In the short time that Marvel Snap has been in existence, it has seen a massive amount of exploration and innovation when it comes to deckbuilding and strategy. With the most recent balance patch, the notorious Nova/Dino lists that terrorized the ranked ladder have all but disappeared, with a small pocket of Collector/Dino lists seeing some development. But the most prominent, and arguably most dominant deck of this post-patch pocket meta has been Kazoo. Today we’re going to go over three different variants of the Kazoo deck, and talk about how to take the best advantage of your collection as you grind the ranked ladder!
What is Kazoo?
Kazoo is a series of swarm and combo decks centered around three key cards: Okoye, Nakia, and Kazar. After the recent patch, Okoye became even more compatible with low curve swarm strategies as you can play your more expensive or slower cards like Angela and Strong Guy on turn two instead of having to wait until later in the game.
The general plan of the deck is as follows: Play Okoye on 1 if possible, then Angela on 2. If you don’t have Angela, you will often pass to build up hand size for Nakia and save your Strong Guy for a key location. Turn 3 you want to buff as many cards as possible with Nakia, then turn 4 play Kazar and turns 5/6 play out the rest of your hand according to the game state.
The Purist’s Option (Pure Kazoo)
This Kazoo list was piloted to Rank #4 on the Atlantis Leaderboard, and potentially even the first Infinite rank of the new season by none other than KanyeBest. The idea of the deck is straightforward. Buff up your 1-drops with Okoye, Nakia, and Kazar, and swarm the board with them. Then leverage Iron Man to dominate an essential location and Strong Guy/Bishop to handle any others.
Simple, but extremely effective, it also uses tech cards such as Elektra, to turn off Ant-Man or punish your opponent for playing a 1-drop on Mojo World. This paired with Iron Man often dominates the mirror match as a result. This deck is a great option for players who only have Okoye and Nakia from Pool 2, and are looking for a powerful meta option.
Searching for a Miracle (Miracle Kazoo)
This list at first glance is almost identical to Pure Kazoo, but it differs extremely in playstyle and flex cards. Most notably, the deck is running Sunspot. This card is known for being very enticing bait to new players who float a lot of mana in their swarm decks, but this version of Kazoo is far more combo oriented than anything else.
In this deck, if you don’t draw Okoye or Sunspot, you will always pass turn 1. If you don’t have Angela on turn 2 (unless you have a very high curve hand you need to start emptying) you will almost always pass turn 2 as well. Passing early turns is usually a death sentence for a swarm deck, but that’s where the miracle comes in. You want the maximum hand size possible to buff with Nakia, and as many low-cost and scaling cards as you can to absolutely dominate turn 6.
Turns 1-5 you want to stay behind on the board as much as possible, so you reveal last on turn 6 and can’t lose to a surprise Killmonger. This game plan is why you won’t run Iron Man or America Chavez, as they will often clog your hand to the point you need to discard with Blade or combo on 5, which is extremely risky. This list is great for people who have either pulled Sunspot in Pool 2 or even can replace him with an early Yellowjacket pull in Pool 3, increasing the ceiling of your turn 6 combos even more.
A Swarm of…Cows? (Cow/Swarm Kazoo)
This deck is geared to take maximum advantage of an early pool 2 Hell Cow pull. It plays just the right balance between being a swarm deck and a combo deck, and as a result is able to play some cards which Kazoo normally can’t support, like America Chavez. The main idea of this deck is to buff up Swarm with Okoye and Nakia, then use Blade and Hell Cow to duplicate the buffed Swarm as many times as possible.
After emptying your hand of any unnecessary fluff on turn 5, on turn 6 you have an immensely powerful play with America Chavez as well as up to four 5-6 power Swarms to dominate your target locations. You will very often fill up all 12 zones with this deck even, leading to an extremely difficult decision for your opponent on where they should commit.
One concern with this list that you need to be extremely careful of, is overfilling your hand. Sometimes you will get locations like Olympia (Draw 2 cards) or Space Throne (Only one card can be here for each player). When you see locations like these, it can be tempting to go all-out and make a bunch of huge Swarms. However, you will almost always end up not being able to empty your hand and your Strong Guy will be next to useless. This is where Scarlet Witch can sometimes help, but sometimes you just need to accept the reality of the situation and play Swarm as a 2|3 or 2|5. If you don’t have Hell Cow, don’t worry! Lady Sif works great in this deck, as you get slightly less value but she will always hit Swarm if the rest of your hand is 1-drops.
But What If I Don’t Have Pool 2 Cards?
Never fear! You don’t need pool 2 cards to have a competent Kazoo deck, although naturally, you will be behind to some extent in power level. Here is an example of a Pool 1 only Kazoo swarm list that can put up some serious power despite not having Okoye or Nakia!
Now, you may find this deck to seem a lot simpler than the other lists presented. And to be fair, it is. You don’t have to pass turns to build hand size for Nakia, and you don’t get massive collective value off Okoye throughout the game. However, being able to play on curve much more often means you can play a much more powerful top end! Iron Man and America Chavez are both some of the most powerful swing cards that Pool 1 can muster up, and are not to be underestimated. With this deck, you play a straightforward and honest game, stay on curve, scale your Bishop, buff with Kazar, then close things out with Iron Man or America Chavez for the win!
Not everybody is going to have access to the same powerful cards that everyone else does. You may not be able to build the cool deck you saw with a bunch of Pool 3 cards that summons Infinaut for 3 mana. But that doesn’t mean you can’t not only be competitive but reach Infinite rank by taking the maximum advantage of the cards you do have! Take it from me, last season I reached Galactic rank with an entirely Pool 1 Kazar swarm list, and then Infinite with still only Pool 1 cards. What’s most important is that you analyze your collection, figure out the best deck for you, and then study and learn from your losses and keep getting better!