Table of Contents
What is a Grade Increase?
The terms "Grade Increase" or "GI" can be used to refer to one of two elements of the game:
- A modifier applied to some cards to increase their stats
- One of several tickets that raise a card's grade (and in turn raises it's GI stat)
The Grade Increase stat modifier
Every non-Normal-grade card has a Grade Increase of some amount. You can see this value on the card by tapping on the bottom line of stats, which opens the stat tray. Grade Increases are normally written with a plus-sign in front, such as "+60" or "+75".
The GI is the mechanism for increasing the OVR of a card as it changes grade. Each grade has a range of GI values, so as you raise the grade of your card, you raise its OVR as well. The GI's points are distributed across the five stats relative to the card's base stats. Because of this, cards with desirable base stats become even better as their GI goes up.
Here are some examples of the same card with different Grade Increases, one for each grade:
As you can see the GI increases the card's OVR, all the way up a whopping 15 OVR for Diamonds with the maximum +75 GI.
GI and Base Stats
In the cards above, you can also see that the GI is not distributed evenly across the base stats. I chose this Hader card specifically to highly how his high VEL and BRK and low STA base stats influence the GI distribution. Rather than giving
GI / 5 to each stat, a special formula puts more of the GI into the highest base stats. Cards with better base stats get extra oomph from their GI, and cards with undesirable base stats waste more of their GI on those bad stats.
Here's a practical use of this information: Marcus Semien's best two years in Oakland are '16 and '19. If you look at those two cards as Normals (with no GI), it looks like the '19 is better all around. Yes, it has way more FLD. But what we really care about are the hitting stats, and the stats on the '19 are clearly better than those on the '16:
But that's not the whole story! When both cards have the max +75 GI, the two cards are actually fairly close! The '16 even has higher POW! Because the '19 has so much FLD, that stat grabs more of the GI distribution. An extra 6 pts of GI are wasted on FLD.
Grade Increase + 75
|+ 17||+ 18||+ 16||+ 12||+ 12|
Basic Base: 69.2 aOVR : 70.8
The moral of the story: when comparing cards, don't forget to consider how the GI will distribute.
While non-Prime cards receive a GI in a range of values, one of the main benefits of Prime cards is that they are always given the maximum value + 5 (as shown on the table).
Because Primes are typically very strong cards and because GI is distributed relative to the base stats, the extra 5 pts of the Prime GI are more likely to go to the best stats.
|Grade||GI Range||Prime GI|
|Bronze||10 - 15||n/a|
|Silver||20 - 30||35|
|Gold||35 - 50||55|
|Diamond||60 - 75||80|
|Black Diamond||60 - 75||90|
Grade Increase Reset Tickets / OVR Amps
While Bronze - Gold grade cards are stuck with the GI they receive when they are obtained, Diamond grade cards can be reset to a new GI. This means you can reset your Diamond card until its GI has reached the maximum (or close to it).
The way you do this is with a Grade Increase Reset Ticket (or GI Reset) or an OVR Amp Ticket.
GI Reset Ticket
With a GI Reset, your Diamond will be randomly assigned a new GI from all possible GIs except the current value. So if your card is currently +67, you can end up with any value +60 to +66 or +68 to +75. The odds are fair, meaning you are equally likely to get +60 as you are to get +75. Because of this, GI Resets are best used on cards with lower GIs because that increases the odds of ending with a higher GI.
GI Reset Tickets can be obtained from the Club store once every club cycle (two weeks). Occasionally they will be offered as a prize in events.
OVR Amp Tickets are GI Resets that only go up. So if your card is +67, you can end up with any value +68 to +75. Just like GI Reset Tickets, the odds are fair. Most players will only use these on cards with very high GIs with the goal of getting a perfect +75.
OVR Amp Tickets are not sold in any regular in-game store. They are typically offered as a secondary piece of paid packages (like the quarterly TS Sig package). Occasionally they will be offered as a prize in events or for lengthy streaks in Pick-Em.
Types of Grade Increase Tickets
Grade Increase Tickets are the game's way of allowing you to raise the grade of your card. When you do this, a new GI will be randomly generated.
There are 3 types of GI Tickets: Minor, Intermediate, Full (officially just called a "Grade Increase Ticket"). I'll describe each here, starting with the most valuable.
Full GI Ticket
The full GI Ticket can raise a card of any grade (even Normal) by 1-3 grades. Full GI Tickets are typically only available by spending money. See "How do I get a Grade Increase Ticket?" for more details.
You should only use a full GI Ticket on a Gold grade card! While a full GI Ticket can raise a card by up to 3 grades (a Bronze to a Diamond, for instance) the odds are heavily skewed towards raising only one grade (a Bronze to a Silver). If you use your full GI Ticket on a Gold though, you are guaranteed to get a Diamond.
The typical recommendation is to use full GI Tickets on the most valuable card types first, in this order:
- Team Signatures
- Team Primes
- Team Vintages
The full GI Ticket is one of the most useful items in the game. During the $50 quarterly sale, I consider it to also be one of the best deals in the game.
Intermediate GI Ticket
The Intermediate GI Ticket can raise a Silver card to Gold. They can be acquired once a week in the Ranked Shop. They also appear occasionally in special events.
Typically these tickets are reserved for cards you intend to upgrade to Diamond. Since Legends, Primes, and Sigs are all most likely to appear as Silver grade cards, you'll want to turn them Gold before using your full GI.
Some players will also use them on Sigs they intend to combo, under the assumption that a 3-Gold Combo is more likely to produce a Diamond card.
Another use case might be upgrading a card to use as Black Diamond material. Gold cards can contribute to Black Diamond upgrades. They don't contribute much... but some progress is better than none, especially for Vintages, Legends, Primes, and All-Stars, where the Gold progress is reasonable.
It's usually more impactful to spend your Ranked coins on Skill Change Tickets or Ranked Training, but in some circumstances Intermediate GIs are worth it. If you're at that point in the game, you probably know what's best for you already.
Minor GI Ticket
The Minor GI Ticket can raise a Bronze card to Silver. They can be acquired once a week in the Ranked Shop.
This ticket can be useful for newer players who are looking to improve their cards.
Experienced players will probably only use these on Vintages, since they can be acquired in Bronze. You might want to raise those Bronzes to Silvers so you can use them in Vintage Special Combos, or you might use it on a strong team Vintage that you intend to upgrade to Diamond.
How do I get a Grade Increase Ticket?
Full GI Tickets are offered monthly for $100 USD and quarterly for $50 USD. In the past, Com2Us has also offered two free per year:
- During the offseason, there has been a long check-in event and if you check in enough times you will get a GI Ticket.
- During the regular season achieving a streak of 15 in Pick Em will reward you with a free GI Ticket. This was reduced to 10 for the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.
Minor and Intermediate GI Tickets can be purchased from the Ranked store.
Is the full GI Ticket worth buying?
You have to decide for yourself, but in my opinion? Absolutely.
I consider the quarterly $50 Grade Increase Ticket package to be one of the best deals available. In a game dominated by luck, a full GI Ticket offers you guaranteed return for your money (when used on a Gold card at least). That package typically includes Stars and other high-value items as well making it a great deal.
The $100 GI Ticket packages are less appealing because they're twice as expensive and have fewer useful secondary items, but again, it's guaranteed value.