Cost manipulation is a powerful tool in competitive card games, and Marvel Snap is no different. For months, Wave dominated the meta in Marvel Snap by setting all cards costs to four, often preventing unsuspecting players from doing anything meaningful on turn six. However, that all changed with the release of Mobius M. Mobius.
Now, we had a card that prevented your own costs from increasing, while also preventing your opponent’s costs from decreasing. While this ultimately helped to provide an answer to Wave, it also completely shut out other deck archetypes like Zabu and Mr. Negative, which isn’t great for the meta either. Second Dinner has now pushed out another huge patch to address these issues, and to make cost manipulation a little less polarizing.
Here are the changes:
- Mobius M. Mobius
- [Old] 2/3 – Ongoing: Your Costs can’t be increased. Your opponent’s Costs can’t be reduced.
- [New] 2/3 – On Reveal: Until the end of next turn, your Costs can’t be increased and your opponent’s Costs can’t be reduced.
Developer Note: Mobius M. Mobius has had a massive impact on the metagame, forcing a changing of the guard among top decks that saw perennial powerhouses like Zabu, Sera, and Death fall from grace in favor of decks that could push Power by just playing cards for their normal Energy Costs. While we were eager to see the world Mobius would create, we expected to make an adjustment down the road in order to welcome Cost reduction strategies back into the sunlight. Today is that day, as we’re shifting Mobius to provide a temporary counter that requires good timing to maximize the effect. This makes him trickier to set aside Energy for, kind of like Shadow King, and also opens up counters like Magik for decks that are hyper-vulnerable to Mobius being played on turn 5. We’re also interested to hear your feedback on our approach here, using a new card as a tool to create a new play environment temporarily.
- Ravonna Renslayer
- [Old] 3/3 – Ongoing: Your cards with 1 or less Power cost 1 less. (minimum 1)
- [Change] 3/3 -> 2/1
Developer Note: Ravonna released on the weak side, and Mobius’s release immediately afterward put additional pressure on her decks. This is the sort of adjustment we’d normally be happy to make via an OTA, but we’ve waited until this patch because of Mobius. While Mobius was Ongoing, Ravonna buffs wouldn’t be as impactful as we’d like, so we’re hoping this change and its timing gives her an opportunity to succeed. We did decide to keep her stats just under Cost reduction hall of famer Zabu, because while Ravonna is more restrictive she can also affect a wider range of powerful cards. Enabling turn 5 Arnim Zola is a little scarier than turn 3 White Queen.
- [Old] 3/3 – On Reveal: All cards cost 4 until the end of next turn.
- [New] 3/5 – On Reveal: All cards cost a maximum of 4 until the end of next turn.
Developer Note: This is a change we’ve been sitting on for a while, but we didn’t want to introduce such a shake-up to the metagame during a time when Wave was an important balance tool for managing specific matchups. However, the combination of Loki, Mobius, and Alioth have all led to Wave seeing play in more decks than just ones looking to slow the game down and play big cards–we’re seeing a lot more decks get ahead, then use Wave to slam the door. Since that’s explicitly not what we want for Wave, the timing seemed right for this adjustment. Wave will no longer increase card Costs at all, just reduce cards that cost 5 or more to a maximum of 4. Because this effect is beneficial to both players, we’re improving her from 3/3 to 3/5. This change is certainly a nerf to Wave in some strategies, and we’ll look at their performance to evaluate future buffs.
- [Old] 5/3 – Ongoing: Players can only play 1 card a turn.
- [Change] 5/3 -> 5/4
Developer Note: With Wave no longer functioning as a Cost restriction and Mobius getting weaker, we’d like to give Sandman a buff in order to ensure he remains a relevant tool for countering decks that play a ton of cards in the final turns of the game. We’ll keep an eye on his performance going forward, because while we don’t want a world where Sandman is as common as Wave was, we do want him to have a meaningful presence. Like Ravonna and Mobius, this is the type of change we’d usually make in an OTA but prefer it to accompany Wave’s change.
Negasonic Teenage Warhead
- [Old] 3/5 – After ANY card is played here, destroy this card AND that card.
- [New] 3/2 – After an enemy card is played here, destroy it. (once per game)
Developer Note: Negasonic has languished for a while now. We’ve seen glimmers of experimentation every now and then, but ultimately Negasonic has just not cut it in competitive decks. More concerning, she’s also turned out to be a bit complicated even for more casual play, requiring a fair amount of insight into matchups and priority to manage effectively. The biggest hurdles there are that the card both restricts your own play and blows herself up. So… now it doesn’t do either of those things! To compensate for this newfound strength when it comes to fighting over cramped locations on turn 6, we’ve reduced her Power a fair bit.
- [Old] 1/1 – Ongoing: If you have 3 other cards here, +3 Power.
- [New] 1/1 – Ongoing: If your side of this location is full, +3 Power.
Developer Note: Continuing from last patch, we’re making a minor adjustment to Ant-Man for consistency with Mojo and Dazzler. These cards now all check for the location being full rather than having a certain number of cards. While it’s sensible for Ant-Man to require teammates to get Power, he could easily grow to sit on the Space Throne himself.
- [Old] 6/3 – On Reveal: Destroy ALL enemy cards played here this turn. (including unrevealed cards)
- [Change] Now only destroys enemy cards that are still on the opponent’s side.
Developer Note: This change is a functional adjustment to Alioth to get his text in line with how he interacts with control-changing effects like Hobgoblin. Before, if the opponent revealed Hobgoblin before your Alioth, Alioth would destroy the Hobgoblin even though it’s now on your side. But Alioth’s text suggests he should only destroy enemy cards, and in the above scenario Hobgoblin has become friendly (well, friendly in that he’s one of your cards, at least). Alioth will now only destroy cards if they’re still on the enemy’s side when Alioth reveals.
By limiting Mobius’s effect to just one turn, and by removing the cost increase bit of Wave’s ability, cost manipulation feels a lot less intrusive in Marvel Snap, allowing Zabu and Negative to resurface in the meta once again. We also get a much-needed buff for Negasonic Teenage Warhead, who was already subpar when she first released, but was made completely obsolete once Alioth popped up.
Aside from card balance changes, this patch also comes with a small but important change to Spotlight Caches. Players will no longer see Spotlight Caches on the collection track, and will instead get Spotlight Keys. These Keys can then be used to unlock Spotlight Caches on the top of the screen, which prevents players from accidentally opening a Cache while scrolling through the track.
Marvel Snap is now available on PC and mobile devices.