MARVEL SNAP Explained: What Is The Living Tribunal?
Find out its comic origins and best strategies for playing in the hit game MARVEL SNAP!
MARVEL SNAP matches are generally won by having the most Power at two of a game’s three locations, making card placement choices essential. However, The Living Tribunal is looking to take that element of choice away with a comics-inspired ability that completely changes how Power gets distributed. With that in mind, here’s what you need to know about playing The Living Tribunal in MARVEL SNAP and the character in the comics.
Playing The Living Tribunal in MARVEL SNAP
A 6-Cost, 4-Power card, The Living Tribunal has an Ongoing ability that causes its player’s Power to be split evenly across all locations. Although The Living Tribunal’s own Power is relatively low for a 6-Cost card, that ability is a potentially potent one, and there are several ways to synergize with it to win a match.
The best cards to pair with The Living Tribunal are those that provide Power boosts, making Shuri and a lot of existing decks that utilize her a good choice. Iron Man is also a great partner for The Living Tribunal, especially when Mystique is used to double his ability. From there, players can focus on boosting strong cards, such as Black Panther or Red Skull, so that a ton of Power gets spread across the board. For those comfortable embracing a bit of randomness, Jubilee or Lockjaw can potentially get out tough 6-Cost cards, such as Infinaut and Giganto, to really boost a player’s Power on the board.
One of the biggest drawbacks to The Living Tribunal in decks is that it's an expensive card that comes out quite late in the game, when higher Power cards normally get played. To mitigate that problem, players can use cards that give bonus Energy, such as Electro and Psylocke, to force a little more out than they might have otherwise. Mr. Negative is also a great choice, as his ability swaps the Power and Cost of all cards in a deck. When paired with Mystique and Iron Man—who have zero Power—that makes for a cheap and tough deck.
In terms of locations, The Living Tribunal is one of the most useful cards in MARVEL SNAP, since its ability allows a player to take locations that might otherwise be inaccessible. Those locations include places where there are restrictions on what cards can be played in addition to those locked down by such cards as Professor X and Storm. Outside of those places, The Living Tribunal can take advantage of Mojoworld to spread a potential 100 Power across the board, or locations such as Nidavellir, Shuri’s Lab, and Muir Island, which increase the Power of cards played at them.
There are a few ways to counter The Living Tribunal. The easiest way is to take out the cards contributing the most to a player’s Power, which can involve using Enchantress or Rogue to remove any Ongoing abilities or having Shang-Chi destroy any card with 9 or more Power. Leech can also be used to remove The Living Tribunal’s ability while it’s still in its player’s hand, effectively ruining an opponent’s strategy.
As for locations, there aren’t a ton that can pose specific trouble to The Living Tribunal, but the one that does is potentially game changing: The Bar With No Name. That location can only be won by those with the lowest Power, meaning that The Living Tribunal pretty much guarantees a loss there if played.
The Living Tribunal in the Comics
Created by Stan Lee and Marie Severin, The Living Tribunal debuted in STRANGE TALES (1951) #157 and is one of the oldest and most powerful forces in the multiverse. Empowered by The One Above All, there is only one Living Tribunal in the multiverse, and that being guards the entirety of creation against imbalance. The connection between The Living Tribunal’s ability in MARVEL SNAP then lay in that original purpose. In the comics, The Living Tribunal cares about and emphasizes balance, and its ability in the game spreads Power evenly across three locations.
In terms of appearance, The Living Tribunal appears in the comics as a golden being with three faces, each of which represent a different aspect of the character. In its original appearances, The Living Tribunal did not have any real definition to its body. A short while later, though, in STRANGE TALES (1951) #163, The Living Tribunal appeared with more defined muscles and has generally remained that way ever since. That appearance has remained so consistent that, even after the original Living Tribunal died in NEW AVENGERS (2013) #30, the being’s eventual replacement retained the same look. The main card and variants for The Living Tribunal all reflect the way the character has appeared in the comics.
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