Chapter Guide – Variant 5 – Chapter 3.1


Here’s my guide for Chapter 3.1 “Shadow Army” of Variant 5 “Blood & Venom”.

General Thoughts:

Quest 5 of Variant 5 shifts the focus to Symbiote Champions. There are 4 lanes, with an obvious Easy Path featuring Life Transfer for those going for just an initial completion. It felt like the difficulty level did increase slightly, but these are still fair fights with plenty of solutions.

The Global Nodes are designed to buff Symbiote champions. Symbiote champions gain Mitosis Buffs by hitting the defender. These Mitosis buffs can then be activated by dashing back and holding block for 1 second to consume the buffs. This activates a Genetic Calibration effect, lasting 1 second per buff consumed. This reduces Defender ability accuracy by 1000% and increases Attacker buff duration by 100% and Heavy Attack damage by 500%.

While I can see some uses for this Global, I have to be honest that I ignored it completely as I found it wasn’t needed at all.

Best Champs: Venom, Stark Spider-Man, Symbiote Supreme, Mephisto, Magik

Restrictions: Only Mystic, #Spider-Verse Heroes, and #Symbiote champions are eligible for Variant 5.

Global Nodes:
+400% Attack & Health Champion Boost
Special 3 Active
Mitosis – Hits on this Defender grant #Symbiote Attackers an indefinite Mitosis Buff. Max Stacks: 10
Genetic Recalibration – #Symbiote Attackers that Dash Black and Hold block for 1 second consume all available Mitosis Buffs into a Genetic Calibration effect for 1 second per Buff consumed. Genetic Calibration reduces Defender ability accuracy by 1000% and increases Attacker buff duration by 100% and Heavy Attack damage by 500%.

Boss: Symbiote Spider-Man

Boss Notes:
+300% Health
The Best Defense… 3
Kinetic Transference – 1

Your experience with this boss fight is largely going to be determined by whether or not you have Venom. If you do, it’s an easy solo. Since you don’t have to worry about evades, just power cycle Symbiote Spider-Man to his SP2, bait, punish, and repeat. The Energize node is actually very helpful to the player, as it keeps feeding Symbiote Spidey additional power.

If you don’t have Venom, this can be a rough fight as you’ll take a lot more chip damage and may open yourself up to evades and the issue of Spider-Man’s tricky SP1. I think the next best options are power control champs like Magik and Doom. This Spider-Man can only activate his evade after a special, at least that ability can be kept in check. This will open you up to much more Chip Damage, and you’ve only got a limited amount of Stuns to play with because of Limber. Solos with both Doom and Magik are linked at the bottom of this guide.

Lane 1 – Left – Hard Path

Gate: None

Defenders: Quake, Ghost, Yondu, Captain America World War 2, Elektra, Nebula

Nodes: Limber, Flux Dispersal (Entire Path)

Team: Mephisto (5-Star Rank 5 Sig 200), Stark Spider-Man (5-Star Rank 5 Sig 200), Venom (5-Star Rank 5 Sig 40), Symbiote Supreme (5-Star Rank 5 Sig 60), Ghost-Rider (5-Star Rank 4 Sig 20)

Tips: This might be the most difficult node combination so far, as it requires you to throw Heavy attacks to keep your regular damage up, but restricts the amount of Parry/Stuns you can inflict during the fight. This can be pretty punishing if you try to play into the node, and baiting Heavy Attacks will result in a lot of chip damage.

I found it was much easier to simply ignore the Flux Dispersal node. The damage reduction only applies to hits, not other sources of damage like Debuffs and Passive Effects. So look for champions in your roster that can stack a lot of Debuffs for this lane, and don’t even worry about the damage reduction on your normal hits.

Quake is the most difficult fight on this path, largely because on top of the nodes, she’ll throw damage back at you if you hit into her block, making power-cycling for openings even more punishing. This was the one fight I used Stark Spider-Man for. I relied on his SP2, getting to 10 Poise charges and setting it up with a Parry & Heavy to clear the Flux Dispersal charges for max damage.

After Quake, I relied on two champs, Mephisto and Symbiote Supreme for the rest of the fights. Mephisto has a Passive Incinerate that you can keep active the entire fight by launching a SP3 and draining 2 bars of power from the opponent, and then you can stack additional Auras via the SP2. Adding Ghost-Rider to the team increases Incinerate damage by 70%, so he’s pretty much a must-bring for synergy purposes.

I found Symbiote Supreme to be even faster than Mephisto, especially because I was running Max Deep wounds. Play the normal Symbiote Supreme method of getting to an SP3, then stack as many Bleed Debuffs as you can while Set’s Fangs is active. I was ending fights after the second SP3. If you are counting on Symbiote Supreme as your main champ for this lane, make sure you have a different option available for Nebula, since she is Bleed-Immune.

Other champions that could be good options for this lane are Longshot, Sasquatch, Claire Voyant, and Doctor Doom. Mojo might work, provided you can get him ramped-up, which may be tricky with Limber and Quake as the first fight.

Lane 2 – Left Center

Gate: None

Defenders: Spider-Man, M.O.D.O.K., Nova, Tigra, Black Widow Deadly Origin, Wasp

Nodes: Spry, The Best Defense…1 (Entire Path)

Team: Doctor Doom (5-Star Rank 5 Sig 200), Stark Spider-Man (5-Star Rank 5 Sig 200), Venom (5-Star Rank 5 Sig 40), Symbiote Supreme (5-Star Rank 5 Sig 60), Stealth Suit Spider-Man (5-Star Rank 4 Sig 0)

Tips: The nodes don’t have a huge impact on the fights here. Arguably, the biggest issue is chip damage, particularly for the M.O.D.O.K. fight, and a lack of True Strike options due to the roster restrictions. Still, this is pretty manageable.

For Spider-Man, hopefully you can start things off with Venom (or Red Goblin now) for an easy warm up fight. M.O.D.O.K. is a bit of a pain, as without True Strike you’re going to be in a constant Parry/Heavy rotate and taking a lot of chip damage. I tried Stealth Spider-Man for the class advantage, but he’s too brittle. I ended up going with Doctor Doom to finish the fight.

I brought Symbiote Supreme for the Nova fight, but he’s really susceptible to any Mystic that can nullify and it keeps his Auto-Block in check. Tigra can be an issue because her specials go Unblockable and take up so much of the screen, particularly her SP2. I recommend going with a power control option (I used Doom) and baiting her SP1 to be safe.

Black Widow Deadly Origin only has evade following her SP1, so if you can force her to the SP2 you won’t even have to worry about it. As long as you can keep her in the SP2 rotation or power-locked, it’s a simple fight. Last up is Wasp, and this is just a regular Wasp fight. Parry and only attack her while stunned until you can get her to throw an SP1 and put her Auto-Evade on cooldown. Once you get into the rotation this fight goes quickly, especially if you have a big damage dealer like one of the Spider-Man champions.

For champions I didn’t bring, I think Venom the Duck could be a good option as he can regen some of the chip damage, and Magik would be good for the Tigra fight as a power control option.

Lane 3 – Right Center – Easy Path

Gate: None

Defenders: Mutant Adaptoid, Black Widow, Dormammu, Emma Frost, Blade, Guillotine 2099

Nodes: Life Transfer, Psychic Thorns 1 (Entire Path)

Team: Doctor Doom (5-Star Rank 5 Sig 200), Stark Spider-Man (5-Star Rank 5 Sig 200), Venom (5-Star Rank 5 Sig 40), Symbiote Supreme (5-Star Rank 5 Sig 60), Mephisto (5-Star Rank 5 Sig 200)

Tips: Life Transfer is always the Easy Path, right? This proves to be no exception to that rule. You don’t really have to worry about Psychic Thorns as Life Transfer more than makes up for any damage you’ll take. I only used two champions for the path – Stark Spider-Man and Doctor Doom, and then Venom for the boss.

The Mutant Adaptoid is an easy fight to start things off. It has Juggernaut’s SP1 and Red Magneto’s SP2, so you’re much safer baiting the SP1. I used Stark Spider-Man for the class advantage matchup. I then switched over to Doctor Doom for Black Widow (watch her evade as always) and Dormammu. Without the safe Dormammu counters like Blade and Hulk Ragnarok, I think the best option to deal with Dormammu is power control. You don’t want to be baiting specials and dealing with Dormammu’s degen on top of the Life Transfer. Doom worked great, but Magik might actually be a safer option.

Then I switched back to Stark Spider-Man for the final three fights, which are all pretty standard fights for the given opponents. As long as you can deal with the reverse controls on Emma’s SP1 your fine, Blade is straightforward, and with Guillotine 2099 you just have to keep disabling the Digi-cloak with your heavy. If you can manage to get to an SP2, Sparky will do double damage because she is a robot. That being said, I think you can pretty much use anyone for all these fights, with the exception of the Dormammu match-up.

Lane 4 – Right

Gate: None

Defenders: Sentinel, Namor, Warlock, Night Thrasher, Luke Cage, Mysterio

Nodes: Backup Recovery, Redoubled Determination

Team: Doctor Doom (5-Star Rank 5 Sig 200), Stark Spider-Man (5-Star Rank 5 Sig 200), Venom (5-Star Rank 5 Sig 40), Symbiote Supreme (5-Star Rank 5 Sig 60), Mephisto (5-Star Rank 5 Sig 200)

Tips: This is a great lane for Stark Spider-Man, because of the Robots, and for power control champions like Doctor Doom and Magik.

These are pretty standard fights for the given defenders, you just have to worry about the extra power burst from the Backup Recovery when they hit 50% health. This is where Power Control can really help you. I prefer to make sure they are at low power when I push them under 50% health just to be safe. Damage Over Time Debuffs can be a little dangerous because you have less control over when you cross that health threshold. This got me in trouble when I took Symbiote Supreme versus Night Thrasher and I ended up eating a SP3.

Make sure you have an option for Mysterio so you can shut down his helmet. Spider-Verse champions can do this, or someone with an Armor Break in their kit, like Venom.

Recommended Videos:

M. Umar – Doctor Doom vs Symbiote Spider-Man Solo

Pedrof6 – Magik vs Symbiote Spider-Man Solo

Jump To:
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



5 thoughts on “Chapter Guide – Variant 5 – Chapter 3.1

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