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    Mykk reacted to Voltagesauce for a blog entry, MSF Beginner Legendary Farming Guide   
    MSF Beginner Legendary Farming Guide
    Last Updated: June 2020
    Section 1 - Introduction
    Hi everyone, I'm Voltagesauce. You might have seen my beginners guide I posted last week. If not, and you're a beginner looking for a guide, here is the link:
    One of the topics that came up in Reddit comments was wanting more details on how to go get legendaries. The legendaries can be confusing for new players since it is not clearly explained how they work in the game. This guide will cover some of the basics of legendaries and how to farm for them.
    EDIT: I also decided to create a discord server for beginners (or anyone) that wants to ask questions or talk about the game. I'd love for you to stop by:
    Section 2 - Disclaimers
    I only have two legendaries - Starlord and Invisible Women. This guide is just supposed to be the basics. For how to use the legendaries, I want to give a shout out to u/FullMetalCos because he has some really solid guides on Reddit for using each legendary. UPDATE: I now have all the legendaries available currently. This guide is mostly focused on farming for legendary requirements and not power level. Even if you have the required characters at the right level, you still have to win the fight to unlock the legendary. There are really good graphics with minimum power levels you need for each legendary. For example, Khasino has good ones. There is a datamine that Ironman will be introduced as a permanent event in the Events section, and will be able to be unlocked at 3* instead of 5. Datamines are subject to change, so we will assume 5* unlock for the purpose of this guide. Section 3 - Intro to Legendaries
    Legendaries are characters that are only available during their specific event and require 5 characters with certain tags at 5* (with the exception of Phoenix who requires 5 characters at 6*). I will go over each of the legendaries requirements and where to farm them.
    It is unknown when these events will be available, so it is best to plan ahead. Each event is normally announced a week or two before it begins, which is generally not enough time to farm the characters you need. In general, the events for each character are 2-4 months apart. My recommendation is to farm on your schedule for the legendary you want and not try to farm based on the estimated game schedule. You may be pleasantly surprised when the character you want and have farmed for comes earlier than expected. There are times it might make sense to finish a farm to meet the games schedule as well, but in general I think it's a good idea to farm for the legendary you want next.
    With a few exceptions (like defenders), teams really need a legendary character to enable them to go from mediocre non-meta teams to the top meta teams in the game.
    In general, legendaries have powerful abilities and stats, but a main reason they make the teams so powerful is because they have what are called "leadership abilities". These abilities are typically in their passive and significantly boost their allies. I will cover these in each of the legendaries individual sections.
    Section 4 - Legendary Farming Basics
    The requirements for each legendary are different, so the difficulty to farm for each character varies a lot. This section covers the different ways characters can be farmed and the difficulty associated with that farming method.
    Blitz - Mostly people consider characters in the blitz store to be the easiest to get. There are the most blitz credits available compared to other modes, all the toons are available in the store at any given time, and they are the cheapest. All the characters available in the blitz store that are requirements for legendaries are good targets.
    Campaign - Other characters are only available in campaign nodes. So the main resource to farm these characters is energy, but it's a slow farm because you are limited 5 attempts each day (or use cores for more attempts). Some characters have multiple nodes, which can speed up the farming. The numbers i have seen thrown around the internet as generally accepted farming numbers are 2.5 shards per 5 attempts (2.5 per node per day).
    Arena - It depends on how you are doing in arena whether farming arena or nodes is a faster farm. In my experience arena is a faster farm. If you just complete your daily objectives then you can get 5 shards every day. Any more than that and you are farming faster than a node. However, you can only farm one character at a time and you can farm a bunch of nodes at a time.
    Raid - Characters in the raid store can be fairly hard to farm. They are more expensive than blitz and arena and only 3 characters show in the store at one time. This can be a major hold up for certain legendary requirements. I prefer to avoid relying on these characters if possible.
    Alliance War - I believe most people agree that the war store is the hardest to farm. This may change with the most recent update when all since war league's start. It sounds like more resources will be available. Only 3 characters are available at anytime and they are more expensive than blitz or arena shards.
    Section 5 - Ironman

    Requirements - Shield Characters
    Shield Security (Arena Store or Heroes 3-6) Captain America (Heroes 6-9 or Nexus 5-9) Shield Trooper (Raid Store or Villains 4-3) Shield Operative (War Store or Heroes Assemble) Shield Medic (Heroes 2-3 or Villains 1-6) Shield Assault (Nexus 2-3) Hawkeye (Heroes 6-6 or Villains 1-9) Quake (Arena Store) Black Widow (Unfarmable) Nick Fury (Legendary Event) Agent Coulson (Milestone Orbs Only) Primary Modes: Alliance War Offense, Blitz
    Primary team: Power Armor
    Leadership Ability: None except for a little added synergy with War Machine
    Farming Advice: There are more good options than bad options for this event. I would recommend avoiding Shield Assault because of only one node, and Shield Operative because you probably do not want to be spending your war credits on her. However, at this point in the game, the shield minions see the most play, so it could make sense to prioritize some of them if possible.
    Ironman has a lot of characters that fulfill the requirements to unlock him. Who you choose to farm may come down to who you pull from your random orbs. Ironman is considered one of the weakest legendaries and doesn't provide much value outside of alliance war at this time. However, when you unlock Nick Fury you will want to use him with shield minions so you may be able to unlock IM while powering then up. As mentioned in the disclaimer, this event may become a permanent event and Ironman will be able to be unlocked with five 3* shield characters instead of five 5* shield characters. This would make him the easiest legendary to farm. UPDATE: Ironman's event has become a permanent event and the requirements were made easier as expected. I left him in the guide, but he is not really considered a legendary anymore.
    Section 6 - Starlord

    Requirements - Five 5* Guardians or Ravager Characters
    Groot (Nexus 2-9) Rocket Racoon (Raid Store) Drax (Arena Store) Gamora (Blitz Store) Mantis (Blitz Store) Ravager Boomer (Blitz Store) Yondu (Heroes 1-9) Ravager Stitcher (Raid Store) Ravager Bruiser (Heroes 4-6) Primary Modes: Arena, Raids, Fear the Darkness (DD2), Alliance War, Blitz
    AUGUST UPDATE: U6 Raids, DD1, Alliance War, Blitz
    Primary team: Guardians or Technerva
    Leadership Ability: Guardian Allies gain +30% damage and +20% speed. Also, generate 1-2 ability energy to guardian allies
    Farming Advice: Similar to Ironman there are a lot of potential options for Starlord, but most are not farmable in multiple locations. However, a great place to farm for starlord is through the Blitz Orb. Mantis, Gamora and Ravager Boomer are all available in the Blitz store. Groot is a fairly difficult farm with only one node, but he is one of the top characters in the game. Drax is a good option in the arena store. Rocket is a pretty RNG reliant character to farm because he is in the Raid store, but if possible he is one of the best blasters in the game. The nice thing about farming for Starlord is you can “passively” farm many of these characters while farming the Defenders nodes.
    Starlord is one of the most useful characters in the game and enables some of the Guardians (mostly Groot and Rocket) to become some of the best characters in the game. With three of the required characters in the Blitz store it is fairly easy to get them all to 5* over a short amount of time. It is also pretty easy to farm for other purposes while farming for Starlord because only Groot or Yondu are farmed from campaign nodes. For example, farming for the Defenders and Starlord do not overlap. One of the best parts about the requirements for Starlord is that you use many of the same team members with Starlord as you use to unlock him. He is the only legendary with that benefit.

    AUGUST EDIT: Starlord is still a very good character, but many players are finding trouble finding places to use him because of all the newer stronger characters that have been introduced to the game. He is no longer one of the most useful characters in the game. He can be a good option with the other guardians for Dark Dimension 1. He can also be a good option with Minnerva for Dark Dimension 2, but he is not "essential" like he used to be.
    Section 7 - Nick Fury

    Requirements - Five 5* Kree Minions
    Kree Noble (Cosmic 1-6) UPDATE: Noble's 2nd node was removed recently Kree Cyborg (Nexus 3-6 and Cosmic 2-3) Kree Reaper (Heroes 5-6 and Cosmic 2-6) Kree Royal Guard (Blitz Store) Kree Oracle (Raid Store) Primary Modes: Arena, Raids, Fear the Darkness (DD2), Alliance War, Blitz
    AUGUST UPDATE: Alliance War, Blitz
    Primary team: Fury Shield
    Leadership Ability: On Spawn, grant Speed Up to all shield minions. On Turn, 50% to grant Speed Up to Shield minions. Grant offense up to shield minions on assists. Shield minions gain +10% armor and +30% resistance.
    Farming Advice: There are only five available characters for unlocking Fury. It is important to remember that it is only the kree minions and not any kree that can be used for the unlock. Kree Noble is a little harder than the others because you have to make progress into the Mystic Campaign. Kree Oracle is the other tough farm because of the RNG of the raid store.
    Similar to Starlord, Fury is a very versatile character and makes the Fury Shield team one of the best in all modes of the game. A lot of people recommend farming for Nick Fury after the Defenders because they will help you progress in the Villains and Cosmic Campaigns. One downside of farming for Fury is that you also have to farm the shield minions for Fury to be super useful after you unlock him. So you essentially have to farm two teams instead of one (shield and kree), which can be difficult because they both require farming lots of campaign nodes.
    AUGUST UPDATE: Fury and the shield team have become fairly one dimensional. They are primarily only used on war defense with Nick Fury and Coulson. He is still a strong character and makes the shield team much better, but overall has become less of a priority to farm for.
    Section 8 - Magneto

    Requirements - Five 5* Brotherhood or X-Men Characters
    Pyro (War Store) Sabretooth (Raid Store) Juggernaut (Arena Store) Mystique (Villains 5-6) Storm (Mystic 2-3) Wolverine (Daily Objectives) Colossus (Unfarmable) Psylocke (Cosmic 3-6) UPDATE: Psylocke got added to a node recently Phoenix (Legendary Event) Toad (Blitz Store) Blob (Arena Store) Primary Modes: Arena, Fear the Darkness (with Jugg), Alliance War Attack, Blitz
    Primary team: Brotherhood/Brotherhood 2.0
    Leadership Ability: On enemy Crit, apply Speed Up to all Brotherhood allies. Brotherhood allies gain +50% Focus and +30% Max Health. Also, when Juggernaut is an ally, Juggernaut gets +20% speed bar whenever he is attacked.
    Farming Advice: There are currently only six options for farming Magneto. Wolverine is considered a “gimme” because he is the daily login calendar and most people’s most farmed character. Juggernaut is the only other easy farm because he is in the arena store. Storm is a hard farm because her node is almost half through the Mystic Campaign.
    Currently, Magneto is a hard unlock because there are only 6 options and 4 of them are hard farms. Pyro is essential to the Brotherhood team, so it might be worth using War Credits on him. Magneto can pair with Juggernaut and be used in many teams, and together make up one of the best attacking teams in the game for Arena or War. The Brotherhood team does not have much healing/sustain, so it is not recommended to farm for Magneto if you are looking for a better raid team.

    AUGUST EDIT: Of the first 3 legendaries (SL, Fury, Mags), Magneto has become the one with the most uses. Primarily because the Brotherhood 2.0 was introduced with Blob and Toad. They are considered one of the top Alliance War Attack teams and can also be useful in early Arena shards. Magneto is also pretty easy to unlock now because there are a lot of options for the unlock.
    Section 9 - Shuri

    Requirements - Five 5* Spiderverse Characters
    Spiderman (Blitz Store) Spiderman (Miles) (Blitz Store) Venom (Nexus 6-9) Carnage (War Store) Rhino (Blitz Store) Mysterio (Raid Store) Green Goblin (Nexus 5-6) Shocker (Cosmic 1-9) Vulture (Arena Store) Symbiote Spiderman (unfarmable) Primary Modes: Raids, Alliance War, Blitz
    AUGUST UPDATE: Raids, Alliance War, Dark Dimension 2/3, Blitz
    Primary team: Wakandan, Tech Hybrid
    Leadership Ability: On Spawn, apply Speed Up to all Wakandan Allies. In Raids, all Wakandan allies gain +40% Max Health and +20% Armor. In Raids, when any Wakandan ally drops below 50% health, gain 3 Deflect.
    Farming Advice: With the addition of the Sinister Six characters to the game, there are many options that are fairly easy to farm. Carnage is the only character that I would recommend to avoid farming for this event. Additionally, the Sinister Six make a really good option for efficiency because Invisible Women requires five 5* Sinister Six characters. So you can unlock two legendaries with the same five characters.
    Shuri has a really powerful kit that works well on lots of different teams, but she has not made her way into many top meta teams yet. For most people, Shuri is not a priority legendary to farm compared to Starlord, Nick Fury, Magneto and Phoenix. Farming for her got a lot easier with the addition of the Sinister Six characters, so as more people unlock her I would expect more theorycrafting to occur. UPDATE: Shuri has become a highly recommended character for U7 raids because of her defense up and heal.

    AUGUST UPDATE: Shuri is now considering one of the most vital characters for U7 raids. She is also very useful for Dark Dimension 3. Most people use her outside of the Wakandan team. She should now be considered a priority legendary to farm for.
    Section 10 - Phoenix

    Requirements - Five 6* Villain Mystic Controller Characters
    Nobu (Villains 6-3) Ronan (Raid Store) Mordo (Arena Store) Loki (Mystic 3-6) Hand Assassin (Nexus 7-6) Hela (Villains 7-6) Primary Modes: Arena, Alliance War Attack, Blitz, Raids (highly debated)
    AUGUST EDIT: Arena, Alliance War Attack, Blitz, Raids (highly debated), Dark Dimension 3
    Primary team: X-Men
    Leadership Ability: X-Men allies gain +30% Damage and +30% Max Health. Also, when Colossus is an ally - On Spawn, Colossus gains Defense Up for 2 turns and all X-Men allies gain Defense Up.
    Farming Advice: This is by far the hardest legendary event to farm for. Mordo is the only easy farm, but still takes commitment to get to 6*. Loki is toward the end of the Mystic Campaign and one of the hardest campaign nodes to 3*. Additionally, Nobu and Hand Assassin and not used in many other game modes at this time.
    Phoenix is being called one of the best characters in the game not named Ultron, but she is very hard for new players to farm towards. She is pretty much a requirement to be competitive in older arena shards and is part of the best attacking team in Alliance War. As a beginner, this is a legendary to keep in the back of your mind, but not likely one that you could unlock early on. UPDATE: Phoenix is popular as a option for hard U7 nodes.
    AUGUST EDIT: Phoenix is also considered almost essential for Dark Dimension 3. She is still considered one of the top characters in the game.
    Section 11 - Invisible Women

    Requirements - Five 5* Sinister Six Characters
    Rhino (Blitz Store) Mysterio (Raid Store) Green Goblin (Nexus 5-6) Shocker (Cosmic 1-9) Vulture (Arena Store) Primary Modes: Unsure because she is brand new to the game, but most likely Alliance War Attack and Blitz. UPDATE: She also sees play in Arena and Raids
    Primary team: Fantastic Four
    Leadership Ability: When an enemy attacks a Fantastic Four ally with Barrier, attack that enemy for +250% Damage. Fantastic Four and Namor allies gain +20% Max Health.
    Farming Advice: As I mentioned in the Shuri section, these five characters can be used to unlock two legendary characters. Mysterio, Green Goblin, and Shocker are not the easiest farms, but it is efficient to farm them for the double legendary unlock.
    We don’t know much about Invisible Women yet since she just got released to the game this week. She is being advertised as being a part of one of the top Alliance War attack teams. It is tough to say how to prioritize unlocking her until she gets more play. The Fantastic Four are also being advertised as a versatile team, so they may be able to see play in other games modes by replacing Namor with other characters. I plan to add more information here later. UPDATE: IW has seen a lot of play since being released. She has made it into a lot of high level arena teams and she is highly recommended for U7 raids. Her ability to cleanse and apply offense down to all the enemies is extremely powerful.

    AUGUST EDIT: Invisible Women has a ton of utility and can be useful in many different modes. She is not essential for any modes, but can be a great option to have.
    Section 12 - Black Bolt

    Requirements - Five 5* Asgardian Characters
    Loki (Mystic 3-6) Thor (Raid Store) Sif (War Store) Hela (Villains 7-6) Heimdall (Arena Store) Primary Modes: Unsure because he is brand new to the game, but it sounds like he will be an amazing overall character. FoxNext is saying he will be used in Arena. They also said they will be a strong attacking team in war. Players have also been having success with him in U7 raids.
    Primary team: Inhumans
    Leadership Ability: Inhuman allies gain +40% Resistance and +50% Max Health.
    Farming Advice: Black Bolt is not currently attainable by farming. He is only possible through purchasing offers. UPDATE: All the Asgardians are now farmable. Hela's node is hard to get to because of the node restrictions. First, players must beat Heroes 7-1 with a Hero City team. Then, players must be Villains 7-1 to 7-3 with Hydra, S6, or AIM (Hydra with Red Skull or AIM is recommended). Finally, VIllains 7-4 to 7-6 requires Villain Mystics.
    Black Bolt is still new, but he appears to be one of the strongest characters in the game. He is a direct counter to some of the other top characters in the game (Ultron and Minnerva). The Inhumans are expected to be one of the top arena teams, but this has not been confirmed. Crystal and Karnak have not be released at the time of writing this update. UPDATE: With Yo-yo, Black Bolt appears to be one of the most useful characters in the game. The duo is used heavily in Arena and U7.

    AUGUST EDIT: Black Bolt is arguably the most useful character in the game and I highly recommend working toward unlocking him as soon as possible.
    Section 13 - Ebony Maw
    UPDATE: Adding maw to the guide

    Requirements - 5* Black Bolt and 4 other Inhumans at 5*
    Black Bolt (Legendary Event) Crystal (Arena Store) Quake (Arena Store) Karnak (Nexus 8-6) Yoyo (Premium Orbs Exclusive) Ms Marvel (Mystic 2-6) Primary Modes: Maw is still the newest legendary, but appears to be awesome in a bunch of modes. He is pretty much an arena staple and has some use in Ultimus 7 raids. Black Order is also one of the top alliance war teams.
    AUGUST EDIT: Arena, Raids, Dark Dimension 3, Alliance War, Blitz
    Primary Team: Black Order
    Leadership Ability: Maw completes Thanos being empowered at the start of a match. The whole team gets bonuses to stats from each of their passives.
    Farming Advice: Black Bolt is required for the Maw unlock, so read section 12 for obtaining Black Bolt. Also, yoyo is a premium orb exclusive character, so she is hard to farm to 5* without spending. For most players they will be using Crystal, Quake, Karnak and Ms Marvel to unlock maw.
    AUGUST EDIT: Maw has lived up to the hype and is considered a top character in the game. He has uses outside of the full Black Order Team and is extremely powerful for Dark Dimension 3. He is a very powerful character for arena, raids, dark dimension and war.
    Section 14 - Doctor Octopus
    AUGUST EDIT: Doctor Octopus has been introduced as the next legendary coming to the game. He will require 5 X-Force members at 5* to unlock. Only Cable and Deadpool are currently farmable and there is no information on when the other three will be farmable. See the dev blog for the latest info: https://www.marvelstrikeforce.com/en/updates/blog-update-7-24
    Information about his kit or what modes he will be useful for is not available at this time.
    Section 15 - Farming Math
    AUGUST EDIT: Some of the stores have changed, so the math is slightly different. For update numbers, please visit the beginner discord: https://discord.gg/bKAFnJn
    Similar to my first beginner’s guide post, I want to throw out some math so you have some context when you make decisions about farming for legendaries. Some people want to collect all of the legendaries and some might just want to focus on specific characters they’re interested in. This section will cover each resource and the different options for how to use it.
    Blitz Credits - For farming characters, the options are the Blitz orb for 350 credits or individual character shards for 500 credits (minions are 400). You would be able to generate more Blitz credits than this, but I am going to estimate that players can generate about 8,180 credits a week or about 1,170 credits a day from completing all of the milestones. With those assumptions, you could farm an individual blitz character 2.34 times a day or 11.7 shards a day. If you were focused on farming for a certain legendary you could get an individual character from the Blitz Store from 0 shards to 5* in about 27 days. To get all 15 characters to 5* would take approximately 405 days.
    If you were to use those same credits for buying blitz orbs you would expect to buy 3.34 orbs per day or average about 1.1 shards of each character per day (assuming 15 characters). So to get all Blitz Store characters from 0 shards to 5* would take about 278 days. This is about 45% faster than through individual character shard purchases.
    Overall, I think there are a few takeaways from this math. Buying orbs is by far the best value over the long term and this is the approach I have taken because we don’t know which characters will be useful later (different events or buffs). On the other hand, it is significantly faster to farm for individual characters if you are really looking to get one legendary at a certain star level. One simple way to look at it would be to decide how many characters in the blitz store are useful to you. If it is 10 or more then buy orbs. If it is 9 or less, buying the individual character shards would be faster.
    Two final comments I want to make about farming Blitz: First, I want to reiterate that these numbers are very conservative. You will be earning more Blitz Orbs and Blitz Credits by playing Blitz and earning the character shards from other orbs. I have been playing for around 135 days and have all the Blitz characters except Rescue (just added) at 5 stars. A few are at or close to 6*. Which brings me to my next point - these numbers are all just averages. RNG will make it so all your characters are not equal.
    Campaign - There is not too much to say about farming character shards from Campaign nodes. A general rule of thumb I have seen is 2.5 shards per day, per node (5 attempts). Additionally, it seems generally accepted that it is the same drop rate no matter what the energy cost is. So the higher the energy cost, the harder the node is to farm. Something to keep in mind, is that some characters have 2 nodes to farm, so this could be seen as approximately 5 shards per day (10 attempts). One benefit of farming campaign nodes is that you can farm many characters at any given period. Also, you can use cores to refresh the nodes if you really want to farm certain characters. The other resources are not like this. If you don’t have Blitz/Arena/Raid Credits then you farm the characters.
    Arena Credits - As of now, the only way to use Arena credits is to buy individual character shards or buy Kingpin’s Vault orbs. Kingpin’s Vault orbs do not help unlock any legendary characters, so the best way to farm for legendary characters is to prioritize which characters to farm. As I mentioned above, my recommendation would be to farm for the characters you want and not by the expected order of the events. A potential farming path from the arena store could be Daredevil (for Defenders) -> Drax (for Starlord) -> Juggernaut (for Magneto) -> Quake and/or Shield Security (for Ironman) -> Mordo (for Phoenix). Depending on how Invisible Women and the Fantastic Four develop than Vulture should be included in this order. For example, I farmed Vulture after Juggernaut . It is hard to estimate how fast a farm the Arena store will be because it depends on where you are finishing in Arena. But it should be at least 2.5 shards a day at a bare minimum if you are doing the daily objectives. If you are doing well in arena, this could be between 10-15 shards a day.
    Raid Credits - The math for Raid is going to be similar to Blitz. There are currently two ways to farm characters in the raid store - 900 for Raid Orbs or 1400 for individual character shards. It is challenging to come up with an estimation for the amount of raid credits a beginner would have. It really depends on what raids your alliance is running and how many nodes you can complete. To keep it fairly simple, I am going to choose 10,000 raid credits a week or 1429 credits a day. This would be from the raid rewards, completing a few nodes each raid, and the Raid Milestones. I think this will seem a lot to some people and not enough for others, but hopefully it is a decent middle ground to get a feel for the numbers.
    One thing to remember about buying individual character shards from the Raid Store is that only 3 characters show up at any given time, so it can significantly slow down the farm if RNG is not in your favor. With 14 characters in the Raid Store it is estimated that a particular character would show up in the store between 4 to 5 times a week.
    With the assumption that 1429 credits are generated a day, that is about 5.1 shards a day. But when we factor in the RNG of the store this is lowered to approximately 3.2 shards per day. So, to farm a character from 0 shards to 5* would take about 96 days. With 14 characters in the raid store, that would be 1,344 days to get all the characters to 5*. One thing to keep in mind is that you would not be able to use all of your raid credits for this one character, so buying a different character or Raid Orbs would be an option. This would speed up the total time to farm all the characters.
    With 14 characters the number of shards of each individual character per Raid Orb is about .64. Using the 1429 Raid credits to buy orbs would generate about 1.02 shards per day for each character. So to take all the characters from 0 shards to 5* would take about 304 days. This is about 23% as fast than if you buy individual character shards for all the characters.
    I think the takeaways are similar to the Blitz Orb except that there are 4 more character shards per orb, so there is some difference. A general rule of thumb for Raid orbs would be that if you are interested in 3 or more characters then buy orbs. If you are only interested in 2 or 1 characters then buy them individually.
    War Credits - As I am writing this, the new alliance war leagues are coming into the game, so it will be hard to gauge how many war credits each person will generate a week. Using the old system, 4500 credits a week is reasonable (50% War win rate). This would be a little over 3 purchases a week or 2.33 a day. With this old reward system, this is a very hard farm. However, Pyro is currently the main character to be farming from the store for a legendary, so it is not a major bottleneck for unlocking legendaries. UPDATE: Alliance War Leagues were added to the game and the rewards were dramatically increased for alliances that are able to get promoted. It is hard to estimate the number of credits being generated now since it depends on the alliance league rank. The old rewards are the same as the lowest tier in the new system, so the rewards have gotten a lot better.

    Section 16 - Conclusions
    Hopefully this guide gives you the basics for farming all the available legendary characters. As expected, legendaries make up some of the top characters in the game, and make their teams competitive, so it is absolutely worth prioritizing farming for them. I would recommend focusing on Starlord, Nick Fury, and/or Magneto first. Although, if the datamine is true, then Ironman will likely be people’s first legendary. At some point, Phoenix will likely be essential to be competitive in Arena. People are still learning a lot about Shuri, and we will be learning a lot about Invisible Women in the next few weeks, but as a beginner it is good to focus on the characters that are known to be game-changing.
    It is unknown when each legendary event will be available. My recommendation would be to farm for the legendary you know you want to get first, and not just farm based on an estimated legendary rotation. The legendary events schedule is unpredictable on purpose to keep players guessing and to get them to “panic spend” money on the game. Planning ahead is the best way to avoid that scenario.
    Last, the goal with showing off some of the math is to give beginner’s an idea of how long it will take to get to 5*, and to help give context to the decisions to farm individual character shards or buy the orbs. There is definitely a trade off between speed and value, and that is everyone’s own decision to make. As I said in my first beginner’s guide, there is no right way to play this game. Have fun and play the way you want to.
    AUGUST EDIT: With the introduction of new teams and new legendaries, I don't necessarily recommend working toward Starlord, Nick Fury, and/or Magneto first. They aren't as game changing in arena, raids and dark dimensions as they used to be. Shuri, Invisible Women, and Black Bolt have a lot more usefulness in the current game meta.
    If you have any follow-up questions or just want to talk about the guide, come stop by the new discord server for beginners. We also keep a channel for Estimated Legendary Events:
  2. Upvote
    Mykk reacted to Voltagesauce for a blog entry, Marvel Strike Force Beginner's Guide   
    Marvel Strike Force Beginner’s Guide
    Last Updated: August 2020
    Section 1 - Introduction
    Hi everyone. I’m Voltagesauce and I have been playing Marvel Strike Force for about 4 months. I just hit level 70 and my total collection power just reached 1M. I am regularly in the top 10 for my Arena shard. My alliance mates thought I was doing pretty well in my first few months, and they told me I should take a crack at putting together a guide for new members since it is fresh in my mind.
    EDIT: I also decided to create a discord server for beginners (or anyone) that wants to ask questions or talk about the game. I'd love for you to stop by:
    APRIL EDIT: I have now been playing almost a year and I'm coming up on 4M collection power. I am still a regular top 10 or 20 in arena daily.

    AUGUST EDIT: I just hit 5M TCP and have finished Dark Dimension 3. A lot of the same principles in this guide allowed me to complete DD3 at a low TCP.
    Section 2 - Why Another Beginner’s Guide?
    There are a few reasons I thought it might be worth the time to write up a guide.
    Many available guides are outdated. There are many popular content creators with awesome information, but they have been playing for so long that they haven’t gone through the beginning part of this game recently. The game has changed quite a bit since they first started playing. I wanted to come at it from a bit of a math perspective, to highlight why I think certain options are the most efficient methods. Section 3 - Disclaimers
    Before we get too far, I want to throw out some disclaimers:
    I am still new to MSF and even this type of mobile game. This is just my perspective, primarily focused on ranking well in Arena, and using those resources to improve my overall roster. I don’t have many crazy unique strategies for this beginner’s guide. I am going to recommend a lot of the same stuff you see around the internet. I just want to present something organized and up to date. One of the best parts about this game is that it is all about prioritizing and choosing the way you want to play. I want to share some ways I think are effective, but there’s no wrong way to play! I can’t stress this enough: get into a solid alliance when you can. Most people are able to find an alliance that is suitable for them on the MSF discord page. There are a ton of resources available in an alliance (both in game resources from Raids and Alliance Wars, but also for advice and strategy). Or if you need help finding any alliance, there is a recruiting channel on the beginners discord i started recently: https://discord.gg/bKAFnJn APRIL EDIT: If you purchase Asgardians or are lucky enough to get Asgardians early from orbs then they likely can be used in place of the defenders. This guide assumes that most players will not have early access to Loki or Hela's nodes. AUGUST EDIT: Hopefully this guide gives you a high level overview of how to be efficient in this game. This edit emphasizes the need to go after SL/Mags/Fury first. A lot of powerful teams and characters have been introduced to the game, so they aren't necessarily the best options anymore. Section 4 - Game Basics
    The most important and basic resource in Marvel Strike Force is the Campaign Energy. This allows for you to farm most of the other resources and provides commander experience. Commander experience is extremely important early on because it allows you to level up and unlock different aspects of the game. Everyone is going to be able to play the game a different amount, but if you want to be as efficient as possible when playing the game, you want to try to level up as fast as possible.
    There are a few ways to do this. 
    First, you can use all of your Campaign Energy. You get one energy every 5 minutes and the amount of energy you can store increases as you level up. If your energy is full, then you are essentially wasting resources. 
    You get extra energy refreshes three times a day at preset times. You must log in within two hours of the preset time and claim the energy. These are your main ways of collecting free energy. You can also use cores to refresh your energy and most people recommend using the 50 core energy refreshes daily.
    The other way to level up is to complete the daily objectives. Some of my alliance members wish that they had taken objectives more seriously early on.. They feel that they are falling  behind some of the players that started at the same time as them.
    So why is leveling up so important? 
    First, it allows you to level and power up your characters higher. Second, many aspects of the game are level dependent. Some will take hours or days to unlock, while some will take months. The following are some of those aspects:
    Challenges Blitz Alliances Raids Arena Campaigns Alliance War Red Stars Dark Dimension Some of these things have more impact on your progress than others, but overall you want to unlock these modes as soon as possible. Most of the modes have rewards that you are not receiving before reaching those levels. Red stars, for example, change your 7 day calendar so that you start receiving 5 red star orbs once a week. The sooner you get there, the sooner you can start getting red stars for your characters and boosting their power.
    Section 5 - Alliances
    Finding a good alliance as soon as you unlock alliances is so important. As mentioned in the disclaimers, having an alliance can really set you up. It’s important to find an alliance that has a similar mentality to yours. If you want to be free to play, then find a free to play alliance. If you want to be casual, then find an alliance that isn’t going to ask you to go above and beyond. My alliance is casual but active, and it has been perfect for where I’m at. If you have read this far, you’re probably looking for an active alliance. I would look for an alliance on the MSF discord or on one of the content creators discords. And when you are looking for an alliance you will want one that is actively participating in Raids. 
    You don’t have to find an alliance that always 100% clears the top Raids, but there are a ton of resources rewarded from Raids that can help you catch up. There are many alliances that are willing to take on new players whoare willing to be active and committed to the alliance. It won’t always feel like it at first, but new players can contribute to Raids sooner than expected if they are getting decent rewards. I wouldn’t be where I am at in the game without my alliance taking me in.
    Section 6 - Prioritizing
    I like to call this game a “macro level” game. What i mean is that progress is primarily measured in weeks and months, not hours and days. This game is all about choosing which modes and characters to focus on and how long to focus on them. Sometimes, this could mean farming the same characters or gear for months to achieve some goal. I am sure there are a few exceptions, but almost no players are able to power up all of their characters to a competitive level.
    I call my approach to prioritizing in this game my Funnel System. 
    The first funnel is game modes. I think an effective way to play this game is to essentially rank the game modes you want to focus on. Some of the options are Alliance War, Arena, Blitz, Campaigns, Challenges, Dark Dimension 1 (DD1), Dark Dimension 2 (DD2), Flash Events, and Raids. There are also special events that show up, but they are hard to plan for. Additionally, not all of these game modes are available when you first start playing.
    My top priorities as a beginner have been Arena, Raids and DD1/DD2. I’ll go into why in a bit.
    The other funnel I see are the characters and/or teams. At the beginning, I think an effective strategy is to choose a team to focus on and pour all of your resources into them until they are ready for the next level resource. An example would be to use all of your blue ability mats on the defenders until they are all maxed out. Then you choose another team that you are ready to give blue mats to.
    For me, this turns into one overall funnel, pour all of a certain level of resource (like ability mats and gear) into my Arena team, and when they are maxed out I can move onto my Raid teams.
    AUGUST EDIT: I chose to leave my example of Defenders into Starlord in this guide. That is just an example of how I played this game when I was starting out and not necessarily my recommendation of what new players should do now. I chose defenders because they were easy to farm, were competitive in multiple modes, and don't require a legendary to function properly. There are others options available now to newer players. I hope my example shows how I applied the prioritization principles to my game and helps you understand how you can apply it to whichever characters/teams you focus on first.
    Section 7 - Arena
    Now I’ll get into why I choose to prioritize the modes the way I did: starting with Arena.
    The way Arena works is you are placed in an Arena “shard” with people that start playing the game at the same time as you. So essentially it is an evenly matched race to the top. If you are able to get to the top you can snowball by generating more resources than your competition. Let’s look at how the rewards for Arena work. Each day at a specific time you get rewards based on your finish:
    Arena Credits

    And in graph form:


    As you can see, both charts are exponential shaped - meaning the rewards are WAY better the closer to the top you get. Comparing rank 1 versus 51 is 350 cores and 500 Arena credits difference. We will get into what you can use resources for later, but anytime you can generate way more resources than your opponent it’s going to help you. That’s why, for me, it’s important to be as close to the top of Arena as possible.
    Now with Arena being my top focus I want to choose a beginner team that can dominate. This is no surprise if you’ve done any searching or read any other guide - the defenders are typically the team that dominates Arena early on. There are currently four defenders: Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Daredevil, and Jessica Jones. The 5th team member is typically Ms. Marvel or Punisher. Punisher synergizes extremely well with Daredevil and has a farmable node way earlier than Ms. Marvel, so that would be my recommendation. 
    So,  why are the defenders so formidable in Arena? (See Edits below about other beginner teams that are now available)
    First , they are all “easily farmable.” This means their character shards are available to all players early in the game. Punisher, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Iron Fist all have nodes early on in the Campaigns. Daredevil is in the Arena store and Luke Cage is in the Blitz store. Second, these characters have a ton of synergy between them. Here are some of the basics that make them strong:
    Daredevil - Great damage with ult and basic, and special is an “anti AOE” because enemies who use AOE abilities will pretty much kill themselves from all the counters Iron Fist - Main benefit is sustainability. With his passive, he can heal defenders and city heroes at the start of his turn. His special heals his teammates as well. This makes the defenders hard to kill if you don’t burst them down. Jessica Jones - She offers a lot of utility. She provides energy to defenders with her basic and special, which is essential in fights. She also clears negative effects from allies and clears positive effects from enemies. Punisher - Insane damage. Has a massive AOE and can counter everytime Daredevil is attacked. Luke Cage - He protects the rest of the defenders with taunt and defense up. It took me a while to really understand how powerful some of the buffs and debuffs are. Defense up cuts the incoming damage in half and Luke Cage’s ult last for two turns. His taunt also lasts two turns and allows time for Iron Fist to heal everyone back up. To reiterate the funnel system I used:I poured anything and everything I could into the defenders. Before anyone else got a blue ability mat, I made sure all my defenders were maxed. I focused all of my blue gear on the defenders until they started needing purple gear. This was to allow me to maximize my rewards from Arena.
    A common beginner question is how long to farm defenders. There are many different answers, but I have seen three main philosophies that I will try to explain:
    Since the defenders fall off later in the game it is just worth farming them to about 5* each, getting them to 6664 and getting to a team power level between 120k-150k. This will allow players to get a good start in Arena and start doing some decent Raids. NOTE: When people say 6664, they mean the basic, special and ultimate abilities are level 6 and the passive is level 4. This is when the purple abilities are maxed out and orange are required.
            2. Take all of the defenders to 6* and invest some t4 (orange) ability mats for power levels between 150k-180kish. The main purpose of getting the defenders to 6* is to be able to start DD1.
            3. Farm the defenders completely to 7*. Depending on gear levels and how many T4 ability mats a player uses the defenders can be anywhere between 180k and 300k. The main purpose of                        farming to 7* is to be able to complete the 7th tier of Block Party. I’ll talk about these modes (DD1 and Block Party) more in depth later. 
    Ultimately, I chose option 2. I wanted to be able to start DD1 as fast as possible, but wanted to focus on some other areas of my roster instead of taking them all the way to 7*. My defenders are about 175k.

    Once I was happy with where my defenders were at for Arena, I decided to choose my next team. My thought process was to choose a legendary that would be my key character for my next Arena team. The three main options for new players are Nick Fury, Magneto and Starlord. Because legendary events are sporadic, my recommendation would be to choose one of these legendaries and farm them even if I don’t know when the event will come back. Ultimately, I decided to go straight for Starlord. I thought his requirements were pretty easy and liked that I could use him for a lot of other game modes. I made sure I had the requirements completed as soon as I could and the event ended up coming 2-3 months earlier than “predicted”, which worked out  well for me. I think a lot of people in my Arena shard missed him on this go because they were waiting until later to farm for him. I am still using my Starlord team in Arena and they can punch up at least 80-90k on the defenders in my shard.
    APRIL EDIT: Defenders can still work, but there are some other potential options that work similar or better. Asgardians are a great option for people to have lucked into hela and loki, or people that have purchased Asgardians. The supernatural is a similar scenario. AIM is a 4th option that are not too hard for newer players to obtain. Common denominators that make these teams great are that they are good for arena, raids, and dark dimension and they don't require a legendary.
    AUGUST EDIT: With the additions of new teams and characters, Starlord/Magneto/Fury (especially Fury) are not as important for progressing as they used to be. They are still great characters and potential options depending on your roster, but many players are focusing on legendaries like Shuri, Invisible Women, Black Bolt. The main principles of this section still remain - if you want to be competitive in this game, arena is the most important mode to focus on.
    Section 8 - Raids
     The next mode I chose to focus on was Raids. The great part about focusing on the defenders first for Arena is that they are also one of the best Raid teams in the game.  It’s basically two birds with one stone (and maybe more). Raids are important because you earn rewards for completing nodes.  Depending on how far your alliance gets into the Raid, you get Raid credits, gear, ability mats, gold, character shards, and more. Similar to the defenders, I liked using a Starlord team for Raids because with the right characters they are the best Raid team in the game. I was able to get Minnerva and Vision (no Thanos yet) and I can pretty much complete a whole U6 Raid lane at about 175k power.
    APRIL EDIT: As mentioned above, the defenders still work for Ultimus 6 raids, but Asgardians, Supernatural and AIM all work as well.
    Section 9 - Dark Dimension (DD1 and DD2)
    The last of my main priorities have been DD1 and DD2. These are called “end game” content, but I think with some planning can be completed earlier on. DD1 requires 5 characters at 6* yellow stars or higher. I decided to farm my defenders straight to 6* so that I could start this mode as soon as possible. There are no downsides to play this mode everyday, but it may take a while. As I am writing this, I am still finishing up my first run of DD1. The benefits of DD2 are some gold and mega orbs, but when you complete it you get a ton of orange gear, which helps set you up for DD2. 

    DD2 requires 5 characters at gear level 13. There are a ton of resources about which characters to use for DD2, but I think it makes sense to choose characters that you are already working on. I am planning on using at least Minnerva, Groot and Starlord because it will allow me to do DD2, but also benefit my Arena and Raid teams. If you choose to focus on Magneto for your Arena team then Magneto, Jugg or Pyro could make sense for DD2. Similarly, if you focus on Nick Fury on your team then Fury and SS would make sense. And the main reason for rushing to complete DD2 is Ultron. You don’t have to look hard to find everyone calling Ultron the best character in the game. Here are a few quotes from my alliance mates about Ultron:
    “Ultron is always like F your synergy enemy team” in regards to reliability beating any team in Blitz with a non-synergy Ultron team
    “You can literally put any 4 characters on to a team with Ultron and win”
    “His Ultron won us that last war”
    “I can’t wait for you guys to unlock Ultron. His impact to your roster is just so impressive”
    “Minnerva is the best character in the game (aside from Ultron)”
    I think you get the point: people love Ultron, and he can contribute in all modes of the game. That is why I am trying to focus on DD1 and then DD2, so I can use Ultron in my Arena team.
    One of the main things to consider with DD2 is that to get characters to gear level 13 you need 12 specific Superior Unique items (for example Minnerva uses Superior Gamma Radiation). They can be found in the Main Supplies, War Supplies and Orange War Orbs. They are very hard to farm and don’t show up in the stores until level 65. I would recommend buying uniques you might want as soon as you start hitting level 65. It is very heavily RNG reliant and can cause a lot of frustration looking for the specific uniques you need.
    APRIL EDIT: I still recommend trying to complete DD1 and DD2 as fast as possible. Ultron is still formidable even though he does not have red stars. It can be tough to get legendaries to 6* for DD1, so I still defenders are a good option. The other option that is relatively easy to farm for newer players is AIM. They are another team that does not have a legendary that is DD1 and even DD2. Also, depending on your roster you may have better options for DD2 then the traditional starlord/minn, groot/JJ, Fury/SS or Mags/Jugg combos. I recommend stopping by the discord for specific advice, or talking to other people. Characters like Shuri, Invisible Women, Scientist Supreme, Sinister, Symbiote Spiderman, Hela all are good options as well.
    Section 10 - Campaigns
    The Campaigns are probably my next focus. The nice thing about the Campaigns is that the Heroes and Nexus can be completed by a solid defenders team and the Cosmic can be completed with a Guardians team. I still have not completed the Villains Campaign and just started focusing on the mystic Campaign. Sometimes you have to put a little bit into your teams so that you can get to a node with specific character shards or gear, but overall I don’t feel these are as important as Arena or Raids.
    Section 11 - Flash Events
    As of now there are three flash events that show up sporadically, but more often than legendary events:
    Block Party - Requires 5 City Heroes and earns ability materials. The main reason for getting defenders up to 7* is to complete the last tier of block party. That gives you 150 T4 (orange) ability mats each time the event runs.
    Payday - Requires 5 Mercenary characters and earns gold.
    Relic Hunt - Requires 5 Hand characters and earns Advanced Basic Catalysts (required with purple gear).
    I will probably prioritize getting 5 city heroes up to 7* to start earning the T4 abilities. I don’t have many teams that are leveled high enough for T4 abilities, so I decided it would be okay to wait and focus on farming for DD2 and other things.
    The other two modes I have been viewing more as secondary priorities and I will only invest resources when I am close to the next tier level. . Some of my alliance members think it would be worth putting more resources into mercenary characters for the gold. Gold is one of the most scarce resources in the game, so that may be something I choose to focus on soon.
    APRIL EDIT: There is now a 4th flash event starting that requires wakandans and earns red star promo credits. They have also announced a scheduled rotation for these flash events. All of them except block party will be offered once a month (block party every other month). It may be worth prioritizing these flash events more now that they are more frequent and scheduled.
    Section 12 - Blitz
    These next three game modes could pretty much be in any order. As of now, I mostly just use whatever characters I have to Blitz. The same teams that are good in Arena and Raids are good for Blitz. I just focus on hitting the milestones for every character since I would be unable to grind for a top 1500 spot with my roster anyway. The reason I choose to list Blitz first is because it is important to keep character power levels as close as possible.  There are times I have powered up a character to make them fit with a new Blitz squad.
    There are some really good Blitz guides out there that I would recommend checking out that explain how to Blitz effectively. The rewards from this game mode are very important to roster progression.
    Section 13 - Alliance War
    I don’t think I have ever put a resource into a character specifically for alliance war. Although I am planning to get Invisible Women when her first event comes around, so that may change in the future. Similar to Blitz, a lot of the teams that are good for Arena and Raids work well in war. I typically put my Raid teams on defense since they have sustain and use everyone else for attack.
    A general rule of thumb is that teams that have short cooldowns and healing can be decent on defense. Teams with long cooldowns and quick burst are better on attack.
    Section 14 - Challenges
    Similar to war, I just use whatever characters are my highest power and see if I can complete the next tier. There is no downside to trying the next tier and losing, so I just try them when I think I might have the chance. The difference in most tier levels seems small enough to me to not make them a priority.
    Section 15 - Special Events
    These are typically Campaign Events for a new character and require certain traits to progress in the Campaign. They seem to be announced a week or two in advance so they are hard to plan for. New characters don’t normally become farmable for a few months (or indefinitely), so these events can be very helpful. It may be worth using some resources to get through the Campaigns if necessary. They also have helpful resources as a reward for beating each “Hard” Campaign node for the first time. An example of an event coming up is a Campaign for Graviton that requires Hero Controller characters.
    Section 16 - Game Resources
    Now I want to get into what to do with all the resources generated from the game modes. Each mode rewards you with different resources, so I will go through each one.
    Cores - We talk about this in the Arena game mode. My recommendation would be to use cores for energy refreshes, and sometimes node refreshes. A common recommendation you will see on the internet is to use all of your 50 core energy refreshes every day. Depending where I finish in Arena I will sometimes even do some 100 core energy refreshes. If I am farming a character and want to speed up the process I will also sometimes refresh the node for 50 cores. This can be useful to finish a farm for a legendary event or for a character to enter DD1. The last thing I would recommend (if you have to) is to refresh the main store looking for the orange superior unique gear that you need for DD2.
    Arena Credits - With Arena credits you have to choose specific toons to farm. There is no character orb. My recommendation would be to start with Daredevil and work him to wherever you want to stop the defenders. Next, would be to focus on a toon that can help you get your first legendary. For me, that was getting Drax to 5*. But this could also be Jugg. This is really going to vary for each player, but I would choose a character that is going to help you meet your next goal and just focus on them. I just finished up getting Vulture to 5* for the Invisible Women event. To give you an example of a prioritization choice I have to make - I am choosing my next farm between Mordo for Phoenix, Shield Security for DD2 and Ironman event, or Deadpool for the Mercenary Flash Event.
    AUGUST EDIT: Daredevil would only be my recommendation if you are using defenders are your main team. In general, I recommend farming someone from the arena store that matches what you are farming from your campaign nodes and other stores. If you are farming Green Goblin and Shocker from campaign nodes, then maybe Vulture would be a good idea. If you are farming for AIM, then maybe AIM researcher is a good idea.
    Raid Credits - To maintain a well balanced roster I highly recommend using Raid credits for Raid orbs (900 credits) instead of specific character shards (1400 credits). An important distinction to make is that Raid orbs provide 9 character shards, while specific characters are just 5 shards. Some other people argue to use Raid credits on purple gear, but so far I have focused primarily on character shards. 
    Let’s get a little into the math on the orbs versus shards. Since this is a beginners guide we will talk about taking a character from 0 shards to 5*. 5* is a good number to focus on because that’s when legendaries can be unlocked. To get from 0 to 5* requires 310 character shards. So for example, to get rocket raccoon from 0 to 310 shards by only buying his character shards would cost 86800 Raid credits. For that same amount of Raid credits we can open 96 Raid orbs. And with 96 Raid orbs we would be getting 864 shards, or 554 MORE shards than buying specific character shards. 
    You may be thinking, what if you just want a few characters? With 14 characters currently in the Raid store, every Raid orb should net us approximately 0.643 shards per character on average. So by opening 96 Raid orbs, we get a little over 60 shards per character instead of 310 for one. Ultimately, that is your decision. It is clearly faster to farm directly for one character. However, you are putting yourself behind on farming all the other characters. As of now Hand Sentry, Killmonger, Kree Oracle, Mercenary Soldier (not very good), Mysterio, Ravager Stitcher (not very good), Rocket Raccoon, Ronan, Sabretooth, Shield Trooper can all be used for the unlocking legendaries or in the flash events. Also, war machine is on one of the top war teams called Power Armor and is found in the orbs.
    Overall, you get much, much more value out of the Raid orbs if you don’t mind slower farms. There may be times that you want to farm specific characters, but I would highly recommend Raid orbs for having a well rounded team with access to many of the legendaries and flash events.
    AUGUST EDIT: The characters in the raid store have changed, but I still highly recommend orbs. The math has changed slightly, but there are a lot of valuable characters in this store and you get a lot more shards overall through buying orbs.
    Blitz Credits - My philosophy here is very similar for the Raid orbs, but  I will run through the math so you have the context to make your own decision. Again let’s talk about taking a character from 0 shards to 5*. We can buy Blitz orbs (350 credits) or specific character shards (500 credits). Unlike Raid credits, instead of 4 additional character shards the Blitz orbs give gold. So to get a character to 5* from 0 shards would cost 31000 Blitz credits. For that same amount of Blitz credits we can open 88 Blitz orbs. With 88 Blitz orbs we would be getting 440 shards, or 120 more shards than buying specific character shards. It is also worth mentioning that you would get on average about 400k gold from the 88 Blitz orbs.
    It comes down to a similar decision as the Raid credits. You can get to a character faster by going straight there, but you are missing out on shards and gold by not buying orbs. Take a look at who is in this store. As of now, Gamora, Kree Royal Guard, Luke Cage, Mantis, Mercenary Riot Guard, Ravager Boomer, Rhino, Spiderman, and Spiderman Miles all can contribute to unlocking a legendary or in a flash event.
    AUGUST EDIT: More characters have been added to the blitz store, so the math has changed slightly. I still recommend orbs because many of them are useful for legendary unlocks or flash events.
    War Credits - War credits are more similar to the Arena credits. There is no orbs with character shards at this time. I farmed Pyro to 5* and then focused the rest of my credits on orange superior unique items. I would just recommend choosing a goal and sticking with it here.
    AUGUST EDIT: More characters like Sif, Graviton, and Sinister have been added to the war store. Prioritizing your war currency has become extremely important. Sif is probably the most important since she unlocks Black Bolt.
    Elite War Credits - Because the orange superior unique items are tough to find and the holdup for many players starting DD2, I would recommend saving up 1000 elite war credits for the Orange Gear War Orbs.
    Elite Red Star Credits - Another aspect of the game I haven’t talked about are Red Stars. They are a controversial topic, and I am just going to stick with the math between Elite 4 Star Orbs (5000 credits) versus Promotion Credits (1,000). I will compare this by looking at the upgrade between 3RS and 4RS. To upgrade a character to 4RS with promotion credits you need to already have the character at 3RS and then the cost is 50 promotion credits or 50,000 elite red star credits. With those 50,000 elite red star credits we could have gotten 10 Elite 4 star orbs, which guarantee a 4RS or higher. So, for the price of getting one 3RS character to 4RS, we could have gotten 10 characters (could be duplicates) up to 4RS. Additionally, they could have gotten up to 4RS from any star level below.
    This is a prioritization question. If there is a character that you use in every game mode every day then maybe it is worth it to you, but I just wanted to show some of the numbers so you can make the decision.
    Section 17 - Community Resources
    This game can be really fun because there is no right way to play the game. It also means that there are a lot of different opinions, and luckily, people are willing to share their thoughts. Here are some helpful ideas for different resources I have used:
    Reddit - Lots of different opinions and frequented by the devs Discord - There is an MSF discord that has a ton of different topics. Content Creators - Primarily on youtube, twitch, or discord. I’m happy to share some of my favorites if you are interested. Infographics - These seem to be really popular for this game as an easy to read and use tool. There are great ones for the uniques, DD2 recommended teams, and essential T4 abilities for different teams as some examples. Msf.gg - Has a ton of different information about characters and gear. Your alliance - Self explanatory, but my alliance uses discord and pins a lot of helpful information in the channel Section 18 - Conclusions
    This game is all about prioritizing and planning ahead. My recommendation to new players is to  focus on Arena. If you do well in Arena then you can use the cores you earn from that mode to help you out in all other aspects of the game. (See Edits Below) The easiest team to do well with in Arena is  the Defenders (with punisher AKA Punfenders) and then switch gears to a Shield Team with Fury, Brotherhood team with Magneto, or Guardians/Minnerva Tech team with Starlord. I think Starlord is the easiest legendary to farm for because 3 of the required characters are in the Blitz store. Speaking of the Blitz store, if you want to have a well rounded roster then I highly recommend buying the Blitz and Raid orbs. They provide much more value than buying individual character shards. This will allow you to obtain more legendaries and progress further into flash events and special events.
    Ultimately, this game is fun because everyone plays it differently. This guide is aimed towards beginners hoping to get themselves off to a good start by having a well rounded roster. I am sure there are other approaches to playing this game efficiently, but I feel that I have set myself up well, and I have a lot of choices of what I can focus on next.
    EDIT: If you enjoyed the guide, have questions, or just want to talk about the game more come stop by a new discord server for beginners:
    APRIL EDIT: I think most of the basics in this guide hold up after a few months. I still recommend prioritizing arena, but you don't necessarily need to use defenders anymore. It depends on who you have unlocked. Asgardians, Supernatural and AIM are all potential other options that can be useful for arena and raids. To rush towards DD1, defenders and AIM are probably the most viable options for newer players since they are relatively easy to farm and don't have legendaries.
    AUGUST EDIT: I hope this guide helps give you the principles to be competitive as a new player in Marvel Strike Force. I list examples of how I was able to stay competitive in arena, but the game is very different from when I started. The characters/teams have changed, but I still recommend a similar mentality about the game and how to prioritize your resources. If you have questions or want specific advice, please stop by the beginner discord: https://discord.gg/bKAFnJn
    tldr (see edit below)
    Focus on Arena Get Defenders Put all resources into defenders and stop at 5*, 6* or 7* depending on preference Choose first legendary - Fury, Magneto or SL (SL seems easiest and best to me) Put all resources into legendary focused team - Shield, Brotherhood, or Guardians/Technerva Do Raids Farm superior uniques for gear level 13 Beat FtD and get Ultron April Edit tldr
    Focus on Arena Get Defenders/Asgardians/Supernatural/AIM Put all resources into that team and consider taking them to 6* for DD1 (Asgardians and Supernatural are tough to 6* without spending) Think about potential DD2 teams and make sure you are farming for the legendaries you will need Do Raids Farm superior uniques for gear level 13 Beat DD2 and get Ultron
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    Mykk reacted to Voltagesauce for a blog entry, MSF Beginner's Guide: Where to Stop Powering Up Teams   
    MSF Beginner's Guide: Where to Stop Powering Up Teams
    Last Updated: January 2020
    Section 1 - Introduction
    My name is Voltagesauce and I’m back with another guide written primarily for beginners. A common question that people ask is when to stop powering up a particular team. A common sentiment on online forums is to just get teams to 6664 (this shorthand is discussed more in Section 4), which is purple ability mats into all abilities, and then decide what to do from there. Unfortunately, that is not realistic for beginners or even mid-game players. I wrote this guide to help give some general guidance, and to share some of the strategies I have been using to develop a well rounded roster with limited resources.
    The goal of this guide is to provide a foundation for powering up teams. It isn't meant to be strictly followed and it can vary from team to team. Some characters might have more valuable abilities upgrades than others. It can be worth it to upgrade some characters past the stopping point or not upgrade a certain character as much. For example, maybe upgrading a basic attack on a healer isn’t as crucial to you as upgrading an AOE ability on your damage dealer.
    This game is a resource management game, so it’s important to understand that you can’t just fully power up every team. Beginners, especially, have to prioritize their resources. Powering up teams has a very logical structure: it requires more resources to boost characters to higher power levels. If you are using a lot of resources on one character or one team, then those become resources you are not using on other teams. This is why it is important to know where to cut teams off, so you can have a well balanced roster that can generate lots of resources from different game modes.
    If you have any questions/feedback about the guide or just want to come chat with other MSF players, I started a discord geared towards beginners: https://discord.gg/bKAFnJn. You can also find my previous guides on the server.
    Section 2 - Disclaimers
    There are a lot of philosophies on how to manage your resources and teams. My approach is more focused on ability mats than on gear levels. This approach is a little harder on your gold. Another other approach is to level up just when you are ready for the next gear piece, but I find that to really slow down your progress on teams. For example, you could be at Gear Level (GL) 11 at lvl60, but my recommendation is only GL10. It takes approximately twice as much purple gear to go from GL8 to GL11 versus from GL8 to GL10, so this would allow you to get your character’s abilities to 6664 quicker. I try to give some examples of where I think teams fit in the current meta. This can drastically change depending on your situation. If you pull really good red stars on teams that can be a good reason to change their stopping point. Or, if you are in an alliance that wants you to build up certain teams for war or raids, then that might change these recommendations. I am going to use the abbreviation #### to simply the ability mats of characters. The first number is a character’s basic ability. Second number is the special. Third is the ultimate. And fourth is the passive. For example, 6664 means that basic, special, and ultimate are at level 6 and the passive is at level 4. This is a common phrase because 6664 is when purple abilities are maxed out on a character. (As a side note, minions only have 3 abilities, but I won’t always highlight that.) Edit: The data used to create the graphs is from msf.gg should be taken as approximations. Section 3 - Philosophy
    My overall philosophy in the game is to be focused on investing resources into characters that are going to give me the most resources in return. In my opinion, the cores rewarded from Arena are some of the most valuable resources, so an Arena team is a top priority for investment. After focusing my attention on Arena, I focus on my Raid teams because there is a lot of room to gain important resources. When I’m not working on those modes, I’m typically making sure my legendary unlock teams are powered up enough - both to unlock legendaries and rank them up. Lastly, I focus on meta War and teams. I just make my Blitz teams based on who I have powered up. I don’t invest resources specifically for Blitz.
    An important aspect of this game is that most modes are extremely team oriented. There are times to work on individual characters, but primarily I recommend focusing on working on full teams and keeping them fairly even in power. Teams will generally be most effective when they are balanced, especially in modes like War and Blitz. One, because their abilities tend to combo well together if they are powered up equally. Two, because you will find yourself in a lot of matchups outnumbered (1v4 or 2v5)  if you have one or two characters significantly higher than the others. It can be hard to keep teams balanced if you pull a good red star, but you can try to balance levels, gear, and ability levels.
    Many of the stopping points are transition points between different color gear or ability mats. A common strategy of mine is to work on one character that needs purple gear and ability mats while working on one whole team that needs blue gear and ability mats.
    Other reasons for stopping points are big jumps in cost or big jumps in benefits. I tried to choose places to stop where you get the “most bang for your buck”. So, this is either stopping right before you have to make a big investment, or pushing teams a bit further to gain a big benefit.
    For each stopping point there will be a few examples of teams using this general philosophy. The examples are also going to be based on the current meta, so some of these examples could quickly change if new characters are added or if counter teams are introduced. As mentioned above, this is just a guideline - your experience may vary based on your red stars, the needs of your alliance, or just your personal preference on teams that are more fun.
    The stopping points are also not meant to be where you take these teams immediately after unlocking them. As a beginner, you will not have the resources to build up all teams. You will have to leave teams at lower stopping points until you have the time and resources to build them up to my recommended points.
    Section 4 - Resources
    In the introduction I talked about this being a resource management game. There are a few resources I want to cover in this guide that are primary for powering up teams before I jump into the stopping points.
    Gold is the most important resource when it comes to powering up teams. Both gear level and ability levels are restricted by characters level, which cost gold. At the beginning of the game, gold doesn’t seem like too much of a bottleneck, but that is because the cost to level up characters has exponential characteristics (i.e. really expensive to level up toons to higher levels). Here is a chart to visualize the cost:

    On this chart you can see that level up costs start to increase steadily between levels 37-43 until approximately 60-64. And then starts to skyrocket beyond that point. The max level currently is 75, so there are about 15 levels where it is a huge investment to level characters.
    Ability Mats
    Ability mats are probably the most fun resource in the game because they make your abilities in fights noticeably stronger. A warning about ability mats is that they can “inflate” your characters’ power, which will make them less effective. For example, upgrading a big AOE damage ability is awesome and might increase the character’s power by a lot, but their health did not change at all. So they still die just as easily as before even though they are at a higher power. It is important to increase gear level at a similar pace to level and ability level even though it might not appear to have as much impact on a character’s power.
    Similar to gold, ability mats cost a higher amount as you upgrade your characters’ abilities. Each level of an ability is unlocked when the character reaches a certain level and it is the same for all characters. Here is a chart showing the cost of abilities available at each level:

    Again, there is a somewhat slow growing curve until you get close to  level 40. The rest of the abilities start to increase in cost quickly as your characters are leveled beyond 40. In addition to the increased amount required, the difficulty of obtaining the ability mat resources gets harder depending on the color. Green is easiest and orange is hardest. Purple and orange mats are very important to prioritize. To give a baseline, I have been playing almost 9 months and have upgraded around 16 orange abilities total, so not quite 2 abilities a month! This can vary depending on your alliance, but the point is that they are hard to acquire and should be used on important abilities.
    Gear level is an extremely important aspect of powering up your characters, but it can often get overlooked because it isn’t as flashy as upgrading ability levels or as easy as leveling up. It can be tedious and frustrating, but it is a core part of upgrading characters because it upgrades their stats. Like the other resources, it becomes increasingly harder to upgrade the gear levels of characters. This chart shows an approximate amount of gear pieces (a few characters averaged together) needed for each gear level:

    The amount of gear a character needs starts to increase pretty drastically after GL5. It is important to find stopping points because not many characters can get taken to GL12 on a beginner’s roster. In particular, purple gear is a significant investment because it is harder to obtain than green or blue gear.
    There is also orange gear, but that is a different animal because it is not farmable. I would only recommend using orange gear on characters you plan to use in Dark Dimension II to obtain Ultron.
    Another interesting aspect of gear I found is that characters’ stats increase by the same percentage per gear level. This chart shows the percentage increases for each gear level:

    There are a few things that jumped out to me about this information. First, is that there is a large increase from GL7 to GL8. This will be one of my recommended stopping points for certain teams. Second, there is a significant dropoff after GL11, so I do not recommend taking many teams passed GL11.
    Training Modules
    Another resource used to power up teams is training modules. In my experience, and in talking to others, not many players have issues with lack of training modules if they use their energy and do the “Training Day” challenge. Because of that, I will not be covering it in this guide.
    Character Shards/Star Level
    The last primary resources to power up teams are character shards/star level. For beginners, I think these should be treated differently than the other resources, so I will not be covering them here. Instead of farming just to improve teams, the primary goal early on should be farming characters to unlock legendaries and to start Dark Dimension I (requires 5 characters at 6*). I don’t think it was until after I unlocked Ultron that I started farming characters specifically to increase their stats and make my teams stronger. If you read my other guides you’ll notice that I recommend primarily buying character orbs from the Blitz and Raid stores. This will increase the star level of many characters “passively”, which will help you when you want to use them later.
    There are also red stars, which can significantly increase the power of individual characters. These are not farmable, so players have very little control over the characters they have at high red stars. Pulling a high red star (probably 5RS or higher) may be a reason to focus on a particular toon. But overall, I will not be including red stars in the stopping points for teams since it is out of players’ control.
    Section 5 - Stopping Point 1: The Useless Toons
    Level 1, Gear Level 1, 1111
    This first stopping point may sound silly at first, but some teams are really just not worth investing in at all. As a beginner, even green and blue gear and ability mats have to be prioritized, so it is better to put those resources into characters and teams that you will use later. There are so many characters in the game that when you’ve unlocked the majority of them you will have too many to use them all, even in Blitz and War.
    If you are still in your first 30 days of the game, and in your beginner Blitz shard, then it may be worth pushing some characters to Stopping Point 2, even if they are not super useful. It is important to take advantage of your beginner Blitz because you can get a lot of shards for characters that you won’t be able to once you join the normal Blitz.
    Potential Recommendations:
    Hydra - The hydra minions are some of the worst characters in the game. This may change in the future if they are reworked with a Red Skull release Ravagers - There aren’t even enough of them to make a full team right now. The only reason to put resources into them would be if you were using them for the Starlord Legendary Event. Mercenaries - You will want to invest in 5 mercs for the Payday Flash event, but the others could be left behind. Hand - You will want to invest in 5 hand members for the Catalyst Flash Event, but the others could be left here. Random characters - Nebula, Night Nurse, Antman, Wasp. These aren’t necessarily all bad characters, but they don’t have any obvious meta teams. Section 6 - Stopping Point 2: New Unlocks & the Homeless
    Level 25, Gear Level 4, 3221
    After playing the game for a little while you start to have essentially unlimited green gear pieces and ability mats. This stopping point allows you to max out the green gear and abilities on all characters. This became my stopping point for all new characters that I unlocked. The only real downside was spending a little bit of gold to get them to this point. I enjoyed taking toons up to this stopping point because GL4 is when all of their abilities are unlocked. This gave me a chance to play around with the characters a little bit in Blitz and see their full kits in action.
    Potential Recommendations:
    All the same teams listed above: Once I got a little deeper in the game I moved everyone from Stopping Point 1 to Stopping Point 2. Any new character unlocks: anytime I unlock a character I push them at least here immediately. The characters which I don’t have the rest of their team unlocked generally stay here. For example, I still have some of the new Inhumans sitting here. Homeless characters: This is a team oriented game. There can be pretty good characters that don’t see much play because they are lacking a good team. This is a common place to leave those characters that just don’t have a team to call home. Section 7 - Stopping Point 3: Default Shield Teams
    Level 38, Gear Level 5, 4,4,3,2
    Especially at first there is a lot of gear levels that need blue gear, so you can’t push a lot of teams higher than this. I like this stopping point because it is only a little bit of a blue gear investment that allows you to upgrade a few of your blue abilities. It provides teams will a big enough boost that they can start contributing in war. I called this section “Default Shield Teams” because this is the stopping point I liked to take some teams so I could contribute in Alliance War. A full team of characters at this tier can typically beat a default shield team on Attack, or replace a default shield team on Defense.
    There is a big jump between stopping points 3 and 4 because there isn’t much value in having teams between them. This means that A LOT of your roster will be here at first. For the first few months, only my defenders and Starlord unlock team were above this stopping point.
    Potential Teams:
    As I mentioned, I think this is a really good stopping point for most teams at the start of your game. Pretty much every team that isn’t the defenders and your first legendary unlock team could stay here for a while. I will also give you some examples of teams I have had stopped here for a while.
    Hero Brawlers: They are a decent meta team, but they don’t unlock anyone or help in most other game modes. Wakandans: Shuri is awesome, but as a team they are just okay. I will bump them up when I get a chance, but at this point they don’t contribute outside of war and blitz. Teams without their legendary: This was a common spot for me to leave teams before I unlocked their legendary: Brotherhood without magento, or X-Men without Phoenix. Legendaries complete their teams, so I generally didn’t push teams much further past this until I unlocked them. Section 8 - Stopping Point 4: War Meta Sweet Spot
    Level 50, Gear Level 8, 5553
    This has recently become my favorite stopping point (Especially after unlocking Ultron and working on war teams.) I call this my war meta sweet-spot because it allows me to finish off all blue gear and abilities, plus three cheap purple abilities. This stopping point allows a lot of teams to start building their chemistry and synergies, but without the heavy resource investment into pushing further.
    GL8 is also a great place to get characters to because it provides a significant stat boost increases compared to the earlier gear levels. At the same time you don’t have to start investing purple gear yet, which is great because you probably need purple gear for you arena and raid teams.
    At this point, I started to notice my teams being more successful in war - both on attack and on defense. It also allowed me to get more meta teams to a useable level without investing all the way to stopping point 5, which takes a lot longer. Comparing the cost of the purple ability mats, it takes approximately 60% longer to go to 6664 then it does to go to 5553. The purple gear slows it down even more than this since you are going for blue gear to a lot of purple gear.
    This is also a comfortable power level to unlock legendaries. You don’t necessarily have to have teams at this power level, but you can generally feel confident if you have your unlock teams at this stopping point. Depending on the legendary and your red stars, this might even be close for the 6* level. (Some are much easier than others.)
    Potential Teams:
    This will primarily be the meta war teams that you haven’t had a chance to push higher, and teams that aren’t used to unlock legendaries.
    Kree: Decent team and has a lot of flexibility. Doesn’t really need to go past here until you need more power for a higher star level Fury. They don’t provide much outside of War except for a bit of Greek nodes. Sinister Six: Really solid team and used for both Shuri and Invisible Women. This is a good stopping point until you are ready to 7* those legendaries. Marauders: Fairly new team, but doesn’t have a 5th member yet. Most of them don’t get used too much outside of war, so I think this is a good stopping point until you have more resources. AIM: This has become a really solid war team, and could move up to the next tier - especially if you want to use them in raids. If you are just using them in war, then I think there are still some higher priority teams. And at this point they aren’t used for any legendary or flash event. Section 9 - Stopping Point 5: Full Synergy
    Level 60, Gear Level 10, 6664
    I would guess that this is the most commonly recommended stopping point for most teams. And for good reason. Many teams don’t work “properly” until you get them to this stopping point. What I mean by this is that their abilities don’t necessarily combo well together until they get their purple abilities maxed out. For example, Rescue gets her ultimate one turn earlier at ability level 6, which allows the Power Armor team to start their combo one turn earlier. If you look through other level 6 abilities you can find lots of abilities that really become their own and define the character’s kit at this level. Because of this, I could understand people that choose to skip Stopping Point 4 and push straight to Stopping Point 5. It would really push a team to the next level. Once I got Ultron and built my U7 team, I took a more broad approach so that I could have more meta teams for War.
    This is also a good stopping place because it is the last one before significant resource investment. As mentioned in the resource section, level up starts to cost a lot of gold, orange abilities are extremely hard to come by, and you need a ton of purple gear to increase gear levels.
    This is a great place to leave meta war teams that you aren’t ready to make orange ability mat investment into.
    Potential Teams:
    Supernatural: Awesome war team and can be used to breeze through the Mystic Campaign. Asgardians: One of the top defense war teams. Especially when/if they become farmable they would be one of the top meta teams to take to the next stopping point. Coulson Shield: One of the top defense war teams. Fantastic Four: Awesome war attack team. Power Armor: Another awesome war attack team. Brotherhood: This team could easily move up to stopping point 6, or past it, if they are your primary arena team. They are a strong attack team for war.
    Section 10 - Stopping Point 6: Last Call & T4s
    Level 65, Gear Level 11, 6664 or higher
    This is the last stopping point in this guide because it is primarily focused on beginners. I wouldn’t recommend taking any teams passed this except potentially Arena, Dark Dimension II, and Raid teams (mostly for U7). Exceptions could be made for certain characters to get specific orange abilities (T4s).
    This stopping point works out well for a few reasons. First, it allows you to put T4s into character’s passive abilities. An overwhelming amount of the best orange abilities are character’s passives. Another reason is that GL11 is the most rewarding gear level in terms of the percentage of stat increases. As shown in the resources section, there is a significant dropoff after GL11, so there is not as much reason to push past this stopping point.
    Potential Teams:
    Defenders: I recommend new players use Defenders to start the game. But this is also where I recommend that players stop powering them up. My opinion is that when you get them here it is about time to be unlocking your first legendary. They are a great early game team, but they get left behind by a lot of the other meta teams in almost every game mode. X-Men: Top team in the game right now. They can beat any team in War and contribute in many other game modes BKT: One of the best teams for U6 raids. Also, great for war. They can also replace Thanos with Vision and be a very strong arena team. They can move past this stopping point if they are the arena team. It is also common to use many members of this team for DD2. Section 11 - Conclusion
    If you made it this far, thanks for reading. I hope this helps some people figure out how to prioritize different resources, and where to stop powering up different teams. As I’ve said before, these are loose guidelines that have worked for me that will hopefully give you some idea of where to take your teams. If you have specific questions then come chat with me at the discord for beginners: https://discord.gg/bKAFnJn
    One of the biggest pieces of advice I’d give to newer players is to not over invest in the Defenders. They are awesome and feel unstoppable at the beginning, but you can quickly fall behind when others start unlocking legendaries and other meta teams. If you invest too much into the defenders, those become resources you can’t put into better teams. Defenders are a great team for completing Dark Dimension I, but from what others have told me are not very good for Dark Dimension II. Ride the Defenders wave and figure out when you want to jump off.
    And as usual, my final reminder is that MSF is a game, and there is no right way to play. I write these guides for people who want to be efficient with their resources and compete at a high level in many different game modes. If you enjoy certain teams more than others and don’t care about the meta, invest in them and have fun.
    Infographic: https://imgur.com/iKqrty7

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    Mykk reacted to Hapa_Fodder for a blog entry, Perspective on Life.   
    I recently reconnected with an old friend that I met years ago and we talked about life and how things have panned out. They were going to join the Navy and decided not to at the time. Their comment was that they wished they had joined the Navy and not chose to do things the “hard way.” This is a theme I have heard from my friends and family over the years. That some how joining the military makes things easier? Let’s talk about my time in the Navy. Over 20 years. I was stationed on 5 ships (USS John Young DD-973, USS Lake Champlain CG-57, USS Bataan LHD-5, USS Boxer LHD-4, USS New Orleans LPD-18), did 10 deployments with only one being six months long (the rest were 8-9 months long) and spent some not so always fun time in a very hot and sandy spot. I was stationed in Portland, OR (semi-successful recruiting tour),San Diego, Ca, Newport, RI (amazingly successful Officer Training and Teaching Tour) and Norfolk, VA. I’ve been to Guam (x2), Puerto Rico (x2), Barbados, San Lucas, Peru, South Korea, Hong Kong (x2), Australia (x4), Oman, Jordan, Mubai (x100000000), Singapore (x2), Germany, Bali, Sri Lanka, India (EW), Thailand, Malaysia, Djibouti (i still snicker when I say that), Kuwait, Israel, Turkey, Malta, Spain, France, Italy, Portugal, Mexico, Canada, Afghanistan, Iraq, Qatar, Dubai (x100000000000), Bahrain (x200000000000) and all over the US (I’m sure I am forgetting places). I’ve met SO MANY people from SO MANY places. I have had the ability to touch so many lives for the better (I hope). Made life long friendships with people that I know I would never have had the chance to have without the Navy. Worked on 3 different missile systems, a 5 inch gun system, 5 different radar systems and my pride and join 1 BAD bum (sorry for the language Mom) 20mm Gatling Gun system. I taught Naval Warfare tactics, ship handling, Small Arms Marksmanship and A MILLION other topics to new and old Sailors. I learned how to tell you the electrical resistance of a circuit (though I think my brain would hurt from that today). I learned how to accurately place ordinance on target, on time (Warheads on Foreheads). I’ve been shot at (believe it or not on more than one occasion). I was involved in several VERY pivotal and historical events (they even made a movie about one, but I can’t talk about it “I am the Captain now.”) Saw some SUPER COOL poop (sorry for the language Mom). Blew some poop up (LOTS OF poop) (SORRY FOR THE LANGUAGE FOR REAL MOM). Probably have fired more rounds down range than most Sailors. A sparrow tattoo on a Sailor equals 5000 nautical miles, I recently did the math (because ya know, need more ink) and I need 26 sparrows.... I’ve been on every single continent except Antarctica. I’ve been colder than I ever want to be ever again (-45) and hotter than I ever want to be (145). I have drank more Rip-It’s than I ever want to admit. Eatin food from SO MANY cultures. Drank so much that I thought my liver was literally going to come out of my body, been drunk on beaches in Bali by 10am. I have done so many amazing things that I can’t believe I had the chance to do, swam in every ocean, been a poly wog and then a Golden Shellback (Sailors will understand), eaten chow that I was unsure of what it was, and drank the darkest coffee you’ve ever seen in your life that I’m pretty sure equated to cocaine in a cup. I have a stack of ribbons and medals and certificates in pretty padded folders and a set of anchors that show all the deeds I have excelled at over the years. Now those are some of the great things, lets talk perspective and reality. I was in Boot Camp when my adopted Grandma passed away, “A” School when my Uncle Dan passed away, on deployment when my Grandpa passed away, on deployment when my Grandma passed away, unable to take leave when my Uncle Ron passed away and I never got to say “Good Bye” to any of them... I have been in (I know this will be a surprise to some of you) TWO failed marriages, both of which ended when I found out they cheated on me (though I am pretty sure both said that I was the one that cheated). I missed COUNTLESS anniversaries which led me to understand why they had cheated. My last marriage lasted almost 5 years, of which I did the math, I was only home for 2 of. I missed so many birthdays and landmarks in the family that I have no idea of.... I have no real relationship with (except to be a source of money) 2 children that I fought for years with their mother to try to have a relationship with. Which at this point now I am just waiting for them to come to me. I never owned a house of my own because I was never sure of where I would go next and whether I would stay somewhere. As a result of the above I tend to place myself in a self imposed isolation from those I care about due to the fact that, well, to be truthfully honest, I don’t even think I know how to be in a family anymore. I have clinical depression that I battle with almost daily and went to years of therapy for. I have clinical anxiety, bordering on PTSD as a result of things that have happened to me in my past. I have been an E4 twice and and E5 twice because of toxic and garbage leadership (though in the end I owned my mistakes and they made me a better leader for it, they still have not owned theirs). I stayed in to try to ensure the same bullshit I went through professionally and personally didn’t happen or could be prevented. I have just now started to get my finances in order to even think about maybe buying my own home hopefully in the next 10 years, due to years of being too nice to an Ex that I was till living my life for still up to about 4 years ago. I have spent more time feeling more lonely than I would like to admit, even when I was in a room full of folks. I’ve decorated fake Christmas trees in my workshops and watched while the “kids” I worked with celebrated New Years in hanger bays thousands of miles from home. Taken Sailors duty on Christmas Day, New Years Eve/Day and Valentines Day, because NONE of those holidays mean a damn thing to me anymore. When leaving for my deployment in 2010 I was given a counseling for not “manning the rails” to say “good bye,” to San Diego with the rest of my division in our dress uniforms. And not counseled when I gave my response as to why, by screaming at the top of lungs at a senior petty officer that I didn’t do so because everyone had family and friends on the pier and my family that I hadn’t told anyone but a close friend wasn’t because I was legally separated from weren’t there. I watched horrified while a Sailor shot himself on watch while I was the Chief of the Guard (that still haunts me). I have felt guilt to this day for putting a young kid in the US Navy in 2003 who was killed in a small village in Afghanistan in 2007. I have spent more time in my life with walls around my heart and soul than not, as a result. I am a suicide attempt and ideation survivor. I am a loner for the most part, have always been, probably always will be. It tends to lend to be the easier path. In the end, remember this, we ALL have a hard life. It is all a matter of perspective. Am I going to be okay? I don’t know, I would like to thinks so. As a result of much of the bullshit (sorry once again for the language Mom) that has occurred in my life I have found that those that I tend to let into my life, tend to be attached to me somehow or some way for the long haul. I have always said that NO MATTER WHAT, if you need help, put your pride on a shelf and ask me for it and you KNOW I will be there for you. Remember it is not about materialistic things or money that makes you successful, it is how you learn from life. Or IF you learn from life and life experiences. Telling those that you love, that you love them, hugging them when you see them (not just a hand shake necessarily). Always keeping an open line of communication or trying to talk to those you care about. These things are most important in life. Grow together, stay connected, we have each other. These are the important things in life.
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    Mykk reacted to Hapa_Fodder for a blog entry, What is “Fair?” Explaining who I am. Life after Divorce.   
    When the ex and I talked about getting married, we discussed the military, military life and how things might go. This is hard to explain in words that are understood. And harder for someone that wasn’t in the military to truly understand. So when I deployed in 2010 and came home to find out things weren’t exactly going well in our relationship (and I assure you that is an understatement) I took it in stride. Was I too nice? Definitely, should I have been a complete poopchute? Totally. But in the end, I had somewhere to sleep, and eat (the ship)... We had children to think about. And I was always gone already, so this would be normal to them. I agreed too much, I gave too much, I didn’t fight nearly enough.   I apologize if this is long winded and I won’t go into the details over the next 5 years, but let’s just say they were less than ideal for me. In the first week of January of 2015 I was completely and utterly destroyed, mentally, emotionally and monetarily and it was all beginning to show physically. I had chronic tension, chronic insomnia, anxiety, depression all exacerbated by military life and all of it came to a head. My professional career (the only part of my life I seemed to be able to succeed in) was beginning to falter. I had a break down, I had been asking for pictures of MY children for, well, years... and her remark was that she did not have time to take pictures for me. So my mother, did what an amazing mother would. She started pulling pictures of the children off of Facebook, because evidently she had time to plaster pictures all over FB but not for their father. I had just gotten over a bout of serious depression after finally getting a picture the last week of December 2014 after begging for pictures of the children seeing them play with the toys that I bought them for Christmas. How did the ex respond? She sent a picture of my daughter on the ground playing with the toy I got her for Christmas, in the background was the man she was dating (now her new husband), he was, for all intents and purposes naked on the couch. All he was wearing was basketball shorts. When I responded to her, letting her know how inappropriate it was that she sent that to me, she of course acted like she did not know what she did wrong. At this point I questioned all my own actions and my own thoughts when it came to her and the children. So when I posted the picture to FB and asked the question whether I was incorrect in my thinking, of course the resounding answer was that I was NOT incorrect.   So in that week in January, walking my dog, utterly a broken man. I came to a realization. I had still, been living for a woman and children that were not a part of my life anymore. The woman that I had fallen in love with had replaced me, completely, as a husband and father. Phone calls would always go unanswered, texts were being ignored. When I made it apparent that I wanted a set time and day to talk to the children on the regular it became my fault that my son was acting out at school and that his reasoning was because “mom was making me talk to dad on the phone.” Of course upon hearing this, I didn’t want my time to be a negative thing and I caved and stopped it. Everything welled up. Everything built up to a breaking point. And I snapped. But not necessarily in the way that I think some would. I made a decision. I was not going to live for the family that had moved away and moved forward from me. It was time for me to focus on ME. It was time for me to focus on MY life. There was at this time only one person I could rely on. ME. I had talked to a few people about my decision, for the most part it was met with positive responses. Some said, “if someone had done that to me, NO ONE would be able to keep me away from my children,” but as I have always said, you don’t get to judge someone until you have walked in their shoes.   So I focused on me! 2015 was an amazing year for me, I was in the gym every single day, I am arguably not a runner, okay not arguably, I am NOT a runner. I was already walking the dog 5-7 miles a day. And by late spring, early summer I was RUNNING 5 miles a day! My career skyrocketed, that year I became my commands Senior Sailor of the Year, I went up for regional Sailor of the Year, I became the Surface Navy Association Sailor of the Year for New England, I received a top evaluation and then it happened the epitome of a Navy man’s career. I was selected to be a Chief Petty Officer. A milestone that I had all but written off as I was nearing the end of my career. All this time I was working 10-16 hour days, focusing on my career, my new “kids” (Sailors) and ME. Not thinking about what I left behind. This I know was especially hard on my parents and family/friends back home in Oregon. I still to this day feel as though I have completely let them down, though they may say this is not the case, it will FOREVER be in the back of my mind. I would be remiss if I didn’t admit that this is partially the reason why I seclude myself so often.   So last year I retired from the Navy. I said “Good Bye,” to a career that spanned over 20 years, 5 ships, almost 15 years at sea, 1 shore duty, 10 deployments, countless moves up and down the west coast and coast to coast and to the Sailors that had become my children. I went through all the anxiety and depression that one does when separating from the military. But a new realization came to pass, I had the time and the money to right how I was wronged. Not necessarily to try to have a relationship with my actual children as I am a complete stranger to them today. But correct the deficiencies in the divorce decree and actually sever the siphon that that woman had directly connected to my bank account. I had after all been paying over DOUBLE what the state of Missouri would have required me to pay in child support for almost a decade.   It took me almost a decade to have the time and the money to pay a lawyer and pursue what was FAIR with the ex-wife. All the while she has been acting like a selfish, childish, money grubbing gold digger. More shady stuff was attempted to by the ex, which all came out when she suspiciously was nice and agreeable to my terms as well as apologetic for years of childish, selfish behavior and I questioned it all.   So when she agreed to the stipulations of changing things in our agreement of course I was skeptical. And of course she had ulterior motives. So when I got a lawyer, informed her that I was doing so, it was no surprise that she got upset. I did as I always have, told the truth, told her exactly step by step what was going to happen. And she again agreed, "so long as it wasn't going to be different than what we agreed to." My response to that has always been the same, "I am not the one trying to pull anything, or do anything underhanded. Never have I ever done anything that would negatively impact the other." So it doesn't surprise me when my lawyer informs me that he has been attempting to contact her so that she can sign her side of the paper work and has had no response from her. So, my lawyer, which BTW is ranked in the top 10 for family law in the state of Missouri did what any expensive lawyer would. He documented all his attempts and has served her with papers to appear in court. Furthermore, he has filed a motion since I am a veteran and do not live in the state to be represented in person by him so I don't have to go.   There are still days where the memory of her and my lost family takes the wind from my sails, however, moral of the story, what is FAIR is FAIR. You get what you put in, treat people you "care" about like crap, it WILL come back to bite you. Being honest, open, upfront and truthful is always the best way to handle people. Will I ever really recover from all of this? I doubt it. Will I ever marry again? I doubt it. But at this point in my life, I find sitting on the patio watching the dog chase dragon flies and enjoying a glass of whiskey to be far more relaxing that worrying about those things.   *That is all*
  6. Upvote
    Mykk reacted to thedakar for a blog entry, Is DHO in its Twilight Years? - A Year In Review   
    A year ago @xJediDadx and myself took on the challenge of being the caretakers of DHO. You can read more about that whole process in this blog post. A year has passed; what has changed if anything? Well, that's what we are gonna look at!
    (and before you freak out - DHO isn't closing 🙂 )
    Bring out Your Dead!
    DHO was a force to be reckoned with in 2015. Registrations were reaching dozens per week, posts by the hundreds. Our WoT clans were growing and expanding; the website provided a hub for those clans to swap tips and share stories.  Things were clicking, the place was a buzz of activity! DHO was a fantastic hub for all things dad and it stayed that way for years.  Over time, the activity slowed down. No worries. Registrations slowed, but the site was still alive. Slowly but surely, change was happening. DHO was in trouble. We knew it, but we didn't know how bad it was.
    Then I had to go and look at all the metrics! Like an doctor showing you an x-ray, there it was in picture form. The degeneration was too easily seen. All the signs pointed to the fact that DHO would be dead in a year. Its been a good run, dads, but at some point you gotta put the animal out of it misery....
    I'm Not Dead Yet! 
    It was a sobering time, let me tell you. All the metrics said we would be dead by now, but since you are reading this you know DHO didn't die! It transformed like a phoenix from the ashes and returned to its former glory!  
    Okay, that's not true either. Rather we resisted complete collapse; we stabilized. For those that like pictures, here are the comparisons:
    Member Activity - Our member activity was on a significant downward slide.  

    How did we do? You see that hump over the "2019"? That's a jump in activity! That's growth baby! You see how it then starts to slide back down? That's "not growth."  

    New Posts - You see that hump over the "2019"? That's a jump in activity! That's growth baby! You see how it then starts to slide back down? That's "not growth."  


    How did we do? You see that hump over the "2019"? That's a jump in activity! That's growth baby! You see how it then starts to slide back down? That's "not growth."  
    Yes, I repeated myself.
    And I could repeat it twice more for sent messages and for registrations.... So basically, all we did was delay the inevitable, right?
    I am Feeling Much Better!
    Actually, we did more than just delay the inevitable.  Our reach and influence actually grew... just not directly on dadshideout.com. What am I talking about?

    The image above is from Google Analytics. In March I took some time to go through many of DHO's web pages and redo some of the code; I gave Search Engine Optimization (SEO) a shot.  Now, I only had youtube videos and blog posts to guide me, but the return was worth the investment. With the changes done in by April (and I was now fully engaged in a new job) DHO started popping up in more searches online.  This drove more traffic our way. Most importantly, we picked up a dozen or so new dads that are now "long term users."
    In the last 6 months we have seen over 5000 different visitors! From that a few dads discovered us and decided we were the place for them - mission accomplished!

    I think I'll Go for a Walk. I Feel Happy!
    Here's perhaps the most interesting bit - more dads access dadshideout.com from their phones than from the laptops/desktops! The access has shifted to mobile devices; and it shifted FAST:
    In the last year, dads looked at dadshideout.com on their computers 2/3s of the time (and the longer you go back, the more regular computers were used)

    In the last 7 days, less than half of dads visited using their laptop/desktop.... Tablets and phones are the majority now:

    Today (the day I post this) Phones where actual 51.2% of devices used to access DHO!
    So, if we are getting more hits, more visitors, and lots of mobile usage, where's the beef? That for the next post (hint -  )
    The Man in the Mirror
    Let us consider the quote at the beginning of this post:
    “You're always you, and that don't change, and you're always changing, and there's nothing you can do about it.” 
    ― Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book
    DHO is always gonna be DHO. DHO is also always changing. So stay tuned as we take a look at what some of those changes are and what the means for the future of DHO!
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