Marvel Snap's gone and wrecked my go-to deck

Marvel Snap screen featuring an illustration of America Chavez
(Image credit: Second Dinner)

As you may already know, Marvel Snap developer Second Dinner has been nerfing cards left and right of late. It's been tough for many players out there, but there is one so personally egregious, so downright distressing, that it continues to make me sad. Following a previous nerf, the dev has effectively nuked one card from orbit, and taken my best deck with it. 

What follows is an obituary for Leader, a Marvel Snap card that defined both my favorite deck and much of the game’s meta for a long time.

I'm losing!

Marvel Snap digital card of Leader

(Image credit: Second Dinner)

For a good amount of time now, the classic Hulk villain, the Leader, has ruled the highest echelons of Marvel Snap's metagame. And for good reason, too. Basically, prior to being pummeled by the devs, Leader ran rampant in the top tiers due to the simple fact that there was little in the way to counter his ability. When played, Leader also copied any cards played by the opponent that same turn. Because Leader costs 6 energy to play, this typically means he is played on the final turn. This combination of factors alone is quite powerful, but the typical plays made on a final turn makes it even more so.

You see, a common tactic for the final turn in Marvel Snap is to just… play the costliest, most powerful card at your disposal. As the point of the game is to finish with two out of three lanes in your favor, brute force is a super viable strategy, so long as you expect at least one other lane to remain in your favor. Leader, historically, completely disrupted this.

Because of the way Leader worked, and the typical way in which final turns played out, if you were winning in two lanes and played Leader (or would be winning in two lanes with the addition of Leader’s power) there was practically nothing that your opponent could do to stop you. Often, you either played a deck with Leader in it, or you lamented the fact that you did not yet have access to Leader. And some initial shifting of the cost versus power of the Leader card didn’t change that significantly.

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"And, look… it’s good that Second Dinner’s done away with this. Leader was an absolute menace... But he was my menace."

Following the most recent change, however, Leader only copies cards played to the right of wherever he is being played. This means that, for example, opponents never have to worry about the far left lane getting copied. In exchange, his total power has gone up, but it doesn’t really accomplish the same goal. Running Leader at all is now a total gamble as opposed to something that’s guaranteed. There’s every chance that playing Leader doesn’t even copy a card due to its positioning.

And, look… it’s good that Second Dinner’s done away with this. Leader was an absolute menace, and not having him run the table at the top tiers leaves room for different cards to have more of a chance. But he was my menace. And now, suddenly, my sixth turn is much more open to improvisation, which also means that my sixth turn is just as likely to fail me as it is to succeed.

Given how recent the obliteration of Leader still is (and to a lesser degree Zabu and Silver Surfer, but that’s a whinge for another time) I’ve not yet settled on what sort of deck I should be running. For now, the defanged version of Leader continues to haunt the contents of my favorite deck like a pale imitation of what once was – that is, until the next big thing comes along. Until then, however, rest easy my OP friend.

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Rollin Bishop
US Managing Editor

Rollin is the US Managing Editor at GamesRadar+. With over 16 years of online journalism experience, Rollin has helped provide coverage of gaming and entertainment for brands like IGN, Inverse,, and more. While he has approximate knowledge of many things, his work often has a focus on RPGs and animation in addition to franchises like Pokemon and Dragon Age. In his spare time, Rollin likes to import Valkyria Chronicles merch and watch anime.