AW Defense – Team Counters

The most wanted information in Marvel Strike Force is what are counters for a specific team. With the official War Bot, you can get partial answers to your questions. The problem with this bot is that it draws information from the MSF base and gives you results depending on the winning percentage of teams that were used by players in the game. Those results are accurate, but they can be misleading.

When you choose a team that should challenge the existing defense you don’t want to know which team has the highest win percentage – instead, you want to know what team from your roster can beat the defense most efficiently. Most importantly, you want to know what alternate options in addition to well-known counters are.

I will try to help you. This particular list is specialized for Alliance War Defense team counters. In the list, I will not mention all possible counters, but I will try to focus on counters whose use is justified against certain Defense teams. I will keep track of current War META Defense teams and add counters immediately when some new Defense team shows.


The names of the teams for which I will suggest counters will be highlighted in Info Boxes. Below you will see the list of viable counters. At the Top of the page, you have a list of Teams and with a simple click on the team’s name, you will be instantly transferred to their list of counters with a brief explanation for each counter. Next to each counter team, you will see a symbol that represents possible Punch Ups.

Here is the list of symbols:

  • 10% Punch Down –
  • Even match up –
  • 5% Punch Up –
  • 10% Punch Up –
  • 20%+ Punch Up – ▲▲

Hero Asgardian

  • Eternals + 3 ▲▲
  • Darkhold ▲▲
  • Unlimited X-Man

Hero Asgardians are the latest AW Defense team. As such, they can be an unsolvable enigma for most teams but obviously, some team combinations deal with them easily.

Eternal synergy is the best counter for them. Ikaris ultimate literally made them harmless to the point where you can use only Sersi and Ikaris alone to deal with them. Hero Asgardians don’t have an answer to Eternals and the possible punch-up is insane – Ikaris and Sersi 350k strong can practically eliminate 1 million strong Hero Asgardians all by themself.

Aside from Eternals, existing Horseman teams can also easily beat HA. Unlimited X-Men in particular, as long as you incapacitate Thor with Rogue.

Astonishing X-Man

  • Black Order ▲▲
  • Unlimited X-Men ▲▲
  • Shadowland
  • Uncanny X-Men+Psylocke
  • Bionic Avengers ▲▲

Astonishing X-Men can be an exceedingly difficult opponent if you let them kill any of your team members. It is best to avoid teams with the summons when fighting them.

Black Order is an obvious answer for them – Thanos plays first allowing you to quickly transfer your targeting from Bishop to Beast while his special fully counters Beast’s ultimate. Regardless of RNG, you can allow yourself a huge punch-up with BO against Axemen.

I am fully against using Unlimited X-Men against Axmen neither in War nor CC, but they are the team that can grant you the greatest punch-up. For example, if your Uxmen are 400k strong you can freely engage 1 million strong Axmen. Having that in mind, it was important to pinpoint them as counters.

In AW, Shadowland is the team that fully counters Axmen. They can fully control the battle by placing Abi Block on Beast and quickly removing Jubilee with Elektra’s ultimate.

Original Uncanny X-Men (with Psylocke) is another team that can easily beat Axmen. However, you can’t expect the same punch-up as with BO, but a certain win is a certain win.

Bionic Avengers is a natural counter for Axmen. They cannot be killed easily with Axmen’s initial burst, and they can fully take out Jubilee and Beast from the battle. With Bionics against Axmen, punch-ups from 300k to even 500k are possible, as long as your Hulkbuster is decent.

Bionic Avengers

  • Infinity Watch
  • Unlimited X-Man ▲▲
  • Weapon X ▲▲
  • X-Factor + Baron Zemo
  • Bionic Avengers

Even though Bionic Avengers are considerably less powerful outside of Raids, their synergy and their kit can be extremely dangerous in both War and CC. Knowing how to deal with them without using META teams will definitely be important in the days to come.

Infinity Watch is an obvious solution for Bionic Avengers. Infinity Watch starts with Immunity meaning that they will be fully safe from any Ability Block Bionic Avengers has to offer.

Unlimited X-Men is another logical solution. Being able to fully cripple Viv Vision at the start of combat, makes Bionic Avengers harmless against Rogue and the company.

Weapon X will beat Bionic Avengers with their own weapon – Omega Red will use Ability Block against main Bionic threats making them helpless (especially in AW). Bionic Avengers is a new synergy and there are definitely more teams that can deal with them and save you the teams I already proposed for other enemies.

X-Factor with Baron Zemo should be able to easily counter Bionic Avengers. Zemo will initiate a fight by clearing Defense Up from all enemies and by picking who should be Ability Blocked (Viv Vision, obviously). After that, you should eliminate Deathlok first and Viv Vision second and you are good to go. The Punch Up depends on the strength of the enemy Hulkbuster. Maximized Hullkbuster grants an insane amount of HP to BA, and you cannot eliminate main targets fast enough so you can take control of the battle. If Hulkbaster is low you can afford significant Punch Up, if not do not risk.

A mirror match-up is a viable option against BA. AI will never be fully effective meaning that you will be the one who controls the battle. That fact allows you some punch-ups, but don’t be greedy and do not risk unreal matchups. As long as you prevent enemy Viv Vision from flipping debuffs while your Viv can do that, you have nothing to fear. However, if the enemy is significantly stronger than you, even your wit and strategy understanding will not save you.

Black Order

  • Secret Avengers + Kestrel
  • Uncanny X-Men
  • Symbiotes with Skirmisher + Silver Surfer
  • Black Order
  • X-Factor + Namor

Black Order is no longer META and there are numerous options to deal with them. The trick is to find a team that is the least important and can be used for this task.

Secret Avengers + Kestrel is one of those teams. I personally avoid combining Kestrel with SA for CC and AW offense, but without a doubt, they can easily deal with BO with a significant Punch Up.

The other team that can be freely used for BO is Uncanny X-Men. Introduction Magik happened with only one purpose – so X-Men can counter BO. Having that in mind, it would be a mistake to forget to mention the team who is assembled to be the counter for BO.

Most of the players are fully familiar with how to counter BO with a mirror match-up. Most importantly it is commonly known that you can afford a big punch-up as long as your Thanos uses his special after enemy Thanos do the same. If your Thanos can successfully flip positive effects from the enemy team, everything else is easy.

In even match-up, X-Factor with Namor can deal with Black Order without many difficulties. In AW, Namor’s ultimate always crits and removes positive effects from enemies while reducing their speed by 50% which will give you an opportunity to set up the perfect opening. Since Thanos will use his special before Namor’s turn, you will have no fear of placing debuffs on BO after Namor executes the ultimate. Shatterstar’s special, Longshot’s special, and Polaris’s ultimate should leave BO in the red zone with Defense Down, Bleed, and Disrupt without means of removing those debuffs. After that everything should be easy. As I said you cannot expect any punch-up with this setup because if Thanos kills any of your characters at the start or you cant place debuffs on enemies you will fail.

The third team that I will propose is Symbiotes with Silver Surfer. As long as your Symbiotes are equipped with Skirmisher class, so they can deal with Obsidian’s Taunt, Silver Surfer will make Thanos totally harmless. Using 4 Symbiotes with Silver Surfer against maximized BO in AW definitely seems like an excellent bargain.

Brotherhood + Doctor Doom

  • Secret Avengers + Kestrel
  • Ravagers + Emma Frost
  • Uncanny X-Men

DD combined with Brotherhood is an often defensive setup in AW and CC. Using DD in defense was never my thing but there are people who are doing that. When dealing with DD, the most important thing is to place Ability Block on him and kill him before he can use his ultimate (Ability Block prevents him from triggering his passive that activates his ultimate instantly).

When DD is with Brotherhood, Magneto’s initial Blind and Blob’s Taunt prevents most teams from controlling Doctor Doom with Ability Block, so the secret is to cleanse that Blind before you are about to place Ability Block and to remove taunt from Blob.

Secret Avengers and Kestrel are easy picks. As long as you initiate a fight with Sam Wilson’s special, Maria Hill will cleanse Blind in the first turn allowing Sharon to place Ability Block on Doctor Doom. In the meantime, Kestrel will deal with Blob.

Ravagers are an ideal team for countering Brotherhood + DD. You must use Emma instead of Stitcher or Bruiser to grant yourself cleansing, though. Ravagers don’t have Ability Block, but T’Challa can steal Ability Energy from Doctor Doom, prolonging his ultimate long enough for you to deal with the rest of the enemies.

X-Men are logical counters to Brotherhood, but the presence of DD can fully change the outcome. That is why it is important to be patient and not over-damage Doctor Doom before your allies are fully charged and ready to bring the annihilation.

Darkhold / Dormhold

  • Dormhold
  • Darkhold
  • Darkhold (without Scarlet Witch) + Emma/Loki/Cable
  • Weapon X

GAMMA is the ultimate War Offense option at the moment. They are quite capable of dealing with anything AW Defense has to offer. Darkhold/Dormhold is no exception.

Darkhod / Dormhold is a current META for all game features and not only for Arena. To beat them you must use their duplicate. Keep in mind that players who unlocked new levels for MLF do not necessarily need Dormammu to beat Dormhold – they can do it with full Darkhold. There are several rules though.

Agatha’s basic is assisted by two team members in Arena (MLF and Scarlet Witch should be those two members) and by only one in other features (MLF). Fully maximized Morgan Le Fay doesn’t need Skirmisher for placing ultimate therefore it is best to equip her with a Striker. It is mandatory that Agatha’s ultimate is on level 7.

It is important to say that an easy answer for Darkhold/Dormhold is Darkhold without Scarlet Witch and with a character who can grant your MLF to play first (Emma/Loki/Cable). You cannot expect a high punch-up but, in this matter, any punch-up is ok as long as you deal with Darkhold/Dormhold in a single battle.

Weapon X can beat the defending Darkhold / Dormhold in War. However, there cannot be any punch-up if you wanna succeed.

The tactic to beat Dormhold with WX in Alliance War is kinda tricky – you cannot do it in the first attempt due to the fact that you can’t prevent Wong from taunting which will be your doom in the end. To prevent that you must send a sacrifice team (I am using X-Force because they play first in War and Deadpool removes debuffs passively). When you send a sacrifice team against Dormhold you must reduce Dormammu’s HP as much as you can, and you must survive until Wong is about to use his ultimate.

At the moment he starts executing ultimate you should pause the game and wait for the battle to pass. After the fight is over unpause the game and enter with Weapon X. MLF will not have ultimate, same as Agatha and Wong. You will not be able to place Ability Block on Dormammu, but you can prevent MLF from granting free turns to her team. After that with your Skirmishers remove Immunity from Dormammu and use Omega Red’s ultimate on him as the primary target.

Once you kill Dormammu the rest should be easy. Unfortunately, there cannot be a significant punch-up here. Even though Dormhold will not have the most important CDs, Agatha’s passive can make your life miserable, especially if Dormammu is not down soon enough.

Dormammu + Heroes for Hire

  • Weapon X
  • Dark Hunters + Dormammu
  • Underworld + Dormammu

Weapon X is the only original pre-made that is a true counter for Dorm/H4H in War. Generally, you cannot expect the same punch-up as against H4H without Dormammu, but you can afford 100k-200k punch-ups. The only thing you should care about is that Misty Knight does not target Omega Red with her abilities. As long as Omega Red doesn’t have the highest damage and HP you will have no problems whatsoever. Taking down Dormammu right after Shang Chi is mandatory, therefore it is best to use Omega’s ultimate on him and Stun him with Silver Samurai while focusing on Shang Chi in the meantime as usual.

Dark Hunters with Dormammu is another viable way of dealing with Dorm/H4H. You cannot afford any punch-up whatsoever and you must be careful since Morbius’s initial Blind will not affect Dormammu. Having toons with Skirmisher of high level can help you remove initial buffs on Dormammu, after which you can take the control of the battle and hopefully prevail before the time is off.

Underworld is the new Offensive option that counters AW META’s defense. Even improved Nobu is still almost harmless and can easily be replaced by Dormammu. If you do so, you will have everything at your disposal to challenge Dormammu+H4H.

Dormammu + Young Avengers

  • GAMMA ▲▲
  • Weapon X (Alliance War)
  • Darkhold/Dormhold
  • Underworld + Dormammu

The combination of Dormammu and Young Avengers is pretty common nowadays. In Alliance War, Weapon X is the most justified counter for them if you have Dark Hunters to deal with H4H. The tactic is easy – initiate a fight with Abi Block on Squirrel Girl while putting the rest of the Focus on Dormammu. If you have high-level Skirmishers in the team, you will remove Dormammu’s buffs in the process. Once, Omega Red is ready for its ultimate, target Dormammu (who would die soon after it) and transfer your focus to Squirrel Girl. Next in the line is Kate Bishop and you are good to go.

Darkhold with MLF passive level 6 can easily deal with Dorm/YA. Keep Squirrel Girl controlled by Agatha’s Stun in the first turn and Scarlet Witch’s ultimate and focus on Dormammu. You should not have any difficulties and you can allow yourself a punch-up of at least 100k. If you use Dormhold, a punch-up can be significantly higher, and the strategy is the same. You will not have Stun prolonged, but hey there is your Dormammu to say a few things to YA.

Underworld is a natural counter for Young Avengers. If they are boosted by Dormammu, the only thing you need to do is to add Dormammu to the Underworld.

Dormammu + Hero Asgardian

  • GAMMA ▲▲
  • Eternals/Inhumans
  • Weapon X

With the introduction of Hero Asgardians, many players tried to find a way to boost them up by replacing Heimdall. The most powerful replacement is obviously Dormammu. Not only that he will Revive fallen Asgardians, but Valkyrie’s passive will affect also the character that is revived making your killing order significantly trickier.

The best way to deal with them is to combine Eternals with Black Bolt, Yo-Yo, and Crystal. Inhumans’ stats are mediocre now, but Yo-Yo’s presence will significantly increase sustain of your Eternals giving Ikaris enough time to survive and use his ultimate for the second time. The presence of Crystal grants healing to your Inhumans while Eternals are doing the job and BB is here only to exploit his passive and finish out enemies earlier. Dormammu’s Resistance is insane, therefore, you cannot expect the usual punch-up with Eternals against Hero Asgardians but as long as the odds are not unreal, you should have nothing to worry.

Weapon X in War is capable of miracles because its kit allows you to do almost anything. Your main focus should be taking down Dormammu as soon as possible, after which you should prevail on pure strength. Depending on the enemy’s strength, the initial Abi Block from Omega Red should be focused on either Valkyrie or Sif depending on your ISO-8 class. If you can remove Taunt from Sif easily with Skirmisher, use Ability Block on Valkyrie, if not prevent Sif from Taunt. Everything else is straightforward – Kill Dormammu, then Valkyrie, then everyone else.

Eternals + New Warriors/+3

  • Darkhold ▲▲
  • Infinity Watch
  • Eternals + Loki + Emma Frost + 1 ▲▲
  • Weapon X

The natural counter for Eternals is Darkhold. Agatha can fully neutralize Sersi and Ikaris so Darkhold can beat Eternals with a great punch-up. Even combinations that allow Ikaris and Sersi to play first are fully harmless against Darkhold even in the Arena.

Infinity Watch is another clean counter for Eternals if they are fighting outside of the Arena. Safeguard on start neutralizes Ikaris ultimate and Infinity Watch prevails on a pure consistency of synergy and sustain. Depending on the Eternals setup, there can be a punch-up or not. If Morgan Le Fay is with Eternals things can become tricky at best.

A duplicate team is always a counter because AI cannot fully take advantage of character abilities. However, to be sure that your Eternals will be victorious make sure that they will play first by adding Loki and Emma into the equation.

Weapon X is one of the best teams for War and as such, they are quite capable of dealing with even Eternals in AW. It is not the happiest match-up, but they can do it if there is no other solution.

Gamma Team

  • GAMMA Team
  • Dormhold ▼▼

The only viable counter for the GAMMA team in AW is a mirror match. In theory, you can afford a certain slight punch-up, but even if you are a lot stronger nothing can guarantee you success. It will depend on RNG and whose Stunners will be effective first. Because of Brawn, both teams will have Immunity, therefore, a team with more Skirmishers who will penetrate Immunity with Vulnerability and leave enemy members open to control will prevail. Basically, as long as you keep, She-hulk and Brawn stunned, while focusing on Red Hulk, you have nothing to fear. I know that it is easier said than done, but you can expect a video guide as soon as possible.

In theory Dormhold in the right circumstances can defeat GAMMA. Their strength must be significantly higher though because they don’t have a way to control GAMMA in War as they control other teams. All juicy abilities available at their disposal mean nothing against GAMMA. Only because their self-sustain is the best in the game, they can hope for victory if their stats are high enough. Nonetheless, the chances of winning are on an extremely big leash.

Heroes for Hire

  • Dark Hunter
  • Weapon X ▲▲
  • Infinity Watch
  • Underworld

Dark Hunters and Weapon X are natural counters for H4H in AW. While Weapon X can allow themself a great punch-up if Omega Red is not the character with the highest HP in the teams, Dark Hunters must be of similar strength if they wanna have a chance to win.

Beating H4H with 8W in WAR can be extremely tricky. What you need to do is to give Skirmisher ISO-8 to Adam Warlock and to make sure that he will place Disrupt on Luke Cage when using his special. As long as you are focusing on Shang Chi and prevent Luke Cage from Taunting you have a real chance to achieve a win. As soon as you kill Shang Chi, I honestly suggest you turn on auto-combat because that is the only way to win on time.

Underworld is a new WAR counter for AW META defense. in War, they will place Trauma, Heal Block, and Blind to the entire enemy team, which should be more than enough for everything H$H has to offer. In addition, Green Goblin will prevent them from reviving when needed.

Infinity Watch

  • Darkhold/Dormhold ▲▲
  • Infinity Watch
  • Weapon X

Even though Infinity Watch is not a Horseman team they are still a formidable foe whose only real counter is Darkhold and themselves.

Countering Infinity Watch with Infinity Watch is probably the most justified and safest option. To be honest, the majority of players fully experienced and learned how to counter 8W with 8W while they were Arena META and all of them know that significant punch-up is possible.

To beat Infinity Watch with Infinity Watch you must focus on Moondragon first and Phyle-Vell second while trying to place Stun with your Adam Warlock before the enemy does the same. Keep in mind that Gamora is fully resistant to Defense Down so do not try to soften her – just try to control her with Slow and Stun.

In AW, Weapon X is another answer for IW. Omega Red and the company fully negate their assists and as soon as Safeguard and Immunity are off, Infinity Watch has no means to answer them. That is why it is important to be patient with Weapon X and wait until the right moment to place Omega Red’s debuffs salvo.

Inhumans + Silver Surfer + Agent Coulson

  • Uncanny X-Man
  • X-Factor + Baron Zemo
  • Shadowland

This combination is a common enemy in War. It utilizes Coulson’s immunity in AW Defense with Silver Surfers sustain that is boosted by Yo-Yo.

Magik and Phoenix can easily deal with this combo because they don’t have an option to remove Storm’s debuffs and penetrate the Uncanny X-Men Barrier.

X-Factor and Baron Zemo is another simple solution for this team. Baron Zemo will initiate the combat by removing Immunity from enemies before placing Ability Block on either SS or Crystal.

In Alliance War, Shadowland has all answers needed for this synergy. They will play first and easily prevail.

Marauder + Emma Frost

  • X-Factor +Zemo/Kestrel
  • Secret Avengers + Kestrel
  • Black Order
  • Shadowland
  • Ravagers
  • Underworld ▲▲

Marauders with Madelyne Pryor and Emma Frost are no longer an unsolvable enigma in MSF. If you prevent them from buffing or use their buffs against them, you are good to go.

X-Factor is the obvious answer for them if the 5th member is either Baron Zemo or Kestrel. If you lead Baron Zemo, he will play first and prevent Emma Frost from using her special. If you lead Kestrel, she will prevent Mister Sinister from making clones and she will exploit Multiple Man summons’ attacks against targets with Defense Down. Whatever you choose you won’t make mistakes.

Many players prefer to combine Kestrel with Secret Avengers due to Sharon’s passive. This team with the addition of Nick Fury is more than capable of beating Emarauders. Kestrel will prevent Mister Sinister from cloning while summons from Maria Hill and Nick Fury will do the rest while attacking an enemy with Defense Down.

Black Order is a team that can easily deal with Emarauders. The trick is to wait with Thanos’s special until Emma uses her special. That way you will flip Immunity and Defense Up on enemies as well as every other buff they have. When that happens, you can turn on the auto-combat.

In Alliance War Offense, Ravagers and Shadowland have answers for everything Emarauders can bring. Those two teams are specialized in War, but they can’t do much outside of it.

Underworld is a justified counter to Emarauders. Taskmaster’s and Mr. Negativity’s kit together will tear apart Emarauders with an insane punch-up.

Mercenary Team variations

  • X-Force
  • Black Order
  • Unlimited X-Man ▲▲
  • Eternals + Loki +2 ▲▲

X-Force is a natural counter for the Mercenary team in War. Their kit is made so they can prevent Mercenary Riot Guard from using Taunt and Taskmaster from executing ultimate on start. After those two things are done dealing with Mercenaries is easy regardless of team composition.

Black Order is the team that can easily survive the initial Mercenary combo and flips their advantages into their doom. Thanos special is the answer for all debuffs caused by Mercenaries at the start and all protection they are relying on. As long as Thanos’ focus is high enough to flip buffs on Mercenaries you can afford almost any punch-up.

Unlimited X-Men and Eternals will probably make overkill when facing a Mercenary team, but frankly, with them, you don’t have to worry about Mercenary strength because you can afford insane punch-ups.

New Warriors + 2 (without Eternals)

  • Dark-Hunters
  • Shadowland (War)
  • Astonishing X-Man
  • X-Factor +1

New Warriors are usually combined with Eternals for offensive purposes since there are only three of them and only 2 Eternals and they synergize perfectly. However, many players decide to put New Warriors in Defense combining them with other Mystics such as Silver Surfer, Supernaturals, etc …

The natural counter for them as long as they are not with Eternals are Dark Hunters and Shadowland (only in War). They will prevent Cloak from controlling the battle and they have enough self-healing to survive New Warriors’ initial burst.

Astonishing X-Men is another pick against New Warriors. Beast provides them with full cleansing after being hit by Cloak’s ultimate and Jubilee/Bishop synergy will tear apart New Warriors after that.

X-Factor may not be as effective as previous teams but if they are combined with SS, Zemo or Kestrel they will have no problems against New Warriors.

Pym Tech

  • Brotherhood ▲▲
  • Web Warriors ▲▲
  • A-Force
  • A.I.M.

Pym Tech is not even near META, but they can be a problem for some really strong teams due to their evade mechanics and incredible damage output granted to Yellow Jacket + Ghost. Nonetheless countering them is easy and it can be done with teams that are not considered as first offensive options at the moment.

Brotherhood is a natural counter to Pym Tech. Mass Blind on start and constant removal of Pym Tech’s buffs make things really easy for Magneto and the company. You can afford some punch-ups with them but with limitations. The only thing you need to do is to use Magneto’s special on Ghost.

When a team is dependent on Evade the obvious answer for them is a team that is stronger and depends on Evade/Dodge. Web Warriors fulfills those requirements in full.

A-Force is probably underrated in my guides, but they are more than capable of annihilating Pym Tech with even double punch-up.

A.I.M. is almost forgotten as an offensive option but if you have them and need to battle with Pym Tech, they are an ideal pick. Pym Tech has no means to remove debuffs, so A.I.M.’s main strength will remain unopposed and good enough for an easy win with a considerable punch-up.

Secret Avengers + Nick Fury + Kestrel

  • Eternals + 3 ▲▲
  • Weapon X ▲▲
  • Infinity Watch
  • Astonishing X-Man

Secret Avengers synergize perfectly with Skil Heroes, therefore Kestrel and Nick Fury are logical choices for assembling a dangerous Defensive set-up. Unfortunately, this team has a lot of summons that are Ikaris’s best friends. Having summons on the battlefield grants Ikaris’s ultimate to always land twice making it possible that any combination with Eternals can obliterate the Secret Avenger team with a punch-up that can be doubled or even tripled.

In short, when you see Secret Avengers with Nick Fury just use your 2 Eternals regardless of their strength and you will win.

For all other teams, Secret Avengers will pose an unsolvable enigma that can be beaten only by META teams. Having that in mind, the most justified options are Weapon X and Infinity Watch which will prevail on a bare strength.

On normal occasions, teams that have a lot of summons are easy prey for Axmen and Symbiotes. SA can easily deal with Symbiotes regardless of power and they can easily beat Axemen in Offense (just avoid summoning). However, Axmen who are attacking will not have problems with SA because they will get initial feed on NIkc’s minions that will buy them enough time to cripple the enemy before they can pose threat. Unfortunately, with Axmen you cannot expect wins if punch-up is significant (50k+).

Sinister Six with Dr. Octopus

  • Astonishing X-Man
  • Symbiotes
  • Unlimited X-Man ▲▲

The natural counters for Sinister Six are Symbiotes and Astonishing X-men because they can easily neutralize Dr. Octopus and exploit his summons. Easy kills fill those teams with additional Speed, and Sinister Six is helpless against them.

Neutralizing Dr. Octopus is the main goal in beating Sinister Six. No one can do that better than Rogue and her friends. Unlimited X-Men can always beat Sinister Six regardless of power, just by using Rogue’s special on Dr. Octopus. Having that in mind, I had to pinpoint them as a justified pick.


  • Web Warriors ▲▲
  • Brotherhood
  • Secret Avenger + Kestrel ▲▲
  • Shadowland

Most of the veteran players have Symbiotes fully maximized and when they decide to put them in Defense it is always annoying to spend META teams on them. To avoid doing that, there are two quite simple solutions – Web Warriors and Brotherhood.

Both teams can grant you an insane punch-up and you will not be bothered if you spend any of them against Symbiotes.

SA with Kestrel can also grant you a similar punch-up due to Maria Hill and her cleansing. Even her summons will not be a liability since they will help Kestrel to exploit Defense Down on Symbiotes making it impossible for them to heal fast enough.

Shadowland can fight with Symbiotes with ease. You cannot expect the same available punch-up as with previous teams but their initial burst grants you the possibility to kill Anti-Venom fast after which, everything is just a matter of time. As long as Night Nurse’s ultimate is on level 7, you have nothing to fear because Symbiotes’ debuffs will be your advantage on NN’s turn.

Uncanny X-Men

  • X-Factor + Zemo/Kestrel
  • Ravagers
  • Shadowland

Uncanny X-Men with Magik can be a real threat so it is safest to use META teams against them. However, some ordinary teams can be an answer for them, but you cannot afford a significant punch-up when using those teams.

X-Factor + Zemo/Kestrel, Ravagers, and Shadowland (War) can successfully oppose Phoenix and the company, by preventing their most important abilities. If Magik is not allowed to charge up Storm and Cyclops, and if you can control Phoneix when she is reborn, the odds are in your favor.

Keep in mind, that Magik will grant Phoenix additional Revive, so eliminating Magik should be your priority in a kill rotation.

Unlimited X-Men

  • Infinity Watch
  • Eternals + 3
  • Darkhold
  • Unlimited X-Men+ Emma ▲▲

Horsemen teams are designed to be meta for specific features. Uxmen are the best team for Cosmic Crucible without a doubt and only Infinity Watch has the real answer for them. Infinity Watch starts with Safeguard and Immunity, which nullifies Rogue’s early special ability. That opens a possibility to prevail on pure strength, but you cannot expect a bug punch-up with them against Uxmen.

Outside of Cosmic Crucible, Unlimited X-Men don’t have Safeguard at the start of combat which opens a possibility for Ikaris to flip all their initial buffs. After that, everything is much easier depending on who accompanies your Eternals. There is no real defense from Rogue’s special, that is true, but with Eternals kit, you can easily overcome everything Uxmen has to offer in War. Due to Uxmen’s self-sustain, you cannot afford a big punch-up, but as long as your Ikaris is capable of flipping their buffs, you are good to go.

Maybe the best option against Uxmen is a duplicate team boosted with Emma Frost. With Emma Frost, your Rogue will play first and neutralize an enemy Rogue and her special. It is questionable who should be replaced with Emma. The only thing I can say is that Fantomex, Gambit, and Rogue are mandatory. Whether you replace Dazzler or Sunfire depends entirely on you and your roster.

With Dazzler you will have a mass cleansing option while with Sunfire you will significantly increase the damage output of the entire team.


  • Eternals + 3 ▲▲
  • Black Order
  • Infinity Watch
  • Darkhold ▲▲
  • Unlimited X-Men ▲▲
  • Weapon X ▲▲
  • Bionic Avengers

The new Wakanda team is really strong. It is hard to get used to the fact that you can’t beat them with previous counters (Power Armor, Brotherhood, etc …) but once you accept it, the answers will become obvious. All teams that can use Wakanda’s buffs against them are natural picks. Eternals and Black Order can do that.

Infinity Watch will beat Wakanda on pure strength and will offer you a significant punch-up.

New Bionic Avengers proves to be a really powerful team. Hulkbuster’s barrier and additional HP to the rest of the team grant you an easy survival against Wakanda’s initial burst. Their damage output is greater than Wakanda’s even in CC but you should be careful though because immunity on Wakanda members will prevent you from controlling the battle with Ability Block. I don’t suggest significant punch-ups because of those reasons.

Outside of Cosmic Crucible, Wakanda is not that strong, but there are not many counters against them (except the ones we already mentioned) that can expect any luck unless there is a significant punch up in their favor.

Web Warriors

  • Kestrel + X-Factor/Secret Avengers ▲▲
  • Bionic Avengers
  • Uncanny X-Men
  • Dark Hunters ▲▲
  • Weapon X ▲▲

Web Warriors can be a formidable opponent but there are several teams that can help you not use META teams against them.

Kestrel is a Hero who is a nightmare for Web Warriors. Her passive attacks will destroy Web Warriors one by one. It is not important whether you use X-Factor or Secret Avengers with her, you will be able to beat Web Warriors whose strength is doubled compared to yours.

The obvious counter for the team that fully relies on Dodge is the team whose attacks cannot be dodged. With the recent update, we got such a team. Bionic Avengers will almost fully ignore Web Warriors’ dodge potential making them easy targets, even if the punch-up is very high.

Uncanny X-Men with Magik is another team that is a natural counter to Web Warriors. Ghost’s passive will always target Phoenix, allowing her to quickly summon Dark Phoenix while all her allies are alive and fully charged. Once that happens, there is nothing that can save Web Warriors from Dark Phoenix, Cyclops, and Storm’s AOEs. A significant punch-up is possible when using this team against WW.

In War, Dark Hunters and Weapon X should be used against some more important enemies than WW, but outside of War, those two teams can easily deal with them. WW entirely relies on Dodge so picking teams that will be unaffected by their Dodge Chance (Dark Hunters and Weapon X) is an obvious solution.

Young Avenger

  • Darkhold ▲▲
  • A-Force + Doctor Doom
  • Weapon X ▲▲
  • Unlimited X-Men
  • Eternals + New Warriors
  • Underworld

Young Avengers form a powerful team. It is sufficient to say that Infinity Watch cannot beat them in War to understand that they are extremely strong and dangerous. Even outside of War, unlike many specialized War teams, the Young Avengers save most of their War synergy so beating them in Cosmic Crucible is not an easy task, on contrary.

The secret when fighting Young Avengers is to prevent Squirrel Girl from healing while controlling Kate Bishop’s turns.

One of the teams that are fully equipped to deal with them is Darkhold. They are natural counters for Young Avengers. MLF will initiate a fight with permanent Abi Block on Kate Bishop, while Agatha can stun Squirrel Girl before she starts to heal her allies. You can afford significant punch-ups without fear of losing.

Unlimited X-Men is another natural counter. Rogue will fully incapacitate Squirrel Girl at the start and Gambit will do the rest. The only thing you need to do is to save Dazzler’s ultimate if Gambit is somehow Blinded by Kate Bishop. A huge punch-up is possible.

In War, Weapon X is a viable solution for YA. The importance of YA is high enough to justify using Weapon X against them in war. Omega Red’s passive will place Trauma and Heal Block on start, which will fully neutralize Squirrel Girl. The rest is easy. Unfortunately, outside of War that will not be possible.

If combined with Doctor Doom, A-Force is fully equipped to deal with YA. As long as there are all A-Force members, Nico Minoru will place Trauma and Disrupt on her primary target (Squirrel Girl) and most probably on Ms.Marvel and Echo. Right after her, Spider-Woman will place Ability Block and Heal Block on Squirrel Girl and Heal Block on the rest of the team (depending on the position of Squirrel Girl). That alone should be enough for A-Force to safely win the matchup. However, for higher Punch Ups you will need Doctor Doom and his ultimate. I am not a fan of combining Doctor Doom with A-Force in War, but that is definitely a legitimate option.

A team that can be used against them in both Cosmic Crucible and War is Eternals + New Warriors. However, you must save Ikaris’s ultimate to be used in the second turn to flip mass Evade that will be placed by Echo. Depending on debuffs placed by Cloak ultimate the fight can be easy or challenging. Because of that, the punch-up cannot be easily set because the outcome of the battle will depend on RNG.

There is always an option to use a duplicate team in dealing with Young Avengers. In War that wouldn’t be so smart, but in Cosmic Crucible, it is definitely possible. Keep in mind though, that fights between Young Avengers last too many turns so you should consider this option only if all other options are not possible.

Trauma and Heal block are everything you need against Young Avengers. When you have a character that will harass them and use their buffs against them you can afford a big punch-up. Everything you need to do is to Abi Block Squirrel Girl and save Negativity’s ultimate when Echo place mass Evade, and Young Avengers will be good as gone.


The list of Counters we provided will be updated and improved constantly. At the moment we have only the most important Defense Teams mentioned, but as time passes, we will add all teams along with their counters (including teams that are specifically meant only for offense).

If you have your insights and ideas, please share them with us so we can make the best possible list of Counters. The idea is to present teams that can win with the greatest Punch up, so everyone can make their roster effective.

With every new update, this list will be improved and increased. Do not hesitate to contact us and help us in our goal to make MSF easily playable for the entire community. Thank you in advance!