We’ve all been in this position before: Top Shot announces a new challenge, and you think to yourself, “should I go after this challenge? Will it be worth it?” And it’s a good question! While every challenge is unique, there are a handful of strategies you can apply to help make your decision easier.

Before we can decide if a challenge is “worth it” we ought to define what we mean. Simply put, we’ll consider a challenge to be “worth it”  when the challenge Moments, plus the reward, are more valuable than our cost to complete the challenge. Let’s take a closer look at each of these pieces.

Challenge Cost

First, we can consider how much it’ll cost us to collect all the required Moments and complete the challenge. We might be lucky enough to secure a challenge Moment or two from a pack drop, and this puts you in a great position. This brings your total challenge cost down, and increases the likelihood that the challenge is worth the upfront cost. Regardless of your pack fortunes, you can head to the marketplace to assess how much each challenge Moment will cost you. Jot these down in a spreadsheet, total up the prices, and you’re left with your challenge cost. Next up is estimating how much these required Moments will be worth once the challenge ends.

Challenge Moment Values

It shouldn’t be a surprise to learn that challenge Moments have a higher price tag during a challenge compared to afterwards, and you’ll often see this difference described as a Moment’s “utility”, as in whether this Moment will be used in a Challenge or not. As a general rule of thumb, you can expect less desirable Moments to depreciate more than their more desirable counterparts. Simply ask yourself, “would I want this Moment if it wasn’t involved in the challenge?” If the answer is no, it’s likely to see a significant drop in value, because chances are everyone else feels this way, too. But how much will it decrease? Here’s a simple approach:

Let’s say we want to predict the value of the DeMar DeRozan 35k CC Moment from the Mike Conley All-Star Family Challenge. Here are some simple steps:

  1. The first step is to find DeRozan’s most similar Moment, ideally from the same Series. Heading to the marketplace, we find his 15k LE Series 2 dunk, which has a lowest ask of around $15.
  2. Multiplying the 15k circulation count by the price of $15, we can find a market cap of $225k.
  3. Assuming the DeRozan challenge Moment is equally desirable to collectors after the challenge, we can expect similar market cap values for these two Moments once the challenge is over
  4. Dividing our $225k market cap by the challenge Moment’s 35k circulation count, we arrive at a price of about $7. And this makes sense – as the challenge Moment has over twice the number of Moments in circulation, we can expect it’s post-challenge value to end up around half that of the 15k LE Moment.

Next, we can repeat this process for each of the remaining challenge Moments. Can’t find a similar Moment for a particular player? Look for a Moment from a similar player. Don’t know who might be a similar player? Try asking a friend, “Who would you say is about as popular and skilled as DeMar DeRozan?”

Challenge Reward Value

One of the most important aspects to assessing a challenge is estimating how much the reward will be worth. Fortunately, we can use the same strategy as before for estimating its value, but with one catch: we don’t exactly know how many will be minted.

There will only be one challenge reward minted for each user that completes the challenge. One great resource for seeing the current number of Top Shot users set to complete a given challenge is livetoken.co.


The closer to the challenge deadline, the closer this will be to the final number of challenge-completing users. If the challenge has days or weeks remaining, you might want to see how this number changes over the course of a day or two. This trend can give you a good estimate of the final count, while still leaving you with time to act.

As we saw before, the more users that complete the challenge, the lower the Moment’s value will be. However you come to the estimate, take this number, and compare it to the player’s most similar Moments’ circulation count and price. Is the challenge reward a jaw-dropping dunk, such as Anthony Edward’s emphatic dunk over Yuta Wananabe? Sprinkle on a little extra value on top of your estimate – maybe 10%.

Putting It All Together

With all our estimates in our spreadsheet, all that’s left is to compare our values. Total up your post-challenge estimates (including the reward), and compare this to your challenge cost. If your post-challenge value is greater than your cost, then you’re looking at a challenge that’s likely worth it! Are they neck and neck? Consider this: your challenge reward Moment will receive a randomly assigned serial number. While the odds might be low, the chance at an amazing serial number could easily be the dealbreaker.

And if you crunch the numbers and the challenge doesn’t look appealing, don’t sweat it! You can always go after the challenge reward Moment once it hits the marketplace. So that wraps up some simple strategies for deciding if a challenge is worth it – I hope this helps, and have fun out there!


Data, Hoops, NBA Top Shot Analysis