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The Ultimate Guide to the DeathWave Deck in Marvel Snap: Top Cards and Counters


The DeathWave deck is a formidable force in Marvel Snap, capable of delivering explosive final turns that have left many players empty-handed. However, simply possessing the right cards isn’t enough. To climb the ranks with the DeathWave deck, players must also grasp its intricacies and master its strategies. In this guide, we will explore how to effectively utilize the DeathWave deck, identify the best cards and locations, learn the art of Snapping, and recognize formidable opponents.

How to Utilize the DeathWave Deck in Marvel Snap?

The core strategy of the DeathWave deck revolves around setting the stage for a game-changing final turn. Key cards like Death and She-Hulk, fueled by Wave’s ability and their synergistic interactions, pack a significant punch. Additionally, Aero plays a crucial role in overcoming formidable opponents, as its control effect dictates where the opponent’s cards can be played, denying them access to key locations for Death or She-Hulk. Familiarizing oneself with the effects of these cards and their interplay is essential.

Staple Cards in the DeathWave Deck

Death and She-Hulk are the backbone of the DeathWave deck, carrying the power and versatility to score points. Both cards possess effects that reduce their costs. She-Hulk’s cost can be diminished by refraining from using energy in the preceding turn, as the amount of energy not expended is subtracted from her cost. On the other hand, Death’s cost relies on cards being destroyed throughout the game. Each destroyed card reduces Death’s cost by one, necessitating the inclusion of cards with destroy effects in the deck.

Wave: The Game-Changer

Wave is the linchpin that makes the DeathWave deck possible. Its effect alters the base cost of cards in players’ hands to four, magnifying the impact of cost reductions provided by other cards. When played on turn five, both players will hold only four-cost cards, effectively limiting most decks to playing a single card.

Aero: A Crucial Control Card

Aero wields an incredibly potent control effect. By manipulating the opponent’s card placement, it can secure victories that would otherwise be hotly contested. To maximize Aero’s effectiveness, it is crucial to have the initiative, allowing the player to move the opponent’s cards before they are revealed, rendering their effects moot in the desired locations. Although Aero’s cost cannot be reduced normally, playing it alongside Wave on turn five allows for two spare energy points to play Death and She-Hulk.

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The Destructive Arsenal of the DeathWave Deck

The deck boasts a range of cards that excel at destroying opponents’ cards, a fundamental aspect of DeathWave’s endgame strategy. Several key cards contribute to this destructive force:

  • Carnage and Deathlok: These cards decimate the player’s own cards in a location, yielding valuable points and gaining the upper hand in subsequent turns.
  • Killmonger: As a counter to card-heavy decks like Thanos and Kazoo, Killmonger obliterates all one-cost cards in play.
  • Yondu: In addition to bolstering the destroy count, Yondu serves as an invaluable source of information about the enemy deck, as his effect activates easily and requirement-free.

Cards Destined for Destruction in the DeathWave Deck

Cards with destroy effects necessitate suitable targets, and the following cards serve as prime candidates:

  • Squirrel Girl: Apart from contributing to the destroyed card count, Squirrel Girl’s presence ensures that, when played later alongside Killmonger, three cards will be destroyed. Moreover, her early turn presence secures the player’s initiative for the second round, guaranteeing the activation of a destroy effect.
  • Bucky Barnes: Bucky Barnes becomes a potent power contributor as the game progresses, particularly during the fourth inning. If Carnage destroys Bucky Barnes, their combined power can reach a total of 10.
  • The Hood: The Hood’s effect of summoning a Demon card with six power proves instrumental in boosting point accumulation. As the Demon’s activation occurs after Killmonger’s effect, it significantly contributes to scoring.

With eleven cards already accounted for, there is room for only one replacement in the deck.

Tech Cards in the DeathWave Deck

Among the potential options, America Chavez stands as a reliable choice to conclude the DeathWave deck. Her effect ensures that she is only drawn on turn six, vastly improving the chances of drawing the necessary cards for the final combo until turn five. This affords players the luxury of assessing the situation and determining the favorability of proceeding, free from reliance on luck during the final draw.

Alternatively, Moon Girl possesses an extremely impactful effect when copying Death, while Nova offers an additional card that can be destroyed. However, as the deck’s strategy does not involve maintaining an extensive card presence, Nova’s effect lacks significant impact. Shang-Chi presents an intriguing option, primarily for countering opponent strategies, as his effect counts as a destroy, thereby decreasing Death’s cost.

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Best and Worst Locations for the DeathWave Deck

Certain locations present opportunities to maximize the DeathWave deck’s potential, compelling players to consider an earlier Snap. Conversely, there are locations that portend challenging matches, prompting players to weigh the odds carefully.

Best Locations for the DeathWave Deck

  • Altar of Death, Collapsed Mine, Death’s Domain, Lamentis-1, and Rickety Bridge: These locations facilitate reducing Death’s cost to zero.
  • Bar With No Name: The Hood’s power counters this location effectively, as its negative power renders opponents unable to retaliate if played during the final turn.
  • Morag: Wave’s impact allows players to restrict opponents from playing cards on turn six, often limiting them to a single card.
  • The Big House: This location restricts players to low-cost cards, enabling Death and She-Hulk’s dominance despite their reduced costs, surpassing opponents’ naturally playable cards.
  • Central Park and Savage Land: These locations generate in-game tokens that Killmonger can destroy, thus effortlessly diminishing Death’s cost.

Worst Locations for the DeathWave Deck

  • Wakanda: As a destroy-focused deck, Wakanda presents a considerable challenge, as it eliminates one location for card destruction.
  • Sanctum Sanctorum: Although Squirrel Girl can reach this location, it is often more advantageous to destroy the opponent’s Squirrels.
  • Mindscape: This location can prove problematic, as players may need to achieve victory before the transition on turn six, sacrificing optimal synergies.
  • Ego: Ego’s lack of synergistic card usage poses a significant obstacle for combo-oriented decks.

Countering the DeathWave Deck in Marvel Snap

Several strategies and cards can significantly impede the DeathWave deck’s path to victory. While some are more prevalent than others, players must remain vigilant about their opponents’ moves.

Decks focused on playing a single card per turn, such as Shuri Zero and Galactus, remain relatively unimpacted by Wave’s final turn effect. Shang-Chi serves as a viable option to counter such decks, although engaging them always proves more difficult than anticipated.

Both Sandman and Leech present formidable challenges to DeathWave’s final turn. Played on turn five, they can severely hinder Death and even prevent its play entirely. In such instances, it may be prudent to retreat.

Decks capable of timing their explosiveness, exemplified by Lockjaw Thanos, pose another threat. While these decks tend to reserve their most impactful turns for endgame surprises, they retain the flexibility to execute a powerful turn earlier, playing a significant card on turn six.

Armor serves as a common card capable of thwarting pivotal plays to reduce Death’s cost. Most players incorporate Armor immediately after playing Sunspot, shielding it from Killmonger’s effects. Consequently, it is crucial never to play Bucky Barnes in the same location as Sunspot. Additionally, Armor can be played on turn three when Bucky Barnes is employed, as it becomes apparent where Carnage or Deathlok should be played next. To circumvent this, the player must possess the initiative, activating their destroy effect before Armor’s unveiling. Cosmo functions similarly but cannot be utilized on turn two.

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When to Snap with the DeathWave Deck?

Multiple factors must be considered when choosing the optimal moment to Snap.

Locations that pose considerable challenges for the DeathWave deck demand restraint, precluding Snapping before the commencement of turn three when all locations are revealed.

As the DeathWave deck’s core strategy hinges on plays during turn six, waiting until the beginning of turn five is advisable before deciding to Snap. America Chavez’s presence in the deck ensures sufficient information is available by turn five. Until then, players must discern the nature of the opponent’s deck.

If the opponent employs cards capable of countering the DeathWave deck, the player must refrain from Snapping. Conversely, if turn five brings the prospects of the opponent playing Leech or Sandman, a strategic retreat may be warranted, even if the Snap occurred at the start of the turn.

Whenever Aero can be included in the final turn, priority must be given to considering the Snap. If Aero is absent from the available cards, relinquishing priority becomes the preferable course, preventing Death and She-Hulk’s destruction by Shang-Chi.

The Best Plays for Each Turn

  • Turn One: Squirrel Girl and Yondu are the optimal cards to play. Seizing early turn priority guarantees the activation of destroy effects, while Yondu provides crucial intelligence about the opponent’s deck.
  • Turn Two: Bucky Barnes unequivocally stands as the top choice for this round. Given the overt declaration of intent associated with playing Bucky Barnes, it is wise to avoid locations that harbor high-value one-cost cards like Sunspots or Quinjets.
  • Turn Three: This is when the player should commence destroying their cards to reduce Death’s cost, while accumulating power. Deathlok and Carnage prove adept at fulfilling this task, especially if Bucky Barnes was played in the previous turn.
  • Turn Four: The final opportunity to secure all four destroys, turn four typically favors Killmonger. By this point, opponents have likely played their one-cost cards.
  • Turns Five and Six: These turns largely involve playing Wave exclusively. If the player successfully destroyed at least four cards, Death’s cost can be reduced to zero, She-Hulk’s to two, and Aero remains at four energy—a perfect move to control opponents’ cards and secure the required points to conquer other locations.


The DeathWave deck possesses immense potential, aiming to obliterate opponents with its explosive final turns. By understanding the intricacies of its cards, optimizing destroy effects, and identifying suitable locations, players can ascend the ranks of Marvel Snap with confidence. However, one must remain vigilant against counter strategies and exercise discretion when Snapping. With strategic plays and meticulous execution, victory lies within reach for practitioners of the DeathWave deck.

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