Marvel Snap has recently released on both PC and mobile. With the game being incredibly addicting with a surprising amount of depth for a Trading Card Game, many players may be wondering which decks they can build to dominate the ladder. Although there are a ton of cards that are locked behind the unique collection rank system, there is a very strong deck that players can get very easily in the early hours and days of the game’s release. Onslaught Ongoing Zoo is by far the best Pool 1 deck to make and play in Marvel Snap. Here is an in-depth guide on the playstyle, a decklist that gives card-by-card analysis and tips to guide you through plays and matchups.
For TCG fans that have played other card games before, think of this deck as a token spam strategy with buffers. Akin to things like Zoo in Hearthstone or White in Magic: The Gathering. The goal with this deck is to use your utility one-cost cards to occupy lanes and then buff them with your synergy boosters. The late-game curve for this deck is critical for its success, but is a practical auto-win if it goes off.
Ant-Man: Your lynchpin to winning lanes. Ant-Man is the second-best one-drop in terms of power value in this deck but for him to be useful, you need to have a full lane alongside him. When the lane is completely occupied, Ant-Man’s ongoing ability granted him three extra power making him a one-cost four-power card which is premium in this slot. Be careful though as dropping him on the board early telegraphs to your opponent that you will be contesting that lane.
Squirrel Girl: The strongest one-cost card in the entire game if utilized correctly. On play, she creates a one-cost one-power squirrel in the other two lanes. While this isn’t that good in a regular deck, in this deck that’s fantastic as usually these squirrels will get pretty big which effectively makes Squirrel Girl a one-cost six-power card on average which cant be beaten value wise.
Nightcrawler: One of the best utility cards in the game especially at the one-cost level. This card has a simple ability, this card can move to any location once per game. You don’t have to do this this turn after it’s played; it can be anytime during the game. What this allows you to do is bail out of committing cards to a lane that you think you can’t win. It also synergizes well with another card in this deck.
Elektra: Another utility card that can often outright win you games if played at optimal times. This card executes a random one-cost card on your opponent’s side of the lane she is in. The optimal target will almost always be an opposing Ant-Man which should make you want to instantly snap the moment it happens, since destroying that is huge. You can also drop this late when your opponent thinks they have a won lane.
Rocket Raccoon: While Ant-Man can get to four power with a full board, Rocket Raccoon can get that on Turn 1. However, you need to have the hard read on your opponent to do so. This card’s ability gives it two extra power if you play it in a lane where your opponent also played a card in this turn. Guess right and you have a big advantage on Turn 1. Guess wrong and it’s just a two-power vanilla.
Yondu: Rounding out the one-cost cards is Yondu. Another utility card that can actually win you the game on Turn 1, or at least put you in an incredible position. Yondu on play destroys the top card of your opponent’s deck and you both get to see what it is. If this hits a key card in your opponent’s strategy then you should auto-snap.
Angela: One of two two-cost cards in the deck. This one only starts at one-power but can get big, especially for her cost. The card’s ability gives it two-power every time a card is played in her lane on her side of the board. This can get her to seven-power which is premium for a two-cost but with Nightcrawler being able to move lanes, she can get to nine-power.
Scarlet Witch: Certain locations can really screw up this strategy. This card acts as a get-out-of-jail-free card since on play she swaps the current location to a random one which can turn around doomed games.
Captain America: Just a solid three-cost card for what it does. This card gives every card in his lane on his side of the board an extra power bringing his total value to six-power for a three-cost which is what you want in a three-cost card. He isn’t the best, and is definitely replaceable, but he’s solid.
Ka-Zar: One of the three combo pieces in the deck. This four-cost card is the main reason behind the strategy of the deck being centered around one-cost cards. Ka-Zar has the ongoing effect of buffing every one-cost card on your side of the board by one power. With so many targets for it, this card brings unparalleled value as a four-cost.
Blue Marvel: If you thought Ka-Zar was good, wait until you see Blue Marvel. For one more energy and one less power, Blue Marvel does the same thing Ka-Zar does, but for every card in your board instead of only the one-costs.
Onslaught: And now the namesake of the deck. Remember how Blue Marvel and Kazar are board-wide buffs that are ongoing effects? What if we doubled it? Onslaught is the lone six-cost card in the deck; as a result, it can only really be played as a final turn. But this card does a lot. The statline isn’t that bad either, being seven-power, but its ability to double all the ongoing abilities in the location on your side of the board is crazy good. Put this in a lane with Blue Marvel and Ka-Zar to easily win most of your games.
How to play/Tips
It is absolutely critical to know when to push for certain win conditions. The Kazar/Blue Marvel/Onslaught combo is oppressive, so make sure you keep a lane open for those three cards in the late game.
Make sure to try to get value out of Angela by playing her in an open lane and then surrounding her with cards. A turn three play of Angela and Nightcrawler is pretty good.
Although the deck is very good, it already has a target on its back. There are people playing Enchantress, which shuts off all ongoing effects in a lane; be wary of her and opposing Elektras.
This deck is only super strong in Pool 1. It’s viable in Pool 2, and there are new cards you can include, like Iceman, but you might want to pivot into a different Marvel Snap deck once your collection rank surpasses 214.