Best Leader decks in Marvel Snap and how to counter them

Lead your way to victory with Leader.
Image via Marvel

The Leader is one of the smartest supervillains in the Marvel universe, and a powerful card in the right deck. He was first a simple chemical plant worker named Samuel Sterns before having an accident while working with a radioactive material which caused him to gain superhuman intelligence. In Marvel Snap, he can be a force to be reckoned with, especially if luck favors its user’s side.

Leader is a six-cost, two-Power card and has an ability that reads “On Reveal: Copy the enemy card(s) with the highest Power played this turn, but on your side.” This effect can be a game-changing one, and you might just consider building a deck centering around him.

Here are the best Leader decks in Marvel Snap.

Best Leader decks in Marvel Snap

Electro/Sandman Ramp

Screenshot by Dot Esports

Leader is a great tech card for most decks. It has a straightforward effect that works more as a high risk, high reward type of card. But one of the decks where it can see consistency as a usable card is in an Electro/Sandman ramp deck.

This deck mainly focuses on taking advantage of Sandman’s effect. It is a five-cost, five-Power card with the ability that reads “Ongoing: Players can only play 1 card a turn.” This restriction counters a handful of decks, such as the Sera Control and Silver Surfer decks, where the last play usually requires playing multiple cards for a high-Powered finish.

Electro, on the other hand, is the architect of this deck. It gives you plus one energy per turn after the turn you played it in exchange for restricting you to just playing one card per turn. But this paves the way for its user to play Sandman as early as turn four, restricting both players to  one card each turn in the process.

For your early game, you can play the likes of Sunspot, which gains Power equal to your unspent energy per turn, and Ebony Maw, which is a one-cost, seven-Power card that you can’t play after turn three and prevents you from playing other cards on the location where it is placed. Lizard is also a good addition thanks to its two-cost, five-Power stat line despite its setback ability that reads “Ongoing: -3 Power if your opponent has 4 cards here.”

As for your mid to late game finishers, you can use Jubilee, which summons the top card of your deck without paying its cost, Devil Dinosaur, which gains plus two Power for each card in your hand, Aero, which can move the last card your opponent played to the location where Aero is placed, Doctor Doom, which creates two five-Power Doombots on every other location, and Odin, which activates all On Reveal effects of the cards where you played it.

Wave can be added to make your cards four-cost regardless of their original costs. The key to using this deck is to always prioritize the Electro/Sandman combo. The one card per turn restriction can disrupt the potential multiple plays of your opponent by turn six, or even as early as turn five.

Win condition cards for this deck

Almost every card in this deck can define its main winning condition. There are some that are more necessary to pull off the main key strategies of the deck, as well as establishing the most consistent victory engines of the deck. These are:

  • Electro
  • Sandman
  • Wave
  • Aero
  • Doctor Doom
  • Odin

The ideal sequential play for this deck is Sunspot, Ebony Maw, and Lizard on turns one and two, Electro/Wave on turn three, and Sandman on turn four. Pulling this sequential play already puts you in the advantage, especially if your opponent runs a deck where playing multiple cards in a turn is the main strategy.

As for your late game prowess, Aero can be played to potentially outplay your opponent in turn five or six. It is much easier to use the card when Sandman is present, so playing Aero wisely can potentially guarantee you to win two of the locations. Doctor Doom can be used to swarm the field with multiple cards which can power-up your locations. Odin can then re-activate Doctor Doom’s ability to add even more Doombots.

Related: Five best cards to pin in the Marvel Snap Token Shop

Negative Deck

Screenshot by Dot Esports

Another deck where Leader can be used efficiently is in a Mister Negative engine. This is because Leader’s stat line can synergize well with Mister Negative’s ability. However, this deck is more of a high risk, high reward type and mainly relies on Mister Negative’s effect to work more dangerously for the opponent. But once you are able to pull it off, it will be worth it for your side.

Mister Negative is a four-cost, negative one-Power card which can swap the cost and Power of all of your cards in the deck. This is a game-changing effect which can produce a lot of free cards in the process, paving the way for potential miracle plays in turns five and six. Leader can take advantage of Mister Negative’s ability, making it a two-cost, six-Power card.

Some of the other cards that can be great targets for Mister Negative’s effect are those units with zero Power. This can make them zero-cost cards if you are successful in activating Mister Negative’s ability. This includes Sunspot, as well as Angela, which gains plus two Power after you play a card on the location where it is placed, Hit-Monkey, which gains plus two Power for each card you played on the same turn you played it, Ironheart, which gives three friendly cards plus two Power, Mystique, which copies the Ongoing ability of the last card you played, Darkhawk, which gains plus two Power for each card in your opponent’s deck, and Iron Man, which doubles the total Power of the location where it is placed.

As for the other cards in the deck, you can use Korg, which gives a rock to your opponent’s deck, Zabu, which lowers the cost of your four-cost cards, Wong, which has on Ongoing ability that allows you to trigger the On Reveal abilities of your cards twice, and White Tiger, which is a five-cost, one-Power card that summons a seven-Power Tiger clone to another location.

The key to using this deck is to always prioritize to bring out Mister Negative as early as possible. This can pave the way for making your cards’ costs a lot cheaper and potentially using multiple unpredictable plays in the late game.

Win condition cards for this deck

There are various cards in this deck that define its winning image or strategy. These are:

  • Mister Negative
  • Darkhawk
  • Iron Man
  • Mystique
  • White Tiger
  • Wong
  • Hit-Monkey

Of course, Mister Negative is the heart and soul of this deck. Playing it is a must, so it is important to find ways to activate its effect as early as possible.

Darkhawk and Iron Man can provide the goods for massive Power on your locations. Mystique can also be a great help since it can copy the Ongoing ability of either of those cards. The White Tiger and Wong combo, on the other hand, can be a good alternative plan for your late game to swarm your locations with multiple Tiger Clones (with the help of Mystique to copy Wong’s ability as well).

Hit-Monkey is an excellent choice to power-up your locations in an unpredictable way. If luck heavily favors your side, playing a zero-cost Hit-Monkey, Iron Heart, Darkhawk, Iron Man, and Mystique on turn six can definitely be a dangerous scenario for your opponent, and increase your chances of winning.

Related: Marvel Snap On Reveal deck guide for each pool: 3 best On Reveal decks

Leader deck staple cards

Here are the staple cards you should play in a Leader deck along with their effects:

  • Sunspot – At the end of each turn, gain +1 Power for each unspent energy.

Leader decks’ current state in the meta

Leader dominated the meta way back before it got hit with the nerf that changed its status in the game. Leader was originally released as a six-cost, four-Power card and its first ability was to copy all the cards your opponent played during the turn it was also played. This led to Leader becoming one of the most hated cards at the time because of its overpowered ability which could heavily disrupt the strategy of the opponent in an instant.

The first change implemented on Leader was in January 2023, where its stats changed to being a six-cost, seven-Power card and its ability became: “On Reveal: Copy all cards your opponent played to the location to the right, but on your side.” This made Leader almost unplayable because of how bad it was, especially since the opponent isn’t always guaranteed to play cards to the right of their location during the turn Leader was also played.

With Leader’s most recent change, it quickly made an impact on the current meta of Marvel Snap. The majority of Electro Sandman decks run Leader today, especially with how this deck’s strategy of limiting both players to just play one card per turn impacts the flow of every match. It is also a great counter to Galactus decks, especially if they play Knull on the turn where Leader is also placed.

As for the Negative Deck, it is more of a “make it or break it” type of deck and lacks a bit of consistency compared to the other meta decks today. But pulling off the combos on this deck can give you big, powerful plays that can be unmatched by your opponent.

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Author
David Gealogo
Strategic Content Writer for Dot Esports from the Philippines, mainly for Marvel Snap, Fortnite, card games, MOBA, battle-royale, general gaming, and more. Previously wrote news articles and guides for Gfinity Esports, Sportskeeda, Esports.net, and GINX Esports TV. Also a competitive Marvel Snap player under my in-game name: Davidwaaaa, a leaderboard Infinite player and joining multiple Snap tournaments. Sheesh. Let's get in touch: dgealogo@gmail.com