A Rude Awakening | Ranked Reward Changes
With the new ranked reward changes fast approaching, there is much to consider regarding "starter cards". In case you missed the update, below is a snippet from the March 23rd, Town Hall - where the details for ranked reward changes were first revealed.
Linking back to my previous post, "Adapt And Overcome | Bronze League Guide", where we discussed the issue of bots in the Bronze League, these changes look to address this problem, but our fellow penny-pinching Padawans will also be affected.
The reality is that Splinterlands was never intended to be "Free-to-Play". Investment is required to grow and maintain the project (the same as any other video game), but, you also earn tangible rewards for your time and attention (unlike other video games 👍).
So in today's post, we look to highlight:
💠 Which starter cards you should invest in
💠 A huge consideration going forward
💠 The price to own a full starter card deck
⚔️ Let's get into it! ➡️
Disclaimer: The content of this post is not financial advice. All information shared is based on my personal opinion and experience. Please act responsibly and do your own research.
The most blatantly obvious choice for "must have" cards are the Summoners. Summoners are a non-negotiable facet of every battle, so naturally they would be our first point of convergence. Taking into account that we will earn zero rewards for a full starter card lineup, it may be advantageous to secure 1 bcx of your most used Summoner/s.
|General Sloan||Chaos Legion||Life||4||$2.200||0.100 DEC|
|Mother Khala||Untamed||Life||3||$4.190||0.214 DEC|
|Tarsa||Chaos Legion||Fire||4||$2.627||0.100 DEC|
|Thaddius Brood||Chaos Legion||Death||4||$2.680||0.105 DEC|
|Contessa L'ament||Untamed||Death||3||$3.940||0.201 DEC|
|Obsidian||Chaos Legion||Earth||4||$3.539||0.120 DEC|
|Wizard of Eastwood||Untamed||Earth||3||$4.660||0.205 DEC|
|Kelya Frendul||Chaos Legion||Water||4||$4.200||0.105 DEC|
|Drake of Arnak||Untamed||Dragon||4||$5.830||0.185 DEC|
These 1 mana bad boys are our most versatile assets, second only to the 0 mana fiends. They can be deployed in almost every battle, making them a strong consideration for investment.
|Gargoya Scrapper||Chaos Legion||Life||$0.067||$0.723||0.100 DEC||0.260 DEC|
|Radiated Scorcher||Chaos Legion||Fire||$0.078||$0.750||0.100 DEC||0.389 DEC|
|Carrion Shade||Chaos Legion||Death||$0.063||$0.844||0.100 DEC||0.413 DEC|
|Cursed Slimeball||Untamed||Death||$0.420||$10.750||0.100 DEC||1.272 DEC|
|Mycelic Morphoid||Chaos Legion||Earth||$0.075||$1.090||0.100 DEC||0.629 DEC|
|Hardy Stonefish||Chaos Legion||Water||$0.065||$0.696||0.100 DEC||0.392 DEC|
|Albatross||Untamed||Water||$0.781||$9.565||0.100 DEC||1.436 DEC|
|Chaos Agent||Chaos Legion||Neutral||$0.128||$2.019||0.100 DEC||0.392 DEC|
NOTE: I have included the Gold Foil (GF) prices as they grant a 10% bonus in rewards, which could potentially offset the starter card reward deductions. The same logic can be applied to Summoners, but it is less advantageous. Meatshields tend to stay at level 1 throughout the growth of your account, thus requiring a one time investment. Summoners will need to be leveled over time, which requires multiple investments, and using gold foils to accomplish this is costly. (Credit for this amazing tip: @macfillet & @infidel1258)
Much like Summoners, every battle is going to require a Tank. The tricky part here is that your Tank selection changes, based on the battle's mana cap and ruleset. In the case of Summoners, where the "one size fits all" approach is sufficient, this is not always the case with Tanks.
As our aim is to determine the essential starters cards, we will focus on the tanks that will be utilized 80% of the time, rather than the entire list.
|Chaos Knight||Chaos Legion||Life||$0.072||0.100 DEC|
|Living Lava||Untamed||Fire||$4.350||0.220 DEC|
|Cursed Windeku||Chaos Legion||Death||$0.849||0.112 DEC|
|Bone Golem||Untamed||Death||$1.608||0.255 DEC|
|Mycelic Infantry||Chaos Legion||Earth||$0.166||0.130 DEC|
|Unicorn Mustang||Untamed||Earth||$10.500||0.267 DEC|
|Diemonshark||Chaos Legion||Water||$0.566||0.112 DEC|
|Serpent of Eld||Untamed||Water||$2.916||0.225 DEC|
The next step is to identify the cards, outside of Summoners, Meatshields and Tanks, that you utilize the most, to reduce susceptibility to having your rewards cut back.
In the latest Town Hall (link here), the devs gave hints to how the new ranked rewards system would opperate, regarding daily loot chests. It is my understanding that there will no longer be a disparity betweeen the number of chests that can be earned between each League. Instead, they will provide the same number of chests, but the higher leagues will maintain an increased chance to receieve better rewards from those chests.
This begs the question: "Is it feasible for players to now rely solely on loot chests to earn, and forgo their DEC rewards, by continuing to use only starter cards?"
This then leads me to ask: "Will this hinder or empower bot usage?"
We can can only specualte how things will unfold, so take these thoughts with a grain of salt, as nothing is finalized until it is released and further adjustments can be made in future updates.
Obviously, the easiest approach would be to secure one copy of every starter card and be done with it, but for the sake of being frugal, a more judicious approach is required.
Summoners, Meatshields and Tanks are going to make the biggest impact in offsetting the starter card reward deductions, by virtue of necessity and versatility. From there, the choice is yours in which cards you want to target next.
I have taken the liberty of calculating the average price to purchase a complete starter card deck, as follows:
|Element||Price||Number of Cards||CP|
*Add in Summoners and you are looking at roughly $87.00 in total.
A hefty sum, that not many of us can afford to front... but there is an alternative! ➡️
👉 Do not underestimate the power of renting. You can rent all of the cards you require, for a fraction of the buying price and if you are serious about maintaining the ability to earn rewards, this is a worthy option.
It is my prediction that we will see a vast increase in the renting of starters cards. This is consistent with the devs intentions to incentivize investment and will serve only as a benefit for all of us.
We don't know the extent of which these changes to starter cards will affect our ability to earn. At the moment, we can only theory craft a way forward, based on the tidbits of information we have been provided so far.
Preperation is never a bad thing though. As the saying goes, "Failing to prepare, is preparing to fail", so maybe you do go ahead and invest in those essential starter cards, before the changes are implemented. At least then, you will be one step ahead of the market if it does turn out that in fact, these changes are a significant hinderous to earning rewards. At that point, everyone will be rushing to secure their starter cards, at an increased price, while you are sitting pretty with your handful of bargains.
You could also exercise patience; Wait it out and see what comes of it and react quickly!
My intention is not to sway you in either direction, but to give you options to consider, as I believe this next update to rewards will be a defining factor in the game going forward.
Continue growing your knowledge of the game and engaging in the community, to make the best decisions for your own journey.
I appreciate your time and attention and I look forward to growing more with you in the next post...
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