In Marvel Snap, Kazoo has quickly emerged as one of the most meta decks that Pool 1 players can build, and it allows them to be a bit more competitive even when they’re going up against Pool 3 players who have already unlocked a ton more cards and deck-building options. If all that sounds like gibberish to you, let me break down exactly how card unlocks work in this game.
Every Marvel Snap player has a Collection Level. Your Collection Level is increased through cosmetic upgrades, which are performed with Credits and Boosters. Boosters can be obtained very easily just by playing the game, but Credits are capped pretty heavily as free-to-play players can only get a set amount each day by completing daily and weekly missions.
To add to that, the card collection system is divided into Pools. For instance, players will only unlock Pool 1 cards from Collection Levels 1 to 214. Once you pass that 214 mark, you start unlocking Pool 2 cards, and so on and so forth. This system sounds pretty fair on paper; players starting at the same time will unlock every Pool 1 card in a randomized order, but by the time they hit CL 214, they’ll all have the exact same cards to play around with.
The problems start cropping up when you take into consideration the fact that Marvel Snap’s current matchmaking system is pretty broken, and the fact that increasing your CL becomes a very painful grind once you leave Pool 1. You see, as it stands right now, the matchmaking system makes it possible for new players to get matched up against Pool 3 players, and while there aren’t any blatant card power upgrades in the game, it’s no secret that the Pool 3 cards are just way more dynamic and experimental than the starter cards.
There’s also the fact that Pool 3 players already have completed decks from the first two Pools, which would give them a distinct advantage over new players. No one wants to play a discard deck without Hela, and move decks are interesting, but they can’t be played to their full potential until you’ve gotten some key cards from the later Pools.
Enter the Kazoo deck, which you can build with just Pool 1 cards, and has consistently shown up in matches over the past couple months. The Kazoo deck allows players to play a ton of 1-cost cards and buff them up with Kazar, along with other viable combos involving Strong Guy and America Chavez, who help round up the deck with big Power numbers.
With the new Marvel Snap patch, all three key players of the Kazoo deck have been nerfed. Strong Guy’s cost has doubled, Kazar’s Power has dropped, as has Chavez’s. Scarlet Witch, who was previously a commonly used card in the Kazoo deck, is also now a 2-cost card instead of a 1-cost. While of all these changes might sound fairly minor on their own, when put together, they’ve basically dealt a huge blow to the most viable Pool 1 deck in the game right now.
It’s worth noting that developers Second Dinner have stated in their official Discord that the matchmaking system will be tweaked so that players will only get matched up with others in the same CL range as them, which is a good step, but it doesn’t change the fact that Pool 1 cards are going to be much less enjoyable to play.
UPDATE at July 21, 9 p.m. ET: A Marvel Snap representative has reached out to inform us that the matchmaking system has been adjusted with the new patch as well. Here are the matchmaking bands that will determine how players will be divided:
- Pool 1
- Early to Mid Pool 2
- Late Pool 2 to Early Pool 3
- Mid Pool 3 and Beyond Pool 4
These are rough estimates, but it will at least ensure an even playing field for most players regardless of their CL. While Kazoo still feels less enjoyable to play, at least you won’t be losing most of your matches to higher CL players.
So what’s the solution? To just bear with it and slowly increase your CL till you get to Pool 2? Well, sure, except once you get to Pool 2, it starts to take about eight level ups before you get your next mystery card. Add on the fact that the order in which you unlock them is totally random, and you might very well end up getting a completely useless card that doesn’t fit in with the cards you already have. Then you repeat the grind and hope to get lucky in another couple of days.
The CL progression is one of Marvel Snap’s weakest aspects right now, and it’s just been exacerbated with this latest patch that results in Pool 1 cards feeling extremely weak when compared to the later cards. As a relatively new Marvel Snap player, I was lucky enough to be able to climb to the middle of Pool 2 to be able to start building more interesting decks before the balance changes, but it’s tough to imagine jumping into the game now and feeling like you stand almost no chance against other players who have been playing for weeks before you started.
Again, Marvel Snap has a ton of potential as a new card game competitor, but these latest changes really don’t do anything except to make the game less beginner-friendly for interested newcomers. I’m still rooting for Marvel Snap and Second Dinner, but Pool 1 players really need to catch a break at some point.
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