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Initially overshadowed upon release, Black Knight received one of the most successful facelifts in Marvel Snap, emerging as a central figure in the meta. With two substantial changes to make the Ebony Blade indestructible and resistant to power reduction, players can safely build toward a game plan impervious to the opponent’s tech cards.
Concept and Strategy
Sera Black Knight is looking to develop power on the board that proves challenging for opponents to interact with. This can be achieved by leveraging the resilience of an indestructible Ebony Blade, accumulating power in hand through Ghost Rider, or strategically stacking cost-reduction cards to postpone power on the board.
In the early to mid-game, your game plan revolves around setting up the Black Knight combo, with the aim to discard either Magneto or Infranaut with Black Knight on board. However, executing this combo can be challenging in most games. Hence, a crucial aspect of piloting the deck successfully involves accurately gauging the extent of setup required for each game and maintaining flexibility to discard cards, even in the absence of Black Knight.
Transitioning into the late game, aim to supplement your game plan by playing out your cost reduction cards on board. This allows you to take full advantage of your Black Knight setup, letting you position your accumulated power to victory.
With Zabu and Sera discounting your cards, you can put out upwards of 57 power across the board with the Ebony Blade, Ghost Rider, and Ms. Marvel.
The primary win condition for the deck involves discarding either Magneto or Infranaut with Black Knight on board. Opponents must commit a minimum of 2 tech cards to interact with the Ebony Blade, granting you the advantage on other lanes if they opt for this approach. The Ebony Blade also proves to be invaluable in bypassing various locational effects, such as ignoring negating afflictions in the negative zone and surviving the Rickety Bridge.
Long gone were the days of having limited control over discard targets, with Blade and Lady Sif providing the necessary consistency to discard specific cards. Although discarding the right target with Blade still relies on your draw, a good pilot can skillfully manage their hand and plan around their draws to ensure optimal discards.
It is crucial to note that Lady Sif considers the cost in hand, and can be disrupted by a well-timed Wave from your opponent. Consider holding off on discarding with Lady Sif if you expect a Wave.
Magneto and Infanaut are your main targets for discard, both presenting substantial power to fuel your Ebony Blade. Infinaut's inclusion allows the deck to go tall. Putting 20 power on board that cannot be interacted with can prove difficulties for most opposing decks to deal with.
Given the prevalence of Ms. Marvel in most meta decks, Magneto's disruptive capabilities can strip a considerable amount of power from the opponent's side. You can also use Magneto to clog, move cards to undesirable locations, and disrupt your opponent’s placement. Ghost Rider further enhances your options by providing access to Magneto ability at a reduced cost, opening up many more opportunities for securing victories.
The inclusion of cost reduction cards enables you to play several impactful 4-cost cards on the final turn, impacting multiple locations and putting out power that proves challenging for your opponent to counter. Zabu facilitates the game plan of playing out multiple 4-cost cards on turn 6, while Sera adds versatility by supplementing your curve with discounted 2 and 3-cost cards.
However, the deck can find itself at a disadvantage if the opponent can nullify your cost reduction cards, with MMM standing out as the deck’s major weakness. Recognizing this threat and understanding when to pivot your playstyle to engage in a tempo battle becomes crucial in effectively navigating this counter.
Variations & Card Substitutions
Lamby Black Knight
As the novelty fades, many players can predict the power output of the Black Knight deck and have developed strategies to counter it. Lamby’s version reintroduces the element of surprise to the archetype, introducing a disruptive element through Juggernaut and Legion to explore alternative win conditions in challenging scenarios.
Juggernaut can help you win lanes with minimal lead while simultaneously disrupting your opponent’s movement and displacing potential tech cards or key pieces to mess up a combo. A common tactic involves playing Juggernaut in the middle with priority to shield your Ms. Marvel from ongoing counters. Additionally, Juggernaut offers the flexibility to relocate your opponent's cards to less favorable locations.
Legion also has unmatched synergy with the Ebony Blade's ability, with its power to circumvent various negative locations. By leveraging Legion's ability, you can create a favorable board state by replicating difficult locations to optimize your position.
Black Knight Tech
Another popular variant of the deck incorporates more tech cards, featuring more interactive options to disrupt your opponent's game plan. Given Black Knight’s tendency to have bad hands, this strategy introduces a secondary win condition centered around countering your opponent's strategy.
Shadow King, Rouge, and MMM are all suitable replacements for tech slots.
Snapping and Retreating:
Snapping aggressively early when you have the advantage with Black Knight is crucial in maintaining cube equity. Given the frequent occurrence of situations where no playable cards are available, it is equally crucial to identify unfavorable hands and strategically retreat when opponents snap with such hands.
You can snap aggressively if you have the opening hand of Black Knight and something to discard with, or if you can discard a big target with Ghost Rider in hand. You can also look to Snap if you have your cost reduction cards down on board by turn 5.
Turn by Turn Breakdown
Turn 1: Prioritize Black Knight if you have a way to discard something big, consider snapping when you have this opening hand. Since Blade requires precise hand positioning, Blade can be a play when you are in a position to discard a big target.
Playing Black Knight when you don’t have your combo pieces leaves you vulnerable to counters, and you run the risk of exposing your game plan to your opponent, which can lead to early snaps from them. It is generally advisable to hold onto Black Knight while you wait for your combo pieces.
Turn 2: Opt for Zabu over Jeff, as you want to develop your cost reduction cards early. Develop your Black Knight combo if you draw your pieces.
Turn 3: Prioritize playing Ms. Marvel if you have Zabu down. If you don’t have Black Knight on board, consider holding on to Sif even if you have one of your big cards in hand. Since you’re able to play a 1 and 3 cost next turn, you can develop your combo without losing too much tempo on the board by strategically holding onto your cards.
Turn 4: Continue developing your Black Knight combo. If you don’t have your ideal playline in sight, start developing points on board and maintain tempo through cost-efficient plays.
Turn 5: Sera to set up for your combo. It is reasonable to assume MMM if your opponent snaps this turn, start playing out your hand if you expect it.
Turn 6: Position your pieces to secure your victory!