The hero known as Ironheart makes her mobile gaming debut!

Riri Williams, the newest hero to incase herself in iron armor takes to the “Marvel Puzzle Quest” stage this week. Armed with her own improvised Iron Man suit and ready to kick bad guy butt, the hero called Ironheart will be a force to be reckoned with. D3 Go! Producer Josh Austin dropped by to chat about Riri’s powers and just what she’s capable of in-game.

Marvel.com: We’ve had a couple strong heroines enter the fray recently: Medusa, Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers), and now Riri Williams joins the fight. What was the thinking behind pulling her into “Puzzle Quest”?

Josh Austin: After adding some well-established heroines to “Marvel Puzzle Quest” with the Queen of the Inhumans and Carol Danvers, we are super excited about the new Ironheart (Riri Williams) character and the recent handoff of Iron Man to this new strong female character.

While Medusa and [Captain] Marvel are super powerful, Riri is still finding her way but already surprising Tony Stark in his new AI form with her amazing intellect. It’s been great working with Marvel on a bringing this new heroine to “Marvel Puzzle Quest.”

Marvel.com: Right now there are five different versions of Iron Man armor and one War Machine suit shooting people to heck and back. How did the team focus on making Riri feel unique?

Josh Austin: Riri Williams’ design focuses on what we’ve seen so far from her in the comics: she’s still learning and not as strong as Iron Man, she’s more of a support character at this stage. So our version of Riri uses features [what] she knows about Iron Man but mixed with her wit to make these attacks her own.

For example, instead of just shooting fists at the enemy, she shoots them to flank the enemy and uses magnetic repulsors to bring together enemy special tiles to disarm the enemy. Her charge into battle attack sends her airborne after initial damage, also causing the enemy to go airborne, like she does in the comics currently where she runs by flying off, but it’s still a great tactical move that benefits the player if they want to disable someone for a bit.

Marvel.com: And let’s talk about her abilities; what can Ironheart do?

Josh Austin: Riri’s first ability costs nine Blue AP and is called Magnetic Repulsors. Riri uses her magnetic repulsors in her armor’s gauntlet to disarm her opponents. This power attracts enemy special tiles to the center of the board. What’s great about this is if you have a character that makes a specific color special tile like Protect Tiles, it has a strong chance to match them away after they are pulled into the middle of the board!

Riri’s second ability, Remote Control Gauntlets, costs 11 Red AP. Riri launches her gauntlets, maneuvering them remotely towards her opponent. The gauntlets attack from the flank dealing damage to the target opponent and also places a Four-Turn countdown tile that unlocks and removes special tiles.

Riri’s final ability, Selfless Intervention, costs 8 Green AP. Riri makes a split second decision to fly into the action causing damage and her armor to react to the impact sending [her] Airborne for two turns and her target Airborne for one turn.

Marvel.com: I like her special tile manipulation moves. That definitely feels different. Selfless intervention though—it’s been a while since we’ve seen a move that sends characters Airborne. What’s the strategy behind taking both yourself and the enemy out of combat?

Josh Austin: Sending an opponent out of the fight is advantageous for the player to get one of [their adversaries] off the field for a bit. This allows the player to remove a threat for at least one turn or two at higher levels. For example, if you’re playing PVE with one hero character that can manipulate the tile board, it’s great to be able to send that opponent flying if you see a match four or five that you would like to utilize instead of the opponent’s team!

Marvel.com: Who does she team well with? And can she team-up with other Iron Man armors or is she included in their number?

Josh Austin: Actually Riri can team up with Iron Man, she’s her own entity. So a player could add Ironheart with Iron Man. As far as teaming up, Ironheart is a bit of a support character. She is good against teams that use special tiles.

Since she removes tiles effectively, she’d pair pretty well will Luke Cage (Power Man) since his red deals more damage if there aren’t any opposing special tiles. The new Four-Star Captain Marvel can take advantage of the red countdown tile created by Riri’s Red ability.

Marvel.com: Also, I heard “Puzzle Quest” is going to be celebrating some Jack Kirby monster madness soon. Care to give us a breakdown of the festivities?

Josh Austin: We will be swapping out some covers and promoting the Kirby Monster event in game for a limited time. Comic swaps will be for X-23 (All-New X-Men), The Hulk (Totally Awesome), Doctor Strange (Stephen Strange), Spider-Man (Classic), Devil Dino, Thor (Goddess of Thunder), Deadpool (It’s Me, Deadpool!), Medusa, Vision, and Kamala Khan.

The swaps are a fun way to celebrate some of the recent Marvel news in [“Marvel Puzzle Quest”]! There are also some cool materials and offers at the Marvel Digital Comics Shop and Marvel Insider.

Marvel.com: Is there anything else players need to know?

Josh Austin: You can earn Riri in the Thick as Thieves event starting on January 19, or in the Vault for the Event Hearts of Darkness that starts on January 23. Riri’s upcoming Versus Event will be called Flight Test.

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Marvel Puzzle Quest” news and interviews!

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Carol Danvers gets a powerful update to start the new year!

Have you been waiting for another Carol Danvers to take into battle? Well wait no longer gang!

D3 Go! and “Marvel Puzzle Quest” ring in the new year with a 4-Star, high-flying, cosmically-powered Captain Marvel ready and raring to clean bad guy clocks. We talked to D3 Go! Producer Josh Austin about the blonde bomber and everything she brings to the game.

Marvel.com: Another year gone, but another year of incredible “Puzzle Quest” action no doubt in front of us. Can you give us a little taste of what’s to come?

Josh Austin: Happy New Year! We are busy working on a few features in 2017, including one that should be coming very soon that will improve the overall player experience and hopefully makes everyone very happy. We’ve gotten some really good feedback in our recent in-game survey and we hope to get started on some fun new events in 2017 based on the info we have received.

We are also working on our process to [ensure] more general testing is getting done and we also want to facilitate more community requests. Sorry we can’t be too specific until we lock something down, but players will have plenty to be happy about this year and we have more great characters coming soon!

Marvel.com: And we have a new 4-Star character coming down the pipeline. A new Captain Marvel right?

Josh Austin: Yes, Carol Danvers is coming to “Marvel Puzzle Quest” as our newest 4-Star character. We have a modern and an older variation already released, [but] this new Carol Danvers design focuses on the recently released variation with her newer short hair look.

Marvel.com: How is she different than her 2/3-Star versions? What did the team want to focus on for Carol this time?

Josh Austin: Where the other two Captain Marvels have two attack powers and one strategic or reactionary power, this new Carol Danvers is more about taking charge, rallying her team, and causing more tile manipulation [than] straight up damage with some board affects. So she is more of a support character that creates specials tiles to do damage against the enemy team.

Marvel.com: And let’s talk a little about her abilities?

Josh Austin: Following the theme of Carol’s appointment to Commander of the Alpha Flight Space Station, Captain Marvel (Carol Danver)’s first ability is a new variation of Photonic Barrage. For 8 Black AP she strategically fires off Photonic Blasts at her enemies while soaring around the battlefield. This power converts a chosen Black tile into a 5-turn Countdown tile that creates a Strike tile every turn and deals damage when it expires.

Her second power is called Executive Decision where Carol is taking charge and rallying her team to get things done. For 5 Yellow AP the player can reduce a chosen friendly Countdown tile to 0. There is also a Passive that triggers for this power every time a friendly Countdown tile expires, that improves a random friendly tile by increasing its base amount.

Her last ability is called Energy Manipulation and it’s a Green Passive, which means no AP is needed. This power is similar to Captain Marvel (Modern)’s damage absorption ability, powering up her own abilities, gaining 2 AP every time the enemy matches their strongest color. If the enemy’s strongest color matches the player’s strongest color she deals damage to the enemy team when the opponent matches their strongest color tiles.

Marvel.com: Who does she fight best beside? With all this Civil War stuff going on right now, how does she match with Tony Stark?

Josh Austin: If you are unable to find an Iron Man version to fight with, we are working on one that may actually work well with her in future that we can’t reveal yet. In all seriousness, with all the tile and board manipulation she’s really great when she is matched up with Tony’s friend War Machine, especially since she was designed to synergize well with him!

Since War Machine creates multiple Countdown tiles, they can play off each other’s powers to create a very reliable and simple strategy to utilize Countdown tiles. Pair them up with Medusa who relies on/creates special tiles and you have a solid team! She also works well with Green Goblin to immediately retrieve his glider, Scarlet Witch’s Arcane Incantation to gather Purple AP to make quick matches using the Purple tiles, or Hulk (Bruce Banner)’s The Other Guy tile can also be manipulated to launch as soon as the Countdown tile appears on the board to get him to transform faster.

Marvel.com: Sounds like players are going to have some pretty awesome teams to play around with. Is there anything else we need to know about the new Captain Marvel?

Josh Austin: Carol will be available and featured in Deadpool vs. MPQ on January 5, in the Vault Story Event happening on January 8, and the Versus Event called Flight and Fight starting on January 12.

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Marvel Puzzle Quest” news and interviews!

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Bring the Mad Titan home in time for the holidays!

This holiday season Thanos, not Santa Claus, will be delivering gifts to all the lucky “Marvel Puzzle Quest” players. And he’s bringing Death with him!

We talked to D3 Go! Producer Josh Austin about the Mad Titan’s “Puzzle Quest” landfall and everything the team has planned to keep us warm through the holidays.

Marvel.com: It’s been an awesome year for “Marvel Puzzle Quest,” there’s no doubt about that, but how are you ringing in this holiday season?

Josh Austin: This year we are ending with the mighty titan Thanos! We aren’t just bringing him in as a 5-Star character and disappearing for the holidays, we are also releasing a Thanos PVE event called Crash of the Mad Titan, a 3-Star Thanos, and we’re bringing back the popular Naughty or Nice Versus Tournament! Players have been begging for a new villain for a bit and what better way to end the year than making their wishes true with an Infinity Gauntlet bang!

Marvel.com: Thanos is another 3/5-Star split in the style of Doctor Strange. Previously the team had mentioned they were moving away from 3-Stars. What changed?

Josh Austin: We are super excited to be able to do this again, especially considering how popular it was when Doctor Strange was released a few weeks ago. Our overall focus is doing what is best for the entire community and we needed to rethink how new 3-Stars will add or take away from the player experience.

The game continues to evolve and we learn new things from both player feedback and behavior in the game. Once upon a time we wanted to progress with even stronger characters—hence the introduction of 5-Star heroes—but we have come to believe that releasing a couple of new 3-Stars each year will help the balance for players both old and new. But in all seriousness, I earned a 3-Star Doctor Strange and he is now one of my favorite characters to use in events so I am definitely a fan of us reintroducing 3-Stars.

Marvel.com: Thanos, the Mad Titan himself, finally crashes the “Puzzle Quest” party. What can you tell us about the cosmic calamity’s moveset?

Josh Austin: I can tell you Thanos is totally rad! His animations are great, one of his powers even brings out Death. I mean you do not want to mess with this guy. Both the 3-Star and 5-Star abilities go by the same name so I am going to run them by you according to the ability name starting with the 5-Star.

The first power is called Court Death and shows how Thanos’ desire to please his mistress Death can make him a terrifying threat and volatile ally. It’s a Black AP Passive that activates when Thanos downs an enemy, causing him to stun all characters except Thanos—allies and enemies—and then deals damage to all characters, a set amount to enemies and half that to his allies. The 3-Star Thanos Court Death power deals the same amount of damage to both enemies and allies.

His second ability, Infinite Power, shows everyone just how invulnerable, immortal, and nigh all-powerful Thanos is as he bends his foes to his will. This power costs 8 Purple AP and creates a 3-turn Purple Countdown tile. While the tile is on the board, Thanos deals an extra 15% match damage and no tiles may be destroyed or changed except by Thanos; tiles may still be matched away. The 3-Star Thanos version of Infinite Power gives Thanos an extra 150% match damage which is a lot higher than the 5-Star match damage, but 3-Star Thanos doesn’t get the added board control that 5-Star Thanos has.

His final power is called Come and Get Me. Thanos stands against the tide of his enemies before unleashing his wrath. This power costs 12 Green AP and places a 4-turn countdown tile that moves Thanos to the front of the team at the end of his turn. When the Countdown tile goes off, it causes damage to the entire enemy team. This ability is similar for both 3 and 5-Star variants.

Marvel.com: So on top of some awesome new characters we also have some Thanos-themed holiday fun ahead of us. What exactly can we look forward to?

Josh Austin: So much stuff for the holidays! We have the Crash of the Mad Titan event, which is a special version of Deadpool’s Daily Quest that has five pins with rewards and a Crash Pin featuring Thanos as the enemy for five days. Each day has a unique group of allowed characters including Guardians of the Galaxy, Inhumans, Villains, etc., with plenty of Thanos-themed quests. This event will include a special Thanos Vault for the duration with tons of great stuff! And ring in the New Year on January 1 with a new Thanos Versus Tournament, Behold Thanos.

Marvel.com: Is there anything else we need to know?

Josh Austin: Along with this Thanos event, there will be a 30% bonus sales for Iso-8 and Hero Points between December 20 and 26, a special holiday vault (featuring 80 items) from December 22 [to] January 1 attached to certain events, double Iso-8 rewards will be given in the upcoming Galactus Hungers (December 22), Crash of the Mad Titan (December 22), Naughty or Nice (December 22) and Unstable Iso-8 (December 25).

And finally, I want to wish Happy Holidays to everyone and thanks for playing “Marvel Puzzle Quest.” We have a special free token that we are giving out in the upcoming Vault as a thank you and we can’t wait to share more MPQ news with all the Marvel.com readers in 2017!

Take a crack at Thanos and all the “Puzzle Quest” holiday cheer here and stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Marvel Puzzle Quest” news and interviews!

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The Queen of the Inhumans rules over a new kingdom!

Make way for royalty people! Medusa’s about to rock “Marvel Puzzle Quest” using her luscious locks to entangle her enemies and serve up some serious pain.

We had a chance to talk to D3 Go! Producer Josh Austin about the Queen of the Inhumans and everything she’s got in store for the common rabble who dare disturb her rule.

Marvel.com: Medusa, Queen of the Inhumans, may be my favorite member of the Royal Family outside of Black Bolt. Why’d we get Medusa over say Gorgon, or Karnak, or some of the young guns like Flint or Naja?

Josh Austin: Medusa won the Marvel NOW! Poll that we conducted over the summer and the players really wanted her [so] we were more than happy to add the Queen of the Inhumans to the roster! Who knows what the future holds for Gorgon, Karnak, Flint and/or Naja in “Marvel Puzzle Quest,” but any character is possible. Besides, she’s a queen and we already added the king, so let’s start at the top.

Marvel.com: Concentrating her abilities on just her prehensile hair feels like it’d be too easy. What’d the team focus on to make the Queen come to life?

Josh Austin: Medusa was designed as a great support character that when used well can cause a lot of damage while healing the team. Her hair shakes things up on the board generating health, causing damage, gaining additional AP or swapping random tiles and stealing any swapped enemy special tiles.

Marvel.com: Ok let’s talk about her abilities. Mind breaking them down for us?

Josh Austin: Medusa’s first ability, The Resolute Queen, is a Yellow Passive (0 AP). No matter the situation, Queen Medusa protects and leads her people with unwavering loyalty and determination. Whenever an Attack, Protect, or Strike tile is matched, if it was a friendly tile, it gives a burst of health to the team. If it was an enemy tile, it gains AP in Purple, Blue, or Green.

Medusa’s second ability is another Passive called Entanglement and this one is Red (0 AP). Medusa sends her hair out to grab and whip opponents. Every turn, if one does not exist, the player can create a Countdown tile that deals damage every turn. If the tile gets destroyed, it creates two strength Attack tiles.

Medusa’s last ability is called Hair Meddle and costs 10 Purple AP. Medusa’s hair wriggles its way through enemy defenses, causing chaos and confusion. The ability swaps 16 pairs of random tiles, stealing any swapped enemy Strike tiles; upgrades add Protect, Attack and even buffing stolen tiles.

Marvel.com: From what I can tell she’s all about wrecking the opponent’s tiles and making sure they can’t play their game. Getting rid of Falcon/Captain America’s Protect tiles, Blade’s Strike tiles, using Thing’s protect ability against him—that sound like a fair assessment?

Josh Austin: Definitely! She will be able to turn the battle around if the player feels overwhelmed with a ton of enemy Special tiles on the board. She would have been great against the Mindless Ones in the Doctor Strange event earlier this month!

Marvel.com: On paper she sounds a lot like Loki, shaking up the board and taking control of special tiles. What sets her apart from characters like the God of Mischief and Doctor Octopus?

Josh Austin: Loki’s ability just moves around colored tiles and Doc Ock will destroy enemy strike tiles, but Medusa will steal any tile that is touched by her hair transforming it from an enemy tile to a friendly tile. While Loki and the good doctor provide utility, Medusa brings it in spades.

Marvel.com: Looking at her kit I’m really liking her with Carnage, who’ll be giving us friendly and enemy attack tiles to play with, possibly giving us AP and healing in a good cascade. Who else benefits from the help of the Queen?

Josh Austin: The popular choice here seems to match Medusa with Quake and Kamala Khan. The combination of Quake negating some damage while Kamala Khan heals along with Medusa’s healing ability can be pretty fun, but of course adding Carnage in there with all the tile creation is a great choice too!

Marvel.com: When do we get to recruit the Queen?

Josh Austin: Medusa will be available starting on December 1 and she will be featured in Hearts of Darkness event scheduled for the same day. Medusa’s Vault will start on Sunday, December 4 and go through December 9 with the Venom Bomb event and finally the Medusa PVP event will be titled the Big Bangs Theory and go from December 8 through December 12.

Pick up the Queen of the Inhumans here and stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Marvel Puzzle Quest” news and interviews!

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The super sonic king of the Inhumans makes his voice heard across Marvel games!

With over 75 years of rich history, the Marvel Universe has produced countless memorable heroes and villains. On a regular basis, Marvel Games Presents will highlight these characters’ histories as well as shine a spotlight on their current gaming appearances.

Today, the spotlight falls on the leader of Marvel’s next television stars, the Inhumans, Black Bolt!

Fantastic Four (1961) #45

Fantastic Four (1961) #45

  • Published: December 10, 1965
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: April 06, 2009
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

MEET BLACK BOLT
Exposed to the power-granting Terrigen mist while still an embryo, Blackagar Boltagon developed the ability to manipulate electrons in addition to a destructive sonic force unleashed by even a whisper of his voice. A silent and thoughtful leader, Black Bolt would become king of the Inhumans, ruling alongside his queen, Medusa, and the rest of the royal family.

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MARVEL CONTEST OF CHAMPIONS
“Black Bolt is a fascinating character. He is the embodiment of duty and responsibility as a monarch, choosing to restrain his awesome power and only using it as a last resort. In a world where we see our leaders becoming pettier and more egotistic by the day, Blackagar Boltagon represents the purest idea of an enlightened ruler, one who sacrifices for his own people.” – Gabriel Frizzera, Art Director on “Marvel Contest of Champions”

 

screenshot_blackbolt
MARVEL FUTURE FIGHT
“It was difficult for us to bring the King of the Inhumans, Black Bolt, into our game. The concept of his voice being destructive was interesting, but it also made it difficult to envision and realize into ‘Marvel Future Fight.’ The effort that went into the character is why I have a particular affection for Black Bolt.

“When we first started developing Black Bolt’s skill set, our primary objective was to show the players the magnanimity of his position as King of the Inhumans and the destructive capabilities of his voice as expressed in the original comics. From design to character animation, we persistently adjusted his skill composition and effects to create the Black Bolt we have now. Since then, we have been collecting feedback from our users and have adjusted the range and distance of Black Bolt’s Quasi-sonic Scream attacks and also reduced the cool down time so players can get more of the percussion feel. To increase his [ability to survive], when Black Bolt advances to Tier-2, he now becomes immune to damage while using the Quasi-sonic Scream. Also, to show that sound waves are on the most part unavoidable, we added the ‘Ignore Dodge’ buff to the skill. These changes will showcase a Black Bolt that aligns more closely with the original comics.

“As the person in charge of the development team for ‘Future Fight,’ my hope and pleasure would be to know that our players felt absolute power while playing this character. Furthermore, we plan on improving many of the characters to be more similar to the original comics and to be even more exciting to play. Look forward to seeing what lies in the future for ‘Marvel Future Fight.'” – Doohyun Cho, Dev Director of “Marvel Future Fight”

marvel-heroes-2016-black-bolt
MARVEL HEROES 2016
“Silent and Stoic. There is not that much more to say about Black Bolt. I think the coolness of the All-New All-Different costume speaks for itself and I am proud of the attention the artist put into this model. I am hoping our fans are speechless when they see Black Bolt in action.  Also, Black Bolt destroys things with his voice. ‘Nuff Said.” – Chris Frenton, Art Director of “Marvel Heroes 2016”

vfxthesilentking

MARVEL PUZZLE QUEST
“Black Bolt is a really strong 5-star character in ‘Marvel Puzzle Quest’. He has a Quasi-Sonic power that will destroy part of the board with a whisper or the entire board with a scream causing massive damage when it is built up. But be careful with his passive ability as it can cause a ton of damage if not closely monitored!” – Josh Austin, D3 Go! Producer on “Marvel Puzzle Quest”

marvel-tsum-tsum-black-bolt
MARVEL TSUM TSUM
“His skill will be focused on his most devastating power – his quasi-sonic voice. The animation will be destructive!” – NHN PlayArt Corp., “Marvel Tsum Tsum”

Uncanny Inhumans (2015) #15

Uncanny Inhumans (2015) #15

MORE BLACK BOLT
Follow Black Bolt’s ongoing adventures in UNCANNY INHUMANS, issue #15 currently on sale!

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The Sorcerer Supreme is heading to Marvel Puzzle Quest

Baron Mordo’s deadly apprentice Kaecilus threatens the “Marvel Puzzle Quest” universe with dimension-bending terror and it’s up to players to harness all of Doctor Strange’s mystical armaments and take him down. D3 Go! Producer Josh Austin dropped by to talk about this big new story event and the two different Doctor Strange variations players can earn in the coming weeks!

Marvel.com: With Doctor Strange dropping in theaters in a few short weeks I hear there’s a whole magical world waiting for players in “Puzzle Quest.” Can we get a tl;dr?

Josh Austin: Yes! Doctor Strange is coming to Marvel Puzzle Quest as not just one, but two playable versions! For the first time in probably forever, Doctor Strange will have a 3-star version (Stephen Strange) and a 5-star version (Sorcerer Supreme). This is the first 3-star we have released in some time (before my time on the project) and I’m sure a lot of Marvel Puzzle Quest fans will be very excited to get their hands on a new 3-star!

With the new character, we also have a new Story Event called Strange Sights, where the player will be entering three different doors with a new animation that takes the player to an alternate universe where mindless ones and other bad guys are in control. Get through the story mode to fight off against Kaecilius!

Marvel.com: I gotta ask, what goes into creating and executing on a big event like this? The boss fights, the artifacts, the enemies we’re fighting, who works on all that stuff?

Josh Austin: With these larger events that are a part of movie releases, there is a lot of planning and approvals to get through so we have to build in time to get things through in time for release. With a movie-based character and storyline, we receive direction from Marvel both in notes and from reference materials. As it gets moving, the game art is passed around for review to people at Marvel and the people working on the movie. The story outline is written by designers then passed to a writer (Alex Irvine in this case) to provide that awesome Marvel touch. When it’s all done and all sides are happy we are good to go!


Marvel.com: It’s awesome to hear that everyone works so hard to make these things a success. Ok now on to the meat and potatoes: can we talk about Doctor Strange and his abilities? What kind of eldritch energies will we be harnessing as the Ancient One’s successor?

Josh Austin: Because there are two characters coming out, this is going to be a little long!

Doctor Strange (Stephen Strange) and Doctor Strange (Sorcerer Supreme) are 3 and 5-star characters respectively. Doctor Strange’s first ability is called Crimson Bands of Cyttorak and it costs 9 blue for both variations. This power converts a chosen basic tile into a Countdown tile and stuns the target for 2 turns at lower levels and up to 3 turns the higher the cover level. The Countdown tile for each turn deals damage on the board (3-star level 145 damage, to 1772 damage maxed 5-star) and destroys enemy AP of the color that the Countdown tile ends up being.

His second ability is Eye of Agamotto which costs 11 purple AP for both Doctor Strange Star tiers. For 3-star Doctor Strange (Stephen Strange) this power removes up to 2 random enemy Attack tiles and the player gains 2 Purple AP. At higher levels this can remove random Attack, Protect, Strike, Invisibility and Trap tiles and up grant up to 4 Purple AP to the player. For 5-star Doctor Strange (Sorcerer Supreme) this power creates a colorless eye tile that activates each turn removing a random enemy at attack tile and the eye tile can’t be removed from the board. At higher levels this power removes 1 of each tile types above at random each turn.

Lastly the third ability is called Flames of the Faltine that has a Passive component and a 14 AP yellow cost for the 5-star added to the Passive ability. For 3-star Doctor Strange (Stephen Strange) this ability is a passive and thus costs 0 AP. Each time an opponent uses a power, it deals 212 damage to the target and gives a burst of 45 health to the player’s team. For 5-star Doctor Strange (Sorcerer Supreme) this ability has both passive and active elements. It still deals damage to your opponent every time their characters use a power, but for 14 yellow AP, you can deal almost double the damage on a whim. At maxed level 5 this power deals 16,016 damage!

Marvel.com: What are some of the things players should be looking out for? Any special rewards for cleaning Kaecilius’ clock?

Josh Austin: This event will feature four or five ways to get your hands on Doctor Strange. First, like any other Story event, there will be a store that will have increased odds at getting the 3-Star Doctor Strange. There will also be a new Legendary Store that will feature the 5-Star version of Doctor Strange at increased odds. Lastly, there will be three, ten item Limited Vaults (one for for each sub-chapter) with one item being a pack for the special Legendary Store. The last mission of each sub-chapter will give you a token for each of the vaults. Additional tokens can also be purchased.

Marvel.com: And what else do we need to know about Doctor Strange’s big new event?

Josh Austin: Doctor Strange is available November 3 and his all-new PVE event is called Strange Sights. Strange will also have a Versus event as well, called Strange Days, that is set to run starting in the evening of November 10 where players can earn 3-star Doctor Strange. The event before that, Red Shift, is scheduled to start on the evening of November 8, which will also reward Doctor Strange (Stephen Strange) for the top players.

And I can’t forget to share that this is the first event that players can choose their own path. We are excited to see how people respond to it and hope to add it to future events. In addition, we’ve integrated some cool new animations into the event. Players will choose a node over a dimensional doorway, then an animation of the door and the camera zooming into that dimension will play. It’s just a cool thing we wanted to try out. Also, to keep things interesting, the Kaecilius boss node recharges daily.

Marvel.com: When does all this mystical mumbo jumbo come to an end?

Josh Austin: The Doctor Strange Story Event will conclude Monday, November 7, 2:00 AM EDT. The event will enter the normal Event rotation once it has concluded.

Take a crack at the Sorcerer Supreme here and stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Marvel Puzzle Quest” news and interviews, as well as the latest on Doctor Strange in other Marvel Games. Marvel Insiders also earn points for checking out each of these articles. To become a Marvel Insider, join here: marvel.com/insider.

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The Daywalker gets an upgrade to sink his teeth into!

Blade’s back and better than ever, bringing silver and steel to the fight along with his trademark fangs—the Daywalker’s ready for anything “Marvel Puzzle Quest” players throw his way.

D3 Go! Producer Josh Austin stopped by to talk Blade and give us the skinny on what makes his 4-Star variation so awesome.

Marvel.com: While I am super stoked to hear the team is working on a 4-Star Blade, I never even thought of upgrading the Daywalker. 3-Star Blade is just so dang useful. Why fancy him up now?

Josh Austin: With Halloween coming up, we thought it was a great time to give Blade an update! Blade (Daywalker) focuses first on his weapons, with thirst being his third ability. But Blade (Modern)’s first power focuses on his vampire hunger and is a fun way to manage red AP as he transitions that first power from The Hunger to Bloodlust depending on how much red AP the player has. Overall he’s a fun new version that players should find interesting!

Marvel.com: I used 3-Star Blade as a support, teaming him up with Cyclops (Uncanny) to quickly create a ridiculous number of red strike tiles and cascade my opponent to oblivion all while stealing their most powerful AP. What does this version of Blade excel at?

Josh Austin: Blade (Modern) is a great support character and a great teammate for characters that generate red tiles because once the team’s collected enough red AP, Blade causes constant damage each round. He also has a heal ability and can destroy enemy AP while feeding his own crimson thirst and [creating] more red tiles. Overall, he’s a great support character and a fun blood red AP hungry hero, perfect for the Halloween season!

Marvel.com: Do the designers look to the comics for new character iteration abilities? Do things that happen in say modern Blade comics influence what abilities you give him in-game?

Josh Austin: The designers pour over all the different variations of a character. We discussed the different eras and versions of Blade and sometimes the inspiration like in this instance can come to a really great image of a comic cover that inspires the look. The powers come from that era of the character, but it can really depend on what feels right for the hero/villain. Ultimately, it’s finding powers/abilities per that particular character that fits within the world of “MPQ” and making the character feel unique that’s really important to us.

Marvel.com: Alright let’s get our fangs dirty, what can Blade (Modern) do?

Josh Austin: Blade (Modern)’s first power is The Hunger, a Passive ability which means it costs 0 AP! Blade resists his thirst for blood. If there are 10 or more red tiles on the board, Blade steels his resolve and converts a random basic tile to a strength 37 Strike tile at the beginning of the turn. When Blade’s team reaches nine or more Red AP, this power transforms into The Bloodlust.

The Bloodlust is also a Passive ability. Blade can no longer resist his thirst for blood. Every turn, Blade consumes one red AP and deals 380 damage to a random enemy. When Blade’s team falls below seven red AP, this power transforms back into The Hunger.

Blade’s second power is called Tools of the Trade and costs nine green AP. Guns, blades, and fangs, Blade never leaves home without his tools. Blade attacks with his arsenal, dealing 315 damage to the enemy team. If Blade’s team has seven or more red AP, Blade uses his fangs in the attack, healing himself for 241 health.

Blade’s third power is called Supernatural Sense and costs 11 black AP. Blade can sense the supernatural, and he doesn’t much care for it. Blade destroys four AP from the enemy team’s strongest color. If Blade’s team has seven or more red AP, Blade also creates two red tiles.

Marvel.com: How are you guys building him cover-wise and who does he work well with?

Josh Austin: The build that works best for my play style is 5/3/5 to maximize on his red AP management. The last ability I’d use if I got enough black to feed into the first ability with the red tile creation.

Blade (Modern) is hungry for red AP and because of this, he works well with anyone that generates red AP. Jean Grey (Phoenix)’s Psychic Rapport, Magneto (Marvel NOW)’s Polarity Shift, Cyclops (Uncanny)’s Mutant Revolution as you pointed out above work. Other team-ups have included Kamala Khan with her Bring Out the Best ability and Wasp’s Tactical Intuition/That Buzzing Sound ability helps round out a Blade (Modern) team.

Marvel.com: And when do we get to play him?

Josh Austin: Blade is available starting on October 20 and will be earnable in The Hunt and then again in the Venom: Heroic Vault on October 24. Blade’s very own PVP event will kick-off on October 27. And finally, he will be available once more in a special Halloween Limited Vault starting on October 28.

Marvel.com: Lastly I heard “Marvel Puzzle Quest” is changing the naming structure for Seasons?

Josh Austin: Yes, each season in “Marvel Puzzle Quest” has been numbered off—in large Roman numerals—and to be honest, with its growth, the increased number feels a bit intimidating. So we are introducing a new way of naming seasons with Infinity Gems and a specific gem name will be the name of a particular season. The power gems and season are as follows: Green Soul, Purple Space, Yellow Reality, Orange Time, Red Power and Blue Mind. The first season gem will be the Red infinity gem for Power Season, starting in the evening of Thursday, October 20!

Sink your teeth into the new Blade here and stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Marvel Puzzle Quest” news and interviews.

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The blockbuster Marvel puzzle game commemorates its third birthday with Gwenpool and more!

“Marvel Puzzle Quest” celebrates three years of optic blasting, sonic screaming, and wasp stinging with a birthday celebration like no other.

The good people at D3 Go! and Demiurge have got new events, Iso rewards, a little character balancing, and more, and D3 Go! Producer Josh Austin and Demiurge Associate Producer Anthony Novak teamed-up to give us the lowdown on all the birthday fun!

Marvel.com: First off, congratulations and happy birthday! How does it feel turning three?

Josh Austin: While it’s my first, it’s really exciting to be a part of the “Marvel Puzzle Quest” crew—many [of who] have been here all [three years]—and work on such a great game that has so many diehard fans. To see people come up to us at various events with their daily reward day totals in the 1000’s is such a great feeling!

Marvel.com: When you take a look back at the last three years, what characters or features or events really stand out?

Josh Austin: I’m a little too new but since I’ve been on, I have been excited about the addition of Championing characters and the S.H.I.E.L.D. Ranks and Clearance Levels. This is a great step to allow players to play the game in fresh new ways and to earn rewards that are better for players at all stages of their development.

Anthony Novak: Hey! This is my second Anniversary. To me, the biggest thing that has happened to the game is Boss events. Boss events have become a big thing for my Alliance and are so much fun every time they come around. I got really into the game with the first Boss Event, Avengers vs. Ultron. I still can’t believe we got Howard the Duck in the game—[drawn] by the Joe Quinones no less!

Marvel.com: Now let’s talk about the celebration you guys are throwing! I heard the team is planning some smaller scale stuff along with a whole new mode?

Josh Austin: Devil Dino will be getting a revamp to make him a bit more devastating. Anniversary time is always Devil Dino time, and this year he’ll be doing a whole lot more damage, biting chunks out of the board, and his tiny arms will be doing more than just swapping tiles.

Not only will there be an Anniversary sale, but the Anniversary also has a vault packed full of 4-Star characters, Legendary Tokens, tons of Devil Dino covers, a jackpot of Hero Points, and Iso-8 rewards. Every player gets one free token for this vault and there are plenty of tokens to be found in the Anniversary Versus Season and in event rewards, in addition to the normal Event tokens. Also, all event rewards will have double Iso-8 during the Anniversary; how cool is that!

And the secret character you’ve seen in the loading screen—yes, it’s Gwenpool—is coming out on Thursday, October 6!

Anthony Novak: The new event being introduced this Anniversary is Boss Rush. This is just like the other Boss events but this one has a couple of cool new twists. First, the Boss mission is a wave mission where each wave has a different boss. The bosses are either an existing boss—Ultron, Galactus, etc—or an adapted version of existing characters with newly designed abilities—Cosmic Force Phoenix, Herald of Galactus Silver Surfer, Wolverine Unleashed, etc.

Second, players get to compete against their Alliance mates and other Alliances for additional rewards. Have you ever been that person that’s helping your team across the finish line in boss events? Now you’ll get rewarded for your efforts!

Marvel.com: Boss Rush sounds absolutely brutal, especially since we’ll be taking on giant bosses and 5-Star characters. Any tips on making it through the gauntlet?

Anthony Novak: Make sure you bring you’re a-team! You also need to be a little crafty. These events have always been as fun for me to see what interesting teams the community finds to overtake the bosses. Hulk became the best ally you could have in Galactus battles since he’s constantly turning all the tiles green when he’s taking damage. Characters like Steve Rogers [are] always great for removing Ultron Bombs with his shield powers. How are we going to take down three bosses though?

I think your best chances lie with characters like Iron Man (Hulkbusters), Thor (Goddess of Thunder), Cyclops (Uncanny X-Men), and Steve Rogers (Super Soldier) as these are characters that do a whole lot of damage when they get going. I can’t wait to see what people find though!

Marvel.com: And you guys have a ton of stuff coming out for Player vs. Player fun right?

Josh Austin: The Anniversary starts on October 6 with a PVE event and the first PVP event starts later that day and debuts a new Versus Mode called Best Friends Forever featuring pairs of super-friends taking each other on. Notable Marvel best friends will be buffed similar to how couples were buffed for the Valentine’s Day Versus Event earlier this year. There will be a Devil Dino event on October 9, a Class of 2016 event on October 11, and [it] ends with a new Gwenpool PVP on October 13.

Marvel.com: Honestly there’s a ton here to digest. What do you think is the most important and fun stuff for players hitting for the Anniversary?

Josh Austin: Since there is so much going on, it really depends on the player. For me, I’m more of a Story events type of player where I can focus on building up my 4-Star roster with the Anniversary vault.

Boss Rush is going to be a ton of fun and I can’t wait to see what players think. We worked really hard to make sure the rewards and activities make players at any roster level happy. We are delighted that so many people have been playing for three years now and that they enjoy playing as much as we continue making this amazing game. Thank you!

Enjoy three years of “Marvel Puzzle Quest” fun here and stay tuned to Marvel.com for more news and interviews.

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The one-time Power Man amps up with a fancy new look!

One of the original bash brothers makes his second appearance in “Marvel Puzzle Quest.” D3 Go! Producer Josh Austin dropped by to talk about the new 4 star Luke Cage and all his new defensive capabilities!

Marvel.com: Luke Cage is one of my favorite characters in “Puzzle Quest.” He fits into almost any team comp just for his passive defense tile generation. Why’d he need an upgrade?

Josh Austin: With the excitement of the upcoming “Marvel’s Luke Cage” series [on Netflix], the addition of a new and stronger Luke Cage is an awesome way to celebrate the show and this 4 star variation brings a ton more defensive options to the table! What makes this ability even better is that he creates a defense tile each time the enemy uses a power and it doesn’t stop if the board already contains one friendly defense tile. The 4 star Luke Cage (Power Man) focuses more on defense against powers, dealing damage if the enemy doesn’t have any special tiles and strengthening special tiles. Maybe someday we can update Iron Fist too…

Marvel.com: The first iteration of Luke Cage is all about team fighting, keeping his friends alive and hitting harder when they’re around. What qualities did the team focus on with the 4 star Power Man?

Josh Austin: The new 4 star Luke Cage benefits most when the player uses teammates that create special tiles and/or if paired with characters that remove special tiles. His yellow for 8 AP will fortify a special tile and deal damage for each fortified friendly special tile on the board. This will come in handy for the player if they choose to use a hero that has a special ability that the player wants to keep on the board as long as possible. Also, whenever the enemy fires off a power, Luke Cage defends and creates a Black strength Protect tile.

Marvel.com: All right, hit us with his kit.

Josh Austin: Luke’s first ability is called Hero for Hire and costs 8 Yellow AP. Luke Cage is always ready to stand up for the little guy! He fortifies up to one friendly special tile, [and] then deals 472 damage for each Fortified friendly special tile on the board. If Iron Fist is an active ally, [Luke] creates a strength 43 Protect tile first.

His second ability is called The Defender and it’s a passive ability that costs 0 Black AP. Luke’s unbreakable skin deflects incoming attacks, bolstering his team’s defense. Whenever an enemy fires a power, creates a Black strength 44 Protect tile. If Luke is in front, he reduces a random enemy special tile by 37 (to a minimum of 1).

His third ability is called Buncha Fiddle-Faddle and it’s the most expensive at 13 Red AP. Luke doesn’t have time for all this nonsense. Give these knick-knack-paddy-whacks the what for! Deals 1076 damage, or 1721 damage if there are no enemy Strike, Protect, or Attack tiles on the board.

Marvel.com: How is he most effective? What covers are you guys building on him?

Josh Austin: For me I choose 5/5/3 while testing him out to take advantage of his defensive abilities. You can also build him 5/3/5 which does the most damage if you pair him with special tile creators like Punisher, Nova, Ant-Man, Carnage, and Sam Wilson (Captain America). He goes well with Old Man Logan or Phoenix as well since they make a lot of Strike Tiles. Or there is 3/5/5 if you pair him with opposing special tile removal characters like Spider-Woman, Ant-Man, Howard the Duck, and/or Jean Grey.

Marvel.com: Any particular teammates that work well with Luke? Does he still have serious synergy with Iron Fist?

Josh Austin: My team up when testing Luke Cage was Jessica Jones and Iron Fist. Iron Fist has his passive Exquisite Technique that brings out a green attack tile along with the bonus for Luke’s Hero for Hire ability, and then you have Jessica’s Seeking Redemption coupled with Luke’s The Defender and Heroes for Hire which will have a ton of defense and damage dodging going on.

Iron Fist and Punisher make a good team with Luke Cage (Power Man) because of Danny’s natural synergy with Luke and gives black tiles to Punisher and gives this team the complete rainbow of AP.

Marvel.com: Anything else we need to know about Luke before he drops?

Josh Austin: Luke Cage is available starting on September 22 and can be earned in the Rocket and Groot event that will begin on the same date.

Hit the streets with Luke Cage (Power Man) in “Marvel Puzzle Quest” soon and stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Puzzle Quest” news and interviews.

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The supreme Soviet spy gets beefed up with extra power and skills!

Striking from the shadows, Black Widow takes out high priority targets while the Avengers steamroll the enemy front line! D3 Go! Producer Josh Austin dropped by tell us all about the new Natasha and what she brings to “Marvel Puzzle Quest.”

Marvel.com: Black Widow has 1, 2, and 3 star variations already, why are you guys skipping right up to a 5 star? We need a 4 star! Think of the completists!

Josh Austin: The [“Captain America: Civil War”] movie brought us a 5 star Iron Man and a 5 star Captain America to the world of “Marvel Puzzle Quest.” The perfect complement to these characters is a 5 star Black Widow (Natasha Romanoff). She’s an important fighting force on the Avengers, and adding a Marvel Cinematic Universe variation of Black Widow to the game was an exciting opportunity to help build from the big screen. But for now, who knows, maybe there will be a 4 star variation in the future. For right now, this variation fits the theme, just in time for the Digital HD release of the movie.

Marvel.com: What makes Black Widow (Natasha Romanoff) different than the other versions of the deadly assassin? What inspired this Natasha?

Josh Austin: Black Widow’s abilities focus on the awesome movie moments that brought her more supportive characteristics out. She is able to sabotage enemy plans, take out enemies by targeting their weakness, and when one of her teammates is stunned, she stuns back.

Marvel.com: Is it difficult designing new kits for existing characters and making them feel totally unique?

Josh Austin: With basically the Marvel Universe available for the creative team to choose from, there are lots of characters and variations that can be chosen. Even as we speak, we get word of new possibilities through all the different Marvel happenings that we could include on some of our favorite characters. So there is definitely no shortage of possibilities to choose from. With the various star differences, we can play with these variations a bit more, so for a 5 star variation we can showcase some more of the destructive abilities that allows us to push the character even further.

Marvel.com: Tell us a little about this new Natasha’s kit. What does she do differently than her other variations?

Josh Austin: Natasha’s first ability, Tell Me Everything costs 12 Purple AP. Black Widow finds the enemy’s secrets and dismantles their carefully laid plans. She deals 557 damage and removes up to 3 random enemy Strike, Protect or Countdown tiles. This costs 1 AP less for each enemy Countdown tile on the board (minimum cost of 7 AP).

Her second ability, Acrobatic Takedown, costs 12 Red AP. Black Widow turns her enemy’s strength against them and strikes. It deals 2787 damage and if the enemy has at least 12 AP in any color, it deals an additional 1505 damage. If this downs an enemy, it also destroys 4 enemy AP in a random color.

Her last ability is called Red in My Ledger for 10 Black AP. Black Widow pays her debts. Deals 2090 damage. If any allies are below 20% health, drain 2 random enemy AP and deals an extra 1588 damage. It also comes packed with a passive! Whenever one of Black Widow’s allies is stunned, she stuns a random enemy for one turn.

Marvel.com: I’m guessing we can’t team her up with her other selves. That’d probably be a little crazy, but who benefits from her abilities? What kind of synergies does she have with the rest of the cast?

Josh Austin: Natasha is a great support character, so really the best team-up would be with anyone that hits hard and can generate Black AP. In my opinion I’d focus on a 5/3/5 to get the most out of Tell Me Everything, if you can get it down to 7 it hits hard for very little AP, then her third ability can hopefully get you out of situations by stealing AP from the enemy.

I’m also a big fan of stunning an enemy that stunned someone on my team. Her Tell Me Everything ability will really destroy the opponents plans when using Green Goblin’s Trick or Treat, Steve Rogers’ (First Avenger’s Earth’s Mightiest Heroes), Iron Man (Mark XLVI)’s House Party Protocol and the like which creates a lot of countdown tiles, bringing the cost down of her ability, dealing 10,752 damage for 7 AP if there are 5 Countdown tiles and removing a number of special tiles.

Marvel.com: When do we get to recruit her for ourselves?

Josh Austin: Starting tomorrow on September 1, the 5 star Black Widow will be available in a special Civil War Legendary pack called the Black Room Pack. This pack gives the player a 10% chance to get one of her covers. Players can earn these packs from performing well in the event or additional packs can be purchased with 25 Command Points. 

Take Natasha into battle soon and stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Marvel Puzzle Quest” news and interviews.

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