Hello, friends. I am still unable to put Marvel Snap (Free) down, and that means you’re getting more words from me about the game. I’ve already done a beginner’s guide for the game aimed at those just getting started, and I hope it has served some of you well. What I’m going to do this time, and perhaps monthly until I get tired of it, is to let you in on the best and most popular decks at the moment. The Marvel Snap meta is constantly in flux as new cards and locations are added and fresh strategies are devised, so today’s winning deck could be tomorrow’s cold meatloaf. Consider these monthly guides a quick way to keep up on the happenings in the Marvel Snap scene.
Oh, and do note that most of these decks are the best of the best at this point in time. They assume you have access to a full range of cards. This time, I’ll be including the five strongest Marvel Snap decks of the moment, plus a couple of reasonably powerful decks for those still making their way up the collection ladder. If you need more advice for building decks from more basic sets of cards, make sure to check out our beginner’s guide for some tips.
This month saw the release of several new cards, including Kazar’s loyal friend Zabu. The big kitty halves the cost of 4-Cost cards, and as you can imagine some cards synergize very well with that. Recent addition Silver Surfer remains popular, though many players have come up with some counters to the popular decks that use him. Some cards were nerfed and buffed, which also resulted in some slight adjustments on the part of the players. Let’s check out the five strongest decks for January 2023, plus two decent decks just about anyone can make.
Silver Surfer & Sera
Included Cards: Silver Surfer, Sera, Maximus, Cosmo, Rogue, Storm, Brood, Juggernaut, Killmonger, Polaris, Nova, Lizard
The basic idea of this is to play whatever you can until the fifth turn, where you’ll play Sera. She reduces the cost of the cards you have in hand by one, which means you can play three of your 3-Cost cards on the final turn. Make sure Silver Surfer is the final card you put down on this turn, as he’ll then buff all of your 3-Cost cards with an additional +3 Power. You can play your other 3-Cost cards as their abilities are needed, but it’s a good idea to hold on to Maximus until the last turn. If you’ve played Nova, save Killmonger for the final turn to give an additional +1 Power to everyone. Rogue is here as a general counter, especially for Zabu. Lizard is a handy 2-Cost card with enough heft to help control a zone. A very strong deck, and it will be interesting to see how players counter it as the game goes on.
Shuri & Zero
Included Cards: Shuri, Zero, Armor, Zabu, Sauron, Attuma, Typhoid Mary, Vision, Red Skull, Taskmaster, She-Hulk, Arnim Zola
Shuri is an outstanding card with her ability to double the Power of the next card you play. Combine her with another card with a high Power score and you can easily rack up the wins. Zero removes the abilities of the next card you play, and is often paired with high Power cards that have negative effects such as Typhoid Mary or Red Skull. The idea is that Shuri’s doubling ability means those high Power cards are more than worth their negative effects, and Zero can just remove them. Zabu allows you to get Shuri and another 4-Cost card out on the fourth turn, leaving you with lots of interesting options for your last two turns. Some people are also sliding Wong in here because everyone loves to see massive numbers. Just beware of Shang-Chi as he can ruin your fun in a hurry. Armor responsibly.
Darkhawk, Just Darkhawk
Included Cards: Darkhawk, Korg, Black Widow, Mystique, Shang-Chi, Zabu, Spider-Man, Shuri, Wong, Rockslide, Moon Girl, America Chavez
Congratulations! You’re either very lucky or very rich and have Darkhawk in your collection. His Ongoing ability gives him +2 Power for every card in your opponent’s deck. So your goal is to stuff as many cards into your opponent’s deck as you can, and cards like Korg and Rockslide can help you do that. Black Widow can keep your opponent from removing cards from their deck, and Mystique and Wong are here to assist with whatever is needed. Basically, you’re counting on a beefed-up Darkhawk winning one location for you while using characters like Spider-Man, Shang-Chi, and America Chavez to take over another one. Realistically, this deck is probably out of your reach. But if you’ve got what’s needed, you’re going to rack up the wins.
Mister Negative & Silver Surfer
Included Cards: Mister Negative, Silver Surfer, Bast, Adam Warlock, Psylocke, Rogue, Bishop, Wolfsbane, Mystique, Brood, Wong, Iron Man
There are a lot cards out there whose cool abilities are countered by them having low Power. Mister Negative can turn that frown upside-down, flipping their Cost and Power while keeping all those fun abilities intact. This means you can play cards like Silver Surfer, Mystique, and Iron Man for free. The goal here is to get Mister Negative into play as soon as possible, with the fourth turn being the most likely but the third turn being in play if you can play Psylocke. Once the tables are turned, you just let fly with all of your now-overpowered cards. Silver Surfer is here as an insurance policy, a job he handles quite well.
Patriot & Silver Surfer
Included Cards: Patriot, Silver Surfer, Wasp, Misty Knight, Shocker, Mystique, Brood, Debrii, Cyclops, Sera, Blue Marvel, Ultron
Oh look, it’s Sera and the Surfer together again. This one works a little differently from the first one we talked about because it includes Patriot and pals, who can serve as an insurance policy or misdirect as needed. Patriot can beef up the cards in the deck without abilities, with a last-turn Ultron serving as the cherry on top. But you’ve also got the Sera and Surfer combo waiting in the wings if you’re lucky, giving you a handy late-game surprise to turn the tables. Slightly more versatile than the standard Silver Surfer & Sera deck, at the cost of having a slightly lower ceiling.
And now, a couple of decks for those still climbing up the collection ladder.
Shaun’s Slobberknocker Sandwich
Included Cards: Squirrel Girl, Misty Knight, Okoye, Armor, Shocker, Patriot, Cyclops, Kazar, Thing, Hobgoblin, Abomination, Hulk
There’s just one Pool 3 card in this deck, but it’s an important one: Patriot. So, you know, keep an eye out for him. Anyway, this is one of my go-to decks, and it’s a pretty simple one. Play your cards as you see fit, and throw Patriot out there towards the end to buff everyone up. Okoye should be played as soon as possible to power up the rest of your deck, Armor is there to block Shang-Chi surprises, and Kazar is there to make your squirrels and Misty Knight beefier. If you want, you can swap in Blue Marvel or Onslaught to spice things up, but never underestimate the impact of dropping a Hulk on the last turn.
Devil Dinosaur & Destruction
Included Cards: Moon Girl, Devil Dinosaur, Agent 13, Sentinel, White Queen, Nova, Bucky Barnes, Carnage, Killmonger, Deathlok, Lizard, Shang-Chi
With only Pool 1 and Pool 2 cards in this deck, it’s a fairly easy one to put together and a reasonably effective one thanks to its potential for misdirection. You’ve got a few tracks to work with here. Nova, Bucky, and the destroyer cards can secure one location for you while buffing the rest of your cards if you time it right. Agent 13, Sentinel, Moon Girl, and White Queen can feed your hand to make Devil Dinosaur nice and beefy when you drop him. Lizard is always handy thanks to his low Cost and high Power, and Shang-Chi is there to handle any nasty surprises.
And that’s it for this month’s deck guide. We’ll return with another one of these in late February to see where things stand after Zabu has had more time to settle in and whatever new card the next event brings in has made its mark. Happy Snapping!