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How to win Marvel Snap’s featured location, Altar of Death

Altar of Death destroys cards in exchange for extra energy

A photo of the Featured Location “Altar of Death” in Marvel Snap on an iPhone CE Photo: Polygon
Ari Notis (he/him) is a guides editor at Polygon, where he writes, edits, and shepherds service-oriented articles about the biggest games du jour. He previously worked at Kotaku.

Every Tuesday, Marvel Snap tees up a new featured location. While a location is in the spotlight, it’ll have a higher chance of showing up, basically meaning that Second Dinner’s popular card battler has a different meta on a weekly basis. Right now, that location is Altar of Death.

Marvel Snap’s featured location for the week of Jan. 10

Altar of Death is a double-edged sword. When you play a card there, it’ll get destroyed, but you’ll gain two energy on the next turn.

Naturally, cards that rely on the destruction of other cards, like Death, have a serious edge here. Nova is great too: You can play it last to give additional power to every card on your side.

Cards that succeed when you build energy, like Sunspot and She-Hulk, also play well. Note too that you can safely move cards into Altar of Death without destroying them, meaning Vision or Nightcrawler are both a good option to keep decks flexible. Or, if you really want to control the field, you can use Armor to straight-up nullify the location’s effects entirely.

Best Marvel Snap destroy deck for Altar of Death

As a totally new location, players are still figuring out how exactly Altar of Death works, but several of us at Polygon have been messing around to see what works. Curation editor Pete Volk has reported success with this deck:

  • Yellowjacket (0/2)
  • Deadpool (1/1)
  • Squirrel Girl (1/1)
  • Yondu (1/2)
  • Bucky Barnes (2/1)
  • Carnage (2/2)
  • Wave (3/3)
  • Deathlok (3/5)
  • Spider-Man (4/3)
  • Professor X (5/3)
  • Magneto (6/12)
  • Death (9/12)

The key is to destroy cards early. You can use the gained energy cost to play Professor X early, locking down a location and forcing your opponent to sacrifice cards on Altar of Death. Those cards will then reduce the cost of Death. Plus, it’s in your benefit to destroy both Bucky Barnes (who becomes the far more powerful Winter Soldier upon destruction) and Deadpool (who pops back in your hand with twice the power every time he’s destroyed).

Best Marvel Snap energy/deny deck for Altar of Death

Meanwhile, I’ve been taking the opposite tack with a deck contingent on playing as few cards as possible:

  • Wasp (0/1)
  • Yellowjacket (0/2)
  • Sunspot (1/1)
  • Okoye (2/2)
  • Armor (2/3)
  • Storm (3/2)
  • Sandman (4/1)
  • Spider-Man (4/3)
  • Klaw (5/4)
  • Spider-Woman (5/7)
  • She-Hulk (6/10)
  • The Infinaut (6/20)

The idea here is to play Sunspot early, then burn the 0-cost cards on Altar of Death to gain energy, which in turn powers up Sunspot. You can also use the bonus energy to play She-Hulk early. (She-Hulk costs less for every unspent energy you have remaining each turn.) And if you limit your opponent with Sandman or Spider-Man, you can close out the match with Infinaut.

As for Armor? Oh, she’s just there to ruin the days of people who use Pete’s strategy.