The Graphs



6 May 2014 - Musings on my general state of PvP-readiness

After picking up Taskmaster yesterday and finishing up 2.5 this morning (The Hood and Man-Ape challenge scores can choke on it, btw), I threw Gamora in for her 9-to-10 bump after Tasky got his lvl 2 on. I looked over the listing of heroes I currently have at various levels and was mentally bemoaning how long it's going to take me to get them all to 14, when I realized that I'm probably going about this wrong, from a PvP point of view.

Pretty much everyone will agree that when leveling your heroes you need to get the biggest bang for your buck in the realm of PvP bonus. It's also a general consensus that the most effort should go into getting your Tacs and Blasters up to max level as quickly as possible, with Bruisers & Scrappers being the secondary concern, and Infiltrators & the handful of Generalists being the tertiary block that you should focus on. At this point, n00b heroes excluded, I have all my Tacs and Blasters up to lvl 13. This is a good thing, but not fantastic, considering that I'm lacking a stack of bonus points from both health and attack that might greatly help in my endeavors in PvP. My Bruisers are all lvl 13 as well, with only the Scrappers and Infs falling into the "lacking" category - but they're all at least lvl 12.

It's a bit late in the tournament for this, but I've come to the conclusion that I should go ahead and refocus on my Tacs & Blasters. Having a balanced force with everyone at level 13 is all well and good, but in the grand scheme of things it's not very effective in a game where the ultimate goal is to take out your opponent as quickly as possible. Added accuracy is great, and the slight boost that evasion would get would be a nice perk, but the big thing is to outlive and outlast your enemy. For that, I need a bigger life bar and I need to hit harder than he can.

So sorry Bruisers, Scrappers, and Infiltrators. You're going to have to wait a while longer to get above your current level. I have a couple months' worth of upgrade time that's going to be spent on the Tacs and Blasters to deal with...

5 May 2014

After dinking around for way too long with the Nico/Quicksilver team, I decided to work with PKB's team of Emma/Tac WM/Tac Agent about midway through last week. Oh. Mah. Glob. This team tears through defensive teams like a teenage boy goes through Kleenex. The sequence of Neurotrope > Tankard > Unlock Potential > Full Over-tard > 21-Gun Salute is enough to lay most defending teams flat in one round. I did make one change to the agent load-out and decided to bring along Mystic instead of the healing stick to help get around potential first-round Stun-bunnies, but that's the only tweak I've made to the setup.

I have heard rumblings of people building a D-team around Psylocke, Quicksilver, and agent with Coulson's & Cosmic Cardinal. Apparently the basic upshot of it is you pack in Betsy with her new e-Iso that automagically grants Mental Coordination at the start of the match, use Pietro to kick off the fun, and pray for the extra dogpile and blast-y procs off of QS's initial attacks. If that turns out to be the case, I may have to consider switching things up to include CAPTAIN C-C-C-COMBO BREAKERRR on the attack team before everything is said and done. Regardless, I'll be headed over to 2.5.5 to do some farming and our favorite British Ninja Assassin is going to go in the cooker for a 12-to-13 bump so she can make use of Ukemi and her own rock as soon as I nab it.

Also, I finally managed to pick up Taskmaster, after way too many dupes. He's waiting on his turn in the cooker, which won't be until tomorrow morning given that I threw AYSMAN in last night for his 12-13 bump. How the hell I missed upgrading his Blaster mode to lvl 13 when I was working through all of the Blasters is beyond me.

24 Apr 14 - Thoughts so far

General thoughts on the season so far:

  • Lots of variety on the teams, although Quicksilver and Magneto still seem to be in massively heavy rotation
  • If you're one of those people who is exploiting Jim Lee Cyclops' broken rez effect along with the Staff of Askyomomma's broken healing effect with the Tankard, you can EABOD and DIAF. It's bad enough to have to deal with one of the buggy game mechanics, but both at the same time is just a massive dick move.
  • If I see one more Cosmic Cardinal, I'm going to bloody well scream. That damn thing has never fired as many times for me as it has for my opponents.

Stats so far:

Total Score: 1371

  • Attacks: 94
    • Win: 90
    • Loss: 4
      • Attacking Win Rate: 95.74%
  • Defenses: 154
    • Win: 55
    • Loss: 99
      • AFK Win Rate: 36%

Taskmaster Covers: 6 covers, 5 dupes, 110 boxes

21 Apr 14 - The Teams

Offensive Team

Original Load-out:
  • Agent
    • Generalist Empowered Armor
    • E-Iso: Inspiring
    • Signpost
    • Synthetic Cube
    • Coldshot (I refuse to call it by the stupid name they gave it)
    • Warbringer Axe
  • Nico Minoru (lvl 14)
    • E-Iso: Resonant & Unavoidable
    • A-Iso:
      • L1: n/a (Powerful Ballistic)
      • L2: Sorcerous
      • L6: Sorcerous
  • Deadpool (lvl 13)
    • E-Iso: Spicy & Savory
    • A-Iso:
      • L1: Charged Martial
      • L2: n/a (Powerful Ballistic)
      • L9: n/a (Powerful Ballistic)

Agent is kind of a mish-mash right now, but it seems to be working so I'm not complaining. The new gun compliments the Signpost as a mini-set by doubling its healing power. That basically lets my agent heal for around 24K per round if all three opponents are still standing. Unless he gets one-shotted or pulls a MASSIVE stack of DOTs, he's going to be around for a good long while. Cube is in there because, well, it's the Cube, and Warbringer is there for utility purposes. It's pretty much a given that you're going to take hits, so why not deal a little extra damage in return? If I had something like the Frostbound Hatchet I probably would have slotted it in there instead for the extra damage exploits on the cold effects.

Nico makes a great second banana and is a pain in the backside to kill. You definitely want the Sorcerous on her L2 to begin with so you can splat the other team with Adhesive X and not get smacked back for it. It makes Quicksilver, Rogue, and any other melee-only heroes cry like babies. The other Sorcerous on her L6 will provide for more stealthy, and more pain for the opposing team. Her E-Iso are pretty much a given - one gives more health every time she attacks, the other gets around some of the more annoying avoidance effects. With both of those, life is good.

Deadpool was a late addition to the team, since I managed to pull his second E-Iso shortly after the last PvP season ended. With both of those in his pocket he actually makes a pretty decent PvP hero. He's still level 13, but he'll be going in for training soon enough. I figure the Powerful Ballistic A-Iso will be the best bet for bumping up his damage, since it's generic for Ranged attacks, whereas the other option of the Artillery A-Iso are gun/explosion only, and there aren't enough heroes that I use that have Gun/Explosion abilities to make it worth the purchase.

Iteration Two (as of 20 Apr 14)
  • Agent
    • Tactician Power Armor
    • Signpost
    • Synthetic Cube
    • Coldshot (I refuse to call it by the stupid name they gave it)
    • Apocalypse's Subjugator
  • Nico Minoru (lvl 14)
    • E-Iso: Resonant & Unavoidable
    • A-Iso:
      • L1: n/a (Powerful Ballistic)
      • L2: Sorcerous
      • L6: Sorcerous
  • Quicksilver (lvl 14)
    • Main Suit, Scrapper
    • E-Iso: Aggressive & Accelerating
    • A-Iso:
      • L1: Pugilist
      • L2: Pulverizing
      • L6: Powerful Martial
      • L9: Empty (Powerful Martial)

I've found that more than enough people have twigged to the concept of having QS with the optimum A-Iso loadout so he's back on the A-team, to at least give me a somewhat fighting chance of having one of my team members going first. I prefer his green suit, for its ability to have two ISO slots in it, but I'm seriously considering switching back to his blue Scrapper suit and using only the Aggressive. He's great for punishing Fandral or Inf Pesti-Beast teams.

Nico stays in the team for the time being. Her utility is too good to pass up. The only downside to her is if the battle runs more than three rounds, she starts to lose her juice. I've been in a few that ran long, which leads me to the change-up in the agent loadout.

While the generalist suit is nice, on the attack you want every chance you can get to take an extra turn - hence, the switch back to the Tac Power Armor. Sure, it makes Infs an annoyance, but with QS on the team that's not as much of a worry. I've also swapped out the WBA for Apoc's Subjugator, given the large number of Magneto (shields), Cyclops (infinite rez effects), and protector agent (Hoarfrost Mace) BS that I'm seeing. I'm debating on using the Hand of Apocalypse. Its high stamina cost has me a bit leery, but it might be worth it.

15 Apr 14 - Initial Thoughts

So we're back in the saddle again, following a somewhat harrowing last season. It's nice being lvl 300 and not having to worry about obscene levels of AFK battles throughout the course of the season. The most I've had so far in the past few days are nine in an overnight, and that was right at the beginning when everyone was rushing to get the 20 in for the first box quest. Other than that it's been topping out around four or five, which isn't so bad. Looking at the season's rewards, I'm of mixed feelings. Here's the breakdown:

The Hero

Rocket Raccoon. Probably the smallest sprite we've seen in the game, yet (barring Wasp when she does her shrinky-dink thing). One of the people in a FB group I'm part of said he looks more like a weasel. Incidentally enough, "Rocket Weasel" is the name of my Green Day cover band, but I digress. He's all-guns, all the time, and requires you to skip at least one turn while reloading to be able to use his L9. Can't say as I'm very impressed with that mechanic, but he does make up for it a bit with all of his actions being Q/A. He's basically going to be "BANG! BANG! BANG! RELOAD!", all day long. That being said, if he gets hit with an Obsolete Tech debuff (Mystic says "HI!"), he's going to be useless. I'm thankful that they're bringing the GotG into the game, but I would have preferred the old-school team from back in the day. Maybe that's just the grumpy old fart in me trying to get out, but if you have beef with that then you kids can get the hell off my lawn. :)

The Suit

Oh man, this is the one everyone has been waiting for. Free Turns in a Can, right there. Tell me that isn't a game-imbalancer. Slap a Quick e-Iso in there and you have an agent throwing down buffs as QA, taking extra turns, and being a bigger nuisance than Rescue on their turn. Free hero or not, V-league is the place to be this season.

The Weapon

The Overloader... first PvP reward weapon to be multi-function, and it looks pretty interesting. Basically it gives you the chance to have the weapon give a Scrapper effect (follow-up attack), a partial Blaster effect (guaranteed crit), make it a QA, or potentially have it blow up in your face and make you skip your turn. Can't say as I like the final possible effect, but if the gun hits hard enough it might make it worth it to risk the chance of a forced skip - especially if you can get your extra Tac turn in there before you start tinkering with it.

The Battles So Far

With Havok getting hit HARD by the nerf-bat and Pesti-Beast getting knocked down to a more manageable level, the focus of defensive teams has shifted elsewhere. So what am I seeing right now? Magneto. Friggin' Magneto everywhere. With making his Magnetized ability non-removable and unavoidable, courtesy of his e-Iso, he's made a resurgence in PvP D-teams. I'm seeing him with his Iso in addition to a Quick (for the free shields), and an Ionizing a-Iso on his L1 for added Radiation DOTs or something else for damage boosts. The most annoying opponent I've faced so far has paired him with Rescue, with Rescue also having a Quick e-Iso and Ionizing on her L1. Have I mentioned lately how much she annoys the crap out of me? Aside from that, there has been the usual smattering of Quicksilver, and I've run into the odd Havok here and there (some people apparently didn't get the memo). I also ran up against a Fandral/Volstagg team-up, which was interesting. Volstagg opens with his L2 and then used L1 until his health was low from taking hits, and proceeded to pop his L6 to heal up the whole team. Fandral apparently just spams his L9 so long as everyone has less than 3x Bleed on them, because that's all he did all battle.

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