Firstly, do not, NEVER, waste your ISO on tokens, the 500 standard. Not worth at all, as it brings a ton of 1*s and you will not stay on that level for too long. 2*s are very common and even the weaker ones will be of much more use. Level your 1*s a bit but just enough to not lose over and over the storyline. Also use all your Hero points (HP) on roster slots, always until you have about 40 slots. Buying covers is not worth because you can't buy enough to make a difference.
When you get some 2*s, before you rush to level them up I want you to consider the strength of it. There are VERY good 2*s (better than 4*s even) and TRASH 2*s, worse than 1*s.
The best 2*s right now (and their best builds) are:
- Ares 445;
- OBW 355 (Original Black Widow);
- Daken 355;
- cStorm 553 or 355 (Classic Storm);
- Mags MN 355 or 454 (Magneto Marvel Now).
Having all of those at lv94 is your first goal, as it helps immensely to move to the next step. Common combos for pvp are Ares+OBW, Ares+Daken, Mags MN+cStorm.
Following there are some other valuable 2*s that can be used as backup if your heroes die or just because you are tired of using the same ones over and over. They are:
- Thor MN 355;
- Wolverine 553 (Astonishing Wolverine, the other versions are not mentioned as Wolverine but as Patch and X-force);
- Hawkeye 355 (the 1* is garbage).
Combos here are using a better 2*, Wolverine+OBW, Thor MN+OBW, Mags MN+Hawkeye, Daken+Wolverine.
Every now and then there's a pvp tournament called 'Ballance of Power' and all heroes are bumped to lv270. Venom and Juggernaut shine because of high hp and damage on BoP but other than that don't keep any other 1* or 2* that were not mentioned above.
And here comes the jump: with those 2*s maxed and after some practice you can start doing around 450 to 500 score on pvp and this might net you a 3* cover. AIM FOR THAT, INDIVIDUAL PVP RANK IN TOP 100. Keep gathering them until you have enough to level a couple 3*s to 120 or so. Yes, you need two at least, and good ones, and here is why:
the level of the enemies on pve is accordingly to the level of your highest level hero. So having just one overleveled hero (and sometimes a bad one) just makes it much more difficult, sometimes even impossible, to make good scores on pve events.
But 'why around lv120' you ask. Because that's when a 3* become stronger than a 2*. Yep, a 2* lv94 is stronger than a 3* or 4* at that same level and a little after.
'Bullshit, no way a 2* is stronger! Why would it be?"
Because after some point the 3* will surpass those 2* by a good margin, and same happens to 4*s. A 3* is stronger than a 4* of same level, but the 4* will go as far as lv270 while the 3* can only be 166. To be honest even the difference between a 3* lv166 and a 4* lv270 is very small (3 points of damage per tile to be exact). The big difference on 4*s is that the level increases their power's damage, so even with close match damage they are a much bigger potential.
Now you have a bunch of 3*s with some covers and either have no space or HP to get more slots? STOP OPENING TOKENS. Tokens do not expire but covers do. Save for later. Even if you could get a 3* or 4* cover from tokens it's unlikely that it would make you start using that hero right now.
Again there are some 3*s that are not worth even keeping, like She-hulk, Ragnarok, MK40 Ironman, Beast and Dr Octopus. Need space? Dump those.
Others are sub par and not worth using much but also not THAT bad to dump. They are:
- Spiderman 355;
- Punisher 355;
- Gamora 355;
- Human Torch 544 or 535;
- Doom 55-;
- Psylocke 535;
- Captain Marvel 355;
- Sentry 535 (nerfed recently but still decent, just different build);
- Mohawk Storm 535;
- Grey Suit Black Widow 535.
They might substitute an unavailable hero or are strong enough when featured on events.
Now to point names, the 3*s that you should aim for are:
- Lazy Cap 355 (Steve Rogers, people call him 'lazy' because he's a copy of the 2* just with higher numbers);
- Hood 355 or 553 (the ultimate support character, you might not level him to 166 to avoid him tanking damage);
- Black Panther 535;
- Hulk 535;
- Magneto 355;
- Lazy Thor 355 or 553 (Modern Thor, depending on whoever you use with him you might want to use the green AP in something else);
- Blade 553 or 355;
- Lazy Daken 553 or 544 (Classic);
- Rocket & Groot 535;
- Colossus 553;
- Mystique 535 or 355;
- Loki 535 (after the rework hes the second best support character);
- Deadpool 553 (try use him once a day, even with 1 cover, on pve if you want. DP points, when used on his purple power, win the fight instantly, always);
- DareDevil 535, 445 or 355 (depending on your playstyle);
- Patch 535 (Wolverine);
- Falcon 553 (third best support character, but only for special tiles team).
Getting two with at least 2 different colors is optimal but for some it might work even so, like Panther and Lazy Cap because cap yellow is way too expensive and Panther blue is hard to keep going. Lazy Cap and Hood also, because cap yellow isn't used and Hood blue is a passive, and so on. Using a 3/3 overlap is way harder because sometimes you can't get enough of said colors and then lose even on pve. Panther and Hood are a good example that works wonderfully when you have enough Ap but are terrible when you have no yellow or black matches.
KEEP ALL 4*s!!! They are too rare to afford dumping, even Invisible Woman can be buffed in future like X-force was.
I might have forgot someone but just point it out and I can edit it in (not counting the bad 2* ones like moonstone of course).
Also when leveling 3*s always level at least two together for same reasons pointed before. And only level them past 140 to put at 166 immediately. Same for 4*s, avoid leveling them too much before you have a wide 3* roster (at least 6 maxed is a good amount).
And as final note, I got some screenshots (from someone else in the game) to show more clearly the damage difference between the 2*, 3* and 4*s. All heroes of same rarity have same numbers of damage on tile match on same level. You will see that at lv110 a 3* has higher damage than a 2* but the amount of covers on that level and the damage difference being less than 5 makes so lv120 is the way to go.
(everything is from guidance of higher tier players, I just put all together. feel free to ask anything and debate about it).