Secret Defenders are currently the newest Legendary team led by the Legendary character Black Cat, this team specializes in the Arena but performs exceptionally well in all game modes. Made to take down the old Arena Horseman META, developers made them so strong, that in Cosmic Crucible, War, and even in some Raids, they are a force capable of taking down almost any obstacle. Not to mention Dark Dimension, where they (literally every one of them, even Doctor Strange) also shine.
We can confidently say that the Secret Defenders are the team of the year in the MSF game.
(left to right)
- Cosmic Crucible
The Secret Defenders are currently the most versatile team in the game. Wherever we bring SD, they produce excellent results. As we stated at the beginning of this page (probably you can see it yourself in the game), each game mode is straightforward if you have invested in this team.
First and foremost Arena – the crucial game mode and the most demanding (when viewed through the prism of character strength and effectiveness). Because they are built to dominate the Arena, their kit is automatically well-shaped, convenient for use, and effective against various enemies. This automatically makes them one of the best teams in other game modes as well. For example, Secret Defenders can beat Gamma in War. There’s no need to say anything else.
Team Placement & Turn Order
Thanks to her Passive Ms. Marvel (Hard Light) will always play first, and after her move (whether she does Ultimate or Special) will gain Taunt. Since she is the team’s Protector, it is logical that she goes to the corner. Black Cat is good to put next to her because she is durable (AOE or chain damage won’t hurt her much) and can counter many attacks.
Doctor Strange as a Support can be placed in the second corner, opposite to Hard Light, and thus “hide” him as well as possible from the enemy’s Damage. However, since all 5 SD characters have Charged mechanics, it is better to put Strange in the middle because his Charge is weakest (he will heal after he gains 5 Charged). And so we protect and hide Robbie and Photon because their Charges are more beneficial to us.
Certainly, placement after Hard Light and BC isn’t crucial, so you can do as you wish.
- Ms. Marvel (Hard Light)
- Black Cat
- Ghost Rider (Robbie)
- Doctor Strange
If your opponent is fast and attacks Black Cat before your team takes any turns, Black Cat can counterattack and apply Bleed. Those Bleeds can fill Robbie’s Speed Bar which will make him go before Black Cat.
- Photon – Striker / Skirmisher
- Ghost Rider Robbie – Raider / Skirmisher
- Doctor Strange – Skirmisher / Healer
- Black Cat – Striker / Skirmisher
- Ms. Marvel (Hard Light) – Skirmisher / Fortifier
As you can see, we highlighted two options for each character depending on what the other characters in the team have. Also important to keep in mind, is that in Arena Hard Light is far better as a Fortifier than a Skirmisher because, after her first turn, she will only serve as a shield for the rest of the team (will have Taunt, but she will be Stunned and since she’s slow in many cases will not even survive for her third turn after which she could finally play, and until then combat outcome will be over).
Black Cat is much better as a Striker, but due to her ability to counter, she can be an excellent Skirmisher, so we must not forget that option.
In Arena, many will add Apocalypse to this team and drop Strange, and if Apocalypse is a Striker, the team will lack Vulnerabilities. This is precisely why Photon and Robbie can be Skirmishers and thus “prepare the ground” for Black Cat and Apocalypse.
- Photon – Passive
- Ghost Rider (Robbie) – Ultimate
- Doctor Strange – Ultimate
- Black Cat – Special and Ultimate
- Ms. Marvel (Hard Light) – Ultimate and Passive
Photon Passive will boost the Damage of all Secret Defenders in Arena by 30%. It is a huge boost.
Ghost Rider (Robbie) Ultimate will do more Piercing Damage and apply additional Bleed and Trauma in the Arena. That is a must if we want to be efficient.
Doctor Strange can Revive additional ally if his Ultimate is on Max level. His Armor is so low that he will go down fast without Deflects provided by upgrading his Passive. So, if you want to increase his survivability, upgrade it.
Special and Ultimate for Black Cat is a must-have. The first brings the best Trauma + Stun combo, and the second provides a crucial buff (Safeguard) or debuff to the enemy (Trauma) in certain situations.
Ms. Marvel (Hard Light) Ultimate will buff the Secret Defender team with Safeguard at the beginning of the Arena match. Passive will increase her Barrier (+10%), Armor of SD team (+25%), and most importantly her Health (+50%).
- Photon – Basic, Special, and Ultimate
- Ghost Rider (Robbie) – Basic, Special and Passive
- Doctor Strange – Basic, Special, and Passive
- Black Cat – Basic and Passive
- Ms. Marvel (Hard Light) – Special
Photon’s Basic will flip 3 buffs on target instead of 2 and add some Damage. Special Ability will do more Damage, and on War Offense will heal Secret Defender allies for 30% of her Max Health. It is nice to have it when you are using them in War. Besides more Damage, Ultimate will apply Speed and Defense Up for 2 turns instead of 1.
Ghost Rider (Robbie) Basic will apply Bleed to secondary targets, and Bleed is a crucial Debuff for him. With Special on Max, he will apply Immunity to himself for 2 turns instead of 1. Passive will lower the Resistance of all Bio enemies by 100% and lower the Counterattack chance for Bio enemies with Immunity by 100%. That is useful in all game modes vs. Bio Characters, and it is one of the main reasons SD can defeat Gamma in War.
Strictly speaking, Doctor Strange Basic is not necessary but is helpful because it will increase his Damage. And you can be in situations where you’re saving his Ultimate for later, and thus use his Basic more often. Special will always flip all positive effects (up from 90%). Similar to Basic, it is not strictly necessary, but you do not want to depend on RNG anytime. His Armor is so low that he will go down fast without Deflects provided by upgrading his Passive. So, if you want to increase his survivability, upgrade it.
Black Cat is a Legendary character, and you always want to upgrade all Legendary Characters’ Abilities to Max. Quite often, they will have additional upgrades to their Abilities. It is desirable to have everything on Max, and you can upgrade it even further.
But regardless of that, her Abilities certainly deserve an upgrade to the maximum level. Basic will also add Piercing Damage and Bleed, and since Black Cat is Striker (in most cases), she will benefit from that. Each additional Bleed will increase the synergy with Robbie. Her Passive at maximum will prevent Bio enemies from spawning with Speed Up. It can be great for the team in all game modes.
Ms. Marvel (Hard Light) Special will clear all Barriers from the Primary target and apply Safeguard to all Secret Defenders. Depending on the situation, she can start the fight with Special or Ultimate, so both Abilities at max are desirable.
Team Red Stars
Since Secret Defenders is currently the most useful (best) team in the game, it is worth upgrading as many Red Stars as possible to each team member. Strange and Photon can stay on 5 (because they will be replaced in the Arena team with Apocalypse and Super Skrull), but Hard Light, Ghost Rider (Robbie), and Black Cat should be pushed as close 7 RS as your Promotion Credits allow you. Note that Black Cat uses Dark Promotion Credits to upgrade Red Stars and can only be upgraded to 5 Red Stars through the Elite Store.
- Photon – B.U.M.P.S.
- Ghost Rider (Robbie) – B.U.M.P.S.
- Doctor Strange – Mystic 2-9
- Black Cat – Black Cat Trials (Sinister Six and/or Knowhere are required for an unlock)
- Ms. Marvel (Hard Light) – B.U.M.P.S.
On Spawn Buffs
Photon – 2 Charged
Black Cat – 3 Charged, 9 Deathproof, Immunity
Ms. Marvel (Hard Light) – Fill Speed Bar for self by 10% + 10% for each Secret Defender ally
In Arena – Safeguard
In all game modes – Defense Up, Barrier for 20% of Ms. Marvel (Hard Light) Max Health
All Secret Defenders use Charged mechanics. Some of them start the fight with a few Charged, and some with 0. All of them get Charged in different ways, and when each of them gets 5, they do some special move.
On Spawn gains 2 Charged, and when A-Force or Secret Defender ally uses the Ultimate ability, she gains +1 Charged.
On any turn, if she has 5 Charged, she will attack all enemies for 360% damage, fill the Speed Bar for herself and all Secret Defender and A-Force allies by 20%, and lose 5 Charged.
Ghost Rider (Robbie):
When an ally is attacked, he will gain +1 Charged. It doesn’t need to be a Secret Defender ally, which made his Charged mechanics adaptable and usable whether he is with SD or not.
On any turn, if he has 5 Charged, he will attack all enemies for 150% Piercing + clear 2 positive effects + apply Bleed and Disrupted. Characters killed by this attack cannot be revived. Then he loses 5 Charged.
Will get Charged when a Positive effect is applied to the enemy, and he has 2 or more Secret Defender or Supernatural allies.
On any turn, if he has 5 Charged, he will heal all Secret Defender and Supernatural allies for 10% of his Max Health and lose 5 Charged.
Will gain 3 Charged on Spawn. She will gain Charged (even provide Charged for the team) when she uses her Abilities. Basic provides 1 Charged for her. Special apply 2 Charged for the entire SD team. Ultimate will provide 1 Charged (for herself) plus copy and clear all Charged from the target. Depending on who she attacks, she can gain multiple Charged after using Ultimate.
On any turn, if she has 5 Charged, she will clear all negative effects from herself + heal for 30% of her Max Health. Then, fill her Speed Bar by 30% and gain Safeguard. After that, she will lose 5 Charged.
Ms. Marvel (Hard Light):
When she is attacked, she will gain 1 Charged.
On any turn, if she has 5 Charged, she will Barrier self for 20% of her Max Health, and heal self for 20% of her Max Health. After that, Ms. Marvel (Hard Light) will lose 5 Charged.
A few more key mechanics are worth mentioning:
Ms. Marvel’s (Hard Light) passive will allow her to play 1st on most occasions and thus set up an impenetrable wall that opponents should somehow break through if they want to win. She has an enormous HP pool (in Arena +50%), a lot of Barrier, and the best Armor in the game. Getting rid of her will not be an easy task (even for best Damage dealers).
Another of her mechanics makes this team what it is – the best in the game. Namely, when the opponent (read Apocalypse) becomes Empowered, she will Heal and Barrier herself for 20% of her Max Health and gain Taunt. This will prevent Apocalypse from targeting anyone other than her and take his Empowered hit. Even if she dies after that (if you invest enough in her – she will survive the maxed Apocalypse Empowered hit), it is an immense benefit for the team because the other crucial members of it are still in the fight.
Black Cat removes Revive once from all enemies with her Passive, and if any of the opponents has Revive once, she will gain it. This puts Secret Defenders in a great position against all teams/characters that can revive.
As long as he has Deathproof on her (and she starts the fight with 9), the Speed Bar of Black Cat and all Secret Defender allies cannot be reduced. Imagine a situation where the opponent’s Red Hulk uses his Special, and your character’s Speed Bar is still as it was. Priceless.
Since, as we said, she starts the fight with 9 Deathproof, Black Cat will get 90% Armor, Focus, Resistance, and a chance to Counterattack. Which puts her at the top of the game for the aforementioned stats.
The Speed of all Secret Defenders (thanks to the Photon Passive) can only be reduced with Slow, so (just like Apocalypse) Emma’s passive doesn’t work against them. Photon also lowers the Accuracy of Enemies with Blind by an additional 100%, and she is able to apply Blind on multiple enemies herself. Enemies with Accuracy greater than 100% will not be protected from Blind.
The more Bleed is applied to enemies – the better for Ghost Rider (Robbie). Each time, filling his Speed Bar by 10%, allowing him to play more often.
Photon provides +30% Damage (+60% in Arena) and +15% HP for the team.
Ghost Rider (Robbie) provides +100% Focus for the team.
Doctor Strange provides +50% Resistance for the team.
Black Cat provides +50% Max Health for the team.
Ms. Marvel (Hard Light) provides +50% Armor and +15% Max Barrier for the team.
All these passive stat buffs make them well-built and capable of big punch-ups in almost any game mode.
Combat Tips & Tricks
With this team, you will almost certainly fight against Mirror Match in Arena (Apocalypse will be there instead of Doctor Strange, or for some high-end players, Super Skrull will be included instead of Photon). In War, you will also attack Gamma or some other strong team. In CC is the same story, so you should be familiar with everything Secret Defenders can offer.
In the Arena, the most important thing is not to shoot yourself too early and to take care not to drop your opponent’s Apocalypse HP below 60% if you are not sure you can kill him immediately afterward. Because it will trigger his passive and fill his Speed Bar, allowing him to play sooner. So, Basic with Black Cat, even with Photon is often a good choice for the opening move.
Everything depends on the team’s power, but if the opponent places Apocalypse next to his Ms. Marvel (Hard Light) – a solid punch-up is possible. Because no matter who plays first, you will be able to hit the opponent’s Apocalypse with Ms. Marvel (Hard Light) and thus reduce his Speed Bar. This means that your Apocalypse will play first, and then it would be best to use the Special at the start and protect yourself from the Ultimate of your opponent’s Apocalypse.
Even as a new player (who does not have Apocalypse yet), you still can do wonders in the Arena with the classic Secret Defender team. You will progress and get closer to the very top. It all boils down to Black Cat’s massive Damage potential, aided by Robbie’s Trauma + Bleed combo to drain opponents. When we add to that Photon, who passively buffs Damage and can do immense Damage by herself, Hard Light – an impenetrable wall and a Protector of the team, and Strange, who can heal and even resurrect allies, everything should be fairly simple.
Since Hard Light plays first in most cases, it is best to target the most dangerous and fastest opponents with it and prevent them from playing, right after it you can Stun a target that needs to be controlled with Black Cat. With Robbie, you can Ability Block, while Photon can Blind multiple enemies. Strange will flip enemy Buffs. This team is simply amazing.
Our Discord link for any additional questions about Secret Defenders:
Type the name of the team in the search box. The team’s names will appear below the search box. Click on the title.