Ruler of the Rogue Isles
|Coordinates||(2726.5, -55, 934)|
|Introduced by||None, Lord Recluse is a Strike Force contact.|
|Enemy groups|| Freedom Phalanx|
Master of Olympus
Servant of Recluse
Lord Recluse recruited your Strike Force to publicly defeat the greatest of heroes, the mighty Statesman! His plan involved kidnapping Ms. Liberty to force a controlled confrontation with Statesman. In order to get Ms. Liberty, Statesman had a plan to storm the Vindicator's [sic] base, which involved getting hold of their security codes to shut down their base defenses. This involved assaulting a Longbow island base, planting explosives destroying their transports, and kidnapping a Longbow technician to access the necessary codes. Once this was done, you returned to Lord Recluse.
The next step was acquiring a weapon to use against Ms. Liberty. Lord Recluse discovered that Malta had developed a weapon known as the Orestes Rifle based on information they stole from Project FURY. The Orestes Rifle was capable of suppressing magical energies derived from the Well of Furies, such as those Ms. Liberty calls upon from her Liberty Belt. You broke into a Malta weapons lab and stole the Orestes Rifle, but were hit by a Temporal Disruptor during the assault causing you to be drastically weakened.
Lord Recluse sent you to speak with Operative Grillo, who told you the temporal disruption you were experiencing was because you were essentially 'split in two', with half of you in the present and half in a future timeline. Grillo tracked the temporal anomaly to the future, and allowed you to travel to this future through the Destiny Portal as long as you won this future for Lord Recluse by defeating the future Freedom Phalanx. You faced down Citadel, Sister Psyche, Back Alley Brawler, and Manticore in this future reality, bringing Lord Recluse's triumph closer to becoming a reality.
Agree to Form a Strike Force
"I have witnessed your journey through the Rogue Isles. You have clawed your way to the top, performing all manner of vile acts to prove yourself stronger and more capable than the rest of my Destined Ones. You have even bested one of my trusted lieutenants, a feat few have done before. In the end I thought you a liability, having used Project DESTINY to see into the future and witness a possible death of the world - my rightful domain! - at your hands. However, you have a depth of villainy and strength more powerful than even I had imagined. You discovered my contingency plans and sent me a very clear warning as to what would happen if I enacted my plans, and it is something I will not forget!"
"You know of my plans for Project DESTINY, to engineer my eventual victory by manipulating the timestreams of the future, eliminating unfavorable results until only my ultimate triumph remains, and you know the greatest threat to my goals is that epitome of foolish heroic virtue, Statesman! Statesman. Long has he been a thorn in my side, he and his legion of heroes who constantly attempt to thwart my operations at every turn. If you help me deal with the troublesome Statesman, I will assure you a place of honor in my future triumph!"
There is an Arachnos flyer ready to take you to your destination. As soon as you get there my operatives will start jamming transmissions so they don't let anyone know you have the security codes. We also have an advance force there to assist you in the assault.
- 5 Bombs to set: located in towers and lab; waypoints mark locations
- Kidnap Technician: spawns randomly in towers and lab; will catch up if left behind
- Defeat Crimson: located in Laboratory
- Destroy 12 Chasers: located randomly above the island's airspace
"With the security codes in hand you should easily be able to overcome the worst of the Vindicators' base security!
You have done well, Strike Force Venom!"
The map for this mission is similar to that of the Longbow base in Nerva. The team will zone in at a submarine just off the island housing the Longbow. Three waypoints will be visible on the map, marking the entrances to Tower 1, Tower 2, and the Laboratory, respectively.
This is not a defeat all, and it is possible to complete some of the objectives in parallel. Especially useful is the fact that the Technician will follow you no matter where you go, even if you outdistance him. Here we will present a common strategy for completing the mission quickly.
Split the group into two teams, Team A and Team B. Team A will take out the chasers, which appear randomly throughout the airspace over the base. Once this is accomplished the team will head to the Laboratory. If time permits the team may want to take out the Longbow spawn guarding the Laboratory entrance; otherwise head directly inside to regroup.
Meanwhile, Team B will head first to Tower 1. Inside are two spawns of Longbow and two bombs; defeat and complete them all, then head to Tower 2 and repeat. If the Technician appears, ignore him and keep moving. His capture will spawn an ambush, but unless you dawdle, you should be able to ignore it. After the Towers are dealt with, Team B heads to the Laboratory to join Team A.
Inside the Laboratory, regroup, then defeat the Longbow spawn guarding the elevators. On the next level is the main Laboratory room, where Crimson waits in front of the Technician's computer, on the left side of the back wall. Work your way carefully around the left side of the room, clearing Longbow as you go so as not to be too outnumbered once Crimson engages. You do not have to engage the Longbow on the right side of the room at all, unless you accidentally aggravate them.
Finish the Laboratory objectives in this order: defeat Crimson first, then lead the Technician to the computer, and finally set the last bomb. The last bomb spawns an ambush, but in this order it also completes the mission, so you can exit rather than fighting.
Two things of note: first, there are prisons in this mission, so if defeated try to resurrect rather than going to the hospital. Second, occasionally the Technician will stand still and cower rather than heading to the computer. This means that he saw the ambush spawn for his capture, and has decided he can't do anything until the matter is resolved. In this case the team needs to head back to his capture point and deal with the ambush.
A good team can finish this mission in ten minutes, leaving everyone still fresh for the more challenging content ahead.
Assault Malta Base
Now that we have the security passcodes, we can continue with the next stage of our plan! Malta has proven to be an important asset to Arachnos. Their advanced weaponry and skilled personnel are excellent, and they are the perfect mercenaries to use when Arachnos wants to disassociate themselves from a delicate operation. However, they sometimes overstep their bounds, especially when it comes to acquiring knowledge aiding them in the defeat of super-powered beings. Not long ago, we found a Malta infiltration team in one of our Project FURY research labs, downloading information on the project. Some of their infiltration team must have escaped with the data, because some of our Arachnos spies have discovered Malta has developed a very interesting weapon based on Project FURY theoretical technology - the Orestes Rifle! This potent techno-magical weapon is designed to dispel mystical enchantments derived from the Well of Furies, such as those derived by Ms. Liberty's magical belt! This should prove very useful in the upcoming battle.
Malta has developed a robots and weapons manufacturing base in Warburg, a hotspot for armed conflict between heroes and villains. The base is headed up by a robotics engineering genius known as Slinger. While the main goal is to obtain the Orestes rifle, Slinger must be punished for his involvement in theft from Arachnos. Head to the Malta base, destroy their research databanks, steal the Orestes Rifle and take down Slinger!
Malta has many secret training enclaves spread throughout the Rogue Isles. Because of the theft from Arachnos they chose to develop this weapon on the mainland. There's an Arachnos flyer waiting to take you there. Once you have acquired the Orestes Rifle you will need to hurry - once it is removed from it [sic] special Malta power feed, it will lose power quickly.
- Steal Orestes Rifle: located in back room inside compound
- Defeat Slinger: located in back room inside compound
- Steal keycard: obtained by defeating Kronos Titan
- Destroy main frame and guards: located just outside Slinger's room
The Orestes Rifle! Use it well, Strike Force Venom. It is a powerful weapon!
You say that you got hit by some sort of experimental weapon? We will need to fix that before you fight Statesman. Though I despise that foolish hero, I know he is powerful, and how [sic] you will not survive against him while you are in this weakened state.
You are indeed a worthy ally of Arachnos!
Defeating Kronos Class Titan awards the Master of Olympus Badge.
|Master of Olympus|
|Orestes Rifle Ranged, Special (Temporary Power)|
The Orestes Rifle was created as an experimental weapon by Malta as part of their ongoing agenda to control the heroes of the world. It is designed to nullify enchantments granted by the Well of the Furies. Once removed from the power feed in Malta it will only be effective for a period of 5 hours.
Expires in 5:00:00 of real time
Note: Although the description does not specifically state so, the Orestes Rifle only works on Ms. Liberty. Statesman and Lord Recluse, though also possessing powers derived from the Well of the Furies, are unaffected by this temp power.
The team will zone into a section of Warburg. There is one waypoint marking the entrance to the building where Slinger waits, with the mainframe and rifle nearby. In order to gain access to the building the team must first defeat the Krotos Titan.
Place the team in the water facing Kronos, and taunt or pull him out into the water away from the other Malta spawns. Note that Kronos has a very long range area of effect attack, so be prepared to draw farther away to pull him than you would normally.
Once the team has defeated Kronos, clear the Malta spawn in front of the building entrance. You should have gained an access keycard; if not clear any stragglers that may have escaped Kronos' spawn.
The inside of the base may be familiar from the Ernesto Hess task force in Striga Isle. Slinger is located in a back room, down a hallway containing an angled delivery truck. Ideally, the team should stealth past the Malta spawns, down the hallway to the sliding door at the end; fighting through is possible but slower. Beyond this door is an L-shaped hallway surrounding Slinger's room. Gather the team, open the door, and defeat the spawn to the left. If the mainframe is here, you can skip the spawn to the right; otherwise clear that spawn as well and prepare to engage Slinger.
Inside the last room are two Malta spawns in addition to Slinger; you may be able to draw or taunt them into the hallway to take them out. Then move on Slinger.
As his health drops, Slinger will prepare a massive pet summons of MasterMind robotics pets. To avoid having to defeat this entire pet spawn, have one teammate retrieve the Orestes rifle from the wall safe behind Slinger. Meanwhile, have the rest of the team focus on defeating Slinger, then mop up any of the original Malta spawn (not the summoned pets) - when the last of the Malta falls the mission will complete.
Speak with Operative Grillo
The Orestes Rifle should prove most effective against Ms. Liberty, but the condition the Malta Temporal Disrupter left you with may jeopardize our eventual goal of defeating Statesman! I have spoken with Operative Grillo at Project DESTINY, and he has related some interesting information regarding your current state. Go speak with Operative Grillo, then follow his orders necessary to removing the temporal disruption!
Operative Grillo said his people discovered something rather interesting in his investigations into Project DESTINY.
None - this mission leads directly to the next task below.
Defeat Future Freedom Phalanx
Ah, you must be Strike Force Venom! Lord Recluse told me to expect you. You have a most interesting condition which I can explain. The Temporal Disrupter the Malta agents hit you with caused your team to be weakened considerably by causing you to be 'split in two' along the timestream. That is, part of you is here in the present, while part of you is in a possible future. The reason we know this is we recorded a temporal anomaly in one of the future timestreams and further investigation showed us your team in this future with a temporal 'trail' leading to the present! Fascinating, isn't it?
In any case, you're probably wanting to be rid of your condition. While it doesn't have an immediate effect upon you, the longer you go without fixing it, the more chance of it causing irreperable [sic] damage to you. Lord Recluse gave his command to do whatever is necessary to remove the temporal disruption. We have the coordinates queued up in the Destiny Portal to the future timestream where your other half is. Going to this future and returning to our timeline will allow you to 'sync up' with your future selves and then with the present, thus removing the temporal disruption. There is a catch however. In this future, the Freedom Phalanx are putting up a strong resistance to Lord Recluse's plans. As part of Project DESTINY, we need to remove this future possibility. Enter into the Destiny Portal and eliminate the Freedom Phalanx resistance from this future reality!
- Defeat future Freedom Phalanx: located at City Hall entrance
Excellent! You have shifted my eventual victory that much closer to becoming reality!
These 'H-Boosters' you found in this future reality are most interesting. I will put my top scientists onto unlocking their secrets.
Completing this mission awards the Annihilator badge.
The team zones in through a portal to a future Atlas Park, similar to the layout of Recluse's Victory when the villains have control. The team will see City Hall in ruins with the Atlas Globe cut in half.
Note: There is a random "phase shift" effect that drifts around the map, trapping you in between the future and present time; this will make you intangible at random for a fairly long duration. If you are hit, changing physical locations may get you out of the zone of danger. If this is not an option (e.g. in combat) you may still get a few powers off occasionally since there seems to be some "flicker" to the effect.
This will be your first real big challenge in the Strikeforce. In this mission you will have to defeat a subset of the present day Freedom Phalanx, located around the main door to city hall. The roster in standard defeat order is:
Some teams prefer to rush this mission; while fighting multiple heroes at once is challenging, it is much, much easier than the last map, and rushing this group can make the strike force as a whole go faster. On the other hand, the phase shift effect seems to hit more frequently on the ground, and this author is more familiar with the more standard divide-and-conquer method used below.
When rushing, the defeat order above can be varied to place Manticore above Back Alley Brawler; otherwise it is fairly fixed. Numina goes first because she can buff teammates if not otherwise occupied; Sister Psyche's psi damage makes her too dangerous to leave alone; and Manticore's lack of travel power makes him easy to leave until last, as we'll see.
Divide and Conquer
Move the team to the top of the globe; this is a very tactical advantage for you since only 3 out of the 4 can get to the top of the globe. A villain on your team with –fly powers will make things easier, but is not required. You will need a team member that is able to draw aggro, survive, and jump/fly to the top part of the globe. All heroes are going to follow but Manticore because he does not have any travel powers that can get him to the top of the globe.
Place your team back towards the head of the Atlas Globe statue, hopefully this will bring Numina next to the team (once the puller joins with you) and also have Sister Psyche just outside the ledge of the globe. If you have them, you can use -fly powers on Sister Psyche and drop her back down to the ground. You may need to adjust your position on the globe to make sure as Sister Psyche is flying up that you can get her back down to the ground. Doing this will buy you a few seconds to finish off Numina.
By this time Back Alley Brawler has made his way up to the top of the globe. If you can continue to keep Sister Psyche down from –fly power continue to work on Back Alley Brawler. If you can’t keep Sister Psyche away from you defeat her next. Her psychic powers and holds are harder to deal with than Back Alley Brawler's power sets.
Once you have defeated all three of these heroes you can proceed to Manticore where he waits on the ground. To complete the mission, you need to defeat both Manticore and his associated Longbow spawn, which is scattered around him on the steps.
Assault Vindicators Base
Now that you have recovered from the temporal disruption, it is time now to obtain the bait for the cursed Statesman! You have the Orestes Rifle and the security codes to the Vindicator's [sic] base. Go now and kidnap Ms. Liberty!
Ms. Liberty is the leader of the Vindicators and will not be taken down easily, especially in the defense of her base. Proper use of the Orestes Rifle should suppress the more powerful of the enchantments granted by the Well of Furies!
- Steal access code: defeat Vindicators to obtain
- Find base key: found in south room of second level
- Defeat Ms. Liberty: found in east room of second level
Excellent! Now that we have Ms. Liberty, we can force the final confrontation with Statesman!
The team enters an indoor tech complex housing many Longbow. Fairly close to the entrance the team will come to a room holding the Vindicators: Malaise, Swan, Luminary, Mynx, and Valkyrie. The team must defeat them in order to advance.
The room with the heroes is behind a door; it's the first door on the map, so it's fairly easy to recognize. Many teams stealth/tp to this point, although this is not critical. Set up around the corner from the hallway leading to this door, or just inside the hallway itself, before opening the door - this is a good place to summarize strategies and coordinate the sequence of events.
The Vindicators spawn at level 51 no matter what level and reputation your leader has, and the battle may at first seem overwhelming. Keep in mind that this is still a warmup act for the final mission, and while you can consider using shivans here, doing without makes for good practice for strategies you'll need later.
Here is a roster for the Vindicators in the usual defeat sequence:
The defeat sequence is fairly fixed. Malaise goes first because he is the most dangerous, between his psi damage, pets, and fear-inducing powers. Next is Swan, who also does psi damage. Luminary comes before Mynx and Valkyrie, who each have powers that make them time consuming to defeat: Mynx with Elude, and Valkyrie with self-resurrection.
This battle is difficult but possible for just about any team makeup this author has used. Buffs must be kept fresh, inspirations used freely; debuffs to resistance and regeneration are going to be key, while pets can be used to spread aggro and add some damage. As difficult as it seems, try if at all possible to avoid using shivans here; you'll need them more in the last battle than now.
Once you have defeated all of the Vindicators, open the door leading deeper into the base. Your next target is the key to unlock Ms. Liberty's final room, which is located up the western elevators, through the intersection to a room in the south quadrant. If you have a teammate with stealth and TP, they can sneak past the Longbow to this room and summon enough people to defeat the room and gain the key. Then sneak back through the intersection to the north, where the door to Ms. Liberty awaits. Again teleportation can be used to summon the team into battle to clear the area before the door. If you have no stealth, then you can fight your way through, which is time consuming but not overly difficult. Keep in mind an ambush will arrive after you take the key.
You are ready to buff up for the final battle of the mission. Use the Orestes Rifle on Ms. Liberty to weaken her as soon as you engage. She is not exactly a pushover, but compared to fighting five Vindicators she should go down rather quickly.
Destroy Statesman and Freedom Phalanx
The final confrontation with Statesman is at hand! I have sent word to my arch-enemy in Paragon City, setting the terms for the conflict. He is to clear Atlas Park so only true heroes and villains may clash! He will show up with some Longbow agents to cordon off the area so citizens would not get hurt. I also allowed the Freedom Phalanx to aid him - it will make his eventual defeat all the more satisfying! Go now and defeat the greatest of heroes, the mighty Statesman and his precious Freedom Phalanx!
This will be a great triumph! To have Statesman publically [sic] defeated will be a glorious victory!
- Defeat Statesman and Freedom Phalanx: located underneath Atlas Globe
The mighty Statesman and his precious Freedom Phalanx are defeated! It was a great and glorious battle - you have proven yourself to be a true Archvillain! Let it be known that Lord Recluse does not forget services rendered to him. My scientists have finished analyzing the 'H-Boosters' you acquired in the future timeline. They are temporary power boosters created from the being known as the Hamidon! Arachnos science managed to stabilize the temporary synthetic compound, making them permanent. These I give to you for carrying out my task - use them well!
Defeating Statesman awards the Archvillain badge.
Upon defeating the last member of the Freedom Phalanx, each member of the team will be presented with a reward choice table. Players may choose either a rare "Trial Pool" Invention recipe, level 53 single-origin damage, accuracy, recharge, or endurance reduction enhancement, or a Synthetic Hamidon Origin Enhancement. Players have an opportunity to clear space in their enhancement trays before accepting the reward.
To prevent "farming" of the LRSF for the rare recipe, the option to take the recipe will only be enabled once every 24 hours.
In this mission an Arachnos Flyer has landed on a corner of the Atlas Park map - essentially the same map as the fourth mission, but present day. The area is surrounded by Longbow with City Hall and the Atlas Globe in the center of the map. Below the globe will be Ms. Liberty defeated, with the Freedom Phalanx around her ready to rumble.
No matter what level and reputation your team leader has, the Freedom Phalanx always spawn at level 53. This is +3 to the team at best, and +4 to any lackeys. Taking even one of these heroes down can prove challenging; defeating all eight is without question the most difficult task in the game.
The full roster of the Freedom Phalanx, listed in a common defeat order, is:
Consulting their individual profiles to gain an understanding of their damage types, travel powers, and resistances will give you an edge in this battle.
The defeat sequence should always start with Numina, because if left unengaged she will give her team empathy buffs (including Fortitude) that make them much more difficult to defeat.
After Numina the sequence is up for debate. Some teams (particularly those with buffed shivans) immediately close in on the hero who took the most damage during the assault on Numina, based on the idea that that hero will drop most quickly. Other teams consider Sister Psyche as the mandatory next target because her psi damage is not resisted well by many defensive sets, including /stone for brutes.
Most teams finish with Statesman, because he has the highest resistance and base HP, and therefore takes the longest to kill; however, this author has heard that if there is some other hero alive when Statesman goes down, Statesman will not activate Unstoppable. So there is an argument for leaving someone else alive while taking States down. Regardless, Statesman does not seem to have the highest threat level since his damage is almost all smashing, which most brute sets should be able to handle with a reasonable amount of healing/buffing support.
Whatever defeat order you use, the team should designate one person to call targets and focus fire. The rest of the team (save only the taunt brute, if applicable, and his/her healer/buffer) should attack only that target. Doing otherwise spreads damage unnecessarily and prevents the team from penetrating the huge regeneration the Phalanx has.
Some teams use a pull strategy, but this author has never seen it work. Apparently there were some changes to the stances of the heroes after issue 7 was released, which made pulling harder. Still, forum users claim to be able to pull the group into 4 and 4, which is certainly an improvement. Hopefully someone who has this strategy mastered can edit this post to provide tips.
Many teams start the last battle with the following sequence: teammate suicide, buff, summon pets, summon shivans, vengeance everything, resurrect teammate, and rush. If you do this, make sure to have the teammate suicide against a side spawn, not the heroes - once aggroed, Numina will buff her teammates, and you don't want that stacked against you from the start.
If you plan to rush, you should also rush the Vindicators in the fifth mission - and to have any hope of succeeding in the end, you should do the fifth mission without shivans and without nukes. Yes, the last mission is just that much harder. If you need shivans against the Vindicators, the Freedom Phalanx will most likely prove impossible.
Recently this author has been running teams with a very specific strategy based on Warburg temporary powers (see below for descriptions). This strategy has been very effective, to the point where it appears that any team build should be able to succeed with it, in a very short amount of time.
This strategy requires, at a minimum, that everyone on the team have both Shivans and Chemical Burn. In addition, if the team lacks damage buff potential (from Corruptors or MasterMinds) the team may need a number of Biological Mutagens. Also required is a team member with Vengeance, and before starting everyone should buy inspirations from St. Martial.
Gather the team together on the steps in front of the Freedom Phalanx. Notice that they are already grouped fairly closely - close enough for a Chemical Burn to hit them all. This is key to the strategy. Have someone suicide against a Longbow spawn. Then begin buffing teammates while everyone prepares themselves mentally.
As quickly as possible do the following in exactly this order:
1. Summon all pets and Shivans 2. Cast Vengeance 3. Resurrect teammate, who summons Shivan a. If anyone has Biological Mutagens use it now 4. Team pops the following inspirations: a. 4 Lucks b. 7 Sturdies c. 1 Breakfree 5. Team moves onto platform together 6. Team drops all Chemical Burns into the center of the Freedom Phalanx a. If anyone has Nuclear Warhead use it after Chemical Burn 7. Team targets through team leader, who attacks Heroes in defeat order
This author has seen the entire Freedom Phalanx destroyed within thirty seconds to a minute using this strategy. Combat logs reveal that the Shivans' damage outclasses the team's significantly, making even step 7 of questionable importance - the critical parts of this strategy are the Shivans, buffed with Vengeance, pounding on heroes crippled by Chemical Burns. If all the warheads are deployed correctly the only thing the team needs to do is survive long enough for the Shivans to do their work - hence the use of inspirations to max everyone's defense and resistance to start.
Much fuss has been made on the forums regarding the relative value of Dominators and Stalkers on this strike force as compared with Brutes and Corruptors. By publishing this sequence, this author hopes to encourage Dominators and Stalkers to run the strike force on teams that might otherwise fly in the face of conventional wisdom.
Strike Force Strategies
Lord Recluse's Strike Force has earned much notice and generated much discussion amongst the City of Villains community, given its high difficulty and entry threshold. Thanks to this discussion, there are a number of viable strategies discussed - even though most proponents of one strategy voice dissent at the validity of the other strategies.
Ignoring the controversy for now, the Strike Force has a number of possible strategies to make play easier, and for some players, make defeating the Strike Force feasible.
Listed here are some basic tactics employed by many players. Some of them are regarded as exploits, and others signs of design problems, rather than as entirely legitimate tactics in their own right.
Time Saving Tips
Spawn levels: Recluse' contact should have his/her reputation set to Villainous. Additionally, the team might also consider using the lowest level teammate for this role. The heroes will spawn at defined levels, but the Longbow and Malta agents key off the leader's level.
Zone time: Another option is to have the teammate with the fastest zone time be Recluse' contact, so that (s)he can reach Recluse and grab the next mission as quickly as possible. The rest of the team can meet directly at the launch point for the mission without having to head into Grandville's center.
There are certain powers that many teams won't consider starting the strike force without. Again their necessity is a subject of much debate on the forums. It is quite possible to finish the mission without any given powerset in this list, but this author has never done it without the majority.
Stone brutes: They have the highest resistance of any brute defensive set, and have the highest survivability against heroes.
Kinetics corruptors: Stone brutes move incredibly slowly, and they in particular need kinetics to help them out. In addition, kinetics heals have a -regen component and speed boost is widely regarded as one of the best buffs in the game.
Radiation corruptors: The debuffs in this set are amazingly strong, and given the huge regen and resistance base that the Freedom Phalanx starts with, they are in high demand. Many teams won't consider running the RSF without at least two of these (though I've done it with none). The debuffs in this set serve much the same purpose as Chemical Burn warheads from Warburg (see below).
Thermal corruptors: The buffs and heals in this set are nice, and particularly if you have a non-stone brute for holding aggro on the last map, you may need them for sheer survivability. The debuffs are also welcome although not held to be as critical as Radiation's.
Dark corruptors or masterminds: Tar patch is a great AoE resistance debuff, and resistance debuffs seem to be a critical component for succeeding against the ridiculously high hit point and regen base of the Freedom Phalanx.
Vengeance: This is a critical component of rush strategies that require huge initial buffs (see above). While vengeance does not, by design, stack (i.e. subsequent casts after the first have no effect), it is possible to exploit a timing bug to stack it nonetheless, by casting simultaneously. Apparently the window for stacking is the length of the cast time for Vengeance, which, while small, is nonzero. The key to stacking vengeance is having everybody with the power set it on auto, while targetting a dead teammate, out of range of the power. Then, have someone with Recall Friend teleport the dead teammate to the group, and the Vengeances set to auto will fire simultaneously.
Stealth or Grant Invisibility + Teleport: There are several opportunities to stealth and TP through parts of the first five missions - particularly the middle of the second and fifth missions. Using a stealth + teleport strategy can help keep the team moving quickly and the faster you reach the last mission, the fresher and more alert you will be.
Shivans: The Shivan Shard is a temporary power acquired by completing the Shiva Strike Mission in Bloody Bay. Each of its 5 uses summons a powerful Shivan Decimator, which is an Elite Boss capable of going toe-to-toe with even the Freedom Phalanx heroes. With some practice a team can fully equip itself in about ten minutes - well worth it for any team build. Starting this Task Force without a full complement of Shivans is usually considered foolhardy.
Warburg Weapons: These are quite powerful, but extremely tedious to gather; the instructions are detailed in the article Missile Launch Mission. It's easiest to use teams of three, where you grab three technicians at once and trade them off to whoever is getting the nuke at the time. Gathering these in advance is highly recommended, since large teams getting techs all at once just get in each others' way, and overall, more time is wasted before the strike force proper can start.
Here are the possible warheads and their capabilities, listed in order of desirability:
- Chemical Burn - Ranged AoE Foe -Res(All), -DEF: These are critical for lowering the Freedom Phalanx resistances so that your damage output exceeds their regeneration.
- Biological Mutagens - PBAoE, Ally +Regeneration, +Dam. These can help buff the damage from Shivans as well as teammates. Shivans do huge amounts of damage at base; with damage buffs they are unbelievable.
- Nuclear Blast - Ranged AoE, Extreme DoT(Energy), EMP, Foe -End, -Recovery. Combined with Bio and Chem, these can dish out a huge amount of damage all at once. This author, however, has never had a team with the patience to gather eight of them on top of the 16 others the team will have accumulated.
The warheads really shine when they are stacked, and the bio warhead shines when it buffs the Shivans. Chemical warheads are such a huge debuff stacked that they can cut the time to defeat an individual hero down into half or less of the length of time a set of inspirations lasts - meaning you can max your defenses with inspirations and get a good part of the way through the Freedom Phalanx before they wear off. See the "Warhead Rush" strategy above.
Enchantment of Serafina: The Enchantment of Serafina is a team buff awarded to the leader of a successful Ice Mistral Strike Force. Activation not only grants resistance to psychic damage, it also adds psychic damage to all attacks - both very useful for the final battle with the Freedom Phalanx. The buff has 10 charges.
Demonic is very commonly used by aggro brutes to increase survivability.
You will definitely need to use Inspirations throughout the whole Strikeforce. You can get them from the Arena in St. Martial, from the vendor in Ouroboros, or from base storage. Most useful are going to be defense, resistance, and life inspirations.
With the issue 7 changes, characters with no other defensive powers will max their damage mitigation from purple inspirations on the 4th small luck. After that characters should start using orange inspirations. Brutes and stalkers may have additional defense that makes the 4th or even 3rd luck wasted. Both purple and orange inspirations are recommended for the final encounter because it is so brutal.
Mass Hypnosis Strategy
Recently I became aware of a way to single-pull every hero in this Strike Force by having a Mind Dominator. I have witnessed this firsthand on the Freedom server, done by a Dominator named Chaos Rift. Afterwards I looked around the official forums and I found this post:
- I will only list my tactics for the last mission, as it can be applied to the 3rd and 4th as well. You will need to 6 slot Mass Hypnosis with 2 acc / 2 sleep / 2 recharge to start. If you can get 3 Acc/Mez SHOs and 3 recharges you will be golden. Also have hasten with 3 recharges obviously.
- On your team you will need 1 brute of any type, and a minimum of 2 /Kinetic Corruptors. After that you just need damage dealers; Stalkers, Masterminds, any Corruptors, and more Dominators. Still try to have the debuffs and heals, but the Kinetic's heal alone seems to be enough.
- Start off with targeting Citadel, as he is most centered among the heroes. Then pop megalomaniac and force of nature. Stacking as much duration as you can is most important on first few pulls. Jump up and hit Mass Hypnosis, and keep at it until you are sure all heroes are asleep. Then have a corrupter pull Numina to start, avoid flying because even though Statesman is asleep he can still call out for Liberty
- As long as Statesmen doesn't say "This is for Liberty" the heroes won't join the fight if they wake up from a missed sleep. However as soon as Statesman says "This is for Liberty" any heroes you miss with sleep, and awake, will attack. You must use your single target sleep on any missed heroes after this point. The single target sleep does have a damage componant, so heroes will sometimes get one shot in. Always make sure you are at full health to avoid being one-shotted.
- You can pull heroes in any order, but if Statesman does call for Liberty, I always go for Synapse after he says that. The reason being if I have to single target him he runs so fast he can run out of aoe sleep range fast.
- The /Kinetic Corruptors MUST keep the Mind Dominator with 2 SB at all times, or Domination will stop and the heroes will wake up, and it becomes ugly.
- This method has given me a 100% completion rate on the LRSF.
My side notes: the team I was in that used this strategy only had two Kinetics (I was one of them). And the stone brute was only level 45, LK'd to level 48 for all but the last mission, when it was LK'd to level 49. No temp powers were used; no shivans, no nukes, no suicide-for-vengeance. This post needs cleanup, but the strategy is solid and I have seen it work with a very sub-optimal team. -- Leandro 08:02, 28 February 2007 (PST)
Defeating the Kronos Titan in the second mission awards the Master of Olympus Badge, along with Monkeywrencher Badge progress from the numerous Zeus Titans. Completing the fourth mission awards the Annihilator Badge. Defeating Statesman in the last mission awards the Archvillain Badge. Defeating the Freedom Phalanx in the last mission awards a Synthetic Hamidon Origin Enhancement.
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