MSF: Dread The Darkness Live Blog – Round #2 (Missions 9-16)

Dread The Darkness - Mission 9

Dark Dimension III: Dread The Darkness was the ultimate endgame content in Marvel Strike Force in 2020, and I began fighting it in May after finally getting my 5th character to Gear 14, before completing it in late December. While the Dark Dimension now has a 4th level, I began a quest to complete the Dark Dimension III a second time on February 28th and was able to finish the first 8 missions on March 13, 2021. Here I continue that quest as I fight battles 9-16 below.


My Dread The Darkness eligible Cosmic characters:

  • Thanos – 133,961 power, Level 80, Gear 14 +3, Abilities Levels 7-7-7-5 – 7 Stars, 5 Red Stars – Level 5 Fortifier
  • Ebony Maw – 138,608 power, Level 80, Gear 14 +5, Ability Levels 7-7-7-5 – 7 Stars, 5 Red Stars – Level 5 Skirmisher
  • Black Bolt – 150,412 power, Level 80, Gear 14 +3, Ability Levels 7-7-7-5 – 7 Stars, 6 Red Stars – Level 5 Striker
  • Minn-erva – 138,796 power, Level 80, Gear 14 +3, Ability Levels 7-7-7-5 – 7 Stars, 6 Red Stars – Level 5 Healer
  • Invisible Woman – 136,908 power, Level 79, Gear 14 +1, Ability Levels 7-7-7-5 – 7 Stars, 7 Stars, 6 Red Stars – Level 5 Healer
  • Captain Marvel – 114,805 power, Level 75, Gear 14 +0, Ability Levels 7-7-7-5 – 7 Stars, 5 Red Stars – Level 4 Skirmisher


Dread The Darkness – Mission 9

Cyclops (1.04m), 4.2m enemy health

03.13.21 – DTD Mission #9, Attempt #1 – Now halfway done with this, I face a mission that requires only Cosmic characters to fight. It took me 11 days to beat this the first time around, and I had to work this battle in late at night before bed so my notes are not as thorough. Using the characters above with Invisible Woman over CM, I went right after Phoenix in hopes of taking a short-term hit for a long-term gain. I was able to get Phoenix to summon Dark Phoenix without using too much firepower, then when Black Bolt came up for a second turn I had her marked Vulnerable and he was able to finish her off with the Iso-8 bonus attack. However after that the enemies overwhelmed me and while I was able to weaken them and nearly kill Cyclops, I was killed off with 14 of 15 left.


03.14.21 – Mission #9, Attempt #2 – Day two on this mission and I start by Thanos killing Cyclops with the first attack. This sets the tone as I am able to mow down the enemies by taking out Captain America and the two Storm enemies to hurt their offensive potential. I continue to utilize Iso-8 attacks well with Ebony Maw setting up Black Bolt – the links will show you my thoughts on each and how they interact with Iso-8. Another Captain America down and I just work my way through the enemies as reinforcements arrive, but I pick off the weaker enemies here and then go after the attackers and key support – Rocket, Star-Lord and Cyclops. In the end I have a Storm and Groot left and finish them off with ease for a 250k gold and 8k Gold Orb Fragments reward.


DTD Mission #10 – Attempt #1 – This mission took me 3 battles the first time around so I go in feeling good about my chances at success against Colossus and 15.7m health. I come out firing and am able to eliminate two of the 26 enemies quickly before a well setup ultimate by Black Bolt, combined with a Iso-8 bonus attack, finishes 5 enemies at once. Reinforcements arrive at 18 enemies left and IW and ME keep the team healthy as I mow the enemies down, chipping away at those I see as the biggest threats – Carnage, Scarlet Witch, Sabretooth, etc. At 8 enemies left another wave comes in and I stick with the strategy until I kill them all to receive 250k gold, 2k Mega Orb Fragments and 200 T-4s.


DTD Mission #11, Attempt #1 – With Green Goblin the featured enemy and 21.6m health across 30 bad guys, I begin on a mission that took me over two weeks the first time around. I go straight after HAND Sentry and look to also weaken the two Juggernaut enemies while they have no buffs, and I am able to clear the first wave of bad guys including some small reinforcements. However as I get down to 20 enemies I start to take some losses, with Thanos and EM along with IW getting killed. BB and ME take out one more before finally getting killed, leaving 12.6m health to go.

03.15.21 – Mission #11, Attempt #2 – With 19 enemies and 12.6m health to go I am back at it on this beautiful Monday. My team checks in at 698k power with Invisible Woman again chose over Captain Marvel in the 5th slot. Falcon and Spider-Man (Miles) are yellow and red health respectively, so they are the first to go down. Reinforcements arrive and I then go after Human Torch but the 8 enemies all on-screen get their turns in and eventually kill IW. I take out one Human Torch then follow by killing off the other then I finish off Deadpool and revive IW as reinforcements arrive at 14 enemies left. Now with 8 on-screen once again, I get IW to add barrier and a BB ultimate kills Mister Fantastic. I continue to seek out a blend of the biggest threats and the weakest enemies, and decide it is Falcon’s time to say bye bye, before doing the same to Green Goblin before reinforcements arrive at 11 left. BB kills Juggernaut and I survive a Human Torch ultimate then EM drains health when I really need it and heals my team a bit while also killing Deadpool. I kill HT to bring the enemy count to 8 and the final reinforcements arrive just before HAND Sentry adds stealth to his allies. Juggernaut taunts and I am in trouble, and I lose Ebony Maw only to revive him with Minn-erva and add barrier with IW. I remain stuck behind the Juggernaut taunt but a counter attack kills MF and I am able to finish off HS to bring it to my 5 versus the 6 remaining. The final MF and SMM die on a BB ultimate, then I kill Green Goblin as well and there are 3 enemies left. A couple of hits later Deadpool is dead and Juggernaut is the victim of well-played Iso-8 attacks, leaving Spider-Man as the final enemy. I kill him with basics and ear another 250k gold and 8k Gold Orb Fragments.

DTD Mission #12, Attempt #1 – The final Cosmic mission and the most difficult of the four, Mission #12 took me over 3 weeks to complete the first time around. With Stryfe as the featured bad guy and 36.5m health, I have to beat 36 enemies to advance. The enemies come out of the gate fast, hitting ME, EM and Thanos and weakening my squad before I take a turn. I am stuck attacking Stryfe to start, but Defense Up and Offense down from Ebony Maw is huge, as is the barrier from IW to help me survive the opening hits. Now the other Stryfe taunts and I am highly annoyed, as Thanos taunts and ME saves her ultimate. I decide to go right at the two Stryfe enemies and finally kill off the one on the left before focusing on the one on the right. Using Iso-8 to dispel and gain extra attacks is key here, and I am able to take out Pyro and the other Stryfe efficiently. Reinforcements come at 33 enemies left, and Scarlet Witch is part of the new group, but I kill off two more before turning my attention to her. Thanos takes several hits but survives, and a BB ultimate kills Ant-Man and Scarlet Witch as 29 enemies remain and reinforcements arrive again. Now facing 9 on-screen, I kill off the weakest of these – Namor and Wasp – then move on to the annoying Doctor Strange. At 25 reinforcements come again, but I keep with the strategy and continue to push forward with another group of bad guys arriving at 21 enemies left placing 9 on-screen against me. At this point I am in a bit of a tough spot, but IW’s barrier and EM’s health help out a lot in keeping me alive. Cable, Deadpool, Ant-Man and Vulture go down next as I keep rinsing and repeating this highly-effective strategy to stay alive and take out the biggest threats blended with the weakest enemies. At 15 another group arrives to place 9 against me once again, and Scarlet Witch is my target after killing off the weakest remaining. At 13 even more arrivals to now place 10 enemies on-screen and I take several hits to again be put in a tough spot with Thanos in the red and ll but Minn-erva in the yellow. After taking a few hits and really getting close to falling apart, IW adds barrier and the next few hits are much easier to take. BB’s ultimate kills two, including Scarlet Witch, and after surviving another round of attacks I finish off Sabretooth to get the enemy count to 10 total, 7 on-screen. I place a couple of hits on Stryfe to get him into the red and then the final 3 bad guys appear. I kill Stryfe, only to see Doc Strange revive him, then work hard to kill him again but I am taking a lot of hits. Once again I get a well-timed healer to help, this time as Minn-erva turns the tide by draining health and killing Deadpool and another to bring the enemy count to 7. I barrier up and kill Cable and Doctor Strange then work my way through the remaining five for the win. The reward is 250k gold and another 5k Red Star Elite 5 Credits.


My Dread The Darkness eligible City characters:

  • Spider-Man (Symbiote) – 136,717 power, Level 80, Gear 14 +4, Abilities Levels 7-7-7-5 – 6 Stars, 6 Red Stars – Level 5 Striker
  • Carnage – 128,507 power, Level 80, Gear 14 +1, Ability Levels 7-7-7-5 – 7 Stars, 5 Red Stars – Level 4 Skirmisher
  • Jessica Jones – 129,276 power, Level 80, Gear 14 +1, Ability Levels 7-7-7-5 – 7 Stars, 5 Red Stars – Level 5 Healer
  • Punisher – 145,582 power, Level 80, Gear 15 +0, Ability Levels 7-7-7-5 – 7 Stars, 6 Red Stars – Level 5 Striker

DTD Mission #13, Attempt #1 – This battle took me 8 attempts with just Punisher and Spider-Man (Symbiote) and while I now have four City characters eligible, Anti-Venom is two Superior Alien Spores away from being added. This first City mission features Graviton as the boss with 4.0m health to finish it across 19 enemies. I am facing a fast group of bad guys, but SMS is so key in these battles as his ultimate starts things off (must have been timed right from earlier DTD battles) and while Punisher takes some punishment, I am able to kill SHIELD Trooper and Doctor Strange early before focusing on Invisible Woman. After I kill IW things really tun in my favor as I pick the enemies off one by one and reinforcements arrive at 11 enemies left, then again at 8 and 6. I finish this board off with ease for 250k gold and 8k Gold Orb Fragments.

DTD Mission #14, Attempt #1 – This battle took me about 10 days the first time around with my two characters, but I go into battle here with 4 as I face a Mister Fantastic boss and 8.1m enemy health. My four characters with 534k total power will face 22 enemies, and I start off going right after Human Torch. SMS had an ultimate ready, and using an Iso-8 bonus attack, is able to kill HT just before a Shuri heal and Defense Up. The enemies try to exploit my weakened Punisher, but I keep laying hits on M’Baku and the surrounding enemies and him, Shuri and another quickly to bring the count to 18. At this point SMS starts to just tear the enemies apart as reinforcements come at 14 and 12. Human Torch’s offense puts JJ in the red to join Punisher, and I lose both once I get it down to 10 enemies left. Now just SMS and Carnage remain, but these two are so well suited for this game mode. Reinforcements arrive at 8 left, but a SMS ultimate slows them immediately and I am able to work through them with ease for another 250k gold, 2k Mega-Orb Fragments and 200 T4 Ability Materials.


03.16.21 – DTD Mission #15, Attempt #1 – With Rhino as the boss and 13.5m health to get through, I decide to hold off for a store refresh’s to see if any Superior Alien Spores show up for Anti-Venom to join the crew later tonight or tomorrow. No luck there as I ended up losing a day of attacks from this, but it is what it is. I choose to go forward with my four City characters and see if I can get a good start on this one. The tricky enemies I see immediately are Juggernaut, Scarlet Witch and Rhino so I go right after the healer as I usually do. I find that I can kill SW here, and likely nobody else, so I keep trying different starts to see if any work better for me. I finally settle in on going after Juggernaut first, seeing JJ and Punisher die fast, and having SMS and Carnage use their self heal on each turn to survive. I get past the poorly-timed heal from SW and I am able to kill her and land a SMS ultimate to slow the enemies drastically. From here, the use of Iso-8 on Spider-Man (Symbiote) and Carnage is the key to success offensively. Surprising to me, I am able to finish off these first 8 enemies and reinforcements arrive at 16/24 left. I go right after one of the two Venoms on-screen, knowing his heal block could screw me up, and I forget that Mysterio also lands heal block. They hit me where it hurts and finish my two off quickly to end the battle.


03.17.21 – Mission #15, Attempt #2 – This battle will start with 8.079m health of the original 13.5m remaining and 16 of 24 enemies. AoE attacks from Punisher and Spider-Man (Symbiote) follow Carnage’s Vulnerable placements, allowing me to eliminate 3 enemies quickly. At 8 enemies left reinforcements arrived kick my butt. I am able to remove one of them to leave 7 enemies to beat, but that is all for today.


03.18.21 – Mission #14, Attempt #3 – 7 enemies and 3.0m health remain as I plan to clear this board today with my foursome and their 540k total power. I take out a Mysterio and Spider-Man (Miles) to start, then finish the other Mysterio. In the end I still have my four alive and just Ant-Man in front of me as I use basics to finish him off for the win and 250k gold plus 8k Gold Orb Fragments.


DTD Mission #16, Attempt #1 – This battle took me two weeks the first time around and was much faster once I added Carnage. In this battle I will face 35 enemies with 27.1m total health. I go right after Doctor Strange and take some serious hits, but kill him off just after losing JJ. Next I place my attacks on Scarlet Witch but I am overmatched here and cannot make the progress desired, defeated with 34 enemies remaining and 25.5m health left.


Mission #16, Attempt #2 – I start with Carnage and SMS going right after Scarlet Witch and have her in the red right away. JJ finishes her off and Punisher starts to work Mordo down as Carnage finishes him. From here I just start working in my strategy where Carnage sets up the Vulnerable and SMS and Punisher try to get extra attacks in, but I lose JJ at 31 enemies left and Punisher at 30. The eight enemies on the screen overwhelm my team from here, but SMS gets a couple of hits in to weaken them and set tomorrow up with 30 enemies left and 20.2m health to go.


03.21.21 – Mission #16, Attempt #3 – 30 enemies and 20.2m health in front of me, my four some begins by taking several hits before taking a turn. I kill off Crossbones then stun Rhino with a AoE ultimate from SMS before killing Elsa Bloodstone and Loki. Now at 26 enemies left, I kill Rhino to get the enemy count to 25 before reinforcements arrive. Now 8 enemies on-screen, I am able to land some hits on Carnage, but lose Punisher just before I kill Carnage. They kill my JJ and I am down to Carnage and Spider-Man (Symbiote). Scarlet Witch heals the bad guys and this is going to be tough, but these two stay alive long enough to take their turns, which allows them to heal, and then the use of Iso-8 helps me tremendously. I end up getting through another Elsa Bloodstone, Scarlet Witch and others, and at 21 enemies left another round of reinforcements come to play. I take out Rhino and then take a ton of hits, barely able to get another turn from both Carnage and SMS. After Carnage’s turn they kill him off and before I can kill off Doctor Strange I finally get knocked out with 13.7m health remaining.


03.22.21 – Mission #16, Attempt #4 – As the Superior Alien Spores continued to evade me, my four City characters at 540k are back for another battle with 20 enemies and 13.7m health remaining to complete this mission. I start off taking some shots then kill of Doctor Strange followed by Merc Lieutenant. A AoE attack from Punisher bring the enemy tally to 17  before SMS kills Loki and reinforcements arrive. Now 7 enemies are on-screen and JJ is dead, I finish off one of the two Elsa Bloodstone enemies to bring it to 15 left, but the 6 on-screen kill Punisher and have my characters in red and yellow health. Carnage gets killed and while I get a couple of additional attacks in, I do not have enough to do any real damage, leaving 15 enemies and 11.2m health left.

Mission #16, Attempt #5 – It is Monday, so I use up all of my Dark Energy refresh to heal Carnage and SMS and give it another go. At just 265k power these two are in for some trouble, but the goal is to weaken or kill the enemy Carnage. Using Iso-8 effectively, Carnage adds the Vulnerable Iso-8 status effect on him and SMS is able to first Stun, and later kill the enemy Carnage as I continue to lay debuffs on the enemies and survive. Now at 14 enemies left, reinforcements arrive placing 8 enemies on-screen, and I go after the yellow health Elsa Bloodstone. Once again Iso-8 use is the key to my success as I am bale to remove Elsa to leave 13 enemies, but a 2 versus 8 is never a good matchup and the enemies overwhelm me leaving 13 enemies and 9.475m health to go.


03.23.21 – Mission #16, Attempt #6 – Back at it again today, I continue to strike out on the Superior Alien Spores I have needed for nearly a week. Not a single appearance in either store and that includes 6-8 refreshes of the War Store, so needles to say I am frustrated. I refuse to spend real money though…

I begin with 13 enemies to kill and 9.475m health as my four go to work checking in at 540k. I land my first several hits, including a Vulnerable, on Merc Lieutenant, and when Punisher comes up he uses his middle ability to splash damage the group around him. SMS follows with an ultimate to kill ML and stun Crossbones. After killing Vulture and dropping the enemy count to 11, reinforcements arrive to place 8 enemies on-screen and keep me from having an easy time of it. I am able to take out Shocker and Elsa Bloodstone next to get to 9 before the enemies all get an attack in, dropping punisher to red health and the others to yellow with Heal Block for all. I am able to finish off Crossbones to make it 4 versus 8, but Loki goes Stealth and brings some friends to mess me up. Mordo blinds Carnage and the enemies take 15+ attacks in a row to dismantle my team, leaving only SMS for a single attacks before I am done. 8 enemies with a total of 5.1m health will remain as I expect to be able to finish them in 2-3 days at most.


03.24.21 – Mission #16, Attempt #7 – 8 enemies with a total of 5.1m health remain as I look to set up tomorrow attack for the win, unless RNG is heavily on my side today. Carnage and SMS team up to kill Loki right away, then I take some hits. I start working on the enemy Carnage, and after 4 attacks he is dead, then I take a few more. I take out Mordo to remove the Heal Block potential, then place a ton of debuffs on Elsa Bloodstone and have SMS use his ultimate to slow down the enemies. When Carnage is up again he finishes off Elsa, then a AoE from Punisher kills off one of the two Vulture enemies as just 3 of 35 enemies remain. I take out the other Vulture along with Rhino, to leave just Ghost Rider against my four which thankfully is no contest. A day earlier than I planned, I complete the 3rd stage of the Dark Dimension and earn a 5-Red Star Ultimus and a ton of gear.


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