NightcrawlerYou can move this once.
It's no surprise that Kurt Wagner aka Nightcrawler NightcrawlerYou can move this once. (NC) is the most used card in all of Marvel Snap. He is flexible, is at a perfect cost, has a rare ability and his stats are arguably above par. But the reason he is played so much is much more complicated than that.
First off let's look at other commonly played 1 drops and see how he lines up raw stats wise
Ant-ManOngoing: If you have 3 other cards here, +3 Power.
1/1 with a conditional +3
ElektraOn Reveal: Destroy a random enemy 1-Cost card at this location.
1/1 with a very unique ability to destroy another 1 drop, effectively giving a conditional and theoretical +1 up to +15 Sunspot SunspotAt the end of each turn, gain +1 Power for each unspent Energy. and effectively burning 1 mana from the opponent as well.
IcemanOn Reveal: Give a random card in your opponent's hand +1 Cost. (maximum 6), KorgOn Reveal: Shuffle a Rock into your opponent's deck., Agent 13On Reveal: Add a random card to your hand., YonduOn Reveal: Remove the top card of your opponent's deck.
All 1/2 with some random element that may help or not help you win the game.
BladeOn Reveal: Discard a card from your hand.
1/3 with a discard downside that can be played as an enabling ability
Stacked up against these cards we can see Nightcrawler NightcrawlerYou can move this once. is easily on par with the pack and compared to other 1/2's arguably above par. With one drops it's hard to balance their stats-wise (see the Okoye OkoyeOn Reveal: Give every card in your deck +2 Power. and Scarlet Witch Scarlet WitchOn Reveal: Replace this location with a random new one. reworks) because +/-1 power doesn't have a significant effect on their board presence especially when most 1 drops are either used to be buffed up or even more so, for their ability.
Nightcrawler's ability is where he really shines.
"You can move this once"
The YOU is critical here. If it's an ability that you actually move his digital card from one location to another, that counts as your one move. So moving NC via Cloak CloakOn Reveal: Next turn, both players can move cards to this location. or New York New YorkOn turn 6, you can move cards to this location. type abilities will stop you from being able to move NC afterward. BUT if you move NC before these abilities trigger you will be able to move him again. This is a very important interaction in move decks potentially giving you an extra move proc on Kraven KravenWhen you move a card here, this gets +1 Power.. Also, remember how sequencing works. On-board actions happen first then cards flip so if you play Cloak CloakOn Reveal: Next turn, both players can move cards to this location. on a different location as NC he will always be able to move back to Cloak CloakOn Reveal: Next turn, both players can move cards to this location. a location.
On the flip side if it's a game-based trigger that moves NC like Bifrost, Heimdal, Iron Fist Iron FistOn Reveal: Move the next card you play one location to the left after it reveals., Doctor Strange Doctor StrangeOn Reveal: Move your highest Power card to this location. or the various other cards that opponents can move your cards with like Juggernaut JuggernautOn Reveal: If your opponent played cards here this turn, move them randomly. or Aero AeroOn Reveal: Move all enemy cards played this turn to this location. you will still be able to move NC afterward.
Now that we know how NC's move ability works, how do we use it for maximum effect?
The most basic use is to win a lane at the end of the game vs a lane that's already filled by your opponent or very close to it. This can either be NC moving to win a lane or making space in a lane for another card to win the lane he was in. Keep an eye for potential Ka-zar Ka-zarOngoing: Your 1-Cost cards have +1 Power., Blue Marvel Blue MarvelOngoing: Your other cards have +1 Power. and Iron Heart buffs. This highlights moving NC at the latest point possible is usually the best option. Sometimes your opponent will forget about his move potential and it can really throw off end-of-game math.
Moving (pun intended) onto more advanced NC plays well start with the most common one mainly because she's an extremely good card, Angela AngelaWhen you play a card here, +2 Power.. Angela AngelaWhen you play a card here, +2 Power. can max out naturally at +6 from three procs on an empty lane. Playing NC as one of those three slots and then moving him allows you to get an extra proc on Angela AngelaWhen you play a card here, +2 Power. turning her into a 2/9 instead of a 2/7. 2/9 was Strong Guy Strong GuyOngoing: If your hand is empty, +6 Power.s pre-nerf. It takes a bit more work and sometimes luck to get Angela AngelaWhen you play a card here, +2 Power. to 2/9 vs how easy it was to get Strong Guy Strong GuyOngoing: If your hand is empty, +6 Power. to 2/9 and is probably the only reason why she hasn't been nerfed. Also, be aware that moving NC onto Angela's location does not trigger her proc ability.
Another common card played that benefits from NC is Wolfsbane WolfsbaneOn Reveal: +2 Power for each other card you have here.. Dropping a bunch of utility early drops then dropping Wolfsbane WolfsbaneOn Reveal: +2 Power for each other card you have here. midgame might seem like an efficient play but it's usually not enough to win the lane and gives your opponent all the info they need to know how much to beat that lane. However, if NC is one of those cards it opens up a TON of more options while still getting you max procs on Wolfsbane WolfsbaneOn Reveal: +2 Power for each other card you have here.. Probably the best example of this from Pool 1 is a moving NC turn 6 from a fully proc'd Wolfsbane WolfsbaneOn Reveal: +2 Power for each other card you have here. lane and replacing him with Odin OdinOn Reveal: Activate the On Reveal abilities of your other cards at this location.. This results in a net +12 power to the lane between Wolfsbane and Odin. You are most likely winning that lane in a pool 1 or 2 game.
This play also highlights that players might forget that you haven't moved NC yet. The nature of Marvel Snap is quick games so a lot of players play while doing other things. All it takes is a tiny bit of distraction to miss important things like NC's move status.
Another simple interaction with NC is Hulk Buster Hulk BusterOn Reveal: Merge this card with a random friendly card at this location.. Resulting in a moveable 6 power is a BIG asset. Basically giving you a budget Captain Marvel Captain MarvelAfter the final turn, move to a location that wins you the game. (If possible) or Vision VisionYou can move this each turn.. It isn't the best use for NC but keep it in mind for a District X District XReplace both decks with 10 random cards. or Weirdworld WeirdworldBoth players draw from their opponent's decks. game and in some tiny corner cases Mindscape MindscapeAt the start of turn 6, swap hands. games.
The power of movement in the game is from the increased hidden information you are playing with vs your opponent. Every turn a move deck takes can involve an increased amount of actions vs a traditional deck. We spoke about the Kraven KravenWhen you move a card here, this gets +1 Power., Cloak CloakOn Reveal: Next turn, both players can move cards to this location. and Nightcrawler NightcrawlerYou can move this once. interactions earlier but just to highlight it, even more, every move that happens either by the game through a trigger or an additional move ability added after you've moved NC by his natural ability results in another move to NC. Use this knowledge of how NC's moves work in relation to others to squeeze out wins.
Locations are a huge source of NC's power. K'un Lun is the most straightforward one, giving +2 to any card moved there. But remember to resist moving NC there immediately. Sometimes that value will not result in a win and the earlier the opponent has that information the more opportunities they have to make sure that value doesn't matter.
Another set of subtle types of NC plays involving locations are triggers that cause you to heavily commit, especially early. Locations like Asgard AsgardOn turn 4, cards here can move., Hala HalaAt the end of turn 4, destroy all cards controlled by the player losing here. and Muir Island Muir IslandAfter each turn, give cards here +1 Power. want you to play early for max benefit. Being able to move and adjust NC away from these locations after gaining the benefit is just another way NC can flex his usefulness.
The permanent buffs from Muir Island Muir IslandAfter each turn, give cards here +1 Power., Stark Tower Stark TowerAt the end of turn 5, give all cards here +2 Power. follow NC around wherever he goes so keeping him there until T6 is usually the play. Remember that your opponent knows this too. Killing a buffed NC is one of the few reasons to play Elektra ElektraOn Reveal: Destroy a random enemy 1-Cost card at this location. earlier than T6 and sometimes it's still not the right way to play Elektra ElektraOn Reveal: Destroy a random enemy 1-Cost card at this location.. The key words to look for are 'give' or 'gets' in relation to a turn or action. If it's a static buff or nerf for being at a location like Nidavellir, Xandar XandarCards here have +1 Power. or Monster Metropolis Monster MetropolisThe cards with the highest power here get +3 Power. those buffs do not follow NC when he moves. We recently got Jotenheim the first permanent negative stat locations so if you blind drop NC on that location move him ASAP (unless Bar With No Name Bar With No NameWhoever has the least Power here wins. also shows up). Don't worry if NC is on Sewer System Sewer SystemCards here have -1 Power., Klyntar KlyntarCards here have -2 Power. or Negative Zone Negative ZoneCards here have -3 Power.. Those stat nerfs will not follow NC when he moves away from them.
NC's interactions with locations don't end with stats. He can be moved to any location that says 'can't be played or something along those lines. However, watch out for the keyword 'added' like Miniaturized Lab Miniaturized LabOn turns 3, 4, and 5, no cards can be added here. has. Move = Add in these scenarios. This does not prevent you from moving NC away from Miniaturized Lab Miniaturized LabOn turns 3, 4, and 5, no cards can be added here.. Use this to your advantage vs less knowledgeable opponents.
It is important to remember the differences between 'Play' vs 'Add'. Play is always adding a card but moving a card is not playing a card. This comes into play with several locations and cards. You can move NC into locations that say you 'can't play' cards here like Kyln KylnYou can't play cards here after turn 4. or locations that say 'can't be played' like Sanctum Sanctorum Sanctum SanctorumCards can't be played here.. The difference between Played and Moved also comes into play for play triggers on locations like Danger Room Danger RoomCards played here have a 25% chance to be destroyed., Death'a Domain, and the super annoying Lechuguilla LechuguillaWhen you play a card here, shuffle 3 rocks into your deck.. You can freely move NC into these locations without worrying about getting blasted by a robotic laser or filling your deck with useless rocks. I'd wager these locations are NC's final destination in almost all games they show up. You can also get around cost playing restrictions on locations like Hellfire Club Hellfire Club1-Cost cards can't be played here. and Crimson Cosmos Crimson Cosmos1, 2, and 3-Cost cards can't be played here. by moving NC to these locations. This flexibility is essential for low curve decks to survive a bad roll on locations.
Keeping with the 'can't be played' restrictions Ebony Maw Ebony MawYou can't play this after turn 3. Ongoing: You can't play cards here. is a very above rate 1-drop with a big drawback. Almost any deck with Ebony Maw Ebony MawYou can't play this after turn 3. Ongoing: You can't play cards here. should also run NC. You can move NC into a location blocked by Maw. He also doubles as partial protection vs Elektra ElektraOn Reveal: Destroy a random enemy 1-Cost card at this location. turning her into an RNG shot instead of a perfectly predicted Sai to the face. Feel free to use NC to play as a blocker for any important 1-drops. It's not his primary role but it's better than nothing especially if it's an added benefit to any of his other uses.
On the other side of the 'Played' vs 'Add' mechanics is the ultimate example of it, 'Lockdown' currently only found on Professor X Professor XOngoing: Lock down this location. (Cards can't be added, removed, or destroyed.). A location with Prof X is fully locked down, no ifs ands or buts. So if you see a potential game-breaking play from your opponent's NC you can use Prof X to lock him down in place. It's less common and hard to pull off but if you pull it off it's almost always a game-winning play.
As you can see there is A LOT of complexity to Nightcrawler NightcrawlerYou can move this once. and his interactions in the game. These are most of them but if I missed any I'd love to hear about them in the comments. Thanks for reading and don't forget to Snap!