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Marvel Strike Force: Sinister Sixes and Sevens

Welcome back to MSF Mondays!

Each week we break down one more aspect of the hottest mobile game, Mobile Strike Force!

We’re back at it again this week, theory-crafting and experimenting with different combinations of toons that have have more than 5 members in their group. The Sinister Six is on the chopping block, a team which quickly ballooned from 5 members to 8 with the introduction of Doctor Octopus.

For real, the amount of time that the Sinister Six actually had exactly 6 members was nothing more than a passing blink in the grand scheme of the game. It’s practically an outrage!

Even still, the Sinister Six canonically have welcomed new members into their fold like Swarms of flies flock to honey. The different iterations of teams over the years is one of the things that makes the Sinister Six so dang intriguing. There is something for everyone to love in this bottomless pit of villains.

But in terms of Marvel Strike Force, what combinations of toons work best? Let’s break it down and see what we can come up with.

Sinister Six – Doc Ock is King

Before we can build our teams, we first have to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the key players. There are certain members that are auto-includes, but the team make-ups are definitely going to change depending on whether or not you have Doc Ock UnlOCKed. He rewrites the script on what’s possible because of his ultimate.

In the comics, Doc Ock usually played the role of matchmaker by bringing all of these villains together under the Sinister Six banner. This is showcased with his Special Ability, “Sinister Recharge”, which will summon a missing Sinister Six ally from the following list:

  • Green Goblin
  • Rhino
  • Mysterio
  • Shocker
  • Vulture

Notice how this ability only references the ‘original’ members of the team. This is something that we can use to our advantage, because we know that Swarm and Electro will never be brought into the mix. Therefore, if we want some of those characters to join the fight, they have to be a part of the 5 members that you begin with.

On the other side of the coin, if you slot Electro and Swarm into your starting team, you’re actually increasing the randomness of the sixth character that you’ll pull in with Doc Ock. Each character would have a 33% chance of being summoned if you have both in the starting team.

However, this is all moot if you don’t have Doc Ock on your roster. You need 5-star X-Force characters to unlock the good Doctor, and since there isn’t a farmable way to get Negasonic shards, Doc Ock is currently a far-stretch for Free-to-Play (F2P) players to obtain.

Here are a couple of ability interactions to make note of:

  • Vulture and Swarm play off each other very well, because Swarm applies Bleed with his Ultimate and Vulture can apply more damage with his Basic because of it. Electro and Mysterio also apply negative effects, so they all make a nice pairing.
  • Swarm is like a ticking time-bomb, where he is going to take damage when his Charged stacks are depleted. He’s infinitely better when Doc Ock is around.
  • Mysterio is squishy, and if you see him about to go down, you can try and time Rhino’s Taunt to protect his Mirror Images. You want to give your Image its best shot at reviving Mysterio.
  • Electro, Vulture, and Shocker are all about Speed. If you want your focus to be winning the action economy battle, you can’t go wrong with this package.

So, let’s take a look at it from both angles as we work through the various game modes.

Blitz

With Doc Ock

Especially with the addition of Blitz Sim, the team composition for this mode doesn’t require a whole lot of tinkering. Doc Ock is an auto-include, and that also makes Swarm useful as well. He’s the main Sinister Six member that utilizes Charged, and he’s sort of fragile without Doc Ock as an ally. Electro is the other Charged-capable member, so let’s slot her in as well.

To round out the team, Rhino hits hard and provides Taunt, making him an inclusion in any Sinister Six Lineup. Mysterio is the last one to bring in, as his application of 2 Deflect on Spawn will help make sure that your team survives the opening salvo from the enemy.

Marvel Strike Force Sinister Six 1

Without Doc Ock

When the Doctor isn’t in, I’d keep Swarm out of the rotation. When he runs out of Charged, he takes some massive damage, so he’s not really worth a slot. If you find yourself running into a lot of City-focused teams, you’ll want Shocker and Vulture on the squad. They completely demolish teams like Defenders and Young Avengers.

On a normal Blitz lineup, I’d consider Rhino, Shocker, Vulture, Mysterio, and Electro. Green Goblin’s Cauterize is beneficial if you’re facing off against teams that apply a lot of positive effects, and is one of the few ways that the Sinister Six team can get rid of Taunt. Mysterio’s Basic is another way. Otherwise, you need to benefit from the AoE effects of Shocker, Rhino, and Electro to get around that pesky effect.

Marvel Strike Force Sinister Six 2

Raids

With Doc Ock

My recommendation for Raids with Doc Ock the same as Blitz. You may be inclined to swap Swarm out of the rotation, which I can see the argument for. That Buzzkill is really brutal, and although it shouldn’t be too much of an issue with Doctor Octopus in the house, I’m still wary about his longevity.

The other issue with the Sinister Six is that they really lack any sort of heals outside of ISO 8. Swarm can drain health, and his passive heals him IF he is Charged. The nice thing is that as you progress through the nodes, you have a stable of backup characters to slot in if some of your toons fall in battle.

That leaves my recommendation as Rhino, Doc Ock, Electro, Mysterio, and Swarm. If you’re really worried about Swarm surviving, Shocker can help you get through the nodes quickly.

Marvel Strike Force Sinister Six 1

Without Doc Ock

In a way, not having Doc Ock makes your life easier when it comes to team-building, because it definitely kicks Swarm to the curb. That means you only have to make one additional cut to your squad.

There are quite a few nodes with Hand and S.H.I.E.L.D members, so Green Goblin can finally shine. His Burning Rage gets around Stealth, and Cauterize only gets better against S.H.I.E.L.D. Slide him into Vulture’s spot, to give us a final team of Rhino, Electro, Shocker, Mysterio, and Green Goblin. Of course, when facing a node with a lot of City Heroes, then it’s worthwhile to substitute Green Goblin with Vulture.

Again, having a bunch of members with the Sinister Six tag is really how you can get a lot of mileage from the team synergies, even without their capacity to heal their members in the middle of a fight.

Marvel Strike Force Sinister Six 3

WAR

Finally! The Sinister Six used to be semi-worthless in WAR before Swarm, Electro, and Doc Ock came on the scene. They’ve always been good against Defenders, but that’s about where the list of benefits ended. That’s not the case anymore!

With Doc Ock

Doc Ock, Mysterio, and Electro all get buffs in WAR, so you want to include all of them. Electro’s WAR benefits for her Chain Lightning ability don’t come online until Level 4, but her Unlimited Power gets bonuses starting at Level 3. Even if you’re not that high yet, I’d still include her based on sheer, raw power alone.

I said it before, but Rhino is a snap-pick on any Sinister Six lineup, aiding the survivability of the other team members. That leaves us with a final spot to fill. Regardless of whether you’re on Offense or Defense, I’d probably stick with Swarm and rely on Doc Ock bring in that sixth member. Swarm just has too much synergy with Doctor Octopus to simply leave him warming the bench.

Marvel Strike Force Sinister Six 1

Without Doc Ock

If you don’t have Octavius on your roster, WAR gets a little bit more interesting. Sinister Six is more than capable of punching up against those Defenders teams, which everybody seems to have leveled up. Again, we’ll start with Electro and Mysterio, who gain those bonuses in WAR. Third will be Rhino, and this will be your build-around core in this game mode.

If you’re on WAR Offense, be selective depending on the team you’re going up against. Shocker is probably the best against City Heroes overall (apart from Rhino), plus he can bring in a couple applications of Offense Up. You land one of those on Rhino and he’s going to overrun the opposition. Vulture would round out the squad in that case.

Marvel Strike Force Sinister Six 2

On WAR Defense, it’s all about survivability, and stretching your team as far as possible. Vulture and Green Goblin do surprisingly well with the combination of Slows and Cauterize. This makes them good against teams that stack positive effects to the moon, and help buy time for Rhino and Electro to wreak some havoc of their own.

Of course, you could also slot Green Goblin on a Spider-Verse team instead, since he has synergy with that secondary team. If you do that, then I’d bring in Shocker to replace him.

Marvel Strike Force Sinister Six 4

Overall, Sinister Six remains one of my favorite teams, and despite what others may think, I hope additional members get added to the squad. The game can get a little bit stale when there are teams completely set in stone, and the Sinister Six options leave a ton of theory-crafting possibilities out on the table.

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


Game Radar

Blitz: Monday we’re keeping it low-key with Loki! Thursday comes installment number one of Kitty Pryde!! First in-game chance to get those shards, so hop to it!

Upcoming Events: Block Party is heading our way at the end of the week again.

Emma Milestones continue to churn along, so keep spending that gold.

Upcoming Legendary: Phoenix should be coming next, with 6* Villain Mystic Controllers required!

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)

Nick Fury: July 20th, November 11th (Requires Kree Minions 5-star)

Magneto: August 3rd, November 23rd (Requires X-Men and/or Brotherhood 5-star)

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?
  14. MSF Terms You Should Know – Part 1
  15. MSF Terms You Should Know – Part 2
  16. MSF Terms You Should Know – Part 3
  17. ISO 8
  18. Let’s Win This WAR!
  19. Dark Dimension 1
  20. Dark Dimension 2
  21. What to do With Orb Events
  22. Defending the Defenders
  23. Astonishing X-Men Announcements
  24. What to Make of Mojo’s Mayhem Real-Time Arena
  25. Skip Skillitary

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