Every once in a while the Facebook game Marvel: Avengers Alliance releases a new hero that practically defies strategy. Past heroes that fall into this category include Moon Knight, Scarlet Witch, and Domino. These are heroes that rely on luck more than skill. The lockbox hero Taskmaster also falls into this category for much of the same reasons. He is predictable in very limited circumstances, like when facing threats that only have one class of enemy. But beyond that rare situation, it is almost impossible to dictate what skill set you will have available at any given moment, which means that it is almost impossible to plan a strategy. If you enjoy adjusting your tactics on the fly, Taskmaster is the perfect Marvel: Avengers Alliance hero for you. If not, you should avoid him.
Acquisition – To acquire Taskmaster, you need to acquire eight unique comic book covers that drop from mimetic lockboxes during Marvel: Avengers Alliance PvP Season 15. If you open lockboxes ten at a time, which is the most efficient way, you will need between 80 and 360 total lockboxes to get this hero.
Special Ability (Photographic Reflexes) – Whenever this hero is attacked, he changes his class to that of the attacking enemy, including generalist. This hero has a different selection of powers in all six classes, so the change not only grants him class abilities, but new powers. In PvP, keep in mind that the Warriors Three all have a primary class which is the class this character will switch to.
Special Ability (Tactical Insight) – This is the exact same ability that Mockingbird has and works the exact same way. Once per turn, whenever Taskmaster changes his class, he has a 50% of gaining an immediate action. Extra actions are pretty much always good and since you change to the class of the enemy that attacked you, you are always assured that there will be at least one enemy you can attack without triggering a counter class ability.
Level 1 Generalist / Tactician Power, Trick Shot (One Enemy, Ranged, 16% Stamina Cost) – This attack deals moderate damage and has multiple additional benefits. Before the attack, the target is affected by pinpoint target, exactly like Hawkeye’s ability. Additionally, it has a repeating 50% chance of making a follow-up attack. Finally, each time it hits it adds a stack of bleeding to the target. Trick Shot is particularly good when this hero is paired up with another hero that applies bleeding.
Level 1 Blaster Power, Sapping Shot (One Enemy, Ranged, 8% Stamina Cost) – This attack deals about 50% more damage than Trick Shot and additionally applies withered and distraction. Neither status effect is particularly great, but the stamina cost of Sapping Shot makes it a good power for long battles.
Level 1 Bruiser Power, Attack of Opportunity (One Enemy, Slashing Melee, 20% Stamina Cost) – The damage of this attack is roughly halfway between Sapping Shot and Trick Shot, though that damage can be significantly higher because the power exploits opportunity. The power also applies one stack of bleeding. Actually getting the correct status effects on an opponent to successfully take advantage of the potential extra damage is very hard with this hero, which means the power will generally under perform. You should only use it when area attacks are bad idea while in bruiser state.
Level 1 Infiltrator Power, Ring of Steel (All Enemies, Slashing Melee, 14% Stamina Cost) – This attack deals even lower damage than Trick Shot, but applies bleeding, ravaged, and pain to any enemy it hits. This makes it roughly the equivalent of X-23’s Blades of Rage. It is a good attack to use when there are no scrappers among the enemies.
Level 1 Scrapper Power, Mutilate (One Enemy, Slashing Melee, 16% Stamina Cost) – Mutilate deals roughly the same damage as Trick Shot and also applies two stacks of bleeding and the ravaged status effect. This isn’t a bad default attack, though Flying Steel is better if the target isn’t already affected by flanked.
Level 2 Generalist / Bruiser Power, Dance of Blood (All Enemies, Slashing Melee, 16% Stamina Cost) – Dance of Blood’s damage is rather low, but it has an amazing side effect in the right circumstances. All stacks of bleeding on all enemies hit are consumed and Taskmaster is healed based on the number of stacks consumed. If it is available and this character is injured any meaningful amount, use it. Because of the way he semi-randomly transforms, you may not get another chance if hold off.
Level 2 Blaster Power, Parting Gift (One Enemy, Ranged Slashing, 22% Stamina Cost) – This attack deals almost double the damage of Trick Shot and exploits opportunity. It also deals double damage instead of 50% extra on critical hits. Just like Attack of Opportunity, usually this attack will under perform.
Level 2 Infiltrator Power, Head Shot (One Enemy, Ranged, 18% Stamina Cost) – Head Shot deals slightly lower damage than Trick Shot, but has two solid additional benefits. First, the enemy is targeted for a round. Second, it has the fatal blow feature. Targeted is an excellent benefit even if the second won’t apply. This is good enough to potentially use every round.
Level 2 Scrapper Power, Berserker Frenzy (One Enemy, Slashing Melee, 26% Stamina Cost) – This power deals over twice the damage of Trick Shot and exploits bleeds. If there is a bleeding enemy that you are trying to finish this off, use this power. It is simply too expensive to use when enemies aren’t bleeding.
Level 2 Tactician Power, Disarming Strike (One Enemy, Ranged, 12% Stamina Cost) – Disarming Shot deals roughly the damage of Sapping Shot and also applies the depower and exhaustion status effects. Against most enemies in the game it is a much better choice than Trick Shot, since it costs less, does more damage, and has a nastier side effect. Never use it on an enemy already affected by these debuffs, since they don’t stack.
Level 6 Generalist / Blaster Power, Turn the Tables (All Enemies, Ranged, 18% Stamina Cost) – Turn the Tables deals less damage than Trick Shot, but grants rising up to all enemies and applies impaired to all enemies hit. If it is available and you haven’t used it yet this battle, you generally should. It is the best power for the blaster version of Taskmaster and roughly equal to Dance of Blood for the generalist version.
Level 6 Bruiser Power, Cover Fire (All Enemies, Ranged Buff, 12% Stamina Cost) – Cover Fire deals roughly the same damage as Dance of Blood, but also applies neutralized to all enemies. Additionally, all allies gain a shield. If you don’t need Dance of Blood, this should be your default attack most of the time.
Level 6 Infiltrator Power, Ricochet Shield (All Enemies, Ranged, 12% Stamina Cost) – Ricochet Shield deals approximately the same damage as Cover Fire. Enemies hit be this power are affected by off-balance and hobbled. Only use this attack when you really need one of those status effects, because the other powers are all better otherwise.
Level 6 Scrapper Power, Flying Steel (One Enemy, Ranged Slashing, 14% Stamina Cost) – Flying Steel is the best attack power in the scrapper set. It deals roughly the same damage as Sapper Shot and additionally applies flanked and winded. Unless you used Scrapper Training, you should almost always use this power. If you did use scrapper training, then it doesn’t matter much, though it is still good for saving stamina.
Level 6 Tactician Power, Battle Orders (All Allies, Buff, 8% Stamina Cost) – All allies gain rising up and buildup. If Disarming Strike weren’t so amazing, you would use this power whenever it was available.
Level 9 Generalist Power, Nightmare Sword (One Enemy, Ranged Slashing, 10% Stamina Cost) – Nightmare Sword is the only attack that this hero has that is automatically stealthy. It deals slightly more damage than Trick Shot and applies generalized to the enemy it hits. It also applies broken will and intimidated, though those are lesser benefits. Use this when the enemy lineup includes classes that counter each other to avoid getting hurt by counter class abilities. If you don’t need it for that purpose, any of the other attack options are usually better.
Level 9 Non-Generalist Power, Training (All Allies, Buff, 10% Stamina Cost) – These five powers are all connected by the same cooldown timer. When you use one, your entire team gains the benefits of the associated class training. Most of the time it will be better to simply use whichever one is first available in order to buff your team, but if a really good option is potentially available, like infiltrator or scrapper, you may want to hold off and hope you get lucky with enemy attacks.
ISOs – There is no ISO selection that is perfect because Taskmaster is simply too random. Chaotic ISOs will probably serve you best, but anything that suits your style will work.
Teammates – There are three reasonably consistent attributes between the various powers Taskmaster has. He applies lots of bleeding, gives rising up to allies, and exploits opportunity, though the last is the least consistent. The best Marvel: Avengers Alliance heroes to team him with are those that also apply bleeding and preferably that have hemorrhaging attacks. Both X-23 and Ares fit this bill. Ares is a particularly good choice because he can apply tenderized and this hero has a lot of slashing attacks. Alternately, Omega Sentinel is pretty good, too, because she can switch classes to synergize with this character, can heal status ailments, and has an attack with the finest hour trait. The only truly awful synergy is Satana because she will counteract this hero’s buffs.
PvP – Never put Taskmaster into a defensive PvP team. A human opponent can take advantage of his class switching and demolish him. On offense you are taking a big risk, but it will occasionally pay off. Pair him up with two more generalists and you will be entirely safe from counter class abilities while using those same abilities on your opponent.