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Marvel Snap Metagame Tier List, February 28th, 2023

Marvel Snap Metagame Tier List, February 28th, 2023: Lockjaw Thanos Versus Shuri Zero, Against Every Other Deck!

How has the meta developed after the recent balance patch, as we approach the final week of the Into the Quantum Realm Season? Get ahead of the curve and find out what the best decks and their counters are in this week's meta tier list!

Hi everyone! Welcome to our latest Marvel Snap Meta Tier List, where I take a look at the current state of the game and rank the most popular decks by breaking down their strengths in the current metagame.

A little less than a week after a surprise balance patch, I wish I could tell you that everything changed and the Marvel Snap metagame feels fresh and unsolved. Unfortunately, Lockjaw Thanos and Shuri Zero are still solidly anchored atop the rankings and don’t seem to be willing to let any other deck join them. We are at a point where most decks are running both Shang-Chi and Aero and it still does not feel like enough to derail Shuri Zero. Some archetypes have started including Iceman as well in, as hitting Shuri or Red Skull can derail the deck’s play pattern quite well.

As for Lockjaw Thanos, the deck has caused some lane control builds such as Magik Disrupt to resurface in our Silent Performers, or Debrii to make a return in Patriot decks. There doesn’t seem to be any pure counters to the deck, though, as its diverse play patterns make it really difficult to anticipate. Hitting a Leech early in the game seems to be annoying a few players in the community, as expected.
The deck is undergoing some changes with various lists emerging with a very similar idea. We already had Lockjaw Thanos, Thanos Zoo, and Lockjaw On Reveal, and now we need to add Thanos Lockjaw Ongoing to the list. It’s a deck that mixes ideas from the Lockjaw Thanos deck and the Thanos Ongoing Zoo build.

Outside the two metagame juggernauts, the balance patch brought Sandman back into the discussion, and Electro Ramp has made a nice comeback this week. It is a bit early to consider it anything other than a deck amongst others, but the duo of Sandman and Leech in the same deck is something I imagine to be quite disruptive in the long run. The other shake up happened around Darkhawk. Its featured deck lost a lot of momentum this week, but I doubt it was entirely because of the patch. The card still looks strong and contributes nicely to the Sera Control build, even if its pairing with Devil Dinosaur took a hit. It seems like the environment isn’t so good for Darkhawk in general. Despite the loss of one power from the balance patch, it should still be among the best 4-cost cards in Marvel Snap in the right deck.

I’m afraid this is all there is to note for this week, apart from decks adapting their lists to fight Shuri Zero and Lockjaw Thanos as best they can. I would encourage you to take a look at the Silent Performers if you’re seeking originality; these are probably the most exciting decks to report this week. Although they stem from already popular decks, these builds are different enough to offer new play patterns and ways to fight against the most popular decks.

In order to be featured here, a deck needs to represent at least 1% of the current environment and have a positive cube average using data from our Marvel Snap Tracker. If a deck showed great performances with a very limited presence in the metagame, you can find it in the new “Silent Performers” section. There, I will highlight decks with an excellent cube per game ratio but too little of a sample size to be representative of their real strength.

Decks not good enough to be considered contenders but with a good representation will be ranked in Tier 4 in our chart and won’t have their own dedicated writeup here but may be transferred to the main Tier List section. See Tier 4 as decks that are good to know about, as you should face those when playing Marvel Snap. However, unless the metagame changes or a new variation of the build emerges, these decks aren’t noteworthy picks at the moment.


Marvel Snap Meta Tier List

TierDeck
Tier 1Lockjaw Thanos 
Tier 1Shuri Zero
Tier 2Zabu Sera Control
Tier 2Thanos Ongoing Zoo
Tier 2Electro Sandman Ramp 🆕
Tier 2Lockjaw Thor
Tier 2Galactus
Tier 3Zabu Devil Darkhawk 🔽
Tier 3DeathWave 🔽
Tier 3Discard Dracula
Tier 4Patriot 🆕
Tier 4Negative Zabu 🔽
Tier 4Kazoo Zerocula 🆕
BudgetHandsize Destroy
BudgetOngoing
BudgetSandman Kazoo
BudgetControl

Silent Performers of the Week

Magik Disrupt
Toxic Sera Control
Lockjaw Thanos Ongoing

Apart from Magik Disrupt, one of the best performing decks in tournaments even though it’s unpopular on the ladder, this week’s Silent Performers are mostly variations of otherwise great decks.

Toxic Sera Control is another way of building Sera Control, with Luke Cage and Hazmat added to the mix. The idea is to have even more disruption than just Killmonger against Thanos and the Infinity Stones.

Lockjaw Thanos Ongoing is directly inspired from Ordinary Harry’s win in the Creator Clash, and the list started being shared a ton during the week. For now, the more traditional list of Lockjaw Thanos is much more popular, but we could see both lists co-exist in the future.

All three decks would be ranked close to, or at the top of, Tier 2 this week (at the very least). The important question should be whether they can overtake the current dominant deck for their archetype in the future.

Tier Explanation

Tier 1: Tier 1 represents decks with all the upsides we would be looking for to rack up Cubes. They have good match ups in the current metagame, offer different play patterns during a match, and often have the ability for explosive or surprising turns. These should be decks worth investing into in order to climb for the coming week.

Tier 2: Tier 2 are very good decks but with a weakness holding them back – either not being as reliable in its draws as Tier 1 decks, countered by another popular deck, or still being a work in progress as you read this. A good pilot could probably take these and have the same results as with a Tier 1 deck, but their play patterns are more difficult to enact compared to the Tier above.

Tier 3: This tier is made of decks that have a pervasive issue compared to Tier One or Two decks. Usually, Tier 3 will be a mix of decks on the rise which don’t have much data about themselves, old archetypes on the decline, decks that require substantial experience and/or knowledge to pilot properly, powerful decks that aren’t well positioned, or niche decks.

Tier 4: Off-meta decks that have fallen off in recent times.

Budget: Decks that consist only cards in Pool 1 and 2 but are still capable of competing with an experienced pilot in a similar Collection Level, Rank, and MMR range. See our matchmaking guide for more details.

Meta stats and analytics directly from our Marvel Snap Tracker can also be found here. We’ll have more data being integrated soon for the tier list!


Tier 1

Lockjaw Thanos

Lockjaw Thanos
Created by den
, updated 1 month ago
1x Collection Level 18-214 (Pool 1)
3x Collection Level 222-474 (Pool 2)
6x Collection Level 486+ (Pool 3)
1x Series 5 Ultra Rare – Collection Level 486+ (Pool 5)
1x Recruit Season
4.3
Cost
0-
1
2
3
4
5+
5.4
Power
0-
1
2
3
4
5+

Rank Justification: Lockjaw Thanos retained the top spot this week, even if Shuri Zero was much closer in the numbers. I would attribute this to Aero and Shang-Chi being absolutely everywhere, and that duo being much more annoying for Shuri than they are for Lockjaw. Also, Lockjaw saw a Thanos buff during the week, which enticed even more players to go after the mad titan and try the archetype.

Lastly, a new variation of the build has emerged with the Ongoing synergy at its core. It creates a more synergistic deck rather than the overall strong cards featured in the popular build. This variation makes a much better use of the Stones as Ka-Zar, Ant-Man, and others are featured. In my opinion, it makes the deck stronger in the games where you don’t draw Lockjaw because you still have a strong core to abuse. When you do get your signature card, the traditional Lockjaw Thanos seems to pack a better high roll potential.
You can find the Ongoing build in the Silent Performers section.

How to play: The go-to game plan involves trying to summon big cards without actually paying for them or getting Leech very early in the game to disable the opponent’s hand.

The key factor in pulling this off lies in an awareness of what is left in your deck in order to maximize the chances of summoning a big card rather than an Infinity Stone. With that goal in mind, here is each Stone’s role in the deck:

  • The Mind Stone removes some stones from your deck and leaves more big cards to hit.
  • The Space Stone allows you to move a card from behind Lockjaw and abusing the cycling ability some more.
  • The Time Stone allows you to gain an energy and skip a turn where you typically have no play (like turn four), you can then play something ahead of its natural timing, such as Leech.
  • The Reality Stone and the Soul Stone are utility cards, and their abilities depend on whether you need them in the matches where they appear.
  • The Power Stone should be played behind Lockjaw if you don’t plan on using Thanos; otherwise, it’s best kept on board.

Potential additions: Part of what makes this the best deck of the week is its flexibility, so feel free to be creative with the flexible cards like Shang-Chi and Aero. Both are played for Shuri Zero, the other deck to beat currently. Adapt your deck if you are facing other decks more often. Wave was the latest addition to the deck; the card is a good play behind Lockjaw on turn five to disrupt an opposing explosive turn six while also not posing much of a problem when Lockjaw pulls her.

Other cards that were spotted in the Lockjaw deck are Doctor Doom and, surprisingly, Killmonger, which typically replaced Wave in the deck. The former brings flexibility to reach annoying locations while filling our board nicely, while the latter seems to be a tech card for the mirror match and other Thanos decks.

Shuri Zero

Shuri Zero
Created by den
, updated 1 month ago
3x Collection Level 18-214 (Pool 1)
1x Collection Level 222-474 (Pool 2)
7x Collection Level 486+ (Pool 3)
1x Series 4 Rare – Collection Level 486+ (Pool 4)
3.2
Cost
0-
1
2
3
4
5+
4.8
Power
0-
1
2
3
4
5+

Rank Justification: For yet another week, Shuri Zero remains the deck to beat the ladder, but Shang-Chi being included in every deck prevents the deck from simply beating everyone down its path. The only downside to the deck is that it has become quite predictable, which leads to opponents knowing when to snap and retreat against it. Even then, Cosmo or Armor can sometimes be delayed to snipe Shang-Chi and draw an unadvised snap from the opponent.

These two are slowly taking over Sauron in the popularity poll. There are also lists mixing Cosmo and Sauron, where you would just play the one you drew on turn three, the rest of the match often being your go-to ShuriRed SkullTaskmaster play-pattern.

How to play: The whole point of the deck is to overwhelm the opponent with impossible-to-match numbers, most of the time during the second part of the game. Ideally, one will play Shuri on turn four, Red Skull on turn five, and Taskmaster on turn six, leading to two 30-point monsters to contest two lanes and win the game. Because of this relative rigidity in the last three turns, Shuri Zero often needs to play its other cards before this point and can’t really hold too many resources in hand for a surprise later on.

While Red Skull is usually the go-to card on turn five, there are other, more flexible options to consider – even if they are worth a little less points. Aero can mess with the opponent’s plan as well as being strong recipients to Shuri’s buff. The card is also a great turn six play if you don’t draw into Taskmaster because it protects Red Skull from a deadly Shang-Chi with priority.

Lastly, because the deck is looking to abuse 5-cost cards most of the time, She-Hulk makes it worth to consider passing your turn on five and then slamming your 5-cost alongside She-Hulk on six. This strategy is especially effective when you want to lose priority against an expected Shang-Chi or wait and see where your opponent plays their Galactus.

Potential additions: There is another very popular build of Shuri Zero featuring Sauron as another key card to the overall strategy. With most of the metagame looking to punish the deck, Armor and Cosmo have proven to be important pieces to the deck’s success, usually shielding Red Skull from unpleasant surprises. Other cards to consider in the archetype are Arnim Zola and Attuma (with Armor, of course).

Here is the Sauron build:

Shuri Sauron
Created by den
, updated 1 month ago
2x Collection Level 18-214 (Pool 1)
2x Collection Level 222-474 (Pool 2)
6x Collection Level 486+ (Pool 3)
2x Series 4 Rare – Collection Level 486+ (Pool 4)
3.3
Cost
0-
1
2
3
4
5+
5.3
Power
0-
1
2
3
4
5+

Tier 2

Zabu Sera Control

Sera Control
Created by den
, updated 1 month ago
4x Collection Level 18-214 (Pool 1)
2x Collection Level 222-474 (Pool 2)
4x Collection Level 486+ (Pool 3)
2x Series 4 Rare – Collection Level 486+ (Pool 4)
3.1
Cost
0-
1
2
3
4
5+
3.7
Power
0-
1
2
3
4
5+

Rank Justification: A deck with very different results from one week to the next, Sera Control seems to have a good build this time around, and here are several reasons why:

  • The deck picked up in popularity after the Darkhawk nerf, which saw the more proactive builds centered around the card suffer.
  • The metagame is concentrated around a few decks, making it easier to know how to build a reactive archetype.
  • Sandman wasn’t as popular as one might expect after its recent change, so it didn’t feel like Sera was countered too much.

Overall, it seemed like the surprise factor was on Sera’s side this week, which led to the deck performing very well. Let’s see what happens next week now that the deck has gained a lot of attention and may not be able to surprise opponents as easily.

How to play: This archetype relies on giving up priority going into the last turn so it can punish the opponent with reactive cards like Shang-Chi, Enchantress, and Killmonger. Alternatively, it can also follow a more proactive route using Darkhawk and messing up the opponent’s deck with rocks.

Sera is at the core of this strategy alongside Zabu in a more specific role. Both cards allow you to reduce the cost of cards in your hand, strengthening your turn six potential and making it worth to purposefully give the lead to your opponent. Note that losing priority doesn’t mean losing the game – we can be in the lead on a location and close on the other two. Since Sera only has four power, your opponent will typically have a stronger turn five than you do and take back priority.

This way we don’t need to have an incredible turn six or perfectly guess our opponent’s plays to win every game. Most of this deck’s strength relies on its ability to be able to stay as close as possible while not having priority, so our reactive cards are at their best.

Potential additions: Control decks are a notoriously flexible archetype due to their reactive nature, so feel free to adapt to your personal meta. Polaris and Maximus are simply included for points but could be replaced by others such as Mister Fantastic or Bishop, or even utility cards like Rogue.

You can find a very different way to build the deck in our Silent Performers section with the Toxic Sera deck. It seemed to be the default built for anyone without Darkhawk during the week.

Thanos Ongoing Zoo

Thanos Ongoing Zoo
Created by den
, updated 1 month ago
2x Collection Level 1-14
4x Collection Level 18-214 (Pool 1)
2x Collection Level 486+ (Pool 3)
1x Series 4 Rare – Collection Level 486+ (Pool 4)
1x Series 5 Ultra Rare – Collection Level 486+ (Pool 5)
2x Recruit Season
3.5
Cost
0-
1
2
3
4
5+
3.7
Power
0-
1
2
3
4
5+

Rank Justification: Largely in the shadow of the Lockjaw deck, this Thanos-only build is slowly gaining popularity week after week while posting solid results across the board. This time, it seems like Valkyrie finally made it as a staple in the deck; the card represents one of the best, if not the best, Shuri Zero counter in Marvel Snap since it can bypass Armor.

Outside this specific trait, the Ongoing synergy simply looks like a solid deck with a simple concept to grasp. It feels clear now that this is the best way to build around the Ongoing theme as the Destroyer based deck, although still popular among early Series 3 players, hasn’t posted any significant results in a while now.

Considering how difficult it is to challenge a Tier 1 spot in the current metagame, sitting near the top of Tier 2 is already the sign of a very good deck. If the archetype didn’t require Thanos, and probably Valkyrie for the Shuri Zero match ups, we would see so much more of this deck on the ladder.

How to play: Compared to the previous Ongoing deck with Destroyer, this one clearly retains a very similar theme. Thanos, however, makes it a little more complicated to navigate, especially because the Infinity Stone can quickly fill our side of the board and block some lanes for us. As such, be careful when playing the non-Ongoing Stones and consider holding them in hand if you have no precise reason to use up that space.

When it comes to winning lanes, the deck has three main angles of attack:

  • Going big with Devil Dinosaur (and Cosmo for protection) alongside cheap support.
  • Valkyrie win us a lane should most of the time since it is near impossible for our cards to stay at the three power they are set to considering the many buffs they can receive.
  • Ant-Man, Goose, Lizard, and other cheap cards that are also supported by Ka-Zar, Blue Marvel, and Spectrum.

Potential additions: Any card with Ongoing written on it could make sense in the deck, and Valkyrie is included to mess with Shuri Zero. As such, feel free to experiment with other Ongoing cards such as Mojo, Professor X, Iron Man… If you look at our Silent Performers, you’ll see that the Lockjaw Thanos Ongoing deck is awfully close to the same idea, except it uses Lockjaw as the flexible slot instead of Valkyrie.

Electro Sandman Ramp 🆕

Electro Ramp
Created by den
, updated 1 month ago
1x Collection Level 1-14
1x Collection Level 18-214 (Pool 1)
5x Collection Level 222-474 (Pool 2)
4x Collection Level 486+ (Pool 3)
1x Series 4 Rare – Collection Level 486+ (Pool 4)
4
Cost
0-
1
2
3
4
5+
4.1
Power
0-
1
2
3
4
5+

Rank Justification: I’m not sure if the Sandman buff made the deck much stronger, but it definitely brought the spotlight back to Electro this week; the deck easily took the title of biggest rise in popularity. In the most competitive ranks, it feels like Electro Sandman isn’t different from most of the decks in Tier 2 this week: good deck, nice synergies, but not on Shuri Zero‘s or Lockjaw Thanos‘s level.

As a result, this deck should be great for players still collecting Series 3, provided they have Black Panther in their collection. It is a fairly easy deck to play and seems to do just as good as the other decks not dominating Marvel Snap this season.

If we had to talk about Sandman specifically, the card did get much better with its buff as it was enough to make it appear in a popular deck. Yet, the fact that Shuri Zero isn’t bothered by paying only one card a turn seems to be a big blow to Sandman‘s homecoming party.

How to play: This deck features several play patterns once you’ve played Electro on turn three, each of them leading to a different result:

Wave allows us to go into a 6-cost, 5-cost, 6-cost pattern instead of the 5-cost and double 6-cost Electro pushes for. The common line with Wave is to go Doctor Doom into a 5-cost into Odin, with any of the 5-costs being a decent contribution in that scenario.

Potential additions: This deck seemed to be the go-to for the week, pairing the points from the Black Panther synergy with potential disruption from Sandman and Leech. Still, there are many cards that can be played in the Electro Ramp deck:

  • Doctor Octopus is another good 5-cost card in the deck. It always makes Heimdall appealing, the idea being that you play Doc Oc on the right lane, then use Heimdall to move your cards and contest left and middle.
  • Magneto is a great 6-cost card, much stronger than America Chavez if you don’t think the added consistency is important.
  • Scorpion, Lizard, and Armor, or any good early game card, can make sense in the deck. You have three slots to work with in that regard.
  • Destroyer has made an appearance in the deck as well and could make sense alongside, for example, Death or Knull, taking a page from the Galactus archetype.

Lockjaw Thor

Lockjaw On Reveal
Created by den
, updated 2 months ago
1x Collection Level 1-14
1x Collection Level 18-214 (Pool 1)
3x Collection Level 222-474 (Pool 2)
7x Collection Level 486+ (Pool 3)
3.8
Cost
0-
1
2
3
4
5+
5.8
Power
0-
1
2
3
4
5+

Rank Justification: Time has passed, and we are now sure the Thanos build is superior to the Thor build in the current metagame. Arguably, Lockjaw Thor is still among the strongest decks if we only look at Series 3, but it seems like Thanos provides a lot of flexibility and explosive power thanks to the Infinity Stones.

How to play: Based on its signature card, the deck aims to use cheap, weak cards behind Lockjaw in order to summon much stronger ones without paying the required energy. In that sense, Lockjaw’s lane is often very strong, and it is important to keep in mind how to win another one and not get caught up in abusing Lockjaw.

The first three turns of the game can be very quiet for a Lockjaw deck as we aren’t looking to do much. If you have Lockjaw in hand, you could even consider not playing Sunspot in order to cycle it for a bigger card later on. Ideally, the player would go all in on Lockjaw on turn five and dedicate turn three to Thor so there’s time to find Mjölnir. This opens turn four to play Dracula or Jubilee, both good cards to anchor a location. We’ll usually throw the cheap cards behind Lockjaw in the last two turns, so Dracula isn’t so difficult to abuse in the deck.

Once in the final two turns of the match, the goal is to think about our best outcomes and how we can high roll enough to win the game. If ahead, a simple Magneto play could be enough to secure the win. If behind, it is important to know the chances of winning Lockjaw’s lane based on what is left in our deck while counting how big we can get Thor and Dracula to challenge the second lane.

Potential additions: It feels hard to really change anything in the deck, apart from replacing a card for another one with a similar role. The most flexible slots are probably the big cards you are looking to cheat out, or M'Baku if you want to include a cheap On Reveal effect instead (like Iceman‘s).

Galactus

Galactus
Created by den
, updated 1 month ago
2x Collection Level 18-214 (Pool 1)
2x Collection Level 222-474 (Pool 2)
5x Collection Level 486+ (Pool 3)
2x Series 4 Rare – Collection Level 486+ (Pool 4)
1x Series 5 Ultra Rare – Collection Level 486+ (Pool 5)
4.4
Cost
0-
1
2
3
4
5+
3.4
Power
0-
1
2
3
4
5+

Rank Justification: Another week when Galactus has been a very difficult archetype to read. There doesn’t seem to be a go-to list anymore and everyone is trying to build the deck to fit their idea of how to get to the safest Galactus possible.

With Aero being everywhere, and Cosmo becoming a staple in Shuri Zero, Galactus doesn’t seem adapted to the current metagame, but remains a solid deck nonetheless.

How to play: In this iteration of Galactus, there are two main play patterns to get to the promise land:

Potential Additions: There are a lot of Galactus lists around these days, so it’s hard to give precise replacements for the archetype. It really depends on how you envision the path towards playing Galactus for maximum efficiency. I would recommend typing “Marvel Snap Galactus” on Twitter and looking at the various ideas players have come up with.

Here is the more traditional way of building Galactus, but it seems like this list is a bit too easy to recognize nowadays:

Galactus
Created by den
, updated 1 month ago
1x Collection Level 18-214 (Pool 1)
3x Collection Level 222-474 (Pool 2)
6x Collection Level 486+ (Pool 3)
1x Series 4 Rare – Collection Level 486+ (Pool 4)
1x Series 5 Ultra Rare – Collection Level 486+ (Pool 5)
4.6
Cost
0-
1
2
3
4
5+
3.5
Power
0-
1
2
3
4
5+

Tier 3

Zabu Devil Darkhawk 🔽

Zabu Darkhawk
Created by den
, updated 1 month ago
4x Collection Level 18-214 (Pool 1)
1x Collection Level 222-474 (Pool 2)
4x Collection Level 486+ (Pool 3)
2x Series 4 Rare – Collection Level 486+ (Pool 4)
1x Starter Card
3.1
Cost
0-
1
2
3
4
5+
2.9
Power
0-
1
2
3
4
5+

Rank Justification: The big dive of the week award goes to the proactive build of Zabu Darkhawk, which seems to have suffered a ton from the recent changes. For what it’s worth, I think the deck’s main problem is the fact that it is mostly a proactive build and there are better options in that department (i.e. Thanos Lockjaw and Shuri Zero).

In those two decks, the first has Leech, which completely dismantles Zabu Darkhawk as all your key cards are now worthless, and the second should beat you on points if your draws are of similar quality. As long as these two decks have their hold on the current metagame, it seems difficult to justify running another points-based deck.

Against all the other decks, Zabu Darkhawk feels like it has game but suffers from the omnipresent Shang-Chi as well as Aero pulling Darkhawk and Mystique together on turn six. As a result, it feels like Darkhawk is slowly becoming a flexible package; it contributes nicely to the Control build in Tier 2, but the pairing with the Devil Dinosaur hasn’t looked so good after the patch.

How To Play: The goal here is to be very efficient with our energy while also keeping our options open for the last few turns. We have three main win conditions: Darkhawk, Devil Dinosaur, and Shang-Chi, and Mystique could represent a fourth win condition if she copies either of our two huge Ongoing cards. When we find Zabu on turn two, we are able to keep Darkhawk and Mystique together for a turn six play, creating a solid one-two punch with Devil Dinosaur on turn five. Shang-Chi plus Darkhawk is another very strong turn six.

Without Zabu, we are a bit less explosive and usually rely on Mystique copying Devil Dinosaur with Agent Coulson to buff them both. We could also use Quinjet to cheat some energies on cards copied with Moon Girl. Lastly, you can adapt the deck to include a standalone win condition such as Doctor Doom, Aero, Magneto, or something similar.

The early game should serve as the foundation to these strong final turns. We can either:

  • Develop our energy-cheating cards (Quinjet into Zabu into Moon Girl is downright stupid) for explosive turns later on.
  • Work on taking initiative for Aero to be at her best if you include her in the deck, either by keeping a large hand (Sentinel, Agent Coulson, White Queen) for Devil Dinosaur or disrupting the opponent’s deck (Korg, Rockslide) for Darkhawk.

Overall, this deck revolves around playing every turn with the idea of advancing one or several of our win conditions. As such, the earlier you decide the direction you want to follow, the easier it will be to make informed decisions.

Potential additions: Through mixing both Darkhawk and Devil Dinosaur together, the deck doesn’t have that much room to work with. Shang-Chi is the flexible card, sharing the spotlight with Aero most of the time. Other late game bombs or tech cards could make sense in their place.

DeathWave 🔽

DeathWave
Created by den
, updated 2 months ago
5x Collection Level 18-214 (Pool 1)
2x Collection Level 222-474 (Pool 2)
5x Collection Level 486+ (Pool 3)
3.5
Cost
0-
1
2
3
4
5+
4.4
Power
0-
1
2
3
4
5+

Rank Justification: Sandman making a bit of return and Leech gaining popularity in the Lockjaw deck has only made it worse for DeathWave this week, a deck already struggling with Armor and Cosmo being popular inclusions.

The deck feels great among Series 3 decks and should probably be able to challenge Lockjaw Thor for the tittle of best deck; however, if we look at the bigger picture, it just seems that there are too many things going against DeathWave for the deck to feel like a reasonable pick.

How To Play: The whole point of the deck is to get two destroy effects while having reveal priority going into turn six. This should be achieved with a simple on-curve play during the first four turns, as the destroy synergy is able to generate solid power through its signature cards like Bucky Barnes, Deathlok, and Carnage.

Turn five should be a Wave play and nothing else. If we have She-Hulk in hand, the card will be a 2-Cost on the next turn and can be paired with Aero or America Chavez. If we manage to get to four destroy effects, Death becomes free and both her and She-Hulk can be played in addition to another card. Squirrel Girl being destroyed by Killmonger is usually the way we get our four destructions in time.

Outside this basic play pattern, the deck is quite flexible and is able to develop points even without drawing into Wave. The destroy synergy shines especially well when it comes to cleaning up annoying cards that appear on our side of the board.

Potential additions: The deck usually rotates through four different 1-cost cards: Nova, Yondu, The Hood, and Squirrel Girl, and each has its own merits. Moon Girl is a notable inclusion, as duplicating She-Hulk or Death often opens some crazy strong turns.

Discard Dracula

Discard Dracula
Created by den
, updated 1 month ago
4x Collection Level 18-214 (Pool 1)
2x Collection Level 222-474 (Pool 2)
5x Collection Level 486+ (Pool 3)
1x Series 5 Ultra Rare – Collection Level 486+ (Pool 5)
3.6
Cost
0-
1
2
3
4
5+
4.4
Power
0-
1
2
3
4
5+

Rank Justification: The big popularity spike Discard had from getting a dedicated card in the Battle Pass this season seems to have started trending downward towards the end of the season. Overall, MODOK has been a great addition to the deck, but the flexibility problem just seems too big to overcome. If the deck had a way to move its cards around, it could easily rise to Tier 2 in no time.

Also, Sandman, Leech, and Cosmo are not helping at all as they all make it even harder for the deck to reach its full potential, something needed to compete in the current environment.

How To Play: The deck relies on a simple spread of its points:

  • Dracula takes care of a lane as long as you have Apocalypse in hand.
  • Morbius takes care of another lane as long as you have MODOK activate.
  • The third lane serves for Lockjaw cycling through your Discard effects.

Lockjaw can be played on turn five, especially if you can discard Swarm with Colleen Wing on turn two and get Lockjaw online right away. Otherwise, turns two and four are locked for Morbius and Dracula, and turn five is often M.O.D.O.K.’s turn if you have him. As such, you really only have turn six to be flexible in what you want to play, and you will usually devote that to playing Chavez and free Swarms if you used MODOK the previous turn.

This big lack of flexible plays can feel bad, but it does help with quickly visualizing your chances in the upcoming game. See it as a chance to snap early in the game with solid information, before you start revealing your threats to your opponent.

Potential additions: The iteration above is mostly focused on discarding as much as possible and growing both Morbius and Dracula. You can take out a few discards to include some tech cards if you wish, although the deck really seems to be about high rolling its key cards often.


Closing Words

The balance patch was a very exciting announcement, but unfortunately fell a little flat in the end as Shuri Zero and Lockjaw Thanos do not feel impacted at all. On the contrary, Shuri Zero has no problem with Sandman being popular, and Thanos got a three power increase in that patch. As a result, it feels like it will be up to the community to find a solution to fight these decks and shake their hold on the metagame, if at all possible.

The evolutions around the Ongoing archetype are very interesting, whether they include Lockjaw or not. It plays around Cosmo better while not losing any potential in the synergy department. These new lists are showing how good Thanos can be, with or without Lockjaw, and maybe its buff wasn’t so warranted after all. Thanos being so strong has developed the creativity of certain players, which led to the Toxic Sera build as a way to try to counter the Infinity Stones.

The balance patch wasn’t enough to make Marvel Snap feel fresh, so we will probably have to wait for the next season or even a bigger balance patch for that to happen. It is still a step in the right direction at the very least, and it shows that there are avenues to explore before feeling like the only way to gain cubes is to join either the Lockjaw or the Shuri club.

As usual, you can find the whole Marvel Snap Zone crew on Discord if you need anything. You can also contact me directly on Twitter for questions or inquiries.

Good Game Everyone.

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den
den

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.

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