Welcome true believers and newcomers alike to the wonderful world of Marvel Snap! In this magnificent game packed full of intense head-to-head action, back-and-forth fights for control of territories, and more Heroes and Villains than you can fathom it is impossible to not want to jump right in and start battling it out. You’ve completed the tutorial and you’re ready to go. BUT WAIT!!!!!!! You don’t want to jump in just yet, not before you understand a bit of the more complex aspects of the game. I am here to give you the tools to fight for justice with your band of avengers or crush the weak with your villainous squad. In this series, we will cover some aspects of Marvel Snap that aren’t so obvious when starting as well as some tips and tricks to get you started in your battle.
TURN ORDER AND CARD RESOLUTION
Did you know cards don’t resolve at the same time? Probably not, or at least I didn’t at first. On the surface card resolution doesn’t appear to matter because you and your opponent don’t have turns, you each play cards on the same turn. Because of this, card resolutions end up mattering A LOT! It is what will make or break 99% of your games.
Like most TCG/CCG’s turn order the first turn is a coin flip, and that’s no different here. The game will indicate who has priority by an illuminated Name Plate, Location 1 will reveal, and cards will or will not be played by each player as normal.
Turn two is where things change depending on how the card resolution phase of turn one has resolved. Once again because you and your opponent play on the same turn priority does not bounce back and forth as it would in a typical turn-based game. From turn two onward priority is determined based on who has control over the most Locations. To illustrate this point let's go over an example. Player two controls location one and location two while Player one controls Area three. Player two’s cards would reveal and resolve first in the order they were played, after all face-down cards on Player two’s side of the board are revealed Player one’s cards would reveal and resolve.
What happens when Players control the same amount of Locations? In the result of a tie game state where you and your opponent both control an equal amount of locations and the same power differential, reveal order is determined randomly at the start of the turn, and displayed with a highlighted name as normal.
BIG BAD BOTS
Robots, so many robots. Once you get into playing Marvel Snap you will ask yourself “Am I this good? I haven’t dropped a game,” or “Why did my opponent just make the worst play possible?” The answer is…you guessed it, Bots. AI-controlled opponents or “Bots” will be your opponents for what seems like forever before you eventually see a real human. Distinguishing a robot opponent for a human is very simple and quite obvious once you know the signs. Bad play and checking the nameplate. Bruce, Marvin, Janet, and Susan all sound like your run-of-the-mill normal names. However xXAIMASTERXx stands out as a bit odd, but can you guess which is the bot? That's right, it's Bruce. The plainer the name the more likely you are facing a bot.
You will likely see names with the structure AdjectiveNoun, Adjective Noun, and Adjective - Noun, these are all usually bots as well. While there is not any sure-fire way to know when you are facing a bot, the name and level of play will be good indicators. The swap to humans happens typically between Ranks 30-40. So, expect to see a very large spike in difficulty, and don’t get discouraged when you start losing a bit more often. Remember always go at it with a learning mindset and you’ll be crushing humans like their bots in no time. Please note there will still be AI-controlled opponents sprinkled throughout your games even after making it to Infinite Rank.
So many crazy locations surprised and confused me for a long time, but they are all fairly simple once you see them a few times. In this section, we will go over some of the power scaling locations and how they affect wins/losses/ties.
You and your opponent both have control of one location each and have a neutral 3rd location. Three outcomes can occur from here: you win, you lose, or you draw. You win by having a higher power differential than your opponent at your winning location. You lose by having a lower power differential at your winning location. You draw if the power differential is the same. So, it's 0 to 0 at location one, 3 to 10 at location two, and 20 to 20 at location three. Whoever controls location two would be victorious because of the power differential at location two.
Always keep tie breakers in mind for those neck and neck games, and remember to always exploit those odd locations to gain the upper hand. Mojoworld giving the player +100 power when they are winning this location can be for pushing your power differential to the winning side of the scale.
On the other side of the power coin locations such as A Bar With No Name where the player with the least power here wins this location is neutral while power is 0-0. Neither player will gain progress toward victory.
You can however push locations into the negative and that leads to some very unique and interesting combos to win The Bar. My personal favorite example of this was a bit of clever thinking, some RNG, and a ton of luck from Heimdall pushing a ninja from Shadowland into this location and dropping from 0 to -2.
Speaking of negatives, Klyntar and The Negative Zone are unique in that they give -2 and -3 power to cards played in this location, but these locations adhere to the standard higher power wins. Go for scaling or large power drops here.
When aiming for scaling I recommend Angela who gains +2 every time you play a card here and Devil Dinosaur who gains +2 for every card in your hand. When your focus is on a big power move use cards like Chavez.
Our final power scaling location is Monster Metropolis and this one is a bit tricky if you don't read closely. Monster Metropolis - The cards with the highest power here gets +3 power. Simple enough at first glance, but this location says CARDS, plural, so both you and your opponent's cards will benefit from this location so long as your highest power card matches. Once one of you tips the scales to your respective side by playing a higher power card, the imbalance will occur and the higher cost card will gain +3 and the lower cards will fall back to their starting values.
That covers our first of many looks into some of the basics of Marvel Snap. For more instructional guides and information look out for our future articles in this tips and tricks series. Thank you for reading, and I look forward to covering more soon.