Shadow King is the newest card coming to Series 5 of MARVEL SNAP on January 31. In honor of this occasion, we've broken down his comics history, looked at the card's best potential synergies, and theorycrafted some decks that feature Shadow King.

Five Best Shadow King Synergies/Counters

Shadow King Card ImageOn Reveal: Set all cards here to their original base Power.

Shadow King possesses a disruption effect that can be pretty powerful, if the opportunity presents itself. He can take down the Power of cards that have had their Power permanently improved, or boost those whose Power has been reduced by an On Reveal effect. However, because he only resets the base Power of a card, he does nothing to Ongoing AoE buffs from the likes of Darkhawk, Devil Dinosaur, Ka-Zar, Patriot, etc., or debuffs from locations like Necrosha.

That doesn't mean he is without utility, as we'll see from our list of five cards that Shadow King either synergizes with or is a potent counter to.


Scorpion Card ImageOn Reveal: Afflict cards in your opponent’s hand with -1 Power.

Scorpion is one of the most-played 2-Drops in SNAP right now, and Shadow King could be a useful redundancy for Cerebro 3 decks that desperately need to recover from the Scorpion setback and get their cards back to their Brode-given 3 Power.


Deadpool Card ImageWhen this card is destroyed, return it to your hand with double the power.

Sunspot and Deadpool are a pair of 1-Drops that can get a lot bigger than they have the right to; unlike Sunspot, who gets answered pretty cleanly by Killmonger, Deadpool is fairly tricky to shut down. Now, Shadow King can be used to reset his Power back to 1.


Venom Card ImageOn Reveal: Destroy your other cards at this location. Add their Power to this card.

Venom is a common pairing with Deadpool, but can also find a home in decks with large cards for him to eat. Shang-Chi used to be the only recourse; adding Shadow King to the disruption can take Venom back to square 1, and he also works great as an answer to Taskmaster, a common running mate for Venom.


Shuri Card ImageOn Reveal: Double the Power of the next card you play.

Shuri, if you're not careful, can run away with the game - plus, don't you just hate it when your opponent hides their double Power cards behind an Armor and thwarts your attempt to destroy them? With Shadow King you can cut their Power right in half, and it's good for notorious Power doubler Black Panther, too.

Luke Cage

Luke Cage Card ImageOngoing: Your cards can't have their Power reduced.

Our last card is a straight-up synergy for Shadow King, because sometimes you want to increase the Power of your cards, too. With Luke Cage on board, our assumption is that Shadow King won't remove any buffs your cards are carrying, but will reset the base Power of your opponent's cards. It sounds a little complicated (because it is), but could be worth a look in the right deck.

Theorycrafting Shadow King

To go with our synergy picks, we've theorycrafted three decks that could do powerful things with Shadow King. As always, this comes with a caveat: as a Series 5 card, Shadow King is going to be a very, very rare drop from Collector's Reserves and, unless you're ready to drop 6000 Collector's Tokens on an unproven card, he's unlikely to become a part of your (or our) collection any time soon. That being said, let's look at these decks.

Cerebro 3

Since he has 3 Power, Shadow King is a good option for a Cerebro deck that needs another way to recover from an early Scorpion that reduces the inherent symmetry of the deck.

Shuri Zero

We'll be honest: Shadow King is difficult to build around, mainly because he's more effective against certain strategies, and not very good at synergizing with any particular strategy. This Shuri deck is our attempt to do something proactive with Shadow King, using him to reduce the Power of our opponent's cards while we have Luke Cage on the board to keep ours nice and buffed.

Shadow King Shuri Theorycraft (Pool 5)
A Deck created by . Last updated 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Zabu Control

Control is the obvious answer for a card like Shadow King, giving another option to answer decks that run Shuri, Taskmaster, or The Collector. He's not universally effective, but he has his uses.

Shadow King Control Theorycraft (Pool 5)
A Deck created by . Last updated 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Who is Shadow King?

A denizen of the astral plane who has existed for as long as people have had nightmares, Shadow King is a psionic and supernatural being with the ability to possess the minds and bodies of various human puppets. Although mostly recognized in the body of Amahl Farouk, Shadow King has controlled the minds of countless others throughout history.

As Farouk, Shadow King participated in a Nazi plot to replace the King of England with someone more sympathetic to Germany. When that scheme was foiled (by time-traveling mutants), he relocated to Cairo and set up the Thieves Quarter. As part of his crime Syndicate, a young Storm worked as a pickpocket under his watchful gaze.

Shadow King is an "Omega-level" telepath and virtually unkillable, since his essence exists mainly on the astral plane. His contempt for humanity shows in a demonstrable lack of empathy for anyone unfortunate enough to cross his path; he treats his "puppets" poorly, indulging in gluttonous habits and discarding them when they no longer suit his needs.

Shadow King's freakishly strong telepathic abilities make him a formidable foe, as Professor X discovered when he first encountered him in Cairo. Following a dispute about how best to use their psychic abilities, the two clashed on the astral plane. After vanquishing Shadow King's physical form, Professor X returned to America, where he set about establishing the X-Men to combat other mutant ne'er-do-wells. Although one body was stripped from him, Shadow King has resurfaced numerous times to continue his plans for world domination.

Card Flavor Grade: C+. While Shadow King's strong telepathic abilities are hinted at in his ability to reset the base Power of all cards at his location, it reflects neither his full suite of powers nor the powers most associated with him.

How do you feel about Shadow King? Share your thoughts on the new card in the comments!