Is There a Way for Everyone to be Happy With Galactus? The Big Bad is On the Watch List!

Are you on team #NerfGalactus or team #GalactusDidNothingWrong? In this piece, den tries to find a solution for the Big Bad that the entire Marvel Snap community will like.

If you wanted to have a heated argument with most Marvel Snap players right now, the perfect way to start it would probably be “So, Galactus eh?” And then just disagree with whatever the other person says. You should be in for a treat as long as you enjoy subjective argumentation and hand-picked examples to support a claim.

On each side of this captivating discussion are two rival clans. Those who think Galactus is the definition of a failed concept that limits what everyone else is allowed to play and ruins the fun of the majority, and those who claim Galactus has done nothing wrong and argue that it’s not that hard to include one of the many counter cards available to limit its power (and that the other clan should “take a chill pill”).

This war of words has been going on for months now; it’s even impacted how completely unrelated cards are welcomed in the community. I mean, if there is ONE card that really has nothing to do with Galactus, it is The Living Tribunal.

As long as it’s just people exchanging Internet blows, I would argue it’s a fair game. In the end, everyone is entitled to their opinion, and part of keeping a lively community is having those joyful conversations all over social media. Still, everything changed when Second Dinner announced the Big Bad was crossing some thresholds and they are exploring potential adjustments. No more Internet trivialities at this point; Galactus‘s life hangs in the balance!

A couple of weeks ago, Glenn Jones shared in a Discord reply that the Second Dinner team was looking at how to change the Devourer of Worlds. I would like to point out two other important pieces of information from that answer about Galactus in the metagame at that time:

  • Weak win percentage
  • Too popular

This is an odd combination to say the least. In the modern era of card games, where the Internet tells you everything you need to know about the deck you should be playing, the decks labeled as “too popular” very rarely also come with a “weak win percentage”. Even stranger, the combination of these two traits seems to indicate a deck that the player base enjoys (too popular), but does not take the metagame hostage (weak win percentage). How is this a problem in the end? It’s a popular deck even though it’s not among the best ones, and it sounds like a design players are having fun with considering they are playing it – even if it’s not so good.

Yes, just as much fun as those losing to it get frustrated, apparently. Two clans, remember?

Since the left picture was posted on May 16th and the right on May 23rd (i.e. before High Evolutionary joined the game), the metagame has changed quite a bit. Particularly, Galactus has grown much stronger as most of its counter cards are seeing less play; instead, the metagame revolves around Wave, Luke Cage, and Killmonger as the popular tech cards. It is important to note, though, High Evolutionary‘s best archetype is Lockdown so far, which packs the necessary tools to counter Galactus with Storm, Spider-Man, and Professor X. This likely means that the win rate of Galactus is going back down since there is another popular archetype serving as a counter power.

This is kind of the story for Galactus in Marvel Snap to be fair. The reputation of the Devourer of Worlds ranges from being considered a terrible archetype to being the biggest problem in the metagame, depending on what the other popular decks are doing. Logically, depending on whether the archetype is in a dominant status or regularly faces counters, you will hear one of the two rival clans more than the other.

Today, I would like to explore how everyone could end up satisfied with Galactus. I’m not going to try to make anyone happy; we’re all playing much more because of frustration rather than happiness, so it would be bad for business. Also, I will not side on whether Galactus deserves a nerf or not. This task falls to the good folks at Second Dinner, and I’m too scared about the comments I would get (clans are not my thing, sorry). Instead, let’s take a look at the various options they might have to please everyone and bring poor The Living Tribunal some peace and quiet, too.

Buff Galactus’s Immediate Counters

“However, he is not a simple card to change, both from a design perspective and from a technological one.” When I read this part of Glenn’s message, I immediately wondered if the solution to Galactus is outside the card. Particularly, I want to look at the OTA balances patches and their power to remind everyone about cards that were unused up until this point. For example, although I completely missed it when it happened, Negasonic Teenage Warhead is a decent Galactus counter if you think about it.

If what Glenn Jones said is still true, the problem with Galactus is the popularity, not the strength. As such, let’s give the community a way to reduce the popularity without actually destroying the archetype in the process. With that in mind, I went through all the cards that might help against Galactus, looking for those who could be buffed without getting out of line.

Although these might become too powerful after a buff (especially Viper and Goose), I think these three are nice candidates for a power buff in an OTA patch directed at limiting Galactus. It needs to be just enough to make them be considered more often in the community while not becoming staples if your deck doesn’t need them otherwise.

Considering I had to go through all the cards in the game to do this, I may as well give you the cards that are good enough to be included in various archetypes if you require help against Galactus before the next balances patch rolls out.


I mean, for real this time.

The biggest frustration with Galactus comes from this infamous play pattern: Wave on Turn 3, Galactus on Turn 4, Spider-Man or Doctor Octopus on Turn 5. Making Wave a [4/4] would break this pattern and prevent Galactus from having that extra turn to lock the lane. It also keeps Wave as the disruptive tool you want her to be; the card can still be used to unlock powerful synergies with two 6-Cost cards back to back in ramp archetypes.

As a 4-Cost, you could even turn Wave back to her old ability as the She-Hulk synergy wouldn’t work anymore. Just felt like throwing it out there…

There are other cards in the deck that are often the target of criticism. Knull and Doctor Octopus, in particular, seem to be Galactus‘s most faithful allies when it comes to taking the blame. However, both cards are more than fair in all the other decks they are included, which indicates they could disappear completely if they took a hit.

Use Galactus’s Lore

To write this article, I searched for ideas on how to work around Galactus. Something I learned is that Galactus‘s arrival to a planet was usually announced by a Herald of Galactus. Their task was to scan the planet to see if it was fit to satisfy the Devourer’s appetite.

A nice rework to the card that keeps it true to its current form in the game would be changing its text to:

On Reveal: If you control a Herald of Galactus here, destroy all other locations.

We would lose the “If this is your only card” part of the ability and instead replace it with cards announcing where Galactus will be played. This gives the opponent more agency to prepare for it. Also, considering there were plenty of Heralds (Nova, Human Torch, Dazzler, Thor, Doctor Strange, Ka-Zar…), it would open different ways to build around the Big Bad.

Closing Words

If I’m being honest, I don’t think a full Galactus rework is in the works. First, it seems extremely difficult to execute from a technical standpoint, and it would represent too much of a risk in case of a miss. Indeed, considering another heated debate in the community (card acquisition), changing a Big Bad for the worse probably means compensating everyone for the 6,000 Collector’s Tokens they spent on the card. Alongside the expected backlash about the decision, it goes without saying.

As such, I think we have to look at the bigger picture and find a way to keep Galactus close enough to what it currently is so the players who are enjoying the card do not feel completely robbed. At the same time, give those who can’t stand Galactus enough agency to interact with him. Either through more solid cards that would also help against the current Galactus or through a slight rework, one not big enough to change who Galactus is in Marvel Snap. Last, if we consider the problem isn’t the card itself as much as the deck, there are other strong, metagame-defining cards in that archetype that could be nerfed and solve the Galactus problem in the process.

No matter which gang you belong to (or even if you don’t have one, like myself), I think every player should want the best for Marvel Snap, and more drama around Collector’s Tokens and Series 5 cards does not fit that bill. Second Dinner probably knows it better than any of us, hence why they are so careful with the Big Bad and not rushing into any changes that could lead to a worse situation.

If the Galactus dilemma is solved through OTAs, I don’t see how it could be through changing the numbers on the Devourer of Worlds – meaning another card would have to take the blame. Otherwise, we will likely have to wait for the next monthly patch to happen in two or three weeks from now. I won’t hide my doubts regarding Galactus potentially ruining the Move party for the June season; the Big Bad looks like a decent counter to decks aiming to navigate across the locations.

I am also really curious to know what you all think about this situation. Did you like my suggested changes, or did you think about some yourself? Let me know in the comments below, or find me on the Marvel Snap Zone community Discord. You can also find me on my Twitter page where I share decks and biased opinions about the game.

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.

Articles: 254


  1. I think the Herald idea is kind of weak. The whole point of Galactus is dropping him down somewhere the opponent won’t be guessing (also it make Galactus too easy to counter which he already has a ton of counters). The only real option for them is completely change what Galactus actually does somehow.

  2. Nerf Galactus. I’d say either:
    A) Make him strictly a turn 6 play
    B) Only let him destroy one lane

    I prefer B the more I think about it.. but you can either destroy the lane you play him on or (what I prefer) destroy a random lane. You could even make it so he no longer has to be the only one in a lane to trigger. But being able to battle a tie breaker with 2 available lanes, allows for flexibility. No longer will Spider-Man be a way to win. And Knull won’t be as overpowered as he seems to be after a successful Galactus play.

    • I like the idea of him only destroying one lane, or potentially destroying the lane he’s played into, since that is thematically closer to what Galactus does.

  3. I would let it be as-is, people will always be complaining. I compare this with Tron in MtG. I you lose to it, it is super annoying. However, there are counters to what they do and they do not win all the time.

    As long as Galactus is not performing that great, I would let it be even if its popular.

    Btw, if its popular, a lot of people enjoy the card, so they will complain if it gets changed. Or the next Galactus rises and then that will have to be nerfed. This is a circle that continues to the point that all cards are nerfed the same, this cannot be the goal for a cardgame.

  4. I’m in favour of keeping him exactly as he is.

    The fact is that there’s a lot of people out there who seem to enjoy playing Galactus even at an iffy win rate.

    Meanwhile if Galactus is nerfed the complainers will find something new to go off about that’s not broken.

    It is a shame that Move Month (aka Spiderverse month) is next because that’s probably an incentive for them to find a way to nerf Galactus. If the next datamined month came first I think the datamined version of Jean Grey would be so popular it would severely dent Galactus as a common deck.

    On the whole I think Galactus has become a useful safety valve against decks that concentrate 100% on building points with no interaction at all with the other side of the board.

      • eh, kinda. But the popular lists run 3 six drops. Galactus, Knull, and destroyer. So you might not hit what you want. Or they might not have galactus in hand. Its like iceman vs them. In theory its a counter since it can delay their ramp. But it may not work, and even when it does you may not know thats what happened. Since galactus has plenty of nongames where they don’t get anything going, flair around, and then retreat.

  5. I personally don’t see the need to nerf/change Galactus.
    Your suggested “Herald of Galactus” idea already largely exists in that a lane is remaining completely barren on your end, usually with a Wave or Electro elsewhere as a further clue.
    And on top of the weak win rate, its so retreatable before any real damage is done to your cubes.
    As you’ve outlined 10 counter cards already, there are also Shang-Chi, Enchantress, Rogue as counters to Knull/Death combos too…

    Would adding “Ongoing: Your cards are always revealed first.” be a potential nerf to the card without disrupting too much?
    Leans into enabling existing counters without changing any cards but Galactus himself.
    Granted, it allow for a Cosmo+Death turn 6, to prevent Shang-Chi/Enchantress but a more risky play should the opponent opt for raw power instead.

  6. My closing words. I don’t want the nerf on Galactus. I am playing it sometimes, but not consistently because it is mediocre.
    People who want it yell too loud and are generally noobs. I am a not a pro-player, Marvel Snap is not my job, but there is no Galactus at my rank 140 Infinity. So, it is a not a point for me. I like it as it is.

      • And finally, I would like also to add that Galactus is very good for the game. It is very good because non-interactive decks that are built just to mind their own business are eaten by Galactus. For example bounce. Galactus therefore makes the game better. Even if you don’t like it. But without him, we’ll just have combo/control decks with “wombo combos” and/or put all the power at the end.

  7. You hit on it in your Closing Words: The card acquisition system is the problem. Galactus us becoming more popular because more people can now afford him. If he’d been made more widely available sooner, all the counters would have developed sooner. He’d have had his moment in the sun like a new card should and then settled down, instead of this being so drawn out.

    Galactus took me to the highest rank I’ve ever been at in the Animals Assemble season (not Infinite; I’m not a good player) and then I lost interest because the win rate and cube rate weren’t great. I still break him out at times because I enjoy the deck. But he’s nor a good climbing option for me.

    There’s no need to change him; the fundamental problem is elsewhere.

  8. The biggest problem is the big bad cards are developing a worrying trend of p2w card that break or extremely alter game rules. Galactus removes locations so you can’t play there, Thanos gives you a larger deck, Kang lets you replay a turn, High Evo gives your cards different abilities. Since we know these cards will never drop and become widely available for “free” it seems like they are giving them busted abilities just to foment feelings of need to drive people to spend money on them. Galactus either destroying the cards or preventing you from playing on 2 locations would be fine but doing both is too much. One solution could be have the cards Galactus “destroys” be exiled or removed from the game in some other way so they don’t count towards Death and Knull. As annoying as Galactus is he doesn’t provide the actual power that wins the game, Death and Knull usually do.

  9. Article literally show 10 instant counter cards to Galactus, the most used deck is basically a telegraph simulator, also the deck lost alone to tons of locations. Geez. This is basically a campaign to force an unnecessary nerf.

  10. I think he’s just thematically wrong. He’s weaker in power than both High Evolutionary and Thanos. He destroys everywhere he doesn’t get played. I think a good rework would be 6 energy, 10 power, “One Reveal: If this is your only card here, destroy this location.” It’s better thematically and it gives you the option to drop him for 10 power to win a location where you already have cards. And if you choose to destroy the location where your opponent has a large board presence, then his power really doesn’t matter anyway.

  11. What would make sense to me for a rework?
    6/2 – “Each turn after the one Galactus was played, he devours his location and moves.”

    Mechanically: The devour keyword equals Venom’s ability, so he gets the added power of everything destroyed in the lane. The delay gives a chance to counter play his effect and making him grow gives him an additional foil in Shang-Chi and similar. The timing of Galactus would also be meaningful as to how many locations he would devour. To circumvent intentional tying via number of ways you can create two; drop him on turn 3; or use Wave + Limbo, a mechanic would have to be added to the core game: if an effect you control destroys the last location, you lose.

    Thematically: Keeping him a six cost would necessitate ramp or a bit of Magik to get him out before the last turn to do anything, representing his herald. Him devouring the location before moving on to his next meal is dead on for the character. The delayed effect also gives the feeling of impending doom that comes with Galactus visiting your planet. Additionally, if he runs out of “planets” to devour, he loses and can get trapped in Deep Space with nothing to devour.

    • I actually really love this from a narrative standpoint. I don’t think they would ever do this because you’d be introducing keywords which they seem to be averse to based on the developer Q&A around “Stage.” I also wonder about how many genuine counters there would be to this since it would be static text. I guess you could make it “Ongoing?” Not sure. But a really cool and creative suggestion regardless!

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