We know that a new specialized Raid team is about to be assembled. There were a lot of talks about boosting the Power Armor team that is currently almost useless (arguably the worst premade synergy along with the Kree team). It proved that there was some truth in that gossip but as we can see instead of having Power Armor boosted, we will get an entirely new team – Bionic Avengers.
This team will be assembled by combining Iron Man, and Vision with a new Protector: Hulkbuster, and two new characters Viv Vision and Deathlock.
As I said before, Bionic Avengers will be specialized for Raids but more importantly, they will be one of the teams required for Death Scourge Nodes 5 and 10. Anyway, knowing this can lead us to 2 conclusions – War Machine, Ironheart, Rescue, and Falcon will be almost useless + early investing in Iron Man and Vision will finally pay off.
My guess is that the rest of the Power Armor team will be boosted with the “Ironheart” series release. Unfortunately, the series is announced for 2023, so you should stop investing in Power Armor characters (aside from Iron Man) for at least 6 months.
There will be some uses for Falcon due to his skill set that can be useful on certain occasions, but investing in War Machine, Rescue, and Ironheart is not recommended for the time being.
Anyway, to understand the real power of the new Bionic Avengers and to figure out whether is mandatory to continue improving forgotten characters like Iron Man and Vission we must closely analyze what we know so far.
Luther Manning aka Deathlok was a veteran US Army colonel who was mortally wounded in a peace-time war-games exercise. Without having permission, Luther’s superiors have used his lifeless body in a Project: Alpha-Mech transferring his living essence, brain, and neuro waves into an artificial body.
Basically, Luther became the first Cyborg on Earth 616 and due to his deceased status, he got the name Deathlok – locked in Death.
Project: Alpha-Mech was fully successful – Deathlok proved to be an asset who has given the edge to the US military in dozens of missions, but everything changed when he started to regain memories from his normal life. Realizing that he is now just a tool in hands of others without any connections to his previous life and the people involved in it, Deathlok leaves the military to find out his true purpose.
Accepting his current state cannot be changed, he decides to use his abilities in fights against the same type of people who decided his fate without asking him. That led to numerous adventures where Deathlok helped iconic Superheroes fight for the right cause.
Alongside his partner Godwulf, Deathlok helped S.H.I.E.L.D., Spider-Man, and Daredevil among others in a neverending fight against oppression and injustice.
In MSF, Deathlok is a Hero Blaster who carries Bionic Avengers as the main damage dealer and main buffer. His presence on the team continuously increases the damage to all members of the team.
A basic Attack causes medium damage which is followed by three bonus attacks. Each additional attack causes half of the damage inflicted initially. In Raids, if any of four attacks is a critical hit, Deathlok generates 1 Ability Energy for two random Bionic Avengers up to 4 Ability Energy in total.
Considering Deathlok’s potential damage, his basic attack will be like Ikaris’swith one major difference. This will be another ability on the lengthy list of Bionic Avengers abilities that grant Ability Energy. If Deathlok is equipped with Raider ISO-8 class, the chance of granting Ability Energy will be almost certain.
Special Ability can be used in the first turn and costs 5 Ability Energy. Deathlok will buff all members of the Bionic Avengers with Offense Up for two turns before executing a moderate damage AOE against all enemies. In addition to the damage received, 2 Bleeds will affect all enemies. Simultaneously, Deathlok will grant 1 Ability energy to all adjacent bionic Avenger allies. This attack cannot be Dodged or Evaded if there are 3+ Bionic Avengers along with Deathlok.
This is an average AOE that will place 2 Bleeds on each target. This skill will be the same as Ghost Rider special except it will affect all enemies and will be always executed while Deathlok is having Offense Up same as the rest of Bionic Avengers. Obviously, it will be extremely powerful but costly.
Due to Ability Energy distribution in Bionic Avengers, Deathlok will use this ability whenever he wants or on every second turn in the worst-case scenario which is insane. The only thing you need to worry about is that Deathlok’s position is not on the far left or far right because you want him to be between two characters for maximum Ability Energy overflow.
Deathlok’s Ultimate cannot be used at the start of combat. It costs 7 Energy while Deathlok starts with 5 Energy for this ability. This means that it can’t be used before the third turn of combat but due to Bionci Avengers’ Ability Energy Mechanics, you will be able to use it in the second turn.
Ultimate attacks on primary and adjacent targets cause up to 450% damage to each target. If the Target is Tech, the damage is increased to 500% damage. The primary target will be affected by the Ability Block for 1 Turn (2 Turns if Tech). Simultaneously ultimate grants 1 Ability Energy to adjacent Bionic Avengers (same as Special Ability).
Even if possible, Deathlok would never use Ultimate at the start of combat before using the Special Ability that grants Offense Up. So, we should not consider it as a disadvantage, on the contrary. Deathlok Ultimate is like Vision’s special but with higher damage. It cannot place Ability Block on secondary targets, though.
The fact that Ultimate also grants Ability Energy means that Deathlok is the best battery in the game that fills allies in every turn. To reach the full potential it is mandatory that Deathlok land Ability Block and fully control battle in the second turn of combat. After reading Passive Ability, you’ll see that Deathlok won’t necessarily need the Skirmisher ISO-8 class to do this.
Passive Ability permanently increases the damage of all Bionic Avengers by 15% per turn to a maximum of 45% in the third turn. Also, the Focus of Deathlok is passively increased by 100% meaning that his debuffs will always land regardless of ISO-8 Class.
In Raids, Deathlok will get +1 Charged whenever he or any other Bionic Avenger in the team receives Ability Energy. Upon reaching 5 Charged at the end of any Turn, Deathlok will automatically execute a free attack causing up to 300% damage and losing all Charged.
This passive ability is quite simple and extremely powerful. The damage to Bionic Avengers in all game features will gradually increase with every turn. Knowing that they will have amazing stats like all the new characters, we can simply conclude that the potential damage of this team will be insane regardless of the game segment.
In Raids, this passive ability will be even more powerful allowing the main Damage dealer of Bionic Avengers to have a powerful free attack every second turn at worst. It will practically double Deathlok’s already amazing damage output.
Deathlok kit looks extremely good. However, since the team in general lacks Safeguard or Trauma he won’t be able to shine against Meta teams in War and CC. Nevertheless, depending on the stats Scopely gives him Deathlok could potentially be in the top 10 Damage Dealers in the game.
When Vision, one of the most powerful and iconic superheroes decided to have a family, he used Scarlet Witch’s brain patterns to create Virginia to become his wife. The next step was creating the kids from his own brain patterns combined with Virginia’s. That is how Viv and Vin Vision were born.
They were identical twins – boy and girl. Soon they moved to Arlington, Virginia where all of them became celebrities (like the Kardashian family IRL).
Viv Vision inherited all her father’s abilities, but she was never happy since she is different from normal humans. Her never-ending pursuit of becoming human led her through numerous adventures where she collided with Grim Reaper and High Evolutionary who were her main adversaries.
Eventually, Viv will lose her mother and brother in this fight, and she will join a Superhero group known as the Champions (mostly teenage superheroes like Ms. Marvel, Miles Morales, etc..) before making an ultimate sacrifice.
Viv has all superhuman powers like her father Vison including superhuman strength, flight, density manipulation, and intangibility. Her computer brain allows her to live inside the internet, being able to remotely connect with any computer or device on the network.
In Marvel Strike Force, Viv Vision is the Hero Support for the Bionic Avengers who heals the team whenever someone gets Ability Energy. At the same time, like other members of the team, she grants additional Ability Energy and controls a battle by preventing enemies from using their abilities.
Basic Attack causes moderate damage against the single target and places Deflect to the most injured ally (+2 Deflect on Bionic Avenger). In Raids, Basic Attack allows Viv Vision to grant 2 Ability Energy to random Bionic Avenger and 1 Ability Energy to Vison. This attack will always be assisted by Vision but only in Raids.
Viv Vision’s basic attack is not immensely powerful outside raids. It will indeed grant Deflect to the most injured ally but outside of that, it is nothing special. From what we could learn in the official Blog Viv Vision will always assist Vision’s basic attacks which is not the case in the opposite direction (Viv Vision will receive assists only in Raids).
If that is the case Viv will be crippled for other game segments, but I wouldn’t jump to conclusions before seeing their kits in the game. Scopely is known for releasing half or even false information in announcements.
Special Ability costs 4 Energy and can be used at the start of combat. It will cause moderate damage against a single target while placing Offense Down and Ability Block for 2 Turns. Simultaneously it will generate 1 Ability Energy for two random Bionic Avengers that are not at full energy.
In Raids, this skill cannot be blocked and if the target is killed Offense Down and Ability Block are transferred to adjacent enemies.
Viv’s Special Ability allows Bionic Avengers to place 2 Ability Blocks for two turns at the start of combat. It sounds insanely overpowered, but the true effectiveness will depend on the base Speed of Vison, Viv Vision, and their enemies. Nevertheless, being able to cripple two enemies in the first turn and then do it again with Deathlok in the second seems insane (at least against enemies who have no Immunity at the start).
The potential of this ability is even greater in raids where Viv can spread Offense Down and Ability block if she kills the target. Naturally, this is also another Bionic Avengers skill that grants Ability Energy.
Ultimate Ability costs 6 Energy and can also be used at the start of combat. It first flips two negative effects to positive for all allies (all negative effects for Bionic Avengers) before causing heavy damage to the Primary target and all other enemies in the same row. The primary target will also be Blinded in the process.
If there are 3 or more Bionic Avengers in the team this attack cannot be Dodged or Evaded. Simultaneously, all Bionic Avengers will be granted 1 Ability Energy.
This is the first ability in the game that affects enemies in the same row. There are two rows in every battle (front and back), and this will be especially effective in Raids, which can spawn more than five enemies at the same time.
You will have a tough time deciding whether to use Special or Ultimate in the first turn, but you should not consider it as a dilemma but as an opportunity – you will control the battle depending on your enemies.
Passive Ability allows Viv to heal all Bionic Avengers by 3% of her Max HP whenever any member of the team gains Ability Energy. It also permanently increases Armor for Viv and all Bionic Avengers.
When any member of the Bionic Avenger team drops below 50% HP, Viv instantly clears Disrupt and Heal Block from that team member and places Stealth on them. In Raids Bionic Avengers receive one additional Ability Energy when they drop below 50% HP, and their Armor is further increased.
Viv Vision’s healing may seem low at first glance but that would be an extremely wrong deduction. When you look at the big picture and conclude that every member of the team will receive at least 2 Ability Energy every single turn, by using simple mathematics you came to the result of healing equal to 30% of Viv’s Max HP each turn (5 members x2 Ability energy x 3% HP=30% HP).
Knowing that Viv’s base HP will be higher compared to other characters the only logical conclusion is that Viv will be fully overpowered as a healer.
It is sufficient to say that in Raids, the Ability Energy distribution will be almost doubled. Her passive protection of Bionic Avengers when they drop below 50% HP after understanding her healing abilities seems irrelevant, while it is almost identical to the protection of Darkhold in the same situation.
Overall, Viv Vission’s passive utilizes the power of all other members combined and makes an unbelievable synergy for Bionic Avengers in general.
Tony Stark has created the Hulkbuster Power Armor Suit to counter Hulk if he ever goes astray. The suit fits Hulk’s size and power but has many other advantages that make it unique.
Even though the goal was to pacify Hulk if needed, the Hulkbuster was used against many other powerful adversaries like Ultron, Cull Obsidian, Sentry, etc … Most importantly, Hulkbuster can be controlled remotely, so Tony can use it as an ally to his Iron Man.
In MSF, Hulkbuster is a Protector with increased Health and Armor who reduces enemy damage by providing a mighty Barrier to the team. Naturally, Hulkbuster will have a special synergy with Iron Man who will be additionally protected by Hulkbuster’s presence on the team.
With his Basic Attacks, Hulkbuster will cause heavy damage that will be always assisted by Iron Man. Each strike will give him a possibility to be buffed with Defense Up and Deflect depending on the strength of the Barrier that is already on him:
- 25%+ Barrier = Defense Up for 2 Turns
- 50%+ Barrier = 2 Deflect
In Raids, he will strengthen his Barrier by 5% of his Max HP with each use of Basic Attack.
When you learn other skills, you will easily conclude that Hulkbuster will be permanently under Def Up and Deflect by using his Basic Attack. However, he can generate enough Barriers only after using both Special and Ultimate abilities.
Special Ability can be used immediately, and it has a cooldown of 4 turns. It attacks primary and adjacent targets causing up to 400% Damage and placing Offense Down for 2 turns. Additionally, Hulkbuster will place Taunt on himself, generate 1 Ability energy for 2 random Bionic Avenger allies and grant Barrier to the entire team (even non-Bionic Avengers) equal to 20% of his Max HP. In Raids, he will cleanse on debuffs on himself, and he will grant Ability Energy to the entire Bionic Avengers team.
This ability is not a typical Taunt Ability due to the severe damage Hulkbuster is causing and the fact that he will generate Ability Energy for the team. In Raids, this ability will be devastating, but it will be battle-changing in other features as well.
Ultimate Ability can be used immediately but will have a cooldown of 6 turns. It is a moderate AOE attack that causes damage to all enemies and Slows them down for 2 turns while ignoring enemy Dodge and Evade.
In addition, it grants a Barrier equal to 15% of his Max HP to all allies (30% HP to Bionic Avengers). In Raids it also grants 1 Ability Energy to the adjacent Bionic Avengers allies and places Speed Up for 2 Turns to all Bionic Avengers in the team.
The damage of his Ultimate is not that great (up to 360% damage) but the Barrier that is generated is extremely important. Since the ultimate can be used immediately it will create a dilemma whether to use special or ultimate first, but that shouldn’t be perceived as a problem but as an opportunity to control the battle.
Depending on the enemy composition you’ll be able to either mitigate the damage by placing Offense Down or to make your allies play before by placing Slow on enemies.
Hulkbuster’s Passive Ability permanently increases his Health by up to 50%, Bionic Avenger Allies’ HP by up to 25% and grants him Taunt when Iron Man ally drops below 50% HP. Whenever Hulkbuster or any other Bionic Avenger ally gets Ability Energy his Speed Bar is filled by 5%. If Hulkbuster has Taunt and his HP drops below 50%, Taunt will be cleared, and all enemies will be debuffed with Offense Down for 2 turns.
In Raids, on spawn, Hulkbuster will have a Barrier equal to 30% of his Max HP same as all other Bionic Avenger allies.
As you can see, Hulkbuster speeds up his moves by granting Ability Energy. That means that for outside raids, he should open with special ability, so his new rotation comes faster for his ultimate. On the other hand, in Raids, all Bionic Avengers will start with a significant barrier on themselves which opens new options for Hulkbusters’ skill rotation.
Hulkbuster’s ability to protect the team is unseen so far. If we deduct the rest of Bionic Avengers (we don’t even know the skills for two of them) and look at Hulkbuster separately we can only conclude that no other Protector in the game offers an even close amount of protection as Hulkbuster.
More importantly, he can generate ability energy with two of his abilities becoming a battery that can be compared with even Deathpool.
In Raids that will be amazing despite what the rest of Bionic Avengers will look like.
Finally, the fact that he can passively place Offense Down for 2 turns once he drops below 50% HP suggests that he can be effectively used in almost any combination that can be especially important for Death Scourge.
Similarly to recent rebalance changes for other characters Iron Man will have an increase in his base stats:
- Health +56%
- Damage +29%
- Focus +93%
- Resist +47%
Basic Attack will now place Defense Down, and it will always chain to up to two adjacent targets. It will be always Assisted by Hulkbuster and Counterattack will not break the Chain anymore.
This seems like a slight change compared to the original kit, but in reality, it is significant and essential knowing that Iron man will always Assist Hulkbuster. Being able to place Def Down with a Basic Attack makes characters special (think of SSM or Kestrel for example).
Special Ability received an increase in damage and will now always cause the damage as if Captain America were in the team (either with him or not). What is new is that this AOE will now prolong the duration of all negative effects on all targets, and it will generate Ability Energy for Bionic Avengers in Raids.
The damage of this AOE is now decent but not ground-breaking. Prolonging debuffs is one of the most underrated effects in the game and can crucially affect the outcome of battles but its importance will depend on debuffs that will be at disposal of Bionic Avengers. As for now, we know that Vision’s Ability Block will play an important part in this.
The fact that Iron Man will also be a battery in Raids already makes Bionic Avengers extremely important for this feature, but to be honest, having a specialized Raid team that can’t be used in other features was never tempting.
Ultimate Ability is known as Unibeam – Iron Man trademark. The initial damage is increased by 100% and it now grants Ability Energy to Bionic allies. Ultimate now cannot be blocked or dodged if there are at least 3 Bionic Avenger allies alongside Iron Man.
The difference in damage is big but not significant and the Ability Energy generation doesn’t crucially change the Iron Man Kit. Ok, Iron Man and Hulkbuster together grant Bionic Avengers always useable abilities but will this be enough depends solely on the real strength of those abilities. Unfortunately, we can’t have a clear picture without the whole team.
Iron Man’s Passive Ability remained almost the same in the concept. He increases the Critical Chance of all allies, especially Bionic Avengers and Tech. He also increases Damage as before with the addition of Bionic Avengers to Power Armor and Wave I. What is important is that he now also increases Critical Damage as well but only for self and Bionic Avengers. Critical Chance and Critical Damage increase is significantly boosted in Raids obviously.
As you can see, Iron Man’s passive is only improved in strength while the mechanics are the same. I am not saying that this change is irrelevant, I am just pointing out that nothing but the damage will be affected by this rebalance. Do not get me wrong – I love more damage.
Vision’s stats are also improved:
- Health +48%
- Damage +43%
- Armor +30%
- Focus +38%
- Resist +167%
Basic Attack for Vision is the same as before with one major difference. From now on, Viv Vision will always assist Vision’s basic attacks.
So, we finally learned that the fourth member of Bionic Avengers will be a character known as Viv Vision. When the time comes, I will tell you more about this character. For now, it is only important that you know this will be the second duo in Bionic Avengers that will assist each other.
Special Ability will also remain the same for Vision. The only difference is that his Ability Block will last for 2 Turns on Tech characters and that he will now grant Ability Energy for a random Bionic Avenger and Viv Vision.
Vision’s special ability was always extremely important because opening the battle with Ability Block crucially influences the battle outcome. Generating more Ability Energy for Bionic Avengers? Well, I hope that there will be a real need for this amount of Ability Energy – so far three members of the team can grant Abi Energy with four skills in total – it seems like overkill from this perspective.
Ultimate Ability now causes 50% more damage to each target and places Bleed (like with Scarlet Witch earlier). If there are 3 or more Bionic Avengers in the team this AOE is unavoidable. In raids, it additionally reduces the Speed bar of all enemies by 30% and generates Ability Energy to adjacent Bionic Avengers allies.
The ultimate also remained the same except in Raids. In Raids, it will prevent enemies from taking normal rotation and it will generate Ability Energy in addition to Vision’s special, Iron Man and Hulkbuster.
As you can see, Bionic Avengers will totally disregard cooldowns since their energy will always be at full. It is hard for me to accurately judge the fact that we will have a team that can use all their abilities whenever they want. This will be either totally Overpowered or totally useless, depending on the kit of Viv Vision and the mystery fifth character.
Vision’s Passive Ability is now considerably stronger. In addition to Def Up which is granted on spawn to all Tech characters he now also passively increases Focus for self and all Bionic Avengers. His permanent Dodge chance remains the same (25%). When his ally Viv Vision drops below 50% HP, he will place a Deathproof on her. Also, if Viv Vision is affected by an enemy Ability Block, Vision will instantly cleanse all debuffs on her.
In Raids, Vision will grant Immunity on Spawn to all bionic Avengers and his Focus increase will be doubled.
Passive increase of Focus is extremely important for Vision. It grants placing of Ability Block even if Vision is not equipped with Skirmisher. That opens a lot of possibilities for ISO-8 team building outside of Raids.
Passive immunity in Raids is good, especially for Doom II Tech nodes but that alone is not something that will crucially affect your Raid progression. As I said – it is good, but it is not necessary.
Looking at current game needs, we indeed need a viable Tech option for Doom II. However, from a wider perspective, Bionic Avengers’ importance will not be measured by their effectiveness in Raids. Instead, their effectiveness in AW, CC, and even DD will crucially affect the level of their improvement and therefore their real importance in overall game balance.
Scopely indeed forces us to improve them for the upcoming Death Scourge, but I doubt that decision for improvement will depend only on that. Especially if some other team can do the job just fine or even better (War Dogs).
I eagerly expect the news, hoping for the best …