The Elder Scrolls

What would be the fastest / most efficient way to get the cards & gems needed to build new decks?

TheElderScrolls4 - What would be the fastest / most efficient way to get the cards & gems needed to build new decks?
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FIRST NOTE: Buried in this wall of text I mention that the FrostSpark Premium Collection is obviously the best first choice for getting lots of gems quickly and at a cheap price in real world money. Unfortunatley, I've already bought it and cashed it all in, so if I want more gems at this point, I need a different answer!

Here's a specific example of actual cards needed for one deck I'm interested in:

  • 2x Daggerfall Mage (L, Core Set)
  • 2x Mentor's Ring (L, Core Set)
  • 2x Sentinel Battlemace (E, Core Set)
  • 1x Wispmother (E, Core Set)
  • 1x Ice Storm (E, Core Set)
  • 1x Emeric Covenant King (L, Alliance War)
  • 3x Sorcerer's Negation (R, Heroes of Skyrim)

So, broken down into sets, that's:

SET HAVE (C, R, E, L) NEED CRAFTING COST
Core Set 99%, 88%, 54%, 25% 4xL, 4xE 6400
Alliance War 100%, 84%, 45%, 13% 1xL 1200
Heroes of Skyrim 91%, 82%, 59%, 27% 3xR 300
Houses of Morrowind 98%, 95%, 85%, 24%

I was thinking if I buy one of the $70 bundles of 60 packs (and 3 legendary cards), should I buy it from the set that I am more likely to get duplicates from, so I can dust more cards? This idea is a little more complicated than just looking at the HAVE column, though, because that only counts individual cards I have at least 1 of. If I only have 1 copy of a particular Epic, I might get another, and I'm not going to necessarily dust it because I still don't have more than a playset of that particular card. I'm the type of person that doesn't want to assume I'll never use a card so I'm not planning to dust cards that I don't have more than a playset of.

It might just make the most sense to get the Core Set bundle because the majority of the crafting cost of cards I need comes from that set, but I am not necessarily likely to even open a single one of the cards I actually need by buying packs, but the chance to do so might still make that the smartest decision?

I've been keeping a record of how many of each rarity (and premiums) I'm getting from every pack I open, so I have an idea of what quantity of each rarity I should expect to receive in 60 packs.

I took a look at Core Set, and I think I counted correctly, and I own playsets of 97 of the commons, I'm missing 1 for each of 9 commons, I'm missing 2 for each of 11 of them, and I'm missing all 3 for just 1 of the commons. That's 22 individual cards, and 34 total commons that I need to have full playsets of all commons in the set. Full playsets of each card would be 354 cards, and I need 34 of them, so if my method makes sense, I figure that means about 10% of the commons I open from the Core Set will be ones I need, and the other 90% will be extras that I end up dusting.

Using the same methods as above, for the Core Set, I should end up dusting about 90% of the commons I open, 68% of the rares, 29% of the epics, and none of the legendaries (because of the legendary duplication protection).

Based on my pack opening history, I get 4.13 commons, 1.17 rares, and 0.37 epics per pack, which means I should open about 248 commons, 70 rares, and 22 epics, of which I will end up dusting 223 commons, 48 rares, and 6 epics, for a total of 2675 dust.

OK, so that's discouraging. I can only reasonably expect to get around 2700 dust from duplicates after opening 60 core set packs? That's roughly 1/3 of the 7900 I need!

Of course, there's a chance I'll get some of the cards I need anyway and then I'll reduce the amount of dust I need? This could help me with other decks I would like to build in the future as well, as there are actually TONS of other epics from the core set that I want for various decks that interest me. Halls of the Dewmer and some of the epic Dwemer themselves, Earthbone Spinner, Withered Hand Cultist, Belligerent Giant, Winter's Grasp, Pit Lion, Cloudrest Illusionist, Divine Fervor, Pillaging Tribune, Leadwater Blessing, Necromancer's Amulet, Disciple of Namira, Shadowfen Priest, Rift Thane, Thorn Histmage… Among all of these cards, I count 35 copies that I need, so that's an 11% chance of opening ones that I need for this deck or various others that interest me, which means I'm likely to open 2 or 3 of them out of 60 packs, which would save me the need to spend 800 to 1200 gems to craft them.

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So where does that leave me in terms of epics? I'm supposed to get 22 epics, 6 of which are dupes, and let's say 3 of them I want for decks I have in mind. That means I've got 13 epics in a limbo state where I don't have any deck that wants it, but it's not an extra either. I could get 1300 dust for those. Do I start to think about dusting those cards that I no about no decks that use them?

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Is there maybe a list of cards (mostly just epics, because dusting rares & commons doesn't give you very much anyway) that are considered "bad" and I won't need at all that I can look at and dust to get some of the dust I might need?

Oh yeah, and about legendaries, there are 23 of them that I would want for various other deck ideas. The number of non-duplicate (includes up to 3 copies of non-uniques) legendaries that I don't already have (and therefore I am eligible to open) is 89. So I am currently looking at a chance of about 26% to open a legendary that I actually need/want. In 60 packs, and plus the 3 free legendaries, I should expect to get about 8 legendaries total. That means I'll get about 2 legendaries that I actually need, saving me 2400 gems in crafting. Do I keep the other 6 legendaries, or just dust them and get whatever I want? The 2 premium ones seem like great candidates to just say to hell with them and dust them and then make 2 regular legendaries that I actually do want, assuming I get ones I am not interested in to begin with! That's probably the best thing to do with those, at least.

OK, so:

Assuming I don't dust anything other than legit extras/dupes, I am looking like I'll wind up with somewhere around a few commons & rares I need to fill out my collection, 3 of the epics I need, 2 of the legendaries I need, 13 epics I don't really need but am not dusting, 4 legendaries I don't really need but am not dusting, and 5100 gems to do whatever I want with? Now we're closer to being able to finish out building the deck I originally said I wanted specific cards for, and perhaps all the way there if the epics & legendaries I got AND need are ALSO the ones I need FOR THIS DECK.

But part of this is I do have a little flexibility, as depending on which ones I got that I actually do need from those epics and legendaries, I might just choose a different deck that I'm closer to being able to finish building, from the list of decks I have in mind.

So basically after all this analysis, it looks like I can expect to get probably 5000 soul gems and a handful of epics and legendaries totalling about 3600 gems that I would spend crafting, for a value of about 8600 gems worth of cards that I actually want in my collection (not to mention all the commons, rares, epics, and legendaries I'd be likely to get which are neither extras for dusting or cards I would really use in my decks).

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For $70, is this the best way to get the cards & gems I need to get close to finishing out a decklist?

Is there any other way to do it? This is where my knowledge is lacking…

OK, I already bought the $20 premium frostspark collection and dusted them and spent that dust, so that's no longer an option for me even though it WAS the most efficient way to get dust when it was available.

Then there's event tickets, I could get 42 of them for the same $70. Am I more or less likely to get more value of 42 event tickets vs the 60 packs + 3 free legendaries (2 of which being premium)? A major consideration here is that I can open my 60 packs in like a half hour (including plenty of time to write down my results from each pack as I've been doing since I started the game), and then I have my gems and my collection, done. How long would it take me to consume 42 tickets and play through the arenas to get my rewards? If I do 1 a day, that's a month and a half! If I do 2 a day, that's still 3 weeks, and I probably would be rushing and not maximizing my rewards from those tickets.

What about just literally taking the tickets, starting an arena, and conceding, and doing that for the vast majority of the tickets? At THAT rate, where I can cash in on my investment for the rewards as quickly as possible, I feel like I'm probably not getting nearly the same value out of my $70 as the 60 pack bundle, but perhaps I'm wrong?

Obviously playing practice matches is a non-starter here. To get 5000 gems from that I'd need to win 333 matches. Say I'm winning 90% of them, that's 370 matches I need to play, say I'm using a fast deck and it takes me 5 minutes per match, that's over 30 hours of grinding against boring practice AI to get 5000 gems.

So say I'm treating this like a normal CCG, like MTG, where I have some money in my pocket and I want to buy a deck, so I can play it "fast", it seems to me that the only ways to do this are to buy 60 pack bundles and hope for cards you need and dust the rest, or to buy event tickets and just concede your arena matchups to get your rewards as fast as possible. Of these options, the 60 pack bundle seems the most efficient, am I right?

Is there a third, or more, efficient ways to "buy" a deck that I'm not realizing about?

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