Marvel Snap, Disney’s NFT psyop that’s quickly destroying my life, has a bluffing mechanic that’s simple but genius. The card battler allows you to “snap,” except instead of deleting half the world, the mechanic immediately doubles the bet on the game you’re playing. Your opponent then has to make a calculation. Do they think they have a good enough hand to keep going?
If your opponent is confident, they can snap back and double it up once again. It’s a gamble that only gets riskier as the match goes on, as the game will ultimately triple down on the overall wager. If you lose your nerve, you can always retreat before you lose too many cubes, the currency you’re betting and the resource that you need to rank up.
Based on my description, you’d think the logical thing to do would be to snap tactically. Maybe you snap when it’s obvious you have a good hand and you want to ratchet up the pressure. Or perhaps you read our handy dandy Marvel Snap tips and know that it’s sometimes a good idea to snap just to fool your opponent into thinking the completely wrong thing. Meaning, you’d think that snapping is a thing you would do once there was something to actually assess, so you can make a judgement on whether or not the gamble is worth it.
Most people play the sane way. But sometimes, you come across a loose cannon who, immediately upon loading up into the match, will snap before there are any cards on the board. This is usually followed by some unhinged emote or phrase, like the icon of Spider-Man pointing at you in defiance. There is no rhyme or reason here, only chaos. And it’s infectious, too. Normal people who would never snap on turn one unprompted then go, fuck it, why not? It’s easier to be bold when you have no idea what’s coming yet.
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I have been guilty of these crimes and more. Sometimes I’m just desperate to level up faster and figure, hey, if I’m going to win it might as well be worth the maximum number of cubes, right? Perhaps I have a challenge to win a snapped game, and I don’t want to forget to do it. And sometimes, it is a pure desire to watch the world burn. You can’t take ‘em with you, except for how you do because it’s a video game.
Polling some readers on Twitter, I found the reasons that people snap on turn one to be hilariously good.
“Sometimes people are taking too long, there can’t be that many options on the first turn!!” says @TristanACooper.
“It makes me laugh,” writes @V_Ben.
“Because I’m not a coward,” says @nervesend, a sentiment that sounded very similar to @JPEGJester telling me that they’re “built differently.”
Some of us are here for a good time, not a long time. @Th3Composer says they do it “to feel powerful and alive,” ceding that they’ll likely retreat in two turns afterward.
The most surprising answer, something I hadn’t even considered because it simply sounds too reasonable, had to come from @kadybat. Kadybat describes a sensible world where people ask “Snap?” with the pre-built phrases, rather than simply jumping off the cliff. “I reply with the Thanos emoji that means ‘let’s make this an 8 cube game baby,’” Kady says.
Whatever the case, know one thing. If you encounter a round-one snapper, be afraid. I will put down Korg on Bar Sinister even though it’s low energy just to fill your deck up with rocks. I will play Wanda on the last turn on a board I’m already winning just to see what happens. My deck isn’t constructed to win, it’s constructed to win and infuriate. The snapping is an invitation and a warning.