This Bonkers Marvel Snap Combo isn’t a bug, it just feels like one

This Bonkers Marvel Snap Combo isn’t a bug, it just feels like one

If you’ve played Marvel Snap – and I recommend you do – you may have run into an opponent in the last few days who threw you around like a Hulk pissed off by a Loki. A powerful super combo allows players to win locations with upwards of 4000 or even 6000 power, in a game where your total power usually maxes out in the 30s or 40s. This has led many to ask: Wait, what the hell? Is this a bug or a hack?

It is neither. The game works normally, but it’s a very special combination that won’t be viable much longer. Let us explain.

In Marvel Snap, you battle for control of three locations that appear from a random pool. Most of the time these placements are too inconsistent to base an entire deck around their appearance, but there is an exception. The game goes to “hot” places from time to time, which means that they appear much more often than usual – in almost half of all games. So for the brief period when a hot spot enables a killer combo, smart deck builders can take advantage. It’s part of the game – maxing out your deck to take advantage of a hot spot is a good way to climb the ranks.

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The hot spot in question here is Bar Sinister, which fills the place with copies of whichever card you play. That means you get four times the On Reveal or Ongoing effects. The combination relies on a very special sequence of events involving three cards in a game where you have access to Bar Sinister.

  1. First, play Nightcrawler at Bar Sinister. You can do this at any time as long as you have four Nightcrawlers on Bar Sinister by the end of turn 4.
  2. In the meantime, you can play some cards in your other two spots. You must leave at least four spots open in the other spots, but otherwise it doesn’t matter what you play there. Places that limit your cards in play, like the Sanctum Sanctorum or The Space Throne, can ruin the combo.
  3. On turn 5, move one (and just one) Nightcrawler to another location. This opens up one place to play Blue Marvel at Bar Sinister.
  4. On turn 6, move the three remaining Nightcrawlers to other locations. Play Attack at Bar Sinister.
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Congratulations, you’ve won the game – unless your opponent did the same, of course. So how does it work?

The combination of Blue Marvel and Onslaught is really the important thing, and we’ll explain why in a moment. But if you just played Blue Marvel, you’d get four copies of it, and the location would essentially be locked. It is important that you only have one Blue Marvel and three Attack. This is where Nightcrawler comes in. His teleport ability allows you to selectively open up slots to activate the combo.

Blue Marvel adds +1 power to all your other cards – so it was important to play something in your other slots. This ability is classified as a Ongoing effect, which means it happens continuously, rather than just on first exposure. Onslaught doubles all ongoing effects in his location, so one Blue Marvel plus one Onslaught would give +2 power to everything. But here’s the kicker: Onslaught’s effect is also an ongoing effect, meaning that each of the three attacks also doubles each other’s doubling effect. That’s how you get into these wild numbers.

So far, developer Second Dinner has not commented on the combination, other than recognizing it with one retweet from the official account. And it’s not necessarily game-breaking – it took us quite a few games to have all the combo pieces in place, in the right turns, in a fight with Bar Sinister. There are certainly better ways to climb the ranks with other, more consistent Bar Sinister combos. But it feels unfair in a way that the developer could patch if the location wasn’t about to go out of rotation anyway. Since hot spots are temporary, it’s hard to see how anyone could gain a real strategic advantage by relying on this combination. But rest assured, this is not a bug.

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But hey, if you’ve run into this combo and you want to counter it, might we suggest packing an Elektra to assassinate all those pesky Nightcrawlers?

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