Home Game Guides How to Set Up Marvel Strike Force Cosmic Crucible Defense

How to Set Up Marvel Strike Force Cosmic Crucible Defense

How to Set Up Marvel Strike Force Cosmic Crucible Defense
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Cosmic Crucible is one of the best sources of valuable rewards in Marvel Strike Force. To get the best rewards possible, you have to become a master of Crucible defense

Defense is extremely important in MSF Crucible for one simple reason: You don’t control the defending teams during battles. It’s the same principle as in Alliance War and Arena modes. Similar to War, Crucible grants special boosts depending on the room or, more precisely, Stage. Let’s go through all six Cosmic Crucible Stages in Crucible Season 4 and see which defense teams work best in each.

1. Pressure Points

Stage Description

The first stage in Crucible Trials does something rarely seen in Marvel Strike Force: It boosts ISO-8 Classes rather than characters of certain traits. In the Pressure Points Stage, Raiders afflict Minor Defense Down on critical hits, which isn’t exactly revolutionary.

However, what is groundbreaking is the following boost: Strikers gain a 200% damage boost if their health drops below 50%. Since Striker is among the most popular ISO-8 classes in Marvel Strike Force, this opens up numerous possibilities for foolproof Crucible defense strategies.

Best Team for This Stage

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One of the first teams that comes to mind for the Pressure Points Stage is Undying. The reason is pretty simple: Iron Man (Zombie) is frequently equipped with Striker ISO-8 to boost his attacks. Better yet, the character is a glass cannon, so he’ll spend plenty of time in low health. Yet, whenever Zombie Iron Man dies, Hela will revive him.

This dynamic shouldn’t change significantly even once Juggernaut (Zombie) joins the team. In fact, when the new character arrives, he could also do well with Striker ISO-8, given that he already receives bonuses when under 50% health. Of course, all this will apply if Zombie Juggernaut comes while Crucible Season 4 is still ongoing.

Alternative Crucible Defense Teams

While Undying can be devastating in Stage 1, several teams can do just as well while defending this room:

  • Gamma
  • Infinity Watch
  • Young Avengers

2. Raid On Crucible

Stage Description

The second Crucible Stage has a much simpler rule compared to the first one, and it’s revealed in the name. This room follows Raid rules. While the rule is very straightforward, it changes the concept entirely, shifting you from Crucible to Raid. It also opens up the possibilities for some exciting matches between specialized Raid teams and New Warriors who get boosts in all Trial Stages.

Best Team for This Stage

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If you’ve built them up, Bifrost will be the ultimate team for Raid On Crucible. The band of Lokis, with the backup of Vahl and Beta Ray Bill, should be a real nightmare unless attacked by an overpowering team. Even then, Bifrost will put up a fight every time.

However, note that an exceptionally strong Raid team will win against Bifrost if punching down. For instance, attacking them with a 15% stronger Death Seed will lead to an easy win for the offense. Herein lies the greatest obstacle to using Bifrost in Season 4: Many players haven’t built up the team to a respectable level. If your Bifrost is lower than 900k in power, you might want to go with an alternative.

Alternative Crucible Defense Teams

As you might expect, Raid teams will be the only viable choice for defending this Stage:

  • Rebirth
  • Death Seed
  • Invaders

3. Cosmic Shielding

Stage Description

The Cosmic Shielding Stage provides advantages to characters with the Cosmic Hero traits. These characters receive Deflect each turn and give enemies Defense Down when attacked. This rule is also relatively simple, but it does require a thorough knowledge of Cosmic Hero teams. Placing characters that gain additional benefits from Deflect in the Cosmic Shielding Stage will make your defense tougher than ever.

Best Team for This Stage

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The ultimate team for Cosmic Shielding has to be Knowhere with Apocalypse, where Apocalypse replaces Korg. And yes, we want to get Apocalypse in there, even though he’s an absolute beast in Crucible offense. Why? With him instead of Korg, your Knowhere team becomes a real obstacle on the opponent’s way rather than a minor nuisance.

Every Knowhere member gets additional buffs with Deflect, but the team primarily relies on War bonuses. After all, it is an Alliance War team through and through. Apocalypse will cover the missing aspect of the fight, particularly if you get attacked by Infinity Watch. In that case, the First Mutant will prevent enemies from spawning with Safeguard, negating their greatest advantage in the early battle.

Alternative Crucible Defense Teams

While other Cosmic Hero teams don’t get additionally boosted by Deflect, the added resistance certainly won’t hurt. Here’s who to put in this room if your Knowhere isn’t built up fully yet:

  • Hero Asgardian
  • Infinity Watch

4. Wrecking Ball

Stage Description

The fourth stage has a particularly interesting rule set. Namely, characters with Taunt receive Offense Up, and anyone with Offense Up receives Assist. If combined with the right team, this room can deal massive damage to attackers. For the most efficient setups, it would be best to focus on Offense Up rather than characters with Taunt.

Best Team for This Stage

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When you combine Assist, Offense Up, and tough Crucible defense, one team fits the bill immediately: Young Avengers. Rather than needing a character to apply Offense Up, this team gets the buff on spawn due to Kate Bishop and her Passive. In other words, the entire team will get Assist on the first strike. If your Young Avengers are built up properly, this could mean the end for one attacking team member right from the start.

While getting immediate Assist sounds great, bear in mind that Young Avengers aren’t as formidable in Crucible as in War. They’ll undoubtedly create trouble for many attackers but can be overpowered by, for instance, Death Seed or Underworld.

Alternative Crucible Defense Teams

Several teams will become even more dangerous with additional Offense Up and Assists, serving as viable alternatives to Young Avengers:

  • War Dogs
  • X-Factor with Quicksilver
  • Underworld

5. Mutant Spiders

Stage Description

The Mutant Spiders Stage opens up numerous possibilities for combining different X-Men and Spider-Verse teams. Yet, one option here will be more valuable than the other. Marvel Strike Force has three basic X-Men teams, but mixing and matching between them might not be worth your while. Essentially, you’ll be fine going with Unlimited X-Men alone; breaking up that team would probably bring more harm than good.

On the other hand, using Unlimited X-Men for Crucible defense might be a waste since the team can hit very hard when attacking. For these reasons, it would be best to focus on Spider-Verse characters for this Stage.

Best Team for This Stage

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Our pick for the Mutant Spiders Stage defense is Tangled Web with Doctor Octopus and Ghost Spider. Tangled Web is already the best possible foundation for a Spider-Verse team, and Doctor Octopus and Ghost Spider represent great additions to take the lineup further.

Note that some players see Spider-Man (Noir) as less necessary here. They may swap the character for a member of Web-Warriors, Underworld, or even Sinister Six. However, we don’t feel like breaking up the original Tangled Web trio since it works so well in practically all game modes.

Alternative Crucible Defense Teams

The only alternative to the Tangled Web team for this Stage would be a variant of the Unlimited X-Men. However, we would replace Fantomex with Jubilee here to exploit her Assist, health, and speed boosts.


6. Building Momentum

Stage Description

Building Momentum is another Stage with a simple description but far-reaching consequences. In this room, you need two less ability energy to use Special and Ultimate abilities. Naturally, characters with powerful Specials and Ultimates will be a must here, as they can have a devastating effect on attackers.

Best Team for This Stage

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The hands-down best team for Building Momentum would be Darkhold with Apocalypse or, alternatively, Quicksilver. Whichever character you choose, they should replace Scarlet Witch since her abilities won’t be crucial for the win. Instead, this will be a very aggressive defense build capable of dishing out tons of damage and debuffs every turn.

Alternative Crucible Defense Teams

Many teams will become genuine powerhouses with Building Momentum rules. However, there are a few that will be particularly suitable for this Stage:

  • Gamma
  • Underworld
  • Invaders

Get your Crucible defense in order, and your chances of reaping the valuable rewards will skyrocket. Once you set up your defense, the only thing will be to find some Crucible counters to build stronger attack teams. Luckily, we have an article about Marvel Strike Force Crucible counters to tell you everything you need to know on the subject.

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Uroš Ignjatović

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How to Set Up Marvel Strike Force Cosmic Crucible Defense