Shanna Dan Hipp Variant Art

Marvel Snap April 27, 2023 OTA Card Balance Updates: Lizard and Sandman Nerfed, Shanna and Enchantress Buffed

An "over the air" (OTA) update has been made to Marvel Snap: Lizard and Sandman are nerfed, and Shanna and Enchantress are buffed.

Marvel Snap can now apply hotfixes to the game without a major patch once again! This is the first scheduled weekly OTA card balance update since the April 18th patch. The update to four cards is now live already – check out the full details below, as well as an announcement regarding the future of Marvel Snap’s balance.

Marvel Snap April 27, 2023 OTA Card Balance Updates


For our analysis and some decks you can try on the first day, check out our article below:

Welcome to the new world of regular balance updates using OTA! OTA stands for ‘Over-the-Air,’ which means we can change the game without a big download. We’re making four changes today to freshen up the game balance, let’s dive right in:


[Old] 4/2 – On Reveal: Add a random 1-Cost card to each location.
[New] 4/4 – On Reveal: Add a random 1-Cost card to each location.

Shanna has fallen a bit flat since release. Even during the height of Zabu’s might, she was a low-performing 4-Cost card and we’d like to give her a better chance to shine. This buff is simple, but highlights that Shanna wasn’t being appropriately compensated for needing four available slots to hit her ceiling. In general, cards and decks that fill many slots early are safer to make strong, since there’s plenty of game left to react or retreat and their ability to gain cubes is impeded. This is especially true in Shanna’s case, where the randomness and the existence of cards like Killmonger makes her a bit riskier. Hopefully this additional Power is enough.


**[Old] **2/5 – Ongoing: -3 Power if your opponent has 4 cards here.
**[New] **2/5 – Ongoing: -4 Power if your opponent has 4 cards here.

When one card becomes a clear outlier on play rate because it’s playable in a huge number of decks, that’s something we flag and keep an eye on. That doesn’t mean we always take action–it’s important for us to keep in mind that the Series structure can serve to make cards appear overplayed when they’re actually just widely available. However, when we have a clear top card for the Cost and can slice a little bit of strength away from it without necessarily dethroning it, that’s largely a solid change for us to make. So that’s what’s happening here, with arguably the softest nerf we’ve ever made.


[Old] 5/5 – Ongoing: Players can only play 1 card a turn.
**[New] **5/3 – Ongoing: Players can only play 1 card a turn.

Since Sandman’s change from 4/1 to 5/5, we’ve seen him become a foundational piece of an Electro-based strategy that slows down the opponent and makes his effect feel asymmetrical by contesting multiple lanes with Dr. Doom or just some heavy hitters. That’s certainly the deck we expected to see, but it’s become more popular than we’d like. This tap on the main man makes him a less competitive source of Power, giving added edge to players committing cards early and making the endgame choices of each player more likely to ultimately determine the outcome of the game.


[Old] 4/4 – On Reveal: Remove the abilities from all Ongoing cards at this location.
[New] 4/6 – On Reveal: Remove the abilities from all Ongoing cards at this location.

It’s been particularly telling to us that in a world where Armor, Patriot, Darkhawk, Devil Dinosaur, Sandman, Blue Marvel, and even Knull are major players that Enchantress is a poor performer on both popularity and actual winning. There are mitigating factors, of course–Energy curves, priority battles, and so forth. But ultimately, she’s not functioning as a solid counter for Ongoing cards, especially the symmetrical ones that Rogue can’t interact with. Hopefully, this change lets her contest locations in addition to neutralizing major Power problems like Darkhawk or reclaiming a big turn 6 from an early Sandman.

See you next week! That’s a fun new thing to say.

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