Marvel Snap October 12, 2023 OTA Card Balance Updates: Forge, Alioth and Shuri Nerfed, Widow’s Bite (Black Widow) and Tiger Spirit (White Tiger) Buffed

An "over the air" (OTA) update has been made to Marvel Snap: Forge, Alioth and Shuri Nerfed, Widow's Bite (Black Widow) and Tiger Spirit (White Tiger) Buffed.

Marvel Snap’s “Over the Air” hotfixes to cards are now live for October 12, 2023 – no need for a game update! Five cards have been changed as part of a scheduled balancing cycle: Forge, Alioth and Shuri Nerfed, Widow's Bite (Black Widow) and Tiger Spirit (White Tiger) has had their power and cost adjusted. Check out the full details below!

Summary

  • Forge – 2/1 – On Reveal: Give the next card you play +3 Power. ▶ 1/1 – On Reveal: Give the next card you play +2 Power.
  • Alioth – 6/5 ▶ 6/3
  • Snowguard
  • Shuri – 4/2 ▶ 4/1
  • Widow's Bite (Black Widow) – 0/0 ▶ 0/-1
  • Tiger Spirit (White Tiger) – 5/7 ▶ 5/8

For our analysis and some decks you can try, check out our analysis article!

October 12th – Balance Updates

Welcome back! Last week’s patch focused on cleaning up a few small orders of business for the game, but OTAs are our primary tool for adjusting the balance of the live metagame. This is because we can create an OTA change in about a week, while patch changes need to be made over a month in advance as they require a series of authorizations and accompany changes that necessitate building them. For this week’s OTA we’ve got a variety of changes we expect to bump things around among the top decks, and we’re excited to see which archetypes can stay on top and which surge up the ranks to contend with them.

Forge

  • [Old] 2/1 – On Reveal: Give the next card you play +3 Power.
  • [New] 1/1 – On Reveal: Give the next card you play +2 Power.

It’s been real, it’s been fun, and it’s even been real fun–but ultimately Forge was just a little too good at dealing out Power in conjunction with cards like Brood. Because the card is pretty enjoyable on both sides and the issue is really just the raw amount of Power it could add to the game, we decided to move down to 1/1 and +2 rather than steal a Power from the ability for Forge and go 2/2. This makes Mister Sinister a clean curve play and lets Forge slip into a variety of other easy combinations, but reduces the ceiling of how much total Power he can make. We’ll keep an eye on whether this new Cost makes Forge more dangerous in conjunction with Beast and Falcon, but we’re optimistic that those decks will be fun for the metagame.

Alioth

  • [Old] 6/5 – On Reveal: Destroy ALL enemy cards played here this turn. (including unrevealed cards)
  • [Change] 6/5 -> 6/3

Alioth’s been out for a while now, and has impacted the metagame in a big way. We expected Alioth to see play in a lot of decks prizing 6-Cost cards while also pushing the metagame to reward playing to the board more aggressively, which in turn weakens Shang-Chi. And indeed, that all came to pass–players are jockeying for the right to reveal first much more often now, whereas in past metagames it was often the exact opposite. That said, Alioth’s overall play rate is a touch high due to how easily it slots into many decks, and 5 Power has proven to be a tough break point for some potential countermeasures, like Doombot. This adjustment makes Alioth easier to “catch” when contending for close locations while maintaining its purpose as an incentive to push Power into play during the first five turns of the game.

Shuri

  • [Old] 4/2 – On Reveal: If you play your next card at this location, double its Power.
  • [Change] 4/2 -> 4/1

While the Shuri archetype has often flirted with our thresholds for balance over the last few months, it hasn’t emphatically crossed them for more than days at a time. However, it’s been floating at or near the top for the last few months on internal data, and we think that makes the deck ripe to get a small haircut. A key element of fighting a Shuri deck is often winning the lane in which the namesake card is played, so removing a Power from Shuri affects the archetype more than removing Power from many other cards would, with the exception of Red Skull of course. We expect this change to pull Shuri down just a hair, ensuring these decks are in the mix for best deck but wearing the crown a bit less consistently.

Widow’s Bite (Black Widow)

  • [Old] 0/0 – While this is in your hand, you can’t draw cards.
  • [Change] 0/0 -> 0/-1

Black Widow has languished for a while, seeing the majority of its play months ago during the first Darkhawk Renaissance. Widow is a tricky card to improve, because we don’t want a metagame filled with Black Widows either, but a bonus Power seemed doable. We decided to plug it onto the Widow's Bite, which is a little worse than just adding Power to Black Widow but better communicates the flavor of the Bite and creates more interesting gameplay decisions around how playing the Bite might affect which player reveals first. It’s also slightly better if you’re doing things like bouncing or destroying your own Black Widow, which is the kind of synergy-driven gameplay we like to support.

Tiger Spirit (White Tiger)

  • [Old] 5/7
  • [Change] 5/7 -> 5/8

White Tiger’s a fun card that’s most frequently featured in early game combinations with Wong and Odin, but the amount of Power and board space taken up didn’t quite suit the card for higher-level play. We’re adjusting the strength of the Tiger Spirit up a touch because we like the bits of synergy White Tiger can have with cards like Mister Negative and Ravonna Renslayer as a 5/1, and we’d prefer to maintain that as well as the gulf between where the card gets played and where the Power winds up. This change should make White Tiger a more interesting consideration for more decks, without moving it to the top of the metagame.

Conclusion

That’s all for this week. Until next time, happy snapping!

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Kirallas
Kirallas

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.

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