Cosmic Crucible – the best Defensive Setup

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Choosing a defensive team for Cosmic Crucible is not an easy task. We get Victory Points depending on the speed of clearing enemies in Offense 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.

In my opinion, the only 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.

Emphasizing Defense in front of Offense is ultimately wrong in my opinion, so the teams I will propose for Defense will be chosen according to my general CC strategy. They will not be the best teams from your roster, but the best teams for Cosmic Crucible Defense.

I’ll give you my Defense Teams suggestions for every Stage, but before that, I will show you what I am using in the ongoing Season.

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

Let’s begin!

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My Setup for Season 1

I will always tell you what my defensive Setup in the game is, before suggesting viable options for each Stage. Also, I will tell you about my offensive options as well, so you can understand what my strategy is.

This is what my Crucible Defense looks like now on my f2p account:

  • Stage 1 – Young Avengers (700k)
  • Stage 2 – X-Factor + Silver Surfer (750k)
  • Stage 3 – Web Warriors (750k)
  • Stage 4 – Bionic Avengers (650k)
  • Stage 5 – GAMMA (500k)
  • Stage 6 – Black Bolt, Yo-Yo, Jubilee, Bishop, Phoenix (800k)

Teams that will carry out the Offense are:

  • Darkhold (850k)
  • Eternals & New Warriors (700k)
  • Weapon X (650k)
  • Black Order (850k)
  • Doctor Doom team (800k)
  • Infinity Watch (900k)
  • Unlimited X-Men + Emma (650k)
  • Wakanda (500k)

Now let us talk about your viable options for each room separately.

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Stage 1 & 2

Effects:

  • Hero Mutants gain +50% Damage, +15% Damage Reduction, +100% Focus, and +500% Resistance.
  • On Turn, Hero Mutants clear Revive Once and Immunity from all enemies.
  • Defending Characters have +20% Health and +10% Damage.

Defending teams in Room 1 and Room 2 get increased HP and damage. My advice is to set up your teams in Rooms 3-6 before deciding on Rooms 1-2. If you do that your options for the first 2 Rooms will be considerably higher.

Important – all teams suggested for Rooms 3-6 that will remain available after your final decision for those Rooms should be prioritized in Room 1 & Room 2

The remaining options are:

Eternals + 3

26102022 marvel strike force best teams eternals 3
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Characters in the image (left to right):

  • Emma Frost/
  • Ikaris
  • Loki/
  • Sersi
  • Cable/
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Black Order

26102022 marvel strike force best teams black order
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Characters in the image (left to right):

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

Infinity Watch

26102022 marvel strike force best teams infinity watch
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Characters in the image (left to right):

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

In Stage 1&2, players usually put their best remaining defensive setups. You can literally pick any team from your roster and put it here.

In Season 1, Hero Mutants have a big advantage over other characters, so you can use the remaining Hero mutants teams in those 2 rooms. There are 4 hero Mutant teams:

  • Unlimited X-Men
  • X-Factor +1
  • Uncanny X-Men
  • X-Force

If you haven’t used some of those teams in Stages 3-6, you can freely use them here and you will have an insanely strong defense due to the global Bonus.

I pinpointed 3 more available teams for Stages 1 and 2.

Eternals + 3 is still meta in Marvel Strike Force. I prefer using them in offense, but some people may want them in Defense, instead.

Black Order is not a very high threat anymore, but the number of their counters is still relatively small. As a team that can easily counter Wakanda in CC, I prefer leaving them for offensive purposes.

Infinity Watch can be countered by a duplicate team and Darkhold. As such, they will be a tough opponent for everyone, but leaving them in Defense lowers the number of your Offensive teams that will bring you certain wins without casualties. Putting them in Defense is a viable option though.

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Stage 3

Stage effect:

  • On Spawn, Spider-Verse characters gain Safeguard for 2 turns + 2 Deflect.

Global effects:

  • Hero Mutants gain +50% Damage, +15% Damage Reduction, +100% Focus, and +500% Resistance.
  • On Turn, Hero Mutants clear Revive Once and Immunity from all enemies.
  • Defending Characters have +20% Health and +10% Damage.

Stage 3 in Season 1 emphasizes Spider-Verse characters. Spider-Verse offers limited options, so if you don’t have acceptable picks, you can also exploit the Global Mutant bonus.

Take a look at my suggestions for Room 3.

Tangled Web + Sinister 6/Symbiotes

26102022 marvel strike force best teams tangled web sinister 6 symbiotes
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Characters in the image (left to right):

  • Spider-Weaver
  • Spider-Man (2099)
  • Spider-Man [Noir]
  • Electro/Anti-Venom
  • Doctor Octopus/Spider-Man Symbiote
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Web-Warriors

26102022 marvel strike force best teams web warriors
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Characters in the image (left to right):

  • Spider-Man
  • Spider-Man [Miles]
  • Ghost Spider
  • Scarlet Spider
  • Spider-Punk

Symbiotes

26102022 marvel strike force best teams symbiotes
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Characters in the image (left to right):

  • Spider-Man Symbiote
  • Scream
  • Anti-Venom
  • Carnage
  • Venom
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Sinister Six

26102022 marvel strike force best teams sinister six
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Characters in the image (left to right):

  • Rhino
  • Electro
  • Doctor Octopus
  • Swarm
  • Shocker

X-Factor + 1

26102022 marvel strike force best teams x factor
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Characters in the image (left to right):

  • Multiple Man
  • Polaris
  • Kestrel/Zemo/Silver Surfer/Psylocke
  • Shatterstar
  • Longshot
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Overview

The new Tangled Web team is ideal for this Stage. Safeguard will make sure that enemies cannot flip their Stealth, and the full power of Tangled Web will be unleashed on enemies. It will be immensely hard to beat them, if not impossible for most of the current options.

There are 3 other Spider-Verse setups (Web Warriors, Symbiotes, Sinister Six) that can fit in this room, but honestly, none of them can protect even near Tangled Web.

I’ve also suggested the X-Factor+1. All members of X-Factor are Hero Mutants and they will be significantly stronger due to global bonuses. Considering effects in other stages, X-Factor can be freely set in this Stage without fear that you will lose an option for others.

The global Bonus will increase their damage output by 50% and their sustain by almost 40%. In short, they will be a really hard opponent who will most certainly make serious harm to the attacker.

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Stage 4

Stage Effect:

  • On End of Turn, Global Heroes gain Offense Up.

Global Effects:

  • Hero Mutants gain +50% Damage, +15% Damage Reduction, +100% Focus, and +500% Resistance.
  • On Turn, Hero Mutants clear Revive Once and Immunity from all enemies.
  • Defending Characters have +20% Health and +10% Damage.

Global Characters in Stage 4 will have Offense Up for the duration of the battle. Combined with Global effects this narrows our Defensive options to only a few viable teams.

Below are the teams that can fit in the new Room 4.

Unlimited X-Men + Emma

26102022 marvel strike force best teams unlimited xmen emma
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Characters in the image (left to right):

  • Rogue
  • Sunfire/Emma Frost
  • Gambit
  • Dazzler
  • Fantomex/Emma Frost
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Bionic Avengers

26102022 marvel strike force best teams bionic avengers
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Characters in the image (left to right):

  • Hulkbuster
  • Viv Vision
  • Iron Man
  • Vision
  • Deathlock

Uncanny X-Men

26102022 marvel strike force best teams uncanny xmen
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Characters in the image (left to right):

  • Storm
  • Cyclops
  • Magik
  • Phoenix
  • Colossus

Wakanda

26102022 marvel strike force best teams wakanda
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Characters in the image (left to right):

  • M’Baku
  • Killmonger
  • Black Panther
  • Okoye
  • Shuri
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X-Force

26102022 marvel strike force best teams xforce
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Characters in the image (left to right):

  • Cabal
  • Deadpool
  • Domino
  • Negasonic
  • X-23

Overview

There are several options for Stage 4 that grants that all Global characters will be under the effect of Offense Up at the end of the turn.

Obviously, the most logical options are 2 specialized Cosmic Crucible teams – Unlimited X-Men or Wakanda. Both teams are fully filled with Global characters and perfectly suited for this stage. Most importantly Unlimited X-Men are all Hero Mutants, so they will not have a real counter except a duplicate team. As you know my strategy is always to emphasize offense over defense.

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Besides them, you can use two Hero Mutants teams which will benefit from global effects along with the Stage effect. Those 2 teams are Uncanny X-Men and X-Force. Keep in mind that Cable from X-Force and Magik from Uncanny X-Men is not Global.

Nonetheless, those 2 teams will considerably more powerful in Stage 4 and you can be almost certain that they will cause serious injuries to the attacker. This especially goes for the Uncanny X-Men who will with Global bonuses pose a serious threat to literally everyone.

If you don’t want to use Hero Mutants or specialized CC teams for Stage 4 you have 1 more viable option – Bionic Avengers. Bionic Avengers is one of the strongest setups definitely – they are all Global and they have a low number of viable counters.

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Stage 5

Effects:

  • On Turn, Bio Characters apply Offense Down to a random enemy without Offense Down.

Global Effects:

  • Hero Mutants gain +50% Damage, +15% Damage Reduction, +100% Focus, and +500% Resistance.
  • On Turn, Hero Mutants clear Revive Once and Immunity from all enemies.
  • Defending Characters have +20% Health and +10% Damage.

GAMMA Team + 1

26102022 marvel strike force best teams gamma team 1
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Characters in the image (left to right):

  • She-Hulk
  • Abomination
  • Red Hulk
  • Brawn
  • Hulk
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Unlimited X-Men + Emma

26102022 marvel strike force best teams unlimited xmen emma
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Characters in the image (left to right):

  • Rogue
  • Sunfire/Emma Frost
  • Gambit
  • Dazzler
  • Fantomex/Emma Frost

Young Avenger

26102022 marvel strike force best teams young avenger
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Characters in the image (left to right):

  • America Chavez
  • Squirrel Girl
  • Ms. Marvel
  • Echo
  • Kate Bishop
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A-Force+1

26102022 marvel strike force best teams aforce 1
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Characters in the image (left to right):

  • Spider-Woman
  • Nico Minoru
  • Captain Marvel
  • Jessica Jones
  • Silver Surfer/Doctor Doom/Dormammu

Fantastic Four + She-Hulk

26102022 marvel strike force best teams fantastic four shehulk
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Characters in the image (left to right):

  • She-Hulk
  • The Thing
  • Human Torch
  • Mister Fantastic
  • Invisible Woman
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Symbiotes

26102022 marvel strike force best teams symbiotes
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Characters in the image (left to right):

  • Anti-Venom
  • Spider-man [Symbiote]
  • Carnage
  • Venom
  • Scream

Web Warriors

26102022 marvel strike force best teams web warriors
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Characters in the image (left to right):

  • Spider-Man
  • Spider-Man [Miles]
  • Ghost Spider
  • Scarlet Spider
  • Spider-Punk
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X-Factor + 1

26102022 marvel strike force best teams x factor
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Characters in the image (left to right):

  • Multiple Man
  • Polaris
  • Kestrel/She-Hulk/Rhino/Psylocke
  • Shatterstar
  • Longshot

Overview

Stage 5 is no longer a crucial Stage as in Pre-Season. Bio characters have a slight advantage in this stage which narrows our possible picks.

The strongest available team (alongside Hero Mutants that can fit in any Stage in Season 1) is definitely GAMMA. They are the new Horseman team and they are all Bio. Red Hulk is not available yet but the other 4 characters with a help of 5th member will be an unsolvable enigma for most. If When Red hulk is added to the equation this team will have no counters in Cosmic Crucible except the duplicate team and Uxman.

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Web Warriors and Symbiotes are fully Bio and they can be used here. Their effectiveness in Stage 5 will be almost identical to Stage 3. As the matter of fact, you can use both teams as defensive options – one in Stage 3 and the other in Stage 5.

Young Avengers, A-Force, and Fantastic Four are also viable options for Defense in Stage 5. Fantastic Four + She-Hulk is not a very difficult team to counter but they are all Bio and in this Stage, enemies will cause half damage against them. Young Avengers and A-Force have a couple of members that are Bio and since both teams can offer an acceptable defense, they were logical picks.

Obviously, Hero Mutants will be extremely dangerous here regardless of the fact that they don’t have Bio members. Unlimited X-Men will be fully overpowered here as in any other stage. The X-Factor with 5th member who can be Bi,o fits here were well also and with general Bonus, they will most certainly bring you some kills against attackers.

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Stage 6

Effects:

  • Legendary Characters gain +50% Damage
  • On Spawn, Legendary Characters gain 3 turns of Defense Up and Safeguard
  • On Turn, Legendary Characters remove all negative effects from themselves and gain Speed Up.

Global Effects:

  • Hero Mutants gain +50% Damage, +15% Damage Reduction, +100% Focus, and +500% Resistance.
  • On Turn, Hero Mutants clear Revive Once and Immunity from all enemies.
  • Defending Characters have +20% Health and +10% Damage.

Legendary Custom Team

26102022 marvel strike force best teams legendary custom team
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Characters in the image (left to right):

  • Yo-Yo
  • Black Bolt
  • Phoenix
  • Jubilee
  • Bishop
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Astonishing X-Men

26102022 marvel strike force best teams astonishing xmen
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Characters in the image (left to right):

  • Bishop
  • Kitty Pryde
  • Beast
  • Iceman
  • Jubilee

Uncanny X-Men

26102022 marvel strike force best teams uncanny xmen
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Characters in the image (left to right):

  • Storm
  • Cyclops
  • Magik
  • Phoenix
  • Colossus
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Unlimited X-Men + Emma

26102022 marvel strike force best teams unlimited xmen emma
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Characters in the image (left to right):

  • Rogue
  • Sunfire/Emma Frost
  • Gambit
  • Dazzler
  • Fantomex/Emma Frost

Darkhold

26102022 marvel strike force best teams darkhold
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Characters in the image (left to right):

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

Overview

Stage 6 emphasizes Legendary characters. Even though it is possible to assemble a viable synergy made only from Legendary characters who will not be used in the offense, the final setup will never be as challenging as original teams whose leader is boosted.

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There is one custom setup that has 3 Legendary characters which can be insanely hard to beat. Yo-Yo, Black Bolt, Jubilee, Phoenix, and Bishop together with general and Stage effects will prove to be almost unbeatable to everyone but current META.

I am not even sure, what is the real up limit of this team because they will be well protected by Yo-Yo and Bishop together (Bishop is Blaster, therefore doesn’t negate Yo-Yo passive), while Black Bolt, Phoenix, and Jubilee with a Stage bonus will cause insane damage that is not even apprehensible in just theory craft.

It is enough to say that Phoneix and Jubilee will be in synergy and that their damage will be literally doubled. Do not forget, that Black Bolt will almost certainly use his ultimate against enemies with Defense Down with 50% increased base damage (when he is with Yo-Yo he can cast the ultimate in the second turn right after summon od Dark Phoenix; also Black Bolt will follow up every Yo-Yo attack – all of this is the reason why Yo-Yo is a better option than Invisible Woman for example). In terms of stats, this team beats anything our rosters have to offer.

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Due to stage mechanics, I think that putting original Hero Mutants teams is the only logical thing to do if you don’t want to make a custom team. Uncanny X-Men, Axmen, and Uxman all have iconic Legendary characters who will fully benefit from both Global and Stage bonuses. It would not be a mistake to use any of those teams in Stage 6.

In the end, I left the current MSF Meta – Darkhold. MLF with Stage 6 Bonuses will be the bringer of death. Her assistance with increased damage will make casualties to even the strongest counters and duplicate teams. Since your goal is to kill some of the attackers, Darkhold will definitely fulfill what you expect.

There will be more counters than usual because of the Global Bonus, but still, there is no better defensive option than them with boosted MLF. I will not repeat myself – I am against using META in Defense.

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Conclusion

With every Season we will get new effects. This page will be always up to date!

Stay assured that I’ll update this post as soon as something changes. If you have ideas or suggestions, feel free to contact us and we will share everything worth sharing.

I hope my experience helped you to overcome your Cosmic Crucible dilemmas. Until next time, enjoy the marvel Strike Force, and may the RNGod be with you!