Marvel Snap July 20, 2023 OTA Card Balance Updates: Bounce Nerfed, and 4 Cards Buffed!

An "over the air" (OTA) update has been made to Marvel Snap: Kitty Pryde, Hit-Monkey and Spider-Ham Nerfed, Phoenix Force, Ghost-Spider, Living Tribunal and Magik Buffed, Great Web will appear less frequently.

Marvel Snap’s “Over the Air” hotfixes to cards are now live for July 20, 2023 – no need for a game update! Seven cards have been changed as part of a scheduled balancing cycle: Kitty Pryde, Hit Monkey, Spider-Ham, The Phoenix Force, Ghost-Spider, The Living Tribunal and Magik has had their power and cost adjusted. Also Great Web will appear less frequently. The next OTA balance patch is also confirmed for August 3, 2023. Check out the full details below!


Hello again! It’s been a while since we had an OTA update, which is why we’re going to be a little heavy-handed with this week’s adjustments and provide a variety of changes in different areas of the metagame. We really value keeping things fresh and interesting, and view MARVEL SNAP itself as a puzzle to be solved every couple weeks. We’ve also modified the format of these notes slightly, to more directly emphasize the changes we’re making. Let’s dive right in!

Bounce Nerfs

Let’s begin by addressing the Beast/Falcon in the room. It’s no secret that Bounce has been one of the top decks in the metagame for the last few weeks. We actually feel Bounce is the undisputed best deck, because its matchup spread has a startlingly high number of ~60% matchups and many of its cards top win percentage charts when not drawn, indicating the deck is winning with a variety of card combinations. The skill edge the deck offers, possibly the largest in the game, also means that edge can increase for the most practiced Bounce players. So, we’re going to hit the deck firmly. Furthermore, the strongest shell in the deck is relatively transferable–you don’t need to be playing the Beast/Falcon game to have a very strong deck. That means we’re going to target cards that get shared across other versions of the archetype.

Kitty Pryde

[Old] 1/0 – When this returns to your hand, +2 Power. Returns at the start of each turn.
[Change] 1/0, +2 on return -> 1/2, +1 on return

Kitty is the best-performing card in all Bounce decks, so she’s an ideal candidate to target. Her strength has even warped how other decks approach the matchup, pushing combinations like Invisible Woman and Killmonger into the metagame. This adjustment will lower her ceiling substantially–we see Kitty pretty commonly making it to 8 Power, and in that scenario she’d now have only 6. That’s definitely a nerf, but the change does raise her floor, adding Power or saving you Energy when drawn on turn 5 or 6.


[Old] 2/0 – On Reveal: Gain +2 Power for each other card you played this turn.
[Change] 2/0 -> 3/2

The next strongest card in Bounce has been Hit-Monkey, so we’re tagging a nerf onto him as well. We’re adding an Energy to Hit-Monkey for a few reasons. The first is just to weaken him–very often, you’d spend that Energy to play a 1-Cost on the last turn, which would itself have 2 or more Power in addition to the buff it gave Hit-Monkey, so this is just taking that away. It also makes him much less efficient to play early in the game, mostly eliminating the early Hit-Monkey you Beast back for more value later on. We chose this execution rather than something weirder like -2 Power or buffing +1 Power but adding some base Power because it’s more elegant.


[Old] 1/1 – On Reveal: Transform the highest-cost card in your opponent’s hand into a
Pig, keeping its Power and Cost.
[Change] 1/1 -> 2/2

Spider-Ham’s been a generically strong card in a few decks, so it might surprise you to see it lumped in with Bounce here. However, that’s the deck where it’s seen the most play, and it’s also been the third strongest card in that deck. It has a number of reasonable replacements, so this is our smallest change to Bounce, but we have other motivations for changing the card. We’re unhappy with the extent of the damage Spider-Ham has done to a few archetypes revolving around cool high-Cost cards, like She-Hulk, Death, and especially Apocalypse. We’ll have a future adjustment down the road to Spider-Ham’s behavior that directly addresses that, but for now we’re just going to make him a little less efficient and see how much that reduces his play rate.

All right, now that Bounce is out of the way, let’s move into more exciting territory–buffs!

The Phoenix Force

[Old] 5/6 – On Reveal: Revive one of your destroyed cards and merge with it. That card can move each turn.
[Change] 5/6 -> 4/5

It’s relatively unusual for us to make a change to a Season Pass card so soon, but Phoenix decks have been a lot weaker than we wanted overall. That may be due to the complexity of its deckbuilding in part, but another reason is that we made a relatively late buff to Phoenix, moving it from 5/5 to 5/6. Unfortunately, that ultimately introduced more weakness than strength to the Multiple Man plan by making him vulnerable to Shang-Chi, which has been seeing plenty of play as a primary answer to Lockjaw locations and Evolved Hulk specifically. This change should heat Phoenix up for players in a big way and return Multiple Man to that sweet spot at 8 Power. If it’s a little too much gas, we’ll look at cooling her down but keeping the Cost at 4.


[Old] 2/3 – On Reveal: The last card you played moves here.
[Change] 2/3 -> 1/2

We were a little gun-shy on the strength of some of our recent Move cards, as the deck can be really potent in addition to occasionally melting brains over the sheer number of possible moves you can make. Ghost-Spider was one of those cards, and having seen the dust settle we’ve decided to push her efficiency a bit. Other than Human Torch, Move isn’t a deck historically vulnerable to Killmonger, so this change should ultimately net Power for Move players. It also makes her a more interesting potential companion for Phoenix, letting players curve Shuri into Phoenix + Ghost-Spider efficiently.

Living Tribunal

[Old] 6/6 – Ongoing: Split your total Power evenly among all locations.
[Change] 6/6 -> 6/9

Living Tribunal has successfully spun up a fringe deck that pushes loads of Power, but that deck could use a little lift. That 3 Power would be a huge buff to most cards, but for Living Tribunal it plays a lot more like 1 Power. This change does open Living Tribunal up to Shang-Chi, but his effect being active from any location helps him stay nimble against that threat. If this buff doesn’t get him where he wants to go, we’ll be back.


[Old] 5/3 – You can’t play this on turn 6. On Reveal: Change this location to ‘Limbo’.
[Change] 5/3 -> 3/2

Ever since the nerf that knocked Magik from her perch defining the metagame into its deepest recesses, we’ve been looking for a safe time to reintroduce her at a more aggressive rate, since her fantasy and impact on the game are both interesting. This Season seemed ideal to do that, with a hot new variant hitting the streets via the Season Pass. We’re actually going to make a small behavior change to Magik in our next patch, restoring her to being playable on turn 6, but disabling just her On Reveal in that case. We’re debuting this stat change a little early to celebrate her time as a member of the Phoenix Five in the appropriate season.

Great Web

After each turn, move one card to the Web for a random player.
● [Change] We’re making this location appear less frequently.

Much like Miles Morales himself, players have been getting roped into a larger conflict than they may have bargained for with The Great Web. We think the location is pretty interesting and especially enjoy how it factors different cards and archetypes in unique ways, but we’re sensitive to the frustration being a little higher than we expected. We have a variety of location rarities, and Great Web was one of our most common. We’re changing it up to be one of our more rare locations, using the tier second only to the likes of Ego and Worldship.

Bug fixes

In addition to the balance updates, this OTA patch also include a fix to the bug that prevented a few variants from being Infinity Split. The following variants can now be Infinity Split again:

May your splits be beautiful and exactly what you’re hoping for!

That’s all for this week! We’ll be back on 8/3 with your next regularly scheduled OTA update.

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Kirallas is a huge fan of card games. He used to play Hearthstone and Gwent all the time since day one of their beta.
Now he is in love with Marvel Snap and writes articles about game design, mechanics, and in-game economy of Marvel Snap. Since May 2023, he has been a member of the official Marvel Snap Creator Program.

Articles: 85


  1. Did no see a Tribunal buff, but it makes sense.
    Phoenix change is nice, Ghost change is odd, and Magik change is kind of rip C3, but also another card for Bast to hit.

  2. Invisible Woman with Killmonger has been real since Patriot-Ultron. It disappeared for a while but this is not it’s first rodeo. It will not go away since the change to Phoenix and Ghost-Spider make Phoenixed Human Torch another prime candidate. I like that it was specifically listed that PF on Multiple Man is under the Shang-Chi threshold but that is what makes the deck very powerful now. I hope Kingpin is on the buff list for next month to remove the turn 6 limitation. It is going to be a fiery month of Phoenixes.

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