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How to Get to Infinite Rank in Marvel Snap Part 1 – Grasping the Game and Card Mechanics

Knowledge is Power!

This is the first part of the “How to Get to Infinite Rank in Marvel Snap” article series in which I will go through the Game and Card Mechanics you are supposed to know before diving deep into competitive waters. Knowledge is Power, after all.

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It’s important to know the rules of Marvel Snap, and to know how certain cards interact with each other so that you can use that to your advantage. Many, many times during my climb to Infinite Rank, I have witnessed players simply misplaying certain turns due to a lack of understanding of the board state and card interactions, and I was also guilty of simply letting the tiredness and other real-world distractions get to me a few times, not understanding that I do not have priority in the last turn, and playing my cards as if I had it, for example. So, let’s go through the most important stuff and help you in your conquest of grasping the game and card mechanics.

How to Reach Infinite Rank in Marvel Snap – Game and Card Mechanics Explained – Part 1

Here’s the Table of Contents for this guide series:

  1. Grasping the Game and Card Mechanics
  2. Obtaining the Necessary Cards and Tools
  3. Understanding the Meta – Know Thy Enemy
  4. How and When to Snap or Retreat
  5. How to Improve your Mental Game

I can’t really think of an exact order in which I should go for this sub-article, but here goes nothing something.

I am certain that Priority for card reveals is the most important thing that you should know. This is basically, a built-in rule that decides which player reveals their cards first (and naturally, claims their effects).

Who Reveals Their Cards First in Marvel Snap?

Usually, the player who currently leads reveals their cards first, meaning that if you control more locations than your opponent, you get to reveal first. That happens even in the scenario where you lead 1:0 on two locations, and your opponent has 100+ Power on the third. In case both of you control one Location each and the third is a Tie, the Tiebreaker rule is set in motion:

Related: How Do Ties and Tiebreakers Work in Marvel Snap? – Explained

Tiebreakers are really important and have the potential to unexpectedly win you some games (for a lot of Cubes, hopefully) or at least, force a tie in the game, which is honestly better than losing Cubes. Do you know that Location which gives +100 Power to the player who has more cards on the Location? If you somehow seal that Location and have a Tie on the other, the third one seems irrelevant due to your insane lead.

Also, just look at your nameplates in the top corners of the screen. The one who has their name glowing will reveal their cards first. In case of a Tie on the board, the game decides who reveals first (it is always random, it does not alternate between the players, hooray RNG).

In case of an effect of Ghost, the controller of Ghost always reveals their stuff second.

For cards like Cosmo / Armor, there is a big reason that you should try and get the early advantage on board so that you can prevent early or late game On Reveal / Destroy effects with them, or to control the positioning of your opponent’s cards with Aero and disrupt their game plan, and for some (Shang-Chi, Spider-Woman) you kind of want to reveal second, to maximize your deck’s effectiveness.

In the case of the effect of Invisible Woman, the cards under Invisible Woman are revealed at the end of the match, according to the Priority score at the end of the match. An important tip is that if for example, you play Shuri, Forge, or Zero, and then play a card under Invisible Woman, the card does not count as a played card and won’t get the effect! This is how you can “skip” the On Reveal effect of Shuri, Forge, Zero, or any similar card that interacts with the previous card you played, and save it for the next card you play.

All in all, it really matters in which order you play your cards, and in which order they are revealed. It might just decide the outcome of the entire match.

Which Locations Should You Develop in the First Three Turns in Marvel Snap?

When it comes to Locations in the first three turns, you can either be conservative and not play on unrevealed Locations (unless there’s a big reason for you to do so) or be daring and try to get an early start. Whatever you do, try not to snap until all three Locations are revealed. Sometimes, you can end up in a huge problem, if for example, you run a late-game deck and TVA comes out with no way for you to flip it until the game ends on Turn 4, or you drop a 1-cost card on a Location that becomes “You can have only 1 card here” which instantly concedes one location to your opponent in most cases. I talk more about Snapping and Retreating in a standalone sub-article which you can access from the table of contents.

Elektra, Mantis, Rocket Raccoon, and the gang with similar effects are not that prevalent in the current meta so you’ll usually not suffer from them on Turn 1 if you just play your first card on the left Location. Depending on your deck, you may be swarming all three Locations (Ultron decks spread out their Power boosting cards to evade Enchantress for example) or you might be meaningfully leaving one Location completely empty (Arnim Zola, Galactus, Brood, and similar cards that truly need this in order to work the best). But, that’s a story for another sub-article in this series.

Try not to waste Energy. Not spending Energy can put you at a disadvantage (unless you have Sunspot to soak that unspent Energy, or She-Hulk and Infinaut (but you do not want to literally phone in your plays to your opponent)).

Interactions Between Cards and Locations in Marvel Snap

“You learn something new every day”, they say. Well, for Marvel Snap, this cannot be more true when you’re still fairly new to the game. You constantly learn about new cards, new Locations, and their interactions. Here is the moment where I should tell you to read up on the complete Card List and Location List articles until you learn them all by heart, but this is not really important. Let the knowledge sink in passively as you are playing. You’re more likely to learn the stuff photographically as you play.

And of course, let’s not forget that the more games you play, the more interactions you will witness and learn about, which will prevent you from playing inadequately in some situations. One good way to learn about this stuff is to watch Infinite Rank streamers and content creators, who tend to explain why they are playing some cards in a certain way. There are just so many tips, and I can’t think of them all, and cannot cram them all into these articles, but I’ll do my best to pinpoint the most important ones, and will probably add more in the updates of these articles.

For example, it’s very important to know about “Cards Cannot be Played Here” and “Cards Cannot be Added Here” Card and Location rules. The first one prohibits you from playing stuff from your hand on the Location, but allows you to move the cards to the said Location, whereas the second one with the “Added” part prohibits you from adding the card to the Location by any available means, which can both be problematic for you, or used to your advantage.

You should also take notes on Locations that interact with each other (like the one that moves all stuff after Turn 4, which makes you think about where you want your cards placed until then, and where they will go after that).

Ebony Maw is an example card I want to address here since it’s played here and there. It’s a mighty card despite its limiting effect that disallows further plays on the Location (Zero can take that off for example) but, as mentioned above, cards can be moved or otherwise added to that Location. Essentially, your opponent paid 1 Energy and gave 1 Card to force you to invest probably about 2-3 Energy and 2-3 cards to overcome that “small” barrier, while the opponent is working peacefully to take the other two. There’s a reason why somebody played a certain card somewhere, and that’s called “reading the plays” about which I’ll talk more extensively in the next articles.

I lost one high-ranked game against the Galactus deck because Location 1 spawned Squirrels to all Locations and I just forgot that there’s another Location that allows us both to move cards to that Location (which cleared the Location for their Galactus). I was so tired of the grind and I got tunnel vision to secure the other two Locations and to NOT play Killmonger by any means necessary.

Fisk Tower is a great Location to be afraid of because it instantly kills any card that moves to that Location. A lot of “Move” cards are in the meta, including Polaris, Magneto, and especially Aero. Another way to abuse Aero would be to (if your Energy situation is rich) Play Aero (if you are the first to reveal your cards) and set a Cosmo right under her, which drags all opponent’s cards to that lane and reveals them after you flip Cosmo. This is doable with Sera on Turn 5, or with a Location that gives both of you +5 Energy for the turn on Turn 3.

When it comes to Location stuff, you can perhaps, (ab)use a newly released Location (or a Featured/Hot Location) to your advantage by building a deck that thrives from that Location, since you’ll be seeing it in probably about half of your matches. One example would be the Altar of Death which works insanely with Destroy decks and potentially allows you to splash Death as a tech card in almost any deck because she’s bound to cost very low by Turn 6.

Researching stuff is also great, you don’t need to watch content creators exclusively, and you can test things out on your own. Prima Games also tries to cover game updates, new Cards, and Locations as they come out, and we suggest Synergies and Counters that we discover, so make sure to bookmark that Marvel Snap tag under this article, or search out a Card or Location name to see if we have it in our database yet.

See you in the next part!


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Author
Image of Nikola L
Nikola L
Nikola has been a Staff Writer at Prima Games since May 2022. He has been gaming since being able to hold an Amiga 500 joystick on his own, back in the early 90s (when gaming was really good!). Nikola has helped organize dozens of gaming events and tournaments and has been professionally attached to gaming since 2009.