The Ultimate Card Duel: Marvel Snap vs. Hearthstone

Hearthstone vs Marvel Snap Cover

Greetings fellow card-gamers! We prepared something special for this article – as several of us are playing Hearthstone while others are Marvel Snap fans, we decided to provide an in-depth analysis and see which game is “better”. As you might guess, there are many factors to account for when comparing the two games, and the winner of this duel is not clearly seen as the audience who plays Hearthstone and Marvel Snap is not exactly the same. Fear not, fellow gamers, we’ve geared up for an epic showdown! We’ll crown champions in every category and leave it to you to declare the ultimate victor. Without further ado, here is the full comparison of Hearthstone vs. Marvel Snap. It’s time to duel!

Beginner Friendliness

hearthstone vs marvel snap - Uther vs. Galactus

Let’s start off with Marvel Snap – long story short, it is beginner-friendly. The whole point of the Marvel Universe is that it focuses on a general audience and Marvel Snap is no different – you have an in-game tutorial, the first few encounters are explained, and there are tips that are easily seen flashing in the main menu, etc. Another great thing for beginners is that most of your cards – heroes – are already known to most players. We all know who Hulk, Iron Man, Ant-Man and other superheroes are; no matter if you watched the movies, read the comics, or simply saw an ad on social media. This contributes to the general feeling of knowing the game and not dwelling on something super strange – and it’s a lot easier to learn the cards once you can link their effects with their names that you already know. 

Hearthstone for beginners is rougher. It is simply not modernized for new young audiences, since you only get one deck in the beginning, and because there are a lot of “older” players, most of them already own powerful cards. Moreover, the games aren’t as quick, snappy, and straightforward as Marvel Snap, so the barrier for entry is more rough. The other thing is that the sheer number of cards is a lot greater than the number of characters that most fans have memorized from Warcraft games. We have seen many times on Reddit that people complained Blizzard needs to provide images of cards instead of names when delivering a new patch because it’s simply too difficult to memorize everything. Overall, when it comes to general user experience, we would say that Hearthstone is a bit more “outdated” for beginners – there are more game mechanics, it’s slower paced, it has more synergies to understand, and the whole setup of deck building is tricker.

Winner: Marvel Snap. The game is simply designed so that everyone can play it. Not only that, but it’s also a much younger game than Hearthstone and has an influx of new players on a monthly basis – meaning that it’s going to be easier to compete against others, unlike in Hearthstone where the players will face seasoned veterans almost immediately. 

Deck Building

Hearthstone vs Marvel Snap deckbuilding

When it comes to deck building in Marvel Snap, it’s probably the most interesting thing in the game and the reason why it’s so popular. The thing is, there are over 250 cards, and the deck is made from 12 of them. On the contrary, Hearthstone decks can be made out of 30 or 40 cards. While there is a lot of experimentation and theory crafting, Hearthstone decks usually have a certain archetype (aggro, tempo, control) that dictates the pace of the game. Marvel Snap decks also have archetypes, although the builds can also be made around certain cards. However, this doesn’t influence the length of the game in Marvel Snap; it’s always 6 or 7 turns (2 to 3 minutes). In Hearthstone, this is not the case; the game can be anywhere from 2 to 30 minutes long, depending on the decks that are being played.

In terms of what’s “better”, the answer is not really simple – we find it similar although we would say that deck-building in Hearthstone is a bit trickier to optimize since decks contain many more cards. On the contrary, in Marvel Snap, it is very easy and fast to test out new decks and see how they perform. In conclusion, deck-building is done in a very similar fashion, but one important distinction is the next topic – obtaining cards

Winner: Marvel Snap. The mechanics are unique, and easy to understand but difficult to master – as all games should be. More decks are available to regular players, more deck variations, the combos between cards are fun and very interactive. Sure, once you get to higher levels most players will be playing with Meta decks but even then, due to much more frequent patching, the deck-building will be interesting. 

Obtaining Cards

Hearthstone vs Marvel Snap - card collection

Here comes the tricky part – how to assemble a fun and meta deck in both games without spending tons of dollars on purchasing cards. Well, in the case of Hearthstone, it’s very possible to have the best meta decks (and cards) but the main issue is the amount of decks that you can have. This means that, although you will have 2 or 3 strong decks, you will also be stuck with them for quite some time. The reason why this is the case is the mechanics of how the in-game currency (Dust) works – you need to Disenchant (destroy) cards that you have in order to buy a new one. The main issue is that the cards cost 4 times more than the Dust you get from destroying them. Although this is an issue, it can be circumvented in a few ways and the best way is to create a new account, since you get a lot of free Chests and a new deck every time – something that you can’t do in Marvel Snap. 

In Marvel Snap, the situation is the opposite – you start out slow but once you fill in your card pool, the amount of decks available to you progressively increases. As you start the game, you will only have enough cards for one or two Marvel Snap beginner decks. As you start getting cards, and you will be getting a couple of them each day by doing simple daily quests, your deck-building capacity increases. It will take you a month or so in order to really get access to some more interesting builds and cards. Of course, you can pay for new cards – but even that is not that easy and you can’t simply buy a card that you need (most of the time) since it’s more of a “roll for it” type of deal.

Winner: Hearthstone. When compared, the verdict is simple – it’s easier to get cards in Hearthstone but it’s more difficult to have a large number of decks. The fact that you can buy any card in Hearthstone for Dust makes the whole process a lot easier but you won’t have the same deck variety as in Marvel Snap.

Combat System

Hearthstone vs Marvel Snap combat system

When it comes to game mechanics, they are just vastly different. First of all, in Marvel Snap, (usually) there is no real “combat” – sometimes cards have effects that influence or destroy other cards but they don’t actually engage in combat. It’s more of a build-your-army type of thing in which you need to top the opponent in 2/3 locations in order to win the game. The basic game mechanics are On Reveal, Ongoing, Move, and Discard – but the effects of individual cards have unique abilities. This is why deck building is so important, especially when you have in mind that you will pretty much draw most of your cards in one game. 

In Hearthstone, the combat is “real”,  there is much more interaction between your and your opponent’s cards. Similar to Marvel Snap, cards have a lot of abilities in Hearthstone, but they are more RNG-prone. This (usually) isn’t a bad thing since, to be honest, it’s fun to see how certain scenarios play out. We can’t say which one is better since they are different in their core – while Hearthstone has a more robust and old-time vibe, Marvel Snap combat tends to have a much more modern feel to it. 

Winner: Hearthstone. Although there are cool mechanics in Marvel Snap, the game is made to be beginner-friendly, but the price is that Hearthstone simply has more things to offer in this aspect. 

Available Game Modes

hearthstone and marvel snap game modes

This is probably the category in which the winner is the most clear – Marvel Snap simply doesn’t have any modes except for basic duel. Sure, you can play Conquest – but that’s basically the same thing as the regular random duel with the exception of it being more like a tournament. This is to be expected since Marvel Snap is a game that existed for only a year – unlike Hearthstone which has a long, 9-year-old history. 

Hearthstone is a game that really thrives on its variety of modes. There are a lot of them: Battlegrounds, Arena, Solo Adventures, Duels, Tavern Brawl, Wild, etc. Of course, the most notable mod that needs to be highlighted is Hearthstone Battlegrounds. This mode in itself can be a whole different game, and many players exclusively play this mode. Also, while some modes may not be appealing at first, it’s always nice to have a bunch of different options. Comparing it to Marvel Snap, it’s not even a discussion. A big portion of Hearthstone’s popularity comes from modes, while Marvel Snap is doing nothing in that department.

Winner: Hearthstone. Hearthstone is a clear winner in this one – it offers more unique modes, and as we already mentioned, Hearthstone Battlegrounds can be a whole different game.

Which Game Is More Popular?

hearthstone game of the year

Hearthstone has a solid core player base but in recent years it’s stagnating. Marvel Snap is all the rage. Comparing the two games in this category isn’t really that simple. Hearthstone was very popular at its launch and has had a lot of traction, but over the years, competition came, players just got bored, and since the game is a bit old-school, new players weren’t “sticking” so much. Don’t get us wrong, the game is very popular, but the blow-up Marvel Snap is having is much greater.

Marvel Snap is made with more thought for phone users with its quick and snappy games that last 2–3 minutes. The game is complex and fast at the same time, which is a good recipe in today’s market. It overall has a modern feel with everything in the game: UI, artwork, animations, and gameplay. 

Winner: Marvel Snap. Overall, both games are very popular, but Marvel Snap just has more general audience attracted to it, with a lot of new players hopping on board every day.

Let’s Talk Money

Marvel Snap vs Hearthstone price

When it comes to price comparison, we can start with Marvel Snap – there’s a nice meme that describes how things work – check it out here. Jokes aside, Marvel Snap is a game filled with microtransactions – but this is not necessarily a bad thing. The good thing for “free” players is that progression is still mostly done through regular game-playing. Players can buy a Game Pass or Premium Game Pass as well as a bunch of different bundles, gold, and other in-game currencies but they are generally not pay-to-win. Sometimes, niche decks will have a card that is only obtainable by purchasing a game pass or through heavy grinding, but that’s just one or two cards – all others will still be available to you if you play the game regularly. In short, you will be able to progress and be evenly matched with your opponents. 

When it comes to Hearthstone, the pricing is a bit more straightforward but still somewhat “abstract”. Just straight-up buying Chests at the regular price isn’t really worth it since you will probably get a lot of cards from different classes. The game can be F2P, but you will probably have to make multiple accounts or buy some sets in order to have more than 1-2 decks in your arsenal. Playing with the same deck can get boring really quickly. You can also buy the Mini-sets, which contain 72 cards for 19.99$, or 2000 Gold, which you can grind with in-game quests. Without getting too much into detail, spending 20$ here and there will get you enough juice to play 4-5 top-tier decks, which we find pretty reasonable.

Winner: Hearthstone. The base game and modes are F2P, but if you want more decks in the standard mode, you will have to spend some money. Make no mistake, the prices are still very high, but Marvel Snap’s store is just absurd.

Artwork Comparison

marvel snap vs hearthstone artwork

When it comes to Artwork in Hearthstone, as we said, the whole game is based on lore from Warcraft so the artwork is similar to that. Although it seems like Hearthstone is trying its best, it still sometimes feels a bit goofy and even outdated from time to time. The whole mixture of deep lore characters like Lich King and goofy ones (murlocs, goblins,..) works for most of the players – but the problem is the lack of variability. It’s just that sometimes the artwork looks very similar to one another and there are a lot of forgettable cards in the game.

Marvel Snap invests heavily in artwork. There are numerous variants of styles such as Noir, Pixel, Steampunk, Ancestor, Anime, Summer, Winter, etc. available to players and most of them look really good. It’s no surprise that the developers invest so heavily in artwork because most of the purchasable things are either those style variants or various bundles containing those variants. 

Winner: Marvel Snap. We won’t discuss how “beautiful or ugly” the artwork is in Hearthstone vs. Marvel Snap – the beauty is in the eye of the beholder. That being said, the fact is that Marvel Snap has a more diverse pool of different card variants with various themes which makes this game a winner in the artwork aspect. 

Final Thoughts on Marvel Snap vs. Hearthstone Comparison

As you can see, the Hearthstone vs. Marvel Snap duel is pretty evenly matched. We can sum it up and say that Marvel Snap is better in terms of attracting new users through widely famous lore, great artwork, simpler game mechanics, and a huge deck-building potential that keeps the players wanting more. On the other hand, Hearthstone is an older game with more difficult game mechanics, longer games, and more HC player base. It’s up to you to choose which game is better – our advice is to try both of them. They are both free-to-play and run very smoothly on most mobile phones. We really do enjoy both of them!

Photo Credits: Marvel Snap & Blizzard Entertainment

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