Marvel Snap May 25, 2023 OTA Card Balance Updates

Marvel Snap May 25, 2023 OTA Card Balance Updates: Black Bolt and Stature Nerfed, Negasonic Teenage Warhead and Invisible Woman Buffed, Three Locations Removed

An "over the air" (OTA) update has been made to Marvel Snap: Black Bolt and Stature are nerfed, and Negasonic Teenage Warhead and Invisible Woman are buffed. In addition, three locations have been removed from the pool temporarily, and OTA changes will now happen every 2 weeks!

Marvel Snap’s “Over the Air” hotfixes to cards are now live for May 25, 2023 – no need for a game update! Four cards have been changed as part of a weekly balancing cycle and three locations have been removed from the pool. Check out the full details below, as well as an announcement regarding the future of Marvel Snap’s OTA balance changes after this week.

Marvel Snap May 25, 2023 OTA Card Balance Updates
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For our analysis and some decks you can try on the first day, check out our article!

Black Bolt

[Old] 5/8 – On Reveal: Your opponent must discard the lowest-Cost card in their hand.
[New] 5/7 – On Reveal: Your opponent must discard the lowest-Cost card in their hand.

This one wasn’t on any of our bingo cards to start the year, but here we are. Black Bolt
ascended to the top of our individual card leaderboards a couple weeks ago, and has remained
there unchallenged ever since, with a frankly shocking average number of cubes won per game
when drawn. However, his discard effect makes him the sort of card we don’t want topping that
list. Furthermore, the deck he was fueling has also been quietly outperforming the field by a
margin as high as Shuri or Thanos in their prime. While its game plan may feel more fair, it also
has almost no bad matchups. Since the metagame hasn’t shifted to effectively contest this deck,
we’ve decided Black Bolt’s day in the sun is over.


[Old] 5/7 – On Reveal: Costs 1 if your opponent discarded a card from their hand this game.
[New] 5/6 – On Reveal: Costs 1 if your opponent discarded a card from their hand this game.

Uh, ditto? We have seen the numbers on the Black Bolt/Stature deck soften a little bit since our Wave change, which has been most impactful by turning a good matchup into a bad one. However, it’s still clearly the best deck, and our playtesting for some future decks also indicated that this change would be merited down the line. So, we’re making it now in order to ensure we see this deck fall from its lofty perch.

Negasonic Teenage Warhead

[Old] 3/4 – After ANY card is played here, destroy this card AND that card.
[New] 3/5 – After ANY card is played here, destroy this card AND that card.

We hemmed and hawed a bit over whether to release Negasonic as 3/4 or 3/5 to start, and since then the data’s made it clear that we were too cautious. This change won’t make a huge difference-she often doesn’t wind up contributing her own Power to a location-but it does let her take the lead in some spots where she might previously have merely drawn, forcing your opponent to commit a card there to take it back. We did briefly debate exploring what she might look like as a 2-Cost card, but ultimately decided that might make her a little too strong as a counter to our weakest 6-Cost cards, the ones that only contest a single location.

Invisible Woman

[Old] 2/2 – Ongoing: Cards you play here are not revealed until the game ends.
[New] 2/3 – Ongoing: Cards you play here are not revealed until the game ends.

The majority of Invisible Woman’s play has been supporting the combo lines in Hela decks and acting as a pseudo-Cosmo to protect Ongoing-based buff decks from being single-handedly defeated by Enchantress. We believe she has the potential to be an interesting occasional player in some other decks, and this stat buff may provide her with that opportunity. We did consider the potential impact to Cerebro-2 specifically, but we’ve given that deck a couple of recent buffs and expect it may benefit from more down the line. Plus, there’s always Cerebro-3.

Location Changes

After some internal discussion of our goals for the location pool, we’ve decided to continue adjusting some of our most restrictive locations. There are meaningful gameplay and deckbuilding benefits to having these locations, but there are also diminishing returns to having many such locations that restrict play so harshly and similarly, especially two or more appearing in the same game. So, rather than further reducing the frequency with which these locations appear, we’ve decided to thin the ranks. As of today, we’ve temporarily removed the following three locations from the game:

We’re taking them back to design, where we’ll be finding brand new effects to implement for each one. Once those are playtested and approved, we’ll reintroduce them to the game. We’re not 100% sure what that will look like yet, but you can expect to see them return in the next few months.

The Future of OTA Changes

This last month has been a lot of fun for the design team! The metagame has featured a diverse spread of interesting decks, even given the recent dominance of Black Bolt/Stature. We’ve appreciated the community’s positive reaction to our OTA balance philosophy as well as the changes themselves.

With the conclusion of this May trial, we’ve decided to continue making regular OTA updates to the game, at a slightly less frequent cadence. Rather than making balance changes on all three of the weeks between patches, we’ll be taking the week in the middle off. There are two primary contributing factors to this decision: 1) putting together these updates on tight deadlines was a bit more stressful than we’d like each week, and 2) having two OTA weeks in a row always meant we got little to no insight from the first week when locking in changes for the second.

To illustrate the cadence, it’ll look like this:

  • Patch week (usually Tuesday)
  • OTA week (Thursday)
  • Off week
  • OTA week (Thursday)
  • Patch week (usually Tuesday)
  • OTA week (Thursday)
  • etc.

We hope you’re as excited as we are for the ongoing balance future of Marvel SNAP, and we’ll see you again on 6/8!

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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.

Articles: 25

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