This writer spent hundreds of hours reaching Marvel Snap rank 100 Infinite, but upon reaching the top, he realized it was not worth the effort.

I Finally Hit Infinite in Marvel Snap, and All That Effort Wasn’t Worth It

For much of the game’s short life span, hitting Infinite in Marvel Snap has been its ultimate goal: to climb through the ranks, efficiently Snapping and retreating until you hit that coveted 100 Rank and earn a shiny gold cardback. Unfortunately for me, having played way too much Marvel Snap since October, I’ve tried and failed to reach this lofty goal every month — except for the June season. Yes, after all that effort I finally hit Rank 100 fairly early on in the Marvel Snap season, and instead of feeling a great sense of relief, pride, or accomplishment, I felt like I had wasted a lot of effort.

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Hitting Infinite isn’t so much a game of skill as it is patience and meta awareness, both of which I lack. Most players consider a deck that nets 0.5 cubes per game and a 55% win rate as pretty successful since Locations dramatically alter the landscape of each game. Starting a session at Rank 93, playing 15 games, and finishing that session still at Rank 93 pushed me to take more risks, which meant I often tilted down to Rank 90 and below. In fact, I hit Rank 99 twice but seemed to go up against the best of the best when I did so, getting smacked back down to the lower 90s both times. As the season drew to a close, thoughts of, “I still have lots of time to climb only a few ranks,” quickly turned into, “There’s no way I can manage it this month.”

Praise the Celestials that Second Dinner lowered the amount of cubes to rank up from 10 to 7.

Quite often I’d slide back down to 80 when Second Dinner put out a balance patch, introduced a powerful new card (looking at you, High Evolutionary), or had a meta-polarizing Featured Location – which I’ve written about how much I find them un-fun. I couldn’t adapt quickly enough not to lose ranks, and by the time I tweaked my deck or the meta settled down enough for me to consistently climb, I no longer had any time to devote to the grind. It doesn’t help that I refuse to play overpowered decks such as Shuri Zero at its height, Galactus before the (much needed) nerf, or High Evolutionary.

This writer spent hundreds of hours reaching Marvel Snap rank 100 Infinite, but upon reaching the top, he realized it was not worth the effort.

But this June, I finally did it with one of the game’s most consistent decks, even after the nerf it took last month: Black Bolt and Stature. And I did it with little effort, hitting Infinite a little over a week into the new season with this list:

  • Nebula
  • Korg
  • Zabu
  • Jeff the Baby Land Shark
  • Polaris
  • Darkhawk
  • Shang-Chi
  • Enchantress
  • Miles Morales: Spider-Man
  • Rockslide
  • Stature
  • Black Bolt

At the time, a High Evolutionary deck with the Thor Lockjaw package was by far the most popular; this list destroys it, often for 4 or 8 Cubes by simply having Shang-Chi to drop on turn 6 with a Darkhawk or Stature in another lane. A buffed Thor or Evolved Hulk stood no chance against me; I hit the 90s in no time and sped through the remaining ranks in a single evening. No meta shifts occurred during this period. I’m sure the release of the Aunt May Featured Location would’ve derailed my efforts, but I missed it by a day.

This writer spent hundreds of hours reaching Marvel Snap rank 100 Infinite, but upon reaching the top, he realized it was not worth the effort.

When I saw that I hit rank 100 Infinite in Marvel Snap and unlocked the gold Spider-Man 2099 cardback, nothing but regret for spending hundreds of hours reaching this peak washed over me, like getting hit by a tsunami from Wave. I had no one to share this achievement with. My wife and dog certainly don’t care. My brother, who also plays, gave me a solid “nice” when I told him. And it definitely wasn’t about the journey as I had equal parts fun and frustration.

The only rewards are to be able to say to myself that I did it — I hit Infinite in Marvel Snap — and that I don’t have to do it anymore; hitting the easily achievable Rank 90 for the 500 gold is about as far as I need to go each season, and then I can finally take a break from the game. Maybe the card battler needs better rewards for hitting Infinite and climbing Infinite ranks. But as of that moment, I saw no reason to play Marvel Snap anymore.

Except, right after, Second Dinner released Marvel Snap’s Conquest Mode, which dramatically shifts up how the game plays. I’ve legitimately enjoyed this new game mode and have found success early on, clearing the Gold Tier a few times. It too has an Infinite Rank with a mediocre reward: a shiny border for your in-game portrait. But I’ve learned my lesson. This time around, I’m not going to stress about earning it. If I do — great. If not, there are so many other great games to play that won’t feel like wasted effort.

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Lowell Bell
Lowell is a freelance contributor with The Escapist that began his career reporting on live events such as the Penny Arcade Expo and E3 back in 2012. Over the last couple of years, he carved a niche for himself covering competitive Pokémon as he transitioned into game criticism full time. About a decade ago, Lowell moved to Japan for a year or two but is still there, raising a Shiba Inu named Zelda with his wife while missing access to good burritos. He also has a love/hate relationship with Japanese role-playing games.