This Asgardian warrior brings her sword skills to the hit mobile game this week!

Not enough awesome Asgardians in your roster yet? Well, the Hela-fighting heroine from Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Ragnarok,” Valkyrie, slashes her way into “Marvel Puzzle Quest” this week. Armed with a keen blade and some serious attitude, she’ll make mincemeat of her foes in no time. D3 Go! Senior Producer Josh Austin was kind enough to break down the vicious Valkyrie, so if you need more info, look no further!

Marvel.com: Valkyrie’s just a tad late to the “Ragnarok” party but I’m glad she finally gets to show off her sword skills in game. I imagine the team’s excited too!

Josh Austin: We are definitely excited to bring Valkyrie (Asgardian Warrior) into Marvel Puzzle Quest as our latest 4-Star character.  The Marvel movies keep getting better and “Thor: Ragnarok” has a plethora of great characters!  The team has wanted to bring in Valkyrie for a while, so they were happy to finally bring her out and right now is a good time with the home entertainment release of “Ragnarok.”

Marvel.com: We already have a super bad lady sword-slinger in Gamora, what’d you all do to make sure Valkyrie feels different from the green-skinned Guardian?

Josh Austin: Gamora is definitely a tough assassin, but she’s focused on destroying her target and moving to the next.  But Valkyrie actually has an attack that will move to the next target if the first target dies during her onslaught!  Valkyrie also deals extra damage if the enemy team doesn’t have AP, so teaming her up with AP stealers is a different strategy than pairing Gamora with people that help gain control over purple tiles.

Marvel.com: Actually lets dig into her kit. How does Valkyrie bring the pain?

Josh Austin: Her first power is called Dragonfang Fury and it costs 11 Red AP.  The ability will deal damage 3 consecutive times or 5 times at power level 5.  If this ability downs an enemy, remaining attacks will continue to the next enemy.  Each individual attack can be modified by Friendly Strike tiles.

Her second attack is called Bounty Hunter and it’s a Black Passive power.  For this ability, she creates a Black Countdown tile that targets a random enemy.  If that enemy is downed or takes a certain amount of damage before the Countdown tile expires, this tile is removed and the player gets 4 AP in their strongest color while destroying 4 AP in the enemy’s strongest color.

Her last Power is called The Best Defense… and it’s a passive Yellow ability.  For this power, she protects her allies from evil by fighting back even harder.  Whenever an ally takes a specific amount of damage, create Yellow Strike tiles.  As long as the enemy has less then 8 AP in a color, friendly matches in that color deal extra damage.

Marvel.com: I love The Best Defense… ability! Quick clarification, if an enemy were to use a team strike ability, say Khamala Khan’s Embiggened Bash, would Valkyrie create 4 Strike Tiles? 

Josh Austin: That’s correct!  Her The Best Defense… ability will fire twice and create 4 Strike Tiles if both her teammates are hit at the same time. If you’re expecting some heavy team damage from the enemy, Valkyrie’s an awesome pick to make the most of a bad situation.

Marvel.com: And who does she fight best with? What kind of teams should we be picking her into?

Josh Austin: Valkyrie is strong with characters that create Strike tiles like Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers), Blade (Modern), Punisher (Max) and Iron Fist (Danny Rand).

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

Josh Austin: Valkyrie is available this Thursday, March 22, and she will have a “S.H.I.E.L.D. Training Event” between March 22 and 29.  Her store will be called “Valkyrie & Friends” between March 22 and 30.  Her release debut is the Simulator that runs from March 22 and 26.  Her featured event is “Thick as Thieves” that runs between March 25 and 30.  And finally her Versus Tournament titled “Scrapper 142” starts on March 25 and ends March 28.

Pick up Valkyrie here and stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Marvel Puzzle Quest” news and interviews.

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The Power Woman brings her tough exterior to the hit mobile game!

In celebration of the Season 2 release of “Marvel’s Jessica Jones,” now streaming exclusively on Netflix, a brand new 5-star Jessica Jones is on the case in “Marvel Puzzle Quest” starting today! D3 Go! Producer Josh Austin dropped by to give us the lowdown on Jessica Jones and her incredible strength.

Marvel.com: It’s International Women’s Day and Jessica returns for the second season of “Marvel’s Jessica Jones” on Netflix. It’s natural we’d see the Power Woman make her way to “Marvel Puzzle Quest.”

Josh Austin: The entire team are big fans of the show on Netflix, so it’s super cool to bring her to the game as the newest 5-star character in time for her Season 2 return! She’s known for being tough and irritable on her Netflix show, but definitely someone you do not want to cross or mess with as she will quickly show you the error of your ways!

She will be featured in a limited Jessica Jones event that the player can earn tokens for between March 8 – 12 in the Avengers vs. Ultron event. Our friends at Marvel Insider have made things a little sweeter by offering 30,000 Insider Points for anyone that scores 500,000 or more points in the Avengers vs. Ultron event. Visit Marvel Insider for more details.

Marvel.com: What does a 5-star Jessica Jones bring to the table?

Josh Austin: Jessica Jones was designed like her show counterpart, she is a no-funny business character. Each of her powers deal damage or helps you deal even greater damage. She isn’t someone who will try and help or make things cozy, instead she will slam her door hard even if it means replacing her window again-and-again or take pictures to find and exploit weaknesses, then body-check you. Don’t try and make her smile, she hates that.

Marvel.com: Jessica isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty and get up in your face. How does her abilities in “Puzzle Quest” reflect that?

Josh Austin: Her first ability is called Defenestrate and it costs 9 Red AP. This power deals 11,331 damage at level 450 and power level 5. This power also creates 5 random Green, Yellow or Purple Strike tiles of strength 373.

Her second ability is called Body Check and it costs 11 Black AP. For this ability at level 450 and power level 5 she deals 15,764 damage plus 2,626 damage for each color of each friendly special tile on the board.

Her last ability is called Damning Evidence and is a Passive Blue AP ability. At level 450 and power level 5, Jessica gets the dirt on enemies with her camera which means at the start of the players turn, create a Red, Black or Blue enemy trap tile if fewer than 4 exist. When you match one, gain 3 AP in strongest color and deal 10, 123 damage. At the start of your turn, if you have at least 6 Blue AP, Jessica gets a lead on her subject, briefly revealing enemy Trap tiles.

Marvel.com: While Jessica often prefers to work along, what teammates would she work best with in-game?

Josh Austin: Jessica is strong with allies that create special tiles across different colors like Agent Coulson, Blade (Modern), Carnage, Gamora (Awesome Mix Vol. 2), Rocket and Groot (Awesome Mix Vol. 2) and more. She is also strong against enemies that creates trap tiles.

Take out the bad guys with Jessica Jones by downloading “Marvel Puzzle Quest” here and stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Marvel Puzzle Quest” news and interviews.

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Channel brilliant Wakandan royalty in the hit mobile game!

Seen Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” in theaters yet? If not, what are you waiting for? Otherwise you’ll miss out on all the cool science shenanigans T’Challa’s brainiac sister Shuri pulls off, and the fine folks at D3 Go! translated into “Marvel Puzzle Quest.” We talked to Senior Producer Josh Austin to understand just what Shuri’s capable of.

Marvel.com: There are quite a few characters the team could have chosen to translate from Black Panther comics to “Marvel Puzzle Quest.” Why was Shuri the right woman for the job?

Josh Austin: Shuri is such a fun and awesome character in the “Black Panther” movie that the team really wanted to see her in Marvel Puzzle Quest. Shuri (Master Engineer) makes a great addition as the newest 4-star and because she has mastered the use of Vibranium, the team decided to make her the master of manipulating Fortified tiles in ways that we haven’t seen yet!

Marvel.com: Shuri has had a few different power sets in her life, from enhanced strength and senses as the Black Panther to mystic abilities in the current storyline, to her movie. What did the team focus on for the game?

Josh Austin: Shuri (Master Engineer) was inspired by the Black Panther movie with how she creates and enhances tech that the Wakandans use to make them better. In the game, this translates to her being the master of Fortified tiles. She can lower the cost of powers for the friendly team while increasing the power cost for enemies, stun enemies and deal additional damage by using fortified tiles on the board.

Marvel.com: Ok tell us about Shuri’s kit. What can she do?

Josh Austin: Her first ability is called Vibranium Tech which is a passive Blue Power. For this ability she uses the Fortified tiles on the board to increase the cost of AP for their powers while lowering the cost of friendly powers. At power level 5 level 270, this means 5 Fortified tiles on the board will cause enemy powers to cost 3 AP more, while friendly powers will cost 3 AP less to a minimum of 3.

Her next power uses the Twin Blasters seen in “Black Panther.” This power costs 11 Green AP to deal damage and destroy random tiles. If the destroyed tiles contain a Fortified tile, the enemy is stunned for a few turns, destroyed tiles deal damage but do not generate AP.

Her last power is called Vibranium Virtuoso and it costs 8 Red AP. For this power, Shuri fortifies friendly special or basic tiles and removes a random enemy Fortified special tile. Whenever the player matches a Fortified tile, this power passively deals additional damage.

Marvel.com: Wow Shuri is really focused on making the most of Fortified tiles. Was that just so she’d synegize with her brother, or was the team looking to explore more Fortified tile strategies?

Josh Austin: Anyone, in addition to her brother (Black Panther – King of Wakanda) that makes Fortified tiles will be a good fit for Shuri.  This includes Green Goblin, Hawkeye (Clint Barton), Luke Cage (Power Man), and Iron Fist (Danny Rand).

Marvel.com: How would you build her? I feel like her covers might really depend on who your teammates are. Except for Vibranium Tech. That’s always gotta be maxed out right?

Josh Austin: I would go for 5/3/5 to use her two support abilities.  Her blasters are really cool, but I would like to get the benefits of the lowering and raising of AP and that last power can also help with Fortified tile creation.

Marvel.com: When do we get to play her?

Josh Austin: Shuri (Master Engineer) will be released on February 22 and she will have a Shuri and Friends store that will be available between February 25 and March 2.  In her debut event, Shuri has come to the aid of her brother to defend Wakanda in the Fight for Wakanda event. The event runs between February 22 and 27 and has been tweaked a bit from the first run of the event to improve play.

She will also have a S.H.I.E.L.D. Training Event between February 22 and March 1 and will be featured in the Prodigal Sun event running between February 26 and March 2. Her Versus Tournament is called Mother of Invention and runs between February 25 and 28.

Pick up Shuri here and stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Marvel Contest of Champions” news and interviews.

Interested in learning more about Shuri, take a look at the video below:

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Get some vengeance in the hit mobile game!

Robbie Reyes might be new to the whole Ghost Rider thing, but that doesn’t stop him from dishing out righteous punishment to the deserving criminals that cross his path. Equipped with his trusty Hell Charger and the Ghost Rider’s iconic chains, Robbie’s set to take “Marvel Puzzle Quest” by storm. We caught up with D3 Go! Senior Producer Josh Austin about the newest Ghost Rider and his fiery abilities.

Marvel.com: Robbie Reyes’ Ghost Rider has been exciting fans ever since he peeled onto the scene a few years ago. What specifically made the team so eager to add him to the roster?

Josh Austin: We’ve wanted to make a stronger Ghost Rider for some time and Robbie Reyes will be a great addition to “Marvel Puzzle Quest” as our latest 5-Star! His art looks great and the Spirit of Vengeance’s abilities were just begging to get upgraded to a 5-Star power level.

Marvel.com: Johnny Blaze is all about covering the board in hellfire and building up to that big damage Penance Stare; what will Robbie’s attack plan be?

Josh Austin: This version of Ghost Rider focuses on creating multiple tiles that deal damage and generate AP. Robbie Reyes also punishes characters who make matches or have dealt the most damage to his team. His 5-Star abilities make him a great hero to have on your team to help bring down a character that the enemy team is relying on to do tons of damage!

Marvel.com: Let’s talk about his abilities. How does Robbie make the bad guys regret their evil deeds?

Josh Austin: Robbie Reyes’ first ability, Hell Ride, costs 9 Green AP. Robbie’s muscle car revs its engines and creates Repeater tiles that, every turn, destroy 3 surrounding Red, Green, or Black tiles. These destroyed tiles give AP and deal more damage depending on the level of the power.

Robbie’s second ability, Chain Whip, costs 7 Red AP. This is a cool looking ability that focuses on his Chain Whips that will stun the enemy and creates a Red Countdown tile that also deals damage to the targeted enemy when they make a match. While that tile is on the board, this power becomes Judgment Day. Judgment Day removes the Chain Whip Countdown tile for 7 Red AP and deals more damage to the targeted enemy, reverting this power to Chain Whip.

His last power is called Damnation. For 10 Black AP this ability focuses on the enemy with the most evil heart and drags them to the Underworld to atone for their sins. This ability does some hefty damage on its own, but will do even more if the target is the enemy that has done the most damage on the enemy team.

Marvel.com: Judgment Day sounds like a dastardly weapon you can use to target specific problematic enemies—maybe a really over-leveled opponent in PvP?

Josh Austin: That’s right! Robbie punishes opponents that do the most damage on the enemy team. He’s a good teammate to try and turn the tide of the battle by swapping to the enemy that’s causing you the most grief.

Marvel.com: What kind of covers are we looking at for Robbie? Right now I’m thinking 3/5/5, just so we can do maximum damage with Judgment Day and Damnation.

Josh Austin: That’s a good choice, focus on the powers that punish an enemy, but 5/3/5 is also a great choice to have his first power generate Red, Green, and Black AP for a team composed of characters that can benefit from this AP generation.

Marvel.com: And his teammates? Are there any particularly good backseat drivers for Robbie?

Josh Austin: He works well with characters that are built around closing off options from the enemy team. Characters like Doctor Strange (Sorcerer Supreme) and his Flames of the Faltine makes the enemy afraid to activate powers. Using Peggy Carter’s Do as Peggy Says can force a targeted enemy to make matches by stunning the other non-target enemies. Yondu’s Yaka Assault can follow-up with Ghost Rider’s assault by focusing on the character with the least amount of health.

Marvel.com: So when do we get a chance to pick Robbie Reyes up?!

Josh Austin: Ghost Rider (Robbie Reyes) 5-Star is available January 25! His debut event will be Galactus Hungers that runs from January 25–29, and players can earn tokens to the Engines of Vengeance cover store from the event. Both his limited Vault and special Legendary Store starts on January 25 and runs until January 30.

Go for a ride with Robbie Reyes here and keep an eye on Marvel.com and @MarvelGames for more “Marvel Puzzle Quest” news and interviews.

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The Hunter is here to play the game!

From the wilds of Africa to the concrete jungle of New York City, Kraven will go to any lengths to get his ultimate trophy. Now Kraven stalks through “Marvel Puzzle Quest,” keen hunter’s mind and devious traps at the ready, prepared to take down any foe. We talked to D3 Go! Senior Producer Josh Austin about Sergei Kravinoff’s introduction and what makes him unique amongst the game’s ever-growing roster.

Marvel.com: Kraven is gonna have a great time hunting spiders in “Marvel Puzzle Quest” – he has so many options! What does Kraven bring to the “MPQ” table that he just needed to be in the game?

Josh Austin: Players like a bit of variety and often request Super Villains in “Puzzle Quest” so this was our chance to bring a new baddy into the game! Kraven the Hunter (Sergie Kravinoff) is a 4-Star character that was designed to utilize what makes him a unique foe for not only Spider-Man but also Squirrel Girl!

Marvel.com: First and foremost Sergei Kravinoff is a big game hunter, but his definition of big game could mean super heroes or lions depending on the day. How did the team integrate his hunter roots into his playstyle?

Josh Austin: The team really tried to focus on his most memorable traits, including rage when his ego takes a hit, studying his prey’s strengths to use against them, and his ingenious use of traps to bring his targets down.

Marvel.com: Ok give us the skinny on all his abilities? How will Kraven be taking it to his opponents?

Josh Austin: Kraven’s first ability is called Wounded Pride and costs 10 Black AP. For this ability, Kraven creates a Black Countdown tile that destroys AP in the enemy and ally teams’ strongest colors and deals damage for each point of AP destroyed.

Kraven’s second ability, Think like the Enemy, is a Purple Passive. At the beginning of the turn, if there are at least three enemy special tiles on the board, Kraven reduces their strength and deals damage.

The consummate hunter’s last ability, Most Dangerous game, costs 10 Blue AP. Kraven places trap tiles on the board that steal AP of a random color from the enemy team each turn. If the tile is matched away, a few basic tiles will convert to the team’s strongest color and Kraven will deal damage to a targeted enemy.

Marvel.com: It seems like Kraven’s main strength is in strategically destroying the enemy’s AP, while also making enemy matches really unfavorable, is that fair to say?

Josh Austin: Right! Kraven was designed to stalk, weaken, and destroy the enemy by slowly building up ways to remove their AP and dealing damage in the process.

Marvel.com: I’m already thinking about teaming him up with Peggy Carter and using Legendary Presence, in combination with Kraven’s Most Dangerous Game to make it super difficult for the opponent to use any powers. Who does he work well with?

Josh Austin: Peggy’s a great teammate to have at his side! Kraven also works great with characters that create enemy Special tiles, say Carnage for example, because Kraven will reduce their strength and deal damage to the enemy.

Marvel.com: And is there a specific cover build you have been using?

Josh Austin: For me I’m a fan of 3/5/5 to have less in the power that destroys my AP, it’s pretty tough if you have enough AP in it and can add the both teams AP destroyed to the attack. I like the idea of using someone that creates enemy tiles and utilizing them against the enemy, especially if they are creating strike tiles as well.

Marvel.com: When do we get to take Kraven on the hunt?

Josh Austin: Kraven is available starting on Thursday, January 11 and will be playable/earnable in the S.H.I.E.L.D. Training event that starts that same day, which rewards tokens to Hearts of Darkness that has a Kraven cover and more.

Kraven’s debut event is Hearts of Darkness that also starts on January 11 and he will be available as placement rewards. The Kraven & Friends Vault opens January 14 and features Kraven along with many different rewards in an 80 item Vault. Special Kraven Damage Power Ups can be earned in Hearts of Darkness, S.H.I.E.L.D. Training, and a Webbed Wonder event. The Webbed Wonder event starts on January 15 with Kraven as a progression reward along with token rewards for the Kraven & Friends Vault. Finally, Kraven’s featured tournament is called Constant Kraven which starts on January 14 and he will be a progression reward and will also reward tokens for the Kraven & Friends Vault.

Help Kraven track his prey here and stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Marvel Puzzle Quest” news and interviews.

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Ms. Chavez prepares to bust a star-shaped hole in the hit mobile game!

America Chavez makes her way to “Marvel Puzzle Quest” soon, fists flying and sass on point. Curious about the reality-hopping hero and her powers in “MPQ”? Well we had a little chat with D3 Go! Senior Producer Josh Austin to figure out just what America’s capable of, and it turns out she’s crazy unique! Read on for the breakdown folks.

Marvel.com: America’s been kicking bad guy butt for a while in the comics, but why is now the right time for her to join the “Marvel Puzzle Quest” crew?

Josh Austin: America Chavez is a strong Super Hero, and makes an excellent [choice] as the newest 4-star character in “Marvel Puzzle Quest.” Her kick butt abilities are a good fit in the roster and it was fun to create a character that focuses on collecting/storing AP to deal damage rather than the usual collecting and spending AP.

Marvel.com: America has a bunch of abilities, from super strength and speed to creating portals to different realities. What did the team want to focus on when designing her in-game powers?

Josh Austin: The designers wanted to incorporate her unique abilities and did so in an interesting, all passive, way. She’s a character that the player won’t have to activate her powers, as they automatically trigger based on certain conditions.

Marvel.com: And what can she do in the game?

Josh Austin: Her first ability is called Punch Everyone and it’s a Red Passive. For this ability America’s match damage is increased for each AP she has in that color.

Her second ability, Ticket to the Multiverse, is a Yellow Passive. Every time the player matches four or greater, trap tiles are created in that color. If the player has three different colored trap tiles, they are removed, deal damage and generate AP in that color.

Her last ability is called Fear Not, Mi Gente! and it’s a Green Passive. At the start of the turn, she creates a Critical tile if the player has more AP than the enemy in at least four colors. If the player has more AP in at least five colors she does damage as well.

Marvel.com: Am I reading that right, she has three passives? What was the thinking behind that?

Josh Austin: We are doing something different, making a character that the player can utilize, while focusing on a different character’s abilities. She’s going to be pretty tough with that ability to do extra damage for stored AP. I can’t wait to see what the players will do with that! Since she’s mostly focused on collecting AP, it makes sense to have her abilities not focus on spending AP.

Marvel.com: Because she won’t be spending any AP, who exactly do we want her teaming up with? People who create critical tiles maybe?

Josh Austin: She’s strong with characters that gain AP, so Gambit’s Stacked Deck, Vulture’s Circling Prey, and Miles Morales’ Power & Responsibility help gather AP for her abilities. Picking characters that do not overlap with her powers also helps so she can collect AP in colors she uses. Characters like Kate Bishop and Mordo will work, as their colors do not overlap with America, but Kate Bishop can use the Critical tiles from Fear Not, Mi Gente! with her 4.5x damage multiplier from Critical Tiles. Characters with low AP costs also help like Hawkeye (Clint Barton) to be used cheaply and effectively provide support without taking too much AP away from America.

Marvel.com: And when do we get to try her out for ourselves?

Josh Austin: America Chavez will be available on December 24. She will be featured in a S.H.I.E.L.D. Training event running between December 24 and 31. America & Friends is a Vault that will run between December 28 and January 6 with a chance to get her. America Chavez’s release debut will be in the Venom Bomb event running between December 24 and 31.

America will also be featured in the Enemy of the State event running between December 28 and January 5. Her Versus Tournament will be Stars and Strikes that runs from December 28 through January 1. S.H.I.E.L.D. Training, Enemy of the State, and Stars and Strikes will all have Reward Tokens for the America & Friends Vault.

Lastly, we would like to announce Snowball Fight, which is a fun Versus Tournament that starts tomorrow on December 21, where the player joins forces with Star Lord (Peter Quill), Captain America (Steve Rogers) and Cyclops (Uncanny) as they fling snow in the toughest fight of the year! The player has three missions where they must choose a specific character from a family. There is a Snowball hazard tile that destroys a block of tiles to add to the fun and it features some of my favorite art for an event so far. Happy Holidays everyone!

Have fun with “MPQ” holiday shenanigans here and stay tuned to Marvel.com and @MarvelGames on Twitter for more “Marvel Puzzle Quest” news and interviews.

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Two mutant birds of prey swoop down to join the Marvel mobile action!

Take to the skies with the greatest of ease and fillet your enemies with razor sharp feathers and cosmic fire as both Archangel and Angel dive into “Marvel Puzzle Quest” this week. We talked to D3 Go! Senior Producer Josh Austin about Warren Worthington III, his alter egos, and everything they bring to the MPQ table, not to mention we got a sneak peek at all the holiday fun they have lined up for players. Read on to learn more!

Marvel.com: Are we sure Scarlet Witch didn’t say “Lots more mutants”? I’m super excited to see the final member of the original X-Men lineup making it into the game. That’s gotta feel good for the team.

Josh Austin: Not only for the team, but also the fans of “Marvel Puzzle Quest”! It’s great to be able to finally bring so many sought after characters, and we aren’t done yet.

Marvel.com: Warren’s getting two different variants, a 3-Star Angel, and a 5-Star Archangel. Aside from appearance, what’s different about the two characters?

Josh Austin: 3-Star Angel (All-New X-Men) and 5-Star Archangel (Classic) have similar powers that focus on controlling the battle by stunning, removing AP, and preventing players from gaining AP, but 5-Star Archangel being the more powerful version has the ability to damage and stun characters that are airborne as well.

Marvel.com: Ok, let’s get into their abilities. What can Angel and Archangel do?

Josh Austin: Their first ability is called Angle of Attack and it costs 11 Blue AP. 5-Star Archangel deals damage and stuns the target for two turns. There is also a Passive that triggers at the start of the player’s turn, dealing damage to any airborne character and stunning that airborne character. Angel 3-Star deals damage and stuns the target.

Angel and Archangel’s second ability is called Enemy Down and it costs 10 Green AP. Archangel lets loose a flurry of razor sharp feathers that deal damage and [destroy] random AP in the enemy’s AP pools. Angel unleashes a flurry of cosmic flame feathers that deal damage while also creating Green Attack tiles.

Angel and Archangel’s last ability is called Aerial Superiority and it costs seven Black AP. Archangel soars overhead to control the battle by creating Countdown tiles of a chosen color which deals damage and blocks AP generation in that color for both teams at lower levels then only for the enemy team at higher levels. Angel soars overhead as well and creates Countdown tiles that deal damage and block AP gain from both teams.

Marvel.com: I really like that Archangel’s Angle of Attack can hit airborne opponents. Was this made to address the growing number of airborne abilities, or just to add some emphasis to Archangel’s mastery of the skies?

Josh Austin: That’s correct, Archangel will be a great character for players that do not use Vulture, but want a way to stop his onslaught and AP gain. It just makes sense for Archangel to have air superiority over Vulture; we hope players will have a fun time countering airborne characters with Archangel!

Marvel.com: What teammates are we looking at for these two?

Josh Austin: Putting a team together with Rogue (Classic) and Peggy Carter (Captain America) the player could cause the enemy team AP generation to grind to a halt! Also, it wouldn’t hurt to have someone to add to the battle in case the opponent does not have any airborne characters, like Nova or Riri that can send opponents airborne!

Marvel.com: And do you guys have any special plans for the holidays?

Josh Austin: Before I get into the specific events featuring Angel and Archangel, this year we have a couple things for the holidays, the first one an event called 12 Days of Marvel. For 12 Days of Marvel, you will need to join forces with the 12 featured Marvel families—in MPQ—in a special 12-day event. Check back each day for a new mission featuring a variety of Super Heroes and Super Villains. Play as many as you can to earn points and progression rewards including tokens that you can use on the Family Legends Store!

Also in the spirit of the holiday season, players can redeem a free gift by logging into the game between December 14 and December 26 for a Holiday Vault Token for use in the special Holiday Vault store! We plan to have a lot of fun in “Marvel Puzzle Quest” the entire holiday season, so check back frequently for fun events and news while you unwind from a busy 2017.

Marvel.com: Anything else we need to know?

Josh Austin: Yes, back to Angel and Archangel specific events and dates. They will be released December 14 and 5-Star Archangel (Classic) will be featured in the Angel of Death Legendary store. 3-Star Angel (All-New X-Men) can be found in the X-Men vs Apocalypse event that runs December 14 through December 17 and he’s a reward in early rounds, the Top round reward is an Angel of Death Legendary Token for a chance at Archangel, and final progression rewards a token for Angel of Death Legendary cover store.

The 3-Star Angel Vault is called Worthington W. III and contains one Angel of Death Legendary Token along with one of each Angel (All-New X-Men) covers—three total. Angel can be found in Thick as Thieves that is due to run December 17 through December 22. The Versus Tournament for Angel (All-New X-Men) is called Avenging Angel; it starts December 17 and runs through December 20.

There you have it folks, take part in all the angelic holiday cheer here and stay tuned to Marvel.com and follow @MarvelGames on Twitter for more “Marvel Puzzle Quest” news and interviews.

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The Runaways’ resident magic user makes her mark on the mobile game!

Can’t get enough Runaways? The new TV series on “Hulu” and the new comic series by Rainbow Rowell and Kris Anka not enough to scratch your itch? Have no fear friends, “Marvel Puzzle Quest” has got you covered! Nico Minoru, the original orphaned gothic sorceress, makes her “Puzzle Quest” debut and we talked to D3 Go! Senior Producer Josh Austin about all her awesome abilities.

Marvel.com: Nico’s showing off her Staff of One in “MPQ.” Why was she the right Runaway for the game?

Josh Austin: We are super excited about “Marvel’s Runaways” [on Hulu]! Each of the Runaways have something interesting to offer, but Nico Minoru’s abilities are really intriguing for “Marvel Puzzle Quest.” She’s a fun 4-star character that will add some depth and was fun to design for the team. For this character, we had to get a list of powers approved by Marvel since her power changes names throughout the course of the match if she receives damage, which is something new for an “MPQ” character.

Marvel.com: Sister Grimm’s staff lends her some seriously sorcerous abilities that allow her to do just about anything. How did you make those powers make sense for the game?

Josh Austin: We made a special tile called the Staff of One that’s a Countdown tile; when it’s on the board the tile alters her powers. What this means for the player is Nico’s powers get more powerful whenever she uses her Staff of One and the name of each power changes. Then each power has variations and name changes but it mostly focuses on a freeze ability that stuns, a Try not to Die ability that brings out Protect tiles, and a Heal ability that’s a true heal for each Protect tile on the board [with a] max of six protect tiles. There is a Passive Purple ability that increases the power of the Attack, Strike, and Protect tiles and finally a Trifecta power that creates Attack, Strike, and Protect tiles.

Marvel.com: And just how will Nico be shaking up the board?

Josh Austin: This is going to be a little tricky, so I’m going to write it out under each color:

Her first ability is called When Blood is Shed and it’s a Passive Blue ability. Nico creates a Countdown tile when she takes damage. While the Countdown tile is active it replaces all of Nico’s powers with a new set of powers. Her second Blue ability stuns enemies, removes Countdown tiles, and also increases the stun for each Countdown tile removed.

Her Yellow ability creates Protect tiles and contains a Passive ability that increases the strength of friendly Protect tiles, but Protect tiles have no effect on Nico. Her other Yellow ability is a True Heal for each Protect tile on the board to a maximum of six.

Her first purple ability increases the power of Attack, Strike, or Protect tiles if you have more than the enemy. Her second Purple ability creates a Strike, Protect, and Attack tile. The power also has a passive component that increases the power of your Attack, Strike, or Protect tiles if you have more than the enemy.

Marvel.com: Nico feels like a true support character. From what you told us, it doesn’t appear that she does any direct damage at all.

Josh Austin: She is a great support character; the player should add anyone that creates Special tiles and she’s strong with characters that increase the strength of special tiles.

Marvel.com: And it seems she might be tricky to get the most out of; you need to hurt her so the Staff of One emerges, but she’s a little more vulnerable as Protect tiles don’t mitigate damage for her. What’s her general play pattern?

Josh Austin: She is a bit of a glass cannon, so you will want a protector to help stop her from getting damage as she boosts the team. That and adding someone that can heal with her is a good idea—someone like Medusa (Inhuman Queen) for example!

Marvel.com: Let’s talk teammates. Who does Nico fight best with?

Josh Austin: The team suggests characters that create Special tiles like Thor (Gladiator), Carnage (Cletus Kasady), and War Machine (James Rhodes). She’s also strong with characters that increase the strength of Special tiles like Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers) and Medusa (Inhuman Queen).

Marvel.com: And when does she enter the game?

Josh Austin: Nico Minoru enters the game on November 30 via rewards in S.H.I.E.L.D. Training and Honor Among Thieves. Her featured event will be Simulator starting on December 4 and you can play her Versus Tournament, Staff Appreciation Day, starting on December 3. Or you can find her in the S.H.I.E.L.D. Training Store Available on November 30 or Nico and Friends Store available on December 3.

Try out Nico’s sorcerous abilities here and stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Marvel Puzzle Quest” news and interviews, plus follow us on Twitter @MarvelGames!

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The Main Event makes his way from ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ to the game!

Ready to smash things up and prove you’re the strongest one there is? Or at the very least, prove you’re the strongest Avenger? You’ll get your chance this week when the mean green fighting machine from the Sakaar arena, the one and only Hulk, garbed in all his gladiatorial gear, crashes into “Marvel Puzzle Quest.”

We talked to D3 Go! Senior Producer Josh Austin about the new Hulk and all the beautiful destruction he promises to bring to the game.

Marvel.com: We’re getting our very own Bruce Banner Hulk 4-Star! I’m geeked! He was awesome in “Thor: Ragnarok,” and I’m assuming the team is translating that awesome to “MPQ”?

Josh Austin: That is correct! Hulk (The Main Event) 4-Star is inspired by the Hulk in the “Thor: Ragnarok” film. Along with his Sakaar Arena look from the movie, his power set focuses on dealing lots of damage and shaking up the board.

Marvel.com: We now have a grand total of five different Hulk variations in the game. How does Hulk (The Main Event) keep things fresh?

Josh Austin: Our Hulk definitely stands out! He has the Sakaar Arena helmet and all his gladiatorial garb on. Plus, this version of The Hulk is a major show-off. He starts the fight with a Grand Entrance, kicking off the fight in style, and with The Crowd Goes Wild, he roars at the crowd and the crowd roars back!

Marvel.com: All right, you’ve teased the moves a bit here so let’s talk about the strongest Avenger’s abilities. What can this Hulk do?

Josh Austin: Hulk (The Main Event)’s first ability is called Grand Entrance and it’s a Green Passive. For this power, Hulk smashes his way into the Arena and wreaks havoc. At level five he destroys seven random tiles that do not deal or gain AP. Of course any cascades do damage and gain AP. At the start of the turn, he swaps two random pairs of tiles.

The next power is called Gamma Bomb and it costs 14 Purple AP. Hulk channels his inner wrestling superstar, grabs his opponent, and slams them to the ground dealing damage and creating Critical tiles.

The last power Hulk (The Main Event) has is called The Crowd Goes Wild and it costs 12 Yellow AP. For this ability, Hulk roars at the crowd, and they roar back cheering on the champ. This translates to creating Fortified Countdown tiles that each turn [do] one of the following: deal damage to the enemy team, give Hulk a burst of health or gain AP.

Marvel.com: Grand Entrance is interesting. If he swaps random tiles at the beginning of the turn, can he create Match 5s and will that lead to extra turns for the player? Or is it more like Rocket and Groot’s I Am Groot ability?

Josh Austin: There is a possibility this could happen, especially if the player gets any type of cascade from the swap or the destruction of the tiles due to Grand Entrance.

Marvel.com: How were you building the big guy cover-wise? I was thinking 3/5/5 would be a pretty solid load out. 

Josh Austin: 3/5/5 is what I would focus on to maximize on the damage from Hulk. The Grand Entrance is a fun ability to have, but the damage from the others is better than the chance at cascades and possible damage, depending on the outcome of the tiles being destroyed or swapped.

Marvel.com: And because this is a team game, whom do we want to force into the arena with him?

Josh Austin: Makes sense to have anyone that can give him some Purple. Scarlet Witch is a good addition to his team for the purple generation, also Star-Lord (Legendary Outlaw).  He’s strong with characters that react to Countdown Tiles like Carol Danvers, Agent Coulson, and Star-Lord (Legendary Outlaw).

Marvel.com: When can we pick him up for ourselves?

Josh Austin: He will be live starting tomorrow, November 16. Both the S.H.I.E.L.D training event and the Hearts of Darkness—Hulk is a placement reward in this event—starts tomorrow. The Hulk and Friends store will run November 19 through November 24. Hulk (The Main Event)’s featured event will be Webbed Wonder. His Versus Tournament is Raging Fire and it will start on November 19.

There will be a third Sakaar Arena that features Hulk and this runs November 17-23. Hulk (The Main Event) will be included in the store along with a 5-Star Thor (Gladiator).

Pick up Hulk (The Main Event) here and stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Marvel Puzzle Quest” news and interviews, and follow us on Twitter @MarvelGames!

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Play as a new incarnation of the Thunder God in advance of his big day!

An all-new Odinson appears this week in “Marvel Puzzle Quest,” heralding the coming of Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Ragnarok” next week in theaters everywhere. If you’ve been looking for a beefy, high damage 5-Star to round out your roster you’re in luck—and we talked to D3 Go! Senior Producer Josh Austin to get all the juicy details. Let’s Ragnarok and roll!

Marvel.com: Ragnarok is upon us! What does the team have in store for everyone before the coming storm?

Josh Austin: We have added a 5-Star Thor (Gladiator) to the roster and a new event called Sakaar Arena for “Marvel Puzzle Quest.” Thor is sporting his new look for “Thor: Ragnarok” with swords and a shield along with the helmet inspired by the movie. The Sakaar Arena contains bonuses for every variation of Thor and Hulk since following Thor (Gladiator) we will be releasing Hulk (Main Event) in the coming weeks that will bring on a different phase of the Sakaar Arena.

Marvel.com: This is the first 5-Star Thor to grace “Marvel Puzzle Quest.” With 2,3, and 4-Star variants, what did the team focus on to make this Odinson feel unique?

Josh Austin: This Thor is still the God of Thunder, but he is designed off the Gladiator look he has in the [movie]. So he’s got the same short hair, helmet and sword/shield look from the Sakaar or Grandmaster Arena in the “Thor: Ragnarok” movie. Every power that Thor (Gladiator) has focuses on dealing massive damage. He destroys random basic tiles when low on health, and has a power that creates Protect tiles every turn.

Marvel.com: And with that, what kind of abilities are we looking at?

Josh Austin: Thor’s first ability is called God of Thunder and it costs 12 Green AP. For this power, Thor charges his attacks with lightning for an explosive attack that deals—get this—at level 450 and power level 5, 13,126 damage to all enemies! This power has a Passive that at the beginning of each turn and if Thor is below a certain amount of health, he destroys basic tiles.

His second ability is called Asgardian Tactics and costs nine Red AP. Thor slashes with his twin swords at the enemy’s defenses dealing serious damage to a target and ignores all Protect tiles. Thor deals additional damage for each friendly Special tile up on the board to 10.

Thor’s third ability is called Smoldering Fire which costs nine Yellow AP. Thor leaps into the fray to protect his team which creates a Repeater tile that generates Yellow Protect tiles each turn. This power then becomes Raging Fire. Raging Fire costs 12 Yellow. Thor strikes out with fury and removes his Repeater tile to deal damage to a target. This power has a Passive component that when Thor’s Repeater tile no longer exists, all friendly Protect tiles convert to Strike tiles and this power becomes Smoldering Fire again.

Marvel.com: Seems he’s got a little bit of everything: board shakeup, special tile generation, and team damage. Who works to augment the Thunder God’s battle fury?

Josh Austin: Thor (Gladiator) works well with characters that create Protect tiles like Wasp, Luke Cage, Sam Wilson (Captain America), and Sandman (Flint Marko). He also benefits from characters that create AP in his colors like Red Hulk and Star-Lord.

Marvel.com: And there’s a whole big Ragnarok event you’ve got planned right?

Josh Austin: We will be running the event three times and players will get to compete in the Sakaar Event that will be Thor-focused for the release of 5-Star Thor (Gladiator) in the first two runs and then when the new Hulk (Main Event) comes out in time for the third run—date TBD—it will have more of a Hulk flair to it. The event is a Surged Up version of Lightning Rounds that is about 90 minutes in length with 20 Combatants in an Arena-like structure. The Featured Champion will as mentioned above be Thor first, then Hulk in the future run. This means all versions of Thor will be buffed for the first phase then all versions of Hulk will be buffed for the next phase. For new players, they will be loaned a copy of 3-Star Hulk and 3-Star Thor, but any version of either is allowed for the event. The event rewards tokens for a special store or Heroic tokens depending on placement.

Marvel.com: When does all this madness get started?

Josh Austin: The first run of the Sakaar Arena will begin on October 27 at 1 PM PDT and ends on November 2, and will feature the Sakaar Arena Store that runs simultaneously with the event. Thor (Gladiator) will be available starting on November 2 and a special 5-Star for him will start that same day. We will also host a second run of the Sakaar Arena from November 3 through November 9 with chances to earn 5-Star Thor through tokens. And finally there will be a special Legendary Store called Friends from Work that runs from November 2 through November 5.

Pick up your very own Thor (Gladiator) here and stay tuned to Marvel.com and @MarvelGames on Twitter for more “Marvel Puzzle Quest” news and interviews.

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