Anti-Venom is a Marvel: Avengers Alliance hero with a mission. His purpose is to defeat symbiotes. Surprisingly, with the exception of a single special ability, he is actually not that efficient at fulfilling his purpose. Despite the fact that Anti-Venom has a good assortment of powers and special abilities that are incredibly synergistic, he doesn’t have a clear role. He can set himself up for a high damage attack, but no more efficiently than half a dozen other characters and his ability to debuff is erratic at best. If he has any stand out feature it is his survivability, which is one of the highest in the game, but that is only so meaningful when he doesn’t have any clear way to use that advantage. Anti-Venom is a safe character to use in almost any battle, since he will generally take low damage and has powerful attacks, but he will rarely ever be optimal.
Acquisition – Anti-Venom can be acquired by completing all 25 tasks in Special Operation 18 in Marvel: Avengers Alliance. If you miss him this way, he is likely to go on sale for 200 command points in late 2015.
Special Ability (Darkforce Symbiote) – Darkforce Symbiote grants a number of minor advantages. The least useful is that Anti-Venom deals extra damage against symbiotes. This will help in a few boss battles throughout the game and possibly in PvP, but will generally be useless. Additionally, at the start of every turn he has a chance to heal health, stamina, and remove a single negative status effect. This activates more often than not, so he will tend to be more durable than his already high health and defense suggest.
Special Ability (Getting Too Close) – Whenever Anti-Venom attacks or is attacked with a melee power, he has a 30% chance of removing one beneficial status effect from his opponent. This special ability even applies to area attacks and the effect removal is preemptive when he is being attacked. It is far from a sure thing and should never be depended on. It is better to treat this ability like it doesn’t exist and be happy when it does activate.
Special Ability (Symbiogenesis) – Symbiogenesis is one of the reasons that this hero doesn’t really live up to his purpose and yet also is incredibly durable. It makes him immune to bleeding, burning, poison, radiation, and pyrophoric while also halving the damage he takes from fire and sonic attacks. Symbiotes don’t use fire or sonic attacks, which halves the effectiveness of this ability. On the other hand, this ability does make this hero much more resilient against most blasters, which is a nice benefit for a bruiser.
Level 1 Power, Bloodletting (One Enemy, Slashing Melee, 25% Stamina Cost) – The damage from this attack is quite high and it applies bleeding and ravaged to the enemy. While the stamina cost may seem unreasonably high, this is actually the second cheapest power Anti-Venom has. The main use of this power is to set up Crusade. You will only tend to need to use this attack once per battle at most.
Level 2 Power, I AM THE CURE! (All Enemies, Melee Slashing, 37.5% Stamina Cost) – This attack deals roughly half the damage as Bloodletting, but you don’t use it for damage. You use it because it applies opportunist and webbed to all targets. Most importantly, it also has a 60% chance to apply depowered to all enemies. The last is so effective that you generally want to start every battle with this attack. This attack is also particularly synergistic with Spider-Man and the limited edition weapons that drop in Special Operation 18.
Level 6 Power, Crusade (One Enemy, Slashing Melee, 18.75% Stamina Cost) – Crusade is this hero’s finishing attack. It actually deals more base damage than Bloodletting and deals even higher damage against bleeding enemies or targets with opportunist debuffs. Since opportunist debuffs only last a round, you want to use this attack immediately after applying them. Alternately, against a single enemy, attack with Bloodletting and then simply use Crusade until the enemy falls. Either method is effective and causes this attack to deal massive damage.
Level 9 Power, Cleansing Touch (One Enemy, Melee, 31.25% Stamina Cost) – Cleansing Touch is a confusing power, to say the least. It only deals about half as much damage as Bloodletting despite costing more stamina. It also applies status effects, though one is questionably useful. The clearly good one is called purged and works exactly like generalized except it also deals damage to the target if it is removed. The second effect removes all status effects from the target, positive or negative. This seems to have some rather high synergy with Horseman of Pestilence, but otherwise is questionably useful.
ISOs – Even with a good chance of restoring stamina each turn, Anti-Venom is woefully low on stamina. About half of his ISOs should increase this stat. He also is woefully inaccurate, which severely hinders his usefulness. In addition to shoring up his weaknesses, you will want to support his strength, too, by increasing his attack stat. If you primarily focus on these three attributes, he should be very effective in combat.
Teammates – Anti-Venom teams up well with a number of Marvel: Avengers Alliance heroes. He is a natural ally for Horseman of Pestilence because he has a special ability that removes debuffs, which is one of the few ways that you can remove negative status effects when Pestilence is in play. Additionally, he can remove buffs from enemies, is immune to many forms of attrition, and Cleansing Touch is more effective while Pestilence is around. Spider-Man is another good team up, especially Black Suit Spider-Man, who exploits webbed. Two heroes applying webbed will debuff enemies much faster than one. A less obvious choice for a teammate, but also very good, is Phoenix. She can turn him into a protector which greatly increases the benefit of his exceptional durability.
PvP – Anti-Venom is clearly a spoiler character for PvP, much like Rescue. But, unlike Rescue, he won’t prolong a battle so much as to be a clear choice for defensive PvP. But while he isn’t a clear choice, he shows potential on either side of the battle. His best team up on defense is with Horseman of Pestilence where the AI doesn’t have a lot of room to screw up. Equip your agent with a few of the weapons from Special Operation 18 that either applies webbed or exploit it and you have a solid combo. On offense, he has enough overall synergy that you can define your strategy based on your agent and second hero and then just include him for his spoiler benefits.