Bruce Banner joins the Abbey after the last Story Mission before the final reckoning with Chthon. For the most part of the story, Bruce is Lilith’s main tool of destruction and he is behind all of her evil plots. When he drops into Demonic Embrace, he is even considered as Harbinger of Doom from the prophecy. Not to mention all the drama due to the fact that he betrayed his fellow Avengers, Tony Stark in particular.
Anyway, after he is cured by Hunter’s intervention and sacrifice, there is not much time to fully build him and get all of his abilities improved. Fortunately, you will not be forced to build your Friendship with him, because he is the only character without a Friendship meter. That means that he doesn’t have a specific passive ability and that there is another way of unlocking his Challenge in the Forge (you must improve the Forge on Level 15, to unlock Hulk’s Challenge).
Do not presume that he doesn’t have a unique combat kit and mechanics because he doesn’t have passive ability. On the contrary, his combat mechanic is completely unique and nothing similar to other residents of the Abbey.
Bruce Banner’s personality is logical and up to Marvel lore. He is a serious scientist with highlighted moral values, but all of that gets questioned the same moment he triggers the transformation. His presence in the Abbey will be strictly advisory, similar to Agatha, but unlike her, Hulk can be used in combat. Most importantly, he will be most likely considered the weakest member of Midnight Suns in the last mission. That means, that in most cases Hulk is the one who will confront Hunter when he/she breaks the collar in the final battle.
That is why it is advisable to prolong activating the end-game Story mission before you can do several side missions with Hulk. Do not bother trying to hang out with him because you will get nothing out of it. Just do several side missions, so you can unlock and improve his abilities before the last battle.
- Challenging Roar
- Always Angry
- Seismic Slam
- Mighty Blow
- World Breaker
Hulk is meant to be a Tank whose damage potential exponentially increases with every new attack against him. He has an insane amount of the base HP and he can endure a lot. With every enemy attack against him, he gains 1 Rage up to the maximum of 6 (he has up to 5 Rage on default, but he can build up the maximum Rage once per battle with the “Always Angry” card). It is important to say that he will lose 1 Rage after using most of the Attack and Heroic Cards (not all, though), so you will have to be careful about his attack rotations if you want to keep him on maximum Rage during the battle.
The thing is that when he is at maximum rage, the damage of his cards is insane – according to the profile description, his damage potential is second to none, but I can’t agree with that. What is for sure is that he is capable of activating some devastating attacks that can instantly K.O. elite mobs even on Ultimate difficulty.
The main problem for Hulk is the Heroism cost of his Heroic cards. It varies between 3 and 6 Heroism and he can’t be fully effective without characters who can ensure constant Heroism accumulation. Also, in order to be effective and justify his place in the team, he needs to Taunt as many targets as possible all the time. He has a self-healing ability that he can use once per combat, but that often will not be enough to keep him alive, especially on higher difficulties. That is why he also needs a healer or someone that can grant him Block in addition to steady Heroism flow.
Only a few characters fit into that category – Doctor Strange, Nico Minoru, Iron Man, and Hunter. Captain America is not the best choice to combine with Hulk because even though he can grant Block to him, he will transfer the enemy focus from Hulk to himself eventually, and that will be bad. All other characters are simply not suitable to be combined with Hulk.
Hulk has 2 Skill cards and he needs both of them in his Deck.
“Challenging Roar” Taunt the target, grants 2 Heroism, and provides 1 rage for each enemy target Hulk. When upgraded, it grants Counter to Hulk, as well. This skill card is essential for Hulk’s usefulness. However, you shouldn’t use it unless at least 2 mobs are targeting Hulk.
“Always Angry” grants 2 Heroism and consumes all Rage to heal Hulk for a high amount of HP for each point of Rage consumed. When upgraded, it will increase the maximum Rage limit to 6. It is important to mention that if Hulk is overhealed, his maximum HP increases for the designated surplus of HP healed.
Also, this card can be used only once per battle. “Always Angry” is the card that crucially influences the Hulk’s damage potential. Even though its main purpose is healing, you should use it on the first occasion just to increase the maximum Rage Limit and Hulk’s maximum Health. This card has to be improved instantly even if that means spending the last blueprint or Skill essence. As a matter of fact, improving this card should be a priority over any other Skill card of other characters if you plan to use Hulk in battle.
Hulk has 3 Attack cards and each of them is useful. However, in my experience, it is best that you sacrifice one of those for maximum control and damage potential.
“Smash” is a Basic Attack card. It grants +1 Rage (doesn’t consume Rage as other Attack cards) and Stuns the target while causing minimal damage. When improved, it grants 300% increased damage against targets with full Health in addition to initial effects. Since Hulk doesn’t have “Quick” cards, the only way he can build Heroism with attack cards is to make his Card Play worthwhile. Placing Stun on Elite Mobs is the only way to make Hulk Attack Card Play justified. That is why it is best that he has 2 improved “Smash” cards in his deck, so he can build Rage and do some good with his Attack cards.
“Crush” is a rare Attack Card. It causes moderate damage which increases by 150% if the target is stunned. When improved, this card doesn’t consume Rage on K.O. Having this card on the deck is important because it fully synergizes with “Smash” cards. Opening with “Smash” will give you an opportunity to instantly neutralize any Elite target on any difficulty while gaining Rage in the process, instead of consuming it. When we talk about Hulk, that is the best you can expect and desire from his abilities.
“Gamma Kick” is also a Rare Attack Card. It doesn’t cause any damage but it Taunts the target while granting “Forceful Knockback” against it. When upgraded, it also places Weak to the target. This card consumes Rage. Having Forceful Knockback while accumulating Heroism would be a non-replaceable Attack Card for any other character. However, for Hulk, it is best that you left this card aside. The reason for that is that otherwise, you will be forced to remove 1 “Smash” card and you really need a better chance that “Smash” cards appear in your hand during the battle.
Removing one of the “Smash” Cards will lower those chances by half. Also, by removing “Gamma Kick” from your Deck, you will remove the option that your Attack cards consume Rage. You only need to make sure that you always K.O. the target when using the “Crush” card. Do not get me wrong, “Gamma Kick” is a good attack card, however, the option is much better. The only justification for putting this card in your deck will be if it can be modded with a “Quick” effect – in any other scenario just leave it away and don’t spend resources on improving.
Hulk has 5 different Heroic Cards. All of those cards are really useful and all of them cost a lot of Heroism. You will need to pick 3 for your Deck according to their modifications and improvement.
“Rampage” is a Basic Heroic Card that Chains 3 times causing moderate damage and Taunting each affected target. When upgraded it grants +1 Heroism if all Chains are focused on a single target. This card is really helpful for increasing Hulk’s rage in early missions with him while he doesn’t have all cards. You don’t even need to improve it since the effect gained is not essential for the successful use of this card. Even though the Heroism cost of this card is the lowest compared to other Hulk Heroic cards, you will have to replace it eventually.
“Thunderclap” is also a Basic Heroic card. It knockbacks and stuns each target in the line for the price of 4 Heroism. When upgraded it also causes minimal damage to each affected target. Being able to stun multiple targets while having the opportunity knockback them towards other enemies, objects, or allies is something that is available only to Hulk. Even though the potential damage is symbolic, the possible outcomes of using this ability can be huge depending on the situation. However, in comparison with other Heroic cards, you will soon realize that this card needs to be left away.
“Seismic Slam” is a rare Heroic Card that causes insane AOE damage and Taunts each affected target at the cost of 4 Heroism. When upgraded, the AOE damage is significantly increased. When at maximum Rage, just by using this Card, Hulk can destroy multiple Elite Mobs on the highest Difficulties. You will not have this card immediately but as soon as you get it you can freely replace “Rampage” with it. Heroism cost will be increased by 1, but the possible gains will be increased dramatically.
“Mighty Blow” is an Epic Heroic card. It causes serious single-target damage and grants “Forceful Knockback” against the target at the cost of 3 Heroism. When upgraded, it will increase the damage against Stunned targets by 120%. This is a single-target Heroic card with a high cost compared to other character cards of a similar type. However, “Foceful Knockback” alongside potential damage at maximum rage will grant you instant K.O. against 95% of mobs in the game in Ultimate 3. To fully understand the power of this card, it is enough to say that its single-target damage potential is second only to Ghost Rider’s and Deadpool’s Legendary cards. When you get this card, you can freely remove the “Gamma Kick” Attack Card from your deck and put in another “Smash” card.
“Worldbreaker” is Hulk’s Legendary Heroic Card. It will be unlocked after completing Hulk’s Challenge. It causes high AOE damage in an enormous range and Forceful Knockback to every affected enemy at the cost of 6 Heroism. When upgraded it grants 1 Rage for each K.O. Ok, this card is really expensive when we talk about Heroism cost, but its potential effect on the battlefield is second to none. Even though it may seem that its AOE damage is significantly lower compared to “Seismic Slam”, Forceful Knockback potential damage actually makes it a lot stronger than “Seismic Slam”.
It is enough to say that its base damage without Rage is 50% higher than the damage of Hunter’s “Bladestorm” (we all know the efficiency of “Bladestorm”, don’t we?). At full Rage, its potential AOE damage is literally overpowered. It is good to have this card upgraded because it can instantly fill Hulk’s Rage matter while causing havoc in the enemy’s midst, but even without the upgrade, it is amazing. As soon as you get this card, you need to find its place in your deck. This card will require maximum Heroism accumulation, which means that it can be effective only if Hulk is combined with a few capable characters, but possible outcomes cannot be compared with anything available to residents of the Abbey.
As I said already, Hulk is the only character that doesn’t have passive ability. You don’t need to chase his affection by improving Friendship. The only thing you need to do is to clear 3-4 additional side missions that grant Artifacts as rewards, and you will unlock Hulk’s Challenge. After that, nothing will be really unreachable for you in the current Marvel’s Midnight Suns game balance.
By the time you free Hulk of his Demonic infestation, you will probably look to see the end of the game as soon as possible. That will be in collision with the fact that you need a dozen additional side missions completed to have him fully prepared for possible problems that lie ahead.
My advice would be that you don’t try to prolong the initial clearing just to get Hulk ready. His opening kit will be more than enough for the final mission and since you will get Midnight Cards during the fight with Hunter and Chthon you will not really need to unlock Hulk’s Challenge previously.
That is why it is best to finish the game for the first time without trying to maximize Hulk. Your real adventures will start in New Game+ where you will set higher Difficulties (according to your possibilities) and where you will have all characters including Hulk available from the start.
That is the best way to get a full advantage from Hulk without being forced to increase gameplay duration without real benefits.
Hulk is definitely in the Top 3 characters (including Hunter) from the Abbey according to overall power and real potential. You will be more than satisfied with all the gains he will provide you with in the second clearing and upcoming DLCs.