Entering Marvel Contest of Champions: Phoenix

Jean Grey emerges in her most powerful form amidst the turmoil of Battlerealm! 

Want to harness the power of an undying universal constant and lay waste to Battlerealm? Look no further than Jean Grey, aka Phoenix, one of the most powerful X-Men ever.

Kabam Art Director Gabriel Frizzera and Systems Designer Simon Cameron dropped by to talk about Jean’s blazing new abilities and what players can expect from her and the Phoenix Force in “Marvel Contest of Champions.” The Collector’s tempting fate yet again by bringing an omega-level mutant and veritable cosmic force of nature to Battlerealm. Has he ever tried collecting coins? Maybe baseball cards? Might be less hazardous to his health.

Gabriel Frizzera: The Collector can’t help it, he absolutely needed to have the complete set of X-Men in his collection. He tried to play it safe by bringing “pre-Phoenix” teenage Jean Grey, but M.O.D.O.K.’s experiments unlocked the transformation and caused a lot of trouble for the mutants in The Contest. When it comes to her power set, Jean’s drawing on the fiery powers of the Phoenix right? She’s not just bringing telepathy and telekinesis to the table.

Gabriel Frizzera: Yep, she’s the full-fledged Phoenix. She’ll mess up your mind and scorch your body with her cosmic flames. But there’s a twist: this Phoenix was created by the combination of ISO-8/Terrigen, so she might be concealing a few unique characteristics. If you played Terrigenocide Terminus, you know the story of the Phoenix in the Battlerealm is only beginning. Let’’ talk a little about her abilities. What’s Right of the Phoenix all about?

Simon Cameron: Jean’s connection to the Phoenix Force is so powerful, that like her name sake she can never truly die. To represent this in game, we’ve given her a powerful comeback mechanic allowing her to cheat death. On receiving a blow that would knock her out of the fight, she gains a couple of seconds of invulnerability to regain her composure. Then, perhaps most importantly, depending on how strong her connection to the Phoenix Force is at that moment, she may also gain a powerful regeneration effect. Just like the venerable Arc Overload for Iron Man, this ability is available to the Phoenix, once per fight. Fury, Stun, and Incinerate round out her kit. What’s the fight flow for Phoenix? And Incinerate sounds absolutely brutal.

Simon Cameron: While the Phoenix is undeniably a massively powerful character, she’s always struggled with control. In-game we’ve tried to echo this feeling. She uses her special 1 and 2 attacks to strengthen and weaken her connection to the Phoenix Force. The stronger the connection, the faster she generates Furies. These are one of her key resources, as she spends them to increase her Special Attack damage, and having enough of them active also unlocks the Phoenix’s Incinerate and Armor Break abilities. Once she breaks higher Fury thresholds, the Phoenix enters an Overload state. While Overloading, she consumes rather than creates Furies, but gains on her hit Stun ability. Playing Phoenix is all about controlling her Phoenix Force connection, number of Furies and SP meter to keep her in the “sweet spot” for the fight you’re currently in. I love her “It’s Complicated” synergy with Cyclops and Wolverine. Could you guys dig into that a bit? I can’t remember any other heroes having synergy with multiple teammates.

Simon Cameron: Good eye! This is one of the first times we’ve done it. The idea here is to offer more flexibility on who to include with your team to gain the bonus. Jean can’t gain the Synergy from both Cyclops and Wolverine at the same time, but can gain it by teaming up with either. Also the unique relationship between Jean, Scott, and Logan was a perfect opportunity to use this. Definitely look for more Synergies that make use of this functionality to really highlight special relationships between characters. When can we unleash the Phoenix Force for ourselves?

Simon Cameron: You may have already faced off against the Phoenix in Terrigenocide Terminus, but to get your own hands on her, check out her arena, which starts October 13! And as always keep an eye on in-game messaging for crystal possibilities!

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