The 2016 version of Bunt should be on its way in the next few weeks, and this is always a time where many of us get nervous for the beginning of the season. What is going to change? What will be tweaked? How will the cards look? Its all a rush of questions that dont get answered until the first pack is opened. That being said, I want to take some time talking through the best practices for how to behave once the launch goes down. Hopefully this might help you get ahead when everyone else is busy trying to keep their goods in check.
1. Read about new elements of the update
Every year Bunt adds something to the game to keep people coming back and stay on their toes. Find out what those new features are and start reading up. If you figure out what the best part of the new features is, you can cater your pack ripping and trading to maximize that. Contests could be redesigned, the Smuggler’s Den from SW could be in play, they could change the way packs are structured, everything is on the table. Rip packs SECOND, read first.
2. Look for changes to the scoring system
If everything stays relatively the same in the way you play and participate in contests, that’s one thing. If there are major updates or lineup structure changes start looking for the changes in scoring. In 2014 and 2015, the pitcher cards were more important in many ways because of the scoring. That might be different this year. The trick is to see where the best players fit in and start looking to acquire as many of them as possible. Even if you arent looking to play for points, tracking down the right cards can help you get some good trade bait.
As mentioned above, pitchers have been the best cards to stock up on early on for the last two years. If you cant figure it out, go with that plan again. If it doesnt turn out to be the case because of scoring changes, it should be easy to switch directions.
3. Rip a few packs
If you are a free to play user, it might not be in your best interest to start ripping right away, even though the urge will be strong. If you are a collector instead of a gamer, dont rip anything until the first sig comes out. You will need your coins. If you are a gamer, familiarize yourself with the new pack structure, figure out what packs give you the best odds, and determine how you are going to use your coins. If you were smart, you should have saved up a nice cache over the summer, and should have a stockpile. If you dont, this is the ONE time I would say to break the seal and buy in.
If you are a pay user, try not to get caught up in the storm at launch. Rip a few new packs to get some trading fodder, and then wait for the inserts to be released. You dont want to blow through your stash and then be left holding the bag when Topps hits the turbo button on releases. The first sig will be out in the first day or two, and its not a bad idea to wait. I would also guess the opening day cards, and at least one more insert also making the rounds.
4. Plan your trades and get going fast
In the first days of 2016, there will be a number of users who still want the old cards, even though they dont score. Post a message something like “TRADING 2015 FOR 2016” or some variation of that as many times as you can. Hopefully the users who want to complete sets from 2015 will offer you some cards.
Be careful about giving up your top 2016 pulls this early on – especially golds and the like. The golds will trade like inserts for the first few weeks, so you might want to hang onto the ones you pull, although dont keep them locked away. You could get some amazing offers, and that is what you want to encourage.
If a good deal for base comes along, keep in mind that the base cards are unlimited and wont be selling out. You will have a better chance to recoup losses of base than you will inserts. Similarly, if you are a points player and you pull inserts, keep an eye on the card counts. Higher count cards will not be valuable after the first few weeks. If you have to give them up to make some trades work, do it. It will be easy to get them back when the app moves past the initial frenzy.
It is VERY much in your best interest to rip the hell out of the sig packs when they are released. If you have a lot of cards from 2015, it is also in your best interest to make lopsided offers to get the first sig. Even if you dont rip any other sig packs, this is the one you need. Trout from last year was insanely valuable, and even if the new sig is 500 count, as opposed to 150 like 2015, still pick it up as quickly as you can. You can use it for leverage when a tough card you need is released.
Once you have it – DO NOT TRADE IT until you know what the value is. That might not happen for a week or two. Let the signature series program play out a bit so you can get a read on what is coming. If all the sigs are going to be high like Huddle, you know its not the best situation. If they are low like SW, then you have gold. There will not be any 2015 cards other than Limited that will be worth the sig, so dont trade it for base or even low stuff from last year.
5. Wait Patiently
Its going to be almost impossible, but the more patient you can be, the better. I cannot stress this enough. Although I know I will not practice what I am preaching here, its so important to have your patient collector hat on tight, as the new releases will likely be fast and furious in the first few days. Bunt will have to keep everyone on board who joins from the coverage they get, so they will not be thin on fun stuff to chase.
My guess is that Sigs, Limited, Relics, Editors/Topps Choice and Opening day should come within the first week, so be on the lookout. Choose your marathon and start ripping. Base will be in short supply to start, but dont let that fool you. WAIT FOR THE GOOD STUFF.
I am so excited to get going on 2016, I cant even put my thoughts into the right context here on the site. Im sure im not the only one, and I have a feeling 2016 is going to be a freaking blast. Stay tuned for more coverage as more information about the new update is gathered. Its going to be a wild ride, so keep your hands and feet inside the car at all times.