Another month, another complete overhaul in the hierarchy of Marvel Snap (Free) decks. Between balance adjustments and some powerful new cards, pretty much everything has changed from the last time we put together a guide for you all. Is it a good thing? A bad thing? I don’t know. I’m only here to show you how to win. Remember as ever: today’s winning deck could be tomorrow’s flat champagne. These guides are one way to keep your finger on the pulse of the scene, but they aren’t the only method you should be using.
Note that most of these decks are the best of the best at this point in time. They assume you have access to a full range of cards. I’ll once again be including the five strongest Marvel Snap decks of the moment, and I’ll throw in a couple more decks that don’t need things that are too hard to get and are just sort of fun to play with. You know, a little variety and all of that.
So yes, as mentioned, some big balance changes this last month. Some decks have had to go back to the drawing board almost completely, and the new cards from the Marvels and Hellfire Gala events have given players even further reasons to rethink the cards they’re including. The Planet Hulk event will probably see a lot more changes, but only time will tell how that will all settle. Let’s see what’s sitting at the top of the rankings at the moment.
Thanos & Lockjaw
Included Cards: Lockjaw, Killmonger, Wave, Shang-Chi, Devil Dinosaur, Leech, Vision, Blob, Thanos, Skaar, Magneto, Death
Despite the name this carries, this deck has a lot to do with one of the biggest cards to hit in the Hellfire Gala season: Blob. The strategy here is a familiar one. Get Lockjaw out, and start throwing low cost cards (hello Infinity Gems) at him to try to pull one or more of your very powerful cards. There’s plenty of insurance packed in here, including Killmonger to clear the Gems when you don’t need them anymore, Wave to get a strong card out earlier if Lockjaw doesn’t come through, and Shang-Chi and Leech to counter your opponent’s cards. You’ll need a lot of rare cards to pull this one together, but if you can? Oh boy.
The Infinaut & She-Hulk
Included Cards: Sunspot, Nebula, Misty Knight, Shocker, Magik, Caiera, Cyclops, High Evolutionary, Leech, She-Hulk, Hulk, The Infinaut
Here’s another new card that is already making waves: Caiera. She protects your 1-Cost and 6-Cost cards, making cards like Sunspot and Nebula almost foolproof plays. Anyway, this is an interesting deck because it relies on building a few foundations and then skipping turns to make that excess Energy work for you. Magik gives you an extra turn to engage in such shenanigans, which should be more than enough time to get She-Hulk and either Hulk or The Infinaut out there. And again, with Caiera in tow those 6-Cost monsters are absolutely unstoppable.
Darkhawk & Friends
Included Cards: Korg, Iceman, Shadow King, Zabu, Jeff, Rogue, Rock Slide, Darkhawk, Ms. Marvel, Iron Lad, Leech, Doctor Doom
This is relatively close to a popular deck from last month, and it’s a familiar play for long-time Snappers. Stuff your opponent’s deck with Korg and Rock Slide to pump up Darkhawk, and use the rest of your cards to mess with your opponent’s strategy as much as possible. No matter who Iron Lad copies, it’ll be helpful. You’re probably noticing Leech cropping up often this month. He’s a great counter to some monster last-turn plays like Blob, and as far as insurance goes he’s about the best thing going right now.
Included Cards: Nebula, Echo, Iceman, Jeff, Silk, Storm, Mobius M. Mobius, Ms. Marvel, Iron Lad, Vision, Alioth, Doctor Doom
Nothing too new here. It’s mostly the same Lockdown type we’ve seen for ages, with a few tweaks to adjust for the latest balance changes. Use Storm and Nebula to persuade your opponent to put their cards where you want them to, use your moving cards to capture locked locations, hope Iron Lad copies one of your big-pants cards, and finish up with either Alioth or Doctor Doom as the situation calls for. You’ll have to be a little careful because this deck doesn’t really have any good counters for certain decks and cards. You’ll have to take the initiative and keep your opponent on their heels.
The Living Tribunal
Included Cards: Zabu, Ravonna Renslayer, Mystique, Magik, Cosmo, Jubilee, Super Skrull, Ms. Marvel, Iron Lad, Iron Man, Onslaught, The Living Tribunal
This is an interesting one. The Living Tribunal is one of those cards that is played infrequently enough that a lot of players don’t see it coming. The idea is to pump up the power as much as you can at one or two locations, preferably one where your opponent isn’t focusing. You can dissuade them from playing there with Cosmo. Zabu, Ravonna, and Jubilee will help you get your big cards out earlier, and Iron Lad will again be helpful if he copies just about anyone. Ideally you can get Onslaught out to boost the power output of Ms. Marvel and Iron Lad, then play The Living Tribunal on your last turn to likely take all the locations you need in order to win.
And now, a couple of fun decks for those still climbing up the collection ladder or who simply want to try something different.
Black Knight Discard
Included Cards: Black Knight, Blade, Zabu, Jeff, Rogue, Lady Sif, Ghost Rider, Shang-Chi, Ms. Marvel, Sera, Magneto, The Infinaut
Fun with Discard! Obviously, the aim here is to time it so that you play Black Knight and then discard either Magneto or The Infinaut so that you get a 4-Cost Ebony Blade with big-pants power. Then you can use Ghost Rider to bring that big card back into play on top of it. Throw in Jeff, Rogue, and Shang-Chi as insurance policies and you have a deck that takes a little attention to play well but offers great rewards. So far this is my favorite use of Black Knight, a card I want to find more uses for than I generally do.
Budget Big Cards
Included Cards: Sunspot, Agent 13, The Collector, America Chavez, Armor, Sentinel, Cosmo, Jubilee, Moon Girl, White Queen, Devil Dinosaur, The Infinaut
Another revisit of a past budget deck, and the only real change here is what America Chavez’s role is in it. Previously, she was your final turn surprise if you couldn’t get Infinaut out. Now, she just boosts the card on the top of your deck. Arguably, this is more useful for new players. While she used to provide solid late-game punch, she’ll now have more of an effect earlier in the game. The same old strategy applies here. Agent 13, Moon Girl, and White Queen feed your Collector and Devil Dino. Jubilee hopefully gets lucky and pulls something cool. Cosmo messes with your opponent and helps you control where they play. Armor protects your big guns and Sunspot from destroyers. It will take you far enough when you’re starting out.
And that’s it for this month’s deck guide. We’ll return with another one of these in February to see where things stand after the Planet Hulk event has fully played out and a month’s worth of balance changes have done their thing. Will we see the rise of a move-based deck into the upper ranks after the remaining cards for the month release? We’ll find out next time. Happy Snapping!