Flipping Splinterlands Chaos Legion packs for airdrop points and profit - does it work?
It's worth it if you
(a) Do it at scale
(b) Expect Legendary Summoners to be worth more than $60 on average
(c) Have a pact with lady luck helping you pull better cards from packs and get more than the guaranteed airdrops :)
Inspired by @jeffopenscards, who made some very cool (and very entertaining) videos on this exact subject, I wanted to try to flip Chaos Legion packs in Splinterlands myself, and see if I could make it work.
The basic gist is as follows:
- Buy packs at the minimum cost per pack (i.e. reach a bonus threshold) and directly from Splinterlands (to earn CL airdrop card points)
- Sell the pack contents on the open market, attempting to break even on the pack costs
- Repeat step 1 with the profits from step 2
Simple, right? Let's see how it works in practice!
Math & assumptions
I decided to try with 600 packs + 75 bonus packs. The reason I'm choosing 600 rather than 500 packs is that I expect the # of packs required for a guaranteed Legendary Summoner to be at least 600, and probably range up to 650 or 675 (based on Carnage Titan being at 525 and a previously mentioned increment of 25 per card).
First, let's take a look at some numbers to simulate what assumptions are needed to make this work (numbers are at time of this writing of course):
- Pack cost: $4
- Bonus pack cost (i.e. voucher cost): $1.21
- Potion cost / pack: $0.38 (this assumes you're buying 2500 at a time; your number may be a little different depending on your guild's level)
- CL pack content estimates: $3.67 (From Splintercards
Therefore, our 600 packs + 75 bonus packs will cost a total of $2747 to buy & open with potions.
Our expected return on the open market is $2477. However, we also need to consider the 5% marketplace rental fee which will bring that down to $2353. So that would put us at a net loss of $304.
However we're doing this for CL airdrop points - those juicy Legendary Summoners are coming soon and should be valuable, right? For the sake of this analysis, let's ignore the Carnage Titan (who will likely drop next week) and focus only on the value of the Legendary Summoner drops:
- 6 Legendary Summoners
- Packs required to guarantee a summoner: 550-675
- Avg. # of Summoners per drop: 1.1 (I took the midway point between 550 and 675 as the average
- Value of CL Legendary Summoner (1BCX): $50 (See below)
- Expected value of airdrops: $300
The value of the CL Legendary Summoners here is a key variable. Currently we have Quix valued at about $31, which is by far our best data point. I think many in the community feel the upcoming Legendary Summoners will be more reminiscent of the Untamed ones, which range in value from $57 (Camila) to $525 (Yodin), but the reality is we don't know. I'm putting a small premium here for my own expected value, but it's difficult to say.
So accounting for the airdrop cards we now have an expected value of $2687 vs our cost of $2747. What needs to happen for it to break even? One of two things (or more likely a combination of the two):
- Pack contents need to average $3.77 instead of $3.67 (i.e. you need to do 2.5% better than average)
- Legendary Summoner cards need to be worth $60 on average, rather than $50
In my trial I opened 500 packs on my main account and 175 on a separate account. Admittedly I was quite lucky with my pulls, as my worst opening was valued at $385 on the open market (for 100 packs) and my best pull was a whopping $517 (for 100 packs).
I reached an average pack value of $4, which would make this strategy worthwhile even if the Legendary Summoner airdrops were only worth $30 on average. This was lucky of course, and brings up the issue of variance as it's unsustainable. If I tried to do this only once, I could get lucky and I could get unlucky. Only when I do this many times (e.g. 10 or more) can I be sure the law of averages will get me to the numbers above.
Takeaways, and a few more considerations
- (MOST IMPORTANT) If the market begins to trend up again, and Chaos Legion cards grow in value, it could make this strategy an OBVIOUS winner. If this does happen, I expect we will see a big surge in Chaos Legion pack sales.
- If you assume the Legendary Summoner airdrop cards will be worth >$100 on average, you should be doing this right away!
- If you plan to only do this ONE time, you may get crushed (or blessed!) by "noise" (variance in value of packs opened). In other words, you have some reliance on lady luck to make the math work out.
- Some of you will note that I was conservative on the # of airdrop cards received. I assumed the guaranteed amount is exactly what you will get, but the reality is that this is your minimum threshold and you could get more. I also assumed zero Gold Foil drops. Both of these would increase the ROI of the strategy, but you can't rely on them which is why I excluded them from the analysis.
- Open market liquidity is a bit of a problem. To sell quickly, which helps "guarantee" the ROI, you may need to sell 1% lower than current market prices, which shaves a bit more from your top line. You may also find you're unable to sell some cards.
- The strategy assumes you sell 100% of the cards you pull (or at least enough to buy more packs if you get lucky). That is difficult due to the liquidity issue of course, but also takes a lot discipline, and your emotional attachment to cards may play a role. For example, I pulled a Gold Foil Queen Mycelia and wasn't able to make myself sell it... :)
Hope you enjoyed this content. If so please give it a like and follow me for more content like this in the future. And if you're going to try flipping Chaos Legion packs, may Lady Luck bless your pulls!
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I like the idea of your approach. An alternative would be to simply keep the packs and keep them to get points for SPS airdrop, which should be more than what you get when opening packs. You could also put sales orders for packs on Hive Engine and like that avoid to pay for potions. There are several ways of doing this and I believe we will soon see more packs sold. On the other hand, more packs sold will mean more cards on the market and this will bring price of cards down again. Anyways it's a gamble :-)
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I am following the approach you have outlined here and yes, there were occasions when I got cards more than the invested with as high as $630 for 110 packs opened and there were instances of $290 for the same amount of packs opened, so, yes, we have to be content and wait for the Legendary summoner airdrops to see whether there was profit or not.
Good one, happy battling :)
Love math and analysis. Lady luck is accurate. Sharing this on Splinterlands Digest Twitter.
Thanks for sharing! - @alokkumar121