Note: As a member of the Marvel Contest of Champions Content Creator program, I was granted early access to a 5* Rank 3 Sig 200 Squirrel Girl for the purposes of this review. I do not get to keep this champion and she has already been removed from my account.
She’s defeated Doctor Doom and Thanos in the comics, crushed on Speedball and is the only mildly competent member of the Great Lakes Avengers. Now Squirrel Girl and her trusty side-kick Tippy Toe have joined the Contest!
Kabam is starting off 2020 strong with Squirrel Girl. While not an over-powered champion by any means, there is a lot going on in her favor. She is heavily dependent on the defender not being bleed-immune, and as long as that is the case, she can do some major damage. All-in-all, Squirrel Girl feels like an updated, better version of Gwenpool, but she doesn’t unseat Archangel as the best bleed champion in The Contest. That being said, she’s an absolute joy to play.
Art/Design: The artists did a phenomenal job with Squirrel Girl. Not only does she look great, she feels like Squirrel Girl when you’re playing her. The animations flow perfectly from hit-to-hit and into her special attacks. She’s the smoothest champion released since Stark-Spidey.
Gameplay: Squirrel Girl is all about stacking up lots of bleed debuffs and then triggering an instant bleed with her SP2 that does damage depending on the number of stacks active, so if you run max deep wounds, you’ll love her. While it looks like she has an owner’s manual worth of description, she is surprisingly straightforward and easy to pick up, with benefits for more advanced players as they learn her unique tricks. This is in sharp contrast to recent additions to the Contest like Reed Richards and Silver Surfer, which require higher end skill and synergy teams to begin to scratch the surface of their potential.
Damage: Squirrel Girl can do monster damage with her SP2 when above 40 hits on her combo meter, but if the opponent is bleed-immune, her damage is absolutely neutered and she is painfully slow to play, similar to Archangel.
Utility: A lack of immunity and healing hurts her utility, but she does have evade/auto block counters in her kit, and can instantly clear non-damaging debuffs. This makes her an excellent counter to many of the more annoying Science defenders in the game.
Fun Factor: Squirrel Girl is straight-up fun to play. It’s an aggressive play-style and move-set that is engaging, and there isn’t too much to think about. Don’t get hit, get that Combo meter above 40, launch a SP2 and enjoy.
In conclusion, Squirrel Girl is a very solid addition to the Contest. If I pulled her as a 5* and awakened her, I would take her to Rank 4.
That’s it for the editorial part of the review. Keep reading for an explanation on how to play the champion, tips, and additional pros and cons.
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Squirrel Girl is a bleed-debuff machine, and has some neat tricks that are dependent on her combo meter, and her trusty squirrel side-kick Tippy Toe. It takes a little bit to explain how they function together, but it actually isn’t that bad in game, as long as you go into the fight knowing what benefit you are trying to achieve.
First up on understanding Squirrel Girl is Tippy Toe. Tippy Toe is displayed by an icon either below Squirrel Girl or her opponent, depending where he is at the moment. Tippy Toe starts the fight on Squirrel Girl, but can be transferred onto the opponent by knocking them down. Tippy Toe returns to Squirrel Girl after 15 seconds, if Squirrel Girl is knocked down, or if Squirrel Girl charges her heavy for .4 seconds.
Tippy has different impacts on the fight based on where he is. When Tippy is on Squirrel Girl, she gains +1333.33 Block Proficiency. Additional, Tippy will purify all non-damaging debuffs on Squirrel Girl every time he attaches. This extra block proficiency is huge for Squirrel Girl when you are building up your combo to a special.
When Tippy is on the opponent, he inflicts an Injury Debuff, which allows Squirrel Girl to bypass the defender’s physical resistance.
Tippy has other abilities that consume Squirrel Girl’s combo meter. If, while attached, a 30+ combo is consumed, Squirrel Girl inflicts a Distraction Debuff, preventing the opponent from triggering auto-block or evade. If a 40 combo is consumed while attaching (usually via a SP2), Instant Bleed is inflicted on the opponent, dealing a burst of direct damage for every Bleed Debuff on the opponent and removing all bleed debuffs. Note that her Signature Ability allows for a chance for the bleeds to refresh instead of being removed.
Squirrel Girl can inflict bleed debuffs (6 second duration) via her medium and heavy attacks. Bleeds inflicted via a critical hit become a critical bleed, double in duration and multiplying in potency by the critical damage multiplier.
Light attacks count for double on Squirrel Girl’s combo counter.
Squirrel Girl’s Signature Ability does two things. First, simply by being awakened, she adds 40 hits to the combo count at the start of the fight. This eliminates the need for a ramp-up and is critically important to her damage output. Secondly, it gives her a scaling chance to refresh bleed debuffs during an Instant Bleed instead of purging them.
If you’re playing Squirrel Girl you want her to at least be awakened, and it’s highly preferable to have her at high signature level based on how the ability scales.
Team Building/Key Synergies:
Squirrel Girl is one of those characters who doesn’t need to be played with any synergy partners at all to be affected. However, she does happen to have a number of useful synergies with other desirable champions, which is always nice. Luke Cage and Doctor Doom owners will love having Squirrel Girl on the team, and she also has a solid synergy with Sentinel.
With Sentinel, Squirrel Girl places a shock debuff on Robot opponents when she would have placed a bleed debuff, making her actually viable in these matchups.
With Luke Cage, Squirrel starts the fight with a permanent fury buff until her combo meter hits 0. If you going to run Squirrel Girl as your main attacker, bring Luke.
Her best synergy for those that run suicides is “Beat Up The Universe” with Doctor Doom, M.O.D.O.K, Thanos, and Mordo. This synergy allows Tippy to purify 1 damaging debuff once per fight.
Squirrel Girl also gets 10% additional damage vs villains when Deadpool is on the team.
Squirrel Girl greatly benefits from deep wounds. She doesn’t have immunties or regeneration, so suicides are problematic, but the “Beat Up The Universe” synergy can mitigate some of the debuff damage.
Alliance War Defense:
Squirrel Girl doesn’t appear to have much, if any value, on Alliance War defense.
The SP1 is Squirrel Girl’s utility special. This special creates a distraction debuff, preventing auto-block and evade. The last hit adds 10 hits to the combo counter, and also gives Squirrel Girl 1 Combo Shield, which lasts for 2 seconds after the first hit. If you’re worried about getting hit, work an SP1 into the fight early.
The SP2 is the big damage special. You want to launch it once you have over 40 on the combo meter, as this special really stacks up the bleed debuffs and you want that Instant Bleed damage.
The SP3 is the ramp-up special. It inflicts 3 bleed debuffs, adds 100 hits to the combo meter, and if Tippy inflicts an instant bleed, there is 30% chance for each bleed to refresh. If your Squirrel Girl is duped and you’re comfortable holding a combo, this special isn’t as useful.
Virtually 100% up-time on bleed debuffs. If you need to keep the opponent bleeding constantly, Squirrel Girl is as good as it gets.
Fantastic counter to most Science Champions. Ability to purify non-damaging debuffs, plus her Distraction debuff makes her the ideal Reed Richards counter, and she is great for Void as well. In addition to Tippy clearing Void’s debuffs, her combo meter goes up very quickly because light attacks counter for 2 hits in the combo meter, and her specials have multiple hits.
Also strong in match-ups vs Invisible Woman (keeps her bleeding) and M.O.D.O.K. Since Squirrel Girl counters evade without a true strike buff, she is a strong option for Spider-Gwen.
Ideal for nodes like Do You Bleed, Bleed Vulnerability, and Diss Track.
Solid synergies, but is still a very good stand-alone champion.
Easy to learn with additional benefits for mastering her playstyle.
Needs the dupe to eliminate the ramp-up time, and high signature level for best damage potential.
Damage is severely hampered by bleed-immunity and cornered nodes.
No regeneration or immunities.
Many other bleed-heavy skill champions like Blade, Nick Fury, and Killmonger also do most of what Squirrel Girl can do, and these are champions many veteran summoners have ranked-up already.
If you can’t hold on to your combo, you lose her top end damage potential.
If your Squirrel Girl is duped, as long as you can maintain your combo you’re going to be able to use her Tippy transfer every special. If damage is the number one concern, just go straight to the SP2, but don’t knock the opponent down before that. You’ll be in the mid-80s on the hit counter by the time you have two bars of power, so you can inflict an Instant Bleed every time as long as you aren’t getting hit.
I liked to keep Tippy on Squirrel Girl at the start of the fight, since most of your parries are likely early in the fight as you start to build up the opponent’s power bar. Once you can get into the flow of baiting specials, the increased block proficiency is less important.
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