Adapting Your Deck to Featured and Hot Locations

Den_CCG is back with another prescribed dose of Deck Doctor! This week, he's looking at the ways you can tailor your deck to hot and featured locations to maximize those cubes!

Hi everyone, welcome to our second installment of the Deck Doctor series.

In this episode, we will go in depth on one of the ways to get a lot of cubes in a short amount of time: targeting the Featured and Hot Locations.

Whenever a new location is introduced to the game, it becomes featured for 48 hours, meaning you are 40% more likely to see it appear in games. This period usually starts on Tuesday at 3:00 a.m. UTC.
In addition to the Featured Locations, Hot Locations are already existing locations which are given a 60% higher chance to appear. Hot location day is Sunday, and lasts for 24 hours, starting at 3:00 a.m. UTC.

Every player has their own game plan to adapt to locations, and today, we are covering all of these approaches.

The Cubes Mindset

Just like the good and bad draws in Marvel Snap, locations can be another reason to Snap or Retreat from a game. This mindset dictates that a player will look to abuse the fact that we can modify the stakes during the match, and build a deck to maximize the effects of the Featured or Hot Location.

With this approach, we will be looking to Snap every time we see the location pop on our screen, and Retreat whenever the situation doesn’t seem worth our time.

Not every location allows for such a game plan. Most of the time, we will go for this approach when the Featured or Hot Location is one that heavily favors a specific synergy, impacting the whole game as a result.

Here are some locations where this mindset is appropriate:

  • The Superflow ⇾ play a much greedier deck, or a deck based around a card like Mister Negative, which is stronger the earlier it gets played.
  • Onslaught's Citadel ⇾ Fill your deck with the stronger Ongoing effects, or try to abuse Wong’s ability.
  • Elysium ⇾ Look for combo based decks, aiming at being very synergistic and surprising for the opponent.
  • Gamma Lab ⇾ Play cheap cards in order to be able to fill Gamma Lab quickly before turn three.
  • Mindscape ⇾ have a very low average cost per card in your deck, so you can empty your hand on turn five before the switch happens.
  • Dark DimensionHela Discard with Invisible Woman’s ability for free? Yes please.
  • Washington D.C ⇾ Patriot decks win this location almost by default.
  • Sanctum Sanctorum and K'un-Lun ⇾ Play a move deck to be able to either access the first location, or abuse the second one.

The Counter/Tech Cards Mindset

The end goal of this mindset is similar to our previous entry: controlling the cube stakes based on the Featured or Hot Location. However, instead of abusing the Locations, we are instead looking to counter players who thought they could abuse the location without any repercussions.

In this scenario, the most important part of the game plan is disguising our intentions, and keeping our Hot or Featured Location punish hidden as long as possible.
Ideally, we want our opponent to think they are in another game where their deck is abusing the location and have them Snap first. Once this is done, we can either counter Snap or Retreat, based on whether we found our tech cards to punish their foolishness.

A few examples of locations and the perfect cards to counter their abuse:

  • Gamma Lab or NidavellirShang-Chi should clear the opposing side.
  • The SuperflowGreen Goblin is great to deny our opponent the +1 energy per turn. Professor X can also lock the location before they play anything there.
  • New YorkKingpin simply denies the possibility to move here. If you have reveal initiative on turn 6, you destroy anything your opponent moves here. If you don’t, you can play Kingpin on 5 to deny New York’s ability.
  • Onslaught's CitadelEnchantress just denies all the Ongoing effects your opponent thought they would abuse. Rogue only work on one card, but can have a big impact as well.

While I focused on cards to counter specific locations in the example, playing a counter deck to one you know would do great on a Hot or Featured location also works perfectly.

The Power Play Mindset

Not all locations can be abused in order to win us the game outright. Instead, those less impactful locations allow for specific plays that can tilt the balance in our favor in a contested game.

The Cubes Mindset pushes the player to pick a deck that can abuse the location as much as possible. The Power Play Mindset focuses more on finding one or two cards we can slot in our deck in order to benefit from the location while not relying on it entirely, or playing a deck that already happens to play those cards.

A few examples of locations and the cards they make more powerful:

Denying the location

The last entry on our list can often be the simplest one if you aren’t comfortable building your deck around specific locations: deny it for everyone.

Through cards like Scarlet Witch, Storm and Rhino, you can simply remove the location when it appears. Unless you’re already playing one of these cards, including one is often a cost that you are willing to pay as it is quite annoying for any opponent who built their deck in order to abuse the Hot or Featured Location.

Another approach could also be to play Quake and shuffle the locations. In the case of passive effects, changing the positioning once they committed some cards could heavily impact your opponent’s strategy.

Closing Words

Most people would expect me to focus on decks in this article, and considering I didn’t post any, I might have disappointed some of you. I hope that you managed to learn something about how to build your own decks, however.

Obviously, the best way to adapt to Hot and Featured Locations is to own every card in the game, and just pick the most effective deck we can find for said location. But that isn’t how Marvel Snap is built as a game, and probably not the way any of you reading plays it.

What you can do is figure out what approach you think is best for each location, or the approach that fits you best as a player. Then you will be able to make a deck that at least makes sense in the context of the strategy you are looking to develop. This will make crafting a deck you think will perform much easier as well.

I hope this piece can help you adapt to the next featured or hot locations. Feel free to join our discord if you’d like to discuss it with the rest of the community or share your accomplishments. As for myself, you can find me on Twitter.

Good Game Everyone.

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Den has been in love with strategy games for as long as he can remember, starting with the Heroes of Might and Magic series as a kid. Card games came around the middle school - Yu-Gi-Oh! and then Magic: The Gathering.

Hearthstone and Legends of Runeterra has been his real breakthrough and he has been a coach, writer, and caster on the French scene for many years now. He now coaches aspiring pro players and writes various articles on these games.

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