Ben Brode, lead developer on Marvel Snap

Developer Update for the Week of July 26, 2023: Legion Edition (60+ Questions)!

In this week's edition of Developer Update, we get answers to questions from the team at Second Dinner about Marvel Snap over the past week.

Hello all! Welcome back to this week’s breakdown of what’s happening over on the Marvel Snap official Discord! This week, we have a jam packed edition with a record number of questions! This edition we get answers to will we see less conquest screens, do the devs and players have different visions the game, loads of Magik questions, and more! If you want to stay up to date with what’s coming and what answers developers have for the community, make sure to check back here each week!

This week’s edition comes after the launch of the new card Legion! It also comes after the launch of the major OTA changes. If you haven’t seen what major changes were made, make sure to check those out first so these questions make sense! Also, if you haven’t seen the news yet, the developers listened to you! A change just went live that replaced Premium Mystery Variants with 1,000 Collector’s Tokens as the reward for a duplicate Series 4/5 Spotlight Cache pull.

Answers and questions may be slightly rephrased for more clarity and ease of reading. This weeks topics will be divided into Card Specific questions, Other questions, and Long Response Questions.

Remember, you can check out our new Marvel Snap Developer Tracker to see all questions and answers in real time! Topics can also be searched, filtered, and sorted.

Card Specific Questions

Q: Are there any plans to revert Kitty Pryde back to her original release version?
A: Glenn “It’s not impossible, but we have other, larger changes planned that impact the future of that design space. We don’t want to make a change just for Kitty that could negatively impact the viability of those changes. Plus, it’s not like she needs the buff.”

Q: Love the new Magik change, but would you ever allow her to be played on turn 6 again? It’s too easy for people to turn off Limbo.
A: Glenn “Being playable on turn 6 is a dramatic addition of strength and creates a pattern that once made Magik the strongest card in the game before her previous nerf. That effect was too much tension, since you could surprise the opponent by adding a turn when they had no locations left to play at or just go for the win (by not playing her). It’s not an option we expect to consider again.”

Q: Now that Bounce has been hit so hard, will there be a chance to see Beast return to a 2/2?
A: Glenn “Maybe? I prefer the current card–more Power is creatively “more Beast-y”–but we’ll have to see how the data shakes out.”

Q: Did the team consider keeping Magik’s 3 power to preserve her usage in Cerebro 3?
A: Glenn “We considered it, but the balance felt a little generous for non-Cerebro decks. Either way, one Cerebro deck is happy and another is sad.”

Q: On Paper Absorbing Man has an incredible ability, but in practice I find that he is a bit too akward to really go into any decks. Is he a card you guys have on the to-do list of adjustments or does internal data show he’s doing fine?
A: Glenn “We’ve been talking about him. It’s tricky, because I think he’d a be a fun card at 3-Cost, but probably too strong an addition to Surfer. We also have future content that combines powerfully with him, and maybe that’s enough of a buff, so we don’t want to push too hard.”

Q: Does the existence of Shang-Chi create a restriction on designing high cost cards?
A: Glenn “I actually did recently observe we weren’t designing many high-cost cards, and we’ve made a concerted effort to balance it out. However, that’s just our design targets not being broad enough, not Shang-Chi’s fault.

Shang does create a break point around 9 Power, as you described, but it’s not particularly constraining.”

Q: Is it intended that Magik will activate Limbo on turn 6, but not create a turn 7, when revived by Hela?
A: Glenn “If this was via Invisible Woman, it’s not a bug; the game is already ending. If it was just a normal turn 6 Hela that sounds like a bug.

However, we won’t need to adjust for it, because it will be irrelevant when we adjust Magik in the next patch to never trigger on turn 6, whether she was played or not. We prefer playable on turn 6 but never triggering vs. unplayable on turn 6 but triggering if you can find a tricky way to do it.”

Q: Did you buff Phoenix Force (and Ghost Spider) because the deck was bad, or because the sales of the season pass was underperforming?
A: Glenn “The reason we made these buffs was that the win percentage of move cards as a group was underperforming–almost every card with the word “move” on it was in the bottom half of cards on win percentage, and several were especially low. Phoenix-based decks were our lowest-performing archetype the week before we made the change.

We clearly undershot, so we decided to make buffs we were confident would be effective, rather than make incremental small buffs that might not change enough. I think it’s more likely than not we’ll dial something back again in the future, but until then we’ve ensured a real impact is felt and can better evaluate exactly which cards are most important to stay strong.”

Q: Explain this interaction: Opponent played Taskmaster, Red Skull, then Arnim Zola onto Taskmaster. The Taskmaster copied Red Skull’s power and not Zola’s. Why?
A: Glenn “Arnim Zola hasn’t finished resolving, so he’s not considered “played” yet. Once his On Reveal finishes, he’s done.”

Q: Why is canceling Magik’s Limbo on turn 6 ok, but creating it on turn 6 isn’t ok? Why can’t Limbo be a permanent effect like District X?
A: Glenn “Turn 6 Magik attacks a fundamental heuristic every player uses to play Marvel SNAP. Scarlet Witch/Storm/Rhino attack Magik/Limbo. The range and scale of the impact is very different.

Limbo could work the way you describe, but creating tension over whether or not turn 7 will happen is interesting. Note again that’s very different from the tension around whether turn 6 will be the last turn of the game or not with no Magik or Limbo in sight.”

Q: Now that Phoenix Force is a better Vision, will Vision get any improvements like an extra power to make him viable?
A: Glenn “Vision isn’t competing with Phoenix for decks, though he does compete with Phoenix in play. Phoenix requires a lot of deck space to enable, Vision requires none and gets played as a tech card for decks that need to sneak into locations with higher Power.

While Vision’s play rate is lower than it’s been in the past, his winrate isn’t exceptionally low. His play rate has decreased because decks that used to play him, especially Lockjaw, have found other options, and 7 Power isn’t enough to oust Phoenix from her roosts. 4/6 or 5/8 would make him stronger, but wouldn’t solve either of those issues, so it’s a more complex case than it may seem.

Like all cards, we’ll continue to monitor him. Bear in mind our balance philosophy isn’t restricted to finding the right spot for everything and leaving it there forever.”

Q: Is it intended if you Beast/Falcon your Nebula, she gets the buff instantly the next time you play her in a location your opponent didn’t play?
A: Glenn “It is intended. Nebula is uniquely balanced around how “free” the first buff tended to be, but once her presence is public that diminishes.

It’s worth bearing in mind that “resets” that pretend the card is a new version of itself are a concept that comes from paper card games, where a game object moving to a hidden zone requires it be treated as new, since there’s no way to verify it isn’t. Digital doesn’t have that problem.”

Q: With Magik replacing Psylock in Mr Negative decks (her primary home), may we see a buff to her card?
A: Glenn “She’s underperforming a bit, but ramp-style decks have been strong, so we’re not taking any action on her yet.”

Q: Is there a chance we see Nimrod get dropped to a 4 Cost like Phoenix Force?
A: Glenn “Pretty unlikely. Nimrod is much easier to abuse than Phoenix Force on multiple levels, and has been performing well since his last buff.”

Q: Why is Echo not an Ongoing effect?
A: Glenn “We already had Enchantress and Sauron to affect friendly cards, we wanted to try a version that aimed to more directly answer enemy cards.”

Q: Any plans of buffing Electra?
A: Glenn “No plans, but if we came up with an idea, maybe. Many early Series cards are built around providing a satisfying onboarding experience, not long-term competitive play. We also need engaging characters there—if your first few SNAP games all featured characters you didn’t know, it wouldn’t feel much like Marvel.”

Q: Would you ever adjust Mr Negative where he won’t invert a card past a 6 cost? This would open up creativity like allowing Living Tribunal to cap at a 6/6 instead of a 9/6.
A: Glenn “That change is already in an upcoming patch.”

Q: Is updating Cable to not pull America Chavez every game any closer to being considered?
A: Glenn “We’ve changed this in an upcoming patch.”

Q: Are you happy with Killmonger? His ability to destroy so many cards and get so much value is unmatched by other cards.
A: Glenn “Generally happy. His existence is effectively constraining on a class of card (1-Cost) that would otherwise need to be weaker or run a little too rampant.”

Other Questions

Q: Outside of commissioning art from artists, how do you find and choose existing art for variants?
A: Daniela “If any of us become aware of a super cool artist we direct them to our super cool art supervisor to see if they’re a fit for SNAP. Sometimes it’s just stumbling upon their social media lol”

Q: Has it been considered to add a function where your deck will rotate variants you own for cards each game, or swap between favorites?
A: Daniela “Considered yes 🤩 maybe one day”

Q: I think the increase in variant shop capacity and the focus on showing new releases is a good step forward. Is there any plans to personalise the variant shop a little more?
A: Charlene “The short answer is: yes! There are definitely plans to take this further beyond showing new releases.  Personalized Shop is currently under active development to address how to better serve Variants to each of our players.”

Q: What factors effect what card gets boosters at the end of a match?
A: Stephen “Cards are given 2x weight if they do not have enough boosters to be leveled up.  For example, if you are trying to level up Jean Grey and she is currently at Epic quality, but you only have 7 boosters then she will receive 2x weight.  If instead you are sitting on more boosters than needed to level her up then she receives 1x weight.  You can have multiple cards in your deck at a time receiving 2x weight if they all need more boosters to be leveled up.”

Q: What happens to boosters if I play the infinity version of a card?
A: Stephen “If you play an infinity version, it will gain 2x weight when you are holding 50 boosters for that character.  The system looks at the card you are playing in your deck when determining weights.”

Follow-up clarification: Stephen “If you have less than 50 boosters on your infinity card then it will get 2x weight.  If you have over 50 boosters on your infinity card then it gets 1x weight.”

Q: Why don’t locations use “On Reveal” or “Ongoing”? Such as “On Reveal: Add a squirrel to each location”.
A: Glenn “A combination of text length and also making it more confusing what a “card” is.”

Q: The last OTA has much more balance changes than past OTAs. Is this something we should expect more of?
A: Glenn “This was more of a one-time thing, because we missed a week of OTA balance during our summer vacation. However, depending on how it’s received, we may raise the average number of changes, or the “intensity” of those changes, or both.”

Q: When balancing, do you consider the data overall, or do you separate them in groups like collection level, rank, conquest tier, etc?
A: Glenn “We slice the data in all of those directions, but mostly focus on looking at different collection levels and primarily on Series 3 complete.”

Q: Do you have some specific numbers regarding usage rate and win rate that a card should not be above or below? If so, what are they?
A: Glenn “We do have specific thresholds, but we prefer not to share them. They’re also subject to some wiggle room depending on the specific context of the card or the metagame.”

Q: If the community is complaining a lot about a card, but the data shows that this card have healthy values, how do you proceed?
A: Glenn “We listen and try to understand the root of the dissatisfaction. For example, many players complain about Cosmo, but it’s an average card. What are they really complaining about? Can we create content (like Echo) that addresses the complaint? Can we buff or nerf adjacent cards in a meaningful way? And sure, sometimes we just nod and do nothing because we think that’s best for all players.”

Q: What sources does the team read to collect player feedback outside of the Discord?
A: Glenn “We read a variety of social media outlets, consume content, and even gather tough, honest feedback from our ‘player selves’ to consider. It’s a teamwide effort to get a wide sampling of sentiment feedback, since no one person could sift through all of that.

We combine sentiment with what we see in players’ behavior in and around the game to get as full a picture as possible and add context to our data.”

Q: Why is the Beta Infinite reward of the Thor avatar avaliable to collect in the Beta Rewind bundle?
A: Stephen “The infinite avatar from that season is the Base Thor.  It is not part of the bundle!  It remains exclusive and unique!”

Q: Based on the previous response, will Beta cardbacks earned as ranked rewards not be avaliable for purchase either?
A: Tucker “Yep! Since those are more exclusive rewards for reaching high ranks, we wanted to be fair to players who fought for em back then. We’ll find another post-launch home for them that’s a similar test of skill (something like a Ranked Reward, Conquest Medal Reward, etc.)”

Q: Will there ever be a location that destroys 1 other location, like worldship but leaving 2 locations in play instead?
A: Glenn “Destroying one location mostly just makes people learn and navigate tiebreaker rules more often, which we’re not keen to do. Understanding the tiebreaker system is a common source of confusion among less experienced players.”

Q: Will there ever be a location that adds a 4th location to a match?
A: Glenn “Location addition is a UI/UX challenge, a code architecture challenge, a strategic challenge, and also makes tiebreakers matter more. I don’t expect it to happen anytime soon, if ever. I think we’re more likely to blow up one location than add a fourth.”

Q: Have you considered making locations that aren’t revealed be unable to be played on?
A: Glenn “I like “top-down” design work (designs driven by creative concepts) and really enjoy incorporating it into games on a systemic level. However, it’s very easy to make games worse by adhering too tightly to things that “make more sense” rather than provide the best gameplay. Being unable to play on an unrevealed location would be one such thing.”

Q: When can we expect an updated roadmap?
A: Molly “So glad you asked 🙂 We were just talking about this! We’re getting some details locked-in and hope to share with you in next couple weeks.

Q: Why is there no confirm button if you end your turn without playing a card? I often drag a card to a location and my palm hits end turn and I play nothing.
A: Glenn “It’s pretty common to end the turn without playing a card, especially turn 1 and occasionally turn 2. Adding different controls to later turns is also a little disruptive. It would just interrupt the flow of many more games than the number of games it would save.”

Q: I saw in the ComicCon panel, a certain Squirrel got a token variant. Is this a hint we will be seeing Token’s updated for some (all?) variants in the future?
A: Glenn “We’re exploring the space right now with new content. We’re not committing to updating older content.”

Q: The last several months, card backs no longer have featured the Snap logo. Is there a chance old cardbacks will be revisited and have the logo removed as well?
A: Stephen “Probably not but we have no plans to include the logo on future ones right now.”

Q: I own all the variants and card backs from the Love and Thunder bundle. What would happen if I buy it?
A: Stephen “You would get the boosters and title.  We want to add smart pricing based on ownership in the future but right now we don’t have the tech.”

Q: Are you aware of how much time is spent on Conquest screens waiting for slide shows to finish?
A: Stephen “We are planning to streamline and improve a lot of the UX in our next sprint.  So improvements are in the pipeline to come soon.”

Q: Would you ever use the “Snap” function in a card’s design? Such as +4 power if both players snapped?
A: Glenn “We’ve talked about it, I think it’s a ‘when’ not an ‘if'”

Q: Will there ever be a large card drop again like when Series 4/5 were first released?
A: Glenn “We have no plans to do anything like that again.”

Q: Two weeks into spotlight cashes and we already see the tension that is created by spotlight cashes in a world of frequent balancing: The Living Tribunal was in the first set of Spotlight Cashes, many players decided to not get it and a week later it got buffed and now we have no idea when LT comes back and feel bad for skipping it.

Does the team consider the codependency between OTA timing and available spotlight cards?  Or will you try to do so on the future to avoid these feelbad moments?
A: Glenn “We do. Living Tribunal was a unique case because we skipped an OTA during summer vacation and hadn’t accounted for earlier reviews that month within the design team’s scheduling. Moving forward, we expect OTA changes that impact the playability of Spotlight cards to mostly precede them.”

Q: Will you add any more cards that add a specific location like Magik adds Limbo?
A: Glenn “Generally, we want a light touch on cards that change a location into a specific other location. These cards reduce variance in games twofold, both by removing a meaningful location and also by adding the same one every time.”

Q: Would the team ever Ban a card from the game that constrains the game too much or is too difficult to balance?
A: Glenn “No, we would just rework them. There’s virtually no reason for us to ever ban a card.”

Q: Why are there so many 1 cost cards (Currently 21) that have a 1/2 statline?
A: Glenn “In every game, the statlines at your lowest resource cost are the least diverse. We’re not an exception, so the most likely way for a 1-Cost card’s stats to change are with its Cost.”

Q: Can you get XP from missions once you hit the daily XP cap?
A: Stephen “The 4k daily cap is from gameplay only.  We added it to prevent bot farming of XP.  You can still gain XP from missions no matter what.”

Q: Any plans to still add a boosters targeting system?
A: Stephen “We have a design we like for deeper booster targeting, but it is not our highest priority right now.  We hope to get to it in the future”

Q: Does the dev team watch any streams to see how players are using and reacting to new card releases?
A: Glenn “I mostly watch recorded content after it’s aired, but yes.”

Addison “It’s unrelated to meta and deck creation (I’ll leave that to Glenn and co.), but I try to watch various places including occasional streams the first few hours and the following day of release for critical issues that may come up.”

Q: Will you explore more effects like Evolved Shocker or old Nakia, where leftmost cards get effected?
A: Glenn “We’ll continue using in-hand placement a little, but we’re not planning to push it especially hard. Nakia’s previous iteration taught us that managing your hand for this effect was a lot more complex than it seemed, especially given early locations’ potential impact.”

Q: Will we ever see Spotlight variants feature Series 1-3 cards? Maybe feature them in Conquest rewards?
A: Glenn “We may do awesome exclusives for Series 1-3, but the structure of the Spotlight Cache system isn’t really built with the expectation of so many players already owning the card, which would be the case with those Series. I doubt we’d call a Conquest reward a Spotlight variant.”

Long Response Questions

Q: You recently listed 2 things you monitor with Spotlight Caches: 1- More Series 4/5 cards in players hands, 2- More experimentation with undervalued cards. How is this a positive when many Series 4/5 cards will be unusable if you don’t also own cards that pair with it, like unlocking Dawkhawk but not owning Zabu or Rockslide?
A: Glenn “1) We monitor the play rate of cards. An uptick in how many people own a card compared to its play numbers tells us whether or not players owning the card are enjoying playing with it.

2) The goal of increasing experimentation isn’t to make the card win more—that’s what balance changes are for. The goal is to make the game experience more diverse and rewarding for players by increasing the number of decks they’re building, playing, and seeing. That’s a core piece of the fun in getting a new card in any CCG, the possibility space it opens. Similar to individual cards, we monitor the play rate of decks.

In addition to just looking at 1) and 2) across the whole audience, we can slice that data by players’ Collection Level and understand how the system has changed the behavior of players around the cards feature via Spotlight Cache at different levels, to see who is benefiting and by how much.”

Q: It appears that the envisioned direction of Marvel Snap by the Second Dinner team may not align with the preferences of the current player base. Updates are designed with a purpose, and they contribute to Second Dinner’s vision for the game. However, this situation leads me to inquire:

Has the development team explored the possibility of adapting their aspirations and direction for Marvel Snap in response to the feedback from the existing player base? Is there a plan to collaborate with players rather than conflicting with their expectations? Alternatively, does the team intend to focus on attracting a new player base that aligns with the vision, especially with the upcoming full PC release, in the hopes of growing a more “understanding” player base?
A: Tucker “I really like this question. Every live-operated game is a constant dialogue between developers & players. We speak by releasing stuff and directly talking to y’all here. Players speak back through their engagement with the game (or lack thereof!) and their direct feedback in places like here and in surveys.

We’re always listening by reading your direct feedback as well as diving into the gameplay data to see how folks are playing (*psst, ask me more questions about this part!!*). While we certainly have a vision of where we *think* we should go, we’re constantly adjusting our course based on what y’all think, and I don’t believe a game without its players’ support can go very far at all.

That said, a lot of factors can make that conversation messy:

– There’s a TON of folks playing Snap, who often care about different things. It can be like having a conversation with a million people at once.

– Many types of changes to the game take time to get in your hands, so the conversation’s laggy. A lot of things that sound really simple (“Let’s change Reward X to Reward Y!”) have to be put on the schedule, designed, implemented, QA’ed, localized into multiple languages, submitted to the App Store, pass Apple/Google review, get rolled out, then finally downloaded by y’all before the next iteration is in your hands.¹

– Even if we’re hyper-responsive on Discord, only a tiny % of our players are here, so **players can best hear us when we change stuff, and we can best hear you when you’re responding to stuff we’ve changed**. It means oftentimes we gotta release something to really learn that something needs some more revisions.

All this to say the super trite thing: feedback from y’all (both direct and indirect) is extremely important; we can’t steer the ship without it.”

Q: Which areas, if any, are you seeing a discrepancy between the direct community feedback and the actual player engagement statistics?
A: Tucker “Great question! I’ll start with a more innocuous example before diving into the trickier stuff.

Back in February there was a bunch of community sentiment coalescing around how OP Dracula is. We even got some questions from our publisher about it!! If I recall correctly, looking at the win rates he didn’t look OP. And we weren’t seeing a lot of people stop playing for the day right after losing to Dracula (a good way of ‘surveying’ a bunch of players to see if Dracula feels bad).

In that case, if we made a call 100% on visible sentiment and 0% on data we probably would have ended up with one less viable card in Marvel Snap and a slightly less satisfying game overall.

Side note: ***The data is also an incomplete picture!*** Sentiment helps us interpret & explain the data, so decisions made on 100% data 0% sentiment are often subpar.


All right, now for the juicy stuff. Negative sentiment on Spotlight Cache.

At this time we know how much card progression folks are receiving per credit spent on the CL track. Card progression = tokens + token value of cards, with a discount factor on the cards to respect that not every player would have prioritized spending 3000/6000 tokens on this exact card.

We know that **the new system is giving out more card progression than the old system on a per credit basis** (we’re counting the old system’s gold as part of card progression btw). And this applies to both F2P and non-F2P players.

So it all looks groovy; case closed, right? Nope, 100% data 0% sentiment would be an awful call here; this data clearly isn’t telling the full story.

Zoom into that first Spotlight Cache everyone opened last week. On one extreme, 25% of em opened Jean Grey, and I’d bet the majority of those folks are probably pretty happy. On the other extreme, 25% of em opened Random S4/S5, and a significant chunk of those folks got the dupe fallback reward.

So you’ve got maybe 10%-ish of the playerbase whose very first experience with Spotlight Cache didn’t deliver on the promise of more cards! Many of those folks (rightfully) raise their concerns with this and (understandably) believe this means the system as a whole is messed up. And 10% of our players is a LOT of people, so it gains a LOT of traction.

Does that mean the Spotlight Cache system as a whole has failed? No.

But that mean the system should be fixed where it isn’t delivering the promise? Absolutely.”

Q: How does the team deal with cards that aren’t too powerful on their own but have busted synergies?
For example, Brood and Silver Surfer are perfectly fair cards viewed in isolation, but a lot of players seem to feel that the Brood/Surfer combo is overpowered. Is it possible to nerf one particular interaction without throwing either individual card too far out of whack?
A: Glenn “We mostly just keep designing them 🙂

Combining game objects to form a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts is a core part of the fun in many games, but especially in CCGs. When a combination of cards is too strong, we tune it, as we did earlier this year with Silver Surfer.

In the case of these two, if we wanted to nerf the combo—and to be clear, we currently don’t—the candidate to change is Brood. Surfer is the card that directly affects the playability of other cards, while Brood’s strength with Surfer is localized to it creating 3 3-Cost bodies.

For fun, let’s extend the hypothetical to get a look at how we might work through this case.

There are a variety of options, but the one I’d start testing first is making Mr. Sinister a 3/3 and Brood a 2/2. The reason I’d start here is that it’s a change that potentially affects another deck (Cerebro2). When a change impacts multiple decks, starting it early gives us the most time to work out its potential. We may also learn things that impact other changes we’d test, maybe even enough to not waste time trying them.

This change also compensates a nerf with some strength to both cards we’re changing. It only trims the third body from Surfable Brood (now Sinister), which cuts less than 2 Power from the combo since you can sometimes replace it with a better card. When we nerf, we like to compensate with positive changes if we can, to add more space to explore. Maybe we try that for a week, then decide to take the new Sinister down to 3/2 and try 3/3 on Surfer to nerf further, with 3/2 for both being our last resort.

Just in case anyone got too hype, we’re currently happy with Surfer, reiterating this was just a thought exercise.”

Q: Do you have any short or long term improvements in the works regarding the support system, such as moving the support in-house rather than hiring a third party who clearly doesn’t even know what Marvel Snap is to begin with?
A: Daniela “Hey! I totally hear you, our in-game support can be improved! It is on our to do list to revisit the UX of the in-game support and streamline the process. Thank you for your feedback and patience!”

Addison “I wanted to chime in too for the Discord/Socials support. I can understand if there’s a feeling of yelling into the void when getting a lot of templated responses asking for more information for bugs, but the support team does a good job consolidating all of that information and surfacing tickets with links to all of that info and it DOES help. Just this morning I was looking through a community reported ticket and pulling logs from the report IDs sent in.”

Charlene “Another thing I also want to add here: I understand the frustration that some questions here on Discord remain unanswered. Those could be due to a variety of factors, whether or not a dev is comfortable answering it or not; whether a dev comfortable with answering has the sufficient knowledge to do so; whether or not those answers are best served elsewhere through other modalities (ie, patch notes, videos, etc etc.) Know that we as a team do actually read these, engage in discussions, and design for how we can best serve our SNAP community. Your voices do matter, you are heard, and we are definitely appreciative for all of your feedback.”

Q: How is creating Magik on turn 6 not ok, but its OK for Legion to copy Storm on turn 5 and basically end the game early?
A: Glenn “I don’t think the two cards are particularly comparable in their primary issues. Magik created a ton of invisible tension–you didn’t know if you would get Magik’d or not, but it was always possible. With Legion, the potential of his impact is always visible in play and requires some other randomized game element, like finding Storm or certain locations, to matter.

Creating tension around how or when a game might end is part of CCG gameplay. Many other games even feature a variety of win conditions. We don’t have that complication, so effects like this (carefully managed) are one of the ways we create diversity among potential endgames.

In general in SNAP, decks trying to ‘end’ the game early are actually weak climbers in SNAP, because you always miss out on the final double. One of the reasons High Ev was a successful Lockdown deck was that Evolved Hulk created a lot of tension around whether or not a location could be challenged, so you could snag the final double fairly often. Absorbing Man + Spider-Man–while annoying–was a lot worse at climbing because that combo lacked that same tension.”

Q: How is Legion any better than old Galactus? They both drastically change the gameplay of Snap and prevent counterplay.
A: Glenn “The biggest difference is that winning two locations, aka the game of SNAP, is still the primary objective. You don’t have to counter Legion to win.

Something I often talk about is how powerful “saving up” for turn 6 is in SNAP, and that we need pressure against that default strong strategy to ensure play patterns are diverse. Legion is one kind of card that creates that pressure, Galactus was not. He always punished early playing to the board, Legion can often reward it.

Maybe Legion released too strong—we’ll see soon enough. If so, his Power is a meaningful OTA knob, and his Cost is a very heavy one. Neither of those were true for the previous iteration of Galactus.”

Questions From You!

Each week, I ask readers of the weekly dev update to leave their questions down in the comment section. That way we can ask those questions on your behalf, or let you know the answers if those questions have been asked before! I read each comment you leave, so I will be adding this section at the end of each week’s edition to highlight your questions that you asked last week!

Q: With the new Spotlight system, will there still be Series downgrades?
A: Glenn “There are no Series Drops this month. As previously announced, Series Drops are no longer a fixed, regular occurrence each season.”

Q: What is the Premium Variant weight for rare vs super rare?
A: I haven’t been able to get you a quotable answer yet, but I remember seeing this answered previously and I don’t want to leave you wondering. I remember seeing a dev say it is a 66 rare/33 super rare chance. I did, however, find this official description in game that’s easy to miss.

Keep Your Questions and Feedback Coming!

That’s all for this week’s update! Be sure to check back here at Marvel Snap Zone for next week’s update! If you enjoyed the amount of content in this edition, make sure to keep asking your questions to the developers by submitting it in their official Discord in the “#ask-the-team” channel. If you have questions and don’t use Discord, leave your questions for the developers in the comment section here, and I will make sure your question has been answered by the devs!

If you have feedback or changes you would like to see with these weekly updates, also let us know in the comment section!

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Articles: 68


  1. Q: On Paper Absorbing Man has an incredible ability, but in practice I find that he is a bit too akward to really go into any decks. Is he a card you guys have on the to-do list of adjustments or does internal data show he’s doing fine?
    A: Glenn “We’ve been talking about him. It’s tricky, because I think he’d a be a fun card at 3-Cost, but probably too strong an addition to Surfer. We also have future content that combines powerfully with him, and maybe that’s enough of a buff, so we don’t want to push too hard.”

    I am guessing that is alluding to Alioth. I expect Wave 3, Galactus 4, Alioth 5, (Absorbing Man or Odin on 6) to be extremely popular for a week until Mobius releases to give some kind of counter.

  2. Why is high evo a big bad? In the comics he is a side character and very few people remember him. Even in the movies hes probably dead and may not make a second appearance

  3. Question for the Devs:
    I love the Spotlight Caches. This month, I’ve pulled 4 Pool 5 cards and a Pool 4, which is definitely more in a month than I was getting before. Where I feel like I’m missing out, however, is in the choice. With tokens becoming much more rare, it feels like it will be a long time before I can afford to get a character that isn’t currently slated for the Spotlight, such as Howard the Duck, to go with my new Iron Lad. And if I don’t pull a spotlight card, it seems like it will be a very long time before I get another chance. The new 1000 token reward negates that a little bit, but that’s still probably a couple months’ worth of caches before I’ll get the card I want.

    Has any thought been given on a way to make non-spotlighted cards more accessible? Maybe a semi-rare “Choose a card” option, or the ability to “pin” a Spotlight card?

  4. With a bunch of cards that outclassed very quickly as SD makes/players collect new cards, here are some suggestions for buffs and reworks to older cards to help give them hopefully new life:

    It’s a long list. Enjoy.

    Strong Guy:
    3 Energy, 10 Power, On-Going: -2 Power for each card in your hand.

    This allows Strong Guy to try to see play in a number of different decks like Sauron or Surfer.

    Uatu the Watcher:
    1 Energy, 3 Power, Start of Game see all 3 locations before turn 1.

    Basically, think of any start of game effect plus Daredevil. So you get to see the locations before the game even starts.

    1 Energy, 2 Power (Bird/normal form)/3 Power (Bear form), As you play Snowguard, Choose Bird or Bear form. (Neither ability for Bird or Bear changes)

    Snowguard just needs the ability to choose which form to play at minimum, and maybe a power increase wouldn’t hurt.

    1 Energy, 1 Power, On-Going: When your opponent plays a card in this lane, gain +1 power.

    Hawkeye should be a counter to Angela without outclassing her in scaling. Given that he sees no where close to any level of decent play past the starter set, a small boost of power like this could help his play rate.

    Howard the Duck:
    1 energy, 2 power, Tap Howard to see your top card. On-Going: Whenever you play the card you drew this turn, gain +2 power.

    Howard needs some kind of scaling power ability to really make him worthwhile in most decks. This updated ability would make it where whenever you play your normal topdeck card in a turn, Howard would gain 2 power.

    2 Energy, 0 power, On Reveal: If your opponent played a card in this lane, draw the top card of their deck. Mantis gains power equal to that card’s cost.

    A conditional Guardians style effect that maintains her normal ability, but she gets the ultimate called shot. She can get up to, technically, 8 power against some decks, and will probably average 4 power in most scenarios.

    2 Energy, 3 power, On Reveal: Turn this location into Subterannea.

    Why? Why not? This would turn Quake into THE staple card for Darkhawk decks, as well as disruption for Lockjaw/Jubilee decks.

    2 energy, 3 power, On-Going: Gain +1 power for each enemy card.

    Punisher just needs his cost lowered by 1, and he would be decent enough to see more play.

    1 Energy, 3 Power, Whenever another card is destroyed in this location, add a copy of it to your hand.

    Angel should honestly rescue cards that get destroyed. This gives a little redundancy for the Destroy archetype and could be a decent combo enabler for like a big t5 Venom turn with Death and Sabertooth.

    Kang the Conquerer:
    5 energy, 0 power, Always draw on turn 5. On Reveal: Restart the turn without Kang.

    Kang’s biggest and best thing about him is his possibility for deck thinning. So why not just make him always drawn on turn 5? He’s effectively at that point an expensive Daredevil, but with card draw.

    1 energy, 1 power, Start the game with Quicksilver in your hand. On Reveal: Add a Scarlet Witch to your hand.

    Pietro and Wanda have almost always been inseparable. Why start separating them now? This could give Quicksilver a home in Dino decks as well as control decks that want location change abilities. Also, the ‘start the game in your hand’ wouldn’t be like he normally is, taking up a draw, but more like Agatha.

    Baron Mordo:
    2 energy, 6 power, On Reveal: Your opponent draws a card. Swap this card’s power for the drawn card’s cost.

    This becomes a major disruption tool for lower cost decks and just a 2/6 in top-heavy decks. On average, he will probably be a 2/4. However, I have another idea as well.

    Baron Mordo(2):
    2 energy, 2 power, On Reveal: Your opponent draws a card. Increase its cost equal to Baron Mordo’s power. (No max cost)

    This would give buff effects a huge advantage as a disruption effect and would work with passive bonuses like Blue Marvel or Cerebro as well.

  5. Gonna keep harping on this at every possible opportunity: now that SD has changed the rewards for opening an S4/5 dupe, they should be offering compensation to players that already opened one. It does not encourage people to engage with your systems if you admit that the system was disappointing players, make a change less than a month later, and then leave all the early adopters out to dry. All this will do is encourage players to hoard caches when there is massive player dissatisfaction with a change under the assumption that something better will come along eventually.

  6. Have you ever thought of adding credits to the end of game rewards in the same way we get boosters. Even something as small as 5 credits a win I think would be a huge boost for players especially those of us who are above 6000 collection level. Speaking with friends who are in similar collection levels it really sucks when you finish the weekly rewards and just have to wait it out to try to get credits to split variants. Especially after the reserves changes to credits it really feels as though credits are harder to come by and the extra 250 from the weekend missions doesn’t seem to offset the loss of getting 500 credits from a reserve even if it was a rare occurance.

  7. The last S4 card I got was Negasonic at CL 1482. If my understanding is correct you should receive a S4 card as a guarantee at least every 80 Collectors Reserves however I’ve not had another S4 since this and am now CL 2470. If you use Spotlight Caches to pick up S4/5 cards does the game recognise this and then wait up to another 80 reserves to guarantee the S4/5, or, is my understanding of the mechanic incorrect?

  8. Question for the Devs: can we know what series each new card will be released into, costing 3k or 6k tokens, so that we can plan ahead in deciding if we want to spend our tokens or use our spotlight caches?

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