All it took was a hot minute, a generous team, a sleep deprived dev and a lot of gas. It's official: Gods Unchained cards are finally tradable.
The last few weeks have been all about the upcoming market. The Tethys raffle was done, core cards had been reset and people were ready to start trading. In a showing of true generosity, the devs decided to fund the cost of activating all genesis cards, simultaneously migrating them to a new contract which ended up saving trillions of gas (or a few weeks of full time network usage at max capacity). Last week the time was finally there to unlock the genesis set and officially allow trading to happen. now, 1 week later, we can reflect on this market opening and try to see where things are headed. lets dive right in, shall we?
Pack Value Schmack Value
before the market opened, lots of people were frothing at the lovely numbers that showed up when they looked up their estimated collection values. these estimates basically assumed the value of cards would somewhat correlate with the cost of a pack. shines were based on how many packs you needed to buy to get it etc. people had lambos in their eyes and rally cries to not sell common diamonds below 1 eth were wide spread. it didnt take long for the market to completely destroy the idea that pack value had anything to do with how cards would be valued and the basic effect of supply and demand to set up camp. price discovery was (and still is) all over the place: diamonds selling for 200x + meteorite value, legendaries selling for one tenth of pack values, commons still being cheaper than the transfer cost needed to buy it, diamonds selling for less than meteorite, missclicks leading to insane deals. So far it's been a wild ride but slowly we're starting to come out of the first wave of madness and we can start looking at the bigger picture. Pack value is a thing of the past, supply and demand are dominating and the meta is steering the ship.
Expectation VS Reality
Of course, not everyone was following the pack value principle. many others had already been speculating on how the true values would pan out. some feared massive dumps, others believed we would go straight to the cosmos. in the end, neither really happened. well - both kinda happened. but its more like witnessing the birth of a universe. Each card is its own individual market with its own price discovery. some cards went straight up, others fell into the abyss and never recovered. there's a few things to say about the general state of the market though.
Commons are in a weird place right now, where the cost of transferring the card is often more expensive than the cost of the card itself. reason for this seems to be that its a lot easier to list cards than it is to buy them. with one click of your mouse you can list dozens of cards at a time, while buying cards requires a confirmation for every single card. this means the few people who did decide to list their entire stock flooded the commons market, sinking far below expected prices. Over time this will stabilise (some cards are already doing very well) but for now theres still a lot of great deals to be had for those willing to click a hundred transactions for 5 cts each.
Rares seem to be suffering the same fate, although here we are already seeing the effect of regular clean ups by those willing to put in the effort. slowly but surely we can make out the contours of the meta, with cards finding their place in the order of things. that said, everything is still cheap and theres still a lot to be done here.
Epics are starting to look good. the first few days, this market was a bizarre sight to see. you could feel the doubt in speculator's minds as deal after deal presented itself. after half a week of trading, many of the meta cards were still sitting way below price point, with only a handful of people buying up massive bulk stocks of cards. there are a few exceptions here, notably the much hated Demogorgon which is currently sitting higher than most of the legendaries in the set (0.1025). today, the epics market is starting to look a bit better (even though there are still many good cards to find at cheap prices).
Legendaries are the first to stabilise. after an initial slump, it seems here we can definitely see what the long term effect will look like. some cards are already proving to us that people are not afraid to pay more than pack value for a good card, with some cards pushing as high as 0.3 (jason, more about him later) and many others steadily climbing by the day.
Overall, the market sentiment seems to be that of a kid in a candystore. Prices are low, yet there is no despair. there are no cries for help and it's not hard to sell cards. the initial dumpening was expected, people were ready and cards are being traded to both players and long term traders alike. everyone seems to be going into this with a lot of good faith in the team and the future of the game. its exciting to witness this first hand.
As we know, cards can be fused together to create a higher shine level of the card: 5x Meteorite for shadow, 5x Shadow for Gold, 5x Gold for diamond. On the market, this conversion rate seems slightly different; a factor of 3-4x previous tier seems to be the leading thought. reason for this is simple: the only reason to buy a shine is because its more expensive to make it yourself. this places a ceiling on shine cards of max 5x its previous tier, often going (much) lower than that. If shines would have had the ability to break down into 5x the tier below, we would have seen prices be pegged a lot more than they are now. but without utility, there are more ways to get a shine than there are ways to get rid of one. hence the decoupling of the ingame 5x rule.
This one surprised me to be honest: Jason, Medea's Muse has been leading the race as the most expensive genesis legendary so far (0.2971 ETH at the time of writing). perhaps it's how easy it is to fit Jason into a deck that has peaked its demand, as pre wipe Jason was not one of the leading legendary cards. this leads me to believe it might be an early wipe thing that has Jason leading the charge, which may cool down once core trading opens up and people can just tech in all the cards they need directly without relying on random chance to delve something good. that said, I predicted Aeneas to lead the race so I have been wrong before. I could be very wrong about Jason too...
Interesting others right now are Avatar of War (0.1948) and Avatar of Magic (0.1584). both seem to be staples in their respective deck lists, with Avatar of Magic causing quite a stir with its game ending One-turn-kill combo potential.
Trailing way behind the legendary market we have Mistress Scythia (0.0479), Dick Puddlecote (0.0512) and Blade Trader Drosis (0.0513). these prices are reflected in the meta, where none of these cards seem to find any footing in a meaningful way.
The Big Uns
The promo market is alive and kicking, exceeding expectations for many.
Light's Bidding seems to be trading well currently at or around 10-12ETH a piece, with its very low stock causing wide swings in price.
First Phoenix has risen very fast from sub 1 eth to currently 2.5-3.5 ETH a pop. Blessed Chimera is trailing behind a bit, currently doing between 0.8 and 1.2 ETH a piece. what's interesting here is that these prices seem to be higher than anticipated. the fact that these cards are actually being sold at these numbers means people are definitely on board for the long haul of the game.
Chests: Schmack value Pack value
remember that thing I said earlier about how pack value has no effect on card value? well, the other way around seems to work a bit better. if we look at other TCG's, the leading factor for determining pack price on the resale market seems to be the chance of finding something valuable. a single pack of MTG Alpha cards goes for thousands of dollars, simply due to its chances at pulling a pack fresh alpha Black Lotus, power9 or dual land. in GU we will see this same effect reflect on the pack market. not quite yet though, since its still a bit early to tell. what we do see happening right now is the effect of scarcity in supply and speculation on demand. there's a few big players watching every move on the chest market, jumping in relentlessly whenever they see something good. tied to this is the provable scarcity effect: we know exactly how many chests there are and every time one of them is opened, the remaining supply seems to sink lower.
At the time of writing, a rare chest is selling for a whopping 0.1358 each (up from its original 0.0864 per chest). leg chests are doing ok at 0.8251 (up from 0.8064). I suspect an exponential price movement on these items as users open chests and the ones who don't open them, tend to hold on to them until much later.
keep an eye on this one.
What Makes A Real Man?
Meanwhile, in one of the weirder corners of the market, a cult seems to have formed based on the card "A Real Man". at one point, people started noticing large quantities of these cards being bought up and taken out of the market. on its own this is not a weird fact. what does make it weird is that this card is considered among most players to be quite a bad common card. upon further inspection, turns out a handful of people have made it their mission to buy up every "A Real Man" card in existence, shine them all to diamonds and then... well, that part is not clear to be honest. but the effects are seen across all markets: A Real Man is currently the most expensive common card in the game, priced higher than some rares. Meme or not, it is interesting to see the market effects of one of the most common cards being bought up in such large quantities. this may give us a glimpse at what the market may look like once wider spread adoption occurs.
And Now, The Weather
So what about next week?
I'll attempt to have a go at what we might expect from here on out:
Commons and rares will go up as more people enter this market, stocking up on the long haul. it is rumoured there are new ways of bulk buying and selling coming to us soon, which only makes this part easier.
I suspect the epic and legendary market will keep climbing due to its smaller stock sizes combined with long term traders stocking up for the future. I won't really jump too deep into individual cards but I do expect the avatars to keep performing well, I foresee a lot of cards in the middle segment jumping up as people realise their meta perspective and I suspect the Real Man society to keep doing whatever they do.
Let's see how things pan out next week!