- 3 MIDGAME MASTERIES
- 3.1 WHAT ABOUT DEFENSE?
- 3.1.1 Willpower
- 3.2 SUICIDE YOUR WAY TO VICTORY
- 3.1 WHAT ABOUT DEFENSE?
- 4 ENDGAME MASTERIES
- 4.1 THE FOUR HORSEMEN OF OFFENSE
- 5 WHERE THE WILD POINTS ARE
- 5.1 HIDDEN DRAGONS: FILLING THE GAPS IN OFFENSE
- 5.2 GOING TALL WITH CLASS MASTERIES
- 5.2.1 Mystic Dispersion
- 5.4 BEHIND THE CURTAIN: WILLPOWER’S CHILDREN
- 5.5 STUN AND THE ART OF COMBAT MAINTENANCE
- 6 NOT RECOMMENDED
- 6.1 WORTHLESS MASTERIES
- 6.3 Scouting Lens isn’t worth much either. Knowing the PI and star rating of a champ before you start a fight is fairly pointless. You can inspect your opponents to know the highest level champs they’re likely to bring, and just assume that any defender they place will be at that same level. If it’s lower, you have an easy fight and it’s a pleasant surprise.
- 6.4 MOSTLY WORTHLESS MASTERIES
- 8 I’M NOT INTERESTED IN YOUR WORDS, JUST TELL ME WHAT MASTERIES TO RUN
- 8.6 TEAM PLAYER
Masteries are an important part of being a successful Summoner. From maximizing your PI for arena grinds, to turning your whole roster into Alliance War tanks, mastery builds can make or break every aspect of the game.
Unfortunately, the effort required to go through each mastery and understand how it interacts with your champions is a daunting task. Often, players find themselves at high levels with awful masteries, and can’t understand why they struggle to complete content that should be easily attainable.
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Fortunately, this guide is here to help. I’ll take you through the basics of masteries, explain the pros and cons of each one, and give you all the tools you need to understand how to build masteries for any situation.
So without further ado: let’s talk about masteries.
MCOC Mastery Guide by giant_bucket
There are a limited number of mastery points available in the game (1 each summoner level from 5 to 60, and 4 from Act 4, for a total of 59) so it is important to spend them wisely.
To be clear: there are very few masteries that are truly bad, but there are many that are inefficient. Putting points into nearly any mastery will make some part of your game better – the trick is in knowing how to get the most bang for your buck.
You have three mastery trees available to you: Offense (with a red background), Defense (blue), and Proficiencies (green). Each tree has a wide variety of masteries, and presently they come in three tiers.
Green masteries cost nothing to unlock, and an insignificant amount of gold or units to rank up. They are the cheapest masteries and almost always their only value is in opening up masteries farther down the line.
Bronze masteries are unlocked with Stony Mastery Cores (usually just called ’stonies’) which can be purchased at any time for 135 units each. Bronze masteries require a small number of units per rank to rank up.
Silver masteries are unlocked with Carbonadium Mastery Cores (‘carbos’) which can be purchased at any time for 550 units each These masteries may also sometimes require combinations of carbos and stonies. Silver masteries require more units to rank up than bronze masteries, and may require additional cores to unlock later ranks. These are the most expensive, and generally most powerful, masteries in the game.
There are also two bronze masteries in each tree that correspond to one of the 6 classes in the game, and each of them are class-specific masteries that have their own unique core to unlock. The mystic class mastery Mystic Dispersion, for example, is unlocked with Mystic Mastery Cores. These class cores can be found occasionally in the weekly class catalyst quests, or purchased from the loyalty store on a rotating schedule.
Unlocking masteries is permanent: no matter how many times you reset your masteries, you will only have to pay to unlock them once. Ranking up masteries carries a much smaller cost, but is required each time you reset your masteries. Keep that in mind when you want to change your build, and make sure you have enough resources on hand to actually apply those points!
When assigning masteries you may notice that the numbers underneath your champs change. That number is called the Power Index (PI) and it’s a fairly vague representation of how strong the champ is. Raising your PI values with masteries really only matters for arenas, but since that’s an integral part to advancing in the game I’ll be referring to this concept throughout the guide. The effect masteries have on PI increase is known first thanks to the magnificent work by vrto, and continued by other pillars of the community. All PI recommendations in this guide are based on the current list at MBCH and are subject to change any time Kabam alters masteries (which thankfully is not all that often).
There are 55 masteries in the game presently, and knowing which ones are the best can be a costly process of trial and error. Let’s cut through the confusion and get started with the most essential masteries – RoninNupe called them your “core masteries.” We start in the Proficiencies…
PROFICIENCIES: Options, Options, Options
So you just hit level 5 and received your very first mastery point. You look at your options and there are some pretty enticing ones, but I’m going to direct you to the green Proficiencies mastery tree, to pick up your most important two masteries: Parry and Dexterity.
At level 5 you may not have had the opportunity to dig into the nuances of the game, but you’re probably familiar with the basic combat system. Tap for a light attack, swipe for a medium or dash attack, hold on the right for a heavy attack and hold on the left for a block, swipe left to dash back, and push the big glowy button to do something cool. Pretty simple, right? Well, Parry adds another layer to your fighting abilities, and it doesn’t stop there.
These three unassuming masteries in the Proficiencies tree are your first stop on the road to awesome masteries. Why three, when I just said we were picking up two? While reducing stun duration is a great thing in itself, Limber’s true value – and the reason it is absolutely essential – is that it is a prerequisite for the other of the most important masteries in the game: Dexterity.
Dexterity and Parry add two new tools to your kit: evading and parrying. These two mechanics are vital to surviving the harder content in the game, as well as contributing in a meaningful way to your alliance in both Alliance Quests and Alliance Wars.
I could explain how to use them and why they’re essential, but why reinvent the wheel when I could turn it over to the peerless Dorky Diggity Dave? Seriously, watch his videos. Specifically this one and this one. There is nothing that will do more for your gameplay skills than watching those videos and learning what he is teaching you.
Do that now. I’ll wait.
So now that you’re a master evader and parrier, let’s start spending our next few mastery points to do some DAMAGE!
STARTING ON OFFENSE: The Core 15
Offense is where it’s at in this game. Winning, simplified, means making the health bar on the right go down faster than the health bar on the left. Hitting harder is the best way to go about that, and the Offense tree focuses on exactly that. Let’s start with the leftmost branching set of masteries, where you’ll fill out your Core 15 in Offense.
First up is, obviously, Strength. It’s not bad to have your champions hit harder, but Strength doesn’t increase your damage by nearly as much as other masteries, so you should only ever have a single point in Strength. The same goes for Strength’s big sister, Greater Strength.
Here you have your first branching decision: Courage or Pierce. We’ll come back to both of them later, but as you can clearly see there are more and shinier masteries waiting to be unlocked behind Pierce, so unlock that and put your next point there.
Behind Pierce lie Lesser Cruelty and Lesser Precision. Both of these masteries affect your critical hits, but neither as much as the Bronze versions behind them. Only one point in each of these is necessary to unlock their bigger cousins. Cruelty and Precision are the first masteries you’ll want to max out in the Offense tree. The PI boost they provide is great, and the damage increase is significant.
So with one point each in Strength, Greater Strength, Pierce, Lesser Cruelty, and Lesser Precision, and 5 points in each of Cruelty and Precision, you’ve completed your Core 15. Great work! You’re well on your way to being a MCoC master.
Next up: midgame choices.
Once you have Dexterity and Parry, and your Core 15, you’re starting to enter the midgame in terms of masteries. You’ve spent 18 mastery points so you’re at least at level 24 and you’re starting to realize there is a lot more to explore. You might be tempted to dash out and grab some of those shiny expensive silver masteries – odds are good you’ve heard about Willpower, Assassin, and Mystic Dispersion. Take it easy! You’ve got plenty of time before you can afford those masteries, so let’s set up a plan to make the most of our mastery points first.
WHAT ABOUT DEFENSE?
Defense is the other half of the combat equation: sometimes making the right health bar go down faster than the left bar means you have to put some effort into keeping the left bar up. Fortunately, the Defense tree is here to help.
In Defense, the plum mastery is Willpower. Before we talk about how to get it, let’s look at why you want it.
“Left bar stays up” is ultimately less important than “Right bar goes down” so Willpower should never be considered a required mastery, no matter how useful it may be. That said, there are many good reasons to make the significant investment to unlock it.
Unlocking Willpower Part 0: Are You Sure?
So, Willpower. It’s been through some changes since it was first introduced, and it no longer sits at the top of the required mastery list. It’s still strong though, and most veteran players will acknowledge its value.
On the other hand, it is EXPENSIVE.
Unlocking Willpower not only requires multiple carbos, but also 15 mastery points already spent elsewhere in the Defense tree. That’s at least 16 points that are not directly contributing towards making the right bar go down.
Willpower is the only source of in-combat health gain for most champions. Any time your champion is under the effects of a debuff, they will regenerate a percentage of their base health. There is no shortage of debuffs that can trigger it, and it is entirely possible to gain health over a debuff-heavy fight. If you are fighting just a bit above your roster strength, Willpower can be the critical difference maker. On the other hand, it’s quite difficult to get a debuff applied to you without taking hits, which is generally a bad idea.
Willpower also provides an armor boost when active. It’s small, but it’s not why you’re getting Willpower. The armor is just a nice bonus.
So after all that, if you’re certain you want Willpower, here’s how we’ll go about unlocking it.
Your first two of the required 15 points in Defense are of course going to be Vitality and Greater Vitality – just a single point in each for the same reasons as Strength and Greater Strength. Behind Greater Vitality are three choices: Salve, Energy Resistance, and Block Proficiency.
Let’s break these three down:
Unlocking Willpower Part 1: Resisting Resistance
Energy Resistance doesn’t seem that bad at first. After all, most special attacks are energy damage, and they can really mess your day up. Several champs have massive unavoidable energy damage, which can be a real pain in AW. What’s wrong with reducing some of that damage? The problem comes in the form of opportunity cost. Opportunity cost is the ‘hidden’ cost of doing something that prevents you from doing something else – I bought ice cream at the amusement park and now I don’t have enough money to ride the big roller coaster. The value provided by Energy Resistance is just not enough to justify spending mastery points on it that could be used elsewhere. Aside from the relatively small decrease in energy damage, Energy Resistance has one of the lowest PI gains in the Defense tree. You can do better for yourself by putting those points elsewhere.
The same goes for Physical Resistance. While you will be taking more physical hits than energy hits, you’re still looking at a significant cost for a minor return. Remember, you only need 15 points in Defense to unlock Willpower, and there are better places to put them.
Unlocking Willpower Part 2: Summoner, Heal Thyself
Salve doesn’t look like much at first. When maxed, your non-robot champs heal for a maximum of 480 health over the first minute of combat. That’s only a little more than a single level 1 health potion! Salve is a mastery that provides the biggest concrete benefits when you’re early in the game, still fighting with 2* and 3* champs. 480 health can be up to 15% of a 2* champ’s health, but less than 1% of a high-level 4* or 5*.
The real value of maxing salve is that you cannot get a bigger PI boost for just three mastery points anywhere else in the Defense tree. It’s certainly a better PI gain than the Resistance masteries, and it also unlocks the amazing Recovery mastery.
Recovery is an absolute requirement for any build running Willpower. Maxed out, it provides a 15% increase in healing from all sources in a fight. That includes Salve, which thanks to rounding increases from +4 to +5 per tick, for an extra 120 health. More importantly it increases health regen effects like Overload regeneration for Iron Man and his suits, health recovered from Magik’s Limbo, and the passive health regen of the Wolverine family. Most importantly of course is the increase it gives to Willpower healing. If you’re going to invest 15 points in defense to unlock Willpower, the three in Recovery are the most vital.
Unlocking Willpower Part 3: The Art of the Block
Blocking is absolutely critical to success in MCoC. By now you’re hopefully comfortable with evading and parrying, so you understand the value in the left side of the screen. You’ve also probably noticed that you can’t stun when parrying special attacks, and even if your block is perfectly timed, heavy attacks will still knock you flat on your back. Some special attacks have a barrage of very fast ranged hits and it’s impossible to perfectly evade them all, so you will have to take some hits on the block.
With all that in mind, let’s see how masteries can help mitigate some of the situations where you just have to block.
Block proficiency is the most important defensive stat in the game. The higher your block proficiency, the greater percentage of incoming damage you prevent when you block a hit. The Block Proficiency mastery is a great way to increase block proficiency across the board. Because of the diminishing returns mechanic in the game, it’s less effective for characters with innately high BP, like Captain America, and more effective for low BP characters like Mordo. You can conservatively expect a 12-15% improvement in damage reduction on a blocked attack when you max this, and a moderate increase in PI as well.
Perfect Block sits behind Block Proficiency, and you’d expect it to be even better, but unfortunately it’s not. For only an additional 1% chance for a perfect block per point invested, I can’t recommend more than a single point here, and only to unlock Stand Your Ground.
“But what about Parry?” you ask. Great question. It looks like you’ve actually been reading the description of your masteries instead of blindly trusting me. It is true that Parry stun duration increases with perfect block chance. It is also true that a 3% increase in stun duration might give you at most a couple of extra frames of stun. We’ll discuss the mechanics of Parry stuns later in this guide, but for now I’ll just say that the increase in Parry stun duration is not sufficiently significant to make Perfect Block more than a stepping stone mastery.
Stand Your Ground is the only mastery other than Dexterity and Parry that has the potential to actually change the mechanics of the game. It’s rare enough that even at max rank you can’t depend on it, but it is worth noting that a heavy attack can be parried if SYG also triggers. The more common use is to accidentally try to block a heavy attack and breath a sigh of relief when you see that beautiful baby blue RESIST pop up. Now, I’m sure we all know someone who tells you they NEVER get caught out by a heavy, but even if they’re not lying to you I bet they still have two points in SYG. The reason of course is that it is the cheapest two points you can invest anywhere in your masteries for the increase it gives your PI. There are very few bronze masteries that have comparable PI gains – and since you’ve decided to invest 15 points in Defense, the first two ranks of SYG are a no-brainer.
Unlocking Willpower Part 4: Putting it all Together
So, what’s the short and sweet count for the best way to put 15 points into Defense to unlock Willpower?
The best utility, with a good PI boost, comes from: Vitality (1), Greater Vitality (1), Salve (3), Recovery (3), Block Proficiency (4), Perfect Block (1), Stand Your Ground (2). This will serve as a balanced baseline for most players.
If you have trouble with heavy attacks, you could take two points out of Salve and put them into SYG, but this comes at a cost of a good bit of PI. I recommend getting more comfortable avoiding heavies instead, but if you want to have a safety net while you learn you can go that route and still have 15 for Willpower.
If you are absolutely certain you will never care about arena fights and PI is worthless to you, you can take those two points out of Salve as well as the two in SYG and the one in PB and put them elsewhere. Energy Resistance and Physical Resistance will be more useful to you at high levels of non-arena combat than any of your other options. In that case, Vitality (1), Greater Vitality (1), Salve (1), Recovery (3), Block Proficiency (4) is still the best use of the first 10, but you can distribute the remaining 5 across Energy Resist and Physical Resist as you see fit. Because of the diminishing returns mechanic it will be most effective to distribute them 3-2 or 2-3 rather than maxing either.
Unlocking Willpower Part 5: What to Do When You’ve Caught the Car
Well now you finally have it: Willpower is yours at long last, assuming of course you’ve been saving units. Half a percent of base health every second is a lot better than that measly +5 from Salve, and if you happen to pick up multiple debuffs you might start to feel invincible. There are a few things to keep in mind before you run out to tackle the Labyrinth, though.
First of all, Willpower does not affect robotic champs. There are not a lot of robots in the game right now, but given their utility it is worth noting that they cannot be healed by Willpower.
Secondly, Willpower only provides healing per unique debuff – seven stacks of Armor Break provides exactly as much healing as one. This has been changed from its original incarnation, so if you see old information it might indicate otherwise.
There are two debuffs that have specific interactions with Willpower that should also be mentioned: Poison and Heal Block. Poison decreases health gain from all sources, and stacks. Seven stacks of Poison will still only trigger a single Willpower regen, but you will gain significantly less health than you would with only one stack. Heal Block obviously prevents all healing, but the armor boost from Willpower does still come into effect.
Whether you run one rank in Willpower or three is up to you, although the increases in healing
gains from the second and third ranks are quite small. There is some PI gain from maxing Willpower, but if you’re not heavily invested in arenas it’s probably best to stick with a single point.
There are of course some caveats to Willpower. Healing from Willpower is based only on unmodified base health, so if you’re hoping to gain enormous amounts of health as an AW defender, you’re out of luck. The more obvious drawback to Willpower is that there are very few debuffs you can suffer without getting hit. The best way to be successful in this game is to avoid getting hit, so in that regard Willpower serves mainly as a safety net. Perfect play would eliminate the need for healing in most situations, but there are very few perfect players. If you’re not perfect, you’re probably going to pick up a debuff from time to time, and even with perfect play there are nodes that will reduce your health as well.
If you want the most consistent uptime for Willpower, you’re going to have to apply some debuffs to yourself.
SUICIDE YOUR WAY TO VICTORY
Suicides! The Suicide masteries are so named because they directly damage you, either by applying a short-lived bleed debuff or a permanent poison debuff. What benefit could possibly be worth that penalty, you ask? How about a flat 30% damage boost each? If for some reason that’s not enough for you, the Suicides also have some of the biggest PI boosts you can get. For dealing damage there is no better mastery point investment than the Suicide masteries, as long as you’re prepared to deal with the drawbacks.
Willpower is the foundation for any build that integrates the Suicide masteries. Running Suicides without Willpower is like a glass of beer without the glass. There are pros and cons to both Suicide masteries, but the most important thing to remember is that no combination of Suicides and healing masteries can create a permanent net health gain. Under some circumstances it is possible to gain a few points of health during the first 60 seconds of the fight thanks to Salve, but that will expire once you pass the minute mark. If you run into heal block, of course, you will take full damage from any Suicide debuffs.
Immunities can play an important part in your decision to go down the Suicide path. Bleed immune champs will still get the damage boost from LC, and poison immunes will still get the damage boost from DE. Double immunes, like Ultron, Vision, Dormammu, and Iceman will take no damage from the debuffs but still benefit fully from the damage boost.
Likewise, any champ that can reduce the duration of Bleed effects will take less damage from LC, and both of the debuffs can be shrugged off by champs with that capability. These abilities do not reduce the damage boost provided by either mastery.
Unlocking the Suicides requires 15 points in the Offense tree, which you conveniently picked up way back in the Core 15, so there’s no need to discuss prerequisites.
Getting Started: Glass Cannon and Recoil
These first two masteries are the ones that every Suicide build has. They’re the necessary cost you have to pay before opening up Liquid Courage and Double Edge.
Glass Cannon is very straightforward: you trade a small amount of health for an equal increase in attack. Each rank has a linear increase in PI and in the health/damage tradeoff. My experience has been that a single point in Glass Cannon is nice to have even if you don’t head deeper into the Suicides, but it’s not necessary. In general, most Suicide builds are going to be hurting for mastery points already, so that single point is all that you’ll need most of the time. The exchange between health and damage is very good though, so even if you’re not going to be going deeper in the Suicides you can still benefit from any number of points in Glass Cannon.
Recoil is by far the worst detriment to any Suicide build. Special attacks are critical to ending fights quickly, but while the damage boost provided by Recoil is significant, the damage taken every time you activate a special makes it a very poor choice for any champion reliant on special attacks (which is nearly all of them). Unlike Power Sting (the only other similar effect in the game) the damage from Recoil is applied after the special attack is executed. If you do manage to land the killing blow with your special you won’t suffer the Recoil damage (and Magik’s Limbo will restore any Recoil damage you take), but in every other case Recoil is a constant thorn in your side. It’s unfortunately necessary for a Suicide build, but there is generally no reason to unlock more than the first rank.
Double Edge: Fast and Furious
Double Edge is the more frontloaded of the Suicide masteries, as all the damage you take comes in the first 16 seconds of the fight. For any fight that lasts less than 33.5 seconds, Double Edge will do more damage to your champ than Liquid Courage. The flip side to that is that it is possible to reduce the damage taken by DE with the Coagulate mastery.
Coagulate is one of the four masteries behind Willpower, and it’s certainly the most valuable to a DE build. When maxed, the health loss goes from 20% to 14% – which is no small thing if a fight goes longer than expected. It is expensive, and it does take three points from other places they could go, but if you’re in need of a little extra survivability Coagulate pairs very well with Double Edge.
Liquid Courage: The Slow Burn
Unlike DE, the debuff from Liquid Courage will be with you forever. The health loss is very small if you finish your fights quickly (quite likely with 30% increased damage) but can add up over longer fights. It is easier to counter from a roster standpoint, as there are many more poison immune champs than there are bleed immunes. The most significant downside to LC is that the debuff, like all poisons, decreases healing gained by 30%. The healing decrease from poison applies to all sources of healing while in combat, and it stacks with every other poison stack. There aren’t many ways in the game to get poisoned, but if you do encounter one of the few champs that poison, or a poison node, be aware that you’re starting the fight off behind the curve in terms of Willpower healing.
Double Suicides: Living on the Edge
Single Suicide builds can be valuable when you’re short on mastery points, or when you have a roster that specializes in bleed or poison immunity. They’re a bit less risky as well, since you won’t lose quite as much health. On the other hand, if you have one Suicide mastery, you’re most of the way to the other one as well. Going from 30% to 60% increased damage has the potential to dramatically shorten your arena grinding time, since you don’t need to shepherd your health for consecutive fights.
With both Suicides active you will notice a steeper health loss than with just one – if the fight lasts long enough for you to notice it at all. A 60% damage increase turns a 30-hit fight into a 12-hit fight – 3 MLLLM combos instead of 6!
Time attack Legend runs and high arena streaks are nearly impossible without double Suicides, so if you ever plan on going for those featured champs or shiny titles you’ll need to develop a good understanding of how to best use both masteries in tandem.
The decision to run zero, one, or both Suicides is something that depends heavily on the situation. Suicides are a poor choice for AW defenders, and an excellent choice for arena grinders. If you choose to run the Suicides you may find yourself switching them out periodically. Make sure you’re comfortable enough with your unit income to manage those situations.
Willpower and the Suicides are powerful masteries that can have a significant effect on your game, but once you get close to your maximum mastery points you may start looking around at the other strong masteries we haven’t touched on yet. I’m calling these masteries Endgames because they are either very expensive or highly specialized, and should be concerns only for players with lots to spend or the rosters to justify these decisions. Depending on your spending and playing habits, you may see some overlap in classification between Midgame and Endgame masteries.
THE FOUR HORSEMEN OF OFFENSE
The most recent addition to the Offense tree is a connected group of four masteries. Each is incredibly expensive, and most are incredibly powerful. I say most, because the fourth Horseman is a bit of a runt. Unfazed doesn’t belong in any serious discussion of good masteries, so I’ll be skipping it in this section.
Despair: The Horseman of Famine
Despair is the prerequisite to the other three Horsemen, and it is generally considered little more than a stepping stone to the better two down the line. Maxed, it decreases enemy healing by 15% per applied debuff. Unlike Willpower, Despair triggers based on every individual debuff (3 stacks of Armor Break will trigger Despair three times). DE and LC debuffs on your opponent will also trigger Despair. If you can stack 4 or more debuffs on an opponent while it heals, you can knock down regeneration by more than half. However, there are not a lot of champs that can consistently put up enough debuffs to neutralize healing entirely, and even then it requires a rather specific set of circumstances. Although potentially very powerful, it is in most cases too specialized to justify investing more than a single point to unlock the next two masteries.
Deep Wounds: The Horseman of War
Deep Wounds is one of the two non-Suicide powerhouse masteries in the Offense tree. Not requiring Willpower to be effective means it can be useful with fewer masteries than the Suicides – but the high cost of unlocking it means won’t be in the budget for most midgame players. If you want Assassin, one point in Deep Wounds is required, but the remaining 4 ranks depend strongly on your roster.
It is, generally speaking, a poor idea to invest in masteries that only benefit some of your champions. Until now we have not discussed any masteries that don’t provide some benefit to everyone. Deep Wounds only applies to bleed effects, so only about a third of your champs will get any benefit from this. That’s still a pretty good chunk of your roster, and the benefits are significant.
Bleed is a very strong debuff in the game. It ignores armor and resistance, and although the loading screen tooltip reminds you that “some champions do not bleed” there aren’t really all that many. Extending the duration of bleeds is very nice, and an extension of 2.5 seconds can be anywhere from a 33% to an 83% damage increase per bleed for most champs.
The other half of Deep Wounds is even more impressive against high-health champs like AQ bosses or RoL/LoL champs. Once it starts triggering, every bleed can inflict a massive amount of instant damage. The drawback is that your champ has to have a higher numerical health value (not percentage) than the opponent when the bleed is applied for it to take effect, so this portion of Deep Wounds is most useful for finishing off targets. While the damage is much higher against opponents with massive health pools, it’s the health of your champ that determines how often it’s effective.
Well what if I max health? You might be tempted to put some points into Greater Vitality to increase the threshold for triggering Deep Wounds. Don’t! Spending 8 points for an increase of 6.4% health on a champ with 12k hp will give you enough of a boost to maybe trigger Deep Wounds one hit earlier. That’s just not worth it!
If your roster has a lot of bleed champs, and you use them frequently, Deep Wounds may be a good fit for you. If you don’t rely on bleed very much, you probably won’t get as much value out of it, and should only pick up a single rank on your way to Assassin.
Assassin: The Horseman of Death
Assassin is probably my favorite mastery. Like Deep Wounds, Assassin is another ‘finishing’ mastery, only triggering when the opponent is below 18% health. Unlike Deep Wounds, Assassin applies universally, making every champ in your roster Elektra Lite. At max rank, the attack boost is an incredible 60%, and the 20% defensive ability accuracy means a lot of last-ditch skills like Arc Overload and Defy Pain get bypassed entirely. I’ve found Assassin really starts to be noticeable around rank 3, so anything from 3 to 5 is a worthwhile investment in my book.
The only real argument against Assassin is the cost. Not only do you have to unlock Despair and Deep Wounds, every rank in Assassin costs an additional carbo and two stonies to rank up. That’s a significant resource outlay, and not something you want to consider lightly.
Once you’ve decided on the cornerstones of your build, you may find yourself with a few spare mastery points. We’ve already covered most of the high-value masteries in the game, but there are still a few places where you can put points for significant benefit to your gameplay. In general, these masteries are optional locations for spare points and low-cost ‘parking spots’ for masteries while you’re waiting on the units to unlock more expensive ones.
HIDDEN DRAGONS: FILLING THE GAPS IN OFFENSE
Pierce: The Answer to Hard Targets
*** IMPORTANT ***
Pierce and Pure Skill presently ignore armor in a direct comparison. That means that instead of ignoring a percentage of the target’s total armor, they ignore armor as a percent of 100. Most champs’ armor rating is right at 20 percent (at equivalent challenger rating), so 1 rank in Pierce plus the default critical armor penetration of 20% ignores all armor on all but two champs in the game. Kabam has said they are aware of the miscalculation and it is not working as intended, so this advice is subject to change if Kabam eventually gets around to fixing it. For now, Pierce is incredibly valuable and should be considered a high-priority mastery.
*** IMPORTANT ***
Way back when you first invested in your Core 15, you put a single point in Pierce and moved on past it. For the Core 15, it’s nothing but a stepping stone to Cruelty and Precision, but once you have those taken care of it deserves a second look. Pierce is essentially a weaker version of Pure Skill that applies to everyone. All the same caveats apply: Pierce is more effective against high-armor champs, less effective against low-armor champs, and entirely ineffective against champs that have had their armor reduced to zero by armor breaks.
Despite the relatively low PI boost, I consider three points in Pierce a good investment regardless of what other masteries you decide to run. With the Challenge Rating (CR) mechanic increasing stats based on the relative level difference between your champ and your opponent, tackling high-level content without maxed Pierce is asking for trouble. Once your roster is built up to the point where you no longer routinely encounter opponents with significantly higher CR, you can consider moving points back out of Pierce, but for most of the game you’ll want it maxed.
Courage: Winning When You’re Losing
If Assassin makes every champ in your roster a mini-Elektra, Courage makes everyone a mini-Hulk. When under half health, your attack is directly increased by 10-20% based on Courage rank.
The obvious drawback to Courage is that you have to lose a lot of health to take advantage of this. This can come into play when running long solo quests, or more commonly in difficult AQ or AW fights, but putting three points into Courage is still essentially planning to fail.
On the other hand, the first point in Courage provides a massive PI boost. Ranks two and three do not provide any additional PI, but the boost from the first rank is better than nearly any other single point – and since it’s a green mastery it’s one of the most efficient PI gains available.
Unless you somehow never fight below half health, and never play in arenas, a single point in Courage is an excellent choice.
GOING TALL WITH CLASS MASTERIES
The six class masteries are outliers in the grand scheme of things. Each one costs class mastery cores to unlock (an increasing amount per rank, up to 80 cores at the fifth rank) and provides their benefits exclusively to a single class. Collar Tech, Mutagenesis, Cosmic Awareness, and Serum Science are all such poor masteries there is no reason to ever invest anything in them. Pure Skill is presently broken due to the same bug that affects Pierce. Mystic Dispersion, on the other hand, is a very popular endgame target.
The mystic class is the most coveted and universally valuable class in the game. Common abilities include power control, buff dispels, and complex mechanics with varying effects. Most Mystic champs require a thorough understanding and proper use of their special attacks to be highly effective, and Mystic Dispersion means those specials are flying early and often.
Nearly every mystic champ has the ability to dispel. Dr. Strange, Scarlet Witch, Magik, and Dr. Voodoo are among the most reliable, but there are many other mystic champs that can neutralize enemy buffs. This can significantly increase the effectiveness of Mystic Dispersion, but even the champs that have no dispel abilities can benefit from it.
MD starts to be noticeable at rank 2, becomes useful at rank 3, and by the time you get to rank 5 it can generate tremendous amounts of power.
Mystic Dispersion has recently been reworked to no longer trigger on buffs consumed by the opposing champ (only dispelled buffs and naturally expiring buffs) so it has become less vital for AW. There may be old information about its necessity and while it remains the strongest class mastery and highly valuable for anyone with a team that includes mystics, it is now less essential to success.
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The significant downside to Mystic Dispersion is that it’s a Proficiencies mastery, which means all that work investing points into Offense and Defense has to be heavily curtailed to add the remaining 8 points in Proficiencies to open MD.
Between the 6 masteries in the stun tree (Limber, Parry, Dexterity, Stupefy, Petrify, and Pacify) there are no truly bad choices, and a lot depends on your playstyle. I’ll address these masteries individually a bit later on, but two simple builds to unlock MD are:
Mystic’s Eleven: The Low-Cost Option
Parry(3), Limber(5), Dexterity(3) – with no additional cores required to unlock the later stun masteries, this is the absolute cheapest way to put 11 useful points into Proficiencies.
Mystic’s Eleven: The High-PI Option
Parry(1), Limber(1), Dexterity(1), Stupefy(3), Petrify(3), Pacify(2) – this is much more expensive but provides the highest possible PI gain from 11 points in Proficiencies.
EVERYBODY NEEDS A LITTLE D: ESSENTIAL DEFENSE MASTERIES
If you decide not to pursue Willpower, you will need many fewer points in the Defense tree. Certainly Salve and Recovery have little value without Willpower, and if you’re confident enough in your skill there’s not much benefit to SYG either (outside arena). The PI boosts in Proficiencies and Offense are better overall than the non-healing options in Defense, and you might be tempted to simply avoid any investment in the blue tree. As you might have guessed from the title of this section, that would be a mistake.
I mentioned in the discussion of how to unlock Willpower that Block Proficiency was probably the most important defensive stat in the game, and that remains true even without Willpower. A point in Vitality and Greater Vitality, and 4 points in Block Proficiency, should be at the core of any build whether or not you have Willpower. Without these 4 points you cannot get down to 0 damage on parries, which can make an enormous difference in late-game content.
BEHIND THE CURTAIN: WILLPOWER’S CHILDREN
Willpower may be one of the strongest masteries in the game, but it’s not the end of the Defense tree. We’ve already discussed the value Coagulate has in a Suicide build, but let’s take a minute to look at the other three.
All three of these masteries have moderate PI gains, but their cost and situational nature exclude them from being considered as viable PI boosters unless you are well advanced into the game.
Suture: The Most Expensive Band-Aid
Right behind Coagulate is the companion mastery Suture. Where Coagulate reduces the strength of bleed effects, Suture reduces the duration. When Willpower was strong enough to gain health through Double Edge, Suture was a bad choice because it reduced the time Willpower was active. Now that there is no net health gain from Willpower, Suture is again useful to decrease the duration of Double Edge and all other bleed effects.
The reason it’s not included in most DE builds is the cost. By the time you have the 15 prerequisites in Defense, plus three for Willpower and three for Coagulate, three in Proficiencies and the Core 15, plus Glass Cannon, Recoil, and maxed DE, you’ve spent 44 of your 59 points. Add in max LC and you only have 12 points remaining. Spending a quarter of your discretionary mastery points for a 3% decrease in health lost just doesn’t make sense to me, and if you’re not running with the Suicides there isn’t much point in having the prerequisite Coagulate either.
I don’t recommend Suture because of its cost, but if you are having significant trouble with bleed it is an option.
Inequity: The Best Defense is a Good Offense
Inequity is the counterpart to Despair. Where Despair reduces opponent healing per debuff, Inequity reduces attack. For champions that apply stacking debuffs, Inequity is a good way to pick up a little defense for longer fights.
Be warned, however: Inequity cannot reduce attack damage by more than 36%. Six debuff stacks is hard to maintain for most champs, but if you can stack more than that they won’t gain any additional benefit from Inequity.
Beyond that, Inequity only affects incoming attack damage – that is, the only value comes if you’ve managed to both stack up debuffs and then get hit. Maxing Inequity is planning to get hit, which for most cases is a plan that runs contrary to the goal of making the right bar go down.
***IMPORTANT*** Inequity is currently bugged. The scaling reduction to attack presently only reduces attack damage based on base attack, and does not reflect any increases from nodes or other boosts. This means Inequity is significantly weaker in practice than it is on paper, and should be considered a very low-priority mastery. Kabam has said they’re aware of the bug and are working on a fix, but historically that means it could be years before it’s again working as it should be.
Resonate: The Universal Debuff
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Sitting behind Inequity is Resonate, another mastery focused on decreasing opponent attack. In this case, Resonate applies a Weakness debuff that directly decreases attack, which because of the prerequisite of Inequity means an individual Resonate trigger can decrease attack anywhere from 9% to 19% depending on how many ranks are in each of the two masteries. Again this is a mastery that includes a plan to get hit, but Resonate is different for two distinct reasons.
First, the downside. Resonate requires physical attacks, and although most basic attacks are physical element, many special attacks are energy – and some champs like Magneto or Dr. Strange are exclusively energy attackers. That doesn’t mean they can’t trigger Resonate, but they do have to take hits to do it. Additionally, champs that have beneficial abilities when debuffed, such as Kingpin or Crossbones, can be more difficult to fight against with Resonate.
There are upsides to Resonate. Several champs have abilities that trigger when opponents have debuffs, such as Void or Elektra. The Masochism node buff can be effectively neutralized with Resonate, enabling you to land the more important debuffs more consistently.
Resonate is not a mastery for every situation. It’s a bad idea whenever you’re facing player champs who might have Willpower, so if you’re looking to run arenas or play frequent AW you’d best leave Resonate on the shelf. For questing and AQ, on the other hand, where you can specialize your team and mastery build for specific content, Resonate and Inequity can make a noticeable difference in your survivability.
STUN AND THE ART OF COMBAT MAINTENANCE
There are six masteries in the branching part of the Proficiencies tree that make up the Stun Masteries. Technically, Dexterity has nothing to do with stuns, but you need a point in Limber to unlock it so I’m including it here.
At this point in the guide, the value and use of both Parry and Dexterity are taken as a given. The discussion here is where and why additional mastery points can be added to the stun masteries, either to open up Mystic Dispersion or to improve your play.
One point in Limber, Dexterity, and Parry are mandatory for every build, so we can start with that as a baseline.
Dexterity: First Take No Damage
The fundamental mechanics of Dexterity remain unchanged regardless of mastery tier. The only thing that changes is the crit chance granted from a successful evade. There’s very little reason to max Dexterity, although the crit chance boost may be enough to justify a spare point if you have champs that really need those crits.
Limber: Fear No Stun
Limber’s stun duration decrease is linear for the first 4 ranks at 8% per rank, but rank 5 is worth an additional 16% decrease. Against player champs who have parry, any rank of Limber can be useful, but if you’re going to invest more than one point it’s best to go all the way to 5. 48% decreased stun duration can be enough time to get your guard up after an AI parry stun, and you might get lucky and parry them right back. There is also slight value in decreased duration against stun-heavy champs and nodes in questing, although without parry those opponents are going to be stunning you much less frequently.
Ultimately, maxing Limber is best as a safety net if you’re concerned about getting stunned excessively. When you’re more confident in your play, bring it down to rank 1 to free up some mastery points for elsewhere.
Parry: Taking Control
Proper use and understanding of parry is critical to successful gameplay at any level. The essential timing for a proper parry does not change with ranks of Parry, but the damage reduction for a successful parry as well as the stun duration does increase.
Even though you won’t need to worry about extended stun duration against quest opponents, the damage reduction is significant enough to warrant maxing parry in nearly all cases.
The stun duration on Parry is listed as “up to” a certain duration. In practice you will never see an unmodified Parry stun reach the full listed duration, because the additional stun duration is based on the percent chance to perfect block. Parry always has a single second of stun minimum, and the total stun duration is calculated as a percentage of the extra maximum amount based on your perfect block chance.
If you want to increase the duration of your Parry stuns in a useful way, you want Stupefy.
Stupefy: Establishing Dominance
Stupefy is as simple as it gets: every stun you inflict on your opponent lasts longer based on your rank in Stupefy. At max rank the increase is a half second, which depending on your rank in Parry is probably between a quarter and a half of the unmodified Parry stun. Against AW and arena opponents that probably have Limber, it’s a very good idea to have Stupefy maxed.
Increasing stun durations is worth much more than just opening up a combo with Parry. With the right masteries you can manipulate the flow of a fight through careful management of your stuns.
Petrify: Slowing Their Roll
Petrify is the first mastery that really benefits from lengthened Parry stun timers. The longer the opponent is stunned, the more benefit you get from Petrify.
Reducing health or power gains by 30% while stunned can make a huge difference in a fight. Regen champs like Deadpool, Wolverine or X-23, or any of the various Iron Man armors can be curtailed by careful application of stuns. It’s not always guaranteed that you’ll be able to time a parry right before you knock Iron Man down below his 15% threshold, but a few seconds of reduced regen can make enough difference that it’s worth including in your combat.
Power gain champs like Hyperion or Cable, or bosses on power gain nodes, can also be manipulated by Parry stuns. Treat them like you would an autoevade champ and only hit them while they’re stunned, and you can reduce their power gain, sometimes enough to get on top of the fight.
Pacify: Cooling Their Jets
What’s better than reducing health gain when regen abilities trigger? Preventing them from triggering in the first place!
Pacify is the other half of the stun equation, but instead of reducing health and power gains, it reduces ability triggers. This includes a massive range of champ abilities including Arc Overload, Static Shock, Limbo, Shrug Off, and Aftershock – and most node buffs: Safeguard, Thorns, Spite, Optimist, Strike Back, etc. Of course, if you’re running Mystic Dispersion with strong mystic champions, it may be worth it to you to leave Pacify alone to trigger those easily dispelled buffs and feed MD.
Pacify has the same 10% per rank linear increase in effectiveness as Petrify, and again can be used with practice and skill to manipulate ability triggers, giving you an advantage that can become significant, especially in longer fights.
The most significant difference between Pacify and Petrify is that Petrify is consistent, while Pacify has a percent chance to trigger. Pacify has the possibility to really cover a wide range of effects, but it is only a possibility. Playing aware of the benefits and drawbacks of these two masteries can make just enough difference to win fights you might not be able to otherwise.
Remember when I said every mastery was good? I didn’t. Even though most masteries may be worth investing in there are some I advise against. I don’t expect you to avoid these without reason, of course, so let’s take a quick look at why to avoid the weak masteries.
Gold is not hard to come by in the game, especially if you spend any amount of time in arenas. Mastery points, on the other hand, are hard-earned and very limited. The ultimate problem with the money masteries is that no matter how high you rank them, they’re not making the right bar go down. 6 mastery points spent elsewhere can help you beat tougher content, which has better gold rewards innately. Money masteries are a waste of mastery points.
XP takes a bit longer to come by, and your first thought could be that getting more XP faster gets you more mastery points which makes you stronger faster. The truth is that you don’t even need to be max level to beat a great deal of difficult content, and you will eventually hit max level if you keep playing.
Once again, mastery points that don’t help you win fights are a waste of points.
Unfazed could have been the Horseman of Pestilence, punishing champs with passive evade abilities and making an enticing option for countering those annoying spiders in AW. Instead, we got the Horseman of Incompetence.
At max rank, Unfazed does absolutely nothing to reduce the chances of a passive evade triggering. At max rank, Unfazed adds unstoppable for one second, which is only valuable if the evading opponent comes right back in on the attack AND you attack AND another passive evade doesn’t trigger. At max rank, Unfazed has only a 55% chance to gain a roughly 10% increase in damage dealt on the next crit. You don’t even get an increased chance to land the crit!
There are no masteries more actively terrible than Unfazed.
Obviously there’s no value in the detection masteries for questing. If you really want to know who you’re fighting behind that question mark there are plenty of guides online for AQ and solo questing. Detection is equally pointless in arenas, so these seven masteries are only designed to be useful in Alliance War. Unfortunately, the AW Season 10 changes made most champs completely visible, so there’s barely any value in bringing them even for their intended game mode.
Scouting Lens isn’t worth much either. Knowing the PI and star rating of a champ before you start a fight is fairly pointless. You can inspect your opponents to know the highest level champs they’re likely to bring, and just assume that any defender they place will be at that same level. If it’s lower, you have an easy fight and it’s a pleasant surprise.
*** IMPORTANT ***
Pierce and Pure Skill presently ignore armor in a direct comparison. That means that instead of ignoring a percentage of the target’s total armor, they ignore armor as a percent of 100. Most champs’ armor rating is right at 20 percent (at equivalent challenger rating), so 1 rank in Pierce plus the default critical armor penetration of 20% ignores all armor on all but two champs in the game (at equivalent CR). Because of this, Pure Skill presently provides almost no noticeable increase in crit damage. Kabam has said they are aware of the miscalculation and it is not working as intended, so this advice is subject to change if Kabam eventually gets around to fixing it. Until they do, Pure Skill is as much of a waste of mastery points as the other four weak class masteries. The below advice only applies to Pure Skill as it once was and may be again.
*** IMPORTANT ***
Skill champs are the masters of bleed, critical damage, and ability accuracy. Most of them have few buffs and relatively straightforward combat roles. Many of their abilities trigger on crits, so it’s not surprising to see their class mastery focus on critical hits.
Pure Skill ignores a percentage of armor when calculating damage for a critical hit, up to 64% at max. When coupled with the base critical armor penetration of 20%, it can really make crit damage go through the roof, especially against heavily armored champs. As it’s an Offense mastery, you already have the prerequisite mastery point investment from your Core 15, so the only real cost is the mastery points and class cores. The increase in class core requirements to unlock each successive rank is significant, and while you may be able to get the first three ranks simply by playing the weekly class catalyst quests you will almost certainly need to purchase cores with Loyalty to unlock ranks 4 and 5.
The armor percentage ignored per critical hit doubles with each successive rank, and when maxed it provides a very significant PI increase to skill champs. With many strong champs in the lineup, skill is a very popular class and odds are good that most teams you field will have a skill champ or two. There are also a number of strong synergies between various skill champs, and a 5-skill team is perfectly valid for even some advanced content. If you have the champs, Pure Skill can dramatically increase your damage.
It’s important to note how Pure Skill interacts with the Armor Up and Armor Break effects. Every champ has a base armor rating, which is the basis for calculating armor in combat. Both of the armor effects will affect the armor rating, which affects the calculations for a Pure Skill crit. It is possible to reduce a champion’s armor rating to zero with multiple stacks of Armor Break, and since Pure Skill ignores a percentage of armor there will be no effect on champs with zero armor rating. Fortunately, most skill champs don’t stack armor breaks so this is rarely a problem.
Crossbones is a special case: he is incapable of critting and thus will not ever benefit from Pure Skill. If you use Crossbones as a primary combat champ, Pure Skill is probably not right for you.
MOSTLY WORTHLESS MASTERIES
Collar Tech, Serum Science, Mutagenesis, and Cosmic Awareness aren’t specifically catastrophically bad masteries. Their usefulness is just so limited that they’re not worth the mastery points. Between the highly specific combinations of circumstances necessary to make use of them and the high cost in units or loyalty and mastery points, there just isn’t any reason to invest in them.
In any discussion about Extended and Enhanced Fury, there is always that one guy with a fury-stacking champ or two who will tell you that he runs all 8 points deep in the furies. He says you get a ton of extra damage and it’s a really great choice. Maybe that’s even you saying that. I’d like a chance to change your mind.
Roughly 20% of the champs in the game have some access to fury, or one in five. Right off the bat we’re looking at a pair of masteries that affect a relatively small chunk of your roster. Furthermore, some of these champs only ever stack a single fury, which significantly decreases their utility. For most champs that stack fury, even max rank of Extended Fury will allow at most two additional hits per fury stack.
The opportunity cost of the furies is too significant to be worth the benefit it provides to a very small section of your roster.
I’ve mentioned a number of different masteries that are effective in some areas of the game but not in others. In some cases it might be a poor choice because of the opponents you’ll be facing, or just a poor use of mastery points. Some options are neutral for some areas – you might get benefit out of it, but you might not. Here’s a handy table for reference.
The goal of this guide is to inform you enough to make your own decisions. Your roster and playstyle will determine what works best for you, and there are different decisions to be made for every aspect of the game. If you want a starting point, here are a few different options. Remember that these are only suggestions, and there is no perfect mastery setup for everything. I will be using Alsciende’s fantastic mastery planner for all the images you see here.
While the mastery planner has not (yet) been updated to reflect the reordering of masteries in update 21, the points invested will remain the same.
Every mastery suggestion I provide will have these 24 masteries as a baseline. No matter what your goal is with masteries, these will provide significant benefit in any area of the game.
40-POINT BUDGET BUILD
If you’re still working on getting enough mastery points to go for the expensive setups, this is a decent midgame build without any silver masteries that should help you through most content.
Arena points are determined by PI, which can be manipulated significantly through masteries. This is one of the highest overall PI boosts you can get, and is heavily focused on ending arena fights as quickly as possible.
If arenas are not your thing, PI doesn’t matter one bit to you. Here is a solid build that completely removes PI boost from consideration for mastery choices.
Alliances are a vital part of this game and it’s hard to progress without them, but if you will only be doing solo questing and arenas, without ever joining an alliance, this build might be what you’re looking for.
AW and AQ are where some of the best rewards are, and most people are going to want to be very competitive in these areas. Attack teams are useful for both AW and AQ (although there are some differences between the two, this build is acceptable for both modes).
If you don’t like taking damage but still want to have a good solid build that can handle most content, here is a non-suicide option for you.
If you’re one of those lucky players with a ton of crazy good mystic champs, here’s a Mystic Dispersion build that should cover most of your needs.
I’m giant_bucket, aka /u/TrueCows on reddit. I’ve been playing this game since the end of 2015, and what started as a fun way to keep in contact with some guys from work has turned into a real hobby of mine. It’s been a fun progression from drawing my very first 3* champ all the way to where I am now, and I couldn’t have done it as easily or as well without the help of the community on reddit and the various guides and videos that others have published. This guide is my way of giving back to a community that has supported and welcomed me throughout my time playing MCoC, and I hope if you like this guide you’ll go out and apply it, and become a better Summoner.
Thanks for reading, and best of luck!
RoninNupe created the original mastery guide that carried me through most of my development as a player. His advice and intelligent explanation of the many available masteries is the foundation for my own understanding, and you’ll see his influences throughout this document. I have tremendous respect for the work he put into maintaining the guide for as long as he did, and anyone invested in understanding masteries owes him a debt of gratitude.
Unfortunately, RoninNupe’s original guide has been mostly erased and while various versions of it can be found elsewhere, it is effectively dead. The loss of this guide has left a hole in the community, which I hope to fill here.
I also owe a debt to many other members of the community, for data-mining and testing various things that I had neither time nor currency for. I have attempted to credit wherever possible, but if I missed someone, please let me know!
Initial release 5/20/2017
6/3/2017: Updated Team Player Attack mastery suggestion to be actually possible.
8/30/2017: Detection masteries advice updated to reflect 15.0 AW changes.
New introduction! Also some minor tweaks to wording here and there.
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9/29/2017: Added a footnote regarding AA’s interaction with Suicide masteries.
Moved Detection masteries from “Mostly Worthless” to “Worthless”.
12/2/2017: Removed reference to specific champs by name for fury stacking, to future-proof the guide.
Moved Pure Skill from Class Masteries to “Worthless” – I’m still holding out hope they’ll fix this one, but it’s looking less and less likely.
Moved Mystic Dispersion (and the Class Masteries section) from Endgame Masteries to Wild Points – while it is an endgame target for many, it’s not something that will benefit every build or roster, and two points in MD is a reasonable investment at any stage of progression.
1/29/2018: Minor grammar tweaks, checking to make sure everything is still current.
3/19/2018: Updates to reflect new champs added to the game, minor grammar tweaks.
6/28/2018: Updates to reflect new champs added to the game, minor grammar tweaks.
7/16/2018: Updates to reflect new champs added to the game, minor grammar tweaks.
8/15/2018: Updated Resonate description to reflect expanded value based on new champs.
Minor updates, clarifications, and grammar tweaks.
10/14/2018: Updated MD section to reflect changes to mechanics.
11/18/2018: Updates to reflect renaming of the “Utility” mastery tree to “Proficiencies” for whatever reason.
Visual unification of images throughout the document.
Minor clarification updates for increased readability.
12/9/2018: Updates to reflect movement of Parry ahead of Limber in the stun tree.
Visual updates to match reordering of masteries.
Updated Dexterity images to match ingame icons (yes, I know it looks like I just freehanded the glowy green bit. It looks like that ingame, too.)
7/18/2019: Updates to reflect more accurate information about game mechanics.
Removed certain skill champ references by name, to future-proof the guide.
Updated Detection Masteries section to reflect changes to AW.
Please do not repost this guide – you are free to link to this document, but due to the changing nature of the game I would prefer that old copies don’t wind up floating around the Internet providing potentially unhelpful information. Thank you!
 Proficiencies was originally called Utility, and you’ll see that name reflected in many images throughout the guide. That change affected nothing regarding the masteries themselves.
 In some cases, you might have a mastery point that you want to put somewhere but can’t quite afford to unlock yet – you can either decide to hang on to it, or to apply it to an already open mastery to get a little use out of it while you’re waiting for the units to come in. If you decide on the latter, remember that although recovering your masteries is free, you do still have to pay to rank them up again.
 Well, it’s really only an investment of 10. We’ll get to that later, though.
 Brian Grant has tested with Physical Resistance and it looks like roughly 6.5% reduced physical damage, which will be the same for Energy Resistance. It’s not unnoticeably small, but for 4 mastery points I can’t really justify that investment.
 Don’t believe me? Check out Unipwn’s data for the raw numbers.
 These numbers have been tested ingame, credit to Brian Grant again.
 While SYG continues to improve past rank two, there is no additional PI increase. Ranks 3-5 of SYG are a potential safety net while learning to fight against heavy attacks but are not as good for your overall play as other options in Defense.
 I’m only going to be discussing the Suicides at max rank. There is no difference in the poison damage from Liquid Courage at any rank, and the bleed ticks from Double Edge will have the same numerical value at any rank – the only difference is in the duration. There is no reason to run less than rank 3 for either mastery.
 There are cases where you could theoretically run Suicides without Willpower, but let’s be honest: if you’re at the point where you understand what you’re doing when you make that decision, you don’t need a guide.
 Due to a bug with Archangel’s Neurotoxin, always put points into DE before LC when running both Suicides.
 Except for Willpower and Salve, which do not affect robots. That’s only seven champs, you pedants. Deal with it.
 For each tier of Challenge Rating advantage your opponent has above one, you will need roughly one more point in Pierce to fully ignore all armor on crits.
 This is why picking up extra ranks in Perfect Block in the Defense masteries won’t provide any significant boost to Parry stuns – at max Parry, every percent chance to perfect block adds one percent of a second to the total stun duration. Your device most likely has a 60hz screen refresh rate, so investing 3 more mastery points for a 3% increase in perfect block is good for at most two extra frames of Parry stun duration. It’s just not enough to be worth it.
 Unfazed does have a decent PI boost, and there are places where you can move points from an arena grinder build to slightly increase your PI, but the cost is significant and probably only useful for extreme min/maxers – thanks to /u/acebaltazar for the tip.
- 2MCoin accounts
MCoins can pay for all MDriven services. You may also pay by a calender based license model.
There are NO free services, but free MCoins
MCoins have a nominal value of 1 Euro
An account have MCoins of two flavors
- Paid MCoins
- Lifetime of 5 years
- Free MCoins
- Varying lifetime
- Autorefill: once a week
- Giveaways: 1 year
- Varying lifetime
Free MCoins are used before the Paid ones in an account
Paid MCoins can be
- sold online (to fill up an account)
- sold on vouchers of different kinds
- By resellers (pre use)
- On an invoice (after use)
Free MCoins are given away
- Every week to all accounts
- On recruitment
- As a giveaway
- For used time
- For calendar time
- Certain functions in the designer are blocked until you log in - once you log in we track designer day usage ; used this day or not (Play,Generate code, 20 classes limit)
Prices for Used Time
- Running the designer 'ad hoc'. 2 MCs / day
- Running a basic hosted model: 0.2 MCs / day , each Turnkey site has a default weight factor of 1 but this can be overriden by admin to correctly assign cost to heavier sites. This weight factor should be automatically calculated in the future - based on model size and/or transaction amount and/or db usage and/or production status.
- Running a basic hosted model (MDrivenServer) on own machine: 0.1 MC / day
- MDrivenServer features can be individually priced, but that's for the future to decide
- In the future maybe Azure pricing can be used as a basis for MC costs
Prices for Calendar Time
- Designer: 60 MCs / year
- MDrivenServer (basic): 500 MCs / year
- Client: 120 MCs / year
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Holds Free and Paid MCoins
An account can have a MCoin credit (that is, it can be negative)
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- To avoid stopping an account's services right away when the account reaches 0
- To corporations who should be invoiced instead of paying upfront
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License keys are linked to a 'price plan'. If the license key is a calendar type of license, the price per hour is 0, but has an end date. If the license key is a 'Used Time' type of license, it's not limited in calendar time, but has a price.
Arguments for having this MCoin payment system
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You can run out of money in the middle of week - pay your way out of the problem or wait
You can use a small amount to test run a global system (for a very short time) to prove a use case
Regardless of where you run MDriven, you pay per time (minutes, days)
You can choose to run on your own hardware (on prem) or hired hardware (cloud) and only pay for usage of MDriven components