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NBA Top Shot: What is the Cool Cats Challenge?

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Michael Caloca / ONE37pm

One of the best ways to acquire moments and to improve your Top Shot collection is to complete challenges. Often, when a new pack drops, a challenge is close behind. The challenge is usually made up of moments included in that most recent pack drop. To complete a challenge, a user must collect all required moments and hold those moments until the timer on the challenge runs out.  

As someone looking to purchase moments to complete the challenge while maximizing expected value (EV), it is important to be in on every pack drop; but also to follow price trends of moments required for the specific challenge. Check out my last article on The Best NBA Top Shot Resources to Explore to find the tools you need. Using these tools, a user is able to maximize EV by purchasing moments and completing challenges at the optimal times.  

Another thing to keep in mind when completing a challenge; after the timer runs out and a challenge is complete, the moments that make up that challenge immediately lose a ton of utility value. Utility value is the additional value-added over the fair market price to a moment.  Inversely, moments that are required for a challenge see a utility premium.  

From my experience on NBA Top Shot, these concepts of utility/timing are the most prevalent in the ‘Cool Cats Challenges’.  There may be a couple of reasons why the cool cats challenge has been one of the most popular among NBA Top Shot collectors.  For one, the cool cat pack drops have been large when compared to the number of users in the queue looking to get a pack. That trend looks to continue with each moment in the third Cool Cats Challenge having 15,000 mints. That brings the total number of packs to 75,000 (15k mints x 5 Cool Cat players).  

However, the most lucrative opportunity around the Cool Cats challenges is completing the Master Cool Cats Challenge. To complete the Master Cool Cats Challenge, a user must collect all cool cats from all five cool cat challenges. As of today, March 2nd, two out of the five cool cat challenges have been completed.

Keep in mind, if you are new to Top Shot and are looking to make a splash, you are still able to pursue the LaMelo Ball master reward by purchasing the Cool Cat moments on the marketplace.

Cool Cat Challenge 1

The first cool cats challenge set the precedent for the entire master challenge.  3,464 completed the first challenge, for which they were rewarded a Luka Doncic assist.  Thinking logically, there can now be a maximum of 3,464 LaMelo Ball moments rewarded.  That number will almost certainly be less, as it is unlikely all Luka owners successfully complete the master challenge.  

To have been rewarded with the Luka Doncic moment, which now retails for around $7,500, users must have collected:

Common Moment: Ben Simmons, DeAndre Ayton, De’Aaron Fox, Donovan Mitchell, and Jayson Tatum

Cool Cat Moment: John Collins, Tobias Harris, Devin Booker, Derrick Jones Jr., and Rui Hachimura

The value of all those moments if you were to purchase them on the marketplace today currently adds up to about $10,000. 

 Not completing the first cool cat challenge has been my biggest mistake on NBA Top Shot to date.  I had collected 7/10 moments needed for the challenge and needed to spend about an additional $700 to pick up the last three moments I needed.  I elected to give up on the challenge as I didn’t think the Luka reward would be worth over $1,500 and forecasted that the other cool cat moments would plummet as a result of the challenge ending. As you now see, I was mistaken. 

Cool Cat Challenge 2

The second Cool Cat Challenge began shortly after the Luka Doncic reward from the first challenge was completed. I was not going to make the mistake of missing out on this opportunity and snapped on the chance to complete the challenge ASAP. I was extremely fortunate in the pack drop as I received the #71/10,000 Tyler Herro. Not only did I receive the most valuable of the moments in the 2nd Cool Cat drop, but I also landed an awesome serial number. I listed my Herro for $450 on the marketplace, which was about a 2x premium compared to the lowest ask. Within minutes my Herro sold, and I used the $450 to purchase the cheapest Herro on the market ($195) and contributed the other remaining funds to collect other moments required for the challenge.  

Below are the moments that were required to receive the challenge reward of an Anthony Davis dunk and what I paid for them.  

  • Tyler Herro ($195)
  • Julius Randle ($140)
  • TJ McConnell ($14)
  • Eric Bledsoe ($11)
  • Michael Porter Jr. ($17)
  • Will Barton ($54)
  • John Wall ($148)
  • Stanley Johnson ($33)
  • DeMarcus Cousins ($140)
  • PJ Washington ($165)

This brought the total I spent on this challenge to $917. If you subtract the profit I received from selling the Tyler Herro from the pack drop, I spent $467 to complete this challenge. An absolute steal!

The Anthony Davis reward is currently selling for over $1,400 guaranteeing well over $1,000 in profit if I decide to liquidate my challenge moments.

Completing challenges for the right price is KEY, and as we’ve seen throughout the past couple of months in the Top Shot streets, being early to complete a challenge has been the right move. I am going to stick by that approach moving forward with every cool cat challenge remaining.

What is in store for Challenge 3?

There are a lot of mysteries up in the air regarding what to expect from the third Cool Cats challenge. However, our friends over at @TheFirstMint have identified that the new Cool Cats required for the third challenge will be 

  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
  • RJ Barrett
  • Goran Dragic
  • Domantas Sabonis
  • Kristapas Porzingis 
  • Nikola Jokic will likely be the reward.

These moments (with the exception of the Nikola Jokic reward), will be 15,000 each. I highly recommend anyone new or old to Top Shot to be in on this cool cat pack drop, as I expect the EV of each pack to be well over $100.

The toughest decision to make as a collector and investor in the NBA Top Shot space is whether these challenges are going to be worth completing. Nobody can pinpoint the exact number of master challenge completions for the LaMelo Ball moment, nor can they estimate what a moment like that may go for on the marketplace. The NBA Top Shot market has been extremely volatile and it makes forecasting EV decisions like this one difficult. 

At the moment, I am holding onto my cool cats from the second challenge and contemplating whether I want to go all in and purchase the requirements from the first cool cats challenge which would run me around $10,000.  

LaMelo Ball is a future superstar in the NBA, and owning such a rare moment from his rookie year would be something extremely special and valuable. Whether you decide to complete the master challenge or not, I do think completing challenge’s three, four, and five will be +EV if you can land a pack and get in at the right price.

Good luck in the upcoming queue!

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