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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Everybody’s favorite fuzzy elf BAMFs on the scene!

Do you smell the brimstone in the air? That can only mean one thing—the swashbucklin’ Nightcrawler’s on the scene!

Following on the coattails of a couple of other mighty mutants, Kurt Wagner joins the “Marvel Puzzle Quest” crew with a couple of swords in hand. We talked to D3 Go! Senior Producer Josh Austin about the bouncing blue elf and what he’s all about.

Marvel.com: We got Rogue, two different Gambits, and now Nightcrawler? Please tell me the mutant mayhem’s never gonna end!

Josh Austin: Nightcrawler is our latest 4-Star mutant to join the “Marvel Puzzle Quest” roster! While this much-requested character has finally found a home in “MPQ,” we have a lot of plans coming, and X-Men fans will not be disappointed! We will definitely be seeing some more mutant characters in the coming months! But of course we can’t just have mutants coming to the game so expect some variety and nice surprises in the coming months.

Marvel.com: Nightcrawler’s signature ability is his teleportation. I can only imagine he’s got some tricky stuff up his blue-furred sleeves right?

Josh Austin: That’s correct, Nightcrawler is one tricky hero! A summary of how he works in “Marvel Puzzle Quest” is that he deals damage based on friendly and enemy AP and converts basic tiles based on how many colored tiles are on the board.

Marvel.com: Ok let’s get into the elf’s abilities. What can he do?

Josh Austin: Nightcrawler’s first ability is called BAMF! And it costs 7 Purple AP. With a puff of smoke and brimstone, Nightcrawler teleports away from damage and into position to strike. This converts basic tiles to the color most present on the board. The ability also has a passive that triggers when the team would take damage causing Nightcrawler to go airborne instead of taking the damage.

His second ability is called En Garde! and it costs 9 Red AP. Time for the dual sabers and his superhuman agility! For this ability, Nightcrawler deals damage and if the player has enough AP in their strongest color based on the abilities level, then this power deals almost even more damage.

His last ability is called Everywhere At Once and it costs 12 Blue AP. For this ability, Nightcrawler leaps in and out of the shadows to confuse, to disarm and disorient his enemy. Deals damage for each point of AP the enemy has in their strongest color and destroys 4 AP in that pool.

Marvel.com: Everywhere at Once sounds like it could be crazy for Nightcrawler’s opponents and that Kurt would do really well in teams that share a lot of the same color powers. That fair to say?

Josh Austin: Everywhere at Once has the ability to delay the opponent from using a power that needs the enemy’s strongest AP color, which can come in handy. If the player wants to focus on raking up and damaging with this ability, using Black Panther (T’Challa) with Rage of the Panther becomes a great combo as Black Panther is giving the opponent AP in their strongest color, then Nightcrawler is dealing damage and reducing the AP amount in the strongest color.

Marvel.com: And I feel like I would want to play him with teammates who can create specific color tiles, characters like Cyclops (Uncanny X-Men), Iron Fist (Immortal Weapon), and Kamala Khan (Ms. Marvel) for extra juicy Match 5s. Anybody else he likes fighting with?

Josh Austin: Actually Nightcrawler is really great with Cloak and Dagger and generating Black and Purple AP. Overall though yes, when putting a team together having characters that create specific color tiles works well with Nightcrawler as he generates more tiles in the color most dominant on the board.

Marvel.com: And what else do we need to know about Nightcrawler?

Josh Austin: Nightcrawler will be available on October 19 and will be a part of two events with him as a placement reward including Thick As Thieves and S.H.I.E.L.D. Training event that will start on October 19. Nightcrawler’s featured event is called The Hunt and starts October 22. Lastly, his Versus Tournament is called Fuzzy Elf and starts on October 22.

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

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The Ragin' Cajun arrives to the hit mobile game!

Gambit, the X-Men’s resident exploding card shark, makes his “Marvel Puzzle Quest” debut this week—and we’ve been assured the kinetic energy-charging Cajun’s ready to unleash the full deck on the bad guys.

We talked to D3 Go! Senior Producer Josh Austin about the cards up Remy’s sleeves—and got some more details about all the anniversary action going down throughout October.

Marvel.com: Remy Lebeau has always been one of the coolest X-Men around—like his companion Rogue, was Gambit another popular player write-in?

Josh Austin: Yes, for “Marvel Puzzle Quest,” the most requested characters have been Rogue, Gambit, and Nightcrawler. In our last player poll, Gambit ranked as the most requested, followed by Nightcrawler—but Gambit had nearly double the amount of votes! So this news should go over well with our players!

Marvel.com: There’ll be both 3-Star and 5-Star versions of him hitting the game. Will there just be some number differences between the variations?

Josh Austin: That’s right—he’s the same power set, but with a large difference in power between the Gambit 3-Star Modern and the Gambit 5-Star Classic. The 3-Star version of a 5-Star presents a great opportunity for newer players to get an amazing fresh character if they haven’t reached the 5-star realm yet.

Marvel.com: What does his kit look like?

Josh Austin: Gambit’s first power, Ragin’ Cajun, costs 11 Purple AP. Gambit unleashes a torrent of kinetically charged playing cards that target the opponent’s weak points. This power creates Countdown tiles—replacing enemy Special tiles and dealing damage for each Countdown tile when they expire. The modern version at level 166 creates three 3-turn countdown tiles that deal 2,678 damage each. The Classic 5-Star Gambit creates four 2-turn Countdown tiles, replacing 4 enemy special tiles and they each deal 5,292 damage when the Countdown expires.

Gambit’s second power, Aces & Eights, costs 7 Red AP. For Aces & Eights, Gambit charges up a killer hand of cards. This attack destroys random Charged or Basic tiles dealing extra damage for each Charged tile destroyed this way—then creates 2 Charged tiles. For Gambit Modern 3-Star at level 166, each Charged tile destroyed deals an extra 520 damage. The 5-Star Gambit Classic deals 7,580 damage at level 450 power level 5 for each Charged tile destroyed this way.

Gambit’s last ability is Stacked Deck—a Black AP Passive ability. For this power, Gambit finds an advantage for himself at any cost, and this means Gambit generates AP every turn for his two other powers. However, the passive also prevents his allies from firing powers in the same color as Gambit’s active powers (Purple and Red).

Marvel.com: Stacked Deck means allies can’t fire Red or Purple powers? I guess we might want to avoid teaming him up with anyone who uses Red or Purple AP?

Josh Austin: Gambit gets a little selfish with Stacked Deck and will actually block an ally from using a red or purple power—this happens only if the player has a cover in either purple and/or red. So, you would not be able to use Rogue’s Red power (Sugah, You’re Goin’ Down) until Gambit gets downed, stunned, or sent Airborne. Passive powers will still trigger—only powers the player can trigger can be affected.

Marvel.com: There’s an anniversary coming up and I have no doubt the team has a ton planned. Can we get a quick recap?

Josh Austin: To start, we currently have a sale for players to take advantage of before all the anniversary madness begins. Players will get a 30% bonus in Iso-8 and Hero Points purchases. Sale ends October 4!

The anniversary festivities then begin on October 5 and every player will get a free anniversary token when they log-in that day. All events throughout the season will have double Iso-8 rewards, anniversary tokens, and more.

For events, we have the following:

Versus Tournaments

– Class of 2017 tournament starts October 5
– Let’s Be Frank tournament starts on October 8
– Danger Room tournament starts on October 10
– RRRAAAWWWR! starts on October 12

Story Events

– We have a brand new event called The X-Men vs Apocalypse that starts October 5! Apocalypse, a real baddie with Horsemen of the Apocalypse abilities, brings out some nasty tiles to try and destroy the player’s heroes. More will be announced as we get closer to the anniversary!
– Honor Among Thieves starts on October 8
– Sim Challenge (X-Men Edition) starts on October 12

Other Changes

Devil Dino is coming back to Deadpool’s Daily Quest!

Marvel.com: Let’s hear more about the Fan Favorites Legendary Token—basically, players get better odds for their favorite 4-Star characters?

Josh Austin: That’s correct, a survey was run earlier in the game for players to vote on their favorite characters.  The 12 most popular 4-Star Characters and 8 player favorite 5-Stars will be featured in a special store with increased odds. There will be a new Legendary Cover store called Fan Favorites that features players’ favorite 4-Stars and 5-Stars. Players can purchase a token to this store with Command Points or earn a token to this store from the Crash of the Titans mission in the Deadpool’s Daily Quest that starts on October 10th.

Marvel.com: What else do we need to know about the crazy celebrations on the horizon?

Josh Austin: Gambit will be released October 5 during the debut of the X-Men vs Apocalypse event. His Legendary store starts on October 5 with increased odds at getting Old Man Logan and Phoenix along with Gambit (Classic) 5-Star.

Gambit (Modern) 3-Star will be available in the Honor Among Thieves event that starts October 8. Gambit (Modern) features in the event and will have multiple covers in the Vault. Gambit’s PVP event is called Ragin’ Cajun and it starts October 15 with Gambit (Modern) being the featured character.

We will also be at New York Comic at the D3 Go! Booth (#447) this week! Come by and say hello to me and members of the team.

Finally, everyone at D3 Go! and Demiurge wants to thank all of our players for such an awesome year. We appreciate all the feedback and support we get and we really hope we can bring out more features and characters that the community has requested in the upcoming year. Thank you!

Grab the Ragin’ Cajun for yourself here and stay tuned to Marvel.com and @MarvelGames for more “Marvel Puzzle Quest” news and interviews!

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The southern belle strikes at the heart of the hit mobile game!

Rogue hits “Marvel Puzzle Quest” at supersonic speeds, bringing her power draining abilities, mean right hook, and boundless determination to a team near you! Want to take out bad guys and look great doing it? Well we talked to D3 Go! Senior Producer Josh Austin about the southern belle’s powers, the future of mutants in “MPQ,” and the game’s impending anniversary. Read on!

Marvel.com: It’s been a while since we’ve seen anyone with an X-Gene join the roster. Can you talk a little about why mutants are back on the menu?

Josh Austin:
I know, right? Keeping the secret that we are bringing back the mutants was so hard! Players have been asking for a long time and Rogue is just the start. We will be releasing a few more, plus some mutant-themed events that should bring a lot of excitement to the game.

Marvel.com: Super happy to see Rogue making the cut too! Why was she the right mutant for the job?

Josh Austin: Rogue has been one of the top requested characters for so long. Every time I would send out a preview character with the community one of the top automatic responses seemed to be Rogue, so we wanted to start with her. She’s a 4-star character and will be tough to beat with her power siphoning and damage reduction. Players are going to have fun using her and dread facing her. The designers did a great job translating her powers to “Marvel Puzzle Quest” and she’s going to be a great addition to any roster!

Marvel.com: Rogue’s been in her fair share of video games in the past. What does the team have in store for us in “Marvel Puzzle Quest”?

Josh Austin: Since we did not want to disappoint on such a highly requested character, we definitely went with her familiar power set of draining powers, flying head on into combat with a devastating punch and even leading her team in the attack, all done in “Marvel Puzzle Quest” fashion.

Marvel.com: And what can she do in “MPQ” fashion?

Josh Austin: What the above overview translates into is Rogue’s first ability, Gloves Off, which costs five Green AP. This power then becomes Power Siphon. Power Siphon is a Passive ability that has Rogue absorbing enemy powers but risks damaging herself with continued exposure. What this means in terms of gameplay is enemy matches in this ability’s color generates no AP and [deal] no damage while friendly matches generate double AP and deal double damage! At the start of the turn, spend 14 AP in this ability’s color to deal damage to the target and deal about half that amount of damage to Rogue. This power then becomes Gloves Off again.

Rogue’s Second ability is called Sugah, You’re Goin’ Down and costs 12 Red AP. It’s a headfirst flying charge punch that sends the enemy reeling. It deals damage and destroys a block of tiles dealing damage but not generating AP.

Rogue’s final ability is called Leading the Charge and it’s a Yellow Passive. When Rogue is in front, enemy matches deal less damage for each teammate still in the fight. Whenever the enemy makes a Green, Red or Yellow match, Rogue is sent to the front automatically.

Marvel.com: Let’s talk a little about Gloves Off. Because of the potential damage Rogue risks, is this something she needs to use sparingly or do the benefits outweigh the risks.

Josh Austin: The risk is only if the player gets the 14 AP to set off Power Siphon’s damage function. The moment the player collects 14 AP in the chosen color, Rogue damages the enemy and receives damage. If you have someone that can use up the AP, so you’re just doing double damage on matches, Rogue will be totally fine.

Marvel.com: How about teammates? Who does she play well with?

Josh Austin: Because of Rogue’s ability to gain double AP with Power Siphon and the damage reduction with Leading the Charge, she works well with many characters and she will be a great ally or really difficult opponent! She is strong with characters that create Charged tiles like Black Bolt, Silver Surfer, The Hulk (Totally Awesome), Thor (Goddess of Thunder), Mordo, and Lockjaw.

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

Josh Austin: Rogue is coming to “Marvel Puzzle Quest” on September 28. She will be in placement rewards for Hearts of Darkness, which starts the same day. Players will also have a chance to get her through tokens awarded in S.H.I.E.L.D. Training. Her featured event will be Webbed Wonder that starts October 1 and players can snatch her up as a progression reward. Her Versus Tournament, Close Contact, starts on October 1.

Rogue will also be the first character released in a mini-gauntlet at the same time as her debut event, which will reward players tokens to the debut event store and a cover of Rogue. We will have more information on the details of this change in the D3 forums closer to Rogue’s release!

Marvel.com: And I heard you have some other fun bits of news to tease for October?

Josh Austin: Yes! We are getting close to our four-year Anniversary of “Marvel Puzzle Quest” so players should stay tuned next week as we introduce details of what is coming to the game for the Anniversary. We are looking forward to the celebration and sharing more details about a couple of other X-Men characters coming to the game. You may have heard of them—Gambit and Nightcrawler! I can’t say anything more than that but stay tuned next week for more info about their release and a special in-game X-Men themed event.

Play with Rogue’s mutant powers here and stay tuned to Marvel.com and @MarvelGames on Twitter for more “Marvel Puzzle Quest” news and interviews.

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The Man Without Fear and the Hand's ultimate assassin return once more!

Have you checked out “Marvel’s The Defenders” on Netflix yet? If not, what are you waiting for? If so, D3 Go! has more Defenders action for ya, with an all-new Daredevil and Elektra available in “Marvel Puzzle Quest.” We talk about the Man Without Fear and the Hand’s ultimate assassin and get the lowdown on just what they’re capable of.

Marvel.com: I’m really excited to see a new Daredevil coming down the pipe, but why make him a 5-star as opposed to a 4? What kind of things does the team look for in making a new 5-Star character? Or in making a new 3-star, like Elektra (Assassin) for that matter?

Josh Austin: Daredevil is an amazing character and the powers that were designed for the Matt Murdock version are more in line with 5-Star characters. And with the release of “Marvel’s The Defenders” on Netflix, we are excited to have our first 5-star Defender in the game. And the new 3-star Elektra is a great addition too.  We know many players are very interested in acquiring new 3-star characters so it seems like a good fit to have the combination of both these characters available at the same time.

Marvel.com: Daredevil (Man Without Fear) was one of my first PvE mainstays for his pure utility, getting rid of pesky enemy special tiles and with stuns for days. What’s different about this Matt Murdock?

Josh Austin: The 5-star Daredevil uses his sonar and his ability to damage multiple foes, but he does so with a lot more precision and really wrecks his opponents damage-wise. He also has an ability to gain health back based on each friendly strike tile on the board.

Marvel.com: Can you break down his kit for us?

Josh Austin: His first ability is called Fighting Spirit and it’s a passive yellow. When Daredevil gets below a certain health, he creates a strength 1,270 Yellow Strike tile that restores health for each friendly strike tile on the board (Max 5 tiles).

His second ability is called Hand-to-Hand and it costs 11 Green AP. This one can be devastating because it creates a countdown tile that deals damage each turn and if it’s matched away the player’s team gains 8 Green AP. However, if the tile is destroyed in any way other than being matched away, at level 5 it deals 15,525 damage and creates another Hand-To-Hand tile if one does not exist.

His last power is called Sonar Strike and it costs 9 Purple AP. Daredevil’s sonar vision helps him avoid enemy attacks and strike back by converting random enemy Strike, Protect, or Attack tiles to friendly Strike tiles and then stun the target. There is a Passive that while the enemy is Stunned, any damage dealt to that stunned enemy Daredevil deals extra damage on top of it.

Marvel.com: It seems like you’d want to pair Daredevil up with a teammate who can stun opponents, to get that juicy Sonar Strike passive damage, and someone who can easily get rid of his Hand-to-Hand tile. Anybody you have in mind?

Josh Austin: Depends on the strategy the player would like to utilize. Having characters that stun opponents to dish out the extra damage, heroes like some of the variations of Spider-Man, Thanos (The Mad Titan), Doctor Strange, Iceman, etc. Also if the player wants to use a character that fortifies the tile, that insures that the 5-Turn countdown tile will continuously damage the enemy team.

The player could benefit from using characters that create Strike tiles if they are worried about Daredevil receiving too much damage like The Punisher (Max), Rocket & Groot (Awesome Mix Volume 2), Blade (Modern). I know I’d personally use Grey Suit Black Widow for the Green AP generation and her abilities to help destroy the Hand-to-Hand tile for that extra damage.

Marvel.com: And Elektra looks like she’s keeping some of her old Unkillable tricks and learning a new one, Crippling Blow. What’s changed in this 3-Star variation?

Josh Austin: Elektra has some of the same abilities as her 4-Star counterpoint with the exception of Crippling Blow, which focuses on damage first, then leaves a 4-Turn Countdown tile on the board that deals damage to the enemy each time it counts down.

Marvel.com: How does Elektra (Assassin) fit on a team? Finding someone who can help her fire Crippling Blow seems like it would be a legit strategy.

Josh Austin: Finding someone gives her Black AP or fortifies her Countdown tile definitely works well. She’s also great with heroes that convert or destroy enemy tiles into friendly tiles like Loki, Bullseye (Classic), Daredevil (Man Without Fear) and She-Hulk (Modern).

Marvel.com: And when can we take these two ninja-trained fighters to the streets?

Josh Austin: They will debut in the Galactus Hungers event that starts today. Elektra is given out as round rewards while Daredevil can be earned in a special store called Hornhead with Legendary Tokens that can be purchased or earned as rewards given from the event. The Hornhead store runs from August 24 through August 28. There will also be a featured Elektra event called The Hunt that starts on August 27.

Be sure to check out all the Defender related Versus Tournaments including Assassin For Hire that is going on now, Cage Match that starts on August 24, and Blind Justice that starts on August 27. We are excited to share that those that earn 300+ points in these events will earn 10,000 Insider points at Marvel Insider. Visit Marvel Insider for all the opportunities to earn and redeem rewards for Marvel Puzzle Quest.

Pick up Daredevil (Man Without Fear) and Elektra (Assassin) here and stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Marvel Puzzle Quest” news and interviews.

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