We’re about a week into May now, and that’s enough time to let some of the dust settle on the latest cards and balance changes added to Marvel Snap (Free) since we last looked in on the meta. Things have been practically upended in the last few weeks, so we’re going to be going over a lot of new ground. Let’s have a look and see what’s hot right now in the world of Marvel Snap decks, and remember: today’s winning deck could be tomorrow’s cold meatloaf. These guides are one way to keep your finger on the pulse of the scene, but they aren’t the only method you should be using.
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. I’ll once again be including the five strongest Marvel Snap decks of the moment, and I’ll throw in a couple more decks that don’t need anything too hard to get and are just sort of fun to play with. You know, a little variety and all of that.
Since the last time we checked in, the big Shuri nerf rolled in and completely changed the meta in the blink of an eye. We’ve also got a new card in Nebula, and players are still figuring out where she’s going to fit in their builds as near as I can tell. Hit Monkey came in as part of the last season, and he is definitely present in a lot of up and coming decks. We even saw a wrench tossed into the works last week with an update that buffed Enchantress, countering one very popular recent deck. Well, let’s check out the five strongest decks for May 2023, plus a couple of decent decks that are easier to put together.
Included Cards: Sera, Nova, Angela, Hit Monkey, Zabu, Sentinel, Mysterio, Lizard, Bishop, Killmonger, Shang-Chi, Enchantress
Control Sera remains a powerful deck this month, perhaps even more so with Shuri knocked down and Enchantress buffed up. The ‘Control’ in this deck’s title refers to how you need to manipulate the turn order to make sure your cards are revealed last all the way up until the end. That means you have to make sure you’re losing until the very end. Do what you will for the first few turns but make sure you hang on to Killmonger for the last turn. Play Sera on the fifth turn, and deploy various combinations of Enchantress, Killmonger, and Shang-Chi to completely ruin your opponent’s party. The biggest change this month is that many players have benched Armor and are subbing in Hit Monkey. If you don’t have Hit Monkey, feel free to keep Armor in there. She isn’t as useful as she used to be, but she still has some value.
Thor & Lockjaw
Included Cards: Thor, Lockjaw, Wasp, Jeff the Baby Land Shark, Nightcrawler, Dracula, Jubilee, Jane Foster Thor, America Chavez, Giganto, The Infinaut, Magneto
Not even a Lockjaw nerf is enough to stop this deck from being very effective. Jeff the Baby Land Shark has pushed Iceman out of the deck thanks to his versatility and ability to get out of the way. The idea is the same as other Lockjaw decks. Get the pup out there, and start throwing your low Cost on On Reveal cards at him to try to draw out the big guns. A solid deck that doesn’t need too many fancy cards to work, but you are depending a little on the luck of the draw with Lockjaw’s teleporting.
Wave & Death
Included Cards: Death, Wave, The Hood, Squirrel Girl, Yondu, Bucky Barnes, Carnage, Killmonger, Deathlok, Aero, Doctor Doom, She-Hulk
Here’s an interesting twist on the usual Destroyer Deck archetype. It takes advantage of a unique element of Wave’s On Reveal ability. While it sets the Cost of all cards to four, it sets Death to four minus the number of destroyed cards and She-Hulk to four minus the number of unspent Energy from the previous turn. It’s best to hold Wave until the fifth turn, and depending on how the game goes you may well be able to play She-Hulk, Death, and another card on the sixth turn, all while messing badly with your opponent’s plans. Armor used to be the big spoiler for this deck, but with it dropping out of many decks in favor of other cards, this deck has climbed right back up again.
Wave & Doctor Doom
Included Cards: Doctor Doom, Wave, Korg, Zabu, Jeff the Baby Land Shark, Lizard, Mister Fantastic, Darkhawk, Enchantress, Rockslide, America Chavez, She-Hulk
There are a couple of things going on with this deck, but astute readers will notice there’s a Darkhawk deck at its core. But there’s also the same interaction between Wave and She-Hulk going on here that we saw in the Wave & Death deck. You’ve got Enchantress in there to counter Patriot decks, and the general chaos you’re causing your opponent can’t be discounted. Like the previous deck, you’ll want to play Wave on the fifth turn, hopefully giving you the chance to drop She-Hulk and another strong card. If you’ve been able to get Zabu into play, you’ll be able to drop a couple of strong cards even without She-Hulk. A bit all over the place, but that’s part of what makes it work.
Included Cards: Galactus, Yondu, Daredevil, Electro, Wave, Shang-Chi, Spider-Man, Kang, Doctor Octopus, Knull, America Chavez, Death
This is one for the folks with lots of fancy cards, with two of the three perma-Pool 5 cards in its roster. It’s a really nasty deck that will catch a lot of players with their pants down, and you can probably sort out how it works. Get Galactus out there, then do whatever you can to make sure you own that remaining location. Everything in this deck supports that. Daredevil helps you see what your opponent will do on the critical fifth turn. Kang gives you a do-over. Electro and Wave help you get the big guy out earlier. Spider-Man and Doc Ock can help you manipulate where your opponents put their cards. Shang-Chi stops any final turn surprises. Knull, Death, and Chavez are your knock-out punches. Your opponent will hate you, but such is the life for the Devourer of Worlds.
And now, a couple of decent decks for those still climbing up the collection ladder.
Shaun’s Slobberknocker Mark 4
Included Cards: Wasp, Misty Knight, Mister Sinister, Shocker, Mystique, Patriot, Brood, Cyclops, Dazzler, Blue Marvel, Onslaught, Ultron
Ah, for a brief shining moment, Shaun’s Slobberknocker was high-tier. It started falling again after Enchantress got buffed, but I’m still tweaking it anyway. I’ve added Dazzler in because she can be a fun surprise if you can get a full house going and activate her ability. She’s not a commonly played card so she can catch some players off-guard. Just make sure you don’t play Patriot and Blue Marvel in the same place and Enchantress won’t be able to completely break you.
Devil Dinosaur Destroyer
Included Cards: Devil Dinosaur, Agent 13, Sentinel, Moon Girl, White Queen, Nova, Bucky Barnes, Carnage, Killmonger, Deathlok, Lizard, Shang-Chi
Nothing too fancy here. It just combines a basic Destroyer deck with a basic Devil Dinosaur deck. Do your usual Destroyer business, fatten your hand as much as you can, play Moon Girl to max it out, then drop a big red T-Rex where needed. With any luck the White Queen will give you a cool card to play on the last turn, but a pair of Devils can go a long way on their own.
And that’s it for this month’s deck guide. We’ll return with another one of these in June to see where things stand after this Guardians of the Galaxy event has fully played out and a month’s worth of balance changes do their thing. Happy Snapping!