The NBA Top Shot craze is sweeping across the internet, and it’s not hard to see why. Top Shot has essentially tapped into the classic sports trading card market, but with a modern-day, digital twist. In this article, we will explain different types of Top Shot packs and how to build your collection.
If you want to get involved, there are two main ways to get your first few cards, or ‘Moments’. One is to use the marketplace, which allows you to purchase specific Moments directly from other users. The other is to purchase packs. Technically you can also get new cards by completing challenges, but you need Moments in the first place in order to do so.
We’re going to focus on using packs to build your collection in this article. They’re not the quickest or easiest way to get started, but they’re definitely the most cost-effective. Keep reading to find out how to buy and open packs, what pack types are currently available, and more.
You can only purchase products – including packs – directly from the Top Shot website. For now, no third-party online stores or resellers have been given a piece of the action, although this could change in the future.
Your first step towards buying a pack, therefore, is to register on the Top Shot website. Head to the site, click ‘Sign Up’ in the top-right, and follow all the instructions.
Once your account has been created, you need to fund it. To do this, go to the Account menu and click ‘Dapper Balance’. Enter your deposit amount, then click ‘Add Funds’. You’ll now be given the choice between using a credit card or cryptos to complete your deposit.
With your account funded, you can – theoretically – click ‘Packs’ along the top menu, select a pack you want, and make a purchase. In reality though, it’s not that easy.
The supply of packs in NBA Top Shot is extremely limited. New packs are released in ‘drops’, and the total supply of packs is never enough to meet user demand. And for now, even though you can buy Moments from other users, you are unable to buy unopened packs from them.
The first is to pre-order them – a feature which was recently introduced. Top Shot have started making certain packs available 2-3 weeks in advance. You make your purchase when the pre-sale begins, and are then guaranteed a pack when the actual drop happens.
The second is to keep track of new drops for yourself, and be ready to make a purchase straight away when they happen. Drop announcements are made via email and Top Shot’s social media accounts, often the day before they happen. Keep track of these announcements, and get yourself in the queue in plenty of time before the drop. Also, ensure that your account is already funded before the drop, to give yourself the best chance of completing a purchase before the supply runs out.
If and when you’re lucky enough to buy a pack, you’ll need to open it to get at the Moments inside. Fortunately, doing so is a lot easier than purchasing a pack in the first place.
After you’ve bought a pack, one of your options is to open it immediately. You will see a blue ‘Open Your Pack’ button below a graphic. Click it to trigger an animation ‘opening’ the pack. The Moments will then be represented as blank icons, and you must click each one to reveal it in turn. Once you’ve finished, all those Moments will automatically be added to your main collection.
Your other option after buying a pack is to select ‘Open Later’, and save it for a more convenient time. it will then automatically be stored in your account, and – to find it – you simply click ‘Collection’ along the top menu of the desktop version. Then, from the menu below that, select ‘Packs’. Any unopened packs you own should be displayed here, and you can open them – and the Moments within – one-by-one.
NBA Top Shot packs are all sorted into ‘sets’. These are basically different themes, to help distinguish various types of Moments from each other. Some sets are also more valuable than others, serving as one of several important factors which affects a Moment’s value.
At the time of writing there are 31 different sets, covering both Series 1 (now completed) and Series 2 (in progress). When each one drops, there are only a limited number of packs available in that set. This could be as few as 400, or as many as 27,000.
Let’s take a look at the most important ones you need to know about as you build your collection.
As the name suggests, this is the most basic set you can get. It also happens to be the joint-cheapest, currently retailing at $9 a pack. You only get three Moments per pack for that money, but still – if you’re on a tight budget – this is the perfect place to start.
As you can probably guess, the most valuable Moments in Top Shot are not to be found here. While 123 different Moments are available in the Series 2 Base Set, all of them are ‘Common’. This is the least valuable card type, trailing behind Rare, Legendary, and Ultimate.
With that said, the 123 players involved in these Moments actually include some huge names. The likes of Chris Paul, Bradley Beal, and Kevin Durant all feature, as do promising rookies like Anthony Edwards and Tyrese Haliburton.
That means that there’s definitely still room to make a tidy profit from buying these packs. At the time of writing, for example, the lowest ask on a LeBron James dunk from the Series 2 Base Set is set at an impressive $1,850. If you packed one of these, you’d be looking at an immediate profit of $1,841 after your initial $9 purchase.
Premium Packs are a big step up from the starter Base Sets. That’s true not just in price, but in terms of the goods you’re given too.
There’s definitely a big bump in the cost, with a single pack setting you back $99. For that money, you’re given six different Moments. Five of these will be from the Base Set, which you can read about above. Obviously, all of those will be Common. The potential money-maker here, however, is the Metallic Gold Limited Edition Moment you’re given.
These are very uncommon indeed. At the time of writing, Series 2 has been in progress for approximately 3.5 months, and there have only been two pack drops featuring these Moments. There are 44 different individual highlights contained within the selection, which include some of the biggest stars in the NBA, like Anthony Davis and Steph Curry.
All Metallic Gold LE Moments are classified in the Rare tier. If you’re lucky enough to land a Premium Pack – and one of those Moments – you’re guaranteed a big-time profit. Even the cheapest are retailing for hundreds of dollars, and some – including a dunk from Williamson – are going for over $8,000.
The first Got Game set was released during Series 1, and featured some flashy plays from the NBA’s stars. There hasn’t currently been a Series 2 drop for Got Game, but it certainly wouldn’t surprise us to see one.
Got Game’s price point of only $9 makes it an excellent entry point into NBA Top Shot, along with the classic Base Set. As with that set, you get three Moments per pack here too.
The key difference regards the contents of those packs. Instead of simply getting three Base Set Moments, you’re guaranteed to get one of five different Got Game highlights here, in addition to two Moments from the Base Set.
Technically, all the Moments you get in these packs are only Common. The very fact that there are so few Got Game highlights available, however – combined with an extremely limited run of only four drops – means they are still valuable. Even the lowest ask for a Got Game Moment right now is an impressive $288. Not bad, for a $9 spend.
Cosmic is by far the most exclusive Top Shot set we’ve looked at so far. Like Got Game, it only ran during Series 1 at the time of writing, but we’d certainly hope to see a new version released for Series 2.
Cosmic packs were never available for public purchase, like regular packs. Rather than being distributed in drops, these sold out during a pre-sale to the very biggest Top Shot fans. A single pack might have set those people back a hefty $230, but it didn’t stop them for a moment.
It’s not hard to see why. All Cosmic packs contained a Legendary Moment, which – until Ultimates are finally released – remain the rarest type. Buyers also got three Rare Metallic Gold LE Moments, plus six highlights from the Base Set.
Only 30 different Cosmic Moments were made available in Series 1 (one for each NBA team), with just 49 copies of each highlight. This incredible rarity means Cosmics are some of the most valuable Moments on the entire platform. In fact, as of late February 2021, the biggest ever Top Shot sale was for a Lebron James Cosmic dunk, which sold for a stunning $208,000.
One of the best long-term strategies with Top Shot is to grab Moments for young players who you think are going to become stars. If they do so, the value of these Moments should increase dramatically.
Rookie Debut packs are the most straightforward way to do this. They’re certainly not cheap, at $59 each, but every pack contains nine different highlights.
These will definitely include two of the nine available rookie Moments, featuring the likes of RJ Barrett and Lu Dort, and all such Moments are classified as Rare. You also get one of 45 different Rare Metallic Gold LE Moments, each of which has only 299 copies. On top of all that, you also get six Base Set Common cards to bulk out your collection.
The original Rookie Debut drops all took place in Series 1, for players making their debuts in the 2019/20 season. We’re almost positive it’ll return for Series 2 though, and this is one pack drop which you should definitely keep an eye out for.
While the name is pretty terrible, there’s still plenty to like about Cool Cats packs. In fact, in terms of sheer razzle-dazzle, these are some of the most exciting and creative highlights you can get on the platform.
At $14, Cool Cats packs are another budget-friendly way to get into Top Shot. In each pack you’ll get four Common Base Set Moments from Series 2, but the real focus here is on Cool Cats highlights. There are five highlights from each conference, giving you a total of 10 to collect. While these are still technically Common, only 5,000 copies of each Moment have been created, meaning that – in reality – they’re fairly rare.
Even the cheapest Cool Cats Moments are selling for $106 at their lowest ask, which already represents a healthy return on investment. That goes all the way up to almost $6,000 at the top end, which is the current lowest ask for a Luka Doncic assist.
There have only been two Cool Cats drops so far. The first contained 25,000 packs, but the second ramped this all the way up to 50,000, clearly showing the popularity of the set.
You can probably work out for yourself what Deck the Hoops ties into. Outside of the Playoffs, the NBA’s Christmas slate contains arguably its most famous games.
The first Deck the Hoops set – released in January 2021 – collected some of the best plays from the Christmas games just before. Only 11 such highlights made the cut, and – for each of those Moments – a mere 85 copies were made. Unsurprisingly, these mostly focused on the very biggest names in the game, including LeBron, Luka, Kyrie Irving, and Paul George.
All Deck the Hoops Moments are in the Legendary tier, making them the very rarest of the rare. The prices range from over $3,000 to almost $84,000 for these extremely limited edition highlights. Oh, and even on top of that, you get three guaranteed Rare Metallic Gold LE Moments too, each of which is also extremely valuable.
With only 850 Deck the Hoops packs made available in Series 2, you had to be pretty lucky to get one. If you can get in on the action for the inevitable Series 3 edition in 2022, however, you’re almost guaranteed to make a major profit, even on a $230 purchase.
Until the playoffs roll around, the most exciting period of the season is undoubtedly the initial stretch of games. Every team is technically still in the Playoffs race, and the possibilities for the rest of the season are almost endless.
Getting your hands on an NBA Top Shot Season Tip-Off pack is a great way to get involved in the action. These were the very first packs released in the 2020-21 season, and almost certainly will be in the years going forward too.
In the aforementioned edition, they were built around nine of the most exciting plays in the opening two nights of the season. The highlights themselves featured a good mix of up-and-coming prospects like LaMelo Ball, and proven stars like Ben Simmons.
Season Tip-Off packs are priced firmly in the mid-range, at $23 each, and contain three Moments per pack. In addition to two Base Set Moments, this includes one of the aforementioned Season Tip-Off highlights.
Only 350 versions of each highlight were made, making these both officially and proverbially Rare. Several months on from the opening tip at the time of writing, even the least valuable Season Tip-Off Moments are still going for almost $850.
All the Top Shot sets we’ve looked at so far have been concerned with the current NBA. Run It Back takes a different approach however, by reaching back into the league’s past.
This was actually the first set to feature legends who’ve retired from the NBA. First-ballot hall of Famers like Tim Duncan, Steve Nash, Kevin Garnett, and Dirk Nowitzki were all featured, making this a perfect pack for Top Shot fans with a nostalgic streak.
Of course, these packs were also a great chance to turn a major profit. In the Series 1 run there were three drops in total, containing 18 Moments from 18 of the biggest names from the past, and only 275 serial numbers were created for each Moment.
For a pretty reasonable price of $59, these packs actually gave you not one, but two of these Rare Moments. At the time of writing, even those featuring good-but-not-great players – like Mo Williams and Anderson Varajao – are still selling for over $1,000. In addition, each pack also contained a Rare MVP Moves Moment, plus six more Moments from the Base Set.
Run It Back was an extremely popular set in Series 1, and we’d be stunned if it didn’t make an appearance in Series 2 or 3 as well.
This was easily one of the biggest, if not the biggest pack drop of Series 1. NBA Top Shot didn’t hold back with Lace ‘Em Up, making every single Moment in the set Legendary. Until Ultimate finally gets released, that makes these some of the very rarest Moments around.
There was a major focus on bona-fide stars with Lace ‘Em Up, with the likes of Zion, Dame Lillard, Joel Embiid, and Trae Young all involved. The highlights were seriously impressive too, ranging from buzzer beaters to posterizing dunks. Only 30 top Moments were selected, and – of those – a mere 75 copies were created.
These were some of the most expensive packs to date, at $230 a pop. In addition to a Legendary Lace ‘Em Up Moment though, you also got a Rare MVP Moves Moment, plus two Metallic Gold LE highlights, and six more from the Series 1 Base Set.
If you were lucky enough to get one of the 1,000 packs that dropped, you almost certainly turned a monster profit. If not, be sure to look out for any remotely similar sets that drop in the current or upcoming Seasons.
The 2020 NBA Finals – in which the Lakers triumphed over the Heat – were memorable for a few big reasons. LeBron winning his fourth ring was obviously one, but the ‘bubble’-like environment was truly unique. All these recollections were quickly minted by NBA Top Shot in their The Finals set, released a mere nine days after the 2019/20 season finished.
This was a relatively generous drop, with 6,750 packs made available, each costing $29. Nine Moments were created in total, each with up to 750 copies, and all of them were certified Rare. A single pack gave you a generous eight different Moments – seven from the Series 1 Base Set, and one from The Finals.
Despite only being Rare, rather than Legendary, The Finals Moments have still enjoyed a strong run in the Marketplace. A LeBron James dunk is unsurprisingly the most valuable of the lot, at a current lowest ask of almost $18,000, but even the cheapest Moment – a Kelly Olynyk layup – is selling for at least $499.
A Series 2 edition of The Finals will definitely be released in 2021, and – in terms of sheer return on investment – these packs seem like some of the most lucrative you can buy.
Capitalising on both their own rising fame and the publicity of the Finals, NBA Top Shot actually released not just one, but two sets after LA beat Miami for the title. This one – specifically titled ‘2020 NBA Finals’ – was definitely the more valuable.
Every Moment in the set was Legendary, ensuring from the beginning that they would sell for top dollar. Like The Finals, this set also consisted of only nine Moments, with highlights coming courtesy of players like Tyler Herro, Jimmy Butler, Anthony Davis, and – of course – LeBron James. A mere 79 versions of each Moment were created, making these some of the rarest goods on the platform.
The price was certainly high for the 700+ 2020 NBA Finals packs released, with each one costing $230. In addition to the aforementioned Legendary Moment, however, you were also given three further Rare Moments from the Metallic Gold LE set, plus six from the Series 1 Base Set. This definitely represented value for money – even the cheapest Moment from the 2020 NBA Finals set is going for almost $5,000, and a LeBron dunk from Game 6 is currently the 12th most expensive Moment on the entire platform.
The cheapest price of any pack so far has been $9. This gets you a Base Set pack, which contains three Common Moments.
No. After buying a pack you can decide to ‘hold’ it to open later, but it is currently impossible to sell it to another user.
In theory, there is no official rule banning users from buying more than one pack per drop. Given how quickly packs sell out, however, it would be incredibly hard to actually do so.
Yes. Almost all of the more expensive packs contain Moments from multiple sets. A single Lace ‘Em Up pack, for example, gets you Moments from four different sets: Lace ‘Em Up, Rare MVP Moves, Metallic Gold LE, and the Base Set.
There is absolutely no regular schedule for drops. Instead you must follow Top Shot’s social media accounts, or sign up for the email newsletter, and keep your eye out for announcements.