October-26-OTA-update-v1.1

Marvel Snap October 26, 2023 OTA Card Balance Updates: Elsa, Loki, The Collector, Angela, Sauron Nerfed, Uatu, Hellcow and Spectrum Buffed

An "over the air" (OTA) update has been made to Marvel Snap: Elsa, Loki, The Collector, Angela, Sauron Nerfed, Uatu, Hellcow and Spectrum Buffed.

Marvel Snap’s “Over the Air” hotfixes to cards are now live for October 26, 2023 – no need for a game update! As many as eight cards have been changed as part of a scheduled balancing cycle: Elsa Bloodstone, Loki, The Collector, Angela, Sauron, Uatu the Watcher, Hellcow and Spectrum has had their power and cost adjusted. Check out the full details below!

October-26-OTA-update-v1.1

Summary

  • Elsa Bloodstone – 2/2 If you play another card to fill a location, give it +3 Power. ▶ If you play another card to fill a location, give it +2 Power.
  • Loki – 3/5 ▶ 4/5
  • The Collector – 2/0 ▶ 2/2
  • Angela – 2/0 – After you play a card here, +2 Power. ▶ 2/2 – After you play a card here, +1 Power.
  • Sauron – 3/3 ▶ 3/2
  • Uatu the Watcher – 1/1 ▶ 1/2
  • Hellcow – 4/6 ▶ 4/8
  • Spectrum – 6/5 ▶ 6/7

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

October 26th – Balance Updates

Today’s changes are a meaningful set of shifts aimed at reducing the ceiling of our metagame’s top decks, but we have a couple of buffs we’re hoping make things more interesting as we leave the spooky season.

Elsa Bloodstone

  • [Old] 2/2 – If you play another card to fill a location, give it +3 Power.
  • [Change] +3 Power -> +2 Power

Elsa landed and took the metagame by storm almost immediately. We certainly intended to make a strong card, but a few factors led us to risk too much with Elsa, and we’re aiming to learn from those in the future. One of them was that Elsa and Loki were developed more separately than many of our season pass cards, owing to some unusual scheduling conflicts on other work. We underestimated how resilient each card would prove, and how much they would warp the meta as a pair. Our current set of 2-Cost cards can too easily lock specific enemy strategies and counterplay away, with Elsa making up for any Power inefficiencies they might have. That package has appeared in multiple top-performing decks! We’re only shaving a little Power here–it’s still Elsa’s season, and we want her to shine–but it should contribute to a more balanced field of play.

Loki

  • [Old] 3/5 – On Reveal: Replace your hand with cards from your opponent’s starting deck. Give them -1 cost.
  • [Change] 3/5 -> 4/5

Loki’s been a tricky card for us. Our internal Loki decks weren’t as boldly aggressive as a lot of the top ones proved to be, and there were so many different versions after release that we wanted to better understand his core strengths out in the wild before making any adjustments. And yes, having Loki be a top card for Loki season was also a goal for gameplay, the same way we wanted Move to matter during Spider-Versus and Destroy for Big In Japan. Loki’s strength seemed best realized at the top of the ladder–he’s a card that really lets players leverage their skill, with more average performance at lower ranks. When all was said and done, we determined that Loki was offering a lot of freedom and adaptability as a 3-Cost card with high Power, as that let him compete for priority especially well. We’re hoping this change leads to Loki decks that care a lot more about which cards they get and how to play them, as opposed to slamming raw Power at an efficient Cost.

The Collector

  • [Old] 2/0 – When a card enters your hand from anywhere (except your deck), +1 Power.
  • [Change] 2/0 -> 2/2

We made the previous Collector nerf with the express goal of weakening Loki-based decks while we determined the best course of action for the once and future king of Asgard. Given the above, it’s appropriate we return Collector to his former stats.

Angela

  • [Old] 2/0 – After you play a card here, +2 Power.
  • [New] 2/2 – After you play a card here, +1 Power.

We’ve actually been avoiding this change for a while, with many other adjustments trying to rein in the Angela package and provide more diverse ways to build early Power while retaining this lynchpin card for some decks. However, those efforts have only dragged other cards down as Angela continued to soar, culminating in a week with Angela in four of our Top 5 decks. It’s time to see how SNAP looks without Angela as a massive Power source. We’re sure this change will reverberate through the metagame in ways we can’t yet predict, so we’re avoiding any nerfs or buffs trying to compensate for it and just going to wait and see what the future holds.

Sauron

  • [Old] 3/3 – On Reveal: Remove the abilities from all Ongoing cards in your hand and deck.
  • [Change] 3/3 -> 3/2

This change might seem surprising, but Sauron has quietly been one of the strongest cards in the game for quite a while. Sauron decks are almost never outside the Top 10 and often in the Top 5, while Sauron himself is often our highest winrate card. There are other elements at play here, as Sauron doesn’t see play in other decks which does inflate his metrics, but the deck has finally crossed a line for us. Don’t worry though, Sauron fans–we have some potential new tools planned for him in the future

Uatu the Watcher

  • [Old] 1/1 – At the start of the game, shows the right location to you.
  • [Change] 1/1 -> 1/2

When we made the Uatu rework on our last patch, we promised we were shooting low on Power to make sure we’d correctly gauged the effect. Now that we know we have, we’re restoring him to 1/2. We’re also pleasantly surprised to see a few archetypes trying him out in decks that are very particular about which cards sit at which locations, like Armor and Galactus.

Hellcow

  • [Old] 4/6 – On Reveal: Discard 2 cards from your hand.
  • [Change] 4/6 -> 4/8

Our adjustments to a variety of discard effects have worked well, with at least three distinct archetypes performing well enough to be interesting. One of the weaker discard cards has been Hellcow, who combined inefficient stats with randomized discarding in a way that made it hard for him to compete with the likes of Silver Samurai and even Swordmaster. This buff gives Hellcow a more distinct identity as a high-Power card for decks doing less targeted discarding, and hopefully it leads to a continued widening of the discard space for different rewards.

Spectrum

  • [Old] 6/5 – On Reveal: Give your Ongoing cards +2 Power.
  • [Change] 6/5 -> 6/7

Spectrum has languished for a while. Among new players, she tends to get abandoned relatively quickly for Odin and Heimdall, who work with a more potent set of cards. Among competitive players, she can often feel like a conditional Doctor Doom. This is just a straightforward bump for her–higher, further, faster!

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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