Things are getting out of hand
At first blush, Marvel Snap looks an awful lot like a bunch of other collectible card games. It’s got all the deckbuilding depth and flashy synergies one could ask for, an energy system that’s familiar to just about any CCG fan, and even some good old-fashioned ante-upping in the form of the Snap, for folks who like their card games with a side of gambling.
One area where Marvel Snap differs from other CCGs, though, is in its discard system. When you reach maximum hand size in Marvel Snap, instead of discarding cards, you simply stop drawing. That means discarding is a much more deliberate action controlled by specific cards.
How to discard
If you want to get some cards out of your hand in Marvel Snap, you’ll need to have a specific card in your hand with a discard ability. Discard abilities have a bit of range in terms of how much control they offer. Some will tell you exactly which card you’ll be sacrificing, while others will drop something out of your hand at random.
Obviously, it’s always best to have more control over the board, so if you’re looking to build the perfect discard deck, it’s best to prioritize cards that target specific cards in your hand (Lady Sif’s On-Reveal ability, for example, will always discard the highest-cost card in your hand).
Who can discard
There are a lot of cards in Marvel Snap with discard abilities. As mentioned before, there’s Lady Sif, a 3-cost 4-power card that discards the highest-cost card in your hand. There’s also Colleen Wing, a 2-cost 4-power that discards the lowest card in your hand. Black Cat discards itself at the end of your turn unless you’ve played it.
A handful of other cards discard cards from your hand at random. Sword Master and Blade each discard one card on reveal, while Hellcow discards two. Dracula and Gambit both discard a random card but give themselves a small boost as a result (Dracula takes the discarded card’s power, while Gambit destroys a random enemy card). Moon Knight discards a random card from both your hand and the enemy’s, enhancing your discard deck while potentially disrupting the enemy’s strategy.
Why to discard
For collectible card game newcomers, the whole idea of discarding as a positive might be a bit off-putting. It seems counter-intuitive to give yourself fewer options. Like many card games, though, Marvel Snap frequently incentivizes players to remove cards from their hand. That’s because lots of cards in the game have effects that only trigger when discarded, and other cards have effects that benefit from remaining on the field while their buddies are discarded. Learning how to exploit these synergies can be vital in the current Marvel Snap meta.
Morbius, for example, gets +2 power every time a card is discarded. Meanwhile, Wolverine is played at a random location for free when it’s discarded. What that means is, if you were to play Colleen Wing while Morbius was on the board and Wolverine was the only 2-cost in your hand, you’d automatically play Wolverine and buff Morbius. That 2-cost card ends up putting 9 power on the board. While it might seem like discarding inherently takes power away from the player, it can actually bolster them pretty significantly. Chain reactions like these have made discard decks some of the most competitively viable builds in Marvel Snap, so it’s worth familiarizing yourself with the mechanic before building your next deck.