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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 Ways to Nerf Bounce!
One of the biggest topics of conversation in and around Marvel Snap has been the dominance of Bounce decks. These decks have been at the very top of both the Conquest and Ladder Tier lists for weeks. When the recent balance patch arrived (here is my take on all things Patch), it surprised many to not see Bounce hit at all.
Second Dinner developer Glenn has since said that changes to Bounce are coming:
Bear in mind that our full patches are both a) finalized over 4 weeks in advance of release, and b) primarily used to make behavior changes to cards. OTA changes, which can be turned around in about a week, are our primarily balancing tool.
In addition, this patch was unique in that our “summer vacation” required us to finalize the notes earlier than we usually would and removed one of our OTA windows.
Bounce is one of our best decks, and slightly better than we’d like. It’s actually not far outside our winrate, cube rate, or play rate threshold, but its matchup spread is highly polarized, with a lot of very good matchups balanced by a small number of bad ones. That, in conjunction with High Evolutionary, is creating a warping effect we’d like to soften. Fortunately, as a deck defined by numbers, Bounce is exactly the kind OTAs address best.Developeer Update for the Week of July 12
With changes on the horizon, I decided to ask some creator friends what they thought could or should change for Bounce both in the coming OTA and in the future. Before we get started, here’s a link to each creator – please, check out their work.
- Den writes incredible articles on Marvel Snap Zone.
- SafetyBlade writes here as well, and posts my favorite decks on his Twitter.
- WolverSnap posts daily YouTube videos on all things Snap. He has both excellent production and top-notch analysis. Check out his video for more thoughts on Bounce Changes.
- Drewberry posts regular YouTube content with a relaxed tone, reviewing cards both in-game and fan-made.
- Bradcifer is the opinionated and always interesting host to two Marvel Snap Podcasts – Snap on Ego and Can’t Stop Snapping!
- Bootman is a prolific YouTuber who loves Marvel Snap just as much as you do and focuses on the competitive aspects of the game. He also co-hosts Snap on Ego with Bradcifer.
- EducatedCollins is a Marvel Snap YouTuber and Streamer who, appropriate to his name, posts educational, intensely researched videos.
It’s worth noting that although Collins contributed to this article, he does not believe Bounce needs to change. He thinks that the cards are fine where they are and that the meta features many counters. While I am sympathetic to this argument, I think SafetyBlade’s counterargument holds more weight with me – with only 12 deck spots available, every deck needing to dedicate 3 to 4 of those to one matchup is excessive.
Enough preamble! To the list!
5. Nerf the Miscellaneous Good Cards
These three cards have been powerful since before the game was publicly released, and all three have already been nerfed. WolverThor thinks Bishop can be 3-0. Bootman argues that Mysterio shouldn’t keep all of its bonuses. Den thinks Angela is fine as a 2-2 that gains +1 for each card.
All of these changes are good (I’m particularly fond of the Angela change), but are ignoring the actually offending core cards in favor of hitting the cards around them. These changes weaken Bounce, for sure, but the deck is still probably too strong, and it’s changing an entire package of cards instead of focusing on the actual offenders.
4. Bast to 2
Bast could be changed to a [2/2]. Bast is arguably the third-best card in the Bounce shell after Kitty Pryde and Hit-Monkey. Its power to increase the size of everything you do in Bounce for the rest of the game is substantial. WolverThor and Bradcifer both suggested this change, and maybe I could see it… Here’s my logic:
Glen suggests OTA be used to fix bounce, which likely means number changes. Unless Bast is one of those cards, his importance just goes up – he reverts any number changes on power to 3. With America Chavez in Bounce decks, seeing the Bast on turn 1 or 2 isn’t unlikely, so changing her to only be really playable on turn 2 without Kitty or turn 3 with would severely weaken the deck.
Now, I really like Bast and worry this change could kill her, but I think it’s worth exploring as the metagame develops. I wish some nerfs were more temporary restrictions that could be reset, like Red Skull ended up being.
3. Hit Monkey Alterations Galore!
There are several changes to Hit Monkey that have been suggested and make sense. I think the most likely change is Den’s. He thinks Hit Monkey should be a 2-2 that gains 1 for each extra card played. This still leaves the card as a 2-5 with Mysterio, and stops it scaling to absurd proportions in the end game, leaving it at about a 2-7 when played last turn. That keeps the card strong, but no longer one of the better two-costers in the game.
I think another change I’d perhaps like to see removes Hit-Monkey from these shells almost entirely. Hit-Monkey could keep the same effect and cost 3. That change would balance him into Silver Surfer decks and pull him out of Bounce deck shells, but also leave him viable in various Sera decks. Sera has been leaving Surfer lately – there’s just not much point to her in most versions. Hit-Monkey would be great in these decks, offering a stats-based choice for the decks that run Sera, as a last turn of Hit-Monkey (2 with Sera’s discount), Mysterio (1 cost), Jeff the Baby Land Shark (1 cost), and Silver Surfer (2-cost) seems both powerful and unlikely to unbalance the metagame.
The major caveat to changing Hit Monkey is that Season Pass cards changing could make people feel cheated. Still, Silver Surfer and Zabu were heavily nerfed in the past, and the lack of Hit-Monkey in upcoming Spotlight Caches suggests something might be up. This one is a pretty easy change.
2. Beast gets Worse (again)
Both Den and SafetyBlade suggest that Beast not reduce to less than 1 – a change that is entirely due to (the conspicuously missing thus far) Kitty Pryde. Glenn has already argued Beast can make a card cheaper because you must pay its cost at least once before gaining the effect. I’m sympathetic to that argument and would be fine with a temporary change here.
However, Bradcifer has the change I like best. With his effect so strong, Beast should have less power. As a 3-2, he still goes in the deck, but he’s no longer great with cards like Iron Man or replacing a trigger of Angela with his own power. This one makes the deck just a bit worse, but I really like it.
1. Kitty Pryde: The Problem
Kitty Pryde is probably the best card in the game. Educated Collins and Den think Kitty should absolutely be left alone, and basically everyone agrees that her being the first “free gift” card makes her complicated to nerf. I was totally on this team until this weekend.
No one spends more time thinking about cards, how they work, and what they should look like than Drewberry. No one is smarter about this game and its decks than SafetyBlade. When they both suggested the exact same Kitty-nerf, I knew it was the right one to go with.
Kitty Pryde should be a 1-2 that gets plus 1 each replay. With this change, she’s still maybe the best 1-drop in the game, she still enables all the cards she previously did, but she’s less oppressive in going over the top. I love it.
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