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Marvel Snap Pool 1 Decks Guide

There are a ton of cards in Marvel Snap, and as a new player, your main task will be climbing the collection ranks to unlock shiny new toys to play with. However, this can be frustrating as you’ll run into players who have been playing the game longer than you – meaning they have much better cards and decks at their disposal.

marvel snap cards
So many choices, so much indecision.

Fret not though. Pool 1, which is where you are currently situated, does already have some powerful cards in it and is more than capable of making consistent, serviceable decks that will give you more of a fighting chance in your journey to greatness. And you’re not restricted to Pool 1 as you will have access to your starter cards, level 1-14 cards, and cards from Recruit Season!

Staples

Before we begin, some cards deserve a shoutout. These cards are either so powerful that you absolutely must add them to your deck, or give you multiple tech options to win the game.

iron man marvel snap
He’s both inevitable and Iron Man.
  • Iron Man’s ability to double the Power of a location is bar none, one of the single best effects in the game. No matter what deck you’re running, be sure to include Iron Man. Your opponents will be doing likewise!
  • Angela is a very cheap yet very potent threat. Drop her on a field early and watch her power spike!
  • Jessica Jones is a good staple as Pool 1 doesn’t contain too many game-changing turn 4 cards (with the sole possible exception of Moongirl). In terms of sheer strength, it’s hard to match Jessica’s 8 Power.
  • Wolfsbane is another card worth mentioning if you’re playing a low-cost deck, as she can be a win condition on her own. 
  • Both Yondu and Korg are available in Pool 1. They’re both low-cost cards that pack good disruption.
  • Scarlet Witch is a good tech option. You might not want to play her every game, but the ability to swap out an arena that’s not in your favor is always very welcome. Do note that her ability is random and you might end up with an even worse arena!
  • The Punisher is an effective counter to swarmers, thanks to his constantly-updating Power.
  • Namor is a simple one-card drop that immediately allows you to contest a location.
  • Nightcrawler’s ability to move once can catch your opponent off-guard, as well as allow you to capitalize on arena effects.
  • America Chavez isn’t the biggest body and has no abilities, but putting her in your deck guarantees that you will have a turn 6 play – and you will never brick with her either.
  • Enchantress is a mediocre body at 4/4, but she can negate the effects of other cards that allow her to make or break a board.
  • In the same vein, Cosmo is powerful due to his ability to shut down both On Reveal effects and Enchantress – the latter of which is especially potent as she can shut down a lot of decks.

When it comes to staples, it goes without saying that you should always put at least some of these cards in your deck. However, in cases where they’re particularly potent, I’ll make an extra note.

Related: Marvel Snap Card Tier List (November 2022): A Complete Guide to the Best Cards

Curve Deck

The curve deck’s plan is simple: spend all your energy on every turn to bring out the most power-effective cards for their respective cost. Despite this apparent lack of a strategy, curve decks have surprising consistency, which is their main selling point.

Curve Core

The core cards of a curve deck are:

america chavez marvel snap
Of course!
  • America Chavez is a beautifully consistent card that effectively cuts your deck down to 11 cards (as you can’t draw her on any other turn but turn 6) and always shows up for a big finish.
  • Early cards that constantly update their power are a great choice. Thus, Ant Man, Angela, and The Punisher are great picks.
  • Spider-Woman is a fantastic 5th turn play that’s effectively a +11 to your side of the field if your opponent filled up their board.
  • Jessica Jones or Namor are good turn 4 plays as it’s hard to beat them out in terms of pure power. I’d suggest just one or the other.
  • Since we’re already playing for raw power, Iron Man will be very effective in this deck.

Tweaking The Curve

And here are some cards you might want to splash in.

domino marvel snap
And not before.
  • Domino is similar to America Chavez, but she turns up on turn 2. She’s also got a decent stat line of 2/3.
  • Squirrel Girl is an okay pick if you find that you lack early-game pushing power. Just be careful that her adds don’t bite you in the butt.
  • Lizard is a similarly good early-game card, but you’ll need to dance around his effect.
  • Enchantress is fantastic at evening the playing field for your big hitters.
  • Professor X doesn’t add too much power on his own, but he can lock down an arena if you’re already ahead, ensuring your victory.

Kazoo Deck

The Kazoo or Ka-Zar deck, as it’s properly known, leverages the powerful effects of Ka-Zar, Blue Marvel, and Captain America to empower your swarm from 1 Power weaklings to 3 or even 4 Power threats. 

ka-zar marvel snap
More unga for your bunga.

Kazoo is a very simple yet very effective deck to play, and the cards you get from Pool 1 as well as Recruit Season and your starter cards give you all the tools you need to succeed.

Kazoo Core

The core cards of Kazoo are:

  • Ka-Zar is the lynchpin of the deck and lends his name to it.
  • Blue Marvel is a great follow-up play to Ka-Zar. While he only has a 3 Power body, he makes up for it with his field-wide buff. It also helps that his buff doesn’t have targeting restrictions, unlike Ka-Zar.
captain america marvel snap
I do not need backup, I AM the backup.
  • Captain America is a solid 3/3 body that provides another +1 Power to all allies at this location.
  • Finally, Onslaught gives you the ability to double all Ongoing effects at his location.

You can optionally add America Chavez if you’d like to ensure that you have a big card to play on turn 6. Onslaught is more ideal, but let’s be realistic here: you won’t draw into him every match.

Ka-Zar’s Probably Well-Paid Army

Now that you have your more expensive cards, it’s time to fill up your deck with 1-cost minions that will do the heavy lifting.

squirrel girl marvel snap
Should be your first pick.
  • Squirrel Girl should stand out as a premiere card for this deck. While I’m not a fan of her swarming capabilities (because they eat space and some locations can screw you over), the fact is that when playing a Kazoo deck, you don’t need better minions – you just need more of them. Squirrel Girl delivers this in spades.
  • Korg and Yondu are on my staples list, but in a Kazoo deck, their low cost is another boon. While you’d normally play one or the other, this is a deck where you want to play both. Be careful with your play order though – you will want to play Yondu before Korg, as doing it the other way might just erase your Rock!
  • Rocket Raccoon has a huge payoff if you can get his effect to activate. But he’s also got 2 power, making him a prime candidate for this deck just for beatstick power alone.
  • Ant Man not only benefits from outgoing buffs but can also buff himself to great effect!
  • Bishop is pricey on his own, but he gets stronger for each card you play after him.
  • Elektra allows you to check an opponent’s 1-cost threat and is especially great in a mirror match.
  • Hawkeye is pretty predictable, but in a deck that focuses on quantity over quality, you can get some pretty good mileage out of his effect.

At the same time, watch out for certain cards. Blade’s effect may seem great, but in reality, you’re just trading a card from your hand for a potential +1 in Power – which you have a ton of already. Misty Knight and Quicksilver should both be avoided as they’re basically vanilla-beat sticks.

Devil Dinosaur Deck

Devil Dinosaur is a bit of a finicky card to work with, but Pool 1 does have the basic tools to get it started. This deck is a bit tougher to pilot due to the many contingencies you need to plan for, but with time and practice, you’ll get the hang of it.

devil dinosaur marvel snap
Not the D/D you were looking for.

The trouble with Pool 1 Devil Dinosaur is that you’ll be lacking cards that can capitalize on the same resource as Devil Dinosaur itself. However, we can remedy that by siding in some cards that are strong on their own.

Devil Dinosaur can also be played as half a deck and can be combined with a discard or destroy deck as an alternative win condition.

Devil Dinosaur Core

The core cards of Devil Dinosaur are:

  • Devil Dinosaur is the deck’s namesake and is usually its win condition – for one arena at least. Devil Dinosaur gains 2 Power per card in your hand, meaning you’ll need to find a way to play cards without depleting your hand or find a way to replenish or boost your card income.
  • Moon Girl has a great effect that duplicates your hand. This not only doubles your resources but also gives Devil Dinosaur even more punching power. And best of all, Moon Girl can even duplicate your Devil Dinosaur, giving you massive split push potential on turns 5 and 6!
cable marvel snap
No hyper viper beams here, thank God.
  • Mantis and Cable are both cards that allow you to draw from your opponent’s deck. While Mantis is a bit unreliable, we don’t have much of a choice when it comes to getting cards.
  • White Queen is a big body on her own, but she also has the added effect of adding a card to your hand.
  • Jessica Jones is a good fallback for when you fail to get your big combo pieces on the board on turn 4. Alternatively, you can use Namor.

Doing The Draw and Discards

And now for some cards you may or may not want to include in your Devil Dinosaur deck.

sentinel marvel snap
Don’t like you, still need you. It’s complicated.
  • As much as I dislike Sentinel, it’s decent in this deck as it allows you to contest a board early without giving up card advantage.
  • If you want to go for a certain victory, both Iron Man and Onslaught provide doubling effects – though I would lean more towards Iron Man as he costs 1 less Energy.
  • If you’re running Moon Girl, you can side in some powerful low to mid-cost cards as a backup plan. Shoutout to cards like Blade and especially Sword Master – their discard costs are pretty much negated due to the extra income you get from doubling your hand.

Ongoing Deck

A lot of early cards have powerful Ongoing effects, and building a deck around them is perfectly viable. This deck is easy to pilot, but it’s incredibly vulnerable to getting shut down by Enchantress as Ongoing effects are tied to the cards themselves.

Ongoing Core

The core cards for an ongoing deck are:

  • Onslaught is a solid choice for an endgame play, as he doubles all Ongoing effects. Onslaught is best dropped into an arena that provides buffs 
spectrum marvel snap
The light fantastic!
  • Alternately, you can run the much more accessible Spectrum, which gives all your Ongoing cards +2 Power.
  • Mister Fantastic and Captain America are mid-cost cards that have great Ongoing effects – the former buffs adjacent arenas, and the latter provides a big push in the arena he’s in.
  • Klaw is another good mid-game card that provides a powerful +6 to the location on his right.
  • The Punisher not only has a great Ongoing effect, but he also discourages swarming with low-cost cards.
  • Because an Ongoing deck is so vulnerable to negates, Cosmo is a good way to ensure that Enchantress won’t fry your game plan. It also helps that Cosmo’s effect is Ongoing, meaning he benefits from Spectrum.

Ongoing, Going, Gone!

And now for some options in an Ongoing deck:

  • Blue Marvel is a viable option if your Ongoing deck tends to play on the cheaper side. Remember though – Blue Marvel is a very unimpressive card on its own, so be sure that your fields are heavily populated else you’ll barely get any mileage out of this card.
  • Lizard is a scary early-game threat, and unless your opponent checks him, he can hold an early arena on his own. It also helps that his self-debuff is an Ongoing ability, meaning he can recoup some power when buffed by Spectrum.
  • Ant Man is a very good early gameplay, and the fact that his effect is Ongoing help.

On Reveal Deck

Just as it’s possible to make a deck using all the early Ongoing cards, so too is it feasible to create a deck that capitalizes on powerful On Reveal effects. This deck is a little harder to pilot as it does require some foresight and counterplay, and you’ll need to make strategic decisions on where and when your cards will have the most impact.

It’s important to note that just because we’re running an On Reveal deck does not mean that every card you place must have an On Reveal effect – the idea is to play them where they’ll really matter, as well as duplicate the most important ones.

On Reveal Core

odin marvel snap
Did everyone see that? Because I will not be doing it again.

The core cards of an On Reveal Deck are:

  • Odin. While he’s an incredibly crappy Yu-Gi-Oh card, here Odin is a force to be reckoned with as he essentially doubles the outgoing effects of your On Reveal cards.
  • White Tiger isn’t too good a card, but she really shines when paired with Odin. And while her random targeting can be an issue, you can get around it by swarming an arena to make sure her tiger doesn’t land there. Or you could take that risk and play Odin on turn 6 for a free 7 Power body.
  • Rocket Raccoon, Star-Lord, Yondu, and Korg are all low-cost On Reveal cards that nonetheless have a powerful effect. The former two allow you to gamble on an early game push, while the latter’s disruption effect is always very welcome. Note that the latter 2 lose their efficiency the later they’re played.

Revealing Your Techs

And now for some other cards that are worth mentioning.

  • Ironheart isn’t too great in other decks, but if you double her effect, she’ll be a random distribution +12.
  • I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Squirrel Girl is an okay card to have, especially if you’re planning to dupe White Tiger. One thing you need to note about On Reveal decks is that they tend to have less manpower to throw around as each card needs to maximize its effect, so cards that don’t care about that are welcome.
mister sinister marvel snap
Why have one when you can have two?
  • In the same vein of flooding the board, Mister Sinister is an okay pick. As he effectively occupies 2 slots, that means 2 fewer slots your tigers might end up in.
  • You can also throw in Hulkbuster for some midgame power and a way to clear up your board if it gets too flooded.
  • And always include either Jessica Jones or Namor, as you don’t really have a big on-curve turn 4 play.

Discard Deck

While the Discard Deck is crippled badly in Pool 1 by the lack of Hela, this deck still has a feasible win condition in the form of Apocalypse. It’s important to note that as Hela is missing, you shouldn’t be too trigger-happy when it comes to chucking cards. Pick out cards that give the most bang for their buck, and discard only when it would give you a clear and tangible advantage.

As with the Devil Dinosaur deck, you can also play this as half a deck and slap it on another deck as an engine for an alternative win condition.

Discard Core

apocalypse marvel snap
Super jump behind him then keep punching his arm. GGEZ.

The core cards of a discard deck are:

  • Apocalypse is never-ending discard fodder as he’ll keep returning to your hand if he’s discarded. On top of that, he gets +4 Power every time you do this.
  • Wolverine is a great choice in both discard and destroy decks as you get to play him for free if he’s targeted by either effect.
  • As your stronger cards require discards, it’s important to include powerful early cards like Angela, Ant Man, or optionally The Punisher as a way to maintain board presence.
  • Finally, you have your big hitters – Blade is nice, but Sword Master is even better.

Judicious Discards

And here are some tech options for your discard deck.

  • America Chavez is a good backup plan in case you don’t get the right pieces to recycle Apocalypse.
lady sif marvel snap
You’re lucky your niche is safe in Pool 1.
  • Lady Sif guarantees that you toss Apocalypse; however, she’s a fairly unimpressive 3/4 on her own.
  • Mantis and Cable can essentially give you a free cost for your discards if you don’t get Apocalypse; however, I’d argue that these are more crutches and aren’t wholly necessary for the deck to play.

Experimentation is Key

While these decks are a great way to get into the world of Marvel Snap, it’s important to note that experimentation is a key part of the game, and only with time and experience will you discover what decks you like best, as well as how to best tweak those decks to suit your playstyle.

marvel snap collection level
The higher you rise, the more you’ll see.

With that, my guide to Pool 1 decks comes to an end, and I hope you were able to pick something up or get an idea for your next deck. If you have any comments, suggestions, or tips of your own, make yourself heard in the comments area!