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Marvel Snap’s Latest Balance Patch Finally Clamps Down on the Awful Thanos Meta

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Image Source: Second Dinner

Marvel Snap’s Latest Balance Patch Finally Clamps Down on the Awful Thanos Meta

Balanced, as all things should be.

Second Dinner could probably be quicker on the draw with their balance changes for Marvel Snap, but it’s always satisfying to finally see some concrete changes that shake up the meta game on the ranked ladder. For the past few weeks, Thanos Lockjaw decks have been running rampant all over the ladder, and it’s certainly been annoying, to say the least.

This latest balance patch brings Thanos down from 11 to 10 power, but more importantly, the Space Stone has been adjusted, as has Quinjet, a card that’s been a big proponent of the deck’s strength. Here are all the card changes:


– Thanos: 6/11 -> 6/10
Developer Comments: We increased Thanos’s Power in a previous patch that was built during a time when Zabu and Silver Surfer were suppressing the success of Thanos-based decks. We’re happy to keep him at 9+ Power for Shang-Chi’s sake, but given his recent success we thought it appropriate to pull back on that buff just a touch. This change won’t dramatically impact the success of Thanos decks, as most of the strength is in the Stone interactions.

– Space Stone: On Reveal: Next turn you can move 1 card at this location. Draw a card. -> On Reveal: Next turn, you can move one card to this location. Draw a card.
Developer Comments: This is among the strongest Stones in Thanos decks due to its ability to create bonus Lockjaw triggers and disguise where strong cards might move. This change reduces its efficacy with Lockjaw by removing the incentive to play Space Stone itself for a Lockjaw trigger, flattening the number of bonus trigger opportunities for Lockjaw, and restricting the strategic options for late-game movement. We expect this to reduce the tactical flexibility of Thanos decks and make them more fun to play against.

– Quinjet: Now reduces costs to a minimum of 1.
Developer Comments: Cost reduction is powerful, and Quinjet was one of very few cards capable of reducing multiple cards’ Energy cost to 0. While we’ve enjoyed this interaction in some cases, such as The Hood’s Demon, ultimately it creates both an ongoing risk for future design space as well as fueling the dominant Thanos decks of today. This change should be a meaningful net reduction in strength to Thanos decks across the board.

– Red Skull: 5/15 – Ongoing: Enemy cards at this location have +2 Power -> 5/13 – Ongoing: Enemy cards at this location have +1 Power.
Developer Comments: This change is singularly aimed at reducing the strength of combining Red Skull with Shuri and Taskmaster. Outside of those interactions, this change is mostly a buff to the base case usage for Red Skull, giving you 9 or 10 Power at crowded locations rather than 7 or 9.

– She-Hulk: 6/10 -> 6/9
Developer Comments: She-Hulk is a key component in the strongest Shuri decks, but it sees widespread play in various decks thanks to its strength alongside Sunspot, Wave, and Moon Girl. We mostly think that’s cool, but that she’s more powerful than she needs to be for those combos. In addition, we want to encourage playing actively to locations, rather than holding cards for explosive turn 6s, so we’re continuing to weaken a few of the best cards for the latter.

– Aero: 5/7 – On Reveal: Move all enemy cards played this turn to this location. -> 5/8 – On Reveal: Move the last enemy card played this turn to this location.
Developer Comments: Aero is a tricky card for us. The actual game balance for Aero has been healthy, and she fulfills a vital role in our game by providing interaction, especially against dangerously polarizing cards like Galactus. It’s important for Aero to be versatile and strong in order to be a widely playable “tech card,” but we don’t want her pushing the majority of other 5-Cost cards out of decks. Unfortunately, that’s the behavior we’re seeing. Aero can also be frustrating to see, denying players the option to play their own endgames. This change seeks to keep Aero strong where she’s needed, foster more competition among 5-Cost cards, and add counterplay to make her more fun to play against.

– Mystique, Absorbing Man, and Taskmaster – These cards now require the previously played card to be in play in order to copy its attributes. Here are their updated templates:

– Mystique: On Reveal: If the last card you played has an Ongoing, copy its text. (if it’s in play)

– Absorbing Man: If the last card you played has an On Reveal, copy its text. (if it’s in play)

– Taskmaster: On Reveal: Set this card’s Power equal to that of the last card you played. (if that card’s in play)

Developer Comments: This adjustment is part balance, part matching expectations. A meaningful chunk of Taskmaster’s strength in Shuri decks is his ability to copy a card’s Power even if it’s been destroyed by Shang-Chi or similar, an interaction that somewhat often gets reported as a bug. Hopefully this change weakens Shuri decks slightly and more cleanly matches players’ intuition when they see these cards for the first time.

Morbius: Morbius’s Power no longer updates in-hand or in-deck, only at a location.
Developer Comments: We previously adjusted Morbius’s Power to update when he wasn’t in play to simplify calculating his future Power. However, this has proven a bit confusing in comparison to similar cards, and also unnecessary given Morbius is often played very early in the game and isn’t very hard to calculate. We’re reverting this change, but we expect to add future functionality to Morbius and all cards with Ongoing buffs to their own Power that communicates their Power, in order to make these cards simpler to play with.

– Knull: Knull’s Power still updates in-hand, but no longer updates in-deck.
Developer Comments: The future improvements discussed above will also apply to Knull, but until we make them he will continue to function differently relative to Devil Dinosaur and others. The reason for this is that it’s very important for Knull players to be able to quickly and precisely calculate his Power while making endgame decisions about their 6-Cost card. As a placeholder adjustment, Knull will no longer update his Power in your deck, so his functionality with Mister Negative will be the same as his fellow Ongoing cards. Notably, he will use his potential Power for effects like The Peak location until we’re able to make our desired improvements–that’s a trade we’ve decided to accept for improving the general use cases of Knull.

– Widow’s Bite (text-only): While this is in your hand, cards in your deck cannot be drawn. -> While this is in your hand, you can’t draw cards.
Developer Comments: Widow’s Bite inaccurately described its in-game effect. While we considered updating the effect of Widow’s Bite to only prevent drawing your own cards and effects like Cable from drawing your cards, we ultimately decided it was a better experience to just simplify the text and keep the current effect rather than create these edge cases.

The Aero change in Marvel Snap is also a huge one. After the Leader nerf, Aero was next in line as the most powerful card in the game. The change makes it so that she only pulls the last card played to her location, instead of all cards. This is a significant change, but she’ll likely still perform well against big number decks, such as Shuri-Red Skull decks that usually play Taskmaster or Arnim Zola on the last turn.

Now, we just need a Leech nerf and we’re good.

Marvel Snap is now available on PC and mobile devices.

About the author

Zhiqing Wan

Zhiqing is the Reviews Editor for Twinfinite, and a History graduate from Singapore. She's been in the games media industry for nine years, trawling through showfloors, conferences, and spending a ridiculous amount of time making in-depth spreadsheets for min-max-y RPGs. When she's not singing the praises of Amazon's Kindle as the greatest technological invention of the past two decades, you can probably find her in a FromSoft rabbit hole.
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