What determines the market value of a Splinterlands card?

7 Min Read
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Splinterland cards are NFT and they can be used in battle. The term "market value or market price" is only used loosely because in reality, you can value your cards at any price you choose to.

Despite the Nonfungible nature of the assets, it is safe to say that they also follow some sort of market trend. When I evaluate the market value of a card, I often use the lowest selling price that it is listed with on the market.

Again, with that said, it is important to note that the market price of a card is affected by multiple factors, and in this article, I'll be exploring various reasons why cards have their said market price.

On the surface, the market valuation of cards seems to be erratic at times, but is there a method to the madness. Let's explore various reasons and see if we can make any sense of the situation.

Rarity of the card

There are four different rarity rankings and as you climb higher up the ranking category, the cards are scarcer. What this means is in essence is that the higher up the rarity rankings you climb, the fewer quantities of cards will be minted in the category. The four rarities are;

  • Common
  • Rare
  • Epic
  • Legendary

The natural trend, just like in every market is that as an item becomes scarcer, the value of the said item rises. Splinterlands cards partially follow that trend but there are many exceptions in the wild.

In fact, it is safe to say that the fact a card has a higher rarity tanking than another doesn't necessarily mean that it will have a higher market value. This is because the forces of demand and supply in Splinterlands don't operate in the traditional way it would in a typical crypto exchange.

Although it is safe to assume that a legendary card like Dark Ha'On will be perceived as more expensive than an epic card like Phantom Soldier. The fact that an epic card like Beta Fire Demon is perceived to be more expensive than a Legendary card like Spirit Druid Grog shows that there are other factors in play.

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So the fact that one card is 'rarer" than another doesn't necessarily mean that it will be more expensive than it. However, as we go further, we will discuss the other factors that probably influenced the market value of the cards.

Age of the card

When we talk about the "age of the card", I'm simply referring to cards that are no longer being printed and have been around for a long time. In the previous paragraph, we looked at Spirit Druid Grogg vs Fire Demon, and noticed that getting a single unit of an Epic card is more expensive than getting a single unit of a legendary card.

The real reason behind this price difference lies in the fact that the Fire Demon is a Beta version card, and they're one of the oldest around. In fact, if you check the Alpha pack version of the Fire Demon, you'll have to cough up $11 for a single unit.

So, as a rule of thumb, I assume that older cards will be more expensive than newer cards. Obviously, this will not be always the case, as you can see in the fact that a legendary dark Ha'On is still more expensive than the Alpha Pack Fire Demon.

Special ability

How does one place a value on the special abilities of monsters? Is there even such a thing. How can you compare and contrast between them, to pick which is more important than the other.

I don't know for sure how that works out but if you look around the game, you'll find tiny spaces where you could run a comparison between cards to make some deductions.

Fore example, when you look at all the legendary summoners of the untamed pack persuassion, you will find an interesting scenario. All the monsters are relatively new additions, so why is there such a huge gap between Yodin Zaku and Mimosa Nightshade?

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Is it possible that "blast" ability is more important than "plague" and "void" ability combined? If you look around, you'll find many other scenarios between monsters of "the same age" and similar rarities that exhibit dramatic price discrepancies due to their abilities.

Collection power influence

Since the upgrade that made collection power become super important, this became a factor in determining the market value of a card. The collection power of a card simply describes the influence the card has in dertimining how high up the league you can battle.

So, in essence, the more collection power a card offers, the higher the card allows you to battle. As the rarity ranking of a card increases, so does the collection power and typically, the market price of the card.

Gold foiled cards carry unusually high collection power because they are scarcer, and also using them positively influences the amount of DEC you will earn from battles. The collection power is "calibrated" in DEC and this is how the collection power is evaluated on Splinterlands

  • Regular Common= 10 DEC & GF Common= 500DEC
  • Regular Rare= 10 DEC & GF Rare = 2000DEC
  • Regular Epic= 200 DEC & GF Epic= 10000DEC
  • Regular Legendary= 1000DEC & GF Legendary= 50,000DEC

So in essence, gold foils add more to your collection power and concurrently, the market perceives them as being more important. This is why gold foils have higher market price than their regular counterparts.

Also, other than the standard DEC rate mentioned above, Promo cards tend to carry more collection power and it is reflected in their market price. They are usually very rare and are considerably more expensive than their regular counterparts.

For example, a gold foil promo card carries a 150k DEC collection power, against the usual 50k DEC collection power. This means that it is highly likely for a promo card to be more expensive than most other monsters because of the collection power influence.

Perception

When it comes to NFT trading, perception is probably all that matters. In fact, it is safe to say that each factor that affects the market value of a card is related to the perception of the card.

With that said, it is also important to note that perception is a subjective matter, and so, it is very difficult to place a specific price on it. Different players/traders have different views of a card, and all that could play into how the market perceives the card.

Again, it is important to clarify that the phrase "market" is in loose terms because there's no specific market price of any card and it is all based on perception. Other than the other main headings discussed, here are other factors that affect the perception of a card;

  • Newly airdropped card
  • Special edition card(gold foil)
  • Perks for buying a card
  • Type of card(melee, ranged, magic, or no attack) affects perception.

All these various factors come together to influence the way people view these cards. When you put it all together, you will observe a trend in the valuation of cards that sort of makes sense.




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