miércoles, 27 de marzo de 2013

Thor Strategy

Source: http://avengersalliance.wikia.com/wiki/Thor

Thor has been around since the very beginning of Marvel: Avengers Alliance. What's amazing about this character is that he is still the most potent sweeper in the entire game. He may not have the highest attack power among all the heroes (although it is pretty high already), but he does have the most powerful area attack in the entire game: Summon Thunder.

Since Summon Thunder is so powerful and it has the Catastrophic property, which prevents protection, avoidance and always hits, you can build a whole strategy around this move.

Now, Thor is not a very versatile character. You will always use him in the very same fashion: Inspire Bravery, Empowering Strike, then Summon Thunder. This, however takes too many turns to setup and characters like Ghost Rider, Phoenix and Magik can negate the stacks of Might of Mjolnir with Soulfire. Basically, the Classic Thor costume is useless. You need to have the Modern Thor armor, since it begins every match already with the two stacks of Might of Mjolnir.


This Modern Thor costume comes in two classes: Bruiser and Blaster. I prefer Blaster since it can decimate any opposing Bruiser, which are otherwise very difficult to deal with because of their high Heath and Defense stats. You may be able to attain ridiculously high Attack power with an Enraged Bruiser. However, I don't recommend the Bruiser costume for two main reasons:
1) Bruiser are often One-Hit-KOed by opposing Blasters.
2) Enraged stacks can only be obtained by attacking or being attacked by an opposing Scrapper, which is kind of difficult to achieve since Scrappers are often protected by other heroes or by an Agent's Protect effect. Also, the Enraged stacks are kind of slow to obtain, and you want to use Summon Thunder as soon as Thor gets his first turn. Finally, Enraged stacks are kind of an overkill since most teams will anyway resurrect after a successful Summon Thunder attack. In other words, you don't need sky-high attack power. You just need reasonable status boost to make Summon Thunder lethal. This is why Enraged stacks are usually unnecessary.

With Modern Thor the strategy is ridiculously simple, yet incredibly powerful. You basically fire off Summon Thunder as soon as possible. If you do this, however, you will find that it does take a gigantic chunk of health off the entire enemy team, but it will not kill them. Besides high Defense stats, there is also the Deathwatch effect from Phoenix and Valkyrie and the item equivalent: Hoarfrost Mace and Odin's Staff. Said items are not that popular anymore, but Phoenix and Valkyrie are both very popular characters in PVP, so they may hinder Summon Thunder's sweeping ability.

Now, as soon as you unload your first Summon Thunder you will have to build up the two Might of Mjolnir stacks again because it is most likely that your opponent's team will still be alive. You want to do the stacks by first activating Inspire Bravery, since it also bestows Strengthened to your whole party. After it is up to you to do one of the following two things:
1) You can another Might of Mjolnir stack by making an Empowering Strike. You may do this when the opposing party still has some kind of resurrection effect. You will need to make minor attacks with your Agent and/or your other hero to "kill" your opponents and trigger their resurrection ability. After they are triggered once, they are ready to be killed again for good.
2) You can unload Summon Thunder again since even with only one stack of Might of Mjolnir the attack becomes lethal since the opposing party is already greatly weakened and Thor also has Strengthened, which arguably makes up for the second stack of Might of Mjolnir. You may unload Summon Thunder with only Might of Mjolnir stack only if the opposing party does not have some kind of resurrection effect. In that case, resort to option #1.

Summon Thunder Optimization

Since your whole strategy revolves around unloading powerful Summon Thunder area attacks as soon as possible you want to do one of two things:

1) Give Thor an additional action from another hero, like Cable, or from your Agent, so he may use Summon Thunder before an enemy gets the chance to apply Soulfire of use Scroll of Angolob to remove all of Thor's Might of Mjolnir stacks. If you use Cable as Thor's partner, you get to have two very powerful offensive heroes in your party, but then will end up with two Blasters, which is not recommended at all. Every team needs class variety so it may have better coverage of both its enemies and its very own weakness.

2) Give Thor even more Attack power boosts with your Agent or with some other hero, like Emma Frost. Those who were lucky enough to obtain the Cosmic Flame item from Magik's Special Operation can use it to both boost Thor's attack power even more and apply Soulfire to the opposing party with his next attack, which should be Summon Thunder. If you don't have the Cosmic Flame, you can use Emma Frost's Unlock Potential, which greatly increases one character's stats for a single turn. She also has the ability to weaken your enemies attack power with her area attack, Mental Trauma, which inflicts Migraine, or finish off aggressive characters that don't have any support move with Psychic Tap's Mental Anguish.

I prefer Emma Frost over Cable since her Phoenix Five costume has a very helpful passive ability: Phoenix Potential: Cosmic Power, which randomly removes any harmful status ailment and boosts your characters power. I also like her because her psychic attacks trespass shields and protective abilities. Her Mental Trauma area attack is also useful to finish off a weakened opposing party after Thor's Summon Thunder. Better yet, if he gets hit by Soulfire or Scroll of Angolob, you can change your strategy to Psychic Tap and Mental Anguish damage while Thor builds up again his Might of Mjolnir stacks. Even more, popular heroes like Wolverine and Hank Pym can remove the Protect ability from your agent (in which I will elaborate in a minute) and will leave Thor vulnerable to following attacks. In that case, you can use Unlock Potential on your Agent to restore his Protect passive ability. Finally, you want a Tactician Emma Frost in case Thor's strategy fails or gets delayed. You need to be able to put Mental Anguish in as many opponents as possible, and a Tactician can do that when there is a Blaster in your opponent's team.

Although Cable may enable Thor to fire off Summon Thunder faster, I think it is pretty clear why Emma Frost is the better teammate over Cable.

The Agent

You may have noticed that Thor is the Backbone of your strategy, so you really want to protect him at all cost. You need your Agent to fulfill the Tank's role.

I don't recommend using a Bruiser costume on the Agent since he will be tanking most attacks from the party and any Blaster can potentially kill him with only one attack. A Blaster costume is not recommendable either because Thor is already a Blaster and and having two characters in your party with the same class is not a very good idea. I recommend equipping your agent with a Scrapper Power Armor. Bruisers may get the Enraged bonus off your Agent, but Thor's Blaster class bonus will destroy it even with the two Enraged stacks since Blasters completely ignore a Bruiser's defense stat and always critically hit them. As a bonus, you get to attack Infiltrators twice.

For the Equipment you need items that give your Agent the Protect passive ability. Hoarfrost Mace if very nice for this and it combines nicely with Nanite Inductive Nailgun, which randomly creates a shield around the Agent and performs a counterattack. You may also consider the Signpost to regain any lost Health. This item is very helpful for tank Agents. The last item is up to you. I like to use Dark Sigil to ensure a critical sweep from Summon Thunder and leave residual damage to kill any surviving opponent. You also like to use Warbringer Axe for two reason's:
1) It further boosts Thor's attack power.
2) It is the only powerful attack that your Agent can make since both Hoarfrost Mace and Nanite Inductive Nailgun don't have a very high attack power.

The Team

Agent (Scrapper Power Armor)

-Hoarfrost Mace
-Nanite Inductive Nailgun
-Dark Sigil or Warbringer Axe or Cosmic Flame

Thor (Blaster Modern Thor)

Emma Frost (Tactician Phoenix Five)

Another particular thing that you need to do with this team in order for it to be succesful in PVP is to maximize your PVP bonuses to the Attack stat. In other words, put a Blaster alternate costume on every possible hero and level them-up to Level 12. This will increase your attack power incredibly on PVP. Of course, this is easy to say, but it actually takes an enormous amount of time and resources to make everybody a Blaster and level them up to Level 12. Still, this is the most important detail for a Thor + Emma Frost team to succeed.

Try this powerful team and tell me how it goes!

domingo, 24 de marzo de 2013

Psylocke Strategy

Source: http://avengersalliance.wikia.com/wiki/Psylocke

When Psylocke was revealed as the Adamantium League reward hero of PVP Season 3 everybody was amazed at her mind-blowing abilities. But just as the Tournament Season was coming to an end, Playdom decided that they had to nerf her before anybody could use her crazy abilities in the game. There was much discussion as to how these changes affected her. Most people tried and soon left her in the dark, while other learned to abuse her secret potential.

Here I will discuss Psylocke's secret potential.

At first glace, her stats are not that amazing. Evasion is probably the most unimportant stat to grow on a character, unless we are talking about specific strategies, like Future Foundation Spiderman. Reality is that Psylocke's only Great stat is her Accuracy. Both Health and Defense are dangerously low on her and her Attack power is just average. Even her passive ability is kind of irrelevant. She randomly makes a psychic preemptive attack and always preemptively attacks when another psychic attack is coming her way (basically just Emma Frost). Indeed, she looks like she was made for the only purpose of decimating Emma Frost, since the blonde psychic was so popular back in the day. So, why a dedicated counter-character is so amazing? What other uses can we get from her?

Let's start off with her moveset:

Source: http://avengersalliance.wikia.com/wiki/Psylocke

Psylocke is kind of a setup-support character. She does have a protective move with Kinetic Shield (and it becomes a Quick Action if you already have Mental Coordination), but she is actually an offensive supporter.

You always want to use Mental Coordination at the start of every battle and you never want to begin with Telekinetic Katana. Mental Coordination is the backbone of Psylocke's machinery. It is a setup move that gives the Mental Coordination buff to your whole team for a single turn and Psionic Shadow to Psylocke. Mental Coordination has a high chance to trigger an additional attack when another team member executes a single target attack. This means that there is a high chance of dealing multiple attacks on the same turn per each party member that has Mental Coordination. You can get an idea of how this buff works when you make an assist call during battle. Your friend's agent will make a single-target attack and there is a high probability that some of your party members with Mental Coordination will join in the attack. Of course, this won't work on PVP since you can't make assist calls during competitions.

But extra attacks are only one of the great aspects of Mental Coordination. Two of Psylocke's moves only work effectively when she has the Psionic Shadow buff, which is granted by Mental Coordination. Kinetic Shields becomes a Quick Action with Psionic Shadow (although it removes the useful buff) while Psychic Knives deals a lot of extra damage by also removing the buff. Without Psionic Shadow, Psychic Knives basically deals the same unimpressive damage as Telekinetic Katana. You can see that Psylocke's move-pool is mostly based on the Mental Coordination buff, so this is why you should make that her very first action during almost every battle.

I mentioned earlier that you don't want to make Telekinetic Katana Psylocke's first move during a battle. That's because you should always prioritize Mental Coordination for you party to be able to make extra attacks and for Psylocke to unleash her true potential. Telekinetic Katana is an attack that you should only use after making a Kinetic Shield (because you lose the Psionic Shadow buff, so you don't get any extra damage from Psychic Knives), or after using up you Psionic Shadow to deal extra damage with Psychic Knives. This all means that Telekinetic Katana is just a leftover move. If you take a closer look to Psychic Knives you can see that it deals even more extra damage when an enemy has Weak Mind. But Weak Mind is a debuff that can only be inflicted with a Telekinetic Katana attack, and if you waste a turn setting up Weak Mind with Telekinetic Katana after putting up Psionic Shadow with Mental Coordination, you will lose the extra damage from your next turn's Psychic Knives because Psionic Shadow only lasts for a single turn. This means that, unless you manage to get Psylocke an extra action after putting up Psionic Shadow on her, you won't be able to do both Telekinetic Katana and Psychic Knives during a single turn. You can of course use equipment like Quantum Jumper or the less handy Magnetic Field Generator to get that extra action, or pair her with Cable of Magneto, since they also grant extra actions to other party members. However, there is an ever better partner hero for Psylocke, and I will get to that in a moment.

You may notice that for as long as your party has Mental Coordination, any attack has a chance to trigger extra attacks from your other team member. This means that getting extra actions from devices like Quantum Jumper is really important to make the best off Psylocke's Mental Coordination since this buff lasts only for a single turn and then you have to wait one turn for cool-down. Of course, Quantum Jumper has always been a very good item to use on any team, but it becomes particularly fearsome with Psylocke's Mental Coordination.

Quicksilver Team

I have been playtesting with several teammates for Psylocke, including Magneto and Cable, but there are not very easy to coordiante with the psychic ninja. However, as I pondered on the basic mechanics of Mental Coordination I arrived to the following conclusion: extra attacks abuse Psylocke's Mental Coordination buff and Quicksilver is the only character to be able to take two single actions every turn, so, in theory, he should be great with Psylocke.

You want to get his alternate Scrapper blue costume because it gives him and additional passive called Time Displacement, which may activate a random One Mile Punch attack (Quicksilver's most powerful attack) on an enemy before they attack. Also, the Scrapper costume is better than the Generalist costume because:
1) there are a lot of Infiltrators in the metagame and Quicksilver's followup Scrapper bonus attack is Tag Team, an area attack that sets up Combo Setup, which makes his One Mile Punch even more powerful.
2) Quicksilver's primary attack, Blinding Punches, is a Stealthy attack, which means that Bruiser tanks wont be able to block it and get the Enraged bonus!

As I mentioned earlier, we want Quicksilver as Psylocke's companion because he gets to make two actions during every single turn, which increases the chance of triggering Mental Coordination.

I playtested this team and, while it did what it was supposed to do (and it looked awesome, by the way), I found that shielding buffs made their attacks useless since both Quicksilver and Psylocke have such a low attack power. The only solution to this predicament was to greatly boost their attack power with my Agent, but there are not many weapons or gadgets that give Strengthened to the party. There is, however, one piece of equipment that looks like it was made for this exact team: Warbringer's Axe:

This was a limited-time 64 Gold item, and has been recently included as a reward in the PVP daily Roulette. This piece of work is fantastic on its own since it permanently gives World War Hulk's War Frenzy bonus to your entire team! War Frenzy activates after your Agent's first action during a battle and continues to stack up to three times. This powerful buff boosts both Attack power and Accuracy by a large quantity and also removes a stack of War Frenzy during an attack to deal extra damage. This is precisely what the Psylocke + Quicksilver team wants: insane attack power boosts. Also, as an added bonus, Warbringer Axe ignores your enemie's defense stat and also penetrates shields.

As soon as I got my hands into Warbringer Axe I playtested it with the team and was amazed at how fast the opposing party was decimated!

Team Layout

Agent (Blaster)
-Warbringer Axe
-Quantum Jumper
-Hoarfrost Mace
-Dark Sigil or Signpost or Nanite Inductive Nailgun or Scroll of Angolob

I recommend a Blaster trench (especially the Blaster's Power Armor) because Blasters won't give bonus to opposing Tacticians after making an attack and will also obliterate any Enraged Bruiser (because of Quicksilver) with a single Warbringer Axe attack. Hoarfrost Mace is necessary because scrappers like Wolverine can destroy Psylocke with a single attack since she (and also Quicksilver) has very low Defense stats. Your Agent needs to fill the role of a tank in this team. The last item is up to you. Nanite Inductive Nailgun comboes very well with Hoarfrost Mace, Signpost will regain some health for you tanking Agent, Scroll of Angolob restores your team's capacity to fight and Dark Sigil (my personal choice) deal extra cumulative damage every turn plus guarantees a critical hit from a One Mile Punch, a Warbringer Axe attack or a Psychic Knives.

Psylocke (Infiltrator)

Quicksilver (Scrapper Blue Costume)

To use this team, you basically setup Mental Coordination with Psylocke as soon as possible, keep on making Blind Punches with Quicksilver to stack up his Quickness buff and let his passive deal the One Mile Punches for him. You may occasionally want to do a Tag Team before attacking so that One Mile Punch gets the Combo Setup Combo, but Quicksilver will usually counterattack with Tag Team when he is attacked while having at least one Quickness stack. This is why it is very important to do only Blinding Punches. Finally, your Agent should use Quantum Jumper whenever he/she can. This will be the only moment that Psylocke can setup Weak Mind with Telekinetic Katana onto a Psychic Knives during the same turn, but only if she used Mental Coordination during the past turn. Try not to use area attacks like Tag Team and Dark Sigil too often because the Mental Coordination bonus only triggers after single-target attacks.

Try this interesting team and tell me if it works for you. For me, it is making wonders at PVP!