The Gardener's Gazette: Season 3 Special
2021 Card Publication of the Year
Welcome to the twenty-eight edition of the The Gardener's Gazette, a special edition to celebrate Season 3 of Cards!
The Gazette is a monthly newspaper that keeps both Gardeners and guests informed on the happenings within the Card Gardening Society and beyond.
The Sub-Administrative Committee is seeking members once more! Join us as the Committee is rebuilt after a year of inactivity.
Season 3: how did we get here?
This is not a traditional Garden Spotlight. Although I'll be of course writing about key happenings in the Society during October and most of November, a key focus will be on the road to Season 3 not only here in the Gardens but also in the overall cards community! Therefore, this article will cover important movements in the trading cards market, such as the Great Inflation of early November, the ensuing market changes in response and in preparation of the upcoming season, and the third season's release itself!
October had been a typical 2022 month in the cards community and the Gardens alike, with some activity but a struggle to keep up. The 27th Gardener's Gazette was published on October 10th and welcomed by all Gardeners! Unlike the usual editions, it featured special articles like a Special Feature on the Gazette's second year of history, an article written by Islands Of Ventro; and the fifth edition of the Community Contribution Awards (CCA), in which Fauzjhia dominated both Cards and Commentary categories, winning a special role on the Discord Server and a Season 2 Dutchyland legendary card respectively. Fauzjhia's impressive gift record of 169 legendary cards and 377 epic cards donated make him the greatest contributor of all time, topping Noahs Second Country's record of 23 legendaries in the 2nd CCA—incidentally, this was the same number of cards gifted by second place Ioavollr this time around.
The Card Questions of the Week, although not regular, provided for some interesting discussions in October (sneak peek: and will return for many more interesting topics starting next week!), such as what collections Gardeners were working on at the moment, for example The United Peoples of Centrism's Season 1 Epics, Panagouge and Fauzjhia's self and puppet collections, as well as New Makasta's RWBY collection. Furthermore, in a possible preview of a month later, the question made on October 3rd asked Gardeners to predict when Season 3 would arrive, alongside other predictions such as how many legendary cards there would be and who would achieve this status—notably, Bronyleader correctly guessed that it'd come on the 20th anniversary of NationStates!
Last but not least, late October featured some other conversations such as nation stats and issues, card farming methods and scripts, and of course the Zombie Apocalypse event that happens at the end of the month together with Halloween. It furthermore saw the start of the 3rd Collection Bracket, with Apexiala, myself (Giovanniland), New Makasta, New Anarchisticstan, Panagouge, Vylixan, StrayaRoos and Islands Of Ventro as participants! Vylixan, Makasta and Apexiala composed the podium with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places respectively, in a nice contest about which you can read more in another article of this edition.
Now, we reach the month of November—it was off to a slow start too, but all things would change on November 3rd! In the morning of that day, a change in the rankings happened, with myself overtaking Mikeswill, the trader that had held the position since taking it from myself on August 22nd of last year, on the day that Koem Kab was also dethroned. Before this happening I had a million less deck value (2.2 million) to Mike's 3.2 million, but this difference was overcome by inflating the card of Green socialdemocracy to 10k deck value, adding a million DV given that I own over 103 copies of it.
Although this seemed impressive on its own, what came next was much more surprising to the entire cards community, with myself doing further trades of 10k bank on the other cards of puppets owned by me. The cards of New Great Tibet, Clegouskya Altada, Erwaidestatin, Pax Brittanica and GiovanniCards were all inflated to 10k market value at one point, aided by further trades on Hatiandrive and Shell Gogmosion, that only reached half of the value due to some asks blocking a full match. Each of these cards has around 400 copies owned me, therefore they each added 4 million (or 2 million for the latter two), and added up to a sum of 26 million deck value at their peak, a record that will probably never be reached again. Funnily enough, the International Artwork stat couldn't display more than 10 million deck value and simply stopped at that, echoing a similar issue with another stat two years ago:
Of course, Mike also reacted during the day, reaching a record for himself of over 7 million by applying the same tactic I had done for his puppets' cards. However, as I was hoping to finish the record inflation for the day, a sudden change happened—a sales tax appeared just before I was going to create another 10k bank self-match, prompting me to stop and observe for further changes. A few minutes later Max Barry announced three changes—not only the sales tax, but also a market value review of inflated values, and changes to deck capacity, which became cheaper but also enforced that no nation above it could place new bids.
That same night, therefore, card traders watched as inflated card values built over the past two years fell to nothing, some rejoicing and others despairing to the news, and also prompting the start of a return from old farmers that were interested in something different. With myself and Mike's inflations being the first to be targeted, we even saw then-3rd place Makasta be temporarily first, before none other than Koem Kab claimed back the title, and other players like Seanat, Feu de Glace, Fhaengshia and The United Peoples of Centrism composed the new top 10.
The following week after that but before Season 3 saw an interesting atmosphere, with expectations that the new changes would precede a new season, which in fact happened. Also an interesting topic of discussion was the new Market Value formula—it was at first assumed by players like myself to continue as a simple average, just with a higher trade number like 15, so backing cards at higher values was sought as a new strategy that, for example, allowed myself to return to 3rd place. However, admin [violet] noticed a bug that caused those theories to fail, until further tests during and after the Season 3 inscription proved interesting results that are likely correct: median instead of average and required different sellers/buyers for each group of 3 trades.
And the big day finally arrived to coincide with NationStates' twentieth anniversary: SEASON THREE! Upon seeing the news of a new season after almost three years, the cards server flourished with activity once more. This new season had characteristics of its own, such as a vertical design giving even greater space for the flag, and a special condition for cards to exist aimed at reducing puppets—nation names with numbers were ignored if they were either on a puppet storage or their non-numerical part wasn't unique.
Following the release, many more traders returned to active card farming as well. The inscription period, while it was originally 2 days, was later extended to 7 days in order to give people more time to make sure their cards looked good, and for collectors to have a headstart in finding the cards they need to collect and placing bids in advance. The Gardens had a special channel called #season-3-talk for people to comment on their designs and rarities, while the main cards server featured a rarity remasking channel and later a place for interesting finds. Notably, given the three years wait, several card traders have risen to epic or legendary rarity—a result of seeking ways to increase it, such as more top 1% stats or authoring resolutions and issues.
Last but not least, the inscription period finally ended on late Saturday or early Sunday depending on one's timezone, with the main cards server featuring a voice chat of more than 20 people awaiting the big event. At the exact turn of the hour to 8 PM EST, Season 3 packs started being opened, and the auction page soon jumped to dozens of pages featuring the new cards, propped by collector bids such as myself, Makasta and The Atlae Isles, while traders competed to find or buy valuable cards first—auctions such as Season 3 Luna Amore saw bids of several thousand. Since then, many collections have risen incredibly fast, with a few examples in the following spotlight, and interest in cards has overall been revived at large and within regional card communities.
Overall, Season 3 has been very nice to see, and I wish the card community many more years of activity after a resilient period of waiting for this new season—what the future holds is certainly promising. Not forgetting our usual finish, I take a moment to welcome all new members that joined the Gardens recently. The Church of Satan, StrayaRoos, NDR, Ostrovskiy, Allinburg, Thorn1000 and Millenhaal, good luck with cards!
The 6.5th Garden Spotlight: Season 3 Collections
The 6.5th Garden Spotlight? Yes, you read that right—traditional spotlight schedule would mean that, with the last one being published in the 26th edition, we'd have to wait until January 2023 for the next one. However, given the release of Season 3 and the rapid increase in collections featuring those newly-acquired cards, I've written a special edition in order to showcase a few incredible collections built since the season's start last Saturday.
The West Pacific S3 by Giovanniland: It feels weird to spotlight myself, but my regional collection for my home region of TWP is to date the largest collection of Season 3, housing over 7,000 cards of the around 9,400 required (the lack of card dumps takes this certainty away for the time being). At the cost of nearly ten thousand bank in bids, this collection set a record by adding 5,000 of its cards on the first day of Season 3, just under 55% of all cards to be collected. The slower increase commences now as the remaining cards' nations quickly cease to exist and become rarer.
The East Pacific S3 by The Atlae Isles: Atlae has built the second largest collection so far in Season 3 through the nation specifically created for this purpose, S3 TEP Collector. The quantity of 6,500 cards is almost as many as collected by myself, although proportionally it represents a lower percentage of the East Pacific's around 11,500 cards. The experience of past seasons' collections, just like myself, is displayed in this rapid rise of a second regional collection of a Feeder region in this season.
Epics S3 by New Makasta: While several legendary collectors fight for the cards of golden border and we expect one of these collecions to reach completion soon, Makasta has earned big progress in collecting the second-highest rarity! There are ten epics for each legendary, so with the legendary number being 223, Makasta's 1200 epics represent over half of the around 2230 that will be required for the collection.
S3 Animation by Panagouge: Hosted in the puppet nation GIF Land, this promising collection will likely have many more animated cards than its Season 1 and 2 predecessors that featured 70 and 539 cards respectively. The reason for that is that many more nations have uploaded GIF flags (either adapting their own flags or uploading a non-flag image), including mainstream collectors designing gifs for several of their card farming puppets, something that started last season and increased greatly for this one. This number is still unknown, but there is a reasonable expectation for a lot of movement in this one!
Europeia S3 by The United Peoples of Centrism: Another regional collection that has seen good progress is UPC's about their home region of Europeia! Considering 700 cards collected and a regional population of around a thousand, that gives us a percentage of around 70% cards collected already. UPC has collected every Season 2 regional card and all but two cards in Season 1, that way one can look forward to a great collection this time around as well!
Winners of the Month
October featured a high total of fourteen official giveaways, featuring legendary cards with decent market values such as Season 2 GeodesicDragon and Ransium, for example. There were two more giveaways than September, as well as one more Gardener that won twice! This time, the lucky winners were Montrandec, Durmengrad and Makasta, together winning nearly half of all giveaways during the last month. The other eight giveaways, whether they were a Legendary card or an Epic Package, were shared by eight different Gardeners as you can see below:
Number of Wins
Monthly Contest Results and Update
The final article of this edition will talk about the monthly Garden contests, a key activity where many members participate. After the Card Poetry Contest won by Panagouge in September, October saw the 3rd Collection Bracket happen! Gardeners had a two-week submission period to link me one collection that they owned either in their main nation or puppets.
*A funny coincidence is that Ventro submitted their joke collection "Season 3 Legendaries" before anyone knew Season 3 was going to be released this month!
After the submission period ended, the bracket was housed in a Discord channel open only to Gardeners, #collection-bracket. The total number of entrants was 8, which is a power of 2, so the tournament started regularly with quarter-finals, without the need for special measures taken when there's a different number of entries. In this first round, Apexiala defeated Panagouge with 8 votes against 5, while in the match between myself and Vylixan the difference was even larger—3 votes for me and 10 for them. The match between Makasta and StrayaRoos was the closest, with only one vote giving Makasta a place in the semifinals, whereas the last match had a more comfortable difference, 9 votes for New Anarchisticstan to 5 votes for Ventro.
In the semifinals, Vylixan—who had a convincing win before and is a regular force in the brackets—triumphed once again with 11 votes against the 5 casted for Apexiala. This was a similar result to the other semifinal, with Makasta coming on top of New Anarchisticstan 11 votes by 4. Interestingly, these clear wins for one side continued in the last two matches! The third place match had the largest difference of votes of this bracket, Apexiala winning 11-2 against New Anarchisticstan. The much-awaited final, meanwhile, had a slightly close result but nevertheless showed that Gardeners picked a favorite—Vylixan had 10 votes and Makasta, only 3. This means that the Collection Bracket win goes once more to Vylixan, who now has two titles in the 1st and 3rd Brackets.
In order to celebrate these great results, valuable Legendary cards were gifted! Vylixan won not one but two cards, one from each existing season at the moment the cards were awarded—Season 1 Farnhamia and Season 2 NERVUN. The second and third place also won Season 1 cards, New Makasta receiving a copy of Season 1 Rubyna and Apexiala being awarded Season 1 Uelvan.
Then I was going to announce the next contest... but there's more! Some of you older Gardeners might remember the 5th edition of the Gazette published back in November 2020 that featured a Season Three Quiz for Gardeners to predict results! I had promised to publish the guesses of everyone and the actual correct answers once Season 3 was released, and two years later we're here—for those who weren't here, the contest had not only predictions about how many cards with a given trait would there be in the season, but also about the card rarities about known Gardeners at the time.
Of course, I had hoped to release the results and winners as soon as Season 3 arrived! Unfortunately, at the time of publishing, the card dumps haven't been released yet, therefore making the process of getting answers for Part 1 (How many ... cards will there be in Season 3?) without tools like the Card Queries nearly impossible, even if the Part 2 (What will the season 3 card rarity of the following Gardeners be?) is much easier to check. Therefore, I'll have to postpone the announcement to the December edition, when this search will hopefully be more available by then. However, I'm not missing the chance to announce the Season Four Quiz so we can be prepared already to receive Season 4 with open arms in a few years! Read the rules and questions below:
1. There will be several questions. Right answers will earn a point while wrong answers will earn none;
2. Questions will have either numbers or card rarities as answers.
2a) In the case nobody gives exactly the correct answer, the nearest number/rarity will earn the point for the question and all other participants will gain none;
2b) In the case there are several correct answers, all of them will earn points;
3. The contest will close as soon as the inscription period of Season 4 starts, with no submissions allowed after that date.
4. Submissions will be ranked by the point system described in the first item. The highest ranked answer will earn a Legendary card, and all other submissions will gain an Epic card;
5. Cheating in any form (such as sharing answers) is not allowed, resulting in punishment within the Society if found out;
Part 1: How many ... cards will there be in Season 4?
1. Common or Legendary:
2. Uncommon or Ultra-Rare:
3. Rare or Epic:
5. Sinker (including TRR):
6. Forum Moderator:
7. Game Moderator:
9. Issue Editor:
10. Founder or Delegate:
11. Founder and Delegate:
12. General Assembly Author:
13. Security Council Author:
14. Issue Author:
15. Trifecta (GA, SC, and Issue Authorship):
*Note that OR means both Founder cards, Delegate cards, and Founder + Delegate cards; whereas AND only means the last option (intersection), for example.
Part 2: What will the season 4 card rarity of the following Gardeners be?
2. The Unified Missourtama States:
3. The United Peoples of Centrism:
8. New Makasta:
See you all next month for another Gardener's Gazette edition. Credits to Giovanniland for leading the newspaper publication and writing the articles! If you want to contribute to the Society, apply to join the Sub-Administrative Committee, or donate cards to EpLeHo! Feel free to ping @administration on our Discord server for more details.