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Building an amazing grassroots gaming community in a SNAP

Wyndsor Martillana, more commonly known in the gaming circles as ExcelSor PH, is helping build the local Marvel Snap digital trading card community, one snap at a time.

A Marvel card game that hits all the right buttons

You find yourself on a long commute, cursing every hour that passes by in the Metro Manila traffic. You would want to play your MOBA or BATTLE ROYALE but sometimes the games take too long and the network kills your game through lag. When you do play though, you get the occasional message or call that interrupts your streak in a game-losing way. Good thing, you have this other game in your phone, the game that hits all the right endorphins from when you watched the whole Marvel movie franchise in the correct order. To top it off, it all ends in a SNAP, ranging from 3-7 minutes per game to be exact. This is Marvel SNAP, a game developed by Second Dinner, which won Mobile Game of the Year at the Game Awards for 2022. It’s a collectible card game which highly utilises the Marvel IP to perfection!   

In it, you build a deck of just 12 cards and play a total of 6 rounds which can sometimes go on to 7 rounds. With these 6 rounds, you need to try to math up the cards to get a higher number on at least 2 of the 3 “locations” to get the win. The game progresses allowing more cards to be played based on a buildup of energy that’s added every turn. It may sound a little complicated when explained with words, but it’s really quite intuitive once you get your first game in. Marvel Snap is 100% free-to-play: you just need to grind to get the cards as your collection level goes up. You have the option to purchase a battle pass to get an exclusive card reward for that season or just get them later on caches you get along the way. This game knows no age and from what I’ve seen, everyone can play it as it is available in iOS, Android, and PC.

Building the grassroots Snap community in the Philippines

I’m what you call a serial community builder. I have built gaming communities ever since I realised gaming communities are where gamers, in all their introvertness, thrive. It all came from this mindset that “Two brains are better than one” and in card games, this can definitely be the case. 

For Marvel Snap, the Philippines was one of the first to have the early launch back in 2022. Being the social media capital of the world, it is a right move as we will definitely share the fact that we got in early to possibly one of the best Marvel games to date! With all that bootlicking aside, it is a great game but it can be greater with a dedicated community.

I made the Marvel Snap Official Philippines Facebook group back when we were playing the Beta phase of the game and we were only in the tens to a couple hundreds. The publisher requested to have control of the page and since I wanted to make a community and not a publisher-controlled page, I had to make a separate one called “Marvel Snap Philippines Community”. Guess which one, as of date, has the larger number. Go check it out and see for yourself hahaha!

Little by little, we grew the page, and had some regulars who constantly put out and share their content on the page. The rules are simple: don’t be toxic, be kind, no politics, no selling, no non-Marvel Snap content, no spamming. We created group chats and we just talked about game content and strategies, sharing decks, guiding newbies, informing others of tournaments and whatnot. What’s missing, though, is a little healthy competition.

Local tournaments getting due recognition

I’ve been building IRL tournaments and my colleagues know this since I started playing Hearthstone back in 2016. Now in Marvel Snap, I had to ask my friends in Razer Gold and Community Gaming SEA to support the very first LAN tournament in the Philippines for Marvel Snap since we haven’t had direct support from Marvel Snap itself. 

The tournament was held in a computer shop in Tomas Morato and since there are still no official Marvel Snap merch, I had to buy some comic books which had the same art as the cards in the game. As a Marvel card collector myself, I also sponsored and gave out some of my precious vintage cards to the participants. My wife, Seya, also chipped in as the welcoming party, guiding players to register on the front desk. From our official sponsors as well, we had some gaming peripherals and cash prizes as well as incentives for our players. That was the first tournament and I originally planned to organise them, boy was I wrong. 

With constant requests to make one and the relentless support from the community, we now have them monthly and with my team from the SnapPH (kylegx,, relaxchill, saharaimac, mars, knullified thanos, and dextrega), we delegate the tasks accordingly and somehow, put out a tournament every three months, with support from various sponsors for location and our constant supply of comic variants from Comic Odyssey.

What amazed me the most is that we created the last tournament with initially no cash prize communicated to the community but we had a staggering attendance still. On top of that, we had more physical prizes on top of the usual prizes we pooled from our sponsors. The energy was amazing and everyone had chipped in!

Though I talked it up a bit, we are far from perfect but when we talk and play Marvel Snap together, it might as well be close to it. 

If you play Marvel Snap and live in the Philippines, come join us, and we’ll get you in the community with decks wide open and strategies free to access.