Without a doubt, Snowguard was regarded as the absolute worst card in all of Marvel Snap. Its location-affecting abilities were way too clunky and ineffectual, making it a pretty awful card to play. With Snowguard getting rotated into the Spotlight Caches this season, it was imperative that Second Dinner make some crucial changes to it before the community started lamenting having wasted their Caches on such a truly, terrible card.
Well, Second Dinner was on the ball with this one, as Snowguard finally gets a proper rework this patch. Here are all of the card balance changes:
- [Old] 1/3 – On Reveal: Discard a card from your hand.
- [New] 1/3 – On Reveal: Discard the rightmost card from your hand.
Developer Note: A solid card in early discard strategies, Blade has dropped off in both popularity and win percentage. As we examined weaker cards that could use a little love, we’d also been thinking about ways we could give a little push to some discard synergy cards, like Hela, Ghost Rider, Swarm, and of course Apocalypse. Because Blade is a card players acquire early on, a change accomplishing both of these goals needed to be clean and simple, and we think this fits the bill. It might not be enough to breathe new life into the daywalker, but we like to find opportunities for small changes with the potential to make some interesting waves.
- [Old] 1/1 – On Reveal: Draw a card. Ongoing: Enemy cards here have -1 Power.
- [New] 1/1 – Ongoing: Enemy cards here have -1 Power.
Developer Note: It took players a few months to fully grasp the might of Thanos, but since then he’s been a metagame mainstay with multiple stints at the top of the heap. We love Thanos, but his combination of flexibility and powerful synergy enablers has proven to be a bit dangerous over time. We decided we wanted to shave a piece of strength out of the kit, and decided to hit two birds with one stone by simplifying the only card in the kit with two abilities. We understand this is a bit ironic, considering the recent changes to Mystique and Rogue to copy the Soul Stone’s draw effect, but oh well. While a meaningful loss of Power, we don’t expect Thanos to fall out of favor once the dust settles.
- [Old] 2/2 – On Reveal: Transform the highest-Cost card in your opponent’s hand into a Pig, keeping its Power and Cost.
- [New] 2/2 – On Reveal: Transform the leftmost card in your opponent’s hand into a Pig, keeping its Power and Cost.
Developer Note: As we mentioned in the OTA that adjusted Spider-Ham from 1/1 to 2/2, we weren’t happy with how damaging his effect was to a few of our cooler 6-Cost cards, especially Apocalypse. However, we liked that Spider-Ham hit a solid sweet spot of disruption without fully denying you the card, and even had some risk due to Destroyer and Infinaut. This change aims to retain those positive elements without applying it exclusively to higher-Cost cards, and also makes the effect a lot easier to play around if you suspect Peter Porker might be paying you a visit. The trigger will still hit 6-Cost cards slightly more often, since they’ll tend to migrate leftward in your hand as you wait to play them, but Apocalypse will safely hide on the right if you can keep discarding him.
- [Old] 1/2 – While in your hand, this transforms each turn into a Hawk or a Bear.
- [Old] Hawk: 1/2 – On Reveal: Ignore all location abilities next turn.
- [Old] Bear: 1/2 – On Reveal: Trigger the effect of this location.
- [New] 1/2 – On Reveal: Add the Hawk and Bear auroras to your hand.
- [New] Hawk: 2/3 – On Reveal: Ignore all location abilities until the end of next turn (or the game).
- [New] Bear: 2/3 – On Reveal: Trigger the effect of this location.
Developer Note: It feels like every patch includes at least one wacky, unexpected card change these days, so here’s one for today! Snowguard has turned out to be a largely unsatisfying card for players, posting poor stats on both popularity and actual wins. Our goals for Snowguard were to create a novel tool for Hot and Featured locations that might also see some play in Conquest decks looking to surprise the enemy, but we fell short. In revising the design, we aimed to:
1. Make her stronger. Granting both the Hawk and the Bear is more total Power on-curve, and decreases the variance around whether either is useful.
2. Give her deckbuilding identity. A few decks (and more to come) already care about adding material from outside your starting deck to your hand.
3. Reduce confusion. Results weren’t matching intuition around the Hawk, so we extended the window to start after it resolves. We also added text clarifying the effect won’t last through the end of the game, even if you Hawk on the final turn.
4. If possible, let her variants stay in play. Leaning into summoning instead of transforming cleanly solved this.
- [Old] 4/5 – On Reveal: If the last card you played has an On Reveal, copy its text. (if it’s in play)
- [Change] 4/5 -> 4/4
Developer Note: What is this, an OTA patch? After last week’s balance updates were locked, but before they went live, we saw a huge surge in the strength and popularity of decks based on the Forge + Brood + Absorbing Man curve. We knew our changes weakened other top decks, and that the new kid was already becoming a Big Deal in ranked and Conquest. We’re often happy to let things breathe for a minute when a new deck appears, but this case was unique because it risked an especially dull metagame to let it ride until our next OTA. We decided to make a change now, and we’ll evaluate it again with the data gathered from the most recent weekend post-OTA.
With the change to Snowguard, Marvel Snap players will now have a lot more control over which turns they want to actually play out her location effects. She’s certainly not a powerful card by any stretch of the imagination, but this makes her playable at the very least and she should start finding a home in more decks going forward.
In addition to the card changes, Marvel Snap now also has leaderboard rankings for Infinite players, and the Conquest UX experience has been streamlined, cutting out a lot of the extra screens and taps in-between matches.
Marvel Snap is now available on PC and mobile devices.
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