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Alliance War Defense Teams



The Alliance War Defense list is a list of the best MSF teams used in AW defense. Teams are fully described (tap on a name for description).

With the introduction of new teams and characters, this list will be updated accordingly.

New Avenger

new avengers

Characters left-to-right:

  • Ronin
  • Mockingbird
  • Agent Coulson
  • The Thing
  • Tigra

New Avengers are a team that greatly benefits from the Alliance War mode, and their kits and abilities remain identically effective for both: Offense and Defense. They rely on a lot of Evades that Tigra provides to stay alive for as long as possible, while they can also have a decent amount of Damage from The Thing and Tigra, and a lot of controlling abilities, one of the most crucial ones is the ability to prevent enemies from filling their Speed Bar on Spawn, this makes most War Specialized teams ineffective against New Avengers.

Defeating them can be possible with a mirror match, but there’s not a lot of room for punching up. Knowhere can also win but you can’t punch up very high reliably since Knowhere won’t be filling their Speed Bar on Spawn and there’s a chance that some of them will perish before you take your first turn.



Characters left-to-right:.

  • Rescue
  • Iron Man (Infinity War)
  • Kestrel
  • Darkhawk
  • Ironheart (MK II)

P.E.G.A.S.U.S. is a Tech Raid team but not a lot of their abilities are tied to that game mode, which makes them a good all-rounder team for other game modes, including War Defense. Their strength lies within the Kestrel, Rescue, and Iron Man. Kestrel provides the most damage with her abilities and her passive attacks, she’s also likely to be built up quite high because of her standalone use cases, like Apocalypse’s Saga or Dark Dimension. Iron Man can also deal a ton of damage but his key contribution is that he can apply Speed Up to his team whenever he uses either his Special or Ultimate. He will also Speed Up his allies when they fall below 50% Max Health. Rescue is the support character and she can Heal, clear Negative Effects from her allies, apply Immunity, and Revive her teammates. Darkhawk and Ironheart can also provide some benefits, like more control and damage, but they’re much more valuable in Raids.

While this team might be slow at first they have a lot of sustain to survive the first wave of attacks and once Iron Man applies Speed Up to everyone the damage output can be tremendous.

While they can be a decent Defense team they are not exceptional. Any team that can apply Ability Block or Stun early on (in this case to Rescue) will have the upper hand and if they manage to eliminate Rescue and Kestrel then the victory will be very close. That said, they will still draw out teams like Tangled Web, Weapon X, and Underworld so overall they can be a decent choice when you pick your Defense teams.


war defense small infestation copyright

Characters left-to-right:

  • Ant-Man
  • Swarm
  • Spider-Man (Big Time)
  • Black Widow
  • Yellowjacket

Infestation is the newest team specializing in War Defense. Contains 4 old (reworked) characters and one new one – Spider-Man (Big Time). They have excellent bonuses for this game mode and can be an insurmountable obstacle for most attacking teams. Spider-Man (Big Time) is the most crucial member of this team and enables all the others when using the Special to use Ultimate (at the same time) and vice versa.

In addition, they have a ton of great War Defense buffs like boosted stats, 2 Characters can always Assist, a bunch of debuffs for opponents, and buffs for Infestation.

To sum up, we will need the strongest War Offense specialist team to defeat Infestation. Even most War Offense teams won’t stand a chance against them.


blitz team knowhere copyright

Characters on the image (left to right):

  • Star-Lord (Annihilation)
  • Thor (Infinity War)
  • Nova
  • Cosmo
  • Korg

As we wrote on the War Offense page, this team is best left for Offense because they can beat any defense. However, placing them on Defense can also be a good move since they will be hard to overcome.


Mirror Match will probably be able to get them, but not without difficulty, and almost certainly not if they are significantly weaker. On the other hand, the Nova Passive (getting 2 additional Charged) can only be activated once per War, so the sacrifice team will surely reduce their effectiveness in defense.

However, even without two additional Charged, it is unlikely that any team other than Knowhere will manage to get them, except if they have a ton of advantage in terms of team power (but even in that case, I am not sure).


26102022 marvel strike force best teams gamma team 1 copyright

Characters on the image (left to right):

  • She-Hulk
  • Abomination
  • Red Hulk
  • Brawn
  • Hulk

The GAMMA team is definitely the strongest AW defensive option at the moment. They are so strong that Red Hulk had to be nerfed because it was almost impossible to beat them in AW Defense until Red Hulk’s passive is reduced to be triggered only once per war.


In order to beat the GAMMA team on the first attempt, you will have to use a mirror team. There is no other synergy that will grant you one shot against them. In order to beat them at this point, you will have to use the SAC team that will trigger Red Hulk’s ultimate and then use Darkhold or Weapon X on the second attempt.

Even then, GAMMA will be an extremely difficult opponent! Zombie Iron man and Hela + 3 can beat Gama in most cases (they have a solid win rate against it), but in that case, you will break apart some other offensive teams.



10112022 marvel strike force best teams darkhold 1

Characters on the image (left to right):

  • Wong
  • Doctor Strange [Heartless]
  • Scarlet Witch
  • Morgan Le Fay
  • Agatha Harkness

Darkhold is one of the strongest MSF teams at the moment, which is fully described in our “Darkhold – new MSF META” article.

As a team that is hard to beat without a proper counter, they are obviously one of the strongest Defensive options as well. However, in AW there are different rules, and some teams are fully specialized for AW Offense (Weapon X for example), so there’s no guarantee that Darkhold will protect Node indefinitely.

Nevertheless, fighting Darkhold will be an extremely challenging task – there may be only a few viable counters.

Assembling a full Darkhold is definitely the best option if you ask me. They can be extremely powerful even without all members. You can mix various characters with them, starting with Dormammu, Emma Forst, or anyone to improve their already insane synergy.


Death Seed

marvel strike force alliance war defense teams death seed 29122022

Characters on the image (left to right):

  • Nemesis
  • Psylocke
  • Magneto
  • Archangel
  • Dark Beast

Death Seed is a team that shines the most in the Raid game mode. But in other game modes, they are still formidable and functional. In Alliance War, they are one of the best teams if you use them for Offensive Purposes. On Defense, Death Seed loses some functionality thanks to the AI, but they will still draw out some strong teams.

They have a lot of ways to hurt enemies with powerful Debuffs and turn manipulations while buffing themselves. Their Damage is excellent, and synergy also, so if you play right, you can expect great results (in other words, you can expect to beat most of the best teams).

AI indeed plays a bit stupid with them. Still – they are so hard to beat because of many reasons. Magneto will play 1st in most cases and put Blind on enemies. That will cripple most of the attacking forces (teams) you use. Death Seed will have a Follow-Up from Dark Beast after every strike of any of them – attackers will be full of Bleeds and other Debuffs. If your attacking force does not have the ability to cleanse themselves from those nasty Dots, they will burn off without a doubt.


Archangel’s stunning Damage can comfortably destroy some of the attackers, and after one dies, he will manipulate with turn bars of the rest – this is a turn-based game, and we all know how crucial Speed is.

In short – with Death Seed in your War Defense, you do not leave many successful options for attackers, but since Infinity Watch and Rebirth (not specialized WAR teams) can easily counter them, maybe it is better to use them for offensive purposes.

Custom Defense (Tangled Web + Dormamu + America Chavez)

8112022 marvel strike force best teams aw custom defense tangled web dormamu america chavez 1

Characters on the image (left to right):

  • Spider-Man (Noir)
  • Spider Weaver
  • America Chavez
  • Spider-Man 2099
  • Dormamu

The purpose of the AW Defense team is to grant as many defensive victories as possible. Having that in mind, I’ve assembled a team that is insanely hard to beat and that can preserve sustenance and ability distribution through multiple continuous battles.

Dormammu is a prise character from DD5 and extremely hard to get. Any synergy with him is at least 50% stronger than the original. Since he can passively resurrect allies, it is better to keep him for Defense than Offense.

Tangled Web are teams specialized for the CC, but they also can be handy in the War. America is here to give that initial speed to the Spider-Weaver. This combination should work, and it can be annoying for attackers.

Heroes for Hire

27102022 marvel strike force teams heroes for hire

Characters on the image (left to right):

  • Luke Cage
  • Colleen Wing
  • Iron Fist
  • Misty Knight
  • Shang Chi

Heroes for Hire are made for only 1 purpose – to make your life miserable when you see them in Alliance War defense. All of them have 1 free instant total health healing when they drop below 50% Health and at least 1 full Revive per battle.

Misty Knight and Colleen Wing can use all their skills on the lowest health or highest damage opponent during the entire battle regardless of Taunt and Stealth. Not to mention that both of them have amazing skills and that even Iron Fist can ignore Taunt and stealth in AW defense. When we add natural healing by Iron Fist and the great sustenance of Luke Cage, we are getting 4 Heroes who don’t need the 5th member.

With the introduction of Shang Chi, H4H becomes even stronger. Shang Chi grants additional Charge to Coleen and Misty so they need to be killed 3 times before they finally stop defending the base. That fact only improves H4H significantly.


On top of that, Shang Chi has amazing offensive capabilities which allow him to literally tear apart most of the opponents.

It’s important to mention that Dark-Hunters are created with the idea to be H4H counter but in practice that match-up mostly goes to the H4H side (you can’t allow big punches down when you face them with Dark Hunters).

The core Defenders were the first synergy team in Marvel Strike Force but with the introduction of Heroes for Hire, they are definitely not needed anymore. Just don’t be nostalgic too much.

Hero Asgardian

27102022 marvel strike force teams hero asgardian

Characters on the image (left to right):

  • Thor
  • Heimdall
  • Mighty Thor
  • Valkyrie
  • Sif

Asgardians’ power in AW Defense become obsolete lately, so Scopely thought it is time to give them new life… And they did it.


Thor, Heimdal, and Sif are now literally twice as powerful as before with slightly improved skills while Mighty Thor and Valkyrie kits are equal to new META characters’ kits. Just imagine Thor being able to execute his free AOE every turn while the rest of the team has a utility that is capable of flipping your positive effects and buffing themselves with both Defense Up and Offense Up.

Besides that, some of them will ignore your Def Up, they will place Trauma constantly and open a battle with Blind or Disrupt your most effective characters.

In short, you will not be able to beat them except with META offense (Darkhold, Gamma, Weapon X, Undying duo + 3 …) that is already needed for other Defensive METAs.

Thor, Heimdall, and Sif are already fully maximized for most people so improving Mighty Thor and Valkyrie for the team like this is a cheap price to pay.


Infinity Watch

26102022 marvel strike force best teams infinity watch

Characters on the image (left to right):

  • Gamora
  • Moondragon
  • Adam Warlock
  • Phyla-Vell
  • Nebula

The power of the Infinity Watch is well known. There aren’t many teams that can match them and have much of a chance even if it is divided into multiple combats.


Revive, passive restoration, and self-buffing of this team are so potent that it will be extremely difficult just to take down a single member of the team, not to mention the entire team.

However, I am not a fan of placing Infinity Watch in defense because they can contribute much more to offense in my opinion.

For inactive players, they are definitely one of the best Defensive solutions!

Weapon X

26102022 marvel strike force teams weapon x

Characters on the image (left to right):

  • Silver Samurai
  • Wolverine
  • Omega Red
  • Sabretooth
  • Lady Deathstrike

Most AW specialized teams receive Bonuses for defending or attacking Helicarrier. Weapon X Teams get AW bonuses for both Offense and Defense. That means that their amazing synergy can be used in both directions depending on your priorities.


I am a big opponent of using any META team in Defense, but the team fully specialized for Defense. I will probably never use Weapon X for that purpose, but one fact remains – to beat them you will need either Gamma or Undying + 3. That fact alone justifies their placement in Defense but as I said, more attacking options are definitely better than maximizing your defense.

In short, the Weapon X team is one of the best Alliance War teams whether you are defending or attacking.


Emma Frost/Madelyne Pryor & Marauders

27102022 marvel strike force teams emma frost madelyne pryor marauders

Characters on the image (left to right):

  • Stryfe
  • Mister Sinister
  • Emma Frost
  • Madelyne Pryor
  • Mystique

Emma Frost and Marauders were on the Meta Defense team for a long time until Kestrel and X-Factor formed a powerful AW Offense synergy that could beat them without any difficulties. That initial Marauder team had difficulties against maximized X-Men and even Symbiots on some occasions.


With the introduction of Madelyne Pryor, all those problems became history.

New marauders are extremely powerful, and they can easily prevail against all those counters (even if heavily underpowered). In short, no Mutants can touch them including the new X-Men with Magik.

This team will prove to be an unsolvable enigma for most offensive options and only high META teams (Darkhold, Infinity Watch, Weapon X, Gamma …) will pose a threat to them.

Young Avengers + Doctor Octopus

8112022 marvel strike force best teams aw young avengers doctor octopus 1

Characters on the image (left to right):

  • Echo
  • Kate Bishop
  • Doctor Octopus
  • Squirrel Girl
  • Ms. Marvel

Kate Bishop and Echo brought an insane power to troublesome Young Avenger synergy. This team now easily beats anyone but High Meta in Defense. They are literally impenetrable to average teams and there is no custom synergy that can threaten them.


They are always under the effect of Offense Up, they punish every attack against them with passive auto-attack under the effect of Offense Up. They continuously harass enemies with blindness and protect themselves with Evade. They are highly resistant to enemy debuffs due to Squirrel Girl’s special and passive.

You are Wondering why Doctor Octopus is there. Because for more than a few reasons. First, we need America Chavez for our Custom defensive team, and secondly, we do not want to put Miles in her place (we want to save our Web Warrior team for the offense).


So, we need someone else. Who? Dr. Oct – of course. He is a satisfying solution for this team. We will put him between Kate Bishop and Squirrel Girl – they can benefit from his charges. With his regenerations (Special), he can help Squirrel a lot with healing. By using the Ultimate ability, he will prolong debuffs. He is a powerful character who can synergize well with the Young Avengers. His team (Sinister Six) sux – it is not a waste to break them.

Masters of Evil

marvel strike force teams masters of evil 03022023

Characters on the image (left to right):

  • Moonstone
  • Kang the Conqueror
  • Ultron
  • Titania
  • Absorbing Man

The Masters of Evil team is a specialized CC team that will change the current game balance for that segment of the game. Also, it is immediately announced that they will be needed for future Legendary Events (what will that be we don’t know but until now Legendary Events were only Scourges and Events needed for unlocking Legendary characters). In short, anything else but a full investment in this team is out of the question.

Having that in mind, we will have a dilemma about whether to leave MOE for Offense or to put them to defend Helicarrier.

They are definitely less potent in War than in CC, but they will be a really strong opponent nonetheless. Since they cannot counter Gamma in WAR and since there are already a lot of justified and effective War Offense teams, it might be best to leave them in Defense.


Absorbing Man/Kang/Titania synergy will be a real problem for almost all teams and there will be no easy counter for them aside from War Offense META. Every team that will bind META on itself is an obvious defensive option. Most importantly your offensive capabilities will not be reduced if you decide to do so.


28012023 marvel strike force teams rebirth

Characters on the image (left to right):

  • Captain America
  • Winter Soldier
  • Captain Carter
  • Agent Venom
  • U.S. Soldier

At the moment there is no official confirmation that Rebirth will be needed for anything else but existing Doom Raids and probably new expected Apocalypse Raids. Having that in mind, especially since we didn’t get official confirmation about the release date of the new Raid, it is not wrong if you think that investing in them is not mandatory at the moment.


However, our previous MSF experience suggests without a doubt that at some point we will have to use Rebirth in some other role outside Raids. I will not make assumptions about what that could be. Instead, I will presume that most of you are aware of that and that you decided to maximize Rebirth, nonetheless.

Honestly, they are a really good team and as such, they are ideal to defend some of the rooms in Helicarrier (they will benefit from all existing Room effects). They will not grant you certain defensive wins but they will force opponents to use some of the Meta teams that will probably be needed elsewhere. In short, Rebirth is a safe Defensive pick in War


Black Order

26102022 marvel strike force best teams black order

Characters on the image (left to right):

  • Proxima Midnight
  • Corvus Glaive
  • Thanos
  • Ebony Maw
  • Cull Obsidian

Placing Black Order in Defense is a viable option because we can create fourteen (in most cases sure-to-win) attacking teams without them. Their power and advantages are well known and there is no need to mention they are simply immune to some of the teams.


Fantastic Four & Namor

8112022 marvel strike force best teams aw fantastic four namor 1

Characters on the image (left to right):

  • Namor
  • Thing
  • Human Torch
  • Mister Fantastic
  • Invisible Woman

This team cannot deal with METAs. Its main weakness is a lack of options against initial bursts against Human Torch, but it can bring some unexpected victories. The point is that enemies will try to use average teams to beat it and they will make the mistake for sure.


Red Skull & Hydra

27102022 marvel strike force teams red skull hydra

Characters on image (left to right):

  • Hydra Armored Guard
  • Hydra Rifle Trooper
  • Red Skull
  • Hydra Sniper
  • Hydra Scientist

Red Skull’s ability for multiple Hydra Minions revives while immune to damage in AW Defense is annoying to the enemy. The only way to effectively deal with it is to have characters with “True Kill” ability.

Once the Revive is impossible, Red Skull’s usefulness diminishes. Still, that doesn’t change the fact that attackers will have to use a specialized counter for dealing with annoying Hydras.


In the attempt to make Hydras stronger, many players use a combination of Baron Zemo’s team and Red Skull only placing Hydra Genadier minions in a defensive Set-Up. This team may have better chances against some opponents but all in all, a player who does that will lose Zemo in Offense and this team will still be easily beaten by another Zemo synergy.

By placing this team in the Defense, don’t expect miracles if only a few members use them on Helicarier. If all Alliance members place them in defense, there is a high possibility that the opposing alliance won’t have enough counters and will be forced to spend High Metas on them. That’s the true strength of this team.


Astonishing X-Men

26102022 marvel strike force best teams astonishing xmen

Characters on the image (left to right):

  • Bishop
  • Kitty Pryde
  • Beast
  • Iceman
  • Jubilee

Jubilee and company proved their worth many times against many enemies and their usefulness in Defense or Offense is literally the same – they are useful. If you have a strong Astonishing team and already more than fourteen offensive options, you won’t make a mistake by placing them in Defense.


They are extremely strong against any team with squishy members or summons, and they can’t be beaten by most of the custom teams.

Nevertheless, the presence of an Astonishing team in Defense is not something that most players like to see while attacking.

Pym Tech Defense

27102022 marvel strike force teams pym tech defense

Characters on image (left to right):

  • Stature
  • Wasp
  • Ghost
  • Antman
  • Yellow Jacket

Pym Tech is an unorthodox team that was created for Dark Dimension and whose usefulness never reached its desired potential.


Due to their improved sustenance when they are together and their decent healing, and utility, they can be quite useful in AW’s Defense.

A lot of players tried to use Ghost’s undoubtful qualities in some custom combinations, but he is most effective with the rest of Pym Tech. Besides him, Yellowjacket can be a threat with his ulty but other members are frankly just sitting ducks that are extremely hard to hit.

It is highly unlikely that more than a few players will have fully improved Pym Tech. Their main chance in defense is to trick enemies into attacking them with a team that cannot beat them due to lack of power.

Surprisingly, statistically speaking, this team has brought me the most victories in defense and that is only because of 1 reason – most of the players simply underestimated them.


AIM Team

10112022 marvel strike force best teams aim team 1

Characters on the image (left to right):

  • Scientist Supreme
  • A.I.M. Assaulter
  • A.I.M. Monstrosity
  • Graviton
  • A.I.M. Security

Honestly speaking, the only reason why AIM is on this list is that many of the players have improved them at some point and this is the least “bad” synergy team that can be used for defense.


Their initial synergy exploited Scientist Supreme’s ability to start up the fight by placing multiple debuffs on all enemies. Unfortunately, at this point, there are a lot of teams that are practically unaffected by this, leaving AIM as a slow and harmless team that cannot pose a threat. If they could unleash their most dangerous attacking abilities 1 turn earlier, they could gain some advantage but unfortunately, they cannot.

They will indeed lock some average synergy into attacking them and they will prevail against most of the custom teams. In reality, their only advantage is the fact that the opponent cannot pick 5 random available characters and beat them.



10112022 marvel strike force best teams shadowlands 1

Characters on image (left to right):

  • Moon Knight
  • Elektra
  • White Tiger
  • Night Nurse
  • Daredevil

Shadowland can be really useful in WAR. The problem with them is that they require a huge T4 investment to be effective. If you didn’t improve all required T4 abilities you shouldn’t use them in War.

That doesn’t change the fact they are more than a solid option either for Offense or Defense. They have the same bonuses for both War segments (one of the few teams). Because of that, it is not a mistake to put them in the Defense.

Team with fine sustain, a chance to Revive, and good damage. As I already said, if they are maxed (key Abilities), they can produce a high threat to attackers.