“You know what happens to a Toad when it’s struck by lightning? The same thing that happens to everything else.“
Previous Marvel Snap metagames have revolved around combos that put large numbers on the board, such as Mister Negative, Iron Man and Mystique. There are several cards that can combat such strategies, both by limiting locations and by limiting the ability to play cards.
This deck is functionally a mixture between several different extremely powerful card combinations, all of which limit your opponent’s ability to play cards. Let’s go over the major combos you should be familiar with when you play this deck, then take a look at the individual card choices. I like to refer to each of these gameplans as a scam, as you are effectively looking to scam your opponent out of any chance of winning.
Scam One: J’Accuse!
This one is simple. You’ve spent your early turns playing some cards, you play Sandman on turn four, Ronan on turn five in an empty lane, and Arnim Zola on turn six to duplicate the Ronan. Sandman helps to keep your opponent’s hand full, meaning Ronan is likely going to be a large threat, while Zola helps you juke, as many people are not expecting it, and attempt to challenge the Ronan lane with a large unit. Sandman also lets you play Maximus on Turn 3 without worrying that the extra cards your opponent gets will hurt you.
Scam Two: Stormy Weather, Leather Jackets
Storm curving into Jessica Jones is a spectacular way to steal a lane. Lizard can be played in the lane you expect to Storm as well, making it very difficult for an opponent to match you. In the event that they do, you can use Doctor Doom to put even more power in the locked-up lane.
Scam Three: I Turned Myself Into A Computer, Bucky!
This scam begins with Wave on turn three, which allows you to play Arnim Zola on the Wave, creating two more copies of it, which triggers Wave’s effect again. Then, you play Odin into the Zola lane, which triggers Zola, sending copies of Odin into the other two lanes, both of which trigger the Wave effect again. You’ve put 11 power in two lanes while limiting your opponent to one card per turn for the final three turns of the game. Finish them off with a Doctor Doom or a big Ronan. When I first started working on this deck, VinKelsier (who was very helpful in its development via the Snap.fan Community Discord) told me it was likely to be a Zola deck, which I doubted. I regret to inform past-Kanye that it indeed was a Zola deck.
Scam Four: No Cards For You!
This combo works similarly to the above. You play Black Widow on turn two, followed by Wave, which lets you follow up with an Odin in that lane. Odin triggers both On-Reveal abilities, giving your opponent a Widow's Bite that costs four. This combo effectively bricks two or more draws, and forces your opponent to choose between playing a 4-Cost Widow's Bite or bricking a third draw.
Iterating On The Scams
As you get familiar with the deck, you’ll notice other lines of play come up fairly often. You are not limited to simply playing the scam gameplan. Wave allows you to play Doctor Doom early into Odin on turn six to create more Doombots, which can help you take advantage of locations like Kyln, or win Flooded lanes without Jessica Jones. The distinction between the “Scams” and the normal gameplans becomes blurred the more you play the deck.
Sometimes you can play lines that involve Doctor Doom being Arnim Zola’d, adding ten power to every lane. You’ll also note that the curve of Ronan the Accuser into Maximus and Black Widow (in that order) guarantees that your opponent will have three additional cards in their hand.
There is a ton of depth to this list, and a ton of synergies that arise when you start to look at it as a whole, rather than as a group of separate gameplans. Each of them feed into each other. Even Lizard, for example, is rarely turned off, because of how much you limit the ability of your opponents to play cards. This happens via Wave scams, Sandman and Storm.
Because of the interweaving synergies that make this deck so strong, it’s hard to break it down into cores. Each of the cards interacts with many of the other cards in a positive manner. Instead, I’ll take a look at the cards I think are absolutely irreplaceable, and the cards I think you can try to work around missing
I think that if you want to replace any of these cards, it would be the Storm package, but I would never ever want to replace them. The cards simply synergize together too well. The Wave/Odin/Zola/Doom package is great and it goes very well with Storm, which goes very well with Jessica Jones. Zola goes very well with Ronan, and the combination of the two go very well with Sandman (who is not in this section, which I’ll get into in a bit).
These cards are more synergy picks than anything else. I think they’re the best options in the deck right now because of how they synergize with cards in the section above. Black Widow unlocks the Widow/Wave/Odin combo, while Sandman unlocks the Sandman/Ronan/Zola combo. Maximus is a large unit that synergizes with Ronan, and can be put in a Storm lane when you don’t have Jessica Jones. He’s also a great preamble to the Sandman/Ronan/Zola combo.
Lizard is just a big guy you can play early. I had Mysterio in that spot for a while, but once Zola came in, he ended up being an extremely problematic unit, since he made all the Zola combos stop working by putting a unit in each lane. With Lizard, you lose some bluff equity that Mysterio has, but the tradeoff is worth it, because the Zola combos are so powerful.
Korg is a card that I’m running out of deference to WillowSnapping, who was also working on Ronan decks while I was developing this (and whose input helped convince me that Zola belonged in the deck after I flirted with Magneto in that spot). He opined that Korg was useful because it made sure your opponent never ran out of cards. I never had this problem, but I put Korg in because I think he’s the 1-Cost card that is most likely to be able to win you a game on his own, given how strong denying a draw can be.
I think these slots have the most room for improvement in the deck. I’ve tried several things there, such as the aforementioned Mysterio, as well as Sunspot, Nightcrawler and Ebony Maw in the Korg slot. I’m loath to give up the ability to play cards early, but it’s possible these should just be further combo options higher up the curve.
Budgetizing The Deck
This deck is a synergy deck. Whenever you replace a card, you have to consider the implications of doing so over the deck as a whole. The cards being played are being played because they do specific things. For example, we run Doctor Doom over Leader because Doom can add power to a Storm lane, while Leader mostly cannot. We run Arnim Zola because no other card can accomplish the combos that he can. Taskmaster can substitute in the J’Accuse combo, but it cannot in the Wave/Zola/Odin one.
Since there are so many synergies to consider in the deck, I would implore anyone looking to budgetize it to build around specific gameplans rather than looking for 1:1 replacements. You might not be able to play all of these cards, but you can easily build around Storm, Jessica Jones and Doctor Doom in many different shells, just like how you can build around Wave, Black Widow and Odin in many shells.
I think this deck is the strongest version of these shells that I have played, but there’s plenty to be iterated on, and I’d love to hear what you have to think. You can reach me on Twitter at KanyeBestMS, as well as on Twitch at KanyeBestMS. I’m often found in the Official Marvel Snap Discord as well.
Thanks for reading, and best of luck collecting those cubes!