Can Gold Foil cards be cheaper than Regular foil? A Splinterlands analysis.
There's a feature on Peakmonsters that I find many people still don't know about, and which can help you identify when Gold Foil cards in Splinterlands are a good deal, and in some cases even cheaper than regular foil. Let's dig in.
First, in case you're not familiar with this option, you'll want to go to the "Buy" tab on Peakmonsters, click "Compare", then select "Gold vs Regular % Difference". Note that for this analysis I'm just looking at the Modern Format.
The key data point in this chart to look for is "Diff" (all the way on the right). For example in the screenshot above, the Spirit Hoarder is 4.54x times more expensive as a GF than a RF. Note that when there's a multi-BCX option on the market that's a lower price per BCX than the 1 BCX options, it will take that price into account for the Diff.
To best use the "Diff", we need to know the difference in BCX required to max a GF vs. a RF. Here's a handy chart of the Diff, which will help us determine the breakeven point for the prices.
So for example we know that if a Common GF card is 10.5x more expensive than that same card as a RF, then they are essentially just as expensive to max out. Similarly, that number is 5.2x for Rares, 4.6x for Epics, and 2.8x for Legendaries.
So now going back to the screenshot above, the first thing we conclude is that the "best" deal in GF is Spirit Hoarder, but he's still more expensive than his RF counterpart. Specifically he's 62% more expensive, calculated by doing (4.54/2.8)-1.
Now let's look at other rarities. Note that when using the "Gold vs Regular % Difference" feature it's important to filter by a specific rarity, since the Diff requirement for a "good deal" differs by rarity.
Looking at Epics, we see Djinn Inferni as the "best deal" gold foil. His Diff is >4.6x which is that sweet spot, but only by 31%.
Next up, Rares. Here we have Bortus as the best GF deal, at 7.26x. This is ~39% higher than the GF/RF breakeven price.
Finally, let's look at Commons. Here we see Albatross with a Diff of 10.98x, which is only 4% higher than the RF price!
Things get a tad complicated here because, again, the Diff is based on the lowest price per BCX listing. So, having found that Albatross has a favorable Diff, I went to check the price it would cost to max it in Regular Foil vs. Gold Foil. What I found was that a Regular Foil would cost me $271 while the Gold foil would cost $245 to max out, which means in this case it's actually CHEAPER to buy the Gold Foil version!
To summarize, you should take into account the BCX difference to max gold foil vs regular foil and should always have a look at gold foils when buying a card, as the target level you're trying to achieve may be cheaper as a Gold Foil. And even if it's just 20-30% higher, remember there are benefits (such as increased reward points) that make the GFs worth it.