Note: Updated on 1/25/20 to reflect the additions of Variant 4, Act 6.3, Abyss of Legends, and the removal of the requirement to complete Road to the Labyrinth.
Marvel Contest of Champions is a game that gives players A LOT to do, and the depth of a game with over 160 playable characters, a multi-act story quest, monthly event (and side event) quests, champion arenas, alliance war, and alliance quest can be downright overwhelming. This post is meant to help guide progressing players through the permanent event portion of the game.
Before we proceed, please keep the following in mind:
It’s a game. If a certain piece of content is too hard, move on to something else and build up your roster. We’ve all had to do that. Don’t worry about “catching up” and “beating the game.” That’s not how MCOC works so don’t try. Play the content you find entertaining and at your own pace.
While this guide focuses on the permanent content in MCOC, you should start off each month by focusing on the Event Quest (EQ), completing and if possible, 100% exploring the highest level of difficulty you feel your roster and skills are ready for. The EQ rewards are better than the early Act rewards, and once they expire, you’ll never get the chance to earn them. Generally you will want to complete the monthly side quest as well, at whatever difficulty you are comfortable with.
With the time you have left each month, you should begin to pick away at an initial clear of Acts 1-3. You do not need to 100% Acts 1-3 but you are certainly welcome to if that interests you.
Eventually, you will build up a roster capable of completing, and then 100% exploring the Master EQ difficulty. Your roster will likely have multiple 4/40 and possibly 5/50 4* champs, and hopefully a few rank 2 or rank 3 5* star champs. By this time you will be ready to get an initial clear of Act 4 and kill the Maestro, if you haven’t already.
Once you can 100% Master EQ, you’re going to hit a bit of a progression wall until you can unlock the Uncollected EQ difficulty. This is done by getting an initial clear of Act 5.2 and killing The Collector (becoming Uncollected). You’re also likely ready to do a clear of Realm of Legends at this point.
The difficulty in the game scales up by a considerable amount from 5.1 to 5.2, so make sure you’ve got a stash of items and units in reserve for your 5.2 push. The Collector, in particular, is one of the more challenging fights in the game to solo, especially with a progressing player’s roster. Do not get discouraged if you have to back out and practice a lot during your first run through 5.2, this is normal.
Once you’ve become Uncollected, you’ll have access to the Uncollected Event Quest difficulty level, which is going to give you a much greater access to Tier 5 basic catalyst, 5*, and 6* shards. Start with an initial clear of Uncollected by taking the easy path (the one with no linked nodes on the champs), then work your way up to 100% like you did with Master.
In story mode, you want to focus on an initial completion of all of Act 5, then 100% all of Act 5. I recommend you 100% Act 5 in the following order: 5.1 first, then 5.4 (because of the rewards), then 5.3 (it’s a slog) and finally 5.2 (because you’ll have more firepower for the multiple times you’ll have to fight The Collector).
In general, an initial run through Act 6.1 to become Cavalier is your next step. For some players, it may make sense to gain the Cavalier title prior to 100% completion of Act 5. If you feel your roster needs some improving first, consider making initial clears of Variants 3 & 4.
At this point, you’re at a bit of a crossroads, and depending on where your roster strength lies, you’ve got several options.
If you have a high damage output champion at 5/65, such as Blade, Stark Spider-Man, Guillotine 2099, or Domino, you should look at an initial clear of Labyrinth of Legends. If you’re the proud owner of a high sig level Aegon, you’ve got everything you need for an relatively low cost 100% of the Labyrinth.
The Back Issues (Variant difficulties) have some of the best rewards in the game (better than a 100% clear of Act 6.1), and are another possible place to focus.
Back Issues 1 – Ultron’s Assault is considered one of the most difficult pieces of content in the game (particularly chapter 3), and because of the class gates involved it requires a very deep roster and specific champion counters to explore without considerable item usage. Unless you have a high level Thing or are an excellent Quake player, Chapter 3 in particular is very taxing to 100%.
Back Issues 2 – Mystery in the Microrealm, on the other hand, is one of the most well-received pieces of content in the game. Champs like Sentinel, Gladiator Hulk, Venom, Venom The Duck, Hyperion, Domino, Dormammu and Archangel are all extremely useful in Variant 2.
Back Issues 3 – Polar Opposites is very straightforward, especially if you have a strong tech roster (Sentinel, Ghost, Warlock, and Sparky in particular). It is also shorter than the first two Variants, with 6 quests instead of 9. An initial completion of Variant 3 while you working your way through 100% Act 5 is appropriate for most players.
Back Issues 4 – Waning Moon is the easiest of the Variants so far. As it does require the use of champions from star levels 1-5, you may need to do some targeted rank-ups to be able to complete certain chapters. Like Variant 4, and initial completion after becoming Uncollected is appropriate. Read my Variant 4 Guide.
At this time, Abyss of Legends is likely the last piece of content you’ll want to (and be able to) 100% explore given the difficulty and need for specific counters to effectively handle the fights without spending massive amounts of resources on revives and potions.
Suggested Order (again, personal experience will vary later depending on roster strength)
Completion = Initial Clear
Exploration = 100% The Map
Act 1 – Completion
Act 2 – Completion
Act 3 – Completion
Act 4 – Completion
Realm of Legends
Act 5.1 – Completion
Act 5.2 – Completion
Act 5.3 – Completion
Act 5.4 – Completion
Variant 4 – Completion
Variant 3 – Completion
Act 5.1 – Exploration
Act 5.4 – Exploration
Act 5.3 – Exploration
Act 5.2 – Exploration (100% Act 5)
Act 6.1 – Completion
Variant 2 – Completion
Variant 4 – Exploration
Variant 3 – Exploration
Variant 1 – Completion
Labyrinth of Legends – Completion
Variant 2 – Exploration
Labyrinth of Legends – Exploration
Act 6.1 – Exploration
Variant 1 – Exploration
Act 6.2 – Completion
Act 6.3 – Completion
Act 6.2 – Exploration
Act 6.3 – Exploration
Abyss of Legends – Completion
Abyss of Legends – Exploration