How Tos

Best Gladiator deck and how to counter it

Gladiator has an unmatched deck. We will talk a bit about its setup and the most effortless ways to counter the deck, in case you run into it.

Best Gladiator deck and how to counter it
| Marvel Snap

As Marvel Snap continues to diversify its roster of cards, it has become a job to master each character and put together a strong deck. Nonetheless, you have cards being added to the game by the week and it can be extremely overwhelming. Especially with a new season approaching, you should only expect a flood of new releases coming, including more characters, gear, new variants and more. But for today, we need to talk about Gladiator. Being that he's a newer, harder card to obtain, there aren't many sources out there that provide information on what deck works best with him, and what deck design is best to counter him with.

It may be through a phone screen, but to play Marvel Snap you have to be light on your toes and always watch your opponent’s moves. To me, the game has become so detail-oriented, that I have started to call it “Marvel Chess”. I mean, think about it. Some cards can only be used in certain places, when you play specific cards together, they create an additional bonus for you, and the higher power cards have stronger abilities, and are generally your last chance of an offensive attack. Doesn’t sound too far off from chess…

Marvel Snap Gladiator card

The Best Deck For Gladiator

It's time to get down to business. Gladiator is 3-Cost and 7-Power. His attributes alone already make him stand out from most, considering not a lot of cards in Marvel Snap have a power that high with such a low energy cost. But his ability can be a dealbreaker for others. Gladiator’s ability reads “Add a card from your opponent’s deck to their side of this location. If it has less Power, destroy it.”

Unlike other characters we have talked about previously, Gladiator can backfire on you quite a lot, especially if your opponent likes to play high-power cards early. However, if your opponent plays small ball, and only uses small power cards, Gladiator could then be the gravedigger for your challenger. This is the deck I find Gladiator most useful:

  • Moon Girl
  • Sentry
  • Cosmo
  • Black Widow
  • HobGoblin
  • Sunspot
  • Debrii
  • Green Goblin
  • Viper
  • The Hood
  • Forge
  • (Gladiator)

After working day and night on a reliable deck for Gladiator, I can definitely say this is the one. You can make a few possible swaps (I don’t recommend any) to have this squad provide different resources.

Rocket Raccoon card

Possible Substitutions

You can exchange Forge for another low-cost card such as Mirage, Luke Cage, or Rocket Raccoon. However, you’re better off with Forge. Forge is the “assist man” of this deck. The next card you play after him, he receives +2 power. Luke Cage and Rocket Racoon are more of a defensive card, waiting on your opponent’s moves, hoping they’ll put a card under your pillar. Whereas, Forge guarantees you the additional +2 power wherever you place your next card.

Moon Girl, HobGoblin, Cosmo, and The Hood are the core points for this Gladiator deck. Moon Girl duplicates your current hand after you land her on the board. You can use her before or after you drop Gladiator. It really depends on how risky you want to play. If you drop her before, then you'll have two Gladiators, but let’s imagine your challenger was prepared with counters. In this unique situation, you can only hope that the cards that appeared are less than 7-Power. Otherwise, you are absolutely doomed.

HobGoblin is a pure slap in the face. When revealed, he’ll automatically switch to the enemy side. With 8 power, I’d say he can be pretty helpful in slowing down the opposing deck. Cosmo is also unique, weighing in as a 3-Cost, 3-Power card. Cosmo, on reveal, will disable all ongoing abilities at the location she’s placed, including on your side. So, just keep that in mind when using Cosmo. She can either help you immensely, or hurt you.

The Hood blazing his guns

Lastly, there is The Hood. The Hood happens to be one of my favourite cards. The hooded gunman is a 1-Cost, -3-Power. Yes, you read that write. He is 3-Power, and yes, he is still a huge asset. When The Hood is put into play, he releases a Demon into your hand. A Demon is a 1-Cost, 6-Power card. Now, you see why I use him? This setup is a huge misdirection for any opponent, and a big benefit in a Gladiator deck.

Counter Deck Against Gladiator

Gladiator can be a fairly simple deck to counter. To surpass Gladiator and avoid his abilities you need a destroy or high-power deck. So, this opens the door for a lot of options. This is my Gladiator counter deck:

  • Yondu
  • Mantis
  • Deadpool
  • Death
  • Killmonger
  • Wolverine
  • Knull
  • Arnim Zola
  • Bucky Barnes
  • Nova
  • X-23
  • Hulkbuster
Deadpool card in Marvel Snap

Main Keys For Counter Deck

Believe it or not, Deadpool, Yondu, Wolverine, and Hulkbuster are essential here. Deadpool, when destroyed, revives himself to your hand while doubling his power. Wolverine, when destroyed or discarded, will resurrect himself to a random location with an additional +2 power. Yondu doesn't offer any reviving abilities.

However, Yondu does destroy the top card of your opponent's deck, so he is definitely your lead for early game plays. The goal is hoping he will eliminate Gladiator before he reaches your opponent's hand. Then there is Hulkbuster. Hulkbuster, just like from Infinity War, does its job by merging itself with another friendly card at the pillar it’s placed. When these cards merge, their power points are combined and they cannot be destroyed. Hulkbuster is your safety net to keep points on the board and to avoid elimination from an enemy Gladiator.

Gladiator is not an ‘everyday’ selection you make for your deck. In my experience, I have lost quite a few close games with him, but I have also won a good amount of matches. In conclusion, I find Gladiator to be a 50/50 character. I would not label him as a top-tier card, but he can be a curveball for some challengers. Hope this helps!

Jeremy Block
Jeremy Block
As a passionate writer, I am deeply interested in everything related to Star Wars and Marvel. I am drawn to the unique characters, complex storytelling, and epic battles that these franchises offer, and I am constantly seeking out new ways to engage with these universes. When I am not writing, you can often find me grinding away at Pokemon Go, or competing in Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes and Marvel Strike Force. With a deep appreciation for gaming, I strive to create content that captivates my readers and offers a meaningful connection to the worlds they love.