Once you’ve been playing Marvel Strike Force for a bit, you’ll get the hang of constructing a well-balanced team, one with characters from different classes whose abilities will complement each other. There’s no one right way to do this, and so far, no one group of five that has proven to be inherently better than all others.

Still, there are some characters that are the cream of the crop, ones that are simply better at what they do than other in the same class. Check out our picks for the best characters in each class and zero in on grabbing the shards for these heroes and villains right away.

Brawler – Gamora

Marvel Strike Force

Lives up to her comic book reputation as the Most Dangerous Woman in the Universe thanks to her Assassin’s Strike ability, which can allow her to attack again, while her other two abilities both refill her Speed Bar if used to finish off opponents. Her Deadly Methods passive also gives her a bonus to crit, so she’s the total package.

Honorable Mention: Elektra – Squishier than other brawlers but can enter Stealth to avoid attacks and her Vital Strike allows for devastating one-shot KOs.

Blaster – Thor

Marvel Strike Force

Takes a while to unlock, but he’s worth it. Lightning Storm can stun all of your enemies while dealing a great deal of damage, while Hammer Throw also has a chance to affect everyone on the opposing team as well. Combined with a passive that simply deals more damage, he’s as pure a Blaster as there is in the game.

Honorable Mention: Punisher – Probably the best early game Blaster since he’s not hard to unlock, all of his attacks can damage multiple foes and dish out plenty of harm.

Protector – Luke Cage

Marvel Strike Force

No one keeps teammates out of harm’s way like Harlem’s hero, which is especially crucial for missions where you have to keep a character from getting KOed. His Taunt also helps him regenerate, making him hard to kill, and his Unbreakable ability buffs his teammates’ defense while also giving him a chance to become Deathproof. He even dishes out pretty good damage for a tank.

Honorable Mention: Hulk – Tough to unlock because you can only get his shards through achievements, and not as pure a tank as Cage. But man is he fun, with a self-healing Taunt and abilities that get even more effective when he is below 50 percent health.

Controller – Quake

Marvel Strike Force

Really great for annoying opponents with abilities that trip them up in three different ways. Seismic Blast slows them, Shockwave removes their buffs, and Earthquake deals plenty of damage while also debuffing their offense. Pair her with SHIELD characters for even more effectiveness.

Honorable Mention: Black Widow – If you prefer to play more aggressively, Widow can help. Super fast, her basic attack can copy opposing buffs and her Widow’s Bite can cause Stun or Bleed.

Support – Night Nurse

Marvel Strike Force

Hands down the best healer in Marvel Strike Force, Night Nurse has both a single target and group heal, plus a passive that has a chance to restore HP to the ally who needs it most. As an added bonus, her basic attack isn’t even that shabby.

Honorable Mention: Yondu – Plays something of a non-traditional Support role since he isn’t a healer, but he’s awesome nonetheless. Yaka Arrow is a great AoE attack that can’t be dodged, Boarding Party summons Ravagers to fight for your side and even his basic attack is nothing to sneeze at. Or whistle at, since that would be more appropriate for him.

Got more nominees for best characters that you’ve found in your own Marvel Strike Force play? Be sure to drop us a comment below and tell us who they are and why they’re so good.