Trading Splinterlands Cards on WAX - Some Thoughts and Ideas

Trading Splinterlands Cards on WAX - Some Thoughts and Ideas

By Chris Roberts | Non-Fungible Stew | 24 Feb 2021


Sure, you can play with Splinterlands cards on WAX. You may not be able to play the original Splinterlands battle TCG, but the simplicity of being able to bridge NFTs from one free blockchain to another free blockchain creates a world of possibilities. For some of us who prefer to trade in-game assets and play-to-earn NFTs instead of oldschool cryptocurrencies, the game of making money can be (almost) as fun as actually playing Splinterlands (the card game).

In this article I will go through some of my thoughts about this release, and outline some things you can be doing to make the most of the bridge. After all, the most useful bridges in the world are the ones that are the most traveled. With the fast and free Splinterlands offering some of the cheapest NFTs in the biz (often as low as 1 penny), this HIVE/WAX bridge promises to be one of the most traveled. Read on and I'll explain how you can make the most of it.

The Rundown

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In case you missed last Saturday's announcement (which may have been overshadowed or drowned out by the heavily hyped Street Fighter WAX release), Splinterlands cards can now exist on the WAX blockchain. As I said above, this does not mean that you can actually play the game with your WAX Splinterlands cards, but you can now transfer them to WAX, where they can be easily traded on Atomic Hub or other secondary markets. 

You'll find the details of the announcement with some additional links in THIS PRESS RELEASE

Last weekend's launch of this bridge was merely a soft opening; players and collectors can look forward to joint promotions with Splinterlands and WAX in the future, including discounted sales, contests and giveaways. For now, the WAX side of Splinterlands collectibles is being quietly filled and listed. It all started on Saturday with the race for #1s.

Low Mints and Splinterlands

On WAX, collectors are used to low mint hunting. This is because the WAX blockchain has declared themselves the "King of NFTs" with a strong focus (first) on collectibles. By teaming up with Topps Digital for the initial release of Garbage Pail Kids collectible NFTs last year, they attracted the attention of lots of mainstream collectors who were interested in making the bold transition into the realm of the non-physical.

The HIVE blockchain where Splinterlands lives comes originally from the STEEM blockchain that was created by Dan Larimer, then cloned into HIVE as a sort of lifeboat when the infamous 50% attack of Justin Sun took place last year. The STEEM blockchain began as a censorship resistant and rewarding social media platform called Steemit. The HIVE blockchain has since blossomed into a blockchain with much greater potential than was originally suspected, quietly leading innovations in many aspects of blockchain development. Why is this important to know? Because Splinterlands players generally came originally from STEEM and HIVE, they are more a community of content creators than collectors. 

Splinterlands entered the NFT scene nearly three years ago, before it was really a scene at all. This is the time when Crypto-Kitties was proving that blockchain-backed digital collectibles were possible, and Gods Unchained was beginning to experiment with the idea of gamifying that type of asset. Those were the loud companies. During this, Splinterlands kept their head down and worked hard, allowing their early adopters to build substantial collections and become loyal, lifetime fans who recognized Splinterlands for what it was: Ahead of its time.

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On WAX, the mint numbers refer to the assets that have been minted on WAX, not the entire number of that NFT in circulation.

Of course there are mint numbers to Splinterlands cards. Because every move in Splinterlands is on a blockchain and every assets is blockchain-backed, every card created has a number. Without this aspect, Splinterlands could never claim that their cards are unique NFTs (which they are). But here's the thing. Early Splinterlands players paid very little attention to that collectible aspect of the game. While Ethereum NFTs were developing in a way that encouraged collectors to always consider mint numbers, Splinterlands was not. They were cranking out hundreds of new unique cards, each of which came with their own limited supply print runs, but the low mints got lost in the shuffle, and honestly, no one really cared about who held them or valued them at higher prices.

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That's what a mint number looks like in Splinterlands. You'd never know from looking at it, but that particular Spirit of the Forest is special. She was the first Legendary Splinterlands card ever created, and she's mine. I brag about it every chance I get.

The value of Splinterlands cards has always been established and held based on their utility alone, which has made them unique in the world of NFTs for years now. To me, this is one of the reasons that all Splinterlands cards are incredibly undervalued. 

Game First, Collectibles Second

Although many of its players fixated on ROI would beg to differ, Splinterlands has always put the game first. They have disregarded the collectible value of these NFT cards, even to the point of neglecting to give them mint numbers that can be read and understood by average players. This could easily be viewed as a shortcoming or oversight of Splinterlands, but I see it differently. This game is absolutely compelling, with ensured longevity and cards that have value even without them being hyped as collectibles. Now that they have entered the world of WAX NFT collectibles, many will begin to see them for their true potential value.

When Splinterlands cards are transferred from in-game to a linked WAX wallet, they are issued a new mint number, because technically they are being minted on a completely different blockchain than where they have always lived. So on Saturday, when Splinterlands players who are also familiar with WAX began racing for the first mints, they knew what they were doing.

At the same time as mint #1s were being minted, listed and sold on WAX, there were Splinterlands players complaining that people were getting "ripped off." This was astonishing to me, first because in a free p2p market, the choice to get "ripped off" depends on whether or not the purchaser has done enough research. Secondly. they were complaining because they're Splinterlands players, and they literally don't understand why low mints have collectible value. They are accustomed to simply either owning a card (and being able to play with it) or not owning a card (not being able to play with it). By adding a bridge that allows Splinterlands assets to be minted on WAX, more Splinterlands players are beginning to realize that these assets from the first successful blockchain game could ultimately be worth more than game tokens, that they can also be considered collectibles.

I believe that as the Splinterlands game continues to grow, more people will continue to see collectible value in these assets. In terms of value, this could mean that Splinterlands NFTs see some of the largest possible gains of any NFTs in the industry, simply because they are currently (still) valued based on utility alone. Even over the last few days, I have been noticed the tides turning.

The sudden existence of Splinterlands cards on the WAX blockchain and listings on the WAX secondary markets has led to a massive spike in collectors seeing them as collectibles. When non-players begin collecting these cards out of speculation and from a sheer trading perspective, you can expect some major price shifts on the Splinterlands p2p monster market. These price increases will result in more players, and more players will result in more scarcity. We all know what more scarcity will result in. For now, you can still buy certain Splinterlands cards for pennies or less.


Try the WAX Game

If you love playing Splinterlands, there is no substitute for the trading card game. You must go to the Splinterlands and battle for rewards and glory in the arena. But if you play on WAX, you're playing a different game, one that involves seeking low mints, speculating, buying low and selling high. Because after all, the value of a thing is whatever is agreed upon by the people doing the buying and the selling.

What I would suggest is looking differently at the Splinterlands cards on WAX. There, they are pure collectibles, complete with WAX mint numbers. Because collectors on WAX simply cannot fathom the concept of a NFT Splinterlands card only being worth a fraction of a single WAX, they are listed and sold for more. 

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In the next Splinterlands season, I'm going to make my own WAX game, and here's how it will work. I'll take all of my earned Reward cards and Dark Energy Crystals from the whole 2-week season and put 100% of them into WAX. With a goal of selling it all, I'll see just how much WAX I'll be able to come up with. 

Of course, I can sell these cards on Splinterlands, where the market is always active as players fill out their collections. But by adding the cards to the WAX ecosystem, it is my hope (and expectation) that I'll be able to sell them for up to twice as much, perhaps even more. By adding them to a community that perceives their value in a different way, I increase the potential for my own personal gains. The more people do this, the more Splinterlands players will catch onto the idea that the NFTs can be sold for more on WAX, which will lead to a grand wave of price increases across all Splinterlands cards.

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Above are the current cheapest cards on the Splinterlands market. 

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and those are the most recent sales of Common Splinterlands cards on Atomic Hub.

There are currently 7 cards at Splinterlands that are available for purchase for less than $0.02. These are of course Common cards, but the cheapest that Common cards have been selling for on WAX is $.05. Some of these are the same cards that are listed for around a penny on the Splinterlands market. My point? There is a great deal of money to be made in simply traveling the bridge as much as possible. 

Keep paying attention to Splinterlands, because it has barely begun to make moves. There is a land expansion in the works, there are major partnerships and deals hatching as we speak, and the new DYGYCON event promises to create new collaborations, connections and opportunities galore. Those of you who know me best know that I offer advice on how to spend your money very rarely, so please do not underestimate the importance of the following statement: Buying Splinterlands cards for a penny is a good idea. ;)


None of the above was investment advice. I aim to present you with information that will help you do your own research. I do not wish for anyone to make uninformed decisions when money is involved; these types of rash decisions are what tend to give the whole industry a bad name. Never invest more than you can afford to completely lose. That's not investment advice, it's life advice.

Thanks for reading NON-FUNGIBLE STEW!

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Chris Roberts
Chris Roberts

Content Director for Splinterlands


Non-Fungible Stew
Non-Fungible Stew

As I have delved into the world of blockchain gaming and Play-to-Earn, I have discovered many incredible projects (beyond Splinterlands) that deserve my support and attention. Here you'll find new projects and opportunities to explore so that we can all spend our time playing (and earning) together. Here's to the future! Welcome to Non-Fungible Stew!

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