Marvel Snap’s boss, Ben Brode, recently sat down and talked shop about the popular free-to-play card game. He revealed a few decks he’s currently playing—one of them being a nasty piece of work that likely annoys many players—and said who his favorite character in the game is. It’s Mysterio aka Jake Gyllenhaal in the Marvel Cinematic Universe film, Spider-Man: Far From Home. See, I said I’d explain it.
Marvel Snap seems to be everywhere these days, with nearly every site covering the best and worst cards, strategies, and more. A lot of Kotaku’s staff is currently playing it. My friends are playing it. Random people I follow on Twitter are playing it. And I get it! The game is great, changing up some of the old ways card games usually work while ditching loot boxes and pay-to-win elements that so many F2P card games suffer from on mobile. So it makes sense that in the current environment, where everyone is craving Marvel Snap content, Ben Brode sat down with IGN and shared his favorite decks, how they work, and why Mysterio of all cards is his favorite. (Spoiler: It doesn’t seem to have anything to do with film star Jake “Chesty Jake” Gyllenhaal.)
Speaking to IGN, Brode revealed three decks he’s currently playing with. The first was what he called the “Omega Red Deck” which is built around Iron Man, Onslaught, and Omega Red.
“With that combo,” Brode explained, “You have just a humongous amount of power in a location because Omega Red is five power, Iron Man doubles it, and then Onslaught doubles the double again.” Since Omega Red adds extra power to other zones if placed in a zone where you’re leading by 10+ power, the card will definitely put you in a good spot to win the match. And Brode uses Invisible Woman to hide all this until the very last turn, keeping your opponent in the dark.
The second deck he showed off was originally named the “Dickwad” deck, but Brode says his son made him change the name to the “Butthead” deck. As the names imply, this deck is all about being super shitty to your opponent using annoying cards to screw with them and cause problems.
“It’s a lot of really, really mean cards,” admits Brode. “So I play The Hood and then give you The Hood. It plays Debris, so it fills the board with rocks. It plays Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, and Polaris, so I’m trying to basically lock you out of some locations. And then it plays a bunch of cards like Spider-Woman, Hazmat, and Black Widow to clog your board and then give all your cards minus power. That’s kind of the shtick.”
I have a similar deck to this and I feel bad using it but hey, a win is a win. Speaking of, this reminds me of a deck our own John Walker has started using lately…
Finally, the third deck he talked about with IGN was “The Beast” deck. This is an odd creation, with Brode even admitting he’s not sure how good it might actually be. The deck is filled with nearly all low-cost cards, in fact, there’s not a single four, five, or six-cost card in the whole thing. The idea was to build a deck around Beast and Falcon.
“So Beast returns your other cards to your hand and they cost one less, so you can make one cost cards free that way,” said Brode. “Then, Falcon will return them again and they’ll still be free. So you can play them multiple times. I’m playing Iceman. I’m playing Korg. I’m playing Elektra. I’m playing Hood. And The Collector, because I bounce the cards back to my hand all the time.” Of all his creations, this one has me the most intrigued. Sadly, I don’t have all the cards needed to run it, but I might create it when I do.
As for his favorite card, Mysterio, Brode said it was one of the earliest cards the folks at Second Dinner started working on when Marvel Snap development began over four years ago. And Brode says that it, very early on, highlighted what was really fun about Snap: the mind games.
“When you play Mysterio he’s a five-power card for two energy. Very powerful,” explained Brode. “But he disguises himself, and he plays two other disguises to the other locations, so your opponent doesn’t know where you played Mysterio. They just see three Mysterio question mark cards. And they have to kind of guess like, “Where would he have played that real Mysterio?”
This leads to a very tense situation where your opponent is trying to figure out where the best zone is to play Mysterio in that match. But then they also have to wonder: are you purposely playing him somewhere else, even perhaps in a bad spot, just to avoid the opponent guessing correctly and countering? Or maybe, are you building up to put him in a bad spot but then put him in a good spot, assuming the other player is overthinking your moves? Or maybe…well, you see how that goes.
“So there are some really interesting mind games with that card,” said Brode. “I just think it’s fascinating.” See, even Marvel Snap’s creator plays the game like a dickhead. Sorry, butthead.