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Marvel Snap best cards for beginners and how to unlock new cards

How to build a winning deck of superheroes and villains.

Cards in Marvel Snap don't work like most virtual card games you may be familiar with.

Whether it’s Magic: The Gathering Arena, Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel, or Hearthstone, players have a choice of starting decks to choose from, whereas Marvel Snap gives everyone access to the same small pool of cards, each one based on a popular comic book hero or villain.

While it’s possible to win using decks themed on your favourite superhero teams, you’ll need to look beyond the game’s endless source material to find those must-have card combos. Here we’ll share with you the best Marvel Snap cards for beginners, some effective deck-building strategies, and how to unlock more cards for your collection.

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Marvel Snap | Official Annoucement and Gameplay First Look

How to unlock more cards in Marvel Snap

Coming fresh out of the tutorial, you’ll no doubt be wondering how to add more cards to your collection in Marvel Snap.

The super-powered card battler has a whole host of iconic Marvel characters to unlock, each with their own unique combination of stats and abilities. From America Chavez to Arnim Zola, you’ll soon spot cards in the wild that would be perfect additions to your custom decks, but how do you unlock them?

At launch, there is no way to unlock specific cards in Marvel Snap. The only case where this isn’t true is when buying premium access to the game’s battle pass. This will immediately unlock the current season’s featured hero or villain with past examples including Daredevil, Nick Fury, and Miles Morales.

Sadly, you can’t visit the in-game store to buy new cards. Instead, you can only buy variants of existing cards in your collection, spending Gold for alternate artwork.

As you might have guessed, being a free-to-play TCG, your main method of unlocking new cards in Marvel Snap is to simply play, grinding out enough Collection Points to earn Collector’s Caches, each promising Boosters, Gold, or a random card. At least there are no duplicates!

You earn Collection Points each time you upgrade one of your cards, the number of points multiplying as they increase in rarity, from Common (grey) to Infinity (foil). To boost a card’s rarity you will need: a) the required number of Boosters and b) enough Credits to pay for the upgrade.

Finding ways to quickly earn these Boosters and Credits will soon become your number one priority. While you don’t get many from playing matches, the game’s rotating list of daily and weekly challenges provide a steady flow, as long as you’re completing them.

It’s a fairly standard progression system, though one that will no doubt keep you coming back. Those random cards drawn from caches are also effective in sparking new deck-building ideas.

However, in Marvel Snap you’ll get a point where you know exactly which cards you want, making the grind all that more frustrating.

Looking to the near future, developer Second Dinner is teasing a way for players to buy cards they’ve desperately been hunting for. In response to player feedback, 'Collector Tokens' will soon make their way to Marvel Snap, a new currency which can be spent on featured cards that rotate every eight hours.

Best Marvel Snap cards for beginners

Marvel Snap will start you out with a basic clutch of cards, starring familiar characters such as Iron Man, Hulk, and Star-Lord. Collectively, they don’t make for an unstoppable deck though you'll still find them making regular appearances, even with hundreds of matches under your belt.

It goes without saying that winning strategies won’t rely on individual cards but rather the way they synergise with the rest of your deck. One of the blessings of having smaller decks and shorter matches is that you can quickly experiment without committing hours of testing.

The way Marvel Snap hands out new cards has some hidden limitations. The entire card catalogue has been split into 'pools' that open up as you gradually increase your Collection Level, meaning that players aren’t immediately exposed to more complex card mechanics.

Once the training wheels have fallen away, you’ll enter Pool One before moving onto Pool Two (level 222) and finally Pool Three (level 486).

The best cards for beginners are therefore plucked from that initial starter deck, as well as Pool One. Our top picks include:

  • Iron Man: (Ongoing) Your total Power is doubled at this location.
  • Sunspot: At the end of each turn, gain +1 Power for each unspent Energy.
  • Apocalypse: When you discard this from your hand, put it back with +4 Power.
  • Devil Dinosaur: (Ongoing) +2 Power for each card in your hand.
  • Mister Fantastic: (Ongoing) Adjacent locations have +2 Power.
  • America Chavez: You always draw this card on turn 6, and not before.
  • Elektra: (On Reveal) Destroy a random enemy 1-Cost card at this location.
  • Sentinel: (On Reveal) Add another Sentinel to your hand.
  • Kraven: When a card moves here, this gets +2 Power.

Naturally, depending on your playstyle and how you’ve tuned your deck, many of these picks will be complete no-gos. The next section will cover deck building ideas, giving you a better insight as to why these cards have become such favourites.

It’s also worth noting that cards are subject to change over time - we’ve already seen Second Dinner tweak a number of favourites to help maintain a healthy in-game balance.

Example deck strategies in Marvel Snap

Each card in Marvel Snap offers a unique combination of three base components - energy cost, power, and ability. All three need to be cleverly balanced if you want the best chance of winning. Opting for raw power means fielding high-energy cards with weak abilities (if none at all).

Meanwhile, attempting to overwhelm your opponent with low-energy cards can eat up valuable spaces on the game board, leaving you gridlocked. Choosing cards with epic abilities presents another potential deck-building pitfall if you don’t think about how they interact with one another.

Identifying strategic synergies doesn’t take much brainwork though this won’t diminish the sense of reward that comes from pulling off the perfect combo to break your opponent. Here we highlight the most popular deck builds in Marvel Snap, picking out some of the key cards needed to make them work.

Powerless Deck

You may be thinking, why would I field a card which has no attached abilities? However, as you push into Pool 3, there are certain cards that can turn a powerless deck into one that can completely steamroll an unsuspecting opponent.

Ideal cards:

  • Patriot: (Ongoing) Your cards with no abilities have +2 Power.
  • Mystique: (On Reveal) If the last card you played has an Ongoing ability, this card gains it.
  • Onslaught: (Ongoing) Double your other Ongoing effects at this location.

Move Deck

Outflank and beguile your opponent by using cards that move between locations, pairing these with cards that receive power bonuses every time they move. Make sure you have space to move cards freely between locations.

Ideal cards:

  • Human Torch: When this moves, double its Power.
  • Kraven: When a card moves here, this gets +2 Power.
  • Heimdall: (On Reveal) Move your other cards one location to the left.

Ongoing Deck

Many players will start out by building a deck loaded with ongoing abilities. These provide handy passive bonuses that can easily stack up, supercharging the raw power of your heroes and villains.

Ideal cards:

  • Mister Fantastic: (Ongoing) Adjacent locations have +2 Power.
  • Iron Man: (Ongoing) Your total Power is doubled at this location.
  • Onslaught: (Ongoing) Double your other Ongoing effects at this location.

On Reveal Deck

On reveal abilities can easily turn the tables on your opponent, you just need to know which ones to use and when. This deck is designed to multiply their effects for some easy, yet satisfying, wins.

Ideal cards:

  • Wong: (Ongoing) Your On Reveal abilities at this location.
  • White Tiger: (On Reveal) Add a 7-Power Tiger to another location.
  • Odin: (On Reveal) Activate the On Reveal abilities of your other cards at this location.

Discard Deck

To play some cards in Marvel Snap requires a sacrifice, discarding other cards from your hand. Butchering your deck may sound like a bad tactic, though some cards thrive off it with major power bonuses. The risk involved when playing a discard deck makes it one of the funnest playstyles going.

Ideal cards:

  • Morbius: (Ongoing) +2 Power for each time you discarded a card this game.
  • Dracula: After the final turn, discard a card from your hand. This has its Power.
  • Apocalypse: When you discard this from your hand, put it back with +4 Power.

Destroy Deck

Keeping your cards on the battlefield is usually a good idea, though this deck grows stronger whenever certain heroes and villains are destroyed. Just make sure you destroy the right ones.

Ideal cards:

  • Deadpool: When this is destroyed, return it to your hand with double the Power.
  • Bucky Barnes: When this is destroyed, create the Winter Soldier in its place.
  • Venom: (On Reveal) Destroy your other cards at this location. Add their Power to this card.

Draw Deck

Having more cards in your hand means having more options to play. Drawing cards can also buff characters with corresponding abilities. Don’t get greedy, with a max hand size of seven, be careful not to over-draw.

Ideal cards:

  • The Collector: When a card enters your hand from anywhere (except your deck), +1 Power.
  • Beast: (On Reveal) Return your other cards at this location to your hand. They cost 1 less.
  • Devil Dinosaur: (Ongoing) +2 Power for each card in your hand.

As Marvel Snap introduces new cards over time (while rebalancing existing ones) deck-building strategies are bound to change. If you’re serious about your season ranking, be sure to keep an eye on the latest patch notes to maintain a competitive edge.

Have fun playing Marvel Snap!

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Jim Hargreaves