Marvel Snap: Rise of the Phoenix: New cards and locations

UKRAINE - 2021/08/31: In this photo illustration a Marvel logo is seen on a smartphone and a pc screen. (Photo Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
UKRAINE - 2021/08/31: In this photo illustration a Marvel logo is seen on a smartphone and a pc screen. (Photo Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images) /

Every Marvel Snap series tries to have a theme. Sometimes it succeeds and everything kinda makes sense like the Animals Assemble season that introduced Hit Monkey but also gave us Jeff the Baby Land Shark, Stegron, and Snowguard (who can change into animals). And sometimes they make absolutely no sense, like the Guardians Greatest Hits which introduced Nebula before also introducing High Evolutionary, The Living Tribunal, and…Howard the Duck. And before you scoff at Howard the Duck (how dare you), he’s the one character out of the three that actually has a rich history with the Guardians and even was part of their crew for a short time.

The most recent Spider-Versus season was one of the best seasons Marvel Snap has ever had with everything being on theme. I loved it. Not only did it hand out the ever-popular Ghost-Spider (seriously, how does she have so many variants so soon?) but also gave us Silk, Spider-Ham, and Spider-Man 2099. Each card somehow masterfully captured the personality of their respective characters with their moves.

Silk, who tends to push people away because of her powers, leaves a location to go elsewhere every time a card is played in the same location as her. Spider-Ham brings out a cartoon mallet and turns your opponent’s highest-cost card in their hand into a pig. And the Spider-verses most popular edgelord, Spider-Man 2099, goes and destroys one of your opponent’s cards the first time he moves to a new location.

It was a great season.

But how does the upcoming Rise of the Phoenix season stack up to it? Well, here’s Marvel Snap’s main man Ben Brode to talk about while hilariously torturing himself.

This one looks pretty interesting though a bit chaotic. Here are the new cards and locations it’s going to hit you with:

(Note, all these descriptions are of the cards as of July 3rd, 2023 and are subject to change)

The Phoenix Force – 5/5
Ability: Revive one of your destroyed cards and merge with it. This card can move each turn.

This one is going to be in a LOT of decks. Expect to grow to hate cards like Human Torch, Vulture, and Dagger.

When the Phoenix Force merges with a destroyed card, it still keeps the destroyed card’s abilities, so in the case of it merging with Vulture, it can gain +5 every time it moves. It’s going to be hard to destroy and revive a card super early in the game, especially with it being a 5/5 card that Mr. Negative won’t be able to touch, but I expect people to bend over backwards figuring out how to play it as soon as possible via cards like Wave.

Jean Grey – 3/3
Ability: Players must play their first card here. (if possible)

You can’t have a Phoenix themed event without the Phoenix Force’s most famous host, Jean Grey. And her card’s abilities are going to make decks with her as chaotic as her stories.

When you drop Jean Grey at a location you and your opponent have no choice but to have to play every first card at this location until it’s full. I will say, the thought of taking a location and just dropping Brood and Jean Grey at a location you’re sure the opponent is planning on dropping Galactus sounds kinda fun though. It would also be good in a deck with cards with a lot of move potential like Silk, Vision, Jeff, and the like so you could place cards there and then place them elsewhere.

Just remember that when you place Cloak your opponent is also going to have a slew of cards they’re going to be desperate to move.

Echo – 1/2
Ability: After your player plays an Ongoing card here, remove its abilities.

Ah Echo. As of this writing she’s not only the current host of the Phoenix Force but also it’s most capable host. Her abilities however don’t seem to have much to do with her as she doesn’t really have any power dampening abilities so it is an odd choice.

When you play Echo at a location, every time the opponent plays a card at that location that’s Ongoing they lose that Ongoing ability. And while the trailer shows them being a good counter if you know Cosmo is about to appear there is SO much potential for Echo backfiring.

Echo’s ability practically invites the opponent to drop cards like Electro, Typhoid Mary, and Red Skull which all feature Ongoing abilities that benefit the opponent in exchange for their high power. It also means that Ebony Maw, whose ongoing ability prevents any other cards to be played with it, is going to absolutely worship the sight of Echo.

Legion – 5/7
Ability: Replace each other location with this one.

This one is a baffling addition to me. It would be pretty hard to find a Marvel character that has less to do with the Phoenix. In fact, the only time Legion ever interacted with the Phoenix Force is when he inadvertently created the “Age of X” universe where the Phoenix Force was responsible for wiping out a city. And that was by accident.

When you play Legion at a location, it will turn the other two locations into copies of that location. In the trailer, it shows Legion being used chaotically. Turning all three locations into Flooding and turning all three into Death’s Domain to, effectively, lock out the entire board.

I think there’s a lot of functionality to this card as well though. Having Legion on the fourth turn can also be a good way to turn off Flooded locations on the last turn giving you a chance to take over a location the opponent might feel they confidently locked down.

I’m also curious how it pairs with locations like the Great Web that moves one card there every turn. Will that just shuffle everything? It’ll be interesting to test.

Mirage – 2/2
Ability: Copy the lowest cost card from your opponent’s hand into your hand. Give it +2 power.

Here’s another character with practically no link to the Phoenix Force. The only way she isn’t tied with Legion is that she was once present when the Phoenix Force resurrected Jean Grey. But I mean to know Jean Grey is to witness one of her many resurrections. Girl has been resurrected more times than leopard print clothing.

Her abilities work much like Emma Frost’s in which you generate a copy of a card in your opponent’s hand. Only in this case, it’s a copy of the lowest-cost card while also giving that copy +2 power. You might end up with a Kitty Pryde at 4-power or a 9-power Ebony Mal.

Mirage will also be a fairly decent way to get an idea of what your opponent is up to, though the lower-cost cards aren’t ALWAYS going to tell a story, finding yourself with a sudden Kraven, Armor, Carnage, or Patriot might be a good clue.

Two New Locations:

In addition to the new cards, two new locations will be appearing this season, Lake Hellas and the White Hot Room.

Lake Hellas has absolutely nothing to do with the Phoenix as it is a diplomatic area that Storm set up on Mars to host galactic meetings. It does grant a +2 power boost to 1-cost cards. This can be pretty useful especially if you’ve ended up with a deck willed with rocks and vibrainium.

The White Hot Room, the “afterlife”-like dimension that holds the spirits of all former Phoenix hosts, is the other new location. Whoever is able to fill this location gets +3 energy for the rest of the game. Expect to see your opponent dive for this as that +3 can make up for the lost time they got at the other two locations leading to some chaotic final turns.