Table of Contents
Electro has gone through very different stages in Marvel Snap. During beta, Electro was touted a dangerous card. Losing the flexibility of playing multiple cards in a turn was deemed too much of a drawback. Back then, the game was ruled by DeathWave, Mister Negative, and Sera, all of which allowed decks to have incredibly explosive final turns. Electro clearly didn’t fit the mold back then, and the card had to wait for more 5- and 6-cost cards to join the game for its true value to be recognized.
The first time I remember Electro being considered a real threat was around the time Black Panther was released. Then, Electro allowed for a Black Panther, Arnim Zola, Odin play pattern, which was a nice complement to the default game plan of Wong, Black Panther, Arnim Zola. Leader (before the nerf) also played a key role in growing Electro’s reputation since the Leech into Leader into Odin play pattern was truly one to fear.
Nowadays there are cards like Leech, Doctor Octopus, and Sandman filling in the 5-cost slot. Alongside cards that are looking to be played as early as possible like Galactus and Nimrod, Electro has established himself as a great tool in Marvel Snap. So good, in fact, that the Electro Ramp archetype now refers to many different decks and strategies, all centered around using the extra energy provided by Electro at their core.
In this guide, let’s explore what can be done around Electro and all the play patterns unlocked with extra energy available.
Deck Concept and Strategy
Electro Ramp is what I call a construction based deck, meaning most of the deck’s concepts rely on the way you build it. Once you determine what you are trying to accomplish, piloting the deck is rather simple to figure out. And since you can only play one card a turn once you’ve played Electro, you will usually follow pre-established play patterns because flexibility isn’t really an option anymore.
With the deck above, here are the most common play patterns:
- Electro → Nimrod or Black Panther → Arnim Zola → Odin on Arnim Zola
- Electro → Sandman or Black Panther → Doctor Doom → Odin
- Electro → Sandman → Nimrod or Black Panther → Arnim Zola
- Shuri → Nimrod or Black Panther → Arnim Zola
Even though we are quite dependent on our draws during the game and often find ourselves forced to follow one of the established play-patterns, the archetype has found enough cards to capitalize on to be able to find a solid line in most games. Also, with Sandman, Nimrod, and Black Panther all having different upsides, the deck can decide if it wants to be disruptive, go wide, or go tall depending on the opponent and draws.
With the second portion of the match taken care of, the only flexible part of the deck lies in the first two turns. There, the archetype can include pretty much any card it wants in order to adapt to popular opponents. Iceman, Sunspot, and Ebony Maw tend to be the top three in the 1-cost slot since they either focus on developing early points for priority or disrupting the opponent. In the 2-cost slot, Lizard is usually the preferred choice because Sandman acts as a sort of shield. Scorpion, Daredevil, and even some other strong 2-cost cards also see play in the deck.
Most of the time, those packages will be made of the cards you are looking to abuse after playing Electro. Considering we have Electro to skip the 4-cost card, most of these are made of two fives and a six, or two sixes and a five. Also, some cards can serve as a bridge between two different packages and give the deck much more unity and likeliness to play a strong play pattern in the second part of the game.
In this deck there are three different flexible packages:
- Doctor Doom, Black Panther, and Odin are the On Reveal package. White Tiger can sometimes serve as the 5-cost card in this one.
- Shuri, Nimrod, Black Panther, and Arnim Zola are the points package. We could have Destroyer in there to capitalize on our Nimrod as well. Wong is usually part of packages with Panther and Zola, but Shuri bridges with Nimrod as well and we don’t want too many 4-cost cards.
- Sandman is a standalone good 5-cost in the deck, which makes sense considering we don’t intend to play multiple cards anyway. It works quite well with Nimrod and Doctor Doom, both of which are able to play multiple lanes at once.
Among other cards not included, here are a few other flexible packages one could imagine playing:
- The idea here is to pull your opponent’s hand to the right-most lane with Doctor Octopus and then use Heimdall to contest middle and left. Ebony Maw can be used on the left lane to gain priority, and Heimdall negates the downside by moving your cards into the lane.
- America Chavez can be included to add some extra consistency.
- Leech, Aero, and any other strong 5-cost could be envisioned instead of Sandman in the standalone slot.
- As stated previously, the first two turns are the most flexible ones in the archetype, so you can try different cards in those three slots.
Snap and Retreat
Similar to other decks looking to enforce their way of playing on the opponent, Electro Ramp will snap based on its hand most of the time, in addition to the anticipation of whether the opponent can do anything about it. Whenever you recognize one of your strong play patterns available in hand, you should immediately consider whether you want to snap or not. Once you start showing the pattern to the opponent, they will likely have enough information to make an educated choice about staying in the match or not.
The only match-up based card that could warrant a snap is Sandman. The card is able to shut down most combo decks looking to have an explosive Turn 6.
Locations don’t have that big of an impact on the deck, although a lot of locations do feel like a boon. In reality, locations that give more energy tend to benefit both players unless we can get Sandman out early. The best location is probably Oscorp Tower. Donating our Electro to the opponent usually stops their deck in its tracks and draws an early retreat.
Otherwise, the real positive locations to look for are those that nobody can easily play on. Arnim Zola and Doctor Doom allow us to reach those while our opponent might not be able to. Also, locations that destroy Nimrod can be quite beneficial to our points total.
- Locations we can reach with Arnim Zola and/or Doctor Doom: Altar of Death, Death's Domain, Kyln, Luke's Bar, Plunder Castle, Quantum Realm, Sanctum Sanctorum
Regarding negative locations, once again, we don’t have that many that are a big problem, and most of them will impact the game depending on our hand and our opponent. Still, here a few annoying ones:
- TVA can warrant an instant retreat if we don’t have the early cards in hand.
- Gamma Lab is often impossible to win if the opponent commits early to it. The Raft is one we should typically consider impossible to benefit from.
- Mindscape is very annoying if the opponent only gives us cheap cards and we don’t draw a good one.
- Locations like The Big House, Morag, Knowhere, etc. can limit the space we have to execute our synergies. They also tip the opponent off as to where they should play their disruptive cards.
Electro Ramp match ups can be split in three categories:
- Decks disrupted by Sandman.
- Decks able to disrupt our play patterns (decks using Cosmo or Armor, for example).
- Decks we have to compete on points with.
The first category of decks includes the ones we will snap against the most because Sandman tends to completely hose them. Decks featuring Mister Negative, Sera, and She-Hulk tend to sacrifice their Turn 5 for a powerful Turn 6. Against them, we want to snap before playing Sandman so the opponent cannot retreat for free.
Decks able to disrupt us will typically have a way to cancel an effect in our go-to play patterns, either stopping an On Reveal ability or preventing Nimrod and Black Panther from being destroyed. These are the decks that are difficult to beat as we don’t have much flexibility to work around their counter card. The best strategy is to play safe while trying to gain priority.
Finally, we have decks where we have to compete on points, and the important aspect here is whether they will push on all three locations or just focus on two. Thanks to Doctor Doom, Arnim Zola, and Nimrod, we are usually quite strong at going wide. We can sometimes come out ahead in a battle where the opponent spreads points over all lanes. On the other hand, against opponents with two very strong lanes, we need to use Shuri and Black Panther to have a big enough score to wrestle a lane away from them. In this scenario, the one they didn’t invest into should be easy to secure.
Turn by Turn Breakdown
Turns 1 and 2
You don’t have many options during the first two turns. Try to play anything you can because the option will not reappear once you have Electro on the board. Considering you are flexible when it comes to reaching unplayable locations, you don’t have to play onto unrevealed locations if you want to be safe. You might want to keep a location you know to be safe clear for your On Reveal effects or Arnim Zola plays, though, so keep that in mind when playing your early cards.
During this early phase, think about locations and future space on board. Arnim Zola down the line could require an empty location to make sure we hit the right card.
If not, consider what patterns are available to you. You may be able to get by with Wave now or Shuri next turn. This is where you should also be looking to assess what the opponent is playing because it will heavily influence the choice of the cards you play in your next three turns.
Turns 4, 5, and 6
The last three turns are a mixture of executing the plan you formed on Turn 3 and adapting it to the new information you get every turn: your draw and what your opponent plays.
Oftentimes you might not have all the cards necessary to complete the pattern you wanted on Turn 4. Keep in mind: Marvel Snap decks are very small. If you have two out of three cards already, you have 45% chance to find the third within your next two draws, 20% alone at the start of the next turn. If you are worried the perfect sequence might not happen, you can always go with the less synergistic cards. Sandman always works, or maybe play Black Panther instead of Nimrod since it pairs with Odin in addition to Arnim Zola.
Once you finalized your plan during Turn 4, Turns 5 and 6 can take two different directions:
- You have the cards you want and just play them out. Only considerations are snapping or retreating depending on the situation.
- You are missing a card for your pattern. Either take the risk and hope you top deck it next turn, or take the safer approach that is usually worth fewer points. If you haven’t snapped in the previous turns, there shouldn’t be a reason to do so now.
Electro Ramp is one of my favorite archetypes in Marvel Snap for the simple reason that it is a perfect start for many players. The deck’s concepts aren’t difficult to grasp, it packs different synergies, and it can adapt to different collections. If you are new to deckbuilding, I think Electro Ramp is a great starting point because the deck has built-in guideposts you can follow to stay on track.
Power level wise, the archetype is quite reliant on the metagame structure. The lack of flexibility prevents Electro Ramp from adapting to a large variety of match ups. As such, whenever Sandman can derail a few decks’ game plans and cards like Cosmo aren’t popular, Electro Ramp tend to be a solid, easy to navigate pick. On the other end, when other decks are looking to play a few powerful cards with Cosmo as a protective tool, it is immediately much more difficult to reach a solid win rate/cube average with the archetype.
Good Game Everyone.