Old Card values - Lessons learned from Gods Unchained



Hello Everyone,

Some of you may know this from our conversations on the discord but I am also a frequent player of Gods Unchained which is another NFT based crypto game that is more traditional in its playstyle. Think of it like a clone of Hearthstone for those of you that have played that.

The reason we are talking about Gods Unchained in a Splinterlands community is because Gods Unchained just released their new card set 'Divine Order' and I was curious how it would impact the market of older, previously popular cards. Many of us in Splinterlands are in the same position given Chaos Legions is around the corner and we don't really know what the future brings for the value of our older cards.


There are a few key differences between the way the release was handled in Gods Unchained and how Splinterlands is handling their release. These are important to consider when looking at the market as a whole.

  1. Gods Unchained cards are significantly more scarce. Common cards in the GU realm have total supply of generally 25k on the high end compared to an average around 35k for the SL Untamed set.
  2. Gods Unchained did a full release. There were no vouchers or other gimmicks required to buy the cards on the release date.
  3. Splinterlands runs on the Hive network and Gods Unchained runs on the ETH network.
  4. Gods Unchained had a $6M "pre-sale" period at which point packs would be 20% off with the discount slowly dropping to 0% as more and more packs were sold.
  5. Divine Order released 9/27/2021. Chaos Legion to be released Mid-October 2021

With these things in mind it is clear that Splinterlands is trying to avoid a market crash that would result from millions of cards all being dumped on the market at once whereas Gods Unchained decided to just let the market do its thing.

The current market in Splinterlands is rough. Lets be honest... Card prices are stagnant or dropping and generally people are not able to sell. This is due to a lot of reasons but most evidently the following:

  1. Raw DEC provides more airdrop points than holding cards at this point
  2. Players are actively saving for CL packs
  3. Current prices of older cards are widely out of reach for new players.
  4. With the release of new cards, many players are hoping to be able to open packs to build out fuller decks.
  5. The voucher system being implemented encourages players to lock their assets in SPS instead of cards.
  6. Gods Unchained does not currently 'retire' any card sets.

Most of these are temporary issues however #3 is a focus point for me. Given how scarce old cards are the prices have risen to a point where the utility of playing the cards is generally not worth the amount of money it takes to buy them so the people buying them are primarily investors.

The below metric chart from PeakMonsters shows that in general the volume in $ of cards sold is trending down while card transactions themselves are slightly improving. This indicates that cards are still moving just at lower price points.


This is important because it infers that the value of cards is going down. Of course this is a simple interpretation and there is absolutely more to it than that but it is concerning regardless.

What is more interesting to me is that the Gods Unchained market behaved in a similar manner yet did not have most of the pressure put on players to stop holding cards ie vouchers or increasing DEC value.

For example, Iron-tooth Goblin, a key anti-relic card from the old GU meta dropped in price steadily leading up to release.

Most other key cards played out similarly dropping slightly over about a month and then heavily about 1.5 weeks before release.

This can be seen in most cards which were previously meta-critical including: Underbrush boar, Demogorgon, Jaguar Staff, Scythes of the Harvest, and more.

For Splinterlands we also have another metric that is interesting to look at: Chaos Legion reward cards. As these were released early we get to see how the higher supply limit cards could potentially hit the market. What we have seen so far is that botmasters have flooded the market with these cards and prices have tumbled for these cards but also more importantly, cards that are similar to them.


In the example above looking at Pelacor Bandit and Sabre Shark, these cards fill a similar role and as such new players will more likely go after Pelacor Bandit over Sabre Shark due to the pricing. As a result we can see that Sarbre dropped from a 7 day average price of .855/BCX to currently being listed at .70/BCX which is an 18% drop. This would indicate that any currently existing card that has a similar care in the Chaos Legion set is likely to go down significantly.


The current market in Gods Unchained is flourishing in volume right now but ultimately the average card price has dropped significantly. This is absolutely a result of the market being flooded with new cards. The desire to try out new mechanics and figure out which of the new cards will be meta is driving hysteria. I personally think cards will begin to return to a normal eventually but right now it is a free for all and just about any card on the market is attainable. Like the Chaos Legion rewards many of the common cards released as a part of Divine Order have already dropped to sub .10 prices. It is a buyers market and it is happening before Gods Unchained pushes for a higher playerbase. For those of you that have been a part of Splinterlands before August of 2021, you are quite aware of what happens with a population boom so in my opinion Gods Unchained is ripe for the taking both old and new.

Given that Splinterlands is limiting the volume of new cards released, I suspect that a similar phenomenon will occur but at a much slower pace. There will be much less market shock and ultimately that might save the price of older cards for the time. That said, I personally would not recommend holding older cards if your objective is profit driven. They are simply overpriced and the market will reduce them. Get out while you can, earn your SPS airdrops via the DEC you will get from selling them. Ultimately, the full supply of Chaos Legion WILL hit within a year and unless the population booms again, with real players (not bots), we are going to enter a season of rock bottom prices again.

Good luck out there!

For today's post 'pet tax' we have both Atlas AND Nobu. They have an afternoon WrestleMania session each day and I wanted to share its initiation with you all.



Divine Order and Chaos Legion images owned by Immutable X and Splinterlands respectively. All other images and content owned by me unless otherwise stated.

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That's a real good analysis, nicely structured and layed out.

I am not a finance oriented person but find trading and market behavior quite fascinating. Unfortunately there is only so much in my day to learn and do stuff these days. So, I prefer reading other's work 😊


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To support your work, I also upvoted your post!

Check out the last post from @hivebuzz:

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Interesting analysis, history may repeat itself ... bookmarked to read again 2morrow and look into the whole thing

PS. I LOVE your beautiful pets 😍


Very good breakdown, but I think there's a number of factors you didn't yet consider. Before I point these out, I gave you an upvote and follow because I respect you immensely, and I love chatting with you on discord. While I don't agree with your conclusion, I can't deny the time, care, and quality of the post.

Firstly, There are a number of mechanics baked into the game to ensure the relevance of old cards without even considering gameplay.

*Power. The Alpha and Beta cards will always have a very high base value as End of Seaon Real Estate simply because of the power they give. Any new player entering the game right now is acutely aware of exactly how valuable these old cards are.

*Land. We already know that older cards will have substantially more value in lands, and the dev team has a proven track record of finding creative solutions to protect the value of older cards. Dump them at your own risk. These cards are their babies, and they will ensure they stay relevant till the end of the game.

Secondly, we cannot deny the interesting ecosystem the devs have created in gameplay. Every card has its situational use. Some cards are more generally usable, but every card has a niche that makes it better in X ruleset with Y ruleset and Z mana. Harvester? Trash until it stampedes your face in. Chain Spinner? Draws Equal Oppurtunity damage away from your higher priority targets.

I came from a background in mtg, and I think that colors my thoughts very diffrently. I very much respect your analysis and concerns, but I really feel strongly about the life and vitality of older cards in the format, and while there will be some, like sabre shark who were never quite good to begin with, that will do poorly, the staples like 8$ Armorsmiths and 4.50 Wood Nymphs are not something I'm passing on!


Hey Sketchy!

Thanks for the kind words and suggestions.

I do need to updates this post.

Specifically, I need to include the utility they have added to keep older cards relevant. That said, I still believe that old cards are going to lose value. Maybe not to the same extent that GU did (~50%) but the utility they are building out for old cards just quite isn't 'enough' imo to stop it from happening entirely.

The reason I say this is, to my understanding, the value is all tied to the card's CP. As CP is already a relevant factor in terms of a cards price/value adding more utility tied to it will have diminishing returns. I don't think there is enough detail about land yet but, I believe that each land will have a set timer that it produces goods off of. The CP of the card working the land determines how fast that timer goes down. This means that new cards that are GF or legendary etc would have value here and generally it will still GFs that would be protected via the land system.

This post also doesn't consider the new economy changes. Personally the new economy is going to make cards more valuable across the board. Rental rates will go up, card prices will go up, etc. This change should also help slow whatever loss is going to happen.