Marvel Heroics: Help! What hero should I play?

Superheroes are quite used to hearing cries of distress and pleas for help, but who lends a hand when the caped crusaders need assistance? I do, that’s who! Also the wider Marvel Heroes community. And probably Daredevil; he seems like a good sort.

Probably one of the most-asked questions that’s asked both in-game and on the outside — and the one that is the most difficult to answer — is, “What hero should I pick? Whom should I play?” When Gazillion recently gave away a free superhero of one’s choice to everyone for the game’s second anniversary, players formed countless threads and spammed the in-game chat with entreaties for others to help them decide. After all, Marvel Heroes is going on its 49th hero with no signs of stopping, and making decisions which characters to save up for or buy can be one of the toughest calls that any player has to continually make.

With the assistance of a lot of observation, research, and my own personal experience, I put together the following guide to hopefully guide such seekers in finding the hero who best complements them and their playstyles. However, the true answer to that question will always be the hero that looks like the most fun!

What heroes are the most popular right now?

For some people, gravitating to the most popular heroes is quite important because it can be a sign that that class is overpowered (OP), has more developer support (including a proportionally larger amount of costumes), or has a greater-than-normal number of community builds and guides out there.

Currently, I see a lot of OP accusations being tossed around at Scarlet Witch, Doctor Doom, Hulk, Venom, and Captain America. Overpowered or not, these heroes are seen all of the time, and I hear great things about all of them (SW and DD are personal favorites of mine).

I do want to mention that any heroes that have been the stars of multiple movies, such as Cap, Thor, Iron Man, Spider-Man, and Wolverine, will be overrepresented in the game as well, no matter how “good” they actually are. Sometimes we want to play our favorite pop culture heroes, not just the metagame champions.

What heroes are the easiest to play?

Sometimes we don’t want anything complicated; we want a straight-up button-mashing experience where one or two skills are all that’s needed to have fun. We want to click and make things go boom or die. I get that.

So what heroes are as straight-forward as can be? In my opinion, you really can’t go wrong with Cyclops or Cable, since shooting stuff from afar is what they do and do rather well. Storm has long been popular for her ability to fly around and zap everything around her with her AoE attacks. If you like going melee, then Thing, Hulk, or Wolverine are good bets for simple spammy combat styles.

What heroes are underappreciated gems?

I think that this is a much more interesting question because popular is easy to suss out, but with 49 heroes, you know that there have to be more than a few that are secretly terrific but are overlooked because they’re a more obscure character or haven’t gotten as much press.

So what’s the verdict? I think a case can be made for many characters, but I’ll highlight seven picks here. Ghost Rider is a hero that is passed over a lot, yet when people play him, they rave about his magic attacks. Psylocke gets a lot of good word-of-mouth for being a hard-hitting stealthy melee fighter (with phantom summons!). Black Widow may not be flashy, but she plays great and has endeared herself to many. Squirrel Girl’s quirky theme might distract some from seeing her as a powerhouse summoner (she is my main, by the way). Husband-and-wife team of Invisible Woman and Mr. Fantastic both have low-key but passionate supporters who have found much virtue in each of their powersets. And while everyone gravitates to Iron Man for obvious reasons, Nova is just as good in his own way.

What heroes have the most unique gameplay?

With each new hero added, Gazillion attempts to provide something new in the way of gameplay, sometimes diverging very slightly from what’s been done previously and sometimes veering off to make characters that have mechanics that are difficult for average players to wield properly.

Doctor Strange is perhaps right up there with his fiddly magic powers, although players swear that if you take the time to get to know him, he’s quite good. Moon Knight has a bizarre mix of melee and ranged that gets stronger the more he’s hurt. Mr. Fantastic gets the award for the strangest-looking with his different stretchy forms (bouncy ball, attack!). Doctor Doom has two resources and three signature powers, setting him apart in the game’s roster.

But for my money, none is more unique than Rogue, simply because she can absorb both heroes’ and villains’ skills to create a build that’s as diverse and creative as a player wants it to be. There are some limitations on what and how many powers she can absorb, but if you want to go outside the box, then pick her.

What heroes are the best summoners?

I have never seen an MMO that has such affinity for pets as Marvel Heroes. There are so many heroes that have summons of one kind or another (and that’s not even to mention summons that come from gear or team-ups!). I love summons and am working on collecting all of the heroes that can bring pets out into the field.

As I said before, Squirrel Girl is an underrated summoner. Past her, Iceman, Doctor Doom, and Rocket Raccoon all have top marks as summoners (even with Rocket’s recent nerf), and all are different in their own way. Emma Frost is fun in that she can charm any non-boss mob as a semi-permanent pet, but her character is currently out of favor with the community. Loki has an emphasis on summons, but his are reportedly pretty weak. There are also some other heroes that have summoning abilities that aren’t utilized as much with common builds, such as Black Panther, Colossus, and Luke Cage.

What heroes are the cheapest to buy?

If you want the biggest bang for your buck or eternity splinter, there are eight heroes that Gazillion has, for whatever reason, priced at a discount. Black Widow, Daredevil, Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, Storm, X-23, Taskmaster, and Thing all cost just 200 splinters, which means that you can grow your roster by eight for 1600 splinters total.

If both value and quality are important, I’d say that you can’t go wrong with Scarlet Witch, Black Widow, or Storm from that list. X-23 maybe too; she’s another nominee for underappreciated hero (and a less expensive Wolverine substitute).

What heroes have the best quotes?

Maybe the verbal quotes aren’t the deciding factor for most people, but you’d be surprised how the sporatic one-liners that heroes spout influence how much you like (or dislike) a character. She-Hulk, Deadpool, and Squirrel Girl are often mentioned for their funny quips. Rocket and Star-Lord are snarky in their own ways.

And everyone likes Hulk because HULK QUOTES.

Fun Marvel Heroes fact: Gazillion has gone to great lengths to secure voice actors who have done many of these heroes’ roles in other games and on TV. Check out the IMDb list!

Any other heroes that you didn’t mention?

A few other heroes do pop up as generally recommended for various reasons. Punisher is a decent ranged nuker (with actual nukes!) who gives players a chance to walk the darker side of the Marvel universe. Jean Grey isn’t outstanding, but I’d say that she’s very solid with few critics. Magneto pours out the pain and looks great doing so. Star-Lord is neat because he gets to call in area attacks from his ship all of the time. And even though they’re popular, don’t turn your nose up at Thor and Iron Man, as both are incredibly tough and have great powers with which to play.

Really, most all heroes have something good about them. In the end, it’s not about picking the “best”; it’s about picking “best for you.”

Are there any additional resources you could recommend?

If you like lists and wading through spreadsheets in your quest for finding the perfect hero for you, I’d recommend this post on Reddit as well as Exqzr’s Hero Rankings (which, while outdated, is still useful).

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71 Comments on "Marvel Heroics: Help! What hero should I play?"

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Wratts
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Wratts

BalsBigBrother bargamer The thing about having an axe to grind is you find it’s never sharp enough

syberghost
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syberghost

Shienne not only can you do perfectly well with her, you can also get her teamup, and walk around with two She-Hulks.

syberghost
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syberghost

Colossus has great quotes, has a natural pairing in teamup with his sister Magick (which means lots of great quotes between them), and is very easy to play with a couple of different builds. I avoided all the summons except Magick (because two Magicks!) and concentrated on just pure beatdown, and it’s just clang clang clang.

Evidently it works, because when I recently had a pug go wrong on the final boss, I revived alone (Phoenix Feather) and just soloed him.

I might redo him with the summons some day for variety, but this build is just fun.

Shienne
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Shienne

The only incentive I have to play Marvel Heroes is that She-Hulk is in it. If I can’t do fairly well in the game by using She-Hulk exclusively, then I don’t have any interest in it.

ExecutionTherapy
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ExecutionTherapy

Thank you so much for this article, Mr Olivetti and commenters.  I only recently started playing this game (my Hawkeye just hit 13), and the choice of a new hero is boggling.  I still don’t know who I’ll choose next, but at least this article+comments has given me a start on how to decide.  Again, thank y’all!

Enikuo
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Enikuo

KenAddeh I agree. tried Black Widow early on and didn’t like her until I started unlocking the bombs.

molleafauss
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molleafauss

sw is actually pretty easy to play…

BigMikeyOcho
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BigMikeyOcho

Hackholm There are bank expansions, which are almost mandatory, but no character inventory expansion, but you can also use your Team-Up inventory to hold loot, too.
Advice on loot: Once the purples start dropping, only take upgrades that are purple, cosmic, and unique. Ignore the rest, feed them to pets or donate to vendors. In areas that drop a metric ton of loot like Midtown, only pick up Purple or better (sometimes if it’s an event, even ignore the purple). Vacuum up the rest.  
Personally, while leveling, this is my strategy: Only equip purple or greater only; If a purple item is a greater level than a purple you have slotted, equip it; if the purple is 2 levels greater than a slotted cosmic, equip it; if the purple is 4 levels greater than a slotted unique, equip it. Basically working on a +2 per rarity level system, always favoring the higher level item. IE: A Level 20 Purple = 18 Cosmic = 16 Unique. At max level, it changes to try to find the best in-slot, which there are a metric ton of guides about… or just try to get the level 60 uniques if guides aren’t your thing.

Carthoris
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Carthoris

I think an important thing you didn’t explicitly address is “Are there any heroes you *shouldn’t* jump right into?”, because in similar games there’s plenty of characters that are decidedly not friendly to newcomers at least at endgame. From the podcasts I get the impression you’re not into or haven’t bothered doing the harder content in MH, so I’m not really surprised you didn’t go over it because you probably haven’t encountered it.

Almost every hero is playable while leveling, but there’s a few that become difficult to manage at the cap if you are trying to be optimal – notably, Dr. Strange requires swapping between two hotbars every few seconds because he has so many skills to manage if you want to maximize effectiveness. There’s a few that need quality-of-life overhauls on their skills (Emma Frost is the top of the list here) or still need their uniques updated (Nightcrawler, Spider-Man) but for the most part even the “bad” heroes are still viable.

It’s also worth pointing out that Deadpool and Cable have not yet had their “52 reviews”, and as such their uniques and skill trees are several years out of date design-wise. Still fun and playable, but it might be worth it to wait a couple of weeks for Cable’s review to hit live if you’re interested in the character. Deadpool’s is due in a month or two.

Carthoris
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Carthoris

Hackholm Inventory expansion items are called S.T.A.S.H. and are purchased directly from your S.T.A.S.H. (bank). I don’t think they’re listed in the actual shop itself, but you can definitely buy them.

You can’t buy character inventory expansion, but you really don’t need to be carrying anything but medkits around anyway.

MonsoonGibby
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MonsoonGibby

I’d have to say that if you have a favorite character from the comics/movies outside the game, play that character.  I didn’t really get into Marvel Heroes until they added Rogue, who has been my favorite since I started reading comics in high school back in the early 90s.  After playing her from 1 to 60 twice, I’ve branched out and have about a dozen characters at 50 or 60.

Armsbend
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Armsbend

Llokki Hackholm It isnt as bad as it is in MH.  By design to sell space of course.

Llokki
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Llokki

Hackholm Donating them to the crafter and enchanter, and ‘feeding’ them to your pet if you have one. And inventory space is always a problem in ARPGs, no matter which one you’re talking about.

Hackholm
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Hackholm

I was never really into comics as a kid but Punisher was one character I always liked growing up.Not sure why, probably because of the cool logo, or the Mafia back story (with me being Italian). 

I’m having a blast playing him, but my main issue with this game is that I am getting to much loot. Ya, I know, I’m weird. But seriously, I can’t play for more than 20 mins without having a full inventory. Lately, I’ve just been selling everything that isn’t an obvious upgrade. I’m probably loosing out on huge amounts of in game currency, but honestly I just like to shoot and blow things up. 

I looked in the cash shop and I don’t see any sort of inventory expansion items for sale. Is this a common problem? (and I say this knowing that ‘problem’ is a pretty strong word for getting too much loot in an MMO)

Any tips on what I should actually be doing with all the purps (and blues and greens)?

Llokki
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Llokki

Bionicall Superbrak Gibbins Not necessarily. Nightcrawler was the first hero I saved splinters for, since he had always been a favourite and I thought being able to teleport around would be awesome. Not really the case. I (personally) hate how he plays. He hits like a wet noodle, folds like paper, and with all the teleporting strikes, it is so easy to lose track of him in the chaos of melee it’s not funny (quite frustrating in fact).

On the flip side, I focused on Rocket Raccoon after having seen the movie (and getting the special movie costume/hero bundle that was out at the time) and falling in love with the character (and he comes with a Groot summon, so you get two for the price of one!) and he’s been my main ever since.

Tithian
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Tithian

Llokki Ha, I love the snarky bastard.
Also last night in ICP I heard someone say (after killing a boss) “so… does this mean we can’t be facebook friends?” which totally cracked me up. Never heard that one before.

Llokki
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Llokki

woolydub Am I missing something? Playing Star Lord at the moment, and I’m really not seeing how he’s a movement hero—at least not any more so than any other hero out there. Unless you’re referring to his dash that refreshes the cooldowns on his grenade powers. But one power does not a movement build make…

Llokki
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Llokki

Tithian I think Iceman might actually be loathed more than loved, as far as his vo is concerned. I seem to hear people complain about it all the time for being annoying.

Omedon
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Omedon

Oh thank heavens he’s only a team-up, I can actually buy future advance packs without fear!

Omedon
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Omedon

This is why I gave up on the newly amalgamated story, some of the side quests are “hope this event spawns” quests, and you can’t abandon them! They just stay there!

JimGriffiths
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JimGriffiths
JimGriffiths
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JimGriffiths

Dr. Doom. He is a good one for you to play. MJ had a blast with him as am i.

Bionicall
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Bionicall

Superbrak Gibbins  The point is still valid, you were already playing the game, and got a hero from a random token. The best hero to start with is the one you have a vested interest in playing, it will mean that you play long enough to pick up some of the others to try out, and who knows, you may find somone that is more fun/suits your playstyle better/doesn’t annoy you with their quotes.

Pedge Jameson
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Pedge Jameson

Celestia
Here’s some stories…
That’ll take 10 movies…
And you’ll buy every single one then the box set.

Spend a hundred dollar bill.
To play Avengers
Then there’s still more to get.
:P

camelotcrusade
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camelotcrusade

schlag sweetleaf camelotcrusade It’s… beautiful.  This is why we need Dazzler.

SounderSays
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SounderSays

Ms. Marvel, Iceman, Captain America, and Star-Lord weren’t too bad to level. Daredevil was tough early on in the game, but I hear he’s better now. Rocket was fun to level with the crazy powers.
My current favorite isn’t the best, easiest, or strongest hero: Ant-Man. So that just goes to show, play the hero that appeals to you and you should still have fun.

schlag sweetleaf
Guest
schlag sweetleaf

camelotcrusade schlag sweetleaf this can only end in…

Superbrak
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Superbrak

Gibbins Yes and no…
I never heard of Nova until I got him from a random hero token. Never would have picked him on my own, but he’s some of the most fun I’ve had in game.

camelotcrusade
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camelotcrusade

schlag sweetleaf camelotcrusade Allow me to up the ante.

JonBuck
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JonBuck

I have Rocket’s Enhanced movie version costume. He’s one of the Kings of Snark. I mean, when he sees She-Hulk he may say something like… “Whoa, Gamorra! What did you eat?” I did notice the recent changes. You could basically depend on one power (the cone AOE) and little else.

schlag sweetleaf
Guest
schlag sweetleaf

camelotcrusade doom vs. disco chick…. prediction:       pain.

Celestia
Guest
Celestia

I’m just here to comment on how much I like the Brady Bunch-esque banner on this article, and if it was a show I’d binge watch it.

Celestia
Guest
Celestia

I’m just here to comment on how much I like the Brady Bunch-esque banner on this article, and if it was a show I’d binge watch it.

camelotcrusade
Guest
camelotcrusade

The first Marvel hero I ever controlled was via the 6-player X-men arcade game.  I was late to the arcade and was informed they saved me the “wimpy lady guy.”  Well, I wasn’t taking that sitting down… I embraced it.  And thus, the partnership between Dazzler and I began.  
Since then I’ve followed the character and looked for chances to play her, though there have been few.  On that note, I recommend the Dazzler mod for Ultimate Alliance.  Anyway, too bad she’s not in MH… I will keep watching and hoping for the shining superstar.

BalsBigBrother
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BalsBigBrother

bargamer /sigh

BalsBigBrother
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BalsBigBrother

schlag sweetleaf yup Howard is very much coming soon sadly only as a team up but hey its better than a kick in the quackers :p

MChrome
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MChrome

Not enough mention of nightcrawler as a unique style of hero. BAMF BAMF BAMF BAMF

flatline4400
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flatline4400

Invisible Woman is my fav so far for sure (only have like 4 heroes, but still!) 
Huge variety of powers, as someone said before here (MJ? Bree?) she
seems very MMORPG like in that way.  Plus I like her blue animations and
sound effects.  Her voice quotes are meh, but can’t have it all.
Magneto does have some great voice quotes btw!  I characterize him as Delightfully Pompous hehe… As mentioned in the article, it’s awesome that they went out and got nearly all the voice actor’s we are used to hearing from the various other tv shows and games.  Really well done in that respect.

Tithian
Guest
Tithian

Bitrip Even undergeared, my SW can just cruise through Cosmic Patrols and that is supposedly the hardest content in the game. She can also face tank cosmic Kurse, for those 20 seconds he’s alive. And they say that her survivability got nerfed already……

Tithian
Guest
Tithian

Completely underrated: Invisible Woman and Emma Frost. Both of these melt faces
Funniest voiceovers go to Deadpool and Iceman. Having Deadpool the Kid as a team up is also amazing fun.

schlag sweetleaf
Guest
schlag sweetleaf

soon my pretties…..soon

bargamer
Guest
bargamer

I feel the reason that Squirrel Girl is so underrated is that hero is a cute female who plays on her own cuteness. Rocket Raccoon is a cute guy who is a snarky Asshole-With-A-Heart-of-Gold, and people can’t get enough of him. #INeedFeminism

Oleg Chebeneev
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Oleg Chebeneev

Kanbe Yeah, indeed. I used wrong word to search.

Omedon
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Omedon

Silver Surfer was indeed one hero that I had to approach way differently, as I don’t generally do “movement combat,” but he was really fun to level once I got the hang of him! :)

Kanbe
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Kanbe

Rocket was mentioned at least twice that I can recall. Both as a summoned and for his quotes.

melkore
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melkore

I’ve been having a lot of fun with ranged Nova and She-Hulk when I want to smash.  Setting up bombs then dashing through them with Nova is a ton of fun.

woolydub
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woolydub

Awesome guide! Loki did just get a nice buff. His Sorcerer stuff is quite strong atm and his summons are solid as well. I don’t really have anything to add as Justin covered this really well. I guess I have one thing to add. Movement heroes like Nova, Silver Surfer, Psylocke(kinda), and Star Lord have fairly unique mechanics if you play them for movement and Punisher is hands down the strongest Ranged hero with great energy management mechanics. 

I am currently playing the heck out of Psylocke. She’s a wrecking ball.

Oleg Chebeneev
Guest
Oleg Chebeneev

Why Racoon isnt covered? Its one of the strongest champs in game with insane AoE dmg. Out of like 10 champs Ive played my personal favourite is Black Widow. She isnt op and its fun to play with her arsenal of varied gatgets and sniper rifle

Omedon
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Omedon

Survivability is a huge asset for those looking to get “the grind” underway early in a way that can benefit an entire roster (Omega points in particular), and the greatest two characters in my majority experience (meaning I’ve played most, not all) that have stood out as “holy shit, nothing can kill me” have been Venom and Captain America… which is a major reason that I bought an exclusive costume for Cap and use him heavily.

KidWithKnife
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KidWithKnife

No Taskmaster or Doom among the heroes with the best quotes? Blasphemy. Justin, maybe you should take one of Taskmaster’s classes. :P

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