?

Lately I've been encountering a lot of AFK setups that include a Generalist Agent, the Phoenix Five (P5) Tactician Emma Frost, and either a P5 Colossus or a WWII Tactician Captain Amerca. Infiltrator gives me some extra reach in case Cap decides to throw his shield around, while Emma's Psychic Assault buffs me more than hurts me.

That said, the downside to an Infiltrator suit is that toons like Scrapper Kitty Pryde and Quicksilver get in quite a lot of hits, in fact too many hits for comfort. Also, a well-equipped Scrapper Agent can kill me in one shot. Not the best of ways to win. I may try out the Tactician Commander Trench soon, after I shore up enough to upgrade its ISO.


I'm fortunate that the bulk of Season 1 takes place during my semestral break, as I'll have quite a bit more time after work to get matches in.

My general plan is to slowly inch my way into Rank 1500-2500 before the last day of Season 1, then to spend the last few hours grinding my way into Top 1000. I'm confident others have this idea too (and by putting it on the Internet, I'm sure lots of you will try this out ;-) ), so I don't expect it to be easy. But hey, I like the challenge.

Today it says there are 19 days and 17 hours left in Season 1 of PvP. May the odds be ever in my favor.

18 Days, 17 Hrs Remaining

I am now convinced that the ability to counter Cap on offense is severely outweighed by the prospect of random Stealthy/Psychic Scrappers one-shotting my Agent each time. Am now switching my Attack loadout to:

Attack Team: Agent (Tactician), Modern Colossus (Bruiser), Mockingbird
  • Agent Loadout: Commander Trench, Phoenix Pinion (PP), Chrono Overdrive (CO), Arc Reactor (AR), Quantum Jumper (QJ)

I just hope I can put together the ISO setup I'm thinking of, and soon.

Another observation: I am bouncing back and forth between Diamond and Vibranium leagues for two reasons: First, the minimum Rating to achieve Vibranium goes up as the scores of the top 1% shifts upwards. Second, losing AFK takes up far too much points compared to winning on attack. I believe this is something PD has to balance out, especially at higher levels where defending successfully and consistently is almost impossible.

18 Days, 4 Hrs Remaining

Fought a number of fights before going to sleep. Broke 1300 3 times, and twice got set back by AFK losses. I'm experimenting with an AFK Agent build that will invariably use PP on the first turn no matter what happens. I'm also experimenting with keeping Mockingbird on the AFK team, at least until I can farm enough CP to get P5 Emma. Cosmic Power is an incredibly potent buff.

Speaking of Emma, I've noticed that lately, she's been using her Mental Trauma ability more often. Not usually an issue, except when the Attack/Defense disparity is quite large (and by "large" I mean in the 10's of thousands in the PvP Bonuses and about 500+ pts in the Hero bonuses), in which case it's even stronger than a fully buffed Tornado. Not fun.

Hence my current AFK Agent setup is:

  • Agent Loadout: Commander Trench (Tacticiann), Phoenix Pinion (PP), Chrono Overdrive (CO), The Experiment, Quantum Jumper (QJ)

We'll see how well that works out.

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