Splinterlands: Digital Scarcity & Gold Foil Mystery Prizes
Most blockchain games are predicated on “digital scarcity.” For more background information on this concept, I recommend this article that came out back when CryptoKitties first launched at the end of 2017:
Examples of the rarest and most valuable non-fungible tokens in blockchain games include CryptoKitties’ Founder cats and unique Exclusive cats, Gods Unchained’s Mythic Titan cards, and Axies’ triple mystic axies.
For Splinterlands, Gold Foil cards are the gold standard and the rarest of them all are the Gold Foil Mystery Prizes – Archmage Arius (AA), Prince Julian (PJ), and Mighty Dricken.
How Mystery Potions & Prizes Work
I previously wrote about Mystery Potions and how they worked in their first incarnation, when you had to buy 5 charges of Basic, Enhanced, or Brilliant Mystery Potions and an Archmage Arius was randomly distributed every other day. You can find those old articles here:
Since that time, Mystery Potions have undergone some slight changes. Instead of three different versions there is just one type (the Brilliant version where you are guaranteed to receive something). You can also choose how many Mystery Potion charges to buy so you can buy just a single charge at a time. The possible prizes include the current chase card (Mighty Dricken), Essence Orbs (until they ran out recently), Untamed Boosters, Random Reward Cards (can be Common, Rare, Epic, or Legendary), and Potion charges (can be Legendary, Alchemy, Quest, or Mystery). While Archmage Arius was guaranteed to be allocated once every other day, now there is a 50% chance every day that a Mighty Dricken will be issued and if it is, then one random account that is running a mystery potion that day receives the Mighty Dricken.
Gold Foil Mystery Prizes
There are only 90 copies of Archmage Arius and Prince Julian, and there will be only 90 copies of Mighty Dricken. For each card issued, there is a 2% chance that it is Gold Foil and potions do NOT work to increase that chance so for the 90 total copies, statistically there should be 1.8 Gold Foil copies.
The 87 regular Archmage Arius’ and the 3 Gold Foil Archmage Arius’ were all distributed randomly via Mystery Potions.
82 regular Prince Julians and 6 Gold Foil Prince Julians were distributed randomly via Mystery Potions. However, 1 regular and 1 Gold Foil Prince Julian were specially allocated to j6969 because of his contributions in helping to create the card (much like how the Kickstarter/crowdfunding packages that helped design a Legendary Summoner included regular and Gold Foil versions of that card).
As of this moment there are 24 regular Mighty Drickens and 1 Gold Foil Mighty Dricken, all of which were distributed randomly via Mystery Potions.
All copies of Archmage Arius, Prince Julian, and Mighty Dricken come maxed out at Level 4, so there are no 1 BCX copies. In the case of the Gold Foil versions, the max copies are at 3 BCX, similar to Shin Lo and the early Essence Orb GFL's that had extra XP.
In the art and antiquities world, provenance is important not just to document authenticity but also because it helps tell a unique story that gives an item more personality and significance. In CryptoKitties, you can look up the ownership history of any cat. One thing I wanted to do in this article is to document the history and tell the story of each of the Gold Foil Mystery Prizes.
Gold Foil Archmage Arius (AA)
- This was the first Gold AA in existence.
- Around June 29th, 2019, j6969 bought this on the market from vcdragon and vndragon for $800:
- On July 18th, 2020, goldmatters bought this on the market from j6969’s alt (war-chaang) for $6069.69:
I wouldn’t have spent that much money without a clearly thought out strategy, which I have :)
This was the second Gold AA in existence.
Around July 27th, 2019, goldmatters bought this from raynie for $1000 as documented here:
I ended up spending the money on other cards and had 636 STEEM left (back when STEEM was almost $1) which then went to HIVE. My husband (@nateaguila) convinced me to keep the STEEM and wait for it to be $10 but then STEEM fell in price and wasn't worth anything. Wish I had kept the card. I still have the remaining HIVE in an alt account so I don’t spend it and so I am not reminded of the big failure. Archmage Arius is the card that haunts me. For the longest time nobody ever played it (editor’s note: back then it costed 6 mana). Fast forward a year and everyone plays it. 90% of the time, I lose to it.
So the key takeaway seems to be:
Raynie should not take her husband’s advice!
I’m thrilled to own these scarce cards and believe they’re extremely beneficial to the future growth of the game. News surrounding the transactions of scarce cards such as these generates extreme excitement for the game and has potential to create news flow that can ripple throughout the collectible digital card market and even into the mainstream. A four or five figure sale can get the attention of casual gamers and serious collectors alike and get them to pay attention to Splinterlands and fuel the growth we all want.
Current owner: beescards (@beeyou)
Original mystery prize receiver: beeyou
- This was the third Gold AA in existence.
@hossainbd was playing my account for tourneys back then. I woke up to a DM from him saying I got this on Beeyou!
Gold Prince Julian (PJ)
- Pulled on May 15th, 2020:
- On May 17th, 2020, neoxian bought this privately (off-market) from shoemanchu for $3500 (20,000 STEEM):
Current owner: @goldmatters
While the other Gold Foil Prince Julians were randomly distributed through Mystery Potions, this is the Gold PJ that was specially given to j6969 for his design contributions for helping to create the card.
On July 13th, 2020, goldmatters bought this on the market from j6969’s alt (war-chaang) for $2500:
Current owner: @steemgoat
Original mystery prize receiver: ??? (I think steemgoat)
Current owner: @uwelang
Original mystery prize receiver: uwelang
Sad to see the value decline that much recently (editor's note: referring to overall card value due to j6969’s sell-off).
Current owner: forever-crypto
Original mystery prize receiver: forever-crypto
- forever-crypto was lucky enough to actually receive TWO gold PJ’s through mystery potions (which instigated some conspiracy theories). The second one is on his alt account.
Current owner: tutkat.monsters (@endgegner)
Original mystery prize receiver: (One of endgegner’s 5 accounts running mystery potions)
Current owner: @kryptodenno (forever-crypto’s alt account)
Original mystery prize receiver: forever-crypto
This is the second Gold PJ that forever-crypto received.
According to @jacekw, the 6 other Gold PJ’s have all been used in battle but this copy is in “mint” condition because its card ID has never been submitted for a battle. If you look it up in the public API you will see “null” for “last_used_player” and “last_used_date.”
What more can I say, it felt really lucky when I got my second PJ, especially because it was the evening before my birthday :wink: There were only 4 Gold PJs around at that time. IMO the mystery prize is random. Been using the potions daily for nearly a year and 99.99 percent of the time I got only penny cards, untamed packs or potions.
Gold Mighty Dricken
Current owner: @bji1203
Original mystery prize receiver: bji1203
- Pulled on July 8th, 2020:
As our game continues to grow, these exceptionally rare cards will be much sought after. I think many of us would happily pay $800-$1000 for a Gold Archmage Arius, which was the going price a year ago.
If you have any more interesting details about existing or newly created Gold Foil Mystery Prize cards, please contact me so that I can document that information. Thank you!