Published August 30, 2023

MARVEL SNAP Explained: Who Is Silver Samurai?

Find out his comic origins and best strategies for playing in the hit game MARVEL SNAP!

MARVEL SNAP Explained: Who Is Silver Samurai?

MARVEL SNAP’s Big in Japan season pass has provided some big buffs to the destroy and discard archetypes, adding the likes of X-23, Daken, and Lady Deathstrike to the game. Now, Silver Samurai is aiming to do the same thing with a comics-inspired discard effect. Here’s what you need to know about playing Silver Samurai in MARVEL SNAP and the character’s history in the comics.


Playing Silver Samurai in MARVEL SNAP

A 4-Cost, 5-Power card, Silver Samurai has an On Reveal ability that causes both players to discard the lowest-Power card from their hands. Due to the specific nature of Silver Samurai’s ability, he works best in discard decks. However, his skill has a lot of utility that makes him useful in many different scenarios.

The trick with Silver Samurai’s ability is that the lowest-Power card in a player’s hand is not necessarily the weakest. Darkhawk, Dracula, Arnim Zola, Mystique, Iron Man, and Knull, for example, all have 0-Power when in their player’s hand. Such cards are often extremely important to their player’s strategies, so having Silver Samurai take them out can be a game-winning move in and of itself. Outside of those lynchpin cards, Silver Samurai also has a fair chance of hitting low-Power cards that are integral to an opponent’s strategy, such as Patriot, or even those with negative Power, like Hobgoblin. Considering how effective his ability can be and his good Cost-to-Power ratio, Silver Samurai can thus be a good addition to a lot of different types of decks.

Despite his utility, the best Silver Samurai decks are those that embrace discard effects, which often feature cards like Colleen Wing and Moon Knight being used to power up cards like Dracula and Morbius. However, there are a few variations to a standard discard deck that might help Silver Samurai shine brighter. For example, Zabu can reduce Silver Samurai’s Cost to 3, making it easier to get him out early, thus increasing his potential for damage. He also has a lot of synergy with X-23, since if he discards her from his player’s hand, she’ll give them an extra Energy on their next turn. Finally, players can use cards like Ghost Rider or Hela to bring back what they’ve discarded in the game, thus reducing the risk of Silver Samurai getting rid of a key card.

Several locations can make Silver Samurai’s effect even more pronounced. Kamar-Taj causes On Reveals to happen twice, making it even more likely to hit an opponent’s good cards. Additionally, Bar Sinister can effectively remove four cards from both players’ hands, though any such move should be done with careful consideration of what one might also lose.

Despite being generally effective against lots of different decks, Silver Samurai plays into the archetypes of discard decks, making him a bad fit when going against them by powering up their cards or giving them a better graveyard for Hela or Ghost Rider to bring back later. Cosmo also remains a big threat to Silver Samurai and discard decks in general, since he prevents On Reveals from happening at his location.

Among the locations that work against Silver Samurai are Knowhere and Deep Space, which prevent On Reveal abilities. Silver Samurai is also less effective in situations where Subterranea and Lechuguilla have added Rocks to a player’s hand or deck. Since Rocks have 0-Power, they will in many cases be the lowest-Power card in an opponent’s hand.


Silver Samurai in the Comics

Created by Steve Gerber and Bob Brown, the original Silver Samurai, Kenuichio Harada, debuted in DAREDEVIL (1964) #111. A mutant, Silver Samurai’s power allows him to cut through basically anything using his sword. Outside of his swordsmanship, Harada is a master of various martial arts. While he’s most notably served as an antagonist for characters such as Daredevil and Wolverine, Silver Samurai isn’t always necessarily an outright villain, and at one point he was part of the Japanese team Big Hero 6.

The relationship between Silver Samurai’s power in MARVEL SNAP and his history in the Marvel Universe is an interesting one. On a surface level, Silver Samurai’s ability reflects his penchant for dueling and the idea that the strong triumph over the weak. However, the power also relates to his time on Krakoa. As part of the mutant island nation, Harada officiates combat between mutants in the Quarry, where mutants spar and train. In some cases, weaker mutants, or those who’ve lost their powers, die to be resurrected later.

Silver Samurai’s main card in MARVEL SNAP reflects his iconic silver armor from the comics, which he’s donned as both a hero and villain. Rian Gonzales’s Chibi variant adds an additional reference to the character’s history. That card’s background shows what appears to be Mt. Fuji and Japanese cherry blossoms, referencing two iconic cultural symbols of his homeland of Japan. The variant also shows Wolverine, a nod to their long-standing relationship, and Silver Samurai wielding the Muramasa blade. In WOLVERINE (1988) #2, Silver Samurai used that mystical blade to take on the titular hero.

MARVEL SNAP Explained: Who Is Silver Samurai?

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MARVEL SNAP Silver Samurai Cards



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