Appeared in https://www.cnbc.com/id/100799067

There was some discussion today in the #mavericks-house channel on the Discord about card rentals, and I wanted to see if I could figure out if you can actually make financial sense out making a deck of all rented cards.

If you want to skip all the math, the answer is… actually, yes. It does make sense even by the most conservative estimates.

Why that is gets a little tricky because we are actually dealing with three different currencies.

The rental market is priced in USD.

The rewards cards and battles are priced in DEC.

And the intermediary is STEEM.

Yields

OK, so let’s look at what you might expect from renting max level cards. I ran these numbers based on reaching Diamond II league for quest and season rewards, which I was able to do with non-max level cards last season. Knowing that, what do you actually get after playing a season?

First we have DEC directly earned through battle. I estimated this at 1000 DEC/day by winning half of 20 battles and earning 100 DEC each battle. At Diamond II you can earn a lot more per battle than that if you have any of the bonuses (winning streak, alpha cards, gold cards). But again, keeping it conservative.

Then we have the quest rewards. In Diamond II you are earning 12 cards per day.

In season rewards, you’re looking at 50 cards per season.

And even though it can vary a bit, I calculated the season as being 14 days.

All together, that makes for 198 rewards cards.

But how much are they worth? There are a few ways to look at card value now. You can look at how much they yield in DEC. You can look at their USD market value. You can look at how much they might rent for or their synergistic marginal productivity.

The lowest, and most conservative, of these values is the DEC value. If you can burn cards for DEC, selling them for any less than the USD-equivalent DEC value makes no sense.

So using that most conservative value, each reward card has a weighted average DEC value of 93.6. This is an average, so some will be higher and some will be lower and over a large series of cards you will converge on that 93.6 number.

So between rewards cards and battle DEC, you’ll be earning about 34,400 of DEC per 14-day season.

Converting to USD at today’s prices gives us 34 USD per season or 2.47 USD per day.

So long as your cost is less than that, you’re looking at a profit. And again, this is the most conservative way to value the rewards. We aren’t even including any potential tournament winnings here.

Of course, prices are subject to change. Will DEC rise? Will STEEM crash? Dunno! What I do know is that as more players come on board, demand for DEC will increase. In the medium to long term, I am very bullish on all things SplinterLands.

Expenses

So great, now we have a yield, but we still have to figure out costs. How much does it cost to put together a Diamond II team?

The most expensive cards are going to be your summoners.

On the high end we have Zintar at about 0.09/day:

On the low end we have Malric at about 0.06/day:

So call it 0.075 times 5 splinters is 0.375/day. That’s 15% of our budget there.

Then we have to fill in commons, rares, and some epics. You can get by without any legendaries.

I compiled a rough estimate of costs by splinter and rarity:

So between summoners and monsters, we’re looking at a cost of 1.775 USD per day for a yield of 2.46 per day. That’s actually a pretty incredible ROI of 38.56%. PER DAY!

It won’t be the easiest deck to win with, but it’s certainly doable. And we’re only looking at a 50% win rate here. Use beempy.com for some deck research and peakmonsters.com for the battlechain and you can do better than that.

Can we juice this up a bit?

Sure!

Instead of burning cards for DEC, send them to @otter-matic for 1% more DEC than you would get by burning directly.

Instead of burning them, sell them on the market.

Win more than 50% of your battles with good research.

Use the research to get on a winning streak and pump up your battle DEC.

Use potions when flipping cards to increase card values.

And so on.

What can we conclude from all of this?

Well, for one, rental prices need to go up to reduce that amount of arbitrage. And I’m as guilty of that as anyone since something like 20% of the rental contracts currently in force are mine.

For another, people need to start taking more advantage of the rental market on both sides. We need more supply and once people understand the numbers of what is going on, the demand will skyrocket.

For those looking to rent cards, I don’t think you’ll see a cheaper time than now to get started.

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