I think it’s better to look at who doesn’t have a level 3 than who does and what they are capable of without the level 3 to make a better assessment.
Like with Dante I rarely ever use his level 3 because my DHC combination does more damage than the level 3. Against bigger health characters like Captain America and Wesker I’m better off going for the 3 character DHC. Level 3’s are nice if you don’t already have a strong DHC setup with your team but if you do you usually get more damage through the DHC any way. Level 3’s are just nice to have more so if you lose a character but still need big damage.
Well…looking at it…Modok, Taskmaster, Thor, Spider Man, Storm, Spencer, Joe, Hsien Ko, Phoenix (technically she has a level 5 but yeah), Sentinel and Hulk don’t have level 3’s. Let’s go over and see which of these characters are actually affected by not having a level 3 and which ones are not.
Modok…has 3 level 1’s. His Hyper Psionic Blaster level 1 gets powered up by analyze cubes. If you gather 7 analyze cubes and then do a combo into his HPB the HPB does 345,000 damage. This is scaled a bit due to HPB not being a level 3 but 345k slightly scaled at the end of a combo is nothing to sneeze at considering I’ve heard it allows him to get up to 1 million damage I believe by himself. If you get all 9 cubes his level 3 raw damage will do 440k. The same as a level 3. He also has 2 other level 1’s. Both of them doing only 50k less damage than Zero’s level 3. Verdict: Doesn’t need a level 3.
Taskmaster…I’m not even going to explain why this guy doesn’t need a level 3. **Verdict: Doesn’t need a level 3. **
Thor…another 3 level 1 character. Has a level one which does 320k that he can easily combo during basic air combos. With the scaling he can usually get 600+k off a standard bnb with the super at the end. Gets an OTG super that does 380 damage unscaled and another grab super that’s a level one and does the same damage as Zero’s level 3.** Verdict: Wouldn’t hurt if he had a level 3 but he hits like a truck so not necessary.**
Spider Man…already does gobbles of damage without a level 3. Has a level 1 reset based super after he finishes combos that does 300k raw damage. **Verdict: Doesn’t need a level 3. **
Storm…has 3 very useful level ones but her low damage output makes it hard to scare people with her damage wise unless she’s loaded with assists. Elemental rage level 1 basically gives her a level 1 that can hit anywhere on the floor with the correct button press and activates at the same speed as Dorm’s Chaotic Flame level 1. **Verdict: Could use a level 3 but she’s getting damage buffs supposedly in Ultimate. **
Spencer…has one of the best level 1’s in the game with bionic arm. Starts up at the same speed as most character’s c.M’s. Does 300k raw damage. Has a second super that does about 250k damage but can follow up into more damage with a bionic arm at the end. Does big damage especially with assists any way. ** Verdict: Doesn’t need a level 3**
Joe…hasn’t really proven to be able to do a ton of damage but I think that’s because his play style isn’t necessarily revolved around that. Has a level 1 super that’s supposedly pretty game changing by slowing the character down and slowing down their assist abilities even if they are raw tagged in. Verdict: Overall he seems so middle of the road as a character that he could use a level 3.
Hsien Ko…I would say yes but she’s so reliant on spending meter any ways and is so terrible on point that it doesn’t even matter. **Verdict: She could use a level 3 but she’s so meter dependent…who really cares? **
Phoenix…No. Verdict: Doesn’t need a level 3.
Sentinel…No. **Verdict: Doesn’t need a level 3. **
Hulk…has a 400k damage level 1 and hella damage with assist based combos. **Verdict: Doesn’t need a level 3. **
Which means IMO only Thor, Storm, Joe and Hsien Ko could use level 3’s. Joe is the only one I would say that NEEDS a level 3. Storm’s level 1’s have so many nasty uses that although she could use a level 3 I don’t think she NEEDS one. Hsien Ko spending so much meter making sure she’s a good assist what’s the point. Thor does enough damage without level 3.