Summer of Pain claims its first (idiotic) victim

If you're looking for a math post, this is not one of those. If you're looking for a tale of wanton stupidity, pull up a chair.

I like to think of myself as a fairly level-headed player that makes intelligent, thoughtful, calculated gameplay decisions most of the time. This is not one of those times. This is the story of how one piece of content, one stubborn moment, one bad decision and possibly the Devil incarnate, cost me an entire weekend, nine thousand units, and a little bit of my sanity.

It starts with the Summer of Pain, and the week one challenge: invade Rogue. I hated invade Rogue when she first made her appearance as I'm not the best interceptor in general, and I wasn't looking forward to the rematch. But, I thought, I should take this opportunity to improve my skills. It is a zero energy fight with no other fights on the map. It is basically free practice. I should actually try to not just beat her, but get the solo. This was not a bad decision: a lot of my gameplay skills come from situations like this where I just decide to put in the time and learn how to fight the fight: I learned to fight Korg this way, for example.

Step one was to see if I had any options that might just work, for me. I had Sorcerer Supreme at 5/65, and I did okay but not great. I tried Spider Gwen at 4/55 and that was just a mess. She Hulk at 4/55 was better, because I did better with the long reach of her heavy and there was the added lack of distraction when she removed the unstoppable icon (SG suppresses unstop but doesn't remove the icon, and it was messing with my head initially). I tried off and on for a few days, trying different champs, trying different strategies, but the bottom line was that I knew what to do, more or less, but I couldn't make my hands do it. Still I was making slow progress with She Hulk, getting better at the timing and not making stupid mistakes, although I still had difficulty getting more than half way before either getting hit in the face or backed into the wall (and getting hit in the face). Between getting more damage with her furies (when I could get them) and the fact she can hit with heavy from Tahiti, it seemed like this was going to eventually work out, although it was very slow progress.

I mentioned my struggle with SoP Rogue off handedly in a discussion about something completely different, and here's where two roads diverged in a wood, and it made all the difference. An entity calling himself @Karatemike415, but who I now suspect was Satan in disguise, told me I should give Spider Gwen another chance. He It reminded me how I could ignore the unstoppable icon when slowed, and showed me her heavy reach was not as bad as I thought it was (it just looks bad because it truncates if you whiff, unlike She Hulk that still races across the screen). I thought about it, and decided to give it another try. And after several days of practicing on Rogue, I found that SG was actually better in a lot of ways. My initial problems with SG were as much about just getting a hang of the fight as much as anything else. Now that I had a better feel of Rogue, SG's advantages started to become more obvious. Her evades sometimes bought me out of mistakes. Her animations made attacking into openings a little easier (at least for me). The problem was that the fight was just clearly going to take very long, and I wasn't sure I was going to be able to fight a mistake-free fight for that long. And I really wanted the solo.

I could rank SG up: I had both a 4/55 and a 6* r1 I could take to r2. Except I was short T2A. And this is where my brain made its first of many errors in judgment. I looked over at the Gauntlet, and saw a big pile of T2A. Are there T2A elsewhere? Of course there are. Anyway I wasn't originally sure I was going to tackle the Gauntlet at all: I thought it might be too difficult compared to the rewards for me. But now I was thinking that I could just do one path for completion rewards, walk away, and go rank up my Spider Gwen to get the SoP Rogue solo. This was my plan.

The first path of Gauntlet is actually not really that hard. Doom is not hard. Terrax is problematic and Spider Ham can be a very annoying fight, but it is just five fights and Thanos, and I'm actually not terrible when it comes to the various incarnations of Infinity Gauntlet Thanos. So starting Saturday morning did a couple practice fights on Doom and then assembled a team that I thought could easily handle path one: Magneto, Falcon, BWCV, Longshot, Magik. I figured Magneto was good for Doom, MODOK, and maybe Vision. Falcon was good for MODOK. Magik was going to be my main option for Vision. I figured Longshot and Magik could gang up on Terrax, and whoever was still alive could just gang up on Spider Ham, and then Falcon would be the Avenger for the end phase of Thanos.

And this basically worked. I had to use potions and revives, but no units. The hardest fight for me was actually Spider Ham, as it was super hard for me to grind out that fight without being tempted to use a special, and I had a few "what was I thinking" deaths there. Still, I get to the end of the path, and all I had to do was tap through the path and on to Thanos.

And I couldn't do it. I just couldn't choose that bail out path. I was now 25% complete on content I thought was going to be too hard for me and I was probably going to have to pass on, and the temptation to go on was just too great. SatanMike was now in my head and was whispering to me: you can do it, its only three paths, look how easy that first path was. And even though I had not really studied the rest of the map, even though I brought a team designed for the first path only, I clicked up. And thus was my fate sealed.

I told myself if it got too difficult, I could just bail out at the end of path two. This was a lie of course: if I couldn't bring myself to exit on path one, I really wasn't going to be able to do it on path two. Still, how bad could it be? Weapon-X was deceptively easy. And Falcon did good work on Thing. Holy cow, two fights down and I'm still rolling. Aaaand then I get to Korg. I'm actually pretty decent on Korg fights these days. I can evade SP1 fairly reliably, I have the basics of the fight down pretty solid. If I actually brought anything that could deal shock damage, maybe I could have gotten past that fight easier, but still, with some potions and revives I got past him. Dragon Man took some revives, but Longshot actually did well against BPCW. I'm now 50% through the Gauntlet, and I've only spent a relatively small amount of units. And all of my inventory of potions and revives, which should have been a warning sign, but my brain wasn't listening to warning signs anymore.

Nightcrawler started eating into my units, Spider Gwen decided to help herself to more units, and Domino took her share, but I was still doing not bad. At this point I was probably a little over a thousand units in at this point, getting nervous, but still doing okay. It is also about five hours since I started, because I kept having to take breaks. I would fight two or three fights, start slipping, and have to take a break to keep my play from deteriorating too much. It is at this point, somewhere around 3-4pm that I ran into Mojo.

I don't really have a good counter for Mojo.

Anyway, about two thousand units later, I get past Mojo. Ibom was not hard (probably the easiest fight for me), Apoc was not too hard, and then I get to Sasquatch. My plan with Sasquatch was to use BWCV poison to manage Sasquatch heals. This did not work at all. Then I remembered I had Falcon, and I could suppress his heals as long as I only attack while Lock On is up. If I didn't have Falcon, this would have been a dead end right here: I would have been permanently roadblocked. By this point I've been running the Gauntlet for over nine hours, and even with breaks I'm tired, my fingers are a little slow, and most importantly my brain is now mush. I *should* have called it quits, got a good night sleep, and come back to this in the morning. This would be the smart thing to do.

Over 40 revives later, I decide to break for dinner and take stock. My problem was that my brain stopped keeping track of everything. If I hit one millisecond after Lock On expired, the run was toast. If I let him back me to the wall with wrath, I was toast. My strategy of trying to save units by only reviving was dumb, because Lock On's duration was too short: I needed to get enough heavies in for Lifecycle, then get him close, *then* take him out, which required staying alive through at least one wrath cycle, so I needed enough health to not drop dead due to a missed parry or a clip or the spastic twitching that I do when pretending to dex against the wall. I gathered up the last of my brain cells and assembled a strategy. Wear him down to 8% then quit. Heavy him to reduce the LC timer, hit him a couple times to get him low and keep him on the right side, so I have the whole map to work with when he goes wrath, then get the parry/SP1 in and bring him down. Its a good plan. It took over a dozen tries to execute it correctly. Maybe more, because at this point who's counting.

Sasquatch ended up taking north of 3000 units to ultimately get past, which I guess is ironically appropriate.

I stopped caring about units somewhere in that Sasquatch fight, so I think I started playing more kamikaze for the last three path fights. Which I sort of had to, as I also didn't really have a reliable armor break for KM, and I no longer had the energy to do a long drag out fight. Void was a mess, because I run double edge, was too stubborn to turn it off, and only had one bleed immune champ. I don't even recall what happened on Nick as I'm pretty sure my brain checked out after Sasquatch and my pancreas took over the controls. Surprisingly, perhaps, Thanos was not a problem. One team revive to get into the swing of that fight, a couple revives to get the hang of intercepting in the end phase, and down he went.

If anyone cares, I pulled Guardian, Red Cyclops, and Black Panther from 6* crystals, and I got Vision Aarkus from the nexus. Guardian is good, if I ever awaken him, and Aarkus is underrated in my opinion, but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't buy those champs for 9000 units. Oh wait, I did. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't buy those champions again for 9000 units. But I did get a lot of T2A, so there's that.

So then I ranked up Spider Gwen and got the solo, right? Actually, no. I ranked up Spider Gwen, tried a few times on Sunday, then said "f-this" and used two revives. And then I put the phone down and went outside to look at some trees.

And with that, Summer of Pain Week One comes to a merciful end. 5000 units spent on two fights, 2000 units spent on nineteen other fights, plus 2000 units lost to exhaustion and brain damage. Thirteen hours spent on content having nothing to do with SoP, about ten hours of off and on practice to try to solo SoP week one, and then two revives spent to eliminate that disgusting fight from my sight. Hopefully two days of drinking will be enough to erase the memory of week one quickly enough to prepare for week two.

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Comments

  • HoitadoHoitado Posts: 3,419 ★★★★★
    I did it with Ghost and one 20% Revive after hours of trying
  • H3t3rH3t3r Posts: 2,026 ★★★★★
    I feel like you just explained my gauntlet experience.
  • Hammerbro_64Hammerbro_64 Posts: 7,370 ★★★★★
    DNA3000 said:

    Money moves

    Fortunately I'm an arena grinder, so those units were all house money. You could say that the Grandmaster Gauntlet prize chests were the biggest rewards I ever got out of the arena.
    Well that’s better I guess.

    You should have just done it with 4/55 SG. That’s what I did and it wasn’t too big of a problem after a lot of practice and a revive or two when I got her down to 30% in one go
  • Agent_X_zzzAgent_X_zzz Posts: 4,390 ★★★★★
    May I ask what your team was? Planning is the most important thing
  • UnitmanUnitman Posts: 209 ★★
    edited June 2021
    well hey man, if that never happened then you'd never been able to tell this hilarious story.

    i think the majority of us have had unit sink fights, i know i have.

    i only take advice from ju jitsu joe and capoeira carl
  • Geralt_123Geralt_123 Posts: 547 ★★★
    Sad to hear but everybody sink units on certain fights and you got a nice story to tell that I'll remember when I waste my units
  • DNA3000DNA3000 Posts: 13,856 Guardian

    Sad to hear but everybody sink units on certain fights and you got a nice story to tell that I'll remember when I waste my units

    At the end of the day, it is a game. Someone should be getting entertainment value out of my game play, even if occasionally that person isn't me.
  • o_oo_o Posts: 210 ★★
    Honestly I really appreciate you sharing this. I made some really bad decisions in my gauntlet run, taking an imperfect team and letting early successes lull me into thinking that plowing ahead was the way to go. It’s just nice to know I’m not the only one who sometimes gets tunnel vision and makes bad decisions.
  • zuffyzuffy Posts: 1,394 ★★★★
    You went in with the wrong team. Aegon, AA and counter for terrax was all you needed for average skill players. Aegon with unitman can get thru anything.
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