domingo, 24 de marzo de 2013

Psylocke Strategy


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:


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!

3 comentarios:

  1. More than the team i love your analysis, please keep going

    1. Thank you! I will soon make an analysis on a obscene combo that became popular with Phoenix and Shadowcat.

    1) There are now TWO heroes that get to make two actions every single turn: Quicksilver and Omega Sentinel. However, I do not recommend Omega Sentinel over Quicksilver for the Psylocke strategy because the cyborg is more supportive than offensive. You are welcome to try her with Psylocke, though.
    2) Blaster and Tactician now get class bonuses after being attacked by their counter class, so my Agent class recommendation may not be valid anymore.