Top 4 Players from Europe’s Biggest Tournament Share Insight on Their Line Ups

Get an in depth look at how the Top 4 players from Exploria's Framebreak Tournament chose their decks!

Table of Contents

On Saturday, April 22nd the Framebreak tournament, hosted in Switzerland by Exploria, took place. While tournaments in Marvel Snap are pretty common nowadays, physical events with players traveling from across several European countries are a rare occurrence. Also, as the tournament fell on the same week as April’s big balance patch, there was a lot to discover about the forming metagame.

I had the honor of casting the event, and I witnessed a level of play I had rarely seen in Marvel Snap up until this point, especially in the final matches (where money and pride were on the line). There was a battle between two players with a lot of competitive experience, Moyen and TheFishou, and another between two new faces in the Marvel Snap competitive scene, Wolwiloreal and Echoc. The final matches of Framebreak really showed how a little deck building choice can either make or break a player’s tournament run.

In their match for a spot on the podium, Wolwiloreal’s Patriot deck got dismantled by TheFishou’s Thanos Lockjaw Ongoing build. Yet, in the next match to join Echoc in the finals, TheFishou’s exact same deck lost to another Patriot deck, this one piloted by Moyen.

One could think Moyen is just a better player than Wolwiloreal, or had better draws, leading to a different result than the previous. In reality, both Patriot decks had quite different lists, and especially a very different choice for the tech card. Wolwiloreal was running Shang-Chi, a great card in general but quite useless against most Ongoing match ups. On the other hand, Moyen had Super-Skrull included, one of the better cards in the game when it comes to gaining an advantage in a match up against an Ongoing synergy. With that simple decision, both players had completely different results in the same situation, showing us how important it is to think about every possible scenario when building your deck.

In order to better understand what went through the mind of each player in the tournament’s top 4, I asked them to share some insights regarding their line-up, especially for some of the spiciest cards they included.

Ever wondered what goes through the mind of a player while preparing for an important tournament? Follow this guide!

The tournament format was to bring two different decks and pick one to play with for Best of 1 matches. In the finals, players faced off in a Best of 3 match, where they had to win with both their decks to take the win. No duplicate cards were allowed in the line-up, so they had to come up with 24 unique cards.

In today’s Marvel Snap, most online tournaments are Best of 1 matches all the way, and players only have to bring one deck for the whole tournament.

Can you tell us a bit about you?

Hello Marvel Snap community! Let me introduce myself quickly, my nickname is Echoc (pronounced E-Shock) and I live in Geneva (in Switzerland).

Since I was a child, I have been playing a lot of card games, like Hearthstone or Legends of Runeterra. When Marvel Snap was released, I was immediately hyped for this game and have been playing it since its official launch in October.

Can you walk us through the line up and how you picked your decks? Was the format annoying to build for, considering most tournaments are currently Best of 1?

To begin with, DeathWave is my favorite deck in the game, and I had a pretty good performance in the first tournament with this deck, so it was an obvious choice for me. As for the second deck, it was a bit more complicated because DeathWave is quite restrictive. A certain number of cards were essential in other decks, such as Shang-Chi, Killmonger, and She-Hulk.

I hesitated a lot between several lists, including Darkhawk Dino, Mister Negative (my friend FireKnight’s list), and, of course, Patriot. I ultimately chose Patriot because it performs really well in the meta and has a good match up against Sandman decks.

DeathWave had an insane win rate in the tournament. Both you and Wolwiloreal (#4) brought it, and it performed very well for both of you. Did you bring it strategically, or was it more of a comfort pick?

I didn’t expect DeathWave to perform so well. To be honest, I initially picked it because it’s a deck that I love and have played the most with.

In the end, I’m really happy that I selected it, and I was able to show everyone that this deck is still good. Also, that it’s not necessary to have a deck filled with Series 4 or 5 cards to win.

If you had to resubmit for the same tournament, would you change anything in your line up?

I will for sure keep my DeathWave and also certainly take a Patriot list, but this time with a Super-Skrull in it for the mirror. Overall, I’m happy with my line up and surprised by the performance of DeathWave.

Can you tell us a bit about you?

I have a competitive background, mostly from Hearthstone. In Marvel Snap, I focus on tournament play and everything competition. I have won so many Tournaments on stream in different metas that I am widely regarded as one of if not the best Snap player at the time.

For more competitive Snap content, follow me on Twitter and Twitch.

Can you walk us through the line up and how you picked your decks? Was the format annoying to build for, considering most tournaments are currently Best of 1?

The format was difficult to build for because you do not want to end up in a situation where both of your decks have one favorable and one unfavorable match up. It is never good to rely on a “coin flip” to get a good match up.

Our Prep Group (Lowell, Kawa, and me) decided we wanted two things from our lineup:

  • We want two solid decks that do not share a reasonable bad match up.
  • In an optimal scenario, both decks beat the most popular deck.

We expected the most popular deck post patch to be Sandman Ramp, and it did turn out to be rather popular. So we tested a lot of decks’ match ups into Sandman Ramp first. Patriot, Thanos Ongoing, Shuri, and our own Sandman Ramp deck list including Ice Man were all beating the popular Sandman Ramp builds!

With no duplicates allowed, most combinations would weaken one of the 2 decks. For example:

Also, we wanted Sandman Ramp to be one of the two decks because it covers a lot of decks (Negative decks, Sera Decks, Discard decks, Double She-Hulk decks …). Sandman Ramp + Patriot seemed to make sense because we could play both decks at full strength! It would in theory leave us with a couple of weaknesses, though. Our best match up into Patriot would be the mirror! And both of our decks would lose to Thanos Ongoing, which we did not predict to be very popular but still thought there would be at least one strong player making top cut with it (turned out being true: Fishou). Also, a smaller weakness could be Wong/Hela decks.

So we built the Patriot Deck to cover exactly those weaknesses. Super-Skrull gives a huge edge vs both the mirror and Thanos Ongoing! Shocker + Cosmo can cover Wong + Hela and sometimes snipe Sandman Ramp’s Turn 3 play of Electro or Wave. The line up still had a small weakness: both decks were slightly unfavored vs Shuri decks. It is often impossible to have no weakness, and we did not expect a lot of people to bring Shuri after being nerfed again in the last patch.

Super-Skrull is a big talking point in your line up, and we are seeing an increase in its play rate on the ladder. Do you think the card can transfer to ladder play, or was this just a tournament meta pick?

It was a tournament pick as explained earlier, but on the ladder it can work in the right pocket meta (if you are facing a lot of Thanos Ongoing, a lot of Patriot, and some Dino Darkhawk). You do sacrifice a card slot in some match ups, which is not the end of the world for Patriot, but I would rather play Ka-Zar or Leech on the ladder.

If you had to resubmit for the same tournament, would you change anything in your line up?

I think the line up was extremely well suited for the tournament and almost a guaranteed Top 4 when being played close to optimally. With more time, I would have tested Thanos Ongoing more (we were not sure about some of its match ups).

Can you tell us a bit about you?

I’m TheFishou, a streamer from France and winner of the first tournament organized by Exploria after the launch of Battle Mode. I’m not dedicated to competition on my stream, but I enjoy entering tournaments and I take them very seriously when I do. I have an extensive background in card games, with Magic the Gathering, Poker, and Hearthstone tournaments under my belt.

Can you walk us through the line up and how you picked your decks? Was the format annoying to build for, considering most tournaments are currently Best of 1?

It was difficult to build because of Sandman and Patriot. Ramp has more favorable match ups overall, but it loses to Patriot, which has less favorable opponents currently. I considered Ongoing Lockjaw Thanos based on this situation as it is the better Thanos deck against Sandman, and it is good into Patriot. Super-Skrull kind of ruined my plan as it turns the Patriot match up into a bad one for Thanos Ongoing.

Electro Ramp was kind of the default choice once I thought I solved the Patriot problem.

You were one of the few players to have Thanos Lockjaw in your line up. Did you bring it strategically, or was it more of a comfort pick?

It was a strategic pick, and I hesitated a bit with Thanos Death, but I didn’t have enough experience with the deck against Patriot and Sandman. Also, Thanos Ongoing has a higher points ceiling, which was what I was looking for considering Electro Ramp was already a disruptive deck in my line up.

If you had to resubmit for the same tournament, would you change anything in your line up?

I would keep the Thanos Lockjaw archetype, but probably put more time into the Death variant to have a better idea of its true strength. Also, I would replace Electro Ramp with Super-Skrull Patriot.

Can you tell us a bit about you?

I am a variety streamer with a passion for card games. I rarely enter tournaments; I actually organize more tournaments than I play on my stream. However, I have played card games my whole life, so I like to test myself on occasion and see if I can still compete with the new generation. I went into the tournament with the plan to give everyone some Saucisson, but Top 4 was a really nice bonus!

Can you walk us through the line up and how you picked your decks? Was the format annoying to build for, considering most tournament are currently Best of 1?

The limitations of the format made me go with the Patriot plan right away. Since we needed these 24 different cards, it was a given that Patriot cards wouldn’t interfere with any other decks. I felt the deck was crazy strong too. The second pick was way more open and I discussed it with my mates and we pretty much all had a different opinion, but I did follow my gut and went with DeathWave.

DeathWave had an insane win rate in the tournament. Both you and Echoc (the winner) brought it, and it performed very well for both of you. Did you bring it strategically, or was it more of a comfort pick?

It was both for me. It’s usually my go-to deck when I decide to push the cube rate on ladder. Also, I felt it was already an OK match up against a lot of popular decks (even more so when I put Enchantress at the last minute). We had a debate with den, he thought DoomWave was just a better version of DeathWave, but I felt that the match up was in favor of Death. Lucky me, I was right!

If you had to resubmit for the same tournament, would you change anything in your line up ?

The Super-Skrull tech was crazy. I would probably play it instead of Shang-Chi, but other than that, I wouldn’t change anything.

Closing Words

The top four of the tournament had a nice mix of competitive players with an educated read on the metagame, and they picked their decks accordingly. There were also a lot of casual players who brought their comfort deck first and then tried to locate it in the metagame in order to support it with their second deck.

This different take on how to build a line up has a lot to do with how much time you can invest into the game and how many decks you feel able to play at the highest level. If you feel comfortable in both categories, then it’s probably reasonable to look for a more elaborate strategy. On the other end, if you can’t invest many hours into your prep, or you feel like you really have not found your groove in the metagame, it might be best to just go with the decks you know how to pilot and invest your limited time into mastering them or finding the right tech card to get them to the next level.

I hope this insight into the minds of the top players from one of the biggest tournaments in Marvel Snap was helpful. Some decks used that weekend already made their way onto the ladder, such as Patriot Super-Skrull or DeathWave making quite the comeback in our latest Tier List.

As usual, feel free to join us on Discord or follow me on Twitter for everything Marvel Snap.

Good Game Everyone.

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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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