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Top 5 Marvel Snap Tips People Give That Are Wrong

Here are five Marvel Snap tips this week that may hinder your improvement!

Hello everyone, and welcome to Top 5! I’m Glazer of Snap Judgments: The Official Marvel Snap Zone Podcast, and every week, we’ll be counting down a different Top 5 things you need to know in, around, and about Marvel Snap! Sometimes this will be silly in nature, but we’ll always have some pearls of wisdom to help make you the best (and best adjusted!) Marvel Snap player you can be! This week? The Top 5 Marvel Snap Tips People Give that Are Wrong!

Okay okay, it’s not like they’re always wrong, but we here at Marvel Snap Zone don’t think you’re an idiot, dear player. A basic heuristic is only good for the newest players – we can handle some complications and think in a more sophisticated manner. So let’s get to it.

5. Never Snap on Turn 6

Snapping on Turn 6 is about the estimated value. The theory goes if you Snap on 6, the opponent will just retreat, giving you one less cube than you’d get if you hadn’t. But that’s not always true – people aren’t rational actors, and there are several situations where Snapping on Turn 6 is great. Here are two.

Sometimes, you know what your opponent is going to do if they can. Shuri Red Skull? if they can, it’s Taskmaster. If you know where they’ll play and have a Cosmo or Negasonic Teenage Warhead with priority? They’re likely staying in, thinking it’s a 50-50, not expecting the answer card.

The other time I really like to Snap on 6 is when it’s a 50-50 going into the last turn. Many players are risk averse and don’t want to stay in. In that instance losing 2 or 4 is the exact same odds for me as winning 2 or 4, but Snapping will often chase the risk-averse player away, turning a 50% success into a 100% victory.

4. Always Stay In With Your Best Hand

In fairness to my creator pals, this is something I see a lot on various Discord groups, not elsewhere, but it’s really weird advice. Your best hand is only as good as your opponent’s counter. Decks put out wildly different amounts of power in a game of Marvel Snap, and some go into the 40s while others are trying to win games in the twenties.

The two decks I see this problem most with are Silver Surfer and Darkhawk Good Stuff. Often they will have the clear nuts draw, Snap and see an opponent – say a Destroy deck or an The Infinaut Double Up deck – stay in. Well, what you’re doing in Surfer tops out at 30 on the generous end usually. With Darkhawk it’s more like twenty.

Assuming your opponent can count, they can do that math. If they’re staying in, they go significantly higher – a single Knull or Deadpool and Taskmaster without priority can ruin your day. Of course, the caveat is they also need to know what you can have if you stay in without priority, namely Shadow King.

Still, bluffing, especially on ladder or high stakes in Conquest? If you don’t have it and they do, they’re way bigger. Just take your losses and go, ideally on two cubes.

3. Never Play Blind

Wait, what? I’ve never understood this advice. Bar With No Name, Jotunheim, Deep Space, Murderworld, Oscorp Tower, and The Space Throne with the occasional Isle of Silence, Rickety Bridge, or Klyntar thrown in.

Meanwhile, Wakanda, The Raft, White Hot Room, Sanctum Sanctorum, Muir Island, Morag, Miniaturized Lab, Luke's Bar, Machine Wolrd, Death's Domain, Lechuguilla, Kyln, Hellfire Club, Gamma Lab, Danger Room, Collapsed Mine, Crimson Cosmos, and Altar of Death can all offer huge upside. You tell me which list is longer.

There are some caveats though. The first is don’t play your Zabu or other pivotal card blind. If you’re built around Deadpool, Angela, or some such card, then you want that in a relatively safe place provided one has revealed itself.

The other exception is if you’re playing a deck with a lot of move or the ability to get into blocked-off spots. If you’re running Captain Marvel, Jeff the Baby Land Shark, and Doctor Doom? Feel free to play your other cards more conservatively.

2. Watch Others Play to Improve

Yeah, this one doesn’t work at all. I see people in streams all day watching top players pilot great decks still struggling to get Infinite… and I think I know why.

I’m a high school teacher, and all teachers know of a model called “I do, we do, you do,” which basically means to begin with modeling. In this case, the modeling would be watching a deck be piloted. The you do is, obviously, when you go play your own games. What’s missing, of course, is “we do.” Without coaching, as most teachers can attest, students will try the work but merely poorly imitate what they saw without the cognitive process behind the intent.

Even a good explanation of gameplay doesn’t fully fix this for most people. We’re so visual as a species that it overrides what we’re hearing. This is where lecture comes in. It’s better, very often, to just hear and have to think about and review what you heard (or, better, read, or best of all heard then took notes on).

The act of recollecting and applying forces your brain into problem-solving and critical thinking mode. This is actually what coaching does as well, except it does it as a dialogue with an external source that can correct misapprehensions. Without that though, to improve, you need to do it yourself, over and over, while being metacognitive about what you’re doing.

If you do want coaching though, the cheapest you’ll find is Subscribing to Marvel Snap Zone Premium. It comes with weekly group coaching with the legendary Den!

1. You Should Never Lose an 8-Cube Game

Marvel Snap is a game of hidden information, like poker. Would you ever suggest that you shouldn’t ever wager big in poker because you may lose? Of course not. Hidden information games care deeply about odds. The odds the opponent has the cards to beat you are either high or low, right? You take the bet when the odds are in your favor. Here’s an example.

You’re playing against a Darkhawk deck and you have a She-Hulk double deck. They don’t Korg on turn 1. Turn 2 Zabu and Snap and you Spider-Ham, hitting a 4-cost. On turn 3, they play Iron Lad and hit… whatever, Darkhawk. You know that they will draw that next turn. If they’re playing the most common Lamby versions of this deck, they only have one more draw – Turn 5, because Turn 6 will be America Chavez. You want to Magik on 5 and skip 6 so you can go off on Turn 7, way, way over the top of their deck, right?

You should Snap. Can they draw the Legion on 5 to end you before 6? Absolutely, but it’s one draw in 4 cards. You take those odds.

Another example is you’re playing against a Patriot deck with Mindscape. They have Patriot, so they Snapped on 2. They get set up, but have no way to go wide and over the top of you. The hand they’re sending you is fine, and you’re sending them crap that doesn’t synergize with their deck. Of course, they have a 33% chance of their last draw being a Doctor Doom or Ultron, but there’s a far greater chance those are already in hand and being sent to you. You Snap. They top deck Doom or Ultron.

You may run here on the assumption that they should be leaving, but again, not always rational actors. You can stay in here. If they high roll and beat you, well, the odds didn’t work. You should still be tilting them and betting in your favor where possible.


Did you enjoy this dive into some nuances of Marvel Snap Strategy? If so, check out the Marvel Snap Zone YouTube where a subject similar to this is the next episode of the Snap Judgments Podcast releasing Thursday and Den does regular coaching videos. Also releasing soon on my YouTube will be tips from most of the best players in Snap I’ve been collecting for a while now.

What are your Marvel Snap Tips and Misconceptions? Let us know in the comments!

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  1. Never Snap on Turn 5? No, that’s a very reasonable snap turn.
    I just want SD to remove the ability to snap on Turn 6. I won’t bore people with a rant.

    That aside, article’s good.

  2. “You Should Play Dozens of Games With Just One Deck In Order to Get Good at It”

    And I would die from boredom and never learn anything useful this way. Of course there is merit in playing a certain number of games to learn these particular ins and outs, but decks in Marvel Snap consist of only 12 cards with even fewer being used in an average match, and as such repetitive play patterns become very common rather quickly. Their own strategies are often nowhere near as intricate and complex as people want to believe. In a vacuum, there are only so many possible combinations; the RNG element is also reasonably high. And even the best players will be only able to do so much when faced with certain counters.

    The actual complex part comes with reacting to what happens, across various Locations and especially in combination to what’s there on the opposing side. For that reason alone it pays to know a greater number of existing decks and interactions; be able to recognize and predict what their cards might be capable of achieving on any given turn and how that affects what we currently got dealt on our side, rather than get fixated on ‘mastering’ just one strategy. Being able to calculate the odds can be just as important as having a firm handle on the deck’s gameplay. Information is certainly key, on an individual game level and especially when it comes to the knowledge of the existing meta wiht its dynamics as a whole.

  3. And perhaps it goes without saying, but all other tips listed here are very much on point, especially when it comes to snapping and retreating.
    I remember when the Snapalytics on playing into unrevealed locations managed to expand my mindset, encouraging me to be more daring with that.

    There is one particular instance where I believe watching other players is a great way to learn the game/meta and improve in one’s play patterns: specifically, tournaments where knowledgeable casters are present. When you are both observing capable individuals and having various aspects during matches being discussed/explained by people who know what’s what, then it becomes a lot more valuable. All the while you can actively apply and compare with what your own gameplay lines would have been in the scenarios presented.

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