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Marvel Snap is at its chaotic best when it breaks

Or, how to boost Black Panther to 689,730 (??) power

Clayton Ashley , senior video editor, has been producing and editing videos for Polygon since 2016. He is the lead producer of the tabletop gaming series Overboard.

Marvel Snap is a beautiful marriage of simplicity and complexity. It’s simple in that winning is just a matter of a getting big numbers. It’s complex because of the incalculable number possible combinations between all the game’s cards and locations. For example, take the match below, in which I came up short by 689,754 power.

Yes, 689,754.

The final result of a Marvel Snap match where the opposing player has won a location with a total of 68971 thanks to a combination of Black Panther, Odin, Wong, and the Onslaught’s Citadel location.
You to can make a God-like Black Panther with just a few cards and a very specific location.
Image: Marvel/Second Dinner Games via Polygon

This absurd result is thanks to the exponential interactions of the Odin, Wong, Black Panther, and Ironheart cards alongside the Onslaught’s Citadel location. Marvel Snap’s math can be hard to parse when card combos like this seem to melt the game’s calculations (and take approximately five years), but here’s my best recollection of what happened.

Upon playing Odin on their final turn, each of their cards in that location with “on reveal” abilities reactivated, which includes Black Panther’s ability to double his current power and Ironheart’s power buff to random teammates. Then, because of Wong, on reveal abilities happen twice, so Black Panther and Iron Heart activate again. Then, because of Onslaught’s Citadel, which causes ongoing effects like Wong’s to be doubled, Black Panther and Iron Heart each reactivate twice more. In other words, a single use of Odin’s ability actually affects Black Panther four times because of Wong and Onslaught’s Citadel.

But that’s not all!

Odin’s ability also occurs on reveal, so Wong’s power (which is still boosted by Onslaught’s Citadel) applies to him as well. That means that Odin does his thing a total of four times, and each of those reactivations of Black Panther and Iron Heart is multiplied four times.

It took a very long time for Marvel Snap to figure out all this math, and at a certain point the game seemed to give up on calculating Black Panther’s true power. His power in the end appears to be 689,730, but gears were still turning and the numbers started to blur. But, no matter what really happened, the fact is I was completely and utterly defeated in this match — which is why it was also one of my favorite matches. These sorts of wild interactions are exactly what makes every match in Marvel Snap so unpredictable and exciting.

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