Update: A guide for the latest set, Trial of the Gods, can be found here. This guide is primarily for Genesis, though some generic concepts about Gods Unchained cards are explained here.
In this article I’ll be talking about which type of card packs are worth buying in Gods Unchained. The card packs have different properties and different prices, so which to choose depend on what type of cards you seek. The game is in beta as we speak and open for anyone to play (beta access included in link).
Gods Unchained is an online collectible card game with tradable cards and ownership guaranteed by blockchain technology.
A short introduction to the game can be found here for those that haven’t heard about this game. I’m not going to talk about how to make a pack purchase. An excellent article about that can be found here.
Disclaimer: Below I display probabilities and expected results, but individual, actual results will have a huge variance. You could pay 0.012 ETH for a rare pack and get a legendary diamond, and pay 1 ETH for a shiny legendary pack and get a shadow legendary.
Please note that this is not an investment guide. I don’t know what the prices will be as that depend on a number of factors that are unknown at the moment. So I will not try to value the cards, only talk about card types (combination of rarity and shine) and what packs to buy to get all unique cards most efficiently.
I’m not affiliated with Gods Unchained, nor have I been contracted to write an article. I have bought cards so I do have an interest in this game. This is my card collection. For the record, I’ve also developed gucollection.com.
Genesis Card Set
Currently it’s only possible to buy packs of cards from the Genesis set. This is the first purchasable and tradable set of cards for Gods Unchained. Right now it’s in closed beta testing and not open for trading, but cards can be purchased by anyone, and for those invited to beta, used in playing. In addition there are promo cards (that also are be ownable and tradable), and core cards (free cards anyone can use, but not ownable or tradable).
I’ll only be covering purchase of packs of cards from the Genesis set.
There are 377 cards in the set, excluding the 3 Mythics. Mythics are one of a kind cards that are extremely rare (each card you get has a 1: 1 000 000 chance of being a Mythic — and there are only three in total for Genesis), so I’ll not be covering that here. To get cards from Genesis you have to buy card packs, and that’s what I will cover in detail here. For those who are allergic to numbers an wall of texts i suggest you skip to the conclusion at the end.
Rarity and Shine
To understand which packs to buy there are two important factors to understand: Rarity and Shine.
Each unique card in Gods Unchained is assigned a rarity that is visible in the card:
The rarities are Common, Rare, Epic and Legendary, with color codes as shown below from least rare to the left to the most rare to the right:
Of the 377 non-mythic cards in the set there are:
- 140 common cards
- 120 rare cards
- 57 epic cards
- 60 legendary cards
Rarity isn’t necessarily tied to how good the cards are in a deck, but generally the rarer the card the more significant effect it should have on the game.
Each unique card comes in four “shines”: Plain, Shadow, Gold and Diamond. This is basically just a graphical representation of the card, and it doesn’t have any effect on gameplay:
What shine a card get is determined by chance, and again the most common is to the left and the most rare to the right. Most of the cards are “plain”, while there are very few diamond copies of each unique card.
The likelihood of rarity and shine are determined by the smart contract and is available for anyone to see. To be able to audit the card distribution like this is one of the advantages of a TCG on blockchain.
When combining rarity and shine it’s possible to calculate the distribution of cards, which is very useful for determining which pack types is worth buying. A common, plain card is the most likely to get in a pack, while a legendary diamond is the type everyone hope for.
For the genesis set there are four types of packs.
Each pack consists of 5 cards, and have different properties:
- Rare: 4 common or better cards and one rare or better
- Epic: 4 common or better cards and one epic or better
- Legendary: 3 common or better cards, one rare or better and one legendary or better (I say better because there is a slim chance of getting a mythic)
- Shiny: 3 common or better cards, one rare or better and one legendary or better. The legendary or better card is guaranteed to be of shadow or better shine.
Since there are different properties as explained above, each pack type has its own probabilities for rarity (I’ve used only one digit for the numbers, so because of rounding, if you add the numbers they will sometimes add up to 100.1).
It should be noted that the percentages are not per card, it’s per card on average in a pack. A rare or better card has a much higher probability of hitting a legendary than a common or better card. It’s the same for the other pack types as well. But for the sake of deciding which pack to buy, the average is the most relevant property.
The mythic however is constant at 1:1 000 000 chance for each card.
As expected you have a high chance of getting epic cards in epic packs, the chance of getting a rare is quite low however, since the common or better cards have only a small chance of being a rare.
Legendary Pack and Shiny Pack:
Both legendary pack and shiny legendary pack has the same rarity chances. Unlike epic packs you get a fair amount of rare in legendary packs, and that’s because you also get a guaranteed rare or better cards. The difference between those two type are the probability for shiny cards.
The likelihood of getting higher shine is the same for all cards in all the pack types, regardless of rarity:
The one exception is the one guaranteed legendary or better card in the shiny legendary pack. That one card in the pack has a higher probability of shadow or gold, but the chance for getting a diamond remain the same 0.2%:
The four other cards in the pack have the standard shine probability.
(Fun fact: if the guaranteed legendary or better card was a Mythic you would also be guaranteed a shadow or better, but that’s 1:1 000 000 chance, so I wouldn’t bet on that).
Probabilities for Card Types
Putting it all together we can display how many cards one should expect of each type (a combination of rarity and shine) for each pack type. In the examples below I use 20 packs, since that equals 100 cards and will also be the same as the probabilities for each type. So the tables below represent both the numbers in percentage, and the numbers of cards you get from 20 packs.
Note that actual distribution from purchases will differ since 100 cards is a small amount, but for all the cards created the numbers below should be the expectations.
The numbers in the total row and column matches the probabilities for rarity and shine explained earlier.
As you can see the probabilities for shine is the same as for rare, even though the probability for rarity is different.
Legendary packs comes with a guaranteed rare or better and a guaranteed legendary or better, and only 3 common or better, so only about half the cards will be plain common cards.
Shiny Legendary Pack:
Here you can see that the chances of getting shadow and gold legendary are much higher than for legendary packs. The row for legendary is a bit different than the one showed above for legendary shine. That’s because there is a small chance that you get legendary cards from the other 4 cards in the pack as well.
Comparison by Price
It looks like you get a lot of good cards from the legendary and shiny legendary packs, but there is a huge difference in price between the pack types as well. You get 83 rare packs for slightly less than the cost of one shiny legendary pack, so we have to do a comparison adjusted for price.
I’ve done a calculation on how much you get by spending 1 ETH on a pack type. That should give a good basis for comparison.
As you can see above you get more than 10 times as many commons spending 1 ETH on rare pack than spending 1 ETH on legendary packs, and close to 10 times as many rare.
Legendary packs on the other hand give you more than four times as many legendary cards as rare packs for each ETH spent.
I’ve marked in green what the best buys are for each type. It’s pretty clear that the rare pack is a very good deal, except when it comes to legendary where the legendary packs is not surprisingly the best.
Although shiny packs are better than normal legendary packs when it comes to shadow and gold legendary they are the worst by far on everything else (except for diamond legendary where epic pack is even worse). Also I would hesitate to put that much value into shadow and gold cards compared to plain copies. But that last one is just speculation on my part on how they will be valued.
What’s surprising is how terrible the epic packs are. Rare packs beats them even on epic cards!
Rare packs is a very good deal compared to the other packs (whether or not it will be a good return of investment is another matter). With the Ether price far below what it was last summer when the Genesis set was launched, you are probably buying the packs for a better price than what was intended.
In fact I would recommend that you only buy rare packs, but there are a few cases were legendary packs are a good option. Below I’ve listed the scenarios where you would buy a pack type.
It’s perfectly fine to buy a few legendary packs, despite that. I’ve also did that. They are generally more exciting cards to get and it can be frustrating to wait for one to appear when you are opening rare packs.
Buy rare packs if:
- You are playing and want some more cards to use beside the free core cards.
- You are unsure how many cards you want and want to get the best value.
- You are missing some common, rare and epic cards.
- You want as many shiny cards as possibly. You get more than 10 times as many shiny cards compare to legendary packs in any rarity except legendary.
- You are chasing the remaining Mythic. You get the most cards by far from rare packs, so you have the most chance of getting one.
Actually, if you are only buying rare packs you will do just fine. You’ll have fewer legendary cards, but you can only use one of each legendary in a deck so it’s more important to have two of the other cards. The most played common, rare and epic you have in surplus you can trade, and buy any legendary you are missing, once the trading starts. The least played cards you have in surplus you can “forge” to another shine (that’s the option of burning 5 cards of a lesser shine to get 1 card of higher shine — 5 shadow cards gets you 1 gold card).
Buy legendary packs only if:
- You are collecting all the legendary cards, and you want to complete it before the trading starts.
- Trading hasn’t opened and you really need some specific legendary in your deck. It’s going to be expensive to get them though as you have a 1/60th chance of hitting that legendary for each pack you buy.
- You want that legendary diamond. Be careful though, with about a 0.2% chance so the expected drop is one every 100 packs. And you might end up buying a lot more than that before you find one.
If you can wait for the trading to start it might be better to sell surplus cards from your rare packs and buy the ones you are missing. There are about 2% legendary cards and about 3.5% epic cards, but you can have two copies of an epic card in a deck so I predict that epic cards will be in high demand compared to legendary, adjusted for pack price.
You probably shouldn’t, but buy shiny legendary packs if:
- For some reason only care about gold and shadow legendary. I would not recommend this though as I suspect the return of investment will be low, and you don’t get any gameplay benefits.
Generally don’t buy this pack. If they increased the diamond chance by a lot it might have been worth buying a few, but such as they are you shouldn’t.
It’s worth mentioning that in the beginning you got a tournament pass in the two legendary pack types. This really boosted the value for them, especially the legendary pack.
Never, ever buy epic packs:
- The other pack types are better on everything.
A Final Note on Epic Packs
What went wrong with the epic packs? The consequence of that error is that when you reach the point where you should start buying epic packs, you continue to buy rare packs, flooding the marked with common and rares. Once you have all or most of the epics, you buy legendary packs, creating an imbalance between epic and legendary, which is further distorted by the fact that you can only use one legendary in a deck, while you can use two epic.
What could have been done? Looking at the legendary booster, for each ETH you spend compared to the rare booster, you get 4.4 times the number of legendary, which is what you are after. This is at the cost of only getting about 1/10th of the rare and epic.
To get a close to a same deal with epic packs you should get around 64 epics per ETH spent, but then the pack price would have to be 0.016, which is probably far too low. There are only 57 epic cards, slightly less than legendary and far less than rare cards at 120. So if the price was dropped by so much the marked would be flooded with too many of each copy.
You could accept that you would get less than 4.4 times the amount, and only lower the price to 0.4 for example. That gives a fair amount of epic cards, but the issue is that you’ll end up with more common cards than you probably want at that point while very few rare and legendary cards, so still not a good enough deal in my opinion.
A better solution would be to also include a guaranteed rare or better card, as with the legendary, which I though was a very clever setup. We have mentioned that the rare or better card have a better chance of being a epic or legendary, so even without lowering the price the epic pack would now be slightly better than rare pack on getting epic cards, as it should be. However it would still not good enough to favor the epic pack because of the low amount of rare and legendary. If the price was lowered as well, it gets better.
This is a deal I might not take in the beginning, but once I have all the common cards (and probably most of the rare), it would be worth it to chase the missing rare and epic by buying epic packs.
A downside I still see, is that you get far less legendary cards for each ETH spent than if you buy rare packs. That’s because rare and epic or better have the same chance of getting a legendary. So to fix that you would have to mess around with the probabilities. I suspect that the chance of getting an epic on a rare or better card is too high, and that epic or better should have significantly higher chance of finding a legendary than rare or better (since you are getting fewer packs because the price is higher and need to offset that somehow to get a good balance).
Even though the epic pack didn’t work out I did like that they differentiated with pack types. It makes it possible to find specific card types, and optimize your buying.
Edit: clarification on probabilities.