Here’s my guide for Chapter 1.2 “La Route Sombre” of Variant 5 “Blood & Venom”.
General Thoughts: This is an enjoyable chapter and relative to other Variants, quite easy to 100% explore. The far left and right paths could be considered “Easy Paths”. The center-left path will keep you on your toes, but it’s nothing too taxing to worry about. Gamora is a very straightforward boss that you don’t need a specific counter for, so beyond the general roster restrictions of Variant 5, your “best available” should be able to get everything done here.
Best Champs: Stark Spider-Man, Doctor Doom, Mephisto, Venom, Symbiote Supreme, Magik
Restrictions: Only Mystic, #Spider-Verse Heroes, and #Symbiote champions are eligible for Variant 5.
+400% Attack & Health Champion Boost
Special 3 Active
Great Responsibility – Each hit that a #Spiderverse champion avoids from this Defender’s Special Attacks with miss, evade, or dexterity grants them an indefinite Responsibility Passive
Great Power – Upon reaching 3 Responsibility, #Spiderverse Champions convert them into a Great Power Buff lasting 10 seconds, making their attacks Ignore Armor and Resistances, and Unblockable. You cannot gain Responsibility while you have Great Power
Oscillate – 3
Boss Notes: This is a super-easy boss. She’s designed as a ‘home-run hitter’ so if she connects with a special you’re dead. Chip damage is the other concern, so Sorcerer Supreme is a nice option for the fight, or maybe a ramped-up Morningstar. My Doctor Doom wrecked her with his SP2, and Symbiote Supreme’s normal SP3 to SP2 rotation also was fun, but any of the eligible champs can take her down. There isn’t any specific utility needed here.
Lane 1 – Left – Easy Path
Defenders: Superior Iron Man, Iceman, Rhino, Captain America Infinity War, Groot, Red Skull
Nodes: Breakthrough, Armor Break Immunity (Entire Lane)
Team: Guillotine (6-Star Rank 1 Sig 0), Symbiote Supreme (5-Star Rank 5 Sig 60), Stark Spider-Man (5-Star Rank 5 Sig 200), Mephisto (5-Star Rank 5 Sig 200), Morningstar (6-Star Rank 2 Sig 0)
Tips: This is about as simple as it can get for a Variant lane. The only annoying bit is the lack of Coldsnap options (Mephisto), but really you can just load up with your best champs and take these defenders down, as Breakthrough and Armor Break Immunity don’t really pose much of a challenge. Personally I used Stark Spider-Man for Rhino and Captain America IW, Morningstar for Superior Iron Man and Groot (fire away with that SP2), and Symbiote Supreme for Red Skull.
This is a lane you should be able to run item and death-free, so if you’re having trouble it may be time to take a break from further progress in Variant 5 and work on other content while you build up your skills and roster.
Lane 2 – Left Center – Hard Path
Defenders: Longshot, Ebony Maw, King Groot, The Hood, Nightcrawler, Hela
Nodes: Stun Immunity, Unblockable Specials (Entire Lane)
Team: Ghost-Rider (5-Star Rank 5 Sig 20), Symbiote Supreme (5-Star Rank 5 Sig 60), Stark Spider-Man (5-Star Rank 5 Sig 200,) Mephsito (5-Star Rank 5 Sig 200), Morningstar (6-Star Rank 2 Sig 0)
Tips: This lane has two challenging fights, and you can probably spot them right away as they are the likely candidates: Ebony Maw and Nightcrawler.
Starting off, Longshot is a pretty easy first fight. I recommend going Spider-Verse here to gain Great Power. The spacing on his SP1 makes it tough to immediately punish, but you can just wait until he goes into a block and run in while you’re Unblockable. Repeat a few times and you’re set.
Ebony Maw is the defender you have to plan for. I’m used to using either Gladiator Hulk, Blade, Void, or Nick Fury vs Maw, so I had to come up with a new plan. I decided to go with Mephisto and bring synergy partners to boost up his Incinerate damage, this way I could do damage even while taking blocked hits. I didn’t try to Heavy to break his Focus, instead I just played it slow and backed off during the Falters. Mephisto did very well and I got the solo with a lot of health left.
King Groot was a simple fight, I just blasted him down with Morningstar’s Sp2. Nightcrawler is another tricky fight. You need to get him to switch, which can be rough, but then you can’t keep hitting into his block to feed him more power, because he’ll switch back. This was another fight Mephisto was great at, because of his Passive Power gain. Just keep cycling the SP2 and you’ll be able to throw a ton of power at Nightcrawler and he’ll always have a special ready to go. Finally the lane ends with Hela, another champion that gains buffs, so I used Morningstar again for a quick fight.
Lane 3 – Center Right
Defenders: Killmonger, Sabretooth, Vulture, Jane Foster, Taskmaster, Annihilus
Nodes: Oscillate – 3 (Entire Lane)
Team: Doctor Doom (5-Star Rank 5 Sig 200), Symbiote Supreme (5-Star Rank 5 Sig 60), Stark Spider-Man (5-Star Rank 5 Sig 200), Mephisto (5-Star Rank 5 Sig 200), Magik (5-Star Rank 5 Sig 40)
Tips: This path isn’t too bad, it’s just that the fights are relatively long because of Oscillate. The two fights you need to plan for are Killmonger and Annihilus.
Killmonger is the first fight, and you need to mitigate his Reverberation damage with power control or armor break. I might have tried my Venom if he wasn’t in AQ, but since he wasn’t available I decided to play the power control game with Magik’s SP2. I took some damage getting into the rotation, but did get the solo. It takes a while, but expert Magik players should have no issues keeping this fight under control.
The next three fights – Sabretooth, Vulture, and Jane Foster – are all vanilla fights. If you know how to deal with these champs, which you should if you’re this far along, you’ll be just fine. I went Stark Spider-Man for big damage, but you can use pretty much anyone in your roster.
Taskmaster isn’t a bad fight either, another standard fight. I used Mephisto’s Passive Aura of Incinerate to get around his Debuff immunity.
Luckily Mystics are the go-to for Annihilus so you should be able to use your normal counter, like Sorcerer Supreme, Symbiote Supreme, or Claire Voyant. In my case, this fight was the debut of my brand new 5-Star Rank 5 Sig 200 Doctor Doom, and it was quite enjoyable shutting down the Cosmic Control Rod and turning off all his annoying abilities. He’s just a stacked Annihilus at the end of the day, so again, just follow your normal game-plan for him and you’ll be fine. Maybe bring a back-up or two for safety, as the rest of the lane is pretty basic.
Lane 4 – Right
Defenders: Thor Ragnarok, X-Force Deadpool, Wasp, Sorcerer Supreme, Sunspot, Invisible Woman
Nodes: Energize 1, Enhanced Abilities, Outlast (Entire Path)
Team: Doctor Doom (5-Star Rank 5 Sig 200), Symbiote Supreme (5-Star Rank 5 Sig 60), Stark Spider-Man (5-Star Rank 5 Sig 200), Magik (5-Star Rank 5 Sig 40), Venom (5-Star Rank 5 Sig 40)
Tips: This is second potential Easy Path. Energize can actually help you reduce chip damage significantly in these fights, because none of these defenders have specials that are difficult to punish.
If you have Stark Spider-Man, this is another great path for him. I find him an excellent counter to both Thor Ragnarok and X-Force Deadpool. His Taunt is perfect for power control and creating openings, and if you get into trouble with the power gain, have a SP1 ready to go and then launch your heavy attack for the power drain.
Wasp is an easy enough fight, with Energize she’ll have an SP1 ready after each combo so you don’t have to worry about the evade & shock counter-attack. Just don’t get backed into a corner. Sorcerer Supreme is an easy fight, just bait her SP2, and with Sunspot you can bait either special for a straightforward fight. Invisible Woman is likely the only fight you need any specific utility for. If you have Venom or Venom The Duck, bring one of them since they place Bleed Debuffs and it will make your life much easier as you won’t have to deal with her maintaining her invisibility.
Variant 5 Chapter 1.1 Guide
Variant 5 Chapter 1.2 Guide
Variant 5 Chapter 2.1 Guide
Variant 5 Chapter 2.2 Guide
Variant 5 Chapter 3.1 Guide
Variant 5 Chapter 3.2 Guide