The time has come that we finally see The Horseman of War. For some time, we knew that Red Hulk was that character, but we didn’t know the most important thing – his kit. Well, we didn’t know it until now.
Scopely has informed us that after prolonged exposure to Gamma Radiation, Red Hulk will join MSF as the third Horseman. At this moment the only thing we know about Red Hulk is that his radiation exposure will affect the game in a completely new visual effect – Gama Radiation will cause that new Battlefield effect persists even after death.
The new GAMMA Team will be assembled from:
- Red Hulk – Legendary War Horseman
As you can see you will control a team made of Hulks. Gamma Team will be specialized for AW, and they will harass opponents with all iconic Hulk powers – insane HP, obliterating Damage, and constant HP regeneration.
The true identity of the Red Hulk was a mystery for many years. He participated in a lot of major events but for a long time, no one knew who he really was. The truth was shocking. The person who was the greatest opponent of Hulk and everyone exposed to Gamma Radiation, General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, is in fact the most powerful Gamma Radiated being.
His relentless and unsuccessful pursuit against Hulk which eventually led to the death of his daughter Betty made him desperate to the point when he decided to become exposed to Gamma Radiation himself.
He would do anything to take his revenge against Hulk who he held responsible for the death of Betty. As time passed General Ross changed his perception and started using his powers to do good. He tried everything to hide his true identity, but eventually, Hulk found out the truth and the two of them become allies instead of enemies.
Unfortunately, Red Hulk was unable to bring back Betty from the dead which was his original intention when he decided to be exposed to radiation. As many times before, villains who promised him to revive his daughter (M.O.D.O.K. and Leader) just used General Ross for his own purposes. Red Hulk is still trying to bring Betty back to life, but his priorities are permanently changed – he is now the Super Herro of Earth 616 and a friend of Hulk.
In Marvel Strike Force, Red Hulk is a Hero Brawler who introduces new Battlefield Effects into the game. Battlefield Effects is a new mechanic that allows certain characters to set unique conditions on either enemies or allied sides of the screen. Battlefield Effects affect an entire team and last until the end of the battle or until they are cleared. Red Hulk is a Legendary Horseman for a reason, and I will explain why.
Basic Ability – Fiery Fist
With his basic attack, Red Hulk causes medium damage and flips 1 positive effect into a negative. The attack is repeated once outside of War and twice in War. If Red Hulk has 5 or more Charges on himself every assist or counterattack will cause additional damage and will flip additional positive effects.
This basic ability seems nothing out of the ordinary when we look at attack percentages and available effects. However, in War, there will be three repeated attacks on a single target, and three buffs will be flipped. Just imagine Ikaris with his basic flip buffs and you will have a full picture of this basic potential. Outside of war, there will be one attack less, but nonetheless, this basic ability is one of the most powerful in the game.
Special Ability – Pavament Pummel
Red Hulk Special Ability costs 3 energy and can be used at the start of combat. This ability clears any barrier on primary and adjacent targets before causing heavy damage to each target and placing Offense Down for 2 turns. Most importantly, it clears Revive Once on the primary target and repeats the same attack 2 more times in War (once outside of War).
Considering the current META, this is probably the most important special ability in the game now. Rogue’s special is insane indeed but this one seems to be even more. At the same time, it counters the current Arena META and current AW Defense META.
Darkhold’s biggest advantage compared to other teams is the amazing Barrier that buys them enough time to survive and prevail. Dormammu’s most important advantage is the passive Revive Once to all allies. This special ability counters both advantages in full – Wong will be vulnerable instantly and you will not have to fear Dormammu’s teams (do not forget that Hulk also removes Revive Once with his ultimate).
Also, it fully counters the H4H team in War making it possible to beat them with huge punch-ups. On top of all that this ability will lend more than 1000% damage in War (700% damage outside of War) to primary and adjacent targets. It is OP, plain and simple!
Ultimate – Meteor Crash
Red Hulk’s ultimate costs 8 energy and its Energy Bar is fully empty at the start of combat. This Ultimate causes heavy damage to all enemies and flips all positive effects into negative ones, before placing Trauma and Heal Block to each target for 2 turns. Red Hulk’s ultimate ignores all protections (Def Up, Block, Dodge) and Red Hulk is granted +500% Extra Focus before executing it.
The most important effect of the ultimate is that it removes all existing Battlefield Effects from the enemy team (there aren’t any at this point, but it is likely that some future characters will have the option to place new Battlefield effects on allies, meaning that those will be removed by Red Hulk) and places Gamma Radiation Battlefield effect on the whole enemy team. While under the effect of Gamma Radiation you will be granted with:
- On the enemy Turn, attack that enemy for 250% Piercing damage + apply 3 Bleed.
- Attacks from this Battlefield Effect are unavoidable.
As I said before Gamma Radiation lasts until the end of a match or until it is cleared (probably by other Battlefield Effects when it is introduced).
Red Hulk’s ultimate is definitely the most powerful ultimate in the game currently. It is significantly more powerful than Ikaris’s, Omega Red’s, or Dormamu’s and you know how powerful those 3 abilities are. It is the same in War and outside of War. The only problem is because it costs 8 energy and in normal circumstances, you would have to wait for 7 turns to use it. Don’t jump to conclusions because I haven’t explained Red Hulk’s passive yet.
Overall, considering all existing teams in MSF, once Red Hulk uses Meteor Crash you will win the battle. When he lands Gamma Radiation and flips all positive effects (like Ikaris) and places Trauma (like Omega Red in War), there is nothing that any of the existing team combinations could do to prevent certain defeats. Once Gamma Radiation is set that will be gg.
Passive Ability – Seeing Red
Passive Ability grants Red Hulk Safeguard and Immunity at the start of combat if Hulk is in the team. Like All GAMMA Members, Red Hulk also heals 20% of Max HP each turn. When an enemy attack Red Hulk he gains 1 charge up to the maximum of 5. When he is on 5 Charged at the end of the turn, he will instantly gain 7 Ability Energy and his Speed Bar will be increased by 50% (these triggers only once per battle).
For Each Charged Red Hulk Speed will be increased by 10%, Block Chance by 20%, and Counter Attack by 20% (this increase is permanent during the battle because he doesn’t lose Charges). Additionally, he will further increase the Focus of all Gamma members by up to 60%.
In War, his Speed will be increased by 10% per Gamma member at the start of combat. Instead of getting 1 Charge when he is attacked, he will gain 2 Charged. Also, he will gain 1 Charged (up to a maximum of 5) when any of the Gamma members is attacked. On top of that, the Gamma team will have a 50% damage reduction (??!!??) and increased Resistance. Be warned though, because, in War, it will be impossible to place Defense Up on Red Hulk or any other GAMMA ally.
Ok, this is definitely insane. As you can see the fact that Red Hulk’s ultimate costs 8 Energy and starts with (Energy basically means nothing because as soon as he gets 5 Charged, he will instantly gain 7 Ability energy and almost be ready to play next. In War, that means that he will cast his ultimate most likely during the second turn of combat because he will be charged whenever a Gamma member is attacked.
Outside the War, the story is somewhat different, and he will need some time to build up Ultimate, but hey, just imagine the battle where your goal is not to hit the most powerful and most dangerous enemy. During the battle, he doesn’t lose charges meaning that whenever he is hit, he will become faster and harder to hit, to the point that all received damage will be blocked and counter-attacked (when you try to imagine this first read his basic ability;)
One thing is certain, it will be impossible to kill the GAMMA team in WAR Defense except with the GAMMA team – they will have 50% damage reduction and constant regeneration, and the enemy team will be under Gamma Radiation from the second turn of battle. Simply said, and trust my words, there is no counter for the GAMMA team in War …yet.
The most important question at the moment is if Red Hulk will be a part of Arena Meta. I cannot be 100% certain without testing, but everything suggests that he will be. He will be buffed by the MLF level 8 special, and he will open Wong for easy killing. As a Bio Brawler, he is not afraid of Agatha’s ultimate. Also, he will remove Revive Once from Dormammu’s combination.
Everything points out that Red Hulk will be part of the new Arena Meta. That means that unlocking him in War Scourge and improving him as much as possible is your first priority. In other words, if you wanna keep track, focus everything on Hero Asgardians momentarily because their strength will fully affect the strength of your Red Hulk. If you maximized Hero Asgardians already, focus on Ravagers and Wave I Avengers now, just in case you need them as well.
Emil Blonsky is a commander of the SAS and British Royal Marines. When Thaddeus Ross (later revealed as Red Hulk himself) assembled a group for fighting Hulk, Emil was an ideal recruit. He honored every task and willingly accepted to be used as a test subject.
Obviously, testing with Super Soldier Serum and Gamma Radiation controlled by rigid military personnel never brings anything good so Emil became a frenzied monster called Abomination.
Abomination was almost four meters tall with all benefits of Super Soldiers and Hulk – regeneration, superhuman strength, speed, agility … He had everything but the most important thing – he lacked Brains; therefore, he could never be as dangerous as Hulk. Nevertheless, he was ideal as a military test subject for awkward operations.
In MSF, Abomination is a Global Brawler who increases the Focus of the GAMMA allies and lowers the Defense of enemies. He also grants a Drain ability to the team and can Stun.
Basic Ability causes moderate Piercing damage and Chains to another target. It also clears Defense Up while placing Defense Down in the process.
A Basic Attack that clears Defense Up and places Defense Down on the character whose specialty is increasing Focus is something you would want to have on every character. To understand the real effectiveness of this ability is simple – just think of Kestrel’s basic ability that can remove Defense Up from enemies. Amazing, isn’t it?
Special Ability is an AOE that causes moderate Piercing damage against all enemies and places Offense Down and Defense Down for 2 turns on each target. Before causingdamage and placing debuffs, the special ability will clear Defense Up on each target. In addition, it will grant certain Critical Hits against all targets that have Defense Up or Defense Down. This attack cannot be blocked. Ok, this special ability will be a game-winner against all teams that don’t have Safeguard or Evade. The damage of the skill is mediocre indeed, but it will fully expose the entire enemy team for everything that follows. It will be especially effective against teams that rely on Defense Up on start (the main protection for the majority of current synergies) because it will be impossible to resist effects. Honestly, Abomination’s basic attack and special attack are enough so he can be considered
a Top Tier character.
Abomination ultimate costs 4 Energy and it can be used at the start of combat. It causes immense damage against a single target after it flips itsall Evade and Deflect. In addition, it will place Defense Down and Stun simultaneously. This attack cannot be Blocked or Dodged and in War Defense, it will target the enemy with the highest Focus ignoring Taunt.
The ultimate is also amazing. High single-target damage is not too important but the fact that you can choose who to stun at the start of combat while exposing the same target with Defense Down is amazing. This ability cannot be blocked or dodged, so it will land always.
The only downside of this ability is that AI will open every battle with it instead of with a special ability. It will affect the target with the highest Focus but somehow, I think that opening with a special is more logical. Unfortunately, AI will never (at least for now) prioritize special in front of the ultimate.
Depending on Abomination speed, this ultimate may be a counter for some META teams. Just imagine that MLF is stunned before using her ultimate at the start of combat – that would totally cripple the Darkhold. The same goes for Rogue and her special.
Passive Ability will grant regeneration equal to 20% of max HP to Abomination each turn. Also, it will permanently grant Drain and additional Health and Focus to all GAMMA allies. Finally, the passive ability will shuffle positive effects on the enemy each turn – according to the Blog’s info, it will flip 1 positive effect to another positive effect on all enemies.
Aside from self-preservation, passive ability grants Drain to the entire team. The fact that a team made of characters with self-regeneration and amazing damage will Drain as well make us think when it is enough. We must experience it in practice first but in theory craft, it seems OP. We will see.
Anyway, this random flipping of positive effects into other positive effects sounds interesting. I am not sure if that is a grammar mistake in the description so I will not jump to conclusions. What I know for sure is that everyone would be pissed if their Offense Up is transformed to Deflect, for example. It can be interesting definitely but let’s wait and see for confirmation.
Abomination’s kit is definitely overpowered. This is not an overstatement, and I can be totally sure about it. Regardless of his stats, he will be the character who will have full control of enemy defensive capabilities making them open for all kinds of attacks.
According to his kit, he is the character whose debuffs will land regardless of his ISO-8 class, so it is definitely insane in theory craft, Obviously, Immunity and Safeguard will counter him but still…
Amadeus Cho aka Brawn got his name after Mozart. His parents had a passion for history and art, and they decided to name their son after a famous musical genius. Amadeus Cho showed signs of his own genius at a youthful age just like his famous counterpart.
Unfortunately, that has drawn the attention of a villain, Pythagoras Dupree, who wanted to kill all people who could challenge his own intellect. That unfortunate event led to the death of Cho’s parents and his union with Bruce Banner aka Hulk.
Amadeus was practically raised by Bruce who offered him education and a chance to study Gamma Radiation. Over the years Cho became Hulk’s assistant who himself became exposed to Gamma Radiation. His exposure led to the birth of a totally awesome Hulk who could control his rage. At least, Amadeus was in the belief that he could control it until he couldn’t anymore.
Once he embraced the rage in its nature, Amadeus became a superhero known as Brawn.
In MSF, Brawn is a Global Support, who further increases the unbelievable Health pool of the Gamma team. He is the cleanser, buffer, and healer of the team who makes Gamma members significantly more dangerous and harder to kill.
Basic Ability causes heavy damage and places Offense Down on a single target. Additionally, it places Regeneration on the most injured Gamma ally.
Unlike Abomination, Brawn has a usual Basic ability. It is nothing out of the ordinary even though it grants a minor sustain to the most injured ally. Most importantly, it is fully effective only in the Gamma team.
Special Ability costs 5 energy and can be used in the first turn. It causes minor damage against primary and adjacent targets, but it clears and copies all positive buffs before spreading it on all Gamma allies. In War, this ability cannot be blocked.
Brawn Special Ability is amazing! It is ineffective against Safeguard, but against everything else, it is simply overpowered. In practice, that means that Brawn will steal all buffs from targeted enemies and spread them to all allies.
The damage is not important at all because the ability will literally transform the enemy’s advantage into their disadvantage. It will be of utmost importance that Brawn Focus can beat the enemy’s resistance so giving him Skirmisher Class instead of the Healer class may be mandatory.
Brawn’s Ultimate Ability also costs 5 Energy and can be used in the first turn. It causes minimal damage to the target but steals 35% of their Maximum Health. 500% of the stolen HP is redistributed as healing among GAMMA allies, bypassing Heal Block in the process.
At the same time, Brawn will place Immunity on all GAMMA allies and remove all negative effects from the entire GAMMA team. It is important to know that Health Steal ignores Deathproof when a target drops below a critical HP amount.
Stealing a percentage of enemy HP is always an important ability, especially in PVE where you fight enemies with significantly increased HP. Stealing 35% of HP … well that is a lot. For example, Ebony Maw steals 12% of maximum HP, while Dark Phoenix steals 20% of maximum HP. Only this ability alone would make Brawn a META for Dark Dimension Global Nodes, except it is single-based and affect only GAMMA members.
In short, this ability is insane and will grant immediate full healing to the entire GAMMA team. I just hope that AI will not prioritize ultimate in AW Defense’s first turn because that would be stupid … on most occasions but not all.
Passive Ability grants a Regeneration equal to 20% of Max HP each turn as well as a permanent HP increase to all GAMMA allies. In addition, when any GAMMA ally drops below 50% HP, their Speed Bar will be increased by 15% and they will get Offense Up and 3 Deathproofs.
Also, all GAMMA members who have Regeneration and Heal Block will be cleared from Heal Bloc each turn.
In AW, Brawn will start fights with Safeguard and Immunity if Hulk is on the team. He will also place Speed Up and 3 Deflects (only on Offense) to all Gamma allies on spawn.
Finally, Brawn will permanently increase the Resistance of all GAMMA members by 200%.
This passive is deadly even outside AW. HP of the GAMMA team will be further improved in addition to Abomination passive. When they drop below 50% their damage will be almost doubled while their regeneration will remain the same boosted with 3 Deathproofs !!??!! I don’t know how to explain to you the potential of it, but just imagine how hard is to kill ordinary Hulk and She-Hulk when they are below 50%.
The effect of Brawn’s passive ability in AW is sufficient to explain. Compared to them, Weapon X will look like an ordinary synergy – trust my words … And this presumption is given only after learning kits of two characters without their Leader.
Overall, to have final judging we must know the stats of Brawn. Knowing that all Horseman members so far have increased base stats, it is only logical to assume that Brawn will also be boosted compared to the rest of the roster.
I don’t know when he will be available for farming but if it is soon, I strongly suggest that you leave at least 2 Global spots in DD5 for him and Abomination. You will not make a mistake if you didn’t finish DD5 so far. That will be the smartest decision for two reasons – because of their kit and because they are Bio.
I am not sure if I succeeded in showing you how much is essential to unlocking Red Hulk immediately. Also, I am not sure if you fully understand his strength compared to existing characters and heroes. Obviously, with the introduction of Death Horseman, we will get answers for Red Hulks’ superiority. Until that happens, consider Red Hulk as the most important character in the game.
Carefully read the article about Abomination and Brawn and try to combine that with this article. Only then will you understand the potential power of the GAMMA team. They will be META in the full meaning of that word, so do not hesitate to transfer all your resources toward them. Save Bio gear and Bio uniques, farm them and pile on because as soon as any of the new GAMMA characters become available in your roster, the only acceptable thing will be to maximize them in full
Honestly, while drafting this article I got really excited. My initial feeling is that power of Red Hulk is definitely overextended, but then I started to think about what can i expect from Death horseman and Apocalypse himself… Huh, really exciting times are ahead of us. Excellent job, Scopely!