Hey, If you like this deck + the in-depth guide below with everything you need to know in order to pilot it to Infinite (or you like the memes that I added in) and you'd just so happen to be interested in trying a fun Hela deck (admittedly way less competitive, not a deck for rank 90 through Infinite, especially if you're running into Darkhawk like I was) feel free to check out this fun Hela + Odin combo guide that I made: https://snap.fan/decks/214300/
After tossing away some of my precious cubes to Darkhawk players trying to hit infinite with my recent Hela creation (see above) I had to hit the books again and come up with something new that could take Darkhawk head-on and finish my Infinite climb this season in order to get the card back, without committing the absolute SIN that is copying somebody else's deck, because that's just lame! (Super ironic to be saying that here lol, but I have copied decks in the past while learning the game mechanics and deckbuilding, so it's understandable to do so--but personally if I hit infinite it HAS to be with a deck that I created from scratch, or it wouldn't be nearly as satisfying. Hopefully the thought process that I'll go through in this lengthy guide will help you achieve that too!
I realized that Luke Cage should be dropping down to Series 3 soon, (EDIT: THE DAY IS HERE GUYS, HE DROPPED) so I tried to make a better deck for others to use when they get him in Series 3 caches. To my surprise, the deck is fairly strong, so I wouldn't be surprised if this combination of cards, or something very similar, has already been done before. All I can say is that I didn't have an inspiration for this deck, other than looking at Luke Cage, Typhoid Mary, Zabu, the buffed Hazmat, Wong, Lizard, and Spectrum in the deckbuilder and seeing "Ongoing..." and "Your cards can't have their power reduced..." stars align. I will give a warning that this deck is a LOT worse without Zabu, and replacing any of the Series 3 cards (Other than Omega Red, but even then, it's not looking great) will certainly hurt this deck a ton as well.
Suggestions for replacements/possible changes are explained at the bottom of the guide, and who knows--maybe those changes will actually turn out to be improvements, and I'm coping because I love playing Omega Red and watching him Slap the board with those tentacles arms of his, or are they wires... Like exposed circuitry? Whatever they **** they are... It's looks dope, and it wins me a lot of games with this list. I feel bad for anyone who didn't get to play the old Onslaught + Omega Red Exodia list (it's probably terrible now) in combination with Iron Man, Klaw, and so on--it was so satisfying seeing an 80 power location with Iron Man/Onslaught/Omega Red + another ongoing card like Mister Fantastic, and then the other two locations gain tons of power when the ongoing effects suddenly get doubled by Onslaught on Turn 6--my poor opponents... Ahhhh, the good old days of Marvel Snap, before the busted OP season pass cards combined with the token shop & Series 5 led to this anti-fun meta (I'll talk more about the state of the game and the whole Series 5/pay-to-win stuff later on, if you're interested)
Part 1 - A breakdown of the energy curve:
"No 1-costs?" You might have noticed that we're not running Antman (or Mojo/Captain America) in this list. Normally, in a Wongoing list, we would like to have as many cheap Ongoing cards as possible in order to maximize our Spectrum's value. The first problem with Antman (especially in a Zabu list) is that he is usually only a good play on Turn 1, and is a bad draw later on. In addition, he requires us to commit too many cards to a single location, giving our opponent the option of ignoring it entirely like they can with Mojo. Compared to a Destroyer list, we don't have a huge card to win a 2nd location after we go all in on our Antman location. We also can't leave him hanging, because they could swoop in on Turn 6 and then he's just a measly 1-power. Factor in the "Killmonger effect" and suddenly Antman represents a huge risk to us without Armor on 2, because that's pretty much equal to losing one of our draws/play options.
The "Zabu Curve:" If you like playing Zabu, I recommend that you try to copy this curve of energy costs to your other Zabu decks and see what happens in your games. You might be surprised at how effectively you can spend your energy! 2-costs are important for building tempo/spending your energy on turn 2, and they fit perfectly alongside our 4-costs (if we have Zabu) on turns 4 and 6. Having two other strong 3-costs is also important, because they give us something to play when we don't have Zabu--or fill in the 3-mana gap on Turn 5 because we don't need any 5-costs (even though 5-costs are usually some of the best) or 1-costs with "Zabu Curve" in effect, trust me. What you'll notice, is that after Turn 1 (assuming we draw Zabu) we no longer have a good opportunity to fit 1-cost cards into our plays, other than Turn 5--and even then, a lot of times playing a 3-cost would be better, because this deck (and other Zabu lists without Moon Girl) can run out of cards to play with Zabu active + no Spectrum drawn.
Part 2 - Breaking down the cards organized by cost, and the order in which they should be played:
Turn 2 priority: (If it's a beneficial or neutral location, play to middle because of Mister Fantastic so you can stack up for Omega Red on 4)
1. Lizard - Having more power maintains priority for Cosmo snipes, and stops them from countering our Turn 5 Wong. -> 2. Armor -> 3. Luke Cage -> 4. Hazmat
My Patented "Turn 2 Snap:" A very popular strategy in the meta is for people to Snap on turn 3, before they play down Zabu. If you already have Zabu in hand on turn 2 and can make a good 2-cost play, I suggest that it would be better to snap on turn 2 instead of 3, because your opponent (probably) won't want to retreat on turn 2. However they could have developed a (rather smart) habit of retreating so on a turn 3 snap, if their hand doesn't have what they're looking for.
Hold the Hazmat? If you have no other play, sometimes it's better to hold Hazmat and skip 2, depending on whether our opponent played something on turn 1 and now has priority. Also, consider holding Hazmat if you don't have Spectrum yet but do have Zabu, as Zabu means you won't have issues spending your energy and cards so we can maximize our Hazmat value later in the game. If our opponent played something on 1, there's a good chance they'll play something again on 2 (Sunspot lowers these odds slightly) and with Hazmat's recent buff to 2 power that is a solid 4-power play--100% worth it if we have Spectrum, and no other 2-cost or Zabu in hand.
Turn 3 priority:
1. Zabu (Always snap as you drop him, unless your hand is garbage with no combo pieces) -> 2. Mister Fantastic (maintain priority for Cosmo snipes and Wong into Spectrum, by hitting all 3 locations) -> 3. Cosmo - Try to save Cosmo if possible, so you can snipe bigger plays such as Silver Surfer. Or, if you're feeling like an absolute GIGA CHAD... If they play Psylocke on turn 2, you instantly snap, drop the Cosmo, and hit the Mister Negative 100% of the time. If you miss it, you retreat and go equip the "Bronze Rank Pride" title--don't lie, I know you have it)
**After turn 3 is where things get harder to break down into clear cut lists like turns 2 and 3--**because it depends a lot on whether you drew Zabu, the game state, and what you have in your hand. Therefore, after I breakdown how to play the 4-cost cards, I will switch to calling them "turn play lines" and try to break it down into games where you have Zabu and games where you don't. I'll also explain how to utilize our "Exodia" combo pieces in order to abuse Wong (I mean how busted OP the card is, not actually beat the old man... Where's your head at?) most effectively to get those sweet, succulent, VOLUPTIOUS cosmic cubes--and that awesome golden Infinite card back.
General 4-cost card priority:
1. Omega Red - (Don't sleep on this card, 57.84% played winrate this season--the lower deck winrate is due to what we like to call the "Zabu effect") You'll usually want to play him to the location that you played cards to on turns 2 and 3. That should be middle unless it's a bad location, because we run Mister Fantastic. If we had to play Cosmo on 3, that location is a great option for Omega Red so his Ongoing can't be removed + the opponent likely won't play their cards into Cosmo because ~50% of cards have On Reveal effects. The strength of playing him early is that it gives us flexibility as to which other lane we choose to go for on Turns 5 and 6.
2. Warpath and Typhoid Mary are tied here, because they both depend a lot on the current game state.
For Mary: If you don't have Luke Cage yet, you can try to hold Mary, but with Zabu down she's still above the 2 or 3-costs like Lizard or Cosmo--our deck doesn't go too wide or play too many bodies, so her Ongoing isn't going to kill us. Especially if we need the 10 power in a certain lane.
For Warpath, depending on the locations and our opponent's disruption, he might be a bad play if we're running low on board space. These cards also give us a lot of power, so if we're going for the strongest Exodia combo (with Zabu and Luke Cage played) being Wong + Hazmat on turn 5, into Spectrum on turn 6, we would rather be behind in power/priority on Turn 5 by playing smaller cards on Turn 4, such as... Luke Cage! Finally, both of these cards can be hit by Shang-Chi, so they're best when played behind Armor or Cosmo (if we had to play Cosmo on turn 3 or 5)
4. Wong - The backbone of this deck (well, and Zabu, which is another "Snap" play) and how we'll win a lot of cubes. The first trick with using Wong in this deck is: Only play him on Turn 5, and try to keep ahead in power/priority for Turn 6, so they can't counter him using stuff like Cosmo, Aero, Juggernaut, and Magneto. Trick number two is: If you've got the nuts (Hazmat+Luke Cage+Typhoid Mary, or Spectrum) in hand, go ahead and snap your fingers off, because Wong is one scary mother******! ESPECIALLY when you have priority going into Turn 6.
Now for the Turn 4 Play Lines:
Turn 4 Playline - Zabu played on 3, but missing a few Exodia pieces:
1. Omega Red -> 2. Armor - Need to develop her now so we can protect Mary and Warpath from Shang, but can also be played after Mary/Warpath if you need to take priority back to make a Cosmo play on 5 (pst... Electro -> Galactus?) 3. Warpath or Typhoid Mary -> 4. Luke Cage - Luke Cage quickly rises in priority as you draw things like Hazmat + Wong and Typhoid Mary 5. Lizard -> 6. The LEGENDARY "Cosmo Snipe" as a last resort, you snap and attempt the 165+ IQ COSMO SNIPE THAT CANNOT MISS on the opponents Mr. Negative or Wave -> Galactus, but that's only if you're constructed alternatively, AKA you're built different, AKA you got that DOG in you, AKA internally, at the base of your core, you just KNOW that you're a god at playing Marvel Snap--holy crap, somebody's gotta stop me, these memes are getting out of hand...
With Zabu down, you should be able to piece anything from the above together easily--well except for the Cosmo Snipe. Obviously, you should leave that move to the professionals, like the streamers who desperately need content so they hire "paid actors" from the community.
Turn 4 Playline - Zabu wasn't played on 3 - (Actually, it's not a guide for Turn 4, it's a Meme about Cube Management + state of the meta KNOWLEDGE BOMB, this will open your 3rd eye when it comes to building decks, snapping, and boost your cube gains by my very modest estimate of 1000%, you have my guarantee!)
1. The Retreat Button - because you suck, and you probably lost, because everyone knows that not drawing Zabu by turn 3 is 100% a skill issue, there isn't a smidgen of luck involved. Relax, I'm just kidding bro! You can still win without Zabu, BECAUSE... they might not draw their deck's win condition either... For example they could be missing their: Shuri, Zabu, Surfer, Darkhawk, Patriot + Ultron, or maybe a Hela if you've been on a loss streak--the list of busted wincons goes on and on, but the result is that it's common for them to end up in the same boat as you without something game breaking like Zabu. Except, in that case... WE CAN STILL DROP GOOD POWER ON THE BOARD EVEN WITHOUT ZABU, LET'S GO! A CONSISTENT POWER OUTPUT DECK, THAT DOESN'T RELY ON DRAWING A SPECIFIC CARD! DROP A POGGERS IN THE CHAT, WE'RE HITTING INFINITE TONIGHT BOYS! Phew... Okay, whatever that was is out of my system. Holy **** I think I just had a stroke!
Now, in all seriousness... if you can't get Zabu down by Turn 3, you'll probably want to retreat for 1 cube if the opponent snaps. I wanted to drop some important cube management info for this deck and how snapping works nowadays, especially when it comes to the Pool 5/season pass meta that we're in. (Not like it's going anywhere) Another thing to consider is that if they don't have many locations to play into (bad locations, they played a Storm, or they're stacking a lane with Ongoings to drop Ultron etc.) then Cosmo can become it's own pocket win condition lol. So, like I said, drawing Zabu early isn't always necessity for winning--and that's why we're going to rank up faster than the other scrubs on the ladder who didn't read this giga-brain guide in it's entirety.
The Real Turn 4, when Zabu wasn't played on 3 (After My Stroke/Cube Management Lesson)
If you draw Zabu on 4, you should consider playing him if #1: Your hand is full of 4-costs, but no Spectrum yet or #2: You've already drawn all, or most, of the following to replace the Spectrum play on 6: Wong, Hazmat, Luke Cage, Typhoid Mary (pretty much anything that pushes a lot of power on turn 6. However, if you do have Spectrum, then you should also consider going for a 4-cost on turn 4 -> 2-cost + 3-cost on 5 -> Spectrum Turn 6, which might be better than Zabu--making this decision depends on the state of the game and what's in your hand, you'll figure it out! The same thing applies for Turn 5: if you don't have Spectrum may as well drop him so you can play all of your 2 and 4-costs on turn 6--Now that's out of the way, I won't be including Zabu in any other play lines.
1. Omega Red -> 2. Warpath or Typhoid Mary (They surpass Omega Red if you have Armor OR Cosmo to stop Shang & Luke Cage for Mary) -> 3. A combination of 2-drops. Not listing anything further than those, because realistically you should always have one of these to play.
Turn 4 Playline, Zabu Played on 3, Most (or all) of Exodia pieces drawn:
Like I mentioned in the Typhoid Mary/Warpath breakdown, sometimes we actually want to lose our priority. If you have played Zabu on 3, and you drawn all (or you are waiting to draw only either Hazmat OR Cage) four of our big-combo pieces (Being Wong, Hazmat, Luke Cage, and Spectrum) then you'll want to play as little power as you can on 4, while still spending your energy, to hopefully lose priority unless your opponent is a complete shmuck. Make sure to get Luke Cage down on 4, because on turn 5 (hopefully you will be behind in priority now) you will be playing Wong + Hazmat. Since we have already played Luke Cage in this [wet]dream scenario (to be frank, it's almost more of a fantasy--unless you learn how to stack/rig your deck and draws, stay tuned for my very affordable 1,000,000 Chinese yen guide about how to hack in Marvel Snap--using just a potato and a toaster!) this play on turn 5 will likely swing us to be ahead in priority, so we can follow that up by revealing our Spectrum before they do something like Magneto, Cosmo, or Aero, or Juggernaut to counter our Wong play on turn 6.
Turn 5 (and turn 6, there's not too much else to cover in this guide since you'll be working with your hand/gamestate and I covered snapping and retreating earlier in turns 4 and 5):
By this point, you should already know what you're doing with what's left in your hand, and 100% locked and loaded to drop your [huge] Wong on the opponent + whatever else in your hand provides the most power on the board come turn 5 to maintain priority. It's an Ongoing deck with Wong and Spectrum, there's not much else to explain past turn 4 since you'll be playing your hand out--It's mostly about learning when/where to play cards like a late Zabu on turns 4/5, Omega Red on 4 to the middle with your early plays, Wong (and sometimes Hazmat) on turn 5, and all the other combo pieces in order to finish with the most power possible on turn 6.
The only advice I can really give you for turn 5 is if you're going against a Galactus player who didn't draw Wave and did some goofy sh*t like Electro -> Doctor Octopus or Hobgoblin, remember that you can play Cosmo on turn 5 to counter Galactus. The vast majority of the time, bad locations (and anywhere your opponent has a card down, or played a goblin) will tell you exactly where to drop the Cosmo. Snap back on that Series 5 abusing scrub, and show them how predictable Galactus really is!
Before you say something about this deck using Zabu, who is "technically" Series 5--in truth Zabu isn't really a Series 5 card, because those cards like Galactus and Darkhawks can only be bought with 6,000 tokens which is valued at 200 USD, whereas a Season Pass costs 10 USD. So if love the game of Marvel Snap enough to complain, but you can't afford to get Zabu, you have MUCH bigger problems to worry about in life. I know that sounds harsh, but you'll have to continue speaking and complaining using (or rather, not using) your wallet--these developers (well, it's not really the devs, it's whoever's calling the shots on monetization) only understand one thing, and that is taking your cash dollah bills, AKA your money, AKA your livelihood, AKA your ability to pay your rent/bills, AKA your will to continue living) but who knows, maybe enough Twitter posts will get through to them!
Like I mentioned earlier, the only Series 3 (list will be 100% series 3 when Luke Cage drops down here any day now) card that I can see you replacing without hurting the deck by a huge margin would be Omega Red. Here are my suggestions for that spot:
#1: Moon Girl (and Quinjet?) - She's another 4-drop that let's you get a copy of Hazmat, or our other 4-costs when we have Zabu down. Hurts Spectrum's potential because we have less Ongoing cards, by that point you may as well consider making a brand new deck lol... Could also consider adding Quinjet at the same time, for a cheap Ongoing card with a potentially huge upside. Quinjet would probably take the place of Warpath, since you'll be filling up your board if you play Moon Girl after Zabu. You'll lose two of our 4-drops that synergizes with Zabu, but you hopefully can copy one of the other two with MoonGirl, so it kind of averages out. If you get Quinjet and Zabu down by turn 3, and then play Wong on 4 alongside Moongirl, you can play Spectrum on Wong twice (The copy will be 5 energy because of Quinjet) but it can only hit a maximum of 4 cards (Quinjet, a 2-cost ongoing card, Zabu, and Wong) so it totals out to around 53-57 power. That is a decent Exodia combo right there!
#2: Sandman (Just hear me out guys, he's not that bad) - Sandman fills a similar role to Omega Red, being a 4-cost for Zabu, with an Ongoing effect for Spectrum. Running him can give you a huge advantage in certain meta matchups such as Sera Control, Mister Negative, low-curve Silver Surfer, and other Zabu decks, but ONLY if you can draw Spectrum by turn 6. (75% chance by 6, unless you're dealing with the pain and suffering of going against Darkhawk) Otherwise, playing him without Spectrum to follow up afterwards will probably lead to a loss.
With that in mind, you'd have to be very tactical about when you drop Sandman, or just let him be a dead draw in your hand. If you have Zabu down on 3 + Spectrum in hand (and you identify the opponent is playing the previously mentioned decks that drop a ton of cards on turn 6, that Sandman hard counters) you'd want to play him on Turn 5 and follow him up with Spectrum. Although a card like Sandman seems like a better play on 4, there are certain cards that can be played on 5 that make this a better move, namely Jane Foster and Sera. This also lets us get more cards out before we play Spectrum as well.
On the flipside, if you don't draw Zabu and identify the opponents deck--Sandman can be a decent play on Turn 4, followed by another 4-drop on 5, finishing with a Spectrum on 6. It's nothing spectacular, but there are certain decks that crumble to pieces when they see Sandman played, and often times you can identify that by Turn 4, like when they play a Brood on 3 to prep for Surfer, or didn't play anything other than Bast and Psylocke (Mister Negative is coming) etc. and make Sandman a snap-worthy play!
Thanks for reading/scrolling to the bottom! Let me know what you think about the deck/guide, the memes, or any suggestions that you have. =)