BlueMarvel

September 20, 2022 Card Balance Update: Impact on the Metagame, What Decks to Play

Find out how the latest Marvel Snap patch might affect the metagame, what cards and decks came out on top and lost, and our recommendations on what decks to play!

The long awaited patch is finally upon us, and all Marvel Snap players rejoice! We had to wait for a longer time than usual for this one to arrive, so there were a lot of expectations on how it would shake up the current metagame. Mister Negative, Sera and Magik were the cards most often mentioned across the community during discussions about needed changes.

Looking at the very long patch notes, and the total 23 card changed, there is a lot of information to digest. This many changes would suggest that we should have a dynamic meta environment for at least a week or so, until players have had time to test all the updated cards. Notably, all the updates to 5-Cost and 6-Cost cards should provide a lot of interesting new patterns in the last two turns of the game, which are arguably the most important ones.

However, if the quantity is exactly what the community was asking for, I can’t keep myself from worrying a bit from some omissions everyone expected to see. If Magik is a card that a lot of people want to see changed, I particularly wonder about Sera staying the same, the card sharing the spotlight with Mister Negative as the two best combo enablers in the game, and giving their name to the best deck in the game so far: Negative Serotonin.

With a lot of good, a touch of worries and a ton of changes, let’s break down everything to expect as the patch starts impacting Marvel Snap’s metagame.


Is Mister Negative unplayable now?

  • Change: [4/4] -> [4/1]
  • Developer Comment: The Mister Negative deck is very strong, and tends to have an unhealthy play pattern of skipping your first few turns. We are taking Mister Negative’s Power down to tone the deck down. While this may seem like a big change, the power of the deck is largely in the cards hit by Mister Negative so we don’t forsee this being a massive hit to the deck’s overall power.

Changing the Power of a card does usually reduce its impact on the game quite a lot, and although Mister Negative‘s ability is still untouched, paying four Energy to get a card that does nothing to its location can be a problem.

As the developers stated in the patch: “the power of the deck is largely in the cards hit by Mister Negative”, and I agree with this statement, at least up to a certain point. Yes, a deck routinely playing Mister Negative on turn four should still be able to contend in the future metagame. Yet, this change will impact the piloting of the deck quite a lot, as you only have two (three with Magik) turns in order to win the two locations you need after playing Mister Negative.

In the past, the four power provided by Mister Negative made it that you could still fight for the location you would play the card on. Now, without a reversed Iron Man or another power play of the sort, it feels like you are basically telling your opponent where you will try to invest in order to win the game.

Now, it seems like the deck will need to develop some points before turn four, and loses the ability of waiting for Mister Negative before starting to actively use cards. With Angela already played in the deck, and Bishop seeming like it could easily be slotted in, solutions to this early points problem exist for Mister Negative.

As a result, I don’t expect the card to completely disappear. Depending on how the other archetypes improve, we should now see a lot less of the card in the near future.


How dominant will Sera be from now on?

Considering they basically made Mister Negative a card that is relevant only for its ability, I was expecting Sera to receive a similar treatment. With the card left untouched, I’m wondering if its ability is considered “fine” in today’s game, as I considered Sera Miracle to be on a similar level to Mister Negative‘s deck.

However, there is one big difference between both cards, which is the disruption available to the opponent against a Sera deck compared to a Negative one. For example, Lockdown decks tend to do much better against Sera, as the deck relies on playing a ton of cards at once, something largely limited when you can’t play on a location or Sandman is in play. Mister Negative increases the power of each card in the deck, making it more solid against limiting strategies.

So my first fear of just seeing players converge to Sera Miracle as the obvious best untouched deck from the previous metagame can be offset with the thought that counters do exist, and have been doing well in the past too.

The second concern about Sera being untouched, is how much of the card will we just splash in several decks looking to be more explosive on turn 6. No Ongoing card has been nerfed in the patch – quite the opposite actually, as Spectrum and Onslaught were buffed, and other Ongoing effect also were updated (most of them feeling like significant buffs).

As a result of these changes, I would expect the overall synergy to be stronger, pushing the already popular Ongoing cards to find more support. This could lead to other Ongoing synergies to be played more, like Patriot or Cerebro (who might see its two power archetype rise with the Blue Marvel update). But it could also mean that we get even more incentives to play Sera in the future.

Especially the Sera, Magik, Mystique and Iron Man package is something I have an easy time seeing rise in terms of popularity. These four cards felt great together and usually played in the Sera Miracle deck, but if Ongoing takes over as the best synergy, we could imagine seeing it in a lot of other builds as well.


Greed is the name of the game

  • Blue Marvel: [6/4] -> [5/3]
  • Onslaught: [6/6] -> [6/7]
  • Spectrum: [6/4] -> [6/5]

The largest portion of the changes are focused around cards at five and six Energy cost, and mostly cards that were seeing limited play. Well, except for the Ongoing trio of Blue Marvel, Onslaught and Spectrum, which, although they were not tier 1, had their featured decks, of course looking to make use of the Ongoing synergy.

If I already elaborated around the Ongoing synergy in the part about Sera. I think combo, and greedy decks overall, looking to surprise their opponent in the last two turns, should be at their best after the patch.

Looking at the current metagame if we remove Mister Negative, and Sera which we talked about already, all the other competitive decks are either control or combo archetypes:

  • Dracula Discard sees Lady Sif being nerfed, but should be playing Sera now, which is a win in my book, and reinforces that combo part of the deck.
  • Hela Discard is a high synergy deck with a ton of big cards.
  • Lockjaw On Reveal looks to summon big cards without paying for them. Also could benefit from the Thor buff.
  • Wongoing saw the whole synergy the deck is build around buffed.
  • Patriot is slightly buffed by the Ongoing synergy getting better and a few Vanilla cards gaining a power point.
  • Sandman Lockdown appears to be Sera’s best counter, so already has a reason to be played.

As we look at the list of decks that were already competitive, most of those are gaining something in the patch, and therefore should solidify their position in the metagame. Obviously, the flurry of changes could hide a few surprises down the line, but the early days look to be relatively easy to guess: Play greedy or prevent your opponent from doing so.


A few other decks to keep an eye on

Here are a few theorycraft decks that I think have some merit with the patch, in addition to all the decks I just mentioned above and should still be competitive. You can find the pre-patch builds in our Tier List section. There is a mix of budget and full collection decks:

Ongoing Kazoo
Created by den
, updated 15 days ago
3x Collection Level 1-14
6x Collection Level 18-214 (Pool 1)
2x Recruit Season
1x Starter Card
2.8
Cost
0-
1
2
3
4
5+
2.3
Power
0-
1
2
3
4
5+
Dracula Discard
Created by den
, updated 15 days ago
5x Collection Level 18-214 (Pool 1)
2x Collection Level 222-474 (Pool 2)
5x Collection Level 486+ (Pool 3)
3.1
Cost
0-
1
2
3
4
5+
3.1
Power
0-
1
2
3
4
5+
SandWave Lockdown
Created by den
, updated 15 days 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+
4.3
Power
0-
1
2
3
4
5+
Cerebro 2
Created by den
, updated 15 days ago
1x Collection Level 1-14
2x Collection Level 18-214 (Pool 1)
3x Collection Level 222-474 (Pool 2)
4x Collection Level 486+ (Pool 3)
1x Recruit Season
1x Starter Card
2.6
Cost
0-
1
2
3
4
5+
1.6
Power
0-
1
2
3
4
5+
On Reveal Exodia
Created by den
, updated 15 days ago
1x Collection Level 1-14
1x Collection Level 18-214 (Pool 1)
9x Collection Level 486+ (Pool 3)
1x Recruit Season
3.5
Cost
0-
1
2
3
4
5+
2
Power
0-
1
2
3
4
5+
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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