The combination of Death and Wave in Marvel Snap has been the foundation of many decks, but I’ve been pretty out on most of them. They felt too reliant on drawing the Death/Wave combo, and not good enough at capitalizing on the power of Wave, outside of playing Death cheaply.
In my view, much of this was because people were deckbuilding with incomplete collections, and didn’t have the resources to figure out what an actually good version of the list looked like. It was also because every single player in the game underrated Aero.
Aero is a patently ridiculous card if you play it on a lane you don’t care about. Let’s say you are winning two lanes on Turn 5. You play Aero, put everything into the lane you aren’t winning, and lock up the game. That’s awesome, right?
The counterplay here is fairly obvious: your opponent fills up the lane that you want to Aero, or the lane they’re winning is already filled up.
Wave not only fixes that issue with Aero, by making it so that your opponent can only play one card, but also unlocks the extremely unfair Death + Aero on Turn 6. With that, you only have to be winning one lane, and you can drop Death in the other, and Aero whatever single card your opponent plays to the lane you don’t care about.
I believe it was FuzzyCB who first noted the power of Aero in Death Wave, and this deck evolved out of those experiments. I also know that Lootmuncher0 has been a major proponent of Aero, so shouts to both of them.
Let’s break the deck down, card by card, so you can get a better feel for how it works.
Get Ahead And Get Two Kills
This is the first step of every game. Your early game is built around doing two things: getting ahead in as many lanes as possible, and getting two kills so that you can discount Death by two, allowing you to play her and another card after you play Wave.
You have several efficient ways of doing this. Carnage + Bucky Barnes is an incredibly efficient threat, Mysterio creates tokens that can be killed off by Carnage and Deathlok while being five hidden power, and The Hood and Nova die to Carnage, Killmonger and Deathlok while also leaving some power behind.
Yondu is in the deck because discounting Death is paramount, and Yondu’s trigger counts as a destroy effect as far as Death is concerned. Sometimes it’s cool to know what your opponent is playing in advance, but make no mistake: we wouldn’t be playing this card without the interaction with Death.
If you are worried about cards like Armor and Cosmo, you can respect them by not tipping your hand, and playing something like Nova into a lane before Carnage + Bucky Barnes on Turn 4. Note also that you can play Wave + Carnage on Turn 5 if you need more kills. It’s not the greatest thing ever, but your endgame is so good that you sometimes have to do it.
Slam The Door Shut
Here’s where stuff gets ridiculous.
The move cards are already very powerful, but they get SO MUCH BETTER when you combine them with Wave, who removes all ambiguity from whether they’ll work or not. Typically, the move cards are countered by having full lanes, but Wave prevents this from ever happening. This turns Aero into a card that almost always wins the game if you’re ahead after playing Wave, even if you don’t have Death.
Magneto is just flat out incredibly strong. I originally started playing him as a way to remove power from locations that Storm flooded. Basically, he was a backdoor Aero, allowing you to win two lanes on Turn 6 in yet another way. He gives you so much control over how the game plays out, even if you aren’t doing the combo. You can win games by just playing your earlygame cards into Aero and Magneto, because that’s a fairly strong interactive midrange gameplan on its own.
You can snap as early as Turn 4 as long as you’re winning a lane, have your kills, and have Wave + Death and one of the two movers in almost every situation. You can snap even earlier if you have a reasonable likelihood of fulfilling those conditions. This allows you to have MASSIVE snap equity, since you know, for example, that Magneto is going to pull Jessica Jones out of a contested Storm lane, or that Death and Aero are going to end the game two turns before they actually do.
The deck is doing something that is just incredibly powerful. There aren’t a lot of singular cards that can win games in a way that counters this deck. It’s pretty much just Hela, Leader and Doctor Doom that can reasonably beat you after you pull off the combo, and otherwise, you’re just doing too many things for any other deck to match on Turn 6.
You do need to get some experience with the deck before you can snap efficiently with it. It’s also a deck that benefits heavily from snapping efficiently, so it might take some time. I still mess Magneto math up sometimes, it’s nothing to be ashamed of.
This has been the strongest deck for me on my climb to and above Rank 500 Infinite. I’m friendly with a lot of the players that I face off against, and the ones I can reach unanimously agree that this is the best deck that I play. That’s the best endorsement I can offer. Is it quantitative data? No. Do I honestly believe it? Yes.
Thanks for reading! If you’re interested in more content about Marvel Snap, you can check out my YouTube channel, where I go over the Marvel Snap basics. I also recently started a Discord, and I’m active in the Marvel Snap Zone Discord as well. You can also follow me on Twitter and on Twitch for more Marvel Snap goodness!