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Galactus Is On “The Watch List” – What Does That Mean?

Galactus is officially "on the watch list" - but what does that mean, and who else might be there with him?

Howdy folks – hopefully you’re all very well today, and pleasantly snapping away in the Multiverse!
I just woke up, made breakfast, and started scrolling through the wonderous magical social media timeline, to catch myself up on anything I may need to know before tonight’s YouTube Livestream.

And wouldn’t you know it:

Now, this one has come as a little bit of a shock to see for many people – there’s been a lot of contention surrounding many different Marvel Snap cards (which we’ll get into in just a little bit), but Galactus wasn’t one I’d heard much complaint about. It’s unclear if this is because most players just don’t have access to the card, or many believe that the card gets kept in check by effects like Cosmo, Aero or Green GoblinGalactus has seemed like one of the cooler additions to the game (even though I STILL DON’T HAVE IT EITHER!).


So why is it on the Watch List? I guess, more importantly:

What Exactly Is A “Watch List”

“Watch List” is a term regularly used in TCGs and Online Card Battlers to refer to “Cards That Are Being Monitored, Usually With The Intention Of Nerfing Them” – while a card can be on a Watch List because it needs a buff/is underperforming, the term is usually used to suggest the opposite: A card is too good or is creating a negative play experience, and the development team are considering nerfing it or adjusting it in some way.

Just because a card is on the Watch List doesn’t mean it will be changed or nerfed, simply that the Development team are concerned about an aspect of it, and want to pay close attention to it as more data becomes available.

Some of the reasons a card might end up on a Watch List could be:

  • The card is too powerful
  • The card creates a negative play experience
  • The card isn’t being played as intended
  • The card prohibits future card design – usually by having an effect that prevents certain types of effect being made, or works too well with a card releasing later down the pipeline

Remember, NO REFUNDS

This seems like a very important time to mention one of the key aspects of the Token Shop: No Refunds

The text is bold and red for a reason – many players remember this as a rationale that you won’t have any Collector Tokens returned to you if a card is demoted down to Series 4 or Series 3, but the text is clear that you will also not be compensated if a card you purchased is nerfed. This is a huge red flag to many players who are already overwhelmingly tight on collectors tokens, and with the news that cards like Galactus are on a Watch List, will likely heavily discourage players from buying powerful cards from the token shop, especially the more expensive Series 5 card like Galactus.

It’s also worth noting that, at this time, we’ve had no further news on any card moving to a Card Series that it is not currently in.

So Why Galactus?

Well. it isn’t *just* Galactus.

Ben Brode, the Chief Development Officer at Second Dinner has actually made it clear that the watch list is quite long! He also confirms that not every card that goes on the Watch List is going to be changed, it’s just a sign that more data is required, but they have a reason to pay attention to it.

As previously mentioned, Galactus being on this list surprises me quite a lot. While the card is powerful enough to warrant a Tier Two Placing on the Tier List, player complaints have been fewer than, say, Leech and Leader. This draws all kinds of questions about if several Series 4 and Series 5 cards are actually massively overperforming in the metagame, but the effects can’t be seen as clearly due to a lack of availability. Still, in a metagame where Cosmo and Aero are both common, powerful cards, I feel like a powerful, unique effect like Galactus has enough counter play to be allowed to exist in his current form.

Who Else Might Be On The Watch List?

I only ask this question because I know that, if I don’t, it’ll be every third comment in the comment section until I do.

Answering this question, however, is wild speculation – only the team at Second Dinner have the data and insight required to know exactly what they’re looking at, and only they have a true understanding of their overall vision for Marvel Snap.

With that said, I’ll address my thoughts on the cards that are being asked about most in the Twitter comments:

  • Leader: I think this card has been the hottest topic of conversation recently, due to a huge uptick in both play rate, and coverage by popular content creators. Leader makes it very difficult for many decks to enact their game plan, and for others, makes catching up on Turn 6 when you’re behind on Turn 5 literally impossible. For me, that counts as a card that may be “too powerful” for invalidating certain strategies, and also likely counts as “creating a negative play experience” – wouldn’t shock me if this one is being watched.
  • Leech: This one is a card I think people are mostly overreacting about. Until this last week, Leech was widely considered one of the worst cards in Pool Two, and has only rose to prominence as a direct answer to Baero and Surfer decks, which are slowly falling out of favour as a result. I think Leech is a solid tech card that requires you to be ahead already to be able to establish it profitably, and has natural in baked counter play thanks to Patriot and The Infinaut. However, there’s a chance that Leech’s effect prevents enough games from “feeling good” that something needs to be tweaked. I feel players will likely adapt to this one in time, and would be shocked if it was being watched.
  • Mr Negative: I don’t think Mr Negative is too strong, but it does embody the problem of “prohibiting future card design” – not only do Second Dinner have to carefully consider the stat line of every card they make due to Mr Negative, but they often cannot just nerf cards by reducing their stats through fear of making the card insane in a Negative deck. I feel Negative in his current form is likely on borrowed time, and sees a rework at some point in the future not because he’s good, but to open up design space.

Closing Thoughts:

I’m very concerned about not being compensated for my 6000 Collector Token card if it gets nerfed, especially in a timeline where Collectors Tokens are so scarce.

Beyond that, I’m actually very happy with the level of communication from Second Dinner and Ben Brode – I’d much rather be aware that something like this could be coming, instead of it coming out of left field and catching us all off guard.

Let me know what you think in our Community Discord, come find me on Twitter or come and join a livestream sometime on Monday/Wednesday/Friday at 18:30pm GMT on the YouTube Channel.

Until then, I’ve been HowlingMines, You’ve been amazing.
See you out there in the multiverse!

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HowlingMines
HowlingMines

HowlingMines is the Operations Manager of DotGG and many of their sister sites, such as MTGAZone and Marvel Snap Zone!

A TCG Specialist for over a decade, he now looks to share sweet decks, detailed articles, and help upcoming creators grow!

Articles: 76

5 Comments

  1. I’m all for nerfing problematic cards, although I’m not convinced Galactus is one of them (he has so many counters). However, in a digital CCG, not giving refunds for nerfs is extremely rare. Considering the economy is already extremely tight, for players that have finished Pool 3, this feels like more, weird decision-making. Much as I love the game, Snap seems determined to be the CCG that hates giving you cards.

    • There is counterplay if you suspect Galactus — Aero, Polaris, and Magneto can all ruin Galactus’ condition of triggering — and if your deck doesn’t have those cards then you just have to accept that your deck folds to Galactus.

      Hell, Leech after the Wave turn makes Leader into an expensive pointless 4 power card. Counter play exists.

  2. Locations are meant to be a dynamic way of playing the game, picking different decks for different scenarios and stuff, being forced to adjust depending on the location (probability) for winning games makes it dynamic and exciting at all times while allowing us to use most of our cards (and not just a few) which gives collecting a functional purpose . Having a unique strategy using these broken cards just make the game boring and repetitive, plus do not stand a chance for players who do not have those cards. They should nerf them right away to be fair.

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