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Marvel Strike Force: Why Am I Losing at PvP?

Welcome back Marvel Strike Force (MSF) Mondays. Previous installments:

  1. Early Player Tips
  2. Avoiding Early Player Mistakes
  3. Understanding Alliances
  4. Building Wide
  5. Farming Guide and Seed Theory
  6. Underrated Characters
  7. Blitz, please!
  8. Team Positioning Tips
  9. Daily Objectives
  10. WAR, what is it good for?
  11. Expect a Cold Front
  12. Swarm to the Next Event

The game mode that has taken the MSF world by storm this week has got to be player v player mode. If you haven’t taken advantage of the match making mode to gain the rewards being offered right now, you are definitely missing out! However, you cannot simply battle your Alliance mates, you MUST use the match making event. It is the one with the bad artwork of Wolverine and Sabertooth. 

If you have been competing, you are getting the rewards win or lose, but you will get them faster if you win! Also, losing is the worst, so how can we make sure we aren’t just cannon fodder in this mode?

What I do like about the match making event is that it is balanced draft as opposed to classic draft. Classic draft was released first and that was okay amongst our Alliance, some of the top end guys made deals with lower level guys to balance the draft themselves. Now, however, the game does the work for you. 

Balanced Draft

As long as you have a character up to level 9 gear then they will be available for you in the balanced game mode. All the characters will be raised to roughly the same level. Though there have been plenty of lopsided matches as they are still working things out.

Marvel Strike Force Balanced Draft VS Battle Match

Classic Draft

This mode just takes your roster as-is and pits you against another player and their custom roster. This one simply favors those who have the strongest toons to work with and that can be fun when you get matched up with someone on your level, but also can leave some people completely out matched. 

Drafting to Start

The draft is critically important to your success in this mode, so if you are struggling to win, this might be where you are going wrong. In this process, one player will get a chance to ban 2 characters from their opponent, then the other player get their turn, then it is a good old playground 1 – 2 – 2 – 2 – 2 – 1 draft to round out the squads of 5. However, we aren’t done yet, each side gets one more ban, then one more addition to complete their teams. 

Banning Toons

This is such a critical part of the draft, a few things to think about, if you ban a character, you also cannot use them either. This trips people up often. Something to be mindful in banning is that people can manipulate their roster layout by favoriting character for VS mode and then distracting you from scrolling to find their actual best toons.

For instance, someone could favorite all of the Defenders, and Avengers and make you think that those are the toons they want to choose, when in reality they want to use their Symbiotes and Mutants. (I really hope my Alliance mates are reading this) So take the full 1 minute of the first ban to explore the roster of your opponent. You may realize that they buried their best toons at the bottom.

Toons to Ban Immediately: Black Bolt, Phoenix, Ultron, and Ebony Maw are all immediate bans, unless of course you have the first pick and want one of them. I always try to look for the toons that I don’t have available to ban, my Captain Marvel is not gear 9 so she is never available for me, therefore I always ban her, unless of course my opponent has a lot of legendary toons I need to get rid of. 

Drafting (Again)

One thing to know, is that if you draft a toon the other team cannot draft them, so if you get the first pick, you can really dictation how the draft might go. Most people ideally are wanting to assemble a team, so if the first pick is Symbiote Spiderman or Hela, you can probably guess which team they are going for. Also, remember that each of you get one more ban, so if possible try to draft around that fact. Which also goes right along with positioning


I have talked about the importance of positioning before, and as you draft you need to be mindful. The order goes, middle front, back right back left, far right, far left. So if I have the first pick I try to bait my opponent to take that toon away by selecting whatever Legendary I have available (Magneto is often the one I end up using). Although it does leave me with less optimal positioning for whichever group I am trying to draft, Asgardians or Symbiotes.

If I am going Asgardians, I am hoping to get Thanos in that middle spot. If Symbiotes, I am leaving Venom for that spot. If I get stuck with Magneto there and having to replace another toon, that’s okay, because magneto is great and goes very early on in the battle with a legit ultimate move. 

Toons to Draft

You often won’t get a complete team, so you have to figure out which toons will make the most difference in PvP. A few toons that are just great and super under the radar are, Falcon, Black Widow, and Cable and they all manipulate speed in your favor. Getting your toons to act earlier and more often is the key to winning any turn based game, and these toons can help turn the tables. I wouldn’t use more than one of them in PvP if I can avoid it (by having better characters in my lineup). But any of them will help after the third and final ban!  

If you don’t have any Legendary characters these toons are formidable toons in PvP mode: Mr. Sinister, Captain Marvel, Hela, Symbiote Spiderman and Carnage. All of these toons are legit on their own, and even better if you can build around them successfully! 

Well, I hope this helps you take your Squad from a D+ to a B-, Commander!

Be ready for what else is coming down the pipe this week!

Blitzes: Monday Blitz is Sabertooth, Wolverine’s hairier cousin. Thursday Blitz is Baron Zemo, a new toon but a welcomed addition!

Events: We have so many great events happening all at once: Emma Frost Milestones are still going, Valuable lessons milestones are going on, Swarm campaign is in full swing, and we can expect another Chaos Theory is later this week.

Legendaries: Ebony Maw is coming up next, and you need Inhumans WITH Black Bolt for this one.

  • Black Bolt: April 27th, August 17th, December 7th (Requires Asgardians 5-star)
  • Shuri: May 11th, August 31st (Requires Spider-verse 5-star)
  • Ebony Maw: May 25th, September 14th (Requires Inhumans 5-star with Black Bolt)
  • Phoenix: June 8th, September 28th (Requires Mystic Villain Controller 6-star)
  • Star-Lord: June 22nd, October 12th (Requires Guardians or Ravagers 5-star)
  • Invisible Woman: July 6th, October 26th (Requires Sinister Six 5-star)
  • Nick Fury: July 20th, November 9th (Requires Kree Minions 5-star)
  • Magneto: August 3rd, November 23rd (Requires X-Men and/or Brotherhood 5-star)
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