Dark Energy Crystals
With the release of dark energy crystals and the updates from the Steem Monsters team about the large number of cards being converted into crystals, I decided to look into the merits of buying low cost cards to convert in order to purchase essence orbs. Here are my findings!
How Much Should You Expect An Orb To Cost?
Cheapest cards at the moment - reward common cards which seem to be plentiful in supply at values ranging from $0.015-$0.02. Each one will provide 15 Dark Energy Crystals with 2500 DEC needed to get an essence orb. This means that you need ~167 common promo cards to create an orb. This would range between $2.51 - $3.34 per orb depending on which side of the price range you can get the cards.
How Much Can You Make From Orb Cards?
Also, at the moment of writing this, the average value of each rarity are as follows (based on taking the lowest cost of each card of each rarity and averaging them.
So, if you get any foil card, you're almost certainly getting your money worth with the current prices. Same applies for getting a Legendary card. But, what about the most common outcome of getting either a rare or an epic and the rest being common. 4 average common cards and an average rare card gets you ~$0.48 back. With 4 common cards and an epic card you're looking at getting ~$1.68 back.
A Real World Test!
I decided to perform a small real world test to see if I can come out ahead. I purchased a bunch of cards where the cost of the cards were equivalent to $0.018 or less per 15 DEC (so where rare cards give 60 DEC I could buy rare cards for up to $0.072 to keep the same ratio). Between the cards I purchased and cards I had been holding that were the same types of cards I was burning I gathered enough dust for 10 packs (25,000 DEC). Here's what cards I picked up along with the total value of that card based on the quantity I got:
5 - Molten Ogre: $0.20
7 - Goblin Chef: $0.56
11 - Armorsmith: $0.99
12 - Enchanted Defender: $0.48
1 - Electric Eels: $0.17
7 - Silvershield Bard: $1.47
2 - Undead Archer: $0.70
1 - Mermaid Healer: $1.37
1 - Corrupted Pegasus $11.99
1 - Goblin Chef: $2.24
1 - Enchanted Defender: $2.45
1 - Silvershield Bard: $7.76
Total Value: $30.38
Estimated Cost: $28.39
Estimated Cost was calculated at $0.017 per 15 DEC since that seemed to be about the average cost of cards purchased. Did not use exact figure due to the use of already owned cards
Obviously this is one test case with a 10 orb sample size, attempting to duplicate this experiment could have a wide range of results. However, it turned out to generate theoretical profit for me this time (assuming I can actually sell the reward cards at their current lowest price). The main caveat here is that out of 50 total cards, 2 cards made up for 63% of the card value. If either of those cards had been a low value card I would have lost money in this endeavor. It would seem that at the current market values, it's risky but certainly has potential for profit to burn low cost cards to purchase orbs.
If any of you readers have done a similar test, please let me know if you've had good or bad results in burning cards for essence orbs, I'd love to hear what others think!