I've been trying to beat Mario Maker's 100 Mario Challenge on Expert ever since the game came out last September. It's brutal. But only today was I able to pull it off, and there's a reason for that: Nintendo's made it easier. Starting with the most recent patch, Nintendo introduced super expert, another difficulty tier for the 100 Mario Challenge. Previously, it was possible to run into both expert and super expert stages while attempting the gauntlet, and super expert stages are nasty business. "Super expert" roughly translates to "almost no one has beaten this level", which means you're bound to run into kaizo, puzzle and death trap stages repeatedly.
It's true you can skip any stage without punishment, a clever option Nintendo included in to dance around algorithmic failure, but I don't like skipping stages. I have a few rules for skipping — abuse of invisible blocks, kaizo-style, pipes that lead immediately to death and so on — but generally, I'm treating the 100 Mario Challenge like a roll of the dice. Will I get lucky?
Without super expert stages in the mix, you seem more likely to run into beatable stages. Hard, yes, but beatable. There's still plenty of bullshit levels floating around the Mario Maker community, stages meant to trick you into traps, slowly but surely sapping you of Mario's precious lives.
But in addition to my own experience, I've been reading about and talking to other Mario Maker fans who've suddenly been enjoying the 100 Mario Challenge on expert in the way we expected. Bring on the brutality, Mario!
We should address one caveat, though. I've written extensively in the past few weeks about Nintendo's confusing level deletion policies. Some fans theorise the improved 100 Mario Challenge experience is a combination of super expert's introduction and Nintendo removing a bunch of stages. It's possible that's true, but hard to say. But here's my take: I'd rather Nintendo let people's stages continue to exist; I can always skip past them.
If you'd like to see me finishing off expert mode, here ya go: