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Splinterland Self Challenge

Diamond In A Day For A Dollar

A bonus Splinterlands article this week! With the recent addition of rentals to the game itself, instead of being solely through a third party site, there has been a big influx of cards being put up for rent. This has also increased the buying frenzy, as people have been purchasing cards to list them as rentals. But, that’s more of an aside than the main point of this article.

I wanted to try to test out the rental system with a fresh account, to see how high I could make it before the end of this past Splinterlands ranked season. While not a novel experiment, as a few others have also written articles about their experience with the rental system on new accounts, I decided to give it a go as well. To fund this experiment, I sold off some Alien Worlds items. They appear to have flagged my account as a bot, and haven’t gotten back to my support request in over a week now.

I suppose I should start by laying out my parameters. When I decided to go ahead with this, there was about a day and a half left in the season. I created a new account, @investygator, and funded it with 1,000 DEC from my main account. I know this is technically a little more than a dollar with the current DEC price, but it’s close enough!

How I picture InvestYGator. (Courtesy of freepik.com.)

I didn’t want to try this with my main account for a couple of reasons. First off, I’m afraid of getting myself stuck in a league next season that I don’t own the cards for, and the renters pulling cards or jacking up prices to where it’s quite unprofitable for the rentee. Second, doing this with a fresh account makes it a lot cleaner to track things!

A little more background is called for as well. At the time I decided to do this, I was across the country in a hotel playing on my laptop. There was a bit under 2 days left in the season, and I would be flying home the next day. I made the account ahead of time, to try to save myself some set-up time. I also grabbed a couple of cards for 2 days to try to secure some relatively cheap rentals, while they were still available.

That’s where things stopped going quite so smoothly. After flying home, I found my cable modem had died while we were gone. By the time I managed to rush out to Best Buy to get a replacement, and get back online, there were only about 8 hours left in the season. I rushed through as many matches as I could before finally calling it a night at 1 AM, with my alarm set to get up at 6 AM to go to my day job the next day.

What I rented

Aside from Scarred Llama, Kron the Undying, and Yodin Zaku to carry the account through lower tiers, the cheapest max level summoner was a Daria Dragonscale. This led me to focus on trying to get a decent melee deck, picking up a high level Goblin Mech, Rexxie, Giant Roc, and Serpent of the Flame. Some of these I also picked up because they had the best power for what was left on the market. For power, I ended up grabbing a gold foil High Priest Darius and Kralus.

All told, these rentals cost about 175 DEC a day. Astute players may notice that this isn’t enough total power to make it into Diamond league. With my time limitations, I was rushing to play and try to find cards, so ended up waiting on picking up more while I saw how things went.

Match Progress

  • Battles in Novice to get to Bronze III: 4 total battles
  • To get to Bronze II: 9 – 13 total battles
  • To get to Bronze I: 5 – 18 total battles
  • To get to Silver III: 14 – 32 total battles
  • Battles in Bronze: 28
  • To get to Silver II: 5 – 37 total battles
  • To get to Silver I: 15 – 52 total battles
  • To get to Gold III: 15 – 67 total battles
  • Battles in Silver: 39
  • To get to Gold II: 12 – 79 total battles
  • In Gold II: 14 more to make 93 total battles and called it a night

Gold league was actually easier at the end of the season than I thought it would be. I ran into a lot of bot accounts playing level 1 cards. Of course, with only a couple splinters with any high level monsters, I ended up playing level 1 monsters in some matches myself. I could have probably made it further if I filled out the deck a bit more, but time wasn’t on my side.

Rewards

The DEC I won from playing didn’t quite make up for the rental costs. With no guild and almost no playable gold cards, I was only getting about 6 DEC a win in Gold. I didn’t spend my entire budget, but I also would have needed a few more gold legendary cards to have had enough power to be able to make it into a higher league.

I could have made up the gap with another 10 games or so, but bed beckoned. On the plus side, I did end up getting two daily rewards. I thought I was going to call it a night in Gold 3, so I finally claimed my daily quest that had been done for over a day. I instantly got a new quest, and played on into Gold II for more rewards!

My Gold III first daily quest rewards.
My Gold II second daily quest rewards.

What made it worthwhile, were the season rewards. I got lucky and got enough DEC to push my experiment into the profitable range. Plus, I got a nice gold foil card that my main account was missing! Unfortunately the window closed when I was trying to screenshot it, so I had to grab the rewards off Peakmonsters.

Lots of potions for an account with no packs.
In the end, I came up 368 DEC ahead of where I started!

While I failed to make it into Diamond in a day, I do feel like it is quite possible. Granted, the rental market was getting emptied out at the end of the season, as people grabbed up cards to push their power up for higher leagues. The rental costs probably also would be difficult to maintain from just playing, unless I was able to pick up some better deals.

The question now is what to do with my INVESTYGATOR account? Set it up as a delegated account for one of the horde of people looking for them? Try to rent my way up into the big leagues at the end of next season? While I figure it out, I’ll probably just hang out in Silver doing the dailies with a minimal set of rented cards.

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions or feedback please let me know in the comments below!

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