Darkhold was the first Horsemen team that was released in early 2022 and marked the beginning of the yearlong hunt for Apocalypse. Darkhold with Morgan Le Fay at the helm quickly became one of the most powerful teams in the game and they are widely used even to this day.
Around the same time, we had the first run of Pestilence Scourge, the new release method for Legendary characters that is still being utilized to this day in a slightly updated form.
(left to right)
- Apocalypse Saga
- Cosmic Crucible
- Alliance War
*When they were released, Darkhold were a powerhouse in Arena that dethroned Infinity Watch and Eternals. Even nowadays you might see some use from them in lower ranks or Arena brackets full of new/midgame players. But that is quickly dwindling due to the release of Secret Defenders who are the new Arena Meta.
Darkhold are also very well-rounded, their kit allows them to have a lot of sustain and a great amount of Control and Damage, which makes this team fairly incredible in all game modes. They can be used for Offense and Defense in Crucible and War, and even can function as a decent Mystic Raid team for Doom raids.
Their main function is to be used in Apocalypse Saga to eventually unlock Apocalypse.
Team Placement & Turn Order
Wong is the Protector on the team and should be in a corner, next to him will commonly be Scarlet Witch, only because she’s the least important member of the team and her dying from splash or chain damage won’t ruin a lot. Agatha should be in the other corner opposite of Wong and Morgan Le Fay should be the only one that’s adjacent to Agatha. That is because on basic attacks Agatha will gain an assist from one adjacent ally and Morgan’s Assist attacks will deal a lot of damage. Strange (Heartless) will end up going in the middle spot.
Most of the time Turn Order will look like this.
- Morgan Le Fay
- Strange (Heartless)
- Agatha Harkness
- Scarlet Witch
- Morgan Le Fay – Striker
- Strange (Heartless) – Raider
- Agatha Heatless – Skirmisher
- Scarlet Witch – Skirmisher
- Wong – Striker
Skirmisher might look like a sensible choice for Morgan Le Fay and it is, especially early on when Morgan still has low Gear or Yellow/Red Stars and specifically when Morgan is used solo. When she’s upgraded a bit more and is used with her Darkhold team, Striker is the better option. She will have enough Focus to apply the Negative Effects from Agatha’s Passive. With Striker, her Iso follow-up attacks will steal 10% from the target, not to mention that it’ll also do a good amount of damage and strip Positive Effects of enemies. Morgan is a great example of a character that can benefit from swapping between Iso Classes depending on your needs. In some edge-case scenarios when punching up against tough opponents, Skirmisher might give a better chance of applying debuffs. If you don’t want to constantly switch between classes you can stick to either one and it will serve you well.
Strange’s Basic and Ultimate attack can hit multiple enemies and his Ultimate can deal a massive amount of damage, with Bonus Damage for each Positive or Negative Effect that is applied to the Primary target. He will benefit a lot from having increased Crit Chance and Crit Damage that the Raider Class provides
Agatha and Scarlet Witch won’t deal a lot of damage with their attacks, they mostly focus on applying debuffs, so Skirmisher on them makes the most sense, the Vulnerable effects they will apply on enemies will serve their team well
Wong as a Protector of the team must stay alive as long as possible, so Fortifier makes sense for him especially since he can also get Barrier from other team members. That said, Striker can be a better option for him since he can hit hard with his basic attacks and will clear 1 Negative Effect from his team on Basic and Iso follow-up attacks.
- Morgan Le Fay – Ultimate, Passive, Special, Basic
- Agatha Harkness – Passive, Ultimate
- Strange (Heartless) – Ultimate, Passive, Special
- Wong – Passive, Basic, Ultimate
- Scarlet Witch – Special
Morgan’s Ultimate Ability will apply Ability Block&Trauma combo on all enemy Controllers. Her Passive will fill Darkhold’s Speed Bar 10% whenever an enemy takes a turn and her Special will clear all Positive Effects from all enemies and will apply Speed Up to Darkhold for 2 turns.
Her Basic attack will deal a lot of damage and Steal +10% Health(instead of 5%)
Morgan Le Fay is also a Horsemen and her Passive and Special abilities can be awakened, which will provide benefits only for Apocalypse and Horsemen allies. Those are definitely good to have if you intend to use Apocalypse with Darkhold, or Morgan herself with the other Horsemen.
Agatha’s Passive will allow all Darkhold attacks to deal +25% Drain damage. And her Ultimate will apply Stun to the highest damage Hero+Mystic+Blaster and Hero+Mystic+Controller enemies.
Strange’s Passive will increase Crit Chance and Damage of the team, his Ultimate will increase the Damage of the attack, and the Bonus Damage that he deals per Positive or Negative Effect on the enemy. And his Special will reduce Speed Bar by 25%(instead of 10%)
Wong’s Basic attack will clear 1 Negative Effect from all Darkhold allies and the same applies to his Iso-8/Assist/Counter attacks. His Passive will increase the Armor for the team and his Ultimate will transfer all negative Effects from self to the target.
Scarlet Witch’s Special will increase her self-healing, which will be helpful when she’s redistributing Health and will apply Defense Up to her allies.
- Wong – Special
- Strange (Heartless) – Basic
- Scarlet Witch – Ultimate, Basic
Wong’s Special will ignore Defense Up on his attack and he already deals Piercing Damage, so those attacks will hit even harder.
Strange’s Basic just increases the damage, but that hits multiple targets and he will be using it fairly often, so it’s a good one to have.
Scarlet Witch’s Ultimate will always apply Defense Down (up from 50% chance) and her Basic will apply Offense Down, Defense Down, and Slow for 2 turns if her abilities are not at full energy.
Team Red Stars
Morgan Le Fay would benefit a lot from having high Red Stars, but she takes Dark Promotion Credits so spending them on her right now may not be the best option. Not when you can upgrade Black Cat, Apocalypse, and some others first. Nowadays you can get 4 RS on Morgan from her Scourge event and you could upgrade her to 5 Red Stars and leave it there.
Strange (Heartless) is the Damage Dealer with an Ultimate attack that can devastate, so getting 6 or 7 Red Stars on him could be good. The same applies to Wong, being a Protector he would greatly benefit from having a high Health pool. That said, he’s perfectly functional at 5 Red Star if you don’t have a lot of Gold Promotion Credits.
Agatha at 5 Red Star is also enough, her main function is to apply debuffs, so she doesn’t need a lot of Red Stars.
Scarlet Witch can be completely ignored. If you got some Red Stars from opening Orbs then great. Otherwise, there’s no need to spend Promotion Credits on her.
- Morgan Le Fay – Pestilence Scourge (requires Dark Hunter and/or Web Warrior characters to unlock)
- Scarlet Witch – Arena Store
- Agatha Harkness – Cosmic Crucible Store
- Wong – Heroes Hard Campaign 1-3
- Strange (Heartless) – Villains Hard Campaign 5-9/Arena Store
On Spawn Buffs
On the Team:
- Defense Up and Safeguard for 2 turns
- Barrier for 20% of Morgan’s Max Health.
- Agatha Harkness – 2 Deathproof
Darkhold’s main focus is to unleash a barrage of Negative Effects on all enemies and control the fight that way. Thanks to Morgan Le Fay’s Ultimate attack they can quickly immobilize enemy controllers by applying Ability Block and Trauma to them, while also flipping Immunity on the primary target and 2 random Positive Effects on all other targets. This will leave them open to the debuffs that Agatha will apply. These attacks might not deal a lot of damage at once, but they will stack up and help you outlast your opponents. And if that’s not enough, on his third turn Strange (Heartless) will be able to use his Ultimate, which deals bonus damage per every Effect on the target, Negative and Positive.
In terms of survivability, Darkhold are also in a pretty good position. They start out with Safeguard and Defense Up for 2 turns. On top of that, they also get Barrier on Spawn and even more early on, after Agatha’s first turn. Wong is an amazing Protector, he will Taunt for 2 Turns and apply Safeguard to himself, which makes getting through him very challenging.
Their only weakness is the absence of a designated Healer and someone who could reliably remove a bunch of Negative Effects at once.
They don’t have anyone who can apply Immunity so they are susceptible to debuffs. Morgan Le Fay can remove Negative Effects, but only from herself. Wong can clear 1 Negative Effect from all Darkhold allies when using his Basic, but he’s slow hence that won’t trigger often. Having Striker Iso on him can help with this.
In terms of Healing, Agatha can provide a good boost to health, but she usually does that on her first turn when everyone’s at Max Health already. Morgan can heal only herself back to full health. The same goes for Scarlet Witch, but she will then redistribute all health of the team evenly. And Strange can also heal himself a small amount when he has Charged. Other than that, they must rely on the Drain they get from Agatha’s Passive.
Morgan Le Fay
+20% Max Health/+100% Resistance to Darkhold
Morgan is the linchpin of the team, her Controlling abilities and her Damage are exceptional. She is pretty fast and will fill the team’s Speed Bar by +10% on every enemy turn. With a full Darkhold team, she will also lower the Assist Chance for all enemies to the point of preventing assists completely.
Her Ultimate attack will deal Piercing Damage to the Primary target, will clear Immunity, and apply Disrupted and Slow. After that, it will spread all debuffs from the Primary to Adjacent targets.
Special Attack will reduce the Speed Bar for everyone (ally or foe) by 100%. It will then remove 2 Positive Effects from all enemies, clear all Negative Effects from self, heal 100% Health, and deal 10% of her Max Health as Damage to all enemies. This will also apply Speed Up and Immunity to her Darkhold allies, so Darkhold will still be the first ones to take a turn even after that Speed Bar reduction
+50% Focus/+25% Drain to Darkhold
Agatha is focusing on Controlling the enemies and supporting her team. Her Ultimate attack will apply Heal Block+Offense Down to all enemies and at the same time it will heal the team for +35% of Agatha’s Max Health, and Barrier them for 30% Max Health. Furthermore, this attack will Stun Hero/Mystic/Blaster and Hero/Mystic/Controller with the highest damage. That last part was tailored to counter Eternals. Her Special can apply Slow and Stun.
While her Ultimate has a long cooldown, she gets 2 Ability Energy for every Mystic enemy that gets hit by this attack. Alas, she can only get a max of 6 Ability Energy from it, so you won’t be able to use her Ultimate again quickly.
Agatha is also allergic to Taunt, whenever she has a Taunt at the end of her turn she’ll slip into Stealth.
Her Passive is the most interesting thing about her kit. Whenever an ally drops below 30% Max Health she will:
- Clear Disrupted on that ally
- Flip 2 Negative Effects into Positive
- Apply Defense Up and Stealth
- Barrier them for 30% of Agatha’s Max Health
She has a similar mechanic but with an opposite effect once any enemy falls below 30% Max Health, when that happens she will:
- Attack that target for +100% Piercing Damage
- Flip 3 Positive Effects into Negative on that target
- Apply Disrupted to that target
- Apply Deflect to all Darkhold allies.
This Passive increases the overall sustain for the team while also making it easier to finish off enemies.
+50% Crit Chance/+50% Crit Damage for Darkhold
Strange is mainly a Damage Dealer, but he also has some tricks up his sleeve that make him more ruthless. His Basic attack can flip 2 Positive Effects into Negative on the primary and adjacent targets, his Special can steal those Positive Effects instead and reduce Speed Bar by +25%, but it will only affect one target. When he’s Charged, Special will steal all Positive Effects(excluding Taunt)
His Ultimate Attack can deal a devastating amount of damage, mostly because it’s Unavoidable, and gets +50% Bonus Damage per Positive or Negative Effect on the target. One downside to this attack is that he gets to it only on his 3rd turn.
On any enemy death, he will gain Offense Up. If he already has Offense Up he will gain Speed Up instead.
Strange also has a Charged mechanic. The only way for him to get Charges is through his Ultimate, where he gets 3 Charged. Whenever a Darkhold ally takes a turn Strange will Barrier them for 15% of his Max Health. When Charged, Barrier will apply to all Darkhold allies instead.
He will also heal himself on turn by +20% Health when Charged, and then he’ll lose 1 Charged.
Strange’s Charged mechanic is meant to improve the survivability of the team for any battles that are taking a long time to finish.
+30% Armor for Darkhold
Wong is an amazing Protector, on his first turn he will clear all Negative Effects from himself by transferring them to an enemy, then he will copy 3 Positive Effects from the enemy, deal some damage, gain Taunt for 2 turns, and Barrier himself for 30% of his Max health. If Doctor Strange or Strange (Heartless) is an ally Wong will also gain Safeguard. That’s only his Ultimate ability.
The effects of his Basic attack are very important for the team, because it will remove 1 Negative Effect from all Darkhold allies whenever Wong uses it. This also applies to Iso/Assists/Counter attacks. This is the only means to reliably remove Negative Effects on the whole team at once, which is why Striker Iso is preferred for him.
His Passive will apply Deflect on turn to any Darkhold ally that also has Barrier. And if any Darkhold ally is attacked, Wong will hit the attacker for 150% Piercing Damage (if Wong is not Ability Blocked)
Special ability can deal a good amount of Piercing Damage since it will ignore Defense Up.
Scarlet Witch has two practical uses on her team. The first one will be her Ultimate ability, which is Unavoidable and can prolong the duration of all Negative Effects by +1. This synergizes well with the team since Scarlet will take her turn after Morgan and Agatha already applied a ton of debuffs.
Her second contribution to the team is her Special ability. Scarlet will heal herself to full health first, then she will redistribute all Health of the team evenly between them. This will also apply Defense Up and Deflect to the team.
Her Basic attack can apply some decent Negative Effects (Defense Down, Offense Down, Slow) when her abilities aren’t fully charged and her Passive has a 50% chance to spread a Negative Effect from one enemy to the adjacent target. Other than that, her kit only has more benefits for Quicksilver.
She is a good addition to the team but she is also undeniably the weakest link. Whenever making variations of this team she is the first one to be replaced.
Combat Tips & Tricks
Nowadays Darkhold members don’t have a home, a singular game mode where they shine the brightest. For a long time that was in Arena but Secret Defenders came and dethroned everyone.
That said, it’s not all doom and gloom, Darkhold can be effectively used in all other game modes, like Cosmic Crucible, Alliance War, and even in Raids, although for Incursion Raids you really need Bifrost.
In Alliance War, you may often encounter them on Defense either the full team or variations that include Apocalypse, Dormammu, and others. If it’s a full Darkhold you can get away with using Underworld on them. They can even punch up, thanks to their War Bonuses. But once they have Apocalypse or Dormammu they can get pretty tricky to kill with one attack. So usually that can warrant the use of a Meta War Offense team like Gamma, Secret Defenders, or Knowhere. Or using a mirror attack, but those can be tricky, especially if luck is not on your side and you don’t get the first turn.
In general, the focus should mostly be on stopping Morgan Le Fay with a Stun or Ability Block and preventing Wong from Taunting using the same means. Once that’s done you can focus on taking down Apocalypse/Dormammu, etc.
If you want to use them on offense more, they can be a good counter to Young Avengers, Hero Asgardians(and the Vahl+Beta Ray variation of them), and any of the older teams.
In Cosmic Crucible they are very popular for Stage 6 (Season 4). You can often see them there with Apocalypse or Quicksilver replacing Scarlet Witch. And they are very formidable, you can counter them fairly easily now with Secret Defenders, but prior to that you had to rely on Apocalypse with Tangled Web, or Doctor Doom and Nova combinations.
More detailed information about the counters can be found on our War Counters page.
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