Perhaps I’ve figured out how threat works in this game, and more…


Before I go any further this was only tested in terminals. Given the raid doesn’t exactly push a ton of damage to one direct target we feel tanking in the raid, at least green difficulty, may not be necessary, but it may help you control boss movements and patterns, and fire giants, and extra enemies in the raid.


With this said, please keep in mind taunts from “others” such as Lil’deadpool, Dr strange’s “clones” that taunt, and hawkeyes shrieking arrow will 100% negate the idea of this system. This system and theory only exists for heroes that physically use a taunt power to grant aggro to themselves and forcing the enemies to attack them and nothing else, but the hero they are currently playing.

The threat system in marvel heroes is actually one alot of us may be familiar with. Having years of WoW experience I can say that it relates to it from the research I’ve done in the past day. I will continue to do research on this. This was experienced with only green/red terminals in the 20-24 bracket. We will be conducting tests at 60 over the course of the next 48 hours and hopefully we’ll have more accurate results for cosmic and perhaps raid bosses.


I will give a brief overview of how the threat system worked when we were analyzing it. Intial aggro would be a great amount. So when Colossus walks into Doc oc’s boss room, Colossus will have the intial aggro assuming he was the first to walk in. Hulk follows him in, but does not gain any intial aggro and assuming Hulk is at full health Hulk will generate 0 aggro until an action is taken.

Once combat has started and intial aggro has been distributed correctly, the fight will start as normal. Lets assume Doc oc has the moloid affix, he will spawn moloids around him randomly. This aggro is in a priority system such as; nearest target > damage/healing/health regen =< Taunt. Meaning that they will migrate towards their nearest enemy target first, and if any damage is done to them and they still live they will then migrate to that target, this is true for also any healing and/or health regen done.

This last part will have alot of heads turning away now, or completely throwing this aside as if I’m out of my mind. We actually spent a good 5-10 minutes analyzing making sure this actually works. With Hulk we had him activate his regen health ability and while Colossus was doing nothing and hulk was doing nothing, while Doc oc was targetting Colossus, after awhile he then switched back to hulk. To confirm further we had Colossus throw a couple big hits (non sig) on Doc oc to draw aggro back to him, continuing to let Hulk regen health, and letting both sit idle while this happens, aggro is then drawn back to Hulk. Thus either by extremely random coincidence or thus proving the theory.

Outside of intial aggro and regen you can obviously generate threat by damaging the boss. We do not know if certain types of abilities have additional threat modifiers, such as area abilities may generate less threat than single/cone abilities. We also will be testing how summons affect aggro. We had a little run in with captain america’s invader’s photograph summoning human torch and cosmic affix summoning n’gaari demon, neither of which we were able to draw aggro off by taunt generation or any other means. Human torch died fairly quickly, the n’gaari demon took a decent amount of damage. We do not know for sure if the n’gaari demon taunts or if theres some special circumstance where enemies are drawn to attack them over players.

Now that intial aggro and how aggro is generated is discussed, at least the basics, lets talk about taunt. Taunt is a very widely skeptical ability category that alot believe does not work. I really wanted to believe this ability worked, and it does, but not the way we think it does or are used to from previous games or experiences we’ve had. Taunt from our tests came to believe that taunt is not a snap-threat stealing ability like we’re used to. When you get a moment, look at your taunt abilities again. If you notice something, these taunt abilities have a ‘taunt’ duration. Let me give a list of Rank 1 taunt duration lengths so we can get a straight idea for reference, I’m sorry if I miss any heroes here.
Captain America – 3 seconds

Colossus – 5 seconds

Emma Frost – 4 seconds (not your pet taunt, glittering lure to be exact)

Hulk – 4 seconds

Luke Cage – 5 seconds

Ms Marvel – 5 seconds

Spider-Man – 5 seconds

Thing – 5 seconds (Both taunts)

So now that we have that out of the way, what does this all mean? We noticed that you do yes, gain a small amount of threat from using a taunt. We don’t know how much in a % wise, but its smaller than what you deal in damage, to put it in perspective, if your terminal group is spamming damaging abilities and you’re spamming taunt, you aren’t going to win aggro.

So enough stalling WHAT DOES THE TAUNT DURATION REALLY DO??! Well I’ll tell you. Taunt duration to our knowledge after much testing is a time when all your threat generating actions are increased. By how much? We don’t know.

Lets create an example situation. So ignoring moloid affix on Doc Oc previously, colossus still has intial aggro, but what if Hulk wants aggro? Colossus and Hulk are beating on Doc Oc at this point, Hulk will use his taunt. At rank 1, Hulk now has 4 seconds of threat increase. Again, we don’t know how much. At this point through 1 or 2 taunt durations, assuming both colossus and hulk are equaling out near in DPS on Doc Oc, Hulk should now have threat, at this point Hulks threat will be near Colossus’s, but higher. We don’t know if there is a certain pull aggro threshold that needs to be met, so I’m sorry I can’t answer that. Now theres a couple ways to see how long your taunt is on the enemy for and whether you have aggro besides just guessing or knowing whether you’re being targeted. The first way is using your taunt. When you do so visually, a couple things will happen.
A) The boss will now have a red “circle” in the middle of it. It looks different than vulnerability. Vulnerability also looks similar to the red/white dot in the middle, but the vulnerability dot is much bigger and has more white in it.

This image has been resized to fit in the page. Click to enlarge.

B) The boss will not have a red “color” in the middle of it, this means the boss cannot be taunted or you already have aggro on it. Otherwise, pay attention or understand you can’t hold aggro on the boss.

From all of this I’m not recommending you max taunt unless you feel it would be a QoL to help tank in your groups, but just understand, that each rank does give a duration to it and sometimes extra effects.

So in all of this, what does this mean?

This means tanking has a place in marvel heroes.

Where does it have a place though?

This I cannot answer for you. Raids right now seem to be super focused on DPS, which tanks don’t always pull immense amounts of. There may be niche times where perhaps a colossus who builds pure defensive can get some bonuses out of it, but beyond that, currently its just green raids (assuming you can get carried) if its even necessary, or terminals.

Hopefully gazillion sees this, and whether or not they intended the system to be this way or not, this is how we’ve found it works. Whether or not they break it next patch, change it, announce it, or make tanking a real viable thing in end game PvE for this game, we don’t know. we can only hope that a tank can be something in this game. I know when I first started playing back in july 2013 my starting hero choice was thing. When I found out I can have a taunt, that was my goal, just taunt and keep enemies off my allies, even if they were random people I never knew.

If you have any questions, suggestions, corrections that need to be made, please feel free. If you have an extra insight to give, please feel free. Hopefully this will open an option to those who were curious about it for days, months, or this past year. I hope I’ve helped someone, but hopefully more than that.

Please respectfully understand that before you knock this, try it. I was skeptical at first, but it had outstanding results for what I’ve been expecting. Its a different system, but it does work. And we will be doing further tests as I’ve said in the coming days/weeks. If anything changes, we find it just doesn’t work, or that I’m just crazy, this thread will be the first to know.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.
Additional Important Notes

~ We have not tested this with the artifact that gives you the taunt ability, (Hellfang of Zarathos). We plan to test this at some point, but not until testing is done with heroes who have default taunt abilities

~ Rocket racoons summons, including turrets draw aggro, what seems to be almost untauntable aggro. Will continue doing testing on this periodically. Not being able to taunt them isn’t the end of the world, as they have a great amount of health, but some heroes like thing & captain america and colossus rely on getting hit for extra damage/spirit in-take. If I find a way around this or find that this is not true, I will report back.

Updates/Major Edits:

~ 08/30/2014 ~ Added bosses in which you can control threat. List is not complete, and mostly untested. Testing will occur at level 60 for the most part.

~ 8/30/2014 ~ Added midtown manhattan list of tauntable bosses

~ 8/30/2014 ~ Added rocket racoon summon notes under additional important notes. Worth reading. AKA, tanks in this game will hate RR

~ 11/07/2014 ~ Added some cosmic terminal lists to successful testing.

Credits, Thanks, and Hugs

@Traoth‌ ~ For helping start this project and hopefully will continue to assist with it.

@Vangarrot ~ Current assister/tester with the project.

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