Every week, beginning at noon ET Tuesday and ending at Thursday at 11am, a Lightning Round (LR) appears in MPQ, every two hours. There are a total of 24 Lightning Rounds that run every week, and alternate between featured heroes one week and villains the next. They play like any other Versus (a.k.a. PVP, or Player Vs. Player) event in MPQ, where the more powerful your roster is, the higher you place. But if you time joining a LR at the right time, they can also be a great source of ISO-8 for any level of roster.
PVP requires players to be able to queue up and attack other players, but what happens when you join the event right when it begins? In that case you fight what the MPQ community calls “seed teams” — low-level enemies that the game inserts into the competition in order to “seed” the event, and get points for some initial players (so other players can then attack those players with points).
You can recognize a seed team by its make-up (always a loaner required character and two low-level supporting characters) but also by its name — MPQ cycles through 10 different seed teams with the following names:
By attacking the seed teams, the game gets targets to fill the event, and as the player, you get ISO-8, arguably the most coveted resource in the game. Everyone, at every stage of the game, needs ISO-8 to level up their characters and Lightning Rounds can be a great source of it.
Joining Lightning Rounds
Here’s how it works…
You need to join the Lightning Round event as soon as it begins. This means your game needs to be running (and your phone/computer not sleeping) at the exact second the event is about to begin, and then you need to open the event to begin it. As soon as you do that, the game is auto-loading seed teams for you.
How many seed teams you get seems to vary, and it’s unclear exactly what the variables are, but it seems tied to how many other people have beaten seed teams by the time you’ve finished fighting your seed teams. You may get just three seeds all the way up to ten seed teams.
As you finish each LR battle, you will receive a 30 ISO bonus as well as a random reward, like at the end of any PVP battle — that reward could be ISO or a character cover (either 1* or 2*). The LRs also have progression rewards with the following rewards:
- 25: 140 ISO
- 50: Standard token
- 100: 250 ISO
- 250: Standard token
As you battle, each seed team gives you a little less points than the last; the point totals for matches won goes like this: 38-71-101-128-152-174-194-212-229-245.
Meaning you happen to get all ten seed teams, you will end up with 245 points, putting you just one battle away from the 250 progression point. Even if you only get eight seed teams, at 212 points, you’re well within range of the 250 progression reward with just one battle.
All of this ISO-8 adds up. Going worst case scenario, if you are able to play eight seed teams each round (averaging 100 ISO a match), and don’t get anything more, you are getting at least 1,290 ISO each Lightning Round. Chances are good that you will get more than that — you may get a 2* cover (worth 250 ISO) at end of some of your battles). If you can then play multiple Lightning Rounds in a week, the numbers add up even higher. If you play 5 Lightning Rounds, it’s at least 6,450 ISO; 10 Lightning Rounds it’s 12,900 ISO.
Teams to Use Against Seeds
As the name implies, Lightning Rounds are all about speed. So people tend to use whatever teams will go through seed teams fastest. There are two main commonplace strategies right now…
Ever since Thanos came out, he (both his 5* and 3* versions) has been prevalent in LRs. As long as you have black covers for him, he’s usable for an LR.
You take Thanos, select the loaner character for the PVP (no need to choose your own version, they will just take damage and not fire any of their powers) and a random third character.
For the third, many people go with a character who can heal in this role (like Patch or Daken), so they can keep using the same character in subsequent battles. Others are just using whatever 5* characters they have (level 255 with only one cover is fine) as they have the highest match damage in the game and can take low level seed characters out with as little as one match-3. A prevalent character you’ll see paired with Thanos is 5* Old Man Logan. Even after his nerf, he heals enough to battle seed teams, and has the 5* level match damage.
Your strategy is simple: target the enemy on the team with the lowest health and match tiles until that character is downed. Thanos’s black power, Court Death, does the rest — it downs the other two characters on the enemy team and damages your other two characters. You then queue up the next seed team and repeat.
5*s or high level characters
If you don’t have a usable Thanos, then another option is go with any 5* characters you have (they have the biggest match damage in the game), and/or your highest level characters and start matching away. It’s not as fast as using Thanos, but the battle will still be over fairly quickly.
After Seed Teams
After you’ve battled all the seed teams you can, feel free to start taking on the players you get matched up with. At this point, it will look like pretty much any other PVP event; the game’s MMR (Match Making Rating) will match you up with other rosters similar to yours. You’ve done the work on the game’s behalf to put points into the competition, and the more you play, the more points you’ll have.
Once you cross the 250 point threshold, however, you do seem to get noticed quickly by other players and you will start seeing attacks coming through (similar to the threshold seen when one crosses 900 points in a regular PVP event). Shields are available in Lightning Rounds, but generally not recommended. You’re better off climbing as high as you can and gathering rewards for yourself (via progression and after-battle random rewards). If you happen to get a placement reward, it’s just another bonus.