Marvel Snap Jan. 9, 2024 Patch Notes Explained

Every month, Second Dinner pushes out a proper patch for Marvel Snap. These usually come with updated card text for a handful of cards, which are meant to help balance the meta and shift things in a different direction to keep the game from feeling stale. Here’s everything you need to know about the Jan. 9, 2024 patch in Marvel Snap.

For starters, Loki will no longer buff Collector, Quake and Kingpin are getting significant reworks that may actually make them playable, while Ms. Marvel has been knocked down a peg. Still no changes to Professor X since the last OTA update, and more prominently, no changes to Blob, who has quickly become the biggest menace of the Marvel Snap meta.

In line with the new Kingpin change, the Fisk Tower location has also been updated so that when a card moves to that location, it’s afflicted with -4 Power instead of getting destroyed. We’ve included the full patch breakdown below:

BALANCE UPDATES

CARD UPDATES

  • Loki
  • [Old] 4/5 – On Reveal: Replace your hand with cards from your opponent’s starting deck. Give them -1 cost.
  • [New] 4/5 – On Reveal: Transform your hand into cards from your opponent’s starting deck and give them -1 Cost.

Developer Notes: Loki has been a force since release, fueling a new archetype that dominated the metagame for a solid stretch. Loki shrugged off our OTA nerf to 4/5–it was a small hit, but probably about half as effective as we’d hoped. We needed another patch to implement a second change, so we took the time to play with some fairly different changes and monitor the metagame. As December began, we even saw Loki falter–Darkhawk, Bounce, and Destroy were all winning the matchup convincingly. Blob-Thanos shook things up a bit, and Loki was able to squeak back into the mix on top.

Once we saw all that, we decided to soften our approach rather than pursue a larger rework. This adjustment will remove The Collector’s role as a massive source of Power for Loki decks. The winningest card overall in the Loki decks has rarely actually been Loki–it was usually The Collector. That’s actually fairly surprising because drawing The Collector earlier is much better than later when compared to Loki, meaning more “loser” Collectors are in the data. This change will be good for The Collector long-term, because future patches will be able to balance The Collector around its strength in other decks without the burden of Loki’s glorious purpose.

Functionality Change: Transformed Cards Didn’t Start in Your Deck

Previously, when a card from your starting deck transformed, it still counted as starting in your deck. Transformation was a change to that card, rather than a new card. However, playtesting the change to Loki above highlighted to us how confusing that was–our playtesters strongly felt a transformed card didn’t seem like the original object, and we agreed. Moving forward, transforming a card will dissociate it from its past life and be considered a new card. However, transforming a card is still not a zone change, which is why Loki’s update will prevent The Collector from receiving a buff. Currently, this change only affects Quinjet.

  • Ms. Marvel
  • [Old] 4/5 – Ongoing: Adjacent locations where your cards have unique Costs have +5 Power.
  • [New] 4/4 – Ongoing: Your adjacent locations with 2+ cards and no repeated Costs have +5 Power.

Developer Notes: This is a small change in scope, but we expect it to have a meaningful impact. We released Ms. Marvel without requiring two cards in adjacent locations in part because we found it difficult to clearly communicate the effect when it had multiple conditions. However, something we learned from players was that for many of them, the default assumption was that two cards would be necessary anyway! Because we also weren’t psyched about how well Ms. Marvel synergized with Professor X, this change captures better gameplay while shaving off a bit of the strength. Even though we adjusted the words, the card is otherwise the same as before–you just need two cards at an adjacent location instead of one.

  • Annihilus
  • [Old] 5/7 – On Reveal: Your cards with 0 or less Power switch sides. Destroy those that can’t.
  • [New] 5/6 – On Reveal: Your cards with Power below 0 switch sides. Destroy those that can’t.

Developer Notes: Even though internal playtests successfully “found” most of the Annihilus decks we’ve seen on top of the metagame, their performance was surprising. In particular, the strength of just playing Annihilus with Sentry and/or Hood in decks with no other synergies has been very good. During design, we widened Annihilus’s condition to include 0 in part because we were worried it wouldn’t be strong enough restricted to such a tight set of targets, but clearly that’s sufficiently strong. Given that’s the case, we’re restoring our preferred design that requires cards to have negative Power, and taking a little base Power away from Annihilus. That might seem heavy, but Annihilus has been one of the most significant outliers in our card performance data for weeks now, at every level of play. Even more surprising, Annihilus was performing better in our most competitive samples than anywhere else–usually strength flattens up there.

  • Dracula
  • [Old] 4/0 – At the end of the game, discard a card from your hand. This has its Power.
  • [New] 4/1 – At the end of the game, discard a card from your hand to gain its Power.

Developer Notes: We’re still monitoring the Discard decks’ performance in the wake of losing America Chavez, and one of the cards most damaged by that change was Dracula. In addition to this minor buff, reworking Dracula this way makes his text more clear and provides us with additional balance knobs to buff or nerf him as necessary in the future. We like having more dials to turn.

  • Angel
  • [Old] 1/2 – When one of your cards is destroyed, this flies out of your deck to replace it.
  • [New] 1/2 – When one of your cards is destroyed, this flies out of your hand or deck to replace it.

Developer Notes: Hey, we did it! This change has been in the queue for a while, but we’ve delayed it to ensure we could implement and test the VFX. Angel’s a card we give to players early, so we wanted to be sure we weren’t breaking a charming piece of that new player experience.

  • Quake
  • [Old] 2/3 – On Reveal: If this is at the middle location, swap the positions of each location.
  • [New] 2/3 – On Reveal: Swap the positions of the other two locations.

Developer Notes: This is very similar to Angel, although our solution might have been less obvious. We expect Quake might become an interesting alternative to Scarlet Witch and a potent tech card against strategies relying on Storm or Legion.

  • Kingpin
  • [Old] 3/4 – When a card moves here on turn 6, destroy it.
  • [New] 2/3 – When an enemy card moves here, afflict it with -2 Power.

Developer Notes: One of the few remaining “loose ends” in our change to the move mechanic during the last patch was that Kingpin and Fisk Tower remained able to destroy cards thanks to Juggernaut. It’s always been a source of confusion for some players, regardless of the outcome, and Kingpin’s been weak enough that a rework was worth pursuing. This change makes the interaction with Juggernaut match existing expectations, because we consistently don’t let unrevealed cards have their Power modified by other effects. We also made the effect asymmetrical and tried out an aggressive set of numbers to see if we could convince players to consider pairing Kingpin with Polaris or Spider-Man, in addition to being a tech card against cards like Phoenix and Silk. Another upside of this change is it adds good ways to adjust Kingpin via OTA and find the perfect spot.

  • America Chavez (text only)
  • [Old] 2/3 – On Reveal: The top card of your deck gets +2 Power.
  • [New] 2/3 – On Reveal: Give the top card of your deck +2 Power.

Developer Notes: This is a non-functional text update, just to make America better match our default choices for cards.

  • Bugfix: “After you play a card here…” and similar effects

We have a handful of non-intuitive interactions around “After you play” triggers for complicated coding reasons. The most prominent has been Angela, who would receive her Power when a card that was played to her location but revealed at a different one, thanks to something like Juggernaut. This doesn’t match intuition around other uses of the word “play,” which typically care about where a card finishes resolving, such as Death’s Domain. But, if she worked “the right way” in that case, it would mean working “the wrong way” with stuff like Spider-Man (she would not get the buff from Spiderman after he moves away). So either way, something would act unintuitively.

To solve that, we implemented a new functionality in this patch that allows us to track where a card began to reveal rather than just where it finished revealing. That means effects like the two above work more intuitively now–Juggernaut will stop unrevealed cards from buffing Angela and she’ll now be able to get buffed by Spider-Man, even though he moves away before resolving. This is also going to fix a few of the bugs we’ve had with Luke’s Bar, as cards that got bounced sometimes became untrackable for other triggers.

In the vast majority of cases, this change won’t affect your gameplay experience at all. It really did only matter for a few corner cases. However, we’re providing the list of cards and locations that have slightly different behavior now below.

Cards

  • Angela
  • Titania
  • Silk
  • Elsa Bloodstone
  • Negasonic Teenage Warhead
  • Werewolf By Night
  • Echo
  • Lockjaw

Locations

  • Altar of Death
  • Aunt May’s
  • Bar Sinister
  • Cloning Vats
  • Danger Room
  • Death’s Domain
  • Hotel Inferno
  • Lechuguilla
  • Luke’s Bar
  • Machineworld
  • Noor Dimension
  • Orchis Forge
  • Quantum Realm
  • Quantum Tunnel
  • Shuri’s Lab
  • Sinister London
  • Tarnax
  • Vibranium Mines
  • Vormir

LOCATION UPDATES

  • Fisk Tower
  • [Old] When a card moves here, destroy it.
  • [New] When a card moves here, afflict it with -4 Power.

Developer Notes: All of the notes for Kingpin above basically apply here. We still want a location that plays spoiler to movement, but without the confusing elements created by occasionally destroying unrevealed cards.

Bug Fixes

Card Logic Fixes in 23.x

  • Resolved an issue with Jean Grey that was inappropriately causing her to return staged cards to her opponent’s hand
  • Cleaned up inconsistencies with how some cards’ “After You Player Here” triggers would function after being moved while unrevealed
  • Shadow King should no longer prevent Mysterio’s power from being set to his actual value upon reveal

VFX & SFX Fixes in 23.x

  • VFX should now play to indicate album progression
  • The “Make a Deck” VFX should now properly play when used while claiming a card as an Album reward
  • Resolved an issue where the “Make a Deck” VFX could loop indefinitely under rare circumstances
  • Negasonic Teenage Warhead’s VFX should no longer be visible while the card is unrevealed
  • Fixed an issue that prevented some Ongoing cards from glowing while Spectrum was hovering

Other Fixes in 23.x

  • Web Shop Purchase Receipt: players will now get an Inbox message receipt when making a purchase in the MARVEL SNAP Web Shop.
  • In the news section, there is now a red notification pip next to unread articles.
  • Made a fix to hopefully improve Shop loading times
  • Reward assets should no longer be visible behind the banner images for Albums
  • The arrow for previewing a spotlight cache’s associated avatar is no longer obscured if the card has associated token cards (ex: Thanos)
  • The string for “Starter Deck” should now be properly localized in most languages
  • Fixed several localizations issues related to Album strings in Japanese
  • Resolved an issue that caused the Token Shop to not update properly upon earning enough Tokens to make a purchase
  • Fixed an issue that prevented the Token Shop from updating appropriately after spending Tokens
  • Fixed an alignment issue with the Album UI itself
  • Cleaned up Tarnax IV’s background image
  • Fixed an issue in the FTUE that could result in a softlock for players who attempted to delete their decks
  • Fixed a few minor UI issues with the FTUE
  • Addressed an issue with Album toast notifications not appearing when the variant is claimed from a Collector’s Reserver
  • Fixed an issue that had the header of the Collection screen displaying inappropriately after using the Smart Deck Builder
  • Cleaned up a small visual artifact that could occur when swapping between the Cards and Albums tabs of the Collection
  • Fixed an issue that could cause Album progression to not visually update on occasion
  • Corrected a localization issue that would occasionally result in Thai or Japanese strings not fully displaying within a given text box
  • Players should now be able to close the card detail view of a Spotlight Cache card by clicking off of the card
  • Emotes should now be carried over properly when copying decks
  • Made an adjustment to how new Albums are sorted on the Album screen
  • The Collection Level UI should no longer clip into the Spotlight Cache chest
  • Fixed an issue that would result in the Season Pass progress bar varying in width depending on which carousel banner the player was on
  • Fixed an issue that was preventing Spotlight Cache carousel assets from displaying initially
  • Adjusted Card Back sizing during the cosmetic preview so that it no longer covers up its name and other UI assets
  • Made some changes to better align various UI sizing and placement across different devices
  • Fixed an issue where attempting to Refill Missions with gold would display the wrong error message

PC Fixed Issues in 23.x

  • [PC] Album rewards should no longer flicker when initially viewed

Bug Fixes in 22.29

  • Resolved an issue with Blob that was occasionally causing the game to crash
  • Cleaned up some VFX issues with Blob that were causing input-related issues to occur
  • Fixed an issue that was preventing Sebastian Shaw’s power from updating appropriately when used with Forge
  • Addressed an issue that was preventing some players from logging into the game with older accounts
  • Some users on lower-end devices should no longer receive an Aw Snap error when matchmaking against opponents
  • Fixed an issue that prevented Featured Mystery Variants from appearing in the Shop
  • Adjusted the icon of Featured Mystery Variants to be properly centered
  • Made several localization changes to resolve translation errors

PC Bug Fixes in 22.29

  • [PC] Removed a phantom red notification pip that would display on the Season Pass

Marvel Snap’s Planet Hulk season is currently underway, featuring Skaar as the headlining season pass card, and it’s now available on PC and mobile devices.

About the author

Zhiqing Wan

Zhiqing is the Reviews Editor for Twinfinite, and a History graduate from Singapore. She’s been in the games media industry for nine years, trawling through showfloors, conferences, and spending a ridiculous amount of time making in-depth spreadsheets for min-max-y RPGs. When she’s not singing the praises of Amazon’s Kindle as the greatest technological invention of the past two decades, you can probably find her in a FromSoft rabbit hole.

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