Sword Master

August 9, 2022 Patch 4.6.2 Card Balance Update: Impact on the Metagame, What Decks to Play

Find out how the latest Marvel Snap patch affected the metagame, what cards and decks came out on top and lost, and our recommendations on what decks to play.

It feels like it was just yesterday that a new card was added to the game, and we were still figuring out the best way to use Daredevil… But wait, that was yesterday!

Do not take this the wrong way, I love to see a good shakeup when I see one, and the game definitely was in need of putting some of the best cards back with the rest of the group. The nerfs to three of the current most prevalent cards in the game (The Collector, Nakia, Hellcow) in the latest patch 4.6.2 feels deserved and should help to push new archetypes to take more of the spotlight.

I won’t lie, I have a few concerns though as once again Pool 2 cards are taking the largest hit compared to Pool 3 cards. Obviously Hellcow was out of line and needed some adjustment, but the Discard synergy as a whole may not be punished too hard. On the other hand, Nakia and The Collector got heavily impacted as well without any compensation for the decks playing them.

Other very strong archetypes, like DeathWave notably, are being left untouched. Obviously, being a Pool 3 intensive deck probably protects this kind of deck from popping up on the developer’s radar for now, but it could be a concern down the line. Concerning the buffs, they apply to cards that were unplayable as they were, so everything feels warranted, but one could be concerned as if it is enough to make these cards still relevant.

All that said, there’s a lot of things to cover in this patch, as it feels like a mix of very impactful changes, and others that we didn’t even know that we needed. Let’s cover what happens now as Marvel Snap Season 3 – Heroes for Hire, feels like it finally kicked off with this patch!


Card Rebalance Overview

For the full list of changes, check out the official patch notes.

CardChangeCategory
The CollectorWhen a card enters your hand from anywhere (except your deck), +1 Power.Nerf
Colleen Wing[3/5] -> [2/4]Buff
Hellcow[2/6] -> [4/6]Nerf
Kingpin[3/4] When a card moves here on turn 6, destroy it.Neutral
Lizard[2/4] -> [2/5]Buff
Nakia[3/1] On Reveal: Give 2 cards in your hand +2 PowerNerf
Rescue[4/4] On Reveal: If you play a card here next turn, +5 Power.Buff
Sword Master[4/7] -> [3/6]Buff

Pool 2 once gain takes the biggest hit

  • The Collector – [2/1] When a card enters your hand from anywhere (except your deck), +1 Power.

Developer Comment: The Collector’s ability to gain power rapidly in many decks is a bit too out of control, especially at his Cost. We are reining him in with an adjustment to his Power gain potential.

  • Nakia – [3/1] On Reveal: Give 2 cards in your hand +2 Power

Developer Comment: Nakia had the potential to give massive amounts of power that players could reliably play out by using low Cost cards. We are nerfing the number of cards she will buff in order to keep this ability in check.

The biggest loser of the patch, in my opinion, are budget players. Those who relied on Nakia or The Collector to have a strong win condition to their deck, and felt like they could activate powerful synergies. If these 2 prove to be too weak to be used before one starts collecting cards in Pool 3, there isn’t much left to build around for beginners. Angela and Bishop are looking like the two cards left with enough power to be considered primary win conditions currently.

Even Swarm, that represented quite a strong win condition in Pool 2, is indirectly impacted with the Nakia nerf, and it looks like the time when we could play passively and slam three or four 5 power, 0 cost cards has lived its best days. Okoye could be a returning card in decks that can make use of buffs, and become a more solid option compared to Nakia.

The same could be said for a card like Devil Dinosaur, which stopped being good enough as a primary win condition after being nerfed alongside Moon Girl nerf after Season 1. Both cards kept some relevancy as they were playable alongside The Collector, but are they still good enough?

A lot of questions remain for the budget player base with this patch. I believe a new take on Discard Swarm can emerge and still be a viable option, as Cloak could replace Nakia, as a way to remove cards on Angela‘s location to keep exploiting her buffing ability.

Budget Discard
Created by den
, updated 2 months ago
1x Collection Level 1-14
7x Collection Level 18-214 (Pool 1)
3x Collection Level 222-474 (Pool 2)
1x Recruit Season
2.7
Cost
0-
1
2
3
4
5+
3.7
Power
0-
1
2
3
4
5+

Otherwise, players limited to only Pool 2 cards might be forced to play the Control archetype, especially if they bought Daredevil with the Season Pass. The card would be a fine replacement to Spider-Woman in the deck.

Pool 2 Control
Created by den
, updated 2 months ago
1x Collection Level 1-14
4x Collection Level 18-214 (Pool 1)
7x Collection Level 222-474 (Pool 2)
3.8
Cost
0-
1
2
3
4
5+
5.1
Power
0-
1
2
3
4
5+

Does Kingpin destroy the Move archetype now?

  • Kingpin: [3/4] When a card moves here on turn 6, destroy it.

Developer Comment: We believe that this update to Kingpin will make his functionality more clear, and give players more flexibility in when to play him to capitalize on his payoff.

This is a change that I did not expect to see, but one that could have a big impact down the line, as Kingpin might have gone from a mostly ignored card to beating a whole archetype on its own. A lot of the time when balance changes are happening, we look at the decks impacted by the nerfs or the buffs. However, the reality is that the biggest winners (or losers) can be the decks that have nothing to do with the patch. Simply because they were left out means they get to keep their raw power, and if other decks are getting worse, the untouched ones are inherently getting stronger.

Move is a bit of the textbook deck in that regard, constantly rising in stock as other decks get adjusted. This time could be just a bit different because of Kingpin. Let’s clear something up here, I’m not saying everyone will start playing Kingpin because it got buffed and therefore, Movement as an archetype has become unplayable. Rather, now that Kingpin has been changed, Move can’t really become a dominant archetype anymore. Otherwise, players will adapt and start running Kingpin, the card likely being Heimdall‘s worst nightmare, a key card for Move on its final turn.


Discard gets hit, but should bounce back

Developer Comment: Hellcow is clearly a very strong card, so as we considered what direction to take her change we decided to adjust the curve of discard effects and how we cost them. Discarding two is now clearly a beneficial effect, so we have moved Hellcow’s “discard multiple” effect up to 4-Cost to nerf her. We are also subsequently buffing Sword Master and Colleen Wing to 3-Cost and 2-Cost respectively to maintain our curve of discard cards and help the two out.

Developer Comment: Colleen Wing has been buffed to maintain the Energy curve of discard cards with Hellcow now at 4 Energy.

Developer Comment: Sword Master has been buffed to maintain the Energy curve of discard cards with Hellcow now at 4 Energy.

Giving Hellcow the Strong Guy treatment is a huge hit to the card, but the community saw it coming, and even asked for it. Obviously, losing Hellcow could be a big hit to the Discard archetype as a top tier contender. For a bit, I wouldn’t be surprised to see other builds fare much better and have Discard Combo be dropped to a bottom of Tier 1 or high Tier 2 deck.

However, I don’t think Discard becomes anything less than a top 3 ability in the game, and I still would place it above a lot of other core mechanics when building your deck. Already, the changes to Sword Master and Colleen Wing should help overcome the nerf to arguably the best card in the discard arsenal.

Another point that makes me believe Discard will bounce back is the amount of support card we see in the game that we aren’t using. Wong, Moon Girl, Gambit or Moon Knight to name a few, the Discard synergy has a lot of cards it can play that haven’t been explored yet because of the dominance of Hellcow.

It might take a bit before we find the next big thing for the Discard synergy, especially as Nakia‘s nerf could play a role too, but the flexibility is still there to produce some great decks.


Disruption tools are most improved with the patch

As I mentioned already in the section about Kingpin, a lot of the time, the winners in a patch are the ones left out of it entirely. While the large majority of the player base isn’t experiencing those decks on a daily basis, Lockdown and Combo deck are largely dominating the highest level of play. While those decks are still passively protected because of the amount of Pool 3 cards needed to play them at full strength, the gap is widening once again with this patch.

Wave, Magik, both goblins or even Sandman, are cards based upon disrupting the opponent and even just received a strong ally in Daredevil, are all winners of this patch.

With Nakia and Hellcow out of the way, at least for a bit, the amount of explosive things and power the opponent can develop before the disruption cards are being played is largely reduced. As such, those decks should be under less pressure to perfectly navigate the final few turns in order to catch up and beat the proactive deck strategies.


What deck should I play now?

As this is probably the reason you clicked on this article in the first place, let’s talk about which builds are looking poised to perform early in this patch. Furthermore, very soon, a dedicated “Best Decks with Daredevil” will be posted and updated, focusing on what to do around the new card, which could update some of these lists.

Destroyer

On the brink of competitiveness in our last tier list, both Daredevil‘s addition and this patch should do wonders to the Destroyer‘s archetype win rate.

Destroyer
Created by den
, updated 2 months ago
4x Collection Level 18-214 (Pool 1)
3x Collection Level 222-474 (Pool 2)
4x Collection Level 486+ (Pool 3)
1x Recruit Season
3.1
Cost
0-
1
2
3
4
5+
2.5
Power
0-
1
2
3
4
5+

DeathWave

Once again, the best archetype in the game is left untouched because of its relatively low popularity. With Discard Combo suffering two nerfs, DeathWave should be the uncontested best deck for now.

DeathWave
Created by den
, updated 2 months ago
7x Collection Level 18-214 (Pool 1)
2x Collection Level 222-474 (Pool 2)
3x Collection Level 486+ (Pool 3)
3
Cost
0-
1
2
3
4
5+
3.5
Power
0-
1
2
3
4
5+

Magik Anti-Meta

While the metagame could change and force this deck into adapting the tech cards it runs. Magik is looking like a very strong card to run against most decks planning to empty their hand on turn 6.

A kind of Magic
Created by den
, updated 2 months ago
2x Collection Level 18-214 (Pool 1)
4x Collection Level 222-474 (Pool 2)
5x Collection Level 486+ (Pool 3)
1x Starter Card
3.8
Cost
0-
1
2
3
4
5+
3.7
Power
0-
1
2
3
4
5+

Sandman Lockdown

A completely untouched deck that was already gaining ground. Sandman should be happy to see slower decks gain in popularity, as he tends to punish those the most.

SandWave lockdown
Created by den
, updated 2 months ago
4x Collection Level 1-14
1x Collection Level 18-214 (Pool 1)
3x Collection Level 222-474 (Pool 2)
4x Collection Level 486+ (Pool 3)
4.1
Cost
0-
1
2
3
4
5+
3.7
Power
0-
1
2
3
4
5+

Closing Words

Developer Comment: Lizard’s performance was extremely weak, so we are giving him an extra power to help him out.

  • Rescue – [4/4] On Reveal: If you play a card here next turn, +5 Power.

Developer Comment: Rescue’s performance is very weak right now, so we are adjusting her down to 4 Cost and 4 base Power to make her more competitive.

I have to admit, Lizard and Rescue‘s buffs feels a bit forgettable, and I don’t see any of these two cards see more play compared to the popularity they were seeing before.

On the other end, I enjoy most of the other changes, and although I think there should be more buffs to promote diversity, especially in Pool 1 and 2 cards, I think Nakia and The Collector were definitely stronger than the other cards.

Alongside Daredevil‘s addition, Season 3 is kicking off with a lot of changes, and it should be exciting to discover how much of the metagame gets impacted by this patch. As usual, feel free to come and share your biggest discoveries or accomplishments on our Discord server. You can also follow me or reach out on my Twitter page.

Good Game everyone.

den
den

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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