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I wanted to make a Knull deck but I felt set back due to not having Venom yet, but through some testing I found a combination of cards that is incredibly fun to pilot and has very strong early and late game choices to boot.
Developing strong bodies to destroy and buff Knull is super important, and Venom is able to do that without tanking everything and making you hope to god you draw all 3 cards of the Magik-Knull-Zola combo. Not having Venom as a card is a huge setback, but it doesn’t make it impossible to play Knull. Through much testing and loss of many many cubes I finally found a combination of cards that allows for a really strong and unique gameplan that has many creative opportunities to outplay your opponents.
Yondu is very effective in powering up your Knull. If you manage to snipe a high power card in your opponent’s deck, its a very good indicator of how your game will play out. Not only that, but its a very good disruption tool since it snipes the card at the top of the deck, denying a card that your opponent would have drawn this game. So even if you don’t hit something with high power, it could be a key card like Silver Surfer or Leader that you don’t have to worry about anymore.
Likely doesn’t need much explaining. Carnage is used to destroy the other cards on your board and clear up any board space that might have gotten clogged from rocks, squirrels, raptors, etc.
#3. Bucky Barnes
A good body that stays on board when destroyed. Increasing the power of Knull without removing any value from your board. Only downside being that where he appears after he is destroyed is random.
#4-2. Scarlet Witch
You can get screwed over by many different locations including, but not limited to, Wakanda, Knowhere, and Dream Dimension. Scarlet Witch can take care of those locations and turn them into potentially something more useful. Also won’t have a chance to clog up a lane that you intend to use Arnim Zola on.
#5. Mister Sinister
In my opinion this card is key to making the deck as strong as I think it could be. Using Beast in combination with Yondu to destroy another card from your opponent’s deck or with Carnage in order to move him somewhere that Wolverine might have moved so you can destroy him again. You can just place Carnage back on top of Beast and give him even more power if you feel that he doesn’t need to move. Not only that but Beast is really nice to have if your opponent has placed Armor onto your Bucky lane.
Another card that doesn’t need much explaining. Destroys cards, has good stats, really nice. Not something you’d typically want to destroy, but its not the end of the world if you do since it will buff Knull. A candidate for replacement with Venom when I collect him.
This card is really nice to have since whenever it gets destroyed it goes back into your hand and its cost is set to zero. With this card being at four power, its very efficient at buffing Knull. You can also wait for turns 6 or 7 to play him on the same turn as Arnim Zola or Knull for that little bit of extra power.
If you happen to be running into a lot of decks that play 1 drops or are struggling against Ultron, saving Killmonger for the last few turns can really help boost up the power of Knull and save your bacon if you don’t have initiative against Ultron. You can also play him early to kill any 1 drops, and then Beast him back up to play him again later, if need be. This also allows you to run Squirrel Girl if you feel like it since Squirrel Girl is 3 power that goes into Knull if all of them are destroyed, and gives more bodies to buff Carnage. You may also Beast her to use her again and then use Killmonger to kill all 5. Early prototypes of this deck involved replacing Black Panther with Death and Mister Sinister with Squirrel Girl, which may still be effective.
This card’s main purpose is to allow you to play Knull on turn 6 and Arnim Zola on turn 7. The nice thing about this is that if you happen to have Yondu in hand you can use him on turn 7 with Zola to give Knull even more power. Try to put Yondu down first though, since when Arnim Zola destroys Knull, it will double the power that Knull currently has. Edit: 12/28/22 After further testing its safe to assume that Magik is something you probably always want to play since this deck heavily benefits from Turn 7, allowing you to top deck Knull or Arnim Zola if you don’t already have either one or both in your hand.
#10. Black Panther
An alternate win condition if you don’t manage to draw Magik or if your Knull simply isn’t strong enough. In combination with Arnim Zola, Black Panther becomes a 16 power card in two locations. Great to play if Kamar-Taj happens to be on the field. Edit: 12/28/22 This is heavily telegraphed however, so you could use it as either a distraction or just something for that little bit of power boost in a location. Many people in Vibranium rank and above don’t fall for this strategy anymore. This leads me to an effective substitute for Black Panther if you don’t have him or if he simply isn’t working.
You may find it strange that I’m recommending a card such as Shang-Chi to replace a card like Black Panther, a 5/4 card that becomes a 5/8 and potentially a 11/32 power card, but its actually incredibly effective and can work well with Magik for a surprise turn 7 play like Shang-Chi into Killmonger. You may also play Knull on 6 in a location while your opponent plays a high power card in another location and then you can Shang-Chi that card, giving its power to Knull. This card counters Doctor Octopus as well, since not only are you a destroy deck, so likely your location will not be filled, Shang-Chi can kill Doctor Octopus and put all of that power into Knull. You may also want to play this card early for another body to destroy, or even as a target for Arnim Zola to cover your bases in case a high power card has been placed in other locations. Also helps with those pesky Lockjaw ramp players. Overall, a card with fantastic utility and amazing Turn 7 potential.
After a bit of thinking, Death is a pretty decent replacement for Black Panther as well. Sometimes Knull won’t have that much power, and it may not seem worth using Arnim Zola on him at all. If that’s the case then Death may work well, even without Wave. You’re likely to destroy more than four cards per game, especially if you decide to run Killmonger and Squirrel Girl. That means you’re able to play Death on turn 5 or 6 in order to Arnim Zola onto her. If you happen to destroy many many more cards than that through locations like Bar Sinister, Sinister London, or Cloning Vats, then you can potentially play Death alongside Knull or Arnim Zola on turns 6 and/or 7. It does feel awful though when you don’t draw any of your destroy cards, but that comes with any destroy deck I suppose.
#11. Arnim Zola
An incredible card that has many uses in this deck. Mainly used to double either Panther or Knull, but you can use him on Carnage and have him activate his on reveal effect on the other locations if its turn 6 and you still don’t have Knull. Giving a hefty amount of bonus power to Knull for Turn 7 and potentially both Carnages. Try to isolate your target for Arnim Zola. Find out which location you want to leave empty until the last moment. Try not to play him on a lane with Beast (unless absolutely necessary for a clutch win) or Armor.
After all of that death and destruction, there is a good chance that Knull has more than 8 power by turn 5. If that’s the case then Magik-Knull-Zola and hope your opponent doesn’t run Shang-Chi or Enchantress. Incredibly powerful if you end up fighting another destruction deck, and a very great card to have if you happen to encounter Galactus or if Lamentis-1 appears. Edit: 12/28/22 Using Arnim Zola on him when he is placed upon Onslaught’s Citadel does not retain the power he gains from Onslaught’s Citadel, so be warned.
#1. Death’s Domain
playing cards here will instantly destroy them, allowing for quick and easy buffs to add to Knull. Great if you already have the full combo in your hand since you really don’t have to worry about the other locations unless Armor or Cosmo has been placed onto them.
If this Location appears and you end up drawing Knull, that is fantastic. Each card that was destroyed in the deck applies its power to Knull, making him an absurdly high power card. Even better if you draw the full Combo.
Only having a single location is not a problem for you in the slightest. Knull allows you to completely destroy your board and retain all of the power. This strategy may also confuse your opponent into snapping, which may net you a free 8 cubes.
I decided to post this here for anybody such as myself who happened to collect Knull without having first collected Venom. A bright side to this situation is that without Venom you are less susceptible to Shang-Chi plays since all of your power is spread out among multiple cards rather than all in one symbiotic package. Edit 12/28/22 I realize now that Shang-Chi is actually beneficial if it removes Venom from the board since that power goes into Knull, and its one less card that can destroy him.
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