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Marvel Snap’s powerful Leader gets a nerf, with more on the way

Slight power reduction doesn’t appease fans, but more balance changes are coming

A photo of the Leader card in Marvel Snap on an iPhone Photo: Polygon

The Leader, one of Marvel Snap’s most powerful cards, is coming in for a nerf, the digital card game’s boss said Wednesday on Twitter. For some players, however, the change is nowhere near enough.

Leader (a Hulk nemesis going back almost 60 years now) will get a reduction in Power, to 3 from 4. In Marvel Snap, the total power of cards played in a location determines control of that space (and controlling two of three locations at the end of the game determines the winner).

But his power isn’t what’s really bothering folks. Leader’s unique ability copies every card one’s opponent has played, for that turn, to their side. As Leader’s cost is 6, he typically can’t be used until the end of the game, which means players who have Leader are inevitably deploying him against other late-stage, high-cost, high-power cards. When used against multiple cards, Leader can swing the game’s outcome dramatically. Some would say unfairly. His presence is enough to force others to simply retreat.

“Leader’s effect is proving to be very frustrating to many players, and polarizing in its ability to lock down games and discourage playing some other 6-Cost cards,” Ben Brode, the chief development officer for Marvel Snap maker Second Dinner, said on Twitter.

That doesn’t address Leader’s overwhelming special ability, but then, Brode says Second Dinner is “exploring further changes to the card in the future.” Brode immediately clarified that means changes are definitely on the way for Leader.

Players seem to be divided about Leader’s effect as currently played, though most feel like he has too much potential to completely warp or seal up a game.

That said…

Still another player suggested that Leader’s copy ability apply only to cards in his location, instead of all cards played by the opponent.

The changes will be made in Marvel Snap’s next patch; that cadence has been delayed however. Leader’s nerf came to light when the patch notes made it out through Marvel Snap’s Korean version and community, prompting Brode’s reply.

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