This is a Trading Card Game
With the imminent release of ‘Welcome to Rathe’, the debut expansion of the highly anticipated trading card game ‘Flesh and Blood’, I could not think of a better time to crunch some numbers around what would qualify as a “fair” trade. As we are all about to rip open some (or an unruly amount of) booster packs and sink our teeth into building our first few decks, I think that it would be remiss if we were to expect that no trading amongst players or vendors would occur.
As it stands there is no existence of a secondary market at all. What few listings that have been made on marketplace groups have all excluded any notion of price. In fact, more posts have been made asking the wider community what they thought their card was worth than actual intent to sell. This is understandable though, people do not want to make an ill informed decision out of the fear of regret. We are yet to know what the secondary market values the worth of a typical Legendary equipment. Is it $20? $50? $100? $200!? Without a basis of a secondary market sellers will over inflate their prices due to risk aversion (and current lack of supply but that’s another point), while buyers will be unwilling to pay as much due to skepticism and for their own risk aversion due to lack of ensured stability or history of trades/sales.
It is imperative that a secondary market is established. Without one then there is no basis on how to judge a trade as “fair” or to be generally accepted by the wider community. Today the goal is to be able to provide a baseline backed with logic and math to provide answers to questions like; “How many Rares is a Majestic worth?”, “Is a Cold Foil equipment rarer than my Super Rare?”, etc.
My approach will be from that of a collector and only setting a value to a card based on its rarity and frequency. I will not be taking metrics like speculation, power level, metagame, reprints/promos, limited supply or demand into account as they are - either:
- too variable,
- or irrelevant for the time being.
I hope that this baseline from a collector’s perspective will serve to enable speculators to identify cards they think are undervalued, inform vendors of what might be an expectation of players, and assist traders from feeling any regret or being ripped off.
The boring stuff
My method for determining the relationship between cards of different rarities involves comparing how many booster packs would need to be opened to obtain the desired amount of both in question. The desired amount can be defined as the amount needed for constructed play, being three for each non-equipment and one for each equipment. This means one common is equivalent to any other common as it takes the same amount of booster packs to open the desired amount for each. I will also not be taking the probability of opening duplicates into account either. Based on my prior expression, I am going to assume that any duplicate that is opened can instantly and easily be traded for another card of the same rarity that has not been opened as that is pre-determined to be fair under these constraints.
Before getting down to business I should recap on the contents of a booster pack and each rarity. The configuration of a ‘Welcome to Rathe’ booster pack is:
(All details derived from the ofccial ‘Flesh and Blood’ website here)
A) 1 token
B) 11 commons
C) 1 rare
D) 1 rare / super rare / majestic
E) 1 equipment
F) 1 premium foil
I will refer to each section of the booster pack to correlate with the prefix character, i.e. slot A correlated to the one token in each booster pack, and slot B the eleven commons, etc.
For what it’s worth I think that I will skip over tokens as they are do not fit the “desired” metric or explicitly required for constructed play.
Common: There are one hundred and twenty unique commons within the expansion, so we will need to obtain three hundred and sixty commons to achieve the desired amount. This will take at least thirty three booster packs to be opened (not taking any premium foil commons being opened as I am categorising them as a separate rarity [this assumption can be made for the remaining categories too]).
Rare: There are forty eight unique rares, making the desired amount of one hundred and forty four. Slot D also produces a rare seventy five percent of the time. At least eighty three booster packs will need to be opened.
Super Rare: A total of fifteen unique super rares, with one appearing every six booster packs, meaning we would need to open two hundred and seventy booster packs to reach the desired amount.
Majestic: Ten unique majestics at a drop rate of one every twelve packs. The desired amount of thirty will be achieved from three hundred and sixty booster packs.
Equipment: One per booster with twelve unique cards, but only need a maximum of one each so the desired amount remains at twelve. Twelve boosters.
Twenty three out of twenty four booster packs contains a premium rainbow version of a common, rare, super rare or majestic. The twenty fourth booster pack contains either a cold-foil equipment or legendary.
The calculation for the non-equipment premium foils is based on the same drop rate of their slots in a regular booster pack (slots B, C, and D) but in relation to the slot F, i.e. every ninety six booster packs we can expect one legendary cold-foil, three cold-foil equipment, and ninety two rainbow foils. So every ninety six booster packs we will be able to construct seven and one thirteenth iterations of slots B, C, and D.
I will be repeating this calculation for each below so I’ll cut the chase and skip straight to the minimum number of booster packs needed to be opened to achieve the desired amount.
Common: Four hundred and forty eight booster packs to achieve the desired amount.
Rare: One thousand one hundred and twenty six booster packs.
Super Rare: Three thousand six hundred and sixty three booster packs.
Majestic: Four thousand eight hundred and eighty four booster packs.
These last two are pretty straight forward since their odds are explicitly given to us.
Equipment: Three hundred and eight four booster packs.
Legendary: Four hundred and eighty booster packs.
Numbers that mean something
Below I’m going to translate the results that were just gathered and compile them into a lookup table so that we can understand the relation between any given rarities with ease.
Let me remind you that this table is calculated from the perspective of a collector where the objective is to obtain the desired amount of each type of card. Even though a Legendary card trades for less than a Premium Foil Rare, it does not indicate that a Legendary occurs more often than a Premium Foil Rare. What it indicates is that you will be completing your desired amount of Legendary cards quicker than that of all of the Premium Foil Rare cards. If your objective is not to collect three of every Premium Foil Rare card then the Legendary card is much more valuable. Perhaps when there is more data to determine what cards are the “chase” cards then this table might be able to be updated to suit that.
Currently, from this table we can quickly gauge whether a trade is in the realm of being “fair” based on rarity alone. A proposed trade of my Majestic for your Rare and Super Rare looks to be about right. This is because a Majestic looks to trade for one and a third Super Rares, and a third of a Super Rare trades for just over a Rare, easy!
Alternatively you could convert all cards involved in the trade to the lowest common factor (the Equipment rarity) and use that value as a guide for how close a trade might be. Using the same example as just above; a Majestic looks to be worth thirty Equipment, and a Rare plus Super Rare have a combined worth of twenty nine point four.
Fair Trade Examples
I’m going to display what I believe might be some common trade scenarios that I believe to be “fair” for a collector in hopes it is more accessible and memorable that the lookup table.
A random Majestic for a specific Super Rare and Rare
A random Cold Foil Equipment for a specific Premium Foil Common
Three specific Rares for a random Super Rare
A random Rare for three specific Commons
A Legendary you don’t want for a Legendary you do
Due to the initial scarcity and low supply of Legendary cards I personally think that it will be a long time if ever that there are enough duplicates and spares running around to justify the results of the trade table. I think it would be best to use your own discretion on how to trade the difficult to acquire Legendary cards. With the supply being low you could get away with trading them away more aggressively if you plan to gather/open enough product to warrant expecting them again.
I hope that this brief analysis has shed some light and perhaps establish some basis on how to trade if your objective is purely to collect the cards in the expansion. It will be very interesting to see how the secondary market adapts and values cards.
I wish you all the very best and hope that you are able to open (or trade) for the cards that you desire to play with most as we celebrate the release of ‘Welcome to Rathe’! Many players (like Kaden below) will have to make a tough and defining decision that’s reminiscent of choosing you first starter Pokemon.
I’m beyond excited for the release and hope you all have a great experience smashing, pummelling, and head jabbing each other for what may be the first time of many,
P.S. If you have made any trades already or have your own thoughts and insights on how to approach trading when there is a lack of an established secondary market please feel free to contact me on any of my social media channels. I am more than happy to field your questions and discuss anything related to ‘Flesh and Blood’ :)