EyeSnipe on the PuzzleWarriors Discord server has been giving a whole lot of advice in the #pvphelp channel. Here’s a rundown of his tips, reprinted with his permission…
Glossary of Terms Used Below:
Skips: Skipping a fight.
Hops: Unshielding to hit a quick match and reshielding.
Grills: Intentionally small teams used by larger rosters to add points to the slice.
Slice: The time bracket you chose for the event, 1-5
To understand and be successful in PVP there is a lot to consider.
First things first is roster strength. PVP is not PVE. You can be great at PVE and horrible at PVP. Some characters have great support and utility but often are poor PVP toons. Ant-Man is a perfect example of this. So you have to look at teams in terms of PVP toon versus PVE toon.
Look for rainbow coverage. If you’re forced to make certain matches, you want the most of it you can get, damage and power wise. At a minimum, you want damage. Once it’s not a primary color, the match damage drops dramatically.
Think in terms of synergy. This power from this guy works great with her passive. Or this toon’s power after that toon’s power works to do this pretty well. Teams like Stormneto, Charlie’s Angels, they are still viable because of their synergy.
This is a big one that many just never understood. So, here it is. MMR is what determines which opponents you see, and who sees you.
It does this by factoring 3 things: Tier, level, and scores, both yours and theirs.
Your tier is your highest tier champ. If your top champ is a 3, you’re in the 3 tier.
Level is determined by the average of your top 5 toons. If you have 5 toons at 270, you’re a level 270 in the 4* tier.
Score and timing matter. If you start climbing immediately, anyone else climbing sees you. More people playing in the same point range means more targets, so starting 8 to 12 hours in is a good thing as there will be more targets in more point ranges.
A target of 38 is roughly the same score as yourself. Less than 38 means he’s lower in points than you. 75 is the max you can get.
To ‘break’ MMR, you must be among the top scores. You will see more, and more will see you. As you climb anytime during PVP, the more you are worth, the more visible you become. This is why you occasionally take hits from teams way above you; they are frontrunning.
Under most circumstances, you can see around 100 points underneath you, those equal or close, and as much as 300 above, but occasionally much higher is possible, usually if they grill. [grill: a team usually consisting of a loaner, a champed 3*, and a champed 5* intended to be beatable by teams far below you]
So now that you have an idea of what composes strength, opposition, and how the targeting system works, you can determine your float point.
Your float points is the point in which you can safely sit without taking a ton of hits.
Timing will affect this, but a solid 4* team should be able to climb to and rest at 750, and expect to be hit back down to roughly 600. For dual 5s, those numbers adjust a little higher. a 900 to 1k climb isn’t unheard of, at which point to have to decide to float or shield and hop.
Whenever composing a PVP team, I want my bigger guys covering his colors so I don’t have him getting in front and hit. Try to rainbow or as many colors as possible while always considering synergy.
If possible, use characters that dictate the order of kill, like Rogue, Phoenix, or Peggy. This is an often overlooked aspect.
Making matches: whenever possible, start as close to the bottom of the board as possible in one of your dominant colors. Cascades are almost always a good thing.
If I can’t get mine, I’ll take his. In other words, if I can’t get the colors I want, I’ll make sure he can’t get the colors he wants. It’s not always what you get but what you prevent that wins matches.
If I can’t get mine and can’t prevent his, TU tile damage is better than an uncovered off-color in terms of match damage, and leads to a power I can use.
So, starting up: I like to go in after 8 hours. It almost always ensures I can reach my float point. Many are out so MMR is a little more open. Often, I’ll climb to 575 or ahead to 725 and float. I can come back a few hours later, or overnight, and probably be at around 550 or better most events.
Now I have fresh packs and a 500 point jump off point. This is climb time. Put up as much as I can and tear through the roster. Anything I can throw at ’em successfully. Keep your hits above 55. This leaves a low retal that’s not likely (or at least as likely) to get you hit back. Climb as far as possible. If above 850 and beat up, throw up a 3 or 8 hour shield.
850 and above you start to open MMR and become a vulnerable target to more people. It’s also the threshold that will allow you to see grills.
Keep hops at 6 minutes or less. Boost on hops, favoring damage over AP in most cases.
Getting from 800 to 1200 requires skips. Lots of skips. But, they pay off. When you have 3 grills at 75 apiece, it’s a 225-point hop.
You don’t need coordination to find them, just ISO and patience. Stay in one slice and get to recognize top alliances and scorers, as most get there by grills. When you see them, skip them a little and they’re likely to give you a very easy 75.