Image via Second Dinner

Best Zabu decks in Marvel Snap (March 2024)

Zabu was nerfed but quickly found another role.

Shortly after its release, Zabu reigned supreme in the Marvel Snap meta in decks that use lots of four-cost cards. But after his nerf along with Silver Surfer, players had to adapt to assemble the new best Zabu decks in Marvel Snap.

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Zabu card abilities in Marvel Snap, explained

Zabu, a lion with green eyes walking over tree branches, with two cost and two power.
King of the Jungle. Image via Second Dinner

Zabu is a two-Cost card with two Power. Its effect states: “Ongoing: Your 4-Cost cards cost 1 less. (minimum 1).” Zabu is in the new season pass and is available in series four, accessed from collection level 486 or above. You can find it in the Marvel Snap Token Shop, as long as you don’t have it in your collection already, for 3,000 Collectors Tokens.

Now that Zabu’s ability lowers the cost of cards by only one, players have found better ways to utilize him than just clearing the way for a bunch of four-cost cards. Decks with a few key four-Cost cards now have a better chance of success.

Zabu’s effect can still stack with cost reductions from other sources, like s the Elysium location and the Sera card, further reducing the cost of the player’s cards and allowing multiple of them to be played in the final turns.

Strategy for Zabu decks in Marvel Snap

One of the main changes to using Zabu is that it’s now a perfect tool to bring Mister Negative into play on turn three, which fills the same role as Psylocke in Negative builds. Zabu is also very effective at lowering the cost of some of the best cards in Control decks along with Sera, providing powerful final turns and letting you use Enchantress and Shang-Chi alongside other cards.

Since his nerf, it’s no longer as interesting to copy Zabu’s effect with Mystique or use more than four four-Cost cards in his deck.

Best combos with Zabu in Marvel Snap

Cards that have the best synergy with Zabu include:

  • Sera
  • Mister Negative
  • Darkhawk

Zabu’s ability is best utilized to allow other important cards to work ahead of time or in combos. Zabu and Sera in a Control deck allow for a final turn where you can play three cards between Enchantress, Shang-Chi, Darkhawk, and Mystique.

Its inclusion in Mister Negative decks is very welcome, as now in addition to Psylocke, Zabu can also enable Mister Negative to be played on turn three. Leading the turn is highly relevant for this build.

When it comes to scoring points by taking advantage of Zabu, the best way is with Rock Slide and Darkhawk.

The best Zabu decks in Marvel Snap

Darkhawk

Marvel Snap deck consisting of Korg, Shadow King, Zabu, Jeff, Black Widow, Rock Slide, Darkhawk, Shang-Chi, Ms. Marvel, Iron Lad. Leech, and Doctor Doom.
Good cards indeed. Screenshot via Untapped.gg

Zabu’s effect to reduce the cost of your four-Cost cards by one is powerful in a Darkhawk deck. Here, the majority of the key cards, including the deck’s main ace, Darkhawk, are four-Costs. Also, many viable win conditions here have toolbox effects that can adapt well to most offensive strategies available in the game.

Darkhawk is the main Power source in this deck. It has an Ongoing ability to gain plus two Power for each card in your opponent’s deck. That’s why Korg and Rock Slide are important, since both add unnecessary rocks to your opponent’s deck. Black Widow, on the other hand, adds Widow’s Bite to your opponent’s hand that prevents them from drawing cards as long as it remains in their hand.

Disruption cards like Shadow King (to reduce the Power of all cards at the location you play it to their base Powers), Shang-Chi (to destroy opponent’s cards with ten or more Power), and Leech (for removing the abilities of your opponent’s cards in-hand by turn six) are also included in this deck. As for Jeff the Baby Land Shark, it’s literally unstoppable when it comes to playing or moving it to any location.

Ms. Marvel can potentially give bonus Power to your adjacent locations, while Iron Lad is a four-Cost, six-Power unit that copies the text of the top card of your deck. Cap off the deck with Doctor Doom, which creates two five-Power Doombots at each other location.

Darkhawk Junk

Marvel Snap Junk deck
Junk your way to victory. Screenshot via Untapped.gg

Another deck where Zabu can be used is in a Junk deck. Aside from adding rocks to your opponent’s deck while boosting Darkhawk’s Power, unnecessary cards can also be targeted to be transferred to your opponent’s side of the location which can possibly be converted offense for your side.

The Hood and Sentry’s negative 10-Power Void are Junk targets you can place on your opponent’s side of locations. That’s why using Annihilus is a must, since it’s the only card that can transfer Junk cards or get rid of them if your opponent fills their locations with cards.

Iron Lad is also in this deck, while Cull Obsidian is an added offensive boost but can only be played on your locations with one-Cost cards. Nico Minoru is there for its toolbox of abilities, and Alioth is the main finisher thanks to its ability to destroy your opponent’s unrevealed cards.

How to counter Zabu decks in Marvel Snap

Since Zabu is a core card for your decks and its effect is Ongoing, the most obvious counters are Enchantress and Rogue.

Enchantress is a very affordable tech card since it’s from pool one. Using it where Zabu is played can greatly reduce the efficiency of the card, even if the opponent can play a card at a lower Cost during turn three. This stops their potential strength during later turns.

In addition to these key strategies to thwart Zabu’s effects, decks featuring Sandman can cause Zabu to completely lose his ability to play multiple cards on final turns and can stop many of the combos that Zabu makes possible.

Zabu decks’ current state in the meta

Zabu does not have a game-changing ability. It’s more of a tech card that paves the way for your strategy composed of four-Cost cards to be more efficient and dangerous for your opponent. But the decks where it belongs perform well in the current meta.

Both Darkhawk decks above possess a variety of effects that adapt well to almost any deck in the game. The first one is more of a straightforward strategy that lets you build a lot of Power, while the other is more of a control engine that can disrupt your opponent’s setups but also has ways to let you create Power.


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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