If you’re getting into Marvel Strike, and you want a guide to teach you the steps to best set yourself up for success, this is it. If you’re looking for an in-depth guide to the basics of the game and the game modes, I’d recommend looking at Tauna’s Marvel Strike guide here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1uFw-vXHxJ7YbMi1BijoqM7XNtNICKHcWngu4Q0IRov0
Tauna’s guide is excellent, but gives dated character advice, which I’ll be rectifying here.
Your First Team
The Defenders: Daredevil, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage. Punisher rounds out the team. Their portraits are in the order you should have them arranged in your team in-game, left to right. Subsequent teams will be arranged in the same way.
Why The Defenders? They’re a team with strong synergies and powerful in many game modes, including arena, blitz, and raids. You can farm each of them, they’re available early on, they use a good spread of currencies (Daredevil is acquired with arena credits, Luke Cage with blitz credits, and the other 3 with campaign energy). They are also all City Heroes, qualifying for the Block Party event (which gets you valuable ability materials).
They’re so far and away the best choice for a new player to focus on first that there isn’t any debate about it, and instead I’m going to focus on the second and third team choices.
Early on, you’ll want to pick a Villain team as well for the Villain campaign. Now important context: you’ll eventually need the following teams in the short-term: Cosmic, Mystic, and Mercenary, besides the teams you’ll need for challenges.
The best team that you can guaranteed build for free is: Crossbones /
Mordo/ Yondu / Merc LT / Merc Riot Guard / Elektra
Now, notice that I say guaranteed. And I listed 6 characters! What is wrong with me? We don’t have time for that, so let’s talk about the other two.
Frankly, Elektra should be dropped from the team, as she’s a mediocre character at best when outside of an all-Hand team. I included her as an option because she doesn’t cost a valuable currency like Mordo does (arena) and a lot of players swear by her. I think they’re wrong and holding on to her for the nostalgia factor like a childhood blankie, but I digress.
If you’re following this guide well, you’ll place high enough in blitz to unlock around eight characters through the blitz rank and milestone rewards that you wouldn’t otherwise have access to. For me, one of those was Loki, and he immediately went into my Villain team. The list will change over time, but if you snag Loki, Thanos, Korath, Kingpin, or Hand Sentry (among other options), they should go right in.
If you haven’t already dropped Elektra, you should drop her for a character you obtain from blitzes. After that it’s arguable, but I’d lean towards Mordo, unless you got a Cosmic & Mystic(C&M) character like Loki or Thanos. If you get a C&M character, drop one of the Mercs that fill a similar role. In other words, if you can go heavy into C&M characters, you want to do that.
The Hand Alternative
The Hand is another option to focus on farming, but I don’t think it’s as strong of a choice. Nobu, the best character in The Hand, isn’t farmable at all and Assassin isn’t farmable until much later. This means you have to include Hand Sentry in your team, who requires precious raid currency. You can do this, but I think the currency is better spent on gear and the Hand in general don’t bring as many useful traits, like Cosmic. They also aren’t as good in challenges as they rely on team synergy a lot.
Ménage à trois
Or your third team, for the less cultured among you. Like your option for the Villain campaign, your third team to focus on is debated as well. An important caveat – you shouldn’t be putting any resources into your third team for the first few months, except to set them up for Blitz (see Blitz section below) and maybe farming their shards (if they’re from energy and it doesn’t hurt your gear progression too much).
Critically, they unlock one of the best characters in the game: Nick Fury. Nick Fury (NF) is the key component in the best overall team in the game right now, pairing him with 4 SHIELD minions (the brotherhood theoretically beats out NF + SHIELD in arena, but the brotherhood are near useless in raids and require heavy whaling to acquire due to not being farmable).
Overall, this means you’d have to farm & gear:
- 5x Kree Minions (until you unlock Nick Fury)
- 5x Shield Minions
- Nick Fury
Now the second best choice is to go for unlocking Star-Lord (SL) instead via Rocket / Ravager Boomer / Gamora / Drax / Yondu.
Overall, this means you’d have to farm & gear:
- Ravager Boomer (for unlock only)
- Vision (key teammate in many game modes)
- Merc LT (key teammate in many game modes)
- Thanos (key teammate in many game modes)
- Night Nurse (key teammate in many game modes)
- Crossbones (You’re already gearing him so he doesn’t count)
- Yondu (You’re already gearing him so he doesn’t count)
NF vs SL Comparison
The advantages of the SL strategy are that it has less total characters to gear (not counting Crossbones & Yondu) and that it has less characters that you’re going to shelve (You’re going to put Kree Oracle and Kree Royal Guard into retirement right away, while only Ravager Boomer is bad). Gamora, Rocket, and Drax are also a notch above the remaining 3 Kree minions. Further, there are Guardian/Ravager specialized raid nodes in some raids (but not all).
But I think those advantages are deceptive. While you’re gearing less total characters, you’ll be spending more gear on them in the long run. Since you stop gearing the Kree as soon as you unlock NF, that’s a big gear burden you don’t have to deal with anymore – while with the SL strategy, you have to keep gearing everyone for them to continue to be useful. If you instead stop gearing Drax / Gamora, their advantages over the Kree minions matters much less since they won’t be powerful enough to matter in the long run.
Further, it will be a long time before you get your Guardian/Ravager team up to standard in order to do raid nodes. At one month into the game, my second team (Villains) wasn’t far enough to be useful (~50k power), let alone my third. At two months in, I could be that far, but instead I’ve invested that into my top two teams. Right now, there aren’t Guardian/Ravager specialized nodes in a raid anyways. On top of this, only a handful of people per alliance need to handle those raid nodes. Not everyone has to have those squads.
Additionally, the ideal Starlord team wants access to two characters that are unfarmable to new players: Thanos and Vision. You’re going to have to spend money or wait a very long time to access to the ideal Starlord team, whereas the ideal Nick Fury team is farmable very early on.
NF vs SL Summary
So, for a debatable minor advantage in gear, a modest advantage in c-team character strength (i.e. ravagers + guardians vs kree), and a niche raid advantage, let’s look at what you throw away from NF & company:
- Best squad in arena defense (SL is a distant 3rd)
- Second-best squad in arena offense (SL is 3rd)
- Best squad in raids (SL is 4th)
- Requires less characters in the long-run (NF + 5 SHIELD minions vs SL, RR, Vision, XB, ML, NN, Thanos)
- NF squad’s ideal characters will also be available much earlier
- NF squad’s ideal characters don’t require valuable raid or arena currency
These advantages combine to mean the NF strategy will have a noticeable gear advantage: fewer characters to gear and more gear to go between them. The NF strategy also unlocks Iron Man, another high-power character.
Okay, so an important caveat to the above. As you can, you should get five mercs starred up so you can get the bonus gold from the mercenary event. You can probably get the 1-star level unlocked in your first month, and slowly go up from there. Only equip the minimum gear needed and level up as little as possible to do the events, and nothing more. Don’t bother to get one character way ahead of the others in shards – they all need to reach a new star level to unlock a new tier of the mercenary event.
I recommend Deadpool, Bullseye, Korath, Merc LT, and Merc Riot Guard. Hopefully by the time you get to this point Deadpool is farmable. Merc Sniper is a passable substitute until you get Deadpool, but should be avoided if possible.
How to Spend Your Resources
Plan out your energy spends. If you’re following so far, get shards for the Defenders, your villain team, Kree minions, and your Mercenaries. Do every 50 power core refresh per day and that’s it.
Rotate arena currency between your characters one star at a time, i.e. finish one star then go get a star on another character (hopefully just Daredevil and one more, like Mordo). Blitz currency should always go to blitz orbs. Raid currency should go to gear. Gold should be split between buying gear from supplies and leveling characters.
Read Skrilla’s Blitz Bible once you unlock Blitz. You won’t get all of it, and that’s okay. The key point is this: Characters that you don’t have any immediate plans for should be setup the following way:
- Level 24
- Gear Level 4 (and all green pieces towards GL 5)
- NO ability upgrades
In about a month, read the bible again. If you follow it well and model your characters the way I told you, should be able to reliably unlock ~8ish characters in the month-long newbie bracket. Once out of the newbie bracket, you should be at just about enough points to complete every milestone, and placing in the top 25% in the normal (i.e. non-newbie) bracket.
Spending Real Money
If you’re willing to spend money, I highly recommend the $10 starter pack that contains either Captain America or Deadpool (you’ll get offered one or the other, not both). Both are stellar characters throughout the leveling process and in many of the game modes. They’ll fill in your Heroes team until you get your ideal team going and serve you well afterwards.
Another common early option is Kingpin – not as good, but the next best choice if you want to spend more money. If you snag Kingpin, your Villian team should look like: Kingpin / Yondu / Crossbones / Mordo and one of the Mercs. Ideally from blitz you’ll snag a summoner character like Loki or a character with a strong AoE like Thanos to take the last slot over the merc.
Other than that just about nothing is worth the money.
And that wraps up my Marvel Strike guide for new players to get a quick start. Disagree? Tips I missed? Comment below!