Marvel SNAP is the latest mobile card-based game that’s sweeping the world! Leveraging the IP of your favorite Marvel superheroes, Marvel SNAP lets you play with all of the familiar faces that you’ve grown to love in Marvel comic book history.
Today we’re going to talk about the different deck types, typical cards that are played in them, and general strategy. These aren’t meant to be absolute guides, as the deck lists can change vastly depending on which pools of cards you have access to, which also has a direct impact on their power.
In the future, I’ll likely put together more in-depth coverage on these deck types. For now, let this serve as an introduction!
1. Zoo Decks
Zoo Decks in Marvel SNAP rely on building your board with low-cost cards and buffing them up to overwhelm your opponent. Instead of focusing on a two locations, Zoo decks typically have enough spread to make your opponent unsure of which locations they should focus on. This versatility is a strength of a Zoo deck. Keep your curve low.
A disadvantage of a Zoo Deck is that players well into Pool 2 can play Killmonger, which destroys ALL 1-Cost cards on the board. This is absolutely devastating to a Zoo Deck, and can immediately cause you to lose the game. Keep in mind that a lot of times if players suspect that they’re facing Zoo, they’re not going to play Killmonger right on turn 3; they’ll wait until turn 6 to get the maximum benefit. At that point, you may have also snapped, meaning they get even more rewards.
Staple Cards: Squirrel Girl, Kazar, Blue Marvel, Ant-Man, Rocket Raccoon, Hawkeye
2. Discard Decks
Discard decks in Marvel SNAP aren’t necessarily viable when you’re just starting out, as they require some specific cards in order to overcome the traditional disadvantage to discarding cards from your hand. In card games like this, cards are key to victory, and having fewer options available to you via discard is a detriment.
When you’re piloting a discard deck, your goal is to discard cards that give you a benefit when discarded. Typically, Apocalypse is going to be your finisher, which gains Power anytime that it’s discarded. Cards that force you to discard generally are more powerful in their stats because of the discard cost, so that’s the tradeoff you’re making.
Staple Cards: Morbius, Apocalypse, Lady Sif, Sword Master, Swarm, Blade
3. Move Decks
My favorite style of deck to play in Marvel SNAP is a Move deck. These decks focus on cards that can change location, often getting buffs or buffing other cards when doing so. In a game where you can only play 4 cards per location, Move decks allow you to pivot your strategy if a location isn’t going your way. When I play a Move deck, I like to top off my curve with Heimdall, which moves all of your cards one Location to the left. It’s a massive swing in power across the board if you can plan out your prior plays accordingly.
Generally a Move deck is something that your opponent will be able to catch on very quickly, oftentimes as early as turn 2. Note: someone playing Nightcrawler doesn’t automatically telegraph a Move deck because Nightcrawler is a low-cost evergreen staple.
Staple Cards: Kraven, Vulture, Multiple Man, Nightcrawler, Heimdall
4. Destroy Deck
Destroy decks in Marvel SNAP rely on destroying cards to enhance others. The core of this deck centers around Nova, and Carnage, and can actually share a lot of similarities to a Zoo deck. Adding in the Carnage package with Nova can really boost all of those other cards on the board. Once you get further along, Bucky Barnes becomes a staple, along with the combo of Deathlok and Armor.
What makes Destroy decks fun is that they keep your board clean. That is to say, you can clean up locations that have a lot of cards with a Carnage, allowing you to play more cards there on future turns while still having a big body leftover. The timing of knowing when to blow up your Nova is critical; if you haven’t done so by the end of turn 4 then you might be in a sticky situation.
Staple Cards: Carnage, Angel, Nova, Deathlok, Bucky Barnes, Venom
5. On Reveal Decks
On Reveal decks rely on cards with the ‘On Reveal’ abilities to give you additional benefits beyond the Power value of the cards you play. The most notable decks in this category top their curve with Odin, who allows you to reactivate ALL On Reveal abilities at the location he’s played in. Couple that with powerful abilities like White Tiger or Ironheart, and you have yourself a deck that can blindside your opponent in the final turn.
There are a ton of great cards that have On Reveal abilities that you can leverage in this deck. However, you need to be sure to keep that 4th spot open for Odin. At the same time, piling all of your best cards into single location for a massive Odin swing isn’t always the best move either. Spreading out your attack helps keep your opponent guessing.
Staple Cards: Odin, White Tiger, Enchantress, Gamora, Ironheart, Wolfsbane
6. Control Decks
There is a wide range of Control decks that you can pilot in Marvel SNAP. In general, Control refers to slow-playing and reacting to what your opponent plays to gain the upper hand. That might mean playing Scarlet Witch to mess up an advantageous location for your opponent, using Scorpion to impact their hand, or even restricting their options with Sandman. I’ve been playing a Sandman variant that uses Jubliee to get out beastly cards, sometimes at a better cost. One of the best targets for this is The Infinaut, who boasts a whopping 20 Power but normally can’t be played if you played a card the turn prior.
There aren’t many cards that can destroy things on your opponent’s side of the board, but Control loves to do that in droves. Killmonger to wipe out Zoo decks. Shang-Chi to take out those big, annoying threats. Enchantress to stop Ongoing effects. You have a lot of options with how you want to build this deck, but you need to make sure that you have a way to win. If you don’t, you’ll just be pestering your opponent until THEY win!
Staple Cards: Enchantress, Killmonger, Shang-Chi, Jubilee, Jessica Jones, The Infinaut
7. Comic Book Decks
Comic Book decks aren’t necessarily the hot meta if you want to rack up a lot of wins, but they can be some of the more fun thematic Marvel SNAP decks to play! Assemble the cards representing your favorite Marvel teams through comic book history, and see how they stack up. Many times, cards that feature characters from the same team have similar abilities. Take, for example, Carnage and Venom both being a part of Destroy decks. Or you have Guardians of the Galaxy characters that all get benefits if you play in the same location as your opponent.
At the end of the day, play the cards that you have the most fun with! There are some really awesome animations and thoughtful touches in the game that can make almost every card viable. I especially love Galactus’ animation; you just have to see it to appreciate it!
Marvel SNAP: It’s a…SNAP!
Hopefully you’re all enjoying Marvel SNAP as much as I am! We’ll be back next week for Marvel Snap Mondays with a brand new topic to talk about!
Check out Marvel SNAP, and play with your favorite comic book characters!