Sandman

Sandman – Best Decks, Builds, and Card Analysis

Learn everything there is to know about Sandman in Marvel Snap. Including best decks, builds, and card analysis.

In this edition of Card Highlight, we we will feature a card that is slowly gaining a lot of ground in the competitive environment of Marvel Snap: Sandman!

Indeed, as Pool 3 decks are widening the power gap with the rest of the competition, impactful cards to build around in Pool 1 and Pool 2 are turning into valuable commodities. One of the most valuable cards in Pool 2 is Sandman, a former Pool 3 card. It was moved into a Pool 2 card in July 19, 2022, and has become a growing presence in the Marvel Snap meta ever since. Here is the developer comment regarding the change:

We like to make sure players have tools to counter major strategies before they get too deep in the Collection Level Road. We hope that moving these cards earlier in the collection level road will give players more options to deal with low-cost go-wide decks in the earlier stages of collection. If you’re already deep in the road and haven’t found these cards, your next 2 cards will be Killmonger and Sandman.

The way Marvel Snap is played today is quite combo oriented at the high level. Players are looking to disguise their true intentions for as long as possible, and surprise their opponent with a devastating punch on the final turn. As a result, cards like Magik or Sandman have gained a lot of momentum recently.

Magik is able to extend the game after the opponent committed their cards, and Sandman simply prevents them from being able to commit all the cards they planned to play in the final turns of the game. Let’s explore everything that is possible with Sandman, and see if we can build around this disruptive card, both with a competitive collection, but also on a budget.


Gameplay and Synergies

As a mere 1-power card, Sandman won’t ever win you a location on its own. Considering you have to pay 4 energy in order to play the card, a lot of players are quite reluctant to invest into a card that also limits both yourself and your opponent in what you can do.

However, the whole point of playing Sandman is to prepare for its effect. Although both players will be limited to 1 card a turn, only 1 of them is unaware this will happen. As such, we can build our deck with the intent to be as effective as possible while playing only 1 card a turn.

Go for Multiple Locations

In that regard, cards that are able to impact multiple locations are great to play around Sandman’s limitation:

Go Aggro

Another way to consider Sandman, is to play the card once we are past our most powerful phase in the game. Imagine a deck that would be super aggressive in the first 4 turns, then plays Sandman on turn 5 solely to limit what the opponent can do as we have already built a solid lead.

Go Big

Finally, and it might the easiest way to use Sandman, we can also build a deck with some of the highest scoring cards in the game. As a way to make sure we would come out on top in a 1 on 1 card battle, we can use cards such as these:

In the end, while Sandman is a card that is very limiting to what can be done once it hit the board, it actually allows for a ton of different directions in the deckbuilding process. Because we go into the game with the information, we can plan ahead of time how to exploit the card, and maximize its impact on the game for ourselves.


Budget Deck

Sandman Aggro
Created by den
, updated 2 months ago
2x Collection Level 1-14
3x Collection Level 18-214 (Pool 1)
5x Collection Level 222-474 (Pool 2)
1x Recruit Season
1x Starter Card
2.8
Cost
0-
1
2
3
4
5+
2.8
Power
0-
1
2
3
4
5+

Sandman Aggro looks to be the most effective deck to abuse Sandman’s ability inside Pool 1 and 2. Basically, the deck could be analyzed as 2 separate pieces we are merging together. The first part are the 1 and 2-cost cards, which represents our aggressive nature. In the first 3 or 4 turns, we are looking to play as much as possible, building a solid lead on several locations.

Then, on turn 4 or 5, the deck completely changes its perspective, and switches to a “quality” approach, where phase 1 was based on quantity. With Sandman coming down, the opponent shouldn’t be able to do so many things in order to catch up to our early development. Even if they could, we are still packing very solid cards when played on its own.

Iron Man and America Chavez are heavy hitters, looking to increase the points on a single location by a lot, and making sure we secure it for the final turn. Ka-Zar and Klaw are more flexible, looking to impact several locations, which our opponent shouldn’t be able to do so well with only 1 card per turn.

In this archetype, Sandman represents the link in between the very aggressive start, looking to put our opponent on the edge. In the final turns, where we are looking to be more precise in what we do, with high impact cards.

For a more detailed breakdown on the deck, check out our deck guide:


All-In on Sandman

Sandman All in
Created by den
, updated 2 months ago
2x Collection Level 1-14
3x Collection Level 222-474 (Pool 2)
7x Collection Level 486+ (Pool 3)
4.2
Cost
0-
1
2
3
4
5+
3.4
Power
0-
1
2
3
4
5+

A mix of disruption and ramping ability, this deck is looking to create a situation where players can only play 1 card per turn as soon as possible. Obviously, we have filled our deck with tons of impactful cards that will benefit from this specific situation we are creating. Basically, you could look at this list separating both rows, the top one is the setup part, and the bottom one is the payoff.

Psylocke and Electro are ramp materials, helping us reach our big cards as soon as possible, similarly to Jubilee which would summon them. Magik can also fit this bill, of helping prolong the game to get more time to develop our 6 costs.

Wave and Sandman are the disruptors, creating the situation we are looking to take advantage of. Ideally, we are capable of limiting what both players can do as soon as turn 3 with Wave, or with Psylocke into Sandman.

Lastly, we have 5 payoff cards, ranging from Red Skull to Odin. All those card have a similar role in the deck – develop as many power as possible, using them in multiple ways:

  • Red Skull shouldn’t be easy to profit for the opponent who can’t play many cards.
  • White Tiger gets triggered with Odin, and allows playing on several lanes at once.
  • Arnim Zola copying any of our payoff cards should be great.
  • Doctor Doom allows playing on multiple lanes at once, and synergises with Odin.
  • Odin can trigger both some of our payoffs, or Wave for another turn where cards cost 4.

Competitive Build

Sandman Lockdown
Created by den
, updated 2 months ago
4x Collection Level 1-14
1x Collection Level 18-214 (Pool 1)
3x Collection Level 222-474 (Pool 2)
4x Collection Level 486+ (Pool 3)
4.1
Cost
0-
1
2
3
4
5+
3.7
Power
0-
1
2
3
4
5+

Already a player in the current metagame, Sandman Lockdown could be considered an optimized list compared to the “All-in” archetype listed above. This build focuses more on the board limitations Sandman creates rather than the points that could be developed.

Through combining the Move synergy with Nightcrawler and Captain Marvel, and the ability to impact several lanes at once with White Tiger, Doctor Doom, Mister Fantastic, Klaw, and Leader. The archetype also named SandWave simply creates a setup it is highly favored to win.

As stated in the introduction, Marvel Snap competitive environment is developing towards more synergies, and looking to be unpredictable up until the final turns. As a result, this deck gets most of its wins completely denying that final turn to the opponent, and quite often, Sandman being played results in a Retreat from the opposing player.


Closing Words

While Pool 3 is obviously the pool for better cards, and by far the most impactful in the grand scale of things, Pool 1 and 2 still have a couple of gems we can exploit. In my opinion, Sandman is one of those gems, as it can serve various purposes, both in proactive strategies or as a counter to some dominant decks.

Ever since moving to Pool 2, the card gained popularity, and has increased the amount of archetypes it could be considered in. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Sandman reach the likes of Wave or Magik in the future, if the current trend of combo decks keeps on going.

I hope this piece helped some of you to use their newly collected Sandman, I promise he is worth it. Feel free to drop any piece of feedback, or a specific card you’d wish to see highlighted in the future on our community Discord. As for myself, you can reach out directly on my Twitter page.

Good game everyone.

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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