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Top Series 3 ONLY Meta Decks – December 2022

Missing out on several Series 4/5 cards to play some of the Tier List decks? HowlingMines takes you through his Top 5 decks for climbing the ladder that contain cards from Series 1/2/3 only!

Good Morning, Good Afternoon, Good Evening and Goodnight! Hopefully you’re all having a great time out there in the multiverse right now!

This article is me trying something a little bit different this week – so if you do like it, or it’s helpful, please reach out and let me know! – we love our Tier List each and every week, and all of you appear to as well. Den is doing a fantastic job, and it’s only getting better with improvements coming from us offering alternative cards where possible, and the influx of data we’re starting to receive thanks to all the incredible users who have picked up the Marvel Snap Zone Tracker and have been using it to track their decks, collections, games and more!

That said, we still regularly get a lot of comments about card availability.
I understand.

In fact, just this week I made a video about a Ramp Deck I stumbled onto purely because I wanted to play Galactus and didn’t own it. It’s frustrating to “want to compete” in Marvel Snap, wait patiently for a Tier List update, and then to finally see the list smothered in decks that contain cards you don’t have, and in some cases, will not have any time soon.

Now, The Tier List isn’t going to change. We want that series to showcase the decks we truly think are the best right now, regardless of card limitations – after all, you’re still going to be playing against those decks even if you don’t have them, so knowing what they play, and how they work is a super useful tool even if you’re not using the tier list to build decks yourself. But we do want to make sure we’re highlighting great options to climb the ladder with if your card pool is limited. We already do this a little bit over in Infinite Decks of The Week, but today’s article is going to look to show you my Top 5 decks under those stipulations right now.

So, let us begin:

Patriot:

Series 3 Only – Patriot
Created by HowlingMines
, updated 2 months ago
2x Collection Level 18-214 (Pool 1)
7x Collection Level 486+ (Pool 3)
1x Recruit Season
2x Starter Card
3.3
Cost
0-
1
2
3
4
5+
3
Power
0-
1
2
3
4
5+

This one shouldn’t be *too* surprising, after all, it’s actually on the Tier List. Patriot is a fan favourite deck based around the combination of namesake Patriot and Mystique to grant +4 power to all the units you’ve got that have no effects. That’s a big bonus worth building around, and the list we’d currently suggest even goes a little deeper, looking to use tools like Magik and Wave to allow you to establish both Onslaught and Ultron on Turn 6 and Turn 7, often creating an overwhelming final turn.

MUST HAVE:

Some players will argue that Mystique isn’t “needed” – but I think this deck simply doesn’t present enough power to win two locations without it. If you’re truly desperate, maybe consider Ka-Zar as an additional anthem effect.

REPLACEABLES:
  • Wave and Magik: This are mostly here to enable big-power Onslaught turns, and aren’t required, especially if you’re also missing Ultron. Consider replacing these with more non-effect bodies such as The Thing, Brood, or Cyclops.
  • Ultron: This one is a much bigger loss, as you lose a lot of final turn punch. Consider Doctor Doom if you have him as another way to make more bodies for Patriot to buff, or just go with The Hulk if you just want another large, effectless card.

Ongoing Destroyer:

Series 3 Only – Ongoing Destroyer
Created by HowlingMines
, updated 2 months ago
2x Collection Level 1-14
4x Collection Level 18-214 (Pool 1)
2x Collection Level 222-474 (Pool 2)
3x Collection Level 486+ (Pool 3)
1x Recruit Season
3.4
Cost
0-
1
2
3
4
5+
3.8
Power
0-
1
2
3
4
5+

Another one that shouldn’t be *too* shocking, as a mainstay on the Tier List and a commonly chosen “budget” archetype once Destroyer has been acquired. The play patterns here are really simple: Build up a lane with cheap ongoing effects, keep them safe with Armor or set up Cosmo in another lane, and then look to finish the game with Destroyer or a big stat burst from Spectrum.

MUST HAVE:

No, seriously – that’s about it. The deck is mostly early pool cards, or cheap ongoing cards that can be easily replaced. Once you’ve got Destroyer, you should be good to go.

REPLACEABLES:

Leech Leader

Series 3 Only – Leech Leader
Created by HowlingMines
, updated 2 months ago
3x Collection Level 18-214 (Pool 1)
4x Collection Level 222-474 (Pool 2)
5x Collection Level 486+ (Pool 3)
3.6
Cost
0-
1
2
3
4
5+
5
Power
0-
1
2
3
4
5+

It would feel unfair to not mention the new kid on the block – Leech Leader has appeared basically overnight to help ruin the fun of many DeathWave and Surfer players around the world. Mostly an anti-meta deck using tools such as Armor and Shang-Chi, Leech Leader uses the two namesake cards to make sure that once you’re ahead on board on Turn 5, you shouldn’t often lose: Use Leech to take away any pesky abilities that may help the opponent, then use Leader to copy all those effectless bodies. Just watch out for Patriot!

MUST HAVE:

No two ways about this one, for obvious reasons – the deck is built to abuse this one-two punch on the final turns, so you probably cannot play the deck without them

REPLACEABLES:
  • Magneto and Aero: These are powerful endgame tools in the games you do not find Leech/Leader, and while the flexibility they offer to interact with the opposing plan will be missed, you can fill the role with other endgame cards like America Chavez or Doctor Doom. Alternatively, try replacing them with other disruption like Juggernaut, Cosmo or Polaris.
  • Thor: Thor is also mostly here as early stats – you need to be ahead when you play Leech, and Thor is often just 10 power when that matters. If you find you’re missing him, the other disruptive cards mentioned above could also go here, with my nod going to Polaris as it’s the biggest.

Devil Dino:

Series 3 Only – Devil Dino
Created by HowlingMines
, updated 2 months ago
1x Collection Level 1-14
7x Collection Level 18-214 (Pool 1)
3x Collection Level 486+ (Pool 3)
1x Starter Card
3.4
Cost
0-
1
2
3
4
5+
3.8
Power
0-
1
2
3
4
5+

Another fan favourite, Devil Dinosaur remains a force throughout Series 2 and 3. I’m not much of a Dino player myself, but KMBest used this list during their climb to Infinite this month, and it looks great. Moon Girl into back-to-back Dinos is going to win you a lot of games, but Daredevil is also here to be paired with many powerful endgame tools like Aero and Professor X to give you perfect information when using those cards in the final turns.

MUST HAVES:

I say “must have” loosely here – I think you can play versions of Dino that ensue this package, but to me, this list looks built around the flexibility Daredevil gives you with your 5-cost cards knowing Leader will break parity on turn 6. If you’re missing Leader, you could look to explore Magneto if you have it, or maybe just a big stated body like America Chavez if you don’t, and just *really* want to play this.

REPLACEABLES:
  • Aero: I think in a world where you’re missing Aero and Daredevil/Leader, you can explore a more traditional Dino shell, with tools such as Agent 13 or Nick Fury to keep the hand full, and The Collector to benefit while you do that. I also love the idea of throwing Quinjet into such a list if you’ve got it, as it plays very well with Agent 13, White Queen and Moon Girl

Lockjaw Discard:

Series 3 Only – Lockjaw Discard
Created by HowlingMines
, updated 2 months ago
5x Collection Level 18-214 (Pool 1)
2x Collection Level 222-474 (Pool 2)
5x Collection Level 486+ (Pool 3)
3.2
Cost
0-
1
2
3
4
5+
3.6
Power
0-
1
2
3
4
5+

A previous powerhouse that is now experimenting with what it can do with Series 4/5 cards, Lockjaw Discard remains a fun powerful deck without any of those tools. We’re looking to find Swarm or Apocalypse here, and then use our Discard cards with them while Lockjaw throws the discard effects in and out of our deck, resulting in a turbocharged Apocalypse, or more Swarms to feed to Lockjaw. Don’t be afraid to not start discarding until Turn 5 with this deck if it keeps Lockjaw or Dracula safe in hand!

MUST HAVES:

Lockjaw and Dracula are the namesakes for a reason – Lockjaw makes your midgame work and turbocharges your gameplan, and Dracula can often win a location all by itself with Apocalypse. You *might* be able to live without Colleen, but losing her ability to 100% hit Swarm seems like an insurmountable loss to me.

REPLACEABLES:
  • Gambit and Moon Knight: The harder to get discard effects being missing will hurt your consistency a good bit, with the only real “discard” you can play over them being Hell Cow. Instead, if you’re missing them, try to turbocharge your endgame with a card like Wong instead to double up on the Discard effects you do have, or Silver Surfer/Wolfsbane as sweet things to play into/get from Lockjaw

Closing Thoughts:

I understand the frustrations from not having all the cards you want right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t compete in Marvel Snap once you have a solid foundation of a collection. Hopefully, these Series 3 shells will offer you some lists to play while you grind away earning more exciting cards for the future.

Let me know what you think in our Community Discord, come find me on Twitter or come and join a livestream sometime on Monday/Wednesday/Friday at 18:30pm GMT on the YouTube Channel.

Until then, I’ve been HowlingMines, You’ve been amazing.
See you out there in the multiverse!

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HowlingMines
HowlingMines

HowlingMines is the Operations Manager of DotGG and many of their sister sites, such as MTGAZone and Marvel Snap Zone!

A TCG Specialist for over a decade, he now looks to share sweet decks, detailed articles, and help upcoming creators grow!

Articles: 76

11 Comments

  1. It’s even funnier when you look at these decks and realize you are 1 must-have card off of every single one of these decks. Really makes it frustrating and lose any gumption to continue playing.

    • I know, right? Almost everyone I saw was running Aero everywhere in pool 3, but once I got it, I couldn’t utilize her as effectively as other players because of missing pool 3 cards, not to mention all the players running Leaders and Lockjaws. Yikes. I’m still saving up to get Valkyrie from the token shot even.

      • You’re saving up for a 6k pool 5 card while complaining about missing pool 3 cards… That’s 6 pool 3 cards you could buy.

      • That’s not just any pool 5 card though. That’s a tier-1 pool 5 card, listed as the best pool 5 cards your hard-earned collector’s tokens could buy, not to mention other pool 5 cards I would’ve needed to save 6k tokens for anyway like Bast, Galactus, and let’s not forget the legendary Super Skrull. Saving 6k for the best pool 5 card of all seems like a good investment, especially when the pool 3 cards in the shop have all been disappointing lately. Mysterio? Deadpool? C’mon, where’s my Sera and Mystique?

      • Also, I’m pretty sure I’m correct about this, but pool 3 cards can be randomly acquired through Collection Levels; pool 4 and 5 cards can only be acquired at the token shop. I can get Sera and Mystique eventually; Valkyrie is a once in a lifetime deal.

      • …but you’re probably right. I do need pool 3 cards. I guess I’ll have to get Valkyrie some other time.

        Currently only at 3000+ tokens though. Hopefully Sera or Leader would come along soon.

      • Just wanted to say that you can 100% get series 4 cards from caches as I’ve gotten She-Hulk randomly from it, not sure about Series 5 cards though

      • You’re right. I think I read somewhere that when you haven’t acquire any cards for about 10 caches, you’ll 100% get a Pool 4 card or something. Don’t think it applies to Pool 5 cards though.

  2. You can reach Infinite with decks that contain only Pool 3 cards, no question. That is only half the story though. There is also the issue of players getting the cards they want to play with, the cards they find FUN. This is a bigger problem, in my opinion.

    The current system strongly disincentives players from buying fun, but weaker, cards like Thanos, because the opportunity cost is so high. It’s also really hard to get hyped for interesting new cards, like Knull, when you know you won’t get to play them for many months. This is “anti-fun” game design, in my honest opinion, and the opposite of what a “collectable” card game should aspire to.

    • This is an excellent point. Gotta grind those quests to rise 28+ levels on tge collection tack, because only every fourth cache actually has a card and…oh look, I just got Wasp. 😕

  3. I was actually willing to spend money on this game but cannot justify it to myself! I get no refund if a card moves down a series or is nerfed. Loved this game but feels so bad when they keep adding new content you have no access to unless you spend a ton. And even then you barely get anything for that money spent.

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