MSF Character Review: Luke Cage

MSF - Luke Cage

Welcome to the latest article in our series of character reviews about the popular game Marvel Strike Force where we break down the kits to tell you how best to use Luke Cage and all of the other Heroes & Villains in MSF. While we do not claim to have all of the answers in this game, we do our research and have used every character we write about extensively while also giving you a little background on their story. These are reviews based on the character’s kit and actual gameplay to help you in your quest to dominate the Marvel Strike Force.


Luke Cage

MSF Farm Location: Blitz Store/Orbs

Primary Role: Tank



Carl Lucas was born and raised in Harlem New York. As a youth, he joined a gang called The Rivals, with his friend Stryker, where he fought the rival gang the Diablos and committed various petty thefts. Lucas was in and out of juvenile homes throughout his teens. He dreamed of becoming a major racketeer in New York until he finally realized how his actions were hurting his family. Stryker eventually came to the attention of the Maggia and was badly attacked in a mob hit, but Lucas was there to save him. Unfortunately, a rift formed between the friends, and Stryker planted heroin stolen from Cottonmouth’s organization in Lucas’ place, and called the cops. Lucas was arrested and sent to prison.
While in prison, he was consumed with hatred for his friend’s betrayal and got into many fights and had many escape attempts. Because of this, he was transferred to Seagate Prison. He was targeted his first day by racist and sadistic prison guard Albert “Billy Bob” Rackham. Dr. Noah Burstein came to the prison to perform secret medical experiments and recruited Lucas as a volunteer. He immersed Lucas in a tank of chemicals working with experimental cell regeneration based on a variant of the Super Soldier process. When he left the equipment unattended, Rackham tampered with the controls hoping to kill Lucas. However, the treatment extended past it’s intended purpose causing mutagenic changes throughout Lucas’s body. He used his new found powers to escape from prison and return to New York.
Still a wanted man, he adopted the moniker “Luke Cage,” and he started using his new found powers for profit.

Strategies in Marvel Strike Force:

Luke is one of the easiest characters to farm, as he’s available from the blitz store and in blitz orbs, and he’s the first Red Star character players will get. While he can work well in any hero team early game, he doesn’t truly shine until partnered with his fellow Defenders. In a full Defenders squad, he can increase their longevity and provide some recovery and protection, and the other Defenders help boost a few of his base stats. One of the only 2 turn taunters in the game, this makes Luke a great early tank. As the Defenders are one of the easiest and earliest synergistic teams that can be farmed, Luke carries his value through the mid and late game as part of a full Defenders squad.

Example Team Synergies:

  • “Core Defenders” – Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, Luke Cage
    The core Defenders team synergize amazingly well together and provide benefits to one another in the team. Luke provides his fellow Defenders Offense Up if he calls them to assist on his basic, provides Regeneration to Defenders on his special, and applies Defense Up to Defenders for two turns on his Ultimate and gives out ability energy to random allies. When put into a Defender team, he also gains +5% Health per Defender ally, up to 15%.
  • “PunFenders” – Core Defenders + Punisher
    Best for: Raids, Arena (Offense), Blitz, Alliance War (Offense)
    The Punfenders have a lot of sustain, great synergy between Punisher and Daredevil, increased damage against Villains due to Punisher and because of this are well suited to blitz, arena and raids. They are a great early to mid-game Arena team able to hold well on defense due to their sustain and counter, and can punch above their weight class (especially against Villains) on offense. While they are not considered a “top tier” raid team, they are more than capable of holding their own in raids due their sustainability and health regen. Luke provides the team (except for Punisher) with Defense Up and Regen from his ultimate ability and Special. When combined with Iron Fist’s heal, this provides a lot of frustration for opponents who have to deal with Luke’s 2 turn taunt as well. This team is great for both Arena defense and offense (early to mid-game), Alliance War Offense and Defense, Blitz (up to and including 8.3), especially against Villains, Raids, and Enter the Darkness.
  • “Ms.Fenders” – Core Defenders + Ms. Marvel
    Best for: Raids, Blitz, Arena (Defense), Alliance Wars (Defense)
    The “Ms.Fenders” team doesn’t have the raw damage output that the Punfenders do, but it provides more sustainability and adds an “off tank” that will assist when Daredevil and Iron Fist go. This off tank capability can provide some extra protection for Luke if he gets focused while his taunt is up so that he can get some Iron Fist heals, or his own personal Regeneration. This team isn’t as great as Punfenders in Arena offense, but does provide more survivability for Arena Defense, Alliance War and Raids. This team is a good blitz team as well, but Ms. Marvel works well with other teams as well in Blitz or Alliance War(like Brawlers). It should also do well by providing more survivability in Enter the Darkness
  • “SpidyFenders” – Core Defenders + Spider-Man or Spider-Man (Miles)
    Best For: Arena (Offense), Blitz, Alliance Wars (Offense)
    You may be noticing a trend here. Nearly any City Hero works great with the core Defenders team. Spider-man adds another punch to the team and something a little different than the Punisher. With Spider-Man on the team, he hits hard, applies defense down to multiple opponents, and can stun on his ultimate. With Spider-Man (Miles), he also hits hard, can debuff enemies, apply disrupt, remove speed bar, and more. This team plays very similar to the Punfenders team, but loses some fire power against Villains with the loss of Punisher. This team is good for Arena offense in early to mid-game, and Blitz, but like the Ms.Fenders team, both Spideys work well with other comps (like Ms. Marvel or Spider-verse) to create multiple blitz teams. It should do well in Raids, Alliance Wars and Enter the Darkness, though it does lack the punch of the Punfenders team.

Dorian is a member of the exclusive FoxNext Envoy program for MSF and is one of the hosts for the popular “Ravager Report” podcast that covers all things Marvel Strike Force related. You can find Dorian on the Ravager Report discord (, and on twitter @dorianblade1 and @ravagerrepo.

Origin/backgrounds are taken in full or in part from the Marvel Fandom wiki.

Featured Deals