Scopely has announced its plans for the upcoming update. Unbelievably, we will get new Heroes. Those “surprising” news are coming as a bit of disappointment after Scourge Event.
Some of us have thought that Scopely will finally start releasing multifarious content that will break the tedious concept of just improving new characters over and over again.
We were wrong, at least for now.
Anyway, a new AW Offense team is upon us, and this team seems to have amazing potential against current pre-made AW Defense teams.
Spider-Woman and Nico Minoru alongside rebalanced and improved Captain Marvel and Jessica Jones will form the A-Force team. Similar to X-Factor, Secret Avengers, New Warriors, etc … this team will miss a few members, so players will have to assemble custom teams and try to find the best Set-Up.
Jessica Draw – Spider-Woman
Jessica Draw aka Spider-Woman became Super Hero when her father injected her with experimental spider-derived serum. He tried to save her from uranium poisoning.
She is not part of Spider-Verse, but she is City-based and has Spider-like abilities.
With basic attacks, she places Defense Down. With her special (that can be used at the start), she prevents the primary target from using skills and places Heal Block and Offense down on up to 4 adjacent targets. The damage of her special is extremely high in AW Offense and it increases with each A-Force member.
It can be compared with Shang Chi’s ulty but it seems that Spider-Woman hits even harder. The ulty can be used in the second turn against a single target and it causes damage that increases with each negative effect on the enemy. Additionally, it extends the duration of all debuffs and flips 2 positive effects.
With Spider-Woman in the team, all A-Force allies are practically immune to Offense Down. Also, her team is granted with Defense Up for 2 turns at the start of combat, while her enemies in AW will be debuffed with Offense Down for the same duration.
Most importantly all enemies in AW will have their Accuracy decreased by 25% as long as they are under the effect of Offense Down. Mathematically speaking, enemies will miss every 4th strike against anyone in the A-Force team. Finally, similar to Captain Marvel, Spider-Woman auto-heals every turn.
Nico Minoru is another new addition to the MSF roster. She was raised by evil sorcerer parents, and while trying to escape their teachings she was accidentally imbued by “The Staff of One”. That gave her superhero powers.
While trying to redeem herself for atrocities caused by her parents she joined forces with dozen of Heroes before becoming a crucial part of the A-Force team. She is obviously a Controller who uses her magic to harass enemies and help allies.
Nico has a unique power to cast spells verbally but as soon as she uses a certain spell she can’t do it again. That is why all her skills have random effects after being used for the first time.
Special ability initially causes slight damage against primary and adjacent targets while placing 2 Bleeds on each target. Simultaneously, Nico is buffed with 2 Regeneration. Additional use of the skill will place Disrupt on the enemy or grant Deathproof for Nico and 2 Counter to adjacent allies.
Nico’s ultimate can be used in the first turn, and it is quite powerful. It causes high damage against all enemies and flips Deflect, Speed Up, and Defense Up. In AW it cripples enemy tanks and the most dangerous Damage dealer by placing Trauma and Disrupted for 2 Turns. In other words, it will prevent Taunt and Offense Up and allow A-Force to easily dispose of enemy weak spots (for example, Marauders and Young Avengers will be harmless and defenseless).
It is highly unlikely that ultimate will be used more than once but if so, it will grant 2 Evade to Nico, 2 Deflect on all allies or it will revive 1 fallen member of the team.
With Nico in the team, the start of combat will be much easier for her allies because she will grant the highest health A-Force ally and lowest health ally free Deathproof and Immunity upon spawn. The highest Health A-Force ally will even get Deathproof. This passive ability should be seriously considered when picking 5th member of the team.
Jessica Jones and Captain Marvel are both significantly improved in their stats and some of their skills are reworked to give an advantage to A-Force in AW Offense.
The most important change for Jessica Jones is about her special ability. Instead of just clearing negative effects and granting 1 Ability energy to allies, she now places Defense Up and Immunity on the entire A-Force team. She grants 4 additional Ability Energy to random allies (along with initial 1 Ability Energy to all allies) and protects them with a strong Barrier (doubled for A-Force).
Also, her ultimate now targets primary and adjacent allies instead of just a single target.
Her passive ability is improved so she can buff A-Force with Health and Armor. Most importantly her Speed Bar at the start of combat is filled by 5% for each A-Force member. This means that Jessica Jones will play first against almost all teams and she will initiate a fight with Defense Up and Immunity on the entire team while enabling all skills to be cast in the first turn of combat. This will make all the current specialized AW Defense teams exposed and vulnerable.
Captain Marvel’s skills practically remained the same with few slight changes on her passive.
While in Binary, she now clears all Evade before performing an auto-attack at the end of the turn and she cannot be blocked or dodged in War as long as there are at least 2 A-Force allies.
Also, she now permanently increases the HP of A-Force members by an additional 10%.
Choosing the 5th member for A-Force Set-Up will be tricky at least. Punisher has a natural synergy with both Jessica Jones and Captain Marvel and he is an obvious option especially when we know that Nico’s initial passive buff will affect him most likely.
Another option is to add Red Guardian which will fit perfectly as a sturdy Tank. He will grant Captain Marvel additional charge and successfully soak up all initial bursts due to his passive Taunt at the start of combat.
However, choosing one of those two characters will prevent us from assembling a viable Skill Military team in AW Offense. We know that Skill Military usually brings victories against some of the existing defensive options. That gives us the conclusion that there will be no real benefit from A-Force. At least A-Force will not provide an additional AW attacking option because getting 1 Offense team while losing the other is practically the same thing regardless of team strength and usefulness.
In my experience, the only viable solution currently is Silver Surfer. With the introduction of Eternals, he is no longer needed for New Warrior’s synergy, and honestly, he is only used as an addition to Doctor Doom’s and Dormammu’s teams.
As someone who doesn’t fit in any other synergy currently, he is a perfect pick for A-Force even though he doesn’t have any synergy with them whatsoever. Simply he is the strongest character who is available at the moment for assembling the whole team. Someone may think that Kestrel is a better option considering the circumstances, but I am sure that X-Factor is stronger with her than with Silver Surfer, while the difference for A-Force is not that big.
All in all, before we get the 5th member of A-Force we will have to be creative and try to work with what we have.
Without a doubt, A-Force will be a viable Offensive option that will counter some really strong defensive teams like Marauders with Madelyne Pryor and Young Avengers. I am not sure that they will effectively deal with Heroes for Hire and I am positive that Weapon X will remain the strongest specialized Offensive option. However, A-Force will bring new importance for Jessica Jones and Captain Marvel along with another certain victory in Alliance War.
Players who are active from the beginning won’t have any difficulty focusing on new Heroes, but new players will have to think twice before deciding to primaries Spider-Woman and Nico Minoru.
One thing is certain, we won’t have to wait long before getting even more Heroes and since only 1 Horseman is out, I suggest double thinking before jumping to conclusions.