On June 6th, 2014, Playdom released Marvel: Avengers Alliance Tactics, a spin-off to the popular Facebook game Marvel: Avengers Alliance. Marvel: Avengers Alliance Tactics features many of the same heroes as the original game, but with drastically altered abilities and powers. The tactical game play and greater variety of powers makes each hero unique from their Marvel: Avengers Alliance counterpart. Iron Man is surprisingly a little less interesting than the original version and a little less effective, but notably more durable. He plays exactly like you would expect a blaster to play, shooting enemies from afar and trying to keep as much distance between himself and the enemy as possible. The following strategy guide to Iron Man in Marvel: Avengers Alliance Tactics will help you select an optimal power set for him and best use him in combat.
Cost – You get Iron Man for free during the tutorial of the game.
Innate Ability: Flying – Flying does not work in the obvious way in Marvel: Avengers Alliance Tactics. It does not allow Iron Man to fly over enemy units or terrain. Instead, it makes him immune to ground attacks. It also has a penalty. Iron Man has no resistance to knockback. Overall, flying is actually pretty bad since knockback is much more common than ground attacks.
Attack Power: Repulsor Rays (Ranged, Energy, Tech / Range: 3.5, Single Enemy / Recovery Time: Normal) – Repulsor Rays is the inherent level 1 power for Iron Man. It deals respectable damage, though the range is a little shorter than you want for a ranged character. It does have a knockback of 3 squares, but that still puts Iron Man close enough to most enemies that they can retaliate. The main advantage of Repulsor Rays is that it only costs silver to upgrade.
Attack Power: Unibeam (Ranged, Energy, Tech / Range: 6, Linear All / Recovery Time: Normal) – Unibeam hits every character, enemy or ally, in a straight line from Iron Man. You can direct the line at angles as well as in cardinal directions, which means you can almost always hit any two enemies that are close together. Because it can hit multiple enemies the attack is generally superior to Repulsor Rays, but it has a cooldown of 3 turns to make up for that. Unibeam costs refined ISO to buy and upgrade, which is actually advantageous given how easy that resource is to acquire.
Attack Power: Afterburner (Melee / Range: 6, Linear Enemies / Recovery Time: Fast) – Afterburner works like Unibeam except that it only hits enemies, deals roughly half as much damage, and lets Iron Man act roughly 30% more quickly after using it. That may sound like a poor tradeoff, but acting quickly is huge advantage in Marvel: Avengers Alliance. This ability costs both silver and Command Points to purchase and upgrade, which means it isn’t cheap. Still, once you have a solid supply of Command Points, this is generally a better choice than Repulsor Rays.
Attack Power: Incendiary Rocket Barrage (Ranged, Explosive / Range: 6, Area of Effect All / Recovery Time: Normal – Incendiary Rocket Barrage has a surprisingly quick recovery time for a power that hits a 3×3 square at range. Part of the reason for this is that the damage is only roughly that of Afterburner, though it does apply burning to all targets it hits, which means it effectively deals equivalent damage to Unibeam or Repulsor Ray on the initial hit and a lot more in the long run. Enemies usually group in such a way that you can hit at least two with this attack easily. The one major downside of this attack is that a second hit effectively deals a lot less damage than the first, because the target is already burning. This is a great power for your level 6, but not worth getting as your level 2 unless you ditch Unibeam. Unsurprisingly, it costs both silver and Shield Points to purchase and upgrade.
Attack Power: Ground Slam (Ground / Range: 8, Area of Effect All / Recovery Time: Normal) – Like Incendiary Rocket Barrage, Ground Slam hits a 3×3 square. The damage for this attack is even lower than Rocket Barrage. Ground Slam deals roughly half as much damage, but the effect it delivers is quite uncommon. Targets hit by the attack have a slower recovery time. If you can use this early in a fight against targets that are far away, it can be amazing, assuming the rest of your team uses ranged attacks. But the average mixed team does not benefit quite as well, unless you also have characters that use very quick attacks. In that case you could potentially have characters attacking three times for every one attack of the enemy. Overall, though, this power is a little too corner case to be worth buying, especially since you can only purchase it for gold. If you happen to get it for free from a Shield Bonus Spin, it is worth equipping for a while, but since it also takes gold to upgrade, you will eventually outgrow it.
Guard: Repulsor Overcharge (Defensive / Recovery Time: Normal) – Repulsor Overcharge costs gold to acquire and it is almost good enough to actually be worth spending gold on. It doubles the damage Iron Man deals with energy attacks. If you do acquire this some how, equip Iron Man with Repulsor Ray and Unibeam and start every battle by using this power. If there happen to be any bruisers among the enemies, you should be able to take them out with a single shot. Even non-bruisers may fall to a single shot if you have enough ISO boosting your attack stat.
Guard: Repulsor Shield (Defensive, Energy, Tech / Recovery Time: Normal) – This power puts a shield around Iron Man that absorbs the first 100 points of damage. It is great power to use on the first round before Iron Man is engaged in combat. The downside to using this is that you can’t shed negative status effects from Iron Man. This works fine if you keep your distance, but doesn’t quite work if you are getting attacked by lots of enemies. Iron Man is one of the few heroes that can very effectively flee from engagement, clear debuffs with Guard, and then return to the fight. Because he is effective like that, you should only equip this ability if you have the discipline to avoid letting him get into the thick of battles.
Passive: Stark Technology – You get Stark Technology for free at level 3, but it is honestly not particularly useful. Allies adjacent to Iron Man gain a faster recovery time when using Tech actions from this passive. Very few allies other than Dr. Doom use Tech actions and Iron Man is not the kind of character likely to spend a lot of time next to allies. This is basically just a wasted power slot until new heroes are released.
Passive: Jarvis – Jarvis is a moderately nice defensive ability that punishes enemies for engaging Iron Man in melee. At the start of Iron Man’s turn any adjacent enemies gain a status effect that causes them to take extra damage from critical hits. This really only helps significantly against bruisers, which isn’t a huge advantage, since Iron Man tears through bruisers anyway. If you get Jarvis for free, it is better than Stark Technology, but it isn’t really worth spending Shield Points on unless you have a whole bunch to spare.
Passive: Shellhead – This is a passive that you really want to acquire from a Shield Bonus Spin, but don’t want to pay for. It only works when you also have Repulsor Shield equipped. It doubles the benefit of Repulsor Shield and can randomly grant Repulsor Shield to an adjacent ally that is attacked. It pretty much demands that you include an ally on your team that can protect adjacent allies, creating a wonderful synergy.
Preferred Allies – Iron Man only has a few preferred allies. If you have Shellhead and Repulsor Shield, he pairs well with She-Hulk if she has Guard Allies. He also pairs well Captain Marvel, less because of his abilities and more because her powers which can potentially grant him the fortified buff, increase his damage when she makes a ranged attack, or increase his flight speed. This combination is very good for kiting enemies. Finally, if you have Ground Slam, you can try pairing him with an ally that has an exceptionally quick attack like Spider-Man. Slow some enemies down and then pelt them with Web Slingshot or Brawl before they can act. Do it fast enough and you can defeat some enemies before they take a meaningful action.