NBA Top Shot – Flash Challenges

Flash Challenges

Flash Challenges are quickly becoming the fastest and easiest way to build and grow an NBA Top Shot collection. Learning to maneuver flash challenges efficiently with minimal slippage can be very profitable and fun. In this article, I help new collectors navigate the often murky waters to profitability through Flash Challenges.

Flash Challenges – NBA Top Shot

But let’s take just one step back for a moment in cause there are readers out there who are unfamiliar with what flash challenges are. An NBA Top Shot flash challenge is a mini-contest requiring participants to collect a set basket of NFT moments (often up to 10), that when successfully completed within a set time limit, offer the collector a reward.

The Rewards

The rewards vary according to how difficult the flash challenge is to complete. Some of the easier flash challenges have rewards that include free common packs ranging from $9-$19. Many challenges offer a free single-card pack of predetermined players. The value of such cards can vary dramatically.

My least valuable flash challenge reward is this Kevin Love Metallic Silver moment that currently goes for just $10. The reason this particular moment is so inexpensive is based on its rarity and ease of completion. For this particular challenge, I already had all the moments necessary for the completion.  All I needed to collect was to submit my showcase within the required time.

The most valuable flash challenge I completed this year was the Joel Embiid Metallic Silver which currently sells for $205. This challenge was much more expensive to complete requiring this Scottie Barnes Rookie Badge moment. This rookie badge is actually the single most valuable moment I currently own and its value spiked to over $700 during the challenge. That was a fun night and I was lucky to have that moment in my collection. I ended up selling the reward and using it to bolster the rest of my portfolio.

Top Shot designs flash challenges for all sizes of accounts, including large whale portfolios. One such notable challenge included this Lebron James Legendary Deck the Hoops that you can pick up for just $42,000. So you can see no matter the size of your collection, these challenges can be profitable.

My Strategies

I use two primary strategies used for completing these flash challenges.  Strategy one: anticipate included moments prior to the announcement.  Speculation such as this can be difficult and potentially risky as it is easy to make mistakes.  Strategy two: maintain a broad basket of moments that are frequently included in the challenges. I am reasonably successful at both strategies but in this article, I will focus on the broad basket approach.

When a flash challenge is announced, the selection criteria for inclusion are typically based on the NBA box scores for that night. Top Shot creates randomness in how the moments are selected to prevent collectors from pre-buying the required moments and to encourage people to watch the games live. Some nights it might be high scorers, while other nights it may be rebounds or assists. Often it will be combinations of multiple stats.

To overcome the randomness, I simply decided to collect one moment from every starter in the league. I started with the list of top 50 NBA scorers, then I did the same for rebounds and assists. Overall I came up with a list of about 120 players (there is obviously some overlap on those lists). This essentially represents most of the regular starters in the NBA plus a few others. I was able to complete this collection for approximately $1,000.

The Rookie Bottlenecks

I was unable to do collect all the rookie badge moments which have significantly higher price points than the rest of the league. The full basket of rookie badge moments will cost you over $4,000 and that number is rising every day. The most expensive of the bunch is the Cade Cunningham Rookie Badge which currently goes for $535. Most of these moments are not yet in my price range, but I have been selectively picking away at a few of them.

What I recommend for new collectors is to start with the Series 3 base set where most moments go for just $3. You can pick up a very nice basket of players for just $300 – $400. This basket will be missing several key bottlenecks that frequently make it into challenges, but it is an excellent start. I would keep a couple of hundred dollars of Dapper cash in reserve to pick up any bottlenecks that may pop up on any given night. This will put you in a position for several challenges per month and for you to grow your account organically.

Upgrading your Portfolio

As your portfolio grows, I would focus your attention on upgrading your portfolio starting with star players that are more likely to make it into challenges.  I made a list of the top 40 players in the league and am currently in the process of upgrading each of those players one at a time. The ultimate goal would be to collect rare (or even legendary) moments of all the league’s top players.

Certain sets also are more likely to be included in flash challenges than others. The series 3 moments are often excluded from challenges in favour of the more expensive series 2 (or even series 1) moments. Occasionally non base set moments are required to complete challenges which will increase the total cost. Below is a list of sets and their relative values which can be used when upgrading your key players as your portfolio grows.

Set Rankings

Base Set – Series 3

Base Set – Series 3 LE (9,999)

Hustle & Show – Series 3

Base Set – Series 2

Hustle & Show – Series 2

2021 Playoff Set – Series 2

Cool Cats – Series 2

Mettalic Silver – Series 3

Base Set – Series 1

Throwdowns – Series 2

Metallic Gold – Series 3 (Rare)

Metallic Gold – Series 2 (Rare)

Legendary – All Sets and Series

Currently about half of my moments consist of the Series 3 base set. I am actively working to upgrade these moments through this hierarchy list. This will allow me to take advantage of an increasing number and more valuable challenges in the future.

My current focus is on collecting the 2021 playoff set. This set has a lot of great moments plus the added bonus of 20 collector score points for each. In contrast, all series 3 have a collector score of only 2. This becomes important when for new pack drop queues.

The new Metallic Silver set is currently my favourite and I will be collecting as many of them as I am able. Currently, they are only given out as challenge rewards and are classified as Fandom tier which is between common and rare. Because of this classification and the fact that fewer collectors are likely to sell a challenge reward, I expect this set to hold its value well in the future.


Creating a well-balanced Top Shot portfolio is not only tremendously fun, but it can also be very profitable. I can honestly say that I have more than tripled the value of my initial deposit in less than one year on the platform. This required obsessive attention to detail to achieve and the time spent surely rates well below what a minimum wage job would have paid me in return. But I would not have wanted to spend that time any other way.

Good luck and happy collecting.

Follow my Daily Picks page for all my professional sports picks in the NBA.  I also coach live poker players, helping players win more often.  Of course, you can follow more of my writings right here at Last Word on Sports or find me on Twitter to stay up to date on all my blog updates and helpful tips to grow your bankroll.

Jason Grad

Jason Grad

Helping serious betters and collectors win more often and grow their portfolios. Follow me on Twitter for my daily sports picks and NFT portfolio management advice.

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