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Marvel Strike Force: Terms You Should Know: Part 1

Welcome back Marvel Strike Force (MSF) Mondays. Each week we break down one more aspect of the hottest mobile game, Mobile Strike Force! 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
  13. Why Am I Losing at PvP?

The next few posts will be a bullet points of a fantastic video series done by Tauna.

If you have the time you should really listen through his Ultimate New Player guide because he lays out everything you need to know and is constantly updating his content. I know this helped me catch up quickly and no matter how long you have been playing, I am sure you could gain from his content. So let’s jump right in!  

Marvel Strike Force Iconography

If you are like me, you dove right into the MSF deep-end and learned by a lot of trial and error. Because, who has time to read the instructions first?! Unless of course, you are building with Lego, but I digress. Marvel Mobile Strike Force has a lot of content to dive into, so most players are months in before they start asking one important question, “What in the world are these red and green icons above the characters?!”

Admittedly I played like this for the first few months, “HULK SMASH!”, “Why Hulk no smash Sif that time?” “Luke CAGE Taunt time!” “Wait, why didn’t Cage taunt? What was that red X anyway?!” “ARG!” 

So this week we are going to crack the code on these icons, because they can really be the key to success or failure. 


Buffs (Green icons): Any time these are applied they are a benefit to the character until their next turn. These can also be stacked which means one whole turn meter per icon. A character like Colossus can sustain buffs for multiple turns when his ultimate is engaged. 

These buffs can be seen with the icon in the images but each description is very brief in the graphics, so let me expound on each a little. 

Marvel Strike Force Buffs

Offense-up and Defense-up: Straight-forward, 50% increase to either offense or defense.

Stealth: As the graphic says, keeps the target from being targeted directly, also stealth would break up a chain attack. However, on an AOE attack steal does not save the toon also, if the entire team is in stealth you can select which character to target, so be mindful when attacking. 

Speed-up: So important in a turned based game. The characters who increase speed are some of my absolute favorites: Black Widow, Cable, Falcon are all amazing additions to your teams. 

Deflect: One that drives me nuts because if you are trying to apply a debuff and you miss the fact that your target has deflect, you just wasted a very strategic play. Most often for me it would be using Vision’s special and far too often it is against Sif for me. Sif is an underappreciated protect as she spawns with defense up and deflect and immediately taunts to take a lot of damage away from the other Asgardians.  

Taunt: Also a trait of the protector class (I will talk about all the classes more in the up coming posts) Taunt makes it so that only the character with taunt on can be targeted. One really unique feature is for War Machine as he can apply taunt to a character. Since taunt is a buff, this might seem weird, however, it is only a buff for a toon who can take a lot of damage. So when War Machine applies taunt to a glass cannon like Human Torch, it can really foil the strategy of the player using the Fantastic Four. 

Evade: A great buff as it guarantees a dodge for the target so you need to pay attention and use a basic attack before wasting a special or ultimate. 

Counter: Pretty self-explanatory but also will break up a chain attack! 

Deathproof: again self-explanatory but also can be stacked, so you may have to battle through 2 or 3 deathproof icons to finish off a character. 

Regenerate: These buffs can be stacked as well as doubled up. If the icons are next to each other then they will be added together on the next turn where as if they are stacked they will require multiple turns to be utilized.

Assist: Some toons have assists built in to their passives so even though they do not have the icon showing they will assist. These characters are: Nebula, The Thing and Ms. Marvel! 

Immunity: This will essentially make you character immune to debuffs, but not damage. 


Debuffs (Red icons): These are used to weaken your opponent and are not nice to have applied to your toons with a few exceptions:

Deadpool LOVES debuffs! He eats them up like chimichangas and heals himself, so if you are attacking Deadpool, do not use debuffs on him. 

Psylocke can take debuffs from allies and send them to one opponent target with her ultimate, so avoid using debuffs early against a Psylocke team. 

Scientist Supreme (the key to a dominate AIM team) will apply debuffs to her own AIM allies with her ultimate then use her passive to grant energy for each of those debuffs and then use her special to flip the debuffs to their enemies. The first time you use her ultimate and see all the red icons you get a little psyched out, but I promise, it works in your favor! 

Offense-down and Defense-down: again, these explain themselves.

Slow: Of course the opposite of speed up, and slow the turn meter for your opponent(s).

Blind: This takes accuracy down to zero for MOST characters. A few characters who are essentially invulnerable to blind are: Bullseye, Daredevil and Rhino actually benefit from being blinded for some reason. 

Stun: This debuff goes away when the turn meter reaches 100 but no action can be taken. IF you apply stun to Deadpool then a bunch of bleeds you can combat his love of debuffs and actually use them to take him out. 

Bleed: Similar to regeneration, can be stacked or used in tandem. The more bleeds the faster health will go! 

Heal Block: Blocks healing and/or regeneration. Can also be stacked or doubled up. 

Ability Block: This will limit a toon to only their basic ability.

Disrupt: Blocks the character from any new buffs or positive effects.

Understanding these terms is only part of the battle, but a major part. Now you should make yourself familiar with which toons apply or combat these various buffs and debuffs. As you grow your roster learn your new characters so that you can build cohesive squads! 

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 Stryfe and the Thursday Blitz is the second round of Baron Zemo!

Events: Relic Hunt happens later this week and the One of Many campaign to get Swarm shards ends this week as well.

Legendaries: Ebony Maw is coming up next, so beef up your Inhumans and remember, you MUST have Black Bolt as one of your Inhumans for this Legendary event.

  • 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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