It is a dark time for Marvel Snap. Mister Negative is running roughshod over the metagame. Who can save us from his inverted torment?
The dark clouds part. A laugh is heard. A flash of green, and then nothing. No, less than nothing. Three less than nothing, to be exact.
One complaint many people have about Marvel Snap at the moment is that there are a large number of noninteractive combo decks that put arbitrarily large power outputs on the board, with nothing you can do about it.
However, there is something you can do about it, because as much as these decks try to play a noninteractive gameplan, you can force them to interact by filling up their side of the board.
Today’s deck has been built for attacking Sera/Negative decks, and other decks that rely on using their board spaces to create combos.
This deck arose as I worked with the Have-Some-Crap archetype, which I first saw being played by Jeff Hoogland. That deck relies on cards that fill the opponent’s board, but often has trouble winning once it has done that, because all of their cards are cards that hinder the opponent, and very few are able to generate large numbers of points while doing so.
What I realized as I modified the deck was that there was diminishing returns on each successive griefer card. If you play Debrii and Green Goblin, for example, your opponent is much more likely to be able to fill up their lanes before you can play Hobgoblin.
The approach I played when building this deck (a process that took me from Infinity 220 to Infinity 280 on the ladder) was to merge the control elements of the deck with the pointslam elements of the popular Sera Miracle deck. This allowed me to attack the Sera mirror match by building my deck to take advantage of full boards, and limiting my opponent’s boardspace, while optimizing mine.
This deck is strong against the Mr. Negative/Sera archetype because many people who play that deck save their big Iron Man plays for Turn 6 and 7, as a way to avoid Rogue stealing Iron Man’s power. Using Debrii to fill up their lanes on those turns is absolutely game-winning, and that’s to say nothing of how much weaker Iron Man gets when there are Rocks, Goblins and Widow’s Bites in his lane. Sera/Negative is built around using Iron Man to do force multiplication. You make it hard to play the Iron Man, and also you make it so the forces the Iron Man multiplies are weaker.
Let’s go through the different styles of cards in the deck, and why they’re each important.
The Disruptive Core
This is the disruptive core of the deck. Debrii is clunky, but shuts off late-game Iron Man like nobody else, and even when played early, can severely damage many opponents who rely on putting four good cards into each lane. She also fills up lanes for Mojo, damages opposing Angelas, and generally puts a lot of work into making sure your opponent is having a bad time.
Green Goblin is flat out incredible, and I think he’s one of the very best 3-Cost cards in the game. As a 3-Cost card, he’s much less liable to be played on a lane your opponent can fill up, and the power of a) not taking up space on your board and b) taking up space on their board cannot be overstated. At this point, I believe he may be as strong as Bishop, full stop.
Black Widow is the worst of this core. She costs two energy and only provides one power, making it difficult to find a safe lane to play her in. The upside is that she effectively bricks a spot on your opponent’s board with her Widow's Bite, and she also costs them one draw, which can lower the likelihood that combo decks are able to draw their important cards.
These are four of the strongest cards in the game. Sera’s power is obvious, discounting your cards played late in the game, allowing you flexibility. She’s not at her best in this deck, since there are plenty of cards you want to deploy early, but she’s a fine body that often lets you do things like holding Mysterio, Wolfsbane and Doc Ock until you absolutely have to play them.
Magik goes in every Sera deck, because the extra turn and mana she provides makes your Sera even more potent. She has additional upside in this list due to how strong it can be to brick your opponent’s entire board so that only you benefit from Magik’s Turn 7, although this situation causes even bots to retreat, so be careful about your cube gains.
Bishop and Angela are simply the best on-curve threats in their mana cost. There are a couple of tricks to be aware of with this deck, though. First, all three Mysterio copies count as playing cards for the purposes of Bishop and Angela. Second, you can play Green Goblin on Angela’s lane and Angela will get her buff. However, Green Goblin is so good that it’s sometimes overkill to do this, as both Goblin and Angela can swing lanes on their own.
The Full Lane Package
Wolfsbane and Mojo are extremely powerful cards when you have full lanes, and your deck is built to not give your opponent the choice of whether or not their lanes are full. Wolfsbane helps break parity in lanes with rocks by capitalizing on the rocks, while Mojo is an unbelievably strong card when you can make sure that your opponent will have full lanes with Debrii and Green Goblin.
Mysterio allows you to fill up your own lanes to trigger Mojo, get extra procs on Angela and Bishop, and generally be one of the last cards you play. There are situations (Gamma Labs, for example) where you’d play him early, but mostly he’s coming down late.
The Flex Slots
Sunspot is an extremely powerful card if you play him on Turn 1. Previously, I tried things like Ant-Man, Korg and Iceman in the list, but found them to be lacking. Korg had poor synergy with the board-based disruption package, since your opponent will already have limited board slots and can ignore than they drew a rock. Iceman also fell into this trap, although he had less direct anti-synergy than Korg, who directly conflicted with Black Widow. Ant-Man was good, but I valued the flexible gameplay that Sunspot allowed for, especially in combination with Magik, over the flat four power from Ant-Man. Effectively, Sunspot lets you threaten locations without actually having to commit, and this is a valuable tool to leverage.
Doc Ock has been a bunch of different cards. He was Rockslide for a while in less-refined builds, he was Magneto, who mostly was a slightly-bigger-Hulk, and I even briefly entertained the idea of Rescue in this slot. The way I look at this slot is as a haymaker, a card with a ton of power and maybe a decent effect that can win lanes on its own. Doc Ock having the upside of sometimes ruining opposing combo decks is just a bonus. I’m pretty cautious with my Doc Ocks unless there’s a huge obvious benefit to knowing what is going to be in the lane, or to tying my opponent’s power up into one lane.
Budgetizing The Deck
I don’t know that it makes sense to budgetize this list, since it’s very much built around having the right amount of specific effects in the deck. You have three cards that disrupt your opponent’s boardstate, you have the Sera/Magik core, and the efficient threats that help you to capitalize on a filled board. It’s a well-oiled machine, and when you replace one part of the machine, it might start to cough up smoke if you don’t replace it properly.
The Balance Implications Of This Deck
This raises an interesting question regarding balance, the pool system, and the metagame. This deck does a good job of countering Sera/Negative, but only if you can actually build it! All of the Pool Three cards other than Doc Ock are very important to this deck functioning, and that stands in stark contrast to Sera and Negative, who are pretty much the only cards you need to start playing a passable version of Sera/Negative.
Fundamentally, the question this raises is: does it matter if a deck is beatable if it is far more accessible to the playerbase than its counters are?
Thanks for reading, and best of luck collecting those cubes!