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The single most important tip for climbing ranks in Marvel Snap

You gotta know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em…

A photo of a game of Marvel Snap, featuring the locations Savage Land, Lechuguilla, and Monster Metropolis, and various cards, on an iPhone. Image: Second Dinner/Nuverse

You’re a Marvel Snap player, hoping to grind your way toward the top of the rankings before the season ends. What’s the key to cube success?

It’s not following the meta, it’s not buying the season pass (although the two most recently released cards have been ridiculously strong), and it’s not playing each turn perfectly (but that doesn’t hurt!).

It’s knowing when to retreat.

When should you retreat in Marvel Snap?

A photo of the Devil Dinosaur card in Marvel Snap on an iPhone Image: Second Dinner/Nuverse

The hard truth: Your goal as a good Marvel Snap player climbing the ranks is not to win every game. That’s simply not possible. The game has inherent randomness to it, especially in the order you draw your cards. Your real goal is to win as many cubes as possible with each win, and lose only one cube with each loss. If you are able to achieve that, you will climb. That’s just math, folks!

Sometimes, you will not get the cards you need to win. It is a real shame, and I feel for you personally, dear reader. The key to overcoming this obstacle is identifying those cards, identifying those instances, and moving on. You have to accept you are going to lose sometimes. That means you need to pay close attention to when your opponent snaps.

When should you snap in Marvel Snap?

If your opponent snaps, it probably means they have the cards they think they need to win — do you? Because if you don’t, that’s your cue to retreat. You can and should absolutely stick around to see if you get the cards you need if there’s only one cube at stake — but as soon as your opponent doubles the wager, the time for “maybe I’ll get this card!” is over (unless you’re just really good at the game, and then you probably aren’t reading this anyway).

This thought was spurred by the simplicity in climbing with a Zabu deck last season. Zabu, the previous season pass card, is a three-cost card that reduces the cost of all of your four-costs by two. If you draw Zabu on turn three, this means you can play as many as seven four-cost cards between turns four and six, as opposed to the three you could play without Zabu.

Because of how strong the card is, the snapping decision for a Zabu deck is extremely simple. If I draw Zabu by turn three, I’m snapping. If I don’t, I’m assessing where the advantage lies — and if the opponent snaps, I’m absolutely leaving.

A photo of the Onslaught card in Marvel Snap on an iPhone Photo: Polygon

For a non-season pass example, in a Patriot deck, your key cards are often Patriot, Mystique, and Ultron. If I draw all three of those in my opening hand, I’m snapping instantly (or if I get all three by turn three). Hell, if I get two of them, I’m probably snapping. If I don’t get them, I leave when my opponent snaps (unless there is a very compelling reason on the board to stay).

In a Silver Surfer deck, Silver Surfer, Sera, and Brood are often your key cards. In discard decks, it’s often Hela. In Devil Dino decks, it’s usually Devil Dino and Moon Girl. You get the idea!

Think about your decks and which cards or combinations you need to reliably achieve victory. When you get them, snap. When you don’t, and your opponent snaps, get the hell out of there.

That’s what I’m here to preach: Embrace the one-cube loss. It never feels great, but if you’re consistently winning two, four, or eight cubes and only losing one, you are going to climb the ladder in no time.

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