Take Mortal Kombat and insert Marvel characters and you have the game known as Marvel’s Contest of Champions. This game has been in the Apple and Google stores for just over 2 years, and I have been there since the beginning with some on and off breaks.
How To Play
Contest of Champions is very simple in concept. It is a 2d fighting game, and unlike Mortal Kombat, you cannot jump or get behind your opponent.
For offense you have 3 basic attacks:
- Light attack (L) (tap the screen)
- Medium attack (M) (swipe towards the opponent)
- Heavy attack (H) (break opponents guard, click and hold in front of your character)
Each character also gets 3 special attacks:
- special 1 (s1) – requires 1 full special bar
- special 2 (s2) – requires 2 full special bars
- special 3 (s3) – requires all 3 special bars to be full (unblockable)
In order to win you must deplete your opponent’s health completely (sometimes twice in the case of Phoenix).
In most cases, the best way to reduce the enemy’s health is to string your offensive moves into the longest attack pattern possible.
The most common attack patterns are:
M > L > L > L > M
M > L > L > L > L
L > L > L > M > M
Things to note:
- The 2nd medium attack in an attack pattern will end the attack pattern
- The 4th light attack in a pattern will end the attack pattern
- Heavy attacks are not easy to add to a combo, not impossible, but the AI will usually counter attack before fully executing your heavy attack
- Mix the attacks up and get a feel with what attack pattern best serves you and the character you are using. Ex/ Ghost Rider (awakened) benefits from both having a 5 attack pattern ending in a Light or Medium attack
For Defense you really have only 3 methods:
- Blocking (click and hold behind your character)
- Parry (requires proper Mastery investment) – this is a very tricky method, you must block just before the opponent attacks to activate parry
- Dodge (requires proper Mastery investment) – simply swipe backwards and your character will dodge anything that would have hit them at that moment
All super powered beings (referenced as Champions) of Earth have been captured by the Collector and stored in stasis inside of his Crystals. The collector collects champions from different dimensions and different timelines, which is how the game explains how you can have a powerful 5* Spiderman and a weaker 2* Spiderman (One Spiderman comes from a future where he has tons of experience fighting and has mastered his powers vs a Spiderman with no combat experience and just obtained his powers (at least this is how I justify it in my mind ) ). You are what is called “The Summoner” as you are the being deemed worthy to open the crystals, or summoning champions, and utilize the champions you release to progress through the unnatural surroundings known as the Battlerealm. There are many hidden bosses pulling different strings and the main storyline has some surprising twists that had me dancing around my apartment in disbelief.
In addition to the main storyline, there is a monthly quest called Special Quest. They are different each month and so there is a time constraint on obtaining the available prizes.
Things You Can Do
There are many things you can do in this game so what better way to show you than with a list (yay lists!):
- Main Story
- Monthly Special Quests
- Catalyst Quests (Usually daily except for the Tier 4 catalysts)
- Alliance Quests (Requires being in an Alliance)
- Alliance Wars (Requires being in an Alliance)
- Global Chat (haha, oh gosh, no, just stay away from this chat)
- Realm of Legends/ Road to the Labyrinth/ Labyrinth of Legends
Types of Character
There are 6 types of characters, and each type is both strong and weak against another type. Here are the 6 types and a champion for each category.
- Skill – Black Widow
- Mutant – Wolverine
- Mystic – Ghost Rider
- Science – Hulk
- Technology – Ironman
- Cosmic – Drax
Each 3* hero and higher can be awakened. Awakened are hidden passive abilities only achievable by duplicating a character or by using an awakening stone.
Since these will affect your entire gameplay, they deserve their own section. Masteries are passive abilities that affect most or all of your champions. For example, getting the masteries Parry and Dexterity allow you to Parry and Dodge attacks as referenced in the defense section. Parry and Dexterity affect all your champions. Deep Wounds is a mastery that only affects characters that can inflict bleed on their opponent. There is also Willpower, which allows you to heal when under a debuff or the masteries that allow you to scout enemy champions ahead (Detect _____ (ex/ Detect Mystic) ). This becomes particularly important if you tailor your masteries for a specific type of character like skill or mystic champs. While in higher tiers for Alliance War enemy champs start to become cloaked in mystery and therefore these Detect masteries can help you strategize your fights to utilize your champions to the best situations.
But Kaveman, haven’t you been reviewing the entire game already? No, it was a recap of what the game is and how to play it (with some added tips). This review will review the game and the company behind it. The company behind Contest of Champions is just as important as the game itself.
Kabam – this company has become notorious for performing acts that make no sense or changing Contest of Champions to eliminate any strategies currently being used. This has become coined as being kabammed
And if that doesn’t convince you, simply take a stroll into Reddit’s Contest of Champions
search for the hashtag #boycottmcoc which has gained attention from media sources
From my two years experience with this game I have seen Contest of Champions evolve. However through the years it has developed a pattern for nerfing champions and strategies. For example…
- Ironfist dominated the contest before the introduction of the Mastery Willpower.
- Perfect Block teams dominated the contest to withstand impossible situations before they nerfed block proficiency mastery.
- A cap placed on the amount of items that can be held. Kabam realized people were stockpiling health and revive potions before taking a run at what was the hardest challenge of the game at the time, Realm of Legends. This inevitably cut into Kabam’s profit and they capped the amount of items a person could hold and stated it was “For the benefit of the Contest of Champion community”.
- The Current and most devastating nerfs have just come in the form of all the best champions being made shadows of their former selves. RIP Scarlet Witch, Dr. Strange, and Thor. How bad was this update? This update is the cause of #boycottmcoc. This update also was so bad that it caused Kabam to reverse some of their nerfs to try and satisfy the playerbase.
- The hidden/secret nerfs. Kabam is notorious for nerfing characters and their abilities silently without announcing they did. Worse, when questioned they will delete threads or deny. During this last update, only a handful of champions were said to be nerfed and by the end of it players were realizing that kabam had once again silently nerfed other characters (poor Storm, Ghost Rider, etc.)
This is the company behind the game of Contest of Champions.
Contest of Champions – Honestly I feel this is an awesome game where you can collect your favorite Marvel Heroes. It is simple in its mechanics, but leaves enough strategy for skill to come into play (so long as Kabam doesn’t find your strategies overpowered and decide to change the game). I was able to complete the Realm of Legends myself just using Strange and a 3* Star Lord. This took my several attempts of restarting but I was eventually able to complete it (woo! Shameless pride!). The Storyline itself is fantastic and I would highly recommend playing the game just for that (or I suppose just youtube the storyline). The game has something new every month, which keeps the game feeling fresh. However, in order to get the newest and best champs comes the cost of grinding in the arena. The champions can be used to fight every 2 hours (less if you are in an alliance and request help).
This game highly favors new players. Your chances of getting 4* characters from Premium Hero Crystals is much higher when you first start playing compared to anyone who has been playing for more than 3 months. This has been Kabam’s strategy pattern of getting new players hooked. Once you hit that Magik (Contest of Champion pun!) 3 month mark you are reduced to the regular chance of getting a 4* hero (just like the rest of us!).
Finally, here is the last thing to know about the mobile game of Contest of Champions. Besides grinding in the arena, or completing the monthly quests (which only gets you a 3*), there is no specific way to get any specific champ you want. However, even the arena champs and the monthly regular monthly quest are specific characters. I can tell you it is 100% random chance what champ you get from the crystals, and it will make no difference between spinning the crystal or just click “Open All”. I should know, I have wanted Ghost Rider since the game started, and when he finally was released into the game I did all I could to get him, and sadly failed. I would also have an awakened Hulk and awakened Wolverine if I could get the champions I wanted, but sadly that is just not how the game works. Go into this game knowing that and you will be less disappointed when you find this out.
Til next time, I’ll just be sitting here in my Cave