These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
YMMV: Marvel Avengers Alliance
Adaptation Displacement: All the characters have their most usual design in comic books, and alternate costumes for designs from other media (such as those from the Marvel Cinematic Universe) or alternate designs in comic that are also noteworthy (such as Grey Hulk, or Daredevil with yellow suit). But Heimdall is an exception: his base design is the one from the film Thor, skipping the comics completely. Because Idris Elba's Heimdall is just that cool.
Archive Panic: Brand new players start off facing 12 lengthy chapters, each with six missions apiece, and an ever-expanding roster of heroes at daunting price-points. You have to complete those 12 chapters to even unlock the current Season 2 chapters. Good luck!
Doc Ock as an Epic Boss (for Chapter 6.3) is notoriously easy, especially since his gimmick (ISO-8 Contagion) can be used against his own party.
Destroyer as the Epic Boss of SpecOps 5.1 as well, being the easiest boss of all the SpecOps.
Anvilicious: The Covert Task missions have a healthy dose of this, being made in collaboration with Underwriters Laboratories. The missions feature SHIELD and the Agent dropping everything to go after various forms of intellectual property theft, counterfeit products, and fake identification cards.
Author's Saving Throw: PvP had become a source of much complaining, especially with regards to the ranking system, which was changed in Season 9 to be much harder to get into the Adamantium League (not that it mattered, see Good Bad Bugs below). What did Playdom do? Combine both ranking systems into one, so now, even if you don't have the ranking level, you may still have a chance if you're in the top percentage!
The addition of having an 'away team' in addition to your attacking team in PvP is also a nice bonus.
The ability to give your Agent in each PvP "team" a different set of weapons from the gear used in regular missions is also an added perk.
A "Bonus Bar" was added to address complaints about the Duplicate Covers in the Lockbox segments. When you get duplicates, the Bonus Bar fills up. Once completely filled, the next comic book cover will be a new one, guaranteed!
The last chain of tasks prior to the Epic Boss in a SpecOps would usually be to beat the Mission 3 Boss, and then three-star all missions. The latter two tasks can actually be done in one sequence (with enough preparation), but three-starring Mission 3 would require ending the Mission. The problem here is that Epic Bosses would be the last in the chain in order to finish the SpecOps, meaning, the player has to go through Mission 3 again after the aforementioned sequence. Both time and ISO-consuming, but fortunately, Playdom seems to have taken notice, and has since put Epic Bosses on Mission 1 or 2 instead.
Playdom recently earned a lot of ire by extending the PVP Season 13 tournament by one week mere minutes before it was to be completed. Two days later, they gave away 100 Challenge Points as an apology to those players, some of whom were grateful that the points that were wasted defending their titles are now restored.
Badass Decay: Characters who might be reasonably expected to be overpowered, such as Wolverine, Deadpool, and Squirrel Girl, are judged to be fair to middling performers. However, with the right combination of weapons/characters/Iso-8 gems, they can actually hold their own.
Breather Level: It has become a trend that odd-numbered SpecOps are easier starting with 5. The even numbered ones are harder due to the number of tasks you have to complete along with amassing lockboxes. The odd-even pattern reversed with the SpecOp/Group Boss/Lockbox events. For example, SpecOps 11 (Daimon Hellstrom) had the notoriously-difficult Blackheart Group Boss and the side-task of gathering Demonic Lockboxes. Spec Ops 12 (Ares) had neither of those and felt much easier by comparison, even though it included a new challenge to get a certain score against the mission bosses.
After several Group Bosses with considerable resistances, Kurse is significantly easy if you have effective team-up combinations beforehand. Since his Dark Elf mooks can change class randomly, they may even shift into the same class as Kurse; contrasting most flunky bosses whose sidekicks back-up class weaknesses. Kurse also has way less overall health than the earlier ones.
With the exception of the one with Deadpool and Bob, the batch of Heroic Battles for Season 2, Chapter 2 are a complete cakewalk compared to those in Chapter 1 and especially Chapter 3.
Broken Base: The introduction of Venom as a boss in Daimon Hellstrom's Spec Op. While many are simply happy to see him appear, others are unhappy for various reasons. 1) The Venom in-game is Mac Gargan, who is arguably the least popular version. 2) Some players would rather see Mac Gargan in his original role as the Scorpion instead. 3) Venom arguably appears as a supporting nemesis in a story arc he has little historical relation to, whereas some argue that the character is popular and has a strong-enough legacy that he should have been introduced in his own standalone Spec Op. (Though naturally, the developers are pressured to concentrated their efforts on characters Marvel still has the adaptation rights to, meaning much less Fantastic Four and Spider-man content overall.) 4) His introduction as a villain (rather than a hero) means that he will only be recruitable via Lockboxes in the future, a contentious game mechanic. (Eventually, the Flash Thompson version of the character would be made the first to be made available, as a PVP bonus, then recruitable.)
Character Tiers: Some heroes are definitely stronger than others, especially in PvP. The topmost tier (heroes who show up frequently if the player has them) is usually Captain America, Rescue, Phoenix, Thane, Emma Frost, Human Torch, Mockingbird, Brown-Suit Wolverine, Dr. Doom and Scarlet Witch. Bottommost tier (heroes you almost never see used) is usually Spider-Woman, Mr. Fantastic, Thing and Luke Cage. The spaces in-between, though, are a bit more open to debate, especially since the metagame changes at different character levels and Playdom sometimes comes along and buffs weaker characters up to higher tiers.
PvP is highly problematic in general. With each revamp/release, there's a selected group of heroes which are always selected.
The Agent will almost always bring one of these weapons/gadgets: Quantum Jumper, Limited Edition gear, Premium Mission or Excelsior gear, SpecOps and PVP weapons.
For Command Point grinding, mission 12.2 features eight minibosses and a single boss that can be fought all at once, plus an Epic Boss after that. All it costs is 20 energy altogether, then deploying Kitty Pryde to unlock the Epic Boss.
If the player hasn't reached Chapter 12, there's also Mission 4.4. Outside 12.2, it's the most cost-efficient mission, regarding energy. A full mission run including the Epic Boss requires Storm, a Scrapper, and 70 energy.
Critical Backlash: Playdom caused a LOT of uproar among the players by extending PVP Season 13. Why? Because they did it less than an hour before the tournament was supposed to end, in order to "fix a bug affecting gameplay balance". No less than 500 players leapt on Playdom's case mere minutes after the announcement was made on their Facebook page.
Demonic Spiders: Hacked Servoguards. They can Malfunction to enter an aptly named "Infinite Loop" which is like a Quantum Jumper, giving extra turns to ALL the Servoguards present. Servoguards also don't experience Exhaustion, so they have a high chance of getting more turns if another malfunction comes up. Add that to the defense-reducing Exposed and Burning debuffs of their attacks, a mere trio of Hacked Servoguards will annihilate an unprepared party. Fortunately, the advent of Magneto and Vision as playable heroes greatly reduce these robots' destructive capabilities.
Dude, Not Funny!: Mission 7.2, when Nick Fury talks about the "mutant problem". It led to a reply from Kitty Pryde (in-universe, a Jew, granddaughter of a victim of the Holocaust), and Fury's attempts to be a Deadpan Snarker with the topic only make things worse.
Captain America. A highly powerful and versatile character who can block attacks to any ally at any moment, and with his "Shield Guard" ability, he can even retaliate such attacks. His WWII costume (which is actually from Captain America: The First Avenger) starts with "Shield Guard" activated.
Mockingbird. Decent and balanced base stats, can change classes and thus gain multiple class-advantage buffs, has a good chance to gain turns when changing classes, inflict multiple debuffs, guarantee crit and hit, deadly crits, and by far the best exploit attack in the game (Mocking Blow). She gets even more deadly when buffed by a P5!Emma Frost.
The Human Torch is also a bane in PVP. Fun to use, frustrating to fight against. He is immune to ground attacks, is healed by fire attacks, counters melee moves with 'Burning' status, has a very high evasion especially against ranged attacks, and massive damage potential with his Fireball. The Annihilus costume can can also summon the Annihilation Wave as an additional attack anytime during battle.
Scarlet Witch and her Confusion Fu-based skillset can utterly screw with opposition putting up shields that heal and reverse debuffs when attacked, cause enemy attacks to backfire for potent damage and afflict random buffs for your team while also randomly debuffing enemies. On the offence, she has a killer Hex & Arcane Blast combo which does massive damage and causes random afflictions on the target. Pairing her up behind a human wall type hero, e.g. Captain America, to ensure maximum survival is a sure way to cause a lot of chaos in the enemy ranks.
Dr. Strange and his ability to take multiple turns, deal devastating attacks, heal and shield. His "Modern" alternate outfit also adds the Bane debuff which adds more damage to his already-devastating attacks.
Modern Thor enters combat with his hammer fully charged, high damage and an unprotectable area attack. If a Blaster alt in PVP gets the first turn, he can quickly wipe out Bruisers.
While in the normal game, Captain Britain is a fairly standard Flying Brick Bruiser with a little more 'mobility' in the sense that he has a chance to get extra turns once per round when he attacks an enemy with any of the four stat-reducing debuffs, in PvP, when controlled by the AI that gets higher proc rates for all their specials, he becomes a ratheroverpowered monster in that he's pretty much guaranteed to get an extra turn every round.
Ghost Rider applies the Sin debuff, which reduces Defense, on each attacking enemy, and has several moves taking advantage of it, such as Penance Stare (hugely devastating with a lot of Sins), and Burn Out, a Quick Action ability which gives GR a stack of Vengeance for each Sin, amplifying his Attack. Simple as it sounds, and double as effective.
Phoenix, after the revamp, became a pain in the ass. She starts with her "Phoenix Fire" L9 ability locked, but her "Death and Rebirth" passive revives her teammates after being defeated and enables her to use the aforementioned locked ability. Her "White Crown" costume also reapplies the "Death and Rebirth" passive on her after she uses "Phoenix Fire". To make matters worse, the AI engages in "Phoenix Fire" in the turn right after "Death and Rebirth" is consumed.
PVP Armory bonuses, to the point of turning PVP since Season 6 from "whoever has the best team wins" into "whoever has the biggest Attack/Defense bonuses wins".
War Machine's Iron Patriot armor, once buffed with Charged Capacitors, can stack up 21-Gun Salute that fires three times, inflicting Radiation Exposure each time. This debuff increases damage taken from energy attacks aside from damage over time. When coupled with Repulsor Beam, War Machine can wipe out tank characters within moments.
Union Jack. His passive allows him to join in an ally's follow-up or counter attack, three of his moves grant him preemptive counters if the opposing team do anything (ranged, melee, buffs, respectively), and his final move allows his allies to strike that target twice. Without psychics to override UJ's passive, he can weaken an entire party due to counters alone.
Rescue's four abilities allow her to 1) prevent counter-attacks and follow-up attacks from her target, as well as granting her an extra turn, 2) protect the team from any attacks that aren't subtle, and reduce the damage her attacker does at the same time, 3) heal everyone on her team for three rounds, and 4) both remove debuffs from herself, and remove all positive buffs from the entire opposing team. On top of that, her passive ability gives a random chance to remove any debuffs from her team on their turn. She's a nightmare to face in PVP.
After his revamp, Cyclops became a formidable offense/support PVP opponent. He opens the fight by boosting his team's evasion and adding a counterattack passive. Any damage done to his teammates triggers him to boost that target's stats, making hard-hitting squishies like Phoenix and tanks like Wolverine even more terrifying. His Exploit Weakness/Optic Blast combo is also very effective against Blasters and Bruisers alike, while his Mega Optic Blast also has a chance to stun the entire enemy team. To top all of that, his Phoenix 5's passive may turn Cyclops' or his party's attacks as critical hits AND ignore defense.
The Cosmic Cube is one of the most game-breaking items in PvP to date. Aside from imparting the "Reality Hacking" buff on everyone when the match begins (which means that any attack, even counters, have a 20% chance of whiffing), it can also allow the Agent to use two more attacks: "The Light Fantastic" (which heals the entire party and debuffs in the process) and "Blackest Void" (which can cause your ENTIRE team to attack each other instead of the enemy). Combine this with the Mystic weapon (which prevents ANY Debuffs whatsoever from affecting the team for the first turn), and you've got a truly aggravating experience from start to finish. Sure hope you've completed the sidequest for the item!
Dr. Doom has a "Ring Imperial" passive that is applied each round. Instead of Incapacitation, it places "Cower", which like Incapacitation, has a 20% chance to cause the opponent to miss their turn. However, unlike Incapacitation, it doesn't give you a stun-free turn to recover, so you can lose a long string of turns thanks to the higher proc rates on PVP. And if he manages to fire the Doom Cannon, the opposing team is already dead.
Deadpool is much more likely to activate his Nerf Bat in PVP, none of his statuses that upgrade his later moves can be removed, and his empowered ISO-8s make him a countering/protecting machine, as much of a troll as you'd expect.
Havok is the only character in the game who can do an easy one-hit kill. By combining his L9 charging move with his L2 Plasma Wave, it is easy to target the most dangerous member of the opposing team in PVP and eliminate them in round one. When combined with the Phased Frequencies Empowered Iso-8, his attacks ignore avoidance effects. His L2 attack does cause a lost turn, but the fact that he can eliminate the enemy Agent or a powerful bruiser like Hulk or Hercules in round one makes him the most dangerous offensive player in the game. In addition, his L6 move causes Exhausted, which essentially neutralizes Rescue.
Beast's Pestilence costume can cause an extreme mess in a PvP fight. Aside from the barrage of debuffs he can inflict from his moves alone, the entire battle can be summed up into a game of tag, passing out Iso-Contagions until all hell breaks loose on a victim. Since Pestilence forbids the removal of debuffs in his presence, being caught unprepared will be such a grueling battle.
Game-Breaking Bug: Combat Validation Errors. Earlier versions had battles cut off in the middle of a battle when there is an important update, forcing you to refresh the browser. Newer patches moved the force refresh at the end of the battle. Woe to players who are forced to refresh an important boss fight. The most frustrating part is these battles are marked as a total defeat, drastically reducing your gained mastery (in PVE) or your overall rating (in PVP). This is especially punishing in SpecOps, where mastery progress is very crucial and wasting more Unstable Iso-8 just to have another whole chapter run.
Goddamned Bats: TA-Deltas.◊ One by itself is manageable, but when they come out in droves (especially if they happen to be the mooks of that mission's Boss Battle), they can be a pain. Not because they're difficult to dispatch, mind you, but because of their "Deep Thought" passive, which drains a good bit of stamina away from whatever player attacks them. By the time you're ready to move on to the next wave of the battle, your characters are going to be pretty low on energy.
Good Bad Bug: PVP Season 9 ended with a large population of the non-Adamantium (including the lowest Silver and Gold) players getting all five rewards, including the prize hero Angel. As to be expected, those in Adamantium vented out in the forums.
Despite Playdom claiming that the initial 10,000 Silver selling price for the Synthesized Antidote (an item found in Spec Ops 10) was intentional, many players believed that this was the case for the aforementioned item. Cue players buying the Antidote en masse and then selling them back for a massive return in Silver. (The resale price has since been changed, lending more credence to the idea).
The Cable & Deadpool Heroic Battle plays out like normal, but, recently, there's a slim chance that Deadpool will still remain on the players' side even though he used Redesign Encounter to take Vector's place (this actually makes the battle a whole lot easier). Players are confused if this was a bug, or just Playdom's way of giving DP a new level of randomness.
And now Deadpool has a chance to use "Redesign Encounter" during the first wave, removing him and Cable from the battle, resulting in an instant loss.
When a player accesses his/her profile screen, the Hero roster would often show the characters unmodified, in stats (even if the player had equipped ISO-8) or alternate costumes (showing that hero in default instead). While this doesn't affect gameplay, this can get pretty annoying.
Harsher in Hindsight: it's been pointed out that, for a long time, Thane has been the only exception among the Lockbox characters, since he never started out a villain. But then came the end of Infinity, in which Thane ends up pulling a Face-Heel Turn, making him an inverse.
Hilarious in Hindsight: the Loading Screen has been there from the beginning, and there doesn't seem to be signs of changing it. Keep in mind that all the villains featured are now currently aligned with the player.
Punisher's Premium Mission in Season 2 features bantering amongst Tony Stark, Punisher, Nick Fury and Kingpin. Keep in mind that the latter three starred in The Punisher arcade game, and now Fury is holding back Castle's take-no-prisoners attitude due to SHIELD's temporary truce with Kingpin.
HSQ: In-universe, you recruiting the Big Bad Dr. Doom causes this with several of the heroes.
Ho Yay: Iron Man's Valentine's Card reads, "My Arc Reactor glows for you. And you. And that cute blonde over there." Thor's wonders, "Was Tony talking about me?"
Tony flirting with Thor has become something of a Running Gag by now. SpecOps 3 had Tony referring to Thor as "you gorgeous thing." It wasn't until the Valentine's Day cards came around that Thor showed any signs of reciprocation.
Most Annoying Sound: Rescue's Protector Protocol/Magnetic Attraction can be this, as it serves as a reminder that she's going to be the Stone Wall of the match unless you do something about it.
The sound of Squirrel Girl missing with her "Nuts to This!" buff can be this, especially if you're trying to regain your health in a pinch.
Gunshots are higher-pitched than most of the other sounds in the game, and are fairly realistic sounding as well, which can make for a potent annoyance during combat.
Most Wonderful Sound: The "THWACK!" sound a heavy blow makes, especially if you're the one making it.
Neutral Evil: Kingpin supports SHIELD in the conflict against a mafia rival to his own one.
Punisher: Fisk, you may think you're opting out of this war, but if I see you out there, I'll bring you down just like any other scum.
Kingpin: Duly noted.
Never Live It Down: In comics, a thing that Henry Pym can never live down is the creation of Ultron, a Killer Robot that rebels against him and tries to destroy the human race. SpecOps 7 features Pym...and yes, he's creating Ultron, and Ultron rebels against him. Good thing the other thing he didn't live down (hitting Janet/Wasp in rage) is not mentioned.
Likewise with Stark being rescued by Squirrel Girl after she single-handedly defeated Doctor Doom. Fury uses this fact to keep Tony's cockiness at bay.
Iron Man: Let me get this straight. You want us to drop what we’re doing and help you rescue squirrels? You are completely -
Nick Fury: Remember Dr. Doom.
Iron Man: ...right. You are completely right, we should help.
Leveling up your heroes will be a chore, since the upper levels award extra boosts for PVP stats. Hero Level 11 will take 24 hours to level-up your heroes one at a time with 80 heroes and counting. Since Levels 13 and 14 take almost 2 days to complete, gameplay is essentially extended by one year just to max out as many of your team.
Completing the Campaign Mode doesn't end there. You are inclined to grind each of the Season 2 chapters and attempt to win each hero-unique Empowered Iso-8 from Heroic Battles AND move-unique Augmented Iso-8 from boss battles. Like comic book covers, you can also get duplicates. 100% Completion will be a full-time job.
While beginners may have a hard time with SHIELD points, having a significant number of active allies allows you to amass a wealth of SHIELD points without relying from 50 Daily Gifts.
Command points are even harder to get, and tons of them are required just to get the cooler heroes.
Items that require gold are even harder to get, since you only get 1 free gold per level-up. Your Agent Level maxes out at 300, meaning your gradual free supply of gold also stops.
Unstable Iso-8 points are very limited. Due to the gift limit of 50 gifts a day, you can only accept up to 50 of them without getting more allies.
SpecOps 16's Mission 2 is divided into two parts (for the two Strike Teams) and Mission 3 further divides the teams, totaling four. The only way to edit a Strike Team is to repeat Mission 1. Tasks 19-22 involves fighting the Four Horsemen, thus necessitating going through Mission 3 four times.
The Scrappy: An in-universe example - Dr. Doom is this to your heroes. Absolutely noone will team up with him on your team (not even the villains), and the reactions to him when you first unlock him range from disbelief to downright violent. Not that he cares, though.
Deadpool falls into this for a couple of reasons: Two Heroic Battles involving him where he's the biggest hindrance to your progress (the Cable/Deadpool Battle being the most infamous, since there's a chance that he can make you instantly lose,) and the whole PVP Season 13 debacle (for those not in the know, Playdom had extended the tournament to fix a character that was causing a huge imbalance in the PVP tournament, much to the ire of the players.) Said character? Deadpool. The fact that in one instance he makes fun of the player for losing because of a mess that he caused does not help.
The above-mentioned broken advantages on PvP bonuses.
Many a player would want to tear their hair out over the game's prize roulette, especially with the daily reward turned into another roulette game. In other words, get used to getting a lot of meager prizes like one measly Command Point or various field supplies that you probably don't neednote unless you need items to add to the Quartermaster bonus during battles or to sell off for Silver. Even if there are 3 main prizes, the cursor likes to stop just beside a top prize just to tease you.
Lockbox collections. The idea of recruiting an exclusive hero is nothing short of a gambling mechanic, relying on pure luck to obtain the hero with the least amount of boxes opened. Forums are even rife with debate about statistical and probability equations on how many boxes are required to get the desired chance of completing the set. Buying more boxes with gold makes the hero even more costly than the regular heroes which require less using the current gold/command point exchange rate. Then there is also a chance that you can wind up getting a duplicate comic book covernote which nets you a mere 10,000 Silver for each duplicate, making it a Scrappy Mechanic in a Scrappy Mechanic.
Season 8 of PVP introduces a type of lockbox that can only be gained by winning five daily matches in PVP, the PVP daily roulette (which requires winning those five matches), or paying for them in gold. Given the aforementioned frustration caused by armory bonuses and prize roulettes, this manages to combine all three of these Scrappy Mechanics into one!
SpecOps 14 introduced the "Bonus Bar", Playdom's attempt to ease the players' beef with the mechanic: getting duplicate comic book covers note the number required is different for each Lockbox villain will fill up the bar, which will ensure that the next cover will NOT be a duplicate.
PVP Season 9 introduces the PVP tasks, which requires players to collect PVP roulette rewards in order to attain an overpowered item blueprint. Said PVP rewards can be bought for a hefty sum of gold and the blueprint can't be achieved outside PVP. Also, the revamped PVP rating reward system may or may not be in your favor.
When you combine characters with huge wings (like Angel and Phoenix Five Phoenix) with front line placement and the fact that they rise and fall in place, you get an annoyance that can end up blocking you from selecting your intended target if you're not careful.
Targeting can be done by clicking on the portraits at the top edge or names at the bottom of the screen, though it doesn't change how annoying things look.
To get 100% Completion on Season 2's Chapter 1, the player needs 21 heroes (two of them, Hawkeye and Black Widow, are starters, but that's the only saving grace). The wiki tallies the command points needed up to a whopping 1509 points.
The worst of it all is that you need Shatterstar (which costs 135 CP, as per all PVP heroes) for a single deploy, and nothing else. That's right: to finish Chapter 1, you need an expensive hero for only one simple deploy. Not that Shatterstar is a bad character per se, but that's still quite a waste of command points.
SpecOps Heroes now being available for recruitment, finally averting Lost Forever, except they are still available for the highest price, 200 CPnote they were initially re-released with a discount price, but the discount still involves using gold, not CP. And then PD had to go ahead and put two of them (Ghost Rider and Magik) as Required Party Member for 100% Completion for Chapter 3, along with requiring two completely different ones (Mockingbird and Valkyrie) for completing Spec Op 14 and recruiting Heimdall. Did Playdom expect that players would actually have these heroes? As one player put it: "Is Playdom trying to alienate its players?"
See the complaint about Shatterstar? Magik, a much more expensive heroine, suffers from the same thing. At least Ghost Rider, who's also a deploy, has another thing going for him: said deploy is required for the Epic Boss. Magik has no such excuse.
Squirrel Girl and Moon Knight's Covert Ops, which looked like a mini-Spec Ops but turned out to be a Double Unlock. Finishing the quest unlocks each of these heroes for purchase, instead of simply being unlocked, period.
Recently, some buffs last for only one wave in multiple wave battles (regardless what the duration of that buff was, or how long the wave is, either), losing effect as soon as the second wave arrives. For example: Iron Man's Unibeam Charged Attack, which resets to its original power level, meaning overuse of Iron Man's SP for the attack in that battle has just gone to waste.
Sidetracked by the Gold Saucer: SpecOps 8 introduced the Group Boss mechanic. Group Bosses are extremely powerful bosses who can't be defeated in a single fight and must be defeated within a certain amount of time (usually 72 hours). These bosses drop Silver (1 Silver for every HP of damage you do) and Lockboxes, so it's easy to be distracted by those fights and ignore the rest of the Spec Ops tasks.
Hacked Servoguards and their "Malfunction" ability, as detailed above.
Meanwhile, Doom in 10.5 and 12.6 has his "Ring Imperial" area attack that inflicts a status effect that saps the party's HP and has a chance of preventing a character from acting their turn. He maintains this ability when he's Promoted to Playable.
The Mindless Ones' "Abyssal Stare" move, which inflicts Stare of the Abyss on you or your ally. Said debuff drastically damages your character when their turn comes up, and can even stack multiple times for major damage.
PVP-wise, Stun and Incapacitation are the AI's trump card. If an AI party member places this AOE debuff on your team, it's a high chance your entire team will happily skip their next turn and get themselves clobbered.
Prior to the whole nerfing of SpecOps 1, Thunderball. He deals humongous damage, has 2 attacks per turn, and because of the fact that Iron Man was a required team-up of that fight, with his default class being Blaster (weak against Thunderball's Tactician class and gives Thunderball an extra attack), if you didn't buy a Tactician Iron Man outfit or have Tony protected, boy were you in for a good time.
The Hood's Epic Boss from mission 8.5 in Challenge mode...you fight him three times in a row and he comes in the company of another 6 villains, they can be extremely tough and cover all the tactical weakness, and every one of them inflicts some kind of status effect.
The tandem Vapor-Fixer in 4.4 is a pain, especially for players who are running the mission repeatedly for Command Points.
The 12.6 miniboss and boss fights feature Dr. Doom and five Doombots that you have to fight. Going after all six in one fight is a hefty task, made all the worse with the debuffs his attacks can inflict upon you like "Ring Imperial", "Steal Essence" and "Trifurcator".
Blackheart, the Group Boss for Spec Ops 11, is notoriously hard, unless you get to experiment with powerhouse heroes and debuffs to mow down his minions as well.
Spiderwoman's Heroic Battle in Season 2 Mission 1-4 is incredibly difficult. It's technically a Puzzle Boss, but even after you figure out the trick it's still a matter of pure luck that the wrong attack doesn't come at the wrong time to mess up what you have to do without being able to recover before dying, and MODOK can heal himself which can make an already long and tedious battle stretch out even longer.
Cable and Deadpool's Heroic Battle in Season 2 is by far the most difficult. It may seem like a good idea for Deadpool to suddenly switch sides and remove one of the bosses from the battle, but he ends up making the situation a lot worse, as his laptop and protect abilities will constantly screw up your attempts to win the challenge. Even worse is the fact that Cable can also contribute to you losing - his lack of a 'Recharge' option combined with Deadpool's constant healing will mean your painful death via T-O Overdrive if you somehow kill Vapor and X-Ray and leave Deadpool for last. ARGH! (Thankfully, with Cable now being able to switch between 'Control' and 'Overdrive' modes at will and without losing health constantly, this has been made far far easier.)
Wolverine's Heroic Battle against Deadpool and Bob is very frustrating in Challenge Mode, where Bob continues protecting Deadpool while the latter continuously revives Bob and buffing him up with more abilities. Bob can stack several damage-over-time debuffs on Wolverine which bypasses his normal healing rate. After several revives, Bob morphs into a HYDRA battletank and starts taking several turns in one go. It should be noted that Deadpool cannot be eliminated from the fight until Bob has transformed unless you use Savage Rend to remove Bob's protection so you can attack Deadpool first.
Season 2 Chapter 3's Heroic Battles are extremely annoying, esp. the fights with Mr. Fantastic/Dr. Doom and Phoenix/Black Queen. These are Damage-Sponge BossLuck-Based Mission battles, where the main boss weakens your solo character while a lone mook wears you down. You can't also use items nor Distress Calls, and once Doom and Selene use health-draining attacks (ie Stare of the Abyss), you're as good as gone. To put it simply, unless you have the Blaster Heroic Age Hawkeye outfit, you stand no chance against Bowman.
All of this pales in comparison to what might quite possibly be the most difficult boss fight ever in the game so far. Pestilence!Beast from SpecOps 16, we're looking at you. For starters, all of his attacks come with rather debilitating effects, from infecting your entire team with ISO-8 Contagion (which can hit you nearly every single debuff you can think of) to complete mind control, which means that if you're trying to hit Pestilence with anything, you'd pretty much have to expect that your own heroes are going to take the blow instead. And the coup-de-grace while your already suffering team is bogged down by a ton of debuffs and slapping each other silly like a bad comedy routine? His passive, "Paradise Lost", prevents you from removing them AT ALL. By the way, you're going to have a rematch with him in Mission 4 of the SpecOps, and if you try going straight to Apocalypse with Pestilence still alive, kiss your ass goodbye.
Season 2 Chapter 4 has quite a lot of these as Heroic Battles:
Mission 3: Sif vs. Enchantress - while Sif has a class advantage over Enchantress, Enchantress' first attack causes Winded, which negates that. Adding to this, every single one of Enchantress' attacks causes Weakened Resolve, which greatly decreases Sif's stats and lasts for nine rounds, and the Enchantress is immune to bleeding and gets two attacks per turn. This quickly results in Sif's stats dropping to the point where her attacks will only take off less than one percent of Enchantress' health. Coupled with the large number of damage over time effects that Enchantress puts on Sif, and this battle is virtually impossible to win in its current state.
Mission 4: Cyclops, Storm, and Colossus vs. Dragoness, Avalanche, and Toad - each of the villains gets two to three attacks per turn. Toad can use Adhesive Spit, which turns into Hardened Spit if it's applied twice to the same person, and this results in the character in question being stunned for three rounds straight and rendered defenseless. Coupled with Dragoness hitting hard and causing Melt Armor, which turns the heroes into glass cannons, and Avalanche giving his entire team (himself included) extra turns at random, and this battle is just plain frustrating.
In regards to recruiting the SpecOps heroes: originally, they were to be Lost Forever if you did not recruit them during the SpecOps period. Now they sporadically have them on sale...for an exorbitant price of 200 CP!
PvP Tournament heroes are offered for sale about a month after the tournament ends. The first hero, Deadpool, was offered to users at 90, 112, and 135 CP, randomly — to the understandable anger of those who were given the highest price. The second hero, Cable, was offered to everyone at 135. The price point is currently set a 135 CP for all Tournament heroes.
In a case of "they changed a bad thing but now it sucks because it's WORSE!", the Combat Validation Error. Previously, a player could lose his energy points and/or Unstable IS Os if the fight was interrupted because of a game update or a cookie error (opening another instance of the game in the same IP, for example). After an update to correct this, the player could still get the energy/UISO saved if the battle didn't begin, but it got worse when the interruption came in the middle of a combat...or at its end, and still lose the energy/UISO. Cue the roar at Playdom's forums and Facebook pages.
The change in rewards for getting at least 10% damage on a Group Boss from one Lockbox to one S.H.I.E.L.D. Point hasn't been met with a positive response from players. Even moreso with the change to one Lockbox from the previous four Lockbox rewards for each Group Boss killed by an ally.
Pick any outdated character without any passives in their normal outfit and/or with no alternate outfits at all. While the hero can fend for itself in PvE, there's a heavy chance he is a scrappy in PvP where status effects and passives are critical to survive.
On the top tier list for PvP, we have Emma Frost. Her "Psychic Tap" Level 1 ability does low damage at first, but causes massive damage if the opponent attacks, it also bypasses counters and protect. Her "War Diamond" Level 2 ability stuns the opponent. Her Level 6 ability "Unlock Potential" is a buff which removes debuffs and give the selected character a boost in stats. And finally, her "Mental Trauma" Level 9 ability, is a pretty powerful AoE which weakens the opponents and can also bypass counters and protects. Her Phoenix Five uniform pretty much keeps her on the top tier in PvP by way of her unique "Phoenix Potential: Cosmic Power" passive, which has a chance of applying "Cosmic Power", a non-Stamina consuming version of "Unlock Potential".
Without a good hero/gear setup, it will take forever just to take down Rescue. God help you if she's with Omega Sentinel, where they become literal shock absorbers.
Pestilence!Beast. The sole reason? His passive, "Paradise Lost", which prevents debuffs. Pair him up with a weapon (such as Ex Oblivione) or character that causes a huge number of them, and battles will quickly turn from fun to completely irritating.
Ugly Cute: There's something oddly endearing about the Thing's dialogue picture. His expression's smile comes off as more friendly than threatening despite his pose, making him look a little like a teddy bear made out of rock.
Nightcrawler, as per the usual, is frickin' adorable. The bandana and sword he gets in his Swashbuckler alternate uniform makes him more so.
Unfortunate Implications: The Infiltrator class is the only female-dominant one in-game, which is problematic because 1) they tend to focus on evasion and distraction rather than damage output, and cannot take a hit, which 2) makes them unviable in PvP due to a focus on quick and heavy unavoidable damage as well as stealthy attacks (which Infiltrators cannot counter, thus making their class advantage significantly less useful), hence 3) making them unpopular amongst the Fan Dumb, especially of the sexist variety. This is in contrast with the Tactician class, which is generally seen as the best class. However, it only has 3 females compared to 10 males, many who are also limited edition and hence not readily purchasable for new players. This possibly reinforces stereotypes of The Chick relying on 'sneakiness' and unable to endure much damage, while men are more suited to be The Leader.
Subverted because the first (and for a long time, only) female Tactician, Emma Frost, is seen as top tier in both the Tactician class and the game as a whole. The double subversion is she is portrayed as a Lovable Alpha Bitch, drawing the unfortunate conclusion that she only keeps up with the males by being a dry-witted Rich Bitch. Of course, with class-mates like Cyclops, Magneto, Red Hulk, Hank Pym, and more, it may just be that Tacticians tend to be jerks in general.
The game also does pretty well at averting Guys Smash, Girls Shoot. Most of the women have at least one melee attack, those who are purely ranged have useful support moves, and impressive Bruiser powerhouses include She-Hulk, X-23, and Valkyrie, while impressive Scrappers include Magik and Sif. On the other side, several men are entirely ranged, but that number includes dangerous powerhouses like Hawkeye, Magneto, and Doctor Strange.
SpecOps 9 features Rescue, the second recruitable female Tactician, also time-limited, like Emma. Basically, she's a Combat Medic, playing a supportive role while the other members of her team do most of the dirty work. Most of her abilities are healing and shielding maneuvers. Her only attack can remove nasty counterattack abilities in the enemy, but aside from this, it does minimal damage. Rest assured, she's pretty damn badass despite all of that, but the only thing holding back the niggling Stay in the Kitchen vibe is that she makes it clear that this particular moveset is Pepper Potts' own preference.
Nico Minoru needs to be afflicted with Bleeding to use her magic. Blood Magic, yes, but she's a teen goth. Of course, this is an intentional reference to the very intentional implications of the comic.
Villain Sue: Arcade of SpecOps 15, who holds the Agent's entire roster — some of the most powerful heroes in the Marvel Universe — captive, and none of them can escape or do anything about it.
The Woobie: There are quite few examples within the game:
Nightcrawler, who like all other mutants, have been discriminated and hated by non-mutants his entire life. It's been especially hard for him due to his appearance. Despite this, he chooses to side with the X-men and then S.H.I.E.L.D. and fight for the humans who feared and hated him. Because of this he has had to fight his own mother Mystique a few times. Not that she cares.
Karima Shapandar AKA Omega Sentinel who was brainwashed and program into a mutant-killing cyborg. In her Comic-book Collection story, she goes into a detail on how her insides were replaced with weaponry and sensors. After being deprogrammed does she realize who she was and that she can never be the same again.
Thane whose life and death powers manifested as soon as Thanos came to Earth, accidentally causing the death of his people that helped healed. Then is pursued by the Death-obsessed titan for his power, who is actually his father.