Conservative Margin Lending - A tool to use, and a reason to invest outside of Super
Hi AusFinance, i thought i would write on a topic i'm rather passionate about, and hopefully offer some 'food for thought' and an alternative to the standard answers of 'Super is the best environment for your money'. Disclaimers:
this is not financial advice, i am merely trying to offer some food for thought
these examples are greatly simplified, they do not take into account interest rate risk, legislation risk (both on super, on changes to tax, etc..).
The case study below does not take into account the ability to margin lend inside super. the ability is there, such as Bell Potter's Equity Lever platform, but this is not available to your average retail/industry super, hence it is excluded.
Margin lending for the uninitiated: For those of you unaware, margin loans are borrowing to invest. Your shares/fund units act as security that let you borrow money to buy more shares/fund units. These are given different levels of "Loan to Value Ratio" aka LVR. a 75% LVR means you can make up a total investment with a minimum of 25% your money, and a maximum of 75% borrowed money. So with $2,500 you'd be able to borrow up to $7,500 (Making up a total portfolio of $10,000). Why borrow to invest? Simply put, Margin lending amplifies your gains and your losses. I have included a table below to demonstrate what a margin loan will do to a $25,000 investment at an 8% p.a. return at different LVRs. I am using Leveraged Equities variable 4.24% interest rate on their direct investment loan as the interest cost - the product offers access to the vast majority of funds and shares that an investor needs, it's just lacking advanced features like options trading (who cares!) https://preview.redd.it/42p6co191lb51.png?width=786&format=png&auto=webp&s=764b15d0695792766367cc05b5adae78f3af840a Here we can see the return improve from the standard 8% all the way to 11.8% if using 50% LVR. But in my opinion, 50% LVR is too risky for many investors appetite here, even if it is my ideal point. Instead, i would direct your attention to 35% LVR. Why 35% LVR? a 35% LVR comes with a number of benefits to an investor doing standard VAS/VGS/VDHG style etf investing.
Increased returns - as we can see it takes an 8% return and increases it to a 10.1% return
Returns slightly understated - The return is not factoring the effect that the interest will have on your tax return - it is tax deductible.
Low chance of a margin call.
Let's talk about #3. Margin calls are without a doubt the scariest part of margin lending, and i don't blame you for being afraid of them. Many people who leverage too aggressively and fly too close to the sun get hit with a nasty cycle where:
Their investment falls into margin call territory because it has dropped
They are forced to sell their assets at the worst points in the market to get out of the margin call
they miss out on the recovery because their excess cash was used covering margin calls on the way down.
But this is where a 35% LVR is so appealing. the calculation to figure out where your margin call will happen is: 1-(Loan/(Lending Value + Buffer)). So if we take a standard favourite of Ausfinance such as VAS, VDHG etc, we can see that they have a LVR of 75%. Industry standard buffer is 10%. so let's figure out a margin call on a $25,000 investment, with $14,000 borrowed funds (35% LVR): 1-($14,000/(($39,000*0.75)+($39,000*0.10))) = 58% it would take a 58% drop in the portfolio to bring it to a margin call. This is the portfolio dropping from $39,000 to $16,470. This requires a staggering drop before you experience a margin call, and if you are concerned reducing your LVR to only 25% will still improve your return and increase your chance of never being margin called. You have time to add to your holdings with equity only (buying a dip + decreasing your overall LVR). the important thing is you can manage your risk and it requires truly a cataclysmic level of decline before you experience a margin call ,and at that point that may not be your biggest concern. Why all the fuss? What's the point of risking being margin called? It's all in that % return. in the following example i will use ASIC's compound calculator, along with the following parameters: $25,000 initial deposit (your capital), $0 regular deposits, annual compounding, and a 30 year time horizon. The only assumption is that as the portfolio grows in capital value, the 35% LVR is maintained. Case 1 - 0 LVR (AKA [email protected]%) - after 30 years of compounding at 8% you end up on $251,566 Case 2 - 35% LVR (AKA compounding at 10.1%) - after 30 years of compounding at 10.1% you end up on $448,291 Verdict - Case 2 ends up being $196,725 better. a 78% superior return Every % matters so much in a long term strategy, it is truly impossible to overstate how important it is to long term outcomes. Case Study: Super Showdown As a final demonstration of the power of a low leverage strategy we will put two different cases head to head. Let us assume that a 30 year old intends to retire at age 65, and has the option of either having $50,000 in super, or invested at a 35% LVR. After retirement, they will either 1. Take the money tax free in pension phase or 2. pay capital gains tax by cashing out their own 'pension' each year, with their marginal tax rate being 30% (using the currently legislated but not implemented rates). Case 2 will overstate their tax slightly, as i will not scale it, i will just hit the whole thing at 30%. https://preview.redd.it/86c7xcrc7lb51.png?width=530&format=png&auto=webp&s=045a1774106ac8d8ac848decb04bec9a142bdc52 We can see that with the CGT discount, paying 15% tax is actually better than paying a 0% tax rate due to the higher return. It's an out-performance of $508,681 But okay, i hear you, CGT discount may be gotten rid of, let's recalculate it with no discount: https://preview.redd.it/yafmmg6p7lb51.png?width=530&format=png&auto=webp&s=d9ae4b0db5de48808ca202f7c6e40d599c34c065 Even without a CGT discount (and 30% flat is more tax than you'd pay on a CGT discounted method on the highest marginal rate currently) there has been an out-performance of $306,102 What do i hope you take away from this? Even if you decide that the risk of margin lending is too much for you, or that i'm absolutely insane to choose an outside of super strategy that relies on borrowing to invest, i hope that i have given you something to think about. the one thing i hope everyone takes away from this just as a general point is the sheer power of small changes in your long term return %. I really strongly believe in conservatively leveraging safe and boring investments to boost that all critical return over the long term to create outstanding long term results. minor edit: fixed up some grammar
Should you ever trade options if you cant use margin for credit spreads etc?
As the title says, should you ever "play" with options if you still havn't signed up for using a margin? I have had my ups and downs with only trading calls/puts.. Some big wins, some small wins, some big losses and some small losses. I would love to know what you guys trade the most and what has been most profitable for you, not asking specific stock picks but your train of thought and trial and error experience. I am more looking for small "safe" profits. I have 70-80% of my capital in stocks and would like to use the last 20-30% for option trading and develop my skills in that general area. Did you start out making money/going even or did u loose most to begin with? I am considering only trading highly liquid stocks like AMD and working with different strategies until i learn the ropes. How did you guys start out and what became your best strategy? How big do you think an account should be before trading spreads, etc. ? Thanks in advance!
PRPL earnings is tomorrow, 8/13, after hours. Any other date is wrong. Robinhood is wrong (why are you using Robinhood still!?!). I'm going to take you through my earnings projections and reasoning as well the things to look for in the earnings release and the call that could make this moon even further.
I make the assumption that Purple is still selling every mattress it can make (since that is what they said for April and May) and that this continued into June because the website was still delayed 7-14 days across all mattresses at the end of June. May Revenue and April DTC: The numbers in purple were provided by Purple here and here. April Wholesale: My estimate of $2.7M for Wholesale sales in April comes from this statement from the Q1 earnings release: " While wholesale sales were down 42.7% in April year-over-year, weekly wholesale orders have started to increase on a sequential basis. " I divided Q2 2019's wholesale sales evenly between months and then went down 42.7%. June DTC: This is my estimate based upon the fact that another Mattress Max machine went online June 1, thus increasing capacity, and the low end model was discontinued (raising revenue per unit). June Wholesale:Joe Megibow stated at Commerce Next on 7/30 that wholesale had returned to almost flat growth. I'm going to assume he meant for the quarter, so I plugged the number here to finish out the quarter at $39.0M, just under $39.3M from a year ago. Revenue Expectations from Analysts (via Yahoo) https://preview.redd.it/notxd6hhbng51.png?width=384&format=png&auto=webp&s=aa0453414f467aa6c5bf72ce8a8046c0ae6e62a5 My estimate of $244M comes in way over the high, let alone the consensus. PRPL has effectively already disclosed ~$145M for April/May, so these expectations are way off. I'm more right than they are.
I used my estimates for Q3/Q4 2019 to guide margins in April/May as there were some one time events that occurred in Q1 depressing margins. June has higher margin because of the shift away from the low end model (which is priced substantially lower than the high end model). Higher priced models were given manufacturing priority.
Marketing and Sales Joe mentioned in the Commerce Next video that they were able to scale sales at a constant CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost). There's three ways of interpreting this:
Overall customer acquisition cost was constant with previous quarters (assume $36M total, not $93.2M), which means you need to add another $57M to bottom line profit and $1.08 to EPS, or
Customer Acquisition Costs on a unit basis were constant, which means I'm still overstating total marketing expense and understating EPS massively, or
Customer Acquisition Costs on a revenue basis were constant, which is the most conservative approach and the one I took for my estimate.
I straightlined the 2.2 ratio of DTC sales to Marketing costs from Q1. I am undoubtably too high in my expense estimate here as PRPL saw marketing efficiencies and favorable revenue shifts during the quarter. So, $93.2M General and Administrative A Purple HR rep posted on LinkedIn about hiring 330 people in the quarter. I'm going to assume that was relative to the pre-COVID furloughs, so I had June at that proportional amount to previous employees and adjusted April and May for furloughs and returns from furlough. Research and Development I added just a little here and straight lined it.
Interest Expense Straightlined from previous quarters, although they may have tapped ABL lines and so forth, so this could be under. One Time and Other Unpredictable by nature. Warrant Liability Accrual I'm making some assumptions here.
We know that the secondary offering event during Q2 from the Pearce brothers triggered the clause for the loan warrants (NOT the PRPLW warrants) to lower the strike price to $0.
I can't think of a logical reason why the warrant holders wouldn't exercise at this point.
Therefore there is no longer a warrant liability where the company may need to repurchase warrants back.
The liability accrual of $7.989M needs to be reversed out for a gain.
What to Watch For During Earnings (aka Reasons Why This Moons More)
Analysts, Institutionals, and everyone else who uses math for investing is going to be listening for the following:
Warrant Liability Accrual
Capacity Expansion Rate
CACs (Customer Acquisition Costs)
New Product Categories
Cashless Exercise of PRPLW warrants
Margin Growth This factor is HUGE. If PRPL guides to higher margins due to better sales mix and continued DTC shift, then every analyst and investor is going to tweak their models up in a big way. Thus far, management has been relatively cautious about this fortuitous shift to DTC continuing. If web traffic is any indicator, it will, but we need management to tell us that. Warrant Liability Accrual I could be dead wrong on my assumptions above on this one. If it stays, there will be questions about it due to the drop in exercise price. It does impact GAAP earnings (although it shouldn't--stupid accountants). Capacity Expansion Rate This is a BIG one as well. As PRPL has been famously capacity constrained: their rate of manufacturing capacity expansion is their growth rate over the next year. PRPL discontinued expansion at the beginning of COVID and then re-accelerated it to a faster pace than pre-COVID by hurrying the machines in-process out to the floor. They also signed their manufacturing space deal which has nearly doubled manufacturing space a quarter early. The REAL question is when the machines will start rolling out. Previous guidance was end of the year at best. If we get anything sooner than that, we are going to ratchet up. CACs (Customer Acquisition Costs) Since DTC is the new game in town, we are all going to want to understand exactly where marketing expenses were this quarter and, more importantly, where management thinks they are going. The magic words to listen for are "marketing efficiencies". Those words means the stock goes up. This is the next biggest line item on the P&L besides revenue and cost of goods sold. New Product Categories We heard the VP of Brand from Purple give us some touchy-feely vision of where the company is headed and that mattresses was just the revenue generating base to empower this. I'm hoping we hear more about this. This is what differentiated Amazon from Barnes and Noble: Amazon's vision was more than just books. Purple sees itself as more than just mattresses. Hopefully we get some announced action behind that vision. This multiplies the stock. Cashless Exercise of PRPLW Warrants I doubt this will be answered, even if the question is asked. I bet they wait until the 20 out of 30 days is up and they deliver notice. We could be pleasantly surprised. If management informs us that they will opt for cashless exercise of the warrants, this is anti-dilutive to EPS. It will reduce the number of outstanding shares and automatically cause an adjustment up in the stock price (remember kids, some people use math when investing). I'm hopeful, but not expecting it. The amount of the adjustment depends on the current price of the stock. Also, I fully expect PRPL management to use their cashless exercise option at the end of the 20 out of 30 days as they are already spitting cash.
I've made some updates to the model, and produced two different models:
Warrant Liability Accrual Goes to Zero
Warrant Liability Accrual Goes to $47M
I made the following adjustments generally:
I reduced marketing expenses signifanctly based upon comments made by Joe Megibox on 6/29 in this CNBC video to 30% of sales (thanks u/deepredsky).
I reduced June wholesale revenue to 12.6M to be conservative based upon another possible interpretation of Joe's comments in this video here. It is a hard pill to swallow that June wholesale sales would be less than May's. The only reasoning I can think of is if May caused a large restock and then June tapered back off. The previous number of $19.0M was still a retrenchment from the 40-50% YoY growth rate. I'm going to keep the more conservative number (thanks again u/deepredsky).
I modified the number of outstanding shares used for EPS calculations from 53M (last quarters number used on the 10-Q) to almost 73M based upon the fact that all of the warrants and employee stock options are now in the money. Math below. (thanks DS_CPA1 on Stocktwits for pointing this out)
Now that we have established that coliseum still has not exercised the options as of july 7, and that purple needs to record as a liability the fair value of the options as of june 31, we now need to determine what that fair value is. You state that since you believe that there is no logical reason that coliseum won't redeem their warrants "there is no longer a warrant liability where the company may need to repurchase warrants back." While I'm not 100% certain your logic here, I can say for certain that whether or not a person will redeem their warrants does not dictate how prpl accounts for them.
The warrant liability accrual DOES NOT exist because the warrants simply exist. The accrual exists because the warrants give the warrant holder the right to force the company to buy back the warrants for cash in the event of a fundamental transaction for Black Scholes value ($18 at the end of June--June 31st that is...). And accruals are adjusted for the probability of a particular event happening, which I STILL argue is close to zero. A fundamental transaction did occur. The Pearce brothers sold more than 10M shares of stock which is why the exercise price dropped to zero. (Note for DS_CPA1 on Stocktwits: there is some conflicting filings as to what the exercise price can drop to. The originally filed warrant draft says that the warrant exercise price cannot drop to zero, but asubsequently filed S-3, the exercise price is noted as being able to go to zero. I'm going with the S-3.) Now, here is where it gets fun. We know from from the Schedule 13D filed with a July 1, 2020 event date from Coliseum that Coliseum DID NOT force the company to buy back the warrants in the fundamental transaction triggered by the Pearce Brothers (although they undoubtably accepted the $0 exercise price). THIS fundamental transaction was KNOWN to PRPL at the end Q4 and Q1 as secondary filings were made the day after earnings both times. This drastically increased the probability of an event happening. Where is the next fundamental transaction that could cause the redemption for cash? It isn't there. What does exist is a callback option if the stock trades above $24 for 20 out of 30 days, which we are already 8 out of 10 days into. Based upon the low probability of a fundamental transaction triggering a redemption, the accrual will stay very low. Even the CFO disagrees with me and we get a full-blown accrual, I expect a full reversal of the accrual next quarter if the 20 out of 30 day call back is exercised by the company. I still don't understand why Coliseum would not have exercised these. Regardless, the Warrant Liability Accrual is very fake and will go away eventually.
ONE MORE THING...
Seriously, stop PMing me with stupid, simple questions like "What are your thoughts on earnings?", "What are your thoughts on holding through earnings?", and "What are your thoughts on PRPL?". It's here. Above. Read it. I'm not typing it again in PM. I've gotten no less than 30 of these. If you're too lazy to read, I'm too lazy to respond to you individually.
$PSTG: PURE STORAGE for them, PURE TENDIES for you
This is actually my first DD I've ever posted so fuck you and forgive me if this doesn't work out for you.I've been looking at $PSTG for a while now and if my buying power didn't get so fucked from my decision to buy 8/7 UBER puts, I would have been already all over this play. What had got me looking into Pure Storage was an unusual options activity alert. I've looked into this company before but didn't entirely understand what they do. Now after looking at them again, I'm still not exactly sure wtf they do....BUT I've gotten a better clue. Basically what I got from my research is that these guys fuck with "all-FLASH data storage solutions (enabling cloud solutions and other low-latency applications where tape/disk storage does not meet the needs)."......and ultimately what this all means to me is that these are the motherfuckers making those stupid fast laser money printers with the rocket ships attached. And that's something I'm interested in. Now, here is the DailyDick you all degenerates have all been fiending for: Fundamentally: PureStorage remains one of the few hardware companies in tech that is consistently growing double motherfucking digits, yet remains constantly cucked and neglected by investors (trading at 1.9x EV/Sales). https://preview.redd.it/ek7ugjsewnf51.png?width=1118&format=png&auto=webp&s=f9c7e72c95e450a105e44223937422d896eeeb21 The 36 Months beta value for PSTG stock is at 1.62. 74% Buy Rating on RH. PSTG has a short float of 7.28% and public float of 243.36M with average trading volume of 3.16M shares. This was trading at around $18 on Wednesday 8/5 when I started writing this and as of right now, it's about $17.33 💸 The company has a market capitalization of ~$4.6 billion. In the last quarter, PSTG reported a ballin'-ass profit of $256.82 million. Pure Storage also saw revenues increase to $367.12 million. IMO, they should rename themselves PURE PROFIT. As of 04-2020, they got the cash monies flowing at $11.32 million . The company’s EBITDA came in at -$62.81 million which compares very fucking well among its dinosaur ass peers like HPE, Dell, IBM and NetApp. Pure Storage keeps taking market share from them old farts while growing the chad-like revenue #s of 33% in F2019, 21% in F2020, and 12% in F1Q21. Chart of their financial growth since IPO in 2015: https://preview.redd.it/gwlmy82v4nf51.png?width=640&format=png&auto=webp&s=b6508cd5f641da4086b70d8b8007da034e982fd7 At the end of last quarter, Pure Storage had cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities of $1.274B, compared with $1.299B as of Feb 2, 2020. The total Debt to Equity ratio for PSTG is recording at 0.64 and as of 8/6, Long term Debt to Equity ratio is at 0.64.Earning highlights from last quarter:
Revenue $367.1 million, up 12% year-over-year
Subscription Services revenue $120.2 million, up 37% year-over-year
GAAP operating loss $(84.9) million; non-GAAP operating loss $(5.4) million
Operating cash flow was $35.1 million, up $28.5 million year-over-year
Free cash flow was $11.3 million, up $29.0 million year-over-year
Total cash and investments of $1.3 billion
I bolded the Subscription Services Revenue bullet because to me that's a big deal. Pure Storage keeps them coming back with products such as Pure-as-a-service and Cloud Block Store and everybody knows that the recurring revenue model is best model. Big ass enterprises buy storage from vendors such as Pure Storage in the cloud to prevent vendor lock-in by the cloud providers. $$$ >!💰< What are Pure Storage's other revenue drivers? Well these motherfuckers also have the products to address the growth of Cloud storage as well as the products to drive the growth of on-prem storage. For on-prem data center, Pure sells Flash Array to address block storage workloads (for databases and other mission-critical workloads) and FlashBlade for unstructured or file data workloads. On-prem storage revenue is mainly driven by legacy storage array replacement cycle. https://preview.redd.it/01su6chrwnf51.png?width=1129&format=png&auto=webp&s=16e6a705f9392291bc0c3932c815802d9101365e So far, it seems like Pure Storage's obviously passionate and smart as fuck CEO has been spot on with his prediction of the flash storage sector's direction. Also seems like he's not camera shy either. Pure Storage's "Pure-as-a-Service and Cloud Block Store" unified subscription offerings is fo sho gaining momentum it. This shit is catching on with enterprises, both big and small. COVID-19 increased the acceleration of our digital transformation and the subsequent shift to the cloud. This increased demand in data-centers is going to drastically help Pure Storage's future top and bottom line. To top it off, NAND prices are recovering! (inferred from MU earnings). I expect Pure Storage to get some relief on the pricing front because of this which obviously in turn should improve revenues. PSTG's numbers look pretty good to me so far but are they a good company overall? Even when scalping and trading, I don't like to fuck with overall shitty companies so I always check for basic things like customer satisfaction, analyst ratings/targets, broad-view industry trends, and hedge fund positioning.. that sort of thing.Pure Storage stands out in all of these fields for me. https://preview.redd.it/4n0e5nve5of51.png?width=373&format=png&auto=webp&s=495416bb6f5a2dab77f3ac483ca4d9510b39037c Customers like Dominos Pizza and many others all seem to be happy AF with no issues. I can hardly even find a negative review online. Their products seems to be universally applauded. Gartner and other third party independent analysts also consider Pure Storage's product line-up some of the best in the industry. The industry average for this sector is a piss poor 65.Pure Storage has a 2020 Net Promoter Score of 86 https://preview.redd.it/3w51io8yvmf51.png?width=698&format=png&auto=webp&s=4f7d06825d0ad9d126216e5069af2f9c3636f86a Enterprises are upgrading their existing storage infrastructure with newer and more modern data arrays, based on NAND flash. They do this because they're forced to keep up with the increasing speed of business inter-connectivity. This shit is the 5g revolution sort to speak of the corporate business world. Storage demands and needs aren't changing because of the pandemic and isn't changing in the future. The newer storage arrays are smaller, consume less power, are less noisy and do not generate excess heat in the data center and hence do not need to be cooled like the fat fucks at IBM need to be. Flash storage arrays in general are cheaper to operate and are extremely fast, speeding up applications. Pure Storage by all accounts makes the best storage arrays in the industry and continues to grow faster than the old school storage vendors like bitchass NetApp, Dell, HPE and IBM. Pure Storage’s market share was 12.7% in C1Q20 and was up from 10.1% in the prior year - LIKE A PROPER HIGH GROWTH COMPANY.HPE, NetApp and IBM, like the losers they are, lost market share.According to blocksandfiles.com, AFA vendor market share sizes and shifts are paraphrased below:
“Dell EMC – 34.8% (calculated $766m) vs. 33.7% a year ago
NetApp – 19.3% at $425m vs. 26.7% a year ago
Pure Storage – 12.7% at calculated $279.7m vs. 10.1% a year ago
I beat Bloodstained recently, and because this forum seems to think Hollow Knight is the greatest game ever while Bloodstained sucks I decided to go against the grain a bit and create a different discussion. Granted, overall I think Hollow Knight is better, but that's doesn't mean it's better on every aspect. Now, I found Bloodstained and Hollow Knight essentially took opposite approaches to building large Metroidvanias (in summary, Bloodstained gets it's complexity by filling out large continuums with quantitative variations, while Hollow Knight gets it through combinatorics by giving unique behavior to simple things which then synergize), so I don't think it's necessarily fair to compare them, but I'm going to do it anyway. This post is very long as I've found a lot to talk about, so I don't recommend reading the whole thing. Each paragraph is one aspect, you should be able to get what it is just from reading the first sentence, the rest of the paragraph is just an argument as to why I found that aspect to be better if you care to read it. I'll post the list of all the aspects in the concluding paragraph. With that being said, here it goes. First, I prefer Bloodstain's save/death system over Hollow Knight's. While autosaving is convenient, I honestly prefer manual saving as I like having control over those cases where you don't want to overwrite your savefile. In Hollow Knight's case, it's clear that they implement autosaving specifically to prevent you from doing that, as otherwise their death mechanic wouldn't work, and it makes certain choices permanent. It really says something about how brutal Hollow Knight's death mechanic is that it would be preferable for the game to just end and have to be reloaded from a save point. In addition to being brutal, I find such a mechanic to be a poor fit for Metroidvania's, as forcing the player to go to the same destination to recover discourages exploration or trying different routes when a particular ones proves too hard. The logistics of the whole thing are also pretty iffy, both with the shade mechanic and with autosaving and returning to a save point on quitting, and both can be exploited in ways that feel to defy the logic of the game. The thing I like the most about Bloodstain's save system is that it has lots of slots you can branch out into, which I like using to save before boss fights in case I want to refight them. Hollow Knight's Hall of Gods is much more convenient, but it still fails to capture all such fights that a player might want to reattempt with a different strategy (the big one being the Pale Lurker), and not all the fights it does have are quite the same as the original (Uumuu in particular feels like a completely different fight), so it does not make having such a feature be obsolete. Even when bosses are available unchanged in the house of gods though, the fact that the Hall of Gods can't even be unlocked until midgame needs to be considered, while save branching can be done immediately after the boss is fought. Finally, even though Hollow Knight has autosaving, it still has save points, and Bloodstained does a much a better job at placing save point in desirable locations. In particular, Bloodstained always has a save point before a boss, while there is some frustrating exceptions in Hollow Knight. Next, I prefer Bloodstain's map system. It's simple, but effective, and in terms of functionality has most of the features of Hollow Knight's, with essential features like save points and NPCs being marked in one way or another, and personal markers are given as well. Hollow Knight's maps are certainly prettier, but that doesn't necessarily make them more useful. They have a couple advantages with the colored regions and drawn out landmarks, but are also frustrating in other ways, such as with the limited markers, and the fact you need to buy everything first. The biggest issue though is the fact that maps must be bought before they can be used. This wouldn't be a bad idea by itself, but in practice it isn't used particularly well, as the map is often either is often either hid so near the entrance that they might as well start with it, or being hidden so late that they needs to frustratingly memorize the area before getting to it. The fact they cost geo is little more than a nuisance, as they don't cost enough for the player to ever be worth passing them up for now, but it's still often enough to just waste time grinding until enough geo is gathered to buy them. The problems with the map system are exacerbated by the shade mechanic, as a map is needed to track down the shade. This further discourages exploration, as it encourages someone to either just map a beeline towards the map while ignoring everything else, or just avoid areas entirely that they don't have the map for. Fog Canyon in particular was frustrating, as the map in positioned in such a place to actively discourage exploring the region until the player gets the shade cloak, but the area was designed to be cleared with either the shade cloak or Isma's tear, and the map can actually be picked up pretty easily picked up with the latter if the player wasn't discouraged from exploring by the tease combined with frustrating game mechanics. Bloodstained did a much better job at handling money than Hollow Knight. I never found myself having to grind for money in Bloodstained, but I did in the early game for Hollow Knight. The biggest issue with currency in Hollow Knight though is in the late game, which is that geo becomes absolutely useless once everything is bought. There is one stock that never exhausts, the rancid eggs, but these become all but useless after everything else is bought out as the only use for rancid eggs is recovering the player's shade, where the primary purpose for doing such is just to recover geo. The only other reason would be to fix the soul gage, but in most cases it would probably be faster to just kill yourself than to return to Confessor Jiji in order to fetch the shade. This issue is amplified in Steel Soul mode, where geo will likely accumulate to a greater extent due to not being lost on death, rancid eggs can no longer be bought, and the end game geo sinks are useless as they only prevent an effect that occurs on death. The one other replenishable stock, fixing the fragile charms, can't be restored either as the charms only break on death. This is not an issue as Bloodstained. Not only is it much harder to pay for everything, and consumable items ensure that there will always be practical stock remaining, but there is uses for money other than buying items, namely the gold bullet spell and the gold power ring. While charms can slightly modify the attack in Hollow Knight, the overall form remains the same, with the same nail attacks and the same spells. Meanwhile, by changing up weapons and spell shards, several different modes of combat are possible in Bloodstained. For example, one spell I enjoyed using in Bloodstained is Plume Parma, which launches a flying pig that bounces around the arena, and it's fun challenge to work on the geometry of arenas and boss patterns to figure out where to launch the pig so it hits the boss the maximum number of times before it pops. Hollow Knight has nothing comparable. As far as actual weapons go, boots encourage completely different fighting styles than swords or guns do. The fact there are different attack types as well also mixes stuff up in Bloodstained by more explicitly encouraging different builds. With that said, I did find Hollow Knight to have much better synergy between charms than any items in Bloodstained did, the limitation is just in modes of combat. I found the traversal items to be much more interesting in Bloodstained. Hollow Knight's are pretty generic, with the most interesting one being super-dash, which is kinda annoying. Bloodstained had three more interesting traversal abilities with reflector ray, invert, and dimension shift. I do have to say the Hollow Knight did a much better job at actually putting it's traversal abilities to use, but even then I do think Bloodstained had a much more useful invert mechanic than most games where something similar can be done. Even with some of the more generic abilities Bloodstained had more interesting traversals. The best example of this is with how they handle water, where all Hollow Knight's traversal does is make some more water swimmable on the surface, while Bloodstained has two different traversal abilities for water, each allowing different ways to explore it in 2d space. One thing that always frustrated me in Hollow Knight is how little of a difference upgrades in the game actually made. The clincher is the fact that once you get ALL mask upgrades and vessel fragments, you're still not even twice as powerful as you were at the start of the game. This difference is even more marginal when you consider how easy it is to heal and recover soul in this game, so in practice you have much more soul and life available then the meters indicate. On the other hand, if you do get pushed to the edge (which is the only point where health upgrades make a different anyway) and recover, then the effect is amplified as you could recover more than one mask after you otherwise would have died. For what they are worth, it annoys me that there are much easier method to continue pushing life past the limit, such as by farming lifeblood, making there be little incentive to actually track down any upgrades. This is one area where Hollow Knight's emphasis on the discrete works against it, as complete sets are needed before mask shards or vessel fragments, while any individual health or magic upgrade in Bloodstained makes a difference, even if it's so small that it's only situational. What really makes this bad is exactly how the upgrades are obtained. In short, I've found that for both masks shards and vessels fragments there is one that is extremely hard to get, a few that are fairly challenging, and most are a matter of going to the right place. As a result, there is little incentive to tackle the fairly challenging ones unless one is also confident that they can get the extremely challenging one as otherwise they won't amount to anything once all the easy shards and fragments are picked up, collapsing challenges with rewards of varying levels of difficulty into one. Unlike the masks, the fully upgraded nail is significantly more powerful the original nail. I don't like the way I paced the upgrades though. Each nail upgrade adds a constant amount of damage to the nail which is slightly less damage than the starting nail. This is fine, though the practical effect is somewhat sporadic due to most enemies having so few hit-points that the ratio between the previous number of hits it took to kill an enemy to the new number of hits is often quite different from the ratio between the previous amount of damage the nail did to the new amount of damage. It would be more consistent against bosses, if it wasn't for the fact that many bosses are giving more hits as the nail is upgraded so the effect is nerfed. Even worse, spells don't become more powerful, so a boss can actually become HARDER when thought with more powerful nail. While not a boss, I noticed this effect with the shade, which was quite annoying. With those aside, the issue comes from the fact the requires for upgrading the weapon are not constant, but instead increase linearly. By itself this would be reasonable as it would be expected for their be a greater requirement to get a constant improvement later on to reflect the increasing difficulty of the game, but the issue comes from the fact that the upgrade requirement is from a rare item, of which each is required to get the final upgrade. As result, the difficulty of upgrading the item increases superlinearly, not linearly. To explain why, I'll use this example of completing a set of trading cards by buying random cards. Say there are twelve possible cards that could be randomly gotten, there is six in the set you're trying to complete, and the package contains one card. With the first package, you have a 1/2 chance of getting a card in the set, and thus getting one card closer to complete set. Once you have 5/6 cards in the set though, you only have 1/12 chance of getting one card closer to completing the set as you need the specific one that you are missing, not just any card in the set. You can't apply the same calculations to Hollow Knight as obtaining the ore isn't random, it's gotten by performing certain tasks, but similar reasoning applies. The issue isn't just that it's superlinear though, but the exact values are poorly balanced. To get the first nail upgrade, you need zero pale ore, while the final upgrade needs three pale ore, which is half the total pale ore. As a result, it's strictly harder to get the final nail upgrade than to get ALL the nail upgrades before it, but the proportional effect isn't anywhere close to what you get for ANY of the upgrades before it. This lack of marginal improvement is then exacerbated by the fact that some pale ore is much easier to get than others (easiest is basically just found on the wayside on a route you have to go down anyway, hardest requires completing the second of three gauntlets), so of course the easy to find ones are all going to found before the hard ones. The reward to effort ratio is just completely out of wack for the final nail level, and I find that it just added one more nail level and four more ore it could have been much more reasonable without changing the overall system. Meanwhile, Bloodstained does damage upgrades completely differently. Frankly I don't know how Bloodstained scales damage other than it being much more complicated, but in practice I found it to be much better paced than it was in Hollow Knight. There is an issue where occasionally you randomly got a weapon that's much more powerful than the weapons you should have at that point so until you get to the next stage most weapons you pick up are useful, but overall I found it to be much better. Bloodstained has much more interesting alternative game modes than Hollow Knight does. First off, it has different difficulty settings, which Hollow Knight just lacks. If we consider Hollow Knight's alternative game modes, none of them actually add any functionality. Steel Soul mode technically adds a single new feature in the form of Steel Soul Jinn, but as all she does is convert eggs to geo, which is not particularly useful for the reasons explained in the section on money. The fact the save file deletes on death doesn't actually add functionality as a player could impose this challenge on themselves by choosing to manually delete their save file on death, all it does is automate the process. I guess you could consider the achievements associated with the mode as an added feature, but those are spoiled by the fact you can save you run by just quitting before death, meaning you can play as if you only have one less hit, and can't do any shade-jumping exploits. The other mode is Godseeker mode, which is it's answer to Boss Rush mode. It sounds like a good idea, but it's pretty terrible in practice because you can already do all of Godhome in the main game, and all Godseeker mode is just Godhome and nothing but Godhome. I see two potential uses for this mode, the first is that in Godseeker mode you're fulling upgraded so it can be done to get around having to get all the upgrades yourself, and the second is that Godhome is a pain to get to to and get out of, so just opening a second save file can be done instead for convenience sake. The problem is, it's so hard to unlock Godseeker mode that by the point you've gotten there you've probably already done every else, so you don't need to unlock any upgrades, and you can just set around in Godhome while you try to clear it in the main game as you don't actually need to leave. As it is I still haven't cleared the third pantheon, but the only upgrade I'm missing is the fourth level Grimm charm, which I frankly don't find to be worth beating either Nightmare Grimm or the third Pantheon for. The fact the Hall of Gods is almost filled in Godseeker mode means it could be used to fight the handful of bosses (Pure Vessel, Winged Nosk, and the Sisters of Battle) that still need to be unlocked in Godhome if you're unable to clear the fourth Pantheon, and it can be used to fight Grey Prince Zote if you let the real one die, but that's not much. Bloodstained also has a Boss Rush Mode, but it's much more reasonable to unlock, just requiring the bosses to be rather than tracking down some obscure location and complete the challenges there, and it doesn't waste an entire safe file. It also actually emphasizes the rush part, with a timer for high scores, and performance rewards that can actually be used in the main game instead of just being some weird isolated challenge for getting an alternative ending. With boss revenge mode it has another fun challenge mode that's unlike anything in the game, but it also has a couple full length modes that act like full games. Right now they have Zangetsu mode and randomizer mode, both of which are substantially different from the main game. Bloodstained is still being updated to add new game modes, while Hollow Knight is now capped at it's definitive version. Finally, I found Bloodstained to be much more reasonable with how it distributed its alternative endings. Hollow Knight has five endings, but two of them are just variations, so I'll only consider three of them. Bloodstained also has three endings, so we can compare them. As far as it can be measured, I feel these endings are roughly distributed in the same way: the first ending is a bit over half-way through the game, and final ending requires doing a bit more than the second one. The main difference I feel in between how this three endings are distributed between the games is that in Bloodstained, the first two endings are the result of aborting the main path through the game early. Meanwhile, you get the first ending in Hollow Knight if you go and do exactly what you are supposed to do, and the other two endings are for doing extra. There is one issue though: the first ending in Hollow Knight SUCKS. I swear it's one of the worst endings I've ever seen in modern commercial game, not only is the outcome unsatisfactory for our characters, but it's just short and feels like it doesn't actually resolve anything. It's the second ending that feels canonical, and that you need to actually get to for the game to feel complete. This is where the issue comes in. To get the best ending in Bloodstained, you pretty much just have to finish exploring the castle, and everything else will fall into place as long as you take advantage of what you were told along the way. That's not the case in Hollow Knight, where I feel they were trying to find an excuse to force player to hit all the important lore spots, but it never really came together in a meaningful way. Half of it is reasonable, where you need the shade cloak to explore through Queen's Garden so you can get half of the kingsoul. The Pale King's half though, is kinda ridiculous. The first issue is getting to the White Palace, which requires using an ability that isn't used anywhere else in a specific location. The bigger issue than finding the White Palace though is getting that ability. For reasons I don't understand, they decided to make it the final upgrade that you get from collecting dream essence, when I think it would make more sense to include at least one optional upgrade past it instead of just having the seer disintegrate. The larger issue though is what it takes to get that point. The game points to two sources of dream essence, warrior dreams and whispering roots, and they contain enough essence to get all the upgrades EXCEPT the awakened dream nail. For the final bit of essence, you're expected to beat one of the champions, most of which are harder than the tyrant lord so it brings into question of what's the point of even including the queens path. The Hidden Dreams updated added some somewhat more reasonable alternative champions to get this final bit of essence from, but they have the same issue of the other champions in that not only are they hard to beat, but they are also hard to find. It's not that they are actually hard to find if you know to look for them, but as far as I'm aware the game gives you know hints that these bosses even exist, and they are all located in isolated areas that you already visited and would have no reason to revisit unless you're specifically looking for the champions. The Hidden Dreams ones are even worse in this regard, as you can be locked out of one if you miss something much earlier in the game, while the other requires a trigger completely unrelated to the character to appear, and is located in a secret area which is the one region I know of that requires desolate dive to access without any sort of visual cue. The real problem though comes once you actually get to the White Palace though, which is this seemingly never ending platform section that is FAR harder than anything before it, feeling more like you're playing Super Meat Boy than Hollow Knight. It's one thing if was just an optional challenge like the Path of Pain that it also contains, but I find the fact you need to beat it to get a decent ending to unreasonable, the game doesn't even do anything to prepare you for it. The only reason I got through it was with an optional charm, Hive Blood, whose use involves a lot of just sitting around and waiting and it is so tedious. I wonder if the White Palace feels some out of place specifically because it was a stretch goal that happened to be part of the main quest instead of a side quest like the colosseum is. Maybe it would have been even harder, but I feel like the whole ordeal would have at least made more sense if the abyss was actually completed as originally planned. The final ending doesn't have the same weight the second one does, but it's even more ridiculous. For unknown reasons, they decided to make the sole reward of boss rush side quest to be getting this final ending, and then center the entire ending around this boss rush mode, and it's just weird. What makes it absurd though is what it takes to actually get the ending, which is beating the Pantheon of Hallownest. It's hard enough to unlock as it requires clearing all the other Pantheons, but the real issue with it isn't that it's hard, it's that it's LONG. To get the hard part of the Pantheon, the player needs to spend like 20 minutes fighting all of the bosses that they've already mastered on the previous pantheons, and if they die they need to restart the entire thing. Because the ending is so hard it's like 20 minutes wasted each failed attempt, and that's just not worth it for most people. The worst part is the ending ends in a bit of cliffhanger, letting people to believe it was sequel bait, in turn frustrating countless player's trying to avoid spoilers who fruitlessly beat themselves against this ridiculous challenge. Bloodstained has it's superbosses too, but those are just additional challenges, not being required to get what seems to be an important ending. To get that you just need to be beat the game. In conclusion, I preferred Bloodstain's save and map systems, found it did a better job at handling money, had more combat options and more interesting traversal items, had more useful upgrades to health, magic, and damage, has more useful alternative game modes, and has more reasonable conditions for getting the good endings. While I'm not saying these are the only things Bloodstained did better, I do think Hollow Knight is better in most other aspects, including graphics, story, bosses and enemies, and sound and level design, and these aspects are considered to be more essential. I will not argue why I think Hollow Knight does this better people seem to generally be in agreement to this, and I've already written well more than enough. I'd like to hear any differing opinions, but again, I recommend only reading the sections you're interested in discussing and not the entire essay.
What is yield farming? Most broadly, it means getting some benefit for providing capital, usually in the form of tokens. Currently, there are three major different schemes:
Staked funds aren't utilized in any way and tokens are distributed proportionally to what's staked (may be dai, weth, ycrv, or other tokens). Token price risk: zero. Token accrues, but even if it falls to zero you lose nothing. Smart contract/protocol risk: depends on the staking contract, usually low to zero. Contracts are usually simple modification of the first contract used by yearn (taken from synthetix), making analysis easy by only looking for differences. APR: may start high, but usually collapses fast to relatively low values as funds pour in.
Providing liquidity in trading pools. Tokens are gained in return for providing liquidity for requested tokens on uniswap, balancer, curve, mooniswap. Token price risk: medium to high, depends on pool weights. See these two articles for details on how liquidity providing works: Uniswap - pool weight is always 50%/50% Balancer - arbitrary pool weights, down to 2% for one token. Can be multitoken, not just two. Smart contract security risk: medium to high. In addition to checking the (usually simple) staking contract, requires security analysis of the token contract. If it's possible to mint a very large amount of token, or someone has a hidden enormous stash, the attacker could clean the pool by dumping them at once. I'm aware of one scam called "YYFI" that did this - you can see the attacker successively getting DAI from the balancer pool. Fortunately for the victims, he wasn't very competent and did everything manually, giving time for people to withdraw. A more competent attacker would automate the pool cleaning process in a smart contract. APR: usually very high - upper three digits or four. It's rarely realized APR because it's calculated assuming that token price stays constant. If you think the token being distributed is undervalued definitely the best option to farm.
Depositing and borrowing funds for defi. Currently utilized by compound and cream (a compound clone). Users get rewarded with tokens for lending and borrowing tokens. Token price risk: zero. Security risk: the most complex to analyze option of all, although Compound itself is definitely the safest defi dapp on ethereum.
Warning: gas fees are high. $10k is probably the minimum amount that makes sense for active manual farming, which still only makes sense for a more long-term farms like COMP or CRV, at the cost of not maximizing APR. I have spent over $3k in gas during the last two months by farming very actively. Below $100k, or if you don't want to spend a lot of time on this, it's probably best to deposit your funds into one of yearn vaults that yield farms for users. https://yearn.finance/vaults A partial list of current yield farms (feel free to comment with more farms! I can edit and add them to this list):
COMP farming, the oldest one (I think?). Relatively low returns (58% on DAI), safe, no price risk. Efficient way to farm is to supply and borrow the same asset (can be done via instadapp) up to maximum leverage possible (with some margin for interest payments).
YFV finance, one of the many clones of YFI. The seed pool is safe IF you withdraw before the staking period ends (see the security part). Current APR on stablecoins: 121%
CRV farming, providing liquidity to curve pools. Mostly safe - curve smart contracts tself are safe, but keep in mind if one of tokens in the pool collapses (renBTC is probably the riskiest) other tokens are going to get drained. You can see the current APR on https://dao.curve.fi/mintegauges. As of now, the highest APR is for compound pool - 105.27%. It's varying and there's complicated game with CRV voting that impacts it.
Zombie, meme token. Current APR is abysmal (33.5%) but token may unexpectedly pump, increasing it. There's a smart contract bug that, as long as rewardDistribution and owner aren't set to zero, potentially allows rewardDistribution to lock all staked funds (not steal). Makes zero sense as of today.
Analyzing security. Yield farms come and go. The key to earning high returns is to be agile and to jump fast into new farms, which requires manual analysis of security. Of course it's possible to yolo in without any analysis, but I don't recommend it. I'm going to show an example on two recent farming contracts (of the first type - funds just sit in contracts). Original yearn staking contract. GRAP staking contract. Let's load two codes into a text diff tool, like this site. What interests us on the code level are changes relating to the withdrawal capability, which in the original code are limited to the withdraw() function. We can see that the only substantial change is the addition of the checkStart modifier which prevents both deposits and withdrawals if it's too early. As startime is set directly in source code and can't be modified anywhere, that change is safe - if it doesn't throw on deposit it's not going to throw on withdraw. The next step is switch to the 'read contract' tab on etherscan and look at two variables: owner and rewardDistribution. In Grap's case, they lead to a timelock contract that requires all changes to wait for at least 24.5 hours - which makes any fund lockup extremely unlikely. At worst, we only have to look at the rewardDistribution contract once a day to see if there's any pending change. GRAP farming is now finished with no security incidents. Second example: YFV. This one is still active. Contract link. After comparing them we can see that changes are much more extensive. The withdrawal function also has the checkStart modifier, but that part is fine (ctrl-f to check if starttime can be modified somewhere else - it can't). What's the problem is the checkNextEpoch modifier. There's a lot of things there and three external contract calls (mint calls). If anything in there throws, withdrawal would become impossible. Dangerous. However, that only happens after the staking period ends, so withdrawing before block.timestamp >= periodFinish is relatively safe. Another check is to look at the owner and rewardDistribution variables. Owner is set to zero, but where's rewardDistribution? Unfortunately, contrary to GRAP, it's private. It's possible to read it with the getStorageAt web3 api (although finding the index is more work - it's 3). However, the team has provided a link to the transaction in which they set rewardDistribution to 0 so it's fine. In conclusion, as long as you don't hold the funds after the locking period ended there's no security risk here. The current period ends on Tue Sep 1 14:02:29 2020, UTC.
In Final Fantasy XIV, the ability to obtain the highest level sellable body piece, the Ornate Neo-Ishgardian Gear, is directly tied to the ability to complete Wondrous Tails, a weekly log where players attempt to complete nine out of a set of twelve challenges. Each challenge results in a "stamp" being placed on a 4x4 grid, with increased rewards being offered for each time the player creates a complete horizontal, vertical, or diagional line with four stamps. Ornate Neo-Ishgardian Gear is offered as an option when players connect three lines, the maximum line total resulting from nine stamps on the grid. There have been many writings discussing Wondrous Tails probabilities. This writing advanced upon those before it by revisiting the probability of obtaining three lines simultaneously but then follows by looking into the opportunity costs of doing so, the price of the resulting Ornate Neo-Ishgardian Gear, and the benefits offered by its sale and consumption.
Table of Contents
Probability of Success
Probability of Success
Defining the liklihood of lining up three rows in Wondrous Tails is multi-step process. There are nine "stamps" which are awarded and subsequently placed on a 4x4 grid. The liklihood of putting a stamp in the correct place requires an examination into the total number of obtainable combinations as well as the total number of winning combinations. It is easier to explain the process by highlighting what Wondrous Tails is not. We will contrast Wondrous Tails with another Final Fantasy XIV staple, the Jumbo Cactpot. The cactpot requires the player to select four numbers, each one being 0-9, as part of a lottery announced every Saturday. Because there are ten possible numbers for each selection, and four numbers to choose, the chance of winning the cacpot can be expressed as: 1 / n^k or 1 / 10^4 = .0001 Given that you are allowed to purchase three cactpot tickets per week, your odds are actually: 3 / 10000 or .0003 In the case of the cactpot, the values are independent; they can repeat. If you choose a nine as your first number, you are not prohibited from choosing nine as your second number (as opposed to many real-life lotteries that only allow a number to be chosen once). Likewise, if the winning numbers of this week’s cactpot are “4321”, there is nothing prohibiting next week’s numbers from being “4321” as well, though the chances of the winning numbers being the same two weeks in a row are diminutively small. 1 / 10000^2 or 1/ 100000000 All of this is to say that the variables are able to repeat. In the case of Wondrous Tails, they cannot. The variables in Wondrous Tails (or WT) are dependent. On a 4x4 grid, if one space is occupied by a token, then another space cannot simultaneously be occupied by another token. Using 1 / n^k is no longer applicable. Using diminishing numbers such as (1 / n^k) * (1 / (n-1)^k) * (1 / (n-2)^k) … to model a space removed after each stamp would also be incomplete because it fails to account for the fact that there are twelve spaces on the board but only nine stamps. The solution is found in combinatorics, specifically the solution is found as a k-combination which, itself, is equal to the binomial coefficient. The formula for a k-combination is:
C(n,k) = n! / k!(n-k)
where there are k distinct objects and n samples. Plugging the numbers for WT in, we are given:
There are 11,440 total stamp arrangements in WT. As with the cactpot, there are multiple opportunities for success with WT. Though you only receive one grid per week, the only requirement is that three rows are made; their orientation, position, or shape is irrelevant. A winning shape on a 4x4 grid can be rotated 90, 180, and 270 degrees as well as mirrored to produce multiple placements of the same shape.. If we examine all of the ways to create three 4-point lines with nine points on a 4x4 grid, we are left with 24 solutions. 3 line wins in Wondrous Tails source Because we have 24 chances for success, our odds are then: 24 / 11440 ≈ 0.21% The pressing question now is, "is it even worth it?"
The first value to consider in this question is the time needed to complete a series of WT. Individual times will differ, but I will use my own for purposes of demonstration. I look for one box that I can unsync repeatedly with second chances (if you run your dailies and/or have newer people in your FC that you help, you should have a problem with too many second chance points in any given week). On any given book, the top row is reserved for Main Scenario dungeons of various levels. This leaves 4x3 slots for various trails, raids, Deep Dungeons, etc. to populate. I will not go into calculating averages for this population, but I can usually guarantee an ARR extreme dungeon that I can unsync quickly. Going for Garuda, King Moggle Mog, or Ramuh are in the 1:30 range for me (and you could surely optimize that number down more). On the worst end, there may be no trials and I end up running Sastasha at 4:45 (this is rare though). I’ll stick with my 90-second number for now. We now have the assumption that I will run WT nine times at 90 seconds per run. Not counting acquisition, turn in, and duty selection, I spend 810 seconds running WT content (or 13.5 minutes). Given that I have a 0.21% chance of achieving three rows on any given week, I will, on average, take 100 / .21 ≈ 476.19 weeks to reach my goal and I will spend 13.5 * 479.19 = 6,428.57 minutes doing so.
These numbers are nice to have, but they still don’t answer the question “is it even worth it?” Provided you’re on FFXIV, and you have 13.5 minutes each week, what’s to say you shouldn’t? In order to find that number, the opportunity cost of pursing WT must be determined. The opportunity cost of any activity is the sum of what other activities are forgone by making that choice. If a person has a dollar to spend on a candy bar or soda, if they choose the soda then the candy bar is their opportunity cost (if they're required to spend that dollar). For the purposes of this evaluation, we’ll ignore estimating intagibles, sunk costs, etc. To determine one’s own opportunity cost, evaluate how much gil could be made on other activities in the same time. For analysis purposes, I will once again use my own results; If I am concentrating on money-making, I can earn around 300,000 on average in an hour. This breaks down into about:
10 minutes of finding a sample of items on the marketboard,
25 minutes of gathering,
15 minutes of crafting,
5 minutes of listing, and
5 minutes of managing the listing against the mouth-breathing asshats that undersell me by a single gil (you know who you are).
Given that 13.5 minutes is 22.5% of an hour, we’ll reduce my earnings per 13.5 minutes to 300000 * .225 = 67,500. It’s not a perfect conversion, but I’ve never approximated my money-making capabilities per 13.5-minute period. Foregoing the 67,500 gil that I could make each week with the 479.19 weeks that I would need to obtain three rows, I find that my opportunity cost is 67500 * 479.19 = 32,345,325. A single piece of Ornate Neo-Ishgardian gear should be a little over 32 million gil. So, we now have an approximation of the item's value; the final question is, “how much can I actually get for it?”
How Much is the Item Worth?
An Ornate Neo-Ishgardian Gear piece allows five materia slots to be melded to it by default. Without the ornate piece, five slots can still be melded, but the success rate becomes lower for each piece beyond the allowable slots. Further, as the standard Neo-Ishgardian Gear has only two slots, any slot beyond the third must be of a material quality one less than the preceding slots. On an ornate piece, all five slots can be socketed with the highest materia available for that item level. This leaves us with two variables to examine: the average cost of creating a non-ornate piece with max melds and the stat difference between an ornate piece with max melds and a non-ornate piece with max melds. The average price for an Ornate Neo-Ishgardian Gear piece is 6,464,286 on Malboro as of the time of this writing (August 8, 2020). This is far below the 32,345,325 that we value the item at when contrasted against its cost to produce; this also includes zero markup, or profit, for our time. This low-pricing phenomenon might stem from lack of information regarding the item’s estimated value (unlikely in an entire population) or from the notion that sellers adjust their prices until they find the prevailing rate at which buyers will purchase their goods (that's economics, baby). In this case, it would be a closed-book matter to say that acquiring an item at 6,464,286 / 32,345,325 = 20% of its real value is a steal as a buyer (and ruin as a seller)… but, of course, this assertion also must be challenged. Specifically, the question becomes, “how much benefit will I get from consuming this item?”
The average price for a standard Neo-Ishgardian Gear piece is 73,036 on Malboro at the time of this writing (August 8, 2020). The average price for the “big three” materias (Savage Aim, Savage Might, Heaven’s Eye VIII) is 14,442. The average price for the comparable Materia VII counterparts is 1,980. Melding a Neo-Ishgardian piece with 3x VIII materia and 2x VII materia will product the following success rates:
Successful Meld Chance
Taking averages for each success, here is the estimated gil cost to overmeld the gear to five slots:
Successful Meld Chance
Avg. No. of Attempts
Total Cost for Slot
The performance differences must be taken into consideration as well. Each of the big three provide +60 of their respective stat at the 8th level, and +20 of their stat at the 7th level so the difference is +300 vs + 220 respectively. The costs of purchase and meld each piece is as follows:
The stat bonus of the standard gear is 1,823 for tanks and non-magical DPS and 1,767 for magical DPS and healers. We’ll average it to 1801. The total difference of power between these gears is as follows:
Compared with Price
% Price Increase
% Performance Increase
For a 2,745.6% increase in price, you can take home a 4.95% gain in performance for this item. So, what can be said to the question of “how much benefit will I get from this item?” Only that “it depends”... Most players will not realize a benefit from the increased gear. I would model that increase as the time saved by increased damaged output as a function of gil-making potential, i.e. “How much time will I save by doing extra damage, getting dungeon drops, and selling them for additional gil?” If that amount is greater than 6,536,496-238,072 = 6,298,424, then you should, of course, make the purchase.
Given the probability of obtaining three rows in WT versus the opportunity cost of doing so, it is not worth the pursuit strictly as a method of obtaining Ornate Neo-Ishgardian Gear to sell. Secondary rewards and benefits may outrank that decision for you. Given the percentage state increase versus the percentage price increase, there are very few players that would recuperate their investment in Ornate Neo-Ishgardian Gear versus overmelded HQ Neo-Ishgardian Gear.
If you've made it this far, you've probably had a few instances where you've thought, "but what about ..." and you're probably onto something. In any case, there are a lot of assumptions and magic numbers at play. Namely, this estimate is predicated upon my own performance and deals only with gil-making. For this reason, I have detailed my calculations so that, if you were so inclined, you could channel your inner healer and adjust. As I was writing this section, I realized that I could just quickly make a calculator inside of the notebook link here, so I have, in fact, adjusted for you. (did I mention that I main WHM?) I've taken the time to list out a few more assumptions, limitations, and thoughts that I didn't have time to work out; feel free to create your own weights and formulas! :D
Statistical outliers: provided you can get three rows ahead of the likelihood of 0.21%, how much time is worth it? At which attempt does profit move to breakeven? A good question, but this document is already too long.
Only Malboro was sampled: I'm lazy. Well, that's not true; I don't like mindless tedium. I don't have the patience to log every transaction on every world over days. If mining MB data wasn't against ToS, I would've aggregated data over worlds and times.
Intangible benefits: What if having the extra 80 points from the ornate meld is what helps you get a first world clear or join a static where you derive a lot of enjoyment? What if you care about prestige? There are only a handful of these things floating around; it certainly sends a wealth statement! In that case, assign values to those intangibles if you want to attempt a comparison. Make sure to factor in your opportunity costs foregone by spending that gil.
I undercut by one gil but I'm not an asshat: you can lie to yourself but not me.
I'm filthy rich and spending millions of gil is no problem, no matter the reason: your fuction of gil and time are probably much higher than mine and would increase the value of the item considerably from a seller standpoint; there are probably few situations where pursuing WT for money would be worth your while. If your were a buyer, then you might arrive at a point where your opportunity costs of purchasing are so low that you derive value from consumption. Most importantly, if you are that rich, are you hiring? I can do lots of things.
Spending the time making gil rather than completing WT would likely not be a one-for-one tradeoff, money-wise. Every item has an aggregate demand curve and, if you spent 6,428 minutes flooding the market with a good (or an array of goods), you will affect supply. Provided supply exceeds demand at a given price point, the price will fall until equilbrium is reached (and marginal revenue equals zero and long-term economic profit equals zero and all those other perfectly-competitive assumptions because people are hard). Pursuing WT is a chance to diversify and sell something very much in demand: Sure, no question about that. If you're hitting the market so hard that a 0.21% success chance represents a worthwhile venture for you, then we are in different places in our game experience.
I enjoy WT and that's got to count for something, right? Me too and that's why I do them. I play a video game to have fun and that's enough of a reason to fill in your stickers if that's what you want to do. This writing deals with efficiencies and probabilities, not life advice (except for the one-gil thing... going on the record pretty strongly about that one).
If I'm already doing these runs as part of my dailies, helping FC members, etc., then doesn't that affect the outcome: yeah, definitely. Your opportunity cost is much lower because you're not trading off time that you would otherwise use to optimize making money.
Using shuffle increases probability and reduces opportunity costs. By how much is a function of how easy it is to obtain second chances for you and how many repeats you use to complete your journal.
What's the opposite of a shitpost? I'm asking for a friend
Unusual Option Activity for June 29th, 2020 CNP, ON, FSLY, MDB
The full write up for the picks with much better formatting can be found at www.noeticoptions.com Context – The S&P 500 increased 1.5% today on the heels of a decline last week. The industrials sector increased by (+3.2%) and was lead by Boeing, which increased +14.4% (a pick from Friday). Companies are continuing to pull ads from Facebook amid controversy regarding inefficiently policing misinformation and hateful content. CoVID-19 was less of a focus today despite New Jersey, and California scaled back reopening efforts. Recap - BA 194.49 24.48 ,( 14.4 %) INO 31.4 1.42 ,( 4.74 %) DB 9.46 0.46 ,( 5.11 %) SLM 6.95 0.28 ,( 4.2 %) All of the stocks from Friday beat the market by a significant margin. BA was the best play, increasing 14.27%. There were several opportunities for entry with this morning, where it was lower than $177 and ending today at $194. INO increased by ~7%. DB, a short pick, rose 5.67%. SHLL (Hyliion) ended at almost $32. I placed this stock on the front page of the website as the meme stock of the month when it closed at around $17.50. For anyone who followed this stock and took the trade, congratulations, you made a significant amount of money – I know I did. Site Updates - There is now a Max Pain calculator on the site compliments of www.swaggystocks.com. Check it out; it’s the best I’ve seen. If there is a piece of information you would like added to these posts, such as a 52-wk high for the stock, please let me know. I want this to be a one-stop-shop for DD on the stocks I pick. Today’s Option Activity Fast Facts - Sentiment – CBOE Put/Call Ratio -1.01, VIX: (33.25, -1.48, -4.3%) Highest Multiple Over Daily Average - BLDP with 15 x the ADV of 2073. There were 21014 calls and 10075 puts. Ticker with Most Contracts - WKHS with 200229 contracts traded today with an AVD of 19305. There were 134780 calls and 65449 puts. Largest Put / Call Ratio - BGCP with a 89.11 P/C ratio. There were 10159 puts and 114 calls. Largest Call / Put Ratio - VSTO with a 340.73 C/P ratio. There were 10222 calls and 30 puts. MOMENTUM UNUSUAL OPTION ACTIVITY – Check www.noeticoptions.com for the momentum picks. CLASSIC UNUSUAL OPTION ACTIVITY – 1.Ticker : FSLY 78.15 -8.36 ,( -9.66 %) Earnings : 2020-08-06 Name : Fastly, Inc. Sector :Technology Services Industry : Information Technology Services Option Information : 7.17.2020 90.0 C. 1,079 @ 6.10 were traded at 9:57 AM as a SWEEP Spot Price: 81.76 7.17.2020 100.0 C. 650 @ 4.30 were traded at 10:02 AM as a BLOCK Spot Price: 82.31 News : No news. Last significant print was from 22 Jun-20 Story Stocks: Fastly, poised to capitalize on accelerating digitization trend, races to new highs yet again Company Profile : Fastly, Inc. provides real-time content delivery network services. It offers edge cloud platform, edge software development kit (SDK), content delivery and image optimization, video and streaming, cloud security, load balancing, and managed CDN. The company was founded by Artur Bergman, Simon Wistow, and Gil Penchina in March 2011 and is headquartered in San Francisco, CA. 2.Ticker : MDB 219.93 -4.58 ,( -2.04 %) Earnings : 2020-09-02 Name : MongoDB, Inc. Sector :Technology Services Industry : Packaged Software Option Information : 7.17.20 240.0 C. 260 @ 6.67 were traded at 9:30 AM as a SWEEP Spot Price: 222.81 News : Jun-29 MongoDB appoints former AWS & Oracle exec Mark Porter as Chief Technology Officer, effective July 20 Company Profile : MongoDB, Inc. engages in the development and provision of a general purpose database platform. Its products include MongoDB Enterprise Advanced, MongoDB Atlas, and Community Server. It also offers professional services including consulting and training. The company was founded by Eliot Horowitz, Dwight A. Merriman, Kevin P. Ryan, and Geir Magnusson Jr. in 2007 and is headquartered in New York, NY. Stocks Mentioned on Other Sites as having Unusual Option Activity - Bullish Activity : BLDP – Aug 18 Calls FEYE – Jul 12 Calls MDB – Jul 240 Calls Bearish Activity : LB 13.5 Puts Upcoming Events for Next Trading Day – Consumer Confidence, Chicago PMI, Jerome Powell Speaks – check the Economic Calendar for times and more in-depth explanations if you are interested. Thanks for reading. DISCLAIMER – These are my observations that I have made at the end of each day and trades that I am considering placing or watching. I am not responsible for your financial losses if you follow any of these trades. As always, do your due diligence.
Arbitrage opportunities in options - how options are priced, explained in layman's terms - without resorting to the BS pricing model
Alright retards, I've been laid off at work due to beervirus and I've been eyeing and toying with the idea to get back into options trading. I'm writing this post to raise the bar for discussion on this sub, I'm tired of seeing just memes. We'll never match WSB unless there is a healthy mix of dankass memes and geniass discussions. Now, when it comes to options, I am completely self-taught (completely from first principles, back in 2008, before you autists came up with the idea of watching videos on youtube). Since I am completely self-taught, my perspective will be different from the people who learnt this stuff while studying MBA/finance courses/NSE accredited investing courses. So if what I'm saying is different from what you've heard from the dude who swindled you of 20K for two days of options education or your gay BF's live-in partner, remember when it comes to maths, there are many ways of approaching a problem, ultimately, all are the same - profit means account balance goes up, loss means a loss post on ISB goes up. Now, I'm assuming that you understand how options work. If not, I suggest heading to Zerodha's Varsity to read up on options. If you're too lazy for this, get your micro-dick outta options, this is a man's game, surprise butt-sex awaits amateurs. I'm also assuming that you've come to realise that the sustainable way to make money in options is to write options. Unless you've got Trump or Ambani on speed dial to get access to news before it becomes news, YOLOing whatever rent money you have on buying options will blow up your account, eventually. Writing options also means the possibility of account balance going tits up is a real possibility. You gotta, gotta, gotta measure and manage your risk. You can do this only when you understand options as well as your dick. Towards this, I intend to put up a bunch of posts (depending on many of you shit heads are still reading at this point) that comment about little things that are more of 'wisdom' than 'education'. The example below talks about currency derivatives. Why currency? Read below:
Lower margin needed. I can short a CE/PE contract with only Rs.2000, unlike the >Rs. 70,000 for index contracts. You get to learn, play and wisen up with an order of magnitude less money than with Nifty or Banknifty contracts.
More stable underlying. When you're shorting contracts, the last thing you want is the underlying asset going crazy like a broncho during rodeo.
Sooner or later, you end up acquiring a more balanced education on economics as a whole, rather than the shit fest that goes on in the local circles.
The more contracts you can short, the more strategies you can pursue
Decent hedging is possible without throwing away all of your potential profits
Lesser stress (anybody else going through premature hairloss or is it just me?) because of points outlined above.
Alright, today, I'm going point how the put-call parity works and by extension, show proof for 'efficient markets' by pointing out how opportunities for arbitrage is pretty much non existent, so you guys can cool it with the whole 'market manipulators' knee jerk reaction. Alright, to start off, here's the current spot rate of the USD-INR pair: https://preview.redd.it/qup28ay567j51.jpg?width=452&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=b79ef1a3480e5cbafa42547143c651397ec57f13 Here's today's USD-INR futures closing rate for Sep expiry: https://preview.redd.it/krghirc677j51.jpg?width=511&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=60d52b785baa8a1cd240d0df7949a48c8391ba2d The difference between spot and futures rates is due to differences in what is construed as 'risk-free' interest rates in the US and in India. Check out this video if you want to understand why the Sep futures is trading at a premium of 27 paisa to the spot rate. Alright, so the deal is, if you buy 1 futures contract @ 74.49, unless the USDINR exchange rate rises by 27 paisa at the end of Sep (i.e. a spot rate of 74.49) you won't make a profit (ignoring brokerage and stuff). If the exchange rate were to remain the same without any change, you stand to lose (0.27 * 1000, currency derivatives have a lot size of 1000) Rs. 270 per lot. Even worse if the rupee were to appreciate (i.e. exchange spot rate goes down). Now bear with me if the next few paras are exceedingly boorish, I need to spoon feed people who aren't used to currency derivatives. My strategies are mostly aimed at playing a more risk balanced play, something that yields consistent returns which can be compounded. 10% profit compounded monthly gives 314% growth per year, 3.5% profit compounded weekly gives ~600% growth per year. Given how the USDINR rate is crashing, one way to profit would be to short a futures contract (duh!). The orange line indicates the current USDINR exchange rate As indicated above, if the exchange rate does nothing and remains as is till end of Sep, each lot of USDINR futures shorted yields about Rs. 250 in profit (for something that takes up Rs.3000 in margin, that's a >8% profit in return). Things look even better if the exchange rate were to fall further. The problem is that things heat up quickly if the exchange rate were to go up. Ideally we would want to hedge against it (which also reduces the margin needed drastically). One way to hedge it would be to buy a at-the-money call (74.25CE @ rate of Rs. 0.555 -> Rs. 555 per lot (i.e 0.555*1000)). https://preview.redd.it/ze16kyphv7j51.jpg?width=588&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=a3c2bba9fb314beff309671f03a013e69e08f4e0 Having purchased a call option, the P/L curve now looks like: The max loss is now limited to Rs. 315 The keen-eyed among you will recognise the above P/L curve as one that matches that of a put option. By shorting a futures contract and buying a call option (both with same expiry), we have created a synthetic put option that would have costed us Rs. 315 (0.315*1000) for one lot. Now, why go through all of this hassle if we can get the same returns by just buying a put option? Makes sense, as long as we can purchase the 74.25 strike put option at a price lesser than Rs. 0.315 (see above). Let's see what the put options are going for: Well, how about that... The market price of 74.25 puts are exactly the same price as our synthetic put. While the synthetic put came in at Rs. 0.315, the put costs another 0.005 extra to avoid the trouble of shorting a futures contract and buying a call at the same time. This is not by chance, big trading desks have algos (trading bots for the virgins here) that keep an eye out for price disparities. In this case, if someone were to be willing to pay more, the algos would compete amongst themselves to sell the puts at any price above 0.32. And if someone were to be willing to sell a put for less than 0.315, the algos would immediately buy. The price of the puts move in sync with the prices of the futures and call contracts. Conversely, we can create a synthetic call, and you will notice that the price of the synthetic call works out to be the same as the market price for the 74.25 strike call. We can also create a synthetic futures contract the same way. The prices of derivatives aren't decided willy-nilly. They are precisely calculated at all times, which forms the basis for the best bid/ask prices. There is no room left for someone to come in and make free money via arbitraging using synthetic contracts. If you found this insightful, and would like more of this sort of posts, let me know. Options when used properly, can be used to generate risk adjusted returns that are commensurate with the amount of risk you are taking. If you are YOLO-ing, sure, you can double or triple your money, because you can also lose 100% of your margin. Conversely, you can aim for small, steady returns and compound the crap out of them. Play the long game, don't be penny wise and pound foolish.
Beating the UK brokerage via true arbitrage - £8k -> £98k ($128k) since 21st April
Alright you American autists, here's a gains post from the UK across the pond - listen up because it's pretty incredible, managed to screw over our broker to turn ~£8k into £98k / $128k USD by reading the small print, true u/fuzzyblankeet style. https://preview.redd.it/9mlup18v0q951.png?width=343&format=png&auto=webp&s=aea1393d304d16063d62d54d30cc5be9b23d937a Unfortunately, we don't have options trading, commission free robinhood which crashes, or any other US based degeneracy, but instead we British chaps can trade "CFDs" ie. 'contracts-for-difference', which are essentially naked long / short positions with a 10-20% margin (5-10x leveraged), a 'holding cost' and you could theoretically lose more than your initial margin - sounds like true wallstreetbets autism, right? Well grab a lite beer (or whatever you lite alcoholic chaps drink over there) and strap in for this stuff: So, CMC Markets, a UK based CFD brokerage, wanted to create a West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil 'Spot' product, despite WTI contracts trading in specific monthly expirations which can thus have severe contango effects (as all of you $USO call holders who got screwed know) - this was just a product called "Crude Oil West Texas - Cash", and was pegged to the nearest front-month, but had no expiry date, only a specific holding cost -> already a degenerate idea from their part. So in early April, just before when the WTI May-20 expiry contract 'rolled' at **negative** $-37, the "WTI Cash" was trading at $15 at the time, but the *next* month June-20 expiry was still $30+ we (I am co-running an account with an ex-Goldman colleague of mine) simultaneously entered into a long position on the "WTI - Cash" product, and went short on the "WTI Jun-20 expiry", a pure convergence play. Sure enough, the June-20 tanked the following week, and we made over £35k, realised profits. But meanwhile the May-20 also tanked, and we were down £28k. But rather than realise this loss, we figured we could just hold it until Oil prices recover, and profit on both legs of the trade. However, CMC Markets suddenly realised they are going to lose a lot of money with negative oil prices (Interactive Brokers lost $104m, also retards), so they screwed everyone holding the "WTI - Cash" product trading at $8 at the time, and pegged it to the December 2020 expiry trading at $30, with a 'discount factor' to catch up between the two. https://preview.redd.it/zjjzyahx0q951.png?width=517&format=png&auto=webp&s=9523bab878f06702133631f12c1109081f299f65 Now fellow autists, read the above email and try to figure out what the pure arbitrage is. CMC markets will charge us a 0.61% **per day** holding cost (calculated as the 10x levered value of whatever original margin you put up, so in our case £8k*10x=£80k*0.61% = £500 per day, £1.5k on weekends for extra fun) on our open positions, but also "increase" the position value by 0.61% per day vs. the **previous day's** WTI - Cash value. Got it yet? No? Still retarded? Here's where maths really helps you make tendies:-> If your 'cost' is fixed at 0.61% of your original levered position, but your 'gains' are 0.61% of the previous day's position, then your gains will be ever increasing, whereas your costs are fixed. So we added some extra £££ (as much as we could justifiably put into a degenerate 10x levered CFD account) and tried to see if it works. Long story short, it does. At this point in July we were making **over £1k per day on a £8k initial position*\* regardless where the WTI Dec-20 fwd moved. Unfortunately, eventually CMC markets realised what utter retards they were, and closed down the arbitrage loophole, applying the holding costs to the previous day's value. But not before we turned £8k into £98k, less holding costs. https://preview.redd.it/uh0f8knz0q951.png?width=553&format=png&auto=webp&s=c7e629f72de5aeb4e837ccef44ecae708f058bee Long story short, puts on $CMCX they're total retards, and given what a startup robinhood / other brokerages are, never assume that only they are the ones taking your tendies away, sometimes you can turn the tables on them!
The impact of Mega Evolutions on the PVP and PVE metas, revised and revamped (Part 2)
This is part two of my Mega Breakdown post. It contains breakdowns on Mega Evolutions from Gens 3, 4 and 5. You can find part one with breakdowns of Gen 1 and 2 here.
PVP (Any League)
PVE (Neutral Damage)
I hope this post will serve as a discussion thread for meta implications. I will actively update it. Disclaimer:this is theoretical. We have little to no official information to go off of, aside from what we know about megas from the mainline games. My analysis focuses on typing changes, stat estimates and the like to ballpark where megas could perform in PVP, which matchups change and ultimately who to prioritize preparing for. I won't go too in depth on PVE implications as, for the most part, mega evolution bumps stats. If a pokemon is meta relevant now, safe to say it will become more potent if it can mega evolve. There are some exceptions, which I'll note. Sources & Credits: * IVs and Stat Product come from StadiumGaming. * DPS Figures and other PVE references from from GamePress * Special thanks to u/Jetson16 for his in depth look at PVE megas (nice spreadsheet!) * This thread on GamePress by u/CatEyePorygon is heaps helpful and I referenced it quite a bit. * Thanks to u/SenseiEntei, u/SnorlaxTrees, u/Mauro697, u/Eliwood_of_Pherae, and u/Daedalus871 for their corrections and advice. Notes:
Max CP assumes level 41 + 100% IVs.
TDO in PVE analysis means DPS3TDO.
Ratings take into account only the new megas and Kyurem B/W. I have not considered other pokemon as they are too far into the future.
DPS is calculated against an undefined pokemon, for neutral damage, with EXTREME weather.
It is likely that Mega Evolutions will only allow one per battle, in both PVP and Raids, like the main series games. If you see me mention "mega slot," thats what I'm referring to. In that regard, TDO is much more important than DPS for raids.
Max CP: 3443 (4843 stat product) Type Change: Grass > Grass/Dragon Great League IV: 1498 @ 0/13/11 lvl 16.5 (1419 stat product) Ultra League IV: 2494 @ 0/15/15 lvl 27 (3070 stat product) Matchup Changes: +Dragonite +Garchomp +Salamance +Dialga? +Giratina? GL Rating: ★★☆☆☆ UL Rating: ★★★☆☆ ML Rating: ★☆☆☆☆ PVE Rating: ★★★★☆
PVP Analysis: Another mega that gains mostly attack and little bulk. Will likely have some use in UL, as its increased stats make leaf blade and bullet seed a threatening combination. Additionally, Dragon Claw picks up STAB bonus which increases Sceptile's output. The addition of Dragon type means Sceptile loses the Fire weakness, but gains a weakness to Fairy, Dragon and unfortunately a double weakness to Ice. It does gain a double resistance to Electric, Water and Grass, for what that's worth. With a lot of megas having weakness to ice (increasing demand for ice users) and Kyurem B/W dropping at some point in the future, its hard to say how useful Sceptile will be long term, but initially it does look promising. PVE Analysis: Highest Grass DPS in the game at 19.646 DPS, and 3271.5 TDO is only slightly worse than Venusaur. Important to note, Sceptile's Dragon typing could make it last longer if the raid boss uses Water or Electric type moves (ahem Kyogre). Speaking of, Dragon DPS is nothing to write home about unless it gets Dragon Breath and Outrage, in which case its around the Salamance mark. Even then, probably not worth the mega slot, but definitely is as a Grass attacker.
Max CP: 3529 (4972 stat product) Type Change: N/A Great League IV: 1500 @ 0/13/13 lvl 16 (1403 stat product) Ultra League IV: 2497 @ 0/13/15 lvl 26.5 (3028 stat product) Matchup Changes: GL Rating: ★★☆☆☆ UL Rating: ★★★★☆ ML Rating: ★★★☆☆ PVE Rating: ★★★★★
PVP Analysis: One of the limited number of megas that can potentially be useful in UL, Blaziken unfortunately doesnt gain much in bulk, with most of its buffs going to attack, leaving it just as glassy as ever. Blaziken can still be useful because of the spamminess of Counter and Blaze Kick. Stat product in UL is a fair bit lower than regular Blaziken, though. PVE Analysis: Best Fire type DPS in the game at 20.948 and second best TDO at 4221, losing to Charizard Y. Important to note, that loss to Charizard Y is by a marginal amount, but also it's win in DPS over Charizard Y is also by a minimal amount, meaning they bith have a very similar performance. It boils down to which typing coverage is best for the boss at hand. Respectable as a Fighting type, but doesn't beat Mega Lucario. Blaziken can function as a specialty counter against Steel and Ice types with his CounteBlast Burn moveset, granting it 34.409 DPS and 36494.4 TDO. If you're fighting an Alolan Sandshrew, it goes up to a staggering 54.746 DPS and 233868.5 TDO, more than 10 TIMES Mega Mewtwo Y TDO and twice it's DPS. Poor Sandslash. Worth the mega slot.
Max CP: 3737 (6400 stat product) Type Change: N/A Great League IV: 1500 @ 1/15/15 lvl 15 (1667 stat product) Ultra League IV: 2495 @ 1/15/14 lvl 25 (3593 stat product) Matchup Changes: +Zekrom? +Reshiram? +Groudon? +Mewtwo? GL Rating: ★★★★★ UL Rating: ★★★★☆ ML Rating: ★★★★★ PVE Rating: ★★★★★
PVP Analysis: Our favorite mudboi. Swampert enjoys a hefty bump in attack and a significant bump in defense, just enough to confirm it as a top tier in ML, though Sceptile may threaten this position. In GL, Swampert's stat product is better than its non-mega, and while the stat product is lower than Swampert's non-mega in UL, it'll still fill the same role and be effective. Likely to be meta-defining in both GL and ML, with a solid prescence in UL. Defnitely one of the top overall megas, having both astounding PVP usage and fantastic PVE results. PVE Analysis: Second only to shadow Swampert in DPS, Swampert clocks in at 18.697 DPS and 3974.4 TDO, beating the likes of Kingler and Kyogre in both DPS and TDO. Decent as a Ground attacker, falling right below Rhyperior. Not taking the Ground crown any time soon, and as a Water attacker, it's worth the mega slot only of the addition of Ground typing means more TDO compared to Primal Kyogre. That could be irrelevant if Primal Reversion doesn't use a slot though. Even if it does, Swampert's typing could make it useful in certain scenarios. 5 stars for now.
Max CP: 3831 (5897 stat product) Type Change: N/A Great League IV: 1497 @ 2/15/14 lvl 14.5 (1467 stat product) Ultra League IV: 2496 @ 0/12/14 lvl 24.5 (3171 stat product) Matchup Changes: +Giratina? GL Rating: ★★☆☆☆ UL Rating: ★★★★☆ ML Rating: ★★★☆☆ PVE Rating: ★★★★★
PVP Analysis: Another mega where the extra stat points are heavily skewed towards offense. Gardevoir gains very little in bulk, which could be an issue given it has expensive charge moves. All said, works well as an anti-Dragon pick in ML, having decent coverage but still being difficult to use and requiring shield investment and a team built around it. In UL, Gardevoir may pick up the win agains Giratina, which could catapult its viability. A.Muk and Registeel are still problems for it, though. PVE Analysis: Gardevoir becomes the best Fairy type attacker in the game, barring Xerneas and mega Diancie, at 18.269 DPS and 2913.1 TDO. Also fantastic as a Psychic attacker, but if you're using a mega slot on a Psychic attacker, it better be Mewtwo Y. Definitely worth the mega slot for Fairy.
Max CP: 1967 (2911 stat product) Type Change: N/A Great League IV: 1499 @ 0/15/12 lvl 30 (2036 stat product) Ultra League IV: 1967 @ 15/15/15 lvl 41 (2911 stat product) Matchup Changes: GL Rating: ★★★★★ UL Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ ML Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ PVE Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
PVP Analysis: Sableye is one of the few megas on this list that is actually viable in GL. Just like Mawile, Sableye receives buffs in the form of Defense, with a healthy amount of Attack thrown in. Sableye is an absolute beast in GL, sporting in increased stat product than its non-mega form. On the other hand, its pitiful CP cap makes Sableye useless in UL and ML. In fact, it's the only mega on this list that can't get anywherr close to the UL CP cap. The main win here is that Sableye gets significant bulk, whilst lowering the overall cost of investment, as level 41 is no longer necessary for GL (mega costs notwithstanding). A definite winner. PVE Analysis: Not viable in raids, period.
Max CP: 2411 (3575 stat product) Type Change: N/A Great League IV: 1498 @ 0/14/13 lvl 24 (1823 stat product) Ultra League IV: 2411 @ 15/15/15 lvl 41 (3575 stat product) Matchup Changes: GL Rating: ★★★★☆ UL Rating: ★★★★★ ML Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ PVE Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
PVP Analysis: Another GL allstar, Mawile gains most of its stat points in bulk which is huge for PVP. Regular Mawile performs well enough in GL as it is, but its mega form will unlock its true potential in UL. Mawile is extremely efficient at dealing with Dragons, being double resistant, and its only 2 weaknesses are fairly underrepresented in UL. In GL, Mawile's stat product is virtually the same as regular Mawile. Additionally, its max CP is very close to the UL limit, allowing it ample room to flex its potential. A definite staple. Side note: if the rumored 45 level cap is introduced, Mawile caps at just a hair over UL limits (2533) and becomes that much more viable. Also, I would have a lot of work to do updating this list! PVE Analysis: Not usable in raids.
Max CP: 3539 (6524 stat product) Type Change: Steel/Rock > Steel Great League IV: 1500 @ 1/15/14 lvl 16 (1856 stat product) Ultra League IV: 2500 @ 0/12/13 lvl 27 (4004 stat product) Matchup Changes: +Giratina +Empoleon? +Rhyperior? +Kyogre? +Metagross? GL Rating: ★★★☆☆ UL Rating: ★★★★★ ML Rating: ★★★★☆ PVE Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
PVP Analysis: Losing the Rock type seems to be a massive buff to Aggron. It is no longer double weak to Fighting or Ground, and it loses its weakness to Water. Aggron gains resistances to Steel and Grass at the cost of losing double resistance to both Normal and Flying (no loss there). Additionally, almost all of Aggrons mega stats go to bulk, which becomes the highest in the game, tied with mega Steelix and Shuckle. Unfortunately, Smackdown loses STAB, however Dragon Tail is a serviceable substitute. Unknown if Stone Edge is still viable without STAB, but the coverage is nice and it comes out fast. Aggron's biggest concerns are Fighting and Ground coverage moves, both of which become far less worrying because of his typing change. Another big concern for Aggron is lackluster moves. Rock Slide, Dragon Claw, Shadow Claw, Surf, Outrage, Body Slam and the Elemental Punches are all fantastic moves in his MSG learnset, but not yet in PoGo. PVE Analysis: Awful. Worse than Flash Cannon Metagross, even though its got stellar stats. Really needs new moves to be viable at all in PVP, though could be a TDO beast if it gets them. Metal Claw might help, but Steel Moves in general are just trash, outside Meteor Mash. Heavy Slam would be useful if it factored Mega Aggron's weight, but that is likely to never happen in PoGo.
Max CP: 2527 (3644 stat product) Type Change: N/A Great League IV: 1497 @ 1/15/14 lvl 22.5 (1717 stat product) Ultra League IV: 2492 @ 12/15/15 lvl 41 (3595 stat product) Matchup Changes: GL Rating: ★★★★☆ UL Rating: ★★★★☆ ML Rating: ★☆☆☆☆ PVE Rating: ★★☆☆☆
PVP Analysis: Another great league all star that gets to flex into ultra league. Not much is gained in the ways of defense, but Medicham gets healthy bumps across the board. Having a CP cap right at the edge of UL coupled with premier Fighting type moves and access to Psychic and Ice Punch means Medicham has a decent answer to the numerous Dragons and gets a leg up on the other Fighters of UL. Not likely to be as big of a splash as Mawile, but has different utility than Machamp or Lucario. Mega Medicham does lose some stat points in GL compared to regular form, but its a great tradeoff to allow it to thrive in UL. PVE Analysis: Even with its good stats and best Fighting moveset, it's only barely better than regular Lucario, and not worth the mega slot. Fares even worse as a Psychic attacker, not that it matters given Mewtwo Y exists.
Max CP: 3626 (5466 stat product) Type Change: N/A Great League IV: 1498 @ 0/15/13 lvl 15.5 (1489 stat product) Ultra League IV: 2500 @ 0/13/13 lvl 26 (3210 stat product) Matchup Changes: GL Rating: ★☆☆☆☆ UL Rating: ★☆☆☆☆ ML Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ PVE Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
PVP Analysis: Manectric is currently not even ranked on GamePress for PVP, but its bump to attack and access to Snarl and Wild Charge could be useful in UL, alongside its healthy bump to stat product. Likely still a benchwarmer. PVE Analysis: Highest non-shadow Electric DPS in the game at 18.16 DPS and 2738.2 TDO, but DPS isn't what's important on a mega, and Zekrom has higher TDO. Besides, if DPS were your concern, you'd be using shadow Electivire. Skip the mega slot on this one.
Max CP: 3315 (4525 stat product) Type Change: N/A Great League IV: 1499 @ 0/15/12 lvl 17 (1408 stat product) Ultra League IV: 2498 @ 1/15/15 lvl 28 (3041 stat product) Matchup Changes: GL Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ UL Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ ML Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ PVE Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
PVP Analysis: An interesting one. Its stat boosts are almost completely even between attack and bulk and additionally, unlike most megas, Sharpedo benefits from increased stat products across all leagues. Unfortunately, due to lackluster moveset and poor bulk, you're not gonna swim very far with this fishy. Likely a benchwarmer unless it gets some love in the future. PVE Analysis: As a Dark attacker, it's DPS is slightly lower than Darkrai with TDO on par with Tyranitar. Again, DPS is not useful on a mega. As a Water type attacker, it's a carbon copy of Kingler. Hard pass on the mega slot.
Max CP: 3261 (4967 stat product) Type Change: N/A Great League IV: 1500 @ 0/14/11 lvl 17.5 (1588 stat product) Ultra League IV: 2499 @ 0/14/13 lvl 29 (3431 stat product) Matchup Changes: GL Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ UL Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ ML Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ PVE Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
PVP Analysis: Just like Sharpedo, stat boosts are completely even. Also like Sharpedo, Camerupt gets shut down by his own poor movesets. If Camerupt got a better fast move it could almost function a a budget Groudon, having access to Earth Power, Earthquale and Solar Beam. While Camerupt does benefit from a solid increase to stat product in UL, I'd let it keep the bench nice and warm. PVE Analysis: Just no.
Max CP: 3203 (5414 stat product) Type Change: Dragon/Flying > Dragon/Fairy Great League IV: 1500 @ 0/8/15 lvl 18 (1789 stat product) Ultra League IV: 2497 @ 0/15/15 lvl 29.5 (3867 stat product) Matchup Changes: +Zekrom +Giratina +Dragons -Metagross? -Registeel? GL Rating: ★★★★☆ UL Rating: ★★★★☆ ML Rating: ★☆☆☆☆ PVE Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
PVP Analysis: While it does suffer a reduction to stat product in GL, it gets an ample buff to stat product in UL. Boasting a healthy boost to defense while also getting huge gains to attack and obtaining the only Dragon/Fairy type in the game makes for one stellar mega. Altaria loses the weakness to Rock, and the double weakness to Ice becomes a normal weakness. Dragon goes from being super effective to being resisted, and if that werent enough Altaria also gains a resistance to Dark and Electric, which means it can wall Zekrom. The trade off is that Altaria gains a weakness to Poison and Steel. The former isn't very relevant in UL or ML, but the latter is enough to keep Altaria from being at the top. All the same, due to decent bulk, Altaria is a very strong option and a winner when it comes to megas. Additionally, dazzling gleam now gets STAB, while unfortunately Sky Attack loses STAB. In UL that may not matter as much as Altaria can stick around long enough to get value out of Dazzling Gleam. Should be noted that in the MGS, Altaria can learn Disarming Voice, Moonblast and Dragon Claw, all of which would serve to cement Altaria at the top. PVE Analysis: No use in PVE.
Max CP: 3640 (5067 stat product) Type Change: N/A Great League IV: 1497 @ 0/12/13 lvl 15.5 (1366 stat product) Ultra League IV: 2498 @ 0/15/15 lvl 25.5 (2957 stat product) Matchup Changes: GL Rating: ★☆☆☆☆ UL Rating: ★★☆☆☆ ML Rating: ★☆☆☆☆ PVE Rating: ★★★★★
PVP Analysis: Banette gains most of its stat points in attack, and doesnt get much to help with its poor bulk which is Banette's biggest struggle currently. In GL, its stat product is even worse than non mega, but UL its stat product gets a slight bump. Not that it matters much, there are better Ghosts, both mega and non-mega. Likely a benchwarmer. PVE Analysis: A surprising winner. At 21.219 DPS and 4357.9 TDO, Banette sports nearly identical DPS and slightly less TDO compared to mega Gengar. The difference is, it loses the Psychic weakness (and the Ground, but likely irrelevant). A definite option for when Gengar would be extra weak to a Psychic raid boss, almost definitely worth the mega slot.
Max CP: 3343 (4255 stat product) Type Change: N/A Great League IV: 1500 @ 4/15/14 lvl 16.5 (1303 stat product) Ultra League IV: 2496 @ 0/13/14 lvl 28 (2805 stat product) Matchup Changes: GL Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ UL Rating: ★☆☆☆☆ ML Rating: ★★☆☆☆ PVE Rating: ★★☆☆☆
PVP Analysis: Absol gains 0 stat points defense and is unlikely to improve its position on the tier list by much. Stat products are lower in both GL and UL, and while it may have some use in ML, it will be as a niche attacker. PVE Analysis: Eeks out slightly more DPS than mega Houndoom at 18.717 DPS, but TDO leaves something to be desired at 2198.2. Would be stronger if it got Foul Play, but TDO would still be lower than Houndoom. Likely not worth the mega slot unless Houndoom's typing were an issue.
Max CP: 3270 (5038 stat product) Type Change: N/A Great League IV: 1499 @ 0/10/14 lvl 17.5 (1597 stat product) Ultra League IV: 2499 @ 0/13/13 lvl 29 (3447 stat product) Matchup Changes: +Lugia +Dialga GL Rating: ★☆☆☆☆ UL Rating: ★★★☆☆ ML Rating: ★☆☆☆☆ PVE Rating: ★☆☆☆☆
PVP Analysis: Glalie gains only attack and no bulk. It will likely serve as a decent hard counter to Dragons and Flyers in UL where Kyurem B/W's stat product isnt as strong, but for ML Kyurem B/W will handle that role (and many more roles) better. Still suffers from poor resistances stemming from mono-ice typing. When it comes to GL and ML, leave Glalie in the freezer. PVE Analysis: Glalie gains some serious improvement, but not enough to be viable. at 16.185, it barely beats Mamoswine in DPS, but TDO is lakcing at 1786.5 TDO. Again, Kyurem Black is coming out in the future and will take both the DPS and TDO throne. Only consider Glalie if, for some reason, both Ground and Dragon secondary typing would be an issue on an Ice attacker.
Max CP: 4263 (7669 stat product) Type Change: N/A Great League IV: 1500 @ 3/15/15 lvl 13 (1639 stat product) Ultra League IV: 2500 @ 0/15/13 lvl 22 (3524 stat product) Matchup Changes: GL Rating: ★☆☆☆☆ UL Rating: ★★☆☆☆ ML Rating: ★★☆☆☆ PVE Rating: ★★☆☆☆
PVP Analysis: The main benefit to Salamance's mega is that it adds a huge amount of bulk, and a healthy amount of attack. Salamencr is one of the rare megas that enjoys stat product boosts across all 3 leagues. While UL is pretty restricting, ML should see even more use as its bulk will help with the increasing amount of threats that Dragons will be getting, though not by much. With Kyurem B/W coming and the increasing need for Ice users, having a double Ice weakness is painting a huge target on Salamence's head. Need more info on its matchups to see if it'll gain any viability. For now, there are better dragons out there. PVE Analysis: Trades DPS performance with TDO performance compared to normal Salamance with 18.229 DPS and 3947.6 TDO. Salamence would be decent as TDO is what you want from a mega, but mega Rayquaza will wipe the floor with any other Dragon attacker for raids. Only usable as a budget option, and likely not worth the mega slot.
Max CP: 4164 (7546 stat product) Type Change: N/A Great League IV: 1498 @ 0/13/15 lvl 13.5 (1670 stat product) Ultra League IV: 2498 @ 0/13/15 lvl 22.5 (3600 stat product) Matchup Changes: GL Rating: ★☆☆☆☆ UL Rating: ★★★☆☆ ML Rating: ★★★★★ PVE Rating: ★★★★☆
PVP Analysis: Metagross only suffers a slight loss in stat product in GL and UL, not that it helps make a case for viability. Could be useful if it can pick up the matchup with mega Altaria and mega Mawile, but information is needed. It's a different story in ML, where Metagross gets a significant boost to stat product. With more Dragon threats brought to the table from megas, and with Kyurem B/W due in the future, Metagross is as relevant as ever. Likely to move a little up the tier list depending on if its matchups change, but Metagross will stay relevant for a long, long time. PVE Analysis: Metagross is beaten in both DPS and TDO by its shdaow form, and by a significant amount. It gains very little DPS over its main form with 18.817 DPS, but it's TDO sees a massive bump at 4546.9 TDO. Still better off with the shadow Metagross. Technically, its only worth the mega slot if you can't run a full team of shadow Metagross, but not very many people can say they have a team of 6+ maxed shadow Metagross, so it still has value using the slot (not that there's another Steel mega you'd be using).
Max CP: 4245 (7057 stat product) Type Change: N/A Great League IV: 1499 @ 4/15/14 lvl 13 (1510 stat product) Ultra League IV: 2499 @ 0/14/14 lvl 22 (3264 stat product) Matchup Changes: GL Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ UL Rating: ★★☆☆☆ ML Rating: ★★☆☆☆ PVE Rating: ★☆☆☆☆
PVP Analysis: Latios gains mostly attack stats from its mega evolution, though it does get a small amount of bulk. Dragon Breath and Dragon Claw is always a plus, but with all the new Dragon megas, [email protected] is likely to be left in the dust, with its typing being more harm than good, especially considering Kyurem B/W in the future. Even with Luster Purge, Latios is unlikely to see much use in ML, and even less in UL. Considering the demand for Ice types from all the looming Dragons, safe to leave the Eon Twins on the bench. PVE Analysis: At 18.047 DPS and 3238.6 TDO, you can forget about using your mega slot on Latios as a Dragon attacker. Even if it got Outrage, Latios would only just be comparable to regular Rayquaza, not even factoring the monster that is mega RayRay. Fares better as a Psychic attacker, offering similar (though noticeably worse) stats to mega Alakazam with 18.57 DPS and 3630.2 TDO. Likely only to see use where his Dragon typing could boost his TDO (only Keldeo, G.Max Toxtricity and G.Max RapidStrike Urshifu come to mind) but data is needed on those matchups. Also, mega Mewtwo Y is a thing. Save your slot.
Max CP: 3555 (6539 stat product) Type Change: N/A Great League IV: 1499 @ 0/14/14 lvl 16 (1845 stat product) Ultra League IV: 2498 @ 0/15/15 lvl 23 (3692 stat product) Matchup Changes: +Lugia? GL Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ UL Rating: ★★☆☆☆ ML Rating: ★★★☆☆ PVE Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
PVP Analysis: Though bulkier than its brother Latios, Latias suffers from the same issues: there are better psychics and better dragons. Latias' moveset isn't as good as Latios, and even with Mist Ball, Latias stands at the back of the crowd of Dragons. It can still topple Kyogre, Machamp, Heatran and Giratina-A, and it may even be able to take down Lugia with its newfound mega strength, but there are better options for these matchups that can do more things. PVE Analysis: With 16.444 DPS and 2718.8 TDO as a Dragon attacker and 16.012 DPS and 2444.2 TDO as a Psychic attacker, Latias is strictly worse than Latios, who already fairs poorly. Defniite avoid.
Max CP: NO DATA Type Change: N/A Great League IV: NO DATA Ultra League IV: NO DATA Matchup Changes: GL Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ UL Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ ML Rating: ★★★★★ PVE Rating: ★★★★★
PVP Analysis: Kyogre gains a heap of attack power and just a little more bulk, which cements it at a comfortable place high atop the ML tier list. Forget about any other leagues though. When Kyogre gets Origin Pulse, it will likely be incredibly destructive. Not much to say here: the best just got better. PVE Analysis: Even without Origin Pulse, Kyogre absolutely blows its normal form out of the water with best-in-class 19.789 DPS and 6228.4 TDO (more than double non-mega Kyogre!) Once it gets Origin Pulse, it's likely that nothing coming in the future will topple this Primal Beast. We don't know if Niantic will count Primal Reversion as a mega or not, but even if thats the case, use your mega slot on Kyogre.
Max CP: NO DATA Type Change: Ground > Ground/Fire Great League IV: NO DATA Ultra League IV: NO DATA Matchup Changes: +Metagross? +Dialga? +Mamoswine? +Meganium? GL Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ UL Rating: ★★☆☆☆ ML Rating: ★★★☆☆ PVE Rating: ★★★★★
PVP Analysis: Like Kyogre, Groudon gets loads of attack and a smidge more bulk. Unlike Kyogre, Groudon picks up a secondary typing. While this does give it a resistance to Steel, Fire and Fairy, it unfortunately comes with a double weakness to Water. Groudon also gains a weakness to Ground which pops up more and more all the time. Unfortunately, I think Groudon's reign of terror is over, given the rising threat of mega Kyogre and mega Swampert. Though if the enemy doesnt have an answer to your Groudon, you can enjoy a crispy STAB bonus to Fire Punch which will secure wins against Dialga and Metagross more reliably. No longer being weak to Ice or Grass is a plus too. May see use in UL as a tank buster due to Fire Punch Spamminess, but you'd need to build around Groudon's weaknesses. PVE Analysis: Same situation as Kyogre, best-in-class DPS at 18.485 DPS and a very respectable 4741.2 TDO, all without Precipice Blades, though it's not as commanding of a lead as Kyogre. Still definitely worth the mega slot, assuming Niantic counts Primal Reversion as a mega form. May even see use as a Fire attacker if Groudon's typing is useful compared to Charizard Y or Blaziken.
Max CP: 5119 (8906 stat product) Type Change: N/A Great League IV: 1499 @ 0/9/14 lvl 11 (1432 stat product) Ultra League IV: 2495 @ 1/15/14 lvl 18 (3094 stat product) Matchup Changes: GL Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ UL Rating: ★☆☆☆☆ ML Rating: ★★★☆☆ PVE Rating: ★★★★★
PVP Analysis: Even though Rayquaza is banned in the historically power crazy Ubers fromat in the main series games, Rayquaza is likely to sit on the bench in PoGo. Still has incredibly lacking bulk, even though its attack is insane. You can build around Rayquaza, and maybe its slight buffs to bulk from the mega evolution will net it a few matchups, but still better off in PVE. Also important to note is that in the MSG, Rayquaza had to use Dragon Ascent to turn mega, which is a flying type move. While it is unlikely, you may need a second charge attack just to access Rayquaza's mega form which limits its uses and heavily increases the cost of entry. PVE Analysis: Yes. Just yes. Incredible as a Dragon attacker with 22.786 DPS and 9002.5 TDO. The only better generalist is Mewtwo Y with significantly beefier stats. It doesn't take the Flying DPS nor TDO crown from shadow Moltres, with only 18.857 DPS and 4223.1 TDO, but it does beat regular Moltres. Once it gets Dragon Ascent, it could take that crown. Until then, it's defnitely worth your mega slot as a Dragon Attacker.
Max CP: 3792 (6066 stat product) Type Change: Normal > Normal/Fighting Great League IV: 1500 @ 0/13/11 lvl 15 (1542 stat product) Ultra League IV: 2499 @ 2/15/14 lvl 24.5 (3327 stat product) Matchup Changes: Registeel?, Bastiodon?, Probopass?, Melmetal?, mega Steelix?, mega Aggron?, Snorlax?, A.Muk?, Lickilicky? GL Rating: ★★★★☆ UL Rating: ★★★★☆ ML Rating: ★★☆☆☆ PVE Rating: ★☆☆☆☆
PVP Analysis: Gains hardly any bulk, and there are better fighters out there. Interestingly, Lopunny can learn Aura Sphere in the main series games, as well as Close Combat, but it won't have access to a decent fast fighting move to take advantage of its typing. Speaking of, Lopunny's Fighting type nets it a Fairy, Psychic and Flying weakness, but gives it a Dark resistance. Could see some use in GL if STAB lets it deal with the Steel and Rock tanks better, even though Lopunny has lower stat product in GL. In UL, it gets a healthy increase to stat product, and its new typing type may let it function as a specialized coutner to Giratina, A.Muk, Snorlax, Lickilicky, and the two new mega Steel tanks (Steelix and Aggron) more effectively, but matchup data is needed. Looks like one of the dark horses of the mega evolutions. PVE Analysis: Nothing to write home about. With 16.202 DPS and 1949.3 TDO, it barely eeks out the win over Machamp, but loses to shadow Machamp. Strictly worse than Mega Lucario, even if Lopunny gets Aura Sphere. As a Normal attacker with 17.528 DPS and 2670.2 TDO, Lopunny sports less DPS and more TDO than shadow Porygon-Z, and more DPS and less TDO than Regigigas. Not that Normal has a place in raiding anyways. Keep your mega slot.
Max CP: 3839 (5923 stat product) Type Change: N/A Great League IV: 1500 @ 2/15/14 lvl 14.5 (1473 stat product) Ultra League IV: 2496 @ 0/11/14 lvl 24.5 (3171 stat product) Matchup Changes: GL Rating: ★★☆☆☆ UL Rating: ★★☆☆☆ ML Rating: ★★☆☆☆ PVE Rating: ★☆☆☆☆
PVP Analysis: Gets a equal boosts to attack and bulk. As far as Psychic/Fighters go, Mewtwo X has Gallade crushed statwise, although Gallade has slightly more bulk (but not much). What Gallade does have is Leaf Blade which is incredibly spammy and hard counters mega Swampert, as well as Close Combat which allows Gallade an answer to Steel types. It also has access to Charm, which Mewtwo X lacks. However, there are better Charmers, better Close Combaters and better Leaf Bladers. Unfortunately, Gallade doesnt have the stats to try and be a jack of all trades. Best to leave it on the bench. PVE Analysis:
Max CP: 3449 (5848 stat product) Type Change: Great League IV: 1500 @ 0/14/13 lvl 16.5 (1724 stat product) Ultra League IV: 2500 @ 0/12/15 lvl 27.5 (3706 stat product) Matchup Changes: GL Rating: ★★★★☆ UL Rating: ★★★★☆ ML Rating: ★☆☆☆☆ PVE Rating: ★★☆☆☆
PVP Analysis: Abomasnow had little use before, but buffs to Powder Snow and access to Weather Ball Ice let it become a fantastic option in GL and UL, and while it's not very viable in ML, Ice is an important type going forward, and could be a dark-horse type pick. PVE Analysis: As a Grass type attacker, Abomasnow has 13.565 DPS and 1074.5 TDO. As an Ice attacker, it has 16.31 DPS and 2245.7 TDO, which isn't the worst, but Mega Abomasnow defniitely is a niche attacker, being most useful against Grass/Dragons, Ground/Dragons and Ground/Grass types, as it will net an extra resistance and boost to TDO.
Max CP: 2556 (5049 stat product) Type Change: Normal > Normal/Fairy Great League IV: 1499 @ 0/14/14 lvl 23 (2381 stat product) Ultra League IV: 2498 @ 12/14/14 lvl 41 (4936 stat product) Matchup Changes: GL Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ UL Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ ML Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ PVE Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
PVP Analysis: I had high hopes for Audino. Its mega form adds almost exclusively bulk, it hits the UL CP cap at level 41, and the addition of Fairy typing all synergize potentially make Audino viable. However, it lacks a good fast move and its best Fairy move is Disarming Voice. In the main series games, Audino's best and practically only fast move is Iron Tail, and while it can learn some off-type utility moves like Wild Charge, Surf, Solarbeam, Blizzard, etc., Audino currently has access to none of these. Hopefully Fairy will become better represented in the future and it'll get a chance to shine. Audino definitely has the stats to be a star in both GL and UL. PVE Analysis: Not even close to applicable for PVE with curent movesets.
Max CP: 5493 (8157 stat product) Type Change: N/A Great League IV: 1499 @ 4/15/15 lvl 12 (1552 stat product) Ultra League IV: 2499 @ 0/12/13 lvl 20.5 (3352 stat product) Matchup Changes: +Kyogre? +Groudon? +Metagross? +Zekrom +Dialga? +Dragonite? GL Rating: ★☆☆☆☆ UL Rating: ★★★☆☆ ML Rating: ★★★☆☆ PVE Rating: ★☆☆☆☆
PVP Analysis: Garchomp gains massive buffs to attack. It gains a slight edge in stat product compared to regular Garchomp in UL which makes it safe to use, but it's ML where Garchomp's stats can really shine. Garchomp will fill the same role as before, but a lot more effectively thanks to the stat increases. Suffering from a double weakness to Ice is rather crippling, however, as the increased demand for Ice users and the impending buffs to Powder Snow and Blizzard could shut down Garchomp. It could be possible to build around it, though. As far as Dragons go, Garchomp is near the front of the pack (though Dragons could see a strong decline). PVE Analysis: The awkward middle child of megas, worse than Primal Groudon as a Ground type attacker (17.406 DPS, 3207.3 TDO), and worse than Mega Rayquaza as a Dragon type attacker (19.968 DPS and 5554 TDO). Could only be viable if its unique typing allows Garchomp to squeeze out more TDO. Save your mega slot.
Max CP: 3874 (5781 stat product) Type Change: N/A Great League IV: 1500 @ 0/14/13 lvl 14.5 (1425 stat product) Ultra League IV: 2497 @ 1/15/13 lvl 24 (3062 stat product) Matchup Changes: +Giratina? GL Rating: ★★★☆☆ UL Rating: ★★★★☆ ML Rating: ★★★★☆ PVE Rating: ★★★★★
PVP Analysis: Lucario's buffs are mainly attack, which is unfortunate. Still counters Dialga, and likely secures the win against Giratina, though numbers need to be run (Tina could survive a Shadow Ball beforehand). Will likely see a slight bump in ML ratings, especially with Kyurem B/W and Metagross seemingly being staples. Still functions well as a tank buster in all leagues. PVE Analysis: Straight upgrade to the best Figthing type attacker in the game, not much else to say. Sports an insane 23.632 DPS and a sky high 7690.3 TDO. Definitely take the mega slot with this one.
Max CP: NO DATA Type Change: N/A Great League IV: NO DATA Ultra League IV: NO DATA Matchup Changes: GL Rating: ★☆☆☆☆ UL Rating: ★☆☆☆☆ ML Rating: ★☆☆☆☆ PVE Rating: ★★★★☆
PVP Analysis: Diancie isn't in the gamemaster yet so we have no clue what moves it'll have, but we do know Diancie gets Smackdown, Rock Throw, Stone Edge, Rock Slide, Earth Power, Ancient Power, Dazzling Gleam, Psychic and Moonblast. Unfortunately there is no Charm on that list, but Smackdown is a fantastic STAB replacement move. Diancie's mega form basically swaps its attack and defense stats, which means mega Diancie will have hugely power but very little bullk. Could be interesting as it would have attack power that puts Xerneas to shame, stronger than any fairy type in the game. Diancie's unique typing unfortunately comes with a 4x weakness to steel, coupled with low bulk would mean it'd crumple hard to Metagross and the like. For PVP, Diancie is likely better off non-mega, even then keep shields up to deal with steelies. PVE Analysis: Will likely usurp Togekiss and Gardevoir as the premier Fairy attackers, possibly even in non-mega form. Not sure how it stacks up against Xerneas as neither are in the game. Unfortunately, neither Xerneas nor Diancie learn Charm, so it may be Sylveon who takes the crown.
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