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YMMV / Marvel: Avengers Alliance

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  • 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). Heimdall, Falcon, and Scott Lang's base designs are lifted straight from the MCU films Thor, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Ant-Man, respectively, bypassing the comics outfits. The fact that these heroes were introduced in Spec Ops based on MCU movies probably has something to do with it.
    • The game also adapts Eric Savin's Elite Mook status in Iron Man 3 for a Spec Op tie-in. Whether or not the game will use his Coldblood persona as a Lockbox recruit remains to be seen.
    • Also with the playable Loki, even though the game came out after Thor and shortly before The Avengers the design for the boss Loki is that of the comics while the recruitable version is that of Thor: The Dark World. Even all the Warriors Three base designs were taken from the the same movie's likeness as well.
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    • Yellowjacket, normally one of Hank Pym's many identities, is Darren Cross in this version, similar to the Marvel Cinematic Universe version of the character.
  • Anti-Climax Boss:
    • 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.
    • Red Skull in Mission 2-7-5. In the middle of boss fight, there's suddenly an explosion in the boss area (harmless to your party) and he disappears without any track, leaving his two HYDRA goons behind. It doesn't help that the mini-bosses (Arnim Zola, Baron Zemo, and Baron Strucker, each) in the same mission are pretty tough if you're underleveled, yet the boss fight against Red Skull is finished surprisingly easier and faster than those mini-bosses.
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  • 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.
  • Archive Panic: Brand new players start off facing 12 lengthy chapters in Seasons 1 and 2, each with six missions apiece, and an ever-expanding roster of heroes at daunting price-points. (It's likely that this is what ultimately killed the game.)
  • 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 more than hold their own. Deadpool in particular is a beast in PVP due to his troll-style abilities his empowered ISO-8s give him.
  • 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. 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.)
    • Fridge Brilliance kicked in when Eddie Brock became Anti-Venom. His bio still credits him as the original host of the Venom symbiote. What's more, it took place during a Spec Op that was all about Spidey and his Symbiotes.
    • For much time, Nova has been one of the most requested heroes, and fans rejoiced upon seeing him as the reward of PVP Season 18. But many fans stopped rejoicing once they realized that instead of Richard Rider, the original Nova, it was the much reviled Sam Alexander, whom most people know from his appearance in Ultimate Spider-Man. Many fans are already asking for Rider to be an alternate costume.
      • However, on June 2016, Richard Rider was announced as a general release hero.
  • Character Tiers: Some heroes are definitely stronger than others, especially in PvP. Playdom, however sometimes comes along and buffs weaker characters up to higher tiers. What heroes occupy the higher ranks are subject to change from season to season, but the general consensus is that if a character finds a Hammer of the Worthy, their usefulness shoots up quite a bit, due to having unavoidable debuffs. Another surefire way for a character to gain power is through the release of new e-iso and a-iso, all the better if it is a personal one for them only.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome:
    • PvP is highly problematic in general. With each revamp/release, there's a selected group of heroes which are always selected.
    • The Spec Ops tasks that are based on battle score will cause agents to tend towards teams with the highest team up bonuses: Mockingbird + Hawkeye, Black Widow + Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch + Quicksilver, Starlord + Iron Man, and so forth.
    • The Agent will almost always bring one of these weapons/gadgets: Limited Edition gear, SpecOps and PVP weapons. And especially, the Cube.
    • 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.
    • Those who have Modern Armor Sif WILL spam Leaping Slash for the first three rounds. It has Deadly Crits, and the consecutive blows will do even more damage.
  • 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.
    • Mystics/Elders/Mentalists (they're the same mook with different stats) from Spec Ops 21. They're essentially improved versions of Emma Frost, but what made them so horrible is the fact that they can preemptively apply Mental Anguish to an attacking hero, meaning that said hero will lose about 50% of his/her HP after attacking. If you're facing more than one in a fight, you will lose at least one of your heroes in a couple turns. Luckily, stealthy and psychic attacks can easily bypass their pre-counters. Magneto and Juggernaut are also effective since their passives prevent them from getting hit by these enemies' psychic attacks.
    • Scrapper Iso-Saurs, for quickly literally bleeding your whole team dry in a few hits while giving themselves plenty of extra turns.
    • Bruiser Test Subjects. They increase their defense each time they're attacked, and they can stun you!
    • The web-head goons in Special Op 29. They dodge many of your attacks then get another turn to attack, they add webbed to you with their melee attacks and some can stun you (not even counting web counters).
  • Designated Villain: Incursion invaders are labelled in-game as villains. For all we know, they're defending their universe from us.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Ever since his appearance in the teaser for Season 2 (and possibly because of his unique status), there has been quite a lot of interest in Armless Tiger Man. His appearance in the game was even asked about in October 2014's Q&A panel.
    • The Sandman, the one villain that fans have long been anticipating ever since the introduction of Lockbox recruitment.
    • Molly Hayes has been met with overwhelming approval from the fanbase, due to her being a Badass Adorable. Several players have even taken note of her abilities, which not only works quite well in tandem with other characters, but can cause a LOT of damage in the process. Observe.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: The Circle of 8 members. Combining '80s Hair with Tron Lines with a dash of Hell-Bent for Leather sounds cool on paper, but it sometimes results in costumes like this.
  • Fan Nickname: "Agent Wallet" or "Wallet Warriors" are terms used by players who play the game without using real-life money to buy Gold, Command Points, etc; to address other players who use their real-life money to buy those things and make their PvP team very strong.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • 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.
    • 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". But this has been degraded to an extent, since all bonuses were reduced across the board, with PvP armory ones taking the biggest hit, resulting in several reports of players being unable to compensate for their low hero bonuses with PvP armory bonuses, even the latest 2gold costing ones.
    • 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.
    • The Synthetic 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!
      • It is worth noting, however, that there are ways around it. Mental attacks cannot be Reality Hacked away. Despair prevent The Light Fantastic from working properly, and the Depower debuff will prevent both Blackest Void and Improbability Field from affecting you. It is still difficult to deal with, but not completely impossible.
    • 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. He can effortlessly shut down medics like Rescue/Angel and stack-buffers like Havok/Quicksilver.
    • A meta example: Since the game is pay-to-win, anyone with access to a large amount of money or a credit card.
    • Amazing Spider Woman can easily subdue all exploitable enemies, being one of the few Blasters with the ability to have extra turns coupled with a damage increasing buff that reaches 3 stacks for 24% more damage. She was toned down, but a mere lvl2 of hers also gives 2 stacks of Webbed, leaving the target unable to use melee or ranged attacks, as well as having a chance to have their move interrupted.
    • Spitfire is even worse than Quicksilver, with her lvl1 attack buff stacks up to five times, increasing her attack and defense. All her moves are stealthy, even her lvl9 bleed exploiting moves, she also has a fatal blow move on her lvl6 that restores all her health and stamina if it kills an opponent.Her lvl2 gives ateam wide tenderized and bleeding as well, which allows her slashing lvl9 to kill anyone she pleases.
    • One of heroes released after the shutdown announcement, White Tiger, is this all by herself. She inflicts Primal Fear on all enemies (unless they're immune to psychic attacks or fear), an unremovable debuff which cuts all their stats by 45%-55% and makes them unable to receive stat-boosting buffs. Her level 9 doubles her own stats and gives special properties to all her attacks, and gives her access to a new attack that can easily do five-digit damage. And she's immune to fear and stun, as well as damage-over-time attacks. And she gets stronger every time she's attacked. And she can pre-counter attacks aimed at her. And she restores her own health and stamina every turn. And she's a Generalist, so she has no class-related weaknesses. It's very likely that, due to the game closing, they decided not to even try to balance her and just released her as-is.
  • 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.
    • While several players complained about the web-head goons in Special Op 29 being Demonic Spiders, several others pointed out the limits of their Spider Sense including not working against attacks that hit all enemies, debuffs that prevent evasion including those that Hawkeye and Black Widow (which are mandatory characters) have, counter attacks and the True Strike effect. Also, bleeding attacks, which activate whenever the opponent act turn their Spider Sense against them and items with that effect in case your moves get locked out are easily available. Heroes with multi target attacks that staggers like Hulk, Ant-Mant and Anti-Venom shut them down. And if you happened to have a Symbiote on your side, he just No Selled the Spider Sense. So while they are Elite Mooks that will give a player who just started a bad time, a player who managed to build a decent selection of heroes can easily manage them.
  • Good Bad Bugs: 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).
    • 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.
    • SO 27 had as a group boss Karn, one of the toughest group bosses they have had yet with resistance to a lot of over time effects and some brutal One Hit Kill attacks. However, a bug led to him taking a lot of damage from Static Charge attacks. Teaming Thor and Storm with appropriate A ISO and E ISO along with agent gear led to the ability to win a lot of silver before the bug was fixed late in the SO.
    • In an attempt to balance out PvP, Playdom introduced a Level Cap system in September 2014's Beta Tournament, which put everyone at a certain level. Unfortunately, while this was supposed to apply to the weapons as well, those that were 'Custom' were unaffected, doing the exact same damage they were before, resulting in a lot of hilarious one-hit-kills by Agents. However, this does have the side effect of making PvP progress for some players a lot easier and less frustrating to go through, while others......aren't as amused.
  • 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.
    • Sabretooth was often ridiculed not because of his tier, but because he was an odd choice for an unlockable "hero". Sabretooth winds up getting affected by the Inversion in AXIS, and, at the end of the storyline, one of the few who never switched back.
    • Iron Man states in his premium mission that "Doom's a lot of things, but he's not a hacker." This calls to mind the pre-release information of what Doom's intended role seemed to be in Fantastic Four (2015) along with a common reaction to it.
  • "Holy Shit!" Quotient: 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.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Iceman as the Death horsemen. Kitty tried the "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight, and he remembered how Kitty broke his heart in the past. And, as a result, he will kill her.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Since this game takes several elements from Marvel Cinematic Universe, some players only play this game to see what if X-Men Film Series and Fantastic Four become part of MCU.
  • 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. It seems that Playdom has caught on to this, though, and is offering an Augmented Iso-8 that specifically removes the chance of this happening.
    • 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.
    • The fanfare that plays after recruiting a new hero. Especially if it's a hero you got for free, such as the ones you get for completing a Spec Ops.
  • 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.
  • Padding:
    • With a roster of over 100+ heroes, maxing out each one will be a chore, since the upper levels award boosts for PVP stats and extra Empowered or Augmented Iso slots.
    • 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. A 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.
    • 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.
  • Pandering to the Base: Playdom seems to be the master at this. Most anytime players have issues with the game, Playdom often seeks to remedy the problem, or at least mitigate it so that the experience is a lot more fun for all. Consider the following:
    • 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.
    • In June, Playdom offered the Synthetic Cube for sale, much to the delight of those requesting it....and the ire of those who can't afford the hefty 128 Gold pricetag. Later on, however, for a cheaper price, they began offering items with the "Obsolete Tech" debuff, which can give said players a fighting chance against the Cube. One such item? The popular Mystic (then a PvP exclusive reward prize!)
    • If you have saved up enough gold to purchase the upgrade, being able to train two heroes at the same time is very invaluable, given the time-consuming nature of training one hero at a time. This allows any new recruits to rack up on levels while a high-level hero is pending a level-up.
    • In the last leg of PvP Season 18, Playdom tossed players a bone to cope with the surge of Tactician Armored opponents who are exploiting the Momentary Advantage/Snappy Service combo to get an absurd number of turns - a little item known as Weather Control, specifically its "Fire Tornado" attack, a quick action that can cause Exhausted on an entire team! Best of all, that attack is Catastophic, which means that defensive teams that hide behind walls such as Groot or effects such as Reality Hacking weren't safe from it. Better yet, if the player is using Pestilence!Beast, it will backfire on them as they can't get rid of Exhausted. Even better still, if the CPU-controlled opponent happens to have one themselves, they won't spam "Fire Tornado" constantly to keep the player under their thumb, which keeps it from being a complete Game-Breaker on defense itself. In one smart little package, Playdom managed to solve many of the balance problems players were having with PvP.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: What Playdom tries to do when they give older, outdated heroes revamps along with updated suits.
  • 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 was a chance that he could 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.
    • In a meta sense, Kang The Conqueror. The general consensus is that he made a very credible villain and making him a restricted hero like Doom leaves him underwhelming; with his unique Do T debuff being unable to work since last year and his damage being subpar at best. It leaves him as one of the weakest Lockbox heroes, which are only purchaseable by gold, to add insult to injury.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: The list is long and still growing. It had to be given its own page.
  • 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.
  • Tear Jerker: This exchange between Nightcrawler and Mystique in Heroic Battle Season 2 Chapter 1 Mission 3:
    Nightcrawler: I have seen enough hate, Mother. I will not become hate. Müssen wir immer gegeneinander streiten?note 
    Mystique: Ja, mein Sohn. Wir müssen.note 
    • Later once you won:
    Nightcrawler: Each time I confront my mother, I emerge...ein bisschen müde.note 
    Professor X: You are forced into a realization, Kurt. It is always better to fight the difficult battle and suffer its aftermath once. The alternative, of course, is to surrender and live with that surrender every day of one's life. That is precisely what your mother has done.
    Nightcrawler: Ja, aber...diese Kämpfe, die sind schwer.note  She points down a path I will not follow.
    • If you lost, on the other hand, Nightcrawler will use his teleportation power to escape and completely absent from conversation. Mystique desperately calls for him.
    Mystique: Come back, my son. Come back. We don't have to fight any more.
    [in another place]
    Nick Fury: Where is he?
    Professor X: He's teleporting around faster than you can track him.
    Nick Fury: Slow him down, Professor. This is his fight in the end, and we have to make sure we help him win it.
    Professor X: Kurt. You cannot run. We need you to stand and fight.
    • In September 2016 the game and its sequel were set to close by the end of the month. The developers left a message thanking players for their support.
  • That One Attack:
    • 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.
    • Woe betide players when facing Grey Gargoyle (particularly since he's a Mini-Boss in one of the best CP-farming missions), and his Creeping Petrification debuff. Try Everything (Depowernote , high evasion to make him miss, etc.), and he will still inflict that debuff on a poor target.
  • That One Boss:
    • 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 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.
    • 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 Boss Luck-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. Enchantress is pretty much impossible to beat without Recovering Iso-8, so don't bother trying.
      • Steel Yourself is there for a reason: prevent all Neutralized or Weakened Resolve stacks for a slight reduction of your damage output. Ignore Amora's taunts when the debuffs get too high, then go back to Rage. Modern Sif's Leaping Slash with a damage-up A-ISO-8 can end the match in 2 rounds.
      • 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.
      • S-Colossus, B-Cyclops and B-Storm removes the bosses' class advantages and set up Storm's Protective Shroud and Tornado ASAP. Focus fire on Toad while Colossus guards. If you won Storm's Wind Shear ISO-8 from this, repeating this battle will be significantly easier.
      • Similar to Iron Man vs Thunderball above, Hulkbuster vs Epic Hulk in SpecOps 26 tie-in. The fight forces you to use a Blaster/Bruiser IM against a Tac-Hulk, who often starts the fight with as much as 4 turns with the class advantage, and another 4 turns every round. The first goal is to endure Hulk's onslaught of attacks for 3 turns until Xavier turns him into a Bruiser, but that is no walk in the park. Hulkbuster's random shield procs are very essential to survive. Fortunately, the armor heals itself after 3 rounds, and by this point Hulk should have been turned into a Bruiser. Dampen Hulk's damage with Weakened while using a shield augment to his L2 and recovering EISO to keep IM's shields and health up.
  • That One Level: defeating Hood in 2.5.3 is not That One Boss material, but beating him with 85,000 points is a whole other story: it will be the final roadblock a player will face in mastering Chapter 5. A forum thread in trying to develop a strategy for this quickly exploded into several pages, yet few were still able to achieve the score even with the strategies provided. Somehow, a similar task with Man-Ape pales in comparison, even though his score target is higher (100,000). Playdom seems to have finally realized how daunting of a task it was, that they nerfed the score to 70,000 nearly three weeks later.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
    • In regards to recruiting the SpecOps heroes: originally, they were to be unobtainable if you did not recruit them during the SpecOps period. Now they sporadically have them on sale... for an exorbitant price of 200 CP!
    • Mockingbird has gotten the brunt of this. People who had Mockingbird were none too pleased when it was announced that she was on sale. People were also none too pleased that she cost 200. Later, she can be gotten for free...If you buy the Avengers Initiative game for iOS/Android, connect your Marvel XP account, and beat Taskmaster in three consecutive runs without retreating. People who bought Mockingbird were especially pissed.
    • 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.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy:
    • 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.
    • Enchantress. She deals little direct damage, but her lvl2 and lvl6 give her Mind Control and Disoriented respectively, which she can use as Free Actions, with little issue. Her lvl1 is an ethereal, guaranteed hit that gives bane and Chaos Shot, which has ammo stacks like Rocket Racoon. Each of these shots being magic, sheb can heal 10% of her health per shot thanks to the Empathetic e-iso. The end result is your heroes attacking each other while sufffering from a myriad of Do Ts. Who needs damage like that?
  • 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.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion:
    • You could be forgiven for thinking Angel was a woman.
    • In a case of Writer Gender Confusion, at one point in the game, Karolina Dean is referred to as "gender-fluid" - apparently one of the game's writers got her confused with her fiancée Xavin.
  • The Woobie: There are quite few examples within the game:
    • Nightcrawler, who like all other mutants, has been discriminated against 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 programmed into a mutant-killing cyborg. In her Comic-book Collection story, she goes into detail on how her insides were replaced with weaponry and sensors. Only 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 he helped heal. Then he's pursued by the Death-obsessed titan for his power, who is actually his father.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?: For some reason, Cyclops' Uncanny costume makes him look like he's wearing a toupee.

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