Tier list

Villain, Global, Mutant, Support

Alliance War Offense
Alliance War Defense
Blitz/Real-Time Arena★ ★
Dark Dimension
Cosmic Crucible


If Apocalypse has enough Focus, and with the Horseman team, he should have it – the best Iso-8 for him will be Striker. His ISO – 8/Counter Attack/Assists attack is powerful enough to justify this state.

If he doesn’t have enough Focus to apply those powerful Debuffs on enemies, Skirmisher is the way to go. With Apocalypse as Skirmisher, we can be sure that Trauma and buff flips will always happen.


T4 Priority

S – Special ability

U – Ultimate ability

B – Basic ability

P – Passive ability

Apocalypse is a Legendary character we waited for so long, and in some segments, he can be a game-changer, so all his Skills need to be upgraded to Max level. Then we can feel his full potential.

Special – This is a crucial upgrade because he will provide Safeguard and Immunity to his team. If Apocalypse is able to play without Ability Block and use Max Rank Special, victory is near.

Ultimate – Max rank of Ultimate is the first thing you should upgrade on Apocalypse. It will place Trauma on the whole enemy team, but more importantly, it will fill his speed bar after he becomes Empowered.

Basic – Apocalypse will gain more damage, but the most important thing is “Speed Up” – he will get that buff after using a Basic ability. That can be handy in most situations, especially if he can Counter at some point, then he will gain Speed Up without even using Basic.

Passive – Apocalypse will get 20% more Health, and enemies can’t Spawn with Safeguard. It is a helpful upgrade. With Passive on Max, he can be handy versus every character who spawns with Safeguard.


marvel strike force apocalypse infographics 07022023

Theory Craft

Around one year after his announcement, we have an opportunity to see the kit of Apocalypse. It was a long year, full of tensions, good and bad things, but most importantly, excitement by waiting for the big goal of all MSF players. Now, when that goal is almost here, let’s see if it’s worth waiting.

Apocalypse is a Support class character, made to be part of more than a few teams because of his synergy capabilities. He has high Health, Focus, and Resist, which make him one of the toughest characters in this game.

Traits: Villain, Global, Mutant, Support

Basic – The Alpha

When he uses his Basic attack, he gains Offense and Speed Up and heals for 5% of his Max Health. He attacks a primary target with a nice amount of damage and +100% Drain. The attack is Unavoidable and cannot be blocked.

When he performs Counterattacks or Assists, if he has Charged, he will apply Stun to the target and then lose Charged.

ISO – 8/Counter Attack/Assists:

Same as Basic with less damage.


Special – Seismic Sands

Cost 6 Energy and Apocalypse can use Special at the start of combat. He will attack primary and adjacent targets with moderate Piercing damage and +100% Drain, applying Ability Block on the primary. This attack ignores Defense Up. Then he will redistribute your total squad health evenly. 

After that, he will buff all Horseman (and two non-Horseman with the highest damage) allies with those buffs:

  •  Clear all negative effects.
  •  Apply +1 Defense Up, up to a maximum of 2.
  •  Apply Safeguard and Immunity.

It is an insane Special move that will attack enemies and buff allies at the same time. It will provide a combination of Safeguard and Immunity on team members, making them immune to debuffs and removing buffs abilities. The combination of those 2 buffs was previously available only to 8W, Uxmen in CC, Hero Asgardian in AW Defense when Valkyrie’s passive triggers, and some separate characters like Red Hulk in WAR.

At this point, this combination of buffs is second to none – when Apocalypse uses it, he will provide the ultimate protection currently available in MSF. More importantly, he will clear all existing debuffs while placing Defense Up as a cherry on the cake. In other words, depending on the Apocalypse speed, activating his special can immediately decide the outcome of the battle.

Obviously, early Trauma and Stun could be a problem, and there are already some voices suggesting that Spider Weaver with Cable will easily counter the Apocalypse. Let’s see if we can come to the same conclusion.

These “two non-Horseman with the highest damage” tag is important because it suggests that Apocalypse can have synergy not just with the full Horseman team but that there will be possible of creating some custom synergies as well.

His Special ability will grant him major importance in MSF for a long period of time. At this moment nothing can counter this combo, so we will have to wait for a brand-new Battlefield effect before Apocalypse’s usefulness begins to fade.

Ultimate – The End is Here

Ultimate costs 10 Energy, and Apocalypse can use it at 2nd turn. The name of the ability suggests what will happen – basically if Apocalypse uses his Ultimate ability fight is over. Not literally, but he will do a few crucial things to ensure his team wins.

He will clear all Barriers from every enemy. Then he will attack them with a solid amount of damage +100% Drain. It is unavoidable and cannot be blocked or countered by the attack. On top of that, he will put “a few” bad things on the opponent team. Trauma is the most dangerous, but at the same time, he will flip Defense Up and two more random buffs on every opponent.

And finally, Apocalypse will become Empowered. On Empowered, he will fill the Speed Bar for himself by 60% + 10% for each Horseman ally. Let’s see what he does in the Empowered state, and we will comment on everything after.

Empowered Basic – The Omega

When Apocalypse enters an Empowered state, he can only use his Basic attack. A basic attack becomes a way to kill one of the opponents without problems. It will do damage based on 60% of the target Max Health. It will ignore all Deathproffs and passives triggered when a character drops below a certain amount of Health. It will permanently kill the target if Health reaches 0 (no revives). If a target has 60% Health or less, it will be out of combat. After using it, Apocalypse will go out of the Empowered state.

In practice, this means that literally all teams in the MSF roster who haven’t started with Apocalypse in their ranks (don’t have Safeguard and Immunity in the second turn) will lose after he activates ultimate. To understand the potency of this ability just think about Red Hulk’s ultimate or Omega Red’s ultimate in WAR. No one else can place Trauma on the entire enemy team while flipping their buffs and placing additional debuffs. You will say Red Hulk’s ultimate has permanent effects and you will be correct. However, Apocalypse can use it in the second turn in all game features regardless of his team 😉

On top of that, he will fill his Speed Bar similarly to Rogue after using her special just to be ready to pick a target for elimination (there will be candidates after his ultimate -trust me). His empowered basic is a single-target attack whose potency is not affected by other effects. It only depends on the maximum HP of the target and that is it – the damage is fixed always and you shouldn’t worry if you have Offense Up or not, or if there is a tone of buffs on the target. It is a simple visual calculation and you will always know who is ready to die next.

The rest of the enemies will stay in combat, crippled enough to be easy targets for the Apocalypse team. Each of them with at least three debuffs on plus Trauma, and without any barriers, they are destined to lose combat.

At this point, we come to the min-maxing part. If Apocalypse is in the full Horseman team, he will play instantly after the Ultimate. This could be crucial for the Arena because it can give you a final advantage against teams where Apocalypse is not accompanied by all Horsemen. Being able to one-shot enemy Apocalypse before he can one-shot you, will be essential for the future Arena META and will significantly narrow your options.

As I said earlier, in Theory Craft we can hear on the internet, Eternals + Cable + Waver + SM 2099 should grant you the possibility to open a fight with Stun on Apocalypse. If this proves accurate, the number of Horsemen alongside Apocalypse will no longer be the deciding effect of Arena battles. I will not jump to conclusions before I explain all his abilities – I will leave them to you.


Passive – The First Mutant

This character cannot be revived, which means there is no point in bringing Dormammu with him – he will not have 2nd life :(. But those two characters can have other good benefits if they are together, so without proper testing, we can’t say that the Apocalypse + Dormammu team will not have functionality.

The Speed of Apocalypse and the other Horseman allies only can be reduced by Slow. Characters applying minus Speed on enemies (Emma Frost, Hela) will not affect the Apocalypse Horseman team. That means she will (FINALLY) be out of the Arena META. Goodbye, Emma!

Speed is not Slow, so characters like Loki and Cable may still be important in that matter. Also, SM 2099+Weaver will definitely make Apocalypse + Horseman exposed to early control. However, I really doubt things will be that easy :/ As I said, I will not jump to conclusions before I can understand all the information we have.

At the same time, Apocalypse will prevent enemies from spawning with Safeguard at the start of the match. This passive effect may seem nothing special to most because their first response will be: “What I will get from removing Safeguard form 8W??? I can beat them anyway”. However, this means that Red Hulk in AW will not start with Safeguard and that Uxmen in CC will be without it meaning that Apocalypse will be a hard counter to the 2 most powerful AW and CC teams. We do not know what the future will bring to us, but we can already conclude that spawning with Safeguard is no longer an OP feat.

Additionally, Apocalypse will gain Immunity on spawn, which helps him not get debuffs versus some of the (faster than him) characters (but not all of them). There are characters who will play before Apocalypse and can remove Immunity on him – SM 2099 and Baron Zemo. Wait, wait, wait… This means that you will be able to Stun Apocalypse only and only if you don’t use Horsemen or if you use 1 Horseman + Dormammu + Tangled Web + Cable. Hmm, what I can say, good luck with that – you will need it…

He will also spawn with Safeguard. That will prevent any opponent from removing his buffs before he plays. It is a crucial upgrade to his kit – basically Tangled Web duo wouldn’t have any advantage over him at the beginning of combat.

Apocalypse will lower a Focus on the first enemy who takes a turn in the match by 200%. An enemy who plays first will not have a chance to place debuffs on your team (in most cases).

Let’s continue, If he gets Stunned, he will clear it, clear Heal Block (if he has it) and heal himself. So, he is Stun immune, the same as Dormammu and DD – a helpful ability, I would say. Huh, I am confused now. How I will stun him if he is immune to Stun? Only if I could put Stun together with Trauma on him. But that will be impossible at least at start of combat because of Immunity + Safeguard.

He will gain +50% Max Health, which makes him a character with the most HP in the game. Great.

He has a 40% chance to Counterattack, plus 15% for each Villain or Horseman ally. In the Horseman team, he will have a 100% Counterattack chance. In other words, if you want, you can assemble a team where Apocalypse will counter every attack against him and every AOE attack. This could be useful, I suppose

In the end, Apocalypse will gain +10% Focus for each Horseman, Mutant, and TECH ally, meaning you don’t need to worry about landing his utilities. Another good one …

Apocalypse will gain +100% Accuracy, and in Arena or War, all his teammates will get the same. Blind versus Apocalypse teams will not work in those two game modes, and Apocalypse himself will be able to hit enemies in every game mode, no matter what.

Knowing this, we can see immediately that he will be the most versatile character in the game, capable of filling almost every gap in every feature.

I was kidding a little while explaining (got triggered by the cancel culture) but Apocalypse is a compelling character. His true potential will be understood only when he becomes a permanent member of your roster. But is he powerful enough? Is he ready to justify all of the hype built by time around him? Now, after those updates – definitely yes!

Many of you will say no, having doubts about his power and lack of stars due to the fact that Apocalypse Saga on Apocalypse difficulty will be out of reach for most of you. Also, you will think that all his abilities should be stronger in some way, that he should grant you Revive Once like Dormammu, etc… I will not comment on this, because I would need to explain the whole concept of word balance and I already took too much of your time. Anyway, I am kinda sure that he will be better than you expect because I am an optimist by nature and for some other less obvious reasons.

I would like to know, what your feedback would be if there is no other chance to hope to win against Apocalypse + Horsemen unless with a mirror match (which was the case with BotM, BO, and 8W when they were released). I would like to know if that is what the community wants. I don’t want that, but I am curious.

We will need to wait for his stats to give full judgment. Without it, this is just a theory craft. It is not logical to me that Apocalypse has lower stats than Dormammu, but maybe I am wrong. If his stats are the same as Dormammu’s it will be almost impossible to control him in the way I described previously, especially since Dormammu doesn’t have MLF passive increase in Resistance. I don’t think that his stats will be as Dormammu’s – I think they will be better. However, there will be an essential difference between those who cleared Apocalypse Difficulty Saga and those who didn’t. Otherwise, no one would have the real motive to clear it.

In the end, I must remind you that one of the reasons why Scopely started giving character kits and Event rules in advance is exactly this one – they want to know our opinion, so they can do final cuts before releasing the content. That is why I suggest you keep positive and expect the unexpected 😉

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