A Comprehensive Guide to 5.2.4: Lines in the Sand

Hammerbro_64Hammerbro_64 Posts: 4,428 ★★★★★
edited December 2019 in Strategy and Tips
I see countless posts of people stuck here on there quest to become Uncollected, and I wanted to do an in depth focus on different ways to handle it. So here we go!

Table of Contents
1. Global Node: Masochism
2. Counters
a. Basic Hit Debuffs
b. Block Proficiency and Regen
c. Champion-Specific Counters
d. Miscellaneous Strategies
3. Boss and Her Counters
4. Easiest Paths and How to Deal with the Tricky Fights

1. Global Node: Masochism
Here is the real reason so many people struggle with this quest: Masochism. Inflicting a debuff will instantly remove it and heal the enemy for 5% max health, with a seven second refresh. That means relying on parry is out of the window for many many champions. Let’s talk about how to deal with it.

2. Counters
There are many many many counters and ways to handle Masochism that I feel many don’t consider. Let’s break them down:

a. Basic Hit Debuffs
Examples: Venom, Luke Cage, Gwenpool, Annihilus, Wolverine Killmonger, etc.
The overall strategy here is to inflict enough debuffs that you will always be in that 7 second cool down when you want to parry. Most of the above can get 2-4 debuffs on a combo, so that won’t be a problem if you play aggressive enough. The only issue you may face with this strategy is not being able to overpower the regen. Most 3/30s with some damage over time and pretty much all decent 4/40 can out-damage the regen, so unless you are playing with weaker or underleveled champs, there won’t be too much issue.

b. Block Proficiency and Regen
Examples: Any Captain America (CAIW is the best), Wolverine, X23, Blade etc.
This is probably the first thing that comes to mind when considering who to bring to handle masochism. It’s definitely not a bad idea, especially if you use two tap parrying (I’ll explain in Miscellaneous). The goal in this strat is pretty obvious: sustainability.

c. Champion-Specific Counters
Examples: Omega Red, Sabertooth (with Killmonger), Stark Spidy, OG Thor (dupe required), Annihilus, Void (dupe required).

Omega Red: Each death spore reduces the chance for masochism to trigger by 10%, so if you have 10 spores, it will never trigger.

Sabertooth with Killmonger Synergy: you can also use either Black Panther for this synergy as well.


This means masochism will never trigger against Sabertooth. Do whatever you want.

Stark Spidy: He doesn’t need to block, and his play style is as such that you don’t need to block. There isn’t really anything specific he helps with except taunt debuff after every 5 hits that would trigger masochism. He has high damage and can get you out of specials like War Machine and Punisher.

OG Thor: Little known fact, he is I believe the only champion whose parry-debuff, in this case Armor break, triggers before the stun, meaning Masochism will remove the armor break and not the stun. (I’ve checked and Blade, Corvus and duped CAIW all do not work). You can freely parry with him.

Annihilus: He has a 60% chance to inflict debuffs on hits against the enemy, in particular on block, so if you have not quite mastered intercepting, he is very handy.

Void: If you are struggling to create enough damage output, play him, and parry before your intimidating presence debuff triggers so it doesn’t get shrugged off. Basically here you are just reversing the regen. It’s not worth bringing him unless your guys can’t generate damage to overcome the regen. Not really great otherwise.

d. Miscellaneous Strategies
i. AAR/Glancing
Examples: Domino, CAIW, Archangel etc.
This will increase the chance that a debuff doesn’t trigger masochism. This isn’t a counter per se, but it can help out. The only one who it is a complete counter for is AA with 3-4 neurotoxins.

ii. Special 1 Bait
A basic strat you should implement in general, don’t give them regen when you don’t have to. Push them to special 1 and bait it out, then counterattack. You will have to parry much less than if you just play until they feel like throwing a special or wait until 2.5 to bait.

iii. Two-tap parrying
Saving probably the best for last: the two tap parry. If you have played Quake before and can at least play her evade-stun style, you can use those timings, but against your block. You would initially get your parry shrugged off, but if you release and instantly put it up again when your opponent’s second hit would strike your block and you will get a parry. I would highly recommend messing around with whatever Quake you have and learn her evade-stun style and the timings for two tap block are the exact same.

Alright, now that you know how to work around masochism, lets talk boss fight

3. Boss and Her Counters


Nothing too hard about storm in and of herself except you REALLY don’t want to mess up timing your dodge on her L2 or you are pretty much toast. With the recommended path, you would have to face storm when she has Caltrops. Basically whenever you dodge back, you gain a stack of bleed. This means you NEED to pack a bleed immune to handle her. She has some other nodes that don’t really do much. While any bleed immune works, I would say Luke Cage would be my top pick for this fight. He has basic hit debuffs to deal with masochism, good damage, AAR if you can manage to get an L2 off and not lose the resulting concussion, and if he’s duped, you can tank an L2 with his indestructible buff. Omega Red also works well, since you will have death field up more or less the whole fight. Now, for Omega Red, be cautious, because the bleed does stack, and too many stacks will be a little too much for him. Limit your dodges to allowing like 3 stacks max and you should be fine.

4. Easiest Path and the tricky fights:



By far the easiest path is the one that starts with Deadpool. I have the fights shown below. None of them are very hard enemies, but Punisher and War Machine may be pains because you will take some block damage against them. Consider bringing a sustainable champ for the two of them. One Big big thing you should not ignore, is the fact that there are two ambush champions, one of them isn’t too hard (I can’t remember who), but the other is Cable, who will degen you if you bleed him. Make sure, especially if you are going for the basic bit debuff strat, that you have some Masochism counter that doesn’t inflict bleed or you will be in for a bad time. LC is great for this fight, because not only does he not inflict bleed, his exhaustion stacks reduce power gain, so Cables power flood buffs won’t be as effective. Probably the trickiest fight for me was actually the YJ at the beginning of the fight. I kept getting clipped by the L1. Well, if you want to avoid that, you need to end your combos on your third light then create some space (MLLL⬅️). Here is about the optimal space to be to avoid it.


You can pull it off if you are a tad closer, but it’s fairly risky. Just keep your distance and don’t end combos on a medium if you don’t want to get clipped or take block damage.

So TL;DR
You can either intentionally inflict debuffs so you can always parry, go for sustainability, use some specific champion counters like Sabertooth+KM or Omega Red, maybe try AAR, go the path with Deadpool Red, and pack a bleed immune like Luke Cage for the storm boss!

I hope that helped some folks get past the biggest roadblock in story mode. Any questions about team setups? Ask and I’ll do my best to give you good feedback on who to bring. Have any other strategies I forgot to address? Put your own strats in the comments! Best of luck, all!

Comments

  • Monto_Carlos28Monto_Carlos28 Posts: 246
    Electro was another one for ambush. I had to start all over again becauz of him.
    Plus this is where you learn to intercept if u haven't.
  • Hammerbro_64Hammerbro_64 Posts: 4,428 ★★★★★

    Electro was another one for ambush. I had to start all over again becauz of him.
    Plus this is where you learn to intercept if u haven't.

    Oh that's right. AAR and DoT is the way to go for him. Gwenpool duped and Archangel are great for this matchup. Or you could go with regen, so folks like Blade and the Wolverines work well. Omega Red can avoid all damage from electro with only using mediums, heavies, and specials.
  • Jet6_3Jet6_3 Posts: 43

    Electro was another one for ambush. I had to start all over again becauz of him.
    Plus this is where you learn to intercept if u haven't.

    I'm having some trouble learning to intercept. I'm always half a second later and gets hit. And the opponent being very random with their next move isn't helping
  • Hammerbro_64Hammerbro_64 Posts: 4,428 ★★★★★
    Jet6_3 said:

    Electro was another one for ambush. I had to start all over again becauz of him.
    Plus this is where you learn to intercept if u haven't.

    I'm having some trouble learning to intercept. I'm always half a second later and gets hit. And the opponent being very random with their next move isn't helping
    I would look up How to intercept like a ninja and then instinctive touch by DorkLessons. He does a great job of explaining it. The AI is much more predictable than you would think.
  • Jet6_3Jet6_3 Posts: 43

    Jet6_3 said:

    Electro was another one for ambush. I had to start all over again becauz of him.
    Plus this is where you learn to intercept if u haven't.

    I'm having some trouble learning to intercept. I'm always half a second later and gets hit. And the opponent being very random with their next move isn't helping
    I would look up How to intercept like a ninja and then instinctive touch by DorkLessons. He does a great job of explaining it. The AI is much more predictable than you would think.
    I did watch the videos but I can't find somewhere with as agressive AI without the nodes to practice with.
  • Monto_Carlos28Monto_Carlos28 Posts: 246
    @Jet6_3 YJ is really the only hardest fight in 5.2.4. but after that if u follow on the path with Deadpool, it's much easier.
    I'm not an expert at intercept but I took Aegon and it went pretty good. No parry, spam sp1.
    The trick is hit twice on their block, wait for a split sec, dash back then intercept.
  • CaptainPollCaptainPoll Posts: 744 ★★★
    To can u make e one for whole chapter 2 pls??
  • BonzodavidBonzodavid Posts: 159
    Proxima midnight is also a great option.
    Her parries don't trigger masochism (because of her abilities) so you can play her normally (complete some of her missions ->activate sp3->victory)
  • solopolosolopolo Posts: 508 ★★★
    First, great guide, mods pin pls. Also, I suggest you copy/paste this into a doc so you can update it as new champs are released and/or new strategies are found.

    I did a bit more testing, and Archangel also bypasses Masochism if your parry also places a poison. He also places tons of debuffs and his poison reduces Masochism healing, so he's a great option in general.

    Don't remember who posted this on the forum a while ago, but Morningstar also works well against Masochism. She can't bypass it or anything, but she can reduce the regen and trigger her own regen whenever Masochism triggers. She's also bleed immune so she can take the Caltrops path, and after you build enough souls she has perfect block and eventually lifesteal to sustain through the quest, so another good option.

    Nitpicky stuff that probably doesn't matter, but I think Thor can actually parry because he's the only one who places his debuff after he stuns. Masochism doesn't trigger immediately, so by the time it checks for a debuff the armor break is the last debuff to have been placed, so it's the one nullified.

    Unlike Thor, Blade/Corvus/Cap place their debuff at the same time parry triggers because they check for a timed block, not a stun, so both debuffs are purified. As far as Archangel, his poison probably doesn't trigger immediately either because it checks for a bleed in addition to the block.

    @DNA3000 halp. I'm probably way off here :lol:
  • Hammerbro_64Hammerbro_64 Posts: 4,428 ★★★★★
    @solopolo yeah that probably is why Thor works for this. Makes sense to me. Yeah AA is great for a whole bunch of reasons with lots of debuffs, AAR, and each bleed decreases tenacity abilities (like Masochism) by a flat 25% each.

    @CaptainPoll It will take me a little while, but I will try to make a doc or something and link it here (and make a new post I guess).
  • solopolo said:

    Unlike Thor, Blade/Corvus/Cap place their debuff at the same time parry triggers because they check for a timed block, not a stun, so both debuffs are purified. As far as Archangel, his poison probably doesn't trigger immediately either because it checks for a bleed in addition to the block.

    @DNA3000 halp. I'm probably way off here :lol:

    As far as I'm aware, that's essentially correct. I seem to recall that the game engine now has new technology to work around this problem, but at the time masochism was created the game engine couldn't remove "a" debuff, it could only remove all debuffs that landed at the same time. So if a champion triggers both a stun and a bleed (for example) on well-timed block, those both occur "at the same time" and masochism removes both. But if you land a stun on well-timed block and an armor break on stun, those two debuffs land at different times (because they occur sequentially) even if they look to human eyes as if they land at the same time. Because they happen at different times, masochism only removes one of them.

    As to masochism in general, I tend to use the "flood the target with debuffs" method provided I can deal enough damage. It is simple and straight forward. Among the weird corner case strategies I have used against masochism that aren't directly listed in the guide is to use OG Vision. It seems counter-intuitive because in general Vision is horrible for masochism: his heal block tends to get eaten by masochism and he doesn't deal a lot of damage to overpower masochism's heal. But there is a way to play him that works. If you cannot avoid triggering masochism you need to deal as much damage as possible as quickly as possible because you don't want masochism to recharge while you're just standing there. But if you attack too much you could push the target to SP3. *If* you can play Vision very aggressively you can keep the target drained of power which enables you to attack more aggressively.

    On top of that if you are *really* good with timing, you can build to SP2 and then use parry to trigger masochism. This then allows you to use SP2 and land a heal block which will apply during masochism's cooldown. If you do this just before masochism recharges, the next parry you land which triggers masochism will be heal blocked. If you can cycle this correctly, you can essentially eliminate all the healing from masochism and keep the target essentially power drained. But the timing is very tricky to get right consistently.
  • CaptainPollCaptainPoll Posts: 744 ★★★
    I was thinking to take my sabertooth along with a black panther cw, is it a good choice?
  • Wubbie075Wubbie075 Posts: 302
    Seems like Warlock was built for this quest.

    Are the virus charges debuffs? The passive infection doesn't trigger masochism, right?
  • Ya_Boi_28Ya_Boi_28 Posts: 1,129 ★★★
    Wubbie075 said:

    Seems like Warlock was built for this quest.

    Are the virus charges debuffs? The passive infection doesn't trigger masochism, right?

    His virus is passive
  • Mrspider568Mrspider568 Posts: 1,232 ★★

    I see countless posts of people stuck here on there quest to become Uncollected, and I wanted to do an in depth focus on different ways to handle it. So here we go!

    Table of Contents
    1. Global Node: Masochism
    2. Counters
    a. Basic Hit Debuffs
    b. Block Proficiency and Regen
    c. Champion-Specific Counters
    d. Miscellaneous Strategies
    3. Boss and Her Counters
    4. Easiest Paths and How to Deal with the Tricky Fights

    1. Global Node: Masochism
    Here is the real reason so many people struggle with this quest: Masochism. Inflicting a debuff will instantly remove it and heal the enemy for 5% max health, with a seven second refresh. That means relying on parry is out of the window for many many champions. Let’s talk about how to deal with it.

    2. Counters
    There are many many many counters and ways to handle Masochism that I feel many don’t consider. Let’s break them down:

    a. Basic Hit Debuffs
    Examples: Venom, Luke Cage, Gwenpool, Annihilus, Wolverine Killmonger, etc.
    The overall strategy here is to inflict enough debuffs that you will always be in that 7 second cool down when you want to parry. Most of the above can get 2-4 debuffs on a combo, so that won’t be a problem if you play aggressive enough. The only issue you may face with this strategy is not being able to overpower the regen. Most 3/30s with some damage over time and pretty much all decent 4/40 can out-damage the regen, so unless you are playing with weaker or underleveled champs, there won’t be too much issue.

    b. Block Proficiency and Regen
    Examples: Any Captain America (CAIW is the best), Wolverine, X23, Blade etc.
    This is probably the first thing that comes to mind when considering who to bring to handle masochism. It’s definitely not a bad idea, especially if you use two tap parrying (I’ll explain in Miscellaneous). The goal in this strat is pretty obvious: sustainability.

    c. Champion-Specific Counters
    Examples: Omega Red, Sabertooth (with Killmonger), Stark Spidy, OG Thor (dupe required), Annihilus, Void (dupe required).

    Omega Red: Each death spore reduces the chance for masochism to trigger by 10%, so if you have 10 spores, it will never trigger.

    Sabertooth with Killmonger Synergy: you can also use either Black Panther for this synergy as well.


    This means masochism will never trigger against Sabertooth. Do whatever you want.

    Stark Spidy: He doesn’t need to block, and his play style is as such that you don’t need to block. There isn’t really anything specific he helps with except taunt debuff after every 5 hits that would trigger masochism. He has high damage and can get you out of specials like War Machine and Punisher.

    OG Thor: Little known fact, he is I believe the only champion whose parry-debuff, in this case Armor break, triggers before the stun, meaning Masochism will remove the armor break and not the stun. (I’ve checked and Blade, Corvus and duped CAIW all do not work). You can freely parry with him.

    Annihilus: He has a 60% chance to inflict debuffs on hits against the enemy, in particular on block, so if you have not quite mastered intercepting, he is very handy.

    Void: If you are struggling to create enough damage output, play him, and parry before your intimidating presence debuff triggers so it doesn’t get shrugged off. Basically here you are just reversing the regen. It’s not worth bringing him unless your guys can’t generate damage to overcome the regen. Not really great otherwise.

    d. Miscellaneous Strategies
    i. AAR/Glancing
    Examples: Domino, CAIW, Archangel etc.
    This will increase the chance that a debuff doesn’t trigger masochism. This isn’t a counter per se, but it can help out. The only one who it is a complete counter for is AA with 3-4 neurotoxins.

    ii. Special 1 Bait
    A basic strat you should implement in general, don’t give them regen when you don’t have to. Push them to special 1 and bait it out, then counterattack. You will have to parry much less than if you just play until they feel like throwing a special or wait until 2.5 to bait.

    iii. Two-tap parrying
    Saving probably the best for last: the two tap parry. If you have played Quake before and can at least play her evade-stun style, you can use those timings, but against your block. You would initially get your parry shrugged off, but if you release and instantly put it up again when your opponent’s second hit would strike your block and you will get a parry. I would highly recommend messing around with whatever Quake you have and learn her evade-stun style and the timings for two tap block are the exact same.

    Alright, now that you know how to work around masochism, lets talk boss fight

    3. Boss and Her Counters


    Nothing too hard about storm in and of herself except you REALLY don’t want to mess up timing your dodge on her L2 or you are pretty much toast. With the recommended path, you would have to face storm when she has Caltrops. Basically whenever you dodge back, you gain a stack of bleed. This means you NEED to pack a bleed immune to handle her. She has some other nodes that don’t really do much. While any bleed immune works, I would say Luke Cage would be my top pick for this fight. He has basic hit debuffs to deal with masochism, good damage, AAR if you can manage to get an L2 off and not lose the resulting concussion, and if he’s duped, you can tank an L2 with his indestructible buff. Omega Red also works well, since you will have death field up more or less the whole fight. Now, for Omega Red, be cautious, because the bleed does stack, and too many stacks will be a little too much for him. Limit your dodges to allowing like 3 stacks max and you should be fine.

    4. Easiest Path and the tricky fights:



    By far the easiest path is the one that starts with Deadpool. I have the fights shown below. None of them are very hard enemies, but Punisher and War Machine may be pains because you will take some block damage against them. Consider bringing a sustainable champ for the two of them. One Big big thing you should not ignore, is the fact that there are two ambush champions, one of them isn’t too hard (I can’t remember who), but the other is Cable, who will degen you if you bleed him. Make sure, especially if you are going for the basic bit debuff strat, that you have some Masochism counter that doesn’t inflict bleed or you will be in for a bad time. LC is great for this fight, because not only does he not inflict bleed, his exhaustion stacks reduce power gain, so Cables power flood buffs won’t be as effective. Probably the trickiest fight for me was actually the YJ at the beginning of the fight. I kept getting clipped by the L1. Well, if you want to avoid that, you need to end your combos on your third light then create some space (MLLL⬅️). Here is about the optimal space to be to avoid it.


    You can pull it off if you are a tad closer, but it’s fairly risky. Just keep your distance and don’t end combos on a medium if you don’t want to get clipped or take block damage.

    So TL;DR
    You can either intentionally inflict debuffs so you can always parry, go for sustainability, use some specific champion counters like Sabertooth+KM or Omega Red, maybe try AAR, go the path with Deadpool Red, and pack a bleed immune like Luke Cage for the storm boss!

    I hope that helped some folks get past the biggest roadblock in story mode. Any questions about team setups? Ask and I’ll do my best to give you good feedback on who to bring. Have any other strategies I forgot to address? Put your own strats in the comments! Best of luck, all!

    Thank you i finished masochism
  • AZCardsfan_1AZCardsfan_1 Posts: 1
    edited April 10
    fighting 5.5...any tips...got my behind handed to me..can revive them and these are the ones I'm using for 5.5..
  • Hammerbro_64Hammerbro_64 Posts: 4,428 ★★★★★
    edited April 11
    @AZCardsfan_1

    Assuming you mean the first bane quest, if you haven’t spent any items, just exit and try again. Work on timing baiting specials and slowing down your combo hits in order to be in a combo when bane is expiring. I would just look up bane MCOC on YouTube and there are a good number of videos that help more than any text could.
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