Cosmic Crucible – Season 4 Defensive Setup



Choosing a defensive setup for Cosmic Crucible is not an easy task. We get Victory Points based on the number of turns we take to clear the Stage and your remaining Health. This practically means the best teams should be left for Offense and that you should pick your Defense from the teams that remain.

Basically, you have to leave 6-7 teams that can beat any Defensive option (depending on CC Season). Then you need to pick the best Defensive setups for each Stage from the rest of your roster.

The most viable strategy for Cosmic Crucible is to make sure that you can beat any enemy setup as fast as possible and without casualties. In other words, if there is a team that can be beaten only by a duplicate team depending on stage rules, you should leave that team for offense.

Your Defense is meant to slow your enemy down and decrease their efficiency score. You won’t be able to win with Defense only, that’s why picking teams for Defense is always secondary, first and foremost you must make sure that you have strong Offensive options.

We will provide you with Defensive team suggestions for every Stage, that will follow those principles.


Important – with every new Season or new Update, this page will be updated accordingly with the current defensive META.

Let’s begin!

Season 4

After the repetitive last season, Season 4 is a breath of fresh air. We have only one Stage that is passed down from the previous season but even that one went through some changes. So this season is bound to be interesting. Many defensive setups that we will suggest today while solid in theory, might be not as good in practice, so as the season goes we will be updating this page. In each Stage section, we will explain stage rules and offer (in our opinion) the best defensive options.

Our Current Setups

Below you’ll find the Defensive setups that we use, alongside with the teams that will carry out the Offense.


Enfaire; Level 95; TCP – 31,4 Million; League – Diamond I (Current) :

  • Stage 1: Undying+Dormammu+Thor+Sif – (800K)
  • Stage 2: Bifrost – (650K)
  • Stage 3: Knowhere – (650K)
  • Stage 4: War Dogs – (900K)
  • Stage 5: Unlimited + Jubilee (1.3 mil)
  • Stage 6: Darkhold + Quicksilver (1.3 mil)

Teams that will carry out the Offense are:

  • Masters of Evil (1 mil)
  • Tangled Web (3 of them) (585K)
  • Eternals (2 of them) (412K)
  • Gamma (1.3 mil)
  • New Warriors (Full) (1 mil)
  • Death Seed (1.2 mil)
  • Invaders (900K)
  • Infinity Watch (950K)
  • Young Avengers (860K)
  • Rebirth (970K)
  • Underworld (640K)
  • Bionic Avengers (870K)
  • Web-Warriors (849K)
  • Secret Avengers (3 of them) (480K)
  • Weapon X (590K)
  • Plug-and-play characters: Apocalypse (205K), Kestrel (270K), Emma Frost (149K), Shang Chi (217K), Red Guardian (100k)…

Sandugp; Level 95; TCP – 19,4 Million; League – Platinum I (Current)

  • Stage 1: Bionic Avengers (617K)
  • Stage 2: Rebirth (764K)
  • Stage 3: Knowhere – (665K)
  • Stage 4: War Dogs – (581K)
  • Stage 5: Unlimited X-Man (1.28 mil)
  • Stage 6: Gamma (1.35 mil)

Teams that will carry out the Offense are:

  • Darkhold (1,3M)
  • Death Seed (1,14M)
  • Masters of Evil (835K)
  • Invaders (783K)
  • New Warriors (868K)
  • Bifrost (638K)
  • Eternals (2 of them) (394K)
  • Tangled Web (Weaver and 2099) (397K)
  • Young Avengers (574K)
  • Web-Warriors (554K)
  • Plug-and-play characters: Apocalypse (193K), Kestrel (215K), Emma Frost (92K), Shang Chi (216K), Kingpin (209k), Hela (137K)…

Global Effects – Multiversal Warriors

On Defense and Offense, New Warrior Characters:

  • Gain +10% crit chance and crit damage for each charged on that character.
  • When Attacking an Enemy with Blind, Gain Regeneration.

On Defense, all Characters:

  • Gain +20% Health and +10% Damage.

This season the global effects do not hinder any team, which is a welcome change. New Warriors will be the marquee Offensive team for the season and they get some offensive bonuses. Namely, the Crit Chance and Crit Damage of Deathpool and Firestar will increase per every Charge that they have on. Additionally, they will be getting a lot more Regeneration status effects, since both Cloak and Dagger will apply Blind. This doesn’t improve the team drastically, but it should help punch up even higher.

And, as per usual, all Defensive teams get small boosts to their Health and Damage.


Stage 1 – Pressure Points

Stage Effects:

On Defense and Offense:

  • Raider characters: On Crit, Apply Minor Defense Down
  • Striker characters: While below 50% Health, Gain 200% Damage.

This Stage does not boost certain teams or characters instead, it boosts 2 different ISO-8 classes allowing you to assemble some really interesting combinations. For this Stage, we need a team that consists of mostly Strikers and Raiders, this way we can efficiently take advantage of the Stage effects. For Striker characters, we need to pick someone, who spends a lot of time below 50% Health and preferably someone who will Revive upon death.

Undying + Dormammu

team template afinity

Characters left-to-right:

  • Hela (Raider)
  • Zombie Iron Man (Striker)
  • Dormammu (Striker)

Since Zombie Iron Man doesn’t need to be particularly big to function well with Hela, he will easily fall below 50% health from a couple of attacks and until Hela is alive, he will Revive at 50% Max Health, which should allow him to gain the Stage benefits quite often. As for Hela, she will gain Stealth immediately therefore enemies won’t be able to attack her and would have to attack Zombie Iron Man. When Dormammu falls below 50% Max Health he will slip into Stealth, and if the timing works right, he will have a chance to use his Ultimate with the added 200% Damage from the Stage Rules, that attack would be devastating.

Dormammu with his Revives will help keep Hela alive for longer, which in turn will keep ZIM alive for longer. This team is an experimental defense that we want to try, it has the potential to be pretty formidable and should considerably decrease your opponent’s efficiency,

Since you can’t place just three enemies on Defense, we will need to fill the other two spots. One option would be to have a Taunter and place them between ZIM and Dormammu, and the other is to simply use 2 other Striker characters. We will be testing a few options and will update this later when we find what works best. But for now, our suggestion is to use Sif(Striker) and Thor(Raider/Striker). Place Sif between ZIM and Dormammu.

Infinity Watch

26102022 marvel strike force best teams infinity watch

Characters left-to-right:

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

Infinity Watch is one of those teams that’s gonna keep showing up on Defense nearly every Crucible season since their Defense Up+Immunity+Safeguard combo on Spawn makes them very resilient. So it’s not a surprise that they can be pretty good on this Stage as well. They are natural at slowing down your enemy and ruining their efficiency score, and with some modifications, they might be able to surprise your opponent and get a win.

There are a couple of variations in terms of Iso classes, for instance:

  • Gamora – Raider
  • Nebula, Adam Warlock, and Phyla-Vell – Strikers
  • Moondragon – Skirmisher or Healer, depending on what we will be lacking.

Alternatively, this setup looks promising as well, since both Gamora and Nebula will revive it’s not too big of a risk if they stay at low health, therefore we might want them as Strikers.

  • Gamora and Nebula – Strikers
  • Adam Warlock and Phyla-Vell – Raiders
  • Moondragon – Skirmisher or Healer


cc def ultimate 32 stage 5 gamma

Characters left-to-right:

  • Brawn (Skirmisher)
  • Abomination (Raider)
  • She-Hulk (Striker)
  • Red Hulk (Striker)
  • Hulk (Raider/Striker)

Gamma has a chance to be very formidable in this Stage as well. Red Hulk is best used as a Striker and there’s potential for him to use his Ultimate while gaining the bonus 200% damage from the Stage Rules, an attack like that will cripple, if not destroy, the opponent. She-Hulk and Hulk are preferred as Strikers for this Stage as well and they can inflict a good amount of damage too.

This team has a lot of Drain, so they could often fall below 50% Max Health and heal back to nearly full health because of the bonus Damage, therefore they will be a good option here as well.

Gamma + Apocalypse

cc def season 4 stage 1 gamma + apocalypse

Characters left-to-right:

  • Brawn (Skirmisher)
  • Apocalypse (Striker)
  • She-Hulk (Striker)
  • Red Hulk (Striker)
  • Hulk (Raider/Striker)

Everything written in the previous part when we talked about Gamma applies now, with one change. The team will no longer rely so much on Drain (because they don’t have Abomination), but Apocalypse will be there instead. With him as a Striker, this defensive combo will gain a lot of Damage and sustain.
They still can heal through Apocalypse and Brawn. Only this time, opponents will have to take care of their Health. If Apocalypse can do Ultimate with under 50% Health – it will be one big boom!


Other teams you could use here would be Unlimited X-Men, Young Avengers, and Hero Asgardians if you don’t have any of the aforementioned teams. But these options have better uses on other Stages


Stage 2 – Raid On Crucible

On Defense and Offense:

  • Room counts as a Raid.

Allowing us to use our Raid teams here at their full potential is a really great thing since most of the Raid-focused teams aren’t seeing much action in different modes, this also opens up a possibility for future Seasons to allow War teams.

We have a number of decent options to place here so let’s take a look at the best ones.



Characters left-to-right:

  • Beta Ray Bill
  • Loki (Teen)
  • Vahl
  • Loki
  • Sylvie

Bifrost in this Stage will be a very tough opponent. Sylvie will get the first turn most of the time and start the fight with her Ultimate, which rewinds Speed Bar on every enemy. Loki’s passive should work on each consecutive attack, which means that Sylvie will also get the first turn and Ult on each of the 3 attacks. Not to mention the Exposed, that Vahl will place with their Special and Basic attacks(including Counters and Assists), and because of Teen Loki’s Passive Bifrost members will always counter when they have Regeneration, and most of the time they do.

Bifrost by far is the best choice for this Stage. They have everything they need to make them a serious threat – a lot of sustain plus Revives, a lot of Damage, Speed Bar manipulations etc. This defensive setup has a chance to be one of the toughest this season and getting through it would require some big Meta teams.

That said, they are still a relatively new team, and not everybody will have them built up yet, so we need other alternatives.

Bifrost + Emma/Cable

cc def season 4 stage 2 bifrost + emma or cable

Characters left-to-right:

  • Emma Frost / Cable
  • Loki (Teen)
  • Vahl
  • Loki
  • Sylvie

Emma or Cable are essential additions to a Bifrost team, which has proven to be an amazing team for Stage 2 (either offensively or defensively). They will give them a much-needed Speed ​​advantage that Bifrost will exploit if some extremely fast teams attack them. Or in mirror match fights. Sylvie will play before the opponent’s Sylvie or Magneto (if opponents don’t have Speed ​​boosters).


marvel church blitz team invaders

Characters left-to-right:

  • Nick Fury
  • Captain America (WWII)
  • Bucky Barnes
  • Union Jack
  • Iron Fist (WWII)

Invaders are another one of those teams that don’t see much action outside of Raids, but when all the Raids buffs are active they can be pretty resilient. They will gain 60% Boost to their Damage, Max Health, and Armor, and 50% to Crit Chance. Fury’s minions also have the Invader tag, so they will receive the same benefits. On top of that, Invaders will gain a bevy of control abilities, a revive, and will get an Assist on each attack.


28012023 marvel strike force teams rebirth

Characters left-to-right:

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

The path of least resistance would be to place Rebirth here since most players will have them built up after the last season. With all Raid bonuses active Rebirth will be even harder to get through. They will gain more Damage, more Positive effects including Safeguard early on, etc. Hence they should considerably slow down your opponent.

That said, it’s an old setup and most of the previous counters should still be able to beat them, so it would be preferable to switch them out at some point.


Other teams that we could use here and still gain the Stage benefits are Bionic Avengers, Web Warriors, and even Astonishing X-Men or Symbiotes. That said, use them here only if you don’t have any of the other options we mentioned. And don’t invest any additional resources into these teams.


Stage 3 – Cosmic Shielding

On Defense and Offense, Cosmic Hero characters:

  • On Turn, Gain Deflect.
  • When attacked, Apply Defense down to the attacker.


blitz team knowhere

Characters left-to-right:

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

The combination of the Cosmic Hero tag and the Deflect on Turn makes this Stage ideal for someone like Knowhere. Every member of Knowhere has some special benefits tied to them having Deflect, like increased Armor and Focus or lowering the Counterattack Chance for Enemies. So this room will suit them perfectly.

Without the War Buffs active Knowhere won’t be unbeatable, but they still will be challenging for anyone who doesn’t know how to approach them, and most importantly, you have no use for them on Offense. Also, considering that they are required for the next Legendary event it’s likely that you have them upgraded already or will do that shortly.

Knowhere + Apocalypse

cc def season 4 stage 3 knowhere + apocalypse

Characters left-to-right:

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

Knowhere can be a great defensive team at this Stage, with one exception. Infinity Watch can beat them easily. But if we add the Apocalypse to them, that already sets things a little differently. Then Infinity will be irrelevant against them. And in order to clear this Stage, the opponent will have to use some significantly impactful offensive team which will reduce his choice for other Stages.

Let’s be clear – our general suggestion is that Apocalypse should be one of your attacking options. However, we have to set up all valid defensive combinations, so if someone wants (or thinks they should) to rely a little more on the defensive, this is one of the more engaging combinations.

Infinity Watch

26102022 marvel strike force best teams infinity watch

Characters left-to-right:

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

As stated previously, Infinity Watch is a pretty resilient team even without any of the Stage bonuses, and since they have the appropriate Traits they can fit in in this room very well. The Deflects will allow them to stay alive longer and the Defense down that will be applied to attackers could be exploited well with all the Assist the team will be getting from Nebula. If you have a choice between using Infinity Watch in Stage 1 or Stage 3, we would recommend using them here, as long as you don’t have Knowhere built up.

Hero Asgardians

27102022 marvel strike force teams hero asgardian

Characters left-to-right:

  • Thor
  • Heimdall
  • Mighty Thor
  • Valkyrie
  • Sif

Alternatively, Hero Asgardians will function here. They won’t be hard to beat and Deflects won’t add a lot to them, but it’s a team that you might have ready now, so until you work on your Knowhere, Asgardians can fill in.


Some other alternatives can include teams made up of Eternals, Kestrel, Silver Surfer, Photon and Captain Marvel, etc.

Stage 4 – Wrecking Ball

On Defense and Offense

  • On Turn, if a character has Taunt, Gain Offense Up.
  • On Turn, all allies with Offense Up gain Assist.

Having a team that can reliably apply Offense Up is essential for this Stage. Alternatively, you should use here someone who can Taunt very often, that way he will always gain Offense Up as well as Assist.

Young Avengers

31102022 marvel strike force best blitz teams young avengers

Characters left-to-right:

  • Ms. Marvel
  • Squirrel Girl
  • America Chavez
  • Echo
  • Kate Bishop

Thanks to Kate Bishop’s Passive, Young Avengers will spawn with Offense Up, which means that all allies will gain Assist. Allowing for some massive damage at the start of the fight, and by the time the initial Offense Up runs out, it’s likely that Kate Bishop will get a Charge, which will reapply Offense Up to everyone.

Young Avengers were already a team that mid-game players liked to use on Defense, because of their tenacity, the constant Heals and Assists. That’s why this Stage will be a great place for someone like Young Avengers.


31102022 marvel strike force best blitz teams underworld

Characters left-to-right:

  • Kingpin
  • Nobu
  • Mister Negative
  • Green Goblin
  • Taskmaster

Kingpin on his first turn will apply Offense up for two Turns to five of his allies, which will also apply Assist to them. Taskmaster spawns with Offense up and he already Assists on every Underworld character turn. All of that will not only deal a good amount of damage but also steal Buffs from enemies leaving them weakened.

Add to that the fact that Kingpin’s bodyguards will also get Offense Up because they spawn with Taunt and you have a strong defense that may destroy some enemies before they even get a chance to take a turn.

War Dogs

27102022 marvel strike force best teams war dogs 1 2

Characters left-to-right:

  • Shuri
  • Black Panther
  • Okoye
  • Black Panther (1MM)
  • Nakia

Speaking of destroying your opponents before they even get a turn, War Dogs are very proficient in that, and this Stage allows them to do it even better. With the Speed Up they gain on Spawn from Shuri, Black Panther will promptly take his first turn and apply Offense Up for 2 Turns to everyone.

If you don’t get ahead of War Dogs under normal circumstances you may still survive, but with these Stage rules War Dogs will have a lot more Assists which makes them far more dangerous.


Invaders can get Offense Up either from Nick Fury or Bucky Barnes, but in both instances, it will be after their second turn because A.I. will use their Ultimate abilities first, so Invaders will still be good in this room, but not as good as the aforementioned options.

Secret Avengers would be pretty good here as well, Maria Hill will summon minions with Offense up on her first turn and Sharon Carter has a 50% chance to apply Offense Up to an ally on their turn. Add here 2 Plug-n-Play characters and the Defense is ready.

Quicksilver can get Offense Up for 3 turns from his Special, so he might be a good Plug-n-Play character to fit in any of the above teams.


Stage 5 – Mutant Spiders

On Defense and Offense,

  • Hero Mutant characters count as Astonishing X-Men, Unlimited X-Men, and Uncanny X-Men.
  • Spider-Verse characters count as Tangled Web and Web-Warriors.

Rules for this stage allow you to combine characters with wide traits, such as Spider-Verse or Hero Mutant, and build the best possible team out of them. This invites a good amount of theory-crafting and widens the number of interesting combinations that you will encounter. That said, not all combinations are equal so we will show you the ones we consider to be the best.

Spider-Verse team

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the best Spider-Verse combination would have Tangled Web at its core. So the optimal team would look something like this.

spider verse

Characters left-to-right:

  • Spider-Man 2099
  • Doctor Octopus
  • Spider-Weaver
  • Ghost-Spider

For the fifth member, we have a few options. The simplest one would be to take Spider-Man (Noir), he will provide +15% damage to your team. Scarlet Spider will increase the teams’ Max Health by 30%, on his turn will have a 50% chance to apply Evade to 1 ally and will provide small healing on every ally attack that lands. Spider-Punk will clear Heal Block on every ally Crit and Spider-Man (Miles) will randomly apply Defense Down on his turn.

Listed above are the conventional choices for the last member, but you also could fill that spot with any of the Spider-Verse characters – Mister Negative, Kingpin, Spider-Man (Big Time), Symbiotes, and even Black Cat.

Hero Mutant team

hero mutant

Characters left-to-right:

  • Rogue
  • Sunfire
  • Gambit
  • Jubilee
  • Dazzler

There are a lot of choices when it comes down to Hero Mutants – Uncanny, Astonishing, X-Factor, X-Force. That said, most of those characters are older and their stats are sorely lacking when compared to the latest teams or Unlimited themselves. So the best team combination you can make here will be consisting of primarily Unlimited X-Men and Jubilee.

Jubilee will bring Assist Now to the team, which she will apply on every character turn to a random ally. She will also Fill the Speed Bar by 25% every time an enemy character dies and will increase the Max Health of the team.

Alternatively, you could consider placing Beast instead of Dazzler too, since he can clear Debuffs and apply Positive effects, or swapping Sunfire with Phoenix. But those options would be subpar if you don’t have old mutants built up, and you shouldn’t invest any resources into them now.


Stage 6 – Building Momentum

On Defense and Offense

  • Special abilities cost 2 less to use.
  • Ultimate abilities cost 2 less to use.

This stage is very similar to Stage 5 of Season 3 with the only difference being that both Special and Ultimate abilities cost less. So all the teams that worked in Room 5 last season will be even better in Room 6 this Season.


cc def ultimate 32 stage 6 darkhold apocalypse

Characters left-to-right:

  • Wong
  • Dr. Strange (Heartless)
  • Apocalypse
  • Morgan Le Fay
  • Agatha Harkness

Darkhold or Darkhold variations will be the best choice for this room. Darkhold with Apocalypse is the team that will bring you the most Defensive wins if your opponent isn’t careful. Even though we had a full previous season to get used to this team we shouldn’t underestimate them. With the new Stage Rules, Special abilities will also cost 2 less, which means that Morgan can rewind Speed Bar and Remove Positive Effects more often, Strange (Heartless) will never use his Basic, he will keep alternating between Special and Ultimate Ability, and Agatha will be able to Stun every other turn.

Apocalypse will also be able to Apply Safeguards more often, Ability Block his opponents and flip Negative Effects on himself and his allies.


cc def ultimate 32 stage 5 gamma 1

Characters left-to-right:

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

Gamma this Season is no longer suffering from nerfs that they had in Season 3, so they will be better because of that, and they are another strong option for this Stage, although they fall behind when compared to the Darkhold+Apoc team.

Red Hulk will be able to use his Special Ability on every turn and he will be rewinding a lot of Speed Bar this way, not to mention his Ultimate that he will get to faster. Hulk will have Taunt nearly constantly since his Special will cost 1 Ability Energy. She-Hulk will be able to Rewind Speed Bar every other Turn, and Abomination will use his Special every other Turn as well.


Same as last season, teams like Invaders and Underworld will be able to put up quite a fight with these Stage Rules, you can expect plenty of minions and big Ultimates every other turn. Technically, any team that you place here will benefit from the Stage Rules, so if you don’t have a good option right away, you can substitute them with an older team. They most likely won’t be able to win, but might surprise your opponent in some instances and shave off some efficiency points from them.



Season 4 brings a lot of interesting things to Cosmic Crucible and it promises to be very entertaining. There are a lot more team compositions that we can try and stuff that we can learn about it, some Defensive recommendations might change as the season goes on and if that happens we will update this page.

We hope that our Defensive recommendation will serve you well and that Season 4 of Cosmic Crucible will bring you a lot of fun and enjoyment!

If you have any questions and/or want to keep up with all the latest news drop by our Discord HERE.

Thank You for supporting Marvel Church