When Marvel Puzzle Quest debuted in 2013, it may have seemed like just another match-three in an ocean of them, but players familiar with the Puzzle Quest series suspected it might warrant a closer look, and they were right. The combination of high production values, a red-hot license, online competition and nuanced, yet easy to grasp gameplay proved to be a hit, and the game has been thriving ever since.
Once of the secrets to its longevity is the constant addition of new content, primarily in the form of new characters. While the first version only offered 23, each with their own powers and abilities, the developers have been adding more and more over time, and devotees of the game find the lure of growing their roster impossible to resist. At the moment, there are 115 to collect and more are always on the way.
Given that the cast of heroes and villains has grown so large, this list will take a stab at ranking them—but it’s not just a simple numbered countdown. Characters in MPQ are divided into different rarities, so a newcomer can’t just check who’s in the top ten, grab them, and start winning. No, climbing to the top of MPQ’s ranks is a slow process, so this list will rate each tier of rarity separately. It still gives a good idea of who’s top of the heap overall, but players who aren’t yet in the upper ranks can see who’s the best for the level that they’re at, and shoot for those characters as a means of carving a path to the top.
115. Yelena Belova (Dark Avengers): Poor Yelena. Most people don’t even know who she is, and she’s also the worst character in the weakest tier. She’s only got two powers, they cost a lot to use, and they’re not effective. Plus, she wants to be Black Widow… It’s kinda creepy.
114. Hawkeye (Classic): While I actually like Hawkeye’s powers because their ability to target specific areas of the board is great, they cost too much and don’t pack much punch. He’s fun to use, but fun without power doesn’t win a lot of matches.
113. Storm (Modern): This version of Storm isn’t bad at all, but as is the case with most characters in this tier, she’s pretty weak. Her enhanced versions are solid, but there are better choices in this rank. I love her outfit, though. This is my favorite iteration of Ororo Munroe.
112. Venom (Dark Avengers): Poor Venom. He used to be able to stun a whole team and devour anyone in one bite. He got nerfed when other webmaking characters joined the game and changed the dynamics of the power, and he’s just a shadow of his former nasty self now.
111. Spider-Man (Original): I love the history represented in this character. Calling back to his first appearance in Amazing Fantasy from 1962 was a nice surprise, and a great nod to comic buffs. He’s not a bad character, either. His ability to create critical tiles gives him a nice punch.
110. Black Widow (Modern): This version of Black Widow is one of the very few one-star characters that has utility in higher ranks. When used as a Team-Up, her ability to stun an enemy for five turns is supremely useful, and can often turn the tide of a battle.
109. Iron Man (Model 35): With Iron Man 35, players start to see the typical build for characters in higher ranks. He’s got a full spread of three powers and some diversity in his abilities. He’s a good all-arounder, and players starting out can’t go wrong with him.
108. Juggernaut (Classic): He’s the biggest fish in a small pond. Juggs has a lot of health, he dishes out a (relative) ton of damage, and he’s got a good board-shake which can earn some cascade matches and get rid of enemy tiles. This guy is the ticket to getting into two-star.
107. Spider-Man (Bag-Man): He is the worst, the worst, the worst. Not only does he look like a total dork, his powers are worthless and they cost a lot to use. He is an absolute disgrace and a failure from any perspective.
106. Bullseye (Dark Avengers): This version of Bullseye is yet another low-ranker whose powers cost too much for what they do, although he does have some use thanks to his passive ability to create defense tiles anytime anyone matches purple. Even so, it’s not enough to make him worth using.
105. Steve Rogers (Captain America): The only problem with this version of Cap America is that he’s just too weak. Creating defense tiles is fine and his ability to override enemy tiles is great, but his attack is absolutely toothless. Forget vibranuim, his shield is so weak that it’s apparently a repainted whoopee cushion.
104. Daken (Dark Avengers): Wolverine Jr. is underwhelming from any perspective. His self-healing isn’t enough to keep him alive, his hits are soft, and while his power to create strike tiles is somewhat useful, his daddy still isn’t proud of him.
103. Moonstone (Dark Avengers): Moonstone is frustrating. When the AI uses her, she’s surprisingly effective. When used by the player, she’s usually a letdown. The randomness ruins her tile-moving ability and her attack depends on having a red-heavy board, but stealing tiles can turn a loss into a win against much stronger enemies.
102. Human Torch (Johnny Storm): The Torch is totally middle-of-the-road. He’s got decent offense capabilities, but his black cannibalizes his own team’s power and his green relies on the player to constantly make more green matches. He’s a bit high maintenance.
101. Wolverine (Astonishing X-Men): I like the costume this version of Wolverine is wearing, and if he’s the last character standing, his claws gain quite a bit of power for a knockout slash. His healing ability is disappointing, though… He gets KO’d a lot quicker than a good Logan should.
100. Captain Marvel (Ms. Marvel): This Captain Marvel is only effective in very specific situations. Her destruction of shield tiles and supersonic attack aren’t anything to write home about, but she makes a ridiculous number of Team-Up tiles which create cascades and pays for high-cost abilities to be used.
99. Thor (Marvel NOW!): Two-star Thor is a solid character, but a little boring. He’s exactly the same as his bigger three-star brother, except that he’s just plain weaker all-around. Not a bad choice, but not a great choice, either.
98. Storm (Classic): Although her powers are a bit on the expensive side, Storm can gain AP to help herself along, and her blue power is devastating. Not only does it damage the entire team, the five-turn stun is a huge amount of time to knock an enemy out.
97. Hawkeye (Modern): Now we’re getting to the good stuff. If the player can make a match-5, Hawk creates a series of tiles which do massive damage. It obliterates enemies, but in order to get the job done predictably, he needs to either be absurdly lucky, or to team up with…
96. Magneto (Marvel NOW!): …This guy! Magneto’s purple ability is a perfect complement to Hawkeye since it lets him easily create match-5s. His red also does a healthy chunk of damage, but his real value is in being BFFs with Clint. They are a supreme combo in this tier.
95. Black Widow (Original): This spider has some bite! Her black boosts the match damage she does, so every move is stronger than most in this tier, she can also steal power from the enemy team, and her blue power delays enemy actions or heals the friendly team. She’s all-around useful in any situation.
94. Ares (Dark Avengers): Now this is a guy to watch out for. His yellow is a hefty hit, his red smacks the enemy team, and the power of his green is multiplied by how many green matches he makes. After saving up enough green, he can take the kneecaps out from under anyone.
93. Sentry (Dark Avengers): He may look like he just stepped out of a salon, but he’s not as fabulous as his hair. Sentry used to be devastating, but a nerf knocked him down quite a few pegs. His powers damage his own team without commensurate attack power, so there’s no reason to use him.
92. Spider-Man (Classic): Peter Parker deserves better than this. His web bandages heal allies, but it doesn’t do enough to be a big factor, and the same goes for his defense tiles. His nerfed web-stun isn’t a threat anymore, either. Amazing Spiderman? More like amazingly ineffective.
91. Colossus (Classic): For a guy made of steel, you’d think he’d be tougher. Even at full strength, his main attack isn’t worrisome, his “fastball special” is too random, and while his ability to tank for the team is great, it’s not great enough to ignore the fact that his other powers underperform.
90. Ragnarok (Dark Avengers): Poor Rags. Back in the day he was a real rough customer, but you’d never know it now. He’s got no real upside apart from making a few charged tiles, and he also damages his teammates. What a loser.
89. Beast (Classic): The Beast is a another character that lacks any real upside. His in-game animation is poor, all of his abilities are weak, and even after one buff, he’s still terrible. Other than being covered in pleasant-looking fur, he’s a wash.
88. Gamora (Guardians of the Galaxy): This Guardian doesn’t bring much to the table. She’s a fast attacker with low-cost strikes, but they’re not big hits. Her attack-increase ability is only useful in limited situations, and her stun is okay, but not enough to earn her a spot on a team.
87. Psylocke (Classic): I feel bad for Betsy. When she debuted, her ability to create tiles that deal damage each turn was unique, but she was immediately outclassed in the same category by Blade. She may be a fan favorite, but she’s not a favorite here.
86. Doctor Octopus (Otto Octavius): Otto’s an undervalued character. While he’s terrible in PVP, he shines in PVE with an ability to create attack tiles by destroying enemy tiles. It’s surprisingly powerful, especially when teamed up with Professor X.
85. The Punisher (Dark Reign) : The Punisher has one awesome power and two garbage ones, which make it difficult to prioritize him. Being able to one-shot weakened foes is superb in boss fights, but he’s a misfire otherwise.
84. Vision (Android Avenger): With the ability to change density as needed, The Vision is one of the most complicated characters in the game. His versatility offers options, but he’s held back by being too slow to adapt to changing conditions.
83. Rocket & Groot (Most Wanted): This pair is great at tanking thanks to Groot’s ability to regenerate huge amounts of health. Rocket’s tinkering skill makes strong buffing tiles, too. It’s a neat interpretation of the characters.
82. Storm (Mohawk): Her hailstorm is vicious in matches that run for a long time, but I’ve always thought that she was generally underpowered, not to mention she’s pretty squishy. She’s all right as a supporting character, but she can’t carry a team.
81. Daken (Classic): Created in the period when the developers were still carbon-copying characters in different tiers, he’s exactly the same as his one-star iteration, just stronger. So basically, he’s fine. His only real use is to make a lot of attack tiles for characters that use them.
80. Human Torch (Classic): Another hero that’s exactly the same as his two-star version. Still pretty solid as an attacker, but energy cannibalization remains an issue. Best teamed with characters who don’t use the colors he burns.
79. She-Hulk (Modern): For a character who’s big and green, it’s ironic that her best power isn’t physical. Her energy-draining scream is to be avoided at all costs, and she wreaks havoc on teams that make tiles with her legal-themed steal. Who needs muscles?
78. Doctor Doom (Classsic): Doom is solid support with the occasional huge hit. He can create a ton of black while also denying blue, his demons can chip a team down, and if he’s able to stay on the board long enough, his diabolical plotting can hit for an enormous amount of damage.
77. Squirrel Girl (Unbeatable): Although some may disagree, I find Squirrel Girl to be more fun than effective. That said, what’s not to like about sending an army of squirrels out to overrun your enemies? That’s worth a lot for the novelty alone.
76. Daredevil (Man Without Fear): Using Daredevil takes a bit of finesse and great timing, but a win with him is incredibly satisfying. He’s not the strongest or most consistent, but his tricky trap tiles make him one of the most enjoyable to use.
75. Quicksilver (Pietro Maximoff): This speedster has more board control than anyone else in the game, and when used effectively it can lead to making several moves in a row. It’s the match-three equivalent of making your enemy look like they’re standing still.
74. Bullseye (Classic): He might be a bit unhinged, but he’s another character with superior board control. Throwing knives at specific tiles is incredibly useful, and tossing an enemy’s weapon back at them is just as good.
73. Mystique (Raven Darkholme): Raven is a bit of a dark horse. While her blue power is garbage because it’s too random, her ability to stun and steal is effective. If she maintains her cover and is able to take a shot while in disguise, it’s a killer one.
Three-Star Characters, Continued
72. Black Widow (Grey Suit): While all of her abilities are on the expensive side, they’re worth it. Creating huge amounts of green is great, her sniper rifle damages the entire enemy team, and her pistol can target specific areas of the board. She’s a useful as her comics inspiration.
71. The Hulk (Indestructible): One of the best meat shields in the game. He’s got a huge amount of life and every time he takes damage, he generates green. Once he’s pissed, the cascades just keep on coming. He doesn’t hit as hard as one might expect, but he’s still useful on
70. Black Panther (T’Challa): The Wakandan king’s blue power is a bust, but his yellow is great for a quick increase in attack strength, and his black is nothing to fool around with. When those claws rake the enemy team, someone’s going down.
69. Blade (Daywalker): What’s the board conditions are right for Blade, he’s absolutely devastating. A red-heavy board drives his bloodlust up, and when he’s in frenzy, his attack tiles take huge chunks out of enemies every turn. Even the toughest enemies will be drained to death before long.
68. The Hood (Classic): Like Moonstone, The Hood is a character who seems deadly when the AI uses him, and never feels as effective when I do. His energy steal is nice and his dual-wielding yellow attack is strong, but he just never seems to work out.
67. Loki (Dark Reign): He’s terrible in PVE and awful when defending in PVP, but he can be used to great effect when used offensively against other players. The AI just can’t resist making a match-4, which leads directly to them hamstringing themselves by letting Loki steal all of their energy.
66. Sam Wilson (Falcon): One of the best support characters in this tier. His falcon’s ability to auto-remove enemy special tiles is great, and his buffing is only second to Professor X. He can’t lead a team, but he absolutely shines as a second banana.
65. Wolverine (Patch): The three-star tier is the first time Wolverine actually has a healing ability that’s similar to what he has in the comics. His berserker rage can end matches quickly, but if used at the wrong time, it easily backfires. It’s a bit dicey, but so is Logan.
64. Luke Cage (Hero for Hire): Always a solid choice, Luke’s uppercut is devastating if he can get it off while his team is still alive, and having constant shielding is always a plus. He’s got amazing synergy with Iron Fist (naturally!) so the combo is tough to beat.
63. Thor (Modern): The god of thunder is somewhat unique in that all his powers chain together. The red feeds the yellow, yellow feeds the green, and the green delivers the smackdown. This level of focus doesn’t pop up often, but it’s like the building storms he’s god of.
62. Captain Marvel (Modern): If you ask me, she’s one of the most underrated characters in the game. If she’s at the right level to tank, she can generate a bunch of energy for her team, and having a stun that also delivers solid damage is always usable. Plus, check her sneer. So fierce!
61. Doctor Strange (Stephen Strange): He’s the newest character in the game, so there are still plenty of questions surrounding him. Even so, having an automatic attack and heal when enemies use powers is nothing to sneeze at. He seems to have a higher degree of control than other three-stars.
60. Magneto (Classic): A great addition to any team, Magneto can basically stand on his own. With a mix of limited board control, heavy damage and defense tiles, he’s the total package.
59. Deadpool (It’s Me, Deadpool!): I think this version of Deadpool was the first time the humor of Puzzle Quest came through. I mean, ninja whales that can one-shot any team in the game? And you have to pay him in-game currency to use it? It’s kind of a laugh riot.
58. Steve Rogers (Super Soldier): It takes a bit for this old soldier to warm up, but once he gets rolling, he’s fantastic. He can recycle AP to subsidize the cost of his powers, and being able to overwrite any tile stops enemies in their tracks.
57. Kamala Khan (Ms. Marvel): She can make tons of purple to feed herself or characters that use it, she can smack the entire team with giant fists, and she heals every time a teammate fires off a power. She’s awesome.
56. Cyclops (Uncanny X-Men): Scott Summers is a red-making machine, his zaps deal out big damage, and when he takes the visor off and lets loose, he can level a mountain.
55. Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff): Wanda’s green power is a wash, but her others make up for it. Automatically generating purple is a huge, and her reality crush can take a character out of the equation for five turns — basically an eternity. She’s a superstar.
54. Iron Fist (Immortal Weapon): All of Danny Rand’s powers are great. He can create lots of black, his punch is powerful and fast, and he generates an automatic attack tile free of charge. He is the best, and even better paired with Luke Cage.
53. Iron Man (Model 40): This version of Tony’s armor went from being one of the worst characters in the game to one of the best. His ability to generate a huge amount of power is unparalleled, and his chest beam is a huge attack. He’s an absolute must-have and the backbone of energy-hungry teams.
52. Invisible Woman (Classic): She may be a four-star, but that doesn’t mean she’s any good. She started off terrible, and even after a buff she’s still the pits. She’s as bad as Yelena or Bag-Man, with increased match damage being her only advantage.
51. Mr. Fantastic (Reed Richards): Ironically, Reed is just as terrible as his wife. Ostensibly meant to support fellow members of the Fantastic Four, he ended up as an ineffectual mess, and has nothing to recommend him.
50. Sam Wilson (Captain America): When Sam comes crashing down from the sky, it’s an earth-shattering hit. The problem is that it takes a long time and a lot of energy to get there, and it’s just too easy to stop him from building up enough steam.
49. Venom (Eddie Brock): This Venom is definitely better than the other version, but he’s built specifically to counter enemy special tiles. It makes him too specialized, and mostly useless in most matchups.
48. Devil Dinosaur (Gigantic Reptile): When it comes to nostalgic favorites, this guy is tops! I mean, he’s a giant dinosaur, how awesome is that? On the other hand, all he really does is bite stuff, so his repertoire is limited. Still, a dinosaur!
47. Drax (The Destroyer): This guy seems tough, but he’s got issues. Ending the turn when he uses his purple power is a big downside, he removes his own team’s special tiles, and his red is most powerful when the enemy near full health. Get some counseling, dude.
46. Gwenpool (Gwen Poole) She’s verging on being a gag character. Sending her teammates airborne has limited use besides being funny, and her main power is so complicated that people have actually created spreadsheets to know how to use it. Plus, dumb name.
45. Howard The Duck (Howard, A Duck): Everyone thought the developers were kidding when they said Howard was coming to the game, but he made it, and he’s not half bad. Being able to take off his clothes and blend in with other ducks is a lot more effective than you might think.
44. Spider-Gwen (Gwen Stacy): This Gwen’s got a mean punch, but her main use is to team up with other Spider-based characters. She’s not bad, but when the board is covered in webbing, watch out.
43. Moon Knight (Marc Spector): This guy’s mental health bleeds into his powers in a neat twist since they have a lot of randomness to them. On the other hand, randomness isn’t too welcome in a game like this, but he is good for a hoot.
42. Kate Bishop (Hawkeye): She’s a pretty straightforward damage dealer. Not outstanding any respect, but very solid and can hold her own. Plus, she has a pet named Pizza-Dog, so she’s got that (and boomerangs) in the plus column.
41. Luke Cage (Power Man): Very few characters can create fortified tiles (they need to be matched twice) and Luke is all about helping the team shore up their defenses and keeping what defenses they have. He’s quite new so his full value is yet to be revealed.
40. War Machine (James Rhodes): Rhodey makes a lot of countdown tiles which can be matched to negate their effects, so it makes him a gamble to use. He’s also able to flush out invisible characters though, so he’s a great counter to enemies that like to hide.
39. Blade (Modern): This version of Blade is another newcomer to the game, so he’s still a fairly unknown quantity. The only thing that’s immediately clear is that his artwork is terrible. I really hope his visuals get a revamp because he looks like garbage.
38. Miles Morales (Spider-Man): I dig this character a lot. Passively generating energy when his webs get destroyed is great, and going invisible is always a huge advantage in most situations. Hide and seek? More like hide and punch you in the face.
37. Winter Soldier (Bucky Barnes): Bucky strikes a good balance between being a finesse character and one that’s just generally useful. Tossing a grenade and then shooting it out of midair is boss, and sniping away enemy energy slows them down, so a bit of control is great.
36. Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew): Damage avoidance and reduction abilities don’t seem get much love in this game, but I’m a big fan. Like Elektra, Jessica can negate a ton of incoming damage, and I suspect that most players haven’t discovered what an advantage that is yet.
35. Wasp (Janet Van Dyne): Janet is a great support. Constantly stealing energy from the enemy every turn is quite helpful, and when she’s teamed up with characters who create tiles, being able to switch their function while buffing them is also a big boost for the team.
34. The Hulk (Totally Awesome): Amadeus is a success story showing the developer’s commitment to constantly improving the game. His first version was a train wreck, but he’s gotten quite respectable now, and people hardly ever make fun of his hair anymore.
33. X-23 (All-New Wolverine): She may not have the killing power of Wolverine, but she’s got some of the best healing in the game. She can take hit after hit after hit and keep on coming, so she’s a fantastic anchor for any team.
32. Star-Lord (Legendary Outlaw): Successful developer rehab story, part two. His new passive ability lowers power costs for teammates, leading to faster attacks and quicker wins. He’s got a mean sucker punch, too. Pop in that mixtape and let him loose!
31. Ghost Rider (Johnny Blaze): Although Ghost Rider is one of my favorite characters in the comics, he’s only middling here. His black power is one of the most powerful in the entire game, but his other two abilities aren’t great. He’s super useful against bosses, but not so much otherwise.
30. Wolverine (X-Force): A lot of people think he’s due for a buff, and I can’t say that I disagree. His healing doesn’t always work, and his green power is so weak it’s a joke. He’s great with teamed up with the four-star version of Deadpool, but it’s easy to take this Logan down before the claws come out.
29. Carnage (Cletus Kasady): A raging psychopath, Carnage does as much damage to his own team as he does to enemies. He’s a great deterrent in PVP because no one wants to fight him, but using him isn’t a guaranteed win, either. Still, that deterrent factor alone is pretty significant.
28. Quake (Daisy Johnson): She seems to have lost some fans lately, but her unique ability to reduce or eliminate area-of-effect damage makes her key against enemies who love to hit the entire team. Red Hulk, schmed hulk.
27. Elektra (Unkillable): Another character who’s vastly underrated. Her black ability negates absolutely any attack, she can cut Old Man Logan down by turning his claws against him, and her red will bleed characters to death in a hurry. She’s great!
26. Nick Fury (Director of S.H.I.E.L.D.): Nick doesn’t mess around. His pistol is of a very large caliber, and if enemies manage blow up two of his explosives at the same time, it’s often a team wipe. Plus, calling in the Avengers is supremely cool.
25. Kingpin (Wilson Fisk): Fisk is ruthless. He doesn’t seem like much at first, but before enemies know it, their energy has been drained and there are a dozen thugs at his command on the board. Fear the finger.
24. Professor X (Charles Xavier): Chuck is quite possibly the best support character in the ranks. His ability to buff friendly special tiles can create ludicrously strong attacks, and it’s hard to get him off the board when he goes invisible. He’s key to several winning strategies.
23. The Thing (Classic): Ben is one of my favorites because he’s an insurance policy. Many squishy characters have great powers, but they risk getting one-shotted by heavy hitters. If Ben’s around, he’ll jump in front of any strong attack and take the heat before throwing up a ton of defense tiles afterwards.
22. Ant-Man (Scott Lang): This guy is tops when it comes to special tiles. He can make them, he can steal them, and when he rapidly increases in size, his uppercut is a knockout. His animations are really nifty, too!
21. Nova (Sam Alexander): Another great interpretation of a comics character. Nova’s powers come fast and furious as he zooms around the battlefield. Being able to rocket-boost an enemy into the sky is also incredibly useful since some characters are immune to being stunned. His crazy flying is a way around that!
20. Iron Man (Hulkbuster): One of the mainstays of the game. Like Ares, he can pump himself full of his favored color (in this case, red) and deliver blows with astronomical force. And, of course, he’s quite a tank. Just look how armored he is!
19. The Punisher (Max): Frank works best alone, and it comes through in his powers. He gain strength by knocking out his own teammates and lone wolfing it, and his attacks become even stronger when he’s going one-on-one with an opponent. Don’t mess with this guy.
18. Cyclops (Classic): Four-star Scott is one of the most elegant characters, and strategic use of his powers leads to dominating victories. By carefully choosing his targets, his turns can be extended for quite some time, never giving enemies a chance to recover.
17. Jean Grey (All-New X-Men): Another mainstay of Puzzle Quest, Teen Jean is notable because all of her abilities are area-of-effect, and they’ve got quite a bite at high levels. When her back’s up, she can cut down a whole team before they even know what happened.
16. Red Hulk (Thunderbolt Ross): Red Hulk is an absolute monster. Solely focused on sucking up gamma radiation and crushing whatever’s in front of him, he only does one thing, but he does it extremely well.
15. Thor (Goddess of Thunder): Like other powerhouses, she’s a bit of a slow starter, but when she’s gets rolling, she’s unstoppable. Her hammer Mjolnir delivers devastating hits after whipping up a storm of charged tiles, and she can wipe out whole teams on her own.
14. Deadpool (Uncanny X-Force): With a hefty sword strike that also heals him for a huge amount of health, the ability to retaliate whenever his teammates are injured, and powerful bombs that target the enemy’s strongest colors, Wade is deadly from any angle.
13. Peggy Carter (Captain America): She’s so fierce that just showing up on the battlefield makes enemies quiver and increases their ability costs. It’s a massive advantage. Combine that with a punch that ignores protection tiles and reinforcements that open fire, and it’s easy to see why she’s at the top of most-wanted lists.
12. Iceman (All-New X-Men): He may look like a snow-covered dork, but he’s actually a murder machine. Freezing enemies for four turns neutralizes almost anyone, his icy punch is staggering, and his green AOE rocks the house. He is a low-temperature force to be reckoned with.
11. Steve Rogers (First Avenger): He might be a great against enemies that make a lot of special tiles, but he doesn’t have a lot of heat to bring otherwise. In this tier it takes a lot to hang, and Steve struggles to keep up.
10. Silver Surfer (Skyrider): The Surfer’s recent buff was a definite improvement, but he’s still not making Galactus happy enough. Healing is great and making charged tiles is nice, but it still leaves him at the rear of the pack.
9. The Hulk (Bruce Banner): It took a while, but this is finally the interpretation of that Hulk fans were waiting for. Seeing Bruce transform into the iconic raging monster was worth the wait, though… It’s almost like getting two characters for the price of one.
8. Black Bolt (Inhuman King): Bolt is a true leader, and he helps his teammates operate at the limits of their abilities. As if enhanced performance wasn’t enough, his scream can clear the entire board of every single tile. He kills at karaoke… literally.
7. Iron Man (Mark XLVI): This suit’s ability to call in extra, unmanned armor gives Stark quite a bit of protection. (Trust me, it’s absolutely infuriating to fight against it.) His repulsor beams are strong, and he can create a ton of cascades. Mark XLVI is well-tuned.
6. Black Widow (Natasha Romanoff): This Natasha is a complicated girl. All of her abilities have conditions that apply based on a host of different factors like the health of teammates, the energy level of enemies or number of special tiles on the board. Basically, she’s full of nice surprises.
5. Jean Grey (Phoenix): While her attack is strong and ability to make red is great, what makes her a real threat is the ability to resurrect after death, and when she comes back, she’s pissed. Players who mistakenly take her out too soon only to see her rise again will really regret it.
4. Doctor Strange (Sorcerer Supreme): As a tweaked version of his three-star self, I suspect the Doc will be one to be wary of. He retains his auto-attack when enemies use a power, but he’s much tougher on special tiles now. His Eye of Agamotto can’t fall off the board and can’t be matched away!
3. Spider-Man (Back In Black): Using shadows to disappear when enemies are stunned, it’s hard to land a hit on this Spidey. He pops in and out, and powers up when enemies aren’t looking. He can also toss a car through any protection tiles, so he’s got brute force, too.
2. Green Goblin (Norman Osborn): This Halloween-themed menace is a serious threat thanks to a variety of player-selected pumpkin bombs with various effects and the ability to speed up and fortify tiles. Getting hit with his runaway glider is a massive smackdown, as well. Run, Spidey!
1. Wolverine (Old Man Logan): This crusty mutant survivor is the end-all, be-all of Puzzle Quest. He’s got two sets of powers, he automatically creates power-up tiles, and his healing ability is the strongest around. He tanks, he kills, and he endures. He is the absolute best at what he does, and what he does… is Puzzle Quest!
Brad Gallaway is the managing editor of Gamecritics.com, and a member of the S.H.I.E.L.D alliance. Follow him on Twitter @BradGallaway.