One of the most engaging aspects of Marvel: Avengers Alliance is collecting and using the amazing assortment of heroes that the Marvel Universe has developed over the years. Naturally, everyone wants more heroes and wants to use their resources wisely, both to advance in the game and continue having fun, and as a result one of the most commonly-asked questions from players of many levels is “Who should I buy next?” This is meant to guide you through that.
First: a small truckload of disclaimers:
- Disclaimer #1: This guide is written exclusively for in-game usefulness. If you have a strong personal affinity or dislike for a particular character, feel free to use or ignore that character at your discretion. This is YOUR game; play it the way it best suits you
- Disclaimer #2: There is often no “right” answer. Choosing between several characters can often yield you different results with no “best” result. If you ask me if you should buy Hulk or Thor, I will not choose for you, as the two of them offer similar benefits
- Disclaimer #3: If you are going to spend a significant amount of cash buying gold you can ignore this and go straight for the most effective characters
- Disclaimer #4: The game changes. What is effective and useful now may be flight desk dross in a month’s time. Frankly, it's almost inevitable that today's good advice will be tomorrow's regrettable decision. I have no control over this
- Disclaimer #5: The existance of special operations changes the value of characters. For example, Scarlet Witch was a required deploy in order to finish spec ops 2. In this case, Emma (the SO2 reward) was well worth acquiring; spending 90 CP sooner than normal would have been a wise decision in order to buy Wanda, complete the deploy, and add Emma to your pantheon. The following write-up ignores special operations entirely, as they are impossible to predict and change each time
That out of the way, on we go.
Following the initial character set, your first purchase (or free choice) should be She-Hulk, Iron Fist, or Cyclops.
Cyclops is purely a PvP choice, as Iron Man is everywhere at low levels; using two tacticians in PvP (Hawkeye/Cyke) is a simple-but-effective strategy early on.
She-Hulk and Iron Fist will both help you round out your selections of character classes to match up against enemies and maximize your deploys. After those, don’t hesitate to finish off the 15CP price point by getting Invisible Woman and Ms. Marvel. The 15 CP price point may look humble, but these five are all very much playable and worth having.
Once the least expensive characters are in your stable, it’s time to move up a couple of price points. For the bargain price of 33CP, you get one of the most effective heroes in the game in the form of Human Torch. Johnny Storm has multiple defensive passives and a real damage-dealing shot with his fireball; you will get great mileage out of him by the time you move him to level two. He will also unlock the premium mission in level 7, though you are still a ways away from that.
After HT, move up in CP cost again to buy Storm and War Machine at 48CP each.
Storm is a required deploy in 1.4.4 to unlock Epic Magneto: this level is important because Magneto drops the Magnetic Field Generator - one of the best boss drops – and because this level is the most efficient place to farm extra CPs.
War Machine is important because he unlocks the premium mission in level 5 which can get you both the Super Blade Punch and Power of Four, two extremely useful and powerful items.
At this point you have 11 various characters with several extra missions and bonus areas unlocked. You can now either go big or go small, and either one is a valid choice, with pros and cons. Keep in mind that if you play long enough, you will eventually have all the characters so these are all temporary considerations.
If you go big, start saving your CPs for Captain America and his WWII tactician alt; WWII tac Cap is the single best character in the game, and now is as good a time as any to acquire him. The upside is that you get the best character in the game, one that you’ll use frequently going forward. The downside is that this is a significant CP investment that will maximize neither your PvE options nor your PvP bonus.
If you go small, you can balance out your class selection by buying Colossus, Black Cat, Quicksilver, Daredevil, and the Ms. Marvel bruiser alt to achieve an equilibrium of 3 characters from each class, which is something you’ll need eventually anyway. The upside to this approach is that you’ll always have someone to level, plenty of pilots for your jets, lots of PvE deploys, and a larger PvP hero bonus. The down side is that none of these characters are real game-changers (caveat: Modern Colossus), and in a PvP environment that uses on only two characters at a time you won’t have the top guns.
Whichever you choose to do first – one super soldier or the many regular soldiers – once you wrap that up, then switch and do the other.
Phoenix, Thing, and Kitty Pryde are worth acquiring at various points, but won’t add value to your game the way the more expensive characters will. This is also when you can start acquiring pajamas, the base characters will advance your game more.
I plan to eventually find a better place to work this in, but Kathee HDS has a very useful table showing who gets deployed where, and when. Keep this in mind when choosing between two or three characters.
On the reverse side, you should also be aware who NOT to spend your CPs on...
Chief among the do-not-buy crowd are CP drains Wolverine and Black Panther. They are both extremely poor characters at the maximum CP cost.
Wolverine does unlock a premium mission, but the premium mission rewards and the golden weapon from that level are all highly forgettable.
Black Panther is situationally useful against blasters: once he gets Panther Stance going he’s excellent but it takes him 3 turns to properly activate it and even then it doesn’t stay active very long; if he was 23 CPs we’d probably all like him just fine, but at the 90 price point he is a waste of resources.
Luke Cage, Sif, Mr. Fantastic, Spider-Woman, and Nightcrawler are underpowered across the board and should be left for last. Cage does unlock the 6.3 epic against Dr Octopus, and eventually he'll unlock the Chapter 10 premium, but remains forgettable in the meantime.
Sif’s Modern Armor scrapper alt is actually a reliable source of scrapper damage, but even so she is a low priority acquisition.
Nightcrawler does nothing well at all: low damage, weak debuffs, no defense, no unlocking extra content; even once you buy him you may want to level him through deploys instead of actual battles because he’s just that bad.
Factual/grammatical corrections and constructive feedback are welcome to help improve quality and accuracy.